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07 February 2010 @ 08:12 pm
[fanfic] Stay Away (Sam/Gabriel, PG-13)  
Title: Stay Away
Author: tiptoe39
Pairing: Sam/Gabriel
Rating: PG-13 for... IDK. A hotel room in which nothing really happens.
Summary: Sam keeps telling Gabriel to stay away. Gabriel keeps not doing it.
Author's Note: Scrupulously beta'd by zoeycleybourne, who has made me a better writer. I'm SO grateful.

The archangel Gabriel was starting to have one hell of an inconsistent track record. The first time Sam met him, he ended up on the outs with his brother for reasons that even now eluded him. The second time, the bastard put Sam through hell and left him there for months and months, time he knows never passed but still drags on his memory. The third instance was just too bizarre to classify. And now, in encounter number four, Gabriel was standing in the back of a trashed office, saving Sam's life.

The werewolf at Sam’s throat dissolved into a small, squeaking puppy, which promptly got spooked by its own shadow and ran right away, yipping the whole time. Sam scowled at the figure across the room. “What the hell are you doing here?" He pushed himself away from the wall, wiping the werewolf slobber off him and stretching the muscles that had strained to keep the creature at bay. "No, wait, let me guess. You figure if you’re helpful, I’ll be so grateful I’ll say yes to the devil. Is that it? Forget about it.”

"Geez,” said Gabriel, crossing the room toward him. “Do someone a little kindness and what do you get but the riot act.”

Sam sniffed. “You’re a killer. I don’t see any reason I should thank my lucky stars you showed up.”

“Because getting your throat ripped out by a werewolf is so very, very preferable to a little gray morality.”

“Gray morality? That's what you call it?”

“Oh, please. Don’t you start telling me you’re so morally pure, mister.” Gabriel poked him. “That werewolf is a human twenty-nine days out of thirty. And you were going to kill it, weren’t you?”

Sam’s jaw snapped shut despite his best efforts. He looked up at the shattered lights.

“That’s what I thought.” Gabriel's side was brushing his. “You know, Sambo, a bit of gratitude might actually be a good thing. Soften you up so you-know-who can’t get his slippery hands on you. I’d think you’d welcome the advice.”

“You’re...” Sam thought he knew what a teakettle felt like. “Just... stay away from us, all right? You leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone. Got it?”

Still huffing with the exasperation, Sam met Gabriel's eyes and instantly felt as though he'd been punched in the mouth. They were hollow, stilled, the eyes of someone who was in pain. And the smile was gone from Gabriel's face, too -- his cheeks had sunken in, and his lips were taut. Sam started to speak, but a useless sound was all that made its way into the air.

Gabriel paced away. “Sure,” he said. “Sure. I got you. Just leave you alone. Fine.”

Sam blinked. "What--" But a blink was too long, and Gabriel was gone.

* *

How the demons had managed to drug him so damn easily was the sort of secret Sam would take to his grave. Didn't much matter how he got there, anyway -- he was in the back of a woodlot, trussed up and drugged, being tormented by a pair of black-eyed bitches who alternatively fondled him and made him hallucinate about being doused in kerosene and having his skin stripped off. Sam's body was off limits as long as it was reserved for The Big Man, but apparently his mind was still fair game, what little of it he had left at this point. He'd been burning for hours, or maybe days. He no longer knew if his eyes were open or closed. Everything was orange-gold, and beneath the snapping bits of flame Sam could make out cackling laughter all around him. He struggled and shouted, but his voice was swallowed up by smoke.

Then the haze turned to spangles of flashing stars, and the world went white. Sam thought at each moment the light couldn't get any brighter, and dizzied, sick with the intensity of it, he tried to squint or blink it away. But at the last minute, the light faded and a very disappointed-looking Gabriel was staring him down. “You stupid?” he said. “When an angel’s a-smiting, close your eyes. You want to end up with tree knots in your skull, knucklehead?" He knocked on Sam’s forehead.

The ensuing headache brought Sam back to consciousness in an instant. The phantom flames were gone, and his body felt whole and healthy. “You again,” he said, gasping with the relief of sudden coherence.

“It’s-a me, Ma-rio,” Gabriel echoed stupidly, rolling his eyes. “You’re a sharp tack there, Samwich. Yeah, it’s me.”

Sam’s indignation came instantly to the fore. “I thought I told you to stay away from us.”

