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God's gift

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Gabriel slowly started to open his eyes. He could feel the weight of a body, so it meant that he was still inside his vessel. Yet he remembered dying, he remembered it well. Lucifer stabbing him with his own archangel blade, his grace exploding out of his vessel’s body, and then nothing. Nothing, until he woke up.

The archangel rubbed his eyes, because his vision was too blurry for him to clearly see what was happening, where he was. He could hear a gentle voice calling his name from what seemed to be like miles away. Then he felt a soft touch on his shoulder, and Gabriel turned around in a hurry. He raised his head to look at the person who just touched him, but all he could see was the unclear silhouette of two beings in human shape.

He couldn’t see their faces, but if he closed his eyes he could feel their essence; and he couldn’t believe what he was sensing. With too much effort he shifted his body into a sitting position, his gaze fixed on one of the people before him. His eyes were adjusting to the light now, to the white nothingness around him, so he was starting to see the man and the woman standing right in front of him. He could see the bright white light emanating from the man, as well as he could see the grim darkness surrounding the woman.

“F-Father?” he stammered, uncertain. It couldn’t be him, he couldn’t be God. His Father was gone, he didn’t care about his children enough to put an end to the eternal fighting between Michael and Lucifer, so why would he care about him?

But he could see perfectly now, Gabriel was again fully in control of his vessel’s body. So while he raised to his feet he could see clearly his Father behind the smiling face of that simple human. There was no mistaking it, the man in front of him was God. For a moment, Gabriel didn’t feel abandoned, he didn’t feel misunderstood. He didn’t feel alone. His Father was there, his Father took time to piece him together after he died. His Father cared.

That realization hit him with the power of a hurricane, and before he knew it, Gabriel was throwing himself at God. He wrapped his arms around his Father’s human body and sobbed like a child. He was millions of years old, yet he could still feel like a human baby when his Father slowly reciprocated the embrace.

His eyes were once again closed, his face buried against his Father’s left shoulder, tears soaking the shirt that God’s human body was wearing. “Missed you Daddy… So scared… So alone…” Gabriel was rambling, but he didn’t even care that his words weren’t making any sense. His Father could still understand him, he knew it.

“Shhhh” God tried to comfort him “It’s okay Gabriel, it’s okay. I’m here, you’re alive.”

The newly resurrected archangel was so overwhelmed with joy that he couldn’t even measure it. He hadn’t felt this happy in thousands of years, since before Lucifer’s Fall. Being wrapped in his Father’s arms, bathing in God’s light, reminded him of that time in the past when everything was okay, when they were a family and everyone was good and loving. Before the humans came along and Lucifer started to get jealous.

It took some time before he felt ready to leave his Father’s embrace. It could have been minutes, days, maybe years; he wasn’t even sure about how quickly time was passing wherever they were. When he did, he took a step back and wiped his tears away with a quick motion of his right hand. He looked at God’s human face and smiled - not a mischievous smirk, a real smile. God smiled back. And, only then, Gabriel’s eyes fell on the woman standing right next to his Father.

She was surrounded by a dark shadow, cold and terrifying. It made him shiver the moment Gabriel opened himself to feel that power. He knew very well who was hiding inside that female human body. He fought her before, with his father and his brothers. It took all of the archangels to stop her long enough for God to trap her. Lucifer had never been the same after that fight. The Darkness - and now she was free.

Panic filled his eyes as he started to walk backwards, trying to put as much distance as possible between himself and his Father’s sister. Was she the reason why his Father brought him back? The Darkness was once again threatening the universe and God needed his archangels to fight against her? Had he been mistaken, when he thought that his Father actually cared about him as his son, and not only as a soldier?

He wasn’t even a real warrior, actually. He was God’s Messenger, not a fighter. Not like Michael and Lucifer were. He hated conflict, he wanted peace. He didn’t want to risk his life. He was a coward, that was the reason why he left Heaven in the first place, why he hid on Earth for thousands of years, making everyone think he was dead or lost. Of course the thought of having to fight the Darkness again was enough to scare the hell out of him. He didn’t want to die again!

But he also didn’t want the world to end. He cared about humans, more than any other angel ever did. Living among them for so long, Gabriel could understand them. He could see how flawed they were, but at the same time, he could also perceive that most of them were trying hard to do better, to leave the world a better place than they found it.

At that thought, his mind raced towards the Winchester brothers. They were so brave, so good. They were everything Gabriel had never been. Always ready to fight for what was right, to give their lives for each other and for the world. In the end, even the most cowardly of the archangels had been influenced by their goodness, by their sense of justice. Gabriel couldn’t forget Dean’s words, they were going to stay with him for the rest of eternity. They were the words that changed him, that made him sacrifice his life to stop Lucifer from taking his true vessel.

Sam. Lucifer’s true vessel. Gabriel wondered if he was still alive. Had Lucifer been able to make him say “yes”? The youngest archangel really doubted it. He’d never seen anyone as strong willed as the Winchester brothers. Nobody could force them to do anything they didn’t want to do. And from what he’d seen, they were adamant on not submitting to Lucifer and Michael. He’d tried to change their minds, he’d failed. Heaven and Hell would have failed as well, he was sure of that.

“Gabriel… GABRIEL!” the archangel came back to the present when he heard his name being called several times.

His Father had been trying to get his attention for a while, but he’d been so lost in his own reasoning that he hadn’t even noticed. Gabriel shook his head to chase away his thoughts of Lucifer, the Apocalypse and the Winchester brothers. His eyes went back to rest on the human features of his aunt.

“Do we need to fight her?” he asked, pointing a finger towards the woman. He didn’t like the idea of repeating that battle, but if the universe really needed him, he wouldn’t run away. Not again. Not when he knew that Earth needed to be protected. Because on that little planet lived the Winchester brothers, and just because of them and others like them the world deserved to be saved.

God gave him a sweet smile and shook his head slowly, taking his sister’s hand. Stunned, Gabriel stared at the intertwined fingers of the eternal beings that came before the universe itself. With his eyes and mouth wide open in shock, the archangel only had one question running around in his head: What the hell had happened while he was dead? He didn’t voice it out loud, he couldn’t find the strength to do it, because he wasn’t sure he was going to like the answer.

But, his Father being God, of course he understood what was troubling his son. He advanced towards Gabriel, left hand still clasped in his sister’s right, guiding her forward with him. The archangel wanted to back away again, but he found that he couldn’t. His Father’s power was keeping him in place with a gentle but firm grip, preventing him from running. Was his Father forcing him to face his fear of the Darkness? No, God could never be so cruel.

When the two eternal beings were basically in his personal space, God raised his right hand and Gabriel closed his eyes, waiting for a blow. If his Father was friendly with the Darkness after so many eons of hatred, then something might have turned him evil too. But, the pain never came. Instead, two fingers pressed lightly against his forehead. All he saw was a flash of light, and then what seemed to be his Father’s memories came rushing to his brain. God was giving him knowledge of everything that happened since he died.

Gabriel saw the Winchester brothers put together the rings of the Horsemen. His heart nearly broke when he saw Sam say “yes” to Lucifer. And then the fight in the graveyard, Sam regaining control, Lucifer and Michael both ending up in the Cage. He saw the civil war in Heaven between Raphael and Castiel. He saw Castiel absorbing the souls from Purgatory, and then the Leviathans terrifying the world. And once again the Winchester brothers saving the world, but at the price of Dean and Castiel ending up in Purgatory themselves. He saw the fights over the Demon Tablet and the Angel Tablet, with Metatron taking advantage of the situation to come out of hiding and play God. He saw the angels Fall from Heaven, and Metatron enslaving his own kind in fear, with a powerless Castiel trying bravely to stop him. He saw Dean take the Mark of Cain to stop a Knight of Hell, and the Mark slowly eating him alive until there was nothing human left. With surprise, he also saw Sam cure his brother and make him human again. He saw the brothers fight against the Mark until they were able to free Dean… and then he saw the Darkness get free, and attack Earth looking for God, powerful and unstoppable as she’d always been. He saw the brothers seek Lucifer’s help, Castiel give consent for the Devil to possess his body. He saw God and Lucifer make peace while living with the Winchester brothers, he saw all of them fight together. Two human brothers, the Devil, the King of Hell, an evil witch and God; Heaven, Hell and witches, united against a common enemy that nobody could defeat. And then Dean making the Darkness understand that what she really needed was her brother’s love. God and his sister making peace, walking away together. He saw her give Dean his mother back as a thank you, and he felt his Father’s longing for something: the need to get something back himself.

Gabriel was thrown back to the present when his Father’s fingers left his head. He was panting, even if he didn’t really need to breathe. What he’d seen was too much, too intense. Did the Winchester brothers really go through all of that? How could they still be standing? He knew they were resilient, but that was a whole new level of strength that the archangel had never seen before in his life!

He selfishly wished he had their strength. But he didn’t. He was the coward who alway ran away. But no more. He was never going to run away again. He was going to use the Winchester brothers to fuel his own courage, and the next time humanity was going to be in danger - and there was going to be a next time, there always was - he would have been ready to fight to save everyone.

“Do you understand now for what purpose I brought you back, Gabriel?” God asked. In response, Gabriel just stood straight with a serious look on his face.

“Yes, Father.” the archangel replied. After seeing everything he’d missed, he just knew. He was going to protect humanity, his Father’s greatest creation. He was going to dedicate his eternal life to the survival of the humans.

“Good. Because I have no intention of coming back, and Heaven needs a leader. The angels need someone to guide them, to teach them how to care for humans, and you’re the only one I can trust with this task.” his Father said, and Gabriel’s eyes just opened as wide as possible.

“Wait, wait.” the archangel moved his hands frantically between himself and his Father “You want me to what?

Chapter Text

Gabriel was in shock. What did his Father say? No, there had to be a mistake, it couldn’t be true. He was brought back to rule Heaven? What kind of horrible punishment was that? Making new rules, enforcing the old ones, making sure that all of the angels followed them. It was the worst task that had ever been assigned to him. He was a free spirit, he couldn’t just go back to Heaven and play God! That was a task for Michael, or Raphael. Of course they’d both done a shitty job at that in the past, but still… why him?

“I thought you understood your role, Gabriel. As my son, I need you to take my place in Heaven, to unite the angels and guide them.” his Father said once again, trying to make sure that the archangel understood what was asked of him.

Gabriel’s eyes narrowed until nothing more than a slit was left, and his brows furrowed in disappointment. Did his Father really believe he was going to be okay with that job? The youngest archangel didn’t want to do it. That’s why, when he spoke next, his voice was full of resentment.

“I thought you resurrected me to defend Earth. I don't like it, but I can live with that.” Gabriel sighed before he continued “But to play God in Heaven? Hell no to that!”

His words were angry, and they reflected exactly the way the archangel was feeling. Without even realizing it, Gabriel started clenching his fists in a way that almost hurt.

“It's Chuck's Will, child.” Amara decided to talk for the first time. The newly resurrected archangel snorted when he heard her call his Father with his human name. For Gabriel, his Dad was just God and his aunt was just the Darkness, he wasn’t sure he could ever get used to their human names.

“Mind your own business, you monster! This is between me and Dad!” Gabriel replied, vitriol in his voice.

Why was she interfering? Actually, why was she even there? The angel saw her in the memories his Father gave him, he saw she'd changed at some point. But for him, she was still the Darkness, the horrific nothingness he helped to fight so many eons before. He couldn’t understand how it was possible for God to forgive her and move on, because he for sure wasn't going to.

“Gabriel, stop!” he soon heard his Father say, and he could easily hear the solemnity of God's words in that human voice. It made him shiver, leaving him feeling powerless.

The entire situation he was in wasn't entirely new to him. Being trapped, unable to react or to defend himself, facing two beings who wanted to force him to do something he hated the idea of. It actually reminded him of the day the Winchester brothers trapped him in a ring of holy fire, when he finally revealed his true identity to them. On that occasion, the two of them had tried to convince him to stand up to his family and help them stop the Apocalypse.

Gabriel had been so mad that day, because the brothers basically accused him of being a coward. And they were right, because he'd been a coward for so long that he could barely remember what real courage felt like. But he didn't want them to see him that way. He wanted them to respect him, maybe even to fear him, since messing with human lives always made him feel so strong. But in that moment he’d been powerless, unable to use his mojo against them.

After leaving that abandoned warehouse, he swore an oath to himself. To never be reduced like that again. And now, after dying and being resurrected, it was happening all over again. But this time it wasn't holy fire to keep him trapped, it was God's power, and the people confronting him weren't human beings, they were actually his own Father and aunt.

How could his life have become so messed up? Gabriel couldn't help but wonder. He’d never had the smoothest existence, that was for sure, with the whole running from Heaven to join the pagans, but at least he knew what to expect from the future. As long as he was keeping his cover, he was going to be fine, going his own way but still knowing what was going to happen next, according to Dad’s big plan. For millennia he’d lived on Earth in piece, messing with humans and having fun, giving them their just desserts. Then one day he’d decided to see his brothers’ true vessels with his own eyes, and his entire life had gone to shit from there. Hell, he'd even died because of those two!

His eternal existence was over, he was done! Until his Father decided to bring him back and to ruin his life all over again. It wasn't fair! But, unfortunately, Gabriel couldn't lift a finger to help himself out of that situation. He knew from his Father's tone that the powerful being wasn't going to accept no for an answer. And there was no way an archangel alone could fight his way out against God and the Darkness. He was so screwed!

Gabriel exhaled a sigh of resignation and let his head fall down limply, chin resting on his sternum. He had to admit defeat. But he was so pissed about it! He gritted his teeth and his eyebrows twitched a little. In that moment he looked like a child who’d just been scolded by his parents, but how could he be blamed? Spending the rest of eternity in Heaven, giving orders to the angels and making all of the difficult decisions, having to take responsibility for all of his actions. That was no life for a Trickster. He was going to get bored out of his mind. He could almost picture himself there, sitting on his Father's fancy chair, contemplating the idea of impaling himself on his own archangel blade, day in and day out. It was going to be torture!

“Fine. You win, I'll do it.” he reluctantly accepted.

God’s human body smiled, and in that moment, Gabriel hated him just a little. He was going to regret making this decision. But, as soon as he'd finished talking, he felt his Father's restrains lift from his body. He was free to go, so all he did was snap his fingers and, in an instant, he was gone.


Gabriel appeared in Heaven’s administration office, and what he saw upon arrival was pure chaos. Some angels were running around in their perfectly dressed vessels, panicked expressions on their human faces; those without a vessel were moving around in their true form, adding more confusion to the mess at hand. Okay, what did he miss? He didn't know exactly how long it had taken God to resurrect him, but he didn't think it was too long. How was it possible that there was another crisis already? Yup, he’d been right, he was oh so screwed!

But first things first. If he wanted to take control of the situation, he needed to know what the problem was. He cleared his throat to gain the attention of the angels around him. Only then they seemed to acknowledge his presence. They all stopped, looking at him in awe. Of course, they probably weren't expecting to see a dead archangel appear out of thin air. They actually looked worried, as if his presence there could only mean more trouble for Heaven. After all, considering everything he'd done in the last few centuries alone, he couldn't really blame them.

“G-Gabriel? Is that really you, brother?” one of the angels hesitantly asked.

The archangel looked at him. He was a seraph, Gabriel remembered seeing that grace before, but he couldn't recall his name. He was wearing an Asian looking man in his forties. And everyone around them was staring at them both, waiting for Gabriel's answer.

“Yep, it's really me.” the archangel said in a playful tone, unable to adapt to Heaven's seriousness “Dad resurrected me to take his place here and guide you all and blah blah blah. So… what’s up?”

He hopped to sit on a desk, swinging his legs and waiting for an explanation. Whatever was happening, Gabriel was sure he wasn't going to like it. He tried to relax as much as he could, while he waited for one of the angels to give him a full report on the situation at hand. The Asian angel - okay, maybe he should have started to learn at least the names of the seraphs if he wanted this “Ruler of Heaven” thing to work - took a couple of minutes to gather his thoughts before he began talking.

“How much do you know about what happened on Earth since your death?” the angel asked, a concentrated expression on his face. He was probably wondering how much he had to tell Gabriel in order to make him understand the situation.

“Dad showed me everything that happened from the moment of my death to the day he ran off into the sunset with his big sis. Speaking of which, how long has it been since then?” the archangel replied, only to add another question of his own. His Father never mentioned, during their conversation, how long it took him to bring Gabriel back, and he needed to know in order to better understand what was going on in Heaven.

The angel nodded. “If God himself showed you, then you know that he came back to fight the Darkness, alongside Lucifer. But at some point Lucifer was forced out of Castiel’s vessel and he disappeared. As for what happened next, maybe it’s better if you look into my mind. It might be too complicated to explain with words.”

Gabriel knew that talking too much was uncomfortable for angels. If an angel needed to explain something to another angel, make them really understand something, all they needed to do was to connect their graces and share their minds. It was easy in their true form, but inside human vessels? Too complicated, actual words were needed. The problem was that angels weren’t used to vocal explanations, and most of them really sucked at giving them. So of course, the moment he was offered the possibility, the archangel gladly accepted to use his grace to share memories with that little brother whose name he didn’t remember.

With a single wave of his hand, he gestured the angel to get closer. The other obliged, stopping only to stand still right in front of Gabriel, crowding his personal space. The archangel leaned back a little, the awkward closeness bothering him, and then he raised a hand towards the other’s head. Just like God did with him, Gabriel put two fingers on the angel’s forehead, so that he could use his powers to reach for the memories the other was trying to show him.

Then, with a flash of light, he saw. It wasn’t as clear as it had been with his Father, because only God could know everything that was happening in the universe. With this angel, it was more like bits and pieces, memories born out of conversations and grace-sharing between angels. It was messy, but Gabriel could still get the general idea of what happened during the time even his Father couldn’t show him.

He understood about Lucifer running around Earth, hopping from vessel to vessel, everyone trying to stop him. His big evil brother knocking up a human. Everyone being afraid of the power of the Nephilim. Heaven, Hell, Winchesters, even freaking British Men of Letters, - it had been a long time since he last crossed paths with them - everyone trying so hard to kill the abomination. But the baby was too strong, he defended himself and his mother. Until Castiel changed his mind. He was taking the mother to Heaven to die, but instead he found himself fighting one of the Princes of Hell and winning, thanks to the archangel mojo he borrowed from the Nephilim. Gabriel also understood that from there Cas had been protecting the Nephilim, until Lucifer broke free from what appeared to be Crowley’s incarceration and went to get his child. But then the Winchesters were able to lock Luci in an alternate dimension with no way out, Cas and the King of Hell giving their lives in the process. In the end, the Winchesters were left alone to take care of a newborn almost-adult child with enough angelic grace to rival the power of an archangel.

