Summary: You met Steve in one bar and two have a great night together.
Pairing: Steve x Reader
Warnings: Drunk assholes, fuffly, and smut.
You never minded to do things alone, you actually enjoyed it a lot. Going to the movies or shopping was, even more, fun to you when you are alone because you were the one in control. But you are starting to thinking that coming to this bar alone wasn’t your best idea.
Since you arrived at the bar, this is the fourth guy who hit on you in one hour. The first guy insisted on paying for your drink and after you declined several times he went away, the second was nice when you said you weren’t interested he went away without questioning you. The third one was insistent but after hearing about your fake boyfriend he let you enjoy your drink alone.
The fourth asshole, Mike didn’t leave you alone. You told him that you weren’t interested, that you could pay for your own drinks and that you had a boyfriend but no, he wasn’t having any of it. “Come on baby, your boyfriend doesn’t have to know… I can show you a really good time.”
anonymous asked: I love Joe!!! I would love to see more of him in Modern Glasgow or any other idea that strikes any of y'alls fancy. I think he is truly the only good friend Claire ever had (beyond Jamie, naturally) and I wished the books had even more Joe and Claire moments!
something to be said for the peculiar hour of the blue-morning, when a
hospital beeps into quiet life. The rattle of death behind drawn curtains, expletives hissed over set bones and shots taken in the thigh. It
is not like Jamie’s Grampian refuge, which springs forth naturally from the earth. Instead, Boston GH scars the landscape, numbing loneliness through morphine drips and the tug of sheer necessity.
It is during this gradual reawakening, that Claire hides in a closet, imagines the pink, wet sacs of her lungs contract and expand. She counts her breaths—one, two,
three, one, two, three—to release the night’s chaos, still lodged in her throat.
During the wild evening hours, Claire sees only what exists outside her body. Such an easy thing to do as a doctor, this sudden corporeal separation: leap into the procedural
dance, embrace the temporary loss of yourself to the staunching of blood and the
sewing of sutures.
But eventually, the window of calm arrives, and the wall of dissociation begins to crumble. Claire, in her closet sanctuary, returns to her body once more, the sight of her arms and her hands like four old friends, reacquainted.
Claire hunkers down between two shelves, and relief travels from foot to torso,
settling somewhere inside her gut. As always, she has brought her medical bag—a gift
from her husband, CER embossed in golden filigree—and rummages through it. As always, she finds the folder and flicks it open, seeking the page that is stowed inside. She is forever tethered to its final sentence, which launches a fresh rip of longing straight to her chest.
And as always, she goes back to the beginning, following the words. Fingers like greedy sponges, text absorbing into skin.
NEW YORK CITY, 11:30AM - The diner hushes when the bell tinkles, announcing the
arrival of literary darling James Fraser. He is a giant in more ways than one: six-feet tall, wide-set shoulders, and a critically-acclaimed author with legions of fans. But for all his inches and his clout, Fraser is blissfully unaware of the eyes on his back. When he sits opposite me and shakes my hand, I, like the rest of the world, find him to be impulsively likable.
Sporting one month’s growth of beard and a wrinkled v-neck,
it doesn’t take long for Fraser’s roguish charm to earn a free meal. He is quick to thank the waitress, and for not the first time, one
has to wonder how the man could possibly be single. Surely his good looks, his talent, and Reformed Bad Boy reputation draws the ladies in?
Point proven: our waitress lingers, hungry for Fraser’s attention, but
he closes his menu after ordering a glass of lemonade. (An odd choice, but then our writing heroes are full of idiosyncrasies, aren’t they?) I almost leap to console the girl, that poor thing, as she runs a self-conscious hand down her apron.
Alas, one gets the impression that it isn’t pickiness keeping Fraser romantically unattached. Nor is it misogyny or closeted homosexuality (despite what those tabloid vipers
spit). James Fraser simply enjoys his place in the lonely hearts club—and is perfectly content to stay there, sipping ice-cold lemonade.
Frank’s ring glides across the lines, pauses over “single”. Such a different life, so removed from Claire’s, though here it thrums beneath her hands. Suddenly, her head grows heavier, weighted by the chain draped around her neck. Jamie’s thistle ring dangles there, cold as death against her. Forever tucked inside her shirts, a secret between her breasts. (Frank lets her wear it, just as she lets him wear his stained button-downs, other women smiling from the collars.)
