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[personal profile] rosivan
Wordcount: ~14000 - as complete as it's going to get
warnings: mentions of stalkers, blow jobs, glitter
summary: Gabriel is a teenage triple threat, once part of a stage show with his six brothers. With his own career suddenly being carefully watched by a stalker who knows his every move, he hires a bodyguard to help figure out who it is. Instead, they both lose sight of this in the pursuit of each other.

NOTE: I only wrote Gabriel.

It wasn't that Sam hated his job. He actually quite liked his job and what it entailed - it was just that the clientele was often entirely too prissy, or sensitive, or stupid, honestly, most of them. He hadn't seen much of Gabriel; he'd taken the job because he needed one. His last client had fired him because he brought her a chai latte instead of a mocha - Starbucks had screwed the lids up. No job and an apartment in LA was really not the fast track to success, so Sam had snapped up the first thing available: a tight bodyguard position on Gabriel's next tour. They were just finishing the Chicago concert, Gabriel emerging from the stage, dripping sweat, golden hair sticking to his forehead. Sam still hadn't actually met him face-to-face - this was his first concert in attendance.

He nodded to the guards who escorted Gabriel from the stage and followed down the dim hallway that led to the dressing rooms, silent. The door creaked open and closed; Sam gave Gabriel the ten minutes he would need to change, then knocked once and slipped inside. Sam himself was dressed somewhat casually: burgundy shirt rolled up to the bends of his elbows, black slacks and a tie loose around his neck. "Gabriel?" he asked from inside the bend of the door. The last thing he needed to do was walk in on his new boss (and god that was scary, because Gabriel was only sixteen and Sam was near twenty-four).

Young and talented, Gabriel knew the business well despite his age. He'd grown up in the spotlight alongside his brothers, all of them named for angels by their religious father. Their career was brilliant but short lived, and while his brothers fought, Gabriel stepped out on his own. It had been difficult at first, to have that spotlight to himself, but now Gabriel barely even noticed the absences (or so he told himself).

Shedding his performance clothes, feathers and wings patterned and sewn in decorative places, Gabriel was given enough time in his dressing room to slip back into his own skin. The rush of the concert was still hammering through his chest and the adrenaline barely dimmed as Gabriel answered his phone messages and took a quick flick through his email. He shrugged into his favourite leather jacket, glancing at the mirror when the door opened. A new guy - the new bodyguard. What was his name....

"Sam. C'mon in."

Sam ducked inside, mildly surprised by the familiar tone to Gabriel's voice. The first time he'd met Arianna, she'd swept her eyes up and down his body, said, "You'll do," and ordered a scone for breakfast. "Hey," Sam greeted. He lingered near the closed door, eyes shifting to Gabriel's stage outfits. He'd done a little research on his client, enough to have general background, and he was an absolute master onstage. Sam had only caught half of it, but - "The concert was great," he said, crossing his arms over his chest. "The way you changed up Vox in the third riff, from C to A? Very nice."

Gabriel turned, leaning back against the edge of the table counter and appraised Sam. Older - obviously capable of taking care of himself and at least one other. Didn't look threatening enough to scare off nice, polite fans, but did look threatening enough to make someone think twice about getting too close for other reasons.

"I'm impulsive," Gabriel said bluntly. "I like company, I like humouring fans and I like parties. I have a temper, I make my own luck and I'm allergic to peaches."

He added, "I have a problem and you're the guy who's gonna fix it."

"Don't think I can fix peaches," Sam said before he could stop himself, the slant of his mouth wide and amused. He blinked, a little surprised; he'd never actually run his mouth at anyone, but from the very instant Gabriel set eyes on him, it was like he was challenging him to pick. Accept Gabriel as he was and make do, or fuck off. He shrugged, still surprised but unapologetic. Gabriel had spunk and Sam was vaguely determined to let him know that he could handle himself. "The stalker, that I can handle."

He leaned back against the door, looking Gabriel up and down. Lean, with a feline grace, famous golden eyes and hair to match, though it was darkened with sweat. Sam gave himself a moment to appreciate before his morals kicked in, and to distract himself he said, "I'll fix it."

Gabriel's expression shifted into something like satisfaction, as if Sam had passed some secret test. Pushing away from the counter, Gabriel slid his phone into the pocket of his faded denim and moved across the room to stand almost right in front of Sam. He gazed up at him curiously. "Any questions?"

Sam had to drop his chin almost to his chest to meet Gabriel's eyes at that angle, to be able to look down when the kid was scant inches away from him. "Yeah. If Starbucks happens to fuck up the lids on your chai tea, are you going to fire me?"

Gabriel snorted, shooting him a deeply amused look. "I already have an assistant or whatever her title is these days. You know you're a hired bodyguard, right?"

"You're the first employer I've had that made that distinction." And yeah, Sam had a feeling he was going to like this kid, right from the get-go. He wasn't prissy and he certainly wasn't an utter bitch. At least, not so far. He shifted, reminded of his actual job here. He held out a hand. "Can I see your phone?"

Expression hardly changing, Gabriel fished in his pocket for his phone and handed the banged up little nokia flip phone to Sam. There were two charms dangling from it - one was a pair of popcicles and the other was a tiny bird with a fish in its mouth. The phone wasn't new - he'd gotten it a few years back and hadn't needed to get a new one or upgrade.

Sam flipped it over and opened the back. He dipped his fingers inside, sensitive fingertips searching for any bump or protrusion that would indicate a bug. It was clean. He nodded and handed it back. "So. Your problem." Gabriel was still covered in glitter, and Sam was trying rather hard not to stare as he settled the phone in Gabriel's palm. "Let's hear it from you."

Gabriel looked down at his phone as if silently apologizing for the sudden cavity search. His poor baby. "There's someone stalking me and they've been leaving me emails like we're buds and they've been with me all day. I don't even know their name or anything." He stepped away, just a restless pace further into the dressing room and then back. "It's just freaky the shit they know."

"You still have the emails?" Sam asked. He had, of course, seen all the reports Gabriel's other security staff had put together, but at the same time, he wanted to hear it from Gabriel, because he knew how annoying it was to be talked around. "I'm going to need to see them - and any other phone you use. As well as your car. Please," he added, an afterthought, and offered Gabe a smile from under his bangs.

The attempt to be polite made Gabriel smile, one eyebrow raising slightly. "Yeah, they're in a big ol' file on my desktop called 'WTF'. My laptop is back in the hotel. My car is waiting out back or something. I'm not exactly sure." Gabriel blinked, caught for a moment in the smile, and glanced down at his phone just for a reason to look away. "Should probably get going anyway."

"Out back and down a block," Sam responded, holding up his own phone (a sleek black Blackberry that he'd been given especially for this job) and jiggling it. "Mind if I stop in your room for a bit? I'm in the same hotel."

Gabriel slipped past Sam through the door, tossing a grin over his shoulder. "Excuses. Should at least buy me dinner first~" He headed for the elevator, biting down a smile into the collar of his jacket.

Sam raised an eyebrow, closing Gabriel's dressing room door and nearly - nearly - sighing when Gabriel tugged a coat over his bared arms. "We'll see," he said, but he knew he'd end up doing it, just because. They stepped into the elevator, Sam glancing automatically around for any prying eyes.

Finger running down the row of buttons, Gabriel pressed for the main floor, and leaned back against the railing of the elevator. "So," he asked, blunt and nosy as always, "If you've dealt with bitchy bosses, why'd you take this job?"

"I need the money," Sam said bluntly. "It's not easy being unemployed in LA - but I'm sure you don't know anything about that." It wasn't meant to come off as passive aggressive or anything of the sort - Sam was truly happy that someone like Gabriel had managed to make his way so far. "And your case is a little different than most I've taken."

"Fix my problem and you won't have to know either," Gabriel told Sam, completely unoffended by the comment. He lived a lavish life and he knew it. The business was expensive, but it paid off if you were good at it.

Sam's eyes slid sideways as the elevator pulled to a smooth halt. "That so?" he asked, tone a little careful. It was hard to promise job security here, what with TMZ on the prowl and tabloids and scandals and people who (weren't like Gabriel) couldn't keep control of their egos.

"Unless you've got a problem with it," Gabriel said, stepping out into the lobby when the doors slid open. "Then you'll get a sweet severance check as a thank you instead." Or a swift kick out, but that really depended on the ending.

"No, I - No," Sam repeated, half-laughing. "No, I don't have a problem with it." They stepped out into the night air together; Sam shifted his steps a little closer, set a hand on Gabriel's shoulder when people moved too close. He was young and he was open, friendly most of the time - but a job was a job, and light conversation or not, Gabriel needed protection.