“I don't see any 'us.' ” Gabriel crossed behind Sam and began working at the bonds tying him down. Sam could feel every impression of his fingers, knobbly little things dancin at his wrist. “Where’s big brother? Off getting more sex than you?”

The bonds came free and Sam jerked away. “You’re disgusting.”

“I am not! I just saved your life. I wonder, Sam, how many times do I have to do that before I get a thank-you?”

Sam had hunched over to untie the bonds at his feet. He glowered up at Gabriel. "A thank-you? Seriously? Do I have to remind you how many times you made my brother die in front of me?"

“You really are angry at everything.” Gabriel let out a low whistle. “You ought to look into meditation. Those Buddhists have some good ideas. Someday I should tell you about the chat I had with Shakyamuni once upon a time. Fascinating perspective, that guy. Talk to him and you walk away feeling like all your problems are solved."

“My only problem right now is you.” Sam rose to his feet and set off through the rows of trees.

Gabriel gave a great huff. "You know something, you're not worth the effort," he muttered, but nonetheless he set out in hot pursuit.

Sam groaned and shouted over his shoulder. “I said, stay away.”

“Yes, you did,” Gabriel said. “But I’m beginning to think I can’t take you anywhere, Sam. You keep getting in such trouble.”

Sam broke into a jog. Gabriel kept up. “Why don’t we have a chat, Samba? Just you and me. Sit down, have a heart-to-heart. Drink some gin, play some naked Twister. Come on. It’ll loosen you up.”

"Why me? Why not go bother Dean? At least he appreciates your sick sense of humor."

"Because you're a challenge." Jogging effortlessly beside him, Gabriel shot him a leering grin. "I know Dean's an easier mark, but you? Getting your attention would be a feat."

"Yeah, well, attention gotten." Sam stopped abruptly. Gabriel kept running, head turned, and very nearly crashed into a tree before skidding to a halt and pivoting. "Now what? What do you want?"

"Just to talk to you. Is that so weird?"


"Come on, Sam. Have a heart. What's wrong with mending some fences?"

"There are no fences to mend!" Sam glared at him. "Let's get something straight, all right? To me you're just the same as everything else we hunt. Just another violent, psychotic creature."

"You don't mean that." Gabriel's face had dropped into sudden shadow. "Maybe your brother feels that way about me, but you don't."

"Yeah, I do."

"I don't believe you." Something low and patient in Gabriel's voice made Sam forget what he was about to say. He eyed Gabriel warily and stayed silent.

Lifting his chin, Gabriel looked at him with the steady gaze of a believer, or maybe a predator. "I watched your face, Sam. When you had me trapped. The whole time your brother was screaming at me. I was watching you. You just stood there. You didn't say anything. Why?"

Sam hesitated. He felt as though there was a perfectly good answer, but it just wouldn't come to his lips. He blew out a useless puff of air.

Gabriel seized on his silence, smirking. "It was because you understood, wasn't it? You knew what it feels like to see your own family go berserk on you. To want to run away." He paused. "You can't hate me. You understand me too well."

There was a poignant twinge to his voice, and Sam got the distinct impression he was pleading for his words to be true.

"I don't..." Sam huffed, ran a hand through a fistful of hair. "I don't hate you."

A glimmer of a smile. "See? Was that so hard to admit?"

"That doesn't mean I trust you."

"If you trusted me I'd have to question your sanity." Gabriel's smile softened to something that felt almost genuine.

"And I'm not going to say yes to Lucifer."

Gabriel's eyes rolled. "Not that again. You know, you call me a monster, but what do you think he'll do to convince you, huh? How many times will he kill Dean? What makes you think he'll stop at anything to get you to give in?"

Sam had no ready answer. Gabriel was telling an unpleasant truth, and Sam didn't want to admit the truth just yet. Certainly not to him. His eyes went cold and dark. "Just leave me alone."

Gabriel examined his expression, then ventured toward him. A hand reached out to touch his arm.

Sam jumped. He pushed Gabriel to arm's length and grabbed his shoulder, holding him there. A useless syllable, something baby-talkish, fell from Gabriel’s mouth, and he froze, staring at Sam open-mouthed, wordless. His shoulders were hot under Sam's hands, and Sam forgot to breathe for a moment. There it was again, something small and scared in Gabriel's face. It scared Sam, too.

His eyes narrowed. Gabriel's widened.

