Disclaimer: I own nothing, unfortunately - it's my curse...I only get to borrow the boys unfortunately.
Chapter One: All you need is... Chocolate Pie?
It had been eight months since Gabriel's death at the hands of his brother.
Seven months since Sam had jumped into Hell, taking Michael and Lucifer with him.
Six months since Castiel had pulled Sam back out, picked up an ecstatic Dean who was only too happy to leave the monotony of white picket fences behind, and left the reorganisation of Heaven to Rafael, who it turned out had never been very fond of Michael's plan, but had been too scared not to follow his big brother.
It had been four months since Castiel had discovered Gabriel's own personalised Casa Erotica DVD in the glove compartment of the Impala, glowing with traces of the Archangel's Grace, and three and a half months since Castiel had finally figured out what Gabriel had done, and managed to release him from his 'lifeboat'.
After a two-week enforced vacation in Hawaii – "Skimpy outfits, sweet drinks, sun and sand - what's not too love?" – courtesy of Gabriel, they had spent the last three months driving across the country, hunting things and just generally enjoying the lack of any impending-end-of-the-world situations. Gabriel would occasionally bitch about travelling the slow way, and Dean would bitch back that going anywhere via Angel Express was not his idea of fun, and how dare he even think of suggesting that Dean abandon his baby anyway? Sam and Castiel would exchange grins and leave their brothers to it.
All in all, they were relaxed, happy and just generally enjoying life again.
And then Gabriel got bored.
"Sammy! Just who I wanted to see! I need your help."
Sam looked up, saw Gabriel's Trickster grin, and groaned internally. This was not going to be good. Last time Gabriel had worn that particular grin, Dean had woken up the next morning with pink hair. Pink!
"I don't know what you did, but if Dean wants to kill you for it, I am not getting in the way."
Sam bit back a grin at the indignant look that appeared on Gabriel's face.
"I didn't do anything!"
"Yet..." Gabriel acceded, grin reappearing. "Trust me, you'll want to help with this – it's really good!"
"Somehow, coming from you, that doesn't fill me with confidence Gabe." Gabriel hated the shortened form of his name, and as soon as Sam had discovered this he'd taken to using it whenever the former Trickster called him Sammy.
"Okay, but if our brothers try to kill me because you don't help me come up with less – extreme – methods, I'll tell them you knew what I was planning and didn't warn them..." Gabriel threatened.
"What do you want to do to Cas and Dean, and give me one good reason – one that's not a threat to blame me – why I should help you?"
"I'm tired of their constant eye-fucking, but I'm pretty sure locking them in a cupboard until they get a clue won't work, so I was hoping between us we could come up with something a little more subtle. And you should help me because even if you hadn't noticed it before – in which case, are you blind? – now that I've mentioned it you're bound to, and it'll drive you nuts as well sooner or later!"
Sam gaped at Gabriel, not quite believing what he'd just heard. Despite the Archangel's ridiculously large grin and mischievous eyes, Sam got the impression that he was completely serious. He really thought that Dean and Cas...
"You want to set up our brothers. With each other. And this is supposed to be a sane idea that you honestly believe I'll go along with."
"Oh come on Sammy, you really haven't noticed the way they look at each other?"
Sam really hadn't.
"Watch them when they get back. I'll hold off on my plan until tomorrow, and by then I guarantee you'll agree to help me."
Gabriel disappeared, leaving Sam staring at empty space. He resolved to watch Dean and Cas, but only to prove Gabriel wrong. Dean was the ultimate ladies man after all, flirting with anything pretty in a skirt.
There was no way he had a thing for the dark haired, blue-eyed Angel who'd saved him and his baby brother from Hell and given up Heaven twice for him.
Suddenly Sam wasn't so sure.
It turned out that Gabriel was right, and Sam was never going to hear the end of it.
How he'd missed it before he had no idea, but it was painfully obvious now. It was clear in the way they stood (a lot closer than necessary, constantly in each other's space), in the way they talked (soft expressions, small smiles, lots of clapping on the back and ruffling of hair from Dean), and in the way they watched each other when the other wasn't looking (the eye-fucking that was apparently driving Gabriel nuts).
The funny thing was, if they ever wised up, and Dean could get over the whole 'but dude, he's a guy!' thing (Sam didn't think Cas would have a problem with that, since weren't Angels technically genderless?), they would probably make each other genuinely happy.
And Sam wanted that for Dean. He deserved a chance at real happiness after all the shit life had thrown at him.
When Gabriel popped back in that same evening, Sam decided to waste no time. Grabbing the Archangel by the shoulder he manoeuvred him out through the motel room door.
"Okay," he said, once they were safely out of earshot, "I'm in. But if I hear a single I told you so, you'll regret it."
"And we're doing this my way. No resorting to locked closets."
"That's why I asked for your input Sammy!"
