Some Sabriel fluff for my best friend's birthday! Happy birthday, baby sis. Sorry it's not Veggie Tails or Potato Sins (haha, please don't hate me), but I hope you'll enjoy it nonetheless!

Gabriel never really had a place he could call his home. Sure, there was always Heaven, but since Dad left, home became more like a battleground. Things changed when Michael and Lucifer were trapped in the cage, but that didn't mean that those changes had been for the better. First, Cas went all nuts and tried to be God, then released the Leviathan out of Purgatory. If his baby brother and those two idiot hunters kept this up, Earth would be as much of a battlefield as Heaven was.

Not that he minded. If things got too heated, he always knew how to get himself out and back into hiding. Which was what he was doing strolling down a street in some town in Texas. Minding his own business, keeping his head down…playing pranks on those who deserved it. Some things would never change. He was just about to ditch this town (nothing was going on, and the trickster in him was starting to get bored) when a dog collided into his gut, barking happily.

"Hey there, boy! Where'd you come from?" He knelt down to ruffle the dog's ears, grinning at the Australian Shepherd with glee. He had a weak spot for dogs. Why not? Dogs were innately good. Their wicked owners were the ones who made them mean or violent. This one must have had a good, if a little inattentive, owner to be so friendly.

"Dog? Dog! Dog, where're you—oh, there you are. Sorry about him." Now, that took him back. That was a voice that Gabriel never thought (and hoped) he'd ever hear again.

Damn dog! Bringing a Winchester right to him. So much for innate goodness! Might as well get this over with. He straightened, looking up at the younger chucklehead and smiling grimly. Sam's eyes widened at seeing him, and he watched those big doe eyes look him over once and then again, as if trying to determine if was really Gabriel or not. The dog pranced proudly around their feet, like he'd just done them both a big favor in bringing them back together.

"Maybe if you called him something other than dog, he wouldn't run off so much." The archangel decided to try for a casual approach. Maybe Sam wouldn't push the situation if he thought Gabriel wasn't, well… Gabriel.

Unfortunately, Sam was too smart for his own good. Maybe if it had been Dean, he could have slipped away quietly, but not with Gigantor here. He stepped a little closer, scrutinizing the angel, cautious, and reached the conclusion that Gabe had been hoping he might miss.

"Gabriel?"

"Yep," he casually popped his p as he waited for Sam's reaction. He expected him to yell, or at least punch him. What he wasn't expecting was for the Winchester to wrap him in a tight hug and tuck him close. He definitely wasn't prepared for such affection from the guy whose life he made a living hell on more than one occasion.

"We thought you were dead!" Sam scolded, holding the angel at arm's length to look him over. "But Lucifer killed you. We saw your wings burned out on the floor. How did you survive?"

Gabriel shrugged, a little out of his element. He didn't like being surprised; usually, that was his job. "You can't take the trick outta the Trickster."

Maybe that's what this was. A trick. Maybe Sam was trying to get him to relax so he could shove holy oil up his ass or something. He kept his guard up as Sam asked him questions, mostly what he'd been doing since the night at the motel with his fellow gods. The thing that struck Gabriel was how genuinely interested the guy seemed in what the archangel had to say. He really wanted to know, and Gabe realized how starved for communication he was.

Finally, he couldn't take the suspense anymore. "So where's Dean-o? He doesn't strike me as the type to casually walk a dog in the park."

"Oh. Dean." Sam's face fell, and Gabriel almost regretted asking him about it. Almost. He'd rather know what to expect than tip-toe on his feelings. He reached down to pet the dog's head, avoiding Gabriel's curious gaze while he tried to figure out how to explain where his brother was. "It's a long story."

"I've got all the time in the world. He's not dead, is he? I didn't have anything to do with it this time."

Sam chuckled, smiling for a moment, and Gabe saw a glimpse of the kid he met back in Springfrield, Ohio. Back when his hair was shorter, and he wasn't mixed up with angels and the Apocalypse. He was so hopeful back then, before the demon blood and before Dean went to hell. That smile was what caught Gabriel's attention.

If a hunter like him could smile so brightly in his line of work, then maybe the world wasn't as screwed as he'd originally thought.

"I don't really know if he's dead or not, honestly," Sam admitted quietly, and Gabe knew there was a story there. He sighed and stuffed his hands in his pockets, trying to think how to proceed, and eventually gave up. So much for ditching town.

