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11 June 2010 @ 12:05 pm
The Baking Angel: Day Three - Coffee and Doughnuts  
Title: The Baking Angel (3/7)
Author: tiptoe39 , with art by bumblee
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing(s): Dean/Castiel, some Sam/Gabriel
Rating: PG-13
Warning: No major warnings apply
Word Count: ~ 27,000
Summary: Castiel and Gabriel have been running their bakeshop for thirty years, waiting for the Vessels to show and signal the end of the world. When the waiting ends, the two brother angels find their loyalties -- and their world -- changing. Romance, brotherly love, and a hefty dose of brown sugar.


Day Three: Coffee and Doughnuts


Dean was always happiest when he was with his baby.

Sam didn't really like to watch, but he didn't have much of a choice in the matter. It was unseasonably cold out, and this was the only place to keep warm. Still. Listening to Dean sweet-talk his true love, watching her leak all over the place as he lay underneath her-- it was kind of gross. And Dean got really into it, too. One of these days, Sam was fairly sure he was actually going to try to have sex with that car.

"There we go, baby," Dean said, patting her rump as he slid out from beneath her. "All tuned up and looking gorgeous. Isn't she fine-looking, Sammy?" He grinned and grabbed a greasy towel to wipe off his face. "She'll hum nicely from now on."

Sam was sitting across the garage with a book in his hand, pretending not to notice Dean's babble. "Hmm," he said in his best I'm not listening tone.

"Oh, don't be like that." Dean came over and peered over Sam's shoulder. The stench of perspiration and oil made Sam cough. "Whatcha readin'?"

"Nothing-- ahem-- nothing you'd like. You want to back off a bit?" Sam covered his mouth and nose with one hand.

"Sorry. Geez." Dean rolled his eyes. "Tell you what. I'm gonna go shower, then let's take her for a spin. We'll go out and get some eats."

The prospect of Dean showering was a huge relief. Sam smiled and snapped shut his book. "Where do you want to go?"

Dean muttered something inaudible.

"What was that?"

"I was thinking.. you know, we could head back to the Angel." Dean reddened.

"What, again? That's the third time this week, dude."

"I know, but..." Dean threw his hands in the air, all empty bravado and embarrassment.

"Dean." Sam suppressed a snicker. "You're crushing on him, aren't you? That guy Castiel."

"What? No. Jesus, I don't even like guys."

"But you like him."

"Shut up, Sam."

Sam sighed. "Look, you know we have to leave in a few days, right? We're going to be gone. We might not be back for weeks. Months, even."

"I know that!" Dean said, frustrated, running a greasy hand through his hair. "It's just... I like it there. I like the food, I like the atmosphere... and yeah, I like the people." He stomped away a few feet. "It just makes me feel good to be there."

Sam put a hand on Dean's shoulder, grease notwithstanding, tugging him in to talk to him face-to-face. "I'm just saying," he said. "I've never seen you act like this."

"Act like what?" Dean was still defensive.

"Like I acted when I met Jess," Sam said. "Like... like you're falling in love."

"Falling in what?" Dean sniffed. "Pfft. Like hell."

"You can't afford to, Dean."

"You think I don't know that?" Dean shoved him away, not quite hard enough to start a fight but enough that Sam looked down at his own chest in disbelief. "Jesus, Sammy. Who do you think pulled you out of college and into this line of work? I know the life we lead."

"You never had it," Sam said quietly. "You've never been in love, Dean. I'm kind of worried that one of these days you're going to fall so hard for someone you're going to lose all those street smarts and just be totally vulnerable."

"Stop psychoanalyzing me. Jesus!" He kicked over the garbage can near the door. The lid rolled a few feet, a coin on edge, then came down with a series of dramatic clatters. Dean waited for it to die down, then kicked it again, soundly. "Look, you want to go out or not? Because I'm going in the shower, then I'm going out to eat. You can come or you can stay."

Sam raised his hands, one open, one closed around his book. "Whatever you want," he said, keeping his face carefully neutral. But big worried eyes followed Dean as he turned and walked stiffly through the door.



Outside the garage, slender white hands trembled in the cold.

"It's them. No wonder." A sigh sent a puff of breath into the air. "I suppose I should talk to Castiel. He's always been reasonable enough to listen."



Gabriel was minding the store when Dean and Sam walked in. He gave a halfhearted wave to the two of them -- understandable considering a woman roughly the size and shape of an 18-wheeler was giving him what-for about the price of his scones. But still, he had the grin plastered on and was doing his best to remain his sunny, if somewhat snarky, self.

They waited in line and when the woman was finished with her truckload of complaints, Gabriel set eyes on the two of them like they were the sunshine at the end of a storm. "It's been crazy," he said. "How are you guys?"

"We're holding up. One of those days, huh?"

"If it wasn't, it'd be one of the other kind," Gabriel said, cheerfully. "It's the way the cookie crumbles."

