Wait and See

Smoky The Bear Would Approve

Dean gulps, remembering the nightmares that Cas wakes up from about that. He settles his arms around Cas's shoulders and Cas keeps going. "You hurt the people around you. You…screw things up. Please don't screw things up."

Dean, for the millionth time this week, doesn't know how to reply. So he just sits and waits for Cas to stop hugging him.

Cas doesn't. He sighs, "You smell bad," but he doesn't let go. Dean doesn't let go either.

He let's his palm slide up over Cas's back, the way Chelsea does, surprised when he feels his fingers go over the neckline of Cas's shirt and he feels Cas's bare neck against his fingertips.

Cas sighs and turns his head, so that his face is against Dean's neck. Dean shivers at the alien feeling of the former angel's stubble dragging over his skin, then, startled at his reaction, Dean jerks away. The movement is covered when his phone rings at the same moment.

"Chelsea" flashes on the screen. Dean's eyes dart to the oven clock. It's quarter to ten. Not too late for her to call, but still weirdly late.

"Hey, Chels what's up?"

"Umm… okay… I don't… I might be being ridiculous."

Dean recognizes the fear in her voice. "What's wrong?"

"The guy from the date? Well, it didn't work out, and I ran into him a couple times in the last week, and… I umm… now I think he's following me. I think he's outside my house."

Dean looks up at Cas. "Cas, get dressed to go out." He's already moving toward the door, Cas following. "Okay. Chelsea- lock the doors. All the doors. When we were cleaning guns a few weeks ago, I left a rifle in your closet and a box of salt rounds. Get them, go up to your room, stand in the corner. He comes through the doors, you blow him full of holes."


They're outside, Dean's popping the trunk, shivering in the frigid cold. He grabs a knife and hands Cas one. "You won't kill him, but it'll hurt like hell, and keep him down long enough."

"For what?"

"For me to fill him full of holes."

"Dean-" Chelsea starts.

"When you get upstairs put the phone on speaker, put it somewhere so we can here what's going on. Here's Cas."

Dean tosses Cas the phone. He doesn't really track what the conversation is. He hits 90 on the freeway and kills the lights on the Impala as they come down the highway and turn into Chelsea's neighborhood and parks a few houses down.

"Are we really going to kill this man?" Cas asks. He doesn't sound like he's against it, just like he thinks he ought to clarify. Dean can hear Chelsea commenting on this question in the background.

"Probably not. We're just going to see if he's there, if he is, we're going to rough him up a little bit."

"He says we're going to rough him up a little bit…right. We're here. I'm going to hang up now."

Cas tucks the phone into his pocket and pulls out the knife.

"Dude, not yet. Put it away." Dean smacks the back of his hand against Cas's arm. The last thing they need is to be the armed creepy dudes sneaking around a girl's house.

Cas slips his hand under his coat, hiding the knife, and they head toward the house. Like he used to do with his blade under his trench coat.

Dean almost hopes the guy is there. After the weird day with Cas, and the half great, half terrible blow job with some random girl who probably doesn't even remember his name, he just wants to carve up a pervert until he screams and then go get some shut eye.

It's a little unhealthy. He's okay with that.

He and Cas take opposite sides of the house. They don't find the guy. Dean finds footprints in the snow. They go around the yard, and to just outside Chelsea's window. Chelsea comes home with them without even pretending to put up a fight about it.

Forty-five minutes later they're back in the house. Chelsea's shakes are already worked down, and she's laughing with them. She's sitting really close to Cas, even for her, and the laugh is fake, but she's laughing.

Dean some how winds up making hot chocolate. Some deep buried memory of what people get when they're upset in the winter. He has old, vague memories of stealing some for Sam once because they saw it in some holiday special and Sam had never tried it and Dean couldn't remember if he had or not.

When he comes back from the kitchen Cas has relinquished part of his blanket to Chelsea, and their hands are twined on top of it. He quietly blames Chelsea for the fact that Cas has learned to be a little clingy and drops down on her other side.

They don't talk about the guy. Chelsea says she'll go down to the police station and file a report in the morning, but other than that, they talk about cases. Cas shows her his tattoo. They both suggest she get one and Dean learns that Chelsea actually has a tattoo. A rose on her ass that she got when she was eighteen. Apparently it's not her least regretted decision of all time. She says she'll think about the anti-possession tattoo.

They finish the cocoa. Dean dumps the mugs in the sink. Cas goes to rinse them out and Dean hangs downstairs with him, letting Chelsea have the bathroom first.