Fraser’s second and latest novel, Two Centuries in Purgatory, released just last month to stellar reviews. Hailed as a “modern classic” by TheNew York Times (and truly, it is), Purgatory has found a comfortable seat at the top of the bestseller lists, and shows no signs of losing momentum. Now touring
the U.S., Fraser seems nonplussed by the bustle of the Big Apple, his eighth time to our concrete jungle (“I’ve a parade of publisher meetings and interviews tomorrow,” he grumbles). Though he’s a longtime resident of both
Edinburgh and Glasgow, he says no city feels like home nowadays. “Where is home then?” I ask him, and in traditional Fraser fashion, he deadpans:
For all his fame and glory, there is something decidedly melancholy about James Fraser. But of course, we all know why. We’ve read his books, haven’t we? We know his story.
Gillian Edgars: Are you enjoying your lemonade, Mr. Fraser?
James Fraser: Aye, verra much so. Lemonade in Scotland doesna taste like this.
GE: Mmmm, exploring the pleasures of America. I like it. Now, shall we begin? Let’s start with Two Centuries in Purgatory.
brings the page a few inches closer. This is not the first time she has read the
article, its edges worn to yellowing curls.
A familiar anger sinks its claws into her side, as this reproduction of Jamie staggers into a flickering half-life. Gillian Edgars thinks she knows the man behind the book jacket. The entire world, for that matter, believes they can claim the bold-faced names on their hardbacks: James Fraser.
But, Claire seethes, do these people know that Jamie smiles in his sleep? That he’s prone to seasicknesses, could not wink at the waitress even if he tried? No. Only Claire knows these smaller, intimate truths—but still, they are not enough. Jamie, no longer only hers, but a communal being disseminated and shared amongst millions. Strangers have molded her Jamie into something new, into hollow casts of their false impressions.
the closet door swings open and Joe Abnernathy leans in. “Knew I’d find you in here,” he says, but he draws up short. His smile falters when he sees Claire on the ground. Falters further still when he reads the headline, “Scotland’s Newest Literary
Hero.” on the page and on her face.
“Lady Jane, why do you do this to yourself? We’re working, I know, but can’t you try to be merry? It’s officially Christmas Eve!”
Joe kneels down,
and levels his gaze with hers—the gentle but silent disappointment of an older brother. Claire holds firm when he pries the clipping from her
grasp, the paper snagging the skin of her palm. It glides over and up, a shallow curve that splits into fine, shining rubies. A jeweled J, just at the base of her thumb.
presses the wound to her teeth, tastes the heady, metallic taste of herself.
(Later, she will trace the cut with reverence, grateful to be marred, at the
very least, by a shade of Jamie.) Joe tsks and reaches for a shelf, bringing back the first aid kit.
“Perks of hiding
in a hospital supply closet. Bandages, everywhere. Take this.”
“It’s fine, Joe,” Claire assures him but accepts the bandaid anyways (Later, she will paste it on before she leaves, for the J should be hidden. Hers alone). “I’m fine—just a bad day and a scratch. See? No significant blood loss.”
“Phew. Thought I’d witnessed the first fatal paper cut,” Joe says, but then continues,
more softly, “LJ, I thought you’d given this up. That Frank made you
promise you’d stop.”
“He did,” Claire
replies. “And I did too, for a while.”
turns as the memory resurfaces: her husband, feeding the shredder a feast of papers. The machine’s tight-lipped and fanged smile, destroying Claire’s collection of articles, her glimpses of Jamie. Frank had held her as the teeth had chewed, tightened his grip when she repeated his words back to him, “Time to leave the past behind.” And afterwards, once the beast’s belly had emptied into the trash, Frank had dragged the bag of shreds to the curb. Claire had looked on, standing in the doorway. A soldier’s wife already in mourning.
(That evening, she almost snuck outside to piece the words together, for old habits die hard and a planet will always yearn for her sun. But then Frank’s arm had
risen in the darkness, flopped sleepily across her waist. The weight of it had held
her there, and so she’d stayed, picturing the night creatures stealing Jamie
away, piece by piece.)
to see what people were saying. About his new book.” She sighs. “I know I’m being ridiculous. But – it’s just that…”
everywhere, ain’t he? In the papers, on TV. Saw they’re making a Lifetime adaptation of A Blade of Grass. Jesus.”
Claire nods. “Must say, I’m steering clear of that one.” (But she
won’t, of course. Claire will want to see herself and Jamie on that screen, their better, manufactured
selves broadcasted in technicolor.)
