Title: Broke our mirrors (Trinity Verse I.)

Author: scyllaya

Rating: NC-17 for entire story

Character(s)/Pairing(s): Dean/Castiel/Gabriel, and every variation therof

Warning(s): cursing, graphic violence (child abuse), mentions of death, underage drinking, underage kissing, graphic sexual content (male/male, threesome)

Spoiler(s): AU (characters up to S5)

Word Count: 42208

Summary: Dean and Castiel were neighbors since they were five years old. They went to the same schools and even spent much of their free time together. And if anyone asked who their best friend was, they both answered immediately that it's Gabriel.

It's the story of three boys. Even white-picket fences can throw very dark shadows.

Disclaimer: Nearlyall names and characters in this story belong to CW/WB and Kripke. I'm making no profit whatsoever. It's just for fun! Please don't sue me!

Most places and establishments in the story are real, but I've never visited either of them, so I have no true knowledge about them. People (OCs) in the story are not real! Any resemblance to real life is just a coincidence. Or I'm psychic. 50-50.

Beta: The Obi-Wan to my Skywalker in this OT3! The one and only heavenreturned

My Russian help was the kind teufel_himmel who's assistance is greatly appriciated.
And I also thank xarixian for her seconday spell-check. Many-many typos that were pointed out while I posted the fanfic are now corrected. So thank you very much for.

Title is from Nirvana's Lithium.

A/N: The story starts out as a G rated kid!fic with fluff and all that, but as time goes on it will go up in rating and theme. So PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 will all come. And fluff will turn into cursing and drinking and graphic violence (child abuse among other things), angst and sexual content (m/m, and Threesome), and more. So this is the warning! The story won't stay cute, not bye a long shot. And warnings will be added sorted by chapters.

Enjoy! ^_^

Dean and Castiel were neighbors since they were five years old. They went to the same schools and even spent much of their free time together. And if anyone asked who their best friend was, they both answered immediately that it's Gabriel.

And if they happened to be in the same room, they would glare at each other endlessly after saying it for hours…

x~x~x

Chapter One

Sammy was asleep finally and even his Dad nodded off on the couch after hours of trying to get the baby-boy to settle down to a slumber. Dean got out into the backyard the moment the house became too quiet. He sat down at the stairs of the backdoor and did nothing. The neighborhood was noisy, just as any would be during an average summer day like this.

He didn't know whether he liked the house yet. Nothing was unpacked but a few clothes and dishes, many things were dusty, the rooms empty, so it didn't feel like home. Or maybe it would be if it wasn't just his Dad and Sammy in the house… he expected the tears to fall again at the thought of his Mom, but they didn't. Maybe he already cried too much.

It was good to get out to the backyard, he was glad Dad had fallen asleep too, because he always felt his eyes on him, especially when another question went unanswered by him. He still asked them. What Dean wanted for breakfast, what TV show did he want to watch, and every time Dean didn't answer, his face became more and more troubled. It's not like Dean didn't want to tell him, he just… couldn't, and he felt bad that he made his Dad worry about him too. Sometimes Dad gave up talking to him and there were hours and hours when the only noise inside the house came from Sammy, Dean hated the quiet especially since he knew it was because of him.

His staring at nothing was rudely interrupted when a voice, much closer then any of the street-noise was reached his ears.

'Why did we stop Gabriel?' Dean's head snapped up and he saw two boys standing at the backyard gate. One taller and older then he was, with gold-blond hair looking at him curiously. The dark-haired boy was smaller, as old as Dean maybe. He was looking at the older boy before turning his big blue eyes at Dean.

'Hi!' greeted the blond boy and he got into the garden without asking permission whatsoever. The other kid was trailing behind him closely, not moving an inch from his side. Dean kept looking at them, but didn't answer.

'So… I'm Gabriel' he said. 'I live across the street.' He pointed somewhere that was behind Dean's house. 'And this is Castiel' he continued pulling the shorter boy forward to get him next to him. 'He lives next door.' The younger boy only nodded at Dean.

Gabriel stopped talking then, obviously waiting for an answer or a greeting, his eyebrows rose after the first few seconds of silence.

'And you are?' he asked after waiting for a while, Dean just shifted his eyes away. Other kids didn't bother much after he kept silent when questions were asked. They thought he was being mean or just simply stupid. 'I saw the moving van, so I guess you just moved in here, right?' Gabriel asked again, but this time he waited less before he started talking again. 'I bet there are loads of stuff still in boxes and all that, even if I didn't see much furniture when the movers were loading down the truck.'

Dean raised his head again, since the boy just kept talking.

'I never moved, since I was born here, and Cas never moved either cause he was also born here. Moving must be annoying. You have to pack everything up into boxes and stuff, I don't even like to put away my own stuff into the closet, not to mention into boxes and then going to a new house… ah no way. I'm sure you hated it too.'

Dean wanted to say 'yes'. He really hated moving, but they couldn't live in the old house anymore, so there was nothing to do. He stayed silent though.

'Let's just go Gabriel' Castiel said in a much quieter tone.

'Hold your horses' Gabriel replied, then started to laugh loudly when Cas mumbled a quiet 'I don't have horses' as an answer.

'If you don't give me a name, I'm gonna call you Pooky' Gabriel said after he stopped laughing, but a smile was still playing on his lips. Dean frowned at that, but he couldn't object loudly, and ever before he could do anything Gabriel started to talk again after a shrug. He was so noisy.

'So, Pooky, you wanna come over to Cas' house with us?' This time he didn't wait for an answer. 'I bet you do, some fun will do you good.' He reached for him and grabbed his upper-arm pulling him to his feet. And Dean thought he should be objecting, but he let himself get dragged out of the backyard to the house next door.

Dean saw that Castiel was clinging to Gabriel's other arm when he started walking down the street. And he only let go after they were in the garden. The house was different from Dean's. There were flowers in the garden and the house had peach-colored walls.

Gabriel didn't let go of Dean's arm for a second, and he kept walking until they were inside the house.

'Mom. We're back!' Castiel called out before sitting down to take off his shoes. Gabriel toed off his own ones and Dean found himself removing his sneakers too without thinking.

When getting further inside a dark-haired woman appeared from upstairs.

'Hello boys' she greeted.

'Hey Mrs. Turner' Gabriel said. 'This is Pooky, I found him next door, he doesn't talk.' Mrs. Turner got closer with a thoughtful expression of her face then realization settled on her features.

'Oh yes, you must be Dean Winchester, then' she said, and Dean was taken aback. Seeing his confusion she continued. 'I talked to your father yesterday and he said he had two sons, and since you're not a baby, you must be Dean.' This way it made sense.

'I'll stick with Pooky' Gabriel added with a smile. Mrs. Turner turned to the older boy.

'Gabriel, did you tell his father where you were going before kidnapping him?' she asked.

'Course not. I'd be a lousy kidnapper then' grinned Gabriel. Mrs. Turner laughed at the reply.

'All right, then I'll go over to tell him. There are some snacks in the living room and the TV is already on just waiting for you to watch your show.'

'Awesome' Gabriel remarked then he grabbed Dean and this time Castiel too by the arm to drag them into the living room onto the couch.

Gabriel kept talking. Dean didn't mind. He smiled a lot and laughed, and he was loud and noisy. Even Cas glaring at him from the other side of the couch didn't bother him, because Gabriel smelled like sugar, just like his Mom did, when she was baking a pie, and that was Dean's favorite smell.

x~x~x

Chapter Two

It was hard. To deal with the police, to bury her, to move away, to take care of the boys, it was all really hard. Especially since his blood was still boiling with rage, to hunt down and kill, to tear apart that bastard, no that monster that did this to his family. But what could he do? Hunting down a criminal alone like a lonely hero, dragging the boys along or leaving them with family or friends? He couldn't do it. Sammy was still only a bit over one year old. He still needed a lot of attention, especially since he started walking and crawling around, already mumbling words to him and his brother.

And Dean… John was much more worried about him. Mary died eight months ago, and his 5-year-old son was still as silent as the day right after his mother's death. He asked doctors, they told him to give him time, since he's been through a severe trauma. A new house where things didn't remind them of Mary in every room was a good thing, or so the docs thought. John on the other hand believed it was better that they weren't surrounded by people, who knew what happened, and kept throwing them pitying glances, like they understood. It was good for Dean to get out of that neighborhood too, seemed like he couldn't get along with his playmates from kindergarten anymore.

So new town, new house, new life, but it was still really hard. He missed Mary every single day. He still couldn't find a new job and soon he will have to start paying back the mortgage. Sammy was not an easy-sleeper; he still woke up many times during the night, which left John exhausted during the day. Dean was not much trouble. He woke up; he ate, watched some TV or just sat around, played with Sammy, then went to sleep. He washed his own bowls, glasses and plates, always washed his hands and brushed his teeth and went to bed in time. John would have been very happy to see his son act so maturely if he would've just talked again.

John tried, he still tries, to get something out of him, but the most he got was a nod or a head-shake, sometimes a shrug. Nothing more. The doc told him not to force anything, but sometimes it got frustrating. He tried to keep talking to him, and of course to Sammy too, since he was just learning to talk, but some days he just couldn't and he fell silent. He was still in grief and he was tired day after day. He got angry only once, but when he saw the distress on Dean's face it quickly faded away, it wasn't like his son didn't want to talk to him, he just couldn't. He saw sometimes that Dean tried, it looked like he was about to open his mouth, but he never did.

Dean was playing with Sammy on the living room carpet when the doorbell rang. John got up from the couch where he was checking out the job offerings in the papers.

'Hey there Mr. Winchester' came the greeting as soon as he opened the door. 'I came for Dean.'

Gabriel. John stepped aside to let him in. He met the kid three weeks ago after the next-door neighbor Mrs. Katrina Turner showed up at his doorstep. He jolted awake at the doorbell and found the pretty dark-haired woman standing at the door. John met her already, and he was begging for whoever deity or god or anything else that was maybe listening that she was not going to invite him to some barbecue or any other social event, luckily that was not the case as she kindly told him not to worry about Dean, because he's at their house. John was sure that all color drained from his face hearing that, and he felt like the worst father in the world that he didn't even notice that his five-year-old son went missing. Katrina apparently was a pretty good observer since her brows furrowed in reaction. John almost cursed loudly. They just moved here and he was getting the reputation of a shitty father right on the first week. He started to mumble excuses about Sammy not sleeping well and him nodding off accidentally on the couch, that's when Dean must've gotten out of the house, and even as he was speaking all worst-case scenarios started to rush through his head, anything could've happened to Dean. Yes he acted more mature than other kids of his age, but he was sill five. He could've been hit by a car or bit by a dog, injured otherwise, kidnapped.

But Katrina interrupted his freak out by telling him that Gabriel kidnapped his son, and that the same thing happened to her plenty of times. That's how she told him about her son Castiel – she only mentioned him briefly the first time they met, and John still thought that the kid better look forward to some bullying with a name like that – and Gabriel. John invited her in, since it seemed like the right thing to do, offered coffee, but Katrina ended up doing some tea, since the coffee-maker was still not unpacked. So on his first week living in Castle Rock, Colorado he got the brief overview of his neighborhood, at least some of it.

Gabriel Morgenstern, age eight, lived right across the street of the Winchester's house with his mother Grace – whom John didn't meet yet – and his elder brother Michael, him he already saw, he was a dark-haired teen, 17 or 18 maybe. Katrina was laughing as she told him about the time Gabriel took Castiel away to play when the Turners were in a middle of a garage sale, and that she was so scared and freaked out when she noticed that her boy was gone, and she only turned around for a few minutes.

John was one part relieved that he won't get the shitty father reputation after all, one part troubled by the new information, but then he realized that maybe this meant that Dean was making friends again, which was a really good thing. Katrina then asked whether Dean was mute or just really shy or quiet, so John had to tell her about Mary.

Surprisingly her face didn't turn into the usual "I understand your pain" expression, but her eyes became distant for a few seconds before focusing on John again. She told him that Castiel was really attached to Gabriel, and she called him a real godsend, since it meant that he kept the boy occupied and coaxed him into doing things. John learnt that Castiel was a rather reserved boy, never loud, never that active. And neither Katrina, nor her husband James was able to change anything about that. She even told him that last year she lost her baby in miscarriage, and it affected Castiel very deeply, since he was really looking forward to be a big brother. Maybe it was because she wanted to be on even ground that she told him about her family and their own tragedy, since John told her about his. And it became obvious why she was not saying empty platitudes about Mary's death.

And John trusted her judgment about Gabriel being a good influence. He didn't seem to make anything out of Dean not talking – he talked way more than enough all on his own to make up for the silence on the other end of the conversation – and he really seemed to be determined to drag both Dean and Castiel along with him to all his day-time activities, playing outside, watching his favorite cartoons, everything.

Three weeks passed like this, but John didn't notice any progress in Dean's behavior. Yes, he sometimes followed Gabriel now without the older boy grabbing his arm and leading him. He played with Sammy more and John even saw a smile once in a while, small, barely there smiles, but smiles nonetheless.

He was still concerned. He didn't miss the way Castiel kept glaring at Dean sometimes. As Katrina told him, that boy was really attached to the Morgenstern kid, so he probably saw Dean as a threat, someone who wanted to steal his friend, because that was not hard to guess. That was not that big of a deal, kids will be kids and sometimes they get jealous about playmates. John was more worried about Gabriel's tendency to be pig-headed. Dean was still not communicating much, so he couldn't tell if he didn't want to do anything or if he didn't want to play a game, so he was a bit concerned about the older boy not being considerate enough, since he was just a kid too.

Gabriel was already by Dean's side by the time John closed the front-door and walked back to the living room.

'You're baby brother is growing big Pooky' John heard the boy. 'Soon he's going to run around and then he can come watch cartoons with us over at Cas' house.'

Dean didn't really reply, and it didn't seem like Gabriel was waiting for an answer.

'Okay, but now you have to come. Cas is waiting, so hop up and let's go' he said. Dean didn't move at first, he handed back Sammy the few toy blocks that got too far away from the toddler. Then Gabriel did his usual thing, grabbing Dean by the upper arm and pulling him up to his feet. But unlike other times Dean pulled his arm free the moment he was standing, which caused Gabriel to raise his eyebrows. 'What got into you today, Pooky? I told you Cas is already waiting.'

Dean was frowning and John saw fit to interrupt when he saw that Gabriel's going to insist keeping up his program.

'I think Dean doesn't want to go over to play today' he said. Gabriel only looked at him for a moment then he was ducking his head to look at Dean's face.

'Naw, I know you want to come. So what's the deal? You want me to add 'pretty please' or something?' it was John's turn to frown; he didn't like Gabriel's tone. Dean had that expression on his face that signaled John that he wanted to explain himself, but he just couldn't find the way to do it. 'Dude, don't expect me to read your mind' Gabriel said. Dean seemed even more troubled after this. 'Cas is gonna be all sulky if we're late again cause you take forever to get moving' the older boy reached out to grab Dean again, but he moved away.

'Stop doing that' Gabriel exclaimed.

'Okay, that's it. Dean doesn't want to go, so he's not going.' John interrupted, because he knew that Gabriel won't let it go.

'He does want to he's just being a pain in the ass'

'Hey! Watch your mouth Gabriel. He's not going, so you better head back to Cas' house.'

'If he stays, he's just gonna sit here and do nothing'

'I said it's time to go Gabriel.'

'But I know he wants to come!'

'That's enough'

'It's not. You don't even get it!'

'Gabriel! I said you're going back to the Turner house! So you get back to the Turner house, now! And you stop arguing, understood?'

The moment he raised his voice he regretted it, but only after he said what he said did he notice how Gabriel's eyes widened and he literally cringed, hunched his shoulders and ducked his head, stepping away from Dean and breaking eye-contact with John immediately.

'I'm… I'm sorry… I'm… going…' John mentally kicked himself; that was not the right way to solve a tiny fight with an eight-year-old. He wanted to say sorry for raising his voice, he took one step closer. 'I'm sorry' Gabriel sputtered it out the very second visibly flinching, stepping back. John froze in one place. Shit, he scared the kid.

'No, it's okay. I just got a bit angry, I'm not angry anymore. Nothing to worry about, I am very sorry.' He tired to be as placating and gentle as possible. He almost prayed that he did not scare away the first friend Dean made in a long time with his own stupid temper.

Gabriel didn't move for a long second.

'I should go' he said after then, his voice really quiet, nothing like his usual tone. He started heading out, and there was nothing John could do for now and he cursed himself for it.

'Don't'

His eyes widened at the sound. Dean stepped after Gabriel, grabbing the older boy's arm with both of his hands. He was intently staring at his feet, but Gabriel already turned back too and was staring at him with a surprised look on his face. He was not imagining it, was he?

'Don't… don't what?' Gabriel asked quietly, he seemed like he also wasn't sure whether he heard it right.

'Don't go' Dean answered after a second of silence which seemed like an eternity for John. His voice was only above a whisper and was hoarse from not using his voice for such a long time, but it was his voice. Two words, two small hushed words, but his son was talking.

The next second he was kneeling next to him. Dean was still staring at his feet, but he raised his head to look at his father. John didn't know what to say, he just kept looking at his son and he was glad, more than that, he was unbelievably happy, he put his hand on his son's head to ruffle his hair, but he still kept silent.

'You were talking Pooky, I heard you' Gabriel said. Dean was still clinging to him. Both John and Dean turned to look at him. He was smiling brightly, all previous fear disappearing from his face, like it was never there to begin with.

'So you stay?' Dean asked then turned to John. 'He can stay, right?' And what could he possibly say to that.

'Of course buddy' he reassured and he felt that tears were tickling his eyes, but he was smiling, he wouldn't be able to hold it back even if he tried. 'Of course he's staying, right Gabriel?' he turned to the other boy and hoped that this was the case.

'Sure thing Pooky' the blond boy replied with a grin. Dean then let go of his arm.

'My name is Dean' the other said, and Gabriel's grin softened into a smile, John huffed out a laugh.

'Dean it is' Gabriel answered and seeing the smile that appeared on his son's face. A much wider, much opener smile than any of the ones he saw in the past weeks he couldn't do anything other than reach out to him and hug him tight, Dean hugged right back.

They stayed like that for a while until John felt something hard slam into his side. And when he let go he saw that it was one of Sam's toys.

'Not forgetting about you champ' John said as he took the toddler in his arms.

'Um… Mr. Winchester… could you call Mrs. Turner and tell her that Cas should come over since we're staying, he's waiting and he's…' he trailed off and John saw what Katrina meant when telling him the little cheeky brat was a godsend sometimes. He was really taking care of the little ones.

'Of course, and I think it would be great to have a little house-party. We could order pizza and some dessert too.'

Both Dean and Gabriel was more than ok with that idea.

After telling Katrina that Dean started talking again, she practically squealed on the phone and said that they will come over ASAP, since she already had some food and snacks prepared for the boys anyway, they would bring that over.

That day became a historical event in John's life. He knew he would always remember it, because that was the day the house became noisy again. It was the first day after Mary's death that he felt that things were getting better. That life could turn good again, that they could be happy.

This was the very first of the many Winchester-Turner house-parties that they had for many-many years, almost every week.

And also because that was the day 2nd Lieutenant James Turner offered him the best job of his life, a few hours after he walked into the house with his wife and son.

x~x~x

Chapter Three

Two years later…

Castiel was not particularly looking forward to school. He was sure it won't be too hard or anything, but he didn't particularly like kids. Which was amusing if one considered that he was a kid himself, but that didn't make it less true. Kids – other kids – were difficult. They were complicated and they tended to make things even more complicated all around them. And Castiel liked things simple.

Simple, like luckily many things in his life was. But trying to explain to other kids that no, he was not interested in throwing water-balloons at girls, he didn't find bugs and other disgusting things fascinating, he didn't thing that ice-cream and chocolate is good for every meal of the day and he most certainly didn't believe in freaks who crawl into his house during the night out of the goodness of their hearts and yes, he is referring to Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and every other nonsense like that. He was more than happy to know that his parents showed their care and love to him by giving him a present at Christmas – just like a second birthday, Gabriel called it – and he returned the sentiment with either presents he bought from his pocket money or something handmade. He couldn't help but snort when he heard a kid telling about the awesome game Santa brought him because he was good. They looked at him like they were ready to bury him in the sandbox for the rest of eternity, but Gabriel, like always, by his presence made them think twice before they tried anything funny. Not like Castiel was not able to protect himself or anything, but going home without getting into a fight was much better.

So his life was simple. Mother, Father and Gabriel. Or it used to be simple, because two years ago things got way more complicated thanks to Dean 'I live to annoy Castiel Turner to Death' Winchester entered the picture. If only it would've rained that day, things might've turned out differently. Time travel would've been awesome.

It's not that he hated Dean or anything, he was just not that much fond of him and he was sure it was mutual. They never argued or anything and they did spend a lot of time together, but that was because of Gabriel.

Castiel still couldn't figure out why Gabriel stopped that day. Why he walked up to the boy sitting on the stairs of the backdoor and invited him along. Gabriel did random things after all, so it was not that surprising. So one day it was just the two of them and the next thing Castiel knows they turned into a trio and Dean was always there with them.

His Mother and Father also seemed to become friends with Mr. Winchester and Castiel didn't mind that at all either. He just wanted things to be the way they were before, when Gabriel was not late to their cartoon because Dean wanted to finish their current game, when they didn't need to wait for Dean to get ready before going for ice-cream or to the park, when it was just them.

He told his Mother once, and she got angry.

'Castiel Andrei Turner! It is not like you to be this selfish; Gabriel is not neglecting you, and you do not own him, so no talking nonsense. You could try to become Dean's friend instead of sulking into your cereal every morning.'

So Castiel didn't mention it again to her and he thought that it wouldn't be a good idea to tell his Father either. And okay, his Mother was right, Gabriel didn't abandon him or anything, so he should just tolerate Dean.

But he had a limit. So when on his first day at school he walked into his classroom to attend his very fist class and he saw Dean sitting down, he just couldn't hide his annoyance. He knew that they would both go to the South Street Elementary School, but would've been too much to ask not to be in the same class?

He rolled his eyes and scanned the classroom where to sit down that's not that close to Dean, but as he was looking at the other kids, he got a bit uneasy. Gabriel told him not to worry and to ignore anyone who might point out that he's weird or strange or just unusual, and Castiel didn't mind Gabriel practically telling him that he was weird because one, he already knew, and two, in Gabriel's world view sometimes the weirder the better. But still he was not sure he was ready to hear the usual reactions about his 'freaky' name and everything else about him, like destroying dreams by telling kids Santa didn't exist and sharing his idea that if the Tooth Fairy liked teeth so much why doesn't it pull them all out of their mouth if he's already inside the house during the night sneaking around in children's rooms. A few kids cried, Gabriel found it really amusing – it seemed like Dean did too – his Mother was called in by the kindergarten teacher.

So with a sigh he walked towards Dean and put his bag on the desk next to him. Dean turned around.

'You have got to be kidding me' he exclaimed.

'Tell me about it' Castiel replied, but he sat down.

'Why are you sitting next to me?' Dean asked then.

'Because even you can't be as insufferable as some of them might be' Castiel answered.

