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The Insurmountable Enemy

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“So... you’re sure that you’re prepared for this?” Gabriel hated being the most responsible one in the room; it made his grace all itchy. But desperate times called for desperate measures.

Castiel nodded. “I have honey. It can be used to patch wounds and contains natural anti-depressants.”

Gabriel groaned. “Brother, I’ve been dead for more than two seasons now, and I’m more on the ball with this one than you.” It was true, though there was no point in dwelling on it; he’d just have to work with the fruit-loopy materials he had. “Let’s go over this one more time. Being God?”

“Bad.”

“Talking about profound bonds?”

“Good, unless Wincesters are there.”

Gabriel patted Castiel on the head. “Atta boy. Okay, failing to understand personal space?”

“Personal what now?”

“Perfect. Being bad at the cell phone?”

“Good.” Castiel scrunched up his nose. “How can being bad be good?”

“Ask Dean later. I’m sure he’ll give you a personal demonstration. How about soul-fisting Sam?”

“Ummm... varies. Depends on how Sassy/top!me inclined the viewer happens to be.”

“Correct!” Gabriel gave him a warning look. “And considering that I’m the viewer here, keep your dirty little mitts out of my boy’s chest. If anyone needs to be elbow-deep in Sam, I’ll take care of that.”

Castiel furrowed his brow. “That sounded rather...”

“Entirely intentional. Okay, let’s go.”

The pair of angels entered the room where they were keeping the Winchester brothers. Sam and Dean were pacing the floor, clearly agitated. When they saw Castiel and Gabriel, their eyes narrowed menacingly.

“Finally!” Dean growled. “You guys need to let us out of here right now.

Gabriel shook his head. “Not until you listen to what we have to say.”

Sam turned his glare on him. “I knew that somehow you’d be behind this! You’re always behind things.”

Gabriel winked at him. “Well, I promise to be right behind you, Sammy, as soon as we resolve our little problem here.”

It was as if Gabriel had flipped some kind of switch. Dean sunk to the floor morosely. “There can be no resolutions. Ever.”

Sam ran his fingers through that rather miraculous hair of his. “And there are no little problems. All of our problems are big. Or huge. No, wait - they’re enormous. Gargantuan and imposing and unconquerable and...”

Gabriel adjusted his trousers. “You’re really turning me on here. You know that, don’t you? But, as fun as this is, it’s part of the trouble. Boys... you really need to do something about all the angst.”

Both Winchesters stared at him. “The... angst?”

He nodded. “That’s right. It’s enough angst already. Actually, it was enough freaking angst about four seasons ago. At this point, we’re so far beyond enough angst that we can’t even see enough angst without some kind of NASA grade telescope.”

“But the fans love the angst!” Dean threw up his hands in frustration. “They eat it up with a spoon!”

“It’s true,” Sam agreed. “Search AO3. Compare the number of Supernatural fics tagged ‘angst’ and the ones tagged ‘happy fluffy kittens’. We need to give the people what they want.”

Gabriel’s face lit up. “And if they want you naked, covered in whipped cream, with little cherries over your nipples?”

Sam blinked. “Excuse me?”

Gabriel cleared his throat. “What they want,” he said sternly, “Is angst that gets resolved. Read some of those fics at some point. He does.” He jerked his thumb towards Castiel. “Or at least his actor does. And he can tell you, most of those end happily. You guys are long overdue for a good chunk of happy.”

“And how are we supposed to get that?” Dean demanded. “I mean, have you watched the show lately?”

Gabriel flushed. “Well... it was on Fridays. That’s date night in Heaven.”

Sam narrowed his eyes. “It’s been on Wednesdays all season. What’s your excuse now?”

“He likes Modern Family,” Castiel piped up from across the room. “He has a thing for Sofia Vergara.”

Gabriel snarled at him. “I am tell you nothing from now on.”

“Promise?”

“Anyway, I don’t need to watch your little show anymore. I can tell you what’s been happening. You two have some kind of disagreement based on one of you not telling the other one something. You stare meaningfully at each other. You wonder if you can ever trust each other again. Then you work out that you can, but just after that the other one decides not to tell about something else, and the whole damn cycle starts again. Does that sound about right?”

The Winchesters looked guilty. “Okay,” Sam conceded. “We might have got into a bit of a rut. But it’s not our fault! It’s not like we like it or anything. I mean, look at this face!” He pointed at himself. “Whose brilliant idea was it to put this in a cage with the devil? Check out my adorable pout. I’m not meant to be tortured, for fuck’s sake! I’m meant to be snuggled under a goose-feather duvet while rain falls on a tin roof.”

Gabriel stared, entranced. “I can so do that. I’ll make a nice jug of mulled wine, put a pumpkin-spice cake in the oven to get all warm and toasty; the air will smell great. Then we’ll get a couple of thick eight-inch dildos and-”

“Gabriel!” Castiel’s voice was sharp. “I suggest you focus!”

“You pick the worst fucking times to get your sanity back, do you know that?”

“Sam’s right though,” Dean pointed out. “It isn’t like we do that angst thing by choice. Do you think I like staring into the distance as single crystalline tears roll down my face and I magically lose the ability to wipe them?”

“Well you do it often enough,” Gabriel grumbled.

“I have no choice! Listen, we’ve both been to Hell. I’ve been to Purgatory; he’s lost his soul. We’ve had everyone we we’ve ever loved die horribly and are now down to just watching the people we kinda like die horribly. We’re both serious contenders for the Most Failed Relationships category in the Guinness Book of World Records. I had do to without my ridiculously overly important car, for fuck’s sake! I’d say we’re pretty lucky that we’re not both still locked up in some nuthouse somewhere babbling at people who aren’t even... oh. Sorry, Cas.”