“You’re really gonna
let me down like that, Lady Jane? I thought we’d drink cheap Scotch, put the
movie on mute, and invent the dialogue ourselves. Next weekend, the two of us. Drunk and vengeful. Whaddya say?”
“A hard pass,
Joe. We’ll be in Oxford for the
holidays, anyways. Visiting Frank’s family.”
“Well, la-di-dah. I’ll be on this side of Atlantic throwing popcorn at my TV.” Joe leaps to his feet when his pager beeps. As he walks out the door, his hand flies to
his coat pocket and he withdraws a shabby paperback. “Before I forget—a Christmas gift, for the Lady. If you’re gonna scramble your brain
with nonsense, let it be the fault of Tessa’s ‘membrane of innocence’. Not ‘Scotland’s Newest Literary Hero.’”
and flips through The Impetuous
Pirate, inhaling its smell of antiseptic and mildew, the vestiges of long-ago fingerprints. A Harlequin,
taken from the hospital waiting room. “Aye aye, captain. But if it’s all the
same to you, I’ll stay here in Davy Jones’ Locker for a while longer.”
jokes, turning swiftly on his heel. She hears his cry boom down the hallway. “Operating room, ahoy!”
Claire tucks The Impetuous Pirate
inside her bag, picks up the discarded article from the floor. For the first
time, she notices its publication date, October 20th, was her
31st birthday. She cannot remember the details of the occasion—did Frank take her to a concert, or to a movie? Buy her flowers or chocolates?—and yet a foreign scene plays so clearly
in her mind. Something cut from the script of her life, the stagehand’s hook
pulling her to the wings before she has a chance to speak. Cast in the closet’s dim spotlight, it unfolds as the playact that could have been but never was:
the New York diner, drinking lemonade. Condensation like dew drops, rolling down the pitcher. A young girl, in Gillian Edgars’ place, singing a high soprano. And Claire, beside her, blowing out candles in a single huff.
As she slices the birthday cake, Claire nicks her finger on the knife’s blade. “Kiss to make it better!” the young girl cries, and Jamie does, his lips on the sting and then Claire’s mouth. He tastes of citrus, of yellow and sunshine, a marigold paradise in a city of dying autumn leaves. “Does it still hurt, Sassenach?” he asks her. “Not anymore,” she says. And when the little girl giggles, watching them, it is something sacred. She licks the frosting from the candles. “So what’d you wish for, Mama?” she asks, not knowing that, in a moments like these, there is no need for wishes.
Claire’s pager rings, rearranging her memories. Now she remembers
her 31st birthday—and knows it did not happen in that diner. On that day, there was no little
girl, no citrus kisses in a molting New York. (But in a parallel land, perhaps, where the lemonade is phosphorescent and you can eat the stars.) Instead, Frank had taken Claire to the opera house, a
drawn-out affair they had both fidgeted through. He’d led her to the bedroom, with its king-sized bed, and slipped off her dress while she kept her chain on. “Talk
to me,” he’d panted, silver thistles against her chest. And when she came, it was not
Frank’s body that drew her cries. It was not Frank’s name that rose from her lips.
Claire scans the
article, skipping again to the final paragraphs. Here lies the line she
reads over and over, the very reason she shells $20 for subscriptions, scavenges in bins for scraps. Anything to discover some evidence of herself, some proof that she still lives in the peripheries of Jamie’s life. And whenever she finds it, it pours into her and lingers, like wine.
GE: Your debut was quite impressive—an instant
bestseller, an Oprah Book Club pick, an upcoming TV movie. I’m sure you’ve been
asked this before…but allow me to be a hack, for just one moment.
Let me ask the nosy questions. Let me pry.
JF: I dinna have a fear of rats [SMILES]. Get on wi’ it then.
I appreciate it, Mr. Fraser, I do [LAUGHS]. The protagonist’s struggles in A Blade of Grass—the financial woes, the criminal record, the years of solitude—they
seem to mirror your own. Is it accurate to say that the book is
voice calls from outside the closet. “Randall, are you in there? Mr. Duncan in
Room #18 needs to be—”
“Prepped for surgery, I
know!” Claire finishes. Her voice is shrill, rising with her goosebumps as she
nears the interview’s end. “I’ll be out in a second, Dr. Hildegarde!”
some respects, aye, A Blade of Grass is
autobiographical. Mind, I made a lot of it up myself. Embellished a few things.
yes, certainly! But even without your
embellishments, your life does make for such an interesting tale. In a way, your struggles are what made you a literary sensation. But still, I do wonder—do you regret any of it? The gamble, the
money, the arrest?
