AN: Hi again, everyone! This is a new Supernatural story I've been working on for a while now. It's Sambriel with a lot of Destiel because I love them so, so much. Basically, Gabriel comes back (Yay!) and with him comes a whole bunch of not fun for our favourite demon blood addict. Sooner or later, Dean decides to step in and you can guess where it goes from there.

Hope you enjoy it, guys! As always, I own nothing so please don't sue. This is just for my enjoyment, and the enjoyment of others. =)

Sam Winchester had always prided himself on being fairly stealthy. Not as stealthy as an angel or his brother, but stealthy enough that he could do his job and not get killed which, in the grand scheme of things, was all that really mattered. Sure he'd started the apocalypse, which was pretty much the crowning glory of Stupid, but he was doing all he could to fix the mistake and get his brother to trust him again. Easier said than done, but Sam was an optimist at heart.

What Sam had also prided himself on was knowing his big brother. Dean was fairly predictable if he let you get close enough to him. Wake up; check his car; get dressed; clean his gun; eat whatever God awful (Sorry, Cas.) breakfast he decided to poison himself with on that particular morning; wake Sam up; wait in the car while he ordered a much healthier option to start the day; once Sam was in the car and Cas had made his usual appearance in the Impala, jam a cassette in the player and head off down the road, killing whatever evil creature crossed their path. Fairly straight forward.

After a long day of work, Dean would inevitably find a seedy bar so the brothers and the angel could 'relax'. He'd leave it to Sam and Cas to find them seats then saunter off the bar, shiny credit card in hand, to buy a round of what Sam was sure would be enough alcohol to have Dean hating the world and everyone in it when he woke up the next morning. While Sam and Cas would chat, Dean would find his way to them and begin trying to instruct Cas in the ways of the human male, usually involving women and booze, not necessarily in that order. Sam wondered why he bothered anymore. Dean usually failed abysmally because Cas wouldn't know indecency if he fell over it, and would wind up sitting the corner and staring at Cas, who was usually engrossed in some new case he'd heard about from Bobby.

While Sam prided himself on being stealthy, he was pretty sure Dean's defining quality would be self denial, especially where Castiel was concerned. But, to each their own as the saying went and honestly, Sam was just happy to see Dean hanging around with someone who understood and accepted him. Whether his brother would let himself admit that there was in fact something regarding the angel that he was hiding from himself was anybody's guess, but time would tell. Sam fervently hoped his brother didn't screw this up, or suddenly, the apocalypse didn't seem quite as scary as Dean would be.

So, as was said, Sam prided himself on being stealthy and knowing his brother. He never figured he'd have to apply the two after the whole mess with Ruby; he'd learned his lesson about keeping secrets from Dean and Cas while the self made apocalypse was breathing down their necks. When a shift occurred in his life, Sam wanted to tell Dean, he did. But really, how do you tell your angel hating older brother that you're being stalked/ courted -did people even use that term anymore?- by the same angel who'd killed said angel hating older brother over 100 times to prove a point?

There was no part of that sentence that was normal to Sam's mind, and though he should have been used to it, he wasn't. His life was weird. That he'd just snuck out of his hotel room to go have dinner with an archangel just made it all the more weird. The younger Winchester walked to a nearby restaurant and when he entered, he saw Gabriel sitting in a booth to the left, a cocktail and a beer in front of him. If the dazed look on the maitre de's face didn't tip him off that Gabriel was working his angel mojo on them, the self serving grin on the archangel's face did.

"Sammy, get rid of the bitch face, will ya? You look like I'm forcing you to be here.", Gabriel commented when Sam slid into the booth opposite of him.

Technically, he was. Gabriel had left him a message on his laptop telling him that he'd made dinner reservations for them and to sneak out of the hotel after Dean had gone to sleep.

Otherwise? There would be a very loud singing telegram (read: Gabriel.) arriving in the hotel room the next morning, and Dean would know everything. About Sam sneaking around with the Trickster, and just what had gone on during that sneaking. When it looked as though Dean was having one of his bad nights, Sam was considering drugging him just to make sure he could get out and that Gabriel wouldn't need to go through with his threat. Not that he wouldn't do it for kicks, but if Sam could do anything to prevent it, he would. Fortunately, Dean had drifted to sleep and Sam was gone.

