AN: I hope y'all are enjoying this one so far. …With as much angst as I tend to throw into things that were supposed to be light and happy. And short.
After dropping Castiel off at the motel, Sam and Dean headed to the mystery spot. Dean stared grimly at the neon sign as he pulled into the small, dirt lot. A brightly flashing sign hung above a small ticket booth, and an equally annoying flashing arrow pointed down a narrow path into the woods.
'Well?' Sam nudged Dean's arm as he looked around. 'Do you feel anything?'
Dean rolled his eyes and shut off the engine. 'I don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling,' he replied in frustration. 'I don't even wanna be here!'
Sam silently left the car and lead the way to the ticket booth. The booth was empty, so he rang the little bell on the counter. A voice drifted from down the little path that led to the Mysterious Mystery Spot.
'Yeah, okay, great! You figured out the phone. I'm so proud of you,' a man said in clear irritation as he rounded the corner. He ran a hand through his blond hair as he mimed the person on the other end of his cell phone. He looked up in surprise at Sam and Dean. His eyes darted between the two, and his brows furrowed. 'Uh… Sorry, I gotta go. A couple customers just showed up.' He hung up his phone and stared expectantly at the brothers.
Sam held his hand out. 'Hi, I'm Sam Winchester,' he said. 'Are you…Gabriel?'
Gabriel glanced at the proffered hand. He took it and gave a hardy shake as he grinned up at Sam. 'That'd be me,' he replied. 'Well, Sam, you sure are a lot hotter in person.'
Sam blushed and coughed as he took his hand back. 'Uh…thanks?'
'So, you guys want the grand tour?' Gabriel asked as he popped into the ticket booth and fished around in a filing cabinet.
'If you wouldn't mind.'
'Sure…' Gabriel pulled out a couple sheets of paper and slammed them on the counter. 'But first, you sign.'
'Sign what?' Dean asked. He felt off. That was the only way to describe it. There was…something…around. And he felt alone. He refused to believe Castiel had anything to do with his loneliness.
'Just a standard waiver,' Gabriel replied. 'And how are you paying? Am I gonna have to harass that museum of yours for money? I'll give you a discount if you pay in cash.'
Sam reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He handed over a pair of twenties.
Gabriel brows went up in surprise. 'I think you missed the point of a discount.'
'Well, I was hoping that Dean and I would be able to stick around and explore when there were no people around,' Sam said. He gave Gabriel shy smile. May as well use his good looks to get him what he wanted.
Gabriel looked from Sam to Dean, who was reading over the waiver. 'Tonight's not the best…wait! No, this is perfect!' he exclaimed. 'My brother's in town, and it's been a really long time since I last saw him. I'll show you guys around and close down early.'
'Oh. I was hoping to get a better look around,' Sam said with a sigh.
'See, that's the best part. I'll leave you the keys to gate. Just lock up when you leave.'
Dean looked up from the waiver. 'You're gonna trust us? Alone?'
'What's there to steal?' Gabriel asked, gesturing around him. 'I take the cash with me. And there's not really anything else of value. Only reason I lock up is to keep the damn teens out.'
Dean nodded and went back to reading over the waiver. He frowned. 'Maiming by broom?'
'You'd be surprised how often that happens,' Gabriel replied, shaking his head.
'Right. Whatever.' Dean signed the waivered and slid it back to Gabriel. 'This had better be worth it,' he grumbled to Sam.
Sam wasted no time in scribbling his signature. 'Don't worry. I had a very reliable source on this one.'
Sam sighed in relief when Gabriel left. The shorter man was very excitable and loved to recount all the mishaps and lawsuits his little tourist trap had survived. And he was very touchy-feely. Sam found it doubtful that so much lint could be found on any one person. On his back, his front, his hair, his ass. It didn't help that the little touches were turning him on.
But, he couldn't focus on that, nor the phone number that had been scribbled on a napkin and shoved into his back pocket. He had a familiar to track down. He wished he could just take Castiel off of Dean's hands.
'So, are you getting anything?' Sam asked.
