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One of Us

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One moment Sam is sprawled out on the bloody floor of a basement, absolutely certain he's going to die, and then just as suddenly instead of freezing concrete there's the rough carpet of their motel room under his red hands.

The change is dizzying, the bright red of blood in the darkness and the hoarse sound of his brother choking, turning to rough silence and the dim quiet of their room.

He can hear Dean catching his breath beside him, the soft almost-sound of Castiel's coat against his own boots.

Sam's fairly sure the only person strong enough to pull them all out of there is-

-Gabriel.

The Archangel, more familiar than he has any right to be, is watching them all from the doorway. His expression is hard, but it's not so much anger as resignation. Like he's made a choice, for whatever it's worth, and he's chosen them.

Sam's so grateful to not be in that basement surrounded by blood and death that he stays on his knees.

Dean eases Castiel upright, and the angel is shaky on his feet, whatever he did back there took it out of him, and Dean is already pushing bloody hair away form the long gash in his temple and guiding him towards the bathroom.

Gabriel watches them go, and he frowns in a way that makes Sam think that maybe he's more worried about his brother than he ever lets on.

He goes to stand, to push himself upright, but he just doesn't have it in him yet and his legs refuse to hold him.

Gabriel catches him before he lands on his face.

Sam leans on him, leans into his shoulder, trying to remember how to breathe, and he's exhausted and he's still covered in blood, leaving bright smears and fingerprints on Gabriel's jacket.

Gabriel takes his weight like it's nothing.

"Thank you," Sam says thickly, swallows the ache in his throat. "I don't know why you did it, but thank you."

"I did it because you asked me to," Gabriel says quietly.

Sam waits for something else, something short and mocking about how he clearly couldn't be trusted to do anything on his own. About how they owe him one, something, anything. But there's nothing, just Gabriel's expression, strangely tense, and serious in a way Sam doesn't think he's seen before.

Sam moves his hand, leaves a smear of red on Gabriel's neck, the soft curve of his jaw, blood painted with his fingers and Sam has no idea what he's doing but he thinks Gabriel will let him.

The smear becomes fingerprints and he's so much closer, and Gabriel makes a noise. Something Sam doesn't think he means to make. Something that's more than just letting him, something that wants him to.

Sam wonders if he just wanted an excuse to kiss an angel too.

Gabriel doesn't kiss like an angel.

He kisses like he means it.

Until Sam has to tip his head away to breathe, to realise that he's safe, for now. He lets Gabriel hold him up until he can hold himself.