Sam has no idea how Gabriel got his number.
But one minute he's not being bothered by random text messages and the next he is. Not Dean, not Castiel, just him. Which, admittedly, Sam isn't entirely surprised by, since Gabriel seems to find messing with him more fun than messing with Dean. So hooray for him being special, and Sam means that entirely sarcastically, since being special has gone amazingly badly for him so far.
It's mostly a nuisance. But, among the texts full of mockery when a hunt doesn't go so well, or the occasional dig about what Sam's wearing or what his hair looks like, or the tragic and never-ending love story that is Dean and Castiel there's also, occasionally, a piece of useful information, or a helpful tip on how not to be eaten by the monster of the week. Sam thinks Gabriel is bored and he knows Sam will ignore him if he isn't grudgingly helpful.
So he is.
what are you killing today?
Sam glares at his phone and debates shoving it back in his pocket, but Dean is outside working on the car and Castiel is out there somewhere with him, standing completely still like some weird trench-coat-wearing bird of prey. His thumb hovers over the keys and then thumps them down.
how do you even have a cell phone?
He hits 'send.'
It vibrates on his stack of books a minute later.
everyone has a cell phone
Sam sighs and types out
Castiel thinks its a Vetch were going to burn its nest.
Nothing for five minutes and Sam assumes he's filled Gabriel's 'annoy Sam Winchester' quota for the day and he's gone to do other things.
Ten minutes later the phone vibrates again. Sam sighs, picks it up, thumps the message open. It's a text he has to scroll to read. It tells him, sarcastically, that they're all going to get killed, Castiel is an idiot, and to check under life-draining wraiths instead.
Sam tosses his phone down on the table and flips back through the book. He has to admit, grudgingly, that Gabriel might be right. His thinks it's just his imagination that his phone manages to look smug.
Three weeks in he gives in and edits Gabriel's number so it actually shows his name. It takes him a few seconds to realise that he now has an Archangel on speed dial.
Sam's life continues to be roller-coaster that he can't get off of. Some of the stuff that happens to them he wouldn't even believe it Hollywood filmed it. Dean is currently cursed to tell the truth, which is why he's locked in his own motel room, not going near anyone, especially not Sam. Why everyone thinks Sam is too delicate to hear the absolute truth he doesn't know. He's fairly sure he already knows all the things Dean doesn’t say, and he's fairly sure Dean already knows all the things he doesn’t say. Though, ok, maybe the not-saying them is how they've managed to mostly not kill each other.
So it's not like a secret, it's more like politeness. Even if the thought of Dean hiding out of politeness is kind of disturbing.
Castiel doesn't count, of course, though Sam honestly thinks he's too angelic to ask any questions when Dean's forced to answer them all honestly. So, Dean and Castiel are in the other room, dealing with 'important angel business' which Sam had originally thought was code for 'having sex' but judging by the frustrated eyefucking from Dean and the possibly entirely unintentional eyefucking from Castiel he's not so sure. Sometimes he thinks his brother forgets that he isn't, completely dense. That he is, in fact, the smart one. But he hasn't walked in on anyone having sex yet, and though he's grateful, oh so incredibly grateful, for that. He kind of wishes, at the same time, that they'd just get it over with. Unless Castiel asks his brother some pressing personal questions it's probably not going to happen soon.
He pulls his phone out of his pocket and opens a new message. He tells Gabriel that Dean can't save the world at the moment, because he's too busy being cursed. He thinks he might turn that into some sort of answer phone message for the Winchesters? 'We're sorry we can't deal with your supernatural emergency, we've been cursed!' It occurs to Sam, ten seconds after he's sent the message, that this is the first time he's texted Gabriel first.
