CASTIEL--

Cas hummed – actually hummed, some song he'd heard over and over in the Impala at various points, though he had no idea what it actually was – as he pushed open the door to Kelley's to the accompaniment of a little bell sounding out his arrival. He hadn't been in here in...probably at this point, well over a year. The last time, Dean had insisted he come... Ah, yes, while he'd been recovering from Rowena's curse, and had been staying at the bunker. Hiding there, really, he could admit to himself now. Dean had finally stormed into the room he'd taken over to watch Netflix endlessly, and bullied him into going out for 'the best damn pie in the state'. And then...everything had happened, and he hadn't been back since.


Meg was back at the cottage sleeping, despite being a demon. She needed rest, and food at times, now. Which is why he'd decided to come to Kelley's in the first place, to offer her the best food he knew of – at least, according to Dean. Besides, though he'd never gotten very close to the owner, Nan, he had always found her presence soothing, in some strange way. And, after so much change in his life so fast, Castiel thought that maybe he could use a little of that.


He stood inside the door, just far enough that the door could swing shut behind him, the little bell tinkling merrily. His eyes roved around the room, just busy enough to keep him from standing out, but not so busy as to make him uncomfortable. And, he was finding, he was growing uncomfortable around too many people. Ever since his little...chat...with Death, he could feel every soul in the vicinity practically screaming for his attention. It was distracting...and, sometimes, even uncomfortable. It would take some getting used to.


Shaking his head slightly, he resumed his soft humming and seated himself at a table tucked into a corner – the same table Dean always picked when he brought Cas by the place – the angel's back facing that corner out of habit. Besides, he liked to watch the people. Humans were always so interesting.


NAN KELLEY--

Nan came out through the doors with a couple plates, “hey there,” she flashed a lazy smile towards Castiel, nodding her head toward the table that he always sat at. “Grab a menu, be there soon.” She slipped past him to serve a couple, pick up an order from another table, and tack that order to the window. A few minutes of trading friendly barbs with the cook passed, then she headed over to Castiel.

“Hi,” she smiled as she stood near him, “find anything you’d like?” She tilted her head at him, a lazy smile settling on her lips, reaching her eyes.

CASTIEL--

Chuckling, he didn't bother to find a menu, as Nan had instructed. Cheeseburgers and pie. He wasn't even sure he knew what anything else to be found here would taste like. Not...that he tasted anything quite the way a human did anyway. He squinted then, suddenly wondering if the recent changes might have changed that, too. After all, Gabriel had certainly never seemed put off by tasting individual molecules. Perhaps...it was something archangels had a way around? He...might have to test that out. Sometime, along with far too many other things.


He was drawn from his musings when Nan spoke. He looked up to her, letting a rare full smile touch his lips. “Cheeseburgers, four I think, however it is Dean usually orders them,” he said, obviously considering carefully. “And a whole pie. Whatever you think best. Ah, to go. I have...company.” He hesitated, his eyes flicking around the room. “But...I'm in no hurry to get back.” He paused again, seeming almost shy. “If you have the time, I wouldn't mind a coffee, and some company.”


NAN--

Nan laughed, “Dean does order four cheeseburgers, sometimes they’re double cheeseburgers with a lot of bacon and sometimes they’re plain old cheeseburgers. Which one would you like?” She tugged out her notepad, writing down the order for pie, considering carefully which one Castiel might like – she chose the recent favorite of the crowd; so what if she sold out of that one early today, she’d make some more later.

She glanced at the crowd, it wasn’t too much to handle, and someone else would come onto shift soon, her eyes flicked to the clock on the wall. “Sure,” she smiled as she wandered over to the coffee pots at the back, “decaf or not?” She called out from behind the counter.

CASTIEL--

Uh..” His expression actually went blank for a moment as he considered. Humans...so many ways to prepare the same things. Well, in his view, anyway. “Double. With plenty of bacon.” Bacon was something Dean often raved about being just perfect on the burgers here. So, that had to be a good thing, right?


He blinked, then laughed lightly when her meaning hit him. He merely shrugged. Coffee was coffee. “Whatever's...easiest. Oh. With sugar, please?” Most things might not taste very pleasing to him as an angel, but coffee was pleasant enough. And sugar? Oh, sugar was just incredible.


