Sabriel HSAU where Sam’s a jock who’s a closet comic book lover and Gabe’s the hyperactive store clerk who works at the comic and candy store.
Title: Of Asgardians and Hulks
Rating: PG (with a little bad language)
Pairings: Sabriel, Barry/Amy, implied Destiel
Author’s Notes: I guess the idea of Gabriel as a comic book store clerk is popular? As I am a comic book geek, I can get behind it. Since the above request was sent to me directly, I’ll be using that as the basis for this fic, but I tagged the relevant people in case they are interested in a little comic book!Sabriel loving. I know nothing of soccer, but I made him a soccer player because I think I remember Sam having a little league soccer trophy or something? I dunno, just go with it.
"Hey, you free after practice, Winchester?" asked Dirk, the soccer team’s goalie. He was good at the game. Quicker than he looked, but big enough to block the ball if it came at him. That didn’t keep him from being any less of a jerk, though.
"Not today. Got a lot of homework," Sam replied. He didn’t; he finished what little had in the hour between the end of school and the beginning of practice. But Dirk didn’t know that. He probably didn’t know where the library was.
Dirk rolled his eyes, waving it off as a waste of time, but didn’t reply when Coach Wyatt yelled into the locker room that practice was starting.
Sam loved soccer. It kept him active, and he loved the competition. He’d grown up playing with his brother, Dean, whenever there father was out - which was a lot - and he’d been able to get a ball past him by even Bobby, their dad’s friend, by the time he was eight.
But it had its disadvantages. High school was a setting for cliques and niches. Jocks weren’t friends with nerds, even the jocks in honours classes and big dreams. You were either a Sam Winchester, who passed the nerds in silence, or a Dirk McGregor, who bullied them mercilessly.
One of his prime targets was Barry Cook. Barry didn’t have many friends, just a blonde girl named Amy who Dirk thought “might have been hot if she weren’t so obsessed with that Japanese shit”. She wore a fox tail and fox ears to school until the principal decided it was against the dress code, and even still had patches of foxes on her bag and wore a Naruto headband around her neck.
Sam had seen Barry before, of course. But he hadn’t met him until the day he tried to kill himself. Sam had stopped him just before he pulled the trigger, right in the boy’s bathroom, and the two had become fast - if secret - friends. They hung out in the school library at first, but after a close call with a team mate who needed a book for class, Barry introduced Sam to a whole new world: comic books.
Sam was enthralled. He knew a few heroes beforehand. Everyone had seen The Dark Knight and Iron Man, and he’d watched Static Shock as a kid, but there was a big difference between watching cartoons and blockbuster flicks and reading comics.
That difference being that nobody could ever know. Dirk and his friends would tease him over reading a book for Coach Wyatt’s English class. He’d driven Barry to taking a gun to his head. He was a jerk, but he wasn’t the minority. Sam wasn’t interested in being on the other end of it.
The store, Comic Planet, was a hole-in-the-wall bookstore with comics, manga, and a selection of snacks and geeky goods, like figurines and Spiderman lunch boxes. There weren’t any tables, though there were a few few fold-out chairs for them to sit down and read (as long as they bought something before they left). It was homely, well-stocked, and the birth place of Sam’s new interests.
Yes, interests. Plural. His first obsession was the comic books. He’d started with The Hulk on the clerk’s suggestion (because, as he said, Sam was rather Hulk-like himself; at first he was insulted, but after reading the comics, he took the nickname as a compliment) and had been a loyal Marvel ever since.
His second interest was the clerk. Gabriel. He sat at the counter playing with figurines and eating some imported Japanese snack. He had a nickname for all the customers and seemed to know a bit about everything in the store. And damn if Sam wasn’t a little attracted.
"Hey Hulk," he greeted as Sam walked in, his hair still soaked from the showers. "Your league’s in the usual spot. Here," Gabriel handed him a box of his candy, Pocky, and smiled, “It’s on me. Tide you over until you go meet your brother.” Dean didn’t know where Sam hung out, only that it was in the mall. They met in the courtyard.
"Thanks," Sam said, taking the thin red box with a stupid smile, lingering a moment too long to be comfortable. He turned around quickly and headed over to the corner where Barry and Amy were sitting, reading the latest Runaways, holding hands, and leaning in close.
