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Listen to the Music

Chapter Text

Castiel looked up from his gardening, squinting at the sun. He wiped his gloved hand across his head, only succeeding in plastering mud on his forehead like some sort of Lion King reference. He scowled and pulled his glove off, fishing around his pocket for his phone. “Hello?” he finally said, smushing it between his cheek and shoulder.

“Cassie!”

A fond smile graced his lips. “Hello, Charlie.”

“It’s good to hear your voice. Or any voice, for that matter.”

He set back to digging a hole with a trowel. “Let me guess: you started coding something and couldn’t look up for three weeks.”

Charlie laughed on the line. “You got me, feathers.”

“Oh, give that nickname a rest. Crows are just friendly creatures.”

“You’re one of them. Anyway, you’re the only other loner I could think of. Have you seen anybody in two weeks?”

“Ah.” Castiel sat back on his heels. “I see. No, I’ve been at home for a month or so now, working on filling orders.”

“That’s GREAT, because I haven’t been outside either! Would you like to come over and quarantine with me?”

Cas laughed softly. “As it were, I have a garden to tend to here. But you’re welcome to come and stay with me. It would be nice to have some company that isn’t virtual.”

“Do you have internet?”

“Alas, I only take orders via carrier pigeon. Internet was never a requirement.”

“Alright Mr. Smartass, I’ll be over tonight. Gonna pack all my stuff up.”

“Perhaps we can keep each other from becoming too absorbed in our work.”

“Hope so. See you in a few hours?”

“Of course. Drive safe.”

“No one’s on the roads, Cas.”

“The sentiment still stands. See you, Charles.”

Cas hung up and immediately groaned at the muddy thumbprint left on his screen.

When Charlie showed up at his house, he was immediately caught in a bone-crushing hug.

“FEATHERS!” she squealed, squeezing him tightly.

“Charles,” he responded, laughing and attempting to hug her back. “How are you?”

“Good I think, all things considered.” She released him, looking around. “Wow, you weren’t kidding about the orders. I’ve never seen that many shipping boxes.”

He shrugged. “Business has been good lately. I suppose people really want honey right now.”

“Weird, but awesome.” She kicked her bag against the wall, out of the walkway. “I brought some booze, if you wanna sit on your back porch and talk like the old days.”

“You mean like last winter?” Cas grinned, shaking his head. “I’d love to. Fair warning, though, it might be loud out there.”

Charlie gave him a weird look. “What, did you adopt some geese or something?”

He simply motioned for her to follow him, sliding open the door to the fenced-in backyard, with its old garden and newly-planted additions.

She raised her eyebrows, staring at the house to the left. “Dude.”

“I know. It’s kind of nice, honestly. Usually for about ten minutes or so, then he’ll go back inside.”

There was classic rock music playing loudly from the house beside his, with a guy in swim trunks and sunglasses holding up the boombox for the whole neighborhood.

Charlie listened to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” for a minute before nodding. “People bond in weird ways when shit goes down, I guess. What’s his name?”

“Dean. I’ve told you about him.”

She snorted, recognizing the name. “Ah, Mr. Tall Dark and Thinks-He’s-Handsome.”

Castiel rolled his eyes. “Yes.”

Charlie regarded Castiel carefully. “And… do we think he’s handsome?”

He grinned. “You get the alcohol, I’ll set up the chairs, and I’ll uh, ‘spill the tea’, as you say.”

She pointed finger-guns at him. “Now you’re speaking my language, baby!”

By the time Charlie got the whiskey and the glasses, Dean had finished up for the night with a rousing “You Give Love A Bad Name”.

She poured them both generous glasses, sitting in the lawn chair. “Okay. Spill.”

Cas motioned between the two of them. “We do not think he’s handsome. However…” he pointed to his other neighbor’s house, the one on the right, “he is enthralled.”

Charlie gasped. “No.”

“Oh, yes.” Cas sipped his whiskey, smile tugging at his lips. “And you know, what Gabriel wants, Gabriel gets.”

“You think Gabriel is gonna break in during quarantine so they have to stay together?”

Cas snorted. “I wouldn’t put it past him, honestly. He’s been um, charming since we were little. It’s only a matter of time.”

“And you’re stuck right in the middle of it, huh?” She squinted towards Dean’s house, like she could peer into the windows. “Is Dean even into guys?”

“He has a wild reputation as a lady’s man.”

“So, yes.”

“Oh, absolutely.”

Charlie downed her whiskey in one go, pouring another. “And is Dean into Gabriel?”

He shrugged. “I think he’s considered it, if the looks they give each other across my garden when the other isn’t looking are anything to go by.”

She studied him, grinning wide. “You’re holding out on me, feathers.”

“Hm?” Cas said innocently. “Oh, the rest of the tea, of course.” He cleared his throat and pointed to Gabriel’s house. “He can’t stand the music, and promised me earlier that he was going to ‘do something about it’.”

Charlie looked between the two houses. “Uh, did he do anything then?”

“I have no idea.” He turned to her, finishing his glass and pouring another. “Tell me about your life.”

She huffed, staring out into the growing twilight. “Oof. Not a lot has happened, if I’m honest. I finally came to the conclusion that I need to get out more, and now I can’t, so it’s like—“ she shrugged. “But I’m working for a software company now, so that’s good. I can make like, legal money.”

Castiel’s eyes sparkled. “Legal money is good.”

“Yeah, but boring, too. So I’ve been working on an AI that scrubs websites for raw data and—“ Her head snapped to the right. “Is… Is that polka?”

Castiel craned his neck to see. “Ah, that would be my brother, ‘doing something’.”

Gabriel waved enthusiastically to the two of them, holding a small bluetooth speaker over his head, yet somehow blasting louder than Dean had. He was wearing what was definitely a shirt handmade for the occasion that read Two Can Play At This Game.

Dean ran out into his own backyard, staring wide-eyed across the swath of land that separated them. “Dude, WHAT THE FUCK?!”

Gabriel turned it up louder, pointing to his t-shirt.

Dean spread his arms wide, frustrated.

Gabriel leaned down to grab a megaphone. “STOP WITH THE FUCKING MUSIC. SOME OF US HAVE ZOOM MEETINGS, ASSHOLE,” he megaphoned across the fence.

Dean’s eyes narrowed.

Charlie leaned over to whisper-yell to Castiel, “That didn’t look like he was gonna stop.”

Cas responded, “Oh, of course not. They’re both ridiculously stubborn.”

Dean beat his chest once, holding his arms out again threateningly. “YOU WANNA GO, PRETTY BOY? LET’S FUCKING GO!”

Charlie took a sip of whiskey. “Oh, definitely into guys.”

Gabriel raised one unimpressed eyebrow, polka swelling across the neighborhood. “I CAN’T HEAR YOU, BUT YOU LOOK LIKE A GORILLA WHO JUST LOST HIS FAVORITE BANANA,” Gabe megaphoned.

Castiel winced. “Oh, going straight for the creative insults. Gabriel must be really attracted to him.”

Dean’s entire demeanor darkened. “Cas!” he yelled, turning to look at them. “Permission to pass through your garden to destroy your brother? And hello, new person.”

Charlie waved once as Cas shook his head. “I have to keep a quarantined environment for my honey business. I do apologize. I would love to see Gabriel chased around.”

Dean glared across the way. “Understandable,” he told Castiel without looking at him. “I’ll find my Nerf gun.”

Cas took a nonchalant sip of his whiskey. “The modded one that shoots hard enough to crack the wall plaster?”

“Yes.” Dean was back inside his house before either of them could say anything else.

Gabriel nodded once to himself and turned off his polka music, heading back into his house. He closed the door just as Dean came running out, bright orange gun aimed.

“Dammit,” Dean grumbled, throwing it down onto the grass. “Next time.” He turned his gaze back to the two of them, drinking whiskey and lounging. “Hey, Cas. Does my music bother you?”

Cas shook his head. “Absolutely not. I actually look forward to it every night.”

Charlie held up her hand. “I liked it, too.”

“Thank you—“ Dean looked at Charlie a moment, panicked, “— uh, citizen!”

She snorted. “It’s Charlie.”

“Charlie. Thank you.” He huffed. “So Gabriel is just being an asshole.”

Cas raised his drink. “Cheers.”

“How did you manage growing up with… that?”

Castiel shook his head, smiling softly. “Oh, he’s not as terrible as he pretends to be. He was an excellent brother, actually. I think he thought he was more my father than our father was.” Cas gave Dean a pointed look.

Dean grumbled. “Don’t give me that look, Cas. I’m not gonna feel companionship with a psychopath.”

Charlie propped her head on her hand. “So what’s your game plan, Dean-o?”

“Game plan?”

“Yeah. You are gonna get back at him, right?”

“Right. …Right! Cas, what kind of music does he hate?”

“Um, Italian pop, I think?”

Dean nodded decisively. “It’s settled then. Thank you, Cas, Charlie!”

They waved at him as he disappeared into his house.

“We’re horrible people, aren’t we, Cas?” Charlie asked, still waving.

“Yes. We are.” He held out his glass, and she clinked hers against it.

Chapter Text

Charlie looked up from her laptop. “You’re up late.”

“Up early,” Cas grunted back, headed directly for the coffee maker. “You’re up early.”

She grinned at him. “Up late.”

He tapped his chin thoughtfully, pouring himself a cup of the coffee Charlie had made an hour ago. “So if you’re nocturnal, what does that make me?”

Charlie leaned her head back against the couch. “Clinically insane.”

He took a long sip of coffee, breathing the heat out through his nose. “Maybe. I’ll go get tested once the clinics open back up.”

“What, next century?” she snorted.

“If I’m going to the clinic next century, I will likely already be clinically insane.”

She closed her laptop thoughtfully. “So you definitely would never go for immortality then, huh?”

Cas huffed. “Oh, God no. Imagine how boring that would be, how just… tedious.”

Charlie grinned at him. “You know, normal people say something about not wanting to outlive their loved ones.”

He waved his mug absently. “Yes yes, that, too.” He side-eyed her. “Why? Would you want to be immortal?”

“Of course! I want to see all the cool stuff humans come up with! Like, imagine cloning. Or time travel. Or—“

They both stopped talking, turning to look at the curtained windows.

“Was that—“

Castiel pulled a curtain back, squinting at the budding sunlight. “Dean. With his boombox. Playing Italian pop. At five in the morning.” He turned around and pointed at her. “You’re responsible for this.”

“We are responsible for this, comrade.”

Cas hung his head and chuckled before rolling his eyes fondly. “Would you care to accompany me outside to watch this all play out?”

“Considering that Dr. Sexy MD had to pause in filming this season and I therefore am drama-less, yes.”

Dean was sitting on his back porch with his Nerf gun ready in one hand, mimosa in the other. Sunglasses perched on his nose, he looked for all the world like he was recovering from a bad hangover.

Only, there was Italian pop louder than an air raid blasting from beside him.

Castiel waved largely at him and Dean saluted back with his drink. Dean watched as Castiel mouthed something, but he had always been horrible at reading lips, so he shrugged.

Castiel pinched the bridge of his nose and retreated into his house, only to return with a marker and a pad of paper.

Dean shoved his sunglasses on top of his head, squinting to read what Castiel was now holding up.

MUST THE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD BE INVOLVED IN THIS FEUD?

Dean nodded his head yes.

Castiel said something to the girl with him — Charlie, Dean remembered — and wrote something else, holding it high above his head.

IF GABRIEL AWAKENS, WILL YOU TURN OFF THE MUSIC?

Dean nodded again.

Without hesitation, Castiel picked up a rock and hurled it at Gabriel’s windows.

From what Dean could see, Charlie was laughing so hard she fell over, and Castiel had his arms crossed proudly.

Within moments, Gabriel stormed out of his house. His CandyLand pajama pants contrasted sharply with his pink shirt and red face. He yelled something Dean couldn’t and didn’t want to hear.

Castiel pointed at Dean, eyebrows raised, and Dean finally conceded and turned off the music.

“Thank you,” Castiel said, sitting down in his lawn chair beside Charlie.

Dean gave Gabriel a large grin, sliding his sunglasses back down over his eyes. “Heya, Shurley! Nice to see you up before noon!”

“I WILL MURDER YOU IN YOUR SLEEP, WINCHESTER!”

Dean raised his mimosa mockingly. “Since you didn’t like my previous music, I decided to change genres. Was that any better?”

Gabriel cursed in some language Dean didn’t recognize and charged at the fence separating him and Cas, grabbing the top and placing a foot against the boards.

“HEY!” Castiel yelled sharply, causing Gabe to freeze. “My property is Switzerland, got it? There will be no crossing into my territory to get to your enemies!”

“Cassie,” Gabriel gritted out. “This man is a nuisance who needs to be taught a lesson!”

“If you step foot onto my lawn, my entire business goes under. I will call you every single night and cry, I swear it.”

Gabe groaned in frustration and let go of the fence, pacing along its length. “Winchester, the moment this virus thing is over, I’m breaking into your house and strangling you.”

Dean took a long sip of his mimosa. “Sexy,” he called out across Castiel’s garden. “Is that gonna be before or after you ‘teach me a lesson’?”

“After!” Gabe paused. “Wait, before. Wait — fuck you!” he sputtered.

“Before you fuck me?”

Gabriel opened his mouth to say something, closed it, pointed at Dean, growled in annoyance, and turned around and marched back into his own house.

“Boooo,” Dean called out, aiming and shooting a single Nerf dart at Gabe’s house. “Come back out here and fight me like a man!” He waited a moment then sighed, taking another drink. “Hey, Cas, Charles. You guys want some mimosas? I’ll trade them for some honey.”

Castiel raised an eyebrow at Charlie, who shrugged. “Add in two burgers and you’ve got yourself a deal,” Cas called back.

Charlie was passed out on the couch (or maybe just sleeping, if her sleep schedule was anything to go by) as Castiel pruned his garden, pulling weeds one by one. He was a very gentle gardener, though he supposed he’d never actually seen a violent one.

Gabriel leaned against the fence separating their houses, his cheek smushed against his own arms. “He’s an asshole,” Gabriel announced.

“Oh, is he?” Cas responded, not actually paying much attention.

“Who plays any music at five in the morning, let alone Italian pop!”

Cas shrugged vaguely, checking under large leaves to see if any vegetables were ready for harvest.

“I’m gonna kill him, Cassie. I’m gonna murder him.”

“No you won’t,” Cas murmured, reaching back under the plants.

“The hell I won’t! Why wouldn’t I?”

Castiel pulled out a fresh eggplant and tossed it to Gabriel. “Because you’re not into necrophilia,” he deadpanned.

Gabriel’s face went fifty different shades of red in under two seconds. A new record, Cas was sure. “What—“ Gabe spluttered, trying to find a good response. “What makes you so sure I’m not into necrophilia?!” (Good responses tended to elude Gabriel.)

“What the actual fuck.”

Gabe’s head snapped up to see the damned Dean Winchester pushed against the other fence, face bewildered.

Cas hid his laugh as Gabriel threw his arms out. “I’m not! You came out at a bad time! Also: get lost, douchebag!”

“So you wouldn’t fuck a zombie?” Dean asked, straight faced.

“Wh—what?”

Cas looked up to Gabriel, eyes sparkling in amusement. “Answer the question.”

Gabriel groaned and hid his face in his hands.

“Don’t touch your face, dumbass,” Dean snapped.

“Why are you even out here, he is my brother,” Gabriel said, exasperated.

Dean jumped a bit. “Oh, yeah! Cas, catch.” He threw Cas a paper bag and two bottles, and Cas threw back a jar of honey from his apron.

“Pleasure doing business with you, Dean,” Castiel responded amiably.

Gabriel gasped like he’d been mortally wounded. “CASTIEL!” he said, disbelieving. “Are you fraternizing with the enemy?!”

Cas raised one eyebrow, unable to resist. “Why? Did you call dibs?”

Dean snorted somewhere to his left.

Gabriel glared at the two of them. “I see. I see how it is. You’ve sided with this… this rebel-rouser!”

Castiel sighed, leaning back on his palms. “I’ve sided with no one, Gabriel.”

“He plays Italian pop at five in the fucking morning! How can you not be against him?!”

Cas shrugged one shoulder, then the other. “The burgers certainly don’t hurt.”

Dean laughed. “Cas buddy, remind me to give you a high five when this is all over.”

“Hey!” Gabriel snapped. “Hands off the brother!”

Castiel looked to Dean with wide, innocent eyes. “For the record, I do not share that sentiment.”

Dean choked on air, and Gabriel made an indiscernible noise.

“CAS! You can’t just flirt with him!” Gabe yelled, exasperated.

“Oh!” Cas responded. “No, no. I was saying I didn’t care if he put his hands on you.” He turned back to Dean. “Do feel free.”

Dean, for his part, recovered remarkably well, with the pink staining his cheeks the only sign he had been flustered at all. “Maybe after he comes over and strangles me. Could be romantic.”

“CoUld bE rOmAntIc fuck you Winchester.” Gabriel flipped Dean off, lips pursed tightly.

Castiel pulled another weed, looking at its leaves thoughtfully. “This has been the most civil conversation you two have had in a while. Good job.”

“We can be civil,” Dean countered. “Or at least, I can.” He looked at Gabe, leaning against his own fence. “How is working from home going?”

“It’s going awfully. Every Zoom meeting I have, they make me turn off my mic and type in the chat.”

“Oh, is your voice that grating?”

“I think it’s more about the loud music.”

Dean bounced his eyebrows, grinning. “They have no taste.”

“What about you? How is—“ Gabe squinted. “Winchester what do you even do with your life?”

“Run a meth lab.”

Gabriel snorted. “No you don’t.”

Castiel looked up at Gabriel from where he was spreading compost. “Dean isn’t lying.”

Gabe scowled. “We all live in cookie cutter houses so I know there is no basement over there. You don’t have a place for a meth lab.”

“Who said it was here?” Dean shrugged nonchalantly, holding out a hand to catch the carrot Castiel had just tossed at him. “What do you do?”

“Well if we’re all lying then I oversee the production of board games.”

Dean rubbed the carrot off on his shirt before taking a thoughtful bite. “I wasn’t lying. I do run a meth lab. Maybe we could team up and make a meth lab board game. Like, monopoly, but with drugs.” He snapped his fingers. “Three grams of cocaine for the railroads!”

Gabriel buried his face in his hands. “You do not run a meth lab! And I don’t make board games!”

“Wow, I can’t believe you’d lie to me like that, Shurley. Next we know, Cas will be lying about having a honey business.”

Cas’s lips twitched in amusement. “Legally, I sell glass jars that come with honey.”

Gabe threw his hands up. “Am I the only one here with an actual job?!”

Dean raised an eyebrow. “Making board games?”

“Suck my actual dick, Winchester.”

“Hard to do from six feet away.”

“I’m an… interviewer. I interview people.”

“Well, that was absolutely convincing. No suspicions here.”

“I am!”

Dean put on a grin that made Gabriel a bit hot under the collar. “How about this then, Shurley. You hit me up on Zoom so you can get an interview, and I’ll tell you all about my meth lab. Deal?”

Gabe narrowed his eyes. “Deal.”

“And maybe we can circle back around to that ‘fucking zombies’ topic again.”

“Oh, screw you.” Gabriel pushed off the fence, heading back to his house.

“Come up with better insults!” Dean yelled after him. “You’re making this too easy for me!” He laughed as Gabe slammed his door shut.

Cas stood up, basket of veggies looped around one arm, bag of food in the other. “You’re too mean to him,” he teased.

“Hey, he earned it. He shouldn’t dish out what he can’t take.”

“Are you going to actually do the interview?”

Dean nodded. “Course I am. Tell Charlie I said hi, alright?”

“She’s nocturnal, but I’ll be sure to tell her next I see her awake. Tell your brother I said hi.”

Dean shrugged. “Sam’s still in Cali, but I’ll send your regards. I’m sure he’ll have lots of nerd info to pass back again so I’ll take notes this time.”

Cas blinded him with his smile. “Thank you, Dean.”

“Anytime.” Dean grabbed his jar of honey and walked back to his house, turning to look for just a few seconds at Gabriel’s.

Chapter Text

Charlie yawned, rubbing her eyes a few times before sitting up on the super-plushy couch. There was a guest bedroom. Her stuff was in the guest bedroom. Yet, consistently, she managed to fall asleep on the couch instead.

“Good morning, feathers,” she yawned, sniffing the air for any traces of coffee.

Cas swung a backpack onto his shoulders. “Good morning, Charles. You’re actually just in time. I’ve got to go check on my bees, so would you hold the fort down?”

Charlie looked around the living room. “Um, you mean, just stay inside?”

“And don’t let anyone in, of course. Mostly just watch the backyard and make sure that neither of our… innovative neighbors decide to cross through it on their way to greener pastures.”

She gave a thumbs-up. “I’ve been working on a program to hijack their bluetooth signals. Want me to wait for you to test it out?”

Cas thought about it a moment, slipping on his shoes. “Umm, no. No. If there’s anything this quarantine has taught me, it’s that we must treasure every moment. Go ahead. Just make sure to memorize every detail so you may regale me with them later.”

“Aye-aye, captain!”

Cas hurried out the door and, within a minute, was driving off.

Charlie got up and meandered around the kitchen, trying to decide between coffee and alcohol. In the end, she poured some cream liqueur into her coffee, grabbed her laptop, and went outside.

The sun was just beginning to set as she unfolded the lawn chair and reclined, starting up her computer. She might could actually get some work done before the chaos started tonight.

“Charlie!”

Or not.

She looked to the left, waving. “Hey, Winchester,” she called out.

Dean laid down his boombox and jogged over to the fence. “What’s up? Where’s Cas?”

“Working, and he went to check on his bees.” She gestured to his yard. “You about to play some music?”

He looked back, as if he had already forgotten why he ever left his house. “Uh, yeah! Got a few songs queued up.”

“More classic rock, or are we doing Italian pop again?”

Dean shimmied his shoulders playfully. “What? You didn’t like Pop Pop Americano?”

“One, that’s not what it’s called, and two… I didn’t say that.” She took another sip of her coffee. “But I do like jamming to Bon Jovi.”

“Well, lucky for you, then, I’ve got some on this playlist.” He examined her a moment, head tilted. “So, you and Cas?”

“Yeah, I’m staying here for the quarantine, since neither of us get out much.”

Dean hummed thoughtfully. “Ya know, he never really struck me as the relationship type. Guess I was wrong.”

Charlie choked on her drink. “No! Oh, fuck, no, no. We’re not— I’m not—“

Dean, for his part, looked extremely apologetic. “Oh! I didn’t mean to assume! It was just… ya know… a pretty girl staying with a pretty guy—“

“I’m gay.” She clapped a hand over her mouth.

“Me, too,” Dean blurted out.

They stared at each other in bewilderment a moment before Charlie began to laugh, and Dean shortly followed.

He draped his arms across the fence, laying his chin on them. “I’m bi, actually. Cool to see another rainbow face around here.”

“Lesbian. And, really? Gabriel definitely has that vibe to him.”

“Yeah?” he said softly, looking across the yard before suddenly scowling and shaking his head. “Gabriel is an asshole, so it doesn’t matter. Hence the music.”

Charlie snorted. “I think you both are just itching for something to do, and ‘annoy each other’ just happened to show up on the list.”

“Eh. Maybe. I’m trying not to look into it.”

Charlie glanced over at Gabriel’s house. “You into him?”

“Absolutely not.”

“So, yes.”

Dean pushed himself off the fence, walking backwards to his speaker. “I’m not listening to you. This conversation is over, and we’re not talking anymore.”

“I request a love song!” Charlie yelled out, hands cupped around her mouth.

Dean lifted the boombox into the air with one hand, the other swiping through his phone for the songs.

“LOVE SONG! LOVE SONG!”

“Oh, we requesting songs now?” Gabriel asked, stumbling out of his house, looking like he just woke up.

Dean paused for a moment, an evil glint entering his eyes. “Yeah, man. Picked this one out just for you.”

Charlie jumped back onto her laptop, typing furiously as Dean thumbed through until he found the song he was looking for.

She poised her finger over the enter key as Dean winked at Gabriel and said, “This one’s for you, babe.”

Steady strumming guitar.

Dean looked up at his speaker, eyebrows furrowed. “Wait—“

I love myself, I want you to love me

His eyes widened in horror. “WAIT THIS ISN’T THE SONG I—“

When I feel down, I want you above me

He dropped the speaker, frantically trying to re-unlock his phone.

I search myself, I want you to find me

Gabriel watched him in confusion. “I’m not sure I know this song, Winchester.”

I forget myself, I want you to remind me

“IGNORE THIS!” Dean yelled over the music, pressing song after song that didn’t work.

I don’t want anybody else

Dean held down the power button on the speaker. “C’mon, c’mon—“

When I think about you,

Gabe’s eyes widened.

I TOUCH MYSELF.

The speaker died as Dean stared woefully at it.

Gabriel raised his eyebrows. “You touch yourself, huh?”

Dean spun around faster than he had ever moved before in his life, lips curled into a snarl. “That wasn’t the song, jackass!”

“I watched you pick it!”

“I must’ve hit shuffle or something!”

Gabriel smirked, finally seeing an opportunity to get Dean back. “I mean, that’s what I’d say, too. But, you know, you don’t have to be ashamed. I mean, have you seen this body? Irresistible.”

Dean’s face was red, his jaw clenched. “You know what, Shurley? Go fuck yourself.”

Gabe pouted. “I’m sleepy. Think you could do it for me?”

Dean scowled and marched back inside, leaving his speaker sitting in the grass.

Gabriel watched him go, eyes shamelessly on Dean’s ass. “I actually won a round,” Gabriel said, surprised.

Charlie raised her drink to him. “Congrats, Shurley.”

His eyes slid to her. “You had something to do with this, didn’t you?”

She shrugged, taking a big gulp of coffee.

“Well, thanks, then. He’s hard to win against. I always get distracted.”

“Why? You into him?”

Gabriel looked at her like she just proposed a plan to nuke the moon. “Emotionally? Absolutely not. Physically? I mean, you saw that ass, right? You could bounce a half-dollar off it!”

She snorted. “Flaunt yourself then.”

“Come again?”

“Ya know. Be shirtless. Grind your hips, whatever guys do. Make him want you.”

He squinted at her. “Uh, why?”

“It entertains me,” she deadpanned. “And it would catch him super off-guard.”

He examined her suspiciously before looking over to Dean’s house. “But I can’t be close enough to do that.”

“You only have to be six feet away, dude. If he’s inside, you have full reign of his lawn. And he can’t come outside to kick you off.”

He pursed his lips a moment before nodding to himself. “Okay. But I’m only trusting you because you helped me today.” He looked at her down his nose. “Are you sleeping with my brother?”

“Absolutely not.”

He nodded. “Good. He’s not into that kind of stuff.” Gabe paused again a moment. “You dating him?”

“Nope.”

“You want to?”

“Nope.”

“Good… He’s not into that kind of stuff, either,” Gabe said before giving her an approving gaze and going back inside.

Charlie went back to her work, typing code for hours before she finally sat back and sighed.

“Huh,” she mumbled to herself, looking left. Dean was talking on the phone in a window, some sort of landline. Who still had landlines?

“I can hack that,” she said mostly to herself, and then proceeded to go online and find the right supplies.

Yeah, legal money wasn’t near as much fun.

Chapter Text

Castiel was sitting cross-legged on the couch with Charlie, laughing hysterically. “There is no way!” he giggled.

“Yes way! It worked on the first try and Dean’s face was as red as your tomatoes!”

“Oh gosh,” he wheezed, wiping tears from his eyes. “Anything else?”

Charlie leaned back against the pillows. “Yeah. They’re both sweet on you in the cutest way. They grilled me to make sure I wasn’t trying to date or seduce you.”

Cas shook his head and laughed softly. “They mean well.”

“I told Dean I was lesbian, didn’t get to tell Gabriel. Though I did learn Gabe is absolutely attracted to Dean. And I’d be willing to place a bet on Dean being attracted to him, too.”

“Of course. They’re about as subtle as a stampede.” Cas huffed, then sighed. “I should really come out to them sometime. I’ve been meaning to, it just… never seems like a good time.”

Charlie gave him a soft smile. “If it’s any consolation, I think they already know, just maybe not the terminology.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. Dean told me you weren’t into relationships, and Gabe told me you weren’t into sex, either. So.” She shrugged. “Between the two of them, they just might actually have two brain cells. And they’re both set to protecting you.”

He smiled to himself. “They’re good people.” He looked up, eyebrows furrowing. “What the hell?”

Charlie followed his gaze, turning around to see Gabriel marching across the street in front of Castiel’s house, sign in one hand, weed-eater in another, and determination on his face.

“You did this, didn’t you,” Cas deadpanned.

“Unfortunately, I think I might have.”

“I take back what I said about him being any semblance of good.”

“I’ll grab the chairs. Meet you on the front lawn.”

Dean was sipping coffee, looking out his front windows. It was a sunny day, warm if the slightly higher temperature inside his house was anything to go by. He had a few work emails open on his laptop, but he’d get to those later. Things had slowed down a lot in the past month or so, and he could afford to be a little lazy.

He was admiring the pink clouds in the sky when a figure caught his attention.

Gabriel was standing at his front window, holding up a big sign that read, I’M GONNA WEED-EAT YOUR LAWN AS A TRUCE.

Dean stood in front of his window, one eyebrow raised.

“Is that okay?” Gabriel yelled through the glass, muffled.

Dean rolled his eyes and nodded, taking another drink of coffee.

Gabriel gave him the biggest grin he’d ever seen and threw the sign to the side, promptly stripping off his shirt, shoes, socks, and pants.

Gabe had on blue boxer-briefs. That’s it. Full stop.

Dean couldn’t really remember gasping but he was coughing harshly now so he must have. He took in a wheezing breath and looked back up to see what could only be called an evil look on Gabriel’s face.

Gabe grabbed the weed-eater and turned around, winking at Dean over his shoulder, and got to work.

Coffee dribbled out of Dean’s mouth.

Dean could’ve done a lot of things. He could have left the window. He could have answered some emails. He could have screamed at God himself.

But Dean, of course, did none of those things.

He stood there as his coffee got cold, red-faced, and watched.

Gabriel knew it, too.

Weed-eating wasn’t sexy, dammit! It was sweaty, gross work that somehow now involved a few more suggestive poses and a lot more ass than it ever had before.

Every so often Gabriel would glance back his way, with some sort of sexy smirk on his face, as if to make sure Dean was still watching.

Well, hell, Gabe could stop looking anytime he wanted because Dean was not leaving that spot anytime soon.

Gabriel met his eyes through the window and winked, and Dean took a big gulp of coffee to have literally anything else to focus on. It was cold. Of course it was.

He felt like he was having a damn bi panic all over again.

Gabe sauntered — yep, sauntered, there wasn’t another word that fit and that one had been going through Dean’s head for about an hour now — over to the window and slowly dragged the machine across the edge where house met lawn.

He was really damn close. When was the last time Dean had stood this close to anybody, even with a window between them?

Gabriel looked up again, switching the machine off. He held his arms up as if to stretch, but it was more to show off than anything. He dropped his hands into his own hair and stared at Dean from hooded eyes, biting his bottom lip. “Have anything for me to drink?” he teased loud enough to be heard through the window.

Dean held up one finger and disappeared out of Gabriel’s sight.

Gabe frowned, looking around in confusion. Winchester wasn’t actually dumb enough to bring him a drink, was he?

Without preamble, Gabriel was hit in the side with a blast of freezing cold water.

He yelped, falling over and holding up his hands.

“GO ON! GET!” Dean yelled, standing ten feet away holding a water hose.

“HEY!” Gabe yelled back, rolling out of the water’s way and standing up. “I DID YOU A FAVOR!”

“FAVOR MY ASS!” He sprayed Gabriel again. “GET OFF MY LAWN, SINNER!”

He chased Gabriel with the hose until Gabe was off his property and back onto the road, halfway past Castiel’s house, where Cas and Charlie were sitting outside and watching everything unfold.

Gabe stopped and turned around, yelling, “GIVE ME BACK MY CLOTHES!”

“THEY’RE ON MY PROPERTY! THEY’RE MINE NOW!”

Gabriel made as if to run back over for them, but Dean stood over the pile of clothes with the water hose in one hand, glaring.

“FINE!” Gabe yelled, turning back around in a huff.

Only Charlie and Cas saw the grin on his face.

Gabriel had won this round.

Cas rubbed his eyes, leaning back to look at the sky again. “I don’t think I ever needed to see that much of my brother.”

“Same,” Charlie said through a mouthful of ice cream. “Worth it, though.”

“Oh, definitely.” Cas put a hand over his eyes to shield them and looked back to Dean’s house. “What do you think he’s going to do with the clothes?”

She thought about it. “You want the PG version or the NC-17 version?”

Cas grinned. “PG.”

She grinned back at him. “He’s just gonna wear them to tease Gabriel, then.”

Cas nodded, leaning back, before sighing. “And what was the NC-17 version?”

She laughed. “He’s still gonna wear them. Just at a specific time.”

He snorted, throwing an empty cup at her. “Gross.”

“You asked!”

“You have no proof!”

“Ah, I don’t. But speaking of recording people,” she jerked her thumb over to Dean’s house, “I ordered some stuff so we can tap his landline.”

Cas’s jaw dropped. “Charlie! Isn’t that highly illegal?”

“Uh, technically yes. But also, consider: Gabriel might call him.”

“You make a good point. It feels really skeevy though, doesn’t it?”

She shrugged. “Yeah, kinda. I could always just have it ping us if Gabriel does call, instead of, ya know, anybody else.”

Cas hummed in thought. “Remind me why we’re doing this?”

“Dr. Sexy is on hiatus.”

“Ah, yes. That’s right.”

She shouldered him. “And like, c’mon, don’t tell me Gabriel never creeped on your private stuff. Now we can get back at him!”

Cas glared, even as a smile twitched at his lips. “Fine, but if you get caught I will deny all knowledge of this.”

“Oh, ye of little faith,” she grinned at him, “I won’t get caught.”

Castiel watched Gabriel climb onto his own roof. “Um. Gabriel?” he called out.

Gabe looked down in confusion before smiling widely and waving. “Heya, Cassie! How’s the weather down there?”

“What are you doing?”

“Testing something.”

Gabriel took his shirt and pants off, laying down as if to sunbathe.

Cas raised an eyebrow. “What are you testing?”

“You’ll see.”

Cas huffed and looked around for any change, eyes landing on Dean’s house, where half of a face was visible peeking out from behind a curtain.

“He’s looking, right?” Gabriel called down.

“Ah, yes, he is. Was that the plan?”

“Oh, Cassie. I have him wrapped around my finger now.”

“It looks like he’s getting his Nerf gun.”

Gabe sat up quickly, panic on his face. “No that’s not right!”

Cas watched Dean stalk towards his back door. “No yeah that’s definitely the Nerf gun.”

Gabriel clambered off the roof as fast as he could, swinging himself into an open window before Dean made it outside.

Cas waved amicably at Dean. “You just missed him.”

“Do me a favor and kill your brother next time you see him,” Dean grumbled, crossing his arms petulantly.

“I’m not going to assassinate every one of your crushes, Dean,” Castiel said casually.

“I don’t have a crush on him!”

Cas gave him a Look.

“I hate him. Obviously. I’ve got a weapon trained on his house!”

“Yes, while he is conveniently sunbathing.” Cas held his hands up in mock surrender. “It’s none of my business, though. I’m just caught in the crossfire.”

Dean chose to ignore everything Castiel said. “I’ve got some brownies in the oven anyway. Can’t be wasting my time on this shit.”

“Mmm. Care to trade a few?”

Dean pulled at his shirt awkwardly. “Ahhh, well, see, they’re kind of a family recipe and—“

“You made pot brownies.”

“…Yes. I did.”

“Be careful if you’ve never had them before. They’re stronger than they taste.”

“Okay, Mom,” Dean snarked, rolling his eyes. “I’ll be fine. Just do me a favor and kick Gabriel’s ass next time you see him.”

“I won’t, but enjoy yourself.”

Dean stuck his tongue out. “You’re no fun.”

“Come back after you’ve had dessert. Let’s talk then.”

“Hmph. See ya then, Cas,” Dean promised, retreating inside.

Charlie looked up from her laptop. “He’s so gonna overdo it.”

Cas grinned back at her. “That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Chapter Text

Charlie woke up cranky.

“What the fuck is that noise?” she grumbled, pulling a pillow over her head.

“Ah, you’re awake,” Cas said, sipping his tea. “Look outside.”

Charlie got up slowly and pulled back a curtain, blinking heavily. “Why is Dean standing on his car.”

“Remember the brownies?”

“Oh?” She stared a moment before it hit her. “Ohhhhhh. He’s… He’s fucking stoned.”

“Keep looking,” Cas whispered, standing beside her.

She blinked the sleep out of her eyes and squinted. “Oh my god.”

“Yep.”

“He’s—“

“Yep.”

“Has Gabriel—“

“Nope.”

“He’s gonna freak.”

Gabriel finished editing some audio files on his computer, pushing back to stretch his limbs, back popping. It was peaceful and quiet, for the first time since, oh, about three weeks ago.

Then that damn Winchester kid decided to start playing music loudly somehow at the exact same times that Gabriel had Zoom meetings with interviewees.

He tried to put up with it. He really did. But interviews conducted via chat features didn’t exactly work for his line of business. So he had marched outside and given Winchester a piece of his mind.

And, yeah, maybe he could have handled that better but he was nothing if not a dramatic asshole.

And speaking of dramatic assholes…

“It’s quiet,” Gabe mumbled to himself, glancing at his clock. Damn kid should be blasting Led Zeppelin by now. There was no way his shirtless escapade had actually made Dean stop… right?

Gabe snorted. “Poor kid’s probably having a gay panic,” he said aloud, mostly to amuse himself. “Or a straight freak-out.”

He pushed with his feet, rolling his chair back to his window and glancing across the neighborhood. Cassie’s garden was coming along nice. The therapist puppet guy whose name Gabe could never remember was standing in his front lawn across the street, hand over his mouth.

