Title: Bright Size Life
Pairings/Characters: Gabriel/Dean Smith, other various Supernatural characters
Warnings: cursing, graphic sexual content
Spoilers: All-human AU fanfic! "4.17 It's A Terrible Life" and "5.08 Changing Channels" (Gabriel, duh)
Word Count: ~ 19 000
Summary: Dean Smith meets an annoying wise guy at a restaurant one evening and Dean's just tired enough for the day to give him a piece of his mind. The real surprise comes next day at Sandover and that turns Dean's life upside down in record speed.
Disclaimer: All names and characters in this story belong to CW/WB and . I'm playing, not stealing! If you sue me a fairy will die.
Author's Note: I had this idea in my head for a while, but other fics always distracted me, but not anymore. The story is un-betad. Sorry! _
Title from Pat Metheny Group: Bright Size Life, corporate guys don't listen to classic rock ;)
Dean Smith had one of his busiest days since he started working at Sandover Bridge & Iron Inc. four weeks ago. He was in early had lunch at his desk and he stayed in late, but even so he already knew that it was better if he went in early the next day. That was the reason why he was waiting for his bento at the restaurant counter impatiently. He wanted to get home as soon as possible.
'Still in a suit at this hour?' said someone to his right and Dean turned and saw a man leaning against the counter and looking at him. He was shorter than Dean, he wore dark jeans and a red shirt. His honey-brown hair was slicked back, but only slightly so it looked somewhere between casual and elegant. 'You're either a workaholic or a masochist' the guy concluded with a bright grin on his face.
'Excuse me?' Dean frowned. He was not standing in some shady bar so something like this happening was strange.
'Just sayin' y'know. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. How about you drink a sake with me?' he offered.
'I don't think so' said Dean immediately, but the guy didn't pay attention and was already ordering. In Japanese that is which was a bit surprising. 'I still need to drive' Deans said finally when the two cups were in front of them. Because he was not having drinks with some rude guy he didn't even know. The man sighed theatrically.
'Kampai!' he raised a cup and emptied it a second later he took the other one and drank it too.
'You work at Sandover?' he asked then and Dean's eyes widened.
'How did you know that?' he asked in surprise. The guy shrugged.
'It's pretty close from here and I'm fairly good at recognizing you folks… and I saw your security ID when you paid for your meal earlier' he smirked when he added. Dean was starting to get annoyed at this point.
'Ok, look pal I'm not interested so...' he hoped it was enough to finish up the conversation, the man just chuckled.
'You really need learn to relax once in a while' he said.
'None of your business and you don't even know me' Dean replied and he hoped that his food would be there soon so he could get out of there.
'Oh, but I've run into your kind before' he said with another smile. So self-assured, almost in an arrogant way, Dean snorted, because someone was thinking way too much of themselves. 'You come from a small town, loving parents with middle-class jobs, but they valued your future enough to save money for your education. You worked hard, studied a lot instead of joining the collage parties and now you're on your way building THE dream. Cool important job, nice paycheck, upper-class car with a penthouse apartment and pristine designer suits. Everything you only saw on TV back in Bumfuck, USA but knew you wanted because you would not rot in that place for the rest of your life working in the dirt like Mommy and Daddy did.'
Dean was sure that he stopped breathing for a second, because who the hell was this guy? And what gave him the right… how the hell could he know all that? It's not like it's tattooed on his face that he's from a middle-class family in South Dakota. How could a stranger that saw him now for the first time say all that? Was he that big of a stereotype? Sure anyone could guess the good income from his suit and car, but everything else? He was openly staring at the guy for minutes maybe and he was just looking back looking smug, cocky knowing he was right from Dean's expression. His words stuck in his throat and when he finally got his food neatly wrapped he snapped out of it and tore his gaze away.
'Ok, you know what buddy?' he said, felt as anger rose from somewhere in the pit of his stomach. 'As fun as this was I'm actually working tomorrow so maybe you have nothing better to do than drink away your pathetic life while you pretend to be wise, but I'm not sinking to your level.'
His little speech would've been much more satisfying if the guy didn't smirk then burst out laughing a second later, but Dean didn't pay attention to him. He grabbed his food and walked out of the restaurant, and just when he thought that his headache couldn't get any worse. The guy's laugh still ringed in his ear when he got home so Dean couldn't check over the things he wanted on his laptop, he just ate his dinner and went to bed, he had a busy day tomorrow after all.
He cursed himself for not checking his e-mails one more time before he went to bed, because if he did he wouldn't have been surprised about the special directorial meeting that was scheduled at 10 o'clock. When he sent an e-mail to Victor to ask him whether he knew more about it than he did he sent him back a detailed mail about the fusion that while kept under the rug finally took place yesterday. Dean was a new employee so he was not surprised that he didn't get the intel right away, but it was good that he became friends with Victor for cases like this. Victor Henriksen was the Director of Logistics and he's been with the company for five years, he knew all the ins and outs. So he wrote a detailed letter about what went down in the past weeks and how now they will probably announce the fusion and any changes that might come with that.
Dean became slightly nervous about that, because sometimes changes meant transfers and redeployments. He was only working at the company for a month so that could be either good or bad, it would be easy to get rid of him, but he still counted as someone new and potential, everything depended on the new upper-management. And if Victor was correct they would definitely get some new players in their circles.
The first thing he did in the Conference Room was to seek out Victor to ask him if there was anything new. His colleague merely pointed at the grand whiteboard that was covered with a sheet in the front of the room. So whatever they would announce it was definitely big, because only those types of things needed a visual demonstration like this, normally a presentation would've been enough.
10 o'clock sharp and Zachariah Adler and other SVPs walked into the room and Dean noticed that everyone was there from the middle- and upper-management, which just made the things all the more interesting, surely there would be more than just the announcement of the ending of the negotiations.
'Ladies and Gentlemen I welcome you all on this historical morning' started Mr. Adler. 'As I am sure many of you know the Sandover Iron & Bridge Incorporation was on the brink of a new era. And now it is my very pleasure to announce you that this new era has arrived.'
Everyone clapped as expected for a short while and then Adler continued.
'A new era of evolutionary ideas, technological development and international expansion reached Sandover that will bring us to the 21st century. A new era that will certainly bring world-wide success to this company we all work together to build to be better, and now we have the chance to do so, because this new era is called…' he turned to his side and reached his hand out and an assistant pulled the the sheet down from the board that had a brand new logo on it. 'Sandover & Donnerman International!' Mr. Adler finished triumphantly and everyone clapped loudly at the reveal of this.
And Dean was ready to admit that this was huge, but he inwardly snorted that this could be called a "fusion". The Donnerman Industries was such a huge company that Sandover was a pretty small fish compared to it, everyone knew that this was nothing but a takeover – as Victor helpfully pointed it out to Dean in his e-mail – but the name Sandover stayed as it was a well-known name on the market.
After the applause Mr. Adler continued.
'Ladies and Gentleman it is also my pleasure to announce that we will have the honor to work together with, in this very building, with the one who made that possible, who's incomparable talents and knowledge will certainly bring this company to even bigger greatness, the co-owner and new CEO of Sandover & Donnerman International, the founder and president of The Donnerman Industries. Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, the man himself, Mr. Gabriel Donnerman!'
The room broke out into a huge applause and Dean even heard as Victor said a small "Wow" to his left, but the second Gabriel Donnerman walked into the room with a bright smile on his face and walked up to Mr. Adler to shake his hand Dean froze. Because no, that just couldn't be. Instead of holding a speech he started to get around the room to greet everyone with a handshake personally, but Dean's mind was a litany of "no no no no" and he felt sick. He felt sick and he was sure that all color drained from his face because the man walking around in the room was the jackass from the Japanese restaurant.
And this could not be happening, not to him. He was getting closer and closer now and Dean actually started to pray to whoever might listen to him that this was just a nightmare and he would soon wake-up or that Donnerman won't remember the last evening if this was not a bad dream.
And suddenly he was standing in front of Dean, his eyes narrowed for a second then lit up with recognition and humor and a grin appeared on his face, Dean officially wanted to be struck by a lightning.
'And you are?' he asked.
'Dean Smith' he managed to squeeze out, but he was sure that his voice was way too shaky and way too hoarse and everyone in ear-shot would notice that. 'Director of Sales and Marketing' He finished and shook Gabriel's hand.
'I'm sure it's going to be a pleasure working together' he said and his smile didn't falter for a second. Dean had a hard time figuring out whether it was honest or a business smile, whether he was pissed or not, but he couldn't think about it too much as Donnerman already moved along to shake Victor's hand.
Dean simply tried to breath; because he was sure that the only way making things worse was if he actually threw up in the conference room. He felt dizzy as he tried to get out of there and he had only one thing in mind. That he was utterly and completely screwed.
Dean managed to hide in his office for hours, he did work, but his mind was racing. He heard about Gabriel Donnerman before, obviously, he was sure that there was just no one in the corporate world that didn't hear about him. And Dean cursed himself for not googling the guy at least once, because sure he would've remembered what he looked like then. Victor dropped by in his office for lunch and Dean listened to him as he shared his considerable amount of information about their new CEO. Dean only listened half-heartedly as he was staring into his salad, he didn't really have an appetite. The only thing that everyone knew even Dean was that he was not even forty, but he was one of the twenty wealthiest people on Earth.
The Donnerman Industries started out small, but grew huge and there was just nothing they were not involved with. Of course it was computer software and hardware and mobile technology that made the company real big back in the day, but that didn't mean they were not involved with construction companies and all types of electronics and communications. As the technology developed they certainly kept up, and now they were one of the main developers and suppliers for the US Military among other things, hell they probably manufactured satellite parts and electronics for NASA too.
Now Dean wasn't sure why Gabriel Donnerman decided to put his hands on Sandover, but he was famous for making decisions others didn't understand or called downright crazy until it brought another few extra billions and then all other businessmen would gape at him and calling him a genius, which he probably was Dean concluded.
Dean tried to do some work after he somehow managed to calm down from the morning conference when there was a knock on his door and Pamela got in.
'Hey there' she greeted with a smile.
'Hey Pam, what can I do you for?' he asked.
'Guess who got a promotion?' she asked with a wide smile when she got in.
'Really? Congratulations' Dean smiled back at her.
'Oh yes, the new big boss asked for CVs prior from a lot of Sandover employees from Adler and I just happen to be the one who's… his personal assistant from now on.'
Dean almost flinched even if Pam was only referring to their new boss, but he could understand why she was excited. This would mean a huge raise for her as she was the assistant of one of the managers until now and she was way over-educated for that, this was a huge step for her. Dean knew Pamela as they happened to like the same coffee and they started talking on Dean's third day down at the café on the ground floor.
