Gabriel and Castiel are the proud owners of 'A Bit of Heaven', where Gabriel makes the coffee and Castiel is in charge of the pastries.
Tired of Castiel's obvious crush and Dean's obliviousness Sam and Gabriel decide to work together to get Cas to confront Dean about his feelings and the latter to get his head out of his ass. Things don't go as planned, though, as a developer by the name of Crowley isn't to concerned by the means of getting what he wants, and that is to open up a big mall, with the shop right in the middle of the ground he needs.
In between trying to save the shop and everything else, Sam and Gabriel realize their growing feeling for each other.
Will all end well, and at what cost?
Chapter I: Apple Custard Muffins
The smell of apple and cinnamon started to fill the small shop as Gabriel bustled about to make sure everything was ready for when the first customers came. Warmth engulfed him as he stepped into the kitchen. The smell was stronger in here and Gabriel closed his eyes momentarily, basking in the overwhelming sweetness of it. His younger cousin, Castiel, was busy making chocolate chip dough, a look of pure concentration on his face as always.
Flour stained the younger man's dark hair and forehead from where he'd run a hand through it to push it back from his eyes. "These ready to be put out?" Gabriel asked, pointing to several trays. It took a moment for Castiel to register Gabriel's presence in the kitchen and what he'd said. "Euh, yeah, you can take those."
Chuckling at his cousin Gabriel grabbed some of the trays and exited the kitchen. No matter how long they knew each other, he'd never be able to completely understand Castiel. The way his mind could centre in on baking and forget about almost anything else was only one of the many little quirks the younger man possessed.
It didn't take him long to put everything in place and when he was about done he saw that it was almost time to open up shop. He unlocked the door and turned the sign that hung from it around, displaying the word 'OPEN' in Cas' neat handwriting. Castiel was the one to always write things like the specialty board or the price tags. Gabriel's own handwriting was almost impossible to decipher, often even by himself.
The little bell above the door chimed merrily almost as soon as he had turned around and he couldn't help the small smile that tugged at his lips. He was pretty certain about who had entered the little shop. The same person to enter the shop almost every day like clockwork. Gabriel turned around and his smile widened just a tad. "Good morning Sam. The usual I suppose?"
The tall man who had just entered smiled, brown eyes warm and crinkling in the corners. "Good morning to you too, Gabriel. You know me too well." Gabriel shrugged as he turned around and made his way over towards the coffee machine. "You do order the same thing every day. 'S not that hard to remember." Sam shook his head softly, shoulder length brown hair swaying just a little. The scent of freshly ground coffee filled the air, mingling pleasantly with the apple and cinnamon.
Just about then Castiel stepped out of the kitchen, a tray of muffins held in his hands. "Hello Sam." He said, the faintest trace of a smile on his lips. "Good morning Castiel." Sam looked at the tray in his hands and took a deep breath as the delicious smell hit him. "Are those what I think they are?" Castiel nodded. "If you thought my apple custard muffins then you are indeed correct." Smiling, Sam turned towards Gabriel. "Then I'd like two of those as well."
Gabriel grabbed two from the tray and placed them inside a small paper bag as Castiel started placing the remaining ones inside the display. "I'll keep one on the side for your brother." Castiel eventually said, a now empty tray in his hands. "That's very kind of you Castiel. I'll pick it up after work." At that, Gabriel cleared his throat, drawing the man's attention to the coffee and paper bag he was holding. "Wouldn't want our favourite sasquatch to be late, now would we." He said jokingly, glancing pointedly towards the clock hanging on the far wall.
Sam's eyes widened a little at the position of the hands. "Right." He quickly dug out a ten dollar bill and grabbed his order. "Keep the change." In the blink of an eye he was outside and hurrying along the street.
Shaking his head Gabriel turned towards his cousin, a grin appearing as he noticed the love-struck expression on Castiel's face. "You're hopeless, you know that. Talk to him, ask him out on a date. Using his brother to give him treats isn't going to accomplish anything. Well, besides him ending up fat or turning into a dog or something.
Castiel's face quickly regained its default emotionless expression, the slight flush of his cheeks the only indicator of his embarrassment. He turned around pointedly and stalked towards the kitchen, grabbed the remaining trays of muffins after having removed one and placed them on the counter besides Gabriel before disappearing into the kitchen, slamming the door shut with just a little more force than necessary.
Gabriel let out a sigh and rolled his eyes. Muttering quietly to himself about oblivious younger cousins and how no one ever appreciated his advice – and it was great advice, the best there was, mind you – he placed the remaining muffins inside the display.