"Come on, Samsquatch. I know a place down the road with the best cupcakes. Their coffee isn't bad either, I guess. Plus, they have tables outside, so we can take your little pooch here." Gabriel grinned at the dog, who panted happily and jumped up on his leg. He scratched both of his ears playfully and waited for Sam's verdict.

"Are you asking me on a date, Gabriel?" he teased, scrutinizing Gabe for an ulterior motive.

"Ha! In your dreams, Winchester! I just wanna know what kind of trouble you and your knucklehead brother have caused in my absence."

"Okay, okay. Lead the way."

Sam talked while they headed down the road, his story starting with Cas trying to be God and letting the Leviathan out of Purgatory. Gabe listened casually, already knowing some of this but letting Sam get it all out. He managed to convince the health freak to eat a cupcake and even bought one for the dog. By the time Sam was done with his story, they were on their third cups of coffee, and Gabriel had lost count of how many cupcakes he'd eaten. He would smugly admit to being somewhere in the double digits.

"…So Dean and Cas managed to kill Dick, and then they just…disappeared when he exploded. I don't know where they are. I tried praying to Cas, but…nothing." Sam absently traced the rim of his coffee cup with his finger, distracted and disheartened by his story. Gabriel felt a pang of sympathy for the guy, and he tried to lighten the mood a little.

"Leave it up to you two idiots to have a Dick problem," Gabe teased, wiggling his eyebrows at him, and Sam managed a weak smile. "Wish I knew what to tell you, kiddo. Maybe Cassie and your bro decided to elope and left on an extended honeymoon."

"I wish," Sam mumbled, sighing. "If Cas won't even answer my prayers, maybe he can't?"

"Just because you pray to us doesn't mean we'll drop everything to see what you need," Gabriel pointed out, drinking up the rest of his s'mores Frappuccino. Not even a sugar rush yet. So much for sweetest thing on the menu.

"But you always hear?"

"Always."

"…So you heard me when I prayed to you after we thought Lucifer killed you."

Gabriel froze, his cupcake halfway to his mouth. "What?"

"After you 'died.' I prayed to you. Every day, for a while. Asking you for a sign if you managed to trick your way out of dying again. Apologizing if you did die because of us, our determination to say no to your brothers." Sam held Gabriel's eyes for a long moment, expression remorseful and self-loathing. Gabe never took it personally; it was typical Winchester behavior to sacrifice everyone but each other, but Sam's sincerity was earnest, which Gabriel hadn't been expecting. Sam was just full of surprises today. The angel replied with the only thing that might put Sam's mind at ease.

"Yeah, Sammy. I heard you." Luckily, Gabe could control his impulsive urges and kept himself from reaching over and placing his hand on top of Sam's. Why he even wanted to do that was beyond him. Comforting human gestures weren't exactly his forte, but he really wanted to console him, get that smile back on his face. All this heavy conversation was bringing him down.

Luckily, Gabe didn't have to do anything for Sam to understand. The Winchester relaxed, knowing he was forgiven, and reached down to pet the dog. Now, that was something he'd left out of his story that Gabriel was curious about. He watched the two of them for a moment, noting how happy the mutt made him, before he spoke again.

"So how did you end up with a dog? Figure that was the best way to replace your brother? Do you even notice a difference?"

Sam chuckled and rolled his eyes. "No, I, uh… accidentally hit him with the car. The vet guilt tripped me into taking him home with me. Guess I was a little bit lonely."

"How're his hunting skills? Can he even hold a shotgun?"

"I don't know," Sam confessed with a sigh, a heavy shroud falling on his shoulders again. "I haven't been hunting since Dean vanished."

"Maybe that's for the best, kiddo. Take a break, live your life a little, have fun with your dog. He looks like he's a riot," Gabe encouraged, uneasy about why it was so important to him for Sam to have a normal life right now. Sure, that probably meant that he should leave and not come back anytime soon, but that was something he could live with. He'd had his time with a familiar (friendly) face, but he should probably move on. After all, he didn't master witness protection by getting attached.

"Yeah, he is," Sam agreed, smiling at the pup, and Gabriel felt an unfair stab of jealously. Why would he get jealous of a dog? Sure, Sam smiled at the dog and hadn't stabbed it with a stake yet, so maybe that was it. He really needed to get out of there.

"So what're you gonna do now?" Sam brought him out of his train of thought, and Gabriel could only shrug for a moment. When his company didn't seem satisfied with that answer, he tried to come up with something convincing.

"Oh, you know me. Places to go, people to trick. I'm not a fan of staying in one place for too long." Even to him, it sounded like a stupid excuse.