'Well I bet none of them can be as annoying as you can be' Dean replied. Castiel liked it better when he couldn't talk.

'Shut up Pooky.'

'You shut up Cassy' Dean shot back as a reflex, but he sat down anyway, he probably agreed about the other classmates, he was just not gonna say it out loud. They never argued in front of Gabriel, the silent glaring was enough and they both knew that Gabriel would not like it one bit. When they were on their own, that was an entire different matter. Castiel didn't dwell on it for long as class started. He was more that happy to kick Dean back when the other boy shoved him with his elbow, but other than that things were not that bad.

x~x~x

Thinking back, they were both stupid, really-really stupid. Their arguing continued through the day – Gabriel was also in this school but in a different building so they couldn't meet him – and it was getting worse and worse. They never had to spend so much time together without Gabriel being there and it was getting really bad. The name calling, the shoving and kicking under the table, the glaring and the arguing, it just kept on getting worse and worse as the hours passed.

They never argued this much, since Gabriel was never far away and they always behaved when he was there and now it seemed like all that silent glaring for two years exploded between them. It would've been okay if they could've stopped after school was over. And they did for a while. But as per usual they were in the Turner house; all three of them and Gabriel's simple question of what they wanted to do today caused a disaster.

'You said something?' Dean asked, and actually no, he didn't he just snorted cause of course it was never a surprise what Dean wanted to do.

'No.' and it was Dean's turn to huff out in annoyance.

'I don't hear you saying anything' he said.

'Since you would sulk and pout for hours at all of my ideas'

'Well you're pulling faces of all my ideas' Dean replied.

'Cause you always say the same things.'

'At least I don't say boring things.'

'They're boring cause you don't get them.'

'Are you calling me stupid?' and there it was, they had this fight at least five times today.

'You said it, not me, glad you admit it' and since it was the fifth time they had this argument and it always ended the same, so Dean was on his feet a second later.

'Guys…' Gabriel was looking the exchange between them, clearly confused.

'You take that back!' Dean said. Castiel got up too, Dean Winchester was not someone who could scare him, like ever.

'Yeah, or what?' he shouldn't have said it. He knew it afterwards, but they were really having the very same fight over and over again and he couldn't help but taunt Dean, since he was already red with anger. He of course did not expect Dean to slam onto him and start hitting him, but since he was good at protecting himself he was hitting back and they fall to the ground, punching and kicking and scratching and tearing clothes.

It probably only lasted a few seconds, even if it felt longer, because the next thing Castiel new was that Gabriel was there and he tried to separate them, pulling Dean off and trying to hold Castiel down so that they stop punching each other.

'Stop it guys! Stop it! What the hell is wrong with you?' he finally managed to get between them, pushing Dean off of Castiel and keeping them separated. He was out of breath and he looked confused and angry and so many other things Castiel just couldn't decide.

'What is this?' he asked, his voice was shaking, probably from being out of breath or merely he just tried to keep calm. 'Why are you fighting? Hitting each other?' he kept switching his attention between them. 'Friends look out for each other, make sure they're not hurt, they don't hurt one another! You're supposed to make sure the other one doesn't get hurt. You understand that, you don't… you never hurt people you care about. You're supposed to…'

'We don't' Castiel said and that stopped Gabriel. 'We're not… we're not friends.'

'What?' blinked the older boy.

'We're friends with you' Dean said quickly. 'We're just not friends with each other.'

'What do you…' Gabriel trailed off and he kept looking at them, finally pulling back his arms and standing up. He was still frowning and his breath came in a quick uneven rhythm. 'So then it's okay… you think you decide that you don't care, so then you're allowed to hit the other one? You can just do that? You can't just do that…' his voice was getting louder. Castiel though he was angry, he saw that his hands shook slightly and he didn't keep his eyes on him and Dean anymore. He was looking somewhere in front of him, shaking his head a little.

'It's not okay… it's not okay to do that' he said, like he was only talking to himself now and Castiel started to be worried, he was not looking at them. He glanced at Dean and he saw an expression on his face that was probably very similar to his own.

'Gabriel…' Castiel tried.

'No!' the boy replied, shouted almost really. 'You don't care, I don't care.' He grabbed his backpack and was heading out.

'Gabriel' Dean called two.

'Leave me the Hell alone' he said and he was gone, slamming the front door behind himself.

x~x~x

John arrived after work to pick Sam and Dean up from the Turners and he seemed surprised by the quiet in the house. Sammy was in the living room with Cas' Mom, Dean and Castiel stayed in the kitchen.

It took John quite some time to get the boys to talk about what happened and even more to convince them to get over to the Morgenstern house.

Castiel really didn't want to go. He wanted to apologize, but he was afraid that Gabriel won't forgive them. He thought that Dean was thinking the same thing, but Dean's Dad was having none of that and he took the boys over to the huge brick house across the street.

John rang the doorbell and after some time it opened. Michael was standing in the doorway, he looked at John, then down to Castiel and Dean.

'What can I do you for Deputy Winchester?' he asked, casually leaning against the doorframe. 'My mother's not home yet if this is about the office robbery' he said.

'No, nothing official Michael' John replied. 'The boys just need to talk with Gabriel.'

Michael remained silent for a while looking down at the two kids in front of the deputy-sheriff, then he turned a bit.

'Gabriel!' he yelled inside.

'What?' came the reply from somewhere up the stairs.

'Get down here!' Michael yelled back then he stepped aside. 'Come on in' he gestured inside.

Castiel was looking around the entry hall. Everything seemed huge. It was strange but he never visited the Morgenstern house before, and as far as he knew – and looking at his expression – neither did Dean. It was always Gabriel coming over to Dean's or Cas'.

The blond-boy appeared on the stairs and after taking in the view he walked down, Michael gestured in the direction of another room – which Castiel assumed was the living room – Gabriel went in first and after John gave them both a little shove Dean and Castiel followed.

Cas heard Michael offering coffee or beer to Dean's Dad and telling him that his Mother was not home yet from Morthelli & Beskydy, it was the law firm she worked as a secretary for.

Gabriel eyes didn't leave the doorway, even after Michael and John disappeared from the hall. There was silence for a while, the two smaller boys not knowing how to start, they exchanged glances. Castiel was about to start talking.

'You shouldn't have come over' he said, still looking at the doorway, but then finally switching his attention to his friends.

'We're so sorry Gabriel' Dean blurted out.

'We're really sorry' Castiel added.

'We won't fight anymore' Dean continued without giving to older boy the chance to interrupt.

'Would you please stay our friend?' Castiel asked. And there, they did it. They said sorry and promised not to do it again, should be good enough. Gabriel kept glancing up towards the hall, where the very faint sound of Michael and John talking was coming from.

'You really hate hanging out with each other that much?' Gabriel asked then.

Dean and Cas looked at each other for a brief second then.

'We don't hate it' said the blue-eyed boy.

'But you don't like it either' Gabriel concluded, finally he managed to look at the two for more then a few seconds without looking back up.

'But we like you coming over' Dean said, and yes, that was exactly what Dean and Cas agreed upon.

'So we won't fight' Castiel added. Gabriel took a deep breath.

'No, it's okay to argue sometimes if you don't agree just… just don't hurt each other, hitting someone doesn't help anyone… so just… don't.'

'We won't' replied Castiel right away.

'Ever' Dean promised eagerly too.

'Yeah, okay' Gabriel said, and he was smiling again, so everything was fine again.

And it took almost ten years for that promise to break.

x~x~x

Chapter Four

Ever since Mrs. Turner – Katrina, she insisted for a while now – had a baby things changed slightly. Before Jesse was born it was always her watching over them after kindergarten and later school, since both John was busy with police-work – Sheriff Singer was not getting any younger – and James was away a lot, especially since he's been promoted to Captain.

So things changed a bit. Sammy was four when Jesse was born so he was going to kindergarten too, but the afternoons were pretty hectic. Gabriel could tell that Katrina liked that the house was so full and Gabriel enjoyed being in the middle of it as well, but the five of them could make quite the mess.

Gabriel's Mom was working a lot and it was kind of the usual that Gabriel spent his afternoons and sometimes evenings at the Turner house, he liked to think that he was helping Katrina rather than being the extra kid she had to take care of.

And since he was already thirteen – and being in middle school already – and being the oldest of their little merry band it was his thing being the adult-kid communication manager (as James put it). And he was really good at the job, probably because neither Dean nor Castiel were troublesome, and when Sam started to tag along following his big brother Gabriel was relieved to notice that the little kid also wasn't going to be a problem, he was a smart kid and not defiant at all.

Jesse hitting the age two meant that the little one was also able to walk and run around the house, and he had the annoying tendency to end up at the weirdest places, preferably high places, so you couldn't let that kid out of your sight for a second. It was best to get Castiel to watch his little brother, cause he then would follow every move of his like a hawk, Cas was really good at focusing and he liked the big brother role too.

Katrina told him that both Dean and Castiel were really serious about big brother things, and it was all because Gabriel was their role-model, Gabriel told her that they were just good kids and it had nothing to do with him, cause really. Both Dean and Castiel acted differently about their brothers. Dean was watching Sammy and there was no way in hell anyone would lay a finger on him without ending up with a ten-year-old Winchester ready to kill. Sam was not interested in most of the games Dean played or the things he did so they didn't do those kinds together, but Dean never failed to tell his brother that he should always listen to their Father, him or Gabriel.

Jesse was still too small, but Gabriel already saw the differences. Castiel watched his brother if he was told to look after him and he did, never leaving him out of his sight, but if his Mom was there he kept his attention elsewhere. He never made funny faces or cooed the little one, but talked to him like he did to others. He's learning how to speak, so he should hear the words correctly, Castiel told him as an explanation. It's not like he was cold towards him, he just didn't get close. Gabriel knew it wasn't jealousy, when Gabriel once tried to get out of him whether that was the case Castiel just explained to him that of course Jesse needed a lot more attention due to his age, just like Sam did when he was smaller, and right Katrina was looking after Sam a lot when he was small.

Katrina said that Castiel was probably not ready to get attached or get used to having a brother yet, but that it was fine and it would change in time, so Gabriel was not worried either. Castiel was rather particular in some things so if he needed time, it was fine, he didn't get close to Sam either so far, but considering the battle of wills Dean and Cas had going on 24/7, that was not surprising.

Gabriel thought it was a fun bunch, he liked spending time with them so he was really looking forward to the weekend they would all spend at the Winchester house. Katrina had to travel away because of a family emergency – one of her cousins called her if Gabriel was correct – James was out of town till next Tuesday and Katrina could only take Jesse along. So John got the whole weekend off to be the guardian. It was not necessary for Gabriel to spend the weekend there too, but he knew that Castiel would be a bit uncomfortable with only Dean around and he was also sure that John wouldn't mind.

He canceled a birthday invitation from one of his classmates today he was supposed to attend tomorrow, which of course caused Jake Talley and Erica Cartwright to start bitching about him bailing on them again. Gabriel got along with all his classmates just fine. He was smart but they didn't consider him a nerd, he was fairly good at sport and someone always picked him pretty soon in ballgames and other team-sports. Some teachers thought he was some kind of a biblical plague (that bitch had it coming, she was constantly picking on Dean). He always got invited to the game center, and to birthday parties. So overall he was well-liked, he didn't have any problems and Gabriel couldn't care less. So when Jake and Erica started their usual rant that he should stop babysitting those little kids and hang out with them instead, because they were in middle school, they were teenagers, Gabriel shouldn't pay attention to some bratty grade school kids.

Gabriel told them to shove their complains up where the sun doesn't shine and to never talk shit about his friends again or there would be serious consequences, then he subtly reminded them of what happened to the arts teacher Ms. Gideon (the bitch really had it coming). That shut them up good.

Ground line was that Gabriel was not babysitting. Dean and Castiel were his friends and he liked both the Turner house and the Winchester house. They were warm and lively, or maybe just the others being there made it so, but it was much better then their house, with the brick walls and expensive furniture. He liked how Katrina played with them, even nowadays, how she sat down to watch (and loudly cheer and comment) cartoons with them. How she allowed them to get full with cake or pie on occasion.

He tried to imagine his Mom doing any of those and he snorted. Yeah his Mom baking pie and getting into the popcorn war during a movie marathon, yeah that was likely to happen. It's not like his Mom was bad or anything, she was just different, way different. He also liked James and John too. James was in the army – which was of course way cool – an he was always being a part of the team, so to say. Like the time he and Katrina didn't agree about what they should order for dinner and James turned to him with a 'Back me up here Gabe!', and Katrina finally did agree when Gabriel sided with James. So Gabriel liked the guy, he always talked to him like they were friends too.

John was of course a different matter; he was stricter – even before becoming deputy sheriff – and less playful, but it was not a bad thing. He always told them important things like locking the bedroom windows, watching out in the traffic, never talking to strangers and all that repeatedly. He was protective, especially of Sam and Dean of course, but over the years he got used to Castiel and Gabriel being around. And one of the very first things Gabriel learnt was that in the Winchester house John Winchester was the boss. Bed time must be kept and no sweet things before dinner, and rule number one that was specifically for Gabriel was that: 'Always tell where you're going and how long you're staying, especially if you take Dean with you.' John never quite forgot that first day when Gabriel snitched Dean away from the backyard, not that it was surprising or anything. And for a while now when Gabriel went to pick Dean up to school (Castiel already ready and waiting with Gabriel), John told him 'You watch out for them son.'

It was no big deal, sometimes John called Cas like that too and it didn't mean anything special beyond what Gabriel already did, because neither Cas nor Dean was allowed to leave school without Gabriel picking them up, it was just… yeah well, nobody called him 'son' before, ever.

He couldn't remember his father. At all, and there were no pictures of him in their house, or if there were they were not in places Gabriel knew of. Gabriel was only four when he left, he only asked his Mom once and she told him that one morning his father packed a suitcase, got into his car and drove away without a word and they didn't hear from him ever since. Gabriel didn't ask again, because there was no point, but Michael always used to talk about him with something close to awe, his brother was 13 when their Father left so he remembered plenty of things about him. Michael told him that their father was a great person, that he was very intelligent and had a very important job and that he was well respected by everybody in town. Gabriel asked why he left then and Michael became quite angry without replying so he didn't ask him that question again.

But sometimes Gabriel wondered. Was he strict, patronizing, but very loving like John; or was he cool, funny and caring like James. He couldn't imagine, and he didn't know which one he would've liked better, it wouldn't have mattered probably. And he would never know either, so no reason thinking about it.

He dropped an extra sweater into his bag just in case they might stay outside late during the weekend.

'Aren't you getting too old for sleepovers Gabriel?' he heard his Mom, he turned around and found her standing in the doorway, she was wearing an evening gown, which meant business dinner. Her blond hair was up in a very luxurious looking bun.

'No' Gabriel answered and he turned back to his bag checking whether he packed all the clothes he's gonna need, he didn't plan on coming over to his own house during the weekend, that's what they agreed upon with Dean and Cas, so that it would feel like a real vacation or something, maybe they should really build that tent in the yard, it would be fun to sleep outside and to make a campfire, even if they're not traveling anywhere.

'If it bothers you, imagine that I'm the babysitter of them' he told his mother.

'You know it doesn't bother me, it's just… Michael thinks I shouldn't let you act like a child for long' she finished.

'Why does he care?' Gabriel asked.

'You're going to high school soon' Grace answered. 'High school is almost adulthood in Michael's book, you know that.'

He did know, since his brother was never quiet about telling his opinion about things like that. Gabriel was really not looking forward to his 14th birthday. He turned around to look at his mother again.

'You do know that you're the parent, right?' he asked. Her brown eyes found his again; she couldn't really start what she wanted to say.

'Gabriel, you know that…'

'Yeah Mom, I know' the teen interrupted her and turned away to close his bag.

'Even without Michael saying it' Grace started again after a rather long pause. 'I also think that it would do you good to make friends in your own age.'

'Mom! Stop it!' Gabriel snapped. 'I am not changing my friends just because you or Michael think that I should have different ones!' this was an argument he won't loose, ever. He didn't care how, but he won't loose this argument.

'That the neighbor kids worship you like their idol is not friendship Gabriel.' And that stung, she didn't get it and she won't get it, and she was wrong. They were friends, best friends.

'Yeah thanks for your usual parental wisdom' he told her.

'Michael will tell you the same thing' Grace answered.

'Screw Michael!' Gabriel turned around angrily. 'I don't care what you think and I don't care what Michael thinks! And you shouldn't care this much either! Nothing is good enough for him and you know it!'

'Gabriel—'

'He won't change' Gabriel said staring right into his mother's eyes. 'He won't stop. And we both know it, I at least accepted it. You should too.'

He considered the conversation over and he got out of his room with his bag on his shoulder. He was glad Michael wasn't home, he would've heard him yelling; it was okay this way. He took his time before he rang the doorbell of the Winchester house and he was able to smile brightly at Dean, who opened the door.

Things were fine. Dean was laughing and Cas was too and they did pitch a tent in the backyard and they did make a campfire. And after the three of them went to sleep, covered in their sleeping bags and when both Dean and Castiel were asleep (on either side of him, like always), Gabriel thought that yes, things were more than fine this way, screw Michael's opinion.

x~x~x

Chapter Five

John just arrived home from a really uneventful day. The Boyles got into a fight again so he had to settle them after the first dishes were thrown. Some boys got caught shoplifting in Will Carlton's store, but other then these, nothing of import.

John liked his job. He felt he was protecting his home and that was exactly what he wanted to do, protect his family. So when James told him six years ago that the sheriff Bobby Singer, would need a deputy and that John's experience of being in the Marines would make him perfect for the job, he took the opportunity. He needed a job and this was a good one, keeping peace in Castle Rock.

He was grateful to James. On that first day it didn't look like Bobby was all that impressed by him, but his new neighbor had put his foot down until the sheriff agreed. John had never thought he would get along with anyone from the Army. His past experiences with them were almost as bad as his encounters with men from the Air Force.James became his exception. And six years later here he was still being deputy sheriff and making sure he did his job as good as he could.

He had just picked up Sam and Dean from Katrina and was surprised that Gabriel was not in the Turner house. The boys told him that he stayed in school longer so they didn't come home together. It struck John as odd, but he didn't make much of it, since Gabriel was already in his teenage years, maybe him spending less time with the younger boys was somewhat expected. And since Gabriel was not part of the group Castiel did not come over to the Winchester house.

John almost smiled how familiar it all had become. Katrina watching over the kids while he was at work, John picking them up when getting home, having dinner with James and Katrina and the kids on almost every Sunday. And it was good. John's not sure if he would've been able to get back on his feet in the first few years if it wasn't for the Turners' help, and yes Gabriel too. That frustrating, loud-mouthed brat was the default big brother for both Dean and Cas and John noticed that Sammy followed his brother's example in 'Gabriel knows best' and John was sure Jesse would too as soon as he got old enough, and that won't take much, another year or too probably. John was sure he would go nuts if he had to deal with all of them 24/7 – the way Gabriel did – because he loved his sons and Castiel was a good kid too, but they could be difficult, he knew that, Katrina and James knew that, and John suspected Gabriel knew better than anyone.

Over the years he had to get used to certain things, like Dean not going to bed if he didn't get to talk to Gabriel that day (which luckily happened very rarely). And God the week Gabriel was away on a school-trip was in John's book a suburban nightmare. Dean and Castiel were both insufferable the entire time, moping or throwing a fit about every single thing. That was the first time John saw Katrina loose her temper when it took five hours to get Castiel to eat his dinner. When Gabriel got home the next day Katrina hugged the hell out of him, and yes John could understand her, Dean and Cas could be really difficult if they wanted to be and sometimes only Gabriel could get them to stop driving someone crazy. John was pretty sure if the boy was not consuming the amount of candy he usually did – thus being in constant sugar rush in John's opinion – he would find it also difficult to handle the pair. Or not, no way of knowing for sure.

John just got Sammy into bed and got downstairs when he found Dean moping into his hot chocolate. It's almost a law in the house; drinking a cup of hot chocolate every night before going to sleep. It is pretty much a tradition for Dean and John learnt rather early that it was not something he should in any way object to. He asked Katrina, Castiel had the same habit, so he assumed Gabriel was behind it, so he would not dare to question its importance. Dean moping into his cup was also not a great puzzle; it was definitely because of Gabriel not showing up at the Turner house. John felt that maybe he should explain it to him that Gabriel being older and being at this age meant that maybe he will spend time with others too – maybe even girls – and that he probably won't have that much time for Dean and Cas. This was a conversation he was not looking forward to, it's going to be hard to make Dean understand it, but it would also do him good to be less dependent on Gabriel.

He was about to get closer to sit down next to his son at the kitchen table when he heard the scream. Adrenaline jolted through his body the very second and Dean's head snapped up from his mug too. It was a woman's voice and it came right from the street.

'Dean! Stay here' John ordered and dashed out on the front door. He scanned the dark street with his eyes and he spotted Grace standing in the middle of the road, the front door of her house wide open. Her usually pristinely made hair was a mess, just like her clothes and she was clutching her arm into her chest and she screamed and shouted again and again. John was sure soon the whole neighborhood will be up and out.

'Help! Somebody help!' she kept yelling turning her head to left and right, obviously trying to spot somebody, anybody. She was terrified and as John ran to her he noticed the way she was holding her arm, her clearly fractured wrist, so tightly that she was almost hurting herself, the flesh was bruised under her bloody nails.

'What happened?' John yelled even before arriving to her and Grace wandering eyes landed on him immediately. She let go of her broken arm to clutch at John frantically.

'Help John! Stop him… Stop him!... Gabriel—' John didn't wait for her to finish, just brushed past her running towards the Morgenstern house; he felt his heartbeat speeding up impossibly, almost like it wanted to burst out from his ribcage.

He though of Mary, the way a stranger just entered their house and killed her, how he couldn't do anything, how he was too late to save her and she died in the hospital bed, bloody and burnt, coughing and asking for John over and over again moaning in pain, fighting for her life for hours before her body just couldn't handle it anymore, and he prayed that he will not be late this time.

He rushed into the house, his blood pumping in his veins, rushing in his ears all senses high and focused, all his muscles tense and ready to jump into action any second. He didn't notice any damage in the hallway so he ran deeper into the house. When he reached the living room entrance was when he felt his blood running cold.

Michael. It was Michael, he had his little brother pinned down to the living room floor with one hand on the small chest, fingers twisted in the bloody T-shirt and the his fist striking down again and again with brutal force all aimed at Gabriel's face. The younger boy was not fighting back, maybe he did first, but now both of his arms just lay next to him on the carpet, motionlessly.

It only took John a fragment of time to take in the view and charge at Michael, dragging him off of Gabriel, punching him in the face. It didn't have all the effect John hoped for as the younger man immediately started to fight him back. John got a punch into his chin, but he could return the strike with a fist to Michael's side. This was when he noticed that Michael's face had scratches on it, Grace or Gabriel must've done it, and John felt rage bubbling up from the pit of his stomach. He attacked again, managing to punch Michael in the face again then kicking him in the stomach, he finally fell back onto the ground after the impact and John had him forced down onto his front, arms held back and secured. The fucking bastard was still struggling really hard, shouting profanities at John through his bloody teeth and lips.

