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Gabriel makes his way down some street in a small suburb of Wisconsin. It’s the middle of the night, the only time it’s really safe to go out anymore, and he just needs to take a damn breather before he goes back to being cooped up in his small apartment. He’s tuned into his “Winchester radio” as he likes to call it, but the signal’s pretty weak and he can barely make out what’s going on. There’s a lot of racket, but that’s pretty normal for them. He hears Castiel’s voice louder than theirs, probably because he’s more attuned to him. He can never, ever make out Dean’s voice, but he knows he’s there. He sighs, turns it down a little and keeps walking.

It’s been a year and a half since Sam said yes to Lucifer, since he fell into hell and didn’t come back. Gabe found himself trying to figure out ways to get down there, to save Sam, but nothing was really plausible enough to follow through with. He accepted the fact that Sam wasn’t coming back a while ago even though he really didn’t want to. For some reason or another, he still keeps an eye on Dean and Castiel and maybe he hopes that Sam’s voice will show up on his radio one day.

For now, he’s not holding his breath. Even if Sam does come back, he’s got to keep a low profile. Gabe is still pretty unsure how he’s even alive right now; he just woke up one day with no clues as to what happened. He knows that if Lucifer finds him, he’s royally screwed.

He can feel the presence of someone behind him and turns around. It’s just a cat padding along behind him, mewing. He kneels down and pets it, rubbing behind its ears. All the while, he’s picking up more activity than usual from angel radio. It startles him a little, but not overly so. He stands up and starts to walk away and the cat follows him, weaving through his legs.

He picks it up and rubs under its chin. It’s almost endearing in a way. He decides he’ll take it home, maybe keep it even. Because hell, he’s lonely and no matter how many women he lures back to his apartment, it’s not the same. It hasn’t been the same since he was brought back to life, since Sam went to hell.

He reaches his apartment a few minutes later and the cat has dozed off in his arms. He lays the cat down on the couch gently and sits down beside it. He’s concentrating really hard on the Winchester radio now but it’s still so damn fuzzy.

 

****

 

In the tunnels underneath an abandoned warehouse in Oklahoma, Sam Winchester is royally screwed. He can hear Dean and Cas shouting through the giant pieces of wall and foundation that’s separating them, but when Cas doesn’t appear next to him, he figures the creature they’ve been fighting has found some way to keep the angel from disappearing.

The few echoed sounds he can hear, muffled by the stone, sound like Dean and Cas are getting their asses kicked, and he needs to get back to them. It’s barely light enough to see - and something down here smells like dirty socks - but he strides quickly through the maze of archways, trying to get oriented while keeping alert for a gust of fresh air or brighter light.

Too bad that, before he can find a way out, something sinister finds him.

He’s slammed into the damp, slimy floor and claws cut through the layers of his jacket and shirt to slice into his back. He manages to flip over as he hears whatever attacked him skitter away.

Shit. Whatever they had been fighting… well, it looks like there are two. At least.

Sam sees it move in the shadows, all thick shell and dripping claws. He has no idea what this thing is, but ever since he came back from hell a year and a half ago, he’s been fighting monsters that have never appeared on earth before. Dean still isn’t used to battling things with no history, no entries in Bobby’s books, even though it’s been six months since Sam reunited with him, but even for Sam, this is worse than usual.

He doesn’t even see the thing’s tail until it’s smashing into his face, sending him soaring up and into the far wall. And a few more blows later, although he’s managed to get a few quick swipes with his knife, but he can see it the creature even less, with one black eye. Sam’s starting to panic, and it’s been a good long while since that’s happened. He can’t keep up with this thing, he’s struggling even to get up…there’s no one to help him. Dean and Cas are occupied, and he can’t exactly call Bobby.

Sometimes he really, really misses Gabriel. Sure, he had wanted Sam to say yes to Lucifer, but Sam got the feeling it was more from frustration than anything else. He definitely understood what it was like to have family issues. Gabe’s death had really been what he counted as the beginning of the end, and well, he kind of missed him
anyway. Even if every word from the angel’s mouth had been snark, it had been nice having someone other than Dean and Cas around. Someone who liked Sam’s shirts, instead of making fun of them.

There’s blood everywhere, and Sam slips as he tries to dodge the creature’s next attack. Its claws grab him again, catching in his side and dragging him closer to its gaping mouth, lined with row upon row of needle teeth.

Cas, someone… shit… Gabe… help.

 

****

 

Something’s wrong. Gabe jolts out of a stupor, kicking the coffee table and scaring the cat. It looks at Gabe with panicked eyes before slinking away down the hall towards his bedroom. The cat is the least of his problems right now. Gabe stands from the couch and rubs at his head, wondering if he was just zoning out. He’d been listening pretty closely though, and he could have sworn he heard Sam’s voice. He would know that voice anywhere.

He contemplates the situation for a minute. If it’s not Sam, if it’s just his imagination, he’s gonna have to explain to a certain pie loving demon hunter and his pretty boy angel why the hell he’s there. But if it is Sam, he’s probably gonna be saving his life because what he just heard wasn’t just a random thought. It was a cry for help. He just can’t take that chance.He takes a deep breath, focuses on the source of the voice and then he snaps his fingers and disappears.

The next thing he knows, he’s standing in some grimy, slippery mess of… something and he can hear noises. Lots of noises. Above him, below him. Everywhere. Somewhere close by, he can sense some kind of being that’s far from human. And there, like a little beacon in the back of his head, he senses a human presence, barely holding on to life. He doesn’t know who it is but it doesn’t matter at this point. He can’t just sit back and watch while some monster snuffs out that little light.

He starts making his way down the long, winding tunnels, drawing ever closer to the sounds of claws skittering across metal. He rounds a corner and sees it… some sort of hideous creature he’s never seen before in all his years of being on earth and in heaven. It knows he’s there because it turns its ugly head and snarls at him.

But that’s not what’s important. His eyes scan the rest of the area and come to rest on a body that’s crumpled on the floor. There’s no question about it. It’s Sam. He shifts slightly and crouches down behind a small unit. The monster is still pretty far away, at least ten feet, and that gives him enough time to distract the son of a bitch. He’s conjures up a copy of himself to keep the stupid thing distracted so he can move past without any difficulty. In theory, he could just use his powers and appear right next to him, but he has no idea how close or far away he’ll end up. His powers had never been quite right since he was brought back, knocked off just a hair. And right now, there was no way in hell he was risking appearing on top of that damn thing and getting himself and Sam killed.

He runs past it when he knows he’s got an opportunity. He’s so damn thankful for that little trick right now he could give Lucifer a big giant teddy bear hug for even teaching it to him in the first place. He nearly skids into Sam on the slimy floor but manages to stop, fall to his knees, and assess the damage.

It’s not looking so pretty and he’s not sure Sam’s even aware of what’s happens. “Sam?” he whispers, barely audible over the sounds of the creature and his copy having their little brawl. It doesn’t matter if Sam’s dead or alive now, he’s just gotta get him the hell out of there. He grabs the fabric of Sam’s jacket in his hand and pulls the limp body against him. “Hang on tight, Sammy. We’re goin’ for a ride.” He snaps his fingers and just like that, they’re gone.

 

****

Sam’s good eye is open, but it takes him a minute to realize what – or who – he’s looking at. The monster and tunnel are gone, replaced by an apartment… and Gabe.

The angel looks the same, exactly the same, and he’s definitely not a hallucination. Sam can feel the heat of Gabe’s chest even through all the layers between them and there are arms at his back and under his knees.

Gabe heard him, wherever he’s been. Relief washes through him, but pain also cuts through the lessening stupor, making Sam wince with a gasp. Everything feels raw and broken, and he’s having a hard time focusing on Gabe’s face.

“Gabriel?”

 

****

 

The two of them are transported back to Gabe’s apartment where they both land on the hardwood floor. Gabe’s too busy checking Sam over to waste any time getting into the nitty gritty details.

“Just shut up, Sammy. I’ll explain later. Just…” Gabe is pushing Sam’s jacket off of his shoulders, tearing open his shirt and scattering buttons everywhere. Sam is bleeding pretty badly, most likely internally too, so Gabe needs to start his work right away if he wants to keep Sam alive.

He grabs him and flips him around to nurse the lacerations across his back. They’re deep and Gabe can’t heal them all the way, but he does the best he can. He’ll bandage them later. Then he grabs him again, turns him right around and presses his hands to Sam’s chest and stomach. That should take care of the internal bleeding, but Gabe wants to keep an eye on him, just to be sure.

He hooks his arms under Sam’s knees, the other sliding around his neck. He picks him up, which would be a feat for most people, but with his archangel powers, he does so with ease. He manages to get Sam into the bedroom and drops him on the bed a little less delicately than he intended.

“I gotta get you some bandages, but first…” Gabe pauses and pinches the bridge of his nose between his fingers, soiled with Sam’s blood, “What the hell were you thinking, you idiot?”

 

****

 

Sam can hear Gabriel tell him to shut up. He should probably protest when Gabe proceeds to strip him from the waist up, but the agony he’s in keeps him from saying anything. When the archangel presses fire-warm hands to his torso, Sam groans, the pain flaring even more unbearably before subsiding. His back is still throbbing in pain, but it too feels less terrible than before, even though Sam can feel the blood oozing from the slashes still.

And then Gabe picks him up, somehow, even though Sam’s just dead weight and the angel is about a foot shorter. He’s carried sideways through a door in Gabe’s arms and dropped a little too quickly on the bed. Sam sucks in a breath, but the ache from his back and other wounds has already lessened. Now he just feels like he’s been beat up by a demon or something - something more, well, normal. For them, anyway.

When Gabe looks down at him and questions him, he manages to smear blood across his nose, pinched between his thumb and finger. He sounds angry, almost furious, the angriest Sam’s ever heard him. But he looks worried, too. Worried for him. Well, he’s worried for himself, honestly.

He shifts, the blanket already sticky with blood beneath him. “Dean and Cas I went after what we thought was a wendigo. There was a cave-in, and Cas couldn’t get to me for some reason. I don’t even know how you heard me. What the hell was that thing?”

But then a thought breaks through his sluggish brain (oh) and Sam doesn’t wait for Gabe to answer. He raises himself up on his elbows, ignoring his injuries as he tries to meet those golden eyes that have just opened again.

“Wait… did you mean what happened with Lucifer?”

 

****

 

There’s a little ball of heat rising in Gabe’s throat and he knows he might just lose it if Sam keeps talking, or moving, or anything. He doesn’t really know why he’s so mad, just that he is and it’s bothersome. He drops his hand to his side and walks over to the bed, shoving Sam down.

“For fuck’s sake, just lay down, you idiot. You’re hurt and I fixed you up the best I could, but you still need to rest.” He lets go and moves over to sit at the foot of the bed. He’s not looking at Sam when he starts in on his onslaught. He has no idea where this anger is even coming from. Maybe it’s just been pent up inside for far too long and he didn’t realize it until Sam went and got himself killed.

“Y’know what, Sam? I’m really pissed. No, not because of Lucifer. You said yes to save the world, I can’t be mad at you for that when I practically did the same thing for you and Dean.” He pauses and hangs his head, remembering he needs to get the bandages for Sam’s back. He snaps his fingers and they appear in his lap, but he’s not done ranting yet. “I know I owe you some explanations but before I get into that, answer me this. How long have you been back?”

His voice, he notices, is surprisingly sad and he’s not exactly sure what brought that on. He stands up again and moves to stand next to the bed, holding the bandages in his hands. “Here, flip over, you can explain it to me while I fix you up.”

 

****

 

Sam’s good eye widens in shock at Gabe’s outburst as the archangel shoves him back to the bed with more force than Sam would have expected. He can’t say anything, can’t think of anything to say, as Gabe’s hand leaves his chest and the angel moves to the end of the bed, tension radiating from his shoulders.

He’s confused: Gabe’s not mad about Lucifer, but he can’t blame Sam for the fight that just happened, either. Sam can barely see him, perched on the far end of the bed, but when Gabe’s head falls, something lurches through Sam that has nothing to do with his cuts and bruises. When Gabe speaks again, his voice is quieter, sadder, and Sam’s brow furrows as much as it can with his face as beat up as it is.

When Gabe approaches again with the bandages, Sam manages to push himself up enough to roll onto his stomach with only a brief spasm of pain. He buries his face in his arms for a moment, savoring the dark quiet with a sigh, before turning his head so Gabe can hear him.

“I came back right after I left. One minute, I’m jumping down the hole to hell, the next I’m back. I don’t know who brought me back, Cas doesn’t know, no one’s been able to figure it out. Lucifer’s trapped back in the box, and I’m…back up here.”

He turns to look at Gabe over his shoulder. “But I’m not the only one back from the dead.”

 

****

 

Gabe listens intently to Sam as he works on the gashes in his back. They’re looking much better, but it’s going to take a lot of time for them to heal even with his help. He bandages them up, all the while processing what Sam’s saying. So he’s been alive this whole time?

He taps Sam on the side to let him know he can turn over, then snaps his fingers and the sheets are washed, no longer bloody from Sam’s open wounds. He’s still grimy and sticky, but Gabe will take care of that in a little while. He sits down right next to Sam’s face and starts working on fixing a few little things here and there. He’s already used up a lot of his energy, so he’s not able to fix all of it.

He knows he’s stalling so he finally musters up the courage to go ahead with his story and hope Sam isn’t quite as pissed as he thinks he’ll be.

“Long story short, someone figured I was important. Brought me back but…” He stops poking at Sam’s face to look at his hands, “Things aren’t really the same. I’ve been hiding. Because last time I checked, me and Lucifer weren’t on the same page and I didn’t want to take any chances with him or anyone else who might still be lurking around.” He sighs, shifting slightly. He actually feels tired. Angels don’t get tired. That’s pretty damn unusual.

 

****

 

Sam rolls over onto the now-clean sheets, his back feeling better already now that it isn’t exposed to the open and bleeding everywhere. Suddenly Gabe is peering down at his face, brushing his fingertips against the worse scrapes with feather-light touches. But his eyes don’t meet Sam’s, focusing on every other part of his face.

Sam can feel the skin knit back together, and his eye feels a little less puffy. But something’s wrong. Gabe’s scared, even if only a little, because he doesn’t know why he’s back anymore than Sam knows why he’s back, and Gabe has had to hide from Lucifer and his minions in the meantime. Sam wants to be furious with Gabe for not snapping his fingers and appearing as soon as he felt Sam return, but Sam’s sitting covered in bandages and only barely healed wounds where normally an angel tune-up would mean even indigestion would be gone.

Sam sits up to rest against the headboard, pillows thankfully guarding his back.

“What the hell happened to you, Gabe? Not that I’m not grateful that you patched me up, but usually I’d be ready to run laps by now.”

 

****

 

Gabe stirs next to him, swaying slightly with a sigh. Sam would think he saw dark shadows under his eyes and an almost undetectable tremor in his hands if Gabriel wasn’t an archangel. He almost puts a hand on his skin to see if he’s colder than normal, like checking a human for a fever.

“Gabe, how did you /not/ know I was back? Are you all right?”

Gabe just shakes his head and flops down over on a small patch of open bed. He closes his eyes, then opens them, then closes them again. He is tired, tired enough to want to sleep even though he doesn’t need it.

“I dunno, Sam. Things haven’t been quite right. Whoever brought me back messed up a little. This is the first time I’ve really had to use my healing powers and they’re obviously a little rusty, but they shouldn’t be this bad…” He scrubs his hands over his face and rolls onto his side so Sam can’t look at him. He’s used to being a big shot, having all that power. Now he just looks weak.

“M’all screwed up. Winchester radio is pretty damn fuzzy these days. Cas is easier to hear than you and Dean, but it’s still really damn hard. If I’d known sooner, I would have come…” He stops and turns to look at him, his golden eyes sincere, “You know I would have.”

 

****

 

Sam listens with an ache in his chest. The archangel sounds exhausted and confused and frustrated. His explanation clears up a lot, but the whole thing still sucks. They don’t know anything more than they did before about why he or Gabe has come back from the dead, but at least they’re back.

But when Gabe turns to him with guilt in his eyes, Sam can’t stay quiet.

“You don’t need to apologize, Gabe. I know you would have. And when it counted, you heard me. You saved my life. I… I owe you one.”

 

****

 

Gabe is a little taken aback. “You don’t owe me anything, Sam. Let’s just get you cleaned up. You’re disgusting.” He sits up and snaps his fingers. Nothing happens. He tries again. Nothing. He swears under his breath and jumps off the bed. “You can shower if you want, bathroom’s that way.” He points to the hall. “Straight back. I’ll get a hold of Cas while you’re in there.”

He shuffles across the floor and drops into a chair at a rich mahogany desk. He digs through a drawer, mumbling something akin to “I know it’s here somewhere”. He eventually pulls out a small, silver cell phone and turns it on. “First time I’ve used this damn thing. Never had any reason to before…” He turns to glare in Sam’s general direction. “Now go shower. You stink.”

 

****

 

Sam manages to haul himself up. He still feels like his body’s been abused with a meat tenderizer, but least he’s not bleeding to death anymore, and a shower sounds absolutely wonderful.

A small grin tugs at his mouth when he sees Gabe glaring at the phone, then at him.

He can’t help it; angels with cell phones will never not be at least a little funny. Sam could watch Cas try to figure out a DVD player for hours.

“Let me know if you need any help. I know you celestial beings have issues with technology.”

He doesn’t wait for Gabe to reply, making his way down the hall as quickly as he can - which is still pretty damn slowly. The bathroom is huge and sparkling clean. Sam tries not to look in the mirror yet; what few glimpses he sees as he undresses are more than enough.

The water is burning hot, enough to make his cuts sting, but necessary. Layer upon layer of grime and blood rinse off. Twenty minutes later, he’s finally clean and reeking of strawberries from Gabe’s shampoo. He winces when he finally works up the courage to look in the mirror. It’s better than before, at least, and the bandages have stayed on.

He thinks about putting his jeans back on for about three seconds before settling for wrapping his towel as firmly around his waist as possible and shuffling back down the hall to the bedroom.

 

****

 

Gabe hears the door to the bathroom shut and he knows Sam won’t hear a damn thing he says now. He punches in Castiel’s number, but it’s disconnected. Figures. He goes for Dean’s instead and the phone only rings once before a familiar voice answers.

 

“Sammy, is that you?” Dean asks, his voice urgent, “Where are you? Sam, look, I dunno what happened—” Before Dean can say anything else, Gabe cuts him off.

“It’s not Sam, but I’ve got him. Don’t worry, he’s safe.” The line is silent and Gabe is almost sure Dean has either hung up or lost signal, but then he hears a small noise that sounds a lot like relief.

“Gabriel. What the hell is goin’ on? I thought you were dead.”

“I don’t wanna have to explain this again. Just… Sam’s with me, he’s fine but he needs some time to recover. I’m staying in Wisconsin, a place called Appleton. Get Cas to bring you here.” There’s another long silence before Dean finally answers.

“Yeah, ‘bout that… I dunno where the hell Cas is. Why don’t you come—” Cut off again.

“No can do, pal. My powers are all sorts of fucked up right now. It’s either Cas brings you or you’re drivin’ from Oklahoma.”

“Looks like it’s drivin’ then…” Dean mutters, “Just give me til tomorrow morning and I’ll hit the road.” Gabe mumbles “okay” and is about to hang up when Dean stops him.

“Wait,” he says, voice low, “Thanks, Gabe. I owe you big time. Dunno how the hell you’re even alive right now but that’s not what’s important…” Gabe sighs and rubs at his forehead. All this sentimental shit is giving him a headache.

“Yeah, yeah. Alright, enough sap for one conversation. I’ll see ya soon, Dean.” He hangs up and he can still hear Sam in the shower, so he trudges over to the bed. He throws himself down face first, arms spread out. He’s really exhausted.

He doesn’t know how long he stays like that, but when he hears Sam come in he looks up. His eyes widen at the sight. Sam, in a little white towel, his body more toned that he could have possibly imagined. When the /hell/ did Sam Winchester get so damn attractive?

“You… need some clothes,” he points out, standing and crossing over to a dresser that’s pretty dusty in the corner. He’s got his back turned to Sam now and he’s glad, because he’s almost 100% certain he’s blushing. He digs through some stuff and manages to find a T-shirt and boxers big enough to fit Sam. He grabs it and walks over to hand it to him, looking anywhere but at him.

 

****

 

Gabe’s staring at him and slowly turning bright red as his glance skitters down Sam’s torso and back up again. Sam swallows thickly as Gabe digs in a dresser and hands him some clothes, avoiding his eyes.

Sam clears his throat, pretty certain he’s blushing now too, although he’s not sure why he would be. Seeing Gabe all flustered… it’s kind of adorable, although Sam would never tell the archangel that.

“Thanks. I’ll, uh, be right back.”

The t-shirt is a little tight, and the boxers are more like boxer briefs, but he’s not going to stand around in a towel all day. He pads back down the hall, pushing his hair back out of his face.

“So, uh, you got ahold of Cas then?”

 

****

 

Gabe doesn’t say anything, he just nods and plops down on the bed. A few minutes later, Sam comes back in the too-tight clothes and Gabe is left wondering again why his heart is racing. He almost doesn’t hear Sam’s question.

“Yeah… I mean, no. I actually talked to Dean…” He explains the situation to Sam and then falls back on the bed, sprawling out. He closes his eyes and he feels sleep creep up on him. He hates that.

Before he can really doze off, he remembers Sam standing there and he sits up, yawning. “Well, guess you probably wanna get some rest. Sorry, I don’t have a guest room but you’re welcome to stay in here.” He motions to the bed he’s sitting on and blinks a few times. He realizes how this sounds and immediately works on fixing his mistake.

“What I mean is… you can sleep here and I’ll sleep on the couch. Your legs are too long and you need to be comfortable so you can recover.” He stands up and stretches. He snaps his fingers but his clothes don’t change. That’s annoying.

He goes to the dresser and grabs a white wife beater and red boxers from the top drawer. He’s on his way out when he turns to Sam. “If you need me, you know where I am.” He disappears around the corner, not waiting for a response.

 

****

 

Sam feels kind of guilty for stealing Gabe’s bed, because the archangel clearly needs sleep - should be surprising, but everything’s gone to hell - but as soon as Gabe disappears, Sam’s stripping his shirt off and crawling between the sheets.

God, this bed is comfortable. The pillows smell like Gabe’s hair, a bit like the strawberry shampoo mixed with something that almost smells like cinnamon. Gabe’s bed /would/ smell like dessert, Sam thinks, although since angels normally don’t need to sleep, he wonders how often the bed is used anyway.

He’s half asleep, his brain jumping to what else Gabe could be doing in his bed. Or who. He blames his pain-addled state for the flashes of images his mind conjures up. Plenty of women had probably spent time right where he’s lying, and maybe men. Probably men.

Before he can decide how he wants to process that, he’s asleep.

 

****

 

Gabe pads out to the living room, changes, then grabs the blanket off the back of the sofa. He settles in and is almost immediately swept up in sleep.

The sun is just rising over the horizon when he wakes up only a few hours later. He’s freezing even under the warm, woolly blanket. He gets up, stretches, and walks into his room to grab another blanket. He notices Sam is sleeping on his belly, hugging the pillow he’s resting his head on. Gabe slowly walks over to him and kneels down next to the bed.

Sam looks incredibly serene when he sleeps, even with the injuries on his face. He reaches out to touch a particularly nasty cut across his cheek but then Sam moves and Gabe nearly jumps. When he’s certain Sam is just tossing in his sleep, he presses his fingertips lightly to the cut there, then traces it up and under his eye that is more purple than it was only a few hours ago. He feels guilty for not being able to heal him, to fix him. He rests his head on the space next to Sam’s, his fingers lingering on his temple where he can feel Sam’s pulse.

 

****

 

In his sleep, Sam can feel something chilly on his face. His eyes flutter open, but he’s still mostly asleep, barely registering Gabe’s face inches from his and the fingers that are resting on his head.

“Mmm, Gabe, wha, why’s your hand so cold,” he mumbles. It feels nice, he thinks through his stupor.

 

****

 

Gabe thinks he’s dozed off again until he hears Sam’s voice and nearly chokes on his own spit. He retracts his fingers and runs his fingers through his slightly disheveled hair. He’s got lines across his cheek from where he was laying on the wrinkles in the blanket.

“S’nothing, Sammy. Go back to sleep…” he mumbles, his eyes heavy, voice thick. He reaches up and brushes a piece of hair out of Sam’s face and his hand lingers there for just a second too long. He knows Sam probably won’t notice, probably won’t remember this when he wakes up. He’s actually worried about someone other than himself. Well, that’s definitely new.

He lays his head back down on the blanket next to Sam and closes his eyes. He’s too tired to get up and move, so he just decides right there is fine for sleeping. He watches and waits, wondering if Sam will actually go back to sleep.

 

****

 

Gabe’s cold hand brushes across his face again, and Sam shivers, goosebumps breaking out across his skin.

“You’re freezing. Gerrup here. Can’t,” he mutters with a yawn, “sleep on the floor.” He closes his eyes, tugging at Gabe’s arm before his hand goes limp and he rolls back over onto his stomach with a quiet snore.

The words that Sam mumbles don’t register at first. Gabe just feels Sam tugging at him, then he rolls over and goes back to sleep. Did Sam just invite him to come sleep in the bed with him?

 

****

 

He can’t refuse an offer like that. He’s freezing and Sam is like a human furnace. He slowly crawls up into the bed and nestles in next to Sam. They’re not quite touching, but Gabe can feel his body heat and he’s instantly exhausted again. He moves a little bit closer and Sam doesn’t stir. He manages to get one hand under Sam, the other resting over Sam’s shoulders. So freakin’ warm.

He closes his eyes and he’s almost instantly asleep. Right before he dozes off, he has a thought that Sam might be a little alarmed when he wakes up with a certain archangel snuggled up next to him. But he really doesn’t care at this point. Seconds later, he’s asleep, snoring gently with his face pressed against Sam’s bicep.

 

****

 

There’s sunlight streaming through the blinds when Sam groggily comes back to consciousness. His limbs are sore and stiff, and his entire back is throbbing even though he’s on his stomach… and someone is in the bed with him. Wrapped around him, actually.

He turns his head but moves his body as little as possible, trying not to alert the person that he’s awake.

Gabe is fast asleep, breathing heavily through his nose. He looks absolutely drained to Sam, the dark circles under his eyes standing out even more against his pale skin in the weak sunlight. He’s burrowed right up against Sam’s side, curled under the blankets. Sam is shocked, but doesn’t want to wake the archangel. No matter how he ended up in bed next to Sam, the least Sam can do after all Gabe’s done for him is let him sleep. Especially as cold as he is - he knows Lucifer ran cold but that he was an anomaly, and even wearing just the thin shirt and boxers, Gabe should be almost unbearably warm. He must have serious problems with his angel powers if he’s lost that much heat.

But he’d saved Sam when Dean and even Cas couldn’t, even though he knew his powers weren’t fully working… and maybe knew that using this much juice on Sam could cause problems.

Sam’s never really had a chance to study Gabe, certainly not in a situation like this. Gabe’s dark blond hair is rumpled, thin lips in their permanent pout, his limbs much more muscled than Sam had expected, having only ever seen the archangel wrapped in layers. He’s still small compared to Sam, but then again pretty much everyone was.

He felt the sudden lurch in his chest again as he watches Gabe sleep. It’s entrancing, watching such a powerful being snoring and relatively defenseless. A small grin twists his lips as he thinks about what Gabe would have to say to that.

 

****

 

Gabriel can’t honestly recall a time when he had a dream. In fact, he hasn’t even been one for sleeping at all up until the last few months. But for some reason, something triggered him to dream when he fell asleep against Sam.

He’s having a hard time recalling it as he starts to come out of his deep sleep. It’s all just blurs of colors and images that don’t make sense. Something about Sam. Maybe Dean and Cas were there too. The only real detail he remembers seems to be that he kissed someone. And by kissed, he downright made out with someone. Was it Sam? Nah, it couldn’t have been.

He wakes up freezing again, his body actually wracked with shivers. He doesn’t want to open his eyes but does anyway. He blinks a few times, his eyes adjusting slowly to the light pouring in through the window. He instantly realizes why he’s so god damn cold. The covers are half thrown off as if he’d gotten too warm during his little rest. He knows that’s impossible.

He’s surprised to find that he’s still wrapped around Sam who is keeping his shivers somewhat at bay with his incredible amount of body heat. He’s also pretty surprised that Sam is looking right at him. He blinks slowly, processing this. He goes with the nonchalant approach even though he probably should be questioning why Sam is looking at him with that funny little grin on his face.

“Mornin’. Did you sleep well?” he questions, not moving from his position. He’s comfortable right here and unless Sam is extremely opposed, he’s not budging. He does stretch his legs out a little and rubs at his eyes. He feels a little ill which isn’t uncommon these days. He’s just happy to see Sam looking refreshed and wholly better than he was last night.

 

****

 

He’s still watching Gabe sleep, in that lazy way where he’s just too comfortable to look anywhere else while he thinks about nothing in particular in that early-morning way.

And then he realizes that Gabe has, in fact, opened his eyes and is looking right back at him, blinking with the disoriented look of someone who’s just woken up. The angel stretches but doesn’t move away. The cold against Sam’s side isn’t entirely unpleasant, considering that he probably has a fever. But then it hits him that he’s in bed…with Gabe. The archangel Gabriel.

“Gabe,” he splutters, “when did you…” Sam rolls to his side to put a little space between them, his back none too happy with the movement. He’s pretty sure his face is flushed red.

 

****

 

The moment is more than a little awkward to say the least. Sam rolls on his side and Gabe lets go of him. He’s been told that he’s not very conscious of personal space and he realizes now is one of those times. He scoots away from Sam and sighs, shivers running through him again almost immediately after losing contact with him.

Sam’s unfinished question catches him off guard. “What? You don’t remember? You…” He pauses and scratches at his ear. Maybe it’s better he not tell Sam that he was touching his face in the middle of the night with his cold hands and that’s why they’re sleeping in bed together. “It’s nothing. It was just too cold out there.”

He rolls on his side too, back facing Sam, and curls in on himself. His face is hot despite the rest of his body being cold as ice. He comes to the conclusion that Sam is becoming a nuisance in a way. He can’t seem to control his emotions around him which is annoying enough. Then he remembers that Sam is injured. He turns back over, sure his face is still a little pink, and looks him over.

“Are you doing okay? How’s your back?”

 

****

 

Sam sees something, maybe hurt, flash through Gabe’s eyes before the angel shrugs and rolls to face away, shivering, for a moment, before turning back to face Sam again. Sam decides to ignore Gabe’s half-started thought; half of him wants to know what prompted the angel to crawl into bed with him, but the other half…he’s not sure.

“It’s been better, but it’s better than it was yesterday.” He sits up slowly and stretches as much as he can without pulling the barely-scabbed wounds back open under the bandage, yawning. He glances back to Gabe before getting up to grab his shirt off the chair in the corner where he dropped it the night before, pulling it on carefully. He blinks his eyes clear, wary of rubbing them when the one is still bruised.

“Are /you/ all right? You’re shivering, Gabe, and I think you might actually look worse than I do.”

He scratches a hand through his hair. “I could make coffee, if you have any. I could definitely use the caffeine, and it might help?”

 

****

 

The angel is watching him as he gets up, puts on his shirt (a damn shame, really) and turns to ask him a question he doesn’t hear at first. His teeth are chattering so loudly that he misses the first part, only hearing the bit about the coffee.

“There’s some in the kitchen… somewhere…” he mumbles, his voice a little nasally, “I take 15 sugars and milk.” He grabs the pillow next to him and curls himself around it, trying to warm up. When it doesn’t work, he throws it across the room in frustration and gets up.

