Characters: Dean, Sam, Castiel, Ellen, Jo, Bobby, Rufus, Lucifer, backup singers
Ratings/Warnings: PG/Spoilers for early season 5 Supernatural
Word Count: 2200
Summary: Dean wants to stop the apocalypse, but everyone around him is preoccupied with singing along to the Glee soundtrack. (This is apparently what happens when I listen to that soundtrack on repeat. I regret nothing.)
It started in the parking lot of the Jaybird Motel just outside Louisville, Kentucky. Dean was going to grab a spare hex bag from the back of the Impala. It was a clear night, so the voice he heard when he stepped out the motel door carried like a bell.
“I’m through playing by the rules of someone else’s game!”
Dean stopped cold as the motel door swung closed behind him. In the parking lot, in plain view of the interstate, Castiel was crooning unevenly, his gravelly voice not quite hitting the notes right.
Oh Christ, he was singing with his eyes closed. Dean felt a little sick.
“Too late for second guessing, too late to go back to sleep - it’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leeeaaaap!” His voice suddenly rose an octave, making Dean recoil. “It’s time to tryyyy defyyying gravity! I think I’ll tryyyy defyyying—”
“CAS!” Dean shouted, striding across the parking lot. “What the crap are you doing?”
The angel turned, immediately back to his business voice. “Dean,” he said. “I’ve been learning the words to the Glee soundtrack.”
“Glee. It’s a musical comedy about an underdog high school glee club that shines with hidden talent.”
“Uh-huh.” Dean tried not to look him in the eye. Clearly, the stress of Armageddon had started to get to his guardian angel.
Castiel pointed his cell phone at a tiny blue-lit thing in his ear. “Bluetooth is a marvel. I got it free with the phone, along with twenty free music downloads.”
“And you didn’t think to download something that doesn’t suck?” Dean snarked, digging in the Impala’s trunk.
Castiel tipped his head and narrowed his eyes like a puzzled dog. “‘Defying Gravity’ is the song my soul would sing if it had a voice, Dean. I think if you listened to it you would come to understand me better.”
“I’m not listening to your chick music, Cas.”
The air of the parking lot chilled, and when Dean looked up, Castiel was glowering, the highway lamp lights far behind him popping. “Listening to this song is the closest you could ever come to hearing my true voice,” he said. “I guess you’re unworthy of it after all.”
The air crackled, and the angel disappeared. Dean sighed.
Then, a moment later, the air crackled again and Castiel reappeared. “The Chris Colfer solo version,” he added, still glowering. “The duet version is fine, but Chris’s golden voice really speaks to my inner struggles.”
And then he was gone again.
Dean had chalked it up as a weird angel thing, but the next day when he came back from grabbing burgers to find the motel room echoing with his brother’s voice.
“When it gets cold, and it feels like the end, there’s no place to go, you know I won’t give in!”
“Oh lord,” Dean said, rolling his eyes as he set down the takeout. “SAM!”
No answer, just more singing.
“KEEEEP HOLDING OOONN, ‘cause you know we’ll make it through, we’ll make it through!”
The bathroom door was ajar, and Dean slapped it open. His little brother was standing in the steamy bathroom with a towel around his waist and his iPod on, singing at his reflection.
“JUUUUST STAAAYY STROOONG, ‘cause you know I’m here for you, I’m here f—”
Dean yanked out one of his earbuds.
“AUGH! DEAN!” Sam yelped.
“Avril Lavigne?” Dean growled. “Are you singing freaking Avril Lavigne in our home? Sammy, I have forgiven a lot, but—”
“No!” Sam protested, making indignant Sam-face. “I’m listening to the Glee soundtrack!”
“That’s a freaking Avril Lavigne song!”
“Oh.” Sam furrowed his enormous brow. “Wait, how do you know it’s one of hers?”
“Because—I—” Dean started, and threw his arms down. “Oh, shut up!”
Sam smirked, swaying slightly to the music coming from his earbuds. “You should listen to this soundtrack, man. I think you’d like it.”
