A/N: Okay so I'm super nervous about posting this. It's the first chapter, so there will be more to come! It's also the first part in a 'verse so there's that, too. Anyway, enough with my babbling and on with the show!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
You didn't know it at the time, couldn't have, but when he stumbled into your coffeeshop to get out of the rain one day, looking cold and tired and alone, you're life changed. There were only three other people in the shop when he limped up to the counter with a small, broken smile on his face and placed his order. Coffee, milk, no sugar. Normal, just like him. Blond hair and blue eyes in a kind face.
You smiled and made him his coffee, wishing him a nice day with a joke about the rain. He laughed politely and sat at one of the tables by the window and drank his coffee while watching the rain pour down.
He came in every Thursday for two months, always alone and always ordering the same thing. You learnt that his name was John, that he was an ex-Army Doctor (though he never said anything about it, you were fairly sure the 'ex' was related to his limp), and that he had horrible luck with women.
Then one day he came in, he wasn't alone, and he was smiling a real, genuine smile that you'd never seen on his face before. Though John wasn't facing his friend, it was clear that the smile was for him. The tall, striking, dark-haired man was visually the opposite of the small, average doctor. But he was grinning quietly, not the glowing smile John had but a smile nonetheless, obviously pleased with himself. John directed them both to the table near the window that he always took and went up to the counter.
"Hey, two coffees this time, please. Usual for me, cream and sugar for him," John said pleasantly.
"Coming right up," you said cheerfully, going about making the coffees while your patron waited. "Who is that you've got with you?" you asked, pouring coffee into one of the mugs and tilting your head towards the taller man.
John laughed. A real, carefree laugh. You hid a smile. "That's my flatmate, Sherlock. We're on our way to a crime scene, so we can't stay long, but I wanted to drop by quickly. Wouldn't want to worry you."
You appreciated that; if he'd missed a week, you would have absolutely worried for his well-being because of how sad he'd been. But now you wouldn't need to worry. He was so obviously happy with whatever new life he'd gotten himself. You didn't even question the 'crime scene' comment. As long as he wasn't the one creating it, then it was fine.
For the next two months things were wonderful. John would come in every Thursday, usually leaving Sherlock waiting impatiently outside, and you learnt to have their order ready in to-go cups for him.
One week, Sherlock came in with him, and as they were leaving, you hear the taller man ask, "Why Thursdays?"
John's answer was cut off when the door closed behind them.
You met Sam next. It was a nice day and he came in off the street from an old, black car. He was very tall and looked tired and scruffy, like he hadn't had much time for himself in the past few days.
"Three coffees," he asked, voice thick from lack of sleep due to jet lag if his American accent was any indication. "One mocha lattee, one black, and one with milk and sugar."
"Coming right up." And as you make them you also prepared the regular Thursday morning order for John and Sherlock, whom you knew would be coming in any minute.
You had all five ready, so you moved two (carefully marked in chalk, one with an 's' and the other with a 'c+s' ) off to the side when John walked in. "Order for Sam Winchester," you called, bringing the three coffees (each with very different markings, one with 'm l', one with a zero, and the last with a 'm+s') to the counter and signalling for John to wait a minute. But of course he didn't and instead came up to the counter behind the tall American.
"Sammy, boy!" he called cheerfully, startling the taller man.
Picking up the cardboard drink holder in one hand, he turned to John, who was grinning widely. "Fuck, John, you're worse than Cas, I swear."
John put money down on the counter and scooped up the two drinks that were waiting for him with a quick 'thanks' and a smile. "Military training, Sam. Military training."
Sam laughed as they left the shop together. You noticed that Sherlock was talking to someone in the back of the black car outside. But inside the shop, Sam was saying, "Yeah, well, Cas," and the rest of the sentence was cut off with the door swinging shut behind them. Whatever it was made John laugh as he walked up behind Sherlock and pushed him into the car, following him in. Sam got into the front passenger side and they drove off.
Everything changed after that. Instead of making two coffees every Thursday morning, you were making five. Usually, John or Sam came in to fetch them. You pieced together from bits and pieces of things they said that their companions weren't as amiable as they were. Sherlock, you were mildly familiar with; cold and distant, but not with John. However, there were also mentions of a Dean, Sam's older brother, and a Cas. You weren't quite sure who Cas was, exactly. He was a friend, obviously, but you couldn't get a grasp on whether or not he was Dean's boyfriend.