But it only takes a minute or so before his phone vibrates, then beeps at him.
this is why some animals eat their own young
Which really shouldn't make Sam feel better but absolutely does.
so I heard you blew up a warehouse today
Sam reads the text upside down. He texts back the same way.
it was full of evil witches
Sam likes to think he's good at the 'destruction of property for the good of mankind' excuse by now.
have celebratory witch-killing takeout
Sam grunts and hits reply.
spent most of today drenched in sacrificial chicken blood, not feeling up to drumsticks
Sam takes his clothes into the bathroom and dumps them in the bath, though whether he's going to bag them up for laundry or burn them he's not entirely sure. When he gets back he has three messages from Gabriel. Apparently only tacky demons are using chicken blood, you get more bang for your buck with goat, also there are no feathers to clean up afterwards.
Sam grunts and replies to the last one with....
emergency sacrificial goat much harder to sneak into evil lair
Which, Sam decides, is entirely sensible. The beep happens not long after he sends his own message.
ive never considered the difficulties involved in emergency sacrificial goat transport before
Sam laughs at his phone, because he's fairly sure if he ever loses it someone's going to think he's a psychopath.
He types out another message.
and might be hard to convince Dean to keep emergency goat in trunk
It occurs to Sam that, should a goat show up at any point, anywhere in the car that it will be mostly his fault.
The job in Vermont was supposed to be easy. It was supposed to be a ghost and instead they get a nest of ghouls that leave Sam and Dean covered in scratches and smelling like they crawled out of an open grave. He's pretty sure he sends the text as some sort of punishment.
smell like old corpse
Gabriel sends him a picture of The Great Pyramid which Sam feels is a particularly unfunny joke.
"I hate you," Sam decides, and then texts him exactly that, before tossing his phone down on the bed.
Half way between a werewolf buried in a shallow grave and Bobby's house Sam's phone vibrates in his pocket. He pulls it out and reads the message.
hows the apocalypse going?
Sam, looks across at Dean, who's driving with the sort of expression that looks like it's been slapped onto his face, then checks the back, where Castiel looks like he might just have been the one that slapped it there. He lets his thumb slide over the keys without really thinking about it.
thinking of skipping it and running away to Vegas instead
He waits in the silence of the car until his phone vibrates again, hits the message.
i give it a week before you wake up broke and hungover and dressed like a showgirl
Sam snorts loudly and unattractively which gets him a 'what the hell is up with you' look from Dean and a stare from Castiel. He shoves his phone back in his pocket and shakes his head.
Sam's honestly surprised it takes Dean as long as it does, but he eventually corners him - or okay, just stands in the way when he tries to get up from the table. He doesn't look like he's happy about the intervention.
"I was going to leave it, because you seem okay, you seem better than okay. Not secretive about it, not like you're running around -" Dean clears his throat as if he's reconsidered what he was going to say. "But seriously, who the hell are you talking to?" It's half worry and half hope, like he's afraid Sam might have joined some secret league of evil, but he secretly hopes that he's made a new friend instead, a nice new human lady friend who he has sex with.
"I don't have a girlfriend," Sam says honestly.
That makes Dean's frown even deeper.
Sam sighs, digs his phone out of his pocket and hands it over. It's a show of trust that Dean seems honestly surprised by. But his brother very carefully takes the phone and turns it round, thumbs through the menus. Sam's fairly sure he's already deleted any really incriminating texts.
Dean stops scrolling.
"Gabriel?" Dean asks, and Sam hadn't known Dean was that good at incredulous. "You're shitting me, seriously?"
"You've been sharing personal phone time with Gabriel."
"He started it," Sam says easily, because it's true. "Besides he's been throwing us a bone every so often."
"Have you forgotten what he put us through?" Dean reminds him without looking up, and his eyebrows do a weird dance like he's reading the last few messages. Sam's mind goes completely blank on what they were talking about last.
"Would you rather he showed up in person?"
Dean makes his bitch face, which Sam takes to mean, that no, he'd really rather not have Gabriel show up in person. Dean sighs, annoyed, and something that wants to be confused frustration. Sam has no idea where that last expression comes from. But he gives him his phone back.