In fact, it looked like half the neighborhood was all staring in the same direction in varying degrees of amusement and embarrassment.

And quite a few of them kept glancing towards Gabriel’s house as well.

“Didn’t know we had an audience,” he mumbled before following their gazes.

From an objective standpoint, it wasn’t anything… bad. In fact, no one would have paid a second glance if it hadn’t been for the neighborhood Facebook group, where the hottest topic now was what they had dubbed the Winchester-Shurley Rom-Com. So a few were live-streaming, some were taking pictures to post for mad karma later, and the rest were just soaking in the newest form of entertainment.

That, of course, being:

Dean, in Gabriel’s clothes, dancing stoned on the roof of the Impala.

Objectively, as well, there was nothing remotely attractive about it. The clothes were too small. The pants didn’t even button and they were far too short. The shirt would’ve just covered belly with his arms down, but Dean, duh, had them raised. And Dean wasn’t the best dancer sober, let alone high out of his fucking mind.

But Gabriel wasn’t thinking objectively.

There was the sexiest man on the block, in his clothes, showing hip bones and flushed cheeks and flashes of boxers, dancing on the only car Gabe would consider taking out on a date.

This was payback. It had to be payback.

Only Dean wasn’t even looking his way to see if he was watching.

Gabriel slid open his window, leaning outside, concentrating, oblivious to the few phones that suddenly turned his way. He kept listing all the reasons this wasn’t attractive. None of them seemed to be true.

“Winchester!” he yelled out, voice cracking in the middle. He tried again. “Winchester!”

Dean’s head swung his way and a slow grin spread across his face. “Heya Gabe!”

Gabriel glanced around at all the people watching them. He wanted to tease Dean, make him do something dumb and embarrassing. But…

“Go inside!” Gabe yelled.

Dean crossed his arms. “Why?”

“There’s food inside!”

Dean stared a moment, seeming to ponder that statement. “Yeah, there is, huh!” He stumbled off the Impala, turning back to Gabriel’s house. “Thanks!”

Gabe watched, frozen, as Dean blew a big, over-the-top kiss his way.

By the time he could blink again, Dean had gone inside.

Gabriel glanced around the neighborhood, running a hand over his face before closing his widow and collapsing into his chair. Winchester… wasn’t fair.

He tapped his fingers against his closed laptop, thinking.

Dean was humming to himself as he put his third hot pocket in the microwave. Not that he ate two others. He just kept putting them in the microwave. Two other plates were already jammed in there that he forgot about.

“Hey, a hot pocket!” he exclaimed to himself, going to grab it out of the microwave. But he had to put down the one he was holding first, where to put it? Oh! The microwave! There, done, food in the microwave, what was next? Oh duh! Put in the time and press start. Dammit, how long did hot pockets need to be microwaved for? He went to his fridge and took out the packaging. Ooo, hot pockets. He should make one of those.

His cell phone rang and he pulled it out, squinting at the caller ID before answering. “Hey,” he said, squishing the phone with his shoulder so he could put the hot pocket on a plate.

“Hello, Dean,” Cas said. “How are you?”

“Makin’ a hot pocket.” He gasped loudly. “There’s three in the microwave already!”

Cas chuckled on the line, but Dean didn’t really hear him. “Perhaps you should eat those first, then.”

“Yeah, just gotta… put this one down…” He shuffled around his kitchen. “I could really go for a hot pocket but I’m all out.”

“Microwave.”

“…You’re an angel, Cas!”

Someone else was laughing loudly on the line. “Right. I actually called you on behalf of my brother.”

“Gabe? What’s he up to?” Dean shuffled four plates around until he got one successfully heating. “Does he wanna hang out?”

“Sort of. He wants to interview you about your meth lab, remember? He said he’s free right now, if you’d like to go forward with that.”

“Cas I’m so fucking high.”

“I can tell. For the record, I did warn you.”

“Tell him to text me a link.”

“The obvious conclusion here is that I’m calling you because he doesn’t have your number, Dean.”

“Then give it to him?”

“Are you sure? You are mortal enemies with him, after all.”

“Ummmmmmmm mortal enemies don’t share clothes, Castiel.”

The other person was laughing again. “Shush,” Cas said distantly. “Dean, you should give those back, you know.”

“No.”

“No? Why not?”

“I like ‘em.”

“…Should I ask or…?”

Dean leaned against his wall, head thumping back. “Oh my God Castiel I am so fucking gay.”

“…Me… too?”

“I’m wearing his shirt Cas. I’mmmmmm. I’m so gay.”

That other voice came over the phone. “You should tell him!” Charlie called out.

“I should!” Dean agreed immediately.

Cas again. “Or! Or, you could wait until you’re not high.”

Charlie boo’d him.

Dean pressed a hand against his stomach, pushing the shirt up some. “I’m, I’m gonna tell him I like the way his shirt feels against me.”

“DO IT!” yelled Charlie.

“DO NOT!” yelled Castiel.

“I’m gonna do it,” Dean mumbled.

Charlie cheered as Cas groaned. “It’s a bad idea. You’re going to hate yourself tomorrow.”

“Mmm.” Dean peeked into the microwave, which had apparently gone off a while ago. “You should give him my number. Or give me his.”

Cas sighed heavily. “Yeah, okay, fine. I warned you.”

Dean turned towards his windows, frowning. “I’m really hungry.”

“Microwave.”

He gasped. “HOT POCKET!”

Chapter Text

Gabriel tapped his fingers against his laptop, waiting for the man on the other end of his phone to pick up.

He wasn’t above publicly embarrassing Dean. That wasn’t why he made Dean go inside after the… dancing incident. No. He definitely wanted to publicly embarrass Dean, but he wanted it to be on his own terms.

Dean picked up on the third ring.

“Helllooooo Dean!” Gabriel piped up, spinning in his chair.

“Heya Gabe,” Dean responded slowly. “Heard from a bird that you wanna interview me?”

“Sure do! You in?”

“Abso-lutely.”

“Great! I’ll text you the Zoom details and we can get started right away, if that’s cool with you?”

“Iiiiiii’ve got nothin’ but time.”

Gabriel smirked. “Perfect. See you in a few.”

He hung up and quickly configured his audio and video setup, ready to capture this shitshow when it happened.

He booted up the meeting, texted Dean, and…

Waited like five minutes for him to join.

Dean’s video popped up on the screen just as Gabriel was about to call him again.

“Gaaabe!” Dean said, holding his laptop up and grinning into it. “Nice t’ see ya, buddy!”

“Was about to ask if you got lost on the way to your desk. We’re recording, by the way. I’m legally required to tell you that.”

Dean’s laptop was propped on his… knees? Gabe guessed, anyway. He was sitting in his—

“Are you in a bathtub?”

“Mmm, yes, I am.” Dean settled back into it further. “May’ve gotten a liiiiitle lost on my way back to the kitchen.” He sighed. “Got a lot of hot pockets to eat.”

“Right.” Gabe propped his chin on his hand, hiding his grin. “So, I’m gonna go ahead and introduce you to the listeners. Everyone, this is Dean Winchester. He’s my neighbor. Well, two houses down from me, actually. And he claims he runs a meth lab!”

Dean held up one finger. “I do run a meth lab.”

Gabe rolled his eyes. “Uh-huh. Sure you do. Anyways, since you’re so adamant about that, I figured we’d interview you about your ‘meth lab’ today.” He made the air quotes and everything.

Dean gave him a big thumbs-up. “Ten-four, my dude.”

“Okay, then off we go. Winchester, how did you—“

“Ugh. Don’t call me that.”

He paused. “Don’t call you… your name?”

“My last name. We’re not uh…” he trailed off, looking at something off-camera.

“Dean.”

He snapped back. “Oh! Hey! Uh, yeah, we’re not enemies right now, right? Jus’ call me Dean.”

“Right. Dean. How did you get involved in the… meth business?”

A slow grin spread across Dean’s face. “Yeah. It all started when I was like, reeeaaaallllyyy young. So I’ve got this little brother Samantha, right? And he’s — oh, he’s gonna be able to hear me, huh? Hey Sammy! …Where was I? Oh! Right so like, when we were like baby babies, Dad would be off… somewhere, I dunno, and I’m the one makin’ supper ’n’ stuff. And you gotta use what you gotta use, so I’d make all sorts of random-ass foods from dollar store stuff. But kids get bored, because, ya know, kids.” He frowned. “Do you have kids?”

“I’ve got Cassie.”

“Oh duh I knew that. ANYWAY. So I was a bored kid, and some of the places we’d stay at had a bunch of old shit, ya know like… old batteries and drain cleaner and stuff. So since I was real successful at mixin’ together suppers, I started mixin’ together random shit too. Ya know. Just to see what it did.”

“As you do.”

“Exactly!” Dean snapped. “You. You get me. Anyway, most of the shit never did anythin’, but sometimes I’d get a cool reaction and I dunno. Sorta sparked my love for chemistry I guess.”

“I see. So when did it go from at-home science experiments to running a meth lab?”

Dean shrugged, the video bouncing slightly. “Some people gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Just kinda stuck after that.”

“So. You did science experiments as a kid, became a chemist, and just sort of wandered into making drugs.”

“I don’t make drugs.”

Gabriel quirked an eyebrow. “You just said you run a meth lab.”

“Uh, yeah. But I don’t make drugs. I tell other people how it’s done.”

“Sure. And, as I’m sure all the listeners are morbidly curious, how is it done?”

Dean put his hands behind his head, crinkling his nose slightly. “Eh, that’s a big question. There’s a bunch of different ways.”

“Let’s go with… your favorite.” Gabriel had him. No normal human being just knows how to make meth off the top of their head.

His eyes lit up. “Oh! Okay okay, this one’s my favorite because it has the greatest chance for drama.”

“Drama?”

“Okay so, what you do is, you get a two-liter of your favorite soda.”

Got him.

“Drink it all. Save the bottle. Go somewhere secluded because if you fuck up there’s gonna be this fuckin’ GIANT explosion. Or don’t. It’s your life I guess. But just don’t do it somewhere inside because it’s toxic as fuck. You gotta vent that shit.”

Stalling.

“So, in an ideal situation, you’d mix phenylacetone with n-methylformamide in a one to two ratio in the bottle, shake it up, pour in some lemon juice, and boom, meth. But one, that reaction releases carbon dioxide like crazy and you’re liable to blow up the bottle.”

“Woah wait a sec—“

“And two, no one who’s out there making meth in a two-liter bottle of coke has a pantry full of phenylacetone. Oh, ha! Dude, what if they were makin’ cocaine in there. That would be kinda funny.”

“Are you just making up words?”

“So you’ve gotta do some MacGuyver-in’, if ya feel me. Lots of things can be mixed together to make meth. It’s a fuckin’ wonder people are still alive and kickin’ after smokin’ half this crap. I mean it, Gabe. People are mixin’ battery acid and toilet bowl cleaner and drano and then ingestin’ the crystals. Who the fuck— well. I guess people that do meth are exactly who would do that.”

“You don’t seem particularly fond of your clients.”

“Huh? No, I love my clients. I love my job. It’s the best fuckin’ job in the world!”

“Mhm.” Gabe smirked, watching Dean run circles around himself. “So, for those of us who aren’t addicted to meth, how would we tell if we came across a lab?”

“Depends on how much of an idiot they are.”

“How would we identify the meth lab you claim you run?”

“Ehhh, I mean, there’s a few. The low tier ones leave their windows open and dump the toxic residue onto their back lawn, so there’s always this like, dead patch of grass. And the makers smoke tobacco, so you’ll see them outside a lot. Because, ya know, they don’t wanna blow up their lab.”

“And the high tier ones?”

“You’ll never find those.” Dean paused a moment, then conceded, “Well, maybe. But to find them, you’d have to be around the people constantly. I mean months of near-always contact. They’re meticulously clean, every day, but most importantly…” He paused for dramatic effect.

“…Yes?”

“They’ll give you migraines and asthma.” Dean finished with a flourish of his hand.

“You give me migraines. I guess that’s proof you run a meth lab then, huh?” Gabe deadpanned.

Dean smirked and spread his hands. “What can I say?”

Gabe rolled his eyes. “Any advice for future meth addicts?”

“Yeah. Don’t. Unless you’re prescribed it, of course.”

“Of course.”

Dean pulled at his shirt. “Hey! I wanted to tell you I like the way your shirt feels against my skin!”

Gabe opened his mouth, closed it, frowned, and opened it again. “That’s weirdly specific.”

“You’re not gettin’ it back.”

He whined. “That’s my favorite shirt!”

“Mine too!” Dean brought it up to cover his face. “Smells like you.”

“… It… huh?”

His eyes lit up. “Hey, want one of my shirts in return? I could wear it to bed and then give it to you so it smells like me and it’ll be like we’re hangin’ out!”

“I… we…” Gabriel looked behind himself, like maybe this wasn’t directed at him at all. “We’re… enemies?”

“Ohhhh yeah. You’re the kind of enemy that would like…” he pressed a finger under his chin, “put a sword to my throat and watch me squirm, huh?”

“Well I think that’s a good enough interview for this week,” Gabe squeaked out, frantically scrolling his trackpad to figure out where the fuck the mouse pointer was on the screen.

“Or maybe you’d like, do a villain monologue while I’m tied up or handcuffed or—“

“And thank you for letting me interview you! It was great, really. Charming. Buh-bye.”

“Oh, bye! OH, BYE SAMMY!!!”

Gabriel stopped the recording and the call, dropping his head into his hands and groaning.

A few minutes went by before his phone buzzed. He picked it up to see one new message. Asshole Neighbor.

Selfie of said neighbor with a prop sword (at least, Gabe hoped it was a prop sword) pressed to his neck, tongue out and winking.

Damn you, Winchester.

Gabe chose not to respond.

He spent the next hour or so editing the audio, making it clearer, removing the sharp S sounds, etc. He even opened up an incognito tab to look up some chemicals Dean had named, just in case, but nothing came up. Gabe was 90% sure he spelled them correctly, so he hummed to himself and posted the audio.

Let that dick embarrass himself pretending to run a meth lab. See how high-and-mighty he was tomorrow.

Gabriel laid in bed that night, staring at his phone screen, frowning. There Dean was, in all his stoned glory.

He set it as his lock screen and fell asleep.

He woke up to the sounds of sirens.

Chapter Text

Castiel stood out in his front lawn, like the rest of the neighborhood. Charlie squinted in the harsh sunlight beside him.

Dean was shoved harshly against the hood of a police car, hands behind his back as cops stormed his house.

“You all better be wearing gloves!” he shouted, only for his face to be pushed back onto the car.

“Is Dean gonna be okay?” Charlie whispered, eyes wide with worry.

Cas sighed and put his hands in his pockets. “Yes. He’ll be fine, just incredibly pissed.”

“You think they heard the podcast?”

“It’s topping every chart.”

Charlie cringed in sympathy as she watched Dean get manhandled.

“No doubt he’s enjoying this a little,” Castiel said nonchalantly.

“Being searched?”

“Like that? Being Dean? Yes.”

She snorted and looked over to Gabriel’s house, where said man was peeking through his curtains, only one eye visible. “He’s gonna kill Gabe.”

“Absolutely.”

One officer kicked Dean’s feet farther apart while another approached Castiel and Charlie.

Cas held up one hand. “Officer.”

The cop nodded at the two of them from six feet away. “You two live here?” she asked.

Charlie opened her mouth to answer, but Castiel piped in with a, “Yes. We do.”

“Have you noticed any strange odors or behaviors coming from Mr. Winchester’s house?”

“Not at all. You?” Castiel asked, turning to Charlie.

She shook her head. “Nothing out of the ordinary.”

“No strange visitors?”

Castiel laughed, but it sounded cold. “No one has had visitors for a long time.”

“He’s never attempted to sell you any illicit substances, or discussed them with you?”

“Sell? Absolutely not. But of course we have discussed them.”

“What were these discussions generally like?”

“Usually heated talks about the dramatic unfoldings of medical dramas.”

The cop frowned, turning to Charlie. “What about you, ma’am?”

“I haven’t discussed drugs with him at all.”

Suddenly, Cas snapped his fingers, as if he had just remembered something. “Oh, shoot. Is this about that podcast that came out?” he asked sarcastically.

The cop sighed. “We have reason to believe Mr. Winchester is the leader of a clandestine group of meth labs.”

“Leader of meth labs, yes. But there is nothing clandestine about them. In fact, I bet if you googled it right now, you could find the address of every one of them.”

The cop’s eyes widened. “What?”

“Oh, yes. He’s very open about his work, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.” Cas’s voice was dry. He made a ‘go ahead’ motion with his hand, and the cop took out her phone warily, typing in some words.

Cas shoved his hands back into his pockets, fake smile plastered on as he watched the cop’s face drop.

“Uh, Chief? Chief!” she hurried off, headed towards the man pinning Dean down.

Charlie raised her eyebrows at Cas. “What was that about?”

He huffed. “Really, a simple search would have made this entire thing pointless. We have a right to say whatever we please, you know. He shouldn’t be searched for something that isn’t too difficult to find online. Especially not in these conditions.”

The chief was on the phone, eyes warily on Dean. He suddenly winced, like someone on the phone had yelled, and soon was hurrying to get the keys to the handcuffs out of his pockets.

Within the space of five minutes, Dean was standing alone in his yard again, no sign of cops or cop cars anywhere.

He rubbed his wrists where the metal had bit in and glared down Gabriel’s house.

“Does your brother have his will ready?” Charlie whispered.

“I really hope so.”

Gabriel hadn’t meant to get Dean in trouble.

He had been so sure — so sure that it was fake! Who ever heard of a handsome, twenty-something suburban man running a group of meth labs?! No one! That’s who!

He hid in his house most of the day, dreading whatever came next. He wasn’t a complete idiot. If Dean really did have meth labs, and a single call made every cop in the area leave him alone… then Dean was more than just a drug dealer.

He was some sort of… mafia boss.

And Gabriel was dead meat.

He jumped when his cell phone buzzed, then cursed himself for being so jumpy.

Asshole Neighbor. Of course.

[Asshole] 5:18pm  Hey Gabriel, whatcha doin?

<<< 5:18pm haha nothing much, wbu?

[Asshole] 5:19pm got a surprise for you.

<<< 5:19pm no thanks, not my bday

[Asshole] 5:20pm Come outside.

<<< 5:21pm no thanks! have a good night, don’t let the bedbugs bite!

[Asshole] 5:22pm I’m not asking, and you have one more chance. Come. Outside.

<<< 5:23pm really not in the mood tbh, there’s this virus going around, maybe you’ve heard of it?

There wasn’t a text back, and Gabriel seriously considered the best places to hide in his house. Closets seemed too obvious, and so did the bathroom. Maybe a cabinet?

[Asshole] 5:26pm aw, that’s so sweet.

Gabriel looked around in confusion. That… didn’t seem meant for him.

<<< 5:27pm did you butt dial me?

[Asshole] 5:27pm ha! no. Your door code is Castiel’s birthday. That’s cute.

There was the soft click of his door being unlocked, and Gabriel felt every blood cell drain from his face.

[Asshole] 5:27pm Come outside :)

He was dead. He was so, so fucking dead.

Gabriel clutched his phone in one hand, ready to dial for help if need be, and walked to his front door. His front door that was slightly open, letting in the dying light from outside.

He took a deep breath, silently asked the universe for a painless death, and flung his door open.

It took a moment for him to process what he was seeing. There was a large, inflatable swimming pool in his front yard filled with water. There was a trash can perched on the pool ladder, a rope attached to it, leading to—

Dean, standing on top of his Impala, which was parked on the road. He held the rope in one hand, winding it around his fingers thoughtfully. “Hey there, Gabriel,” he cooed, drawing out the syllables.

Gabriel took a tentative step outside, one hand on his doorknob. “Uh. Hey there, Dean.”

Dean held up his free hand. “Uh-uh. Call me Winchester. You lost the first name privilege.”

He winced. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think you were being serious. I even looked up some of the stuff you mentioned to make sure, but I guess I spelled it wrong and just— please don’t kill me.”

Dean hummed in thought. “Don’t kill you, you say?” He gave the rope a hard tug, not enough to knock over the trash can into the pool, but hard enough that Gabriel darted halfway back inside. “Come back outside, Gabriel.”

Gabe stepped onto his porch, heart thudding in his ears.

Dean smiled wide at him. “Close your door.”

“I don’t uh… I don’t want to close my door.”

“I’m afraid it’s not up for debate, Gabe.”

He closed his door.

“You regretfully did not inform me that the podcast in question has been on the top ten lists for two years now. That’s impressive, Gabriel. You’ve done good.”

Gabe pressed his back to his door. “Th-thank you.”

“I bet you’re wondering why I wasn’t arrested, aren’t you?”

He nodded.

“You see, I do run meth labs.” Dean grinned at him, something dark flashing in his eyes. “I run a lot of them. I run cocaine labs. I run heroine fields. If it’s an addictive, dangerous drug, I am the Man in Charge, as it goes.”

He was going to die. Dean was going to kill him, and everyone would be around to see it from their windows, and Dean would walk free because he was the damn mafia boss of the mafia bosses!

“I’m a chemist, Gabriel. When I finished my degree, at the behest of Sam, we went out for drinks. I ordered a few specific shots and mixed them myself, mostly to entertain the man I had begun talking to. I made him a rainbow shot. Easy stuff, a basic density equation.” Dean twirled the rope around his fingers. “He was impressed. Offered me an interview at his company. I graciously accepted. And, by my natural charm, I landed the job. It is the job I still hold, to this day.” He tilted his head. “Gabriel.”

“Y-yes?” he squeaked.

“Do you know what my job is?”

“You… You run meth labs.”

“Sure. What do I do there?”

“You… You tell people how to make meth and… and they do it.”

“Ooo, so close!” He tightened the slack in the rope. “Half right. I tell people how to make drugs. I tell them the side effects. I tell them how they work, what chemicals are involved, where they can be found, what the worst combinations are. Then they take the information I give them—“ He gave the line half a pull, teetering the trash can.

Gabriel flinched. “Wait!”

Dean smirked, eyebrows raised in expectation.

“Maybe we can just… talk this out, yeah? No need to blow me up or anything! I’ve got nothing personal against the mafia!”

Dean groaned. “Oh for fuck’s— I’m a consulting chemist for medical dramas, you ass!” His eyes were blazing.

“A… what?”

“Every meth lab you’ve seen on Dr. Sexy for the past seven seasons has been run by me! I tell them what to do! I make it accurate! I am in charge of all the drama that unfolds because of Ben’s heroine addiction!”

Gabe stared a moment, then released a breath. “Oh my god. I thought you were going to kill me.”

He jerked the rope. “I’m still deciding.”

Gabe cast his eyes nervously to the trash can and the pool. “Are you… Are you gonna make a pool full of meth in my front lawn and call the cops on me?”

“Adorable. Too easy.” That smirk slid back onto his face. “See, Gabriel, I’m not nice enough for that.”

“Um—“

“Safety glasses on!” Dean yelled, throwing a pair of plastic goggles hard enough that they hit Gabriel square in the face.

“Hey, ow!”

“Castiel!” Dean yelled, pointing to his house. “Shields up!”

Charlie and Cas quickly lifted two large, plastic shields the length of their fence.

Gabriel took everything in with increasing panic. “Dean—“

Dean pulled safety googles down onto his face, snarling. “It’s Winchester, motherfucker!”

With a hard pull, the trash can tumbled down into the water.

No, not water.

A beat passed where nothing happened, and Gabriel almost thought it hadn’t worked, but then it was a fucking explosion of red foam.

Like a damn science fair volcano, only eight hundred times more powerful and extremely quickly flooding his entire yard in the space of five seconds, shoving him hard back against his door.

The foam raised to his second floor, a typhoon if he was honest with himself, that smelled awful and moved like Nascar. It splashed against the plastic shields Cas and Charlie were holding up before sloshing right back into Gabriel’s yard, filling every nook and cranny with bullshit. He couldn’t see a goddamned thing! Red pressed up against his safety goggles, against his everything. He scrambled for his doorknob and darted inside, a doorway-sized log of foam following him at thirty miles an hour. He shoved his door closed and locked it, groaning at his red-stained hands.

Dean examined the scene with pride, watching as the foam crept right up to the edge of Baby but didn’t lay a finger on her. Precise calculations, that’s what Dean was good at.

The reaction ended fairly quickly, and Gabriel’s entire two-story house was hidden in a layer of red fluff.

“Safety glasses off,” he mumbled to himself, pulling them onto his forehead.

He glanced over at Charlie and Cas, who were still standing, mouths open, dumbfounded.

“Good job with those shields, guys,” he yelled at them, hands cupped around his mouth. “None got in your yard, right?”

Cas shook his head dazedly.

Charlie swallowed, though her mouth was dry. “What uh… What was that?”

Dean frowned and jumped off his car, jogging over to the front of Cas’s house. “Couldn’t hear ya.”

“That. What the fuck.”

“Oh! Uh, super simple science experiment. Hydrogen peroxide and dish soap in the pool, yeast in the trash can.” He shrugged. “Plus food coloring. He’ll look sunburned for a good few days.”

Neither of the two said anything else, instead merely looking at the massive pile of colored foam. Thirty feet high, at least.

“Welp! I’ll see you guys later? Got some food to cook for supper. This really set me back on time so it might just be pizza. Again.” He waved at them as he jogged merrily back to Baby, driving her to his own driveway.

“He’s a mad scientist,” Charlie whispered, still shocked.

“Fuck,” Castiel agreed.

Chapter Text

Gabriel stared outside his windows.

Well, as good as he could. He couldn’t see a damn thing. It was just red shit dominating the landscape. And his skin.

He pulled out his phone and texted Dean.

<<< 8:27am how long is this supposed to last, asswipe?

Dean sent back a gif of Rick Sanchez flipping him off.

Gabriel groaned and sat back. As far as he could tell, the foam was still around his entire fucking house, and like, not that he was going anywhere anyway but fuck this all in particular.

Fuck this man in particular.

Yeah okay maybe he deserved it. He really shouldn’t have posted that recording until Dean was sober and could review it, but like, c’mon. Dean had stolen his favorite shirt and wouldn’t stop arguing with him about anything. He was in the right here.

Gabriel sighed.

No, he wasn’t.

But fuck if he was gonna tell Dean that.

He frowned at his computer, the only source of entertainment in his house, and opened up the audio recorder. He could at least clear things up with his listeners. At least.

Charlie bit her tongue, looking intensely at the mound of foam to her right.

Cas laid a coffee mug beside her and examined her canvas. “I like it,” he announced.

“Thanks! I’ve always wanted to get into oil painting, and now seemed as good a time as ever, I guess.”

He pointed with a pinky at the paint. “The shadows really make the whole thing pop. I took a few classes, if you have any specific questions. I think I still have terpenoid somewhere…”

“What’s that?”

“Thins the paint. Makes it easier to work with.”

She pulled back her brush. “Honestly? I’d love that. This shit is so thick.”

“With one or two c’s?”

She laughed and picked up the coffee mug, taking a sip. “When did you get into pop culture?”

He huffed, looking out across the garden. “Taking care of bees only takes up so much of my time. I may have downloaded tiktok.”

“Oh no…”

“And Tumblr.”

“My sweet summer child!” she mourned dramatically, one hand against her head. “Your innocence hath fled so fast!”

“Bold of you to assume I ever had any innocence, growing up with that.” He gestured to Gabriel’s foam.

She glanced over, smiling. “What was he like?”

“Gabriel? He pretended to be this cool older brother, but really he was just protective and all-seeing. Dad was usually either drunk or lost in his typewriter, so Gabe took care of me. He’s somewhere between a brother and a father. And a frat boy.”

Charlie snorted. “He sounds like a good kid.”

Cas smiled at her, some sort of secret smile. “Maybe.”

“Tell him to adopt me.”

He laughed loudly. “I’ll run it by him. But he seems indisposed at the moment.”

“Yeah. How long is it supposed to last?”

“I guess as long as Dean wants it to.”

She made some noncommittal sound, going back to painting. “Imagine having such a big crush on someone that you cover their entire house in the color of love.”

“I was thinking it was more like blood, but, sure.”

“You think Dean will forgive him?”

Cas frowned at where Gabriel’s house would normally be. “I’m not sure. Gabriel messed up. It will be a while before Dean flirts with him again.”

“You mean insults him.”

“That’s what I said.”

She leaned back, finally done. “They better get together. I joined Facebook for this.”

“I did, too.”

“Maybe we could… push them closer together?”

Cas looked at Charlie, one eyebrow raised, grinning. “What did you have in mind?”

Charlie held up her phone and waved it. “I was thinking we could get someone else on our team…”

Dean listened to the latest episode of Gabriel’s podcast, frowning. It was an apology. Sort of. It was actually going over the real facts with his listeners.

His house phone rang, and he reached out for it. “Hey,” he said immediately. Only one person ever called that line.

“So you’re not in jail.”

“Nope. I appreciate the concern, though, Sammy.”

“And the science stuff. That was… intense.”

Dean squinted, though Sam couldn’t see him. “How did you hear about that?”

“I’ve got eyes everywhere, Dean,” he responded, scrolling through Dean’s neighborhood’s Facebook page.

Dean snorted. “How’s Cali?”

“Same as it has been for two months.”

“Ugh. That bad?”

“We’ve got a lot more people than you guys do. But we’re doing alright. Jess says hi.”

“Kiss her for me.”

“Nope. So, did you listen to the newest ep of Low Places or are you ignoring your boyfriend?”

Dean scowled into the phone. “Don’t have a boyfriend. And yeah, I heard it. It’s just Gabe trying to save face.”

“Sure it is.” He could hear the smile on Sam’s face. “So how long until you forgive him?”

“I’m not gonna forgive him, Sammy. He almost got me arrested.”

“Uh, no. You almost got you arrested. What the hell did you think was gonna happen if you kept telling people you ran a meth lab?”

Dean made an offended sound. “Are you on his side?!”

Sam absently liked a photo montage someone had made of Dean and Gabe together. “Maybe. I’m more on the ‘peace’ side of things.”

“I’m not forgiving him.”

“Just give him a chance.”

“I can’t believe what I’m hearing.” Dean looked at his cell phone and scowled at a new text from Gabriel. “He just texted me. Again. Like he has been all day.”

Sam put him on speaker, waggling his eyebrows at Jessica. “Spill the tea, dude.”

Dean rolled his eyes and opened the message. “If I apologize will you get rid of the foam?” he read aloud.

Sam shrugged. “Do it. Win-win.”

What if I say no,” Dean read as he typed.

Jess raised her eyebrows at Sam, who grinned in response. “Should I let you go?”

“Why? It’s just Shurley.”

“I just know how obsessed with him you are.”

“… When I see you again, my fist is gonna be obsessed with your face.”

Sam laughed loudly. “Dean. You have talked about literally nothing but him for weeks now. Give it a rest.”

“How about you—“ Dean’s threat died in his throat as he read the next text from Gabriel. 

<<< 10:18pm then i’d do anything you want

“How about I what?” Sam teased.

<<< 10:19pm should i add the eggplant emoji and a wink or do you get the message

“You know what? Fine. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“Give Gabe a kiss for me.”

“Do it yourself, coward.”

They said their goodbyes and hung up, Dean’s eyes still firmly on his cell. He typed out a response, backspaced it, typed out another, backspaced it, and finally just decided to call him.

Gabe answered on the fourth ring. “Heya, Winchester.”

“Asshole move.”

“Got you to finally talk to me, didn’t it? Can’t resist me, huh, Dean?”

“It is Winchester to you. And what could you do that could possibly make up for having my face mashed into a police car?”

Gabe sighed. “I don’t know. But I’m in the wrong here, so I gotta do something.”

“You just want your skin its normal color again.”

“It uh… would be nice, sure. An added perk. Red doesn’t suit me.”

“Good,” Dean snarled.

“I am trying here, Dean! What do you want from me? Baked goods? I suck at those! A sword against your throat? Has to be a pretty long sword! A test subject? Again, distancing is—“

“Wait.”

Gabriel waited.

“I could use a test subject.”

“…Okay I was joking. I am sorry but you’re not injecting meth into me.”

“You don’t inject— no. I meant I was thinking of starting a Bill Nye type deal anyway. And you already have a fanbase.”

“You want me. To make science videos with you.”

“Yep.”

“Um, in case it didn’t get through that pretty hair of yours, I’m not a scientist.”

“Even better. It’s gonna be geared towards kids anyway. Sam and Jess are expecting, so this will be a… posterity sort of thing.”

“You can’t see me, but my look could be described as incredulous.”

“You asked what you could do. Agree to this before I think of something more fitting, like making you detail Baby.”

“I do like Baby. You could handcuff me and shove my face against her. I’d be better at that. Could even wear a bikini.”

Dean’s mind stuttered at that mental image. “Don’t… Don’t tempt me.”

“You’re tempted?” He sounded surprised.

“The video thing is more helpful.” Dean barreled on right past that topic, do not pass Go, thanks. “And you already do computer stuff anyway.”

Gabe rolled his eyes. “For how long?”

“Til quarantine’s over.”

Gabe cursed sharply and ran a hand over his face. “Sure. Whatever. Yeah. I’ll do it.”

“Then the foam will be gone tomorrow. Scrub yourself with a loofa for a while, then soak in a hot bath. Should take most of the color off.”

“Bless you.”

“Don’t bless me yet. You’re still on thin ice.”

He snorted. “I’ll send you a bathtub selfie then. It’s no fun arguing when you’re actually mad at me.”

“What does that mean? I’ve been mad at you since you megaphoned me down.”

“Yeah sure. Same, or whatever. I’m gonna go try to look less like the koolaid man now. Text me the info for the videos.”

“Will do. Have a shitty bath.”

“Have nightmares.”

They both hung up, and Dean leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes for a while, until his phone buzzed again.

Dickface Jerkwad. Who else?

It was a selfie. Gabe in the bathtub, waist up, one eyebrow raised and skin somewhere between a firetruck and a two-year-old who found their mom’s blush.

Dean put his phone down again and asked the universe what he had done to deserve this kind of torture.

Chapter Text

Charlie typed on her laptop, sitting in a lawn chair in the backyard. It was peaceful here, with the plants and the quiet and the setting sun.

Castiel was inside, working on orders, and she loved that. She loved that they could be in separate rooms doing their own things and no one got pissed or hurt about it. And they could sit in the same room for hours and not say a word and still be just as great friends as when they watched movies together.

This was good. This was what they both needed.

“Hey, you,” a voice called out from an adjacent yard.

She looked up from her screen to see a pinkish Gabriel squinting at her.

“I never caught your name.”

She waved one hand. “Charlie.”

“Then hey, Charlie! What’s up?”

“Working. You need some aloe vera or…?”

He stuck his tongue out at her. “Funny. Hilarious, actually. You should be a comedian.”

Charlie tossed her hair dramatically. “Why, thank you.”

Gabe snorted. “What’s Cassie up to?”

“Shipping out orders. He got a lot in this week.”

“Good, good.”

She raised one eyebrow at him. “How are things with Dean?”

Gabriel winced. “Uh. Better?”

“Better how?”

“I’m gonna help him host a kid’s science thing now, to make up for the uh…”

“The almost getting him arrested thing?”

“Yeah. That.”

She nodded, going back to typing. “I didn’t know you were into science.”

“I’m not. I’m definitely not. But, I thought maybe you were?”

“I’ve done my fair share of dabbling.”

“Can you… help me? Like, I’m gonna make a fool of myself if I try to help as-is.”

Charlie stopped typing and looked over at him. “You want me to teach you science?”

“…Yes.”

She shrugged. “Yeah, okay. I can send you some videos to watch, just some basic stuff.”

Gabriel sighed in relief. “Thank you, Charlie. Really.”

“Yeah, yeah, I get it. You wanna impress your boyfriend.”

“Not my boyfriend.”

“You want him to be your boyfriend, though.”

Gabe tilted his head in thought. “I think I just want him in my bed for the night.” He raised one finger. “I think he has a being-tied-up kink.”

“That is definitely more than I needed to know.” She side-eyed him. “Tell me more.”

“He is also obsessed with that car. So I’m thinking, in my perfect scenario, I’d combine the two.”

“Gross. I love it.”

“Yeah. Too bad the cops got to it before I did.”

Charlie laughed loudly, covering her mouth with her hand. “Oh no. I bet he’s still dreaming about that.”

“I wonder if I should order a cop outfit, just complete the whole look. What do you think?”

“I think it’s way too soon, and do it.” Charlie suddenly gasped, eyes wide. “Gabriel. Gabe.”

“Charlie.”

“Wear it for your first video.”

He giggled slightly. “Ah, no, that is insensitive. But I like where your head is at. Maybe I could find some skimpy science outfit? Like a, crop top lab coat?”

“That is definitely against the lab safety rules.”

“Dark red lipstick looks good on me.”

“Bitch, yes! Distract him through the whole thing!”

“Oh gosh I can see it now. I come out looking all fancy, Winchester is drooling, and then BAM! I blind him with science!” He paused. “Not literally, of course.”

“I’m loving this idea.”

“What idea?” Dean said from the other yard, boombox perched on his shoulder.

Charlie waved at him as Gabe said, “We were just talking about how sexy I am.”

Dean raised one eyebrow at Charlie, who shrugged.

“Right. Sure.” He pulled out his phone and began scrolling through songs. “Any suggestions?”

“Silence.”

Charlie glanced at Gabriel and smirked. “How about ‘Pink’?”

Gabe threw his arms out in mock offense as Dean laughed. “Aerosmith? Yeah, okay. Suits him.”

“I’m deeply hurt,” Gabe complained.

Dean looked up at him, smile still hiding barely on his lips. “You’ll live.”

The first guitar chords blared from the speaker as Gabriel found himself mentally tracing the curves of Dean’s body. It should be illegal, him wearing worn out jeans and a faded tee, hair messed up and freckles bright against tan skin like that.

