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11 June 2010 @ 12:06 pm
The Baking Angel: Day Two - Muffins  
Title: The Baking Angel (2/7)
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 Two: Muffins

They returned the next morning, looking for coffee and sustenance. Gabriel watched, dismayed, as Castiel slipped an extra into the bag he handed Dean -- a tiny, perfect mini-scone sprinkled with soft specks of crystal sugar. Castiel caught Gabriel looking and frowned at him. Gabriel pretended to look elsewhere and eavesdropped just as hard as he possibly could.

"So, Castiel, huh?" Dean was saying. "Weird name."

"I was born on a Thursday," Castiel said, as if that explained everything.  He turned and gave a look to Gabriel that said, you don't fool me a bit.

Gabriel scoffed. Eavesdropping was boring him already, anyway. He turned his attention to Sam, who was lingering by the side shelf, where soft loaves of fresh bread were stacked in pyramids of golden bricks.

"You know, I didn't actually expect to see you boys again," Gabriel said offhandedly.

"Disappointed?" Sam's smile was sardonic and a little bit biting. Gabriel felt like he'd been nipped at by a tiger cub.

He shrugged. "Your dad never came two days in a row. He blew in once a month, kept the two of you from climbing the walls, ordered a ton of food and then disappeared again." He peered past Sam toward the window. "Say, isn't that his car? I remember that thing." He whistled appreciatively. "Like something out of a TV show, that car."

Sam's eyes flickered toward the car, then back toward Gabriel. Something dark flashed in them between long-lashed blinks. "We'll be around for about a week," he said. "Then we'll be taking off again."

"That will be a shame." Gabriel didn't really think so. But he knew what you were supposed to say in polite company. Then again, why bother being polite? He was already starting to resent these two just for existing. He shouldn't be playing nice-nice with them.

Except... except... look how happy Castiel was. Damn it. Gabriel was so weak for little-brother smiles. They were so few and far between.

"No, see, so the thing is," Dean was saying, draped over the counter and nibbling on his mini-scone, "you shouldn't call this place the Baking Angel."

Castiel was patiently ignoring the essence-of-smirk that Gabriel was radiating at him like a wave of heat. "We shouldn't?"

"You should," Dean said, licking his fingers, "just call it Heaven."

Castiel's smile spread wide. "I'm glad you enjoy it here."

The expression had a peculiar effect on Dean. He drew up to his full height, pounded a little on his chest, and turned a weird shade of magenta. "Um. Yes. Well. Good food, you know."

Gabriel snickered. Castiel shot him a dirty look and turned back to Dean, his eyes full of light. "We try," he said quietly.

"Something about this place," Dean went on, his voice taking on the dreamy, rambling quality of a man who'd forgotten himself. "Makes me think everything's OK again, you know? None of that crap going on out there is real. What's in here is real. Just a pair of brothers and a bakery."

"That's exactly why I like it, too." Castiel was gazing at Dean's hand. He sounded just as dreamy.

Rolling his eyes and snorting, Gabriel hollered across the counter. "Castiel! Your muffins!"

"Oh!" Castiel bolted upright and hurried back to the kitchen. In his absence, Dean sniffed the air, which had grown fragrant with the scents of cinnamon and nutmeg. "I like it here," he informed Sam blithely, and settled down on the countertop again to watch through the doorway as Castiel retrieved a batch of golden-topped muffins from the oven.

"It is a nice place," Sam commented.

"If you say so," Gabriel muttered. He sat down behind the counter and hid his head in a red binder full of financial forms he'd never made an effort to understand.

Sam laughed, a high, curious sound that irritated Gabriel even further. "Yesterday you were so enthusiastic," he said. "Why the turnaround?"

Shiiit. He'd nailed Gabriel to the wall on that one. "Enh," was the reply. Gabriel crossed his fingers and hoped Sam would just drop the subject.

No dice. "Seriously." The damn brat was grinning at him. Gabriel eyed him from over the top of the binder, increasingly wanting to pelt him with a ball of dough. "Is there something wrong? Because, no offense, you kind of look like it's the end of the world."

"It is," Gabriel snapped, "or it will be. Soon enough." He stood and slapped down the binder with a harrumph, stomping into the next room.

Dean thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

Seriously. There was no one, no one in the world, who appreciated good food the way he did. Sam could save his garbage about being polite and not leaving crumbs everywhere. Good food was meant to be devoured, to be wrapped up in lips and tongue and chewed and gnawed and swallowed until you were fat and full and happy and satisfied. If it weren't for their job, Dean thought he'd very likely be one of those three-hundred-pound tubs of lard that they did reality shows about. And he had a suspicion he might be very, very happy in that lifestyle.

