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30 December 2010 @ 08:16 pm
[twitfic compilation] Wipe off that angel face (and go back to high school) 2:3/4  
Title: Wipe off that angel face (and go back to high school)
Volume 2: You Gotta Be Honestly Sincere (Chapter 3 of ?)
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 | Two


It's infuriating. Just absolutely maddening. Sam's in his room, Bon Jovi turned up damn loud (partly because it's expressing his anger well and partly because Dean hates Bon Jovi), staring at the ceiling, fists clutched around his bedsheets, running over in his head a million things he could have turned around and said if he'd had the presence of mind.

~Good? How can it be good? Dean, even if this were about me, don't you think I wouldn't want to hear you say that? If I were gay I wouldn't be able to help it. Don't tell me you still think like you're in the 18th century. I really thought more of you, Dean. I really did!~

Does this mean that Dean would stop being friends with Gabriel if Gabriel turns out to be gay? That thought turns Sam's stomach. He was so psyched when Dean and Gabriel started getting along after Dean spending weeks thinking Gabriel was a jerk. (Never mind that Gabriel actually was a jerk for most of those weeks.) What if Dean's an asshole about this? Sam has had plenty of times in his life when he thought he might never speak to his brother again. But this, this might really be the thing that tears it. If Dean is a jerk about Gabriel being gay... if Gabriel is gay... Sam really, honestly won't talk to him ever again.

It's funny, but Sam's anger is almost all for Gabriel's sake right now. He came to a tentative peace ages ago with the fact that he likes the way Gabriel looks, that he sometimes imagines Gabriel's touch when he's alone in bed with his hand down his pajama pants. It's easy to live with because it's not all there is to it. He likes Gabriel in so many different ways - as a friend, a partner in crime, a confidant - that liking him in this way really isn't all that important in the scheme of things.

It's slowly getting more important, though, in that creeping way these things tend to grow. And the idea that Gabriel could be gay -- that there might be something in their future besides just one-sided enjoyment -- it allows Sam to start to think about the possibility. And if Dean's not OK with that, Sam doesn't know what he'll do. Because he doesn't know how to stop these feelings now that they've started, and he feels like he's been given a warning. Now that the brakes are out, it's time to stop this runaway train.

And Sam just doesn't want to.

The phone rings. Mom's voice calls upstairs that it's for Sam. He grumbles over to the desk to pick it up.

"Sam?"

It's Jess. And she can tell within Sam's "Oh, hi" that he's in a bad mood. "What is it?"

"Huh? Nothing."

"Sure it's nothing."

"It's nothing. Dean said something that pissed me off."

"Sure." She ponders asking further and decides against it. "It's been a long time."

"Yeah." Great, this is just what he needs, more regret on top of his anger.

"I'm sorry I've been avoiding you. It's just been weird. But, you know. I still want to be friends with you."

"It's OK." He's quick to say it, although right now the little worm of anger in his stomach doesn't want to be friendly to anyone. "It's really OK, Jess."

"Look," she goes on. "Sarah called me, and she said you were asking about Gabriel."

"I never said it was about Gabriel!" He flushes. "They told you that, didn't they? That it was about Gabriel? You guys are jealous because I have a friend who's a guy."

"Sam, that's not fair!"

"It is. You guys were laughing at me!" He knows it's bull, but he's angry and feeling even worse that he's done nothing but drag Jess through the mud and now she has to be there again when he's mad and this is all so stupid!

Her voice shifts into that lecture mode. "You know what your problem is, Sam? You don't listen. You talk, and you think you know what people are gonna say back, but you don't really listen to the answer."

"What the hell does that mean?"

"It means, instead of freaking out over it to the rest of us, why don't you go ask Gabriel? He's your friend, right? And maybe instead of assuming we are laughing at you, why don't you ask us why? I thought you knew us better than that. Jeez."

She sounds huffy and put-out and Sam feels like a heel. "Jess, I'm sorry."

"Sam." Her voice is muted and soft and kind. "Just.. figure yourself out, would you? It's kinda hard on us when you're this lost. We...." She corrects herself. "I miss my friend."

"I miss you too," he admits. "I just wish I knew what it was I was trying to figure out."

"Ask some questions," she says again. "And listen to the answers."

Sam figures he will.




Sam knocks on Dean's door, and when there isn't an answer, he knocks again, louder.

"No admittance to Bon Jovi fans," declares Dean from behind the door.

"Dean!" Sam can't help but smile a little, despite his dark mood. Dean does that to him. Puts everything a little bit more in perspective through his sheer shallowness.

"Do you have any idea how painful it is to have to sit through 'I'll Be There for You' from down the hall? It's torture!" But Dean opens the door and looks Sam up and down. He sees the clenched fists, the thin line of his lips, and he leaves off the ribbing.

