Castiel looks up as the little doorbell rings for the hundredth time of this day. This means, a new customer just entered the shop. A smile lights up his face – genuine, not as any sales pitch – as he sees the man walking towards the counter.
Castiel remembers when he saw him the first time, three days ago. There are often soldiers from the military station nearby, who orders their meal here. So does said man. He stood in line, waiting to give up his order, in his neat military uniform and a stern expression on his face. It took Castiel a simple smile to break it, though. He was amazed how the deep green eyes lit up, as he smiled back at him. Castiel couldn’t help but looking after the man, as he left.
He ordered his food daily since then.
“Hi, how are you doing today?”, Castiel greets him friendly.
“I’m alright, and yourself?” The man’s voice is rough. He coughs slightly.
“I’m doing better… now.” It’s true. The day was hectic and Castiel yearns for closing time. But seeing a friendly – and damn good looking – face lights up his mood.
The man’s cheeks colors in a slight red and he immediately looks up to the menu boards above.
“I… I’ll take the cheeseburger. And some fries.”, he orders, still scanning the range.
Castiel enters the order into the register. “Extra bacon?”, he asks, remembering how he insisted on this the last days.
“Uhm.. sure! Yeah, extra bacon, totally!” He smiles thankfully.
“I remembered.” Castiel winks at him, seeing how his opposite blushes a bit more. “Do you want anything else – need anything else?”
“No, that’s it, thank you.”
“Okay”, Castiel completes the order in the register, “and, what’s your name?” He will give it a try.
The man looks at him, hesitating a moment, but then smiles again. “Dean. I’m Dean.”
Castiel gives him a once over while confessing “That’s a really pretty name.”
“Uh, thank you… had it for a little while”, Dean responds with a shrug, still blushing.
Castiel giggles. He doesn’t know if Dean means to be funny or just hasn’t thought about his words, but he likes it nevertheless.
For a moment, Dean looks at him wary, then joins the laughter, head-shaking about the situation.
“Are you gonna give me that order or do I need to read your mind?”, Castiel’s boss barks from out of the kitchen.
“Sorry, Chuck!”, Castiel replies, pushing the right button to print the order. He smiles again before turning to hand the paper into the back. When he faces the counter again, he sees Dean standing some steps aside.
Unfortunately, there are more customers who want to order, so Castiel gets back to work. He stares regularly at Dean, though. He observes Castiel’s movements the whole time.
A ring signals Castiel that another order is ready. For a second he hesitates, checking out Dean one more time. The man, gathering some more self-assurance through the distance, winks at him. That’s all Castiel needs to finally pick up the pen, actually meant to mark different meals in same packages, and write down his phone number on the paper bag.
He hands it to Dean, who stepped closer to the counter again. Dean rolls his eyes funnily as he sees the big numerics.
“Have a nice day”, Castiel wishes in the typical salesman manner, which causes Dean to chuckle.
The next day, Castiel has a day off. His phone doesn’t ring once. He won’t admit it, but he’s slightly disappointed.
Dean comes back the day after.
“Hi…“, Dean pauses, looking down at Castiel’s chest. “…Castiel”, he finishes his greeting.
“You only now looked on my name tag?”
“Well… I got distracted” Dean smirks, then nods towards the menu boards. “I’ll take the same again.”
“Of course.” Castiel passes Dean’s order to Chuck. When he returns, Dean has stepped aside far enough for the next customer, but is leaning heavily on the counter.
“You weren’t here yesterday.”
“Don’t I deserve a day off?” It’s clear that it dawns on Dean just now that Cas doesn’t spent every day at his work and he smiles awkwardly.
“I just missed you.”
“Good that we are both here today then”, Cas answers in between his work routine of taking orders and giving the food out.
Dean searches for an answer, but doesn’t seem to find the right words, so he settles for a small nod. They just smile at each other every now and then. When Dean’s food is ready, Castiel grabs the pen again. Maybe Dean is more of a writing guy. He scribbles down his email address to hand it over with a wink. He clearly sees Dean blush before he makes off.