He crosses the room, ignoring Sam, and grabs new clothes out of his dresser. He’s so out of it he’s not even really sure if Sam left the room or not. He just starts changing, pulling off his wife beater and tossing it on the floor lazily.

 

****

 

“Fifteen?” Gabe doesn’t answer him, only burrows deeper into bedsheets, so Sam turns to leave. He stops when a pillow nearly hits him in the back- although Gabe probably didn’t mean to aim at him…or maybe he did - and then Gabe nearly runs into him as the angel stalks to the dresser.

When Gabe strips off his thin shirt, Sam can’t help staring for a moment. Despite his skinny frame, the archangel’s almost as toned as he is. He swallows thickly as his eyes glance from Gabe’s shoulders down his spine. He’s not going to admit to himself that
he notices those dimples right below Gabe’s hips. He’s not.

Gabe’s ignoring him, pulling on a t-shirt, jeans, thick socks, and a plaid buttondown before zipping on an oatmeal colored track jacket-style sweater, still shivering despite the layers.

Sam retreats to the kitchen, breathing a bit quicker. The coffee’s easy to find, the little cups for one of those really expensive coffeemakers, and there are five one-pound bags of sugar right next to it. The first cup brews quickly and he starts the second while he tries to stir the mass of sugar in, one spoonful at a time. It’s like syrup even after he adds milk, and he grimaces down at the cup. Gabe’s still in the bedroom, so he sits on the couch, setting Gabe’s on the glass and moving the rumpled blankets as he sips the barely-cool-enough drink. Jesus, the coffee is good. And he really needed coffee.

 

****

 

Gabe almost forgets that there’s someone else in the room with him as he strips and changes into three layers of clothing. He’s still freezing, but it’ll do. He stuffs the rest of his clothes into his dirty laundry bin and takes off for the living room.

By the time he gets there, he sees Sam on the couch drinking his coffee and he plops down next to him. He immediately pulls the blanket off the back of the couch and wraps it around himself like a cocoon. He only sticks his arm out long enough to grab the coffee from the table before adjusting so he can drink his coffee without his hand possibly turning into ice. He notices Sam is acting a little awkward (not really that unusual) and he doesn’t really know why.

Wait. Was Sam in the room when he was changing? Oh well, hope he enjoyed the show.

“You need to rest,” Gabe says, his voice muffled by the fabric of the blanket he’s got covering his mouth when he’s not sipping his coffee, “Otherwise, you’ll just rip open all your wounds and all my hard work will go to waste.” His ears are freezing, so he pulls the blanket up around them and stays like that. He turns to Sam and he realizes he must look like a fucking idiot. All that’s visible of him is one hand, holding a coffee cup (his favorite one, he notices), and his eyes and hair. The rest of him is enveloped in the woolly blanket.

 

****

 

Sam can barely see Gabe wrapped inside the blanket. The archangel’s hair is mussed, and his muffled voice sounds peeved. But Sam can’t help a small, crooked smile that he tries to hide behind his coffee mug; Gabe looks like a snowman all bundled up like that. And he feels a bit guilty about denying Gabe of a clearly beneficial heat source, even if it was him, well, mostly undressed.

“I’ll make you a deal. I need to do some research, see if I can find anything out about that thing. I’m guessing you probably have a laptop somewhere, even if you never use it, so if I can borrow it, I’ll sit here and, uh, share some body heat. Okay?”

 

****

 

Gabe pokes his head out just a little more, enough to uncover his mouth, and grins at Sam. He’s pretty comfortable in the blanket but Sam is /extremely/ warm. He’s giddy, almost stupid with joy, when he finally snaps out of it and realizes he should probably go get the computer.

“Yeah, gimme a sec,” he says as he covers his mouth and head with the blanket again. He pads down the hall and comes back a moment later with a MacBook. He sets it on the table in front of Sam and curls up back in his spot.

“Here ya go. Never had much use for it. Only opened it once.” He looks at the computer and then back at Sam, his eyes bright.

 

****

 

Sam can’t help smiling back at Gabe this time - the archangel looks incredibly happy at something as simple as permission to sit close to him.

He finishes his coffee and gets another cup while Gabe is gone. When Gabe sets the computer down in front of him, he grabs it and props his feet up on the coffee table, settling in for what is no doubt going to be a long research session. It’s not like he can go anywhere with just the clothes he’s wearing, and he really does need to rest. It’s kind of domestic, getting to laze around for once.

The computer boots up and he has the browser open before he realizes Gabe is still watching him from the same spot he was in before.

“You can sit closer than that, you know. I did say it was all right.” He reaches around the couch arm to set his coffee on the floor within arm’s reach, heart speeding up just a bit as those eyes watch him, a little more molten than usual.

 

****

 

Stop staring, he says over and over again in his head. He can’t really help it, Sam always looks damn good. But he looks especially attractive with his feet propped up on his coffee table, drinking coffee out of his mug while sitting on his couch. It’s really… kind of nice. A lot less lonely.

At Sam’s invitation, he slides over to sit next to him. He leaves an inch of space, just in case. He doesn’t want to make Sam nervous. But it’s still not warm enough.

“So, research… sounds like a butt load of fun,” Gabe mutters and waggles his eyebrows, his voice low and a little scratchy. He sounds like he’s got a freakin’ cold. That’s great. Can angels even get colds?

Now, he’s unconsciously leaning into Sam, watching what he’s doing on the computer. His cheek ends up pressed against Sam’s arm in no time as he watches intently. He’s feeling really tired again, but it wouldn’t be a good idea to go back to sleep.

 

****

 

Sam starts to scroll through a few promising looking sites, mostly from universities or else completely suspicious looking conspiracy collections.

He feels Gabe scooch across the couch to close the space between them, leaning his face on Sam’s arm to watch Sam’s progress. The angel’s proximity makes his heart beat just a touch faster, and Sam can’t help but notice that huskier-than-usual tone.

It would be tempting to reach for his coffee while he tries to decide just why exactly Gabe is affecting him this much, but he really doesn’t want Gabe to move. He…he sort of likes this, whatever it is.

He glances over to Gabe and back to the computer, hoping Gabe can’t read any of this in his eyes. “After I do this reserach, I’ll, uh, see if I can find anything about what’s happening to you. Or something that might help. There’s got to be something online.”

 

****

 

Gabe kind of zones out, but snaps back when Sam mentions something about trying to figure out what’s going on with the whole angel power thing. He just nods and watches Sam carefully. They’re actually staring into each other’s eyes and it’s a little unnerving. Gabe is the first to turn away, closing his eyes and settling against Sam, ever closer.

“Mmm… yeah, take your time with whatever,” he mumbles groggily, nuzzling into Sam’s arm. So warm. He closes his eyes, but he doesn’t fall asleep. He’s managing to keep his mind afloat, listening to Sam type and click and sigh and breathe and… damnit, he needs to stop doing that. Even when he’s not staring directly at Sam, he’s thinking about how fucking attractive he is.

For a few minutes, his consciousness dips into a dream, but he’s awoken by shivers, one ear exposed to the cool air of the room. He shifts under the blanket, covers his ear and curls into Sam again. He’s really pretty warm now thanks to Sam’s body heat.

His eyes are still closed, his breaths coming slow and deep through his nose. He’s extremely comfortable like this and he really likes it. He doesn’t move, just lays against Sam and fights off sleep.

 

****

 

Sam works on searching every familiar, reliable source and then some with Gabe’s whole body pressed against his side, the blanket draping over Sam’s leg when Gabe shifts and covers up even more. The angel seems a little warmer than before, and Sam’s oddly proud to be a human furnace.

He rubs his free hand across his eyes and checks the clock. It’s been almost an hour since Gabe mumbled at him, and he appears to be fast asleep, breathing evenly. It’s a little worrying, how much he’s seen Gabe sleep already.

He glances over at the archangel snuggled up to him. He really hasn’t ever been interested in men, but no one would deny that Gabe’s attractive. It’s so tempting to reach over and touch him, to explore with his hands, just because he can. Gabe would never know. It’s not really any stranger than waking up with Gabe in bed with him.

Sam reaches out and, before his mind can convince him it’s a bad idea, brushes Gabe’s mussed hair away from the angel’s face, smoothing his fingers across Gabe’s brow, not daring to breathe.

But Gabe doesn’t stir, and he drops his hand to let his thumb slide slowly down the center of Gabe’s lips and over the bottom one, slightly fuller than the top. Sam shivers, his heart pounding.

 

****

 

A long time passes and Gabe never really falls asleep. He’s been teetering on the edge for a while now but he refuses to give in. He wants to just enjoy his moment curled up next to Sam Winchester.

He keeps thinking about how much he cares for Sam, how much it hurt to have feelings for someone he never thought he’d see again. He remembers a lot of very miserable nights spent drinking copious amounts of alcohol trying to keep that little hole in his chest from expanding.

His thoughts are cut short by very warm fingers touching his face. He has to make an effort not to move, not to even twitch his nose. But the whole time, he’s thinking, Sam is touching me. There are a few seconds where Sam’s fingers stall and Gabriel actually stops breathing, waiting.

In those few seconds of absolute stillness, Sam’s fingers pressed against his brow, he tries to convince himself that this doesn’t mean anything. Hell, for all he knows, Sam is just checking his temperature. But he knows better than that, he can practically feel what’s being implied here.

Sam’s fingers slip down to trace Gabe’s lips, and Gabe sucks in a little breath, holding back a shiver. He has never wanted to kiss anyone as badly as he wants to kiss Sam right now. Hell, maybe even more. He can’t shake the image of licking Sam’s thumb as it brushes across his lips. Or just sucking it into his mouth, raking his teeth against the hardened pad of skin on his fingertips.

He needs to stop thinking. Right now. But he can’t. His mind is racing and his heart is pounding and he just can’t ignore the fact that Sam is touching him like this. “Sam,” he says very quietly against Sam’s thumb, silently praying that this isn’t just one big misunderstanding, “Sammy.” His voice is hoarse and scratchy and raw. And what prompted him to say Sammy? That was a nickname that he had only heard Dean use with Sam. It just felt right here, now.

 

****

 

Sam nearly jumps out of his skin when Gabe’s mouth moves against his fingers. Oh, shit. He hadn’t been asleep after all.

He whips his hand away, feeling himself start to flush again at the thought of being caught. Gabe’s ill and he’s…he’s…he has no idea what he is. But hearing Gabe call him Sammy, in that sleep-roughened voice, well, /does things/ to him. He twists around, laptop falling to the seredipidously located area rug, as he scrambles from shock to put a few inches between them.

“Gabe, I shouldn’t have - I thought you were asleep - wow, that sounds creepy, that’s not what I meant…” God, he’s babbling, he can’t shut up, what’s wrong with him?

 

****

 

Gabe opens his eyes just in time to watch Sam scrabble across the sofa, a horrified look on his face. He cocks his head to one side and really looks at Sam. He’s blushing and he looks like he’s about to just come out of his skin.

Everything is starting to make sense. Maybe, just maybe Sam isn’t so unattainable after all. Maybe Sam just doesn’t know, he doesn’t understand how he feels. But Gabe knows, he’s always known. He shrugs out of the blanket and closes the distance between them.

“Sam. Just shut up.” He doesn’t remember getting so close. He’s got his cold hand wrapped around Sam’s wrist and his mouth is only inches away from Sam’s. If he doesn’t make this move now, he’ll never know.

So, Gabe takes a risk. He leans in and kisses Sam, chaste (mostly) and he doesn’t move. He waits for either Sam to pull away in disgust, or reciprocate.

 

****

 

Gabriel doesn’t say anything in the face of Sam’s babbling, just tilts his head and studies him. When Gabe cuts him off, he falls silent in shock. Before he can breathe, before he can think, Gabe’s hand is clasping his wrist and the archangel has slid closer, blanket abandoned, until he is practically on Sam’s lap.

His face is inches from Sam’s, those eyes watching him with intense focus and something like hunger flickering through them. They’re the color of warm caramel and liquid gold and Sam can’t look away, doesn’t want to look away, is drowning in them and doesn’t care, because he’d seen that look levelled at him before, even back when the day was always Tuesday and then again in brief flashes when Gabriel had been standing in a ring of holy fire explaining himself to Sam and Dean. He’d seen and pretended not to know - no, hadn’t been able to admit he knew - just what those eyes were saying. Gabe had always stood close, closer than anyone but Dean and Bobby and sometimes Cas.

Even knowing his powers were waning, Gabe had come when Sam had called.

Suddenly, Gabriel’s mouth is on his, pressing gently, questioning rather than demanding. For an instant, Sam is frozen in shock, unable to move closer or away…and then he can’t help the gasp that escapes him, because what feels like molten lightning has trickled down his spine to curl deep in his stomach, knocking the wind out of him and sending a shiver throughout his body that seems to start right where Gabe’s lips are touching his.

And then he’s kissing Gabe back, and his hand moves of its own accord and grabs the front of Gabe’s jacket. He didn’t know he wanted this, or didn’t want to admit it; he’s been so fucked up since he got back from Hell and craving something, contact, anything - and Jesus.

 

****

 

There’s a sort of lull in time and Gabe wonders if this is all just a dream. Sam gasps softly against Gabe’s lips and he has to hold back a smirk. Next thing he knows, Sam’s fisting his hand into the front of his jacket, pulling him closer. The realization that Sam wants this washes over him.

Less than a second later, Gabe is actually sitting in Sam’s lap, practically straddling him. He moves his other hand to twist into Sam’s incredibly soft hair as he opens his mouth just a little, inviting Sam to take it a little further.

He’s trying to think about this rationally but his head is just a damn mess right now because all he can think about is Sam. Sam’s hair and Sam’s eyes and Sam’s coffee breath and Sam’s tongue. Fuck.

He’s moving his lips against Sam’s and he has to hold back a whimper. His fingers slip through Sam’s hair and grip the back of the too-small shirt he’s wearing. He’s really… well, he’s a lot of things right now. Good things. He’s been so damn lonely and all he thought about the whole time was Sam. And now he’s got him, everything is just Sam.

He pushes his limits a little further, edging the tip of his tongue across Sam’s bottom lip, his breathing picking up. He seems to have forgotten that he was freezing his ass off only a minute or two before.

 

****

 

Then Gabe is in his lap, one hand in Sam’s hair and the other grabbing his shirt. As Gabe’s lips part, Sam’s open without thought, his head tilting up into Gabe’s kiss as his feet slide off the table to rest on the floor.

He lets go of Gabe’s jacket, letting his hand slide to grip Gabe’s hip as the other hand comes up to cup the archangel’s jaw in his palm.

Gabe tastes like coffee and sugar, and it makes Sam’s teeth ache with want. Gabe is clinging to him, kissing Sam like he never wants to stop as he pants quietly against Sam’s mouth. There are a thousand sparks flowing through Sam’s veins, and every nerve ending is aflame.

When he feels Gabe’s tongue meet his lip, his head reels and he licks into Gabe’s mouth, chasing the sweetness with a barely audible moan he doesn’t care to hold back.

 

****

 

Gabe actually has to pull back a bit, his breathing ragged and harsh. Then he crushes their lips together again, only this time he’s a little less forgiving. He pushes his tongue through Sam’s lips, the hand he had on Sam’s back falling to pet Sam’s side.

He breaks away from Sam’s mouth and starts to kiss across Sam’s cheek, to his ear, down to his jaw, his neck. Then he pops back up and kisses Sam much more passionately. He’s becoming uncomfortable aware of the tightness of his pants but he ignores it. He needs to behave.

He starts in sucking on a bit of Sam’s bottom lip and he can’t help the little moans he’s making. He’s always been vocal in these kinds of endeavors, but never quite like this. Sam is doing something to him that he has never experienced in his millions of years.

He’s extremely hot and bothered, the feeling of Sam’s warm hand resting dangerously close to another place he’d really like Sam’s hands to be. He keeps up licking into Sam’s mouth, nibbling his lips, stroking his side. He just forgets everything and lets the kissing continue.

 

****

 

Sam shivers as Gabe’s hand trails down his side, gasping for breath as Gabe’s mouth leaves his. He groans when Gabe presses a kiss to that one hypersensitive spot on his neck, clutching the archangel closer.

Gabe is moaning quietly as he returns his mouth to Sam’s to suck on Sam’s lower lip. Every tug sends a jolt straight to Sam’s groin, and he would be concerned that’s he’s only wearing already-tight boxers but he’s too busy slipping his hand from Gabe’s hip under the layers of shirts to rest his hand just above one of the dimples in Gabe’s back that he had been admiring earlier.

His calloused fingers slide over Gabe’s skin, petting softly. The angel is still colder than Sam but barely. And then Gabe’s teeth catch his lip almost hard enough to be a bite, and Sam’s hips buck upward as he leans forward to bite back.

 

****

 

Gabe really likes the reaction he gets when he bites into Sam’s lip. He can feel his hips jerk up just slightly but enough to feel what’s underneath that thin fabric between them. He actually contemplates reaching down and groping him shamelessly, but he decides taking it slow is better.

He’s moaning into Sam’s mouth as they just keep kissing, tongues clashing, teeth scraping against the sensitive skin of their lips. Gabe’s hand is slowly making its way down towards Sam’s lap when his phone goes off and scares the living shit out of him. Just fucking great.

He leans back just far enough to fish around in his pants pockets for the phone. He finally finds it, pulls it out and opens it. Sure enough, it’s Dean. He shoves the phone into Sam’s hands clumsily, licking his lips. They’re raw from all the kissing but he’s not complaining.

“For you,” Gabe manages to stutter. He doesn’t move away from Sam, still straddling his lap, eyes fixed on Sam’s.

Chapter Text

When Gabe’s phone goes off, they jump apart. Gabe leans back to reach into his pocket, and Sam swallows at the brief increased contact.

Gabe licks his lips and hands the phone to Sam, speaking with a catch in his voice. He stays put as Sam flips open the phone.

“Gabriel?”

“No, Dean, it’s me.”

“Sammy? You okay, man? What the hell happened? You sound like hell.”

Sam rubs a hand over his eyes, trying to slow his racing heart.

“That thing, whatever it was, there were two of them. Gabe showed up and brought me here.”

“How did he know to show up?”

“Uh…dunno.” He can’t tell Dean about that, not yet. Certainly not with Gabe still crouched in his lap, eyes fixed on Sam’s with that hungry look again.

“Well, did he manage to patch you up at least? He said his mojo was a bit off.”

Gabe shifts on his lap, and Sam’s breath catches in his throat. “Uh-m, my back’s pretty torn up, but that’s about it. I don’t know how much he told you, but his angel powers are messed up. I’ve been doing some research, but I haven’t been able to find anything.”

He hears Dean swear at another driver and the squeal of tires.

“Cas still hasn’t shown up - I’ve been praying, but who the hell knows where he is. Look, I’m about 30 minutes away. We gotta figure out what this thing is so we can kill it - them - whatever. Tell Gabe he’d better be ready to explain.”

“Okay, well, see you soon then.” Dean doesn’t answer, just hangs up.

And then Sam is left with an aroused archangel on his lap.

****

Gabe presses against Sam, even after he’s picked up the phone. He doesn’t care much what’s being said because he’s focused on Sam. He shifts slightly and hears Sam stutter a little. A mischievous grin cracks across his face as he dips his head down to kiss Sam right below the ear. He can hear the garbled voice of Dean over the phone and Sam’s not talking so… why the hell not? He trails kisses down Sam’s neck, licks in the hollow of his throat, kisses right back up to his ear and across his cheek to nip at the corner of his mouth.

He stops when Sam starts to talk again, but it’s very short lived. He hangs up the phone and Gabe pulls back slightly. “So… what’d Dean have to say?” His voice is a little husky and he’s still leaning into Sam now, resting his face against Sam’s neck.

****

It had taken a remarkable amount of self-control for Sam to keep listening to Dean while Gabe had let his mouth wander. Thankfully the angel had at least taken mercy on him long enough for Sam to finish the call.

Sam shudders when Gabe speaks, mouth still so close to his throat, that huskier-than-normal voice murmuring into his ear. His hand is still up Gabe’s shirt, and he absently strokes Gabe’s skin, moving his fingers in small, slow circles.

Sam clears his throat. “He, uh, said Cas still isn’t back. Asked how I was, if I’d figured anything out yet.” He’s quiet for a moment, hand still moving as he tries to parse through the rest of the call when all he really had been paying attention to was Gabe’s tongue on his throat and the press of Gabe’s hips into his.

“Shit.” He tilts his head back to rest fully on the back of the couch and closes his eyes. “He’s gonna be here soon. Half an hour.”

****

Gabe isn’t really listening to what Sam’s been saying up until he says that Dean is half an hour away. Gabe sits up and looks at him, frowning deeply. He’s secretly cursing Dean in his head for being a cockblock.

“You should probably change into something less… revealing,” Gabe says as he reluctantly rolls off Sam’s lap. He doesn’t break his gaze, though. He’s still watching Sam, reading him.

“I dunno if I have anything that fits you, but I might be able to conjure somethin’ up.” He’s very aware that his voice still sounds raspy and his lips are raw and he can still taste Sam in his mouth and… fuck.

He stands up and starts to head into his room. He turns back around and looks at Sam when he’s almost out of sight. He’s not meaning to be awkward but he really has no idea what he should say. He opts for not saying anything as he slips into his room to find some clothes for Sam.

****

Sam opens his eyes again as he feels Gabe sit up. Gabe doesn’t break eye contact as he slides off Sam’s lap onto the couch, sounding annoyed. He looks incredibly dishevelled, with his shirts rumpled, hair mussed, and lips bruised red, and really Sam’s having a hell of a time controlling the impulse to pull him back over and kiss him senseless.

But then Gabe gets up and disappears wordlessly into his bedroom with only a brief glance backwards that looks like a combination of arousal, annoyance, and confusion.

Sam really hopes he can just will his erection to go away before Dean shows up. He stands up and stretches, swearing when he manages to pull one of his wounds with the motion. He pads down the hall to the bathroom. His eye’s still bruised but most of his smaller cuts have closed up pretty well. It’s his back he’s the most worried about, and it gives him something to think about other than the archangel down the hall and what the fuck just happened.

Getting his t-shirt off is difficult, now that his back has had a chance to scab over. He manages with a minimum of swearing and turns around to look over his shoulder to the mirror as he slowly peels off the bloodstained bandages.

/Jesus Christ./ He looks like someone scraped a grater lined with spikes across his skin. Sam swallows thickly as he reveals more and more of the damage with each piece of gauze that falls. Unless Gabe or Cas can heal him, his back is going to be crossed with massive scars. And without them knowing what the thing that did this is, he might still have to deal with some permanent damage.

He’s really not looking forward to this next part. Wetting a washcloth in the sink, he starts cleaning his back as best he can, but it’s absolutely excruciating, and he has to stop after only a minute or two, his back on fire and his muscles shaking.

“Hey, Gabe, could you, uh, I need some more bandages,” he calls out.

****

Gabe manages to find and alter a pair of jeans and a shirt to Sam’s size, but it knocks what little bit of power he’d recovered over the last few days out of him. He hears Sam call to him from the bathroom, so he grabs the clothes and the unused bandages from the night before and heads to the bathroom.

Sam is standing there shirtless, his back a bloody mess, and Gabe can’t help the annoyed sigh that escapes him. He sits everything down on the closed toilet and grabs Sam’s hand.

“Idiot, stop touching it. Just let me take do it. I can reach it better.” He pries the cloth from Sam’s hand and starts to work on his back, trying his best to avoid hurting him.

After Gabe finishes cleaning the wounds, he takes a deep breath. Sam’s in a lot of pain and he thinks he’s got just enough power left in him to heal these wounds a little more. He presses his hands to Sam’s bloody back, concentrates really fucking hard, and hopes for the best. He can feel a little bit of power surge through him and when he pulls his hands away, the wounds look a little better, but not much.

He reaches down to grab the bandages from the pile of supplies he brought in and almost falls over, suddenly dizzy. He catches himself on the edge of the sink and takes a deep breath. “M’fine,” he quickly says before Sam notices his little slip up.

****

Gabe comes in with clothes that look like they might fit Sam and some more bandages. He’s relieved when the archangel doesn’t hand them to him and leave but instead stays and helps him.

He’s gentle, but Sam still has to bend and clench the edge of the sink in his hands, closing his eyes. But then he feels palms on his back and his eyes fly open, because Gabe better not be doing what Sam thinks he is. He can feel the power flow out of Gabe into his back, knitting together the wounds just a bit more, but his back is forgotten as he turns to see Gabe sheet-white and wobbling, leaning on the counter.

“Dammit, Gabe,” he says with more concern than anger. “I’ll do the rest myself, c’mon.” And before Gabe can reply, he picks up the smaller man and cradles him to his chest as he carries him back to the bedroom.

Sam sets Gabe down carefully and tucks the blankets around him. “Stay here. I’m gonna go get dressed.” The archangel looks so exhausted, but Sam’s too worried to argue with him, and presses a firm kiss to Gabe’s mouth before the archangel can protest.

He returns to the bathroom and applies the bandages as best he can before slipping on the jeans and incredibly soft maroon buttondown over his boxers and the tshirt from before. With his back wrapped up again and clean clothes, he feels better, although Gabe’s power probably have something to do with it. Gabriel probably used his power to conjure the clothes up too, and Sam feels another roiling stab of guilt. At this point, Gabe’s in worse shape than he is, and it’s even worse because he’s an archangel - he’s supposed to heal, not need to be healed.

The way Gabe had kissed him so eagerly, had panted and moaned…he could have been pretending, but Sam highly doubted that. When Gabe kissed him, Sam had tasted the same desperate desire for connection that he had been fighting off. They had both returned to Earth a little messed up, and lonely as hell. Gabriel might be a smartass most of the time, but as they had found out when they’d trapped him in the ring of holy oil, there was a lot more going on behind the wisecracks and tricks. And Sam can’t remember the last time he’d been kissed like that. Maybe with Ruby, but this was something…different.

He grabs Gabe’s abandoned blanket from the couch and returns to the bedroom.

****

A bout of nausea washes over Gabe as he leans over the counter. He hears Sam say something but his ears are ringing too loudly for him to make out exactly what it is. Next thing he knows, he’s being picked up bridal style and carried off to his room.

Sam drops him on the bed and Gabe looks up at him, too tired to be annoyed. He’s got that look; his eyebrows are drawn together in the middle and the familiar worry lines leave creases on his forehead and around his mouth. Gabe goes to argue, almost opens his mouth to speak, but then Sam kisses him and takes off back towards the bathroom.

Gabe finds himself smiling weakly at the gesture, a strange feeling bubbling up in his chest. Love, maybe? He’s not jumping to any conclusions. That kiss was one step towards something good. At least, that’s what Gabe hopes.

He closes his eyes and waits for Sam to return. He’s still relatively warm from their activities earlier but he can feel his body temperature going down as the seconds tick on. He actually dozes off for a few minutes before he hears Sam come back into the room. He opens his eyes and watches as Sam carries a blanket towards him.

“I don’t need it,” Gabe insists, but he knows it’s futile. Sam is past the point of caring what Gabe says right now because he’s worried. At least that’s what he thinks anyway. He finds himself wracked with shivers almost as soon as the words leave his mouth and he makes an angry sort of noise.

“Damnit,” he mumbles as he watches Sam, his eyelids drooping.

****

Gabe’s still shivering, even with the extra blanket, but there’s a knock on the door. Dean’s standing outside, hands shoved in his pockets. He looks worse for the wear too, an inch-long cut on his brow and a dark bruise across his cheekbone.

“Hey, Sammy.”

When he sees Gabe, shivering in his bed, Dean’s eyes widen. “Jesus, what the hell happened?”

He doesn’t wait for an answer, wiping a hand over his face and wincing when he rubs his injuries. “Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do. Cas still hasn’t answered me, and we still have no freakin’ idea what those monsters were. I can drive another couple hours tonight, we can stay in a motel and get to Bobby’s tomorrow.”

Sam shows him the bathroom and then returns to the bedroom. He scoops Gabe up again - dammit, his back - and carries him out to the Impala, laying him carefully on the backseat in a nest of blankets.

“Do you - do you need anything, before we leave?”

****

Gabe can hear Dean’s voice but he’s not really listening. He keeps fading in and out of sleep. He only really rouses enough to care when he’s hoisted up into arms again. He recognizes them as Sam’s and wraps his arms around his neck.

A few moments later, he’s being dropped down into a big pile of blankets in the back of a car. The Impala, he imagines. He opens his eyes long enough to situate himself in the blankets then proceeds to close his eyes again. Sam asks him something he can’t really make out so he just shakes his head and burrows into the blankets further.

He slips into sleep as soon as the car starts. The backseat is comfortable and just big enough for him and his blankets. It’s a perfect, warm nest for him.

He doesn’t wake up until the car jerks to a stop in a gas station somewhere. He sits up and groans, his head aching and his stomach queasy.

“We almost there?” Gabe asks, his voice still thick with sleep, “I feel like shit.” He scrubs his hands over his face then falls back into his pile of blankets and curls up.

****

While Gabe sleeps in the back seat, Sam explains what’s happened in more detail to Dean. They drive for almost four hours before Dean stops at a gas station to ask for directions to a motel. He looks as exhausted as Sam feels.

Sam stays in the car, leaning back to close his eyes and cover his face with his hands. Dean had given him a look, one of the times he had glanced back yet again to check on Gabe, that said he knew something was going on between them. Sam had pretended he hadn’t seen, because Dean can think what he wants, but Gabe is in rough shape and doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

Then he hears Gabe sit up and turns around to see the archangel awake. When Gabe falls back, Sam turns and kneels on his seat, leaning over to see Gabe curled up, brow furrowed.

“Dean’s getting directions, we’re almost to the motel.”

He sees Dean coming back and sits back down. His brother has directions written on a crumpled napkin.

“It’s right down the road, about two miles that way.”

The motel, when they get there, doesn’t look as bad as some of the places they’ve stayed. Dean checks in, and thankfully there’s a parking space right outside the door. Sam gets out to get his bag from the trunk, but Dean takes it from him.

“Go get Gabriel, man, I got these. He looks terrible.”

Dean disappears into the room, leaving the door open for Sam.

Sam opens the backseat car door carefully, trying to avoid dumping Gabe out onto the pavement.

“C’mon, we’re here. I’ll carry you again.”

****

Gabe knows he won’t be able to go back to sleep with his stomach feeling like it might turn inside out, so he just lays in his pile of blankets. When Sam turns around and tells him they’re close, he smiles weakly and thanks him before rolling onto his stomach and burying his face.

Dean comes back and they take off, but within five minutes they’re already coming to a stop again. Gabe is way too tired to move but he attempts it anyway. He sits up slowly and struggles to find a handhold. He manages to grab the backseat and pull himself up all the way.

Sam is there now, standing at the door, ready to carry Gabe it appears. He crawls across the seats and reaches up for Sam wordlessly. He lets out a small hiss as his stomach churns painfully.

He feels vulnerable, like a child. He hates being like this. Especially in front of Sam. He’s always been strong and powerful and able to dance circles around Sam and now… now he’s depending far too much on the guy for his own good. Maybe… maybe that’s okay though.

“Sam, m’sorry,” he says just before he lets Sam pick him up.

****

Sam’s surprised. Why is Gabe apologizing? For Sam choosing to protect the angel that saved him? “For what? This? No, Gabe.”

The motel room is small, barely enough space for the two beds, nightstand, and long dresser. Sam sets Gabe down and goes back over to close the door. Dean’s digging through his bag, jacket abandoned on a chair, but he glances between Sam and Gabe.

“I’m gonna shower.” He grabs clean clothes and shuts himself in the bathroom. After a few rusty-sounding squeaks, the shower starts running.

Gabe looks so lost. Sam fills a glass from the bottled water on the table and sits down next to Gabe, holding it out.

