The thing is, Dean should have totally been the first
one to notice, but he isn’t. One day at
breakfast, Sam hands his phone over to Cas, who squints and nearly presses his
nose to the screen to read it. Dean
doesn’t think much of it—back when Cas was still an angel, he’d always squinted
when he wasn’t sure what was going on.
He assumes that Cas is trying to work out why Sam thinks this particular
news story is their kind of thing.
“I’m not sure.
Those claw marks look like—where are you going?”
Before either of them can ask any questions, Sam
bounds out of the room. Dean has had
almost three and a half decades of trying to unravel the mystery that is his
little brother, so he knows better than to question this latest weirdness. Better to just wait.
“I think it might just be a bear attack,” Cas says.
Dean is privately ecstatic that they don’t have to go
check it out. His nearly-forty year old
shoulders are beginning to protest motel room beds. Cas scrolls through a few more stories, phone
still glued to his face.
“Cas, read this.”
Sam re-enters the room holding a piece of printer
paper (they don’t have a printer, why is that laying around?) with the word
MILK written on it in all caps. Cas
looks up. Dean’s a little offended on
his behalf by the insinuation that he can’t read.
Cas squints at it. “I can’t.”
He looks to Dean for help, who can only shrug. “I don’t
know, man. It says milk.”
“That doesn’t even look like an M!”
Seeing as Sam’s handwriting could probably be a font,
neither of the Winchesters buy it.
Apparently, Jimmy Novak had been nearsighted. A phone call to Claire confirms it—he’d
always preferred contacts, but he’d had poor vision from the age of twelve.
It does present
a bit of a problem, though. Cas doesn’t
technically exist, and their forgery is nowhere near good enough for a doctor’s
office. A couple of hunters have gone
into surgery and stuff like that to help out their comrades over the years, but
none of them had become optometrists. There’s
not a lot of call for eye doctors in the hunting world. Go figure.
“My question,” Dean says as they root through yet
another former Man of Letters’ trunk, “is how you never realized you were
Cas shrugs. “I assumed human vision was significantly
weaker than my own.”
Dean thinks of the sales associate calling himself
Steve, unable to read the labels on packages without squinting, having
difficulty reading colleagues’ facial expressions when they were far enough away,
and his throat closes over. He doesn’t like
thinking about that time as it is, much less thinking about Cas vulnerable
“Got it!” Sam withdraws from the trunk with a soft
case in hand. “Here, try these on.”
To no one’s surprise, there had been plenty of
weak-visioned Men of Letters around in the fifties. So far, the pairs they’d been able to dredge
up haven’t been the right prescription.
Cas snags the glasses and puts them on.
There is absolutely no correlation between Cas putting
the glasses on and Dean’s lungs refusing to work. None.
Not at all. He clears his throat.
“Do you like them?”
“Lookin’ good, Cas.”
As soon as the words have left his mouth, Dean wants
to shove them back in. But it’s
true. The glasses are those old
fashioned tortoiseshell ones that Dean usually pictures librarians wearing, and
Cas definitely shouldn’t look like that in them.
“I can see your freckles again,” Cas notes, and Dean
is officially done for.