Summary: Welcome to the Lawrence High Supernatural Club, where mysteries are solved and truths are revealed. It's Sam Winchester's second year as a member of this unpopular after school club, and although he has no interest in Ghosts and Ghouls, he does have an interest in Gabriel Novak, the Club Chairman. Sam's just lucky that Dean and Castiel (the only other members) are so skilled in avoiding club meetings, leaving him alone with his long-time crush.
A/N: Dean is about a year older than Sam in this story for convenience sake. Cross-Posted on AO3 and my Livejournal. Written for the
Sabriel mini-bang over on LJ
"So that's it for announcements, kiddo, did you remember to bring the Grimoire?"
Sam Winchester looked up from the scrap of paper he had been doodling on as he tossed Gabriel the worn book. The Grimoire was the place where the Supernatural Club recorded all their knowledge of supernatural encounters. The book was filled with drawings, supplied by Castiel, and long descriptions of creatures and ghost stories penned by Gabriel in a neat cursive script that thoroughly contradicted his personality. Dean had contributed with sarcastic comments and annotations, whereas Sam preferred to add extra information, further reading, and bibliographies on sticky notes throughout the book. As the most responsible member of the group, Sam was in charge of keeping the book.
"Have you seen Dean-o and Cas today?" Gabriel asked, casually thumbing through the book.
"Yeah, they said they had to cram for a Chem test tomorrow," lied Sam, knowing full well that their brothers had skipped out on club to make out in the Impala. Sam would have kicked up a shitstorm about their betrayal if it wasn't for the fact that without the other two members of the club, he and Gabriel were left alone in the club room for a full hour.
Sam had been harboring a crush for the energetic senior since they met on the first day of Sam's freshman year, when Gabriel had bounded up to him at his locker.
"Hey kid, you're Dean's brother right?" Gabriel had grinned up at him. "I'm Gabriel, Castiel's older brother."
"Yeah, I'm Sam," he'd replied, holding his free hand out for Gabriel to shake enthusiastically. Gabriel handed him a flyer from the crook of his arm.
"Would you consider joining the Supernatural Club? We meet twice a week after school. Your brother's already agreed to become a member, so I figure you might as well join too Sammy. I think you'd really enjoy it."
"It's Sam," Sam had said, mostly out of habit, taken aback by the waves of excitement emanating from the golden-eyed senior.
"If you need more convincing, just come along to the meeting today in room 208, and take this," Gabriel had offered him a bright red lollipop. Sam took the lollipop from his outstretched palm, thanking the quirky boy, before watching bemusedly as Gabriel bounded away like an excitable puppy.
Yeah, Sam had it bad for a total lunatic.
After English that day, he'd made his way to room 208, which was barely even a room at all, and settled into his first meeting as a member of the Supernatural Club. Gabriel, as the chairman, explained the purpose of the club; to find the truth behind urban legends and myths, solve mysteries and hunt ghosts. Dean had immediately raised his hand to ask Gabriel how many ghosts he'd actually hunted, earning a swift kick under the table from his best friend. Sam knew that Dean had only joined the club because of Castiel. No matter how much he protested, anyone could see that Dean Winchester was utterly and completely whipped, and he didn't even know it.
When Castiel and Dean had finally got together at the end of Sam's Freshman year, he hadn't even blinked. It just seemed so natural. For as long as he could remember, it had always been Dean and Cas, Cas and Dean. They were practically attached at the hip since the moment they met in elementary school, and Sam had never seen anyone make his brother as happy as the quiet blue-eyed boy did. At first, Sam had been jealous of Castiel for taking up so much of Dean's time, but when Castiel began to spend more time at the Winchester house, Sam had gotten to know him better. Sam and Castiel had a lot in common, and became fast friend's bonding over Doctor Who and Star Trek. Dean fondly referred to them as his little dorks, but still curled up dutifully on the couch with them whenever they decided to have a Lord of the Rings marathon. Dean always claimed he was only there for the popcorn and hey, that elf chick is pretty hot, but Sam knew his brother just enjoyed spending time with Castiel.
The summer Dean and Castiel started dating, Gabriel began organizing what he liked to call mystery missions, which were actually a lot less Scooby-Doo than they sounded. Gabriel would find a building that was supposedly haunted, and drag the four of them out in the middle of the night to check if the rumours were true. More often than not, Dean and Castiel would disappear, leaving Gabriel and Sam with a flashlight and a pack of cards. That summer had passed quickly with Gabriel's missions to distract him, and by the time September came around, Sam had already signed up for another year of supernatural shenanigans.
So here he was, sixteen years old and spending every Monday and Thursday researching the occult in a vain effort to get the Senior he was in love with to notice him. Someone out there really did have it in for the younger Winchester.
"So I was thinking we could head out on a field trip this weekend," said Gabriel, pulling Sam back into the present.
"What sort of field trip?" asked Sam suspiciously. Suspicious tended to be a default reaction for anyone who'd spent even a fraction of a moment with Gabriel.
"The haunted kind," winked Gabriel, straddling the chair in front of Sam's desk. "I'm working Saturday and Sunday, but we could go tomorrow after dark?" said Gabriel conversationally. "Hey, you should stop by the shop this weekend, Mr. Emrys said you might like to check out the new stock."
"You're only saying that so I'll come by the store and keep you company," grinned Sam.
"Oh Sammy, you know me so well."
Together with Dean steering through the open window, the four boys rolled the Impala from the driveway and halfway down the street to avoid Mary and John hearing her engine fire up. They all piled into Dean's car, Castiel riding shotgun as always, with Sam folded uncomfortably in the back seat with Gabriel and a large duffle bag pressed into his side.
The abandoned house sat just outside of town, and twenty minutes later, Dean found himself picking the lock as Castiel held the flashlight and Gabriel munched contentedly on a king-sized snickers.
"Gabriel, are you sure nobody lives here?" Asked Sam.
"No-one lives here kiddo." shrugged Gabriel, as the door creaked open, Dean having finally worked out the locking mechanism.
"Okay, Cas and I'll take upstairs," said Dean, grabbing his boyfriend and dragging him up the ancient staircase to the upper floors.
"Well I guess that leaves us with the main floor then Sammy," Gabriel grinned. "I've got a good feeling about this one."