"Yeah, I know the feeling…" Sam finally lifted his hand from the cup, leaving the half-finished drink on the table. The afternoon sky had darkened by now, the lingering clouds littered with bursts of pink and orange, but Gabe could see the approaching darkness in the distance. "Shame, though. It was nice seeing you, Gabriel. You're not that bad when you aren't killing my brother repeatedly or leaving us in TV land."

Gabe held up his hands in defense, unable to hide his devious smirk at the memory. Had almost three years really passed since then? "Hey! All of that was for you, kiddo. And don't you forget it."

"I won't." Sam smiled one more time at him, not the dog. "Thanks for listening, too. I, uh… I really appreciate it."

"Don't mention it—please. I don't want any of the guys to think I've gone soft or something."

Sam chuckled and nodded his assent. "Don't worry, your secret's safe with me. Take care of yourself, Gabriel."

"Yeah, you too," Gabe insisted, watching Sam and his pup head toward the road. Without thinking, he yelled after him, "And find a name for that pooch, would ya? You'll embarrass him in front of all his friends if you keep calling him dog. No overused names, either. You call him something like Buddy or Lucky, and he might come lookin' for me to smite him."

Sam grinned at him over his shoulder and nodded once before he and the dog disappeared around the corner and out of his life. For good this time, right? He knew where Sam was now. He could easily avoid the entire state of Texas and never have to deal with the ex-hunter ever again, which was probably in everyone's best interests.

He took a sip of Sam's leftover coffee and sighed. Just as he'd thought. It was sweeter.

About a week passed before Gabriel ran into Sam again walking his dog in the same park as before. Not that he'd been hanging out there hoping to run into Sam; he just liked the park. Sitting there on a bench and watching children play with their puppies helped him feel closer to Dad, their smiles and laughter a reminder of why He wanted his angels to love them so much. Humans were flawed, could be cruel and selfish, but the children were worth it to him. This time, when the dog pranced up to Gabriel on his park bench and the angel reached down to pet him, he heard Sam call for him by an actual name.

"Riot? Riot, no, get back…" Sam trailed off when he saw that it was Gabriel's lap his dog had hopped up into, and Gabriel was happy to see the guy look pleasantly shocked to see him. "Gabriel? I thought you were moving on."
"Eh, this place is nice. It couldn't hurt to settle down for a bit. Stop and smell the roses, so to say." Gabriel shrugged, keeping his true motives to himself. He couldn't look up into those doe eyes again, so he kept all his attention on the dog, scratching his head and trying not to get licked to death. They'd went about stopping the Apocalypse all wrong. They should have went with dogs. No way Luci and Mike would have been able to resist adorable, fluffy, licking dogs.

"You don't like to stay in one place for too long. You said so yourself," Sam pointed out, raising his eyebrow. Gabe recognized the tell-tale signs of the famous bitch face and knew the Winchester wasn't buying his excuse. Time to change the subject.

"Soooo, Riot, huh? Where'd you come up with a name like that?" Gabriel grinned cheekily, and even Sam had to laugh for a minute.

"I dunno, it just came to me the other day."

"Sounds like divine intervention, if you ask me."

"You could say that." Chuckling, Sam shoved his hands into his pockets and looked anywhere except at Gabriel. Tilting his head to the side, Gabriel stood up, examining the Winchester as Riot ran off to chase a squirrel up a tree. The two of them listened to his barking for a moment, their own silence only slightly uncomfortable. They both knew that they would eventually have to part again; Sam would keep walking his dog, and Gabe would go back to his lonely boredom. It'd been such a long time since he'd relaxed in somebody else's company (and that hadn't gone so well when a bunch a temperamental and all-powerful gods had been involved), but Gabe couldn't shake the feeling that he just didn't want to say goodbye yet. He'd stuck around town, praying to his Father to run into Sam Winchester again, and now that he had, he didn't know what to do with him. Luckily for Gabriel, the hunter must have had similar thoughts.

"There's an outdoor café just down the road," Sam suggested calmly, shrugging a bit. "I heard they have good food. Wanna check it out?"

Gabriel shifted a little, debating. "…how's their coffee?"

Sam grinned, knowing just how to win him over. "Sweet."