Gabriel’s hand left the angel’s forehead when his arm fell limp in front of his body. The archangel’s mouth was wide open in shock, his eyes were twitching. Of all the crazy, stupid, dangerous things that could have been happening… well, that was most likely the craziest, stupidest, most dangerous one!

From the angel’s memories, he understood that it’d been about a year since God left with his sister. A year. A freaking year and the world was ending. Again. And the Nephilim? He was with the Winchester brothers, and the angels were doing nothing about it. They were just panicking all over the place, without any idea of what to do next. Couldn’t they just send an entire garrison to storm the Winchesters’ residence and kill the Nephilim already? Or at least send a few representatives of Heaven to talk to the boys and check on the situation. No, instead they were just running around Heaven like chicken with their heads cut off!

“I understand that after the Winchesters took the Nephilim, you have no further information on what’s happened. Why? Can’t you just go there and find out?” Gabriel asked, genuinely curious.

Another angel, wearing a teenage girl this time, said a concerned “No” while shaking her head. When Gabriel turned to look at her, he didn’t remember her at all. He so needed to learn all of the names!

“The Winchesters are holed up in some secret bunker somewhere, but it’s so well warded against angels that we can’t figure out where it is and now to enter. We’ve tried other ways, but nothing seems to work.” the female angel explained.

Only then Gabriel realized what the problem was. The Men of Letters bunker that the brothers called “home” was warded against pretty much anything. He’d seen the place in his Father’s memories, he’d felt the strength of the warding. But knowing what he was up against, he was sure he could find a way around the wards. He could enter the bunker, to check on the boys and their progress with the Nephilim. And to be honest, he really wanted to go. Life in Heaven had always been boring, but a Nephilim and two restless hunters locked inside a secluded space? That was going to be fun, he was more than certain. Or at least it was going to be interesting, way more than spending all of his time with a bunch of humorless winged robots.

In that very moment Gabriel made a decision. If he had to rule Heaven, he was going to do it his way. He moved from where he was sitting, going to stand up on top of that same desk. He opened his arms like a priest during Mass, to give himself that clearly fake air of solemnity and seriousness that’d been good enough to fool the Virgin Mary. He needed all of the angels to think he was taking his job seriously, and he had to be a good enough actor to convince even the ones who knew that he never did seriousness.

“My brothers and sisters” he started, his voice loud and clear “God himself told me to rule over Heaven in his place, so every order I give you has to be read as God’s Will. And now my first order is to stay calm, stop freaking out over the Nephilim. I can handle him! I’m an archangel, after all. So stop worrying until there is actually something to worry about, okay? Just chill out, I’ll take care of the Nephilim.”

The speech started well, but a couple of sentences in, the formal language was gone and he was speaking like his usual Trickster self. It was hard not to laugh at the expressions on the angels’ faces when he told them to “chill out”. But, ignoring the way he used to convey the message, what he said was true. The angels couldn’t solve the problem, so they just needed to stop killing themselves over the situation and let him handle it. The Nephilim was strong, he felt it in the other angel’s memories, but he was both an archangel and a pagan god. He knew he could still prevail.

The angels didn’t seem too happy with what was asked of them, but Gabriel knew that none of them would have ever disobeyed a direct order from God. And since Gabriel was speaking for God at the moment, they were going to do what he said. It took a while, but in the end they accepted to do as they were told. Only then the archangel asked them all to spread the word to the rest of the angels, both in Heaven and on Earth. No more running after the Nephilim.

With hurried footsteps instead of a rustle of feathers, all of the angels were gone. Not taking flight, but actually out of the door. Right, he forgot that all of their wings were injured when they Fell. It would take a while for the meaning of that to truly sink in. The important thing, however, was that they were scattering around, giving the news to everyone, leaving Gabriel alone with his thoughts. He’d said that he was going to take care of the Nephilim, and that was true. He was going to see the creature with his own eyes, assess the level of danger, maybe even try to befriend the little one. And then, in case of real danger, he was going to kill him himself. It was his duty as the Ruler of Heaven. And as an uncle, it was also his duty to go visit the Winchesters in order to meet his nephew.

Gabriel closed his eyes, concentrating on that little corner of Earth called Lebanon, Kansas. He focused on the bunker, on the wards around it, on how they were bent in order to give access just to some authorized angels, on the way to get past them without breaking them. A smirk then appeared on his face. A snap of his fingers and the archangel disappeared.

Chapter Text

Sam still had nightmares about that night. The night they lost mom and Cas, the night Lucifer’s kid was born. Everything had happened so fast that right then it had been too difficult to fully realize what was going on. Their plan had worked, Crowley - Crowley, of all people - had sacrificed himself in order to activate the spell that was going to close the portal to the other dimension. Sam had been terrified when he saw Castiel come from the portal, blade in hand, right before he dragged his screaming brother away. He - they - had been so afraid to lose the angel forever.

When Cas came back, Sam had started to feel relief wash over his body. They were all going to be fine, and Lucifer was going to be left behind. They were out of danger, or at least that was what he’d thought for less than a second. Less than a moment later he saw an angel blade come out of Castiel’s chest, the angel’s body lighting up with his exploding grace. When the dead vessel hit the ground, Lucifer appeared from behind, as crazy-looking as ever.

It could easily be said that that was the moment the hunter had really started to feel lost. The spell had been wasted, Lucifer was out and the dimensional rip was about to close. The Devil was going to take his son and put an end to the world, and the Winchesters just didn’t have the power to stop him. For the first time in years, the hunter was feeling that all hope was gone, and he was strongly considering the option to take the easy way out and just give up. Sam was actually about to say it out loud, when his mother joined her sons, told them she loved them and started punching Satan in the face as hard as she could, forcing him to go back, until they both fell through the portal.

The rip closed up immediately after that, leaving Sam distraught. His mother had died when he was a baby, so he’d grown up without ever really knowing her. But thirty-tree years later she’d been brought back to life, giving him a chance at knowing the kind of woman she really was. The younger Winchester had been so grateful for the months he’d been able to spend with her, even if they’d been going their separate ways most of the time, but it hadn’t been enough. He’d wanted so much more time with her, and now she was gone all over again. Once again sacrificing her life for her sons.

There hadn’t been much time to process it, though. Or any time at all, to be more specific. An incredibly bright light had started to shine from the windows of the house behind the Winchester brothers, one that Sam could only associate with angelic grace. It meant that Lucifer’s son was being born in that precise moment. Sam had taken a second to look at Dean, and what he’d seen had been the face of true desperation. His brother was staring at Castiel’s body as if the world had just ended.

At that sight, Sam had been conflicted. He’d wanted to cry for the loved ones they’d just lost, but at the same time he’d wanted to show Dean some support, be strong for his big brother in the moment of need. In the end he’d chosen the third option: he’d left Dean alone to process his grief and he’d run into the house, preparing himself for what was about to happen. He’d known that he was about to find a baby right beside his dead mother, all alone in the world and with enough power inside him to obliterate the entire planet with the bat of an eye.

Finding the kid in the nursery, however, had changed everything. Lucifer’s child wasn’t a baby, he was a young adult, looking to be in his late teens or early twenties. How could that have even been possible? He’d done tons of research on Nephilims, but he’d never read anything about them being born as something different than babies. That was a turn of events nobody could have foreseen, and without Cas to help, how could have Sam and Dean even thought about handling the situation?

Somehow, though, they did managed it. Sam had tried to get closer to the child, calling him by the name Kelly had chosen for him. Jack. The kid had been scared, making the house shake around them until pieces of plaster had started to fall from the walls and ceiling. His first thought had been to run away and leave the kid there to die, and it had taken all of his force of will to stop himself from doing it. Especially considering that, just a moment later, his thought process had him remember that, with angel grace inside his body, Jack wouldn’t have died for something as insignificant as a house collapsing on him. He would have probably gotten angry though, and Sam really couldn’t have that.

It had taken Sam a lot of time and a bleeding nose in order to have the child accept that he wasn’t going to hurt him. Finally, when the first rays of sun were visible at the horizon, the both of them had come out of the house, Jack’s naked form wrapped in a blanket both for modesty and warmth. The moment they were out, Sam had seen that his brother was right there where he’d left him, beside Castiel’s body. On his knees, Dean was crying over the lifeless body of the friend he’d cared about so much more than what he’d always wanted Sam to believe.

“Dean.” Sam remembered saying to attract his brother’s attention “It’s time to go. If we stay here too long, the angels will come for Jack. We have to take him out of here.”

He also remembered very well how Jack had seemed confused at the sight of Cas’ body, as if he didn’t know what to think about it. In the end, however, they’d been able to leave, taking Castiel back with them. Since Dean wasn’t keeping it together at all, Sam had been the one driving, with Jack in the passenger seat and Dean in the back with the body. They’d made their way back to the bunker, and they hadn’t left ever since.

After explaining to Jack that the bunker was the only place on the planet where he was really going to be safe from the angels, Sam had seen the boy nod and repair the damaged structure with just a wave of his hand. All of that power should have surprised the hunter, and in normal circumstances it would have, but it actually didn’t; after everything that’d happened within the last twenty-four hours, he didn’t even know what to expect anymore. All Sam could think about in that moment was to teach Jack how to live in the world with all of that supernatural energy inside his body without turning evil. Not that Sam was an expert in the matter, he remembered all too well how he’d ended up drinking demon blood because of his own powers.

But he was the only one willing to do it, since Dean had barricaded himself in his bedroom right after burying Cas outside the bunker, without coming out for days. Sam had tried to tell his brother that it would have been wiser to burn Castiel’s body, give him the “hunter’s funeral”, but Dean had refused to do that. He’d said they needed closure, and a grave to visit might have given them that. Of course Sam knew pretty well that his brother was lying, but he also knew that it was probably the grief that was clouding his judgement. He wanted to do something more about it, but he couldn’t find the strength to try. After all, when Dean had died and gone to Hell, Sam had been the one to refuse to burn his body. If anyone could have accepted Dean’s actions regarding Cas’s body, it would have been him.

And all of this brings us back to Sam, and the way he was trying to cope with everything that’d happened. A week had passed from the night Jack was born, and the kid was actually starting to adapt to the life inside the bunker. He was still walking on eggshells the entire time, keeping exaggeratedly quiet and rarely talking unless spoken to, but at least he was hanging out in the bunker instead of staying in his bedroom. Sam had given him some of Dean’s clothes to wear, that were a little too big for him, and he was waiting for the kid to feel comfortable enough around him before he could actually start teaching him something.

Most of the time, the two of them just sat in the war room in silence, reading. Sam was doing more research on the situation he had to handle, while Jack was reading old books about the creation of the world that were written in Enochian. It was during those moments that Sam allowed his mind to wander towards his brother. He knew that Dean was probably drunk, unwilling to move on. The loss that they’d suffered that night had been too great, seeing Cas die and their mother disappear. It had been too much for Dean to handle. Sam knew that his brother just needed time and space to heal, that at some point he would have gotten back on his feet as he always did, so he accepted to leave him alone. Not talking about feelings was the Winchester way, after all. He also knew that this time it would have been more difficult, it would have taken longer than usual to get over the grief, and he was okay with that. After all, he still had his own grieving to deal with, and a young Nephilim to take care of.

One day, when Sam was cooking something quick for lunch, Dean came out of his room and sat down at the kitchen table. The younger Winchester observed from a distance as his brother and the Nephilim cautiously danced around each other, probably both uncertain of what they were supposed to do with each other. Therefore he could say that lunch was awkward at best, but at least Dean had come down to eat with them: it was a start.

As soon as their lunch was over, Dean excused himself by saying that he needed to take care of Baby, leaving Sam and Jack alone again. The hunter knew that working on that car always helped his brother clear his mind, so he couldn’t help but smile when he saw him walk out of the kitchen towards the garage. If he was willing to care for the Impala, it meant that he was starting to get a little better.

“Who’s this Baby he was talking about? Do you have a pet in here?” Jack asked, bringing Sam back to the present.

“What? Oh no, no pets. Baby is his car. He’s in love with her.” Sam replied. His words were met with a perplexed expression that was just too hilarious to resist, and the hunter found himself laughing at the sight of Jack’s confusion. It was his biggest win of the week when the kid actually smiled back at him. It meant they were making progress, a small step at a time.

After that brief moment of companionship, they both went back to the war room and started reading again. Sam was keeping a book in his lap, the upper part of it resting against the edge of the table to give him a comfortable position to read. Every now and then, he would look at Jack without raising his head from his book, seeing that the kid had not moved at all. The boy had a huge tome open on the table, his crossed arms resting on the surface right below it. He was using his powers to flip the pages when needed, and he’d been reading in that same position for days. Sam could take some comfort in the fact that at least Jack was interested in something.

He was going back to his reading after a quick peek, when he heard a sound that reminded him of a snap of fingers. He raised his head immediately, only to see someone sitting cross-legged in the middle of the table. Everything happened so fast that his brain could barely follow the entire situation.

“Helloooooooo! Missed me?” the man on the table yelled in a voice that Sam could easily recognize. He brought his eyes towards the face of the intruder, and there was no mistaking it: it was Gabriel.

The young Winchester didn’t have enough time to react to the appearance of the archangel. He wanted to say something, to do something, but Jack was faster. Sam couldn’t even start imagining what the kid might have been feeling in that moment. By the look in his eyes, however, he seemed afraid of the angelic creature that’d just appeared in the middle of a place that should have been warded against his kind. The hunter stood up in order to reach Jack, who was on the other side of the table, but when he moved the kid was already standing, eyes glowing gold with power, right arm stretched in front of his body with the palm of the hand oriented towards Gabriel. A blinding flash of light came out of it, forcing Sam to close his eyes for a second.

The next thing he saw was the archangel flying to the other side of the room and slamming against a reinforced wall, a loud noise of concrete meeting concrete echoing around. When Gabriel fell back to the floor, there was a huge dent in the wall where the archangel’s body had hit it. Gabriel stayed still for a few moments, but as soon as he started moving again, Jack was ready for another strike. Sam moved as quickly as he could, grabbing the boy’s wrist and gently inviting him to lower his hand. Jack resisted him easily, and the hunter really started to worry. He was beginning to fear a battle between Jack and Gabriel. Knowing those two beings, he was sure that a fight between them would have easily destroyed the entire bunker and killed everyone in it, meaning him and Dean. He needed to stop that.

The boy furrowed his brows while looking at Sam, probably reading his emotions through the link that the hunter’s hand on his wrist was creating between their bodies. Jack’s eyes stopped glowing when he slowly lowered his hand, and Sam could only give him a smile full of gratitude. He let go of Jack’s wrist, stepping to place himself between the boy and the archangel who was now standing up, with a pained look on his face and his right hand rubbing the back of his head.

“Damn it, kid, that hurt! Had I been human, my body would have exploded, you know that?” Gabriel whined while taking a few steps towards them, his free hand gesturing towards the wall in a theatrical way. The closer he was getting, the more concerned Sam was. He couldn’t stop himself from moving an arm backwards, trying to hide Jack as best as he could behind his own huge body.

“Stay back!” he exclaimed, extending the other arm towards Gabriel to let him know that he wasn’t allowed to get any closer. To his biggest surprise, Gabriel actually stopped with a sigh, letting both arms fall limply along his body. Sam gave him a questioning look: since when was the youngest archangel so obedient?

That wasn’t even the most important question Sam needed answered. What the hell was Gabriel doing there? Did he want to hurt Jack? How could he get past the warding of the bunker? How was he even alive? When they were preparing for the fight against the Darkness, Chuck himself had confirmed that Gabriel was dead, and Sam had all the reasons in the world to believe him. He was God, after all. So another question rose at the back of the hunter’s mind: was that really Gabriel?

“Calm down, Sammy, would you?” Gabriel said, raising both hands in surrender “I come in peace, I swear to Daddy!”

The archangel chuckled for a moment but he didn’t move from his position, leaving Sam uncertain. What should he do? Could he trust Gabriel enough to lower his guard? He was still the Trickster, after all. Was he going to wait for Sam to step out of the way to attack Jack? Everyone in the universe wanted that kid dead, so how could the younger Winchester trust the Trickster of all people? He was about to voice some of his questions aloud, when he heard a door slamming in the distance, followed by feet running up the stairs.

“Sam, is everything okay? I heard this crashing sound and-“ Dean ran into the room towards his brother, stopping mid-sentence when he laid his eyes on Gabriel. His facial expression changed in an instant from worry to rage “What the hell is he doing here?” he yelled, a finger pointing at the archangel.

Sam turned to face his older brother, uncertain of what to do. How could he explain the situation to Dean, when he was the first one who didn’t know what was happening? A dead archangel had just appeared in a bunker warded against angels, how could he have an answer for that? He was about to start voicing his doubts, but Gabriel spoke first.

“Hey, Dean! It’s so good to see you!” the archangel said in a strangely happy tone. And when Sam turned towards him once again, he saw that Gabriel was actually smiling. Was he being sincere? Sam’s head was starting to spin from too much thinking in such a short lax of time. Seriously, what the hell was happening?

Chapter Text

The moment he appeared inside the bunker, Gabriel immediately realized that something was wrong. From the outside he couldn’t feel it, with all of the wards protecting the place. But from the inside? It was as clear as the light of day that something wasn’t right. He’d seen his share of Nephilims during his incredibly long time on Earth, but that one? No Nephilim had ever been as powerful as that one! So much more than what he’d seen in the angel’s memory. It was also true, however, that no archangel had ever procreated, before Lucifer went ahead and created that spawn, so it was only logical that the boy was stronger than normal, even more than he’d been in his mother’s womb.

Gabriel could feel the angelic grace from the moment he reached the inside of the bunker, as strong as an archangel’s power. Yet he could also feel that the kid had no idea of his power’s limits, and absolutely no control over them. He was a newborn and he was being raised by humans, after all. As much as they knew about the supernatural in the world, they couldn’t really teach a Nephilim how to use his angelic essence. And not even a common angel could teach that specific Nephilim. The kid needed the guidance of an archangel, if he wanted to survive without accidentally destroying the world.

Gabriel smiled when his crossed legs touched the table, relishing the view of Sam Winchester’s shocked expression. Priceless! He really wanted to see what the hunter had to say to him after all those years, after he died to save the brothers. What surprised him the most, though, was that he didn’t have time to see any of that. Before Sam could do anything more than stare in shock, the Nephilim was attacking him and Gabriel was flying.

