It all started with pie - something Dean considered nothing short of absolute cruelty. To have such a mess associated with crusty, crumbly goodness...well, it was a damn travesty.
"We'll start you off on apple," Dean said, his voice edged with the no-nonsense tone he only adopted when discussing really important matters. Like food.
"Apple?" Cas repeated, the question mark almost buried in the gravel of his voice. It was something that constantly amused Dean. The angel had a tone that suited uncertainty like a fish suited flight - no matter the subject, to see him faced with it was nothing short of hilarious.
Dean nodded, grinning. "It's a classic - you'll love it."
Castiel blinked at him from across the table and Dean was struck once more with how far from normal the circumstances were. For so long it had been Sam sitting across from him. Sam complaining about his taste in music. Sam snoring too loudly in the car seat beside him. Where Cas now regarded him with an expression of stoic seriousness Dean was far more used to well-worn exasperation at his various antics.
For all his laughter and surprised relief of the past day, Dean knew he hadn't found peace with the separation. He'd eat a bullet before telling the old bastard of course, but Bobby had been right about one thing: family wasn't supposed to be easy. That he and Sam had taken 'not easy' to all new heights of abuse didn't seem to matter. Dean couldn't deny a part of him just felt plain wrong in the absence of his little brother. That hanging with Cas had proven all too enjoyable didn't really factor into the equation.
"What can I get y'all?" said a voice, pulling Dean out of his inner musings and into a reality that had just gotten a whole lot more interesting, at least to one part of his anatomy.
"Well hi," he said, drawing the smirk like a gun from it's holster. It was an automatic action - one borne more of repetition than any real concrete interest but Dean enjoyed the game none the less. The back and forth flirting as he ordered was familiar and steady - two things his life very much wasn’t of late. By the time the waitress left Dean was feeling much more grounded, at least until he turned his grin to his table partner and experienced a slight twinge of disappointment to find no exasperated eye-roll to greet him. He'd never realised how much of the fun to be found in flirting was in annoying his brother with it.
Across from him Cas's head fell into it's customary tilt-and-frown and Dean looked down, ignoring the implied question.
"You are not happy," Castiel said lowly and Dean was all too aware of the missing question mark. Forcing a scoff he looked up at the angel.
"End of the world remember?" he said blithely. Cas's head started it's decent once more and Dean sighed. "I'm fine okay. Just a little tired after all the angel-trapping."
Castiel didn't accept the excuse, Dean could tell, but the angel dropped the subject anyway. Dean was pleasantly surprised - it was probably the most human thing Cas had achieved the whole day. Next to telling Raphael he was his little bitch of course. Dean smiled at the recollection but was kept from bringing it up as their table was suddenly host to a very large, very enthusiastic man dressed in chef pants and a well stained white shirt.
"You boys ordered the apple pies yes?" he said, eyes shining down at them with a happiness that Dean couldn't help but feel didn't belong to someone in the hospitality industry.
"Yeah we did," Dean said, leaning away from the man despite himself. There was something eerie about happy people.
"So sorry!" the man exclaimed. "We're all out of apple, how do you feel about blueberry?"
Dean turned to Cas to find the angel frowning out the window. Not that he had expected an opinion from him anyway but really?
"Yeah, blueberry's fine," Dean supplied and proceeded to jump a mile when the cook slapped him heartily on the back.
“Excellent!” the man exclaimed, like Dean had just aced a test or something. “I’ll have them brought out pronto!”
The pie that was brought out ten minutes later was the best Dean had ever tasted. In retrospect, he really should have known.
It started off slow at first. A rain of pebbles before the proverbial rock slide.
His radio jammed on one station, leaving Dean listening to MTV's gay and lesbian artist countdown. His hotel room pornovision account mis-labeled its library, leaving him highly traumatised when he realised the girl was never going to enter stage left. And flamboyant homosexuals seemed to be taking over the world. They were everywhere and everywhere they were checking him out.
Now Dean had never had an issue with the dude on dude side of life. To his mind, as long as the concept stayed far away from him, to each his - or y’know her - own. But after the third pinch on the ass even he had to admit things were getting a bit much. The fact that anytime they were together, Cas seemed to be getting the same attention just made the situation all the more surreal.
Then Zachariah sent him into the future.
If being faced with his own dark and broken future self and Castiel, the hippy womaniser weren’t strange enough, then Dean had gone and witnessed something he very desperately wished he hadn't.
Dean was headed for Future Cas’s cabin. It was the night before the hunt to end all hunts and the camp practically reeked of tension. His future self had laid out a rough plan of action before the group not an hour ago and had since disappeared. Dean found he was almost relieved. Narcissism aside, Future Dean was friggin’ depressing. If Dean was completely honest with himself, to see the sort of man he had a chance of becoming was more than a little upsetting. And well… To see the sort of man Cas had a chance of becoming was just…wrong.
But, Dean needed answers and since his evil twin had made himself scarce he was stuck with the angel.