'That's great Pamela, really… I'm happy for you.'
'Having a bad day?' she asked. 'Now don't worry it's gonna turn better. Mr. Donnerman awaits you in his office.'
Dean wasn't sure if Pamela noticed that he paled again, but he managed to give her a nod and a small smile. As he stood in the elevator he felt like he was walking up to a guillotine, because this would be it. He's gonna get fired so quickly that he won't even know what hit him. Pamela opened the door for him and Dean stepped into the office. There wasn't much in it yet, almost nothing but a desk with a stock of papers on it a laptop opened, a phone, a chair in front and one behind it and Gabriel Donnerman sitting there. Dean took a deep breath and walked closer, Donnerman gestured to the chair and Dean sat down. There was silence for a few long moments and Dean was pretty sure that the guy was just torturing him at this point.
'So, I've been looking over your CV and your accomplishments of the…' he turned a page on the file he was holding. 'past four weeks. So you are a new employee. Huh.' He turned another page then looked at Dean. 'Excuse me I'm a bit slow today, yesterday I was real busy drinking away my pathetic little life.'
Dean literally felt as the last of his blood drained from his face, because really this was even worse than he first thought it would be.
'I'm… I'm…' and okay, he was just pathetic at this point. 'I couldn't have possibly… I'm good at my job…' he said instead. 'I'm doing the best of my abilities… and I'm sure… but…'
'Whoa buddy' Donnerman stood up from his chair and got around his desk quickly. 'You don't look so hot, you feeling alright?' he was right next to Dean, trying to catch his eyes. 'Don't pass out on me here… I'm just messing with you.'
He gave a smile that was probably meant as reassuring, but Dean was sure that the guy was the Devil at that very moment. Donnerman pushed the intercom and asked Pamela for some water.
'Seriously' he said as he leaned to the desk in front of Dean. 'One would think that I was about to murder you and bury you in the desert' he said while he kept looking at Dean.
Pam came in a second later with two types of bottled water and glasses. Donnerman thanked her and she left, but Dean noticed the concerned look she threw at Dean.
'Good to know I'm this scary' he said as he handed Dean a glass of water he poured from one of the small bottles. Dean drowned it.
'You do realize what my chances of a new job would be if I got fired after four weeks for personal reasons… by you… in this economical times' Dean told him because really, who wouldn't have been freaked out? And okay maybe his hearts stopped racing as violently as it did before, but he still wasn't sure he would get out of this incident scot-free.
'Please' Donnerman rolled his eyes. 'Like I would get rid of someone like you over something like that. You better remember one thing about me… I'm an ass, but I know what I'm doing, I would say that I'm exceptionally awesome at what I'm doing. So until you do your job well, we're good. And if you're really outstanding at it you can ever tell me to go fuck myself and I would still clap you on the shoulder. Comprende?'
Dean could do nothing but stare at him with a rather dumbfounded expression, huh déjà vu. 'Yes?' he wasn't sure if that was the right answer.
'Good' the older man smiled. 'Now you better not join the ass-kissing lemmings of this company, because yesterday I met a guy who didn't take shit from some wiseguy and could stand up for himself. And I want to work with that guy. Are you that guy, Dean?' he asked.
In the corporate world if your boss asked you a question like that there was only one possible answer to give. 'Yes, sir.' Dean said, but it just caused Donnerman to roll his eyes again.
'Yes well, I'm not a big fan of that either. The employees I make me call "Sir" are the ones I can't stand. It's Gabriel, m'kay? I'm not that old, or that's what I like to think.' he paused so Dean was sure that he was expected to react so he nodded. 'Okay' Gabriel clapped his hands together as he started to walk back behind his desk. 'Now that we settled that I hope you like Chinese, you're joining me on a business dinner with some Asian partners. Please ask Pamela for the details on your way out and um… I'll see you later.'
And that was a clear dismissal if Dean ever heard one so he stood up and left. Pamela told him about when the car would pick him up and how formal the night would be and she said she would send an e-mail about all the things he needs to know about the business partners he will meet. And even two hours later Dean was sitting at his desk and was wondering what exactly was happening, but he had absolutely no idea.
Never in his life would've Dean thought that he would once go to work with a hangover, because he was not that type of a guy. Gabriel nailed that at their first encounter he really rather studied than went to parties so he didn't have a high tolerance for alcohol.
A car came to pick him up the previous evening. The silver S Class Mercedes Benz with the chrome rims and black leather interior was not surprising, but he was a bit surprised that Gabriel already sat in the back seat when the chauffeur opened the door for him, but he rolled with it. He was not in the position to question or differ anything his boss did; even without the incident he wouldn't have been in the position to even open his mouth. Long before the car arrived Dean made sure to motivate himself properly, he wasn't sure what the business dinner was about and why he got invited, but he definitely wanted to use it as a chance to remedy the impression he made, because he didn't look so good so far, not with their first meeting and his almost panic attack later. So he decided that he would be model employee, he would be charming and entertaining, he knew every detail about the Chinese partners they were meeting and he did some extra research on their company and their past with The Donnerman Industries so he was prepared.
Gabriel though, managed to surprise him again. As they sat in the car he summed up what Dean's job would be. 'Sales and Marketing, so it's in your job description to be a charming company, right? You do that, even if I had enough of those annoying idiots and tell them that they can kiss my ass.'
Okay so he wasn't sure what he expected after that, but it was a luxurious dinner and a lot of money spent on quality drinks. The Chinese guys were okay enough, even if they were typically corporate businessman, but Dean was too so he could absolutely go along with that type of small talk. Gabriel did lose interest after a few hours, or so it seemed to Dean, but he didn't actually tell the guests anything offending. Dean tried to compensate for the lack of Gabriel's attention with amusing anecdotes and rapt attention, since apparently that was he was there for. He wasn't sure why they were having the dinner in the first place, but he didn't ask questions. He certainly didn't like that he had to drink that much, but it would've been rude to decline if both Gabriel and the Chinese guys were drinking.
So he was trying to re-hydrate himself and stay focused despite having a headache and being sleepy, so he knew it would be a long and painful day. He was rubbing his eyes after looking at the monitor for too long and he snapped his attention up when he saw a huge cup of coffee being put down on his desk. He was taken aback for a moment as he stared at Gabriel, again freakin' déjà vu, he should stop staring at him like an idiot all the time, but he couldn't help it, because did he really just brought him a coffee? Gabriel Donnerman, CEO and owner of the whole place brought him coffee, it was beyond bizarre.
'Before you fall asleep at your desk' Gabriel said as he sat down into the chair in front of Dean's desk casually with a coffee cup of his own in his hand. Dean had the urge to ask what his coffee had in it, but he was pretty sure that he was going to have to drink it even if it was full of sugar and fat milk. He took a tentative sip and probably sighed in relief when he noticed the familiar taste of sweetening and soy-milk.
'What can I do you for?' Dean asked then quickly because really, that should've been the first thing to ask, he just got distracted by the CEO-delivered coffee.
'Nothing, I'm just hiding. Every single director and VP is trying to prove to me how awesome they are at their job. I don't like people trying to impress me this much, I swear I'm gonna fire the next guy who tries to start a conversation about what amazing projects he worked on before.' he chuckled so Dean smiled too.
'Well, I'm sure that you expected as much' Dean said.
'Yeah I did, it's always the same, but really I need a break' he didn't look tired at all, and no trace of a hangover. He definitely was used to being out late like this, not like Dean.
'I'm glad I can be of service' Dean said, because he really didn't have anything else to say. He drank his coffee instead.
'Last night by the way' Gabriel spoke again. 'Mr. Huang liked you, I think he's definitely sweetened enough to sign that contract I want him to sign so, good job' he threw a grin at the end.
'Thank you, but I didn't really do anything' Dean said, but he felt lighter all of a sudden. Okay so whatever Gabriel thought he was supposed to do, he did it. Seems like he nailed it and it was a really good feeling.
'Yeah well they weren't as annoying as I remembered them to be so you didn't have a really hard job, but still' he shrugged. 'I actually wonder how you would've handled that time when I told an arrogant douche bag that I had my way with his… wife? Sister? I don't remember, but it was funny' he paused as he looked at Dean again. 'No need to look so surprised. I've done my fair share of ass-kissing in the beginning, for years actually. Now I'm the big cheese so if I think someone's a dick I'm gonna tell them right in the face instead of playing nice. That's a goal you know? The luxury of being able to do that' he smiled in a pleased way and Dean smiled in return, he could get that. Hell, he certainly didn't like some of the SVPs in Sandover, but as long as he was under them in the food chain he had to smile no matter what. Gabriel was pretty much on the top of that pyramid, and it was definitely good up there.
He wasn't sure what he would've said next as his office door opened suddenly and Victor burst in.
'Is it true that you…' the he visibly froze as he noticed Gabriel sitting inside. 'Good morning, Mr. Donnerman. I'm very sorry for interrupting. I'll come back later.' He was backing out already, but Gabriel stood up.
'No need… Victor?' the man nodded. Gabriel turned back to Dean. 'I'm just going to tell Pamela to check your schedule with your assistant.'
'I don't have an assistant, it's not necessary in my position to…'
'Nonsense' Gabriel interrupted. 'You're going to need one. So after you got your assistant Pamela will send over some materials and appointments I need you to look over… you know what it's better if we just talk about this over lunch, so I don't get into details yet.'
Dean slipped back to the now comfortable habit of staring at Gabriel in surprise, because when exactly did they agree to have lunch together?
'I say… 1 PM?' and that sounded like a question so…
'Works for me' Dean answered, because yeah no room for declining there.
'Great' smiled Gabriel. 'Catch you later then. Victor' he glanced at the other director.
'Mr. Donnerman' smiled Victor as he let Gabriel out of the door. 'It's bloody true!' exclaimed Victor a few moments after Gabriel left, probably to make sure he didn't hear him. 'How exactly did you manage to get in Donnerman's good graces in one day? You have to tell me your secret' he said as he sat down to the chair Gabriel was sitting on.
'No secret' Dean told me. 'I honestly have no idea what's happening' he admitted.
'C'mon Dean' Victor insisted. 'You're the only one who had a personal meeting with him beside Pamela… and is it true that you got invited to a business dinner?'
'How did you know that?' Dean stared.
'This is Sandover, news travel fast' Victor told him as he leaned back in the chair. 'I'm telling you, this could be huge for you. This guy's like a god, whatever he touches turns to gold. And you're having lunch with him, man! Why can't I be lucky for once?'