“No, I would not like it, Sam,” Dean said, feeling his voice rise. “And y’know how I know? Because Avril Lavigne reminds me of the soundtrack in the pit, and musicals are clearly the work of Lucifer - especially musicals that make freaking angels of the lord do falsetto in the parking lot!”
Sam gave him his best sympathetic look. “That sounds like a really difficult situation.”
“Yeah,” Dean said warily.
“It’s okay.” Sam put a hand on his shoulder. “With you by my side, I will fight and defend. I’ll fight and defend.”
Dean shrugged off Sam’s hand with a glare. “Don’t patronize me with pop lyrics.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Sam added in sing-song voice as Dean stormed out of the bathroom to drown his sorrows in a burger.
From then on, Dean couldn’t seem to escape the Glee soundtrack. It was everywhere. They stopped at a truck stop in Missouri, and the waitstaff did a moving, off-key rendition of “Maybe This Time.” During a hunt, they ran into a ghost who rapped the entirety of “Gold Digger” at them before they could find her bones to burn them. When they finally got their hands on the Colt, it was from a hunter who’d been humming Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” as he loaded it with holy bullets.
Sam informed him that the song wasn’t on the soundtrack, “but it should be.”
With the Colt in hand, they rallied the troops for the boss battle against Lucifer. Dean arranged to meet up with Ellen and Jo in Iowa and regretted it about twenty minutes after the reunion when Jo got an extra lame version of “Can’t fight this feeling” stuck in his head.
Ellen hummed Queen’s “Somebody to love” while they talked strategy, and Dean had to swallow sadness while he pretended not to hear.
The next morning he caught Sam singing “Bust a Move” in his underwear, and he had to sit in the Impala blaring side A of Back in Black until he stopped wishing he was an only child.
Rufus seemed all right at first. Then Dean realized he was making his own a cappella soundtrack every time something plot important happened.
“So let's sink another drink, ‘cause it'll give me time to thi-ink. If I had the chance, I'd ask the world to dance, and I'll be dancing with myse-elf!”
Through his misery, Dean had to admit that Bobby had impressive wheelchair dancing powers. He waved a hand limply. “Hey, Bobby. We’re all going to fight Lucifer, if you wanna come.”
“One more verse,” Bobby said, balancing his chair on one leg. “I ain’t had this much fun since high school show choir!”
The night before the showdown with Lucifer, Dean sat out in the Impala with a bottle of whiskey and Zeppelin to keep him company. Through the motel curtains, he could just make out the silhouette of his pain in the ass little brother singing into a hairbrush. He took another swig and turned up the volume on the cassette deck.
“What’s the matter, Dean?”
He shrugged, too used to Castiel’s sudden appearances to be surprised anymore. “The whole world’s gone crazy, Cas. More than just the apocalypse. Everyone I care about. This whole Glee thing—”
“What about it?” When he didn’t answer, Castiel caught his gaze and made him raise his chin.
“I dunno. It’s just so damn peppy. I don’t get it.”
“What don’t you understand?” Castiel titled his head. “By its very definition, Glee is about opening yourself up to joy.”
Castiel pursed his lips. “You don’t think you deserve to be joyful.”
And what could he say to that? He didn’t want to make the angel think he had low self-esteem, but he sure as hell didn’t want to be indoctrinated into this freaky Glee cult. “I dunno,” he said. “Right now I can’t worry about that. I just wanna live through this apocalypse.”
Castiel was quiet for a while, then his expression grew pensive. “Dean, I need to tell you something.”
“Sure, Cas, shoot.”
The angel took a deep breath, then started singing softly, “If I should die before I wake—”
“What are you—”
“It’s ‘cause you took my breath away—”
“Losing you is like living in a world with no air.” Castiel cradled Dean’s cheek tenderly and uttered a soft “O-oh” at him, then waited.
Dean licked his lips. “What?”
“It’s a duet. You sing now.”
“No, I don’t.” Dean took another swig of whiskey and wiped his mouth on his sleeve. “Get your heathen music out of m’car.”