People started trickling in. Some just ordered drinks on the go, sometimes with a muffin or some other pasty. Others took their time and sat down at one of the small tables or on the couches that were placed inside. Gabriel bustled about, serving people, preparing orders, exchanging a few words with some of the regular customers. Every now and then, Castiel would briefly pop out his head from the kitchen and tell him another batch of pastries or a pie was done before disappearing once more.
They were a good team, Gabriel and Castiel. Gabriel liked people, liked chatting with them about small trivialities. Castiel on the other hand, not so much. He loved baking and, sure, the fact that people willingly bought what he made, made him feel all giddy inside but that didn't mean he wanted more to do with them than that. No, leave all the social stuff to Gabriel. Whenever he tried it just ends up being awkward or a total disaster.
The little shop wasn't very well know. That's what you got when you were tucked away in a small, insignificant dead-end street no one ever really used. Most people just happened to stumble upon it by accident, but almost always they would be back. That's just how good everything they offered was. A handful of their regular customers, like Sam, worked at the law firm two streets away. Most others were either locals or people that worked in the town. Every once in a blue moon a tourist would find their way inside but that was about it.
Gabriel and Castiel had bought the shop from a man by the name of Chuck Shurley. He'd owned the shop for years until his books had started gaining fame. He'd then decided to sell and concentrate on writing full-time. Gabriel had read all of the man's books, not that he'd ever admit to it. Cas just happened to have them laying around. After they bought the place Gabriel had wanted to change the name but Castiel had put his foot down. 'A Bit of Heaven', it was tacky and girly and every other possible synonym but Cas liked it, and really, who could say no to those big baby-blues in addition to a wibbly lower lip and flour covered hair pointing every which direction. And maybe, just maybe, Gabriel secretly liked it as well. He'd never admit it thought. Not in a million years. Not even if his life was on the line.
But the shop, small as it may be, was theirs. It was home, love and frustration, good days and bad, fights and comfort, all theirs, and they absolutely adored it.
The rest of the day passed by as usual. A little before six Sam re-entered the shop and sat down on one of the stools at the counter. Gabriel had just been cleaning it. The smaller man put aside the wet rag and leaned a hip against the other side of the counter. "Back already Sammy? I knew you couldn't resist my charm." Sam just rolled his eyes in amusement. He had gotten used to Gabriel's teasing and general fondness of being silly. It had taken him a while and a lot of blushing but now he was able to retort in much the same way. "Charm? You? I'm more prone to suspecting you of putting something in my coffee so I keep coming back."
Gabriel let out a chuckle. "Me? Never?" He tapped Sam on the nose real quick before straightening himself. "Anyway, what can I get you?" Sam rubbed his nose with a mock indignant look on his face. "You're a meanie, you know that." "Yeah, so what if I am, but if you're not gonna order anything I'll have to throw you out." Gabriel laughed. I was nice to fool around like this every once in a while. Whenever he tried it with Cas it just ended up a disaster. Like, seriously, how could anyone take anything that literal. Oh, it could be very entertaining to confuse Cas on purpose like that every once in a while but Gabriel preferred people with at least enough wit to provide a bit of a challenge for him. Not that anyone could ever match him, he was the king of wit.
"Oh, I'm sure you will Gabriel. After all you dislike me so very much." After this Sam looked up at the board. He didn't really feel like coffee right now, no matter how good Gabriel's was. "A big cup of caramel hot chocolate sounds nice and …" He looked at the display, not sure what kind of pastry to choose. "You know what? Surprise me."
At that Gabriel waggled his eyebrows. "Oh, I'm sure I can manage that, Sam-a-lamb." Sam just rolled his eyes again. "You're never gonna change, are you Gabriel?" Gabriel turned around to start on the hot chocolate as he cheered, "Nope.", popping the 'p'. Sam let out a small laugh as he shook his head. That's why he liked coming here so much, aside from the excellent coffee and pastries. It was a nice way to relax after a stressful day of work.
Oh, he loved his job very much, being able to help people like that was very rewarding and made Sam feel as if he actually meant something, could do something. Sure, being a lawyer could at times be very stressful and draining, and sometimes there were cases that really shook him but that's why he came here. To relax, to forget about all the troubles of the world, even if for just a short while. He was glad he'd found the place.