As he waited, he pulled a napkin from the little dispenser on the table, playing with it absently. Contrary to what he'd expected, he found more of his assumed human habits coming to the fore after the change, though he'd thought it would have been exactly the opposite. His thoughts drifted from his surroundings, and as a result, he never noticed the napkin slowly shifting under his manipulations from simple paper, to a bright blue swatch of silk.


NAN--

Sounds good,” she jotted down the order for the burgers, adding free fries to go with them.

“Sugar,” she grinned as she grabbed the pot, the container of sugar and wandered back over to him. “I’m gonna hold onto your order until you’re almost ready to go, so the food stays nice and hot for you on your ride home.” She picked up his overturned mug and righted it before filling it with coffee, placing the sugar container next to it. “Here you are, hon.” She did the same for herself before returning the pot back on the burner.

She walked back over to him, studying him as she did; the napkin shifting under his fingers, her lips tweaked in a smile.

“Darling, your magician is showing again,” she gently reached over and pulled the napkin out of his hands. “What are you thinking about?” Her dark eyes studied him as she sat down across from him, pulling some little thimbles of creamer, opening and pouring them into her coffee.


CASTIEL--

He didn't even notice her approach, until she tugged the paper-turned-silk out of his light grip. “Hmm? Oh. <i>Oh.</i>” His eyes widened, and he darted a glance around to see if anyone else noticed, then turned relieved eyes back to her when he saw she was the only one. “Ah, thank you for the coffee, Nan,” he murmured gratefully, wrapping his hands around the warmth and staring into the dark depths of the liquid.


Slowly, his eyes rose to meet hers and he sighed. “Do you ever feel like...sometimes too many things happen all at once, and you don't know how to deal with it?” He lifted the cup to his lips, taking a sip, closing his eyes at the taste and warmth exploding over his tongue. It...actually did taste different. Yes, there was the usual sensation of the individual molecules, but...almost overlaying it, there was something close to the same flavor he remembered from his time as a human.


With another sigh, this time of enjoyment, he opened his eyes to look at her, the blue darkening with faint confusion. “Change, even when it brings good things...it's not something my kind,” he hesitated, then corrected himself, “it's not something I'm used to.”


NAN--

Nan waved a hand, shrugging a shoulder, “you’d be great in Las Vegas.” She gave him a teasing nod, hoping he would understand her cues. Sometimes he could be rather dense when it came to humans, but she didn’t hold it against him, because well, people could be dense when it came to people. She put some sugar in her coffee, stirring as she nodded her head again. “Never a problem, I’m glad people come here for coffee.”

She fell quiet, letting him slip into his thoughts again. When he moved, she looked over at him with a curious quirk of her eyebrows. “Sometimes that happens,” she spoke softly, holding her mug as she leaned back in her chair, “that’s when I go outside – especially when it’s dark. I look at the stars and I remember, I’m alone, but I’m not.” She crinkled her nose, “it sounds weird, but it reminds me that I’m very small in the grand scheme of things – so… there’s a plan for me, even if I can’t see it.” She frowned a little bit. “I’m sure I’m not making sense to you.”

CASTIEL--

Cas nodded slowly, understanding showing in his eyes. “That...does make sense. There was a time I did that a lot...looked to the stars. Sometimes, I still do.” He took another long drink of the coffee, savouring the newly rediscovered flavour. “Although, for me.. Well, for most of my life, I'd known there was a plan for me. Even when I...rebelled, I still felt like there was a plan, even if the focus had changed.”


He rubbed his hands against the still-warm mug, considering his words. “But things have changed. Over the past year, yes. But...more has changed for me in the past few days than in my entire life, Nan.” He gave her a long look, then his lips quirked into a lopsided smile. “I found someone I thought I lost. And...I gained something else I thought long gone, and so much more.” His hand rose to rub at the back of his neck. “It's good. At least, I think it will be good, all of it. But...it's just so <i>much</i>.”


He took another sip of his coffee, then came another sigh. “Nan, for the first time, I'm free. Truly free to make my own fate,” he said, wondering even as he said it if she could even truly understand what that meant for a creature who had been created for only the purpose of servitude.


NAN--