Author's note: Thanks so much to Larkafree, Maknatuna, Impala67-Ilana, FireChildSlytherin5, Shorty22133, Pizzapig, keacdragon, Maddy Love Castiel, CherylB1964, No pen names left, Yana5, MishaIsMyCastiel, midnight0211, L. Greene, Tendencia, Amethyst Violet Serenity, kb18142, Keefer and one guest for last chapter's reviews! You guys are awesome :-D
Special thanks to Larkafree for giving me an idea about who they should put as Gabriel's mother on the legal papers.
Okay, so this is it. The end of the story. However, there is going to be a sequel by the title of "Diary for Gabriel". It will be mostly cute domestic fluff about Gabriel growing up with Sam as his father and the first chapter should be online on Monday and tell the story of baby's first Christmas with the family. Hope to see a couple of you guys over at that story then! :-)
Their lives had become very domestic ever after Raphael had been killed. Most of the archangel's followers had readily ceased fighting as soon as they had felt their leader's demise and from what Castiel had told them the peace talks had been very successful very quickly. It seemed like a lot more angels were at least willing to give the entire free will thing a chance now that Raphael's influence had been removed. Not to mention that they would have had to change their system, anyway. The only available archangel left was the one who was only just learning to say 'daddy' correctly and who had accidentally bitten his own foot the last time he had gotten it into his mouth.
Surprisingly enough, Crowley's idea of what he wanted in return for the assistance had been something Castiel had deemed reasonable. Basically, the demon had mostly wanted the formal agreement that heaven wasn't going to interfere with hell's affairs as long as they only concerned hell.
Both Balthazar and Castiel were visiting the Winchesters and their baby brother very regularly and if Castiel was the one of them who usually stuck around longer, even if he wasn't the one who played with Gabriel the most, Sam didn't comment on it. It was nice to have their friend around and Dean had even talked about the possibility of taking Cas to a few hunts, if the angel's time allowed it.
It looked like that wouldn't be too much of a problem, though. Balthazar had announced that he was on vacation until further notice the moment all the peace talks and contracts had been dealt with and Castiel had seemed positive that things were up and running and wouldn't need too much of his time and energy anymore.
They also had decided that Sam and Gabriel would stay with Bobby and even if the older hunter never said it too clearly, he liked the prospect of having some life around the house and that was something the littlest archangel was guaranteed to provide.
At that moment, Gabriel was sitting in the high chair his uncle Dean had bought and put together the other day, watching his father work at the stove with a puzzled expression. As he understood it going to the kitchen meant that there would be pudding and he knew that pudding came from the big cold thing.
"It's about time we did something about your diet, Gabe," Sam stated, guessing what the infant's confusion was about, "They're sweet peas… and you can have pudding afterward."
The littlest archangel banged his teething ring against the high chair a few times before he put it back into his mouth to test his three brand new teeth out some more. He wasn't hungry yet, anyway. He'd let his father know as soon as he really wanted that pudding.
"Hey, buddy," Dean greeted his nephew and took him out of the high chair as soon as the infant made grabbing motions into his direction with both hands, "What's mommy doing?"
"Dean," Sam replied in a warning tone. They had talked about this. Even if the teasing didn't annoy the younger Winchester – which it did, no matter how much he denied it – it just wasn't good to confuse Gabriel with the use of wrong words while he was only learning the right ones.
"Okay, okay, what's daddy doing then?" the older Winchester gave in with a grin, lifting the giggling baby over his head, "Is he still trying to get some of those vegetables into you?"
The younger Winchester rolled his eyes and went back to pureeing the peas. Alright, so maybe it wouldn't make a damn difference to the infant, but Sam still wanted to give a somewhat balanced diet a try.
"Dude, you've got like the perfect baby here," Dean clicked his tongue, throwing the infant into the air and catching him again a couple of times before he put him back into his high chair and handed the teething ring to him again, "He can't get sick, can't really get hurt, only pees when he thinks it'd be funny and he can eat whatever the hell he wants without it having any ill effects, but you insist on making things harder for the two of you."
Still, Sam wouldn't be the younger brother Dean knew and loved if he didn't get obsessed with little things like that. Oh well, he would just have to be an awesome uncle and make sure that Gabe still got his pudding.
