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coffee break

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Sam isn’t sure when this new barista with the flamboyant personality first started working at the coffee shop he regulars. Was this man always working here? Did he stick mostly to the back of the kitchen? Sam is mind boggled and has so many questions that he’ll likely keep to himself.


He’s been going to this establishment for quite some time now to sit in the corner of the shop, laptop on table, coffee cup close by, either doing research for his lawyer job, catching up on his other work assignments, or spending his lunch hour here in peace. He hasn’t gotten much unwinding time while being here now that someone has caught his eye. 


The way the man carries himself has Sam feeling incredibly intrigued - confident, but calm. He has a bronze glow to his skin and seems to always have a tied off headband keeping his hair pushed back and out of his face. Something tells Sam that he must be a free spirited man that enjoys catching the farmers markets early in the morning over the weekend to get all of his organic fruits and vegetables, and very much cares about the planet and believes global warming is real. 


This coffee shop has a vibe that Sam is sure his brother Dean would describe as “hipster” and it’s not like he’s a hipster himself, but it has such a good atmosphere and Sam can relax, do his work, or let his mind wonder. He’s not someone who thinks about other people’s opinions in the first place, though this is such a care-free, non-judgemental environment that he feels good. 


Notably, there’s jazz music that plays softly in the background that makes Sam feel like he’s at a poetry reading. Not that he’s into poetry. He can still visualize the scene. 


It gets to the point where he starts attending the coffee shop on days he doesn’t work. He finds every reason why he shouldn’t go; he needs to clean his apartment, maintain his money by not spending it on overpriced coffee, take his car to get maintenance done… 


The coffee shop announces a new item on their menu and Sam thinks that’s a good enough reason to go. He learns from the man’s name badge, written in chalk, that his name is Castiel. It’s a suiting name for such a unique person, Sam thinks. They talk briefly over the register and Castiel compliments Sam on his arms and he has to tell him he has absolutely no gym routine, which gets a laugh out of the employee. He might be one step closer to sliding his phone number over the counter, but instead, Sam heads to the back of the shop as usual, taking his window seat. He doesn’t have his laptop with him today, leaving him to drink this too-sweet iced coffee while being in deep contemplation with himself. 


So he drops it. The following week passes and Sam spends it taking a break from his new current obsession to focus on work, and it doesn’t go as well as he thought, as he’s still thinking about the cute guy from the coffee shop. Today after work, he makes a stop to grab some caffeine and hopefully get work done on his computer. Sam sees it as a perfect balance as he can work and see Castiel at the same time. Except he doesn’t see Castiel and it disappoints him. Ordering his coffee, he wants to ask the lady at the register where his favorite person is, though he doesn’t want to sound off-putting.


Instead, he takes his normal seat and pulls his laptop out. He gets through the cup of coffee within a half an hour and still no sign of Castiel. It makes Sam feel desperate and weak. Thirty minutes and all he managed to do was respond to emails.


Packing up, he cleans up the table and heads out. He collides into the shoulder of another person as he turns the corner and he has to sputter out an apology. “I’m sorry, are you okay?” 


He wants to melt into a puddle at his feet looking at the man in front of him. “You’re fine, accidents happen.” 


Castiel looks as bright and cheery as ever and it takes Sam a moment to realize he’s been standing there staring at the other man without a response until he speaks up again. “I can’t believe you’re leaving before I even start my shift.” He’s smiling, awfully friendly, maybe awfully flirtatious - Sam doesn’t know, but he chuckles nervously, rubbing the back of his neck. 


“I can come back?” 


“How about you give me your number instead?” 


Sam feels like he just won the lottery. He wastes no time in pulling out his phone and the two of them exchange numbers on the spot. They send a quick text to ensure the numbers are correct and then they’re smiling. “I was meaning to ask for your number.” Sam admits. 


“I’m sure, it’s like you’re living at my work.” 


“I get a lot done while I’m there!” 


