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.
By day three, Gabriel admitted to himself that he was wallowing.
He'd been telling himself up until then that he'd merely been re-grouping. Processing. Thinking. But eventually he realized that he wasn't so much thinking as obsessing, the argument with Sam going on endless loop in his head, only interrupted by Chewie's walks and fitful bouts of napping. He'd told Ava that he was taking the rest of the week off and then turned off his phone. Sadly, he'd forgotten all about his land line, and Saturday morning it rang. Gabriel was very tempted to just yank out the damn cord, but caller ID told him it was Castiel. With a heavy sigh he picked up, desperately hoping that whatever the emergency, it was something he wouldn't have to put too much effort into.
“Cas, what?” he greeted shortly. Then he groaned. Because it was not Castiel on the line.
“Funny thing, Gabby,” Balthazar leered. “It seems like your cell phone is off.”
“Fuck off, B.” He almost managed to hang up, but then Balthazar's next words sank in.
“Guess who just served my latte?”
Gabriel didn't answer. Suddenly it was like his voice wasn't working.
“No guesses? In that case I can inform you that he's a big, lumbering mountain of woe. What the hell happened?!”
“I... I fired him,” Gabriel croaked.
“I fired him. Pink slip. No notice.”
“Why the hell would you do that?! Did he freak out over you finally putting the moves on him?”
“More like the other way around,” Gabriel muttered.
It must have been clear enough for Balthazar to hear, though, because there were several seconds of stunned silence. “Are you telling me he jumped you... and you turned him down?!”
“Twice!? What the fuck is wrong with you?!”
Gabriel sighed heavily. “I actually have no idea anymore.”
“No shit. I know I'm going to regret asking this, but... what reason could you possibly have for turning down your boy toy?”
“Come on, you know why,” Gabriel whined.
“No, as a matter of fact I don't. I'm aware that you seem to think it has something to do with Anna, but beyond that I'm baffled.”
“It's not just Anna,” Gabriel said. “You of all people should know that.”
There was a pause that practically broadcast Balthazar's surprise.
“Right... could you pretend for a moment that you're talking to someone who has no idea what you're on about? In fact, let's not pretend.”
“B, this isn't fucking funny–”
“No, you're right, it's not! In fact, I'm starting to get really ticked off! It feels like some inside joke and I hate inside jokes when I'm not in on them! Just tell me what the hell it is I'm supposed to know!”
“You're telling me you've forgotten why you haven't spoken to your mother in twenty years?!” Gabriel still wasn't sure if Balthazar was joking or not, but if this was what he wanted, Gabriel could take the gloves off, no problem.
Again there was a brief pause, and Gabriel congratulated himself grimly on having hit the mark dead on. At least until Balthazar spoke.
“Because she was a mean old hag who spent all her time telling me what a disappointment I was? Oh, and also because she's dead, thank fuck.”
This was news to Gabriel, and he felt suddenly ill.
“She... she died, and you never... I dunno... made up?”
“Are you mad?! Why on Earth would I want that?!”
“Because... she's your mother?” Gabriel deadpanned.
Balthazar groaned with frustration. “She was a despicable woman who happened to give birth to me almost forty years ago. In my view that's not enough to make her family. I hated her, and she sure didn't like me very much either. The day I decided to leave all that shit behind was the happiest of my life and she was glad to see me go.”
“Wait,” Gabriel said slowly, suddenly feeling like he missed something. “I thought she kicked you out?”
“Hah, no, she wouldn't do that. She wouldn't want a scandal on her hands, God forbid. No, I expect she told all her friends that I'd been kidnapped and murdered or something. Sounds like a good solid reason for getting all the attention.”
Gabriel felt like his world was slowly turning upside down, so he hurriedly grasped for any familiar straw. “Well what about Cas, then? I thought he left town because you were forced to. Couldn't you just have bunked with him?”
Weirdly, this made Balthazar laugh. “Oh, Gabey, you really are out of the loop. Cas left because he wanted to bunk with me.”
“Cassie and I were fucking like bunnies. So bunking with him, as you put it, would not have made his parents very happy, bless their fanatic little hearts.”
There was muttering in the background and Balthazar snickered.
“Oh, and Cassie of course resents my wording, but it's all true. Personally, I think he just doesn't want to admit he thought he was in love with me at the time.”
“I got wiser,” came a disgruntled protest from Castiel, who had clearly moved closer to the phone to argue. Despite his confusion, Gabriel smiled to himself. Castiel was a mountain of calm, right up until Balthazar decided to rile him up. Gabriel had never really understood how those two had become best friends, but whatever they had, it worked. And who was he to argue with that?
“Anyway, what does it matter why we left home?” Balthazar continued. “I mean, sure, those were some really interesting times, and not always in the good way, but it's all in the past.”
“I just thought...” Gabriel trailed off, feeling incredibly stupid all of a sudden.
“You thought... what?”
“I thought your mom kicked you out because she walked in on us that one time.”
There was a muffled thump and then Castiel's voice came through the phone clear as a bell. “You were unfaithful to me?!”
