Chapter 3

“Sammy-boy? Saaammy. Hey, kid.”

Sam rolled away from the hand shoving against his shoulder, determined to remain asleep. At first, he thought it was just Dean being an annoying brother; trying to wake him up in the middle of the night, just to be a dick. It took Sam a second to realize that it wasn't Dean's voice speaking to him. It was Gabriel's.

“Hey, sleeping beauty,” the trickster hissed, “wake your perky ass up!”

Sam blinked his eyes open in the dark, rolling back over on the bottom bunk bed to look up. Gabriel was hovering nearby, still poking Sam's shoulder with impatience. Sam could barely make out Gabriel's facial features in the dark. But, by the tone of his frantic voice, Sam knew that the archangel was in need of something.

“What? What's wrong?” Sam whispered, thinking that maybe someone had found the cabin and they were under attack.

“I'm dying again,” Gabriel nearly moaned, cradling his stomach, “for real, this time!”

“Wha -? Dying?” Sam repeated, worried, “What happened?”

“I don't know,” Gabriel huffed, practically doubled over, “Ugh. My stomach hurts so bad, Sammy. This is it. This is the end of me. Will you take care of Dickie, after I'm gone? T – tell him daddy loves him.”

Sam took a large, heavy breath of annoyance, as he rolled to sit up. Why did Gabriel have to be so damn dramatic? The dude was probably just hungry or something... Sam had to bend nearly in half in order to get up, to avoid hitting his head on the top bunk. Though it was still pretty dark, Sam could see the main parts of Gabriel's face, now that the angle was different; his wide eyes, small nose, and pouty lips. And the whole of it made Sam's insides do funny things again.

“You're – you're probably just hungry. Come on,” Sam whispered, trying his best to stay silent for Dean, who was passed out on the top bunk.

Though he was half asleep, Sam stumbled his way toward the kitchen; scratching his messy head and yawning. He didn't know exactly what time it was, but moonlight was still shining dimly in the windows. It had to be around three or four in the morning, maybe. Gabriel's footsteps following close behind him, along with the tiny pitter-patter of dog paws. Sam glanced down to see Dickie trotting beside them. The dog seemed a little anxious, too; whimpering and nudging against Gabriel's legs.

“What? Are you dying, too?” the trickster asked the dog, before looking back up at Sam, “Dickster's hungry, too, moose. Or he's gotta pee. Or he wants to hump something. I can't tell which. Probably all three.”

Sam sighed, as he stalked toward the fridge. He knew that there wasn't any dog food in the cabin, because Rufus never kept any animals. In fact, Sam didn't know if there would be any human food here, either. He was hoping that there would at least be a stray can of soup or box of rice in the cabinets; something nonperishable, that could tide Gabriel over until morning. Because Sam sure as hell didn't feel like driving to town this late at night...

As Sam opened the fridge – which was completely empty, save a few bottles of spoiled ketchup and mustard in the door shelf – the light from the inside flooded the kitchen. Sam blinked repeatedly at the harsh light; shutting the door as fast as he'd opened it. In the meantime, Dickie had wandered over to paw at Sam's leg. His whimpering was getting louder, and he was prancing in place; unsure of what to do. The sight reminded Sam of what Gabriel was doing earlier; dancing around with urgency.

“What's the matter, boy? Do you have to go?” Sam asked.

Dickie gave a muffled bark, his tail wagging back and forth in a blur. Sam wandered over to the backdoor and opened it, letting Dickie dash outside to sniff around and do his business. Luckily, the dog didn't go very far. He just hiked his leg on some nearby garbage cans and dashed back inside; acting like he didn't want to be left alone. It was the exact same way Gabriel had behaved in the bathroom, earlier. Sam smiled to himself. It was amazing how much similarity a dog and an archangel could share...

Sammy,” Gabriel whined, practically throwing a tantrum by the table, “I'm still dying, over here!”

“Would you keep it down? Dean's trying to sleep,” Sam snapped in a whisper, as he walked over to look in the cabinets, “Geez, stop acting like a two-year-old.”

“Two-year-old? That's a new one. Where did you get it? The 'secondhand insults' store?” Gabriel snipped.