“Care for this dance?” Dean teased, hand held out as if there wasn’t an entire backyard between them.

“What?”

“You were staring at me. I think ballroom etiquette states that means you want a dance.”

Gabriel’s cheeks were already pink, so what did it matter that he was blushing now? “I was thinking about how nerdy you look.”

“Nerdy, huh? Strong words coming from the pink guy wearing a cat shirt that says ‘check meowt’ on it.”

“You love my style. You even stole one of my outfits. Which I would like back, by the way.”

“Not a chance.”

Gabe huffed. “Why do you wanna keep it so bad?”

Dean met his eyes again over the space between them and shrugged. “It smells like you.”

The song ended and Dean started the next, seemingly unaware of how easily he had stopped Gabriel’s breathing.

“Think I told you that already,” Dean said over the music.

“Okay but I didn’t know you were serious.” Gabe’s face was unreadable, for once. “What do I smell like?”

Dean’s eyes softened a moment before he suddenly grinned. “Like a bitch!”

Charlie laughed from behind her laptop while Gabe facepalmed. “How original. Couldn’t have guessed that answer,” he grumbled.

“What was that?” Dean mocked, one hand cupped around an ear. “Couldn’t hear you over the music you hate!”

“I don’t hate the music! I hate the volume and the timing!” Gabe scrunched his face up. “Hey, asshole!”

“Yes, asshole?”

“I want one of your shirts.”

Dean stilled for a moment before laughing. “Why?”

“I want to know what you smell like.”

“I smell like a winner.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.”

Something flashed in Dean’s eyes before he said simply, “Okay.” and pulled his shirt off. He winked at Gabe, holding the fabric above his head. “Mind if I do yard work for you?” Dean said in a poor imitation of Gabriel, eyes wide and innocent.

“You know what, my gutters do need cleaned if your mind is gonna be in them all the time. A man can’t weed eat a neighbor’s lawn without there being ulterior motives?”

“No comment.” Dean balled his shirt up and threw it into Gabriel’s yard. “Let that sit in the sun for like, fifteen minutes.”

“I’m not an idiot, Winchester.”

The corners of Dean’s mouth twitched. “Again, no comment.”

“Fuck you.”

“I’m already half-naked. Do your worst.”

Damn Winchester and his damn flirting and his damn chest and just dammit! “Why don’t I take off my shirt and together we can be a whole naked?”

“Why don’t I take it off for you?”

Charlie snapped her laptop shut. “I’m going inside!” she announced. “Nice to talk to both of you!”

The door closed behind her on the startled faces of the two men. Gabriel looked like he was shocked at what had come out of Dean’s mouth, and Dean looked exactly the same.

“I uh…” Dean stammered, “I didn’t um, I didn’t mean to—“

“We were just kidding, right?”

There was a beat, then, “Right! Kidding!”

“Pssh, yeah, that’s just what we do! That’s our… our thing!”

“Mm, totally our thing!” Dean agreed, face slightly panicked. “It makes us both uncomfortable so that’s why we do it. Because we’re enemies.”

“Yes! Enemies, exactly! Nothing ulterior here!”

“I wouldn’t take your shirt off, duh,” Dean barreled on, face heating up.

“And see? I know that! You wouldn’t take my shirt off, and I wouldn’t let you!”

They stared.

“Wouldn’t let you uh, wouldn’t let you take my shirt off, I mean,” Gabriel blurted out. “I mean, I would definitely let you take my shirt off.”

“I uh—“

“Wouldn’t!” Gabriel yelled. “I meant I wouldn’t let you take my shirt off! Of course! Because we’re just kidding!”

“Right! And we can say whatever we want while we’re kidding, because it’s just jokes!”

“Exactly!”

“I could say that I’d love to grab your ass and it wouldn’t mean anything because we’re just joshing around!”

Gabriel held his arms out in victory. “YES! And I could say that I would personally love that and it doesn’t affect anything! I could pretend I have dreams about tying you to your Impala and it wouldn’t matter!”

“Tying me to my—“ Dean put a hand over his mouth, cheeks and throat blazing. “I um… yep. Yeah. Doesn’t affect me at all. Because we’re kidding.”

“Yep. Uh. Kidding.”

“I’m gonna go inside now,” Dean announced, voice sounding strangled.

“Yeah me too,” Gabe agreed awkwardly. “Don’t uh, don’t jack off in my clothes.”

Dean’s eyes widened comically. “I um…”

“Kidding. See? It’s fine! We’re fine!” Gabriel was just blurting things out now, backing away from the fence towards the discarded shirt.

“Oh! Yeah, ha. Um, feel free to jack off in mine.” Dean was immediately cursing his own tongue.

Gabe stalled with the shirt in his hands, a panicked expression on his face. “I uh… will… do?”

Dean gave him a thumbs-up and oh my god Winchester who the fuck gives thumbs-ups almost tripped over his discarded boombox. “Alright, cool cool cool! I’ll text you tonight with the experiment ideas!”

“Experiment…?”

“The science ones!”

“OH! That kind of experiment! Gotcha!” Go inside go inside what the fuck are you doing “I’ll send you another bathtub selfie later!” oh my god

Dean gave another awkward thumbs-up. “Cool cool cool! I’m gonna go inside. For real this time!”

“Have a good trip!” hey 911 I’d like to report myself for being a fucking fool

Don’t do it don’t do it don’t do it Dean gave him a third thumbs-up. OH MY GOD

They both backed awkwardly into their homes, collapsing just after the doors closed.

Charlie pressed her fingers to her temples while Castiel’s fingertips were tented against his lips.

“Maybe we close the windows next time,” he suggested.

“Good idea.”

Chapter Text

Dean chewed on the end of his pen, staring at his laptop. Complex formulas were written across it, which he was proofreading.

“God, who’s balancing these equations?” he grumbled to himself as he changed a 4 to an 18.

Work had been slow, but not too bad. In lieu of filming, Dr. Sexy MD had decided to start working on the script for next season. Which is what Dean was proofreading. They were only about two episodes in, but he liked the direction it was going.

His phone rang, and he didn’t even look away from his laptop as he swiped up to answer it. “Hewwo,” Dean said around the pen he was still consuming.

“… Uwu?”

“Chawie?”

“What the hell are you doing, man.”

Dean let the pen fall out of his mouth. “Working, you night owl. How’d you get this number?”

Charlie snorted on the other end of the line. “Chill out, Mr. President. I got it from Cas.”

He vaguely remembered Cas asking if he could give Charlie his number. “Alright. That scans. What’s up?”

“I heard about your new show with your boyfriend.”

“Since I don’t have a boyfriend, I don’t know what you’re on about.”

“Gabriel, dumbass.”

Dean’s lips twitched in a smile. “Maybe we do have a show. What’s it to ya?”

“I came to ask what the first episode is over.”

“You want spoilers? Bad Charles.”

She snorted. “Not quite. Just helping out a friend who doesn’t want to look like a complete idiot in front of you.”

“Aww. Tell Cas he could never look like a complete idiot to me.”

“I meant Gabriel and you know it.”

“Hmph. Gabe could never not look like a complete idiot to me.”

“Relationship goals, truly,” she deadpanned. “He’s legitimately trying to impress you so maybe let it happen.”

Dean corrected a few more numbers. “He’s still trying to make up for the police thing.”

“Then maybe let him?”

He reached for his pen again, munching on it absently. “Bakink thoda vowcanoth,” he finally conceded.

“Baking soda volcanoes?”

“That’th what I thaid.”

“Okay. I’ll let him know. Anything else you wanna pass along?”

“Teww him to weaw kokkwth.”

“Jesus Christ dude, I can’t understand you.”

Dean spit out his pen again. “Goggles. Tell him to wear some.”

“Roger Roger.”

“Hey Charles?”

“Hm?”

He fidgeted slightly, reaching for the pen again before stopping himself. “What did he say about me?”

Charlie rolled her eyes, not that Dean could see. “He said you were the hottest thing in the entire world and he wants to marry you and have your babies.”

“Oh go fuck yourself,” he grumbled with no real bite to the words.

He heard Castiel through the speaker. “It’s true, that sounds exactly like Gabriel. You know he’s such a romantic.”

“Your sarcasm astounds me, Cassie. I liked it better when you didn’t understand it.”

“Alas, being your neighbor has taught me much.” He heard the distinct shuffling of Castiel coming closer to the phone. “If it’s my blessing you’re after, you have it. Go get him, tiger.”

“I hate both of you.”

“You adore us.”

“Yeah well… maybe.” He shoved the pen back between his teeth. “Kotta ko. Wove you kuys.”

Charlie grinned. “You hear that, Castiel? He woves us. Thought the great Dean Winchester didn’t say love?”

“I thaid wove. Thewe’s a diffwenth. Bethidth, wife ith thowt. I need to thay wove mowe often.”

Castiel teased, “We wove you too, Dean. Have fun at work.”

Dean hung up absently, squinting at his computer screen. “Who the fuck made cocaine gibe you migwainths?”

He fixed a few more things before opening up Messenger in a separate monitor and sending a quick call to Gabriel while he was still thinking about it.

Gabe answered after five rings, the picture dark and his hair messy. “What.”

“Need you to ko ket thome thinks.”

“…I’m hanging up.”

Dean rolled his eyes and removed the pen. Again. “Need you to go get some things.”

“In these conditions?”

“Wear a mask.”

“I meant that it’s raining. Have you even seen the outside world today?”

“I’m wowkin’.”

“Pen.”

“Dammit.” Dean threw it to the other side of the room. “Helps me concentrate.”

“I’m not going anywhere right now. It’s literally thundering. Is your house soundproof or something?”

He shrugged. “This room is.”

Gabe raised an eyebrow, the footage a bit grainy. “Well that’s not sexy-scary at all.”

“Didn’t want anyone calling the police if I had a few chemical reactions go awry. Oh wait.”

“You ever gonna let that go?”

“Nope. I need you to go get baking soda and vinegar if you don’t have any already. I’m sure Charlie has already texted you about…” He trailed off, running reactions in his head as he read over the script.

Gabriel waited for two full minutes before huffing. “Hey, Winchester? I’m still here!”

Dean jumped. “Oh! Right. Food coloring too. It’ll be cooler if we have a paper mâché volcano but I have graduated cylinders we could use instead.”

“Lucky for you I just so happen to be a paper mâché master.”

“That so?” Dean mumbled, not really listening.

“Dude if you’re busy, I’m hanging up.”

“Keep me company,” he muttered absently, unconsciously opening a drawer to look for a new pen.

“Me. Keep you company.”

Dean stilled. “Did I say that?”

“You did.”

“Huh. Okay. Tell me about your morning or whatever.”

“My morning.”

“I’m listening.” He waved a pencil around his head. “Info goes in here fine, just doesn’t come out my mouth well.”

“… Aren’t we enemies?”

“I’m extending a temporary olive branch here. You can take it or not.”

Gabriel regarded him suspiciously. Dean’s hair was up at all sorts of angles and he hadn’t shaven in what looked like two solid weeks, though he knew that couldn’t be the case. “I interviewed Albert Einstein today.”

Dean snorted. “You did not.”

“Eh. I interviewed his biggest, nerdiest expert fan so it was kinda like I interviewed him. I didn’t really get some of the stuff the guy was going on about but I figure someone else will.”

“How do you pick peopwe fow youw show?” Dean mumbled around the now-pencil.

“A lot of times the guys who run our network of podcasts pick them for me. I just have to have my research and questions ready to go. And my pleasant personality doesn’t hurt, either.”

“Oh, you’w pweathant?”

“I can be, when others aren’t constantly playing loud music or unleashing science experiments on my house.”

Dean grinned at that. “Thoundth wike—“ he rolled his eyes at himself. “Sounds like a douche.”

“Eh. He’s alright, I guess.”

“Yeah?”

“I mean, don’t get me wrong, this guy is a major pain in my ass… but he’s pretty cool. Definitely a solid ten, too.”

Dean laughed softly, face red. “You’re not so bad yourself, Shurley.”

“Yeah. Too bad we’re enemies. You’d make a pretty great friend.”

Dean crinkled his nose and looked away for a moment. “No chick-flick mo— hic — moments.”

Gabe laughed. “Did you just hiccup?”

“I hic did not!”

“Awwww. That’s kind of adorable.”

Dean bit firmly down on the pencil again, dead set on stifling his hiccups. “I’m not hic adowabwe.”

“You absolutely are. But okay, I get it. Big bad Dean Winchester can’t be seen being cute. Might ruin that street cred you fought so hard to build.” Gabe winked at him.

“Ket bent.”

“Get bent over what?”

Dean scowled and flipped off the camera, to which Gabriel only chuckled.

“Other than the interview, my morning has been pretty boring until now. Just been stuck inside with nothing but all the shows I’ve already watched to keep me company,” Gabe continued as if nothing had happened. “Now some guy with an oral fixation is video chatting with me, so that’s fun. My mind definitely isn’t going anywhere.”

Dean grinned and did his best not to laugh. “Youw mind packed up and moved away a wong time ako.”

“I’ll have you know I’m very smart! Just… not in the same ways as you.”

He rolled his eyes and tossed the pencil away, hiccups finally gone. “I know you’re smart, Gabriel. You don’t have to convince me of that.”

“Well… good.” Gabe looked away from the camera, face red. “Glad you know that.”

“You’re a real catch, I promise,” Dean mumbled, scrolling down to the next page of script. “Any girl would be lucky.”

“Ah yes… girls. That’s definitely all I like.”

Dean’s eyes flicked over to the video chat. “Trying to tell me something, Shurley?”

“Definitely not.”

Dean weighed his options before grabbing his webcam and doing a full 180 spin. “Now?”

Gabe took in the array of pride flags on Dean’s walls with growing amazement. “Oh. Wow. Do you need to tell me something?”

“I’m the straightest man you’ve ever met.” He gestured to the wall of rainbow. “Clearly.”

“I mean…”

“My actual serious dream come true was working on Dr. Sexy MD. Because I’m absolutely, 100% straight.” He held up one finger. “In fact, I’m so straight I have the bi pride flag tattooed on me somewhere.”

“Well I’ve already seen your torso and your legs so my guess is ass.”

“Good work, detective.” He spun around again, putting his webcam back. “That’s just how we straight people do.”

“I’m impressed with how easily you have entrusted me with this information.” Gabe put his arms behind his head. “How do you know I won’t use it for my own nefarious purposes?”

“Nefarious purposes? My darling Gabriel, I already told you. I’m straight.”

Gabe couldn’t stop his laughter. “Well, in that case, I guess I can tell you that I’m straight, too.”

“Oh, I know,” Dean said, suddenly serious. “I mean, no gay man would ever promise to jack off in another man’s clothes.”

“Oh, get fucked,” Gabe managed between his laughs. “You hesitated when I asked you! You already did!”

“This is propaganda and I won’t stand for it!”

“You know what’s propaganda? Your shirt smells like a cozy fire. What the fuck, right? How did you even manage that?!”

Dean threw his head back and laughed. “Tons of accidental explosions! Why the hell do you smell like candied apples and sweet tarts?”

“Uh, excuse you I always smell delectable. Willy Wonka fashioned me by hand.”

“Then you should probably get a restraining order.”

Gabe tried to hold his laughter in but ultimately failed, tears streaming down his face. “At least when there’s a spark in my eye it isn’t literal!”

“I’ll have you know I only rarely catch on fire anymore!”

“Ah yes! Now you make explosions in the yards of poor, defenseless sweet men!”

“Defenseless? ‘Scuse you, buster, but I have stared at your arms at length and you are far from defenseless!”

“At length, huh? I knew I felt someone watching me when I did that thirty day pull-up challenge in my front yard.”

“It was your front yard. You were begging me to look at you!”

“Not you specifically, though I am happy it was you.”

“Oh, who did you want staring then? Garth? You want him to kiss you with his little puppet hands?”

Gabriel was lost in another fit of giggles. “If he jacked someone off, would it be a handjob or a blowjob?”

Dean laid his head on his desk, shoulders shaking. “Depends on if he’s using his voice or his puppet’s voice!” He sat back up, wiping the tears from his face. “You gotta visit him sometime. He makes the best cookies.”

“Better than your weed ones?”

“I… Yeah, I majorly got the proportions wrong on that one.”

“No kidding. You’re a pretty sexy dancer when you’re high, just so ya know.”

“Pssh. I’m a sexy dancer even when I’m not high.”

“Oh, yeah, I’m sure that sober you stands on the roof of your car and wears my clothes. Seems right up your alley.”

Dean groaned, hiding his face in his hands. “Please tell me I did not do that.”

“Oh, you did. Lots of hip swaying and arm movements. But don’t worry, it was perfectly PG. Unfortunately.”

He chuckled. “What? You wanna see me strip or something?”

“Are you kidding? It’s hard for you to not strip in front of me, if the number of times I’ve seen your chest is anything to go by.”

“My chest? I distinctly remember a certain someone coming to my lawn and stripping in front of my window.”

“Yeah, and you choked on your coffee. It was a good time.”

“I was startled!”

“You liked it.”

“I… maybe.” Dean glanced back at his computer and sighed. “Ugh. Dude, my boss is calling. I’ve gotta go.”

“Give him a big ol’ kiss for me.”

“Absolutely not.” He grinned at Gabriel, who was grinning right back. “See ya tomorrow, Gabe.”

“Oh, are we past the Shurley stuff now? Can I call you Dean?”

“You’ve been calling me Dean. Don’t act like you follow my rules.”

“You got me pegged.” Gabe let that sentence hang for a moment. “See ya tomorrow, Dean.”

Gabe hung up and Dean stared at where his picture was for a moment, or two, until the ring of the incoming call made him jump.

That… hadn’t been terrible.

Gabe dragged a hand over his face, trying to quell his smile. That was unexpected and… nice.

He glanced at his computer, to the three incoming calls he had already missed from work while talking with Dean.

He put one hand against his stomach, scowling at himself.

Butterflies sucked.

Chapter Text

Castiel sat out in the front lawn, book in one hand and apple in another. He glanced up occasionally, watching Dean set up tables in his and Gabriel’s yards, walking back and forth. He kept to the sidewalk, unwilling to risk Cas’s wrath.

Dean looked up and saw him watching him. “Heya.”

“Hi. I’m assuming this is for the show?”

“Uh, yeah! Yeah, it is. I decided it’s gonna be called E=MC Queered.”

“Nice.” Cas marked his place in his book before setting it aside. “How is this going to work?”

“Well. I’ve got two cameras set up at the same height. One in front of me, one in front of Gabe. I set them up so the screens show the other’s feed. And we’ve got earpieces — sanitized — so we can hear each other without having to yell. I’ll explain what’s happening and give him the instructions, and he’ll carry out the experiment.”

“Ah, so the risk of my brother exploding is relatively high, then.”

Dean grinned at him. “Not yet. We’re starting with basic stuff. Maybe later on.”

Castiel rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “If you could only keep one half of Gabriel, which half would you want?”

“Hmm. Is he right or left handed?”

“I meant top half or bottom half, Dean.”

“Dammit. Uh, top half.”

“Huh. I thought you’d go for bottom half.”

“I’m not gonna dignify that with a response.” Dean finished his set up and admired his handiwork. “Where is your brother, anyway?”

“Oh! Yes. He wanted me to inform you to ‘go ahead and start filming’ and that he’d be out soon.”

“Um. Okay.” Dean pressed a button on his remote, starting both cameras simultaneously. It would make his job easier in the long run. “I guess I’ll do the intro then?” He cleared his throat and turned towards his camera, leaning on his table. “Hey everyone! I’m Dean Winchester, and this is E = MC Queered. Why that name? Because this is a science show, and we support all of you.” He felt his anxiety calming as he got into the swing of things. “I’m your host. I have a lovely assistant, but it seems he’s late.”

“Aw, did you call me lovely?”

Dean turned to look towards Gabriel’s yard and stopped cold.

Gabe trotted merrily up to his own camera and gave it a big wave. “Hey guys! I’m Gabriel Shurley, but you can call me Gabe. I’m new to all this stuff, too, so we can learn it together!” He busied himself putting his earpiece in. “There, now I can hear Dean better!”

Dean was staring. He was really trying not to stare, but he was staring.

Gabe waved at Dean. “Hey there, bucko. You doing alright?”

“You… You look good.”

Gabriel raised his eyebrows in surprise. “What? No ‘you can’t wear a dress on my show, Shurley’? No ‘that lipstick looks tacky’?”

“You’ve… got a Miss Frizzle vibe going on. I dig it.”

Gabriel looked down at the dress he had custom made and shipped, a bouncy thing that ended above his knees and was covered in mini volcanoes, spewing red lava that matched his lips. “I’ll be honest, I was expecting to get under your skin.”

“You uh… You hic did. You did.”

“So you are mad?”

“No I hic I’m just hic I— dammit!” Dean took in a deep breath and held it in an attempt to rid himself of his hiccups.

“You okay over there, Winchester? You’re not getting chronic hiccups, are you?”

Dean released his breath. “I’m good. I’m fine. I’ll edit out the curse later.”

Gabriel examined him curiously. “I can go change if you’d like.”

“No!” Dean winced at himself. “I mean, that’s not necessary. You look fine.”

Charlie came out and sat beside Castiel, offering him a smoothie to match her own. He graciously accepted.

Dean shook himself for a moment before turning back to the camera. “That’s Gabriel. He’s gonna help us with our experiments. Gabe, did you bring the baking soda and vinegar?”

Gabriel pulled a box and a bottle out from under the table. “I sure did. As well as the raddest volcano you’ve ever seen.” He plopped his paper mâché masterpiece on the table.

“Dude, that looks pretty epic.”

“I told you I was a paper mâché master.” Gabe looked pointedly at the camera. “Dean never listens to me.”

“Yes I do! I listen to everything you say!”

“I’m not that interesting of a person, Dean.”

“You are to me!”

They both stared down each other, faces red.

“A-anyway!” Dean said, clapping. “Let’s go ahead with the experiment, I guess?”

“Aren’t you gonna explain how it works?”

“I’ll do it as you do the experiment. Put in the baking soda. And the food coloring. And put on your goggles.”

Gabriel popped open the box and began pouring baking soda into the middle of the volcano.

“So that’s baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate. It’s a base. Vinegar, or acetic acid, is an acid, duh. When they mix they form carbonic acid, which is very unstable. In fact, when it happens — Gabe go ahead and pour the vinegar — the carbonic acid instantly breaks apart into water and carbon dioxide. It happens so quickly that—“ He motioned towards Gabriel.

Gabe’s eyes lit up as the volcano erupted, red spilling down the sides of his perfectly crafted vessel.

“— it creates a fizzing reaction, resulting in the volcano you see here. The food coloring was just for fun.”

Gabriel threw his hands in the air dramatically. “It’s aliiiiiiiive!”

Dean looked back at his camera. “It’s not alive. It’s just chemicals.”

“Aren’t we just chemicals?”

Dean pointed at Gabe. “Another time. Any questions?”

Gabe pondered the mess in front of him, still spewing onto the table, spilling onto the ground. “Why?”

“So if there’s anything you don’t understand, I could clear it up—“

“No, I mean, why does it bother?”

“I’m… not following.”

“The baking soda and vinegar form… carbonic acid, right? But that’s super unstable and immediately breaks apart anyway. So why does it bother forming carbonic acid? Isn’t chemistry and nature and science all about finding the most efficient ways to do things?”

“That’s… an excellent question. For the sake of this show, I’ll say that sometimes it’s just cooler for it to happen this way. But uh. The real answer is that the chemicals are drawn into that configuration whether it’s stable or not. And then, once there, they realize how unstable it really is, and they divide into water and carbon dioxide, which are both extremely stable. It’s more of an intermediate step to get to the final destination of stability.”

“Huh. Okay.” He pointed to his volcano. “What if I did this in a closed bottle?”

“It would explode. Don’t do that.”

“You’re no fun.” Gabe watched with mild fascination as the reaction finally stopped. “I’ve seen people clean their drains this way.”

“Yeah, the fizz will break down some pretty gunky stuff. It’s a good thing to keep handy.”

“Is this the same as coke and mentos?”

“Same principle, yeah.”

Gabe pondered for more questions to ask. “Do you like my dress? It’s got volcanoes on it,” he finally said, delving right back into teasing.

“It’s… nice.”

“Nice? I get a dress specifically for this and all I get is a nice?”

Dean looked to the sky and mentally cursed himself for what he was about to say. “Second law.”

“The right to bear arms?”

“Thermodynamics. The entropy of a system can never decrease, only remain constant or increase. Entropy being chaos, basically.”

“Not seeing how this relates to my astounding dress.”

“For example,” Dean barreled on, still looking up, “you and I are a system. The amount of chaos between us cannot ever decrease. It can only remain constant or increase. Our past is still there, so even if we stopped being chaotic right this very moment, our overall chaos levels would remain constant.”

Gabe crossed his arms, frowning.

“But we are increasing. I know this, because it seems every time I look over at you, I go a little bit more insane.” Dean finally peeked his way. “You look nice, Gabriel.”

Gabe looked… stricken.

“Well, I guess that concludes this ridiculously short segment. Um, leave any questions or comments down below and we’ll try to answer them next episode. Until then, science away.” He pressed the button on the remote that stopped the cameras and refused to look Gabriel’s way. “Well, thanks for being here. See you sometime next week.”

“Hold it. You just give me the best compliment of my life and expect to just walk away? No.”

Dean snorted. “If that was the best compliment you’ve ever gotten, you need better suitors.”

“Suitors? What is this, the 1800s?” He saw Dean’s face. “Dude. It’s not weird. It just caught me off-guard. It was very thoughtful.”

“Yeah well…” he shrugged. “The look suits you.”

“There are breezes places I’m not used to breezes being.”

Dean snorted, finally meeting his eyes. “That’s what happens, man.”

“As cute as I may be right now — and that is, as cute as a goddamn button — I think I’m gonna go change into pajama pants and lounge around.”

“Just pajama pants?”

Gabe smirked. “And your shirt. It looks good on me.”

“Band shirts look good on everyone.”

“So does lipstick.” Gabe shrugged nonchalantly, something mischievous in his eyes. “Bet mine would look great on you. All over.”

“… I’m gonna play my music extra loud tonight, asshole.”

“I don’t think that’s possible. Besides,” Gabriel rubbed one hand violently across his mouth, “it doesn’t come off anyway.”

Dean cleared his throat awkwardly and tried to find something to do with his hands.

“Also, let me edit the video. I already know you’re gonna be hopeless when it comes to that stuff.”

“I…” Dean trailed off. “You’re right. Go for it.”

“Okay. I’m about to go inside for a bit, so if you wanted to stare at my ass in this dress, now is your chance.” Gabe winked at him and went inside his house, briefly turning back to blow a kiss at Dean’s lava-red face.

Gabe wound up keeping most of the footage, only dubbing out the curse word Dean had let slip. It amused him, the way he could pinpoint the exact moment Dean caught sight of him. The blushing, the flustered compliments, the hiccuping… it was all too cute.

After a final precursory scan, he sent it off to Dean to approve and waited.

Sam and Jess piled on their couch, Dean and Gabe’s video loaded up onto their TV.

Jess had one hand on her swollen belly. “That’s your Uncle Dean,” she whispered to it.

Sam had one arm around her as he hit play, and they both chuckled at Dean’s awkward intro. It wasn’t the first time they had seen Gabe. They had seen him in passing a few times when they’d go down to visit Dean. But it was definitely the first time they had seen him all dolled up.

“He’s cute,” Jess told Sam, grinning. “I see why their neighborhood ships them.”

“Oh yeah, this is posted all over that Facebook group.”

They both watched Dean’s frozen face, all the way through when Dean started hiccuping.

Sam’s eyes widened, and suddenly he was laughing maniacally.

“You good?” Jess asked.

“Oh, oh fuck babe. I gotta find an old home video. Gabriel is gonna get a kick out of this.”

Chapter Text

“Game night.”

Castiel looked up from the book he was reading. “What?”

“Let’s host a game night. You, me, and the two idiots.” Charlie spread her hands, head tilted back. “We can stream a multiplayer game and they can join. Also: booze.”

“… Are there booze rules or just: booze?”

She clicked her tongue. “Booze rules.”

“Losers take a shot?”

“I was thinking winners take a shot. Everyone but last place each round takes a shot. Then we can try to sabotage each other.”

Castiel smirked. “I like your thinking. I’ll invite Gabriel if you’ll invite Dean.” He paused. “And if we want to post a viewing link in the Facebook group then…”

She opened her laptop. “Oh, already on it.”

Dean answered his phone and put it on speaker, going right back to scrolling. “Hey Charlie.”

“Hey Dean. What’s up?”

“I can’t stop scrolling.”

She snorted. “Facebook?”

“Wish.”

“Oh. Oh no. Be careful what you buy on there.”

He scrolled more, eyes wide. “I don’t even… I don’t need any of this. But I want all of it.”

“Does it have you pegged yet?”

“It thinks I’m a soccer mom. Who has some weird kinks.”

“So yes. How much stuff is in your cart right now?”

“… A lot.” He opened his cart and winced at himself. “To be fair, it’s not all for me. I found a really cute little garden statue I thought Cas might like.”

“You big softie.”

“And a tortilla blanket I’ve been toying with the idea of getting for Gabriel. But that’s weird, right? We’re not friends.”

“But he would love that.”

“He would,” Dean confirmed, chewing on his bottom lip. “Maybe I’ll get it and if the time is right I’ll give it to him.”

“You know, you could always like, sneak little presents onto his front porch in the dead of night. Secret admirer type deal.”

“I’m not an admirer. I just… you can’t tell me that wouldn’t make his entire month.”

“He would never shut up about it.”

Dean nodded to himself. “Yeah, I’m getting it for him. He can have it if he acts right.”

“Or if you put it on his porch.”

“Or if I put it on his porch, right.”

Charlie grinned. “You wanna do game night with us?”

Dean checked out and went immediately back to scrolling. “Us who?”

“Me, Cas, and Gabe.”

“What sort of games?”

“Online multiplayer ones. Cas and I will host, and you two will just join.”

“Like, RPGs?”

“More like Cards.”

“Gotcha.” He added a soup ladle that looked like the Loch Ness monster to his cart. “Yeah sure, I’m down. What time?”

“Eight tonight. Be sure to have booze nearby.”

“Always, Charles. Constantly.”

“Cool. See you tonight, have fun shopping for your crush.” She hung up before Dean could offer a rebuttal.

He rolled his eyes and frowned as a corgi tea strainer popped up. Gabe would really love that…

“Why.”

“It will be fun,” Castiel pleaded.

“No offense Cassie, but I don’t think I’ll be into whatever nerd games you and Computer Gal over there come up with.” Gabriel was crouching on top of the fence somewhat uncomfortably.

Cas held up three fingers. “Cards Against Humanity, booze, and Dean,” he rattled off.

Gabe almost fell over backwards. “Count me the fuck in!”

When eight o’clock hit, Charlie was grinning into the camera at the other three faces.

“Hey guys!”

Dean raised an already-full glass to her. “Howdy.”

Gabe stuck his tongue out at them, and Castiel cleared his throat. “The first drinking rule is that everyone must take two shots immediately. Then we can start the game.”

Dean laughed and took two deep swallows of whiskey while the others quickly followed suit, Gabriel with flavored vodka and Charlie and Cas with rum.

Charlie shook her head, grinning. “Alright, this is Cards Against Humanity Except Every White Card Is Blank. So grab a pen and paper. The Czar will read out a black card and you have to think up your own answer. After the first round we’ll explain the drinking rules because that’s more fun.” She picked up the black deck and held it out to Castiel.

“What brought the orgy to a grinding halt?” he read aloud stoically.

Gabriel was already giggling as he uncapped his Sharpie, and Dean’s face was flushed with contained laughter. Charlie hid her notebook from Castiel’s prying eyes.

Gabe’s head shot up. “Hey wait! This isn’t anonymous at all!”

“Honor system!” Charlie called back, ending her entry with a flourish. “Ready.”

“Same,” Dean said, leaning back smugly.

“Who reads first?” Gabe asked, holding up his paper.

Cas rubbed his chin in fake thought. “I think I shall allow… Charlie to go first.”

She pumped her fist in the air. “Hell yeah!”

He hid his smirk. “Okay. Charlie. What brought the orgy to a grinding halt?”

“Satan’s moist asscheeks.”

Cas put a hand over his mouth to hide his grin. “Oh, you ass. I hate that word. Moist.” He turned to Gabriel. “You. What brought the orgy to a grinding halt?”

Gabe turned his paper around. “Hearing Castiel say the word ‘orgy’.”

Dean threw his head back and laughed as Cas rolled his eyes. “I don’t know what I expected. Dean?”

“Aw, you’re not gonna say it again?” Dean teased.

“What brought the orgy to a grinding halt,” Cas deadpanned.

Dean flipped his page around. “Gabriel.”

Charlie was in hysterics as Gabriel vehemently denied that he would ever stop an orgy.

“You’d stop it with your face, dumbass,” Dean teased, his head feeling a bit fuzzy already.

Castiel’s eyes were scrunched with mirth as he pointed to Dean. “You win. Charlie was second.”

“Oh!” Dean said, throwing his hands up. “Take shots, motherfuckers!”

Charlie grinned at him. “Actually,” she began, “the rules tonight are that the winners take shots.”

Dean said, “What?!” at the same time that Gabriel threw his arms up in victory.

“But to keep things fun, there’s a second rule where you still have to try to win. If your card fails to make anyone so much as chuckle, that’s two immediate shots.”

“You’re on,” Gabriel said, hitting his desk lightly. “I’m gonna be the best loser you’ve ever seen!”

Dean grinned at him. “Well. You got the loser part right, anyway.”

“YoU gOt ThE lOsEr pArT rIgHt shut the fuck up and chug, Winchester!”

Charlie and Dean took a gulp of their less alcoholic drinks because fuck only having eight rounds until everyone was drunk. This game night was going to last.

Charles held out her hand, breathing through her teeth. “Card me, bitch.”

Cas put a black card in her hand, which she immediately read out. “Instead of coal, Santa now gives the bad children blank.”

There were three pens hastily scribbling.

Charlie pointed at Dean. “What does Santa give the bad kids?”

“One less parent.”

“Jesus, Dean!” she said, already giggling. “Cas! What does Santa give the bad kids?”

“War flashbacks.”

She put one hand over her mouth, laughing silently as Dean fucking lost it. “Gabe,” she managed to wheeze out. “What does Santa give the bad kids?”

Gabe flipped his page around. “A new sleep paralysis demon.”

Charlie threw her head back and howled with laughter as Dean tried to hide his own. “Dammit Gabe! You win! Dean is second. Drink up, bitches!”

“Fuck,” Dean giggled as he downed another gulp of his apple sour. “Me next!”

Cas held up a new black card to the camera.

“A successful job interview begins with a handshake and ends with what?”

He watched everyone scribbling, still giggling softly.

“Gabriel,” he began, “what does a successful job interview end with?”

“Assfull of cum.”

Dean’s face went red as he laughed loudly, hand to his forehead. “Ah, oh fuck, Charles. Charles, what does a successful job interview end with?”

She grinned as she flipped her paper. “Overstimulation.”

He hid his face in his hands as his shoulders shook with laughter. “Cas,” he half-begged, “Cas man, what does a successful job interview end with?”

He raised one eyebrow and flipped his page. “A job, you fucking psychos.”

All three of them lost it, tears running down their cheeks as Cas tried and failed to not look pleased with himself.

“Cas wins, oh god,” Dean forced out between laughs. “Charles was second. Drink up. Fuck.”

Gabe was grinning broadly, head dizzy in the funnest way. “Hit me, baby!”

Cas rolled his eyes and turned a black card to the camera.

“How did I lose my virginity?”

Gabe laughed to himself as everyone wrote down their answers.

“Charlie! How did I lose my virginity?”

“You didn’t.”

Castiel laughed loudly as Gabriel flipped her off, grinning. “C’mon Deano, how did I lose my virginity?”

He flipped his paper, grinning. “Don’t worry; you’ll know when it happens.”

Charlie air-fived Dean as Gabriel put his head in his hands. “You’re both disqualified for having the same answer! Two shots while Cas reads his!”

Cas glanced down at his paper. “Unfortunately, I also wrote ‘You never lost it’, so…”

Gabe threw his hands up in mock offense. “Oh come on!”

Castiel shot him a wide grin. “I’m joking.” He flipped his paper around. “In the barn because you thought it wouldn’t echo for some god-forsaken reason.”

“CAS!”

Dean and Charlie were both crying laughing as Gabriel tried to hide his grin.

“You can’t just out me like that!”

“I could hear you from the house. I have been waiting years for this payback, so I shall enjoy it.” He lifted his glass and toasted Gabriel. “I win by default.” He took a large swig.

“I hate each and every one of you,” he informed them all.

Charlie reached for a black card, missed, and got it on the second try. “Okay okay okay,” she told them. “What’s the next Happy Meal toy?”

They all had matching grins on their faces as they wrote.

“Dean! What’s the next Happy Meal toy?”

“Dildos.”

Gabriel laughed and turned his around, where it also said, “Dildos!”

Cas cleared his throat and showed them all his page, which, also also, read, “Dildos.”

Charlie was lost to a giggle fit and motioned for them all to take two shots for their uncreativity.

Castiel reached shakily for a black card, grinning. “During sex, I like to think about what?”

After half a moment, all of them burst out laughing.

“Oh my god, pick another,” Gabriel said, waving his hand. “We’d all answer the exact same thing again.”

Castiel laughed with them as he pulled a different card. “I never truly understood blank until I encountered blank. Make sure you do two.”

They wrote out their answers, all in varying degrees of laughter.

Cas turned the card to the camera. “It’s easier if you all read this full one. Charlie.”

She squinted at the screen. “Okay. I never truly understood murder until I encountered buffering videos.”

They all groaned in agreement. “Dean.”

“I never truly understood flirting until I encountered your brother.”

Castiel snorted as Gabriel’s face turned pink(er). “Gabe.”