It was with utter surprise that the archangel was thrown across the room, until he collided against the back wall. He didn’t have the time to do anything to resist that power, too surprised to even try. When he hit the floor, he could actually feel pain in his vessel’s body, something that hadn’t happened to him in a very long time. In that moment Gabriel realized that he needed a different approach, he needed to be more cautious if he didn’t want to get hurt for real.

He took a not needed deep breath to calm himself, before he moved to stand up again. This time he was ready to protect himself from another attack, but it didn’t come. Sam had been able to stop the kid somehow, something that Gabriel could only be grateful for. He really didn’t want the encounter to end up in a fight, especially one that could harm the Winchesters so easily. With that thought in mind, the archangel tried to calm down both the Nephilim and the hunter, only to see Dean run into the room, worried for his brother’s wellbeing. Happy to see him too, Gabriel smiled at him while greeting him.

Maybe the brothers were having a hard time grasping that concept, but Gabriel really was thrilled at the idea of seeing them again. The two of them were the reason why he decided to change, why he stepped up to defend the humans, why he wanted to go back to Earth the moment his Father resurrected him. They were his inspiration, his role models for goodness, even if they didn’t know. They were everything that the archangel treasured of this planet.

So of course he was happy to see them both again! Even if they didn’t seem to understand why. Dean, however, had always been able to read him like an open book. It was annoying beyond imagination, but maybe in that specific occasion it could have been useful. And Sam was the smart one, who always analyzed the situations to find out what was hiding underneath. If Gabriel tried to explain everything to them both, maybe they could understand his point of view. It could have gone wrong in any possible way, but it was still worth the risk. The brothers couldn’t raise the Nephilim on their own, and the fate of the world was once again at stake.

“Is it really him, Sammy? Is he really Gabriel?” Dean asked hesitantly to his brother. Gabriel could see Sam shrug before he replied.

“No idea. He seems Gabriel, but it can’t be him. Chuck confirmed that he was dead, he said he couldn’t bring archangels back to life because it takes too long.” was the younger Winchester’s reasoning. Gabriel couldn’t hide the disgusted pout that was trying to appear on his face.

“Please stop calling Dad Chuck. It creeps me out!” he said out loud before he could stop himself. A moment later everyone was staring at him again, but Dean seemed to be at least a little amused because of what he said.

Gabriel’s gaze kept shifting from one brother to the other, waiting for them to come to terms with what was happening. He was clearly back, but how could he prove to them that he was the real Gabriel, and not some strange imitation sent from Heaven or Hell to attack the Nephilim? He was still thinking, when the boy shyly stepped out from behind Sam to go stand between the Winchesters, his expression careful but determined.

“If your doubt is whether or not he is an archangel, he is. His grace is the purest and brightest I’ve ever felt, almost as strong as my father’s but not tainted like his was.” the kid said, his words surprising Gabriel more than he could have ever imagined.

Could that Nephilim really feel how bright his grace was? Only another archangel could really see the maximum extent of his grace. He didn’t realize how easily shock was showing on his face, but he tried to fight it away when he saw the brothers relax and smile tentatively at him, finally lowering their guard.

“So it really is you. Welcome back, I guess.” Dean said, his voice slightly hesitant but his eyes sincere. Standing beside his brother, Sam was giving a half smile. At those reactions, Gabriel was overwhelmed with joy: he was welcomed, they were accepting him.

He walked quickly, almost running, until he closed the distance between himself and the Winchesters. That gesture probably spooked the Nephilim, who took a couple of steps back to hide behind Sam once again. The archangel grabbed both of the brothers by their arms and pulled, bringing them into a bone-crushing hug. His head was pressed between Dean’s chin and Sam’s chest, giving him full awareness of the height difference between them. He knew that his vessel wasn’t the tallest on the planet, but he’d never felt so short as he was feeling now. And, to be honest, he didn’t care. For the first time since he ran away from the fighting in Heaven, Gabriel was feeling like he was somewhere he thought he could really belong.

“I missed you boys so much!” the archangel couldn’t stop himself from saying, because all things considered it was the truth. His voice, however, never stopped being playful.

Dean’s reaction to that was to pat jokingly the top of Gabriel’s head. “Look, Sam, the Trickster is getting sappy.”

Gabriel was about to tell the older Winchester to bite him, but he stopped when he felt arms surrounding him with a little hesitation. Those stupid, brave, crazy, sentimental humans were hugging him back even if they clearly felt uncomfortable in doing it. Maybe the archangel was really getting sappy like Dean said, because he couldn’t deny that it felt good. His entire family couldn’t care less about him; and when he thought that at least his Father had cared enough to bring him back to life, he realized that God only wanted him back to be the new Ruler of Heaven, so that Daddy could live happily ever after with his sister and leave the pain in the ass job to Gabriel. No-one, in Heaven or on Earth, really cared about him being alive, except for those two.

The archangel really wanted them to know how important they were to him. He wanted them to know that he cared about them so much. However, the situation was getting emotional and Gabriel was sure that soon enough Dean would have pulled back saying something along the line of “enough with the chick-flick moments”. That’s the reason why the Trickster was the first one to let go of the hug, taking a few steps back so that he could look at the brothers without having to tilt his head back too much.

The Nephilim was still confused, but at least he didn’t seem afraid anymore. The Winchesters looked calm, but Gabriel could still recognize that curious look in Sam’s eyes. Apparently the younger brother wanted to know more, and Gabriel wasn’t sure about what kind of question Sam was about to ask until the hunter spoke.

“How did you come back to life?” was the younger man’s question.

“Dad brought me back.” the archangel said immediately, before taking a not needed breath and finding the right words to better articulate the explanation “After he left with Auntie Evil, he decided to resurrect me. It took some time to do it, a year in Earth time, but he did it. And I was so happy to be back, to be able to come back to this planet! But Dad said that my new purpose was to rule Heaven in his place. Can you imagine that? Me ruling over Heaven? That’s ridiculous, right?” Gabriel’s words were followed by Sam’s ill-concealed laugh. The hunter was apparently considering the idea of the youngest archangel ruling over Heaven to be stupid, just like he did. Good, at least he wasn’t the only one to think his Father was going senile.

“So I went back to Heaven, angry and demotivated, and I found out that you two were in trouble once again, hiding the spawn of Lucifer from every other creature in creation. The angels were panicking over the situation, so I decided to come here and take a look with my own eyes.” Gabriel finished. By the end of his speech, he was shifting his gaze from Sam to Dean and vice-versa, looking for any kind of reaction to his words.

He saw Dean nod, and Sam accompany his own nod with a soft “I’m sorry.” Fantastic: now they were probably pitying him. The archangel shook his head to clear it of the unpleasant thoughts that were piling up in his mind. He needed to change the subject of the conversation before it could become too personal for him. Gabriel didn’t want to open his heart to the Winchester brothers, he didn’t think he could ever be ready for that.

Therefore, the archangel turned to face the Nephilim, slowly taking a couple of steps towards him. He was trying to be as careful as possible, as if he was interacting with a wounded animal, but at the same time he was smiling with confidence. He needed the kid to feel comfortable around him, because that was the only option he had to help the boy.

“So, this must be my nephew then.” he said, smile never leaving his lips. Sam nodded once again.

“Gabriel, meet Jack.” the hunter’s hand pointed towards the kid, then it moved towards Gabriel “And Jack, I want you to meet your uncle, the archangel Gabriel. It’s okay, he’s one of the good guys. Sort of.”

“Sort of? Really? I died for you muttonheads!” Gabriel laughed at Sam’s words, enjoying Sam’s blush at his reply, but then he went back to give his undivided attention to Luci’s child “Nice to meet you Jack.”

The archangel offered his right hand to Jack, but the boy didn’t shake it. He just looked at it in confusion, as if he was trying to understand whether the hand was going to hurt him or not. Gabriel realized that maybe it was still too soon for touching, so he took back his hand and put them both inside the pockets of his jacket. He tried to look the kid in the eyes, though. They were as blue as a clear sky. He looked innocent and good, but behind those irises he could see it. His grace was wrapped around his human soul, shining bright and gold, wild and untamed. It was incredibly beautiful.

“Look at you. All this raw power and no control over it. You remind me so much of myself when I was created. I couldn’t control my powers either, you know? So your father taught me. We were close, your dad and I, before he turned evil. I see you have his same potential, but only an archangel can truly understand your power.” he paused for a second, eyes trying to dig their way inside the kid’s soul “I would like to teach you.”

Gabriel’s statement was probably unexpected, because he could hear several bewildered noises coming from the Winchester brothers when they heard him. In that moment, though, those two and their opinions were not important. All that mattered was Jack, and how much Gabriel wanted his nephew to accept his offer. What he’d said was true: he’d found it difficult to come to terms with his power, when his Father had first created him. It had been Lucifer who helped him understand, who taught him all of his tricks.

Now, seeing this child in front of him, all that Gabriel desired was to help him take control. He knew better than anyone else what such a power could do if left unrestrained. Jack could obliterate the planet by mistake, if he wasn’t careful. It was too risky. He needed to do something to prevent a catastrophe. And if that meant he had to train the Nephilim himself, then he was okay with it. When he died trying to stop the Apocalypse, he promised he would have never let any more harm come to the world. Not if he could prevent it.

“Teach me? I thought Sam was helping me.” the archangel was surprised by Jack’s reply, to the point that he had to take a moment before speaking again, looking for the right words to use.

“I’m sure that both Sam and Dean are doing their best to help you. But they’re human, and you’re... well, not. They have no way to understand what you are and what you’re going through. It’s not their fault, it’s just because their minds are limited to their bodies. No human could ever truly understand how angelic grace works. And no angel could really understand how archangels work. I am an archangel, and for the most part you are too. I can understand your powers. I can help you.” Gabriel tried once again to convince his nephew.

It was important for him to make sure that Jack understood the situation. The kid was like a week old, after all. It was impossible to hope for him to have enough wisdom to realize on his own that he needed the help of someone who had his same powers, so all that Gabriel could do was to explain the situation at his best. He had to make the kid understand the risks, but at the same time he couldn’t allow himself to scare the boy even more than he already was, if he didn’t want to make things worse.

“How can I know that I can trust you?” his nephew asked. It was obviously a step in the right direction.

“Right now, there is no way for me to show you. But I think that, with a little time, you’ll come to trust me just fine. I don’t want to rush you into something you’re not ready for.” the archangel said cautiously “If you want to know more about who I am, what I’ve done, you can take a peek inside their minds and look for their memories of me.” he jerked his head towards the Winchesters while pronouncing the last part.

Jack tilted his head on the right side, almost like a perplexed dog. He was probably wondering what Gabriel’s words meant. Was he not able to use his grace to read people’s minds? Was that the problem? But the archangel could remember the angel’s memories he’d seen in Heaven, he thought the kid could do that and much more since when he was inside his mother’s womb.

“Why should I search their memories, when I can look inside of yours?” the kid asked again, and once again Gabriel wasn’t quick enough to react.

He wasn’t expecting this, he wasn’t at all. A moment he was worried that this nephew didn’t know how to read human minds, and the following moment Jack had the palm of his right hand pressed against the archangel's forehead. Jack’s eyes started to glow gold, as did Gabriel’s. A golden aura was surrounding them both, and the archangel felt his wings try to manifest behind him while his entire life flashed inside his mind in seconds. It was the most painful thing he’d ever felt, even worst than dying. And he probably wasn’t the only one suffering; while he was screaming his throat raw, he could swear he heard another scream coming from someone else. Jack’s uncontrolled power was torturing them both.

Chapter Text

Sam was starting to panic, and by the look in Dean’s eyes he understood that his brother was too. Everything was going just fine, they had just accepted Gabriel back, and the archangel was willing to help them with Jack. That had actually been wonderful news for the hunter, because he’d had absolutely no idea where to begin, and having a real archangel guide Jack’s training was just perfect. But then everything changed in a second. Gabriel told the kid to look for memories of him inside the minds of the brothers, making Sam actually feel pretty uncomfortable at the thought, but the Nephilim decided to look inside the archangel’s head instead.

He couldn’t believe his eyes. He clearly saw Jack and Gabriel’s irises glow gold, and a bright light of the same color surround the two in an almost blinding way. A moment later the shadow of Gabriel’s wings appeared behind him. They were huge, and bright, and most of all intact; a rare sight, after all of the angels had Fallen a few years before. The only other angel Sam knew with healthy wings was Lucifer, since he hadn’t been around at the time of the collective Fall.

Looking at Gabriel’s wings was fascinating and distracting, but soon Sam was brought back to reality: both the Nephilim and the archangel were now screaming in pain. Jack’s right hand wasn’t moving from Gabriel’s forehead, but his left went up to press against his own head. Both of the archangel’s hands were pulling at his own hair, when the two celestial beings fell on their knees. Sam opened his mouth to ask Dean what they were supposed to do, but a deafening sound prevented his voice from being heard.

It took a few seconds for the younger Winchester to understand what that was, while both he and his brother were pressing their hands against their ears. He’d already heard something like that in the past, and it was horrible as much as it was powerful. An angel’s true voice. How could that voice come out of a vessel though? He didn’t know it was possible. But at the same time he knew that there was no other explanation for that horrible noise: it was Gabriel’s true voice. In that moment realization hit him.

“Dean!” he yelled at the top of his lungs, hoping his brother could still hear him “I think Jack is killing Gabriel! We have to do something!”

Luckily his brother heard him, or more likely he was just thinking the same thing, because the two quickly exchanged a knowing look, a nod, and then dove towards the celestial beings on the floor. Sam grabbed Jack by the shoulders and Dean did the same with Gabriel, then they both started pulling. It took all of their physical strength to separate those two, but in the end the angel and Nephilim both fell backwards to the ground, blood streaming out of their eyes, ears and nose. Jack was knocked out the instant his hand left his uncle’s forehead, while the archangel was still barely conscious.

“Gabriel, what the hell just happened?” Dean asked, his voice hurried and concerned.

His brother was still holding the archangel by the shoulders, so that he wasn’t completely lying down on the floor, while Sam was keeping Jack the same way. While holding the Nephilim close, the hunter saw Gabriel try to adjust his position against Dean’s body, visibly still unable to sit up on his own, and the older Winchester help him move as much as he could. The archangel wiped his bloody face with the back of a hand before he tried to answer Dean’s question.

“Kid… doesn’t have… control… of powers.” Gabriel panted heavily, making it almost difficult to understand what he was saying. Strange: since when did an angel even need to breathe that much? After taking a few seconds to steady his breath, however, the archangel continued “I didn’t want him to use his powers on me. I was afraid something like this was going to happen. He can’t control himself, so he just tried to download several millions of years of my memories at the same time. It almost blew both of our minds out.”

The look on Dean’s face was one of pure horror, and Sam was pretty sure that his own wasn’t much different from his brother’s. He moved his gaze immediately to the boy lying against his chest, holding two fingers against Jack’s neck to check if he still had a pulse. He did, luckily he was still alive. But such a massive amount of information gathered in such a short time might have caused some damage to his brain. Sam could now understand pretty well why Gabriel hadn’t wanted Jack to look inside his mind. Without control over his powers, he wasn’t able to shift through the memories and only watch the ones he was looking for. He was instead taking them all in, and with a human it could have been okay, but trying that on someone as old as an archangel was of course going to be overwhelming to say the least.

“Will he be okay? Did the download of your memories cause permanent damage to his brain?” Sam couldn’t help but ask. At his question, he saw Gabriel shift again to sit cross-legged on the floor. The archangel didn’t need Dean’s physical support anymore, but the hunter still kept close just to be sure.

“I don’t think he received much damage. I can tell he has strong healing powers, he’ll heal himself in no time. But he needs to sleep it off, that’s for sure.” Gabriel replied, both of his hands massaging his temples. His face was contracted in pain.

“Are you going to be fine?” the younger Winchester inquired again.

“Yes, no worries kiddo.” the archangel said, this time pressing the heels of his hands against his eyes. Sam wasn’t so sure that Gabriel was telling the truth. He looked like shit. And he couldn’t be blamed, after all he had just had his life memories sucked out of his brain by force!

“I think you need to rest too.” Sam said, moving to stand up and carrying the dead weight of Jack with him. Dean quickly moved from Gabriel’s side to Sam’s, taking the kid away from his brother’s arms.

“I’m going to take him to his room, make sure he rests.” Dean announced before adjusting the weight of the Nephilim against his body. Without saying another word, he walked up the stairs and towards the bedrooms.

After watching Dean go, while he could still hear his brother’s footsteps, Sam turned again to look at Gabriel. The archangel was trying to stand up on his own, and he didn’t seem to be able to do it. As soon as he was up, as a matter of fact, he started to swing dangerously before he crashed to the ground once again. The hunter smiled when he heard the other curse under his breath, and with just two steps he was in front of Gabriel, taking pity on him for his struggling efforts. Without even thinking about what he was doing, he picked Gabriel up bridal-style and started carrying him out of the room.

“Oh Sammy, you really sweep me off my feet!” the archangel laughed while playfully throwing his arms around Sam’s neck. The hunter rewarded him with his best bitch face, trying as hard as he could not to blush. Unbelievable, he grew up with Dean and he was still able to blush so easily!

“Charming. With pick up lines like that, do you ever get laid with someone you didn’t create?” Sam asked, not sure if he really wanted to hear the answer. But if Gabriel was joking with him, he had to joke back, otherwise the situation would have become incredibly awkward really fast. “And don’t call me Sammy, I hate it!” he quickly added a moment later, since he really despised the use of that nickname.

“Of course I do, Captain Grumpy-pants, I get plenty of ass! You’re hurting my feelings!” Gabriel kept joking in a theatrical way, and the younger Winchester could only roll his eyes when he heard the archangel’s words. Luckily Dean wasn’t around to witness what was going on, or he would have never heard the end of it.

“Just to be clear…” the hunter started again while entering the living room of the bunker “You tell anyone about this conversation, or that I carried you, and I’ll kill you.” he threatened the angelic creature in his arms, just before he let go of Gabriel to let him fall unceremoniously on top of the couch.

“You’re no fun.” Gabriel whined with a pout on his face, folding his arms and looking away like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum.

Sam let himself fall in one of the armchairs, the closest one to the couch where Gabriel was lying. He sighed heavily, as a sign that he wanted the playing around to end and the subject of the conversation to go back to something more serious - or at least something less stupid. It seemed like the archangel understood that, because he shifted his position so that he was lying on his right side, head against the armrest and eyes on Sam. He was still smiling, but he didn’t seem to be acting like a brat anymore.

“Seriously Gabriel, how do you feel?” the hunter finally asked, waiting for the angel to answer. And he was hoping that Gabriel wouldn’t lie, because he didn’t look okay.

