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30 May 2011 @ 05:35 pm
[fanfic] Poetic Justice (2/4)  
Title: Poetic Justice
Chapter: Two (of four)
Author: tiptoe39
Pairing: Dean/Gabriel
Rating: NC-17 overall; PG-13 this chapter
Words: 17,500 total
Summary: Without Gabriel, the world needs a Trickster. Dean is offered the job.
Author’s notes:
* Written for morganoconner for help_japan.
* Set in Season 6, sometime after the Dean/Lisa breakup.
* Beta’d by the fantastic stellamaris99.
* The auction was for a ‘verse. That means I will take requests for side stories, drabbles - anything set in this ‘verse. So if you have an idea, please share it!

Dean awakens in a sea of white.

Muffled, stifled, confused, he flails, tearing through the stuff with a wildly sweeping arm before realizing he's not in a snowbank or a river of creepy demon juice but swimming, instead, in a ridiculous amount of toilet paper.

"Sammy!" he yells, ripping through another several layers of TP. "This isn't funny!"

Then he breaks through the final layer.

"Wrong and wrong again," Gabriel says with an easy smirk. "First, I'm not Sammy. And second, this is, actually, incredibly funny."

Dean pushes away the rest of the thicket of paper and looks around. Gabriel's shacked them up in an empty house. He says it was abandoned, but Dean suspects he just uprooted the owners and planted the two of them there overnight -- muddy soccer cleats in the front hall say as much. Dean thought about demanding Gabriel tell him where the family has gone, but then he decided it wasn't worth the effort. "So this is your idea of a welcome?"

"You're my apprentice now, grasshopper," Gabriel says, nodding sagely. "The training begins today."

Dean grumbles and gets up, balling up the toilet paper to toss a hunk at Gabriel, who dodges it smoothly with a triumphant little cackle. "This is training?"

"Sure." Gabriel snaps his fingers and the mountain of TP disappears. "You have to learn to think like a Trickster. So be prepared to get tricked."

"Nobody ever tricked you!"

"And therein was my downfall." Gabriel nods sadly. "If I hadn't underestimated my brother's capacity for subterfuge, I might still be alive. You're going to have to learn to see me coming, my young pupil. Or you will end up being the tricked instead of the Trickster." He hops up from his perch on a set of dresser drawers. "So. Breakfast?"

Gabriel's got flour and milk and sugar out on the kitchen counter, and as they arrive in the room he pulls milk and eggs out of the refrigerator. "Pancakes?"

"Why the hell not." Dean nods, casual, but his brain is cooking with an idea. He eyes the spice rack, sees the salt shaker, then says, "I could help out. You got a recipe?"

Gabriel's back is to him - he's examining an egg for imperfections, skeptically, as though he expects a baby chick to be born from it any minute. "2 cups flour, an egg, half a cup milk..." He finds a glass and cracks the egg into it as Dean dutifully follows instructions.

Well, isn't this interesting. Domestic, even. Gabriel's humming (the Imperial March from Star Wars, but still, he's humming), and there's sunshine filtering through the windows, like a bizarre scene from suburbia. Dean almost feels like a husband for an instant. Rising urge to kill his "wife" included for extra authenticity. Oh, well, he has an idea for that.

"A cup sugar," Gabriel instructs, and Dean snickers. He opens up the salt shaker, pours its contents into the measuring cup, and holds it above the bowl. His wrist tips just a tad, and then Gabriel's holding it firm, grinning at him knowingly. "I actually don't love salt in my pancakes," he says.

"Damn it! How'd you--"

Gabriel wrests away the salt and lets him go. "I think like a Trickster, remember?"

Dean grumbles and turns away. He has the feeling that this is going to be a very long stretch of being humiliated over and over again, which is really not his favorite thing to do. But the itch is still there, to do this, to try this. Because he can. Because it's an opportunity he'll never have again. And because Gabriel, standing there making pancakes as real as can be, is actually kind of a sight for sore eyes. Dean gets the feeling Gabriel understands him, the humor and the grit that makes him up, better than anyone else living. Excepting maybe Bobby and Sam. And Gabriel accepts it -- no, Gabriel likes it - and that's kind of a revelation.

"OK, sunshine," Gabriel purrs in his ear, too close, and Dean jumps. "Pancake?"

Dean looks around and sees a stack of golden brown cakes on a crisp white plate. It looks like heaven. "Oh, yeah." He settles down at the table to eat, pours syrup over the stack, and digs his fork in to take a bite.

He's not sure which happens first - the curl of his lip, the watering of his eyes, the overwhelming urge to spit the mouthful out, or Gabriel's smug intonation. "Changed my mind, decided to try the salt after all. How is it?"