Sam followed Gabriel across the foyer and through a sculpted arch, leading to a spacious living room. Gabriel dumped his duffel bag of equipment on the bare floor, bending to search for his EMF and other ghost hunting equipment. Sam couldn't help checking out Gabriel from this angle, admiring the way his tattered old jeans curved around his ass. Luckily Sam caught himself staring before Gabriel did, flushing and turning his attention to the rest of the room. Moonlight trickled in through the large grimy windows, playing across the floor. The room was empty of all furniture and decoration, stains on the wall indicating where pictures had once hung. He gripped the flashlight tightly, pointing it at the bag as Gabriel zipped it up, having found everything he needed. He took one of the earbuds attached to the EMF and offered it to Sam so he could listen in on the sound waves. The pair were forced closer together as they walked so as not to dislodge the headphones, with Gabriel waving the curious device about. The pair made their way through some sliding doors and into the kitchen area, which was stripped bare of countertops and furniture like the living room.
"Still picking up nothing," said Gabriel, shaking his head gently.
"What about in here?" said Sam, pushing open a door to the side of the room, only to reveal a set of stairs leading down into a dark and damp-smelling cellar.
They crept down the concrete steps, Gabriel clutching the back of Sam's shirt for guidance in the dark. For once Sam was thankful that Gabriel had spent the last of their club money on the infrared camera currently hanging from around his neck, and not brighter flashlights. The basement, without the benefit of windows to let in the moonlight, was even darker than the upper level. Gabriel pressed closer into Sam's side as they walked through the narrow passage into what appeared to be an abandoned wine cellar. Unlike the rest of the rooms, the concrete cellar was filled with wooden racks, plastic sheets and other debris. Sam pointed the beam of light at the floor, noticing the way it glinted off the patches of broken glass. The EMF whined in Sam's right ear, and Gabriel's face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. He held up the infrared camera scanning the room for ghostly activity as Sam's cell vibrated in his pocket. Sam whipped it out irately.
"Nothing upstairs, stay downstairs with Gabe."
"It's from Dean," explained Sam.
"Kiddo, I told you that cell phones screw with the EMF," frowned Gabriel. "Turn it off."
"What if Dean and Cas need us?"
"Unless you haven't noticed, they're big boys now. You worry too much," smiled Gabriel, leaning up to ruffle Sam's hair affectionately. "You know Sammy, I -"
The flashlight flickered, interrupting the moment before plunging them into almost complete darkness.
"God damn it, have you got any spare batteries?"
"They're in the duffel upstairs, we'll just go grab them."
He was interrupted as a series of loud thuds echoed through the house.
"It's coming from upstairs, whispered Gabriel, grabbing Sam's hand in the darkness and scrambling in the general direction of the stairs. Their free hands ghosted over the dusty brick walls to guide them up the narrow stairway.
They had no trouble finding their way through the moonlit upper rooms, and after a quick dash up the same staircase their brothers had disappeared up earlier, they found themselves rounding the corner of the hallway to the source of the muffled sounds. Sam threw open the rotting door only to find his fellow club members tangled up in Castiel's ever-present trench coat on the floor under a window, in an apparent fit of hysterics.
"Are you guys okay?" asked Sam, relieved that everyone seemed to be conscious and unhurt. Dean and Cas looked over at their brothers, a light blush dusting Castiel's cheeks, and a disgruntled frown plastered on Deans face.
"Sammy, I told you to stay downstairs!" he grunted from under Castiel.
"We thought something had happened!" protested Sam.
"Well, Princess here didn't want to get his ass dirty," smirked Dean, earning a soft thump from Castiel.
"Dean, the floor's dirty, and I told you we both couldn't fit on that window ledge."
"We're just gonna go wait in the car," suggested Sam awkwardly.
"Hey Sammy, why are you guys holding hands?" asked Dean, glancing over at the doorway. They broke apart, Gabriel sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck.
"Our flashlight died in the cellar, and we were leading each other through the dark," explained Sam defensively.
"Yeah right, Bitch."
"Jerk," responded Sam, "come on Gabriel, we'll gather all the stuff and wait outside."
"Sure kiddo, I don't think this house is haunted anyway. The wallpaper isn't menacing enough," grinned Gabriel, closing the door behind them.
Sam was still tired the next morning, worn out by the harsh demands of being an amateur ghost hunter. As it was a Saturday, he'd slept in until he could no longer resist the scent of his mother's cooking drifting through the vents, and had padded softly downstairs for food, greeting his parents with a mumbled "G'morning." Dean was obviously thinking along the same lines as he appeared moments later in an old band t-shirt with his hair sticking up in odd directions.
"Hey Dean, could you give me a ride to the Emporium?" Sam asked once he'd finished his first slice of french toast."
"Sure, I'm meeting Cas at eleven so you better be ready to go five minutes before that."
Saturday breakfasts had always been an unspoken Winchester tradition, a time where everyone caught up with each other at the end of the week, or rather, a time for their parents to interrogate the boys.
"You boys wouldn't happen to know what happened to your mother's planter?" John inquired, and Sam almost choked on his breakfast remembering how Gabriel had tripped over it in the dark, trying not to laugh as Sam had rolled his eyes and practically lifted Gabriel back to his feet while Castiel tried valiantly to stifle Dean's loud bark of laughter with the palms of his hands. They'd righted the ruined planter as best they could, re-planting the crumpled looking flowers in a vague approximation of how they assumed the plants had looked before, but it was almost impossible to get all the dirt off the paved driveway.
"Those darn racoons!" Dean exclaimed unconvincingly.
"Well if you see this raccoon again, tell him to stay away from my wife's flowers,"
Dean mumbled a guilty "yes, Sir," before looking up at the clock and hastily declaring that he and Sam better go get ready to leave.
A bell jingled lightly overhead as Sam pushed open the door to The Emrys Emporium of Magic.
"Oh hello there Sam," said Emrys in his cheery british accent, "Would you like some tea? Biscuits? Perhaps I could read your tarot cards!"
"No, thank you," smiled Sam, throwing himself onto the leather couch in the corner of the store that was set up like a small living room.
"How may I be of service to you on this fine day?" asked the Shopkeeper, sitting down in the plush armchair beside the couch.
"I'm looking for Gabriel,"
"Pick a card," said Emrys producing a deck from thin air and offering it to Sam. Sam shuffled the deck experimentally before selecting a card, the two of spades.
