Original Prompt: from boysinperil: Growing up in hotels made Dean an expert in bad television. What’s his most guilty secret?
Title: The King of Cable
Rating: PG-13 for language
Spoilers/Warnings: Takes places in a non-specific time at the end of Season 8/beginning of season 9,where Crowley is being held at the Batcave but no other mentions any other season 9 activities. Also, Gabriel is alive.
Synopsis: A stormy night has the boys holed up in the Batcave. Unfortunately, they have Crowley for company, and he won’t keep his mouth shut, so Dean decides to engage in some of his guilty pleasures…food and television. But that doesn’t keep Crowley’s mouth shut, and before he knows it, Sam is entertaining the demon with stories of the television that Dean has watched and the TV doctors he has loved.
Thank you to my wonderful artist and co-mod, dizzojay for working with an incomplete fic and yet turning out a piece that goes so well with the story. And thank you to tari_roo and zelda_addict for the beta work on this story and for ramblin_rosie for allowing me to bounce ideas off of her.
This story was prompted by boysinperil and was originally intended for her but she was unable to finish the Spring Fic Exchange. So as a Thank You to all the authors, artists, betas, cheerleaders and commenters, this is for the entire community! You guys are why the mods work so hard to make this a fun place to be! We come here each day because we know you want to be here, too!
“Well, what do you expect? A demon has to get all the fresh air he can get after Moose here went traipsing around the place, knocking over essence of Nargle and contaminating my dungeon!”
“It’s not your dungeon,” Sam grumbled as he snatched some popcorn out of Dean’s bowl. “It’s where we allow you to exist as long as we consider you useful, so I’d be quiet if I were you and be glad we’re letting you up here while the dungeon airs out.”“It’s still no way to treat the King of Hell. Leaving me alone for hours on end, chained up like an animal. It’s inhumane, I tell you!” barked out Crowley as he rattled his chains. “Even now, you’ve got me penned up on the other side of the room. I can’t even see the bloody TV!”
“You are not here to be entertained,” Dean pointed out as he picked up the remote and changed the channel on the television. “Besides, you might be the King of Hell, but I’m the King of Cable, and right now, I’d rather watch Toddlers and Tiaras than listen to you moan about how you are treated." Settling down into the couch, he turned up the volume in order to drown out both the demon and the storm.
“King of Cable,” muttered Crowley. “Bollocks. As if that added any value to one’s life.”
“Really, Crowley?” Dean asked as he searched through the channels for something he wanted to watch. “You, who clawed your way up in Hell by trading people’s souls with less integrity than a Wall Street broker, are judging me?” ean just stared at him over the top of the television. “Sure, and I am People Magazine’s Sexiest Man to Come Back to Life.”
“Dean, stop egging him on!” Sam said in exasperation, gently shoving his brother in the arm. “It is bad enough having to listen to him, but you are only making it worse!”
“Oh come on, Sammy! I’m just trying to wear him out,” Dean said with a grin. “Maybe then he will shut up and we can watch Hoarders.”
“Wear Crowley out? Dean, that would be like getting you to give up your addiction to television doctors.” Sam realized his mistake the second the words were out of his mouth.
“That explains so much,” Crowley said before a wicked grin split his face in two. “TV doctors, heh. Have a bit of a fancy for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Dean? Maybe Dr. Abby Lockhart is more your style? Or do you get lost in the eyes of Dr. Juliet Burke?”
“Oh no,” Sam laughed despite himself. “Much, much better than that.”
“Don’t you dare, Sam!” Dean cried as he looked back and forth between the other two occupants of the room. “Besides, Extreme Couponing is about to start. I don’t want to miss that.”
“Really, Dean? You already have 1,537 rolls of toilet paper, 412 Hostess cherry pies, and enough cans of tuna to build your own cruise ship all stored here in the bunker.”
“And all for only $5.87,” Dean stated proudly. “Besides, I have it on good authority that in an apocalypse, that toilet paper is worth gold.”
Crowley leaned as close to the brothers as he could, innocently prying, “So more about these TV doctors.”
Sam was probably going to regret this. Okay, he already did, but maybe if he was the one telling the story, these two just might stop bickering for a while. With a heavy sigh, Sam started. “It all began…”
“Um, Dad…” Ten year-old Dean approached his father nervously as he glanced at his brother’s sleeping form on the hotel bed.
“What is it, son?” John answered crisply. “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for bed like I asked?”
“I’m ready, sir,” Dean replied as he stood up straighter. “Brushed my teeth and everything. I was just wondering…”
“Well, what is it? Go ahead. Spit it out.”
“Are guns and knives the only things you use when you kill them? You know, the...monsters.” Dean uttered the last word barely above a whisper in case his brother might still be awake.
“And what else exactly am I supposed to be using?” his dad asked him with a sharp look.“Well, see, MacGyver, he can make grenades out of pine cones, bombs out of swamp gas, bamboo shoots, and mud, and all kinds of things with duct tape and his Swiss Army knife.”
“Now wait a bloody minute, Moose,” Crowley interrupted. “You’re supposed to be telling me about Dean and his love for scrubs, or should I say Scrubs? Not about some nitwit, tree-hugging nerd with a pocket knife and an unhealthy obsession with duct tape that made mullets popular.”
“Dude! MacGyver was awesome!” Dean retorted as he grabbed a handful of popcorn. “And you should be keeping your mouth shut. In fact, I might just use a sharpie on your face and draw a devil’s trap across your lips to make it happen.”
“Do that, and the intelligence quotient of this conversation drops dramatically.”