Dean runs to the wastebasket and spits out the pancakes, then grabs the carton of milk and chugs half of it down. Slamming it down on the kitchen counter, he glares at Gabriel. "Damn it! I'm going to get you."

"Of course you are. One of these days. At least, that's the hope." Gabriel shrugs and pats the back of the other chair, in front of which an identical stack of pancakes waits. "Now, c'mon, Rocky, this set's normal. Gotta feed you well before we start your training regimen."

Training, as it turns out, ends up being more eating. Only this time instead of pancakes at some soccer mom's breakfast table it's tiny little cakes that look like they've been painstakingly designed possibly by a jeweler, and tea in little china cups that Dean can't figure out how to hold without his pinky sticking out like a girl. They're in some crystal-chandeliered ballroom of a restaurant, and Dean's wearing a suit and tie. Gabriel is too, only his jacket is a disgusting shade of royal blue and he's wearing a bowtie, which he insists makes him look like some celebrity Dean's never heard of. And he's popping the bite-size cakes in his mouth at an alarming rate. And Dean himself would be the first to say, when he thinks you're eating at an alarming rate, that's saying something.

"So what are we doing here?" he asks after taking a sip of the tea, which is bitter and acrid on his tongue and could never be coffee in its wildest dreams.

"Picking your first victim." Gabriel takes a sip of his tea, which appears to be carbonated. Dean frowns and peeks over the rim - looks like Gabriel's had it switched for Mountain Dew. "Here we are in a den of the kind of people you absolutely despise, am I right? Choose the one who annoys you the most, and we'll play."

Dean blinks. "Seriously? Wait, how am I supposed to do that? I don't know anything about these people. Don't you only pick on guys who deserve it?"

"Yeah, but this is a training run," Gabriel says breezily. "So just go with an annoying one. Besides, this job is supposed to be fun." He gives a wide, lopsided grin.

"All right." Dean looks down at Gabriel's tea. Now it's orange, and still fizzy. "What the hell are you doing to your drink?"

"Making it drinkable," Gabriel replies. Dean has nothing smart to say in response to that. He shrugs.

Around them, people mill about in costume jewelry and circus tents cleverly disguised as dresses. A woman who looks like she's eaten nothing but cakes all day trumpets by, waving down a waiter and demanding the tea be warmed up again. He looks right down into her cleavage and wrinkles his nose, then takes back the teacup with a snatch of a bony hand. Dean can't tell which one of them is more cliched. But neither of them annoy him enough to make him want to exact any sort of revenge. He takes another cake, frowns at the lattice-like decoration on it, and pops it in his mouth.

"So is this how you spend your time?" he says through the mouthful. "Eating sugary crap and watching people be annoying?"

"Spent my time," Gabriel corrects. "Dead, remember?"

"Brought back to life."

"Temporarily. Gotta let the natural order take its course."

Dean snorts. "Right, natural. Like death by Incredible Hulk."

"You remembered that one, eh?" Gabriel looks proud of himself.

"You're avoiding the question."

"You're avoiding the mission. Eyes up, Daniel-san. See anyone worth making miserable?"

"I'm serious now. Why do you have to be so determined to keel over again? Wouldn't you rather--"


The voice is soprano, shrill and decidedly irked. Dean looks up to see a body that's too perfect to be anything but silicon, but still flabs out in the areas that aren't boobs-thighs-tummy, remnants of the body that Nature gave this girl before she decided to trade generic in for a brand name. She's talking on her cell phone, her left hand thrust forward, palm down. On her finger glitters the hugest gem Dean's ever seen, a diamond that has to be the size of a grape. Dean forgets what he was saying and watches her like she's a car wreck or a reality show.

"It's the ugliest thing I ever," she says. "I can't even." Apparently she's allergic to finishing her sentences. "It looks like an anvil, I don't even know..."

Dean meets Gabriel's eyes over the table.

"Her?" Gabriel's smirking.


She isn't hard to eavesdrop on. The story, as well as Dean can deduce, is this: Her boyfriend proposed last night and as happy as she was to be engaged to the hunky heir to a jewelry empire, she's sort of horrified that the guy (twenty-two, he's twenty-two!), having no eye for jewelry, just got her the largest diamond in the collection instead of the most beautiful. Dean still doesn't know jewelry aside from the occasional thumb ring, and he can't imagine how this poor sap could have had half a clue. But empathy is definitely not part of this girl's virtues, as all she can talk about is how the diamond is the shape of an anvil. She says anvil more often than a representative of the ACME corporation on the phone with Wile E. Coyote.

