Author's note: Thanks so much to Larkafree, Maknatuna, Keefer, CassXDeano, Maddy Love Castiel, Avalonemyst, kb18142, RachelPhobia, Nyx Ro, DjinnAtwood, CherylB1964, starshaker, Pizzapig, FireChildSlytherin5 and SARA1988 for last chapter's reviews!
May 18th, 2022
You know, Gabe, sometimes it seems like only just yesterday that it was only me and Dean and whatever crisis there was to deal with. Then it was you and me and completely different challenges. Now it's you, me and Val and… Yeah, I'm actually going somewhere with this…
"There's something we'd like to talk to you about," Sam started with a small smile, putting the few cards he hadn't managed to get rid of on the table. The three of them had only just finished playing a game of Cheat, which was quickly becoming one of Gabriel's favorite games.
Valerie nodded, gathering the cards together to put them back into their box. Knowing their little family there was no reason to fear that the talk wouldn't go over well, but given the subject she couldn't help but feel a little anxious. The blonde woman gave her step-son a reassuring smile, anyway.
"I didn't do it!" Gabriel insisted, "And if I did it, I did it because uncle Dean or Balthazar allowed it!"
The younger Winchester blinked a few times. That probably was something they should get to the bottom of sooner or later as well, but for now they had something else to talk about. Chances were whatever his son had been talking about hadn't been that bad, anyway. Both Dean and Balthazar knew the limits of what they could get away with pretty well and didn't overstep their boundaries too much usually.
"Gabe, you never admit that there is something unless you are sure that your parents already caught on to it," Val advised, definitely amused, "But immediately blaming it on someone else was a good decision."
Sam looked at his wife for a moment in silence before he shook his head with a snort. That was definitely the sort of life lesson Gabriel needed. Then again, the kid was much too well behaved for a pre-teen, anyway. Not to mention that the boy knew his boundaries even better than some of his adult relatives did.
"We can talk about that later," the younger Winchester decided, "What we wanted to know was something else entirely."
The archangel nodded seriously. That would give him the chance to decide which of the few things his brother and uncle had allowed him to do lately saying that he shouldn't tell his father he would share. It wasn't always that easy to figure out which things his dad would take relatively badly, but it was safe to say that Sam loved him regardless of how often he broke rules, so that wasn't so bad.
"What do you think about having a little brother or sister?" Val asked in a gentle tone. They had talked about the matter as a couple before and had agreed that they should make a decision before nature did it for them. Granted, Sam had only turned 39 and Valerie was two years younger, so they had a couple of years. It still seemed like a good idea to start making plans before they were pressed for time.
"You're not pregnant," Gabriel replied, clearly just stating facts. The specifics of how children were conceived and born were something he didn't and didn't want to know about yet, but he knew that if a baby was on the way his mom would be carrying it and he would be able to tell. He had seen pregnant women before, even if he had never been particularly close to one, after all.
"We wanted to know what you thought about it first, Gabe," Sam explained, putting his hand on his son's shoulder, "We don't want to do something you're not completely okay with."
The archangel had been an only child for twelve years, after all. Sure, he had had Balthazar and Castiel around frequently and the three angels spoke of each other as brothers, but they had never been kids together. Besides, that he had wanted to have a mother figure around didn't necessarily mean that he wanted to have siblings, too. Actually, Sam knew what his son's best friends thought about little siblings. Gabriel had never clearly voiced his preference in that matter, however.
"I…" the archangel started before he frowned deeply and stopped speaking for a few long moments, "Can I have some time to think?"
"Sure, buddy. Take your time," Sam agreed while Val nodded. They both might have hoped for a different reaction, but it was a very reasonable request. The younger Winchester also suspected that his son only needed to clear his head a little before he could put his feelings into words and talk to them.
Gabriel hugged his father for a moment before he did the same with his mother and then disappeared into thin air.