"Now write your name on the card, don't let me see it, and slide it back into the deck," instructed the magician, handing a sharpie marker to Sam, along with the deck.
"So is Gabriel on lunch or something," asked Sam as he scribbled his name on the card and reshuffled it back to the deck, before placing the cards onto the sturdy oak coffee table.
"I sent him on an errand, have you got a lighter?"
"No sir," Replied Sam.
"There's really no need to lie to me Sam," the magician smiled softly, ignoring Sam's puzzled face.
"I'm telling the truth!" Sam exclaimed, pretending to be offended.
"Then what do you suppose this is?" Smirked the older man, producing a silver Zippo from behind Sam's ear.
"I see you've found my secret hiding place," laughed Sam, quietly stunned at the ease in which the magician preformed his tricks.
"Get ready Sam, here's the good part!" Clapped Emrys, snatching the deck enthusiastically from the coffee table and flicking the lighter on with practiced ease, the flames tickled the deck as Emrys waved the flame under the card's until they set alight. An ashtray was produced and Emrys dropped the still-burning cards into it before turning to Sam with inquisitive eyes. "So when are you planning on jumping my young employee?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about Mr. Emrys," mumbled Sam, suddenly becoming very interested in the laces of his shoes.
"Come off it, Everyone and their mothers can see this little love story playing out between the two of you, I'm merely curious as to whether you were going to make a move any time soon."
"He's my best friend. I can't risk losing him over a silly crush." frowned Sam. The magician looked at him sadly, plucking a single card from the dying embers.
"I can tell this runs far deeper than a silly crush," Emrys frowned, turning the card between his fingers absentmindedly. "Though surely if you took that risk and he reciprocates it would be worth it?"
"It's just hard, okay," Sam stated dejectedly. "Is that my card then?" he added quickly, trying to change the subject.
"Oh right, no, this is the Queen of Hearts," said the magician, handing the pristine card to Sam as the bell rang again signaling Gabriel's return.
"Sammy! You came!" Grinned Gabriel as Sam rushed to help him with the heavy-looking package he was carrying. Gabriel's sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, showing off his lightly muscled arms, toned mostly from lifting boxes in the shop.
"It's Sam," he said, returning Gabriel's bright smile. "And pass me one of those bags, they look heavy."
"My hero!" called Gabriel, pretending to swoon as Emrys laughed from across the room.
"Oh Gabriel, would you be a dear and check your back pocket?" The magician called. Gabriel looked confused for a moment before stuffing his free hand into the pocket in question and producing a card.
"Oh, it's for you!" Gabriel said, holding up the two of spades with Sam's smudged signature. Sam shot a disbelieving look over his shoulder at the lounging magician, then back to Gabriel.
"How did you two…"
"Hey don't look at me kiddo, it was all Mr. E's idea."
Sam shook his head, following Gabriel into the back room of the shop with his heavy bags as Gabriel's boss laughed melodically behind them.
Two days later during the short break between classes, Gabriel ran up to Sam, who had just finished stashing his calculus textbook in his locker.
"Hey Sammy, do you wanna come with me to the horror marathon at the Palace on Friday?" Asked Gabriel
"Aren't Dean and Cas in DC with their History class this weekend?" asked Sam. Gabriel never planned Club outings for a time when they couldn't all attend, and Sam was sure he knew about the trip, as sharing a room with Castiel had been all Dean had talked about that week. Sam imagined that Gabriel must have been on the receiving end of similar excited outbursts from Castiel.
"Yeah, it's just you and me this time kiddo," Gabriel said looking at the floor in a way that instantly made Sam suspicious. It slowly dawned on him that this was the way Gabriel acted when he was feeling shy or nervous.
"So what do you say?"
"Sure, Gabe, I'll go with you," he smiled broadly to put Gabriel at ease.
"Thanks, Sammy!" Gabriel pulled his taller friend down into a brief hug as the bell rang. "Thanks for giving this a chance," he whispered so quietly Sam almost didn't hear him, before pulling away and running off to his next lesson, leaving Sam to wonder just what his friend had meant by those parting words.
Friday evening soon rolled around. Sam sat in the living room of the Winchester house nervously waiting for Gabriel. John and Mary were out at a dinner party, and with Dean away that weekend the house was almost silent. The only noise Sam could hear was the ticking of the antique grandfather clock in the next room. Sam was just about to run upstairs to check his hair for the third time when the doorbell rang. Gabriel was ten minutes early. Sam opened the door dressed in his usual flannel shirt, tan jacket and jeans, keys in hand ready to lock up behind him, but was shocked into stillness.
Gabriel wore a fitted black t-shirt, and what looked to be brand new jeans, free from the usual tears Sam had become accustomed to in Gabriel's clothes. Instead of his usual Converse high-tops, he was wearing a pair of shiny black loafers, probably on loan from Balthazar, the eldest Novak. His hair was slicked back with gel in an unfamiliar way, and Sam immediately went to touch it without thinking.
"Gabe, what's with the hair?" he asked, pulling at a stray piece.
"I knew it looked stupid, I should never have let Balthazar talk me into it."
"It doesn't look bad Gabriel, it's just not you," said Sam, gently ruffling Gabriel's hair into an approximation of his usual messy style.
"Better?" asked Gabriel, blinking from under his newly mussed bangs.
"Much," smiled Sam, locking the door. He followed Gabriel down the path to his beat-up old Beetle and slid into the passenger seat suddenly feeling a lot less self-conscious.
Gabriel drove Sam through town, the radio turned down low and playing some classic Beatles. They talked about school, and Gabriel's plans for after graduation. Gabriel confided that he was planning on taking a year off to work, and stay in town.
"I always thought you'd run off to hunt monsters the second you graduated."
"Well I thought I could stick around for another year or two, see how things go," Gabriel said vaguely, switching off his engine. Sam looked up and realizfed they had arrived at a Red Lobster.
"Gabriel, I thought we were gonna see a movie," said Sam, looking confused.
"Guy's gotta eat Sammy."
