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Sweet and Sour

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Sam almost couldn't take the awkward silence and extreme discomfort of the hallway. The chill of the hotel's air conditioning was making goosebumps rise on his exposed skin, which consisted of most of his body, given that he was still standing in nothing but Gabriel's ridiculously tiny underwear. It was honestly a miracle that the shrink-wrap fabric hadn't ripped yet. But as bizarre and uncomfortable as it was to be wearing the archangel's clothing in the middle of an open hallway, none of it compared to the terror growing in Sam's gut at the sight of Dean's seething rage.

The older Winchester's fiery eyes were darting from Sam to Gabe, glowing with absolute anger and confusion. Sam tried his best to hold onto courage, but he had to admit it was difficult. He didn't exactly want to disappoint or upset Dean. The guy was his brother after all, practically the only family Sam had ever known. How was he supposed to calm Dean down while still addressing the fact that he liked Gabriel? The dream Sam had the night before was still fresh in his mind, haunting him with the image of Dean getting ready to stab Gabriel in the back...

“Wh – what the hell is going on?!” Dean wheezed suddenly, sounding almost too shocked to speak clearly.

Sam struggled to come up with an answer as he eyed his brother's tense face. How exactly was he supposed to admit that he and Gabriel were sort of a couple? Should he say it with precaution or just blurt it out? A small second passed by before someone replied. But it wasn't Sam. It was Gabriel.

“You took the words right outta my mouth.”

Sam's eyes fell to glance down at the archangel beside him. Gabe was, of course, still covered in Sam's baggy shirt. And, despite the awkward tension, Sam noticed the archangel still looked beautiful in the morning light shining in from the window at the end of the hall. Gabriel's golden eyes were flickering between Dean and Cas and Sam could see a small bit of surprise and humor hinted in his expression. Was he actually happy that Dean and Cas were together?

“Cassie? You're riding the Winchester Bandwagon, too?” Gabe asked, appearing amused, “For once, it looks like you've beaten me to the punch! Props, lil' bro. Didn't think you had it in you.”

Sam glanced forward to see a red hint appearing on Dean's face. Behind him, Cas was narrowing his eyes at Gabriel, looking like a little brother who was done dealing with his older sibling's shit. Sam was a little surprised that Gabriel wasn't at least a slightly angry. After all, Cas was technically Gabe's brother, wasn't he? The trickster had every right to be just as pissed as Dean was in this situation. But maybe he just wasn't that type of guy. And, somehow, Gabriel's cool composure made Sam admire him even more.

Though Gabe's lighthearted words had attempted to break the tension, Dean's unwavering sight was back on Sam. The younger Winchester actually felt a little relieved that Dean was directing his anger at him. Dean could be pissed at Sam all he wanted, just as long as he didn't try to harm the archangel Sam had grown overwhelmingly fond of. Even though he had the trickster reputation, Gabriel was truly innocent when it came to this strange cluster of lies. Sam wanted all the blame. It was his choice to keep it a secret from Dean, anyway.

For what felt like a century, Sam and Dean just stared at each other; standing next to their respective angels without saying a word. It was only after seeming to find his voice that Dean reached out toward the younger brother.

“Sam,” he growled, clutching his little brother's bicep, “We need to talk.”

Sam agreed with that suggestion. Yes, they certainly did need to talk; to clear the air and make it breathable again. And Sam had no choice but to follow along behind his brother because Dean suddenly started off down the hall, pulling Sam along as if he were a giant child.

As he was being carted away, Sam took the time to look back at Gabriel. The distance was steadily growing between them, making a twinge of worry manifest in Sam's gut. Should he try to say something to Gabe before he was led to what would surely be a painful conversation? Should he attempt to apologize for the trouble? Or warn Gabe that Dean still might come after him? The look on Sam's face must have been making Gabriel uncomfortable, because his golden eyes were clouding with equal worry.

“Hey, I'm gonna need that peach back when you're done,” the archangel called, with subtle warning, “and it better be in perfect condition, too!”

Sam gave an apologetic smile as Dean led the way into room 69b. Leave it to Gabriel to say “you better not hurt my boyfriend,” in such a sweet, smart-ass tone. Cas and Gabriel were still watching the Winchesters when Dean yanked Sam the rest of the way into the hotel room and slammed the door shut.

The taller man stumbled up against the wall and couldn't help but glance around. This was the room that Dean and Cas had shared the night before – and, boy, there was no denying that it was theirs. The prominent smell of sex was heavy in the air, nightstands were turned over, the lamp was broken, the window was shattered, and there was a giant hole punched out of the headboard. Not to mention the massive cart full of pie that sat cornered against the bed, or the sand that coated the white sheets. Sam's eyebrows drew together at the sight. Why the hell was there sand in Dean and Cas's bed? Were they literally trying to build sandcastles in the sky or something?

While the state of Dean and Cas's hotel room grossed-out and confused Sam, he knew he needed to focus on the event at hand. Dean was standing against the wall opposite Sam. The man was still raw, huffing distraught breaths as his shoulders squared. Sam couldn't help but feel a touch of fear. This was the way Dean glared at a monster on a case, not his own brother. After a moment, the elder Winchester's hands simply fell open.

“What the hell, Sam?” he asked, sounding absolutely lost.

Sam gulped, still pressing back against the wall. This was not the way he wanted Dean to find out about him and Gabriel. Of course, Sam knew there would never be an ideal scenario in which Dean would be totally fine with it. But Dean could at least try be a little understanding. Because Sam wasn't the first Winchester to bang an angel.

“Dean,” Sam began, hoping to explain his side of the story, “I know this looks bad -”

Looks bad?!” Dean interrupted, his mouth falling open, “Sam, you're wearing polka-dot midget boxers! Forget 'bad!' This looks freakin' horrifying!”

Sam glanced down at Gabriel's underwear and could feel his cheeks flushing. The outline of his dick was as clear as day, looking like a giant sausage and meatballs stuffed inside a tiny pillowcase. But so what, if Sam looked ridiculous? Dean was being just as inconsiderate! Sam met his brother's eyes again, angered at how unfair he was being.

“Well, it's no worse than you standing naked inside Cas's trench coat, is it?” Sam spat, feeling defensive.

Dean patted his thighs instantly, like he had forgotten that he was wearing Cas's clothes. Sam hoped that it would make him realize that he was being unfair, by reminding him that Sam wasn't the only one doing dirty deeds with an angel. But, apparently, it didn't make a difference.

“Don't try to turn this around,” Dean growled, “That filthy liar out there has done something to you and I wanna know what the hell it is. Tell me the truth, Sam, dammit. Look me in the eye and tell me what is going on!”

“Okay!” Sam shouted, shocked by the fact that Dean had referred to Gabe as 'that filthy liar.'

The younger brother took a few easing breaths as he prepared himself for confessing. This was it. This was the moment Dean was really going to find out...

“I – I'm – I'm with Gabriel, alright?” Sam stuttered, having to force the words out.

Dean blinked a few times, seeming unable to comprehend the statement. Sam, on the other hand, actually felt loads better. Saying it out loud, especially in front of Dean, made it all feel real. Yes, Sam was with Gabriel. Now that he thought about it, Sam had been with Gabriel for a while; chasing down candy thieves and laughing about childish things. They had been calling each other sappy names, and stealing kisses... and making love. The whole of it made Sam feel lighter than a feather, happy to the point of exploding with joy. But Dean didn't share his enthusiasm.

“No,” Dean said, shaking his head, “There's no way.”

“It's true, Dean,” Sam urged, wishing he could some how make Dean see how happy Gabriel made him, “I – I know it's crazy, but we've been together -”

“For how long?” Dean blurted.

Sam swallowed harshly. How long had he and Gabriel been seeing each other? It felt like they had been together for years, as much as they had gotten to know each other. Sam knew, however, the exact night he first developed feelings for the pesky little trickster. That insane adventure was going to be engrained in Sam's mind forever as the craziest and most amazing night of his life. Just remembering it – the drinking contest, the bull-riding competition, the strip tease, their first kiss – made Sam want to smile.

“Um, I guess... ever since the morning I had that candy necklace,” Sam uttered, his eyes unfocused on the floor.

Sam had to pull himself from the lovely memory to bring his sight back to Dean. The guy's face was skewed with repulsion, like he couldn't believe his own ears. What was so strange about Sam's answer? Did it shock Dean to find out that he and Gabe had been dating for so long?

“I can't believe this,” Dean replied, sounding completely baffled, “You're a lady's man, Sam! And now you're deciding to go on an all-archangel diet?! What about that girl at the diner yesterday? She was practically offering herself to you on a golden plate, man. Were you not going to give her a chance?”

Horror filled Sam up instantly, making his eyes widen and his back shrink against the wall. Oh, God. Dean still didn't know about the whole diner thing! He was still totally unaware of who the waitress really was and why she was being so mean to him. Sam had totally forgotten all about it. Dean's fierce green eyes were darting all over Sam, able to see his sudden distress.

"What?” Dean barked.

Sam sighed. As terrible as it was, he couldn't just let Dean go on believing that waitress was just some random rude bitch. Now was the time to fess up and get it all out of the way. After heaving a large sigh, Sam finally let Dean in on the secret.

“Gabriel was the waitress,” he admitted, finding it difficult to meet his brother's eyes.

For a brief moment, Dean looked unable – or unwilling – to make sense of Sam's words. He just blinked without expression.

“Come again?” Dean asked, his tone gruff and flat.

“The waitress at the diner,” Sam repeated, feeling bad about saying it, “It was Gabriel. He disguised himself.”

Sam watched as Dean's face slowly morphed into a tight, skewed expression. He was definitely putting two and two together now, probably recalling all the names the waitress had called him and how hard she flirted with Sam. Gabriel had done quite the job of fooling everyone. Then again, he always had a talent for tricking people.

“Oh my God,” Dean uttered, sounding repulsed, “That was – ! He – ! I was sitting right there!”

Sam gave a slow nod. Yep, Dean had been sitting right there. In a way, Dean had already seen Sam and Gabriel together, and heard their nicknames and saw their flirty body language. And maybe now, Dean could understand why the waitress made Sam so damn uncomfortable. Sam watched the anger slowly grow on Dean's face. His breathing was picking up as if he had turned into a lit fuse about to blow. And Sam knew he needed to try to get his side of the story in before the bomb went off.

“Dean,” Sam began, holding out a reassuring hand, “I like Gabriel, okay? I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's true. He's grown on me, man. And I can't -”

“You aren't seeing this clearly, Sam!” Dean yelled, the loud noise causing Sam to flinch, “Gabriel is a liar and a cheat! How do you know he isn't poisoning you? Or tricking you into getting naked? Ugh! Please tell me you didn't have sex with him.”

Sam swallowed harshly as his mind instantly filled with glimpses of Gabriel's naked body. Dean was just one night too late for receiving the answer he wanted to hear.

“Dean -”

“You did?!” Dean gasped, his eyes widening with shock, Holy shit, Sammy! What the hell is the matter with you?! Do you know where that dick has been?! God only knows how many people the trickster has screwed!”

“Dean,” Sam tried to interrupt, able to hear the prejudice in his brother's voice, “I already asked -”

“No, stop!” Dean snarled, his shoulders tensing again, “Stop defending him, Sam! He's not your friend. He's not a good guy. He kills people for fun. You've seen it with your own eyes. Who's to say he wouldn't turn right around and gank you a couple hundred times, like he did to me, huh? How do you know he wouldn't find it funny to stuff your ass in hell again just to watch you burn?!”

Sam had reached the end of his amenity. He couldn't stand hearing Dean bash Gabriel like this. The guy didn't even know him! He didn't have the right to say any of this shit about Gabe. Why wouldn't Dean just hear Sam out before judging the trickster so harshly?!

“Dammit, Dean,” Sam spat, “Would you just listen -”

“I'm not gonna let him hurt you, Sam!” Dean shouted, “You're my brother and I care about you! And I am not gonna stand by and watch you fall into another one of Gabriel's psychotic traps. I'm not gonna let him molest you against your will -”

“He's not molesting - ”

“ - or trick you into giving him what he wants! That bastard's got another thing coming, if he thinks he's gonna mess with you and not have me to answer to! I'm gonna end this, Sam, for your own good. I'm not gonna let you be manipulated like this anymore, understand?”

Sam glared at the floor, unable to even look at Dean any more. Dean was acting like a total asshole by not giving Sam a chance to voice his opinion and picking apart the bad traits of Gabriel's character. Dean wasn't even letting his brother talk. He was speaking over Sam, too busy listening to his own voice to hear anyone else's. And that was something that their father did, always speaking without listening and not seeing the picture from anyone else's point of view. Now that Sam thought about it, Dean was acting exactly like John by barking orders without consideration.

Sam slowly returned his glare to Dean, feeling bitterness and betrayal swelling inside him. If Dean was going to act like their father, then he might as well be treated like him too.

“Yes, sir,” Sam spat.

The instant the words left his tongue, Sam regretted saying them. Dean's face seemed to go as white as the sandy sheets across the room; his mouth falling open in utter horror. The younger Winchester might as well have sucker punched Dean in the gut with an iron glove, because it looked like the wind had been knocked out of him. Sam's hardened face fell as he watched Dean wobble backward to brace his back against the wall. Maybe Sam shouldn't have said that. Maybe it was a little too much.

Looking at Dean's ghost-white face made Sam feel like shit. Sammy loved his brother. Loved him more than anyone else in the world. He just wanted his voice to be heard, that's all. Not to upset Dean to the point of breaking the poor guy's heart. Sam forgot that Dean had a recent struggle with their father – one in which he sought comfort from Bobby – and couldn't help but think that he just poured salt into the open wound. Remorse was already flooding Sam's veins. He could practically taste an apology at the back of his tongue. Even though it looked like it might not be fixable, Sam was gonna try anyway.

“Dean,” he said softly.

Dean's sunken eyes steadily returned to Sam's, oozing with pain. An ache grew in Sam's chest as he took a small step forward. There was only one thing he could say and he truly hoped it would be enough.

“I – I'm sorry,” Sam stated, feeling like an asshole.

Dean seemed to flinch slightly like he had been stung by something.

No,” the older brother breathed, shaking his head, “I'm sorry, Sammy. I didn't mean to upset you. I just... I want you to be alright.”

Sam felt a little better, hearing those words. Dean wasn't being John, anymore. He was back to being Dean again.

I know,” Sam replied, curling his hair behind his ear as he nodded, “and I am alright. Actually, Dean, I'm better than alright. Gabe really makes me happy.”

Dean's weary eyes narrowed. Sam could understand how difficult it must be for Dean; coming to terms with the fact that Sam was in love with someone who had, in some ways, hurt him in the past. But Dean also didn't know the real Gabriel; the one who gave healing candy to sick children and went out of his way to prove how much he cared about Sam. That was the person Sam wanted Dean to get to know.

“Just give it a chance,” Sam offered, “If you just sat down and talked to him, you'd change your mind about him. Trust me, I would know. I had go through it myself.”

It was unclear, for a moment, whether Dean was going to agree or not. His worn green eyes just gave Sam an unimpressed stare. But to Sam's overwhelming delight, Dean finally gave in.

Fine,” the older brother grumbled, “I'll give the prick a chance. But I want you to remember that I'm dong it for you, Sam. Not him.”

Sam exhaled the breath he had been holding. So, it was true? Dean was actually going to give Gabriel a chance? Never, in a million years, did Sam think Dean would say those words with such meaning. With joy bubbling up through him like a shaken bottle of soda, Sam lurched forward and wrapped his long arms around his brother. He didn't care if Dean would bitch about it being a chick-flick moment. Sam needed to express his gratitude somehow.

“Thank you,” Sam smiled, hugging his brother tight, “It – it means a lot to me, Dean.”

Actually, it meant everything to Sam. Gabriel was quickly becoming one of Sam's favorite people and having Dean's acceptance made it all complete. Sam felt Dean patting his bare back as a high pitched noise came from his mouth.

“Our lives could be a freakin' sitcom,” he mumbled against Sam's bare shoulder, “These are the kind of antics that belong on TV.”

Sam chuckled, finally releasing Dean and standing up straight to look down at their bodies. Trench coats and polka-dot underwear? Oh, yeah. They could make tons of money if they had their own show. Sammy stretched Gabriel's tight underwear down his thighs, once again feeling uncomfortable.

“No shit,” Sam replied, grinning, “So – so, are we good, now? You're not gonna kill Gabe, right?”

Sam's dream was still lingering in the back of his mind. Watching Dean creep up behind Gabriel like that had planted a fear in his chest that wouldn't go away.

“As long as he doesn't give me a reason to,” Dean answered, trying his best to sound stern, “and he better not ever give me a damn reason. I want to talk to him, too. But, I think we all need to change clothes first.”

Sam nodded, glancing down at his own nearly-naked body. The four of them couldn't possibly take each other seriously if they were wearing each others' clothes.

“Okay. Let's meet downstairs in twenty minutes,” Sam suggested.

That would give him enough time to talk to Gabriel – and perhaps give Dickie a swift kick in the furry behind. That dog had made a gigantic freakin' mess this morning. As Sam edged toward the door, he noticed that Dean was still slightly hunched over like he was nursing a stomach ache. Guilt was swarming Sam's conscious when Dean's green eyes blinked toward him.

“Hey,” he called, voice on the verge of cracking, “Send Cas back in here, would you?”

Sam smirked apologetically. If anyone could fix Dean better than Sam could, it was Cas.

“Sure,” the younger brother replied, stepping the rest of the way out of the suite.

Sam made sure to leave the door cracked open when he turned his sights down the hall. The two angels were both standing in the same spot the Winchesters had left them, in the midst of the morning sunshine cascading through the window at the end of the open corridor. Gabe and Cas both looked toward Sam as he started making his way across the soft cool carpet. It made him sort of uneasy to feel their eyes on him while he walked around in a ridiculous pair of underwear.

But, apparently, Gabriel found it amusing.

The archangel gave a sexy whistle in Sam's direction and bounced his eyebrows. Sam narrowed his eyes at the trickster's golden stare, but couldn't help but smile and turn red. Really? After all the embarrassing shit that just happened, Gabe was still going to flirt with him?

“You are working those boxers, sweetheart,” Gabriel grinned, shifting Dickie in his arms.

Sammy had to fight the urge to grin. Even after all the drama and heavy emotion Sam had just gone through with Dean – only moments earlier – Gabriel was still able to tickle his insides. How did he do it? When Sam stopped in front of the angels, Cas was staring almost forcefully at him, probably wondering where Dean was. Sam took the time to meet the angel's blue eyes.

“Dean wants to see you,” he said simply.

The words were barely out of Sam's mouth when Cas disappeared into thin air. It left Sam and Gabriel to face each other in the hallway alone, still wearing each others' clothes. Dickie was wiggling in the archangel's arms, trying desperately to get Sam's attention with tiny noises and his wagging tail. Although he looked as cute as a button, Sam glared down at him. All of this grief could have been spared if Dickie wasn't such a freakin' pervert; sneaking into hotel rooms and stealing people's underwear...

“Hmm.”

Gabriel reached out to lift Sam's arm. His golden eyes were inspecting the man's body as he forced Sam to turn to the side.

“No marks,” he mumbled, shrugging, “I guess I can spare the pit-bull's life this time. What did he say to you, kid? Did he play nice or do I have to give him a time-out?”

Sam groaned aloud. Ugh, why did Gabriel and Dean feel the need to want to kill each other all the time? Were they trying to drive Sam insane? Why couldn't they just get along like two normal people?

“Gabe,” Sam began, reaching down to clutch the trickster's shoulders and look him in the eye, “I don't know why you have this thing against Dean, but he's my brother, okay? And he's is being very generous by giving you a chance to prove yourself -”

“Prove myself?” Gabe repeated, his amber eyes glowing with offense, “Why the hell do I need to prove myself to anyone? You think I'm pretty cool, don't you, Peach? That's all I care about.”

“Yes, I do,” Sam nodded, “But I want Dean to see it, too. Both of you mean so much to me and I don't want to have one of you without the other, Gabe. Please, just... Please talk to him. Let him get to know you like I do. You might find that you have more in common than you think.”

Gabriel's golden eyes were narrowing and his lips were forming a hard line. Dickie was glancing between Sam and the archangel with his puppy eyes large with confusion. Sam truly hoped Gabe would take his words seriously. It was the honest truth that Sam wanted Dean and the trickster to get along, even if it was just to tolerate one another's presence. Life would be so much easier if Sam didn't have to improvise time with Gabriel behind Dean's back.

“Is this something you really want, kid?” the archangel asked, his voice low and sincere.

Yes,” Sam breathed, wanting it more than anything.

A smile inched slowly back across Gabriel's moist lips. His eyes were powerfully searching Sam's, strong enough to make the man feel it in his soul. The trickster's tiny shoulders shrugged a bit under Sam's hands.

“Then break out the Kleenex, 'cause it's about to get all 'Lifetime' up in here,” Gabriel hummed.

Sam gave a chuckle as he leaned down to wrap the archangel into a hug. At last, he didn't have to worry about Dean and Gabriel trying to tear each other apart. They were actually gonna play nice for once and give each other a chance. Sam couldn't have been any happier in that moment, holding Gabe close while the morning light warmed his back. For the first time in Sammy's life, things were looking up.

“Although, I do have one condition.”

Sam's eyes flew wide. Oh, God. Not a condition from the trickster! The man eased back up to look down at Gabriel's face. His expression was still playful but it didn't ease Sam in the least.

“What?” Sam blurted, fearing the worst.

Gabriel eyed the man's mouth for a moment, letting his tongue draw a moist line across his bottom lip. The honey eyes crawled their way back up to meet Sam's stare before he finally spoke.

“You let me kiss that big mouth of yours anytime I want,” he uttered, sounding hazily lustful.

Sam's smile carefully returned. Really? That was it? Gabriel just wanted to steal kisses all the time? The man leaned down at once, planting his lips to the archangel's right in the middle of the hallway. Hell yes, Gabe could kiss him whenever he wanted. This was one condition Sam was more than willing to agree with. Their tongues swirled together in the morning sun for a moment before Sam pulled away to whisper.

“You've got it,” he mumbled.

Chapter Text

It had been a while since Sam stayed in a nice hotel. He had grown accustom to putting up with stale mattresses and shitty guest services over the long years of traveling with his brother. So, as he and Gabriel made their way back down to the lobby, Sam couldn't help but gawk at the beautiful hotel scenery and feel out of place. The White Swan Hotel was almost too fancy, with its posh valet service outside and porcelain fountain in the middle of the reception area. This was no place for a Winchester to hang his hat. But Gabriel could very well call it home.

The archangel was waving casually to random people, strolling through the halls like he owned the freakin' joint. There was a calm carefree smile resting on his face as he skipped along his merry way, going about his morning like everything was right with the world. Sam was in awe of how pain and awkwardness never seemed to touch Gabriel. Was he not feeling the lingering effects of having been caught by their brothers? Did it not bother him that Dean and Cas knew they had done 'the nasty' together? And that Dean was probably about to lay down the law to him?

“How do you take your coffee in the morning, peachy-cheeks?” the archangel hummed, looking up at Sam with a suggestive smirk as he led the way into the breakfast area, “Do you like it with sugar? Or extra cream?”