It might have been a little unexpected, but Sam knew that the archangel had gone to visit either Bobby and Jody, Balthazar, Castiel or Dean, otherwise he would have told them where he was going to. The younger Winchester was rather positive that any of them would help Gabriel to sort out his thoughts, too.
It was a little unfortunate that the archangel had only paid attention to who he wanted to go to and had forgotten to check where exactly that would lead him. It was because of this that he was a little surprised when he landed in the middle of a maze of caves. Before Gabriel could even take his surroundings in properly his uncle ran past him.
Dean was too caught up in running away from the wendigo until he could get his hands on something he could kill the damn thing with – he had misplaced the flare gun he had brought when the monster had first attacked him unfortunately – to even fully realize what he had just seen. He came to an abrupt stop as soon as his brain caught up with his eyes and turned back to grab his nephew. Someone really should teach the kid to call ahead before he just popped in!
"Gabe, dammit, run!" Dean called. The wendigo was closing in on them and it was questionable, if the older Winchester would even reach his nephew first let alone if he could grab him, turn around again and flee in the opposite direction.
The monster pounced on the archangel too lost in its anger and bloodlust to notice that the boy in front of it wasn't just any other human. The wendigo didn't get the time to realize its mistake before it went up in flames.
"Hi uncle Dean," Gabriel said with a slightly shaky grin, turning away from the still burning remains. The reality of what he had just done hadn't fully sunk in yet, but it had clearly been an act of self-defense and the older Winchester looked nothing but relieved and rather proud.
"Hey shorty," Dean replied with a crooked smile, checking his nephew over for any injuries. It didn't look like the wendigo had managed to even touch a hair on the boy's head, however.
"Where's Cas?" the archangel asked with a frown. He had thought that his uncle would be with Castiel, so he had only focused on the older Winchester when he had transported himself to their location.
"Your brother stayed back to care for the survivors," the older Winchester explained, putting a hand on his nephew's shoulder as they went back to where the dark-haired angel was supposed to be.
"Good thing you don't want to be a hunter," Dean added after a short moment of silence, "With your talent there wouldn't be anything left for me to hunt."
Gabriel nodded with a slight chuckle. The way he stuck a bit closer to his uncle than normal was the only thing that gave away that the little fire show he had created had left a deeper impression with him. It still was pretty clear the kid wasn't cut out to be a hunter and Dean didn't want to change anything about that. He didn't want his nephew to get used to killing things any more than his younger brother did.
"I totally had the situation under control," the older Winchester spoke on to fill the silence between them and help the boy think of other things than burning monsters, "I just wanted to get some jogging in. You know, cardio training and all that shit."
This time Gabriel full on laughed.
"Alright, what brought you here?" Dean asked quite some time later after they had gotten coffee and hot chocolate from a diner and had returned to their motel room.
The hunt Gabriel had stumbled into obviously had made him forget all about the reason for his visit, but now that everything was calm again they could get to the bottom of that. Not that the older Winchester didn't want his nephew to visit them whenever he wanted, though he really should call ahead next time.
"Am I a good brother?" the archangel asked, sitting on the king sized motel room bed cross legged, looking at his uncle and brother. The boy had asked why there was only one bed when they had first entered the room and Castiel had informed him that the second one would remain unused anyway in that tone of his that could mean everything and nothing. Gabriel had only shrugged and taken the explanation.
"I don't believe there are objective criteria to measure something like that," the dark haired angel answered. He didn't think he deserved the slightly unnerved look Dean shot his way, because he hadn't been done speaking, anyway. "However, from my subjective viewpoint I can tell you that you are a very good brother."
Dean nodded, satisfied. He really hadn't been sure, if Castiel understood that his little brother only wanted to hear that he was doing everything right and that he was loved. Where the question and the sudden urge to know about his qualities as a brother came from was a mystery that still had to be solved, though.
"When I was older," Gabriel went on thoughtfully, "Was I a good older brother?"