John looked up and saw that Grace was inside again and his mind screamed 'NO' when he noticed Dean standing behind her. Dean couldn't see Gabriel like this, John wasn't even sure the boy was still alive.

'Dad' Dean's voice was panicked, and there was barely any color on his face.

'Dean get out! Grace call 911!' John ordered loudly, while he put all his weight down, since Michael started to struggle even more.

'Gabriel' Dean muttered, no he couldn't see him.

'Call James!' John shouted to him. 'Dean! Call James, now!' John repeated, this time as a fierce order, when Dean didn't start to move immediately. 'Grace, call the ambulance!'

Dean ran out of the door and John watched Grace as she hysterically dig through the mess that was the living room. The furniture was thrown aside or flipped over, broken glass and vases were scattered on the carpet, some curtains were torn off. She found her cell phone and dialed while she crouched down next to her son. It took all of John's strength to keep Michael in one place as he still didn't give up struggling. Grace was practically shouting on the phone telling the address. John looked at the bloody, bruised mess that was Gabriel. He still didn't move, just lay there on the carpet and John started to fear the worst. James appeared in the doorway.

'Oh God' he breathed as he took in the view.

'Help me' John barked and the Captain was at his side immediately. He did what John should've done minutes ago and grabbed Michael by the hair and slammed his head into the floor with a precise and efficient move, he stopped struggling for a while.

'No… no no no no no' he heard Grace mutter. Her voice was only above a whisper, she probably screamed herself hoarse in the past minutes. 'No no no no!' she continued lauder and more panicked by the second then she started to hyperventilate, her breath coming in short uneven sobs and painful moans.

John got up to get to her, while James took over keeping Michael trapped, and that's when he noticed that both Dean and Castiel were standing in the doorway, damn but they never listened to him if Gabriel was in the equation too.

'He's not breathing… John! He's not breathing!'

x~x~x

Chapter Six

Katrina arrived at Saint Anthony Hospital in Denver around midnight. She was frantic and she was pretty sure that only her driving skills and the almost empty road was the reason they arrived safely. She even managed to reach Denver only in about 25 minutes, which was a miracle itself, since the drive usually took 40 minutes at least. She still couldn't believe what was happening. She wanted to leave Jesse and Sam in Castle Rock, but even is she managed to get someone to look after them – not like she would've trusted any of the other neighbors with the two small boys that much – the moment she woke Sam up and told him that she needed to get into the hospital it was impossible to get the boy to stay behind, and he was a rather stubborn seven year-old. When the boy heard that Gabriel was the one taken to hospital and that Dean and Cas were already there with James, there was no way Katrina could leave him behind, which meant that she had to take Jesse too, since no way in hell was she leaving her 3 year old son alone with some babysitter or neighbor when none of the other kids was with him.

The fact that the paramedics immediately took Gabriel to Denver instead of the small clinic in Castle Rock showed how seriously injured he was. Sheriff Singer and John took Michael to the Sheriff's Department. Dean and Castiel were… well a mess. None of the parents could've talk them out of going after the ambulance immediately, so since John was busy arresting that low-life scum Katrina though would deserve a rope around his neck at least, James drove the two of them into Denver, which left Katrina to pick up the sleeping Sammy and get into Saint Anthony's along with Jesse some time later.

Hospitals were depressing. Katrina didn't like them one bit and this time she hated sitting on the stupid white chair looking at her son and Dean and knowing that there's nothing she could possibly do or say that would make anything even slightly better. James was sitting on the other side of Dean and Castiel, while Sam and Jesse slept on the couch on the other side of the waiting area.

Gabriel was still not out of surgery, it was getting really frightening. When she arrived James told her what the doctor said not long after they took Gabriel into the operating room. The head-trauma and the internal bleeding were the most severe of his injuries, he stopped breathing for a while which was probably due to the injury on his throat that damaged the trachea. But also his cheekbone was broken, and he had two cracked ribs. The cuts and bruises were not even something the doctors were dealing with right now, because those were the least of their problems. But the doctor that came out the last time wanted to make sure that the police were involved already, since he noticed that some injuries were older than others. That was the piece of information that made Katrina want to punch someone or preferably shoot, Michael maybe.

It also made her guilty beyond words. Gabriel spent almost every day at her house for years now and she didn't notice something was wrong, she didn't assume anything might be wrong and she could not let go of the feeling that she should've. She should've known, she should've noticed the signs, which were all so obvious right now. The way Gabriel reacted if someone raised their voice, how upset he was that one time Dean and Castiel started fighting, how little time he spent home and how he never invited the others over or talked about his family for that matter. Katrina used to invite Grace and Michael over too, but after only getting 'no' for an answer she stopped asking.

But he was always so cheerful and lively, was it a façade, a mask he kept up all the time? Or maybe he just enjoyed life as much as he could while he didn't have to stay home. Katrina felt that tears were trying to burst out from her eyes, but she swallowed them down. Dean and Castiel were holding up. Afraid, or more like terrified, sitting on their chairs and staring at the door that lead to the operating room or the light that showed that it was currently occupied, and they were silent. So very silent and practically motionless that Katrina started to pray desperately, cause if her son and Dean lost Gabriel… she wasn't sure whether they would be able to get over it.

Katrina looked up at the sound of footsteps – the hospital was rather empty at this hour – and she saw John walking towards them with hurried steps and Grace Morgenstern walking behind him with her left hand in a cast and several small bandages covering her face and arms.

'Gabriel?' he asked as soon as he stopped. Katrina noticed that his voice was hesitant, maybe afraid of hearing the answer or just not sure whether the boys should hear it.

'Still in surgery' James answered. John knelt down in front of Cas and Dean and looked at his son.

'How you're holding up buddy?' Dean just answered with a shrug and a motion that was probably a shake of his head.

'I'm gonna be right over, I just need to talk to Mrs. Morgenstern for a while, okay?' he asked. John led the still silent blond-woman away a bit and Katrina got up.

'Going to tell John what the doctor said' she said at James' questioning look and she noticed that he probably knew that it was bullshit. John was obviously taking Grace's statement and Katrina had to hear it. She needed to know what happened. So she walked over to them. As soon as she stopped she started talking.

'Head-trauma, internal bleeding, a crushed trachea, broken cheekbone, two cracked ribs and more cuts and bruises the doctors cared to count for now, some of those are old ones. So I want to hear it' she stated. John was looking at her and even if he wanted to ask her to give them some privacy he certainly didn't look like he wanted to do so now. Katrina leveled Grace with a stare and folded her arms. She was holding her arm and was staring at the cast around her left wrist.

'Grace. I need to hear what happened' John said. 'You will have to give a proper statement later, but I won't take you back to Castle Rock now, I'm just going to give Bobby the details as soon as I hear it from you.' Katrina knew that tone John was using, he only talked this way if he wanted to be placating and reassuring, but in reality he was pissed off as hell. Katrina could get behind that.

'It didn't start as anything serious' Grace started. 'Michael and I tend to argue… about my husband… well ex-husband… a lot.' She was still not looking at them, and Katrina didn't like her tone. She was talking quietly and even if she did seem worried, Katrina wasn't sure she was worried about her son, maybe she was, but something else clearly bothered her more. Maybe it was fear that caused her to act this way, there was no way to tell for sure.

'Michael blames me for his father's disappearance and he never really got over that in the past years. It really wasn't anything severe, just the same argument we always had. He was shouting… and he just got so angry, he didn't become this angry for so long, and then he started breaking things, again nothing too serious, was just a vase and his glass I guess…' she stopped for a few seconds. 'I shouted at him when he kicked over the small mahogany coffee table, since it had my Royal Leerdam crystal glass set on it, he became angrier then. He shouted at me more and he hit me then… the rest is somewhat blurry, I guess I was a bit dizzy after the first blow.' she kept gazing at her plastered wrist and her once perfect fingernails now half broken, still bloody.

'And Gabriel?' John asked.

'I'm not sure when he got into the living room. I didn't even know he was home until then. Maybe he heard Michael shouting, but he usually didn't get down from his room because of that. Maybe he only came when I screamed… when Michael grabbed my wrist and I couldn't get away' she added. 'How could he be so stupid?' she asked then. 'Getting in the middle of it' her voice got a bit lauder. 'The next thing I noticed was that Gabriel was there and he pushed Michael, tried to get in-between us, trying to get him to let go of me and… and that's when he got really angry… he was so rarely angry with Gabriel…' she trailed off into silence for a little while. 'First I didn't do anything, I though he would shake him off or just hit him once for interrupting, but he didn't stop… I tried to yell at him and push him to get him to stop, but he wouldn't and he just kept hitting him and there was blood and that's when I ran out.'

Katrina was bitterly relieved that at least she finally looked like she cared, like she was really upset about her son.

'This wasn't the first time Michael got aggressive, right?' John asked, and yes it was obvious from what the doctor said and from what Grace told them just now, the blond-haired woman just nodded. 'How long?' John asked next.

'Since he was around seventeen' Grace answered and Katrina felt as the adrenaline flooded her veins in anger. This has been going on for six years? And the second she thought about it she wanted to scream. That was the year Gabriel and Castiel became friends, so all this time the boy would've needed their help and she didn't notice. She was furious and as she was staring at Grace, she wasn't sure who she was angrier with. With herself for not noticing, or Gabriel's mother who let all this happen, who allowed things to get this bad, not telling anyone, not asking for help. John became deputy sheriff the second month after moving into Castle Rock, she only had to walk across the street and things would've ended, it all could've been prevented.

'What the hell is wrong with you?' she exclaimed, her voice dropped down a bit, just like it always did if she was truly angry.

'What?' Grace looked up for the first time.

'Why the hell didn't you do anything? Why didn't you just tell anyone? You could have stopped everything years ago!' she stepped closer and was extremely glad that she was at least six inches taller even with Grace wearing high heels.

'It's not that simple' Grace answered and she actually dared to look offended.

'What the hell do you mean it's not that simple? You live across the street from the deputy sheriff. You're working for a law-firm, full with lawyers, from whom anyone could get someone off the streets in a matter of hours! How on Earth is that NOT simple? You open you damn mouth and tell someone what is going on! None of this would've happened!' When she became really angry was the only time her Russian accent got through in her manner of speech. All her words became slightly shorter, her t's became harder and her r's were rolling off her tongue and the way Grace eyes' widened slightly, it was still a good addition to make her a bit more intimidating, or maybe it was just that she got closer to her again.

'Katrina' John seemed like he agreed, but still didn't seem like he wanted to put more blame on Grace either.

'Don't blame the victim?' Katrina looked at him, cause she just knew that this was what stopped John from shouting. 'Na huy nado! Fuck that! She's supposed to be the parent! She was supposed to take care of him!'

'Michael's my son too!' Grace suddenly erupted. 'I should've just locked him away? He was in pain, he missed his father! He was angry that he left.'

'Or maybe he got angry because his mother was fucking her boss instead of being home to raise her children!'

'How dare you!' Grace spat.

'Katrina' John said her name again, but this time with a different tone, it made her spin around. The anger slipped away from instantly as she saw the tears rolling down her son's face, while James was trying to calm him. Katrina was back to them in the next second and that's when she saw that Dean was fighting his tears too, but it seemed like it was already a lost battle. Without thinking she wrapped her arms around the two boys kneeling on the floor, trying to sooth them.

'Is Gabriel going to die?' Castiel asked and the way his voice told her that he expected a positive answer just about broke Katrina's heart.

'The doctors are doing everything they can' she answered immediately. 'They try to save him right now.'

'They couldn't save my Mom either' Dean said between two sobs and Katrina hugged them even tighter.

'This is different. Gabriel's not that badly hurt' she said. 'He definitely knows you're waiting for him to get better, he always thinks of you two first. So he wants to get better, we know that, he's doing his best, he's fighting, so we need to be strong too.'

And it was so painful to hear them cry, after years of nothing but laughter, the laughter that came back to the boys' lives through the very friend they shed their tears for. Both of them ended up down on the floor with her, in her arms, last time they were six when that happened, since then they were too big to be cuddled, or so they said. It took quite some time for them to calm down. Grace was sitting on the other side of the operating room door.

Katrina felt like her heart stopped for a second when she saw that the light above the door went out both John and James were on their feet immediately and the next second the doctor came out pulling off his mask.

'We could stop the internal bleeding and he seems to be able to breath on his own. We have to wait until he wakes up to know more, but he is stable.'

Relief rushed through Katrina and she hugged the boys again, their faces were still unsure.

'What do you mean that we'll have to wait until he wakes up to know more?' James asked. There was only a bit of silence as the doc glanced down to the kids, but Katrina nodded at him, the boys needed to hear truth as well.

'It means that he stopped breathing for a while and he does have a head injury, so we'll only know whether he has brain damage or not when he wakes up and we can't make an MRI because we had to use some intramedullary nails for some fractured bones.' The doctor explained.

'But is he going to be alright?' John asked.

'Well… so far it seems like he will be, but I really can't say anything for sure. He's not in immediate danger, the oxygen was not cut from the brain for very long and the head trauma is also not that critical either, so we can hope for the best.'

Katrina turned away from the doc to look at the boys again.

'You hear that?'

'So he's gonna be fine?' Dean asked.

'Yes, he will be' and she let herself smile. The boys need sleep and no other answer would calm them down enough to get them into a bed. And Katrina prayed that her answer will turn out to be nothing but the truth.

x~x~x

Chapter Seven

It was almost sunrise by the time John arrived back into the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. He hadn't slept at all during the night before, unsurprisingly. Between waiting for the surgery to end and dealing with the kids, he was exhausted. The worry, the anger all tired him out. But the anger also helped him to keep going, because there was just no way in hell he's going to get home and rest while that disgusting low-life scumbag was not officially and securely behind bars. Because he didn't care what it took, that bastard was not getting out of a cell until it was time for the trial.

He parked the Impala down and got inside the building, he nodded to their secretary Kate, she looked rather distressed herself; she wasn't supposed to be in yet so she probably heard what happened or Bobby called her in. John wanted to get into the interrogation room right away, but stopped, when he saw Bobby approaching from his office.

'John. How's the boy?' the sheriff asked.

'Seems like he's gonna make it, but he still didn't wake up' John answered, and he didn't expect his voice to be so rough. Bobby sighed.

'Your boys doin' okay?' he asked.

'No, of course they're not doing ok Bobby!' John exclaimed in frustration. Sam was really worried and really scared while he was awake, and Dean was beyond terrified for his friend. 'They're still scared' he added a bit calmer. 'Castiel too, James and Katrina are with them'

Bobby nodded. 'Grace?' he asked. John fought down the urge to growl at that.

'She's good, broken wrist, wounded pride' he said and Bobby's expression made it clear that they don't need to talk about her more.

'What did he say?' John asked then. Bobby snorted.

'More disgusting things that I want to think about, and he's an arrogant prick on top of that. He tried to piss me off more ways than I thought was possible and he already demanded his damn lawyer.' John snorted too.

'There's no way in Hell he gets away with this' he said fiercely.

'That's what I told him' Bobby agreed. 'but he was just smiling, that crazy fucker.'

'Gonna talk to him' John said.

'Feel free, but he's gonna piss you off too and if you beat him up here he's gonna have a better chance at the court.' John nodded and went straight to the interrogation room. He was really glad that Bobby decided to keep the bastard there – handcuffed to the table – instead of locking him up in a cell.

'Hello John' the young man greeted as soon as the door opened. It was only a bit satisfying to see his bruised and beat up face, even if the wound on his forehead – where James slammed his head into the floor – still bloody did give John a slightly good feeling.

'Your mother is fine' John started, he wanted to see the reactions Michael would make, this time the young man only raised and eyebrow, and he winced a little as the gesture pulled on the cut below his eye. The message was clear, he didn't give a flying fuck and John should've known that.

'Your brother's alive too, if you're interested' Michael huffed out air and it was suspiciously like a laugh and John already felt his fist clench.

'You know what they say' he said in a tone like they would discuss cars over a beer, then he fixed his eyes on John. 'Cockroaches are really hard to squash.'

The fury was not unexpected, it boiled up inside of him life a geyser, wanting to burst out and burn everything in its way. His nails were digging into his palm painfully in an attempt to keep them in place and then Michael grinned. John clenched his teeth using all his willpower to stay in one place instead beating the hell out of the asshole again, or even better getting his gun and emptying it into his smug face.

'You will rot in jail you sick fuck' John spat at him through clenched teeth.

'We'll see about that' Michael replied. John was about to open his mouth again when Bobby opened the door.

'John, need you for a minute' the deputy shoot one last angered look at the Michael, then went out.

'Tell me the recording is on in the room' John said the second Bobby closed the door.

'What do you think I'm an imbecile? Of course the damn recording is on' Bobby answered. 'Crowley's here' he added and John wanted to punch the wall in frustration.

x~x~x

They couldn't get Dean and Castiel to leave and Katrina gave up convincing them rather soon. He told James to take Sam and Jesse home and that she would stay with the two other boys.

Gabriel was still unconscious and Katrina didn't want either Dean or Cas to see him right away, because God he looked horrible. Katrina and Grace went into the room first and it was the dark-haired woman who was immediately by the bedside, she could feel the tears trying to break free from her eyes at the sight. He looked so broken. Neck secured and bandaged, just like his head, and his face was so swollen and bruised that it was hard to recognize him. Katrina traced the edge of his eyebrows with her fingertips as gently as she could while taking calming breaths. The boys were terrified, she needed to be calm to give them some security, some wan attempt of comfort when their best friend – one of the most important person in their lives – was lying unconscious on a hospital bed, broken and bloody.

Grace arrived to the other side of the bed, she looked down at her son for a very long time, not moving, not reaching out, not saying anything. Then she took a deep breath and stepped away, sitting down at the side of the room on a chair next to the window.

Katrina once again had to fight the urge to punch her out or yell at her, so she just glared. The bitch was so on her shit-list for the rest of eternity. And the only reason she didn't at least slap her stupid face was that she could fucking deny her or the boys seeing Gabriel if she wanted to, since they were not related in any way. She looked back at Gabriel again then she walked back to the door to call Dean and Castiel inside. The older boy would not heal significantly in the next days so the boys would sooner and later see him anyway, because none of them could keep them away and right now they needed it more to see that he was alive, even if not yet well.

After calming them down and reassuring that they just needed to wait for Gabriel to wake up she could finally get them to sleep. Even if only in the big armchairs pushed together – thus making a small bed – in the other side of the room, lying side by side closely only covered in a blanket.

Katrina sat down at the edge of the bed. Once in a while she glanced up to the two sleeping boys or at Grace gazing out of the window, but most of the time she kept her eyes on Gabriel, taking his hand to feel the pulse beating under the bruised skin of his wrist, waiting for any sign of consciousness, while she prayed over and over again for those warm brown eyes to open.

x~x~x

Anthony D. Crowley, the youngest and most successful lawyer of Morthelli & Beskydy and probably the whole of Denver and Douglas County. He always wore perfectly tailored suits, expensive shoes, with his Italian leather briefcase in one hand. He was handsome and had a British accent on top of everything. Women were all over him not surprisingly.

John Winchester hated his guts more than he could possibly define it in words, and the fact that the bastard was the Morgenstern's lawyer, thus he was here to defend Michael was just about enough for John to kick him out, but of course he couldn't.

Crowley greeted him and Bobby with his usual charming smile and asked to see his client.

'Could you possibly sink any lower?' John asked him. 'Defending this fucking bastard.'

'Well it is his right to have a lawyer defending his rights or prove his innocence' Crowley answered smoothly. 'And it is my job to provide this right for him. What are the charges?' he asked then.

'Assault and battery, maybe aggravated battery, we're not sure yet' Bobby replied.

'Attempted murder' John added immediately. Crowley looked at him incredulously.

'That is ludicrous Deputy Winchester' he said. 'From what I heard it cannot be anything more than simple battery.' John was furious in the fragment of a second.

'Oh no' he said. 'That sick bastard will be charged with family-violence battery and attempted murder, nothing less!' he raised his voice and he stepped closer to the lawyer, he had the extra inches in height and he intended to use it.

'Family-violence battery?' Crowley asked, frowning. John would've laughed on the very rare confused expression on his face, but he was too angry for that.

'Oh did your defendant failed to mention that it's his mother who's wrist he broke, or that it's his little brother who's life the doctors were fighting for hours? That it's his little brother still lying unconscious in a hospital bed with head trauma and broken bones?'

'He certainly did fail to mention the details' Crowley said.

'Now tell me, how is that not attempted murder you dick?' John asked, Crowley looked at him for a few seconds then he started walking towards the interrogation room. John followed and so did Bobby.

'Crowley! Finally!' Michael exclaimed. 'Do your thing and get me out of this shithole, I want to get home and take a shower.

John once again felt his anger bubbling up, because the reason why Michael needed that shower was that he was still covered in his and Gabriel's blood. Crowley smiled at the other young man, and John knew that smile. It was the smile that clearly indicated that the lawyer had some pretty cruel things up in his sleeve.

'My thing, Michael, is that I wish all the best for the Sheriff's Department in this investigation and I am going to make sure to call and do the same towards the prosecutor. Not like they need more evidence or anything' he added in conversational tone then he turned to John. 'And I do think that attempted murder sounds just about right in this case.'

John was sure that it was his surprise that prevented him in replying. Michael's expression was on the other hand even better, first confusion, but it soon turned much darker, the first spikes of anger appearing on him since they brought him in.

'What the fuck Crowley? You're my lawyer; you're supposed to defend me!'

'Not specifically' Crowley turned back to him. 'You see I am the lawyer of you family. And in this specific case I am going to defend you if Hell freezes over.'

Michael's face first morphed into that of shock and after that John watched with honest satisfaction as it turned to one of fear.

'But don't worry, we will meet at the court though' Crowley continued and his voice was dripping with treat, but still smooth, just like poisoned honey. He took a step closer, put his hands on the table and leaned closer to Michael. 'Because I am going to make sure that you end up in a deep hole under locks for so long that you forget what the sun looks like.' Michael opened his mouth to reply, but Crowley interrupted him. 'Oh, not to worry Michael, you have a rather pretty face, I'm sure you will be popular.

And with that he straightened up and turned to John again.

'Where are Grace and Gabriel hospitalized?' he asked.

'Saint Anthony' replied John.

'Thank you' one of his usual charming smiles broke out on his face. 'It was a pleasure like always gentlemen.'

He left without another word and John thought that maybe there was a slight chance that he's gonna like the freakin' bastard after all.

x~x~x

Katrina nodded off for a little while in the chair she pulled closer to the bed, and when she woke up, she saw that both Dean and Castiel were sitting on the bed watching their friend. Looking out of the window she guess it was around 9 or 10 AM, so she told the boys that she will get them some breakfast. Grace was not in the room, she too probably went for breakfast, but Katrina didn't care, she could fucking leave as far as she was concerned.

'Do you think he will wake up?' Cas asked after his mother left.

'Of course he will' answered Dean without a beat. 'He's gonna be fine.' Castiel looked up at the other boy, then back at Gabriel, he took his hand the way he saw his Mom doing it while she was sitting on the bed and it took only a few seconds before he saw out of the corner of his eye that Dean did the same on the other side of the bed. Cas was very careful since the IV was on his side.

