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26 December 2010 @ 10:57 am
[twitfic compilation] Wipe off that angel face (and go back to high school) 2:2/4  
Title: Wipe off that angel face (and go back to high school)
Volume 2: You Gotta Be Honestly Sincere (Chapter 2 of 4)
Author: tiptoe39
Rating: PG
Summary: Sam/Gabriel High school AU. WIP. Done through twitfic / twitlonger. Thanks to jabber_moose for an amazing title!!

Volume 1: Bully and the Beast
One | Two | Three

Volume 2: You Gotta Be Honestly Sincere
One



The immediate upshot of Gabriel getting the part is that he barely sees Sam anymore. Every afternoon is consumed by blocking and choreography and note-pounding, and by the time rehearsal gets out he is bone-tired, more exhausted than he ever remembers being. Sam would call, and he'd grope for the phone, one chicken-bone arm the only part of his body he is willing to move.

"Y'ello."

Sam sounds immediately chastened. "Oh, hey, Gabe, I just thought I'd see, you know, if you felt up to coming over this weekend, but I guess not, huh?"

Gabriel wants to say yeah, sure, he'll scrounge up the energy, but he has tests to study for and lines to memorize, and he just can't think about it.

He misses Sam, of course he does. Sam's his best friend. But he's getting to know Vic and Jo and Pam, and they're right there with him at rehearsal. He doesn't have to make extra time for them. Sam's just... inconvenient.

Maybe this is best. Branching out. Meeting new people. He has been pining after Sam long enough. Which is of course romantic in its own way, but enough is enough. He likes the community he's found here, and Sam's not a part of it.

And then Sam shows up at five. At rehearsal. With sandwiches.

Gabriel is in the middle of pretending to make scores of teenage fans faint. The song is called "Honestly Sincere," and if Gabriel is, at that moment he could be a real rock star, not just a pretend one, and he still wouldn't see anyone but Sam.

He is hopelessly in love.

While Vic rolls his eyes and fights with his onstage mother, Gabriel fairly floats toward the back of the auditorium and grins at Sam. "Hey there."

"So this is what I'm gonna have to do to see you, huh?" Sam rolls his eyes and groans.

"That's right. Bring me dinner, peon." Gabriel waves his hand imperiously. "I expect it every night at five from now on."

But Sam just nods. "Well, yeah, that's the idea."

Gabriel stops smiling. "I was kidding."

"I know. But if that's what it takes...."

"I don't need you to feed me."

"Oh, I'm not. You're paying for yours. Tonight is my treat... or Mom's, since it's her groceries. But tomorrow I'll go to the Baking Angel and pick up some fritters if you want."

Gabriel laid his hands on his head and tried to screw it on straight. "You're serious."

"Yeah."

"Why?"

"Beats calling you and having your corpse answer the phone." Only Sam can say the word corpse and have it sound light and breezy.

"But why bother? I've done nothing but blow you off."

And Sam pinks a bit in the cheeks. "Cause you're my friend? And I miss you?" They sound like questions, not answers, the way Sam says them.

"Um, OK." Gabriel doesn't sound much surer of himself. For a moment everything is very, very awkward.

"Eat," Sam prods, "before they steal you back." And that puts everything back to normal again. At least, on the outside.

But Gabriel's heart is humming close to his throat. He's definitely in love. But not hopelessly so. Not if the pink in Sam's cheeks is any indication.




Let's move back to Sam for a second. Where has Sam been since the beginning of rehearsals? Well, nowhere. He's been pretty listless, lonely, even with his friends there to keep him company. Doesn't help that Jess is avoiding him nowadays, and while Sarah and Maddy both treat him well, when she's around what can they do but be on her side? They have that whole gender solidarity thing going on, and the jokes about Sam being "one of the girls" dried up the night he went to bed 5'2" and woke up 6'3".

So Sam's dicking around after school, alone, moping, and on the weekends he calls Gabriel and gets a Gabriel-shaped zombie on the horn instead. And he rolls over, losing all energy himself.

"What's the matter with you?" Dean asks, pausing in his doorway. You can tell Sam's exhausted when he doesn't close his door.

"I'm boooored."

"So get up and do something."

"Don't wanna."

"Do your laundry or something. God, your room smells like a barnyard."

"You sound like Mom."

"Shut up, I do not." Dean strides through the door and sits down on the foot of Sam's bed, his usual I'm-about-to-be-brotherly position. "The hell's wrong with you? You've been hyper as hell for the past three months and now you're an earthworm again. What gives?"

Sam looks up from his pillow. "None of my friends are talking to me," he says.

"Why? Did you do something?"

Sam shakes his head. "Naw. Well, I broke up with Jess."

Dean shrugs. They've already been over that. Sam won't talk about it and that's the end of it. He's not gonna ask. "So what, the rest of the Breakfast Club's pissed at you?"

"No!" Sam sits up. Outrage is enough to spur a sign of life. "It's just awkward."

"Well, screw them." Dean's usual attitude to anything. "What about your friend Gabe? Did he ever get that part?"

Sam visibly deflates. "Yeah."

"So, what's he doing?"

More deflation. His head sinks over his knees. "He's too tired. He's rehearsing all the time and so even when he's not..." Sam trails off.

"Sammy?"

A whimper.

Dean claps him on the rounded back. "Come again? I don't speak whiny bitch."

"Jerk." Still muffled.

"Mm-hm."

"I just--" Sam rolls onto his back and stares at the ceiling. "I don't know. Is it weird to actually miss him?"

Dean's eyebrows fly up, but he holds back whatever smartass comment's in his head. "No. You should just corner him and give him hell if he's ignoring you, though, dude. That's just rude."