“I’m a little spent, I just need time to recharge.” was the reply, and Sam conceded that it might have been the truth “When Jack was poking around in my brain, I tried to stop the flow of memories, but doing that I almost lost control of my vessel. He started to pull my true form out of my body, and believe me when I say that I don’t even know how that happened in the first place. I was forced to manifest my wings, my true voice, and I had to stop trying to block him out of my mind. It took all of my strength to keep my grace inside my vessel, because revealing my true form in its whole would have destroyed everything in a several miles radius, killing everyone in the area.” Gabriel shuddered after he finished talking.

Sam listened to the explanation, bewildered by what he heard. Jack was unconsciously about to level out a portion of Kansas, using Gabriel’s true form to do it, and the archangel saved them. It could have been so much easier to let go, to stop holding on, freeing his grace from the constriction of his vessel. Instead, Gabriel exhausted himself in order to contain his own power. He saved their lives, again. And he almost died in the process, again.

The younger Winchester could feel a familiar sting at the back of his eyes. The thought alone that yet another ally could have died for them, especially after he already died for them once, was more than enough for Sam to feel sadness wash over his entire being. Was the time for him and Dean to stop losing friends ever going to come? Sam shook his head, sending that thought away. The archangel wasn’t even really their friend, anyway; and it wasn’t the time to lose his mind over something like this. Especially in front of Gabriel, who would have made fun of him forever.

“You can stay here for as long as you need to get your mojo back.” the hunter offered with a smile, and Gabriel replied with a nod, eyes warm with what seemed like gratitude.

Before anything else could be said, Dean entered the room and chose another armchair for himself. Sam took a moment to really look at his brother, and he could easily see the dark bags under his eyes. He wondered how much he’d been able to sleep, since the events of that night. Maybe, now that Dean had come out of his bedroom after days of isolation, he could be able to do something to help his brother. In that precise moment, however, the Nephilim in their charge was their top priority.

“How is Jack?” Sam asked, shifting his gaze from the manifestation of tiredness on Dean’s face to a random point right above his brother’s head. Anything was okay, as long as he stopped staring; he knew all too well that Dean didn’t like to be stared at, especially when he wasn’t feeling well.

“Sleeping like a little angel. I don’t think we’ll see him again before tomorrow.” Dean replied with a pun that made Gabriel laugh, then he took a moment to think. Sam watched his brother bite at his bottom lip, uncertain, and then finally ask a question to Gabriel “Do you really think you’ll be able to teach him how to control his powers?”

Gabriel closed his eyes, and the younger hunter could almost see the archangel’s brain work. It was somehow compelling to look at Gabriel like that, concentrated on a difficult task despite the exhaustion. Sam let a gentle smile appear on his lips, but only because he knew that Gabriel had his eyes closed and Dean was looking at the angel. He would have never smiled like that to the Trickster who’d made him live his brother’s death over and over, if he knew that someone might have seen him. It wasn’t because he hated Gabriel, but quite the opposite. It was because Sam was supposed to hate him, but he didn’t.

Sam knew very well that, after what Gabriel had put him and his brother through, he should have hated the archangel with all of his strength. But the truth was, he’d stopped hating Gabriel the moment he’d realized exactly why the Trickster had made him live that endless cycle of Tuesdays. It had only been years later, in TV land, when Gabriel accused them of having broken the world. In that moment he’d realized that the torture he’d suffered was just the Trickster’s way to tell him not to take revenge on Lilith, not to start the Apocalypse. The Trickster wasn’t an enemy, the archangel Gabriel wasn’t an enemy. With all the real foes the brothers had, why would he have to waste time hating an ally?

Now he knew that he was thinking of Gabriel as more than just an ally. The archangel had died for them, and when he came back to life he hugged them. No, in his mind the angel wasn’t just an ally, he was more; he might have even been a friend. And Dean was probably feeling the same way, since both of them had awkwardly hugged the angel back. Sam’s thoughts, though, were interrupted by Gabriel’s reply to Dean’s question. The celestial being was now looking at them, so Sam’s smile quickly vanished before he concentrated on Gabriel’s words.

“His powers are not so different from my own. Actually, they’re so similar that it scares me. I’ve never seen something like that, but no-one else has either, and someone has to step up and take on the responsibility to train him. As the last living archangel who’s not trapped in another dimension, it is my duty. The boy is a time bomb, and I would very much like to stop it before its explosion could wipe out the planet. I just hope he’ll let me help, because I can’t teach him anything if he refuses to learn from me.” Gabriel explained.

For once, the archangel was acting more serious than usual. It was so strange for Sam to witness such a change. Said change, however, was proof that the situation was dangerous. Hadn’t it been a matter of life or death, Gabriel would have never stopped laughing. The younger Winchester also found himself thinking that the analogy the archangel used was appropriate. Jack really was a time bomb, one that he was hoping to never see burst.

“Does it mean that you’re going to stick around?” Sam couldn’t help but ask, making sure of using a casual tone. His eyes were once again fixated on the angel.

“Yes. Yes, I am. Unless you prefer that I just take Jack with me and go. But he would be safer here, so I’d really prefer if you allowed me to stay with you.” Gabriel replied to the hunter’s question. Sam unconsciously shook his head when he heard about the possibility of the archangel taking the Nephilim away. It shouldn’t have even been an option to consider! Gabriel, instead, seemed to be pretty sure that they didn’t want him there, because he was still trying to convince them to keep him. “I could help, you know. I know that Team Free Will is down an angel, and you could definitely use some angelic back up.”

Maybe, though, that wasn’t the right thing to say to the Winchester brothers. Not now, not so soon after Cas died, not when that loss was still too fresh. Dean immediately put on a murderous face, staring at the archangel with such intensity that Sam was wondering how he had not dropped down dead yet. Sam himself was starting to get irritated, and probably Gabriel had noticed their expressions, because he soon resumed talking.

“I could never take Cassie’s place in your lives, I know that, because Cas cannot be replaced, but I’ll be happy to help you if you’ll let me.” the archangel’s voice was low, almost sad; he probably was missing Castiel too. From what Sam knew, before the Apocalypse Gabriel and Castiel had been the only ones of their kind: not evil, but still rebellious of Heaven’s plans. Maybe the two of them might have been closer than he knew, before Gabriel died.

“Don’t worry, you can stay. But beware, no tricks!” Dean finally said, his facial expression softening back at an excruciatingly slow pace. Gabriel was about to say something, since his mouth was opening. It was probably going to be something along the lines of “you can’t take the tricks out of the Trickster”, so Sam needed to talk first if he wanted to make his point.

“You trick us, we trick you back!” the younger Winchester warned him.

However, that maybe hadn’t been the perfect thing to say to threaten Gabriel. The archangel, in fact, immediately jumped to a sitting position. His entire face was brightened by the huge smile he was sporting, one that was quickly spreading to his eyes and that was visibly softening his features. Gabriel looked almost like a child unwrapping his presents on Christmas morning, with his mouth slightly open in surprise.

“Will you really do that? Do you promise?” the angel asked, leaning towards Sam until his hands were holding the armrest of the hunter’s chair. Okay, that had probably been a very stupid thing to say to a Trickster, because instead of being scared into a good behavior, it actually seemed that Gabriel couldn’t wait for them to retaliate. It wasn’t a good sign.

Neither Sam nor Dean replied to Gabriel’s confirmation request, so the archangel was soon enough pouting again. Sam had to wonder once again how he could do it. How could Gabriel change his attitude so quickly every single time? It was interesting in some way. Maybe, if the archangel was really going to stick around, he could spend some time studying him, trying to find out what was really hiding behind all of those different façades the Trickster always put up.

“I feel a lot better, by the way.” Gabriel announced at some point, his voice back to normal “I can fly to the land of the boring now. I’ll recover ten times faster once in Heaven.”

It was curious. That was the first time Sam had ever heard Gabriel talk about flying. When angels appeared and disappeared, there was always that familiar sound of rustling feathers, something he’d never heard from the youngest archangel. Gabriel always appeared and disappeared with a snap of his fingers. The hunter’s hypothesis was that the angel was using some kind of teleportation instead of relying on his own wings.

“No problem. Before you go, however, I have another question. How did you get inside the bunker? Did the warding fail?” Dean asked after nodding in understanding. Sam knew where that question was coming from: if some of their wards had failed, they were all in danger, so they needed to make sure that everything was working.

“No, your wards are just fine. Dad just gave me info on how to get past them.” Gabriel replied with a shrug. Oh, God told him how to get past the wards. Figures! Could their lives ever get any weirder than this?

“We can update our wards so that you’re allowed to enter normally, if you want.” Dean tried to offer, but Gabriel was slowly shaking his head.

“Don’t worry, Dean-o. I like the idea of sneaking in. Plus, the more this place is warded against archangels, the safer it is. For you and for Jack.” the angel said, winking towards the both of them. Sam could only agree: it was way safer if no-one went to touch the warding.

“If you kids need me, just pray for me and I’ll come running!” Gabriel said his goodbyes with a smile, and then he disappeared in a rustle of feathers. Sam’s eyes snapped open and he jumped to his feet, looking quickly around the room and almost expecting to see another angel there.

“Did you hear that, Dean?” Sam asked, a surprised but amused smile plastered on his face. His brother, however, was already walking to leave the room, not interested in whatever he was saying, since he only replied with a confused “Hear what?” before he continued to make his way back to his bedroom.

But Sam was sure of what he’d heard. Feathers. Gabriel’s wings, for the first time. Who knew, maybe Gabriel was on his way to become less Trickster and more archangel. Sam Winchester could surely live with that.

Chapter Text

The sun was shining high in the clear blue sky, that day. It was bright and intense, warming up the atmosphere above the light green grass. Yellow and orange flowers were moving slowly, following the soft blow of the wind. Gabriel was lying there, in the middle of the field, flowers surrounding him and wind softly caressing his face. His body was relaxed, both hands behind his head and eyes closed. Had angels been able to sleep, he would have been asleep right now. It felt so good, and it helped him to recharge his batteries. He was still feeling a little tired after the events of the day before, but the peace and quiet he was enjoying was helping him a lot.

The day was perfect. A little too much, to be honest, and the archangel was afraid that something bad could happen all of a sudden. But he chased that thought to the back of his mind anyway: what could ever happen? He’d left precise instructions to the angels on what to do, and it wasn’t like they knew where to find him. At least for another few hours he was free. Or at least that’s what he thought.

“I’m sorry to bother you, Sir.” a voice - an annoying, hesitant voice - said from the distance.

“Then don’t. Goodbye, Ismael.” Gabriel immediately replied without shifting his position by an inch. He was proud of himself: in just one day he’d been able to memorize the name of the poor guy that was appointed as his personal secretary.

Even with his eyes closed, the archangel could still feel the low ranked angel move uncomfortably, clear his throat, maybe even fix his tie. He couldn’t have been more predictable, he was just acting like any other of Heaven’s robots when they were nervous. It was a rare thing to witness, but it seemed like they never felt very comfortable in front of Gabriel. It probably depended on the fact that he was older than creation itself and that he ended up making fun of them every time they tried to talk to him. He had to admit, he’d already left a good impression of himself in Heaven, and he’d only been back a day. What could he accomplish with the rest of eternity?

“But Sir… There are some very urgent matters that need your immediate attention.” Ismael tried again, almost afraid to upset his boss, and Gabriel just knew that he couldn’t hold it back anymore. Some stupid duty was waiting for him.

With a sigh he opened his eyes and, effortlessly, he lifted his body to a sitting position. His left leg was still stretched, but the right one was now bent, with the foot on the ground and the knee at the same height as his chest. The archangel rested both of his arms on top of the bent knee before he turned to his right. E few yards ahead, the field ended into an impersonal white wall. That wall also harbored a door, which was open at the moment. On the threshold was a tiny man in his late twenties, big glasses on his nose and short black hair. His gray suit was a little wrinkly, since he was torturing the hems between his fingers. He was also bent a little forward, as if he was trying to hide himself. He was a pretty pathetic sight, and he probably was the most awkward angel in all of Heaven. And, most of all, he was terrified of Gabriel.

The perfect atmosphere was ruined. Once he moved from his comfortable position, Gabriel couldn’t concentrate anymore to keep his imagination running. The sun was now cold an fake, the wind couldn’t be felt on his vessel’s skin anymore. He couldn’t try to convince himself that he was really sitting on grass. It was now obvious that he was inside somebody’s Heaven and that his petulant secretary Ismael was bothering him once again. That Heaven belonged to a sweet girl who’d been driven to suicide at the age of nineteen in early 2006; Gabriel had already taken on the responsibility to avenge her death a few months after it occurred, making sure that the college professor who harassed her took a good dive from the window of his office at Crawford Hall.

“What’s the matter, bucko?” the archangel inquired, not really sure if he wanted to know. It was probably going to be something incredibly boring, just like anything that concerned his most despised new role of Ruler of Heaven. He was almost starting to get nervous while watching Ismael fidget with the hems of his clothing, but then the angel finally talked.

“There is a meeting is five minutes.” Ismael almost squeaked “Management is waiting for your introduction speech and some general conduct orders.”

The angel was shaking like a pair of maracas when Gabriel, snorting, stood up and walked past him. Resigned, the archangel started to make his way towards the conference room. Ismael was following him, a couple of steps behind. He could feel the angel behind him, fidgeting with his suit and continuously batting his eyes because of a tic. It was pure torture. With two flaps of his wings, Gabriel flew directly inside the conference room, leaving Ismael behind.

With a rustle of feathers, he landed in front of his seat, the big leather chair at one end of the long table. Once he got there, Gabriel took a few seconds to look at the people in the room. At least twenty angels of different levels were already there, and all of them shot up on their feet the moment he appeared. Suck-ups! The archangel let his eyes travel from one of them to the next, studying their expressionless faces. He could easily recognize both of the seraphs he’d interacted with the day before. Nicholas, the one inside the Asian guy, and Rose, the one inside the teenage girl. He was really proud of himself for memorizing their names too. It was a huge progress, since he really couldn’t care less. As for the other angels in the room, however, he already knew who they were.

He sat down, followed by all of the others. “Good morning brothers and sisters!” Gabriel started to say, incapable of avoiding the inevitable much longer.

“It’s not exactly morning!” a voice corrected him from the far end of the table, it was difficult to see which angel exactly had spoken. But it was a masculine voice, and the archangel glared at the only male vessel on that far corner. A snap of his fingers and the angel was gagged with duct tape, hands tied behind the chair with rope so he couldn’t free himself. The others around him were now staring at him in shock, whispering already starting.

“So what? Who cares!” Gabriel replied at the interruption, and that was exactly the moment the door opened and a disheveled and out of breath Ismael made his appearance. The angel let his eyes fall on the gagged and tied down brother, incapable of stopping himself from jumping back in surprise with an acute little cry. Gabriel could only roll his eyes at the sight. Seriously, where did they get that one? Did they find him in a box of spare animal parts beside Daddy’s trash bin? Because he really had some serious manufacturing defect.

Trying not to look at the gagged angel, Ismael walked along the table. All around him, brothers and sisters were commenting on Gabriel’s actions. Some said that what the archangel did was outrageous, others said it was a good demonstration of his firm hand. Gabriel, however, couldn’t care less about their opinion. He just kept looking at his secretary until the angel reached the small desk behind him, ready to write down the transcription of the meeting. When everything was ready, the archangel finally started to talk again, and the meeting could really begin.

“As I was saying, good whatever-you-want.” he greeted again, chuckling to himself. He gave another look at the angels before he resumed “All of you know who I am, as well as you all know that I’ve acted like a coward. When the fighting between Michael and Lucifer intensified, leading to Lucifer’s Fall, I left. I never looked back, i just kept running away. I hid on Earth for millennia, living with humans and interacting with them. And I ended up caring for them, even dying for them.” the background buzz became louder and louder when he started his speech.

“When Dad made peace with the Darkness, he was confronted with a choice. Coming back to take his place as God, or leave once and for all. He chose to leave for good. But he didn’t want to abandon Heaven, that’s why he decided to bring me back. He wanted me to be your guide, the one to finally reunite all of the angels under God’s name. And he also wanted me to show you how to care for humanity, how to love those strange and imperfect mortal creatures. He wanted me to be the new Ruler of Heaven, and even if this job sucks, I will still honor his wish.” Gabriel continued, this time succeeding in mesmerizing his audience.

After the monologue, the angels seemed to like the idea of having Gabriel in command a lot more than they did before. That was a good sign, it meant that he’d been able to charm them just like he’d wanted to. He hadn’t been entirely acting when he gave his speech, since his words had mostly been true, but the attitude was 100% fake. That’s why, as soon as the angels around the table gave him their approval, the archangel went immediately back to normal.

“So now we need to have a little conversation about the rules of the house. Just to be clear, I make the rules and you follow them. If you don’t, you’ll pay. I won’t kill you, but I’ll make you suffer.” that was the Trickster inside him talking. After millennia spent as a pagan god, he knew exactly how to make people pay for their mistakes. He certainly wasn’t going to stop with his brothers and sisters just because they were angels. Whoever needed a punishment was going to get one, period.

“First of all, meetings. We don’t need all of these meetings, okay? Let’s just settle for one each month.” Gabriel knew that there were at least two meetings a day, in order to clarify all of the possibly uncomfortable situations that were continuously raising all over the world. But he couldn’t help it, those meetings were boring and most likely all the same. They didn’t really need them. The other angels, however, immediately found themselves voicing their disappointment, so that Gabriel was forced to change his decision “You’re right, once a month is not good enough. Let’s do a meeting every two months.” he corrected himself, the Trickster’s smirk curving his lips.

He gave the angels a few minutes to voice out their concerns, and he even gave a perfect show of listening to them. Then he completely ignored everyone’s opinion and went back to his own ideas. His ruling, his rules.

“In between meetings, there are a few little rules that you’ll need to follow if you want everything to go smoothly. First of all, no harming Lucifer’s child or the Winchester brothers. If you so much as touch them, I’ll kill you myself.” Gabriel threatened, so that everyone could easily perceive the decision in his voice. It was his warning not to touch what belonged to him. The Nephilim and the brothers were his to protect and, in case of need, his to punish. No-one else had any right to even get near them without his explicit permission.

“During your spare time, answer prayers. Walk the Earth, listen to what people ask, stop shutting out those who are in need. If people are praying for something unselfish, grant them their wishes. If they’re praying for selfish reasons, do whatever you want, ignore them or punish them, but no torture and no killing. Be creative but not cruel. Most people think that angels are merciful, not murderous, and it’s good if they keep thinking this way.” the archangel explained another one of his rules, ignoring the shocked expressions of the other angels.

