'You're taking things too far Sam,' the younger Winchester could hear the disapproving tone in Bobby's voice, but it didn't stop him this time.
'Just open the e-mail I sent you,' Sam told him over the phone, while he grabbed a few water bottles from the aisle. There was a bit of silence from the other line.
'What is this?' Bobby asked.
'This is why I told you I was onto something, see the map?'
'Yes,' Sam held the map in his hand, the one he photographed and sent to the older hunter.
'See the three corners of the triangle?' Sam asked. 'I just realized it yesterday after I caught up with Dean,' Sam explained. 'The three corners? The first is Worthington, Minnesota, three dead men, the second's Loose Creek, Missouri where three young women died and the third is the last hunt La Crosse, Kansas where three children went missing.'
'Weren't these your cases?' Bobby asked.
'The first was. Dean went solo on the other two.'
'So what are you saying?'
'These are the cases Gabriel was involved with' Sam explained.
'No, Bobby hear me out. Three men, three women, three children, along with the locations, it can't be a coincidence.'
'How?' Bobby asked. 'The women in Loose Creek were killed by a human, not anything supernatural.'
'Yeah, that's what Gabriel said,' Sam answered.
'You really think he has something to do with this? What about the last case, where the kids went missing, what did Dean tell you about it?'
'That's just it Bobby!' answered Sam. 'I basically can't get a thing out of him. All he said was that “It was taken care of” and he says nothing else.'
‘You sure you asked it the right way?’ Bobby asked and Sam knew what he meant.
‘You mean did I piss him off before asking? No.’ Sam huffed into the phone.
‘Okay,’ Bobby sounded positively doubtful. ‘Did you tell him about this?’ he asked then.
‘Like that’s even possible,’ Sam said as he rolled his eyes. ‘The second Gabriel’s name leaves my mouth he won’t listen to a thing I say and stares at me like he wants to beat me up.’
‘And whose fault is that?’ asked Bobby. ‘You heard about the boy and the wolf? You shouted “two-faced archangel” just too damn many times now.’ Sam was frustrated.
‘Okay, I screwed it up, but look at the damn map and say it’s a coincidence,’ Sam insisted.
‘Fine,’ Bobby agreed finally. ‘I ask around see if I can dig up something, but Sam don’t do anything hasty,’ the older hunter warned.
‘I won’t,’ Sam promised while he reached the gas station counter and stood behind an old lady. ‘At this point Dean will need unquestionable hard proof to believe a word I say.’ He heard as Bobby sighed on the other side of the line.
‘I’ll look around,’ he said again. ‘But unlike you I really hope you’re wrong.’
‘Call me if you found something,’ was all Sam said before he hung up as he reached the counter and put everything down for the cashier to count and told him to add the gas they tanked to the bill too. He glanced outside where Dean already finished filling up the Impala and now he was casually leaning against the side of it looking down onto his phone with an almost grin. Sam clenched his jaw, because he just knew which feathery bastard was texting his brother usually.
‘Please tell me you didn’t sink to the cute texts level,’ he said as he arrived.
‘Shut it,’ Dean replied as he climbed back into the car.
‘No seriously, if you’re texting him that you miss him or something, I’m going to tie you to a chair and perform an exorcism.’
‘Well, right now I’m telling him that you’re being a little bitch again,’ Dean answered and he was typing on his phone. ‘And if you keep it up I’m gonna give him permission for minor physical harm too.’
‘Too?’ Sam asked in disbelief as Dean finally put his phone into his pocket and started the car. ‘Are you telling me that you gave him permission to other kind of harm already?’ he asked, because he must’ve misunderstood that. Dean couldn’t possibly…
‘Yeah, well don’t piss off the trickster Sammy and you’ll be just fine,’ his brother told him almost cheerfully.
‘That’s reassuring,’ he said.
‘You were pushing it, so suck it up,’ Dean said as he drove out of the gas station.
Dean really thought that Sam was finally coming around slowly, but he should’ve known better than that. He took the bit about the texting as a good sign, it sounded almost like teasing and that definitely would’ve been good. It also has been quite a while since Sam really started to argue about Gabriel. That all put Dean in a good mood; well up until the point where Sam started asking him about La Crosse.
‘I told you that everything was taken care of,’ Dean told him. It’s not like he wanted to keep his brother out of the loop, but… no actually he really wanted to keep Sam out of the whole thing, for now.
‘That’s all? I ask you about a case and that’s all you say? What happened to the missing children? What was the creature that did it? How did you kill it? That’s usually what you tell when you talk about a case, not that “It was taken care of”.’