The older Winchester had the feeling that he knew where this was going and if he was right, he would kick his brother's ass for not telling him personally, that was for sure!
"We did not know each other very well then," Castiel replied, cocking his head slightly, "I have heard others speak of you very fondly, however."
The dark-haired angel knew better than to mention how most angels had thought of Gabriel as nothing but a traitor and coward for a very long time. Before that he remembered that some other seraphs and especially the cupids had been very taken with the way the archangel had treated them and handled things in general, though.
"Alright, spit it out," Dean stated a moment later, "My brother, the bitch, is making me an uncle again without warning, isn't he?"
The older Winchester would have thought that Sam would call him personally to inform him that there was another little Winchester on the way this time around, but it didn't look like he had. All the questions the archangel had just asked suggested that a pregnancy was involved, anyway.
Gabriel shook his head, "Mom and dad only asked what I think about having a sibling. I'm not getting one, yet."
The older Winchester nodded. It made sense that his nephew wanted to talk about that then and it also made sense that Sam wouldn't have called him to tell him about that. The prospect of another baby in the family was nice, anyway. Being an uncle was among the top five of great things in Dean's life, after all.
"Alright, I don't have to kill your dad then, good to know," the older Winchester replied with a smirk before he turned more serious, "Well, what do you think about it?"
It didn't look like Gabriel was out of his mind with joy, that much was crystal clear.
"I don't know," the archangel answered with a slight pout. The more he thought about it, the more confused he got, actually. He knew that he didn't hate the thought of little siblings as much as his two best friends did, but he had never given having one much thought before. It would be a big change in his life though, so he really should take time to think about it.
"Hey, believe me, when they're going to take your little brother or sister home for the first time you'll probably secretly think that another puppy would have been cooler, but when they first look at you you'll forget all about that," Dean tried to reassure his nephew. Sure, Gabriel had been an only child for a very long time, but the older Winchester didn't doubt that he could find a place in his heart for a sibling. The kid probably had to really wrap his mind around the idea first, though.
"But what if I suck as a big brother?" the archangel asked nearly in a whisper. That was his biggest fear, really. He had had his bigger brothers around and they had been nothing but great, just like everyone else in the family, what if he wouldn't be able to live up to their example?
"Brother, nobody would have thought that Balthazar or I would make good bigger brothers," Castiel spoke before Dean could think of something good to say to that, "But we loved you too much to fail and I am sure that you will rise to the occasion, as well."
Gabriel looked at his dark-haired brother surprised for a moment before he nodded seriously. He wasn't worried that he couldn't love a little sibling, if that was what he needed to be a good brother then he was sure he could do that, too.
"And if you're unsure, ask me," Dean added with a self-assured smile, "I know all about being an awesome bigger brother!"
The archangel chuckled and drank the last of his hot chocolate. Right, he could always ask his brothers or his uncle if he needed advice, too. He really should have thought of that by himself earlier. He had always been able to come to one of them for everything before, too.
"I want a little brother," Gabriel decided, "Or a little sister."
Thinking about it, both would be okay with him. He liked Toshio and Sophie alike, after all. There was no reason why a brother would be better than a sister. He'd just have to make sure that he taught them how to be cool and enjoy the right things just like his uncle had done with him.
"Hey, if you're lucky you get someone like Sammy, then you'll have both in one," Dean grinned, rolling his eyes when both angels tilted their heads in confusion.
"I don't believe Sam is a hermaphrodite," Castiel pointed out with a frown.
"Cas, how often do I have to joke about Sammy being a girl before you get it?" the older Winchester groaned. At least, Gabriel finally understood what he had meant to say, even if he obviously didn't think it was all that funny.
I am not completely sure what Dean and Castiel told you, but I know that you came back announcing that you really wanted to be a big brother... and that you killed a wendigo. One of those things made me really happy. I bet you can figure out which one.
Author's note: Okay, this far my favorite names for the little sibling Gabe is going to have eventually are Emma, Laura or Paula... thoughts?