Gabriel’s not sure how he ends up in a relationship. It sort of sneaks up on him, like ninjas or cancer…cancer is a really bad example, though, because Sam isn’t horrifying or unwanted or any of that. He’s not sucking the life out of Gabriel in the way that he thought that a relationship would, which, even only admitting it to himself, is enough ammo for Castiel to say ‘I told you so’ for three straight years.
But seriously, he isn’t sure how it happened.
Well, he knows the events.
Here’s the story:
He’s in a bar, and it’s not the best bar he’s ever been in, but it’s homey and small and familiar, which is why he keeps coming here. Gabriel’s not the sort of guy how becomes a ‘regular,’ per se, and yet that seems to be what’s happening with The Roadhouse. Ellen is a tough old bird, after all, built the place from the ground up with the help of her now-dead husband and his now-dead friend, and Jo, her daughter, is the biggest sweetheart Gabriel’s ever met. Flirting with her always produces interesting results (no matter how interested Jo might be, even though she isn’t, her mother would never let it happen), and through a sort of trial and error process he gets to know them. Gets to know them well enough, even, that sometimes they’ll give him free drinks if it’s been a long day. The curse of being an attorney is that every day is a long day, but he doesn’t tell them that.
So, he’s in a bar, drinking something fruity and sweet that probably has enough syrup in it to give him diabetes on the spot, and Ellen is laughing and talking to a guy that Gabriel can’t see. She’s standing in front of his table, and Gabriel can make out legs and arms (long legs and arms), but not much more than that. He leans forward, tilting his head at Jo.
“Your old lady isn’t usually that chatty.”
Jo takes a dishrag to a wineglass, swiping the inside clean. Gabriel doesn’t know why she does it in the first place. As far as he knows, every glass in The Roadhouse is spotless and cleaned each night by magic elves. It’s the only explanation, because there are hundreds of glasses, and they never show up with so much as a fingerprint on the inside.
“That’s Sam Winchester,” she says, and takes Gabriel’s abruptly empty cocktail and replaces it with a glass of water. “His dad was the one who helped build this place. He and his brother come around sometimes…well, Dean comes around when we need work done, but Sam’s real nice.”
At which point Ellen finally moves enough that Gabriel can see the long-limbed man sitting behind her.
His first impression of Sam is that the guy is tall. Even sitting down, the difference in height between him and Gabriel is obvious. The second thing he notices is that the guy’s hair is the kind that can get as long and shaggy as it wants, and still look like it had been artfully arranged by a stylist only an hour before.
Thirdly, he’s hot. Smoking hot. Not pouty-mouthed model hot, but he’s got broad shoulders and a huge smile, and his laugh carries across the whole bar. Gabriel likes that sort of laugh. Even better, he likes a guy who isn’t afraid to laugh loudly and unashamedly in public. He takes a sip from his glass of water, and wonders if Jo put something in it, because he doesn’t usually even consider propositioning people he might run into on a regular basis. Which, if Sam is a friend of the Harvelles, is exactly what he is: a friend of a friend. Gabriel’s somewhat proud of his inability to settle down, and continuing to make contact with the people you’ve slept with is a good way to ruin that.
Still…he’s never seen the guy in the bar before now. Not that Gabriel’s a true-blue regular or anything, but it says something about Sam Winchester’s drinking habits.
“You’re thinking of asking him out.”
Gabriel gives Jo an offended look. “I beg your pardon.”
She rolls her eyes in return, casually flapping her dishrag at him. “Asking him for a one-night stand then, whatever.”
“Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. Does it matter to you?”
“Sam’s a sweetheart, that’s all. If you try and go after him, just make sure he knows exactly what he’s getting into with you.”
“So he would be interested?”
Jo shrugs. “I know he had a girlfriend, and then he didn’t, and I know he complains about his brother not liking his dates sometimes. I know some of his dates have been with men.”
“You know this through reading his aura, I presume?”
“Because I set him up on one of those dates, asshole. Just be nice to him. Don’t lead him on.”
“You wound me. I’m not interested in luring innocent young men into my lair.”
Jo grins. “I’d hardly say he’s innocent. But, I wash my hands of you two. You’re on your own from here on out.”
