Title: Pie Days

Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, just borrowing them for for a while and will return them in more or less the same condition. ;)
Warnings: AU
Characters(Pairings): Dean/Castiel, Gabriel


Mondays and Fridays are pie days for Dean Winchester. They mark the beginning and end of the work week and one always makes him want a pick-me-up and the other makes him want to celebrate. He does both with pie.

And not just any pie. When he'd moved to this city two years ago, one of the first things he'd done was find the places that sold good pie. Of all of them, the little pastry shop on North Angel Street was by far the best. Called Gabriel's Pastries, their slogan was 'A Heavenly Aroma' and Dean was inclined to agree more and more every time he went in. The fact that it was only three blocks from the auto shop he worked at just made it the perfect place to get his biweekly pie fix.

Today was Friday. Which, Dean remembered as he walked into the small pastry shop, meant apple pie was the daily special. Pausing just inside the door, he took a deep breath and sighed happily. The smell of freshly baked pie was definitely a heavenly aroma.

Expecting a welcome from the shop's owner, Gabriel, he frowned slightly when it didn't come. When he looked, there was a man he didn't recognize behind the register. Walking over, he leaned on the counter and smiled. The man blinked bright blue eyes at him, seemingly confused. Dean waited a half beat to see if the man was going to say anything, then opened his own mouth.

"You new?" he asked. The man blinked again and nodded.

"Yes. Can I help you?" he said and Dean was momentarily distracted by the gravelly voice that sent a small thrill down his spine and straight to his groin.

"Uh, yeah," he said after a too-long moment. "I'll have a double slice of the special and two scoops of vanilla ice cream."

Another blink, but this one seemed to be a bit more surprised than the others. "You…Are you Dean Winchester?"

It was Dean's turn to blink at that. "Yeah, I am. How'd you know?"

The man had the grace to look at least a little embarrassed and his blue eyes dropped to the countertop. "Gabriel told me to expect you sometime today. He is in the back fixing the secondary oven."

"Ah." Well, that answered the question as to why Gabriel hadn't been out front when he'd come in. "What happened to the oven?"

"I don't know," the man said, shrugging a little. "It made some odd noises this morning and then wouldn't turn on."

Dean nodded. "Tell Gabriel I could take a look at it for him when you're back there, would you?"

The man nodded back. "I will. You wanted a double slice of the special and two scoops of vanilla ice cream, correct?"

"Yeah."

Dean paid for his pie, then took a seat at his usual table, in the corner by the window where he could keep an eye on his beloved '67 Chevy Impala. He was the only one in the shop at the moment, but that wasn't unusual for this time of day.

He wasn't kept waiting long. Gabriel and the new employee came out a few minutes after Dean had sat down. "Hey, Winchester!" Gabriel said, grinning as he took a seat across from Dean. "How was work?"

"Hey, Gabe," Dean replied easily, taking the pie from the new guy with a smile of gratitude. "Work was fine. A bit slow, but then it always is." He forked a piece into his mouth and almost melted. Perfectly done, as always.

Gabriel sighed, a huge theatrical production. "I know what you mean." Catching sight of his employee hovering off to one side as if unsure what to do, he waved the younger man into a seat. "Winchester, this is my little brother, Castiel. He'll be working here on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Cas, this is Dean Winchester. He comes in on Mondays and Fridays."

Dean put down his fork and held out his hand. "Nice to meet you, Castiel." The young man took his hand shyly, but had a surprisingly firm grip.

"The pleasure is mine, Dean," he said and Dean had to force himself to not read any deeper into that than was necessary. And really, he'd moved here to make a fresh start, not repeat his old mistakes. So, he distracted himself with another piece of pie and couldn't help the pleased noise when he found it just as good as the first.

Gabriel grinned at him. "Like it? Cas made that."

Dean blinked and looked from his pie to the slightly embarrassed young man seated across from him. "Seriously? This is good stuff, Cas. Really good."

"Thank you," Cas said and he gave Dean a tentative half-smile that nonetheless still managed to light up his entire face. Dean momentarily forgot about the pie.

"I'll leave you kids to it, then," Gabriel said, standing and breaking Dean's focus on just how blue Cas' eyes really were. "Dean, when you're done, you can come back and take a look at the stove, if you'd like. I'd hate to have to get a new one so soon after the last."