“Ow! For heaven's sake, keep your knickers on! First of all, no I wasn't. It was just a bit of smooching, and secondly, when have you ever known me to be exclusive!? And thirdly, we were seventeen! 'Yes' was my default reply to any sort of proposition!” There were sounds of movement and a few muffled words of protest before Balthazar spoke again, now slightly winded. “Now that that's settled... you were about to tell me why all this ancient history even matters.”
Gabriel felt lost and frankly a little nauseous with how his whole relationship with Balthazar and Castiel suddenly had to be re-evaluated in his head. It was quite a while before he managed to shape words in his mouth again, and he was pathetically grateful to Balthazar for not filling the silence with snark for once in his life.
“So you... you and Cas... you don't... blame me? At all?”
“Blame you? For what?”
“For...” Gabriel struggled to find words for what was on his mind without sounding completely pathetic. But in the end he realized that it was probably too late for that. “I just thought that you'd been forced to leave your families behind because of yet another one of my stupid ideas,” he muttered.
“Stupid ideas? Seriously? Mate, you have the best ideas! Granted, you've been steadily becoming more of a fuddy-duddy over the years, but back in the day, nobody could out-prank you! Remember the chewing gum joke? I still get the giggles thinking about that one.”
“Alistair got expelled because of that one, in case you've forgotten. Hardly my best laid plan,” Gabriel argued bitterly. Yet another life ruined because of him.
“Oh, for Pete's sake, if anyone deserved what he got, it was Alistair. He was a complete monster who should be locked up for the good of society. Even the teachers applauded when the cops picked him up, remember?”
“It was still me who got him kicked out.”
“No, you merely showed the rest of us the way to get rid of him.”
“Which is exactly my point. I always manage to lead kids astray somehow!”
“Ohhhhh...” Balthazar said slowly. “I see now. You've gotten it into your head that because Sam is younger than you, he will automatically look to you for guidance. And that scares you.”
“Thanks, doctor. What do I owe ya?” Gabriel snapped.
“Shut up, Gabe, I'm about to give you some advice. And considering you seem to think your own advice is worth zilch, you'd better listen.”
Gabriel dearly wished he had some counter-argument to that, but he drew a blank, so he had no choice but to grudgingly let Balthazar continue.
“Thing is, if I understand you right, this whole tragic affair with you and Sam was in fact not your idea. Sure, you hired him, possibly not with entirely pure intentions, but we can safely say that acting on it was not a plan of yours. So this one is on Sam, and by your own logic, that should make it a good choice. Right?”
“It's not that simple–”
“Yes it is,” Balthazar cut him off. “And furthermore, whatever the reason, you keep bringing up poor Anna, and while I didn't know her all that well, I can say with absolute certainty that she would never ever want to stand in the way of your happiness. So if her death is messing with your head again, get help. I'm not joking about this. Find a bloody therapist and deal with it. If you ever get your head out of your arse and follow your heart, you need to at least try to not be a basket case.”
“Oh look, Mr. 'I'm Never Exclusive' is giving me relationship advice,” Gabriel quipped, feeling very uncomfortable with the entire conversation, but also thoroughly cornered.
“All I know is that nobody wants to fuck crazy people, and I can only imagine that goes double for... whatever comes after fucking.”
“You're just a fountain of wisdom, B.”
“You know it, darling. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to give Cassie a blowjob or something. I guess I owe him that for bringing up the whole in love with me thing. Plus, this is his phone.”
Gabriel chuckled and shook his head. “I will never understand what's going on with you two.”
“Best of friends, me and Cassie. Occasionally with benefits. What more is there to understand?”
“You know, if you want in on it, just say the word,” Balthazar purred, and while his tone was joking, Gabriel had no doubt Balthazar would follow up if he accepted the offer.
“Thanks but no thanks, really. Not that you aren't a totally sexy beast, but I kinda like our relationship the way it is. Besides... I... guess I'm kinda into something a little different at the moment.”
“Tall, young and strapping. I completely understand. Go get him, tiger!”
“You're a terrible influence, B.”
“You know you love me.”
“Yeah, I really kinda do,” Gabriel said finally. As much as he argued and bantered with Balthazar, the guy was one of his oldest and dearest friends, and Gabriel was never afraid to say what he felt.
But hardly had the words left his mouth before there was a rustling and the very audible sound of a zipper. “Please tell me you're not actually in the process of giving Cas a blowjob right now?!”
“Oh God! You shameless bastard! Ugh!”
Gabriel slammed the receiver down with a shudder. Trust Balthazar to turn an emotional moment into a vaguely scarring episode.
But, disturbingly oversharing friends or not, the conversation had given Gabriel some serious food for thought. Clearly he'd been wrong in assuming he'd been the reason for everything ugly happening around him. And while most of his mind was screaming at him that Anna was still his fault, his fault, his fault... there was suddenly also a tiny voice of doubt. What if...
Suddenly determined, he picked up the phone again.
<<<Back to Chapter 9. Onwards to Chapter 11.>>>