Title: The Redeye Blues
Pairing(s): Team Free Love (Sam/Dean/Castiel/Gabriel)
Genre(s): Reunions, Schmoop, Super-Fluff to the Power of 1,000,000, Transglobal Flights Suck Ass
Prompt: From imagineyourpolyship on tumblr:
"Imagine a member of your polyship going off into the army or a long volunteer program, and when they get home the other partners are all holding welcome home signs and bouquets of roses for them, ready to wrap them up in all of their arms the moment they get through the gate."
"Stuffed crust pizza," Jake says as the plane taxis slowly towards the gate, rolling over Day-Glo stripes and empty miles of runways.
"More than two and a half minutes of hot water," Ava counters, leaning in between their seats to speak.
"Assassin's Creed 3," Andy says, and spreads his hands when they all turn to look at him. "What?"
"You can't miss something that came out after we left," Sam points out.
Andy shakes his head stubbornly. "I missed it! I missed the opportunity. Ansem said he beat it three days after it came out, can you believe that? He's been trying to spoil it for me since October!"
Sam lets his head fall back against his chair, and the low thrum of the engines and his seatmates' good-natured ribbing washes over him like so much white noise. He's just so fucking tired. They all are; they've been traveling for over two days straight, now— a long drive over rough roads from their base camp to Gaborone, where they'd taken a puddlejumper down to South Africa and a real airline from there to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Dulles, Dulles to O'Hare. According to Sam's watch it's time for lunch, three continents behind him. It's chili day in the mess, and he suddenly misses it— iodine-flavored water, tinny-tasting canned beef, flies and all.
The plane coasts to a stop at one of the further outflung terminals of the airport, and the captain's voice buzzes in over the sound of a hundred people all standing and grabbing for their carry-on luggage at once. "— currently 2:56 am local time. On behalf of the crew I'd like to thank you for flying United. We realize you have a choice in airfare, and—"
"Got anybody waiting for you, man?" Jake asks, turning in his seat to face Sam. None of the three of them look too eager join the crowd filing past them. Under the harsh artificial light Jake's face is grey and drawn, and the rings around Ava's eyes are dark as bruises.
"Maybe?" Sam hazards, rubbing his eyes. "I mean, Dean is picking me up. I think. We had that delay in Germany and I left a message on his phone, I hope he got it."
"I think he meant in an existential sense," Andy pipes up, and they all scowl at him. They've been up for way too long to appreciate the breadth of his vocabulary.
"Egg-stencial, whatever," Ava says, around a yawn. She closes her eyes and props her cheek on Jake's seat."My fiancé dumped me right before I left, so I'm taking a cab to my mom's and spending a couple weeks at home."
"I'm sorry," Sam says, and she reaches out and pats his head without opening her eyes.
"S'okay, he had a tiny dick. Like a," she flaps her hand, "liiiiiiitle baby carrot. I made it his Facebook picture and locked his account before getting on the plane."
Jake snorts and Andy winces. "Harsh."
"He totally deserved it. Asshole. What about you, Jake?"
"My grandma was gonna be here, but my sister probably took her home already," Jake says. "Think I'll take the Metra out to the 'burbs."
"One more flight," Andy says gloomily. "I wish I had family outside of California."
Ava pats him, too. "You can do it."
The plane has emptied out while they were talking, and Sam levers himself out of the economy-sized seat with a wince for every crack, twinge and creak his body makes as he wrenches himself into a standing position. "Ouch."
"I feel you," Jakes says as he climbs out after him, and they pull their backpacks out of the overhead bins. Ava pouts and Andy makes lip wibbles until Sam rolls his eyes and grabs theirs too, and the four of them troop wearily down the aisle and into the telescoping arm of the gate.
Sam fishes out his phone from his front pocket and turns it on, rubs his eyes again while he waits for it to boot up. God, he hopes Dean got his message. It's cold out here, colder in the actual terminal. It may as well be the Arctic for his body, which has spent the last two years—two years!— acclimating to the sub-Sarharian planes just south of Ntwetwe Pan. He's barely managing to get one foot in front of the other, but the other three aren't exactly breaking landspeed records either; the four of them almost fall asleep huddled together on a moving walkways, and send Andy off with weak backslaps and tired waves.
Baggage claim is a ghost town, an echoing, low-ceilinged stretch of motionless carrels and chilly white light. In front of him, Jake slows to a stop and Sam almost runs into him, toe ramming into the back of his heel.