When Gabe said the word 'cream,' he reached back and squeezed a giant handful of Sam's ass. The man lurched forward a little, feeling heat burst across his face at the tight grip. There were lots of people – even small children – walking around with plates of food in hand. What if someone saw that?! Gabriel was chuckling, golden eyes beaming with humor, when Sam turned to give him a stern look.

“Gabriel,” the man huffed, “This is serious. Dean is gonna be here any minute to -”

“ - to try and give me an ear-full. I know, I know,” the archangel interrupted, rolling his eyes, “but I hope you're not expecting much, kid. I mean, the best I'm gonna do is nod and smile.”

Sam took a deep breath and glanced down to notice Gabe's collar was crooked. A few people were shuffling by them when the man reached down to straighten it out. He tucked the fabric back in order and patted down the archangel's jacket sleeves. Somehow, Sam thought it might help if Gabe was presentable. Maybe if he looked mature, Dean wouldn't get the impression that Gabriel was just a big kid... even though he acted like one.

“I figured you would,” Sam replied, reaching up to quickly rake his fingers through the archangel's soft hair, making sure it flared out the way he liked, “but at least he won't want to murder your tiny ass.”

“Ha! He already tried to do that once, remember? With a wooden stake?” Gabe grinned, sighing, “Ah, good times. Just so you know, I would much rather be stabbed with your wood any day of the week, moose-cakes.”

Sam felt that he should roll his eyes, but a smile grew on his lips instead. Gabriel's honey eyes were glowing up at him, the golden stare making his insides feel like jello. Sam did want Gabe to be serious and try to focus but, good grief, the archangel was so damn cute when he talked like that, with his voice all smug and jovial. If there was one trait of Gabe's that Sam loved the most it was this one – The unparalleled ability to always bring a smile to his face.

“Just try not to stick your foot in your mouth,” Sam suggested, running the edge of his thumb down Gabriel's smooth jawline, “Be polite, for once. And don't piss him off. Please?”

“Would you relax, Sammy-boy?” Gabe replied, curving an eyebrow, “Geez, you're freaking out worse than Jonah did when my dad asked him to go to Nineveh, for cryin' out loud. Everything will be fine.”

Sam took a large breath as he eyed Gabriel's witty expression. Maybe the man needed to give Gabe a little more credit because, after all, he had proven Sam wrong before. Hell, that was all the archangel seemed to do anymore; go back and prove Sam wrong about his character. Sam slowly nodded as he let his finger wander up to touch the rim of the archangel's moist bottom lip. It was about time he started putting a little more faith in Gabriel. The guy had earned it, right?

Just as Sam was opening his mouth to say something else, he caught sight of two figures approaching from the right. Sam's hands dropped instantly away from Gabriel's face as he spun to face Dean and Cas. They were both stepping in slow stride and, thankfully, wearing their own clothes; Cas in his suit and Dean in his boots and jeans. The two of them looked collectively displeased and unamused. Cas was bland by default, of course, but Dean's disposition was no doubt caused by the morning's events. His green eyes – which were still slightly sunken back – held zero enthusiasm. The words 'Eat me' might has well have been stamped across his forehead.

Dean and Cas slowed to a stop in front of Sam and Gabe, and Sam couldn't help but notice Dean's eyes were looking all along Gabriel as if he was already searching for a reason to hate him. The younger brother took a deep breath as he glanced from his older sibling to the archangel beside him. This was it. This was Gabriel's chance to show Dean how sweet and caring he could be. His one shot to get it right.

“What's up, Pinky?” the trickster blurted, referring to Dean by the color of his underwear, “Did you and baby-bird squeeze in a quickie before moseying on down here? The two of you smell like sin and pie.”

Sam could feel his confidence in Gabriel flying out the window. Really? That was going to be Gabe's opening line? Sam might as well start moving the angel blades out of Dean's reach. Dean was undeniably flustered by the comment. His eyes lit up with a touch of surprise and his cheeks housed a red tint. Cas simply tilted his head toward the archangel, probably confused by the term 'quickie.' Sam narrowed his eyes down at Gabriel, who looked back at him with playful innocence.

“What?” he asked, as if he didn't already know.

Sam rolled his eyes. Maybe it was too much to ask, for Gabriel to be polite.

“Sam,” Dean huffed, snapping Sam's attention back toward him, “I want to talk to him. Alone.”

A hint of panic bloomed in Sammy's gut. He planned to stay by Gabriel's side through this and come to the trickster's defense if need be. Dean seemed to have an air of no-nonsense about him too, appearing unwilling to deal with bullshit. And that was basically all Gabriel was made of; nonsensical quips and bullshit humor. To leave the two of them alone would be like lighting the fuse to a stick of dynamite and walking away, hoping it wouldn't blow up. But Dean looked set on his decision. He was staring at Sam with eyes that seemed to say, 'You wanted a chance. This is your chance. Take a walk.'

“Fine,” Sam forced out, edging backward, “I'll – I'll get some breakfast or something.”

Just as Sam took a full step away, a small hand caught his arm. Gabriel was holding him back, staring up at him with his glowing honey eyes. Sam assumed Gabe was going to ask him to stay or maybe say a flirty good-bye. But there was something in the trickster's stare that Sam faintly recognized. It wasn't flirtation or worry. It looked more like cheekiness.

“Aren't you gonna give me a kiss, sweetheart?” the archangel purred, already craning his neck.

All the blood in Sam's body seemed to rush to his face. Gabriel looked as serious as ever, laying his persuasive charm on thick. Sam knew for a fact that Gabriel wasn't asking for a simple kiss just to be affectionate. Gabe wanted Sam to kiss him because they were standing right in front of Dean and Cas. There was suddenly a bad taste in Sam's mouth, as if he licked a ripe lemon. Gabe wasn't being the sweet and funny angel that Sam adored. Right now, he was acting like the trickster everyone pegged him as, ready and willing to piss someone off.

Sam's face was burning hot with embarrassment when he glanced fearfully back at Dean. His older brother's eyes were raw with shock and fury. Sam could practically hear Dean shouting 'you better not do it, Sammy,' in his head. The younger brother tore his eyes away and brought them back down to Gabriel's stare. Sam knew the trickster was asking for a kiss just to get on Dean's nerves... but it didn't stop the man from wanting to do it. He loved kissing Gabriel and tasting the cotton-candy flavor of his mouth. And that was Gabe's one and only condition, wasn't it? That they could kiss whenever – and in front of whoever – he wanted?

After a moment of debating the options in his head, Sam sighed with irritation before quickly swooping down to Gabe's face. He gave the archangel's lips a quick peck and instantly stepped away, yanking his arm out of the trickster's grasp. Heat was still burning in Sam's cheeks as he started off for a random table. Oh, he just knew Dean was bound to be seething with rage, probably trying to glare a hole through the back of his head. But Sam tried not to think about it too much. He just tried to focus on not stumbling over his own feet in a rush to get away from the group.

There was a vacant table near the center of the large room that Sam swept to instantly. He plopped himself in one of the seats and glanced around, trying to get the embarrassment to leave his face. The savory smell of eggs, bacon, and coffee was heavy in the air, reminding him that it was still breakfast time. But he didn't feel like eating. His stomach was too busy gurgling with the effects of anxiousness and worry to be concerned about food. Oh, God, Gabe was gonna slip up and do something that pissed Dean off, wasn't he? Maybe Gabriel had been waiting for this; for time to be alone with Dean, just so he could pull a prank on him or something.

Sam could feel something rubbing against his leg all of the sudden, something warm and soft. The man leaned back in his chair and spied under the table for the cause. Dickie was there on the floor, gently scratching at Sam's leg. The little dog seemed to burst with excitement when they met eyes. Why in the world was Dickie here in the lobby? Sam was absolutely certain Gabe had left him in their room. The dog barked a bit, his tiny voice full of devotion. There was no denying that Dickie looked utterly adorable in that moment, standing there with his uncontrollable tail whipping back and forth. But he was still a little shit for stealing Dean's underwear and making Sam fess up about Gabe.

“I'm still mad at you,” Sam mumbled, gently nudging the dog away with his foot.

Dickie whined verbally, tilting his head and letting his tail droop as he took a few steps back. The dog looked up at Sam with a sad little face that could break a million hearts before turning to wander off. Sam watched the dog's little furry butt disappear into the crowd and felt kind of bad. Should he call Dickie back and apologize? Wait, Dickie was a dog. Dogs didn't understand apologies... Sam rolled his eyes at his own thoughts before finally glancing back toward Dean and Gabe's side of the room.

The two of them were cautiously sliding into a booth by a window now, while they spoke to each other. It seemed like they were both hesitant to sit together, moving slowly like the other might pull out a weapon or something. Cas, whose hair was messy now for some reason, was actually making his way toward Sam. The blue-eyed angel staggered up to the table and fell into the chair opposite him.

“I hope this goes well,” Castiel mumbled, bracing his darkened lips together as he glanced back and Dean and Gabe for himself.

Sam nodded. He was sort of glad that Cas had decided to sit with him. Hell, the two of them were basically on the same page, right? They each had to put up with a brother who didn't like their partner. The notion reminded Sam of his earlier thoughts about Cas. It seemed like the angel had known about Gabe being the waitress at the diner. Was it true? Did Cas really figure it out before-hand?

“Did you already know about this, Cas?” Sam asked, crossing his arms on the table, “I mean, about Gabe and I being, um, together?”

Cas brought his eyes to Sam's. His shoulders shrugged a little and his mouth turned down in the corners.

“I... had a feeling,” he replied carefully, shifting in his chair, “I was aware of an angelic presence following you, but I did not know that it was Gabriel,” Cas seemed to pause for a second to chose his words before saying, “Does – does the affection go both ways, Sam? Do you truly find comfort in sharing an intimate relationship with Gabriel?”

Sam gulped and instinctively glanced toward Gabe's table. The archangel was lazily draped over his side of the booth with his arm hooked around the back, slouching like a rebellious teenager would sit in class. A small smile bloomed on Sam's lips as he took in the sight of Gabriel's nonchalant attitude. Yes, Sam did find comfort in those soft eyes. He did have affection for that archangel, whose ego stretched a mile long. Every time he called Sam 'peach,' or swept his golden hair out of his eyes, or cracked a joke in the middle of dead silence, the man's insides would melt with bubbly infatuation. It was true. Sam loved the freakin' trickster.

“Yeah,” Sam sighed, facing Cas again, “I do.”

The angel nodded a bit at Sam's reply, though his blue eyes were narrowing toward Dean and Gabe. Cas's head was tilted a little too, as if he was trying to listen to something. The sight made a light bulb light up in Sam's mind. Maybe Cas could hear what their brothers were talking about. Maybe he could listen in on their conversation and tell Sam what was being said.

“Can you hear them?” Sam blurted, glancing from Cas to Dean and Gabe's booth, “What are they saying?”

“I cannot,” Cas admitted, his face tensing with concentration, “Though, I have been attempting it. Gabriel is muffling the sound with interference.”

Sam shook his head a little as he smiled at Gabe from a distance. Leave it to the trickster to make sure all his conversations were sound proof. Maybe Gabriel knew Cas would try and listen in or something. As Sammy watched his favorite archangel, something bumped his foot again under the table. The man leaned back once more and looked down through the tiny gap. Dickie was back, only this time, there was something in his mouth. The small dog was carrying a rolled-up newspaper between his teeth, wagging his tail and making small noises. He pawed at Sam's leg, sounding enthusiastic.

“What?” Sam asked the dog, “Did you bring me something?”

At Sam's question, Dickie carefully laid the newspaper down at his feet. Once his mouth was free, the dog gave a few barks like he was trying to tell Sam to take it. Ah, hell. Dickie's little face was so darn cute. Perhaps the newspaper was a peace offering. Maybe it was Dickie's way of apologizing for the mess he caused in the hope of gaining Sam's affection again.

“Oh, alright,” Sam smiled, as he reached down to retrieve the paper and pat Dickie's soft head, “I forgive you, you adorable little shit.”

Dickie licked at Sam's hand a bit before barking and trotting away happily. Sam sat up straight and laid his new 'gift' on the table to inspect it. As the paper unrolled, the bold-printed headline was the first thing to catch the man's attention: '9th Body Found, Killer Strikes Again.' Of course, Sam Winchester wasn't the type of person to ignore such a headline. And who would? That was a pretty big number of dead people for a town like this.

Before he knew it, Sam was scanning through the story, using his preexisting knowledge of lore to make sure it didn't sound like the killer was something he could hunt. But the more he read along, the more red flags seemed to shoot up. Nine older women, all drained dry of blood, cuts generally on the neck, bodies found in strange places. This sounded like a vampire, maybe just one, who had trouble cleaning up after himself. The picture of the kind elderly woman on the front page tugged at Sam's heart as his eyes glanced over the horrific story.

Maybe it was possible for dogs to have the gift of clairvoyance, because it seemed like Dickie had just given the Winchesters a new case.

“What is it?” Cas asked, noticing Sam gathering up the newspaper.

Sam looked fully toward Dean and Gabe's side of the room as he stood up from his seat. The archangel and the man were leaning toward each other over the table now, staring each other down threateningly. This seemed like the perfect time to interrupt their conversation. Hell, Sam wanted to break up their little chit-chat anyway, with or without a new case to present.

“Come on,” Sam mumbled to Cas, leading the way back through the small crowd of people, “I think those two have been left alone for long enough, don't you?”

Cas was on Sam's heels as they shifted their way back to Dean and Gabe's booth. Dean was practically glaring at Gabriel, so wrapped up in his fierce stare that he didn't notice Sam and Cas coming over. The archangel, on the other hand, glanced toward them as they were approaching. And his honey eyes seemed to light up instantly at Sam's arrival.

“Well, hey there, lil' peach,” Gabriel grinned, the pet-name tickling Sam's insides as he strode up to the table, “I was just talkin' about your fine ass. Wanna sit on my lap and take a load off?”

Sam looked down at Gabriel blandly, trying to resist the urge to roll his eyes. The archangel was definitely just saying that because Dean was sitting in front of him.

“Sorry for interrupting your little chat,” Sam said, turning toward his brother, “but, I think I may have found something.”

He tossed the newspaper on the table before Dean, making sure he could see the headline. Dean picked it up and skimmed over it, probably picking up all the interesting parts. Gabriel was craning his neck to read some of it too, with a look of interest on his face. Sam smiled at the archangel's enthusiasm. What would it be like, to have Gabe come along on a case?

“Blood sucker,” Dean said, looking up from the article.

“Rogue vampire,” Sam nodded in agreement, “Doesn't sound like he has a nest.”

“Doesn't know how to clean up his mess, either,” the older brother added, “Should be pretty easy to find, if we had more crime scene photos.”

“The police would have them,” Sam pointed out, “All we need to do is make a trip to the station.”

“Road trip!” Gabriel blurted.

Sam smiled down at Gabe, who was glancing between the brothers with excitement. With an archangel like him, this case would probably take no time at all. Besides, the thought of Gabe strolling around at Sam's side all day seemed like such a nice notion...

“Yeah, not for you, shorty,” Dean spat toward the archangel, tossing the paper back on the table, “Winchesters only.”

Anger was quick to streak though Sam after hearing his brother's words. Really? After all the times Cas tagged along on one of their cases, Dean was just going to slam the door in Gabriel's face? And not even give him a freakin' chance? Bitterness took Sam over and he couldn't stop himself from saying -

“Well, then I guess that rules Cas out too.”

Sam knew that statement was a little harsh, especially since he and Cas had discovered they had so much in common. But he wasn't directing the comment at Cas. He was trying to show Dean how unfair he was being by pointing out the injustice. Gabriel was still glancing between the brothers, thankfully keeping his big mouth shut. Dean glanced toward Cas at Sam's side before returning his serious eyes to his little brother's.

“Fine,” he growled, “but Cas rides shotgun.”


“What did you two talk about?” Sam asked, as he and Gabriel made their way toward the Impala.

The man had quickly changed into a suit upstairs before rushing to follow Gabe outside. Dean and Cas were already in the car waiting for them, probably talking about the same thing Sam was trying to bring up. The man straightened his tie as he and the archangel walked in stride. It was going to be a little strange, being on a case with Gabriel. But, then again, the two of them had gathered a thousand dollars in one night together, too...

“Oh, you know, weather and sports,” Gabriel replied, tossing a smirk up at Sam.

Sam smiled back, unable to stop himself. It was nice to know the morning conversation with Dean hadn't put a damper on the trickster's witty sarcasm.

“Seriously, Gabe,” Sam pressed, worried the two of them still hated each other, “You were glaring holes into each others' faces. You didn't bring up anything about us having sex again, did you?”

Sam could only imagine the painfully over-dramatic way Gabe would have mentioned sex, probably something about 'moose mating season' or another inside joke that would have gone over Dean's head.

“Relax, peach,” Gabriel insisted, reaching out to pat Sam's ass, “The pit-bull and I just had a nice little chat about brotherly love, that's all. No need to worry your pretty little head about it.”

Sam took a deep easing breath as he headed around the trunk of the Impala. Gabe was probably right. He couldn't change what had already been said, anyway. All that was left to do now, was hope that Dean and the trickster could get along the way he imagined.

“You think they would be upset if we gave each other some backseat handjobs?” the archangel asked over the car in a hushed tone.

A grin burst across Sam's face, even though he was a little embarrassed by Gabe's question.

“Yes,” Sam answered, rolling his eyes as he opened the door to the backseat.

Dean and Cas were watching when Gabe and Sam climbed into the car. They both still looked pretty bland, eyes and expressions both holding little to no enthusiasm. There were bags under Dean's eyes already and Cas seemed to be eying Gabe with suspicion. Sam scooted in close to the middle as the archangel sat down next to him.

“Alright, Dickie,” Gabriel called, holding his door open, “Get your furry ass in here before the pit-bull throws it in drive.”

Sam had not realized that Dickie was following them, but he was glad to see the little dog dash across the parking lot to jump up into the car. Dickie sniffed around in Gabe's lap when Dean spun around in the front seat. A fierce look of warning was on the older Winchester's face as he glared at the archangel next to Sam.

“Oh, hell no,” Dean growled, eying Dickie like he was some alien creature, “That thing is not allowed in here! Stick it back outside!”

“What?” Gabriel said casually, smirking at Dean while he scratched Dickie's head, “Are you still mad at him for stealing your panties, little girl? Get over it.”

Sam could almost feel Dean's anger rising. The younger bother wasn't sure if he could say anything to make what Gabriel just said any less offensive. And, apparently, it wouldn't have helped anyway. Because Dean's glare was narrowing in on Gabriel like the archangel was the scum of the Earth.

“Get. Your dick. Out. Of my car,” Dean snarled, pronouncing every syllable.

For a moment, Gabe and Dean were in the middle of a staring contest; both daring each other to be the first one to look away. The tension was heavy in the car as Sam and Cas shared a glance. The angel looked just as uncomfortable as Sam was, blue eyes moving between the men in the car. Sam cleared his throat and shifted in his seat. This ridiculous pissing contest needed to stop. Dickie was just a little dog, barely big enough to fill Gabriel's lap. Why couldn't Dean just let it slide this once?

“Dean,” Sam started.

“I'm not backing down on this one, Sam,” Dean interrupted gruffly, never looking away from Gabriel, “You're lucky I let him in here.”

Sam huffed a sigh. Dean was being a jerk again, trying to assert his authority. He and Gabriel were acting like two dogs trying to fight over dominance or something. But, to Sam's amazement, Gabe was the first to back down. He pet Dickie again and gave him a gentle kiss, before lowering him toward the open door.

“Fine,” the archangel said, sounding chipper again, “He'd rather be chasing tail, anyway. Go get 'em, boy.”

Dickie barked once in reply before dashing back out the door. Sam felt the urge to reach over and wrap Gabriel into a hug. He was abundantly proud of him for not making things worse, for once. Sam watched Gabe slam the door shut and gesture to the front of the car.

“Well, Victoria's Secret, what are you waiting for?” Gabriel urged, “People are dying. Let's hit the road.”

Sam was pleasantly surprised to see Dean turning around to face forward. The two of them were acting just as Sam hoped they would; tolerating each other in an effort to keep the peace. Sam shared a brief look with Cas who seemed to be thinking the same thing. Maybe there was hope for Dean and Gabe, after all.

The ride to the police station was pretty fast. The building was only a few miles from the hotel and nobody said a word during the short trip. Gabe was humming 'Heat of the Moment' the entire time, while his small hand crawled its way over to find Sam's. The man smirked down at their joined fingers as he listened to the archangel hum their song. It was a really nice fifteen minute ride. Gabriel was impressing Sam more than he thought possible, by being so nice and caring. God, he could be so sweet sometimes. Who would have thought that Gabriel enjoyed singing a song and holding hands? Sam was kind of disappointed to see the Impala roll into the police station. He had just been getting cozy in the backseat when Gabriel let go of his hand to stretch his back.

“Geez,” the archangel grumbled, “That was the longest ride ever! Ugh, I don't see how you do it, Cassie. Welp! Looks like we're here. You guys sit tight. I'll be right back.”

Sam gasped out loud at Gabriel's sudden disappearance. The archangel was gone from the car without another word. He simply vanished into thin air.

“G – Gabe?” Sam called, searching the backseat, hoping that he would come back, “Gabriel?”

Oh, God. He wasn't there. The only possible explanation was that the trickster had flown inside the police station, probably to steal the information they needed for the case. Why would he do that instead of waiting for Sam and Dean? In the front seat, the older Winchester was grumbling in annoyance as he ripped the key out of the ignition and yanked open his door

“Dammit, Sam,” Dean grumbled, jumping out of the car, “This is the kind of shit I'm talking about!”

Cas suddenly vanished too, probably to chase after Gabriel. Hell, they were all chasing after Gabriel. Sam was running after Dean, who was running toward the police station. Once again, Sam was recalling the emotions he felt in his dream from the night before, feeling the same fear. He couldn't let Dean kill Gabe. The world would be so dim without the archangel's light in Sam's life.

Sam was right on Dean's heels when they barged into the police station. They both quickly scanned the foyer, searching for their angels. Off to the right, at the far end of the room, Sam spotted Gabriel leaning casually against a plastic window, talking to a woman at the desk. And Dean seemed to see it too, because the brothers were both dashing in that direction when Cas caught them by their arms. The angel was hesitating near the door, watching Gabe with his head tilted. Sam glanced from Cas to the archangel, wondering why he wasn't trying to stop Gabe.

Dean and Sam both took the time to study what Gabriel was doing while Cas held them back. The lady at the desk was smiling at the archangel when she handed him a folder. He gave a polite wave, said a witty joke that made her giggle, and then turned to walk toward them, carting a folder in hand. Sam was star-struck, mouth hanging open and eyes large. How the hell was Gabe able to get information on a case that easily? Was it his charm? His adorable face? Dean was still glaring at the trickster when Gabriel held out the folder toward them.

“Here you go, gentlemen,” Gabriel smirked, tossing Sam a wink, “Piece of cake.”

“You should have waited for us, asshole,” Dean replied through gritted teeth, “This is our party, not yours.”

“A simple 'thank you' would suffice,” Gabe bit back, narrowing his eyes.

