Loud thumps sounded from the room overhead. The only reason Sam didn't run upstairs to investigate with a loaded shotgun was that he'd come to expect the occasional strange noise since Gabriel had holed up in their room with their egg a week ago. Their egg! And that was something that was still difficult to reconcile.
Another loud thump followed by the sound of a crash and breaking glass had Sam up and out of his chair before either his brother or Bobby could comment. Sam took the stairs two at a time and pushed the door open to his room with a quick-beating heart.
Sam came to a sudden stop in the doorway as he took in the scene. "Gabriel?"
The archangel sat in the middle of the cloth-piled nest with a look of consternation. Giant wings – three pairs, the feathers colored a spectrum of browns and gold – filled the room, the uncomfortable-looking angles and ruffled feathers making it obvious that they were too big for the room's small confines.
Slowly overcoming the surprise of seeing his lover's manifested wings, Sam realized the air was filled with what looked like slowly drifting pillow stuffing. "What the...?" Sam caught one of the drifting feathers and realized that it was the same color as Gabriel's wings. "Are these yours?"
Gabriel pursed his lips and stared at the glowing egg in the center of the nest. "You know I don't exactly manifest my wings for the hell of it." The angel snapped his fingers and suddenly the air cleared and a pile of downy feathers surrounded the egg-shaped glow. "What's this little guy up to?"
Sam bit his lip as he hesitantly moved forward to join his lover on the bed. He was still having trouble accepting that he could be part of this miracle, that he was worthy and not going to somehow screw it up with his past mistakes and demon-tainted blood. Gabriel pulled him close at every possible moment, though, and Sam was putting his faith in the archangel, trusting that Gabriel wouldn't let anything hurt his—their fledgling.
Sam glanced away from the light and saw Gabriel's expression had changed to surprise and excitement. "Sammy, I think—" The archangel caught Sam's hand and squeezed tightly, and Sam just knew what his lover meant – the fledgling was coming.
It happened rather suddenly; Sam only had a moment for his own excitement to rise and he could feel Gabriel's hand clutching his tightly as the large "egg" brightened. Warmth expanded with the glow and Sam gasped quietly at the ethereal embrace of light and warmth and pure emotion. His eyes instinctively closed against what should have been blinding light, but it didn't make him ache as grace light would.
Eventually the light receded and Sam let out a shaky breath as he opened his eyes. Gabriel's bottom lip was caught between his teeth as he stared down at the nest with bright eyes. Sam looked down and his breath caught.
Two (two!) beautiful, tiny infants lay in the bed of Gabriel's downy feathers. This can't be real, came the wild thought through his mind; but when twin voices loudly started crying and tiny faces scrunched up, Sam found reality seeping in. Without thinking about it, he reached down and carefully scooped up one of the infants, vaguely aware that Gabriel was doing the same.
"Shh, honey," Gabriel crooned quietly.
Sam stared at the tiny creature in his hands and suddenly felt overly large and uncoordinated. What if he held her wrong and she got hurt? She. A girl, part of him realized.
"Just hold her, Sammy," Gabriel said, shifting the baby boy he held to one arm so that he could reach a hand out to Sam. The archangel smiled fondly at Sam when he looked up. "You'll do fine."
Hesitantly Sam shifted his hold, careful to support the baby's head. The crying was slowly abating, and for the first time Sam caught a glimpse of dark eyes. He smiled down at his daughter and marveled at the sight of her tiny fingers curled into small fists. He inhaled a shaky breath and looked again at Gabriel.
"See?" Gabriel whispered, eyes bright. Sam smiled back and leaned close for a kiss.
"How..." Sam trailed off with a dozen ways to finish the question.
"Hey, guys? Uh, nice wingspan there, Gabe." Sam glanced over his shoulder to see Dean standing in the doorway with Bobby and Castiel peeking over his shoulders. Dean would probably deny it later, but his voice totally squeaked when he caught sight of the fledglings. "Sammy?"
Gabriel smiled broadly and welcomed them; "Come see the kids!"
Their visitors crowded close and the twin newborns bore the attention well, reaching out to fingers held within reach and blinking up at the adults around them.
"I believe you should expect visitors," Castiel said quietly, standing at Gabriel's side, though his comment was directed at both new parents. At Sam's questioning look, he explained, "Fledgling births have been felt by all the Host."
Dean looked up from his niece. "Whoa, what?"
"Is it safe?" Sam asked, feeling like his heart was in his throat.
Castiel smiled slightly. "It is fine. Fledlings are a blessing to be cherished. It has been a long time since we have greeted new life."
Dean pointed out, "But they look human..."
"They're part human," Gabriel answered with a smirk. "But their grace is broadcasting loud and clear." He glanced at Castiel, looking a little less certain. "When do you think...?"
"I will pass the message when you will accept visitors," Castiel said.
Gabriel nodded and Sam relaxed when he saw the tension leaving his lover's shoulders. "Thanks, Cas."
"Hey." Dean held his hands out awkwardly. "Can I, uh... y'know. I'm an uncle, you know."
Gabriel laughed and directed Dean to sit down before carefully passing over the baby boy. As Dean settled in with Cas leaning close as they looked at the newborn, Gabriel shifted closer to Sam and their daughter.
Bobby let the girl hold onto his finger and caressed her tiny hand with his thumb. "Have you been thinking of names?"
Sam huffed a laugh and was embarrassed to hear a trace of overwhelmed tears he had been holding back. Gabriel wrapped an arm around his waist and leaned against his shoulder. Pulling himself together, Sam said, "Not really. Just... still couldn't really imagine it."
Gabriel kissed Sam's cheek and he could feel the angel's smile. "Well, we'll have to get on that."