Dean wanted to tell him that no way will this change anything, but he knew better that that. If he would be able to put it in his resume that he worked personally with Gabriel Donnerman it would be one of the biggest things on it, so he got where Victor was coming from. Maybe this really was a chance and he had to take it and play his cards right.
'Just don't forget about me when you're a big shot, you hear me?' Victor said with a grin before he left his office. And okay, yeah it was a chance… but why him? Was that really about opening his big mouth at the Japanese restaurant? And what materials? Why would he need an assistant all of a sudden? He leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling.
'What is happening?' he asked the empty office, but he didn't get an answer of course so he just jumped back into work after finishing his coffee. He brought him freakin' coffee, seriously… bizarre.
As the day progressed his hangover was slowly disappearing, which was good since he had a lot of work to do. The day before he was too shocked out of his mind, and scared shitless because of the possible firing to actually focus on his job properly. Now he had to catch up with his duties. So he made call after call and by the time 1 PM arrived he was exhausted and pretty hungry.
He had no idea where they were going when he stepped in line to follow Gabriel down to the parking lot, and he probably did not imagine every set of eyes following them as they walked to the elevator, Gabriel either didn't notice it, or he was used to it and simply ignored it, so Dean didn't mention it either. He did say that he didn't eat any animal fat, sugar or high-calorie meals though; because he was hungry and he didn't want to end up at a place he couldn't eat anything. Gabriel glanced at him.
'No problem, I'm on a raw food diet so we can definitely work something out' Dean looked at him, and then scolded himself for staring dumbly again. He made himself look like an idiot constantly, that had to stop, but he was surprised, Gabriel didn't look like he would give a damn about things like that. 'Hey, I plan to look exactly this hot ten years from now' he told him. 'So I gotta do what I gotta do' he added with a smile while Gabriel's chauffeur arrived with his Mercedes and Dean smiled in return as he got into the car.
Lunch wasn't as crazy as Dean might've expected it first. They talked about Sandover, some of Dean's previous jobs and Gabriel shared some information about some of his upcoming projects with Sandover and with some of his other companies. It was friendly and professional. It put Dean at ease that maybe his life was not spiraling out of control with unexpected turns and new surprises every time Gabriel opened his mouth. And that made Dean breath in relief and made him relax. But then there was a knock on his door and an Afro-American woman walked in. She wore a business suit and had her hair in a bun. She stopped in front of the desk and she first looked around then looked at Dean, obviously seizing him up. Dean was about to ask what she wanted when she started to talk.
'All right, so I don't make coffee, I don't do laundry and I don't buy presents for girlfriends and family members. I won't lie to your mother if she calls and you want to avoid her and I definitely will make sure that you do what you're supposed to do. If that's clear let's get started.'
'Wait a second… who are you?' Dean asked, because suddenly he felt like he was scolded by his elementary school teacher and that was not a good experience back then.
'I'm Missouri Mosely. I prefer Missouri to Ms. Mosely, you can insist on the latter but I'd rather you wouldn't. And Gabriel told me you need an assistant, which is obvious, and I let myself get talk into it. So are we clear on the rules?' she asked again. Dean stared, surprised, again and Gabriel wasn't even there to stare at.
'Yes' Dean said and somehow he had the urge to add "Ma'am" to the end of that.
'Good' Missouri replied.
'And I never avoid talking to my Mom' Dean told her with a frown. Oh she would drive all the way to Ohio to kick his butt if he ever tried to do that.
'See, I already like you Dean' she told him, laughter was just in the edge of her voice.
And as Missouri started talking again Dean knew that he was wrong when he thought that he had the situation under control, because really it was time to admit that he was caught up in a whirlwind called Gabriel Donnerman and he just had to go with the flow whatever that meant even if he still had no idea why it happened to him in the first place.
If Dean wanted to be polite about it, which he was in 90% of the time he said that there were some notable changes about his work and even his private life since Sandover became "Sandover & Donnerman", but he has well accommodated to that change as he was dynamic and flexible. And that sounded great, but there was that other 10% of his life when he was being honest, even if he didn't have many people he could act completely honest with, because there was basically only Victor and his sister Jo he called regularly to check how she did in college. So in those rare times he was honest with himself or someone else he said that Gabriel Donnerman one day walked into his life and turned it upside down and twisted it inside out. He tore down and discarded every task he deemed beneath Dean's abilities at Sandover, but chose him to take part in his latest investment project. Meeting with international business partners became a regular thing that took up 2-5 evenings in Dean's week normally. And there he of course got further invitations to play golf or squash with company CEOs and directors; he was expected to show up to hotel and factory openings, yacht christenings, press conferences and every type of parties and dinner invitations he could possibly imagine.
Now on one hand this was exactly the type of life he imagined to find himself one day if he worked hard, but it was sudden and of course he wasn't there because he did something outstanding or accomplished something huge on his own, but because Gabriel kept inviting him – or rather telling him where he would accompany him – to all these events for reasons still unknown and Dean couldn't say no. He knew that it was good for his career, more than good actually, it was the biggest opportunity he ever had so it would've been stupid to say no to invitations probably all his colleagues would kill for. And there was the fact that Gabriel was not the type of person who seemed to take no for an answer in any possible situation. So Dean was absolutely sure that it wouldn't be good if he declined even if it was tiring to do all that and work on the project. At least all of his other obligations had been transferred to someone else, probably dumped back on Adler.
Now even if being in the "Donnerman Circle" – as Victor called it – was exhausting it was not bad. The project was bigger than he ever worked on before so it was challenging and such a huge break to someone like him that it was mind-blowing and it went well, he had to work hard, but he was used to that and he had help. Missouri was a god-sent; she knew everything or knew where Dean had to look for it. She was always up-to-date on every running project of The Donnerman Industries and knew about everything else the company did ever, from their various business profiles and all major business partners and every main stockholder. This was not surprising since she was working for Gabriel since he founded the company, and even before that. She was just the perfect help as she compensated all of Dean's short-comings with her experience, Dean was sure that there was not enough money on the world that would be enough to be a fair paycheck for her because more often than not Dean found himself on the verge of panic when he stumbled onto something unexpected in his work and she just solved the problem with giving Dean the right materials or just sharing some from her amazing wisdom.
She was also not a typical assistant, but that was given since the first day she stepped into the office. She was no employee that was certain, but a partner in the project Dean was working on. She had no qualms about speaking her mind and what completely blew Dean's mind was the way she treated Gabriel. Dean froze the first time she snapped at their boss in her usual kind but harsh manner, like a strict and loving parent, and Gabriel just grinned at her as she rolled her eyes.
Missouri was the type to take care of things and that included Dean apparently. She didn't make coffee, but ordered Dean to get out and eat when he skipped lunch and told him to go home, practically kicking him out of his office, if worked too much. And Dean felt comfortable with that, she reminded him so much of his Mom that it was shocking, but it made him ease up around her and that made work much easier. He didn't need to watch out what he was saying or doing around Missouri, he didn't have to put up a front and that took a whole lot of pressure off his shoulders.
When in front of others, especially business partners she kept up a professional behavior, calling him "Mr. Smith" and Gabriel "Mr. Donnerman", but that was about the only place she acted like one would expect from a "normal" assistant. She kept telling him that Dean shouldn't let Gabriel bully him into something he doesn't want, she kept telling him that a lot actually, but Dean shrugged it off and answered Gabriel with "Absolutely" and "Can't wait" and all other appropriate answers one was supposed to give their boss. He didn't actually stop to think about whether he wanted to take part in anything just did what he was supposed to do, obviously.
They were going through some numbers with Missouri when Gabriel popped in to his office, only leaning in the door, not even stepping in.
'Hey Missouri' he greeted. 'Dean, dinner with the Belgians will be at the new Indian Place in Downtown, at 9.'
'Great' Dean smiled and Gabriel vanished from his doorway a second later. Dean groaned as he went back looking through the papers.
'What is it?' Missouri asked.
'I hate Indian food' Dean admitted.
'Well, then you gotta open your mouth and say it' she scolded him.
'I can't do that' Dean told her, but she just raised a questioning eyebrow. 'He's the boss; it's not my place to…' Dean trailed off Missouri shook her head and got her cell phone out of her pocket.
'Get back here' was the only thing she said before she hung up and put it away. Dean stared at Missouri in confusion for a few moments and then Gabriel opened his door again.
'What is it?' he asked. Missouri looked at Dean expectantly.
'Yeah um… listen… I'm not a big fan of Indian food…' he said slowly, ready to add that it was not that big a problem, but Gabriel seemed thoughtful for a second.
'Greek?' he asked then easily.
'I like that' Dean said immediately, and he really did.
'Good, Greek then. You could've said so right away' he added as he leaned to the doorframe.
'Now how should the boy get a word out when you're running up and down like you have fire on your butt' Missouri said as she put a hand on her waist. Gabriel laughed.
'Touché' he smiled.
'I swear it's just impossible to teach you any manners' she shook her head disapprovingly.
'Yeah, I'm successful enough to screw manners' Gabriel answered.
'I better not hear that again' Missouri told him. 'I'm not afraid to call your Momma if I have to.'
Gabriel just burst into laughter again. 'C'mon Missouri, you gotta stop treating me like I'm still a ten year-old' he said.
'If you stop acting like one, then I might' she said as she headed out. 'Now sit down for a second it makes me dizzy just looking at you running around the place.'
'Yes ma'am' Gabriel grinned as he closed the door behind her. 'She's awesome' he added when he looked back at Dean then he flopped down onto his usual chair. Usual as he always took that one when he dropped by to Dean's office and that was rather often.
'She is' Dean said, because it was absolutely true. Even if he was always a bit taken aback when he saw how Missouri treated Gabriel and how he let her do it.
'She's a friend of my Mom' Gabriel said then. 'Since as long as I can remember' he said. 'She was working as a secretary for an auto-dealer back in Lexington, the guy was a real douchebag, but Missouri couldn't get a better job even if she was too good for that place. So there I was eighteen and told her: "Missouri, you're gonna quit your job, tell that asshole where to shove it and you come work for me. You will earn less than you ever had for a while, but I will be a good boss and I really need your help and once I'm rich I'm gonna pay you a ridiculously large amount of money" and I had nothing back then, but she said ok, she quit her job. And she's still not tired of my face for whatever reason. I tried to fly her off to California so she could sip cocktails with my Mom several times now, but she just won't budge.' Gabriel was smiling almost the entire time he told the story and Dean was speechless, because they talk… a lot, but it's always business, always work, and never personal. 'Though you might wonder' he added as an explanation. He did actually, but now he wondered more why someone like Missouri was his assistant, because wow, she was a family friend of Gabriel's seriously.