“Yeah, like what, stare at me?” 


Shoulders sagging, Sam gives a defeated huff, but Castiel is still smirking. “I had no idea it was that obvious…” 


“You didn’t spend a lot of time looking busy so I knew you came to my work for another reason.” Castiel looks at his watch, then he’s moving passed the taller man in a hurry, giving him a pat on his back. “I have to go, Sam! We’ll see each other soon!” Apron and phone in his hand, he’s waving as he turns the corner, and he’s gone. It leaves Sam wanting to ask how does Castiel know his name? Though, it takes him not long to realize they just exchanged numbers and Castiel has been writing his name on a coffee cup every time he’s at the shop…


Adjusting the strap on his laptop bag, he finishes the walk to his car and heads home. 


It’s a few days before he learns the star behind the pastries at the shop is Castiel. Something about knowing he’s the mastermind for all of the good treats makes him so much more appealing and it might make Sam fall harder. 


“I thought you only made good drinks.” Sam grins one day, leaning against the counter, muffin in hand as he watches the man at work. The muffin is perfect; full of peanut butter, big chunks of chocolate chips, and the perfect texture, being soft on the inside but yet with a crunchy top. 


“No, I can bake.” Castiel confirms casually. It’s at this exact moment that Sam thinks he can get used to this, whatever this is... “I can also cook. Maybe we should have a picnic soon, I can make all your favorite things.” The man adds to his statement, piping up real quick. 


And Sam has to accept, because a picnic with Castiel sounds amazing. They plan for the following weekend after checking the weather and they chose their local park to have their date at. Sam is in charge of fruit, drinks, and a blanket. Castiel is responsible for making their food and treats. 


Sam decides that for their main food, the basic sandwich is suitable - fluffy white bread, cheese and lunch meat in between with mustard and mayonnaise is perfect, as simple sometimes is the best. And Sam is a simple guy who might enjoy Chinese takeout often or pizza delivered for dinner most nights. 


Seeing Castiel walking up to the tree that Sam claimed they would be under has him feeling starstruck all over again. It’s different seeing him at work, in uniform, in a building where the room is so dimly lit to add a certain aesthetic compared to having the natural sunlight hit him just right. There’s a sparkle to Castiel’s skin and Sam doesn’t care if it’s just conveniently sweat that’s making him glow, he’s still attractive. 


Blanket laid out, they take their shoes off and get comfortable before pulling all the food out. Castiel brings the peanut butter, chocolate chip muffins that Sam adores so much and it takes all the willpower that he has to not eat them first. The urge washes away upon the first bite he takes of his sandwich. It’s the exact sandwich he was hoping for and nothing beats a simple lunch meat and cheese. 


It makes him think back to when he was a kid and his brother Dean would prepare them something easy to bring to school. It’s the little joys in life. 


They continue on like this, talking, laughing, enjoying their sandwiches. He likes the lower energy coming from Castiel as it’s just the two of them together. He’s sure that with a public facing job, he has to be loud and enthusiastic at all times with the customers, and Sam likes to see that, but he also likes to see him being real. 


Almost all at once his thought process gets cut off just alone at the contact of his hand colliding with Castiel’s. They are both reaching out for the fruit bowl at the same time and they pause, making eye contact, and Sam is nervously chuckling until the other man follows through and links their hands together. 


“What are you doing?” Sam sputters, eyes widening yet he makes no move to pull away. 


“I thought you wanted to hold my hand.” Castiel’s voice is flat. Honest. He’s still smiling, though. 


And he’s very much not wrong. Sam loves the idea of holding Castiel’s hand, he just didn’t imagine it’d be initiated through a simple accident. 


Smiling, Sam squeezes their intertwined fingers together and uses his free hand to grab a few grapes, popping them in his mouth. The rest of their date proceeds like this, and they even hold hands as they walk back to their cars. Sam never knew he needed to hold someone’s hand so badly until today.