The warm weight of Sam's hand on his shoulder was reassuring, and Gabriel felt a little looser as he gazed out and talked in passing with fans who'd waited to see him leave. He couldn't go out among them, and really, it was probably a bad idea at that time of night, so Gabriel tossed joking remarks back and forth, making his way down he block to his waiting vehicle.

Sam shadowed Gabriel, sticking close to his back, and while most fans kept respectful distance, some ventured close enough for Sam to settle his arm over Gabriel's shoulders until they were both able to slip into the Lincoln that had pulled smoothly up to the curb. He sank down in his seat, entirely too grateful for tinted windows, and sighed, shrugging out of his jacket. "Jackals, some of 'em," he murmured, blinking camera flashes from his eyes. No doubt he'd be all over the front page the next morning.

An arm over his shoulders wasn't so familiar to Gabriel, but he knew it was for protection and ignored the flush of warmth that snaked down his spine. Sliding into the car, Gabriel's hands played with his phone, charms rolling between his fingers as he absently stared out the tinted glass of the car. "Just excited, I guess," he murmured, about the people.

Gabriel was a bit more low-key than Sam had expected; he figured it was because hell, Gabe had just put on a three-hour concert, and his incredible energy onstage had to be expended by the end of the night. "Excited is good," he said, glancing back outside. "Too excited gives us a problem." He relaxed, letting his guard down a little in the safety of the car. "Can I ask you somethin'?" He'd never bothered actually asking real permission before, but Gabriel was granting him liberties no one else did.

"Excited is good~" Gabriel repeated with a teasing curl to his tone. Legs stretched out in front of him, he sank back in the seat before looking over at Sam. "What?" A part of him wanted to say 'no', but that part of him was also a dick.

"How do you not let it go to your head? Everyone else does." Sam's gaze remained out the window. He was really trying exceptionally hard not to whine I've been so mistreateeed, and was sorely failing, so he went on. "I mean, you're worldwide famous, and you're just - a normal kid." He backpedaled. "Not that you're a kid. A normal guy." The fuck even, Sam, he muttered to himself. His life was spent around celebrities; one would think he wouldn't be sensitive to them by now.

Gabriel snorted and curled against the window of the car with his hands tucked at his elbows. "I'm not normal, Sam - this isn't normal. It's just all I know, and I happen to be good at it." He'd barely met the guy and already Gabriel was getting his impressions of who Gabriel was. If it weren't so common, Gabriel would be would be amused.

Sam's eyes slid sideways. He backtracked, voice quieter. "I don't mean to tell you what you are. I'm just saying - you're not like most." He turned his attention outward, watching the city fly by, and then pulled out his cell phone to check the detail that was parked by the hotel.

"Okay," Sam said, blinking at him. He texted the other head of security, letting him know they were stopping, and watched Gabriel brush glitter from his eyelashes. He kind of wished the guy had left it there, but hey, Gabriel was his job. Not his eye candy.

The driver switched courses and they pulled up outside Ghirardelli ten minutes later; it was semi-empty because (and Sam had forgotten) it was nearly one in the morning, but a few people lingered outside, sitting at various wrought-iron tables. "Good?" Sam asked, poised to get out.

Gabriel had been hoping for some hole-in-the-wall desk with four flavours and soft serve, but he supposed this was what happened when one wasn't specific. Plus, it was Ghirardelli. "Yeah," he breathed, soft smile lingering. "C'mon."

Gabriel made a beeline for the shop, more animated than he had been in the dressing room. He read through the menu and quickly decided what he wanted.

Sam followed after Gabriel, mostly watching him. He'd meant what he said - Gabriel was different. Unusual, in a good way. He stepped up behind his charge and ordered something ridiculous, just for the hell of it. Whatever flavor he first laid eyes on and a topping at complete random - something he'd gotten from his brother. He ended up with peanut butter chip and strawberry sauce. Something edible, thank god.

Trips for ice cream wasn't unusual, so Gabriel knew his current driver was more of a chocolate dude. He got him a bar of the dark chocolate and settled down on one of the benches with orange sherbet with coconut shavings over the top like snow. He was pleased he didn't have to pressure Sam into getting something, even if he'd chosen some ridiculous combination that even he'd seemed surprised about.

Since when did people buy things for their drivers? Sam reined in his surprise and followed Gabriel out to sit on a bench, the traffic trickling by. There were few cars out, a welcome reprieve from the usual congested rush. He took a bite of the ice cream, and it was actually good, peanut butter and chocolate and strawberry. Really good. He glanced over at Gabriel and snorted. "You have glitter on your cheek."

Spoon sticking out of his mouth, Gabriel swallowed around it and reached up to swipe his fingers over his cheek. He looked to Sam for confirmation that he'd got it.

"No, the - " Sam stuck his own spoon in his mouth and brushed it away. Honestly, he was surprised there wasn't more. Everywhere. "There." He leaned back and tipped his head back, staring up at the skyscrapers around them. He loved the city, far, far too much for him to leave it.

Gabriel made a sound to indicate his thanks, tucking one foot beneath his opposite knee, leg swinging in the air. He followed Sam's gaze, asking, "Whatcha looking at?"

Sam's lips quirked. "The city," he said quietly, watching someone move behind a window fifty feet up. A moment later, the light flicked off. Sam dropped his eyes, watching Gabriel for a moment. "Which one's your favorite?"

Gabriel missed the slight jump in topic, and stretched an arm out to point at a building tucked between a water tower and a large lit board. "That one there."

The subject switch was lost on Gabriel, but Sam didn't mind. He followed Gabriel's line of sight, tilting his head. "Why's that?"

"Looks friendly."

Sam grinned. "I meant what city."

A soft 'oh'. Gabriel thought about it as he finished off his sherbet. "San Francisco was cool. Boston, too." Any big city was neat to a small town kid.

"San Francisco," Sam echoed, nodding. "I lived there a while." He stretched his legs out and bunched hsi shoulders in his jacket, finishing off his ice cream. "So, is the utterly random need for ice cream a normal thing? Should I work it into my itinerary?" He was mostly teasing, eyes sparkling.

Gabriel's gaze followed Sam's stretch, down along the mile of his legs only to flick back up when Sam spoke again. Gabriel shrugged, squinting at the skyline again. "I don't think it's random. So. Sometimes?"

Sam's gaze softened a little. He turned his gaze back up as well. "I'll be sure to detail that, then," he murmured, letting his eyes slip closed.

Gabriel held his spoon out to write in the air, "One thirty - possible ice cream time. One forty-five - water fountains to get rid of ice cream mouth." He slanted a smile Sam's way, spoon tapping along the edge of his jaw.

Sam grinned at him and stole his dish, tossing them both in the trash and nudging the door open with his foot so they could both head back inside and to the water fountain. Sam's phone chimed, a quick check-in, and he returned the text, smothering a yawn as Gabriel sipped water.

Ice cream needs met and water sloshing in his belly, Gabriel waved a thank you to the store owner and made his way back to the car. He kicked rocks onto the street and slid inside again, leaving the door open for Sam. The bar of chocolate was passed through the dividing screen with a laugh, and Gabriel settled down on the seats, foot bouncing in the air as it perched on his knee.

Gabriel's mood seemed lighter. Sam nudged him as he slid in and said, "Hotel now? Or shall we go on more morning excursions?" Not that he would object, not really. He liked seeing Gabriel smile like this, like... Sam wasn't sure. There was an edge to Gabriel, like he'd lost something, but he didn't know how to fix it. Or maybe he didn't want to?

"If y'want," Gabriel said with grin, sliding sidewards on the seat to face Sam. "I wouldn't tell you no." A test of Sam's bodyguarding skills? An offer? Gabriel wasn't sure.

turned his body sideways as well, curling an arm around the headrest at the back of his seat. The hint of an accent in Gabriel's voice made him narrow his eyes for a moment, trying to identify it, but he shook his head with a quiet sigh. "Unfortunately I have a job that involves things other than exploring the city with you." Uh. "So...hotel," he finished awkwardly, tugging at the sleeve of his coat.

"Straight to the hotel," Gabriel said, dropping his voice deliberately. He snickered to himself tipping so he leaned against the seat, eyes a touch lower. "Such a workhorse," he said in a regular tone.

Sam chose, wisely, not to respond. The car pulled away from the curb and back into traffic, lighting out for Gabriel's hotel. "I try," he yawned, a little teasing.

"Mm." Gabriel's phone chirped, and he flicked through the message that had appeared on the screen. "Stalker wants to know how you enjoyed your peanut butter and strawberry."