Sam steps inside. Dean's room is a messy, messy thing; clothes and magazines and photos and all kids of crap everywhere, and even the walls are a hodgepodge of rock poster and pretty girls with barely a scrap of wallpaper still visible. He sits down on the bed, since that seems to be the best spot, and lays his fists in his lap. "So."

"So?" Dean raises an eyebrow, saunters over and leans on the back of his chair.

"What did you mean, good?"

"Huh?"

"When you asked me whether I meant me. I said no, and you said, 'Good.'"

"Oh. That."

He's not answering. Sam remembers what Jess said on the phone. "What did you mean?" he asks again, and tries hard to listen to the answer.

"Well, it'd suck," Dean says.

That's not promising. Sam stays silent. Tries not to judge.

"I mean," Dean goes on, "it sucks to be gay, right? You have to come out to everybody, and half the guys you look at aren't interested, and then there's all kinds of closed-minded dickbags out there who'll give you hell for no reason at all, and it's just a whole world of crap that you have to go through. Why would I want you to go through that?"

And now Sam's lost for words.

In his silence, Dean has room to think. "Oh, geez. You thought I was being a dickbag myself, didn't you?" He tosses his head back, laughs. "Dude, it's the 21st century. I don't give a crap. I don't wanna think about any of my friends, or you, sleeping with anyone. Girls OR boys. Except maybe girls on girls, that's kind of hot," he admits with a slight blush. "But yeah, I just wouldn't want you to have to deal with all that crap."

"But if I was?" Sam asks. His voice is trembling. "If I did?"

"Then I'd kick the crap out of anyone who tried to make your life difficult," Dean says. And pauses. And fights with himself, and finally asks, hands white-knuckled on the chair, "Are you?"

Sam looks into his lap. "I don't know," he mumbles. "Maybe."

Dean nods. "You'll figure it out," he says. "Just as long as you don't try to feel me up."

"What? Ew!" Sam gets up and smacks Dean on the shoulder in a lighthearted punch.

"I'm kidding, geez!" Dean ducks to avoid Sam's next punch. They're both laughing as chaos ensues, and once again, Mom has to yell upstairs to make sure they're not killing each other.

They manage to avoid fratricide this time, but when Sam creeps back to his room, he blasts "Livin' on a Prayer." Just because he can.




Gabriel has been in school for most of his life, and he has never learned so much as he has in the past two weeks.

His vocabulary's grown exponentially. He knows where downstage and stage left are, he knows what marking your space is, he knows about vocal tone and the shape of your vowels and consonants. He knows how to breathe into his diaphragm and to use the muscles of his whole body to project a note. He knows about follow spots and scrims and how to talk to someone behind you without facing them. He feels like Keanu Reeves in a dusty, piano-jangling version of the Matrix's kung fu scene. He's soaking everything about theater up like a sponge.

He starts bugging his dad about going to shows. Dad hasn't expressed much of an opinion over anything for the past several years and that continues to be the case. His older brothers don't seem particularly enthused, and Luke is of course MIA, so he's pretty much without a support system. But that's OK. He feels like in Ms. Moseley and the music teachers and the rest of the cast he has a whole new family. He's understood, he's celebrated for exactly who he is, and he is treated like someone with unique talents to offer. He doesn't remember ever feeling like that in his life.

And then, against all that backdrop, Sam starts really making an effort to see him, brings him delicious meals, becomes friends with the cast as well. Gabriel doesn't think he's ever had anyone go through that much effort just to see him. He's disappointed every night when rehearsal's over and he has to go home. This is where he needs and wants to be. Every cell in his body is humming with happiness.

Until Sam shows up again with two sandwiches and kind of a grim look on his face.

Gabriel frowns. He asks for five minutes off (they're running down the Act I finale, which is pretty Conrad-centric, so he's kind of screwing everyone by asking) and runs down the aisle. "What is it?" he says. "Is... everyone OK? Is somebody hurt?"

Sam's surprised. "No, why? Do I look that upset?"

"You look upset enough." Gabriel shoves his hands in his pocket and rocks on the balls of his feet. "What is it?"

"I just-- I need to ask you something," Sam says. He looks kind of pale, but at the same time there's splotches of color on his neck, like he's just holding back a flush. "Can we, uh...?" He hooks his thumb backward toward the door in lieu of finishing his sentence.

In the hallway, Sam relaxes somewhat, leaning back against the cool bricks of the wall and tilting his head up toward the ceiling. "I'm sorry to drag you out of rehearsal, but I don't know when else I can catch you," he says.

"It's no big deal," Gabriel says, although he's pretty sure it is a big deal. "What's going on?"

