Notes: So after more than a year of writing nothing for SPN I suddenly had a bizarre spell of inspiration. For this. This travesty of a oneshot set in an alternate reality.
In order to read this story assume that everything is the same, only not.
If there was one universal truth that every man should adhere to it was to never trust a creature that called itself Trickster.
Gabriel had established a long time ago that he was no saint. At first maybe, in some long ago time before the universe had been left to its own devices by the bored and careless being that had created it. Back then he'd been nothing short of perfect obedience. The middle child, aware that his creator respected the eldest and loved the youngest more than him. Well adjusted, or as much as he could be.
Then had come the drastic change. The abandonment. And Gabriel's sainthood, his holiness, had soon proven to be as inconstant as his father's love.
He had followed suit and fled, leaving his brothers to their own devices, had come to earth and learned very quickly to disguise what and who he was. Had learned that perhaps he wasn't as well adjusted as he'd assumed. Lies came easily to him, much easier than he'd expected. Deception, violence, revenge and rebellion, sex, gluttony, and other unholy pursuits. It all came so, so easily. A new life, filled with perversion and self-gratification.
He embraced it all and took on a new name.
Nameless, and older than the oldest of the things humans called gods. It was one of his better tricks, he thought, to let them think that he was just another one of them. The body helped. A human vessel, tricked into letting him in, immutable in shape and form just like those other pagan creatures.
Although sometimes, if you looked at him just right from the corner of your eye, you could still see the shadow of wings. The last vestiges of anything angelic and holy.
From deep within his ivory tower the mortal creature that had once been Dean Winchester gave a soft sigh as he watched his family through the looking glass, and wished not for the first time that they could have been happy in a world where he existed.
The boy was only twelve years old when the Trickster first saw him. A scrawny, lanky scrap of a boy with a face dusted in freckles and a stubborn tilt to his jaw. But even then he'd exuded promise; Big hands, the cupids bow curve of his lips and the tilt of his cheekbones all pointed towards the boy growing into classic male beauty. At the time the Trickster had dismissed the boy as an afterthought, more concerned with the father – a fairly formidable hunter who might figure out who he was and try to stab him with a stick. Despite it not being the least bit fatal he was never too keen on being stabbed.
So the Trickster had dismissed his work in the town and moved on to another one, dismissing both hunter and boy from his mind.
He crossed their path again two and a half years later, the boy fourteen now and definitely growing into his looks. The change was dramatic enough to catch his attention and reassess just how pretty the boy might grow up to be. He gave up on his current trick and focussed instead on the plush promise of the boy's mouth, the wide hazel eyes, and the wiry body with muscles toned from hunter-style training.
He thought about all of that and felt a low thrum of want that started on the edges of his being and slowly sank inwards to the very core of him. After a few thousand years of nothing but self-gratification the Trickster wasn't the sort of god to deny himself. Human rules weren't something he normally bothered with either and he briefly contemplated pulling a Zeus and just outright taking what he wanted. But the more he thought about it, and the more he watched the boy, the less satisfaction he got from the idea.
The Trickster wanted him. Wanted to have him completely. All to himself, no hesitation and no interruption. And forever. Why not add forever?
He stalked the Winchesters obsessively after coming to that decision, keeping himself invisible and silent as he learned everything he could about them. The hunter father, John, was a perfect example of the 'spare the rod, spoil the child' school of upbringing. His watchword was 'discipline', and he was far more likely to offer a correction or a curt word than to offer any praise to his eldest. Dean was expected to be able to look after himself and his younger brother alone, to cook, clean, and look after a child when he was barely more than one himself. The youngest, Sam, didn't seem to make things easy either. While he clearly adored his older brother he also didn't understand or enjoy anything about the hunter life. The younger boy just wanted to be normal, and that put a strain on his relationship with both older Winchesters.
The Trickster watched and learned and stalked the family for the better part of a year, making notes of all the buttons that he could push and all of the things he could use to achieve his aims.