Sam paused his search to turn around and shoot Gabriel the most fed-up glare he could muster. He made sure the trickster could see how close he was to throwing his hands in the air and going back to bed. In the darkened room, Gabriel's eyes softened instantly. His bitchy face shifted into a look of defeat, and he threw himself into a chair at the table; sighing loudly.

“I'm sorry, kid,” he said, his deep voice low, “I don't mean to be a dick, it's just – being human is a pain in the ass. And it sucks ass, too. As a matter of fact, being human is like having all the goodness sucked right out of your ass. Painfully.”

Though he wanted to stay mad at Gabriel, Sam could feel a smile spreading on his own face. Did Gabriel just say the words 'I'm sorry'? Did the trickster really just apologize for something? And, boy, did he hit the nail on the head, with the whole 'being human' thing.

“It's okay,” Sam said quietly, bringing his sight back to the cabinet.

Nothing in the cabinets seemed very edible. There were a few jars of pickles and canned tomatoes, but all of it looked expired. After shifting around some old boxes, though, Sam found a nearly empty jar of peanut butter. The date on the lid was too faint to read, but it didn't look spoiled at all. Hell, it even smelled pretty good. There wasn't enough in it to satisfy a grown man's hunger, but Sam thought that it might be a nice substitute for Dickie; until tomorrow, at least. Sam glanced back at Gabriel.

“Can I, um, give your dog some peanut butter?” he asked.

Sam didn't want to be rude, by taking over responsibility of someone else's dog. But, luckily, Gabriel seemed rather entertained by Sam's suggestion.

“Be my guest,” the archangel beamed.

Dickie was already standing next to Sam, with his head tilted upward and tail wagging. When Sam lowered the jar into the floor, the dog instantly dove his nose inside; licking and chasing the jar around, as he tried to get to the treasure at the bottom. Sam chuckled a little, watching Dickie lick away happily. Deep down, Sammy had always wanted a dog of his own; one to take care of and play with. It was nice to feel – even just for a moment – the unexplainable joy of being around a loyal, playful animal.

“I remember the first time I gave him a jar of peanut butter,” Gabriel reminisced, smiling as he leaned his face against his hand, “He humped the shit out of that thing, and then spent the next few days just licking himself. Ah. Good times.”

Sam shook his head, rolling his eyes.

“You keep saying that he humps everything, but I've never seen -”

Sam's sentence drew to a halt, as he watched Dickie try to mount the jar in the floor. The dog was chasing the plastic container with his hips; trying to hump it, while it rolled around. Sam could feel Gabriel's bright eyes on him; shining with delight.

“You were saying?” the trickster cooed, eyebrow raised.

Sam sighed in reply, ignoring Gabriel's I-told-you-so face, and returning to his search for food. After raiding the upper cabinets, Sam knelt down to scan the lower ones; opening and shutting the wooden doors at a rapid pace. But there wasn't anything in them; not even a stray can of coffee. Just as he was about to give up hope, Sam spotted a small container in the cabinet at the end. It was one of those tiny, personal-sized bowls of macaroni and cheese, that you just add water to and stick in the microwave. And, by some miracle, it hadn't expired yet.

“I hope you like mac and cheese,” Sam mentioned quietly, standing back up to head over to the sink.

He was taking off the plastic covering on the way, to remove the cheese packet and fill it with water to the line near the rim. Sam knew the drill. He'd made these for himself, a few times.

“Mac and cheese? Never tried it,” the trickster replied, wincing and clutching at his stomach again, “Ugh. But at this point, I don't give a shit. Lay it on me, pretty boy.”

Sam's stomach did a weird flip-flop thing again, at the sound of Gabriel's nickname. As the man walked the tiny plastic dish over to the microwave, he was also remembering the bathroom incident again; seeing Gabriel's ass in his mind, against his will. God, why did Gabriel have to have a nice ass? Why did he have to flaunt his body around, and call Sam all those names that didn't mean anything?

“Why do you do that?” Sam blurted, thinking out loud.

“I do a lot of things,” the archangel replied over the hum of the microwave, “You're gonna have to be more specific, sweetheart.”

That,” Sam pointed out, “You're always calling me weird names.”

