?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

I, Castiel: PG-13, SPN, 5/6

Title: I, Castiel

Author: daymarket

Pairing: Dean/Cas

Rating: PG-13

Notes: AU robot!fic. SORRY FOR THE DELAY, Y'ALL, THIS CHAPTER ALMOST KILLED ME. *flops*

Summary: Dean takes his first steps into the 22nd century with Castiel, his very own programmable robot. He finds himself instead trying to deal with what it means to be human while teaching a stiff, contrary bot the basics of life.

Chapter Four

x

Long story short: Dean got drunk.

It was stupid to get in a drinking contest, but irritation with the world in general and a desire to do something other than sit around and mope had propelled him into it. He’d won, barely. At some point after the drunken celebrations, his memory had decided to flee for the hills, leaving him with—

“Dean Winchester, you get your ass outta that car!”

Dean jerked awake. Ellen was banging on the other side of the window, and judging by her expression, she’d been banging for a long, long time. “Ugh,” Dean groaned.

“Get up,” Ellen yelled through the window. “I’ve called Sam to pick up your sorry ass.”

“Wha’ever, Ellen,” Dean said, but he didn’t say it loud enough that Ellen could actually hear it. It took him a couple tries to open the door, almost slithering out of the backseat due to lack of coordination. “I can sleep’n the Impala if I want.”

“I’m sure you can,” Ellen said, “but not in my parking lot.”

Dean rubbed his eyes, a headache beginning to pound behind his eyes. “Wha’ time, Ellen?” he asked, hoping that he could skip a few words if the point got across.

“Late, you idiot, and time you got home,” she snapped. She glanced up as Sam’s car pulled into the driveway. “You show up late for Bobby’s tomorrow and I’m cutting you off for a month,” she said, slapping the side of the car.

Dean rolled his eyes at her, his arm flopping carelessly across his car. “You n’ Bobby should get married,” he observed lazily. “Y’re both nags.”

“You work on your own love life, Dean Winchester, and keep your nose out of mine. Now get your ass to bed.” Sam came out of the car, his hair more disordered than usual—he must have just gotten out of bed. “He seems sober enough, but take him home anyway,” she said to Sam. “And keep him out of trouble.”

Sam gave Dean a great big exasperated bitchface. Dean gave him the finger. “Stop starin’.”

“I thought you said you quit this,” Sam said, putting his hands on his hips. “After that close call with that herpes chick?”

Ohhh, so yeah, that was why he’d quit the whole barhopping thing. Weird how alcohol could make him forget something as important as the herpes chick. “Wha’ever,” Dean said, trying hard to control his mouth and not drool. “Didn’ have sex anyway. M’fine.”

“You’re not fine,” Ellen said. “Get him home, Sam.”

“My car,” Dean protested as Sam tugged on his sleeve. “Can’t just leave my baby here.”

“You can pick it up tomorrow after you’ve paid the parking fees,” Ellen said crisply. “Consider it payment for getting your sorry ass to bed.”

“I never told you to call Sam,” Dean muttered.

“Do I look like I care what you want? Shut up and go home.” Ellen turned on her heel and headed back into the bar, her stride one that brooked no argument. Dean rubbed his eyes wearily and tried to muster enough thoughts to study the Roadhouse: it was dark, with only a few lights left on. So Ellen had been closing the bar when she discovered him—that made it, what, three a.m.?

He got into the passenger seat next to Sam, resting his head against the window. He was woozy and the headache promised to get worse as the day—or night, as it were—wore on. He was acutely aware of Sam’s gaze on the back of his neck, no doubt with that sad puppy face of his.

“Dean…” Sam said as they pulled out onto the road.

“Don’ wanna hear it, Sam.”

“I thought you were over this.”

“’pparently m’ not,” Dean muttered.

The eternal question came. “Is something wrong, Dean?”

“Yeah, your face,” Dean muttered. It was a pathetic retort, but the best he could manage at the present moment.

“Look, is it Ruby?” Sam said finally. “Was she more nasty than usual yesterday?”

“’M not that delicate,” Dean grumbled.

“Denial,” Sam said, junior Freudian that he was. “That’s a yes. What happened? I’m starting to think it’s a good idea to reset her.”

Dean groaned, banging his head against the window. “M’ fine, Sam. Nothing’s wrong.”

Sam sighed. Again. “Okay.” Dean counted mentally in his head—he got to thirty before Sam spoke again. “Is it Cas?”

