Pairings: Sam/Gabriel (and kinda sorta Castiel/Balthazar).
Rating: R (For language mostly. Lots of F-bombs.)
Word count: 30.234
Spoilers: None really, although it helps if you know who Gabriel and Balthazar are.
Warnings: Lots and lots of swearing. Age difference.
Feedback: Yes please.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything even remotely related to Supernatural. (But if anyone wanted to give me Gabriel for Christmas I sure wouldn't complain.)
Beta: mithrel was a champion for taking on this monster and teaching me a few new tricks along the way. THANK YOU!
Notes: Human AU.
Summary: The story of how Sam got the sweetest job in history and how Gabriel learned how to run away. In which there are cute dogs, texting, boners and friends with benefits. There's trouble in Winchester-land, Balthazar butts in a lot, and Gabriel's brothers are dicks, except for the one you least expect.
Christmas came and went as it always did with awkward gift exchanges with Michael and Luke, and the delightful surprise of a gift from Sam as well. It was a framed picture of Chewie posing like a true camera hog at the agility course, and it was immediately put on display in Gabriel's office. Gabriel hadn't wanted to assume anything, so he'd merely given Sam an outrageously large Christmas bonus, but after the picture frame, he decided all bets were off and gave Sam his light saber replica. Sam's overwhelmed geeking out made the entire season suddenly brighter in Gabriel's eyes, and Sam was more than happy to oblige when Gabriel asked him to dog sit on New Year's Eve.
So a few hours before the turning of the year, Gabriel left Sam behind with their dogs and went out to get spectacularly drunk with Balthazar and the ever unflappable Castiel. Unlike previous years, though, Balthazar decided not to go home with one or more random people, leaving Gabriel with Castiel at whatever bar they ended up in. This year he opted instead for waiting until Gabriel was sloshed and then started nagging him about his social life.
“All I'm saying is that you need to put yourself out there, Gabe! You know, get around, get laid, get crazy!”
“I don't wanna get crazy,” Gabriel slurred, leaning up against Castiel, whose monstrous tolerance for alcohol made him a steady support point for most of the evening.
“But you do wanna get laid, am I right?” Balthazar leered, nudging Gabriel's ribs with a pointy elbow.
“Ow. Yeah. I guess.”
“Leave him alone, Balthazar. We can't all be as lighthearted as you all the time.”
Balthazar rolled his eyes. “I'm not asking him to dance naked on the tables, Cassie! I'm just wondering what happened to turn our Gabriel into this sad creature you see before you now!”
“Oh, bite me, B,” Gabriel snarled, downing his drink.
“Just saying– ” Balthazar started, but snapped his mouth shut when Castiel glared at him.
“Maybe you're simply not in the mood this year?” Castiel suggested cautiously.
“Yeah, maybe,” Gabriel sighed when there was a buzz from his pocket. It was a text with a picture of Sam and the dogs all squashed into the frame, Bones wearing a party hat and Chewie licking Sam's face.
Gabriel realized far too late that he was sporting a lovestruck grin when Balthazar snatched the phone out of his hands. “Ohhhh, I see how it is now!”
Castiel was yet again the pillar of common sense and forced Balthazar to give back the phone before he could cause any damage, but there was no stopping the shock wave of his glee. “Aw, Cassie, come on now! I was just about to let the little boy toy know that Gabey looooooves him!”
“Be that as it may, I feel something like that should be for Gabriel to reveal, in his own time,” Castiel rumbled, making Gabriel stare at him.
“There's nothing to reveal!”
“Oh, I beg to differ,” Balthazar leered. “You were practically swooning over your phone!”
“I was not!”
“To be honest, you do seem fairly taken with this young man,” Castiel piped up.
“What, you too, Cas?!”
“I was merely making an observation.”
“A wrong one!” Gabriel yelled, almost toppling off his bar stool in agitation.
Balthazar steadied him with a heavy hand on his shoulder. “All right, Gabriel, that's enough. Why are you being so bloody touchy about this? I can't blame you for going off on me. That's how you and I communicate after all, but there's no reason for you to be mean to Cas. What is going on?”
Gabriel swayed forwards and landed on the bar, only just managing to catch his head on his arms. “Ugh. Fuck my life,” he groaned.
“Come now, Gabe, it can't be that bad?”
“What's wrong?” Castiel asked gently and Gabriel was mortified to realize that his bottom lip was quivering, so he kept his face hidden in his arms.
“Tease me about this and die, understand me, B? I'm serious, if you joke about this, they will never find your body.”
There was stunned silence from Balthazar before he slowly said: “Well... when you put it like that...”
“I'm so screwed,” Gabriel moaned.
“God give me strength,” Balthazar mumbled, followed by the thud of Castiel socking him in the shoulder.
“Please go on, Gabriel.”
Gabriel took several deep breaths before forcing out: “I have the hots for my dog walker.”
There was silence for so long he was tempted to raise his head just to check that his companions hadn't left the bar without him.
“I... fail to see how that's a problem,” Balthazar finally said.
Gabriel shot up, wobbling on his chair. “Are you actually kidding about this?! I thought I warned you–”
“Woah, easy now! I wasn't pulling your leg, honestly! Now would you please calm down and explain to me what the problem is?”
“The problem?! You saw the picture!”
“Yes, he's frightfully handsome in an adorable sort of way. I still don't see the problem.”
“You don't see–” Gabriel felt his jaw drop and instead turned to Castiel. “Help me out here. Tell Balthazar what the problem is!”
