Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: A visit to a lonely church is required to restock their holy water supply.
There was something about large enclosed places that made most people quiet.
Maybe it was the awareness that every step you took and each small cough was resonated and amplified. Maybe it was the unconscious respect you took on as soon as the silent weight of architecture and age seemed to close around you. Walking across a church floor was what Dean imagined it would be like being at the bottom of the ocean looking straight up. With all that pressing down on your head, you were forced to wonder if somewhere far above was a shimmering surface and light.
He had once read in a book Sam had left sitting around that some people in the world used caves as their temples. The picture that had sat next to the words about the pantheon of animal like deities had made him read the entire thing until he hit the back cover. It wasn't just any cave that had been converted into a place of worship. The photos of sweeping limestone caverns and sheer smooth stone walls arching overhead looked like chaotic versions of the colossal man made structures of the west of the world. The notion had made him think about it long after he'd tossed the book aside.
Dean watched several senior citizens slowly shuffle past him towards the broad heavy oak doors.
Sam would be almost done by now.
All they needed was a few canteens of the stuff and then they were out of here. It was always a good idea to do it after the late masses because it was when all the old people who had nothing to go home to would linger to talk to the holy man. Need was always a good distraction. When you were comforting souls you wouldn't notice someone borrowing some tap water you blessed that morning.
But this mass had been small. In fact, Dean had noticed a decline in the faithful over the years. Wooden seats used to be filled to the last pew when his father had first schooled him in the ways of their world. Now days there seemed to be a smattering of what used to be. A few old women that sat close to the front to better hear despite the finely crafted acoustics. A few lone people scattered elsewhere quietly following along in their precious well worn tomes.
"Good evening." A cautious voice greeted.
Dean looked away from the windows that towered over him. The jig saw of the portraits of glass lay almost black with the night time sky behind it instead of the sun. The reds a blood brown. The blues a bruised purple. Angelic faces dimmed and almost gone.
He sighed but kept the careful smile he had automatically taken on in place. Dean knew it wouldn't take a long time for the priest to find him.
"How ya doin'?" He returned politely.
Dean had stepped out into the line of fire when the sparse stream of the parish had all taken their exit. He needed to give Sam just a little more time. He knew the man would approach him. There was something about him that always made them. He wasn't sure what it was but it happened so often that he started to rely on it. Maybe it wasn't him exactly and just the presence of a young man alone in a sacred place.
That type of thing made you look like you were in trouble. Or lost. Or both.
He asked the questions he knew he should. He complimented the sermon like he knew the preachers always wanted. It was almost strange how putting this man in robes at ease and ego was identical to the girl leaning against the wood bar that wanted to hear anything good about herself from anyone. Their eyes searching you for your own sincerity. Their words turning towards the intimacy you pretend you want.
In the end the outcome was the same. Some brand of borrowed time from another person that never meant to give you quite that much.
The holy man thanked Dean for attending and encouraged him to come again.
Dean watched him walk back through the pews towards the altar.
He wasn't sure what was more of a testament to some magical higher power. Building a cathedral or taking in something in nature that was already there. But he knew it didn't really matter. They were just places man used to place their idols and burn their fires. One was no more primal or ludicrous as another as far as he was concerned. Making wishes into thin air was just as useful under a solid gold crucifix as it was when you found a four leaf clover.
Dean paused at the bank of wavering votives that sat glinting in hundreds of ruby red glass cups. With a brief look around over his shoulder at the empty place, he stuck a smoldering match and carefully touched it to an unlit wick.
He half smiled to himself.
And as far as he knew, wishes never hurt anyone.