"Seriously?" Sam started, grabbed the phone and frowned at the open email. "The hell? he muttered, flicking downward. It was eerily accurate, all of it, down to the license plate of Gabriel's car. Sam scrolled through twice. "...Jesus."

"Now, now," Gabriel said distantly, "If we name him we'll have to keep him." It was freaky how used to the emails he was getting. ....probably part of the stalker's plan.

Sam flicked through the email again. He hadn't realized they were quite this bad. He reached over, laid a hand at the back of Gabriel's neck and squeezed gently. "I'll figure it out, I promise," he murmured, still staring at the screen. This was ridiculous; no one, celebrity or no, should have to deal with something like this.

Gabriel tipped his head forward to stare at his hand playing with the stitching of his jeans, but didn't pull away. "It'd be nice," he murmured. Then, as an afterthought he rarely had, Gabriel added, "Please and thanks."

Sam squeezed again, going for reassuring. "You're welcome." He clicked back and handed the phone over, rubbing the heel of his hand over his eyes with a quiet sigh. "When did they start, again?"

"Couple weeks ago," Gabriel told him. He took the phone and moved away from the welcome warmth of Sam's touch. "Outta the blue, like we're pen pals or some shit."

Sam withdrew his hand, wondering if he'd taken it a bit far. "And nothing was off before that? None of your stuff went missing, you didn't notice anyone?"

The skin of Gabriel's nape tingled - he really tried not to notice. Biting his lip, Gabriel thought for a moment, running a hand through his hair. If his fingers lingered for a moment along the back of his neck, it was totally - totally - by accident. "I see a lot of people every day," he said after a moment. "I've got a good memory, but not that good."

Sam nodded, eyeing the swipe of Gabriel's fingers over his neck. He wondered briefly if he'd upset him, but it didn't seem the case. "You've got the rest saved, right?" he mumbled as they pulled to a stop outside the hotel. There were paparazzi gathered outside the front, a few lingering from the crowd Sam guessed had expected Gabriel back hours ago. He hesitated, hand on the smooth edge of the handle, and glanced back at Gabriel.

Gabriel smiled back, all lazy charm and young confidence - game face on. "On my laptop in my room. I'll show you." Phone slipped back in his pocket, Gabriel moved forward follow Sam out through the crowd.

The trip upstairs was relatively easy - surprising to Sam, who was used to people physically stopping his charges (and himself) to get the best shot. He shadowed Gabriel into the elevator and shut the door, running his finger down the line of buttons and pressing four of them in.

Stopping for cameras took a little longer, but they'd been holding out for Gabriel's return, and cooperation for a couple of shots went a long way. The third of the buttons pressed was the floor with his room, and Gabriel fished a keycard from his pocket to let them in.

Sam stopped to hang the 'Do not disturb' sign on the door and make sure it was locked. He yawned, smothered a second one and rubbed a hand through his hair. Being in a charge's motel room wasn't exactly protocol, and whenever Sam was in one it was either to be ordered around or yelled at. He hesitated near the end of hallway, at the mouth of the actual bedroom.

Gabriel's boots were kicked off by the door, jacket dropped over a chair (glitter falling as he went) and cell phone plugged in almost immedately. He was halfway through pushing the balcony door open before he realized Sam hadn't followed him. His laptop was sitting plugged in on the desk among his set lists and looseleaf sheets of half-songs. Gabriel peeked his head around the corner, raising an eyebrow at the shadowy hulk by the door. "Comin' in?"

"Yeah, sorry." Sam grinned sheepishly, kicking off his boots and trailing through the room to the open door leading out to the balcony. He snagged a few sheets of paper as he went, scanning the scribbles of half-finished songs and various conceptual ideas. He leaned his elbows on the railing, flicking through the sheets.

Gabriel was reaching for the papers before he could even process it. "Those-" He didn't tear them away from Sam, but his fingers danced nervously along the edges on one side. "The emails are on the computer. Those aren't finished." His music was a stripped away version of himself - anything in progress was too raw for songs, yet.

"Mhm." Sam ran his finger down one of the sheets, pausing over a line. It was gritty and raw, pure emotion. "I love this," he hummed. "And this, down here." He glanced up, searching Gabriel's eyes a moment, and then dropped his gaze, flipping the sheet back and examining another one.

Gabriel did reach out and take that page - it was a jumble of half thoughts about the stalker thing, finding a secret friend invisible among the crowd. His face burned a little with embarrassment.

Sam caught half of it before it was tugged away. "I like it," he said, softer. "Gabriel, really. It's no use writing songs unless you don't put yourself into them."

"They're not ready," Gabriel insisted, stuffing the page in his pocket. He didn't like them before they were censored for the public - a little less personal, a little easier to sing to.

"Why don't you put out things like this?" Sam said, shuffling the sheets he did have. Gabriel's music was powerful, but this was grittier, more of a punch. "This is brilliant."

Gabriel eyed him as if judging how serious he was. "Saving it." He didn't know for what, or when, or if it should be saved at all. Mostly it just sat around on tables and in books until Gabriel grew tired of it, or chopped it up for other less content-filled songs.

Sam eyed the sheets, then handed them over. "You should put this out," he said, tapping the top one. "Let people see who you are instead of making it into something more commercial." He went abruptly red and silent. It'd been so long since he had actually spoken his opinion around a boss - which, technically, Gabriel was his. "Sorry."

He took the papers, thumb pressing light along the top page. In one swift movement, Gabriel pitched them off the balcony, hands gripping the railing tightly as he leaned over to watch them fall. "Got enough people knowing who I am," he murmured.

Sam grabbed for them, nowhere close to catching them. "Why'd you do that?" he growled, with half a mind to go down and get them. "That was good."

Raking a hand through his hair, Gabriel turned and went back into the room. "You wanna see these emails or not?" He was already leaning over the desk and bringing them up anyway.

"Yeah." Sam eyed him, wondering if he was always like this, always so... Sam couldn't think of the word. Angry didn't fit, lost didn't. They were close. He leaned a hand on the desk, deliberately leaving the rest of the papers be. "Thanks," he mumbled, when the folder was up.

Gabriel left him with the computer, pulling clothes out of a suitcase under the bed. "Gonna shower that glitter off," he said before vanishing into the bathroom. He spend more time than strictly necessary under the water, trying to shake his mood.

Sam spent the time scanning through the emails and ended up moving from desk to floor, sitting curled on it with the laptop resting on the bed. The emails ranged from vague details to exact descriptions, scary shit like what Gabriel ordered from room service, or what time he got home - seconds included. Sam forwarded the folder to himself, still flicking through them.

When Gabriel returned he was in plain shorts and loose grey tee, barefeet curling in the hotel rug. Hair tousled from being towel dried, Gabriel stood over Sam's shoulder, seeing what he was doing. "Exciting, huh?"

"Scary," Sam responded, tipping his head back. Bad idea. Gabriel's skin was sleek-wet, shirt clinging to him. Sam cleared his throat, turning back to the emails. "You haven't sent any back, have you?"

"Did at first," Gabriel said, folding himself to sit down beside Sam. "Didn't get any replies or answers, so I stopped after a while."

Sam shifted his weight, leaned closer to the laptop. He could smell soap, something citrus and spicy, and goddamn. "All right. Well, I forwarded them to me, so I'll be able to look them over more closely, see if I can cross-reference the address." He closed the laptop carefully and stood to put it back on Gabriel's desk, careful not to bend any of his papers.

Gabriel turned, moving until he was leaning back against the bed with his legs staggered wherever was comfortable. "'kay," he said, arms loose around his middle. "You'll let me know anything?"

"Of course." Sam leaned back against the desk, sliding his hands into his pockets. "You need anything else?

Gabriel tipped his head back against the bed, a too-easy grin stretching slow across his mouth. "Chai tea~?"

Sam grinned in response, sarcastically. "You're a dick, really," he said, but it was fond.

"Oh, so you've met me?"

Sam tilted his head to the side, sweeping his eyes up and down Gabriel's frame. "Not yet," he said finally, and pulled his hands free. He ruffled Gabriel's hair as he passed, heading for the door. He paused to grab his boots and tugged them on.

Gabriel bit back a pleased smile, smoothing his hands back through his hair. Good. The guy was very good. "Night Sam."

"Good night," Sam murmured, tossing his jacket over his shoulder and stepping outside.

Studio days were fairly mellow and Gabriel came armed with bottles of water and a thermos of hot chocolate tucked in his backpack with his notebook and pencils. The studio was open and the acoustics were to die for. The band worked their way through the music and Gabriel spent most of his time working on the piano instead of the vocals. He was never worried about the vocals, not when he knew the music that was going to be backing him up.