'My Mom would love her' Dean said suddenly. 'They are unbelievably similar in some ways. My Mom's a bit more spirited though.'
'Spirited?' Gabriel asked.
'As in not afraid to push a shot-gun barrel in anyone's face if they try to mess with her, but I bet she's well capable of kicking anyone's ass without a help of any weapon as well' Gabriel laughed delightfully at that. 'I mean my Dad's a gruff grizzly and has a gun collection of his own, but even he just ducks out of the way if my Mom's pissed.' He didn't know that he was going to say all that, he had no idea why he did, but it didn't seem wrong to be honest about it.
'And what do they do?' Gabriel asked and Dean squirmed in his chair a little. 'Fine, let us be fair then. My Dad died when I was six and my Mom was a convenient store clerk after that and worked as a waitress too for a while, she married my father right after high school and she was a housewife so she didn't have proper education to do anything else.' He made a gesture for Dean to continue, so he did, because okay, it was only fair.
'Family business, two things. My Mom runs the bar we have and my Dad the Auto Salvage Yard. So a bartender and a mechanic they just worked hard to make their own business' he usually didn't talk about this with colleagues, it's not like he was ashamed of them it was just not something he could put in a conversation with people whose parents are lawyers and doctors and businessmen themselves. 'So you were right about the middle-class thing' he added, referring to their first unfortunate meeting. Gabriel just chuckled.
'It takes one to know one' he answered with a smile and Dean found himself smiling back. It was funny actually, he didn't know Gabriel started even lower than he did, it was astonishing how much more he accomplished though, but that just made it look ever greater in Dean's eyes, because he knew that it was not easy to get out of a life one was born into, he too worked hard to get where he was right now even if he didn't get as high as Gabriel, that was freakin' inhuman. They were silent for a short while and Dean was sure that Gabriel would be gone soon so he remembered something he wanted to discuss with him later anyway, and he felt like it was time to change the topic back to more professional matters.
'Hey I've been meaning to ask you about the documents you sent me back' he started. 'Some of it don't match with my own versions' he added, that was what he wanted to discuss with Missouri before Gabriel showed up, but now he could ask personally. Gabriel frowned and stood up; Dean opened said documents in his computer as he saw that. Gabriel put a hand on the back of his chair as he looked them over, Dean tried to lean back when his boss reached for the mouse, but there really wasn't any place where he could go, unless he pushed Gabriel away to stand up. So he stayed in his chair as Gabriel leaned forward to scroll all documents over. It put their faces only inches away, but it seemed like Gabriel didn't notice, his attention was focused on the screen. Dean tried to stay motionless, because they were so close that if he shifted they would touch. He could even smell his aftershave and that was definitely a sign of being too close to someone, or maybe it was cologne, he couldn't really tell. He couldn't lean back in his chair completely as Gabriel's hand was there so he just waited, trying to breathe evenly because this was… awkward, but only he seemed to be aware of it.
'This is not what you sent to me' Gabriel said then and Dean's attention snapped back to the task at hand.
'What do you mean?' Dean asked. Gabriel pointed at one of the windows on the screen.
'This is not the same as the one I got from you' he repeated.
'No, this is the one I sent' Dean insisted, because this was the final version and he didn't keep the older ones, even his back up drive had this version. Gabriel looked at him. 'I know it' Dean told him with certainty. 'I even printed it out right after I sent it to you' Dean said as he leaned forward to grab one of the folders from his desk, Gabriel didn't move so that put them even closer for a second, but he didn't pay attention to that now. He opened the folder and pointed at it. He only had to take a glance to know it was the same one he sent. Gabriel shifted to put a hand on the papers, which meant that one of his arms was in front of Dean, the other behind him. And Dean would've pointed it out that this was drastically within his personal space, but Gabriel really didn't seem to notice it, and who was Dean to be hung up on something so apparently trivial.
'Missouri has all my files stored in her own computer if you don't believe me' Dean said after a few moments as Gabriel was just staring at the document.
'No… I see that this is the correct version, I just try to figure out how I got a one with errors in it then, because only now can I see that there were mistakes in the one I got, that's why what I sent you didn't add up' he seemed to be deep in thought again.
'Okay, so what do we do?' Dean asked.
'I'm just gonna work over the correct documents and send it back to you as soon as possible' Gabriel told him.
'But how could this happen?' Dean asked.
'If I had to guess I would say that you have someone trying to cross you, but they're seriously mistaken if they think they can undermine someone I know personally.'
'Why would…' but then he caught himself. Didn't he think that some of his colleagues would kill to get the opportunity he got? And it was an unsettling thought, he knew about competition, but to sabotage some else's work, he would never sink so low.
'At least you caught the mistake in time' Gabriel said. 'You're learning real fast here Dean, I'm impressed.' He added and Dean turned to see a smile on his face, seemed like he wasn't too angry about the corporate backstabbing, or he hid it well.
'Thanks' Dean answered, Gabriel looked at him then. 'Not just that, but… for everything… This is a big opportunity for me and I didn't even thank you yet for giving me a chance.'
'Don't thank me yet, I threw you into the big game with this, it's easy to crash and burn if you're not up to it… but I don't think you're going to disappoint' he said as he clapped his hand on Dean's shoulder and gave it a light squeeze.
'I'll do my best' Dean told him.
'I know' Gabriel answered and they stayed silent again, then Gabriel moved to straighten up again and move away almost abruptly and Dean noticed that they were still only inches away while they talked this entire time. But before he could get a word out – even if he was pretty sure that he wouldn't be able to actually talk – Gabriel slipped back into his casual cheerful demeanor and started talking again.
'So 9 PM at… I have no idea which Greek restaurant yet, I'll just pick you up at eight.' He was already heading to the door.
'Ok' Dean nodded and smiled, as usual, but this time it was probably not his accustomed business-smile that spread on his face, it was… something else, but he didn't ponder on it.
Dean was ready to go home, he usually stayed in the office more, but when a business dinner was scheduled he already learnt that it was better if he headed home in time. He was waiting for the elevator and checking over his schedule for the next day on his phone when laughter caught his ear. The floor was silent so it was easy to point out where it came from. He only paid attention because he would've recognized Adler's voice anywhere and it was strange that he was still in around this time. He was in Finnerman's office – Director of Business Development – and Dean even heard Donnie's voice. Now that he paid attention he could even make out the words.
'It is ridiculous' said Finnerman, seemingly agreeing with something Adler said.
'If it would be only that' Adler countered. 'Because in his position no one would frown upon a little office liaison, but to mix up business and entertainment like this just seems inconsiderate, not to mention preposterous' Adler finished, his tone was truly outraged, Dean was frowning now and he focused all his attention on the conversation.
'Many of the directors were wondering what it was that put a newbie like him in front of all of us' Finnerman said then.
'Oh please, everyone knows that Smith only managed to get on that project because he positioned himself right.'
What? He was confused, it was clear that they were talking about him, but he couldn't follow.
'After all' Adler continued. 'We all heard how indiscriminately Gabriel Donnerman likes pretty young things regardless whether they're male or female.'
Dean staggered back after hearing that, because he did not just hear that? Was it just these two, or was it really a rumor? The elevator arrived and Dean got in and pushed the garage button while he took a few deep breaths. But if it was a rumor why didn't Victor tell him about it, he didn't have time to talk that much with him lately as he usually had lunch with Gabriel, but his friend surely would've told him about this. He has never been accused of something like this before. Okay so this was beyond the normal level of office jealousy and competitiveness, this was way beyond the normal level of that. Someone messed with his work and they thought that he got the opportunity to take part in the project because he slept with Gabriel? What the hell? Didn't they see that it was only because…
Why did he get the opportunity? He asked himself seriously, and when the elevator door opened at the garage level he still couldn't answer that question and that was unsettling.
It took Dean a few days to think through what he heard and to gather his courage to ask Gabriel, because he had to ask him. He had no idea why was anything happening to him that was related to his boss and he just had to. He didn't actually know why the rumor bothered him that much, because he knew for sure that it was a solid rumor within the company at this point and not just Adler and Finnerman were being acrimonious. So when he was up in Gabriel's office and it was just the two of them he took a deep breath and decided to be done with it.
'Did you know about the rumor?' he asked, he didn't think he would've been able to open his mouth about this if he tried to be anything but straightforward.
'What rumor?' Gabriel asked without looking up from his papers.
'That many think that I got into your project because…' oh God he didn't believe he was saying this. 'Because I slept with you?' he finished, and he really hoped that the heat on his skin didn't turn into a visible blush, because that would have been really embarrassing. Gabriel looked up at him and he was completely unfazed by Dean's words.
'I don't actually hear company gossip personally, but it was expected' he said simply. 'certainly most of them are envious, and some of them are just plain assholes' With that he returned to look over the file Dean brought up, he could've asked Missouri to bring it up, but he could do it himself and okay, he really wanted to talk with Gabriel in private about this. He stayed silent for a while standing in front of Gabriel's desk and he already cursed himself even before he opened his mouth, but he had to ask dammit.
'Why did you give me this chance?' he asked. Gabriel stopped and closed the folder, and yes it may have been a bad idea to ask, but Dean's been driving himself crazy about this for days. Gabriel looked up at him again and this time he kept his eyes on him, looked at him for long moments.
'I'm good at recognizing potential' he said then, his eyes not leaving Dean's face for a second. 'Or was this your subtle way of asking whether I had less than honorable intentions?' he finished, face still blank, it was not reassuring.
'No, I didn't think…' Dean hurried to add, because it was not what he asked, or not completely. He just… he wasn't sure.
'Because sure, I trust you not to screw up a 600 million dollar investment project because I want to fuck you' he said then and Dean felt that he stumbled upon something here and he really should've kept his mouth shut. 'Let me tell you something' Gabriel continued. 'You're likeable enough and yes more than easy on the eyes, but I don't risk that much money for anyone, certainly not for your pretty face.' Dean felt offended, this was uncalled for.
'I was not accusing you of anything' he said sternly. 'I just wanted to know what it was that made you involve me' he stated in a serious tone. Gabriel stood up.
'Others would simply be grateful that I give a flying fuck about them!'
'Fine!' Dean said. 'Don't answer the question, you can just tell me to shut up, no need to be a dick about it!' he practically growled the last of it and he regretted it the second it was out of his mouth, but he just got so angry at him.
'Fine' Gabriel said in a calm tone, way too cold. 'Shut up and get back to work, we're done here' he simply pushed the folder back to the other side of the desk. And Dean just got angrier, but he shut up. Gabriel was the boss, after all.
