Gabriel gets it, okay? He's witnessed thousands of years of human history; on no continent in any era has introducing one's significant other to one's parents ever been a decision to be taken lightly. If Sam isn't ready to take that step, Gabriel isn't going to push him; in fact, he's totally cool with putting off a face-to-face meeting with John Winchester until doomsday. Really. He's awesome like that.
All he's asking for is a little acknowledgment. One simple phone call. It would take maybe two minutes. All Sam has to say is, "Hey, Dad, you know that Trickster that turned out to actually be an angel? Yeah, that one. Well, we're together now and between the hunting and all the mind-blowing sex I'm having, I really don't have time to continue putting off all those girls you keep throwing at me. I'm in the game for good and don't require more persuading, so could you please stop giving my number to every female hunter you meet? Also, stop sending Dean and Castiel to check up on me. If they cockblock us one more time, Gabriel may have to smite them. Great, thanks, bye!" Easy peasy.
"No, not 'easy peasy,'" Sam says, folding his arms and donning a familiar scowl. At any other time, Gabriel would be pleased by the appearance of Sam's bitchface; he generally considers it sort of adorable, sometimes even a bit of a turn on—but not now. Now it's just annoying. He's done nothing to deserve being bitchfaced at. In fact, if anyone deserves to be wearing a bitchface, it's Gabriel. Even by his standards this whole situation is getting ridiculous.
"Alright," Gabriel says placidly. "Why not?"
"Because it isn't."
"Seriously? That's what you're going with?"
Sam has the good grace to blush, his bitchface softening into something even worse. Oh, Dad have mercy. It's the puppy dog eyes. That's— That's fucking evil. The boy is fighting dirty. Gabriel would be impressed, except he's determined not to lose this one.
"Look," Sam says, "I'll tell Dean and Cas to stop popping in unannounced and start using phones like normal people, okay? If all else fails, we could just give them an eyeful. I'm sure Dean would start thinking twice about interrupting then."
For a moment Gabriel considers the latter suggestion with a mixture of glee and foreboding. Sam clearly underestimates his big brother's determination to make Gabriel's existence as difficult as possible. Although the idea promises high entertainment value in the short term, allowing Dean to catch them fucking would almost certainly encourage him to amp up his efforts to defend what little remains of Sammy's precious virtue. Dean is a persistent son of a bitch. Gabriel has to give him props for that.
"That doesn't really resolve the main issue here, now does it? I'm tired of being left behind while you go gallivanting off with—" Words fail him, a hard knot of emotion swelling in his throat, sudden and hot. He hadn't intended to get worked up like this, but enough is enough. If he were a girl, if he were human, then this wouldn't even be an issue.
Watching Sam flail under the weight of all his Daddy issues had been a laugh riot those first few weeks. Despite all those years of youthful rebellion, Sam still doesn't know how to say "no." When Sam and Dean decided to "take a break" from each other and part ways after The Apocalypse That Wasn't, John had almost immediately started sending Sam racing across the country to partner up on cases that any half-sensible hunter could easily handle alone. From the start it had been obvious that John was trying his hand at matchmaking. Those women knew what they were about, driving Sam to new levels of frazzled insanity as he was forced to fend them off. And still Sam kept on saying, "Yes, sir."
It's not funny anymore. Six months is a long time to spend watching the one you love deny your existence. Gabriel's not jealous. He's just tired.
"Gabriel," Sam breathes. "You know I love you, don't you? I don't want any of those girls. I just want you." His expression is so earnest and concerned that for a moment Gabriel is tempted to just let this go like he's done countless times before—but he doesn't. He can't.
"I do know that. I also know that you're so worried about anyone finding out about our relationship that you avoid PDAs like the plague, you only ever introduce me as a friend or a colleague, you practically banish me whenever Dean and Cas show up, and you continue to allow your father to set you up on dates without complaint. Do you know what all this tells me?"
"Gabriel, please, it's not—"
"It tells me," Gabriel continues flatly, "that you're ashamed of me."
"No," Sam interjects, flinching as if he's been sucker punched. "That's not true!"