Castiel shrugged. “They had good tapioca. And sometimes Meg would show me her boobies.”

Dean cocked his head. “How are they?”

“Among God’s finest creations.”

“Anyhow, what I’m saying is that the whole scene is set for angst now. We’re well past the suspense and drama of Sam’s lost shoe. We can’t exactly pull over for sing-alongs; not now.”

“Bullshit!” Gabriel turned to Sam. “Look, remember when I killed Dean?”

“Which time?”

“All the times! Yeah, the first time it was angsty and tragic and shocking and all of that. But then there was the bus and death by golden retriever - and you have no idea how much restraint it took not to make it a poodle - and the piano. Come on, when Dean’s feet were sticking out from the bottom like he was the Wicked Witch of the East, are you telling me you honestly didn’t crack a little smile?”

“Of course not!” Sam looked affronted. “I could barely breathe, I was so overcome. It took all my strength not to keel over and join Dean in death right there.”

Gabriel sung under his breath. “Some-where o-ver the rainbow...”

Sam fought a giggle as Dean scowled at him.

Gabriel went on. “And it’s always the same angst! Will Sam and Dean still be friends? Oh my, after eight seasons I have no freaking idea! We’ve already established that you’re erotically co-dependant-”

“Um,” Dean cut in. “It’s neurotically co-dependant, thanks.”

“Erotically.”

“Neurotically.”

“Definitely erotically.”

“Look, who was in that episode, me or you?”

“Fine. You’re mmph-hmmph co-dependant, okay? Whatever. The point is that it’s a bit ridiculous to expect the viewers to actually believe that the two of you aren’t going to end up with each other - and only each other - at the end of the show. I mean, who else could there be?”

Castiel cleared his throat.

“I mean, neither of you can make a relationship work with a girl who manages to like you back and not die. So romance is out of the question.”

Castiel coughed discreetly. “ahemnotnecessarily.

“And pretty much every other person in your family, or in your extended family, or in your line of work, or on the route between your motel and the grocery store, seems to bite it in a particularly horrible way that the two of you are somehow immune to. There’s absolutely no one else.”

Castiel waved his arms around frantically.

“So we answered this particular non-question years ago. Why don’t we put it all behind us and enjoy ourselves a bit. Dean... when was the last time you had a piece of pie? Don’t you miss it all - pie and classic rock and drinking for fun instead of as a touchstone of what a damaged little petal you are?”

Dean look gobsmacked. “You know what? I kind of do...”

“And Sam!” Gabriel didn’t want to sacrifice any momentum. “Don’t you miss... um... leafy green salads and mineral water and... going to bed early?” He trailed off. “Geez, your shtick kind of sucked compared to Dean’s, huh? I guess maybe you have a right to be all angsty.”

“No, you’ve got a point,” Sam admitted. “When you think about it, I’m alive; I’ve got my soul back; I’m sane; the devil isn’t likely to wear me like a cocksock anytime soon. And Dean - you got out of Purgatory and everything. Heck, maybe you’ve even been rehymenated again, so you could be the only guy who gets to lose his virginity three times!”

Dean leaned back and grinned. “That’d be sweet.”

“So thanks, Gabe.” Sam clapped the angel on the shoulder. “I owe you one. I mean really, you’re the one who should be all angsty and stuff. You have one great moment of moral clarity and come to this life-altering realization that you’ve been going at things all wrong. Then, before you can act on it and start to make things right, you get slaughtered. It happens literally seconds later. It must have really sucked.”

“Now that you mention it...” Gabriel considered Sam’s words. “Yeah. Yeah, it did.”

“And it was your own brother who did it!” Dean chimed in. “Man, I don’t even think I could cope with that. If there’s one being in the world that you’d think would have your back and not put a knife in it...”

“It was... difficult.” Gabriel admitted. “I guess in a way I’m still working out how to cope. Or maybe I haven’t really started yet. I just don’t know.”

“You could ask Cas,” Dean suggested helpfully. “He’s been through it all. His whole family turned on him and he lost all his powers for a bit, and then he made all these colossal fuck-ups that hurt the people he cares about most in the world. But he gets it all together and builds himself a new life with meaningful work and a perfectly nice girl, even if he doesn’t know who he is. Now it’s all gone and he can never go back to it. To be honest, I don’t even know how the guy’s still standing, but he is. Or... he was.”

They all turned to stare at Castiel who had slumped to the floor. He hugged his knees up tight to his chest. “Balthazar,” he whispered. “Dean.” “Daddy.

Dean winced. “Oops. Hey, Gabe? Do you have another one of those inspirational speeches left in you?”

Gabriel was busy unwrapping a lollipop. He sucked on it like it contained the milk of life. “How could he do it? My own brother? And I only even got to be on the show a couple of times too! I could have been a semi-regular. I was really useful! The fans loved me. There are whole fests about me. I don’t know why though. How could anyone really love me...?”

Sam hung his head. “We’ve really done it now. We’ve broken a pair of angels. It makes sense, doesn’t it. We’re such screw-ups.”

Dean sank to the floor beside Castiel. “They were only trying to help us too. Everyone who tries to help us gets hurt. We’re a disease. This is why we don’t have any real friends anymore and no one invites us to their birthday parties and I have to wank with my left hand to pretend someone else is touching me.”

“There’s got to be something we can do for them.” Sam put his hand on Gabriel’s shoulder to try and calm his sobbing. “I just can’t think what. This is worse than all the other stuff we’ve ever faced, and that was worse than all the stuff before that. So it’s pretty bad.”

Dean reached for his new flask. “Forget it, man.” He unscrewed the top, took a swig and then passed the whiskey to Castiel. “It’s Supernatural. One way or another, there’s gonna be angst.”