A smirk flashed on the trickster's lips.

“Oh, shut your cake hole, Sammy-boy,” Gabriel purred, his expression shifting, “You know you like it when I call you 'sweetheart.”

Even in the dark, Sam could see something raising on the archangel's face. His golden eyes were playful and his lips were curved into a devilish grin. It was the look of a playboy who had been caught flirting and was loving every minute of it. And, as much as Sam hated it, as much as he wanted so badly to deny it...

Gabriel was right.

The microwave started beeping, making Sam flinch at the sound. The man took a deep breath to try to rid his mind of strange thoughts, while he carefully removed the hot container from the microwave. As he was stirring in the powdered cheese with a plastic spoon from a nearby drawer, Sam was trying to convince himself that Gabriel was just messing with him. The dude was the trickster, after all. He wasn't seriously flirting, was he? Gabriel was just trying to wreak havoc on Sam's mind, like he always did. That was probably Gabriel's favorite pass-time; screwing with Sam's thoughts and feelings.

Aggravated, Sam walked the small bowl over to the table and placed it in front of Gabriel. Steam was wafting from the hot contents, as the archangel leaned over to sniff it. His face melted into a look of relief afterward; his golden eyes flickering toward Sam again.

“Oh, dear sweet daddy above, that smells better than Marilyn Monroe's panties,” he sighed.

For a moment, Sam was about to ask Gabriel how he knew what Marilyn Monroe's panties smelled like, but the man stopped himself. He decided to dismiss the weird comment, and pull out a vacant chair to sit at the table instead. He watched Gabriel take his first bite of mac and cheese; feeling secretly prideful at the look of pure joy that lit up the archangel's face.

“Holy shit! It tastes better than her panties, too!” Gabriel cried.

Sam rolled his eyes at the statement, as the trickster dug into the food. Gabriel was devouring the mac and cheese; practically inhaling every last noodle. Sam watched him scarf it down, feeling like he'd stumbled across an impromptu food eating contest. The mac and cheese was gone in under a minute; empty bowl scraped clean. Sam was actually kind of astonished. The trickster really must have been hungry.

After the food was gone, though, Gabriel dropped the spoon on the table; making it clank against the wood. He was staring down at the empty bowl and his expression had shifted into utter seriousness. Sam blinked, watching Gabriel fiddle with the empty container. Had something just crossed the archangel's mind? What was he thinking about, that made him look so serious and saddened?

“Sam,” Gabriel mumbled, without looking up.

“Yeah?” Sam asked, bracing himself.

“Do you – do you think Cassie is okay?” he whispered, voice housing sincerity.

Sam took another deep breath, his eyebrows scrunching with bewilderment. He never knew that the trickster was capable of worrying about someone else. From what Sam had witnessed in the past, Gabriel was only concerned with his own needs. The trickster only cared about keeping himself entertained, and watching out for his own back. Even now, it seemed like he was only coming to the Winchesters to save his own ass... But, was it possible that he did care about the apocalypse starting again? Was it possible that he really worried that Michael and Lucifer would try to wear the Winchesters to the prom? Was Gabriel honestly concerned about Cas's safety?

“Um,” Sam uttered lowly, trying to find the right words, “Cas is... he's a pretty tough guy. He can take care of himself. He'll probably be back in the morning.”

Sam was telling the truth. He had a lot of faith in Cas, and had no doubt that the angel would be back. Thankfully, Gabriel seemed comforted by Sam's words. His amber eyes finally made their way back to look at Sam's; slowly refilling with playfulness.

“You, uh, wouldn't happen to have anymore peanut butter, would you?” he asked, “'Cause I could sure go for some of that stuff.”

Sam sighed and shook his head. There was barely enough in that jar to feed the dog. Both Sam and Gabriel glanced toward the floor, to see where Dickie had gone with it. The dog was by the sofa, now; licking around the rim of the container, while his hips did a few thrusting motions toward the middle. Sam couldn't decide whether the sight was humorous or flat-out disgusting. It was probably a mix of both.

“That was the last of it,” Sam mumbled, “but, I could try to...”