“If you cross paths with a sinner, you can punish that person. But remember that every punishment must be equal to the crime, and only if the crime they committed is really wrong. Let me give you an example: if a guy doesn’t have any money and he steals some food to feed his family, you get there and you give him more food, not a punishment. If a guy is a pedophile, you cut off his dick and stuff it into his mouth, pushing hard until he chokes on it. Do you understand the difference?” Gabriel said once again.

He really hoped the angels understood the difference between the crimes. Punishing those who deserved it had always been his task, first as the Archangel of Justice and then as a Trickster. Now that his new job was preventing him from continuing his good work, he needed the angels to do it in his place. He just wished he could be sure they weren’t going to mess it up. He was just trying to pass on his torch as Loki to the entire Host of Heaven, after all! Not an easy task at all.

“And when you punish humans, do it in a funny way. Everyone needs to receive their own medicine, if you know what I mean. You have to serve them their just desserts. And you have to make sure that, seeing your result, at least someone will find it good enough to laugh because of it.” when pronouncing those words, he knew all too well that the angels weren’t going to like them. But it was important for them to understand. If he wanted them to continue his Trickster job, they needed to know how it was done! For the moment he left out the part about candy wrappers, he needed to see how well they worked before he let them sign their art pieces with his name. He had a reputation, after all.

“If the world is about to end, don’t do anything stupid, just come to me. If Lucifer finds a way to come back, run to me as fast as you can. If the Winchesters or Lucifer’s Nephilim are in danger, I need to be the first one to know. Everything else, I don’t care, you can handle on your own.” Gabriel finally gave his last conditions. No-one seemed happy about what he was saying, but they had no voice in the matter. He was the Ruler of Heaven, his Father brought him back for this. And he was going to rule his way.

“Now, I’m going to stay with the Winchester brothers for a while. If the world is ending, you can contact me there via Angel Radio. For anything else, you can manage on your own.” the archangel stopped to think for a moment before he reached for Ismael and dragged him to his side. The poor angel was shaking while Gabriel’s hands pressed firmly on his upper arms. “If you find yourselves in dire need of guidance, you can ask my friend Ismael here, and I’m sure he’ll be glad to help you.”

The look of pure terror on Ismael’s face was priceless. The kid was so not going to like his new job! But at least Gabriel was free to go, he didn’t have to worry about Heaven anymore. It was in Ismael’s good hands - poor Heaven, he was almost regretting his decision, but not really. He was finally able to leave, to go back to Earth. To go back to the Winchester brothers, where he felt that he could really belong. Heaven hadn’t been his home for millennia, and it was never going to be again. It might have been his house, but he was looking for a place to really call “home”, and he had a feeling that the Winchesters could give him that.

Plus, the brothers had his nephew. Even if Jack had almost fried his brain because of his lack of control over his own powers, Gabriel genuinely liked the boy. He wanted to get to know the kid more, spend some quality time with him. And of course he wanted to start teaching him, hoping to form that same kind of bond that he once had with his brother Lucifer. He longed for that kind of closeness, after spending too many lifetimes all alone. Moreover, Jack and the Winchesters could all understand him, and with them he was sure he’d have been able to finally feel home.

He didn’t care about anything else. The other angels could all go to hell! That’s the reason why, when everyone around the table was arguing and Ismael was crying like a human baby, Gabriel snapped his fingers and left. It was time to go back to the bunker.

Chapter Text

So far, it had been a normal day inside the bunker. The only difference was that Dean had spent most of the day outside his bedroom, actually interacting with both Sam and Jack. The brothers had been really worried about the Nephilim after the events of the day before, so they never left him alone since he woke up in the morning.

“I am fine, you know? You can stop stalking me.” Jack said at some point during dinner, probably sick and tired of the attitude of the Winchester brothers.

“Yesterday you almost killed yourself by draining an archangel. Sorry but I don’t believe you.” Dean replied immediately, making the boy snort.

“Dean!” Sam intervened, glaring at his brother before returning his attention to the Nephilim “It’s not that we don’t trust you or anything, but you went through something hard and painful yesterday, so we really want you to know that it’s okay if you still feel a little off.”

Jack gave him an annoyed look, opened his mouth to speak and stopped, distracted by the sudden appearance of Gabriel behind his back. Dean jumped in surprise, while Sam just kept staring between the angel and the Nephilim. Had Jack been able to sense Gabriel’s power approaching? Was that the reason why he felt his arrival even if his eyes couldn’t see the archangel?

“Hi, uncle Gabriel.” Jack said in a soft and embarrassed voice, turning his head to look at the angel.

“Heya, kiddo! Feeling better?” Gabriel asked with a huge smile, something that left Sam a little startled. Jack almost killed Gabriel just the day before, and the archangel was already back, smiling at the kid and worrying about his wellbeing. Didn’t he feel any resentment because of what had happened? Or was he just hiding it well?

“I woke up with a headache, but it’s faded already. What about you? I’m so sorry for what happened, Sam told me what I did to you and believe me I didn’t do it on purpose.” the Nephilim said quickly, almost without taking the time to breathe. He was blushing, his eyes now back on his half-eaten dinner. It was obvious that he was beating himself up for what he’d done.

“I’m perfectly fine, kid, don’t worry! I know you didn’t mean to.” Gabriel patted Jack’s shoulder before moving to sit on the empty chair next to him at the table “But next time I tell you to look into someone else’s mind instead of mine, just do as I say, okay?”

Jack nodded briefly before going back to his dinner, and Gabriel’s smiling face turned towards the brothers. Dean was already stuffing his face with meat, but Sam had interrupted his meal to study the archangel’s behavior. Gabriel was sprawled on the chair, legs crossed at the ankle on top of the table. Had they been normal people, they would have found it disgusting. Being hunters, however, they’d seen worse than an ill-mannered archangel.

While they continued their dinner, Gabriel was giving signs of boredom. He was staring at the ceiling, hands in his jacket’s pockets, making his chair swing slowly on its hind legs. Both Dean and Jack were just eating now, while Sam kept glancing at the archangel over his plate. He’d made the decision to study him, after all, and since he didn’t know how long Gabriel was going to stay with them, he had to make every moment count.

The first thing he noticed was that Gabriel was wearing the same clothes as the day he died. He’d probably been brought back exactly as he was at the moment of death, that made sense. Honestly, Sam didn’t even know why that detail had come to his mind. It was meaningless, after all. Chewing on his meal, however, the hunter kept looking at the archangel. He studied the details of his clothing, shifting his gaze upwards to look at his hair. It was the same too, dark blond with shades of gold, perfectly combed behind his head in a way that no human could ever accomplish without tons of hair products.

Sam didn’t even realize that he was staring, until Gabriel tilted his head back to look in front of him and their gazes locked. The younger Winchester could now see the archangel’s eyes perfectly. They were amber colored, but with the right reflection of the light they looked gold. Not the same gold Jack’s eyes used to shine while he was using his powers, but a more lively one. His eyes didn’t look like those of the other angels Sam had met during the past few years, cold and lifeless. Gabriel’s eyes seemed human, but at the same time it was possible, just by looking at them, to understand that they belonged to something way more powerful than a mortal. And Sam wanted to stop staring, he really wanted to, but he found himself incapable of lowering his gaze, even if a questioning look was starting to appear on the archangel’s face.

“Is there something on my face?” Gabriel suddenly asked, reaching with one hand to touch his cheeks as if to check that there was nothing out of place. Sam’s staring had probably made him uncomfortable, and the hunter could only curse himself mentally for getting caught like a moron. In the future, he needed to be more careful.

Gabriel’s question caught the attention of the others around the table, who raised their heads to look at the angel and then followed his gaze right to Sam. Embarrassed, the younger Winchester went quickly back to finishing his dinner, mumbling some excuses that surely nobody would have believed to be true. How could he have been so reckless? Studying the archangel was one thing, but getting lost into the color of his eyes, getting caught staring, that was incredibly stupid!

For the rest of the meal, Sam didn’t dare to raise his gaze to take even a little peek at the angel. Not even when Gabriel decided to celebrate their newly established alliance by snapping a chocolate cake into existence. Dean had to serve the cake to his brother, since Sam was refusing to look up. He was probably acting in a suspicious way, but what else could he do? He couldn’t just say out loud that he wanted to study Gabriel to find out what kind of person the archangel was hiding behind his badass attitude. He would have appeared crazy and naive.

When he finished his cake, Sam dared to raise his gaze for the first time and look around the table. Both Dean and Jack were going through their second slice of cake, making loud comments about how good it was. Gabriel was eating a portion of cake too, bringing the fork to his mouth in painfully slow movements. His eyes were glued on Sam, looking at him, probably analyzing him. In that moment, those amber drops looked more alive than ever, almost as if they could look right through the hunter’s skin, directly at his soul. And thinking of that, they probably could.

Sam felt naked under the scrutiny of those eyes. He felt the need to hide himself, but he also knew that he couldn’t do it. A similar move would have brought too much unwanted attention on him, and Dean asking what the hell was wrong with him was the last thing he needed. He tried to focus on something else instead, but he couldn’t shake the sensation of those eyes following his every move. He could almost feel them burn on his skin, and it was incredibly uncomfortable.

Luckily, though, the uncomfortable situation didn’t last for long. After everyone had finished eating cake, it was time for Sam to dispose of the dirty dishes. He took his time putting them in the sink, even thinking about washing them immediately just to have something to distract him. Just to be away from Gabriel’s eyes. He only changed his mind when he heard the other three move towards the war room, the archangel affirming that it was time to discuss a serious matter. Sam wanted to be a part of that conversation, so he left the dishes for later and joined the others around the table housing a detailed map of the world. He took a seat in his usual chair, casually looking everywhere but at Gabriel, waiting for the discussion to start.

“Now that we’re all here, I think we need to talk.” the archangel started, everyone else looking at him and Sam staring at a point a few inches above his head. Gabriel turned towards Jack before he continued “After what happened yesterday, I’m even more convinced that you need someone to teach you how to use your powers, how to control them. Will you let me be your teacher?”

Everyone’s eyes were now on the Nephilim, including Sam’s. The kid looked a little embarrassed, and the hunter thought that he couldn’t really blame him. Immediately he felt the need to protect Jack, that same impulse he’d felt the first time he’d met him. Even if he looked all grown up, he was still a newborn. Considering his physical appearance, it was easy to forget how young he really was, and every time Sam thought about it, all he wanted to do was to wrap that boy in his arms and shield him from the world. Even if it was actually the world that needed to be shielded from him, not the other way around. It was Gabriel’s job as Jack’s teacher to defend the world against the Nephilim’s uncontrolled power, while Sam felt perfectly entitled to protect the kid.

“I thought I could control my powers, that I didn’t need anyone. I mean, I was using my abilities since before I was born! But it seems that now they’re stronger than before, and I admit I might need some help.” Jack replied to Gabriel’s words, bringing Sam out of his own mind and back to reality.

Did it mean that Jack was accepting Gabriel’s help? Sam was hoping for a yes. He really wanted the kid to receive all the care and attention that he deserved, and an archangel was probably the only creature in the world who could give him what he really needed. In addition to that, if the Nephilim accepted to be trained by his uncle, Gabriel would have spent a lot of time inside the bunker. It meant more time to find a way to take a peek underneath his Trickster mask.

“Good. We’ll start tomorrow then, okay? We can begin with the easy stuff and then move on to more complex mojo, and when you have control we can test your limits, see if your power is really the same of an archangel or not.” Gabriel started explaining, excitement showing shameless both in his voice and on his face.

Sam smiled when he saw the archangel’s reaction. Wow, Gabriel was really happy with the task of taking care of Jack’s education! The hunter could easily imagine that it was out of curiosity: how could he pass on the opportunity to see with his own eyes what the son of an archangel could do? Sam of course couldn’t blame Gabriel for being excited to start.

The rest of the evening went on without any complications. Dean brought out some beers, refusing to give one to Jack when he asked. “You’re still a baby, it’s illegal!” was how he justified his refusal, making both Sam and Gabriel laugh at Jack’s pouty face. The Nephilim received a coke, but a snap of fingers and a wink from Gabriel made Sam suspect that the kid’s drink had been spiked without Dean noticing.

They kept the casual conversation going for some time, until it was time for everyone to go to bed. Jack was the first one to say goodnight to everyone else, and he agreed with Gabriel upon a meeting time in the morning, before proceeding to his room. Dean gave them a theatrical yawn before going towards his bedroom as well, even if Sam was pretty sure he wasn’t going to sleep, he was going to drink himself stupid before he even tried to fall asleep. Without even realizing it, the younger Winchester was left alone with the archangel.

“Are you going back to Heaven now or do you prefer to stay for the night?” he asked, hoping not to seem too awkward. He tried not to look at Gabriel too much, memories of dinner still fresh in his mind. The hunter noticed the archangel think about his question before giving an answer.

“I would really love to never go back to Heaven for the rest of eternity. I know I’ll have to go back at some point, but now is still too soon. So if you accept to have me here, I’d love to stay.” Gabriel said with a smile, and Sam spent maybe a moment too long looking at his lips. For research purposes, of course, he just wanted to understand if that smile was true or fake, nothing more than that.

“There’s plenty of bedrooms upstairs, so you can choose an empty one if you want. I know angels don’t sleep and all, but if you want a bedroom you can have it, that’s all I’m saying. But if you don’t want it, it’s okay anyway, you can hang out in the bunker while we sleep. There is plenty of stuff you might find interesting if you want to take a look around.” the younger Winchester spat out in a single breath, rambling a little.

Why was he feeling uncomfortable all of a sudden? Was it because of that awkward scene between Gabriel and himself during dinner? Or was it because, even if he’d embarrassed himself, he still found it difficult to take his eyes away from the archangel? Gabriel wasn’t even that good to look at. He just had good hair and gorgeous eyes and a beautiful smile, but it didn’t count. That was nothing more than a vessel, right? His True Vessel, probably, but still a vessel anyway. It had nothing to do with the being that Gabriel really was, the one he really wanted to take a look at - figuratively speaking, obviously, he was well aware that doing it physically would have quite literally burned his eyes out.

“It’s true that I don’t sleep, but I’d love to have a bedroom here anyway!” the archangel replied to Sam’s rambling, a huge grin plastered on his face, and the hunter could only smile back.

The two went upstairs together, Sam leading the way. There were a couple of corridors containing bedrooms, but they were all staying in the same one. Dean’s room was at one end, Sam’s at the other. Jack had chosen a room somewhere in the middle. The room in front of Dean’s had once belonged to Castiel, so that one was off limits. Sam gave Gabriel permission to choose any other room he wanted, before he retreated inside his own. Soon after, he was sleeping like a baby.

It was the middle of the night when Sam was awaken by some strange, and most of all loud, noises coming from the other side of the wall. He realized that Gabriel must have chosen that room in the end, and that he was trying to do something to pass the time while everyone else was sleeping. At first, Sam thought he might have been watching TV. Then the noises grew louder and louder, and the hunter could easily recognize them for groans and moans and whimpers. He could hear at least two different female voices, maybe three, in addition to Gabriel’s and probably another man’s. Fantastic, Gabriel was hosting an orgy in the adjacent room. The rest of the night was going to be hell. Fucking perverted archangel!

Chapter Text

The evening at the bunker had been interesting. Gabriel had been able to convince Jack to let him teach him how to use his powers. He would have started his lessons with his nephew in the morning, and to be honest he couldn’t wait. The kid was gifted, it would have been fun to see what he could do. After teaching him the basics, Gabriel could already see himself teaching him some of his signature moves. He had the possibility to create a new Trickster, one that was going to be, without the shadow of a doubt, a thousand times better than the angels ever could.

But turning his nephew into a Trickster wasn’t the only reason why he looked forward to the training. He’d never seen a Nephilim born from an archangel, and he’d already assessed that Jack’s powers were at archangel level. Was it possible that he had all of the powers of an archangel? Could he do the same things that only archangels could do? Gabriel had a crazy idea running through his mind since he first found out about what was going on in the world, and he would have needed the help of another archangel to carry out his plan. Did Jack possess the kind of power that he needed to succeed? That was another thing Gabriel wanted to find out.

In addition to the prospect of doing awesome things with his nephew, Gabriel had other comments in mind about what had happened during the evening. At dinner, the archangel had caught Sam Winchester staring at him. In the beginning, he’d thought it was because he had something on his face, or stuff like that. But then, taking a better look at the hunter, he realized that Sam was probably studying him. The reason behind it was still unknown, but it had still been enough to stimulate Gabriel’s curiosity.

From what he’d been able to see, Sam had been uncomfortable for the rest of the evening, avoiding eye contact with him and never talking to him directly. When they remained alone, after the other two had already gone to bed, Gabriel wondered if that awkwardness was going to continue. Maybe Sam was going to say something to him, so that things could get back to normal. But no, nothing was said and an even stranger attitude emerged. This time, Gabriel caught the hunter staring at his lips.

Was that what everything was about? Was Sam attracted to him? Of course he had good taste, because Gabriel was awesome and everything else, but the biggest question of all was: why? It wasn’t like Gabriel had ever done anything to appear at least likable in the eyes of the Winchester boys. Not in a sexual way for sure. It was important, then, to have confirmation about what he’d realized. He decided on purpose to choose the bedroom next door to Sam’s, just to check if the hunter was doing something inappropriate in there. Getting bored, however, he ended up having some old fashioned group sex. He’d conjured up three girls and two guys for the occasion, and he’d made sure that they were loud.

The idea of the orgy was first all of to be a royal pain in the ass. How could hunters live with a Trickster without ending up as the victims of some of his tricks? The second meaning behind his actions, however, was yet another test for Sam. He’d wanted for the younger Winchester to hear them, because he was interested in studying his reactions in the morning. No better way to see if the guy liked Gabriel than trying to make him jealous with super hot sex! Depending on the verdict, he was going to work on his next move to annoy the hell out of the Winchester brothers just for the fun of it.

When it was time for breakfast, Gabriel was the first to leave his bedroom. He went down to the kitchen, washed the dishes from the night before with a snap of his fingers, and then he started to prepare breakfast for everyone. At the first snap of his fingers, bacon appeared. Eggs came with the second snap, sausages with the third. The fourth one toasted the bread, the fifth created different kinds of jam, honey and some butter to spread on the toasts. He went on and on, creating orange juice, three different kinds of pie, some milk and a huge pot full of steaming coffee.