“No,” Dean growled. “S’not Cas, okay? ‘M fine. Just—shut up.”

“Dean—”

“Drop it, Sam.”

Sam sighed, causing a tendril of guilt to snake its way through Dean despite his growing headache. When Sam spoke next, his voice was tired. “You know you can talk to me, right?” he said. “About—you know, whatever. I know I’ve been pretty busy lately, but you’re my brother, Dean. I just—look, if something’s wrong, you know you can tell me, right?”

Dean gave a weary laugh. “Yeah,” he said tiredly. “I know.”

The car turned into Dean’s driveway and rolled to a stop in front of the door. The lights were dark, which probably meant Cas was on standby. Hopefully, it meant Dean wouldn’t have to talk to him for another night at least—more, if Cas was still giving him the silent treatment. Strictly speaking, he wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing. He grimaced, irritated with himself and his stupid headache caused by his stupid drinking and his stupid conscience and his stupid guilt. Stupid to get himself so tied into knots over a bot.

“Sam,” he said finally. Sam glanced at him, his eyes ridiculously soft and concerned. “I jus’—” He broke off, not sure how to articulate the conflict. It didn’t make sense when he was sober, and it was even worse now. He took the coward’s way out and changed the subject. “What’re you going to do with Ruby?” he said at last, working hard to make sure every word came out clearly.

Sam raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure you should be worrying about that right now?” He paused. “I knew it. Ruby did cause this, didn’t she? What did she say?”

Dean flapped a hand irritably at him. “Stop worrying and just answer,” he said.

Sam sighed. “I’ve got to talk it over with Jess,” he said finally. “So I mean, nothing’s decided. But we’re leaning towards selling.” He paused. “Why are you so interested?”

Dean sighed, resting his aching head against the wall. “Forget it.” He glanced back up at the dark windows of the house for a long moment. “Can I stay over at your place?” he said finally.

“Sure,” was the quiet reply. “You can take the guest room.” There was a pause. “But we’re going to talk about this, Dean.”

“Whatever,” Dean said, too tired to argue. He leaned back against the window and closed his eyes, resigning himself to the headache. Hopefully, it wouldn’t keep him from falling asleep again, because being dead to the world sounded fantastic right now.

They didn’t say anything else the rest of the drive.

X

Dean woke up the next morning with a sour taste in his mouth and a dull pounding in his head. He lay in bed for a moment, wondering if anyone would seriously object if he stayed in there for the rest of the day. The answer came immediately: Sam. Bobby. Ellen. All of them would no doubt give him hell for his stupidity, but the list was topped by his bladder, which urgently wanted to be emptied. Dean debated the pros and cons for a moment longer before finally dragging his sorry ass out of the bed.

“Morning,” Jess greeted him as he stumbled out of the bedroom. “You look like a mess.”

Dean blinked at her for a moment, before remembering. Oh, yeah. He was in Sam’s house, and Sam had a girlfriend now. Therefore, some basic courtesy was in order. He felt idiotically proud of himself for figuring that out. “Morning,” he said after a long moment.

“Looks like you had fun last night,” Jess said, a smile playing around her lips. “Coffee?”

“Gotta, uh, use the bathroom,” Dean said after another long pause. Jess nodded and turned back to her newspaper. Dean saw Ruby in the kitchen behind her, but her face was turned away.

Dean retreated to the safety of the bathroom, cleaning himself the best he could. He wanted to take a shower, really, but that could wait until he got home. He also wanted his hangover to go away, but nothing could help with that, except maybe coffee, which awaited him outside. When he felt marginally more human, he stumbled out to see that Ruby was putting his breakfast onto the table. Ruby glanced up at Dean, her expression dark. He gave her a little half-wave. “Hi,” he said, knowing that it was pretty inadequate.

“Eggs and bacon,” she said in reply.

“Thanks,” Dean muttered, sitting down. Ruby moved away to the living room, and he was aware of Jess’ eyes on him. “Yeah?” he said when he couldn’t ignore her any longer, looking up to meet her gaze. She was biting her lip, her expression rather nervous.

“I guess we’ve never had a chance to talk in private,” Jess said after a moment. “Sam has court today, so he left early. Uh, I guess this is as good a time to talk to you as any?” She cleared her throat.

“Oh,” Dean said before taking refuge in coffee. It was nauseatingly sweet, especially as he’d gotten used to Cas’ strong black coffee. He swallowed it with an effort and set the mug back down.

