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I Wish I Was Someone Better

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Sam sighed and sipped on his Coke once more. The steady beat of the music was not enough to drown out his thoughts, no matter how loud it was. Sam did not want to be here, but Dean had been insistent, saying that Sam needed to get out more. So they had ended up in a night club. Yeah right. It was Sam getting out that had been the problem before, not the solution. Sam looked over at the dance floor from his hidden corner booth by the bar. Dean was dancing with Jo and laughing. At least some of them were having a good time. Sam sighed again and looked down at his glass on the table.

“Whoa, gigantor. Mind if I sit down?”

Sam looked up. Well, not that far up. A man was standing by his table. He was short, with golden hair and eyes and he was wearing the cockiest smirk Sam had ever seen. Before Sam had the chance to even open his mouth, the guy sat down opposite him.

“So, the bartender is thinking of asking you to leave. Seems you’re having way too much fun. Makes all us other normal people uncomfortable.”

Sam was so dumbfounded that he could not think of anything intelligent to say. “Um... what?”

The short guy made a sound. “Pssh… though crowd here!” He smirked at Sam. “Look, I’m Gabriel. What’s your name?”

Sam cleared his throat slightly and mustered up a polite smile. ”Sam.”

Gabriel smiled. “Nice meeting you kiddo!”

Sam was not very interested in conversing with anyone, especially not some nut job like Gabriel seemed to be, so he hummed non-committedly.

Gabriel grabbed at his chest with a seriously faked pained sound. “Ouch, Samsquatch! That just hurts my feelings.”

“I don’t think your feelings are in danger of being hurt.” Sam said drily.

Gabriel snorted and smirked. “No you’re right, I lied.” Then he grinned even wider. “So, why are a handsome man like yourself out and about when it’s clear that he’d rather be anywhere else than here?”

Sam had to snort at being called handsome. But Gabriel was right about the part where he said that Sam rather not be here. “My brother and my cousin made me come. Said I needed to get out more.” He did not elaborate and chose to leave it at that – not mentioning that this was the first time he was in a club like this and not high as a kite. When his thoughts turned that direction, he unconsciously pulled at his long sleeved shirt.

Gabriel’s smirk disappeared briefly. “So I sense a story there. But I also sense a big blaring warning sign of don’t-fucking-go-there, so let’s change the subject. What do you do for a living?” Gabriel was smirking again.

“You’re right about that.” Sam said and smiled gratefully. The smile came much easier that it had done in a long while. “I’m in law school.”

“Huh, so Sammy’s got some brains. Nice.” Gabriel said and did thumbs up. “Always did like my men intelligent.”

Sam’s brain skidded to a halt. Belatedly he realized that Gabriel probably was not just making polite conversation just because he was bored or something. “Uh… no offense, but I’m not interested.” Sam said slowly.

Gabriel grinned widely. “Eh, can’t blame a guy for trying!” He leaned back into his seat and shrugged. A waitress came by and placed a fruity cocktail on the table in front of Gabriel. Sam wondered briefly if it was possible for Gabriel to stop grinning or smirking, because at the moment it did not seem so. But it was contagious and Sam felt his own lips curl in a small smile.

“So, Sam! You never asked back what I do! Terribly rude, you know? Everybody wants a chance to shine and dazzle. So me? I’m a doctor.” Gabriel smirked.

Interest rose unwillingly in Sam. “What kind of a doctor?”

“First question of the night! Sam, your conversational skills are improving!” Gabriel took a sip of his drink. “I’m a pediatrician.”

Sam snorted loudly and tried to smother a laugh. “Figures. You seem juvenile enough, so the kids probably love you.”

“You got that right, they all love me. But then again, I have a winning personality.”

This time Sam could not smother the chuckles. “And you’re very full of yourself too.”

“Well, bucko – I reckon humility never got anyone anywhere.” Gabriel said with a slightly more serious expression than the one he had been wearing for the most part of their conversation.

Sam nodded slightly. “I can concede the point somewhat. You shouldn’t downplay what you’re good at, at least.”

“That’s exactly my point kiddo!” Gabriel nodded enthusiastically.

Sam shook his head. “Kiddo? Really? You can’t be more than five years older than me or something.”

Gabriel snorted loudly. “It’s cute that you think that. Very cute. And flattering. But I’m pretty sure that you’re not even thirty yet now that I’ve gotten a better look at you.”

“So thirty five? You don’t look it. I’m twenty five.” Sam said. Gabriel certainly did not look that much older than him.

“Uh, no. I’m thirty seven.” He looked sheepish.

“Well, as I said. You don’t look it.” Sam said and grinned.

Gabriel just grinned back. “See, there is something more there than an overgrown emo kid!”

Sam grinned and shook his head. “You really are strange. But, you’ve made my night a lot better. So thanks for that at least.”

“Eh, no worries, kiddo.” Gabriel said, smiling lightly. “You looked like you needed it.”

Sam nodded. “I really did.”

The patrons of the club were slowly starting to trickle towards the exit. Sam had not had this fun in years, if he was going to be honest. Gabriel was witty and just oozed happiness. Even when Sam had made his disinterest clear, Gabriel had still stayed and talked. Sam could easily admit that Gabriel was worth keeping in contact with.

“So, it looks like our time is up.” Sam said, feeling more than a little reluctant to end his conversation with Gabriel.

Gabriel winked. “Well, yeah. If you don’t wanna come back for a night cap at my place?”

Sam felt his stomach lurch. Gabriel had not commented on the fact that Sam was only drinking Coke and nothing containing alcohol and that was only the first hurdle. The second was that per his agreement with his brother, Sam was not allowed to leave the club without his brother. And he was definitely not allowed to go home with anyone, especially someone he had just met.

“I’m sorry, Gabriel. I can’t.” Sam said and felt his smile disappear. “I need to go home with my brother. I’m the designated driver.” He really was not. Dean would not let him drive the Impala unless his life depended on it. Not anymore.

Gabriel just waved dismissively. “It’s all right, kiddo. Rain check?”

Sam felt his smile returning. “Seriously?”

Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Yes, very seriously. You’re fun when you’re actually talking.” Gabriel stretched out his hand. “Give me your phone and I’ll program my number into it.”

Sam felt his cheeks heat up so quickly that he was convinced Gabriel couldn’t possibly miss it. “I don’t have one.” He mumbled, feeling ashamed.

Gabriel chuckled. “More story that we won’t touch with a ten foot pole there, I hear. Oh well, then let’s do it the ol’ fashioned way.” Gabriel shuffled in his seat and picked up his wallet from his jeans and pulled out a business card. Dr. Gabriel Milton, MD. Specialist in pediatrics. And a phone number and an e-mail address.

“There you go, now you have the number of yours truly.” Gabriel said and winked.

Sam fumbled after a pen in his jacket and felt himself flush that he had no number to give Gabriel. “Um… I could give you my e-mail address?” Gabriel handed him an extra business card and Sam quickly wrote down the email he had gotten from the university.

“There.” He said and put it in Gabriel’s outstretched hand.

Gabriel smiled lightly. “Thanks Sammy.” He stood. “Walk you to the exit?”

“Sure.” Sam stood and stretched.

They parted at the door with promises to stay in touch. Sam walked down the street to where the Impala was parked and waited for Dean and Jo to come. He could not stop smiling, Gabriel had made him smile more tonight than he could remember ever doing during the last few years.

“Sammy!” Dean called out. “Been here long?”

Sam turned around towards his brother and his cousin and rolled his eyes. “No, I just got here.”

Dean nodded and his happy face hardened. Sam hunched his shoulder and his good mood was gone in an instant. Jo looked between them, said nothing and just got in the car.

“How much did you drink, Sam?” Dean asked.

“Nothing.” Sam said shortly. “Can we go home now?”

Dean looked at him for a long while, trying to gauge if he was telling the truth. “Right. We’ll still do the testing at home, business as usual.”

Sam did not answer him, electing to just get in the car instead, bad mood still in place. The ride home was silent and awkward and even if Sam felt happier than he had been in a long time, his bad relationship with his brother made it hard for him to keep smiling.

Chapter Text

The morning after the night when Sam had met Gabriel, he woke with a slight smile on his lips. He just could not stop thinking of the first good thing that had happened to him in recent months. He really felt that he connected with Gabriel and he really wanted to contact him again, he was in desperate need of new friends. In desperate need of good friends. Even if the night ended on a sour note, because he and Dean fought again, Sam could not help but feel like things were looking up for a change. He huffed and thought back to his and Dean’s fight. Dean had made him take a Breathalyzer test and threatened to take him to the doctor’s and make him pee in a cup. Sam thought he was ridiculous and told him so. And then he had to put his foot in his mouth and ask Dean to trust him.

“Trust you?” Dean said, his voice getting louder. “It was me trusting you that got us here in the first place!”

“That was over six months ago, Dean! I haven’t touched a glass of alcohol in over six months and I haven’t taken anything else in at least eight!” Sam said, his own voice raising in volume to match Dean’s. “I think I’ve shown that you can trust me again!”

Dean rolled his eyes and shook his head slowly. “No. Sam, you stopped acting like my brother. I didn’t even know you and even now you’re not the brother I used to have. So until you’re normal again, I don’t trust you, period.”

“Dean, I’m not going to be ‘normal’ again. I’m not going to ever be the same!” Sam was yelling at the top of his voice and he did not care. “Sorry if I just can’t go back to being perfectly-normal-healthy-Sam when I’m not! I fucked myself over for good, Dean. I can’t ever be that Sam again, so don’t ask me to. Please.” His yelling was reduced to whispers when he begged his brother to understand.

Dean just looked at him and shook his head. “You’re the only one that believes that, Sammy.”

Sam did not answer him and just left instead and went straight to bed.

Sam groaned and rolled out of bed. He was just going to ignore what Dean said for now. He was going to try and make Dean believe him so he at least could get a phone, and then he would keep working at making his brother trust him again. He hated being without a phone, people always had to question why he did not have one. Answering that was always awkward, and he had to invent a ton of reasons. He tended to stick with saying that his old one was broken and that he did not have money to have a new one. Better that people thought he was poor than knowing that he was an ex-junkie on probation ordained by his brother.

Sam stepped into the bathroom and pulled of his ratty t-shirt and boxers. He carefully avoided his reflection in the mirror as he stepped into the shower. He enjoyed the warm water cascading down his back, and the fact that he had an excuse to keep his eyes closed and could avoid looking at his arms.

After his shower, he steeled himself as he dried off and moved towards the sink. He opened the cupboard and brought out shaving cream and his razor. Taking a deep breath, he closed the cupboard again and looked in the mirror. He never could avoid looking down when he did this.

His arms were awful. The puncture marks had faded a bit but the poison he had injected himself with left marks running down his arms. Ruby and he had never been careful when injecting, he had trusted her and she had liked making marks on him. He had not cared then, but now he wished he could go back in time and stop his younger self from both accepting the drugs and Ruby’s treatment of him.

Apart from the track marks, his arms were scarred all over. Ruby had liked making him bleed when he was strung out and he had not minded then, liking the sensation as it almost always led to a wild round of sex.
Now, he had decided that he would never have sex again. Apart from his unflattering and awful arms that made Sam himself sick to look at, he was dirty. He was sick, probably permanently and he never wanted to be guilty of inflicting that on another person.
He hated shaving now. Even the smallest mistake and bleeding needed attention and sanitation. He hated to explain why. He was getting good at being extremely careful.

The morning went past uneventfully. After showering and shaving, Sam ate a lonely breakfast and then he hit the books. Studying law was not as bad as people made it out to be and Sam quite enjoyed it. He had not gotten into law school for the money or the prestige; he went because he found the subject fascinating. At the moment he was deep in tax legislations and he could not be happier with his choice of education.

Then the phone rang. Sam had to look around the living room for a few seconds before he could find the phone wedged between the sofa cushions. Dean had bad habits when he spoke on the phone. Still grumbling over Dean and his bad habits, Sam answered the phone.

“Yeah?”

“That you, Sam?” Sam had to smile at the gruff voice on the line. It was always great to hear from his uncle.

“Yeah, hi Bobby.” He said, sounding genuinely happy.

“Idjit. So, how’d it go? Jo’s still sleepin’, or she’s avoidin’ her old man, ‘cause she ain’t answering her damn phone.”

Sam had to stifle a giggle. His uncle always sounded gruff but he really cared about them all. Sam appreciated how much Bobby and his wife Ellen had done for him and his brother when their dad had died and even if they were not related by blood, they were family.

“It went. It was okay, I didn’t wanna go but it worked out fine. Dean and I fought when we got home but I guess we’ll have to count it as a success.” He said, biting his lip.

“That’s good, Sam. Real good. You’re gonna be just fine, kid.”

Tears welled up in his eyes and Sam had to stifle a sob before speaking again. “Yeah, thanks Bobby.”

“Anyways, Ellen wants you to know that you and that idjit brother of yours are expected here at noon tomorrow.”

“We’ll be there, I promise.” Sam said, tears threatening to spill still. He was so grateful that his family was talking to him and still wanted something to do with him.

“All right, see you tomorrow then boy.”

“Okay, bye Bobby. Tell Ellen I said hi.”

“Will do, bye!”

Sam hung up the phone and wiped his face with his shirt sleeve. He took deep breaths to get his tears under control again. Then he sat down with his books again, even if it took him some time to get back to his studies.
Dean returned in the afternoon from wherever he had been the whole day.

Sam looked up from his books as Dean came into the kitchen. “Where have you been?”

Dean shrugged of his leather jacket and carelessly threw it over one of the kitchen chairs. “Taking care of Baby, she needed some TLC.”

Sam snorted. Yeah right, like that car was not in perfect condition already. Sam was pretty sure it was just an excuse to not be home with him and keep fighting. Sam did not want to fight either; he wanted to get Dean to give him back his phone. So he had to keep his mouth shut and not express his disbelief.

“I see.” Sam bit his lip. “You know, I wanted to ask you something.”

Dean arched an eyebrow. “What?”

“Could I have my phone back?” Sam tried to use his best puppy eyes.

Dean scoffed and shook his head. “No, no phone.”

“Come on, Dean! I need a phone! People think I’m a freak enough already and I really want to be able to call you if I need to!” Sam begged him.

“I don’t trust you with a phone, you know that and you know why!” Dean said, his voice increasing volume.

“Please! Dean, I’ve looked into it, if you get a subscription you could choose to get the bill with the full information – you’d be able to see all the calls I’ve made and texts I’ve sent. So you could still check! Please?” Sam really did his best with the puppy dog eyes.

Dean looked at him and sighed. “Son of a bitch… fine. I’ll look into it. No promises though.”

“Thanks Dean. I appreciate it.” Sam said with a watery smile. That Dean would think about was a huge step forward.

Dean grumbled but he squeezed Sam’s shoulder as he passed him on his way to the living room. Sam kept smiling. Maybe things would be alright again.