"And anyway, you came so clearly you wanted to be here.", Gabriel reasoned.

"Dinner with you is a small price to pay for my sanity and Dean never finding out about this.", Sam responded, figuring the beer was for him and taking a drink from it. If anyone asked – he didn't know who would, but just in case – he didn't want to be there, having dinner with Gabriel. Not at all.

"You could always tell him.", Gabriel answered. Sam shook his head. He'd tried, repeatedly. Every time, something happened and screwed it up.

"Forget it. He'd flip.", Sam sighed.

"A case of the pot calling the kettle black.", Gabriel replied sagely. "Brothers do that a lot."

"What do you mean?", Sam asked, startled. Gabriel's eye brows shot up in response.

"You don't know? Hah, that's rich.", Gabriel chuckled. "Sammy boy, there's a reason my little brother always waits until you leave to show up for a visit."

"What-?" Sam's mind pieced it together, and his jaw dropped. "Are you serious?"

"As a heart attack. Part of the reason Cas was cast down so quickly. Mikey wasn't too thrilled having to listen to Uriel bitching about Dean and Cas getting so close, so he reeled him back and sent him to Bible Boot Camp. When that didn't work, he had his Grace stripped.", Gabriel explained.

"Dude.", was all Sam could say. His mind worked around that information for a moment, and it still wasn't making sense. "My brother is gay?"

"Not gay, exactly. Just... angel-sexual, if you will. And I'm pretty sure if anyone but you said that to him, they'd never see the light of day again. But, just to be safe, if you repeat that to him, make sure you've got a good head start.", Gabriel suggested, making Sam laugh. He could see Dean's expression if he ever said anything of the sort to him. Anyone else would certainly die.

"And let me guess, I didn't hear it from you?", Sam asked with a grin.

"Nah, tell him, doesn't bother me. What can he do?", Gabriel asked with a shrug. "He thinks I'm dead, and even if he didn't, he knows I could I kick his ass and that Cas can't do a damn thing to me."

"So wait, does Cas know about this?", Sam wondered.

"What, that your big bro digs him? Are you kidding? Cas wouldn't know attraction if it jumped him.", Gabriel scoffed. "Not that Dean-o has been particularly subtle about it, but Cas takes oblivious to a whole new level. He thinks his warm and fuzzy feelings for your pinhead brother are unrequited."

"Wow." Sam sat back in his seat, trying to absorb this new information. It all made sense, and he was absolutely itching to use it against them.

"But enough about brothers and their cluelessness." Gabriel waved his hand, as if shooing the subject away. "I didn't bring you here to talk about them."

"Then why did you bring me here?", Sam asked.

"To talk about something substantially more important. Me.", Gabriel answered with a smug grin. "Well, and you, but mostly me."

"Uh huh." Even after dealing with them for so long, angels still confused him, especially this one. Assuming Gabriel would explain, Sam kept his silence.

"Sammy boy, I don't know if you've noticed, but we've got a problem. And I'm not talking about blood addictions or demon whores or my little brother trying to wear you like a suit and turn the Earth into a demon Prom Night." Gabriel put his hands on the table, looking at Sam. Sam blinked.

"Okay... And what problem is that?", Sam wondered. He'd pretty much listed all the ones Sam could think of.

"You and I, Sammy boy. We. Us." Gabriel's expression made Sam think that this was a little more serious that he'd anticipated, but Sam really didn't think of their... association as that much of a problem. Sure it was all kinds of screwed up, and possibly a major sin, but not necessarily bad.

"And what about us has you so worried?"

"Well, for starters, the fact that I'm an archangel, you're a recovering demon blood addict, and I can't get enough of you, which is so many kinds of wrong I don't even know where to start.", Gabriel replied. Sam could read the frustration on the archangel's face. "Kiddo, I've been around the block a couple times and never before, in any of the lives I've lead, have I found a human that's as captivating to me as you are. And really, you just came at me out of no where! I go to check on my little bro, see who Dad has stuck him with and figure out why Mikey was so pissed at the Winchester boys. When I track you boys down, what do I find? Castiel ready to give up everything he's ever known for your brother. Dean, who was probably the most annoying human I've ever had to deal with, and you, and since the day I met you, I haven't been able to get you the hell out of my head."