Sam had never really attended studio performances; studios were secure (most had their own security) and paparazzi often had enough respect to at least wait until the session was over to start gathering outside. So there was no point in him being there. Except he was. There, of course. It was technically supposed to be a day off, but he wanted to see Gabriel work somewhere that wasn't a stage. It'd been worth it. Gabriel worked mostly piano, which Sam hadn't known he was so good at, and when he did sing it was without the extra boom of a mic. Sam thought it sounded better this way, but he was surrounded by people who knew far better than he did when it came to anything music-related, so he kept his mouth shut.

Somewhere between one song and the next they took a break for lunch. Gabriel switched from water over to cocoa, and remained crouched over a stack of music sheets, pencil scratching away. He half hummed to himself, working through a section he wasn't quite pleased with.

Sam waited for everyone else to slip from the recording room before heading inside. "Hey," he said, voice pitched low, hands in the pockets of his jeans.

Gabriel glanced up briefly, stretching as if he'd just come out of a daze. "Sam. What're you doing here?" Was his time up already? Gabriel never had quite a firm grasp on time when he was in the studio.

"Wanted to see what acoustic was like," Sam responded, grinning. He flopped down in one of the chairs and stretched out with a yawn.

Gabriel's gaze slid over the extended line of Sam's body, just like it did every time he stretched. Fuck that's a trick. Eyebrow quirking at the yawn, Gabriel rubbed his brow, "That bored, are you?"

Sam's grin melted to a smirk. "I dunno, it's kind of boring without being able to listen to America's angel sing," he said, teasing lilt coloring his voice. He broke off, eyes softening again. "I didn't know you were so good with a piano."

Over the tipped-back rim of his thermos lid, Gabriel raised an eyebrow at him, tongue flicking out to lick chocolate from the corner of his mouth. "More than just a pretty voice, yanno."

"Pretty face," Sam corrected without thinking. He quite abruptly cleared his throat and scanned the rest of the room for something to look at that wasn't Gabriel. There was a pretty mahogany acoustic guitar leaning up against one of the amps; he stood and stepped over to it, stroking the neck. "Used to play when I was a kid," he explained, half-smiling. "My brother taught me."

Gabriel leaned back in his chair, fingers dancing a chromatic scale over the keyboard without seeming to think about it. "Yeah?" He nodded in the direction of the guitar Sam was playing with. "Let's hear it~"

"I haven't played in years," Sam protested, but he was already picking it up, cradling it in his hands. He hadn't touched one since he and Dean had split. "No guarantees," he murmured, sitting again.

Gabriel didn't reply, silently watching Sam with a deep interest. He looked good, tall body cradling the guitar across his lap. The anticipation was delicious, like he'd been bored all night in at a cafe show, only to find the set that made the entire trip worth it. Gabriel was almost satisfied without even hearing Sam play.

Sam glanced up and back down, awkward under Gabriel's stare. "Um," he said, laughing as he strummed a g, eyes on his hands. "What should I play?"

"Whatever y'feel like," Gabriel suggested, pressing a few chords into the keyboard, chasing away the silence that easily swallowed greater musicians. "I'm not Times Square or anything."

"Sing for me?" Sam murmured, and picked up Hey Jude before he could process any further that he was playing guitar for the one person to have eleven songs hit the #1 spot - and stay there. It took a moment for him to get the right chords, and his version was a little higher with a little more twang.

Gabriel adjusted to the key change easily, crooning the lines like it was his own song and not someone else's. Appropriately, he came in around the second verse with piano, reversing the instrumentals completely. Gabriel watched Sam as he sang, a carefree smile tugging at his lips.

Sam stopped thinking when Gabriel came in with piano and let his fingers adjust, all the muscle memory returning as his grip changed, fingers strumming as though he'd never stopped playing. He started humming along, not at all daring enough to sing, but he was getting lost in the song and Gabriel's voice. As the last verse tapered off, he sat back, grinning widely, and strummed loosely until the sound faded.

"Hmm," Gabriel hummed, feeling satisfied like he'd just had a really great piece of chocolate cake. Haven't played in years, his ass. "Why'd you stop playing?" Sam looked like he really enjoyed it.

Sam kind of half-shrugged. He didn't want to answer, but did anyway. "My brother didn't quite agree to my life plans. I got myself kicked out and guitar was kind of a family thing."

That caught Gabriel's interest. "You wanted to play guitar? How good are you really? Do you sing?"

"What? I - well, I guess I did," Sam said, flushing a dark red along the back of his neck, the tips of his ears. "I've never tried singing, I know I'm not good at it. And I'm not really that great with guitar, I just took a few lessons - "

"But you like it." Gabriel interrupted, his gaze bright and lit on Sam. Broken dreams, wasted talent - Gabriel wasn't sure which on upset him more. He flicked at the dials on his keyboard, thinking.

Sam shrugged, unconsciously stroking the guitar. He liked acoustics - wood was warm, alive. Not like plastic, or metal. Wood moulded to his hands, dulled where he touched and purred when he strummed. "I guess, yeah."

"Uh huh," Gabriel said, unconvinced as he rested his chin in one hand. He changed the subject, watching Sam's hands slide over the body of the guitar for only a moment - it was completely distracting. "Staying the rest of the session?" He asked.

"Yeah." Sam gave him a small smile and shifted the guitar carefully off his lap so it was resting upright against an amp. He stood, stretched his arms above his head. "I'll be outside," he said, ruffling Gabriel's hair as he stepped around him.

Gabriel nodded, gaze lingering on the leaning guitar. "Okay," he murmured, mostly to himself.

Someone's going to get fired over this. It was the only reassuring, somewhat-lightening thought in Sam's mind. He was curled in a plastic hospital chair, surrounded by Gabriel's various crew members and handlers. It'd been almost an hour that Gabriel had been back with the doctors; a misfired pyrotechnical bit of his act had left him with what appeared to be rather serious burns on both arms and along his palms and fingers, like the flames had licked their way up his arms. Someone would get fired, Sam knew. Multiple someones, if he ended up having any say.

He glanced up as Gabriel's doctor reappeared, uncurled from his seat and hurried forward to listen. Serious burns, he caught. Second - third - use of - unsure whether - family only - not sedated - morphine, considering vicodin. It wasn't a lot, but it was enough.

Family only. Sam's eyebrows furrowed. Did Gabriel have family that would come see him? After a moment's consideration, he slipped away from the group and back toward the auto-locked doors back to the wing. When someone tripped them open to make his way back into the lobby, Sam slipped through, back to where he'd heard they were rooming Gabriel.

Cas had slipped back out a few moments before, when Gabriel yelled for him to go - he couldn't take the sympathetic gaze, couldn't take the fact that he'd even bothered to see that he was all right. His relationship with his brothers was tenuous at best, but Cas, oh little Cas...twelve and sneaky as shit.

The morphine must have been kicking in - Gabriel bit off one smothered laugh and couldn't keep the rest of them down. It was either laugh or cry at this point, and fuck him in the eye if he was going to choose the latter. He choked a little hysterically when he tried to flex his fingers.

Sam nearly bowled over a skinny kid with a mop of messy brown hair. The guy turned wide blue blue eyes on him, and the gaze turned sharp in an instant. Sam blinked. There was something familiar about this kid. He went to ask, but in the next instant he was left with an empty hallway, sneakered heels vanishing around a corner. He half-turned, at the end of the hallway, and caught sight of Gabriel in the room the other guy had just come from. Sam blinked. Brothers?

It didn't matter - not for now. Sam had more important things for his concern. "Gabriel," he said softly, lingering in the doorway, knuckles tapping the doorframe gently.

Gabriel's hair fell loose over his face and his breath stuttered as he tried to regain some sort control. "S-Saaam hmm?" A nervous bubble of laughter caught in his throat.

Sam raised an eyebrow at the hysteria, stepping inside and gently closing the door. He swiftly checked his cell for any where are you's and found none. Good. He flipped it off and approached the bed, pulling one of the plastic chairs up beside it. "Hey," he murmured, leaning over Gabriel, one foot on the seat of the chair.

Gabriel bit hard into his lip a fresh flare of pain clearing his head a little. He looked down at his hands, useless in his lap. "Hn."

"Hey," Sam said again. He reached out, smoothing Gabriel's hair back off his forehead. The natural questions were are you okay and how do you feel but Sam couldn't ask those. So instead he said, "You've got glitter in your hair," and brushed at it until the sheets were covered in silver sparkles.

Gabriel huffed a laugh, rolling into Sam's touch without thinking. "Always got glitter there. Glitter gets everywhere." Everywhere. It was terrifying the places he had glitter, sometimes.

