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Stupid Dares And State Fairs

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  Gabriel had a bit of a sugar addiction.

 

 In the five years that Sam had known him, he’d never seen him consume any food that even slightly resembled something healthy. At least, not unless Sam literally shoved it down his throat (usually, after Gabriel finished coughing and hacking and being an all-around drama queen, he’d make that into a sex joke. Because of course he would).

 

 When he and Sam first met, they were playing basketball during phys. Ed, and Gabriel was throwing a fit over how much taller than everyone Sam was (“Are you kidding me? The sasquatch over there is going to beat all our asses in a heartbeat!”).

 

 Nobody, including himself, had expected Sam to walk over and heft Gabriel up onto his shoulders. (“Put me down!” Gabriel squawked. Sam scowled up at him. “Shut up, you were the one bitching because you’re short. Now you’re not. Alright everyone, let’s play!”)

 

 It had been fucking iconic. They had turned out to be a dynamic duo, strangely enough. You wouldn’t think someone being stacked on top of another would be all that conducive to running around in a basketball court, but fuck if they hadn’t made it work. That was the first time either of them had singlehandedly won a basketball game, and the very first time Gabriel had ever slam dunked a ball. (“Holy shit, Sammy, did you see that?! I actually fucking slam dunked it!” Gabriel hadn’t stopped talking about it all day, which Sam only knew because of the too-many classes they had together. He’d stuck to Sam like glue, and you know what? Sam didn’t think he minded at all.)

 

 That became a regular occurrence, and within the first week of talking to each other, they’d become joined at the hip.

 

 While Gabriel was scrappy, he also happened to be very small. Douchebags at the school liked taking advantage of that. Gabriel didn’t like having to receive help from others, but the first time Sam found him getting the shit beaten out of him was also the last time Gabriel went up against anyone without Sam there right next to him.

 

 While Sam knew how to beat the shit out of others physically, he wasn’t so great at the talking thing. People did like to poke fun at the gawky tall guy that hadn’t quite yet grown into his long limbs. Gabriel caught on to this VERY quickly, and did something about it even quicker. Every person that so much as looked at Sam the wrong way ended up with a pink glitter bomb in their locker, itching powder in their gym shorts, a raccoon in their car, the list could go on for days. People stopped talking shit pretty quickly after that.

 

 Long story short, they were the yin to each other’s yang, so on and so forth. Kicking ass and taking names both in sports and in fights, Sam helping Gabriel with his schoolwork (doing it for him) and Gabriel teaching Sam how to have some fun. Basically, they were fucking awesome.

 

 Their definition of fun didn’t always match up, and on the days where they couldn’t agree on what to do, they always went straight to the default option. They’d make a blanket fort in the living room and watch whatever movie was in the DVD tray. They usually ended up falling asleep, with Gabriel snoring softly, Sam holding him in his arms. It had become a regular thing that neither of them really minded. They both slept better that way, so why freak out about it?

 

 Despite Gabriel and Sam having their own little friend group, in the end, they were still closest to each other. Gabriel practically lived at Sam’s house, and when Sam’s older brother Dean was introduced to Gabriel’s younger brother Castiel, he began to practically live at Gabriel’s house, which turned into Castiel and Gabriel’s apartment once they’d gone to college (it didn’t matter whose name was on the lease, Dean moved in with Cas and Gabriel moved in with Sam).

 

 Gabriel taught Sam how to prank people in the best ways possible (which also led to people quit fucking with them for fear of finding a rabid squirrel in their locker). He’d caught on pretty quickly, and it got them in trouble many times, but that never stopped them.

 

  Gabriel didn’t do anything halfway, and that went for just about everything. Including his sugar intake.

 

 As Sam was speaking (to himself, mostly) , Gabriel was sitting next to him under a (their) willow tree, yammering away while tearing into a jumbo sized gummy bear. Yeah, that didn’t sound too awful, not until you saw the empty boxes of the three previous ones he’d eaten strewn across the ground.

 

“...so then she said that I eat too much junk, and she’s right, but also,” Gabriel tore off a bit of the half eaten gummy bear and offered it up to Sam. “It could totally be worse, right?”

 

 “I’m good, I already had some of the other one,” He wrinkled his nose at the candy. Sam could only take so much sugar. “But seriously, you’ve eaten three and a half pounds worth of those in less than an hour. How the hell could it get any worse?”

 

 Sometimes Sam regretted saying things. As soon as a shit-eating grin spread across Gabriel’s face, Sam realized that this was definitely one of those times.

 

“Oh, Sammy. I could totally do worse.”

 

 “Okay, I take that back” Sam said, putting his hands up in surrender. “You could NOT do worse, and if you think you can, you’re wrong.”

 

 Laughing, Gabriel pushed himself up off the ground, gummy bear still in hand. “I’ve gotta go buy some shit now. You wanna come with?”

 

 He offered up his spare hand to help Sam up and he graciously took it, hefting himself up to his full height.

 

 Sam was tall. Six foot four tall. Gabriel, even after all these years, never shut up about it. They both knew it was entirely because he was maybe five foot nine, if Sam was being generous. But for fear of getting his ass kicked, he’d never dare to say that out loud.

 

 “Y’know,” As they began to walk (after Sam had thrown Gabriel’s damn trash away for him) , Sam mussed up Gabriel’s hair and used his head as an armrest. It may have been entirely to piss him off, and it may have entirely worked. Gabriel scowled and batted his arm away, elbowing Sam in the ribs as payback. “Maybe if you ate less sugar you’d grow to be a little bit taller than a hobbit.”

 

“First off, you’re a massive asshole. Second off, not everyone can be a giant. I’m almost surprised that you don’t step on people when you walk around!”

 

 As college students, you’d think that at least one of them would know how to drive. That was not the case. The only reason Gabriel was still fit was because of all the walking they did (and his ridiculously fast metabolism, can’t forget that). They’d worry about walking alone in the middle of nowhere at three in the morning if not for the fact that they could both easily kick at least four and a half asses.