“I just—” Jess tapped the table indecisively for a moment. “Sam was really worried last night,” she said after a moment.

Dean groaned. “Yeah, I know. He told me. Multiple times.”

“Look, I, uh—” Jess took a deep breath and took the plunge. “I want you to know that I love your brother. And, uh, I think you’re a nice guy. But I just hope you’re okay with this.”

Dean ran her words over in his brain, pondering over their meaning for a long moment before they finally sank in. “You think I’m not okay with you and Sam?” he said slowly.

“Well, yeah,” Jess said, looking flustered. “Sam said that you haven’t roamed the bars for a serious bender for years, ever since the, uh, herpes chick—”

“Does the whole world know about the herpes chick?” Dean wondered out loud before shaking his head emphatically and wincing as his head protested. “No, that’s not the problem at all, Jess. I’m fine with you and Sam.” He gave her a quick smile. “Seriously. I think it’s great.”

“Really?” Jess said, looking relieved. “Wow. Okay, then.” The smile faded slowly, replaced by a look of concern. “So, what is it then? Not that it’s any of my business,” she added hastily. “But you know, if you want to talk…”

Dean sighed, rubbing his temples. “No,” he said finally. “Not really.” He gave her a weary smile. “I’m not really good sharing my feelings and all that.”

“Emotionally crippled, huh?” Jess said with a sympathetic smile. “Sam was like that for a while, but I had to train that out of him.”

“Sam does need a lot of maintenance,” Dean said with a wry grin.

“I guess you’d know him better than anyone.” she said. “You’ve been taking care of Sam for a long time, haven’t you?”

“Since our mom died, yeah,” Dean said. “Dad wasn’t much of an actual father, so yeah, I had to take care of Sam.” Dean waved a hand to warn off the inevitable exclamations of sympathy. “It was a long time ago, I’m fine.”

“It couldn’t have been easy, though,” Jess said.

“It wasn’t that hard,” Dean said, rubbing the back of his neck. “I mean, Sam’s a good kid.”

“I know,” Jess said, smiling slightly. “He is. But I’m just saying, all by yourself? That’s almost heroic, really. Most people tend to throw nannybots at their kids, but bots aren’t substitute for human touch.”

Dean sighed as the eternal shadow of technology infiltrated the conversation. “I guess,” he said.

“Well, it’s true,” Jess said. “After my parents’ divorce, my father got a nannybot.” She made a face. “I learned how to hack it, otherwise life would have been intolerable. One reason I don’t like bots much, I guess.”

Dean raised an eyebrow. “I thought you had a personal bot before? You mentioned that it malfunctioned and that’s why you gave it away.”

“Yeah,” Jess said, her nose wrinkling with distaste. “It was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. I got caught up in the technocraze and I purchased one of the earliest models of personal bot.” She sighed. “The thing is, they hadn’t perfected the design yet, and the thing didn’t feel real from the very beginning. It would smile, laugh, hold conversations, but it all felt so…stilted.” She sighed. “And then there was the Lewis incident, which resulted in mass recall of generation ones.”

“Lewis incident?” Dean asked. “I remember that, sort of. A forest burned down, right?”

“Yeah,” Jess said. “Whenever there’s technology, people like to play with it, try to crack it. Some kids figured out how to turn off the Three Laws, and then, well, shit hit the fan.” She grimaced. “People were really pissed over that one. Robotics were almost outlawed indefinitely.”

“I remember the anti-bot protests,” Dean said. “I remember that these religious guys clogged up the streets for weeks with their stupid protest signs. I mean, if you want to decry the evils of robotics, fine, but don’t block up the road during rush hour.”

Jess laughed. “But it wouldn’t have the same effect if they protested in mountainside huts,” she said. “But yeah, the Lewis incident caused massive controversy. I mean, a whole forest burning down? Two humans dying? There’s been a debate about bots ever since, and removing the Three Laws can result in some serious jail time. As bots have gotten more sophisticated, people want even more restrictions on robotics because it’s come to the point that bots can pass Turing tests if programmed correctly.”

“Turing tests?” Dean said, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah,” Jess said, taking a sip of her coffee. “They’re tests of machine intelligence and flexibility of thought. Basically it tests to see if bots can imitate human conversation well enough to pass for human. Gen fours were the first ones to pass the Turing test, and there was so much flak in the legal world as a result.” She grimaced. “That’s why it’s mandated that every bot has to carry clear identification of its manufacture, especially smartbots.”