“Stay the hell away.” Sam shoved Gabriel backward. The angel went sprawling, and Sam jogged toward the road, civilization, and company he could trust.

* *

There had been weird things happening at the hotel since the 19th century, according to the lore. But the owner wasn't fessing up, so Sam hung back by the lobby's fireplace while Dean played bad cop with the guy. He was about to make his good-cop appearance when something happened at the hotel weirder than even he could wrap his mind around. An archangel came in the front door and sat down on a chair near the fireplace.

No drama. No grand entrance. Gabriel just walked in and sat down.

After a moment, he lifted a hand. “Hi.”

“Hi?” Sam whipped his head around, suddenly nervous. Dean was still engaged in conversation and didn't look back at him. Maybe bad cop had worked after all. Off the hook, Sam settled down on a couch next to the chair. His nerves had stiffened his hands, and he settled them awkwardly in his lap. “Okay, hi, I guess. What do you want?”

Gabriel gave him a mournful look. “I want to talk to you. Can I at least talk to you?”

Unsettled by the lack of showmanship, Sam gave him a wary glance. “Sure. Shoot.”

“I mean somewhere private,” Gabriel said. His face was immutable. There was no emotion there. “Meet me in the room next to yours tonight. It’ll be unoccupied.”

“Look, I have a job to do here,” Sam said. "And I thought I told you to--"

"Twenty minutes."

A sharp intake of breath. "What?"

“Find twenty minutes,” Gabriel said. “Then you can go on your way and finish exorcising and staking and whatever it is you do. Just twenty minutes.”

He got up, frowned briefly at the fire, and left the room. Sam stared after him. A trail of sorrow, as palpable as rain, hovered where he'd been.

* *

The bedroom was bare. The bed had been stripped. The lights were missing bulbs. When Sam closed the door behind him, the articulation of the sound was crisp and clean against a background of gray nothing.

His nerves were buzzing. He was starting to doubt this was Gabriel at all. It wasn't his M.O. But when had Gabriel ever acted the way Sam expected him to? Unable to draw anything but panic from his speculation, Sam stood rooted. He could only wait for the curtain to rise and the player to descend to his stage.

A gust of wind outside the shadeless window swept a thin line of trees to the side in a rush of dark green and black shadow. Sam followed the motion, and when he returned his gaze to the room, Gabriel was there, just beyond the reach of the streetlight's borrowed glow, his face in shadow. “You want to know why I'm here,” he said. The voice was oddly expressionless.

“Yeah.” Sam fidgeted. "Yeah, I do."

“You told me to stay away.” A half-lit smile.

“I did.”

Gabriel stepped closer. “Say it again.”

“What?” Sam's stomach tightened, and his voice contracted to a hiss.

“Say it again. Tell me to stay away.”

Sam searched his eyes. There were no clues there. “All right... stay away.”

“Not like that. Like you mean it.”

“What the hell are you...”

“Like you mean it, Sam.” Gabriel’s foot bumped his. Close enough to touch. Too close.

The air in the dust room felt heavy. It was a struggle to keep breathing. “Stay away,” Sam managed again.


"Stay away!"

“I can’t!

The radiator rattled. Sam stared at glittering eyes.

“I can’t,” Gabriel repeated. He gave a short sniff, turning up his chin to cast half-lidded eyes at Sam. “I’ve tried. But you get in trouble, and then I’m there. Without even thinking about it. Do you have any idea how much that freaks me out? Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I didn’t have control over my own actions?”

He broke off and looked at the ground. Sam could still feel Gabriel’s shoe against his. “I don’t understand,” he said. “What does that mean?”

"If I had an answer for that, I wouldn't be here asking you."

"I don't-- I don't have any answers, either." Sam could feel his pulse running beneath his skin, hot and thin. "Why would I know anything? I don't even know what you really are."

"That's just the thing, " Gabriel bit his lip. "I don't know either, anymore. You did that to me, you know. You and your brother. You took away all my defenses and now I.... I feel like I've lost the punchline." He gave a short laugh. "Think about that. Me. Stuck without a punchline."

For an instant Sam remembered Gabriel's face when they'd exposed him. How his lips had drawn together tightly and his eyes had glimmered with rage and pain. Sam felt guilty now. They'd stripped the Trickster of his mask, forced him out into the open, and left him without an anchor. No wonder he was drifting so far from what he'd been.

