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.
He spent the next couple of weeks actively ignoring the events of New Year's Eve. He'd been sickly worried for a while that Balthazar might have decided to take matters into his own hands and tell Sam everything. Gabriel wouldn't put it past him. But when the first work day of the new year arrived, Sam texted happily as usual about how the cleaning lady still hated him, and sent yet another picture of Chewie getting filthy on the muddy agility course. So Gabriel breathed a sigh of relief and set about forgetting it ever happened.
Which wasn't easy when the object of his woes texted him every day, and spent at least a couple of afternoons every week working on creating an ass-shaped indent in the middle cushion of his couch. But Gabriel was a grown man, dammit. He wasn't going to let what was clearly just a massive case of teen-worthy hormone surges steer his life in a direction which would be nothing short of a disaster. He even went to the doctor for a check-up, and was dismayed by the news that nothing was wrong which could possibly explain excessive mooning and ill-timed boners. Instead he was told that he clearly suffered from stress, and a pretty severe case at that. “Tell me something I don't know,” Gabriel had snarled and left the place.
Because it was stressful. Every time Gabriel came face to face with Sam, his heart started again with its stupid conga rhythms, his face would go all hot and his palms would sweat. Which was all totally inconvenient. So he tried to cut down on seeing Sam, making as much as possible of their interaction happen by phone. But of course, nobody sent Sam the memo that face-to-face meetings were bad, and it seemed as if he was going out of his way to time it so that if he was dropping off dry-cleaning or on one hilarious occasion giving Chewie a bath, it would happen just as Gabriel was coming home, which in turn almost always ended up with an invitation to stay for another movie night.
So Gabriel smiled, laughed and drank in all that was Sam, and then proceeded to curse himself and his weak spine as soon as Sam was out the door.
Just as he thought he was getting used to keeping a lid on things, though, it was yet again made clear how far up shit creek he really was.
He came home one Monday night to find Sam asleep on his couch, Bones on the floor next to it, and Chewie snuggled up behind Sam's bent knees. The dogs looked up when Gabriel came in, but Sam didn't stir and Gabriel struggled weakly with his conscience for about five seconds before he folded, and sat down quietly in his armchair, telling himself firmly that he totally wasn't being creepy. For a long time he sat just watching Sam. His hair had grown longer since they'd met the year before, and a few wavy locks had fallen across his face in sleep. He looked even younger with his eyes closed and his face relaxed, and that would probably have bothered Gabriel if it hadn't been sort of pointless. Sam was already too young for Gabriel anyway, in all ways that mattered.
But as he watched, Gabriel also suddenly noticed that Sam had some definite stubble going on, and while it at first only made Gabriel ache with the urge to rub up against it until his skin burned, it also made him worry. In all the time he'd known Sam, the guy had never been anything but clean shaven. A closer look revealed subtle bags under his eyes and a small furrow of a frown between his eyebrows, even though the rest of his face was relaxed. And then Gabriel spotted something else. Next to the couch was a bag. A duffel, clearly packed with enough things for a longer trip somewhere.
Something was really off here, and he took one last look at Sam's sleeping face, filing it away in his mind for later perusal, before taking hold of Sam's strong shoulder and gently shaking him awake.
“Hey... hey, kiddo?”
Sam slowly blinked awake, and the smile he sent Gabriel when he finally managed to focus his eyes made Gabriel's chest physically hurt with how hard his heart was pounding.
“Gabriel... hi,” Sam breathed, acting for all the world like Gabriel was the best thing in the world to wake up to. Stomping hard on that thought, Gabriel shook him gently again.
“Hey, sport. Any specific reason you're passed out on my couch?”
This seemed to finally wake up Sam properly, and he looked around before realization dawned on his face. “Oh... Oh! Shit, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to fall asleep.” He sat up and rubbed his face vigorously, willing himself to wake up before facing Gabriel again. “Ugh. I just meant to pop in and have a quick talk before I leave. I hate to do this, but I have to ask for some time off.”
“Sure, no problem,” Gabriel said immediately. “Something serious?”
Sam seemed to waver, but then his shoulders slumped and he sighed. “Well... yes. It actually is. I have to go home.”
“I'm guessing you don't mean home to Andy and his questionable substances?”
“No, I mean back home. To Dean and dad.”
Gabriel nodded. “Can I ask why?”
“It's... I don't wanna weigh you down with my problems-”
“Sam, you're my friend. You can talk to me, okay? I can take it,” Gabriel said with a half-smile.
Sam smiled back and visibly bolstered himself before speaking again. “Dean called me this morning. He doesn't know how it happened, but dad is in some serious financial trouble. It might be a tax thing or something, I dunno. The only thing we know for sure right now is that we need five thousand dollars by Thursday, or the bank will take the auto shop.” He shook his head and ran a hand through his hair, clearly frustrated.