“The bracelets, right?” Dean said, referring to the metal command control that Cas and Ruby wore around their wrists.

Jess nodded. “Yeah. I’m sure there are other things, too, but I don’t know enough about the structure of robots to say.”

Dean glanced at Ruby, who sat in the living room. “So—theoretically speaking,” he said at last. “Smartbots are identified by their bracelets, right? But say somebody could remove them. Would the bot be able to pass for human?”

“No,” Jess said. “There’s the programming to consider. There’s the Three Laws, the personality protocols, the preference protocols, the—”

“But say you got rid of all that,” Dean said, waving a hand impatiently. “You get rid of the programming that says bots have to like or obey humans. Is it possible to just create a bot that can—you know, be human?”

Jess exhaled slowly through her nose, evidently pondering the question. Finally, she said, “You’d have to ask a professional robotic engineer about the logistics of that,” she said finally. She glanced at Dean. “But I’m guessing that at the very least, an absolutely human robot—and that’s a contradiction if I’ve ever heard one—would have to have the Three Laws disabled. And that’s very, extremely illegal.”

“How illegal?”

“Don’t tell me you’re considering it,” Jess said lightly. “I’d hate to see you in jail. Sam would cry all the time.”

Dean forced a laugh and hid his face in his coffee. “I can’t make Sammy cry,” he said. “Nah, I’m just wondering.”

“Right,” Jess said. She sighed. “I don’t like bots much myself,” she said after a moment. “I guess my experience with Phil—that was the name of my gen one—has colored everything. And Ruby doesn’t seem that fond of me either, even though she’s supposed to like whoever Sam likes.”

“Join the club,” Dean said dryly. “She hates my guts as well.”

“So obviously, the programming’s flawed,” Jess laughed. “We’ll have to report that to Cybernetics so they can fix it for their gen sixes.”

“I heard from somebody that Cybernetics is going to use gen sixes to take over the world,” Dean reported, leaning back in his chair. “They’ll be so real we won’t be able to tell them apart. They’ll infiltrate the government and the world will end. Or something.”

“I’m shivering already,” Jess said wryly.

Dean busied himself with finishing the rest of his breakfast. Jess leaned back in her chair, folding her newspaper neatly. “So,” she said after a moment. “I suppose we can officially say that we know each other, yes? Or at least that we’re civil enough to hold an actual conversation without pulling each others’ hair.”

“Cheers to us,” Dean agreed. He swallowed the last bite of bacon and pushed his chair back. “I’ll just put these in the sink.”

“Oh, don’t bother,” Jess said, shaking her head. She pointed to her own plates, which were still on the table. “Ruby will take of the dishes later. Do you want me to drive you home? Do you have work today?”

“Yeah,” Dean said as Ruby walked over from the living room, her face stormy. “But—crap, my car’s at Ellen’s Roadhouse. Do you know where it is?”

“I’ve been there, yeah.” Jess winced as Ruby stacked the plates with loud crashes, every inch of her screaming sullen defiance. “Ruby—easy on the silverware,” Jess said. “Don’t break anything.”

Ruby shot her a dark glare, and the look she gave Dean was no less welcoming. “Looking good,” he said to her, giving her a nonchalant half-wave.

“Whatever,” Ruby said as she dumped the plates into the sink and turned on the water. She turned her back onto them, effectively hiding her expression.

Jess grimaced, rubbing her forehead. “It gets worse every day,” she commented to nobody in particular. She glanced at Dean and gave a wry shrug. “I honestly don’t know what’s in her. Another reason to dislike bots, or maybe I’m just not a very technological person.”

Dean gave a small, uncomfortable half-shrug. “Yeah,” he said. “They’re weird things.”

“Anyway, you want to go?” Jess asked, opening the door. “I’ll drive you to Ellen’s.”

“Okay, thanks,” Dean said, following her out the door. Jess slammed the car door when she got in, and when Dean glanced at her face, it was decidedly stormy. Obviously, Ruby had bothered her worse than she let on. “You okay?” he said after a moment as she ran through a red light. “Because as a lawyer, you should know that that was a terrible thing you just did.”

Jess sighed, her hands tightening on the wheel. “I guess,” she said reluctantly. “I’m sorry. It’s just that Ruby tends to get on my nerves. I thought it was a malfunction at first, but, well, didn’t your friend say it wasn’t? So now I just don’t know what to do.”