To his horror, Castiel looked completely blank, even as he tried to do as Gabriel asked. “While I'm not at all sure it's as much of a problem as you're making it out to be, I suppose there is a slight moral issue of sleeping with one's employees...”
“That's not the point, Cas! Well, that's a problem too, but not the main one!”
“Then what is?” Balthazar asked, exasperated.
“He's only twenty-two!” Gabriel cried.
“So?” Balthazar shrugged.
“So?! So, it only makes me a humongous pervert!”
“No, it probably means that at worst you're having an early midlife crisis. Big deal. Just fuck him and get it out of your system!”
“Jesus Christ, B, nothing in life is that simple!”
“Of course it is! You're both consenting adults, you're not breaking any laws, and should things get horribly awkward afterwards just write him a glowing reference, hand him a huge check and hire another dog walker! It's not like you have to marry the man!”
Gabriel glared at Balthazar. “Oh sure, because having a hard-on makes it perfectly okay for me to act like a complete dick! And even if I did feel tempted to stoop to your level and just use him like he was some sort of chew toy, I wouldn't, because he's my friend, okay? He deserves better from me.”
Castiel cleared his throat awkwardly. “Well, they do say that love has no-”
“Shut it, or I will end you,” Gabriel growled, making Castiel hold up his hands in surrender.
“Is that what's troubling you? Are you concerned it might be more than just a silly crush?” Balthazar narrowed his eyes at Gabriel.
Abruptly, Gabriel felt like his stomach had dropped to the floor, and if he hadn't already been sitting he would have fallen over. “Don't... that's... you...” he gibbered, never managing to finish a sentence from the sheer terror he suddenly felt.
“That's it, isn't it?” Balthazar continued, weirdly gentle. “You have deeper feelings for this boy and you're afraid.”
Gabriel had the disturbing impression that his all his internal organs were doing impossible acrobatics at Balthazar's words. He'd been well aware that he was more than just a little attracted to Sam, but to have it put so bluntly by Balthazar of all people... Balthazar was a weirdly pragmatic hedonist. He viewed sex, drinking and entertainment as being as equally vital to survival as food and sleep, but never really saw any point in forming lasting commitments to any one partner. Consequently, he only rarely had the presence of mind to realize if someone was involved, hence the constant sustaining of injury from hitting on people who were very much spoken for. For him to actually notice Gabriel's predicament from a couple of phone calls and a few hours of drinking, without ever even having met Sam, or seen Gabriel with him, was downright distressing. Gabriel would have expected uncomfortable-yet-poignant statements like that from Castiel. But Balthazar...
That meant it was a whole lot worse than Gabriel ever imagined. He felt cold sweat on his face and down his back, and he couldn't decide what he wanted to do more. Laugh hysterically or vomit. Either way, apparently he'd forgotten all about needing oxygen, because Castiel suddenly shook his shoulder.
The quiet command released the hold on Gabriel's lungs and he heaved in a desperate breath, and promptly started hyperventilating.
“Oh god, oh god, oh god, this is bad, this is so very bad,” he babbled.
“For heaven's sake, Gabe, calm down. You're overreacting!” Balthazar said harshly, although he did put a calming hand on the back of Gabriel's neck, and helpfully bent him forwards until his breathing slowed.
“Honestly, you're acting like it's a terminal illness to be in love.”
“Maybe it is,” Gabriel groaned. “Sure feels like it.”
“You... don't wish to be in love?” Castiel asked.
This finally made Gabriel raise his head so he could glare miserably at Castiel.
“You know what? I would love to fall head over heels for some wonderful person, get married and live happily ever after. I would be thrilled. But it can't be Sam. It just can't.”
“Why not? He certainly seems to be at least fond of you.”
“For Christ's sake, Cas, Sam's feelings have nothing to do with this!”
“Then I'm afraid I'm at a complete loss. Why is this all so bad?”
Gabriel clenched his teeth, hard. He didn't want to get into this. At all. Ever. But since neither Castiel nor Balthazar seemed to have any clue, then he obviously had no choice. “Because of Anna,” he gritted out, this time definitely feeling the urge to vomit.
Balthazar and Castiel exchanged baffled looks. “That was tragic, Gabe, but it has nothing to do with Sam. Unless...” Balthazar suddenly looked murderous. “Michael. This is Michael's doing, isn't it?”
“I don't wanna talk about this any more,” Gabriel hissed, and turned to the bar to order something really strong, because clearly the only way this night was ending on a happy note was with Gabriel unconscious.
“Gabriel,” Castiel started, gently grasping his shoulder.
“I said I don't wanna talk about it.”
“B, I'm serious. Either shut up or I'm punching you in the face. Your choice.”
Something in his tone must have told Balthazar all he needed to know, because he miraculously backed off, only exchanging one more shocked look with Castiel before ordering them all doubles of whatever shots were fastest to pour.
Gabriel didn't remember getting home, but he woke up in his own bed to a conveniently placed bucket and a note from Balthazar.
[You need some serious therapy. Again. Told your boy toy to walk the dogs this morning, because I expect you'll be too busy puking to get anything useful done. Cassie wants to “talk”. I'll leave it up to you whether to accept his offer or not. One word of advice: deal with this. I don't care how, but don't let this fester even more. B.]
He groaned and crumpled the note. He had intended to throw it across the room in righteous indignation, but mid-swing he had to give up and make Balthazar's predictions come true. After expelling what felt like everything he drank last night, he grudgingly admitted that he was at least thankful to Balthazar for the bucket.
<<<Back to Chapter 5. Onwards to Chapter 7.>>>