"Glitter here, too," Sam said, again with the not-thinking thing, and leaned forward to kiss Gabriel's forehead, dragging the tip of one finger through his eyelashes. He sat back, eyeing Gabriel's bandaged hands. "You worried?"

Gabriel blinked up at him, swallowing awkwardly even though he didn't do awkward. He rubbed his cheek against his shoulder, gaze dropping. "Yeah," he breathed quietly.

Sam slid a hand around to the back of his neck and pulled Gabriel in closer again, scritching his fingers through the hair that curled down to the nape, near the slope of his shoulders. "You'll be all right," he mumbled. "They said second-degree burns, you'll be back up and running in a few weeks."

Gabriel was nuzzling into Sam's shoulder unthinkingly as if it were an everyday thing. "Can't jus' stop," he said, slurring slightly. "Can't sit still."

"I know." And he did; he'd grown used to it. "We'll figure something out. You can still sing." He half-smiled, nudging his younger charge. "Maybe I'll play for you, hm?"

"I like that," Gabriel decided, "Y'look.." He sketched a vague shape with his chin, "I'd like that."

Sam laughed softly, pulling back and taking Gabriel's shoulders in his hands. "Hurting?"

He blinked unevenly at Sam. "Burning."

"Mm." Sam glanced at Gabriel's arms again. He'd talk to a nurse. "You should sleep, Gabe."

Gabriel shook his head, slouching in Sam's hold. "Nrgh." Not very descriptive, but it would be so much effort to explain he slept on his stomach.

Sam found himself abruptly supporting Gabriel and groaned quietly. "Not your pillow, kiddo." He shifted. "Hang on." Off with his boots and heavy outer jacket; once they were gone, he settled up next to Gabriel, leaning back on the raised portion of the bed. He lifted one arm, offering.

Gabriel curled into him almost immedately, hands cradled carefully between them and his cheek even to Sam's chest. "Don't hafta stay," he told him, entirely too late.

Sam snickered, draping his arm around Gabriel's shoulders. "I think I kind of do," he responded, rubbing his palm fondly around the curve of one. "Considering you're using me as a pillow."

Gabriel melted against him completely with a sigh. "This is right up there with Chai Tea, innit?"

"Mmm, human pillow isn't in 'head of security' job description," Sam mumbled. "But neither is playing music with you." He rubbed his hand up and down the unbandaged part of Gabriel's arm, back along his shoulder and down his side, trying to relax him further. "Or getting ice cream, I assume."

"No one wants t'get ice cream," Gabriel told him distractedly, cheek moving over Sam's chest in time with the other man's hand. "Kids need ice cream."

Sam quirked an eyebrow, humming assent. "You really should sleep, man," he commented, brushing his free hand through Gabriel's hair. More sparkles fell.

Gabriel half hum-sighed, eyes fluttering shut. "So hands on. ...Like that." He flinched a little as moved his hands, and curled more into Sam.

Sam tightened his arm around Gabriel and turned a little more, so Gabriel could curl into his chest. "I'm glad," he half-laughed, ruffling Gabriel's hair, the same way he always did. "You're going to regret talking in the morning, I hope you know."

"I regret nothin'," Gabriel breathed, dozing off slightly. His fidgeting slowly stilled, a sure sign that he had actually drifted off.

"Sure," Sam murmured. He dozed off himself, waking only at midnight checks. The nurse seemed more than slightly surprised to find him there, but raised both hands and shut the door again with a small smile. Sam ended up draping his coat over the both of them sometime after that, and fitted Gabriel into him as sleep overtook him again.

Gabriel woke feeling many things, cheif among them, warm and hurting - his arms throbbing beneath the bandages, but so much warmth curled around him. He was also very....very confused to be blinking into the smooth plane of his bodyguard's collar. .....huh.

Sam managed to stay passed out until Gabriel shifted. He loosed his arms and stirred, blinking down at Gabriel, still half-asleep. "Hi," he mumbled, and rather suddenly realized he was nose to nose with his boss, who he'd just slept practically on. "...Oh. Hi."

Oh. Right. Molesting the help. Did that even work when he was underage? Oh fuck. Gabriel pulled back a little, even though he'd like nothing more than to simply grunt hi back and go back to sleep. "Hey."

Gabriel's hair was sleep-touseled, eyes sleepy gold. All tucked under Sam's brown coat. Someone's trying to kill me, Sam sighed, and pulled back another couple inches, rubbing at his eyes. "Sleep okay?"

"Pillows here 're great," Gabriel murmured, also pulling further back until they were simply sitting side-by-side on the bed. The morning sun flitered in through the window, hazy light beams on the wall.

"How'd you know," Sam said, faintly teasing. "You used me." He tugged his coat back, eyes anywhere but on Gabriel's.

Gabriel offered him a wide-eyed glance as innocent as he could manage. "You mean, you're not standard issue?"

"'Fraid not. They charge extra for me." Sam wriggled up to sit, tipping his head back to rest on an actual pillow.

"Worth it," Gabriel said immediately. He swung his legs off the side of the bed and turned away from Sam. He examined his hands privately, flexing his fingers slowly, with effort.

Sam stared at his back for a long, silent moment, watching the muscles of his shoulders flex. "Gabe - "

"Hm?" Gabriel grunted, half question, half restrained pain. His fingertips were shaking a little from the effort, but as far as he could tell, he'd be able to at least do minimal things.

The pained whine underlying Gabriel's tone was enough to give Sam a distraction. He sat up, smoothing his hands down Gabriel's shoulders. "... Gonna call a nurse," he said when he saw the shaking. He pressed the call button and stood, padding to the door to wait for someone.

Gabriel eyed his jacket folded on the side table and he slid off the bed to go get it. He had no intentions of sticking around, and any visual hints Gabriel could give to aid this intention was good enough for him.

Sam glanced back at the stickstick sound of bare feet padding on the tile of hospital floor, blinking when he saw Gabriel grabbing his jacket. He didn't stop him.

The nurse arrived a moment later and made Gabriel sit for a morphine injection. Sam came to his shoulder, offering what support he could even as he checked his phone. Still no messages. " - and sit still a while," the nurse was saying to Gabriel as she wrapped the needle. "Please. Dr. Morgan's talking to your handler now."

"I don't wanna cancel anything," Gabriel told Sam, quite seriously. Despite commands to sit still, he still half-paced shifting his weight from foot to foot. His keyboard player could take his solos, and there were always wireless mics. He'd have to change the choreography on a few of his songs, get rid of the one sequence with handstands, and the other one with all the floor tricks.

Sam shook his head, thanking the nurse as she slipped out. "You can take a week off," he said, tapping Gabriel's cheek. "At least with the mobile stuff, right? Even if you don't use your hands, you could tear blistered skin if you move too much."

Gabriel made a face, spirits falling a little, "I can still sing...I've got two more shows this week."

"I know you can sing." Sam shrugged his jacket on, letting his hands slip into the pockets. "But your shows, Gabe, they're not easy to do, even when you cut out more difficult choreography."

"It's cause I'm so awesome," Gabriel muttered to himself. He sighed loudly, more tha a little annoyed. "Okay, fine. Then I'll just uber heal as fast as I can."

Sam crouched down, resting folded arms on Gabriel's knees. "No one's expecting you to be back by Tuesday, Gabriel," he responded, tone firm. "Just give yourself a break for a few days, all right?"

Gabriel glowered (glowered, definetely not pouted) at him, but deflated slightly. "I guess." He was totally finding a pool or hot tub or ice cream bar - something - then.

Sam stood, ruffled his hair. "Hey - yesterday, was that your brother?"

Gabriel blinked at him, his gaze shifting abruptly as he went quieter. "Yeah, one of them."

"Seemed like a sweet kid."

"Yeah," Gabriel grumbled. "Heart's bigger than his brain."

Sam smiled. "Guess it runs in the family."

"I see you haven't met my other brothers, then," Gabriel told him, almost going to cross his arms.

"I've heard enough." Sam waved his hand at Gabriel, eyeing his arms.

"Hmnh," was Gabriel's response. "What about you?"

"What about me?"


Sam's eyes dropped. "One."

Gabriel abruptly remembered - the one that abandoned Sam after teaching him guitar. "Right." He rubbed his forehead carefully on the back of one hand.

"You were drugged," Sam said suddenly, like they'd been leading up to it. Which they hadn't.

"...what?" Gabriel squinted up at him questioningly.

"Last night. You were drugged." Awkward. "I mean - Right."

Gabriel stared at him a few moments longer. "Yeah. ...and they dosed me a few minutes ago, too." Did he miss a part of the conversation?

Sam blinked at him, then turned abruptly away and pulled his jacket on. "I'm gonna get going," he said softly. "I'm kind of outside my job parameters."