Chapter Text

Barbecue Sunday had become a regular event these past months. Ellen and Bobby would leave a standing invitation for Sam and Dean to be there every Sunday, and they would show up every Sunday at noon. They had been regulars at Bobby’s and Ellen’s before, but now they met them every week. He had his suspicions that it was Ellen’s way of keeping her eyes on him. She always looked at Sam with her long piercing stare, like she was looking through him and into his soul. Sam always felt a bit uncomfortable, but he decided that the feeling of warmth when Ellen hugged him tight, like she was afraid to let go, made up for her piercing eyes. Since Sam had never known his mother, Ellen was the closest thing he had. Dean could go all misty eyed when he remembered their mom, but Sam had no idea who she was. It was very difficult to have some form of connection to a person who died when you were six months old. All he had was vague ideas from what Dean told him of their mother. Dean was only four when she died, so Sam suspected that the memories Dean carried had a heavy dose of imagination in them too.

Bobby’s attempts a barbecue was just as disastrous as his other attempts at cooking, so Jo was manning the grill and Bobby was handing out the sodas. Before, he would have been handing out beer, but now they all were very careful with Sam coming into contact with anything alcoholic. The night at the club was his first real test, but no one wanted to tempt fate by keeping him too close to temptation.

Sam hated being an inconvenience to everyone. He hated the whole handle-with-care attitude everyone had adopted. He felt like a walking time bomb, just waiting to explode and fall off the wagon again.

“How’s school, Sam?” Ellen asked as the put plates and cutlery on the kitchen table.

“It’s fine. I really enjoy it, even if some of the professors seem to enjoy failing their students.” Sam said with a smile.

Ellen snorted. “What do you expect? They’re lawyers.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “I’ll be a lawyer one day.”

Ellen smiled at him and squeezed his arm. “Well, yeah. But you’ll be one of the good guys . The exception that proves the rule.”

“I suppose I should thank you for the vote of confidence in me, even if you have no confidence in my future profession.” Sam said and chuckled.

Ellen just smiled before heading outside to get Jo and the barbecue.

All in all, it was a good day. Dean and his fight was behind them and a truce was formed. Sam held no illusions that it was their last fight on the subject. His and Dean’s relationship had always been volatile, even if they loved each other very much. One of Sam’s previous girlfriends had insinuated that they loved each other too much, because they always gravitated towards each other and would do anything for the other. Then again, she had insinuated that they loved each other sexually too, so what did she know.

Later that night, when Dean had gone to bed and Sam could hear him snore from his room down the hall, Sam made a split second decision. He could not sleep, he had been twisting and turning for hours when he decided to get up and go out. Some fresh air and a walk should help him calm down and let him sleep when he got back.

After writing a hasty note to Dean that he would be back soon and had just gone for a walk, he grabbed his jacket and walked out the door. The chilly fall air was crispy, but it was not cold. Sam walked down the road towards the bus stop and was about to walk past it when he realized that the convenience store was still open – and that it had computers to surf on. Suddenly the business card in his pocket burned hot. He was really tempted. No one would have to know. He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out the business card.

Dr. Gabriel Milton, MD.

Biting his lip, Sam made his second hasty decision that night, and walked into the store. He bought some computer time and logged in to his mail account. His hands were shaking and he felt his pulse rise. It felt so forbidden. He knew Dean would flip out if he ever found out that Sam had done this. When Sam looked at the screen as the computer had finished logging him into his account, he was surprised to see that Gabriel apparently already sent him an email.

Sam,

Since you seemed a little hesitant to initiate social contact (I’m being polite, you’re socially inept but don’t be sad, you’re cute enough to make up for it) I decided to email you first. I’m also foregoing the three day rule, since I’m an impatient kind of guy.

So, you wanna meet up for coffee someday and discuss how we should sue Fox for cancelling Firefly?

Gabriel

Sam almost laughed out loud as he read Gabriel’s email. The tone of it almost made him hear Gabriel’s voice when reading it, and that somehow made the anxiety in his chest that felt permanent since getting clean, ease up a little. With a slight smile on his face, he typed out his response to Gabriel.

Gabriel,

First off all, I’m not socially inept. You just caught me off guard. I’m glad you’re not a patient kind of guy, I’ve had a pretty bad weekend except for Friday, so your email made my day-

Sam paused. That sounded dangerously sappy. He did not want to give off the wrong signals. Sure, Gabriel was an attractive man, but Sam did not want to meet anyone in that context now. He wanted to be single and focus on his studies. He just craved companionship. He wanted friends.

Your email was a welcome distraction.

That sounded much better.

Gabriel,
First off all, I’m not socially inept. You just caught me off guard. I’m glad you’re not a patient kind of guy, I’ve had a pretty bad weekend except for Friday, so your email was a welcome distraction.

I would very much like to meet up and discuss the merits of a lawsuit against Fox. It must be criminal to cancel a TV-show that has cowboys in space. I’m free Friday afternoon, if that works for you?

Sam

When Sam went back to bed that night, he fell asleep with a smile on his lips for the first time in a long while.

Chapter Text

The week went by quickly. Or at least, Monday through Thursday did. Gabriel had replied almost immediately, so when Sam was at the university library on Monday evening, Gabriel had confirmed their plans and suggested that they meet at the campus café. During the week Sam’s schedule was full. Morning classes, afternoon classes, study time at home and regular interrogations from Dean. Sam hated those. No matter how many times he assured Dean that he was not taking anything, or how many times the Breathalyzer showed that Sam was sober, Dean still insisted on checking him. Sam had lost the rights to his own life, to privacy. He was irrationally happy that he had one thing he still could hide from Dean. One small measure of privacy.

When Friday morning came, Sam was a bundle of nerves. His morning classes were dull and no matter how much he tried to pay attention to them and listen to the professors, he could not seem to recall what was taught. He would have to ask Jess for notes later. He thought up a billion irrational schemes and excuses why Gabriel would not come, or why he would stand him up.

Twenty minutes to one had Sam anxiously standing outside the campus café and debating if he should head inside or wait outside until Gabriel showed. He had the irrational thought that Gabriel might have forgotten what he looked like, even if he knew that was unlikely. At least it was hard to forget how tall Sam was. He adjusted the strap of his messenger bag and looked around. Gabriel was nowhere in sight. Not yet at least.

“Looking for someone?”

Sam felt like he jumped a couple of feet in the air while his heart stopped. “Jesus!” He exclaimed and turned around.

Gabriel smirked. “Nah, just Gabriel.” He paused. “But then again, Gabriel is an archangel, so… just Gabriel might be an understatement.”

Sam ignored Gabriel’s religious musings. “You just want to surprise me in any way possible when we meet. Either by using confusing lines or scaring me shitless.” He said and pointed his finger accusingly at Gabriel.

Gabriel just smirked and winked. “Yeah, I just might love messing with people. And you’re way funnier to mess with than most.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Let’s go inside.”

“Lead the way, Mr. Lawyer.” Gabriel said and bowed with an exaggerated flourish.

Sam just shook his head and opened the door to the café.

Gabriel stepped forward and surveyed the surroundings. The café was fairly busy and a lot of seats were taken. “Right, Sammy. I’ll get us something to eat and drink and you’ll find a place to sit.”

Sam felt his defenses immediately come up. He was not rich by any means but he hated pity. He did not want anyone to pay for his drinks or his food because of some misguided sense of pity. There was nothing about Sam to pity. Except maybe how easily manipulated he had been by his last girlfriend.

Gabriel rolled his eyes when he saw the looks on Sam’s face. “I promise you’ll get to pay for your stuff. Not a date, I registered your uninterested vibes last time.”

Sam smiled slightly. “Then, fine. I’ll find us a corner booth. Get me a ham and cheese sandwich and a latte.”

Gabriel nodded. “Got it, sandwich and latte.” Then he smirked and made a fake serious face. “I’ll be back.”

Sam chuckled. “That was the most atrocious try to sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger ever.”

Sam found them a booth in the corner, just in time for Gabriel to show up with two cups of latte and Sam’s sandwich and a large helping of pie.

After a few minutes when Sam ate his sandwich and Gabriel munched on his pie, Gabriel swallowed and cleared his throat. “So, Mr. Future Lawyer – have you come up with a decent plan for suing Fox yet?”

Sam almost choked when he tried to swallow a piece of his sandwich while laughing. “No, not yet. I haven’t really found a way to prove that they’ve caused any harm by not continuing the series.”

Gabriel arched an eyebrow. “No harm? They’ve caused me years of suffering! I mean, I’ll never get to see the finish of the series! Oh, the movie was great, don’t get me wrong. But there should have been more. So much more.” During his little speech, Gabriel had taken to gesturing wildly with his fork to emphasize his point. Sam was slightly afraid that he was going to lose an eye at this pace.

“I know.” Sam said. “It should be a crime to cancel a show with space cowboys.”

Gabriel nodded solemnly. “Indeed.” Then he put another piece of pie in his mouth. “So, tell me more about you. You’re in law school, you’ll be done soon and you have an older brother, right?”

Sam nodded. “Yeah, that about sums it up. Dean is my older brother.”

“Is he a lawyer? Are you following in the family footsteps?”

Sam snorted loudly.

Gabriel looked slightly confused. “Did I say something wrong?”

Sam smiled at him. “No not at all. Dean’s a mechanic. He works mostly with custom cars. His own car is the best cared for Chevy Impala I’ve ever seen.” He paused. “No one in my family has gone to college before, so no following the family footsteps.” Sam took a bite of his sandwich and chewed. “What about you?”

Gabriel gave a brief smile. “Well, I’m the youngest of four brothers. Michael, Lucifer and Raphael are my big bros’ names. You see the theme?”

Sam nodded and chuckled slightly. “Archangels. Nice. Well, I guess except for Lucifer. That must be tough on him.”

Gabriel shrugged. “Yeah, well. Not anymore. When he was a kid, sure, but now he’s too well respected for people to care. And I guess the fact that no one dares to address him by anything other than Doctor Milton helps.” Gabriel grinned.

“So, Lucifer is a doctor too?” Sam wondered.

“Yep. So is Michael. Raphael is the oddball, he’s an engineer.”

“What kind of doctors are they then? Are you in the same field?” Sam thought it was very interesting that three of the four siblings had chosen to become doctors. Sam was all for carving your own path, and he did not really see why you would follow in your siblings footsteps.

“Oh, God no.” Gabriel laughed loudly. “I’m an embarrassment to them. Well, at least to Michael. Lucifer just thinks I’ve wasted my potential. Both Michael and Lucifer are surgeons, and talented and well paid ones at that.” Gabriel smiled slightly, and Sam did not think he imagined the bitter edge of the smile but decided not to ask. “But what can I say, kids love me and I love kids. I like being a doctor and to work with kids is just so much more rewarding than cutting people open.” Gabriel laughed lightly.

Sam smiled. “Well, even if they don’t approve, it seems like you’re doing something you love – and that’s what’s important, I think.”

Gabriel smirked. “Yep, but enough with the sappy stuff.” He winked. “So apart from watching Firefly, what do you do for fun, Samsquatch?”

Sam shrugged lightly. “Um, reading and stuff. Watching movies with my brother and my cousin sometimes. Not a lot.”

“No shit, Samsquatch.” Gabriel said and chuckled. “You really have to learn to have fun.”

“Yeah, that worked out so well for me last time.” Sam muttered darkly under his breath.

“What was that?” Gabriel tilted his head lightly and sounded insanely curious.

“Oh, nothing.” Sam said with a broad smile. “So, enough about me – how about you?”

Gabriel snorted. “Nice save there, Gigantor. Lucky for you, I love talking about myself.” He smirked. “I have what you could call an active social life, so let me entertain you with some stories of my dashing looks and heroic deeds.”

Sam snorted loudly into his coffee.

Sam had a lovely time with Gabriel. He did not lie when he said he loved talking about himself, but Sam enjoyed it. Gabriel might tell stories like he was actually the most outrageous person that ever graced the Earth, but Sam enjoyed hearing about his mishaps and adventures. But Gabriel was not just good at talking about himself; he was good at making Sam talk. Sam told him about school and how much he loved it and then he talked about his brother and how much he loved him. Gabriel skillfully avoided any more mention of his family and Sam (less skillfully) avoided talking about his issues. They returned to popular culture and argued which Star Trek was best. Gabriel vowed to make Sam watch the full original series when Sam said he liked the reboot.

After three hours of constant smiling, laughing and talking, Sam’s cheeks hurt. It was a good hurt, one he had missed for a long time. They said goodbye with promises to see each other soon again. Sam felt like he could not wait.

Chapter Text

Contrary to popular belief, or at least contrary to Sam’s belief, Dean was not an idiot. Sam had been mopey and downright depressed since he got clean, so Dean did damn well notice when his kid brother started to be happier. When Sam did not even complain too much about Dean’s incessant testing if he was sober or not, Dean knew something was up. They fought less and Sam was happier in general. He did not like the world was about to end any second anymore. Whatever Sam was hiding it was doing him a world of good without hooking him back on drugs or alcohol. As long as Sam was happy without his crippling crutches, Dean was happy.

Dean never wanted to experience anything like what he had when he found out that Sam was using. Gradually, he had noticed that Sam seemed to lose weight, but Dean put it up to the stress of law school, Sam had not been able to maintain his rigid exercise schedule when he started law school so it was only natural that he would lose some weight.

What actually made Dean suspicious was when Sam stopped coming home. He always slept over at his girlfriend, Ruby’s place. He stopped answering Dean’s calls when he was at Ruby’s apartment and he stopped coming home. One night, when it had been over 24 hours since he saw or talked to his brother, Dean made his way over to Ruby’s place. What he saw, Dean desperately wished he could unsee. His brother was so high that he did not even care that his psycho girlfriend was cutting him up. Ruby was tracing Sam’s forearms with a knife, carving marks into Sam’s skin. Dean saw red. He flung himself into the apartment and pushed Ruby off of his brother. He did not hit her, but he threatened that if she ever came near Sam again, he would kill her. And he meant it. Then he grabbed Sam and pulled him with him out the door and down to the hospital. The cuts on his arms were bleeding, and old cuts were infected. The ER nurse commented that Sam had been lucky to be brought in or it might have turned ugly. Dean, who did not believe in any higher power, thanked God for the first time in his life.

When Sam came down from his high, the shouting match between him and Dean was inevitable. Sam accused Dean of acting like their father, trying to rule his life. Dean told Sam that he did not want to have a disgusting addict for a brother, and that he had a choice to make. Rehab and no more Ruby or never seeing Dean again. It had not been much of a choice on Sam’s part. No matter how angry they were at each other or how betrayed they felt, Dean and Sam stuck together.

Sam went to rehab for a couple of months. Dean went down the drain. He could not help but feel that he was somehow responsible for Sam’s habit. He had promised his mother to look after Sammy, and he had failed. It was not until Bobby smacked him upside the head at work one day and called him out on being an idiot that he stopped moping and feeling sorry for himself.

Right now, Dean was conflicted. A couple of weeks back, Sam had begged him to let him have a phone. Instinctively he had wanted to say a loud fuck no to that idea, but Sam had insisted that Dean could still check his traffic. Which, at least to Dean, meant that Sam was serious about regaining his trust. Still, he was conflicted about it.