A thought suddenly popped into Sam's head, making his sentence stop abruptly. Watching Dickie lick at the yellow label of the peanut butter jar had made him remember something. A few days ago, while Sam and Dean were hunting down a stupid ghost, they had stopped off at a gas station in town. Sam distinctly remembered getting a candy bar from the store, and tossing it into his duffel bag. But he couldn't recall eating it. Was the candy bar still there, in his duffel bag?

Sam was suddenly getting up from the table without warning, his feet shuffling toward the living room. He grabbed his bag in the dark; unzipping the top to dive his hand inside, in search of the candy bar.

“You could try to what, Tarzan?” Gabriel said from the table, probably wondering what Sam was doing.

A smile flashed on Sam's face, as his hand bumped into the crinkly wrapper. He grabbed the candy bar at once; ripping it from the bag to look at it. The yellow and blue label was barely visible in the dark, but Sam knew what it was. His head swiveled back to meet Gabriel's eyes again, as he started back into the kitchen.

“Here,” Sam smirked, tossing the candy bar on the table in front of the archangel, “you can have this.”

Gabriel picked up the candy bar at once; his golden eyes glancing the label, as his fingers edged along the yellow wrapper. Sam was shocked at the amount of confusion in Gabriel's expression. It seemed like he had never seen this kind of candy before.

“Butterfinger?” the trickster said out loud, dropping it back on the table, “Sorry, kiddo. I'm not one of those freaks that can just eat a straight stick of butter.”

“Stick of butter?” Sam repeated, falling back into his chair with bewilderment, “Gabriel, that's not actual butter. It's a Butterfinger.”

“First of all, would you quit calling me Gabriel? Ugh, you sound like my old man. Call me Gabe,” the trickster said, rolling his eyes, “And, second, why else would they call it a Butterfinger, if it wasn't made of butter, kid?”

“Because it has peanut butter in it, Gabe,” Sam replied, putting sassy emphasis on the trickster's name, “It's not butter. It's a candy bar.”

The archangel's eyes flashed wide at once; filling with excitement. He instantly picked up the bar again, holding it close to his face to read from the label.

Crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery?!” he gasped, glancing back and forth from it to Sam, “Dammit, why don't I ever read the fine print?!”

Sam held down a chuckle, as he watched Gabriel scramble to rip open the wrapper. Once the chocolate bar was free, he took a huge crunching bite out of it; chewing it furiously. A dramatic moan of pleasure erupted from Gabriel's mouth as he chewed, causing Sam's lower stomach to tense.

“Oh... my... Dad...” the archangel cried, his eyes rolling back, “Forget every nice thing I ever said about mac and cheese. This – this is the best thing I've ever tasted! Holy Moses, what the hell is this thing made of?! Unicorns and rainbows?! It's like having an orgasm in my mouth! A mouth-gasm! Shit! It's so damn good!”

Sam could feel heat bursting across his own face, at the sexual references. And the noises Gabriel made while he ate only made it worse. It looked and sounded like Gabriel was having an actual orgasm; his fingers caressing the candy bar so delicately, his head tilting back with ecstasy after every bite, his feet moving around under the table while he swallowed... Sam was sure his own face was bright red, by the time Gabriel chomped the last bit of chocolate. The man's heart was pounding behind his ribs for some reason, too, as he watched Gabriel lick his own lips.

“Holy shit. That was the best! I – I've gotta have another one of those,” the archangel panted, his honey eyes darting toward Sam, “Please, baby moose, tell me you've got more.”

Sam cleared his throat and shifted in his seat; trying to regain a nonchalant composure, even though he was flustered as hell on the inside.

“Uh, no. Sorry. That was the only one I had,” he answered.

Gabriel's hand jutted out suddenly, taking a handful of the front of Sam's shirt. A large whoosh flew through the man's stomach, seeing the desperation and hopefulness in the archangel's large eyes.

“We've gotta get more! Right now! Come on, let's hijack your brother's wheels and run down to a quick mart or something,” Gabriel suggested, his hand still tugging on Sam's clothes, “There is a distinct lack of Butterfinger in my life, kid, and we need to change that! Please. Please? Please!”

“No, Gabe,” Sam said, his heart practically racing, as he reached up to pluck Gabriel's hand off of his clothes, “not tonight.”