Sam loved Red Lobster, but had no idea why Gabriel had brought them somewhere half-decent. Usually on their Supernatural Club excursions they packed food to save money, or picked up some burgers along the way. They resumed their conversation from before at the table, stopping the easy banter only to order drinks, a seafood salad for Sam and practically the rest of the menu for Gabriel. When the food arrived, they ate slowly in between talking, Sam occasionally helping himself to Gabriel's fries. It struck Sam how comfortable this was between them. It wasn't like last year when he'd been pretty much forced into going out on a date with an over-excitable blonde named Becky. He'd really only done it as a favour to her brother, who needed her out of the house so he could hook up with his girlfriend. Sam had sat through a meal bored out of his mind as Becky chatted about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, before asking him if he'd read an obscure series of books he'd never even heard of. At least after they sat down in the movie theater she had quietened up. Becky had chosen some weepy chick-flick and Sam could barely contain his horror when she had begun to cry pathetically on his shoulder, clutching at him uncomfortably and whining about how two of the lead males were "meant for each other" despite being cousins and totally straight. Sam had walked her straight home after the disastrous date, and thankfully she went to the girl's high school the next town over so he never had to see her again.
Here with Gabriel however, Sam felt relaxed and comfortable. He started to wonder if this was the sort of thing Dean and Castiel did, and whether they felt the same way when they were together as he felt now with Gabriel.
"What're you thinking about?" Asked Gabriel from across the table.
"I was just wondering what Dean and Cas were up to," He replied distractedly.
"Something we probably never want to witness, or hear about," mused Gabriel from behind his third chocolate milkshake.
"Just, no Gabriel, that's disgusting."
Gabriel paid for the meal, ignoring Sam's protests at not being allowed to pay his fair share.
"You can pay me back in sexual favours" Said Gabriel, waggling his eyebrows at Sam, who half wished he wasn't joking.
The Palace Theater was an old-fashioned theater in the middle of town. It had stood derelict for years, as the new Cineplex outside of town drew in all the custom, but in recent years the town had re-opened it as a film museum, and they often put on older films for the public as a way of funding the museum. Tonight Gabriel had tickets for back-to-back showings of The Shining and the original Japanese version of The Ring.
"Gabriel, we don't even speak Japanese!" said Sam when he saw the tickets.
"We don't have to speak it, we just have to listen to it kiddo," Said Gabriel, earning himself a bitch-face from Sam. "Besides, it's got subtitles."
Sam brought popcorn and drinks while Gabriel was distracted by some old posters. When Gabriel noticed him carrying the snacks, he started to pout, and sigh about how he was the one who invited Sam and therefore he should be the one to pay. After a lazy argument that neither really wanted to win or lose, the two settled themselves into seats in the back row, quietly talking about the movies they were about to see. Sam hadn't seen any of them and didn't know what to expect, but Gabriel had seen each one several times and assured Sam that they weren't even very scary. When lights dimmed and the film began to play, Gabriel casually leaned closer to Sam. It was going to be a long and frustrating night.
At the Intermission, Gabriel ran off for more candy, leaving Sam to sit and ponder how he would get through the next four hours without inappropriately jumping his friend. Sam wasn't one to easily scare, but when it came to horror and suspense movies he had to admit to feeling a little nervous. Thankfully the first movie had only been mildly scary compared to some of the horror flicks Gabriel had inflicted on him in the past, and he was actually enjoying himself. When Gabriel returned with another giant bag of popcorn and two huge boxes of Juniors, Sam automatically grabbed the popcorn, tugging it free of Gabriel's grasp and pulling it into his lap.
"Hey Sasquatch, You best not be stealing my popcorn," joked Gabriel.
"Gabriel, you held the last bag, it's only fair," Sam smiled in return, stuffing a few pieces of popcorn in his mouth before choking, "I'm sorry, how much butter did you put in here?"
Sam found the second movie far more disturbing than the first, and he unconsciously began to lean toward Gabriel, hiding behind the popcorn as best he could. Something flashed on the screen, surprising him, causing him to shriek in an entirely manly fashion. Sam was eternally grateful that Dean wasn't there to witness his moment of fear. Gabriel, however, noticed his discomfort, and reached over to link his fingers with Sam's trembling ones.
"Relax, Sammy. It's just a movie," he mumbled, turning his attention back to the screen.
Sam couldn't concentrate on the movie much after that. Gabriel's over-active fingers traced patterns across the back of Sam's hand soothingly as they both began to relax in each other's company.
When the movie finally ended and people began to filter out of the theater, Sam carefully disentangled his hand from Gabriel's before standing up. Gabriel's expression turned, as if he'd only just realized they'd been holding hands that entire time. He blushed and looked away, clearing his throat.
"Umm, let's get you home kiddo."
Sam tried to hide his disappointment, grabbing the garbage and leftover candy and heading towards the fire escape, closely followed by Gabriel. It was cold outside, the only sounds coming from the rest of the audience talking and laughing, firing up engines and hailing taxis. Sam and Gabriel walked to the car in awkward silence, unbroken until Gabriel had started up his car and pulled off the curb.
"So, er, those were some seriously scary movies," Sam laughed shakily, trying to diffuse the tension that had fallen over them.
"I wasn't as scared as you seemed to have been." Gabriel threw back, regaining some of his usual happy go lucky demeneor, even if it seemed a little forced.
"You've seen those movies before, you totally knew where all the scary parts were," Sam said in mock defense.
"Let's face it, I'm far more manly than you."
"Keep dreaming Gabriel, keep dreaming."
Sam locked the front door and shuffled up the stairs to his bedroom quietly, not wanting to disturb his parents. He'd only just made his curfew thanks to Gabriel's innate ability to break any traffic law he was faced with.
The moment Sam's head hit the pillow, his phone began to vibrate insistently from the bedside table where he had left it to charge. He blindly grabbed for the device and was almost going to turn it off when he recognized the caller ID.
"Do you have any idea what time it is Dean?" he yawned into the phone.
"Dude, Cas refuses to got to bed, he wants to know how your date went, kept bothering me about it." Dean announced.
"Dean, it wasn't a date, it was just for club," said Sam, trying to hide his disappointment.
"Well from what Cas says, Gabriel hasn't stopped talking about his hot date on Friday all week, and when I called home earlier and everyone was out I just assumed he'd finally got up the courage to ask you out," explained Dean. Sam could hear Castiel whispering anxiously at Dean in the background.
"Wait, Gabriel wanted to ask me out?" asked Sam, stunned.