“Thank you,” Sam spoke up as he carefully took the folder.

Dean could say all he wanted about Gabriel, but he couldn't deny that the archangel had talent. Who else could waltz into a police station and get crime scene photos without so much as an ID card? Sam smiled down at Gabe's face, feeling every bit as happy as he did waking up that morning. This was the Gabriel Sam loved so much; the one that could prove people wrong by being as sweet as candy. This was the person he wanted Dean to know.

Just as Sam thought this, however, the distant sound of a car horn was blowing outside. Sam knew the sound very well, because he had heard it all his life. It was the horn from the Impala. Sam instantly glanced toward Dean, able to see the look of confusion and horror written on his face as he gasped out loud. If they could hear the Impala's horn, then it meant someone was inside it...

My car,” Dean breathed.

Dean was at the front of the line when all four men ran back out into the parking lot. Sam instantly scanned the paved space for the Impala, only to see it sitting in the exact same spot they left it in – only it wasn't exactly in the same condition.

Because now, the car was absolutely full of dogs.

Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, Dachshunds, even a couple of Great Danes, were all packed inside the car, roaming around the clean seats and drooling all over the upholstery while they barked at each other. It was surprising that the windows hadn't busted out yet, because some of them were even pressed up against the glass. A large gray pit-bull was in the driver's side seat too, holding a paw to the steering wheel, unaware that he was blowing the horn.

Sam was at a total loss as he stared at the bizarre sight and tried to find his voice. Dean's face was blood-red – glowing with enough rage to power a lighthouse for an entire year – when he ran over to the Impala to yank the door open.

“Get out!” the man shouted, “Out!”

The dogs flew out of the car, tumbling out like a pile of furry bean-bags. They seemed to fill the parking lot in a flash and crowded around to assemble into a group – before they all turned to face Dean. The dogs suddenly dashed toward him, barking happily and wagging their tails as if they had been waiting to see him. Sam couldn't look away as the animals knocked Dean over and started licking his face and jumping on him – and, unfortunately, some of them were humping him, too. It was like watching a scene straight out of a comedy movie. Where the hell did all of these dogs come from? And why were they obsessed with Dean? What was Sam supposed to do about it?

“Ha, ha!” Gabriel laughed, pulling Sam from his thoughts, “Now, I guess we know who let the dogs out!”

Sam's jaw fell as he turned to look down at the giggling archangel at his side. Of course. Sam should have known that Gabriel was responsible for this. Was this pay back for Dean not letting him keep Dickie in the car? What happened to the sweet, respectful guy that Sam was proud to show off?

“Cas!” Dean called out from underneath the pile of fur, stretching his hand out, “Help!”

Cas flew to the large dog pile and took hold of Dean's hand. Sam watched the angel yank his brother out from underneath the dogs and hug him tightly. Sheer rage was painted on Cas's face as he held out a threatening hand toward the animals at their feet. A dim angelic light was glowing in his blue-eyes when he flashed all the dogs away. Sam had no idea where Cas sent them. All he knew was that every single dog was gone, leaving the four of them to stand in the vacant parking lot alone again.

“You said Dickie wasn't allowed in the car,” Gabriel said.

Sam looked down to watch the archangel raise a finger with pride and arrogance radiating in his expression.

“but you didn't say anything about his friends,” he concluded with a smirk.

Sam gulped harshly as he stared down at Gabriel. The man's mouth tasted bad again, like he just bit into a green apple. Why did Gabriel prank Dean when he knew for a fact Sam wanted him to be nice? Why did Gabriel seem to only want to express the sweet side of his personality when he was alone with Sam and the sour side when he was around Dean and Cas?

How was Sam supposed to bridge the gap between 'Gabriel' and 'the trickster'?

Chapter Text

“That was really messed up, Gabe,” Sam grumbled lowly, shoving the way into the crowded hotel reception area, “I can't believe you did that.”

Actually, Sam could believe it. He just didn't want to. His emotions were constantly shifting between disappointment, exasperation, and a little bit of betrayal. Sam trusted Gabriel to be the bigger man in this situation. Hell, he was practically betting on Gabe; giving the archangel all of his confidence. And Gabriel had totally let him down. This whole 'power-play' thing Gabe and Dean were trying to win was slowly eating at Sam's well being. And the man tried his best not to even look at Gabriel as they walked in stride toward the front desk. Because he knew the moment he laid eyes on that smug adorable face, all his anger would probably fade away...

“Oh, come on, sweetheart. You gotta admit that was pretty damn hilarious,” Gabriel attempted to persuade, nudging Sam's side, “I mean, did you see all that dog slobber on his face? There's still some hump-stains on his suit, too. Man, I should have gotten that shit on film.”

Sam huffed with aggravation as he walked up to stand in line at the desk. He was planning to ask the receptionist for a roll of paper towels or napkins – anything that would soak up dog spit, really – to help Dean clean up Gabriel's mess. Because Gabe sure as hell wasn't going do it. Sam was still facing forward with his arms crossed, refusing to look down at the archangel's expression.

“You said you were gonna try. You said, 'Don't worry, peach, everything will be okay, blah blah blah,'” Sam pointed out, reciting the words in a high-pitched, annoying voice, “Well, it's not okay, Gabriel. All I wanted was for you and Dean to tolerate each other and now he probably hates you even more. Way to go.”

“You love it when I call you 'peach,' don't you, Sammy-boy?” Gabriel replied sneakily, noticing the affectionate way Sam had repeated the word.

Sam groaned internally and had to remind himself not to look down at the archangel even though he wanted to. Yes, he loved it when Gabe called him 'peach'... But he was still mad at him, dammit! Sam continued to stand starkly with his arms crossed and forced a step forward when the line moved.

“What was I supposed to do, huh? Just let your stupid brother kick Dickie out of the car and not take up for the poor dog?” Gabriel soon added, probably seeing that Sam wasn't going to humor his statement, “What did Dickie ever do to him?”

“Dean hates dogs in general,” Sam spat, inching forward again, “Not to mention Dickie destroyed the guy's underwear this morning.”

“You mean the pink satin panties? Dickie did everyone a favor by ruining that gross thing. I hate to break it to you, kiddo, but you're related to a pervert,” Gabriel scoffed.

“I'm standing next to one, too,” Sam added with a smirk, referring to Gabe.

“You mean Larry King, over there?” Gabriel asked smoothly.

Sam's eyebrows slid together at Gabe's statement. He instinctively glanced around and noticed a tiny old man was standing on the other side of him. The elderly man did resemble Larry King; suspenders, weird puffy white hair, glasses that made his eyeballs look huge... And he was carrying a cane, too – with which he was casually lifting up the back of a skirt of the woman standing in front of him. Sam's eyes widened as he spun to look down at Gabriel with his mouth hanging open. Holy shit. There really was a pervert standing next to him.

Sam and Gabriel laughed together upon meeting eyes again, giggling like a couple of kids in a middle school. The part of Sam that adored Gabe was so happy to see him again, as if looking at his light golden eyes and familiar flared out hair made everything better. Ah, hell. Sam couldn't be mad at the trickster forever, no matter how much he tried. Those calming honey eyes were too beautiful to ignore. Sammy knew it would happen. The very second he lost himself in Gabriel's stare, all of his disappointment and anger began dissolving away like a flame melting a spoonful of sugar.

“Gabe,” Sam said, unable to look away from him now, “I just want you to understand how important this is to me. If you and Dean don't stow your crap -”

“Excuse me, sir.”

Sam's head snapped to the right, where the front desk was in clear view. Everyone was gone, save the receptionist who was kindly waving him forward.

“Can I help you with something?” she asked kindly.

“No thanks, doll-face,” Gabriel answered quickly, winking toward the woman as he pulled Sam away by the arm, “We've got a car to clean.”

Sam blinked down at the archangel as he dragged him back toward the sliding glass doors. Really? Gabriel was actually going to clean the car? Maybe Sam's exasperation had paid off. A meaningful smile rested on the man's face as he eyed the back of Gabe's golden head. Well, well. Maybe there was still hope for the trickster, after all...

When they made it back out to the parking lot, Sam was surprised to find that Dean and Cas were already gone. The Impala was sitting on the left side of the lot, still parked in the spot they arrived in. Gabriel slowed to a stop near the hood and glanced over the interior through the windshield. Sam, too, eyed the car, wondering how it became so clean in such a short amount of time. Did Dean clean up all the drool, already? Did he and Cas fly off somewhere together?

“Huh,” Gabe shrugged, turning to look at Sam, “Looks like the pit-bull beat me to the punch.”

Sam took a deep breath. Well, at least Gabriel had attempted to clean up his mess. The younger Winchester sighed as he made his way toward the passenger side to open the door and grab the folder out of the front seat. There may have been a shit-storm of personal drama going on in Sam's life, but there were also women dying at the hand of a rogue vampire out there, too. The man glanced down at a few of the gruesome crime scene photos as he shut the door and stepped back toward his archangel. They really needed to catch this thing.

“Oh no,” Gabriel said, eying the folder in Sam's hands, “There is not gonna be any homework for you tonight, mister.”

Sam looked strangely at the trickster as he shut the folder and started back toward the hotel.

“Uh, have you even looked at these pictures?” Sam asked, “These women died horrible deaths, Gabe. And the only way to stop the killer is by figuring out how they all connect -”

“Ugh, come on,” Gabriel groaned, rolling his eyes, “Would you please stop playing Superman for five freakin' minutes, Sammy-boy? The sun is going down, for cryin' out loud!”

Sam glanced toward the sky to see the pinkish color fading to purple. The sun was, indeed, touching the horizon in the distance, casting an orange shine on all the hotel windows. The man looked back down at the archangel, feeling a little confused. What did the sun have to do with anything?

“Uh... So?” he asked.

“Are we not lovers, peach?” Gabe purred, reaching out to clutch Sam's arm again as his face softened.

Sam gulped, feeling a strange whoosh of chemicals. Memories of the night before were suddenly flooding his mind; glimpses of Gabriel's bare chest, his sloping back, and his tight round ass... Yes, they were lovers. And it made Gabriel's fuss over the setting sun suddenly make sense. Lovers tended to make love at night...

Apparently, Gabriel saw the realization cross Sam's face, because a wicked smirk was growing across his moist lips. In a flash, the archangel flew them back inside their motel room. Sam blinked and looked around, filling his nose with the familiar scent of cotton candy and sex. There was still breakfast food tossed all over the floor, along with the plush moose in the corner and the stray clothes lying everywhere. Nothing had been touched. Everything was left just the way they had it, messy sheets and all.

Sam took another breath of stale hotel air before meeting Gabriel's eyes again. There was a definite look of sexiness in his amber eyes; golden hues all hazy and suggestive. His hand was slowly stroking Sam's arm too, the same way a dick would be stroked. Sam's heart was already beating faster at the sensation. Arousal was blooming in the pit of his stomach and threatening to make itself known. Sam could feel the need for sex coming like a storm beginning to rumble in the distance.

But the folder full of murdered women was still in his hand, subconsciously reminding him that justice needed to be served. Sam felt like he was being pulled in two different directions. His body was being seductively tugged toward Gabriel and his mind was being sternly yanked toward the case. He fought with himself for a moment, trying to decide what to do. Sam needed to figure out a way to catch the monster responsible for ending innocent lives. But he also felt the need to plow into Gabriel's ass like a freight train...

“G – Gabe,” Sam sighed, carefully pulling his arm from the archangel's grasp, “I really need to focus on this case right now.”

Sam forced himself to turn away and start for the hotel table. Maybe once the case was at least partly figured out, he and Gabe might be able to get a little frisky. But as long as it was weighing on his mind, Sam needed to get it done. The man carefully laid open the folder on the mahogany table before he heard Gabriel speaking behind him.

“A'right, young man. Put your hands in the air and turn around slowly.”

Sam blinked strangely at the wall. Why the hell was the trickster talking in a heavy Brooklyn accent? The man stood up straight before turning around to see the cause for Gabe's weird speech. Across the room, Gabriel was standing near the huge bed – and his outfit was completely different.

Gabe's top half was adorned with a 70's cop uniform; hat, tight button-up shirt, aviator sunglasses, and handlebar mustache. There was a gun holster around his waist too, carting a can of whipped cream instead of a gun. His bottom half, however, was what caused Sam's jaw to hang open. Gabriel was completely naked below the waist and he had a raging, throbbing erection that pointed toward Sam threateningly... And, slid upon the archangel's rock-hard cock like a piece of jewelry, was a doughnut covered in pink icing and sprinkles.

It took a moment for the sight to sink into Sam's brain. Why the actual hell was Gabriel dressed like a cop? And why the hell did he slide a doughnut on his dick? A laugh bubbled up through Sam's stomach and came out as a loud chuckle, making him double over in amusement. The sight was so hilarious! Was this supposed to turn Sam on? Was this an impromptu role play or something?

“Something funny, punk?” Gabriel asked gruffly, though he was smiling.

“Wh – what are you doing?” Sam asked, eying the trickster's boner that was flicking toward him.

“So, you're gonna be a wise guy, eh? That's it. Get over here, kid,” the archangel addressed, pointing at the floor directly in front of him as he wiggled his blonde mustache around.

Sam held down another laugh. As weird as the sight was, Sam had to admit that Gabriel's dick was secretly turning him on. The dark head was slightly glistening in the light as if it was already beginning to drool. Underneath all that cop get-up, Gabriel really was horny. And the thought alone made Sam feel just as aroused.

“Gabe, would you lose the stupid costume?” Sam asked.

He felt that if Gabe was just standing there naked, he would be more apt to go along with this. In a swift motion, Gabriel grabbed the can of whipped cream out of his hostler and pointed it the nozzle toward Sam, holding it like a gun. The trickster was doing his best to remain 'in character' or whatever, but his lips were still smirking, housing playfulness and lust.

“I said, get over here, boy. Don't make me cream you,” he grinned, his eyebrows bouncing up from underneath the aviators.

A smile bloomed fully back over Sam's face. He sort of understood what was going on, now. Gabriel was trying his best to get Sam to smile; to make him laugh and get excited about having sex. Gabe was back to being sweet again, doing any and everything possible to make Sam feel good. Even if that meant doing an over-the-top, sexed-up role play. And it was working, because warmth was spreading through Sam's veins like wildfire, making him happy and horny all at once.

The open folder lay forgotten on the table as Sam stepped carefully toward the dressed up archangel. He stopped in front of Gabriel and stared down at the sunglasses playfully, feeling the tip of the trickster's cock poking one of his legs. Gabe lowered his whipped cream can before tossing it on the bed.

“What are you going to do to me, officer?” Sam asked, deciding to play along.

Role play wasn't exactly Sam's cup of tea, but if Gabriel was going to go through all the trouble of making a scene, then he felt he might as well humor the poor guy. The handle bar mustache lifted as Gabriel's grin spread across his lips. Instead of answering Sam, the archangel merely raised his hand and slid his fingers together with a hard snap. As soon as the sound echoed around the room, Sam's clothes disappeared. The man was suddenly standing naked before Gabriel, totally exposed with his dick growing between his legs. Sam's heart started pounding at the sensation of open air touching his bare skin. Oh, God, it was back again. The lust to penetrate something was throbbing in Sam's pelvis. The man's dick twitched, causing the head to accidentally scrape some pink icing off the doughnut around Gabriel's cock. The distant storm of full-blown sex was rapidly approaching.

With a firm but gentle hand, Gabriel clutched Sam's shoulder and tossed him on the bed. Sam landed on his back and bounced a bit on the mattress, raising to his elbows to glance over the archangel's body again. Still wearing half of the cop uniform and a doughnut, Gabriel climbed up to straddle the man's waist. Sam gasped a little, feeling Gabe's warm cheeks pressing against his hardening dick.

“You have the right to remain a sexy-ass beast,” the trickster smirked, grinding a little, “Anything you say can and will be used to turn me on.”

Sam stifled a moan. Ugh, Gabriel was totally teasing him on purpose, grinding that warm tight ass on his growing cock like that. Sam rocked his hips a little as Gabriel tossed away his sunglasses and leaned down to smash their lips together. The man's eyes fluttered shut, tasting the heavenly cotton-candy flavor of the archangel's mouth. Shit, this was so much better than doing homework... Sam's hands flew up to feel along the front of Gabe's tight uniform to find the line of buttons and rip it open. The archangel's warm, fuzzy chest felt so damn soft under Sammy's fingers. Oh, God, if Gabriel would just spread those cheeks open just a little; if he would just let Sam slip inside, the heavens would finally break open and the sex-storm could finally begin...

A muffled groan echoed from somewhere near by.

At first, Sam thought it was Gabriel making a strange noise to signal that he liked having the man rip his clothes open. But, the moan rumbled again and Sam could tell that it wasn't Gabe's sweet voice making the sound above him. No, the sound was coming from somewhere nearby. The archangel parted their lips and paused to raise up to meet Sam's eyes. The two of them stared at each other with odd expressions, both wondering what – or who – was making those groaning sounds. And while Sam stared up at his favorite shade of amber, the deep voice suddenly called a specific name -

Gnah... Dean...

Sam did his best to stifle a gasp as he eyed Gabriel's shifting expression. Oh, no. That muffled voice belonged to Cas. It was Cas groaning and whimpering like that, calling out Dean's name with lust. Ugh! Were Dean and Cas really having sex next door? How were Sam and Gabe able to hear it so clearly? Sam thought Gabriel sound-proofed the wall or whatever. But geez, it sounded like Cas was right in the room with them, crying out unabashedly with pleasure.

Ah, the angel's deep voice echoed, making Sam's insides tighten with discomfort, That – that feels so good, Dean...

The sound might have made Sam completely uncomfortable and maybe a little sick – but it was nothing compared to the look growing across Gabriel's face. The archangel's honey eyes were widening and his eyebrows were swooping down to form a scowl. He was probably holding his breath too, because his pale face was gradually turning blood red, causing the veins in his forehead to pop out. Cas's moans were morphing Gabe into a giant ball of seething rage on top of Sam.

Before Sam knew it, Gabriel was gone from his lap. The archangel was dashing quickly around the room in a streak of blue, blurring all over the place. Sam gulped, hearing Cas call out Dean's name again while he watched Gabe dashing about. Apparently, it had been what the archangel was waiting for, because the blue streak suddenly stopped by the bedside table. With his face still blazing with heated emotion, Gabe yanked the wooden drawer open. Cas's voice instantly became clearer in the room, echoing louder to bounce off the walls.

Ah! D – Dean!

Sam watched with pure horror as Gabriel reached into the drawer to pull out a walkie-talkie. As soon as the man saw the chipped antenna, he knew exactly what was going on. This whole thing – being able to hear Cas crying out with sexual pleasure on a walkie-talkie – was all because of Dean. This was Dean's payback for all the whole 'dog' thing earlier. Dean had somehow been in Sam and Gabe's room and planted the walkie-talkie there for the soul purpose of pissing off Gabriel.

And, holy shit, was it working. Gabriel looked like a cherry bomb at the point of explosion, standing there clutching the walkie-talkie in a vise-grip while he listened to his little brother making obscene noises. The sight of the archangel on the verge of eruption made Sam's heart race. Oh, God! This was terrible! Gabriel had no choice but to listen to his little brother being pleasure by Dean. The archangel was totally going to snap!

Gnah! Oh, Dean! Cas moaned, his voice pitching higher, Your mouth is s – so wet! Ah!

Apparently, that sentence was the straw that broke the camel's back. Gabriel's fist snapped closed, crunching the walkie-talkie inside it and silencing Cas's voice. Chunks of black plastic fell all over the floor from his hand while his fiery eyes blew wide open. Sam gulped, noticing that the pink doughnut on Gabriel's dick was slowly slipping off because it had nothing to hold it up, anymore. With Gabe's erection dying, the doughnut was forced to fall to the floor with a generous 'splat.' Yep, Dean had accomplished the impossible. He had officially ruined Gabriel's good time.

I'm going to kill him!” the archangel shouted, shaking the remains of the walkie-talkie out of his palm.

Sam's body was moving before his mind could catch up. The man flew across the bed, crawling over in a flash to grab Gabriel's arm. No! He couldn't let Gabe go over there! They would end up killing each other!

“Gabe, don't!” Sam panted, clutching the trickster's arm, “You'll only make it worse! Just let it go.”

Let it go?!” Gabriel repeated in shock, his face still steaming with rage, “That asshole is defiling my innocent baby brother over there! On purpose!”

“This is what he wants, Gabe,” Sam explained, knowing Dean all too well, “He wants you to freak out about this, because of what you did with the dogs.”

Well, it's working!” the archangel yelled, trying to snake his way out of Sam's grasp, “Lemme go, Sammy-boy! I have to go neuter a pit-bull!”

“Gabriel, Please!” Sam begged, his voice cracking loudly.

At the sound of Sam's desperation, the archangel actually took the time to look at him. Sam could see that Gabriel was genuinely hesitating, searching Sam's face with his honey eyes. There was a strange emotion clouding in Sam's chest, making him feel like he would fall to his knees and cling to Gabe's leg, if he had to.

“Please,” Sam repeated, quieter this time, as he reached up to gently caress the side of Gabe's heated face, “Stay with me. It's not worth it. You've – you've got me as hard as a rock right now, Gabe,” he mentioned, gesturing toward his own erection between them, “Please don't go.”

Gabriel's throat visibly quivered as his honey eyes casually fell to glance at Sam's throbbing cock. It was the archangel's fault that he even had an erection, to be honest. It was all that grinding and bouncing and teasing that Gabe loved to do that put Sam in this position. The least the trickster could do was to see Sam the rest of the way through – to orgasm. Gabe's face was unreadable for a moment as if the guy was weighing the options in his head. Sam desperately hoped he would stay and forget all about Dean and Cas on the other side of the wall.

A large sigh escaped Gabriel's pouted lips as he slowly waved a hand over himself. His ridiculous cop outfit was gone, leaving him to stand bare-naked in front of Sam. The man gulped, unable to stop himself from taking in the sight of Gabe's sloping shoulders, dark nipples, and the trail of blonde hair that etched a line from his navel to his dick. Sam's heart pounded at the lovely view, still amazed that a male body could turn him on so much. Geez, Gabriel was just so beautiful.

When Sam's eyes wandered back up the the archangel's face, Gabe eased down to bring their lips together. Sam hummed behind their kiss at the cotton-candy flavor, tossing his legs over the side of the bed to pull Gabriel into his lap. Thank God, the sweet side of Gabriel had prevailed again. Sam was glad he held a little persuasive power over the trickster. His dick was equally grateful, already smacking against Gabe's ass and searching for a way inside.

“Thank you,” Sam whispered, huffing bated breaths against the archangel's mouth, “Thank you, Gabe.”

Gabriel nodded a little as he smothered Sam with another kiss. His small hand was clutching Sam's dick then, lubing it up with some palmed sweat and spit. Hell, at this point, Sam didn't care what they used for lube, just as long as he was able to slide inside Gabe without a problem. After slicking Sammy's cock, Gabriel eased up on his knees to position himself on top of it. The archangel's bright golden eyes were boring into Sam when the man's cock finally pierced into Gabe's ass.

“Ah!” the moan escaped Sam's mouth before he could stop it, “Shit. Y – yes.”