“Sorry we couldn’t get to Bobby’s tonight. I know the Impala’s probably not the best place to try and get some rest.”

****

The motel room is particularly cold and Gabe finds himself wishing he was back in the Impala curled up in his blanket nest. Sam drops him on the bed and Dean runs off to shower and he feels like he’s stuck in some strange fever dream. He looks up at Sam with glazed eyes and grabs the water from his hand.

“Mmm, s’fine, Sam. I’m not that bad off. Just tired.” He can feel his eyelids drooping and he forces them open to look at Sam. He feels like there’s some kind of awkwardness here that he can’t quite put his finger on.

“A lot has happened over the last 24 hours,” he starts, biting his lip, “You, uh, wanna talk about it? Y’know, while we’ve got some time alone…” He doesn’t know that there’s much that needs saying, but he wants to be sure him and Sam are on the same page right now.

****

Sam’s surprised, even though he probably shouldn’t be.

“I, uh…”

There’s so much. He’s worried about Gabe, because they really need to figure out what the hell is going on with his powers.

 

But at the same time he can’t stop thinking about Gabe straddling him and their tongues brushing and Gabe moaning into his mouth. Gabriel might be an angel, but Sam knows he’s slept around, and if that’s all this is, then fine, but he’d rather know. Although it seems like a bit much for Gabe to be pursuing something so temporary when he’s in such bad shape. He knows, without Gabe saying, that there’s something more here.

“Gabriel,” he sighs with all the want and worry and confusion in his voice. “It’s, it’s all…” He can’t even think of how to finish his sentence.

****

Gabe can tell that Sam is at a loss for words. He reckons he might want to start talking first so Sam has something to go off of. But what does he even say? How he really feels? No, maybe he should water it down a little.

“Shush,” Gabe snaps, pressing his palm over Sam’s mouth, “Look, Sam… I know what you’re thinking. I’m sure this is new to you. I think we’re both in the same boat as far as that goes.”

He stops and pulls his hand away from Sam’s mouth. He’s leaning in closer now, so close he can feel Sam’s breath on his face. “This isn’t just some… one time thing. Y’know, unless you want it to be. But if it’s up to me, I don’t…” He inhales sharply and turns away, looking a little embarrassed. This isn’t coming out in the smooth, charming way he’s used to. In fact, he’s completely butchering it.

“I worried about you for a long time, Sam. I think that says somethin’ on my part, at least.” He drops his eyes and frowns, playing with a loose thread on his jacket. Now he’s at a loss.

****

Before Sam can react to Gabe’s hand pressed over his mouth, it’s gone, and Gabe’s face is inches from his. He can practically feel the chill radiating from the archangel, and that’s still worrying, but he’s wholly distracted by what Gabe is saying.

Gabe had worried about him. He had almost forgotten that he had thought Sam was in hell all this time. The way the angel is avoiding his eyes and isn’t his usual eloquent self - come to think of it, Sam doesn’t know how he missed that it’s more than the problems with his powers that changed Gabe. It’s over a year of running and hiding, of thinking everyone he cared for (me, Sam thinks, he cared about /me/) was dead or worse than, and now he has Sam back and safe as he’ll ever be, near-death experiences being pretty regular events in the Winchester family.

This really /isn’t/ something fleeting, new as it might be for him. Gabe had really, /really/ missed him, more than Dean or Cas or anyone else. And it’s not like there hadn’t been something there between them before, small and patient.

“I missed you too, Gabe. And,” he says with some surprise, before he can convince himself not to, “I don’t want it to be, either.”

****

Gabe hears Sam’s words and when it registers, he can’t help but pull Sam down for a kiss. He crushes their lips together for just a few seconds before pulling away, his breathing already speeding up.

“Sammy, I…” Gabe begins, but before he can say anything else, he hears Dean turn the shower off. He lays back down and sighs, covering his eyes with his hands. “It can wait,” he mumbles in his palms.

He’s exhausted anyway and ready to sleep again. Not to mention, he doesn’t want to say anything he might regret. Like just then. He had actually thought about telling Sam he loves him, more than anyone or anything ever. That he spent every waking moment after he was brought back thinking about him, worrying about him, drinking himself into a stupor so he could forget. But even then, he never forgot.

He’s never been one for romance or love or anything like that. The only person he came close to loving romantically was Kali… that hadn’t ended well. Sam was something else, though. Sam brought out these new emotions in him that he didn’t even think he had. He’d spent a good majority of his time on Earth trying to avoid developing human emotion, but it had inevitably happened.

He’s glad that it’s Sam though. Sam is the person that stole this archangel’s heart and he is completely and utterly okay with this.

 

When Dean walks in, Gabe turns on his side and curls into himself. He’s feeling a little warmer now, whether it be from the conversation he had with Sam or the thick down comforter he’s nestled under.

****

The kiss is brief but intense, and Sam forgets to breathe.

Dean has piss-poor timing. Gabe lies down, turning away from the light from the bathroom door, and Sam gets up and grabs pajama pants and a clean t-shirt. He really, really needs a shower.

Dean’s toweling off his hair still and stops Sam at the bathroom door. When he speaks, it’s so quiet Sam can barely hear him.

“Look, I didn’t want to say anything, but the sleeping situation’s kind of come up, so…just wanted to say I’m cool with it, since I didn’t before. What’s going on with you and Gabe all of a sudden, I mean.”

Sam glances over to Gabe, not sure if he’s listening. “Uh, I’m not really sure, there’s so much going on…” Dean gives him a look, and he realizes how his brother probably interpreted that. “You know what I mean, Dean. I’m worried, man. About him and all of this.”

“Yeah, well, we’ll figure it out. But he saved your life, Sammy, so it’s cool.”

The shower feels amazing after too many hours in the car, and his back’s a little better, although his eye’s still purple. When he emerges from the bathroom, damp and entirely ready to be in a bed, the room is dark except for the streetlights filtering dimly through the blinds. Dean is turned toward the bathroom, already fast asleep. He looks exhausted too, and Sam sighs, wishing life could just be easy for once.

Gabe’s still on his side…in Sam’s bed. Suddenly he’s nervous, because the last time they’d shared a bed it had been what he’s worked out as permission probably given while he was half-asleep and addled by pain. This was different, this was a decision, even if there really was nowhere else to sleep. He pads quietly over to the bed and hesitates for a moment. The angel hasn’t moved, curled under the comforter. He’s probably still cold, Sam thinks, and slides under the sheets behind Gabe, wrapping an arm around the angel tentatively.

****

Sam gets up and goes to the bathroom, probably to take a shower. He catches a few snippets of Sam and Dean’s conversation, but nothing he really care about. Something about sleeping and beds and him. Not surprising.

He hears the shower turn on and wishes he was in there, standing under scalding hot water. Oh, it would be glorious.

Gabe hears Dean lay down in bed but doesn’t say anything. He’s got his eyes closed, so he appears to be asleep. He doesn’t want Dean asking him any awkward questions while he’s half out of it. He hears the lamp next to the bed click off.

He’s teetering on the edge of sleep when he hears Sam walk in to the room. He hesitates and Gabe can almost hear the gears turning in Sam’s head. He’s very happy, however, when Sam slips in behind him and wraps a very warm arm around him. It feels incredible. Gabe pushes himself back against Sam, getting as close as he can so he can steal all the heat from Sam’s body.

“Sam,” he whispers, trying to tangle their legs together, “This is a surprise.” He hopes Sam can hear the smile in his voice. He feels around for Sam’s hand and takes it in his own when he finds it. He’s warm and happy and content here with Sam.

****

He was right, Gabe’s still incredibly cold. He instinctively clutches the angel tighter as Gabe’s legs tangle with his own and he presses back against Sam’s body, pretty much every inch of his back pressed to Sam’s front. Gabe’s fingers lace with Sam’s on his bare stomach where his shirt layers have rucked up.

Gabe speaks quietly, so that Sam can barely hear him, but his brother is right in the next bed, after all. Sam hasn’t shared a bed with someone like this since college, when having a roommate meant having to either bribe the guy or keep very, very quiet. Not that they’re going to /do/ anything that he would need to be quiet doing…but being curled around another relatively warm body, especially when it was someone…well, certain comparisons could be made.

And Gabe must be feeling at least a little better, because is he /flirting/ with Sam? He sounds very happy, at least, but he does have his very own human space heater right next to him. Sam rests his face right against Gabe’s neck, nose barely brushing Gabe’s ear as he murmurs into it, already comfortable.

“What, did you think I was going to sleep in the car?”

He places a feather-light kiss to the crook of Gabe’s neck.

****

Sam’s presence right next to him makes him feel all “warm and fuzzy” as people say. He can feel Sam’s face against his neck, can actually pick out his features pressed against his skin.

“I was really hoping you wouldn’t,” Gabe manages to mumble, feeling sleep creep up on him. He can feel Sam press a light kiss to his neck and he inhales sharply, the contact sending a wave of heat through him. If Dean wasn’t in this room right now…

Gabe shifts, turns onto his other side so he’s facing Sam. He reaches up and grabs Sam’s face, pulls him down and kisses him gently. He wasn’t aware he could kiss someone gently but he obviously just proved himself wrong. When he pulls away, he looks up at Sam and smiles. Really just smiles. Not that mischievous grin of the Trickster, not the wry smile of an archangel with a whole hell of a lot of family issues. No, this is the smile only meant for Sam.

****

Gabe turns and presses his mouth to Sam’s softly. The smile that follows knocks the breath from him, because it’s a look he’s rarely seen on Gabe’s face - not a smirk, but an actual smile. For /him/.

And good lord, his /eyes/ right now. All of the angels and archangels Sam’s met have had intense eyes (Cas’s blue like glacial ice, so bright they almost hurt to look at) and Gabe’s are no different. They’re gold and warm, reflecting flashes of the streetlights, completely perfect for their owner (much as he might argue, Sam thinks). He’s completely entranced by the sheer contentment in them. That he could put that look there, even while Gabe is weak and freezing and miserable, sends a jolt right through him.

Sam smiles back at him and pulls Gabe closer by the hip. “Well, I’m certainly not going to with you looking at me like that,” he whispers against Gabe’s mouth. Because dammit, Dean might be right across the room and Sam’s tired and Gabe clearly is too, but there’s some unfinished business he seems to need to attend to, judging by how his heart is pounding at how close he is to Gabe. Making out on the couch in broad daylight is one thing, but trading whispered remarks and kisses in the dark like this is completely different.

****

Gabe chuckles softly and kisses Sam again. And again. And one more time, for good measure. The little tiny bit of Grace he has left is tuning into all things Sam. He can hear Sam’s blood, whistling through his veins, his heart thudding against his sternum as if he’s having a heart attack. He sure as hell hopes that’s not the case. His pupils are dilated, more than they should be even in the dark room. Only Gabriel would be able to pick up the marginal difference.

He puts a hand to Sam’s chest and keeps it there, lets him know that he’s not going anywhere if he can help it. There’s something so /sacred/ about this moment, even though Gabe’s as sick as a dog and Sam’s still pretty beaten up. It’s like everything he wants to say is being said through actions. He’s okay with that. Because words like “love”, well, they might sound good in his head, but he’s bound to fuck up this confession in the state he’s in right now. So, for now, he settles on just /showing/ Sam how he feels.

He whispers Sam’s name against his lips, almost a little alarmed. He knows sleep is coming soon, his eyelids are already heavy and ready to close. He tunes out from Sam a bit because if he keeps listening to the thrum of his heart in his chest, he might just fall asleep. The sound is extremely comforting, like a lullaby.

****

Sam yawns lazily and gathers Gabe closer. They’re both exhausted and tomorrow’s going to be a bitch. He manages to whisper, “Good night, Gabriel,” before drifting off to sleep.

“As adorable as you two look all snuggled up, we gotta get this show on the road.” Sam’s eyes fly open at the sound of Dean’s voice from the direction of the door, but he winces at the bright sunlight blinding him through the open blinds. Neither he nor Gabe has moved; Sam’s got his arms wrapped around the archangel, who’s dozing with his head pressed to Sam’s chest.

Sam gets up and finds his clothes from yesterday as his brother closes the door and comes back into the motel room. He really doesn’t have anything else to wear.

“Hey Dean, you’re gonna have to help me with my back, man. Gotta change the bandages.”

Dean looks annoyed as he shrugs his jacket off, but Sam can tell he’s still worried. Five very painful minutes later, his back - which at least doesn’t look /worse/ than yesterday - is bound up again and he’s ready to go.

****

Gabriel doesn’t remember when he fell asleep, just that he did and when he woke up, he was alone. He sits up and rubs his eyes, yawning. He can still feel the warmth in the bed from where Sam had been sleeping. Thankfully, he’s feeling 20 times better than yesterday.

He can hear a racket in the bathroom and he stands up, walks over there and pokes his head in. Dean is helping Sam change his bandages which in a way is distracting because it entails a shirtless Sam. Gabe decides to try and forget about this, leaning in the doorway to watch Dean’s hands fix up the bandages.

He gets fed up after two minutes of watching Dean do it half-assed but he doesn’t say a damn thing. He just slips back into the room and waits on the edge of the bed.

When Sam comes out all bandaged up and ready, Gabe just smirks and shakes his head. “Honestly Dean, you could have used about half as much and it still would have done the job.” He hops up from the bed and crosses his arms, looking at the two Winchesters. “Ready to go, then? Don’t got all day. I want my mojo back sometime in the next decade.” He’s back to his usual self, mostly, and it feels amazing.

Sam’s surprised to see Gabe up and more like himself, comments and all. If he’s baiting Dean again, he must be at least a little better. Dean looks about as surprised as he is, considering that Sam had to carry Gabe into the room the night before.

“I’m not the one who tried to sleep until noon, angel boy. Let’s go.”

 

All three of them manage to get to the Impala under their own steam. They’ve got a long trip ahead of them today; if they’re lucky, it might still be light out when they get to Bobby’s. And then there’s research to do. Sam turns back to Gabe from the front seat as Dean speeds down the highway past a slow soccer mom van. “If you’re feeling better, have you been able to pick up Cas at all?”

****

Gabe ends up in the backseat, which is fine with him. He’s cooling down again as the minutes tick past and he ends up bundling up in his blankets before he turns into an ice pop again.

They’re driving down the highway pretty fast, fast enough to deem unsafe, but Gabe doesn’t care all that much. He’s ready to get to Bobby’s, get this whole thing all sorted out so he can go back to creating things out of thin air and instantly snapping himself places.

When Sam asks if Gabe can pick up Cas, he blinks a few times and concentrates. He shakes his head after a few minutes. “No dice. For all we know, he might be upstairs having a chat with Dad. There’s no way to tell when he’ll be back.” He feels a little bad that he isn’t very useful right now but his radio is all kinds of fucked up. He’s not pushing it.

****

By the time they /finally/ get to Bobby’s, it’s been a more than long enough car ride. A game of punch buggy hadn’t lasted long, since Dean was the one who kept getting punched, although he managed to land one that gave Sam a dead arm. Hassling Dean was definitely a great way to pass the time on the road.

Bobby had been as surprised to see Gabe as Dean had. They’ve just started to tell him what’s happened, after Sam and Dean have reassured him that they’re fine, when there’s a rustle of wings and Cas appears.

“Sam, it’s good to see you’re…Gabriel? You’re alive?”

Cas stares, wide-eyed, until Dean speaks. “Cas, where the hell have you been? And wait, you didn’t know about Gabriel either? What is freakin’ going on?”

“My powers were blocked by the creature. I was unable to sense either Sam or Gabriel, but the effects have worn off. I’ve been trying to determine the creature’s origins, to no avail.”

****

Gabe sleeps part of the way in the car and by the time they get to Bobby’s, he’s back to the state he was in yesterday. He has enough strength to drag himself inside and sit down in a chair. He pays Bobby no mind, still a little bitter at him after their first and last encounter a long time ago.

Then, out of nowhere, Cas appears and Gabe perks up. He’s almost forgotten that Cas didn’t know about him being alive. He looks up and Cas and smiles wryly, shaking his head. “We’ll talk details later, bro,” he says before adding sarcastically, “Good t’see you too.”

He’s not surprised Cas hasn’t found any information about the creatures. He’s never seen anything like that and he’s been around longer than Cas has. He eventually stands up and starts to pace, thinking.

“We’ve still got nothin’ on these monsters. But apparently they can block angel powers. Guess they didn’t catch on that I was one when I went to get Sam…” He shoots Sam a look across the room before going back to his thought process. “And if you haven’t noticed, something’s wrong with me. I’m all… broken. Can’t use my mojo.” He looks at Cas and frowns.

****

“Hey, Cas, speaking of mojo, you should probably take a look at Sam. He’s in pretty rough shape. Show him, Sammy.” Dean gestures with the beer in his hand.

Sam pulls his shirt up enough to peel off the bandages, and moments later, Cas has pressed his palm to the wounds and a surge of power ripples through his back. He feels completely better - energetic, almost. He’s willing to bet his black eye’s all healed, too. But when he turns back around, Cas looks annoyed and Dean confused.

“What? What is it?”

“I wasn’t able to completely heal you,” Cas rasps. “You’ll have some scars. It’s…worrying.”

He twists experiementally, but his motion isn’t restricted at all, to his relief. Scars he can live with, gaping bloody cuts not so much. “Well, it’s better than how I was. Thanks.” He glances over at Gabe, who’s looking ill again. “And what about Gabe? Anything you can do?”

Cas goes back over to where Gabe is sitting and leans down, face inches from his brother’s as he studies him.

“Whatever brought you back, Gabriel, left some pieces behind. Your Grace is fractured. I can restore some of it to you, but it will still only be about halfway intact. We need to determine out who brought you back from the dead. Perhaps they will have some answers. But in the meantime…”

He lays his hand on Gabriel’s forehead and closes his eyes, recharging Gabe’s broken Grace with the intact power of his own.

****

Gabe had figured that much. His Grace was broken, he could almost feel how completely torn it was. Cas comes over, lays a hand on his forehead, and the process begins.

Getting your Grace restored is one of the most pleasurable things he’s ever felt. His entire body is warm, every neuron firing at a rapid speed. But not painfully so. No, it was the best feeling in the world.

When Cas steps away, Gabe takes a deep breath. He feels so much better. He looks at Sam and smiles that smile that’s only meant for him. He can’t wait to get his hands on him, honestly.

“So, what’s the plan now? We gonna go hunt these things… whatever they are? And Cas…” He turns to his brother, his expression wary, “I hope you’re not plannin’ on disappearing again because we could use your help.”

****

Sam can tell instantly that Gabe’s changed, become more like his former self. He gives Sam that smile again, the one from the night before, with a look that says he wishes they were situated like they were last night. Sam hopes he isn’t blushing, because Dean will notice and harass him about it later.

But then Cas speaks, dragging Sam’s eyes away from Gabe’s. “I need to return to heaven to see if there’s any news about the creatures. Perhaps someone will know something about Gabriel’s return as well.”

“It’s not like we know anything anyway,” Dean says. “I mean, we tracked them to that warehouse, but that was our last lead.”

“I checked, there haven’t been any sightings since you boys were there.” Bobby interjects. “Damn things just vanished. I’ve been calling my contacts, but nothing so far. Found a coupla books in the basement that might be useful, if you boys wanna help me look through ‘em.” He points to a stack of dusty books about two feet tall.

Dean and Sam both groan and roll their eyes. “Great, Bobby. Just what I wanted to do after two freakin’ days in the car. /Research/.”

Bobby just smiles. “There’s plenty of beer in the fridge.”

Sam grabs a beer from the fridge before picking a thick book from the pile and dropping down on the couch, propping his feet up on the coffee table.

****

Gabe hears the word research and he turns on his heel. He is /not/ doing research. He turns to look at Castiel and smirks, scratching his forehead. “You got a minute? I think we should probably talk. In private.” He motions towards the next room over and they head that way.

After he rehashes the events of the last year and a half to Castiel, Gabe goes to find Sam and Dean. It’s really not surprising when he finds Sam reading diligently and Dean with his face in a book, sleeping. He slides in next to Sam and leans against him ever so slightly.

“How’s the research going?” he asks with a bit of teasing in his voice. He places a hand on Sam’s knee and rubs a circle with his thumb. He’s being intentionally distracting and that’s okay. Hell, he’s been ill for the last two days. He’s ready to go back to being his usual old self.

****

Three hours after they sit down, Sam’s had three beers and read through two books and is no closer to finding out what attacked tehm. Gabe disappeared right after they cracked the books open to talk to Cas and neither has been back since. The words are just starting to blur together when Gabe plops down on the couch next to him, with a glint in his eye that means he’s probably up to no good. Gabe’s hand on his knee isn’t doing much to convince him otherwise.

“Great. I haven’t found anything.” Sam yawns and stretches, getting Bobby’s attention. He checks his watch, then closes his book in a cloud of dust.

“Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough for one night. Why don’t you wake Dean up and head upstairs.” He picks up his beer and heads toward the kitchen before remembering Gabe. “There’s, uh, another bedroom upstairs. G’night, then.”

After Bobby leaves, Sam stands up and pokes Dean in the back of the head. His brother snorts and sits up, blinking.

“Whass goin’ on?”

“You can go up to bed now Dean.”

“Oh thank /God/.”

Sam rolls his eyes. “Yeah, ‘cause you’ve been working so hard.”

“Damn right I have.” Dean heads towards the stairs, and Sam goes to follow, then turns back to Gabe to see if he’s coming.

****

Gabe rolls his eyes and watches as Bobby leaves the room. Like he needs his own room. Sam looks at him with those big hazel puppy dog eyes of his and asks if he’s coming.

“Maybe later tonight, big boy,” Gabe teases, raising his eyebrows in a crude sort of way. He realizes Dean is still standing there, staring at him.

“What is it, Winchester? Don’t even get me started on you and Cassy.” Dean opens him mouth to say something, closes it, opens it again, then just shrugs and walks out of the room, shaking his head. Victory.

Gabe walks over to Sam and pokes him in the chest. “I’ve gotta go shower. Behave while I’m gone.” He grabs Sam’s collar and pulls him down, but only kisses him on the cheek before taking off up the stairs.

****

Sam follows Gabe upstairs, a small smile on his face at Gabe chasing Dean away, and heads to what he considers “his” room when they stay at Bobby’s.

He flops onto the bed, grateful yet again that his back is healed. Which reminds him…Sam pulls off his shirts and examines his back in the small dresser mirror. He has some nasty looking scars, thick strips of tissue across the left side in the shape of claw marks, but it could definitely be worse.

He shoves the clothes from his bag into the dresser, throwing the bag by the chair in the corner. He can hear Gabe in the bathroom next door.

Sam pulls off his jeans and throws them over by the bag before crawling into bed, collapsing face-down into the pillow. But he’s not going to sleep, not while he’s still thinking about Gabe saying “while I’m gone” like he would be back later. And thinking about the fact that Gabe’s had part of his Grace restored makes him shiver.

*****

Gabe finds his way to the bathroom and quickly strips out of his clothes. He takes a long shower, which he normally doesn’t do. He’s got a little bit of that chill again that he doesn’t want coming back, so he spends a good half an hour standing under the scalding water before stepping out, drying off, and making use of his restored Grace by willing some clean clothes out of thin air.

He’s light on his feet when he enters Sam’s room, still a little damp from his shower. He knows Sam isn’t asleep, probably just thinking or something. Gabe launches himself onto the bed and slips his hand across Sam’s lower back, under his shirt.

“Hey there, Sammy,” he practically sings, because he’s feeling like a million bucks right now and being with Sam is making it all the better. He presses a sloppy, giddy kiss to Sam’s ear, his free hand moving to comb through Sam’s hair.

He hopes the affection isn’t too much. He’s not even sure himself where all that came from. He just… really likes to have his hands all over Sam. He’s always been the grabby type but this is different. It’s /Sam/ and he feels the need to touch him and kiss him and explore him, every single inch of him.

He catches himself thinking some really vulgar things and stops. He’s not gonna push it with Sam, especially so soon. He’s just enjoying laying here in the company of the younger Winchester.

****

Sam hears Gabe creep into his room and barely breathes. That is, until Gabe leans over to kiss right behind his ear, tickling Sam’s ear with his damp hair and causing Sam to react by flipping over suddenly. Gabe’s hand is still in his hair, which means the archangel is now half lying on Sam. He feels warmer than he’s been in days and looks completely happy, from what Sam can see in the dim moonlight.

“Hi, Gabe.” And because that’s not nearly enough, he cups Gabe’s face in his hand and pulls the angel closer by his free arm, meeting Gabe’s mouth with his own before nipping at his lower lip. “You smell like strawberries.”

****

Gabe’s taken off guard by Sam’s sudden movement, his eyes widening a little. But then Sam is kissing him, and that’s enough to make his mind go blank. He traces Sam’s lips with the tip of his tongue, his breath hitching slightly. He pulls away just enough to make a comment.

“It’s the shampoo. Like it?” he asks, grabbing Sam’s lip in his teeth and tugging gently. He’s so freakin’ turned on right now, it’s not even funny. He hopes Sam isn’t being a tease. This is the first moment they’ve had together alone since his apartment. That feels like ages ago now. He just wants to kiss Sam, mark him, make him his own.

****

Sam opens his mouth, inhaling sharply as he meets Gabe’s tongue with his own. The only reply he can conjure up is a distracted hum as Gabe tugs his lip between his teeth in a gentle bite. There’s a slow, liquid heat coiling below his stomach as they kiss. Since their time on the couch, it’s like the floodgates have released all the feelings about Gabe, barely developed and left in hibernation, that he’d ignored until he had dared to reach out for them.

He doesn’t let go of Gabe’s wrist but slides his thumb along the inside of it as his other hand drops to grip Gabe’s hip and pull him closer. Gabe’s hair is tickling his face and all he can smell is strawberries and that faint cinnamon scent he’s started associating with the angel and it’s almost too much and at the same time not enough.

He takes his lips from Gabe’s and presses a wet, open-mouthed kiss to the underside of the angel’s jaw, right where his head and neck meet. Sam can feel the flutter of Gabe’s pulse under his lips and knows his own must be racing like a marathon runner’s right now.

****

Gabe moans into Sam’s mouth as they kiss, the tension between them finally starting to dissipate. Next thing he knows, Sam’s kissing at his jaw, sloppy and wet. Oh /fuck/.

His heart is hammering in his chest and he just /wants/ Sam. Gabe manages to get back to Sam’s lips, kissing and biting and licking them. He pulls away just to gasp out, “Fuck, Sam, this is…” But he can’t keep on talking in the state he’s in right now.

He moves to press a kiss to Sam’s neck, gentle at first. Then, he sucks hard at the skin, effectively marking him. He can taste Sam on his tongue and it actually makes him groan.

****

Sam’s brain has decided to go offline for a bit, since his concentration on anything but Gabe is effectively shot to shit, when he hears Gabe moan and gasp his name.

He has to bite his lip to keep from groaning too loudly when Gabe’s mouth moves to his neck and sucks. /Fuck/, if he wasn’t hard before, he certainly is now. He rocks upward, wrapping a leg around Gabe and flipping them, straddling the archangel’s waist as he sucks his own mark onto Gabe’s neck, laving it slowly with his tongue. He kisses a path down as he pulls Gabe’s shirt collar down to nip at his collarbone, tracing the curve of Gabe’s neck with his nose as he leaves a trail of little bites on the angel’s skin.

****

Gabe’s breath hitches when Sam turns them over. He likes this Sam, the Sam that leads the way. It’s really fucking sexy. And he just takes the onslaught of neck kisses that ensue, his body quivering a little underneath Sam.

His hands move to ruck Sam’s shirt up against his stomach. All he wants to do is touch him, explore every single damn bit of him. His fingers trace over a small scar just under Sam’s ribs. Another across his sternum.

Something about this is incredibly arousing and Gabe grabs Sam’s face, pushes him away, makes him sit up. He straddles Sam’s lap and proceeds to pull the shirt over Sam’s head, his hands immediately resting on the bare pecs before him.

He leans in, kisses Sam’s neck again in that one spot he just knows gets him going. He laps at the mark he left only moments before.

“You have no idea… how many times I…” Gabe is panting and it’s making it that much more difficult to speak, “I imagined this. A thousand different ways. You and me. Ever since I laid eyes on you.”

****

Sam can feel Gabe shaking beneath him as Gabe’s hands slip under his shirt exploring his stomach with soft touches.

Then Gabe forces them up and moves into Sam’s lap, his knees straddling Sam’s hips, and /fuck/, he’s definitely as turned on as Sam is. Gabe pulls off Sam’s shirt and spreads his hands across his chest. When he presses his mouth to Sam’s neck again, panting words against Sam’s throat, he can’t help pulling Gabe’s hips down sharply as he rolls his own upward, stroking their cocks together through the few thin layers separating them. The sensation wrings a sharp sound from him that he muffles by biting Gabe’s shoulder.

And what Gabe’s just said, that he’d wanted Sam so long, thought about having Sam just like this, aroused and panting for him…Gabe isn’t just Gabe, he’s the fucking /Trickster/ and /an archangel/ and he wants Sam, has wanted Sam more than simple flirting would satisfy.

He can’t get Gabe’s shirt off fast enough. Where he’s toned, tan, and lean, Gabe’s paler, less obviously chiseled, but the movement of his muscles belies that slight pudge. No scars mar his skin except for one, the wound that had killed him. Sam licks across it as if he can erase it with his tongue, tasting the sweat on Gabe’s skin.

****

Gabe wishes that he could just capture this moment in his memory forever. Sam rolls his hips up into Gabe’s and /shit/. For just a few seconds, he can feel Sam’s cock against his own and the sensation it gives him is un-fucking-bearable. Apparently it is for Sam too, because he bites into Gabriel’s neck hard. It actually hurts and Gabe lets out a low whine, clenching his eyes shut.

His shirt is off in a flash and Sam’s licking his scar. He moves his hands to fist them in Sam’s hair and rocks into him, moaning unabashedly. His scar is sensitive, extremely sensitive. He doesn’t even try to filter the string of breathy moans that follow. Honestly, he could care less if anyone hears them.

He watches Sam licking his scar and if he hadn’t already been ridiculously turned on, he definitely would have been by that. He pulls Sam’s hair gently, moving Sam away from his scar. It’s not insecurity, but the sheer fact that he could probably come just from Sam licking his chest so damn provocatively.

“Easy tiger,” Gabe mutters breathily, pushing Sam back to lay flat while he straddles him. He leans down, kisses Sam’s collarbone and chest and flicks his tongue across one of Sam’s nipples. He lingers there, watching Sam’s reactions with hungry eyes. His other hand is trailing down Sam’s stomach, towards the button on his pants.

****

Well, Gabe certainly reacts to Sam’s attention to his scar. The /noises/ he’s making. Sam kind of hopes Dean’s hearing this, after all the times he’s had to put up with the soundtrack when his brother’s brought someone home.

Gabe uses his grip on Sam’s hair to pull him away, pushing Sam onto his back as he leans over him, grabbing a fistful of blanket by Sam’s head. Sam cranes his neck to watch as Gabe runs his mouth along his collarbone. Their eyes stay locked, and Sam can’t look away as Gabe licks across one of his nipples, sending another jolt to his cock and a rumbling, gasping groan through his chest.

He lets his eyes flicker shut and grips Gabe’s hips as the angel adds teeth to the mix and moves to the other nipple, already peaked.

And then he feels Gabe’s fingertips drag over the length of his cock through his boxers, and Gabe grasps him firmly and strokes and /fuck/, /fuck/, he can’t even…he chokes out, “Gabriel,” in a half-yell as his back arches off the bed and he pushes himself up into Gabe’s hand.