 

 Sam always seemed to get lost in their conversations, Gabriel was just so animated and could talk about anything. He would get into it to the point that he wouldn’t realize where they went half the time. Such as now, when he hadn’t even noticed that they were already walking into the grocery store.

 

 “So, what exactly are we doing here?”

 

“Well, Sammy,” Gabriel grabbed the nearest cart and practically skipped his way into the store. “We are buying supplies so that I can do worse. Much, much worse.”

 

 That was how they ended up at the cash register, with every pudding cup they’d had on the shelves (and a reusable Avengers bag. Gabriel insisted that he absolutely needed it, so who was Sam to say otherwise?) sitting on the conveyor belt, well on their way to being checked out (Sam had counted them. Fifty-five goddamn pudding cups).

 

The cashier swiped them all, pudding cup after pudding cup. Gabriel was practically vibrating with excitement, rocking back and forth on his heels.

 

“Planning a kid’s party?” The cashier questioned.

 

“Nope!”

 

 “It’s all for him.” Sam deadpanned.

 

 She stopped mid-scan and slowly quirked an eyebrow at Gabriel. You could see her processing that, trying to figure out exactly how to react.

 

“Huh,” She started scanning again. “How come?”

 

“People think I eat too much sugar, but a friend of mine asked how it could get any worse!” Sam sighed sadly, mentally cursing himself for having said anything at all. “So here I am, trying to do worse.”

 

“Are you going to eat them all at once?” She looked almost impressed.

 

 “Please, for god’s sake, don’t encourage him.” He begged the girl, groaning at the way Gabriel’s eyes lit up at her question.

 

“Well I wasn’t, but if you insist…”

 

“I dare you to do it and tell me how it turned out!”

 

 That was it. The words that sealed the deal. She didn’t even have the time to finish asking him if he wanted his receipt before Gabriel grabbed his new bag stuffed full to bursting with pudding cups. Sam barely had the time to snatch the receipt from her hand before he was dragged away at the speed of light.

 

“C’mon, Sammy! We’ve gotta go do this right now!”

 

 “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Sam hit the brakes, jerking Gabriel back and earning him a pouty scowl. “Fuck’s sake, Gabriel. At least wait until tomorrow when you’re not stuffed with four pounds of candy.”

 

 Gabriel threw his head back and groaned in annoyance. “Ugh, why are you the responsible one?”

 

 Sam smirked and threw his arm over Gabriel’s shoulder, starting to walk back to his house. “Because if I wasn’t, you probably would have gone into diabetic shock by now.”

 

 And so they went on their way, walking home at three in the morning. You could always tell exactly when Gabriel’s sugar high ended and he crashed and burned miserably. It usually happened gradually, then all at once. Sam knew it was starting as soon as Gabriel started whining about how heavy the bag was, ending with Sam toting it around with minimal complaints (if he did have any, they were just jokes).

 As usual, Sam had to catch Gabriel as he was swaying, exhausted and falling asleep on his feet (of all the talents for him to possess, it had to be the ability to fall asleep standing, didn’t it?).

 

“Sammy, ‘m tired.” Gabriel’s eyes drooped as he slowed down, dragging his feet.

 

 “Alright, up you go,” Sam put the bag down for a bit to heft Gabriel up onto his back. “You okay up there?”

 

 He took the sleepy mumble as a yes and picked the bag back up.

 

 And so Sam went on his way, walking home at three in the morning. With an avengers bag filled with pudding cups in one hand and his best friend sound asleep on his back (he talked in his sleep and snored, but Sam didn’t mind).

 

   These are the best kind of nights, Sam thought, smiling when Gabriel snuffled and nuzzled into his neck. These really are the best.

__________

 

 Gabriel was an idiot.

 

 It was a well-known fact, and of all the people in the world, Sam was the one who knew that best. The only issue was that Gabriel seemed to be feeling extra dumbass-y today.

 

 On this fateful day (February 15th, if you’d want to be exact) , Gabriel had learned that while he could eat 55 pudding cups in one sitting, he couldn’t keep them down for more than an hour. Luckily, Sam had gotten the eating part of the dare on video, not the reappearance of the pudding. Little miracles.

 

 This was how Sam ended up holding Gabriel’s hair back for him as he heaved into the toilet.

 

“God, why did I do that?” Gabriel groaned, immediately going back to emptying what Sam suspected was pudding cup number thirty four. “Why didn’t you stop me, Sammy?”

 

 “Don’t make me leave your sorry ass alone here,” He rubbed Gabriel’s back soothingly as his best friend whined. “You know damn well I told you not to do it.”

 

“Yeah, but I did it anyway!”

 

 “Sounds about right. You doin’ any better?”

 

 At the weak nod he got, Sam cleaned Gabriel up, wiping his face clean with a damp cloth. Sam picked him up bridal style, growing slightly concerned at the lack of a struggle and miffed comments about not being his blushing maiden.

 

 It was a habit, crawling into bed next to Gabriel when he was sick or upset. He ran cold, while Sam was like a furnace. They canceled each other out, so neither of them minded it when they ended up asleep in each other’s arms (yeah, it happened during movie night and then some, but it didn’t matter much to them).

 

  Sam set Gabriel down and got comfortable next to him, shuffling around and ignoring Gabriel’s weak complaints before pulling him close.

 

 “Y’know, you’re a total idiot.”

 

“I know, but you love me anyway!”

 

 For some reason, Sam’s heart would skip a beat whenever Gabriel said that. He wasn’t sure why, and no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t seem to figure it out.

 

 “Eh,” He shrugged, trying to hide his laugh at Gabriel’s mock offended face. “Depends on the day.”

 

 They quipped back and forth, Gabriel obviously feeling much better than he had beforehand. Even so, he slowly fell asleep, and Sam followed soon after.