Gabriel's lips parted as if he were going to say something, but he tossed that idea away in the next moment. "Yeah. ...We'll call when I'm...ready." If his manager had his way, it would be a weel until then.

"Right." Sam paused in the doorway, wondering if he should stay. If this was all a monumental mistake. "I'll understand if you don't," he said finally, and stepped out.

Gabriel threw a pillow at the doorframe, immedately regretting the action when pain flared sharply. His irritation slowly filtered away as the morphine sinked in.


Sam was pissed.

He'd expected no call at all. Which would have been somewhat normal. Or maybe something asking him to detail the next concert, and he and Gabriel would never speak of it again. Not a personal cheque - from Gabriel - stating simply 're: overnight protection detail." That was it. No note, no nothing. Just a cheque.

Like Sam wanted money for it. He gave himself exactly ten minutes to calm down, and then very calmly dialed Gabriel's personal cell phone.

Full of nervous energy from the past few days, Gabriel had taken up running. Slapping his phone on speaker, Gabriel continued through his run on the treadmill. "Hey there," he said, dropping from a run to a light jog.

"So what exactly is the point of this?" Sam started in, not even bothering with a greeting. He waved the cheque, like Gabriel could see it.

"You see," His words were a little staggered around his breathing, "If you know the right combination of numbers, and punch it into the phone, then it'll open a direct line to someone you may or may not know-"

"Gabriel," Sam snapped, in no mood. "The cheque. The fucking cheque. What the hell is the point of sending me money?"

"Overtime," Gabriel said shortly, "Outside your job parameters." The pace picked up again, functions beeping on the treadmill.

Sam growled, actually, literally growled. "I don't want it. I'm sending it back. I don't want money for - Christ," he snapped, breaking off. "You're acting just like the rest of them."

Feet pounding on the tread, Gabriel resisted the urge to end the call right there. "I am? Isn't it what you wanted?"

"What I - Excuse me?" Sam was inches away from slamming his phone down on his kitchen counter. "I wasn't there because it was my job, so don't act like you have to - compensate me for it!"

Gabriel snatched his phone from the treadmill ledge, stepping off the machine so abruptly that the emergency stop tag connected to his shirt pulled off. He switched the speaker off, speaking low into the mouth piece. "You were so awkward," he panted, walking a slow circle around the weight room, "Talking about that night, how drugged I was. Like I wouldn't remember." Gabriel twisted off the cap of a bottle of water, gulping it down. "Y'said y'needed this job, what was I supposed t'think?"

"Because you didn't - " Sam sighed, slumping forward onto his counter. "What I did wasn't right, and I definitely don't want a cheque for it. I expected you to just fire me, that would've been easier."

Gabriel simply breathed for a while, wiping sweat off his face with the front of his shirt. "Maybe I should. Maybe you'd take me to dinner or something." Irritated bravado - hello.

"Maybe I would!" Sam snapped before all synapses were firing, and the moment the words left his mouth his brain caught up and he fell silent. "Oh."

"Aha," Gabriel said distinctly. He flopped down to a sitting position on the floor. "Gotcha."

Sam groaned, rubbing his forehead. "Pics or it didn't happen."

Gabriel made a disgruntled sound. This was so beyond his paygrade. "Look, what d'you want me to do?"

"What do you want me to do?" Sam shot back, rubbing the heel of his hand over his eyes.

Legitimately sixteen, Gabriel snapped, "You want this job? Or me? Or, oh, dunno, both?"

"I - " Sam clenched his teeth shut, muttering something through them about immature brats. "I'd like both. But you and I both know that's beyond unprofessional."

"Well," Gabriel huffed into the phone, "I'm doing my next concert, so there'll be details for you. I'll figure something out."

Sam ground his teeth, running a hand through his hair. "How about this," he muttered. "What do you want?"

"I'll figure something out," Gabriel told him, avoiding the subject. He drained the last of his water bottle, tapping it against his knee. "I gotta go."

"Gabriel - " Sam's hand tightened on his phone, his breath hitching for a moment. "... All right. I'll see you."

Gabriel hung up without saying good bye. Fuck.


Sam was 98% positive that Gabriel had been avoiding him all night. Sam had been called in mostly for back detail rather than as Gabriel's personal guard, and besides that, every time he'd managed to catch a glimpse of his supposed charge, Gabriel had kept his eyes on someone else, or had been distracted, or - Well.

Still, no one questioned when Sam flashed his pass and headed back to Gabriel's dressing room just after the concert. After all, it was routine by now. Sam had attended six concerts with Gabriel, and had slipped back to his room after every one. Now he wasn't expected, but he was there anyway, pushing the door open without knocking and stepping inside, leaning back against the door and closing it with his weight.


Gabriel hadn't had a chance to clear away the performance, his hair still styled up in lightweight tufts, white feathers making a mane over his chest and back, and a long soft coat that looked fantastic fluttering in the fans. His reflection in the smooth surface of the lacquer had been perfect, a slightly distracting glow. Just like he'd wanted.

Gabriel brushed the silver glitter from around his eyes, completely unsurprised to see Sam leaning back against his door. "I got nothin' yet," Gabriel murmured, voice a tone lower, warm and stretched from the concert.

The smooth warmth of Gabriel's voice was distracting, the slight huskiness from stretching almost enough to veer Sam off course. "Got nothing for what?" he asked, watching the reflection of Gabriel's eyes.

"You know what." Gabriel glanced down at the dressing counter instead of looking at Sam. He cleared his throat, asked, "What d'you need, Sam?"

It was a bad idea for Sam to answer that question. He stepped closer, coming to Gabriel's side. "You remember it."

Gabriel turned his gaze inward, following Sam at the edge of his vision. "Remember what."

"The hospital."

This did make Gabriel look up at him, vaguely confused. "I never...forgot it?"

Sam sighed. "While you were drugged, Gabe, you know what happened. You weren't completely out of it."

"Hm," Gabriel rubbed his cheek against the feathers on his shoulders. "No, not entirely."

"Are we ever actually going to talk about this?" Sam murmured, trying to regain the idea that hey, he was technically the adult here. The responsible one.

"It's not like we had sex or anything," Gabriel said, mouth ahead of his brain. He looked up at Sam, expression asking if he should just continue being frank, or if that was good, thanks.

Sam raised an eyebrow. "No, but people generally don't snuggle with their bodyguards, and then avoid them for three weeks."

"I told you why-" Expression flaring hot, Gabriel shook his head, ranking his hands through his hair. "Fine. What? What do you wanna talk about?"

"What you want," Sam said evenly. "From me."

"I don't know what I want from you," Gabriel muttered. He shifted uncomfortably, went to rifle through his bag for his street clothes.

"No?" Sam watched him, shifting his eyes away when Gabriel began to change. "Because I think it was you who mentioned me taking you to dinner."

The feathered coat was hung carefully on a hanger and tucked away, and Gabriel tugged on his light denim and tee, cellphone a smooth shape in his pocket. "You're hot and I wanted to flirt with you. Sue me for being horny and unprofessional. You'd have a case."

Valiantly trying to maintain the level attitude he'd possessed so far, Sam leaned back against the door, rubbing a hand down his face. "Sleeping with me wasn't about flirting," he persisted.

Gabriel crossed his arms, looking up at Sam again. "No, you were comfy and nice and you smelled good."

"Case and point." Sam dropped a hand on Gabriel's shoulder, rubbing his thumb along the line of his collarbone. "You need to figure out what you want."

Gabriel allowed himself to enjoy the touch for a moment before rolling his shoulder out of Sam's hold. "This isn't about me, it's about you."

Sam let Gabriel move away, crossed his arms over his chest and pinned him with a stare. "How is this at all about me?"

"I'm just supposed to tell you 'you're fired, but stick around and we can get frisky'?" Gabriel turned away from Sam to pace, expression tightening with anxiety. "Or maybe 'there are other fish - see you at work tomorrow'?"

"I need this job," Sam said honestly. "Whether or not you and I..." He shook his head. "I have to be honest with you, Gabe. You know I need this job. But I'd rather you have what you want."

"...What if I wanted you to play guitar?"

Sam blinked. "Excuse me?"

"What," Gabriel said precisely, "If I wanted you to play guitar?"

"I do play guitar," he responded, raising an eyebrow down at Gabriel.

Gabriel's jaw worked for a moment, then he said, "What if I wanted you to help me write songs instead of being a bodyguard. Real songs."

Sam swallowed once, twice, lips moving like he was going to say something. He shook his head once, rocking his weight back on his heels. "You're serious?"

He nodded, voice an unintentional whisper, "Would that work?"