"I'm glad she's staying with us," Cas says, squirting soap into a mug and scrubbing it out. "I don't think I'd be able to sleep if she had stayed at home. Is that condescending?"

"Condescending?" Dean asks.

"Because it sounds like I don't think that she can take care of herself?"

"That's different. If it was simpler- ghost, monster, whatever. We'd just hunt it, it'd be dead, we'd let her sleep in her own bed. We can't just go kill some dude. It gets complicated."


They go upstairs, Chelsea is in her room and they slip into the bathroom to brush their teeth. Cas still does this very methodically. Even after months of being human he still puts exactly a pea size dot of toothpaste on the brush, as per instructions.

Chelsea walks by, apparently on her way downstairs from Bobby's room. She quirks an eyebrow at them. "You two brush your teeth together?"

Dean looks between Cas and Chelsea in the mirror. "Is that weird?" Of all the things that he knows are weird between him and Cas, this never would have occurred to him.

"No. Not really. It's adorable." She shrugs and continues on her way.

Dean shoots a look at Cas before nudging the door closed with his toe. "So… you wouldn't be able to sleep is she wasn't under our roof tonight, huh?"

"No. I don't expect so."

Dean nods, spits, rinses. Cas gives him a little bit of a look. The toothpaste tube says to brush for two minutes and Dean never does.

"You two spend a lot of time together. Get along. Get a little cuddly. Do you maybe have a little crush on Chelsea?"

Cas's industrious brushing slows. "I don't understand anything you just said to me."

"Do you know what a-"

"Yes, Dean, I know what a crush is." He sounds impatient, but not pissed. "And I don't have romantic feelings for Chelsea. She's important to me. She cares about us. She is our friend. What is 'cuddly'?"

"Holding her hand all the time and sharing a blanket on the couch."

"We do that," Cas says, flicking a finger between the two of them. Dean flushes in embarrassment. Cas isn't wrong.

"No we don't," he says.

Cas looks askance at him. "Yes we do."

"We don't… cuddle," Dean asserts before throwing out. "It's different with a girl."

"Oookaay," Cas says, his sarcasm undercut by the toothpaste foam around his mouth. "And why do I need your permission for any of this?"

"Because I went out with her first."

Cas spits, rinses and rubs his tattoo (Dean can't believe that was just this morning. He's gone from tattoo, to dull afternoon, to random chick in the woods to picking up Chelsea from some stalker freak and now this).

"You're weird tonight," Cas says finally. "Are you okay?"


Cas looks disbelieving. "Okay. Goodnight, Dean."

Dean sleeps better than he was expecting to and wakes up with the feeling of a dream fading away. The details are fuzzy, a few images stand out like flashes in closed eyes after looking into the light. Sam in a bathrobe sitting silently in the corner of the tattoo parlor, watching Chuck burn a handprint onto Cas's chest while Cas sat still and unconcerned.

It's not really a nightmare but it makes Dean feel scattered and uncomfortable. He goes to check on Chelsea. Her room is empty. He goes downstairs, then up to check Cas's room when the kitchen, living room, and panic room are all empty too.

Chelsea is in Cas's bed. Dean's first reaction is embarrassment, then something… dark and sticky in his chest that he doesn't understand, then something like relief when he realizes that it is the least intimately two people have ever slept. Cas is on his stomach with his face buried in his pillows. Dean wonders how he breathes like that. Chelsea is snoring lightly, one arm thrown haphazardly over her face.

Dean goes back downstairs and puts on a pot of coffee. He considers making everyone breakfast, but all he can make is bacon and Cas… tutted in disappointment the last time Dean attempted pancakes.

Dean waits a little longer before starting bacon anyway.

The smell wakes everyone else up. Chelsea makes crepes, Cas watches in fascination. It turns out Chelsea wound up in Cas's room because Cas has been slowly pulling all of the blankets in the house into his room, like a bird building a nest. The thermostat outside reads neg 20, and Dean's pretty sure it was even colder last night. The simplest solution had been to just curl up under them and keep warm with Cas.

It's a pleasant breakfast, like a family breakfast must be, only punctured by the way that Dean suddenly… notices the way Cas actually does touch him. Hand on his shoulder when he asks a question. Squeezing his hand for no reason. Dean decides that he's just being overly self-conscious because they've got an onlooker. Cas hardly does any of these things in public, people don't usually see them like this.

