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0.1. Gabriel

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Dean and Cas finished their meeting, sealing a verbal deal with a tight handshake. Castiel took out his cellphone and typed by memory a bunch of numbers. How does that thing still exist? Dean thought at the sight of Cas’ classic flip phone. Castiel put the phone to his ear and waited patiently.

Three rings and a cheery voice sounded, loud even through the tiny speaker, “Heeeeey, Cassie! You burn the house down yet?”

Castiel heaved a sigh and his face twisted in annoyance, “No, Gabriel, I haven’t.” He pinched the bridge of his nose with his free hand, then looked at Dean, “In fact, the reason for my call is probably good news. I think I found a roommate.” Gabriel’s voice turned lower, as if he knew Dean could hear him, and Cas turned his gaze back to the floor, “No, I haven’t, and I won’t.” Dean raised an eyebrow at him and Castiel rolled his eyes, “Gabriel, I don’t think that’s necessary. –No, he isn’t- Why don’t you meet him, then you tell me if he looks like a criminal of any kind to you?” Castiel glanced at Dean, mouthing ‘sorry’ at him, and Dean feigned being offended, which made Castiel let out a tiny laugh, “Yes, that sounds good, but- wait” He turned to Dean again, “Are you free right now, or do you have somewhere to go?”

Dean failed at hiding his surprise, and replied, “No, actually, now is fine.”

A little smirk from Castiel almost had Dean falling to his knees, but thankfully Cas turned away and walked towards the kitchen counter to grab his things and wasn’t able to see Dean’s legs falter, “All right, the coffeeshop? – Not that one, Gabriel, that’s on the other side of  town. –I do not care that they sell the best cupcakes, we’re going to the one two blocks away, that’s nearer, even for you!” Castiel sighed, again, sounding more annoyed than he had before, “We’ll see you there, you can order something else, just go.” He flipped his phone closed as he turned on his heels to face Dean.

Dean raised his eyebrows, shrugging. “Sounds like your brother is a lovable character.” Sarcasm filled his words.

Castiel pursed his lips as he took his keys and stashed them, along with his cellphone, in the pocket of his sweatpants. “He might be a little unnerving sometimes, but he really is lovable, and fun to be with.” He walked up to Dean, stopping nearer than was socially acceptable for two adult males who had just met; but Dean didn’t really mind, just tried not to look at anything other than Cas’ eyes. If Dean let his eyes roam, subtlety would go out the window. “Shall we?” Castiel motioned to the door.

Dean started and, with nothing else to say, walked out of the apartment followed by Castiel.

//

Considering the coffeeshop was only two blocks away from Cas’ (soon-to-be-Dean’s, too) apartment, they decided to walk.

As they stepped down the street, Dean scanned his surroundings and took in the nature of the neighborhood in which he would live now. It seemed to be calm, quiet, with the average amount of gossiping old ladies that stuck their noses right where they shouldn’t, then gathered at one of their houses to have tea and share their information.

“Dean, uh.” Castiel said, taking Dean’s attention for himself, and cleared his throat, “My brother, he can be quite... inaproppiate sometimes. His humor is, at times, darker than is acceptable. So, please, don’t take his words seriously, depending on the context.”

Dean just nodded, not giving it much importance. As if I couldn’t deal with some cheap jokes.

Once they approached the coffee shop, Dean noticed an old car outside, he identified it as a ’78 Lincoln Continental. Pimp car, Dean thought and huffed a laugh, then followed Castiel into the shop.

The place wasn’t very crowded; there were about five people waiting in line and only three booths were occupied. In one of them was a single, tiny guy that got up as he looked their way..

“Long time, no see, lil’ bro!” He greeted cheerfully, jumping into Cas’ arms as they approached the table.

“Gabe,” Cas muttered, patting Gabriel’s back awkwardly, “We saw each other just yesterday.”

“What, I’m not allowed to miss my Cassie now, who just moved outta my house?” He said, holding Cas by his shoulders as he parted their hug to see him, “You might be quiet, Castiel, but your presence is missed back home.”