So they fell into a routine of sorts after that. Each day, Gabriel would just happen to be in the park, whistling to himself on his park bench and casually tricking kids into hitting their parents with Frisbees and footballs, and Sam would show up (or, Riot would show up leading Sam), and they'd find a new place to go sit down, grab a bite to eat, and just chat for a few hours. They stopped talking about the past and found more engaging and weightless topics. Gabriel would tell Sam about some of the people he'd pranked, and Sam would tell him some of the finer points regarding his childhood or college. They were content just learning about each other, enjoying the company of one another, until it got too late and Gabriel would mention he might be leaving town soon.

At first, Sam's eyes would flicker with carefully concealed fear and disappointment whenever Gabriel brought it up. Days turned into weeks, which bled into months, and Sam soon learned that I might be moving on soon was just Gabriel's way of saying I'll see you tomorrow. He couldn't take it anymore, so he asked an innocent enough question that scared the shit out of Gabriel.

"Hey, where are you even staying? Do you have a place?"

Gabriel stopped chewing on his cookie, jaw locked around soft crumbs and chocolate chips. Staying? He hadn't been staying anywhere. He was an angel; he didn't even need to sleep. When he wasn't with Sam, he was waiting until it was time for him to meet up with Sam again. Sure, sometimes he would go off and play some casual pranks, but nothing like he used to.

"I've been working at a motel here in town," Sam went on, failing to notice Gabriel's hesitation," and I found a house I can afford to rent. Already furnished and everything, but it's a little bit for just Riot and me. I thought maybe if you wanted, you could always come by for a bit. There's a spare bedroom. I know you don't sleep or anything, but you're welcome to have your own space or whatever." He was rambling. The bloody Winchester was nervous, and he wore those puppy dog eyes that Gabe had never figured out how to resist. He swallowed, feeling his throat tighten at the implications. Gabriel couldn't handle this, so he did the one thing he did best.

"No can do, Sammy. I don't see a point in settling down if I'm going to be leaving soon." He kept clinging to that lie, as if saying it every day might make it truer, when he knew he wouldn't be leaving. As long as Sam Winchester was in the crummy town of Kermit, Texas, Gabriel would stick around.

Sam's jaw clenched, and he glared away for a moment. Gabriel recognized the motions from the day he recounted the Leviathan fiasco. The way he craned his neck as he turned away his eyes, swallowing tightly to reign in his emotions, deep breath to calm himself, and the bitch face. Of course Gabriel would weasel that famous bitch face out of him.

"You keep saying that, Gabriel, yet here you are every day," he reminded loftily, a pro a guarding his voice. "If you're going to leave, maybe you should do it already."

Gabe sighed and searched for a way that this altercation might end in his favor. He found none. "Sam..."

"The house I'm renting is on the other side of the town," Sam cut in, voice clipped. He let that settle in, watched the way realization dawned on Gabriel's face before he added, "I won't have a reason to come to this park anymore."

Gabe stared at him, honeyed eyes wide. For the second time when the Winchesters were involved, the archangel, one of the world's first creations, the messenger of God himself, found himself speechless. In two short lines, Sam had dashed away his entire reason for staying in Kermit and called him right out on it. He didn't know what to say, didn't know how to reason with Sam, who was expecting an answer at some point. When he didn't get one, he huffed a hefty sigh and stood up from their table. Gabriel listened to his footsteps, heavy footfalls mixing with those happy pads of his pup, until he couldn't distinguish them from the crowd anymore.

Dear, Father, what was he supposed to do? He knew what he wanted to do—horrible, sinful things an archangel of the Lord shouldn't even be considering—but it wasn't heavenly reasons that kept him from chasing after Sam. He shuffled along the sidewalk, kicking a rock with his toe and listening to the scuffle it made against the pavement.

Sam Winchester had went through hell—literally and figuratively. He deserved more than some broken angel who constantly ran away from all his problems. Even if they weren't problems, Gabriel would rather pop off and start anew than deal with any type of obstacle. He'd been that way since Mike cast Luci out of Heaven, and all the mindless fighting began. He'd been that way since the only home he'd ever known had become a battlefield. Now Sam wanted to offer him a new home, and he just couldn't shake the feeling that he didn't deserve it. Sam was probably just being polite; he didn't even want him.

When Gabe looked up, he found himself standing in front of a house, and he didn't need to play twenty questions to figure out who lived there. Without even thinking, Gabriel walked right up to the door and knocked. A few barks later, the door opened, revealing Sam Winchester in a t-shirt and sweat pants.

"Gabriel? What are you doing here?" He furrowed his brow, searching for a motive, and Gabriel was about to give him one.