 

 His eyelids drooped, and his last thought was of playful, golden eyes.

 

__________

 

 Surprisingly, Gabriel did not appreciate the publicity his stupidity had earned him.

 

“Why do people keep congratulating me on it? All I did was eat pudding til’ I puked!”

 

 Gabriel hadn’t stopped bitching about all the attention he’d been getting after they’d posted the video of what was probably one of his biggest mistakes. It was way too entertaining for Sam, both of them claiming that Gabriel had successfully managed to keep it down. Nobody needed to know for how long, so if they bought it, that wasn’t on them.

 

 “It is pretty impressive if you ask me. You’re the goddamn pudding cup kid now!”

 

“Pudding Cup Kid?” Gabriel spun on his heel to face Sam, beginning to walk backwards. Sam could tell himself all he wanted that he wouldn’t catch him if he fell, but deep down inside, he knew that was a massive load of bullshit. “That’s a catchy nickname, don’t you think?”

 

 “Not really,” He said, wrinkling his nose. “I wouldn’t want to be called that.”

 

“Ah-ah! That’s the problem. You wouldn’t want that. I do!”

 

 “You’re fucking kidding.”

 

“Nope!”

 

 “Gabe, I’m not calling you the Pudding Cup Kid.” He deadpanned, donning his best bitchface. All he got in response was a pout and puppy eyes that made him melt.

 

 Sam was going to cave at some point and Gabriel damn well knew that. But hell if he wouldn’t go down without a fight.

 

“Aww, come on, don’t be a downer.”

 

 “Dude, it’s a damn mouthful, I’m not using that long-ass name to address you.”

 

 A shit eating grin spread across Gabriel’s face. “A mouthful, huh? You know what else is a mouthful?”

 

 “Gabriel, if you say your dick, I swear I will kick you in the balls hard enough to eliminate any chance you have to reproduce.”

 

 His mouth snapped shut, shooting Sam a glare. “Downer.”

 

 “Don’t you know it, you big weirdo.”

 

 Gabriel dropped it for now, but they both knew that Sam would never hear the end of it.

__________

 

   Sam had been one hundred percent right.

 

 Gabriel never shut the hell up about it, even when Sam decked him for his apparent inability to stop talking. Sometimes he considered just throwing him out the window, but he decided against it. They were on the first floor, it wouldn’t have any effect anyway.

 

 “Oh my God , Gabe.”

 

“It’s not that big of a deal!”

 

 It really wasn’t, and at this point he wouldn’t do it entirely to piss Gabriel off.

 

 Somehow, he’d managed to get the entire goddamn school to call him The Pudding Cup Kid (he was pretty sure it was trademarked). Everyone but Sam did it, and it drove Gabriel insane.

 

 “It’s too long and it sounds dumb, remember?”

 

“Fine!” Gabriel threw his hands up in exasperation, huffing annoyedly. “Why don’t you just shorten it or something?”

 

 “To what?”

 

“I dunno,” He said, plopping down on the couch next to sam. Falling back to lie on his lap, Gabriel looked up at him. “Maybe pudding?”

 

 Sam wrinkled his nose, unconsciously beginning to run his fingers through Gabriel’s hair. “What are we, Harley and Joker?”

 

 Gabriel leaned into Sam’s touch, making a happy noise. Sam thought he felt his heart melt a bit at that. “Ew, you’re right. How about kid?”

 

 “Eh.”

 

“Fine! Might as well just call me Cup or some shit.”

 

 “Sure, why not?”

 

 Gabriel sat up with the most disbelieving look, and if Sam didn’t know any better, he’d say that there was a tinge of disgust somewhere in there.

 

“You’re fucking joking.”

 

 Shrugging, Sam pulled Gabriel back down to keep messing with his hair. It was soft and it gave him something to do. That was the only reason why he did it. One hundred percent. “Nope. It’s not long, and it doesn’t sound stupid.”

 

“It doesn’t sound stupid?” He scoffed. “You’d literally be calling me something that we drink out of!”

 

 “But Cup, I thought you were the king of stupid-ass names?”

 

 That earned him an unconvincing glare, wavering every time Sam ran his fingers through his hair. “Fine, whatever.”

 

 Just like that, Gabriel had his much begged for nickname. Probably (definitely) not the one he’d wanted, but a nickname nonetheless. Both of them stayed right where they were, no matter how badly they wanted to put a movie in. Neither wanted to get up, they were far too comfy. Dean was whiny when they begged him to put something on as he was on his way out the door, but still cooperative.

 

 As usual, they didn’t make it through the movie. Gabriel zonked out on Sam’s lap, and Sam knocked out with his fingers still threaded through Gabriel’s hair.

 

 Dean always ended up coming home to this sort of thing (when he did come home) , and a lot of the time, he considered poking fun at them for it. But the smile on his little brother’s face always made him decide otherwise. Instead, he’d silently flick off the too-loud TV and throw a blanket over them. They were too happy to disturb, Dean thought, giving them a fond look. He flicked the light off and let them sleep.

 

__________

 

 Gabriel didn’t like people using Sam’s nickname for him.

 

 When he’d first suggested it, Sam had no idea that Gabriel would come to love the damn name so much, in fact, he’d come up with it mostly to bother him.

 

 People all over the school still stuck with Gabriel’s nickname, months after the pudding incident. Not a single person dared call him by his real name anymore, for fear of what horrendous prank they’d be subjected to if they did (mainly because of the fish incident. Nobody talked about the fish incident) .

 

 Nobody called him by his real name. Nobody but Sam, of course.

 

 Sam had the privilege of both calling him Gabriel (duh) and Cup (still a fucking stupid name). For some reason, it had become special to Gabriel. There had been a few times where somebody else had slipped up or thought they were special enough to use Sam’s nickname (“Hey Cup, what’s up?” Meg nudged Gabriel, whose face immediately went sour. “Don’t call me that, please and thank you.”). Everyone at the table had held their breath, knowing full well that Meg didn’t take kindly to being told what to do. (“Well what are you gonna do about it, then? Fuck off with your empty threats, Cup .”) .

 

 That had been shut down real damn quick. She might have known that Gabriel hated when she called him that, but Gabriel happened to know that she hated spiders. How he’d gotten hundreds of tiny live spiders to crawl out of the one random bathroom stall she’d walked into, nobody knew. All anyone knew was that they’d never heard her call him by that name again (or anyone else, for that matter).

 

 “Hey Gabe, what’d you get for number two?”

 

“Gabe? I don’t know a Gabe, who are you talkin’ to?”

 

 “Alright,” Sam sighed and rolled his eyes so hard that he was pretty sure he now knew what the inside of his head looked like. “ Cup. Oh my dearest darling Cup , what in the sweet fuck did you get for number two?

 

“I got sixty-nine.” Gabriel said with a smirk.

 

 “Gabriel. We’re doing English homework.”

 

“Wait, what? I thought we were doing history!”

 

 “But you just answered with a n-” Rubbing his temples, he groaned in annoyance. “I give up.”

 

“On me or the homework?” Gabriel shot him a toothy grin, amusement glittering in his eyes.

 

 “Your pick.”

 

“Definitely the homework,” He slammed his book shut and stowed it in his toxic waste pink bag, doing the same with Sam’s. “I heard the candy store restocked the gummy bears. Wanna come with?”

 

 “Do you really have to ask?”

 

 They both hefted up their bags and walked to the car (Sam had finally gotten his license. Neither of them knew why he hadn’t done it sooner). Of course, even with the short walk out to the parking lot, Gabriel started complaining about how heavy his bag was halfway through. This is how Sam ended up saying ‘fuck it’ and just threw Gabriel over his shoulder. In true Gabriel fashion, he complained about that too all the way to the car (although, Sam didn’t blame him for the string of curses he was rewarded with after quite literally throwing Gabriel into the trunk with the bags).

 

 Gabriel still treated Sam to gummy bears.

 

__________

 

 Sam was growing increasingly confused.

 

He’d known Gabriel for five full years (“Almost six!”, as Gabriel liked to remind him). Five wasn’t a great big number, but when it’s five years , that’s when it really does become a great big number.

 

 In those five (almost six) years, Sam had never thought anything about their relationship was even slightly out of the ordinary. Not a damn thing.

 

 Not the whole falling asleep together on a consistent basis thing (to be honest, he wasn’t even sure if he was capable of sleeping without him anymore). Not the inability to spend more than a day away from each other (it sounded like an exaggeration, but it really did nearly drive Sam insane to not be around Gabriel). Not the amount of affection they’d give each other (playing with each other’s hair, kissing each other’s foreheads before getting pulled into a comforting hug on a bad day, and then there was the whole constant cuddling thing) . Not any of it.

 

 Not until Cas and Dean got together.

 

 It was something so small and insignificant, they’d all known it was bound to happen at some point. Hell, it’d taken them three years to pull their heads out of their asses!

 

 But there were some things that just kept coming up.

 

“I still can’t believe it took them this long to get together,” Gabriel moved his game piece on the monopoly board (he’d picked the money bag, of course). “I’ll take Marvin Gardens, please and thank you!”

 

 “I already own that one.”

 

“Ugh. Will you give it to me for a big ol’ kiss?” Gabriel gushed, batting his eyes at Sam. “Pleeeeaaaaase?”

 

 “Nope.”

 

“Pretty please with a cherry on top?”

 

 “I don’t like the cherries on top and you know it.”

 

“Damn, shoulda said something else,” Gabriel pushed the dice over to Sam dejectedly. “Anyway, our brothers practically live at Cassie and I’s place. You literally never see them without each other! Plus, they’re all gushy with each other. Just goes to show how oblivious they are.”

 

 “Gabriel, you do realize that you basically just described us, right?” He threw the dice, making sure to keep his eyes focused down on the board. “Six. Alright, I’ll take Oriental Boulevard.”

 

 Sam put his money in the bank and took the property card, not sure what to make of the silence.

 

“I guess I did just describe us, huh?” Gabriel said softly, almost as if he was talking to himself.

 

 Looking up at him, their eyes met and Sam was greeted with a fond smile. For a split second, he could have sworn that Gabriel was going to kiss him.

 

 Sam was completely correct.

 

 It was soft and sweet and innocent, nothing like what Sam would have imagined it would be like (not that he’d thought about it, of course) . It lasted no more than a second or two, but to him, it felt like an eternity. A wonderful eternity that made his head spin and his heart nearly pound right out of his chest.

 

 He had to stop himself from whining when Gabriel pulled away, every fiber of his being telling him to pull him right back and kiss him silly. Instead, he sat there like a moron, just staring at Gabriel. Both of their faces were flushed, and neither could look away from the other. He could have sworn that Gabriel was leaning in again, up until-

 

“So, do I get Marvin Gardens now?” He said, a cheeky grin plastered on his face.

 

 Oh, how his heart sunk right down to his feet. Of course it was a joke. What else would it have been? Rolling his eyes, he smacked Gabriel on the shoulder. Whether it was a joke or a silent ‘ Fuck you’ , he’d never know, but he did know that Gabriel yelped and it made him feel just a bit better.

 

“Ouch, what was that for?!”

 

 “That was for thinking that you could get my favorite property outta me with a kiss, dumbass!”

 

 They went back and forth like that for what was probably a bit too long for grown-ass men, but they didn’t care. Sam ended up winning the game (as usual) , but Gabriel insisted that the real winner was the one who’d gotten their hands on Boardwalk (which was him).

 

  Sam couldn’t help but notice that Gabriel’s face went red every time he looked over at him.