****

Gabe watches as Sam literally becomes undone underneath him, his moaning almost too much for even him to deal with. Every time Sam makes even the smallest noise of pleasure, Gabe can feel his cock pulse. He slides his hand over Sam’s boxers, squeezes him, lets him know his intentions. And Sam, for the time being, seems to be enjoying it. Sam’s reaction has got Gabe all riled up and he’s about to just lose all self-control.

He takes his hand off of Sam’s cock and sits up, still straddling Sam’s hips. He hooks his thumbs into the elastic waistband of Sam’s boxers and tugs them down to his knees. All the while, he hasn’t broken his eye contact with Sam even once. He keeps staring up into those hazel eyes even as he kisses down Sam’s chest again, down his belly, licking around his navel. He kisses across to Sam’s hip and down, down, down to his inner thigh. He watches and waits for Sam to give him a reaction, good or bad, so he knows if he’s going to far.

He’s really hoping Sam wants this. Gabe has been waiting for this for as long as he can remember. Thinking about Sam, naked, sprawled out on the bed like he is now. Thinking about Sam’s cock in his mouth, thinking about how he tastes. He has to bite his lip to keep from moaning over his fantasies.

****

Then suddenly Gabe’s hand is gone as he sits up and slides further down Sam’s body. Sam can’t look away, completely entranced by Gabe’s eyes, a flash of trickster in them matching small smirk on his face, as his thumbs slide between skin and fabric. And then Sam’s boxers are around his knees, sliding down to his shins as his thighs splay just that little bit farther apart.

Sam’s first instinct is to close his eyes and revel in the feeling, but Gabe’s trapped him in those golden eyes (the phrase ‘bedroom eyes’ has never seemed more appropriate) as he slips farther down, one chaotic strand of hair hanging in his face, trailing kisses as he makes his way to Sam’s hip. But he doesn’t stop, moving his mouth to Sam’s thigh…and then he does, biting his lip and waiting, but /why/, why the hell did he stop, Sam’s shivering and moaning and /so damn hard/ he can’t stand it. All he wants is Gabe’s mouth, hot and wet, and that tongue on him.

His legs fall wantonly apart, boxers lost somewhere in the bed, and he practically whines at Gabe. “Please, please, Gabriel, please.” He’s past caring what he sounds like, looks like, only cares about how fucking much he wants it, enough to beg.

****

There’s a split second of paralyzing fear that surges through Gabe. What if Sam doesn’t want this? What if he’s taken this way too far? Then, he hears Sam /beg/ him to go on, to suck him off, and that’s fucking all he needs. One of his hands slips down to hold Sam’s ass while the other rubs circles into his hip. He’s feeling very adventurous right now.

He licks up the underside of Sam’s cock, staring up at him with his tawny eyes. When he gets to the head, he licks around the ridge then up across the slit. He finally decides to take the whole thing into his mouth, painfully slowly, watching Sam the whole time. Thank dad angels don’t have a gag reflex.

Sam’s cock is hot and heavy in his mouth and it tastes oh-so-good. He moves up and down slowly but methodically, hitting all the right spots and swirling his tongue around the head every so often. He’s confident in his ability and at this rate, he’ll have Sam coming in no time.

****

He may have actually lost a few years off his life when Gabe’s tongue licks up his cock. His eyes practically roll back into his head as Gabe swallows him, oh so slowly, and his heart is either going to lurch right out of his chest or stop completely.

Sam fists his hands in the blankets and tries so hard not to thrust his hips every time Gabe swirls his tongue around the head. Every breath is a moan, and every flick of Gabe’s tongue is sending white-hot pleasure surging through his veins.

And Gabe /never looks away/. The look in those eyes, watching as he sucks Sam off, is the dirtiest thing Sam’s ever seen.

His balls feel heavy already, and there’s a familiar clenching in the muscles below his stomach, but he is /not/ going to come yet. Fuck, this is literally the best blowjob he’s ever had already, and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let it be over this soon. He lets his head fall back and his eyes close, but he can still feel that gaze on him and he can certainly still feel Gabe’s tongue, and that mouth is doing things no angel should ever know how to do, but /Jesus/ does it feel good.

****

Watching Sam moan and writhe around on the bed is making Gabe want to be a lot less gentle with what he’s doing. He’s against that idea though, because he’s taking it (relatively speaking) slow and he wants to prove to Sam that he can trust him in these endeavors. But fuck, Sam’s face right now. It’s all sweat and wet lips and moans and knitted brows and those hazel eyes, normally puppy-like, are glazed over with lust and they’re watching him. Seeing him like that is making Gabe harder than he ever imagined he could be, so hard it hurts, and it makes him moan around Sam for a few seconds.

Sam is probably close to climax now and Gabe isn’t in any rush to make it happen. He sucks hard twice before pulling off, making a popping sound with his mouth. He returns his mouth to Sam’s cock but nibbles at the sensitive skin on the head instead of taking him in. He’s being an absolute tease but he can tell Sam’s loving it and that’s all that matters.

The hand he’s got on Sam’s ass comes around to fondle his balls very cautiously, because he knows that’s probably a new sensation to him. Not a lot of women are interested in doing that sort of thing and as far as Gabe knows, Sam’s never been with a man before. Once he’s done kissing down Sam’s shaft, he kisses right back up and takes him in his mouth again, his grip on Sam’s balls tightening as he takes all of him into his mouth and sucks unforgivingly.

****

Sam’s eyes fly back open when Gabe pulls his mouth away with an obscene noise. He can’t be /stopping/…and then /teeth/, no one’s ever…not even Ruby, and her tastes had been far from vanilla…it might be a little late for the epiphany that he’s in way over his head here, but it’s absolutely fucking wonderful.

Then that tongue is back, lapping at the side of his shaft. When Gabe drops a hand to squeeze his balls gently, his vision actually goes black for a moment, it feels so fucking good. As Gabe returns to sucking him, his grip tightens, and Sam can’t help threading his fingers through Gabe’s hair, trying with his last remaining shred of willpower not to pull too tightly. He’s moaning Gabe’s name in a babbling mantra and he doesn’t care, because he’s really not going to last much longer. The thought his lust-infused mind conjures up of Gabe swallowing his come sends him hurtling closer, and he whines, choking out, “Gabe, oh /fuck/, I’m, I’m gonna…”

****

Sam’s reactions are driving Gabe absolutely insane. The little thrust of his hips, the way Sam says his name when he’s being pushed to his limit, the way his shaky fingers slip through Gabe’s hair. It’s really beautiful, and by beautiful, he means in a highly sexual way.

He knows Sam is close, can feel him get indescribably hard in his mouth and he moans around Sam again, the vibrations very strong and intense. He’s ready to push Sam over the edge, watch him as he unravels because of Gabe. He made Sam this babbling mess and he likes it that way.

 

His eyes are still fixed on Sam’s as he sucks rhythmically, still fondling his balls gently with one hand. And he’s thinking, “Come for me, Sammy. Just for me.” He can’t say it with his mouth, but he can say it with his eyes. He’s almost begging Sam now, his eyes desperate and lusty. Fuck, he just wants to drink him up, taste him on his tongue. It’s almost painful how much he wants it.

****

That’s about as much warning as Gabe is going to get, because when Gabe moans around him, Sam can feel his groin clench like a punch to the gut, and he barely has time to stuff a fist in his mouth to muffle his yell as he comes.

He comes so hard that his vision goes completely white and his back arches off the bed and he’s not breathing and he can’t think can’t move can’t do anything except feel the shock of pure pleasure coursing through his body, centered on Gabe’s mouth on his cock.

Sam comes and that’s it. Gabe drinks him up, laps at the head of Sam’s cock until he’s completely clean. He pulls off with another obscene noise, a sort of slurping sound. Gabe’s got a little dribble of spit running down his chin and he wipes it away with the back of his hand.

****

He sits up and looks down at Sam, all panting and sweaty and… fucking hell. He is just too damn beautiful. He licks his lips and slides in next to Sam, wrapping an arm around his middle and resting his head against Sam’s chest. He’s still hard and as much as he wants Sam to finish him off, he’s not predicting that happening anytime tonight. For now, he’s just happy to be lying next to Sam in bed, all prideful because he made Sam a squirming, moaning mess.

 

“Didya like that?” Gabe mumbles thickly, his mouth feeling a little funny. He has been sucking on a cock for the last ten minutes, after all. His own heart is pounding in his chest and for once, he feels like he’s on another planet.

****

Sam finally returns to himself in time to see Gabe wiping come off his chin and it really shouldn’t be as sexy as it is. But the archangel’s lips are swollen and cherry red and his hair is a fucking mess, and Sam would wrap his arms around Gabe when he crawls up snug to Sam’s side, but his arms still aren’t working properly.

He’d smirk at the archangel’s frankly sad attempt at pillow talk, but since Gabe’s just finished sucking him off, it wouldn’t be very nice, so instead he pulls Gabe closer and kisses him, humming in exhausted contentment. He skims Gabe’s jaw with the tip of his nose, placing another kiss just before his ear as he murmurs, “That tongue of yours, Gabriel.”

Sleep is creeping up on him, fatigue from the trip and nearly dying two days ago coming to claim him. Has it only been two days since Gabe saved him? It feels much longer…He manages to move his arm enough to wrap it around Gabe, who’s burning hot at his side. It should make Sam far too warm, but after being worried about Gabe being too cold, it’s comforting.

****

Gabe is halfway to sleep when Sam mumbles something about Gabriel’s tongue that makes him smirk in a dirty, lecherous sort of way. “I have been told I’m pretty talented with my tongue,” he jokes through a yawn, curling as close to Sam as he can without feeling like either one of them might catch on fire.

For the first time in a few days, Gabe feels like himself. But there’s something else there, something new. Something he’s never felt before in his entire existence. He can’t really make sense of it in his current state. /Maybe in the morning/, he thinks to himself as he closes his eyes and fits himself into the space at Sam’s side. It’s almost the perfect size for him.

“I’m going to sleep. You should too. S’been a long coupla days,” he slurs as sleep starts to take him. He rubs his thumb against Sam’s tattoo as he starts to drift off. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he thinks that maybe he should say what he really has been dying to say this whole time. But how would he even say such a thing? How do you tell someone you love them, exactly? It really beats him and at this rate, he’s too far gone to even want to open his bruised mouth. The last thing he remembers saying to Sam is, “G’night, Sammy,” before he falls into a deep sleep.

Chapter Text

Sam wakes up wearing only a tangled sheet and a snoring archangel. His mind flashes through images from the night before: Gabe taking off his shirt, Gabe shivering and moaning, Gabe’s tongue in his mouth, Gabe licking down between his legs and taking him in his mouth…

Oh, /shit/.

Sam slowly slides out from Gabe’s arms, trying not to wake him, and pulls on his boxers, which he’d managed to find twisted in the sheets. He sits on the edge of the bed and drops his head into his hands, fully awake now with the realization that he’d just had sex with a man. For all intents and purposes. /Shit/.

He’s certainly no stranger to sex. Before Jess, there had been a half dozen other college girls, and Ruby certainly hadn’t been the only one since. Ruby had certainly been the most…adventurous…of them, but Sam’s far from inexperienced regardless. But they’d all been women, and Sam’s not…he’s not…he doesn’t like men.

He wonders what it says about him that he’s more worried about the fact that Gabriel is a guy than the fact that he’s an angel. And not just any angel, but one of the fucking archangels. One of the most powerful beings in the universe, and he’s had Sam’s cock in his mouth. Sam gives a dry laugh and shakes his head. Gabe had known exactly what he was doing, used his mouth and tongue and hands with practiced skill, but Sam’s completely at a loss. He knows what /he/ likes, but…

He twists to look over his shoulder to study Gabe. The angel Gabriel, God’s herald, sprawled on his back now, still shirtless. Sam’s eyes take in Gabe’s rumpled hair, strewn across the pillow, his arm flung up underneath while the other rests on his stomach. He looks peaceful, much healthier than before, and absolutely beautiful.

He’s not going to figure this out right now. With all the shit he’s been through, his feelings for this fascinating being should not be the most frightening. Maybe it’s a little blase of him to just accept what’s happened, but Gabe coming back is one of the only good things that’s happened to him in recent memory.

****

Around 10:45 in the morning, Gabe stirs. He can feel the warmth of a body next to him and he opens his eyes to see Sam looking at him. There’s something… strange about him this morning, but maybe he’s just not a morning person or something. After all, the last few days they’ve slept in pretty late. Speaking of which…

It’s the third day in a row he’s woken up next to Sam but it’s certainly not a bad thing. He really likes it this way. He stretches his arms out in front of him and rubs at his eyes. An instant later, he’s burying his face into the crook of Sam’s neck. He takes a deep breath, can still smell the sweat on Sam’s skin and it makes his heart jump a little. In his attempt to not get turned on again, he pulls away and props himself up on an elbow, running his free hand through his auburn hair.

“Mornin’ kiddo. How’d you sleep?” he asks as he stifles a yawn with the back of his hand. He’s feeling a lot better since Cas restored some of his Grace, his body temperature staying close to 98 degrees now. It’s still cool for an angel, but he doesn’t mind. He’s got a human furnace to keep him warm these days.

****

Sam doesn’t know how long he watches Gabe, his mind wandering, but eventually the archangel opens his eyes and stretches, nestling closer to Sam. Then he’s looking up at him, so dishevelled and sleep-addled that Sam’s tempted to draw him in for a perfect morning kiss.

He leans in, torn, and presses his mouth tentatively to Gabe’s. “Like a rock. You?”

Gabe barely has time to reply before Dean barges in, eyes blazing. He appears to ignore the fact that he’s just walked in on his brother half-naked in bed with another man.

“Sammy, Gabe, get the fuck downstairs. Cas is back.”

Something’s seriously wrong. Sam’s out of bed in an instant, hunter instincts kicking in. He doesn’t care that he probably smells like sex and pulls on his jeans and t-shirt, not bothering to see if Gabe’s following or can just appear downstairs again with his Grace partially restored.

In the living room, Bobby’s face is thunderous and Cas looks grim.

“What is it, what happened?”

“Sam, I’ve been doing some research of my own, and it seems you and Gabriel aren’t the only ones—”

Dean cuts in, rage and anguish on his face. “Ellen and Ash’s bodies were moved, around the time you came back. And Jo…” he swallows thickly. “She’s alive, man, she came back around then too, but she’s…she’s never gonna wake up. She’s a damned /vegetable/. Doctor said her body’s there but her mind’s gone.”

Shock hits Sam like a sucker punch. “But…/how/? Who the hell is doing this, Cas? Why us?”

****

Sam leans in and gives him a kiss. It feels different, tense, and Gabe can sense something is wrong. “I slept fine… Sammy, is there something—“ Gabe starts but is abruptly cut off by Dean flinging the door open and shouting at them to get downstairs. Sam is out of bed within seconds and Gabe follows close behind. He snaps his fingers and he’s instantly changed into something more appropriate to go downstairs in. Sam takes off downstairs without a second glance and Gabe just chalks it up to how upset Dean seemed to be.

Gabe stands next to Sam when they get downstairs, a little closer than usual, listening as Bobby starts talking about something or other than he’s not exactly interested in. Then Dean cuts him off and starts talking about someone named Jo being alive somewhere. He hears the pain in Sam’s voice as he starts to question Cas. This person must have meant a lot to the Winchesters. Gabe does not like the tone Sam’s using, not at all.

 

Cas starts in, his face more serious than it usually is. And that’s sayin’ something.

“I don’t know. Lucifer could have a hand in this, but I can’t be certain until I do some more research.” Gabe can tell that Cas has more to say, but everyone in the room seems extremely dismal and Cas looks like he’s feeling a little awkward. He knows he’s right when he hears the rustle of feathers and Cas is gone.

Dean throws up his hand in annoyance and takes off towards the kitchen, grumbling something under his breath. “Anyone else need a drink? Because I sure as hell do.”

Gabe sucks in a breath and furrows his brow. “I guess it’s 5 o’ clock somewhere…” he mutters quietly, scratching at his ear. He looks up at Sam to see how he’s handling this whole mess and he’s not surprised to see that look of complete and utter shock on his face.

****

“Pour me one, too, Dean,” Sam says hoarsely. Dean actually stops and turns to look at him, surprise breaking through his grief.

“What?”

“I said, pour me a drink.” He doesn’t wait for Dean to say anything, just goes and sits on the couch and puts his head in his hands for a moment. He hears Dean approach with a tumbler of whiskey and looks up to take it from him. Dean looks about as wrecked as Sam feels, and that’s saying something.

Then he remembers that Gabe has absolutely no idea who these people are. “Um, Gabe, you didn’t meet any of them, did you?” He looks over to the archangel. “Ellen’s husband was a hunter with our dad, and Jo was her daughter. Ashe worked at Ellen’s bar and they…they were good friends.”

His hands are shaking, so he reaches for the whiskey and downs a third of it. It can’t be a coincidence that all this happened when he was brought back from hell, can’t be simple kismet that Ellen, Jo, and Ashe were killed in the fight against Lucifer, and Gabe was actually killed /by/ his brother. Sam is - was - Lucifer’s chosen vessel. It can’t just be fate that they’ve all been brought back and somehow he’s the only one that arrived intact.

****

Well, color Gabe surprised. As far as he knows, Sam isn’t one to get started on drinking early. Gabe follows him when he goes to sit on the couch. He’s still a little confused on what the hell is going on and why everyone’s so damn solemn all of a sudden. Sam must be a mind reader, because he starts in on an explanation about this Jo person. Gabe listens intently and doesn’t say a damn word.

They sit there for what feels like hours. Bobby, Sam and Dean are talking in hushed tones about this Jo girl. Gabe’s getting a little restless, bouncing his leg as he listens to Sam and Dean dredge up memories about these friends of theirs. Then there’s an incredibly long silence and Gabe steals a glance at Sam. He can tell he’s thinking about something, his eyes vacant.

“Well, don’t hurt yourself there, pal,” Gabe jests, merely trying to make Sam feel better. He elbows him in the ribs and laughs.

****

Over the next hour, Sam downs two tumblers of whiskey. They’re all fucking wrecked as they talk about Jo, Ellen, and Ashe. It’s one thing to have to lose friends, but it’s another thing entirely when someone decides to play with their remains. Anger and guilt are churning in his gut.

Bobby’s gone out to tinker with something in the yard, leaving Sam, Dean, and Gabe in the house.

When Gabe cracks a joke and laughs, Sam glares at him. “Not the time, Gabe.”

****

Gabe can hear the iciness in Sam’s tone but he ignores it. “C’mon, kiddo, lighten up!” He dares to wrap his arm around Sam’s shoulders. He’s worried about Sam right now, doesn’t want to watch him destroy himself over this. Maybe he doesn’t get what the big deal is about, but he doesn’t think there’s any point in dwelling on the subject. And the fact that Sam’s drinking has got Gabe even more concerned.

****

Sam goes completely still under Gabe’s arm. “Lighten /up/? Did you just tell me to /lighten up/?”

Dean looks murderous. “What the fuck’s wrong with you, Gabe? These are people we care about, is that some kind of joke to you? Listen to me, you son of a bitch…” He gets up and takes a step towards them, fists clenched, then stops, looking at Sam with Gabe’s arm around his shoulders. “I don’t care if he’s an archangel, get your fuck buddy in line.” He slams the door as he strides outside to find Bobby, a bottle of whiskey clenched in his fist.

How is this /his/ fault, Sam thinks for a brief moment. Now Dean is furious with him, something’s trying to bring people connected with him and Dean back from the dead - for who knows what twisted reasons, and then there’s this whole thing with Gabe.

He shoves Gabe’s arm off his shoulder and downs the rest of his drink, jaw tensing. This is a side of Gabe that Sam hasn’t seen since his trickster days, and right now it infuriates him in its insensitivity - and the alcohol really isn’t making him feel any better. That someone would drag Jo out of heaven to come back to a broken cage of a body…how could Gabe tell him to /lighten up/?

Is it that he expected Gabe to comfort him? He doesn’t even know anymore - he’s so confused and distraught. Sam heads for the back stairs to get away from Gabe.

****

Everything happens so fast after Gabe utters that simple sentence. Sam stiffens under Gabe’s arms and he immediately knows he’s done something wrong. Dean stands up and looks like he’s about to punch him right in the mouth when he storms off. And then there’s Sam, shrugging out from under Gabe’s touch and walking away. Gabe sits there for a minute, processing what just happened.

Was it… really that wrong of him to say? Obviously it was, but why? Gabe had only wanted to make Sam feel better about the situation, but he’s done the complete opposite. He stands up slowly and starts towards the direction that Sam went in. He finds him sitting on the back stairs looking like he might murder him. Gabe really contemplates walking away, letting Sam cool off, but he wants to explain himself to Sam.

“Sam, I’m sorry… that was outta line, I just…” He shoves his hands in his pockets and looks down at his feet. He’s no good at apologizing, never has been. But Sam needs to hear it, /right now/. “You’ve been acting kind of weird, ever since this morning and I… don’t know if that’s because of me. Look, I dunno how all this works. I get you were close with these people. I just didn’t want…”

He’s at a loss for words for a second, but before Sam can interrupt him or walk out on him, he starts in again. “You looked hurt and I… was trying to make you feel better. I realize now I was being a dick and I’m… really sorry. You have every right to be mad at me.” He holds up his hands as if surrendering. “I care about you, Sam, and I just want to see you happy. That’s all that was.”

****

Sam sits halfway up the back stairs, letting his head fall into his hands. It has been a rough couple of days - no, it’s been rough since he got back from hell. Or if he really wants to think about it, when hasn’t it been rough?

He can feel the whiskey buzz in his veins. Sam doesn’t drink much, beyond a few beers now and then, mostly because he has to keep an eye on Dean and /his/ drinking. He feels wild, raw, and so very, very confused.

And then Gabe’s followed him, and Sam glares down at him. Normally he’d been more than willing to listen to Gabe’s apology, but the stress and the alcohol this early in the day and the guilt are stewing in him and all he hears is that Gabe thinks he’s been acting strange.

When he speaks, his tone is bitingly bitter. “Sorry my crisis over having a guy blow me is fucking up your day. Be sure to pretend everything’s fine next time. Oh, wait, that’s your job, isn’t it?”

A small voice in the back of his mind tells him that Gabe didn’t realize what was happening with the news about Jo, really does care because Gabe risked his life to save Sam. But another voice, the one that speaks through echoes of demon blood, tells him it’s just like the Trickster not to give a shit, that he only wants Sam happy because Sam’s no fun for /him/ when he’s upset.

****

The archangel isn’t surprised by Sam’s reaction, because he honestly deserves it. He wishes that Sam had said something sooner about the whole blowjob bit, but that can wait for a time when they’re not dealing with all this other shit too.

“I wasn’t /pretending/ anything was fine,” Gabe says, a little more harshly than he intended, “I was… I was just trying to /help/ you!” He’s starting to feel the rage swallow him whole. Sam is being an ungrateful little shit. “I saved you. Put my damn life on the line for you. I can’t fix this whole Jo thing for you! I can’t! The best thing I can do is give you a shoulder to cry on and make you feel better. But that’s just not gonna cut it, is it? I go and fall in love with someone stupid like you—“

Gabe stops and he feels his stomach drop. Did he just… say that out loud? “I-I mean… I’m not…”

****

Gabe’s eyes flare with rage as he stalks up the steps closer to Sam. Even through his tipsy haze, Sam feels a pang of fear - pissing off an archangel’s probably not a good idea when Gabe can literally burn his eyes out if he feels like it.

As he listens to Gabe, his annoyance at the angel turns into something more like self-loathing. Gabe hasn’t done anything he hasn’t asked for (begged like a slut, more like, his alcohol-soaked brain helpfully supplies.)

But then his thoughts come screeching to a halt when he realizes what Gabe just said, as the archangel pales at what he’s just revealed.

“W-what?”

He gets to his feet and moves towards Gabe but manages to trip down a few extra steps so he has to look back up at Gabe.

“What did you just say?” he says in a quiet, hoarse voice.

****

Gabe presses his mouth into a hard line. He’s known for a while now that he loves Sam, loves him more than any damn thing there is. Stupid. But he didn’t want Sam to know because somewhere in his mind, he was scared to death that Sam wouldn’t be able to return those feelings. And now of all times, when they’re fighting with each other and Sam’s at least tipsy. Damn, he’s being such a fucking idiot.

But you know what? To hell with that. Gabe turns on the step and looks down at Sam. “I said I love you,” he says softly, looking Sam right in the eyes, “I’ve known for a while now. But I get it, y’know, if we’re not on the same page.” He doesn’t move, doesn’t even dare to breathe as he watches Sam.

****

Sam’s stunned. Gabe had died to defend him and come back from the dead to save him and had used the last bit of fuel in his bone-dry Grace tank to heal him, and he’d ignored all the signs that were right there screaming in his face. The voice of denial had chalked up recent events as simple lust, but he should have known better.

This is too much to deal with, Gabe looking at him like he’s all that matters in this world.

“I, uh, I don’t know, Gabe…” But his body speaks for him as he grabs Gabe and kisses him with all the frustration and guilt and anger and confusion that have been brewing like a toxic cocktail inside him. His balance being terrible right now, he stumbles up the steps, taking Gabe down with him but managing to fling his arms tighter around the archangel to protect him from the worst of the fall. He’s hit his knees with a shudder-inducing cracking noise but he really doesn’t care, too busy bruising Gabe’s lips with rough kisses, because why should it matter who the fuck he wants to kiss, man, woman, or archangel, when everything fucking sucks. He doesn’t know if this is love or lust, and right now he really doesn’t care.

****

Sam is just… looking at him like he’s got three heads and then he says something. But that’s quickly forgotten as Sam closes the distance between them and kisses him. Kisses him hard. There’s so much emotion behind it, whether it be negative or positive. Gabe doesn’t give a flying fuck right now. The two of them topple over onto the stairs and Sam’s arms are wrapping around him, pulling him closer and closer, their bodies practically connected at this point.

Of course Gabe kisses back, licks into Sam’s mouth with his tongue, maps it all out in his mind. He slips his arms up around Sam’s neck and pulls him even closer. He grinds his hips against Sam’s, just wanting him so fucking bad he aches. He can’t stifle the moan that rolls out of him. He’s running his fingers through the hair at the nape of Sam’s neck, just pulling him down closer and closer and closer.

He pulls away just enough to take Sam’s bottom lip between his teeth and nibble. Fucking fuck, he’s already so aroused and he can taste the alcohol on Sam’s breath and it should be a turn off, but it’s just not. Nothing about Sam could ever turn Gabriel off, especially not right now when they’re making out on the stairs. God, he can’t even think straight with Sam’s mouth on his mouth.

****

Gabe kisses Sam back, all open, gasping mouth and slick tongue. Instead of pushing Sam away, he pulls him closer and thrusts against him with a loud moan. Then he tugs slightly at the hair at Sam’s nape and Sam shudders, already half-hard from Gabe’s hips grinding against his.

His mind is whispering that this is a bad idea, what he’s doing, what he’s going to do, but he ignores it - that seems to have worked out better for him lately.

He tears his mouth from Gabe’s to suck a bruise-dark mark on the archangel’s pale neck as he pulls Gabe’s legs apart. He grabs for the fly on Gabe’s pants, tearing the zipper down and sliding his hand inside to grip Gabe’s cock in his sweating hand.

Sam nips up Gabe’s jaw as he strokes slow and tight, leaning to murmur in his ear, “How does that feel, /Gabriel/?” The way he says Gabe’s name is far different from how he used it last night, instead dirty and drawn out, almost purred in his drunken state.

****

Gabe is certain that Sam Winchester will be the death of him. He’s sucking on his neck and Gabe’s chest rumbles with a groan when he pulls away. And then Sam’s hand is in his pants, around his fucking cock. He cries out, slams his head back against the hard wood of the stairs and moans so loudly he’s certain Bobby and Dean can hear him.

The way Sam says his name makes his cock twitch hard and his toes curl. “Fuck, Sammy… please…” Gabe manages to say through a series of breathy moans. His cock is dripping pre-come already, his body reminding him of the fact that he never got off the night before. He cants his hips up, trying to force Sam to get a move on. He knows he’s not going to last long, not in this state.

That pressure at the base of his spine is building and if Sam teases him for another second, he’s going to make him regret it. He grabs Sam by his hair and rips his face away from his jaw, looks him dead in the eyes. “You… are a fucking tease…” Gabe growls as he leans in and bites Sam’s lip.

****

Gabe’s begging, actually /begging/ Sam to get him off, and he’s already dripping wet in Sam’s hand. When he weaves a hand into Sam’s hair and pulls, forcing Sam to meet his eyes, they look almost black in the dim light from the high window. His teeth bite into Sam’s lip.

Sam yanks Gabe’s head back, tearing the archangel’s mouth from his to lick a slow, wet path from his collarbone to his chin. And then he’s moving his hand in earnest, rocking into Gabe as he runs his thumb over the slit roughly and twists his slick hand down Gabe’s shaft, switching motions just often enough to keep Gabe from predicting his next move. All he really has to go on is experience jerking himself off, but he certainly has plenty of that.

He keeps his eyes, hooded and full of turmoil and lust, on Gabe’s as he growls, “Fuck you.”

****

Gabe has to grit his teeth from crying out when Sam licks all the way up his neck and starts to just pump away with his hand. Gabe’s hands slide down to grip the back of Sam’s shirt as a series of expletives tumble out of his mouth. Everything about this is so wrong and so right all at the same time.

He moves one hand to tangle in Sam’s hair again and starts making the most provocative sounds while Sam’s just working him. He pulls Sam down just slightly, their noses touching but their eyes still locked.

“Use your fucking mouth, Sam,” he manages to say through his gritted teeth. It’s only fair, after all. And honestly, the image of Sam sucking his cock has been one that he imagines often, maybe too often for his own good. Right now, he needs it, because this isn’t going to be enough. “C’mon, just do it, you fucking idiot…”

****

He really shouldn’t be surprised that Gabe has an absolutely filthy mouth - of all the angels, he /would/. Then his words are lost in whorish moans and gasps. If that’s anything like what he sounded like last night to Gabe, no wonder Gabe couldn’t keep his hands off him.

Suddenly Gabe yanks him close enough that their noses are touching and tells him to use his mouth. It isn’t a plea or an order but somewhere in between. Sam freezes for a fraction of a moment, a drop of panic sneaking through the turmoil, but Gabe’s taunt makes up his mind.

He has absolutely no frame of reference for this, but damn it, he is going to make Gabe come so hard he’ll see stars for a week. Sam Winchester does not do anything halfway.

He yanks Gabe’s pants and boxers down, splaying a hand across Gabe’s hip to hold him against the stairs. One hand returns to the base of Gabe’s cock to give it a just-vicious-enough twist as he licks up the shaft and down over the head, sucking it into his mouth to lap at it with his tongue.

****

Gabe is looking up into Sam’s eyes and he can see the indecision, see how torn he is. Somewhere inside of him, he feels a pang of guilt, but he pushes it away. Now’s not the time to be getting sentimental. Sam’s a big boy. He can say no if he wants to.

Thankfully, he doesn’t, instead practically ripping off Gabe’s clothes and holding him down on the stairs with his large hands. Gabe’s about to say something incredibly filthy when Sam swipes his tongue up his shaft and takes the head into his mouth. He claps his hand over his mouth, shattering the moan that was almost a scream.

He’s already so close, the muscles in his lower stomach clenching involuntarily at all the sensations. He’s never had a blowjob quite like this before, whether it’s just because it’s Sam or because it’s actually someone real is another thing entirely.

He bucks his hips gently, trying his hardest not to choke Sam before this is all said and done. Because that just wouldn’t be fun for anyone. He chokes Sam’s name out in strangled syllables and holds out just a little bit longer, his hands gripping the edge of one of the stairs.