'Good talk, Mr. Donnerman' he spat as he turned around and walked out of the office. He might've slammed the door behind him with force, but he didn't care. He also might have heard a loud crash from the other side, but he didn't care about that either. Pamela's head snapped up at him the second he stepped out and she looked real worried especially after the second noise, but Dean didn't stop to talk with her just headed back to his own floor.
Dean was working, nothing else he could've done beside that. He was still on the project and he still had to finish it, but every other aspect of his new life just… stopped. Everything felt surreally slow immediately and half the time he didn't know what to do with himself besides working more on the project. There was no friendly morning coffee, no random lunches, no business dinners. He actually sat on his couch one evening for a while thinking about what he actually used to do before Gabriel dragged him along to his non-stop activities. He practically didn't see Gabriel at all, so as much as every other employee did that is. Which he admitted readily… sucked.
Missouri looked pissed from day one, but she didn't say a word, Dean couldn't figure out who she was angry at. Dean knew who he was angry at, himself. He missed him; he realized that rather soon, he missed his presence and the whole craziness that went along with that. He even missed blinking at him stupidly when he said or did something that completely threw Dean out of the loop. And he really started to be annoyed with himself after a while, because what was he thinking, questioning Gabriel like that when he did nothing but helped Dean and his career. He still didn't know why Gabriel was ticked off by Dean's question so much, but Dean still felt like he was at fault, or more at fault than Gabriel.
He was going down to his car to get home to another completely uneventful night in his empty apartment, which he hated and was driving him crazy only after a few days when a tall guy ran into him as he stepped out of the elevator with full swing. Now Dean was not a small guy, but this guy was huge.
'Sorry Mr. Smith' the guy said. Dean recognized the yellow T-shirt of the IT department, he looked at the guy but he was sure that they never met before.
'How do you know who I am?' he asked.
'Are you kidding?' he asked with a slightly confused expression, but continued shortly after he noticed that Dean was serious. 'You're Gabriel Donnerman's right-hand man, everyone at Sandover knows who you are' the young man explained.
'Huh' that was actually not what he expected to hear. 'Well, not anymore' he added absentmindedly.
'What happened?' IT guy asked. And Dean figured that it didn't matter one way or another.
'I might have called him a dick' Dean supplied. Of course that was not actually the main reason for that disagreement, even if Dean couldn't actually put a finger on the exact problem.
'Really?' asked IT guy with widened eyes as an incredulous smile appeared on his face. 'Why?' he asked then. 'What did he do?'
'That's just it. Nothing' Dean said.
'Dude, way to screw things up… no offence.'
'Non taken' shrugged Dean.
'Ok, but you're not fired, right?' he asked then. 'Did you get kicked out of that huge project everyone's been talking about upstairs?'
'No' Dean replied.
'Yeah well maybe you can still make amends or something. Apologizing and everything' shrugged the tall man.
'Right' Dean said. 'I… should apologize' he concluded. Of course, he didn't know what was going on, but knew Gabriel was pissed. If he apologized and they were on talking terms again he could maybe get it out of him what the hell was going on.
'Duh' IT guy rolled his eyes at Dean's silent epiphany.
'Yeah, right. Thanks…'
'Sam Wesson, IT' he added redundantly while he pointed at his T-shirt.
'I remember that' Dean said as he turned around to get back upstairs again, because he knew for a fact that Gabriel was still in. He heard that Sam huffed out a laugh, probably thinking that he was weird or an idiot, but he's been thought to be worse so it didn't matter.
When he got to the top floor Pamela stopped him though.
'He said that I can't let in anybody, sorry' she said apologetically. Dean looked at the door than at Pamela.
'Would you mind calling in? Please' Dean asked and Pam nodded as she went back to his desk to pick up the phone. She waited a bit while it buzzed in.
'Dean Smith is here to see you' she said then she put the phone down after a few second, she turned back to Dean with a sympathetic expression on her face. 'He said he's busy' she said. 'I'm sorry sweetie.'
Gabriel dismissing him without a word was a first and Dean felt… he didn't know, disappointed, angry maybe, definitely hurt, but he tried to push that away as it was unjustified for him to feel hurt on a personal level, because he was just an employee...
'Ok… um… could you just… sing me up for an appointment then?' because that's what every other employee would had to do if they wanted to meet with Gabriel personally, funny how he was used to just walk in to his office.
'I do my best' she answered. 'I e-mail you if I can.' This meant that she would if Gabriel agreed to see him at all. Dean thanked her and walked back to the elevator to get back to the garage. This was definitely one of his shittiest days and work wasn't even that bad. IT guy was of course long gone. And Dean was suddenly horrified that he found the idea of a beer really appealing.
Dean was just after his lunch the next day when he heard some racket from outside of his office. People were talking. He was on the phone and continued the conversation, but was contemplating to get out to look what was the whole thing about when his office door was torn open and pushed in, it loudly clashed as it swing open completely.
'Smith!' Gabriel practically barked at him and he was moving on. Dean excused himself on the phone as he encircled his desk to go out. Missouri was already there.
'What's happening?' Dean asked, because he never saw Gabriel this furious before. He looked like he was close to throw punches and he never called Dean on his surname.
'Just come' Missouri told him hurriedly. Pamela was walking not that far behind Gabriel and Dean started to follow. Gabriel opened and pushed in another door forcefully, Dean was almost sure that the glass would shatter from the way it collided with something loudly.
'Finnerman!' Gabriel said angrily and moved on not waiting. Donnie got out of his office and looked around in confusion before joining Dean, Pamela and Missouri by following Gabriel. The entire floor was now staring at the scene as Gabriel walked among them, his suit jacket almost flapping behind him. With his stormy expression, hard set shoulders and the entire cloud of fury around him made him look really intimidating, even if he was not the biggest guy. Gabriel tossed in another door.
'Adler!' he barked and walked away. And Dean really just tried to catch Pamela's or Missouri's eye because what in the Earth could have happened that made Gabriel this angry, and why was he involved in it?
Gabriel walked till the other side of the floor where the small conference room was. Adler dutifully joined them in following him. Gabriel got into the conference room first, Pamela followed shortly behind. Dean allowed Missouri to step in next, but walked in after. Adler and Finnerman came last.
'Close the door' Gabriel ordered and Donnie did so. Gabriel stood behind the conference table, while Pam stood at the side door on the other side of the room and Missouri walked up to stand next to Gabriel.
'What is this about?' asked Adler. Dean felt like it was much better to stand there and keep quiet while Gabriel said whatever he wanted to say, but hey that was just him and his self-preservation instincts kicking in looking at the hard set of Gabriel's jaw and the anger in his eyes.
'This Adler, is about how I don't appreciate it if someone tries to screw with me' he said in low voice.
'Whatever you mean by that?' Adler asked his face was openly curious.
'Oh I don't know, maybe the deliberate fucking with my project budget' Gabriel said and Dean's eyes widened at that.
'Which is… Mr. Smith's responsibility if I'm correct, but since you chose him as a working member for your project he is not under my supervision so I don't really understand how I'm involved in this?'
Dean actually was getting really nervous, because no he definitely didn't screw up, he paid more attention to his work than anything and Gabriel said deliberate, he couldn't actually think that Dean would mess with his project on purpose.
Gabriel smiled, it was not like any of the smiles Dean has seen on his face before, it radiated anger and violence, he saw from the corner of his eye as Finnerman swallowed nervously, only Adler seemed to be still calm.
'That so?' Gabriel asked and Adler spread his arms with a smile. 'You really must take me for an idiot' he said.
'Now why would you say something like that?' Adler asked calmly.
'Well, I can see no other explanation to the fact that you're lying to my face right now. Did you really think that you would get away with it? That you can just fuck with me, my project, my money and I would not turn over every stone to find the ones responsible, that I would ignore such an obvious attempt at sabotage?'
'I still don't see how the mistake of the man you yourself appointed to the task involves me and Mr- Finnerman, but if you…'
'How fucking stupid do you think I am?' raised Gabriel his voice as he slammed a hand down onto the table, which shut Adler up immediately. 'Did you seriously think that after the first attempt of messing with Dean's material I wouldn't check over every single employee on the floor? That I was not prepared in advance for a second try, that I didn't have every single byte from his computer second stored for myself? That my personal IT team won't look over the computers of every single one of you?' he asked again in a calm tone. 'Is it still not clear why you're here Adler?' he asked.
Missouri handed over a folder to Gabriel; he tossed it down onto the conference table in-between them.
'You didn't think that by the time I called you in personally I would already have every necessary proof and information that you were the one behind this, oh and you're lapdog…' he added. Dean never saw a black guy being as pale as Donnie was and he was visibly sweating too. Dean just kept listening, while he stared at Gabriel for the most part.
'So here's what's gonna happen' Gabriel said. 'You two are going to hand in your resignations and get the fuck out of my company, you obviously won't get either severance pay or a recommendation and you won't ever be employed by any of my companies or its partners. On the top side I won't hang a lawsuit in your necks and threw your sorry asses into jail for every possible charge I can come up with and fits the situation.'
There was a heavy silence for a few moments.
'Yes sir' said Finnerman then.
'Good, get out' Gabriel told him with merely a glance. 'Zach, how's it gonna be?' he asked then.
'Oh no, you don't scare me that easily. You might have been lucky, but you won't get rid of me that easily, if you really had anything in your hand you wouldn't offer the resignation. You're bluffing and I'm not falling for it. You're still going to have to learn a thing or two before you can mess with someone like me, boy' Adler told him arrogantly. Gabriel looked at him long and hard, then he huffed out a laugh.
'Remember that it was you who chose this' he added. 'Pamela' Gabriel called as he crossed his arms over his chest. Pamela opened the side door and spoke a few words to someone and Dean's eyes probably widened dramatically when a tall guy with a beard in a suit and a black coat walked in with two police officers behind him. Gabriel gestured at Adler and before anyone could say out another word the officers pushed him down onto the table and started to cuff him.
'Zachariah Adler, you're under arrest for attempting deliberate sabotage against the Government of the United States of America by hindering a Technology Transfer and Investment Project cooperated by the National Security Agency. Officer, read him his rights.'
Adler started to protest and – as Deans saw it – panic, but one of the officers just started to tell him the usual speech Dean saw criminals get on TV shows as they dragged him out of the room in handcuffs. And okay Dean was maybe a little taken aback by the scene so he kept still and silent.
'Thanks for dropping by so fast' Gabriel told the guy.
'Well someone needs to keep an eye on you' the man answered as they shook hands.
'You really gonna charge him with treason?' Gabriel asked then. The man seemed to think about it.