Dean hesitated. It was dumb, but… “Maybe she—” he began, and stopped. “Maybe—?”

“Maybe what?”

“Maybe she’s…jealous?” Dean said, feeling heat rise up in his cheeks even as he said it. It sounded ridiculously idiotic as he said it to a fellow human. “I don’t know. It was just an idea.”

Jess threw her hands up. “Of what?” She glanced at Dean. “Of me?”

“Well, yeah,” Dean said after a moment.

“What did I ever do to her?” Jess demanded. “I would’ve been fine keeping her if she hadn’t been all pissy. From the very first day we met, she’s disliked me.”

“Okay, okay,” Dean said, holding up his hands. “You’re right, it was dumb.”

Jess snorted through her nose. It was a few minutes before she finally spoke. “It wouldn’t be stupid if she were human,” she conceded. “I mean, if Sam brought home another woman, I’d be really pissed.”

“You mean, like kitchen-knife-castrations pissed?” Dean asked, interested despite himself. “I’ve heard that that’s a popular tactic with the Thai.”

Jess’ lips quirked up in a reluctant smile. “You could say that.” She paused. “But Ruby’s not human.”

“Yeah,” Dean said. “She’s definitely not.”

“So again, we’re back to first base,” Jess said wearily, shaking her head. “What a world. Maybe we should get rid of bots altogether.”

“They do have their uses,” Dean protested.

“They seem to cause more problems than they solve,” Jess said. “I don’t think I can stand Ruby for much longer.”

“So,” Dean said, “you guys are going to sell?”

Jess nodded. “We’re certainly considering it. Sam wants to sell her as-is, but we’d get a better rate if we reset her personality.”

“You’d have to ship her back to the factory for that, wouldn’t you?”

“Cybernetics headquarters, yes. It’ll take about a week, I think, but at least we get free shipping from the contract.”

“Well, you might not have to reset Ruby—there’s this coworker of mine who might be interested.” Dean hesitated, remembering the easy camaraderie Ash had with Ruby. And also, how Ash had complained about being unable to afford a bot. “There might be a few snags, though.”

Jess shrugged. “Well, you should talk with Sam, then. I’m actually letting Sam decide on this one, considering that it’s his money.”

“So generous of you,” Dean said dryly. Jess laughed.

“Don’t worry, I haven’t henpecked Sam to death,” she said as Ellen’s Roadhouse came into view. “I like him better in one piece, anyway.” She smiled at him, her bad mood evidently gone.

“I’m glad to hear that,” Dean said solemnly. “There’s my car,” he added as they rolled up next to the Impala. “Thanks for the ride, Jess.”

“No problem,” she said, waving as he got out of the car. “I’ll see you around, then!”

Dean waved as she made a u-turn and pulled out of the lot. He headed back to the car and pulled the back door open—it was still unlocked, and the keys were lying across the backseat. “Huh,” Dean said as he picked them up. There was something to be said for Ellen’s security, obviously, since nobody had stolen his car.

He slid behind the wheel with a sigh and started the ignition. His head felt better, but he needed to take a shower before he went to work. Dean rubbed his temples, wondering how best to face Cas at home. Would Cas still want to—well, to seduce him? Or would he act like nothing happened? Or would he be all sulky that Dean had rejected his advances? Or would he—

Dean groaned and thumped his head against the steering wheel. The problem with alcohol was that once you woke up, the problem was still there. You still had to face whatever it was, especially if the problem was a nerdy bot that asked too many questions for his own good and you honestly wouldn’t mind jumping his bones, only the problem was that it all wasn’t real; any desire was manufactured by a bunch of wires and programming.

Okay. Okay. Game plan: he was going to go home and take a shower. He would work out the rest as it came along. And he would deal with Cas by—by—well, he’d figure it out when he had to. Winging it the good old fashioned human way. Yeah.

X

“Hello, Dean.”

Dean sucked in a deep breath at the sound of Cas’ voice. “Hey,” he said casually. “Sorry for bailing last night.”

“You seemed upset,” Cas said, coming into view. He was wearing that stupid pink apron again, which on him looked oddly adorable and absurd at the same time. “I didn’t mean to do that.”

“Yeah, I know,” Dean said awkwardly as he peeled off his jacket and closed the door. “It just—I just can’t do it, I guess.”

