Castiel rested his head against the kitchen table with a long, strained sigh as the front door slammed closed. He knew Dean would be heading off to The Roadhouse to let off some steam. He wouldn’t drink, Castiel knew that as Dean had been sober for the past eighteen months and would probably sit in Ellen’s back office until she scorned at him enough to come back home. Castiel wished he’d never left. He wished they could hash things out like normal people rather than not talking to each other and just offering themselves to each other to reconnect.
Eventually, head aching from feeling so tense, Castiel got up. He rifled mechanically through the kitchen cupboards, pulling out ingredients to make something. He needed to do something with himself or he’ll drive himself crazy worrying over Dean. They may have argued but that didn’t mean Castiel stopped worrying over Dean.
He peeled apples and set them in a pan to boil with sugar and water and a cinnamon stick before sifting flour into Dean’s favourite mixing bowl with butter, salt and water. Kneading the dough was relaxing. Simple and mind numbing and he could feel the tension release as he baked. Laying the pastry into a tin, he blind baked it before adding the apples. Baking it with the lid on top for the final time, Castiel relaxed and a small smile graced his face as he could smell it permeating the air.
The timer beeped and he pulled the bubbling apple pie from the oven and set it upon the kitchen table. Returning to his seat Castiel stared at the steaming pie as it almost mocked him from where it sat. Of course, he’d made Dean’s favourite. Scowling at the innocent pie, Castiel didn’t even realise he’d dozed off, head resting on his crossed arms.
When Dean got back from The Roadhouse, he was exhausted, mentally and physically. He’d begged Ellen for a job to do but when she’d told him to sit in her office to cool off he’d ignored her. Instead, he let the college kid take a break and took over as dishwasher.
It was methodical and he was able to lose himself in the simple motions. If the kid sat on the chair in the corner was chatting to him, he wasn’t listening. He was thinking of every bad thing he’d said earlier that night and it ate at him.
A cuff around the back of his head by Ellen and a quick-footed teenager taking his place back had him heading home after several hours. It was dark and cold by then so opening the front door to the warming smell of apple pie was absolute heaven. Any normal circumstance he’d forget everything he wanted to say and dive right in except he spotted Castiel hunched over the kitchen table with the pie on a trivet in front of him. He was asleep and Dean knew that Castiel couldn’t be comfortable in his current position.
“Hey, Cas?” He said quietly, shaking his shoulders and pressing a light kiss to the top of his head. “Cas? Wake up…”
There was a grumble before Castiel sat up with a groan and was rubbing his neck. “ow…”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Dean said.
“Dean? When did you get back?” Sleep was still curling around Castiel’s voice and it made it more gravelly than usual.
“Not long ago,” Dean told him. Dean reached out his hand for Castiel’s and the other man took it quietly. “How about we go to bed, huh?”
“Yeah, oh… I… um… I made your favourite,”
“Thank you, I love you, Cas, you know that. Not just because you make the best damn pie in the universe but I really love you, okay…”
Castiel just nodded tiredly. Dean knew they needed to talk, knew that Castiel would want to talk, but neither of them were in much of a state to do so. They’d talk in the morning – and eat pie (for breakfast because that’s just the sort of thing Dean likes to do, especially when it tastes as good as Castiel’s).
time Castiel had seen Dean was midnight the day he left.
kisses in Castiel’s unlit bedroom, frenzied hands not wanting to let go.
Castiel could still feel Dean’s hands on his bare hips underneath one of Dean’s
t-shirt he’d borrowed. It no longer fit but he kept it in a drawer for safe
had been seven years. He never expected to see Dean standing in front of him
was like looking at a ghost. Dean was very much the same but different too. He
was older, of course, and had a small scruff on his face and lines across his
brow. His eyes were still a beautiful green but they looked tired. There was a
scar on his forehead that look particularly nasty.
stood several meters apart, seemingly unable to move towards each other.
Silence engulfed them.
heart was beating fast as he long to run to Dean. He’d spent the last seven
years wishing Dean would come back and now he had. It was obvious his brain was
having a hard time coping with it.
he moved towards Dean slowly. He wondered what Dean had been up to the past
seven years, if he even cared for him any longer. He’s here, so maybe. Dean had come back and he’d come back to see
Cas or perhaps he’d just come to announce he had someone else. Dean wouldn’t do that, he’s not like that.
Then, people change.
stomach ached. His gut twisted in ways he never thought possible, the
excitement he’d felt when he first saw Dean’s face now twisted into agony.
were mere inches apart, neither of them said a word but Castiel wanted to.
did you get my letter?” Castiel asked, voice barely above a whisper. He’d
slipped it into Dean backpack as he left.
nodded. “I came back. Just like you asked.”
I love you, Dean Winchester. Please come
was the bottom line of the letter, the rest of it waxing poetic about Dean and some
hand moved towards his back pocket and he pulled out the sheet of paper. Castiel
watched his hands as he unfolded the letter, delicate from the years. The
coffee mug stain was still there albeit faded. The paper was dirty, especially
at the creases and there were a few greasy thumbprints of the back.
get rid of it.” Dean’s eyes softened and suddenly, Castiel was embraced in a
warm hug. If he wasn’t so tense, he’d have melted into Dean the moment he
touched him. “I’ve been waiting to come back for a very long time.” The words
were muffled into Cas’ shoulder.
didn’t really understand what that meant. Why
hadn’t Dean contacted him?
pulled away and looked at Castiel “Dad died three years ago. Sam went to
Stanford. I had a job over in Palo Alto for a bit but Sam was doing okay on his
own, ya know – he’s got a fiancé now. I was thinking maybe I wasn’t staying
around for Sam anymore and maybe I was staying around just because I was
putting this off. Shouldn’t have though.”
sorry about your dad,” Cas replied quietly not sure how to respond to his last comment.
me too. Eighteen-wheeler hit us on the freeway.”
were in the car!?” Cas said with concern and then he remembered the scar on
I’m not convinced dad even had a chance. He was conscious when we got to the
hospital but it all went downhill from there. I woke up from surgery to Sam
telling me dad was gone.” Dean’s eyes were a little misty so Cas pulled him in
we have a lot to catch up on. Coffee?”
smiled. Castiel remembered that smile like the last time he had seen it was
yesterday. “Yeah, that’d be great.”
No sugar, no creamer, no nothing that makes it taste good?” the words rolled
off his tongue with ease and suddenly it felt as if Dean had never left. There
was still a gap in his heart but he hoped Dean would stay long enough to fill
laughed loudly. “Don’t ever change, Cas.” Dean said, grin big and eyes
crinkling in the corners.
I won’t as long as you’re with me.
Cas?” Cas turned and paused on his way to the kitchen. “I still love you, if
meant what I said in the letter, Dean. I never stopped loving you.”