Author's Note:

Pairing: Castiel/Dean Winchester

Note: The third story in the "Supernatural: Apples" series. The full list can be found on my profile.

Warnings: Alternate universe

Disclaimer: Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke and various other people/studios. I own nothing but the plot and make no money from this story.

'And Aunt Ellen married Uncle Bobby, like, years and years ago; ages, 'cause it was before I was born, so that's ancient times. Anyway, Uncle Bobby's not really my uncle, you know, but him and Dad are like best friends, like we're best friends, Cas, so that makes him my uncle, and I've always called him Uncle Bobby, so that makes his wife Aunt Ellen, right? And they have Joanna Beth, who doesn't like being called Joanna Beth, she likes being called Jo, and she's like my cousin or sister or something. Anyway, Aunt Ellen said she could make apple cookies. Apple cookies, Cas, how cool is that? And I'm gonna help, she said I could, and I'll bring a heap for you, 'cause you're awesome, and-'

Castiel didn't understand. Well, he understood Dean's rambling; Dean rambled a lot when he was really excited, and baked goods had always excited him, especially when made with Aunt Ellen. Castiel also knew that Mrs Singer was Mr Singer's second wife, and that Joanna Beth was Mrs Singer's daughter from her first marriage, because Dean had told him countless times, and so had Michael, and Lucifer, and Gabriel, and Balthazar, and Jo.

So, yes, Castiel understood all of that. What he didn't understand were apple cookies. Apple. Cookies. Who in their right mind would put apples in cookies? Cookies were warm and gooey and had chocolate chips that melted all over your tongue when you bit into them. They didn't have apples. How could you even put apples into cookies?

Castiel was worried that Dean was beginning to go a bit overboard with the "cooking apples" thing. Well, the whole "cooking fruit" thing in general had always been really weird. At least, for Castiel. Nobody else seemed to have a problem with it. Not Dean, or Dean's family, or Castiel's family, or even the Singers. Nope, it was just Castiel.

Well, Castiel had always been the weird one, everyone said so. Even Dean said so, but that was in a fun, teasing way. Not like Mitchell Landon and Bela Talbot and Meg Talbot. They said it in a mean way when they teased Castiel about his hair or his jumpers or his glasses. He needed his glasses to read. He didn't know how that made him weird or stupid.

Dean was still rambling about apple cookies, and Castiel squirmed on the couch. He didn't like baked fruit, but he still hadn't told Dean. And he just knew that Dean would come home with a whole Tupperware container full of these weird apple cookies, and Castiel would have to eat them. He could probably handle one cookie. And the rest he could feed to Sam. Sam liked fruit, even cooked. Sam was a weird five-year-old.

'Do you watch to watch Dr Sexy?' Castiel interrupted, and Dean turned to him.

'Really?' he asked, already vibrating on the couch. Technically, Dean wasn't allowed to watch the show, because it had grown-up stuff in it like sex and shootings and drug use and adults getting drunk. But Dean loved it and always watched it at Castiel's house when it was Gabriel or Balthazar minding them. He liked the cowboy boots Dr Sexy wore, and the ghost that only one surgeon could see, and the stories.

Castiel thought it was all stupid and ridiculous, but Dean liked it. And Dean always watched the animal shows that Castiel liked, so Castiel would sit through Dr Sexy for him.

And Dr Sexy was better than apple cookies.

'Yes,' Castiel finally said. 'Michael's in his office, but Gabriel just got a TV in his room, and we can watch it there. He won't mind.'

Dean jumped off the couch and grabbed Castiel's hand. Castiel threaded their fingers together as he was tugged to his feet and Dean led them through the living room and towards the stairs. 'Come on, hurry up!' Dean ordered and tugged on the shorter boy's wrist.

Castiel just smiled and hurried along.


Mrs Winchester brought Castiel a lemonade and Castiel thanked her politely. He was sitting in the Winchesters' living room waiting for Dean. He'd been at his Uncle Bobby's all day with Mr Winchester, and Castiel had spent most of his Saturday at home with Lucifer, who'd been showing him how to draw pictures of the monsters in Lucifer's mythology class textbooks.

Castiel had found it all fascinating, so he hadn't noticed the time until Gabriel came into Lucifer's bedroom to take him to the Winchesters'. Usually Castiel fidgeted and pouted all day when Dean was off doing something without him, and his brothers always teased him. Castiel didn't understand; Dean was his best friend, of course he wanted to spend all his time with the younger boy.

Sam was lying on his stomach on the carpet, drawing in a big colouring in book. Castiel watched with a faint smile as Sam carefully coloured in the tree the correct colours, his tongue between his teeth.