[LAUGHS QUIETLY] I thank ye for the compliment, Ms. Edgars, but I hope my
sins are no’ responsible for the book’s success. And for the record, they were
largely exaggerated by the press.
Ah, right. We rats are despicable creatures, always making bread from crumbs.
But it never rises in the oven, not really.
Have ye tried poetry before, Ms. Edgars? You’ve a knack for it [LOOKS AWAY]. But nay, it isna the crimes themselves that I
regret most. Whether they were exaggerated or no.
Really? There’s something else [LEANS
FORWARD]? Will you tell me then, your
life’s biggest regret? Or will you keep me and your readers in the dark, forever wondering what keeps our beloved James Fraser up at night?
closes her hand into a fist, forces herself to bleed out from that thin,
half-mooned J. She imagines Jamie’s face, inscrutable to Gillian Edgars, but
fixed in an expression that she, and only she, can read. And if Claire had been there on that October afternoon, sitting in the diner’s vinyl booth, she would
have understood. Would’ve known already what Jamie regretted most, what he would
and could not say aloud. For within this precious, final line—their spoken and
biggest regret? I let the story
should have loved her better—God! I should have loved her better.)
Warnings: Angst, Fluff, Heavy Drinking, Swearing, Implied Smut, and Protective!Dean (Apologies if I’ve overlooked any.)
Request:Can you do a Chuck x Reader
based on the song “Resistance” by Muse? Kind of like a secret
relationship because the angels don’t approve of the reader dating a
prophet/God (whichever you prefer). So they never know when they might be
caught or how long they have?
A/N: This is the first part of a three part mini-series. This is kind of rough rewrite of a few episodes throughout the series. So it requires at least a vague recollection of Season 4, 5 and 11. It’s also incredibly meta and generally I hate that, so, apologies.
Is our secret safe tonight? And are we out of sight? Or will our world come tumbling down?
Chuck ran a hand over his face, squeezing his weary eyes
closed. He heaved a sigh to distance
himself from the words he’d just typed.
Sneaking a glance, he groaned.
Y/N wrapped her
fingers around the base of his neck, standing on tip toes to pull him into a
kiss, embracing the mystery of this stranger’s lips to block out the reality of
her own loneliness’. Despite being a hunter, the weight of the job’s responsibilities had never come easily to
her. She wished she could be more like
her brothers, distance herself from the people they’d lost, the people they
couldn’t save. But she couldn’t. So she’d loose herself in the arms of a
Chuck reread his text and pinched the bridge of his
nose. He highlighted the better half of
chapter 7 and hit delete. Upwards of
10,000 words gone and all because he couldn’t bring himself to write her having
sex with a stranger.
“I need a drink,” he murmured to himself, pushing away from
If it wasn’t bad enough that he was a two-bit writer for a
series that would never see the inside of a Barnes and Noble, he’d gone and
fallen in love with a fictional character.
His own fictional character.
When Killian Jones decided to move stateside after the war, he expected some amount of trouble. He was tending bar in Manhattan, after all, while his brother was scrounging with low-lifes just to keep them safe from the rising criminal enterprises. Yes, Killian Jones had counted on a lot of things after getting settled as a civilian. He just hadn’t counted on her.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
16 October 1945 - 10:15 pm
The night was crisp, the air scented with autumn and the wind sharp, pricking Emma’s skin as she walked down fifth avenue… again. She had been up and down the blocks between fifth and first almost ten times now, looking for a tiny alleyway that would supposedly take her to some dinky hole-in-the-wall bar called Castle Harbour. It was the first real lead that she had gotten in months so no amount of chilly wind or hard to find bars was going to stop her from following it.
Ever notice that in the Bible women who are found guilty of adultery are punished far more harshly than men? Adultery is a theft. A theft from the husband and the husband’s family.
The word “adultery” comes from the same root as “adulterate” which means both to dilute and pollute as in “the bartender adulterated the good scotch with cheap scotch” In this case, it refers to the dilution and pollution of the husband’s bloodline and theft by allowing another man’s child to inherit family wealth.
AN: Sorry about this, I wrote it at 2am when I couldn’t sleep and I’ve decided against editing since I’ll probably end up deleting it. This is my idea of how things could go down once Rayna’s gone (whatever that means).
