Dean woke to the by now tedious annoyance of Castiel staring at him from the end of the bed.
"I need to ask a favour." He motioned with one hand to the other side of the room, where a familiar figure was dimly illuminated by the TV. It turned briefly, sniffed, waved a silent "hello", before returning mournful eyes to the screen. Dean almost couldn't recognise him, as he was more used to seeing a cheerier expression. There in front of him was a person he'd never thought he'd see again, with a face like Scrappy-Doo had just come off his anti-depressants.
"Yes." Castiel sighed, shifting awkwardly. "Before you ask, Kali brought him back. He's fine... mostly... I need to talk to some people to sort things out but for now... he needs to stay here."
Castiel frowned, sighing. "Because you're used to... dealing with... that is, you've had experience with..."
"You know how to deal with powerless losers!" Gabriel wailed, dropping his head into his hands and turning up the TV. Dean raised eyebrows at Castiel. He looked awkwardly at the floor, as though Gabriel had yelled the words to his face.
"He'll explain everything." He muttered, before disappearing. Dean blinked slowly as he struggled to process the information and the rude awakening at once. The music coming from the TV was a vaguely familiar tune, and some of the dialogue was registering dimly in the back of his brain, but he was too tired for name the quote. Sighing, he got up and stumbled through the darkness towards Gabriel.
"What are you watching?"
"Betelgeuse." Gabriel sighed, staring at the black-and-white suited Michael Keaton making his own head spin around and manifesting brothels out of thin air. "Wallowing in self pity."
"Self pity?" Dean ran a hand over his face, looking up at the clock. Why was this happening to him? Why had he not had coffee yet? Why in the name of Christ was it four a.m? "Gabriel, what's going on?"
"I..." Gabriel sniffed, seeming genuinely upset. Not that Dean trusted him. He liked to think he'd learned that much, at least. "I've lost my mojo, Dean."
"You..." Of all the answers Dean was expecting, this was not one. "Sorry, what?"
"My juice. My Magic. My... Razzle-Dazzle." He sniffed, waving the most half-hearted Jazz hands Dean had ever seen. "I've lost my power. I'm useless!"
"Why would I joke about something like this? Look. You want some coffee?" he sniffed, clicking his fingers. A lump of porcelain formed in the air, before instantly falling to the floor. Dean looked at the shards of what had, for a few fleeting seconds, been a grey mug, and was thankful (if surprised) that there had been nothing in it. Gabriel sighed again, closing his eyes. "And I really tried, that time."
"O...kay..." Dean blinked, feeling a similar sense of dismay as he did when he was caught in a conversation with a crying woman. "I gotta be honest with you, Gabe, I just woke up. Do you... want some coffee?"
"Please." He sniffed, resuming his mournful, wistful staring at the screen.
It was several cups of coffee, two screenings of Betelgeuse and one explanation to a sleepy Sam later that Dean finally agreed to go for breakfast. Gabriel had moved by inches, and was now staring at Sam's laptop screen, rather than the TV screen. Sam was watching Gabriel closely.
"So how'd it happen? All at once or...?"
"I don't want to talk about it. My life is over now."
"That's a little intense, don't you think?"
"Oh come on, Sam. What's a trickster without tricks? What's an angel without divine powers? I'm just a useless human being."
"Hey... don't be like that..."
"I'd try to kill myself, but knowing my luck, the one power I had left would be immortality." He let his head fall back onto the chair, staring up at the ceiling. "I am such a loser!"
Sam honestly didn't know what to say.
"So... how's Kali?"
"Pissed. Bitter. The usual." He sighed, a whimpering sigh, directed to no one in particular. "Not that she wants anything to do with me now. Loser, loser, loser!"
"Well, we're not exactly having fun here either, but... you know, you learn to live with stuff." Sam mumbled, retrieving his laptop before Gabriel could let it drop to the floor. "I mean, take all the stuff with me and dad. Dean was always the favourite, and I ended up getting shunned just because I tried to have a normal life. Not that I got one, because Dean refused to let me live the way I wanted to. And all that stuff between me and Jessica... and me and Ruby... and look at Dean, he had the chance to have a normal life too, but he couldn't take it. And..." Sam gulped, staring into space. "And ever since I got my soul back, I feel like I can't trust Dean any more. Like he'd lie to me so easily, like I can't really believe him. I feel like we're growing apart, and I can't take it, because he's the only person I got left..."
"Oh give me a break!" Gabriel was on his feet, staring incredulously at Sam. "This is bullshit! Can you hear... you?"
"But I was just..."
"Oh boo-hoo, I'm Sam, and the fact that I'm still alive isn't enough proof of miracles for me!" Gabriel waved his hands in the air, turning on the spot as Dean opened the door, freezing mid-step. "And you!"
"Uh... They had toaster waffles?"
"You're still as bad as each other, permanently griping about who got the best toy and who's going to win most depressing ass-hat of the year! You guys suck!" He made a sweeping movement with his arm by way of emphasising his point, and a large plate of rather rancid cream materialised, following his arms trajectory and hitting the wall next to Dean.
There was a pause.
Gabriel looked down at his other hand.
There was a lollipop.
Gabriel pointed at the bed.
There was a young woman in a very slinky show-girl costume, holding a punnet of chocolate covered strawberries.
It was a grin that would terrify many a lesser being, stretching from one cheek to the other in a razor sharp line, making him seem almost shark-like. He threw back his head, laughing, before vaulting the table and grabbing Sam's face in his hands, kissing him firmly on the forehead and ruffling his hair.
"You beautiful little emo! Don't ever change!" He kissed Sam's forehead again, before shooting a wink at Dean, turning to face his show-girl floozy, and snapping his fingers, removing himself, the girl, the strawberries, and one of the packets of toaster waffles from the room, with a cry of "Give 'em the old Razzle-Dazzle!"
There was a stunned silence.
"What the hell did I miss?"
"I don't know." Sam shrugged, still reeling slightly. "Guess he just needed to get worked up..."
"Huh. Well, now we know." Dean mumbled, examining the rancid cream pie stuck to the wall. He turned to Sam. "So do you want microwave burritos or toaster..."
With a rustle of feathers, Castiel appeared in the middle of the room. He looked around, noted the mess and smiled. His smile was almost instantly replaced with one of his more standard "realising the gravity of the situation" expression, before sighing. "Oh for the love of..." and with another rustle of feathers, he was gone.
Dean cleared his throat.