I was a taller girl too, once. (regala_electra) wrote,
I was a taller girl too, once.

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Fic: Don't Fear the Cowbell (SPN, Dean, PG-13)

Don’t Fear the Cowbell (or, Dean Winchester, Former Cowbellist)
Author: Regala Electra
E-mail: regala_electra@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: OMC/OFC (slight Dean/OFC)
Summary: Dean Winchester believes that there should be more cowbell.
Author’s Notes: Pre-Series fic about Teen!Dean, set in 2000 (with an ending set around 2005). I have no one to blame save myself.

However, I will say that I offer a visual supplement to this story: the famous Saturday Day Night Live Sketch: More Cowbell. For it is the awesome contained in that sketch that serves as the true inspiration for this fic.


He tells her his name is Jack because it’s a good one night stand kind of name. It’s okay to have Jack leave you in the morning. A Jack won’t be missed at all, lost in memories of dark bars and too much alcohol.

She has a sweet honey drawl that twangs with Texas confidence as they go through more and more rounds of shots.

She’s talkative and not yet aware of New Yorker boundaries, moving in far too close so she can tell him how she’s just moved here. He had only bought her the first shot when she tells him that. Proudly, she had said it, like it's new to move here. Everyone not from here, he wants to tell her. Not even the real New Yorkers.

But she’s too naïve to understand and he’s working off the anonymity. He does tell her where he works. Everyone recognizes it, right away and he smiles and agrees that he has met the celebrities that have hosted and yes, he could take her to see the backstage, where all the magic happens. After she’s settled into the city a bit more, he lies.

Still unpacking, she explains, smiling as a new shot is put in front of her. She grins and tells him how she was a music teacher at a high school he can’t quite catch the name of, but it doesn’t matter anyway. Now she’s a professor at the New School.

Which isn’t impressive in a city like this. No job is impressive here. Hell, he’s only working where he is to bide his time until his movie script gets picked up. He’s not going to flush out like his fellow writers, stuck writing lame sitcoms and waste his natural talent. He doesn’t tell her that. She’s far too green and nobody gets laid when they bring up shop talk, unless they’re pumped full of booze and pills.

She’s too green, he reminds himself again, but there’s a spark in her eyes that’ll do her well in the city. She knows exactly where this is headed.

“Once,” she enthuses, licking a trail of salt off her tanned wrist, “I used classic rock music in my syllabus to discuss...” she rattles off something technical and he stares at her chest.

Knocking back the tequila, she makes a face and quickly bites the lemon wedge. He says something encouraging, about how very interested he is by different music theories and finishes it up with a joke about never knowing how to play the recorder back in elementary school.

“Mmm,” she says, the focus in her eyes getting a bit sharp. It’s spooky and it’s the same look he’s seen in every teacher he’s ever had. Huh, so it must be learned somehow.

He gently prods her again about her boring story and she continues, “So, there was this one student. Dean. Winchester. You know, my daddy had a Winchester rifle. He taught me how to shoot with that old thing, loved it more than any of his other rifles.”

He pushes the next round out of her reach, leaning in close. Distracts her with a near kiss and enjoys the smile that breaks across her face. If there’s one thing she never has to lose by living here, please let it be that smile. It’s genuine and much better than hearing about fathers and shotguns. Thinking about those two things will ruin what he’s got happening here.

“He had to take my class, we were halfway through the school year when he moved to Dallas and he was only two years from graduating. Doesn’t mean he showed up, I swear, I was shocked that day when he was just sitting there in the back of the classroom. I thought maybe the principal had spoken to his father. He’d missed only a handful of shop classes though. Boys,” she says, sneaking past his arm blocking the drinks and taking the full shot glass in her dainty hand, “the way they carry on about cars.”

He hasn’t owned a car in three years but he doesn’t tell her that either. When he moves to Los Angeles, he’s got his heart set on an Escalade. Something classy but top of the line.

She’s still babbling on about this boy, slipping out, “He thought he was the cock of the walk. Honestly strutted and let me tell you, some of his teachers had suffered some pranks that I’d never heard about. It’s funny, he was there for maybe four months and he’s still a legend. Probably our own fault. We couldn’t help telling each new teacher hired about Dean Winchester.”

He says something about boys being boys and a few other slightly condescending things that she doesn’t notice. She pats her mouth with a bar napkin and he smiles at her blotted lipstick.

“It was a practical class,” she explains, falling back into the memory, “I wanted everyone to take up an instrument and play a classic rock song. The seventies. Something they might have grown up with but don’t know that well. You know, I’ve had students who ask me who Paul Lennon was. Can you imagine?”

Behind the Music, he says, it’s a godsend. He asks her if she’s seen it and she nods. They share recollections of their favorite episodes.