They were sitting in complete silence for minutes, both of them just listening to the even breathing of Gabriel and their own. Castiel couldn't tear away his eyes from Gabriel's face for a second. He was so really hurt and Cas felt useless for not being able to help and he knew that Dean felt exactly the same. He though about what he could do, what they could do, because for Gabriel it was not just him, it was them, always them. Him and Dean. And he couldn't think of anything else, but praying – like his Mom thought him – and staying here so that the moment Gabriel woke up he would see them. He would see that they're both here and they're not even arguing, not at all, and Gabriel would be so happy about that, he would be happy about it, when he woke up.

And Castiel knew that Michael hurt Gabriel, he could never imagine hurting anybody this much, well except for Michael now, he would hurt him gladly, and especially not his little brother. He though of Jesse and there was no way he could even hit him a little. Dean said the same thing last night; that he would never hurt Sammy, that big brothers were supposed to look out for their little brothers, and that Michael was an evil bastard. Castiel agreed fully.

Castiel was focusing on the rising and falling of Gabriel's chest since Mrs. Morgenstern's words still echoed in his head when she shouted that Gabriel was not breathing. Castiel's never been more scared in his life and once again knew that Dean must've felt the same way. That's when he felt it, just a small twitch in Gabriel's hand and he leaned even closer in reaction, looking at Gabriel's face even more focused. Dean glanced at him then he too leaned closer. Castiel squeezed the older boy's hand a little.

'Gabriel' he whispered. 'Are you awake, Gabriel?' he asked. Dean looked over to him, then he stared down at his own hand where he closed his fingers around Gabriel's.

'Gabriel' called Dean too. 'Please wake up' he said. Gabriel moved his head a little, he was frowning now, but he seemed like he was waking up.

'Gabriel' Castiel called his name again, this time more excitedly. 'We're here'

It seemed like an eternity before Gabriel's eyelids finally moved a little, then opened up. Cas could tell that it took him some time before he could focus on them.

'Hey' Dean said. 'We were starting to get worried'

'You need anything?' Castiel asked. Gabriel just looked at them for a bit.

'Hey' he greeted. His voice was really-really hoarse and only a quiet whisper.

'Boys, got you breakfast' Katrina entered the room.

'Mom! Gabriel's awake!' Cas interrupted her immediately, and his Mother ditched the food so quickly that some of it fell to the floor. The next second she was also leaning above the bed, with a bright smile on her face.

'Welcome back' she said with tears in her eyes but still smiling brightly, putting her hand on top of Castiel's where the boy still didn't let go, before pushing the button to call the nurses.

x~x~x

Chapter Eight

The last few months were not easy for any of them, especially not for Gabriel. He was still not completely healed yet and the first few weeks were particularly hard on him. He was in pain; it hurt him to breath because of his ribs and the injury on his throat. It hurt him to speak and he couldn't lean on his left side because of his broken cheekbone.

And then there was the trial. Castiel only heard some details from his mother. Gabriel didn't want to talk about it so he stopped asking after the first two times. The trial went on for weeks; Grace was there nearly all the time. Cas' Mom told him that made her a huge 'suka', and Castiel will have to look that up in a dictionary, but he figured it was nothing flattering. He knew for a fact that his Mom cursed a lot in Russian if she was angry and ever since Gabriel got hurt she was a lot angrier than she usually was which meant a lot more Russian. His Dad had to go to the court to testify and John too. They told Cas and Dean that Michael will get into jail for a very long time, Dean said that he should be locked up for ever. John said that he would be if it was up to him. His Mom argued with Grace for hours when she heard that Gabriel will have to go to court too. The lawyer Mr. Crowley insisted since the jury would be willing to decide on the maximum penalty possible if they saw and heard Gabriel telling what happened. His Mom was furious that Gabriel had to be dragged into the trial, but she had to agree that it was best if Michael got what he deserved. After the pronounce of sentence when his parents got home they told him that Michael's got 15 years, in the Colorado State Penitentiary, which meant that Mr. Crowley kept his word about getting him the most severe punishment.

If anything, going back to school was even harder. Everyone is Castle Rock knew what happened in the Morgenstern family and Gabriel was not fully healed either by the time he decided to attend his classes again. His face and throat was still bruised and he told Dean and Cas right after the first day he was back in school that he's already fed up with the glances and whispers and the teachers suddenly all liking him again, which of course was pity and badly played false empathy in Gabriel's opinion.

Castiel knew that before this Gabriel did have friends in his class, even if he didn't spend time with them like he did with him and Dean, but now he didn't pay attention to them at all. They were in separate schools; since Gabriel was already in Castle View High School while Dean and Cas were still both in Castle Rock Middle School. Cas would've given anything to be at the same school as Gabriel, especially now that he kept wondering whether Gabriel was doing ok or not, but the two schools were really far away from each other so there was no way to meet with Gabriel only in the afternoons. Cas hated it and Dean did too, but it would take another two years before they could switch schools so until then they could only hate their school with passion during the days they spent there, they got really good at that. They even managed to monopolize one of the cafeteria tables for themselves and Dean's snarl and Castiel's death glare was enough to make any of the other students think twice before they tried to sit there. The snarl was learned from John, Cas got the glare from his Mom, but the attitude was 100% Gabriel. And it worked like spell, when they told their effective strategy to Gabriel was the first time they saw the older boy laugh honestly since everything that happened, it still hurt his face, but he said that it was totally worth it.

They had a new routine now since Gabriel was not picking them up from school. They got home together, checked in to his Mom or Dean's Dad – depending on who was home and where they were supposed to be – then they went over to Gabriel's house. Now that Michael was gone Gabriel didn't mind staying at home or Dean and Cas going over and since Gabriel's Mom was still working a lot and stayed out late it was good to have the entire house for themselves.

Gabriel opened the door a few minutes after Dean rang the doorbell. After getting rid of their shoes they followed Gabriel upstairs. Cas noticed that like always Gabriel very pointedly averted his gaze from the living room. He never went in there and if he could help it he didn't even look towards it. He was talking casually about his Mom working late again, his tone light, but Castiel knew how he sounded when his mood was good and this wasn't it. This was the way he acted when he was tired or hurting, but didn't want to acknowledge it or others to notice, and he definitely didn't want anyone to mention it. He only needed to take a glance at Dean to know that the other boy noticed it too. They did hang around him for the past years nearly night and day; it would be pretty hard to fool them. Castiel knew that it was natural that Gabriel was still hurting, he was still recuperating after all, he hated to see it but there was nothing to do about it. He just didn't want Gabriel to play tough instead of resting, he still needed to take painkillers so it's not like he could hide it or anything. They dropped their bags down when they got into Gabriel's room, the older boy chatting about his annoying day, but he stopped abruptly, looking at them before turning towards his desk.

'Stop looking at me like that' he said.

'What?' Dean asked immediately. 'Who?' like it wasn't obvious what Gabriel meant.

'Both of you' Gabriel said turning back. 'I'm fine! So stop looking at me like I'm gonna drop dead, go insane or something.'

'You almost died Gabriel, so we're allowed to' Castiel answered. Gabriel looked at him for a moment before rolling his eyes.

'Well, I'm fine now.'

'You're hurting' Dean said.

'No shit Sherlock, that's what the Demerol's for y'know!' snapped Gabriel, then he looked away, probably immediately regretting it.

'Gonna get the menus so we can order something' Dean said and left the room. Gabriel sighed then took out the orange bottle from his desk drawer. Castiel already learnt that he always got a bad headache if he was upset; Gabriel told him that it will pass when he's healed completely.

'We just want to help you, you know that' Castiel told him after sitting down onto the bed. Gabriel took one of the white pills and had a sip of water from the bottle that was on his desk before he spoke.

'I know… sure I know, just… need some time, ok?'

'Ok' Cas answered, he watched as Gabriel's shoulders slumped a little, his face and posture showing that he was not fine today more than it did a minute ago. 'Why don't you want Dean to see that you're hurting?' he asked. Gabriel just looked at him for a few seconds, before seemingly deciding there was no point denying.

'You know how he is' he said, then took a deep breath. 'He sees that I'm not ok, and he's gonna feel guilty about it cause there's nothing he can do, which is going to make me feel guilty that he's feeling that way, and that's just gonna make him feel even more guilty cause I'm feeling worse… ah it's a never ending circle.'

Castiel thought about it for a second and yes Gabriel had a point, but still…

'Okay, but he does know that you're not ok, he can see it when you have a bad day, just like I can. And he won't stop being annoyingly worried and we won't leave you alone whatsoever.'

'Your point?' Gabriel asks.

'Just accept it' Castiel said. Gabriel turned his head up a bit closing his eyes for a few seconds.

'What do you care about Dean anyway?' he asked as he opened his eyes again looking down at Castiel.

'I don't. You do' Cas replied, but Gabriel narrowed his eyes.

'Nah-ah, there's more' he said, and Cas resisted the urge to roll his eyes when he saw the first sign of a smile playing on Gabriel's lips. 'Castiel Turner, are you actually starting to like him?'

'No' Cas replied, and if the widening smile was anything to go by he didn't manage to convince Gabriel.

'Oh I'll be damned' the blond boy said. 'Did your cold Siberian heart open up again?'

'Shut up' Cas murmured, but he couldn't be unhappy since Gabriel's expression became even more cheerful.

'And there goes my theory that you're actually a robot from the future too… pity, would've been cool.'

'I said shut up Gabriel' Cas looked up at him and tried to glare, but it never really worked on Gabriel, or maybe he just couldn't glare properly at him. The boy chuckled now, obviously amused by Castiel's expression. 'Don't you dare tell him anything' he added. Gabriel raised an eyebrow.

'Right… He might actually think that you don't hate him, and we don't want that, do we?'

'Just don't, okay?' Cas asked. Gabriel just shook his head and rolled his eyes, it was the gesture Castiel knew well. It told him that Gabriel thought that he was being deliberately complicated or unreasonable, but he would leave him to it without getting involved, but he didn't like it. Before he could say anything more though Dean got back into the room with two flyers in his hand. His eyes landed almost right away on the orange pill bottle on the desk.

'You okay?' he asked. Gabriel glanced at Cas for a second, then he looked back at Dean.

'Yeah um… headache… not that bad… stuff's kicking in already too so I'm good.' Dean looked at the older boy for a second longer.

'Okay' he said finally. 'Chinese or pizza?' he asked holding up the papers in his hand.

'None' Gabriel answered and he took them out from Dean's hand. 'Promised Katrina that we won't order any take-out since she's making dinner, so homework for you two, then we head over.'

'Homework for you too Gabriel' Castiel reminded him. Gabriel mocked annoyance at that then told them to get started while he gets some snacks.

Castiel did notice that he was out of the room for much longer than he would need to simply get snacks from the kitchen, but he didn't say anything about it and neither did Dean. Gabriel was getting better, but he still needed some time and space, but he would be fine. They just needed to be patient and everything would be just like it used to be.

x~x~x

Chapter Nine

Dean was rather unsure about High School. He was more than glad that he could finally get into Castle View. He got into the lacrosse team right away and being as pre-mature as he luckily was he looked a bit older than his real age and was taller than the rest of the juniors, except for Cas, he was almost as tall as Dean – like always – and he was in the Martial Arts Team, which was cool enough, but not as popular as lacrosse. And best of all, he was finally in the same school as Gabriel again, same building, same everything. They could go together to school in the mornings, meet between classes, have lunch and go back home again. It was great. Or it would've been if they didn't manage to get infamous right away.

If he wanted to put it simply then he would say that Gabriel liked trouble. He got way more unsocial since the Michael-incident. He still had good grades – sort of – and was not always deliberately looking for trouble, but he also didn't give a damn about most people, teachers and students alike. He mostly didn't give a damn about himself either and Dean hated that the most. He shrugged at insults and smiled at scolds, never getting angry. But Dean just knew that he hated it. He hated that everyone knew that his father ran off and that his brother was a psycho sitting in jail, who wouldn't? He really didn't get angry though and Dean figured that those jerks who had too big of a mouth didn't get it whatsoever so it really was nothing to be concerned about. Well that was the reasonable thing to think, but it didn't always work out that way.

Surprisingly Cas got into more trouble than Dean. He was a tad more of a weirdo maybe or it was just the differences between them, it didn't really matter. Cas first major trouble could've been Dean's easily, Cas was just faster. They were heading outside to have lunch – they got rid of the idea of the cafeteria pretty soon – when that random jackass Dean never seen before stopped before Gabriel and started blabbering about some girl and how he would've been much better for her and she's sad and etc. Dean didn't really pay attention to the details. Gabriel, being his usual self, told the jackass that it was not his problem. Random jackass got angry and started throwing insults at Gabe, but he didn't care as per usual, Dean wouldn't have either, until he heard that one sentence that made his blood boil.

'They should lock you up along with your psycho brother you freak!' and Dean was just about to turn to the guy and punch him in the face, but Cas was faster. In the next second there was the loud clash of metal as Castiel slammed the guy into the lockers, one hand at his throat, the other ready at his side prepared to block any possible counter-attack.

'Listen here you useless piece of trash' Cas said in a deep even tone – he went through his change of voice pretty early – while looking straight into the other boy's eyes. 'You open your mouth again to say shit like that and you're going to regret you were born.'

The jackass finally tried to make some reaction after that, but Cas was faster and had the better leverage so he just slammed him back into the lockers and glared at him some more.

'Not worth it Cas' Gabriel remarked.

'Think pain and humiliation… understood?' Cas let go of him after he nodded and they thought that was it. Gabriel told him not to be bothered by idiots. Of course the whole thing turned into detention for Cas and got him a bit of a sicko reputation, which he gladly encouraged if it meant that the morons of the school were going to leave him alone.

The second time Dean knew Cas was in trouble when he noticed Katrina walking down the corridor towards Cas whom he didn't see since lunchtime. Gabriel didn't get down yet from his class so Dean jogged to Katrina and Cas.

'But what could she have possibly said that could justify that?' Katrina asked when Dean arrived. She threw him a quick smile, but then turned to look at Cas again with more stormy expression.

'She wouldn't stop talking about how I should choose my company better since my future could depend on it.' Dean knew that Cas was talking about Mrs. Brooke, she had a tendency to give unwanted advice to her students.

'What a bitch' Dean murmured.

'Hey!' Katrina frowned at him, Dean ducked his head theatrically. 'And?' she turned back to Castiel.

'And she said that I should get rid of the bad influence I'm under so I told her to go fuck herself.'

'Watch your mouth Castiel Andrei!' Katrina exclaimed. 'No wonder I was called in if you don't show any respect towards your teachers—'

'Gabriel, as in "bad influence"' Cas interrupted.

'What a bitch' Katrina reacted before she could stop herself and Dean couldn't help but chuckle at it. Cas had a little smile on his face too. 'It's a lost war anyway' she added with a sigh instead of correcting herself because of the curse word. 'Okay, I deal with Mrs. Brooke, you two fetch Gabriel. If I drove all the way here you're going to be my grocery shopping minions.' Both Dean and Cas groaned, but only as a habit.

Dean didn't think that Gabriel was a bad influence. He was not well, or not as well as he could've been. He did okay most days and he felt really-really bad on others. But he was still Gabriel. He still cared about them and he was still there, mostly.

The sound of his phone woke him up and after glancing at the huge red letters of the clock he knew that he only fell asleep about an hour ago. He reached to the nightstand to get his cell, he got a new message.

"mt zion pick me up?"

Gabriel. And it was the third time in two weeks. He sat up and rubbed his eyes.

'Hey Castiel!' he called out in the dark room and he was more than happy that him and Sammy were over at the Turner house tonight, it would've been difficult to do this alone.

'What is it?' Cas asked from not far away.

'Gabriel' Dean answered simply then he tossed his phone at Cas then he got out of the bed to get dressed, he heard Cas do the same a few seconds later. When they were ready Dean felt lucky again. It was really hard to sneak in or out of his room unnoticed, but it was easy to get away from Cas', and they won't disturb Katrina and James or Sammy and Jesse sleeping.

The Mt Zion was a Lutheran church near Rock Park only ten minutes away from their houses so it won't be hard to get Gabriel. They didn't talk much on their way. Dean wondered how bad a night this might be. Pretty bad as it turned out.

'Hey guys' Gabriel greeted when they reached him. 'Knew you would come y'know… you always do… it's like… snapping a finger or something.'

'You're drunk' Castiel stated, it was not hard to guess.

'Oh really? Would've never noticed on my own.' Dean would've been pissed at him for being like this, but he couldn't be seeing how miserable his friend looked.

'Let's go home Gabe' he tried.

'Why the fuck would I want that?' Gabriel asked in an even tone. 'Grace is out… again… but I don't give a damn… that I learnt from her.'

'C'mon Gabriel' Dean tried again and this time he tried to pull him up from the park bench too.

'Don't boss me around Winchester!' Gabriel snapped pulling his arm away from Dean's reach.

'Why are you doing this?' Castiel asked.

'Oh, here it comes!' Gabriel rolled his eyes and he leaned back on the bench. 'I'm not supposed to drink anything, be more polite, eat healthy, dress warm, do your homework, respect your teachers, pick one, what do you want to start with Cas?'

'Why do you keep trying pushing us away when you know that it won't work?' Cas asked instead and Gabriel went silent right away, averting his gaze. Dean sat down on the bench and Cas did too, on either side.

'Why do you…' Gabriel started but he kept looking in front of him. 'still care?' he finished finally and Dean thought he didn't hear him right.

'Isn't that obvious?' asked Cas.

'No! No, it's not fucking obvious!' Gabriel replied immediately. 'You should…'

'Leave?' Castiel prompted as Gabriel fell silent for a long while.

'Give up' the older boy replied. 'Ignore… yeah leave.'

'Are you fucking serious?' Dean exclaimed. Gabriel just shrugged.

'We're not leaving Gabriel' Castiel said.

'Would be better for you.'

'No' Dean knew he would stick to that, Gabriel had a bad day, but that doesn't mean they're going to leave him alone or anything. What was he thinking?

'You really should' Gabriel continued, his voice lighter now, barely audible and he kept looking ahead, his elbows on his knees. 'Look at me, I'm… pathetic really… breaking down about the smallest things…' he drifted off while he rested his head on his hands, burying his face. His hair fell a bit forward so effectively he did manage to hide himself.

'What happened?' asked Cas. And Dean was sure he won't like the answer. Gabriel had bad days before, but not like this, not this much.

'He sent me a fucking postcard…' Gabriel said after a very long pause, and before Dean or Cas could ask more about it he continued. 'For my birthday, it's in two weeks, and he sent me a fucking postcard…' Dean knew what was this all about immediately and he was 100% sure Cas did too.

'He still hates me… not that I'm surprised… he… says I betrayed him and he won't forgive me that… so… not like he didn't hate me before that, but…'

'Stop it!' Dean had to stop him, it was all wrong. He got in front of Gabriel kneeling down on the cold pavement. 'He was wrong, the entire time, he was! Not you!'

'I know that, it's just… this is so messed up.'

'It will straighten out eventually' Cas said still sitting next to Gabriel on the bench.

'You really shouldn't bother anymore. It's been over two years and I still can't get over it.'

'Yeah we don't care' Gabriel looked at him at that.

'You've been looking out for us for years' Castiel added.

'You never complained or left, you've always been there, so we're here too.'

'And we're not leaving.' There was silence for a while, and then Gabriel nodded.

'Let's get you home' Dean said standing up.

'No, not my house' Gabriel replied almost immediately. Cas and Dean both grabbed him to get him on his feet.

'My house then' Dean supplied.

'John's gonna be pissed if he sees me like this'

'My Dad's at night shift' Dean answered and they started to walk back.

'What?' Gabriel frowned and he immediately looked more sober. 'He left you alone in the house?' Dean had to smile at that, it figures that this is what makes Gabe more aware of things.

'Both Dean and Sam are spending the night at my house' Castiel reassured him.

'Oh that's good… ok.' He didn't speak again during their walk to the Winchester house. They managed to get him into the bathroom so he could take a shower. It's really late by the time they started to prepare to go to sleep. Dean was opening his wardrobe to get the plus blankets and quilts to make an extra bed.

'Hey um…' Gabriel starts from Dean's bed where he dropped himself down to, already looking like he's half asleep. 'This is going to… sound… um… weird, maybe.'

'What is it?' Dean asked, at least he seemed calmer now, that's a good sign.

'Would you mind sleeping here too?' he asked and looked at Dean then at Cas too. It takes him a few seconds to get it. They didn't sleep like that for a while now, years actually.

'I was planning to do that' said Castiel.

'Sure' shrugged Dean too.

'Thanks' he hears Gabriel say when he slides into his bed. Castiel got in on the other side, like always before. He could hear the way Gabriel exhaled deeply, finally relaxing or trying to. Dean's rather sure that he would ask Gabe to stay all the time if it would help him. This really was a very bad day. He slides closer under the covers and he knows that they're not kids anymore and they're way too old for it but he still wraps his fingers around Gabriel's. He hears Castiel moving on the other side getting into a comfortable position. They barely have enough space like this, but he can hear as Gabriel's breath evens out, falling asleep. And okay they might not be able to help him with everything, but Dean's glad if nothing else, they could help to give him a good night's sleep.

x~x~x

Chapter Ten

'So… what do you think?' Gabriel asked. Chuck kept his eyes on the documents in his hand before he raised his head to look at the young man again. He took off his glasses and closed the folder.

'I think it's a great idea' Chuck answered and Gabriel almost got confused, he didn't expect that answer. Chuck handed back the folder then leaned back in his chair.

'You do?'

'Yes, even if it would've been too late for me to object since it's already a done deal.'

Gabriel averted his eyes for a second.

'Does anyone know about it yet?' Chuck asked again. Gabriel leaned back on the sofa with a sigh.

'Just Grace' he answered. He still couldn't stop calling her by her first name, but she didn't seem to make a big deal out of it so he was not forcing himself to change it.

'You didn't tell Dean and Castiel yet?' Gabriel just shook his head. Chuck just looked at him.

'I know, okay. I should've told them months ago, it's just… they won't like it doc, not one bit.'

'Well that's an understatement' he smiled.

Gabriel liked Chuck, well he liked him now. He couldn't stand him two years ago. It was just one of those days almost two and a half years ago when Grace came home much earlier than he expected. Gabriel was already way more than tipsy; Grace dragged him into his room and told him to sleep. The next morning he woke up to his mother's voice with a throbbing headache and nausea. She ordered him into the shower and told him to get dressed. Gabriel was way too surprised about his mother's authoritative tone so he didn't say a word just followed the instructions. When he was dressed his mother handed him his jacket than loaded his butt into the car. Only after he noticed that they were heading out of town – on a school day – dared he ask where they were going. He didn't know where to put his mother's expression that was something between anger, determination and maybe some worry.

'I am not making the same mistake twice, Gabriel.' Grace told him and that was the only explanation he got until they reached their destination. Gabriel couldn't believe his eyes when he was standing in front of a dark brown wooden door with the sign 'Charles Shurley PsyD, PhD'. He couldn't believe his mother was serious, but she only told him to get in to the appointment she booked him and that there was no place for an argument.