When he was finished, Gabriel started to eat a slice of lemon pie while waiting for the others to wake up. The first one to make his way into the kitchen, about twenty minutes later, was Sam. He looked like a zombie. He was wearing just a pair of light blue pajama pants and a white undershirt. His hands were rubbing his half-closed eyes, and he was yawning with his mouth open so wide that it was almost possible to take a good look down his throat.

“Good morning kiddo! Breakfast?” Gabriel said with a joyous smile. He was in a good mood after all. He had things to do, plans to enact, and of course he’d had a lot of sex. How could he not be in a good mood? Sam, however, didn’t seem as happy as he was. The hunter tried to stare him dead before he started to talk.

“Fuck you, Gabriel! Your sex life kept me up all night.” Sam said, and the archangel couldn’t stop himself from laughing at the choice of words. He still couldn’t understand which feelings were hiding behind that rage he was receiving, but he was willing to keep having fun in order to find out.

“You listened like a creeper, then. If you were so interested, you could have just joined in!” the archangel waggled his eyebrows suggestively while he replied to Sam’s words.

The hunter opened his mouth to say something back, but then he closed it again. He glared at Gabriel, filled a mug with coffee and walked out of the kitchen. The archangel sighed. Maybe he’d gone too far. Was he supposed to apologize? He usually didn’t do apologies. And for “usually” he meant never. The only thing he could do was to let it go, and give Sam some time to calm down. He was obviously pissed at him for not letting him sleep, and by making a sexual joke about it Gabriel had only made things worse.

The archangel helped himself to another piece of pie, and a few moments later Dean stormed inside the kitchen. He was furious about something, but Gabriel tried to ignore it. He just gave the guy a smirk as his good morning greeting.

“What the hell did you do to my brother?” the hunter accused, glaring at the archangel with hate. Wonderful, so he’d met Sam in the hallways. Gabriel was about to reply with something smart and funny when Dean’s eyes shifted towards the table “Wow, breakfast. Awesome.” he commented, sitting down and starting to serve himself with a good portion of everything “This pie is just awesome, dude! Did you make it?” he asked while chewing.

“I snapped it.” Gabriel replied, talking to him for the first time since he’d entered the kitchen.

“Even if you can create wonderful food out of nothing, I’m still mad at you. Whatever you did to my brother, fix it. I think he’s gonna cry.” the hunter said before going back to his food.

Gabriel just nodded in reply, standing up to leave the kitchen. He wasn’t hungry anyway. He didn’t need food for sustenance after all, he just liked to eat, and in that moment he didn’t want to anymore. He left the older Winchester alone, walking around looking for Sam. He wasn’t sure what he was going to say to him, but he knew he had to do something. He didn’t want things to get bad between them, not when they had to spend so much time locked inside the bunker together. Especially not when they had a grieving hunter and a time bomb Nephilim locked inside with them. It would have been a recipe for disaster!

He walked upstairs, looking for Sam. While he was passing along the hallway that hosted their bedrooms, however, an open door captured his attention. It was the room that had once belonged to Castiel, if he remembered well Sam’s words from the night before. Gabriel allowed himself just a little look inside. The room was not decorated at all, there was no sign of his little brother’s personality in there, but he could still somehow feel that it was Cassie’s.

He moved a few steps inside, and then he could see Cas’ signature trench coat lying on the bed. If he closed his eyes and concentrated long enough, he could feel the sorrow and desperation. It was Dean’s sadness over the loss of Castiel. It hit Gabriel like a kick in the guts, and the archangel could actually feel it hurt. He couldn’t stay inside that room anymore, he needed to get out. Get some air, or whatever. He couldn’t think about Cas anymore, not like that. Not when he knew he was gone and people inside that bunker were mourning him so strongly.

Gabriel ran out of the room, leaving the door the same way he found it. He took a moment to send back the tears that were threatening to fall down, and only when he thought he was calm enough he started to walk again. When he reached Sam’s bedroom, the hunter was fully dressed, sitting on his bed drinking coffee. The archangel slipped inside the open door without saying a word. The younger Winchester, however, probably heard him moving anyway, because he wasn’t startled at all when he said “Hey…” in a low voice.

“Gabriel.” was everything Sam said in reply. He didn’t look up at him, he kept staring at the mug between his hands.

“Look Sam, I’m-“ Gabriel started to say, but he was interrupted before he could say anything.

“I’m sorry for being a jerk. When I don’t sleep enough I get grumpy, so I overreacted. That’s all.” the hunter said, finally looking at Gabriel. The archangel didn’t understand why exactly Sam was the one apologizing, but the moment the hunter gave him a timid smile, he realized that he didn’t care. The important thing was that everything was okay, that they could go back to playing around. No Trickster could ever be himself if he wasn’t allowed to joke, after all! So Gabriel smiled back.


A few minutes later, the archangel was in the war room waiting for Jack to finish breakfast. Sam and Dean were both nowhere in sight, probably in the library or in their own bedrooms. Gabriel, however, couldn’t spare them a single thought in that moment. All he could think about was teaching Jack, getting closer and closer to accomplishing his real objective. When his nephew joined him, however, the boy didn’t ask him immediately to start. Was he not as excited as he was?

The kid asked Gabriel to follow him instead, and the archangel did so. They walked down the stairs towards the basement of the bunker, entering what looked like an archive or a storage room. Jack opened a secret passage behind a wall, and a moment later they were entering a room that looked a lot like an holding cell for the supernatural. There was even a devil’s trap carved into the floor, and a single chair at the center of it. Why did the boy take him there?

“Sam suggested we train in here, for the time being. This room is warded not to let out the supernatural, so that everything else on the outside is protected from what happens on the inside. Until I can control myself a little better, maybe it’s safer for everyone if we lock ourselves in here while I try to use my powers.” the Nephilim explained, and Gabriel found himself nodding. It actually made sense. If they stayed in there, anything going wrong would have only hurt Gabriel, leaving the Winchester brothers and the rest of the world unharmed. He could absolutely live with that.

“If you don’t feel caged in here, then it works for me.” the archangel approved, and they both stepped further in. The door closed on its own behind them, leaving them isolated from the rest of the world. There was a moment of awkward silence, then Jack talked again.

“What do we do now?” the boy asked, uncertain. Gabriel smiled, and with a snap of his fingers a pair of bright yellow sunglasses appeared in his left hand.

“Now, you show me the full power of your light. Don’t worry about the bunker, I’ll contain your energy inside this room.” Gabriel said, putting the sunglasses on with a huge grin.

The boy seemed uncertain, but he did what he was asked to. It took him some time, and of course some guidance from Gabriel, to master the correct way to pull out his grace. The archangel could feel the destructive power of that golden light, since the kid still wasn’t able to let it show without allowing it to burn. But they were going to do things a step at a time. First things first, he needed to evaluate what exactly he had to work with.

And the result was amazing. He’d never seen a light so bright and strong since Lucifer himself. Gabriel was sure that, talking about actual use of power, he was stronger than his brother’s child. But after some good training? He couldn’t tell. Probably Jack would have been able to surpass him, and it scared the archangel more than he wanted to let show. He needed to have that kid on his side, on the good side, because if he’d turned evil he would have obliterated the planet in an instant, and nobody would have been strong enough to stop him, including Gabriel.

Two hours later, the two of them were sitting side by side on the floor of the room, backs against the wall. Jack was out of breath, and Gabriel was finally removing his sunglasses, satisfied with what he’d seen. The kid was looking at him, probably seeking his approval, or at least a comment or something. Gabriel patted his cheek and smiled. He was proud of that boy, and he couldn’t wait to see what all of that energy could turn into. But he also needed to think about his plan. It was time to talk to Jack about his goal for their training.

“Let me ask you a question, kid. When we first met, the other day, you spoke of other graces, including your father’s. Does it mean that you have memories of what happened around you before you were born?” Gabriel asked, a smile on his face but no playful tone in his voice. Jack looked a little confused, but he replied anyway.

“I don’t remember everything, but I remember what my mother felt, and I remember the signature of the angels and the demons that she met. Especially the ones I interacted with.” was the Nephilim’s answer. Good, just what Gabriel was hoping for.

“Do you remember Castiel?” he finally asked, holding a not needed breath while he waited for his nephew’s reply. Everything depended on the answer to that question.

“Yes. Yes, I do. He wanted to kill us, but then we connected and he became my mom’s guardian angel. He promised her to protect me and to raise me after she was gone. But he died. My father killed him, I think.” Jack said, shrugging a little at the mention of his father killing his mother’s guardian angel. He sighed before he continued talking “I saw Dean crying in front of his body, the night I was born. I think he’s buried outside the bunker. Why do you ask?”

“Because you and I, kiddo, are going to bring him back!” Gabriel said, and there was no more sign of the Trickster on his face or in his voice. He was dead serious in that moment, as every good Archangel of the Lord was. As was expected from the Ruler of Heaven.

That was his plan, had been his plan all along. The reason why he needed to know if Jack’s powers were really the same ones as an archangel’s. Not even an archangel was strong enough to bring an angel back to life, not the way God was, but the powers of two archangels combined? That was exactly what was needed. If he and Jack worked together, they could have brought his baby brother back. Getting Castiel back; for Gabriel, that was all that really mattered.

Chapter Text

Gabriel had been back at full health for days now. Every morning he prepared breakfast for everyone, and every morning Sam was the first one to wake up. The hunter took on the habit of waking up early, working out in the gym because going out for a jog might have been too risky, and finally taking a shower before entering the kitchen fully dressed for the day. He was always the first one to join Gabriel for breakfast, usually finding the archangel munching on some pie at the moment of his arrival.

Every morning, when Sam entered the kitchen, Gabriel would greet him with some stupid dirty joke, before finishing his pie and leaving. Sam didn’t know exactly how many days it took for him to get used to that routine, but at some point he realized that he wasn’t annoyed by Gabriel’s presence anymore. Actually, every morning he was curious to see what stupid joke the archangel was going to come up with.

He was starting to get bored, being locked inside that bunker all the time. It had been weeks now since the last time any of them had been outside. They didn’t even need food runs anymore, because Gabriel could just zap provisions into existence, saying it was the safest way to prevent anyone from following the Winchesters back to the bunker and find out where they were hiding Jack. So there was absolutely nothing interesting to do, and each day for Sam was just like the previous one, doing research on nothing in particular or watching Netflix. That’s why it wasn’t entirely unexpected when Sam started considering Gabriel’s jokes the highlight of his day.

Of course he was not going to tell Dean that he was looking forward to hear the Trickster mock him, because his brother would have thought he’d gone insane. He hadn’t though, he was just bored. Jack was spending most of the day locked inside the holding cell with Gabriel, and even when their training was over for the day, all the Nephilim could talk about was the progress he was making, and how he could now use some new power. Dean, on the other hand, was hanging around the bunker more, but he was not entirely himself. Sam could see his brother stop and stare at stuff in random moments, right before excusing himself and going back to his bedroom. Mostly, however, Dean tried to be alone. That left Sam with no company during the day and nothing to do. Sue him for needing to laugh at some point!

Gabriel, on the other hand, was always smiling, and preparing meals, and taking good care of Jack. He wasn’t pranking anyone, thankfully, but he was still joking around, making them all laugh. The archangel was acting like he really belonged there, in the bunker, with them. At some point, Sam didn’t even know when, he’d started to feel so comfortable around Gabriel that he’d stopped caring about the way he looked before leaving his bedroom. In his opinion, you only had to look perfect in front of guests, to make a good impression, but in his eyes the angel wasn’t a guest anymore. He was a full time resident of the bunker, just like the rest of them.

One morning, without even realizing what he was doing, Sam came out of the shower and went on with his routine. But he was hungrier than usual, so he only put on a pair of jeans before entering the kitchen for breakfast. His hair was still wet from the shower, dripping water on his skin. The little drops, however, were mostly caught mere seconds after falling by the towel that Sam was rubbing against the back of his head.

“Good morning. I’m so hungry today!” the hunter casually said, eyes glued to the table full of food. He was moving the chair to sit down at his usual spot, when Gabriel’s voice distracted him, making him stop to look at the archangel.

“Wow, hungry and wet today! Be honest, is this a proposition? Because I’m game if you are!” the angel joked with a grin on his face, winking at the end. Or maybe he wasn’t joking; it was always so difficult with Gabriel to distinguish when he really meant something and when he didn’t, since he always laughed while saying stuff. Despite the amused grin, the hunter noticed that the angel was looking at him with some kind of fire in his eyes, the same kind of hunger that usually Dean showed while looking at a cheeseburger with extra bacon. It was most likely just an act, but it was still unsettling.

Sam felt a surge of embarrassment travel through his body when he heard the archangel’s words, and seeing the way that Gabriel was looking at him only made things worse. He blushed like a girl, but at least he was able to resist the temptation to flee from the room and come back later, entirely dry and with much more clothing on. It was easy to laugh at the angel’s words, when he was wearing his clothes and his perfect hair like an armor, something he’d never realized he was doing until that comfort was gone. In addition to that, it was the first time that Gabriel gave him that kind of look.

“Shut up, Gabriel! How could you even call yourself an angel, with a mouth like that?” he said instead, faking annoyance to cover his embarrassment and forcing himself to laugh a little.

“I’m sure you would consider my mouth much more angelic, after it makes you experience Heaven.” the archangel replied without wasting a single second, waggling his eyebrows in a suggestive way. Sam was blushing so hard at that point, that all he could do was to throw his towel to Gabriel’s face.

“You’re disgusting, you know that?” he commented, finally sitting down at the table while watching the archangel free his face from the towel and laugh.

No, disgusting wasn’t the right word. How could Sam continue fooling himself like that? It was damn hot! Gabriel’s vessel looked good, and the stupid angel kept making all of those sexual allusions, making the hunter’s mind go crazy. Later on, finding himself thinking about the exact moment he’d started liking Gabriel in a sexual way, Sam would have said that that was the moment; when the archangel made suggestions about how to use his mouth on Sam, and the younger Winchester couldn’t get that image out of his mind.

After discarding the towel to the ground, Gabriel grinned at Sam before going back to eat. The hunter filled his plate with something, without even looking at what he was choosing, and started eating. His eyes, however, were glued to Gabriel’s mouth. He was bewitched by the way the archangel’s lips parted to welcome a forkful of pie. For the first time, he actually noticed the way Gabriel always ate the things he liked the most. The younger Winchester could easily hear small noises that sounded a lot like moans coming out of the archangel’s mouth, and his eyes were closed to really enjoy the food while chewing it.

Sam was mesmerized. How could he have missed those details before? And most of all, how could an angel - a freakin’ archangel, to be more specific - always look so dirty while doing the simplest things? It was like Gabriel’s entire body language had the only purpose to tease those around him. Some people remained unperturbed by the archangel’s moves, but not Sam. The hunter was actually starting to feel turned on.

The fact that he couldn’t get the sexual joke of the day out of his mind wasn’t helping. The scene from minutes before continued to repeat inside of the younger Winchester’s mind. And every time he thought about it, he couldn’t stop himself from imagining Gabriel’s mouth on him, around him. It was intoxicating, especially considering that Sam’s fantasies were accompanied by the sinful sounds of the archangel eating pie. It was starting to be too much, and the hunter couldn’t be more grateful for coming down for breakfast wearing jeans instead of sweatpants, because the stronger fabric was masking at least a little how hard he was.

Without even noticing what he was eating, Sam stuffed his mouth with a breakfast Dean would have been proud of. He needed to keep his hands, mouth and mind occupied, away from Gabriel, before his own body could decide to betray him and do something stupid. He tried his best not to look at the archangel either, but it was pointless. His eyes kept going back there, as if drawn in by an invisible magnet. Gabriel was just there, and he was gorgeous, and Sam wanted him. How could he stop looking at him?

After taking a big bite out of a toast with eggs and bacon on, something he would have never eaten in a normal circumstance, Sam raised his eyes once again to take a look at Gabriel, and he found that the archangel had finished his own breakfast and was now watching him. Gabriel’s eyes were intense, and the smirk on his face was incredibly close to wicked. In that moment he was the Trickster all the way, and he looked both dangerous and hot at the same time. How could Sam be so fucked up that he actually felt the need to touch himself under that gaze?

He was already starting to slide a hand under the table, when strong hands slammed against his shoulders. Startled, almost jumping out of his chair in surprise, Sam saw his brother Dean walk past him and go sit down at the table, greeting them both with a simple “Good morning” while filling his plate with both sausages and apple pie. The older Winchester did not notice that his entrance had disturbed a delicate situation, and a moment later the entire mood was gone. Sam was still hard, but he couldn’t do anything with his brother there, eating a couple of feet away from him.

“Is Jack still sleeping?” Gabriel asked out of nowhere, and only then Sam realized that someone was missing.

“Guess he is.” Dean replied, shrugging “Your training yesterday has been pretty hard on him, Gabriel.”

Sam’s mind started wandering away on its own while distractedly listening to the conversation that was going on between his brother and the angel. He wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying, staring at his plate so he wasn’t looking at Gabriel, therefore only some of their words actually made it past his ears. And they were the wrong ones, of course. When he realized that the words “Gabriel” and “hard” had been used in the same sentence, actually, his insides jumped a little, while blasphemous thoughts invaded his mind once again.

“Well, it’s almost time for his next lesson, and he can’t train on an empty stomach. I’m going to wake him up before breakfast gets too cold!” the archangel announced to the brothers, and a moment later he quickly walked out of the room.

On his way out, Gabriel’s arm accidentally brushed against Sam’s shoulder - it was accidental, wasn’t it? - and the hunter’s brain just shut down completely. The archangel was gone, and he was still sitting on his chair like a statue, incapable of moving, his dick as hard as a rock. Of course it was not normal, and soon his brother was going to realize that something was off.

“I think Gabriel is nesting, it’s starting to freak me out!” Dean said, just before he took a good look at his brother’s rigid posture “Dude, what’s wrong with you?” the older Winchester asked, and Sam didn’t know how to answer. He just stayed there, sitting on his chair, staring at the wall on the other side of the kitchen. He didn’t answer.

“Man, you could never get any weirder!” the older Winchester commented before finishing his breakfast.


It took Sam several minutes, but in the end he was able to calm down and go back to normal. When Jack and Gabriel came back from their morning training for lunch, however, the hunter’s eyes stayed glued to the archangel every time he was certain that no-one was looking at him. It took him days, and Dean almost catching him in the act twice, to actually stop staring in such a creepy way, but in the end he’d been able to come to terms with the fact that he’d developed a crush on Gabriel.