"It's not only about eating healthy, it's about variety," the younger Winchester pointed out and put the pot aside to let the pureed peas cool down a little. He was willing to accept that the baby just wasn't fond of all things that weren't sugary when the infant had tried and rejected them.
"Whatever, bitch," Dean muttered before he went on in a more upbeat tone, "Anyway, I got a little something for the two of you!"
"More Transformers shirts?" Sam guessed with a small grin. Of course, the shirts were from the cartoon not the movie, not that it mattered to either the younger Winchester or the littlest archangel, but uncle Dean very much insisted that it made all the difference.
"Nah," the older Winchester replied eloquently, "Remember that crazy friend Bobby mentioned? There was something in the mail today."
Dean waved the big brown envelope in front of his younger brother's nose for a few moments until Sam had had enough and grabbed it. He was undoubtedly meant to take a look at the content, anyway.
"Gabriel Winchester," the younger Winchester read out loud. The document he was holding was clearly a certificate of birth, even if it was obviously forged. There were other papers in the envelope as well, but this one was interesting enough that Sam wasn't paying much attention to anything else, for the moment being.
"So, his birthday is the 24th of March," the younger Winchester stated, nodding slightly before his eyes widened nearly comically, "And his mother is Joanna Beth Harvelle?"
Dean shrugged lightly, "Mother unknown would have looked really strange, don't you think?"
Besides, he had thought about this for quite some time before he had decided to put Jo's name on the papers. His first choice would have been Jessica, but he hadn't wanted to bring Sam down with another thing that might have been and never would be. Besides, if they should really need all the official papers for something and someone should look into it, it would be too easy to tell that Jessica Moore had been long dead before the baby had even been born. While the same was technically true for Jo, nobody had ever made the fact that she was no longer alive official.
The younger Winchester nodded slightly. Yes, an unknown mother would have looked suspicious and Jo was a good choice. Sam had always liked and respected her a lot, even if there hadn't been any romantic feelings involved. He had simply been very surprised by reading that specific name in that context.
"And his birthday is one of the feast days for the archangel Gabriel," Dean added when he was sure that his brother had processed the other bit of information.
The younger Winchester chuckled amusedly and quickly looked through the other papers which basically gave him full legal custody over the littlest archangel.
"Thanks, Dean," Sam gave his brother a heartfelt smile and hugged him for a long moment until Gabriel started to squirm and complain, wanting to be cuddled, as well. The baby's demand was quickly met and Dean was rather glad to see another chick-flick moment pass.
"And now I'm going to show you how the little squab is going to eat pretty much anything you want him to," the older Winchester grinned and went to get some of the pureed peas for a demonstration.
Sam frowned deeply, rocking Gabriel until he stopped complaining and started giggling again.
"I'm not sure I want to know any more of the great techniques you used on me," he replied a little uncertainly. Alright, pinching his nose and stuffing something into his mouth when he had to open it to breathe hadn't done any long lasting damage, but Sam still could have lived without knowing that Dean had done things like that to him.
"This one's better," the older Winchester promised, grabbing a spoon and giving his younger brother a self-assured smile.
Dean leaned against the kitchen counter close to Sam and Gabriel and dipped the spoon into the peas, raising it to his mouth and making content noises as he ate the food and seemingly not paying attention to the baby at all. He had to repeat the process twice before the archangel even looked his way, but it was soon afterward that the baby seemed genuinely interested and raised a hand as a sign that he wanted to have the spoon.
The older Winchester's grin could have lightened up an entire football stadium as he filled the spoon again and offered it to his nephew who didn't think twice and opened his mouth.
Sam didn't comment until he was sure that the archangel had actually swallowed the food and he was only really impressed when Gabriel demanded more immediately afterward, anyway.
"Wow," the younger Winchester stated with a small grin, "And the best thing is; you ate some, too. I never thought I'd see the day…"
He had to admit that he deserved the spoonful of peas he got thrown at his head for that, but Dean totally deserved the water Sam poured over his head as retaliation a moment later and Gabriel thought that their little family feud was too funny, anyway.
As they stood there in the kitchen dirty and wet, but basically shaking with laughter, the younger Winchester couldn't help thinking that life hadn't been this good in a very long time and for once he didn't expect it to take a turn for the worse again.