The tightness of Gabriel's ass was nearly incomprehensible. It was almost form-fitting, hugging Sam's dick with a force that rivaled shrink wrap. The man was rocking instantly, starting to bounce on the edge of the bed while he cradled Gabe's warm body against him. Oh, shit, this wasn't gonna take long at all. Sam could already feel his balls building up pressure. He bent his neck back to look up at Gabriel's face.

The archangel's blonde hair was tossing all around as they bounced on the edge of the bed. Gabe's arms were wound around Sam's neck and shoulders, clinging to stay on board. Sam groaned again, hearing the archangel's huffing breath and feeling his heart beating. Gabriel wasn't saying anything – which was highly unusual, because Gabe was always spitting out some kind of weird comment during sex – but Sam chalked it up to Cas's annoying interruption and kept on thrusting.

Sam was losing himself inside lust, surrendering to his body's demands. He was clutching Gabe tightly and giving him hell, pounding into him like a jackhammer. Sam's animalistic nature always came to light during sex and Gabriel seemed to be the perfect counterpart for it. The archangel could take the demanding thrusts without being injured. Gabe could take Sam's constricting arms, gnashing teeth, and howls of pleasure. Because, unlike all the women Sam had been with before, Gabriel couldn't be broken. He was an archangel; the physical equivalent of heaven's strength and raw power. And it seemed like he enjoyed taking Sam's aggressiveness just as much as Sam loved giving it. Because Gabe's rocking motions and gentle whimpers were encouraging him to keep going.

“Oh, sh – shit!” Sam panted, picking up a last burst of speed, while he buried his face into the cavity of Gabriel's sweet-smelling chest, “I'm gonna lose it, Gabe! Argh! Gabriel!”

Pleasure blinded Sam momentarily as he felt himself pulsing inside the archangel. Shit, he had never come so fast and hard in all his life. It felt like he had been shot with a huge dose of drugs or something; captivated with an instantaneous high. Sam sat gasping on the bed, blinking repeatedly while he hugged Gabriel's small hot body. Geez, that was so damn fast. It had been years since Sam came that quickly, and even then, it couldn't even compare to how good it felt to come inside Gabriel.

Trembling in the aftermath of orgasm, Sam fell back against the bed, taking Gabriel with him. Gabe raised his head after a moment to stare down at Sam with a grin and gently rake the man's hair back out of his eyes. But Sam could tell Gabe's smile was forced. The archangel lay lazily on top of Sam's chest, holding no energy whatsoever. The sight of it made Sam sick. Dammit, why did Dean have to ruin Gabriel's happy mood? The trickster should never have to be so freakin' upset like this.

“Nice job, peach,” Gabriel whispered, smacking his lips to Sam's, “I'm glad your gun still knows how to fire.”

After taking a deep breath, Gabriel eased up to roll off of Sam, flopping over to lay on his back against the bed. Sam rolled his head to the side to stare at him sadly. Aw, hell. Sam felt like shit seeing Gabriel act so defeated. The man knew the trickster still wanted to go over there and get some justice on Dean – and, yes, Sam agreed that Dean did deserve a serious punch to the dick for his stunt – but, Sam was glad he stayed. For once, Gabriel's sweet side was able to take control of his sour side. But, shit, Gabe's pouty face made Sam so upset.

“Want me to suck your dick?” Sam offered, hoping the statement would at least making Gabe smile again.

“That's okay, kiddo,” Gabriel mumbled, blinking sadly toward the ceiling, “I couldn't get a hard-on right now even if I tried.”

Sam gulped, glancing down to see the pitiful state of Gabe's limp dick. Poor guy. Sam couldn't imagine how bad it must have felt for him... On the bed, the discarded can of whipped cream caught Sam's eye. The man looked at it for a moment, studying its bright red logo. Hmm. If Gabriel couldn't bring himself to be playful right now, maybe Sam could be playful for him.

After grabbing the can off the bed, Sam rolled up to toss a leg over Gabriel's tiny waist. The archangel's eyebrows curved together up at Sam, watching him sit up in his lap. And Sam was more than happy to see the smile teasing on his moist lips.

“Are you trying to squish me with your big moose ass?” he asked, his golden eyes beginning to shine, “'Cause I've got news for you, honey. It ain't happening.”

Sam smirked as he shook up the can of whipped cream. The grin was slowly spreading across Gabriel's mouth as he watched Sam bring the nuzzle to his own mouth and squirt some white foam all over his lips. Afterward, Sam tossed the can away and eased down the the archangel's face, pouting his creamy lips toward him.

“Eat me,” Sam requested, arching an eyebrow.

Sam's ploy worked, causing the grin on Gabriel's face to burst into a full-blown smile. The look of pure amusement on the archangel's face was enough to make the man's insides melt with infatuation. Gabriel instantly licked the whipped cream from Sam's lips, smearing the white foam around between them. The action faded into a genuine kiss in which their tongues wrestled and lips bumped together. God, kissing Gabriel could never get old. The dude tasted so damn sweet and his tongue was so relentless.

This kiss made Sam wonder where he would be without Gabriel in that moment. Would he be alone in some motel room somewhere having to listen to Dean and Cas banging next door? Would he be tossing and turning with loneliness, wishing someone would come along? Shit, that seemed so terrible. Without Gabriel, Sam's life would be nearly unlivable. The archangel was truly Sam's saving grace. And Gabriel needed to know it.

“I love you, Gabe,” Sam pulled back to say, his heart telling him to do so, “I'm glad you're here.”

The archangel's smile was genuine as he reached up to ruffle Sam's lengthy hair. Sam savored the feeling of Gabe's short fingers against his scalp, nodding against his hand.

“Aww. I love you too, lil' peach,” he hummed, golden eyes bright, “More than all the candy in the world.”

Sam smiled as he nestled his face down into the crook of the archangel's warm neck. Gabriel was warm underneath him and smelled sweeter than ever. Gabe's arms wrapped tightly around Sam's bare back, caressing his moist skin. A yawn escaped the man's mouth as he felt weariness trying to take over his conscious. He felt he needed to get a few more words in before the drowsiness took him completely.

“Thank you... for staying,” Sam mentioned, once again proud that Gabriel had honored his wishes.

“You're welcome, Sammy-boy,” Gabe whispered, his low voice lulling Sam to sleep, “I'll do anything for your sweet ass.”

Sam smirked a little before sleep took him completely. But he did catch the small noise of Gabriel saying something else, though he was too far gone to really comprehend it. It sounded something along the lines of -

“... But I'm totally gonna get revenge on that bastard.”

Chapter Text

Something nuzzled against Sam's neck, making him flinch in his sleep. It was soft and warm, caressing his skin gently as it nudged closer. The man's head automatically nodded to the side and to shy away from the touch. The sensation made him feel ticklish, causing a smile flicker on his lips. Was that Gabriel trying to wake him up? Of course, it was. It had to be. Who else would tickle Sam awake with neck kisses?

“Hmph,” Sam mumbled, his smile spreading, “Knock it off, Gabe.”

At the man's request, however, the soft and warm feeling turned wet. A moist, rough tongue was licking its way up Sam's cheek. The off-putting sensation made Sam's eyes fly open, bringing the sunlit ceiling into view. Ugh, gross! Was Gabriel really licking his face? What the hell did Sam look like? A giant sucker? The man jostled away from the wet tongue, immediately sitting up to wipe his cheek. He looked down at the bed beside him, prepared to give Gabe an earful.

But Gabriel wasn't there.

Dickie had been the licker. The dog's tongue was still hanging out and a pleasant look was on his furry face. His tail was wagging feverishly as he sat on the bed in the vacant space next to Sam – the space Gabe was supposed to be laying in. Sam's eyes instantly darted around the room, searching for a head of shaggy blonde hair and a pair of golden eyes. But the room was completely empty, save Sam and Dickie. An unpleasant mixture of loneliness and panic flooded Sam's veins. And the dog seemed to notice Sammy's distress because he gave a tiny bark before walking over to curl up in Sam's lap. Where did the trickster go? Why would Gabriel abandon him in their hotel room?

“Gabe?” Sam called, thinking maybe he was in the bathroom or something, “Gabriel?”

For a moment, silence was the only reply Sam received. The man pet the soft dog in his lap and kept looking around, waiting. Sam knew for a fact Gabriel could hear him, dammit. He was an archangel, for God's sake. He could hear his name being called at anytime. Was he ignoring Sam on purpose? What the hell was Gabe doing?

Before Sam could get too involved in jumping to a conclusion though, a noise echoed in the room. It was a quick whoosh followed by a loud pop. Sam had heard this sound a few times. It was Gabriel's assigned text alert on his phone. Thrilled to have gotten at least some kind of reply, Sam lifted Dickie to stamp a kiss on the top of his furry head before moving the dog to get up. The younger Winchester was still nude – and burdened with a nice log of morning wood, reminding him of how badly he needed to piss – as he strode over to the table to sift around the pockets of his pants. He found his phone almost instantly and flipped it open to read:

Good morning, my big ol' sexy moose! Don't freak out and try to trample everyone in the hotel, okay? I'm still here.

Sam took a small breath. Well, Gabe was still in the hotel. But where? Oh God, he wasn't next door, was he? Was he doing something to Dean or Cas because of the night before? Sam rubbed his forehead, feeling so done with all the fighting. He could only imagine what Gabe had planned for Dean after that whole 'walkie-talkie' thing.

“What are you doing this time?” Sam mumbled to himself, frustrated.

Surprisingly, a moment after the hushed words left Sam's mouth, his phone made the bubble gum sound again. The man glanced down to see a new text message blinking on the screen. Sam tilted his head a bit. Wait, was Gabriel listening to him? Was he replying to Sam's sentences with text messages? Sam quickly opened the text to read,

I'm downstairs, ordering a huge stack of pancakes. Wanna help me butter them up? It could get a little sticky... ;-)

Sam grinned down at the words, almost able to hear Gabriel saying them in his head. A huge stack of pancakes? It was probably a towering column of flapjacks, tall enough to pass over Gabe's short head. The thought was kind of nice; imagining Gabriel being so happy to eat the whole thing. Was Gabe feeling better this morning? Did his anger and bitterness wear off through the night? Sam began to wonder if it was true, about the archangel being able to hear him talking and replying to him with text messages. The man cleared his throat, before saying aloud -

“I'll be down in a minute.”

Sam stared at his phone afterward, waiting for a reply. His feet were edging toward the bathroom, leading him to the sweet relief of the toilet. Geez, he had to piss so bad. And, just as he hoped, the bubble gum popped again on his way there. A new message from Gabriel was shining on the screen.

60... 59... 58... 57...

Sam chuckled. So, Gabriel was listening to him speak. And now, the archangel was literally counting down the seconds until Sam's arrival. It felt like warm feathers were tumbling around in Sam's stomach as he stepped lightly the rest of the way into the bathroom. From the sound of his messages, Gabriel seemed to be back to his lovable self. Thank God. It had been so long since the man had woken up in a good mood like this that he forgot how nice it was. This was how every morning was supposed to start – being smothered in affection by the person you love.


After quickly draining his bladder, tossing on some clothes, brushing his teeth, running a razor over his face, and fixing his lengthy hair in the mirror a bit, Sam gathered up the case folder and his laptop from the table before dashing out into the hallway. Dickie was trotting along happily at his feet, having watched Sam's entire morning routine. The two of them boarded the elevator at the end of the hall, both smiling and glancing at each other.

Sam was, of course, eager to get downstairs and give his archangel a proper 'good morning.' But, as the elevator doors slid closed, Sam took the time to glance over the crime scene photos again. He had not gotten any of the case – or, as Gabriel affectionately called it, 'homework,' – done the night before and he really needed to get a jump on it before Gabe attempted to sucker Sam into more sex. Again. God, that adorable little archangel could be so damn persuasive...

The photos of dead women looked relatively similar. Sam noticed that they were all elderly and had their jugular veins severed. Most of the bodies had been found a few hours after death, giving little to no time for the outdoor elements to effect them, even though all of them were left outside. Upon closer inspection, the younger Winchester also noticed that every woman was wearing a plastic wristband, similar to ones required for hospitalization. Had all of these women been in the hospital? Was that their linking factor? Just as the elevator doors 'dinged' open, Sam caught sight of a name written on one of the bands – Pineview Acres.

Dickie gave a quiet bark at Sam's feet. The man shook himself from his studious daze at the sound, realizing that they had arrived on the ground floor. Sam cleared his throat as he shifted passed the people boarding the elevator. Pineview Acres. Where had Sam heard that name before? Though the case was certainly becoming interesting, a much more lovely scene captured his attention. As Sam strode around the corner to the dining area, he glanced up to see Gabriel sitting alone at one of the booths.

The mere sight of him made the feathers start tumbling around in Sam's gut again. Why did Gabe have to be so damn cute in that loose button-up shirt and fabric jacket? Why did his golden eyes have to glisten so beautifully in the morning sun shining in from the window? Why did that hidden smirk have to hold just as much sin as it did grace? Ugh, Gabriel's heartbreaking cuteness just wasn't fair...

The archangel didn't see Sam approach at first, because a waitress appeared at his table to place a huge stack of pancakes in front of him. Gabe rubbed his hands together feverishly as he thanked her, eying the steaming fluffy display. Sam smirked as he closed the distance to the table, happy to see Gabe grinning like a five-year-old. When the trickster's honey eyes flickered up to see the man, a more meaningful smirk graced his face.

“Peach!” Gabriel exclaimed, instantly sliding over to pat the vacant spot next to him, “What the hell took you so long, kid? I was about to send out a hunting party for your giant ass. Get it? A hunting party? 'Cause you're a moose?”

Sam laughed a little at the terrible joke as he slid into the seat next to Gabe. The other side of the table was vacant, but he selfishly wanted to be as close to the trickster as possible. He placed his laptop on the table to open it as he glanced down at Gabriel's breakfast.

“I had to get dressed,” Sam reminded, “Why are you eating breakfast, anyway? Angels don't need to eat.”

“They don't need to have sex either,” Gabe hummed, bouncing his eyebrows as he seductively poured strawberry syrup all over his pancakes, “but that's never stopped us before. Has it, Sammy-boy?”

Sam gulped, feeling his face redden. He instinctively glanced around the room, hoping that no one had heard the comment. Luckily, the nearest person was a businessman two booths away, out of ear-shot. Sam quickly typed in the password to open his computer before glancing toward Gabe again.

“Must you talk about sex this early in the morning?” Sam smiled, watching the desktop appear on the screen.

“It's almost noon, kid,” Gabriel replied, taking a huge bite.

Sam blinked. Really? Was it that late in the day, already? The clock at the bottom corner of the laptop screen confirmed Gabriel's statement. It truly was close to noon...

“Still. I don't want Dean and Cas to come down here and hear us talking about it,” Sam said, shivering at the thought, “Last night was bad enough.”

Ugh, the memory of Gabe being upset was utterly terrible. Sam was so glad that Gabriel was feeling better this morning. The man brought up a search engine online and typed in 'Pineview Acres.' He knew he had spotted that name very recently. Maybe on a sign or something? The results were quick to pop up on screen, showing a few links to certain web pages. But, before he could decide on one to click, a fork-full of pancake was staring him in the face.

“Open up that cake-hole,” Gabe requested, waving the bite of pancake in front of Sam's mouth, “That huge body of yours requires energy.”

Sam smirked. Ah, hell. How could he resist that eager face? With Gabriel's enthusiastic encouragement, Sam rolled his eyes before letting his mouth fall open. Gabe delicately slid the warm bite inside, filling the man's mouth with the sweet taste of strawberry syrup. Mmm, that was pretty good, red syrup and all. Gabriel's shining amber eyes were watching Sam's mouth move, staring at his chewing, pouting lips. The man knew the sight was probably turning him on from the way his smile was slowly slipping away. Maybe Sam held just as much persuasive power over Gabriel as Gabriel held over him...

“How does it taste, Sammy-boy?” Gabe asked, his eyes finally flickering up to meet Sam's.

“Not as good as you do,” Sam admitted, casually reaching under the table to place his leg on Gabe's warm thigh.

Yes, Sam knew he was being a total hypocrite by telling Gabe not to mention sex and then giving signals that he wanted it. But, man, it was really nice to see how far he could push his luck before the archangel snapped. And, apparently, Gabriel had a weak breaking point. Because as soon as Sam's hand clutched Gabe's thigh, the archangel's mouth flew forward to collide with his own.

The taste of strawberry syrup mixed inside their kiss as their lips parted open to allow their tongues to meet. Sam briefly glanced around, hoping no one was watching, as he and his archangel boyfriend made out in the booth. The thought of Dean and Cas coming down and catching them like this crossed his mind, of course. And, Dean did deserve a taste of his own medicine... But kissing Gabe just to get back at Dean was a childish thing to do and Sam didn't want to keep this shit going. He just wanted it to end.

“Mmm,” Sam smiled, tugging his lips away to look back at the computer screen, “I need to get this done.”

“But, sweetheart!” Gabriel pouted dramatically, weaseling his way up under the man's arm, “I wanna suck on your face! Don't you like making out?”

“Well, yeah,” Sam sighed, still grinning as he glanced around for prying eyes, “but -”

Gabriel's sweet lips cut Sam short, smothering him with another kiss. Oh, man, Gabe tasted so damn good. The computer sat forgotten on the table for a moment while the two of them tongued each other in the booth. Sam's hand gradually slid up Gabriel's thigh, able to feel the heat radiating from his crotch. Gabe didn't get to come when they had sex the night before, Sam remembered. The archangel only made sure Sam finished. Was this heated kiss just leftover lust that Gabe couldn't bring himself to feel the night before? Was he aching to go at it, now? Because, if so, Sam had no objections to high-tailing it up stairs to bang one out...

Gabriel's small hand snaked between the button's of Sam's plaid shirt to grope its way around the man's chest, deliberately rubbing his nipples. Sam hummed a little bit inside their kiss as his hand finally slid up to grab a handful of Gabe's heated tense crotch. The two of them were literally molesting each other in the middle of a hotel dining area, both unabashed and lustful. Sam's concern with Dean and Cas was steadily slipping away. Who gave a shit, if the two of them saw him and Gabe like this? Who cared, if he and Gabe were thrown out of the hotel for being inappropriate? All that really mattered was the boner growing underneath Sam's palm, between Gabe's legs...

After a good minute of the intimate embrace though, Gabe plucked his lips away. Sam was a bit confused by the the trickster's expression. Lust and playfulness seemed to have disappeared from his lovely face, replaced by surprise and a tiny bit of anger. His golden eyes were suddenly focused on the other side of the table, glaring fiercely at the seat.

“Don't do it,” Gabriel warned threateningly toward the opposite side of the table.

Sam blinked between the archangel and the vacant seat, utterly bewildered. Who was Gabe talking to? Was he talking to Sam? Had Sam touched him the wrong way or something?

“D – Don't what?” Sam asked, trying to regain Gabe's attention by clutching his crotch a little tighter.

For a moment, Gabriel didn't even look back at Sam. He just glared at the empty seat across from him and tightened his jaw. And Sam was convinced that it was his own fault somehow and it made him feel terrible. But then, Gabe's golden eyes rolled around as he exhaled and raised his hand. He made a snide face toward the vacant seat before snapping his fingers together.

And, suddenly, Dean and Cas were sitting at the table.

Dean's hands were balled into fists and his green eyes were blazing toward Gabriel with his jaw clinched tight. Cas's blue eyes were just as intense as his hand – on which the index finger was covered with blood – was hovered over a quickly scrawled angel banishing symbol on the table's surface. Sam glanced at both of them in shock, immediately letting go of Gabe's groin. How were they here? And how did that blood-written symbol get on the table? What the hell was going on?!

“Wha -?” It was all Sam could say.

“You do that shit again,” Dean growled, pointing a stern finger at Gabe, “and I'll deep fry your ass in holy oil.”

“Ooooh, scary,” Gabriel replied dramatically, rolling his eyes.

“Do what again?” Sam blurted, his face turning red with embarrassment, “What the hell happened?”

“Dean and I have been sitting here the whole time, Sam,” Cas informed, still glaring at the archangel as he lowered his hand away from the blood-drawn symbol, “behind Gabriel's invisible barrier.”

All the blood in Sam's face drained away leaving him pale and gasping. Dean and Cas had been sitting at the table the whole time?! They were forced to listen to Sam and Gabe talk? And watch them make-out?! Sam's wide eyes flickered down at the archangel next to him. How could Gabriel do that without telling Sam? Why would he force Dean and Cas to watch them being intimate without letting him in on it? Ugh, it made Sam feel so violated!

“Gabriel!” Sam groaned, annoyed and flustered all at once.

“Oh, lighten up, kid,” Gabe tried to shrug off, patting Sam's arm, “It was just a little fun.”

Sam didn't know what to say. Yeah, Dean deserved some kind of punishment for the 'walkie-talkie' stunt. But forcing him and Cas to watch Sam and Gabe like that? Without Sam's approval? Sam felt that he was staring down at the trickster, in that moment; the sour side of Gabriel that didn't have any limits on how far he would go just to pull a prank. His disregard for Sam's opinion made the man feel terrible. Sam loved Gabriel's sweet side. Not the one he pretended to have just to piss Dean off, but the real one. Whatever happened to that guy?

Sam spun away from Gabriel and set his eyes firmly on his computer screen. He was so frustrated with Gabe's behavior that he was afraid he might do or say something he would regret. So instead, Sam tried to immerse himself in his work, attempting to tune out the argument starting at the table.

“Geez,” Dean spat, getting up from the booth, “Why don't you just climb up on the table and screw each other next time?!”

“That's an excellent idea, Pinky,” Gabriel replied, “I'll make sure you have a front row seat for that, too.”

“You know what? Bite me, you little prick,” Dean hissed back, helping Cas up.

“Sorry, pal. I only bite your brother,” Gabe replied, arching an eyebrow.

Both of you shut the hell up!” Sam finally shouted.

A few people in the dining area actually stopped to look in their direction at the sound of Sam's yell. But he didn't care. He was sick of listening to Gabe and Dean bicker like children. Sick of being the rope in their twisted game of tug-of-war. Couldn't they see that they were driving Sam crazy?! Couldn't they see they were ripping him apart?!

Sam huffed as he gathered his laptop and stood up from the table. He needed just one single minute of silence, alone, to focus. He stepped over and placed the computer on the bar, leaving his brother and the two angels a few feet behind him. The man glared at the computer screen, having to read the same damn paragraph over again. What was he even searching for, again? Oh, yeah. Pineview Acres.

The web page brought up a picture of a nice building near the highway – one that Sam recalled instantly. It was the retirement home the Impala had passed by on the way into town, the one that sat across from the fast food joint. Sam studied it, letting his mind wrestle with a conclusion for all these facts. Maybe the wristbands on the victims were used for old-folks homes, instead of hospitals. Maybe the vampire was hitting up nursing homes, for some reason... And, maybe, if they did a stake-out on one of the facilities, they could catch him in the act...

Sam took a breath as he turned to face his brother and Gabe again. The two of them were still snapping crude remarks to one another, both standing now. Sam barreled up to them, armed with new information and feeling pretty much done with their bullshit.

“The vampire is feeding on elderly women from nursing homes,” Sam to the group, glancing from his brother to his archangel, “and I think we can catch him if we monitor one of the buildings.”