"Duh, why do you think he even bothers with all those stupid missions? He makes up half of those hauntings and stories so he can spend time with you in derelict buildings," Dean grumbled, "and it's no secret that you're in love with the guy. I mean why else would anyone stake out random houses if they weren't expecting to get some action."
"Dean, can I talk to Cas for a minute?" Sam managed to reply, glad that his brother couldn't see the dark blush staining his cheeks, or the way his hands were lightly shaking.
"Sure thing," said Dean. Sam heard the muffled sound of the phone being thrown and the impact when Cas caught it.
"I really wish your brother would be more careful with his electronics," huffed Castiel.
"Is it true?" Sam blurted out.
"That your brother is irresponsible with his belongings or that Gabriel is madly in love with you?" asked Castiel, and Sam could almost imagine him tilting his head to the side.
"The second thing, Cas."
"Sam, Gabriel would like nothing more than to forge a bond with you similar to the one I share with Dean," Castiel stated, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"I didn't even realize it was supposed to be a date," groaned Sam, running his fingers through his hair. "Cas, I've messed up. Gabe probably thinks I'm not even interested. How am I supposed to fix this?"
"Perhaps you should try plying him with confections, from experience that's a sure-fire way to get on Gabriel's good side. Once you've pumped him full of sugar, ask him out," suggested Castiel.
"Thanks Cas, but do you think he'd say yes?" Sam heard the phone being snatched away before he could get his answer.
"I'd really appreciate it if I could have my boyfriend back now Sammy. It's incredible how you can cock-block me from a different time zone." Dean laughed as Castiel mumbled indignantly in the background. "But seriously, ask him out, there's not a snowball's chance he'll say no to you, the dude's crazy about you. Besides, if he does say no, because he's possessed by one of those demons he's always talking about or something, I'll fully kick his ass for you."
"I don't think it would be a good idea to get on his bad side."
"It's Sam!" Sam mumbled, hanging up and tossing his phone back onto the table, rolling over into a comfortable position. He began to process what Castiel and Dean had said to him. Gabriel had feelings for him, maybe even loved him, but he'd screwed things up. He just hoped Gabriel wouldn't think he wasn't interested before he had a chance to put things right. Sam drifted off to sleep, contemplating ways to implement Dean and Castiel's advice.
Barely an hour after sunrise, Sam knocked soundly on the door to the Novak house, worrying the worn doormat nervously with the toe of his sneakers. Sam listened as a quiet thud sounded from somewhere upstairs, followed by soft footsteps. The door finally swung open and Sam was faced with a very sleepy Gabriel, dressed only in a Ghostbusters tee and boxers, and chasing the sleep from his eyes.
Sam choked at the sight of Gabriel's bed-tousled hair. "I've brought breakfast, to apologize for being so weird last night."
Gabriel plastered on a huge smile that seemed forced. "Sammy, I'm used to you being weird, it's what makes you, well, you."
"That's not what I meant Gabriel, I'm sorry for acting uncomfortable, it wasn't your fault, I was just being insanely dense." smiled Sam softly, handing the paper bag and one of the drinks -a beverage that was more dessert than actual coffee- to Gabriel.
"Come on in Sammy," Gabriel gestured for him to follow as he padded barefoot down the hallway that led to the kitchen. Gabriel grabbed some plates, placing them on the breakfast island before sliding into one of the stools, shortly followed by Sam.
"What's up kiddo, I can practically feel you thinking?" asked Gabriel around his chocolate croissant. Without really registering what he was doing, Sam reached up to brush a bit of the flaky pastry from the corner of Gabriel's mouth with his thumb. Gabriel stared back, golden eyes wide and trusting as Sam leaned down closer.
"Get a room you two," Balthazar interrupted from the kitchen door, before waltzing in to insinuate himself into the little breakfast scene. They pulled away from each other reluctantly as Balthazar began to make himself some coffee to cure his more-than-obvious hangover. Gabriel smiled, kissing the corner of Sam's mouth briefly while his older brother looked for the sugar.
"How about I come pick you up after work, we could go somewhere more private?" Gabriel whispered, wriggling his eyebrows.
Sam nodded enthusiastically. "I better let you get ready, I wouldn't want you to be late for work because of me."
"It's no problem kiddo, just wait down here and I'll give you a ride home on my way out," Gabriel kissed Sam chastely again, just a brief press of warm lips, before running off to get changed.
"So you two finally got your act together?" Balthazar commented dryly from behind his steaming cup of coffee.
Sam still couldn't wipe the smile from his face, and had a feeling it would still be lingering there for the foreseeable future. "I guess we did."
"Well there goes mother's last chance at Grandchildren," Balthazar replied casually.
"I already went through the big brother chat with Dean so you can ask him for the details, but I'm sure you get the general idea of what will happen if you hurt him."
"I wouldn't hurt him, you have my word."
"Good, I'm glad that's over, do look after him though."
"Oh please, he's been looking after me for the past year," Gabriel grinned from the doorway. "Ready to go?"
"Sure, goodbye Balthazar," Sam shot back at the eldest Novak.
"See you around Winchester," Balthazar called after them as they walked down the hall.
"I'm assuming he gave you the big brother talk," Gabriel frowned.
"It wasn't that bad to be honest, he told me to ask Dean for the cliff notes."
"Oh God, I'm sorry you had to go through that," Gabriel said sheepishly, tugging his keys out to unlock the beetle.
"It wasn't as scary as I imagined it would be." Sam grinned as he slid into the passenger seat. "Nowhere near as scary as half the things you've put me through this past year."
Gabriel started up the engine and pulled off the driveway. "You're just a giant baby."
"Well you better get used to it,"
"So I finish work at five, I'll be over to pick you up then," Gabriel promised once they had arrived outside Sam's house, leaning across to kiss him shyly on the cheek again, but Sam turned at the last minute to kiss him on the lips.
"Thanks for the ride, see you tonight," Sam said, sliding out of the passenger seat and onto the sidewalk, waving as he walked up the driveway.