“That’s fine,” Cas said quietly, settling down into a chair. “We’ll go with whatever’s comfortable for you.

“Yeah,” Dean said. “About that.” He cleared his throat, desperately searching for another topic. He settled on: “You, uh—you ever think about going out?”

“I have been to the Roadhouse,” Cas said. “Although I didn’t get drunk, it was an interesting experience.”

“Yeah, Ellen took a shine to you,” Dean said. “But I mean besides that. I didn’t order you to stay in the house, did I? You should get out more. I mean, if you want to. You can—you know, do stuff.”

“I would enjoy experiencing more of humanity,” Castiel said slowly, looking slightly confused. “But I was under the impression that your schedule was—”

“No, I mean alone, Cas. You can get out more. You know, explore the world on your own! Hitchhike the globe!” Dean paused. “I mean, if you want.”

Cas opened his mouth to speak before closing it again, looking rather lost. “What would I do that for?” he said finally. “I am programmed to be your companion, not anyone else’s.”

Dean made a face. “The goddamned programming again.”

“Programming is what I am,” Cas said.

“You can’t break—no, I guess you can’t,” Dean said tiredly. He exhaled.

Castiel stood up. “I don’t understand you, not completely,” he said after a moment. “You seem to have expectations of me that are beyond what a robot is supposed to do.”

“Yeah,” Dean said glumly. “You could say that. So I guess you don’t have the human itch, do you? Get out more? It’d make you more cosmopolitan. I mean, you’ve probably finished my whole bookshelf by now. What do you do all day?”

“Standby,” Cas said.

Dean grimaced. “That’s…well, I guess you don’t have a concept of boring, either. I don’t know, man.”

“You’re very strange,” Castiel said. “I think you expect me to be human, but that’s not something I can achieve. My programming and the Three Laws dictate what I am.”

“Well, you ask a lot of questions. You make good conversation. Is that what bots normally do?”

“We’re meant to be companions. That generally means conversation, yes. But there would be no point in companionship if the human isn’t actually present.”

“So all this is just…wow.” Dean threw up his hands. “This is screwed.”

Castiel took a step closer. “You don’t desire physical companionship,” he said carefully. “At least, not from a bot. Am I correct?”

“Well—yeah. I guess.” Dean glanced up at Cas. “I can’t accept something that doesn’t mean anything, Cas. I’d feel like—it wouldn’t be real. I’d feel like a total scumbag. And I know that makes me weird, so sue me.”

“I’m not going to take legal action against you.”

“Well, you can’t,” Dean said, sliding onto the couch.

“True,” Cas said. “Bots are not represented in courts of law.”

Dean shook his head, giving a tired smile. “Well, the human lawyers are having a field day trying to figure all this stuff out,” he said, waving a hand. “Seeing as you guys could pass for human given the chance. Well, not you, but—” he ran his fingers through his hair. “I don’t know what I’m saying. Sorry.”

“Do you want me to be human?” Cas asked.

Dean sighed. “I—I don’t know, man,” he said. “I guess I’m not really cut out for having a servant or a sex slave or whatever it is people usually do with their bots. But then again, I seem to have this chronic inability to date anybody for longer than a couple of weeks. I’ve got my work, Sam, and that’s about it. So hell, human, bot, I guess I’m screwed both ways.”

Castiel leaned forward, and Dean twitched slightly as Cas’ hand fell on his shoulder. “I can’t be human,” Cas said at last, his voice very quiet. “That’s one order I can’t obey.”

Dean looked up as Cas’ face, inches from his. Unlike the night before, there wasn’t anything erotic or seductive about this—Cas looked solemn, even sad, his blue eyes watching Dean’s. “What if you had the Laws disabled?” Dean said after a moment. “Would you be free then?”

Castiel raised an eyebrow. “That’s punishable by ten years in prison. Not to mention a hefty fine.”

“But what if,” Dean persisted. “What if some genius erased the parts of your programming that tied you to a certain person. What if—” he hesitated. “What if someone programmed you to have the power of choice?”

Cas drew back, and he was frowning now. “This is unheard of,” he said at last. “Bots are not alive. We can’t choose, other than what the human dictates. What you’re asking for is impossible.”

“I don’t think so,” Dean said slowly, standing up. “I know this guy,” he explained to a nonplussed Castiel. “It’s…it’s kind of stupid, I guess,” he said. “And maybe impossible.”