Gabe turned his paper to face Cas and answered in some language neither Charlie nor Dean recognized.

Cas sighed heavily before grinning. “Dean wins. Gabe is second. I’m about to pass out, so shall we pick this up again tomorrow night?”

Dean and Gabe both downed the rest of their drinks. “Tomorrow!” Dean said, waving broadly.

Charlie turned off the feed and raised an eyebrow at Castiel. “What was that about?”

He shrugged nonchalantly. “Gabe just asked if he could talk to Dean while they were both drunk and stupid.”

She whooped loudly and thrust her drink in the air. “To the lovebirds!” she called out before downing the rest.

Dean laid back on his bed and grinned, his head all woogedy and his mood light. He felt his cell phone buzz and took it out with a few tries. “Hello?”

“Deaaaannnn!” Gabriel exclaimed. “We should video chat. Uhhhh right now.”

“Yes!” Dean agreed, already stumbling towards his desktop setup a room over. “I’m gonna hang up here and call you there. Okay?”

“Okay,” Gabe confirmed, pulling up his laptop and plugging it in. “See you in a few.”

“See you in a few."

Chapter Text

“Winchester,” Gabe announced, face too close to the camera as he grinned. “I want to cordially invite you to uhhhh, to a super soaker battle. Uh right now!”

Dean laughed, head tipping back against his wall. “We just got on the call!”

“Immediately!” Gabe leaned back. “I’m gonna fill mine with vodka, let’s fucking go!”

Dean rolled his chair back, looking around the room. “Gimme ummm five minutes. Meet in your yard or mine?”

“My yard! Home field advantage!”

“I’m still gonna kick your ass,” Dean informed him, grinning as he hung up the video chat. He jogged over to his room and rifled around for his water gun, finally finding it buried under some camping equipment. He stumbled into his kitchen and raided his own stash, filling the soaker with whiskey before heading out his front door.

He kept his gun level, eyes open for any sign of movement in the dark. There was a warning splash against his hip and he dove behind a nearby bush.

“Quick, Winchester!” Gabe called out. “But not quick enough!”

Dean darted to Gabriel’s backyard, soaker aimed at where he had heard the noise.

Cold vodka hit his ass.

He yelped and spun around, immediately splashing Gabriel in the chest. Gabe laughed, pulling at his soaked shirt. “Not bad,” he teased.

Dean casually laid the gun against his shoulder. “What are the rules?”

“Ohhhhh, there are rules?” Gabe grinned at him. “What sort of rules are you thinking?”

“I hit you so I’m thinkiiiiiiiiing… mouth open.”

Gabe raised one eyebrow but complied. Dean shot a stream of whiskey at his neck and inched up until Gabe had taken at least two shots.

“Hey,” Gabe said through his laughter, footing unsure. “I hit you, too.”

“Oh, yeah.” Dean stuck his tongue out and Gabriel’s aim wasn’t quite as good, but Dean still was coughing at the sharpness of the vodka. “What is that?”

“Cotton candy flavored?”

“It’s an abomination is what it is,” Dean deadpanned, not reacting quickly enough as Gabriel shot his leg.

Gabe grinned at him, face all pink and eyes unfocused but bright. “Thought you were gonna beat my ass at this? I’mmmmm gonna need more vodka.” He attempted a shot at Dean’s mouth, though most of it hit chin and Dean had to crouch.

“I’m gonna— I’m not gonna remember any of this tomorrow,” Dean announced, looking around for a good shield. He dove for a chair, which really didn’t provide much cover.

Gabriel slowly circled him, looking for an opening. “Remember to set out some Tylenol-ol for yourself tonight.”

“Won’t remember. But sports drinks will work, too.” He jumped up and hit Gabriel in the chest again.

Gabe rolled his eyes and let his mouth fall open. His eyes fell on Dean’s drenched pants as his muddled brain made a very terrible decision. He coughed briefly, then pointed. “Hey. New rules.”

“Yeah?”

“Strip poker rules.” Gabe winked at him. “I wanna see that tattoo.”

“We’re in a neighborhood.”

Gabe pointed to his own fence. “As long as we’re behind the house, um no one can see us. So.” He pulled his own soaked shirt off. “Strip, Winchester!”

Dean looked down at himself then back to Gabe, and Gabe felt what little remained of his Sober Self realize that maybe this wasn’t the best idea.

But then Dean took off his pants and this was the best idea he had ever had.

Gabe grabbed his own water gun tighter. “Good luck getting these pants off, bucko!”

“Won’t need it,” Dean smirked, charging with his water gun.

Gabriel ran the other way, both still somehow keeping six feet between themselves.

Though, in a water gun battle, that wasn’t much.

Gabe dove for cover right as Dean splashed him in the ass.

He sighed, turning over to face the stars. “Twas inevitable,” he decided, raising his water gun to aim at Dean’s chest.

Their eyes met, and Dean made no move to run as Gabe shot him.

They stared just a moment longer before Gabe finally licked his lips. “Shirt off, Winchester.”

“Pants off, Shurley.”

“Not until I see those abs of yours.”

“Not until I see those legs of yours.”

Gabe laughed low and shimmied out of his pants, still laying on the grass. “Guess we’re lucky we’re both um wearing boxers, huh?”

Dean took off his shirt and, with just a moment’s hesitation, shot Gabe in the boxers.

Everything felt still, almost paused.

“Off?” he suggested.

Gabriel took a deep breath in. He wasn’t thinking straight in any sense of the word. Which is why he lifted his gun and returned the favor. “Show me that tattoo.”

Dean took a nervous breath. “I hate that I’m not gonna — gonna remember this in the morning,” he told Gabe before kicking his boxers off. “It’s uh… It’s on my— yeah.” He turned around, ass on full display, with a bi flag taking up real estate on the left cheek.

Gabriel couldn’t actually remember what it was like to have coherent thoughts.

Dean looked back at him over his shoulder and Gabe briefly toyed with the idea that he had died from alcohol poisoning and this was actually Heaven.

“Your turn, dumbass,” Dean mumbled, face red.

“You look—“ Gabe spread his hands like that made it any clearer. “Ya know. Just. Wow. I’m. Wow. Okay. Um. I’m not um I’m not comfortable taking my boxers off now but you. You can. You can stand there as long as you like because I. Yes.”

Dean glared at him. “Dude, boxers off. I did it.”

“Okay yeah sure but you didn’t have a naked fuckinnnnn’ supermodel in front of you.”

Dean narrowed his eyes and grabbed his own shirt, bringing it up to his face.

“Um. Whatcha doin there, ass? Dean! I meant Dean.”

Dean finished tying up his impromptu face mask. “You’re taking your boxers off,” he warned before diving towards Gabriel. There was a flurry of limbs and strings of curses before Dean had successfully pinned Gabriel, knees bracketing his hips. “Last chance before I just — do it for you.”

“You’re uh—“ Gabe tried to swallow but his mouth was dry. “You’re already doing it for me.”

Dean raised an eyebrow and looked down Gabriel’s body before understanding dawned in his eyes. “Ohhhh,” he said, looking back to Gabe. “You like this.”

“You’re. You’re uh. You’re really fucking hot dude. Like, I’m sorry but… I’m… I’m only human.”

There was something curious and dark in Dean’s eyes before he leaned down to grind briefly against Gabriel.

Gabe cursed, hands grabbing harder at Dean’s own. “You motherfucker,” he breathed, head spinning.

“Last warning,” Dean whispered. “This could be waaaaaaaay more fun without those boxers on.”

Gabriel honestly hated having morals. He did. Especially at moments like these, when a naked and willing Dean Winchester was hellbent on riding him — or being ridden. “We’re — we’re fucking drunk,” Gabe heard himself say.

“Mhmm,” Dean hummed quietly as those traitorous hips met Gabriel’s own again. Their hips could be friends, hang out on the weekends, learn to do the tango—

No. No.

“We… can’t.” Gabe thought maybe he should’ve just drank the rest of his super soaker in an attempt to drown the voice of reason in his head.

Dean released his hands, only for them to trail down Gabe’s body. He sat back on Gabe’s legs, thumbs hooked under his boxers. “We can’t take your boxers off?”

Gabe squinted at him, dizzy.

Dean finally sighed. “Okay. Yes. You’re right. But I still want these off because it’s not fair if I’m the only naked one.”

“You… agreed quickly,” he noted, lifting his hips enough for Dean to slide his boxers off.

“I wanna remember something like that.” Dean’s eyes were hooded, lips parted.

“Yeah… me, too,” Gabe said, not entirely aware of his own words.

“Here’s an idea,” Dean began, raising his arms to stretch and hoo boy that wasn’t fair either. “I get to give youuuuuu a few hickeys. To remember me by.”

Gabriel smirked. “Define a few.”

“A little trail, from here,” Dean placed one finger on his hip, “to here.” He drug his finger down and in, ending on the inside of Gabe’s thigh.

“You’re the actual devil, aren’t you.”

Dean shot him a grin before pushing his mask aside, leaning down, and pressing a gentle kiss to his hip. “Tell me about the— the thing, we talked about in Cards? With your virginity.”

Gabe clenched his fists to keep himself from reaching out. “I lost my virginity in a, in a barn.”

Dean bit at the spot. “I can’t imagine you anywhere with a barn.” He sucked hard and Gabe muffled a curse.

“Well, friendly reminder that Cassie Wassie is my brother, so…”

He admired his handiwork before scooting a little farther down and repeating the process. “Yeah, that tracks. Were you like a, like a farm boy?”

“As you wish,” Gabe mumbled. “Well, Princess, I’ll have you know I definitely was.”

Dean looked up at him, tongue pressed against flesh. “Why?”

“My dad was a — fuck — one of those guys who did the — the thing where you support yourself off the land and Jesus it is hard to think.”

“You ain’t gotta call me Jesus,” Dean responded, winking before scooting down and a little bit in, pressing his open mouth against Gabriel’s thigh. “You taste like whiskey.”

“Yeah well someone kept shooting me with a fuckin’, a damned water gun of it.” Gabriel’s hands were in Dean’s hair before he could think better of it. “I uh… I snuck this girl um, Abby, maybe? Home one night and ya know… couldn’t do it in the uh — in the house because there was no TV for background noise so we uh, we went to the barn.”

Dean’s mouth was on his inner thigh, his breath ghosting places Gabriel couldn’t decide if he wanted to forget or wanted to store away for rainy days. His fingers tightened in hair.

“Barns aren’t like… they’re not romantic or anything so reallllllllllly it would’ve been a bust except she wasn’t a virgin and she knew what she was doing.”

Dean’s teeth scraped at his skin and Gabe felt goosebumps form across his body.

“And it was — it was great, and I don’t think it was just because it was my first time either because it was — holy fuck Dean — it was pretty epic. It was good. I didn’t know untillllll — mmph — until tonight that it wasn’t as uhh secret as I thought it was.”

“Hold still,” Dean teased softly.

“Can’t,” Gabe responded, eyes squeezed shut tightly. “Turns out I’m suuuuuper into this.”

He felt Dean’s grin against his thigh before Dean’s tongue ran back up the stinging trail to his hip. “All done.”

Gabe released every muscle he hadn’t been aware he was tensing. “Fuck, okay. That was… something to think about later.” He gathered himself and flipped them, pinning Dean down. “You stay.”

Gabriel ran drunkenly into his house for just a moment before running back out and crouching over Dean. “Flip.”

Dean raised one eyebrow but did as commanded, belly to the grass.

Gabriel uncapped his Sharpie and wrote, large and with a flourish, Gabriel was here across Dean’s right ass cheek. After a moment, he leaned down and gently bit at Dean’s tattoo.

“Hey!” Dean exclaimed in surprise, craning his head back to see Gabe grinning wide.

“Favor almost returned. Relaaaaax.” He placed a chaste kiss to the tattoo before setting about leaving a hickey right above where Dean’s pant line would be.

Dean was practically purring at the attention, content to just lay there. “Remind me why we don’t jussssst fuckin’, just do this all the time,” he slurred.

“Enemies.”

“Ah, right. Right. Damn shame.”

Gabriel took the opportunity to grab Dean’s ass with both hands. “Better not fall asleep in my yard. Sober You would kill you. Orrrr me.”

“Sober Me can uh suck a dick.”

“Mm, sounds more like Drunk You.”

Dean flopped out a tired hand. “Hand me my clothes,” he said into the grass.

Gabe tossed him his own. “Take mine instead. I’m taking yours.”

“Mkay.” Dean pulled on the clothes, stopping a few times to yawn. “I’ll give you this shirt ummm later. Later. We gotta shower tonight.”

“Or we could just spray ourselves down with alcohol again.”

Dean flopped back on the ground, eyes closed. “Spray me, baby.”

Gabe coated him in vodka which, pretty much, was as good as any hand sanitizer. Dean followed suit with the whiskey. “I smell like, like an alcoholic," Gabe said absently.

“You look like an alcoholic.” Dean tossed him his sodden shirt.

Gabe snorted, leaning heavily on his door. “Night, Winchester,” he yawned out. “Maybe one of us will remember this.”

Dean stumbled up and leaned heavily on the fence. “Tell Sober You I said hey. Night.”

Gabe watched Dean curiously. “Hey. For the record. If you, y’know, if you ever wanna stop being enemies, I do um, I do make a pretty good friend.”

“Aw, Gabey.” Dean flashed him a grin. “I can’t flirt with my friends.”

“I make a pretty good boyfriend, too.”

Something twinkled in Dean’s eyes. “Goodnight, Gabriel,” he said with an air of finality.

“Goodnight, Dean.”

Chapter Text

Gabriel woke up and immediately wished he hadn’t.

“Oh fucking—“ he began, only to cut himself off as he quickly rolled out of bed and over to the toilet.

He threw up and rested his forehead against the toilet seat, breathing heavily. “Why the fuck do I smell like whiskey,” he grumbled before sniffing at his shirt and retching again.

He threw the shirt off without a second thought and brushed his teeth, head throbbing.

He stumbled to his kitchen and took two Tylenol, then shrugged and took another before heading back to his bathroom.

He turned his bath on, letting the water get scalding before he plugged up the drain and took off his pants, eyes closed against his headache.

He slipped into the water, phone within reach, and willed his brain to have mercy on him.

This was all Winchester’s fault, he was sure.

Winchester. With his perfect hair and his tan chest and his bowed legs and — fuck.

Normally, Gabe would just fuck all the tension out. That was his game plan, his MO. But with the damned virus going around, he was forced to sit through his urges as Winchester got flirtier by the day. Which was unfair. He really just needed one good session, one pants-around-his-ankles, mouth-permanently-open session with the guy. Then they could both get the hell on with their lives. And maybe in five or so years, they could do it again. For old time’s sake.

But, no. The bastard virus had to come around and send the tension fucking skyrocketing. Gabe was sure if they spent more than five minutes closer than six feet to each other, things would get really porny really quickly.

And, oh, he wanted that.

Like, damn. Fuck the poets who talked about aching as if it were some romantic thing. Aching for love or aching for acceptance. Gabe ached to get his dick wet.

He never thought he was Cas, in regards to the whole romance thing. But he had always thought maybe Cas had the right idea.

And speaking of Cas…

Gabe swiped up on the call. “Stop fucking calling me,” he groaned, eyes shut and one hand on his forehead.

“Good morning to you as well, o most pleasant of humans.”

“Get fucked.”

“Yes, I love you, too. How are you feeling?”

“Why was I allowed to drink so much.”

“You did not. You were an average level of drunk when we signed off. Though, you did speak to me in Enochian, so perhaps you were a bit farther along than I anticipated.” Cas tapped on his chin, which Gabriel could not see. “I believe you used the words ‘ethereal’ and ‘male’ instead of Dean’s name.”

“I’m… so glad it’s a dead language.”

“I’d imagine so. You said you wanted to talk to Dean, and then I did not hear from you until now. I called to ask how it went.”

Gabriel opened his eyes and looked over to where the phone sat on the closed toilet lid. “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know as in…?”

“As in I literally do not remember anything past saying goodbye to you.”

“Oh. No clues?”

“I mean, I smelled like whiskey when I woke up.” Gabe looked over to the offending shirt and pants, and had to do a double-take. “Wait, those aren’t my clothes.”

“Are they Dean’s?”

“No, they’re the Prime Minister of Turkey’s— yes they’re Dean’s!” Gabe scowled at them. “Why do I have them?”

“Perhaps the talk went well?”

“Oh my god is he in my house somewhere?! Did we fuck last night?!”

“I haven’t seen him all morning, and all his lights are still off.”

Gabe dried his hands on a towel and grabbed his phone. “Wait, no, I have a text from him from last night. Says ‘thanks for the shirt’ with a… winking kissy face.”

“Is that the text version of third base or…?”

Gabe snorted despite himself. “Well if we didn’t fuck, then I have no idea how we swapped clothes. Unless we just tossed them over the fences again. Drunk.” He frowned and stood up, grabbing a towel to dry off with. “I’m gonna go look for more clues. Call you back later.”

“Sounds like a plan, Blue.”

Gabriel hung up and sighed, running a hand through his hair. He actually just needed something to eat, and then he could look for clues. He walked to the bathroom door and stopped.

“Huh.” he said, entirely to himself.

He walked backwards until he was in front of the mirror again, spinning quickly to face it. Water droplets still rolled lazily down his body, over the dark red line of bruising that went from hip to inner thigh.

“Those are hickeys,” he informed himself, from years of experience. “I fucked Dean Winchester.”

“You’re joking.”

Gabriel shrugged, pulling the side of his shorts back up. “I’m not.”

Charlie lowered her sunglasses at him, eyebrows raised. “This is why we shouldn’t leave you two unsupervised.”

“I suppose the evidence is all circumstantial, though pretty damning,” Castiel said absently, tilling a small spot for a flower bed.

“I mean, is there another person I could’ve done the dirty with last night?”

Cas pointed his hoe at Gabe. “We have no proof you two had sex at all. It is entirely possible you merely… almost had sex.”

“Ah, Cassie. The voice of reason.” Gabe tapped his chin. “I could check my security cameras, I guess.”

Charlie laughed. “Dude. How have you not already done that?”

Gabriel gestured furiously to his thigh. “I’ve been distracted!”

“You really are hopeless, aren’t you?”

“Hey, I resent—“ Gabriel suddenly cursed sharply, hand going to his neck. “Motherfucker!” He pulled his hand back to see a single Nerf dart laying in it.

“GABRIEL FUCKING SHURLEY!”

Gabe exchanged a look with Castiel. “Huh. He sounds happy.”

Castiel raised an eyebrow. “You need to run, Gabriel.”

Dean had already stomped over to Gabriel’s yard, though, and leveled his gun at Gabriel again.

“Heya, Winchester.”

“What the FUCK is this?!” Dean screamed, face red as he turned to the side and pulled down the right back of his boxers.

Gabriel’s brain short-circuited. “Um, hot?” He squinted. “Wait is that my handwriting?”

“Oh, IS IT?!” Dean fired another Nerf dart, which Gabriel thankfully dodged. “What the FUCK HAPPENED LAST NIGHT, SHURLEY?!”

Gabriel quickly held his hands up in surrender. “I don’t know, okay?! I woke up this morning hungover as fuck with no memory of it!”

Dean pushed forward and Gabriel retreated back. “I woke up this morning in your fucking clothes, hungover as shit and smelling like cotton fucking candy! I was trying to pop my back when I caught sight of a goddamned hickey, then I discovered your name across my ass like I’m some sort of cattle you decided to brand!”

Gabriel scowled. “Oh, you wanna talk about branding?” He pushed the right side of his shorts down, displaying half of the bruised trail.

Dean’s face went white.

“Oh yeah, it keeps going, too. All the way to,” he put one finger against his inner thigh, “here.

“There is no way that I—“

“That what? That we both got drunk off our fucking rockers and decided to work out whatever the fuck is going on between us? Or are you here to deny that, too?”

“There’s nothing to deny, asshole! There is no us! This—“ he gestured between them, “was never supposed to happen!”

Something shifted in Gabriel’s eyes, like every bit of warmth had been sucked out of them. They were steel. “Okay.”

“I—“ Dean looked around, suddenly uncomfortable. “Okay. So…”

Gabriel waited.

Dean scowled. “So apologize.”

“I’m sorry.”

Dean shifted his weight. “Um. Okay. Okay, good.” He studied Gabriel. “Are you… Are you planning some awful stunt again?”

“No.”

Dean looked behind himself, like there was an airplane waiting to jump out at him. “Aren’t you gonna… fight me?”

“Hm? Oh, right. No. That’s actually how I flirt, and you said there was nothing between us. So we’re neighbors now. Nothing else.”

“Okay.” Dean took a few steps away, then turned back. “Are we okay?”

“There’s no we. There’s no us. Please get off my lawn.”

“Gabriel—“

“I SAID GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAWN!”

Dean winced and jerked back, quickly backing off of Gabriel’s lawn.

Gabriel closed his eyes until he heard Dean’s door shut.

“Are you okay?” Castiel asked softly.

Gabe opened his eyes, expecting fire to burn in them, but found instead he felt… sad. “That hurt. Why did it hurt.”

“You just fought with a friend. That hurts.”

Gabe shook his head, frustrated. “It’s… different. It hurts… different.”

Charlie leaned beside Castiel, her eyes soft. “I know. Do I need to go beat him up?”

“I think I just had too much to drink last night.” Gabe sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I’ll… see you guys later.”

“Gabriel—“ Castiel reached his hand out before he could think better of it, just short of touching Gabe’s sleeve. “I… I’m here for you. If you need to talk. I may not understand first hand but… I care. I love you.”

Gabe gave him a wry smile. “I know. I love you, too, Cassie.”

Cas watched him go, arm hanging down on the other side of the fence.

Charlie sighed. “He’ll be okay.”

He frowned, resting his chin on his bicep. “He just had his heart broken, didn’t he?”

“Yeah. He did.”

Chapter Text

[Asshole] 3:18pm hey, i’m sorry i was kinda an asshole

[Asshole] 3:52pm I even went through and uncapitalized those i’s to really get across how sincere I am

[Asshole] 4:05pm are you really not gonna talk to me?

[Asshole] 4:10pm Gabe I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings…

[Asshole] 4:12pm if you don’t talk to me I’m gonna blast your least favorite music tonight

[Asshole] 4:32pm omg look outside Garth is doing a puppet show for his neighbor’s kid it’s so cute

[Asshole] 4:35pm did you look?

[Asshole] 4:48pm what are you even playing at?

[Asshole] 5:05pm wow I actually miss you this sucks

[Asshole] 5:15pm how dare you make yourself this prominent a figure in my life without my consent

[Asshole] 5:25pm I’ve sent too many texts and I don’t care

[Asshole] 5:28pm this is actually murdering me so if you could go ahead and send even just like, a middle finger that would be appreciated

[Asshole] 5:34pm I think it would actually kill me if I lost you dude

[Asshole] 5:35pm hey don’t read that last message

[Asshole] 5:35pm how do I delete a message off someone else’s phone, asking for a friend

[Asshole] 5:36pm fuck I meant to send that to Charlie

[Asshole] 5:37pm well now I’m glad you’re not reading my messages

[Asshole] 5:48pm …no I’m not

Dean blasted Italian Pop on his speaker that night. He held the speaker on his shoulder, watching Gabriel’s house for any sign of destructive, chaotic energy.

Destructive, cute, funny, mischievous, heart-eyed energy. Energy Dean didn’t deserve.

It was actually Castiel who came out and glared Dean down, arms crossed.

Dean met his eyes and sighed, turning his speaker off in the middle of the song. “I fucked up, didn’t I.”

“Yes.”

“I didn’t— I just, I got so frustrated and—“

“Save it. If you’re going to tell someone, tell him. I came out to say that song is awful.”

Dean played absently with a dial. “What does he like?”

Castiel’s eyes softened. “He likes swing.”

“What’s his favorite song?”

“In the Mood. Glenn Miller.”

Dean nodded and typed that into his phone.

Cas cleared his throat and gestured towards Gabriel’s lawn.

“I’m not a guy in a chick flick, Cas.”

“Sure. Anyway, you’ll want to stand by the side window there so he sees you.”

Dean purposefully ignored his eyes and began walking that way.

“Oh, and Dean?”

“Yeah?”

“I happen to be quite fond of Gabriel. So if you hurt him again, I can and will murder you and let the butterflies in my fields eat your corpse.”

He gulped nervously. “Maybe you should apply for a job on Dr. Sexy, too,” he tried. “You could be a mob boss.”

“I will use your bones as fertilizer. Do not test me.”

“Got it,” he complied, head down as he hurried over to Gabriel’s lawn.

He looked up at the window he knew opened onto Gabriel’s room. He knew that because it was directly opposite his own window, and he had seen Gabriel doing shit like dancing goofily or pacing or stretching or—

He adjusted the volume before hitting play.

Or like that one time Gabriel was looking out at the stars and Dean was looking at him, and Gabe blinked and met his eyes in surprise like he could feel Dean’s gaze, and they didn’t look away for a long time. That was before he really knew Gabriel.

Before, well, now.

The saxophones floated smoothly onto the side of the house.

But did he know Gabriel? He didn’t know his favorite song until now. Or his favorite food. They were friends — enemies — somethings and he didn’t know the first thing about the guy.

Which is why, when Gabriel flung open his window tiredly and snapped, “What,” Dean responded, “What’s your favorite color?”

Gabriel made some gesture as if that were the most ridiculous and annoying question Dean could possibly ask. “Magenta,” he said, with as much snark dripping from his voice as possible.

“Oh,” Dean responded over the music. “Um, I wanted to say I’m sorry.”

“Cool, thanks.” Gabriel slammed his window shut again.

Dean sighed and let the music run. That went… horribly.

“Time for plan b,” he murmured to himself.

“You’re calling me.”

“Yes.”

“For relationship advice.”

Dean scowled. “It’s not a relationship. It’s a friendship, uh, enemy-ship? Some kind of ship.”

“It’s a ship.” Sam flipped the stir fry he was making with the pan. “So Gabe is mad at you, huh?”

“…Yeah.”

“What happened?”

Dean covered his face with his hands. “I got frustrated and I took it out on him.”

“I figured as much. I meant what did you say exactly?”

“… I told him there was nothing between us.”

Jess let out an accusatory, “Dean!” from somewhere off-camera.

“Now he won’t talk to me. Or even fight with me.” Dean checked his phone again. “I’ve texted him like eighteen times and he hasn’t responded.”

“Oh, yeah,” Sam agreed. “Definitely nothing there.”

“Will you just shut the fuck up and help me?”

Sam looked over to Jess, eyebrows raised. She walked into the frame and leaned against him. “You’ve gotta do something unexpected.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. Some sort of grand gesture.”

Dean scrunched up his nose. “You’re leaning pretty heavy into romance territory and I—“

“Can it, Dean. You’re the one bringing up romance. You lost a friend. Stop calling him an enemy. He’s your friend and you fucked up. Say it.”

“He’s my friend and I fucked up,” he mumbled.

“Good start. If it were me, I’d write out everything I was feeling and tell him.” She shrugged, eyeing the stir fry carefully.

“But he’s not answering my texts!”

“Then go tell him in person, ya dingus.”

Dean groaned and looked out his window over to Gabriel’s room. “What if that doesn’t work?”

She sighed. “Then you try again. Until he understands. But he’s never required to forgive you.”

Something deep in Dean twisted at that. “Jess, I need him to forgive me.”

“Then quit talking to us and go talk to him.”

He nodded to himself before waving goodbye and hanging up. It was dark outside, past curfew.

His eyes fell on a face mask.

Gabriel sat back and sighed, running his hands over his face. It wasn’t a good day. In fact, he was highly ready for it to be over with.

He had found the security video easily, and it only served to make him angrier. Because Mr. There Is No Us initiated it. He watched himself laugh and joke and get close but not close enough. They didn’t fuck. They really technically didn’t get past a teenage level of horny makeout, without even the making out bits.

So, yeah. Fuck Dean.

And fuck whatever that was with the boombox and the favorite color, because that brought the hurt all back up again and Gabriel hated it. Acting like he cared. Why did he care if he cared, anyway? They were enemies.

Gabe looked at his phone background for the umpteenth time that day. That same damn photo of Dean with a sword pressed to his throat, all high and happy and carefree.

Why couldn’t all Dean be that Dean? The one that laughed and flirted openly without any pretense of fighting?

Dean texted him again and Gabriel swiped it away, scowling. He really just needed to have a good old naked romp with someone and clear his head.

He screamed when he heard a knock on his window.

He turned around in a flash, eyes wide and hands going for the nearest weapon-shaped item.

Dean waved at him from outside, face mask on.

Gabriel growled at him and grabbed his own face mask, throwing it on before yanking open the window. “What the fuck are you doing?!” he hissed.

“I’m sorry and I gotta tell you why.”

“This is a second story window!”

“Yeah uh… I know.”

“It’s after curfew!”

“…I know.”

Gabriel leaned out to look down past Dean. “You climbed up the side of my house.”

“I did.”

“… You have five seconds.”

Dean got a better grip on the windowsill. “There is something between us. You’re right. But it’s hard for me to say because I don’t know what it is yet and I’m terrified it’s going to be more than I can handle.”

Gabe crossed his arms. “I’m listening.”

“And I shouldn’t have taken my anger out on you because it wasn’t directed at you. I wasn’t— it just happened and I’m sorry for that, too.”

“Good.”

“I was frustrated because Sam and Jess are having a baby girl soon and I have to be really careful about the virus because I want to go see her when she’s born.” Dean’s sneakers slipped against the brick siding, and he kicked himself back up to a good foot hold. “And your handwriting on my ass cannot be accomplished from six feet away.”

Gabriel’s eyes looked softer, which was a big win for Dean.

“And I took that out on you and our…” he swallowed, “our relationship because it was the easiest and most available target.”

“I get it.”

“You do?” Dean’s fingers ached.

“Yeah. You raised Sam, so this isn’t just like… your niece. She’s kind of your granddaughter, too.”

Dean breathed a sigh of relief. “Yeah. Yeah, just like that. I’m sorry I took that out on you.”

Gabriel looked out across the land between their houses. “I found the video of last night anyway. You don’t have anything to worry about. You had a mask on, and both of us were covered in alcohol.”

Dean almost slipped completely off. “So we didn’t…?”

“Didn’t…? Oh, no. No, we didn’t fuck. Just sorta… did some heavy flirting and hickey-giving.”

“Oh.”

Gabe raised an eyebrow at him. “You sound disappointed.”

“I… maybe.” He winced. “Dude I’m gonna fall soon. Am I forgiven?”

“Hmm. Tell ya what. Let me be in charge of the next episode of our science thing, and then I will forgive you.”

“Like… you run the experiment?”

“Yeah. I’ve got a specific idea in mind.”

Dean bit his tongue. “I… I trust you, okay? It’s a deal.”

“Okay.” Gabriel looked at the man who had climbed to his second story just for the chance to apologize. “Hey, I lied to you.”

“What?”

“When you asked my favorite color. I lied to you.”

Dean looked up at him, and Gabe could see the stars reflected in his eyes like some sort of dime romance novel. “What’s your favorite color, then?”

“It’s orange. But like, that specific orange when you make the perfect mac ’n’ cheese. That sort of golden, sunsety, macaronish color.”

“You’re unnecessarily complicated,” Dean informed him, smiling wide even behind the mask.

And Gabriel smiled back at him, eyes crinkling, and Dean felt a feeling he hadn’t experienced since he was a teenager crop up in him. A sort of tingling in his hands, knots in his stomach kind of feeling.

“F— hic — uck,” Dean said, before his hands slipped and he fell two stories.

Gabe’s hands shot out too late, and Dean laid on the ground in a moment, the wind knocked out of him.

“Dean!” Gabriel called out. “Are you okay?”

Dean gave him a thumbs-up before letting his arm collapse back down. “Just gonna need a minute.” He groaned as he tried to move. “Or two.”

Gabriel finally allowed himself to laugh, pulling his mask off. “Dude, what were you thinking?”

“I was thinking that you weren’t reading my texts! And I couldn’t let you go on being mad at me so I had to come over and fix it!”

“Jesus, alright, I’ll read your damn texts,” Gabe chuckled, leaning back into his room for his phone.

Dean groaned. “Please don’t. They’re embarrassing.”

Gabriel rested his elbows on the windowsill, looking like he had all the time in the world. “It’s not always that I have a captive audience, you know.”

“I hate you. I take it all back.”

Gabriel scrolled through the 57 missed messages he had. “You look nice today, I can’t see you but I know it’s true,” he read aloud.

Dean covered his face with his hands. “Delete them. All of them.”

“Absolutely not. I’m sorry I’m an asshole. Hey, that’s a good one.”

“I’m literally begging you.”

“You’re literally incapable of doing anything. I miss your stupid face.”

“It is stupid,” Dean grumbled, crossing his arms.

“I’m not great with friends and I need to know I haven’t lost you.” Gabriel stared at his phone.

Dean said nothing.

“You haven’t lost me,” Gabe confirmed quietly.

“You scared me,” Dean responded, just as quiet.

Gabe looked down at the splayed form on the ground, shocked. “You were actually worried? About losing me?”

Dean looked off to the side, face red. “Extremely.”

“You… You know I’m nothing special, right? I’m just an ordinary guy.”

“You’re… You’re Gabriel. You’re anything but ordinary.” Dean winced at himself. “I’m gonna sound like a stalker for this but uh, I used to… I could see your room from my room. And while I was working or studying, you were always… dancing. Or singing. Or doing something fun and exciting, like life hadn’t quite torn you down yet. And I always wanted to talk to you except you were… you were you and I was intimidated.”

“I. Intimidated you.”

“…Yes.”

“That’s… wild. Okay.”

“I’m just trying to say that you’re special to me, Gabe.” His ears were red with the confession, arms still crossed tightly. “I wanna know you.”

“You want me to submit to the mortifying ordeal?” Gabe joked, mind still whirling.

“Isn’t that what friends do?”

“I… don’t know.”

“I don’t either. Does it… feel like what friends do?”

“It… feels like what we do.”

“Then we will submit to the mortifying ordeal.” Dean and Gabe’s eyes met, and it was as if they were both finishing the saying in their mind, realizing what they had agreed to.

“You should get back before someone turns you in for breaking curfew,” Gabe said, frozen to his spot.

“Yeah,” Dean agreed, licking his lips. “Byron.”

“Um. It definitely wasn’t a Byron quote but—“

“No. I mean, I’m submitting. To the mortifying ordeal. My middle name is Byron.”

Gabriel hid his grin. “Was your dad just really into poetry?”

Dean snorted. “Uh, no. No. My mom wanted my middle name to be a famous author, and my dad wanted it to be James. So they compromised.”

He raised an eyebrow. “How is Byron a compromise between authors and James?”

“James Dean’s middle name was Byron.” Dean shrugged.

“Huh. Dean Byron Winchester. You sound like an academic I would fist fight in a library.”

“Hence why I don’t tell people.”

“But you told me.”

“A decision I am coming to regret.”

Gabe laughed softly. “Yeah well, my middle name is Rosie, so.”

Dean couldn’t help the laugh that barked out of him. “You’re joking!”

“Gabriel Rosie Shurley. In the flesh. My whole family calls me Gabrosie, except Castiel, because he’s the only decent one.”

“Oh god our names suck.”

“Lord Byron Junior and Gabrosie, at your service.”

“Byron and Rosie sound like a couple from a period piece romance.”

Gabriel propped his chin on his hands and batted his eyelashes. “Oh my dearest Byron, you have fallen from such a tremendous height: that of my heart. I am lofty and difficult to obtain, but nay! you shall not have me. I am not yours to keep.”

Dean tore his face mask off in a fit of faux melodrama. “My dearest Rosie! Ever-blooming and all-encompassing. Come down here so that I might die with an angel by my side.”

Gabe threw his hand against his forehead. “O, god in heaven or those traipsing about the earth: do I dare? Might I brave that which plagues mankind just to be close to my Byron as he lays dying?” He cleared his throat loudly. “I said, as he lays dying?”

“Hm? Oh. Um, ack! Bleh, I’m dying,” Dean let his tongue loll out of his mouth. “My Rosie! My Rosie! I see Heaven fast-approaching, but even it is dull without your light to shine upon it. The sun doth envy thee. Prithee, come. Burn me.”

“Oh I’ll make you burn all right.” He grinned. “I dare not. I shall toss you a parting token. Pay Charon with it.”

“I’m not going to the Underworld you ass,” Dean responded, smiling wide.

Gabe disappeared for a moment before returning with a t-shirt. “Take good care of it, my Byron.” He let it fall and Dean easily caught it. “Soon, we shall only possess the wardrobe of the other.”

Dean laughed. “Whatsoever shall I do with a wardrobe only of shirts with a jester’s musings on them?” He pointedly held out the shirt, which said I carrot be-leaf you right now.

“That which a jester does only in his chambers,” Gabe responded, wiggling his eyebrows. “Though alas, do feel free to demonstrate such actions here, within my line of sight.”

“I believe I must go. The afterlife is calling, and the guards shall soon be here, as it is after curfew.”

“Another time then, my beautiful Byron.”

Dean pushed himself up, only wincing slightly. “Beautiful, huh? Rosie, your lips are the raised peaks of mountains, and I would gladly die between them.” He winked, leaving Gabriel to wonder if that comment was rated G or R. “Goodnight, my Rosie.”

“Goodnight, my Byron.”

He watched Dean go, something stirring in his chest that wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t fantastic, either. It was just there.

[Byron] 12:32am fits perfect :)

Chapter Text

Sam poised his thumbs over the keyboard, reading the comments.

Jess craned her neck to look. “Oh my god, babe. Don’t do it.”

“But look at him! He definitely starts hiccuping there!”

She grinned. “Are you prepared to go from mere fan to creator and inciter, then?”

They both watched as the video restarted. Phone footage of Dean, who had apparently climbed up the side of Gabriel’s house to talk to him through a window. He said something, Gabriel smiled (probably? It was hard to tell), and Dean fell two stories, laid there a moment, then gave a weary thumbs-up.

