January 18th, 2017
When Dean stumbles into the kitchen that morning, the first thing his sleep-addled senses register is the smell. A wonderful, almost heavenly smell, that puts his mind back in time shortly to when he was only four years old and trying to help his mom bake with his small hands, succeeding mostly in making a mess out of the kitchen. She never seemed to mind though, and the fleeting memories of those times are one of Dean’s most treasured ones.
As he peeks around the bunker’s kitchen now and spots a freshly baked pie on one of the counters, he can’t help a grin. His feet take him across the room on auto-pilot and ten seconds later he has a fork in his hand and moans around a mouthful of the most delicious pie he’s tasted in a very long time.
“Well, that didn’t take long,” comes his brother’s amused voice from behind him, but Dean can’t be bothered to stop shoveling that sweetness into his mouth long enough to form a proper reply. “Shut up,” he manages, a few crumbs falling from his lips. He watches them fall down onto the counter mournfully, while Sam winces in exaggerated disgust.
Sam comes to stand next to him and pours himself some coffee while Dean tries to suppress some of the more indecent sounds that threaten to escape him. Not that he would usually care about making his little brother squirm in embarrassment, but he can admit that he probably owns Sam a little reprieve after catching him and Cas practically naked on one of the library tables two days ago. Dean still can’t really muster up a lot of remorse about the incident, not with the way Cas had looked at him when Dean dropped to his knees in front of him just before the interrupting sasquatch appeared. But he can behave. For a few days. Maybe.
That doesn’t mean he has to like it, after all this thing between him and Cas is so new, like not-even-a-month-new, so no one should blame them for not being able to keep their hands off each other. Also they have lots of lost time to make up for and even more unresolved sexual tension and longing (“pining” was the word Sam used, but Dean chose to ignore him) to work out of their systems.
“Where did you get this?” Dean finally asks, as he puts a second slice on a plate and takes a seat across from his brother at their breakfast table.
Sam shrugs. “I didn’t. Cas dropped it off ten minutes ago.”
That brought Dean to a halt. “Why?”
He gets a weird look from Sam at that, but can’t ask what it’s about as Cas chooses that moment to stride into the kitchen, a smile breaking out on his face when he notices Dean being up and the half eaten slice of pie on his plate. “Good morning, Dean,” he greets warmly and then he’s already at Dean’s side, dropping a small kiss on his lips.
Dean can’t help the way he awkwardly rubs his neck after Cas pulls away and ignores Sam’s gleeful smirk at the PDA. “Morning, sunshine,” he replies, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth at Cas’ joyful look at the nickname.
Dean doesn’t even know when it’s started to become a thing, but putting that look on Cas’ face has become his number one priority every morning. It never even seems to take much for it to appear nowadays, it proved enough two days ago for Dean to bring Cas coffee in bed, which honestly had more to do with self-preservation than any kind of crazy urge to get out of their warm bed before five in the morning.
But Cas had promised Claire to drop by early for some research on a murder two towns over that might be one of their kind of cases. It turned out to be a lone werewolf and they hunted that thing down yesterday, getting back to the bunker late at night with only some minor scratches. Anyway, waking Cas up that early without caffeine in his vicinity turns him into one grumpy little guy with a permanent I’m-gonna-smite-you-look, and Dean tries to avoid that as much as possible since they started sharing a bed. It was much nicer to have Cas gaze at him with pleasure and affection, even if it means wandering the cold hallways of the bunker at such unholy hour.
“Did you sleep well?” Cas asks, still staring at him with a soft smile.
Dean nods, while he marvels shortly at the fact that he does sleep well lately. The nightmares still come and go, but they’re getting less frequent and not as intense as they used to. Sometimes Dean wonders if Cas has still some angel mojo left and uses it to help him sleep peacefully, but deep down he knows that the reason behind it is how content and – dare he think it – happy he’s been during the last few weeks.
Shaking himself from the curls of unease tugging at his mind at the thought that happiness never lasts long in their family, he eats another piece of his pie which proves to be the perfect distraction. He moans a little in pleasure at the taste. “Seriously, Cas. You gotta tell me where you bought this.”