"Well, Jess called me."

Ugh. "Yeah?"

"Yeah." Sam sighs. "She got on my case for not really listening to people and she said I should just ask you if I want to know."

Gabriel fidgets. He tries to sound casual. "Want to know what?"

"It's... a personal question." Now the flush starts to show.

"No, I'm not pregnant," Gabriel deadpans, and gets a half-snort and a roll of the eyes from Sam, not to mention a whap on the arm. "Sorry, sorry. No, seriously. Just ask."

Sam pushes himself off the wall and faces Gabriel. His jaw is set and his eyes bulge, big brown globes, from their sockets. "Don't laugh."

"I'm not laughing!" Gabriel puts up his hands like he's been told to surrender. "Just ask!"

"OK." The nail of Sam's thumb is biting into his palm. Gabriel winces in sympathetic pain. "So is there... is there, like, someone you're interested in?"

Gabriel isn't sure he knows where this came from. "Sure," he says carefully. "There's someone." He conveniently leaves out the fact that he's talking to that someone, and is pleased with himself for his subterfuge. Hey, you can't be a tragic figure in unrequited love if you're not at least a little self-congratulatory about it.

"OK." Sam's nostrils flare. He does that when he's nervous. Gabriel thinks it's adorably melodramatic. "So, what is... that person... like?"

A frown darkens Gabriel's expression. He's at a loss right now. "What is... what kind of question are you asking me, anyway?"

"Like..." Sam looks down at the floor briefly, then his eyes meet Gabriel's again. "Like, what kind of person are they? As in..." He gulps. "Is it a girl? Or a..."

Gabriel goes red. He doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Sam? Are you trying to ask me if I'm gay?"

Sam hangs his head. "Maybe."

"Oh."

The quiet persists while Gabriel works out his answer. Sam visibly struggles to stay quiet.

Finally, Gabriel decides on "No."

Sam's whole body jolts. "N-no?"

"Nope." Gabriel leans back against the wall, "Completely, one hundred percent bi."

"Oh..." And he jerks forward again. "What?"

"Bi," Gabriel says, reaching for the forgotten paper bag of sandwiches. "As in, I like guys, I like girls, I like human beings. If it's attractive, I want to make out with it. Of course, it doesn't really matter right now considering there's nobody who wants to make out with me, but in terms of hypotheticals, those are my tendencies. Not the answer you expected?"

Sam is blank for another few minutes, and then he lets out a brief laugh. "Holy..."

Gabriel's eyebrows rise. "No, it's definitely not that."

Sam whaps him again, grinning this time. "You know what? I'm not so surprised. You're just the type to not want to limit your options."

"Indeed. The world's too much fun." Gabriel nods and bites into a sandwich. "So what brings this up?"

Sam shrugs. "I heard somebody say that you were into musical theater."

Now Gabriel chokes on his bite. Sam pounds him on the back. Choking death narrowly averted, Gabriel finishes his sandwich and heads back to rehearsal. Just before he goes, his glance hits Sam's, and everything slows down.

When the world speeds up again, it's twice as vibrant as before.




His big question answered, Sam goes on to get the rest of them answered. Next up on the list is the Breakfast Club - Sarah, Jess, and Maddy - all of whom he corners at once on the deck out behind the cafeteria, where kids sit on good days.

He plunks himself down in front of them and sits Indian-style, which is awkward enough when you're normal-sized. Sam looks like he's attempting to impersonate a pretzel. "So I'm here to listen," he says.

Jess keeps a lid on the other girls' tendency to erupt in giggles at the slightest provocation. "Listen to what?" she asks.

"Whatever you have to tell me. Whatever I've been missing lately."

Sarah looks at Jess. "Now I think I'm missing something."

"Why did you guys laugh the other day?" Sam asks. "When I asked you about whether girls know. You know." He gives a halfhearted wave of the hand that doesn't have any meaning beyond I-don't-wanna-say-it-out-loud.

"Because it was a weird question," Sarah says. "Because you're weird for asking."

"Why am I weird?" Sam wants to get defensive, but Jess has her finger on his pulse as well. She calms him down with a glance.

Of the three, Madison talks the least, but when she does it's usually incredibly insightful. "Because you ought to have the best-functioning gaydar of all of us," she says, and then her mouth shuts and it's clear she won't have anything more to say today.

Sam wrinkles his nose. "What? Why?"

Sarah tries to restrain her giggles.

"Sam." Jess says. "We've been dancing around this ever since you and I went out, so someone's got to just say it to you. We're pretty sure you like Gabriel."

"Gabr--" Sam's voice won't allow him to finish the word. He starts again. "Of course I like him, he's my best friend!" His voice squeaks. "Just because you guys think he's--"

Sarah hides her face in Jess's shoulder to avoid laughing her ass off. Jess frowns at him sternly. "Listen," she reminds him.