“I’m gonna do it.”

Sam Winchester (just now) omg look right before he falls. he’s doing that hiccup thing again

Jess opened up her app and reacted to his comment with a ‘wow’ face. “One day he’s gonna realize that all of this happened and he’s not gonna talk to us for a few weeks.”

“I can live with that.” Sam watched as others commented on his comment, with variations of OH MY GOD and YOU’RE RIGHT and AREN’T YOU HIS BROTHER OMG WHAT DOES IT M E A N?! “Besides, they blocked him and Gabriel from the group.”

“It’s gonna slip out eventually. I know it will.” She shouldered him. “Did you ever find that video to send Gabriel?”

“Yep! Got it all converted from VHS. Just gotta wait for the right moment.”

Jess laughed, crinkling her nose. “Oh gosh, VHS. What a throwback.”

“I swear the guy I called about the converter didn’t know what it was.”

“Kids these days,” she responded, eyes twinkling.

He side-eyed her mischievously. “You wanna see it?”

“Hell yeah I do!”

Charlie scowled. “It doesn’t like me.”

“It’s a plant, Charlie. It doesn’t like anyone.”

She glared at the potted thing as she dug a hole where Castiel pointed. “So if it dies, you’re not gonna blame me?”

“It’s a succulent so the odds are slim even for you but, no. I won’t blame you.”

“Fine.” She shoveled dirt out of the way. “I know why you like gardening but, for the record, I hate it.”

Castiel laughed. “You’re the one who wanted to learn.”

“And I stand by that. And my last statement.”

He sat back on his heels, waving absently at Dean as he walked out. “Good morning, neighbor.”

“Mornin’, Cas,” Dean responded, leaning against the fence. “Charlie.”

She waved the trowel at him. “Hey, Dean. How’re things?”

“Actually… good. What about y’all?”

Charlie pointed to her shallow hole. “I’m learning to garden while I wait for some stuff to process.”

“Good start.”

Castiel nodded. “She’s doing wonderfully. I’m merely overseeing and offering help if needed.” He turned back to Dean. “Regardless, am I going to have to murder you, or did you fix everything?”

Dean smiled and hung his head. “I fixed everything.”

“That’s precisely what someone I needed to murder would say.”

He shrugged. “Gabrosie and I worked everything out last night.”

Charlie giggled while Castiel raised one amused eyebrow. “Gabrosie, huh? He told you about that?”

“He did. I told him I wanted to know him better, we said some stuff, and wound up there. Gabrosie.”

“I suppose I can accept that as proof.” Castiel grinned. “Thank you for reminding me of that. I had forgotten entirely, if I’m being honest.”

Dean laughed. “Oh. Oh no. He thought you didn’t call him that on purpose. He said you were the only decent one in your family because of it.”

“Absolutely not. It just slipped my mind.” He handed Charlie the plant. “Though, on second thought, I’m not sure I’d like to start another prank war by bringing it back.”

“Prank war?”

“Hmm, or would I?” Castiel ignored Dean. “I might, actually.”

Charlie squinted at the plant now in the ground. “I mean, my vote is always yes on prank wars.”

“Maybe a secret prank war.” Cas nodded. “Yes. That’s what I’ll do. He won’t know how much he’s been pranked until it’s too late. Dean, wait here.” Castiel disappeared inside his house.

Charlie frowned at the plant. “Does this look right?”

“I have no idea.”

“It looks… squished.”

“Can you like… unsquish it?”

“Maybe? Maybe it just needs water.”

“It is pretty hot today. Need me to water it? I’ve got a watering hose over here.”

“Nah, there’s one here. I just gotta… figure out how to use it.”

Castiel returned just as Charlie turned the hose on, sending it spiraling. He grinned and shut it off easily. “Good try, Charles. Dean, I left some things on your welcome mat.”

“Um, okay?”

“I think you’ll appreciate them.” He waved as if that signaled the end of their conversation and began explaining something to Charlie.

Dean shrugged and went to his front porch, picking up the box on his way inside.

DVDs. VHSs. CDs. And a t-shirt for… some band called Centerfold.

He took out the media and immediately began laughing at what was hidden in the bottom of the box.

“Oh Cas, you’ve spoiled me,” he said to himself, grinning as he grabbed the stack of DVDs and sprinted to his living room.

It was going to be a good afternoon.

Gabriel laid on a towel in his front lawn, sunbathing, even as the sun began to set. When he heard Dean’s door open, he smiled to himself and yawned, flipping onto his stomach and closing his eyes. “Heya, Winchester,” he called out.

There was the sound of footsteps headed his way. “Heya, Rosie.”

“Where is all the scheduled, awful music?”

“Huh. I guess I got sidetracked.”

“That interesting of an afternoon?”

“You could say that.” Dean was pretty close now, definitely in his yard. “I’m wearing another one of your shirts.”

“Mm,” Gabriel responded sleepily, basking in the warmth.

“You didn’t give me this one, though. I found it.”

“Didn’t realize I was leaving my clothes everywhere.”

He heard what sounded vaguely like Dean kneeling somewhere beside him. “Gabriel.”

“Mhmm?”

“I need you to sign my boobs.”

Gabe blinked at that. “Sign your—?“ He turned to look at Dean, face going red. “Oh. Oh, I’m going to kill Castiel.”

Dean batted his eyelashes dramatically, pushing his pecs together to accentuate the cleavage window of the band tee. “I’m your biggest fan,” he said in a fake voice.

Gabe looked at the faded graphic of himself, younger and in his punk phase, and finally sat up. “I’m going to skin him alive first, and then kill him.”

Dean grinned at him, letting his knees sink out to either side of him, giving Gabriel full view of cut-off jean shorts. “I’ve listened to all of your songs!”

Gabe was fully aware that he was staring. Problem was, he didn’t know how to stop. “Please tell me you didn’t.”

“All of them. My favorite is the duck song!”

“It’s uh, it’s been a few years.”

Dean rolled his eyes, dropping the fake voice. “Dude. The one that’s all like… tossing me pieces, leaving a trail, traces of love, all gone stale.”

He inhaled sharply and closed his eyes. “Two things. First, that song is not about ducks so jot that down. Second…” he opened his eyes and stared Dean down, “Winchester if you are going to seduce me in my band’s shirt and sing my song and wear those shorts then I am left with virtually no choice but to push you against a wall and make out with you.”

Dean was grinning at him. “What? Never had a groupie before?”

“Oh, get fucked.”

He laughed softly. “Seriously. I’m a fan. Some of the songs were really cheesy but… they fit you.”

Gabe snapped his fingers. “You. Me. Wall. Right now.”

“But that punk phase though… black is not your color.” He grinned at the glare Gabriel sent his way. “C’mon. You weren’t happy. You’re happy in bright clothes with lame puns on them. That’s the Rosie I know.”

“That wall. See it? That one. Let’s go.”

“I burned all the songs to my laptop so I could listen whenever. You have a nice voice. Bit more country than I expected but those low notes? I mean, just take me now.”

Gabe let out an exasperated sound. “My tongue! Your mouth! Over there!!!”

“If you wanna duet sometime,” Dean looked at Gabe through his lashes, “I’ve been told I’m an okay singer myself.”

“New plan. I’ve got a bed, it’s comfy, let me take my shirt back myself.”

Dean winked at him. “What? This shirt?” He pulled the cleavage window down more. “I like this shirt. I think I’m never gonna take it off.”

“I will sneak into your house while you shower and steal it from you. No one ever needs to know that shirt exists.”

“Bold of you to assume I won’t be wearing it in the shower.”

The mental image of the dark shirt sticking to Dean’s curves fried Gabriel’s hard drive. “Uh.”

“Anyway, just letting you know I’ll be blasting your songs tonight.”

“Like hell you are!”

Dean pressed his hands against his own cheeks in a perfect echo of that scream painting. “If only I had it automated for tonight so I didn’t have to risk you tackling me!”

The music almost immediately started blaring from Dean’s yard.

Gabriel glared at him. “Fair warning now, when we have sex, not if but when, it is no longer going to be a playful romp and instead will be torture. Like… it’ll still be fun torture but, you get the idea.”

“Oo, I’m so scared,” Dean snarked, rolling his eyes. “Let me enjoy this.”

Gabe winced at his own voice blaring across the neighborhood. “This is mortifying, Winchester.”

Dean leaned back on his hands. “This is the ordeal.”

Gabriel covered his red face with his hands, doing his damnedest to not hear the music. He finally peeked over at Dean to glare at him, but stopped himself before he said anything.

Dean was mouthing the lyrics, looking out across the neighborhood. He was relaxed, just sitting six feet away from Gabriel, golden, macaronish sun falling across his eyelashes, his freckles.

Had Winchester always had freckles?

Gabriel studied him, in this moment where it was like he himself did not exist. He was an outsider, observing this creature as it relaxed around a watering hole, content and blissful.

And this creature liked his songs, so maybe they weren’t all that bad.

Dean noticed Gabriel and smiled absently at him, still mouthing the lyrics, and Gabriel realized with a deep, unflinching certainty that he had never wanted to kiss anyone as much in his entire life as he did right this exact moment.

He wanted to look away, but he didn’t, and neither did Dean.

Six feet was altogether too far, and much, much too close.

Chapter Text

Gabriel snuggled deeper into the warmth around him, somewhere in arms and covers and dark.

“Morning, Rosie,” Dean whispered, kissing the top of his head, his forehead, his nose, his cheeks.

“Five more minutes,” Gabe managed through a yawn.

Dean chuckled against his neck, his smile leaving a warm feeling. “Five more minutes,” he conceded.

Gabe made fish lips, eyes still closed, silently begging for a kiss.

Dean’s lips met his own, soft and gentle and fuzzy and—

Gabriel woke up, spitting his blanket out of his mouth. “Gross,” he whispered to himself, rubbing his eyes. His phone vibrated — again, he assumed — and he grabbed it, squinting at the brightness.

[Byron] 2:18am wanna go hunt mushrooms with me

[Byron] 2:20am I’ll buy you ice cream

Gabe typed out a completely misspelled response, scowled at his tired brain, and just hit the call and speaker buttons, falling back against his pillows as it rang.

“Hey,” Dean’s voice rang out.

“Mm,” Gabe responded sleepily.

“Bioluminescent mushrooms. Woods on the edge of town. You down?”

“Sleepy,” he grumbled.

“Hence the ice cream.”

“Need snuggles,” Gabe pouted, face already smushed back against his pillows.

“Snuggles,” Dean deadpanned back.

“Snuggles,” Gabe confirmed, already more than half asleep again. “C’m kiss me g’night.”

“D’aww, does widdle Gabey want a bedtime story? Want me to tuck you in?”

“I’m being—“ he yawned, “patronized.”

“Mushrooms, Gabe. It’ll be fun.”

“Sleepin’ is fun.”

“Not nearly as much fun as this.”

“It’s two in the morning, Byron,” Gabe mumbled, eyes closed.

“We all know time doesn’t exist.”

“It is bedtime, Byron.”

“Surely there’s some way to convince you to come along.”

“Go w’out me.” He was mostly asleep, with only the barest bits of his consciousness clinging to the conversation.

“It’s not as cool alone. I wanted to, y’know just kinda… show you something cool.”

Gabe was asleep. He was absolutely asleep. “C’m to bed.” And even asleep, his mouth didn’t shut up.

“Whose bed? Your bed?” he teased.

“I was dreamin’ ‘bout you.”

“You were—“ Dean was quiet a moment. “Oh my god. Are you sleep talking right now?”

Gabe mumbled something that sounded a lot like ‘fuck off’ and blearily opened his eyes.

“…What were you dreaming about me?”

Gabriel yelped loudly at the unexpected voice, falling out of bed as he attempted to turn his lamp on.

“Woah! Everything okay?”

Gabe squinted around the room. “Winchester?”

“Oh, did you wake up?” He sounded… disappointed.

“You scared the living shit out of me!!!”

“So does that mean you’ll go mushroom hunting with me?”

Gabe put one hand over his heart, breathing hard. “I’m not getting to sleep anytime soon so I guess so.”

“Great! I’ll be over in a few. Get dressed. Or don’t. I don’t care.”

“I hate you.” Gabe fell back against the wall and tried to remember why his face was red.

Dean walked around with Gabriel, face masks on and eyes adjusting to the dark.

“Sooo,” Dean began, “What’s your story?”

Gabe rolled his eyes hard enough he saw the stars. “Winchester I swear to god if this was just a really lame cover to get me on a date, I will personally shave your eyebrows off.”

“Just making conversation,” he grumbled.

Gabe kicked a log. “I ain’t got a story,” he informed Dean, frowning at the lack of mushrooms.

“Everyone’s got a story.”

“So you said these mushrooms glow in the dark?” he asked, changing the subject.

“Uh, yeah. They’re rare, though. We’ll be lucky if we see one.” Dean looked around the darkened forest. “Sorry.”

“For the mushrooms? I kinda already figured they were rare.”

“For prying.” Dean walked a bit ahead, giving Gabriel time to sigh.

“What do you want from me, Dean?”

The question caught him off guard and he halted, looking back. “How do you mean?”

“Okay, we can play dumb if you want. Sure.” Gabe shook his head angrily. “What is this?”

“It’s… a forest.”

“Dean.”

Dean fiddled with his flashlight, not turning it on but messing with the switch anyway. “I already told you.”

“I know it’s a goddamned for—“

“You scared me.” Dean cleared his throat. “Almost lost you. Or whatever.”

Gabe ran a hand over his face. “You were scared we wouldn’t be friends anymore so now you’re dragging me on science field trips at ass o’clock in the morning. Coming to regret not answering those texts, Winchester.”

“Forget it.” Dean went back to walking, head down.

Gabriel followed him quietly for a while. “Fourteen.”

“Mushrooms?!” Dean spun around quickly, eyes wide.

“What? No, why would there be— I was fourteen. When my mom died.” Gabe winced at himself. “Wow that was a really shitty segue, I already regret it. You got so excited.”

“I… the mushrooms are cool.” Dean went back to walking, slower, now. “I’m sorry.”

He shrugged. “It is what it is. Life sucks sometimes. Cassie was eight.”

Dean nodded, pushing aside some branches. “Yeah. My mom died in a fire when I was four. Sam wasn’t even one yet.”

“Damn.”

“Yeah. Dad got kind of weird after that.”

Gabe side-eyed him. “Yeah. Same here.”

“We, y’know, never really had somewhere to call home.”

“Lucky. We stayed on that fucking homestead.”

Dean glanced at Gabriel. “Wow, you guys had land?”

Gabriel sniffed, like he didn’t care. “Wow, you guys had a car?”

“I mean, my dad became an alcoholic.”

“My dad joined a cult.”

“I had to take care of Sammy since Dad wouldn’t.”

“Yeah? Well, I had to fight for custody of Castiel so legally he’s my kid.”

Dean smirked. “That so? I had to be a housewife at the age of five.”

“I never even went to school.”

“My dad believed that monsters started the fire in our house.”

“I was told gay people were monsters. He held out a hand. “Oh my god, Dean. I get it.”

“Do you?”

“Yes. Don’t you see?” He rested his hands on Dean’s shoulders seriously. “The gays started the fire.”

Dean snorted, leaning back and laughing. “Those damn gays with their fires!”

“It’s the agenda!”

“It all makes sense now!”

Gabe put one hand over his own heart. “I hate to break it to you, Byron, but your mom made some very powerful enemies.”

“Well, you know the gays are responsible for every cult in the United States, so your dad made some powerful enemies, too, Rosie.”

“Only the United States.”

“Communists run all the other ones.”

“Ah, of course. Silly me.” Gabriel tapped his chin thoughtfully. “So if the gay agenda is setting house fires and starting cults, what the hell are we doing?”

“Oh fuck. Quick, gimme a match!”

Gabriel stepped back, one hand over his heart, aghast. “Byron!” he announced, shocked. “Do you mean to tell me you are…………. gay?”

“As a butt plug.”

Gabriel bent over, hiding his giggles before coming up with a big breath. “Sinner!”

Dean grinned. “Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.”

“What was that? I couldn’t hear you over judgement day.”

“I said,” Dean took a deep breath in, and then yelled until it echoed across the forest, “SORRY DADDY I’VE BEEN NAUGHTY!”

Gabriel choked, falling backwards and laughing so hard he cried. “Do— do not—“ he lost himself to another fit of laughter, holding his stomach. “Don’t call— call me daddy,” he managed.

“Oh, what was that? Call you daddy, Daddy?”

Gabriel was laughing again, no actual sound coming out as he rolled on the forest floor.

“If we call each other daddy, then what do we do for Father’s Day?”

Gabriel was kicking his feet like that would help anything, face smeared with dirt as he pressed his cheek into the ground, mask long gone.

“Could I even tell you to go to your room? Could you just… reverse Uno me?”

“W-w-w-wiiiin-ch-chest-t-t-errrrrr!” Gabriel managed, taking giant gulps of air as he was lost in his laughing fit.

“Don’t use that tone of voice with me, young man,” Dean said, voice lower than usual, one finger over his lip like a mustache. “I wear the pants in this family.”

Gabriel was off giggling again, his clothes filthy from his incessant rolling.

“I expect a full report on my desk by Monday morning!” Dean paused. “Oh wait, fuck, that was my professor kink coming up.”

Gabe was laughing hard enough that any nearby animal was certainly gone, trying to beg for mercy while being unable to get coherent words out.

“Fuck, what do dads say? Uhhhh,” he dropped his voice again, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

“Wh-w-wh-why?” Gabe managed between laughs, cheeks hurting.

“Because even a damn chicken is more capable than you!”

Gabe was lost again, and maybe it briefly went through Dean’s head to show mercy, but… nah.

“So that’s it, huh? That’s what gets you rolling? Dad jokes?”

“S-s-st-stoooo-ooopp,” Gabriel begged, tears rolling down his face. “I-I’m dyyy-y-y-iii-ing!”

Dean leaned in comically, pulling down his mask and grinning wide. “Hey, Dying. I’m Dad.”

Gabriel was probably definitely cursing him, but it was just sounds barely coming out as he rolled.

Dean watched him, feeling a very strong sense of pride. Gabriel was the funniest person he knew, and he had managed to break him down to this giggling mess. Everything else seemed so… secondary. Here was Gabriel, laughing at Dean’s jokes. What else could possibly matter?

Gabe managed to catch his breath. “Oh god, it feels like I did five hundred sit-ups,” he rushed out before giggling again.

“I’m that funny, huh?” Dean asked, bouncing his eyebrows.

“Ah, get fucked, Dean,” Gabriel responded, flipping him off and grinning. He sighed and stuck his hand out, feeling along the ground. “Where the fuck did my mask go.”

“Meh,” Dean said, holding out a hand as he slipped his own back on. “Just don’t get all up in my personal space. We’ll be fine.”

Gabe accepted the help. “Oh? What happened to Mr. There Is No Us?”

He cleared his throat, turning his face quickly. “Take it or leave it.”

“I’ll take it.” Gabriel dusted himself off, smiling to himself as he made sure to stay six feet away from Dean. “You sure you don’t want me to just give you a big old sloppy kiss?”

“I will leave you here in this forest,” Dean snarked back, side-eyeing him.

“Thought we had quit with the dad impersonations?”

Dean laughed, pushing back some branches and squinting into the dark.  “Fair enough. So what was that episode of our show you had in mind?”

“Surprise,” Gabe responded nonchalantly. “We could probably film tomorrow afternoon or so.”

Dean looked his way. “You’re not gonna hurt me or yourself, are you?”

“Hey, I’m capable of sciencing!”

He held his hands up in mock surrender. “Fine, fine. But I’m not responsible for anything that goes wrong.”

“Thank you for the vote of confidence. I appreciate it.”

“Aw.” Dean grinned at him. “You know I have full confidence in you.”

“Oh, do you?” Gabriel looked off into the distance, tilting his head.

“Course I do. We’re friends.”

“Yeah. Friends.” Gabe pointed. “Does that look like glowing to you?”

Dean looked out far to the right, eyes wide. “Yeah. Yeah, it does. Head that way.”

They walked in silence for a while, eyes on the target.

“Hey, Gabriel?”

“Oooo, is it a full name sort of day? Am I in trouble?”

Dean rolled his eyes. “Can I tell you something kinda weird?”

“I mean, let me think. It’s like four in the morning at this point, and we’re hunting glowing mushrooms during a pandemic in a forest, where we spent the last however-long making really fucking dumb jokes. Are you gonna manage to top all that?”

They crouched around the patch of mushrooms giving off a soft, earthy light.

“This is… incredible,” Gabriel breathed, eyes wide. “They’re just… glowing. All on their own.”

“Yeah. I thought you might like them.”

Gabriel looked up at Dean, his features shadowed but visible in the still-night. “What weird thing did you want to tell me?”

Dean met his eyes slowly, giving him a half-smile. “I think you’re my best friend.”

Gabe gave a disbelieving laugh. “That’s your weird fact? After everything else we’ve done, that is what strikes you as weird?”

“It’s… new. Things keep happening and, y’know… you’re the only one I wanna talk to about them. But we haven’t even been enemies very long, let alone friends.”

Gabriel tilted his head, studying him. “Yeah, okay.” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “You’re uh, you’re my best friend, too.”

Dean quickly put his head down, hiccuping softly.

Gabe laughed. “Dude, get that checked out. You have too many hiccups to be normal.” He shrugged. “Also. Y’know. We’ve known each other for a pretty long time, even if it hasn’t been as… intense.”

“Are we intense, Rosie?”

“The intensest, Byron.” He plucked a mushroom and held it out like a flower. “For you.”

Dean accepted it, heart thudding. “Thank you. I’ll uh, treasure it always.”

“Use it as a night light. Keep away all those pesky nightmares.”

“Yeah.” Dean tucked it in his shirt pocket. “Hey, Gabe?”

“Hmm?”

“What were you dreaming about?”

Gabe shook his head, smiling to himself. “Don’t worry about it, Winchester. C’mon. I wanna go back to sleep.” He stood up and held out his hand, and Dean memorized it.

Chapter Text

Gabe flopped into bed, already half-asleep from the walk home with Dean.

The walk home, where his own fingers kept betraying him and straying out, like they were going to brush Dean’s if only he’d stand a little goddamned closer.

There was too much in his brain to think about, so he did his best to shut his brain off and get some sleep before the sun rose.

He groaned loudly as his phone rang instead. He squinted at the caller ID before swiping up and throwing his arm over his face. "You're here to torture me. That's what it is. You're my sleep deprivation demon."

Dean laughed quietly. "Hello to you, too, Rosie."

"If you're here to run another science experiment by me, I am all scienced out."

"I actually just couldn't get to sleep and was wondering if you'd just sorta... stay on the line with me."

Gabe peeked out from under his arm, because Dean sounded like he had no intention of sleeping. "Bullshit. Ugh. I sleep talked to you, didn't I. And you want that to happen again."

Dean, who wanted exactly that, responded, "Of course not!"

"Then why did you call."

"I uh... well you see I um..." Dean's eyes searched his own room frantically, finally landing on one of Gabriel's shirts. "What uh, what are you wearing?"

"Your shirt," Gabe deadpanned back, irritable and tired and confused.

"And?"

"There is no 'and'. Your shirt. That's it."

"Oh that's actually— huh. Okay. That's... pretty hot."

Gabe yawned. "Winchester, are you booty calling me?" he teased, before his mind finally processed the question he had just answered and he sat up in bed. "Oh my god you're booty calling me."

“I—“

"You're trying to have phone sex with me. Right this very moment."

And it was either say yes or admit that he wanted desperately to know what the dream was. "Is it... working?"

"You're serious."

"I haven't exactly done this before!"

Gabriel grinned wide. "Last chance to back out."

And he could. He certainly could. But.....

Why would he?

"Same extends to you, of course," Dean quipped back.

"Mmm. What are you wearing, Dean Byron Winchester?" Gabriel asked, voice lower than Dean could remember it ever being and holy shit what had he gotten himself into.

"Your shirt. Boxers. Socks."

"All of it. Off. Slowly." He paused. "Actually, I want you to leave my shirt on."

Dean pulled off his other clothes, until he was left laying in just the shirt. "Okay."

"Do you keep my shirt on when you jack off, Winchester?" Gabriel asked with as much nonchalance as he would if he was asking about the weather.

This was not the way Dean was intending this night to go, and he swallowed harshly. "I uh..."

"I'm waiting."

"... yes."

"I knew it! It's okay. I do, too."

Dean knocked his head back against his pillow. "So when I called—“

"Is that really any of your business?"

He barked out a laugh. "I'm laying here half-naked, having phone sex with you. I think it's absolutely my business."

Gabriel raised his eyebrows. "You're half-naked? I thought you had boxers on?"

"You told me to take them off?"

"Wait, you did it?!"

Dean's face was suddenly red. "I uh. I mean..."

"I thought we were playing gay chicken!"

"And you thought I'd chicken out at taking my boxers off? I've still got a faded signature on my ass, and I’m gonna draw the line at stripping?!"

Gabriel suddenly felt a lot warmer than he did ten seconds ago. "Then where would you draw the line?"

"Why don't you find out?

"If you're officially challenging me to gay chicken, then I hope you know I am absolutely going to win."

"Oh, is that so?"

"It is so, Winchester."

"Then let me hear you moan."

"... Fine." Gabriel took himself in his hand, focusing very hard on not focusing on this too hard.

"Bet you've still got that line of hickeys, don't you?"

Gabriel cursed under his breath. "Faded. Yes."

"Do you think about that when you think about me? How my mouth has been all over you?" Gabriel could hear the fucking grin Dean was giving him.

"Go fuck yourself, Winchester," he hissed out, teeth clenched.

"What makes you think I'm not already?"

"Goddammit," Gabriel laughed breathily. "You better be. I don't wanna be the only one— the only one losing their fucking mind." Dean made some small sound, and Gabriel threw his free arm over his face again.

"Do I drive you insane, Gabriel?" Dean asked, low and unintentionally rough, the name dragging across Gabe's skin like fire.

"Of course you do," Gabe gasped out, eyes squeezed shut. "What kind of fucking question is that." He laughed again. "Dammit Dean you better be touching yourself."

"You think I have enough self-control to not? When you're here, sounding like that?"

"Like what?" A groan built up in his throat, which he forcefully silenced.

"Like every goddamned fantasy I've had in the past two months."

The moan that edged past Gabriel's lips was sharp and needy. “Feel free to— Feel free to surrender at any time,” he gasped out.

“Same to you,” Dean responded, biting back his answering moan.

"When this is—“ Gabe swallowed harshly, lips tingling, "When this whole virus shit is over, I'm going to push you against a wall and show you what it means to get fucked by me."

Dean bit his lip and whimpered, picking up his pace. "Fuck yes." His breathing was harsh, his legs twitching. "What— what is it with you and walls?"

"Got a problem with it?" Gabe's voice was shaky, his hips were stuttering.

"It's the hottest fucking fantasy."

"It's not the— the hottest." His groan came out more as a curse. "I could always just— just handcuff you to my bed and take my sweet time." He heard Dean's sharp inhale and echoing moan. "By the way, if you don't come with my name on your lips, you lose."

"Bold of you— to assume I'd be— saying— anything— else—!” Dean's back arched and his mouth fell open, "Gabriel, Gabriel, Gabriel" falling from his lips.

And how was Gabriel excepted to hold out against that?

Dean's voice went gay to his dick and he was coming, Dean's name caressing his mouth like a goddamned kiss.

He breathed heavy, boneless, unable and unwilling to move. "Did— did I win?"

"Mmm," Dean responded in much the same position. "You can win this time."

"Cool." Gabe ran his hands over his face. "For someone who called just to talk to me while I slept, you sure got on board with that."

"You know me too damn well. I need to start lying to you."

He laughed. "I was dreaming about kissing you, if that sates your curiosity."

"Was I any good?"

"You were my blanket, so no."

"I'll have to give you a frame of reference some day then."

"Winchester, the moment this is over, I'm going to run across Cassie's garden to you, and, assuming I'm still alive after that, I'm going to kiss you and pull you into your house and we won't even leave your bed for two weeks."

"Mmm. Not even for food?"

"We can order delivery."

"You're gonna make that poor delivery person come into our sex dungeon to give us our food?"

"Stop with your logic. I like my plan."

Dean grinned. "I like your plan, too."

Gabe glanced at his phone. "Oh my god. We've only been on the phone for fifteen minutes. That's embarrassing."

"Please tell me you're joking." Dean looked at his screen. "Fuck you're not."

"Am I just that hot?"

"Duh." He sighed. "Next time we'll hold out."

"Oh, next time? This is gonna be a recurring thing?"

"Yeah. Unless you want to lose this game of gay chicken."

"Like hell I'm losing." Gabriel smiled to himself. "I'm gonna fall asleep soon."

"Me, too."

"I'll see you in the morning, Byron."

"It is morning, Rosie."

"Then the afternoon." Gabe opened one eye. "I like you."

"I like you, too. Goodnight, Gabe."

"Goodnight, Dean."

Gabriel hung up and breathed out, grabbing some tissues and cleaning himself off before rolling onto his stomach.

He smiled contentedly and shut his eyes.

His eyebrows furrowed and he opened them again.

He sat up quickly, looking all around the room. "That just happened. That just... that just actually happened." He ran a hand over his face. "I just had phone sex with Dean Winchester."

As if on cue, everything Dean had said, every sound he had made came rushing back, and Gabe's dick gave an interested twitch.

He glared at it. “You traitor,” he accused, before punching his pillow and laying down, hellbent on ignoring the echoes of “Gabriel” in his brain.

Dean stared at his ceiling, ignoring his alarm going off at 5:30am.

Why did he even still keep an alarm? His body woke him up at the same time, regardless of the noise.

He took out his cell and hit a familiar number, eyes never wavering from the ceiling.

“Too fucking early.”

“Heya, Sammy.”

“I’m trying to enjoy the early morning hours of sleep that will be stolen from me by a small child for the next like… six years.”

“Sorry.”

Sam sighed and got up, stretching. “It’s fine. I was gonna be up sooner or later anyway for my run.”

“Does running help?”

“Help what? In general? Yeah.”

“Huh.”

Sam meandered groggily to his kitchen, pulling out a pan. “Did you call me to ask about the health benefits of running?”

“Ha, uh, no. No.”

Sam cracked an egg into the pan and started a pot of coffee. “Please don’t make waking me up at 5:30 for no good reason a habit, then. I love you. But don’t.”

“I just… promise me you will literally never bring this up ever again ever for as long as we both shall live.”

“Yeah, not promising that.”

“Sam.”

“I won’t bring it up without reason.”

Dean groaned. “I hate you so much.”

Sam squinted at the beginnings of sunlight streaming in through his curtains. “Feeling’s mutual. Spill.”

“… What did it feel like when you started falling for Jessica?”

Sam raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Uh. I dunno how to explain it. Like I wanted to spend every waking moment with her. And know everything there was to know about her.”

Dean scowled. “What else?”

Sam laughed, leaning back against the counter. “You need more than that? Um, okay. How about she made me happy? When I made her laugh it was like the rest of the world fell away? I couldn’t imagine a future without her?”

“Other things. More specific.”

“Dean, there isn’t more specific.” Sam tilted his head. “Look. Hypothetically, if the reason you were looking for something other than what I’m saying is because you felt what I’m saying about someone in particular, maybe you have feelings for them. That’s what feelings feel like to me.”

“To you?”

“They can feel different to everybody, Dean. So you’ve kinda gotta figure this out for yourself. Just… again, of course, hypothetically, you should keep your brain open. Let yourself accept the hypothetical possibility of catching feelings.”

“…and if I’m wrong?”

“Then you’re wrong. Big fucking whoop.” He flipped his egg. “You’re a scientist. Go run an experiment. Who’s someone you could potentially love romantically but don’t?”

“Um. Doctor Sexy?”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Fine. Sure. Doctor Sexy. There’s your control.”

“That’s not how controls— fine. Okay. I see what you’re saying here.” Dean sighed. “One more question.”

“Yeah, shoot.”

“…does phone sex count as actual sex?”

“… I’m hanging up on you. I don’t want to talk to you on your now-filthy phone.”

“It was hypothetical!”

Sam pressed the end call button and poured himself some coffee.

“Everything good?” Jess called out sleepily.

“Yeah. Just think I found the perfect time to send that video.”

Dean scowled at his phone and returned to staring at the ceiling. He ran over everything Sam had said, and his brain eventually wandered back to the whole sex thing because that wasn’t… friends didn’t do that… right?

He looked at his phone background, which was, of course, a picture of Gabriel smiling at the camera.

He didn’t even… Gabe didn’t even send that to him. He purposefully got online and sought it out himself.

“I’m so fucked,” he told himself, looking over to the mushroom on his bedside table, glowing softly in the dark. The one that Gabriel had held out to him, like it was nothing, like getting so much as a piece of gum from someone who wasn’t family wasn’t all but unknown to Dean.

Gabriel had plucked it and held it out, knowing that Dean thought they were cool, calling him by his secret name, smiling in a way that put the intricacies of fractals to shame.

Then he had offered his hand, as if that wasn’t the world itself.

Maybe that was it. Maybe the world was just Gabriel himself. Maybe the world was a tight ball of chaos and frustration and joy and anger and curse words and sly smiles and loud laughter. Maybe the world was a dichotomy. A trichotomy. An infinichotomy. The infinichotomy of Gabriel.

Or maybe Dean just needed some sleep.

He closed his eyes, ignoring the part of his brain that wanted to invent new words for Gabriel and the things he caused, because words like catching feelings just… couldn’t be right.

Gabriel woke up to a single text message that he didn’t know what to do with.

[Byron] 6:17am you are an infinichotomy

Gabe didn’t know whether to smile or stare, so he laughed as his face heated up.

[Gabrosie] 10:31am so you get poetic when you have sex, jotting that down

[Gabrosie] 11:01am or am I just that special?

[Gabrosie] 11:03am jk of course I am

[Gabrosie] 11:57am call me when you wake up, maybe you can experience this “infinichotomy” all over again ;)

Chapter Text

Charlie laid down before her plant, staring intently at it. “Grow,” she commanded.

Castiel snorted from somewhere behind her, leaning back on a lawn chair with a book. “That saying about watched pots also applies to plants.”

“Good thing I don’t want my plant to boil, then.”

“Mm, no succulent tea?”

“Ew.” She looked up at the hot afternoon sun. “We should invest in a pool.”

Castiel put down his book a moment, thinking. “I’m not opposed to the idea. 50/50?”

“Sounds good to me.” She laid back on the grass, scrolling through listings. She only glanced up as Dean approached the fence, rubbing his eyes. “Heya, Dean.”

“Hey Charles. Cassie.”

Castiel raised one eyebrow at him. “Don’t call me that. That is a Gabriel-exclusive perk.”

“Sorry.” He laid his arms on the fence, and his head on his arms.

Charlie went back to scrolling. “Rough night?”

“Something like that. Either of you seen Gabe this morning?”

Castiel smirked. “Gabrosie is still inside, though he sent me a Wish listing for water guns shaped like dicks, so I know he is awake.”

Dean snorted. “Forward that to me.”

“Of course.” Castiel stood up and stretched. “I’m going to make some mimosas. Would either of you care for one?”

They both answered affirmative, and Castiel disappeared inside.

Dean took out his phone and texted Gabriel.

[Byron] 12:18pm good morning, let’s forget I sent you any texts last night

“So, whatcha been up to?” Charlie asked, using her phone to block the sun.

“Eh, not a lot. Work. Quarantine stuff. Texting Gabe. The works. You?”

“Same, but no texting Gabe.” She wiggled her eyebrows at him. “Make sure to clean your phone. And tell him I said hi!”

“What makes you think I’m texting him right now?”

[Gabrosie] 12:19pm goodmorning, and absolutely not.

Charlie leveled a Look at him, and he sighed. “Okay yeah, maybe I’m texting him.”

[Gabrosie] 12:20pm why is goodnight one word but goodmorning is usually two

She shook her head in mock shame. “Tell him I said hi.”

[Byron] 12:21pm no idea. Charlie says hi

[Gabrosie] 12:21pm I say hi back! I’d come outside but I’m naked :)

“He says hi back. He’s busy.” Dean cleared his throat and texted back, trying to look nonchalant.

[Byron] 12:22pm coward

“Ohhh, busy. Suuuuuure.” Charlie winked at him. “Dude, admit it. You’re obsessed with him.”

[Gabrosie] 12:23pm remember you said that.

“Am not!”

She pointed at him. “You jump every time he texts back. I’m gonna go back to shopping. You stand there and text your man.”

“He’s not—“ Dean huffed. “Fine.”

Gabe sent another text, and Dean swiped it open before immediately fumbling his phone into Castiel’s lawn.

He stifled his immediate ‘fuck’ and glanced to see if Charlie was watching. She wasn’t.

Maybe he could… sorta… shimmy onto the fence and—

“WINCHESTER!” Castiel yelled, storming outside from fucking nowhere. “If you so much as THINK about careening into my backyard I will MURDER you!!!”

Dean blinked from where his stomach was pushed into the top of the fence. “Huh. I see the family resemblance now.”

“Get. Off. The. Fence.”

“Okay but my phone is like right there and I just really need to—“

Castiel yanked his watering hose out of its coil and aimed it at the phone. “I said. OFF. THE. FENCE!!!”

Dean held his hands up and tipped back into his yard. “Okay! Okay. I’m off the fence.”

“I will give you your phone back in fifteen minutes, when it is safe to touch again.”

“Okay but I really need it like right now so—“

Cas looked at where it had fallen, face down. “If it’s so important, why don’t I put on some gloves and check it for you?”

“Um. Couldn’t you just give it back or—“

“You tried to come into my backyard. No. You will wait fifteen minutes.” The phone buzzed again.

Dean’s hand shot out. “Okay alright, that’s fair and I’m sorry.”

Cas raised one suspicious eyebrow at him and walked over to his phone.

“Don’t— I uh, I really wouldn’t if I was you.”

Cas kicked it over with his foot.