 

 Sam considered the possibility that the kiss had meant something. He filed that away for later.

 

 Sam ignored the subject completely, as usual. Because what else would he do?

 

__________

 

 Of all the days to celebrate, Gabriel wanted to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the pudding fiasco.

 

 Unfortunately for Sam, not only was he a sucker for those goddamn eyes, but the state fair had decided to pop up just in time for this ‘special occasion’.

 

 This was how Sam ended up being dragged around from stand to stand, clutching at least three stuffed animals (unless there were clowns. Fuck clowns).

 

“Come on, Sam! You can win a goldfish at this one!”

 

 “Whoa whoa whoa, we’re NOT getting a fish.”

 

“Aww, Sammy, please?” Gabriel gave him his patented puppy eyes, and he cursed himself for being so weak. “Just for me?”

 

“Alright, fine,” Before he started celebrating, Sam interrupted him. “But! If or when we do it, it’ll be the last game we go to and then we go home.”

 

“That’s fair. Let’s go later so the little guy doesn’t get jostled up.”

 

 “Wow, that’s the first sane idea you’ve had all day.”

 

He playfully nudged Gabriel, not sure if it was to tease him or just to get some semblance of physical contact with him. Gabriel nudged him back, pairing it with a little hip bump.

 

“Pfft, like you’d know what sane is, Sa- Ooh! Food trucks!”

 

  He grabbed Sam’s hand and made a mad dash for the food, jerking him forward. His stomach cried out in agony, struggling to steel itself for the massive amounts of grease that were sure to come.

 

 Sam wasn’t sure what was worse, the massive sign reading “FRIED BUTTER” or the fact that Gabriel was making a beeline towards it. Upon arrival, he pranced over to stand in the short line, leaving Sam behind.

 

 “Oh god, Please don’t make me do this,” Sam begged, catching up to him just as he put in his order and thrust the money toward the cashier. “Gabriel, I will do absolutely anything for you if you don’t make me eat fried butter.”

 

“Who said I was making you eat any? Oh, thanks! Have a great day!” He ignored Sam’s protests and made grabby hands at the fried monstrosity being handed to him. Waving at the owner, he turned back to Sam with an enormous shit-eating grin and a mischievous glint in his eyes. “I’ve always wanted to try one of these! I hear it’s really good, so why not?”

 

 “Maybe because it’s a heart attack on a stick? And you’re lactose intolerant?

 

“Minor details,” Waving him off, Gabriel licked his lips (Jesus, Mother Mary, and Joseph, that should be considered illegal). He pointed the abomination at Sam. “You ready for this, Sammy?”

 

 “Not really.”

 

 And with that, Gabriel took a massive bite of fried butter. Sam watched carefully, not wanting to miss his reaction. When he pulled a face and stared down at the fried butter like it had killed one of his family members, Sam couldn’t help but snort.

 

 “How’s it taste?”

 

“It tastes like I’m going to need a triple bypass by the end of the day,” Wrinkling his nose, he handed it to Sam. “You try.”

 

 Sam knew he’d told himself (and Gabriel) that he would rather die than try it, but he was a curious person. Curious to the point that his dumb ass actually did bite into it.

 

 Then immediately proceeded to spit it out in the nearest trash can (it turned out to be a recycling bin, but desperate times called for desperate measures) .

 

 “Dude, throw that thing away, it’s awful.”

 

“Well I can’t throw it away now, I paid for it!”

 

 “Please tell me you’re not going to eat the rest of that thing.”

 

“I’m going to eat the rest of this thing.”

 

 “I swear to God, this is going to be like the pudding thing all over again,” Sam said, throwing his hands in the air. “When you end up in the bathroom for the rest of the fair, don’t come crying to me!”

 

“Come on, Sam. It’s not that bad, I won’t end up in the bathroom.”

 

 He ended up in the bathroom for almost the rest of the fair. Sam, being the amazing friend he was, spent his time leaning on the porta-potty for the hour and a half (or more) that Gabriel spent paying dearly for yet another bad decision. When he finally, finally came out, it took every fiber of self control that he owned not to say ‘I told you so!’. But he was a good friend, so he stuck to being a dick in other ways.

 

 “You good?”

 

“I officially hate myself,” Gabriel groaned, clutching his stomach. “Remind me why I never listen to you?”

 

 “Maybe because you’re a stubborn ass?” Sam gestured at him to get on his back, handing him the stuffed animals. If he was going to be riding around on his back, he might as well do something useful. “So, do we need to find a toxic waste sign to hang up on the door?”

 

“Oh, fuck off.”

 

 “Hey, don’t make me drop you.”

 

“You wouldn’t,” At that, Sam let him fall  the smallest bit, just enough to make Gabriel yelp. “Okay, okay, you would!”

 

 “Told you,” Sam said with a toothy grin. “So are you still up for that goldfish?”

 

 Gabriel nodded enthusiastically. They ended up at a game stand, the objective to shoot all of the targets. Unsurprisingly enough, Gabriel was amazing at it. If you considered missing every possible target amazing.

 

 “How the hell did you manage to miss the one your rifle is nearly touching?”

 

“I don’t know! I’m just slightly out of practice. Lemme try again.”

 

 Round two was as successful as the first. This was when Sam stepped in, handing over a dollar and wrenching the rifle out of Gabriel’s grip. He didn’t even bother looking through the scope, he knew damn well that it was most likely rigged and would only result in him missing half of the targets. He breathed deeply as the game started and aimed.

 

 They ended up with three goldfish and not a single target left standing.

 

 “What the hell are we going to do with all of these fish, Gabriel?”

 

“We’re going to get a tank for them,” He skipped and hopped along, being careful not to jostle the fish around too much. “And then we’re going to name them and we’ll all live happily ever after!”

 

 “Fine, but no stupid names.”

