“Damn it,” Sam muttered, staring at the sticky mess currently littering the counter in the bunker. He’d been trying to make a cake for Dean’s birthday, sort of a peace offering between the two of them. At least, a belated cake for Dean’s birthday as his birthday was last month. Yet the bowl had slipped out of his hands as he’d mixed the batter and bounced across the counter, spewing white batter littered with chocolate chips everywhere.
He wasn’t even sure why he was trying, not with how rocky things were between them. And the worst part of it all was that Dean didn’t quite understand why Sam was so pissed and hurt. The loss of his body, his will, again hurt in ways Sam didn’t want to examine too closely. The simple fact that Dean was the architect of it all was the final crack. There was so much between them now that Sam didn’t think could ever be bridged. At least, without Dean making some effort to see why what he had done was so wrong.
“Hey, Samsquatch, making a mess aren’t ya?” Gabriel asked as he sauntered into the kitchen, a lollipop clenched firmly between his teeth. It was nice to have the archangel back in the bunker, once Gadreel had been kicked out of Sam. Dean had come up with some creative excuses to keep him out of the bunker on Gadreel’s orders. Even one look would have ruined the whole thing. Gabriel walked up behind Sam and slung an arm around his waist while dragging a finger through the white batter. “Here, try some?”
Sam laughed and leaned down to lick the batter off Gabriel’s finger, letting his tongue swipe up and down a couple more times than necessary. Gabriel smirked at Sam, crooking his finger in Sam’s mouth to rub gently at the roof of his mouth. He only let it go on for a few seconds, slowly pulling his finger out and stepping away slightly from Sam. Squeezing Sam’s waist, Gabriel snapped and made the sticky mess on the counter disappear. Another snap made another cake appear, blue and green frosting with Dean’s name spelled out in white frosting. Of course, it was misspelled because it was Gabriel. But Sam shook his head, pulling the bowl back towards himself and searching for more cake mix.
“What are you doing, Samsquatch?” Gabriel asked, confused. He pointed towards the cake he’d made appear, even changing the spelling of Dean’s name to the correct version. “What’s wrong with this cake?”
“No offense, Gabe, but this is something I’d really rather do myself,” Sam sighed, shaking his head at himself. Not that it would do any good, really. What could a damned cake do if Dean wouldn’t admit he was wrong? There was a very good chance that the bond between them had been irrevocably broken.
“You want to make a mess again?” Gabriel chuckled, hoisting himself up onto the counter and snapping up a bowl with brownie mix inside it. Part of the fun of baking was eating the batter or mix as you went. And Gabriel had a soft spot for chocolate. Especially on Sam Winchester’s skin. Which would make a very good accompaniment to the chocolate in his bowl. But before he could smear any on Sam’s cheek or neck, the hunter stepped away and picked up another whisk. “What’s the real reason, Sam?”
“Olive branch, I guess,” Sam sighed, mixing more chocolate chips into the mix and adding milk and butter. He blended it all together slowly, almost meditatively, as he determinedly avoided Gabriel’s eyes. It was hard enough doing this knowing how Dean was likely to react. “You know what’s been going on between Dean and me.”
“That wasn’t a question and that I do,” Gabriel replied, kicking his legs so that his heels thumped against the cabinets in an annoying cadence. He studied Sam for a moment, noting the hunched shoulders and slow, stuff movements. This was important and Sam didn’t believe it was going to come out right. “You sure cake is the right way to go, even for Dean’s birthday? I remember that Dean-o likes pie.”
“It’s a start and I really have no idea how to make pie,” Sam shrugged, pulling the cake pan towards him and pouring the blended batter into it. No clumsiness this time though Sam did sweep up the drips from the edge of the bowl with his finger. Licking it thoughtfully, for once ignoring Gabriel completely, Sam decided it would probably taste all right. He put the cake pan in the oven then set the timer, following the directions on the box. “I don’t know what else to do Gabe. I can’t forgive Dean, not this time. I can’t sweep it under the rug and forget about it. He needs to realize that what we have isn’t working. Family isn’t a cure-all for all the crap we’ve gone through. There’s got to be a line.”
Gabriel hopped off the counter and pulled Sam into a hug again. It didn’t phase the archangel when Sam remained stiff and upright, arms straight down at his sides. He’d gotten the story in bits and pieces from both Sam and Dean, finally understanding exactly why he’d been kept out of the bunker that had become his home too. Gabriel had to admit, he was on Sam’s side in all this. While he was thankful the hunter was still alive, Dean really did crossing a line saving him this time. Sam had had enough possessions to last him a lifetime. He shouldn’t have had to deal with anymore.
“I know, Sam, and I agree with you,” Gabriel said soothingly. Caretaker wasn’t a role he was completely comfortable with but he’d gotten used to it for Sam. There was a reason Gabriel had run away from all the fighting in his family, didn’t want to see anymore brothers killing each other. That inner core of love translated easily to Sam too. Maybe there was something he could do to make Dean see the mistake he’d made. “It’s good of you to make overtures to Dean, try to repair the rift between you two. Why don’t you sit here and figure out what you want to say? I know it’s been bugging you.”
Gabriel steered Sam to a chair and settled him into it, applying gentle pressure to the hunter’s shoulders until he sat. There were definitely some benes to being an archangel, especially when his boyfriend was head and shoulders taller than he was. Gabriel pressed a kiss to Sam’s lips, unable to resist a teasing lick over the seam. Sam chuckled and pulled Gabriel back down when the archangel started to stand, kissing him a little harder.
“Yeah, I think part of the problem is how I might be saying things,” Sam admitted, shaking his head. “We’ve both been so programmed to hear what we’re expecting. I think Dean hears that I don’t care anymore, especially when I told him under the same circumstances I wouldn’t do what he did. But I know what it’s like to be possessed. Dean’s never been possessed by a demon or an angel. I’ve had both and I would never force either on someone else. He needs to understand that.”
Gabriel nodded and squeezed Sam’s shoulder comfortingly before heading out of the kitchen to find Dean. The elder Winchester was likely in his room, listening to music and brooding. It’s what he’d been doing since Gabriel had gotten back and he knew this bout of self-pity was mostly caused by Kevin’s death and being played by Gadreel. And wasn’t that a kick in the ass? Gabriel hadn’t seen Gadreel in millenia though he’d felt sorry for the angel being blamed for the original sin. Something nagged at Gabriel about that, especially as their father was supposed to be all-knowing and all-powerful. Everything about that situation screamed scapegoat but Gabriel didn’t want to get involved. He didn’t want to end up in a cell next to the poor angel. But right now, there were other concerns and Gabriel wanted to take care of Sam.