Sam cleared his throat and the two jumped apart, blushing a bit.
"Uh, hi Sam," Amy spoke first, her voice more quiet than usual. Barry and Amy were looking anywhere but at each other or at Sam. He rolled his eyes and laughed.
"Guys, it’s cool. I’m happy for you," he said. He knew why they were worried. If there was one thing worse to a bully than a nerd, it was a happy nerd, and even if they were friends, Sam was still more like Dirk than either of them. They smiled at him, easing back into their previous position. Barry raised the comic they were holding.
"This is excellent, Sam. You gotta read something other than Avengers. Nothing but a bunch of overpowered old guys beating the crap out of everything.”
"And that isn’t a bunch of overpowered teens beating the crap out of everything?"
Before the argument could escalate - and these arguments always did - Gabriel came over and dropped a thick book in Sam’s lap. He picked it up, reading the title: Young Avengers. Gabriel gave him his signature grin and tapped on the book’s title.
"Not enough of Thor for my liking," Gabriel’s favourite series was Thor, though Sam suspected it was mostly because of Loki, “but you’ve got Hulkling, Iron Lad, the whole crew as a bunch of kids. All the love triangles and parent drama of Runaways with all the asskicking of real comics.”
Barry looked indignant, ready to protest that the Runaways was as much a ‘real comic’ as any of the classics, when Castiel walked into the comic book shop. Sam didn’t bother ducking behind the shelves; Cas was strangely intuitive and had probably already seen him.
"Hello Samuel," he greeted with a nod, "this is convenient."
"What’s up, bro?" Gabriel asked, and Sam stared at him with a look of shock. Gabriel and Castiel were brothers? He didn’t even know Castiel had a brother. "Didn’t know you knew the Hulk over here."
"I needed someone to take Sam home tonight, and your shift is over in an hour. If you are already acquainted, it should not be an issue."
"Wait, why isn’t my brother coming?" Sam asked. Castiel stiffened slightly at the question, and Gabriel noticed the closest thing to a blush his brother could have colour his cheeks, and began to laugh. Sam looked at him with the question in his eyes.
"Sam Winchester,” Gabriel said as though testing the sound, “I like it. Makes you sound like a Western hero.” Sam was even more confused.
"Gabriel," Castiel said, with more seriousness than usual (and he always sounded serious, even when telling a joke), “Will you take Sam home or not? I would rather not stay here if you are just going to laugh.”
"Yeah, sure thing, Cassie," Gabriel said, putting a hand on Sam’s shoulder. If Sam blushed a little at the contact, only Barry and Amy noticed. "Sammy and I can handle ourselves. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!" Castiel turned around with a flare of his trench coat and headed back towards the door.
"And don’t forget to use protection!" Gabriel shouted after him. The door slammed shut with a loud bang and the bell over the top of the doorway rattled for a good twenty seconds after it shut. He chuckled at the sight of his retreating brother and turned back to Sam, realizing he’d had his hand on him for a while and pulling it back gently.
"Heh, so you’re Dean’s little brother?" he asked, "Castiel went for the wrong Winchester. You’ll have to stick around while I close the shop, but I’ll get you home." He winked and gave a lazy, two-finger wave, returning to the counter to leave the friends alone.
Sam looked after him for a minute, dazed at the whole encounter. When he finally turned back to his friends, Barry was looking at him with a million questions on his lips and Amy with an impish grin. Sam sighed. Well, he thought, at least we won’t have to argue about the Avengers.
Gabriel was surprisingly easy to talk to. They’d talked before, of course, but it was casual and quick. Gabriel telling him about a new comic he thought Sam would enjoy, the usual clerk and customer exchanges, and a bit of teasing and flirting on Gabriel’s part. Sam usually just listened to him talk, and stuttered out half his replies.
They had a lot in common. Comic books, obviously. Dean and Castiel, and Gabriel’s suspicions (or as Gabe said, ‘intuition’ - Sam wondered if that was genetic) that they were on a date. But he was easy to talk to, funny (unsurprising, but pleasant all the same), and surprisingly aware of soccer.