He was straight-forward and unbiased, speaking like a parent. And his stern tone seemed to catch everyone's attention. The older Winchester turned toward the younger, appearing a little relieved at Sam's interruption. Gabe seemed to tense a little bit as if he found the words to be offensive. His playful and chipper demeanor faded into something more serious.

“What an asshole,” the archangel muttered, appearing genuinely affected, “Who would want to kill a bunch of sweet-little-ol' grannies like that?”

“Apparently this guy,” Sam answered softly, finding it a bit odd that Gabriel was actually interested.

For some reason, Sam had – once again – assumed Gabe didn't care about other people. Man, Sam really needed to get himself out of the mindset of assumption, because it was obvious that Gabriel did care. His golden eyes were staring blankly toward the floor and a slightly angered expression was on his small face. Sam could only imagine what was going through that peculiar head of his. Was he thinking of the elderly women being murdered viciously? Was he brewing up another brilliant but twisted scheme?

“Which building?”

Sam blinked away from Gabriel to look up at Dean. Of course, Dean didn't seem to notice the archangel's emotional change because he was too busy ignoring him. Sam took a breath, before answering.

“I think the old-folks' home in town is his hotspot,” he answered, “Pineview Acres.”

“Then come on,” Dean said, “Drop off your giant baby upstairs so we can go.”

Sam shot a glare at Dean. Really? A giant baby? Was that the best he could come up with?

“Actually, Ken doll,” Gabriel hissed, “I was gonna stick around here anyway, and get the love-nest ready for your brother. That's right, peach,” Gabe paused to hook his arm around Sam's and tug him close to stare up at him with those beautiful eyes, “Our bed is gonna rock so hard tonight, we might start an earthquake.”

Sam gulped, trying to hold down the smile fighting to emerge on his lips. Wow, that sounded awesome; causing natural disaster just by having sex. Gabriel could totally do it too, being an archangel and all... Dean groaned out loud and started tugging Cas away, mumbling to himself. As he did, Sam took the time to look fully down at Gabe.

“You don't want to come along?” Sam asked, completely surprised.

The man could tell Gabriel was hiding something. Some strange master plan was being calculated just beyond those amber eyes and it made Sam feel a little uneasy. Oh, no. What the hell was he planning to do this time? Was it really something to do with their 'love-nest'? Or was it something worse?

The short archangel stood on the tips of his toes to plant a goodbye kiss on Sam's lips.

“You go ahead and follow Scooby-Doo and Velma to the mystery machine, Shaggy,” Gabe grinned, giving a wink, “I'll hold down the fort here.”

Sam tried to swallow his distaste as he edged hesitantly away from Gabriel. Red flags were flying up all over Sam's mind, signaling that this wasn't a good thing to do. The trickster had something up his sleeve. Sam could see it in those golden eyes. The man could just sense that something bad was going to happen... But he left the room anyway. Because, despite all of Gabriel's past mistakes, Sam still loved him. And, even though the archangel couldn't keep his hands clean for long, Sam wanted to put all of his faith in Gabe.

More than anything, Sammy just wanted to believe Gabriel would do the right thing.


Sam plucked another M&M from the bag and slid it between his teeth as he lazily blinked toward the building. He, Dean, and Cas had all been sitting in the Impala for at least eight hours now, waiting for a suspicious character to enter the nursing home. Sam was starting to regret not making Gabriel come along. Geez, it was so damn boring without him. Not to mention as lonely as hell. Sam didn't feel like talking to Dean or Cas either, not after all the shit that had gone down. The awkward silence seemed to stretch on forever, making Sam crave Gabriel's interaction and his adorable face. Maybe Sam should just pray to the guy and ask him to fly to the Impala. Maybe this whole 'stake-out' thing wasn't going to work.

Before Sam could, though, a shifty-looking man passed in front of the car. Sam sat up instantly and his eyes zoomed in on him, along with Dean's. Both Winchesters could tell that this was their guy, unmistakably a vampire by the way he held himself. His cat-like eyes were flashing all around as he strode up to the entrance. None of the staff said one word to him as he casually waltzed inside the building. Sam and Dean looked at each other, sharing the same thought.

It was showtime.

The brothers exited the car and rounded to the trunk where their hunting supplies were stored. Cas followed them too, glancing up at the tall building in front of the Impala and focusing his blue eyes on a high window. Dean seemed to be more than eager to get the job done. He quickly flipped open the false bottom to grab the first weapon he came to.

“I can't wait to kill this thing,” he mumbled, actually looking up at Sam, “I've been dying to gank somebody for days.”

Sam rolled his eyes, knowing exactly who that 'somebody' was.

“Let's just get this over with,” Sam grumbled, missing Gabe like hell.

While hunting with Dean came second nature to Sam, the man found that it felt different now. An important element was missing or something. Maybe it was just because they were currently bickering over their choice of lovers or whatever, but Sam could feel that his relationship with his brother was shifting. Not dying out or anything, just changing.

“How should we get in there?” Sam asked, noticing that the front doors were guarded by security.

“Cas can fly us in. He mentioned it earlier,” Dean suggested, giving Sam an acidic, teasing smirk, “See, unlike your angel, mine comes equipped with the ability to give a rat's ass.”

Sam glared down at his older brother as he reached over to slam the trunk shut. Ugh, why did Dean have to talk so badly about Gabriel like that? Sam never said a bad word against Cas. Ever. It just wasn't fair.

“Dean! Look out!”

Before Sam could turn his head toward the sound of Cas's voice, the two brothers were violently flung through the air. They both landed flat on their backs in the parking lot and Cas hovered protectively over them. The sound of crunching metal and shattering glass ripped through the silence, sounding like a large object dropping onto a vehicle from a great height. Sam blinked repeatedly and scrambled to sit up.

When Cas finally stood up to move, it cleared Sam's view enough to see what had happened. The vampire – the very same one they had been waiting to kill all night – was laying on top of the Impala. Or, rather, he was laying inside the Impala. The thing must have been pushed out of one of the windows or something, because the entire roof of the Impala was caved in underneath him. All of the glass was broken out of the car and scattered on the asphalt parking lot. It was a terrible, heartbreaking sight.

B – baby,” Dean exhaled with grief.

Sam gulped as he glanced toward his brother. They were both climbing to their feet now, with Cas helping Dean, and Sam could clearly see the absolute despair on Dean's pale face. The two Winchesters and Cas gawked at the sight of the destroyed car, stepping closer to inspect the remains. The vampire was motionless and his body was steaming, obviously dead somehow. There were also knitting needles sticking out of him, some even containing leftover strands of yarn. Had the elderly women – killed him? Had they attacked him during knitting hour or something?

“Dean,” Cas whispered.

Sam, too, watched as the angel pointed toward the vampire's face. Dean and Sam both brought their attention to it, searching to see what Cas was addressing. It took the younger brother a moment to notice it, because it was subtle enough to fly under his radar. But he eventually saw that there were burned out holes where the vampire's eyes used to be... which indicated that he had been smote by an angel...

...or, maybe, by an archangel.

Sam's fingers turned numb when realization fell over him. Shit. Gabriel had done it. Gabe had killed this bastard before Sam and Dean could even get inside the damn building. But the worst part, was that he had destroyed Dean's beloved car in the process. On purpose. A potent mixture of irritation and betrayal was suddenly coursing through Sam's veins as he stared at the gaping holes in the vampire's face. That sour taste was back in his mouth again. Why would Gabriel do this? Why would he lie to Sam?

After a moment of panting with rage, Dean was suddenly running toward the entrance of the retirement home. Sam chased after him instantly, seeing that Dean was still carrying a sharp object. Even though the archangel caused pain spread to through Sam like wildfire, he still couldn't let Dean kill Gabriel! Cas was right next to Sam as they chased Dean passed the guards, into the building, and up the stairs. They were both calling his name when he bolted into one of the rooms. Elderly women were sitting quietly in rocking chairs throughout the space and raised their heads at the Winchesters' arrival.

Sam could see, just passed Dean's shoulder, that Gabriel was standing at the window. The trickster spun around when they barged into the room and a grin burst across his smug face. Sam felt ill in that moment, his stomach churning with pain. It really was Gabriel. The archangel had destroyed the Impala.

“Sorry, fellas,” Gabe said, stepping over to place a hand on the back of the rocking chair Dickie was sitting in, “Looks like you're a little late to the party. Me and the knitting club here have already made sure that guy received his just-desserts.”

Dean bounded toward Gabriel instantly, raising the sharp object over his head. Sam was about to reach out to grab him when a streak of tan flashed by. Sam was able to catch a glimpse of Cas placing a hand on Dean's shoulder before they both disappeared. Cas had flown Dean away just in the nick of time... leaving Sam and Gabriel to stare at each other.

Sam didn't know what to say. And what could he say, really? Gabriel lied to him by saying he would stay at the hotel. The trickster had smashed Dean's car all to hell, crushing any and all chances of his and Dean's relationship getting better. Gabriel did what he wanted. Sam should have known better than to think Gabe would change his spiteful ways. Tears were pressing at the back of Sam's eyes as he blinked at the archangel across the room. God, Sam just felt so damn hurt.

The smirk faded away from Gabriel's lips as Dickie jumped from the chair to walk sadly up to Sam. Seriousness was growing back across the archangel's golden features, noticing Sam's discomfort.

“I – I finished the case for you, Sammy-boy,” Gabriel said, seeming to be explaining himself, “I let the old ladies have their revenge, see?”

Sam tore his eyes away from the trickster's as he shook his head, turning to start for the door. He didn't want to hear Gabriel's excuses. He didn't want to look at Gabe's painfully adorable face or listen to his humming voice. At that moment, Sam just wanted to be alone with his thoughts. It was too heartbreaking to be in the same room with the archangel he loved so much. Only one distinct thought lingered in Sam's mind as he staggered the rest of the way out of the room...

… and it was that he hated the taste of sour things.

Chapter Text

Sam could feel his chest tightening as he stepped quickly toward the stairwell. His heart was hammering so hard with emotion that it rattled his ribcage and all the organs inside it. Tears were still threatening to fall from his blurry eyes. Why would Gabriel do that? Why would he sabotage Sam's effort for a peaceful coexistence with Dean? Why would Gabe lie to the same guy he said he loved? Why?! Sam only made it two steps down the stairs when a hand caught him by the arm. He didn't have to look back to know who it was.

“Wait, kid, where are you going?” Gabriel asked, his voice high and housing just a tiny bit of panic.

Sam couldn't bear to look at the archangel's precious face at the moment. It was just too damn painful. Instead of turning around or saying anything, Sam just yanked his arm out of Gabe's grasp and started galloping down the stairs two at a time. He felt he needed to get away from Gabriel for a while, to clear his head and figure out what the hell he was supposed to do about this disaster. And Gabe must have gotten the message because he didn't try to stop Sam again.

The man cleared the moisture from his eyes when he reached the bottom of the stairs and made his way back outside. The ruined Impala was still sitting in the parking lot, still steaming in the streetlight and looking absolutely heart-wrenching. It wasn't the first time the car had been totaled, but it still hurt to see it so messed up. Sam tried his best not to even look toward it as he passed by, knowing that the sight would only make him feel worse. He had decided, subconsciously, that he was going to walk back to the hotel. It was a few long blocks away from the nursing home and would probably take a good hour or so to walk. Which was perfect. Because Sam tended to do his best thinking when his body was moving.

It wasn't until he stepped onto the sidewalk and started into town that the man noticed Dickie was still walking by his side. Sam looked down at the little dog who was keeping right up and felt strangely comforted. At least he didn't have to feel lonely while being alone... Dickie didn't bark or try to run in a different direction, either. He just kept stride with Sam and glanced up at him every so often as if he was worried. Aw, man. Maybe he was worried about his humans being so upset with each other. The poor little thing...

For a while, it was just Sam and Dickie walking mechanically through town while the man became lost in thought. Gabriel and Dean couldn't stand each other. Sam knew that. And Dean hated Gabe because the trickster used him for target practice every chance he got. But why in the world did Gabriel hate Dean? What did Dean do to him to warrant such spitefulness? Was it because Dean was a general pain in the ass? Did Cas have something to do with it? God, Sam really wanted to know.

Sam stared sadly at the concrete moving beneath his feet as he rounded another corner. Dean was probably losing his shit somewhere in that moment and Sam felt terrible about it. But it wasn't the fact the car was destroyed that bothered Sam the most. And, strangely, it wasn't the fact that Dean almost got to kill Gabriel, either. The part that truly upset Sam the most out all of it, was that Gabriel had flat out lied to him. Yeah, Gabe was the trickster. Sam knew that Gabriel practically came with a warning label that read 'caution, continuously spouts bullshit.' But somewhere, deep down in the pit of his soul, Sam actually believed that Gabriel had changed. And it absolutely broke his heart to find out it wasn't true.

Sam was suddenly arguing with himself in his head as he passed by a vacant drug store. Wait, Gabriel did change, didn't he? He used to be so much worse before they were together. He actually took the time to listen to Sam now, and did what Sam asked most of the time. And Gabe was being sweeter than ever by dressing up like a stupid 70's cop just to make Sam laugh, or humming 'Heat of the Moment' while holding hands in the backseat. The 'trickster' didn't do sweet things like that. 'Gabriel' did.

Moisture was building up in Sam's eyes again as he huffed a breath of night air. He was recalling pleasant memories all of the sudden, picturing Gabriel prancing around the hotel waving to everyone, and hearing the archangel ramble on about making medicinal candy for sick children, and remembering the first time he kissed that sweet mouth and lost himself inside the taste... God, why did Gabriel have to be so damn charming and destructive? Why did he have to be so sweet and sour?

Dickie gave a quiet whimper next to Sam.

The man paused his fast steps to look down at the dog. Dickie pawed at his leg and softly whined, able to see the distress in Sam's face. He looked so concerned, more concerned than a dog had the right to look. After sniffling a bit, Sam bent down to pick him up and cradle the dog's tiny warm body against his chest. The instant he was close enough, Dickie started licking the man's face, 'kissing' away all his stray tears. Sam smiled sadly as he nodded away from the relentless tongue. Leave it to Dickie to try to make things better by licking them clean. Sam stared soulfully down at the dog's adorable face then, trying to figure out which emotion to feel.

“Should I forgive him? or not?” Sam mumbled to Dickie, feeling his heart cringe.

At this statement, Dickie gave a muffled bark before lowering his head to rest on Sam's shoulder. He nuzzled his wet nose into the man's neck a gave a sigh. Sam heaved a sigh too, before starting to walk again. He kind of wished that he could speak 'dog,' because he really needed the advice on what to do. If Sam forgave Gabriel too easily, then the trickster would just keep doing this shit all the time, assuming Sam would just forgive him later. But if Sam didn't forgive him at all, then the man probably wouldn't be able to live with himself. Because, even now – even after smashing the Impala to pieces, pissing Dean off to the point of explosion, and even lying to through his teeth – Gabriel was still the light in Sam's life. Thinking about that perky grin and those playful eyes still made Sam feel all warm inside, made him feel loved. And that alone made it so damn difficult to decide what to do.

Sam carried Dickie all the way into the White Swan Hotel and to the elevators. The man was walking much slower now, practically dragging every step. There was a fifty-fifty chance that Gabriel had flown to their room and was waiting on him to get there. And Sam still wasn't ready to look at him. Just like after that stupid dog thing, Sam was afraid he might take one good look at Gabe and just forgive all his sins. And he knew he needed to stand his ground on this one. The trickster needed to know that he couldn't away with shit like this. Wrecking the car, pissing Dean off, and lying? All of it needed to stop.

Sam hugged the dog in his arms a little tighter when he stepped off the elevator. Room 69a was just down the hall. The golden numbered plate was glistening in the dim hallway lighting. For once, Sam hoped that the room was empty. He still needed time alone to think about everything and weigh it all out. Sam gave Dickie's soft head a gentle kiss before opening the door and carefully sliding inside.

And there he was.

Sam caught a glimpse of Gabriel's tiny frame perched on the corner of the bed as he lowered Dickie into the floor. It seemed like Gabe had been full of anticipation, because as soon as the man entered the room, he sprang to his feet to stand. His small hands were pursed together in front of him awkwardly and his feet were shifting nervously. Sam did not look at Gabriel's face, so he didn't know what kind of expression the archangel was wearing. But Sam could clearly detect a generous amount of worry in the guy's voice.

“H – hey there, peach,” he breathed, gesturing around with his hand, “I, uh, I cleaned the room for you.”

Sam did glance around and noticed that everything was in order; bed made neatly, food gone from the floor, Dickie's stuffed moose sitting up straight in the corner. Yeah, it looked nice. But did Gabe really think that it was going to change anything? Was this a desperate attempt to get back into Sam's good graces again or something? Because cleaning the hotel room didn't do a damn thing about the broken Impala a few blocks away...

The man forced a nod to signal that he heard Gabe's words, before shoving his way into the bathroom. He shut the door firmly behind him and locked it with a tiny click, making sure Gabriel heard it. Part of Sam hated doing this. He hated being separated from the person he loved so much. But the other part knew it needed to be done, light of his life or not.

Sam took another large breath as he made his way over to start the shower. He undressed carefully, going through the motions slower than usual. His legs in particular were starting to ache from all the walking and he felt the hot water might loosen his strained muscles. The shower was the best place for thinking, anyway. Sam was determined to figure out something by the end of this shower and come out with a conclusion, even if he came out with more wrinkles than a bulldog.

The hot water splashed all over Sam's bare body as he entered the small stall. He pulled the flimsy curtain shut and boxed himself inside the small space – and had nothing left to do but stare at the blank white walls and feel all his emotions swelling up again. God, he was so damn stupid for putting his faith into someone so unreliable. Sam's head was sopping wet and beginning to dip when he leaned forward to brace it against the warm tile. Why did love have to hurt like a bitch sometimes?

A small whoosh filled the stall, along with a cool breeze.

Sam gasped a little at the cold shiver that ran up his back as he spun around to see what it was. Gabriel was standing directly behind him all of the sudden, still fully dressed and dry. Sam blinked up and down his figure for a moment – before making the mistake of meeting his eyes. The archangel's features were painful to look at. His lips seemed a little chapped and his eyes didn't appear as golden as they normally did. The spark of child-like joy that Sam adored so much had abandoned Gabriel's face, leaving behind pain in its absence. The dude looked absolutely serious, for once. Breathtakingly serious...

“I'm about to say two words,” Gabriel spoke over the loud sound of running water, the honesty in his voice giving Sam chills, “That I've always said, but never really meant until now...”

Sam swallowed a bit and waited for him to continue. There wasn't much else he could do. He only stared into the glistening honey eyes of the archangel in front of him and try to brace for Gabriel's words. They came out as a hushed whisper, barely audible over the water. But they housed more sincerity than Sam had ever heard Gabriel speak.

“I'm sorry.”

Gabe's sad face made Sam's heart ache. Actual tears were building up in his golden eyes and threatening to fall. Wow, he really meant it, didn't he? Sam still felt torn, though. Just because Gabe said it and felt it, saying 'sorry' didn't change much. Lots of things had been broken that night that couldn't be mended with words. Gabriel's throat quivered as he shifted on his feet, his clothes getting wetter by the second. Apparently seeing that Sam wasn't going to respond, he went on.

“I fixed the car,” he spoke softly, the statement taking Sam by surprise, “It's parked out front, now. And I got your stupid broth – I mean, I got Dean something and put it in the front seat. You know, to say sorry for crunching his precious Impala with a two-hundred-pound bag of sharp teeth.”

Sam was absolutely stunned. Did Gabriel just stop himself from referring to Dean as 'your stupid brother?' And did he actually fix the Impala? Without being asked?

“Listen, kid, I'm sorry for running ahead of you guys and killing the thing myself,” Gabriel continued, appearing to want to get it all out, “but, you've gotta understand that it's just in my nature. It really gets under my skin when someone does bad things to innocent people and doesn't get caught. I strive to make sure everyone gets justice, good or bad. Because I had to put up with shit-tons of injustice at home. Luci and Mikey were always fighting and using innocent people like you to get at each other. It wasn't right and everyone knew it. But did our daddy do anything about it? No. He was too busy doing only he-knows-what to give a rat's ass about any of you. But I'm not gonna stand for shit like that, Sammy-boy. I know I screwed up with the car, but I had to let those grannies teach that blood-sucker a lesson.”

Sam blinked, feeling incredibly enlightened. Man, Gabriel must have had a hard time putting up with shit like that in heaven. No wonder he took pride in giving people 'just-desserts.' The archangel took the time to clear his throat and a small hint of something new crossed his beautiful features. Vulnerability and passion seemed to light up in his eyes as he searched Sam's face. Sam gulped at the intense stare, sensing more powerful words teetering on Gabriel's lips.

“I know you think I hate your brother, but I don't,” the archangel breathed, looking as helpless as a child, “Actually, I – I'm jealous of him, peach. More than anything.”

Sam blinked, taking a step closer on the wet tile. Wait, did he just say the word 'jealous?' Gabriel, the archangel, was jealous of Dean? But, why? The question must have been written on Sam's face because Gabriel searched his eyes before answering.

“He's your best friend,” the archangel pointed out, “He's the one you go to for advice. He's the shoulder you cry on. He's the wing you hide under when you feel scared. Dean is your rock, and I just – I want to be that for you, Sam,” he said, as a tear finally fell from his eye to slide down his moist cheek, “The biggest injustice my father ever did was letting all this bad shit happen to you, kid. I knew your life was going to be so damn hard and I just wanted to take care of you. I just wanted to make you happy, 'cause I knew you were gonna have to deal with so much pain. But, it – it looks like I've gone and made it worse.”

Sam's heart was picking up pace, pulsing emotion through his every vein. He stared powerfully at Gabriel's entire form, watching him get wetter the longer he stood in the shower. The archangel was pouring out his soul, practically placing his heart in Sam's hand. Why didn't Gabe say any of this before? And why did the pitiful look on his precious face have to make Sam feel so bad? The archangel shifted a bit as he blinked away. There was a flighty look about him all of the sudden. Shit. He wasn't about to go anywhere, was he?

“Look, sweetheart,” he said, his golden eyes flitting around, “I'll understand if you can't forgive me. And I... I'll understand, if you don't want to be together anymore, either -”

Sam's mouth fell open. Don't want to be together anymore? Was the guy losing his freakin' mind?!

“ - I just want what's best for you, Sammy-boy. Even if that doesn't include me, okay? Just, um, just know that I've loved you through everything. And I'll always love you, no matter what. You mean the world to me and you -”

Gabriel's sweet voice came to an abrupt halt when Sam quickly reached up to take the archangel's warm face in his large hands. The archangel had – yet again – surprised Sam and proven himself to be a good person. Yeah, forgiving him would be difficult, but ending their relationship entirely? How could Gabe possibly think that? No, Sam could never let go of Gabriel. He loved him too much to even consider it.

The man searched the archangel's wide golden eyes – seeing nothing but truth, love, and soulfulness – before leaning down to capture his mouth. The flavor was sweeter than it had ever tasted before, harboring compassion and meaning – and that familiar subtle hint of cotton-candy. Sam kissed him powerfully, cradling Gabriel's wet golden head in one hand and pulling him close with the other. Sam wasn't thinking about the Impala or Dean or Cas anymore. The only thing Sam could feel was all the love he had for the archangel in his arms.