“What are you moping about now, boy?” Bobby said. “You’re thinking so damn loudly I can’t even hear the damn radio.”

That was a total exaggeration on Bobby’s part. The radio was blasting loudly in the garage and it was rather effective for drowning out thoughts and speech.

“It’s just… Sam.” Dean said with a sigh, before he leaned down into the hood of the car he was working on.

Bobby snorted and handed him a wrench. “What has that idjit boy done now then? I thought things were lookin’ up.”

Dean nodded. “Yeah, everything’s better now. He’s been real good lately.”

Bobby rolled his eyes. “Then what is it that has your up in knots?”

“He wants a cell phone again.” Dean’s brow furrowed. “And I’m not sure if that’s a good idea.”

“The boy in question is twenty five, Dean. He’s not a snot nosed four year old anymore. It ain’t your job to hold his hand thru’ all his life.” Bobby said.

“I’m his brother, Bobby. I’ll always look out for him, you know that.” Dean said, a little more angrily than he intended. He was just tense because of the whole Sam-situation to begin with.

“Yeah, but lookin’ out for him ain’t the same thing as controlling him.” Bobby said sternly. “Get one of them plans so you can see who he calls, if you’re worried.”

Dean nodded. “That’s what he said himself, when he asked me.”

“Then why hold out on him? Get him a damn phone you idjit.” Bobby rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, yeah… I will.”

When Dean came home with a brand new subscription and a new phone that night, Dean did not miss the happiness and gratitude in Sam’s eyes. Dean still had Sam’s old phone tucked away in a locked desk drawer at work, but he was paranoid that Sam would fall back into old habits if he kept his old phone. Dean really did not think Sam would fall off the wagon just from seeing his old phone, but he was afraid and not too ashamed to admit it. Sam tried to hide a tear when Dean handed him the phone, but he could not hide what it meant to him when he hugged his brother tighter than he had done in a long while.

Dean did not miss the phone buzzing from a text message later that night, nor did he miss the small smile playing on Sam’s lips as he read on his phone. Dean smiled slightly, certain that he had made the right choice by giving Sam some part of his freedom back.

Chapter Text

After charging his brand new and completely unexpected phone, Sam did not hesitate to message Gabriel as soon as he could. He could not believe that Dean had actually agreed to let him have a phone and not only that; Dean had surprised him with a brand new phone. Sam had hugged his brother so hard that he felt like he almost cracked Dean’s ribs. Dean however, had hugged back just as hard, so Sam did not think it was a bad thing. Maybe things were looking up for their relationship, finally. Trust was hard to rebuild, but Sam was determined to prove that it was not impossible.

Finally got a phone, now you have my number. – Sam

Gabriel took about thirty seconds to answer.

Awesome! Now I’ll never leave you alone.

Sam snorted quietly and smiled at his phone.

I’d prefer if you’d at least leave me alone in class.

The answer from Gabriel did not take many seconds.

Classes – who needs them?

Sam laughed quietly and shook his head.

I do if I’m going to pass my exams.

The phone buzzed again.

Pfft, education is overrated.

Sam snorted.

Says the doctor. Your statement is lacking in logic.

Gabriel was fast to answer.

Whatevs. You up for gaming night at my place? I have excellent taste in videogames.

Sam frowned and contemplated. He thumbed the screen for a minute, thinking. Meeting people in public was one thing. Going to their house or apartment was a whole other thing. Sam was not sure if he could trust Gabriel. Granted, Gabriel had acted perfectly normal, if slightly flamboyant, so far, but Sam was unsure if there were other motives behind it all. He felt like he had lost all common sense when it came to understanding people after Ruby. His therapist had opened his mind to understanding how easily he had been manipulated by his former girlfriend. He must have been sitting there contemplating for way too long, because his phone buzzed again.

Sam? It’s ok if you don’t wanna. I just thought I’d ask.

It was as if Gabriel had sensed his hesitation. Ruby had never given him a choice. She had wheedled and begged and threatened to make him do as she pleased. There had never been choice, only her way. It was refreshing to have choice, but Sam did not feel comfortable going to Gabriel’s apartment yet.

It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just difficult for me. It’s hard to explain.

Sam bit his lip and frowned at the screen. He hovered over the send button for a few seconds before pressing it. His answer was a ridiculous non-answer, really. But he could not come up with another way to express himself. He had the absurd notion that he did not want to lie to Gabriel too much. No more deception than what was necessary. He could not place why, but he felt like it was important. His phone buzzed almost instantly again. Gabriel obviously texted at super speed. Sam had a random thought it had to be the lamest superpower ever. He shook his head to lose that idiotic train of thought and opened the text.

No worries, kiddo. Wanna do something else?

Sam nodded, even though he knew Gabriel could not see him.

How about a movie?

Yet again, the answer was almost instantaneous.

Sounds good. What time & which movie?

Sam rose from his comfortable position on the sofa, and fetched the newspaper from the kitchen table. Normally he would just have checked online for which movies that were showing, but he had not earned back his computer privileges yet. Sam did not want to push it with Dean, now that he finally had earned his phone back. So he was relegated to check the movies that were showing in the paper instead.

How about Saturday? Lawless seems like it could be good.

For the first time, Gabriel’s response was delayed. Sam suspected it was because of Gabriel checking which movie it was.

The guys who plays Bane, guns and illegal booze? Sign me up. Meet you at the theatre at 7?

Sam laughed at that reply.

Sounds great. See you then.

Sam smiled widely when he had sent his confirmation. He was proud of himself, for not only not doing something he was uncomfortable with, but also for not backing out just because he had trust issues. He had the insane urge to dance a victory dance, because he knew what a step forward he just had taken in his recovery. Maybe everything would work out. Maybe he could trust his own judgment again. Maybe, he did not have to be broken for all of eternity. He just had to hope.

Chapter Text

Sam sat on the couch in Ruby’s apartment. She straddled him and grinned. “Baby, I’m gonna make you feel so good!”

Sam smiled back, filled with uncertainty. “Promise?”

She smiled at him and kissed him filthily on the mouth. “I’m gonna rock your world, Sam. You’ll forget about everything… but me.”

She rolled up his shirtsleeve with practiced ease and then she kissed over the marks she left there. Sam felt himself relax and lean back into the couch as Ruby’s lips left his arm and she reached for the syringe. She found his vein with ease and Sam felt the heady rush of whatever it was enter his system. The hit was almost instant. He felt like he was flying, distantly he heard Ruby’s voice and saw her grab her knife. He knew what was coming and he wanted it. He stretched out his arms, making it easy for her to cut him. The bleeding only fueled the high the drugs gave him, making him forget for just one moment. One moment where he could stop thinking about mom and dad and everything and just feel free. Ruby began to lick at his bleeding arms and Sam felt the rush of arousal hit him. He reached for his girlfriend and kissed her hard. She moaned and grinned, Sam’s blood painting her lips a beautiful shade of red.

“Sam!”

Even in his drug induced haze he knew that voice.

“Get off my brother you crazy bitch!”

“It’s not like he’s getting anything he doesn’t want to.”

And she was right about that. Sam almost never felt as good as when he was with Ruby and she was taking care of him.

“Fuck off, Ruby. If I ever see you getting anywhere near my brother again, I will fucking gank you.”

Dean pulled Sam up from the couch and hauled him off, away from the apartment and away from Ruby.

Sam woke with a start. He had not had a dream or a flashback like this for a while. He had found himself thinking less and less of Ruby as time had gone by. Now he woke in a cold sweat just from a memory. He had not seen it then. He saw it now. How she used and abused and never really cared for him. When they met, he thought he finally had found his soul mate. Ruby was broken, just like him. But she was too broken, and Sam did not understand it. Not until later, when he had distanced himself from her. He was so grateful for Dean’s demands now. In the beginning, Sam hated him. And he told him so. Sam was under no illusion that their bad relationship was not his fault.

Sam wiped his sweaty face with his hand. There was no use in going back to sleep. He had quickly realized that every time he had a flashback or a nightmare it was no use trying to get back to sleep afterward. Instead he got up, grabbed The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy from his nightstand and went down to the living room. He sat down on the couch, trying to concentrate on Arthur Dent’s misadventures, to keep from remembering his own.

After two hours, when the sun finally peeked over the horizon, Sam had the insane urge to text Gabriel. Because Gabriel had not asked questions. Not when they had met and not when they had texted. Sam knew that Gabriel was far from stupid and he was pretty sure that Gabriel had puzzled together what had happened to Sam, but he did not push.

Sam shook his head. No. He ignored the stupid urge and started getting ready for the day instead. In one hour he had classes to get to, and he would need to be awake for them.

Sam had no idea how he managed to stay awake in property law class while sleep deprived. The copious amounts of coffee probably helped. And the fact that Gabriel had started to text him cute cat and dog pictures out of the blue. Sam did not really text anything back, but Gabriel just kept sending stuff.

Aren’t you working today?

Sam finally sent that when the pictures had not let up for two hours.

Hah! I’d wondered when you’d break! The answer is yes, but it’s a conference. And it’s boring.

Sam smiled to himself.

Well, I haven’t slept and now I have to sit through three hours of property law. I’m not only bored but also sleep deprived.

Poor baby. Lucky for you, I’ve completed my ninja training and can text without being seen. So I’ll help you stay awake.

Sam smiled to himself.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Gabriel sent a new text in quick succession.

Yeah, one might call med god-send… geddit?!

Sam rolled his eyes.

Just because your name is Gabriel you’re not an angel. I can think of three things alone that you told me last time that disqualifies you.

Sam waited for Gabriel’s inevitable reply.

Ouch, ouch, ouch. I knew I should never have told you.

Sam almost giggled, but remembered he was currently in a lecture and that it would not go over well if he did.

You should just stop trying to convince me you’re an angel. ;)

You’re right. But don’t tell anyone I ever said that. So, property law?

Sam smiled at Gabriel’s subject change. He was pretty sure that the subject would come up at a later date again when Gabriel wanted to discuss his angelic qualities.

Yes, and I’d rather sell my soul than work with this in the future.

Sam seriously felt that way. Whoever invented property law deserved cruel and unusual punishment.

So what do you wanna work with? You never told me last time.

Sam fingered the buttons with hesitation. He knew what he wanted now, but everyone still expected him to go the route he set out from the beginning. He had not really told anyone that he had changed his mind yet.

Tax law. When I started law school I wanted to be a prosecutor but I changed my mind. Haven’t told anyone yet.

Sam bit his lip and waited for Gabriel’s reply.

Understandable. Tax law doesn’t sound as sexy. You know – when I started med school I didn’t even want to be a doctor.

Sam was surprised, he thought Gabriel loved his job.

But you love your job? What did you wanna do?

Gabriel’s text took unusually long. Sam was worried he had offended him, and was thinking of apologizing when Gabriel’s reply finally came.

Yeah, I do. But when I was younger I wanted to teach. I wanted to work with kids. Now I work with kids anyway, and I love it.

Sam was still curious.

But if you didn’t wanna be a doctor why start med school?

Once again the reply from Gabriel delayed.

Expectations. Used to be angry about it, but I love my job. All’s well that ends well and all that jazz.

Before Sam could reply, Gabriel sent another text.

I have to go now, social obligations and stuff. See you tomorrow, Samster. It was fun talking to you.

Okay, see you tomorrow. Same.

Sam smiled at his phone before putting it away. For now, he had to listen in class. But he could not wait to meet Gabriel again.

Chapter Text

Sam nervously paced outside the theatre. Gabriel was late. The movie was about to start in ten minutes and they had decided to meet twenty minutes ago. Sam kept looking at his phone and wondering if he had the wrong time and day. Then he wondered if he had been stood up. He debated calling Gabriel, but he did not want to come off as clingy or whiny. No matter how Gabriel acted, he was a lot older than Sam and somewhere deep inside and Sam respected him and sought his approval.
Just as Sam was about to give into his urge to call Gabriel, he saw him. Gabriel was jogging up to him and Sam waved at him with a smile.

Gabriel panted as he reached Sam and smiled widely. “Didn’t get the drop on you this time, huh?”

Sam shook his head and rolled his eyes. “No, so if I were you, I’d ask my money back for the ninja training.”

Gabriel laughed. “Yeah yeah. Let’s go inside, shall we?” He grabbed onto Sam’s arm and dragged him inside.

After paying for their tickets, Gabriel persuaded Sam to get the biggest popcorn available before they went inside. Sam just shook his head.

“Aren’t you supposed to be a doctor? Promote health? This is far from healthy.” Sam said and gestured towards the popcorn.

“Ah, ah! Popcorn is by far the healthiest snack available. Recent studies show that it might even be healthier than fruit. Well, as long as you don’t salt it too much or add sugar or butter.”

Sam arched an eyebrow. “These have an overabundance of salt and butter?”

Gabriel shrugged. “Indulging now and again isn’t gonna kill me.” Then he smiled wickedly. “Or are you worried about my girlish figure?”

Sam just snorted and pulled Gabriel towards their seats.

The movie was fantastic, in Sam’s opinion.

He had not really known what to expect. It had seemed good, but Sam felt like was on the edge of his seat the whole time. Gabriel just kept stuffing his face with popcorn, but it seemed to be an automated response more than conscious action. He seemed to be just about as into the movie as Sam was.

About halfway through the movie, Gabriel moved the popcorn to Sam’s lap and smiled and made a motion Sam presumed to be meant as encouragement. Sam poked around the popcorn and grabbed a handful because he thought that Gabriel would take back the popcorn. Instead, Gabriel just reached over to Sam’s lap for more bites. He brushed against Sam’s arm a couple of times and Sam felt like electricity traveled from his forearm every time. Sam tried to calm down his beating heart but his brain did not manage to convince his stupid heart that it was a bad idea to be excited just because no one apart from his family had touched him in ten months. There had been no one but Sam and his right hand for a long while, but that was no reason for his blood to boil just because of Gabriel’s proximity.

But then he also caught a whiff of Gabriel’s scent. Gabriel smelled really nice, warm and earthy and Sam had a fleeting thought that he smelled security and safety too. Sam had never associated anyone’s scent with that before, but it was not surprising that Gabriel would be the first. Gabriel himself gave off the vibe of safety and security. Once again, he tried to calm down his libido’s unreasonable response and concentrate on the movie again.

The movie was really great, so it was not such a hard feat to get back to it again. The final confrontation had Sam grip the armrest hard, as he hoped that all of the brothers would make it through, even if it looked really bad. Suddenly, his hand was grabbed by a much smaller one. Gabriel had apparently had the same urge to hold on to the armrest as Sam. At first, Sam thought Gabriel would remove his hand but he did not move. Sam felt his cheeks heat up, but it was kind of nice to be touched without it being his family or a nurse with a needle so he did not remove his hand.

Gabriel’s hand rested on top of his until the movie ended. Sam liked it. He liked it a lot. After the credits started to roll, Gabriel moved his hand with a smile and put on his coat. Sam smiled back, feeling unsure of what to make of it all. He also put on his jacket and they started walking out from the theater.

