Sam thought that it was safe to say that he had one of his worst mornings in quite a while, that following a really horrible night. He was struggling with a massive hangover and the coffee he tried to drown was not helping his condition one bit. And when Dean waltzed into the diner being all chipper and conspicuously not being sick or even a bit tired, Sam decided that the world obviously hated him.
Two days ago he woke up in a motel room with Dean and Castiel sitting at the table. After the angel made sure he was okay he flew off to wherever he had business to do. And Sam had no idea what was going on. His last memory was riding in the Impala. When Dean told him what happened, vaguely of course, Sam paled and was horrified, when he reached the part where it was Gabriel fixing whatever damage there was on that wall or whatever, he became pissed. The first thing out of his mouth was the question of how Dean could let the archangel just mess around in his head and Dean’s face darkened into such fury the next second that Sam shut his mouth immediately.
‘If it wasn’t for Gabriel, right now you would be a screaming, drooling mess on the floor, so how about you stop bitching about who helped you and show some fucking gratitude instead?’ His voice was almost just a growl, his face was hard. Sam didn’t actually dare to interrupt what his brother had to say at that moment. ‘I’m really fed up with your whining and complaining at this point, so listen up. Gabriel stays, no matter what, and you will deal with it like a fucking adult!’
So Sam did what he always did when it looked like Dean was ready to tear him a new one and it felt like he was maybe a bit justified to do so, he kept his mouth shut and nodded. And he did his best, he really did, but he was reaching his limit after two days, especially after the previous night.
‘Heya Sammy!’ Dean greeted him cheerfully as he sat down to the table; Sam just growled at him for being too loud and went back to sipping his coffee. He had the urge to throw up when he heard Dean order toast, eggs and bacon, but he snapped his attention when Dean asked for salad on the side.
‘Since when do you eat stuff like that?’ he asked. Dean just looked at him like he was the weird one.
‘Dude, I’ve been eating my breakfast with that crap since months now and you just noticed?’ he asked incredulously. ‘Way to be observant.’
‘Really?’ Sam asked in disbelief, because he definitely would’ve noticed something like that. Dean rolled his eyes.
‘Fruit stuff to pancakes and waffles and green stuff with… everything else.’
‘Who are you and what did you do to my brother?’ Sam asked.
‘Very funny,’ Dean deadpanned, but again rolled his eyes when Sam just kept looking at him. ‘It’s… it was Lisa’s nonsense, okay? I got used to it; it’s good… like burgers are good with that stuff too… not a word.’ He warned and he turned to his coffee as he got it.
Sam wanted to huff out a laugh, but it made him wince. His head was killing him. Dean of course noticed Sam’s misery and grinned, the bastard. Dean should’ve been much worse, he drank way more than Sam, but then again, he had an archangel to make his life easier. And that exactly was why Sam saw the previous night as one of the worst he had in a long time. Not because of the booze, but because of one stupid archangel, who had a stupid grin on his stupid face the entire night, and yes Sam’s lack of sleep and bad hangover might be the cause of while his vocabulary was temporarily reduced.
Dean dragged him out of the motel room the night before, because they had cash… a lot and Sam admitted that he was surprised by his brother sometimes, but when he walked back in to their motel room with a wad of cash he was beyond surprised, and concerned by where it came from. Dean said he was lucky; Sam was dubious until Dean tossed him the certificate that confirmed that the money was won by a freakin’ scratch off lottery ticket. For Sam this was beyond suspicious, because the last time they had winning tickets it was because of a cursed rabbit’s foot. But Dean shrugged it off by saying that it was damn time he got lucky once in his life. He was in the type of mood that Sam knew it would be impossible to talk him out of his plans.
And really Sam would’ve been more than okay with a night out if it would’ve been just him and Dean, it was of course too much to ask for.