Cas tilted his head to one side, watching Dean thoughtfully. Finally he said, “This is what you want?”

Dean paused, one hand frozen on his jacket. “Yeah,” he said finally. “I think it is.” He glanced at Cas. “I’m really not good with technology,” he said with a small, self-deprecating smile. “Can’t deal with fucking smartbots without going insane.”

“And humans?”

“Well, I handle them marginally better,” Dean said with a shrug. “It’ll do you some good to get fresh air, anyway. Come on."

X

Chapter Six

Comments

( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
starsoblivion
Aug. 13th, 2010 10:10 am (UTC)
Sorry the chapter almost killed you, but the end result was amazing.

This entire story has been utterly fantastic.

I excitedly await the conclusion.
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
Thanks, bb! <3 I'm glad to hear that the week of headdeskking over this actually produced something reasonable. :) Thanks for commenting!
(Deleted comment)
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC)
Yes, the Ash arrives! Whether or not he'll be willing to help is another thing entirely, o' course. ;D
takhallus
Aug. 13th, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
Oh God! You better have the final chapter ready to post, I can't take this any more!
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC)
I will! ...in a couple of days. ;D Sorry for the wait, mea culpa! Thanks for commenting!
kundello
Aug. 13th, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC)
I loved it but at the same time I know there's just one part left and I wish there was moooore ♥
I'm also curious about what will happen with Ruby, I hope Sam won't reset or sell her. Poor Ruby.
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC)
There probably will be more in this verse, actually, since there's so much to build on. We'll see. Thanks for commenting!
mulder200
Aug. 13th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
Man! You make me feel bad for Ruby and I hated her character. LOL!

Oh Dean! Getting drunk never solved anything. However, I do love his conversation with Jess. It was quite eye opening.

And I loved the conversation between Dean and Cas. I sense that Dean is about to do something crazy but sometimes crazy works.

I can't wait for the final chapter.
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)
I actually liked Ruby 2.0 a lot better than Ruby 1.0 (no offense to Gen!) I think her character got a bit of a reset, actually, between the two seasons. Or maybe it was just me? Thanks for commenting!
apinchofcyanide
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
I was actually reading about the Turing test last night; or rather, really early this morning. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, this chapter was brilliant, but then, they've all been brilliant. It makes me sad there's only one left, but I can't wait to see how you conclude this. ♥
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:45 am (UTC)
I've played with AIs before, especially the online sort. I think the best was this, but it's still not anything close to the real thing. No wonder no one's won the prize yet. Anyway, thanks for commenting!
dristi2u
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
interesting and also thought-provoking...

can't wait to read the last part.
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:45 am (UTC)
I'm working on the last part. :) Thanks for commenting!
juanitatequila
Aug. 13th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
Dean is just so eager to free Cas from the three laws, wonder how that's gonna turn out...lolol

Can't wait for the conclusion!! :D
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, but Dean hasn't really thought things through, has he? *ominous music plays* Life would be boring without the threat of jail hanging over one's head. :D Thanks for commenting!
phar_ahkmenrah
Aug. 13th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
UH OH!! I HOPE CASTIEL STILL CHOOSES DEAN WHEN HE GETS HIS LAWS WIPED AND GAINS FREE WILL!!!! XDDD

This is amazing, its such a clever storyline, honestly! I LOVE THIS!
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Oh yeah! Castiel could easily choose to skip away into the sunset (or not skip, maybe stalk, but you get the idea). HRRRRM. YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT IS A LOVELY IDEA. XD Thanks for commenting!
xarixian
Aug. 13th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
Eep! This is so so exciting. A little sad, but there's hope, very soon! Although I really hope they don't get caught out or anything, because that would suck. Dean and robo-Cas deserve to be happy.

Can't wait for the next chapter! So far I've had the privilidge of reading them all in quick succession (and commenting on every one, I'm sorry for filling up your inbox. It shouldn't, but that sounds vaguely like innuendo to me.

Wahey! I'm gonna fill your inbox! x
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:53 am (UTC)
Aww, bb, I love it when people spam up my box. <3<3<3

Reply to what you stated waaay earlier. I think the mentality in this verse is that robots can be programmed, and humans can not. Sure, humans have chemicals and biology, but you can't really "order" someone to like a certain thing. You can use psychology and manipulation, sure, but it's not a definite thing. Bots are considered to be glorified servants, basically. What would amount to a lobotomy in a human (resetting, wiping memory) is totally permissible in robots.