He pushed his way into the house and grabbed Sam by the collar of his shirt. Shoving him against the nearest wall, he glared up at the hunter furiously, enraged by the idea that a mere human had him so unhinged. He didn't know who he was angrier at: himself or Sam for bringing him to this. He opened his mouth to tell him that, too, he really did.

Gabriel wasn't really sure how he ended up kissing him, but he couldn't have imagined any other way that this confrontation could have gone. Kissing Sam Winchester started out being the equivalent to making out with a brick wall. No response at all. Gabriel fisted his shirt in his hands, frustrated, and glowered up at the taller man, who stared in shock at the archangel pinning him to the wall. Riot watched from across the room, his excited panting the only noise other than Gabriel's heavy breathing.

"Now do you get it?" he huffed heatedly.

Sam didn't say anything, only furrowed his brow at him with his mouth wide open as he attempted to process what had just happened. Gabriel let go of him, dejected, and raised his hand to snap his fingers, ready to pop out of there and never show his face to Sam Winchester ever again.

A big hand wrapped around his, and suddenly Gabe was the one with his back to the wall. Sam wasted no time in bending down and recapturing his lips in a fierce kiss that Gabriel gladly melted into. The angel finally understood the expression Heaven on Earth. He'd never before felt such a profound sense of serenity, just from the meeting of mouths. The experience was nerve-wracking and exhilarating, which Gabriel would never have expected in all the millennia he'd lived. In a single kiss, he'd found what he'd been searching for. He found Paradise, and he'd be damned to Hell with Luci and Mike if he was going to let go of it anytime soon.

Sam's big hand cupped Gabriel's cheek, the fingers of his other hand running up and down the small of his back, occasionally dropping to give his ass a squeeze. He let Sam have his moment, groaned when teeth sunk into his bottom lip, but didn't give in when Sam tried to keep control. He threaded his fingers in Sam's long locks tightly, as though the Winchester might slip away if given the opportunity. Unfortunately, humans just had to breathe, so he had to loosen his hold eventually so the guy could have some hair. Chuckling, Sam grinned at him, all while the youngest archangel gaped up at him like he had two heads.

"Yeah, I get it," Sam answered breathlessly. "Now, do you?"

Gabriel laughed, beaming up at him. Yeah, he got it, and he didn't realize how stupid he'd been to not understand sooner. He raised a hand again, and Sam let him this time. He snapped his fingers, and by the time the door slammed shut, they'd already found each other's mouths again, tugging and pulling on clothes. One more consenting nod from Sam and another archangel snap later, and the lights went out, leaving Sam and Gabe to learn each other biblically.

Gabriel learned an important lesson that night. Home wasn't necessarily a place. It sure wasn't the war-torn remnants of Heaven Gabriel had fled so long ago. Home wasn't the house he ended up agreeing to move into that very night. Home was Sam's raised eyebrow when Gabe filled the pantries with candy and his big doe eyes suggesting that Gabriel stay in bed just a little bit longer. Home was the careful way Sam held him, treating him more like a breakable and not like an indestructible angel of the Lord, and the way they fit together almost seamlessly. Until his brother managed to claw his way out of Purgatory the way he crawled out of Hell, Sam Winchester was home.

Whistling, Gabe jogged up the steps leading to their house, Riot trailing along proudly at his heels. Yeah, that mutt knew exactly what he was doing the day he made the two of them bump into each other. He always did say that dogs were innately good. This one would definitely have his own fire hydrant in Heaven, if he had anything to say about it.

"Hey, Samsquatch, we're back!" Gabe called out as he walked through the front door, and Riot barked a few times in accompaniment.

"In the bedroom!"

Gabe glanced at Riot and wiggled his eyebrows. "Ooh, the bedroom! You heard my man. Better stay here, Riot. Remember what happened last time?"

Riot huffed and padded off into the kitchen in search of his food bowl. Grinning, Gabriel took the steps two at a time to get to his hunter boyfriend, still humming some nameless tune to himself as he went. On his way up, Sam started talking again, knowing that Gabe's superior hearing would allow him to catch every word.

"So I found this box in the closet labeled Camp Kikakee and got a little curious. You won't believe what I found in there…"

Curious, Gabe darted up the rest of the steps, stopping in the doorway when he found Sam wearing a familiar pair of red booty shorts and a smirk that rivaled his own. Ten seconds later, Gabriel came to a pleasant and mildly surprising conclusion.

Even after Dean managed to worm his ass out of Purgatory, Gabriel was always gonna call Sam Winchester home, and for the first time in his life, he didn't feel like running away.