Outside, Gabriel slipped his hand into Sam’s again. Sam was so stunned that he felt a little paralyzed. He did not know what he wanted to do. Gabriel’s hand was nice. It was warm and small, but not as small as a woman’s. His hand was softer than Sam thought possible. Sam decided to hold on. They did not speak, but the silence was comfortable and they both had small smiles playing on their lips. They walked towards Sam’s bus stop when Gabriel took a steady hold of Sam’s hand and they stopped.

“Look, Sam.” Sam almost thought it might have been the first time Gabriel had looked serious and used his name and not a silly nickname. “We need to talk.”

Chapter Text

Sam’s insides felt like ice at Gabriel’s words. The wording and tone suggested something serious and Sam could not help but feel like he had done something wrong, but he did not know what. Had he missed some social cue? Had he done something to make Gabriel mad? Sam had no idea.

“Oh.. okay.” He finally said.

Gabriel must have heard the resignation in Sam’s voice because he gripped Sam’s hand tighter. “Sam, it’s… I’d rather have this conversation in private. Come back to my place?”

Sam hesitated. “I… don’t know.” He did not really feel comfortable with going to Gabriel’s place yet.

“Your place then?” Gabriel asked.

Sam nodded. “Just let me check if my brother is home.” He did not really fancy going home if Dean was back. He dialed Dean’s number, feeling his anxiousness eating away in his stomach.

“Sam?” Dean answered like he was sober, but going by the sound, Dean was out looking for company for the night.

“Hi. Where are you?” Sam asked, trying and probably failing to sound as normal as possible.

“Roadhouse with Jo. Why?”

Sam really had no idea how to answer that. “I just got home and you weren’t here so I wondered.” He said feebly.

“Yeah, I might not be home until tomorrow.” Sam thanked God that his brother was drunk and did not realize that Sam was calling from his cell phone and not the landline.

“Oh, okay. Um… say hi to Jo from me.” Sam said.

“Will do, bye.” Dean hung up before Sam could answer.

Gabriel looked at Sam with a small smile. “Your house?”

Sam nodded. “Do you have a car or..?” He said with uncertainty. Otherwise there would be a fairly long and uncomfortable wait for a bus.

Gabriel pulled on Sam’s hand. “Sure, this way.”

Gabriel’s car was a small fairly beat up green Volkswagen Beetle. Somehow, Sam though doctors could afford better. Gabriel obviously knew what Sam was thinking because he smiled and patted the roof of the little car fondly. “She’s gotten me around for so many years now that I can’t really get rid of her. Even if she’s way past her prime.”

Sam smiled. “I have a brother who experiences severe separation anxiety when it comes to his car. I understand.”

Gabriel finally let go of Sam’s hand and unlocked the car. He jumped into the driver seat as Sam got into the passenger seat and tried to fold his long legs. He was fairly successful, even if it felt like his knees were in his face.
It was not very far to Sam and Dean’s place. Sam and Gabriel only spoke to give and confirm directions. At the same time Sam’s thoughts ran a mile a minute. He had no idea what had made Gabriel look so serious. He knew Gabriel was capable of being serious, but right now Sam wished Gabriel would ease the atmosphere by joking. It would make him feel better.

They stopped outside the Winchester house, and Sam felt a little embarrassed at the general state of disrepair. It was a nice house but years of neglect because they could not afford to fix it had the paint peeling from the house.

Sam unlocked the door and gestured for Gabriel to come in. After removing their coats, they made their way to the living room. Sam sat down in his favorite chair while Gabriel hesitantly sat down on the couch.

Sam waited expectantly for what Gabriel wanted to say. His nervousness had really gotten the better of him right now. The room was silent for a long while. Sam started feeling uncomfortable in his seat.

“I…” Suddenly Gabriel stood up. “Damn. This will sound bad no matter how I say it.” Sam had never seen Gabriel so agitated. They had not known each other for long, but Sam had perceived Gabriel to be a mostly positive person.

Sam swallowed deeply. “Just… say it then.” He could take whatever Gabriel was struggling with. At least he thought so.

Gabriel nodded and took a deep breath. “When I saw you in that bar I thought I’d take you home, fuck you and kick you out the morning after.”

Sam’s eyes widened. Whatever he had expected Gabriel to open with, it was not that.

Gabriel shrugged and continued. “Then you said you weren’t gay, and I thought fuck it – you were too young for me anyway.” He paused. “Then we had a really good time, and I thought, you know, we could be friends.”

Sam nodded and was about to say something when Gabriel continued. “But… the more I get to know you the more I care,” He said care with distaste; like it was something he was unused to and found awful. “I haven’t had a relationship in more years than I care to count. Hell, I’ve never been in one that hasn’t been an open one.”

Gabriel sighed and pulled his hands though his hair. “So… I guess what I wanted to say was… don’t encourage me? I really wanna be your friend but it’s gonna be hard if you allow me to do stuff that’s crossing into relationship territory.” He huffed. “Ugh, this is fucking awful. I need a drink. I think the last time I was this honest about myself, Nirvana was still going strong.”

Sam was dumbstruck. “I never said I wasn’t gay.” Great. Sam had really no idea what he was saying at the moment, but to be fair, Gabriel had shocked him pretty badly.

Gabriel, who had buried his face in his hands, lifted it, and looked at Sam with confusion.

“Well… I’m not gay per se. I’m bisexual. I think.”

Gabriel arched an eyebrow. “You think?”

Sam’s cheeks went red. “Well, I’ve never… you know.” He made a vague motion. “With a guy. But I’ve thought about it.”

“Ah.” Gabriel said and smirked. Sam felt the amusement coming off him in waves.

Sam did not know how to continue. He liked Gabriel and he might have discovered some attraction for him, but he was not sure that jumping into a relationship was the best thing for him at the moment.

“I… you’re nice.” It sounded trite but it was honest. “I’m not sure about everything but… we could date. If you want. Get to know each other more.” It was perhaps the least eloquent way Sam had ever asked anyone out.

“Really?” Gabriel tried to hide the hope in his voice, but Sam heard it.

Sam nodded. “I… I’m not promising anything. But we can try.”

Gabriel smiled. “Great.”

Sam felt guilty for not telling Gabriel about his past while they were talking seriously. But he did not want to say anything if it turned out that they would not work. If it led somewhere, Sam promised himself to not wait too long before telling Gabriel everything. Sam knew he was a coward, but he kept wishing he was normal and this was his chance to be normal for a while.

Now he was content to be pulled over from his favorite armchair to the sofa, his hand clasped in Gabriel’s and their knees touching. Gabriel’s eyes were shining with warmth and somewhere deep inside Sam acknowledged the fact that this might be the beginning of something beautiful. Knowing Sam and his awful track record with relationships it would end in disaster, but it might be beautiful while it lasted.

Chapter Text

Things did not change too much after their talk. They enjoyed each other’s company but without taking their relationship to the next level. Sam was hesitant because of the things he had neglected to tell Gabriel. Gabriel seemed to be hesitant because of what Sam actually told him – that he had never been with another man. Sam also suspected Gabriel felt as out of his depth as Sam did, if it was the truth that he had not been in a relationship for some time. And that his relationships never had been monogamous.

So far there had only been three occasions of hand holding. That in itself had been very nice for Sam. He was so touch starved that he had even had some really embarrassing reactions just from Gabriel’s hand in his and his proximity. If they ever progressed to a higher level of intimacy, Sam was probably going to go off like that guy in American Pie.

Sam shook his head to get rid of the stray thoughts and looked down on his half-finished memo. Legal writing was one of his favorite subjects but all the thoughts in his head that centered on Gabriel made it very difficult to concentrate. He sighed and continued to scribble down some notes. He had imposed restrictions on himself – he was not allowed to text Gabriel without finishing his assignment. If Gabriel texted first it was fair game, though.

Sam managed to work on his memo for a while longer before his phone beeped.

Sammich!

Sam rolled his eyes.

Really? My name is very short. Simple even. Use it?

Pfft! Never!

Sam grinned down at his phone.

Did you actually want something?

Yeah. Can I call you?

That was unusual. Sam and Gabriel never called each other. Sam looked around the house, which was completely unnecessary. Dean never got home early on weekdays, so Sam was in the clear.

Sure.

Sam answered as soon as the phone started ringing.

“Sammy!”

“Hi, Gabriel.” Sam said with a smile. “How are you?”

“I’m good, I found Mentos in my pocket! You?” Gabriel sounded irrationally happy over finding candy in his clothes, in Sam’s opinion.

“Fine, a little stressed over my memo but mostly fine.”

Gabriel chuckled quietly. “I’m sure it’ll be great. You shouldn’t worry about it, kiddo.”

“Thanks…” Sam felt his cheeks redden. He cleared his throat. “So… what did you want?”

Gabriel cleared his throat in turn. “We have after work one Friday each month at the office, we go out to a bar and eat and drink for a bit. I wondered if you might wanna be my plus one tomorrow, Sammich?”

Sam smiled widely. Gabriel wanting to introduce him to his friends and colleagues made Sam feel all warm inside. But he could not help but feel like he would be out of place. There was also the big hurdle called his overprotective big brother to consider. “I- uh.” Sam coughed a little. “Won’t they think it’s weird? Me being so young? Your colleagues, I mean.”

“No, no worries. You’ll fit in fine. My nurse is about your age, Cassie's nurse is a little older. Cassie isn’t more than three years older than you, I’m the one who doesn’t fit when it comes to age. So don’t worry ‘bout that Sambo.” Sam could envision Gabriel’s smirking.

“Oh, okay.” Sam bit his lip. “I’d like to come-“

“I hear a but there. A very big one.” Sam did not think he imagine the disappointment in Gabriel’s voice, even if he tried to make light of it.

“I need to ask my brother for permission.” Sam felt another type of warmth entirely than what Gabriel usually made him feel wash over him. The embarrassment was awful.
Gabriel was quiet for a long while. “Sam. Last I checked, you were twenty five, not fifteen. You’re free to do your own thing, you know.”

“Yeah… it’s just- complicated. I need to talk to him, all right? I’ll get back to you later tonight. Okay?”

“Okay.” Gabriel answered reluctantly.

“Talk to you later, bye.”

“Bye, Gigantor.”

Dean kept close tabs on his brother’s phone bill. Apart from Dean’s own number and Bobby’s there had only been one other. Curious and protective as he was, Dean had felt the need to look it up. He was not sure if getting answers made him less or more anxious. He googled the name connected to the number Sam had texted on an almost daily basis for a month and found the name of Gabriel Milton and that he apparently was a doctor. Given the fact that Sam seemed to text him a lot, Dean did not think it was anything medical, but he could not help but worry. And if it was not anything medical, what was it? Dean did not trust anyone that readily with his brother, even if they had impressive work credentials.

At dinner, Sam was broody. Well, broodier than he had been for a while now, at least. It did not come close to how he had been when Dean had forced him to get clean and clean up his act, but it was very unlike the way Sam had acted the last while.

“So, Sammy. What’s up with you?” Dean had learned to face these things head on – let them fester and his brother might find himself in drugs again and that was an experience Dean was not keen to repeat.

Sam looked at his plate and pushed his food around for a bit before answering. “I…” He cleared his throat. “I know you’ve checked my phone bill. I know you checked out the number that you didn’t recognize.”

Dean arched an eyebrow. “Yeah, you knew I would.” Sam nodded. “What about it?”

“What did you learn?” Sam asked and looked at him.

“Some doctor guy named Milton, apparently.” Sam ducked his head and studied his plate again as Dean spoke. “Something you wanna tell me Sam?” Dean asked. He could not help but let worry color his tone. The last thing they needed was more medical bills and issues with Sam’s health.

“He… That is-“ Sam took a deep breath and looked up. “We’re dating.”

Whatever Dean had been expecting, it was not that. He had no idea what he really had expected but not that. “Hold up. Dating? You’re seeing a dude?”

Suddenly Sam looked defiant. “Yes. Is that a problem, Dean?”

Dean had no idea his little brother were into dudes, he was in shock. Dean had no idea what to say to that revelation. “Um… no. I don’t care, you know that Sammy. I just hadn’t figured you for- you know.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “I’m not gay Dean, I’m bisexual. I’ve only dated girls before, you know.” Sam took a breath. “We’ve been meeting up for a while, Gabriel and I.”

Dean started feeling the stirrings of anger. “So what, you’ve been hiding this from me?”

Sam shook his head. “Not really. We’ve been meeting up, but it wasn’t until two weeks ago we decided to date.”

Dean shook his head. “Dammit Sam, you should have told me.”

Sam rolled his eye at his brother’s antics. “Why? It wasn’t a big deal, you know. Last I checked I was allowed to have friends.”

Dean sighed. “Of course Sammy, but you’ve gotta admit you haven’t got the best record with trusting people and finding good friends.”

“I know, Dean! Christ, I know. But Gabriel is great. I promise.” Sam deployed his most feared weapon, the puppy dog eyes.

“Fine, fine.” Dean said and put his hand over his face. “So, where were you going with all this?”

Sam bit his lip. “Gabriel asked me to join him and a couple of his friends at a bar tomorrow. I wanna go. I promised I wouldn’t go ‘unsupervised’ to places like that, but I wanna go tomorrow. So… can I without you giving me shit?”

Dean was torn. He wanted to trust Sam, he really did. But Sam’s prior record with relationships and friends was not exactly stellar. Neither was his relationship with alcohol and other substances. “No, I don’t know. Sam, you really think it’s a good idea?”

Sam nodded. “It’ll be fine, I promise. It worked fine last time at the club, didn’t it? ”

Dean mulled it over and nodded. “Yeah. But then it was me and Jo with you and not some stranger.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Gabriel isn’t a stranger.”

Dean sighed. “Y’know what? I don’t like it anyway.”

Sam used the puppy dog eyes. “Please Dean? Give me some credit for being honest with you!”

“Fine, Sammy. Jeez, easy on the doggy look. On one condition.”

Sam looked suspicious. “What condition?”

“I’ll come with you.”

“Dean!” Sam hissed. “I’m twenty five! Gabriel will think I’m insane if I bring you!”

Dean shrugged. “Then I guess you’re not going. That’s the deal, so now you decide. Either we both go, or we both stay home.” He knew that Sam did not want him to go with him, so Dean’s ultimatum might make Sam stay home. Dean was all for that. He did not want his brother to see too much of that doctor before Dean could check him out.
Sam stood up and grabbed his phone. “You know what? Fine. I’ll call him and I’ll tell him I’ll bring you.”

Dean just waved him off.

Sam stood on the porch with his finger hovering over the call button. It felt ridiculous, Dean’s demand. But Sam really wanted to meet up with Gabriel. Even if Dean was being an ass. There was physically nothing to stop Sam from going without Dean, but betraying Dean once more was nothing Sam wanted to do. So it was either staying home or bringing Dean.

He finally pushed the call button.

“Sammyboy!” Gabriel’s voice was happy.

“Hi, Gabriel.” Sam cannot help but smile.

“So, you talk to your bro?” Gabriel asked.

Sam took a deep breath. “Yeah… um… it’s just- he wants to come with, if it’s okay?”

“It’s totally okay,” Gabriel said and Sam heard a smile in his voice. “I mean, the more the merrier!”