Sam decided that subtle and slow was their best bet.
Where he came up with 'The Pie Plan' he had no idea. Convincing Gabriel not to add certain potent aphrodisiacs to the pie was not easy, but Sam had always done well with impossible challenges.
The first opportunity to implement the plan came with the very next hunt.
Dean stormed into the motel room, face like thunder. He went straight to the bathroom and slammed the door shut, leaving a trail of dirty wet footprints behind.
Sam came in a few moments later looking only a little less 'creature from the black lagoon'-esque. He looked at the two angelic beings sat at the table playing poker, then at the closed bathroom door, and figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
"Don't suppose either of you could help me out a bit?"
Gabriel waved almost dismissively, and suddenly Sam didn't look or smell like he'd spent the afternoon chasing monsters through sewer tunnels.
"What's with Grumpy McGrumperson?" he asked, throwing another piece of candy into the pot to meet Castiel's bet.
"Other than the forced swamp-thing impression you mean? He lost his favourite knife when we killed the thing – you couldn't have mentioned the acidic blood earlier?"
"Acidic blood? Ah, must've been a female then. Might want to go back and check there're no eggs..."
Sam glared at Gabriel, who sighed unenthusiastically.
"Fine, fine, I'll help. But you're coming with me. Our bros can keep each other company," Castiel did not look impressed at the thought of dealing with the elder Winchester's mood alone, "while we go egg hunting."
"Don't worry about Dean, Cas – I know just what'll cheer him up."
When Dean emerged from the bathroom, feeling much fresher but no more cheery – he'd liked that knife damnit! – Sam and Gabriel were nowhere in sight, and Castiel was sat quietly at the table. The playing cards had been moved to one side, and now there was a large apple pie and a can of squirty cream.
"I'm sorry your knife was destroyed – we were unaware that the creature was female. Sam and Gabriel are making sure there are no eggs waiting to hatch as we speak. Would you like some pie?" Castiel pushed the plate towards the side of the table the other chair faced, and looked enquiringly at Dean, his head cocked slightly to the side.
Dean sat down, picking up the can of cream and adding a generous helping to the pie. He grabbed the fork, and took a sizable bite.
"Mmmm! I love apple pie!" As he went to take another bite Dean noticed that Castiel was just sat there, watching him eat. "Don't you want some dude? It's awesome!"
"No thank you, I do not require food, as you are aware."
"Dude, it's not about 'requiring' – it's about enjoying!" Dean wished Cas would just once have a little fun, live a little. Poor guy was too controlled all the time.
"I would not wish to limit your enjoyment by leaving you with less to consume."
"Suit yourself – so, care to explain how you missed the fact that the thing had freaking acid for blood?"
Castiel explained what Gabriel had told Sam earlier, and then lapsed into silence, content to simply watch the hunter enjoying his pie.
Two weeks later the brothers walked out of the motel room to find the Impala covered in broken eggs.
Sam had to hold back a grin at Dean's furious expression. It looked like their second opportunity had arrived.
After two hours the eggs were long gone, but Dean's foul mood remained. Sam and Gabriel dragged Castiel to one side while Dean was washing up and handed him a cherry pie and a can of squirty cream.
"We're going out for a bit, enjoy!" Gabriel stated, grabbing Sam's arm and snapping his fingers.
Castiel set the pie down on the table, the cream next to it. Sam and Gabriel seemed to believe that pie would once again fix Dean's foul mood, and who was he to argue?
Castiel was beginning to notice a pattern. Something would happen, and Dean would get angry over it. Sam or Gabriel would then hand Castiel a pie and both of them would make themselves scarce for a few hours, leaving him to calm Dean's temper.
Dean's favourite t-shirt being shredded had necessitated lemon meringue pie.
The long scratch across the hood of the Impala had required blueberry.
Being dragged through the sewers – twice – had been fixed with a hearty helping of pecan pie.
Every time Dean would offer Castiel a piece, and every time Castiel would very politely refuse. Dean seemed to get so much enjoyment out of it that Castiel did not think it fair to take any of it away. Besides, he was perfectly happy watching Dean enjoy the pie.
He didn't understand why his brother would smirk whenever one of them handed him the pies, nor why he and Sam found it necessary to leave them alone – Dean's temper was not that bad, and he always calmed down pretty quickly once presented with pie. He considered asking Gabriel what he was planning, but surely if it were anything to worry about Sam would not be helping him?
He shook his head to clear it – another human habit he seemed to have picked up – and accepted the banana cream pie Sam was holding out to him.
For the last three months, Castiel had been plying Dean with pies of varying flavours.
This was not a bad thing. Dean liked pie.
Castiel didn't like pie. Had, in fact, never even tried pie – this was positively criminal in Dean's opinion. He would sit and watch as Dean ate the pie, sometimes they would talk, sometimes not. But always, Dean would end up in a much better mood, which he assumed was the whole point.