'He's probably going to cry his eyes out in a few days and no one would believe him to be a real national threat, but I think I can swing it' he grinned, then he looked around in the room. 'What about him?' he asked looking at Dean and he had the urge to straighten up. He held the gaze and tried to look less nervous than he felt, but didn't know whether he managed it.
'Dean Smith' Gabriel answered. 'Totally innocent' he added. 'He was supposed to be the scapegoat.'
'I can believe that' the man said. 'Son, you got much to learn if you want to survive in Gabriel's business circles' he told him.
'Yes, sir' Dean answered because that seemed like the only appropriate answer.
'Good, now I have to go and ship the guy to our lawyer sharks and nice interrogation agents' he said with a pleasant smile. 'It was nice seeing you again Missouri' the man said as he turned to leave.
'Bye John' she smiled. The guy turned back in the door one last time.
'And watch your back Gabriel, I better not found you dead one day, even if you're getting sloppy' he said.
'Sloppy, my ass. Talk for yourself, Winchester' Gabriel shot back, but John just grinned and was gone in the next second.
'What the ever loving fuck is going on?' Dean asked after everything went silent, and he usually didn't curse, not much, but he felt like he was hundred percent justified to form his words so they would suit the current situation and his feelings properly, but Gabriel didn't stay for an explanation. He just said that Missouri would explain everything and he left so fast that Dean didn't even have time to argue. Missouri took a deep breath.
'C'mon honey, we're going to have a few drinks' she said as she started to walk out and gestured Dean to follow. Yes, he definitely needed a few drinks, probably lot more than a few.
Gabriel looked up when his office door opened and Missouri stomped in. Stomped yes, because she looked really angry, and Gabriel knew her enough to know that she was angry at him… again, oh joy.
'Hey Missouri' he greeted.
'Don't you "Hey Missouri" me' she said. 'I'm really angry at you right now.'
'Ok, why?' Gabriel asked.
'I told you not to be so irresponsible' she started. 'You said everything would be fine. And this is not fine. Dean's a nice boy he deserves to be treated well.'
'I didn't do anything!' Gabriel exclaimed. He very pointedly didn't do a damn thing.
'Well then maybe you should've' Missouri countered.
'You know what? I've got work to do so I don't have time for this' Gabriel said, but of course it didn't do a thing to get this over with.
'Oh you don't get rid of me that easily' Missouri said as she put her hands on her hips.
'You do know that I'm actually your boss, right?' Gabriel snapped, because why the hell was he lectured again like he was some stupid kid?
'Don't you take that tone with me Gabriel Donnerman' Missouri snapped back. 'You have not been honest with him, just dragged him into your life without a word so of course he felt confused. And the second he stopped acting like your employee, like you wanted him to, you started treating him like one. So you better clear this mess up or you're going to have to deal with me' she warned then she stepped closer and slapped a paper down onto his desk.
'What is this?' Gabriel asked.
'His address' Missouri supplied. 'He called in sick today.' Then she turned around and walked out of the office. Gabriel stared at the paper long and hard, but he knew that it was actually juvenile to hate an inanimate object.
'Dammit' he grumbled, he picked the address up and grabbed his suit jacket.
He drove to the apartment building himself even if he usually only drove the BMW, but it would've been a pain to get that so he just took the other car and drove. He felt himself getting nervous as he was on his way and he tried to arrange all his thoughts into a relative, dynamic order that could've been rearranged depending on Dean's reactions, he was certain that he could guess what his reactions would be like, after all he knew him for seven weeks… and five days, nineteen hours and- ok he really needed to stop doing that dammit.
He got out of the car and was grateful that he didn't need to buzz up to get in the building; he liked doing things face to face so he just got into the elevator. He noticed a second later that he was fumbling with his suit and he got annoyed at himself for it. He was nervous, he knew the signs and he hated it. He hated that his heart beat picked up, that his breathing speed increased along with it, that he felt jumpy and on edge. It was ridiculous he had no reason to be nervous to this extent. He expected to be slightly diverged from his normal behavior, but this was on the edge of real anxiety.
He stepped out of the elevator and started walking towards the door. He was being ridiculous, he's been shot before for crying out loud and even then he was not this nervous and Dean wouldn't shoot him of course. Okay, he did mention that both his parents were gun nuts, but that didn't necessarily ran in the family. So he was 98% sure he won't be shot since Dean was a nice guy with a desk job, so he almost certainly didn't have a gun in the first place, or maybe his kick-ass bartender Mom packed him one for the road along with some homemade cookies. 95% he won't be shot then… Oh he was being crazy again, Dean wouldn't eat homemade cookies, there were too much carbohydrate in them.
He pushed the doorbell before he had time to think about it. He tried to calm his nerves, there was nothing to worry about he could be just like he always was when discussing business, no difference… oh did he really just try to feed his mind a lie? This was bad, damn Missouri. The door opened and the greeting stuck in Gabriel's throat. Dean was… not in a suit. Jeans and a black t-shirt, both obviously well-worn and comfortable-looking, but still new enough to fit his body tightly, showed off every muscle that was usually hidden under too much layers, his neck that was normally confided with a perfectly knotted tie, the jeans snug low on his hips, his hair was not set, no trace of hair gel and he was barefoot. Gabriel took in the view and he was pretty sure that his eyes widened noticeably, his breath turned shallow and he knew he was staring, but…
'Gabriel' a finger was snapped in front of his face, so Dean probably had a hard time catching his attention. He didn't notice he zoned out that much.
'Sorry I… you're not in a suit' oh way to be observant Einstein, Dean probably didn't knew what he was wearing.
'Yeah I usually don't wear one when I don't plan on leaving my apartment' Dean answered, but he seemed to fidget a bit under Gabriel's look, he should probably stop with the staring.
'I was just… surprised, only saw you in a suit before' and again his skill of stating the obvious was just magnificent.
'What are you doing here?' Dean asked then.
'Mind if I come in?' he asked. Dean stepped to the side and gestured inside. So Gabriel walked in and took in the view of Dean's apartment. It looked like he expected it to look, still like it was just came to life from a page of a magazine. Everything was modern, stylish, pristine and un-personal. He noticed that Dean's laptop was open on one of the tables with folders and papers scattered around it and he didn't need to look twice to recognize them.
'You're still working on the project; I thought you were sick… even if you don't look sick'
'Yeah I wanted to keep the schedule' Dean answered. 'And I was sick this morning, had some fever, but I'm fine now even if I don't actually think that you would show up in my apartment just because I was not in work today.'
'No, it's not' Gabriel admitted. 'But it's good that your fine' because he didn't think about Dean actually being sick when he called in sick, which was pretty stupid of him now that he looked back on it.
'I asked Pam for an appointment, but…' Dean started.
'Yes, I'm sorry about that' and he was, he hated it when he shut a problem out instead of facing it. 'I'm…'
'I wanted to apologize' Dean interrupted him this time. 'That rumor just… got to me and I… wanted to know if… but it was not my place to start questioning you like that' and Gabriel kicked himself mentally, so Missouri was right about that, it was like Dean slipped back into the "employee" box again and Gabriel hated it, but it was his own damn fault of course. 'But I think I passed my limit significantly with everything, so I'm going to be really bold here… there is something… going on here… with us' he finished and okay, not "employee" box after all.
'I should've answered you truthfully' Gabriel said.
'How about starting with reacting to what I just said?'
'Yes' Gabriel said. 'There is' There, plain and simple. Dean leaned to the wall he was closest to crossing his arms, Gabriel looked at him again and he seemed expectant. 'Okay so I think this is the part where I do that whole truthful confession part?' he asked, but the easy words did not lighten the knot he felt in his stomach, because Dean didn't react to his words, and he looked perfectly calm and casual, it threw Gabriel off a bit.
'I think it is' Dean said. Gabriel took a breath and schooled himself.
'I want you to understand that I've done nothing but tried to build up what I have in the past twenty years, probably more if I count the high school years and all the work I did during the summers… it's been my main focus in literally everything' he paused and looked at Dean who was looking at him curiously. 'Just wanted to put that out there so you get a perspective on how way over my head I am with this situation' as in anything personal in general, but he figured Dean knew that maybe, he wasn't sure, but he was probably observant enough to see that. So now that he said that the only thing that remained was to spill and lay out his perfectly constructed insanity.
'I keep things separated' he started. 'I'm actually rather OCD about that, but okay here it is' one final breath, oh he hated this so much. 'I like you, a lot. I think since that evening in the Japanese Restaurant' Seven weeks, five days, nineteen hours and 23 minutes, give or take. 'But if it was only that I would have never gotten you into my project, I would've been just coffee, lunch and dinners and… all that. You got into the project, because I really thought that you had potential and I wanted to give you that chance, I didn't actually think that you would believe the two things were not related' and okay, he might be over his head here, but that had to be understandable. Dean didn't know him; he would have had every reason to assume and connect the dots incorrectly, so he was right, he was sure that he was… anyhow. 'I have this rule' he continued. 'Or more like a principal. The two together is not a manageable combination; I have learnt that from experience. So the situation I found myself in was troubling. I liked you, but after talking with you a few times about business I realized that you would be a great co-worker, that I wanted you to work for me. And like I said, I have this rule that I always, always apply if I ever find myself in a situation like that. It's either one of those two, never both. So if I decided to try my luck and actually ask you out then I wouldn't have given you career opportunities. Because I wouldn't want to make you feel like that you only got into a better position because you were involved with me, or just because I wanted you to be involved with me' he corrected himself, people didn't like if he made assumptions in a personal scenarios. 'But if I gave you the chance with the project then I wouldn't ask you out, because again I wouldn't want you to feel like you would obliged or feel that you had to date me or something in return for the opportunity you got.' He was sure that he explained it properly, but he went on to be sure, it was always good to summarize the contents of a speech at the end. 'So I liked you and I wanted you to work for me in the project, but that choice had to be made and I went along with the one that was 100% good, beneficial and profitable for the both of us in most aspects. So I got you in the project and didn't try to get involved with you personally beyond work-friendship.'
He had to take a few deep breaths after his words. There was it, everything, said and laid out. Nothing but the truth. He looked at Dean again and waited for his reaction.
'Would you have asked me? Dean asked.
'What?' Gabriel asked, because he didn't get that particular question.
'Would you have asked me or just told me?' Dean clarified. 'Because the way I know you it would have been like: "Dean, phone conference at 10 AM, we're having lunch at 1 PM, we have a press conference in the afternoon, you're coming on a date with me at 9 and I'd like to have the current numbers for the budget by tomorrow" then I say "Ok, great" you leave and I stand there trying to follow what's happening in my life again.' Gabriel wanted to huff out a laugh at how bizarrely imaginable that scene sounded like, but it was definitely not something he should be laughing at right now.