"Sorry, man," Sam mumbles, and that's when Jake gets knocked to the side and someone jumps Sam at a dead run.
Literally jumps him. Gabriel's legs are around his waist and his hands are fisted in Sam's hair, mouth warm and wet over Sam's, moving with purpose, before Sam's even really aware it's him. The way he tastes is something Sam will never forget, though— chocolate and strong coffee, sugar-sweet and slightly bitter. Sam staggers under the sudden extra weight, dropping his bag as his arms come up automatically brace under Gabriel's thighs, and the man purrs approval into his mouth, smile curving the lips that linger over Sam's a second more before drawing away.
"Hey," Sam says dazedly, and Gabriel laughs and dips in for another kiss.
"Excuse me," a polite voice says just over his shoulder, and Gabriel is being forcefully removed from the vicinity of Sam's mouth and Castiel takes his place, turns of his tongue and teeth a little cooler and more circumspect. Gabriel is persistent, and for a moment Sam's caught in a messy, brain-melting threeway between them, before Castiel finally manages to edge Gabriel out and stake his claim with a series of lingering, sucking bites.
Sam hasn't brushed his teeth in more than twenty-four hours, hasn't bathed in longer than that, but Castiel and Gabriel burrow into him and sigh anyway. Sam hugs them shamelessly, lets the feel of them, the warmth and weight and familiarity, soak into his skin like so much sunlight, before opening his eyes again. Because someone's still missing.
His brother's standing next to the baggage carrel, the tread of which has just started sluggishly chugging forward. He's watching the three of them with soft eyes, though they narrow when he sees Sam's looking. He straightens, and shifts to keep a grocery-store bouquet badly hidden behind one leg.
"Dude," Sam says, floating on exhaustion and happiness like his head's full of foaming champagne, "you got me flowers?"
"It was Gabe's idea," Dean protests, pulling the wilting tulips further behind him, and then he's stepping up into the small space between Castiel and Gabriel, like it was left there just for him. His kiss is brief, but it warms Sam through. "Welcome back, Sammy."
Sam's smile might be a little goofy; so sue him. Dean's is definitely a little goofy, fond and happy and so damn relieved it makes Sam's chest ache.
"I'm back," he says quietly, and Dean's grin slides into a smirk.
"Yeah, I see that, genius."
Sam had almost forgotten they had an audience, until Ava lets out a piercing wolf whistle and Jake swears wonderingly.
"Damn, Sam," he says. "You didn't tell us you had a harem waiting."
"How is it that I can't hold on to one and you have three?" Ava demands. "Do you loan them out? Can I borrow one?"
The incredulous look Dean aims at her is hilarious. Everything's hilarious, and Sam almost drops Gabriel he's laughing so hard. He feels drunk, and it might be exhaustion and it might be love, or some gold-tinted, light-headed combination of the two.
"Sorry," he gasps, "All mine," and Dean shoots him a look but Castiel makes a pleased noise against his shoulder and Gabriel—
Sam yips in surprise and Gabriel laughs, squeezes harder.
"I don't think I'll be putting out much tonight, sorry," he chuckles, ducking his head to reach Gabriel's ear.
"We've been here since four in the afternoon," Gabriel mock-growls. "We made signs. You're putting out and liking it."
Sam doesn't put out. They drive home down I-90 and he falls asleep on Castiel's shoulder, then again in the shower (the glorious, scalding-hot, thirty-minute shower. He almost drowns he's so comfortable— Ava definitely had the right idea there), and finally in their bed. The sheets smell like detergent and they're smooth against his bare, damp skin, and Sam's barely awake to feel Gabriel curls up like a mini-furnace against his chest, Castiel just behind him with a sleepy smile and another stolen kiss over Gabriel's head. Dean drapes himself over Sam's back like he's trying to cover as much acreage as he can, face buried between Sam's shoulder blades and his arm thrown over Sam's ribs.
Sam thinks, it's too quiet. He thinks, what am I going to do tomorrow? What's changed? Two years is a long time. It's not like Castiel, Gabriel and Dean have been locked in storage this entire time. What has he missed?
Gabriel pokes him in the stomach. "Your brain is loud," he complains, nonsensically. "Sleep now."
"G' t'sleep," Dean grumbles, arm tightening.
"Stop talking," Castiel sighs. "Sleep."