The waitress arrived with Dean’s food and Sam was sick just looking at it, but Dean dug in with vehemence, like he didn’t eat for days. And Sam was just way too painfully aware that after what type of nights was his brother annoyingly cheerful and really hungry. He suppressed a groan and asked the waitress to refill his cup with more coffee. Dean was smiling at her telling her that the food was really amazing and the almost flirty behavior made Sam remember the previous night again.
Gabriel showed up and Sam did his best not to glare at him constantly, even if he was irritating him from the first second, when he casually dropped himself down next to Dean, arms stretched at the back of the bench – also behind Dean – with casual self-confidence, looking like he owned the place. Dean just turned to him with a smile and either was used to Gabriel appearing randomly or he knew that he would come, both were possible and Sam didn’t know which possibility bothered him more. Still, Dean asked him to behave, so he did. He was quietly drowning his beer and knew that he would need something stronger if he had to endure the archangel for a while.
The fact that Dean was openly flirting with the waitress even with Gabriel right next to him struck Sam as odd, but he was not commenting on such things, later when he saw Gabriel openly flirting with one of the female bartenders seemed less odd, but Dean’s lack of reaction confused him. Because it was one thing that he didn’t approve of anything going on between his brother and Gabriel, it was another thing that he was sure that the archangel would sooner or later make Dean miserable, but this was strange. He asked Dean why Gabriel was hitting on the chick; Dean frowned, glanced at the angel by the bar then just laughed saying he wouldn’t be able to resist to give the girl a smile or two.
It still struck Sam as odd, but he didn’t ask more. It was clearly something that only made sense to Dean. Sam fled the table for a while when Dean’s look lingered and Sam wasn’t sure whether he was ogling the bartender or Gabriel, probably both. When he got back from the bathroom he saw a bottle of tequila on their table and Dean just drowned a shot and bit into the lemon in Gabriel’s hand. Sam turned to the bar and ordered a whiskey so quickly that he didn’t even have time to think it through.
Sam found it concerning that Dean didn’t care about such obvious PDA in a crowded bar, and okay they were in the more liberal part of the country and Sam was pretty sure he saw two guys flirting and kissing at some point at another part of the bar, but still. It was so unlike Dean not to give a damn. And for hours it was really subtle. Gabriel sitting closer than two guys normally would, Dean was sitting a bit side-ways on the bench turned towards Gabriel. A look here, a too long touch there, Dean almost drooling while his eyes followed as Gabriel walked up to the bar… the last one was not actually that subtle.
But as the alcohol kept coming the less subtle the whole thing got and Sam really wanted to just close his eyes and bleach his brain. He quickly drowned his shot of whiskey and dared to look back towards the table. It was a really bad idea, because Gabriel was completely in his brother’s personal space at this point emptying a shot glass himself and Sam quickly turned away as Dean had piece of lemon between his teeth and he did not want to see that. He groaned as he did catch it as Gabriel was leaning in even closer to Dean so he ordered another whiskey, hoping that the picture would simply dissolve in alcohol.
‘One of them your ex-boyfriend or something?’ asked the hot bartender Gabriel was flirting with earlier, while she was looking towards the table. Sam was pretty sure that he heard someone catcalling so he had a very good idea about what was going on behind his back.
‘The one in the black tee is my brother,’ Sam answered and asked for another shot. The bartender shot him a sympathetic look and refilled his glass.
‘Well he seems to be having a really good time, you should too,’ she said as Sam drowned another shot.
On the top side, he did manage to dissolve most images from his mind by alcohol, but unfortunately not all of them, he had a killer headache, no appetite and he was almost 70% sure that he got a blowjob from the hot bartender in the storage room. One could argue whether that actually belonged to the good parts of the night. He also vaguely remembered that Dean almost got into a fight at one point, but he wasn’t sure.
‘Did you punch someone last night?’ he asked finally. Dean looked up from his mostly finished breakfast with a thoughtful expression on his face, and then it seemed like he was able to remember.