'In my defense, I told you right away that I was an ass' he said, because that he knew.
'You wouldn't be if you actually let me have a part of my own life' Dean said. 'You said a choice had to be made, your choice. You decided clearly in advance how things will be between you and me, how things would be effecting me, without actually involving me in it. You see where this is actually… not okay, right? Because I still have a hard time figuring you out so I'm not sure you do.'
'No, I know that…' Gabriel answered. Oh Missouri's been giving him hell about it almost constantly. 'The reason I keep saying that I'm an ass' he added.
'Actually thank god for that' Dean said. And all right, something was not right here. He usually had no problem with following Dean's train of thoughts.
'Why?' he asked.
'Well, you're the craziest, weirdest, most annoying man I have ever. You're pushy and aggressive and sometimes a dick' Dean said, but his tone wasn't angry, on the contrary, he still seemed relaxed. 'But that's good, because besides those things you're basically perfect and I would start to worry that you're just the result of some secret CIA experiment' his face must've been expressive enough to illustrate his thoughts about that. 'I mean really, you're unbelievably successful and rich' he told him and he started counting the things he said on his fingers. 'You're freakishly smart, good-looking, and you usually treat people well, and you can be kind when you want to be, you didn't forget where you came from, even I find it hard to remember that sometimes, and you're funny too' he actually looked away after that. 'And you're my boss' he said and Gabriel didn't like where he was going, he didn't want to hear it. That's why he hated asking instead of taking, if you asked they could say no, they could stomp on your thoughts laid bare then throw it back to your face, scattered and torn…
'Gabriel' he was snapped out of it by Dean standing right in front of him, was he always so freakin' tall? 'What's with you loosing focus like that?' he asked, he smiled, but there was a touch of concern in his voice.
'I'm… nervous… I think too much, when I'm nervous.'
'You've never been like that around me before' Dean told him.
'Not to this extent… it's the topic' he was frowning, he felt it. He had to get a grip he let it gone too far. 'It's been a while since I had to talk about something like this' he was actually impressed with himself that his voice stayed steady and sure thorough the conversation. It was just screwing up his thinking process.
'Then stop' Dean said. 'Talking' he clarified. 'What I wanted to say before is that you're my boss, so how could I have said or done anything without looking like I wanted to use it as an advantage for my career.'
'I know you don't' Gabriel said, Dean would never sink so low.
'And I know that I don't have to' Dean added. 'You wouldn't take advantage of anyone like that'
'No' Gabriel confirmed and then it clicked so he grabbed Dean's T-shirt and pulled him down to a kiss. It felt just as good as he thought it would be, and he thought about it a lot. What it would be like to seal his lips on Dean's, and about Dean's lips in general. But he really had to stop thinking now.
Dean became forceful the second he kissed back, his hands coming up, one twisting in Gabriel's hair the other he put flat on his chest and used the difference in their body height to his advantage to push him up against a nearby wall. Gabriel's brain short-circuited for moment at the onslaught not expecting Dean to be like that. He quickly recovered and put his arm around his waist, fingers pushing at his thin t-shirt, but barely touching skin yet. His kiss was hard, almost biting, but Gabriel was not resisting, he parted his lips to deepen the kiss and Dean's tongue slipped into his mouth feverishly. He responded with equal enthusiasm and was left breathless when the younger man finally let go of his lips.
He didn't have time to say anything, not that he actually wanted to talk at this point, as they soon stumbled over to the bedroom, Dean practically dragging him across the living room. His tie was loosened and he shrugged out of his suit jacket tossing it away not caring where it landed, but then Dean pushed him back and down and he only caught up with was happening when his back hit the bed, he bounced a little as he landed with force. Dean leaned down after him; his movements were fluid and easy, not at all like his usually body language with proper straight posture and carefully schooled movements. Gabriel stared up at him with darkened eyes as the younger man straddled his hips.
'Never thought you would be so bossy' Gabriel said as he slid his hands up Dean's thighs until he could reach his waist and slid his fingers under his t-shirt, stroking the warm skin underneath.
'You're not my boss, not here, not now… so just shut up.' Gabriel grinned up at him.
'Make me' he challenged. Dean reached behind his back a second later and pulled his tee over his head throwing it away. Gabriel's eyes took in the amount of suddenly exposed naked skin and pulled Dean down. No more talking.
Gabriel's shirt soon landed on the floor and Dean did his best to rid him of the rest of his clothing in record time. There were lips on his throat kissing his skin; fingers were digging into his muscles. The feel of naked skin on naked skin was breath-taking when the last of their clothing ended up on the floor. And Gabriel felt such a deep seated need within himself that it nearly overwhelmed him. After so many weeks of keeping himself pointedly distant enough even with the constant low burn of crave under his skin that wanted to make him reach out and take, claim, conquer… now he was conquered instead and loved every second of it.
They both moaned when their hips rolled together, giving a small satisfaction to their growing needs. Gabriel captured Dean's lips again wanting to explore every inch of his mouth, just like the whole of his body. He was drawn to the man like moth to the flame from the first minute he couldn't hold back anymore. His hand slid down Dean's back, along his spine until he could cup his ass and grind their groins together more as he lifted his hips.
'Dean' he breathed to the other man's mouth, while his fingers slid between his cheeks, obvious question without words. Dean just ground his hips down again with a moan in response.
'Oh yes' he answered and Gabriel's blood boiled with excitement. Dean rolled off him for a few moments though, Gabriel turned towards him not wanting to break the contact completely. So he kissed his spine between the shoulder blades while Dean opened one of the drawers of the night-stand. Dean soon turned towards him again and pushed him down on the back firmly. He dropped down the condoms and lube to the bed and he straddled Gabriel's hips again, he rolled his hips down liquidly, causing Gabriel to take a shuddering breath at the sensation while he grabbed the lube to coat his fingers. Dean lifted himself up to his knees, this would not have been the position he would have wanted to do this, but he would certainly enjoy the view.
He pointedly only brushed his fingers to Dean's hardened dick, he wanted to drag this out as long as he could and he definitely wanted to get some control back. He was pleased the way Dean's hips moved instinctively towards the light touch and as he bit down on his lower lip, already red and swollen from the kisses they shared.
He reached further behind and teased the tight entrance with his fingertip before pushing it slowly in. He felt as Dean relaxed shortly after tensing at the intrusion, but he was still impossibly tight, it must've been quite a while since he did this, but that just made Gabriel all the more eager to make this as good as possible. Dean leaned forward and braced himself, putting his hands on Gabriel's shoulder and chest, his eyes closed almost immediately after Gabriel pushed in and he kept them closed for a while, but his face showed more than enough how much he was enjoying it. Gabriel took his time moving his finger slowly, loosening the muscle before he felt it was time to move things forward. Dean let out a deep moan as Gabriel pushed in a second finger and he started to rock his hips down onto them, asking for more. So Gabriel did that, he crooked his fingers and was not satisfied until Dean's body tensed in pleasure above him while he moaned loudly. He definitely liked that sound and tried to get out as much from the younger man as he could. He massaged the bundle of nerves as he loosened him up and he soon had three fingers sliding in and out of the welcoming body.
It took him by surprise when Dean reached down and wrapped a hand around his erection and a groan escaped him immediately at the feeling.
'Enough' Dean said. His voice was wrecked and deep, clearly filled with arousal. Dean stroked him a few times, slow movements with a just perfectly tight grip. Gabriel pulled his fingers out when the condom was rolled down onto his dick and Dean positioned himself the next moment. Gabriel gripped his hips and tried to focus on staying still. Dean let out a delicious noise when the head of Gabriel's dick passed the tight ring of muscle and the older man echoed his moan. Dean was sinking down slowly, but steadily, taking him. And Gabriel really had to concentrate not to thrust up into the wet heat that slowly encircled him. He was sure he would leave bruises on Dean's hip the way he was tightening his hold, but he found the thought thrilling. That Dean would feel this later, even long after they were done, he wanted to leave his mark on him. He wanted him to think of this, to think about him.
He stroked Dean's sides and mapped his ribs with his fingers when he was finally buried to the hilt. Dean was panting hard above him and Gabriel's breath was also quick and shallow. Then Dean started to move and Gabriel's world narrowed to the tight heat and the green eyes that locked on him. He expected Dean to start slowly, but after a few movements Dean ground down hard, taking Gabriel's breath away.
Again the way his body moved made Gabriel want to touch him everywhere, just to feel as the muscles shifted under his sweat covered skin. Dean fastened up his pace and only a few moments later he was riding Gabriel hard and fast. And Gabriel still remembered that he wanted to drag things out more, wanted to enjoy Dean's body to its fullest, he wanted to make him loose his mind in pleasure, make him beg for it maybe. He wanted to taste him, suck on his flesh and lick his body, he imagined so many things he wanted to do, but Dean didn't give him a chance but to lie on the bed and loose his mind. Because he was, he started to thrust his hips up into Dean, meeting his every movement and finally they found the right angle and Dean threw his head back, baring his beautiful throat as he moaned, Gabriel's dick pounding into his prostate now with every movement they made.
Looking at Dean like this made Gabriel move more, to thrust stronger, deeper, to fill him up completely, to push him into the highest edges of pleasure, take him where no one took him before, give him what no one has given, just Gabriel and he would want more, always more and just him. He wrapped his fingers around Dean's cock. And watched as he moved, pushing himself down on Gabriel's dick then forward, thrusting into his fist, now almost erratic movements. Hard, fast, wanton, moving on instinct at the cliff of white hot pleasure and then he was coming. White hot fluid covered Gabriel's fingers, while Dean's muscles clamped down onto him, tearing a groan of pleasure out of his mouth and throwing him over the edge after a few last hard thrust.
Dean collapsed on top of him and rolled off after Gabriel slipped out. He got rid of the condom, but was two worn to try cleaning up. They lay next to one another on the bed, both staring at the ceiling while trying to catch their breath.
'Since we obviously won't move to get cleaned up now… next round in the shower?' he asked and turned his head to the side. Dean looked back at him.
'Brilliant idea' Dean replied with a grin.
Dean woke up slowly and had the urge to smile at the pleasant ache in his muscles and other places even before he opened his eyes. It was undoubtedly the best night he had, he already thought that after their second round in the shower, but when Gabriel went down on him and successfully started a third one he was hundred percent sure.
'Good morning' he heard Gabriel's voice so he opened his eyes. He was popped up on one elbow next to him, still naked and only covered in Dean's sheets.