Sam felt relief wash over him. “Oh, great!”

“So, I’ll text you the details and see your lovely behind and your cockblocking brother tomorrow night!” Sam swore he could hear the smirk in Gabriel’s voice. He rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, see you tomorrow, Gabriel. I look forward to it.” Sam said honestly.

“So do I, Gigantor, so do I.”

Chapter Text

Sam and Dean arrived outside the Roadhouse Friday night. Sam had laughed when Gabriel had texted him the time and place. Ellen’s bar was a popular place, but he had not imagined Gabriel and his colleagues being regulars there.

The bar was filled with people, as usual on a Friday night. Sam and Dean waved at Jo who was manning the register, before looking over to the booths. Sam found Gabriel and his colleagues in the corner booth, everyone already there. He grabbed onto Dean’s forearm to direct his attention towards the booths and not towards the bar where he had spotted a bunch of college girls.

They moved towards the booth and Sam waved at Gabriel. Gabriel waved back and jumped up from his seat. “Hi Sambo!”

Sam grinned. “Hi Gabriel.” He gestured to his brother. “Gabriel, this is my brother Dean. Dean, this is Gabriel.”

Gabriel and Dean shook hands, sizing each other up. Sam rolled his eyes at their antics. When they let each other go, Gabriel grabbed Sam’s hand, fitting them together perfectly.

“Everyone,” He said loudly. “This is my Sam.” He said and gestured with their linked hands. Sam blushed and he heard Dean mutter in the background. Then, as if he just remembered, Gabriel gestured to Dean. “And that’s his brother Dean.”

The sole woman in the company smirked. She was pretty, with long flowing brown hair and pouty red lips. “So this is your beloved Sam you’ve been pining for, Gabe. Wow, he’s way too hot for you.” She grinned. “I’m Meg, Clarence’s nurse.” She waved at Sam and then she looked Dean up and down. “Yummy.” Dean grinned at her and winked.

Sam blushed and grinned at her. He also pretended not to notice his brother’s behavior. “Nice to meet you, Meg.”

The young blonde guy next to her smiled shyly and waved at Sam. “I’m Samandriel, I’m Doctor Milton’s nurse.”

Sam smiled widely. ”Hi, nice to meet you, Samandriel.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes. ”Alfie, we’ve been over this like a billion times by now. It’s Gabriel.”

Samandriel blushed. “I’ll try to remember, Sir.”

Gabriel sighed. “I swear, it’s like talking to a brick wall.” Then he perked up. “No matter, I’ll get you one day, Alfie!”

The final person in the company was a little older than the two nurses. His brown hair was disheveled and he had the bluest eyes Sam had ever seen. He was also wearing the most ill-fitting suit Sam had ever laid eyes upon. “Good evening. It ‘s very nice to meet you. My cousin has spoken about you ceaselessly since you two met, Sam. I am Castiel.”

“Shut up, Cassie!” Gabriel hissed.

Sam just laughed. “Nice to meet you.”

They all sat down, Sam beside Gabriel and Dean across from him beside Castiel.

Sam groaned inwardly as he saw their waitress approach. He should have known Jo would switch with Ash just to see who they were with, nosey as she was. Then she would call her mom and gossip and then Sam would be subject to an interrogation. Wonderful.

“Sam! Dean! Beloved cousins!” She said with a broad grin. “Didn’t know you were planning on showing up,” She leaned forward towards Sam. “Because no one told me!” She hissed. Then she moved back and smiled at the whole group. “Didn’t know you knew Gabe and his gang.”

Sam blushed as Gabriel took his hand again. “It’s kind of a recent development, actually.” Gabriel said and winked at Jo, who gaped at Sam.

Sam wished he could be swallowed up by the floor before Jo said something. But he was lucky; she seemed to recover her wits quickly and smiled at them. “Nice, Sammy. Handsome older men, huh? Didn’t know you shared my taste.” She winked at Sam who spluttered in embarrassment as Gabriel laughed beside him.

Dean growled. “Older men, Jo? Who is the guy?” Dean was ridiculously protective of both his cousin and his brother. Both Sam and Jo had tried to tell him that it was an archaic (Sam) and sexist (Jo) practice, but he still kept it up.

Jo sighed. “Oh you know, this biker dude. Spent some time in jail, covered in tattoos. Big dick, lots of sperm. Will probably get me pregnant very soon.” She rolled her eyes.

“Eww, gross Jo!” Dean said while the others around the table laughed. Well, all except Castiel who just smiled slightly.

Jo grinned. “That’s what you get for trying to snoop.” She then looked around the table. “Now, can I take your orders?”

Everyone ordered some type of burger and beer. Except for Sam. “I’ll have the salad and a Coke.” He told Jo with a smile, she grinned and nodded.

“What, Dean made you the designated driver again?” Gabriel said. “For shame, Dean-o!”

Dean looked momentarily confused as Sam tried to silently communicate with him to not blow that cover story. Dean miraculously seemed to get what Sam was getting at, as he laughed. “Well, he’s not the one who’s been busting ass all week bringing home the bacon, so he can damn well drive today.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Yeah, or you can get a cab and Sam can enjoy a few beers too.”

Sam panicked, but Dean just shook his head. “Nah-ah. I ain’t leaving my baby here overnight.”

Meg leaned forward towards Dean with a grin on her face. “Don’t tell me you’re one of those guys who obsesses over a car.”

Dean frowned. “Hey, she ain’t just a car! She’s a beautiful ’67 Chevy Impala!” Meg rolled her eyes.

Castiel looked confused. “I did not know cars could be female?”

They all just laughed at that.

The dinner went well. The food was excellent, as it always was at the Roadhouse – and the company was even better. Dean and Castiel were in a deep discussion on cars. Castiel did not look like he actually had any idea of what they were talking about, but he seemed to listen very intently what Dean had to say.

Meanwhile, Meg was telling Sam all about Gabriel’s craziest stunts. She was obviously older than she looked, because she had known Gabriel for a long time. Both Sam and Samandriel, who said that Sam was welcome to call him Alfie (like everyone else did), were almost crying with laughter.

“… and you know when he finally got on stage, drunk as he was – he started stripping!” She laughed. “All the way down to his red booty shorts while singing Like a Virgin!”

“Meeeeeg!” Gabriel whined. “You’re ruining all my chances here!”

Meg just grinned. “Sam should know what he’s getting into.” Sam and Samandriel were crying with laughter at that point. The visual of a drunken Gabriel stripping while singing Madonna was too much to handle.

Sam had trouble with his breathing, but he managed to get it partially under control. “So, you celebrated your degree by doing Madonna karaoke in your underpants?”
Gabriel muttered under his breath and shrugged. “What can I say – tequila and Gabriel is a lethal combination.”

Sam grinned at him and put his arm around Gabriel’s shoulders. Then, on a whim, he leaned into Gabriel and kissed his temple. Gabriel froze a second before relaxing into it with a warm grin. They fell silent as they just enjoyed their shared closeness.

Meg turned to Samandriel. “So, Alfie-boy. Now, what naughty stuff have you done to be embarrassed about, hmm?”

Samandriel blushed crimson. “I- uhm… nothing, really.” He cleared his throat. “Nothing comes to mind.”

Meg rolled her eyes. “Spoilsport.” Then she grinned. “Don’t worry, pretty lil’ angel. I’ll fix you up to be defiled sometime. And you and I are so gonna have do shots sometime.” She winked at Samandriel who just spluttered and reddened even further. “For now, you’re off the hook. Sam, then? What depraved college deeds have you partaken in?”

Sam made a sound as he thought. He had not really done anything depraved in college except for getting hooked on drugs and booze. Not really a conversation for the night. Or for anyone but him and Gabriel. Then he remembered something that actually was kind of funny, because it was before the whole Ruby-mess. “Well, one of my friends convinced me to go to a party in freshman year. It sounded like it could be pretty fun, plus a girl I was crushing on was there. I hadn’t really drunk all that much before, so naturally I ended up smashed.” Sam grinned. “And with epically bad luck.”

Gabriel grinned. “Elaborate, Samster!”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Fine. We were about to leave the party, so outside of the house I took a nosedive to the pavement and ripped my pants. Let’s just say it was lucky I was wearing nice boxers that day.” The others laughed, even Dean and Castiel who had finally rejoined the conversation.

Dean smirked. “You should tell the rest of it too, Sam.”

“There’s more? Do tell! I wanna know all about your heroic deeds!” Gabriel pretended to swoon.

“Fine!” Sam huffed. “When I managed to get up again, I stumbled forward for a bit before getting my foot stuck in a hole and losing my shoe.”

Sam was proud to make all of the others laugh so much, even if it was at his own expense. “Yeah, so there I was, ripped pants with only one shoe and drunk off my ass. Then I called Dean, so he should come pick me up. While I waited for him, I thought it would be a good idea to steady myself by leaning against a fence.”

Dean sniggered and continued the final part of the story. “When I pulled up in the Impala both Sam and the fence had fallen over.”

Gabriel almost could not breathe, he was laughing so hard. He leaned into Sam and smiled against his neck. “Oh, Sasquatch. I would have paid to see that. And I would have sold my soul to get video of it.”

The Roadhouse was closing, so they headed outside. Sam and Gabriel walked out with their hands linked and stepped away from the others after saying goodbye to them. Sam dragged Gabriel around the corner of the building, away from Meg’s knowing smiles and Dean’s murderous looks.

He stopped so he and Gabriel were facing each other. Then he cradled Gabriel’s face in his big hands and smiled. He hesitated. “Can I…?”

Gabriel nodded with a smirk and tilted his head upwards. Their lips met in a soft kiss. It was chaste, but very nice. It warmed Sam to the core. They slowly parted with smiles on both their faces. “I think that was a lovely end to the evening.” Gabriel said. “I’d love to take you home right now, but I saw your brother and I don’t wanna be castrated.”

Sam laughed. “No, no, that would be terrible. No castrating before we can get down to business.” He let his hands fall away from Gabriel’s face and pulled him into a hug as they both laughed quietly. They linked their hands together and walked out to the parking lot again.

A quick kiss to the cheek, then Sam got into the car with his brother who looked like he would explode any moment.

The drive home was blessedly silent. Or rather, Dean turned up Metallica so loud that Sam could almost not hear his own thoughts. Sam tried to ignore the music, and instead concentrated on the tingling on his lips and the warmth of his soul as he thought about his and Gabriel’s first kiss. Sam had never, ever thought there would be such a thing as a perfect kiss, but now he was pretty sure he had experienced it.

Dean was silent until they got home and inside the door, then he exploded.

“Sam! What the hell are you thinking? The dude’s old!”

Sam rolled his eyes, he had pretty much expected this. “He’s not old; he’s just a little older than me. Plenty of people date people that are a bit older or younger than themselves.”

“Sam, he’s gotta be more than ten years older than you!” Dean ran his hands through his hair. “What if he’s some kind of pervert?!”

Sam sighed. “Yes, he’s more than ten years my senior. No, he’s not a pervert. He may tell his fair share of dirty jokes, but he’s been nothing but respectful of my boundaries.”

Dean snorted. “Yeah? Does he know why you need them? Or did you forget to mention that, Mr. Designated driver who never wears short sleeves?” He said harshly.

Sam recoiled as if he had been slapped. “No, he doesn’t know!” Sam hissed. “And he’s not going to! Not yet!”

“Oh, so when are you gonna tell him?” Dean said sarcastically. “Before his dick go up your ass, I hope. Because, face it Sammy – he might not wanna stick it there if he knows!”

Tears welled up in Sam’s eyes. That hurt. It was crude, he knew Dean did it because he was angry and that he lashed out without meaning to, but it hit Sam’s worst fears and insecurities. That Gabriel might not want to be with him if he knew what Sam had and how dirty and broken he was. He did not answer Dean, he just turned around, grabbed his coat and pulled on his boots.

“Sam, where the fuck do you think you’re going?” Dean said and moved closer.

“Out. I can’t deal with you right now.” He said and pulled the door open.

“Yeah, just run away from all your problems!” Dean yelled after him. “Ain’t like that's the one fucking thing that put you in this mess!”

Sam pretended not to hear him.

Sam ran. He ran down to the bus stop by the convenience store and sat there. He knew that Dean did not mean what he said. Even if he had a fair point. Dean just had a lot on his plate right now, especially when it came to Sam. Sam was untrustworthy, he was broken and flawed. He had cost Dean both time, effort and money. Dean had forsaken a lot of things for Sam’s sake, and Sam was grateful. Sometimes though, Dean’s idea of what was appropriate for Sam and Sam’s idea of his own wants clashed horribly. Like right now. Dean obviously thought Gabriel was all wrong for Sam and that Sam could not see it. Sam was certain that for once in his life, he had found something good. Sam understood Dean’s misgivings – his track record was shitty at best.

His cell phone vibrated in his pocket.

I had a good time tonight. Can’t wait to see you again.

Sam smiled involuntarily, he still had tears in his eyes. Then he resolutely hit the call button.

“Moose! Miss me already?”

Sam choked as he did not know if he should laugh or just be exasperated. “Really?”

Gabriel laughed. “Meg came up with it and I liked it, so sue me!”

“You know, I think I will. Defamation of character and all that.”

Gabriel must have heard something in his tone. “Sam, are you all right?” There was tangible worry in his voice.

Sam sighed. “No, not really. Had a fight with Dean about… well, you. Ran out and now I’m sitting at the bus stop freezing my butt off.”

There was a short silence. “D’you want me to pick you up? You can stay with me tonight if you wanna. No funny business and no taking of virtues, I promise.”

Sam bit his lip and made up his mind quicker than he thought possible. “Yeah. Can you come pick me up?”

“Just tell me where you are, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

Chapter Text

When Gabriel got there fifteen minutes later, Sam had become quite cold. But Gabriel’s car, for as beat up as it was, was very warm. They did not speak as Gabriel drove them to his apartment, but at a red light Gabriel carefully leaned over and squeezed Sam’s knee. It was very comforting and warmed Sam at his core.

Gabriel did not live far from Sam and Dean. It took no more than ten minutes before Gabriel pulled up next to a cheery yellow two story house in a nice neighborhood. Gabriel headed for the door, but Sam called out to him. “I’ll be right in, I just… have to call Dean.”

Gabriel looked like he wanted to say something, judging by the frown on his face, but he just nodded and went inside.

Sam realized that his brother would probably have an aneurysm if he did not know where Sam had gone. He might have one even if he knew. But Sam was done deceiving his brother, even if he was pissed at him at the moment. He brought out his cell phone from his pocket and called Dean’s number. He was so done with being accused of running away from things, so he would face his brother’s wrath head on.

“Dammit, Sam! Where the fuck are you?”

Sam rolled his eyes at his brother’s lack of a greeting. “Hi Dean.” He took a deep breath. “I’m with Gabriel. I’m not coming home tonight. “

Dean let out a frustrated noise over the line. “Dammit, Sammy! Can’t you stop running? Ever?”

Sam shook his head even when he knew Dean could not see him. “I’m not running, Dean. I’m never running from you. You know that.”