The cold hits Dean like a slap in the face when he goes out to the car for work. It takes him four tries to get the Impala to turn over. Work is deathly boring. No one's leaving their houses and the temperature is inching down even lower. Dean texts Chelsea the location of the thermostat with express orders not to tell Cas where it is.

He and the guys finally give up on sitting in the chilly garage and move up to the heated break room. He got razzed about the girl he was texting and told them mostly the truth. Chelsea had stayed with him and Cas. He'd changed "crazy stalker" to "furnace on the blink" but still got weird looks. Apparently, even if she'd freeze to death if you didn't, it was a little weird to just completely platonically put up a beautiful, single, female friend. Particularly when you already lived with a traumatized army buddy who seemed to be getting better and better, but still wasn't picking up on the whole personal space deal.

When the boss starts letting people go home early because it's too cold for anyone to come in, Dean volunteers first.

When he gets home Cas is making tacos, and he and Chelsea are watching Ellen.

And Ellen's guest? Carver Edlund.

Dean walks in and sees him on the screen, hunch shouldered, with that same look as always on his face, like he expects to get struck down by some random and humiliating accident.

"I'm gonna kill him," he growls, throwing his coat onto the arm of the couch and dropping down next to Chelsea to watch this whole train wreck.

"So I take it you know him?" Chelsea asks.

"Not for long," Dean says.

"Oh, don't kill him." Chelsea sticks her lip out. "He's cute and he must be getting rich. Set me up."

Dean shakes his head. There is whiskey in the freezer… but the bad hangover binge hadn't been the last one and he knew Cas and Chelsea had started keeping an eye on his drinking.

But there is also a beer in the fridge. If he only has one then it's social. "You're not his type."

Chelsea sticks out her lip, faking a pout. "Gay, huh?"

Dean wasn't expecting that. "No! He uh… he likes dominatrixes. Actually."

Chelsea wrinkles her nose at him. "How do you know that counts me out?"

Dean's mind forces an image of Chelsea in thigh high leather boots onto him before he can stop it. Now he definitely needs a beer.

"What's a-" Cas starts from the armchair.

"Please don't answer that," Dean sighs, walking to the kitchen. He hasn't even stood up before Cheslea is saying, "It's a woman who sexually excites men by causing them physical pain or making them sexually submissive to her in role play games. Dominatrix usually has the connotation of a woman who is paid for services and may not actually have sex with the men who pay her. If a woman is a Domme it would usually mean that there is an actual sexual relationship involved."

Dean's not sure why he expected Cas to look shocked. He forgets that Cas is as old as time and has probably seen every sexual perversion ever, if not over the course of history, at least on the internet.

Cas nods. "Oh." After a few moments he works up to "Ew."

Dean silently agrees and decides to pretend that he doesn't know Chelsea knew that and try not to wonder why she sounded like she swallowed a gender studies textbook before she explained.

"So really, how do you know him?"

"He's the prophet," Cas supplies. That actually seems to floor Chelsea. Dean's never seen her floored.

"Wait, what?"

Dean rolls his eyes while Cas explains that Chuck Shirley is a Prophet of the Lord and Dean sees the glazed look in Chelsea's eyes when she realizes that a former angel (who is making her tacos and in whose bed she spent the night) is telling her that a prophet is hawking a book series that he wrote about the guy that she once dated and how they all saved the world on a goddamn talk show.

Dean recognizes the look. It's the one he gets himself whenever he tries to make his life sound like it really happens.

They eat tacos. They answer the phones. Chelsea googles a bunch of stuff about the Supernatural books. When it turns out that the newest book starts with a mysterious force pulling Dean out of Hell, who turns out to be an Angel named Castiel she finally seems to believe it.

She also finds some fan art that Dean did not need to see. He wishes he knew what in the hell was so thrilling about his devastation.

Garza and Coffrey call from Nebraska, there's some sort of weird witch thing going on. There's a small body count, but they think they can handle it.

Chelsea goes back to looking up Supernatural stuff. Dean explains that it's really his life. It all really happened and he'd appreciate it if she did not go poking around his and Sam's life story.

They all decide to take a night off from research, which, since it's too cold to leave the house ends up just being having another beer and watching a movie on cable. Dean can't just sit in the house and not research, so he grabs a book off the shelf at random and starts paging through it.

Garza calls back, things in Nebraska took a weird turn. Research is back on before the first commercial break. Nothing is lining up with anything anyone has ever heard of. Evidence is pointing to superhuman, but motive is pointing to human. They call Bobby, who starts researching at home.