****

Gabe practically screams, the sound going straight to Sam’s dick. He’s surprisingly really fucking enjoying this already, turning Gabe into a quaking mess as he licks and sucks and twists. He can taste pre-come, bitter and salty, and knows Gabe must be painfully close to coming.

Gabe’s rolling his hips, thrusting into Sam’s mouth, and he uses the motion to suck Gabe’s cock farther into his mouth. Now’s not the time to test his gag reflex, but he’s doing just fine so far, he thinks, judging by how Gabe is barely able to say his name, barely able to do anything but writhe beneath him. It’s fucking hot as hell.

He drags the hand on Gabe’s hip down to grip the angel’s thigh, fingers digging in hard enough to bruise. He’s forgotten everything, Jo and hell and all of it, lost in Gabe’s panting and how completely undone he looks. All he cares about right now is making Gabe come, and come hard.

He looks up at Gabe, meeting his eyes as he lets the hand on Gabe’s cock wander down to Gabe’s balls, because /fuck/ had it felt good when Gabe had done it, kneading them in his hands as he gives a particularly strong suck.

****

Sam sucks him down further and Gabe tries his damnedest not to scream Sam’s name loud enough for the entire street to hear. All of his nerve endings are on fire and he can feel his vessel just ripping at the seams. And then Sam grabs his balls, gives them a nice little squeeze and Gabe is just done.

His body is wracked with his orgasm, his fingers digging into the wood of the stairs. He’s trying his best not to let his Grace show through but he can’t stop it at this point. He sits up just enough to press a hand over Sam’s eyes and croaks out, “Sam, close your eyes!”

The floor shakes a little bit and the window only a few feet away shatters. Gabe falls back on the stairs, panting and shivering despite the warm air coming in through the window that once was. There’s still a little bit of Grace lingering around him, his skin glowing in the afternoon light. He looks down at Sam and smiles weakly, bringing his hand up to card through Sam’s hair. “Bobby might need to invest in some new windows.”

****

As Gabe cries out and pours into Sam’s mouth, he lunges forward, barely in time to cover Sam’s eyes. He’s almost shocked enough to stop, but as everything shakes and he hears glass shattering, he keeps his mouth wrapped around Gabe’s cock, drinking him down as the angel shakes around him.

When he feels Gabe finally lean back, he risks opening his eyes after pulling away with a last gentle lick.

Gabe is fucking /glowing/. As he lays panting, the sun glints off his skin in a quickly fading golden sheen that’s almost the color of his eyes. Sam props himself up on his elbow and wipes his mouth on his sleeve slowly, eyes widening as he takes in Gabe, turns to the shattered window, and then looks back to Gabe.

“What the hell just happened? Did you just blow out the /windows/?”

****

Gabe leans his head back against the steps and inhales deeply. He’s gotten tired between getting the most excellent blowjob of all time and shedding a little bit of his Grace. He’s never quite had an orgasm so explosive he blew the windows out but hey, there’s a first time for everything.

“Mmm, yeah, was me. Dunno, that’s never happened before,” he mumbles thickly, rubbing his hand across his face. He rolls on his side but it’s not comfortable at all. He just squirms and then sits up, looking at Sam. He’s still got his pants and boxers around his ankles and his hair is a mess. The exhaustion is really starting to hit him now.

“Let’s go downstairs. You can do your research or whatever. I’ll take a nap,” Gabe suggests as he stands unsteadily, his legs shaking ever so slightly. He pulls his pants and boxers back up and holds out a hand for Sam. “So you comin’ or not?”

****

Sam’s heart lurches in his chest fondly when he hears the lazy contentment in Gabe’s voice as he sits tangled in his clothes, hair mussed. He looks completely debauched, and heaven help him, Sam likes it.

When Gabe adjusts his clothes and holds out a hand to Sam, he takes it - Gabe is definitely stronger than he looks - but doesn’t let go once he’s standing.

“Sure, but, uh, Gabe…” He bites his lip. “I’m sorry, about earlier. I shouldn’t have…I mean,” he says with a dry laugh, “you were kind of being a dick, but you didn’t mean it. So, sorry.”

****

When Sam doesn’t let go of his hand, Gabe automatically twines their fingers together. He looks up at Sam and grins, his eyes shining in the light. “Don’t apologize. I was the one being a dick. Let’s just forget about it. I’m freakin’ exhausted and I wanna take a nap.” He starts to lead Sam down the stairs, still holding his hand, but not before he places a light kiss against Sam’s lips.

They head down to the living room area and it looks like Dean and Bobby still haven’t come back inside, thankfully. He practically drags Sam to the couch and plops down. “C’mon, sit down, you big lug.” He tugs at Sam’s arm and smiles at him. It’s that really warm smile that he’s only been showing Sam these days and he doesn’t plan on showing anyone else anytime soon.

****

Sam lets Gabe lead him back to the living room and gives him a small smile back as he sits on the couch in response to Gabe's. He sits down next to Gabe and grabs his abandoned book.

He really wants to know how Gabe is still so...cheerful. Other than the fact that he just had a blowjob good enough to shatter glass, that is. It isn't that he doesn't care, because that smile he's just given Sam tells him so much more.

Being back in the living room has reminded Sam of everything he had used Gabe to forget. Ashe, and Ellen, and Jo, and the monsters, and almost dying, and Lucifer, and everything, /everything/ that was wrong is still wrong.

But Gabe is there next to him, all snuggled up against his side like they've been doing this forever, and it's oddly reassuring.

Sam flips through the book, not finding anything even remotely useful, and starts another. Bobby and Dean still aren't back, but it's possible they found a project to work on to distract themselves or are strategizing in the garage. Or heard Gabe's moans or the shattering glass and figured out enough to steer clear.

Of course, that brings to mind his little crisis. He's not gay, he isn't, not that there's really anything wrong with that, he thinks, because hey, Dean's thing with Cas...but he's never really even thought he might potentially be interested in men. But Gabe seems the exception to the rule, had been an exception to just about every rule for God knew what reason as soon as they had met him. He made Sam want things he had only ever craved with Jess, and some of the time with Ruby, the rest of the girls and women he'd been with less important than those two.

Sam looks over to Gabe, unconscious of the small smile on his face as he studies the angel. Maybe it's that Gabe obviously really, really wants him. When he's around, he /watches/ Sam, his eyes following Sam's movements as if he's the only important thing in the room...His thoughts shy away from Gabe's accidental admission earlier, instead replaying the rest of the scene on the stairs. It's certainly pleasant, to say the least.

Even though everything is still shitty, a little piece of him is clinging to the hope that all of this will be sorted out, eventually. He leans over the angel, trying not to loom, with a smirk on his face.

"So you sparkle like that guy from Twilight when you come?"

****

As Sam sits down, Gabe curls up next to him and closes his eyes. He’s tired again, the little bit of Grace he lost really taking a toll on his already strained body. He drifts off for a bit and when Sam asks him a question, he jerks awake. He blinks a few times and looks up at Sam with a scowl.

“Did you just compare me to that gay vampire guy?” Gabe says with a bit of sass, narrowing his eyes, “Let’s just clear this up, kiddo. I’m not some namby-pamby bloodsucker douchebag.” He wraps an arm around Sam’s waist and buries his face into Sam’s thigh.

About five minutes pass and Gabe can hear footsteps from far away. “Dean and Bobby are coming,” he mumbles into Sam’s jeans, but doesn’t move from his spot. He really doesn’t give two shits what Dean and Bobby think about him lying in Sam’s lap.

Dean is the first to come in, followed by Bobby. They both look a little grimy, dirt and oil caked under their fingernails and smeared on their hands. Gabe perks up, looks straight at Dean, and he can tell he’s still hella pissed at him. He really should apologize to him but he’s having a hard time setting his pride aside. It’ll make Sam happy though, so he just goes for it, clearing his throat and looking up at the hunter with his gold eyes.

“Dean, before you say anything, I’m sorry. What I said wasn’t appropriate,” Gabe says in a small voice, his eyebrows knitted. He’s never liked apologizing to anyone but Dean is Sam’s brother and he needs to stay on his good side.

****

Sam's as shocked as Dean looks. Did Gabe just /apologize/ to /Dean/?

Dean's speechless for a moment, then collects himself in typical Dean fashion. "Damn right it wasn't," he replies gruffly, glancing at Sam and then back to Gabe.

After Bobby and Dean clean up, they all settle down to research again...except for Gabe, who lazes around like a pampered housecat while the rest of them struggle through Latin and faded ink.

Sam tells Bobby about the windows - and tells him the reason they're broken is to do with Gabe's Grace being partially restored - but decides that it's probably best that he not mention exactly /how/ the two are related. Dean's giving him a look that says he knows exactly what happened, but Sam gives him a look right back, jaw set.

The afternoon fades slowly into night, and Dean runs out for takeout, so they have egg rolls and lo mein and some cheap, shitty beer from the gas station down the road. It's quiet, except for occasional exclamations about possible leads on their friends or on the monsters. And the crickets, always loud outside on hot summer nights like this one.

It's after ten when they decide to call it a night. Jesus, Sam needs a shower. He gets up to head upstairs, yawning.

****

The three hunters get back to their researching but Gabe stays curled up against Sam’s side. He dozes off a few times, only to be woken every time by Sam shifting to grab a new book or the particularly loud rustle of pages. He manages to stay in that weird limbo between sleeping and being awake until Sam gets up off the couch.

Gabe sits up, stretches and yawns, then jumps up and follows after Sam. They’re halfway up the stairs when Gabe grabs the hem of Sam’s shirt and holds on for the duration of their trip to the bedroom. When they get inside the room, Gabe shuts the door behind them and lets go of the little piece of fabric, rubbing at his eyes with the back of his free hand.

“I’m gonna get in the shower,” he mumbles through another yawn, “Care to join me?” He doesn’t wait for an answer, simply starts stripping off his clothes in front of Sam. Not like he hasn’t seen it all before. He pulls his shirt off, then his pants. He leaves his underwear on for the time being, padding over to the bathroom. He turns to look at Sam, waits for him to follow suit.

There’s something immensely sweet about the moment. Gabe has never considered himself the domestic type. Asking Sam to take a shower with him with absolutely no ill intent behind his invitation was a pretty unusual occurrence. Then again, Sam has been an exception to the rules since the moment Gabe laid eyes on him.

****

Sam can feel Gabe's grip on his shirt until they get back to Sam's room. Gabe hasn't even been in the room Bobby's letting him use yet. Sam's pretty okay with that.

A shower sounds fantastic...a shower with Gabe sounds even better. When Gabe starts pulling off his clothes, Sam gets to work on his own, but when he looks back over to Gabe, turned away toward the bathroom, he freezes with a quick inhale.

Gabe looks back at him. Sam goes over and turns him away again, studying the crisscross of bruises across Gabe's back, swallowing thickly. He can tell exactly where each stair pressed into Gabe's hips, ribs and shoulders as he held the angel down. He runs a hand over them lightly, but it doesn't seem like enough, so he sinks to his knees and presses a light kiss to the end of one deep purple mark right at Gabe's hip.

Then, of course, he has to slip Gabe's boxers down just a fraction, and sure enough, there are more bruises striping his ass from grinding into the stairs. That's... that's... well, that's frankly incredibly hot.

Sam stands back up, briefly wrapping an arm around Gabe's waist and pulling him in to kiss just behind his ear. Then he nudges the angel into the bathroom with a smile.

****

Their eyes meet and Gabe knows something has caught Sam’s attention. The way Sam saunters over to him like he owns him sends a thrill through his body. Then he’s being jostled around, Sam’s hands skimming across his skin in various places. He doesn’t understand what’s going on until he notes the locations that Sam is touching. Oh. They must be bruises.

Sam pulls down his boxers just a little bit, drops to his knees, and Gabe is almost prepared to get another blowjob. He holds him breath and Sam merely kisses one of his bruises. He stands up, wraps an arm around Gabe’s waist and pulls him in for a chaste kiss by his ear.

Gabe reaches behind him and grabs the handle of the door, pushing it open, while Sam’s arm is still around his waist. He pushes up on the balls of his feet and kisses Sam’s lips gently before wriggling out of his grasp and padding over to the shower. He turns the faucet on and then stands up and strips down completely.

He looks up at Sam and is actually self-conscious standing there naked. He looks down at his feet and blushes, hard. “Erm… ready to get in, kiddo?”

****

Sam can't help but watch Gabe take off his last piece of clothing. At this point he's seen a lot more of Gabe than most people, sure, but not all of him, all at once. He can't help but stare, his eyes roaming Gabe's arms, shoulders, chest and much farther down. Gabe's not skinny, especially his stomach, but he's definitely taken excellent care of his vessel, deaths notwithstanding.

He'd spend more time letting his eyes roam, but then Sam realizes Gabe's blushing, his face and chest flushed. Is Gabe.../embarrassed/? After what happened on the stairs, he's embarrassed about just standing there? But why?

His eyes widen as he realizes. Sam strips his boxers off quickly and steps over to test the water temperature on his wrist, standing close to Gabe as he looks down at him.

"You haven't done this before, have you?" he murmurs.

****

Gabe crosses his arms over his chest, subconsciously trying to cover himself up. He’s looking anywhere but at Sam, his eyes flicking to study the beige hand towel next to the sink. He snaps out of his daze when Sam asks him if he’s ever done this before.

No, he hasn’t done this before. Everyone he’s ever been with before (sans Kali, but she doesn’t count for numerous reasons) could be sent away with the snap of his fingers. But Sam is very real and even though he can snap his fingers and make him disappear, he wouldn’t ever want to. The worst part? He can’t /not/ be honest with Sam. It’s his freaking weakness and he wants to hate it, but he just can’t.

“Um, no, I haven’t,” Gabe mumbles as he drops his eyes to the floor again. Sam is standing so unbearably close and he just needs to escape. He throws open the shower curtain and steps in shakily. He nearly trips over the edge of the tub and he curses loudly, his face flushed bright red.

****

Gabe escapes into the shower, but almost falls, swearing. Sam grins, then steps in after him. Nervous, awkward Gabe is something new, different than the weak but snarky Gabe of before, or the demanding one that had told Sam exactly how to get him off on the stairs. Or the Gabe from before, who only had to snap his fingers to get what he wanted...or /who/ he wanted. Which explains a lot to Sam about Gabe's current awkwardness. Why bother with real people and their faults when you could call into being a perfect partner? Then why him?

He ignores his thoughts in favor of stepping under the showerhead, closing his eyes to let the water drench him completely. The shower's not very big, but the water pressure is fantastic. He sighs as the grime and sweat from the past day rinse away, leaving his body relaxed under the spray.

"C'mere, I'll wash your hair." Ruby hadn't really showered with him, but Jess had always handed him the shampoo bottle and told him with a wink he had to earn his keep somehow. She'd wash his, too, sculpting into a faux-hawk and laughing before shoving him back under the water to rinse out the soap.

****

Gabe has pressed himself against the shower wall furthest from the showerhead, giving Sam room to step in. He immediately steps under the steady stream of water and lets it wash over him for a moment. Gabe’s got a great view of Sam from this angle. The water is hugging every crevice of his body, his muscles looking even more gorgeous than they usually do.

Then Sam offers to wash his hair and that just sounds like an amazing plan. He doesn’t say anything, just shifts closer to Sam, standing in the stream now. The water feels really nice against his cooling skin. He’s fantasizing about Sam’s fingers running through his hair when he snaps back to reality and realizes he’s waiting there.

“Mm, yeah, we should, uh, switch places,” Gabe mumbles as he grabs Sam’s arms and shuffles around him. Gabe is standing directly under the water now. He tilts his head back to get his hair wet then looks at Sam, his eyes soft in the low light. “What’re you waitin’ for, kiddo. Get on with it.”

****

Sam grabs the shampoo with one hand and turns Gabe around with the other. He rubs shampoo into Gabe's hair, his fingers massaging his scalp and neck, as his mind wanders. He knew Gabe had had some sort of something with Kali, but had everyone else simply been conjured, predictable and gone shortly afterwards? There's something incredibly sad about that, an angel (or even a god, if you counted his time as Loki) who's never actually been with a real person for stupid small things like showers and naps.

Sam turns Gabe, whose eyes are still closed, and dips him back under the water to rinse.

"You can open your eyes now." He maneuvers Gabe to the back of the shower again and dumps shampoo in his own hair, closing his eyes with a small grin.

"I'd let you help, but I don't think you can reach." Hair lathered, he leans back to rinse.

****

Gabe is enjoying Sam’s fingers in his hair when he’s twisted around and dunked under the steady stream of water. He wipes at his eyes as Sam moves him back towards the other end of the shower. When he finally opens his eyes, Sam is lathering up his own hair. Gabe lets out a small whine then an angry huff at Sam’s comment.

“Hey, maybe if you weren’t so freakishly tall, it wouldn’t be a problem,” Gabe jabs, trying to cover up his obvious insecurity. Gabe moves to stand right in front of Sam and grabs his shoulder, pulling him away from the water. He pushes up on the balls of his feet and runs his fingers through Sam’s hair, scrubbing hard in places just to be a nuisance. He catches himself /laughing/ like a loon as he stands there, messing with Sam’s hair, making it stick up in funny ways.

Something about the whole scenario makes Gabe feel comfortable. This is an intimate moment, just not in the way he knows. With Kali, there was never romance. Just a hell of a lot of sex. Maybe in the end, that was their downfall. Sam just strikes Gabe as the type to bring you breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day and treat you like you’re the best dang thing since sliced bread. If it was anyone else, Gabe wouldn’t be interested, but it’s Sam. The Winchester he’s always preferred. The one who always showed him compassion even though he was absolutely terrible to Sam during his time as the Trickster.

Eventually, Gabe drops his hands and leans into Sam, resting his forehead on Sam’s chest. “Thanks for this,” Gabe murmurs, his voice barely audible over the sound of the water.

****

Before he can rinse the shampoo out, though, Gabe grabs him and musses his hair, still filled with soap. He's laughing with contentment as he tries to get Sam's hair to stick straight out at the sides, then slicks in all forward into Sam's face. He seems to have forgotten his insecurity trying to make Sam look ridiculous, ignoring the fact that they're both still naked in very close proximity.

When Gabe leans into him, Sam's eyes are still closed, hair and soap in his face, but he still hears Gabe's murmured thanks. Sam grins and says, "Well, I had to shower anyway, with or without your help," teasing him. He presses a kiss to the top of Gabe's head before ducking back under the water, the spray sending his hair straight down around his face. He probably looks ridiculous.

The soap Gabe apparently conjured into the shower yesterday smells like sandalwood, one of Sam's favorite scents. He wonders if that was on purpose.

He finishes washing up and hops out of the shower, stepping easily over the lip of the tub to grab a towel and vigorously tousle his hair as water drips off his body onto the bathmat. He feels warm and incredibly clean. Gabe seems to have a talent for making Sam forget all the crap happening, at least for a little while, distracting him when he's had too much time thinking about things he can't change for the moment. It's...well, it's actually really great.

****

Gabe watches Sam as he washes up, admiring him from the other end of the shower with a grin on his face akin to that of a love struck teenager. When Sam steps out, he hurriedly washes himself off then follows close behind, nearly bumping into him. Gabe grabs the other towel and dries his body first, then his hair. He creeps up behind Sam and wraps his arms around his waist, pressing a kiss into the middle of his back.

He pulls away and picks up his discarded boxers as he starts towards the door to their room. /Their/ room. That sounds… nice.

He doesn’t wait for Sam and he doesn’t get dressed either. He just flops face down onto the bed and inhales. The scent of the sheets makes his heart skip a beat. They smell like sweat and strawberries and Sam scent, which is something like sandalwood and a hint of cologne.

****

Gabe dries off quickly and skips out. Sam just rolls his eyes and quickly brushes his teeth before wandering back into the room.

The archangel is lying facedown, so Sam sneaks over to his bag and slips on clean boxers before creeping over to the bed. Gabe doesn't move, his face buried in the sheets, so Sam sits on the side of the bed next to him and trails his fingers lightly from Gabe's bicep down his shoulder to the dip of his back. His hand grips Gabe's hip to roll him over, leaning down to rest on his other forearm as he presses a slow, deep, tender kiss to Gabe's mouth.

****

Gabe feels the dip in the bed as Sam sits down next to him. He almost looks up, but his neck muscles are sore from being jammed into the stairs earlier today. He feels Sam’s fingers trace across his back and then Sam latches a hand onto his hip. Next thing he knows, he’s right side up and Sam is kissing him.

It’s a different kind of kiss. The slow, passionate kind that makes someone feel like they’ve got electricity slowly surging through their veins. Gabe is caught off guard but returns the kiss, his mouth slightly open. They stay like that for what feels like forever and Gabe has to turn his head away, sucking in a breath. His heart is hammering in his chest and he’s panting softly.

****

Sam watches Gabe flushed and breathless and presses a small kiss to his jaw before collapsing face first onto the bed with a groan, one long leg dangling off the edge of the bed. He doesn't rest long, instead pulling himself up and under the blankets, lying on his back with a long sigh.

He looks down to Gabe and says simply in a sleep-husky voice, "C'mere." He's incredibly comfortable and tired from the hours of reading and the emotional rollercoaster of the day, and Gabe is just too irresistible.

****

Gabe crawls across the bed and gets under the covers with Sam. He’s getting accustomed to curling up against Sam’s side, one hand slipped under Sam’s back while the other rests on his chest. Both of them are exhausted, so much so that Gabe can already feel his eyelids drooping and he can hear the sleepiness in Sam’s voice.

They’re both really quiet for a very long time and the only sound in the room their soft breathing. Gabe feels vulnerable, like his walls have slowly but surely come down and now there’s absolutely nothing he can hide from Sam. He knows Sammy is a little slow on the uptake sometimes when it comes to his feelings, but Gabe had slipped earlier. Maybe Sam had forgotten, but maybe not. He wants to be clear with how he feels, even if Sam doesn’t feel the same. After all, what’s he got to lose?

“Sam,” Gabe mumbles into Sam’s chest, the heat from Sam’s body not helping with this whole staying awake business, “I love you.” There it is. Three words he’s never said to anyone other than his brothers and sisters in Heaven. And that’s obviously a very different kind of love. He doesn’t look at Sam, doesn’t want him to see his eyes, because he knows Sam will see right through him. And Sam might actually be scared of what he sees there.

****

Sam's almost asleep, Gabe curled around him as he lets his hand stroke down the angel's side, when Gabe speaks. He tenses, frozen. He hadn't exactly forgotten Gabe's confession earlier, but he'd pushed it to the back of his mind to deal with later. Apparently, now.

He knows Gabe loves him. He's /known/ it, how could he not, even before Gabe let it slip earlier? He just hadn't acknowledged it until then, maybe had ignored the truth on purpose.

Sam looks down at Gabe, who won't meet his eyes. His mind reminds him in disbelief that this is a fucking /archangel/, heavenly messenger of the Lord and powerful enough to destroy just about anything with a snap of his fingers.

But he's also the Trickster. Sam and Dean had killed him more than once, and Dean at least had certainly been killed more than once in return. Not to mention the whole herpes thing...Sam tries not to think about that more often than he has to.

The question, Sam thinks, is why? Why, of all the creatures in heaven and on earth, in all the millenia, would Gabe choose /him/? With his demon blood addiction and time in Lucifer's box and his inability to keep away from mortal danger, /why/?

So he does the only thing he can do and simply asks, helplessly, quietly, "Why? Why me?"

****

Sam is so quiet that Gabe thinks he’s fallen asleep, but he knows he hasn’t. Sam’s hand was stroking along his side up until he said “I love you” and then he had frozen. Unless Sam has narcolepsy, he hardly thinks he’s asleep.

Then the question he’s been kind of expecting all along comes. Why him? Gabe looks up now, his eyes hardened and serious. It frustrates him that Sam doesn’t get it, but it’s really not his fault.

“For starters, you’re freakin’ hot,” Gabe says as he hoists himself up on an elbow, his eyebrows knitted, “But that’s not all. I might be shallow, but I’m not a total asshole.” He grabs Sam’s hands and intertwines their fingers. He’s trembling, just a little bit. “Even though I was a total dick to you all those times, you still found the good in me. You’ve always been compassionate and understanding. You might be a little bit dull when it comes to catching onto things, but it’s endearing. Hell, Sam, I don’t know what else… there’s so much stuff and I don’t really get it either. It’s just all overwhelming!” Gabe raises his voice just a bit and grips Sam’s hand hard.

****

Gabe laces his fingers with Sam's own, looking at him with such fierce intensity that he can't look away. He really is in love with me, Sam thinks, dumbfounded. Had he been, all this time? Of course, his mind whispers, he /died/ for you, how could he do something like that without being at least a little?

"Gabe, I...you really do, don't you." Sam is not someone who professes his love, in so many words, lightly. He wants to say it, wants to tell Gabe right back that he loves him, but something's stopping him. It isn't that he doesn't trust Gabe, but maybe it /is/ a little bit of doubt, and fear...

He leans down to press his forehead to Gabe's, despite the uncomfortable twist of his abs. Sam closes his eyes and sighs.

"I want to say it back...but I can't, Gabriel. Not yet. I'm sorry."

****

Gabe knows as soon as Sam meets his gaze. He knows that Sam doesn’t return the sentiment. He feels his stomach drop and the sound of almost pity in Sam’s voice makes him feel like he might lose it. “Of course I do. I don’t say shit just for fun. Especially stuff like that.”

When had he gotten his hopes up? He’s too disappointed to even speak right now but he shouldn’t be. Damn emotions getting in the way again. Sam comes close, presses their foreheads together, and Gabe sighs in time with Sam.

“Yeah, I get it. I understand.” And with that, he pulls away and rolls over, facing away from Sam. He’s acting like a freakin’ kid who didn’t get his way. That pisses him off. He shouldn’t act like this in front of Sam but he just can’t seem to help it.

****

When Gabe rolls away, Sam feels like absolute shit. The tense line of his shoulders screams hurt and defensive to him, and he wants to reach out, pull Gabe closer and wrap his arms around him, but he hesitates. It's not like he can kiss this away.

He whispers, "Sorry," again before rolling to face the other side of the bed. Sleep is dragging him down fast, even though his stomach and head and heart are churning.

Sam doesn't remember most of his dreams. From what he does recall, that's probably a good thing.

****

Chapter Text

Gabe hears Sam roll over on his side and he sighs softly, closing his eyes. He lies there for a long time but his thoughts have gotten the best of him. He doesn’t sleep for the first time in several days, but it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s an archangel.

When dawn rolls around, Gabe finally gives up on the whole sleep thing and crawls out of bed. He’s still in just his towel. He snaps his fingers and he’s dressed in an instant, today’s outfit a baby blue button down, jeans, and his favorite olive green jacket. He creeps downstairs and takes a seat on the couch, picking up a book from the pile on the coffee table. He thinks no one is awake until his eye catches movement near the kitchen. He looks up from the book only to see Dean standing in the doorway between the living room and the kitchen, holding a glass of something in his hand. He’s certainly starting early.

“Didn’t think anyone would be up this early,” Gabe says as he turns his focus back to the book in front of him. He’s having no trouble holding back his snide remarks today. He’s not in the mood for games and Dean probably isn’t either.

Gabe’s shocked when Dean crosses the room and sits down next to him. He perks up, glancing sideways at the older Winchester.

“Somethin’ you wanna say?” Gabe asks in a voice that sounds very wrong. It’s small and meek and exhausted. Gabe hates it.

He knows Dean picks up on it because he takes a swig from his glass and raises his eyebrows. “Nah, but I think you do.” Damnit. Dean might look like a dull knucklehead, but he’s really not at all.

“It’s nothing,” Gabe replies, pretending to skim over a paragraph in the book he’s got in his hands. Dean’s not buying that, though.

“Just say it, you winged weasel.”

“No.”

“Gabriel.”

“Fine! All right!” Gabe explodes, turning to Dean with a fierce expression, “It’s… your damn brother. I’m… fuck… I’m in love with him.” He covers his face with his hands and sighs loudly. Dean is quiet for a freakin’ eon.

“I… wasn’t expecting that,” he finally mumbles into his glass.

“Yeah, well, neither was I,” Gabe says as he groans into his hands.

“I dunno what to tell you,” Dean says with a shrug, standing up, “But just so you know… you hurt my brother, I’ll break your face.”

“Try it and I’ll burn your eyes out.”

“Yeah, Cas ain’t gonna let that happen.”

“Last time I checked, my brother’s not my keeper.”

“Don’t make me deep fry you, feather head.”

They both stare at each other with narrowed eyes until Gabe looks away and scrubs his hands over his face.

“I protected him,” Gabe whispers and looks up at Dean with sadness in his eyes, “Since the second he was born. Well, really since the second Mary and John decided to shack up. But Sam, he was always my favorite… yeah, go ahead and make fun of me for being a sap.” His cheeks are burning and he can’t look at the hunter now. “That time he fell on the playground and skinned his knees? Yeah, he would have had a broken arm if I hadn’t stepped in. And when he went off on his own, I was constantly looking out for him. Dean, I…” He can’t finish his thought. He actually has tears in his eyes and he’s gripping the couch so tightly the fabric is ripping.

“You… you watched…”

“I did.”

“Holy shit. That was…”

“Yep.”

“Are you freakin’ kidding?”

“I’m not kidding, you asshole.”

Dean shifts in the doorway, and when he turns to look at Gabe, his face is serious, but still soft somehow. “I don’t know what to say except thanks. Don’t worry about Sammy. He’ll come around.” And then Dean disappears into the kitchen, banging around for what Gabe guesses is another drink.

****

Sam wakes up feeling not so rested. According to his watch, it's close to ten, but it feels more like five in the morning. The other side of the bed is empty, but he's not surprised.

He gets up and stretches before digging around in his bag for his favorite blue-checked button-down and the cleanest pair of jeans in his bag.

When he gets downstairs, Gabe is on the couch, flipping through a book half-heartedly. Did the universe really hate him that much, that he had to pick the /one/ shirt he owns that matches the one Gabe's wearing?

Dean is on his laptop in the kitchen, drink in hand. Sam goes to the fridge, digging around for a bottle of orange juice behind a jar of what looks like blood and another jar of god-knows-what. It might be moving.

"How many have you had so far, Dean?"

Dean doesn't even look up from the computer, only takes another swig of his drink. "Keeps me focused, Sammy. Some of us don't sleep in all day."

Sam slams the glass he's just gotten out down on the counter. "Dammit, Dean, it's ten in the fucking morning. Lay off the booze."

He doesn't wait for an answer, just pours his juice and stalks into the living room. He can't bring himself to sit next to Gabe, not after the way he'd said he'd understood but said it in a voice that said far different. It wouldn't be fair, he tells himself, pretending he doesn't still feel guilty.

Gabe's studiously ignoring him, so instead he slouches into one of the tatty armchairs, picking up the book he'd left marked last night.

But Dean follows him, drink in hand.

"Quit acting like a bitch, Sam, just 'cause you got in a fight with your boyfriend." Sam doesn't look at Gabe.

"How about you put down the drink and try and get some work done, Dean. You know, figuring out why Jo is lying half-dead in a hospital bed?"

Dean flushes with anger and strides toward him, looking like he's going to punch Sam in the face, so Sam stands, dropping the book, but then Bobby shuffles in and interrupts.

"How about you both stop acting like idjits and get back to the books?" He doesn't look like he's gotten much sleep either. When goes into the kitchen and rustles around to start coffee, Dean just glares back at Sam before heading back to his computer.

Wow, feel the love in this house this morning, Sam thinks. Forget a knife to cut the tension, you'd need a battle axe. Sam sits back down, sneaking a glance at Gabe. He doesn't look like he's seeing the words on the page at all. Sam looks back down to his book quickly when Bobby comes in, coffee in hand, and starts rustling around at his desk.

Sam wants to apologize, but for what? He was being honest, isn't that what Gabe fucking /wanted/? And now he's being punished for it?

****

Gabe sits in the couch for hours upon hours. He keeps flipping through pages of books, seeing but not reading, his mind working hard on the Sam problem. Around 10, Sam shows up in that shirt he just loves so damn much and he can’t even think about stealing a glance.

He’s not mad at Sam, not at all. But he can’t face him, not in this shitty mood he’s gotten himself in. He’s half-listening as Dean and Sam have a little scuffle, Bobby breaks it up, and Sam sits down looking all pissy. Gabe doesn’t want to say anything that he might regret, so he just keeps his mouth shut and the time ticks on.

It’s been about 4 and a half hours when Gabe’s head snaps up from the book he’s reading about God knows what. “Castiel,” is all he says as he jumps up off the couch and tosses the book back onto the table. The familiar sound of wings fluttering fills the room and Cas is standing there looking pretty beat up.

Dean goes to stand up but Cas holds up a hand and closes his eyes. “We have to go. The monsters, it’s clear now. They’re Leviathans.” He opens his eyes and fixes his stare on Gabe, his mouth pressed into a hard line. “We have to go, now. There isn’t much time. I can explain more thoroughly later.”

Gabe feels his stomach drop. Leviathans. Creatures of Purgatory. Why the hell are they here, of all places? He instinctively moves to stand near Sam despite their awkward morning together. “Let’s get this show on the road then. These guys aren’t anything to mess with.”

****

Gabe suddenly jumps up, startling Sam. And then Castiel is standing in the middle of the living room, dripping blood from a nasty gash on his face and generally looking like he's had the shit beaten out of him.

Sam sees Dean move toward Cas, but the angel is focused on Gabe instead.

What the /hell/ is a Leviathan? he thinks. Whatever it is, he's experienced first-hand how dangerous they are - and that they can do this to Cas only reinforces that they're fighting something like they've never faced before.

Bobby grabs his emergency kit from under the desk as Sam and Dean race outside to the Impala's trunk. Gabe and Cas follow, transporting them with a touch as soon as they're armed.

Sam has no idea where they are, a college lecture hall of some kind. There are bodies strewn everywhere, torn and chewed on, but no one living in sight. And in the midst of the carnage, the Leviathan. It's bigger than the last time they faced off, and Sam can't help but shudder, the scars on his back tingling.

He doesn't have long to stand looking, as the thing darts towards them. They scatter, and he mostly loses track of where everyone ends up as Dean starts shooting round after round at the slimy creature - live fire, not just salt. Bobby's also firing, having run farther up the rows. Cas attempts to use his angel mojo but there's just a crack like the sound of lightning and he's thrown back against the benches with a grunt. He pulls out an archangel blade and lunges back up, dodging Dean's and Bobby's gunfire.

Sam's loaded his own gun, diving behind the teacher's desk, right behind the thing. He peeks out and fires, the bullets lodging in the monster's back but not slowing it down much. As he fires, he sees Gabe duck a swipe of the thing's tail and pull out his own blade, almost too brightly silver to look at. But then its tail slams back into the desk, sending it flying back to the wall, pinning Sam. The breath is knocked from his lungs and his back feels like it'll be bruised again, but he just grabs more bullets and continues to fire, trying not to hit anyone but the Leviathan.

****

Gabe is extremely nervous as soon as they pop into the lecture hall. It’s like they dive right into the action, gun’s firing and Cas taking off in the other direction. Gabe’s eyes flick to Sam. He’s holding his own, but there’s nothing wrong with him being on standby if Sam does get hurt.

There are gunshots firing all around and Cas is swiping at the thing with his archangel blade. He summons his own, the blade appearing in his hand. He dives in for a hit but misses the location he was aiming for and ends up dropping his blade. He narrowly misses the Leviathan’s tail, calling his archangel blade back into his hand. Then Gabe watches in horror as the desk Sam is behind flies backwards and pins Sam against the wall.

He nearly dashes for Sam, but he sees the hunter holding his own. Gabe and Cas make eye contact from and nod at each other. They both run towards the thing in opposite directions. Gabe dives and slices the thing’s chest and Cas manages to get a hit somewhere as well. Gabe turns to watch as the Leviathan heals itself and his eyes widen. Shit. This is /not/ good. Gabe makes a run for Sam while Cas runs towards Dean and Bobby.

Gabe almost crashes into the desk Sam is behind. He grabs Sam’s shoulder roughly and concentrates really hard on Bobby’s house again. “We’re leaving!” he shouts as they are both zapped away from the horrid scene back to the living room of Bobby’s house.

****

They land roughly, Sam grunting in pain as his bruises make contact with the floor. When he realizes it's only him and Gabe, he tries to scramble to his feet, but before he can protest, Cas appears gripping Dean and Bobby by their collars.

Dean and Bobby don't look too beat up, a few cuts and scrapes here and there, but Cas looks like he's been hit by a truck. Dean watches, worried, as Cas starts to heal himself and then tends to their minor injuries.

Sam tries to get up again, but can't. It feels like there are metal bands wrapped around his torso, and when he lifts his shirt, he can tell why. The desk had crushed him pretty hard against the wall, and now there's a huge bruise bleeding under his skin about where the edge of the desk had pinned him. It's not as bad as the injuries he'd gotten the last time he'd faced these Leviathans, but it hurts like hell.

"We can't," he wheezes, "just leave that thing there. It'll kill more people."

****

Gabe gets straight to work on healing Sam’s wounds. It’s thankfully just a lot of bruises except for a small cut under his eye, probably from a shard of something. Sam pulls his own shirt up and Gabe takes the opportunity to press his hands to the bleeding bruise. He can feel his Grace leaving him, not a good sign at all, but he’s determined to fix Sam up.

“Sam, we can’t go back there. We’re absolutely no match. You saw us in there. Nothing was working and the damn thing can just heal itself. We need to do more research or we’re all gonna get killed!” Gabe’s hands are working furiously now, skimming over Sam’s bruises then finishing with the small cut on his face.

Gabe sits back and slumps in on himself. He feels cold again. Just fucking great. Not to mention this whole damn situation is giving him a headache. He looks over at Cas and frowns deeply. “So what now?”

Cas turns to him and slowly shakes his head. “I don’t know. Perhaps I should go and try to find more information…” Before Cas can say another word, Dean cuts him off.

“To hell with that! Peope are dyin’ here, Cas. We can’t just sit on our asses! There’s gotta be somethin’.” Gabe sighs loudly and shoots Dean a look.

“If there was something we could do, we would be doing it. But you saw us in there. We’re no match for these damn things. Even as angels, we’ve only heard rumors about the Leviathans…” Gabe sucks in a painful sounding breath and blinks hard a few times. Healing Sam really drained him and he’s tired and just doesn’t feel like dealing with this. His patience is wearing thin. “You know what? You wanna go get yourselves killed, fine. I’m not stoppin’ you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Everyone in the room is dead quiet, the atmosphere heavy. This day couldn’t possible get any worse.

****

Gabe heals him before he can protest. Not that he doesn't need it, but Gabe's strained, fragmented Grace can't handle it. He looks pale and shaky again. Sam doesn't admit to himself that his heart starts pounding when Gabe's hands touch him.

He stands up, taking a deep breath now that the pain's gone from his midsection. Dean, of course, is being his usual stubborn self, but it's Gabe's reaction that's surprising. He snaps right back at Dean, no trace of snark in his voice.

"Dean, Gabe's right, we can't go back yet, we have no idea how to stop them." Everyone goes from glaring at each other to looking at him.

But he's distracted by Gabe, swaying on his feet now. "And... I don't think we can even try to fight them again without restoring your Grace. You can't keep fighting and healing... people. Without you at full power, you're right, we don't have a chance."

****

Gabe looks at Sam and smirks weakly, running a hand through his hair. “I’m doing all I can. I thought Cas’ little boost the other day would help but I’m just back to where I was before.” He curses under his breath and goes to lean against the wall, feeling dizzy.

Cas’ eyes snap to Gabe and they lock eyes. The other angel doesn’t say anything, just disappears in a flutter of wings, and Gabe sighs. Cas needs to learn that he can’t just do that without saying anything.

“I’m going to take a nap,” Gabe mumbles as he rubs his hand across his cheek as if nothing happened. He retreats up the stairs, not bothering to see if anyone is following him. He really contemplates going to the room Bobby said he could use but if he did, he probably wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway. He opts for the bed that him and Sam have been sharing, flopping down face first onto Sam’s side. The mattress dips slightly here, no doubt where Sam has been sleeping, leaving an imprint in the mattress. Gabe fits into the space nicely. Before he can even think about what Sam might think if he sees Gabe curled up in his spot with his face pressed into the pillow, he falls asleep.

****

Cas just looks at Gabe, eyes wide as if he's just realized something, and disappears. Dean swears, throwing his hands up and looking heavenward as if asking why he puts up with the angel.

Then Gabe's disappeared upstairs, and Sam hesitates, wanting to follow but not sure that he should. He, Dean, and Bobby talk strategy, but there's really nothing they can do until Cas comes back. They've been at the books for days and nothing's come up. Bobby retreats to his phone bank to start calling in every favor he's owed, hoping /someone/ has information.

He's left with Dean in the living room. "What the hell are we gonna do, Sammy? We can't just sit around here waiting for Cas to get back while these Levia-whatevers carve up more people for Sunday dinner!"

Dean's practically vibrating with anxiety, and there's only one thing Sam can think of to help him.

"Let's go for a drive. Let's just get the hell out of here for a while, Dean."

Dean stops moving and turns back to him with a small grin. "Yeah. A ride sounds good right now."

"I'll meet you out there in a few minutes. I should, uh," he scans his mind for an excuse to linger that doesn't make it obvious that he's going to check on Gabe, "go sweep up that glass."

"Damn right you should," Bobby says from the kitchen. "Why don't you boys go get me a new window while you're out sightseeing."

"You want a hand?" Dean offers.

"Nah, I got it. I'll be out soon."

Dean heads for the door while Sam gets the broom and dustpan from the hall closet and heads to the back stairs. The glass is quickly cleaned up, and he stows the broom and pan in the corner.

He opens the door to Gabe's room...but it's empty. Has Gabe taken off to follow Cas? Can he, as exhausted as he looked only half an hour ago?

But Sam's feet take him to the door of his room, and when he opens the door, Gabe is fast asleep in his bed.

It's his fault, he thinks, that Gabe's like this. If he hadn't been injured, Gabe would be fine...if Gabe hadn't saved his life and drained his Grace. He wants to go to Gabe, curl up behind him and kiss the breath from him and apologize for ruining everything he touches. He wants to be able to fix Gabe, because maybe once the archangel has his Grace back he'll realize that Sam's not worth it and leave before Sam and Dean get him killed again. Because he's not sure how many get-out-of-jail-free cards any of them has left, and they aren't even close to figuring out how to kill the Leviathans.

So he doesn't go in and wrap himself around Gabe, even though he wants it so much his chest aches. He forces himself to go downstairs and get in the Impala and drive off with Dean.

They drive down the highway, windows down and radio blaring, and Sam feels some of the tension leave his body. Neither of them really feels like talking, but Dean's tapping his hand on the steering wheel in time with the songs, and then he's giving Sam a look.

"So, you gonna tell me what really happened to that window?"

Sam can feel his face flushing and avoids Dean's eyes. "I told you, it was because of Gabe's Grace. I don't know anything else."

"Dude, I walked in on you two practically naked the other day. You know what I think? I think -"

"I'm not talking to you about this, Dean." He sounds like a five-year-old. He also sounds like Dean's not wrong. Dammit. Sam's tempted to smack the smarmy grin off of his brother's face.

"Sam, I /know/ what happened, so don't bother trying to lie to me." Sam tries to protest but Dean cuts him off. "Remember that time I told you Cas and I were attacked at the hotel? When the front window smashed? Yeah, not exactly."

The blood drains from Sam's face. "Oh God. I really didn't need to know anything about you and Cas, really, Dean-"

"-I'm just saying, good for you. My little brother, gettin' some."

Oh Christ. Sam drops his face into his hands. "Dean, please, if you have any mercy left in you, don't make me talk about this."

"Fine, fine." But the grin stays on Dean's face.

Half an hour later, they've gotten the replacement glass and loaded it into the back seat of the car. They take the long way home, down long, twisting back roads that Dean knows well by now. When they pull back up the gravel drive, it's late, but Sam feels just a little better. He sets the paper-wrapped glass pane in the kitchen and says good night to Bobby, who looks absolutely wiped and still hasn't found out anything. Cas still isn't back, either.

Sam pads quietly up the stairs, slipping back into his bedroom, half hoping Gabe's still sleeping.

****

Gabe isn’t sure how long he’s been asleep. He does know, however, that Sam is coming up the stairs. He can tell in the way he takes the stairs two at a time without meaning to and the creak that certain stairs make under his weight. He’s feigning sleep when Sam enters, rolling on his stomach so that his face is buried back in the pillow.

He’s cold again. Definitely not as cold as he was the first time, but that’s irrelevant. He’s been craving Sam’s arms all day but damn it all, he ruined it and now the two of them have been so awkward. He wants to apologize but he doesn’t know what for. He shouldn’t have to say sorry for being in love with Sam. He doesn’t want to apologize. Even if Sam doesn’t feel the same, Gabe will never stop loving Sam. He’s protected him for as long as he’s been alive, even paid visits to Mary and John when she was pregnant with Sam and Dean was just a toddler.

Sam Winchester will always hold a special place in his heart.

He stirs just slightly, enough to let Sam know that he /may/ wake up soon. He has no idea what time it is or how long Sam’s been gone, but he figures at least a couple of hours.

****

Gabe stirs but doesn't wake up, so Sam slips over to his bag to grab pajama pants and steps quietly into the bathroom. He leaves the rest of his clothes in a pile on the floor and slowly makes his way over to the bed, watching Gabe for a moment before lying down to face him.

He can't keep avoiding what's happened. He reaches out, hesitant, before letting his hand fall to Gabe's shoulder lightly. He's startled by the chill that meets his hand, even through Gabe's shirt.

"Gabe," he whispers quietly, trying not to wake him if he's really asleep. If he's this cold again, he's probably exhausted... from healing Sam, yet again.

****

Gabe hears Sam shuffle over to his bag then he comes closer to the bed. He holds his breath, uncertain if Sam will actually lie down next to him. To his relief, Sam does, even surprises him by resting his hand on his shoulder.

Sam whispers his name and he inhales deeply, his eyes fluttering open. “Sammy,” Gabe mumbles, trying to sound as sleepy as possible despite the fact that he’s been awake for ten minutes at least. He locks eyes with the hunter and frowns as he rubs his hand over his eyes.

“Before you say anything, just let me apologize. I shouldn’t have acted like that last night. I don’t want things to be weird between us because of what I said,” Gabe says in a rush, his words tumbling out of his mouth at a rapid speed. He watches Sam carefully, wondering how receptive he will be to this apology.

****

Gabe rolls over to face him, his eyes dark in the dim moonlight. A spike of something very like anguish pierces him when Gabe apologizes.

“It’s all right, Gabe. I’m glad you told me, I just…didn’t- don’t want to lie to you.”

He feels incredibly awkward. Gabe’s just watching him, and he still doesn’t know what to say to make this better.

“Thank you, by the way. I never said thanks for fixing me up earlier. How are, uh, how’s the angel mojo? You felt pretty cold just now.”

****

Now that Sam mentions it, Gabe does feel cold, a little shiver rippling through him. He had felt that earlier, but it’s getting a little worse now. Sam’s not close enough to keep him warm. That’s incredibly frustrating.

“You’re welcome,” Gabe murmurs with a nod, smashing his cheek against the pillow, “And the mojo’s not too great but hey, it was worth it.” He shrugs nonchalantly but then his face changes. He looks Sam dead in the eyes, his mouth turned down at the corners slightly, maybe not even enough to tell he’s actually frowning.

“If you don’t feel the same, I get it. I have reasons for feeling the way I do. I’m sure you have reasons for how you feel too. Sometimes, shit doesn’t line up all pretty and nice and neat like we want it to.” He tries to shrug again but his shoulders are too tense. It’s taking every shred of power he has to not close the distance between them and kiss Sam, tell him how much he means and how he wishes that Sam could just say it back. God, what he would do to hear those words come out of Sam’s mouth. He remembers his conversation with Dean early this morning. He said maybe Sam would come around. He can only hope for something that great to happen.

He settles for placing a cool hand on Sam’s cheek, running his thumb over the skin where a cut had been only hours before. It hits him hard how much he would do for Sam. He didn’t realize it at the time, but he had even died for Sam. Would have killed his own brother for Sam. Damnit. This is a real problem.

****

Gabe’s trying to act nonchalant about this, but Sam’s seen Dean pull that act too many times not to recognize it. He can read everything in the line of Gabe’s shoulders, in the grim set of his mouth. He wants…he wants to help, but…

Then Gabe reaches up and cups Sam’s face in his palm, his thumb brushing Sam’s face as Sam’s eyes close. He turns his head, grabbing Gabe’s wrist as he presses a soft kiss to his palm.

He looks up at Gabe. “Everything’s messed up, isn’t it?” Sam doesn’t wait for an answer, only slides the hand on Gabe’s wrist up to lace their fingers together.

“I care, Gabe. I do. I just…” Anything he could say is just going to be horribly cheesy, and he already feels ridiculous.

****

Gabe is staring at Sam, wide-eyed, his features showing his surprise. He really hadn’t expected Sam to react in that way. He had actually expected Sam to shrug away from him or kick him out. Maybe both. But Sam kissed his hand and looked at him with those fucking eyes and that just makes his chest ache.

“S-Sam… I don’t… please don’t just say that for my benefit. I’ve been around for millions of years. I think I can live if you…” But he stops, reads the look in Sam’s eyes, swallows hard. He’s actually /scared/ right now. His fingers squeeze Sam’s hand hard and he has fucking tears in his eyes. Before Sam can say anything, Gabe looks away and closes his eyes.

“You just what?” he manages to choke out after a long silence, “Don’t beat around the bush here, Sammy.”

****

Gabe actually looks /afraid/, his eyes shining and Sam actually feels a little sick that he can affect Gabe this way (Jesus, are those /tears/ in Gabe’s eyes?) and that this is his fault.

“I just can’t say it, all right? I can’t unless I really mean it, and I don’t want to say it lightly, I’ve done that before and it hasn’t ended well-” He’s rambling now but he doesn’t care because he would do just about anything to not have to see Gabe so hurt. “-and I’d say it if I could, and I don’t deserve this, any of it, I know you said it doesn’t matter, but I /care/ about you, Gabe, and I know I sound like an idiot right now, but I can’t let you think I don’t give a shit about you, when I do, dammit.” Sam finally pauses, loosening his hand where it’s been crushing Gabe’s fingers as he ranted. “Uh, so…so there.”

****

Gabe just listens to Sam’s rambling and he just can’t believe it. Just last night, Sam said he didn’t know. And now here he is, lying in bed next to him, saying that he does care at least a little bit. Well, that’s enough for this archangel.

He doesn’t say anything, just grabs Sam’s face and pulls him down into a kiss. It’s one of those deep, passionate kisses, sort of like the one Sam had given him the night before. But there’s so much more emotion behind it than he ever could have imagined. All the anger and hurt and sadness fade away because he’s kissing Sam and Sam will (most likely) kiss him back.

He pulls away, just two inches, and lets out a small, breathy laugh that doesn’t sound right coming from him. “You really do know how to sweet talk a guy, don’tcha?” he asks sarcastically, licking his lips, tasting nothing but Sam.

****

Gabe’s kiss sets Sam’s body trembling with want, and Sam kisses him back until Gabe pulls away to make his comment. But Sam slides his hand to the back of Gabe’s neck and fists the other in his jacket, pulling him closer.

“Not now, Gabe, please, not now,” he murmurs, watching Gabe lick his lips and then chasing that tongue with his own. He kisses Gabe hard enough to bruise, hard enough to hurt, nips at his mouth because he needs to make Gabe understand that he’s never /not/ cared, that it isn’t that at all. He twines his legs with Gabe’s like he doesn’t ever want to let go. Gabe had actually been scared earlier, facing the Leviathans - and Sam doesn’t blame him, because /fuck/ he was terrified, too - but he was still shocked to see that worry on the archangel’s face. So he pulls Gabe closer and kisses him harder.

****

Sam slicks his tongue across Gabe’s lip and he gasps softly. He’s pulled into an intense kiss, Sam’s lips working against his furiously. Fuck, they’re so close and he can feel the heat off Sam’s body. They’re all tangled up and kissing like they’ve been doing this forever and it’s so perfect.

Gabe opens his mouth and slips his tongue into Sam’s mouth, licking and sucking as his tongue. His hands move to ruck up Sam’s shirt in the front and run his fingers over his smooth abs. He pulls away just a little bit and groans softly, Sam’s hot breath on his face. “S’this okay?” he asks in a voice that’s saturated with want.

****

It’s only been one - incredibly long - day, and Gabe hasn’t even been back for more than a week, but Sam kisses Gabe like he’s been starving for Gabe’s mouth on his. And Gabe’s certainly replying in kind, his tongue meeting Sam’s as his chilly hands run across Sam’s stomach.

When Gabe pulls away, the noise he makes sends a spike of lust through Sam. He sits up, making some sort of assenting noise to Gabe’s question as he strips his t-shirt off. He pulls Gabe up and takes off his jacket, throwing it off the bed with his own abandoned shirt. As he starts on Gabe’s shirt buttons, he presses his mouth to Gabe’s in an open, panting kiss.

****

There are clothes flying everywhere at this point and Sam’s hands are snapping open the buttons on Gabe’s shirt without any form of hesitation. He reaches up to tangle his fingers in Sam’s messy hair while they kiss like they haven’t kissed in years.

By the time Sam gets his shirt unbuttoned, Gabe’s got Sam’s lower lip between his teeth and he’s biting hard. He breaks away to drag his lips down Sam’s chin and neck, biting into the soft flesh where his shoulder and neck meet and sucking in earnest. He moves his hands so he can shrug out of his shirt, but as soon as he’s out of it, he’s gripping Sam’s hips and trying to tug him closer.

****

 

When Gabe's teeth sink into the crook of his neck, Sam cries out at the sharp pleasure-pain. Gabe's abandoned his shirt and he pulls Sam closer. He's more than happy to oblige. He twists his fingers into Gabe's hair as he clambers into his lap to straddle him. Sam pulls Gabe' hair, forcing his face up so Sam can kiss him again, panting and wet and messy. He lets one hand drop from Gabe's hair to stroke down the archangel's back, fingers digging in as they reach one of those damn dimples, and he grinds his hips down into Gabe's. He feels pleasantly lightheaded, and he wraps his long legs around Gabe, pressing them even closer as he sucks on Gabe's lower lip, dizzy with pleasure.

****

Sam straddling Gabe’s lap is probably an odd sight. Gabe’s not even sure he can reach Sam’s mouth with his own, but the hunter quickly shows him that’s not the case at all. Gabe cants his hips against Sam’s and whines into his mouth, heat surging through his veins. Gabe is already incredibly hard, giving him more incentive to move his hands to the waistband of Sam’s pajama pants and tug at the elastic.

“Off,” he breathes against Sam’s mouth, tugging harder. He can’t exactly take them off himself in this position so he moves his hand to his own pants and starts undoing them. Despite the fact that Sam is heavy, he manages to wriggle out of his jeans under him and throw them across the room.

****

Sam slides off Gabe's now-naked lap, lying on his back as he works his pajamas off from where Gabe had managed to pull them halfway down Sam's ass. Of course they manage to tangle somewhere along the way so he's naked and swearing. He finally manages to free himself from the fabric's clutches and kicks the pants off the bed.

His brain, no longer distracted by clothing malfunctions, finally processes that they're entirely naked and both hard as hell, judging by what he can see. Sam reaches up to place a firm hand at the back of Gabe's neck, propping himself up on his other arm as he pulls Gabe down for several more deep, dirty kisses that leave him happily breathless.

While he's kissing Gabe, he lets his hand slide around from his neck to his chest, trailing oh-so-lightly across a nipple, then down slowly over Gabe's stomach, then his hip. His fingertips just barely ghost over the head of Gabe's cock, replaced by the lightest touch of his palm, as he keeps kissing him, all clashing tongues and lips and teeth.

****

Sam lays back and starts to struggle with his pajamas and Gabe can’t help the little chuckle that escapes from him. Sam is attractive even when he’s swearing at inanimate objects, apparently. Gabe isn’t shocked at all when Sam grabs him by the neck and pulls him down. Gabe’s nipping and sucking and licking and biting and practically doing anything he can think of to drive Sam crazy with want. He’s pretty good at that, if he does say so himself.

Sam’s good at that too. Gabe moans into the kiss as Sam barely touches his nipple, and then his belly jumps when Sam trails his fingers down to his hip. Then Sam starts teasing his cock and he’s all for that. Gabe straddles Sam’s lap now, the position a little more favorable given their height differences, and gropes at Sam’s balls without hesitation.

****

Gabe climbs onto his lap, and Sam's infinitely aware of every bit of sweat-slicked skin that's touching his, where Gabe's knees press into his hips, where his hands wander down to grab his balls, wringing a strangled gasp from him.

When Gabe moves his hand away for a split second, Sam grabs his hips hard enough to bruise, pulling him down against him as he rolls his own hips up. And then he's choking at the feel of Gabe's cock sliding against his own, because it might be a completely new sensation, but it's one of the best fucking things Sam's ever felt in his life. He might have actually stopped breathing for a moment.

He pulls Gabe farther down so they're lying flush, one hand tangled in Gabe's hair again while the other grips Gabe's ass. He can breathe again, just barely, so he kisses Gabe again, the slow thrust of his hips matching the rhythm of his tongue as it meets Gabe's.

****

Gabe is not expecting Sam to grab him and starting sliding their cocks together, but fuck, is it great. He’s certainly not complaining, especially as Sam tugs him down to get more contact. Gabe thrusts his hips in time with Sam’s, his cock dripping pre-come as they grind against each other. He keeps moaning Sam’s name between loud panting and gasps, both hands fisted in Sam’s hair as his hips roll against the hunter’s.

He manages to get a hand between the two of them as they’re kissing and takes Sam’s balls in his hand again, rolling them gently. Then he dips his head to lick into the hollow of Sam’s neck, one of his favorite spots, to taste the sweat on his skin.

****

Gabe's warm and slick against Sam, and watching him this undone, well, Sam doesn't think he could be any more turned on than he is right now. His teeth practically ache at the taste of Gabe's tongue on his own. Gabe repeats Sam's name like a mantra as he tugs on his hair before letting a hand trail down to Sam's balls again, and Sam doesn't even know what noises he's making anymore.

When his tongue licks at Sam's throat, the rhythm of his hips actually stutters. His entire body trembles with how damn fantastic Gabe is making him feel.

Through the haze, he remembers how awkward Gabe had looked before their shower earlier, how hurt he had been when Sam hadn't said "I love you" back. A horrible thought surfaces: maybe he thinks Sam is just enjoying having someone in his bed, just using him, like everyone else Gabe has been with. Maybe he thinks Sam's trying to take the easy way out, substituting care for love, something generic he can't be held to when he wants out later.

He pulls Gabe's face back up, letting their eyes meet as he cups his cheek and runs his other thumb over the lower lip of his open, panting mouth. He doesn't really know what he's looking for in Gabe's eyes, although the sight of his pupils blown wide is incredibly hot. Sam just half-moans, half-murmurs, "Gabriel," relishing every syllable of the name, the one he's only used when they're together, alone, hoping Gabe can hear everything he's trying to say but can't put into words. How much he wants this, how much he wants Gabe and everything about him that he gets to see but no one else does, Gabe when he's not the Trickster or a wiseass archangel. When he leans up to kiss Gabe, it's gentle, deep, and slow.

****

Gabe isn’t thinking about anything, really. Just Sam. His body against Sam’s body and hands and skin and sweat and moans. But Sam grabs his face with such gentleness that he snaps back to reality. Looking into those eyes, he can see /something/ behind the glaze of lust. It’s something soft, something sweet, something he wasn’t really expecting. Sam cares more than he lets on, Gabe figures then. Because he’s never seen eyes like that in a situation like this and well, he honestly doesn’t know any better. Only what he’s seen in movies and between two people who really, truly love each other.

The way Sam says his name like that… it sends shivers down his spine. Each syllable rolls off Sam’s tongue and it sounds almost angelic. Before he can speak, Sam’s pulled him into a passionate kiss, not much different than the one they shared the night before after their shower together. And something clicks inside of Gabe, like he’s been searching for something like this for the longest damn time. Millions and millions of years he spent looking for someone who would treat him like he mattered. After he left Heaven, he was so fucking lonely all that time. He had no one. Not his family, not his friends, and especially not someone he could love.

He practically sobs Sam’s name into their kiss and wraps his arms around the other so tightly he may actually crush him. No, Sam can’t say he loves Gabe. Not yet. But Gabe can tell him as much as he wants to in any way he wants to. He pulls away and drops his head down into the crook of Sam’s neck, takes a deep breath, the smell of Sam filling his nostrils and making his skin tingle. “I love you,” he chokes out against the hunter’s neck, his entire body shaking.

If it had been anyone else, Gabriel wouldn’t be doing this. He wouldn’t break down and let himself be vulnerable. But this is Sam, the stupid human he managed to fall in love with. And he’s okay with that.

****

Gabe kisses him back, but then he's shaking against Sam, burying his face at the crook of Sam's neck and he tells Sam again that he loves him, in a voice muffled but full of emotion. Even after Sam's been unable to say it back, even after he's been alone for so long that it makes Sam furious at God and his other angels and Kali and pretty much everyone that abandoned Gabe.

"Hey," he says quietly, pulling Gabe's face back up with one hand as the other wraps around his waist, "it's okay." He doesn't know what he means, really, but only knows that it feels like the right thing to say. Maybe that it's okay for all the shit Gabe put him through before, maybe that it's okay - fuck, more than okay, fucking great - that he tells Sam that he loves him, maybe that it's okay that Gabe's still broken and not himself, maybe that it's okay that he's trembling and exposed in Sam's arms right now.

He needs to be kissing Gabe again, needs to feel Gabe's mouth on his, needs to hear those little sighs and murmurs Gabe probably doesn't even know he's making. So he kisses him, softly at first, but with more urgency as their kisses deepen again and all Sam can think about is wringing more of those needy, gorgeous sounds from him.

****

Sam says it’s okay and he’s right. It is okay. Well, for the most part, anyway. Being here with Sam makes it okay. Sam kisses him again and that want comes back. He parts his lips and allows Sam into his mouth, shoves his tongue between lips and teeth to meet Sam’s. Gabe will never get tired of the electric feeling he gets in his veins when he’s kissing him like this.

He bucks his hips against Sam’s a little gentler this time, rolling and grinding them together. He lets out a strangled moan, suddenly reminded that he’s hard as hell and Sam is underneath him all hot and sweaty and naked. He drags his lips across Sam’s cheek and kisses his ear, then his jaw. Then he finds that one spot on Sam’s neck that he knows drives him absolutely insane and licks a clean stripe all the way back up to his earlobe. All the while, he’s grinding his hips hungrily against Sam’s, his cock pulsing and twitching as it slides against the hunter’s.

****

Gabe's mouth leaves his to wander to his jaw, but when his tongue travels slowly up his neck, Sam can't help the sharp thrust of his hips into Gabe's or the gasp that escapes him. One of his hands grips behind Gabe's knee, pulling him higher and even closer as he groans at the sensation.

Sam's heart is pounding and he feels like he's about to absolutely fucking combust from Gabe writhing on top of him, sweat and pre-come slicking between them and fire coursing through Sam's veins.

"Gabe, can you do something for me," he murmurs, leaning up as he pulls Gabe's hips tight against his. His lips brush Gabe's ear as he says quietly, "Can you come for me?"