He hadn't been planning on making a move for at least another six months when it happened. A 'routine' hunt. Sam alone in the motel room while John took Dean along for backup. Supposedly it was something simple, and it would have been had John not turned his back for a second too long and left his eldest on his own. Alone Dean was outmatched and quickly unarmed. The gun was thrown too far away, claws dragging downwards through the air towards his face.
The Trickster couldn't bear the idea of anything marring that face.
He stepped in without intending to, a snap of his fingers stopping time to freeze the creature in place, claws an inch away from Dean's face.
Shocked, the boy leapt back, eyes wide and alert as he looked around for an explanation. He obviously wasn't expecting to see the Trickster appear from thin air, his form unassuming enough that it was hard to believe he had much power at all. They were about the same height, Dean perhaps an inch or two shorter and yet to hit his final growth spurt. The Trickster's form was slender, with an average sort of build, his hair and eyes both a warm, unexceptional brown. He was even dressed in an unremarkable way in jeans and green button-up layered over white t-shirt.
"Well," he announced himself cheerfully, "that's enough of that I'd say, kiddo. What's say we send the nasty old ghoul out to rot in the middle of the Antarctic?"
He snapped his fingers again and the ghoul disappeared, supplanted (as he'd said) right into the middle of the Antarctic Ocean. With very little chance of surviving. He was a little jealous when it came to protecting his things.
Dean's grip tightened on the knife he had left, though he was smart enough to realise it likely wouldn't do any good. "What are you?" he asked, the confidence in his voice good, but not quite good enough to fool the Trickster. "What do you want?"
"Want?" the Trickster repeated, spreading his hands to show that he was just a helpful passer-by. "What makes you think I wanted anything except to save your sweet little hunter self?"
The boy snorted. "Yeah, right. Nobody does anything for free. Especially not… whatever you are."
"A smile might be nice. A bit of gratitude. A 'thanks for saving my life'."
"I could have handled it," the boy grumbled defiantly.
The Trickster smiled indulgently. "It would have ripped your face off if I'd been a smidge later. So not only did I save your life, I saved your face too. And I stopped time to do it, so you can still save face in front of your dad if you want to."
At the mention of his father the boy paled a little. He looked around, his gaze settling again on the Trickster, this time suspicious. "If you did anything to my dad…"
He chuckled. "Relax, tiger. The big bad John Winchester is safe and sound. Fifty metres to the left and one less ghoul to plague this sleepy little town, totally unaware that his own son was very nearly turned into chop suey."
The Trickster's smile grew as he watched the boy flush. The kid was intelligent enough to catch the implication he was making and protested firmly; "My dad's a good man."
"Doesn't necessarily make him a good father."
"What do you want?" Dean asked, cheeks red, eyes still suspicious and the set of his mouth stubborn. "If you want me to talk trash about my dad I'm not gonna do it. You saved me, and thanks for that, but I don't know you and I don't owe you anything."
Two quick steps brought him within arm's length of the boy, close enough that all he had to do was lean in to encroach on his personal space. "You don't owe me anything?" the Trickster repeated, low and smooth. "How about I bring that ghoul back here and let it finish you off? I can bring it back, Dean. I can do anything I want. I don't need your permission."
The red flush drained from the boy's skin and the Trickster knew that he understood. He smiled at Dean. The boy swallowed, gaze flicking down to the ground briefly. "I'm sorry. I'm… Thank you for saving my life."
The Trickster reached out and gently touched his fingertips to the boy's chin, making him look up. The moment his face was at the perfect angle the Trickster swooped in and laid a soft, barely there kiss to the cupid's bow mouth that he coveted so much. The touch was gentle, barely lasted more than a moment, but the boy's eyes were wide when he pulled back.
"You're welcome," the Trickster smirked at him.
He clicked his fingers and disappeared, setting the world to rights as he did so. This part of the woods unfroze, time continuing on in its usual manner. He hid invisible in the trees and watched how Dean just stood there for a minute before finally retrieving his gun. The boy then loped off to find his father, though the Trickster was certain he wouldn't say a word about what had happened to him.
Dean just wasn't that kind of boy, and John Winchester wasn't that kind of father.