Then again, you were also unsure of the true nature of John and Sherlock's relationship, so you decided to just leave it be.
Dean and Cas' relationship was (mostly) cleared up for you one morning when both Sam and John came in to fetch the coffees.
"I just really fucking wish that they could get their act together, y'know?" Sam groaned.
John laughed. "They're just not ready yet, Sam. Dean is... well, Dean is Dean, and Cas is still dealing with personal things."
As the door closed behind them, you hoped that the two in question got their act together, because though you'd only met them briefly, you knew that they would be very happy together.
It was a Wednesday afternoon when a very cute and in love couple walked in, a man and a woman. The man was very tall and walked like an awkward teenager in the middle of their growth spurt, while the woman was of average height and unconventionally beautifully. He was acting sulky while she dragged him in, laughing.
"We could just meet them at Baker Street," he protested, but for all the act he was putting up, he wasn't trying to pull her out of the shop.
She gave him a mockingly stern look. "We agreed to surprise them here. I recorded the conversation if you'd like me to play it."
His eyes widened. "You didn't."
"You willing to bet on that, Doctor?' she asked coyly.
He opened his mouth to say something but was cut off when they reached the counter. The woman asked for the date, asking you to include the year. You find it an odd request but answer anyway.
"Shit," the woman muttered. "We missed again. Let's go." With that she shoved him out of the shop. "We'll be back tomorrow," she called over her shoulder as the door swung shut behind them.
They came back just as you were opening the shop the next morning, and they were dressed exactly the same as they had been before. But you were used to a bit of weird, running a public business, and so you let it slide.
"You're here early," you said pleasantly, unlocking the door and letting them into the shop.
The woman shrugged. "We always seem to be early to things. Or late. I'm Rose, by the way."
You introduced yourself with a smile and a handshake. "I take it you're waiting for someone."
"Yeah, wouldn't happen to know a group of strange men who comes in every Thursday?"
A grin started on your face that you just couldn't help when you told her that yes, you do know them. Fairly well, too. "They'll be in by eight. Do you want me to get you anything while you wait?"
They followed you up to the counter. "I'll have a mocha double espresso with whipped cream and he'll have -" she was cut off by the man spouting off his own order.
"A grande salted caramel macciato." He started to repeat the word 'macciato' but Rose fixed him with a look that made you laugh, and made him shut up.
"Coming right up," you said cheerfully, going about making the order. And for the next hour you chat with them idly, and they fill you in on little things about the others. How the black car is a '67 Chevy Impala and how the lot of them are police consultants, though that was something you'd already more or less figured out.
And when the others show up, they all decided to come in for once instead of just sending Sam or John. The scene that followed looked like a joyful reunion, full of laughter and hugs. You gather that the newest pair must travel a lot because they're being asked where they've been and they answer with laughter, naming famous monuments and places you've never heard of (you'll Google them later and come up with no results and be very confused, but at the moment you just feel like the world is a lot bigger than you thought it was but at the same time so much smaller if such a large group of very different people can form and meet in a little coffee shop off an alley).
You got to know them very well as time wore on, but they didn't know you at all; people talk louder over coffee. You'd always found that an amusing phenomenon, how you could get to know so many people so well without them ever even knowing your name.
You watched as they start coming in on days other than Thursday, though they all continued to show up that specific morning dutifully. Sam, Dean, and Cas tended to come in during the afternoon when things were slow and consumed copious amounts of caffeine, starting with their usual orders but usually all ending up with just black. They would sit there for hours and talk, studying papers they had spread out on the table. Sometimes they asked for pastries or you would go up to your flat, which was right above the shop, and make them a frozen pizza. You watched Dean and Cas inch closer together on their side of the table (they always sat together, opposite Sam) and you got to witness when their hands started to touch under the table when they thought no one could see.
John, Sherlock, Rose, and the man known only as the Doctor occasionally came in with them or met them in the shop those afternoons, but rarely did they come in otherwise.
Six months after John first brought Sherlock in, and two months after the newest additions to the group, they started coming in every single morning. Usually just sending John or Sam in to fetch the 'usual order'.