Sam wasn't sure where he decided to abandon logic; maybe somewhere in the middle of Gabriel's speech. He didn't know or care, really. Gabriel was acting like he was the only one who was baffled and confused with this latest twist thrown into their lives, which, all things considered, was so mind blowingly funny that it shot past funny to just plain wrong because, really? He'd managed to confuse an archangel without even trying. It was kind of like watching someone on a motorbike hit a stop sign head on. You really shouldn't laugh, but the absurdity of it all just makes laughter necessary. He was so screwed.

"Gabriel, stop panicking. This is..." Okay, he didn't actually know what this was just yet, but he knew it didn't deserve the caution Gabriel was treating it with. "What exactly are you worrying about, Gabriel? It's not like I can do anything to harm you that you can't bounce back from."

"Kiddo, you single handedly jump started the apocalypse. There's not a lot I'd bet you couldn't do.", Gabriel answered without a laugh in sight.

Okay, not the reaction he was going for. Sam frowned at the determination on Gabriel's face and decided that that wasn't a compliment. Something really was wrong. "Look, Gabriel, just tell me what's going on, okay? What problem are you so afraid of?"

"What all angels are afraid of. Falling.", Gabriel replied. There was sorrow on Gabriel's face and the word 'falling' made Sam's stomach tumble to his shoes.

"Are you falling?", Sam blurted out. Smooth, Winchester, he thought with a wince.

"Not yet, but I'm getting damn close.", Gabriel sighed. He gave Sam a slight smile from the other side of the booth, twisting his fingers together. "You Winchester boys seem to be an angel trap. Every one of us who comes in contact with you has fallen."

"Cas hasn't-"

"He's almost out of grace, Sammy boy. I'd be very surprised if he lasted to the Apocalypse. He's given up everything he's ever known for Dean, and you."

"And what about you? You haven't given up-" Sam's mouth clamped shut on the words before he could say them. Gabriel had given up his life to save them from Lucifer, had risked his life and his grace and the wrath of his brothers to help them. Gabriel, thankfully, read the regret and realization on Sam's face as he realized how wrong he was. "So what are you saying here?"

"I'm saying that I've lived for over two millenniums, and I don't have a damn clue what to do with you.", Gabriel answered. Seemed honesty was the word of the day, and wasn't that a switch for the Archangel turned Trickster turned Archangel. "To risk sounding horribly cliché, and I swear that if you repeat a word of what I'm about to say to Cas or that bone head you're genetically related to I will smite your albeit nice ass from here to the gates of Hades, this thing – us – it's just not a good idea."

"Ye olde duh.", Sam scoffed. "So, let me get this straight. You're breaking up with me?" The absurdity was astounding and Sam couldn't believe he was discussing a break up between he and an archangel. Well, Dad always said a Winchester doesn't know the meaning of the word normal.

"If you want to call it that, sure. Sam, I can't – I'm already risking everything by being here with you, and we both know what'll happen if my brothers find out I'm still alive. So we should just make this easier on both of us and end this now before someone gets hurt."

"You're serious." Sam really didn't know what to say about this. As far as he knew, this was just Gabriel killing time. Sure it was fun, and when you got past the ego Gabriel was a great guy, one who Sam could identify with, wanting to get away from your family to have a life of your own. But that didn't explain why everything in Sam was screaming at him to change Gabriel's mind. This wasn't right, wasn't how this story was supposed to end. How was he the only one who could see that?

"It'll be better in the long run, Sammy."

"How? Explain that to me, Gabe.", Sam asked, trying to stay level headed.

Gabriel's head shot up. There were only two instances where Sam had ever used that nickname, and this wasn't either of them. Sam glared at him, not speaking. The ball was in Gabriel's court now.