Sam stills. He runs over the whole conversation in his head. And when he gets to that last line, he strips away the assumption in his head that it's some sort of dig at Gabriel, or swipe at their friendship, and...

"Oh." He's round-eyed, twitchy, like an owl.

"Why do you think I broke up with you?" Jess says. "You weren't that into me, Sam. You think I was gonna sit there and take that?"

Sam doesn't really know what to do with this new information. He thinks he might be relieved a little bit, annoyed a little bit, but most of all he thinks he might feel like the dumbest sap on earth. He is the last person to figure it out.

"So you guys all knew?" He looks at them each in turn.

"Is it true, then?" Sarah can't hold back her curiosity any longer. "Do you like him like that?"

Sam should be surprised by how quickly the "yeah" comes out of his mouth. He's certainly surprised to hear it. He repeats himself, just to confirm it. "Yeah, I think I do."

Sarah's mouth is twitching. Jess just nods. Madison gives a soft smirk and goes back to the book she was reading. Sam looks at the three of them and gives a goofy smile himself. He's just done something irreversible. He should feel like his world is shifting, like everything's about to go mad. But he doesn't. It isn't. And that's got to be the biggest surprise so far.




Sam walks away from that conversation pleased with himself. He's listened. He's patched things up with Jess and the others. And he's learned something about himself. Or, at least, he's been able to put into words something he's been avoiding for a long time.

He likes Gabriel.

He wants to hang out with him all the time. He wants to call him for no reason late at night and say, "I'm thinking about you." He wants to give in to the urge to reach over and touch the smoothness of Gabriel's cheeks, to tangle their fingers together and not let go. He wants to be so close to Gabriel that he can feel the rise and fall of his breaths against Sam's own.

And he really, really wants to kiss him. Touch him. Slip his hand down along his side and...

At this point Sam realizes two things. One: he is, after all, probably gay. Two: he needs to get to the bathroom before he pokes someone's eye out with his hard-on.

He slips into a stall without incident and breathes shallowly, his head tipped back as it often is when he's trying to calm himself down. But the more he tries to empty out his mind, the more he's imagining his hands sliding through golden hair, lips hot on his, bodies crushed together. It is so damn easy to imagine with Gabriel, as hard as it was to imagine with Jess, and his hand, trying to tamp down his erection, is sorely tempted to start stroking instead.

No. He isn't so far gone from himself that he's going to beat off in a high school bathroom. What finally calms him down is the idea that he's going to have to figure out a way to tell Gabriel how he feels. And if Gabriel doesn't feel the same way, that might really fuck up their friendship, which would be a nightmare.

Sam resolves to watch Gabriel carefully for any signs he might feel the same way. He knows the guy well enough that he should be able to tell, right?

Wrong.

Gabriel doesn't act any different from normal. And why should he? It's Sam who's had the big revelation, not him. A revelation he hasn't shared, incidentally -- finding out Gabriel is bi was enough sexual orientation talk for a lifetime, and Sam is pretty sure that saying "I'm gay" out of nowhere will get interpreted as "I like you" even if that's not the intent, and the whole point is not to say that until the time is right. But Sam needs to push a little harder or he's never going to get anywhere.

He goes with the following tack: "So there's someone you like, right?"

Gabriel sucks up a strand of spaghetti. "Hmm?"

"The guy you like," Sam says. "You never talk about him. Is it someone I know?"

Gabriel stares at him quizzically. "That depends on your definition of 'know,'" he says.

Well, that makes zero sense as usual. "Does he like you back?"

"If I knew that," Gabriel says, sounding a bit peeved, "don't you think we'd be going out by now?"

"Have you told him?"

Gabriel's eyes hold his and there's something riveting and dangerous in them. Sam loses his breath. "Again," Gabriel says carefully, "that depends on your definition of 'tell.' I'm hoping he'll figure it out."

"And if he doesn't?" The words are low, and Sam doesn't even remember taking in breath to say them.

Gabriel leans back and sighs. "Then maybe, when the play's done and I have some free time again, maybe then."

"Why wait? If you like him."

"Cause I can't deal with the drama if it's not on stage. I'll break."

He sounds so vulnerable that Sam can't help feeling a bit defeated. Even if it is Sam he likes -- and he still can't tell -- he won't take the chance of breaking Gabriel. He has to wait.

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Laurenjabber_moose on January 18th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
This i love. I love Sam and his...floundering. And the fact that he has sassy girlfriends, because that's just freaking adorable.
Tiptoe39: sad samtiptoe39 on January 18th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
Hey, everyone needs a Sassy Straight Friend. XD XD XD XD