"What drives me crazy," Gabriel went on, "is that I can't even really blame you for it. It'd been that way ever since ..." He paused. "Hell, I don't even know at this point. All I know is, I wake up and I don't know who I am. I tried so hard to run away from being an angel, but I never thought I'd start feeling human."

The derisive curl of his tongue around the word should have been offensive. But Sam couldn't manage to drum up enough indignation. "You make it sound like such a bad thing." He sat down on the bare mattress and stretched out his legs. Sitting in front of Gabriel, Sam had to look up at him, albeit only barely. It was a new perspective.

"It is. It's the worst thing." Gabriel cast a glance at him, eyes sweeping down the length of his body. Sam shuddered as though it were a touch.

"Then why do you think Dean and I are fighting so hard to stay that way?" He leaned forward, setting his jaw. "It's a good thing. To feel. To be able to choose your own path. Never mind the whole destiny thing," he added hastily when Gabriel opened his mouth to speak. "And you can't tell me you don't want free will. I mean, you said it freaked you out that you were showing up without thinking about it. Doesn't that mean you wish you could choose not to come? You wish you were more human, not less."

Gabriel's eyes were sharp on Sam's and frightened. He reminded Sam of a bird in a snowstorm, its feathers puffed out to protect it from the cold. His shoulders had rounded around him, and his hands were clasped together. Sam had a sudden urge to touch Gabriel's hand, to give him some measure of warmth and comfort.

"You were right," he went on. "When you said I understood. I do. I've had people tell me what to be my whole life. My dad, the yellow-eyed demon, Lucifer, even you. It sucks. It makes you want to try to be anything but what they tell you to be. And you know what? That's worked. It's been a couple of years now since someone first told me I was destined to be the leader of some hellish army. Hasn't happened yet. And as long as I'm human, I can believe it's not going to."

"But you will. That's already been decided." Gabriel looked frightened to think for a second that wouldn't be so.

"I won't believe that," Sam said. "That's the great thing about being human. Maybe I don't know for sure that I'll be able to hold out. But as long as I keep hoping I can, I can go on fighting."

He caught himself. "I don't know why I'm telling you this," he said. "It's not like you're even on our side."

"I could be."

He registered the warmth in his face before the touch that caused it. Gabriel’s hands were hot. His eyes were hot, too, searching Sam's face, shaping it under his fingertips like he couldn't believe it was real. A word trembled on the edge of his lips, and they were pursed, as though trying to let it through. But no sound came, just the slow exploration, the feeling.

Sam's mind was dragging, dulled, like the hands on his face were seeping through and overheating his engines. "Gabriel," he said, "what do you want from me?"

"I don't know," Gabriel said, slow, like a drunk. "I think... everything." Tipping his body forward, he leaned in and captured Sam's lips with his.

Sam should have tensed up. But the hands on his face had hypnotized him, and now tension was draining from his body. His mouth molded to Gabriel's effortlessly. It felt like melting, like thawing out of icy numbness back into life again.

He pulled back to see blue eyes fixed on him. Staring. Unmoving. Concentrating completely on him. When was the last time someone had looked at him like that?

"I've spent hundreds of years just watching," Gabriel said. "And then I saw you, and for the first time I wanted to get involved. I could be on your side, Sam. I could help you."

"I thought you wanted me to say yes." Sam couldn't manage more than a whisper.

"Can you blame me?" The lips that had been on his were upturned now, a sad smile, and Sam couldn't take his eyes off them. "You've made everything so messy. I thought if I could just get rid of you--" He stopped and shuddered. "But now I'm starting to be scared of losing you. And I don't even have you to start with. You want me to keep my distance, and I should, but--"

He broke off. Sam let out a breath, took in a longer one. He wasn't sure exactly what was going on here, but he knew it was important. And he didn't want it to end.

"Well, anyway." Gabriel forced a smile. "It's been twenty minutes, and I said I'd let you get back to work."

Sam grabbed his wrist. "Stay," he said.

Gabriel looked down at the point of contact. He shook his head. "I know, stay away, right?" A sigh. "I'll try. I really will."

"No." Sam's other hand came up to weave into Gabriel's captured fingers. "Just stay."


The Soul is:: anxiousanxious
pandapandatini on February 8th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
oooh. the first couple times I read sam/gabriel, I didn't really 'get' the pairing, but this make a better argument for it I think, for how it would actually come to pass. gabe's feelings about sam are interesting, definitely, and I like lots of what you've done here.