Thinking about it, when he was alone, Sam soon realized how wrong it was. Gabriel was an archangel, theoretically one of the purest entities in all of creation, as well as one of the oldest. Sure, after all that time spent as a pagan god he’d developed some habits that most likely were not considered appropriate in Heaven, but he was still better than Sam nonetheless. The hunter was human. And not just any human, but one who had had to face an addiction to demon blood. He was Satan’s True Vessel, for Chuck’s sake! How could someone like him ever be worthy of an archangel?

Yet, he couldn’t stop thinking about Gabriel’s dirty sex jokes. The angel kept saying pretty sinful things to him not only when they were alone, but also when they were in front of the others. It was embarrassing, and every time Sam needed to muster all of his strength not to blush and leave the room when things were too much for him to bear. Now that he was starting to get used to the teasing, however, Sam was also realizing that he was the only target. Not once he’d seen Gabriel pick on Dean, and of course he’d never tried anything weird with his own nephew.

No, Gabriel was only playing around with him. The million dollar question was: why? Why was Sam so special? Were his reactions so amusing that the archangel couldn’t stop causing them? Because he couldn’t really find any other reason. Well, from what he knew about the Trickster, he was the kind of person - being? - who couldn’t live without making fun of someone. Being forced inside the bunker, he was left with just the Winchester brothers. Thinking really hard about it, Sam could easily imagine Dean snapping and threatening Gabriel with an angel blade for trying sex jokes on him. Being confined to a single place, especially if in close quarters with other people, never did his brother’s temper any good, after all.

If his reasoning about Dean was correct, Sam was everything that Gabriel had left to have a little fun with. The question was just one at that point: was he going to allow the archangel to continue? The hunter really didn’t like to be treated that way, but he didn’t feel like confronting Gabriel on the matter either. He didn’t want to sound like a virgin schoolgirl who was too shy to hear someone talk about sex. And, by telling the Trickster to stop the dirty jokes and the innuendos, he was doing exactly that: behaving like a girl.

That was the reason why, in the end, Sam decided not to say anything to Gabriel and just endure the torture. Yes, torture. It was actually painful to just stand there and listen to some of the stuff that was coming out of the archangel’s mouth, most of the time. It was as if Gabriel was somehow trying to take it a little further every time, testing the hunter’s limits. But he couldn’t be doing something like that, could he? He couldn’t have been waiting for a reaction from Sam, right? The angel couldn’t know how much the younger Winchester was attracted to him. It had been difficult to mask it in the first few days, since Sam himself had been shocked by the revelation, but he’d gotten better at it thanks to exercise. No, there was absolutely no way that Gabriel could have even imagined that Sam Winchester had a huge, hopeless crush on him!

Chapter Text

The first few days of training with Jack had been nothing other than intense. In the beginning the kid had been afraid to let go, probably not trusting Gabriel enough to follow his instructions. Day by day, however, the archangel could see his nephew get a little more comfortable. Gabriel of course couldn’t be happier about it. It didn't take him long, in fact, to realize that he was starting to care about the boy.

It had been a slow process, but one day they were all sitting around the kitchen table for dinner, Jack was enthusiastically telling Sam and Dean about his latest success, and Gabriel found himself smiling softly at his nephew. Sam was looking at the Nephilim, politely listening to his story, but Dean noticed Gabriel's smile and gave him a mocking grin. The archangel was quick to avert his gaze and snap a candy bar into existence, eating it in silence while the others consumed the rest of their dinner.

Being an angel, Gabriel didn't need to eat. Sometimes he ate with the rest of them, but most of the time he just sat there and waited for dessert; that one he never missed. In that moment, while waiting for the others to finish the meal before snapping his fingers to create a few slices of cake, he made sure not to stare at his nephew or at Dean. The archangel had realized a long time ago that the older hunter was similar to him under several aspects, and that was the reason why he usually didn't tease Dean. The older Winchester's reactions were predictable, after all, and usually not funny. In addition to that, Gabriel could still feel Dean mourning the loved ones he recently lost to Lucifer, and it wouldn’t have been right to kick the man when he was already down.

Refusing to look at Jack or Dean, Gabriel had to spend the rest of the dinner staring alternately between Sam and the ceiling. The younger Winchester was his favorite target, had been for a long time. Even before he died, when the brothers only thought of him as the Trickster, the younger hunter was the one he enjoyed torturing the most. He wasn’t boring in his reactions, and the faces he could make were just priceless. Now however, after being forced to live in close quarters with the Winchesters all the time, Gabriel was slowly realizing that having Sam as a target was nothing other than a blessing.

He didn’t consider himself evil, he’d never thought that of himself, not even in his worse days as a pagan. He just enjoyed a good laugh, and it wasn’t his fault if sometimes that laugh came out at the expenses of someone else. That someone, for the past few weeks, had always been Sam. Since the first time the archangel had caught the hunter staring at him, everything had been nothing more than a game for him. A game to find out if the younger Winchester was attracted to him or not; a game he’d had a lot of fun in playing.

It took time, and a lot of failed attempts, but in the end Gabriel had been able to perfect a technique that could allow him to find out the truth. His plan had been meticulous, and every day he dedicated all of his attentions to its execution. After all, the plan was incredibly simple, but at the same time he was certain that it could ensure some accurate results.

Every morning, he used to prepare breakfast for everyone inside the bunker. Since he didn’t need to sleep, he was always up pretty early. Knowing everyone’s routine by heart, he didn’t need to ask at what time the other inhabitants of the bunker wanted their breakfast, he just knew. Sam was always the first one to wake up, ready to enter the kitchen after a little workout in the gym and a good shower, perfectly dressed as always. Then Dean and Jack would come down, the first one usually in his sleeping clothes, while the other one already dressed for the day. The younger Winchester usually ate something healthy, while his older brother always had large amounts of greasy stuff and pie; Jack was somewhere in between, probably still trying to figure out which kind of food he liked the most.

Knowing everyone’s eating habits, the archangel knew all too well that in the morning, before Dean and Jack joined them at the kitchen table, he would have some alone time with Sam. Every day he tried something new, some dirty joke to make the hunter laugh. His hidden goal, however, was to see how much it would take him to embarrass the younger Winchester. Could his jokes make him blush? Was he ever going to tell Gabriel to stop? He was just curious to find out, so he kept going on.

It wasn’t even that hard to come up with something sex-related to torture Sam with. Gabriel wasn’t obsessed with the guy or anything, but he still had eyes, and the younger Winchester was hot. Even the archangel couldn’t deny what was actually a fact. So most of the time, when he was addressing some dirty comments towards Sam, he wasn’t actually pulling sentences out of his ass. When he asked the man if he could taste the coffee from his lips, he wasn’t entirely lying, because we would have absolutely done it if he’d had the chance. He would have enjoyed doing all of the things he was saying, because he still had urges and the hunter was attractive, but that wasn’t a good enough reason to start acting on those fantasies. He still had plans for the future, he still had a very important objective to achieve, so he couldn’t allow Sam to be a distraction. Training Jack in order to bring Castiel back came first.

Sam’s reactions, as always, were better than priceless. The hunter was still visibly trying to contain himself, and he actually never did anything more than laugh at Gabriel’s jokes, but sometimes his body language betrayed him. It wasn’t something a human eye could detect, but it was more than enough for an archangel to perceive. When Gabriel made a suggestion about riding Sam like a horse, the younger Winchester lost his calm for a second. When the archangel expressed how much he would have loved to eat whipped cream from Sam’s chest, the hunter’s heart skipped a beat before it started going faster.

Those little slip ups were enough for Gabriel to realize that his words were affecting Sam more than they should have. He soon realized that he’d been right all along: the hunter had actually been attracted to him the entire time. And could he ever let it go without finding a way to have some more fun? Of course not. That was the reason why Gabriel soon found a new game to play.

He didn’t even do it on purpose, it actually just happened. One day Sam had been affected by his joke so much that the archangel could feel the human grow hard inside his pants. When Dean had entered the room, Sam hadn’t been able to contain himself, and he’d still been staring at Gabriel. Even while talking to the older Winchester, the archangel had still kept an eye on his favorite target, soon realizing that the situation wasn’t getting any better for Sam. To think about it, Gabriel had soon realized that he liked the idea of actually making it worse. That was the reason why he’d brushed against the man on his way out of the room, enjoying the feel of how Sam shut down completely because of that touch.

Even from a distance, Gabriel had been able to perceive how much Sam had been embarrassed to be frozen still and rock hard in front of his brother. The archangel had been thrilled just by thinking that he’d been the one causing such an amazing reaction. That was when he’d decided he needed to do that more often. From that moment on, he didn’t stop telling dirty jokes when he and Sam were alone, but in addition to that he’d started to do it in front of the others.

The first time he did it on purpose, it was just something with a double meaning, nothing too pretentious. Dean was telling a story about a hunt from back when the Winchesters were kids, driving around the country with their father, and the rest of them were listening. The older hunter was emphasizing how tired they always were after a hunt with their father, especially Sam, who was still too young to even be hunting at all.

“Hunting with dad really consumed us to the bone.” Dean said, Sam nodding beside him, agreeing with his brother completely. That was the perfect occasion for Gabriel to see what he could do to his favorite target while in front of his brother.

“From what you say, your father seemed to be terrible, but not the worst. I mean, you should try hunting assholes with me and see the difference. My methods will totally suck you dry!” the archangel said, shrugging towards Dean in order to keep the conversation flowing. While the older Winchester was starting to reply with something smart, Gabriel locked eyes with Sam, smirked and winked at him, then he went back to his conversation with Dean as if nothing had happened.

He was sure that neither Dean nor Jack had noticed what had happened, but Gabriel had all of his senses set on Sam, so it was impossible for him to miss it. The younger hunter shifted uncomfortably on his armchair, lowering his head to stare at his own knees, and he slowly closed his legs. Yes, that was a great success for Gabriel. Even glancing at Sam from the corner of his eye, he could still read the man’s moves pretty well. It was obvious that, at the moment, the Winchester was imagining other ways Gabriel could suck him dry, possibly with his mouth.

Just to make things worse, Gabriel looked at Sam again and, as soon as he saw the hunter raise his gaze, the angel licked his lips. Once again, he saw the human look away embarrassed. The most amazing thing, however, was that the other two in the room were so engrossed in the conversation that they didn’t even notice a single thing. Therefore, more mischievous thoughts ran through Gabriel’s mind in the following few minutes: if he paid enough attention to keep Jack and Dean entertained, could he take things a little further and get Sam crazy in front of them?

After that evening, Gabriel started to spend his nights locked in his room alone, without conjuring up anyone to keep him company and without looking for something else to do. All he did at night, from that moment on, was to think about new situations he could create, in order to have the perfect cue to force Sam to get hard in public. And since Gabriel was awesome, or at least he thought he was, his plan seemed to be working just perfectly.


Another month had passed, making it almost three since the first time that the archangel had appeared inside the bunker. During that time, Gabriel had only been back to Heaven once, for the bimonthly meeting with the other angels. The rest of the time he’d spent on Earth, with his nephew and the Winchester brothers. During that time, he’d started to get into a routine that worked just fine for him, something he didn’t think he could still have while living among humans.

The archangel still couldn’t remember how long it had been since the last time he’d felt so at ease with someone as he was feeling with the other inhabitants of the bunker. When he’d first appeared at the Winchesters’ to see the Nephilim with his own eyes, the brothers had made him feel like he could maybe belong in the bunker with them. But there was a huge difference between thinking that he could find a place for himself there and realizing that he’d actually found it.

He was never going to voice those thoughts out loud, though. Dean would have made fun of him, and he would have lost his upper hand with Sam if the younger hunter had thought he was going soft. He didn’t want to tell Jack either, fearing the boy would reject his affections and ask him to leave once his training was complete. So he kept to himself all of the thoughts he was having about feeling home inside the bunker with Jack and the Winchester brothers.

In the meantime, however, the training of the Nephilim was getting better and better. Jack was now able to control himself enough to start training outside the holding cell. Therefore, the two celestial beings were spending a lot of time inside the library or in the living room, choosing where to train for the day depending on what the Winchesters decided to do. If the brothers wanted to do some research in the library, they would train in the living room, and if the humans decided to watch TV instead, they would train in the library.

Once they began to move outside of the holding cell, Jack soon started to feel more confident, having earned Gabriel’s trust that he wasn’t going to destroy the bunker with his powers. The kid was improving a little more every day. Seeing that he had a huge gift for healing and fixing, the archangel had him concentrating on refining those abilities first. He had his nephew repair broken objects and cure injured animals, until he was confident enough to try to fix a damaged magical artifact. The job he did was so outstanding that Gabriel was entirely proud of him when he told Jack they could start moving on to something else.

Next on their list of tricks to learn, there was the ability of conjuring stuff up. The power of creation was Gabriel’s strongest ability, and he couldn’t wait to pass it on to Lucifer’s child, just like Lucifer himself had passed it on to him a few millions of years before. Even when they first started the new topic during their daily lessons, Jack was still learning fast, becoming stronger every day.

Gabriel’s routine was simple yet comforting. Leave his bedroom before the others could wake up, conjure breakfast, embarrass Sam while alone with him, train with Jack, conjure lunch, laugh with Dean during lunch, train with Jack some more, conjure dinner, enjoy dessert, embarrass Sam in front of the others, go back to his room to think about the jokes he could use the following day. Things were easy and everything was working out just fine. Everything was perfect, until one night after dinner Dean said something that Gabriel didn’t want to hear.

“I can’t stay locked up inside this bunker any longer without going insane. I’ve found us a case, Sam and I are leaving first thing in the morning.” and just like that Gabriel’s routine was shattered.

Chapter Text

The air inside the bunker was starting to get a little too thick. Sam could see Dean get restless, probably feeling trapped. It had been three months since the last time either of them had left their fortress, and it was officially too much to bear. Both Winchesters were going crazy, even if for different reasons. Dean still hadn’t found an effective way to work out his grief, having spent most of his time getting drunk in his bedroom. Sam, on the other hand, had never felt so much need to get laid in his entire life, thanks to Gabriel’s stupid jokes.

They were both going to explode, if they didn’t get out of the bunker soon. That was the reason why they started to look for a hunt. It was time for them to get back on the horse, to go back to the family business they couldn’t live without. The situation inside the bunker was stable, Jack was improving and Gabriel was feeling confident enough to move their training sessions out of the holding cell. It meant that the brothers could leave for a few days and still have a home once they got back.

They found themselves discussing the situation during a very long morning, while they were stuck in the library because Gabriel was in the living room teaching Jack how to conjure some new clothes for himself - and it was about time for that, since he’d been wearing Dean’s old stuff for months. They were reading random books when Dean decided that enough was enough.

“I need to do something. I can’t go on like this any longer, I need to get out of this bunker.” the older hunter said, shutting an old tome with too much emphasis and almost ruining it.

“I’m totally with you on that. How about we go out for dinner and a few drinks today? We don’t have to bring Jack and Gabriel along. We can hit a few bars together, just the two of us.” Sam suggested.

In the past, he’d never been the one suggesting to visit a bar, but after the past few months he really needed it. He needed to drink without the risk of having the archangel around as a temptation while he was drunk. He wanted to be able to hit on some stranger and have a night of sex, because Gabriel’s teasing was hurting him so much that he could feel his cock ache for most of the day, even if he always took care of his erection problems with his own hands. In other words, he needed to get laid - with someone who wasn’t Gabriel - before he went completely insane.

His brother, however, was thinking about something different. Usually Dean was the one who wanted to get drunk and get laid, so it came as a surprise when the older Winchester rejected his brother’s proposal with too much fervor. Sam closed his own book and raised his eyes to look at the other man, a puzzled look on his face.

“What do you have in mind then?” he asked, hoping to understand what Dean wanted to do instead. It took his brother a few moments to gather his thoughts before he answered Sam’s question.

“I think it’s time for the two of us to go back hunting.” Dean declared.

At first, Sam was confused by the older Winchester’s words. How could they go hunting, when a Trickster archangel and a newborn Nephilim were alone inside their precious bunker? Were they going to find their home still in one piece on their return? But it didn’t take long to convince him that Dean’s suggestion did actually make sense. Jack seemed to be stable enough to be trusted, and Gabriel was managing the situation in a way that neither of the Winchesters could have ever expected from him.

It was okay to leave for a few days, Jack and Gabriel would have been fine without them. Therefore, the brothers started their research. They were looking for an easy hunt, something like a good old salt and burn, possibly not too far from the bunker. It was their first job in months, after all, and they could easily be a little out of shape. They didn’t want to try anything too risky, and of course they didn’t want to stay away from home too long. A couple of days were enough.

They spent the rest of the day looking for the perfect hunt, and when they joined Jack and Gabriel in the kitchen for dinner they had found it. What looked like an angry spirit was terrorizing the local kids who dared each other to enter an abandoned house at the outskirts of Mankato, Minnesota. If everything went smoothly, they could leave in the morning, take care of the ghost, get a few hours of sleep and be back to the bunker for dinner the following day.

Sam was starting to find the idea exciting. Going on the road with his brother again, hunting the supernatural, sleeping in crappy motels and eating at random diners. It had been their life for so long that it was only natural he was starting to miss it. In addition to that, he knew that once they succeeded in killing the monster of the week, Dean would have wanted to celebrate with a drink somewhere, and Sam could seize the opportunity and finally have sex with another human being. Jerking off while thinking about Gabriel wasn’t enough for him anymore, he needed some real action at some point. Action that didn’t involve a certain archangel.

After dinner, while the four inhabitants of the bunker were chatting in the living room, Dean stood up and declared that they were going to leave in the morning for a hunt. Sam immediately backed up his brother’s statement, trying not to look as guilty as he was feeling. Gabriel’s reaction alone, in fact, was enough to fuel Sam’s guilt about leaving. The archangel looked betrayed, as if they were abandoning him after having used him. The younger hunter couldn’t stand those amber eyes while they were judging the decision the brothers made, so he just looked away.

Looking at Jack, however, wasn’t an option either. The Nephilim was probably feeling even more discarded than his uncle was, because he soon started acting as if the two of them wanted to get away from him. And that absolutely wasn’t what they were doing, but how could they explain their line of thought when the “Winchester way” was to shut out everything that was feelings-related?

“You don’t have to worry Jack, we will be back in a couple of days. You have your training sessions with Gabriel every day, so for you it will almost feel like we never even left.” Sam said with caution, forcing himself to look the boy directly in the eyes.

“But you were the first one to say that it’s not safe outside the bunker, so why leaving now? At least you could take us with you, so that uncle Gabriel can protect you!” Jack tried to argue.

“The outside is more dangerous for you than it is for the two of us. The demons might still be on our tracks, but we know how to face them, we’ve always done it. And the British Men of Letters have complete access to the bunker, as well as knowing where it is, so if we leave for a few days we might also lead them away, make them think that you’re not here anymore.” Dean explained.

Jack was ready to argue again, but Sam could see that Gabriel was lost in thought, finally nodding after the older hunter was done talking. The archangel put a hand on his nephew’s shoulder, and the Nephilim’s attention shifted towards him once again.

“It’s okay, kiddo. What Dean said makes sense, it’s good to make those S.O.Bs think that nobody is home once in a while. They don’t know about me, and they would never think Sam and Dean could leave you here alone, so this might actually lead them away.” Gabriel explained, trying to convince Jack to calm down, and his words made Sam wonder if something had happened in the past between the archangel and the British Men of Letters, considering the way he was talking about them.

“You should listen to Gabriel, you know. You trust his judgement, don’t you?” Dean tried once more to convince the Nephilim to let them go without any complaints.

“Of course I trust uncle Gabriel’s judgement, Dean, how can you even doubt it? I was just saying that anything can happen to you while you’re away. What if someone attacks you and kidnaps you and we just go to sleep as if nothing ever happened? What if your hunt takes longer than expected and you don’t make it back in two days? How do you expect us to stay calm, when you could be in danger without us knowing about it?” the boy tried to let everyone understand his point of view.

Jack was overreacting, and it was time for Sam to try to calm him down again. Dean wasn’t giving the correct explanations, and even Gabriel wasn’t able to make the Nephilim relax with just his words. The younger hunter was the most diplomatic of the Winchester brothers, so it was his duty to intervene.

“We can still call you on the phone in case our hunt takes longer than expected, or if we’re delayed for any other reason. And if we are in danger, we will pray to Gabriel immediately, so that you’ll be informed that something is wrong. Therefore, as long as you don’t hear from us you can rest assured that everything is just fine and going smoothly.” Sam explained.

After that it didn’t take much longer to convince Jack to let them go. As soon as he accepted the departure of the Winchesters, he excused himself and went to sleep, probably still feeling a little bitter judging by the way he walked out of the room. Once the boy was gone, Sam noticed Gabriel get serious all of a sudden. That, he knew, never meant anything good.

“You know guys, I took your side with Jacky because I think you’re right about the British Men of Letters, but I don’t like the idea of the two of you leaving any more than the kid does. I still think it’s idiotic and pointless. So I’m warning you: anything happens, and I mean anything, you pray to me immediately. If I find out that you were in danger and you didn’t tell me in that very moment, I’m going to get really mad. And trust me, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of my anger!” the archangel warned them. His amber eyes were burning with concern, and they never left Sam’s while speaking.

“Yes, dad!” Dean replied immediately, his sarcasm causing Gabriel to shift his warning gaze from Sam to him.

The younger hunter could feel his insides burn when Gabriel stared him dead in the eyes while expressing serious concern for their wellbeing. Sam couldn’t move, he didn’t know what to do. He was glad when Dean was stupid enough to deflect the angel’s attention from him. His heart was still beating a little faster than he would have liked, but he couldn’t help that reaction. Gabriel was showing them how much he cared about them by acting almost like a parent, and the fact that the archangel was treating them like children didn’t even matter to him. All that his mind could register was that Gabriel didn’t want them to get hurt.

Sam couldn’t stop a smile from appearing on his lips. The archangel still looked too serious if compared to his usual self, but in that moment it didn’t matter. The younger Winchester felt the need to hug Gabriel and kiss him senseless, to thank him for his concern and assure him that everything was going to be okay. But he wasn’t completely out of his mind yet, so he could restrain himself enough to remain sill. In his head, however, he could imagine a few ways to show Gabriel how much he appreciated the archangel’s affection towards them.

“Go to sleep, boys. You need to get enough rest before you leave tomorrow.” Gabriel’s words took Sam back to the present, away from the fantasies created by his mind. He barely had the time to say goodnight before the archangel left the room. It was time for him and Dean to go to sleep too, if they wanted to get to Mankato without any stops along the way.


The following morning, Sam woke up as early as usual. He followed his everyday routine, going to the gym of the bunker for a little exercise before breakfast. After his morning shower, the hunter crossed the bunker from his bedroom to the kitchen. That was the moment of the day he preferred: when he was alone with Gabriel before Dean and Jack woke up. He knew it was pretty pathetic, but at least to himself he could admit that he really liked Gabriel, so of course he always looked forward to the moment they could be alone.

The archangel had started some time ago to act a little weird around him. Sam often caught Gabriel looking at him out of the corner of his eyes, and even though he was pretty sure it didn’t mean anything, several facts were adding up to each other. One of them was that the Trickster was still a huge part of Gabriel, because the angel kept finding new ways to amuse himself at Sam’s expenses. He didn’t know if the archangel was aware of it or not, but the younger Winchester was slowly losing control over his physical reactions to Gabriel’s words, finding himself getting hard in the most inappropriate moments.

When they were in front of the others, Sam always had to restrain himself, act as normal as possible, but when they were alone he could let himself go, even if just a little. He never showed any reactions that could let Gabriel understand what the hunter was feeling, but at least he could be somehow more relaxed. The time he used to spend with Gabriel at breakfast always made him feel a little better, so he was looking forward to it while walking towards the kitchen. Part of him was only going on a hunt in order to get away from the archangel’s teasing, but the younger Winchester knew for sure that he could have never left for two days without saying goodbye to the object of his latest fantasies.

Those thoughts were roaming around Sam’s head when he reached the kitchen for breakfast, stopping dead as soon as he walked past the door. The table was covered in delicious food, as it always was at meal times, but there was no Gabriel. Instead, Dean and Jack were both in their seats, eating in awkward silence. Sam looked around, but there was still no sign of the archangel. It was with strong disappointment that he sat down to eat too.

After they were done with breakfast, Dean was ready to go. Jack was acting strange, as if he didn’t know how to say goodbye. To cut the awkwardness, Sam pulled the Nephilim in a quick friendly hug. His brother, who’d always been less touchy-feely and hated the chick-flick moments, preferred to just shake the boy’s hand. Then, when the farewells were said, they were ready to go. Sam, however, was hesitating more than a little. How could he leave without saying goodbye to Gabriel? It was an easy hunt, they were going to be back for dinner the following day, but it still didn’t feel right to leave without saying anything to the archangel.

Dean gave his brother a couple of strong pats on the back, to let him understand that it was time to go. Sam looked around once more, but he finally decided to follow his brother to the garage, where Dean was already loading their bags inside Baby’s trunk. Right before he finished crossing the war room towards the stairs leading to the garage, however, Sam stopped to look around once again. And there he was: on the other side of the room, arms crossed over his chest, Gabriel was leaning against a wall, smirking towards him.

When the archangel raised his right hand in salutation, Sam smiled at him and waved him goodbye. Only then he felt ready to join his brother and leave. He could finally feel thrilled to hit the road once again, looking forward to the newest adventure.

Chapter Text

Seeing the Winchester brothers leave to go on a hunt wasn’t easy for Gabriel. The problem wasn’t with the hunt itself, because he really was okay with those two morons resuming to do what they always did. What he wasn’t okay with was the fact that his routine was going to change, after it took him months to get used to it. And this time they were going to stay out for a couple of days, but who could tell if the following month they were going to go on a two weeks hunt?

He couldn’t even admit to himself how much their decision to leave the bunker was affecting him. The rational part of his mind knew that he couldn’t say anything to them to force them to stay, since he had no real reason at all to do it. Luckily, that part of him had been able to win over the irrational one, the part that wanted to throw a childish tantrum and seal all of the exits of the bunker to trap everyone inside.

Jack was part of the reason why Gabriel had chosen to be reasonable. His nephew was still emotionally unstable, and the night the brothers announced their intention to leave for a hunt, the archangel had noticed immediately how much that decision was affecting the Nephilim. He didn’t like it either, but he had to accept it and help the brothers convince Jack that it was right to let them go for a couple of days. Jack couldn’t be the one who ended up throwing a tantrum, after all, because Earth itself couldn’t afford it.

So he helped the boys convince his nephew, and the following morning the hunters were ready to leave. Gabriel wanted to do something special for them, to show them that they had his support, but he just couldn’t. He decided to enjoy the last bit of his routine instead, so he entered the kitchen at the same time as always, preparing a huge breakfast for everyone. He had the dirty joke of the day ready for Sam’s entrance, but the younger Winchester wasn’t the one who made his way inside the room as soon as the archangel sat down in his usual chair.

Dean and Jack entered the kitchen together, both perfectly dressed and eager to eat. They were trying to avoid talking to each other, and Gabriel couldn’t help but shift his look from one of them to the other. What were they doing? They weren’t supposed to be inside the kitchen so soon, it wasn’t right! That was the moment he usually had with Sam, how could they just take that away from him? Especially on the day that his routine was already going to change completely! It was just cruel, and Gabriel didn’t want to stay there and eat pie like nothing wrong ever happened. He just couldn’t bear watching the others have breakfast.

That was the reason why Gabriel left, thinking for a moment of going back to Heaven until the hunters were gone from the bunker. It only took him a second to change his mind, though: how could he risk to leave Jack alone even for a moment, when he knew that the kid was in a very emotional state? In the end, he just chose to hide inside his bedroom.

Gabriel told himself that he wasn’t running away, he wasn’t fleeing from a moment he didn’t want to face. He wasn’t being a coward, like he vowed he would never be ever again. He was just giving the brothers a silent statement, that was all. He didn’t approve of the fact that they’d decided to change the bunker’s routine without consulting the other inhabitants first, so he decided not to say goodbye to them in protest.

The archangel had every right to act that way. And okay, maybe he was throwing a tantrum, so what? It was still his decision to make, he could still do whatever he wanted. He was only going to leave his bedroom and appear by Jack’s side once he heard the Impala leave the garage. Or at least, that was the idea he had before he heard Sam’s voice inside his head.

The hunter probably didn’t even know what he was doing, but he was unconsciously praying to the archangel. Gabriel did his best to try to resist, but how could he stay hidden in his bedroom when Sam Winchester was praying for him to show up and say goodbye? Gabriel couldn’t do anything more than sigh, before he snapped his fingers and appeared in the war room, just in time to wave goodbye to Sam.

He didn’t miss the way the hunter’s face brightened for a moment upon realizing that he was there. And the archangel himself didn’t know why, but he was relieved at the thought that the younger hunter had left with a smile on his face. Gabriel really cared about those human brothers, but it wasn’t like he cared about the younger Winchester more, or in a different way, or anything like that. Therefore, he dismissed the thought by deciding that raising Jack was bringing him into “parental mode” way too often, and that the affection he was feeling towards Sam wasn’t any different than what he felt for Dean or Jack. Sure, he liked to pick on Sam more often, but that had nothing to do with affection, it was just because he liked the hunter’s reactions to his jokes.

His thoughts, however, were interrupted by his nephew. The Nephilim approached him with an uncertain expression painted on his face. Dean’s car was already far away, it wasn’t possible to hear it anymore, meaning that the two celestial beings were the only ones left inside that old Men of Letters bunker. He looked at Jack, but the smile that was about to appear on his lips just died there. The boy grabbed the sleeves of his jacket and just clung to his uncle as best as he could.

“They’re going to be fine, right? And they’ll be back tomorrow.” the kid asked, looking for reassurance, and that was the moment realization hit Gabriel like a brick on the head. Jack was three months old, the Winchester brothers were the ones who found him right after he was born, and that was the first time in his entire life that he was going to be separated from them. The poor boy was just having a reaction pretty similar to that of a baby the first time his parents left the house without him.

“Of course, kiddo, of course!” Gabriel exclaimed, forcing himself to stay positive for the benefit of the boy. The Nephilim gave him a grateful smile, and the archangel freed his arms from his nephew’s grasp in order to gently pat Jack on the shoulders.

“Come on, let’s go practice! Now that you can conjure inanimate objects perfectly, it’s time to learn how to make a show out of it!” the angel stated, thinking it was time to teach the boy how amazing it looked to use a snap of his fingers in order to focus his concentration.


The furniture of the living room had been moved against the walls, in order to give the two celestial beings more room to practice. That had been Gabriel’s idea when, the first time they tried to conjure something, Jack had created a - broken - lamp too much on the left, making it appear like it was sticking out of the couch cushions. Even now that Jack had more control over the space around him, however, the archangel kept moving the furniture out of the way, so that they could have enough space to conjure something big.

Lunch time was slowly approaching, and the two of them were still working on Jack’s moves. The kid was concentrating, eyes glowing gold while he stared at a specific spot on the ground. His entire body tensed while he raised his right hand, his eyelids trembled when he snapped his fingers. A moment later, a foldable plastic chair appeared on the X that Gabriel had marked on the floor. On the other side of the room, the archangel chuckled loudly, trying to suppress an open laugh.

“Nope.” he said, leaving his sitting position on one of the tables and starting to walk towards his nephew, a lollipop in his mouth “You still look like you’re about to crap your pants. Just try to relax, Jacky. Act natural!” he suggested, taking the sucker out of his mouth with a loud pop and waving it around to better state his point.

The Nephilim just deflated in defeat, sighing heavily while he let both arms fall limply along his sides. His eyes went back to their natural color, head hanging down in surrender. Gabriel hated to see him like that, but he couldn’t just cuddle the boy the entire time, otherwise he would have never learned a single thing. It was okay to praise him when he did something good, but he still had to say something when the boy used the wrong approach to something.

“How can I just relax? If I don’t concentrate like that, this happens!” the boy protested, snapping his fingers and conjuring half a table in mid-air. The piece of furniture crashed to the ground and smashed into hundreds of little pieces.

Gabriel looked at the wooden disaster on the floor, raising one eyebrow until it almost disappeared over the line of his hair. Yup, the kid was making a good point. He still needed to concentrate too much in order to conjure a correct shape into a specific area. As good as he was with the creation itself, his powers were still too raw in order to expect a certain level of finesse from him. He was still a child, after all, and for someone who was half human it wasn’t easy at all to muster such an high level of control over archangelic grace. He was going to get there, in due time, but maybe for now it was still too early to demand such an effort from him.

“Okay, I see your point.” Gabriel stated, moving his gaze from the shattered table to the boy, lollipop once again in his mouth. With his left hand he gently patted Jack’s cheek, leaving the hand there until the Nephilim was looking at him. “Come on, let’s go have lunch. We can try conjuring something for dinner in the afternoon. Let’s concentrate on learning how to create something new, before we tackle the idea of snapping fingers again.”

A smile came back to Jack’s face, and the two of them left the living room to head towards the kitchen. When they were two steps outside of the room, Gabriel snapped his fingers and the living room went back to its usual appearance. It was so easy for him to change something with just a snap of his fingers, that sometimes he kept forgetting how much more difficult it was for Jack to do it. Having an archangel teach him what to do was useful, but controlling that level of power was not easy for the Nephilim. The power of creation was something that only the archangels shared with God, not even the other angels could conjure stuff up, so of course it was difficult for someone who was half human to learn how to master that skill.

While watching the boy eat his lunch, a candy bar now in his right hand, Gabriel decided what to teach Jack next. As he already said, he was going to show his nephew how to conjure edible food, but after that he wanted to try with something more difficult. Animals, starting with a slug and going towards mammals. And then, once the kid could easily create an elephant out of thin air, he was going to teach him how to make people up. He was going to enjoy those lessons, we was sure of that! And of course, once the boy could easily conjure people, he was going to teach him the illusion of duplicating himself, that was one of the archangel’s best tricks.

Gabriel was looking forward to those lessons so much, that during the rest of the day he never once thought about the hunter brothers again. The problem only came back during the night, while he was lying alone on his bed in the silent bunker. He usually spent the night thinking about new ways to use the following day to embarrass Sam, but what could he do when the hunter wasn’t there to listen to his jokes?

With a sigh, he ended up conjuring a girl to have sex with for the whole night. Halfway through the act, however, he changed his mind and turned the girl into a guy. The fact that the guy looked just a little too much like Sam Winchester was so irrelevant that the archangel didn’t even notice it.


“Oh my Dad, it’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever had in my mouth!” Gabriel yelled while sputtering all around. Pieces of half-chewed apple landed on Jack’s face.

“I get it, it sucks.” the boy replied with an annoyed voice, wiping his face clean.

“You think?” the archangel commented with sarcasm “You can try it, if you want. It tastes like stale dirt!”

Jack blushed when he heard his uncle’s words, but a moment later a look of determination came back to his face. He’d been working on conjuring food for a few hours, and he already had the shape and color right. On the last try, he even got the right texture. The substance, however, was still a long shot. Luckily Gabriel couldn’t die of food poisoning, because a single bite of the apple Jack conjured would have killed any human in nothing more than a handful of seconds.

“I’m not 100% familiar with the flavor of the apple, you know. I mean, if I close my eyes and you feed me apple, I recognize that it’s apple, but I’m not even close to be able to recreate the taste.” Jack said, looking for some more guidance from Gabriel.

“I know, that’s why you’re going to eat apples until you understand everything there is to know.” the archangel replied, and with a snap of his fingers there was a juicy red apple in his nephew’s hands “Now close your eyes and take a bite. Don’t just eat the morsel, try to roll it in your mouth first. Study the flavor, concentrate on the sensations you’re feeling because of it. Imagine it in your mind while you taste it, and try to reproduce it.”

Gabriel kept watching Jack while the Nephilim followed his instructions. The boy had his eyes closed and he looked like he was about to throw up, as much as he was concentrated on what he was eating. The archangel could feel the power build up inside the kid, and a moment later it was forming the shape of an apple floating between them. When Jack swallowed and opened his eyes again, Gabriel caught the apple before it could fall on the floor and took a bite.

A few seconds after that, the archangel was once again sputtering in disgust. “It tastes like fish!” he stated with horror in his voice “Are you even thinking about an apple?”

He knew that Jack was still a long way from creating an edible piece of fruit. Putting together the shape, color, texture, substance, flavor and nutrition levels of each food wasn’t easy, but it was the foundation for cooking with the power of creation. For Gabriel, learning how to use that power had never been difficult. In fact, he had complete knowledge of every existing texture and flavor, given that he’d been alive since before anything was created, so it wasn’t that difficult to reproduce them.

But Jack? He didn’t have any kind of knowledge if not the one that came out of his own experiences. The boy needed to taste each food in existence in order to recreate it, and only then he could be taught how to combine different ingredients to follow a recipe and create something new. In other words, the kid was still far from ready to conjure an apple pie, but Gabriel was determined to get him there as soon as possible. Even if, in the meantime, his apples were nothing other than terrible.