****

Gabe’s mind was completely offline until Sam pulls him closer and whispers in his ear and /asks/ him to come. Gabe is up and straddling Sam before either of them can really register what’s going on. He takes his cock in his hand and starts pumping fast and hard, moaning incredibly loud. Then he takes Sam’s cock in his other hand and matches the rhythm.

Gabe knows it won’t be long now. He’s looking down at Sam through heavy-lidded eyes, watching him pant and moan and squirm. That’s enough to send him over the edge but at the very last second before he reaches his breaking point, he thinks of Sam’s whispered words. The noise that escapes him is not much different than a howl and his body stutters as he comes hard over Sam’s hips and stomach. His body feels like it might collapse in on itself and he feels the need to gasp for air like he might pass out any second. But he doesn’t let up on working Sam harder and faster, wanting to see the look on his face when he comes.

****

As soon as he speaks, Gabe's hands are on both of their cocks. He watches Gabe as he works them quickly, and Sam can practically /see/ when he's about to come, and thank somebody that Gabe doesn't glow and destroy the windows again because Sam can't look away from Gabe as he spills across Sam's stomach with a loud moaning yell.

Sam would savor the image of Gabe looking absolutely fucking wrecked, but Gabe's small hand is still on him, stroking him rapidly. Sam's vision is starting to blur at the edges but he keeps his eyes on Gabe's, /wanting/ him to see. When he comes, all over Gabe's hand, dripping onto his own stomach, it's with a quiet, sobbing gasp wrenched out of him.

When he can finally function again, he wheezes for breath, returning air to his oxygen-starved brain. When he's more convinced he's not about to faint from sheer pleasure, he rolls Gabe off of him to lie on his side and presses his mouth to Gabe's shoulder in a lazy kiss.

"I'll take that as a fucking /yes/, then," he manages to say.

****

Gabe watches Sam as he comes hard, spilling out over his hand and a little bit onto his own belly. He shamelessly licks his fingers, the taste of Sam making him sigh with pleasure. They end up as a tangled mess of limbs moments later, after they’ve both caught their breath and have had a little time to recover.

Sam’s little comment makes Gabe snort and rolls his eyes. “Obviously,” he mumbles groggily as he presses a kiss to Sam’s sweaty forehead. He’s exhausted and he suddenly remembers that he’s all messed up again. He can feel his temperature dropping a little already and an annoyed sigh escapes him.

“M’sorry for goin’ and gettin’ myself all screwed up again,” Gabe says thickly, pulling back and looking Sam in the eyes.

****

"Hey, I'd be in a lot worse shape right now if it wasn't for you." He grins wryly. "Well, you know what I mean."

The grin fades as Sam studies him, running his fingers through Gabe's damp hair. "Hopefully Cas comes up with something soon."

His skin is starting to feel sticky and absolutely disgusting, so he kisses Gabe and murmurs, "Be right back." When he gets up, his first few steps are wobbly. When he gets to the bathroom, he wets a washcloth and wipes himself down, catching a glance of himself in the mirror that makes him stop and look closer. His hair is sticking up at about ten different angles, he has teeth marks on his shoulder and hickeys on his neck, and his mouth /looks/ like it's been nibbled on. What he sees makes him grin again.

When he gets back to the bed, Gabe's still curled up on his side and looks half asleep, so Sam tugs the blankets out from under him so he's actually /in/ the bed and rolls Gabe onto his back. Gabe isn't putting up much resistance, so Sam starts wiping off his stomach, hand brushing against Gabe's side.

****

Gabe has to stifle a laugh. “Shut up,” he mumbles half-playfully, half-sleepily. He didn’t realize how tired he actually is, even after his long nap earlier. He imagines that losing that much fluid would make anyone tired. He realizes that Sam did say something semi-serious that he should probably respond to and even though he’s tempted to ignore it all together because his mouth isn’t working correctly, he tries anyway. “Don’t worry. Cas’ll figure this all out. There was always a reason Cas was my favorite little brother.”

Sam gets up to go clean up, Gabe presumes, so he just lays curled there for what feels like ten years. When Sam finally comes back, he doesn’t bother moving. He actually /aches/ all over and he doesn’t want to even so much as blink right now.

But Sam manages to get him situated comfortably and starts cleaning his stomach off with a warm rag. This wouldn’t have been a problem usually, except that Sam’s fingers glide right over Gabe’s side and his skin jumps. He can’t hold back a little screech that tumbles out of him before he can clap a hand over his mouth. He’s looking up at Sam with wide eyes, not sure what just happened. He’s not aware of this particular sensation and when Sam does it again, he breaks out into a small fit of giggles then snaps, “S-Stop it! What the fuck are you doing?” He lays there looking scared and confused and wondering why the hell he just giggled like a 5 year-old girl.

****

Gabe's screech startles Sam for a moment, and they just stare at each other in wide-eyed shock for a few heartbeats. And then Sam grins slowly as he waggles his fingers along Gabe's sides again. Gabe actually /giggles/ as he writhes around, and Sam can't help laughing in surprised glee (it's a little malicious, but tickling someone always is.) When Sam finally lets up, Gabe pouts at him, breathless and annoyed and confused-looking.

"Dude, if you're this ticklish, I can't /not/ take advantage."

Sam gives Gabe that predatory Chesire grin again and pounces. That Gabe didn't even seem like he knew he was ticklish makes it even better. He climbs back on top of Gabe, straddling him as he continues his attack.

****

Gabe just stares up at Sam with a panicked look on his face, watching the malicious grin spread over his face. “Ticklish? I’m not—“ But then he realizes that he’s never been tickled before, so how the hell would he know if he’s ticklish or not? As it’s dawning on him that he is, in fact, ticklish, Sam jumps on him and starts assaulting him with his fingers.

Gabe struggles underneath him, writhing and flailing as Sam slides his fingers over his sides. He’s already laughing so hard he’s got tears in his eyes and that’s pretty freakin’ embarrassing for an archangel. “Saaaaaam! Stop!” he gasps through laughing, kicking his legs and managing to knee the hunter in the back. It does absolutely nothing as far as Gabe can tell because the tickling continues. It’s gotten to the point where Gabe can’t even breath, his chest shaking with silent laughs and tears are streaming down his face. He grabs onto Sam’s arms and tries to flip them over, to no avail.

Gabe is almost certain he’s going to die like this, unable to catch his breath as Sam’s fingers slide over his skin in a rhythmic pattern.

****

Gabe's pinned under him, laughing so hard he's crying. He grabs Sam's arms to move him, but Sam's not going anywhere just yet. He subjects Gabe to a few more moments of tickling before finally relenting to Gabe's breathless, smiling pleas and rolling away to lie on his stomach, watching Gabe catch his breath as his arm slings across Gabe's stomach.

He's panting from laughing too but manages to say, "I think you kneed me in the kidney."

Sam slides closer, resting his head in the curve of Gabe's shoulder, a stupid smile still on his face.

****

Gabe is so relieved when Sam rolls off of him. Ah, he’s finally able to catch his breath. His chest burns from laughing so hard and his abs feel like he’s been working out for three hours straight. He turns his head and kisses Sam on the side of the head, the only place he can reach without moving his head too much.

“You deserved that. I guess if you wake up pissing blood in the morning you’ll know why,” Gabe says, still rather breathless. He closes his eyes and he feels like gravity is just weighing down on him. He had really forgotten how tired he was before. He takes a deep breath and
mumbles groggily, “S’time for bed, I think.” He scoots away from Sam a little bit and rolls on his side, facing the hunter.

He thinks about telling Sam he loves him again but he’s too tired to even move his lips. He settles for leaning in and kissing some part of him (his ear, he thinks) before sleep takes him.

Chapter Text

Gabe rolls towards him, and Sam yawns, his body reminding him that it's been a long day and that he's just used up any energy he had left. He plants a kiss on Sam's ear and then promptly passes out, snoring slightly. Huh. Archangels snore. Well, archangels missing half of their Grace and currently engaging in not-so-heavenly activities daily with humans. So pretty much just Gabe, then.

Sam pulls the blankets up to cover them better, then lets his fingers trail over Gabe's knuckles where his hand clutches his pillow. He watches Gabe for a few moments before he finally sleeps.

When Sam wakes up, but Gabe is still sleeping, buried in blankets with the top of his head barely visible. Sam doesn't know how he's breathing under there, but he probably just breathes for fun anyway.

He pads quietly to the shower and washes off quickly, slipping into jeans and a plain white button down, part of his FBI agent uniform. He doesn't wear it much separately, but he's running out of clean shirts.

The clock downstairs says it's earlier than he thought. There's a note on the table that says Bobby's outside in the garage, but no sign of Dean. He's probably still asleep, and Sam wonders if Cas showed up. The thought reminds him of the broken window.

Half an hour later, Bobby's window has been replaced and the broken shards of the old one have been chucked in the box under the sink. He'll have to ask Gabe why there wasn't another broken window last night. The thought brings a small smile.

Ten minutes later, he heads back upstairs with one cup of coffee and one cup of sugar with a splash of coffee. When he pushes the door open with his hip, Gabe is still buried under the blankets. Sam sets the coffees on the dresser and sneaks quietly over to the bed, lying down behind Gabe as softly as he can manage. He pulls the blanket down just enough to expose Gabe's neck and presses gentle kisses to the cold skin just below his hairline as his other arm sneaks around Gabe's waist.

****

The only thing Gabe can smell right now is coffee and Sam and he can feel warm lips heating up the icy skin on his neck. His eyes flutter open and he glances down to see a very familiar arm wrapped around his waist. He can’t help grinning ear to ear before he yawns loudly and shifts a little to stretch.

“Mornin’ Samsquatch,” Gabe mumbles thickly, rolling onto his back and reaching up to grab Sam by his neck and pull him down for a kiss. Sam tastes like coffee and Gabe pulls away, crinkling his nose in disgust. He’s not a fan of bitter things. “Yuck. I can’t believe you drink that dirt without sugar in it,” he comments as he pulls Sam down for a less chaste kiss, licking into his mouth to hopefully get rid of the horrible taste.

****

Sam kisses Gabe back lazily, their tongues brushing slowly, before pressing a kiss to the exact center of his lower lip.

"That really isn't going to get the taste of coffee out of your mouth, you know. Move over."

He pulls the blankets back enough to burrow under the blankets, clothes and all, next to Gabe, who is still very, very naked. He really can't be blamed for sneaking a peek under the sheets as he settles in.

"No wonder you're freezing. I'd go get your coffee but I, unlike you, didn't sleep in today. I had to go fix the window /someone/ broke."

Sam slips one hand under Gabe to wrap around his waist and rests his other hand on the back of Gabe's neck, hoping to transfer at least a little heat as he rubs small circles through Gabe's messy hair with his fingers.

" 'Spose it was my fault too, though," he murmurs as he pulls the angel closer and kisses him again, humming contentedly.

***

Gabe just smirks at Sam and rolls his eyes as the hunter settles in next to him. “Who says it won’t? Maybe my tongue is magical.” He winks and sticks his tongue out, leaning into Sam’s touch without a second thought.

He sighs softly as Sam’s fingers tangle in his hair and rub against his skin. It feels so damn good. He looks up at him, his goldenrod eyes shimmering in the early morning light. “You call this sleeping in? It’s like, what, ten in the morning? That’s not even—“ His sentence is interrupted by a kiss from Sam and he just smiles like an idiot and tugs him closer.

He finally breaks away after a moment later and licks his lips. They’re still pretty sore from all the kissing they did the night before. Not that he minds. He runs a hand through Sam’s hair and laughs softly. “You playin’ with my hair like that could put me to sleep. Feels good.” It’s barely a mumble and his eyes are already drooping again but he forces them open.

He’s reminded that he’s still freezing when a cool gust of air from the AC unit blows into the room. He instinctively curls up against Sam and huffs angrily, clenching his eyes shut. He’s ready for this to be over. He wants his Grace back so he doesn’t have to rely on Sam so much. He likes how close they’ve become but at the same time, he doesn’t want to become dependent on him. That’s probably one of the scariest scenarios he can think of. He’s an independent sort and with this whole missing Grace BS, it’s pretty damn hard for him to do much of anything.

****

When Gabe shrinks closer to his chest, Sam moves his hand from Gabe's neck to tug the blankets more snugly around them, keeping the cooler air out. He returns his hand to Gabe's neck, stroking slowly from his hairline to just below his shoulderblades.

"We don't have to get up, you know," he says softly. Gabe looks tired still, and he's just starting to feel warmer than Sam does. He doesn't know what to do to help Gabe, and it's frustrating as hell.

****

Sam slides his hand up and down Gabe’s back and he’s already practically melting in his arms. He moves as close to Sam as he can, nuzzling into his neck. His own hand slides between them to cop a shameless feel at Sam’s groin, licking at the spot on Sam’s neck he just loves.

“I can think of a few other things we could do while we’re laying here,” he whispers against Sam’s neck, blowing on the spit-slicked skin. He pulls back and looks up at Sam with mischief in his eyes. He’s definitely in that sort of a mood.

****

Sam can barely keep up. One minutes Gabe looks absolutely exhausted, then the next his tongue's lapping at Sam's neck as his hand sneaks further down Sam's body to grope him. He really shouldn't be surprised that he's already half hard, since he is in bed with a very attractive, very naked man.

And he's missed this, lazy early mornings with wandering hands and coffee and burrowing under blankets to keep the day at bay. He's still not completely situated with the whole Gabe-being-a-guy thing, but if last night was any indication, his body seems to have no problems. And Gabe makes the whole thing kind of easy. He doesn't push Sam, and that's nice. /Nice/. Geez, Dean would say he sounds like some kind of infatuated girl.

When Gabe blows on Sam's damp neck, he's pulled back from his thoughts with a shiver he can't help, even though he's the one fully clothed here. The look Gabe's giving him contributes a bit too. His eyes have shifted darker, almost the warm color of maple syrup, and fuck if Sam's mouth isn't watering. But that twinkle in his eye looks like the one Gabe used to have, and it's a little reassuring to know that despite his lack of mojo, he's still the same asshat.

He kisses the tip of Gabe's nose, giving him a grin. Despite his having repeatedly killed Dean and the tricks he's played on Sam (he mentally winces at the memory of a few of them), Sam /likes/ the gleeful, Trickster version of Gabe.

"Oh really? What did you have in mind? Feel free to share."

****

“I think you know what I have in mind,” Gabe says in a quiet voice, rubbing his hand over the crotch of Sam’s jeans. Something about Sam gets him all riled up like this. Maybe it’s the fact that with Sam, he actually feels something. It’s not just boring, lame sex. With Sam, it’s fun and nice and amazing and great and pretty close to perfect as something can be.

Gabe drops his head to Sam’s neck again and sucks a dark mark on the sensitive skin. He makes up his mind that there’s nothing like fooling around this early in the morning. There’s something about the way Sam looks in the morning light that just makes Gabe want to jump his bones. Well, he always wants to do that really, but right now it seems much more important that he at least gets a little heavy petting in. He’s got a feeling Cas is coming back today, but he doesn’t tell Sam that.

Gabe is already hard at this point (angels get morning wood too, surprisingly enough) and he grabs Sam’s hip and drags him closer. He moves to press his lips against Sam’s, already working hard to get his tongue in that mouth.

****

Gabe lowers his mouth back to Sam's neck and he has to bite his lip to keep a gasp from escaping him. When Gabe kisses him again, tongue lapping at Sam's lips, he parts them with a sigh. Gabe’s mouth is soft on his as they kiss slowly, the brush of their tongues sending drowsy warmth through him. He can feel Gabe's erection pressing into his hip and moves his hips in reply with a leisurely gyration. He just might melt into the damn mattress from blissful contentment, something he really doesn't feel all that often.

****

Gabe’s mouth moves urgently against Sam’s now, stealing all of his air and bruising his lips. He really loves that he can do this with Sam. Gabe’s hand moves to grope at Sam’s cock through his pants, purposely trying to get him turned on.

“C’mon, Sammy. Let’s play,” he murmurs into the kiss, rubbing Sam harder through his jeans, “I wanna see you like you were last night…” He drags his lips down Sam’s chin and neck to bite sharply into the skin near Sam’s collarbone.

****

Gabe isn't content with moving slowly for very long. It seems he's definitely, completely awake now, his hand moving to rub Sam through his jeans, and it really doesn't take long for his cock to respond. Not that he hadn't been half-hard already. It's like he deliberately lured Sam in with soft, patient kisses and then pounced. Never mind that Sam was the one who had crept back to bed or that he /knew/ that he was being reeled in.

Gabe's voice makes him shiver, and he gasps softly at the sharp pain of Gabe's teeth.

"You'll have to try a bit harder than that, then," he says with a grin. If Gabe wants to play, then Sam's going to play.

****

Sam is irritating, it’s officially been decided. In one fluid motion, Gabe has rolled Sam onto his back and he’s now straddling the hunter’s lap. He rucks Sam’s shirt up against his stomach and scoots down to straddle Sam’s knees instead, leaning down to lick a clean stripe across the area right under his navel. He looks up at Sam with lust-darkened eyes and an almost sick smile crosses his face. His hands have been working the button-fly on Sam’s jeans the whole time, his short fingers surprisingly efficient. He’s had a lot of experience taking pants off in the past. Maybe that’s something an archangel shouldn’t brag about, but he’s personally proud of his track record.

He’s got Sam’s pants undone in less than ten seconds, slipping a hand inside his jeans but not his boxers. He rubs Sam’s cock through the thin fabric, licking his lips. “I want to have you begging for mercy before I’m done with you,” Gabe says in a low, gruff voice, working Sam slowly through his boxers. His chest is burning with every breath he takes and his mouth is watering and he wants Sam in his mouth so bad it hurts.

“See, you’re hard already, just from this,” Gabe says breathily, the smirk growing on his face.

****

When Gabe flips him and clambers onto his lap, Sam realizes that teasing him was probably not the smartest idea. Or, he thinks as Gabe's tongue meets his skin and he sees the look on Gabe's face, it was an excellent idea. Never mind that it's late and they should probably be getting out of bed, because he is absolutely not going anywhere if Gabe has decided that he feels good enough for /this/. He is decidedly fine that Gabe can't keep his hands off of him.

Before he even realizes what those hands are doing, his jeans are unbuttoned and Gabe's palming him through his boxers. His eyes never leave Sam's, but he knows Gabe sees every swift rise and fall of Sam's chest and can feel every slight clench of Sam's fingers in the sheets as he strokes Sam's cock through the cotton fabric.

The look he's giving Sam is absolutely predatory, and God help him, he /likes/ it. When Gabe's tongue darts out to wet his lips, Sam catches his own lower lip in his teeth. He can't let Gabe win that easily, and he's... well, interested doesn't even begin to cover it... to see what exactly Gabe will do. Maybe even a little apprehensive, if he's honest with himself, because as he's learned many times before, taunting powerful beings is almost always a bad idea. But this is a completely different kind of taunting...

Instead of keeping quiet, he leans up on his forearms, still biting his lip as he tilts his head to the side, pausing to as if to study Gabe as he lets his lip roll slowly out from the grip of his teeth.

"Make me beg then," he says deliberately.

****

Gabe slows his hand, stilling near the base of Sam’s cock. He’s watching Sam’s lip with extreme attention, those perfect, white teeth sinking into the soft skin. Fuck, he would really like to see that mouth doing other, much dirtier things but he keeps that to himself. Sam utters what Gabe takes as a /challenge/. Oh, Sam’s got no idea what he’s in for.

He wants to snap his fingers and have Sam naked underneath him, but he’s not sure he’s got enough mojo left for leisurely things like that. No, that’d be far too convenient. He opts for rolling off Sam’s legs and tugging his jeans off clumsily. He curses Sam’s long, gangly legs in his head until he finally gets them off and throws them across the room, partly in frustration and partly because he’s ready to get his hands back on Sam. He hooks his fingers in the waistband of Sam’s boxers and only pulls them down halfway to his knees but decides he’d better just get rid of them all together. They end up on the floor with the jeans.

Gabe takes this perfect opportunity to shove Sam’s legs open wide and situates himself in between them, laying on his belly with his face practically touching Sam’s cock. He looks up with those lazy eyes Sam was giving him earlier and smirks. He licks a long, clean stripe up the underside of Sam’s cock but doesn’t linger there. He just pulls away and grins so widely it hurts his cheeks. His hand comes up to cup Sam’s balls but they remain still there.

“Sam,” he growls, animalistic and rumbling in the quiet room. He blows on the skin he’s just licked and he imagines that it feels fucking fantastic.

****

Gabe tugs his jeans off and chucks them carelessly over his shoulder. His boxers follow shortly, and Sam can't help his grin.

His legs are suddenly splayed wide, and he can't help the jolt his body gives at the brief feel of Gabe's tongue on his cock. He shivers when Gabe blows lightly on the damp skin but doesn't look away from those hooded eyes and wide grin. The way his name rumbles from Gabe's throat doesn't help.

"Yes, Gabe?" He's kind of proud of being able to keep his voice mostly level. Mostly.

****

Gabe’s grin turns into a very angry looking frown. He’s frustrated in more than one way. Now Sam is being an insolent asshole and he’s not sure if he loves it or hates it. Gabe is the one in control here but… Sam’s got his hands on the wheel too, so to speak. He’s not used to this, the power struggle, and it’s surprisingly much more arousing.

He squeezes Sam’s balls hard, not enough to hurt but enough to elicit some kind of strong reaction. His other hand moves up to grab Sam’s cock around the base. He makes a /really/ tight ring with his fingers and gives Sam one good pump. He doesn’t release his hold, just keeps it there, holding the base of Sam’s cock tight enough to cut off the circulation.

“Two can play at this game, kiddo,” Gabe sneers, trying not to let the little bit of rage he feels color his voice, “If we have to stay in bed all day like this, we will.”

****

/Shit/. He might have gone a bit too far being a wiseass, because Gabe looks thunderous now. Sam swallows, eyes widening until Gabe squeezes his balls again, then his eyes drop closed in pleasure as he chokes out a small noise.

But they fly open as Gabe grips his cock tightly, his hand jerking up once before his fingers wrap painfully tight around the base.

His brain, what little bit of it is functioning at this point, is caught between figuring out if the sensation is /too/ painful and trying to figure out why Gabe suddenly seems, well, a little angry. But he's forgotten that Gabe isn't Ruby, or Jess, used to this kind of bedroom competition. And if he's really pissed Gabe off...

It's looking more like he's in over his head, but he doesn't want to back off just yet. Sam moans Gabe's name, half in questioning confusion and half in reaction to the grip on his cock.

****

Gabe doesn’t realize it’s too much before it’s too late. The way Sam says his name isn’t how he wanted him to say it… it sounds confused and strangled and maybe just a little tiny bit angry. Gabe eases up, almost pulls his hand away completely.

He had forgotten that Sam isn’t like everyone else he’s slept with. Sam has feelings and emotions and things he likes and things he doesn’t. Sam isn’t just some image that he conjured up to make himself feel better. He knows from his experience with Kali that not everyone is into the whole submission thing. Hell, /he’s/ not into that either. He’d much rather be dominating someone. But he’s never even considered that sex can involve both of them being in control. It’s a little frightening.

He lets Sam adjust, allowing the blood to flow back to his important parts before going on. He mutters a “sorry” under his breath and actually breaks eye contact. Then he’s back at it, working Sam’s cock in his hand, slowly but methodically. He stops just long enough to flick his tongue over the head before picking up his pace again.

****

Gabe lets his grip relax instantly, to Sam's relief. He keeps forgetting that Gabe may have spent centuries with humans, but he's still, well, /not/ exactly human. It's not a bad thing - Gabe's an /angel/, for fuck's sake - but well, miscommunications are bound to happen.

When Gabe mutters an apology and averts his eyes, Sam leans up a bit to take his hand in one of his own, bringing it to his mouth to brush a kiss across Gabe's knuckles. His dick's recovered already, he's still incredibly hard, and it seems Gabe might have a better understanding of how this works.

He murmurs, "S'okay," against Gabe's skin before returning Gabe's hand to his cock, wrapping Gabe's fingers back around him. He gives him a small smile and says, "Time in." Gabe begins stroking again, gently at first, and the sensation of his hand hits every nerve ending the lack of circulation had affected, and, well, that's...

When Gabe darts his tongue over the head of his cock, he watches Sam with a mix of curiosity and arousal in his eyes that makes Sam bite his lip again.

****

Gabe is surprised that Sam isn’t angry. Then again, Sam doesn’t really seem to be that type. Sam is good-natured and kind and sees the good in people. Gabe loves that about him. Sam is his polar opposite.

He’s still stroking Sam at a decent pace, but that’s not enough. He can see that little bit of pre-come glistening at the slit and he wants it. He licks around the head again, this time taking the whole head in his mouth and sucking gently. He’s not looking at Sam anymore, eyes closed and concentrating on getting him off. As he sucks, he sneaks a finger behind Sam’s balls, ghosting the tip over the opening there. Fuck. He can tell Sam is tight as hell as he should be. Gabe is certain Sam has never had sex with a man before. He does it again, slipping his finger over the area and looking up at Sam, wondering how he’ll react.

****

Sam watches Gabe work him with his hand, but when Gabe's mouth covers the head of his cock, he lets his eyes flutter closed because if he watches, he's going to be begging a lot sooner than he'd like. Which he might anyway, if Gabe keeps moving his tongue like that.../fuck/, he's good at this, Sam thinks, returning to the blissful haze that's now edged with lust.

But then he feels Gabe's hand, the one not on his cock, wander...well, a little /too/ far. He inhales sharply, unsure, but the second time it happens, his eyes fly open to see Gabe watching him.

He can feel himself flush as he bites his lip again, not coyly this time. "Gabe, um, I...”

****

Sam’s face pretty much instantly tells Gabe that he is not comfortable at all with the idea of this. He moves his wandering hand to cup his balls instead without a word. He hadn’t really been expecting Sam to be okay with it, but he is a little disappointed. But just a little. Not enough to put a damper on his mood.

Gabe squeezes Sam’s balls again, much gentler this time, while he sucks unforgivingly on the head of his cock. He moves a bit and takes Sam deeper, almost to the hilt, but pulls back to suck on just the head again. He grins the best he can around the cock he’s got in his mouth and flicks his tongue over the sensitive ridge of Sam’s cock. He’s so very determined to get Sam to beg now.

****

Gabe seems to understand what he's having trouble saying, because his hand moves back up, and his mouth certainly hasn't stopped. Sam gasps as Gabe's lips slide quickly down his shaft, quick and rough before his tongue is working the head of Sam's cock again. And then his mind oh-so-helpfully supplies the image of what they must look like right now, Sam half-dressed and gripping fistfuls of the sheets, Gabe completely naked, head between Sam's legs...he can't help the groan that escapes him at the thought.

****

Gabe hums around Sam’s cock when he moans, then pops off him with an obscene noise. He drops his mouth to kiss and nibble at Sam’s thigh, his hand leaving Sam’s balls to grip the other thigh and squeeze hard enough to bruise. Gabe moves a little closer, resting his cheek against Sam’s erection, a seductive smile on his lips.

“I’m not gonna ask you again, Sam,” Gabe drawls, his voice lower than usual, “You’d better start begging like the slut you are or I’m not gonna let you come.” He turns his head slowly and drags his lips very gently up Sam’s length. When he gets to the head again, he licks over the slit quickly. “You taste so fucking good. I could suck you off until you’re dry as a bone.” He looks up at Sam with that little flicker of mischief in his eyes and sucks Sam into his mouth again, this time taking him all the way to the hilt.

****

Sam's heart lurches as Gabe moves his attention to his thighs, and he shivers again at the look on Gabe's face, like he'd fuck him senseless if Sam would let him. That /look/, and the words he's murmuring, and his lips brushing Sam's cock, are turning Sam into a hot, panting mess, something Gabriel seems incredibly good at doing.

He only has the one glance as warning before Gabe suddenly swallows him entire and he's arching off the bed with a shout.

****

Gabe starts to suck Sam slowly, raking his teeth gently up and down his length. In his head, he’s screaming at Sam to just beg, make this easy on them both. As much as he likes to watch Sam unravel at his hand (or mouth, in this case), he doesn’t have the patience to blow Sam for the next eternity. He swirls his tongue around the head every time he reaches it with his mouth, then just swallows Sam down again.

Gabe is still squeezing Sam’s thigh tightly, his other hand rolling Sam’s balls gently. He moans around him every now and again, sending vibrations throughout Sam’s cock.

****

Sam tries his best not to say anything, he really, truly does. He can be just as stubborn as Gabe, but then Gabe uses his fucking /teeth/ again, and Sam can't help the slight thrust of his hips every time Gabe swipes his tongue across the tip of his cock and the sharp, quick inhale he gives as the angel gives his balls a particularly tight squeeze.

Dammit, he's going to lose.

He's painfully hard inside Gabe's hot, wet mouth, and Gabe's fingers are digging into his leg tight enough to bruise but it feels /good/. He fists a hand in the curls at the nape of Gabe's neck and moans Gabe's name like it's being torn out of him. And then once he's said it, he can't stop himself from begging, because he /wants/ to lose.

"Gabriel, make me come, please, /fuck/, I want you to make me /come/, please..."
****

Sam says the words Gabe has been waiting for all this time and fuck, is he glad. He contorts his body so that he’s on his side without ever letting his mouth leave Sam’s cock. He moves the hand from Sam’s thigh to his own cock and strokes lazily as he uses the other arm to prop himself up. He increases his pressure and pace, keeping a steady rhythm as he sucks Sam off.

Gabe is already extremely close, his hand moving quickly now on his own cock. The complete and utter lack of stimulation he’s gotten this whole time is really getting to him and he’s extra sensitive. That’s new. He moans around Sam again when he starts to feel his own orgasm coming on. But he won’t come before Sam.

****

Sam can feel Gabe shift and looks down to see Gabe stroking himself quickly as his mouth works Sam's dick. He can't even form coherent words, just able to gasp at being suddenly, jarringly close.

He uses his last shred of willpower to choke out Gabe's name in warning and resist the urge to yank Gabe's head closer as he comes with a shudder and a shout that he muffles with a hand raised from the sheets just in time for him to bite down hard enough to bruise.

****

Sam comes right in the back of Gabe’s throat and he’s suddenly distracted enough to stop stroking himself to swallow Sam. When he’s sure that Sam is finished, Gabe pulls off and lets out a low whine. He’s just now remembering that he’s painfully hard and he absolutely needs a release.

He reaches down to stroke himself again but stops and looks up at Sam hopefully. But Sam is just a panting mess above him and there’s little hope that he’ll be able to compose himself enough to help Gabe.

****

When Sam can actually see straight again, he hears an impatient, needy noise and sees Gabe's hand slow on his own cock. Their eyes meet for only a second before Sam tackles Gabe onto his back, pinning his arms with his hands and swallowing him down as far as he can in one swift motion. He lets his tongue swirl around the shaft, hot and heavy in his mouth, in rapid, broad strokes, because this is the other best part of the game, Gabe's prize for winning. He'd smirk if his mouth wasn't full but settles for watching Gabe's reaction.

****

When Sam and Gabe’s eyes meet, the angel just knows that he was dead wrong about Sam being too tired to finish him off. In a matter of seconds, he’s on his back and having his cock swallowed hungrily. Gabe tries to break free of Sam’s and fails while a loud and strangled moan erupts from his throat. Normally, it wouldn’t be a challenge at all to break free from the large hands clasping his wrists together. But without his angel powers, he’s helpless and he kind of likes it.