"Sam, do you have any idea what could happen? I can't – Look, you're a liability to me." Gabriel's words cut him to the core, and Sam had to keep his jaw shut so he didn't let out a string of profanity that would have had his mother heading for the kitchen sink to get a bar of soap. "I've been looking out for you boys from a distance to protect you, and do you have any idea how many times Mike or Raph have almost found me? If they know I'm still around, it won't be long until Lucy hears about it and then all of Hell really will break loose. I can't risk that, not after everything else."

Sam's hand was clenched into a fist under the table. Typical fucking Gabriel. Running when the fighting gets too tough. The young Winchester brother had to search his mind for words that weren't four letter expletives, and when he found them, it took him a moment to string a coherent sentence together. "So that's it? Things get too risky and you bail?" Not Stanford quality, but it would do.

Gabriel was trying not to take that jab too personally. Sam was hurt, angry beyond words and was having a hard time seeing past that. It wasn't often that the Winchester temper showed in John and Mary's youngest son, but it was showing then. "Sam, this has nothing to do with how I feel about you. Which is a shock in itself because I shouldn't be able to feel anything for you."

"Right.", Sam snapped back. Gabriel glared at him, his temper rising slowly but steadily. Time to pull out the big guns. He didn't want to hurt Sam, but if he needed to, he would.

"Winchester, don't you get it? We are done. I'm not getting myself killed over you and your Team Free Will crap. Once was quite enough, thanks.", Gabriel scoffed.

"Tell me the truth. Why are you doing this?", Sam demanded. He had no idea why he was getting so worked up over this. He and Gabriel had just been something fun, a way of release for Sam and a way to piss Dean off for Gabriel. It wouldn't be the first time the Trickster had lied to him, but this? He knew something was off here and if he was getting dumped, by an Archangel no less, then he wanted a straight answer.

"You can't demand anything of me, Winchester.", Gabriel told him lowly, the black shadows of his wings appearing behind him. Sam felt them ghost against his face and knew exactly what this was. Gabriel was showing his muscle. "This has been nothing but trouble since day one, and I've got more than enough outside of you."

Sam scoffed, then stood up. If that was the game he wanted to play, so be it. "This is no picnic for me either. You think I like having to keep secrets from Dean when he still doesn't trust me? You think I like seeing Cas mourn one of the only brothers he had left when I know full well that you're not only alive, but able to get inside my head?"

"Well, you won't have to worry about that anymore. Walk out that door, and this will be the last you see of me.", Gabriel answered. Sam watched him for a minute, unable to figure out what he was seeing as Gabriel stared back at him. Sam shook his head, then said,

"Fine. You want to throw this away, that's completely up to you. I'm not fighting you anymore. Enjoy your perfect life, Gabriel." Sam walked out of the restaurant and didn't need to look back to know Gabriel was watching every step he took.

A week later and Sam was reasonably sure that Dean was just about ready to kill him. He couldn't blame him. When he arrived back at the hotel after his show down with Gabriel, he'd walked in to find Dean and Cas waiting up for him. Dean took one look at him and winced as Sam slammed the door shut and walked into the bathroom.

When Sam had taken a shower and exited, Dean was sitting on his bed facing the bathroom and waiting, with no Castiel in sight. He looked at Sam, who ignored him entirely and walked over to his bed where his duffel bag lay on the floor. "What happened, Sammy?"

Sam ignored him, rooting through his bag to pull out a t-shirt and a pair of sweats. He changed into them, tossing his jeans into his bag with a muted anger, then climbed into bed. Dean walked over to the bed, sat on Sam's other side and began kicking him. Not so as to leave a mark or cause damage, just annoy him so he stayed awake.

"Dean, fuck off, okay?", Sam snarled, punching his pillow into a more comfortable state and throwing his head back into it. Why was he so damn angry about this? So he'd been dumped. Big deal, it had happened before. It wasn't that that was bothering him. It was the fact that Gabriel had lied about why he was dumping him, acted like it hadn't even mattered. Which, realistically, should have been the case on both sides. He was a human, Lucifer's vessel to be exact, and he was dating (?) an archangel. It was doomed from the start, so why the hell was it bothering him so damn much?