Sam had spent the entire day with an immovable smile plastered on his face. He'd talked to Dean and Castiel on the phone for a bit when they'd snuck off to the bathroom during a tour of the Smithsonian to call him and find out how things were going. He'd given them both a summary of that morning's events before asking them to take pictures for him and Gabriel to look at when they returned from their trip. He'd spent the afternoon on his homework, cleaning his room, even doing his and Dean's laundry to keep himself busy. When he'd done everything he could think of to pass the time, he decided to start getting ready. Sam showered, dressed, brushed his teeth, read over his homework and brushed his teeth again, before deciding on waiting out the last twenty minutes by watching one of those CSI marathons that seem to be on all the time.
Gabriel had arrived five minutes early and insisted on opening the passenger door to his car for Sam. He looked exactly the way Sam had left him that morning, which Sam counted as a blessing. Gabriel clambered into the drivers seat, buckling his seatbelt and firing up the engine.
"Where are we going?" Sam asked.
"You'll soon find out," Gabriel smiled cryptically.
"It's a surprise then?" Sam continued, "Is it a surprise I'll enjoy or is it a surprise in a spooky cemetery, because if it's the latter we better be getting milkshakes on the way."
"Trust me Sammy, best surprise ever. I promise you'll love it," Gabriel asserted confidently, and Sam relaxed a little, knowing that while Gabriel might have put together some heinous surprises in the past, he'd never lie to Sam.
Gabriel parked outside the shop, moving around to the passenger side like a ninja, intercepting Sam's attempt to open his own door. When Sam mumbled that he wasn't a girl, Gabriel brushed off the comment breezily.
"It's okay Sam, you're gonna have to open the shop door for me anyway," Gabriel explained, reaching up to cover Sam's eyes with his hands once they reached the door.
Gabriel's hands felt warm over his eyelids as he maneuvered the taller boy into the shop entrance from behind. Sam could only see soft light playing against the slight gaps between Gabriel's partly closed fingers.
"Surprise!" he announced, tugging his hands away and moving to Sam's side.
The store had been transformed. A table in the center of the room that usually contained messy piles of books was cleared off and covered in a deep red tablecloth and topped with an intricate silver centerpiece. Lit candles of different sizes were suspended from the ceiling by almost invisible wires. The seating nook looked almost habitable in it's neatness. Makeshift curtains had been fitted in the front window to hide the street front from sight. The shop speakers began playing one of Sam's favorite songs, the volume turned low to just above a whisper, adding to the atmosphere discreetly.
To his left, Gabriel snapped his fingers and several small fireworks erupted from the centerpiece on the table. To his credit, Sam managed to stop his mouth from dropping open at how overwhelming the whole setup was.
"Do you like it?" Gabriel asked beaming proudly.
"You didn't have to put in all that effort for me," Sam started, but quickly changed his tune once he noticed Gabriel's smile falter slightly. "I really appreciate it though, this has to be the most incredible thing anyone has ever done for me, thank you." He reached out and took Gabriel's hand into his, returning the gesture Gabriel had shown him the previous night.
Gabriel used their joined hands to guide Sam to the table, pulling out Sam's seat in a gentlemanly fashion that had Sam reiterating good-naturedly about how he wasn't a girl and didn't need to be treated like one. Instead of taking a seat across the table, Gabriel sat down in the chair beside Sam's scooting closer until he was almost tucked into his side. He then pulled a box wrapped in expensive looking damask patterned paper and tied with a burgundy satin ribbon, placing it beside the still-smoking centerpiece.
"For later," Gabriel explained.
"But I didn't get you anything-"
"Trust me, okay?" Gabriel smiled, like he knew a secret that Sam couldn't wait to discover.
Mr. Emrys appeared at the table with two glasses and what appeared to be a bottle of white wine, but upon closer inspection turned out to be non-alcoholic, dressed in a simple tuxedo that hung off his narrow frame quite charmingly.
"Tonight's menu features a Caesar Salad to start, followed by Pasta Alfredo with Garlic Bread and for dessert, well you'll just have to wait and see!" Chatted the owner of the store as he filled the glasses with the imitation wine, slipping into his role as the waiter seamlessly. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got something to attend to."
"Thanks Mr Emrys," Sam called after the retreating magician.
"So Sam, I wanted to ask you something." Gabriel said, sounding quite serious for once.
"Okay, shoot," Sam returned.
"How would you feel about me-" Gabriel started, but was interrupted by his boss returning with the promised salads. Mr. Emrys placed the food in front of the boys before engaging Sam in an animated talk about awkward customers and a new shipment of books that Sam might be interested in. Sam and Gabriel finished their salads, Emrys snatching up the bowls as soon as they were emptied, whisking them away to the kitchen and returning with the main course with almost inhuman speed.
"Gabriel spent all afternoon in the kitchen making this," Mr Emrys smiled before moving to sit opposite them.
"I thought we agreed you wouldn't tell him!" Gabriel blushed.
"I'm sure Sam remembers the last time I attempted anything more complex than toaster strudels."
Sam thought back to last week when the magician had attempted to make cupcakes for the Beginners Magic course and shuddered, stuffing some pasta into his mouth. It tasted heavenly.
Mr. Emrys pulled out a pack of cards and began to do some basic sleight of hand while Sam and Gabriel ate their pasta. Once he'd been through several of his tricks, he abandoned the cards in favour of making small objects on the table appear and disappear. When the two had finished their meals, he took them away much like he'd done with the salad plates.
"We've prepared a very special show for you tonight Sam, I hope you enjoy it," said the magician when he reappeared, setting two empty plates beside the mysterious box.
"I'm sure I will, you two have yet to disappoint me."
"Hey Sam, can I borrow your phone?" Gabriel asked, turning his chair at the table. "I left mine in the car."
"Sure," Sam said, retrieving his phone from the depths of his pockets and handing it to Gabriel.
Gabriel pressed several buttons on Sam's phone before holding the device up. "Okay, smile, you're on film." Gabriel said, aiming the camera at Sam's face, before turning it across the table. "Got anything to say to the camera Mr. E?"
Mr Emrys waved his hands dismissively. "Oh do get on with it my boy."
"Right." Gabriel began, standing up with an elaborate flourish. "We have come up with a feat of magic so intense, so genius, that it will Blow. Your. Mind."
"It's really not as special as he makes it out to be," Emrys whispered conspiratorially, earning a dirty look from his employee.