Unfortunately, he and Sam very often didn't have time to eat. Or sleep, or take care of themselves in any other way. Too much running, too much fighting, too many secret things that the rest of the world lived in blissful ignorance of. But this place, this Baking Angel, was enough to make him want to believe in God. It wasn't just the food, though, nor the intensely perfect way the sun shone in the windows in the morning to make everything seem a little more hopeful. Nor was it even the pastry itself, nor the warm bitter rush of coffee down his throat. It was the calm, insightful eyes that stared at him from behind the counter, the soothing rumble of the words as Castiel explained to him how he baked his creations. Dean thought that maybe he had a little bit of a mancrush. And he couldn't bring himself to really care or know better.

How long had it been since he felt this close and immediate a connection to another person? Since Dad died he'd lived in a haze of anger. All the business attending it -- the secrets and the lies and the deals with demons -- had kept him cooped up in a cage, climbing the walls he'd built himself, unable to see past the pain that clouded his eyes every day.

And then he'd entered this shop, and locked eyes with Castiel, and the clouds had parted and he'd seen a rainbow.

Too much of a gay metaphor, he thought to himself as he watched Castiel carefully remove plump muffins from a tray. But he was thinking less pride-parade and more Biblical-promise. Castiel's face said to him that things were going to get better, and Dean believed it.

"So what are those?" he hollered through the open doorway.

Castiel looked up, startled, and then smiled and cupped one confection in his hand. He came back through the doorway. "Apple muffins. Here, have one."

His fingers brushed Dean's as he handed over the muffin. Dean eyed it lustfully and sniffed at the soft scent wafting up through the air. "Dude. You're going to make me fat and lazy."

Castiel's smile was infectious. "Fat, maybe. I don't think I could make you lazy if I tried."

Dean looked at that smile and abruptly thought of one circumstance in which Castiel could make him very lazy indeed. Oh, God, he totally had a mancrush. But there was something about the way Castiel's neck stretched eagerly, his eyes devouring Dean's movements, that made Dean want to reach out and skim his fingers along the line of his collarbone. Something about the almost inhuman pink of his lips that made Dean want to taste them.

He took a bite of the muffin instead. The crumb top shattered around his mouth, and the soft flesh of the muffin gave easily, melting sugar and apple onto his tongue. He moaned. It tasted like a kiss.

Dishes piled up quickly in The Baking Angel. So every night, after they closed up shop, Gabriel washed and Castiel dried. Castiel liked the texture of the towel, the feelings of hard metal and stubbly cloth between his fingers. Gabriel liked quirky things like soap bubbles and splashing water in Castiel's face. It was a compatible arrangement. Every night for the past thirty years, they'd fallen into their places, washing and drying and chatting.

Tonight Gabriel started in with the splashing and the teasing even earlier than usual. "You've got a soft spot for him," he said.

Castiel studiously ignored him.

"Come on, admit it. You're soft on the guy. Don't make me splash you, Castiel. You don't like being wet."

"I'm not a cat," Castiel snapped back. But his eyes softened under Gabriel's good-natured, teasing gaze. "You mean Dean, don't you?"

"No, I mean the Queen of Sheba, of course I mean Dean!" Gabriel did splash him then, or tried, but Castiel saw it coming a mile away and dodged easily.

"You were the one who liked the Queen of Sheba."

Gabriel cackled. "You have a long memory. She was... adventurous."

A smile flickered across Castiel's face. "But you're right. I do like him."

"Hmm." Gabriel smiled sunnily. "Somehow I thought it'd be tougher to get that out of you."


"Never mind."

For a while there was no sound in the room but the clinking of glassware and the sloshing of dishwater.

"So I suppose we should tell them," Castiel said


Castiel slung the towel over his shoulder. "We should tell our superiors. That we've found the Vessels."

Gabriel's mouth dropped open. "No. Why would you want to do a thing like that?"

Dark, curious eyes lifted in surprise. "It's our job."

"But... but you just met them. And you like him."

"How is that relevant?"

"Trust me." Gabriel turned off the faucet, came over and clapped a cold, wet, soapy hand on Castiel's back. Castiel shivered. "I've been dicking around on this plane a lot longer than you, Cassie. When you meet someone you like, you should get to know them. Take them out. Have coffee and doughnuts. Hold hands in the movie theater. But turning them over to your angelic overlords so they can start the end of the world? Not generally the best course of action."