Dean sighed. “No, just from every-fucking-thing else. And you always leave me in the process. Dammit Sammy, I’m just trying to protect you!” The frustration was obvious in Dean’s voice.

“And I keep telling you that you don’t have to. Dean, you’ve put me before yourself all your life. Hell, you’ve been more concerned about my dreams and wishes than your own as long as I can remember. Just… leave me to take care of me, and take care of yourself for once, yeah?”

Dean sighed. “Sam… you’ve proven time and time again that you can’t deal by yourself.”

Sam did not really want to have this conversation here, outside Gabriel’s house and not at home and face to face. But it seemed he had to. “I know. I’ve made some fucked up decisions. A lot of them. But that doesn’t make me incapable of making good ones.”

“I just… I don’t want you to get hurt. ‘Cause every time you do, you get fucked up. And the last time you fucked up it was so fucking bad that I’d thought I’d lose you for good. Sam, for fucks sake, when dad died, your solution was booze and Subutex!” Sam could hear the pain and frustration in Dean’s voice and he hated that he had been the one to put it there. He had no idea how to make it right.

“I know. And I’m sorry. I just…” Sam felt the tears threaten to spill over. This was one of the things he did not want to think about or talk about. This was one of Sam’s heaviest burdens, the guilt he carried. “I just wished that my final conversation with dad hadn’t been on how much I resented him. And I made some stupid ass decisions because of that. I’m not over it, not by a long shot but I recognize how fucked up I was now.” Sam’s voice turned pleading. “Just… let me try and make a good decision now? Let me try at least?”

There was a long silence on the phone. Sam did not speak, he held his breath and waited. At last, Dean let out a longsuffering sigh. “I don’t like it. I don’t trust you. But… I guess we’ll have to start somewhere.”

It hurt, Dean telling him so plainly that he did not trust Sam. Sam was elated however, that Dean insinuated that he might do so again, if this went well. Sam promised himself to not let Dean down, to show Dean that he could take care of himself. He wanted to repay Dean’s unwavering loyalty and support that he had given, even when Sam had been undeserving of it.

“Yeah. Thanks, Dean. It means a lot that you’ll let me try.”

“Whatever. No chick-flick moments, dude.” Dean said with disgust in his voice. Sam smiled. “D’you want me to pick you up before we’re due at Bobby and Ellen’s tomorrow or is Gabriel dropping you off?”

“You can pick me up. I’ll text you the address.” Sam said. “See you tomorrow, Dean.”

“See you, Sammy.”

Gabriel’s house was nice. It was a lot bigger than Dean’s and Sam’s and much better taken care of. The walls were painted with cheery warm colors and the huge leather sofa in the living room was more comfortable than Sam’s own bed. Sam felt very much out of place in his worn second hand clothes in the nice room. He sat awkwardly at the corner of the couch when Gabriel fetched them something to drink.

“You know, Sasquatch, my couch is big. You don’t have to cower like a frightened moose.”

Sam snorted, but relaxed at Gabriel’s teasing. “Still thinking of suing you for defamation of character if you keep calling me that.”

Gabriel grinned as he sat down beside Sam and handed him a can of Pepsi. “I’ll just come up with something else then… cupcake.”

Sam reddened and Gabriel laughed. “It’s late, but I suggest a movie before bed. It looks like you have a lot of stuff on your mind.” Gabriel said gently.

Sam nodded. A movie sounded great. “Sure. Any particular in mind?”

Gabriel got up from the couch and opened the cupboard beside his gigantic flat screen. Sam saw rows and rows of movies. And a lot of Doctor Sexy. He just could not help himself from laughing. “Doctor Sexy? Seriously?”

Gabriel had his back to Sam but his ears turned visibly red. “Shut up, cupcake!” He hissed, but with no real heat behind it. “It’s a guilty pleasure, okay?”
Sam stood and hugged Gabriel gently from behind. “Hey, I wasn’t dissing you. I was just commenting on your appalling taste in TV-series.” He chuckled and left a soft kiss behind left ear. Gabriel seemed to be mollified, as he pulled Pulp Fiction from the shelf.

“Good enough?”

Sam kissed behind Gabriel’s other ear. “Works for me.”

Sam released Gabriel and sat down on the couch while Gabriel fiddled with his DVD-player and TV. As soon as the movie started, Gabriel joined Sam on the couch. Sam put his arm around Gabriel’s shoulders and maneuvered them so that Gabriel was resting on his chest. It was nice. Sam was getting increasingly bolder in his touches and Gabriel did not seem to mind. In fact, he seemed to enjoy it immensely. Sam knew why Gabriel rarely initiated anything other than handholding; he seemed to be afraid of scaring Sam off, since it was Sam’s first time dating a man. Sam did not mind the slow pace, but he wanted to show Gabriel that he was good with moving forward, slowly but surely.

Sam was in no way ready for the bedroom. First, he had to tell Gabriel about his past. That right there was a major hurdle in Sam’s eyes. Secondly, he was not eager to come across as some fumbling virgin again. He was over twenty and he was not keen to feel like a teenager again. And lastly, if they ever made it to the bedroom, Sam just knew that Gabriel would see him naked. Sam was fit, but that hardly made up for all the scars and awful track marks. No, Sam needed time. Even if Gabriel being naked had featured heavily in his
daydreams as of late.

“You all right there, Sammich? Your face is all frown-y and think-y.” Gabriel looked up at him. “Wanna talk about it?”

Sam sighed. “Not right now. I’ll tell you later, I promise.”

“All right.” Gabriel leaned up and gave Sam a soft kiss on the mouth before rearranging himself on Sam’s chest again.

They fell asleep like that, tangled on Gabriel’s comfy couch. Sam could not remember being better rested in a long time, when he woke up the morning after.

Chapter Text

Sam sighed as they pulled up by Bobby’s and Ellen’s house. He knew he would be interrogated. Ellen and Jo would demand to know about his “sudden” foray into bisexuality. Then they would demand to know everything about his and Gabriel’s relationship.

After the customary hugs and kisses and manly back pats, Sam was pulled out in the kitchen by Ellen and Bobby dragged Dean out to the garage. Ellen put him to work with chopping vegetables, while staring intently at him without saying anything. After a few minutes Sam could not stand it.

“What?” He said, feeling annoyed.

Ellen stopped stirring the pot looked sharply at him. “Don’t you ‘what’ me, Mister!” She sighed. “Wanna tell me what the hell Jo’s been goin’ on about?”

Jo entered the kitchen. “Yeah, wanna tell us about the fact that you’re straight as cooked spaghetti and into older men?”

Sam rolled his eyes. “I’m not gay.”

“Really?” Jo arched her eyebrow.

“It’s called bisexuality, you know.” Sam said. He did not understand the problem people seemed to be having with putting a gay label on him, even though he had dated women before. “And Gabriel is the first guy I’ve dated.”

Jo grinned. “So… what’s it like?”

Sam frowned. “What do you mean ‘what’s it like’?”

“Doing it with a dude!” Jo said impatiently.

“Joanna Beth!” Ellen said. “Be civilized!”

Sam blushed. “Um… we haven’t. Done anything, I mean. We kissed last night for the first time. It was nice.”

Jo made a sound. “Jeez, how long have you been seeing each other?”

Sam had to think about it. “Um, we met at the club when I went out with you guys but we didn’t start dating until two weeks ago.”

“Jeez, that poor dude. He’ll die of blue balls.” Jo said. Ellen smacked her up the head with a spoon. “Ouch, mom! What the heck?!”

Ellen rolled her eyes. “I told you to behave. Now get out and get the others from the garage so we can eat.”

Jo stuck her tongue out but left the kitchen to get Bobby and Dean.

“He nice to you? Treats you right?” Ellen asked Sam when Jo had left the kitchen.

Sam nodded. “He’s been very good to me. Respectful and sweet.” He smiled. “I really like him.”

Ellen snorted.

“What?” She obviously had something to say about that.

“He seems like the hit-it-and-quit-it type of guy, Sam. No offense.” Sam appreciated Ellen’s honesty and her judgment. He knew his own was bad, but Gabriel had been honest with him and so Sam felt that he could trust him.

Sam nodded at Ellen’s answer. “He told me. That he used to. But that he wants more with me.”

Ellen was silent for a long while before speaking again. “Just be careful, boy.”

Sam stepped up to her, the only woman who had come close to resembling a mother to him. He hugged her tight. “I will, I promise.”

The dinner was nice. Ellen’s cooking was great as usual and Sam did not think he could eat another bite. Dean obviously could as he stuffed his face with pie. Everyone looked on with amusement as Dean carried on his apparent love affair with all types of pies.

“You know, Dean. This is why you’ll never get a girlfriend. They just can’t compete with pie.” Jo said and laughed as Dean let out a particularly weird sound of enjoyment that would have been more appropriate in the bedroom.

Dean did not even bother to swallow the pie in his mouth. “Shut you face, Jo!”

Sam and Jo laughed loudly and Ellen shook her head in fond amusement. Bobby just sighed. “Idjits.”

Dean swallowed his pie. “I’m so gonna get you for that. So,” Dean grinned evilly. “How ‘bout you tell us all ‘bout that guy?”

Jo feigned ignorance. “What guy?”

Ellen arched an eyebrow. “Yeah, what guy?” She looked at Jo expectantly.

Sam laughed. “Come on now, Jo. You insinuated as much yesterday. Who is this mysterious older guy?”

“A bunch of gossips, the lot of you.” Bobby grumbled and moved to take the plates off the table.

Jo huffed. “Fine, fine. He comes into the bar sometimes. I’ve met him for coffee a couple of times, that’s it.”

“Soo… what’s his name?” Sam asked with a grin. “Anyone we know?”

“His name’s Balthazar. He’s a professor up at the college.” Jo said and sighed dreamily.

Sam felt like he vaguely recognized the name. “What does he teach?”

“English.” Jo answered with a smile.

Now Sam knew who she was talking about. “Oh my God, Jo!”

“What?” She asked defensively.

“Jo, he’s a complete douchewad!” Sam said. “He hit on half of the girls in my class when I had him.” Sam was not very fond of that particular professor. He had been arrogant and flirty with those he favored. Sam had to admit that the grades had been fair though. Still, he did not like him.

Ellen rolled her eyes and went to help Bobby in the kitchen without commenting.

“Yeah? You know what Gabriel did before he met you?” She said tonelessly. “Went home with a lot of different people every-fucking-time he was at the Roadhouse. He’s obviously changed. Why can’t Balthazar?” Jo challenged.

“I just don’t want you to get hurt, Jo. I-“ Sam did not get farther before Jo shook her head and made a discontent sound.

“Don’t turn into Dean now, Sam.” She said and chuckled lightly.

Dean gave her the stink eye before turning to Sam. “Shut your mouth, Jo! And that’s rich coming from you, Sam. Jo ain’t the one with a history of stupid ass decisions.” He looked at Sam, then at Jo. “I don’t like what I’m hearing. Old dude who hits on younger girls? Fucking creep man.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “So far it sounds just like you, Dean.”

“Shut your piehole for two seconds, Sam.” Dean said and grumbled. “Point is, I don’t like Gabriel and I sure as hell don’t like the sound of Balthazar.” He sighed.

Jo rolled her eyes. “We’re grownups, Dean. You should be more concerned about yourself than about us. When has a relationship you’ve ever had lasted more than a weekend?” She grinned at him. Sam laughed as Dean grumbled.

“Yeah, you’re not exactly Mr. Morality here, Dean.” Sam said as Jo sniggered.

They bickered for a while after that, but it was friendly and Sam felt warm inside. Dean threw a few digs more about his stupid decisions, but Sam was not too bothered. It was the truth, after all. Sam deserved to be reminded.

Wanna come over and play videogames?

Sam grinned at the text from Gabriel. He had no plans for Saturday and now that he actually had started feeling comfortable with dating Gabriel, he thought it sounded like a great idea. He did not even ask Dean for permission, because he was more than ready to act like a responsible adult again, without Dean’s interference.

Should I bring my pajamas?

Sam felt bold for suggesting a sleepover. He almost regretted sending the message because Gabriel might take it as Sam was ready to sleep in his bedroom and his bed.

That would be fantastic. I actually have a nice guest bedroom, believe it or not.

He should not have worried. Gabriel had been nothing but respectful from the start. Even if he flirted and was inappropriate, he still cared about Sam enough to not speed up their dating. Sam felt a flush of warmth rush through him. Maybe he should stop by the drug store and buy some supplies anyway. To be on the safe side. And maybe he should read up on some sex advice when it came to sex with a man. Sam worked best when he had all the facts beforehand. Sam felt his ear tips redden at that thought. He wondered what sex with Gabriel would be like, if it would be as good as he had fantasized.

With new purpose, he sent Gabriel another text.

I guess I’ll believe it when I see it. I can be at your place in a couple of hours. Six?

Sounds perfect.

Just when he had read Gabriel’s text, Dean came into the living room.

“I’m going to go over to Gabriel’s tonight. I’ll probably stay until tomorrow.” Sam said without preamble.

Dean sighed, but he did not blow up like Sam expected him to. Instead he looked him dead in the eye. “Are you sure ‘bout this Sam?” He rolled his eyes. “I’m the first to say no chick-flick and girly stuff but, man… are you sure you’re ready for that?”

Sam nodded. “Yeah. I wanna move forward with him, but without talking about my past it’s not gonna happen. So I guess, if it goes well… I’ll stay until tomorrow. Otherwise I’ll probably be home tonight.” Sam bit his lip and looked at the floor.

Dean enveloped him in a tight hug. “It’ll be fine. If he’s a douche to you, you tell him I’ll deep fry him for hurtin’ my brother. Okay?”

Sam laughed into Dean’s shoulder and nodded. Dean might be an overprotective and sometimes overbearing big brother but that was really because he cared a lot. Sam was grateful for that, he really was. Dean might not be the best when it came to expressing caring and concern, but Sam appreciated his honest tries all the more for that.

Dean released him and moved away. “So, now that we’re finished with that – let’s forget we ever talked about it. I feel the estrogen coming on.” He shuddered as Sam rolled his eyes.

Dean moved to go out in the kitchen, probably to grab one of those non-alcoholic beers he kept in the fridge. Sam stopped him before he got that far. “By the way, can I use the computer?”

Dean arched an eyebrow. “What for?”

Sam smirked. “You really wanna know?” Sometimes he just had to take the opportunities Dean left him.

“Eww, dude! Not cool!” Dean waved his hand. “Go ahead… just don’t tell me about it.”

Sam sniggered and fetched the computer from the bookshelf. He had some research to do.

Chapter Text

Sam felt the anxiety build in his chest as he parked his bicycle outside of Gabriel’s house. He promised himself that tonight would be the night when he told Gabriel about himself, no matter what. Gabriel deserved to know and one way or another, Sam would lessen his levels of anxiety. Sam could not help but think back and echo his thoughts from the night they decided to date. That it would be beautiful while it lasted but it would end in tragedy. Sam was scared the end might come tonight.
He stepped up on the porch and rang the doorbell. He expected Gabriel to open, but not dressed in a black apron with “Kiss the cook” written in glittery pink letters on it. Sam could not help but stare.