It was nice. There was a sense of security in the odd, ragtag bunch who were so comfortable with one another that you found reassuring. You felt very connected to them without ever having actually had a conversation with any of them. From some of the jargon tossed around, you learnt that Sam was pre-law years and years ago, practically a lifetime. You find out that Rose was significantly younger than all of them but was never treated as such. So many little details about their lives, but you still hardly knew what they did for a living or why your coffeeshop got to be graced with their infectious presence.
Come Winter time, you decided to throw a Christmas party. You chose the twentieth and spent an entire night making posters and printing them out. Admiring your handiwork, you taped them up with care on the counter and in the front window to announce the festivities. You advertised the need for a musician and the fact that you'd be handing out free samples of Christmas cookies and coffee, which you also had on sale for the entire season.
The first customer in on the morning you put the signs up is, unsurprisingly, John. He grinned at them and promised you that they'd all be there. That afternoon, when Sam, Dean, and Cas came in with arms full of books and loose papers, you learnt something new about the elder Winchester brother, though it had been something you'd already guessed from all the things you'd heard over the past eleven months.
Cas was the first to see the advertisements, and he turned to you. "You're having a Christmas party here?" he asked.
"Yup. On the twentieth. John said you'd all be here," you answered easily.
He read through the flyer as you went about preparing their coffees and the brothers set up their research table. Today they had enough papers that they needed to bring over a second table for more room. "It says here that you're looking for a musician," he said when you bring the coffees to the counter. He handed you the money before you even told him the price, as they always did, because by that point they've got it memorized just like you.
"I do, yeah. If I can't get one, everyone will be stuck listening to shitty Christmas music on the equally shitty sound system." You put the money into the register and then asked, on a whim, "Know of one?"
"Dean can sing, and play the guitar. He could do it."
You smiled. "Well, I'd really appreciate if you'd ask him for me."
Cas agreed to do so in his usual brisk manner and took the coffees to their table.
You were elated when, a few days later, Dean came up to you and offered to play during the party. You'd kind of been banking on it, after all. Then after that, you lost track of the days while making your preparations and suddenly the twentieth was upon you.
The shop was closed all day so you could set up. You invited your few real friends to help you and you all made a day of it, all working together to set up the tables with enough space for walk-around room and a small stage. Then you all made the cookies, getting as much flour on yourselves as in the batter. You finished up about an hour before the festivities were supposed to start, so you sent them off to their homes to get changed out of the dirty work clothes they'd been wearing.
You yourself changed into some simple Christmas attire, with black pants, a red shirt, and a green apron. At the last minute, you swung 'round the corner to the seasonal shop and bought a sprig of mistletoe that you hung up off to the side of the entrance.
People started arriving right away and you greeted them all with a smile. A few couples and pairs of friends got stuck under the mistletoe and exchanged chaste kisses, and in one case a very passionate one that made everyone around laugh and remember the heat of new love.
When the group you'd (secretly) been waiting on arrived, John handed you a little wrapped package that you accepted graciously.
"I didn't get you guys anything!" you exclaimed, putting the package behind the counter.
John smiled. "It's a gift for putting up with us."
You started to smile back but then you noticed that Dean and Cas were standing off from their group talking, Dean with a guitar case in his hand. Looking up, you noticed the small sprig of green you'd put up earlier, hanging above their heads. So of course you called over to them.
Looking up at you, confused, Dean asked, "Is it time for me to play already?"
"No, you idiot, you're under the mistletoe," Sam told him.
Dean's eyes trailed upwards and he noticed what he and Cas were standing under. "Oh." A pause. "Do we have to?"
Rose gave him a look. "Yes, now kiss."
He started to protest, sputtering on about something no one could quite understand, but was cut off when Cas sighed, grabbed the other mans face in his hands, and kissed him firmly on the mouth. It started out awkward and chaste, Dean surprised and Cas fairly obviously inexperienced. But then it settled into something different, something passionate.
Sam coughed awkwardly, breaking their moment. They stepped apart slowly, red rising in both of their faces as they looked anywhere but each other. "Though it's really great that you two seem to be very into that, this isn't the time or place."
"But seriously right after the party, go get a room because your sexual tension is starting to wear everyone's nerves down," Rose piped in.
Dean sputtered for a second, unable to form a coherent response. "Our what?"