"Hah!" Dean burst out. "Cookie crumbles... see, and you're in a bakery... never mind," he added hastily when Gabriel and Sam both fixed exasperated eyes on him.

"Right." Sam's eyes, bright and keen, surveyed the place. "Say, where's Cas? Don't usually see one of you without the other. "

"Castiel is.. well, he's working on something," Gabriel said. "He's set up camp in the back. It's, uh..." He eyed Sam apologetically. "It's kinda for him," he muttered, shrugging a shoulder in Dean's direction.

Sam's grin widened. "That's all right, then. I guess I'll just have to eat your doughnut for you, Dean."

"What?" Dean fixed him with the kind of look that a child gives when he realizes his favorite teddy bear is going to be taken away. Sam found this hysterical. Dean grumbled and walked around to the back of the counter.

"In there, baby Winchester," Gabriel said, grinning at him. Between his and Sam's obvious amusement, Dean had the creeps. He pulled his jacket tighter around his body, as though he were stepping into an icebox instead of a kitchen, and headed through the open doorway.

He'd never been inside a bakery's kitchen before, and he'd barely ever been in any other kind of kitchen, either. Life on the road was about ramen noodles and convenience-store microwaves. The day Dean actually cooked a meal would be the day hell froze over and pigs flew like bullets across the sky. And now here he was, and he was downright intrigued.

Castiel was standing at the far table, frowning critically at a cluster of tools and utensils and a monstrous lump of dough next to a big silver bowl. Dean approached. "Cas," he said by way of greeting, not sure what kind of a greeting was expected of him either. Was this some sort of a demonstration, or did Cas just want to talk to him in private, or what? He was at a loss.

A second later, Cas' eyes lifted to meet him, and Dean was set completely at ease.

"I thought you might like to help me. Since you seemed so interested in how I made croissants the other day. Are you interested in baking?" His enthusiasm didn't come through in his voice, but it was there in his eyes, as intense as anything. Castiel was relishing the prospect of having Dean in the kitchen with him. That sort of unguarded excitement set Dean off. It didn't make sense that anyone should feel that way about him. Especially where domestic tasks were concerned.

He looked around. "Gee, man, I don't know. I think I might burn things. Or freeze them. Whatever it'll be, it'll be wrong." He chuckled halfheartedly.  Castiel's face fell, and Dean hurried to correct himself. "I mean, if you want me to try, sure. But I don't know what'll happen to your..." He inhaled, then took another deep breath, gauging the scent. "Dude. What are you making?"

"Doughnuts," Castiel said simply.

Dean's eyes widened. "Doughnuts? Seriously?"

A bit of amusement twitched in Castiel's upper lip. "Yes."

Well, why didn't you say so?" Dean rolled up his sleeves. "Let's get to work!"



The silver bowl turned out to be full of oil, and Dean wrinkled his nose when he realized that's what went into making each doughnut. But they did have to fry, and his baby didn't work without a lot of grease either. So he hurried up and got used to the idea. "Must be hard to keep your hands clean," he commented.

"If my hands are clean, I'm not doing my job properly," Castiel replied. As though to prove his point, he dug flour-covered hands into the pile of dough and pulled out a heavy chunk.

"You sound like a mechanic." Dean crossed to the sink and washed his hands. He knew to do that much. "What should I do?"

"Dip your hands in flour, and take about a fist-sized chunk of dough. Is that what you are? A mechanic?"

"Yeah." It was a well-practiced lie. "You know the Singer lot up on the hill? That's our pal Bobby. We're staying with him awhile, doing work there. Then we're heading back out of town." He mimicked Castiel's movements, rolling out the dough with his palms and then looping it into a thick circle.

Castiel pulled a frying pan from a hook on the wall and carefully ladled oil into it. "I wouldn't think you'd be on the road a lot, as a mechanic."

"Kidding me? That's the only place to be. That's where the cars are." He followed Castiel to the stovetop, looking at everything as he went. "Hey, how funny it is that the oven says fireproof on the side? Why would you make an oven fireproof?" 

"In case the kitchen catches fire."

"Yeah, but you don't think that's funny? The oven? Come on, man." Dean was apparently batting zero with the humor today.

"Sorry. I have to concentrate," Castiel said, his eyes narrowed to slits as he carefully set the pan onto the stove and turned on the burner. Before long the oil was popping in the pan in great bursts. "Watch your eyes," he warned. "I can't imagine living on the road. I've been here so long, I feel like if I ever had to leave, it'd be like tearing my heart out."

"Yeah." Dean watched him drop the doughnuts into the frying oil. He was starting to feel that way too, about this place. If only there were a Baking Angel in every town they visited, with a Castiel standing there at the counter with a patient, serious face and sharp eyes.  Then every place would feel like home. Then, perhaps, he wouldn't still be holding onto this weird unshakable dream of a place that could be more permanent, more his, than a car and a motel room. Being at Bobby's intensified that feeling. But it wasn't in the cards. He wasn't cut out for it.