Dean had taken Sam's order and actually listened to it. Whether it was because Dean was afraid there was demon blood involved or if he had some kind of big brother sixth sense that told him something was genuinely wrong with his baby brother, Sam didn't know. What he did know was that, the following day, Castiel was no where in sight which meant Dean was in a miserable mood and Sam was in no mood to deal with it. Fortunately, there had been a call from Bobby about a case, so they had something to do. The brothers had separated, Dean going to talk to witnesses and Sam doing research in the library. Sam was thankful because if he had to deal with Dean's bitchiness while he himself was a short distance from taking his gun and blowing stuff up, he was sure there would be a fight and one or both brothers would be dead by the end of it. 'Well', he'd reflected. 'That would be one way to keep Lucifer from using my body as a meat suit.'

That was the pattern they'd fallen into for the next few days, barely saying a word to each other outside of necessity. It was like it had been when Dean had just been pulled out of Hell and Sam was knee deep in his addiction. Sam hated it, but he hated the thought of telling Dean about he and Gabriel and having to deal with Dean's judgment more. By the end of the fifth day though, Sam's anger and confusion had ebbed away until he was left with nothing but an overwhelming urge to talk to Dean about everything. It was like there was a hole somewhere in his mental shields and everything Sam was feeling wasn't quietly being boxed into a separate compartment; it was sloshing around in his head until the only thing he could think was Gabriel. Somewhere, Sam was sure, Gabriel was laughing at him.

Sam sat in the hotel, waiting for Dean to get back from an interview. He was going to tell him. Since Cas had returned the day before, Dean's mood had, unsurprisingly, sky rocketed, so Sam wasn't entirely as nervous as he had been at the thought of telling his brother about he and Gabriel. All he knew was that he was in trouble and no matter what he'd done before, Dean had always managed to get him out of it. God willing, Dean could work his magic and save Sam from being helplessly hooked on an archangel that didn't want him. It was a lot to wish for, but if anyone could do it, it was Dean.

Imagine his shock when Dean stormed into the hotel room, looking steamed.

"Okay, that does it! I have had more than enough of this shit. Sammy, start talking right the hell now.", Dean demanded, standing in front of Sam as he sat on his bed. Sam thought that this was painfully ironic. Hadn't they stood in this same position not a week before, just the roles had been reversed?

"What are you talking about, Dean?", Sam asked. If Dean was drunk, anything could happen, and without Cas around to reel him in, Sam did mean anything.

"You come storming in here after sneaking out to go have dinner with Gabriel, all pissy and not saying anything.", Dean raged. Sam felt the world pitch sideways. Dean knew? He read his younger brother's face and let out a bark like laugh. "Yes, I knew. Cas told me. Hello, you're my baby brother. After all the shit with Ruby, do you really think I'd let you out of my sight without Cas watching your back? Then, after your little bitch fit, we don't speak for days. I know I was in a snit, but you were glaring at anything that moved in your presence like it would burst into flames! What the hell, Sam?"

"You knew?", was all Sam could ask. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I wanted you to trust me so I didn't push. I wanted you to tell me.", Dean answered. "I wake up and you're gone and all I can think is, 'Oh God, what if something happened and I wasn't there to stop it?' Then Cas pops in and tells me he's sensing Gabriel's mojo all over town, so we go to check it out. Then I see you arguing with Gabriel in a restaurant and you storm out. So spill. What the hell happened? How long has Gabriel been back for? Why the fuck didn't you tell me? I thought we agreed no more secrets. And most importantly, why the hell didn't you tell me you were in love with him?"

Sam's world stopped.

Dean looked at the expression of horrified realization on Sam's face and his hands dropped to his side. Sam wasn't even looking at his brother anymore. He was asking himself how in the hell he'd gone and gotten into this mess. He was in love with an archangel. 'FUCK. MY. ENTIRE. LIFE.'

"Oh God. Sammy, talk to me, man. Look at me, something.", Dean pleaded, sitting next to his younger brother as Sam's expression morphed from horrified realization to heart breaking rejection.

Sam's mouth started moving and apparently the sounds coming out of it made some kind of sense to Dean because he nodded and his expression changed as Sam told him the entire story. How Gabriel had come back from the dead and begun following them, only letting Sam know he was still alive. How it had eventually slid to Gabriel taking him on trips in his sleep, and how somewhere along the line, he'd fallen hard and fast for the archangel.

