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Stronger Than Words

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It’s nothing glamorous. One can barely call it a restaurant. Situated to the back of Singer’s Salvage, with a patch of dirt as a parking lot, the hole in the wall has a grand total of five tables- if you count the tiny one in the corner with a single chair- and a small bar with three stools. Not one table or chair matches, all bought secondhand or “rescued” from the side of the road to be thrown together. Behind the bar is a small window into the makeshift kitchen, which doesn’t look like much either, but is where all the magic happens.

“Slathering greasy burgers on a bun is not magic, Dean,” Sam says grumpily, watching his brother through the window.

“You only say that because you can’t even make toast without setting the toaster on fire,” Dean grins, humming in satisfaction at the pop and sizzle as he flipped the patty over.

“Dude, that happened once .”

“Yeah, it’s almost like cheese wasn’t meant to go in a toaster.”

Sam glares, but can’t really argue with that and settles for pouting instead. Dean smirks and places the freshly cooked patty on a buttered bun, along with some pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a dollop of mayo. He throws on some fries then hands the plate to Sam.

“Is it well done?” Sam asks, eyeing it carefully.

Dean gives him a look. “Are you seriously asking me-”

“Okay, okay,” Sam sighs and picks it up. “It’s just, she yells at me if it’s not-”

“Dude,” Dean slaps his spatula down. “It’s perfect, like it always is. I know how to make her damn burger-”

“Don’t you cuss in my presence, boy.”

Dean flinches and ducks his head, muttering under his breath while Sam grins like an idiot, handing the plate over to dark-skinned, heavier set woman sitting at the bar.

They both wait, holding their breath, as she takes a bite.

“Good enough, I suppose.”

Dean rolls his eyes. “C’mon, Missouri, you know it’s perfect .”

Sam looks way too smug. “He thinks he’s magic.”

“I am,” Dean says with a roll of his shoulders. “I’ve got rainbows comin’ outta my ass.”

“That’s for an entirely different reason.”

Dean doesn’t look up when he flips his brother off, and Sam chuckles to himself as he refills Missouri's sweet tea.

“Anything else I can get you?”

Missouri hums as she chews, wiping her mouth on a napkin. “Unless you can get me a slice of that handsome Mr. Singer, I'm ‘fraid there's nothin’ else you can do for me.”

“I heard that,” Bobby mutters gruffly, walking through the swinging door that leads out front to the shop.

“Got any slices left? Ol’ Ellie seemed mighty hungry for ya earlier,” Dean teases as he leans through the window, tapping his fingers against the frame.

“That old witch can stuff that pretentiousness right back from where she pulled it out of,” Missouri says sharply, smiling up at Bobby and giving him a one-armed hug. “How you doin’, baby?”

“Be all right long as you continue to keep me in business.” Bobby hugs her back, then proceeds to straighten the sugar caddy and other condiments. “You ever eat anywhere else?”

“I don't get the same kind of attention anywhere else.”

Dean winks and clicks his tongue, pointing his spatula at them. “See? I told you, Bobby. Winning personality.”

“Speaking of that winning personality, Ellen’s ready to whoop you when she sees you. Somethin’ ‘bout a pretty blonde-"

“Hey, I told Jo I was gonna call her and I'm gonna. It's only been a couple of days. Gotta make ‘em want it.” Dean grins and salutes them with the spatula, looking back down at the patties sizzling on the grill.

“That’s no way to find love, honey,” Missouri sighs, shaking her head as she munched on her fries. Dean makes the best fries, crunchy and soft with the perfect amount of seasoning.

“Not love he’s gettin’,” Bobby mutters, stealing one of the fries and earning a slap on his hand.

“You went out with Jo?” Sam raises a brow. “And didn’t call? Ellen is gonna kill you, man.”

Dean shrugs, unconcerned. “Nah, Ellen loves me.”

“Ellen doesn’t love anybody who's doin’ her daughter,” Ash speaks up from the other side of the bar, typing away at his laptop- most likely doing something illegal.

“Don’t you talk like that around me,” Missouri snaps.

“Ellen’s just jealous she didn’t get a ride,” Dean smirks as he thrusts his hips forward dramatically. He slathers a patty with BBQ of his own making, along with some cheddar cheese and a side of onion rings. “Sammy,” he calls out, placing the plate in the window.