Dean looked around a shrugged. 'I've been feelin' weird ever since we got here,' he replied. 'I dunno if it's ghosts or some fucked up mystical…divergence…thing.'
'Do you think you can find the source?'
Dean huffed a long suffering sigh. 'I'll try.'
For over an hour, they went in circles. Inside the small topsy-turvy hut, around the perimeter, back inside. And then Dean lost whatever he was sensing.
He shook his head and shrugged. 'I dunno, Sammy. I don't feel anything anymore. For all we know, it was leading us on a wild goose chase.'
Sam chewed his lip and looked around. 'How about we start at the entrance and work our way back?'
Dean groaned, but agreed.
They didn't find anything. There was no trace of the presence Dean had been feeling earlier that day. Dean had no idea as to why Sam was so disappointed about the whole thing. The drive back to the motel was spent in silence.
Dean frowned as he pulled into the motel's parking lot. He looked around carefully, but saw nothing out of the ordinary.
'Dean? Something wrong?' Sam asked.
'I don't know,' Dean replied distractedly. He got out of the car and kept looking around in confusion as they got closer to their room. 'I think…something's here.'
Sam opened his mouth to speak, but quickly shut it when he heard shouting coming from their motel room. He looked from the door to Dean. He gave Dean an exasperated look when Dean pulled out his gun.
Dean quietly unlocked the door. He was actually surprised when there was no tell-tale click. Did he keep the lock silent? Maybe being a witch wasn't so bad. He pushed the door open a crack so he and Sam could see what was going on.
Castiel sat on the foot of one of the beds. A figure passed over the crack, and Dean immediately recognized him as Gabriel.
'If he hates you so much, then why doesn't he just banish you?!' Gabriel shouted.
Castiel looked as he feet. 'He doesn't know it's an option,' he replied. 'I have not been very…forthcoming with information.'
Gabriel stalked to the other side of the room. 'So he doesn't know anything?'
Castiel shrugged. 'Everything is in the grimoire, but he wants nothing to do with it.'
'Grimoire? Grim—fuck! You have the book with you?!'
Castiel nodded. He waved his hand, and the book appeared in his lap.
Gabriel stared and began pacing again. 'Dammit, Cas. If anyone finds out… They'll come after you! Only this time, they won't stop at threatening your witch!'
Castiel fidgeted with his hands. 'She…she knew the risk. She kept them away.'
'Yeah, and Dean doesn't. Fuck. He can't even sense a familiar standing right in front of him!' Gabriel tuned to Castiel, his arms wide. 'He can't defend himself! You're dragging that idiot into something he doesn't have a clue about, and he doesn't even care about you!'
'I can protect Dean and the book,' Castiel argued.
Gabriel growled and grabbed at his hair. 'So what?! You have power. Dean has plenty of power. But, that doesn't mean anything when you don't work together.'
Castiel hugged the book to his chest and refused to look up at Gabriel.
Gabriel stopped in his pacing and turned to stare at Castiel. 'Is…is that why you did it? Why you brought them here? To get me to help you?! You could have just asked! You know I woulda said "yes"!'
Castiel violently shook his head. 'No! It was Sam. He wanted a familiar, and I thought…' Castiel stared up miserably at Gabriel. 'I thought you might actually want to be bonded to a witch again.'
Gabriel laughed and resumed his pacing. 'With Sam? Yeah, the guy's fuckin' hot, I'll give him that, but he has next to no power.'
Gabriel threw Castiel a glare. 'And we both know how that ends up. Dark witch waiting to happen,' he said. He took a calming breath and paused.
'Sam thirsts for knowledge,' Castiel said quietly. 'Not power.'
Gabriel didn't respond, just stared ahead.
Sam frowned and looked at Dean. He balked at the intense stare he was receiving from his brother.
They both jumped back as the door flew completely open. Dean pointed his gun straight at Gabriel, but glanced away as something small and black darted from atop the bed to behind the dresser.
'Is that true, Sammy?' Gabriel asked, ignoring Dean. 'Are you a nerdy witch?'