"Okay, that traitor over there is going to put your phone someplace safe." Gabriel said, grabbing an empty styrofoam coffee cup from a nearby shelf and handing it to Mr. Emrys along with the phone, before taking his seat beside Sam. The magician pointed the still recording phone at them for a few seconds, describing in great detail what a sickeningly cute couple they made, after which he placed the phone into the cup. It took several slips and fumbles for him to attach the plastic lid, at which Gabriel rolled his eyes.
"For a magician, you sure are clumsy with your hands," Gabriel teased.
"Oh shut up Gabriel and hand me the mallet."
Sam looked genuinely shocked as Gabriel pulled yet another object from under the table. He'd have to remember to check for secret compartments underneath it the next time he was in the shop. He passed the rubber mallet across the table. Mr Emrys looked at it approvingly, testing the weight of it in his hand before slamming it down on the fragile paper cup. Sam visibly winced at the sight, but relaxed when he realized the paper cup was empty, picking it up and checking inside the flattened remains just to make sure.
"Have faith Sam, whenever I lose my phone, which happens quite often might I add, I always ask Gabriel to call it."
Gabriel pulled out his supposedly forgotten phone and punched in Sam's number from memory, something that made Sam feel impossibly happy. Gabriel pressed the cell to his ear, waiting patiently until Sam heard the familiar ringtone, some Asia song that Gabriel had programmed as his personal ringtone months ago.
"Gabriel, please tell me that my phone is safely inside that box."
Gabriel handed the box to Sam. "Sammy, your phone is safe and sound inside this box."
Sam carefully tugged at the ribbon, peeling back the tape that held the elegant paper around the box to preserve the paper for later use.
"Just tear it open kiddo, quit taking so long!" Gabriel urged impatiently. Sam reluctantly ripped at the paper, taking the lid off the box and gaping in surprise.
"Gabriel, last time I saw my phone, it looked a lot less like a chocolate cake."
Gabriel removed the cake, setting it on the table and pulling out a knife from the box. He cut a large slice, placing it on a plate and handing it to Sam.
"Gabriel! That's far too much." Sam glared as Gabriel helped himself to an equally large piece. Sam grabbed a fork, stabbing carefully into the chocolate cake and taking a few bites before his fork hit something solid.
"Gabriel, you didn't."
"Oh I did."
Sam tore apart the cake with his fork, using it to scrape cake away from the plastic ziplock containing his phone. Gabriel watched on with amusement.
"How did you guys even-"
"A Magician never reveals his secrets," Gabriel and Emrys recited in perfect unison, wearing matching smug looks on their faces. The older man looked up at the clock before quickly excusing himself.
"Do I not even get a clue?" Sam asked.
"Sam, your phone videoed the whole trick, remember." Gabriel said. Sam stopped the phone recording and went to press play but Gabriel grabbed his hand. "You have to promise not to watch this until you get home, okay." Sam pouted, attempting to talk Gabriel into letting him watch the video, before finally and resignedly agreeing not to watch it until he got home.
"Well I best get going wouldn't want to keep his royal highness waiting," Mr. Emrys announced, reemerging from the staircase that led to his apartment in a slightly more casual dark blue button-down and black skinny jeans, a red cotton scarf hanging around his neck. Sam couldnt ever remember seeing the magician in anything remotely normal-looking.
"Mr. E has got a date of his own tonight," Gabriel elaborated.
"Gabriel, my boy, it's not a date. We're simply getting together to discuss grown up things that you probably wouldn't understand."
"He's going out with that foxy blonde who comes in here on a daily basis to make eyes at him." Gabriel teased.
"Mr. Pendragon is not foxy, and does not come in here to make eyes at me. His only interest lies in acquiring this property for his fathers company to demolish and build some kind of ridiculous shopping center. I intend to use tonight's meeting to convince him to shove his money up his pompous arse." he huffed checking his watch. "Now I really should leave you two alone to do whatever lovesick teenagers are doing nowadays. Please don't break anything too expensive, and for heavens sake Gabriel, if I find any more melted Hershey kisses or any sticky substance for that matter, on my sofa I'll have you teaching the kid's magic classes for the rest of this program. Lock up when you're done, and save me a glass of wine. I'll probably need it after spending any amount of time with that complete dollop head"
"Bye Mr. E!" Sam and Gabriel chorused -not having the heart to remind him that the wine was non-alcoholic- as the magician left the shop, locking the door behind him. Sam and Gabriel continued eating their dessert, Gabriel finishing first and then pouting until Sam reluctantly began to feed him small forkfulls of cake from his own plate. When they were finished, Gabriel turned to Sam with a small smile.
"Dance with me Sammy?" he asked.
"Gabriel, remember semi-formal? I almost took out the drinks table when you forced me to dance with Ruby because you were convinced she was possessed."
"Sam, her eyes were black, what was I supposed to think?"
"They were just contacts, Gabriel. She said she forgot to take them out after that sketch the drama club put on. The one that you missed because you were checking for plasma under the bleachers."
"Please dance with me, I'll teach you how. You'll be fine, I promise." Gabriel stood, extending a hand to Sam. Sam took it begrudgingly, letting Gabriel drag him to the open space in the middle of the shop. Gabriel slung his arms around Sam's neck, pulling him close. Sam forgot to breathe for a moment.
"Put your hands on my hips," Gabriel instructed, and Sam hastily obliged, eager to get his hands on the older boy. "Just relax Sam, follow my lead."
Gabriel began to sway in time with the music, pulling Sam backwards and forwards in a series of slow steps. As they danced slowly around the room for what seemed like forever, they began to gravitate closer and closer until Gabriel was resting his head against Sam's shoulder, their bodies pressed together in a way that made it difficult to move. The last song on the CD finally ended, leaving the shop in silence. Sam looked down and found his favorite pair of golden eyes staring up at him.
"Gabriel, I'm going to kiss you now, be quiet," Sam said, bending the last few centimeters to catch Gabriel's waiting lips in their first full-blown kiss. The kiss was entirely uncoordinated and Gabriel still tasted of chocolate cake as Sam hesitantly caressed his lower lip with his tongue. Gabriel threaded his fingers through Sam's hair, tugging hard, and Sam's hands had abandoned their posts at Gabriel's hips to loop around the smaller boys waist.
Gabriel broke away from the kiss. "Been wanting to do this since last night," he hummed, kissing his way down Sam's jawline.
"Gabe, I've been wanting to do this since last year."