Sam was suddenly slipping Gabriel's wet shirt up over his golden head, pausing their kiss to toss it on the shower floor with a loud splat. Their lips were quick to return to each other though, hands instantly grasping and tugging again. Sam was full of raw emotion and his body was beginning to act without him. God, kissing Gabriel seemed to heal every wound. Since when did sweet words make Sam want to bang the shit out of someone? His wandering hands soon shoved the soaked pants and underwear down Gabe's short legs, exposing the rest of his wet warm body, before pressing him up against the wall. Their mouths were moving faster, sucking and licking and wrestling as the shower head doused them in steaming water.

With his heart suddenly pounding in anticipation, Sam scooped each of Gabe's small thighs into his arms, hoisting up his tiny body. The archangel's back slid against the wet wall until their faces were almost level. It gave Sam's dick a clear trajectory toward Gabe's ass. A small gasp came from the archangel's wet lips as he clung to Sam's broad shoulders. He seemed pretty shocked that Sam was doing this. Hell, even Sam was shocked that he was doing it. The sudden impulse to have sex seemed to have come out of nowhere.

“Whoa,” Gabe breathed, whimpering as he circled his legs around Sam's waist.

Sam wasted no time plunging his lips back into Gabriel's and hiking the guy's legs back. It took a moment for Sam to guide his quickly-growing dick into the tight hole. But as soon as he found it, the man was slipping inside to hammer away. Gabriel's moans broken their mouths again as his back arched against the wet tile. Sam eyed the streams of water gliding down the archangel's neck as his golden head tilted back. Shit, it felt so damn good to be inside Gabriel. He was just so warm and tight...

“Mmm,” Sam hummed, suctioning his lips against the side of Gabe's neck.

With every hard pound from Sam's pelvis, Gabriel was sliding up and down the wall. Tiny noises were escaping his open mouth and his fingers were drawing lines against the man's back. They were lost inside lust, taken with emotion. Knowing how Gabriel truly felt made Sam feel so relieved. The guy wasn't the prick everyone thought he was. Gabe was the most kind-hearted, sweetest person Sam had ever had the pleasure of loving. Gabriel cared so deeply about every one else that it made Sam's heart ache with affection. God, Gabe was just so damn sincere, so honest – and sexy. Sam moaned a loud as he picked up speed, rocking faster into the archangel's tight opening.

“J - Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the camel,” Gabriel huffed against Sam's wet ear, digging his fingertips into the top of the man's shoulders, “You sure know how to spear someone w – with that meat sword of yours, don't you, S – Sammy-boy? Ahh!”

Sam let a noise of his own slip as he clung tighter to the archangel's trembling thighs. He was close already, able to feel the pressure building up his scrotum. His wet balls were slapping against Gabe's lower back, adding a fast-paced metronomic sound to the fogged space. The shower head was still pelting them with hot water, making it easier to grind together. One of the archangel's hands suddenly left Sam's shoulder and fell between them. Sam tilted his head down to watch Gabe's small fingers take hold of his own dick and start to pump. Oh shit, the sight the archangel pleasuring himself was so arousing. Sam moaned again, resting his wet forehead against Gabe's. The two of them were panting into each others' open mouths; blinking, and breathing, and thrusting, and moving, and groaning, until finally -

“Ahh!” Sam nearly shouted, filling the room with his echoing voice, “Sh – shit! Gabe!”

His dick was pulsing inside the archangel's heated body, being milked by Gabriel's constricting opening. Sam was nearly blinded with pleasure, eyes rolling back into his head. His legs almost gave out with the huge wave of endorphins and he was barely able to keep a hold of Gabriel's thighs. Holy shit, that felt so good. God, there was nothing better than coming inside Gabe... The archangel's hand was still moving in a blur between them though, still massaging his own dick. Sam panted and swayed around on his shaky feet as he watched Gabriel's face tightening with concentration. The archangel's free hand was clutching Sam's shoulder tight, squeezing it as he rose to his own orgasm.

“Oh, here I come, kid!” he gasped, his golden eyes flying wide, “I'm gonna - !”

White semen was spewing from Gabe's cock then, dousing both of their abdomens. Sam ached at the sight of Gabriel's red face tightening with pleasure as he came, feeling so good that he was the reason for the archangel's bliss. Gabe's hand slowed to a stop before dropping lazily to his side. The two of them tried to catch their breath for a moment, letting the hot water rinse away all the come. Wow. That was some fast dirty shower sex. Where the hell did that come from? Sam and Gabriel sort of just stared at each other before beginning to smile. Maybe it didn't matter why they did it. Maybe it just needed to be done...

Using all the strength he had left, Sam scooped Gabriel up from the wall; gathering the archangel's tiny frame into his arms. Gabe gasped a little and clung to Sam's shoulders but seemed to be aiding the man's endeavor.

“Turn off the water,” Sam requested, “and open the curtain.”

Gabriel was grinning proudly when he released a hand from Sam's shoulder to snap his fingers together. Both actions happened at once, cutting the sound of the water short as the curtain slid open at the same time. Sam smirked a bit as he stepped out of the shower and began carrying Gabriel away. He was subconsciously heading out of the bathroom and the archangel must have sensed it, because door that Sam had locked on his way in was suddenly standing wide open. Sammy smiled as he planted more wet kisses along the archangel's collarbone. Yeah, it was super cliché to carry someone over a threshold, but he didn't care. This was their 'love-nest,' after all.

The cold bedroom created goosebumps along Sam's skin as he plopped their wet bodies onto the neatly made bed. He was still kissing along Gabe's chest and neck, swirling his tongue over the archangel's wet skin. God, he tasted so good. What was the secret ingredient?

“So, am I forgiven, peach?”

Sam's tongue slurped back into his mouth at Gabriel's question. He lifted his wet head to look at the archangel's golden features. Gabe appeared to genuinely want an answer; staring back at Sam with wondrous eyes. The man sighed. Had Gabriel earned the right to be forgiven, yet? Sure, he fixed things to the best of his ability. He repaired the car and got Dean a present or whatever. But did any of it make up for how much pain he put Sam through? The archangel's honey eyes were wide and anxious...

“I'll forgive you on one condition,” Sam said carefully, his wet hair dripping down onto Gabriel's cheek.

“Anything,” Gabriel smirked, sounding relieved, “You name it, you've got it, kid.”

Sam took the time to make sure Gabe was seeing the seriousness on his face before replying.

“No more fighting with Dean,” he answered, “I mean it, Gabe. I don't care if he starts it or not. Your pissing contest with him is over, okay?”

“Okay,” he mumbled.

“Promise me,” Sam said, wanting to make sure it was going to stick, “Swear to me that you're not gonna start anymore shit.”

“I promise,” he repeated with exasperation.

“Do you swear? Tell me you swear,” Sam asked, knowing that Gabriel was good for going back on his word.

Gabe chuckled a bit at Sam's desperation.

“What do you want me to do? Put it into a contract like a common demon?” the archangel grinned, “I can't exactly seal it with a kiss, Sammy-boy.”

“Well, then swear on something. Like your dad's book. Please?” Sam suggested.

Gabriel glanced along Sam's face for a moment, before rolling his eyes and giving a short whistle. At the sound, Dickie suddenly jumped up on the bed. He ran over to the two of them instantly, barking and wiggling excitedly. Sam smiled at the dog's joyous energy, bracing for the tongue that licked up the side of his face. Aww. Maybe Dickie was glad that his humans were back together again... Gabriel reached up to place a firm hand on top of the dog's tiny head and cleared his throat dramatically.

“I, Gabriel the Archangel, swear upon my dog's fragile head, that I will no longer deliberately piss off Dean Winchester,” he stated boldly.

“Thank you,” Sam sighed.

“Also, I swear to tap Sam Winchester's big moose ass every chance I get -”

“Okay,” Sam tried to interrupt, smiling.

“- and make sure he has a mind-blowing orgasm every single time -”

“That's a tall order,” Sam interjected again.

“- and I swear that I will find that stupid Waldo guy, no matter how long it takes -”

“Alright, that's enough with the swearing.”

“- and figure out how in the hell Patrick Stewart hasn't aged in twenty years -”

“Dickie's gonna bite you if you don't stop.”

“- but, most importantly of all,” Gabriel said, finally seeming to wrap up his ridiculous speech, “I swear that I'm gonna love you, Sam,” he spoke seriously, letting go of the dog to take Sam's face in his small hands, “for the rest of my life and beyond. You mean everything to me, kiddo. And I really am sorry that I hurt you.”

Sam gulped, feeling emotion taking root in his heart again. With eyes like that, how could Sam ever deny Gabriel? The two of them kissed softly again, closing their eyes and holding each other close. The pain Sam had felt earlier was gone now, replaced with warmth and happiness. It seemed like Gabe's sweet side was here to stay and that maybe the sour one was gone for good. Sam pulled back enough to look into the archangel's eyes properly.

“I love you, Gabe,” he whispered, “Don't ever think about leaving again.”

Gabriel smirked.

“You've got it, kid.”

Chapter Text

“Your move, furball.”

Sam rolled over slowly under the fluffy duvet. The bed he was in felt so damn comfortable, so soft and warm. What time was it? He could feel hot sunlight on the back of his eyelids, so it had to be daylight at least. The man tried his best to fade back into sleep, but he could hear a voice talking nearby... A nice voice that was difficult to ignore...

“Really? That's the word you're going with? My grandma could play this game better than you, fuzzy.”

After the sound of Gabriel's annoyed tone, a small bark followed his statement. Sam's eyes were still closed but he knew for a fact that the bark came from Dickie. Were the dog and the archangel having a conversation or something?

“I know I don't have a grandma, flea-bag. It's a figure of speech,” Gabe huffed.

Sam smiled in the morning light. Only Gabriel the archangel would hold a legit conversation with a Jack Russel Terrier and feel the need to argue. The man forced his eyes to blink open in order to glance around the bright room. Just a few feet away at the table by the window, Gabe and Dickie were seated. The first thing Sam caught sight of was Gabriel's bare back and his shaggy golden head. The warm morning light was practically illuminating the archangel's pale skin, making it seem like he was glowing. Sam's smile widened as he tried to imagine two giant wings sprouting out from that soft spine, feathers shimmering like diamonds and golden as the sun...

Apparently, Gabe and Dickie were playing a board game. From the angle Sam was laying in, he couldn't tell which game it was. But the dog was sitting patiently on the table across from Gabe, waiting for him to take his turn. The archangel reached out to arrange a few things – which gave Sam a clear view of his bare naked ass cheeks when he leaned out of his seat – and blurted out a single laugh.

“Ha. Beat that, Sir-Drools-A-Lot,” the archangel hummed, crossing his arms pridefully.

Sam watched from the bed as Dickie's puppy eyes dropped to glance at the table. A tiny growl vibrated from his clinched jaw before he dropped his head down to the board. He had apparently grabbed something in his mouth before dashing away, because Gabriel was calling after him as he ran off.

“Hey! Don't be a sore loser, Dickster! I can't help that you suck at this game!” the archangel said.

Sam rolled his eyes, though his smile remained intact. Leave it to Gabriel to train a dog to play board games... Now that Sam was completely awake, he stretched against the bed and yawned before quietly tossing back the comforter. The man crawled out of bed and sneaked his way up behind Gabe, hoping to catch him off guard. It was a long shot of course, given that the archangel could probably hear cells splitting on a microscopic level. But, amazingly, Sam made it to Gabe without being noticed.

The man exhaled softly as he bent down to press his moist lips to the center of the archangel's warm bare back. Goosebumps sprang up on Gabe's skin the instant Sam began stamping gentle kisses up his spine, affectionately pecking him with a physical 'good morning.' It was so nice to wake up to the sight of Gabriel in nothing but his skin. And kissing him – any part of him – just felt right. Gabe's shaggy hair tossed around as he struggled to look over his shoulder. Sam's lips made it all the way to the archangel's neck and his arms hugged the guy's tiny frame from behind before Gabe finally spoke.

“Well, looks like someone got all of his beauty sleep last night,” he said cheerfully, turning those perfect golden eyes on Sam, “Mornin', peach. Did you sleep okay?”

“Yeah,” Sam grinned, resting his chin on Gabe's warm shoulder, “Like a moose under the stars.”

There was no use in fighting the whole 'moose' thing, anymore. Sam figured he might as well accept that it was always gonna be Gabriel's nickname for him, like it or not. And when Sam mentioned sleeping like a moose, a meaningful expression appeared to fall over the archangel's face. He carefully gathered Sam's head in his small hands and pulled the man into a tight kiss. Sam's eyes fluttered shut at the flick of Gabe's tongue. It was way too early in the morning to taste something so sweet...

“I'm so glad you're not mad at me anymore, Sammy-boy,” Gabe whispered against Sam's lips, twirling a strand of the man's hair, “There for a while last night, I thought you'd never talk to me again.”

The events that took place the night before flooded Sam's mind all at once; the shattered Impala, Dean's absolute rage, Gabriel's heartfelt apology... It was amazing how a good-night's-sleep could change a person's perspective on something. All that shit from last night was in the past now. This morning, the only thing that was truly important was the feeling complete peacefulness in the room. Gabe's genuine gratitude especially aided Sam's happiness.

“I couldn't ignore you forever,” the man smiled, “I don't think anyone could.”

Gabe beamed with pride as Sam gave him another quick smooch on the lips. After getting his fill of morning kisses, Sam stood up straight to stretch again. He caught sight of the board game on the table and felt a laugh threatening to fall out of his mouth. Scrabble? Gabriel and Dickie were playing a game of freakin' Scrabble? It sounded like the beginning to a joke. 'So, an archangel and a dog are playing Scrabble...'

“I was totally winning, kid,” Gabriel pointed out, watching Sam eye the board, “until that mutt had to go and steal a letter.”

Sam slid into the seat opposite Gabe and studied the board for a moment, attempting to read all the words. Bark and ruff were spelled out, which obviously had to be from Dickie. The letter that was missing also happened to connect the last two remaining words, making it difficult to figure them out.

“What letter is supposed to be here?” Sam asked.

Gabriel's eyes were as gold as the sun as he leaned forward to smirk at Sam.

“That, my lovely peach, is supposed to be a 'D,'” he answered.

Sam gave a chuckle. Of course, Dickie would run off with the 'D'... Sammy reached into the letter bag and dug out another 'D' to place it in the center. Now that they were complete, Sam could see that Gabriel had put down the words 'candy' and 'afrodisiac.'

“That's not how you spell aphrodisiac,” Sam caught, raising an eyebrow.

“Shhh,” the archangel hushed, giving Sam a wink, “It started out as 'afro' and then I just couldn't help myself. Don't tell the dog, Sammy-boy.”

Sam rolled his eyes before glancing down at the letters on Dickie's side. He didn't have any intention of actually playing the game, but Sam couldn't help but notice that there was a pretty good word to be made. Ah, hell. The urge to put it on the board was too strong to deny. Grinning like a little kid, Sam quickly arranged the letters on the board.

Angel?” Gabriel read out loud, smirking at Sam, “Really?”

Sam shrugged. It was complete happenstance that he had all the letters for it. How could he not spell it out? Gabe seemed pretty amused by it, too.

“Got anything else to add there, Stanford?” The archangel challenged playfully.

Sam gave a small laugh at the mention of his former college. There were only three letters left to choose from, but that didn't stop Sam from trying to figure out where they should go. It only took him about a minute to make a decision from his options – and the outcome was almost too perfect. He flashed another smile up at Gabe, as he ranged O, V, and E, in front of the L in 'angel.' The look on Gabriel's face was almost unreadable. His honey eyes wondered over the letters for a moment before they found their way to Sam's stare. That look in his eye was Sam's favorite; that subtle hint of adoration and honesty.

“Show-off,” Gabe breathed, his smile never faltering.

“Says the guy who swallows bananas whole,” Sam replied, remembering how amazing – and unnecessary – that trick was, “What about you, huh? Can you make anymore words?”

Mischievousness sparked in Gabe's expression as he glanced down at his own letters. Oh, boy. The guy was probably thinking up something cheeky or crass, Sam could tell. After gathering up his squares, Gabriel placed them one-by-one on the board. Sam waited patiently for the archangel's hands to move so he could read it – and as soon as the word was visible, the man's face flushed.

“You've got to be kidding me,” Sam grinned, feeling a little embarrassed.

Gabriel gazed pridefully down at the word 'cock' on the board.

“What? Is that misspelled, too?” the archangel purred, leaning far over the board to bring his smug face close to Sam's, “You don't have anything against 'cock' do you, sweetheart?”

“It depends on if it's yours, I guess,” Sam murmured, knowing Gabriel was using an innuendo.

For a moment, the two of them just stared at each other in close proximity while the board game was forgotten on the table. God, Gabriel's eyes were so beautiful, glowing like sunshine through a glass of whiskey. His hair was soft and tossed about like he wrestled the bedsheets during the night and his skin was so clear. Sam never thought he would find a man attractive. Feminine lips and long eyelashes had always kept him satisfied. But now, as he sat taking in every little perfect piece of Gabe's face, Sam knew he had been wrong. There was a certain sexual allure to Gabriel that drew Sam in like a bear to honey. The dude smelled like cotton candy, for crying out loud. How was Sam supposed to resist that?

“The Impala is parked out front, kiddo. You can see it from the window.”

Sam had to blink himself out of his lustful daze after hearing the statement. He slowly realized that Gabriel's expression was serious now, similar to the way he looked the night before in the shower. Sam knew that the Impala was outside. Gabe had said he fixed it the night before. Why did the archangel feel the need to tell him again?

“Okay,” Sam mumbled, not sure of what else to say.

Gabe's eyebrows shifted together a little as if Sam's reply confused him.

“Aren't you gonna go check?” he asked, nodding his golden head toward the window.

Sam glanced toward the glass, seeing the blue sky and fluffy clouds beyond, before looking back at Gabe. Did the archangel assume that Sam didn't trust him? Maybe Gabriel thought Sam had pegged him as a liar just like everyone else. But Sam hadn't lost any faith in Gabriel. Yeah, the night before had been pretty rough, but Sam still had hope that Gabe would get better at telling the truth. Everyone made mistakes...

“Nah,” Sam smiled, reaching out to take the archangel's tiny hand with his own, “I trust you.”

By the look on Gabe's face, Sam might as well have whispered wedding vows or something. The archangel's mouth was slightly ajar and his amber eyes were full of awe, like he had just been stabbed with a cupid's arrow. Wow, it must have really meant something to Gabriel to learn that Sam trusted him even after everything he had done.

With a sudden lunge, Gabe dove across the table, flinging his arms around Sam's neck and smashing their mouths together. Sam's chair tipped backward and spilled them both into the floor, making the Scrabble board fall off the table and toss letters everywhere. A grunt came from behind their kiss as Sam blinked in shock. Gabriel was smothering Sam with his tongue, making a ridiculously long 'mmm' sound as they kissed. Good grief, he must have really liked hearing Sam say the word 'trust'... Only after rolling on the floor for a good minute did Gabe finally release Sam's mouth.

“I – love – you – so – much – Sammy – boy,” the archangel mumbled in between kisses, pecking Sam's entire face with his moist lips.

“Okay, okay!” Sam laughed, shaking his head away from Gabriel's smothering kisses, “I love you, too!”

“I'm gonna show you off to the world, kid. I mean it!” Gabe said, talking as fast as a teenage girl, “I'm gonna carry you around on one of those tent-things that the Aztecs used to carry around gold. Let's go around holding hands somewhere. Let's go downstairs for brunch,” Gabriel suddenly gasped, his eyes blowing wide, “Yeah! Let's go fuel up on carbs! Then, we can come back here and start that earthquake I was talking about!”

Sam gulped, remembering the suggestion of his and Gabe's sex being so amazing that it could start an earthquake. The man found himself nodding before he could think twice.

“Yes,” Sam grinned, “Let's do it.”


After getting dressed – which took longer than usual, because Gabe started up a rousing game of keep-away starring Sam's clothes that lasted a good thirty minutes – the two of them made their way to the elevator at the end of the hall. The thought of coming back upstairs to smash headboards made Sam excited and a little impatient. He found himself trying to touch Gabe in anyway he could; grabbing his shoulder, clutching his small arm, tugging on his golden hair a bit. They sneaked a couple of kisses when they got on the elevator too, especially after the doors slid closed. Gabriel seemed just as eager to get the ball rolling. Hell, Gabe was always ready to have sex. But just as their elevator make-out session was getting good and underway, the metal compartment paused on the second floor.

And a large group of little boys were waiting to board the elevato, when the doors slid open.

Luckily, Sam and Gabriel had quickly separated when the elevator slowed to a stop, so none of the kids caught them kissing. But heat still rose in Sam's cheeks as the boys got on board. That had been a dangerously close call... Apparently, the boys were all on a basketball team together. They were all wearing gold and red jerseys and bragging about making it to the championship game. Sam and Gabe stood awkwardly in one of the corners during the brief ride and waited for the kids to exit first when the elevator reached the lobby. The team of boys piled out of the metal compartment and stormed the dining area in a mad dash.

“Is it just me or are you a beacon for children?” Gabriel asked, walking backwards off the elevator so that he could look up at Sam's face, “Seriously. It's like everywhere we go, we get swamped with kids! Is there something you want to tell me, Sammy? Are you Peter Pan?”

Sam chuckled and shook his head as he followed the archangel toward the smell of food.

“I think all of the kissing is starting to give you side-effects,” the man mumbled.

“Ha! The only side-effect I have from kissing you is a hard-on,” Gabe said, bouncing his eyebrows, “Wanna check and see? I don't mind opening the barn door if you wanna play with the horse, babe. Just say the word.”

Sam rolled his eyes and playfully shoved Gabriel toward a table near the center of the room.

“Sit down and order something,” the man said, the smile filling his whole face, “before your mouth gets you into more trouble.”

The archangel complied with Sam's wishes, plopping himself down in a chair and grabbing a menu from the center of the table. Sam picked the seat adjacent from Gabe, keeping in mind that Dean and Cas might come down and join them... A sudden flash of Dean barreling toward Gabriel with a sharp object passed through Sam's mind, making the smile flee his lips. Oh no, was Dean still pissed at Gabe? Did he the Impala, yet? Where did Cas take him last night, anyway? Were they still in the hotel? Were both of them alright? Sam felt like shit for not thinking about them sooner. Maybe he should try to call Dean or something...

“Good morning, gentlemen.”

Sam blinked himself from his thoughts and noticed a waitress at the table. She had her pen and paper ready for writing as she glanced from Gabe to Sam.

“What can I get for you?” she smiled sweetly.

“Good morning!” Gabriel rejoiced, laying down his menu, “I believe I'll have an order of raspberry crepes and pudding. Also, I'll need a plate of T-bone steak with a side of bacon and potatoes. And a hamburger with french fries. Oh, and can you bring a bottle of honey? My kid brother loves that stuff.”

Sam's mouth fell open. Gabriel was ordering for Dean and Cas, too. The archangel was actually planning on the two of them coming down to eat with him and Sam. A large feeling of admiration was suddenly swelling in Sam's heart. That was really thoughtful of Gabe to consider Dean and Cas, even though they were completely upset with him.