"She says that word one more time, I'm gonna drop an anvil on her," Dean mutters.

"You can do that."

Dean rolls his eyes. "I'm not gonna drop an anvil on someone just because they're obnoxious."

"Why not? Worse has happened to better people."

"Because I'm not like you." Anger darkens Dean's features. "I don't kill people who don't deserve it."

"Right. Because you never put a knife in the throat of an innocent kid with a demon riding him."

"I'm not gonna get in this fight with you. You know you're full of it." Dean sits back. "Anyway, who says I have to be cruel just because I'm a trickster? Maybe the new trickster is a nice guy. Maybe he teaches lessons that people can walk away from. As better people."

"A kinder, gentler pagan god?"

"Why not? He could be a force for good in the world."

Dean and Gabriel look at each other for a moment.

They burst into hysterical laughter.

"It's a thought, at least!" Gabriel says. "Good luck with that."

"Hey, just because you're a hopeless case doesn't mean everyone is."

"True." Still wiping his eyes from the outburst of laughter. "But the question remains, is anyone who is still redeemable worth a Trickster's time?"

"I don't get it."

"Go drop an anvil on her," Gabriel says. "Or at least near her. Then we'll talk."

Dean just has to imagine the scenario. He figures an anvil would have to be somewhere where they make weapons, like a martial arts supply shop. And as he tails Bratty McSilicon out of the restaurant and down the street, somehow or other there's one just around the corner. On the second floor. Going out of business, and carrying down the heavy equipment via crane.

He stares at the rope and it snaps.

Bratty screams, one of the movers pulls her out of the way, and the anvil drops an inch away from her. Her copious bosom heaving, she stares into the eyes of the mover who's saved her. And Dean suddenly sees potential for a better future. Five years later, she'll have returned the ring, dumped the poor jewelry heir, and settled down for a joyously humble life with her savior in a basement apartment downtown. She'll work two jobs and still have time for scorchingly hot sex and an occasional viewing of Jersey Shore.

Dean's so pleased with himself, he's practically floating all the way back. Gabriel meets him at the door of the restaurant, arms crossed, bowtie crooked. "Well, that went pretty well," he says. "You might want to come back down to Earth, though."

"What?" Dean tries to wipe the grin off his face. "I did a good job. Sue me for being proud of myself."

"I can see that." Gabriel points at the sidewalk. "But folks are starting to stare."

Dean looks down.

OK, so he's not just practically floating. He's actually floating.

He grabs at a nearby newspaper box, misses, and falls a few inches before managing to catch himself on thin air. "What the hell?"

"Oh, I must not have mentioned that part." Gabriel slaps his palm to his forehead. "You trick someone, you get some power. You already have the basics, but the fun stuff happens once you pull off a good prank."

"I don't--" Dean grabs for Gabriel's arm, then the door, but he keeps sort of soaring upward. "Son of a bitch!"

"Relax, relax. Just look at the air."

"What do you mean, look at the air? It's air--"

Dean breaks off. Now that Gabriel mentions it, the air does look-- kind of different. Like there's tiers, or layers, thin as paper, and if he tries he can step up through them, or slide up if he chooses. He catches Gabriel's gaze, and Gabriel gives him a small nod.

"Really?" he whispers.

"Really." And just to be a dick about it, Gabriel zooms up above the building and beckons down to Dean to catch up.

Dean gets a foothold on the layers of air, and he slides into the sky.

They're somewhere up above the city now. Dean's chucked his boots on the roof of a skyscraper and is racing up into chilly air in bare feet. He's learned how to rise and dive, and now he's trying barrel rolls, somersaulting through space until he has to look for the ground to know which direction it's in. Gabriel applauds his aerial acrobatics and helps him get oriented again. Dean sits on a ledge of nothing and watches his toes hanging in space below.

"Different than flying in an airplane, huh?" Gabriel says. Glowing, short of breath, Dean laughs in response. "I'm glad the first thing you got was this. I figure the mind-reading will be a bit freaky when that comes around."

"It's wild." Dean nods. "Man, if I were you I would have done this all the damn time. How come more of you god-types don't actually fly around?"

"Well, I can't speak for any of the others, but for me? Nobody to talk to up here." Gabriel cruises by him, doing the backstroke. "I am a social animal."

"You mean a sociopathic animal."

"Same dif." He leans back, his head upside down, and continues to float.

Itchy to move again, Dean dives down through a layer of clouds. He comes out sopping wet, and shakes it off with another thrilled laugh as he rolls back up to Gabriel's altitude. "I feel free," he says, softly, not to Gabriel or himself but just into the air. It's almost reverent, prayerlike.