When Sam steps forward, reaching out to take Gabriel into his arms, Gabriel steps back—but Sam's not having any of that. He surges forward, pulls Gabriel flush against his chest, and clings to him like he's afraid Gabriel will disappear if he doesn't. That quiet desperation does a lot to dispel the anger throbbing in Gabriel's chest. When did he become so insecure? He's an archangel, dammit! Archangels don't do insecure.
Quietly, voice muffled against Sam's chest, Gabriel asks, "Is it that my vessel is male? Or is it that I'm an angel? Because I can do something about the former, but not the latter. Archangels can't Fall, not really, not like other angels do. I'll never be human."
Sam's arms tighten around him. "Okay," Sam says quietly. "I'm sorry."
And then Sam guides Gabriel to the motel bed, forces him to sit and walks over to the nightstand to unplug his phone from the charger.
He calls John.
"Dad, good morning!" Sam says into the phone. His voice is so saturated with good cheer that no one could ever mistake it for truth. "No, nothing's wrong, I just— There's something I've been meaning to tell you. About me. And— And Gabriel. Yes, the Trickster-cum-Archangel."
And that's the moment Gabriel realizes what's happening. All he can do is look on in mute shock
"Well, you see, he and I— You know we sort of became friends after he threw in his lot with Dean and I, right?" There's a pause as Sam sucks in a deep, calming breath. Gabriel can only guess what John is saying on the other end of the line. Nothing good, he's sure. Whatever it is causes Sam's lips to curve unhappily downward. "You haven't even met him! And, anyway, he didn't just fuck off after the apocalypse ended. He's been with me, helping me."
The pause that follows this declaration is heavy with meaning.
Sam meets Gabriel's eyes and says, "Because he loves me. And I love him. We're together, Dad. He makes me happy, happier than I ever thought I could be since losing Jess."
John yells, of course he does, and Sam just stands there and takes it.
The expression on Sam's face is one Gabriel had hoped to never see again: so hurt, so desperate, so resigned. He'd worn that expression each morning after Lucifer had visited him in his dreams. It takes all of Gabriel's self-control to keep himself from delivering a good smiting, especially when he can hear words like "filthy" and "disgusting" and "wrong" filtering though the receiver.
Finally, Sam says, "I'm sorry that you don't approve, but the truth is that I'm a grown man and I don't actually need your approval. My relationship with Gabriel isn't up for debate. We can talk when you're feeling more civil."
Sam jabs the 'end call' button, throws the cell back onto the nightstand, and offers Gabriel a sad smile.
This hadn't been what Gabriel had wanted.
Sam had been so pleased about being on good terms with his father after so long. Now that's gone and there is no way to know whether he can ever have that back. All because Gabriel had to hissy fit about something that wasn't really all that important.
"You didn't have to do that," Gabriel says.
"Yes, I did." With a sigh, Sam sits on the bed beside Gabriel. One sasquatch paw settles on Gabriel's right knee. "You're right, I've been a coward and you've been treated badly because of it. I like you just as you are—archangel, trickster, whatever. You're nothing like anyone I've ever been with and that's—that's really fucking good, okay?"
"I'm not—" Gabriel stops, unsure of what exactly he wants to say.
"Gabriel, you are a bit of a prick sometimes, but mostly you're the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'm sure I'll never deserve you. Forgive me?"
"Sam," Gabriel says, "would you shut up and kiss me already?"
Rather than immediately complying with this perfectly sensible request, Sam opens his mouth as if to argue, so Gabriel takes matters into his own hands. In blatant disregard for the Moral and Responsible Use of Angel Mojo, Gabriel banishes their clothes to another dimension and straddles Sam's hips to show his sappy mortal lover how to put his tongue to better use. He's had enough caring and sharing for one day; it's time to reassert his
manhood archangelhood before gigantor gets any funny ideas about just who the girl is in this relationship.
Hey—now would probably be a good time to suggest trying out a new kink or two. A guilty Sam is an obliging Sam! Would Gabriel be taking advantage? How annoyed would Sam be once he figured out he'd been manipulated?
Sam moans hotly against Gabriel's mouth.
If that isn't an invitation to take advantage, Gabriel doesn't know what is.