“Well, Samster? It’s a written invitation!” Gabriel said and wiggled his eyebrows in a completely over exaggerated way and grinned.

Sam could not help but chuckle. He leaned forward and planted a light kiss on Gabriel’s smiling lips.

“Not for everyone I hope.” Sam said after pulling back from the kiss.

Gabriel shrugged. “Nah, only you.” Then he paused. “And maybe Matt Bomer. I mean, have you seen him in White Collar? And especially that episode with the pilot outfit.” Gabriel grinned.

Sam rolled his eyes and laughed. “You’re crazy. Adorable but crazy. Can I come in now?”

“Adorable? Kiddo, you’re the one who has the whole puppy dog thing going.” Gabriel said as he moved out of the way.

Sam went inside and Gabriel closed the door, Sam dropped his bag on the floor and gently crowded Gabriel against the door. “Yeah, well you’re the one who’s pocket sized and all cute.” Gabriel laughed quietly but did not answer, instead he leaned upwards and captured Sam’s lips in a long kiss.

When Sam moved away, he did not think he imagined Gabriel’s disappointed look.

“Well, Sammich. Come out into the kitchen and I’ll feed you.” Gabriel said and moved past Sam into the kitchen.

Sam had a hard time believing the spread Gabriel had put on the table was meant for two people. Everything had been carefully plated and looked gorgeous. Sam’s stomach growled loudly.

“I’ll just take that as approval, shall I?” Gabriel said with a grin. “Now, sit down, Gigantor! I’m just gonna grab the drinks, hang on a sec’.”

Sam sat down. The food smelled heavenly. Sam was pretty sure he had never, ever seen a steak that good looking. Ellen might murder him for not putting her cooking at the top but from the look of things, she was about to be knocked down to second place when it came to cooking.

“So, Sasquatch. For this red wine is the thing but I’m not sure you drink that, so… red or white?” Gabriel paused after holding up the two bottles in his hands. “Or are you completely uncivilized and only drink beer?”

Sam swallowed and felt the cold sweat coming on. He took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Gabriel. I don’t drink at all.”

Gabriel stared at him for a few seconds. Then he blinked slowly. “At all..? So this whole time..?”

Sam nodded. “I’m sorry… I should have told you. It was a stupid thing to lie about.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes. “While I would have appreciated the honesty I’m not that ancient that I don’t remember the peer pressure of my twenties. I understand, so no worries. So. I have Pepsi? And I hope it’s acceptable that I drink something?”

Sam smiled widely. “Yeah, Pepsi will be fine.” Then he nodded. “Of course, that isn’t a problem.”

Gabriel nodded and put the bottle of red wine on the table. Then he went to the fridge and grabbed a couple of cans of Pepsi for Sam before sitting down.

When they started eating, Gabriel chewed and swallowed. “So, I’m nosy as fuck but why no drinking?”

Sam almost choked on his food. “I’ll tell you after dinner. It’s not really dinner conversation material.” Sam said feebly.

Gabriel was silent for a second before nodding. “Okay.” Then he abruptly changed the subject. “So, did you watch Star Trek as I told you to?”

Sam nodded enthusiastically. “Yes! It was great – well, disregarding the ridiculous costumes and stuff.”

“Hey, don’t knock the 60s!” Gabriel said with a grin. “So is Spock your favorite or what?”

Sam shook his head. “Nah.”

Gabriel arched an eyebrow. “Really? Who then?”

“McCoy, definitely. He’s like Kirk’s emotions and morals. And he has all these fantastic lines.” Sam said and his forehead wrinkled as he thought. “Let’s see… like when he says: I’ve found that evil usually triumphs unless good is very, very careful.”

Gabriel nodded in agreement. “I like him too, but Kirk is my favorite.”

Sam snorted. “Why? He’s an idiot like half of the time.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes and grinned. “Well, he’s a good looking idiot.”

Dinner was lovely. As usual Gabriel led the conversation, but Sam did not mind. Gabriel was obviously used to taking charge and Sam was used to being taken charge of. It felt good, it was comfortable and familiar. It also meant that the hard conversation Sam knew he had to go through was at least a little further into the future. But, after the delicious ice cream dessert Gabriel had made, Sam knew it was time. They moved into the living room and sat down on the couch.

Gabriel sat down beside Sam. “So, Sasquatch. You’ve had ants in your pants all night. You’ve been like my patients who hates needles but knows they’re gonna have to get a shot. You obviously have something you want to say. So… say it.” Gabriel looked sad. Like he expected Sam to dump him or something.

Sam nodded and swallowed deeply. He took a deep breath. This was it. There was no return from this, and Gabriel deserved to know. He swallowed again. “I… I used to be an addict. I took drugs and drank a lot.” He looked away from Gabriel and kept his eyes firmly at his knees. “I would probably still do it if Dean hadn’t kicked my ass and made me go to rehab.”

Sam did not know how to continue so he kept quiet. He listened to Gabriel’s even breathing. So far it did not sound like he was too upset but Sam did not dare to look at him.

“So… that’s why you don’t drink.” Gabriel sighed. “I’m not too surprised I guess. Your brother’s overprotectiveness is a little over the top. Your relationship seems a little Flowers in the Attic when people don’t know, y’know.”

Sam snorted and could not help but look at Gabriel who was smirking. “Shut up, that’s so nasty!”

Gabriel grinned. “Got you more relaxed, didn’t it?”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Yeah, but eww.”

Gabriel sobered. “So… was that it?”

Sam sighed. Even if he had relaxed a little with Gabriel’s comment it was still difficult. His anxiety hit him full force again and it gnawed at his belly and the sweat gathered at his back again. “Um… no.” He cleared his throat and looked down at his knees again. “Shit.”

Soft hands cupped his back and gently rubbed his back and shoulders. Sam breathed deeply yet again and steeled himself again. “I…no.” He closed his eyes and leaned back into Gabriel’s touch.

“It’s not an excuse but… my dad died a couple of years ago. He and I… we were very different. As I got older, we never saw eye to eye and our fights were… awful.” Sam paused. “Right before he died, we had one of our biggest fights ever. It ended with him throwing me out of the house – that was the last time I saw him alive.”

Sam swallowed. “I felt guilty. I mean, I still think he was wrong but we never got the chance to make up. It ate me from the inside. Right when I was at the lowest I met this girl, Ruby.”

Sam put his face in his hands. “I though she loved me. I thought I loved her. She was the one who introduced me to drugs when the booze wasn’t enough. She got me hooked on Subutex and some other stuff.” Sam suddenly noticed the tears slowly streaming out of his eyes. Gabriel was still rubbing his back. It felt oddly comforting even when Sam was baring his innermost shameful secrets.

“She cut me. I was so high… I liked it. In some way I thought I deserved it, I guess.” He sighed. “My arms are all fucked up. That’s why I always wear long sleeves.” Sam sobbed. “I’m all fucked up… I’m sick. I’ve got hepatitis C…”

Gabriel pulled Sam against him. He kept rubbing his back and making soothing noises as Sam cried into his shoulder. Sam’s crying felt very cathartic. It felt good to finally be honest about himself and it felt good to talk about it with someone other than his therapist. Dean always shied away from it and never really wanted to just sit down and talk. If they actually talked about it, Dean would bitch about Ruby and that was that. Gabriel, just sitting there and not saying anything was a huge relief. Sam’s tears abated after a while, but Gabriel did not let him go. He kept rubbing his back and hold him close. It was immensely comforting and Sam buried his hands in the back of Gabriel’s shirt and held on.

Chapter Text

Sam had no idea how long they had been sitting liked that when he finally pulled back from Gabriel’s embrace. Gabriel’s shirt was damp and his shoulder was covered in snot.

“Uhm… sorry for-“ Sam gestured vaguely.

“No worries, Sam-o.” Gabriel said and gestured dismissively. He took Sam’s hand gently. “Feeling better?”

Sam gave a tiny nod. “Actually, yes.” Then he fell silent again. Now he had come clean, like he promised himself. “Thanks for just… letting me get all that off my chest.”

They sat in silence for a while before Gabriel sighed a little.

“I don’t know what you want me to say here, Sam.”

Sam bit his lip. “I don’t know. I just didn’t wanna lie to you anymore.” He looked down at his hands. “It wouldn’t be fair to you, not knowing what you’re getting into.” Sam took a deep breath. “’Cause, I really like you.”

“Okay.” Gabriel smiled briefly. “I really like you too, Sammich.”

There was another bout of silence.

“You know, I appreciate your honesty, Sam. I really do.” Gabriel paused. “What I don’t get is how you thought this would make me think any less of you.”

Sam kept silent and kept looking at his hands.

“You know, Sam. We all make mistakes.” Gabriel made a discontent sound. “Hell, I’ve made a ton of them. Not sure I’ve managed to fix all of them, even when I’ve tried. You’ve turned it around, you’ve fixed it. There’s nothing bad ‘bout you anymore.”

Sam plucked at a thread on his shirt. “I’m still sick…”

“Well, you’re careful right? And you’re not gonna use again?” Gabriel asked and Sam nodded feverently. “And I’m a doctor. I know how to handle it, so don’t worry.” Gabriel took Sam’s hand, stood up and pulled Sam with him. “Come on, let’s go.”

“Where?” Sam was confused.

“You’re exhausted, you need sleep. Up you go!” Gabriel dragged Sam out of the living room and upstairs to the second floor. He opened the door to the bedroom and Sam only had a few seconds to appreciate the opulent bedroom before Gabriel laid down on the bed and pulled Sam with him.

“What-“ Sam started but Gabriel shushed him quickly.

“You need sleep and cuddles. Shut up, sleep and let me cuddle you.”

Sam snorted into the comfy pillow, but let Gabriel’s soft hands travelling all over his back lull him to sleep.

Sam had no idea how long he had been sleeping. It was dark in the room, so probably at least a few hours. Gabriel was resting on his chest, breathing deeply and hugging Sam as close as possible. It was nice. Sam gently cradled Gabriel even closer to himself and breathed in his scent. Sam felt content. Gabriel had not said much except that he would never judge Sam for his mistakes. It felt weird, weird but good. His life after he had gotten clean had been filled with reminders and warnings not to fall off the wagon again. Having only acceptance and not judgment was new and different – a good kind of different. Sam vowed to himself to try and be deserving of the respect Gabriel had showed him.

Sam’s thoughts were interrupted by the door bell ringing. Gently he shook Gabriel who tried to resist waking up by snuggling further into Sam’s embrace.

“Hey.” Sam said gently. “There’s someone at the door.”

Gabriel grumbled and slowly dragged himself off of Sam. He stood up from the bed and slowly stretched. Sam’s eyes immediately went to the enticing strip of skin visible above Gabriel’s jeans. As Sam looked up to Gabriel’s face again, Gabriel grinned at him knowingly. Sam blushed furiously as Gabriel sauntered out of the bedroom, laughing quietly to himself.

Sam quickly got out of bed and dragged a hand through his hair before following Gabriel. He was unsure if he should follow him to the door, so Sam hovered at the top of the stairs feeling undecided for a while. He heard Gabriel conversing with someone but the voices were too low to hear what they were talking about.

Sam slowly made his way down the stairs, still hesitant. Suddenly a blur of black and white was at his feet, barking excitedly. Sam bent down and scratched the little dog behind the ears and petted his fur. It was a cute little Jack Russell Terrier and Sam was instantly in love. The little dog huffed contentedly and rolled over on his back so Sam could scratch his belly. Sam laughed as the dog’s tongue was hanging out of his mouth and his little tail made a regular thumping sound as it wagged against the floor.

Sam looked up as heard Gabriel’s footsteps. Gabriel looked at the dog and shook his head with a sigh. “You’re completely shameless, Spot. No pride.”

Sam laughed. “Your dog?”

Gabriel shrugged. “Sort of. He was mine to begin with, but now I’m sharing custody with Cassie. Spot is a good therapy tool for some of Cassie’s patients because he’s a total cuddle slut.” Sam could totally see that. Children visiting a psychologist would be better off with someone to hug.

“Like master, like dog huh?” Sam said with a quiet laugh.

Gabriel rolled his eyes and muttered something to himself about smartassed giants. “Come on, Sasquatch. I’ll kick your ass in Mario Kart.”

They cuddled up on the couch with Spot and played videogames. Sam was no good at Mario Kart, so he predictably got his ass handed to him by Gabriel. Gabriel laughed with childish glee every time he won and when they switched game to Street Fighter IV and Sam actually started winning, he pouted every time he lost. Sam found that kissing it better worked wonders, though. They played until Spot started making whining noises about going out. Gabriel told Sam that he could stay inside while he took Spot out, but Sam thought that would be silly. So he put on his jacket and joined the others on their walk. Spot was pretty energetic for such a little dog, so Gabriel unleashed him in the park and let him run around as much as he would like.

“He’s pretty energetic for such a little thing.” Sam said to Gabriel as they watched Spot sniff out every bush in the whole park.

Gabriel snorted. “He’s never understood that he ain’t a puppy anymore.”

Sam laughed quietly, but then he sobered. “By the way. Thanks for… before. For not judging, I guess.”

Gabriel smiled slightly as he stepped closer and intertwined his fingers with Sam’s and looked him straight in the eye. “Hey, I’ve had my brush with both drugs and seriously bad decisions. It would be pretty hypocritical of me to judge you.”

Sam nodded and smiled lightly. “Still. Thanks.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes, even if he was still smiling. “Well, in that case you’re welcome. Even if thanks are completely unnecessary.”

Sam leaned forward and kissed him. Just as he was about to cradle Gabriel’s face and deepen the kiss when he was hit in the leg by a dog shaped projectile. Sam laughed as Spot excitedly wiggled his tail as he offered Sam a stick to throw. Intimate moment interrupted, he bent down to pick up the offered stick and threw it for Spot, who immediately took off.

Gabriel groaned and muttered. “Cockblocking dog.”

Sam laughed lightly, and then he leaned forward to whisper lightly in Gabriel’s ear. “Don’t worry. We’ll pick it up later.”

Gabriel closed his eyes briefly before looking up at Sam with a broad smile. “Sounds perfect.”

Chapter Text

After Spot finally got so tired that he begged shamelessly with his best puppy dog eyes for Gabriel to carry him home, they finally made their way back to Gabriel’s house. Gabriel carried Spot to the couch and put him down; the dog huffed contentedly and promptly fell asleep. Sam could not help but chuckle.

“It’s really like dog, like master. He’s as ridiculous as you.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes with an indulgent smile on his lips. “Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up, Samster.” He gestured to the TV. “Movie before bed time? It’s pretty late but I for one could go for something light and funny now.”

Sam nodded. “Sure. What did you have in mind?”

Gabriel rummaged around in his cupboard for a little while before coming out with a couple of different DVD-cases. “Let’s see… I’ve got The Incredibles, The Boat that Rocked and… Indiana Jones, the first or the third one. The second one I’m vetoing. I don’t think I can take the kid or the girl in that one tonight.”

