"Sam, where the hell are we going?" Dean looked around warily as he asked, squinting down the alley they passed like he was expecting Sam to be leading him to his doom.
Like Sam hadn't already done that, in one way or another, a thousand times over.
Sam shrugged, trying to shake off the depressing thought, and shoved his hands deeper into his pockets as he drudged up something like a grin for his brother. "We're almost there, keep your shirt on."
"But, seriously Sam, we gotta get a move on tracking Roman. And helping Cas. And figuring out what to do about Bobby. And –"
Sam stopped at his destination, then waited patiently for Dean to realize he was no longer trailing along beside him. When Dean did, he skidded to a halt, looking back at Sam and blinking suspiciously at him. Then his gaze trailed up to the little brick building beside him.
Granny Watson's Homemade Pies, the cheerful sign over the door announced.
Dean stared at the sign for a long minute, then stared at Sam for an even longer minute. Back up to the sign, then back to Sam. Dean's befuddlement was – and Sam would have to tell him this someday, when he was well out of range of his brother's boots – pretty adorable.
"What is this?" Dean asked.
Sam raised an eyebrow. "It's pie, Dean."
Dean scowled at him, even as he took a couple hesitant steps closer to Sam and the front door. "No shit, Sherlock. I meant, why are we here? Is it haunted? Cursed? Is Granny Watson a monster that eats people? Because otherwise I don't –"
Sam rolled his eyes, reaching out and gently steering Dean inside the warm, cozy little bakery. "It's just pie, Dean. Nothing supernatural about it. Promise."
The fact that Dean actually looked a little freaked out made Sam sort of want to cry. Instead, he pasted on a grin and led Dean all the way up to the counter and the perky brunette standing behind it. "Hi there!" he said. "Any chance we can get two slices of whatever you'd recommend most, please?"
Dean started, looking like he wanted to say something, but quieting with a grimace when Sam pinched his side.
Seeing the exchange, the girl giggled. "Coming right up," she said, winking at Sam. She dug out a couple of plates and heaped them each with a giant slice of something that was oozing a warm, golden-brown filling.
Apple. Dean's favorite. Sam's grin widened, became a tiny bit more real, even before she topped them both off with a liberal helping of whipped cream.
"We're about closing up," the girl said as she rang him out. "But if y'all don't mind me cleanin' up around you, you can have a seat at the table in the corner." She smiled again, and Sam couldn't help feeling lightened by it, and her kindness. How often did they get such simple happiness in their day-to-day interactions anymore?
Dean was still quiet when Sam pulled him over to the table and set his steaming dessert down in front of him, and even then, all he seemed able to do was stare down at it in dazed bemusement.
"Dean?" Sam prodded him with his plastic fork. "You waiting for an engraved invite, there?"
"It's…pie," Dean said.
Sam softened at how small his brother's voice had gotten. "Yeah," he said. "It is."
"I don't even…I mean, damn, when was the last time we just…"
"I couldn't remember either." Sam couldn't remember a lot of things anymore from when their lives had been easier. Everything had been life or death and the end of the world for so long that he couldn't remember the last time he or Dean had been able to find joy in something as simple as a stupid slice of pie.
But Dean was smiling now, slowly, his eyes glittering as he finally picked up his fork and looked up at Sam and nodded the thanks he'd never say out loud, and that smile was all Sam needed to finally be able to find one of his own.
And for just a little while, the rest of the world went away, and Dean and Sam ate their pie in peace.