"Well, I’m used to it being called football," Gabriel said, "but I had a roomie when I first graduated that shelled out an extra fifty bucks on satellite TV just so he could watch the Premier League. He was into Manchester United, but me? I always cheer on Wimbledon."
"Why cheer on a team that sucks?"
"Hey!" Gabriel said, as though he were from Wimbledon himself, "They don’t suck. They just focus their athletic talents elsewhere. I played tennis in high school," he explained and, taking a hand off the wheel to flex one of his muscles. "I could swing Mjolnir, but I kick like a girl."
Between the conversation and the glance at the surprisingly strong musculature beneath Gabriel’s usual t-shirt, Sam’s crush accelerated rapidly from a crush to an desperate pining he supposed might be love.
He pulled up into the Winchester driveway - neither Dean’s Impala nor his father’s car in sight. Gabriel unlocked the door on the passenger’s side and looked at Sam with a smile.
"Here we are, Hulk." Sam looked at him for a moment, debating internally. Gabriel was older than him, he was out of school, he had a job and would see Sam all the time when he came to hang out with Barry and Amy. But Sam wasn’t the sort to sit back. He took action.
He twisted in his seat, enough to reach his backpack that was tossed in the backseat, and leaned forward just a bit, giving Gabriel a quick kiss. Barely a brush of their lips before he pulled back and went to grab his backpack and leave quickly. But Gabriel grabbed his hand and pulled him back into a deeper kiss.
Their lips pressed together for a second without much, just appreciating the soft touch, but Gabriel was quick to move his lips against Sam’s, easing them into the kiss. Quick soft kisses followed by deeper, lingering ones. Sam wasn’t sure how long they’d been at it, but he wasn’t keen on letting it end.
Indeed, it only did when Sam leaned his hand on the car horn, startling them both. Sam pulled back abruptly, embarrassed, but Gabriel just laughed at the interruption. He reached into the back, grabbing Sam’s backpack and handing it to him with a plastic bag with ‘Comic Planet’ written across it.
"Let me know what you think of the comic," he said, "It might have a bit more romance in it than The Hulk, but I think you’ll like it.” Gabriel gave Sam one last kiss and a grin. “See you tomorrow, Sammy. Be sure tease Deano on my behalf.” Sam smiled and nodded, getting out of the car and waving him goodbye.
"Barry!" Sam yelled down the hallway, pushing through the other kids to reach his friend. Barry looked both ways, wondering if someone else shared his name, before looking back to Sam. "You have to read this! Hulkling and Asgardian - Wiccan, whatever - have this amazing arc, and Patriot…"
"Winchester!" Dirk’s voice called through the hallway, "What are you doing? Reading comic books? I hope you aren’t looking to join the Geek League. We need you on the team against West Manor next week, not off reading Superman.”
"Or I can read comics on the bus to West Manor and kick their ass on the field. What the hell does it matter?"
Dirk looked ready to prepare his usual, “parking lot, 3 o’ clock” with a threatening crack of his knuckles, but Coach Wyatt tapped him on the shoulder before he had the chance to respond.
"Dirk, I hope you’re not threatening your team mate. Young men should have a wide range of interests and friends, and unlike some members of the team, Sam is not on the brink of academic suspension from after school activities." Dirk looked more ashamed than enraged. He didn’t say anything, just walked away red and fuming.
Mr. Wyatt gave Sam a smile.
"Class in five minutes. And while I encourage your new interest in comic books, don’t think I won’t give you detention if I catch you reading that in my class."
"Of course, Mr. Wyatt." The teacher nodded and turned back around, heading to his classroom. When he turned back, Barry was grinning widely and Amy had joined the two, excited to see Sam defending his interests. More, though, she was excited to learn what caused the change of heart.
"So, Sam, anything else you’d like tocome outabout?"
"I don’t know what you’re talking about."
"C’mon, you and Gabriel hang out and suddenly we’re cool? Did you kiss him?”
"Sam and Gabriel sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I—-" Sam sighed, looking at Amy as she belted the childhood song as offkey as possible, Barry joining in to support her when she started spelling ‘kissing’. If someone had told him a year ago that he was friends with these two and dating a comic book store clerk, he’d have probably laughed in their face. But somehow… it felt right.