In an attempt to save the world, Sam Winchester makes a grave mistake. He consumes Ruby’s blood because he thinks it’s right, because he thinks it will make him strong. And it does, in a way he wasn’t expecting (and didn’t want). He takes in too much demon blood and in the end, it gives him strength. But in the end, it also steals something much more important from him. Demon blood is potent and it destroys, just as the beings that possess the vital fluid do.
The blood stole Sam Winchester’s humanity.
As powerful as I am, as many times as I could bring a person back from the dead, even I can’t return a person’s humanity after they have sacrificed it. Even if it was a selfless sacrifice.
So Sam, as a monster he never asked to be, leaves his brother and his life as a hunter to hide away. He tries to behave so as to stay off of Hell’s radar, but the part of him that isn’t human (which is two-thirds on a good day, his entire being on a bad one) gives him urges that he has to give in to. He takes a cue from an old acquaintance and only kills those who deserve it. He hates the way he feels after a kill- horrified with what he has done, but satisfied in a way that he has never felt before (a way he wants to feel again and again).
He always skips town after a kill, going someplace new for a ‘change of scenery’ (he has yet to convince himself that he is telling himself the truth with that line). It’s the same for years. He holds out until the last second to succumb to his urges, killing someone who deserves it (he had a penchant for stabbing pedophiles) and fleeing as soon as he finishes.
But giving people their just desserts has a downside. Sam runs into the Trickster a few years into his new life. The shorter man isn’t pleased with someone else encroaching on his territory, but when he realizes just who it is that is stepping on his toes, he decides that it’s something he can work with. The Trickster corners Sam and makes a proposition.
“You and I could be partners, Sammy-boy. We have the same occupation. And I can think of a few extra-curriculars I might want to try with you,” the Trickster says with a wink, giving a whistle.
Sam rolls his eyes, but it’s been so long since he’s spent any time with another being. He agrees, asking only for the Trickster’s name as a condition for agreeing to team up with him. The shorter man smiles (and it’s the most genuine expression that Sam has seen on the demi-god) and nods.
“Gabriel- they call me Gabriel.”
They shake hands (which has Gabriel making all sorts of jokes about what big hands like Sam’s meant about other parts of a guy’s anatomy- he was always my crudest son) and thus begins their partnership in ‘just desserts’.
Sam sighed, laying back on the hotel bed in the room that Gabriel had gotten for them this week. It was far nicer than any room Sam could remember staying in with Dean, but he tried not to think about that (or about Dean in general- it hurt too much). Gabriel was out and about, scoping out an asshole to target that week, but Sam chose to stay in the room rather than join him. He felt too human to be planning a murder today. Good days were rare (and getting rarer) for him, he would rather spend his time curled up on the plush mattress, reading a book that Gabriel had picked up for him because the Trickster knew how much Sam enjoyed reading. Gabriel returned later, bringing Sam a salad and settling onto his own bed with a few candy bars. It made Sam ill to watch the Trickster consume so much sugar, but he figured it was normal for creatures like Gabriel.
They spent their days in amiable silence, only speaking when necessary (like when Gabriel wanted to make a joke, or to tell Sam about the most recent target he had found), but it was good and Sam liked it more than the loneliness of his first few years of being a monster. Gabriel bought Sam books and Sam picked up chocolate bars for Gabriel. They kept their relationship as shallow as they could, not talking about family or their past (as much as Sam was curious about what a Trickster’s life was really like) or anything besides their favorite foods and things to do and murders.
But Sam had bad nights (horrible nights, the worst nights of his life); Nights where he felt like his humanity, the little that he had left, was gone for good. Nights where he woke up and wanted to tear his skin off in the disgust and frustration that he felt (and he screamed, so loud that Gabriel made a habit of sound proofing their hotel rooms). Nights where he sobbed, in anger more than in sadness, his eyes black even through the tears (catching sight of himself in the mirror on those nights made him retch). On those nights Gabriel moved himself to Sam’s bed, pulling the taller man against him and holding him tight and petting his hair until Sam went limp in Gabriel’s arms, exhausted.
Gabriel was always back in his own bed by daybreak, usually playing some stupid game on Sam’s laptop and giving Sam a wave as the taller man made his way to the bathroom. They made a silent agreement to never discuss those nights as they continued with their planning. But Sam always left a small collection of Gabriel’s favorite candy on the Trickster’s hotel bed afterwards.
Their relationship was odd, but it was symbiotic.
They saved each other from being alone.