And here he was, two and half years later in the same office sitting on the same couch.

'And you still think it's a good idea?' Gabriel asked him.

'They won't like it, but that doesn't mean it's not good for you' Chuck told him.

'Oh, so then what about all that stuff how I should rely on the people around me and stay connected with the ones I care about?' Gabriel asked.

'Yeah that's true, but I also said that bit about emotional dependency' Chuck said with a pointed look.

'I am not emotionally dependent on them' Gabriel argued, he always argued about this.

'Right… how many nights did you spend at Dean's or Cas' house last week?' he asked and Gabriel rolled his eyes. 'Can I guess?' asked Chuck. 'All nights?'

'Fine, but it's not just that. I can't stand the house and you know it. And they get along much better if I'm there and now Katrina can leave us alone cause she knows I watch out for Sam and Jesse too, it's not just about me.'

'And yet you didn't tell any of them' Chuck said. Gabriel kept quiet. 'Listen, you are my focus here Gabriel, but I do think it will be good for Dean and Cas too on some level.'

'It won't' Gabriel answered right away.

'You remember the co-dependency part of my whole emotional dependency speech?' he asked. Gabriel shrugged.

'Course you do. Still if I tell you something it takes a while for it to stick but if I tell it in context that involves Dean and Cas you remember it right away.' Gabriel glared at him, he hated it when Chuck proved his point on principle even if he was grateful for the guy in general. 'Okay… let's stop talking about this' Chuck said and he fidgeted some on his seat, he had that nervous smile on his face. Gabriel couldn't figure out in two years whether the reaction to his glaring was genuine or just an act; there was no way to tell with Chuck. Sometimes he seemed like he would need the therapy himself, but the dude was really smart too and could get all serious or caring, he was weird. Probably the reason Gabriel could stand him in the first place, weird was always something he liked.

'Michael' Chuck said and again that nervous smile was gone from his face. He insisted to talk about him on a regular basis, Gabriel hated it. 'Is he still sending you cards?' he asked.

'Yeah' answered Gabriel. 'For everything what's at least remotely close to a holiday; Birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter even the freakin' 4th of July.'

'And how's his tone nowadays? We didn't talk about this for a while now' Gabriel took a deep breath.

'Kind' he said and it was hard to squeeze it out between his teeth. 'His last dozen or so cards were… well… kind… I guess.'

'Really? How so?' asked Chuck and Gabriel wanted to glare at him again, he hated talking about his brother and Chuck damn well knew that.

'Well he writes stuff like "Take care of yourself" and "Hope you're well" and shit like that' Gabriel explained. The silence that followed was loaded and Gabriel hoped that Chuck won't pull the usual 'How does that make you feel?' nonsense. He hated that question and could never really answer it anyway.

'Have you thought about visiting him maybe?' Chuck asked instead and it was so much worse than the question about feelings. Just the thought of seeing his brother again made him nervous.

'I can't' he answered after a while and looked up at Chuck hoping that he won't push it. His Mom couldn't visit him either Chuck could not expect him to see him.

'It's a good sign though' Chuck added as an afterthought, but with a tone that meant that he won't keep up the conversation. 'I guess our time is up' he said after a beat of silence. 'I hope you will still come at least until graduation.'

'Yeah, sure Chuck' he answered as he got up.

'Great' Chuck stood up, he had that unusual smile on his face again, and Gabriel could never decide what it really meant. 'See you next Friday then.' He patted him on the shoulder, like always.

x~x~x

Gabriel was slowly nursing his beer leaning against his car… originally Michael's car, which of course still made him a bit uncomfortable sometimes, but he had to drive something and it would've been a shame to let Michael's scarlet red 1971 Dodge Challenger gather dust in the garage, especially since Dean liked it so much. He got his license about a year ago and he was using the car ever since, it started to feel like it was his and not Michael's which was a good thing.

He only thought about his brother if it was necessary, so he stopped musing about his car and was just staring at the slowly darkening sky as the sun was setting behind the rock; Gabriel always thought that it looked more like a cake then a castle, but that was just his opinion. He asked Dean and Cas to meet him after they got home. Both of them had practice on Friday afternoons – lacrosse for Dean, martial arts for Cas and both of them were getting damn good at it – which was when Gabriel had his appointments with Chuck so it worked out just fine. But he didn't want anyone else to be around for this conversation so he asked them to meet in their usual spot in Rock Park.

The moment he saw them approaching he felt how his shoulders tensed and he was so not looking forward to this. They greeted each other and Dean started talking about his practice and Cas soon joined him in it, Gabriel just listened. He was glad that there was no frown or anything else because of the beer but hey he was eighteen and he kept a limit now so there was no reason for anyone to be worried, the guys sure didn't. Then Dean started talking about his deal with his Dad about the Impala.

'So I won't actually get the car when I get my license after I hit sixteen, but I guess I can borrow it cause Dad needs to drive his squad car a lot anyway. I think he plans on handing over the keys when I get eighteen so I guess I have to drive something else' he was looking at Gabriel with raised eyebrows with an expectant look on his face. Gabriel chuckled at that.

'Trust me D, you will be able to drive this car as much as you want' he answered and liked to see Dean's answering grin. He interrupted them when Cas was about to ask about their evening plans.

'We need to talk about something, or more like, I have to tell you guys something.'

'What is it?' asked Castiel. Both of them looked nothing but curious.

'So um, the Morthelli & Beskydy, y'know the law firm Grace works for… it seems like they're after some fusion or expansion, I don't really know. And now they will open a new office and well Grace took the job offer and um… it's in Chicago.' He saw how both Dean's and Cas' expression turned from curiosity to honest confusion and shock.

'What?' Dean asked.

'Tony Crowley gets the main office here in Denver, but Grace accepted to join the team that goes to Chicago with Zach Beskydy, so she's selling the house and everything.' There was silence for a long time.

'You're moving to Chicago?' asked Castiel and it already hurt Gabriel to hear him ask this with this tone. He took a deep breath.

'Well… no' he said.

'What do you mean no?' Dean asked immediately, and that immediate thread of hope that was in his voice just made it all worse.

'You're staying?' asked Cas. The worst.

'I'm going to Europe… Denmark.' He said, there, it was out.

'Denmark?' asked Dean in disbelief. 'Why the hell are you going to Denmark for?' and there was the first sign of anger in him, Gabriel expected as much.

'I got accepted to a bachelor program at the University of Copenhagen' he said.

'Why would you apply there in the first place?' asked Castiel.

'I was just… looking for collages or universities and I stumbled upon this scholarship and well, I got it.'

'The application time was months ago' said Castiel. 'Why didn't you tell us before?' Leave it to Castiel to keep calm and ask the hardest questions.

'It wasn't like it was a sure thing it's just...'

'You waited until it was sure' Dean added and Gabriel hated it when his voice leveled like this, it meant that he was barely containing his anger.

'Sorry… it's just… I have to go.'

'Why? Why do you have to go? Moving away to Chicago, I would get that, but you just up and leave to a different continent? What the hell Gabriel? Being three states away was not far enough for you?' Gabriel glanced skyward and took a deep breath.

'I knew exactly you would react this way' he muttered.

'How else should he react?' asked Castiel. Point, he expected this.

'Look guys, I know it sucks to hear this, okay? But just try to get it. I really need to do this' he couldn't exactly explain why, he knew that his reasons would only hurt them more so he just hoped they would understand it this way.

'What does it matter whether we understand it or not?' asked Dean then. 'You didn't even tell us that you would apply, didn't even give us a chance to have a say in it.'

'Because you don't have a say in it, Dean! Not his time!' Gabriel spread his hands in frustration, he didn't want to get here. The hurt look on Dean's face and even on Cas' to some level was heart wrenching.

'It's good to know how much we matter nowadays' said Dean and Gabriel never before felt getting this angry with him. He threw his beer bottle and it shattered on the rocky pavement not far away from the car.

'Dammit Dean that's exactly why I didn't tell you! I never would've applied in the first place if I asked you two! I wouldn't have been able to. You wouldn't want me to leave and I would've agreed. Because that's what my life's been about! Dealing with my screwed up family and making sure you two were fine and happy!' he took a few calming breaths, he didn't want to make things worse here than they already were.

'If you didn't want to you could've just…'

'No Cas, it's not that!' he interrupted the black haired boy immediately. They should never think that, ever. He leaned against his car again and looked at them, willing them to understand. 'I wanted to, you're my friends, I don't care about anyone more than about you two, but I have to live my life for a while, someplace else. I have to learn how to fucking function properly on my own because right now, I'm not sure I can. And that's freakin' terrifying.'

The silence was deafening. He hoped that it will be enough; it will be reason enough for both Dean and Cas because he couldn't say more, not without saying something he would regret forever. There were too many things that terrified him about the way his life was right now and he had to change that. He was over the worst or he hoped so, it was time to grow up, to figure out what he wanted to do, because right now the only thing he could think of when he thought about the future was that to make sure Dean and Cas were happy. And Chuck was right, it was too much, he had to do something that was not about them. Grow a personality that didn't revolve around them, as Chuck put it, or just making sure that he could keep up his current one without constant contact, to be stable without them, because he wasn't in the past year, not at all and it had to change before he dragged them down with himself.

Dean's expression was still hurt and Cas looked defeated too.

'Okay well it won't be that bad' Cas said. 'I mean there are holidays and the winter break and spring break, you won't be gone for only a few months at a time tops, right?'

And Gabriel wanted nothing more but to reassure him that this was the case, but…

'No Cas, I won't be traveling back to the US for quite a while' he said in a quiet even tone.

'How long?' Dean asked and his voice held so much sadness that Gabriel knew that Dean expected to worst answer.

'A few years' Gabriel answered. 'Three at least if I can keep up with my studies' Cas slid down to the ground leaning against the car folding his arms on his knees. And Dean was fighting back tears he could see that.

'No, c'mon… don't' Gabriel got closer to squeeze his upper-arm, but Dean averted his gaze. 'I'm leaving the car you know, so you can use it while I'm gone.'

'I don't want it' Dean answered, his face was stubborn, and he didn't let the tears fall. Gabriel let his hand drop.

'I won't be gone forever' he told him. 'Dean! You hear me?'

'Yeah' Dean answered half-heartedly. Gabriel kneeled down in front of Cas next.

'Look at me Cas' the younger boy raised his head. 'You heard that right? I'm not leaving forever, I will come back, okay?' he kept his hand on top of Cas' entwined fingers and held his gaze, looking into sad blue eyes until Castiel nodded.

'Okay' he said.

Gabriel stood up again to lean against his car and he didn't have the strength to say anything anymore. The silence from his friends was torture. He felt like he tore out his own heart out just now and no matter how much his mind kept telling him that he needed to do this it didn't make it any less painful.

x~x~x

Chapter Eleven

It's Castiel who always drives the Dodge. Not like Dean doesn't get behind the wheel on occasion but it's a rare event. He keeps saying that he will get the Impala soon so it's better if Cas gets used to the Dodge instead, but Cas knows it's a load of bull. He doesn't push it though so the Dodge parks in front of the Turner house and Dean rides shotgun most of the time.

Castiel glances at his watch and takes a deep breath. He was so tired of Dean's attitude nowadays. He's already twenty minutes late. Cas parked the car at the usual spot in Rock Park, the exact place they always hang out. Today they didn't drive back from High School together so Cas was stuck waiting for Dean's always late ass. And he just knew that there's going to be some completely stupid reason for it, the really ridiculous funny stories Dean came up with stopped being cute for a while now.

It was thirty minutes after their appointment when Dean finally showed. He looked pissed and Castiel was really not in the mood for arguing today. Dean stopped with a short 'hey' and he leaned against the car next to Castiel, not saying anything else. Castiel frowned.

'What?' Dean turned towards him; yes he was definitely itching for a fight.

'You're late' not that Dean's mood ever stopped Castiel from speaking his mind.

'You have got to be fucking kidding me!' Dean groaned.

'No' Cas replied easily, Dean hated it if he answered questions that were not meant to be answered, but seriously, Dean got so easily angry, he took the bait way too simply and since he rarely managed to piss Castiel off it was amusing.

'I wasn't gonna show up in the first place anyway, had a date which I had to cut short because of you.' Castiel rolled his eyes.

'Yeah, because the random cheerleaders have such an important part in your life' Cas said.

'More important than you, dick' Dean replied right away, it was expected, seriously.

'As fun as it would be to keep this friendly chatter up… let's get going, shall we?' Cas said. Dean was annoying on most days, but Castiel was more than used to him at this point. Especially since most of his anger or snarky comments were nothing to be taken too seriously. It became more irritating in the last few months… well almost a year since Gabriel moved away, but nothing that was not manageable.

'Don't boss me around Turner' Dean replied, it was one of the annoying habits he picked up calling him by his surname, why was it better to say Turner instead of Cas was hard to tell, but Castiel suspected that it had something to do with the way Gabriel addressed people in High School, he usually used surnames for people he didn't know or didn't get along with.

Castiel was really not in the mood for a long fight.

'Stop the drama Dean, I am not interested' he answered.

'Well that's the whole point, isn't it?' Dean asked, and this made Cas turn back towards him.

'What is?' he asked.

'What the hell are we doing? Hanging out like this' Dean said and his voice became slightly louder and the anger was unmistakable. Cas frowned at him, not sure where he was going with this 'Gabriel's gone if you haven't noticed!' Dean said stepping away from the car and spreading his arms like to show that it was just the two of them.

'I know that' Cas replied, trying to keep his calm, but sometimes it was really hard to do so when Dean got this way.

'Then what the Hell? Why are you doing this? Why are we doing this?' Cas wanted to open his mouth to ask what he meant but Dean kept going. 'We don't have to tolerate each other Cas! We don't need to pretend that we're friends! We don't have to hang out or even see each other! We don't, so what is this? Why the hell do you act like Gabriel's still here, huh?'

Castiel was speechless and he felt his pulse speeding up, pumping in his veins, blood rushing in his ears.

'We should just leave it the fuck alone!' Dean shouted. 'You should leave me the fuck alone!'

Castiel felt as if something snapped inside of him and he threw out his fist without a truly conscious thought. His fist connected perfectly with Dean's jaw and the other boy stumbled back onto the car from the impact.

'You selfish, arrogant dick' Castiel groaned, he grabbed the lapels of Dean's jacket and slammed him to the car to keep him in one place. He was so angry, so very angry at him.

'Yes, he left!' he almost shouted into Dean's face, he saw the thin line of blood flowing from his split lip. 'The fuck knows if he ever comes back! And you just want to leave me alone too you fucking bastard?' his hands were shaking and his fingers turned white how strongly it was curled around the lapels of the jacket. And he knew why he was so angry, so hurt. 'Leave you the fuck alone, huh?' his voice somehow remained even, but from the anger it dropped really deep. 'I've had enough of this' he shook his head, biting his lips. He couldn't take this. 'You… I've had enough.'

'But…' Dean's expression was that of sheer shock, maybe he didn't think Cas would hit him or get angry with him. 'But you hate me' he said finally. Cas sighed.

'I don't hate you, you idiot' Cas let go of him and shoved him out of the way to get into his car.

'Oh come on! You have a shitty way of shoving that!' Dean exclaimed while Castiel got into the car. Castiel looked up at him and he didn't feel angry anymore, just tired.

'It just figures that this is what the only friend I have left here thinks' he said and started the engine. He heard Dean say his name and telling him to wait, but he didn't. He really was tired of this, so he just simply won't care anymore.

x~x~x

Castiel was about to get to bed. He had a shitty evening, which was of course no wonder. His mother kept asking what was wrong, but she probably figured it out since Dean didn't show up like he was supposed to. Cas hated this, hated that Dean acted this way and that Gabriel wasn't around to make it better. Jesse tried to coax him to watch some TV or play video games and Cas joined him for a few hours, but it didn't help to make his mood much better, he did appreciate the gesture. Jesse was growing up to be a great kid and him and Sam got along really well. They didn't need a third party just to keep them from tearing at each others throats. Maybe he and Dean weren't friends after all.

The knock on the window interrupted his train of thoughts and he was glad he didn't startle at the noise. He turned around and frowned as he saw Dean. He walked closer and opened the window so Dean could get in from the roof. It was rather easy to get into Cas' room through the window, which should've bothered him, but it was merely a convenience in the past years when he wanted to get out without making noise or if Dean or Gabriel wanted to get in, like now.

Dean climbed in and closed the window, while Cas just stood and waited. He came here so he should talk. Dean fussed with the window and the curtains for a while, obviously stalling, which meant that he was uncomfortable or embarrassed.

'So?' Cas prompted, he was not very patient on a normal day but today he had an even worse temper.

'So… hey' Dean turned around and he was obviously really uncertain, he kept fidgeting with his jacket.

'Are we planning on staring at each other all night?' Cas asked.

'No, um… listen Cas.' He scratched the back of his neck nervously, before visibly becoming annoyed with himself and he gave a frustrated sigh he almost sounded angry when he started talking. 'You're my friend' he said.

'What?'

'You're my friend!' he said again with more certainty. 'I don't hate you, not at all, on the contrary, okay?' his voice and his expression almost seemed desperate, naked. Like telling this was an opening and he expected it to be thrown back to his face, which was so foolish since Cas already told him that they were friends, but Dean was foolish on most days. 'And I'm not leaving you alone, cause I would be alone too. I don't have anyone else either Cas, not really, they're just…' ha made a vague gesture with his hand then he went silent. He obviously was referring to either his lacrosse teammates or the horde of cheerleaders who were all over said team including Dean.

'Ok' Cas answered simply. Dean's eyes locked with his again and they stood there for long seconds, Cas was sure that Dean must've seen what that one simple word meant, since he visibly relaxed. He didn't change his posture or expression, but his shoulders were not that tense, his breath became calmer and all his features just became gentler than they were before.

'Ok, we're good?' he asked anyway, Cas noticed the first sign of a smile that was beginning to form on Dean's lips and the way his eyes smiled too already.

'Absolutely' Cas answered. They stood still for another few seconds and the silence was comfortable rather than awkward. This was it, they were friends, well they were probably friends for a long time just too much like themselves to acknowledge it, it didn't matter. 'Wanna crash here?' Cas asked.

'I'd like that' Dean answered and he finally took off his jacket and boots. Cas just got to his wardrobe to get out Dean's spare T-shirt and shorts he kept here, since he slept here, well used to sleep here a lot, not that much nowadays, but this seemed to change. Cas was more than glad to get back to the way things were, when Gabriel was around. Being on good terms with Dean would make things much easier, for both of them Castiel figured.

He handed Dean the clothes, who smiled while shaking his head.

'What is it?' Castiel asked.

'Nothing, it's just' he looked around in the room. 'I have way too many of my stuff here' He said and he was laughing quietly at it. Cas had to smile too, it was true.

'I have a lot from my things over at your house too' he answered, and they both had some of Gabriel's things around too, things he didn't need when he moved away. And it was not surprising considering that they were practically living in each others pockets for the last 11 years. He never thought about that before, probably Dean didn't either. The thought caused him to laugh too, since how on Earth would they be anything but friends after so much time, it was stupid to assume anything else. He just had to take one look at Dean's face and it was obvious that this was what caused him to laugh when Cas handed over his clothes to him.

They got into bed to sleep some time later. They didn't need to talk about this argument or anything at all, Castiel felt good. His bad mood erased without a trace, he even felt bad for the bruise that was on Dean's face and the small cut on his lip. He said sorry, Dean answered that he deserved it and that Cas threw one hell of a punch, Cas reminded him that he was a Red Belt in Taekwondo and he already got his black stripes so he's going for the Black Belt next time. It was good to talk about nothing in general; it's been a while so it was peaceful and good.

He felt Dean sliding closer to him under the covers, probably not even consciously, and even that was so familiar he had to open his eyes to look at him.

'You're like a puppy always needing its pile' he told him with a wide smile and Dean opened his eyes too to look at him. He just blinked at Cas a few times with an unreadable expression on his face.

The next second he leaned in a sealed his lips on Castiel's. Cas felt himself tense for a second at the feel of warm lips solid on his own, but the second fled away swiftly only leaving the content feeling of warmth that spread through his body. The same good feeling, the comfortable familiarity he felt when they lay down under the covers only tenfold.

The moment ended abruptly when Dean drew back, his eyes wide, his expression shocked.

'Shit, sorry' he mumbled, and then Cas saw the first traces of panic appearing on him as he was trying to put distance between them, trying to leave. 'I'm so sor—'

'Dean' Castiel stopped him by putting a hand to the back of his neck and not letting him get further away. Dean stopped and just stared at Cas with wide eyes. 'It's okay' Cas told him as he shifted closer to close the distance Dean put between them. Cas wasn't thinking about it too deeply either, but it felt good, it felt right so he leaned in this time, while he stroked the skin on Dean's neck with his thumb in a soothing gesture.

'It's okay' he repeated when they were only a breath away and Dean reached out too as their lips met again, this time with more certainty. First it was just lips, but they held each other close, shifted their bodies so they had no distance between them. Dean caught his lower lip with his mouth and Cas felt as his fingers slid into his hair. A small noise escaped Dean's throat and Cas stopped for a moment, drew back slightly to look at him in the darkened room, he could still see his face and his swollen lips, his pupils wide from the darkness and much more a different darkness that surfaced from deep within.

It was him who leaned in this time before Dean could speak, he crushed their lips together with even more heat and he rolled them over a bit so Dean was on his back. The noise of surprised turned into a moan when Castiel licked his lips and Dean opened his mouth for a real kiss, a much deeper one and with fire that inflamed from the warm familiarity into something new, something more special. Castiel felt like Dean's kiss was burning him up, his touch setting him on fire. Only Dean could make him truly angry, make his blood boil, shaking him up, skinning down his calm to nothing. The kiss burned him in a different way, but just as strongly, or even more so. And it explained so much about them and Castiel was sure Dean realized it too, if the smile he showed the next time they parted to catch their breath was anything to go by.

x~x~x

Chapter Twelve

Graduation was drawing closer and Dean was fed up with his classmates and with his teammates. There was a limit to the amount of teen angst he could bear and he had reached it months ago. Now that everyone saw the end of the High School years they all had their own teenage conflicts and it was way more than annoying. And it was always the same problems and Dean couldn't really sympathize at all.

I want a boyfriend, I want a girlfriend, I want to loose my virginity, nobody understands me, I don't know who I really am, what am I gonna do with my life, will I get into collage, will we stay together after graduation, my parents don't support my dreams… and more crap. Dean really couldn't empathize, but maybe that really was just that he was over his teen angst limit.

He was well aware of who he was and what he wanted to do after graduation, and what he wanted to do with his life in general. It might change but he had a pretty good plan. His Dad and Sammy were more than supportive, just like the un-official part of his family, the Turner side, which he did consider as family. Hell, Katrina was his substitute-mom since they moved to Castle Rock just like for Sam too. So the Turner side was also cool with the plans. His virginity was a long lost memory and as for a girlfriend, he didn't have sleepless nights because he didn't have one. There were two main reasons for that.

A, if he wanted one he could have one. He got taller in the past years and more muscular thanks to lacrosse and other sports he took part in. He was handsome and he could be charming if he bothered. So he could say with easy self-confidence that he was hot enough to get any girl. So why get nervous about not having one?