Nine offerings of pie later and Dean was on a mission. He was determined to get Cas to try a piece of the next pie he brought.
Dean's favourite shotgun had been crushed by the angry spirit they'd dealt with just a few hours ago, and Dean had been stomping around like a bear with a sore head since, having figured out that the pies tended to appear whenever he was in a bad mood.
As expected, within ten minutes of them returning to the motel, Gabriel was giving Sam a lift to go visit Bobby, and Castiel was sat at the table, waiting for Dean with a large chocolate cream pie.
Dean walked over to the table and sat down, flashing Cas a small smile. He squirted a very generous helping of cream out, picked up the fork, and held it out to Castiel who looked at him in confusion, head tilted slightly to the side.
"You first, Cas."
"I do not understand Dean, do you not like chocolate pie?"
"I love chocolate pie Cas, chocolate pie is awesome! I'm just not eating any until you at least try it." It suddenly occurred to Dean that they only had one fork, that they would have to share, but he shrugged the thought off. It was Cas, after all, not some random guy off the street. What was he worried about, Angel-cooties? The thought made him grin. "Come on Cas, try it – I swear you'll like it!"
Dean watched as Castiel hesitated, then reached out and took the pro-offered fork. He carefully cut off a piece, complete with a large helping of cream, and raised it to his mouth. His eyes fluttered closed as he pulled the fork from between closed lips, a low moan issuing from his throat. Dean's breath caught, and he shifted slightly in his seat.
Cas was making sex noises over pie.
Dean was totally going back to Hell for the thoughts currently running through his mind, and he didn't care, because Cas was making freaking sex noises over chocolate pie!
"I think I understand your fascination with this food, it is most pleasant," Castiel stated calmly, holding the fork out to Dean.
He took it, and cut himself a piece. Before eating it he had an idea.
"Dude, can't you zap up another fork for yourself or something? Taking turns is gonna get old real fast."
"You do not mind sharing the pie?"
"If I did I wouldn't've forced you to have some – dig in!" Dean grinned as Cas was suddenly holding a second fork, and ate his bite of pie as the Angel cut a second piece. He wondered briefly if there would be more sex noises, and had to shift in his seat again as his question was answered.
They quickly finished the pie, Dean trying valiantly to hide his reaction to Castiel's unconscious groans of pleasure. Once the pie was gone, Dean grinned over at Cas, about to ask which movie he fancied watching this time, when he noticed that the Angel had managed to get whipped cream just above his upper lip and hadn't seemed to notice.
Without conscious thought Dean leaned over, licking off the cream. He then pressed his lips softly against Castiel's, causing the Angel to stiffen in surprise. At that Dean's brain suddenly caught up with what was happening and he pulled back, panic written across his face. He held his breath as he waited for Cas to, quite rightly, rip him a new one.
He watched as Castiel's face showed first shock, then confusion, finally settling on an almost thoughtful expression.
Then Dean got the surprise of his life, as Cas leaned over and pressed his lips lightly against Dean's.
After a moment's disbelief, Dean relaxed into the kiss, bringing one hand up to grasp the back of Castiel's neck as the other reached around the Angel's back, tugging him forwards as Dean surged up out of the chair. Their bodies met as Dean licked across Castiel's lips, begging entrance to deepen the kiss. Dean felt Castiel's arms wrap tightly around his back, drawing him even closer as his lips parted.
They made their way slowly over to the bed, and Dean's last coherent thought before he became lost in Castiel's kisses was to hope he didn't screw this up, because he couldn't bear to lose what had become the most important friendship of his life.
Later, as Dean lay curled up next to Cas, watching the Angel trace random symbols lightly across his chest - *Wonder if he's writing anything in particular?* - a stray thought had a low chuckle rumbling up from his chest.
Castiel looked up at him, head tilted slightly in question.
"I was just thinking – and if you tell anyone I said this, there will be consequences...we're talking no sex for a month if Sammy or Gabe hear about it! – but, well, it's funny really. You saved me from Hell, and now, it's like you've given me a small slice of Heaven too."
Dean looked down, embarrassed at the admission. He didn't do chick moments, after all. He felt Cas shift beside him, and then suddenly he was being kissed again, hard.
When Castiel finally pulled away, Dean had to practically gasp for breath.
"I have spent my whole life in Heaven Dean, and I have never once felt as good as you make me feel."
With that he leaned back in, Dean grinning widely as he leaned up to meet him.
Outside the motel room Gabriel paused, hand on Sam's arm to stop him reaching for the door handle.
"You might want to think about getting a second room Sammy," he said with a grin.
"Yup! Our clueless brothers finally got with the program – that just proves it, you know!"
"Pie might help things along, but it's really chocolate that fixes everything!"