Gifts Among Angel and Men

December 30, 2013
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Forty-six dollars and eight cents. That was all. And twenty dollars of it was in singles. Singles saved two and three at a time by skipping second servings of pie. Three times Dean counted it. Forty-six dollars and eight cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby motel bed and howl. So Dean did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

Dean punched the pillow on the bed and it let out a sad puff of dust. He’d really meant to save up, and had thought he was doing decently at this goal. But between buying gas for the Impala, renting out motels for a night at a time, and always eating on the road, it had been hard to put money away.

Even for a goal as kind-hearted and well-intentioned as Dean currently had: to buy a special someone a truly spectacular Christmas gift. Now, he knew Castiel wouldn’t begrudge him if he failed at this task. After all, Dean was the one who explained to Cas the mortal tradition of gift-giving. He didn’t expect Cas, who wouldn’t have any means of getting money for a present, to buy him anything. But Dean needed to do something to show Cas how much he meant to him.

Dean sat up with a sigh and walked over to the bathroom sink. He splashed some water onto his face before walking over to the room’s only window. How had he ended up with only $46.08? He had spent what must by now be hours imagining the joy on his angel’s face when Cas opened his gift. Some present that was splendid enough to make the blue of Cas’ eyes shine- something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Castiel.

Dean had been so lost in his thoughts that he hadn’t even noticed what the window looked over. While the view of the parking lot was probably a sore sight for most people, Dean enjoyed this spot. He could see his car from here, and knew that at least it was safe in this less-than-pleasant neighborhood.

Suddenly, he whirled from the window and left the room. His eyes were bright with an idea, but his eyebrows furrowed slightly in a worried look. Rapidly, he walked to the parking lot and found his car among a dozen or so others.

Now, there were two possessions of these two men in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Castiel’s trench coat that he had worn for decades. The other was Dean’s car. A ’67 Chevy Impala was impressive enough in 2011, but this particular Impala had endured quite a bit.

So now Dean stared at his baby and remembered. He had driven that car all over the country with his brother. He had fixed it up with his own hands quite a few times. It had even once been called “the most important object in pretty much the whole universe”.

And Cas’s trench coat- Dean couldn’t even begin to describe that coat. Cas had gotten into the habit of wearing it everywhere. He hardly remembered to take it off when inside. Dean had gone out to lunch with him in the summer and chuckled at those in lighter clothing who stared.

It was with the memory of Cas’ smile that Dean got into his car. He tried not to think too much about what he was doing when he drove to the nearest Chevy dealership. He thought of logistics for only a moment, and realized that the car was currently empty. He and Sam had dropped their supplies off at Bobby’s in an attempt to check and organize their ammo. As long as Dean didn’t mind walking back to the motel, the whole transaction would be over quickly.

He spoke hurriedly to the dealership’s manager. Yes, the car was in good condition. No, not every part was an original. She’d had work done before, and had quite a few miles on her, but she was reliable.

The hour it took Dean to fill out the paperwork required to sell his car was painful, but worth suffering through. For in the next hour, he found a jewelry store that was able to make his requested gift rather quickly. And Dean left that jeweler’s place of business with a smile that was only outshone by the light in his eyes.

He had found it at last. Gems that had surely been made for Castiel and no one else. There were no others like it in any of the stores, and he had turned all of them inside out in many a town. He held in his hands a bag of beautiful sapphire crystals. Crystals that had been formed into perfectly round button shapes that would perfectly fit into Cas’ trench coat. It was even worthy of The Trench Coat. Grand as the trench coat was, it’s current buttons were plain in their design.

On the way home, Dean’s intoxication of joy gave way a little to prudence and reason. He ran into a store and bought a Metrocard, aware that he no longer had a means of transportation. Oh, well. Bobby would help him find a car at some point.

Within twenty minutes of that, Dean was home- or back to the motel, at least. He stripped himself of his plain t-shirt and jeans, and stepped into the shower. When he stepped out, he dried himself off before putting on a dark green button-down that he deemed festive enough for the holiday. He looked at his reflection long, carefully, and critically.