Then you get into questions like twins. Genetically identical twins are alike in every single way, yet it can be agreed that twins are separate people. Likewise with robots: you can program two robots with the exact same programming. What would the end result be, though? Theoretically, according to all the laws of robotics, they should be identical. What happens in reality, though, isn't always what you expect. That raises questions of humanity and choice that people in this verse aren't quite prepared to answer. :)

Anyway, it's fascinating. I hope to write more in this verse, anyway. Thanks for commenting!
xarixian
Aug. 14th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, good! I'm glad :D

Yeah. It's basically slavery, but in a way it's worse. They're just commoditites, and it sounds like very few people think of robots as people at all. Just Dean and the conspiracy guys, really. And if there is a design flaw, rather than accepting it and slowly society recognising robots as living, thinking beings, the company could just do a recall.

The twins thing is very interesting. I suppose experience after programming would make up part of who they are, just as it would with twins.

It's a very complex world you've created here, but you've done it magnificently (: It's really believable and I think I've been quite absorbed by it.
angel_gospel
Aug. 14th, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
Honestly, this 'verse is so amazing. I hope everything ends well. I get the feeling it might be depressing - what with Ruby about to be sold, Dean contemplating turning Cas human, and the ten years in prison that will get him. I can't wait to see how you end this, but I'm certain you'll do a great job, as you have been doing with this awesome fic. :)
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:54 am (UTC)
It could get rather bleak, couldn't it? *peers at fic* But then again, it might turn out happy! Or not. This may be an AU, but Dean IS a Winchester, after all. *snuggles icon!Adam* Poor kid. He just wanted to see his mom again. ;_; Thanks for commenting!
(Deleted comment)
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
*loves you back* :D Thanks for commenting, bb!
latvela
Aug. 14th, 2010 04:16 am (UTC)
This is amazing. Dean and Jess' conversation is very enlightening and I feelsorry for Ruby. And it seems to me that Dean isn't asking himself why he wants this so much for Cas in particular! Oh, Dean. I am loving this and I can't wait to find out what happens next, even though I'm worried for Dean. I'm already sad there's only one more chapter left.
daymarket
Aug. 14th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
There's a lot Dean hasn't worked out yet; he meant it when he said he wasn't good at sharing feelings (ewww icky!). It'll work out, though (hopefully). Thanks for commenting! :D
tasty_boots
Aug. 14th, 2010 11:20 am (UTC)
AHHHH. NEED. NEXT. CHAPTER.
daymarket
Aug. 15th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC)
Workin' out it! Here, have a cookie while you wait. :)
dimsworth
Aug. 14th, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC)
I'm off to yell at Xarixian now. She recommended this to me before it was finished! Now I'm going to be dying of curiosity until the next chapter comes out.

Excellent idea for a Supernatural AU. The characters work perfectly in this world. I'm also loving all the delicious food for thought.
daymarket
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
It took me two weeks. Whew. But finally, the next chapter's out. *hands you a cough drop* So, um, you can stop yelling now? :D Thanks for commenting!
mithrel
Aug. 15th, 2010 01:35 am (UTC)
LOL, I love Ellen when she’s lecturing people! And the herpes chick!

“Emotionally crippled, huh?” Jess said with a sympathetic smile. “Sam was like that for a while, but I had to train that out of him.” WIN!

“Don’t tell me you’re considering it,” Jess said lightly. “I’d hate to see you in jail. Sam would cry all the time.” *snrk*

“I can’t be human,” Cas said at last, his voice very quiet. “That’s one order I can’t obey.” *wibble*

At least it looks like you found a way to fix things, with Cas and Ruby both. Update soon?
daymarket
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
I haven't quite managed to fix Ruby, but I plan to tack on another story in this verse to explain her situation. :) Thanks for commenting!
(Deleted comment)
daymarket
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
Conclusion's here! It's more than just the laws, but hopefully I managed to wrap everything up. :) Thanks for commenting!
ebilchickens
Aug. 19th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
This chapter is awesome. Really like this fusion. Look forward to more.
daymarket
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:46 am (UTC)
Glad you've enjoyed it so far. :) Thanks for commenting!
sara_ines
Aug. 26th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Oh! Poor Ruby! Usually I don't like her, but, poor girl... Sam is being a ... jerk

This fic is a little sad, but I guess Ash will help you to make things be different :P
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )