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[personal profile] rosivan
Wordcount: ~16,700 as finished as it's going to get
warnings: young!Sam, young!Gabriel, mentions of abuse, homophobia (not from Sam and Gabe), mentions of mental conditions (schizophrenia), sex
summary: Sam returns to help at the summer camp he used to go to when he was younger, as a favour to Dean. In the same cabin where he camped with Gabriel so many years before, they work through a whole new set of issues cultivated in their time apart.

NOTE: I only wrote Gabriel.


Camp Chitaqua hadn't changed a bit in ten years, not at all. The same tree-lined drive, the same cabins - boys' and girls', separated by the lake. Hell, the rec house even smelled the same. Sam took the full tour when he arrived, almost a week into first session. Apparently someone had gotten food poisoning and had to drop out, so Sam had been called in to take his place.

After his tour, Sam was allowed to head to his own cabin, which he was sharing with another counselor. He grinned at the girl who'd led him around and hauled his duffel up onto his back. The cabin was - to his delight - one he'd spent a hell of a lot of time in when he was a camper. With Gabriel, if he recalled. In minimal clothes.

Oops.

Sighing, he shoved the door open. The other guy's stuff was strewn over the second bed, the one closer to the windows. Sam dumped his duffel on the other bed, unzipping it and starting to unpack.

Gabriel burst in through the cabin door, spraying water and whipped cream every which way as he turned sharp on his heel and slammed the door shut behind him. "Hooligans!" He yelled through the wood, shoulder pressed to the door. "Pastry throwing mud monkeys!" Gabriel laughed breathlessly. He was in swim shorts and sandals, fresh from the pool, with the remnants of at least two pies in his face and hair.

Sam turned, staring at the guy's back. He was drenched in whipped cream and was dripping water, leaning against the wood. All Sam could see was a broad back and trimmed waist, a scar down the line of one shoulder and hear the guy's bright laughter. "The kids after you?" he chuckled.

Gabriel tipped his fingers around the curtain over the window, watching the kids scatter away. He turned, hand on hip, moving from the door, grinning. "I have taught them well," he said, with mock solemnity.

"Clearl -" Sam ground to a halt, staring at the guy. He looked so familiar, achingly familiar. The color of his hair, his eyes. Sam tipped his head to one side, gaze never wavering. "Do I know you?"

Gabriel walked past Sam to grab a towel from his things on the bed. He turned with it in hand, swiping a finger through the whipped cream on his cheek. He smiled, licking it off. "Aw, Sammy Winchester. Y'forgot me?"

Sam's eyes flickered in a rapid blink. "Gabriel?" he gasped. That grin was far too familiar. "Gabriel Engles? Seriously?"

Gabriel laughed, wiping his face off with the towel. He winked at Sam, ran the towel through his hair. "Never seriously. But yeah."

"... Wow," Sam breathed. "It's, uh. It's good to see you, man." He looked Gabriel up and down; the guy had certainly grown up.

Gabriel slanted him a look, then went to the task of shifting through the mess on his bed, looking for a shirt. He dripped over everything, not seeming to care. "Yeah. Been a while, Sammy-Sam."

Been ten years, Sam wanted to say, but he had no idea what had happened since Michael had walked in on them making out after their first year at Camp Chitaqua. "Been a while, yeah," he agreed, humming as he continued to unpack.

"Hope y'like Mac and Cheese, still," Gabriel said off handedly. "Y'missed the big opening with the good food, an' all." He stepped out of his swimming trunks, hung them over his bedpost, then pulled on boxers and shorts.

Sam averted his eyes, unsure if he was supposed to or not. "Um, yeah," he said, and when he glanced back up, there was a butterfly lit in Gabriel's hair, dark blue and still. He stepped close, reached up to brush it away before he remembered it wasn't real. "Ah - sorry," he said softly, stepped back. "You had a, uh. Leaf."

Gabriel patted him on the cheek with sticky hands. "Uh huh," he stepped away, plopping down on the bed, half sitting on his stuff. "So, Sammy. Whatcha been up to."

"Um, nothing much." Sam packed his stuff away and sat, trying not to look at the corner he'd managed to haul Gabriel up into and suck him off. "I'm in college for education."

"Teachin' kiddies," Gabriel said with a nod. He leaned back on his elbows, one foot kicking off the bed. "Got more patience than me. I can only do it in the summer." He smiled lazily.

Sam chuckled. "Yeah. They get to me sometimes, but I like 'em." He shifted a little. "So, uh. How you been, Gabe? I missed you."

"I'm good," Gabriel said. He wiggled his fingers for emphasis, glancing off to the side. "Being a vet, me. Working on it, at least." He didn't comment on how Sam missed him, didn't tell him he'd felt the same.

"Really?" Sam leaned forward, grinning. He noticed the absence of a missed you, too but didn't comment. "That's - yeah, that definitely fits you." He blinked as more butterflies popped into being, fluttering around Gabriel's head. "Definitely."

Gabriel canted his head to the side, eyes narrowing slightly. "Y'all right there, Sam?"

Sam blinked, eyes snapping to Gabriel's. "Yeah, sorry. I zone sometimes."

Gabriel watched him a moment longer, eyes falling down over Sam's body very briefly. He pushed himself up off the bed, stretching. "Well. Don't let the kidlets catch you. They're tricky ones this year."

"Only because you taught them to be," Sam said accusingly. He stood, to try and get away from staring at Gabriel and letting Gabriel stare at him. "I'm gonna, um. Go for a walk."

"Gotta wash the pie outta my hair anyway," Gabriel said, slinging his towel over his shoulder. "You watch 'em - they're armed~"

"Uh - yeah, I will," Sam said, heading out the door. He needed to clear his head. Clearly they weren't the same people they had been - and he had to accept that. Not that he was expecting anything from Gabriel, not after all this time. But... just. Not the closed-offedness he was feeling. The too-casual behavior. He headed off around the lake for a walk until dinner.

Gabriel showered and went back to the cabin, hair dripping down his back. He loved that about summer, loved that he could do that, and loved the feeling of drying on his skin. He watched the distant shape of Sam, walking slowly around the lake, lingered, feeling like maybe he should just go and- No... Gabriel shook his head, and then went to go mess around in the kitchen, sample things and generally just get in the way.

Sam managed to stay away from Gabriel for the remainder of the day, not out of a desire not to see him, but out of a need to stay away in case he said something stupid. All through dinner, he sat with the other counselors, talked to them, helped get the kids off to bed, but when he and Gabriel were alone in their cabin again, bunked down, he couldn't keep his mouth shut any longer.

"Hey, Gabriel?"

"Hm?" Gabriel said, reading on his stomach, flashlight perched over his shoulder. His feet were raised in the air, kicking lightly.

"Um." Sam hesitated, shrugging. "I missed you," he finished softly. "I never knew what happened to you."

"I didn't go nowhere," Gabriel said, flipping a page in his book. "Finished school, applied for school. Been here every summer."

Gabriel shone his flashlight at Sam for a moment then back to the book. "Michael went off to be president or some such. I'm not too close on the details."

Gabriel was avoiding what Sam wanted to say. Frustration welled in him; red swirled overhead, along the ceiling, like a snake. "Gabriel," he said lowly.

Gabriel rubbed his fingertips over his forehead, sighing a little. He flipped another page. "It's good t'see you, Sam."

"Is that really all you have to say?" Sam murmured, a question tinging his tone. "After everything that happened?"

"What d'you want me to say?" Gabriel asked flatly.

Sam sighed, frustrated. "I don't know, Gabe."

"What happened was a-" Gabriel's voice hitched a little. "Well, it was a long time ago."

"Was a what?" Sam said, glancing over. Gabriel's face was blank in the light of the flashlight.

"Was a long time ago," Gabriel said, voice low and absent. He clicked off his flashlight, dropping the book of the side of his bed into his open backpack. He stuffed the torch under his pillow.

"That's not what you were going to say." Sam's voice was accusing; he couldn't help it. The red swirls turned black and he closed his eyes, trying to calm down. Gabriel's butterflies exploded with soft pops.

"Look, Sammy, I don't wanna talk about it," Gabriel shuffled around in his sleeping bag, losing his shirt and tossing that in his backpack too. "It's good t'see you, and I missed your stupid face, but I don't wanna talk about it."

Sam took a deep breath, squirming under his covers until he was facing the wall. He didn't question when Harley slipped into existence, curling against him. He always appeared when Sam was upset. "Fine. Night."

Gabriel shifted around in the silence, tence and tencer, sighing into the dark. "Y'angry with me? I hear angry shoulders."

"I'm fine," Sam snapped. Harley whined and nosed under his palm. Sam sighed and scratched his ears. "Sorry, Har."

"Gabe. But close."

Sam startled. "What?"

"Y'call me strange names and you're not even paying attention."

"I wasn't ta - " Sam cut off. "Yeah. Sorry. Didn't mean it. Going to sleep."

Gabriel pulled his sleeping bag off the bed, shuffling across the floor with it for a cape, pillow in his arms. He flopped on Sam's bed, mostly on Sam, wiggling around to make him make room. "All right. Here we go. I'm a dick, and I shoulda hugged you and smeared my pie hair in your face. Woops."

Sam stiffened in surprise and scooted over. "I guess I'm just not used to how you are now," he mumbled, still facing the wall. Harley humphed at the lack of room and rested his muzzle on Sam's hip.

"Well, ten years is a whole another kid from what we used t'be Sammy-boy," Gabriel shuffled around until his sleeping bag was the right way, and he was lying on his stomach, facing towards the foot of the bed.

"I like what we used to be," Sam said softly. He curled his knees around Harley and closed his eyes, trying to shut out the words writing themselves on the wall.

Gabriel glanced at him in the dark, quiet. "We can be friends."

Sam ground his teeth gently. "Go to sleep," he murmured."

"Not tired," Gabriel told him, "Big dinner. Good puddin'." He swung a leg off the bed, kicking at dust swirling in the moonlight.

"Then go for a walk." Sam curled tighter, making Harley yelp. "I need to sleep."

"I think you need to swim." He poked at Sam's shoulder lightly, just enough to be annoying. Sam wanted to get chummy, and this was Gabriel being chummy. "C'mon. Imma lifeguard. Won't let you drown or nothing."

Sam snarled, shoving Gabriel off the bed. "I'm going to sleep. Leave me alone." Angry red swirled itself in spirals around the room. Sam made a soft noise and turned over, burrowing down under the covers.

From the pile of sleeping bag and limbs on the floor, Gabriel said, quite clearly, "You're lucky I'm not dumb enough to go swimming on my own. Night, Sam."

"Fuck you," Sam muttered from under the comforter, and forced himself into sleep. He hated having to do it, didn't do it often, but he would rather be comatose in the morning than have to stay awake and listen to Gabriel's repressed breathing.

Gabriel was perfectly content to zip himself into his sleeping bag, mattress or no. He had a little too much pride to drag back to his bed anyway. He thought Sam might call him back up there, but it seemed he'd lost his sense of humour over the years. That's too bad... Gabriel drifted to sleep.

As Sam had predicted, nothing roused him in the morning. Not the sun, not the reveille. Nothing. He remained still and silent, practically comatose, flat on his back with his fists curled on either side of him. He had flattened during the night and had not moved since.

Gabriel woke up in the morning, unzipping from his bed and finding himself over by the door. He'd rolled there in his sleep, his usual measure of night movement. If he'd been in a bed, he'd have shifted from edge to edge. Yawning widely, he checked the time, and threw a pillow at Sam. "Gettup," he said, with reasonable volume.

Sam remained absolutely still. He'd only done this six times before, when he had first learned he had schizophrenia. He forced himself into sleep to avoid dealing with the effects of it, the symptoms. And now to avoid dealing with this new Gabriel, the one who was slowly replacing the sweeter, so beautiful Gabriel that Sam had had those years ago.

Gabriel puttered about for a bit, brushing his teeth on the front steps to the cabin, dressing, swim shorts at the ready. It was early, sun just tipping up over the hills, and made a quiet in Gabriel, something he never really shared with anyone. He spotted a couple people by the dock, early morning swimmers waiting for him. Gabriel went back to Sam's bed, pushed at his shoulder carefully. "Sam. D'you wanna swim? Breakfast's not for an hour."

Nothing. No reaction. Sam's body swayed with the movement, but he was utterly silent and still, lost inside his head. His mother had damn near panicked the first time, back before he'd really been diagnosed.

"Sam," Gabriel patted his cheek, waited, then gave a real push to his shoulder. "Hey, Sam."

Sam jerked awake, gasping, his entire body going stiff. It took a good few seconds for him to realize where he was, and then he finally relaxed, gaze shifting to Gabriel. "What?!"

Hands raised, palms out, Gabriel had shifted back, giving Sam room to flail. "....you okay there?"

"Fine," Sam gritted out. He sat up, covers pooling at his waist. "What do you want?"

Gabriel stared at him, hands falling limp into his lap. He shook his head. "Y'know what, never mind." He stood, stepping into his sandals. "I'll get outta your hair. Breakfast's in an hour. Lifeguard at the dock if y'wanna swim." He waved a hand in good bye and started out the cabin.

Sam let him go. He couldn't, not right now. He wanted to be as far away from this unfamiliar person as he could possibly be. He took a shower and prodded around his pack for a snack, hiding out in the cabin until breakfast, an hour later.

It wasn't that Gabriel had a short attention span, far from it, but he liked to move from group to group, talking to the kids, getting to know them for the short time he had them. Breakfast time, however, that was something different, and Gabriel was usually left alone with his pancakes, a tall cup of juice and the schedule for the day.

It was best for Sam to stay social. He could do this. He just had to sleep in the cabin, and when he was asleep, he didn't have to see Gabriel. During the day, he could do this - stay with another group of counselors and leave Gabriel to whatever he wanted to do. He felt bad, a bit, for being so upset with Gabriel. He couldn't just expect the guy to be the same as he had been, ten years prior. But part of him wanted that, wanted that Gabriel, not this... different one.

Shortly after breakfast Gabriel vanished for the day, lifeguarding at the dock for the groups of kids that came with various leaders. He went for lunch with everyone, flitting from table to table, and then found himself in a volleyball game after, when someone else took over at the water.

Sam was kept busy all day long, first coaching a group of kids in football, then helping make lunch, and after that was the end of the day swim, where he had to help lifeguard. He was lost in his thoughts most of the day, pondering on Gabriel. By the time he retired to his cabin, the kids in theirs, he had made up his mind. When Gabriel returned, Sam was sitting on his bed, and he glanced up at the clang of the door. "Hey. Can we... can we go for a swim?"

Hair curled from the wind and from running his hands through it too many times, Gabriel dumped the stuff he'd been carrying into his bag. He didn't look at Sam. "As in you an' me doing something together?" His tone was mild; he hadn't exactly missed how little Sam wanted to interact with him.

"Yeah," Sam said softly, guiltily. "I'd like that." He stood, already dressed in t-shirt and swim trunks. "Please?"

"Yeah, all right." Gabriel grabbed a towel, not bothering to change - most of the shorts he'd brought with him were for swimming. After his first summer at the camp, leading and all that, he'd learned he didn't really have a need for regular shorts.

Sam sighed gratefully, led the way down to the lake, which was dim in the sunset and empty. He dropped his towel in the beach and waded in, sighing at the cool water. As Gabriel swam in to join him, Sam leaned back, floating, and watched the butterflies appear again, hundreds of them this time.

Gabriel lazed about in the water, cool ripples soothing the tension from his body. It was easier to contemplate Sam, easier to try and understand him through scrutiny, in the water up to his eyes, watching and drifting.

"I'm sorry," Sam said after a while. He watched the words drift up into the sky. "I didn't... I didn't realize how much I missed you until I saw you again. And you're so different."

Gabriel sighed, tipping his head back in the water. "What'd y'expect me t'be, Sam? Really. I wanna know."

Sam's eyes softened. "First of all, I expected you to act like we were lovers for six months. Because, you know, we were."

"Jesus, Sam," Gabriel said softly, more to the sky than to him. "Six months, ten years ago. Y'coulda gone and got yourself another in that time. Many in that time, if y'wanted. Me too."

"But I didn't," Sam responded, still staring up into the sky. "I never had anyone else." He glanced over; the butterflies scattered, swirling around Gabriel. "Did you?"

Gabriel dipped under the water, needing to think, needing not to respond right away. Jesus. Did he fucking wait for me? Wiping the water from his face as he surfaced, Gabriel slicked his hair back. "Yeah," he said shortly. "I did."

Sam tried not to let the pain slip into him. He just stayed there, floating. "Guys?" he asked shortly, fingers paddling the water.

I wish. Gabriel paddled around a bit. "No."

"No?" Sam glanced over. "You're bi?"

"I'm Gabriel, does it matter?"

"I was just asking," Sam murmured. Then, quieter, "I'm not."

"Didn't think y'were," Gabriel said. He watched his fingers under the water, strange shapes. "Though that don't matter either."

Sam kicked his feet a little bit, splashing water. "I guess this is where I ask if you wanna give it another shot, but I already know you don't want to."

"You haven't said two words to me aside right now," Gabriel informed him, wading back to shallower water. "Maybe you don't want to."

"I was angry," Sam siad softly. He followed, sinking to his knees and letting the water come up under his chin.

Gabriel sat himself down in the rocks and sand, water lapping around his waist. "I like y'Sam. I really do. I just...can't."

Sam watched him, wading a little closer. "Why didn't you ever call me?" he whispered. "I thought you were dead."

Gabriel blinked at him. "Dead? Bit extreme, innit?"

"I didn't like your brother."

Gabriel rolled his shoulders, tension anew. "He does what he thinks is best."

"I asked you a question, Gabe."

"I j-just...didn't okay." Gabriel pushed his feet in the sand. kicking up small rocks.

Sam ducked his head. "I loved you."

"Jesus," Gabriel muttered. "Don't say that, Sam."

"I did!" Sam snapped. "Dammit, Gabriel." He mopped at his eyes and slicked his bangs back. "Why didn't you call?!"

"My brother put the fear of fucking whatever in me, okay!" Gabriel brought up his knees to lean his elbows on. "So I didn't fucking call you because I'm a fucking coward."

Sam started, head snapping around as he stared at Gabriel. "He what?"

"Talked the big talk, and I bought into it."

"Gabriel, oh God." Sam rocked back. "Because of - because I'm...?"

Gabriel flopped back against the shore, water comfortably around him. "I didn't wanna talk about this."

Sam crawled back to the shore, laying out on his belly and letting the waves lap his waist. "Please?"

Gabriel curled away from him. "You know my family's hyper religious."

"Yes." Sam's voice was soft, patient. "You told me."

"That's about it, Sam."

"What do you mean, that's it? What did they do to you?"

Gabriel sunk into the water, seeking it's cool touch. "They didn't do a thing. Did y'know there are cures for homosexuality? Hm."

Sam flushed cold. "They - they didn't," he whispered. He sat up, chest coated in sand. "Gabe, please tell me they didn't do that to you." The butterflies around Gabriel's head turned jet black, gold lighting their paths.

Gabriel slid further into the water. "I like swiming, Sam. It's safe. They couldn't do anything to me when I was swimming. Unless they truly wanted to fry me."

Jaw clenched, Sam dropped his face into his hands. "How long?"

Gabriel's voice was a whisper. "Any time I showed interest in someone less than feminine."

Because of me. "I'm so sorry. Jesus, Gabriel. I'm so sorry."

"Don't." Gabriel swam out into the water, wading again. "When I was legal they couldn't make me go anymore. I haven't gone in a...long time."

"You didn't believe them, did you?" Sam asked, voice lifting a little. He stayed on the shore, watching Gabriel swim.

"If I had, maybe it'd have been easier."

Sam shook his head. "Please don't say that."

Gabriel looked over at Sam, expression blank. "It would have."

"But you didn't, right?

"Course not," Gabriel muttered. "Or I'd be back in my bunk, sleeping."

Sam blinked, meeting Gabriel's eyes. "Is this wrong?"

Gabriel craned his neck, looking up at the sky as he answered. "N-no."

Uncomfortable now, Sam offered, "We can go back, if you want. Or - or I can. I didn't mean to..."

"Sam," Gabriel said tiredly. "Y'hear something enough and it worms its way in. Doesn't mean you believe it."

"But it still makes you uncomfortable. Jesus." Sam waded out, lounged on his back. Out of nowhere, maybe seeking inane comparison, he said, "I was diagnosed with schizophrenia."

"Shit, ain't we a pair," Gabriel mumured. "I don't know much about that, Sam..."

"I see things that aren't there," Sam mumbled. "Like, you have butterflies that follow you. And I have a dog. Harley. But they're not real."

"Butterflies." He swam closer. "Why do y' see them if y'know it isn't real?"

Sam shrugged. "Brain's wired different, I guess. It used to be a lot worse. I don't see a bunch of stuff anymore. I'm on medication."

"Does it make y'feel sick?" Gabriel settled in the sand beside him, close as he dared.

"Huh? No." Sam glanced over at him, leaned back on outstretched arms. "It was confusing, at first. But it's been... shit, six years? Five. Five years."

"That's a while," he breathed. Gabriel watched Sam for a bit. "Gonna keep avoiding me?"

Sam's eyes slid sideways. "No."

"Good," Gabriel said. "Was gonna find you a new cabin mate if you kept it up."

Lips quirking upward, Sam reached up, slid a hand over Gabriel's shoulder. "Do you want me to talk to you?"

"About what?" Gabriel asked, easing himself up onto his elbows.

"At all," Sam chuckled, hand sliding to the back of Gabriel's neck.

Gabriel shivered, skin rippling with gooseflesh, and he turned to catch Sam's wrist. "Course I do."

Sam let himself go still, fingers tangled lightly in the curls at the nape of Gabriel's neck. "Mm?"

Gabriel stroked Sam's wrist with his thumb before gently nudging it away. "That's a little more thrill than I'm used to," he said honestly.

"People don't touch you?" Sam murmured, surprised. He pushed his thumbs into the dips near his knees, relaxing.

"People touch me," Gabriel said slowly. "Y'always were a little...electric. To me."

"Oh." Sam's lips quirked upwards. He twisted his hands in his lap. "So, um. You just... you just not wanna mention what happened?"

Gabriel sat up, his gaze guarded. "Jus' need you to be patient with me. If y'want to. ...touch me."

Sam tilted his head, slow and cautious. "You want...?"

There was a pause, and Gabriel breathed, "Yeah.."

A slow, small smile. Sam lifted his hand again, slow, where Gabriel could see it, and rubbed his thumb along the line of his collarbone. "Okay. Patient."

Gabriel breathed deep, watching. He reached out to touch Sam's cheek carefully. "M'back," he mumbled, moving closer, "Senstive, is all."

"Yeah?" Sam remembered it as a touchy zone, but not that much so. He tilted his cheek into Gabriel's palm. "Bad sensitive or...?"

"Good," he told him, "Very good. Too good." Gabriel slid his fingers along Sam's jaw, carefully exploring.

"Hmm." Eyeing the line of Gabriel's spine, Sam let his finger stay where they were, brushing Gabriel's collar, his shoulder, his neck. He wanted to run his fingers down the other man's spine, but he doubted he would appreciate that. "I'll remember."

Gabriel swayed forward for a moment, but stopped himself. His hand dropped, trailing along Sam's chest a little. "So, what kinda butterflies?"

Sam smiled, watching Gabriel's hand. "I don't know," he said. "All kinds. They change colors."

"And they just..." His fingers followed some random path, winding circles down, as low as Gabriel dared. "Fly around my head?"

"Yes." Sam took Gabriel's hand, held it out, palm up. He crooned, low and between his teeth, and three or four butterflies alit on their fingers. He grinned. "There are... three. Three on your fingers. All blue."

Gabriel hummed, looking down at his empty palm. "They're pretty?"

Sam chuckled. "Yes, very. They have little gold strips on their wings."

Gabriel flicked his hand a little, as if to shoo them away. "C'mon. We should get some sleep. Or the brats'll get us tomorrow."

"Mm." Sam slicked his hair back and, as they walked, said awkwardly, "If you wanna sleep in my bunk tonight, that's fine. Just don't poke me."

"I dunno," Gabriel said with mock reluctance, "Y'gonna kick me out again?"

"If you poke me," Sam said sternly. He slipped into the cabin, changing swiftly into shorts and a loose t-shirt as Gabriel did the same. They made sure to lock the cabin doors should the kids decide to ambush them in the morning.

"I've taught them too well," Gabriel yawned, curled up in his sleeping bag, pillow and flashlight at hand.

Sam climbed over Gabriel and pressed his back to the wall, making room for both of them. "Thanks for listening to me. And talking."

Gabriel turned towards him, hair staticky from the sleeping bag material. "Jus' don't make me tell it again." He patted his hand against Sam's cheek, and withdrew. "I'm glad y'told me 'bout the 'phrenia." Sleepiness combined with his accent tore apart his speech.

Chuckling, Sam leaned over and pressed a kiss to Gabriel's cheek. His accent was adorable. "Good night," he said softly. Harley popped up, sniffed Gabriel lightly, then curled up in the dip of his knees, eyes on Sam.




After far too many campfire songs, lame ghost stories and people jumping out of the bushes, everything quieted down a little for roasting stuff over the fire. Not just s'mores, not just hot dogs, but various foodstuffs. The year previous Gabriel had done a pie-in-foil with the premade crusts and a can of filling. This year was pretty normal, though he was seeing just how many marshmallows he could cook in one go.

Sam had always loved campfires, but they weren't truly relaxing until most of the kids when back to their cabins or settled around one fire with Cas, who was the absolute master of telling scary, incredibly realistic crime stories. Gabriel was settled back against a log, sprawled on the ground over blankets with a few of the other counselors. Sam meandered over from Cas' fire and slipped down to sit next to Gabriel, sighing at the comfortable warmth. "How you doin'?"

Gabriel carefully turned the fire poker between his fingers, watching the puffy white marshmallows slowly cook. "I am up to nine at one time, but I kinda ran out of people to pawn them off on." He looked at Sam meaningfully.

"I've already had nine," Sam protested, but he knew in the end he would end up taking one. He wrapped an arm around Gabriel's shoulders and slipped closer. Gabriel's butterflies were nowhere to be seen, but there was a wolf lurking on the outside of the campfire that Sam knew wasn't really there, pure white and padding in circles, protective. Sam chuckled quietly, arm tightening.

"What a coincidence, I have nine more for you!" Gabriel turned the fire poker again. He didn't shuffle closer to Sam, but he didn't pull away either. "Been listenin' to Cas' stories?"

Sam nodded, eyes still on the wolf. "He's good. Keeps the kids entertained." His fingers slipped into the dip between Gabriel's neck and shoulder. "Why don't you eat your marshmallows?"

Gabriel shuddered once, teeth sinking into his lip. "I've eaten a bunch already."

"Dork." Sam leaned over, nosed gently behind Gabriel's ear, but didn't push, even pulled back after that, watching the marshmallows puff up.

"You like it," Gabriel retorted, turning the marshmallows until they were nice and golden, the outside soft but warm. He pulled them away from the fire, sticking the handle in the dirt, and nudged at Sam before reaching for one.

Sam took one after Gabriel, popping it into his mouth. "Mmm," he mumbled around his mouthful. "Not gonna lie, man, this is perfect." He kept his arm around Gabriel's shoulders as he reluctantly took a second.

"Gotta know how to make 'em right," Gabriel said. He tugged the third one off and it oozed over his fingers. "Dang." Quickly he popped most of it in his mouth, chewing.

Eyes falling to Gabriel's fingers, Sam lifted his hand, curling long fingers around Gabriel's wrist and tugging his over so Sam could nip the leftover pieces of marshmallow from his fingers, his touch careful.

Gabriel flushed hot at the attention, his eyes riveted to Sam's mouth - soft and wet. He could feel his pulse beating hard in his throat, and Gabriel withdrew his hand before he could imagine the taste of copper on his tongue.

Sam blinked, snapping out of his trance, and dropped his hand back to his lap, gaze turning to the fire. The wolf was crouched just outside the perimeter of the fire, its hackles up. Sam stared, eyebrows furrowing. "I've upset you," he said suddenly, realizing.

Gabriel leaned against him instead, heavy on Sam's shoulder. "No, not really," he ignored the rest of his marshmallows, cooling on the stick.

"Are you sure?" Sam eyed the wolf again, wondering if it was just a manifestation of his own nervousness. He blinked down at Gabriel when the other man leaned on his shoulder and smiled, nuzzling close to him, arm tight around his shoulders.

"I'm really trying, Sammy," Gabriel told him quietly. He stared into the fire, not really seeing it.

"I know," Sam whispered. "I know. I don't expect miracles." It was enough that Gabriel could stand to touch him after what he had doubtlessly been put through horrific "curing" techniques. He let his fingers trail back, circling at the nape of Gabriel's neck.

It would've been easier if he didn't like Sam, cruelly enough. They'd only ever sent Gabriel for 'treatment' when urges, interest and feelings were involved. For now, he could handle Sam's fingers at his neck. "Good. I'm only an angel in name."

Sam let out a soft chuckle, dipped his fingers a little under the collar of Gabriel's shirt, tracing his spine. "I don't know about that."

Gabriel shivered, but didn't move away. "'M not an angel. C'mon."

Sam just hummed, rubbing a line up and down, between Gabriel's shoulders. The wolf was relaxed, large ears twitching lazily, and there were golden butterflies now, fluttering over the fire.

Dipping forward, Gabriel sprawled over the ground, his fingers clenching loosely in the cool dirt. He made a soft noise in the back of his throat.

Taking that as barely-spoken permission, Sam worked his fingers down in a twin line on either side of Gabriel's spine, from his neck to the small of his back, slow and deep presses of his fingers. The other counselors were mostly chatting, some drinking - when the camp warden wasn't around - and roasting marshmallows, their attention off the pair, which Sam was grateful for.

Gabriel shuddered, going limp, some hot sliver of liquid fire pooling and collecting at Sam's fingertips. "Ngh," he forced out between gritted teeth, "C-careful."

Sam lightened his touch, swirling his fingers in circles between Gabriel's shoulder blades. "It's okay," he murmured, careful.

His pulse was hammering, thundering in Gabriel's ears. He reached out to grab Sam's free hand, as if it were an anchor, to keep him from blanking out.

Letting Gabriel grip his hand, Sam gently rubbed his thumb along the back of Gabriel's hand, curling over himself to rest his forehead between Gabriel's shoulders. He planted a kiss there, hand settled on the small of the other man's back.

There was a jolt - just a small one, a ghost of a memory - sharp and fast down Gabriel's spine. Momentary fear was a bitter chaser, and Gabriel's whole body jerked. "Enough," he gasped, "Sam."

Sam snapped upright, hands falling away. He watched Gabriel carefully, his hands loose by his sides, nonthreatening. "Okay," he said soothingly. "Okay, Gabe. Relax."

Gabriel rested his cheek against Sam's knee, and counted breaths as his pulse slowed. "Fuck."

"Sorry," Sam mumbled, hands in his lap. He'd pushed too far, demanded too much too quickly. He didn't at all expect Gabriel to be able to get over what had happened, not right now, not so soon. He had been trained not to consider men. "I shoulda backed off."

"You can't help m'hot bod," Gabriel mumbled, curling onto his side. He looked up at Sam, eyes wide and expression open.

Sam smiled down at him, ruffled his hair gently. Left his hand there, warm and threaded through Gabriel's hair. "You okay?"

Gabriel nodded, attention shifting towards the fire. "It's just...muscle memory. I think."

Confused, Sam tipped his head to the side. "Wh...?"

"My reaction," Gabriel mumbled, "Never mind." He reached out to tip the abandoned marshmallows into the fire.

"Gabe, no, what?" Sam reached out as Gabriel's hand slid back, cupped it in his own. "Muscle memory from what?"

"You know what," Gabriel said uncomfortably. "So whenever you-" He rubbed his thumb along Sam's hand, "-then I just...go off. Remembering."

Sam's eyes went briefly wide, then dark, narrowed. How dare they? He gripped Gabriel's hand and pulled him up to sit, wrapped him up in a hug. "If I ask you," he said softly, "will you tell me?"

"Tell you what," Gabriel asked into the safety of Sam's shoulder.

"About what happened. What they did to you." Sam's hand smoothed down the back of Gabriel's neck, holding him tight.