From that point on was when he started slowly courting the boy, inserting his presence into Dean's life in small, innocuous ways. A piece of candy here, a small subtle reminder that he was about, watching, and powerful enough that salt lines had no effect on his ability to come and go as he pleased.
He began to send the boy dreams. Sensual things with images of far-away beaches with constant beautiful sun, the taste of chocolate-dipped strawberries and the scent of salt and coconut. Sexual acts in big, luxurious beds, details hazy except for warm brown eyes and male features. The Trickster would watch from afar when Dean awoke from those dreams, smirking to himself at the boy's embarrassment over soiled sheets or sticky boxers.
He didn't physically appear to the boy until after Dean started playing around with girls, flirting and dating with an enthusiasm that was obviously supposed to help him get over his dreams of male hands on his body. The Trickster made sure to stay close by, secretly conspiring to ensure that all of Dean's dates ended in the same way – usually in minor disaster. He chose to wait until Dean had failed to get to second base with his girl of the week, then appeared out of thin air next to the boy as he walked back 'home' alone.
"Boy it's just not your lucky night," the Trickster commented casually, hands stuffed into his pockets.
Dean snapped to attention, hand already halfway to some hidden weapon when he identified just exactly who it was that had appeared. After a small hesitation the hand dropped again, hanging limply by his side. "Leave me alone." A beat. "Unless you're going to kill me, in which case just get it the hell over with."
The Trickster clucked his tongue. "Why would I want to kill you, kid? That would just be a waste of time and potential."
"Potential," the kid rolled his eyes. "Right. Whatever."
"Don't sell yourself short. You've got a lot of potential, and I really don't like wasting my time. I wouldn't waste any on you if you didn't."
Dean looked at him, eyes narrowed, obviously sizing him up. It took guts, knowing what Dean must know about him by now. 'So, what?" the kid said after a while, "are you my guardian angel or something? Come to set me straight. Put me on the right path."
The Trickster laughed outright at that. "If I ever had a halo it'd be more crooked than a bee on crack. No, I'm no angel, kiddo. I'm not here to set you straight either."
He added just the right amount of leer to that statement to get the kid blushing again, a precious reaction in a boy who acted so tough. "Then what do you want?"
"I'm not going to tell you," the Trickster replied cheekily. "You're not ready to hear it."
Dean was silent a moment, looking at the ground in front of him. When he spoke up again it was to his sneakers rather than the being beside him. "You're not a demon or you wouldn't be able to cross salt lines. And demons can't stop time. I researched, you know. I looked it up. Nothing short of a demigod can stop time like that. I'm not stupid."
"So you've figure out what I am?" the Trickster asked with a grin. "What am I, Dean? Am I a demigod? A god? Am I figment of your imagination? Or just a wilful little spirit who only tricked you into thinking time had stopped?"
"You're a demigod," Dean answered, chin thrust stubbornly forward.
The Trickster thrust out an arm to stop him walking. They were close to the Winchester's motel now, close enough that the neon lights of the 'no vacancy' sign could be seen glowing against the road just a short walk away. "Close," the trickster conceded, though in reality Dean was as far from the truth as anyone ever was when it came to him. "So I'll let you in on a little secret…"
Dean could see it coming this time. The trickster let him. Leaned in close, slowly, reached up to brush a thumb against the boy's cheek before the kiss. Gentle slide of lips, coming together on the boy's bottom lip before finally pulling away just enough to look him in the eye.
"I can make it good for you, Dean. I could give you anything you want. Everything you want."
Dean looked at the trickster's lips, then away. "I don't think you could give me everything I want."
"You just don't know what you want yet," he assured the boy, full of confidence. "When you do, I'll be ready."
"I'm only fourteen. You know that, right?" Dean raised an eyebrow. "My dad's a hunter. My dad's friends are hunters. I've read those damn fairy stories. I know what happens when powerful whatevers offer you everything you want on a silver platter."
"Do you now?"
"Yeah. It always ends badly. Someone always dies."
"Not with me," the Trickster insisted, hand resting lightly on the boy's shoulder. "I only kill people who deserve it. You, your dad, your brother – you don't deserve it." He couldn't help but smirk. "And you haven't told them about me, have you?"