"Yeah," Sam said, softer. "Yeah, that'd work, Gabe."

"Jesus," Gabriel muttered, breath swooshing out. "Good." He hadn't had any other offers except finding Sam a job with someone he knew and then keeping the man all for himself.

"So..." It was a plan, or part of one, but Gabriel had neatly eluded the meat of the conversation - which he was rather too adept at doing, in Sam's opinion. "Is that all you want?"

Gabriel raised an eyebrow at him, disbelieving that Sam was actually going to make him spell it out. Fine. Good bye tact and good taste. "I'd like your tongue in my mouth at one point or another. And more sleeping together - without the morphine this time."

Sam's expression went briefly, vaguely feral, and the next moment he was backing Gabriel into the wall and curling two fingers under his chin to lift his head. "You're sure?"

Gabriel tilted his head back just enough to let his lips softly part, hands raised to rest against Sam. "Hnn~"

That was enough consent for him. Sam dropped his head, tangling his fingers in the hair at the nape of Gabriel's neck and pulling him in for a kiss, free hand falling to the curve of one hip.

Gabriel made a soft noise, leaning up to meet him. He pressed closer to Sam, hands sliding up; he'd been itching to touch, finally had the chance.

"Careful," Sam hummed into his mouth, nipping his bottom lip and rubbing the nape of his neck, over the first ridges of his spine. He leaned into Gabriel's hands, letting him touch.

Gabriel melted a little at the attention, feeling it like the glow of stage lights, burning down his back. "Mm," he curled his fingers, lightly scratching down the front of Sam's chest. "Why?"

Sam slid his hand up, cradling Gabriel's against his chest. They were mostly healed, with light scars here and there. Instead of responding, he squeezed Gabriel's hands and dropped his head, suckling the soft spot just behind Gabriel's ear.

"Oh," Gabriel breathed, tilting into it, taking it as an answer. He raised their hands enough to press lingering kisses along Sam's hands, steady and warm.

"You kept away from me," Sam said quietly, leaning there, lips brushing Gabriel's neck as he spoke.

A brief flare of annoyance - "I thought that's what you wanted." He wouldn't explain it again.

Sam laughed, low and soft in Gabriel's ear. He slid his lips up the shell of it. "No. It was what I thought was best for you."

Gabriel shivered and then turned to pull Sam in for a kiss again. "Fuck that."

Humming agreement, Sam tugged gently at Gabriel's hair, angling his head so he could lick across his lips, pull him closer.

Gabriel moved where Sam directed, mouth open to make soft sounds and the barest of whimpers. He might have wanted Sam a bit more than he'd let on.

Sam pressed him back a little and buried his face in Gabriel's throat, intent on wringing the same noises from Gabriel unhindered. "Pent up much?" he murmured as Gabriel whined softly.

"Shut up, you're scorching hot," the words were a little rushed. Gabriel reached up, pushing his fingers through Sam's dark hair, twisting it a little.

Sam pressed the length of his body along Gabriel's, slipping a leg between his thighs. "That so?"

Gabriel bit into his own lip, arching back slightly and trying to gain some leverage. "Nn-hm," he said, his hips slip-grinding forward towards Sam.

Sam slid a hand down and caught his thigh, lifting him up a little more. "Should we be doing this in your dressing room?" he mumbled, nipping his jaw.

"Can't do it in yours," Gabriel murmured against Sam's ear. He slipped a hand under Sam's shirt, ghosting along across the smooth skin there.

"Funny." Sam pressed into his hands, ribcage flexing as he took a slow breath, trying to keep a clear head. He rocked his hips forward, slow and easy.

Gabriel's breath hitched and his fingers paused in exploring the line of Sam's hip, massaging in small circles. He pushed up for another kiss, tongue catching at the corner of Sam's mouth.

Sam licked into him, hand dropping from his neck to slide under his shirt, up his back, a long, warm press along his spine. He pulled back to press a half-kiss at the corner of his lips, cheeks rubbing when he nipped down his neck. "All right?" he murmured, still asking permission.

"Yeah," Gabriel answered absently. His body rolled up against Sam's, leg hooking higher on Sam's thigh. "Yeah, yeah~" Gabriel was flushed and warm, positively buzzing for the man who held him.

Sam stroked up and down his back in a slow, lazy rhythm, pressing and petting and digging the tips of his fingers in here and there. He slid his leg up a little, using the palm of his hand to rock Gabriel against him.

Gabriel made a long, low sound, squirming against Sam. His lip was red and tender where he was worrying the skin between his teeth, tipping forward to lean against Sam as they rocked together.

Sam hissed, biting down on Gabriel's shoulder to muffle the sound, hips stuttering against Gabriel's. "Gonna kill me," he growled, fingers curling against the skin of Gabriel's back, over his spine.

"Oh," Gabriel gasped, hips jerking forward in one hard grind. He repeated it, fingers twisting in Sam's shirt as he panted loud in the otherwise silent room.

"Shhhh," Sam murmured, pulling back enough to kiss him again, swallow the noises he was making. He found a different spot, dug the tips of blunt nails in, continued up and down Gabriel's back, letting his younger lover set the pace for them.

Gabriel groaned into Sam's mouth, just shy of thrusting against him. One hand slid down between them, moving over the front of his jeans, then over to Sam's, fingertips tucking along the top of the waist. He didn't seem to have the focus to either hold on or dip further.

Sam pulled back, made a split second decision. He checked the door to be sure it was locked and stepped back to Gabriel, hands falling to his waist, gently undoing his belt with long, careful fingers. He kept his eyes on Gabriel's, asking constant permission.

Hoshit. He was actually gonna- Gabriel's tongue flicked out, flashing quick across his lip, entranced with what Sam was doing. Gabriel's gaze was all trust and desire, his hands reaching to stroke lightly over Sam's cheek.

Sam leaned into his touch and worked his jeans open swiftly, tugging them down over his hips and, eyes still on Gabriel's, dropped to his knees. He leaned forward, pressing his lips to Gabriel's stomach. "Yes?"

Gabriel leaned back against the wall, almost certain he was going to need the support. "Yeah," he confirmed hoarsely. He couldn't look away from Sam.

Hands wrapping around Gabriel's hips, Sam eased his boxers down and took a moment to nuzzle his bared hipbone. "Very pretty," he murmured, wrapped a hand around Gabriel and lapping once at the slit, humming. He stroked, wrist twisting, lingering teasingly, head tipped back to watch Gabriel.

"Fuck," Gabriel muttered, smoothing Sam's hair away from his face, fingers pressing into random patterns along his scalp. Gabriel's hips slid forward, rolling to meet Sam's touch; he gasped, eyes going a little wider as he watched the teasing flash of the older man's tongue.

"Quiet now," Sam said, wrist twisting a little firmer, and leaned forward to wrap his mouth around Gabriel and slide down, slow, getting used to it. It'd been a while since he'd done this, and while it was like riding a bicycle - thanks, Dean - it was still easy to get out of practice. He settled a hand on Gabriel's hip, pulling back and taking him deeper again, teasing with his fingertips when he had the presence of mind to.

Being quiet wasn't something that Gabriel had a lot of practice in, but he tried for Sam. Lip pulled tight between his teeth he tipped his head back, eyes fluttering half shut. It was easier to reign himself in when he wasn't watching Sam's mouth swallow him down.

Sam ended up shifting so one arm was curled around Gabriel's knees, half holding him up, and the other was still at his hip, thumb smoothing over the bone or occasionally wrapping back around Gabriel when Sam needed to pull back. He hummed throatily, utterly content with Gabriel's reactions, and added just the slightest slide of teeth, the press of his tongue.

The hum buzzed through Gabriel harder than he expected, hips slamming forward as he choked on a bit-off grunt of surprise. "S-Sam," he whispered, blinking down at him - his voice was a mixture of low desire and apology.

Sam's eyes flicked up to meet his; he smiled as he pulled back and slid forward, rucking Gabriel's shirt up to kiss his stomach. In an instant he was back, taking Gabriel down like he'd never had to relearn this. He held Gabriel's hips a little firmer this time and hummed again, lower, deeper, longer, a lazy purr in the deep of his throat.

"Oh-" Gabriel curved forward, hands sliding from Sam's hair to brace himself on Sam's shoulders. Breath hitched, Gabriel shoved back the rising groan in his throat, the vaguest of whimpers sliding quietly past his lips.

Sam kept one hand pressed to a hip, holding him still, and slid the other around to his back, rubbing the arch of his spine, the forward curve. He pulled back, lapping carefully, and slid back down, curling his fingers and pressing them along Gabriel's spine the way he had earlier, the way he'd learned. His humming picked up again, monotone and low.