"Dude, you piss him off you fix it, got it?"
Sam gets a picture message at four in the afternoon that he can't quite make out. It's bright, and he's not entirely sure which way up it's supposed to go until he works out that the dark bit is the sky. What is that? Sam turns the phone round. It's white, a white landscape with edges of orange and a jagged white curve in the black sky. He thinks about it for a minute, then texts Gabriel back.
what is that?
Sam waits in curious expectation for the reply.
sunset at the north pole
Sam looks at the picture again.
how did your phone not freeze?
He gets three words back.
because im awesome
Sam grunts a protest and hits reply.
i hope you get eaten by a polar bear
The colder it gets the harder it is to dig graves out. They end up putting to rest nearly a whole damn graveyard in Portland. Sam's arms ache so badly that every movement is a low thrum of agony and he knows damn well that it's going to hurt worse tomorrow. Sam has no idea how Dean drives them back to the motel but they get there somehow. It hurts to unlock the door and Sam pretty much falls onto the cold bed with a carton of cold noodles. He hasn't even bothered to turn the light on, though he doesn’t have the energy. He really just doesn't. Sam knows for a fact that angels don't sleep, and three in the morning isn't exactly the latest he's come back from a hunt. He hurts too much to be tired.
He drags his phone out of his pocket, opens a new message.
where are you
Sam rolls his eyes.
He can't remember how to do emphasis via text.
Rio De Janeiro
Sam rolls his eyes.
am in leaky hotel room eating cold noodles in the dark. hunting demons is so much more awesome in the movies
The phone vibrates in his hand
or pretty much any episode of buffy the vampire slayer
Sam almost texts back that he wishes he was buffy the vampire slayer but that's one of those knee-jerk brain thoughts that probably shouldn’t be shared, especially not with Gabriel, who not only has a dubious sense of humour but awesome supernatural powers. His phone goes again before he can reply.
where are dean and castiel?
Sam uses Dean's favourite phrase, because it's easier.
important angel business
There's a long pause, as if Gabriel is thinking about it. Sam lays the phone on his stomach, the room strangely alien illuminated by the screen. It vibrates on his skin. He lifts it up and blinks at the message.
is that code for having sex?
Sam laughs far too loudly in the darkness.
Sam's stretched out on his bed not doing anything, listening to Dean crash and bang about in the bathroom when his phone beeps in his pocket. He pulls it out.
what are you killing today
Sam texts back while holding the phone over his head.
killing postponed due to bad weather and Dean being a dick
He hits send, then drags his thumb back and forth over the buttons, until his phone vibrates again.
Sam tries to think of a good way to describe the tense complicated air Castiel had had the last time he'd seen him, before he went to look for God.
Almost a minute later he gets a reply.
that explains why deans being a dick
Sam thinks about it and then gives in and texts back with irritated honesty.
their secret and yet obvious love is starting to get annoying
He watches it send the message, waits for it to vibrate and thumbs it open.
im starting to wonder if castiel is the brain damaged angel. were supposed to be observant yknow
Sam huffs agreement and decides something in his next text.
when people write about their secret and obvious love can I be in another story. A better story?
Sam taps his boots against the wall while he waits until his phone beeps.
something with ninjas
Sam grins at his phone and types out a reply.
im rethinking my opinion on you not being awesome
today we're killing a nest of succubae
As loaded text messages go, that one's pretty full, but Sam's not looking forward to it and he feels like sharing. Dean's been sharpening things and oiling things all afternoon with the look of a man who knows there's a storm coming. And yeah, taking all that sexual tension into a nest of sex harpies is going to end so well. Sam hears the beep and lifts his phone up.
helpful advice = dont have sex with one of them
Sam decides he can either be pissed at the insinuation of that or he can play Gabriel's game for a change.
He types out the message before he thinks about it.
how about all of them?