“Uh! But Sammy!” the trickster groaned, already settling back into his pouting mode, “I want some now!”

“Too bad. That's the best part of being human,” Sam sighed, getting up from the table to grab the bowl and spoon, “You don't always get what you want.”

As Sam walked toward the trash can, he couldn't help but think how his words were very descriptive of his own life. Sam almost never got what he wanted; a college degree, a beautiful wife, a nice house, steady income. Hell, Sam never even got the dog that he always wanted. For him, life was just a bitch and nothing else... but it was nice to watch someone else have a little happiness in theirs.

When Sam turned back around, Gabriel was snapping his fingers repeatedly at the table. The archangel's eyes were closed as if he was concentrating, while he made quiet, desperate snaps. Sam shook his head as he walked back over to him. Was Gabe really trying to 'poof' the candy there? Without his grace?

“That's not gonna work, Gabe,” Sam smirked, “You don't have your grace anymore, remember?”

“Let there be Butterfingers,” the archangel whispered, pointing toward the table.

Of course, nothing appeared on the table. Gabriel was just pointing toward an empty space. After a moment, Sam could tell that reality was finally catching up with the archangel. His hands dropped to his sides and he practically glared at the empty space.

“That shit always works for my dad,” Gabriel huffed.

“That's because your dad is God,” Sam reminded, nudging the archangel's shoulder, “Come on. Time to go back to bed.”

“How am I supposed to go back to sleep, when I know that there are Butterfingers out there just waiting to be eaten?” Gabriel retorted, “I mean, even I -”

The trickster's sentence was lost in the sea of his yawn. Sam watched his mouth stretch open, and it induced a yawn of his own. They were both yawning for a minute, before Sam nudged Gabriel again.

“See? You're tired. Let's go,” Sam said, starting for the living room.

“Fine. I'll go. But I won't like it,” Gabriel grumbled, shoving his way out of the seat.

As Sam led the way toward the couch, he caught sight of Dickie near the fireplace. The dog had fallen asleep with one of his paws stuck inside the jar of peanut butter. Sam smiled down at the sight, enjoying how content the little guy appeared. Dickie had been fed and entertained by the same jar. What more could a dog ask for? Behind Sam, Gabriel plopped himself on the couch with another yawn.

“We're gonna go get more Butterfingers tomorrow, right?” he mumbled, sounding like he was about to drift to sleep already.

“Sure,” Sam answered, starting to walk toward the bunk beds.

Just as the man took a step away, something warm took hold of his fingers. Sam looked down in the dark, feeling his heart pick up speed again. Gabriel had reached up to catch Sam's hand with his own. The archangel's small, warm fingers were wrapped around Sam's. Why did the sight – and the sensation – of this make Sam's heart pound against his ribs?

“You're a lifesaver, sweetheart,” Gabriel slurred, his eyes barely staying open, “and I don't mean the lifesaver candy. I mean you actually save lives. And you're a hero. Especially to me, okay? You're like Superman, except you keep your underwear on the inside, where it belongs. You're like the sexier version of Superman. You're Sexyman, and you're my hero, okay?”

Sam was sure that everything Gabriel was saying was just sleepy babble. But that didn't stop his cheeks from filling with heat again. Sam carefully tugged his fingers free from Gabe's grasp, secretly enjoying the way the archangel tried to hang on.

“Whatever you say, Gabe,” Sam agreed, “I'll see you in the morning.”

As Sam started to walk away, Gabriel was still rambling behind him.

“Just so you know, I wouldn't mind if you started wearing your underwear on the outside,” the archangel mumbled, his words getting less and less audible, “I mean, unless you wear thongs, in which case that would... that would just look stupid... 'cause...”

Sam smiled, as he crawled into the bottom bunk and rolled over to glance toward Gabriel. The archangel was snoring already; filling the room with quiet sounds. For some reason that Sam couldn't explain, he felt really happy in that moment. It was nice listening to Gabe snore, and watching him sleep from the darkened distance. It felt good, to think that Gabriel couldn't have made it without Sam, and to know the archangel thought of him as a hero.

And, somehow, it also felt good to know that Gabriel secretly admired him.

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