Gabriel showed up not long after Balthazar sent them to the alternate universe. He did not, however, reappear in typical Gabriel-fashion. There was no dramatic entrance. No snarky remarks. No sound of fingers snapping or of candy wrappers.
They had been on a back road on their way to Bobby’s. There was a brief flash of light that made Dean slam on the breaks. After they calmed themselves, they realised that an unconscious Gabriel was in the backseat. No matter what they tried, the archangel would not wake. They couldn’t even be sure it was Gabriel.
The archangel had remained unconscious for nearly a week. They set him up on Bobby’s couch and tried calling Cas for help – either the angel wasn’t getting their messages and prayers or he was too busy to come down to Earth. During that time, they always made sure that someone sat with Gabriel. Usually, it was Sam. He didn’t mind sitting in one place for long periods of time. Dean would get too fidgety and Bobby still wasn’t convinced that Gabriel wouldn’t wake up and try to kill him again. Sam didn’t mind. He would sit at the nearby table with his laptop or a book and keep an eye on the archangel.
On the fifth night, Gabriel woke up. Sam had been leafing through the book they had stolen from the dragons and trying not to think about what the pages were made of. Bobby was still working on translating it and Sam had been trying to help whenever they stopped by. He didn’t notice Gabriel was awake until the archangel spoke.
“Sweet Father, what did I do to deserve getting lumped with you chuckleheads again?”
Sam looked up abruptly. Gabriel was laying on the couch the same as he had been for the past five days. He had not moved, but was looking at Sam tiredly. “Gabriel,” Sam murmured, standing and squatting down next to the couch. “How do you feel?”
The archangel rolled his eyes. “Like I died,” he replied bitterly. “How long’s it been, anyway?”
Sam shrugged. “Over a year. Probably closer to two.”
Gabriel looked genuinely shocked. He sat up, smacking Sam’s hand away when he tried to help. “So, what I’d do to deserve getting a couch at casa la Winchester?”
He rolled his eyes. “Technically, it would be casa la Singer. It’s Bobby’s house,” Sam corrected. “And we don’t know. You just appeared in the back of the Impala.”
“Bet Dean-o was thrilled,” Gabriel said with a wicked grin.
“Yeah, that was almost a week ago. You’ve been unconscious since then.”
Sam straightened and sat on the couch next to Gabriel. The archangel was slumped over, leaning against the back of the sofa heavily. It was a sight that did not make sense to Sam. He had never seen Gabriel look so weary before.
Gabriel looked at him through narrowed eyes. “Peachy,” he said sarcastically. Sam merely gave him a look and raised his eyebrow. The archangel rolled his eyes. “Mojo’s running low, Sasquatch, all right? Happy now?”
He shrugged. “At least you’re awake.”
The archangel huffed in response. “So, how’d you two manage to trick my big bro back into his box?”
“Didn’t,” Sam replied. “I said yes and jumped in.”
Gabriel straightened, eyebrows raised. After a moment, he chuckled slightly and leaned back again. “You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you? I’m impressed, kid.” Sam shook his head and looked down. “So how’d you get out then?”
He shrugged. “You’d have to ask Dean. All I know is that I was walking around without a soul for over a year.” When he looked back at Gabriel, his eyebrows were raised. “He says the less I know the better.”
The archangel whistled lowly. “Bet you were a bundle of fun. What did your idiot brother do to get you back to your soulful self?”
Sam shook his head. “Made a deal with Death, apparently.”
Gabriel laughed. “Death? Well, he would definitely like Dean.”
“The greasy food, of course!” Sam laughed. “So where is Dean-o, anyway?”
“Sleeping, probably,” Sam replied, “or trying to get a hold of Cas. We’ve been calling him all week, but he hasn’t shown yet.”
“Ah, and what’s occupying the little angel that could?”
Sam chuckled. “Dunno. Says there’s civil war in Heaven.”
Gabriel straightened immediately. “What?”
The human blinked. “Uh...Raphael’s trying to take charge, I think. Cas is trying to stop him.”
“What happened to Michael?”
Sam looked away, mouth twitching. “He, ah...he grabbed me when I...”
Gabriel blinked. “He’s in the Cage?”
Sam nodded. Gabriel sat in stunned silence with wide eyes. “I, uh...sorry.”
The archangel blinked before shrugging and trying to smirk. “Not your fault, Sammy,” he said. “Though I am surprised that you aren’t a drooling mess. A year of undivided attention from my brothers in the Cage? You really are full of surprises.”
“Dean said Death put up a ‘wall.’ I don’t remember much.”
Gabriel studied him for a moment. “Well, sounds like everything went to hell in a hand basket after I died.”