Something squirmed in Gabriel's chest, twisting his mouth in confusion. "Why d'you wanna know that..."

Sam sighed, rested his cheek in Gabriel's hair. "So I know how to help."

Reluctantly, Gabriel said, "...I suppose."

"Let's go," Sam murmured. "Swimming." He tightened his hold on Gabriel's hand. He was well aware that swimming calmed Gabriel down. "C'mon."

It seemed a little abrupt, but Gabriel pulled the poker from the fire and stuck it in the dirt before going along with Sam. Never could turn down a swim.

Sam led the way back along the silent path to the lake, where he stripped off his shirt and waded instantly down into the cool, shallow side of the pond, sighing as the water slipped over him. "It feels awesome," he said, floating on his back. The same butterflies swirled over the lake, dancing in pale white circles.

Gabriel shed his shirt and sandals in one smooth motion, having done it enough times for it to be practiced. Everything in him seemed to unwind when he slipped into the water, washing away the tension and confusion.

There was silence for a few minutes before Sam finally said, "So tell me." He folded his arms under his head, eyes half-closed.

After a few moment's hesitation, Gabriel did, drifting aimlessly on his back in the water. He told Sam, blurring the details a little so it wasn't so blunt, about what exactly the 'treatment' was, and the reasons that he was sent to get it.

Sam let Gabriel talk, let him work it out until he could finally formulate a response. "They punished you for pleasure?" was the first thing out of his mouth, then, "How... bad did they...?"

"With a guy," Gabriel clarified. He waded through the water, stirring it around. "The longest I ever went without going to the clinic was when I had a girlfriend." He moved in enough so he could sit in the water. "Occasionally I blacked out. When I 'needed' it."

Jaw clenched, Sam waded in closer to Gabriel so he could sit as well. "I don't know how you didn't..." He shook his head, expression unreadable. "I would have cracked."

'Y'had things to deal with too, Sammy," Gabriel murmured, wiggling his fingers vaguely at the air.

"Not like that!" Sam protested. "I was never punished."

Gabriel said flatly, head tilting forward, "I was 'treated' or something."

"Bullshit," the other man said unhappily. "Total bullshit. God, Gabe." He rubbed his cheek with the back of one hand; the butterflies had turned black, invisible against the sky.

"Yeah, I know," Gabriel stretched back, sighing. "I know."

Sam slipped over, fingers tracing Gabriel's shoulder. "So when I touch your back..."

Gabriel stopped his shoulder in mid roll, and slipped his hands into the water. "I like it, Sam. Really. But I think of..." He shot him an apologetic look.

"Slow," Sam murmured. He found Gabriel's hand under the water, threaded their fingers together. "Did they know about your back?"

"Eventually, yeah," Gabriel said, squeezing Sam's hand.

Sam sighed quietly, and when he moved closer he nosed Gabriel's shoulder, fingers tight. "Sorry."

Gabriel rested his head against Sam's, sighing again. "Stop apologising."

"If your brother hadn't caught us, then none of this would have happened," Sam said, voice low in Gabriel's ear.

Gabriel made a soft sound into Sam's neck. "He woulda found out anyway."

Sam brought his arm up, wrapped one around Gabriel's knees and pulled Gabe into his lap, both of them semi-floating. "I guess."

Gabriel pressed his hand over Sam's chest, smoothing up to his collar carefully. His throat worked as he did.

Sam made no move to touch Gabriel in return, to urge him to do anything. He let him be, let him touch on his own comfort level, his head tipped back so he could look up at the butterflies, who were circling their heads.

Gabriel drifted his fingertips along Sam's exposed neck. "Whatcha lookin' at," he murmured. It was easier to think of other things, of water, and the night, the softness of Sam's skin.

"Butterflies," Sam said, without hesitation, without shame. He cradled Gabriel close. "They change colors for you."

Gabriel curled carefully into him. "Y'like them?"

Sam rested his chin on Gabriel's head. "Mmhmm."

"They sound pretty," Gabriel murmured, bouncing one foot in the water.

"You talk about them like they're actually there," Sam said softly, letting his eyes slip closed. Even his family, even his brother acted like he was nuts when he talked about the things he saw.

"Is that wrong?" He wondered, frowning slightly. Gabriel didn't think so, but..

"N- uh, no." Sam's lips quirked upward. "Just, no one ever does that."

"....well." Gabriel huffed a short laugh. "Y'see it. So. I dunno." He floundered a little.

Sam chuckled. "I just - I see it, yeah. But no one else does. And whenever I told someone, they'd just pretend I never said anything. But you - you ask about it."

"I'm curious," Gabriel said with a shrug, "An' I wanna know what y'see."

Sam smiled and pressed a kiss into Gabriel's hair, which tasted somewhat like lake water and something fruitish. "I like that."

"I'll keep asking, then," Gabriel decided. He patted a hand against Sam's chest, sat a little straighter. "Let's go back."

"Hmm, mmkay." Sam let Gabriel down and waded to the shore, climbed out and redressed, pulling his t-shirt down sticky-wet skin and slicking his hair back.

Gabriel stepped into his sandals, tucking the corner of his shirt into the waist of the his shorts. He left his hair as it was, dripping all over.

Sam went barefoot down the paved path that led back to the cabins, padding over pine needles when they reached the more secluded, tucked-away space for counselors. He held the door for Gabriel, slipped inside. Harley was curled on his bed, and Sam absently scratched him behind the ears as he slipped off his wet clothes.

Gabriel dropped his shorts on his bedpost, swapping them for the ones that had dried on the opposite side. He shook out his trusty sleeping bag and then flopped on it, rifling around for the book he'd been reading. "What made y'come back, Sam?"

"Someone called me," Sam said. "Said they needed help. I missed the place." He came over, flopped on the other side of Gabriel's hair and kissed his neck.

Gabriel paused, book in hand. He turned to face Sam, rolling half onto his back. "I kinda kicked my cabinmate out when I heard you were coming." He offered a sly smile.

Sam blinked. "Seriously? ... Ah. So that's why you were so cool about it when I turned up in your cabin." He glanced pointedly at that corner. "Funny that it's this cabin, too."

"I've had this cabin every year I've been here," Gabriel told him, stretching back. He glanced over in the direction Sam had indicated, biting his lip for a sec. "Heh~"

"So did you, um." Sam ran his hand up the length of Gabriel's arm. "You wanted to be around me?"

"I was kinda hoping you'd be all awesome and stuff," Gabriel said. He shrugged one shoulder, eyes mischevious, "Or at least fun to bother."

Sam rolled his eyes and sank his teeth into the back of the shoulder Gabriel had shrugged. "I think I'm awesome."

Gabriel's breath stuttered in his throat as he started to respond. He caught himself, smiled, laughing lightly. "Awesome~"

"Gabe..." Sam murmured, his fingers trailing the bare skin between Gabriel's shoulders.

Gabriel squirmed, breathing shortly, "Yeah?"

Sam's fingers circled there, slow. "Let me?"

Gabriel thought for a moment, weighing his own control. "Y-es, okay..."

"Tell me if you start to get upset," Sam breathed, and pressed his lips to the dip where Gabriel's shoulder blades met, the ridges of his spine riding up under his skin.

Gabriel made a long, low noise, twisting his fingers in sleeping bag. He muttered okay's and tried to relax. He wasn't bound, wasn't hooked up, hadn't been for years. He could do this.

Sam shifted over, straddling Gabriel's lower back. He settled his hands on Gabriel's shoulders and massaged lightly, working his way down and up, fingers rubbing in firm circles.

Gabriel hadn't had someone message his back like this before - he was far too jumpy about it to ever ask. He found himself melting bonelessly, clenched fingers relaxing their hold.

Sam's hands worked up and down Gabriel's arms, along his shoulders, down his back, kneading the knots in his lover's back away. "This good?" he murmured, kissed the back of Gabriel's neck.

A burst of tingling sparks blossomed from Gabriel's neck, but for the first time, he was fluid enough to let that one go. "Mm. Mhm." His lips parted in a soft sigh.

Once Gabriel was boneless and fluid in his hands, Sam pressed another kiss between his shoulders and rolled to his side. He brushed Gabriel's bangs from his eyes and gave him a lazy smile, one arm tucked under his head.

It took a lot of effort to smile back at Sam, mouth curling at the edge while his eyes fluttered shut. "That wasn't so bad..." he murmured.

"Mmm, I'm glad." Sam reached over and rolled Gabriel until they were resting together, Sam's chest pressed up tight and warm to Gabriel's back.

Gabriel slipped a leg among Sam's and rested back against him. He lifted one of Sam's hands, pressed a slow kiss to it. "Thanks," he mumbled.

Sam smiled in return. "No need to thank," he responded sleepily, wriggled his fingers amongst Gabriel's.

"I don't say it much," Gabriel told him, slipping his pillow beneath their heads, "So like it while y'can."

"Mmm, fine." Sam curled around Gabriel, arm slung across his waist and the other resting under his head. His mouth dipped briefly between Gabriel's shoulders, teeth just barely teasing.

"Mm," Gabriel shifted, hand over Sam's at his waist. "What're y'doin, Sammy?"

"Kissin'you," Sam murmured, words slurred together. He twined their legs together.

"Long way from m'mouth," Gabriel drawled sleepily, rolling into him. "C'mon."

Sam chuckled and untangled them briefly, then pulled Gabriel up close and slotted them together. He hadn't actually kissed Gabriel, not really, since they were fourteen. He curled his fingers at the back of Gabriel's neck, letting him set the pace.

Gabriel forgot what they were doing for a moment, preoccupied with the lazy shift-slide of limbs. Sam's fingers along his neck brought his eyes fluttering open, and Gabriel touched fingertips to Sam's chin, his mouth. This is supposed't feel wrong, he thought vaguely. When it didn't, Gabriel pressed a sfoft kiss to Sam's mouth,tenced for a shock, a buzz, something. It didn't come.

Gabriel tensed before he let himself relax. Sam rewarded him with a throaty hum, tipping his head to get the perfect angle, his hand sliding down to press along Gabriel's back. "You taste good," Sam hummed when he had a moment to breathe, and leaned back in, licking Gabriel's lips.

Gabriel was humming under his skin, letting Sam move him however he wanted. The compliment warmed him, and Gabriel smiled up at him, mouth opening for him, for Sam to take.

Sam licked easily into Gabriel's mouth, slow and sweet. He tugged the hair at the nape of Gabriel's neck, practically purring.

Gabriel slowly folded against him, surrendering a little bit more of him self with each moment. Sam's kisses were pretty and lingering, and Gabriel found himself rising to each one, following after Sam.

Sam licked easily into Gabriel's mouth, slow and sweet. He tugged the hair at the nape of Gabriel's neck, practically purring.

Gabriel slowly folded against him, surrendering a little bit more of him self with each moment. Sam's kisses were pretty and lingering, and Gabriel found himself rising to each one, following after Sam.

It was so tangible Sam could feel it, Gabriel's soft surrender, could feel when he let go. He rolled them, slow and without any untoward intentions, so he was settled over Gabriel, one hand at the back of his neck and the other slipping against the small of his back when Gabriel arched to meet him.

As long as he didn't think about it, he was fine - that left him feeling, moving as Sam directed, eyes half shut to keep it from

Sam drew back after a few long moments, rested his forehead on Gabriel's chest, kissed the hollow where his ribs met. "Good?"

Gabriel carefully tipped his legs apart so Sam could settle more comfortably. He brushed a hand through Sam's hair. "Y-Yeah..."

Slotting his hips between Gabriel's legs, Sam carefully circled him with his arms, pressed a lazy kiss to his collarbone. There was hesitance in Gabriel's voice; Sam ignored it, cuddling closer.

Gabriel smoothed a hand along Sam's shoulder, feeling out the bumps of his spine. "Y'so warm..." he murmured, other hand following.

Sam smiled into Gabriel's skin. "Byproduct of my height, I think," he said quietly, arching his back into Gabriel's touch.

Gabriel snorted, unbelieving. He rubbed his fingers into the dip of Sam's back, and after a breath, slipped across, following along his waistband.

Still and quiet, Sam lay, breathing into Gabriel's skin. He let the other man explore as he would, careful not to pressure him. As the silence curled on, he breathed, "You still talk to your family?"

"Email mostly," Gabriel said, cheek to Sam's hair, thumbs feeling low at the jut of his hips. "Since I don't answer their calls."

Sam nosed into the hollow of Gabriel's throat. "I have to admit, that surprises me."

"What does," Gabriel asked, tipping his head back.

"That you talk to them after what they did to you."

Gabriel rolled his shoulders uncomfortably. "I don't tell 'em anything, not really. But they don't come lookin' for me."

Sam hummed noncommitally and rolled, sprawling at Gabriel's side.

Gabriel blinked up at the ceiling, then looked over at Sam. "Y'don't like that." It was less of a question than a statement.

"It's not my family, babe. Not my business whether or not you talk to them." Sam glanced over, brushed his fingers along Gabriel's cheek.

Gabriel moved into the touch, eyes serious on Sam. "Y'don't want it to be your business?" Gabriel's way of vaguely asking something.

Sam blinked over at him. "Not them," he responded. "But you, you I'd love to have as mine."

Gabriel fidgeted, turned to press a soft kiss to Sam's open palm. "Okay."

"Okay?" Sam half-grinned. "Just like that?"

Gabriel raised an eyebrow, turned his face away. "I could make y'work for it, if y'like."

Sam leaned close, trailed nipping kisses up from Gabriel's shoulder to behind his ear, blowing cool air onto each mark. "Yeah?"

Gabriel's skin tingled and he smiled, but didn't turn back. "Yeah.." he said slowly.

Slipping a hand under Gabriel's shoulder, Sam rolled him onto his side, dipped his mouth back between his shoulderblades. Paused, breathing over the skin - and then bit down, sharp and swift.

Gabriel couldn't help crying out, head tipping back as he arched. He bit down on the next noise he made, turning his face into the pillow. He reached behind him to slap Sam's thigh lightly.

Sam brought his hand down, tangled their fingers together, lightened his hold. "Relax," he whispered, bit down again, gentler this time, tongue swiping between his teeth.

Gabriel gulped a breath, another small firework setting off between his shoulders. "Mhngh." He squirmed, caught between the pleasure and what must be the imagined taste of electricity in the air.

"Shh," Sam murmured. He kneaded his fingers in the small of Gabriel's back, sucking small marks into his skin, leaving bruised wings over his shoulderblades.

Eventually the tang of something sparking left his mouth, and Gabriel could relax again, his focus on the small aches over his shoulders and back.

Sam pulled back when Gabriel was well and truly limp, lean against the covers, and wrapped both arms tight around him. "I missed you," he mumbled, nose buried in Gabriel's hair.

It took Gabriel a moment to form words that made sense. "S'long time to miss someone."

"Yeah, I guess." Sam lay flat on his back, Gabriel half on top of him, Sam's hand tracing lazy circles over his heart.

Hazily, Gabriel turned into Sam, curling around him. "Y'were...this small warm memory or something."

Sam turned his face into Gabriel's hair, his fingers never pausing in their circling, now over Gabriel's back. He sighed and pressed a kiss to the top of Gabriel's head. "You have your own place?"

"Mhm," Gabriel wiggled closer, pulling Sam under the blanket with him. "Sunny little one bedroom."

Sam's hands tangled in the blanket, pulling it firmly over both of them. "Yeah?" he murmured. "Where at?"

Gabriel grinned into Sam's neck, laughter lingering in his voice. "Winchester, east of Lexington."

"Mmm." Sam wrapped his arms firmly around Gabriel, tugged him closer. "California."

"Jesus," Gabriel mumbled, "Why so far?"

Sam shrugged. "Needed to get away."

Gabriel hummed against Sam's skin. "Fair."

"Job?"

"Vet school. Two more years."

Sam shifted, seeking out Gabriel's hand with his own. "M'proud of you."

Gabriel blinked, sliding his fingers among Sam's. "Why?

"Because you made something of yourself. And you didn't listen to them."

"Oh," Gabriel snorted, burrowing against him. "What'd y'think I'd do."

Sam squeezed him affectionately. "I dunno. Didn't think you'd be here, not after what you told me."

Gabriel was thoughtful, gazing distantly at the ceiling. He didn't reply for a moment, and shifted, turning to curl against Sam. "Well, if I hadn't, y'wouldn't of seen me again, Sam."

"No, not -" Sam huffed softly. "Not here, as in camp here. As in with me, here." He rubbed his hand up and down Gabriel's back. "If I went through what you did, I would never have touched a man again."

Gabriel swallowed hard, chilling a little, breathing deep. "I haven't. But y'seem so... Well, makes m'feel like I can. ...if I don't think about it."

Sam's eyebrows furrowed. "What d'you mean, if you don't think about it?"

He repeated, "If I don't think. Then it's easy." Gabriel made a vague noise.

"Think about...?"

Gabriel didn't want to spesify, but there was a certain tone of Sam's voice. "About you being...a guy. Instead of just Sam."

Sam's jaw clenched, just a little bit. "So as long as you don't think about what I am, it's fine." His eyes narrowed a little, his hand yanking on Gabriel's, pressing it over his chest. "What about this?"

Gabriel's eyes went a little wider, pulling back to look at him. He flexed his hand to test Sam's hold. "Wh-what about it?"

"What happens when you touch me?" Sam muttered. "I'm not female, Gabriel."

Gabriel swallowed, breath stuttering slightly as he looked down at their hands. "I know that, Sam. Look, I'm trying, okay?"

Sam forced out a breath. "I know." His grip was still tight on Gabriel's wrist. "I know. I just - dammit, Gabe." He pulled away, rolled to one side, back to Gabriel.

Gabriel pulled hand away, blinking. "...right," he said softly. He turned away also, tugging the sleeping bag up around him. He wasn't surprised.

It took a good twenty minutes for Sam to calm down, and when he was finally okay, he rolled over again, pressed up behind Gabriel and draped an arm over his waist as he nosed into the nape of his lover's neck. "Sorry."

Gabriel rolled his shoulder away, curling in on himself. "It's fine." His voice was soft but flat. Distantly tired.

"Gabe," Sam murmured. He curled forward, tucking his body close. "Really. I don't blame you. I'm sorry. I know you need time."

"Fuck time," Gabriel said harshly. He'd been off the 'treatments' for five years, and no better for time. He needed support, and strength from someone else, and that was a lot to ask for. So he didn't.

Sam sighed, curled Gabriel back into him. "What do you need from me, Gabe?"

Gabriel pushed, sitting up, debating whether to go for a walk or crawl over to his own neglected bed. "I won't be a chore." He'd had relationships like that, past attempts to get together with a guy, to defy the system. Gabriel hated being needy, hated asking. Hated apologies for something that was meant at the time.

"Gabriel..." Sam sat up as well, leaned forward to kiss Gabriel's shoulder. "You won't be." He remembered, even from back then - Gabriel never asked for anything. He took or he went without. "I fully agreed to a relationship with you; I know what you're coming with. I just wanna know what I can do."

Gabriel examined his hands in his lap, not-quite-pouting for a moment. He turned suddenly, making sure he had Sam's gaze before he spoke. "Don't let me believe it, even a little, okay? Sometimes, I...feel it, what they did, but it's not real." He glanced slightly away. "I forget."

Sam held Gabriel's gaze. "Okay." He cupped Gabriel's cheek, stroked a thumb under his eyes. "So that's why you tensed up. When I touched your back."

Gabriel nodded silently. "Whenever...it's really nice."

"They hurt you when it felt nice," Sam muttered. He was still a little vague on the ugly details. He shifted, spread his knees, pulled Gabriel in to sit sideways against his chest.

Gabriel leaned into him this time, resting a hand over Sam's knee. "...yeah. The 'wrong' kind of nice."

Sam draped his arms around Gabriel, head thunking back against the wall. "You know I'll never hurt you."

"I know," Gabriel said, pressing his face to the curve of Sam's neck.

Hand running along Gabriel's back, Sam tucked him up closer. "How...?"

"Hm?"

"Um, how did they...?"

"They hook up these things that watch your brainwaves," Gabriel explained, as if he were explaining how to bake a cake, "And they show you stuff, or make you talk about things, and when they find an..unfavourable reaction, they reuse it later when they hook you up to zap you."

Sam's blood ran cold. He tightened his arms, burying his nose in Gabriel's hair. "I - God." He bit down on his lip, trying to focus on that rather than the tears pricking the backs of his eyes.

"And eventually," Gabriel sighed, stroking a hand over Sam's arm. "Reactions change, Sammy."

"Yeah. I know." Sam kissed Gabriel's forehead, folded him closer.

Almost so he himself could barely hear it, Gabriel wondered, "So we can change 'em too."

Sam smiled, slowly tipped down and let Gabriel sprawl over him. "Yeah. We can change 'em too."

"Mm," Gabriel pulled the blanket around them both again, snuggling in.

Sam tucked them both up close and wrapped his arms around Gabriel, tucking his head under Sam's chin. "Mmm. Sixteen days," he murmured.

Gabriel's mind jumped to that horror movie with the phone call and the girl whispering, but he doubted that's what Sam was talking about. "Until what?"

"Until this session's over," Sam said softly. "I'm only here for one session, babe."

"Oh..." Gabriel said. "...Well, I'm here the whole summer, so. Let's see if I can't be pursuasive?" His voice was slightly teasing, but Gabriel had the feeling Sam would be leaving right on schedule.

Sam sucked his bottom lip between his teeth. "I didn't expect you to be here," he said softly. "I have classes, I..."

"I figured, Sam," Gabriel patted him lightly on the cheek. "Chill."

"But -" Sam huffed, breaking off. "Mmn."

Gabriel smiled. "Y'want me to try?"

"Huh?"

Gabriel laughed softly, "And convince you to ditch your classes for the next semester. Just to humour me all summer."

Sam rolled his eyes, squeezed Gabriel for just a moment. "We'll see."

"Interesting," Gabriel smiled sleepily, "Notta no..."

"Yeah. Well." Sam smoothed his hand up Gabriel's back. "It's not like I want to leave."

"Y'got your teachin' to think about," Gabriel said. "Just like I got m'vet stuff."

Sam sighed, squeezing Gabriel again. "Yeah, I guess." He broke off, awkward silence for a moment. "Maybe we..." He squirmed uncomfortably, throat working.

There was something about the silence that made Gabriel's heart sink. "....what?"

"I can't move," Sam said softly. "I have a job lined up. You have two more years of school."

"I've got two years left, too," Gabriel murmured. "And a co-op."

"So. I mean. Shit." Sam rubbed a hand across his forehead. "I really want to do this."

"Maybe we just get sixteen days, Sammy."

"I don't want it to be just sixteen days," Sam protested. "No way."

"Then I guess we're waiting two years, right?" Gabriel shifted.

Sam's eyes drifted closed, his hand pressed along Gabriel's back. He couldn't - he knew he couldn't. Long-distance was not something he could do.

No agreement. "...or not."

"I don't know, Gabe."

"Sixteen days then," he murmured.

"... I don't know."

Gabriel didn't say anything else, only curled into Sam and closed his eyes. If neither would move, it'd be waiting. If there wasn't any waiting, there was the two weeks. Gabriel would take what he could get.

Sam tightened his arm, bracing Gabriel warm and firm against him. It was going to come down to him, he realized. He would have to be the one to move. Now it was a question of whether he could.




Despite being short for a guy, Gabriel didn't seem to have much trouble pulling kids out of the mud on their rainy-day hike. Granted, they were shorter than he was, and lighter, but Gabriel felt particularly heroic when he tugged them out with a vaccum-like 'pop'.

"Just gooo, it'll be fiiine," Sam grumbled, helping another one of Gabriel's rescue victims back onto solid ground. They were heading up the mountains near Chitaqua to camp for a night, despite the rain, which they - he and Gabriel, the only two taking the ten willing kids up the mountain - had been assured wouldn't be a problem. He reached down, pulling Gabriel up as well. "You good?"

Gabriel was laughing to himself, leg caught in the mud. He grinned at Sam as he pulled him out, leaving muddy handprints on his shirt. "This is awesome," he told him, turning to offer Sam a hand out when he was on firmer ground. "Got mud in places I prolly don't want it, but."

Sam rolled his eyes and took Gabriel's hand, eyeing his muddy shirt. He slicked his thumb in some of it and smeared a streak under Gabriel's eye, then the other. "War paint," he said. "For fighting these damned kids."

"Hey!" they chorused, mock-offended. He flipped them off and squeezed Gabriel's hand. They were all aware by now what was going on between Gabriel and Sam, and surprisingly, no one seemed to mind.

"How y'know I ain't leading them?" Gabriel asked, in a mock whisper. He winked, squeezed Sam's hand back and then went to move to the front of the column until they hit a particularly wet spot again.

"If you are, you'll pay for it later~" Sam sing-songed, and the boys in the group obediently cat-called. He hadn't been planning on telling anyone about he and Gabe, but he'd kind of forgotten the string of bruises he'd left scatted over Gabriel's shoulders. They continued to hike, Gabriel at the front and Sam at the back, until they reached a point about halfway up where the path curved in, into forest. There was a small, clear creek about a mile from where the path branched off - their campsite.

"All right, munchkins," Gabriel announced, when they'd arrived at the camping spot "Let's get set up quick, tents and dry clothes, y'know the drill." He directed some of the newer kids, until everyone was busy doing something.

Sam helped with most of the tent-pitching, erecting them in a circle until there were six surrounding a firepit, which they would have to dry and keep covered. He slid rain tarps over all the tents and staked four poles in a square over the fire-pit. Once everything was settled and pitched, ready for the night, Sam let the kids go off walking for a bit while he and Gabriel made dinner.

"Well, Sammy," Gabriel said, ripping open Doritos for taco-in-a-bag, "They're doing pretty good. I like the ones that aren't afraid of muck and gross weather."

Sam chuckled, setting up a pot to cook the taco meat. He pulled out the bagged lettuce and cheese, settled back to wait for the pot to warm up. "You just like them because you like gross weather."

"I do enjoy gross weather," Gabriel agreed. Any excuse to tromp around in shorts and a shirt and not worry about what happened to them - Gabriel was there. "Being messy in general."

Sam quirked an eyebrow at him. "Being messy, huh~?"

Gabriel grinned at him, "I was the fingerpaint kid. Screw blocks."

"Why doesn't that surprise me. You are the one that started a food fight, remember?" Sam said dryly, sliding the taco meat into the pot and listening to it sizzle.

"And after that, we had food that didn't taste like watery paste," Gabriel pointed out. He rolled a bottle of water between his hands, taken from his backpack.

Sam had to admit that was true. He huffed quietly, listening to the rain patter on the tarp, and leaned over, tugging Gabriel up closer to him, their sides pressed together and his arm wrapped around his lover's shoulders.

Gabriel rested a hand on Sam's knee, watching the fire crackle. In the quiet moments it was like there was a watch ticking in the back of his mind. Only so much time left. "I wish I'd brought suction cups," he said suddenly.

"Huh?"

"Suction cups," Gabriel pursed his lips and made a sound similar to the one that they made. "So I could tell an octopus or squid story tonight. Freak out some kiddies."

"You're a freak," Sam snickered, turning his face into Gabriel's neck and suckling the patch of skin behind his ear. "And so cruel."

Gabriel bit down a grin, chin tipping forward against his chest. "Whatever, they like it. Keeps things interesting."

Sam purred as more skin was revealed to him, mercilessly nipping a line down the column of Gabriel's neck. "You're very pretty wet, you know."

"Mm," Gabriel's fingers slipped along the inside of Sam's knee, and he leaned into Sam's mouth, eyes fluttering shut. "M-must be driving y'nuts, then. Since I usually am."

"Mmhmm," Sam hummed, tongue flicking between his teeth, soothing the nips. He settled in the dip between Gabriel's neck and shoulder, writing his name in it with the tip of his tongue. "Very. But I try to act sane, just for you."

Gabriel turned to claim a kiss, pressed sweetly at the corner of Sam's mouth. "Appreciated," he said, amused. He licked briefly across Sam's lower lip.

Sam's hand slid up to the back of Gabriel's neck, held him there as he drew Gabriel into a real kiss, firm and full and sweet. "M'glad."

Gabriel hummed some sort of an answer, mouth following after Sam's. A persistient little buzz pressed against the edges of his awareness, and Gabriel instinctively started pulling away.

"Shhh." Sam massaged his fingers into the back of Gabriel's neck, kiss turning softer. He let Gabriel catch his hand and squeezed, reassuring him.

The buzz was stealing Gabriel's focus, and he distractedly pressed his fingers to the folds of Sam's shirt, grasping. He nipped at Sam's lip, giving him enough pause to blink his eyes open for a moment.

Sam pulled back when Gabriel paused, eyes on his. "Okay?" he murmured. He smoothed his fingers down the back of Gabriel's neck.

Gabriel tilted his head to Sam's shoulder and just breathed. When the buzz had faded, he said quietly, "Yeah. Is dinner burning?"

"I - shit." Sam leaped for the pot and yanked it off, stirring frantically. "In places," he muttered. "Should be okay, though." He poured it out and grabbed the mini bags of Doritos, ladling taco meat into each one and crumbling chips into it, then adding lettuce and cheese. As he worked, he watched Gabriel, and when he had a free hand, reached over to brush his fingers down his lover's cheek. "You really can feel it, huh."

Gabriel had been staring off into the distance, jerking back to the present when he felt Sam's fingers at his cheek. "Yeah..." He leaned back, deliberately casual. "Lets you know how you're doing, though~"

Sam snorted. "Somehow that doesn't reassure me, babe." He snagged the whistle around his neck and blew three short, sharp notes. It took less than a minute for all the kids to scurry back into camp, freshly dirty, and snag bags full of taco as well as oranges and bottles of water. They sat comfortably around the fire, all of them chatting. Sam mostly watched Gabriel, his fingers drifting occasionally over his knee.

Kids back in camp, Gabriel's attention was casually on them, silent headcounts and seeing how their moods were - if anything had happened when Gabriel wasn't looking. (He would never admit it, but he was something of a mother hen.) Gabriel broke out marshmallows and a couple of fire pokers, and regrettably didn't have any sea creature related horror stories to tell them when it night fell.

Gabriel fed everyone marshmallows and they ended up listening to the kids tell scary stories until nearly eleven, when Sam sent everyone packing off to bed. He cleaned dinner up quickly and then flopped back down by Gabriel, sighing at the warmth of the fire.

Gabriel threw another log on, poking at the fire with a stick. Tick tock, tick tock. "Y'think we'll get nice weather tomorrow?"

"Hope so." Sam wrapped a warm arm around Gabriel's shoulders. "Have to check the sky in the morning."

"I was kinda hoping for more rain," Gabriel said, moving closer to Sam. The heat from the fire was hot on his face. "It's all down hill from here. It could be fun."

Sam laughed. "That's true." He nuzzled into the side of Gabriel's neck and then dropped down, curling on his side and resting his cheek on Gabriel's thigh. "I didn't freak you out too bad, did I?"

Gabriel massaged his fingers through Sam's hair, rubbing against his scalp. "Nah. I'm fine."

Purring, Sam curled closer, nuzzling into Gabriel's palm. "Mmkay," he mumbled, turning his face into Gabriel's leg.

Gabriel looked down at him, softly amused. "Well, lookit you," he drawled, working his fingers down along Sam's nape.

"Lookit me what," Sam muttered, hand wrapped around Gabriel's shin, body draped over the ground.

"Lookit you, all sprawled and pretty," Gabriel murmured. He slid both hands over the curve of Sam's shoulders.

Sam snorted, disbelieving, but rolled his shoulders into Gabriel's hands and relaxed into him, eyes closed. "Sure."






Gabriel and Sam had so far managed to somewhat avoid the topic of moving and long-distance, and if Sam had his way, it would stay like that. He didn't want to make their last couple days awkward, full of questioning silences, but that was where they were heading. He let himself into his and Gabriel's cabin, smiling when he spotted his lover sprawled out facedown on his bed, head resting on his arms and apparently asleep. Sam padded over and stroked a hand down his back as he passed, heading over to snag the book he was reading off their shared desk.

Gabriel hadn't meant to nod off, but the week was long and when he'd laid down to read his book, he hadn't gotten to pulling it out from under his pillow. Gabriel made a sound of acknowledgement, pulled out of the doze when Sam touched his back.

"Hey," Sam hummed in return. He returned to the bed and climbed up, settling next to Gabriel. They'd slept in the same bed since the first night, hadn't bothered with pushing their two together, since they seemed to sleep stacked or pressed together. He laid still for a moment, listening to the rain patter outside, and pressed his palm, warm and slow, into the small of Gabriel's back. "Sleep good?"

"Wassn't sleepin'," Gabriel yawned, unfurling and turning to drape over Sam. He nuzzled against him, breathing deep. "Y'smell like rain.."

Sam chuckled, shoving a pillow under his head and wrapping one arm around Gabriel. "You smell like cabin," he responded teasingly.

"Ew," Gabriel sighed. His eyes fluttered open, blinking blearily at Sam. "Y'have free time now?"

"Mmhmm," Sam hummed, kissing the tip of Gabriel's nose. "Cas called off the football game 'cause of the rain and sent the kidlets back to their cabins for a nap."

"Naps're nice," Gabriel commented, "Let's nap, Sammy," Gabriel shifted closer, trying to pull the blanket they were laying on, over top of them.

Sam rolled his eyes and wrapped a leg around Gabriel's, moving him fully on top of Sam. The blanket fell over both of them, and Sam tucked it up over Gabriel's shoulders, nose buried in the crook of his neck. "Go 'head."

"Mm," Gabriel rubbed his cheek against Sam's chest, eyes falling shut again. "I'm gonna miss this."

"... Yeah," Sam murmured, after a long moment of silence. "Yeah, me too."

Gabriel reached blindly, fingers trickling down Sam's cheek. "Y'll be fine, Sammy," he mumbled fuzzily, lulled by the warmth and sound of Sam's heartbeat in his ear. "Mm."

Sam caught Gabriel's hand and pressed his lips to the palm. He didn't answer, because he knew that no, he wouldn't be, but the last thing he wanted to do was make Gabriel feel bad, feel guilty. "Mmm."

Relaxing his fingers in Sam's hold, Gabriel shuffled up, pressing his face into Sam's neck. He could feel warm dreams waiting, lingering in the heat of Sam's body. He mumbled some nonsence that truly did make sense at the time.

Sam's fingers weaved into the hair at the nape of Gabriel's neck, massaging gently. "Sleep, babe," he murmured, slipping a leg between Gabriel's and curling his body to cradle Gabriel's.

Gabriel drifted, mumbling in half-sleep, and woke a little while later to heavier rain on the cabin windows. He lingered, listening to the sound, and shifted, stretching.

Gabriel's stretching jolted Sam awake; he'd fallen asleep, lulled by the steady sound of Gabriel's breathing and the warmth of his body. "Mmm, Gabe?" he mumbled, turning on his side, curling tightly around Gabriel.

"Hey, Sammy," Gabriel practically purred, pressing up into him. He wasn't quite awake, but the pull of sleepiness had faded away. From the sounds of it, Sam had nodded off too.

Sam rumbled low in his chest, smoothing his hand down Gabriel's side. He pressed his face into his lover's neck, inhaling. "Gabe."

"Still smell like cabin~?" Gabriel teased, arms winding high around Sam's back.

"Mm, no. Smell wonderful," Sam murmured. He arched into Gabriel's hold, eyes half-closed.

"Hmn," Gabriel smiled, leaning close to brush kisses just below Sam's eyes.

Sam let out a soft sound and pressed a little closer, kissing Gabriel's chest, just above his sternum. "Mmm?"

"I think we should-" Gabriel hooked a leg over Sam's thigh, rubbing his anklet along his calf. He pressed another kiss to Sam's forehead.

Sam shifted, glancing up. His hand slipped down Gabriel's side to his hip, rested there, long fingers curled around the jut of bone. "You sure?"

"I wanna-" try. Gabriel swallowed the last word, squeezing a hand over Sam's shoulder. "I wanna."

"Okay." Sam's lips quirked up at one corner. He leaned close, kissed Gabriel gently. "You wanna...?" He shifted, sliding underneath his lover.

"Y'don't wanna~?" Gabriel asked coyly. He moved up onto his knees and resettled over Sam's waist, fingers marking questions against his stomach.

Sam rolled his eyes. "Cute." He shifted, rolling his hips up into Gabriel's. "You don't wanna fuck me~?"

Gabriel bit lightly into his lip, smile delayed for half a second. "Y'prefer it, Sammy-love?" He didn't want to, only because he was afraid of this thinking pretending Sam was something he wasn't, just to keep the electricity away.

Sam tilted his head, watching Gabriel's expression. "I can," he said, his voice softened, and he reached up to trace Gabriel's lip, "love." He shifted his weight, sitting up and pulling the still-kneeling Gabriel in close, cradling the back of his head.

"I'll follow you," Gabriel said quietly into the crook of Sam's neck, sucking a small mark against the skin. "S'go." He was talking about the two of them, in the cabin together....mostly.

"Gabe," Sam said softly. He tilted Gabriel's head back, brushed his lips over the pale throat. "Gabriel." He mumbled it again, reverently. "You trust me?"

Gabriel could remember the sound of a door opening to a rustling quiet. He tipped his head to the closed cabin door, hands firm along Sam's collar. "Yeah, Sammy."

Sam cupped Gabriel's cheek, turned him back so they were facing each other. "We're safe here," Sam murmured, stealing a kiss. "No one else. Just us."

"Had t'check," Gabriel mumbled against his lips, continuing the kiss and licking lightly into Sam's mouth.

"Just us," Sam repeated. He parted his lips for Gabriel, moaning quietly into his mouth as his hand smoothed up under Gabriel's shirt.

He whispered, "Good," arching into the touch. Even the rain outside felt like a curtain around them, a silly layer of safety that Gabriel knew was slight at the most. He sucked at Sam's lip, feeling comfort in the familiar taste, the familiar slide of him.

Sam pulled Gabriel's shirt up and off, dipping his head to suckle his collarbone. "Lie on your stomach?" he mumbled, phrasing it as a question rather than a psuedo-command.

"Mhm," Gabriel hummed, drawing Sam in for another kiss, slow and sweet, before turning away. Pushing pillows, books and other things off the bed, Gabriel settled on his stomach, legs spread to either side on the narrow bed. If he'd been more sure of himself, he'd have done it facing Sam, half in his lap.

Sam shifted and knelt, straddling Gabriel's thighs. He lowered himself slowly, pushing Gabriel's hair off the back of his neck so he could press a soft kiss there. "I love you," he murmured, and traced the ridges of Gabriel's vertebrae down to the dip between his shoulders.

Gabriel didn't reply, only closed his eyes and rested his head on folded arms. He hummed low in his throat, shoulders and back relaxing.

Sam spread the fingers of either hand over Gabriel's shoulder blades and bit down between them, nipping the taut skin with firm, suckling bites. "Don't be quiet," he murmured, working his way down Gabriel's spine. Gabriel had a tendency to cut off his noises, like he was afraid someone would hear him. Which was understandable. "Wanna hear you."

Noises were easier to read. Easier to punish for. Gabriel let his mouth fall open with some effort, gasping aloud when Sam drew close to the scar stretched over his back. He swallowed, flushing immediately, even though it was what Sam had asked for.

"Yes," Sam whispered. "God, Gabriel.You're so beautiful..." He sank his teeth in again, licking between his teeth. "Where?" he murmured, asking for guidance. "I wanna make you feel good."

Gabriel squeezed his eyes shut tightly, willing away the stinging behind his eyes, the funny tickle in his throat. "Y'always do," he managed throatily. He glanced over his shoulder, gaze too bright, too watery. "Y'doin' great, lovely."

Sam's eyebrows furrowed. He leaned up, sliding his thumb under Gabriel's eye. "What is it?"

Gabriel drifted a kiss against Sam's palm, turned to face away. "Hadn't heard that before."

"Heard what?" Sam dropped his head between Gabriel's shoulders again, the flat of his tongue tracing paths up and down with long licks.

Gabriel softly echoed Sam's question of where and I wanna make you feel good. He twisted, breath hitching at the attention.

"Shame." Sam rubbed his cheek against Gabriel's shoulder, affectionate and soft. It contrasted with the sharp bite he sank his teeth into next, in the same spot that had made Gabriel scream before.

"Oh fuck," Gabriel gasped, torso jerking and curving against the bed. He made a sound suspiciously like a whimper.

Sam moaned quietly, digging his fingers into Gabriel's hips, leaving a trail of the same bites down the length of his lover's spine and back up, licking between and blowing cool air on the blossoming marks to soothe them.

Gabriel rocked slowly, almost unnoticable at first, squirming into the bed. He raised his arms, fingers tucking over each other on the edge of the bed, flexing. He hadn't let go completely, but was panting softly, hovering the edge of sparks and pleasure

Sam trailed up and down, twin paths, sucking marks into Gabriel's skin. "Mine," he whispered. "You're mine."

Gabriel sobbed once, quietly into the sheets. "S-sam," he said, caught between turning and crawling away. His knuckles were white, clenched in fists.

"Shhhh." Sam stroked his fingers lightly down Gabriel's spine. "It's all right, Gabe. It's not wrong." He kissed between Gabriel's shoulders. "We're not wrong."

Gabriel's anxiety shuddered through him and he pressed his face into the crook of his arm. "I know," he muttered, and then again.

Sam draped himself over Gabriel's back and nosed into his hair, behind his ear. "I love you," he murmured. "And what you feel isn't wrong. You're not going to get hurt. Ever again." His lips brushed the shell of Gabriel's ear. "I swear."

Gabriel turned, twisting, bending, whatever he could do immediately to face Sam, arms slipping up around him tightly. "Sure, Sammy." But heavy, ticking in the back of his mind, two days.

Sam draped himself over Gabriel's back and nosed into his hair, behind his ear. "I love you," he murmured. "And what you feel isn't wrong. You're not going to get hurt. Ever again." His lips brushed the shell of Gabriel's ear. "I swear."

Gabriel turned, twisting, bending, whatever he could do immediately to face Sam, arms slipping up around him tightly. "Sure, Sammy." But heavy, ticking in the back of his mind, two days.

Sam worried his bottom lip between his teeth, pressed chest-to-chest with Gabriel. "I was thinking," he mumbled, his eyes searching Gabriel's.

Gabriel's eyebrow slid up questioningly. A soft smiled curved his lips.

"I have, um." Sam squirmed, folding his arms over Gabriel's chest and leaning his chin on them. "I looked up colleges near Winchester. And I found a couple that apparently have my major."

"You have a job lined up in California," Gabriel pointed out.

Sam glanced up. "I have you in Kentucky," he said softly.

Gabriel shifted uncomfortably. "Y'don't have to do that."

"You don't want me to?"

"I didn't say that."

"Then what did you say?"

Gabriel smoothed a hand along Sam's neck, frowning slightly. "I can wait till we're done. School."

"I can't," Sam argued. "Not again. I waited ten years, Gabe."

Gabriel gazed at him for a little while, fingers stroking skin. "I wouldn't mind a change of scenery," he murmured.