Sam makes a face at him, grabbing the plate and sliding it over to Ash. “Can we not talk about your sex life?”

“That’s his whole life,” Ash says through a mouthful of burger.

“Got that straight,” Dean says, then smirks and wiggles his ass. “Or...not so straight, actually.”

Sam groans and scrubs a hand over his face. “Sometimes I can’t believe you’re my big brother.”

“I know,” Dean sighs in mock sadness. “I turned out so cool and you’re the biggest fucking dork to walk the planet. I dunno where I went wrong with you.”

“School,” Sam grunts.

“Mmm, yeah, knew that would bite me in the ass,” Dean shakes his head.

“Oh, God,” comes a voice from one of the tables. “Why is it that whenever I’m in here we always end up on the subject of your ass?” Kevin looks up from his computer with bloodshot eyes, his third cup of coffee sitting on the table.

“Because I have a damn fine ass,” Dean quips.

“Where’s my burger?” Kevin grumbles, eyes sliding back to his laptop screen.

“You didn’t order, Kev,” Sam sighs.

“Oh,” Kevin blinks at his coffee. “Uh, can I get a-”

“Plain Jane, with nothing on it,” Dean says with a dramatic sigh. “Yeah, I know. You know, man, for someone in advanced placement , you're not very creative with your food.”

“Not everything has to be dressed up,” Kevin clicks his tongue. “Just like how one’s hair doesn’t have to change color everyday.”

Dean glances up at the tiny mirror above the stove, checking his blue spiked hair and his eyeliner, which is heavily smeared. He loves cooking, but the steam does horrible things to his eyeliner.

Sam’s face comes into view through the window, and he lays his arms across it and squints over at Dean. “You look like the Joker.”

Dean scoffs. “Whatever. Ledger kicks ass.”


Dean raises his eyebrows and points the spatula at Sam, flinging some grease onto the tiled wall. “Fuck you, dude.”

Sam grins and turns away, disappearing from Dean’s immediate eyeline. He can hear Kevin and Ash suddenly in an argument over which iteration of the Joker was the best performance based on characterization and portrayal in relation to the comics.

Dean looks down at the remaining ticket on the grill and throws down a chicken sandwich, sprinkling olive oil around and covering it with a small metal bowl. He dumps more fries in the fryer and sits his spatula to the side, crossing his arms over his chest and looking through the window, the only things within his immediate line of vision being the door, a portion of the bar, and part of a table.

This was the typical night at the diner. They had their regulars, but every once in awhile they were lucky enough to welcome in a few that were just stopping in while they waited for Bobby or Ash to fix whatever was wrong with their cars. Most of them were out-of-towners, unfortunate enough to have had old faithful finally give out shortly after crossing the border into South Dakota. While Sioux Falls wasn’t a small town, Singer’s still managed to go largely unknown, despite Ash’s insistence on making them a Facebook page to promote themselves. Bobby wouldn’t hear of it.

Dean kind of likes it like this, though. The diner doesn't have him rolling in cash; in fact, he barely makes enough some months to offset the cost of the food, but it's a nice, simple life, surrounded by the people he loves.

Dean picks up his spatula and removes the bowl from the chicken, turning it over. The old shopkeeper’s bell hanging above the door chimes noisily and Dean squints at the ticket, making a disgusted face.

“Okay, who’s putting mustard and mayonnaise on a chicken sandwich-”

He looks up and sees Sam’s back to him as he leans over the bar, pointing to the right side of the building. He nods, then turns around, raising a brow at Dean. “What?”

Dean leans around to look over his shoulder, nodding at the customer walking over to the booth. “Who’s that?”

“Dunno.” Sam shrugs and looks over his shoulder. “Never seen him before. What were you saying?”

“Someone-” Dean leans up as far as he can without burning himself on the stove, watching the man sit at the small table in the corner. He looks slightly uncomfortable, his shoulders hunched and hair sticking up wildly all over his head, looking nervously around him then back down at his hands. He looks up and makes eye contact with Dean, and fuck his eyes are blue , then he immediately looks down again, clasping his hands together on the table in front of him.

“I was just saying…” Dean fumbles around, messily assembling the chicken sandwich and slathering both condiments on despite how absolutely blasphemous he still deems it to be. “Um. Nevermind.” He slides the plate through the window. “Here.”