Charlie watched Dean’s face grow ten different shades of red as Castiel leveled a tired look at him.

“I hate you,” Castiel told him matter-of-factly.

“I… I warned you.”

Castiel scrubbed a hand over his face. “I’m going to go drink this away. See you in a few days.”

Charlie watched him go inside before grinning at Dean. “Gabe sent you a dick pic, didn’t he.”

“He sent me an everything pic,” Dean mumbled.

“Hmm. Sucks you can’t reply.”

Dean put his hands out in frustration. “Just get me my phone! Please!”

“Nah.” She scrolled through her own more. “Besides. Think he saw.”

Dean looked over at Gabriel’s house, only to see Gabe himself leaning against his window, (unfortunately) fully clothed and laughing his ass off.

Dean groaned and covered his face in embarrassment. “I hate him.”

“No you don’t.”

He sighed in agreement. “No I don’t. Hey, Charlie?”

“Mhmm?”

“Have you ever… fallen for someone?”

She added an item to her cart. “Umm, yeah, sure. A few times.”

“… what does it feel like?”

She lowered her phone to look first at Dean, then at Gabriel and back. “Oh.”

He glared. “Don’t you ‘oh’ me.”

“I just uh… um, it feels like falling from a cliff, but in a good way. Like you know what’s at the bottom is worth it.” She squinted up at the sky. “Kinda feels like magnetism.”

“Magnetism I get.”

“Yeah, figured. I had a girlfriend once that was big into robots. She made me one that could identify different sodas, so I’d just tell it ‘Sprite’ and it would get me one. She loved me to the point of invention.” There was something else in Charlie’s eyes, like she wanted to say something but wouldn’t. “Find the way you love. Then see who it falls on.”

“Never said I was falling for anyone. I was just making conversation.”

“And here I was, thinking we were closer than lying to each other.” She gave him a pointed look.

“I swear I was never this transparent to people before.” He sighed. “I don’t know what I’m feeling. That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”

“Well. Can you describe it?”

Dean looked at Gabriel, who was now jamming on an air guitar to music he couldn’t hear. “Kinda like a microcosm of him in my head.”

“You should write that down. How logically poetic.”

He frowned. “All memories are just microcosms of people.”

She studied him quietly, like she was trying to find the words he wouldn’t say. “Then what else does it feel like?”

He watched Gabriel dance badly, something deep within him doing something he would describe as aching if he believed in poetry. “Like… existing.”

She snorted. “Good luck figuring it out, then. I mean, you look at Gabriel and you feel like you finally exist? Idk man, sounds pretty generic to me.”

“Shut up.”

She laughed. “You said you love me and Cas. That was easy. Why are you making this so hard?”

“I dunno. It’s just… different.”

“Yeah, Dean.” She went back to scrolling on her phone. “It’s different.”

When Dean finally got his phone back, he rolled his eyes, cheeks red.

[Gabrosie] 12:25pm [attachment removed]

[Gabrosie] 12:27pm oh my god did you just drop your phone into no man’s land

[Gabrosie] 12:28pm YOU DIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDD

[Gabrosie] 12:29pm hey Cassie :)

Dean could just go ahead and die right now, please and thank you.

[Byron] 12:45pm first off, fuck you

[Byron] 12:46pm second off, how the hell did you remove that pic from my phone without even touching it

[Gabrosie] 12:46pm again?

[Gabrosie] 12:47pm trade secret

Dean rolled his eyes and went back into his house, opening up the new script he had been sent earlier that morning.

He made some small edits and checked his phone, where he had one missed message.

[Gabrosie] 12:50pm if you want it back you’ll have to bribe me

[Byron] 1:38pm what makes you think I want it back?

[Gabrosie] 1:40pm alright cool I’ll just go ahead and delete it forever then

[Byron] 1:40pm hold your horses

[Byron] 1:41pm if I make you some cookies, would you give me the pic?

[Gabrosie] 1:43pm now when you say cookies……..?

[Byron] 1:44pm trade secret

[Gabrosie] 1:45pm oh boy what could possibly go wrong accepting cookies from a chemist?! deal

[Gabrosie] 1:47pm also I’m done setting up everything for the experiment so whenever you’re ready your highness

Dean pushed himself back from his desk to peek outside, where there were indeed two tables and two cameras set up. Gabe waved broadly at him, in another dress that bounced when he moved.

[Byron] 1:49pm you’re trying to kill me, aren’t you

[Gabrosie] 1:50pm constantly

“So I just—“

Gabriel motioned absently. “Sit there. Gimme a minute to calibrate everything.”

Dean sat down in a wooden chair, watching Gabe with no small amount of concern. “Your dress has a bunch of lightning bolts on it.”

“I’m going to electrocute you,” Gabe deadpanned.

“Oh, good. That’ll be fun for the kiddos to watch.”

“Be sure to give some good twitches so they can set it to music later on.” He flipped some switches on a small machine. “Cameras are rolling, by the way.”

Dean blinked in surprise at his own camera. “Oh! Um, hey everyone. I’m Dean, that’s Gabe, and we’re E=MC Queered. I’m… not entirely sure what today’s experiment is, if I’m honest. Gabe is in charge of this one.”

Gabriel gave the camera a huge smile. “Today we’re learning about circuits!”

Dean craned his neck to look at what Gabriel was fiddling with. “Uh, whatcha got there, Gabe?”

Gabriel ignored him, choosing instead to stage-whisper to the camera, “Dean thinks I’m going to blow him up.” He held up a piece of paper. “But don’t worry! I had professionals run tests on this, and it is certified to Probably Not Explode!”

“I’m not sure I feel any better about this now.”

“Alright, kids. Lab safety is important, even when your lab is your own front yard. That is why Dean and I will be putting on our face masks, since I’ll have to walk this over to him.”

Dean took his cue and put his face mask on, one eyebrow raised as Gabe made his way over. “Should I be worried?”

“Close your eyes.”

“I’m very worried,” Dean said, even as he complied.

“Aw, don’t be. I don’t bite.” Gabe’s fingers were against Dean’s arms. “Well, no, that’s a lie. I definitely bite.”

“This is a kid’s show!”

“I can edit it out! Relax.”

“Kinda hard to relax when I feel like I’m sitting in an electric chair.”

“You are. We’ve been over this.”

“That isn’t funny right now.”

“Yeah, yeah. You can open your eyes, you anxious ass.”

Dean opened his eyes and looked down at his forearm, where a thick black band was around it. “What is this.”

“A circuit.”

“Gabe,” Dean warned.

Gabriel tilted his head, running a knuckle up the side of Dean’s neck absently before quickly walking back over to his own table.

Dean felt… sweaty.

“What you all see before you is the tail end of a circuit. It connects wirelessly to this box in front of me. When the band sends certain signals to this box, the box sends a signal back, and the band triggers its own circuit. I’ll show you how it works.” He turned to Dean and pulled his mask off. “How are you today?”

Dean followed suit. “Tired.”

“Why are you tired?”

“You,” he challenged.

“Are you a Taylor Swift fan?”

“What? No, why would I—“ Dean let out a sharp curse and yanked his arm to his chest. “What the fuck?!”

Gabriel gestured towards Dean, taking a mocking bow to the camera. “I present to my enraptured audience: a lie detector.”

“It fucking shocked me!” He pushed fruitlessly at the band.

“Ah ah ah, I’m the only one who can get that off. Special adhesive.” He meandered closer to Dean, stopping at six feet away. “It only shocks you if you lie.”

“Take it off.”

“Mmm, no. I don’t think I will.” There was something serious and dark in Gabriel’s eyes, something that pinned Dean to his seat. “Actually, I think you and I need to have a little talk.”

Chapter Text

Dean swallowed nervously. “I think we’re good.” He looked anxiously to the band around his arm.

“Are we?”

“Yes.” He winced, expecting a shock that didn’t come.

“We’re good, then. According to you.” Gabriel paced slowly, methodically, and Dean could easily imagine him as a warrior. A leader. “Tell me, Dean…” He leaned in, close but not too close. Close enough that Dean could feel his face heating up. “What’s your favorite color?”

“What.”

Gabriel broke out into a grin. “Your favorite color. Dean. What is it?”

“… It’s silver.”

“Bougie.” Gabe leaned back and laughed at his expression. “Why the weird face, Winchester?”

“Did you seriously pull all of this just so you could ask me meaningless questions?!”

“Your favorite color isn’t meaningless!” Gabe shrugged, the dress bouncing easily. “You said you wanted to know me. And I wanna know you. So here we are.”

Dean gestured to the band. “Is the shock value really necessary?”

“Asks the man who trapped me in my own house and dyed me red.”

“You know, I think I hate you.” He grit his teeth and tried not to move as the band shocked him.

“You like me.”

“Not a chance.” Dean hissed as his arm jerked.

Gabriel’s eyes lit up like a goddamn Christmas tree. “Ha! I knew you liked me!”

“What gave it away? Saying you’re my best friend?”

“I think it was the constant theft of my personal shirts.”

“Theft? You practically beg me to take your clothes.”

“Oh sweetheart I don’t beg for anything.” Gabe winked at him. “What’s your favorite food?”

Dean sighed dramatically. “It’s called Winchester Surprise. I’ll make it for you sometime.”

“Oh yeah? What else would we do on our first date?”

“Who said anything about a date?”

“I did. Just now. So. Spill. Perfect first date.”

Dean leaned his head back and thought hard, seeing what half-truths he might could get away with. “The perfect first date would be a drive-in movie, then a family-owned burger joint, then sitting outside with some wine and seeing where the night takes us.”

“Bone Town. The night would take us to Bone Town. Like, one-way trip, zero stops.”

“I never said it was us. Just a generic perfect first date.”

“Hm. Where do you see yourself in ten years?”

“Not in this chair.”

“Oh, c’mon.” Gabriel leered at him. “You’re impressed and you like it.”

“…Maybe.” There was something Charlie had said about inventions that Dean refused to remember.

“Ten years, Dean. Where do you see yourself?”

Dean thought about it and was taken aback with how clearly he could see this same scenario ten years down the line, Gabriel still being an attractive ball of absolute chaos, and himself still being annoyed and enamored with it.

And he sure as hell couldn’t admit that.

“Somewhere,” he finally said. “Doing something.”

“Winchester.”

“I never really expected to make it this long, so I never bothered coming up with a plan.” There. That wasn’t a lie. It didn’t really answer the question, but it was close enough.

Gabe rolled his eyes. “Then come up with one now.”

Dean returned the gesture mockingly. “Tell you what. In ten years time, you can run this exact experiment over again. Then I’ll be doing this same thing in ten years.”

Gabe whipped out his phone. “Let me set a reminder.”

“You’re so lame that it physically pains me.” His fist tightened involuntarily as the current coursed briefly across his arm.

Gabe smiled, genuine, before letting the expression curl to a grin. “So in ten years, you see yourself still with me. That’s good to know.”

“I mean, you weren’t planning on running off anytime soon, were you? We have mortgages, you know. You can’t just up and leave very easy.”

“Aww, Deanie, I’m touched. Would you miss me if I left?”

Dean looked in despair at the band before gritting out, “Yes.”

“What would you miss most?” Gabriel was crouched, arms resting haphazardly on his thighs.

And god, there were so many things. More than Dean cared to name, or even think about much longer. “I’d really prefer not to answer that question.”

“Why? Because it’s something not kid friendly?” Gabe winked suggestively.

He fidgeted in his seat. “Because it makes me sad.”

Gabe’s eyes cast briefly to the band, then the box. “Huh,” he said, as if he was mildly surprised at the answer. “Don’t worry. You’re not getting rid of me anytime soon.”

“Life would be ah… pretty boring without you around.”

Gabe laughed, throwing his head back so the sun shone golden on his cheeks. “Lemme get this straight. Life would be boring without me, you’d be sad if I left, and in ten years you see yourself still putting up with me. Why, Winchester, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were falling in love with me.”

Gabriel giggled and looked back to Dean, who was not, as he originally thought, laughing with him.

No, Dean looked like a deer in the headlights.

The smile faded gently from Gabe’s face, still clinging just barely to its edges. “Dude. Did you hear me?”

“I… heard you.”

Gabe’s eyes bounced all over Dean’s face, like he was trying to pry all the molecules apart to see inside his head. “Wait.”

“I really think we should—“

“Are you falling in love with me?”

Dean was caught, because it would be just as much of a lie to say no as it would be to certainly say yes. The truth was that he just didn’t know, and that answer would only bring more questions that he just couldn’t deal with today.

“I…” Dean took a deep breath in and, just as he was about to let it out, let out a startled scream instead, eyes glued somewhere behind Gabriel.

Gabe turned around quickly, hands raised, ready to fight. They dropped almost immediately. “You’re fucking kidding me.”

A buck walked down the street, regarding the two of them warily.

Dean fell backwards out of his chair, scrambling away. “What the fuck is that?!”

Gabriel squinted at him. “Whayl, here in th’ hollers, we call that there a ‘deer’,” he deadpanned, fake southern accent thick.

Dean glared right back at him. “I know what a deer is, asshole! I meant why is it here?!”

Gabe watched the buck look around timidly, stepping slowly and carefully their way. “I’ve heard the wildlife has been wandering into cities, since there are less people to deter them.”

Dean made a shoo motion with his hand. “Go on, little Bambi,” he called out. “Go back home.”

Gabe snorted as the buck approached Dean. “That ain’t gonna work, cowpoke.”

Dean ducked behind his table, face pale. “Make it leave!” he hissed.

“I’m not a deer whisperer.”

Dean yelped as the buck sniffed at his table. “Gabriel!”

Gabe laughed at Dean’s face and held out a hand. “C’mere, baby brother.” Something about his voice or his words worked, because the buck left Dean and wandered over to him. “You’re lost, aren’t you? Don’t know your way around this big city?”

The buck sniffed the air cautiously.

“Dean’s a big scaredy cat, but I can lead you home.” The buck stopped close to Gabriel. “There, see? Not so scary, right? I’m not gonna hurt ya.” He laid his hand gently on its snout.

“Oh please be careful!” Dean called out to him.

“It’s a deer.”

“It has horns!”

Gabriel raised one unamused eyebrow and kissed the top of its head. “They’re called antlers. C’mon baby, let’s get you home.”

He silently thanked the universe that they lived close to the edge of town. It took maybe twenty minutes to walk the deer to the woods, Dean following far behind with his camera, recording.

Gabe took a deep breath in of the forest air. “Feels like I was just here this morning,” he snarked before giving the buck a friendly pat. “There’s your home. Go on.”

It munched thoughtfully on Gabriel’s dress.

Gabe chuckled while Dean made some extremely worried sound.

“Leave him a-alone!” he yelled out, voice cracking.

Gabe raised one eyebrow at him. “I’m not hurting him.”

“Not you!”

“He’s not hurting me.” Gabe gave him a reassuring smile. “Promise.”

The deer finally made its lumbering way to the woods, stopping to look back at the two of them before meandering into the brush.

They both stared for a moment, before Gabe finally cleared his throat. “I’ll get that thing off you when we get back to the tables.”

“Yeah, thanks,” Dean mumbled back, rubbing at his arm. “How did you do… that?”

“Homestead, remember? Had to herd deer off the property tons of times.”

“Oh, huh.”

“Animals like me.”

“Humans are animals.”

Gabe glanced over at him, eyes betraying nothing. “Yeah. They are.”

Gabe scrubbed through the footage, laughing to himself at all the small curses Dean had whispered as he followed Gabe and the deer.

He watched Dean warn the deer not to hurt him, and saw himself turn back to the camera and smile at Dean, all sunlight and cheekbones.

The footage dropped after that, like Dean had stopped worrying about holding the camera steady. There was this soft, almost… amazed?… “Oh.”

Just like that. Dean yelled, Gabe turned and smiled, and then, Dean, softly, “Oh.”

Gabe filed that away for later.

He hit export and leaned back for what was likely going to take thirty minutes, but a pop-up window had him leaning back forward.

File audio must be trimmed to match video length. Trim?

Gabriel furrowed his brows and hit cancel, going back to the video. There shouldn’t be a timing discrepancy.

He watched it all through again, watched Dean’s eyes flutter as he briefly touched the side of his neck, watched the humor in Dean’s eyes as he interrogated him, watched the admiration as he ‘saved’ Dean from the deer, watched as he smiled and Dean said, “Oh.”

The video cut off almost immediately, which is where Gabe had hit export. But the audio ran on, just for another few seconds.

It was soft, and Gabe realized Dean had forgotten that his earpiece was what recorded the sound, not the camera.

He realized, because Dean said, “I think I might be.”

Chapter Text

Gabe raised an eyebrow at his screen as a notification popped up.

New friend request from Sam Winchester.

He hit accept, and immediately a message window popped open.

Sam 3:18pm oh my god I’ve been sending you friend requests all day

Sam 3:19pm I’m Dean’s brother, btw

Gabriel 3:20pm heard about you once or ten times, yeah

Gabriel 3:20pm also sorry, I get a lot of friend requests from listeners so I just don’t really check them often

Gabriel 3:21pm plz tell me you have embarrassing photos to send me

Sam 3:22pm better

Gabriel 3:22pm oh? consider me intrigued

Sam 3:23pm the file is too big to send over messenger. You got an email I can send something to?

Gabriel 3:24pm yeah sure, it’s gabethebabe@gmail.com

Sam 3:24pm ugh you’re ridiculously perfect for him, sending it now

Gabriel 3:25pm not gonna dignify that with a response

Gabriel 3:25pm your brother is throwing rocks at my window, brb

Gabe rolled his chair back and threw open the window, dodging an ill-timed rock. “What?” he called out.

Dean pointed to the front of his house. “I left the cookies on your welcome mat.”

“Cookies?”

“For our trade!”

“Oh! Hold on.” Gabe got up and trotted downstairs, to his front door. He opened it, grabbed the cookies from the red-stained mat, and walked merrily back upstairs to the window. “Thanks!”

“They’re—“ Dean looked around at the neighborhood. “Y’know. Just. Don’t eat more than like, one in a rush or two slowly.”

“Don’t tell me how to enjoy cookies, Winchester!” Gabe took a bite out of one. “Wait these are legitimately good.”

“I’m offended you thought they wouldn’t be.” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “So. Your end.”

“Hm? Oh, yeah, no. I deleted that picture entirely. But hey! Thanks for the cookies!” He closed his window on the sounds of betrayal.

Gabriel 3:34pm sorry your brother wanted nudes

Sam 3:35pm typical

Gabe laughed out loud, going to refresh his email and finishing off his cookie.

Gabriel 3:36pm has Dean always been an amazing cook or am I just special

Sam: 3:36pm always been amazing

Sam 3:37pm don’t tell him that though, it’ll go to his head

Gabriel 3:37pm can’t imagine

Sam 3:39pm email is taking forever to send so I guess just check for it tonight sometime. Jess and I suspect our neighbors have been stealing our wifi…

Gabriel 3:40pm call em out on it. change your wifi name to something like “get ur own wifi u fuckin moochers”

Sam Winchester sent an attachment.

Gabe grinned at the screenshot of the available wifi networks, where one read “if you steal wifi and you know it, so do we” and the two beneath it both read “Clap clap”.

Gabriel 3:43pm ah, I see you’re a man of culture as well!

Sam 3:51pm gtg, Jess and I are making a tiktok

Gabriel 3:52pm link me your channel sometime, have fun you crazy kids

Gabe opened his audio editor, headphones on and fixing an interview he had done a few days ago. It wasn’t due for a bit but, he had nothing else to do. He munched absently on another cookie, frowning at the background noise in the interview. “Damn clients can’t even be in a quiet room like I ask,” he mumbled to himself.

It only took maybe fifteen minutes for him to push away from his desk, scowling. “I wanna go talk to Cassie,” he said, also to himself, before changing into shorts and one of Dean’s shirts.

He left the house, cookie between his lips.

Gabriel knocked on Castiel’s front door, frowning. “Come outside!”

He listened as the back door opened and Castiel waved from the other side of the fence. “What’s up?”

Gabe trotted over to him, leaning his elbows along the fence. “I was thinking we should snuggle.”

Cas squinted at him. “What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything!”

“You’re being sweet. That’s worrying. I thought it was my turn on our prank war, seeing as I saw your naked self on Dean’s phone.”

Gabe bounced on his toes. “Have you seen Dean?”

“Recently? No, I haven’t.”

“He’s a great cook. I see why you trade food with him!”

Castiel turned around just in time to see Dean coming out of his house to talk to them. “Hey,” Dean called out.

Cas rubbed at his temples. “What did you do.”

“I didn’t do anything. At least, I don’t think I did.”

Gabe pointed. “That’s not true! He made great cookies!” He leaned in conspiratorially. “Double plus good cookies.”

Dean laughed. “Oh my god man, how many did you eat?”

Gabe shrugged, laying his head down on his arms. “I dunno. Maybe four?”

“I told you to eat one!”

“They’re cookies, Dean. Made for me by a very attractive man. Of course I was going to eat a lot of them.”

Castiel leveled a Look at Gabriel. “You. Accepted cookies. From Dean. And ate more than the recommended amount.”

“They. Are. Cookies.”

Cas groaned, cursing quietly. “You’re stoned, Gabriel.”

“No I’m not?”

Cas whipped around to glare at Dean. “Did you not tell him?!”

Dean’s face was pale. “I thought he knew! I made it super obvious! He even brought up me being a chemist when I mentioned the cookies!”

Gabe looked back and forth between them before it clicked. “Ohhhh. When you said trade secret, you meant weed cookies.”

Cas motioned to Dean. “Get in my car. Make this easy on yourself.”

“Okay look he’ll be fine, there’s no need to murder me!”

“You’re responsible for whatever he does tonight.”

Dean sighed. “Yeah, okay. That’s fair.”

“I suppose our social distancing ends tonight, then. Wait here.” He jogged into his home, coming out with what looked like a handheld label maker. He aimed it at Gabriel’s forehead and waited a moment. “Good, he doesn’t have a fever.”

“Is he supposed to?”

“Hm? No, no. Just preparing for the inevitability of him breaking into my home to snuggle me.” Castiel raised his eyebrows at Dean, hiding a grin. “Would you like me to take your temperature as well?”

“No,” Dean said, much too quickly.

“If neither of you have fevers, then—“

“No. I can’t… I can’t handle—” He scowled and looked away.

Cas rolled his eyes. “Fine. I will leave you your plausible deniability.” There was a beeping noise, and Cas looked at the reading. “I won’t tell you what it says.”

Dean nodded without saying anything.

“Good luck, Dean. You’re going to need it.” He walked towards his home.

“Hey!” Dean called out. “Where are you going?”

“Ah, to bolt down anything I don’t want stolen.” He jerked his head towards Gabriel. “He turns into a kleptomaniac when he’s high.”

Dean turned to observe Gabriel as the door closed. “You don’t wanna steal anything, do ya?”

“No.” Gabe turned his head and spotted a rainbow flag in Garth’s lawn. “Yes.” He jogged over that way as Dean cursed and ran back inside his own house to grab a mask.

Gabe was almost to the flag when a mask was slapped onto his face and he was dragged away.

“No, nope, no theft tonight!” Dean gritted out, dragging a struggling Gabriel back to his lawn and oh my god oh my god he’s so warm calm down Winchester

Gabriel’s hands were out, making little grabby motions. “Want!!!”

“I’ll buy you one later!”

“I want that one!”

“You can’t have that one!”

Gabe’s eyes fell on Dean’s house. “Oh, oh I want that.”

Dean cursed as Gabe slipped out of his arms and ran towards his door. “Fuck fuck fuck— Gabriel! NO!”

Gabe slammed the door behind him.

Dean ran full speed, following him into his own home and up the stairs.

“Where is your nerf gun?!” Gabe called out.

“Get out of my house!”

“No!”

“Gabriel!”

“FOUND IT!”

“GIVE IT BACK RIGHT THIS INSTANT!” Dean dove to the right to avoid a dart headed straight for his forehead.

Gabe laughed triumphantly, taking off again. “Hey, that’s my band poster!”

Before Dean could so much as get up, Gabe was down the stairs and running out the door. Dean shouted out a curse and ran after him.

“What is your goddamned problem?!” Dean yelled, running him down.

“I want you naked beside me!” Gabe yelled back, eyes bright and gun loaded.

Dean looked around, face red. “This is a neighborhood!”

“Come here and kiss me!”

“You know I can’t!”

“Then I’ll get Cassie to kiss me!” Gabe was off again, running to Castiel’s door and knocking loudly. “CASSIE!”

Castiel flung open the door, grin wide, and laughed as Gabriel grabbed him and spun him around, dropping the gun.

“Oh! How I have missed you!” Gabriel sang, holding him close.

“Yes, well, it has been over two weeks that you’ve been quarantined and you do not have a fever so— mph!” Gabriel cut him off with a kiss before throwing his head back and laughing.

Cas’s face was red as he laughed too. “Put me down, you ass,” he giggled. “Go kiss someone who wants to kiss you.”

“Do you mean Dean?”

Dean put his hands out. “Woah, no no no, I do not want a kiss!”

Charlie peered out from the doorway, eyebrows raised. “What’s going—“ She too was picked up and spun by Gabriel.

“Charlie!” he called out. “Charlie I want to kiss you too! I kissed Cassie and now I’ve gotta kiss you and then I’ll kiss Dean and then I’ll have kissed everyone!”

Charlie snorted and kissed him briefly. “Disgusting,” she informed him, eyes glittering mischievously.

Cas’s shoulders were shaking with mirth. “Couldn’t agree more,” he teased.

Gabriel sat her down and turned to Dean, arms spread wide. “Dean,” he said seriously. “Dean I’m gonna kiss you, and it’s not gonna be like those two kisses because those were platonic kisses and I want to kiss you very deeply and sexually.”

“I can’t,” Dean stressed.

“You want to kiss me! I know you do!”

Dean fidgeted, looking around. “Not here, Gabe.”

“Then where?” He huffed, brows creased in frustration. “I wanna kiss you. I’ll tell the whole goddamned world.”

“You are high, Gabriel. Go back home, go eat some normal food, watch Netflix, and fall asleep like a normal person!”

“Come with me!”

“I CAN’T!”

“Then I’m gonna steal that flag!” Gabriel ran before Dean could react and grabbed the pride flag before Dean could tackle him. He ran in circles, Dean tailing, screaming, “GAY PRIDE! GAY PRIDE! GAY PRIDE!”

“GIVE THAT BACK!”

Gabe turned around and stuck his tongue out. “Kiss me and I will!”

“Damn you!!!”

“How about I just kiss you?” Gabriel ran full-speed at Dean, who yelped and ran the other direction, staying out of arm’s reach.

“GABRIEL!”

“Byron!”

Dean ran to his own door, fumbling with his keys as for some goddamned reason it locked when they ran out.

There was a body quickly pressed against his back, lined up against him, and he thumped his forehead on his door. “Gabriel.”

“Byron.”

“We’ve talked about this. Social distancing.”

“I put my mask back on!” Gabe’s hands were braced on either side of him.

“You know as well as I that this is a bad idea.”

“Turn around and face me, Winchester.”

He swallowed harshly. “Also a bad idea.”

Gabriel’s thigh was making its way slowly between Dean’s own, tracing up. “Tell me to stop then. Tell me to stop my incessant flirting. I’ll do it. Just say the word.”

Dean sighed in defeat, closed his eyes, and said nothing.

“That’s what I thought,” Gabe whispered against his ear, rocking his thigh. “So why don’t you and I—“

Dean retreated into the house and locked the door behind him.

Gabe pounded his fist against it. “Boooooooo,” he called out. “Let me in!”

“Go home, Gabriel!” Dean yelled back, voice cracking.

Gabriel’s eyes trailed up the side of Dean’s house. “I’ve got a better idea,” he mumbled to himself, staring down the window opposite his own.

Dean ran his hands over his face, back pressed against his front door, still burning from where Gabriel had been pressed against him.

Gabriel.

Pressed against him.

He walked slowly to his room, trying to clear his head. He needed… a shower. Or something. A cold shower, because his brain was running places it really shouldn’t be.

He opened his bedroom door and almost screamed.

Gabriel waved broadly from where he sat on the bed. “Heya, Winchester!”

“How did you—?!” he spotted the open widow, understanding dawning on his face. “Gabriel. Get out.”

“Make me?”

Dean pinched the bridge of his nose. “This isn’t happening.”

“I like your room. It’s cozy.” He slipped off the bed. “Bet we could make it cozier.”

“Gabriel.”

“Oh, relax. I’m gonna stay six feet away.” He smirked. “But. Y’know. I did promise you a naked photo so…” He toyed with the edge of his shirt. “I figured you could take it yourself.”

Dean inhaled sharply. “You Jezebel,” he accused shakily.

“Maybe.”

Dean shook his head and retreated into his bathroom, locking the door behind him.

“Coward!” Gabriel yelled. “Come out and make out with me like a man!”

“That is ten kinds of messed up!” Dean yelled back.

“It’s not messed up! It makes perfect sense!” Gabriel cast his eyes around the room, suddenly highly aware of how much… stuff there was. “Oh. I want that.”

Dean tensed. “Gabriel! You better not be stealing anything!”

“I’m not!” He saw the webcam on Dean’s desktop and pulled out the ethernet cable. He wasn’t an idiot. With just a few clicks, the camera was open and Gabe hit record. “I’m doing something better.”

“You’re giving me anxiety.”

Gabe winked at the camera and pulled his shirt — previously Dean’s shirt — off slowly. “Yeah? Want me to leave?”

“I already said that!”

“Sure, sure. Just like you said you hated me, right?” He blew a kiss at the computer.

“Oh, get fucked.”

“I am trying to!” He undid his shorts. “Admit it, Dean. You’re gone on me. I drive you crazy. You want me.”

“…If I admit it will you leave?”

“Probably not.”

“Then what’s my incentive?”

“If you admit it, I won’t delete the video I’m currently recording.”

“…what video?”

Gabriel threw his shorts at the bathroom door. “That sound was my shorts. Which are off. Like my shirt.”

“You’re going to kill me. You’re going to kill me from the other side of a door.”

“Dean. We’ve been over this. I’m not into necrophilia.”

“Motherfucker.”

“I repeat my previous statement.” He pulled his boxers off, staring down the camera. “Whatcha thinkin’ ‘bout, Dean?” Gabe put one foot against the bed and pushed slightly, just enough for the bedsprings to creak.

“…what was that?”

Gabe winked at the camera and looked towards the bathroom door. “Dean,” he moaned, dramatically wanton. “I need you.”

“One day! It has been one day since we did this!”

“Aw, is your refractory period that long?” Gabriel tossed his boxers at the door. “One guess what that was.”

Dean thumped his head against the door. “Don’t do this to me.”

Gabe stuck his tongue out at the camera before begging breathlessly, “Come out here and take me, Dean.”

“Damn you!”

Gabe covered his laugh with another fake, gasping breath. “I’ll be good.” He pouted at the camera before rolling his eyes and investigating the room. “You can even tie me up so I won’t do anything naughty.” He picked up a pair of jean shorts and put them on.

“This is evil. You’re evil.”

Gabe picked up an army man absently. “I wish my hand was yours.” He put it in his pocket and silently opened a drawer. “I want your mouth all over me again.”

“Killing me. You’re killing me, Gabe.”

“Would you be rough with me?” Gabe grabbed the entire contents of Dean’s underwear drawer and dropped them out the window for later retrieval. “What if I asked you to? What if I begged?”

Dean made a strangled noise.

“Dean, I—“ Gabe fake-hitched his voice. “I need to hear you.” He opened a password journal before pocketing it. His eyes fell on something shiny.

“Gabriel…” Dean’s voice sounded hollow and broken, like only the barest tendril of self-control was keeping him from barging out to Gabe.

Gabriel pocketed the keys to Baby. “Tell me— tell me you want me. Tell me I’m yours.”

“I…” Dean cursed. “I… I want you. I’m yours.”

Gabe raised his eyebrows in surprise at the slip. “Touch yourself.”

“Gabe—“

“Pretend it’s me.” He put on another one of Dean’s shirts.

“Fuck—“

“Me. Fuck me. Come out here, push me against the bed, and fuck me.” House keys. Nice.

“I will! Just… not tonight. Gabe. You’re torturing me here.”

“Yeah? Do you enjoy being tortured by me, Winchester?”

“Maybe.” Dean made some small sound. “Yes.”

Gabe looked up at the fan and briefly wondered if he could take the blades from it. “Just a few seconds. That’s all I need. Then I can handcuff you to the bed like you’ve wanted all along and you won’t have to agonize over whether or not you can allow yourself that.” He looked around the room, eyes falling on a small tool kit. “Where do you keep your handcuffs, Winchester?”

“I—“

Gabe stood on the bed, letting it creak suggestively beneath his weight as he began unscrewing a fan blade. “Because I could always handcuff me instead. And you’d have to come help me eventually, you know. You couldn’t leave me there forever.” He laid the first blade down silently. Four more to go. “Would you play with me first?”

“I can’t… I can’t take this, Gabriel. This isn’t fair.”

“Would you touch all the parts of me you keep staring at? Would you taste every inch of me until I’m breathless and begging you to just fuck me already?”

Dean hissed, one hand hitting the door in frustration. “Damn you!”

“Do you want me to beg for it?” Gabe laid the last fan blade down and got off the bed noisily. “Right now?”

“So help me Gabe if you start then I can’t promise I have the self-control to stay behind this door.”

Gabe smirked. “I want you,” he drawled. “I want you so bad I can feel it in my bones. I want you to pin me down with your strong arms and do every filthy thing you’ve thought about me.” He eyed Dean’s phone on the bedside table.

Dean groaned, both hands still against the door though they longed to be about ten other places. “I want to kiss you,” he whispered so quietly Gabe almost didn’t hear it.

And Gabe didn’t actually know what to do with that, so he returned to his original plan. “Dean— I need you to— I need— Tell me to—“ Gabe tucked the tool kit and phone into the duffel he found to carry the fan blades.

“Come for me, baby,” Dean muttered, eyes squeezed shut.

Gabe opened his closet and pulled down every shirt he could find, letting out a hiccuping moan, Dean’s name forming as half-syllables on his tongue. He tossed every single shirt out the window. “You’re so— you’re so fucking sexy.”

Dean laughed. “Says the man filming a goddamn porno in my room.”

Gabe smirked at the camera.

“I want out,” Dean said.

“What’s stopping you?”

“I can’t. You know I can’t.”

Gabe made sure to be quiet as he unplugged Dean’s lamp and tossed it gently onto the mound of clothes two stories down. “I want you.”

“I want you, too,” Dean admitted softly.

“Call me baby again?”

“…I want you, baby.”

Gabe considered the laptop. “When will you be able to come out here and shut me up yourself?”

“When I get back from seeing my niece. When she’s born.”

“Then she’d better hurry up and get evicted from that uterus.”

Dean snorted.

Gabe tucked the laptop under his arm and grabbed the duffel, then also grabbed Dean’s comforter for good measure. “Dean? I’m leaving now, okay?”

“Okay.”

“You were really fucking great tonight.” He winked at the camera before exiting via the front door, swinging to the side for the rest of his haul.

Dean looked down at his own pants which were way too tight now. “Goddammit,” he whispered. He ran a hand over his face and tried to come to terms with the fact that he would never be sane again. It was one thing jacking off with Gabriel. It was another entirely to get rock hard listening to Gabriel jack off.

He finally unlocked his bathroom door and stepped out into his room to grab some clothes for his — cold — shower.

His underwear drawer was empty.

“What the fuck?” he muttered, looking around the room and suddenly realizing how bare it was.

His eyes fell on his desktop, still recording.

He hit the stop button and opened the video, face growing redder by the minute.

“GABRIEL FUCKING SHURLEY!”

Gabe heard him yell from his own house, safely nestled in a cocoon of Dean’s clothes, pride flag tucked in new fan blades, and laughed his ass off.

Chapter Text

Castiel opened his door to an immediate armful of Gabriel.

“Hello,” Cas said, smile quirking at the edges of his lips. “I see you are still high.”

Gabe nuzzled his face into Castiel’s neck. “Mmhm.”

Cas checked his watch behind Gabriel’s head. “It’s only five. I assumed it would be closer to seven that you came over again. Dinner isn’t ready yet.”

Gabe hummed in acknowledgment and Cas rolled his eyes, closing the door and waddling them into the kitchen.

“I have to cook, so I need two inches of wiggle room to turn around.”

Gabe grumbled but complied, letting Cas turn around before latching onto him again, face smushed between his shoulder blades.

Charlie snapped a photo on her phone and grinned at them. “Adorable. I didn’t know Gabe was so snuggly.”

Castiel was stirring something in a bowl. “In general, yes, but especially so when he’s high. He’s always been this way. Well, no, that’s a lie. He wasn’t this way when we were very young.” He sat down the bowl and walked them over to his cutting board. “During the cult phase of our lives, it was communal living, and all the kids shared a bed. The other kids weren’t quite so… fond of us, I should say, so Gabriel always made sure I had the outside of the bed, and he would be beside me as a shield. It just usually wound up as a snuggling shield.”

Gabe held Castiel just a little tighter. “It’s safety,” he murmured.

Cas reached back to ruffle his hair as best he could. “Yes, I know. Snuggling is safety.”

Charlie sighed. “Dude, every time you tell me about your childhood, I’m just that much more amazed you both turned out as great as you did.”

Cas shot her an amused look. “Oh, did we turn out great? Gabriel, how many things did you steal today?”

Gabriel’s head perked up and he rested his chin on Castiel’s shoulder. “So many. I lifted Dean’s entire room.”

Castiel chuckled quietly. “Is that so?”

“Fan blades and everything.” He reached into his pocket and held out a phone. “This is Dean’s, too!”

Charlie laughed loudly while Castiel shook his head. “What a cute photo of you.”

“Hm?” He looked at the lock screen. “Oh, yeah. Huh. I didn’t send him that.”

Charlie leaned forward, grinning. “Dude. Dean’s got it bad for you.”