“Well, it already did when you joined in.”
“Stop it! Both of you!” Sam interjected, running both of his hands through his hair in frustration. “Now, where was I?”
“Dean, who is this MacGyver, and how do you know him?’ John asked, suddenly concerned.
“He’s on television. I watch him every week,” Dean answered, excitement creeping into his voice. “And he always beats the bad guys. Usually with stuff he finds right around him!”John breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I can assure you that that even if pine cone grenades and swamp gas bombs were possible, they are no match for the sort of things I hunt. Maybe you should find something else to watch on TV, okay?”
“Yes, sir,” Dean replied reluctantly as he climbed into bed with his brother.
A few days later, when John returned to the hotel, he was pleased to see both of his sons watching what seemed to be a family show on television.
“Whatcha watching, boys?” he asked, setting down takeout on the table.
“It’s Doogie Howser, dad!” Dean replied, jumping up to greet his dad. “He’s a boy genius who became a doctor by the time he was only fourteen!”
“A fourteen year old doctor, huh? You’d have to be pretty smart to do that.”
“Yep. Smart like Sammy,” Dean said proudly before they all turned back to the TV.
“Oh, I was just visiting with Doogie, Dr. Howser,” Vinnie said. “Listening to his plan to part Wanda Plenn’s pulsating red lips with his prepubescent tongue.”
“Part pwal-sating red lips with his pre-poobscent tongue,” repeated Sam, his young face looking questioningly up to his father. “So, what is his tongue going to do to her lips, Daddy?”
John quickly grabbed the remote and changed the channel, ignoring Sam’s question. “Dean, you can go back to watching MacGruber.”
“It’s MacG…” Dean started to say before catching the look on his dad’s face. “Yes, sir.”
“And Dean, tomorrow you and I are going to the shooting range.”
“Yes, sir!” Dean replied with a grin.
“So, a pre-teen boy likes watching a teenage doctor and a know-it-all do-gooder,” Crowley said rolling his eyes. “How utterly mundane of you. Let me guess, next you’re going to tell me that he wore Captain America Underoos as a child? Quite frankly, I’d be more entertained if you told me he wore women’s panties.”
“Hey now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with, uh, Captain America Underoos,” Dean said with a slight pink tinge to his ears, “and if you are that bored, I’d be happy to let Sam stop talking about my television past, and we can watch The Real Housewives of New York City. Those chicks got some serious crazy going on.”
“No, no please.” Crowley insisted. “Let Sam continue.”
“So when Dean was sixteen going on seventeen,” Sam started…
“Sammy! Get your ass into gear!” shouted Dean. “I want to be back at the hotel before it starts, and we only have like ten minutes. I can’t believe we missed the first episode of the season because we were on the road.”
“Seriously, dude? What’s your problem?” Sam answered. “The hotel is like a five minute drive from the diner. I just want to wash my hands.”
“I want to get ahead of traffic,” the older Winchester replied.
“Of course. Because in a town of seventeen hundred, there is going to be traffic at nine o’clock at night. What was I thinking?” Sam muttered, barely climbing into the Impala before Dean drove away. “I forgot how important George Clooney is to you.”
“What? No!” Dean denied as he drove the couple of blocks to the hotel. “There are some hot chicks on that show.”
“Uh huh,” Sam answered with a sly smile, “and Clooney gets almost all of them. That’s why you want to be him.”
“Fine,” Dean admitted as he walked into the hotel room and turned on the TV. “I want to be like Clooney. So sue me. Who wouldn’t? He’s smart, sophisticated, charming, and has a good sense of humor. Remind you of anyone?”
“Yeah,” Sam replied as he plopped down on the bed. “He reminds me of George Clooney.”“That’s not… Dammit, Sam! We missed the opening scene.” “You only missed a few minutes, Dean. Get over it.”
The two of them settled down to watch ER. After about twenty minutes, Dean shouted, “Hey, did you see that, Sam?!”“See what?” his brother asked him.
“That clueless intern…Dr. Babinski…Barinski…whatever his name is. The one eating the candy bar. He looked right at me and waggled his eyebrows! He freakin’ waggled his eyebrows at me!”
Sam stared at his brother for about ten seconds, then he burst out laughing.
“Sammy! It’s not funny. He waggled those eyebrows at me. He did!’ Dean insisted, his face contorting in anger.
Sam got suddenly serious. “Are you feeling okay, Dean? Do you think maybe it was the two bacon cheeseburgers, or maybe the three slices of apple pie at the diner that didn’t sit well?”
“Cut it out, bitch! I’m telling you the truth.”
“Yeah right, jerk. Like I’m going to fall for that one.”
“We didn’t know it then, but the Trickster made an early appearance in our lives,” Sam said.
“Ruining my television,” Dean grumbled.
“And I continue to do so,” Gabriel said, popping in next to Dean on the couch with a bag of Skittles in one hand and a box of Junior Mints in the other. “I mean, television is a wonderful thing in and of itself, but annoying the Winchesters is kind of like having candy at the movies--so much better when you put them together!”
“Oh, lovely,” Crowley said. “Another formerly dead idiot enters the village.”
“I was never dead,” the archangel proclaimed. “I was just pretending, and Dean-o’s adventures with TV doctors wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining without me, so I’d pipe down if I were you.”“Really? You’ve been involved with all of my TV doctors?” Dean asked. “Wait…that came out wrong. Though with you, maybe not.”
“No, I haven’t been involved with all of your TV doctors,” Gabriel replied. He paused, then smiled. “Doesn’t mean I didn’t watch you, though. Like that time in Paramus…”