"Here you go." Gabriel said, placing a big, steaming mug of hot chocolate in front of Sam along with a cinnamon swirl. "Thanks." Sam gave a small smile before taking a big bite of his swirl, enjoying how the spices tickled the insides of his mouth. Castiel's cinnamon swirls were probably the spiciest ones Sam had ever eaten but they were to die for. Not everyone appreciated the strong taste but hey, their loss.
The only other customers in the shop beside Sam had been an elderly couple who'd just left. Gabriel excused himself as he grabbed his cleaning rag and a tray. He quickly cleaned up the table and brought the dishes to the kitchen to be put in the dishwasher. All the while he told Castiel they'd probably be closing up pretty soon. It was already starting to get dark outside and there were barely any people out on the streets anymore. Returning from the kitchen Gabriel grabbed a lollipop from the box he kept beneath the counter. He quickly popped it inside his mouth before jumping up on the counter and placing an arm on top of the display beside him. "You staying for a while, Sammy?" Sam rolled his eyes at the shorter man's antics before shaking his head. "I already told you to stop calling me that and no, not today. I still want to get to the store before it's completely dark. Dean once again forgot half of the stuff I asked him to bring. He can be such a child at times."
Gabriel twirled the lollipop around in his mouth, occasionally clinking the hard candy against his teeth. "Deano's still the same then, huh. In that case, I'll ask Cassie to wrap up his muffin first." Gabriel gave a suggestive wink at the last part. Sam had been suspecting that Castiel might have a bit of a crush on his brother and Gabriel had only confirmed that. Sam was pretty sure Dean was totally oblivious to the other man's affections, even despite Cas' frequent visits to the garage because there was once again something 'wrong' with his car and the pastries he always gave Sam to give to Dean.
It was kinda cute to watch but Sam was also slightly worried about when it might get through Deans' thick skull. Probably never if it was up to the older Winchester.
"CASSIE!" Gabriel suddenly roared as he saw Sam was almost finished with his hot chocolate and swirl, startling the other man. "Jesus, Gabriel. Warn a man would you." Gabriel just smiled impishly, "Nope."
"What?" Castiel said with an annoyed look on his face as he poked his head from behind the door. "Pack up Deano's treat would you, Sammy here's leaving soon." Cas gave a quick nod before pulling his head back in. As he waited for Cas Sam finished his hot chocolate. Now that there weren't any customers anymore Castiel had left the kitchen door open and they could see him running around the kitchen.
Moments later Castiel appeared again, now holding a small paper bag, top neatly folded and with a curly ribbon taped on to keep it closed. Gabriel just grinned obnoxiously as he grabbed the bag and swapped it with Sam's cup and saucer. Castiel raised an eyebrow at that before sighing and subtly rolling his eyes as he faced Sam. "Please give your brother my regards." Sam gave a nod, "I will." He then turned towards Gabriel who was still holding the bag and twirling one of the ribbon's ends around his fingers, still with that damned grin of his on his face. Sam merely extended a hand. Gabriel first looked at his hand and then his face, still twirling the ribbon, before letting out a sigh and placing the bag in Sam's hand. "Well then, guess I'll see you two tomorrow. Have a nice evening." He grabbed his shoulder bag from where it had been sitting on the ground between his feet, slung it over his shoulder and placed the muffin inside, making sure it sat on top nicely so it wouldn't get crushed. He then fished his wallet from his pocket and paid for the hot chocolate and swirl.
"Goodnight Sam." Castiel said, quickly followed by Gabriel's loud "Don't forget to bring me breakfast, or a present!" Sam just shook his head, smiling, as he gave a small wave before exiting the small shop.
The chilly November wind hit him full on and he turned up his coat collar, huddling deeper in its woollen warmth. With his hands deep in his pockets he started on his way to the store. Dean had once again 'accidentally' forgotten to buy half of the stuff Sam had asked him to, and it always were the same things; vegetables, fruit, milk, bread, stuff like that. Strange how he never seemed to forget pie, alcohol, steak or tv-dinners. Sam should have learned by now, but he still hoped that one day, Dean would behave like an actual adult, at least when concerning food.
He quickly got everything he needed and was now on his way to Dean and his apartment. It wasn't that far from the store but still enough for Sam to be glad to be home, his nose and fingers tingling with the cold.