"Uh, yeah. Sure thing, Gabe." And then Dean was alone with his pie and Cas.

He took another bite of pie.

Over the next several weeks, he struck up a friendship with the apprentice pastry chef. He learned that Castiel was just one of a large family of brothers, but he was the only one who had shared Gabriel's passion for baking. He preferred baking pies to anything else, but enjoyed all of it. He didn't like horror movies or war movies, but absolutely loved the sci-fi/fantasy and mystery genres. When he wasn't working at Gabriel's Pastries, he volunteered at the hospital and humane society. His favorite color was green and he had a long tan trench coat that he wore everywhere.

Dean in turn shared bits and pieces of his own life. He told Cas about his own brother, Sam, who was studying to become a lawyer. He told him about his ex-girlfriend, Cassie, and how they hadn't so much broke up as they had just found different interests. He shared his love of cars and automobiles in general, except for the hybrid and electric models that had been big recently. He confessed that he'd come to the city to get away from his past, but didn't elaborate.

Almost a year after they had met, Dean entered the pastry shop with the determination to finally ask Cas something he'd wondered for a while. However, when he saw the broken chairs and the register drawer spilled out across the counter, all thoughts fled. For a long moment, he was frozen, unable to comprehend what he was seeing.

Then he saw the small pool of blood on the floor by the counter and he was pulling his cell phone out as he rushed back to his car. Cas' phone rang and rang and just as Dean was about to hang up, someone answered.

"Hello?"

"Gabe?" Dean asked, briefly thrown for a loop. "Why do you—Where's Cas? Is he okay?"

"Dean? Oh, right. It's Friday. Uh, Cas is…Cas is fine. We're at the hospital. There was…"

"Yeah, I saw," Dean said tightly, maneuvering the Impala expertly through the lanes of traffic with one hand. "I'll be there in a few minutes. Think you could tell the nurse to let me through?"

"Yeah, I'll do that. See you in a few."

"Yeah." Dean hung up, then concentrated on getting the hospital as fast as possible without getting pulled over, since that would defeat the purpose.

Once there, he parked quickly and almost ran into the waiting room. Gabriel was waiting for him and he followed the pastry chef back into the bowels of the building, down one corridor after another until they came to a room.

Cas was pale under the crisp white sheets. A bandage was wrapped around his upper left arm and there were large machines around the bed that beeped the evidence of life. Dean felt a great weight vanish as he saw that Cas wasn't in any mortal danger. Relieved, he stepped up to the bed to get a better look.

He'd thought Cas was asleep, but he opened his eyes as Dean stopped at the side of the bed. He looked momentarily confused to see Dean, but then relaxed and gave Dean a small smile. "Hello, Dean."

"Hey, Cas. How you doing?"

"Better," the man replied, using the remote to raise the bed to a sitting position. "How did you know I was here?"

"Nobody's cleaned up the shop, yet," Dean said, pulling a chair up next to the bed. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Gabriel leave the room. "I called you cell and got Gabe. What happened?"

Cas sighed and closed his eyes again briefly. "A robbery. The men were armed, but I don't think they would have used their guns, except one of the men was nervous and accidentally pulled the trigger. They left and Gabriel called an ambulance and here I am."

Dean took a ragged breath, pointedly not looking to see just how close Cas had come to being dead. "Shit, Cas. Do you have any idea how—When I saw the blood, I couldn't even—And then you didn't answer and I was so—You're not allowed to do that to me ever again, you hear me?"

Smiling gently, Cas reached over with his good arm and laid his hand over Dean's where they were clasped tightly at the edge of the mattress. "I hear you, Dean."

And Dean looked up into bright blue eyes and decided that regardless of what he'd been running from in the beginning, this was most definitely not a mistake. Leaning forward, he lifted one hand and pulled Cas' head towards him.

Cas made a small surprised noise, but then responded eagerly and when Dean finally pulled back far enough to breathe, his lips were red and wet.

"I'm serious, Cas," Dean said, breath mingling with the other man's. Cas nodded minutely, knocking his forehead gently against Dean's.

"So am I, Dean."

"Good," Dean said and he pulled Cas back into another kiss.