“I bought most ingredients at the farmers market Sam showed me last week and baked it myself,” Cas replies like it’s no big revelation. At Dean’s incredulous look, he adds sheepishly, “Well, I had some help. Your mother allowed me to use her kitchen and gave me instructions.”
“You baked this yourself?” Dean still asks, surprised. He remembers how Cas almost burned down their stove when he tried to make some eggs about a month ago.
Cas only nods, looking proud.
“But why?” The question once again bursts out of Dean. A short look at the clock tells him that it’s not even nine in the morning, which means Cas probably got up in the middle of the night to drive over to the small apartment Mary rented close by after she decided to settle down for a normal life. Of course, Dean had hoped that she would stay with them at the bunker, but at the same time he’s relieved that she doesn’t actively hunt with them all the time. The anxiety over having something happen to her would probably give him a heart attack sooner or later.
“It’s your first gift,” Cas answers, as if that explains everything.
Gift? His first gift? For what? Did Dean already forget some kind of important date? They haven’t even been together for a month and he tries to remember if today is any kind of special occasion, but comes up blank. He risks a glance at Sam, hoping for a clue, but his brother is busy stealing a portion of his pie to taste it.
“Hey, get your own!” Dean exclaims and tries to grab at Sam’s hand, but he’s too slow to stop him from eating it. He glares darkly at Sam’s smug face for a second, before turning back to the more pressing matter of figuring out why the pie is even here to begin with.
“So, um, it’s a gift? And we’re celebrating…,” he trails off, trying to prompt Cas into finishing the sentence for him with the actual reason for said celebration.
“Yes, I have a few things planned,” Cas says unhelpfully, an excited glint in his eyes.
“Okay, that’s – that’s nice, Cas,” Dean stutters and takes another bite from his pie, while wracking his brain to figure it out.
It’s Wednesday. January. The eighteenth. The eighteenth? That makes him pause. The night in that barn in Illinois is suddenly vividly replaying in his mind. They first met on the eighteenth of September. Maybe, now that they are together, Cas sees it as some kind of anniversary.
He glances at Cas carefully, not wanting to offend him for trying to do something nice, but he doesn’t really get celebrating now in the middle of January. “Listen, Cas. I appreciate it,” he starts and notices Sam looking at him sharply at that, but he soldiers on anyway. “But don’t you think it would be better to do this at a later point?”
Cas frowns, obviously confused. “No. I’m planning to celebrate the whole week.”
“You’re plan- what?” He can’t have heard that right. Or maybe he’s dreaming this whole conversation. And the delicious pie. Which would be a shame, really.
“Dean, your birthday is in six days. And considering how many of them you haven’t celebrated, I want to do it right this year.” Cas fixes him with a stare that allows no argument, even while Dean gapes at him like a fish out of water.
Because, what the friggin’ hell? He hasn’t even given his upcoming birthday more than a passing thought, and now Cas wants to celebrate the whole week?
“That’s really nice of you, Cas,” Sam chimes in, trying to back him up. That traitor.
“Come on, you can’t be serious,” Dean scoffs, feeling very much uncomfortable with the impending attention all of this implies. His birthday is nothing special. They never did anything on that day, except drink some beer together if they’re lucky and not elbow-deep in some monster guts instead.
A pained look crosses Cas’ face and he clenches his jaw. “I am very serious,” he replies and takes Dean’s empty plate. Dean worries for a moment that Cas is so pissed at him that he’s going to take away the pie, because he can handle some pie as a gift, that’s totally okay, and Cas shouldn’t throw it all away because he’s being a jerk.
But Cas only cuts off another, rather big slice and sets it in front of him. His pinched expression softens again as he sits down next to Dean.
“I want you to enjoy this, Dean,” Cas tells him, so earnest and loving that Dean can’t form another protest.
“Okay,” he hears himself say and even though he has no idea what he’s gotten himself into by sort of agreeing to this whole thing, he feels something warm settle in his stomach that has nothing to do with the pie.