As soon as he unlocked the door Sam could hear the sound from the tv pour over him. Rolling his eyes he placed the grocery bags on the ground, quickly followed by his shoulder bag in order to take off his coat and hang it on the rack in the hallway. As soon as Sam entered the living room he saw Dean sprawled out on the couch, beer bottle in hand. Dean raised the bottle slightly as a greeting, almost entirely too focused on the tv to notice the shopping bags in Sam's hands. He was watching that Spanish soap he loved so much, Sam didn't really see the appeal but apparently Dean did. When he finally noticed the bags he focused on his brother instead, eyebrows raised. "Why'd you go shopping? I already did that." "Yeah, and you forgot about half the things I asked you to buy." Dean gave a light shrug. "Hey, you may enjoy eating like a rabbit, doesn't mean I do too." That earned him one of Sam's infamous bitch-faces. "It's not 'eating like a rabbit', Dean. It's a healthy and varied diet." He said before disappearing in the kitchen. "Whatever you say," Dean mumbled, "Bitch." before taking a swig from his beer. "Jerk." It sounded from the kitchen. Dean smiled lightly in his beer before focusing back on the tv.
Sam had already started to put away the groceries when he remembered the muffin. He quickly retrieved the treat before stepping into the living room. "Hey Dean, Cas asked me to give you this, and he says hi as well." When he was sure Dean was looking at him Sam threw the paper bag towards him in a high arc. Dean's face lit up as he caught the bag, tearing it open with glee. "Ooh, wonder what it is this time." Sam shook his head at his brother's loud cheer as he went back to the groceries. "Apple custard muffins, Sam! Apple. Custard. Muffins." Those muffins were Dean's favourite, right after pie. "I wuv 'at guy" Dean managed to get out around a mouthful of muffin.
Gabriel stood in the middle of the shop, hands on his hips, looking over the shop to make sure he had done everything that had to be done. Pleased with himself he gave a slight nod before spinning around dramatically and walking towards the kitchen. "You almost done here, Cas?" He asked as he watched the other man put his baking supplies away. "Almost. Could you put away the dishes, the dishwasher just finished." Gabriel hummed in agreement but didn't immediately head over towards the dishwasher. He just wandered around the kitchen a bit, pulling open cupboards and drawers as if not already knowing what was in most of them.
Castiel sighed as he gave his cousin a pointed look. "Gabriel. Dishwasher. Now." He said in a manner of someone who had said the same thing thousands of times already. Oh, Gabriel knew well enough how much it annoyed Castiel to have other people wander around his kitchen, get in his way. It was exactly why he did it. "Fine, fine. I'm going already." He said, hands raised as he walked towards the other side of the kitchen to do as he was told.
The kitchen was Castiel's domain and it was one of the few places he would not stand Gabriel being, well, Gabriel. Gabriel respected that, most of the time. Every once in a while he simply couldn't resist the temptation.
Several minutes later and everything was put in place and away. Gabriel put his arm over Castiel's shoulders as they exited the kitchen and crossed the shop towards the door. Castiel let him. Once outside Gabriel removed his arm and locked the door before both of them hurried towards the door right beside the shop. Neither of them ever bothered with a coat and the evening air was really starting to get a bite to it.
The shop had two apartments above it, the one on the first floor had originally been Gabriel's and the one on the second floor Castiel's. Over time, as Gabriel just kept barging into Castiel's apartment to watch tv and leaving stuff, the two separate apartments had merged into one big one. Both their front doors were always left open, making the door that lead to the building their front door instead of their separate doors. They still had their own bedrooms and more or less bathrooms, it wasn't unusual for Gabriel to join Castiel in his when brushing his teeth or to shower there. All of their stuff was divided between both places and even the hallway. It may seem a little unusual but it worked for them
Once inside Gabriel made straight for the kitchen to grab a candy bar and shove it inside his mouth before grabbing several more. His next stop was the couch and as soon as he was seated and had dropped the candy bars in his lap he found the remote and clicked on the big flat screen tv hanging from the wall.
Reaching the top of the stairs that lead to 'Gabriel's' apartment at a more leisurely pace Cas smiled fondly as the sounds from the tv filled the place before walking over to the second flight of stairs and grabbing a book at random from one of the piles that were placed all over it. Entering the living room he sat himself down on one of the two armchairs. He quickly pulled off his shoes and tucked his legs underneath him before opening the book. He didn't really care much for the sorts of shows Gabriel liked to watch, or so he said.
The side of Gabriel's mouth quirked up just a little. Castiel may say he doesn't share Gabriel's love for idiotic reality shows or sappy soaps, but Gabriel knew that, whenever Castiel sat down to 'read' whenever he watched tv, he wouldn't turn a single page.