Tiptoe39: Sam - Jaredtiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
thanks! I was and still am really interested in the pairing, because I think it would be such a departure from where the characters are now... but it *could* happen, and I really want to eventually write the fic that explains how it *does.*

I'm glad you appreciated it!
The Soul says: - pandatini on February 8th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - pandatini on February 8th, 2010 03:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - pandatini on February 8th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on February 8th, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
Ah, wow! This was just so beautiful and tender.

You know I was just thinking the other day of how much Sam and Gabriel have in common and this fic points out the reasons why.
Tiptoe39: Sam - Jaredtiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's a bit of a thesis on how and why they could get to the point where they are together. Glad it rang true to you. :)
Elle: Winchesters - Salad (jokermary)zoeycleybourne on February 8th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
This fic for real turned out so well ♥ I can totally get behind this pairing now~
Tiptoe39: thumbs up to you!tiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
yay! thanks so much for your help. You really made me think a lot about my writing, not just this fic but writ large, and I think it will actually improve all of what I write. Thank you so much.
deessecharmedeessecharme on February 8th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
Wonderfully written, I just love these two together. I am so glad we finally have someone really interesting to pair Sam with.
Tiptoe39: Sam - Jaredtiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
Thank you, I agree he is a very intriguing character and especially after they've revealed him to be who he is I truly hope we haven't seen the last of him.
Passive Aggressive Heterophobejuanitatequila on February 8th, 2010 06:13 am (UTC)
I just wanna give this fic a giant hug!! :3
Tiptoe39: sad samtiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
Please feel free. It likes hugs! *giggle*
speccygeekgrrl on February 8th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
This is so great. Poor anchorless Gabriel, how much did the Winchesters make his life suck? At least now Sam can try to make it better. :D
Tiptoe39: sad samtiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
I know, when you think about it what they did to him was really cruel, not that he didn't deserve it, but... he needs some loving, at least in the fandom ^o^
enchantersnight: Gabriel/Tricksterenchantersnight on February 8th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
ooh very nice :)
Tiptoe39: squeetiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)
(Deleted comment)
Tiptoe39: sad samtiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
I like broken!gabriel too. Isn't it funny how I never thought he was sexy until he was standing in that circle of holy oil looking like someone had taken away all his toys. I think I really might be a sucker for angel!whump. :3
denazia on February 8th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Nice and angsty with a little bit of danger thrown in. Very nice!
Tiptoe39: unlucky samtiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much! :)
{ embracing the storm }: SPN: Sam/Gabemithrel on February 8th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Gabriel turned the werewolf into a puppy! *glee*

You have some extra words here: is so very, very preferable to a little to a little gray morality.

“Sure,” he said. “Sure. I got you. Just leave you alone. Fine.” *tears up*

Gabriel’s nicknames! And the random Mario reference! *glee*

"You can't hate me. You understand me too well." Trufax.

This was just so cute, fluffy with just a bit of angst!
Tiptoe39: rentiptoe39 on February 8th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
oh crap, you know i did see those extra words and made a point of telling myself to fix them before i published. And promptly didn't. *headsmack*

Louquantumdoll on February 9th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
That was just lovely. Those boys really do have more in common than they'd care to admit, don't they? They are so messed up and delicious together, I wish Gabriel would hurry up and join Team Winchester already! For Sammy, if nothing else ^_^
Tiptoe39: gabriel awesometiptoe39 on February 9th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
I know, really? That would be so wicked fun. Fill up that impala with pretty and let 'er rip! :D
ravensilverwingravensilverwing on February 9th, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
I like how this track a progression of meetings and Gabriel can't help but help Sam even though he doesn't really want to. And Sam's observations of Gabriel's pain are so sad. :( Poor Gabriel.

Lovely story.
Tiptoe39: unlucky samtiptoe39 on February 9th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I know, I seem to like to rain crap all over Gabriel... siiigh. :/ I'm glad you enjoyed it!!
ferretmalfoy: Cas-Badgeferretmalfoy on February 10th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
Love love love.
Tiptoe39: squeetiptoe39 on February 10th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Yay, thank you so much! :)
(Deleted comment)
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on October 5th, 2010 10:01 am (UTC)
oh wow, thanks! So very glad you enjoyed <3