Spoilers/Warnings: Tiny one for 5.22 if you can spot it ;)/boy-kissing
Disclaimer: I own neither Supernatural nor Facebook.
A/N: For the 'kiss – first' square on my schmoop_bingo card.
Gabriel was twelve when he met Sam.
His family had just moved from Minneapolis to Beverly, Massachusetts. It was a small town, filled with white picket fences and wrap-around porches; and it was so incredibly quiet.
Gabriel was his school's two hundred and thirty fourth member.
Don't get him wrong, Gabriel was able to make friends easily enough, and within a few days he had a group of people who he walked to class with. They'd sit on a windowsill they'd claimed and make fun of the popular kids until the bell rang.
Such was the vein of Gabriel's school existence – he was certainly no jock; nobody poked fun at him (except occasionally for his size) and he did enough work to keep him with a reasonably high GPA.
He didn't invite friends home though – he knew kids would judge him for what they saw there.
He only had fleeting memories of his father. According to his big brothers (Gabriel was the youngest of four), Dad left when Gabe was just a toddler. Nobody really knew where he went, and Mom didn't talk about it. For all they knew, he was dead.
So pretty much his only childhood memories had been of Mom driving herself half insane looking after four boys. Poor Michael: as soon as he was old enough to babysit Mom had him looking after his little brothers while she went out to work.
So, since Gabriel was six, Michael had been the boss: ruler of all; King of Backyard-dom; Captain of all Imaginary Pirate Ships, past, present and future.
Then there was Luci…nobody really remembered why or how he'd gotten that nickname, but Michael had once told him in a whisper that Dad had given it to him, before he left. Despite the name, nobody teased him for it at school – to be honest, Luci was scary-ass and would beat the absolute crap out of anyone who tried to.
Every school he went to knew him as 'Michael's brother', because Michael was so perfect, all the time, class president blah blah blah. He was happy now, because, for once, he'd started school with a clean slate, so to speak, and as a freshman, no less.
Somewhere in the middle of those two was Raph, but he mostly just stayed in his room with his Xbox, bothering no-one and staying quiet.
"It's so disrespectful! Imagine building a mosque on the site of Ground Zero! We can't build churches in Mecca."
"Okay, first of all, asshat, it's not on the site. It's several blocks away. And you know what? That's the difference between us and them…they don't have freedom of religion, we do. And freedom of religion means all religions."
Gabriel sighed as he came through the front door, bone-breaking backpack in tow. Luci and Mike were at it again – their incessant bickering was getting a little old, to be honest, and Gabriel had given up trying to stop them. Eventually they'd tire out and go and sulk in opposite corners of the house until someone foolishly brought up 'Obama' or 'socialized healthcare' and it'd start all over again.
Normally, in these situations, Gabriel would roll his eyes and escape to his room, but he had a feeling they'd be heard even there – today's argument was going to be a bad one, he could tell.
Besides, he figured, it was a nice day, and what homework he had could wait.
He snuck past the two brothers, trying hard not to get pulled into their fight and succeeding. He closed the screen door behind him, looking into his new back yard for the first real time.
It had a small porch, really just a place to change your shoes and a chair to sit and read if it was a nice day. The porch door creaked and slammed shut behind him as he crept into the yard.
It was mostly grassy in the middle, surrounded by shrubs on the other three sides not taken up by porch and house. The place was overgrown with weeds, since Mom wasn't much of a gardener (and apparently neither was the previous owner) and the bushes grew tall and wild near the end of the yard – some could even possibly be considered trees.
Gabriel ran over the grass to a tree right at the end of the yard. It was a holly tree, but he could see that, even from the house, it was thinly branched and looked as though one could step fully inside it.
Carefully, he peeled and picked away branches, suffering through the tiny pinpricks that assaulted his palms and wrists. But what he saw when he got in? Well, it was pretty much every kid's dream: the gap underneath the bush was cavernous – big enough to fit at least two people.
Gabriel noted it as a good future 'hide and seek' spot, and crouched inside.
Sun came in through the gaps in the little blocks, shifting and morphing as a breeze shuffled the branches. The ground was soft, covered in a thin layer of mulch – not that Gabriel minded. He was more than a little used to getting his pants covered in dirt.
He settled down right in the middle of the open patch, his back to the fence. It was comfortable, and he settled back to rest on the fence. As soon as he did so, however, the fence moved behind him, causing him to fall backwards.
He caught himself though, hissing as his shoulder caught on the edge of the wood and scraped him a little. Scooching over so he wouldn't rest back on the loose plank, he tried to fix the plank so it would fit back in its original place.
Only, it would have happened if a hand hadn't stopped him. Perplexed at the hand that was half on his and half on the plank, Gabriel moved so he could peer around the corner at who the hand belonged to.
He was met with a pair of big hazel eyes, not more than two inches from his face. They blinked once, before Gabriel pulled back. When he looked again, the face around them gave him a small smile.
"Hello," the kid said, brown eyes curious. "Can I come in?" he asked, his smile spreading. He'd followed Gabriel a little bit, and his head was now part way through the gap in the fence.