"You haven't even gotten to the best part," Gabriel says.


Gabriel nods. He slides over close to Dean, quiet Sphinx smile on his face, and points a finger downward.

Dean follows it with his gaze, staring down at the world below the tip of Gabriel's finger. And as he stares, and as Gabriel points, Dean's vision starts to ripple. It's telescoping downward, ripping through the clouds and the endless layers of air, until he's focused so well on a low roof that he can see each individual tile. "Wow," he breathes, hand clutching at Gabriel's free arm so the sudden focus doesn't knock the balance out of him.

"Stay with it," Gabriel says.

As Dean watches the roof itself peels away into transparency, and Dean is staring down now through it, into the building, It's a motel. And he's looking into a motel room. His brother's motel room.

Sam is sitting on the bed, polishing his gun. His laptop is open on the bed next to him. Before Dean's faraway eyes, he gives a soft smile, as though laughing at a private joke. A moment later his cell phone rings. Dean can hear it. He hears Sam answer, the clipped "Yeah" followed by a warmer, "Oh, hey, Bobby. Yeah, I got your text. I think you're right about the suicides. They're definitely not natural."

Dean's vision recoils, returns, and he staggers back as though struck. Tears are coming to his eyes.

"You still with me, sport?" Gabriel is holding his wrist lightly. "Too soon?"

Swallowing hard, Dean shakes his head. He's trembling with relief. Sam's hunting. Sam's OK.

"You know?" he says softly. "I think I thought I'd be disappointed to see he was doing OK without me. But I'm not. It's all right, to do our own thing for a while. It's healthy."

"Define healthy," Gabriel says. "He hunts monsters, you're learning to kill people in creative ways."

"Hey, we were going to talk about the killing-people thing," Dean chides.

"Yeah." Gabriel leans back, lets go of Dean's arm. "I guess we were."

"So what, then? Why can't a Trickster not kill?"

"Like I said before," Gabriel answers, a bit of irritation furrowing his brow. "The folks that aren't worth killing generally aren't worth your time. In my day, I saved my powder for the real bastards. Can't go around teaching lessons to every jerkwad on earth, or you'd never have a moment's peace."

Dean shivers. The altitude is making him a little dizzy. "You mean you didn't just choose the cases that amused you?"

"Course not. I chose the guys who were going to get away with it, that nobody was gonna teach a lesson to. That's the beauty of this job. You get it to stick it to the guys who go around sticking it to others."

Dean gazes at him. "You sound as if you miss it."

Gabriel fidgets. "It's not as though I retired. Cut down in my prime, you know."

"And now you're back. So why the hell are you so damn eager to die again?"

Gabriel raises mournful eyes to his. Dean realizes he's asked the wrong thing.

"It's cold up here," Gabriel says, and he darts down through the clouds and out of sight.

Morgan O'Conner: SPN Dean Gabriel by hsapiensmorganoconner on May 30th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)

Hee! I remember you tweeting about that obnoxious girl and her ring. XD

Oh my god, you are absolutely killing me with this fic. SERIOUSLY KILLING ME. I LOVE THIS TO PIECES!!!

I can haz part 3 nao? *wibbles at you*
cousinmarycousinmary on May 30th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
I'm loving this story! I'm going to cry like a baby if Gabe goes back to being dead at the end, or it doesn't end up with Dean/Gabe happily/tricksterly after, fair warning ;-)
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on May 31st, 2011 08:08 am (UTC)
LOL! I love Gabe's idea of training! And catch a clue, Dean! Dean's trying to teach you something.

As for a side story, I would love to see what Castiel thinks of Dean's Trickster status.
Chaos, Panic, Pandemonium – my work here is done.: supernatural--gabriel orly?riveroceansea on May 31st, 2011 12:41 pm (UTC)

"It's cold up here," Gabriel says.

Awww! I see Dean in Gabriel's denial, denial, denial.

I eagerly await more.
Xarixian: Gabrielxarixian on May 31st, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
Oh god, this is so beautiful. I love, love, love this <3
Zekkass: BAMF of the Lordzekkass on June 1st, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
Well, isn't this interesting. Domestic, even. Gabriel's humming (the Imperial March from Star Wars, but still, he's humming), and there's sunshine filtering through the windows, like a bizarre scene from suburbia. Dean almost feels like a husband for an instant. Rising urge to kill his "wife" included for extra authenticity. Oh, well, he has an idea for that.

Aaand I laughed forever at that. XD I love this! *dashes off to read more*
333 - Halfway to Hellscyllaya on June 1st, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
I can't believe I didn't read this yet. It's awesome :D Love it *goes to next chapter*