Sam stared in shock. 'I…I mean… I uh…'
Gabriel strode closer, maintaining eye contact with Sam. 'Would you be satisfied with just knowing things? Barely able to conjure a small flame for a candle, while your brother summons a terrifying storm and commands the very elements around him?'
Sam looked from Gabriel to Dean. Dean was no longer glaring at Gabriel, but at the dresser. 'Can he… Could he really do that?' Sam asked as he looked back at Gabriel.
At Gabriel's nod, Sam let out an excited laugh. But, it was short-lived. He reminded himself that Dean hated what he was. He sighed and looked away. He watched as Dean struggled with the dresser, trying to move it. 'It doesn't matter. I'd never get to see it,' he said. He waved his hand dismissively at Gabriel. 'Y'know what… Nevermind. I've lived my whole life without a familiar. I don't need one now. And…I don't wanna end up evil.'
'It's a good thing you're a looker, Sam,' Gabriel said.
Sam looked from Dean to Gabriel. 'Huh?'
'I'll do it. I'll be your familiar.'
Sam smiled uncertainly. 'Oh…um… So we're compatible?'
'Well, Cas said a witch and familiar had to be compatible.'
Gabriel laughed, causing Dean to look up. 'No, it doesn't quite work like that,' Gabriel replied.
'What?' Dean growled as he kicked at the dresser.
'Most familiars are compatible with all witches,' Gabriel explained. 'Cas, however…his power's all over the place. He draws from light and dark energies. Someone screwed up his initial summoning. Because of that, he needs a powerful witch to ground him. I draw from the light, so I can control my power on my own.'
'So, not only am I a fucking witch, but I have a broken familiar,' Dean said.
Gabriel glared at Dean. 'He's not broken,' he said threateningly. 'Be careful of what you say, little witch. You may be powerful, but you don't know anything about how to use your magic. I'd wipe the floor with your ass.'
Dean seethed silently. He suddenly wanted to learn this magic crap. If only to shut Gabriel's stupid mouth.
'So!' Gabriel turned back to Sam with wide smile. 'You still game?'
'Um… Y-yeah!' Sam quickly replied, ignoring Dean's scoff. 'So…what do I do? Do I chant some sort of spell or perform a ritual or something?'
Gabriel grimaced as he looked toward the ceiling. 'You've been watching too much TV. No, you just have to swear your power to me.'
'Wait, I had to say some spell,' Dean said.
Gabriel gave Dean an amused look then shifted his gaze to the dresser. 'Sorry, Dean-o. It's the same for all familiars. Some prefer older languages and stuffy wording. Some use the language barrier to trick innocent little witches.'
Dean stared at Gabriel. 'He tricked me.'
Dean looked at the dresser. He should have been able to move it, but it was stuck firmly in place. Castiel had tricked him, and was now cheating, using his power to remain hidden. It was the only explanation. He narrowed his eyes at the dresser. If Castiel could use magic to keep a dresser stuck, then he could use magic to unstick it.
'Castiel, we need to talk,' he growled. He swiped his hand from one side to the other and was more than a little surprised when the dresser actually moved. Dean stared down at the shocked cat. All eyes were on him.
'That was amazing!' Sam crowed. 'How did you do it?'
Dean snapped from his daze and quickly reached down to grab Castiel by the scruff of the neck. He gave Sam a confused look. 'I…I don't know. I just wanted it to move.'
'You overthink things,' Gabriel pointed out. He watched as Castiel struggled helplessly in Dean's grip. 'Wow, Cas. Way to fit the stereotype. Should I start calling you "Cattiel"?'
Castiel ceased his struggles and managed the best glare he could, given his position.
'Oh, God,' Gabriel muttered, mortified. 'I have to cuddle with him.'
'You can cuddle all you want later,' Dean said. He was beginning to feel better. Moving that dresser had been so satisfying. Maybe…maybe he could get used to this whole witch thing, after all. 'I need to have a word with Cas.'
Castiel resumed his struggles and quickly found himself being hugged so tightly, he couldn't move.
'But first…he needs a bath,' Dean said. There may have been a gleefully sadistic tone to his voice.