Dean pulled away from him then, brushed off his hand and stalked towards the motel as if he were a cat with its tail on fire.
In Dean's dream he's lying on a plush fur rug in front of a softly glowing fire. He knows he's in some kind of cabin, and everything around him is smooth and polished enough that it's only a rich man's imitation of rustic. There's a glass of wine resting on the floor by the rug and he knows it's his. He can taste something alcoholic and sweet on his lips and knows he's been drinking.
Hands touch the back of his shoulders and he realises he's naked from the waist up, dressed only in boxer briefs below. The hands on his back rub against his skin, massaging his shoulders and neck. It feels like he's going to melt into the rug. Lips press against the back of one shoulder, then the side of his neck, just below his ear. He tilts his head back and leans to one side, letting the owner of the hands kiss him before it registers who they belong to.
Brown eyes look into his own, unholy amusement shining from them. "I know you dream about me, Dean."
Because this is a dream he doesn't jump away or curse. He just blinks up at the demigod who's leaning over him on the rug. "This is a nice place," he comments, transparently trying to change the subject, "is it yours?"
"I made it for you. All of it." A smirk. "I thought we might have sex on this rug."
"You need me drunk to do that?" Dean asks, pointedly looking at the wineglass. "I don't want to do that," he adds. "Why are you even in my dream?"
"It's not healthy to question your own subconscious," the demigod points out, leaning in again. Gently he presses Dean back until he's lying against the rug, half-covered by the demigod's weight. "Just go with the flow, Deano. Have some fun before dull old reality kicks in." Lips press against his, strangely intoxicating, drawing the argument right out of him. "It's only a dream," the demigod adds in a murmur, "what could it hurt?"
"I'm fourteen," Dean repeats, though he has no idea why he thinks it would make any difference to say so in his sleep than in real life.
"Fifteen in a month," the demigod replies. Then there are more kisses and one thing seems to melt into another until suddenly he's awake, and aware that he'll need to change his shorts.
Two days after his fifteenth birthday Dean seemed to have become concerned enough about the Trickster to tell his father. He watched from afar as the boy explained to his father that he was being stalked by an unknown demigod. He also saw the brief, hurt look that crossed Dean's face when the hunter laughed.
"Son," John said to his son, "if any kind of god was stalking you then you'd know about it. Gods are cruel, mean, petty beings. They wouldn't follow you around having conversations and offering you candy."
Offended and hurt, Dean's beautiful lips clearly wanted to form into a pout. Stubbornly he didn't let them, instead asking; "So it's totally ok if it's just some creepy guy following me around?"
"You know how to take care of yourself," John replied, "or you ought to."
"But what if –"
"That's enough," John interrupted. "I'm dog tired, Dean, and I don't want to hear another word of it, you understand me?"
The Trickster let the marionette exit the room and shut itself into the master bedroom of the tiny rented apartment before he let it disappear. The real John Winchester was still a few hours away, coming back from his latest hunt. He watched Dean just stand there for a moment, totally unaware of any deceit, before he finally trudged off to the apartment's second bedroom. He was asleep by the time the real John got home, and when John didn't bring it up again neither would he.
John Winchester had become more hunter than man, driven to the edge of madness (so they said) first by the loss of his wife to the machinations of a demon and then, later, the loss of his eldest son to forces unknown.
"So what should I call you?" Dean asked him dryly, the next time he showed up. "I'm not just gonna call you 'demigod' and even if you are one it's not polite to just call you 'dick'."
"I'll have you know that's a very respectable name," the Trickster smirked. "In some parts of the world."
"Yeah, come on. I have to call you something."
Amused, he smiled at the boy. "Do you want my name or just something you can call me?" he teased. "I've got a lot of names, kiddo. You'd better choose wisely."
"Ok, fine. Give me your name. Your real name."
His smirk grew wider. "What are you going to give me if I do?"
Dean did not look impressed by the question. "You know my name," he pointed out stubbornly, "it's only fair."