‘Yeah,’ he chuckled. ‘That one asshole that got a bit handsy at the bar, the dick,’ Dean said as he shook his head. ‘He got away with it pretty easy though, I mean I just punched him in the face,’ he seemingly contemplated something. ‘Maybe I should’ve let Gabriel have his way with him. That would’ve thought him good.’
Sam looked at his brother in a rather concerned way, or maybe it was closer to “horrified”.
‘Dude, relax. Nothing deadly… but c’mon freakin’ bastards like that, it would’ve totally served him right to… I don’t know get probed by aliens… that’s a classic.’ He grinned and chuckled before he returned to his breakfast.
Sam just shook his head. He was way too tired and sick to start arguing about how much that was a morally shaky ground. He just leaned back on the seat and took out his phone, checking for any new phone-numbers in it. But then he frowned as he checked other things.
‘All my texts are deleted,’ he announced. ‘And my caller history.’
‘So?’ Dean asked.
‘I didn’t delete it,’ Sam told him.
‘Maybe you did, last night… or earlier maybe? You lost a lot of hours the other day.’
‘I never delete my texts and calls,’ Sam told him.
‘Maybe you did this time, who cares?’ Sam didn’t answer he just kept frowning down on his phone, trying to figure out what reason he could have had to do it. And suddenly he remembered Bobby, maybe he talked with him? Maybe he didn’t want Dean to see something? That seemed plausible, considering that he asked Bobby to do research about things regarding Gabriel.
‘Gotta make a call,’ he said as he stood up, Dean just continued his breakfast after nodding. Sam went out to the street and dialed Bobby`s number.
‘Yes?’ the hunter answered.
‘Hey, it’s me,’ Sam greeted. ‘Just checking in, did you find anything yet?’ he asked.
‘Well, I asked around and checked a lot of things son, but we got nothing.’
‘Nothing?’ Sam asked incredulously.
‘Bupkis yeah,’ Bobby confirmed. ‘Checked the three cases and everything else I could think of in the area, but nothing out of the ordinary.’
‘What about the triangle? And the 3 victims per town?’ Sam asked.
‘I looked at the police records again Sam. The women were definitely killed by a human. Abused and strangled no sign of any supernatural there.’
‘You say it’s a coincidence then?’ Sam asked.
‘I think you want to see something when there is nothing to see.’
‘You can’t be serious Bobby,’ Sam told him.
‘I tell you what I know Sam, we’re just clutching at straws. Maybe it’s time to accept that Gabriel has nothing sinister in store.’
Sam took a deep calming breath.
‘There is something going on, I can feel it,’ Sam said.
‘Or maybe it just disturbs you how your brother feels about him,’ the older hunter told him.
‘Maybe it does, okay? But you wanna know why? Because no matter what, when things turn bad, it’s gonna be us picking up the pieces, and they will turn bad, believe me.’
‘You’ve been wrong before,’ Bobby told him.
‘Yeah well, we’ll see. Just call me if you do notice anything going on in that area.’
‘And hey Bobby, did you call me earlier about this?’
‘No, since I didn’t find anything. Why?’
‘Nothing,’ Sam answered. ‘Talk to you later.’
Sam ended the call and stared at his phone for a few seconds. His head was still killing him, but now he had other things rushing in his mind.
Dean just finished his breakfast and was about to order more coffee when Sam came back to the diner.
‘Hey, listen,’ Sam said as he sat down. He still looked like shit and that made Dean even more grateful about Gabriel being willing to abuse his powers to cancel the annoying parts of life. ‘I just got off the phone with Bobby, there might be a possible case worth checking out.’
‘Awesome, I’m game. Can’t wait to kill something again,’ Dean replied.
‘I thought maybe I could go ahead.’
‘What? Why?’ Dean frowned. It was not like Sam wanting to get separated and especially not for a job, not when they had nothing else to do.
‘Ok, look. I’m gonna be honest with you man. I need a break,’ Sam said, but that just made Dean frown even more, so the younger Winchester continued. ‘I mean… you obviously want to spend time with Gabriel and you’ve been telling me to deal with this since the beginning, so this is me dealing with it. I’m doing it Dean, but I really need a little space after the last two days, especially after last night, because I’m at my limit.’