"No. You're not." Sam pressed into Gabriel's touch. "You have vet school, Gabriel. That's different than an education degree."

"Y'aren't gonna find a good posting around Winchester, Sammy," Gabriel's mouth twisted. "Y'd be subbing, nothing like whatever y'got lined up."

Sam's jaw clenched. "I don't care," he mumbled. "I can't leave in two days, not without you."

"So fucking stubborn," Gabriel told him affectionately. "I could transfer. There're nice schools over there."

"I'm stubborn," Sam muttered, burying his face in Gabriel's neck. "I - are you sure?"

"Can y'wait a few days for me to find out?"

"Mm." Sam nodded, cheek on Gabriel's slick skin. "If you can't, I am."

"Fine, if I can't."

Sam nodded, satisfied. He trailed his lips upward. "Have I told you lately I adore you?"

Gabriel turned into it, smirking slightly, "You might've mentioned it."

"I hope so," Sam murmured, catching Gabriel's lips. "Because I do."

"It's cause y'like the sounds I make," Gabriel told him quietly, smiling, "The sounds you make me make."

Sam rolled his eyes. "Those help, yes. But I love you, too." He nipped up Gabriel's jaw to his ear, just to exhale over it, suckle a patch of skin there.

Ah, the very idea Gabriel was avoiding. Gabriel shivered and burrowed against Sam's shoulder.

Sam's arms crept around Gabriel, holding him tight. "You afraid?" he murmured, low and soft in Gabriel's ear.

Gabriel admitted to it in his own way, "Got a lot of issues, sweetheart."

"Mmm, I know." Sam rocked against him, nosing affectionately at the crook of his neck. "Well aware by now, Gabe." The nickname, if saccharine and perhaps used a little sarcastically, lit warmth in him.

"Believe me," Gabriel whispered, the sound of rain almost stealing the words away, "I'm with you."

Sam's eyes softened. He tightened his arms, folded Gabriel into him. "Good," he murmured. "I'm planning on sticking around."

"So it seems," Gabriel said, sighing pleased into Sam's chest.

Sam stroked his hand down Gabriel's back, relaxed into him and let his eyes drift closed. "Mmm, you still wanna?"

Gabriel wound around Sam, licking at the corner of his mouth. "Not if y'gonna nap on me~"

Sam turned his head and caught Gabriel's lips in a kiss. "Trying not to," he murmured, suckling gently on Gabriel's bottom lip. "I gotta - uh, lotion." He turned a little red, palming his lover's shoulder blade to distract himself.

Sam's hand, hot on his back was enough distraction for Gabriel not to tease him for the blush. "Mm, all right," Gabriel muttered, untangling enough for him to move away.

A quick stumble off the bed and into the bathroom garnered Sam hand lotion, and as he headed back out he spotted a few little 'amenities' settled in a basket on the sink. He peered at them, wolfish smile as he realized what they were. He came out, set the lotion down next to the bed and kept one hand behind his back. "On your stomach," he murmured. "No peeking."

"Whoo boy," Gabriel said teasingly, turning away from Sam and doing as he was told, "Lucky I trust y'Sammy." The idea of surprise made him a little apprehensive, but not enough yet.

"It's okay," Sam murmured, smoothing his free hand down Gabriel's back. "You know I'll take care of you." He slipped up onto the bed, pressed a kiss to the back of Gabriel's neck. "Love you," he said, just as softly, and then turned away to fix things up. He ignited the lighter as quietly as possible, unwilling to give away anything, and lit the small scented candle. He set the lighter aside, situated himself, and gave the candle a moment to burn before tipping it gently to the side and letting a single drop of freshly-melted wax drip between Gabriel's shoulders.

Gabriel tried to find zen in the crook of his crossed arms, panicking slightly at the soft roll of something metal, the quiet non-sound of a spark. Another tickle of sound, the light smell of something burning, and then silence and the rain on the windows.

Then suddenly - the sharp touch of heat on his back without any pressure - Gabriel inhaled sharply, skin tingling, and the warmth stayed. He had to clear his throat before speaking, the simple question, "Wh-what-"

"Shh." Sam let the candle melt a little more, dribbled a line down Gabriel's entire spine, one drop after another, hot and smooth, silky wax writing lines on Gabriel's body, hot, setting the nerves aflame under his skin.

Gabriel stretched with every drop, languid rolling against the bed. So much heat, controlled fire, no electricity, no sparks, just Sam - Sam and his warmth. Gabriel moaned his name, long and drawn out, ending somewhere in a contented purr.

Sam's lips quirked up at one corner, a small chuckle escaping his lips. He dipped his thumb in the wax, spread it in lines along Gabriel's shoulder blades. "You like?" he asked, voice low and rumbling, lips at Gabriel's ear. He took the lighter again, held it to the outer rim of the candle. It melted swiftly, splatters of wax spreading out over his spine. Sam's voice dropped an octave as he bent down again, nibbling the shell of Gabriel's ear. "Moan for me, Gabe."

A lighter. Gabriel put the pieces together, moaning simply for the knowledge of it, and then again for the hot slide-pull of Sam's fingers in the wax. He was breathing heavy into his arms, the flex of his back adding a slow circle into the mattress with his hips. Sam's voice rippled through him, and for the first time, the jolt of pleasure was bearable, entirely good. He didn't bother biting back the messy half-words that tumbled from his lips.

Sam added his mouth in where the wax wasn't, licking low and soft on the small of Gabriel's back, biting his way in twin paths up and down his lover's spine. "So beautiful," he purred, running his nails down Gabriel's spine to peel the cooled wax off. He gathered it in his palm, dropping it over the side of the bed, and began anew, this time nipping each spot before drizzling the wax over it.

"Oh, fuck, Sam," Gabriel crumbled apart, a little more urgent in the way he writhed, stilling under Sam's mouth, shifting beneath the wax. Gabriel whimpered - it was almost too much. He panted, low and staggered, everything tingling in a way he hadn't experienced without wanting to- The thought was shoved away.

The whipcord terseness of Gabriel's back was hard to miss. Sam kissed the back of his neck, trying to soothe him. "You good?" he murmured, lips still pressed there, lit candle propped upright on his shoulder.

"Yeah," Gabriel breathed, repeated, blinking. "Jus' got a little lost there. Is it- are you?" He licked dry lips, swallowing hard.

"Am I...?" Sam murmured, lipping the soft space behind Gabriel's ear.

"Good," Gabriel offered, turning into Sam's attentions. "Y'here with me?"

"I'm fine." Sam blew the candle out and rolled to his back, cradling Gabriel to his side. "Of course."

Gabriel immediately pressed in for a kiss, hitching a leg over Sam, pulling him closer. "What y'better than fine, Sam." He hummed into Sam's mouth, focused and flushed. "Love you. Want y'here with me."

Sam smiled, bright and warm. "Love you too," he purred, slotted himself close under Gabriel. He leaned over, dropped the candle onto the floor. "More than anything."

"Sam," Gabriel said quietly, seriously, "If y'don't do me, I might just go on without you. Jus' saying."

Sam snorted. "Fine, fine." He shrugged out of his shorts, pushing Gabriel to the other side of the bed so he could reach the hand lotion. He scooped it up and turned, leaning back over Gabriel. "How do you...?"

Immediate, "I wanna see you," Gabriel said. As beautifully wonderful Sam treated his back, now really wasn't the time. "An' I'm flexy~ So however you want." He smiled a chesire grin.

"Flexy," Sam echoed, and rolled his eyes. He bent and kissed the center of Gabriel's chest, shifting over to slot himself between his lover's hips. He coated his hand in lotion, trailed it downward. "You good?" he asked, rubbing the inside of one of Gabriel's thighs.

Gabriel tilted his head with a smile, lifting the leg that Sam had touched, knee to his shoulder. "Mhm~" His hand was loose on Sam's shoulder, quite possibly shaking, despite his apparent bravado.

Sam stroked Gabriel's thigh just a little, hitching it up on his shoulder. He turned his head, kissed the inside of Gabriel's wrist. "Tell me if I need to stop." His hand dropped lower, teasing for just a moment before he slipped his index finger gently inside, slow, waiting for Gabriel to adjust.

Gabriel bit into his lower lip, exploring the new sensation before nodding at Sam, stroking his fingers absently along Sam's jaw. "Okay," he breathed.

Sam twisted his wrist and thrust his hand gently, working a second finger in. He pressed kisses to the inside of Gabriel's thigh, stroked the hand still clutched on his shoulder to distract Gabriel. It took another moment for him to find his lover's prostate, and once he had, he gently crooked his fingers, pressing.

Gabriel cried out, fingers digging into Sam's shoulder as his eyes went wide. Any progress they'd made together was pushed aside by the jolt. Tabs and wires, one at the base of the spine, just put it there, tape it down, there's a good boy, Gabriel- He thrashed once, teeth clenched over a bit of plastic that wasn't there.

Sam stilled, withdrawing immediately and dropping to Gabriel's side, completely nonthreatening. "It's all right," he said soothingly. "Gabe, it's just me. It's all right."

He breathed an odd pace - in...out, in....out, in - and blinked up at Sam, face pale and cheeks wet. Gabriel seemed to remember, everything dropping back into place. "Oh," he said after a moment.

"Shhh." Sam rested his forehead against Gabriel's, the hand not sticky with lotion gently cupping his lover's cheek. "You all right, Gabes?"

"Fuck," Gabriel mumbled, voice cracking a little, "'M sorry Sam. I shoulda. Hhn." He curled his hands at the base of Sam's neck, trying to steady himself again. "Sorry, babe."

"No, don't. Don't," Sam repeated, a little firmer. He circled Gabriel with his arm, drew him close and careful. "Don't. It's okay." He nuzzled close, tightened his arm. "I didn't realize."

Gabriel buried his face against Sam's chest, more than just a little angry with himself. "Not y'fault," he muttered, not quite sure what else to say.

Sam shook Gabriel gently. "Don't take it out on yourself," he mumbled, stroking his fingers through Gabriel's hair. "It's their fault, not yours."

Gabriel made a sound of agreement, sighed, carefully kissed along Sam's collar. "Y'sure you wanna keep me, Sam?"

That startled a laugh from Sam. "Of course," he murmured, squeezed Gabriel gently. He laid his cheek on top of Gabriel's head, lay quiet for a moment. "Did I hurt you?"

"No," he breathed. "Just remembered. I wasn't paying attention to that."

Sam pulled back, pressed a kiss to the bridge of Gabriel's nose. "You know if we do anything else I'm going to touch your prostate again," he murmured. "Do you wanna stop?"

"I know," Gabriel stroked along Sam's arm, shaking his head. "I just...didn't expect it. I don't wanna stop." He could do this - he just hadn't expected the jolt, and it wasn't something that he had ever explored on his own. Maybe now he could prepare himself for it, work through it. Gabriel pulled Sam in for a kiss, muttered again, "Don't stop."
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