Dean sighed as he climbed the steps to the cabin. Stupid future him. Stupid future in general actually. Pausing at the doorway Dean found himself at a loss for a moment at the lack of door to knock on. Then he heard the voice.
"I know what you're doing," Cas said from within the cabin, the voice unmistakable with its familiar serious gruffness - some things apparently didn’t change. Shifting subtly Dean peered in through the beaded curtain, catching sight of a figure hunched over the kitchen bench. It was surreal recognising himself from the back. Future Dean was silent in the face of Castiel's calm tone but Dean didn't miss the tightening of his grip on the bench-top.
"And I know why you're doing it," Cas continued, the voice drifting from the other side of the bench - somewhere Dean couldn't quite see from his vantage point. Dean watched as his future self seemed to sag a bit at the statement.
"They'll follow you," Future him said, his voice level even as his hands gripped the bench top hard enough to leave marks.
"They will," Cas agreed and Dean found himself frowning in confusion. What the hell... And then Castiel rounded the bench and Dean felt a slight hitch in his mental gear change as he took in the angel's appearance. His very shirtless appearance.
It was something Dean’d never thought much on he supposed. Cas and clothes. For the longest time Dean had only ever been able to picture the angel in his customary trench-coated, holy tax-accountant getup. The introduction to hippy, hemp-wearing Castiel of the future had been shock enough but now to have bare skin in front of him...
Dean frowned, tracking the angel's movements despite himself as Cas approached his future self. Future Dean for his part had yet to look up from the bench.
"It's okay," Cas said softly and Dean watched as the words seemed to hit his future self like a sack of bricks to the shoulders. "I'll...see you on the other side."
A pit opened in Dean's stomach at those words and he would have shouldered his way into the scene demanding answers right then but for one thing; one small thing that had him freezing in his tracks. Cas moved closer to his future self, one hand coming up to trail a path up Future Dean’s spine to his neck. The gesture was easy, intimate and enough to have Dean doing a double take to make sure he wasn’t goddamn hallucinating because this... This was not... Just not. Dean watched mutely as Future Dean sucked in a breath, going rigid beneath the touch before the guy let out a small, broken sound.
"I can't..." he said, so softly Dean almost didn't catch it.
Cas' hand moved up, tangling in Future Dean's hair. "I know," Cas replied and Dean had only a moment to bask in the confusion and horror of the situation before Cas pulled, tugging his future incarnation into a kiss that was as real as it should have been goddamn impossible. Dean Winchester did NOT make out with dudes for fuck’s sake. The moment stretched into an eternity, dragging Dean's nerves through razor-wire after it.
Then, thank fuck, future Dean lashed out, violently shoving Castiel away from him into the wall. Dean could have cheered - the world made sense again! Of course then Future Dean ruined it all by following Cas's momentum, bailing him up against the wall and…mother of fuck, dragging his teeth down the angel's neck.
The noise Castiel made at the action should have been illegal.
What. The. Hell.
Dean tried and failed to look away as future him abandoned Castiel's neck to capture the angel's lips again, a keening moan vibrating low in the other Dean’s throat as Castiel's hand disappeared somewhere between them. There was a rustle of clothing - and Jesus, but Dean didn’t think he’d ever be able to hear a zipper opening again without being traumatised - before future him bit out a gasp and a muttered swear word as Castiel obviously hit the mark. Then Future Dean’s hands dropped to Cas’s hips and Dean almost choked at the path they took, sliding down over Castiel’s chest with a familiarity that was even more goddamn upsetting than everything else. Because it was suddenly very, very obvious that this wasn’t the first time this had happened.
It was a train wreck. Dean couldn't pry his eyes away, even as future him yanked the belt right out of Cas' pants and broke the kiss to...oh god no...slide to his knees. Dean felt his stomach drop. Fuck but it was bad enough he was making out with a guy - even worse that that guy was Cas of all people - but there was no way - absolutely NO WAY he could ever...ever...
"Oh fuck..." Castiel moaned and Dean felt his eyes dragged up away from his future self and the thing couldn’t happen. The picture that he encountered was surreal to say the least.
If Cas shirtless was enough to shock him, it was nothing to the sight of Cas in the throes of a very real, very powerful sexual high. The angel was completely undone. Face flushed and hair haphazard, Dean watched as Cas arched against the wall, his bare chest heaving and catching with each new sensation. And fuck it if his future self didn't seem half goddamn talented. With all the insanities, blasphemies and swearing going on in his head Dean was a little terrifyingly amused to note a hint of pride had worked its way through the crowd. And then Cas did something that made Dean's head clear with a terrifying jolt.
It was the voice that did it. No one who heard a voice that was that completely debauched could help being affected by it. It didn't matter that Dean was straighter than a wooden plank. It didn't matter that the events unfolding before him only served to shock and horrify him. It only mattered that he was watching someone get royally and pleasurably turned inside out. Cas's voice went straight south.
Dean was running from the cabin not seconds later, a slight hobble to his step.