And Sam definitely started to look pissed; Dean took a deep breath and went to get a beer. He only answered when he swallowed a few large gulps of the cold drink.
‘It was… a pagan… deity or demi-god or something, but everything’s fine now,’ he said.
‘Fine,’ Sam repeated.
‘Why the hell are you so curious about it?’ Dean asked.
‘Because you’re being suspiciously silent about it,’ Sam replied.
‘Fine!’ Dean growled. ‘Gabriel took care of it, that’s why I don’t know the details. I figured you don’t actually want to hear that besides a little questioning and research I had nothing to do but eat awesome food, and have really mind-blowing sex a few times a day. That’s the big secret, happy now?’ He spread his arms and hoped he supplied with a good explanation. Sam just kept looking at him.
‘So you didn’t actually see him kill it?’ he asked. Dean slammed down the beer bottle to the table with a hard knock; because that tone was exactly he had enough of. That accusing, calculating way Sam questioned every single thing Gabriel did, not even for a second trying to accept it, not even considering it.
‘You know what Sam?’ he started and he felt as the coiled up tension Sam’s behavior caused started to erupt, as anger and hurt started to surface from where it was buried. ‘I told Gabriel more than once that if it really came down to it, if things turned that bad I would choose you, because how could I not choose you,’ he smiled, but it was just a grimace, a smile that was nothing but pure anger and it was threatening to turn into violence, and judging by Sam’s expression his brother knew it well. ‘What did he do? He went practically out of his way not to piss you off; he tolerated all of your bullshit, without really saying a word or laying a finger on you, because I asked him to. And you! I was practically begging you for fuck’s sake! To stop it, to act decent with him just a little, to stop arguing with me, but no! Not even for a second! None of it Sam! Not for one fucking second did you try’ he shook his head. ‘And you know what I actually think now? That I am really this fucking stupid and self-destructing, that still even seeing this I don’t let myself think that I could choose differently. But I am wondering Sam, am I really that stupid? To push away someone who cares, for someone who just doesn’t actually give a fuck.’
‘I’m doing this for you Dean!’ Sam argued, cutting in finally.
‘How? How is this for me?’
‘He’s not good for you Dean. He’s planning something and he’s using you for that, I just know it!’
Dean laughed painfully; it almost felt like his brother was clawing up his insides at this point.
‘I’m not listening to this,’ he said. ‘You fucking tore apart my life with Lisa and Ben, smashed everything I started to feel was mine in a blink of an eye. And now you want to destroy this too? I don’t even know Sam, the only way you feel comfortable with the way we live if I’m drinking myself unconscious every night miserably, nightmares just barely kept in check. Because that’s… that’s real good Sam, I guess that’s everything I deserve in the end.’
‘I did it?’ asked Sam after a long silence and his voice was only an uncertain whisper. ‘I tore you and Lisa apart?’ And fuck, Dean again spoke before he thought about it. He was angry, but he never wanted to blame Sam for the things he did while he didn’t have a soul.
‘You said it didn’t work out, but I did it!’
‘It wasn’t you, I shouldn’t have said that,’ Dean told him.
‘Why would I do that? How could I possibly do that?’ and Dean noticed as Sam’s face darkened with guilt, he was looking at a random spot on the carpet, his mind obviously racing.
‘Sam no, stop it! It wasn’t like that, forget about it!’
‘Vampires,’ Sam said suddenly and he looked up and locked his eyes on Dean, realization dawning on his face, and that shit was just not good. ‘The nest… the…’
‘Stop it, Sam!’ Dean warned.
‘The alpha… we needed info… I let you get turned!’ he said with a horrified expression on his face. ‘Just to get intel, fuck!’ he ran his fingers through his hair.
‘Sam! Enough!’ Dean stepped closer, but Sam stepped back.
‘How could I use you like that? You could have been killed… fuck… you almost hurt them… all for a hunt… Samuel’s hunt… the alpha… Crowley,’ his breathing was heavy now and he was looking around in the room frantically, like a caged animal looking for an escape. Like being in the same room with Dean was suffocating him, like he expected everything to crush down on him.
‘Sam cut it out!’ Dean yelled at his brother, managing to catch his arm and shake him, but Sam didn’t look at him.
‘His bones burned,’ Sam said distantly and the next few seconds for Dean were like watching a car crash without him being able to do anything. Sam felt silent for a moment, just staring at nothing, and then he started to scream. He fell to his knees as Dean was not able to catch him properly.
‘Sam!!’ he called him, but he got no reaction. ‘Cas! Gabriel!’ he shouted instead, while his brother crumbled in his arms to the ground.