"You look sad."

"Do I?" Dean straightened up. "Just thinking." He grabbed another hunk of dough and began kneading it, almost viciously. "You and your brother versus me and mine. Sort of the same, aren't we? You're the serious one, like Sam, and I'm the one who can't take anything seriously."

"You've pegged Gabriel," Castiel said. "But I think you're more serious than you like to admit."

"Depends on what I'm being serious about." Dean shot him a grin.

The doughnuts were practically hopping in the pan now, and Castiel fished them out one by one with a quick spatula and pair of tongs, laying them on a rack to cool. "And what are you serious about?" he asked.

Dean came to the stove to watch him work. His fingers fluttered against the counter, flirting with the idea of touching Castiel. "Doughnuts," he murmured. "I'm deadly serious about doughnuts."

Castiel looked up at him. "So am I," he said. There was a light in his eyes.

Dumbstruck, Dean just stared at him. They were ridiculously close. He could see Castiel's gaze drop momentarily. Could see his lip tremble. The urge came then, sudden and so strong it nearly knocked Dean from his feet. He could lean in, right now. He could kiss him. He wanted to kiss him.

Sam hadn't been so far off the mark this morning, after all. This wasn't a mancrush. This was a just plain crush.

Well, he thought dumbly. Who knew. You live long enough, you experience new things.

And then he remembered why he was still living, and his heart tightened, and he turned away.

"Dean?"

A hand on his shoulder. Oh, God, was he going to get all junior-high every time Castiel touched him? Because that was going to get hard to handle.

"I'm sorry," he said, allowing himself to turn back to face him. "Our dad died a couple months back, and I--"

"Oh." Castiel's face was white. "I didn't know, I'm sorry."

"Don't be. It's cool." It wasn't cool, it was far from cool, and Dean was the one who had to be sorry. But Cas didn't need to know that. He forced a tight-lipped smile.

Cas hung back and looked at him for a minute. Finally he turned back to the drying rack. "Do you want to taste one?" he said. "They should be cool enough now."

"You got coffee?"

"Hm?"

"Can't have doughnuts without coffee, man. Hang on, I'll be right back." Dean turned tail and headed back to the front of the shop. By the time he got back with two cups of coffee, he'd have his shit together again. Castiel, coffee, and doughnuts were too good of a combination to spoil with any of the rampant crap running through his life. He just had to clear his head.

But once he was through the doorway, Dean skidded to a quick halt. Sam was sitting at a table, his face the color of a ripe strawberry. He was glugging down water as fast as he could and staring daggers at Gabriel, who was in the corner, laughing so hard the sound had stopped coming out and he was breathless, his mouth plastered into a huge grin, shoulders shaking and tears streaming from his eyes.

"What the hell happened here?" Dean said, coming to Sam's side.

"He told me..." Sam coughed hard. His eyes were watering, too, for a different reason. "He said it was mocha powder. For the coffee--"

In the corner, Gabriel let out a giddy, breathless wheeze.

Dean stared at him. "What the--" He picked up the open canister sitting near Sam's coffee cup, sniffed it, and promptly sneezed. "Dude." He couldn't help a snicker. "This is black pepper."

"Now I know that," Sam said, wiping his eyes.

"Aw, man." Dean burst into a loud laugh. "You should see your face, Sammy!"

"You're both six," Sam said, as disdainfully as he could, and burst into another series of coughs. Dean caught Gabriel's eye and gave him a thumbs up. Gabriel nodded appreciatively.

This was the sort of thing they should be doing, Dean thought as he went to pour two pepper-free cups of coffee. Playing stupid jokes on each other, screwing around at coffee shops, stopping to enjoy their lives instead of constantly putting them in danger. This was normal. Why in the hell did they have to be what they were?

Because of what Dad had said, he reminded himself. Because of Sam. Because of something following them that they couldn't explain or define. They just had to keep moving. It's what hunters did.

To Day Four...
 
 
 
Laurenjabber_moose on June 12th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
Just KISS alreadyyyy.

Gabriel pranking Sam = Win
Tiptoe39: gabriel - that was all metiptoe39 on June 12th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
One more chapter~~~!!

Yes, I totally had to have Gabe prank the shit out of Sam. So they can be all Grgrgrgr at each other. SO adorable.
mancrave: Nikemancrave on February 3rd, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
ahaha Dean's relationship with that car is equal parts hot and disturbing, or is that just me?

the little comparisons between bakers and mechanics, realising they have similar outlooks and passions, just directed at different things. can I just reach into your imagination and smush them together?

loving the light-hearted cover they're all trying to maintain, lets see how long that'll last...
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 3rd, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
do you know how many people write the Impala turning human and sexing up Dean? XDDDDDDD

So glad you liked it! I do kind of adore drawing comparisons like this!

And all i can say is, the plot will thicken...