They're still looking at midnight, and just when they're about to go to bed another death happens. A little girl. They stay up till two, and still find nothing.

Dean is tired and frustrated and he hates everything the next day. And it's even colder, which means he's away from the books, helping no one, for no reason. Bobby calls at lunch to ask some questions about when he and Sam hunted Samhain, before sighing that everything Dean told him killed his theory, but they're still working on pagan gods.

The shop closes early again and Dean books home. Cas and Chelsea are bent over the kitchen table with Bobby. Bobby's got a glass of juice. It takes a moment for Dean to realize that it's weird to see Bobby researching without whiskey. It's good, it's just strange. Especially when he learns that three more little girls died and they're not any closer to finding the thing that's doing it.

Reading languages from Angelic memory with human faculties makes Cas a little disoriented, by nine that night he's digging his fingers into his eyes and complaining about the lights looking weird. Chelsea figures out he's getting a migraine. Cas throws his book down in frustration and makes a fresh pot of coffee.

They keep reading. Garza keeps calling. It's getting worse. More girls are dying. A pattern isn't emerging.

At eleven Bobby finds some lore on a goddess of childbirth who may have gotten shaken loose during the apocalypse war and started reclaiming children that she felt were owed to her. They need an obscure, wooden stake from a certain tree to kill her. Chelsea finds one in a museum in Arizona. Dean makes calls and organizes a dagger relay between Arizona and Nebraska. Three hunter teams, and no one has to postpone their own hunt for more than an hour.

The shut the books, hit the lights, liberate some of the quilts from Cas's bed and return them to Bobby's. Chelsea decides to sleep in Cas's bed rather than the couch, because it's still too damn cold.

Dean drops under his blankets, fully dressed, and is only asleep for two hours before his phone rings again.

It's Garza. The stake didn't work. The monster's not a goddess.

Dean walks down the hall and bangs on everybody's door, they're back at the books in ten minutes.

Dean's reading over something he thinks he read when he got home, about vampires, which they've already crossed off the list when something occurs to him- the MO doesn't line up with anything they've ever seen. But parts of it line up with some things and parts of it line up with others.

"Guys?" Dean says, looking up from his book. "What if we're looking at a hybrid?"

"Hybrid…" Bobby asks. "As in a mommy and daddy monster who loved each other very much?"

Dean shrugs and pushes the book over. "Could be a lamia. It eats children. That covers part of it, and the rest… we were thinking witch originally, but went for Goddess because of the souped up powers? What if it's a human lamia hybrid? Or maybe… the fact that we cant' find it… it could be a shifter lamia hybrid. Hell, at this point it could be a shifter/lamia hybrid that's also a witch."

"I've never heard of a lamia outside of Greece." Bobby runs his hands over his face.

"A hybrid creature does explain the unlikely combination of powers," Cas yawns.

"We're running out of time and ideas here, the magic stake didn't do shit. We've gotta have something to go on."

Bobby agrees. They run the idea past Garza, who's pissed about the mishap with the stake, but thinks there is merit to the hybrid idea. They've got a blessed silver knife, which will take out a lamia, shifter or human.

They keep researching, while Garza and Coffrey hunt, looking for a back up plan if they were wrong about this too.

It's almost four am when they get the call. Ding-dong the monster's dead, all signs point to a hybrid situation and they saved three girls just in time, who are in the hospital already and expected to recover.

Bobby throws down his book and goes up to bed. Cas sighs in relief like every muscle in his body just relaxed all at once.

And Chelsea let's out an honest-to-god whoop, grabs Dean around the face and kisses him full on the lips. He pushes her away in surprise. He can fell that his cheeks are a little flushed, which seems crazy from just a kiss.

He glances over at Cas, who is looking at them in that head-quirked way that he used to.

"Fucking brilliant, Dean!" Chelsea crows. She gets up, rushes around the table, hugs Cas from behind and goes upstairs.

Cas yawns. "You should go to bed, Dean. You have to get up early."

"You should watch out with her in your bed," Dean sighs. "Apparently she's an enthusiastic celebrator."

Cas shrugs, he looks like he's going to comment on that for a moment and then gives up.

"Good night, Dean."

When Dean gets to work in the morning he's painfully aware that he got three hours of sleep last night, and he feels like he's dead. three hours of sleep used to be enough to propel him through a couple of days of horror, fighting, and near death, and now it's barely enough to get him back up to the break room to do nothing in the cold.