And B, there was only one guy who was hot enough to rival him, who definitely was his only real concurrence, or yeah maybe even hotter in some ways, and Dean had him in his bed on a regular basis. Castiel grew a lot too so he was only slightly shorter, he had lean, flexible muscles, constant bed-hair and deep blue eyes the girls were head-over heels with. His voice got even deeper than it was first after his change of voice and he was badass. Well Dean was strong and he could handle himself in a fight if it came to it, but that's not martial arts by a long shot. Cas got his Black Belt and he swore to make the second dan before graduation. And when you could have that naked and sweaty among the sheets who gave a flying fuck about some girl, any girl, really.

This thing between them, it's not perfect, never was perfect. They've been on and off for the past two years, switching between wanting to kill each other and being completely wrapped up in each other in every which way. It was a constant roller coaster. They would still argue about things, they couldn't help it, but now the making up was way awesome, sometimes even the arguments since they went from shouting to kissing, all the tension or electricity or something exploding between them. Dean never thought that it would be possible wanting to tear down the clothes of someone you wanted to punch a second before that, but well it was possible. They never fought for long, the longest time they were apart due to a huge argument was a week, but even then they saw each other every day, since it was not by mistake that Dean called the Turners the un-official part of his family. And no way he could be angry with Cas for more than a few hours mostly at a time.

It was just the way they were. He couldn't stop the laugh that erupted from him when his physics teacher told the class about the idea of the unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object. He had to grin at Cas for the rest of the class because really, best metaphor he heard so far. Cas seemed to agree.

Other than the roller coaster thing they had going things were fine, more than fine. Back when everything started Dean had no idea what they were getting into, he just knew that he wanted to try whatever it was. The first make-out sessions soon turned into some pretty serious touching of course. They were red-blooded male teenagers after all, there was no such thing as too much when it came to this.

He knew that he won't ever forget the first time they really touched. Cas' hand on his dick was for a moment unexpected then he couldn't think at all, he just desperately reached for the hardness he felt pressed to his tight to wrap his finger around Cas while his hips bucked up to get more, to feel more. Thinking back it was not the best sex of his life or course, both of them came really soon and neither of them had the proper experience. The second time when they both got completely naked to do the same while they held each other close, that made it just that much more amazing. And each time as they learnt something more, explored something new it just got somehow better. And each milestone was a memory Dean hoped he won't forget.

Like Castiel's face when Dean dropped down to his knees in front of him for the first time, how his pupils were blown and his breathing hitched when Dean wrapped his fingers around his hips to shove him to the wall he stood next to. How his chest was rising with every deep breath. How his eyes locked on Dean when he stroked him through his slacks before getting it open and taking him out. He was so nervous before he started, but all those noises Castiel made above him, the way he panted his name. It turned him on so much that he forgot immediately why he was nervous in the first place and the feel of Cas heavy and hot in his mouth, how he had him under control just with the flick of his tongue, he couldn't get tired of that feeling. Not like he didn't enjoy seeing Cas' lips wrapped around his dick just as much, because damn that was a sight he wanted to brand into his brain, just thinking about it was more than enough to make his jeans too tight in a second.

But of course nothing compared to sex. It was great to give a quick blowjob in the front seat of the Dodge or to have a hand job behind the gym after practice when no one was around. And Dean had sex before Cas, well once actually, Rhonda Hurley was hot and damn the things she could do with her mouth, she was also exciting. But with Cas, well no girl could do to him what Cas could, obviously. But he didn't just mean the sex part.

There was no way he could relax around a girl as much as he could around Cas, and there was just no way any girl could understand what they already lived through together, and no chick would understand Gabriel. The big painful gaping hole around Dean and Cas that no one could fill. Their classmates still remembered Gabriel and some who lived close to them, but for most the name Gabriel Morgenstern meant nothing more but the story about the criminal who almost killed his little brother. Some new family lived in the Morgenstern house and the ones who went to High School together with him were mostly gone from town too. Dean just didn't think there was a way to explain Gabriel to someone who didn't know about them from the start, because for them what should a guy who's not ever there, in fact who lives in the other side of the world, mean? Nothing of import and that always made Dean angry. Because no one outside of his family understood it and no one but Castiel knew truly.

He broke up with Rhonda – more like kicked her out of his house – when he returned from the bathroom to find her splayed on his bed in nothing but a T-shirt. It should've been a turn on, but she had Gabriel's red T-shirt with the alien picture on, the one he accidentally left at Dean's room when he moved away – Rhonda probably thought it was Dean's – and Dean got so angry. He threw her clothes at her and barked her to take the fucking T-shirt off. She called him a freak; and Dean had the urge to hit a girl for the first time in his life. He knew that he over-reacted, but Gabriel was a sore spot for him just like for Cas.

Waking up wrapped around someone else was something he got used to by now. Lucky for them that they were sleeping over at each other's house since they were five so it was not surprising or suspicious that they did the same nowadays, even if the night meant more than just sleeping. Dean enjoyed the feel of warm skin under his hand and pushed closer as he opened his eyes in the morning sunlight. He had no intentions of getting up, but he did start to trace lazy patterns with his fingers on Castiel's sides, then ribs, chest. He kissed his shoulder next then went further towards his neck.

'Dean' Cas shifted a bit, but he made no attempt to stop Dean. 'It's Saturday, my parents are home.' Dean drew himself even closer so he could talk directly to Cas' ear.

'The door is locked, they never call us down for breakfast until 10 and we can be quiet' Dean supplied as he continued his lazy stroking which had slightly more intent in it than it did a few moments before.

'You, quiet? I seriously doubt that' answered Cas and Dean had to chuckle at that. It was true; he was not the quietly moaning type.

'We could get into the shower' offered Dean.

'Now you're talking' said Cas as he opened his eyes with a smile, he reached an arm over to drag Dean on top of him. Dean savored the feel of his morning hardness sliding up to Cas' and as fingers traced the muscles on his back.

'Hey, no treating me like a chick' Dean warned, because things like Cas getting him onto his lap just got that comment out of him.

'I wouldn't dare' Cas answered smoothly, but Dean saw the humor in his eyes and the smile that started to form on his lips. Hm, those lips. Dean leaned down for a kiss before he stood up.

'Shower, now' he called back without turning around. And sure enough, he had two arms wrapped around his waist as soon as he turned on the water. He also noticed that Cas was ahead of him since he already got rid of his boxers. Cas lips were on his neck, kissing, biting, knowing all the spots that he really liked. His hand was stroking his stomach and he felt Cas hardness pressed to him, yeah he should've got rid of his boxers too already. He didn't have to wait long since Cas' slender fingers slipped inside his briefs, one hand sliding down his only clothing from his hips the other wrapping around his morning wood. Dean moaned and pushed back immediately onto Cas as soon as his boxers were off, Cas dick sliding perfectly between his cheeks. Castiel pushed back, making a few slow thrusts like this while he kept up the long strokes with his hand.

Dean bit back another moan when Cas' lips returned to his neck.

'Shower, now' Cas said this time and Dean was ready to comply immediately. He stepped into the stall when Cas let go of him and their lips met the next second when Dean turned around. The warm water was hitting his skin and Cas crowded him to the tiled wall. Their dicks slid together the moment they were close enough and Dean wrapped his hand around both of them, stroking lazily. Cas drew in a shuddering breath while his hand traveled down to cup Dean's ass to squeeze it tightly.

'I think you should be almost ready' Cas whispered into his mouth while his hand traveled further down to slide his fingers between his cheeks. 'After last night.'

'Definitely' Dean answered with a grin.

'Turn around' Dean loved the way Cas voice dropped impossibly low when they did this, the only other time it happened was when he was angry, but this context was so much better, even if both were equally hot, not like he ever admitted that out loud. Dean let go then he turned around facing the tiles. He felt as Cas' chest pressed against his back and for a few seconds nothing else then the scent of Cas' shower gel filled his nose and then slippery hands were on his skin. Strong fingers were caressing his muscles on his neck then shoulders and shoulder blades, traveling down on his back along his spine, stopping at his hips, and then sneaking forward tracing his ribs, stroking his stomach, then further up spreading the white foam on his chest. By the time Cas long fingers reached his throat and he felt his lips on the back of his neck and then by his ear he bent his head back on Cas' shoulder and tried really hard to keep in his voice.

Lazy mornings like this, when they were not fighting, were not angry about anything, when being together was something different than bruising kisses and the almost angry writhing of bodies, could be just as addictive. It always surprised Dean how easily he relaxed under Cas' touch, how pliant he could get under the attention he was receiving, and maybe it was just the fact that Cas was anything but a gentle person normally. He was stark and focused, precise in what he did and had a practical set of mind. But when they were like this he let go too.

Neither the slippery hand closing around his dick nor the fingers that were pushing inside of him came as a surprise but he had to bite his lips to muffle the sound that threatened to escape him. Cas just knew all too well what he liked and how he liked it. And since he was still a bit loose from last night Cas started with two fingers right away. First it was slow and gentle, but Cas knew him enough to know Dean wanted more. Cas' other hand released his dick and he didn't understand and was about to protest when he felt the two fingers inside of him push deeper and the same time Cas' hand clamped down on his mouth, successfully muffling the cry that escaped Dean's lips. Dean leaned forward to the tiles, resting his elbows there, while Cas repeated the move and oh yes it was good that he had Cas' hand on his mouth, because he couldn't keep his voice in.

He heard Cas chuckle behind him.

'Quiet, huh?' he asked, and his voice was light and playful with a heavy layer of lust fogging it. Dean just pushed his hips back onto his hand, forcing his fingers deeper to urge him to do more. Castiel pushed his fingers onto the bundle of nerves inside him once more before his fingers were gone. Only a second later Dean already felt the blunt head of Cas' dick pushing inside of him and yes it was still awesome that Cas kept his hand on his mouth. He didn't have to focus on keeping his voice in that much, plus it somehow turned him on even more. Cas' other hand encircled his hips, keeping him in one place while he pushed inside slowly but steadily, not stopping until he was buried deeply, all the way in.

Both their breathing was heavy in the hot air filled with steam, the water still hitting their skin and the scent of Cas' shower gel on both of them, Dean moaned low in his throat and pushed back, Cas took the hint and started moving. He pulled out and pushed back in with a long steady movement and he kept up the slow pace. Dean wanted to move, to speed up, but Cas crowded him to the tiled wall, one arm around his hip and hand still covering his mouth so instead of asking for faster he started to move his hips in the same slow rhythm.

'Ah, that's it' he heard Cas breath out. His voice was wrecked and even he couldn't keep in the small gasps and moans anymore. His hand left Deans mouth and he shifted his position a bit. Putting both of his hands on Dean's hip and this time he pushed in stronger, deeper even, but he still didn't change the pace. Dean leaned forward more and buried his face into the crook of his arm to keep his voice in. He even bit down on his forearm when Cas managed to hit the right spot inside of him after changing his angle, brushing his prostate with the head of his dick over and over again.

He kept leaning on one of his arms while he reached down to touch himself, of course he liked it when Cas did it, but he would need to change his angle if he wanted to reach around and Dean wanted him to keep up what he was doing instead. But he did notice what Dean was doing since his pace got a bit faster, Dean synced the movement of his hand with Cas' thrusts and he felt his climax building up inside of him. It wouldn't take much. He kept up the still slow pace but pushing back to meet Cas and pushing forward into his own fist, it soon became too much and he was coming with a cry muffled by his forearm, muscles clenching down around Cas who almost growled at the sensation as he gave a few final strong thrusts before coming, emptying himself into the tight heat.

They just panted for moments then Cas put a kiss on Dean's nape and he pulled out. Dean turned around and drew him in for a kiss. He loved to start his day this perfectly.

x~x~x

They got down for breakfast some time later – and it was not even 10 AM – after they really cleaned up and got dressed. They were just about to sit down to the table to eat breakfast, James preparing his morning coffee, Jesse watching cartoons in the living room when Katrina practically stormed into the house and to the kitchen.

'Castiel! You're here! You got a letter!' she said with so much enthusiasm Dean didn't see on her since the big cake war at Gabriel's 10th Birthday. She dropped a bunch of envelopes onto the table and held one in her hand. It didn't look anything special from where Dean sat and Cas seemed confused too.

'And what's the rush?' Cas raised an eyebrow.

'Look at the stamp!' Katrina urged as she held out the letter, both Dean and Castiel raised from their chairs to lean forward. Dean felt his eyes widening.

'Denmark?' Cas exclaimed as he snatched the letter out of her mother's hand.

'Gabriel' Dean said looking down on the white envelope. Castiel tore it open the next second, his eyes roaming through the lines with frantic speed. They didn't hear from Gabriel in years! A little annoying voice in the back of Dean's head asked him why Gabriel wrote to Cas and not to him but he told the little bastard to shut up.

'He writes that he's finishing his program this year like planned' Cas said still reading the lines. 'And that he comes back to the US.'

'When?' Dean asked excitedly and he saw that both James and Katrina were listening to Cas as well.

'Nothing about that' Cas said and he frowned. 'The letter… it's like… it's cut in half.' For a second both of them were just staring at the piece of paper in Cas' hand in confusion, then they seemed to get it at the same time. They ran out of the kitchen, out of the house in a rush, not paying attention to Katrina asking where they were going. They practically fell through the front door of the Winchester house.

'Where's the fire?' asked John looking up from his newspaper, while Sam looked at them like they finally turned insane.

'Mail!' Dean exclaimed. 'Did I get mail? Any mail? A letter? Just mail?' he asked, and yeah he obviously lost his capacity of making coherent sentences.

'Everything's in the bowl like always' Sammy told him with a roll of his eyes, Dean really must look crazy right now. 'What's happening?'

Dean was already digging through the bills and magazines.

'Gabriel' he said as an explanation when he found the white envelope with the same blue stamp on it. He tore the envelope open just like Cas did, when he read the lines he couldn't stop the grin threatening to split his face in halves.

'Date, airport, flight number' he said then he turned to Cas. 'He hopes we can both go to pick him up when he arrives to Denver' he told him. It was such a rare sight to see Cas smile widely, and a grin was a miracle, but he was grinning alright.

'Denver, Dean' he said. 'Not Chicago.'

'Yeah' Dean answered. 'He's coming back.'

x~x~x

Chapter Thirteen

During his ten hour flight Gabriel couldn't sleep and couldn't eat a bit either. And not because he hated flying, hell he flew to India in his last spring break and that was also more than eight hours and he was perfectly fine. This time however he was way too nervous to do either.

It's a miracle they didn't stop him at the customs. Maybe he looked innocent enough that they didn't think he might be all twitchy for an illegal reason. He managed to calm down a little at the beginning but the last hour on the plane was hell, just like every minute since landing. He was watching the different bags and suitcases appear waiting for his own luggage taking deep calming breaths. Three years. Three years since he last set foot in the country, his hometown. Since he saw or last talked to anyone from Castle Rock. Three years with no contact with his past, no contact with either Dean or Castiel. So he was anxious, but excited. One part of him wanted to run through the arrival hall, wanted to get here as soon as possible, another part of him was scared that no one's here waiting for him. It's been a long time after all.

So he was prepared, it run through his head at least a hundred times during the flight what he should do if neither of them showed up. Get a hotel room for the night, rent a car and drive down to Castle Rock or just turn around and find the next plane to Chicago, and he really didn't want to do the latter. He finally spotted his stuff and grabbed them, loading them onto the cart he snatched earlier. He knew he's stalling when he fixed the position of one of his bags five times so he scolded himself for being so ridiculous and started walking outside.

He wouldn't blame them if they didn't come, since it was Gabriel who cut all ties and didn't get in touch for years, and didn't even give a chance for anyone to get in touch with him. Only his mother knew his address in Copenhagen and that too was only because of administrational reasons. So no, he wouldn't blame them at all, but he was desperately wishing for the opposite. That by some divine miracle his two best friends would be waiting for him here at DIA, that he didn't loose them forever, because God, he missed them. It took him way too much time to get used to being alone, not physically alone, but without them and he cursed Chuck for being right about it. It was misery at first. Not knowing what was happening with them, whether they were ok, whether they were happy, sad or angry. Did they get in trouble? Were they getting along without him – he really hoped that one – and of course way too many nights were spent thinking whether any of them hated him for abandoning them like this.

After a while things got better. He was busy with school and everything else going on in his life so he got more used to it, but he never stopped missing them. He stopped in the arrival hall; families, couples, friends were united all around him. Businessmen found their chauffeurs waiting with their white boards. He looked around too and there were way too many people all around, but none of them wore a familiar face. His fingers tightened around the handle of the cart without a conscious thought and all his worst-case scenarios were rushing in his mind like crazy, from the simplest 'they don't give a rats ass about him anymore' to the very horrible 'something happened and he wasn't here to know about it'. Every passing second he was scanning the hall without being able to look at anyone specific was torment.

'Gabriel!' he felt relief like a physical sensation flooding him immediately, his heart leapt and his mind couldn't decide right away whether to relax his body or get it more excited. He did manage to turn around, towards the voice, though. And then he just stared at the two figures and it was almost hard to recognize them, because they changed so much, they were not the teen-boys he left behind anymore. He stared, they stared, without moving or saying anything and after a few seconds Gabriel realized that he's grinning like a huge idiot, but he didn't care because they came. They actually came.

'God, you guys got tall' is what finally left his mouth and seriously? After three years, that is the only thing he can come up with? Well, it was true; they got really tall, both of them even taller than him, which would take some getting used to. Both Dean and Cas stared at him for another second then they started laughing and he really missed that too. Before he could say anything else Cas already closed the distance between them and Gabriel almost lost his balance from the way he practically slammed into him with a hug. And wow, yes he really did get tall, which was weird, but he didn't really care, just wrapped his arms around his friend in return. The way Cas was hugging him, all tightly like he wasn't sure he was there or afraid he would disappear any second, it warmed his heart, but also made him feel guilty. It also reminded him of the way Cas used to cling to him all the time when they were small.

He felt when Cas finally decided to let him go, he drew back too, but again he couldn't get a word out before he was practically crushed by another set of arms. And again it was weird that he was the small one. The hug was stronger, sharper.

'You're back' he heard Dean say and he tightened his arms just a bit more after the words, then Dean pulled back and he visibly tried to pull himself together too, like he wasn't planning on doing that, just gave in to the impulse. And the familiarity of that was also something that made Gabriel smile. Because they pretty much grew up while he was away, but it didn't seem like they changed. They stood around in the little circle they formed for a few awkward seconds.

'Wasn't sure you would show up' Gabriel admitted and hoped that it was obvious how glad he was that it wasn't the case.

'You're an idiot' came the double answer, and so very much in sync – they even had the same expression on their faces – that Gabriel burst out laughing.

x~x~x

The car ride back to Castle Rock was well… awesome. Cas asked whether he wanted to drive, but he had a 10 hour flight behind him, so no sir, his reflexes were practically non-existent in his current state. So it was Castiel behind the wheels of the Dodge – since it turned out he was the one driving it and not Dean – and Gabriel sat shotgun. Arriving back to the US was not like he expected. Well he expected the worst of course, and to that Dean told him that he should really kick the glass half-empty world-view already. And he probably should, because really. Both of them seemed absolutely fine, they were in high spirits and showed no sign of being angry with him, which he guessed they should be, and didn't doubt that there will be some talk about the past three years when the first excitement of his return wore off.

They were heading for the Turner house, since the guest-room there was already waiting for him. Dean and Cas seemed even more chipper when they reached the house and seemed like they couldn't wait to shove him through the front door.

The first one he saw was Katrina as she rushed to the door, Gabriel once again had to be careful so he doesn't fall back from the impact when Katrina hugged the hell out of him. She didn't let go of him for a very long time, telling him how much they all missed him. Gabriel had to hug back tightly, as he realized that it was not just Dean and Cas he deeply missed.

He was surprised to see that everyone was there. James greeted him with a bright grin, a handshake and a half-hug. John shook his hand and gave a few strong pats on his shoulder. Sammy and Jesse grew a lot, it was shocking, and it made him feel like he was gone for much longer than he actually was. Sammy greeted him with an open smile, Jesse was much more uncertain, but well, the kid was only seven when he left, three years must've been a very long time for him.

Katrina asked him whether he wanted to sleep a little or anything, but Gabriel just told her that after a shower and coffee he's going to be good as new. And he actually was. As the tension left him he didn't feel tired at all, he was eager to hear what happened in the past years to catch up on everything.

From Dean being lacrosse captain, Cas getting his second dan, John becoming sheriff after Bobby Singer retired, James being promoted to the rank of a Major – Katrina practically beamed at that – Sam being one of the best students in his year, which made Dean smile showing that he was a very proud big brother, to Jesse being almost fluent in Russian already, which gave Cas the proud big brother smile.

And having dinner at the Turner house with everyone around was something absolutely amazing, and everything was just like before, except Katrina fussing around him, she noticed that Gabriel looked at her a bit surprised after the third time she asked if he wanted anything else.

'You're finally home' she said. 'Just be glad I'm not cooing you and giving you mama-bear hugs every minute' she said and to prove her point she threw an arm around his neck and put a kiss on the top of his head. Dean and Cas started chuckling into their plates in reaction. 'Don't think I'm going to stop just because you're all grown up you two' she said and drew them in her arms next stepping behind their chairs. They showed the expected amount of protest while they got very similar kisses to the side of their heads. 'And you can be embarrassed all you want, see if I care' she added, while she let go of them to sit back down to the table.

'You should be prepared by now' laughed James. 'She's being extra motherly to make up for the time you're going to be away in advance.'

'Right, graduation' said Gabriel then he looked at his friends since he had no idea what plans they might have now that High School was ending for them.

'I'm more interested in what you're going to do' said Castiel. 'You're staying in the country?' Gabriel felt the moment all eyes landed on him.

'Yeah' he smiled. 'Um, I'm gonna continue with Med School here' he said and the very surprised expressions he was confronted with were slightly strange. 'What is it?'

'Med School?' asked Dean clearly surprised. 'You're gonna be a doctor?' It took a moment for Gabriel to realize what the surprise was about.

'Oh yeah, I was in the School of Medicine in Copenhagen for the past years, getting my bachelor' he said. 'I guess I never told that' he added a bit quieter.

'Why didn't you say anything about it before?' asked Cas this time. 'Well, before you left.'

'I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it' Gabriel explained. 'Or if I really wanted to or not, so I applied, got accepted, but I didn't know until the middle of my second year that it was really something I want to do.'

There was another few seconds of stunned silence Gabriel dubbed as the needed time for everyone to adjust the new information.

'That is wonderful Gabriel' Katrina said and she was smiling brightly at him.

'Thanks' Gabriel replied.

'No really, Med School, that is outstanding' she continued. 'Grace must be proud.'

Gabriel stopped in the middle of his next movement and averted his eyes and now he hated all the eyes landing once again on him.

'Yeah well we… don't keep in touch' he said in a quiet tone and knew that it won't be enough of an explanation. 'She re-married about a year ago' he told them. 'Her husband has two small boys and um so, new family and all' he cleared his throat. 'She seemed happy in the wedding photos' he added as an after thought then stuffed a big fork of food into his mouth and hoped to anything that was holy or even remotely close to it that they won't ask more about it. He didn't know more about Grace or her husband. He knew that she was happy and the last thing she needed was the shadows of her screwed-up first family to mess with her new life. The silence at the table this time was much worse.