“I love you.”
He says it loud and firm, a promise. The truth. The only thing that’s ever been true. Even after all this time, after everything that’s happened, it’s the only thing that will always be the truth.
“Stop it,” Levi groans until he rolls over onto his stomach and lets his limbs skirt across the bed for the coldest surfaces.
“Stop–” He hangs a hand off the edge trying to meet his fingertips with the blow of air. “–Stop blocking the fan.”
At the same time, he’s afraid Eren’s going to chop his fingers off when he sticks them through the grating of the oscillating fan. “Wait,” he says. “I’m trying to… Just wait.”
“Trying to tape my phone to the fan.”
Of course he is. With scotch tape in one hand and his other about to have quick surgery, Eren attempts to attach his phone to one side of the fan with a scary amount of serious dedication. Maybe he should have turned off the oscillation first, Levi’s about to say. He’s not willing to take Eren to any emergency room in this heat.
“Why…” Levi has to ask.
“Well, I read somewhere,” Eren begins informatively, “that if you tape your phone to an oscillating fan with Pokemon Go on, it will count it as steps so you can hatch your eggs without doing anything.”
Levi is almost, almost speechless after hearing that. “There’s no way that works,” he says, dumbfounded.
“I think it will.”
“I mean, I don’t think that’s how it works.”
The weight of the phone might just be too much for the cheap adhesive of scotch tape anyway so Eren eventually gives up in frustration, and Levi can only thank the legendary Pokemon gods Arceus and probably Deoxys as well for letting Eren get away unscathed. Those Pokemon aren’t even out yet in Pokemon Go but he knows Eren is waiting contendedly for those generations along with a million other features that Eren insists are coming soon.
“I want to go outside,” he sulks, lying back down on the floor and staring uselessly at his phone and his unmoving avatar. “Let’s go, Levi. Come on.” He pokes at Levi’s dangling palm from the floor.
“You literally had a heat stroke last time,” Levi mutters into the pillow, revelling when the fan turns towards him and his skin and ruffles up Eren’s hair with the nicest coolest breeze. “We’re not going out until it’s less than 30,” Levi tells him.
“…Fine,” Eren huffs, dropping his arm back down to the cool wood of the floor. “But just so you know, real Pokemon trainers aren’t stopped by a little heat wave.”
“Real Pokemon trainers don’t push themselves to the brink of dehydration just because they overhear someone mentioning an Aerodactyl six blocks away.”
“But we caught it, didn’t we!”
Later that night there’s a thunderstorm and, well, technically 22 degrees (feels like 28) is less than 30. Despite the obvious dangers that going out in a storm already poses, frankly Levi’s getting tired of Eren quoting lines and scenes from Pokemon The First Movie to get him to go. And this is especially considering a) they’re not about to meet Mewtwo, b) no one in their right mind would actually fly on a Pidgeot through thunder and lightning, and c) even if they can’t share the back of a Lapras, they can still share a tiny umbrella and apparently that’s good enough for Levi to risk life and limb for Eren.
((A/N: Written as a submission for the lovely and amazing @kazchester-fanfiction‘s writing challenge. I stole House of the Rising Sun by The Animals. It’s a glorious song, and I decided to take it to a bit of an angsty place for this. I’d love to write more, depending on reception, actually. I enjoyed the shit out of the premise. Lyrics are italicized, and some adjusted slightly to fit the story.
Pairing: Dean x Reader
Word Count: 1.8k
Warnings: Abuse mentions, swearing ))
How long had you known the Winchesters now? Three years? Four years? Honestly it seemed like forever some days. The boys didn’t know much about your past, but they had never needed to. It was an unspoken rule, not to pry into a Hunter’s history without them asking first. You knew about the boys purely by virtue of who they were. It was hard not to know who Sam and Dean Winchester were, or even the Angel Castiel who traipsed around with them.
Throughout the years, you had slowly turned into someone more open, someone more like the girl you’d day dreamed Mitsunari would be with, someone like the one you hoped he may have ended up with. Your mind often drifted to the man who held your heart in his hands, thinking about the kind of life he might’ve built for himself, the love he may be haring with some women, it had been six years, maybe he even had a child now.
Your heart always stopped with those thoughts, the thought he might have found someone else, on the one hand it brought you some sort of peace while at the same time, completely smashing your heart into millions and millions of pieces.