“Which is understandable,” Gabe agreed, eyes wide. He held the phone out to her. “Can you unlock it?”

“Duh.”

“Oh wait someone’s calling.” He looked at the screen before swiping up and hitting speaker. “Howdy.”

“Gabriel?”

Gabe sat the phone down so he could properly snuggle Castiel again. “This is Good Burger, home of the Good Burger.”

Cas rolled his eyes. “Hello, Sam.”

“Cas!” Sam exclaimed in surprise. “How have you been, man?”

“I’ve been quite well. Currently I’m making ratatouille. Charlie won’t stop insisting we watch the related film. How are you and Jess?”

“We’re great! Baby’s due any day now.”

“That’s wonderful,” Cas replied, smiling. “Have you decided on a name?”

“We’ve got it narrowed down, but we’re gonna wait til we see her to announce it for sure.”

“That’s a valid course of action.” Cas began lining the cut vegetables in a baking dish. “I know you called looking for Dean, but I’m afraid he isn’t here. Just his phone.”

“Oh I know. Believe me, I know. He video chatted me red in the face about it. Wouldn’t tell me how the hell Gabriel managed to steal an entire room from under his nose, though.”

“Black magic!” Gabe piped up.

“Of course,” Sam responded. “The email finally went through, by the way.”

“Intriguing,” Gabe said, nodding against Castiel’s back. “I’ll watch it soon.”

“Really soon. I think Dean might murder you before the night is over.”

“I’d like to see him try!” Gabe propped his chin on Castiel’s shoulder again, watching him cook. “Does he ever talk about me?”

“Literally all the time. Constantly. He doesn’t talk about anything else.” Another voice piped up from somewhere a bit farther away on the line, a woman confirming the truth of the statement.

Charlie shrugged. “Told ya. He’s gone on you.”

Gabe scowled. “Then what is he so afraid of?” He grabbed a carrot to stick in his pocket, but Cas easily removed it from his hands and cut it up, too.

Sam let out a long-suffering sigh, like he had dealt with this his entire life. “Commitment.”

“Not asking for his hand here,” Gabe grumbled. “At least… not for anything that isn’t attached to my body.”

Cas poured the sauce in the bowl over the vegetables. “It’s okay, Sam. Gabriel is also afraid of commitment.”

“That’s a lie!” Gabe protested. “I’ve stuck by you your entire life!”

“Yes, but that’s different.”

“How?”

“You’re asking the wrong person, Gabe.” Cas scooted them back so he could open the oven and slide the dish in. “It’s different for you, somehow.”

Charlie added, “I mean, you did run around the neighborhood screaming that you wanted to kiss him.”

Gabe rolled his eyes. “Uh, yeah, and I also kissed both of you so what’s the problem here?”

“If I may quote you, you kissed us platonically, but you wanted to kiss him ‘very deeply and sexually’.”

Sam cleared his throat. “I feel like I shouldn’t be a part of this conversation.”

“Your brother got me high,” Gabe informed him. “I kiss people when I’m high. I would kiss you if you were here.”

“And let me risk incurring Dean’s jealous wrath? I’m good.” Sam thought about it a moment. “Actually nix that, kiss me.”

Gabe leaned over and pressed his lips noisily to the phone. “Kissed.”

“Kiss received. I’ll be sure to mention that in passing to him sometime and not explain further.”

Gabe laughed. “Beautiful.”

“Mm. Hey, just a heads up, Dean was pretty pissed earlier. If your house is break-into-able, you may wanna keep an eye on it.”

Gabe thought back to how Dean guessed his door code on the first try. “My house is extremely break-into-able and I’ll be right back.” He ran out of Castiel’s house to look at his own. Nothing seemed out of place.

He looked back to Dean’s, where Dean was outside in just jeans, with a fabric grocery bag in tow.

They both stopped and stared at each other.

Gabe pointed. “You were gonna break into my house!”

“You did break into mine!”

“You refused to kiss me!”

“Crime is not the answer!” Dean huffed, rubbing a hand over his face. “Look, I need clothes. You stole all my shirts and underwear. I’m going to get my shit back. If you try to stop me, I will fight you.”

“I stole it fair and square.” Gabe glared him down. “You can have it all back tomorrow.”

“I need clothes now.”

“Top three things you need. I’ll go get them for you.”

“You’re not going to hoard my stuff! You don’t even need it! Give it back!!!”

“No!”

“I’m going to fight you!”

And something clicked into place in Gabriel’s brain, because he held his arms out. “Yeah? Fuckin’ do it then.”

Dean hesitated.

“You’re maskless. I’m maskless. So go ahead. Fight me. Get right up in my face. I’m gonna kiss you, Winchester. The moment you’re closer than six feet, anything holding me back is gone.”

Dean let out a frustrated yell and turned around, walked a few steps, then turned back. “Phone. Shirt. Underwear. Those are the three things I need most.”

“Fine. I’ll bring them over soon.”

“Now. Just grab whatever you see first and bring it to me.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.” Dean stalked away, fists clenched.

Gabe turned back to his own house, thinking. What horrid clothes could he force Dean to wear?

He typed in his door code (and goddamn it he needed to change that) and headed upstairs to his… nest, for lack of a better word.

“Shirt,” he said aloud to himself, sifting through the pile until he found what appeared to be an old faded band shirt. It wasn’t horrid, but it was sexy as fuck so Gabe tossed that close to the door.

“Underwear,” he said as he looked for a weird pair. They were all dumb, boring boxers, with a rather sudden exception of a woman’s panties. Gabe lifted them up, eyebrows raised. “Souvenir.” He almost tossed them back into the pile before pausing, the evil parts of his brain whirring.

…Would they fit Dean?

Gabe held them up again, squinting as he mentally assessed them. Yeah, they should fit Dean. In fact, they looked like they’d fit him perfectly.

Gabe grabbed them and the band shirt and tossed them into a plastic bag before walking them over to Dean’s.

He threw the bag at the front door, pretty damn sure Dean would have a mask on by now and not feeling like having his ass beat. “Front porch!” he yelled to the still-open window, headed back to Castiel’s house.

He walked in and immediately remembered the phone. “Ah, fuck.”

Gabe held up the phone almost an hour later as a peace treaty as he approached Dean’s house, a very angry Dean standing outside. At least he had on jeans and that band tee. Gabe gulped. And a mask. “I forgot, okay? Here it is. Good as new.”

Dean held out his hand.

“I don’t trust you not to beat me up, so… I’m gonna sit it down here and you can come and get it.”

“Over here. Now.”

Gabe flinched and walked carefully over, phone held like a shield. “I didn’t do anything bad! Sam called so we talked to him for a bit.”

Dean snatched the phone out of Gabe’s hands, turned it over to check damage, and nodded to himself. “Cool.” In half a second, Gabe was pinned to the ground, Dean’s arm braced across his chest. “Give me. Back. My shit.”

“Tomorrow,” Gabe promised, swinging one leg and sending them flipping. “I’m gonna sleep in a Dean fort tonight!”

“Oh really? Because Cas seems convinced you were going to wind up at his house tonight.” Dean pushed at Gabriel’s arms, but they were rock-solid. “Dammit get off me!”

“You started it!” He scowled. “And what does it matter? You got me high, you deal with the consequences.”

“One cookie! I told you to eat one!” Dean flipped, but Gabriel was quicker and didn’t flip with him, instead bringing Dean’s arm behind his back and holding it there.

“I thought it was a sweet gesture! I was planning on eating more!” Gabe pinned his other arm beside his head. “You need to learn to communicate better!”

“So do you! A goddamn lie detector? What the fuck was that about?!” He struggled in vain.

Gabe scowled. “I don’t know, okay?! It seemed like a good idea at the time!” He held tighter at Dean’s wrists.

Dean managed to kick Gabriel in the leg, but it didn’t offer him any freedom to move. “Don’t sit there and lie to me! I get it, okay?! I get that you have this perfectly-cultivated, chaotic, doesn’t-plan-anything reputation going on. And it’s a goddamned lie. You’re the most calculating person I’ve ever met. You knew damn well what you were doing!”

Gabe pursed his lips. “Fine. I knew what I was doing. I wanted to figure out if you kept having the same weird feelings I did. I thought maybe we could figure out how to stop them together.”

“Feelings,” Dean deadpanned.

“Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.”

“Well,” Dean said, in a ridiculously cheery voice, “these feelings are called lust and they happen when two humans—“

“Shut the fuck up, Winchester. I saw your phone background.”

Dean didn’t say anything.

“I don’t want to have feelings for you,” Gabe informed him. “In fact, I really wish we could’ve already banged one out so I wouldn’t be up late every night because I can’t stop fucking thinking about you.”

“Look, all this shit is just tons of repressed sexual energy, okay? That’s it. We don’t have to talk about it.”

The next breath Gabe took was shuddering, and he hated himself for it. “And I wish that didn’t hurt as much as it did.”

“Gabe—“

“Oh my fucking god, are you wearing those panties?”

Dean stilled, suddenly aware of the fact that his jeans had slipped down just a bit in their tumble. “Um.”

“You are. You’re legitimately wearing panties. Dean Winchester is wearing panties.”

“You didn’t really leave me much of a choice!” Dean yelled back, face red.

Gabe’s brain went on autopilot, but the autopilot was just as fucked up as the rest of him. “So they fit?”

“Of course they fit! Why the fuck would I buy some that didn’t fit?!”

Forget autopilot. The whole damn plane had crashed. “You… you bought them.”

“I… yes?”

“You. Bought them. For you.”

“…yes.”

Gabe stared a moment before clearing his throat awkwardly. “So. I may or may not have a boner.”

“…get the fuck off me.”

“It’s a neighborhood so I um. Can’t.”

Dean thumped his head against the ground. “Jesus Christ, Gabriel.”

Gabe let Dean’s hands go, confident in him not running away. “Not my fault.”

“Absolutely your fault.”

Gabriel ran his hands absently along Dean’s back, rubbing at the knots between his shoulder blades. “You know, I take it all back. I’ll gladly fall for you if it means this kinda thing on the daily. Or even weekly. Monthly.” He massaged Dean’s shoulders. “How are you so goddamned perfect, anyway?”

Dean relaxed against his better judgment. “How are you so goddamned loud?”

“Ah, Byron,” Gabe cooed. “Did you really think I could ever fall for you quietly?”

Something in Dean’s chest felt like TV static.

“You know,” Gabe began, some time later, “I did promise something. And I’m a man of my word.”

“You’re not, but what was it?” Dean’s eyes were closed and he was… comfy.

“I promised I was gonna kiss you.”

“Don’t,” Dean griped.

Gabe leaned down and pressed his lips to the back of Dean’s neck softly. It was a barely-there kiss that immediately lodged itself into Dean’s permanent memory. “Kissed,” Gabe whispered.

“If you ever figure out how to make the feelings stop,” Dean whispered back, “let me know.”

“Gaaaaabriel,” Charlie sang out, pulling him to the couch. “The video Sam sent! We gotta watch it!”

“Nosy,” he accused mildly, logging into his email on her laptop. He cast it to the TV and opened the attachment.

There was a kid Gabriel assumed to be Sam. He looked to be… thirteen or so.

“My name is Sam Winchester, and I am collecting research on what will be formally known as the Hiccup Phenomenon.”

Gabe’s ears perked up.

Sam took the video camera into what appeared to be a hotel room, with a young Dean — seventeenish — eating cereal and watching TV.

“Dean,” Sam called out.

Dean grunted in response.

“You’re an amazing person.”

Dean winked at him before returning to the TV. Sam walked back outside and turned the camera to face him again. “Okay, that was a control. Nothing happened, see? But—“ he turned the camera, and a very pretty girl was leaning against the brick wall, smiling, “watch what happens when she does it.”

The girl laughed and held out her hand for the camera, walking back into the room. “Dean?” she said softly.

Dean jumped, setting his cereal down. “Um. Hey. What’s with the camera?”

She ignored him and sat on the bed beside him instead, one hand going out to run through his hair gently. “You’re an amazing person,” she said sincerely.

“Did hic did Sammy put you up to hic to this or—“

She laughed and kissed him, and the footage jumped to what appeared to be a movie night, just Sam and Dean.

Sam angled the camera to Dean, whose eyes were wide as he watched what looked to be some old romance movie.

The couple on the TV kissed, and Dean hiccuped, hand over his mouth, completely oblivious of Sam.

The next segment was Dean in a tux, pulling at it in frustration. “I hate this thing,” he informed the camera. “And get that out of my face.”

“No,” Sam responded.

Dean rolled his eyes, but turned immediately when a door opened. That same girl from earlier stepped out, in a long, sparkly dress, and smiled shyly at Dean.

Dean was hiccuping again, even as Sam clapped his shoulder and said, “Have fun at prom you crazy kids.”

The footage changed again, to something that looked far more recent, from within the past two months or so, really. It was Jess holding the camera this time, grinning wide and recording Dean on the phone. Sam leaned beside her, equally amused.

“And he hic he just fucking hic sits outside in his damn hic his damn boxers like this neighborhood is some kinda hic some kinda nude beach! And he hic he waves at me like we’re hic like we’re besties or something and I hic I just can’t hic can’t stand hic can’t stand him!”

“Yeah, sure Dean,” Sam agreed.

“Don’t you hic don’t you ‘sure Dean’ me! These hic these hiccups are hic unrelated!”

“Oh, so they’re not your love hiccups?”

“Don’t you use the hic the L-slur around me!”

“So,” Jess piped in. “When are we gonna get to meet this boyfriend of yours?”

“He’s not my hic not my boyfriend!”

The footage changed one last time, to something Gabriel recognized instantly.

It was himself, walking out in his lava dress, and Dean’s face was red.

“I’ll be honest, I was expecting to get under your skin,” Gabe watched himself say.

“You uh… You hic did. You did.”

“So you are mad?”

“No I hic I’m just hic I— dammit!”

“You okay over there, Winchester? You’re not getting chronic hiccups, are you?”

The footage ended. That was it, that was everything Sam had stitched together and sent.

Gabriel stared at the TV, and Charlie and Castiel exchanged glances.

“Gabe?” Castiel began.

“Don’t,” Gabriel responded immediately. “I’m processing.”

Nobody said anything for a long time.

Finally Gabriel put his head in his hands and laughed. “I fucking knew it!” he managed. When he looked up, there were tear tracks down his face.

Castiel blanched. “Gabriel, are you okay?”

“No I’m not fucking okay! I’m falling in love with that idiot!” His eyes widened at his own admission. “Jesus fuck. I am. I’m falling in love with him. It’s not just some damn teenager crush. I’m. I’m falling in love with him.”

Charlie gave him a wry smile. “Glad you finally figured it out.”

“Who fucking hiccups when they feel love. What a fucking loser.”

Castiel put a hand on Gabriel’s back.

“I’m falling in love with him,” Gabriel said again, hands folded against his lips. “What the fuck is wrong with me.”

Chapter Text

Gabriel laid out in Castiel’s front yard, feet in a kiddie wading pool, watching the stars.

Love. Love. Love. What the fuck was love. He wasn’t in love with Winchester. He was just… falling. He was getting there. He was looking into the future and realizing that Dean being there made him a lot happier than him not being there.

[Gabrosie] 11:18pm i’m thinking too much

[Byron] 11:25pm you think???

[Gabrosie] 11:26pm come lay with me?

[Byron] 11:27pm how victorian of you, but i’m saving myself for marriage

Gabriel grinned, his phone screen just a bit too bright against the night sky.

[Gabrosie] 11:28pm not like that. I’m laying outside. Stars look pretty tonight

[Byron] 11:29pm ah, so late-night adventures are just gonna be a *thing* with us. Got it. omw

Gabriel closed his eyes and listened to Dean open his front door quietly and walk over.

“Where did you get a kiddie pool?” Dean asked somewhere not too far off.

“No fuckin’ clue.”

Dean laid down on the other side of the pool, hesitantly putting his feet in. “Why are you out here?”

“I’m still high.”

Dean snorted. “Makes sense.”

“What’s the meaning of life?”

Dean stared up at the stars. “Ah, you’re at that part of being high. Got it. Um. To protect those you love.”

“Hm.”

“Why? What do you think it is?”

“Clone-fucking,” Gabe responded with zero hesitation.

Dean laughed out loud, hand over his mouth. “Dude, what the fuck?”

“Just keep your eyes peeled, Byron. Everything always circles back to clone-fucking.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

“Oh, do you? Need I remind you of the evil twin on Dr. Sexy? Evil twins are just half a step away from clone-fucking and you know it. They present the option.”

“Point taken.” Dean mentally charted out constellations. “Would you fuck your own clone?”

“Without hesitation. Who else could I get to do all the weird kinky shit I wanna try?”

“I mean, you could always just ask nicely.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes, grinning. “Byron, will you do me the absolute honor of roleplaying as me so I can fuck myself?”

Dean laughed loudly. “You asshole.”

“Maybe. Wouldn’t you fuck your own clone?”

“Ha! No. I don’t like myself enough for that.” He laid one hand behind his head. “Besides, I’d be too caught up in the clone part, not so much the fucking part. Like, how was this clone made? Do they have all my memories? Are they a separate person? Which one of us is the real me? Are clones people? And, if so, does that make me its father? Does that make wondering which of us is real somehow racist against clones? How will we tell us apart, when one of us inevitably decides to pull a crime since neither of us could be lawfully committed, since there would be a reasonable doubt which it was? What—“

“You circled back to evil twin there, Byron.”

“I did? I did.” Dean pursed his lips. “I do not want you to be right about the meaning of life.”

“I am right, but feel free to think whatever you please.” Gabriel clicked his tongue. “I’ve only ever seen like five episodes of Dr. Sexy, by the way. Luckily one was the evil twin one.”

“Bitch that was a season,” Dean reprimanded. “And seriously? How could you not watch Dr. Sexy?”

“Um, medical dramas aren’t my thing?”

“But sexy people are absolutely your thing and that’s like, ninety percent of the show.”

“You’re biased because you work there.”

“I mean, yeah.” Dean shrugged. “But I mean, if you got caught up, I could give you spoilers for the next season that no one else has. You could tease your fans about it. I bet some of them watch Dr. Sexy.”

“They do.” Gabe laughed low. “People keep leaving comments and asking me where he is.”

“Oh, you should absolutely interview him.”

“They’re talking about you, dumbass.”

“Oh.” Dean couldn’t hide his grin. “They’re calling me Dr. Sexy?”

“Yeah. Have you even bothered checking the comments on the science show?”

“Not a big comments guy. I like to come to my own conclusions.”

“Okay well sorry to disappoint, grandpa, but most comments are memes nowadays. When’s the last time you were on YouTube? 2012?”

“Don’t call me out like this.”

“Jesus fuck, dude,” Gabriel said, laughing. “Let me guess: you commented on a video and someone replied with something mean, and you swore off the comment section for the rest of time.”

“Shut up. No. I just… kept seeing hateful stuff, and it took zero effort to avoid it, so I just… avoided it.”

Gabe rolled his eyes. “Right. Well, sort by top ranking. Those are usually funny.”

“So I should do that with our videos?”

“Yep!” Gabe paused. “Well, our videos might not be the best example, because the top comments are all shit like ‘my otp’ and whatnot.”

Dean raised an eyebrow. “Otp? What’s that mean?” He paused for dramatic effect. “Ontario Tricycle Parking?”

Gabe snickered. “Online Titty Porn.”

“Ostriches Teaching Penguins.”

“Oops, Train Penises.”

“Orange Taint Pickles?”

Gabriel giggled and scrunched up his nose. “Fuckin’ gross. O’ Tambourine Player.”

“Old Teeth Problems.”

“Onsite Technical People.”

“Ow, Trachea Pebbles!”

“Oh, Temperamental Phishing.”

Dean raised his hands in triumph. “I win!”

“What? No you don’t!”

“Fishing starts with an F, loser.”

“Yeah, but phishing starts with a PH.”

“…That’s a fake F. It’s just disguising itself as a PH.”

Gabe laughed. “Like the English language is wont to do!”

Dean shrugged. “Yeah, alright. You got me there.” He adjusted his feet in the pool. “Speaking of, what is that language I hear you and Cas speaking sometimes?”

“Hmm? Oh, Enochian.”

“Never heard of it.”

“It was this ah, well. So it goes like.” He huffed, trying to gather his thoughts. “This guy got blazed and thought he talked to angels, and he wrote down the language he said they taught him, and that was Enochian, and that’s what we spoke during the Lesser Years of our lives. It works still in a pinch because who the fuck speaks Enochian.”

“Teach me some?”

“Teach you some,” Gabriel repeated, deadpanning. “It’s a fuckin’ made up language.”

“Yeah okay but like… so is every other language.” He pushed himself onto his elbows, stretching his legs out. “Teach me a curse word.”

“You’re on my side of the pool.” Gabe kicked at his feet. “The curse words aren’t quite the same as ours.”

Dean kicked back. “How do you mean?”

“They’re less of bad words and more of damn you to hell forever words.” He caught Dean’s foot between his own. “Quit it.”

Dean rolled his eyes. “No. Teach me a damning word.”

“Fine. Apila ulcinin.”

“Ah-pee-la uhl-see-nee-nah?”

“Yeah, you got it. Enochian is really… piece-y. Every consonant has to be paired with a vowel, and if the word ends in a consonant, you have to make up a vowel for it. Usually A.”

“Kinda like… opposite French.”

Gabe snorted. “Yeah, sure.” He pulled Dean’s foot closer so he could link his ankles around Dean’s. “This is mine now.”

“You stealin’ body parts now, Rosie? A regular Dr. Frankenstein?”

“Feet and hearts.” Gabriel took a deep breath in and let it out. “Did you know that feet used to be a euphemism for dicks in the Bible?”

Dean choked. “Please tell me you are not implying that Jesus washed his friends’ dicks.”

“Nah, just some Old Testament stuff.” Gabe let his calf trace up Dean’s leg.

Dean wiggled his foot. “Stop touching my dick, Gabe.”

Gabriel snorted, then immediately covered his mouth to hide that fact. “C’mon. Let the dicks kiss.” He pressed his toes against Dean’s, earning himself a sharp laugh and a kick.

“This dick can fly at one hundred miles per hour, babe.” Dean mimed a sharp kick in the air.

“But can it fit in a condom?”

“I can promise you this dick is clean.” He lifted his foot to the night sky. “Now your dick, however, I’m sure has been used for a great many things and none of them remotely clean.”

Gabe raised his own foot. “This here be my idiot-stomping dick.”

Dean laughed, jabbing at Gabe’s leg.

Gabriel giggled. “Byron baby, I’m down with a lot of kinks but feet isn’t one of them.”

“Oh thank god, me neither.” Dean shook his head, grinning. “Did you just call me baby?”

“Mm, you called me babe. How long are your arms?”

“That seems… highly unrelated but I have no clue.”

“I’m sure it’s fine.”

Before Dean could ask for clarification, Gabe scooted around the pool until he was two arm lengths away from Dean.

“Gimme your arm.”

“Feet, hearts, and arms. Really goin’ for gold here, aren’t you?” Dean laid his arm out towards Gabe, one eyebrow raised. “You gonna chop it off or something?”

“Yeah, but I forgot my axe so I figured I’d just chew through.” He rolled his eyes. “Don’t read too much into it.”

“Into—?” Dean cut himself off as Gabriel reached out and touched his hand, fingers diving easily under his own.

They both stayed there, frozen.

“Cas uh… Cas told me you get cuddly.” Dean spread his fingers slightly, extending the invitation.

“I do, yes.” He accepted, sliding his fingers home between Dean’s.

“You’re really taking a lot of firsts here today, Rosie.”

Gabe stared firmly at the night sky. “I’m high, so I can have my plausible deniability.”

“Ah.” Dean rubbed his thumb over Gabriel’s knuckles. “And what do I have, then?”

“Perky nipples.”

Dean laughed in surprise, free hand against his forehead. “What the fuck is wrong with you,” he said between giggles.

“You, I’m sure,” Gabe said back, grinning.

“Yeah yeah, I know, you’d risk a virus for these perky nipples.”

“Dean, if sex with you is what kills me, then I win.”

Dean shook his head, still chuckling, and they both laid in comfortable silence.

Gabriel’s hand was warm, and it was taking all of Dean’s willpower to not center his world in on it. It wasn’t a front pressed to his back. It wasn’t another body wrestling him. This was… soft. It was Gabriel, in the way Gabriel only was when no one else was around. And maybe also it was Dean, in the exact same way.

“If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Dean whispered.

Gabe made some sleepy noise. “I think I’d just stay here, actually.”

Dean stared at the stars as he tried to figure out how to tell Gabriel that he was everything he had ever hated. He was annoying and sarcastic and crude and loud and stubborn. He woke up in the afternoon and texted too much and didn’t understand personal space and had no sense of fashion. He was an asshole, a jerk, a dick, an absolute wad of stupidity.

“You’re everything,” Dean whispered.

And, yeah. That covered it.

Chapter Text

Gabriel woke up warm and comfy and content. He nuzzled his face into the blanket happily.

The blanket chuckled and swatted at him. “Good to see you awake,” Castiel said.

Gabe pulled him close and opened one eye to hair. “G’morning, Cassie.”

“Good morning, Gabrosie. Would you mind so terribly if we could scoot back to the middle of the bed? You have pushed me to the edge. Again.”

“Think I’m just gonna go back to sleep instead,” Gabe snarked, closing his eyes. “Don’t wake me up.”

Castiel pushed Gabriel away. “I have things to do today, you know.”

Gabe pushed out his bottom lip, trying to look pathetic. “More important than snuggling with your favorite brother?”

“You’re my only brother.”

“Thereby your favorite.”

“Mm, perhaps. For now. Once you eventually marry Dean, he will be my favorite brother. You should come to terms with that fact soon. It will make it easier for you in the long run.”

Gabe gasped in mock hurt. “Cassie! What does Dean have that I don’t?”

“A general sense of personal space.”

Gabe pointed at him. “Don’t lie to me. You don’t have one of those either.”

“Also true, but I recognize and appreciate it in him. He does makes great burgers.”

“I can make great burgers!”

“I’ll believe it when I see it. Just burgers. Nothing extra thrown in.”

“Macaroni is fantastic in burgers and you think so, too.”

“Alas, I do not. I’ve merely been humoring you for—“ Castiel mimed checking his watch, “my entire life or so.”

“You wound me, Castiel.”

“You pushed me to the edge of the bed, Gabrosie.”

“I always do that. It’s your own fault for not taking the necessary precautions.”

“Which are?”

“Pushing the bed against the wall so there’s only so far you can go.”

Cas shook his head, hiding a grin. “We tried that once. I somehow wound up on the other side of the bed.”

“You obviously needed protection from the wall.”

“Obviously.”

Gabe propped his head on his hand. “You goin’ to see your bees today?”

“Mmm, perhaps. Depends on my ability to escape this bed.”

“That depends on how sleepy I get and or if there will be coffee outside the confines of this room.”

“There will likely be. Charlie probably hasn’t even gone to bed yet.”

“My kinda woman.”

“Yes, but no.” Cas leaned back and grabbed his phone from the bedside table. “I found some tiktoks I wanted to show you.”

Gabriel roped Castiel back over to him, snuggling him tightly. “Look at you, getting steeped in pop culture.”

“Impossible not to. Besides, they’re all about thirty seconds long, so your attention span should be able to ‘vibe’ with them.”

“I resent and acknowledge this.”

Castiel opened up the app while Gabe watched, chin perched on his shoulder. “So,” Cas began conversationally, “how much of last night do you remember?”

Gabe frowned in thought. “Um. Some. Not all. Why? What did I do?”

“For one, you stole a lot of things, so you should probably get on returning those today.”

“Or I could just keep them.”

“Gabriel.”

“Fiiiiine. What else did I do?”

“That is what I was hoping to ask you. You went out last night to stare at the stars, and when you came in, you were extremely happy and insisted on dancing with Charlie and I.”

“Yeah no clue. Uh, something about clone-fucking I think.”

Cas groaned. “You and your damn clones.”

“I wish.” Gabe wracked his brain. “Did I imagine I watched a video where hiccups were somehow a love language or…?”

“No, that one is correct.”

“…Ah.”

“You need to talk about it?”

“No.”

“Good.”

Gabe gestured to Castiel’s phone. “Sam has a channel on here somewhere.”

“Yes, I’m aware. I follow him.”

“Can we watch his?”

“They’re horribly dorky, but, yes. We can.” Castiel typed in their channel name while Gabriel cast his eyes around the room.

“Hey, Cassie?”

“Hmm?”

“…do you like him?”

“Sam? He is one of my close friends. Of course I like him.”

“I meant Dean. Like… do you like him?”

Cas squinted. “Is this one of those times where ‘like’ really means ‘are attracted to’ or…?”

“You’re being difficult on purpose.”

“I think I’ve earned the right.” Cas rolled his eyes. “Yes. He’s my favorite neighbor.”

“Ass.”

Cas chuckled slightly. “I already gave him my blessing to court you, so don’t worry about that.”

“How victorian of you.” Gabriel scowled at himself as he realized he had just quoted Dean. At least, he was kinda sure he had. When had Dean said that?

Cas cleared his throat. “By the way,” he began, aiming for casual and only succeeding in mildly panicked, “I don’t think I ever officially came out to you.”

Oh. “Oh?”

“I’m… I’m ace. And aro.” Cas winced at himself. “You probably don’t know what those mean. Um, I’m—“

“Asexual and aromantic. Yeah. I got it.” Gabe nuzzled Cas with his nose. “I’ve known that since you were a kid, kiddo.”

Cas blinked in surprise. “I myself only figured it out a few years back.”

“I also knew that. But those things are things you gotta figure out yourself, and sometimes they take a long-ass time.” Gabe kissed his cheek. “For the record, I love and support you.”

Cas closed his eyes and smiled. “Thank you.”

“And if you don’t like snuggling after all then it’s too bad because I refuse to quit snuggling you.”

Cas laughed. “I like snuggling,” he admitted softly, scooching closer to Gabriel. “If I may ask, how did you know? When I was a kid?”

“Hm? Oh, Hannah.”

“Hannah? My friend Hannah?”

“Dude. She was so fuckin’ gone on you it wasn’t even funny.”

“We were just friends, though!”

“Yeah, sure. Friends who went out to the pond and swam together and ran in the woods together and got in trouble for said things together. She’d sneak into the boys room and try to wake you — and by extension, me — up late at night to go do god-knows-what.”

“We were ten!”

“I call ‘em like I see ‘em, Cassie. She was, what did you say? She was courting you.” He shrugged. “I mean, sure. It could all just be friend things, I acknowledge that. You and I did shit like that. But I saw her writing your name on school work once so. Yeah. Signs point to: she was totally into you.”

“… oh my god.”

Gabe laughed. “Now you know.”

“Did I lead her on?”

“Not intentionally. She eventually figured out you weren’t into her.”

Cas groaned and hid his face in his hands. “I’m an idiot.”

“Generally, yes.”

Cas pushed Gabe good-naturedly. “Asshole. You never came out to me, either.”

“Didn’t think I had to. You walked in on me and girls and guys more than once.”

“That’s because the doors didn’t lock.”

“Knocking is still a good thing to do, you know.” He rolled his eyes, smiling. “Do you want me to come out to you, Cassie?”

“It’s not a requirement.”

“Yes. What I’m hearing is yes.” Gabriel took a dramatic breath in. “Cassie. Castiel. My baby brother. My legal son. I have something of the utmost importance to tell you.”

Cas giggled, then schooled his face. “Dearest brother and father of mine, what is it?”

“I’m…………….. not like other boys.”

Castiel put a hand over his face in mock-concern to hide his grin. “How so?”

“I………….. like to wear dresses.”

“Egads!”

Gabriel had to smush his face into the pillow a second to keep from laughing. “And makeup.”

“Oh my god.”

“And, sometimes… when it’s really late at night…” he met Castiel’s eyes seriously. “I think about men.”

“The horror!”

“And women,” Gabe stage-whispered.

“I just might faint.”

“And everyone.”

“The nerve!”

“Gender is a social construct,” Gabriel told him, hands on Castiel’s cheeks. “I like all the pronouns.”

“Are you my father or my mother or my parental unit?”

“Your guess is as good as mine!” Gabe bit the inside of his cheek to keep a straight face.

“I suppose I shall use them all interchangeably.”

“Alas, that sounds horribly confusing. I shall be your father, solely so I can make Star Wars references when desired.”

“That makes me more inclined to call you my mother.”

“Father it is. Go make me coffee, son.”

Castiel didn’t say anything, but there was a lot of humor in his eyes, and Gabriel shook his head vehemently, grinning.

“Do not. Do not call me daddy! I can see the joke in your eyes! I swear I will leave your house and not return ever in my entire life!”

Castiel tapped his chin thoughtfully. “So it’s a win-win.”

“Oh, shut your face. We’re here, we’re queer, we’re something-that-rhymes-with-queer.”

“Poetic.” Castiel ruffled Gabriel’s hair and rolled out of bed. “You still like your coffee with caramel and peppermints and marshmallows?”

“Ugh, you know me so well.” Gabe got up and stretched. “I’m gonna take a shower.”

“The clothes you constantly leave here are still in the second drawer.” Cas stopped at the door and turned back to him, smiling. “It’s good to have you back, Gabriel.”

“I know.” Gabe winked at him. “For what it’s worth, it’s good to have you back, too.”

“You sap. I love you.”

“Yeah, yeah. I love you too, Cassie. Go make me coffee.”

“Bossy.”

“Sassy.”

They both laughed, and felt some of the loneliness that had pervaded their quarantined lives slip away.

Chapter Text

Dean sat outside, scrolling through his phone.

“Hey,” Charlie said, going to stand by their adjoining fence. “What’s up, buttercup?”

Dean waved absently. “Uh, I’m scrolling through Wish again. I have work to do, but somebody stole my laptop.”

“He stole mine, too, so I feel you.” She raised one eyebrow. “Like the outfit, though.”

Dean scowled, refusing to look up. “Yeah well, he stole all my clothes as well.”

“Except the jean shorts and his band shirt?”

“He’s evil and calculating and cruel.”

Charlie laughed. “Sure he is. Admit it, Winchester. You’re in love.”

Dean jabbed a finger in her direction. “Shut your face.”

“That wasn’t a no.”

“It sure as hell wasn’t a yes.” He locked his phone and finally looked up. “You come outside just to tease me?”

“Absolutely.”

“Ass.”

“Dick.” She grinned at him. “So when is Jess due?”

“Soon. Any day now.”

“So you’re just gonna wait for her to go into labor and fly over?”

Dean shuddered. “I don’t do airplanes. I’m gonna drive. I wouldn’t be let into the room with the current regulations anyways, so I’ll get there sometime after the baby is born.”

“Ah, gotcha.” Charlie looked towards the road. “Oh, hey. Looks like you’ve got a package.”

Dean practically jumped up. “My Wish stuff!” He waited for the mailman to pull away before running to his front porch and grabbing the box. “Uh, or not?”

Charlie craned her neck to see. “What is it?”

“Not sure. I didn’t order anything really big.” He squinted at the label. “Or from YouTube.”

“Oh my god.”

Dean walked it back to his backyard, raising one eyebrow at her. “You know what it is?”

“I’ve got an idea. Hold on.” She pulled out her phone and hit record. “Okay. Open it. Wait no!”

Dean groaned dramatically.

“Let me go get Gabe. You both need to be here for this.”

“You’ve got thirty seconds before I open the damn thing.”

Charlie ran inside to where Gabriel was drinking coffee and watching TV. “Come on!” she said, grabbing his arm and dragging him outside.

“Woah hey Jesus! Watch the coffee!” He stumbled out after her, squinting in the sunlight. “Hey, Winchester.”

“Hey, Shurley.”

Gabe leaned against the fence. “Ah, what’s the occasion?”

Dean held up the package. “No clue.”

Charlie pointed the camera at the both of them. “Okay okay. Open it.”

Dean rolled his eyes and took out a pocket knife, cutting through the tape. He pulled the thing out of the package, with still zero clue what it was. “Um.”

Gabriel’s eyes were wide. “Woah, what the fuck?”

“What is it?”

Gabe threw his arms out, heedless of the coffee spilling onto the ground. “That’s a silver play button! When the hell did we reach a hundred K?”

Dean looked at him blankly.

“A hundred thousand subscribers.”

“Oh! On our show. Thought you meant Kelvin.” Dean shrugged. “I dunno. I haven’t really been messing with it beyond just recording.” He looked at their channel name etched across its surface.

“I mean, I’ve been following it some, but I guess I somehow missed subscriber count.”

Charlie could’ve facepalmed. “Oh my god. Are you two serious?”

Dean held the award out. “I mean, it’s not even that great of a show. And there’s only been two episodes.”

Gabriel took it and examined it. “Huh. I guess it is quarantine. People are bored.”

“We didn’t even bother explaining the science stuff in the last episode!”

Charlie bit her tongue, trying not to tell them that it wasn’t the show itself that people liked. “Well, you know, you’re both pretty entertaining people. And Gabe is famous, remember? Top podcast for years running?”

Gabriel held it up to the sun, squinting. “And we do have pretty good representation.”

“Huh. Yeah, I guess we do.” Dean hummed in thought. “Well, okay. That doesn’t put any pressure on us at all.”

Gabe snorted. “What are we gonna do with this thing?”

“You can have it if you want. It doesn’t mean much to me.”

“Me either.” Gabe suddenly gasped, eyes wide and mischievous. “What if we fucking exploded it.”

Dean snapped and pointed at him. “Fuck. Yes.” He stared pacing. “We could do it as a ‘what happens if you run reactions in a closed environment’ type thing. We could hollow it out and run the volcano experiment inside of it. Or— fuck, what’s it made of? We might can throw it in a pool of a reactive substance. But we couldn’t do that within city limits…”

“Cassie has some unused land on his bee farm thing! He might let us use it?”

Dean stopped pacing, face lighting up. “Hell yes! Let’s do it, babe! Fucking giant-ass explosion!” He laughed. “Chemist’s fucking dream.”

