Based loosely off of Brian Greene's article about science.
Castiel Novak is your normal, every day professor, with a PhD from Oxford, about nine revolutionary science books under his belt and an Albert Einstein World Award for Science to boot. Nothing special, at least in his eyes. His days consist of working at an Ivy League college for a bunch of spoiled children, dealing with his older brother Gabriel, and going home to write his books. Of course there are the times he gets to escape to his studies but those trips take place during his time off and it’s just the start of the year. So the sky is closed off to him now and he’s miserable, just the same thing day in and day out… Until he gets a package.
He actually has to go to the post office to pick it up and when he does he notices two things right off the bat: 1) It’s been shipped from overseas. 2) It’s from someone he’s never heard of before. Castiel drives home with the package sitting like a bomb in the passenger seat until he’s safely home. Rushing in he quickly puts the tea kettle on and opens the package, allowing a large volume of handwritten letters to fall out, along with a small collection of objects. The objects is what he looks at first, admires the small vials of sand that are marked ‘Afghanistan’, ‘Pakistan’, and ‘Iraq’ in scratchy and weathered handwriting before picking up a destroyed dog tag with a bullet hole towards the edge, effectively erasing the religion but not the name.
"Winchester, Dean M."
And just like that, Castiel’s heart softens. Placing the objects down gently he fetches his tea and comes back, ready to read. Dean Winchester, as it turns out, is a Marine, he signed up the moment his brother needed the money for college and has been in the system ever since. Apparently he loves it, he and his unit are close but that’s not why he wrote this to Castiel, no he wrote this novel just to Castiel for a totally different reason.
um I’m - you don’t know me my name is Dean Winchester, I’m a Marine for the United States. I’ve been over seas since the War on Terror started and I just wanted to tell you I’d like you to know that your books have gotten me through a shit ton a lot of hard times. I first found your work through my little brother, Sam, who accidentally sent one of your books over when I asked him to send me my collection of Vonnegut. I won’t lie, at first it was boring. I didn’t read it until I ran out of stuff I actually enjoyed. But as I read on, I couldn’t help but be amazed. Your passion in your work astounds me, it shows me there is a purpose for me being over here. It gives me a purpose in general and for that I thank you.
The letter went on to say how he asked his brother to send him all of the works Castiel had done, how his brother got worried he was becoming some kind of ‘science freak’ (to which Castiel smiled at) and how the books brought peace to him. Dean, as it turns out, isn’t a religious man and the solidarity of the facts that Castiel presents ground him like a rock and show him a larger picture to the world.