Sam grabs the plate and slides it onto the bar, sitting a bottle of ketchup beside it, then grabs his pad and pen from the counter.

“Hey! Sammy, wait!”

Sam turns back and rolls his eyes. “What?”

“I-” he holds up his hands with the spatula, then puts it down. “I’m just-” he peels his gloves off and throws them into the garbage, then points at Sam and out at the bar. “I’m just gonna-”

He quickly emerges from the kitchen and around to the bar, stopping in front of Sam and taking the pad and pen from him. He grins widely, tapping the pen on the paper.

“I got this one, little bro,” he says with a wink, and Sam makes a face. “Why don’t you take five?”

Sam blinks at him then at the very quiet customer and rolls his eyes so far back Dean is almost expecting them to fall back into his skull.


“Hold that thought,” Dean turns on his heel and marches up to the small table, where the strange man with the amazing eyes sat staring at the old wood of the table. Up close, the guy is even more beautiful. Scruff on his cheeks and a jawline that Dean kind of wants to stare at all day.

“So, it must have hurt,” Dean says with a wide grin, cocking his hip to the side.

The guy blinks and looks up at Dean, tilting his head in this stupidly adorable way that could melt Dean right there. He raises a brow questioningly.

“When you fell from Heaven,” Dean finishes with a wink, ignoring the guffaw from Kevin and the ‘good God’ from Sam.

The guy’s expression remains unreadable for such a long enough time that Dean begins to feel uncomfortable. He shifts on his feet and taps the eraser against the pad. “Because, you know, you’ Whatever, it’s stupid.” He waves a hand and looks down at the pad, then back up at pretty eyes, who finally lets a small smile tug at his lips. There’s an unmistakable blush spreading across his cheeks when he looks down at his hands.

When he looks back up he’s fully grinning, giving his eyes cute crinkles in the corners. He sits up a little taller and starts motioning with his hands, which Dean immediately recognizes as ASL. Sam’s long-term girlfriend Eileen is deaf and had taught them both over the years, though she rarely needed to use it with them.

“Does that line usually work?” the man signs, still grinning shyly.

Dean blinks then smiles and shrugs, teeth grazing his bottom lip. He sets down his pencil and pad, signing a little slowly. “Only on the gorgeous ones.”

Pretty eyes blushes a little more and looks back down at his hands, a strand of that messy hair falling down across his forehead. The smile on his face widens a bit, his eyes crinkling in a way that Dean is quickly growing fond of.

“So, angel,” Dean says, picking up his pad and pencil again. “What can I get you? I’m awesome at burgers, but you can look at the menu if you want. Only thing you’re not allowed to order is the salad.”

Sam makes an offended sound.

“I only added it to keep Princess back there off my back,” Dean smirks, gesturing at Sam.

“Salads are healthy, Dean-”

“Busy, Samantha,” Dean waves him off, still smiling down at the cutie with the big blues.

The guy’s eyes widen a bit and he pats himself down, finally pulling a couple of balled up dollar bills from his jacket. He counts out three dollars and some odd change, then starts patting himself again, looking a little distressed.

“You know what? I’ll just work up my special for you, okay? Don’t worry about that.” He waves a hand dismissively while the guy looks up at him incredulously. “What to drink?”

Blue eyes gives a small huff and slowly holds his hands out to make the motion for coffee, one that Dean knows well. He nods and jots a few things down on the pad, not really ready to actually walk away to begin making the guy’s food.

“Great. I’m Dean. Just holler if ya need me, okay? I’ll be in the kitchen.” Dean tucks the pen behind his ear. “What’s your name, handsome?”

The guy carefully spells it out, clasping his hands together nervously in front of him again when he was done.

“Castiel?” Dean asks slowly, and the guy nodded. “Right. How do you feel about a nickname?”

Castiel raises a brow at him again.

“Gonna call you Cas,” Dean smiles and claps him on the shoulder. “Castiel’s not somethin’ I’m gonna want to yell from behind that grill.”

Cas smiles and blushes again, making another motion Dean knew very well.

“Oh, I’m an asshole?”

Cas grins and nods.

Dean scoffs. “Sammy, you hearin’ this? Are you setting me up right now? He one of your friends or somethin’?”

“No, but he will be,” Sam shoots back, giving Cas a smile and nod from the bar.

