Written for theycallme-gabriel on Tumblr.
Sam lied when he told Dean he got the amulet from Bobby; in reality, it was given to him during the hottest part of the summer in '91 by, strangely enough, the ice cream man.
He knew it was an odd item for the man to even possess, much less give to a kid on his route, but Sam accepted the gift without much protest.
Now, Sam wasn't stupid; he knew better than most how fast that sort of special attention from a strange adult could go south; Dad always said there were monsters in the world. Despite his cautious nature, though, he just couldn't see a good reason to decline. Gabe had worn the pendant every day of their acquaintance, so it wasn't like he'd had gone out of his way to buy it for Sam or anything.
Besides, the guy was perpetually cheerful, had an excessive sweet-tooth, and always remembered to stock Sam's favorite flavor, Mint Carob Chip, even though the other kids avoided Rice Dream like the plague. Quite frankly, Gabe was a nice guy that was friendly with everyone.
Well, almost everyone; he didn't like Frank Jenkins.
Frank was an older widower that often watched the younger kids play from the nearby park bench, eyes lingering a bit too long on lean, coltish limbs and shaggy brown hair.
Sam didn't think much of it until he realized that Gabe's narrowed golden eyes were more often than not locked on Frank intently, mouth tugging into a frown as he absently wiped up melting ice cream from the counter with a perpetually pristine white cloth.
Then one day Sam noticed Frank tailing him as he headed back towards the Winchester's current motel of choice. A shiver went down his spine and he tugged his backpack higher on his shoulder, using the movement to mask the hand reaching up to finger the switchblade in his pocket.
Trying to act naturally, Sam took a quick left into a nearby candy store. So focused on trying to keep track of Frank, Sam didn't notice the person blocking the isle in front of him until he bumped face-first into a warm body.
A hand came down on his shoulder, steadying him as he reflexively stumbled back. An apology already on his lips, Sam glanced up to find Gabe, of all people, eying something through the window. Knowing what he would see, Sam checked over his shoulder just in time to watch Frank pause at the storefront before striding quickly down the sidewalk.
Returning his attention to the man in front of him, Sam blinked; for once, Gabe was dressed casually in jeans and a long-sleeve plaid shirt instead of his usual work uniform, the odd amulet glinting in the overhead light. A basket of sweets hung from his free hand. Sam wasn't sure why the sight startled him; he had never before encountered the man outside of his "work" hours, but the guy had to relax in his free time, right?
Gabe's hand gripped Sam's shoulder briefly before raising to ruffle the boy's shaggy hair. Shaking himself, Sam ducked his head and stuttered out an apology before quickly heading towards the back to grab a cool bottle of cola.
A few days later, Sam came across Gabe and Frank in the middle of a heated argument. Frank's voice rose, indistinct but angry, while Gabe's mocking tone carried a threat. Sam huddled against the brick wall at the mouth of the alley the two men occupied, catching a word here and there but unable to come up with a cohesive whole. Suddenly there was a scuffle, then a sharp snap sounded and silence fell. Sam held his breath, straining to hear what was going on without revealing himself. A footstep nearby, abrupt in the eerie quiet, and Sam scrambled into a recessed doorway, not wanting to be caught eavesdropping. He stayed there just long enough to see Gabe stroll lazily down the sidewalk, then cautiously peered around the corner into the dead-end alley.
The empty dead-end alley. Where…?
Despite a quick but thorough search - his father hadn't raised a slacker - Sam could find no evidence that Frank had been in the alley at all. Brows furrowing, he did a final sweep before slowly heading towards the mouth of the alley - and, there: chain snapped and draped carelessly over a broken bottle lay Gabe's one-of-a-kind necklace. Careful of the surrounding glass, Sam retrieved the oft-worn pendant and stuck it carefully in his pocket.
Missing posters of Frank went up a few days later, and stayed up for two weeks before the body was found across town, broken and bloody. Sam read the newspaper article while he ate his ice cream that afternoon, cataloging Gabe's cheerful smile as the man handed Julie Watson an orange Push-Pop. As soon as the girl walked away, Sam returned to the truck.
Arms propped on the meticulously clean counter, Sam eyed Gabe. A raised brow and a small smile was all the reply he got for his silent contemplation.
Abruptly digging in his pocket, Sam pulled out the pendant - carefully thread onto a sturdy strip of leather - and presented it to the older man.
Gabe… froze, a sudden and unnatural stillness settling about him. Sam swallowed thickly and shook his extended hand a bit, making the pendant sway.
"I couldn't fix the chain," he said, voice as even as he could keep it.
The being - couldn't call him human, Sam wasn't as naive about what their father does as Dean would like to believe - stares at the dangling pendant; not blinking, not even breathing as time seemed to freeze around them.
And then Gabe smiled, and the world started turning again.
"Keep it, kiddo; you'll need all the good luck that thing can bring you."
Gabe met Sam's eyes. And winked. The next thing Sam knew, he was thirty feet away on the swings with the necklace tucked under his shirt and no ice cream truck in sight.
The amulet felt warm against his skin.
Three days later, John Winchester packed up his boys and moved on to a new town, a new hunt. Six months after that, Sam gave the amulet to Dean for Christmas, knowing his big brother would keep it safe… and hoping the reverse would be true, as well.