“If Cas doesn’t kill me for selling the Impala”, he said to himself, “tonight will go all right. But what could I have done with forty-six dollars and eight cents?”

At 7 o’clock, Dean had already sliced the pre-cooked rotisserie chicken up and plated it with piles of instant mashed potatoes.

Cas was never late. He’d made it a habit to always come when Dean called, and always be on time when they had pre-arranged plans. Dean fumbled with the delicate crystals that he had wrapped in layers and layers of tissue paper. Then he heard the gentle sound of wings touching the side of the thin hallway outside.

The door opened and Castiel stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he could have such grand times, he could be spending Christmas in the Heavens- but he was spending the day with a mortal. The other angels would have considered his love to be a burden, but Castiel knew his feelings to be the greatest wonderment he had stumbled upon in millennia.

Cas stepped inside the door, as immovable as any of the furniture bolted to the floor. For some odd reason, he didn’t have his trench coat on. Still odder, his eyes were fixed upon Dean, and there was an expression in them that he could not read, and it surprised him. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, ,nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that he had been prepared for. He simply stared at Dean fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Dean stood up and went to him, realizing that Cas would have passed the parking lot on the way in and known what Dean had done.

“Cas, I know I’m a fool,” he began, “I know how much that car was worth. But I sold it because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. Maybe one day, I’ll save up enough, and I’ll get it back. But please, say ‘Merry Christmas!’ and eat dinner with me. You have to see what I bought for you.”

“You’ve sold the car?” asked Cas, laboriously, as if he had not arrived t that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

“Yeah, drove it off and sold it,” said Dean. “But I’m still me without it, ain’t I?”

Castiel looked around the room curiously, as though there were a ’67 Chevy Impala hiding behind the bed somehow.

“You say your car is gone?” he said again, with an air almost of idiocy.

Dean almost laughed. “You don’t have to look for it. It’s sold, I tell you, sold and gone. But it’s Christmas Eve, Cas. Sit down and eat with me, and let me show you what I bought for you.”

Castiel suddenly seemed to wake out of his trance. He grabbed Dean in his arms for a moment, and then put a package he had been carrying on the table.

“Make no mistake Dean, I am still yours,” Cas said. “What possessions you do or do not have are all temporary, and have no bearings on my feelings towards you. There is nothing that could make me like you any less. But if you’ll open up that package, you’ll see why I appear to be in disbelief.”

Calloused fingers nimbly tore at the poorly wrapped present on the table. And then an ecstatic yelp of joy; and then, alas! A quick change to wails and groans, necessitating the immediate comfort of the angel of the flat.

For there lay the brightest set of tire rims Dean had even seen. Rims that the Impala was in sore need of, as its tires had been covered by almost rusty metal. They were expensive, Dean knew, which is why he had never bought them himself. He had mentioned offhandedly to Cas during a late night drive months ago that if he ever saved up, he’d replace those rims. And lo and behold, Cas had remembered and they were now his, but the vehicle that should have accepted the coveted items was now gone.

But Dean admired them anyway, and looked up with dim eyes and a smile and said that he’d have a new car soon enough anyway. More than that, he thanked Cas for even remembering that he had wanted them.

Though Dean was vaguely curious as to how Cas had bought the tire rims, he was more concerned with giving Castiel his gift before he asked any questions. He handed Cas the bundle of paper and preciousness and watched the jewels flash with a reflection of his bright and ardent spirit.

“Isn’t it beautiful, Cas? I looked until I found ones that matched your eyes. Now we can sew them into your coat, you know, to class it up a bit. Formal trench coat attire. It’ll be the next trend in the Heavens! Where is your coat, anyway? I want to see how these look on it.”

Instead of responding, Cas put the crystals on the table and sat on the dingy motel couch. He smiled up at Dean for a few seconds before speaking.

“Dean,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and just keep ‘em for a while. They’re too perfect to use at the present time. I sold my coat to buy rims for your car, and apparently your car met with the same fate to buy accessories for my coat.”

“The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.”

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loveroffashionandwriting said...
Dec. 31, 2013 at 11:18 am
This was amazing!
marvelgirl5396 replied...
Jan. 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!!!
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