So he's really not up for Jose's grin. Or the fact that the rest of the guys have found out about Supernatural. Apparently Jose's younger brother, and one of the other guy's daughters have started reading them. And they know about the Winchesters. They know about the Impala. Dean only gathers that they don't know about Castiel the Angel yet because that book isn't coming out for another couple months.

They think that Dean's some sort of hardcore nerd or bizarre criminal that assumed an identity from a crappy pulp book for no sane reason.

Dean decides to hit back hard. He tells the guys that Chuck was Sam's roommate in college (he's pretty sure Chuck is older than he is, but no one's going to know that) and that because Chuck's father was kind of a mess too, Sam told him about their own father's weird little issues. He cribs pretty liberally from Henricksen's description of his home life, getting more brutal than he needs to because this topic is not going to come up again, especially not with Cas in the mix. He is killing this here and now.

He tells them that his father thought demons and all that stuff was real. That he dragged Dean and Sam around with him and that's why he'd never finished a unit in gym and that he'd finally committed suicide (which is almost true) when they were just sixteen and they'd been raised by their Dad's friend Bobby after that. He also tells them that Sam was killed and he doesn't want to talk about how.

It accomplishes what he wanted it to accomplish. No one says shit about the books from there, and Dean winds up sitting in a corner of the break room drinking his coffee and reading a newspaper from two days ago while the guys watch TV in silence before they're let go early again.

Dean doesn't even want to think about the state of his paycheck this week.

But the couple of silent hours do get him thinking… he's had the feeling that he's being screwed with for months, and now, when all he's trying to do is live a quiet, inconspicuous, anonymous life, Supernatural happens.

He has a theory.

When he gets home Chelsea's gone. She's decided to go back to her house. She promised she'd call over so much as the hair on her neck standing up.

It makes the house seem strangely quiet.

Dean convinces Cas to order Chinese and they sit at the table, eating quietly. They're both tired and disappointed. They both think they could have saved more of those little girls.

Dean drops down on the couch after dinner and goes through the newspapers online. Obits. Arrests. Wedding announcements. He's never sure which one would be the worst to see Sam in. Dead is pretty bad, but probably not permanent. In jail could be solved. Married is probably the worst. If Sam really is off on earth somewhere, happy and apple pie'd… Dean probably won't be able to take that away from him twice.

Cas is going back over the hell lore.

Dean doesn't even realize that he was asleep until he's waking up from his dream with a crick in his neck and a blanket thrown over him.

"You should go to bed," Cas tells him as soon as he sits up.


They stand up together and go up to brush their teeth. Dean lets something in the back of his mind nag around Chelsea's little smile about two dudes and oral hygiene.


And then it does get weird.

Just before they part ways in the hallway Cas steps into dean's personal space, slots his hand against Dean's face, leans forward and kisses him.

Dean's first impulse is to shove him away and he's already got his hands on the other man's shoulders before he stops.

It's a Cas thing. Let him explain.

Cas is already pulling away and quirking his head. It's a non-human, not-understanding gesture. Dean feels safer already.

"What the hell was that?"

Cas shrugs. "Curiousity. I see it on TV. Chelsea says it's nice."

"Then kiss her," Dean says, taking a step back. "You can't kiss me."

"My apologies." Cas is just standing there, like all he did was shake Dean's hand. And there's something… unthreatening about it. Dean's too tired for this. And it's just a Cas thing. It's okay. If he just lets it go, it'll be like it never happened.

"Okay… so let's… I'm going to bed. Okay?"

"Okay" Cas replies. "Good night, Dean."

And then he just turns around and walks back to his room, like he hasn't just broken all rules of being a Hunter, a roommate or a dude.

The spell's not hard to find. The hardest part is hiding what he's doing from Cas especially after Chelsea goes back home and isn't there as an extra distraction. The ingredients are a little harder to find, and even harder to keep fresh, because he can't let them freeze outside in his trunk and while Bobby's house is full of nooks and crannies for hiding things, Cas knows where they all are, and if he found out what Dean was planning he'd freaking kill him.

And Dean would deserve it. It's stupid. It's dangerous.

But… if he's wrong, nothing will happen. He doesn't think that defense will work on Cas though, because if he's not wrong then he's up against a very good chance that he'll get smote.

Outside of what he's actually attempting he is being as safe as he can. He found somewhere really remote so that he won't get arrested. He dug out one of the old Angel blades from Bobby's attic. He set up a couple of holy fire Molotov cocktails. He is even prepared to put out the ring of holy fire when he's done. Smoky the Bear would approve, Cas will get over it.

