I'm going to get things done!
I have sworn off the following forms of procrastination:
1) refreshing my flist a billion times
2) trawling fandom for really zealous H/C fics
3) see above, replace "fandom" with "canon"
4) writing Dean badly
Because there is something seriously wrong if I have 1500 words of Dean badfic but only 1300 words of an outline for a paper that is supposed to be a lot longer than that, 0 words of a monograph review, and about 40 seconds planned of a 50 minute lecture &c.
"Drop your pants," says Evangeline. "Welcome to Branson, Missouri."
You good to drive?
At the time, it had seemed like a stupid thing for Sam to ask, and it probably actually was, because what does he even do besides things that aren't okay, but it's hour six of Kevin's relentless mantra (falafelfalafelfalafel) and no, Dean isn't good at all. He's exhausted, and it's the kind of heart-pounding exhaustion that feels like it's somewhere between a heart attack and an overdose. But Kevin doesn't give a shit, keeps right on with his own hopeless tic, and Dean's honestly not sure whether the kid's a damn tragedy or a fucking miracle. (Tic tic tic.)
Because that's what this is, isn't it. A tic.
Dean's not grieving and he's not panicking and he's not dying, no one is dying, and hey, the world's gone to shit, but it's not like the planet's stopped turning. Insomniac guilt, that's a tic. He knows what he's done, what he's doing, but he doesn't really feel it--not yet. Hopefully not ever, but he knows, not yet. He knows because he's sure that if he ever does, it'll kill him. And it'll kill Sam too.
"Kev--" Dean starts. It's a warning, an inquiry, an apology; like everything else, Dean doesn't know what it is anymore.
In under fifteen, Kevin's checking in under a pseudonym, charming and uncharacteristically flirtatious. He's got a room key, he's put in his request for no maid service--if you know what I mean. Leaning against the desk. Kevin takes the ballpoint the desk girl'd been chewing and fucking commands it. (Own your falseness.)
He winks. Blush in response. Kevin clicks his tongue.
Dean slumps against the wall and tries not to fall asleep to the sound of Kevin's printing receipt, the lusty whir of outdated office supplies. He thinks maybe that was Kevin's best attempt at being him; at being Dean.
The last time someone'd played at being Dean, he'd become a singularity (that is, Sam had. Who else?): Kill Lilith. End of story. He wonders if that's really Sam's opinion of him; he doesn't think so, but maybe it should be.
Kevin snaps his fingers at Dean and motions toward the door.
Dean rolls eyes. Kevin "Solo" is an asshole.
But Kevin Solo's shaking. Outside, in the sun, away from the desk, he says, "I thought she was going to kill me. I just kept thinking--she might be--"
Kevin Solo's not trying to be Dean, he decides. He wouldn't--he couldn't have seen that from Dean, not this year. They haven't known each other long enough; because if Dean was ever that person, it wasn't in this century.
Kevin Solo's the job. That's all.
"You've never thought about him that way," says Evangeline. "Just some kid, or just some stranger. Whoever you want to be tonight, you're seeing him in a whole new way. You see him and he's not fine print anymore, he's a body. He's a scent. He's firm to the touch, and at the end of the world, anyone will do."
It's not any sigil at all. Dean got halfway through and just blanked. He should be worried about that, and maybe he is. Maybe that's what lances through his chest just then. Worry. Because if he can remember all these bullshit squiggles when he's about to lose Sam, when he's about to lose everything, then he should be able to fucking remember them now.
He and memory used to be inseparable.
Dean leaves his fuck-up on the wall and starts over on the wall adjacent. Not like Kevin's gonna notice; whoever invented this kind of magic, it sure as hell wasn't God; even to a Prophet of the Lord, it's strictly gibberish. Dean can't even remember who they learned this from. Maybe Ruby.
And you know, maybe he is losing everything. He's still losing Sam. Deep down, he knows he is, knows he will; it's just in slow motion, and in reverse. Dean won't lose Sam when he dies; he's made sure of that. He's protected against that. He's made that choice. Of course, in the end it just means Dean will lose Sam when Sam starts to live.
But they've been down that road already, haven't they.
"You're not coming," Dean says. Kevin's hovering. Falafel, as it's been for the last six and a half hours, is the topic of inquiry. Dean will go. He'll go and he'll buy Kevin whatever he wants, but Kevin can't come.
(Dean needs a break. He didn't drive six hours just for falafel. He needs a break.)
"I don't know the menu," Kevin objects truculently. He's being a whiny bitch about it, all told, but Dean knows it's not the falafel Kevin wants, either. He's people-starved: A year alone. Nine months on a boat. A month in the bunker. Going on seven hours with nothing but Dean. Dean knows.
"And God said, let there be smartphones," Dean still says.
"What, you can't protect me from the tzatziki monster?"
"You wanna add yourself to a long fucking losing streak, be my guest."
Well, he wishes he didn't know Kevin at all. That Kevin had learned French instead of God, gone off to Stanford or wherever it was he wanted to go, lived his life of bowties and bowl cuts and all that.
"I'm not just some sheltered kid, you know," Kevin says, unprompted. There isn't a damn reason in the world Dean would have wanted to have this conversation right now. "Everyone always thinks that, but it's not true."
Yes it is.
Hell, if Dean could've known himself at Kevin's age, it'd be all he could do not to shout, you are so stupid, you are so fucking stupid. And you have no idea. You have no idea what you're gonna be capable of (and you don't want to).
"--and like, people always write about like, overcoming the adversity of being Asian in whitebread fucking America, or like, taking their first transnational flight or something."
Dean has no idea what Kevin's talking about anymore. He's not sure if Kevin's even talking to him, if he skipped some important introductory lead-in, or if Dean just blanked and missed it. There's a little spittle at the corner of Kevin's mouth--dry lips, voice hoarse from all the falafelfalafelfalafel-ing--so either explanation's on the table. Basically what Dean gets is, Kevin's mom made sure they traveled a lot, even if it meant eating nothing but rice and oxtail for weeks on end. (Euphemism? Dean's not sure. Oxtail?) She'd get promoted and end up spending more time at work, she'd send him on Mission Trips without her, he'd learn about a God no one in his family even believed in, some convoluted backstory Dean can't see in Kevin at all anymore. So maybe it didn't matter. Sometimes the past's just really fucking gone.
Kevin's spilling his heart and soul out and Dean's not even listening. He's not sure if he can; but mostly, he's not sure that he wants to. He's not sure if he cares.
He'd like to think he does, because he owes the kid that much, right? But Dean owes a lot of people a lot of things; so far the only promise he's managed to keep is a deal he made with a demon, a long time ago.
"I'll get you a couple combo plates," Dean interrupts.
Kevin looks like he's been slapped.
But onto new lost causes. Dean's not even really sure what a falafel is.
because it's all like that, all of it, and there's a fair likelihood that it will all continue to be like that. I feel like the answer is probably just "work on characterization," which, great. BECAUSE THAT'S SO SIMPLE. XD
My auntie has a great pasta sauce recipe that I've never quite been able to replicate--it's always missing a few registers of flavor--and I feel like this is like that. Unfortunately, unlike the pasta sauce, Dean's ingredients are not static, so as CANON GALLOPS AWAY life just gets that much harder, woe.
Of course, this is also why I'm really enjoying S9; S7 and S8 were fairly easy to step to, in terms of writing Dean. S9, though. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED... I GUESS.
^ See, this kind of bullshit? THIS IS WHAT IS NO LONGER ALLOWED. FROM NOW UNTIL THURSDAY. JESUS, SELF.