"Little brother, you seriously need to stop pouting, you're bringing me down! What has it been, two weeks? Your precious little Cupid will turn up soon enough, so could you stop staring at empty space like that? It's disturbing."

Castiel turned his head from where he had been staring out the window of the small diner they were seated in to shoot his brother an impressive glare. They were sitting in the corner booth, away from the small crowd on the other side of the room, and Castiel had been picking at his salad, totally lost in thought until Gabriel had so kindly interrupted. "I'm not pouting, Gabe. I'm just thinking. Since when has he been gone this long? Usually it's not more than a few days! What if something's happened to him? What if–?"

"Cas, seriously, chill! You need to quit all this angsting, you're starting to rub off on me. He's a frigging angel, bro, he can take care of himself. And I'm pretty sure he'd be better off without you giving him a headache with all those prayers you keep throwing at him."

"What? How do you know I've been praying?" Castiel asked in surprise, sitting up straighter and giving his brother his whole attention.

"Your praying face," Gabriel said simply.

"My... What? What do you mean? I don't have a praying face!"

"Sure you do, it's like this." Gabriel pulled the corners of his mouth down in an exaggerated frown and furrowed his eyebrows so that he was the picture of a mopey toddler. "Except more dramatic," he said after replacing his expression with a self-satisfied smirk and chuckling to himself. "Seriously though, you do have a praying face. And if he hasn't answered you yet, that probably means he can't. So give him a break, he'll be here before you know it. And then I can finally go back to expertly avoiding all the sickening kissing and constant sex eyes."

That shook Castiel out of his embarrassment enough to give his brother a second glare before turning back to stare out the window. He hated to admit it, but maybe he really had been praying to Dean too much. The last thing he wanted to do was bother him. But Castiel still couldn't help but worry that something had happened to keep Dean from coming back like he always did. Not to mention he just really missed him.

Castiel quietly huffed at that thought. When had he been turned into some lovesick teenager? Of course, he already knew the answer. Ever since Dean had dramatically flown into his life, he'd been a goner. Not only was Dean the bravest and most intelligent being he had ever met, but Castiel had figured out very quickly that he was nothing like the rest of the angels. He kept up the appearance of a good little soldier when he was with other angels, but when he was with Castiel he let himself go. It made Castiel feel more important and special than he ever had before, and while he definitely could do without the extra teasing from Gabriel, he really didn't regret a thing.

The bell on top of the diner door jingled then, and though Castiel didn't turn around, he was sure he heard footsteps approaching their booth. Gabriel was too busy reading the newest edition of Busty Asian Beauties behind a newspaper to notice anything suspicious, so Castiel braced himself for a possible attack. He nearly jumped a foot in the air when someone gave him a warm hug around his shoulders from behind.

"Woah there, Cas! Calm down, it's just me," Dean said chuckling lightly as he pushed Castiel closer to the window so that he could slide into the booth next to him. Dean threw his arm around Castiel's shoulders, pulling him close, and Castiel was still busy debating whether he should kiss him or uselessly attempt to push him back out of the booth. Both options sounded equally satisfying at the moment.

"Dean, where have you been?" Castiel asked, trying as hard as be possibly could to avoid sounding like a clingy housewife.

Dean's wide grin dropped a little as he winced guiltily. "I'm really sorry, Cas. I meant to come back last week, but things in the garrison have just been crazy lately. You know, with the apocalypse being over and leadership getting switched around. It's been total chaos, and I had to help out! I'm sorry I didn't get back sooner."

Any feelings of annoyance or worry Castiel had been harboring evaporated at this, and he brought his hand up to Dean's cheek to pull him into a light, but surprisingly sweet kiss. Castiel sat back seconds later and said, "Dean, you don't have to apologize. I'm just relieved you're okay. Of course I understand that you were needed in Heaven. And, um... I'm sorry for all those prayers, I feel like a complete idiot now."

Dean's smile grew again, and he tightened his arm around Castiel's shoulders, basically hugging him with one arm now. "You definitely don't need to apologize for that, Cas. I can't even begin to tell you how boring some of the meetings and debates are up there. Your prayers got me through some pretty tough days, you know. Although the occasional cursing made it pretty hard to keep up my dead expression sometimes." Dean finished with a wink.

Castiel tried very hard not to visibly puff up at the thought of Dean breaking his angelic facade simply from hearing Castiel's prayers. He would never admit it out loud, but it made his chest swell with pride to know that he could affect Dean as much as Dean affected him.

Despite his best attempt, a grin to match Dean's still grew on Castiel's face. Dean turned towards Castiel in the booth, bringing both hands up to cup his face. Castiel turned in the booth to face him too. "I really missed you, Cas," said Dean, glancing down at Castiel's lips.

"I missed you too, Dean," Castiel replied, finally remembering that he wasn't the only one in this relationship who hated when they were separated.

If possible, the smile on Dean's face magnified, and he started to lean in for another kiss, hopefully a longer one this time.

Of course that was when Gabriel, the king of candy, jokes, and bad timing, chose to peek out from behind his newspaper and contribute to the conversation. "Not where I eat, please."

Dean looked disappointed at being thwarted at first, but the grumpy look that appeared on Castiel's face at Gabriel's interruption was more than enough to get him smiling again. Dropping his hands and moving his left arm back around Castiel's shoulders so that he could face his human's brother, Dean cheerfully replied, "Hey Gabe. How've you been?"

"Peachy as always, Dean. Now that you finally got your feathered ass back down here, I can happily return to frequenting this town's many run-down bars in order to escape the sounds of your... unmentionable activities with my little brother."

Castiel was flushing red and seemed about two seconds away from diving across the table to strangle his brother, but Dean had been expecting nothing less. "Well in that case, I'm sure you won't mind if I take Cas off your hands for a few hours?"

Snorting in dramatic disgust, Gabriel replied, "Please, be my guest."

Dean turned his teasing grin to Castiel, and before the human could offer any protest about this travel method's effect on his bowel system, Dean had touched two fingers to his forehead and whisked them away.

"About time, for crying out loud," Gabriel quietly murmured to himself as soon as they were gone. Just as he was about to open his newspaper up again, their waitress came over to check on him.

"I hope you're enjoying everything!" she said with a warm smile. "Did your friends just leave?"

Smiling in return, Gabriel closed his newspaper all the way, silently thanked Dean for occupying Cas, and turned up his flirting powers to full strength.

Oh yes, it was good to be back to normal.