'Hey' Dean said as he blinked sleep out of his eyes. 'How are you so fresh and suspiciously not tired looking?' he asked after a moment when he looked at him.
'I'm not used to sleep much' Gabriel supplied, Dean knew that already, but it was still weird how Gabriel could look all rested after so little sleep and such an active night.
'You're such a freak' he said and Gabriel laughed cheerfully.
'What time is it? Shouldn't you be at Sandover yet?' he asked.
'Nah' Gabriel said easily.
'Ok, you're the boss' he replied, but Gabriel frowned at him. 'I mean I already told Missouri that I won't be in for two days yesterday and I won't be telling you that you have to go to work, since you're the boss.'
'Yeah, you're right' Gabriel said after a short moment.
'Ok, what's going on in your head again?' he asked then, because when Gabriel only gave short answers to questions he was probably thinking about something else.
'Did Missouri tell you everything?' Gabriel asked then.
'You mean that your company only builds, supplies, manufactures and develops for governments, militaries and governmental agencies all around the globe?' Dean replied. 'Yeah, she told me.'
'And about the project?'
'Right, that what I've been and still working on is only just a small part of a not entirely public NSA project? Yes, she told me that too.' That news shocked Dean even more then the first one did, because he knew that The Donnerman Industries was involved with military projects, but this was a bit bigger than that.
'Ok' Gabriel nodded.
'Ok, so that guy who arrested Adler. He was really some NSA Agent or something?' Dean asked next.
'Or something' Gabriel replied, which made Dean smile.
'What? You can't tell me because it's state secret?' he joked.
'Yes' Gabriel answered and Dean started laughing, but sobered up when Gabriel just raised an eyebrow.
'You're not joking' he realized.
'Nope' Gabriel smiled. 'With my work and my position Dean, I have Homeland Security on my speed dial.' And ok, he was still completely serious.
'Shit, so wait… does this mean that when I started working with you I got checked or profiled by… I don't know the FBI or something?' It sounded like something out of a movie, but he really wanted to ask.
'Yes' Gabriel answered easily. 'You, your family, your friends, your family member's friends, ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends, probably even your kindergarten teachers.'
'Ok, I recall saying yesterday that it would be nice to know about the things that are part of my life.'
'And I say, that I can only tell you about the things I know about. Trust me there are way too many aspects of my life that I don't have control over.'
'How are you even involved in all this?' Dean asked, because not every company was that deeply connected to the government.
'By conscious choice' Gabriel told him. 'Sometimes people tend to say that there are huge companies that almost have the budget of a small country, that is true, but no firm can be actually up to a country, they don't have that amount of money. Now governments on the other hand?' he whistled. 'Even the smaller ones deal with a lot of zeros, but when it comes to the big guys like the US, China, Russia or the EU, we're talking about an amount that you probably can't even imagine. Now I can't always get contracts with the governments directly, politics is a tricky matter, but when it comes to national security or military developments? There are almost too many departments and agencies that are available. It's a bottomless source of money you might say, if you do your job right, and I do it perfectly' Dean couldn't argue with that self-confident statement, because Gabriel's success spoke for itself. 'Does this mean that I'm never off the radar of big brother and co? Yes. Do I mind? No, because it's what I do, this is me.'
'Is everything so crazy around you?' Dean asked then, because he couldn't think of anything else to say.
'I think that is given' Gabriel smirked.
'You're not actually James Bond, are you?' he asked as he was staring at Gabriel, he looked good in the morning light.
'I'm just a businessman' Gabriel answered.
'Somehow I find it hard to actually believe that' Dean told him before he got out of bed to make coffee and breakfast. Gabriel's laughter followed him to the kitchen.
Gabriel stayed in his apartment for the most of the day; it was a bit unusual to have someone around like that, but in a good way. They had breakfast then had sex on the couch, then they showered, which turned out to be a waste of water as Gabriel liked Dean all wet too much and they ended up in bed again. Dean added "awesome in bed" to the little list is his head that was called "the things that make Gabriel suspiciously perfect". Not like he didn't know that he left quite an impression himself, he loved the image of Gabriel under him, completely lost in pleasure in his head very much.
He was also very pleased that it was true what Missouri told him earlier. If he wanted the truth he had to throw Gabriel off his game. And it really was easy to do so when he was emotionally involved in something and couldn't look at it in a business model, it was almost endearing how he was rushing his words and got unfocused while they spoke. Until that point Dean didn't completely believe that Gabriel really was that interested in him. It gave him such a power-rush that he almost surprised himself by reacting to it so vehemently, but that he could have that effect on Gabriel was an immense turn-on. Almost as hot as when Gabriel was angry before that at Sandover, barking orders and practically being the image of aggression. He had to buy chocolates for Missouri that she really did send Gabriel over to his place, just like she said she would. That woman was a saint.
They kissed and made out like teens during the day, which made Dean chuckle, because he wasn't sure he ever kissed someone this much even when he was a teen. Gabriel told him that he didn't, as high school girls like football players better than workaholic weirdos. Dean was sure that all of the girls who went to High School with Gabriel were deeply regretting that choice now.
They were kissing so long goodbye when Gabriel wanted to leave late in the afternoon that Dean ended up dragging him back to the apartment while Gabriel laughed into the kiss. He did eventually leave then and Dean was blissfully tired, he finished the work he started the day before and went to bed early.
He was not actually worried about meeting in the office. Gabriel could certainly focus on business-alone and Dean was sure he could too, so he didn't think there would be a problem to be around each other during work. He only dropped by his office, but when Missouri was nowhere to be seen he decided to go up to Gabriel's Office with the final numbers, he was sure that she would be there. Pamela was not out by her desk so Dean just knocked and stepped in.
He stopped in his track immediately as he looked ahead at the dark haired man sitting at Gabriel's desk. Pamela was in front of it with a few folders in her hand and both of them turned towards him.
'Who are you?' Dean asked, because he was too surprised for pleasantries.
'You're the one who barged in, so maybe you should introduce yourself first' the man answered in a deep voice.
'Dean Smith, who are you?' Dean repeated.
'Oh yes, Dean. Gabriel talked about you' he stood up and walked around the desk until he was standing right in front of him. He was only slightly shorter than Dean and a bit thinner, his hair was nothing but sort of chaotic even if his suit was perfectly in order he had strikingly blue eyes that caught one's attention immediately. He reached a hand out.
'Castiel Donnerman' he introduced and Dean shook his hand by reflex even if he was just blinking a bit stupidly at him.
'Ah shoot you beat me here' Dean heard and he let go of Castiel's hand and turned around as Gabriel stepped in. 'I wanted to make the introduction' he said as he walked up to them. 'But I see it went well.'
'Of course it did' Castiel replied. 'Things don't fall apart the second you don't have them under your control.'
'Donnerman' Dean repeated.
'Yes' Gabriel said, and he had that smile on his face that told Dean that he enjoyed confusing him with such sudden turn of events, the bastard. 'My little brother here will take over all this bothersome CEO business here with Sandover' Gabriel explained. 'That the last of the project numbers?' he asked then and Dean gave him the folder.
'I emailed you everything else, do I have to send them to you too?' he asked from Castiel. Because no way would Gabriel throw him off like this, he could go with the flow, he should get really used to this. 'Even though I don't have your address, but I'm sure Missouri or Pamela can give it to me.'
'That won't be necessary' Castiel replied. 'I have already all of Gabriel's email forwarded to me.'
'Okay' Gabriel was quickly looking over some of the pages in the folder before he closed it and handed them over to Castiel. 'You know your job Cas, but I'm going to steal your employee for a while now' he added as he put a hand on Dean's shoulder.
'Of course' Castiel answered. 'I will call you later and mother says she hasn't seen you in weeks so you should visit her' he added as he turned around to walk back to the desk.
'Fine, I know' Gabriel grumbled. 'C'mon, let's go' he told Dean and he followed. He was surprised when Gabriel stepped out to the stairway instead of going to the elevator and even more so when he started walking up the stairs, but Dean followed.
'So why is your brother suddenly the boss?' he asked.
'Isn't it good? I'm not your boss anymore' Gabriel said as he threw a grin over his shoulder.
'Yes, not like you still don't own the place' Dean said, because Gabriel not being the CEO didn't change that much.
Gabriel stopped at the door leading to the roof then and turned around.
'It's how I do things. I personally go to the new companies, mostly to scout out people who can work on the real big stuff, but then I let Castiel arrange everything until he too can move on after finding the right people who can lead things in a place' Gabriel explained. 'I never stay in one place more than a few weeks, so my stay ends here.'
'What?' Dean breathed out as the words slammed him, washed over him like cold water. He was leaving? Now? After everything? Just when they finally settled what was going on, when Dean finally knew what it was that put him on edge around Gabriel for so long, now that he knew that Gabriel wanted him. He would just leave. He heard a noise from above, from the outside a heavy repeating sound of… a rotor. Helicopter. He wasn't just leaving in general; he was leaving at this very second. And Dean didn't know if he wanted to punch him or just fucking cry in frustration.
'So, you want to have a desk job in Ohio?' Gabriel spoke. 'Or…' Gabriel looked back at him, he didn't notice that he turned his eyes away. Gabriel gestured behind him where the sounds of the rotors became louder and louder by the second behind the door. 'You want to join me?' he asked. And Dean felt as his eyes widened. He didn't ask him if he was serious, because he knew he was.
'Join you where?' Dean asked.
'Where I need to be next, Europe, Asia, South America… I don't know, I'll have to check my schedule for that.' Dean's mind was racing.
'But, what about my life here?' he asked.
'You've been here for four months Dean. What else do you have here besides your apartment, your car and this job?' He had a point, but… this was huge. Dean didn't find the words he wanted to say, there were surely reasons he could say why this was not a good idea. But mostly he just couldn't believe that Gabriel was really asking him this… asking, not telling. He took a deep breath and ran his hand down his face.
'I must be out of my mind' he said and apparently Gabriel was good at hearing the "Yes" in that sentence, because he grinned widely and stepped closer putting a hard kiss on Dean's lips. It was quick as he stepped back way too soon for Dean's liking, but then he opened the door to the roof.
It was impossibly windy, not just because they were so high up, but because the helicopter with the logo of The Donnerman Industries just landed on the roof. Gabriel turned back towards him when Dean stepped out into the sun.
'Welcome to my life' he said as he spread his arms. The wind was blowing his hair and he was smiling brightly.
'Show-off' Dean muttered before he followed him. It was really time for him to admit that he was helplessly caught up in a whirlwind called Gabriel Donnerman, and all he could do – or what he wanted to do – was to hang on tightly and enjoy the ride.