"Well I've got a lot of making up to do then." Gabriel smiled, nipping Sam's neck playfully.
"I fully expect you to make good on that promise, Sam managed, slowly maneuvering them towards the seating area as they exchanged more soft kisses.
Gabriel fell back onto the sinfully comfortable couch, dragging Sam down to cover him like a blanket, their lips never parting for more than a brief second. Gabriel's hands, quick from years of tricks and illusions, seemed to be everywhere all at once as if he were desperately trying to learn Sam's body and commit it to memory. Sam moaned quietly when Gabriel's hands finally slid under his shirt, and Gabriel used the opportunity to drag Sam's lower lip between his teeth for a moment. Sam became almost incoherent.
Gabriel's tongue teased it's way inside Sam's mouth, turning the kiss hot and dirty as he licked purposefully at the roof of Sam's mouth before finally tangling their tongues together. Sam reacted enthusiastically, bringing his forearms up to bracket Gabriel's head, helping him get a better angle to return the kiss.
They stayed like that until far after Sam's arms had begun to ache from supporting himself and Gabriel's roaming hands had slowed, trading the softest and most intimate of kisses, breaking apart reluctantly now and again to breathe. Eventually what feels like hours later, Gabriel pushed at Sam's chest, urging him to begrudgingly abort his ministrations.
"Sam, I want to tell you something, and you're not making it easy kiddo."
"Go ahead," Sam said, leaning back to admire the boy he'd been in love with for over a year looking absolutely wrecked under him, lips red and kiss-bitten, his hair spread across the couch cushions framing his head like a messy halo. Sam was torn between claiming those enticing lips again and waiting to hear what was so important that Gabriel would interrupt them in the first place. Instead he settled for sucking lightly at the sensitive spot on Gabriel's neck.
"Sammy," Gabriel moaned. "After I graduate, I'm staying here."
Sam raised his lust-blown eyes to meet Gabriel's. "What about college?"
"I don't want to leave you behind," Gabriel confessed, playing with the hem of Sam's shirt, "and besides, Mr. E offered me a full apprenticeship. I'll be helping out in his shows as well as working full-time at the store."
Sam pulled Gabriel up into a hug that should have been awkward considering their position, and hummed delightedly into Gabriel's ear. "You have no idea how happy I am to hear that."
It was at that exact moment that the shop door swung open. Sam and Gabriel froze in place as a loud thud and quiet moans echoed around the shop.
"Merlin, of all the times in our acquaintance for you to wear such a fiddly button-up shirt, you had to choose tonight," Sam heard the stranger say.
"Patience is a virtue, Arthur" trilled the familiar voice of Mr. Emrys. At this, Gabriel and Sam broke apart into a sitting position, peering over the back of the couch like a pair of curious meerkats. Gabriel coughed loudly.
"Shit," Mr Emrys said, pushing at the blonde man who was presumably Arthur Pendragon and flattening down his rumpled clothes. "I thought you two boys would be gone by now."
"But it's not even that- Fuck" Gabriel looked up at the antique grandfather clock. "Sam, we've got to get you home."
Sam followed Gabriel's gaze across the room, mentally cursing at the time. He had about five minutes to get home before he broke his curfew. The two scrambled to grab their jackets on the way out, Gabriel pausing at the door.
"He's staying?" Gabriel asked, cheekily quirking an eyebrow at his employer.
"Not a word, Gabriel." His boss said, shooing the teenagers out into the night. "Drive safely, you scoundrel."
"Will do boss," Gabriel agreed. "Come on Sammy, let's get you home before Papa Winchester gets the shotgun out."
Sam made it back home a full 10 minutes after his curfew, but luckily his parents didn't even notice him sneak by as they cuddled together on the couch. He tiptoed to his room, plugging his phone into his laptop to upload the video from that night. While he was waiting, he changed into his pajamas and mussed up his hair before making a production out of stomping downstairs for a glass of water.
"Sam, honey, when did you get back?" His mother asked as he traipsed past them to the kitchen.
"I've only been back for about half an hour." Sam said, shrugging.
"How was your date with Gabriel?" Mary asked, smiling excitedly. John just sat there looking slightly amused.
"Dean told you?"
"Oh no honey, of course not."
"It really doesn't take much to see what's going on here son," his father said, "and besides, we saw you two getting fairly familliar on the front lawn 10 minutes ago."
Sam looked up guiltily from behind his messy bangs. "Sorry," he said awkwardly.
"It's not a big deal Sam, you've never missed curfew before, and he clearly makes you very happy. I'm proud of you and your brother." Mary grinned, motioning for a hug. Sam bent to wrap his arms around his mom, receiving a manly shoulder pat from John.
"Thanks for understanding," Sam said as he pulled back from the couch, retreating up the stairs to bed. "Night mom, night dad."
"Night Sam," they both called before settling in for the last five minutes of their movie.
When Sam got into his room, he grabbed his laptop from his desk, plugging in his headphones and settling into bed to watch the video.
It started the way he remembered things playing out earlier that evening, Gabriel filming him, Mr Emrys taking the phone and filming them sitting together, but then the video cut out to a shot of what looked like the indside of Gabriel's bedroom door. The door opened revealing Gabriel in a fake mustache.
"Hey Sammy, I just wanted to let you know that If you're watching this, I'm dead. Just kidding!" Video-Gabriel tugged off the fake mustache. "But jokes aside, What I really wanted to say is that you're probably the most magical thing that's happened to me. Dean-o and Cas'll be back tomorrow, so how about we go on a doube date, my treat. Now delete this video before Dean finds it." Gabriel laughed on Sam's screen. The video cut to black, and Sam heard muffled audio.
"Gabriel, you didn't."
"Oh I did."
Sam skipped back to watch Gabriel's message a few more times before dumping it in the folder marked Research, confident that Dean would never willingly look in there. As an extra precaution he created a folder labelled Porn, containing a single file named Dean, get off my laptop, Jerk.
Satisfied that the video was hidden, he put his laptop back on the desk. He was about to climb back under the covers when he saw his phone light up. He grabbed the device, opening his inbox as he flopped back onto his bed. He had one new message from Gabriel.
Love you, kiddo.
Sam sent his reply before curling up and falling asleep.
Love you too, Gabe.
This story also comes with art (links on AO3 and lj)