Castiel just looked down, avoiding his brother’s eyes, “Right, sorry,” He mumbled.

Gabriel patted his shoulder, then pushed him to the side to see Dean standing beside him. “He-llo, you,” He whistled.

Dean quirked an eyebrow as Gabriel’s eyes roamed his entire form, and he waved awkwardly at him, “Hey.”

Gabriel turned to Castiel, winking at him and making Cas’ eyes widen in warning. “So, you’re the not-criminal-looking candidate to be Cassie’s roommate, huh?” He said to Dean, then leaned towards Castiel again to indiscreetly ask, “You sure ‘bout the not-criminal-looking part?”

Dean frowned, prepared to retort, but Castiel interrupted him by smacking Gabriel on the back of the head. Gabriel cried out, only to get a hard look from Cas.

“The name’s Dean.” Dean said, holding out his hand for Gabriel to squeeze, interrupting what would’ve become a tantrum from Gabriel. “Winchester.” He added awkwardly then.

“Gabriel, but you probably know that, Cassie’s sorta a big fan.” Gabriel smiled smugly, earning a glare from Castiel. He shook Dean’s hand before turning back to his brother. “So! Who wants to eat?”

They took their seats in the booth, Castiel taking the spot right next to Dean in an attempt to offer support, while Gabriel stared at them suspiciously from the other side.

“Are you single, Dean?” Gabriel blurted out, crossing his arms and his expression going stone cold.

Dean shot a glance at Castiel, who looked like he would’ve really liked to smash his head against the tabletop, then turned once again to Gabriel, “Uh, yeah. Why?”

“Do you have one night stands often?”

“Gabriel.” Castiel said warningly, the tone of his voice hard.

“What? I need to know if the stranger is gonna bring more strangers to my baby brother’s place!” Gabriel defended himself, feigning offense.

As Castiel’s nostrils flared with fury, Dean spoke again, “You don’t have to worry about that.”

Gabriel nodded, and held his chin between his index finger and thumb, “Okey-dokey. I’m gonna need you to send me your criminal recor-“

“Gabriel, that is not necessary.” Castiel pinched the bridge of his nose, and Dean couldn’t help thinking he would like to see grumpy Cas more often.

“Cassie, please, I’m just worried about you!” Gabriel tried to defend himself.

“And I’m not fifteen anymore!” Roared Castiel.

Dean was about to get up and leave before the brotherly fight got worse, when he spotted the waitress approaching their table. God bless that woman.

“Good morning, gentlemen, what can I do for you this evening?” She said, completely oblivious to the tension between them.

Gabriel leaned back in his seat, his expression as fresh as ever, and smirked at the waitress. “I would like some pancakes with strawberry sauce and whipped cream, with a chocolate milkshake on the side.”

The waitress wrote down the order on her little notepad and turned to Dean and Cas. “And for you?”

Castiel glanced at Dean, expecting him to order first. Dean took another quick look at the sign above the waitress’ head to check the menu. He smirked as his eyes landed on the special of the day. “I’ll have the Pig ‘N a Poke special, and some coffee would be great.”

“What about you?” Said the woman to Castiel as she noted the order.

“A cup of coffee for me, too, and an order of french toast.” He answered.

“Your orders should be up shortly.” The waitress said with a smile as she finished and tore the page from her notepad, walking towards the kitchen window.

Dean, Castiel and Gabriel went back to their conversation.

“So!” Gabriel continued, “Castiel’s not gonna let me continue with my questionnaire, he’ll just get grumpy and start puffing at everything and we don’t want that, do we?” Dean tried not to laugh, sneaking a peek at Cas only to find him blushing. “Something you would like to tell us about yourself, Dean?”

Dean had to look away from Cas, before it looked too creepy, and turned back to Gabriel. “Well, I, uh- I don’t really know what to say.” He frowned as he tried to think about something to talk about, suddenly forgetting his auto-biography. “I have a little brother, Sam, and he’s at Stanford. And, uh- I work as a mechanic, part time, in my uncle’s autoshop. I’m in my second year of college.” Dean shrugged, giving it little importance. “Guess the rest you’ll discover with time.”