"I don't want to give him hell," Sam says. "I wanna talk to him again."

"Oh." Dean scrunches up his face, thinking hard. "In that case, try bringing food?"

-

Sam's halfhearted about bringing the sandwiches, but the minute he sees Gabriel's face, he makes a mental note to thank Dean. And maybe next time he'll bring sandwiches. Or fritters from the Baking Angel. Or subs from the Roadhouse, or burgers from The Green Room. By the time Gabriel actually makes it off stage, Sam has a whole calendar of menus planned. He'll have to save some of his allowance, but this is so clearly worth it.

Over the sandwiches Gabriel talks about rehearsal, about playing a role and learning dance moves and everything he's been up to. By the time he's done, Sam's tired just from hearing about it. No wonder Gabriel's been so drained. Sam watches him, watches the way he glows, and feels his heart doing a heavy soft-shoe in his chest. He restrains an urge to reach out and just touch Gabriel's glowing face. To dip his fingers into those dimples, see how deep they go. It's exciting and terrifying and Sam's addicted to it, this feeling, this friendship that's more than any friendship he's ever felt before.

He gets to know the other theater kids, too. Pam is sassy and flirts with him. Vic is super-serious and looks slightly suspicious of him all the time, but is a good guy. Jo is all-around sweet. Innocent, adorable, everything a good ingenue should be. It's Jo who finally asks, casually, as Gabriel and Vic have an on-stage fight, "So are you guys dating or what?"

Sam says "no," of course. Reflexively. Defensively.

But the idea doesn't freak him out like it used to. And that in itself is a surprise.

There are changes happening inside him, that much he knows. Doors opening. With the question, one more opens. They're not, but could they be?




Sam goes back and asks Jo about it the next day at rehearsal. While Gabriel's scarfing down fish tacos, he sidles up to her and asks, "So how come you asked that? About me and Gabriel."

She shrugs. "You know. You guys are so close. And Gabriel's kind of..."

"Kind of what?"

Jo gives him a patronizing look. "He's into musical theater."

Sam processes this, and he can't quite decide how to feel about it or how to respond. "So you think Gabriel's..." He remembers the girly magazine and shakes his head. "Naw, there's no way."

"Hmm." Jo doesn't seem particularly inclined to argue. "Guess my radar's off-kilter. You know him better than I do."

"Your radar?" The corners of Sam's mouth twitch. He has a funny image of her as an antenna-toting robot.

What she tells him then is astounding enough that he actually has to go to the source to confirm it.

He gets peals of laughter in lieu of an answer. "What?" he complains fruitlessly. She said girls can tell when a guy is gay. Is it true?"

Sarah regains her composure the quickest. "Depends on the guy," she says. "Some guys it's obvious. Some not so much."

"How can you tell?"

"I don't know that you can really put it into words." Madison is more mature, more composed. She talks in a low voice. "It's... Well, look at Barnes and Damien."

"That's cheating," Sarah argues. "They're out."

"But they still fit the type," Maddy counters. "You've got the sweet tall skinny guy and the short manly dude. They just kind of fit."

Sam nods, but he doesn't get it, not really. He has a vague sense that those descriptions might just be pertinent, but he can't quite bring himself to puzzle out how.

And the more he sees of Gabriel, the more he wonders... until he decides it's time to bite the bullet and ask an expert.

He knocks on Dean's door.




"Dean?"

What looks at first like a nod turns out to be an earbud-inspired headbang. Sam maneuvers himself in front of Dean. "Dean!"

The freakout is predictable. "Thought I told you to knock!" Earbuds drop and Metallica blares out in a tinny echo.

"I did, you didn't hear me!"

Dean doesn't have any valid response to this. "What do you want?"

"I... I have a question for you."

The hesitation in Sam's voice snaps Dean immediately from pissed-off teen to protective big brother. "Sit down." He gestures to the bed -- Dean himself is perched on his desk chair, doing something that might be studying and might not -- and Sam sits down, gingerly, like the bed might rise up and bite him. "What's up?"

Sam's thought about how to ask this. He starts out strong. "Suppose you have a really good friend. Someone like Cas." Castiel Engel is Dean's complete opposite and closest confidant. He's starched shirts and stern expressions. Sam has asserted that if he had a unibrow, he would be Bert from Sesame Street. "And suddenly someone says to you that he's gay."

"Cas?" Dean laughs. "Dude's asexual. Pretty sure he's totally junkless."

"Just suppose," Sam presses. "Think about it. You think you know him and then this comes out -- bad choice of words," he adds ruefully. Dean snickers. "How do you feel? What do you do?"

Dean doesn't waste any time pondering the actual question. He goes straight for the jugular. "Who is it?"

"It's a hypothetical, Dean! Jeez!"

"Yeah, and I'm Buffy the Vampire Layer." Sam rolls his eyes. "Seriously, did someone come out to you?"

Sam is glad he can shake his head truthfully to that. He's never been a good liar. "Can't you just answer the question?"

"No, cause I don't know what I'd do." Dean frowns abruptly. "Sammy?"

Sam swallows.

"This isn't... you know..."

"Isn't what?"

"This isn't about you, is it?"

Sam's jaw drops. "What? No! You dumbass." He gets up and kicks the leg of Dean's chair. Dean swears. Sam marches to the door, unsure why he's so pissed off. It has less to do with the substance than the thought he would fuck around with Dean like that. He doesn't play those games.

The anger, irrational as it is, flares up even farther when he hears, as he's walking out of the room, Dean say, "Good."

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

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