Dean started to feel bad for his brother, because while he had an awesome time, he definitely could’ve toned it down with Gabriel a little bit. But he was in a good mood and Gabriel was there and Sam was not bitching at the archangel, it was easy to just lean back, laugh and have a good time, it was so rare that he could do that.
‘So, I go ahead and you can catch up with me later. Two days tops, it should give me enough time to stop having urges to fry an archangel in holy oil. We both win.’
Dean was contemplating Sam’s words. He was still not thrilled about the idea, but at least Sam was finally trying and that was more than he did up until that point, so Dean thought that he should just give him his breathing space if he really needed it. He really didn’t want to push his luck, things were looking up and he didn’t want to screw it up. Plus Sam was right, without his little brother around he could coax Gabriel into staying with him more probably.
‘Okay, you got it’ he nodded after a few moments. ‘You want some Gabriel-free space, I’m gonna supply and meet you up later.’ It was a much better solution than Sam asking him not to meet the archangel for a few days, because that would’ve sucked.
‘I’m gonna call you later, when I did some re-search about the case then,’ Sam said and Dean nodded. His little brother was soon out of the door and it never felt hundred percent right, when he couldn’t keep an eye on him, but still. Sammy was finally trying, so he felt good about it. He looked around in the diner and when he saw that everyone was out of earshot he spoke.
‘Gabriel… drop by when you can, we have Sammy-free zone for two days,’ then he went back to his coffee. He only had a few sips, when the diner door jingled and Gabriel sat down in front of him a few seconds later with a questioning look on his face.
‘What happened?’ he asked.
‘I think last night was too much for him,’ Dean chuckled. ‘He went ahead to work on a case, asked me to meet up with him later.’
‘And why does that put you in such a good mood that I could feel it three states over?’ the archangel asked.
‘Well, y’know… he’s making progress here,’ Dean explained. ‘He is at least trying to deal with all this finally. That’s a good thing.’
‘I suppose’ Gabriel shrugged. ‘You know him better. And hey, lucky me.’
‘And lucky me,’ Dean replied. ‘Because seriously, I feel like everything is just falling in my lap nowadays. I didn’t have to pay for gas the other day because I was the ten thousandth customer or what the hell, we got totally awesome motel-rooms lately and then I found that winning ticket yesterday, I mean wow,’ he chuckled, because if he didn’t know better he would say that it was something supernatural at work. And then Gabriel started laughing.
‘What?’ Dean asked.
‘I think that you have a trickster on your shoulder,’ he grinned.
‘What, you mean you’re doing this?’ Dean asked in confusion.
‘Nope, if I did I would’ve told you already,’ Gabriel said. ‘But not that long ago you met someone who’s M.O. is exactly this, giving bad luck to bastards, good fortune to the good guys.’ He didn’t continue, obviously waiting for Dean to get it.
‘The traveler?’ he asked a moment later. ‘He put good luck on me?’
‘It would appear so.’
‘But… in exchange for what?’ the hunter asked.
‘In exchange for nothing,’ Gabriel told him in an obviously placating tone. ‘It’s his thing, he doesn’t just punish bad guys like most tricksters, but he rewards the righteous as well. That’s Urdung’s way of staying neutral in the grand scale of things.’
‘So what… I’m gonna be lucky for the rest of my life?’ he asked in a disbelieving tone, because he never heard of supernatural beings doing things like that without asking for anything in return.
‘I’d say yes,’ Gabriel answered. ‘C’mon you met him, I think he liked you, he’s my friend and it’s not actually difficult or in any way demanding for him to do it or anything.’
‘Huh,’ Dean thought about for another second. ‘Well tell him thanks the next time you see him,’ he told Gabriel.
‘Will do,’ smiled Gabriel. ‘Now let’s get going, we have a long day ahead of us.’