cringing like hell

13 Best Traxx: A Coda for 12x19

He walked up to the truck like he was a bit nervous. Cas watched him as he approached. He was already in the driver’s seat, ready to go. Dean didn’t think the watching was making it any easier. He had thought before about just leaving the tape in the truck for him to find the next time he was away. He changed his mind though and made it more personal.

“Here.” Dean held it out to him. Cas just stared at it a moment before taking it. Their fingers brushed a little in the exchange.

“Music?” Cas looked from the mix tape to Dean. 

“Yeah, I figured it must get pretty boring burning up the miles with nothing to listen to but am radio.”

“I’ve been listening to a lot of evangelical talk radio,” Cas shared.

Dean cringed. “Sounds like hell.”

“Some are better than others. It fills the silence.” Cas set the tape in the deck. 

“Well, this’ll fill the silence better. It’s all of the best of Zepp. It doesn’t get any better than that.” Dean smiled at him, clearly pleased with the thought of Cas listening to the music.

“Thank you, Dean.” Cas reached down to the key to start the car. He was heading off on another search for Kelly.

Dean watched him hesitate, hand hovering around the key. Dean leaned in the open window frame. “Are you gonna call me when you get where you’re going?”

Cas turned to him. “Of course.” He smiled a little at Dean.

Dean moved out of the window frame and opened the door. He got in the passenger seat. “Let me tell you about the songs.” Dean pushed in the tape. It started playing way too loudly. “Whoa, Cas. You blasting the am preachers?”

Cas turned it down. “They didn’t seem so loud.” 

“So this one is called, ‘Communication Breakdown.’” Dean drummed his fingers on the dash. “It’s got solid lyrics too.”

“It sounds good.” Cas tapped the steering wheel a little. Dean wondered if he was jonesing to go. 

“Sorry, you probably need to get on the road.” Dean started to get out.

Cas stopped him with a hand to his arm. “I’m not in a hurry.”

“Not in a hurry to find the little devil baby that could?”

Cas shook his head. “No, I don’t even know that this lead will mean a thing.”

“It might though.”

Cas tapped the front of the tape deck. “What else is on here?” 

Dean turned down the volume and said, “Bunch of stuff on there. I added ‘Whole Lotta Love.’ It had some solid lyrics too. Page kicked some ass in that one.”

“So I should listen closely to the words?” Cas asked.

Dean wondered how he should answer that question. What would Cas assume? “Yeah, the words are part of what makes these the best of Zepp.”

“So it said that it was thirteen of the best songs. Any other stand outs in the mix?” Cas was smiling again.

“I popped ‘Black Dog’ on there. It’s iconic. Crank that one up when it comes on.”

“How will I know which one that is?”

“Seriously, Cas. You’re acting like you’ve never been in the car with me. We sang that one when we went on that hunt in Iowa.”

Cas cocked his head to the side, remembering. “Hey, hey mama, said the way you move, gonna make you sweat gonna make you groove,” Cas sang out a little timidly. “That one?”

“Yeah that one. Geesh, you’d think me playing it over and over ‘til you memorized it would have some sort of impact.”

“Perhaps I was just trying to block the memory.” And there he was smiling again.

Dean laughed at him. “Bet you can guess one of the other songs then.” Dean barely had time to wonder if Cas would remember.

“Going to California,” Cas said without missing a beat. “I like that one. It was calm.

“Yeah, we gotta break up the harder ones.”

“Well, I’m looking forward to hearing them all.”

Dean was leaning for the door. “Call me when you get there. I expect a full report on which ones you like best.”

“I’ll listen to the lyrics closely and tell you everything tonight.” He reached over to Dean’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “When this is all done, do you think we’ll have time to finally talk?”

“Yes.” Dean didn’t pause. He wanted to talk. He kept thinking that maybe they’d never get the chance. He noticed then that Cas’ hand was still on his own. 

“I feel like I never get to really be here. I come home, then I’m pulled away.”

“Yeah, it’s maybe what I was thinking when I made you the tape.” He ran his thumb in a small arch over Cas’ hand. “So, make sure you call me, frequently.”

Cas leaned toward him and brushed his lips over the edge of Dean’s lips. “I’ll call tonight. I’ll come home as soon as I can.”

“You better.” Cas let his hand go and started the truck. Dean got out of the truck. 

He gave Cas a small wave with one hand and patted the window frame with his other hand. He took a step back. Cas gave him a small smile as he stared at him for one moment longer. Then he drove slowly away. Dean watched him with a growing feeling of longing heavy in his stomach. He’d come home though. Dean thought, at least there’s something to look forward to.

Just a little something to add on to the romance mod topic, for people who may react strongly towards mods that change what is (effectively) a companion’s sexuality: it could be a choice someone makes so that their sexuality stays the same, or so that the player can play their character and feel safe doing so.

I normally avoid mods that make gay and lesbian characters bi/pan, and applying one for Dorian bothered me immensely (will admit it’s partly bc the file name made me cringe like hell, but I digress). I kept asking myself, is this wrong? Am I doing something wrong?

Then I remembered why I did it: I was playing a trans inquisitor. And as my inquisitor was male - despite using the female model - it allowed me to keep Dorian as he was. He was in a romance with a man, and the only change was that my Inquisitor’s lines weren’t voiced. …And he was a little short for the cutscenes, but hey, forehead kisses from Dorian are cute too.

I’m a transman who presents rather effeminately. I didn’t like using the male character models. That wasn’t me. The female models suited me better, but then I was locked out of the romances available to men. On top of that I was constantly referred to as she, her, Lady Inquisitor. I get enough of misgendering in real life, if I can change how I’m referred to in a game I play for fun, why shouldn’t I?

Mods that ‘change sexuality’ frequently (if not always) change the pronouns used by the characters in question, and using those allowed me to play more comfortably than if I hadn’t. It isn’t always a case of “I want this character to be straight.” /shrug

…That ended up longer than I thought it would be, oops.
Hope everyone has a good day/night! o/

These are good points too and I am glad to see how mods have helped you. I don’t hate mods really, but I also don’t play with them since I am not a PC gamer and am limited by playstation’s version of the game only. I appreciate everyone’s points on the matter a lot. Thank you

-Direct from  Orzammar