Castiel stepped quickly out of Gabriel's grasp. Something was sending cold shudders through him, and it wasn't just the soak of Gabriel's handprint on the back of his shirt. "We were put down here to find the Vessels," he said sharply. "Now that we've found them, we should finish the job. Unless you're trying to avoid going home..."

For a moment, Gabriel's gaze flickered elsewhere, and his lip curled. But then he made a face. "Oh, please," he said. "Here's all I'm saying to you. We've been waiting thirty years for these jokers to show, right? What's another couple of days going to hurt? Just... enjoy yourself for a while. Do some smooching."

"Some what?" Castiel turned away quickly. His face was feeling uncommonly hot.

"Right. Whatever. Just give it a few days," Gabriel said. His tone was a little bit soft. "I think you'll be glad you did."

To Day Three...
cris: lilyalexwolfchan on June 12th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
Your descriptions of baking process, and how you describe the way the food taste put a huge smile on my face. Just lovely imagery. Dean’s man crush makes me go aw. :D
Tiptoe39: dean winkstiptoe39 on June 12th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
Oh yay. I had fun with the baking stuff. I'm glad it comes across. And yeah, happy!Dean is so frickin adorable :D
Laurenjabber_moose on June 12th, 2010 04:42 am (UTC)
Apart from the fact that i'm really, really hungry...this is SUCH a feel good fic
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on June 12th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
Hee. Grab a muffin and enjoy the rest <3
Captain Nommers of the Tastypants Brigade: castiel - contemplative and scruffysecondplatypus on July 11th, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)
I started reading this when I hadn't eaten all day, and it made me so hungry I had to go make myself a waffle and a pair of s'mores. :)

Your descriptions are so sensuous and just downright perfect.
Seriously. There was no one, no one in the world, who appreciated good food the way he did. Sam could save his garbage about being polite and not leaving crumbs everywhere. Good food was meant to be devoured, to be wrapped up in lips and tongue and chewed and gnawed and swallowed until you were fat and full and happy and satisfied. If it weren't for their job, Dean thought he'd very likely be one of those three-hundred-pound tubs of lard that they did reality shows about. And he had a suspicion he might be very, very happy in that lifestyle.

I come from a long line of Italian eaters; somehow, most of us have managed to avoid being overweight, but none of us think losing the 15 pounds standing between us and being skinny is worth giving up the pasta and bread and other foods we adore. You captured that love of food and love of life so beautifully in that little paragraph.

The interactions between Dean and Castiel are making me all melty. I can't wait to see where this goes.
Tiptoe39: food - wakkotiptoe39 on July 12th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
As someone who comes from a long line of Jewish eaters, none of whom have managed to avoid being overweight at least for some point in our lives, I totally hear you. :))))) So glad to make you hungry. :D
Captain Nommers of the Tastypants Brigadesecondplatypus on July 13th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
I love our cultures - my family's motto is "mangia, mangia, you're too skinny!"
and now I've started thinking about your fic, and I'm hungry all over again. Not that I'm complaining. :D
i dream of colors that have never been seenetoile444 on July 31st, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
omg! you made muffins so sensual! Dean and Cas up ina tree...sorry, lost myself! Love it!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on July 31st, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Hee hee, I know right? They're blushing fools those two <3333
Kateslayerkate on December 10th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
I love that you had Gabriel calling Castiel "Cassie," because I feel that names are significant and it would maybe even help Dean heal a little more from the way Cassie treated him if he ended up with Castiel.
shadows_cat on March 20th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
The noise I made when Gabriel called Castiel "Cassie" was inhuman. TOO. CUTE.
Tiptoe39: caketiptoe39 on March 20th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
Hi!! *squeaks* So glad you are enjoying this! :)
mancrave: Nikemancrave on February 3rd, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
I am now fully awake and functional, unlike last night, so hopefully I'll be a bit more coherent today!

I am in love with this story. All the baking is making me want to do the same and I've decided the next thing I try will be making my own croissants. And yes, I just looked up how to do it. It is so on.

But back to the story. I love this Cas, what with him being so devout and serious and obedient right now. I'm really looking forward to seeing if and how that'll change the more time he spends with Dean. And speaking of change, I love Gabriel and his influence on his brother will be interesting to see as well I'm sure.

And yeah, the more I read, the more I like Gabriel in general. Honestly, at this point in the show, I like him plenty but I haven't really given him much thought. Oh how quickly I can be convinced to do otherwise!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 3rd, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Gabriel is an awesome character who didn't get nearly enough props or screentime. But maybe I am biased on account of I got to sing to Richard Speight Jr. and it's hard to get over an experience like that :DDDDDD

No, it's because he's actually awesome. Yes.

Yay am glad you are enjoying!