Dean laughs. “Alright, fine. But I’m gonna prove you wrong about that.” He turns to head back into the kitchen, tearing the order off the top of the pad and dropping it and the pen back on the bar. He points over at Cas with the ticketed hand. “Don’t go anywhere, gorgeous. I’m not through with you.”

Sam rolls his eyes, munching on his chicken sandwich. “Do you have to hit on everything that moves?”

Dean glances at him, then the sandwich, and narrows his eyes. “ You made me make that monstrosity?”

Sam shrugs and grins.

Dean shakes his head and slips on a new pair of gloves. “I really messed up with you. I dunno how you came out so weird.”

“So I’m the weird one?” Sam scoffs, reaching through the window with his giant arms to poke at Dean’s blue hair.

“You only wish you were as cool as me,” Dean smirks and grabs his spatula.

“Dean,” Ash calls out. “Pie?”

“Apple or cherry,” Dean calls back as he throws a patty on the grill.

“Apple,” Ash says, pushing away his now empty plate. “Cherry for Missouri.”

“Now there’s a good boy,” Missouri says affectionately.

“Put whip cream on-”

“No,” Dean says sharply, waving his spatula at Sam. “Don’t let him ruin my pie with his whip cream shit. It doesn’t need it.”

He scowls as he sees Sam slide the can of Reddi Whip over to Ash, but his attention is immediately drawn back to blue eyes in the corner, who’s staring intently at the camera in front of him as he cycles through pictures, oblivious to anything going on around him.

Dean prepares the bun while the burger cooks, adding all the traditional toppings. He adds fries to the plate and finally the burger last, then removes his gloves and throws the halter of his apron off his neck as he exits the kitchen with the plate.

“Photography, huh? You into that stuff?” Dean slides the plate onto the table in front of blue eyes, who smiles up at him and nods, then sets it off to the side. “What kind of pictures do you take?”

“Nude portraits, mostly,” Cas signs, face deadpan.

Dean feels his face heat up. “ Oh. Well I, that’s...I-I mean-”

“That was a joke.”

Dean lets out a relieved laugh when what Cas signed registered, and Cas looks down again with a smile. He picks up the camera and leans closer to Dean with it, cycling through the last several pictures on the camera of lakes, waterfalls, and sculptures.

“So, nature stuff, mostly?”

“Yes,” Cas signs, “but sometimes other things, too.”

“Other things,” Dean repeats, smirking slowly. “Like nude portraits?”

Cas smiles and rolls his eyes good-naturedly.

“These are pretty good, Cas,” Dean points at a picture of a full moon half shrouded by dark clouds and dead tree limbs. “Better than some of the shit I see in magazines and stuff. What some people call art, man…” He shakes his head. Dean pushes the plate closer towards Cas and taps on the table. “Put that away and eat now. You look too skinny.”

Cas bites his lip and nods slowly, still looking apprehensive about taking free food. He put his camera down gently and takes a bite of his burger, closing his eyes and sighing.

Dean smiles and reluctantly leaves Cas so he can eat in peace, settling on staring at him from the window. Now that he is really looking, Cas seemed a bit haggard. His clothes look old and worn, hanging off his slight frame. The trenchcoat looks as if it’s seen better days and could use a good wash. In fact, the only thing that doesn’t look beat up is the camera.

Dean’s eyes slide to the front windows, easily picking Kevin’s rusted piece of crap car, as well as Missouri’s and Ash’s cars. His ‘67 Impala sat off to the side. There were no mystery cars and the bus didn’t run this far out.

Dean glances back at Cas, chewing on his cheek as he eyes the dusty, scuffed up shoes that should have been retired a year ago.


He jumps, startled, and looks over at Sam.

“Quit starin’,” Sam snorts. “He’s not a piece of meat.”

“Where you reckon he came from?” Dean asks, looking back over at him. “Doesn’t look like he drove.”

“Uh,” Sam looks back out the door. “No, I don’t think he did.”

“Gettin’ cold out there soon,” Dean remarks. “Think he has somewhere to go?”

“I don’t know, Dean, but that’s really not-”

“Oh, shit. His coffee.” Dean bustles out of the kitchen and behind the bar, turning over a mug and pouring some of the fresh pot into it. He grabs a caddy with cream and sugar and heads back over to Cas’s table. Cas looks up with his mouth full and raises his eyebrows, covering his mouth with a napkin as he swallowed.