He couldn't have been any older than Gabriel, and his brown hair was a little long, falling to just over his ears. Gabriel nodded. "Can you fit?" he wondered, shuffling back in the space to give him enough room to get inside. The kid just grinned.
By some amazing feat of contortionism, he slipped first his shoulders, then the rest of his body through the gap. When he finally made it through – torn, muddy jeans and all – he readjusted the plank so he could lean back on it without falling back through the hole.
Gabriel just looked at him with wide eyes, staring in awe at this guy who'd just climbed through a fence to sit next to him.
"So…new neighbor, huh?" The kid grinned. "Do you have a name?"
"Gabriel," he answered simply back, grinning along with him. "Yours?"
"Sam." He reached over awkwardly to shake Gabriel's hand. "Nice to meet you."
Sam was a good listener.
Since they met, Gabriel had snuck out to the end of the yard pretty much every day. And Sam had met him there, creeping through the gap in the fence.
And when Gabriel had family problems, or if Luci and Mike were fighting again, he'd go out, and Sam would just…know. He'd meet him in the holly bush, listen when Gabriel talked and then, when he was done, he'd cheer him up; make him laugh.
Gabriel didn't know how he did it – it was a gift.
Over the last few years, Gabriel and Sam had grown closer, even though all they saw of each other was curled up in the holly tree at the end of Gabriel's garden. They'd become very accustomed to each other's profiles, and the feeling of their jacketed shoulders rubbing together when they laughed.
As they'd grown – Sam more so than Gabriel – they found it harder to squeeze into the small space, but they made it work. One or both of them usually couldn't make it when there was snow, though they tried. Nevertheless, they found themselves missing each other when winter came.
It didn't matter. Gabriel knew that Sam would be there if he needed him.
Their first kiss was when they were fifteen.
It all started, as things tend to do, with Michael. He was home for summer break and had, apparently spent too much time surfing Facebook.
In the middle of the afternoon, Michael came into the bedroom Gabriel shared with Luci, carrying his laptop, red circles around his eyes. Wordlessly, he flipped it around so Gabriel could see.
His expression worried, Luci came up behind Gabriel on the bed. He looked closely at the picture on the Facebook profile, then gasped.
"Is that…oh my God…is that Dad?"
As Michael nodded, Gabriel's hand flew up to his mouth.
The picture showed a man –their Dad – bearded face grinning, blue eyes crinkled up behind thick-rimmed glasses. To his right was a woman – Gabriel heard himself choke back a sob. She wore the same huge grin, and his hand was playing with the ends of her dirty blonde hair as it lay draped across her shoulders. And last, and worst of all, there was a kid, hugging her legs – he couldn't have been more than five or six.
While he was a kid, Gabriel had wanted to believe the lies his older brothers told him: that Dad was off traveling the world; that he was a missionary in the Amazon; that he was a kangaroo doctor in the Outback…last of all things he'd wanted to imagine was this. That he'd run off and gotten a new family.
Michael would tell him about how great a father he had been, about how he'd pick the oldest up from school then take them all to get ice cream.
Gabriel hadn't realized he'd gotten up and walked away until he found himself outside…he hadn't realized he'd been crying until the wind dried the tear trails on his cheeks.
As a force of habit, Gabriel made a beeline for the holly bush and angrily pushed apart the branches, sustaining scrapes all over his palms and wrists. He curled in on himself as he sank into his usual place, sobbing into his cut-up palms.
He only let up when he heard the familiar crack-squeak of the fence coming out of place, and when he felt the familiar heat press up against his right shoulder.
Almost immediately, Sam's arm was covering his shoulders, pulling him impossibly closer. He rubbed little circles on Gabriel's shoulder and spoke soothingly in his ear.
"Shh, man, it's okay…it's okay…"
Gabriel sunk a little deeper into the embrace, shaking, though his sobs were becoming more and more infrequent.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
He let out a loud sniff as he shook his head.
So they just sat, Sam still rubbing his shoulder, and muttering little words of comfort in Gabriel's ear. No more tears fell, but his chest rose and fell with deep, shuddering breaths. Sam hugged him even closer, pressing his face into the side of Gabriel's head.
Though he may have been imagining it, Gabriel could have sworn he felt the soft press of lips right on his temple.
Wiping his nose on his sleeve, Gabriel lifted his head up to look at Sam – there was concern in his eyes, which were welling up along with him. He flashed him that small smile; still the exactly the same as when he first met him.
Then Sam's hand came up, ever-so-gently brushing the tears away from his cheek with the pad of his thumb. They stared at each other for a long moment, years of emotion and shared pain in their eyes.
Before Gabriel knew it, those lips he didn't know he'd been dreaming about were on his, pulled in by some invisible force, impossibly gentle.
It was just the softest brush, and before Gabriel could freak out about what he was doing, and before that 'Holy shit' feeling sunk in, it was over. Sam pulled away, a horrified look in his eyes and a single tear track running down his cheek.
Before Gabriel could say anything in reply, Sam had slipped back through the fence, leaving Gabriel alone.
So guys, what do you think? I'll do a part two if you ask nicely! ;)