Rose opened her mouth to respond but John fixed her with a look. "You two've just been on the edge of this for quite some time, and it's gotten to the point where Sam here has admitted to wanting to grab you and knock some sense into you."
"Oh, I am so not a part of this," Sam announced before turning heel and joining you behind the group. The both of you observed the ensuing argument silently. As it wore on you saw Cas's shoulders sag slightly, obviously upset by the things Dean was saying. Not to him but about them. "Ah, fuck, Dean," muttered Sam next to you. "I'm gonna have to go fix this, won't I?" It was obviously a rhetorical question, but he was looking at you so you just nodded slowly with what you hoped was an understanding smile.
He shoved himself off where he was leaning against the counter and returned to the fray. "Dean, if you don't shut up right now I can guarantee you'll regret it."
Dean shut up and looked at his brother. They seemed to have some sort of silent conversation before Dean turned his head slightly and caught sight of Cas, who was standing more or less folded in on him self, shoulders hunched and head down. He sighed, looking a bit deflated himself. "Cas, I'm sorry. I –"
"No, It's I who should be sorry," Cas interrupted. "I misinterpreted your feelings. It's my mistake. I just hope we can move past this."
Everyone was starting to move away from the pair at this point, all feeling very voyeuristic in the whole scenario. "You didn't 'misinterpret' anything. I'm just an idiot, and I'm sorry," Dean said.
Cas stood there, confused, while everyone else milled about them in a loose circle, pretending (badly) that they weren't paying attention. He started to ask something else, but Dean grabbed him and kissed him. It was clear that he was saying something against the other man's mouth, but no one could quite hear what.
Whatever it was made Cas smile and that was enough for the voyeurs, who all took that moment to disperse, sensing that they would no longer be needed.
You busied yourself handing out little snacks and coffees, making small talk and giving sideways glances to the friends who'd been their earlier to help you out. With looks and pointed nods you pointed out the Thursday Group, as they'd started to refer to them (and you'd be lying if you said you hadn't adopted that name, too). It was a pleasant party; domestic, warm, and everything you'd dreamed of when you'd opened the shop.
Ten minutes 'till Dean was supposed to play, and he and Cas were sitting in a dark corner of the party with their heads together, talking quietly, their hands carefully intertwined. It was really a very sweet scene, but the party was getting into a swing and needed something other than the shitty Christmas music that you had playing over the speaker system. Even you were ready to brain someone if you had to listen to a grainy rendition of Jingle Bell Rock one more time, and it was your CD.
"Hate to break this up, but it's time for your set," you announced, walking over to them.
They both looked up at you like they'd entirely forgotten other people even existed, which was entirely a possibility. Dean stood up, grabbed his guitar, and leaned back down to give Cas a kiss that was obviously supposed to be short and chaste. However, that wasn't quite the case as their kiss deepened to an embarrassing intensity in such a public place.
You cleared your throat awkwardly and Dean stood back up, looking slightly ruffled. Cas, at least, had the decency to look slightly awkward. From there, you practically dragged your musician out to the stage so that he didn't get deep into another liplock with his new boyfriend.
Once on stage, you introduced him and he pulled up a chair and set up the mic before doing a little bit of an introduction himself. For the next hour and a half, he played classic Christmas songs mixed with classic rock while the guests mingled. After that, he took a short break and you had to drag him away from Cas again for his second set.
People started going home before he was done the second set, telling you that they'd had a lovely time and that the musician was amazing. The praise made you feel warm and giddy.
The last to leave were the Thursday Group because they'd been waiting for Dean to pack up. You exchanged polite 'goodnight's with all of them, until Dean came up to you and grabbed you in a tight hug.
"Thank you," he whispered in your ear before releasing you. While you puzzled through that out-of-character display of affection, he walked over to Cas and took his guitar case from him while the rest of his friends just looked at you, dumbstruck. You shrugged in their general direction, showing that you had no idea what had caused that either.
A few moments later, they left, and you watched as the man known only as the Doctor and his friend rounded the corner, disappearing from sight, and the rest of them piled into the Impala.
And then they were gone.
A/N: Because I'm so nervous about this fic please leave me reviews! I'd like to know if people enjoy it. I'll continue the story whether or not you do though to be honest; I've been working on it too long to not.