“Thank you,” he signed.

“Yeah, you’re welcome.” Dean sits the mug and caddy in front of him. “Hey, Cas, you got somewhere to go tonight?”

Cas wipes his mouth and frowns, but finally nods, signing slowly so Dean can keep up. “I’m staying with my brother until he leaves town. Won’t be far behind him.”

“Oh,” Dean says, feeling oddly disappointed, and nods. “Okay. Yeah, that’s good. Was thinkin’-I thought maybe you didn’t, and was gonna offer my place. Not, like, in that way -although I wouldn’t exactly say no to that-but I just thought-”

Cas huffs and smiles sadly. “Are you always this articulate?” he signs, eyes twinkling with his smile.

“Did you… just quote Hercules to me?”

Cas smiles wider and nods. “It's my nephew's favorite movie.”

“Ah. Well I, um-” Dean clears his throat, still floundering.

“Honey,” Missouri says from behind him, “shut that mouth of yours before you put your foot in it.”

Dean snaps his jaw shut and gives her a withering glare. “Aren’t you done with that pie yet?”

She stares at him, taking a tiny bite slowly, chewing deliberately. He growls and turns back to Cas.

“Ignore her, she thinks she’s everyone’s mother.” Dean taps his fingers on the table and looks over at the bar. It looks like Sam has everything under control, and with no new tickets in the window, he pulls up a chair and takes a seat across from Cas. “So how long you plannin’ on stayin’ in Sioux Falls?”

Cas takes another bite of his burger, chewing and swallowing before he answered, which Dean thought to be overly polite considering he was signing anyway. “Supposed to be another week. I'm photographing Falls Park this week.”

“You travel a lot for your work?” Dean asks, swiping a napkin from the dispenser and starting to fold it.

Cas bites his lip and shrugs with a nod.

“Must be nice,” Dean murmurs, smoothing out a crease. “Getting to see all these interesting places. You work for a magazine or somethin’?”

Cas takes his time with this bite, chewing slowly before swallowing. “Something like that,” he signs, looking down at his plate.

Dean presses his lips together, folding a corner of the napkin. “Well, it looks like they’re lucky to have such a talented photographer. And such a pretty one, too,” Dean winks, a smirk on his lips.

Cas blushes and wipes his hands on a napkin, then made a karate chop-type motion into the palm of his hand, looking down at his food with a smile.

“He can’t stop,” Sam’s voice behind him makes Dean tense and roll his eyes. “Trust me, I’ve been trying to change him for years .”

“Shut up, Sammy. I’m the reason you ever walk out of here with any tips at all.” He lays an arm over his chair and turns, inclining his head to Sam. “Not everyone is interested in your creepy serial killer fetish, dude.”

“It’s a hobby!”

“It’s weird.”

Sam pauses and puts a hand on his hip. “Says the dude with the neck tattoo.”

Dean waves him off and turns back around, returning Cas’s easy smile. He hesitantly reaches for the camera, and although Cas tenses slightly, he lets him take it. Dean sticks his tongue out and takes a picture of himself, grinning as he hands it back to Cas. “Just a little something to remember me by. In case you didn’t immediately fall in love with this face in person.”

Cas takes the camera and tries to hold back a smile, failing miserably. He looks at the picture for a long time, then back up at Dean, giving him a nod.

“Art,” he signs.

“Dunno about that,” Dean laughs, standing and looking back at the bar. “’s gettin’ to be closing time soon. I’ll be back a little later...if you decide to hang out. You need anything else?”

Cas pauses but presses his lips firmly together, shaking his head.

"Cas," Dean tilts his head knowingly, "you can have whatever you want. Don't be afraid to ask."

“Do you have ice cream?” Cas finally signs bashfully, but Dean gives him an enthusiastic nod.

“Yeah, sure. What kind you want?”

“Vanilla,” Cas signs, then points to his coffee. He signs the same thing again, and Dean raises a brow.

In the coffee?”

Cas smiles and shrugs, nodding his head.

“Well, I’m not the right one to judge weird,” Dean shrugs back. “I’ll be back with your ice cream right after I tell everyone about how I was just touched by an angel.”

Cas rolls his eyes and covers his face to hide his growing blush, and Dean snickers and walks back behind the bar.