Gabriel was trapped between Sam's mouth and the soothing support of his hand, Gabriel's hips moving in involuntary shallow thrusts. Like Sam's fingers had found some secret connection, Gabriel clung to him tighter, gasping in warning, "Fuck, Sam."

Sam pulled back enough, just once, hand taking his mouth's place, and murmured, "C'mon, Gabe." And took him back down again. It hadn't been an order, just a please I want to feel you, an animal desire to touch and feel and taste. He ran his fingers up and down Gabriel's spine, adding the light touch of teeth.

There were too many sensations for Gabriel to be effectively quiet and squirmed in Sam's hold, back arching out and twisting as if it would make it the pleasure easier to proccess. He moved one hand back through Sam's hair, the other reaching behind him to brace against the wall. A shiver ripped through him, he warned feebly one last time, "Sam."

Sam growled, low and feral, hand tightening on Gabriel's hip, left sliding a tad too hard down Gabriel's back - there would be marks in the morning. He pulled back, teasing little licks just long enough to pull Gabriel to the edge, and slid down again, humming lower in his chest, thumb rubbing circles on his hipbone as he sucked messily, too lost in the moment for true tact.

Gabriel half-collapsed backwards, hips stuttering, mercifully wordless as he came with a shout. He rode the high vacantly, thrusts going fluid and rolling, slowing as his vision returned. Gabriel blinked hazily at Sam and smoothed his hands along his cheeks and jaw, his body tingling but still seeking Sam.

As Gabriel came down from it, Sam wrapped his hands carefully around his knees and pushed until they buckled, taking Gabriel in his arms and leaning against the wall, breathing in the too-warm air and the scent, the heat of Gabriel.

Gabriel nuzzled into Sam, limp and happy. His arms slid over Sam's shoulders with his fingers trailing light and lazy along the back of his shoulders. "Mmngh," he breathed. "Mmm."

Sam laughed and kissed the shell of his ear, gathering him up close. "Someone heard that," he said, low and soft, teasing.

It was something that Gabriel couldn't bring himself to care about at the moment. "If y'didn't, I'd be upset," he said instead.

"Coherent yet?" Sam murmured after a moment's silence, stroking up and down Gabriel's arm with lazy, gentle fingers. He was wrapped entirely around his younger lover, leg crooked between both of Gabriel's.

Gabriel slid back, his gaze heavy-lidded and locked on Sam's face. Still sensitive, he shuddered slightly, but smiled at Sam. "Yeah~ Mm."

Sam chuckled quietly, raising a hand to trace one fingertip over Gabriel's lips. "You sure? Because I think recovering so soon's an insult to my skills."

Gabriel parted his lips, sucking gently on Sam's fingertip for a moment. "I'm also sixteen," he pointed out.

"Ah, to be young again." Sam leaned forward, tugging his fingertip free and pulling Gabriel into a kiss. He grinned at him, kissed his nose. "How long's it been?"

"Whatever," Gabriel muttered, making a face at the cutesy kiss. "Has what been?"

Sam gave him a pointed Look and licked his lips, fingertips swirling down Gabriel's chest.

Gabriel must not be as recovered as he thought, because whatever Sam's asking him about completely flies out of his head at that. He was watching Sam's hand instead of answering.

Sam laughed again and brought his hand back up, curling his fingers under Gabriel's chin and scritching, like he was a kitten. "Very cute. Now come on, see if you can walk, because we kind of need to leave before someone comes in after us."

Gabriel made a disgruntled noise, hitching his jeans and boxers back up as he stood. "Not that far gone, Sammy." It might have accidently sounded like a challenge for the next time.

Sam shot him a sly smirk. "Give me a couple hours and a bed in a place where you can actually make noise and we'll see if that's still true." He tugged his jacket on and brushed his fingers through his bangs, trying to look vaguely presentable.

Watching Sam try and look normal made Gabriel push up on his toes to snag him for a kiss. "Awesome. Prove me wrong~" He grabbed his jacket and zipped up his denim.

"I plan to." Sam snagged Gabriel by the back of his jacket and slid a hand up into his hair, gently tugging his head to one side. He swept the hair off his neck and bit down, sucking a small mark into the dip between neck and shoulder, humming as he did so. They could be discreet, but not so discreet.

Gabriel made a soft noise and his fingers rose to brush over the mark when Sam pulled away. He turned, a pleased sort of surprise in his expression. "Yours, huh?" Gabriel grinned. He could deal with that.

Sam raised an eyebrow, hands sliding into his pockets. "I like to think so." He tipped his head slightly to the side, offering Gabriel the chance to do the same, but not demanding it. "If you want, I mean~"

"Hm," Gabriel leaned up to reach the offered neck, but instead of marking a similar area, he pressed his lips along Sam's jaw, sucking firm where his pulse thumped. Fuck matchy-matchy.

Breathing out a quiet moan, Sam dropped his head and pressed his face into Gabriel's shoulder, nosing the crook of his neck. "Mine's more obvious," he whined, though without feeling.

"You chose discreet," Gabriel purred, the voice he usually reserved for Marilyn Monroe impressions and smoky choruses. He curled away from Sam, pulled oven the dressing room door. "Ready?"

Goddamn that voice did things to Sam, but the next moment they were out in the hall leading down to Gabriel's car. There were several raised eyebrows and suspicious glances sent their way, but Sam contentedly ignored them, shadowing Gabriel as though he were still his bodyguard (which would never really stop, he supposed. He was still investigating the stalker case). They slipped together into the back of Gabriel's chauffered car, and once in the privacy of it, Sam looped an arm around Gabriel and nosed into his neck just as Gabriel's phone chimed, signaling an email.

Gabriel's hand rested lightly on Sam's thigh as he flicked through his email. He sighed, shifting uncomfortably as he read it and then slanted the screen so Sam could see. His stalker had outlined the details of the dressing room, and asked if was becoming something serious. As if it were any business of his at all.

Sam stiffened, staring down at the screen. "Gabe - " His jaw tightened and he snapped the phone closed, tightening his arm around Gabriel's shoulders. "That is... beyond intrusive. That - " He sighed, dropping his head and nosing into the spot behind Gabriel's ear. "And I'm still no closer to figuring out who it is."

Gabriel took his phone back, smoothing his thumb thoughtfully over the screen. "I'd settle for knowing how the fuck this person knows. I'm not exactly stationary." He frowned to himself, thinking back to the dressing room.

"So it's either someone who's with you all the time, or he's accessing something that you have with you," Sam said sensibly, still staring at the phone. He was pissed now, moreso than before, because who, and even more than that, what stranger had the right to their private life?

"That could be any number of people," Gabriel muttered. He liked his crew and his band, and all the people that worked for him had been with him for some time.

"Unfortunately," Sam sighed. He thumbed his own phone and checked his email - nothing. Weird, he hadn't been getting messages from Gabriel's manager at all, just Gabriel himself. He tucked it back away and pressed Gabriel to him, rubbing his arm. "Maybe now he knows you're taken he'll back off?"

"I dunno," Gabriel said, crossing his arms around himself as if he were trying to take up as little space as possible. "He's just being...creepy. I didn't think he wanted to get in my pants."

"I'm gonna figure this out." Sam nipped the shell of Gabriel's ear, voice warm and soothing. "I promise you. I'll make it stop."

Gabriel turned his face into Sam's chest, tucking himself tighter into the crook of his arm. "Good."

Gabriel rested against Sam, staring pensively out the window. "You gonna go back to your place?" It was a long shot, but Gabriel made it anyway.

Sam considered for a moment, arms draped around Gabriel, line of sight following his. "You want me to?"

"...Not really."

A smile. Sam squeezed him, warm and protective. "I'll stay."

Gabriel smiled to himself, settling into Sam for the rest of the drive. "Okay."

When they pulled smoothly to a halt in front of Gabriel's apartment building, Sam slid out first and thanked the driver, ignoring his surprised glance when Sam put an arm around Gabriel's shoulders. He left Gabriel enough movement to punch in the code to let them in, but once inside and safely in the elevator, he snugged his younger lover back to his side.

Gabriel slid his arm around Sam, humming softly to himself as they waited for their floor. He slipped through the doors when they opened, letting them both into his hotel room with a swipe of his keycard.

Sam entered the now-familiar hotel room and kicked his boots off, hung his jacket up. He sprawled out on Gabriel's bed without pretense, yawning and relaxing into the down comforter. "You doin' mmkay?"

Phone going immediately to the charger, Gabriel dropped his jacket and shoes in a pile on the floor. He flopped onto the bed beside Sam, closing his eyes and falling limp. "Yeah," he said.

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