'Dean, Cas' he said after he swallowed since it was still completely silence. 'Any plans for college for you two?' he looked up at his friends and really hoped that they can drop the other subject right away. They looked at him then they grinned, sharing a look which Gabriel couldn't quite put anywhere.

'We're both going down to Springs' Dean said. 'Police Academy from this fall' he continued. Gabriel blinked.

'Both of you?' because that was really surprising. It was not that surprising from Dean, but he didn't think Cas ever wanted to be a police officer.

'Yeah, right' Cas grunted. 'Like I would ever apply there' he said, but his tone was light, only teasing.

'Watch it' Dean warned, but it was also in the very same tone. Cas just smiled before he looked at Gabriel again.

'I'm going to the Air Force Academy' he said.

'We couldn't talk him out of it' said James. 'It's like he forgot all my stories about how unbearable the Air Force guys are.'

'They would've taken him to any Military Academy' added John. 'But no, he wanted the Air Force.'

'Stop it, you two' warned Katrina. 'He wanted to go there, so he goes there. Go and fight about the Army and the Marines instead, I haven't heard that argument in about three days, so I feel like something's missing from my life.' Everyone had to laugh at that and they didn't really try to hide it either.

'How long are you staying Gabriel?' asked Sam then and Gabriel didn't really know the answer to that, but before he could come up with a diplomatic answer Katrina started talking again.

'Well I hope you plan on staying for a while' she said. 'At least until Dean's and Castiel's graduation ceremony I hope.' She looked at him expectantly and Gabriel only needed to glance to his right to see that both Dean and Cas were doing the same.

'I guess' he said. 'If it's not a problem' he added. Katrina actually rolled her eyes at him which made Gabriel smile.

'What are you talking about?' she asked incredulously. 'The longer you stay the better and you know that.'

Despite being almost dead tired he stayed up long with Dean and Castiel, sharing a few beers after Katrina practically ordered that they should catch up. So they did exactly that. Just talked, traded stories and joked and laughed, and Gabriel felt that he was finally home again.

x~x~x

Chapter Fourteen

'We have to tell him' Cas said in a hushed tone. They were in Cas' room and he just grabbed Dean by the elbow to drag him inside. And maybe Dean was expecting this to come up, obviously. Gabriel's been back for more than a week now and even if both him and Cas were amazingly happy to have him around again some other things got pushed out of their life by the lack of alone-time. And yes it was not ideal, but…

'Really? I mean… do we really have to?' he asked and saw as Cas jaw clicked together tightly, okay he should know by now that there was no skirting around a subject. Dean sighed. 'I just mean that we didn't tell anyone' he tried to explain his point. 'Not my Dad or your parents, so why is it actually necessary?'

Castiel leveled him with a look that Dean found hard to interpret immediately. There was anger and hurt, but he couldn't quite understand the rest of it since Cas schooled his features really quickly. He had the damn best poker face Dean ever saw and sometimes it was really annoying.

'That is different and you know it' Cas stated.

'Why?'

'It's Gabriel' Cas said. 'I think it's pretty obvious why he is different than the others.'

'Well yeah, but I still don't think it's something we should tell.' Some indescribable emotion swept through Castiel's face before he simply looked pissed.

'You know what?' he asked and he had the first trace of fury in the edge of his voice. 'If it's so unimportant to you then we really should forget it.'

Dean suddenly understood what was really going on and he grabbed Cas before he could turn around and leave. He cut off his protest with a kiss, pulling him closer, one arm on his waist the other reaching up to his neck. He used this method to shut Cas up many times, but this time the kiss was not as angry as other times. He held onto him and kept their mouths pressed together; trying to get Cas to part his lips and relax his body. He deepened the kiss when he finally did but didn't pull back until Cas was kissing him too. Then he slipped his hand into his hair stroking, soothingly. It was not the first time that the metaphor of a wild beast came to his mind. Cas was easy to anger and he could be pretty scary if he wanted to be, usually Dean managed to pull of his 'I'm too cute so you can't be angry with me' act if he was not angry himself and that usually calmed Cas down.

'Hey' he said quietly. 'Not telling him right away doesn't mean that I want to, y'know break it up… break up… whatever you wanna call it. You get that, right?' because now he sees how Dean's reaction might've looked for Cas. He looked at the deep blue eyes focusing on him, keeping eye-contact for long seconds, he was sure he looked sincere enough.

'Of course' Cas said finally and he was the one to pull Dean in for a second kiss this time. Bodies flush together from hips to lips as Cas put his hand on him keeping him close and basically kissing him silly, because he did take charge of the kiss this time and Dean let him after a short battle of dominance and he felt himself getting way too hot for a simple kiss – as simple as kissing Cas could be, which was actually never the case – and he was sure that one week without getting some was too much for him obviously. They didn't touch at all since the day Gabriel arrived and now he felt his skin heating up, his body reacting and desperately wanting to have more of Cas, and preferably right now. Wanted to feel Cas fingers on his skin and his mouth on well anywhere on his body.

'Um…' they jumped apart so quickly that Dean almost lost his balance. He was out of breath and there was no way of describing how horrified he got in mere second. Cas' eyes widened dramatically too. And of course it was Gabriel, no one else barged in to Cas' room without knocking, or did he knock? Maybe they didn't hear, but oh shit, what now? Gabriel looked well… stunned, petrified maybe was the better word. 'Uh… sorry… I just…' and he was about to turn around and leave and that seemed to get Dean out of his shock as he moved to stop him. Cas did the same and soon enough the door was closed and they managed to drag Gabriel back inside.

'No one knows' Dean explained simply. Gabriel looked well, still shocked and embarrassed maybe if the trace of red on his face and the tip of his ears was anything to go by. Dean didn't blame him. Cas was introducing his tongue to his tonsils a minute ago, anyone would be embarrassed walking in on that.

'How long?' Gabriel asked and his voice was pretty uncertain too and almost a whisper like he was afraid someone could hear him.

'Not without a break, but almost two years' Cas answered evenly and Gabriel's expression became even more astonished, he was just blinking ahead of himself for a few seconds, not looking at either of them.

'Y'know really… no one knows, we didn't tell anyone' Dean said. 'So… um.' Gabriel finally looked at them again.

'Yeah, um, of course guys, don't worry about that' he assured quickly. 'Not the gossiping type' he added with a smile, well an attempt of a smile he didn't quite manage. Dean hoped that was still just the surprise in him and nothing more, because oh what the hell's gonna happen if Gabe's not okay with this. Dean traded a look with Castiel and he knew that they were thinking the same thing.

'So… are you… okay with it?' Dean asked very carefully. Gabriel looked at him then at Cas.

'I'm… surprised' he said. 'But otherwise sure, I'm okay, totally fine, no problem. Not a bit, I'm perfectly okay.'

Dean felt that that was just one too many and Gabriel still looked pretty freaked out and the fact that he practically fled the room only with a few hushed words about talking later was also not reassuring. So Dean couldn't relax just yet.

x~x~x

Gabriel closed the door of the guest-room behind himself, maybe with too much force but that didn't really register in his brain, he turned the key locking it and didn't move for a few seconds, then he leaned back on the cool wood and just tried to fucking breath normally. He couldn't and okay he was shocked but also his blood was burning, his skin was buzzing, his heart was beating at a furious pace and his breathing was all screwed up. He seriously thought that he's going to pass out from the lack of oxygen any second.

He felt like his world just shifted into a whole new dimension he couldn't even comprehend and he just desperately tried to block out the image from his brain and it didn't work, it didn't work one bit. He squeezed his eyes shut trying to focus on his breathing to calm the fuck down already, but the picture of body against body, lips against lips flooded his mind immediately and no, no not going there.

It was one thing that he noticed how Dean and Cas seemed more in sync than ever before. How they traded looks and smiles, grins. How easily they moved around each other, were in each other's personal space, but he figured they got closer while he was away, and they did get closer on a whole new level and that was just… As they kissed, it became clear as daylight what was the easy familiarity between them. How their bodies shifted next one another to a position where they seemed like puzzle pieces slotting together perfectly. How they were practically devouring each other with their mouths and ah god…

It was the single hottest thing he ever saw and he really-really shouldn't think that. Shouldn't think of the way Castiel's hands traveled up Dean's back, along his spine. How Dean was stroking the side of Cas' neck and his nape before sliding his fingers into the dark unruly hair. How Cas gripped Dean's hip with certainty guiding him closer to himself. How Dean adjusted his body and complied to the touches seemingly without a conscious decision. How their lips met feverishly, like they couldn't get enough of the heat, the taste, the feel of each other. How they seemed like they were ready to tear down clothes to have more, much more.

'Fuck' Gabriel breathed out as he felt himself growing hard inside his jeans. He heard Dean moan deep in his throat when Cas cradled his skull. And he really needed to stop thinking about it right the fuck now.

He shouldn't think of them like that, he shouldn't get fucking turned on like this. He was so very and utterly screwed there were no words for it. And holy hell two years… this was going on between them for two years now. And he just couldn't stop the pictures flooding his mind when he really realized what that meant. How there were much more than heated kisses between the two. There had to be much more skin, much more touch. The next image of skin on skin was way too clear in his head, just like the noises his brain decided to conjure up to accompany it. The easy slide of slick skin and moans of pleasure were crystal clear in his mind.

At least they were both eighteen already, but what the hell did that matter? He won't do anything… why would he do anything, what could he possibly want to do? Was he still this messed up? Dammit. He can't fucking think of them like this, so now if only his brain would take the message.

Fingers running down on Castiel's neck… he should stop… lips mapping the skin on Dean's chest… no way… running his tongue along Cas' hipbones and he would buck up and moan at the sensation… he pressed down the heel of his hand on the hardness stretching the front of his pants… kissing down Dean's spine from his neck all the way down, he would arch his back in pleasure… he popped out the button on his jeans… Castiel kissing his stomach, his fingers stroking his chest… he pulled down the zipper… Dean would bite his neck and kiss and lick his collarbone… he really should not be fucking doing this… they would kiss, all heat and pure want, their naked bodies pressed close, hands roaming, tongues meeting all in front of him, for him… he already closed his fingers around himself and just barely suppressed a moan at the touch… he would kiss their red swollen lips, would take his time exploring both of them, while they would touch and stroke… his hand was moving in a fast rhythm, his breath harsh, sweat pooling on his temple and he felt his T-shirt sticking to his heated skin… they would lick and bite and moan his name, Cas' long fingers would curl around his hard dick… he couldn't stop now, he was close so close… until Dean wraps his lips around him instead… and he was coming into his fist hard, pleasure exploding in him and he just barely managed to keep his mouth shut so he wouldn't make a noise.

He slumped down still leaning to the door breathing heavily and trying to get down from his high, mind still fogged by the afterglow of his orgasm… and no way does he really wanted to…

'Fuck' he breathed out. He was so so very screwed.

x~x~x

Castiel knew that even after a week Dean was still nervous about Gabriel knowing the truth, and even Gabriel seemed tense around them, probably not knowing how to act, so he figured the only thing they needed was some time, and both Dean and Gabriel would relax and see that nothing changed. Simple plan. He planned it perfectly. John had nightshift so Cas only needed to bribe Sammy so that he would get over to the Turner house instead of staying home. It was relatively easy to do so. So some beer and an empty house, maybe some movies they all liked, just the three of them. Simple.

And he was right. After a few hours of watching TV and talking and drinking both Dean and Gabriel seemed to relax, which was good, but he also wanted it to be permanent, so he needed to make sure that Dean understood that Gabriel was fine with this whole thing between Dean and Cas. They moved up to Dean's room since a while now. Gabriel was sitting on Dean's desk, while Dean was comfortably sitting on his bed, leaning back on the headboard. It was Cas' turn to get more beer from the fridge and he entered the room to Dean and Gabriel both laughing their ass off about something. There were things he never quite got when it came to the sense of humor of the other two. He gave one bottle to Gabriel, then handed one for Dean and then he sat down right next to him putting a kiss on his temple.

Dean, as expected, drew back and stared at Cas with surprise.

'C'mon Cas, stop that' he said, but Cas just laughed.

'I'm totally keeping it PG, don't worry' he said then he glanced at Gabriel. 'It really doesn't bother you, right?' he asked.

'No' answered Gabriel after a beat of silence. Cas turned back to Dean with a smile.

'See?' he asked and patted him on his jean-clad thigh, leaving his hand lingering for a bit like usual when he did this. He was about to lean back from him, but he froze in the middle of his movement when he noticed how Gabriel's eyes were locked on his hand. His first thought was that maybe Gabriel was indeed uncomfortable with all this; he just didn't want to tell. But somehow, maybe the expression on his face, and how tightly he was holding his beer bottle, he didn't think it was the case. He started to move his hand from its position – barely above Dean's knee – slowly, sliding it upwards. Gabriel's eyes followed the movement. His pupils looked bigger and that made his eyes look much darker as well, Castiel was sure that he knew that expression on Gabriel's face. Then suddenly Gabriel's eyes snapped up meeting Castiel's gaze and his eyes widened as he realized that Cas caught him watching. He slid down from the desk and turned around the next second and Cas heard as he took a deep shuddering breath.

'Gabriel' said Dean, almost a whisper. Cas looked at him and yes, obviously Dean noticed it too.

x~x~x

Chapter Fifteen

'Gabriel' Dean said from behind him with a hesitant voice, but Gabriel didn't answer, couldn't answer. What was he supposed to say? Sorry you caught me ogling on you two; it just turns me on so much. This was like the worst. He felt incredibly guilty, not to mention like a pervert too for what he did on that first day he saw them together. He tried to close the whole thing out of his mind so hard, but he just couldn't do it. And now he just wanted to figure out how to get out of this. He heard some movement from behind him, one of them stood up, he stubbornly kept his back towards them though, like it would make it easier to refuse dealing with it.

He froze when he felt the presence of someone else very closely and when he turned his head a little he saw from the corner of his eye that it was Cas, way inside his personal space. They were practically touching.

'Gabriel' he said his name too, he was close enough that Gabriel felt his breath on his ear and it sent a shiver down his spine.

'It's nothing. I'm sorry' Sorry for being like this, sorry for wanting, sorry for messing things up. Then he felt fingers on the back of his neck and it didn't just stop his train of thought but he was pretty sure he stopped breathing altogether too. Cas' fingers traced his skin there, sliding up very slowly to his nape. His breath rushed out of him when he felt Cas' fingers glide into his hair. His heart was beating furiously in his chest, his breath became shallow and quick as Cas kept up the movement, twisting his fingers gently into his curly locks at the back of his neck. He closed his eyes, and tried to figure out what was happening, he leaned into the touch when he turned his head towards Cas and he felt the fingers sliding out of his hair, trace a line below his jaw then settling on his cheek. It felt much better than he imagined even if it was a rather innocent touch. The intent behind it was a different story, it couldn't mean anything else.

'I don't want to screw things up for you' he said, and his voice seemed way too loud in the room. He opened his eyes to find himself staring into Cas' endless blue eyes.

'You can't' Cas answered quietly and was leaning closer. Gabriel heard a sharp intake of breath from the bed and the reminder of Dean sitting there was what stopped him again.

'This is a really bad idea' he said, even if part of his brain screamed at him to just go with the flow. 'I mean, what would this do to us… it seems really tempting now, but what about tomorrow?' because he was sure of one thing. There was no way he was going to risk loosing either of them ever again. The mere thought of that was enough to pull the breaks for him because he won't screw this up.

Dean jumped up from the bed and rushed over and Gabriel didn't have time to protest, hell to react and he already had two hands on his face and Dean was kissing him. Holding him close with his hands and sealing their lips together without any hesitation. And it felt wonderful, Dean's lips were soft and warm, but solid against his own and his thumb was stroking his cheek a little. Dean pulled back but stayed only a whisper away from him, not letting him go. His eyes were closed and his breathing matched Gabriel's.

'We didn't know' he said. 'Didn't know what we were getting into' he opened his eyes. And a smile was forming on his lips. He kept his eyes on Gabriel for another second then glanced at Castiel who was still standing very close to them. 'But we took the jump anyway' he finished. One of his hands slid down to Gabriel's neck the other reached out and traced a long line along the length of Cas' arm with the back of one finger, gingerly, barely touching, but there was a history behind that touch. When Dean turned back Gabriel held the gaze of the younger man for a long second. He took a deep breath and then reached out to drag Castiel closer by the back of his neck without moving away from Dean's body and kissed him, this time he didn't hesitate either.

Castiel opened his mouth eagerly and pulled closer to Gabriel immediately, one of his hands returning to the back of his skull sliding into his hair. Gabriel almost lost himself in the slick slide of lips and tongues meeting, then Dean put his hand on his waist, stroking his side slowly, but firmly. Gabriel pulled back from Castiel's lips and looked at Dean who was standing even closer than before; they practically crowded him to the desk. He shifted his eyes between them for a second. His mind wanted to start doubting that this was happening and telling him reasons why it shouldn't be happening, so Gabriel just leaned closer to Dean and let the younger man kiss him until his mind went finally offline. His lips started to get tired, not that it would stop him, then he felt Cas' mouth on his neck and he moaned in approval, his arms shooting out to get a hold of him. He managed to wrap his arm around him to stroke his back and spine with his fingertips through the thin shirt Cas wore. Dean didn't let go of his lips either so he kept his other hand at the back of Dean's neck. Then he felt it when their hands met at the top button of his shirt, Cas was still kissing, hell already nipping the side of his neck with his teeth now, and stroking his throat with his slender fingers, while Dean released his lips to kiss his jaw line then mouthing his way up to his ear while his hand pushed inside the material of his shirt, easily opening the top buttons to reach more skin, it was the moment Gabriel thought that he's a goner.

He loudly groaned at the sensation, throwing his head back and closing his eyes. His hand pushed up Cas' shirt and he was stroking soft skin now and lean muscles on his back, he wanted more but suddenly it was a bit complex to decide what to do first and to whom.

Then he felt Dean leaning back, then stepping away, he opened his eyes to look at him and although he new Dean was not backing out it still surprised him. Cas stopped and glance up at him too. There was smirk on Dean's face as he reached back to pull his T-shirt over his head, then simply tossing it away in a really smooth movement. He definitely needed practice to do that, because it was hot and by the look on his face, he knew it. Gabriel kept his eyes on the suddenly exposed skin, his fingers already itching to touch and stroke, or lick maybe, that sounded like a fine idea. But then Cas kissed him, not like before. It was a short and hard kiss, and then he too pulled back.

Dean dropped himself down onto the bed, lying back and Castiel crawled after him, kneeling on the sheets. Dean sat up when Cas reached him and started unbuttoning his shirt, Dean started kissing the line of exposed skin and he stroked up Castiel's stomach and chest with both hands and he slid down the light blue shirt from his shoulders the second the last button was undone. Cas discarded his shirt and then they were kissing passionately and mapping each other's skin. There was so much familiarity in their movements that Gabriel just kept looking at them, but not moving closer just standing by the desk. He went from half-hard to full-hardness at the first moans that escaped them. Then they pulled apart, they kept looking at each other for a few seconds then they turned their heads towards him.

'Gabriel' Cas breathed out and he reached a hand out, they were still close to each other. Their lips kiss-swollen and their eyes darkened with such deep lust Gabriel practically felt it on his skin, their hair was chaotic and the way they didn't stop stroking each other lightly even if they were looking at him was way beyond hot. They were gorgeous.

Gabriel was right there with them the next second. Dean got pushed to his back, Gabriel slotted one leg between his legs and started kissing him rolling down his hips and getting a moan out of him for it, oh and the hardness he felt pressing into his thigh was intoxicating, Gabriel wanted to lose the rest of their clothing. Dean was working on that as he kept unbuttoning Gabriel's shirt, hands sometimes slipping, and sometimes tearing the buttons. Castiel's hands were on his back. Mapping out his shoulder blades and pressing into his muscles, then the shirt was finally undone, Dean pushed it down from his shoulder as Castiel practically tore it down from him. He kept kissing Dean, then he felt Cas' lips on his back and his hands tracing patterns on his sweat-slick skin, he pushed up from Dean and leaned back reaching for Cas to capture his lips as soon as he was close enough.

Their kisses were different but equally delicious and Gabriel couldn't have enough of either of them. Dean's hands were on his stomach and then they were tracing the edge of his jeans. He had the right idea. He reached for Cas' slacks and Dean opened the button on his jeans the moment he saw it. Cas shifted his body closer to his. He unbuttoned and unzipped Cas' trousers, his hand just barely touching the outlines of his already hard dick through the material.

'Down with it' he whispered into his mouth.

'You too' Cas answered, but he did pull away. Then Gabriel moaned at the feel of Dean's hand stroking him through his boxers, the pressure just not enough, but so very good. Gabriel turned his attention back to him.

'You too big boy' he said and reached down to open the buttons on Dean's jeans. They kept the eye contact, even when Gabriel undid the fly and gingerly traced the lines of Dean's erection with a finger. The moment ended with a gloriously naked Castiel arriving back to the bed and both Gabriel and Dean discarded their pants in record time.

Gabriel lost track of who he was touching, stroking or kissing from time to time. Just like he couldn't always tell whose lips or fingers were on his body, not that it mattered, because he craved both their touch. He also didn't know how he ended up sitting at the end of the bed, leaning against the headboard with his fingers wrapped around Cas' dick jerking him off, Cas' fingers on his neck, while he kneeled next to him. The sounds that escaped his mouth were driving him just that bit more crazy, every pant every harsh breath and moan, just like the way he kept whispering Gabriel's name over and over again. Gabriel would've enjoyed watching him loosing himself in pleasure, but when he felt the first wet slide of Dean's tongue at the underside of his cock his brain couldn't keep up anymore.

Cas was holding onto him, panting into his hair, twisting his fingers into his locks while Dean made a few more long licks before he closed his mouth around the head, licking away the pre-come pooling at the top. Gabriel couldn't help but reach down to push his fingers into his short dark-blond hair when he finally went down on him, closing his lips around the thick shaft and moaning as Gabriel filled his mouth. Gabriel couldn't focus, the sight of Dean sucking him off plus the mind-blowing feeling growing inside of him killed off even the possibility of a coherent thought. He did hear when Cas breath became even more erratic and his hips started to move more vehemently, thrusting up into Gabriel's fist eagerly and it only took a few more hard strokes and he was coming, covering Gabriel's hand. He would've loved to watch Cas come but Dean kept bobbing his head up and down along his length, sucking and licking. And Gabriel was half aware that he was thrusting up with his hips into the hot wet tightness of Dean's mouth, but he couldn't stop it and Dean didn't do anything to stop him either, he just took it. Castiel turned his head a little to kiss him messily. Gabriel's hand reflexively tightened in Dean's hair when he reached his climax, he should've warned him, but Dean just swallowed as Gabriel came down his throat.