“Hello Dean.” Castiel’s smile isn’t as bright as it was the last times. There was neither an e-mail nor a call from Dean and he gets that unspoken message. He decides to switch to a professional worker-customer-relationship before he’s making an even bigger idiot out of himself. “Cheeseburger with extra bacon and fries, right?”
Before he can answer, a redhaired girl next to him interposes. “Make that two!”, she says with a bright smile. “We’ll sit right over there”, and with that she drags Dean to the nearest table.
Castiel blinks. Well, now he knows, why Dean didn’t contact him. He still feels like a total dumbass now. To further not any more embarrassments, he tries his best to focus on the upcoming orders. He doesn’t dare to look over to them and ignores the giggling coming from their table, which he doesn’t consider part of his workplace for now.
Admittedly his plan doesn’t work out, when their order is ready and he needs to call them over.
“Order is ready”, he announces and places their plates to the side, hoping they will just pick them up, but neither Dean nor his company reacts. They are too focused on their conversation.
“Two cheeseburger, extra bacon with fries”, Castiel declares, louder this time. Still no reaction. Castiel feels lost behind the counter. There is no other work to busy himself with and clearly, he’s responsible that the customers are getting their food hot.
Dean and the girl are whispering with each other. Neither of them takes notice of their food. Castiel takes a deep breath before he calls: “Dean”.
Dean’s head shoots up and he looks at Castiel like a deer caught in the headlight.
“Your food’s ready”, Castiel declares and point at the plates. For a split second he panics he might have to serve him his order, but the girl kicks him very clearly against the shin with a bright grin and Dean gets up to come over.
“Thanks”, he mumbles and avoids looking at Castiel. He can’t blame him.
“Hey!”, Chuck’s voice catches him off guard, “It’s pretty quiet. Take your break now!”
Castiel would rather not, but there is no use in debating with Chuck. Besides, he appreciates to sit down for a while. He takes some of the French fries as his break meal, puts his little apron aside and sits down at the different end of the diner. He doesn’t want to look over to Dean and the girl, but with how wild they are gesticulating while whispering suspiciously low, it’s impossible not to be distracted. The girl is pointing clearly at Castiel and Dean pushes her hand down again and again. He tries just as much not to look at Castiel as he does vice versa. Neither of them succeeds.
Before Castiel can decide if it’s worth it to eat his fries in the constant rain outside, the girl leaves Dean’s table, only to come over and take a seat at Castiel’s table.
She grins wide; he tilts his head in confusion.
Dean, who followed involuntarily, clears his throat as he sits down next to her, right in front of Castiel.
“Um, this is Charlie”, he introduces.
“I’m his best friend”, Charlie declares and winks at Castiel.
Castiel can’t help but share the genuine smile. He likes her.
“Hi Charlie, it’s nice to meet you. I’m-”
“Cas, yes, I know”, she interrupts him, “Dean already chew my ear off about you.”
Dean looks like he’d like to strangle his best friend right here and now.
“Oh no!”, Charlie announces dramatically even before she takes a look at her watch. “I totally forgot the time. I have to go, have fun!” And with that she’s already gone.
Both of them stay in awkward silence for a moment, unsure what to do now.
“Sorry about her, she’s a Chatty Cathy.”
“Just like you, it seems.” Dean breaks into a laugh about Cas’ words. Cas enjoys the sound of it and continues with his meal. Without invitation Dean takes some of his fries to.
“So, what are you doing?”, he asks.
“That’s what I want to know!”, Chuck yells from the counter. “I’m not paying you to sit around all day!”
A look on his watch reveals, that Cas indeed overrun his fifteen-minute break.
“I have to work”, he declares and shoves the rest of his meal to Dean and puts his apron back on. Before he steps behind the counter, he turns to Dean once again. “I’ll be off at 9, though.” Dean winks at him.
It’s a quarter past nine when Cas finally leaves the diner. Just as he breathes in the fresh air, his phone rings. He answers with a smile.