“Stanford, huh? I see the little ones go further than us nowadays.” Commented Gabriel with his permanent shit-eating grin on his face.

Dean was pretty sure Gabriel had meant to offend him, but he just smiled and proudly continued, “Yeah, Sammy’s even got a full ride there. Always been a nerd from head to toe that kid.”

“That’s pretty impressive.” Castiel added, and Dean gave him a thankful look. “You must be really proud.”

“Proud’s too short of a word. But yeah, I’m real happy that Sammy’s gonna be one great lawyer. He’s always wanted that.”

“Too bad it doesn’t run in the family, huh?” Gabriel gained their attention back.

“Sorry?” Dean frowned.

“I mean, the kid’s really been planning this for long, right? To get into Stanford, he probably spent his entire life giving his best at school. But you, Dean... a mechanic, huh?” Gabriel almost spit the words in his face, and Dean really tried not to be pissed. “No dreams of greatness?”

Dean was almost ready to reply, only had to think a little more about a good answer, but Castiel seemed to be a bit faster. “Engineering is a hard career, Gabriel. Dean works as a Mechanic meanwhile, I’m sure he has bigger plans for when he finishes studying. Am I correct, Dean?”

That snapped Dean out of his fascination, having Cas defending him did things to Dean. “Yeah, of course. I’ve been saving for my own autoshop for years. Also my uncle will back me up, y’know, even after I finish studying I’ll have a place there to keep saving ‘til I have enough.”

“That’s plenty of hard work.” Castiel added with a sweet smile and Dean felt like melting.

The waitress came back then, serving them their orders and asking if there was anything else they wanted, and left when they said ‘no, thanks’.

The meeting continued peacefully, thank God, chatting about movies and sports and music. Turned out, Gabriel and Dean had a lot in common when it came to said topics. Cas, meanwhile, looked between both of them, not having anything to add to the discussion.

Castiel hadn’t even watched any of the Jurassic Park movies, for fuck’s sake. Dean swore to himself that he’d be the one to enlighten the poor bastard.

Once they finished their meals, paid the check and Gabriel was gently let down by the waitress when he asked for her number, they left the coffee shop.

“Well, guess this is it.” Gabriel stated, standing between Cas and Dean. “The veredict is in. And guess what? The judge” He pointed at himself with his thumbs, “deems you, Dean Winchester, worthy of sharing an apartment with my baby bro.”

“Not that it was your task to determine.” Castiel said tiredly.

“Shut your trap.” Gabriel very intelligently retorted. He took a different stance, standing straighter and taking their hands in his. “Now do you, Dean Winchester, accept Castiel Novak as your roommate, in sickness and health-“

“Gabriel.” Castiel tried to interrupt, but couldn’t.

“Poverty and wealth-“

“Don’t.”

“Until your lease breaks you apart?”

Castiel looked pissed to shit, but Dean couldn’t help his amusement. “Yeah, I guess I do.”

“And do you, Castiel Nov- Ow!” Gabriel cried out when Cas punched his arm. “Okay! I’m done.” Gabe raised his hands in sign of surrender. “Done with your lack of humor, that is.”

“Have a good day, Gabriel. Dean.” Said Castiel, waving his goodbye at Dean lastly, as he turned his back to leave.

“And you, baby bro, have a gay day!” Gabriel said before turning to the car parked a few feet away from them.

“The Pimp car is yours?” Dean asked, not surprised, but stating the obvious.

“Hey! You better watch your mouth. That’s my baby you’re talking about!” Gabriel demanded, threateningly shaking a fist at Dean.

Dean just laughed and nodded, waving at Gabe before starting to walk the other way. “You gotta meet my Baby. See ya, Gabe.”

Okay, it was clear that Gabriel wasn’t exactly what Dean expected from Castiel’s brother. They were like fire and ice, so different Dean barely believed they were raised in the same household, but they seemed to get along well... mostly.

Dealing with Gabriel wouldn’t be so hard if Cas wanted him around.