Gabriel was panting heavily for a few seconds Castiel leaning back from him, and then he blinked down and pulled Dean up on him immediately reaching down to wrap his hand around Dean's still throbbing erection. Dean wrapped his hand around Gabriel's fingers making their movements hard and fast, while green eyes were locked on him. Gabriel's hand was still slick with Cas' come, just the perfect lubricant for this. Dean came with an almost shout hot wetness spreading on their skin and he buried his face into Gabriel's neck while he panted heavily. Castiel slid down and ran his fingers down Dean's back, kissing his spine between his shoulder blades before settling down next to them, arm thrown over Dean.

Gabriel was incapable of any of thought, coherent or any other kind for minutes, hell maybe for hours as far as he was concerned. And even after that the first thing that came to his mind was that he felt happy. Happy and content.

The second thought was that they all needed a shower; he shared that one out loud.

x~x~x

Chapter Sixteen

Castiel woke from vague darkness to the warm familiar feeling of Dean pressed up to his side, their bodies touching as much as possible. Dean had the tendency to wrap himself around him during his sleep and Cas found that cute about him, but only told him as much when he wanted to embarrass him a little. It took him a few moments to get his brain to shake off the last traces of sleep and he opened his eyes widely when he realized that there should be three of them in bed.

The first traces of alarm disappeared immediately when he noticed Gabriel sitting at the end of the bed with his bare back to them. Cas slid out of Dean's embrace – he was waking up now too but it took him a considerable amount of time when he was comfortable – then he crawled closer to Gabriel laying his head down next to his thigh on the bed looking up at him. Gabriel turned his attention from Dean's desk to him.

'I can feel you being all pessimistic over there' came Dean's still sleepy voice from behind them and Castiel was glad to see that Gabriel threw back his head laughing at the comment. Castiel inched a little closer and put his arm on his right thigh, lazily stroking his leg just above his knee. Gabriel looked down at him again, there was a smile on his face and the last trace of laughter was still in his eyes. He reached down and stroked Cas' dark hair and Cas had to smile up at him because he really liked seeing Gabriel smiling like this.

He heard and felt Dean getting up from his spot and he too climbed over the covers to get closer, he stopped at Gabriel's other side putting his chin on his left shoulder.

'You're not freakin' out on us, are you?' he asked.

'Not at all' Gabriel answered immediately. Dean reached around to put his arm around his waist and he stroked little patterns on his stomach. Gabriel closed his eyes and hummed contentedly. 'I'm happy' he said and he looked down with a smile at Cas again when he opened his eyes. Dean chuckled lightly.

'So you regret now being away this long, don't you?' he asked. Cas wanted to pinch his arm hard or kick him maybe. This was a perfectly calm, gentle morning. This was not the time to talk about this. Gabriel looked away from Cas, just staring at a random spot and he took a deep breath. And suddenly Cas wasn't sure he wanted to hear what was coming next.

'Actually, this was one of the reasons I left' he said. Cas felt as his eyes widened and Dean drew back from Gabriel too.

'What?' Cas asked, and he was sure that his confusion was perfectly clear.

'Yeah, well imagine you're eighteen with so many issues it's hard to even count and then you realize that sometimes you have more than friendly… thoughts, about your minor best friends. Of whom your shrink told you you're emotionally dependent on to a level that he's concerned that you wouldn't be able to function right without them like a proper human being.'

The silence after Gabriel's words was heavy and Cas tried to get his mind in order to figure out how to react to that. He couldn't see Dean's face but he was sure he was also quite confused.

'We had no idea' he finally told him and Gabriel laughed again. It was not as cheerful as before, but it was not bitter nor empty so Cas didn't start worrying more. Gabriel was taking this lightly or so it seemed.

'Guys' he started. 'I was 18 and I was sleeping in the same bed with one or both of you every night. You had got know that was pretty weird, or figured it out later' he raised his eyebrows and first looked down at Cas then he turned a little to his left to look at Dean.

'You've always been weird' Cas told him with a shrug, which caused the other to laugh again. Cas put a kiss on his leg and scooted closer again, still with one arm on Gabriel's thigh. He just noticed that he was wearing Dean's green pajama pants. He was not worried anymore, Gabriel may have been worried about this back then, but he didn't seem worried now. Dean settled back to his previous spot at Gabriel's back too and put his chin on his bare shoulder again.

'What, so you freaked because you wanted to screw us? Not like it made much a difference as it turned out' Dean said and he still had that slightly stubborn tone in his voice that signaled that he was still annoyed about Gabriel being away for this long. Cas understood it, they both missed him deeply, he just wished Dean would not push it and just enjoy that they had him back and much more.

'Dean' Gabriel started and Castiel did not want to think about calling that exact tone Gabriel's 'big brother voice' a few years back because now that was just wrong and Cas was not gonna touch that with a ten foot pole if he could help it.

'There's a big difference between this and the possible scenario where 18 year old me jumps 15 year old you. Big difference, trust me.'

And Gabriel's firm not-big brother voice – he will have to find a new label for it soon – just like always made Dean take a halt before doing or saying something stupid.

'Ok, I know… I get it.' He said and Cas saw as his arm wrapped around Gabriel's waist even tighter and he felt the movement of the bed as he shifted closer to Gabe.

'This was not the only reason believe me, it really wasn't. I just needed to be away for a while.'

'Ok' Dean answered. Gabe leaned back a little pressing his back to Dean's chest. 'And um… since we're all consenting adults now you could… y'know… that if you stick around.'

'Are you?' asked Castiel.

'Well, I got accepted to three schools' Gabriel said. 'But I don't know which one to attend yet since the one I choose I'm going to have to stay in that city or the area for at least for the next five years.

'Which universities?' asked Dean and his voice already sounded disappointed. Cas didn't know either how to react yet.

'Chicago Medical School, UCSF School of Medicine and… Colorado.' Both Dean and Cas stayed silent for a few seconds then Cas asked the question they both wanted to.

'You would stay here in Denver?' he asked.

'Do you want me to?' Gabriel asked.

'Yes' Castiel answered right away.

'Yes' Dean said too, he sounded a bit uncertain, like he wasn't sure admitting this would really grant it. Gabriel smiled again.

'Then yeah, I'll stay' he said. Cas wanted to do many things in return. Hug him or kiss him or tell him how happy he was about it.

'In which case' he started instead. 'I second Dean's sentiment.' Gabriel raised an eyebrow while he looked at him. 'That you can have what you want.' Gabriel chuckled.

'Yeah way to make me sound like some sugar daddy or something you two' he said.

'No way' said Dean. 'You're not old enough for that.' Cas heard from his voice that he was smiling.

'Nor rich enough' Cas added. 'or are you?' he asked. And loved how Gabriel started laughing again. He put another kiss on his thigh. He saw how Dean leaned a bit forward to kiss his cheek, then pulled back and put a kiss on his neck instead.

'It's something we want' Dean told him.

'Something we really really want' added Castiel as he put his head on Gabriel's lap. Still stroking his thighs and looking up at him. Gabriel licked his lips briefly and he pushed his fingers into Cas' hair again, stroking lightly.

'And since you were gone for years and you managed to live and function on your own just fine. I think you're safe wanting it too now.' Dean told him while his hand sneaked up to Gabriel's chest where he kept stroking his skin, dragging his palm over his breastbone. His mouth was still almost pressed to Gabriel's neck.

'Besides' Castiel spoke, he drew back Gabriel's attention from Dean. 'You are way too serious. You need to relax Gabriel. Everything's going to be fine.' Cas put more pressure to the movements of his hand.

'Totally fine' said Dean and Cas couldn't quite see what he did, but it made Gabriel to smile again.

'And I think I know how to get your carefree, cheerful self out' he said as he slid down from the bed, but not really removing his head from Gabriel's lap. He put both hands on either thigh as he knelt on the carpet and the way Gabriel's eyes darkened signaled that he knew what Cas wanted to do. He pushed Gabriel's leg a bit further apart to position himself better then he pressed his cheek to the already hardening flesh just below the thin material.

'I just know you still have it in you' he said as he reached up with his hand too to stoke him through his pajama pants. Gabriel leaned back onto Dean again. Castiel stroked and nuzzled him through the material for a bit. Mouthed at the hardness that was forming below his lips, but he didn't want to tease so he pulled the pants down. Gabriel helpfully lifted his hips. Cas didn't waste time after the clothing was off, he licked a long line along the side of his dick, then tasted the head, licking the slit. Gabriel groaned and threw his head back on Dean's shoulder. Cas took a firm hold of him, wrapping his fingers around him and he was completely hard at this point. Then he parted his lips and took him in his mouth. He smiled around him as Gabriel couldn't stop the involuntary rise of his hips. Then it stopped and Cas only needed to glance up for a sec to see that Dean moved and put both his hands on Gabriel's hips to stop him from moving. Apparently Dean was in a teasing mood, because he knew well that Cas would be able to take it.

Cas kept up a slow pace, enough pressure with both his tongue and lips and it was more than just teasing but it was still not quite enough. Then he heard as Dean started talking.

'You can force him a bit, y'know' he said, his voice was quiet but certain. 'He loves it' And now Castiel knew exactly what kind of a mood Dean was in. Next he felt Gabriel's hand on his head and he was sure it was Dean's hand that guided it there. He hummed in approval when he felt a light pressure on the back of his head.

'I love it too' Dean said and Gabriel moaned. 'Just for future references.'

Cas kept up the steady up and down motion while he reached down with a hand to touch and caress the sensitive sack.

'Y'know what else would I love?' Dean continued. 'If you fucked me.'

Cas was turned on by what he was doing but Dean's words aroused him even further. He suddenly had the mental picture of them like that, Gabriel pinning Dean down and fucking him and if the blood rushing down to fill his dick to full hardness was any clue he really liked the idea. He knew he must have made a noise and he even sped up a little. Gabriel's fingers tightened in his hair as the older male also moaned, probably thinking of the very picture Castiel imagined. Cas knew Dean was not finished yet and he really did love when he was like that. He could describe what he wanted in many ways.

'I love it when Cas does it' Dean breathed, his voice dropped lower. Even he was turned on now, Cas knew. 'Spreading me open and filling me up. He feels so good. I wanna know how you feel too. Want to know how you love it Gabe. Hard and fast to make me scream? Or would you tease me? Make me beg for it?'

'Oh fuck' Gabriel groaned and since he couldn't thrust up to Cas' mouth as Dean was still keeping him in place he increased the pressure on Cas' head urging him to go faster and take him deeper. Cas was more than happy to oblige. He heard Dean chuckle. He loved doing this.

'Cas likes doing both, right Cas?' Dean spoke again, Cas hummed around the hardness in his mouth again, both as confirmation and also because Gabriel seemed to get close and the vibration was something he would like.

'I got a small taste' Dean continued. 'How you fucked my mouth last night? I loved it. You should do it to Cas too… I bet he wants you to fuck him as much as I want you to have me.'

Gabriel was moaning loudly now, his head thrown back on Dean's shoulder, eyes closed. One hand on Dean's where he was holding his hip the other still on Cas' head now pushing him down more, but it was not too much.

'See how much we want you? How hungry we are for it? We want to kiss you and touch you and suck you. I can't wait to feel you inside of me, Gabriel, I know you're gonna like fucking me. I'm gonna moan for you just like I do for Cas when he fucks me. And I want to hear what noises you will bring out of him too. I will watch while you fuck him, watch how much he wants it. Fuck… You're gonna give us what we want, right Gabe?'

Cas didn't know what Dean did next, but then Gabriel was coming, filling his mouth with the white fluid while his cock pulsed hotly still thrusting up into the tight ring Cas made with his lips and Castiel moaned at the feel of it, getting pretty close himself and he didn't stop the movement of his head and hands until Gabriel was completely finished. Dean got out from behind him and Gabriel slopped down onto the bed still breathing hard.

Castiel crawled up to the bed. His lips were tired and he really needed to stretch his legs, but Gabriel looked so fine in his post-coital bliss that he didn't care one bit.

'You think we broke him?' he asked playfully while glancing at Dean, who was also looking down at Gabe.

'Oh just give me a few minutes' Gabriel said still panting loudly before Dean could open his mouth. 'You need to try harder to knock me out completely' he added with a mischievous tone. And that sounded like a challenge, which Castiel was sure he made too lightly. He shared a look with Dean and saw the twin of his own expression on his face. Oh Gabriel didn't know yet what he signed up for. Dean reached for him and pulled Castiel closer.

'Well, I think we can entertain ourselves till out next try' he said and then pulled Castiel down for a hard open mouthed kiss. The first thing he did was to get Dean's boxer off and he returned that favor eagerly, only a few seconds later they were body to body, skin to skin, stroking and kissing. And Castiel was sure that Gabriel definitely won't need more than a few minutes, because he seemed to like the show very much.

x~x~x

Chapter Seventeen

It was already the end of summer and Dean was both excited and worried. It was safe to say that so far this was the best summer of his life, okay he was only eighteen, but still. He finally got the Impala from his Dad, like promised. It was now his car and he couldn't be happier about it. He didn't need to work during the summer, so everything was just, well perfect. But he was scared of the change that was coming.

It will be strange since every hour of his day will change, from waking up to going to sleep. He won't be waking up in his own or Cas' bed. And certainly not with either or both with him and Gabriel under the sheets. He won't be able to go to his usual morning run with Cas, well he definitely will run with others, but it won't be the same. And even working out won't be the same without him. Dean could keep his attention on a task sure, but Castiel's intense single-minded focus on things like that was a good motivator. If Cas did 50 push-ups at a time Dean sure as hell could too and the same went to everything else. And no one would think just by looking at them, since Cas was slightly shorter and thinner too, but they were equally strong, or so Dean liked to think, he wasn't stupid enough to think he could win a one-on-one fight against him of course, since Dean was sure the guy could kill with his bare hands if he wanted to. To get himself in form so he could enroll in time he had to work hard, because sure he was playing lacrosse, but he still needed the extra stamina and Cas was the perfect partner for that since he had the very same goal.

So after all this time it was going to be strange not to have him around every day or that he was going to train and run and exercise with strangers. Gabriel was going to the campus in Denver, while both Cas and Dean will be in Colorado Springs. Not that it meant that they could see each other when they wanted, on the contrary. Neither Dean nor Cas would be able to leave their own campus in the first few weeks and even after that they will only have a few weekends to go home or to Denver. And Dean already hated the thought of not being able to be with them. He could never really got used to Gabriel's absence in the first place, and never since the age of five was he separated from Cas for a long period of time. He was gearing up for it and he knew that this was what he wanted, but it was still going to be hard.

He wanted to enjoy the last days of summer they could spend together as much as possible and damn did they enjoy the whole of summer so far. He was more than happy to spend a lot of time in getting to know every inch of Gabriel. He loved the fact that yeah, he was able to turn him on ridiculously fast, but also had to accept that nearly most of the time it was Dean who ended up as a babbling, mumbling or screaming mess of want. He got pliant under Cas' hands if they were in that kind of mood sure, but Gabriel was a whole new level. And he wasn't actually surprised, because it was… Gabriel, simple as that. He was so eager to give to the person who was the beacon of his life since he arrived here. Like always he just wanted to be close to him, wanted him to look at him, smile at him, he wanted his attention and he never wanted to let go.

He never liked talking about emotions, because he never thought that words would be able to describe everything properly. So he didn't talk about feelings, never with Cas and nor with Gabriel, but with them he knew he didn't really have to. He also didn't need to ask Cas to know how very attached to Gabriel he was. He just had to watch them and knew, no need for words.

He enjoyed the easy comfortable silence that fell. The Impala was parked down the spot where usually the Dodge was in Rock Park. The spot Gabriel told them years ago that he was leaving, where Cas punched some sense into his thick skull. It was also weird that he won't see this place for a long while, nor the rock – Gabriel still insisted it looked like a cake – the park or the stars at the clear night summer sky of Castle Rock, not like this.

'This is gonna suck' he said and both Cas and Gabriel turned to look at him.' I mean, we all gonna do what we want but man, I will barely see you.'

'I think we're going to be fine if we get through the first year' Castiel said after some contemplation.

'Of course we're going to be fine' Gabriel said looking at both of them like they were talking about the most ridiculous thing in the universe. 'Stop worrying you two.' And that was something coming from Mr. Pessimist himself. Dean was just glad seeing Gabriel carefree. 'Our plates will be so full that time will just… slip away' he even snapped his fingers at the end of the sentence as if showing how quickly time would pass.

'Well your plate better not be full with hot med students and nurses' Dean told him with an eyebrow lift. Castiel's lip moved a little showing the first trace of smile on his face.

'Hey! I'm not like that, why do you assume?' before Dean could answer Cas interrupted.

'Because you'll be living at a university campus having parties while Dean and I will be in boot camp and basic training' Dean thought it was a good point, even if it was only a tiny part of him that was actually worried, the rest was just jerking around.

'I'm offended that you would even imply that' Gabriel said and his face morphed into perfect mock-indignation. 'I'm going to have to work my ass off if I want to keep my scholarship. My grandparent's money won't last forever y'know.' Dean remembered how much he cursed said grandparents when he learnt that their money was what allowed Gabriel to take off and live on his own and attend university in freakin' Denmark. He also hated Denmark very much and Europe in general during the first months after Gabriel moved away.

'Speaking of' spoke Cas as he got a keys out of his pocket and threw them at Gabriel. 'Your car' he explained. 'I should've given it back to you already.'

'You need it more Cas' Gabriel argued. 'You keep it.' but Castiel just shook his head.

'No need. My Grandpa Wasilij sent me a bunch of money for my eighteenth's birthday, he told me to either buy a car or spend it on hookers.' Dean felt as his eyebrows shoot up, Gabriel looked similar. 'I decided on the car' Cas added with the same serious tone he delivered the whole sentence with. A second later both Dean and Gabriel burst out laughing, while Cas just kept looking at them like he wasn't sure exactly what the joke was but he liked to see them laugh even if he didn't get it. It took some time for both of them to calm down, Dean wiped his eyes, damn the random freaky statements than came from Cas about his family never stopped being funny.

'That the Grandpa who only speaks Russian and keeps calling you 'Andrei' and calls Jesse 'Dmitri'?' Dean asked, because he heard quite some stories about the old man. Cas just frowned.

'Andrei is my middle name Dean, and Jesse's is Dmitri, it is perfectly fine if he calls us like that' Dean just grinned at him.

'You're family is so weird sometimes' he told him.

'Da zatknis' ty' Cas replied and Dean still had no idea what that meant despite the fact that he heard it many times. So he just laughed.

'Yeah, keep talking dirty' he told him and pulled him closer by grabbing his chin to put a big kiss on his lips. It wasn't long or deep, but it made Cas smile and Dean grinned at him too. When he looked away he found Gabriel much closer to where Dean and Cas were sitting on the hood of the Impala.

'We're going to be fine' he said. 'I mean… it's us' he added like it explained everything.

'Meaning?' asked Dean. Gabriel reached out and put his hand on the back of his neck like he always did, then he leaned closer to kiss him. It was not like the one Dean gave Cas seconds ago, it was gentle, but deep, Gabriel's lips moving only a little against his own, but not deepening, it was almost innocent. Then Gabriel leaned back and let go of him. He kept eye-contact for a second before turning to Cas and kissing him, angling his head with a hand on his cheek. Gabriel never kissed only one of them if all three of them were there. If he kissed Dean he kissed Cas too and vice versa. The way he kissed Cas was just as innocent and Dean started to wonder what this was all about since even if Gabriel was caring and affectionate towards them he was not really into the sweet and innocent stuff. He let go of Cas lips and stayed there close to them.

'It means' he said. 'That I love you both and I know you so I know that this will be a peace of cake.'

And Dean wanted to laugh how ridiculous it was that the tension and the nagging voice in the back of his mind both disappeared by the reassurance. It was silly, really and he also couldn't help it.

'Besides' Gabriel continued in a much lighter tone. 'What random guy or chick could possibly trump what we have?' Then he smirked. 'I think our current bedroom activities are phenomenal enough that it's pretty impossible to beat.'

Dean had to chuckle at that and saw that Castiel was smiling too.

'I love you too y'know' he said next without thinking, without even thinking about saying it. And he felt as blood rushed to his face, oh c'mon it shouldn't be this embarrassing. 'Both of you.'

'And I do too, very much' said Cas like he was waiting for Dean to say it first, and maybe he was, they really needed to stop overcomplicating things. The silence that followed was once again comfortable, there was nothing more that needed to be said.

'So' Gabriel broke the silence after a while. 'What about the big coming out you two were planning?' he asked. And Dean wanted to groan, Cas looked just as uncomfortable. It was the one thing that didn't stop being an issue all summer long. It was true, they planned to tell the truth to the whole family, all Turners and Winchesters involved, but it always got post-phoned.

'Let me guess, canceled?' Gabriel prompted. He told them early on that he will be there, he will also speak up, he will also tell the truth, but he also said that Dean and Castiel needed to make the first step, because no matter what it was their families foremost, their parents and siblings even if Gabriel naturally counted as a family-member in everyone's opinion. Castiel made some frustrating noise to Dean's right.

'My mother's whole family is Orthodox Catholic, not the bigot type at all, not by a long shot and my Mom lives here since she married my Dad, and I know that they're open minded and easy going about most things, but what exactly should they think about me having two guys in my life? Even if it's you two and not strangers… I just… I have no idea how to say… It's…'

'Yeah and my Dad' interrupted Dean when it looked like Cas said what he really wanted. 'Well… my Dad, you know him. I mean he was damn proud of me being team captain and doing sports and liking cars, going to the Academy… I think he has this whole image of me and I really have no idea how he would react if I just stood in front of him and told him… or what Sammy would say, the kid looks at me sometimes like I'm his personal hero or something, the big brother he looks up to, I don't know what he would think either… so we just.' And he was frustrated too about this. They talked about this with Cas and Gabe and he didn't know if he was ready to take the jump into the unknown with this.

'We just want to wait… we could tell later, when it's really necessary' Castiel continued. Gabriel looked at them, but he didn't seem annoyed by their hesitance.

'Necessary?' he asked. 'Like when we move in together or something?' he asked. He already talked about that like a fact. Ever since they first started to talk about going to school and what they would do after Gabriel said that it was pretty obvious. It really was encouraging to see that Gabriel was sure that they all will be perfectly fine and still together even years later. He never said 'if' when they talked about that, it was always 'when', not a possibility but a matter of time.

'Yes, around that time' Castiel said.

'Just, y'know lets cross that bridge when we… really have to.' Dean added. Gabriel looked at them, then shrugged.

'Like I said before, it's not my choice, your decision. And I think I like being a dirty little secret' he added with a leer, Dean could imagine what pictures might be running through his head right now. Dean managed to relax immediately after the light comment. Gabriel was not pushing it and Dean was really glad about that.

There was still that annoying voice that told him that they can fall apart, that maybe too much distance will change something, but the voice was dulled, his doubts fading. He wanted to believe that there was no way they will be separated just because they can't spend every day with each other like they did before. Because really Gabriel was right. It can't happen, because it was them. Simple as that.

Dean and Castiel were neighbors since they were five years old. They went to the same schools and even spent much of their free time together. And if anyone asked who their best friend was, they both answered immediately that it's Gabriel.

And if they happened to be in the same room, they would smile at each other after saying it.

End of Story One

x~x~x

Second story: We walked a million hills