“That shop is my dad's life. He built it up from nothing, and I can't even imagine what would happen if he lost it. Not to mention that him and Dean live there too, so in three days they could be homeless as well as jobless. It's a nightmare.” He sighed. “I've scraped together everything I have, but even though you pay me insanely well, I could only find enough for the bus trip home and maybe one night in a motel, if everything falls apart. I don't know what we're gonna do.”
Gabriel nodded along to Sam's explanation, but by the end, he was grinning. “Sam... honestly, sometimes I wonder about you. You're a bright kid, but right now you're being downright dumb.” He hurried on before Sam's budding frown could develop into a full-blown bitch face. “You're talking to a person who can solve all your problems with barely a dent in his wallet. Five thousand dollars is pocket change for me, Sam.”
“I... I didn't want to make you feel like I only like you for your money or something,” Sam mumbled.
Chuckling, Gabriel shook his head. “Kiddo, you've done nothing but reject my money from day one. If I didn't know better, I would have thought you were allergic to dollar bills.”
Sam smiled weakly, but it was brief. “I didn't want to have to ask you for this...”
“You're not. I'm offering. Besides, you're gonna pay me back one day when you're a hotshot lawyer, okay?”
“Really?” Sam's whole face was slowly brightening and Gabriel had never felt richer in his life.
“You bet. And don't you worry, I'll be adding a hefty interest rate. You'll owe me double in the end.”
Gabriel was taken completely by surprise when Sam suddenly darted off the couch and pulled him into a bone-crunching hug. It was all incredibly awkward, Sam half on his knees in front of the armchair and Gabriel pulled to the edge of the seat. But all Gabriel noticed at that moment was how amazing it felt to be completely enveloped in Sam's long arms, pressed tightly against his chest and breathing into his hair.
“Thank you. Thank you so so much,” Sam was murmuring into Gabriel's shoulder, and for just a moment, Gabriel allowed himself to forget all his hang-ups and just hugged back firmly.
“Anytime, kiddo. Anytime.”
By the time they finally parted, Gabriel had almost forgotten how to breathe, and Sam's eyes looked shiny in the low light as he sat back on the couch. Taking a few deep breaths now that his ribs weren't being squashed any longer, Gabriel forced his heart to get from his throat back to his chest where it belonged before he felt he was able to talk again.
“Okay, so here's how it's gonna go. I'm gonna pop out for a sec and get you the money in cash. We're on a timetable here, and a check might be rejected or something. I've seen some really shitty excuses to get people evicted, so we don't wanna take any chances. What time does your bus leave?”
Sam looked at his watch. “Uh... shit... well, I was gonna catch the five PM one, but since it's now five thirty, I guess it'll have to be the seven PM one.”
“Perfect, gives me plenty of time to get the cash and get you on a cab to the bus station.”
“You don't have to–” Sam started, but Gabriel cut him off.
“Don't even start. I want to. End of story.”
Sam held his hands up in surrender and let Gabriel talk him into having a beer while he popped out. When he went to the door, Chewie bounced around his feet and whined when Gabriel made to leave without him. Hesitating, Gabriel considered the pleading eyes directed at him. Obviously Chewie had been taking lessons from Bones on how to perfect the puppy look, because it took mere seconds for Gabriel to crack. “Okay, fine, come along then,” he groaned, grabbing the leash from the coat rack before closing the door on Sam's snickering and Bones' snorting. Cheeky bastards.
When he got back, Sam raised an eyebrow at the cardboard box he was handed. “Okay, so I got you a sandwich for your trip, big deal,” Gabriel shrugged, and tried to ignore how his cheeks heated. “Besides, the cash is in there too. You might be huge, but five thousand bucks in an obvious bag can get even you mugged. Not many people wanna take on an eight foot yeti for a sandwich, though.”
Sam opened the box, looked inside and sent him a brilliant smile. “You're worried about me?”
“Of course I am. My friend and my money are at risk here.” Gabriel said evenly, turning his back to try and get his goddamn face to stop looking like a tomato. There was silence for a long moment where Gabriel could feel Sam's eyes on his back.
“Thanks. Again,” Sam finally said. Gabriel just nodded in return before deciding that a change of subject was in order.
“So, what are your plans for your mutt while you're off saving the family business?”
Sam blinked. “Uh... I was gonna take him with me.”
“Five hours by bus with a huge dog? No way that can be comfortable for him. Why don't you just leave him here with me?”
“But... don't you have... work?” Sam stammered.
“Yeah, but in case you hadn't noticed, my dog walker is going to be out of town, so I'll be going home early to walk my own dog anyway. Besides, does your dad even like dogs?”
Shuffling his feet, Sam grimaced. “Not really, no.”
“Then that's settled. Lemme call you a cab so you can go save the day.”
“If you're gonna thank me again or try to talk me out of getting you safely to the station, then zip it. Now get a move on, you've got a bus to catch!”
Gabriel called a cab, shoved Sam into it and paid the driver in advance to avoid Sam trying to pick up the check himself. Sam rolled his eyes, but still waved goodbye cheerfully as the car pulled away, leaving Gabriel and the dogs to stare wistfully after it from the sidewalk.
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