Thinking about the glasses of champagne you’d shared, talking about your life, dreaming about your life with him and the conversations you’d had before you’d allowed your game to just end. No longer sharing those glasses, no longer sharing the same passion you were the one who’d chosen to walk away and that’s what made your rest, the thought that you’d done this to save yourself.
To make sure you were strong enough to handle your love for him without playing with fire, without imploding, it’s why you’d told him not to wait, because it could take the rest of your life.
Yet, he found you dancing around his thoughts, haunting his dreams, a sexy, scarlet seductress increasing his addiction. Each beat of his heart still belonging to you, craving your lips, wishing you’d crawl into his bed. Each night spent tossing and turning in the crimson sheets as you plagued him, words of love, and then like a shadow you faded away into his deepest dreams, he shot awake. Six years spent in the very same sleepless state.
Sat at the bar, you knew it’s be another few months at the least before you would drag yourself to Mitsunari, to admire what the Thief had made with his life. You downed another cheap glass of scotch, a smile lining your lips as you chatted animatedly to the Bartender. He was talking about something that if you weren’t a little tipsy you knew you just wouldn’t care about, but your plan for the night was to get faded.
But thinking about how happy you’d be when you finally saw him, you called out for another round with a small giggle, hearing the door open, the bell ring, you just continued your conversation with the Tender, both of you flirting your lives away, you really had become a more open lady.
Regrettably you took no note of the man who had just wandered into the bar, the man who had been strolling in every night for the past month and seating himself in the corner, allowing a waitress to attend to his needs. He’d been repeating this routine since he’d noticed the girl sitting at the bar, flirting her life away with giggles and sweet words to a bartender who treated every beautiful woman with the same empty smiles, but it almost seemed as though the girl relished in the empty words as she delivered her own.
Gazing, his eyes never left her. Enjoying the brief moment your eyes caught his, the way in which you didn’t even notice it was him. You really had given yourself a new life.
With his head filled with you, he knew that as a scarlet seductress you’d be dancing through his dreams. Until you were ready to join him again, he’d live with slinking into the bar and watching you from his corner, hiding in his scotch.
Charles looks down at the pills Emma Frost has just dumped into his hands. He looks to Erik who is frowning a bit, and Charles knows he’s seen Charles hesitation.
“My dealer says their good.” Emma says, tossing her long blonde hair back and smiling. Charles stares down at the small, bright blue pills. What the fuck has he got himself into?
“Erik brought pot.” Charles says, trying not to sound petulant. Emma levels a gaze at him that says she thinks he’s being a big baby. Charles ignores her. He’s not about to be bullied into something by the likes of Emma. He’s bigger than that, better than her.
(As someone celebrating alone this year, I love this idea. It makes me happy and feel warm and fuzzy. I hope it helps you feel the same. A very Supernatural Thanksgiving!
Pairing: Dean x Reader
Word Count: 1400
Warnings: Fluff. All the fluff. Just… fluff. )
You hadn’t expected much, to be quite honest. The holidays
had never been the best time of year for you. Since becoming a Hunter much of
your time and focus had instead been on helping others. It was Thanksgiving,
however, and you knew that it would be rough. No family you could speak of and
a solitary life meant that you were aware of what today meant: drown your
sorrows with some booze, wander back to your cheap motel, and order some pizza
while keeping a steady buzz. It had been years since you’d had a Thanksgiving
meal to be happy about.
I practically threw the door open as I rolled in from my hunt at 7:33 PM. When I dragged myself through and closed it, it was loud enough to make both Winchesters jump. I rolled in, pleased with a successful day and dropped my road bag on the floor and set my heavy bag of takeout on the table between the two men trolling tabloids for their next case.
I huffed at them with a grin, “Now, how did I manage to finish my hunt and get home in time to stop by the local steakhouse to pick up dinner?” The steam and aroma of the thick slabs of medium-rare emanated from the neatly folded bag.
Dean looked honestly confused. Sam spoke first. “We didn’t expect you back until next week. Weren’t you just across the country?”
I brought plates to the table and winked as I started serving our dinners. “Trick question. I got back so fast because I’m not afraid of flying.” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Dean shift uncomfortably.
“What happened to your hair?” Dean asked. I must have looked a little rougher than I thought.
“What, my JBH ‘do?” Blank stares from both of them. “Kinda like JBF? Except…Just-Been-Huntin’.” They fidgeted. “Fine, eat your steak and potatoes.” I watched as Dean put the first bite of juicy, red meat in his mouth and he melted. Three steaks were served, the fourth still in its to-go box. “Where’s Number Four?” I called out.