He drives out to the broken down warehouse after work. Cas thinks he's working late to make up the hours he missed when it was so cold. He sets up the ring of oil first, then chalks the symbols, then pours the herbs and does the chanting. He tosses the match the second he feels that weird inside-the-spine itch that you get with this kind of magic.

A tall, handsome, slender blond guy appears in the middle of the circle, but the jacket jeans, and mostly the smirk are familiar.

"Gabriel?" Dean asks.

The man in the circle looks ready to get to the smiting for just a second before he notices the lawn chair. And the beer.

"Dean Winchester." The voice is different. Deeper but with that same snark. "I'm not sure if I'm flattered or creeped out. You and Castiel looking for a third? Cause I think I'm out of your league these days." He says this with a sweep of his arms down his new body.

Dean rolls his eyes. "Yeah. You upgraded. Congrats on ditching the short stack."

Gabriel shrugs, drops into the lawn chair and pops open a beer before tossing one to Dean. "Fair's fair. Eighteen hundred years ago that guy was a catch. He was tall with very few visible scars and all his own teeth. Yowza."

Dean crosses his arms in front of himself. "So. You're back too."

"Mmmhmm. It's all very prodigal son," Gabriel agrees. "How did you know I was back?"

"Call it a hunch."

"Ah. Sure. You got Castiel back. You saw the unsinkable Mr. Singer and his lovely wife, and- let me guess- you invoked a god damned Archangel because you think Sammy is out there somewhere. Am I warm?"

"Nail on the head, jackass."

Gabriel drinks deeply. "Don't get me wrong. I love screwing with you and Cas is an easy mark, but you must have noticed that this is not my MO. A bunch of ressurections and happily ever afters? Look at you. You've got a nice house. Decent job. Friends. You're a hunter without ruining your life. Your father's back."

Dean's jaw drops, "My-"

Gabriel holds up a hand. "Sorry- I meant Bobby. Papa Winchester is still not on earth. And admit it. You're not that broken up. He'd fuck up you're nice little world."

"Fake little world. Plastic little reality."

"Nope. You can tell the difference. This is the real deal. No one's fucking with you. This is just the world now."

"And whose got that kind of mojo?"

"Me," Gabriel says. "Though I'm not doing it and I didn't come by it fairly."

"What about Raphael? He's the other Archangel right? Unless the rest of you dicks crawled back."

"He's missing. Everyone else is still dead. I'm going it alone these days."

"Boo hoo."

"And the worst of it?" Gabriel's head drops back against the lawn chair. "Since I'm the only one, and I suddenly returned onto them after a long absence, all those wide eyed little bastards up in heaven think I'm God now. The little surge in power from the belief is a trip, but…" he sighs. "It's no fun."

"Any word on where God actually is?"

"Still gone. And if he ever comes back the bitch owes me some serious babysitting money."

Dean picks at the label on his beer. "Can you bring Sam back?"

Gabriel doesn't answer. Dean finally looks up.

The look of pity that Gabriel is giving him surprises him.


"Come on. You're practically God, you just said you had the power."

"I do have the power. I just can't find him. No one can."

"Why the hell not?" Dean demands.


For a moment, Gabriel's wings burst in Dean's vision, and he's overwhelmed by how huge they are. How bright.

"Why won't you look around you?" Gabriel asked. "There's a long grift going on here buck-o and for once- for fucking once- it's not trying to deliver you into Hell. Why don't you just calm your fucking tits, and wait and see what happens."

"Wait and see?" Dean repeats.

"Wait and see."

Dean's first instinct is to grab one of his molotovs and watch Gabriel roast, but the look Gabriel had given him, like he actually felt bad, surged up in his mind. He pulls his hand back, and tightens it into a fist.

Gabriel sighs and pulls himself out of the lawn chair. "Look. I've got a soft spot for you and your merry band of trouble makers. You free-willed the apocalypse into non-existence. Respect. So I'll tell you what. I'll keep an eye out. If it starts to look like Hell is working on something, I'll drop in."

"And if you suddenly see Sam?"

"I'll drop in. Couple conditions-" he flicks a finger around the circle. "This doesn't happen again. And you just try to believe something good could be happening here."

"When did you go all Kumbaya?"

"About the time I got brought back two feet taller with abs," Gabriel grinned.

Dean smothers the fire.

"Oh, also? I turned your phone off. You've got four missed calls. You'll see why that's funny later."

He slaps Dean on the back fraternally and disappears.

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