Lucifer was camped out in an abandoned warehouse - like every good villain, Dean thought. The way in was guarded by about three dozen demons, but between himself, the other hunters, and Castiel, the battle was bloody but easily won. When every last demon had been knifed or exorcised, Dean stood at the warehouse doors, surveying his little army. Everyone was a little worse for wear, and Jo’s shirt had been half shredded by a demon trying to gut her, but they were cool. They were triumphant. They were—
Hey, Jo’s shirt was shredded. Dean took a moment to appreciate the exposed cleavage before they entered into the boss fight. When he turned back to open the doors, he found Castiel giving him a hurt look.
Awkward. Well, whatever, they might be doomed, anyway.
“Let’s rock,” Dean said, leading the group inside.
The inside of the warehouse was dark, and a low, sinister laugh coiled up around them.
“We know you’re here!” Sam cried. “Show your ugly face!”
“Ugly?” came Lucifer’s voice. “Oh, Sam. Why you gotta be like that?”
Someone snapped, and lamps flooded the warehouse in gold and red. On a stage in the middle of the floor, four demons stood behind microphones, two to either side of Lucifer himself. He was bedecked in gold bracelets and a fierce pinstriped vest. The demons began to clap, and music pulsed from somewhere behind the stage.
“Oh, crap,” Dean groaned.
The demons started harmonizing.
“If I could give you the world on a silver platter,” Lucifer crooned at Sam, “would it even matter? You’d still be mad at me!”
Sam glared back, bobbing his head slightly to the music.
“If I could find in all this a dozen roses, which I would give to you, you’d still be miserable!” Lucifer grabbed the mic in front of himself and tore it from its stand, striding down the lit up steps at the front of the stage. “In reality, I’m gonna be who I be, and I don’t feel no faults for all the lies that you bought. You can try as you may, break me down but I say that it ain’t up to you.” He pointed one ring-speckled finger at Sam, tossed his head back, and belted out, “Gonna do what you do!”
Dean looked around. He couldn’t believe this. While he’d gotten the Colt out of his belt, the others hadn’t even moved except to sway slightly to the music. Hell, Jo and Bobby were lip-syncing the words. What the hell?
The demons raised their voices, the beat picked up, and Lucifer sang along with them, “Hate on me, hateeer - now or lateeer, ‘cause I’m gonna do me, you’ll be mad, babyyy!”
“OKAY, ENOUGH OF THIS CRAP!” Dean cried, waving his arms.
The music paused, and so did the demon backup singers, mid-strut.
“Oh, Dean,” Lucifer said with a condescending smirk. “Your tactlessness is adorable.”
“This is you!” Dean shouted, pointing the Colt at Lucifer’s heart with a trembling hand. “All this musical bullcrap - this is something you did to everyone, isn’t it?”
“No, Dean,” Lucifer said, smiling broadly and doing jazz hands, “this is SHOWMANCE!”
Dean shot him until the gun had been clicking empty for several rounds.
“Dude,” Sam said in the silence after, “he was right in the middle of a song. What’s wrong with you?”
“I’m getting the hell out of here,” Dean said, tossing the Colt on the pile of sizzling flesh that was Lucifer’s former vessel. “Sing me some exit music, you nerds.”
Rufus obliged with a peppy commercial break song.
The world was saved, but the Glee obsession continued. Dean sighed. Sam had been sulking on his motel bed since dinner, eyeing his silent iPod forlornly. Maybe this was just something they were gonna have to live with.
“Just do it, Sammy,” Dean said finally, shaking his head.
Watching his brother’s eyes light up made it almost worth it. “You mean it?”
“Yeah, sure. I’ll just go out for some air. You Glee your heart out.”
Sam smiled, more happy—no, joyful—than Dean had seen him in ages. “Thanks, Dean.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just don’t go all Avril on me again.” Dean shrugged, letting himself out the door.
The night air was cool and refreshing, and for the first time, Dean drank in the victory they’d taken that day. Saving the world. It was a nice feeling.
He frowned, looking out into the parking lot. Glass was sprinkled across the hood of the Impala, and a slouched figure in a trench coat stood beside it, glaring at him pointedly.
“Cas?” he cried, rushing to his baby to assess the damage. The entire windshield was a gaping hole. “What happened?”
“I bust the windows out your car,” Castiel sang gravely, and gave him a haughty look before disappearing.