When Sam's tale closed on his parting words to the archangel, Dean sat back on the bed and whistled lowly. "Sammy, you're screwed, little brother."

"Thanks, I kind of gathered that.", Sam sighed, throwing himself backwards onto the bed. "What do I do, Dean? Is there such a thing as an angel rehab?"

Dean laughed at that, then took the spot next to Sam, the two brothers laying on their backs and staring up at the ceiling. "Somehow, I really doubt it. Best thing you can do really is wait it out."

Sam stared at him. "Wait it out? How the hell can I do that? I'm in love with an archangel!"

"There's a song in there somewhere.", Dean mused. Sam kicked him in the shin. "Ouch. Look, Sammy, I know it sucks. Believe me, I know. But all you can really do is wait it out. You'll move on sooner or later."

"Have you?", Sam asked. Dean froze, then leaned back on his arms.

"From Anna? Sure."

"No, not from Anna, Dean."

"Don't know what you're talking about. Bitch."

So denial really isn't just a river in Egypt, Sam mused to himself. He looked at Dean, who apparently found the ceiling fascinating. "Jerk... But really, Dean?"

"Shut up, Sasquatch.", Dean told him, then climbed off the bed and headed for the bathroom. Sam grunted and put a pillow over his head, debating the merits of self strangulation when Dean's voice floated from the bathroom, followed by the shower beginning to run. "And anyway, at least he's not an archangel like some people I could mention."

"Oh because being a fallen angel makes such a difference.", Sam retorted, then threw his pillow at him. He was sliding into a dream like state when something heavy and wet landed on his chest, and no matter what Dean says, he did NOT squeak. He jumped from the bed and lifted his soaked pillow for inspection. Dean snickered from the bathroom, and Sam heard the shower get shut off. "You jerk!"

By the end of the next week, Sam was moody, irritable and not sleeping. As a result, Dean was just about ready to kill any angel they came into contact with, excluding Castiel. Sam was lying in the newest hotel room turned base for the Winchester brothers, looking up some basic lore on the latest denizen of hell they were trying to stop from killing innocent people, when the door to the hotel was thrown open by Dean.

"What-?", Sam began to ask.

"No time. Get in the car.", Dean ordered, then dashed away from the door. Sam grabbed his coat, bag and his gun and followed Dean to where the Impala was parked. Sam threw himself in the back seat, waiting for Dean to follow. He looked up and saw Dean and Cas standing outside, looking at him. Dean smirked at him, and Cas began to preform a ritual Sam wasn't familiar with.

"What the hell?", he asked in confusion.

"Consider this my brand of angel rehab, little brother. You'll thank me later.", Dean informed him while explaining absolutely nothing. Sam's eyebrow arched, and the next moment, Dean, Cas, the Impala and the hotel parking lot ceased to exist. Sam blinked, and found himself standing in a world of nothing but washed out light and staring at Gabriel.

"Gabriel?", Sam asked. Gabriel frowned at him, and Sam realized that he was trapped in a circle of holy oil.

"Sam.", Gabriel replied. "Fancy meeting you here."

"What happened?", Sam asked, walking over and inspecting the circle.

"Our brothers decided to trap me here. Tell Dean he's a dead man when I get a hold of him.", Gabriel scowled.

"Why?", Sam wondered.

"Apparently, according to your pinhead brother's logic, seeing me would somehow manage to get you out of the bitch fit you've been in the last two weeks.", Gabriel answered. "Why the hell I'm even involved, I'll never know."

Oh Dean. Sam wanted to groan, but kept his mouth shut. That would be just like his big brother; if the problem doesn't solve itself, run through the most obvious answers until it does. Sam paced another lap around the circle, pondering a way out of this. He knew Cas had to be listening; Dean wouldn't send him to... somewhere with a trapped and probably beyond pissed off archangel for company without he and Cas keeping a careful eye on them. But, and he chalked this up to Ruby's influence and a lifetime of living with Dean, he didn't want to let Gabriel go so fast. He wanted answers, and he would get them, so he resolved to play dumb.