There's a long pause, Sam honestly doesn't know what possessed him to send that but the more he looks at his phone the funnier it is. Also, Gabriel speechless is kind of an achievement. When his phone eventually vibrates Sam's stabs the read button and then immediately makes an amused noise.
pictures or it didnt happen
Sam snorts and works on his ambidextrousness by typing with one hand and putting his socks on with the other.
you're just jealous of my interesting and spontaneous adventure lifestyle
The reply takes less than a minute.
needs more popcorn
Sam's putting his boot on when the next message comes in
dont let Dean have sex with any of them either
He holds his shoelace in midair for long enough to send a reply.
Castiel would stare them into oblivion
Because yeah, he totally would.
oh i think hed do a little more than that
"Sam, come on!" Dean yells from the door.
Sam has time for one last message, and he figures what the hell.
going to kill some succubae brb
Sam gets his next photo a week later at eight in the morning over breakfast. It's a weird collection of grey pipes and a white box on a sparkly black background. It takes him five minutes to realise what he's looking at.
is that the mir space station?!!
until it's officially claimed by aliens
Sam turns the picture round. There is, theoretically, no place to stand and take that picture. There's no way this picture should even exist. In fact phones probably shouldn't even work in the cold of space.
His phone beeps and he gets another picture, this one closer, space station taking up almost the whole screen. It's just on the edge of insane because it's a picture from space. From space.
The phone beeps again and Sam presses the button, expecting more space station.
He nearly chokes on his breakfast. Because Gabriel has turned the phone around and now he's no longer looking at the space station. He's looking at - holy fucking shit - he's looking at Earth. It's the Earth. The vast great ball of smeared out blue-white Earth, beautiful and fucking huge in the screen. There's a trail of what looks like electricity, or light, or hell, plasma across the edge of the picture. He turns the phone round a few times but he still can't quite make out what that is.
Until he can.
He very carefully types out his next message.
dude, did you take a picture of your thumb?!
His hand is shaking just a little bit. The phone nearly slips out of his sweaty fingers when it beeps again.
angels don't have thumbs do you know how hard that was to take
Sam turns the picture round, stares at it for a long time. It occurs to him, suddenly and amazingly, that that crackly cold blue-white trail that cuts into the edge of the screen, flaring brightly between space and earth, is Gabriel, actual, genuine, original Archangel Gabriel. Sam can't stop staring at it, breath caught in his throat, and he thinks maybe he's having a moment here, some sort of weird epiphany, though he's damned if he knows what it's about.
So he does exactly what Dean would do in this situation.
He texts back.
He saves the picture.
did you know they have the largest chocolate fountain ever created in Dubai at the moment?
Sam hits send pretty much as soon as the woman on TV tells him as much.
He only has to wait through one commercial break.
youre texting me porn at four in the morning. i knew there was a reason i liked you best
Sam's probably happier about that than he should be.
the discovery channel is awesome
i sw a man trampled by a rhinoceruos today
The screen is very bright, Dean threatened to take Sam's phone away, but he hasn't yet so that's okay.
are you drunk texting me?
It's more amused than accusing. Sam vaguely remembers Gabriel approves of drunk texting.
im not drunk i have medication
It's a good explanation, because he does have medication. It's very good medication and makes his ribs not hurt at all.
why are you on medication sam?
He sends a couple of texts, just the most horrible parts.
demons in the zoo. the zoo is just wrng. it was horrible.
there were birds that exploded. and a monkey. noanape.
we had to shoot it. i fell in the bear pit
Dean got chased by zebra. an3 a camel. with demonsinside them
He tries to remember what happened after that.
But his phone beeps at him and he's so surprised he nearly drops it.
ive changed my mind sam your life definitely deserves popcorn
in the best way
He's fairly sure Gabriel's laughing at him, a lot. But that's okay, because Gabriel's allowed.
The drugs are good.
if this was a drunk text id tell you i love you
and our epic lovestory will have ninjas
Sam's fairly sure he loses his phone at some point after that.
He finds it under the pillow the next morning.