"Who said anything about fair?" the trickster demanded. He graced the boy with a crooked grin. "If I give you my name – my real name – I'm going to want something from you. In fact, I want it before I tell you."
Dean looked at him warily, sizing him up as if to gauge his honesty. "What do you want?"
"I want a kiss. For you to kiss me," he clarified. "Kiss me on the lips, kiss me properly, and I'll tell you my name."
The boy looked even less impressed than he had before. But they'd kissed before and the Trickster knew full well that curiosity, and the potential to find out more about him by looking up his name, would outweigh any macho pride Dean might have. He saw the boy's eyes flick down to his lips, watched him lick his cupid's bow mouth.
"Fine," Dean answered finally. 'But you better tell me."
He let the boy come to him. Hesitant steps that brought them close together. Dean had grown a couple of inches in the past few months. They stood eye to eye now, the same exact height. The perfect height for Dean to lean in and kiss him, shy at first. A soft press that became firmer until it was a real kiss, until the way their mouths came together felt natural. The Trickster slipped a hand around Dean's waist, then let it dip down until he could grasp the firm flesh of Dean's ass through his jeans.
The boy startled and broke the kiss. The Trickster just smirked at him and squeezed.
"Anyone ever tell you that you're a perv?" Dean asked him.
"Loki," the Trickster answered dishonestly, giving him the name he had used most frequently after discarding his own.
Dean's eyes went wide suddenly, shocked and just a little bit afraid. It was the name that had done it. Recognition of a god not known for kindness or restraint, or of honest intentions towards humans. "Loki?" he repeated. "You're Loki?"
"Don't look so terrified, kiddo. My deeds have been exaggerated over the years." They hadn't in fact been exaggerated. If anything the years, and numerous mistranslations, had dulled the tales into bizarre fairy stories. The reality was much less whimsical. "But you can call me Gabriel if you want," the trickster added impulsively, and with a dull stab of pain close to his heart as he shared the oldest and truest of his names. "That's the name I use when I'm pretending to be human."
"Loki… Gabriel…" Dean bit his lip and stepped away. He ran a hand through his hair, tugging on the short strands. "I don't get it!" the words practically exploded out of him. "Why me? What do you want with me? I'm nothing. I'm just some hunter's kid. What does a freakin' god want with me?"
The Trickster looked at Dean as he considered the question. The boy was more than beautiful, the few tiny imperfections in him only serving to add more to the whole. And above that he was an intelligent, brave young man who knew more about self-sacrifice than most so-called 'holy men'. He was like a small, slightly broken piece of heaven. A shard of something pretty and bright that, if only he could just hold onto it, would bring the Trickster that much closer to the feeling of what it had been like before… when someone had loved him.
"You're worth more than you think you are," he answered finally, the ache to possess the boy even more prominent now than it had been when he'd first decided.
"You're a trickster!"
"Have I lied to you yet?"
"I don't know! How could I know! We're not exactly on an even playing field here!"
That last sentence had come out slightly hysterical, which made the trickster think it might be time to put a stop to this particular conversation. "Dean," he said firmly, shifting himself so that he was right in front of the boy and looking right into his eyes. "I want you. That's not a lie. I want to take you, and now you know for certain that I could. I could just snap my fingers and have you wherever I wanted you. I could break your spine as easily as cracking eggs. But I want you to be happy when I take you. I want you to come with me willingly and I'm ready to wait for however long it takes until you're ready. I'm a god. Time isn't exactly an issue for me, you know."
Dean didn't reply, just staring at him. Overwhelmed, confused and scared and trying not to show it.
The Trickster sighed. He leaned in and touched his lips gently to the boy's forehead. "Think about it. Think about what it would take to make you come with me. Then tell me what you want and I'll make it happen. Until then… Go home and go to bed."
"And you'll just be around?" Dean asked, slightly sarcastic.
"I'll be around," the Trickster confirmed.
The Trickster most frequently known as Loki looked at his consort and smiled a smile of most deepest contentment. He had exactly what he wanted, exactly where he wanted it, and he would keep it that way forever because he would (and always had) know exactly which buttons to push.