 

“We can discuss that a bit later!” Gabriel looked around, smile dropping off of his face. “So, I guess it’s time to go home, huh?”

 

 It was strange, but he didn’t want to. He wanted to stay and talk about goldfish and fried butter and terrible aim and toxic porta-potties. It was dark, and everything was lit up, colorful lights flashing and bright.

 

 “I’ve never been on a ferris wheel.”

 

 Gabriel gaped at him, disbelief painted all over his face. Sam could have sworn that even the two fish and three stuffed animals Gabriel was holding were giving him the same look.

 

“Are you serious right now? You’ve never once been on a ferris wheel?”

 

 “Nope,” Sam said, popping the p. “Not a single time.”

 

“That’s it. Fuck your ‘go home after the fish’ rule. They’ll like it too, so c’mon! While the line is short!”

 

 For the first time that night, they walked calmly toward their destination. Cotton candy stands did ultimately lure them both in (yes, both. Sam did have his guilty pleasures), ending with them sharing what was possibly the biggest damn ball of cotton candy they’d ever seen (Sam had to hand-feed it to Gabriel, who had no room to carry anything else).

 

 They barely managed to make it to the last ride, the person running it about to start it up. Sam didn’t think he’d ever hopped onto a ride more quickly than he did at that moment, partially because Gabriel wouldn’t shut up about it, but mostly because it was already starting to move and he wasn’t about to miss this chance.

 

“Get in, get in!”

 

 “I’m in, close the door!” They both slammed the door shut quickly, the car already lifting up off of the ground. “Jesus christ, we could have died.

 

“Don’t be so dramatic, Sammy,” Gabriel plopped down in the closed ferris wheel car, setting the fish and everything else beside him. Looking over at Sam, he patted the seat next to him. “Sit down, you’re gonna miss it!”

 

 “Miss what?”

 

“Just sit your gorgeous ass down,” Taking his hand, Gabriel pulled him over and gestured out the window. “Pretty, right?”

 

 It really was, Sam realized. Everything got smaller with each passing second, everything blurring together into colorful dots of light decorating the ground, shining like paint-spattered stars.

 

 “Yeah, it is.”

 

 The ferris wheel jerked to a stop, jostling them both and tearing a yell from him and making Sam’s stomach drop straight down to the ground. With a KA-THUNK, it kept smoothly rising back up as it had been before.

 

“Jesus, Sammy. You okay?”

 

  Sam hadn’t noticed the arm holding him back into his seat, making sure he didn’t go flying across the car. When he nodded, Gabriel took his shaky hand in his warm one, knowing full well how much it would comfort him.

 

“That usually doesn’t happen.”

 

 Sam let out a nervous laugh. “I kinda figured.”

 

 Gabriel snorted, giving his hand a reassuring squeeze. They slipped back into a comfortable silence, Gabriel resting his head on Sam’s shoulder, Sam reaching up to play with his hair.

 

“Hey,” Gabriel lifted his head to look up at Sam. “I just thought of something.”

 

 “Oh god, now I’m worried.”

 

“No, I’m serious!” He exclaimed. “I just realized that I’ve never kissed someone on a ferris wheel.”

 

 Fuck if that didn’t make his face go red faster than it ever had before. “Hold on, run that by me one more time.”

 

“I said that I’ve never kissed someone on a ferris wheel before.”

 

 “Congratulations, let me see if I can find you a medal or trophy somewhere in here.”

 

“You haven’t either, right?” He didn’t get a chance to answer, getting cut off before he could even finish opening his mouth. “Wait, you’ve never been on a ferris wheel before, of course you haven’t.”

 

 “I mean, I don’t,” Sam sputtered. “Who cares? It’s not a big deal.”

 

“It totally is! Come on, Sammy, how could you pass up an opportunity like this?”

 

 “Why is this so important to you?”

 

“Dunno,” Gabriel shrugged. “It’s like a romance movie.”

 

 “Then go to a fair with someone you’re in love with and re-enact a romance movie there!”

 

 Dead silence. Sam got no response, just golden eyes staring up at him. He expected it to end there, like it should have. But then again, when had Gabriel ever done something that he expected?

 

“God, you’re oblivious.”

 

 Gabriel pulled Sam down, kissing him softly. Desperate and pleading, that’s what it was. This time, when he started pulling away, Sam wouldn’t have it. He yanked him right back, meeting him with a bruising kiss. Gabriel made a surprised noise before absolutely melting into him, kissing back like he was trying to say something, make Sam feel something.

 

 And oh, how he felt. He felt electrified, lighting running through his veins at the very touch of Gabriel’s lips to his. Sam reached up to cup Gabriel’s face, pulling him close and holding him as if he were something precious (and he was, good god he was).

 

 He was in love, he’d known it for a while, but right then and there, that solidified it all.

 

 It ended, all too soon, both breathing heavily (they’d forgotten what air was, they’d thought that they could just live off of the emotions rushing through them). Bright, multicolored lights gave away their flushed faces, their eyes bright (not because of the lights, no, because of each other. It was all because of each other).

 

  “So,” Sam said, shooting him a shy grin. “How was your romance movie moment?”

 

 Gabriel gave him a strange look, a contagious smile spreading across his face (if Sam didn’t know any better, he might have even said that his eyes were screaming at him, yelling ‘I LOVE YOU!’).

 

“It was perfect.”

 

 “Yeah, mine too.”

 

 The ferris wheel didn’t lurch a single other time throughout the ride, yet they didn’t let go of each other’s hands until they got off.

 

__________

 

 Neither of them wanted to leave, but the fair had already started packing up. On their way out, they found a penny pressing machine and each made one, just to make sure they never forgot this. They promised each other to not look at the designs they got, both wanting them to be a secret. Sam got the ferris wheel design, of course. He knew he’d never forget that, but he wanted a reminder of it anyway.

 

 He wondered what Gabriel had gotten.

 

 They walked to the car, exhausted and toting around stuffed animals and three fish.

“I’m naming them French Fry, Cup, and Rite-Aid.”

 

 “What?”

 

“The fish. I’m naming them French F-”

 

 “No fucking way.”

 

“Yes fucking way!”

 

 “Oh my god.”

 

“What?”

 

 “In that case, I’m going to start calling you Buttercup.”

 

 Loading the last fish (Rite-Aid?) into the car, Gabriel looked up at him like he’d grown two heads. “Why in the hell would you-”

 

 “The pudding cup incident and now the fried butter? Both exactly a year apart?” Sam snickered at the scowl he earned. “I’m totally calling you Buttercup from now on.”

 

“You’re a massive asshole.”

 

 Swinging their car doors shut behind them, Sam clicked his seat belt into place and started the car. “But you love me anyway!”

 

“Yeah, Sammy,” Gabriel said, reaching over to put his hand on Sam’s. “I do.”

 

 As they drove home, both of them singing (despite the fact that their tone deaf asses should have been banned from doing so) , Sam thought that going to the state fair may not have been a bad idea after all.

 

 __________

 

   Sam was in love with his best friend.

 

 This had become glaringly obvious since the night of the fair, and it was driving him up the wall. Every smile that graced Gabriel’s face had his heart beating a million miles a second, which wasn’t the best because of how often Gabriel smiled. He wanted to kiss him again. He really wanted to kiss Gabriel again. But that wasn’t an option, and it made Sam want to scream.

 

 In the days after the fair, Sam had gone and gotten his penny made into a keychain. Every time he searched through his backpack for a pencil or notes and his hand brushed up against it, he couldn’t help but pull it up to look at it for just one second. Whenever that happened, he spent the rest of the class with a goofy, lovestruck grin on his face.

 

 Sam was in love with his best friend, and he had no idea what to do.

 

__________

 

 Gabriel hated it when other people used Sam’s new nickname for him about ten times more than he had before.

 

 While he bitched and moaned about being called Buttercup, they both knew that he loved it. It wasn’t just him, either. Sam loved it just as much, if not more than he did. Waking up in the mornings, wrapped around Gabriel, it was just the perfect name to use (“Morning, Buttercup.” Sam always got an annoyed, sleepy groan in return. “Go back to sleep, Sam. It’s too early to get up.” So he settled right back in, despite the fact that it was already noon).

 

 At school, while everyone there may have been a grown-ass adult, there were always those people that decided they wanted to poke fun. Sam wasn’t sure how they hadn’t learned yet, and hoped to god that the snakes made them learn (“No worries, Sammy, they’re friendly. They don’t bite much!”).

 

 It was endearing, how much he liked the name. This one, unlike “Cup”, he refused to let Sam stop using it. He was officially required to use it at least once per conversation (yes, this included ones that lasted for less than a minute) .

 

 “What’s up, Buttercup?” Sam clapped his hand down on Gabriel’s shoulder, laughing when he jumped.

 

“Well, I just felt my soul leave my body because some asshole scared me, but other than that I’m fine. How ‘bout you, sweets?”

 

 “Just saw someone’s soul leave their body because I scared them. It was damn hilarious, so I’d say I’m doing pretty good!”

 

“Ugh, you’re such a dick.” Gabriel grumbled, playfully elbowing Sam.

 

 “Don’t you know it.” Sam snickered.

 

 As they walked along, Sam noticed something new. Gabriel was wearing a necklace (pretty out of character for someone who claimed that he’d rather die than wear ‘stupid and unnecessary jewelry’). You could clearly see the copper chain around his neck, but the rest of it was tucked safely inside his shirt.

 

 “What’s that?” He asked, pointing it out.

 

“What’s what?”

 

 “ That. ” Sam went to lift the necklace up, only for Gabriel to smack his hand away.

 

“None of your business, that’s what.”

 

 “Oh, come on! Now I’m curious.”

 

“You’re not getting anything outta me, so it’d be a good idea to just drop it.”

 

 “Fine,” Sam huffed, throwing his backpack over his shoulder and stuffing his hands in his pockets. “I heard they restocked the cotton candy ice cream over at Rite-Aid, wanna go? My treat.”

 

“Dude, why is that even a question?” Gabriel was already out the door, and Sam happily followed along. “Come on, let’s go!”

 

 Yeah, Sam was definitely in love with this idiot.

__________

 

  Now, while they may have thought that they’d continued like nothing had happened, their friend group begged to differ.

 

 Everyone had always poked fun at them for being as close as they were, but it had escalated faster than the damn ferris wheel had after the kiss. Sam and Gabriel always shrugged it off, responding with another joke or a laugh (“Aww, you two are so cute together!” Kevin gushed while making kissy faces. Very mature. “Aww, so are you and your right hand!” Gabriel said with a smirk. Kevin didn’t respond to that one).

 

 And then Charlie happened.

 

 She’d shown up halfway through the semester, and his group had sort of adopted her. Sam loved her, really. The only way he could describe her would probably be nerdy, geeky, bubbly, and probably the gayest gay to ever gay.

 

  See, she was great. The issue was that she had no idea about the dynamic of Sam and Gabriel’s friendship.

 

“Have you guys not made it to the whole kissing part of your relationship yet or something?”

 

 Sam choked on the shake he and Gabriel were sharing (chocolate and strawberry, obviously), while Gabriel stopped mid-sip and raised his eyebrows to the point where they practically shook hands with his hairline.

 

 “Um,” Sam cleared his throat. “What?”

 

“Kissing? Is that not a thing you guys do?”

 

 “Uh.”

 

 Gabriel hadn’t moved an inch, straw still in his mouth despite him not actually drinking anything. Sam just couldn’t seem to regain the ability to talk, face heating to supernova temperatures. It took a bit, but it finally seemed to dawn on her.

 

“Oh shit,” She raised a hand to her mouth, embarrassed. “Are you guys not together?”