Sam mulled it over for a second, but it was a fairly easy decision. “Indiana Jones. The third one. If that’s okay?”

Gabriel nodded enthusiastically. “Sure, I like that one.” He fiddled with the DVD-player and soon the movie was playing. Sam pulled Gabriel close on the couch. He put his arm around Gabriel’s shoulder and arranged it so that Gabriel’s head was resting on his chest.

Sam was glad he had seen the movie a million times before with his brother, because he quickly lost interest in it. His mind wandered and his eyes kept moving from the screen and down to Gabriel. Gabriel was watching the movie with a look of concentration on his face, it was adorable. Sam leaned down and kissed his hair gently. Gabriel looked up at him with a smile on his lips and pulled Sam’s face closer for a kiss.

They kissed lightly first, but then Gabriel moved for easier access and it quickly became more heated. Sam felt ready. Or, as ready as he could be. He did not know how far he could manage tonight, but he knew he wanted Gabriel. Gabriel, who had been nothing but accepting and supportive. Gabriel who was funny, witty and gorgeous.

Sam cradled Gabriel’s face as he dipped his tongue into Gabriel’s mouth. Gabriel responded enthusiastically and swung his legs over Sam’s hips and seated himself on Sam’s lap. Sam cupped Gabriel’s face with one hand and let his other hand travel along Gabriel’s back, tracing nonsensical patterns.

Sam gasped as Gabriel pushed forward and ground his hips into Sam’s. It was an unfamiliar feeling for Sam, feeling another erection against his own. Sam had tried to imagine it before, but he had not even come close to the brain meltingly good. Sam could not help but pout when Gabriel moved away.

Gabriel’s lips were kiss swollen and it was very enticing when he bit down on his lower lip before speaking. “Sam, I’m completely all the way for where this is going, but… are you sure?”

Sam nodded. “I’m not exactly ready for… uh… you know.” He gestured vaguely and Gabriel smirked the same way as he did last time.

“Sammich, it’s pretty obvious you’re not ready for sex when you can’t even say the word.”

Color blossomed on Sam’s cheeks, but he still rolled his eyes at Gabriel’s comment. “Shut up, Gabriel.” He took a deep breath. “But I think I might be ready to take my shirt off.” That was a big step for Sam. He had hidden his arms for so long that he was pretty sure that no one except for his brother and some medical personnel had actually seen them for a year. And no one except Sam had seen them for the last six months. He had made sure of that. But he trusted Gabriel.

Gabriel smiled widely. “That sounds awesome. I really, really like the sound of that.” Just then, Spot made his presence known by trying to jump up on Sam’s lap and situate himself between Sam and Gabriel.

Gabriel’s brow furrowed in slight annoyance. “Spot, go lay down in the kitchen.”

The dog gave his best puppy eyes but Gabriel did not budge. “Damn dog, I love him but he’s ridiculous.”

Sam snorted a laugh. “Still resting my case.”

Gabriel just smiled indulgently at Sam before climbing off of him. “Now, I was promised shirtless Samsquatch. Come on!” Gabriel grabbed his hand and pulled him off of the couch.

Sam rolled his eyes but willingly followed Gabriel upstairs. When they got into Gabriel’s bedroom, Gabriel closed the door silently behind them. Suddenly Sam felt awkward. He was unsure of the protocol. He cleared his throat. “Um… should I just-?”

Gabriel did not answer; he just stepped forward and pulled Sam down for a kiss. “Shh… just, go with the flow. Do what feels right. No pressure here.”

Sam nodded hesitantly. Then he cupped Gabriel’s face and deepened the kiss. Gabriel’s lips parted and Sam dipped his tongue inside his mouth. Sam was guided towards Gabriel’s luxurious bed, fleetingly he realized that he still had not gotten a good look at the room. But all thoughts turned to Gabriel when the back of Sam’s legs hit the mattress. Sam pulled Gabriel with him and they landed on the mattress with a soft thud.

Gabriel pulled away and started trailing kisses down Sam’s neck, making Sam shiver in delight. Sam’s hands caressed Gabriel’s back and found their way underneath Gabriel’s shirt. Gabriel’s skin was deliciously soft and he gave off heat like a furnace, Sam pulled Gabriel’s shirt further up so he could access his back more easily.

Gabriel paused his ministrations and sat up. Swiftly, he pulled off his shirt with a cheeky grin aimed at Sam.

Gabriel was gorgeous. He was not as fit as Sam, but he was perfect in Sam’s eyes. His chest was sprinkled with hair and Sam could not resist dragging his hand through it. It was an odd and new feeling, rubbing his hands on Gabriel’s hairy chest. But Sam enjoyed it. He traced his fingers down to Gabriel’s nipples and gently rubbed them until they stiffened. Gabriel closed his eyes and sighed in enjoyment. Sam slowly explored every inch of Gabriel’s chest and stomach, making his way down to the trail of hair leading into Gabriel’s pants. He hovered hesitantly there, so Gabriel opened his eyes and leaned forward and started kissing him again.

Warm hands started unbuttoning Sam’s shirt. He stiffened unwillingly, but when Gabriel bit his ear and started licking and biting at his neck again and properly distracted him, Sam relaxed again. Soon, all of the buttons on his shirt was undone. Gabriel sat back and stared at him with wide eyes.

“What?” Sam asked, feeling very self-conscious all of a sudden. He had never been with anyone who had stared at his body like that before.

“I’m just- you’re gorgeous.” Gabriel said and pulled Sam up to a sitting position. Sam blushed scarlet at the praise.

Gabriel gently pulled Sam’s shirt off of him. Sam felt anxiety build in his chest and gnaw at his stomach, but Gabriel’s soothing hands on him and slow kisses helped. Sam still kept his eyes closed for fear of what Gabriel’s expression when he saw Sam’s arms might look like.

Sam gasped as a gentle kiss was placed on his left wrist, and then another on his right.

“Oh, Sam.” Gabriel said quietly. “You’re still gorgeous.”

Sam squeezed his eyes shut, determined not to cry in relief and ruin the moment. He did not really want to look at his own arms, but on the other hand he had a half-naked Gabriel on top of him. Desire for Gabriel won out and he slowly managed to open his eyes.

Gabriel was smiling softly at him and Sam sat up a little so he could kiss him properly again. The kisses turned heated, with Gabriel’s tongue chasing Sam’s over and over again until they were grinding against each other and desperately holding onto each other with every movement.

Sam’s hand found its way down to Gabriel’s crotch and he rubbed Gabriel’s erection through his pants. Gabriel gasped and moaned loudly.

“Please, Sam…” He breathed. Sam made his mind up quickly, he really wanted Gabriel to feel good and to see him come undone. He quickly unbuttoned Gabriel’s pants and grasped his member. He moved his hand up and down in sure sped up strokes as Gabriel rutted against him and panted.

Sam kissed Gabriel’s neck as he threw his head back in pleasure and that was all it took for Gabriel’s body to arch back and for his release to spill over Sam’s fingers.

Sam gently pulled Gabriel with him and lay back on the bed, waiting for Gabriel to catch his breath. Sam gently caressed Gabriel’s shoulder and waited in content silence for Gabriel to come down from his high.
“That was… well worth the wait.”

Sam chuckled at Gabriel’s breathless comment. “I’m glad you think so.”

Gabriel rolled on top of Sam. “Can I return the favor, Samster?”

Sam bit his lip. On one hand, yes absolutely yes. On the other – well. There was no other anymore. Gabriel knew everything. Gabriel had seen his arms and still called him gorgeous.

Sam nodded. “Yeah, but… not without-, I need to get-“ He knew that the chance of passing on his disease was almost zero without penetration or something like that, but he did not want to risk it.

Gabriel nodded and kissed him before he could finish his sentence. “Whatever makes you feel safe. In your bag?”

Sam nodded, feeling slightly confused. “Yeah?”

Gabriel kissed his nose and quickly got up from the bed. “You stay here, I’ll get it. Just a sec’.”

Sam nodded and closed his eyes when Gabriel left the room. The anticipation was crawling inside him, and even if his anxiety over his nudity still was there, the built up heat and excitement was doing a good thing with drowning out his negative feelings.

The door opened again, and Sam opened his eyes. Gabriel stepped inside, clutching the condoms and lube from Sam’s bag. Gabriel ripped of one packet, carelessly threw the others on the floor and quickly made his way onto the bed.

“Still sure?”

Sam nodded. “Completely.”

“Awesome!” Gabriel caressed Sam’s stomach and left biting kisses on his nipples that had Sam gasping loudly. Quick, nimble fingers made fast work of the button on Sam’s pants. Sam lifted his body so Gabriel could pull down his underwear and pants in one go.

Gabriel kissed Sam deeply once more, before sitting back and ripping the condom packet open. He rolled the condom on with practiced ease. He squeezed some lube into his hand and grasped Sam’s member.

Sam gasped loudly as Gabriel began to move his hand in fast and sure motions. Sam had gotten hand jobs from girls before, but none of them had brought him to the brink so quickly. Gabriel swiped his thumb over the tip teasingly and Sam moaned embarrassingly loudly. Gabriel sped up his strokes and Sam’s body tensed in anticipation. Gabriel leaned over Sam and kissed him deeply, and that was all he could take. His body tensed and his vision whited out as he found release. Gasping for breath, he fell back on the bed again.

Gabriel pulled off the condom with ease and immediately threw it in the trash before lying down beside Sam again.

Sam had no idea what to say. His brain felt empty. “That was… awesome.” He said finally after a long few minutes of silence.

Gabriel laughed quietly and hugged him close. “I’m glad. I liked it too.”

Chapter Text

“Sammich, you better be done taming that mane of yours, or we’re gonna be late!”

“Coming!” Sam yelled as loudly as he could. With a last look in the mirror, he nodded in satisfaction to himself. He grabbed his suit jacket from the chair and quickly pulled it on before hurrying down the stairs.

Gabriel was waiting just at the bottom of the stairs; he looked up and smiled when he saw Sam. “Lookin’ good, Sasquatch. But that ain’t gonna hinder your cousin from murdering you if we’re late.”

Sam laughed. “I know, I know! Did you grab the gift?”

Gabriel nodded. “Already in the car, don’t worry.”

Sam smiled at him and dropped a quick kiss on his cheek. “Thanks. You look fantastic, by the way.”

Gabriel just grinned at him. “Yeah, yeah, I know. Now, let’s go!”

They hurried out to the car, Sam was relieved to see that Gabriel had chosen Sam’s car, and not his own for the day. No matter how much Gabriel loved his Beetle, he too had recently admitted that it might be a good idea to send the poor thing to car heaven soon.

Sam’s Dodge Charger way more comfortable for someone of Sam’s height.

The drive was not long, but Sam could not help but bounce his right leg in restlessness. They were right on time so far, but one never knew when traffic would decide to fuck everything up.

Gabriel looked over at him from the driver seat and rolled his eyes. “Oh, relax Samsquatch. We’re gonna make it. And I’ll bet you ten bucks that they’re not gonna be ready on time anyway.”

Sam chuckled and nodded, feeling slightly less stressed.

They pulled up by the little chapel with five minutes to spare, to Sam’s relief. Gabriel gave Sam a quick kiss before shooing him away, Sam half ran inside and almost collided with Ellen who just rolled her eyes at him.

“’Bout damn time, boy. Jo’s waitin’ for you.”

Sam hurried inside the set of rooms where he knew his cousin and presumably his brother would be.

“Sam! You’re such an ass, I’ve been here having the worst crisis of my life and I needed you and all I got was Dean!”

“Hey!” The older Winchester interjected in protest, but neither Sam nor Jo paid any attention to him.

Sam rolled his eyes at his smaller cousin indignantly stomping her foot. In her wedding dress, her behavior just looked silly. “Yeah, yeah! I’m here now. What’s the crisis?”

Jo looked like she wanted to yell at him some more but instead she bit her lip and looked down. “Just… pre-wedding jitters, I guess.”

Sam laughed quietly and stepped forward and hugged her tightly. “You know, he’s gonna make you really happy. He’s been doing just that for the last five years and he’ll keep doing it.” Sam paused and smirked a little, not that Jo could see it. “And if he don’t, I’ll help you sue him for half of what he owns.”

He kissed Jo’s head as she snorted into his shoulder and simultaneously hit him in the stomach.

“Hey, moose! Watch the hair!” She said indignantly.

Sam snorted. “Yep, I’m so very ready to have you handed over to Balthazar.”

Jo just rolled her eyes at him. “Come now, my two lovely bridesmaids!” She said before walking out of the room.

Sam just laughed as Dean indignantly cried out in protest. “Hey, best men Jo! Best men!”

It was a little unconventional with the bride having two best men, but the wedding was very nice. Sam noticed Ellen’s tears during the ceremony but wisely chose not to comment. He felt even wiser for not commenting on Bobby’s tears. Afterwards they all gathered at the Roadhouse. It was a small thing, with just the immediate family present. Sam loved it and privately mused that it might be time soon to speak about marriage and other things with Gabriel too. They were not getting younger after all.

At thirty Sam held down a respectable job at a law firm and his boss had hinted that he would be able to make partner soon. Gabriel still ran his own children’s clinic with Castiel. They still did after work at the Roadhouse regularly, but now with Jo and Balthazar present too. Sunday dinner was still almost a weekly event, when Sam did not have cases that demanded all his time. Every time he missed a dinner, Ellen would poke him in the stomach the next time he went over and complain about how much weight he had lost. Sam loved his life.

“You know, you look almost as serious as you did when I first saw you, moose. What are you thinking about?”

Gabriel came up from behind him and linked his arm behind Sam’s back. Sam put his arm on Gabriel’s shoulders and hugged him close, dropping a quick kiss on his head. “Nothing much, just how everything has come together since we met.”

Gabriel looked up at him with a smirk. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you for years, Samster. Years! I’m a godsend!”

Sam just laughed and rolled his eyes. But for once, he did not refute Gabriel’s claim. He just put his hand gently under Gabriel’s chin and tilted his face so he could kiss him deeply. “I guess you are.” He said softly and watched with amusement as color rose on
Gabriel’s cheeks and he was lost for words. Silently, they stared into each other’s eyes.

“Okay you suckers, I’m gonna throw this now!” Their moment was interrupted by the obnoxious bride, waving the bouquet like a weapon. The unmarried people in the room gathered by Jo in the middle of the room. Dean got smacked up the head when Ellen
joined them with a protest that old people could not join in the fun.

“I can damn well catch the bouquet, since the old grouch has never made an honest woman out of me!”

Bobby just rolled his eyes at their antics and waited by the bar with a scotch in his hand.

“Okay, you ready?” Jo called over her shoulder.

“Yes!” Sam looked to his side and saw Dean looking excited. Sam had no idea for what, because Dean still had not managed to hold on to someone for longer than a weekend.

Jo turned around and threw the flowers. They flew high and almost hit Sam in the face before he managed to catch them. As the people around them cheered, Gabriel leaned in close and whispered in Sam’s ear. “Guess we’re next, huh?”

Sam grinned at him. “Guess so.”

He pulled Gabriel into a deep kiss. He could so live with that.