"Not to interrupt the emo fest that is your mind, Winchester, but you mind getting me out of this? I've got things to see and people to do, so if you wouldn't mind.", Gabriel requested in that special way of his that made it sound like the most reasonable thing in the world and that you were possibly the dumbest person in said world. Sam frowned, then stopped.

"Cas isn't going to let you out of here, you know. Even if I do get you past the fire.", Sam told him. Chances were, Dean was hiding in an angel bubble somewhere watching this whole thing and he and Cas had dreamed up some way to ensure their brothers talked. If it wouldn't make him look like a lunatic, he'd flip a one fingered salute to every corner of the room, just to be on the safe side.

"Castiel knows better than to fuck with me when I'm in a mood.", Gabriel told him.

"Oh? Good to know I'm not the only one you've been a total bitch to.", Sam snipped back, crossing his arms over his chest. Gabriel looked like he was a step away from setting fire to him with a glare.

"Oh for Father's sake! Are you in on this too?", Gabriel demanded.

"No, Dean just threw me in here. I had nothing to do with this, but I've been wanting a minute alone with you for the last two weeks.", Sam told him.

"Didn't seem that way when you stormed out of the restaurant – sticking me with the bill, thank you very much – and told me to 'enjoy my perfect life'.", Gabriel told him, using quotations around Sam's words. Sam stared at him incredulously.

"Seriously? You're blaming this on me?", Sam asked. "Gabriel, you broke up with me and didn't even give me the truth about why you doing it! Of course I was angry, but if anyone is to blame here, it's you!"

"I was trying to do you a favor, you uppity little bastard!", Gabriel retorted.

"How, by -" Lying to me? Breaking my heart?Sam's mouth snapped shut over the potential answers. No way was he being the chick here. Gabriel was in the wrong; Sam would not go crawling back to him. "By not even having the balls to be honest and tell me the truth?"

"There's no talking to you about sane, rational, self preservation behavior is there?", Gabriel scoffed. "Sam, you want the truth? Here it is. I left you because I'm a fucking archangel and I figured it would be better for you to be rid of me now instead of having to deal with your genetic Winchester suicidal tendencies taking you away from me!"

Sam stared at the archangel in front of him. While most of his profs at Stanford had told him he was incredibly bright when it came to understanding law texts, they usually paired that with saying that he wasn't too quick on the uptake when subtext was involved(except the psychology teacher who he was pretty sure was a demon in disguise). Fortunately for him, there was no subtext involved here.

"You dumped me because you were afraid of me dying?", Sam clarified, and Gabriel remained sullenly silent. A light bulb went off in Sam's head, and everything became clear. "You're in love with me?"

"Against my better judgment.", Gabriel grumbled, his arms folded over his chest and his eyes downcast. Sam felt a grin almost split his face in half, but he stifled it.

"You could have just told me you were worried, you know. You didn't have to act like a dick and dump me.", Sam explained, putting his hands in his pockets as he took a step towards the ring of holy fire.

"Would you have listened? Your job is dangerous, I get that. You and your brother are trained fighting machines. Hell, you, Cas and Tweedle Dumber are the only things that stand between humanity and a very nasty hurricane of hellfire and brimstone.", Gabriel scoffed. "But I can't help the fact that I want to keep you out of the line of fire."

"I probably wouldn't have listened.", Sam admitted. "But if I'd told Dean earlier, you could have come with us." Probably. If the archangel had just appeared in the motel room and said, 'Honey, I'm home!', Dean would most likely have shot him on sight. "But why did you lie to me? You could have just said-"

"Probably for the same reasons you didn't tell me that you were in love with me." Sam's jaw snapped shut. "Oh yeah, I had a heart to heart with Dean when he and Cas teamed up and yanked me to them. Your brother has quite the set of lungs on him, I thought his head would explode from the decibels he was reaching. But while he was yelling, he pretty much threatened to find a way to kill me if I didn't, and I quote, 'Grow a pair, get over whatever issues you've got, and make an honest man' out of you."

Sam didn't want to hear anything else. His sneaker brushed through the line of holy fire, the fire extinguishing in the sand below. With the line broken, Gabriel stepped out and Sam would swear that there was uncertainty in the archangel's hazel eyes. "So.", Gabriel said.