Sam laughed shortly. “Pretty much,” he replied.
“Well,” he said, “first thing’s first – we’ve gotta get hold of my little bro.”
“How? We’ve tried calling him, praying – he’s just not answering.”
The archangel grinned and straightened. “Ah, but that was before you had me on your side, kiddo. Even low on mojo, I can get Castiel’s ass down here.”
The archangel grinned and snapped his fingers. It didn’t appear as if anything happened, but Castiel appeared less than a minute later.
The angel looked thoroughly ruffled.
“Gabriel,” he said lowly.
“Hey, bro. Have to say I’m kind of insulted. Didn’t want to help plan the party?”
Castiel frowned. “I don’t know what party you are referring to. I have been busy.”
He nodded and pushed himself to his feet. Sam noticed that it looked significantly more difficult than it should have been. “So Raphael’s decided he wants to try and be in Mikey’s shoes, huh?”
“He is very...persistent.”
Gabriel chuckled. “Truer words have never been spoken, baby bro.”
“Did you need something, Gabriel?”
Sam watched as the archangel raised an eyebrow. He stepped closer, looking up at Castiel seriously. Sam almost felt like he should look away. “Castiel,” Gabriel murmured, “seems like you’re stretching yourself a bit thin.”
Castiel raised his chin while looking down at Gabriel. “You were not the only one killed,” he replied. “I believe I was brought back for a reason. I must do what I can.”
Gabriel held Castiel’s gaze. After a moment, he nodded and smiled slightly. “Guess it’s time for the prodigal son to return, huh? You think Raphael’s gonna cook up a calf for me?”
“You will return to Heaven?” Castiel’s voice was full of disbelief that was mirrored in Sam’s face.
He shrugged. “What can I say? Raphael’s never been good at management.”
The angel’s head tilted to the side as he looked down at Gabriel. “You intend to take his place?”
Gabriel laughed. “Me? Hell no. You think I’d be any better than Michael or Raphael?” He stepped forward and managed to sling an arm around Castiel’s shoulders. “No, no, no, baby bro. You are definitely the angel for that job.”
Castiel looked down at Gabriel with wide eyes. “Gabriel – “
“Hey, if you could keep the Winchesters from killing themselves, then you’re definitely up for the job. Soon as I get my mojo back, I’ll come and kick Raphael’s ass.” Gabriel grinned and smirked. “He’s a pushover, really. All bark and no bite.”
“His bite is strong enough,” Castiel grumbled. Sam could see, however, that the angel was pleased. It wasn’t something he was used to seeing on Castiel’s face, even as subtle as it was. “Thank you, brother.”
Gabriel released him and collapsed back onto the couch. “Ah, don’t mention it. You might want to go up and see Dean-o, though. He’s probably heartsick.”
Castiel frowned, but disappeared. A few moments later, they heard a surprised shout from Dean. Sam turned to Gabriel. The archangel was leaning on the back of the couch heavily again with his eyes closed. “That meant a lot to him, y’know.”
He turned towards Sam, but didn’t open his eyes. “Oh really?”
Sam nodded. “Yeah.” He paused before continuing. “I get the feeling he doesn’t have many people backing him up back home,” he said softly. “And well...you’re you. Having you back him? That’s big.”
“Not to mention I just told him he was the best angel for running Heaven,” he replied with a smirk.
“Yeah, there’s that too.”
Gabriel half-opened his eyes to see Sam studying him. “What?”
The archangel could only sit in shock as the human leaned forward. When Sam’s lips were suddenly against his, the archangel was quite positive that he was still dead and this was all just a hallucination. When the hunter pulled back, his eyes were wide. Gabriel did not give him a chance to no doubt apologise.
He grabbed the back of Sam’s neck, wrenching him forward. Gabriel pressed against the human forcefully and it only took Sam half a moment to respond. Then his hands were gripping Gabriel’s face, fingers pulling at his hair. When Sam moaned into his mouth, Gabriel slithered forward onto the hunter’s lap. His hands grappled with Sam’s shirt as the hunters hands slid down his back roughly.
When Sam’s hands reached Gabriel’s hips, the hunter pulled away with a gasp. Gabriel did not stop, though. He moved to Sam’s neck, relishing in the groans that his attention evoked. Sam lifted a hand, brushing it through Gabriel’s hair. The archangel raised his head and met Sam’s eye.
“Didn’t know you were so spontaneous, Sammy,” he said under his breath.
Sam grinned in response. “Positive reinforcement,” he replied breathlessly.
Gabriel smirked. “Well, Sammy-boy, I’m not a quick learner. I think I might need a bit more.”
He grinned in reply and gripped Gabriel tightly before leaning forward once more.