Gabe blinked in surprise at the name, but quickly decided to just file it away for later. “Oh, is this your mad scientist side? I like it.”

“All of my sides are a mad scientist side.” Dean pulled out his phone, already googling the chemical makeup of the button. “Some just hide it better than others.”

“Man after my own heart.”

Dean grinned, then groaned. “Ah, fuck. It’s mostly nickel.”

“I… don’t know what that means. In regards to this.”

“It means it’s unreactive.” Dean was pacing again. “But we still gotta blow it up. I could hollow it out, but that might not actually be the best route. It would take too long and I just— I really wanna blow this thing up with you now. Like today.”

“Alright so... maybe we run it like a rocket launch? Strap some C4 to it and just fuckin’ send it skyward?”

Dean looked up a the sky, running calculations in his head. “Yeah, yeah we might can do that. I know a guy.”

“You know a guy,” Gabe deadpanned.

“I know a few guys, actually.” Dean tapped his chin in thought. “Is it illegal to make our own explosive and post the how-to on YouTube?”

“I don’t think it’s illegal, per se. Maybe just highly frowned-upon.”

“Yeah, probably,” Dean grumbled.

“It is a kid’s show.”

“Ugh. Fine. I’ll just get some.” Dean looked back at him, eyes bright and smile brighter. “We’re gonna blow this thing up today.”

Gabe felt a bit dizzy looking at him. “Hell yes.”

Dean grinned at Gabe as he opened his door. “Ready?”

Gabe couldn’t help his laugh as he saw Dean still wearing the same outfit from earlier, plus a mask. “Is that really lab safe, Byron?”

“Well, someone stole my clothes, so I didn’t have much of a choice.”

Gabriel’s eyes sparkled. “Can’t imagine.”

Dean offered his arm and Gabriel looped his own through it, amused. “I hope you have my keys, because I can’t find them anywhere,” Dean informed him.

“Of course I do.” Gabe pulled them out of a pocket of his ripped jeans. “I always come prepared.”

“I see you went all out with the punk today.”

“We are blowing shit up. Of course I went punk today.” He kicked up one of his legs mid-stride, showing off the fishnet stockings under the rips. “I’m your wet dream, Winchester.”

“Hmm, sexy guy in ripped jeans and fishnets and one of my shirts? Maybe.”

Gabriel laughed out loud, face tinged pink. “Did you just call me sexy?”

“I’m in a good mood, I’m fucking stoked, let’s just not question it today.”

“Deal.” Gabe handed over the keys and slid into the passenger seat of Baby. “God, I’d fuck this car.”

Dean snorted, starting up the engine. “Please don’t stick your dick in my car. She’s a classy lady.”

Gabe ran a hand over the dash. “Oh, I can change that.” He side-eyed Dean. “Is there anywhere else here I’m allowed to stick my dick?”

“Ignoring you.” Dean pulled out of his drive, headed to where Castiel had said they could do their experiment.

Gabriel opened the glove compartment and immediately laughed. “How old are you, Winchester?” He pulled out a box of cassettes.

“Hey, careful with those!”

Gabe held them away from Dean’s reaching hand. “How are we the same age and yet you’re decades older than me.” He turned one to face Dean. “Dr. Hook. Really.”

“It’s a classic!”

“It’s what they play in elevators.” He popped it in the console, turning the volume up. “Lucky for you, I happen to be a fan.”

“You have good taste, then.”

Sexy Eyes started playing, and Gabriel grinned. “This is the perfect song if you wanted to jump in the backseat with me.”

“Don’t tempt me,” Dean mumbled.

Gabe grabbed a flashlight and held it like a mic, mouthing along to the song.

I was sitting all alone

Watching people get it on

With each other.

He winked at Dean, and Dean pressed the stop button twice, ejecting the tape. “No, nope. Not dealing with that.”

“Aw, I thought we weren’t questioning it today.”

“We aren’t but—“

“Perfect.” Gabe pushed the tape back in and hit play.

They were dancing ‘cross the floor

Turning movement back and forth

They were lovers.

Dean scowled. “Why does every one of their songs sound like sex.”

“Because every one of their songs is sex, Deano.” Gabe examined the song list on the cassette box. “This isn’t even the worst one. I’m assuming this car doesn’t have bluetooth?”

“Of course not.”

“Mm. Remind me to play A Little Bit More for you sometime.”

“Not familiar with that one.”

Gabe stopped the cassette. “I could sing it to you.”

“Something about the tone of your voice makes me think that’s a bad idea.”

Gabe grinned at him, holding one hand out and singing loudly, “And when your body’s had! Enough of meeeee and I’m layin’, flat out on the floor.”

“You can stop—“

“When you think I’ve looooved you, all I can, I’m gonna looooove you a little bit moooore.”

Dean stared at the road, jaw set, and skipped the tape forward a few tracks. “Don’t touch me,” he said in time with the song.

Gabe’s eyes lit up. “Hey Ray! Hey sugar, tell ‘em who we are.”

“Well we’re big rock singers, we got golden fingers, and we’re loved everywhere we go.”

Gabe nodded. “Sounds like us.”

“We sing about beauty and we sing about truth— at ten thousand dollars a show.”

“Right.”

“We take allllll kinda pills to give us allll kinda thrills, but the thrill we’ve never known…”

“Is the thrill that’ll get ya when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone.”

Gabe sang harmony as Dean sang the main part of the chorus, eyes widening as Dean finished off with a raspy, rock-y, straight-to-his-dick, “On the cover of the Rolling Stooooone!”

Gabe laughed and let the next verse pass them by as he grinned at Dean. “Byron! When you said you were an alright singer, you didn’t tell me you were a fucking god!”

Dean smirked. “Years of singing in the car.”

“They fuckin’ paid off. Oh my god. Let me put my babies inside you.”

Dean laughed, one hand going to mess up his own hair. “I don’t think that line really works here, Gabe.”

“Um, let me put my half-babies inside you?”

Dean held back his chuckles. “Worst pick-up line I’ve ever heard.”

“Oh, I can do worse.”

“Please don’t.”

Gabriel raised one eyebrow at Dean, setting up the cameras. “That isn’t C4.”

“Ah, no. Couldn’t get any on short notice.” Dean held up what he had just pulled from Baby’s trunk. “It’s a hand grenade.”

“Did you just… have that?”

“…Maybe.”

Gabriel turned the cameras on. “Hey there, viewers. This is Dean, our resident mad scientist.”

Dean pointed with the hand holding the grenade. “Don’t try this at home. Don’t even think about this at home.”

Gabe shook his head. “That’s right. Go to a friend’s house to think about it. Make sure you’re both wearing your masks or whatever.”

Dean jerked his head towards Gabe. “Unlike this heathen.”

“I don’t have the virus. I haven’t been anywhere in over a month and I don’t have a fever. I’m clean. And I don’t intend to go anywhere, either. If I do, I’ll wear a mask.” He leveled a somewhat menacing, pointed look at the camera.

Dean held up the silver play button they had pried out of the frame. “Thanks for the subscriber count, by the way. Neither of us actually knew people watched us.”

“Find something better to do with your time,” Gabriel deadpanned.

Dean shouldered him. “In honor of all of you, we’re gonna blow this sucker up.”

“With a… hand grenade.”

"Right so—“ Dean trotted back a few steps, laying out all his supplies on the ground where the cameras could see him, “what we’re gonna do here is actually launch it into the air and blow it up there. To accomplish this, I have a normal bottle rocket. We’re strapping the button and the grenade to it. The pin on the grenade will go around this stake, which will be firmly in the ground. So when we launch the rocket, the force of the rocket taking off will yank the pin out of the grenade, and everything else will fly into the air, and boom!”

Gabe examined the setup. “Huh. Alright. Boom.”

Dean worked on his contraption for a few minutes while Gabe filmed him, asking questions and getting answers so it seemed like they were at least somewhat interested in the science of it.

Finally, Dean stood up, goofy smile on his face. “You ready?”

“Hell yes.” Gabe grabbed one of the cameras and held it up. “Countdown, Major Tom?”

Dean held the switch to the rocket excitedly, practically bouncing on his toes. “I never get to blow stuff up. Ten! Nine! Blah blah blah ONE!!!”

He hit the switch and Gabe filmed the rocket’s ascent, then filmed quickly down as something fell off.

They both stared at the live grenade, now on the ground.

“Fuck,” Gabe managed before he and Dean were scrambling the other way, making it a few yards before they both fell down and a loud boom sent dirt showering on them.

The used rocket and play button hit the ground a lot further away.

Dean’s arm was over Gabe and Gabe’s leg was over Dean, both staring at the hole in the ground.

“That was fucking awesome!” Gabe yelled, throwing his arms out. “The fucking adrenaline! The explosion! Shit!!!”

Dean laughed in victory, eyes wild and sparkling. “I mean, that is precisely why I never get to blow stuff up but we blew something up! Did you fucking see that?!”

“You have dirt in your hair! That’s insane!”

“So do you!” Dean swung a leg over Gabriel, holding his face in his hands so he could rake back through his hair, loosing the dirt.

Only now Gabriel was propped on his elbows and Dean Winchester was straddling him and Dean Winchester had his hands in his hair and Dean Winchester was beautiful and breathless and covered in dirt.

He put a hand on Dean’s chest and Dean caught it with his own, holding it there, their stare building steadily in intensity.

Gabe licked his lips absently and didn’t miss the way Dean’s eyes followed the movement. “Maybe we could celebrate in the back of Baby?”

Dean shook his head. “I don’t think so.”

“C’mon, Winchester. What possible excuse do you have left?”

“I just—“ Dean slowly pushed Gabriel’s hand down his chest, his stomach, lower, lower. “I don’t think we’re gonna make it to Baby.”

And if Gabriel still had other thoughts in his brain, they were gone. “I think you’re right,” he rumbled, fingers dipping just below the waistband of jean shorts, free hand traveling up bare thigh.

Dean’s hands rucked up Gabriel’s shirt, determined to feel the chest that had been teasing him for — well, since he moved into the neighborhood.

Gabriel’s fingers skirted the button and zipper of Dean’s shorts. “May I?”

“Fuck yes.”

A loud, obnoxious noise froze them both.

Dean reached for his back pocket, and Gabe grabbed his wrist. “Don’t you dare,” Gabriel said.

“It’s Sam’s ringtone so I gotta—“ He reached with his other hand, which Gabriel also caught.

“No. No. Winchester we are in the middle of something!”

“Right and we can get right back to that after I answer this—“

“If you answer that call we will not be getting right back to this.” Gabriel glared at him, challenging.

Dean stared woefully at him. “But what if it’s about Jess?”

“He can call back!”

Dean twisted their hands, pinning Gabriel’s wrists above his head in one fluid motion. “It’ll just take a second, promise.” He switched his grip to one hand, answering his phone with the other. “Sam!”

Gabriel fumed.

“Uh, yeah, hold on.” Dean pulled the phone back, hitting a button and staring at the camera. “Hey.”

“Dude, where are you?”

“A field. Blowing stuff up with Gabe. What’s up?”

“Ah. Tell your boyfriend I said hi.”

Dean rolled his eyes and looked down at Gabe. “Sam says hi.”

Gabriel’s jaw was set and there was goddamned fire in his eyes. The not fun kind.

Dean looked back to the camera to see Sam staring blank faced, ears red.

“What?” Dean asked.

“… Please tell me you did not answer the phone right now.”

“You called? I answered? What—“ Dean inhaled sharply as he realized from Sam’s perspective, he had looked down to talk to Gabriel. “Oh, we’re not— we weren’t—“

“We absolutely were,” Gabriel snapped, struggling harshly against Dean’s hand.

Sam cursed and ran his hands over his face. “Dean. We fucking talked about this. I get that you always wanna be there but put yourself first! Jesus Christ! You haven’t stopped talking about this guy for months and you pick up in the middle of— Just, fucking hell, man!”

“But what if Jess—“

“You will not be allowed to come into the hospital in the current conditions! You know this! So you can take your sweet-ass time getting here!”

Gabriel’s eyes narrowed. “What.”

Dean flinched. “Sam, we are already on the phone and I’m already in trouble so why did you call?”

“Was gonna congratulate you on your award. Charlie told me. I’m hanging up.”

“Ah, by—“ Dean cringed as Sam cut them off immediately. He stared at his phone, a bit afraid to look down at Gabriel again.

“Any time, Winchester!” Gabriel barked at him, yanking at his wrists. “You can go up there at any time! As in, even two weeks later!”

“Gabe—“

“Get off me. Right now.”

“It’s not like—“

“Not like what? Not like you’ve been side-stepping me for no good reason? Or do you just take pleasure in toying with me? Or are you just a goddamned coward?!”

“I swear I’m not—“

“You think I want to hear what you have to say right now?!”

“Like you wouldn’t do the same thing with Cas!”

And Dean was right, but Gabe was still mad and still kinda horny and still very hurt. “Get off.”

“No.”

Gabe yanked furiously at his wrists, trying to funnel all his emotions into something physical. But try as he might, he couldn’t seem to shake the fact that Dean could’ve kissed him, or hugged him, or pulled him in for a dance, or fucked him, or slept over with him. He could’ve done that any time he wanted to. And he didn’t.

There were those emotions again, rearing their ugly heads.

Gabe looked anywhere but Dean’s face, the fight somehow drained out of him. “I’m gonna call Cas to come get me.”

“I can drive us home, Gabe.”

“I don’t want you to.”

“You can pick the music.”

“I want you to go, Dean.”

Dean stared at Gabriel in something akin to agony. “Did I lose you?” he whispered.

And Gabe didn’t actually know how to tell him that he wanted Dean to rip his mask off and kiss him until he didn’t feel quite so… used anymore. “No,” Gabe finally whispered. “But please go.”

“I… I can’t leave you like this.”

“Dammit, Dean,” Gabriel said, almost laughing. “Do you care about my feelings or not? I’m gonna need you to make up your mind. This back and forth is what’s killing me.”

“Of course I do,” Dean responded, sounding shocked that Gabriel would think anything else.

Gabe closed his eyes and thought about all the people who had said the same thing and only brought pain and suffering. “Promise me.”

“I promise I care about your feelings.” Dean released his wrists slowly, letting one hand rest against his cheek. “I promise I would never hurt you on purpose.”

Gabe let out a deep breath. “I trust you, Winchester. Don’t fuck that up.” He looked to Dean’s eyes and lost air to the absolute pain in them.

“Okay,” Dean whispered. “Do you still want me to go?”

“Kinda.”

“…Okay. Then I’ll go.”

“Okay.” Gabe cleared his throat. “I’ll see you back home. Maybe we can go mushroom hunting again.”

“Maybe we can do something you want to do.”

“I wanna see you smile,” Gabe whispered, unsure why that fact somehow hurt more than the others.

Dean thumbed at Gabriel’s cheek. “I want to see you smile, too.”

“Then it’s settled. We’ll smile.”

“Okay.”

“Okay.”

Castiel took one look at Gabriel before shaking his head, jaw clenched. “I’m going to kill him.”

Chapter Text

[Byron] 5:18pm I’m sorry. I don’t remember if I actually said that or not

Dean leaned back in his chair, rubbing his hands over his face. He was an idiot. He wasn’t exactly sure why he was an idiot, but he was an idiot.

Story of his life.

[Gabrosie] 5:22pm you didn’t, but the thought is appreciated

Dean typed a message, backspaced it, then typed it again.

[Byron] 5:23pm let me make it up to you

[Gabrosie] 5:26pm I’m not stopping you

[Byron] 5:27pm do you like burgers?

[Gabrosie] 5:29pm if you’re gonna get me something I can order curbside, don’t bother

[Byron] 5:30pm so something unique that no one else has

[Gabrosie] 5:31pm you got it

[Byron] 5:32pm knew there was a reason I was holding that unicorn hostage

Gabe didn’t respond, and Dean did his best to not let that get to him. He pulled up a folder on his desktop (his laptop was still fucking gone, thank you very much) entitled “harebrained schemes” and scrolled through the documents. Surely he had some awful idea that Gabe would love. Maybe a hoverbike? Tornado generator? A ray that makes people laugh uncontrollably?

He heard his doorbell ring and jumped. “The Wish stuff!” he exclaimed to himself, running downstairs. Maybe more than just Gabe would have corgi pants and a giant squid plushie, but at least they weren’t things he could find locally.

Dean swung open the door to see Castiel.

“Oh, hey,” Dean said, immediately stepping back and throwing on a mask. “Sorry, thought you were a package.”

Cas tilted his head to the side, and Dean made a nevermind motion with his hand. “May I come in?” Cas asked.

“Uh, sure, yeah. At your own risk or whatever.” Dean let him inside, closing the door behind him. “What brings you to my neck of the woods?”

Castiel rolled his eyes. “You and Gabriel left debris on my property. Gabriel is doing work at his house at the moment and refuses to answer my texts, so I’ve come to get you and take you to clean it up.”

Dean winced. “Ah, sorry man. Sure. Let me go grab some shoes.” He made it up two steps before swinging back around. “Oh, and there’s drinks in the fridge if you want anything.”

He trotted back up to his room, searching for any matching shoes. His phone vibrated and he almost fumbled it with how quickly he pulled it out of his pocket.

[Gabrosie] 5:44pm today was pretty fun, btw. Tell your brother he’s a cockblock

[Byron] 5:45pm any day with you is a good day, Rosie

[Byron] 5:45pm we can forget I sent that

[Byron] 5:45pm I’ll be sure to tell Sam after I get all the debris cleaned up

[Gabrosie] 5:46pm ??? we cleaned everything up???

Dean leaned against his barren bed, frowning. Yeah, they had. They’d been extra careful cleaning, and it had been silent and awkward and Dean had hated every second of it.

[Byron] 5:47pm I hurt you today, didn’t I?

[Gabrosie] 5:48pm maybe a bit.

Dean suddenly remembered with absolute clarity Castiel’s promise of what would happen if he hurt Gabriel again.

[Byron] 5:48pm first off, again, sorry

[Byron] 5:49pm second off, your brother is trying to murder me

There was the soft ding of a phone outside his bedroom door.

“Did you just tattle on me?” Castiel asked, muffled, looking at a text from Gabriel that said, ‘are you fucking serious Castiel’.

“Jesus fuck,” Dean responded before throwing open his window and leaping out, rolling when he hit ground. He got up and took off running, vaguely aware that Castiel was probably chasing after him. His bare feet hit road and then grass as he veered into the only safe place he knew.

With full force, he ran at the side of Gabriel’s house, foot landing perfectly on the brick and launching him high enough to grab onto the windowsill. He knocked furiously on the glass.

Gabe threw open the window, eyes wide, sucker in his mouth. “Uh, we gotta stop meeting like this.”

Dean hauled himself through the opening and landed roughly on the carpet, breathing hard. “Call off your brother,” he wheezed out.

“I have zero control over that force of chaos,” Gabe said, even as he sent another text to Castiel.

Dean closed his eyes and focused on calming his heartbeat.

Gabriel crouched beside him. “You good?”

He shook his head. “No, I’m a fucking idiot.”

“Did you not already know that or…?”

“Just got a vicious reminder, I think.” Dean finally looked around the room, taking note of all the odds and ends.

“You’re snooping.”

“You’re into photography?”

Gabe gave him a bitch face. “No. I just have a shit ton of old cameras.” He smacked the side of Dean’s head with no force. “Did you figure out how you’re gonna make up to me?”

“Not yet.” He sighed and ran a hand over his face. “You know it had nothing to do with you, right?”

“You roped me in so, yeah, actually, it did.”

“I mean—“ Dean sighed and sat up. “Yeah, okay? I could take this dumb thing off whenever I want to. But I really don’t wanna wait two weeks to see my niece. Sam and I… we went through hell together, y’know? I want this for him. I want to see her as soon as I can.”

Gabe rolled his eyes. “I’m not an idiot, you know. I do get it. But I started out mad and like hell I’m gonna change it now.”

Dean shook his head. “I’m trying, okay? I’ve got a list of things I could make you that no one else has, but I don’t know if any of them are good enough.”

Gabe tilted his head, thinking. “You know, there aren’t many photos of you in existence.”

“Kinda had to stay out of the spotlight as a kid. Carried over into adult life.” Dean raised an eyebrow. “Do you just wanna take a photo of me?”

Gabe pondered that a moment. “Yeah, okay. Deal.”

Dean looked for a moment like he had expected his offer to be turned down. “Oh, okay. Alright. Um, where should I…?”

“Well, you could stand on that side of the room and I’ll stand over here. Then you can take your mask off and I can get that pretty smile.”

Dean weighed his options, then snatched the sucker out of Gabriel’s mouth on his way to his side of the room. He tossed the mask aside and stuck the candy between his lips, raising an eyebrow. “This good?”

Gabe’s mouth was still slightly open. “Um. Yeah. That’s… yeah.”

Dean grinned at him, open-mouthed, and Gabriel had to try very hard to remember why he was angry in the first place. He chose a camera and loaded it up, changing a few settings.

“I know you look like a model, but just relax and pose however feels natural, okay?” Gabe murmured.

“I’ll just copy the ads I see in magazines.”

He snorted. “That’ll work.” He double-checked everything on the camera before looking back up to Dean. “Alright. You ready?”

Dean took a deep breath of confidence. “Yeah. I’m ready.”

Gabe brought the camera up at the same time that Dean took his shirt off.

Gabriel was very glad that the camera came with a neck strap, because he promptly dropped it. “Um.”

“Was this not what you—“

“I just didn’t know you meant—“

“We don’t have to—“

Gabe held out a hand frantically. “Wait! Okay look, you and I just really need to communicate better. So here. You look sexy as hell, and I absolutely want to take this photo. More than one, really, if I’m being honest.”

Dean nodded slowly, thinking his words over before saying them. “And I really want you to take them.”

Gabe looked from the cherry red sucker to the bare chest to the jean shorts. “Then I’m a lucky man.”

“Can I ask you something?” Dean leaned back against the wall, one arm over his head, sucker loosely between his lips, miles of tanned skin quickly dismantling Gabriel’s head.

Gabe picked his camera back up slowly. “Uh. Yeah. Sure.” He snapped a photo and waited for the polaroid to feed out.

“Was it the cockblocking that upset you or something else?” He toyed with his shorts button, looking at Gabe down the bridge of his nose.

“Something else.” Gabe took another photo, laying the first one down to develop.

“Mind telling me what it was?” He unbuttoned his shorts, then coughed awkwardly. “Uh, for the record, I did wash these.”

“Wash—?”

Dean undid his zipper and Gabriel may or may not have stopped breathing for a moment.

Dean pulled his shorts down below his hips, letting the pink satin and lace peek out. “You’re the only person who knows about this, by the way.”

Gabriel’s entire mouth was both dry and kinda drooly. “I uh, I did not know about this.”

Dean paused. “I told you? Yesterday?”

“Yeah no, no. I have zero memory of that. I really wish I did. Like really. Really.”

Dean’s face was red. “Well uh. I guess now you know again.”

“I guess I do.” He held up the camera, doing his best not to let his hands shake. “Dean Winchester likes to wear his lay’s underwear.”

“…I bought these.”

Gabe inhaled sharply. “We are much too far apart right now.” He snapped another photo. “I should be pissed at you more often, if this is what happens.”

“Yeah, you liked them yesterday, too.” He hooked his thumbs in the panties. “So. Explain?”

“Explain what? I apparently have a kink for anything that involves panties and you?”

“You know what I meant.” He lifted his hips off the wall and slid the shorts off.

Gabe followed the movement with his eyes, face red. “Uh well. I can’t really think straight right now.”

“Nothing about this is straight.”

“Valid. Um, no. I was upset because you’ve been toying with me.” He squinted. “Are you toying with me now?”

Dean stared. “Y’know, for all your show-off-ish-ness and whatever else, you’re really damn self-doubting.”

“Excuse you?”

“You really think I’ve just been pretending to be into you for what? Fun?”

Gabe felt trapped. “Um. Well.”

“I get it. Feeling unworthy of extended attention. But uh. Dude. I’m into you. It takes all my self-control to not just ring your doorbell and push you back inside when you answer and act out my favorite porno scenes.”

“Good to know.” Gabe took another picture to keep his mind off what was happening.

“And I go to bed looking forward to tomorrow, because you’re gonna be in it.” Dean leveled a pointed look at him. “Gabe? I’ve never been excited about tomorrows before.”

“Dean—“

“I’ve got… all these damn feelings that I want to work out, but I don’t wanna work them out with anyone but you.” Dean put his hands against his own ass and pushed the panties off. “You wanna know the truth?”

Gabe couldn’t be trusted to make actual words, so he nodded instead.

Dean walked over to a table, where a box with a corresponding black band was sitting. He turned it on and picked the band up, leaning back against the wall, threading it through his fingers. “Gabe. I’m falling in love with you.”

And Gabe didn’t even have to look at the box to know Dean wasn’t lying.

“You’re frustrating,” Dean continued. “And childish. And dramatic. And an even bigger asshole than me. And I want to explore every facet of you until I know you inside and out. And I don’t know what to do about that, and maybe I shouldn’t have told you, but I did. And I think maybe you feel it too, and you got upset not because Sam cockblocked you, but because I could’ve kissed you.”

Gabe breathed in and exhaled shakily. “Naked man confessing his love for me? What circle of Heaven is this?”

Dean held up a finger. “Hold it. I didn’t say I was in love with you. I said I was falling in love with you. There’s a difference.”

“There is,” Gabe agreed.

“And I don’t want you to say anything back, regardless of what it is, because I’m new to all of this love shit and I can’t handle anything else.”

Gabe nodded. “Yeah. Okay.”

“What we have is… it’s good. I don’t wanna fuck it up. I don’t wanna name it.”

Gabriel took one more picture silently, thinking. “You said you wanna make it up to me?”

“Yeah. I do.”

“Then come here.” Gabe held out a hand and Dean took it, all warmth and grasping and trusting. Gabe tossed him a mask and he put it on hesitantly, tossing the sucker in the trash, letting himself be led to the bed. “Lay down.”

Dean laid back on the bed, eyes never leaving Gabriel’s. His hands rested above his head, his chest rising and falling like the ocean tides. Gabe let his eyes wander. Here was Dean Byron Winchester, entirely naked, laying ready and willing and flushed on his bed.

Gabe climbed on after him, laying beside him, facing him, one hand lightly brushing his hair.

Dean licked his lips under the mask, studying Gabriel’s face like it was the secret to the universe, like maybe if he stared long enough he’d understand why a future without Gabriel felt like a textbook definition of Hell.

Gabe wrapped Dean in his arms and burrowed his nose in his neck.

Dean froze. “Uh—“

“You wanna make it up to me? Really? Stay. For a while. Stay with me.”

Dean swallowed harshly, then pulled Gabe closer to him, closing his eyes. “Okay.”

They laid silently, listening to each other’s heartbeats, each other’s breathing.

“I’m sorry too,” Gabriel finally whispered.

Dean’s cheek was smushed against the top of his head. “Hm?” he mumbled sleepily.

“For blowing up on you. What you do is your own decision. So if you wanna wait til you get back from your family to… figure us out, then… okay. That’s what we’ll do.”

Dean was snug against Gabriel, arms around him, hands resting gently on back and hair. “Okay.”

“You’re the perfect snuggling size.”

“Shhh,” Dean shushed him, already half-asleep. “It’s bedtime.”

“You probably shouldn’t fall asleep here.” Gabe heard the distinct sound of snoring. “Dean. Dean.”

Dean was asleep, holding Gabe close.

“Dumbass,” Gabe whispered fondly, closing his eyes as well. “I’m falling in love with you, too.”

Charlie looked up as Castiel entered the living room. “Did it work?”

“Of course it worked. Dean ran directly to Gabriel’s.” He rolled his eyes. “I don’t know why I bother getting mad anymore. All of their problems are just because they won’t talk to each other.”

“Good work.” She high-fived him as he walked by. “They better invite us to their wedding.”

“Honestly, what would they do without us?”

She shrugged. “Be sad and lonely, I guess.”

“Horrific.” He handed her a hard cider, which she raised to him.

“To meddling,” she toasted.

“To meddling.”

Chapter Text

Dean woke up slow.

That wasn’t something he was used to doing. He slept horribly and woke up violently, up and at ‘em before he had even rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. He had been like that for as long as he could remember.

But today. He woke up slow.

He woke up warm, and comfortable, and with a feeling of inexplicable safety. He was tangled up in someone, and he opened his eyes to wild hair.

Gabriel. He woke up next to Gabriel.

Gabe’s arm was thrown across Dean’s chest, his leg across Dean’s legs. His face was smushed firmly into Dean’s shoulder, and he was breathing through his mouth like a goddamned heathen.

Dean held his breath in a vain hope that his hiccups would go away.

Gabe grumpily hit him in the chest, still mostly asleep. “Stop wigglin’,” he grumped.

“Sorry,” Dean whispered back. “You’re just such a damn nerd.”

Gabriel’s face screwed up in a smile and he finally opened one eye, squinting at Dean. “You got excited over glow-in-the-dark mushrooms. You’re the nerd here.”

“Hmm, maybe. I’ll allow you that one.” He closed his eyes and snuggled further into Gabriel and their blanket nest. “We can just go back to sleep, y’know. That’s an option.”

“I like that option,” Gabe breathed against Dean’s neck, which was, of course, unfair. “But I did just suddenly remember that you are absolutely naked, which presents a plethora of options.”

Dean hummed in acknowledgment, running a hand down Gabriel’s shirt and back up under it. “Like what?”

He didn’t need to look to know Gabriel was smirking. “I was thinking we could play a game.”

“And what game would that be?”

Gabe walked his fingers up Dean’s chest. “Gay chicken.”

Dean’s laugh rumbled lazily in his chest. “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, but it’s a bit unfair, you know. Because I can use my mouth,” Gabe demonstrated by running his tongue across Dean’s neck, “and you can’t.”

“Mmm. The cons of a face mask.”

“Tell Batman.”

Dean snorted. “Alright. You can’t use your hands. Even things up.”

Gabriel’s eyes sparkled darkly. “What happens if I use them anyway?”

“Then I win.” Dean peeked down at Gabe. “Obviously.”

“And what do you get if you win?”

Dean plopped his head back on the pillow and grinned, before pushing Gabe down and straddling him. “Anything I want.”

Gabe grabbed Dean’s ass and yanked him down. “And what do you want?” he asked smoothly.

“Well, for starters, I want this off,” Dean informed him, lifting Gabriel’s shirt off, hands mapping skin.

“Mmmm. And what else?” He rocked his hips up against Dean.

Dean unbuttoned Gabe’s pants and pushed them and his boxers off. “I want you.”

Gabriel met his eyes, mischievous and dark and captivating. “And where do you want me?”

Dean grabbed Gabriel’s hands and held them harder against his ass as he ground down against Gabe’s dick. “Everywhere.” He dragged their hands closer to the cleft of his ass. “Here.”

“Hmm… here?” Gabriel ran his fingers teasingly across Dean’s entrance. “I think I could do that.”

Dean’s breath hitched slightly. “Good, because you’ve already lost.”

“Hmm? Oh, would you look at that!” Gabe bounced his eyebrows. “Looks like you win, Winchester.”

“Well, I’m not a Losechester.”

Gabriel stared at the ceiling for a moment. “Were this not a moment I’ve been waiting for for ages now, I would kick you out of my bed for that atrocity.”

Dean smirked, raising himself up so he could grab Gabriel’s dick. “But you won’t.”

“I hate that you know me so well.”

“It’s mutual.”

“Mmm, but it isn’t. I remember someone telling me they were quite attracted to me last night,” Gabriel snarked, rubbing teasing circles.

“L-let’s forget that,” Dean breathed out, copying the movement on the head of Gabriel’s dick.

“Let’s not. I like that.” He reached out a hand blindly to his bedside table for lube. The moment he grabbed it, Dean’s phone blared.

They stared wordlessly at each other.

“I’m… I’m not gonna answer it,” Dean said, giving Gabe’s dick a tug. “Not right now.”

Gabriel looked between the lube and the phone and Dean, and grabbed the phone. “Yes you are.”

“… okay look you kinda blew up on me yesterday for—“

“Go ahead. You weren’t gonna answer it. You caved, so now I gotta cave, too.” He gave Dean a genuine soft smile. “It’s okay. Promise.”

Dean looked at the phone cautiously. “It’s work.”

“Dean. Go ahead. I will feel insanely guilty if you don’t.”

He sighed and grabbed his phone. “Fine. But only for you.” Dean answered the phone before he could think about that too much. “Hey, Rory. What’s up?”

Gabriel rubbed his lubed fingers over Dean’s asshole.

Dean yelped and almost tumbled off the bed. “What? I’m fine! There was just a— a spider!” He gave Gabriel a what the fuck look, and Gabriel grabbed him and pinned him down, leering.

Dean muted himself on the phone as Rory babbled on about something. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” he hissed.

“What? I thought you wanted me… everywhere?” He licked a stripe across Dean’s nipples before kissing down his torso.

“Damn you,” Dean groaned before unmuting himself. “So the newest big bad is actually two big bads next season? Why the change?”

Gabriel kissed up the side of his dick before swallowing it in one motion, Dean’s hips jerking off the bed.

“Mmmmm-hm, yeah, yeah I can see that. Sure.”

He pushed one finger in and hummed around Dean’s dick, slowly sliding off.

“Fuck! Ah, you already have two actors who made the cut? That’s awesome!”

He slowly picked up speed, dragging his tongue along the bottom and stretching Dean until he could slip a second finger in, which, really, didn’t take very long. Maybe he should’ve searched Dean’s room better when he was there…

“I’msorrydidyousayhusband.”

Gabe crooked his fingers and hollowed his cheeks, and Dean bit down on the pillow to keep from moaning.

“I mean uh, yeah, husband, of course. When did you two…?”

Dean’s legs were shaking with effort, and Gabriel dragged his free hand across miles of thigh.

“Wow okay. Um, yeah. Hey, can I call you back in a bit? I’ve gotta check my burgers. Yeah, okay. Okay. See ya.” Dean hung up before yelling out, “Holy fuck!” His lips parted and he moaned manically, hips thrusting between Gabe’s mouth and hand.

Gabe popped off with a hum, free hand replacing his mouth. “So. How’s work?”

Dean’s response wasn’t a real word, and Gabriel licked up the side of his dick again.

“Hmm, I think what you need, since you want me everywhere, is—“ Gabriel angled his fingers until Dean choked, rubbing slowly at his prostate. “Yeah?”

And it was a yes if Dean’s writhing and moaning was anything to go by.

Gabe grinned. “That’s what I thought.”

Dean gasped in a breath. “A-are you go-gonna fuck me or…?”

“Or what? Just keep teasing you forever? I’m leaning towards the second option right now, but I suppose I could be persuaded.” He slid a third finger in, and Dean wrapped his legs around Gabe, holding him still.

“You. Inside me. Now.”

“Mmm, bossy.” Gabriel retracted his fingers and kissed and sucked his way back up Dean’s body. “I like that.”

Dean was already fumbling with the bedside drawer, finding a condom and tearing it open with his teeth.

Gabriel watched him with rapt attention. “Hey, have I ever mentioned you’re really fucking hot?”

Dean rolled the condom onto Gabe’s dick. “Maybe once or twice.” He wrapped his legs back around Gabriel. “Less talking.”

“You’re a pillow princess but like, a demanding one.” Gabriel slid in slowly. Or, tried to. But Dean pressed his heels into Gabriel’s ass and he slid home in one go. “Oh fuck,” Gabe breathed.

Dean threw his head back, chest rising and falling. “Gabriel I have waited for this moment since the first time I saw you shirtless so if you could go ahead and fucking move that would be swell.”

“Such filth, my Byron,” he mumbled, pulling out and pushing back in. “Has this been hiding in you the whole time?”

“Your dick? I wish.” He rocked his hips impatiently. “By the way, once this is done—“ Gabe cut him off with a quick thrust, followed by another, picking up a rhythm.

“Once this is done?” Gabe prompted, dropping his head to suck at Dean’s neck.

“Fuck,” Dean breathed. “Once this is d-done, we go-gotta talk about you an-answering my phone.”

“Mm, don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Later,” Dean promised, letting out a moan.

Gabriel’s hands were on either of Dean’s cheeks, elbows braced against the bed. “Why— are you— so damn— sexy?”

“Years of— practice.”

Gabriel let out a whining sound, biting at Dean’s chest. “I’m fa— falling in — in love with — with you, too.” He dropped one hand to Dean’s dick, tugging in time with his thrusts. “Also you better come with me because — this is gonna be one of those boneless orgasms where I — can’t do anything for a while.”

Gabriel felt hands against his cheeks and then he was dragged in, lips pressing against a mask that was pressing against lips. Dean kissed him harder through the fabric, and Gabe could feel the outlines of his lips, the warmth, the breath, and he was undone.

He came with his eyebrows drawn up in pleasure at the sex, sure, but mostly at the sudden desperation of wanting to fully kiss Dean. And based on the now-stickiness between them and the fact that he could feel Dean’s lips parted almost against his own, Dean felt it, too.

Gabe pulled out and collapsed on top of Dean, breathing hard against his neck.

Dean looked half-heartedly for something to clean themselves off with but soon gave up to just holding Gabe’s sweat-slick body. “Probably shouldn’t have— shouldn’t have done that, huh?”

“I’m gonna dream about that,” Gabriel murmured. “Right now. Sleep. Bedtime.”

“Mmm,” Dean agreed. “I think you sleep-answered my phone this morning.”

“Did I?” Gabriel mumbled, already half-asleep.

“I don’t know how else Rory got ‘confirmation’ that you were my husband and that we’d be the next big bads in Dr. Sexy.”

Gabe bit disapprovingly at Dean’s collarbone. “Sleep now. Panic later.”

“We’re gonna get stuck together.”

Gabriel groaned melodramatically and flailed around for his shirt, wiping them off. “There. Sleep. Us. Now.”

And Gabe was warm and squishy and draped over him, and there wasn’t much Dean could do to stay awake.