“And for you, sir?” the waitress asked, looking directly at Sam.

“I'll... have a salad,” the man forced himself to reply, “Italian dressing.”

“Alright. I'll be back shortly,” she smiled, before walking away.

It felt like Sam couldn't take his eyes off Gabriel. The man was starstruck again by the archangel's kindness. He even remembered Cas's love of honey. Ordering food for them was just so... so sweet...

“You amaze me, you know that?” Sam blurted, crossing his arms on the table.

“I amaze you?” Gabe repeated, looking oh-so pleased with himself, “Awesome! Come on, peach, tell me what it is about me that impresses you so much. Is it my luscious, sexy body? My unequaled, magnanimous intelligence? My super-cool, kick-ass karate moves?”

“No,” Sam smiled, reaching over to brush the golden hair out of the archangel's precious face, “It's how unbelievably sweet you can be sometimes.”

Gabriel's dramatic pompousness slowly faded into a genuine smile. He reached up to hold Sam's hand against his own face for a second and press a kiss to the man's thumb.

“I only do it for you, Sammy-boy,” he winked, “Everyone else can kiss my candy ass.”

Sam laughed out loud, knowing that Gabriel's ass probably did taste like candy. The archangel chuckled a bit too, but his eyes flickered to the side and he let go of Sam's hand. Sam followed his line of sight to see Dean and Cas approaching from across the room.

Air seemed to get lodged in Sam's throat at the sight of his brother's bitchy expression. Dean was totally gonna ruin this perfect morning, wasn't he? Did he not see the Impala outside, all fixed and new? He wasn't wielding any sharp objects this time, but he didn't appear to be happy either. Sam tried to brace himself as Dean and Cas stopped at the table. Every eye seemed to be on Dean, who was shifting his jaw and clinging to Cas's hand. His green eyes were already narrowed down at Gabriel too, like he was planning on spitting acid at him. Sam could feel a protective energy surging through himself. If one bad thing fell out of Dean's mouth this morning... If he said just one word about Gabriel...

“Good morning, love birds,” Gabe spoke up, attempting to break the tension, “I take it you've already scoped out the new and improved spank-mobile? I added a couple of new guns to the trunk too, in case you didn't look. High-grade military stuff. No big deal -”

“Why?” Dean interrupted, his tone flat and callous.

Sam looked from his brother to Gabe, who appeared genuinely surprised by Dean's outburst. It seemed like Gabriel really thought Dean would be happy this morning about the Impala being fixed. And the look of defeat on the archangel's face reminded Sam of the night Dean hid that stupid walkie talkie in a desk drawer and caused Gabe to be so depressed. No, dammit. Never in a million years was Sam gonna let that happen again. Not after seeing how hard Gabe was trying.

“Does it matter?” Sam asked, turning to face his older brother again, “It's fixed, now. Can we move on?”

Sam caught a glimpse of anger lighting up in Dean's eyes before the waitress interrupted. She was back with all of the plates, carrying them in a balancing act. Gabriel got his pudding and Sam received his salad. The steak and burger were placed in front of the vacant chairs, making it look super inviting. The whole time the waitress was arranging the table, Sam and Dean held a cold stare. It was the same stare the used sometimes when they fought over the radio station or who got to take the first shower. It was a stare-down that only brothers could truly understand. After the waitress eventually left, Dean's eyes broke away first to glance down at the table.

“Four?” he asked, confused about the number of plates.

“Yep,” Gabriel smiled, taking a bite of his pudding, “I took the liberty of ordering for you and baby duck. Steak and bacon, just the way you like it.”

Sam turned to give the archangel the biggest smile ever. Aw. Even when Dean acted like a complete dick to him, Gabe was still trying to be polite. The man gave the archangel a round of applause in his mind for being so well-behaved. Cas, too, seemed a little surprised. He blinked toward Gabe with admiration. It seemed like Gabriel really meant everything he said the night before in the shower.

“Look, Goldilocks,” Dean growled, making Sam's eyes snap back to him, “I don't know why you're trying to play 'good guy' all of the sudden, but you can stop with the ass kissing. That shit doesn't work on me.”

Sam caught that Gabe's mouth opened like he was about to say something. But after a mere second, his moist lips closed again and his eyes dropped back to his pudding. Wow. Gabriel just stopped himself from spouting angry words at Dean. Sam felt the urge to lean over and wrap the archangel into a hug, but resisted. Why the hell was Dean being such an asshole? Thankfully, Cas seemed to be on the same page as Sam.

“Dean,” Cas said softly, “He's trying to be -”

“I don't give a shit what he's trying to be,” Dean barked, glaring forcefully at Gabriel.

Okay. That was it. Dean wasn't going to get any more courtesy from Sam. The younger brother slapped his hand against the table as he spun in his seat to face the older.

“Lay off him, Dean,” Sam demanded, done with his bullshit, “Gabe made up for what he did and he's being civil. You need to grow up and do the same. Stop being a dick.”

Dean's mouth fell open at Sam's words but Sam stood his ground. He was not gonna stand by and let his brother try to roust Gabe into another fight. This shit was gonna end, here and now. There was absolutely no reason for Dean to be acting this way. The angels were surprisingly quiet as Dean and Sam glared at each other.

“You're actually gonna defend the guy that broke our car, Sam?” Dean asked, as if he couldn't believe it.

“No. I'm defending the guy that fixed it,” Sam corrected.

It was true. Sam wasn't taking up for the sour side of Gabriel; the one that did childish things just to spite people. No, he was defending the sweet side of Gabe; the one who picked up his messes and fixed his mistakes. Sam was defending the Gabriel that he was hopelessly in love with, whether Dean liked it or not.

“Now,” Sam went on, gesturing to the plates on the table, “you can sit down and have a nice brunch with us and we can pretend to be a normal family, or you can take a freakin' hike, Dean. Your choice.”

About the time Sam said the word 'family,' Dean's eyes blew wide open. His face seemed to instantly turn an eery shade of pale, like he just heard that a loved one was dead. Sam found the reaction a little strange, but stood his ground anyway. He wasn't gonna let Dean smear Gabriel's good side. The older brother let go of Cas's hand and leaned down threateningly toward Sam, making it impossible to look anywhere else.

They are not part of our family, Sam,” Dean spat, looking sick, “Stop trying to include them in it.”

Sam's eyes narrowed at Dean. He didn't know what the hell was wrong with his brother, or why the guy didn't want to include Gabe – or even Cas – in their family. But he did know one thing. Dean was not his boss. Sam casually reached over to the bowl in front of him and plucked out a piece of lettuce before flinging it at Dean's face.

“Make me,” Sam challenged, raising an eyebrow.

After giving Sam a look that could kill, Dean eased back up to stand – before reaching over to scoop the mashed potatoes off his plate. Sam's eyes widened. No, he wouldn't... With a loud splat, Sam's entire chest was covered in the mushy substance. The man gasped, looking down at his filthy shirt.

“I will,” Dean asserted, looking pleased.

“Hey!” Gabe shouted, jumping to his feet, “I'm the only one who gets to throw food at the moose! Suck it, Pinky!”

Gabriel yanked his plate of pudding off the table and threw it at Dean. But, unfortunately, Dean ducked out of the way – and the plate smacked the back of a kid's head. It was one of the boys in the basketball uniforms who had been strolling by behind Dean. Chocolate pudding was oozing down the back of his head when he turned around to glare at Gabe with an open mouth. Blood drained from Sam's face as he looked up at the archangel, who was struggling for words.

“Um... Oops?” Gabe offered, his cheeks red.

The kid didn't seem to like Gabriel's reply. He flung the sandwich in his hand at Gabe, pelting the archangel with bread, cheese, and tomatoes. Sam caught sight of Dean gathering the bacon off his plate and quickly grabbed some nearby orange slices for defense. As the bacon started flying, so did the oranges, filling the air with a colorful array of food. The little basketball player – and more of his teammates – were starting to throw food too, mostly at Gabriel and Dean.

When the soda started spraying, Sam knew things were turning serious. Dean was backing behind a chair now, ducking away from the fizzy liquid. Gabriel was the one holding the bottle, shaking it up and aiming it toward Dean. After getting hit in the face with a giant bagel, Sam grabbed a hold of Gabriel's shirt and tugged him backward. The younger Winchester tipped the table on its side to use it as a barricade, pulling the archangel behind it.

“What the hell,” Sam breathed, dodging a glob of oatmeal, “I didn't mean for this to happen!”

It seemed like everyone in the dining area was joining the fight; waitresses, rich old people, the entire team of basketball players... Everyone was throwing food at each other and yelling and laughing, making a giant mess. Gabe's hair was already full of syrup and pudding, making Sam feel bad. He should have never tossed that lettuce at Dean.

“Hey! Midget-face!” Dean's voice boomed across the battle field.

Sam looked up just in time to see a huge lump of grape jelly smack Gabe in the face. A fresh streak of protectiveness flashed through Sam at the sight of the archangel being hit with Dean's ammo. Oh, hell no! Sam couldn't let Dean win this, even if it was just a food fight. The man scrambled to a plate on the floor and grabbed the personal-sized pizza from it – which a bite had already been taken from – and climbed to his knees. Over the table, Sam spotted Dean preparing to throw something else.

“Leave him alone, Dean!” Sam shouted, tossing the pizza like a Frisbee.

The pizza flew across the room like a tiny UFO and smacked Dean in the forehead with a loud 'thud.' The older brother grabbed his face and ducked behind the chair again, groaning aloud. At Sam's side, Gabriel have a quick chuckle.

“That's my boy,” Gabe grinned, “Just like a -”

Sam didn't hear the rest of the archangel's sentence because a huge bowl of cereal was dumped on his head. Sam gasped at the feeling of cold sticky milk running down his neck and back. His hair turned wet and stringy, blocking his view. Where the hell did that come from?! Who did that?! When Sam tossed his wet hair back, he caught sight of a little boy running back toward Dean's side of the room. Sam eased up to peer over the table again and saw Dean grinning and high-fiving the kid. So, Dean was sending over child operatives to do his dirty work, huh? That was low, especially for him.

“Asshole!” Sam exclaimed, trying to shake the cereal out of his hair.

“Don't you worry, sweetheart. I've got your back,” Gabriel winked.

Sam watched as Gabe flicked his hands around behind the table. A pile of food suddenly appeared between them; a carton of eggs, a bottle of ketchup, a few steaming bowls of soup, some whipped-cream pies... any food you would ever want to throw at someone during a food fight was there. Gabriel snatched up the pies first, standing up from behind the table to call Dean's name.

“Hey, Deany-weeny, I've got your pies right here!” Gabe shouted.

Sam peered up again to watch one of the pies hit its mark. Dean's face was completely covered in whipped-cream, making him look like a fluffy ghost. Profanities were tumbling from his mouth when he hid back behind his chair. The little boys from his side of the room retaliated with aggressiveness, storming the field to hurl ice cream, pancakes, and ranch dressing at Sam and Gabe. Sam was momentarily blinded by the dressing, having to duck away from the fight to wipe his eyes. After regaining his vision, Sam grabbed up the cartoon of eggs and started throwing them randomly. If a kid got hit with one, oh well. They shouldn't have gotten involved anyway.

Gabe was still creating food as he threw it, grabbing sausages and giant wheels of cheese out of thin air. He was a true warrior, dodging food and aiming for others. Somewhere, deep down, Sam kind of enjoyed this. It was fun to fight with eggs and soda instead of guns and fists. It was nice to have kids to play with rather than demons to run from. Sam was still completely mad at Dean, of course, but the food fight made it a little more breathable. Besides, Gabriel was totally winning it.

“Watch this, Sammy-boy,” Gabe said over the crowd, waving his hands around.

A gigantic three-tier cake sudden appeared in the archangel's arms. It was every bit of three feet tall, decorated with pink icing and lit candles. Sam gawked at the huge cake in Gabriel's hands, trying to Imagine Dean's head popping out of the top like a cake-topper. The smirk on Gabe's face was deliciously mischievous too, making Sam's lower stomach tighten.

After giving Sam a wink, Gabriel climbed to his feet. Sam watched from behind the table as the archangel hoisted the huge cake over his head. Oh man, this was gonna be so good! It would take Dean forever to wash all that cake off!

“Hey, Dean-a-ling!” Gabriel called, “Make a wish!”

Sam watched the cake fly out of Gabe's hand and heard it splat somewhere in front of the table – but, apparently, it didn't hit Dean. The whole room seemed to go silent. Every man, woman, and child halted their ammo and turned to look at the battlefield between Sam's table and Dean's chair. Even Gabriel's face had grown pale. Sam gulped at the instant change of atmosphere. What had happened? Was someone hurt?

Sam climbed to his knees to peek over the table – and realized that Bobby was there. Cas must have brought him to the hotel, because the angel was completely clean; no food on his trench coat at all. Bobby, however, was not so lucky. Gabriel's pink cake, the three-tiered monster that was meant for Dean, had fallen on Bobby instead. The man was covered from hat to boot in pink icing. A few lit candles were sticking out from the debris on his clothes, making him look like the human embodiment of a birthday cake. Steam was practically rolling from Bobby's head as he glared forward. Oh, shit. No wonder everyone had stopped the fighting. It looked like Bobby was going to explode...

“Uh... M – my bad,” Gabriel said quietly, giving a nervous laugh.

Bobby growled threateningly after Gabe's statement and began trying to shake the cake off his clothes. He angrily wiped the pink icing from his eyes and slung it on the ground before pointing a hard finger at Dean.

You,” he barked, turning to point the same finger at Sam, “and you.”

Sam glanced at Dean over the battlefield, meeting his green eyes. Both of them knew they had screwed up in that moment. Bobby was beyond pissed and covered in pink cake. How could it get any worse than that? Sam looked back at the man between them, feeling like shit.

“My place,” Bobby concluded, thrusting his finger toward the floor, “Now."

Chapter Text

Sam, Gabe, Dean, Cas, and Bobby all landed inside Bobby's salvage yard, still covered in various foods and stinking to high heaven. The two angels had zapped everyone here on Bobby's orders. And as soon as their feet hit the dirt, the old man hobbled off toward his garage, muttering profanities the whole way. Where was he going? Oh, great. Was he going after a belt? Something to hit them with, maybe? Bobby was still plucking candles off his shoulders and shaking the cake off his clothes as he stomped away.

The Winchesters and the angels were left standing by a stack of cars. Gabriel, Sam noticed, was trying to scrape the syrup out of his sticky hair. Sammy's own hair was full of lucky charms and macaroni, tiny marshmallows and noodles stuck all around his head like a first grade art project.

“I hope you're happy, Sam,” Dean growled, trying to get the cheese out of his jacket, “Seriously. I hope you're on cloud freakin' nine. I'm gonna smell like egg salad for a whole damn week.”

Sam glared toward his brother as he attempted to pick the cereal out of his hair. He still felt a tiny bit of resentment toward Dean for ruining his morning.

“Good. Now you smell as bad as your attitude,” Sam snapped back, “You know, Dean, if you would have just sat down at the stupid table, we wouldn't look like a bunch of back-alley dumpsters right now.”

“You know what? Screw you, Sammy. Ugh, you got pickle juice in my eyes, dammit,” Dean whined, rubbing his eyes.

Shut your traps!

Sam and Dean both looked in the direction of Bobby's voice echoing across the salvage yard. Yep. The old man was still pissed. What would it take to get on his good side again?

“He seems a little tense,” Gabe said, sounding nonchalant, “I wonder why.”

Sam turned his bewildered expression toward the archangel next to him. Really? Gabriel – the one responsible for dumping an entire three-tier cake on the guy – was actually gonna question why Bobby was so tense? Sam was about to explain that they were the reason for Bobby's sheer outrage, when Cas suddenly bounded toward Gabe. There was a fire in his blue eyes that Sam rarely ever saw before. Cas almost never looked as pissed as he did in that moment.

“This issue can no longer be handled with childish banter, Gabriel,” Cas growled, staring the archangel down, “It is a very serious matter and you would do well to treat it as such.”

Sam gulped, glancing from one angel to the other. Wow, Cas was really upset. Was it because of the food fight? Gabriel also seemed a little surprised by Cas's outburst. The archangel tossed a strand of his sticky golden hair aside to give his little brother a raised eyebrow.

“Geez, Cassie, take a chill pill,” Gabe murmured, “Nobody got hurt.”

Cas took a single step closer to Gabriel, eying him down with a face that could silence an entire room. His glare was so intense that Sam briefly considered pulling Gabe close to shield him from the wrath.

I did,” Cas hissed, the cold tone giving Sam a chill.

After his small statement, Cas retreated back toward Dean to help him brush the food off his clothes. Sam and Gabriel met eyes, both wondering what the hell Cas's problem was.

“What did you do?” Sam asked, thinking maybe Gabe had said something to him in private.

“Nothing!” the archangel whispered, still tugging at the syrup in his hair, “Son of a bitch, this shit is like super glue! Oh, God. Uh, peach? Babe? I think my fingers are stuck...”

Sam couldn't hold back the smile that burst across his face as he watched Gabe desperately try to yank his hand free. What kind of archangel got their fingers stuck in their hair with syrup? What magnificent creature of heaven would have to ask a human for help? Maybe Gabriel was playing the damsel in distress just to get Sam to lick his fingers or something. That seemed more like it.

“You're an archangel,” Sam reminded, flicking a marshmallow rainbow off his shirt, “Just use your grace.”

“But, you are my grace,” Gabriel challenged sweetly, making a blush appear on Sam's cheeks.

“Hey! Brady Bunch!”

Gabriel's hand – miraculously – came free from his hair at the sound of Bobby's booming voice. The angels and the Winchesters all looked in the direction of the old man's shout. Bobby had walked back into view and was holding a small cooler in one hand. Most of the pink cake was gone from his attire now, Sam noticed, but he still looked as pissed as before. He tugged a little bit on his vest jacket to straighten it out before waving them forward.

“Get your bickerin' asses over here,” Bobby demanded, “Now.”

“Why?” Gabriel asked, sounding rebellious, “Are you gonna spank us, Singer? That's pretty kinky for a man your age, isn't it?”

Sam rolled his eyes. Only Gabriel could turn a serious comment into something erotic. Sam carefully placed both hands on the archangel's tiny shoulders and gently pushed him forward. It was only fair that they listened to Bobby after what they did to the poor guy.

“Gabe, you dumped an entire three-tier cake on the man,” Sam pointed out, leaning down to say it into the archangel's ear, “The least you could do is hear him out.”

“Yeah, I know,” Gabe mumbled, shuffling his feet, “I always make a terrible first impression.”

Sam glanced between Bobby's back and the top of Gabriel's sticky head as they all walked toward the garage. Wait, that's right. Bobby had never laid eyes on Gabriel before the cake thing, had he? This was the first time Bobby and Gabe had ever met. The realization sort of sat heavily on Sam's chest, making him feel uncomfortable. If Bobby just met Gabriel today... Then, that meant he was still unaware of Sam being with Gabe...

Shit. Sam was already beginning to sweat as he stared at the back of Bobby's cake-covered hat. This is what it must have felt like for Dean when he told Bobby about Cas; worried about their father figure disapproving of his relationship and judging his choice of partner. Luckily, Sam had a strange advantage when it came to telling Bobby about this kind of thing. Because Dean had already done it. Before Sam and Gabe were ever together, Bobby learned about Dean and Cas. His reaction to their relationship had been something that every person hoped to have from their parents; instant acceptance. Would Bobby feel the same way about Sam and Gabe? Would he still be as accepting even though Gabriel's first impression was terrible?

“Does he have a fetish for crushed cars or something?” the archangel whispered over his shoulder toward Sam, bringing the man out of his anxious thoughts.

“I heard that,” Bobby grumbled, never pausing to turn around.

The old man led the way toward a semi-circle of wooden chairs, set up just outside the garage. They appeared to be paired off, two on the left and two on the right. Sam sort of grimaced at the sight of all the seats. Great. Bobby was going to have them all sit down and talk this shit out, wasn't he? Well, at least Sam would finally get to confront Dean about all the Gabriel bashing... When all the men finally stepped up to the make-shift psychiatry office, Bobby sat the cooler next to the lone chair at the front. Gabriel came to an abrupt halt in front of Sam, causing the man to bump into his back.

“Uh, musical chairs?” Gabriel asked, eying the seats, “Winner gets a beer and a lap dance?”

Bobby gave the archangel a harsh scowl before pointing forcefully toward the seats on the left.

“Angels over there,” the old man commanded.

Gabe gave a light chuckle at Bobby's order, giving Sam a strange glance.

“Who do I look like? Rosa Parks?” the archangel scoffed, shaking his head, “You can't tell me where to sit, bub.”

Sam felt an apology rushing toward the edge of his mouth. Bobby was like a father to the Winchesters and to hear Gabriel talk to him so disrespectfully made Sam feel embarrassed. Bobby was probably still deciding on whether or not he liked Gabe and Gabriel was basically ruining the chance with his big fat mouth. Before the apology was able to make it all the way out of Sam's lips, however, Cas was swooping passed him. The angel took Gabriel by the arm and started tugging him toward the seats.

“Do not question Bobby Singer's methods, Gabriel,” Cas said to the archangel.

Gabe stumbled along with Cas's demand, only pausing to raise a questioning eyebrow at Sam. And Sam only shrugged in return. He didn't know why Bobby wanted the assigned seats, either. While the angels made their way toward the left chairs, Sam took the time to appraise Bobby. The old man had dug something out of his pocket and was moving it around in his hand. The object was shiny and square – a lighter, maybe? About the time Sam discovered what it was, Bobby was already striking it and tossing it behind the angels.

And a circle of holy fire suddenly blazed around them.

Sam's mouth fell open at the sight of flames circling Gabe, feeling his heart instantly pound. Holy fire?! That fire had the potential to kill the angels! Why the hell did Bobby light one up?! Gabriel backed against Cas inside the circle, lifting his golden eyes to look at Sam. Confusion and worry were prominent in his stare, making Sam's heart seize with fear.

Gabe!” Sam cried, dashing instantly toward the fire.

Cas!” Dean called, running along-side his brother.

Before they even reached the flames, Bobby jumped in front of them. He held his hands up defensively to stop Dean and Sam from jumping in to save their angels. Sam broke his worried sight away from Gabriel's eyes to glare down at the old man in font of him. Did Bobby know what the hell he was doing?! Did he know how dangerous it was?!

“Bobby, what the hell?!” Sam growled, gesturing toward the fire.

“Look,” Bobby interrupted, glancing between the brothers, “Nobody is goin' anywhere until all the cards are on the table. I'll let 'em go when I think you've earned the right to have 'em back.”

“Oh, so we're possessions, now?” Gabriel asked from beyond the flames, grinning widely, “You are one kinky son of a bitch, Singer. You'll make some girl real happy, one day.”

Bobby rolled his eyes at Gabriel's comment before fanning Dean and Sam away. Both brothers were hesitant to comply with this morbid set-up but it seemed like they didn't really have a choice in the matter. Bobby wasn't going to release Gabe or Cas until he felt that everything was worked out. And maybe it was for the best. The angels tended to fly off at the drop of a hat and this tactic would keep them grounded for the duration of the conversation. Sam met Gabriel's eyes again as he reluctantly backed toward the vacant seats. The archangel huffed with aggravation before turning toward his angelic brother.