“Good. Just the way I like it.”
Except he sits there. Just sits there, nursing his water, for a further ten minutes as Sam and Ellen chat about this and that. He’s too far away to hear their actual conversation, so he makes one up: Fine day, isn’t it, Ms. Harvelle?
A fine day indeed!
Say, I happen to have heard that you’ve got a bit of a plumbing problem!
Oh, it’s ever so inconvenient! I don’t suppose you happen to be good with your hands, Mister…
Gabriel jumps. Well, no, jumping would imply him being frightened. So he doesn’t jump, he starts paying attention.
Good thing, too, because Sam Winchester is standing at his shoulder thumbs tucked into his pockets, smiling. It’s a little boy sort of smile, equal parts mischief and ‘aw shucks, mister.’ Gabriel studies it for what feels like a very long time (it’s actually only a few seconds), and then he grins right back.
Was I staring? I’m sorry, I really just couldn’t help myself. I don’t often see people quite as handsome as you.
That’s what he means to say. Except what comes out of his mouth is, “I’m sorry, I…you probably wanted to talk to Jo. Let me just scoot over.”
What the fuck? Where’s his mojo gone? His confidence? His goddamn game? It’s only that…well, Sam is even more stunning up close, and he’s just got this…really kind face. Like he’s the sort of guy who volunteers at an animal shelter on weekends and donates tons of money to charity. Hell, starts his own charities, and here’s Gabriel, trying to remember the last person he slept with and only really coming up with the words ‘drunken orgy.’ He’s not sure if that actually happened, but it feels safe to say that he and Sam are on two way different levels.
Except Sam is still smiling at him. That golly gee smile that makes his chin and cheeks dimple and his eyes look bright.
Jo clears her throat, and, as if the noise breaks the both of them out of the spell they were in, Sam gestures towards the seat next to Gabriel and says, “I was just wondering if I could buy you a drink?”
And Gabriel, slack-jawed (just a little) and stunned (also just a little), can only really nod in response.
They drink. A lot. Sam’s bigger, but Gabriel’s a veteran bar-crawler, and they hold their own against each other pretty well. At some point their drinking degenerates into sort of sloshing their glasses around and staring at each other, which is probably the point at which Ellen tells them to get the hell out before they fuck on the bar top. That part of the evening is a little bit hazy. What is absolutely, one hundred percent crystal clear, though, is that Gabriel wakes up the next morning (in his own apartment, thankfully) to the smell of toast and coffee and bacon, and when he heads out into the kitchen to see if he somehow drunkenly hired a housekeeper (he’s done stranger things when drunk), there’s Sam, wearing a pair of Gabriel’s boxers and cooking while reading the news on his iPhone.
And he just…doesn’t really leave.
He leaves that day, of course. Goes back home to get himself cleaned up, and he has work to go to, of course, so does Gabriel. They part ways amicably and Gabriel, despite the way his stupid feelings are screaming at him to ask if Sam wants to get dinner sometime, doesn’t try to prevent it.
Three days later, Sam’s on his doorstep with Vietnamese take-out, and it sort of snowballs from there.
“What are you thinking about?”
Gabriel blinks. “Hm?”
Grinning, Sam wraps his stupidly long arms around Gabriel’s neck, very nearly threatening to pick him up in the process. Gabriel swats at him. “Nothing.”
“I know that face. That’s your thinking face. Don’t lie.”
“Fine, fine. Just remembering how we met, is all.”
“You actually remember that night? I was too drunk to even stand by myself, I barely remember any of it.”
“You wound me.”
“Mm.” Humming, Sam presses a kiss to Gabriel’s cheek. “But I remember the morning after. That part was nice, too. God. It’s gonna be…what, three months soon?”
“Three months is a milestone?”
“It is. And I expect gifts, too.”
Gabriel groans, loudly, extravagantly, and goes limp in Sam’s arms so that he has to take all of Gabriel’s weight. No, he doesn’t really remember how this turned into a relationship. There wasn’t a first date, no tentative good-night kisses, no trinkets bought with an ‘I saw it and thought of you.’
He figures he can’t really argue with three months, though.