“I still can’t believe how M.C. Hammer lost all that money,” she finishes with a bubbly, drunken giggle. She goes back to her story, as though she remembered she's still in the middle of it. “I had broken up my class into groups of five and given them instruments, some of them that weren’t used in the song that much, just for them to get an understanding of why sounds appear when they do in music and why that's important.”

He asks what song she'd assigned to this infamous Dean Winchester.

She plays with a strand of dyed blonde hair. She’d look better as a brunette. “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”

Laughing, he talk-sings the first part of the song and she giggles again.

“I didn’t give him any instrument at first. I thought he’d just be safer singing it, but then I thought what if he started adding his own...humor to it? So at the last moment, I gave him the cowbell.”

Oh, he says, that’s all?

“The look he gave me. Ooh, I knew right there, I’d made a mistake. He’d looked offended for just this little moment and then, he smiled. Smiled like only real troublemakers can.”

She brushes her hand over his and lowers her eyelids. Gives him a sloppy kiss, the kind that means he’s in. No way of screwing this up.

“I let his group go first, they’d had to listen to the song twice and then try to sync up with the track. At first, I was surprised, because it seemed that Dean knew the song inside out, he’d even helped out the girl I’d handed the guitar to when they first started practicing it. But he only helped her when he thought I wasn’t looking. He was an...odd boy. Boy,” she says with a shake of her head, disliking the word. “He was sixteen. Barely acted like any other teenager I’ve taught.”

He pays for the substantial bill (they’d been drinking top shelf) and tips a bit more than he normally would when sober.

“Then it happened. The cowbell. How bad can it be?”

She asks this rhetorically, but he supplies an answer, saying it’s not that bad, it’s like handing the worst musician in the group the triangle, isn’t it?

“We’re both wrong,” she says a little too wistfully. “He took it very seriously. By seriously, I mean, chaos. It was chaotic. He just...got into the song. With a cowbell. A cowbell. He threaded in and out of the other students as they played, banging on that cowbell for all its worth. And he never missed a beat. It was flawless. The other students couldn’t stop laughing. Then I tried to stop it and asked if he could perhaps use a little less cowbell.”

He thinks of some wild student exploring the tight space of a classroom, dancing around with a cowbell, and he can’t help but laugh deeply. Asks if she really did let him start up again.

“Three times. I let the anarchy continue three times. I don't know what I was thinking. After I reprimanded him, he banged it slowly but so loudly. Competely out of tune. I asked him honestly if he thought it was funny and he looked at me, you're in comedy, it's called deadpan, right? And he said, ‘I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell.’ He actually said that. It was the most surreal teaching experience of my life.”

They both chuckle at the story, marvelling at how weird life can be.

The subject changes quickly enough. He tells her about the view from his apartment and she pretends to believe the line. After that, it’s all familiar, the way it happens. It’s always the same.

She’s still too soft for New York, but not as naïve as he thought. As she puts her dress back on, he asks her about that story she told him. About the cowbell and Blue Oyster Cult and what happened to that kid.

She thinks for a moment, then answers, “He stuck around after class ended to tell me that he thought that my idea was great. I remember him saying something about how everyone needs to have a little B.O.C. in their lives.” A slow smile. “He showed up for two more days and then his family moved away, I guess. At least that was the story they told the school.”

She leaves her number on the bedside table. When she leaves, he tosses it out, and after a moment of hesitation, he scribbles s few notes to himself before he falls asleep.

In the morning, he’ll only have the memories of last night be his hangover and the dull feeling of his body experiencing some decent sex. Sometime later, he’ll be go through his apartment, searching for anything decent to pitch to Christopher Walken (shit, he has to have something here), and then he sees the notes.

Behind the Music. More cowbell. I got a fewfever and the only prescription is more cows. more cowbell??? Recording Don’t Fear the Reaper. Cock of the walk.

He doesn’t really know what the hell that last bit could be. But he thinks he could work it in.


Years later, when he’s working on a sitcom in Los Angeles, driving a GMC Yukon, he tells a pretty redhead (who’d look better as blonde) how he worked on that sketch and she says, utterly serious, “Oh my God, that’s a real band?”

There’s a guy standing to the other side of her, way too handsome and probably some hopeful actor with no chance of ever making his big break (at least, he hopes, because he desperately wants to nail this young thing). He rolls his eyes, and snaps his cell phone shut, having acquired the bartender’s number. He’d spent most of his time asking some weird questions, which had been overhead by those at the bar, but there’s no story to them, they’re all serious, about fires and strange noises.

That's normal Los Angeles conversation almost.

Just as this guy goes to leave, he turns to the redhead, flashes a smile that’s unreal, way too fucking charming and he could have anyone in the bar, yet he’s walking out. Unbelievable. All he says is, “You gotta have more cowbell. Ain’t nothing wrong with the B.O.C.”

Tags: fic, spn fic
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