"So. This place is pretty depressing.", Sam commented.

"Yeah, I don't think I'll be asking them for their decorator.", Gabriel agreed. "You realize our brothers are probably making googly eyes at each other as we speak?"

Sam didn't want to think about it, but a wicked smile formed on his face. "Hmm. Think you can get us out of here? Track them down?", Sam asked, quirking his mouth into a grin. Mischievous light flooded Gabriel's eyes and he shrugged.

"And leave this lovely landscape?", Gabriel joked, gesturing to the miles and miles of nothing that stretched around them.

"Well, we should go see them, let them know that everything got worked out. I would hate for them to be left out of the loop.", Sam sighed melodramatically, and when Gabriel's face smoothed into an evil smile, Sam knew that he got the plan. Dean and Cas had been dancing around each other for months, so one more inconvenient interruption wouldn't hurt them. "So?"

"Hold on, handsome." The Trickster snapped his fingers and the world around them melted away. Sam felt his feet hit carpet and he looked over to see he and Gabriel had returned to the motel room. Cas was sitting on the near by bed, and Dean was pacing in front of him mid rant.

"Hey, guys.", Sam greeted. Dean jumped a mile into the air, then spun around with wide eyes. He glanced between his brother and the Trickster, and Sam would bet he had counted how many steps it would take for him to grab Cas and get to the Impala before Gabriel turned him inside out and used him for a coaster.

"That was quite the trick you two kids cooked up. I'm almost impressed.", Gabriel spoke up from beside Sam. The shorter Archangel was bouncing on the heels of his feet and Sam couldn't help but chuckle, a smile on his face.

"We had no ill intentions, Gabriel. We were concerned for you and Sam.", Castiel answered, standing next to Dean.

Gabriel smiled, then shrugged. "I know, little bro. Otherwise you and Dean would be in the middle of a very unpleasant Alaskan snow storm right about now. But your trick worked."

"So you two are... okay?", Dean asked.

"Yeah, we're gonna be fine.", Sam answered, exchanging a grin with Gabriel.

"Good. Now, just so you can never say you weren't warned.", Dean explained, looking at Gabriel. "That's my little brother you're dating. I've killed angels, demons, ghosts, vampires and ghouls to protect that kid. Hurt him and you had better kill me where I stand 'cause I'll be coming for you."

"Dean-", Sam groaned, frowning at his brother.

Gabriel looked at the older Winchester then smiled. "And that's my little brother that you're dating. Same goes, Winchester. But, I can appreciate where you're coming from, so you have my word that your brother will never be harmed by me. I love him."

"That's all I ask.", Dean replied then turned to Sam. "You love him, Sammy?"

Sam blushed. "Yeah, I do, Dean."

"Good. Now that that's out of the way, let's go get food. I'm starved.", Dean announced, grabbing his leather coat.

"You're always hungry, Dean.", Sam argued with a chuckle, catching his coat in mid air when Dean tossed it to him.

"You calling me fat, Sasquatch?", Dean asked, picking up his car keys.

"No, but what if you're pregnant? Think of the scandal!", Gabriel asked. Castiel turned a concerning shade of pink and Dean sputtered for a moment. He quickly regained his composure, but the bright red of his face didn't go away.

"Quiet, you. And anyway, creating an alternate dimension so you two could have your little crying session took a lot out of me. I'm a growing boy after all."

Sam rolled his eyes and watched with a half smile as Cas, the perfect picture of someone in love with a man who had all the social grace of a teaspoon, followed Dean out the front door. Gabriel laughed as he walked towards the door, intent to see his brother's newly acquired human traits. Before walking out, the Trickster turned around and smiled at Sam, giving him a wink before he vanished out the front door.

From the parking lot, Sam could hear Dean yelling for him to hurry his ass up over the roar of the Impala, and let out a laugh. Shrugging his jacket on, Sam grabbed the motel room key and walked out the door.

AN: That's it, guys! Thanks for reading, and please feel free to let me know what you think. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Have a great 4th of July, everybody, and I'll see you next time!

Much love,
Oracle. (L)