“What was that about questioning Bobby Singer's methods, little bro?” Gabe asked.

Cas briefly broke his stare with Dean to glare at the archangel.

“Do not start with me, Gabriel,” he warned.

Sam and Dean carefully sat across from Bobby, who dug around in his cooler for a beer to open. He took a large drink and crossed his arms afterward to glance between the Winchesters and the angels.

“What are you waitin' for? An opening show-tune?” the old man barked, “Start talkin'.”

Dean sighed out loud and dropped his head into his hands. For a moment, Sam wasn't sure of what to say. What did Bobby want them to talk about? Their feelings? Was this supposed to be like an afternoon talk show where Bobby was the host? Sam shifted uncomfortably in his seat, feeling like a kid being told to confess about something bad he had done.

“This is bullshit,” Dean suddenly barked, making Sam flinch next to him, “Just let the freakin' angels go, Bobby. We've got better things to do than waste our time here.”

“I agree with Pinky,” Gabriel seconded, “I've got places to be and a moose to do. Somebody toss me a garden hose.”

Sam wanted to smile at Gabriel's funny words, but held back. Bobby didn't know which moose Gabe was talking about and Sam didn't want to give it away, either. He was still kind of worried about Bobby's reaction to their relationship, even though he felt confident on the surface. Sam caught Dean tossing a glare toward the archangel.

“No one asked you,” Dean snapped.

Sammy exhaled deeply at his brother's short tone. That feeling was back again; that twinge of protectiveness and anger Sam had felt right before the food fight. Dean was still being an asshole, still trying to bait Gabe into fighting with him for some reason. And it was about time that he dropped his stupid attitude. No more snide comments, no more bitching. Sam was going to let Dean know how he felt.

“Okay, you know what? I'll go first,” Sam announced to the circle.

Every eye was on him, Sam could feel it. But he didn't care about the audience. He only cared about getting his point across. After clearing his throat, Sam slid forward in his chair to brace his elbows on his knees. A nervous feeling was in his gut when he turned his head toward Dean. Deep down, Sammy just wanted his brother's approval. And it was a shame that their angels had to be trapped in order for Dean to hear him out.

“Dean,” Sam began, reclaiming his brother's attention, “I wanna know what the hell you have against Gabriel. Why won't you give him a chance?”

Dean's weary eyes snapped back to Sam, appearing cynical.

“I did give him a chance, Sam. Remember?” he replied flatly, “He filled the car full of mutts.”

“No, Dean,” Sam said, halting him from making half-assed excuses, “I'm not talking about just letting him come along on a case with us. I'm talking about getting to know him. You didn't even try! You had one conversation and then you snubbed him from then on.”

“That's because he's an asshole!” Dean remarked.

“But, you're an asshole, too!” Sam shouted, waving a hand toward him, “My God, you two could probably be best friends or something if you would just get over yourself and stop trying to push people away. Why is it so hard for you to let people in?!”

“The kid's got a point.”

Sam and Dean both looked across the semi-circle to Bobby, whose eyes were darting between the brothers. Sammy was glad that Bobby was on his side in this. At least someone else could see Dean's distant behavior toward new people. Beside Sam, Dean's mouth fell open in shock.

What?” Dean breathed.

“You never let anybody get close to you, son,” Bobby pointed out, staring at Dean with wisdom, “And life is a dangerous road to walk alone. What's so wrong with adding people to your family, Dean?”

Just like in the dining area earlier, the word 'family' seemed to cause a change in Dean's demeanor. The guy leaped out of his chair to his feet as soon as Bobby said it, twitching and shifting like he was on edge. Sam and Bobby shared a brief look of worry. The old man could see it too, that something much deeper was bothering Dean. Beyond the flames, Cas and Gabe were both silent and watching as the older Winchester spun around to look down at the younger. Sam was unable to look away from Dean now, trapped in his stare like a small animal caught in the path of an infuriated grizzly bear.

“I don't know if you've noticed, Sam, but everyone in our family is dead,” Dean spat, towering over Sam while he swayed around on his feet, “You can make-believe all you want that we weren't the cause of their deaths, but we were. You and I are just gonna keep getting people killed until we finally fall off the face of the earth -”

“Dean -”

No, dammit! Let me speak!” Dean shouted over Bobby's interruption, clinching his fists, “Sam, the closer you get to that archangel, the worse its going to be! I'm not gonna stand by and watch you get your heart broken again! I'm not gonna let anyone else be included in this family just to let them die, okay?! I'm not gonna let them die!

Sam noticed that Dean's eyes had wandered up to meet Cas's over the fire. They held an intense gaze for a moment, as if they were speaking through sight alone. Sam glanced up at Gabriel in the meantime and could see utter seriousness on his face. Gabe seemed genuinely concerned for Dean, watching the man's outburst with pensive golden eyes.

“I – I don't want you to die, Cas,” Dean mumbled, his voice cracking.

For a second, it looked like Cas was going to hop over the fire whether it killed him or not. The angel stepped toward the very edge and lifted a hand woefully. Dean leaned toward the flames too, but physically hesitated. Sam could understand why Dean was so upset about possibly getting Cas killed because it lingered in the back of his own mind all the time. It was the Winchester curse, that everyone Sam or Dean got close to died. Jessica and their parents were proof of that. And it made Sam's heart ache to see Dean want to be with Cas so badly and still push him away.

After a tense moment, Dean tore himself away from the group and started heading toward the row of stacked cars, shoving his fists into his pockets and darting in any direction. Sam jumped to his feet at once. He couldn't let Dean wander off alone, not when so many things needed to be fixed.

“Dean,” the younger brother called, taking a few steps in his trail, “Dean, come back!”

Bobby was calling after the guy too, but it was no use. Dean wanted to be alone, like he always did when things got deep and personal. It seemed like Bobby's little group therapy session had been a complete failure.

“Release me.”

Sam turned around at the sound of pure desperation in Cas's voice. The blue-eyed angel looked fiercely determined to get out of the trap. He was standing dangerously close to the edge now, nearly pressing his luck. Cas was giving Bobby a look that could kill, too.

“Release me. Now,” Cas demanded.

“Whoa there, lil' bro,” Gabriel hushed, carefully placing a hand on Cas's shoulder and tugging him back toward the center of the circle, “I know you're gunning to go and save the princess, but take it easy. He'll be expecting you to come to the rescue. I think you should let me talk to him this time.”

Sam blinked strangely toward the archangel over the fire. Did Gabriel just say that he wanted to talk to Dean? A large wave of admiration swept over Sam at the thought. Wow, Gabe really was trying his best to get on Dean's nice-list today. Sam had to admit that the archangel had done a wonderful job so far. But would Gabe be able to combat Dean's anger and disdain in this situation without making it worse? Cas seemed to be even more hesitant about it than Sam was.

“Dean does not favor you, Gabriel,” Cas informed, “He would prefer my company.”

“Very true. But I've got something you don't,” Gabe replied, bouncing his eyebrows, “and that's a huge bottle of purified charisma. I've got the charm, isn't that right, Sammy-boy?”

Everyone's eyes were on Sam again when Gabe pointed him out. The man was at a loss for words. Yes, Gabe had the charisma, and the charm, and the sweetness that could win a million hearts. And, yes, Sam had faith that Gabriel could talk someone down and make them smile – Hell, he did it with Sam all the time – but this was Dean. This was the pit bull that ate demons for breakfast and angels for diner and he was not in a stable frame of mind. What would Dean do if Gabriel strolled up to him and started talking? What if he had a spare angel blade on him?

“Sam?”

Sammy blinked down toward the sound of Bobby's voice. The old man was leaning forward in his chair now, staring up at Sam from under the bill of his hat as if he was waiting for an answer.

“Make the call,” he requested.

Sam knew Bobby was asking for a decision to be made on putting the fire out and letting the angels go. The man met the archangel's eyes again over the fire. God, Gabriel looked so excited, so ready to prove himself worthy of Dean's approval. Sam's heart was pounding with anxiety though, fearing that Dean might actually kill him if he said one wrong word...

Sam decided to go with his instincts. He quickly made his way into the side of the garage where the water hose was kept and turned on the faucet. He returned a moment later to share an understanding look with Bobby before spraying the ring of fire out. Gabriel patted Cas on the back as the flames disappeared.

“Wait here, baby duck,” he assured, giving Cas a wink, “I'll be back before you know it.”

Gabe flew to the cooler beside Bobby's chair and dug out a few bottles of beer, afterward. Sam dropped the hose at once to dash over to the archangel. He had to warn Gabriel that Dean had the potential to kill him, especially right now, while he was upset. Sammy took hold of Gabe's small arm to find his golden eyes.

“Gabe,” Sam breathed, “If Dean... I – If you... What if -”

“Oh, calm your antlers, baby moose,” the archangel interrupted, “Look at me. See this face? This is the face of an angel! I promise Pinky and I will get along. You've just gotta trust me, Sammy. Do you trust me?”

Sam exhaled slowly like a deflated tire. This was it. This was the moment that Sam's faith was going to be tested. He could feel it. Gabriel was practically begging to go and help Dean. But could the trickster be trusted? After letting down Sam for days, had Gabe finally learned to let go of his sour side? Sam's heart was nearly pounding in his ears as he stared down at those welcoming amber eyes. Let him go, the small voice in Sam's mind whispered, He can do it.

Sam forced a nod, feeling queasy. Yes, he still trusted Gabriel. He would probably always trust Gabriel. The archangel grinned at Sam's reply before inching up on the tips of his toes to press their lips together. Sam's eyes fluttered shut at the sensation, drawing their kiss out for as long as possible. Gabe was the first to pull away this time.

“Now if you'll excuse me, I have a pit bull to wine and dine,” he winked, “I shall return victorious.”

And with that statement, Gabriel vanished. Sam gulped, feeling like a support beam had disappeared from the structural foundation of his soul. Well, it was done now. Whatever the outcome, Gabriel had tried his best and made Sam proud. Cas, surprisingly, lingered near the left chairs, actually giving Gabe a chance to bring Dean back. Maybe he was putting just as much as faith in the archangel as Sam was...

Bobby, however, was staring up at Sam with huge eyes. Jaw on the ground and face pale.

It was the old man's look of horror and shock that made Sam realize that he and Gabriel had just kissed right in front of Bobby. Literally, just two steps in front of the guy. Sam's cheeks reddened immediately as he wandered back over to a vacant seat. Well, so much for keeping that secret. What was Bobby thinking, now? Was he judging Sam? Was he judging Gabe? Was he wondering why the hell Sam would fall in love with someone who made such terrible jokes?

“No,” Bobby breathed, his pale face making Sam feel worse, “Not you, too...”

Sam's blush deepened.

“Um... Yeah,” he admitted, awkwardly scratching the back of his head.

Bobby's head slowly shook, eyes never leaving Sam's face. The shock gradually faded away from the old man's expression, leaving – what appeared to be – genuine curiosity. His head sort of tilted to the side and his eyes narrowed.

How?” Bobby asked, barely audible.

Sam swallowed harshly again. What exactly was Bobby asking? Was he asking how Sam could be with a guy? Was he asking how they became a couple? How they fell in love? How Sam put up with Gabriel's vulgar wit and sarcasm? For a second, Sam just looked around and tried to find an answer.

“Uh, well,” he forced out, feeling uncomfortable, “We sort of worked on a case together and things blossomed from there -”

“No,” Bobby interrupted, shaking his head again, “I ain't askin' about that. I just mean... How? The damn mechanics of it just don't seem right.”

Sam blinked and shifted awkwardly in his seat. Mechanics? What was Bobby talking about? The mechanics of their relationship? Sam just gave the old man a questioning look for a moment, hoping he would explain himself better. A chill seemed to race across Bobby because he shuddered all of the sudden.

“It's like a Chihuahua tryin' to breed with a Great Dane,” the man mumbled, looking sick, “How do you fellas even do it without getting hurt?”

Sam could feel the heat radiating off his face. Ugh! Bobby wasn't wondering about Sam and Gabe's relationship – He was trying to figure out their sex life! Why would he even bring it up?! What the hell?! The old man seemed to genuinely want an answer too, leaning forward in his chair a little and appearing attentive. It looked like he was preparing to take mental notes or something. But Sam was not going to humor Bobby's weird curiosity. Sam and Gabe's sex life was nobody else's business but their own – and Dickie's too, maybe. But other than that, not a soul needed to know about it. Thankfully, Sam didn't need to reply, because Cas interrupted.

“I'm going to see Dean,” the angel informed, looking flighty.

Apparently, Dean's absence had been eating away at Cas without Sam's awareness. The angel vanished from the spot he was standing in, leaving Sam and Bobby alone. The strange discomfort was still coursing through Sam's veins. He didn't want to sit alone with Bobby, not as long as the guy wanted to talk about sex and the height ratios involved. But, surprisingly, the old man seemed to have dropped it. He cleared his throat and dragged himself to his feet.

“So much for talkin' it out,” he mumbled, gathering up his cooler and wooden chair, “What a waste of holy oil.”

Sam sighed and joined Bobby in standing up to gather the chairs.

“At least we aired out the dirty laundry,” Sam mentioned, glad they were back to talking about normal things, “Want me to help you carry the chairs back to the kitchen?”

When Sam said 'kitchen,' an unmistakable flash of fear swept over the old man's face. It was gone as quickly as it appeared, but Sam still saw it. Bobby was instantly hobbling toward the back door afterward, toting his chair and cooler.

“Er, yeah. Bring the rest,” he called over his shoulder, hurrying inside.

Sam watched Bobby race inside, feeling lost. What was Bobby's problem today? After rolling his eyes, Sam hoisted up the remaining chairs and started for the back door. He eventually managed to carry all four seats over the threshold into the kitchen, but noticed something odd when he walked in. Bobby had shut the large sliding door between his study and the kitchen. The old man was clicking a lock shut on the handle when Sam started carting the chairs to the table.

“What's up with the study?” Sam asked, eying Bobby with suspicion.

Bobby shuffled away from the door immediately, walking over to help Sam carry the chairs. He seemed to be playing it off, walking too casually and speaking too prominently. There was something beyond that door that he didn't want anyone to see. Sam could feel it.

“Oh, it's just a mess in there,” the old man brushed off, plopping himself in a seat at the table, “So, you think that little cherub will get the job done or what?”

Sam could tell that Bobby was trying to shift the conversation and it was unfortunately working. Sam was back to thinking about Gabe again, imagining him trying to coax Dean out of anger with a few off-hand jokes. The younger Winchester brought himself to sit at the table as well, bracing his elbows on the cool surface. He desperately hoped that Dean and Gabe were both alright. After watching them fight like children for days, it was nice to think that they might be trying to get along out there; joking around and laughing.

“God, I hope so,” Sam mumbled, tracing the wooden grooves in the table with his fingertip, “Gabe's a good guy. I think he's pretty capable of pulling off a miracle or two.”

A pensive look crossed Bobby's face again, reminding Sam of an engineer trying to figure out the best way to get his machine to work. Man, Sam had never witnessed Bobby pondering so studiously before. It was like he was attempting to comprehend why Sam and Dean were both in relationships with men. Did the notion bother him? What was weighing on his mind?

“What is it, Bobby?” Sam blurted, afraid that the old man was judging them harshly.

“Nothin'. I was just wondering...” he murmured, his voice getting low, “How much different is it?”

Again, Bobby's cryptic question left Sam to grasp at his own conclusions. Maybe the old man was asking about his relationship again, about how different it was being with a guy instead of a girl. Maybe Bobby was trying to ease himself into getting a better understanding of same sex relationships for some reason.

“Not much,” Sam admitted, truthfully, “Love is love, I guess. No matter what shape or form the person comes in, you can't stop yourself from loving them. I can tell you, Bobby, that I've never been as happy with anyone as I am right now with Gabe. But it's not very different from any other relationship I've had before, other than the whole anatomy part. I just traded in a rack for a pole, I suppose.”

“Couldn't have put it better myself.”

Sam's head snapped toward the lovely sound of Gabriel's voice. The archangel was standing in the room and grinning widely, still covered in food stains but looking as good as ever. A smile burst across Sam's own lips at the sight of him. Gabe had made it! He had an actual conversation with Dean and lived to tell the tale! Pride was swelling in the man's chest again watching the archangel stroll toward the table.

“Did you talk to him?” Sam asked instantly, dying to know, “Did you guys work it out? Is he okay?”

Gabriel plopped himself in Sam's lap, wrapping a tiny arm around the man's shoulder and crossing his dangling legs. Sam welcomed him with open arms, still waiting to hear about the archangel's latest adventure. Bobby looked a little uncomfortable with Sam and Gabe's seating arrangement, but didn't say anything.

“Relax, kiddo,” Gabe smiled, ruffling Sam's cereal-filled hair, “Your brother and I talked over some beer – which is gross, by the way. I don't see how you drink that shit – and now, Cassie is helping him straighten out the rest of his issues. Everything is good, now.”

“You mean, he actually talked back to you? Without being insulting?” Sam asked, feeling skeptical.

“Yep. I think it's the start of a beautiful bro-ship,” Gabe sighed contently, tilting his golden head back, “Pinky and I are going to get into so much shit together. The future looks bright, Sammy-boy.”

Sam didn't think his smile could get any bigger. The future did look bright. Now that Dean and Gabriel were at least talking to each other, it looked like things were going to be smooth sailing. Sam briefly nuzzled his face into Gabriel's neck, taking in a large breath of the archangel's sweet scent. It was over now, all that pointless bickering and dick waving. Sam could finally be with Gabe without fearing his brother's disapproval.

“Thank you,” Sam whispered against Gabe's warm neck, feeling a little emotional, “For being so sweet.”

“Well, I am the Candyman, after all,” the archangel replied.

Across the table, Bobby rolled his eyes.

“Idjits,” he mumbled under his breath.

For a few minutes, Sam and Bobby listened to Gabriel tell them all about his conversation with Dean. Sam was completely captivated by the archangel's story, secretly delighted that it really happened. Dean had apparently ignored Gabe at first, but then slowly began to talk back to him. Gabriel went on and on about how Dean's eyes lit up when he talked about Cas. Maybe it gave the archangel some peace of mind to know that his little brother was adored by Dean. Sam couldn't help but think that he felt the same way about Gabe as Dean did about Cas. There was no one else on Earth that made him as happy as Gabe did. No one that could even come close.

Just about the time Gabriel was wrapping up his story, the back door swung open. Everyone watched from the table as Dean and Cas carefully walked inside. Sam could instantly tell that Dean had been crying, from the red lines etched around his green iris' and the dark circles around his eyes. He and Cas were holding hands discretely, sort of hiding their joined limbs behind Cas's coat. From Sam's lap, Gabriel gave them a smirk.

“Why, hello there, fellas,” the archangel smiled, waving them inside, “We were just talking about you.”

Sam was glad to see that Dean didn't even flinch at Gabriel's voice. Surprisingly, the guy didn't glare at the archangel either. It seemed like Dean had truly gotten over his hatred of Gabe and Sam was unbelievably happy. Cas raised Dean's hand to press a loving kiss to the back of it.

“I believe Gabriel and I should return to the hotel,” the angel said, turning to give Gabe a stern look, “The Impala is still there and we left the dining area in complete disarray.”

In Sam's lap, the archangel groaned out loud, sounding playfully defeated.

“Ugh! Okay, fine,” Gabe grumbled, dragging himself out of Sam's lap. He paused to wink a golden eye at the younger Winchester before saying, “Don't gallop away, moose. I'll be right back.”

“Okay. I'll be here,” Sam replied happily.

Sam watched Gabriel walk away – unabashedly checking out his ass and recalling how tight it felt from the inside – before leaning forward to brace his elbows back on the table. When the two angels were within arms reach of each other, they both flew away, leaving Bobby and the Winchesters alone in the kitchen again. Sam watched his older brother walk toward the fridge, glad that he was feeling better.

“So, you and Gabe talked?” Sam asked, bring it up quietly.

Dean grabbed a beer out of the fridge and turned to look down at Sam. The younger brother could clearly see the older trying to hold down a smirk. Maybe he could feel an 'I-told-you-so' coming. Sam definitely felt like saying it but he didn't. Dean probably already realized how awesome Gabriel could be.

“I wouldn't say we talked,” Dean said, his voice calm and amused, “More like he talked and I was forced to listen.”

Sam laughed, knowing exactly what his brother was talking about.

“That sounds about right,” Sam agreed.

The older brother started toward the table then, taking a huge drink from the bottle. Sam could tell that Dean was eying the locked door that led into the study. He was probably just as curious as Sam was about Bobby closing the door. There had to be something in there...

“You trying to hide some bodies in there or something?” Dean asked, pulling up a chair at the table.

Bobby glanced toward the closed door and briefly met eyes with Sam. He seemed pretty unhappy to be put in the spotlight.

“None of yer business,” the old man grumbled, crossing his arms defiantly.

Dean looked toward Sam and gave a raised eyebrow but Sam only shrugged. He didn't have an answer either, for what was beyond the door. There really might have been bodies back there for all he knew. For a moment, the three of them were pretty quiet. Sam stared down at the grooves on Bobby's wooden table and thought about all the recent events that had taken place in his life. The night before returned to mind and Sam was suddenly remembering Gabe's long-winded apology and their steamy shower sex. Man, Gabe had really earned himself a good romp in the hay for being so sweet today. A smile flickered on Sam's lips. Yep, Gabe was no longer a sour trickster. He was just a sweet archangel, now.

A chuckle fell out of Dean's mouth, causing Sam to look up from the table. Dean was grinning at nothing in particular, probably thinking about something humorous.

“What?” Sam asked, wanting to share in the joke.

“Nothing,” Dean said, shaking his head, “It's just... I never thought we'd fall in love with dudes.”

Sam gave a small laugh. It was true. A few months ago, Sam would have never considered that he and Dean would both fall in love with dudes. Especially ones that had fallen out of the sky...

“Or angels,” Sam noted, adding a special twist to the weirdness.

“Or demons,” Bobby mumbled under his breath.

Sam and Dean's smiles both faded away as they stared at each other. Hold on, did they hear that correctly? Did Bobby just say the word demons? The brothers both turned to look at the older man at the table, trying to figure out why he said it. Bobby's face had grown bright red under his hat, making his head look like a giant red balloon. What was he talking about? Did it have something to do with the weird questions he had been asking Sam all day?

“Bobby,” Sam said, leaning forward, “Did – did you just say - ?”

“Nope,” Bobby denied, jutting up from his seat, “I didn't say a damn word.”

The old man was dashing across the kitchen in a rush to get out of the room.

“What's behind the door, Bobby?” Dean asked suddenly, watching him leave, “Dammit, Bobby! Get back here!”

But Bobby wasn't stopping for anybody. He bolted out of the kitchen like customer who had just been caught shoplifting. Dean spun around to meet Sam's stare and both of them gave each other looks of surprise. They both knew there was definitely something going on with Bobby. There was something he wasn't telling them. Something he was trying to hint at with intrusive questions. Something he kept hidden beyond the locked door of his study...

Something that had to do with a demon...