The distinct sound of the Impala Mr Winchester drove suddenly sounded from outside, and Sam was up in a flash and running to the front door. He bounced around shouting, 'Dean, Daddy, Dean, Daddy, Dean, Daddy!' and Castiel stood quickly to join him (in waiting, not in shouting, because shouting was rude).

Soon enough the door was opened and Mr Winchester picked Sam up and hugged him tightly, so Castiel got to have Dean first. He threw his arms around his best friend and Dean laughed, moving the container he was holding to one hand so he could squeeze Castiel back.

'Hey, Cas.'

'Hello, Dean,' Castiel replied when he let Dean go.

Dean turned to grin at Sam and Mr Winchester put the little boy on the floor.

'Dean!' Sam shouted and wrapped himself firmly around his big brother.

'Heya, Sammy,' Dean smiled fondly. He ruffled his sibling's hair and asked, 'Were you a good boy for Mom?'

'I was the bestest,' Sam told him proudly. 'And I drewed a picture for you and Dad and Mommy and Casteel too.'

Castiel smiled at the miss-pronunciation of his first name. Most of the Winchesters just called him Cas, but Sam always tried to say his full name.

'That's awesome,' Dean smiled. 'How about you go get the pictures and show Dad first, huh?'

Sam nodded and took off, racing through the house and ignoring the call of, 'No running in the house, Sam!' from Mrs Winchester. She hugged Dean before going back into the kitchen with Mr Winchester, and Dean took Castiel's hand and tugged him into the living room and onto the couch.

'Did you have fun at Mr Singer's?' Castiel asked.

'Yeah, it was awesome,' Dean beamed. 'Me and Jo and Aunt Ellen baked before Dad and Uncle Bobby let me work on Uncle Bobby's truck. I spilled oil all over my shirt, though, but Jo let me borrow one of hers.'

Castiel looked down and realised that Dean was wearing a large green and white striped shirt under his jacket, and smiled. 'It suits you,' he stated, and Dean blushed slightly as he tugged his coat off. 'What's that?' Castiel asked and nodded at the container Dean had set on the couch between them.

'They're cinnamon apple cookies,' Dean stated proudly, and Castiel eyed it warily. Oh.

Dean popped the lid off to show Castiel what was inside. They were small, round cookies; brown, with little bits of... chocolate or nuts in them, Castiel wasn't sure. They had some type of glaze and white strips over them.

Castiel tried not to wrinkle his nose as he asked, 'Are there actual apples in them?'

Dean frowned slightly. 'Um, yeah, obviously,' he pointed out, like Castiel was stupid. 'Me and Aunt Ellen and Jo cut up two apples and shredded them in a blender.'

He looked happy about that, and Castiel knew why; Dean liked destroying things, normally only so he could put them back together again.

'And there are nuts,' Dean continued, 'and cinnamon and... well, they're yummy. Me and Jo ate almost an entire tray to ourselves before Jo got sick and Uncle Bobby called us idjits.' Castiel chuckled, imagining Mr Singer doing just that. 'So try one, yeah?' Dean prompted.

He pushed the box closer to Castiel, who held back a sigh. He didn't like cooked apples, so he doubted he'd like the cookies. Still, Dean was his friend, and he'd helped bake them.

Castiel picked a cookie out of the container and took a small bite, Dean watching him carefully. The cookie crumbled in his mouth and Castiel tasted the sharp flavour of nuts, cinnamon, and apples. After a few chews he decided the cookie would be a lot better without the apples. It just tasted... odd.

'Well?' Dean asked. He'd never been very patient. 'Do you like 'em?' Dean asked.

No. No, Castiel did not like them.

'Yes, they're okay,' Castiel lied, and Castiel's favourite smile spread across Dean's face; the one where Dean showed all his teeth and his eyes crinkled up and got brighter. 'But I think we should make sure to save some for your mom and dad and Sam.'

'Yeah,' Dean nodded, 'but we can have another one each.'

Castiel resigned himself to eating two whole cookies. They got a bit better the more bites he had, but he still didn't care for them. Dean obviously loved them if the way he was cramming pieces into his mouth was anything to go by.

Castiel thought the disgusting cookies were worth eating to see Dean happy and smiling.


Author's Note: I was rather disturbed to find out that apple cookies do exist. And here I thought I was special making them up. For the record, I side with Castiel; I hate all fruits and vegetables being cooked. Apple pie, apple crumble, apple cookies, are all absolutely disgusting to me. Actually, I hate all kinds of dessert-type pie. Fruit, like apples, should be cold and crunchy. Anything else is just wrong. End of rant.