 

 Sam opened his mouth to respond, but Gabriel beat him to it, shrugging.

 

“I ‘unno.”

 

 He and Charlie gaped at Gabriel, who calmly went back to the milkshake. One thing he couldn’t hide was the sudden blush slowly making its way up to his face. Slamming her hands down on the table Charlie gathered her things and got up.

 

“Alrighty then! I’m gonna, like, go? See you guys later!” Sam was pretty sure he’d never seen anyone but Gabriel run from an awkward conversation that quickly.

 

 Silence fell over them, and when no words came to mind, Sam gave up and kept drinking their milkshake. He wasn’t sure what he’d been thinking, because now? Well, now their noses were touching, causing them both to look up, directly into each other’s eyes (it was some Lady and the Tramp shit, he thought to himself).

 

 One of them should have looked away, but neither of them could. At least, Sam knew he couldn’t, too lost in those damn eyes. There was a reason why gold was loved by many, he realized. It was beautiful, and it made you feel . He just couldn’t bring himself to tear his eyes away.

 

“This is gonna sound really gay, but I really love your eyes. They’re pretty.”

 

 “Wait, what?”

 

“I said,” Gabriel rolled his eyes. “You have goddamn pretty eyes, Winchester.”

 

 He’d crossed his arms, closing himself off, but Sam could feel how nervous Gabriel was. Sam was suddenly all too conscious of how close they were and looked down to hide the bashful smile that sprung to his face.

 

 “You do too, Buttercup.”

 

“Oh my fucking god,” Gabriel said. “You still don’t get it.”

 

 “Get what?”

 

“Get this.”

 

 Gabriel crushed their lips together, and Sam wasn’t quite sure what was sweeter to him. The shared taste of chocolate and strawberry or the kiss itself.

 

“I. Fucking. Love. You,” Gabriel punctuated each word with another kiss, not allowing Sam even a second to respond. God’s sake, he barely had the time to breathe. Gabriel finally pulled back, looking a lot like a kicked puppy. “I love you, and I don’t- I don’t know how to make it any clearer, Sammy.”

 

 Sam had a laundry list of different reactions he was able to choose from at that moment. Bursting into laughter was probably the worst choice he could have made. He was doubled over, tears in his eyes because how fucking oblivious was he?

 

“Alright,” Gabriel glared at him, hurt. “I’ll take that as an answer.”

 

 “No, no, wait,” Sam grabbed his hand, making sure he wouldn’t go anywhere. “The thing is, I love you too, you massive idiot.”

 

 You could almost hear the gears turning in his head before it registered, and when it did, the immense smile on his face made Sam’s heart melt.

 

“You do?”

 

 “I really do. I’ve been wanting to tell you, but I didn’t wanna fuck this up, y’know?”

 

 Gabriel gave him a long look and went to lie down on his lap, despite them still being in a diner. Sam pet his hair out of habit, used to hearing the content hum he always got in response. Reaching around his neck, Gabriel unlatched the copper chain and handed it to Sam.

 

 On the chain was a pressed penny with a ferris wheel design on it.

 

“I didn’t want to show you before because I didn’t know how you’d feel about it.”

 

 “Hold on a sec.”

 

 Sam dug around in his pocket, triumphantly pulling out his keychain once he found it. He handed it to Gabriel, reveling in the way he lit up once he saw what was on it.

 

“You got the same design?”

 

 “Yeah, I did,” Sam watched as Gabriel ran his thumb over the penny, looking back up at him fondly. “I keep it with me so I can remember, I guess.”

 

“Me too.”

 

 “That was when I finally realized that I was in love with you.”

 

 Gabriel didn’t need to respond, he just took Sam’s face in his hands and pulled him down for a kiss.

 

“About damn time,” Getting up, Gabriel left a tip (ten dollars despite the shake only being four dollars) , and dragged Sam up and out the door. “Come on, we’re getting ice cream for our first date!”

 

 “Wh- Gabriel, we just had a milkshake!”

 

“Ice cream is a completely different thing, you uncultured swine! Now get in the car, I’m driving us there.”

 

 It was ridiculous, the way Gabriel laced their fingers together like it was natural (it was), how he hopped over to open the car door for Sam (he claimed he was being a gentleman, and Sam agreed), how that grin never wavered. It was absolutely ridiculous, but it was perfect.

 

“I heard they restocked the strawberry ice cream just for you!”

 

 “Pfft, yeah right. They never have strawberry anymore.”

 

“I bet you a bite of ice cream that they do.”

 

 “Oh, you’re on.”

 

 They had, in fact, restocked the strawberry ice cream. Sam and Gabriel left the store, each with an ice cream cone with a large bite taken out of them (Gabriel had gladly taken a bite of Sam’s ice cream, and when he’d offered Sam a bite of his own, he gladly took it).

 

 Sitting in the car, they didn’t need to talk. They just sat, holding hands and happily eating their ice cream.

 

“Holy shit,” Gabriel said, looking at him with a cheshire cat grin. “Does this mean that when you say ‘suck it up, Buttercup’ I can just suck your d-”

 

 “Oh my god Gabriel, we’re literally on our first date! Don’t make me fucking strangle you.”

 

“For all you know, maybe I’m into that, hmm?”

 He didn’t have any time to react as Sam smooshed Gabriel’s ice cream into his own face. He yelped, a look of complete and utter betrayal on his face.

 

“So you wanna play that way, huh?”

 

 Their first date was messy, ending with them covered in ice cream and having to walk home for a change of clothes to avoid getting the car dirty. Their first date was familiar, they already knew everything about each other. Their first date was filled with laughter and sweet kisses.

 

 Walking home with Gabriel riding on his back, laughing and making stupid jokes and pinching his cheeks, Sam realized that this was how it was supposed to be, how it was always meant to turn out. And now that it had, it was perfect.