“I’m sorry,” said Cas, a little irritated as he appeared. He had a rare bottle of scotch in one hand and a meat and cheese basket in the other. “I was sent to the ends of the earth to acquire these.” He gestured with his gifts and set them on the table. I set Castiel’s plate at his seat and we all sat for dinner.
Dean was already nearly halfway through his steak before I’d touched mine. He had a faint smile, but looked a little forlorn. “What’s missing, baby?” I asked him and couldn’t help the sly twinkle I shared in a glance at Sam.
He mumbled around his love affair with the steak, “Nothin’, just… never mind.” He looked like someone kicked a puppy in front of him.
Sam rose and went to the fridge, emerging with the most flawless apple pie that has ever existed. I thought Dean was going to drop the food in his mouth. His fork and knife clattered against the plate.
“Sammy, you remembered pie!” he was astonished.
“It’s not your birthday without it.” It was a beautiful bromance moment. “I just knew I could hide it in the crisper because you never eat anything green.”
“Shut up, don’t ruin it,” was the retort. Dean turned to me and asked with his eyebrows skewed, “How did you know?”
Between bites of steak I replied, “You told me your dad’s journal is required reading for entering the hunting club. There wasn’t a single year he didn’t write a line or two on your birthday. Happy thirty-fifth, baby.” I leaned over and landed one on his cheek. I felt his stubble scratch my face as he smiled.
“Thank you, everyone.” We finished our dinner and the pie as we reminisced on some of our favorite hunts, and some of our favorite memories that weren’t hunts.
“That first time I ate a cheeseburger,” Cas nodded in reverence, “That is the closest thing I will ever know to true Heaven on Earth. And that is not in a blasphemous way.”
Sam tried not to smile. He failed. “That time Dean could hear what animals say. Yelling at a mailman and almost shooting a pigeon for crapping on the Impala.”
Dean shot his brother a look that I’d only seen when they were having a prank war. “I’m a fan of the time Sammy had to fight clowns.” Even though it was years ago at this point, Sam still paled a little at the mention.
“The time I was crawling up an old vent shaft,” I said, “And my hips got stuck so I couldn’t go forward, and my shoulders got stuck so I couldn’t go backward and I couldn’t reach my phone to call for a fire department or anything. My options were ask Cas and have y’all find out, or ask Crowley and sell my soul. Lemme tell you, that was a hard choice.”
The table erupted in laughter. Even Cas had a giggle. “You did have an amusing expression on your face when I gripped you tight and raised you from claustrophobia.”
“Yeah, ha ha,” I sassed, but couldn’t completely keep the smile off my lips. “Whatever. Y’all clean up, then we’re going out. It’s Classic Night at the Power Chord.” I rubbed Dean’s shoulders and chest for a beat. “I’m friends with a guy there; ze’s making sure to have plenty of Kansas, Journey, and Styx on the playlist tonight. Let’s not make hir fine work have been for nothing.” A quick peck on his head and I was heading for my bathroom to change and spruce up.
I had just peeled my dirty shirt off when I saw him in the mirror, and nearly jumped out of my skin. “What the actual hell are you doing here?” I hissed at Crowley and snatched a towel to cover up.
“Relax, love, I know it’s a special occasion,” his raspy British accent flowed like cheap scotch. “You can’t go out like that, though. Good thing you’ve got me to play fairy-demon-mother.” He snapped his fingers, and there I was - there it all was. Little black dress in a cut I never imagined would look flattering on me, smooth skin free of bruises and scratches, hair styled better than I’ve ever managed, and shoes made for making the patriarchy weak in the knees from kicking its ass too much. I gawked at myself in the mirror in disbelief. “Call it my birthday gift for the short, fussy one,” Crowley smirked. “Go show him a good time, love.”
I was alone in the bathroom again, dizzy from the sudden guest appearance.
I slunk back out into the main room - when they heard the clicking of my heels on the floor and looked up. Sam dropped a plate on the counter and almost broke it. Dean’s jaw fell to the floor. Even Cas froze like a deer in the headlights. I drew myself a little taller, smiled, and sauntered to close the distance between Dean and me.
“How did you…uh, so fast?”
“Don’t ask,” I purred. “Let’s go to Power Chord. If you’re lucky, birthday boy, my JBH hair will be JBF by the end of the night after all.” ~ka2014