“You’re shameless, boy,” Bobby grunts over his paperwork, sipping on a coffee as he goes over the day’s invoices.

“Damn right I am,” Dean says as he pokes his head into the freezer. He fumbles around for a minute before bringing out a tub of vanilla. He used to make his own ice cream, but the ancient machine broke down a year ago and he hasn’t had to funds to replace it yet.

“I see what I want and go after it,” he continues as he digs around for his scoop. “People go their whole lives wishin’ and hopin’ for things, but never doin’ anything about it. Why should I waste opportunities?”

“There’s a difference between not wasting opportunities and being a whore,” Sam grumbles as he sprays down the bar, Missouri helpfully lifting her drink so he can wipe under it.

“You’re right,” Dean says, plopping a few scoops of ice cream into a small bowl. “Whores get paid. I offer my services free of charge, out of the goodness of my heart.”

“Jesus Christ,” Kevin mutters, still typing way at whatever school crap he’s working on.

“What did I say about cussin’,” Missouri snaps.

“That’s not cussing,” Kevin rolls his eyes.

“Isn’t there some rule about not taking the Lord’s name in vain?” Bobby mutters distractedly.

Dean walks out of the kitchen and around the bar, waving his hand around. “Nuh uh, we’re not having a religious discussion again.” He smiles and sets down the bowl of ice cream next to Cas’s coffee. “There ya go, beautiful.”

Cas spoons one of the dollops of ice cream into his mug and stirs it, taking a sip and nodding with a smile. He grabs Dean’s arm and points to the coffee, then hands it to him. Dean grins and takes a sip before handing it back, nodding in sync with him.

“Hey, that’s not bad at all.” Dean tongues the inside of his cheek. “Listen, Cas...I’m closin’ up in the next half hour or so. Would you mind hangin’ out ‘til then?”

Cas opens his mouth and closes it again, his hands rigid in front of him. He frowns and scans the room self-consciously, swallowing hard, then finally gives a hard nod.


Dean bites his lip when he turns away, trying not to look too desperate as he goes back to the kitchen and quickly cleans and sterilizes behind himself. He peeks out the window every couple of minutes, ignoring Sam’s comments, to stare at the beautiful man in the corner, who was sipping his coffee slowly and staring out the window.

He’d just heated up the grill to clean it when he looks up again, finding Cas’s seat empty and seemingly no one bothered by his disappearance. He strides out of the kitchen, wiping his hands frantically on a hand towel, but Cas is nowhere to be found.

“Sammy, he- hey, where did he go?” Dean asks, tapping on the bar to pull Sam’s attention from Ash’s work.

“Dunno,” Sam shrugs, barely looking up at him. “I guess he left?”

“No,” Dean says, quickly walking to Cas’s table and looking around. He moves the empty plate, only to find Cas’s three dollars and change tucked underneath. “Dammit. Sam, I’ll be right back.”

Sam calls his name, but Dean ignores it as he dashes outside. It’s pitch black with a single pole lighting up the parking area. Missouri’s car is gone, but other than that there’s nothing missing. Except for his pretty angel, who is nowhere to be found. Looking like an idiot, Dean searches up and down the road, his eyes working hard to penetrate the darkness. Cas is gone, though, and Dean is faced with a crushing disappointment.

He looks down, not really understanding why he’s so...sad. He barely knows the guy and Sam is right; he hits on everything that moves. Cas probably saw right through the flirty smiles and, being too nice, left instead of telling Dean he wasn’t interested. Still, Dean worries for Cas. At the very least, Dean could have given him a lift to wherever his brother lived. He doesn’t like the idea of the guy walking the streets at night.

Dean sighs and scrubs a hand through his hair, messing up the spikes as he trudged back to the diner. The bell jingles as he walks in and he swipes up the three crumpled up dollars, stuffing them in his pocket.

“You find him?” Sam asks, not looking up from whatever Ash is showing him.

“No,” Dean says curtly, throwing him a rag. “C’mon, hurry up. I wanna go home. Ash, get lost, we’re closed.”

Sam and Ash share a look, but are smart enough not to argue. Ash packs it up and leaves, tugging Kevin along with him who is too engrossed in his typing to notice the slight tension. Once the door closes, Sam locks it up and starts wiping down the tables while Dean finishes up in the kitchen.