If he wasn’t close to coming before, he sure as hell is now. He’s already moaning like a whore, loud enough for the whole entire house to hear, canting his hips up and fucking Sam’s mouth. He’s already teetering right on the very edge when he breathily stutters, “Oh fuck… right there…”

He’s aware that his eyes are still open and he’s still watching Sam but he can’t see anything because he’s coming so hard his vision has completely blacked out. His body is wracked with orgasm, an ungodly amount of come spurting into Sam’s lovely, wonderful mouth.

It takes him an entire minute to come down from the ecstasy of his climax. Gabe blinks furiously and lets his head drop back onto the damp sheets, his chest still heaving. When he finally catches his breath, he looks at Sam with his big, tawny eyes and smiles at him lopsidedly.

****

Sam's heart may have stopped just /listening/ to Gabe's orgasm and hearing his voice break like that. As Gabe collapses back to the sheets, tension melting from his body, Sam presses his mouth to the warm skin of Gabe's hip until both of them are breathing more evenly.

He looks up to see Gabe grinning at him with a slightly dazed expression. He really can't help letting Gabe's arms go to slide up and grab his face for a brief kiss.

"We really should get up soon," he murmurs, rolling over to flop down on his back, letting his arm fall over his eyes. His grin widens as he peeks under his arm at Gabe. "Especially since Bobby probably heard you over in the shop and probably thinks someone's being murdered over here." But he's definitely not complaining. He'd love to stay in bed and wring more of those groans and panted, filthy words from Gabe, but someone (probably Dean) would come looking for them eventually.

****

Gabe absolutely does not want to get up. His legs are still a little shaky and his back is cramping up a little and all he wants is to spend this perfect moment with Sam. He knows that Sam is right; they really should get up because Cas will probably be back soon. But Gabe has absolutely no desire to do so.

He rolls over onto his side away from Sam and groans loudly, kicking at the sheets in frustration. “I don’t wanna get up,” Gabe says with a bit of defiance in his voice, peeking at Sam over the curve of his shoulder. He’s got an ominous premonition nagging at him in the back of his head that he’s been trying to shove away and ignore. If they get up and go about whatever it is they’re going to be doing, he won’t be able to keep those thoughts at bay.

****

Sam just rolls his eyes at Gabe's petulant tone and leans over to press a kiss to Gabe's temple before hauling himself up. He rummages in his bags and comes up with a single clean t-shirt and pair of boxers. He really, really needs to do laundry, especially if they're going to be leaving Bobby's anytime soon.

He slips on the clean clothes before grabbing everything else to gather into a pile. His jeans from earlier are behind the chair in the corner, and somehow a sock ended up on the dresser behind the lamp. Before long, all his dirty clothes (and Gabe's) have been collected, but Gabe is still huddled naked on the bed...on sheets that definitely need to be washed after the past few nights. He wrinkles his nose at the thought of having to sleep on them again.

"Gabe, you really gotta get up. I'm gonna wash the sheets, too, they really need it."

****

Gabe listens to Sam root around in his bag for a while and shuffle across the hardwood floor to grab what he assumes are discarded clothes. When he hears Sam pause and then bring up a very valid point (the sheets are pretty disgusting), he just rolls onto his stomach and sighs.

“Don’t wanna,” he mumbles into the sheets that smell like sweat and sex and Sam and his own scent, “Too tired. Can’t move. I don’t even think I can dress myself right now.” He moves his head just enough to spy Sam out of the corner of his eye then lifts his head and sticks his tongue out with a smile. “You’re gonna have to make me get off this bed, Sambo. You up for the challenge?”

****

Gabe just flops around on the bed, whining, and while Sam really doesn't mind the view of his ass, Gabe really does need to move if he's going to get the sheets off the bed. Sam could just pick him up and move him, because Gabe really is small compared to him. But when he sticks his tongue out and dares Sam to make him move, Sam just grins back evilly as he strides over to the bed, stopping just long enough to make Gabe wary before grabbing Gabe's exposed sides. Oh, he's definitely not above taking advantage of knowing where Gabe's ticklish.

****

Gabe is regretting his decision to challenge Sam very, very much right now. He sees that little glimmer of mischief in Sam’s eyes and that predatory stance. Oh no, this isn’t good. Before Gabe can try to scramble away, Sam is grabbing his sides and Gabe claps a hand over his mouth.

“No!” Gabe squeals into his hand, eyes wide and pupils dilated. He wriggles around, trying to escape from Sam’s clutches, but it doesn’t work. At this point, Gabe is screeching like a banshee, kicking and flailing and trying his best to get some coherent words out of his mouth.

“I surrender! Please! Just stop!” Gabe manages to gasp out in between his scream-laughs.

****

Sam's surprised that Gabe's actually able to cover his mouth despite his flailing, but then he's making little hilarious screeching noises and giggling and honestly Sam must be a masochist because he continues until Gabe wheezes his surrender. Sam lets him catch his breath for a moment - but not entirely - then yanks on the sheets, sending Gabe rolling towards the opposite edge of the bed.

"You're just lucky I don't make /you/ do the laundry, and not using your powers, either," he says with a grin.

****

Gabe barely has time to recover before the sheets are being ripped out from under him and he nearly falls right off the bed. He scowls at Sam and hops off the bed with a sigh. He feels pretty disgusting right now, his skin still damp and sticky, and he reeks of sweat and sex.

“I should probably take a shower. I stink,” Gabe states as he turns on his heel and walks towards the bathroom. He looks at Sam over his shoulder and lets that special Sam smile cross over his lips. “I’ll be quick.”

****

Sam just rolls his eyes and gathers the sheets with his clothes as Gabe saunters to the bathroom.

"Hey, just don't blame me when the hot water cuts out."

He manages not to fall down the stairs and drops everything on the floor by the washing machine. The sheets go in first, with extra detergent. He sorts everything into a few general piles, giving Gabe some more time. As infrequently as they do laundry, everything's getting washed in hot. He turns the machine on, hoping Gabe's mostly done, before wandering to the kitchen. A ham and cheese sandwich sounds amazing - it's got to be close to lunch anyway - and there's still some juice left. He washes his hands and starts rummaging through the fridge.

****

Gabe shakes his head at Sam’s comment and sighs, opening the bathroom door and slipping in wordlessly. He washes up quickly (7 minutes and 43 seconds, to be exact) and even in that short amount of time, the water does drop in temperature, barely lukewarm when he steps out. He towels off only to realize he’s got no clean clothes. He tries his best to conjure /something/ and ends up with a pair of too small boxers, jeans, and a T-shirt that is also pretty small on him.

When he’s finally dressed, he pads downstairs and heads into the kitchen. He’s pretty certain he’ll find Sam there eating while he waits on laundry. It’s just a hunch. Sure enough, there he is, standing in the kitchen eating a sandwich. Gabe’s stomach growls and twists uncomfortably at the sight of food. He’s starving.

He crosses the kitchen to stand by Sam and watch him eat. He would just will something out of thin air (preferably cookies right now) but his outfit is clear indication that he probably won’t be able to. He growls quietly to himself and closes his eyes. “I need to eat,” he states in a matter-of-fact way, staring up at Sam.
****
When he's halfway through his sandwich, Gabe shows up in the kitchen. Sam pauses mid-bite as his brain tries to process the sight. Gabe's wearing an incredibly fitted v-neck t-shirt that shows just a hint of skin at his hips and dark jeans that hug his thighs. His hair is still wet, the damp curls at the ends sticking to his neck, and there's just a faint hint of stubble at his jaw. Sam hurriedly brings the sandwich to his mouth to hide the fact that he's gaping, but Gabe really doesn't help things by moving closer, so that Sam can see his muscles shift under the thin shirt as he walks.

Gabe's not watching Sam, though, his attention entirely devoted to the remaining sandwich quarter in Sam's hand. Sam can hear Gabe's stomach growl loudly as he pouts up at him and tells him he needs food.

"Um, there's plenty, I don't think Bobby will care what you make. There's more ham and cheese if you want a sandwich." Does Gabe think he can just look at Sam like that and get him to make something? Sam gives him a dubious but amused look. "Help yourself." He crams the rest of his sandwich in his mouth.
****

Gabe had been secretly hoping Sam would make him something because he’s far too lazy and a little sore but that idea dissipates when Sam looks down at him with what Gabe deems the “bitch face”. He rolls his eyes and heads towards the fridge, flinging it open and scanning the shelves for something sweet. He spies a lone Coke in the very back and he grabs it. A sandwich sounds great but he’s more in the mood for breakfast food.

After digging around in the pantry for five minutes without a word to Sam, he finds all of the dry ingredients he needs to make pancakes. There were even chocolate chips stashed away in the very back of the pantry. Perfect. He throws the dry ingredients down on the counter and gets out the rest of the needed items. He turns to Sam and scratches at his eyebrow.

“D’you know where the pots and pans are?” Gabe questions, moving his hand to rub at the stubble on his chin.

****

Sam finishes his juice, leaning back against the counter as he watches Gabe search the kitchen. The view from the back is just as nice, especially since Gabe isn't wearing a jacket like usual. He raises an eyebrow at the chocolate chips, sitting on the counter next to the soda.

"Bottom cupboard to the left of the stove. Chocolate chips and Coke? Really?" He grins, not that surprised. Gabe probably would have eaten cake and Jello for breakfast if he'd been able to conjure them up with a snap of his fingers like usual. "Do you even /know/ how to cook, Gabe?" At least he'll have something to entertain him while he waits for the laundry. Besides, he likes teasing Gabe. Where Dean would just act all macho and pouty, Gabe just teases him right back. It's...nice.

****

Gabe bends down and opens the cupboard, digging through the various shapes and sizes of pots and pans. He finds a griddle pushed all the way in the back, covered by a bunch of misplaced lids. Gabe somehow manages to get it out, wiping the sweat off his brow with the back of his hand as he sets it down.

He starts mixing the ingredients while Sam tries to make some snarky remark about his cooking. Boy, he is in for a surprise. Gabe scoffs as he mixes the dry ingredients for the batter, rolling his eyes. “I’m a great cook. I can do much better than a ham sandwich.” He grins at Sam over his shoulder momentarily before going back to work on the pancakes.

When the batter is finally finished (chocolate chips mixed in, of course), he spoons it out onto the hot griddle in perfect little circles. He watches them cook, his mouth turned up in a small smile, and he’s strangely quiet. He actually enjoys cooking, contrary to popular belief, but he’s never had a chance to cook for anyone else but himself.

Ten minutes later, there’s a whole plate of chocolate chip pancakes and Gabe wastes no time digging in. He grabs several off of the plate and throws them onto his own, slathers them in syrup he found hidden in the pantry, and cuts off a huge piece. He remembers Sam is there and blinks a few times before putting the very delicious smelling food in his mouth.

“Want some?” he asks, holding out the fork with the piece of pancake stuck to it.
****

Sam grins back. "Hey, I /like/ ham sandwiches."

Gabe actually seems to know what he's doing, and Sam's wholly absorbed in watching him measuring and mixing. While the pancakes cook, Gabe gets a completely content look on his face that makes Sam's heart flutter a bit. He wonders if /he/ ever really feels that way.

But Gabe interrupts his thoughts by bustling around for silverware and syrup. He blops down at the table across from where Sam's leaning but stops before he takes the first bite. The pancakes smell amazing, and Sam doesn't have to think twice when Gabe offers him some. He sits in the other chair and grabs the hand holding the fork, shoving the very large chunk of pancake in his mouth. It might actually be the best pancake he's ever hand. He manages to swallow it without choking, a feat in itself.

"Gabe, these are amazing!"

He'd ask if he could have a few, but Dean appears in the kitchen, looking still sleep-disheveled even though he's dressed for the day. When he sees the pancakes, his eyes widen and he makes a beeline for them.

"Pancakes? Sweet!"
****

Sam takes the bite of pancake and is apparently pleasantly surprised by how good Gabe’s pancakes are. Gabe can see he’s about to say something when Dean walks in. Dean /would/ walk in when they’re trying to have one of those cute moments and ruin it for everyone. Gabe narrows his eyes and gets up, moving to block Dean’s way in the most casual way possible.

“Hold it, sweet cheeks,” Gabe says with a hint of annoyance in his voice, “You can have some only if you ask nicely.” Gabe lips twitch with a smile, but he manages to keep the malicious Trickster grin off his face. Dean is unamused.

“Just let me get some damn pancakes. I’m freakin’ starving.” On cue, Dean’s stomach growls loudly and the smile Gabe was trying to contain breaks across his face.

“Sam gets first dibs, Dean-o. Then you can have some.”

“Oh, my brother suddenly gets special privileges because you’re fucking each other?”

“Pfft, please. Sam has always been my favorite. After all, he wasn’t the one who stuck me in a ring of fire.”

“You killed me like… a million times!”

“What’s your point?” Dean doesn’t react to the question, just grabs Gabe by the shoulders and moves him aside easily. Gabe curses his lack of powers under his breath before huffing angrily at Dean, who is now hogging all the pancakes, leaving only five for Bobby and Sam.

“Dean, you don’t need that many pancakes. Put some back,” Gabe demands, glaring at him. He’s actually starting to get pissed off. Dean rolls his eyes and puts two back on the plate, then goes to sit down at the table next to Sam. Gabe sighs and rubs at his forehead with the palm of his hand.

“Sam, you can have mine,” Gabe mumbles as he walks over and pushes the plate towards Sam. Dean just stares at the two of them, mouth full of pancake and hanging open slightly. They sit there in silence for about thirty seconds before Dean looks between them again and swallows.

“You two are really fuckin’ loud,” Dean states, eyebrows knitted, a sickened expression on his face. Gabe just smiles triumphantly and sits back in his chair, arms crossed over his chest.

“You’re just jealous your pretty boy angel isn’t here to suck you off. You look like you could use a good fucking, you’re all tense—“

“Shut the hell up, Gabriel. I seriously thought about busting my own eardrums this morning.”

“In my defense, Sam was tickling me,” Gabe says, pointing to Sam with a look of innocence on his face. Dean’s face goes blank, his eyes widening.

“He was tickling you?”

“Yeah, what’s the issue with that?”

“No, there’s no way in hell he was just tickling you… more like… he was tickling your prostate with his dick.”

Everyone is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Gabe can feel Sam tense next to him and Dean has just got this awful, smug grin on his face. Gabe feels like there should be a big scoreboard in the room that reads “Gabe & Sam: 0, Dean: 1”. Not cool, Dean. Gabe needs a good comeback for that one. He goes with what he knows will gross Dean out: the truth.

“Not quite. I think Sam can vouch for the fact that he got the best blowjob of his life this morning—“ Gabe stops when Dean chokes on the pancakes he’s just shoved into his mouth. He coughs until he’s got tears in his eyes, but manages to say, “Please tell me you washed your hands. Please, for the love of all that is holy, Gabe…”

Gabe has to bite his lip to keep from smiling as a snicker escapes him and Dean, well, he takes that as a no apparently. He gets up and takes the unfinished pancakes to the trash and throws the plate down into sink. Dean strides towards the door, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand, but doesn’t leave. Not before he can throw some more hateful words Gabe’s way.

“That is fuckin’ disgusting. You are a /sick/ person. And…” Dean smirks, his last attempt at keeping some composure, “What the hell is up with that outfit? Like, honestly Gabe, could you get any gayer?” Cue Dean’s exit and Gabe wrinkling his nose in annoyance.

“What’s wrong with my outfit!?” he calls after Dean, but he’s long gone. Gabe just sighs and turns to Sam, scratching at his ear. He’s completely neglected Sam this entire time. “Sorry, your brother really gets on my damn nerves. You okay?”
****

Sam can't get a word in edgewise while his brother and Gabe bicker. He contemplates ignoring their squabbling in favor of eating the pancakes Gabe's pushed toward him, but then the conversation veers into territory that makes him choke and rapidly vaporizes what's left of his appetite. He's pretty sure he's blushing bright red at Dean's assumption that he and Gabe are fucking.

When Dean finally leaves, Sam could not be more relieved. He has no idea what to say when Gabe speaks to him, but then he realizes that he can't hear the washing machine churning anymore.

"Gotta go finish the laundry. Be right back." He practically flees the kitchen for the laundry room. It doesn't take long to get the sheets into the dryer, but he pauses after the machine rattles to life to swipe a hand through his hair and process what just happened.

It's not like he's embarrassed of Gabe, and God knows he's put up with his share of listening to Dean with multitudes of partners, but he and Gabe haven't...they aren't...he doesn't...

Sam leans back against the now-empty washer and stares at the ceiling. His reaction to Gabe's wandering hands earlier had been mostly knee-jerk. He knows Gabe would fuck him through the mattress if given the chance, and recalling the sensation of Gabe's fingers ghosting behind his balls wrings a shiver from him, one that's surprisingly not all reaction to the unfamiliarity of the feeling.

He crams the rest of the laundry into the washing machine, heart pounding as he suddenly imagines sliding into Gabe, the sounds he could wring from the angel, fucking him slow and sweet or quick and dirty. He's actually lightheaded at the realization of how much he wants what he's imagining. His mind feebly tries to protest that he's not gay, that he's never been interested in fucking or being fucked by a man, that he's let his glance linger in aesthetic appreciation only. But that part of his mind is rapidly being silenced by heated curiosity at wondering how it would feel if next time he /doesn't/ stop Gabe, by thoughts of Gabe naked and begging for Sam to fuck him...

His body is certainly responding enthusiastically to his daydreams. When he glances down, he groans quietly, his gaze reminding him that he's only wearing boxers and all his jeans are currently in the washer. Which means he also can't escape to the shower, because Bobby's water heater is abysmally small, and while a cold shower might help, hypothermia really isn't preferable.

Several minutes and erection-killing thoughts about Zachariah and other horrible things later, he slips back into the kitchen to sit back down at the table. Gabe is working on devouring the pancakes. But soon, even watching Gabe eat - or rather, watching Gabe absentmindedly suck syrup off a finger - is already sending blood rushing to his dick.

He grabs a pancake and the syrup, trying to distract himself, because for fuck's sake, he's already come once today and it's barely after noon. It's like he's fourteen years old again.

"Sorry about Dean," he manages to say between bites. "He gets pissy when he doesn't get his beauty sleep."
****

Sam gets up abruptly and heads for the laundry room, but Gabe isn’t surprised. The conversation had veered off into a direction that Gabe hadn’t anticipated and he knows Sam isn’t all that comfortable with discussing it. He wants to feel bad, but Dean brought it up first. It wasn’t his fault. Well, maybe sort of. He could have done without the blowjob comment.

Gabe remembers that he’s starving, grabbing the plate of now cold pancakes and starts to eat them slowly. Sam comes back in a few minutes later looking flushed and significantly more uncomfortable than he looked before he left. How did that happen? Gabe looks up at him with a quirked eyebrow but doesn’t say anything. He just keeps eating his pancakes like Sam doesn’t look like he might pass out or explode.

“Don’t worry about it. I had fun screwing with him,” Gabe mumbles through a mouth full of pancake, eyes on Sam, “You never answered my question. Are you okay?” Gabe gives him a look of concern before turning his attention back to the pancakes.

 

****

"I'm fine. Just, you know, Dean." He waves his hand vaguely, hoping Gabe doesn't pry because he's still picturing Gabe's face when he comes. Unfortunately, the hand he waves is the one holding his fork, and he winces as syrup drips on the table. "Besides, I like that shirt."

Forty minutes later, Sam's taken a shower and dressed in clothes still wonderfully warm from the dryer. His grey henley hasn't been clean in a month, but it's perfect for the slightly chilly day. And even though it's a bit tight after he put on more muscle since he's been back, compared to Gabe's shirt it's practically baggy.

He can see the kitchen's clean as he walks downstairs, and the TV's on. He stops short at the sight greeting him from the living room. Gabe is slouched on the couch and Dean, drink in hand, is in one of the armchairs...and they're watching Doctor Sexy MD. Bobby's nowhere in sight; he probably came back in from the garage, saw what they were watching, and turned right back around to go work on whatever junker he's devoting his time to lately. There are a few books spread half-heartedly on Dean's lap and the coffee table, but neither man is reading, focused instead on whatever lame dramatic scene is taking place on screen.

Apparently the two of them have set aside their differences long enough to watch Dean's favorite and, from what Sam's seen, might be one of Gabe's favorites too. They're bickering about something when Sam plops down on the couch next to Gabe and, with a pointed look at Dean, kisses Gabe before settling back with his feet propped up on the cofee table. They're no closer to figuring out what happened to Jo and the others, and Cas still isn't back, so really there isn't much else left to do but wait. No wonder Dean's drinking.

"I will never understand why anyone likes this show. So, you two done fighting, I take it?"

****

Gabe isn’t entirely convinced but if Sam doesn’t want to talk about it, he can’t force him. He finishes his share of the pancakes right as Sam takes off to go shower, then he cleans the kitchen until it’s perfectly spotless. Dean strolls in when he’s finishing up dishes and Gabe can’t help scowling at him. He had made Sam upset or… something like that… and that annoyed him a lot.

“Come to steal more pancakes?” Gabe asks in a tone that screams “try it, I dare you”. Dean just shakes his head and plops down in one of the chairs at the table. Gabe scrutinizes him for a long moment before pushing off the counter he’s leaning against and taking the seat opposite Dean.

“Out with it,” Gabe demands, furrowing his brow. Dean just rolls his eyes and grimaces.

“Sorry… about earlier… but seriously, dude. The volume needs to get turned down.” Dean is so uncomfortable he gets up and starts to head out of the kitchen, but Gabe does the same, grabbing Dean’s wrist before he can leave.

 “Cas is coming back today.” It’s not a question. Gabe knows. Dean turns to quirk an eyebrow at him and when he sees that Gabe’s expression is serious, he nods once wordlessly.


They somehow end up in the living room, watching Doctor Sexy, when Sam shows up. Bobby had popped in for a few minutes to grab a drink then he left, but Gabe paid him no attention. Bobby is unimportant to him. Sam comes up to Gabe, kisses him and plops down next to him. Gabe leans into Sam automatically because he’s radiating warmth and well, Gabe likes being next to Sam.

 “You could say that,” Gabe says, shooting Dean a sideways glance before looking up at Sam with a weak smile. He curls into Sam’s side but continues to focus on the TV show, keeping his mind away from the nagging premonition in the back of his head. Eventually, he starts to feel tired and he yawns into Sam’s shirt. He closes his eyes and hums happily, grabbing a fistful of Sam’s shirt.


“I think it’s nap time,” Gabe says through a yawn, already half asleep. He doesn’t catch what Sam says or does next, because he’s fallen asleep.

****

As soon as Sam sits down, Gabe scooches closer to his side with a small smile. Before Sam can reply to what he mumbles, Gabe's asleep, his fingers gripping Sam's shirt tightly.

Sam reaches behind him to tug the blanket from the back of the couch over Gabe, who still isn't as warm as he should be. At least he's warmer than the chill he was radiating back after he rescued Sam.

Dean watches with a strange look on his face as Sam lets his arm wrap around Gabe.

"What, Dean? Say it." Whatever's making him look like that, after his comments earlier, Sam's not really in the mood.

"He's a pain in the ass."

Sam rolls his eyes. "Okay, thanks Dean. You've made it abundantly clear how you feel about Gabriel, and you calling someone a pain in the ass is -"

"Would you /can it/ for a minute, Sammy? Jesus."

He glares at Dean but stops talking.

"Look, I don't really like the guy, but...he's looking out for you. Has been. So, I dunno, you have my blessing or whatever."

Sam smiles at Dean, half-teasing and half-genuine. "Wow, Dean, talking about feelings. Mayb Cas is rubbing off on you."

Dean pauses with his drink almost to his lips as their eyes meet, and then they're laughing together like they haven't in who knows how long.

"Our lives are so fucked up."

Dean just raises his glass in a silent toast and downs a mouthful. The words are out before Sam can stop them. "He told me he loves me."

Several wheezes later, Dean's stopped choking on booze enough to reply. "He /told/ you? Geez, Sammy."

"You knew, didn't you." Sam's not really surprised. Of course Dean knew.

Dean rubs his neck awkwardly. "Yeah, he kind of...told me, the other day. Do you, you know?" He waves his hand vaguely. " 'Cause that's big, man."

Sam looks over at Gabe, tired and clinging to him. But this is temporary, he reminds himself. Right now, Gabe needs him, but hopefully he'll have his Grace restored soon, and then...things will be different. He wants to think Gabe won't get sick of him, won't get pissed off and leave, but why should he have any better luck with Gabe than anything else in his shitty life? He cares about Gabe, and he certainly doesn't have any complaints about the physical part, but...

"I don't know. I don't think he's lying or anything, but he's Gabriel, Dean, /the/ Gabriel. I don't...know."

Dean snorts and rolls his eyes. "Yeah, /okay/. You looking at him like that is really convincing me you don't." Then he's giving Sam a hard look. "You deserve to be happy, Sammy. Even if it's with that fruitcake."

"What about you and Cas?"

"What /about/ us?" But Dean has a little smile on his face that he probably doesn't even know is there.

"C'mon Dean, you're letting me do all the talking. How long now?"

Dean shrugs. "Dunno, couple of months."

"Months?! But you never- I-"

"Some of us have our angels teleport us elsewhere so our brothers can /get some sleep/. Y'know, 'cause it's polite."

Sam's making what Dean calls a bitchface. "I don't really think Gabe has enough mojo to snap up decent clothes for himself, let alone teleporting us anywhere." It's funny how normal this conversation seems, talking about having sex with angels. Our angels, Dean called them, Sam thinks.

Dean's watching the snoring archangel wrapped around Sam. "You got a point. I've never seen an angel sleep that much. He said Cas would be back today, maybe- "

There's a rustle of wings, and Cas appears - but not alone.

"Hello, loves," Crowley says with a toothy grin.

****

Even with his eyes open, Gabe can barely navigate this new, strange place he’s landed in. It’s dark and there are trees everywhere, but everything is eerily quiet, quite unlike any forest he’s ever been in. Not paying attention, he trips over the exposed and gnarled roots of a giant tree, falling to his hands and knees. He stands up and brushes the dirt off before sniffing the air. There’s water somewhere close.

 He finally reaches a lake and like everything else in this dreaded place, it’s silent and still and deserted. Gabe approaches the water’s edge and stares down into the inky blackness, but realizes it’s pointless. There’s no moon or stars lighting up the sky, just a sickening gray glow emanating from some unknown source. He can barely even see his reflection in the standing water.

As Gabe turns to leave, he hears something. A very familiar voice. He whips around to stare down at his reflection again only to find it’s not him. Well, it /is/ him, but it’s another version of him. He’s startlingly ferocious despite the blank, vacant expression on his face. It’s something about his eyes. They’re wrong. It makes Gabe’s stomach twist painfully and he almost gags when the smell of the stagnant water wafts his way. The other Gabe is speaking in what sounds like another language. At first, he thinks it’s Enochian, but it’s definitely not now that he listens carefully.

“What do you want?” Gabe questions the reflection, his own voice surprisingly quiet. The reflection grins at him and Gabe drops to his knees, clutching at his stomach. He doesn’t know what it means and he doesn’t get to find out, because as soon as the reflection starts to speak words he actually understands, he wakes up.

Gabe jerks awake with a sharp inhale at the sound of Cas’ wings. He looks around, blinking furiously, his stomach twisted up in knots and his eyes widened in panic. His breathing has even picked up significantly. He’s getting ready to just shake off the nightmare when he spots a very unwelcome guest standing in the living room next to Cas. 

“Crowley,” Gabe snarls at the demon, jumping to his feet. Crowley smiles at Gabe, a hint of amusement in his expression.

“Gabriel, what an unpleasant surprise,” Crowley mumbles as he rolls his eyes, his smile breaking into an intense grimace. Gabe shoots Cas an annoyed look before turning back to Crowley and glaring at him. 

“Why the hell are you here?”

“I think your brother was getting ready to explain that.” Cas steps forward and looks at Gabriel directly, their eyes locking.


“I know where your Grace is, Gabriel, but…” Castiel pauses and looks around at everyone else, “It’s not going to be easy to get it back. We need Crowley’s help…”

 “Like hell we do! Just tell me where it is and I’ll get it myself. I’m not letting that dog get anywhere near anything that belongs to me…”

“Watch your tone, you feathery bastard,” Crowley growls, “I’m simply giving you something you might need. I won’t be accompanying you on your little field trip.” Crowley pulls out a jar of blood, but it’s not just any blood. It’s Leviathan blood. It suddenly dawns on Gabe what that entails.

“Purgatory.” Gabe glances at Cas who simply nods and grabs the jar from Crowley. Gabe turns to look at Sam, then back at Cas, then at Dean… Purgatory. Shit. This has gotten a lot more serious. Purgatory is not a joke. The ritual to open Purgatory alone is complicated but actually getting in there, getting Gabe’s Grace back and then getting back out? That’s gonna be one hell of a job. Gabe remembers his nightmare from earlier and shivers. It all makes sense now.

“Now,” Cas cuts in, interrupting Gabriel’s thoughts, “We have to find the blood of a virgin.” He looks around at everyone in the room, as if waiting for someone to offer up their own blood, but Gabe knows that absolutely no one in this room is a virgin. 

They stand in silence for a few long minutes before Gabe snaps his fingers, a smile spreading across his face. “How about Becky?” He glances at Sam, his lips twitching with a would-be laugh before turning away. Dean quirks a brow.

“How do you know about Becky?”

Gabe snorts and rubs at his neck, the smile on his face growing. “She’s pretty close with that guy… what’s his name? Chuck. He’s a prophet, we’ve got to keep close tabs on him…” Gabe suddenly frowns as he remembers something and adds, “Damnit, never mind. Back to the drawing board.” 

“What do you mean? Don’t tell me Becky is…” Dean says with a cringe, eye twitching.

“Becky and Chuck dated for a while. I forgot,” Gabe says simply, rubbing at the scruff on his chin, “Now… let’s see…” Gabe is going through his mental filing cabinet of people he knows (which is a lot of people, mind you) when a particular person pops into his head. Oh. /Oh/. Perfect!

“Charlie Bradbury,” Gabe says, snapping his fingers again. Everyone looks at him like he’s got four heads and he just sighs as he crosses over to meet Cas in the center of the room. “She’s a friend,” Gabe states with a shrug, turning to Cas, “Now, let’s go get that blood. I know exactly where we can find her.”

****

"Well, that's my cue, then," Crowley says. "Ta." And he's gone in seconds.

"Hey, what the hell? Where's he going?" Dean exclaims.

"Crowley is no longer of import, we have what we need from him," Cas replies, turning to Gabe. "I'll take you to her. Bobby, Sam, Dean, you should begin preparing for the ritual." He rustles in an inside coat pocket and pulls out a piece of parchment. "This should tell you everything, and I can check it when we return."

"Wait, you two can't go alone!" Sam interrupts. "Look, I know you're at full strength, Cas, but Gabe isn't, and frankly, even if it's not that dangerous, you two aren't the best with people skills."

Dean grabs the parchment from Castiel. "He's got a point. You go ahead, Sammy, Bobby and I got this."

****

Crowley takes off which isn’t really surprising at all. He does what’s in his best interest before moving on to the next thing, never taking the time to stop and fix the possible repercussions of his actions. Gabe is off in his own world until Sam says something about tagging along. He’s glad, but a little offended.

“Charlie and I are friends, Sam. To be honest, she’s not really that great with people skills either… but if you really wanna come, get your ass over here.” He motions for Sam to come over to them and grabs his hand when he does. Gabe turns to Cas and nods, concentrating on Charlie’s location.

“We’ll be back,” Castiel says before zapping them out of Bobby’s living room and into what Gabriel knows as Charlie’s apartment. She’s standing in the kitchen with her pajamas still on, and when she turns to see the two angels and Sam standing there, she screams and drops her coffee mug. Gabe just shakes his head and puts a hand on her shoulder.

“Good to see you haven’t changed,” Gabe says with a sly grin, winking at her. The redhead takes a deep breath and crinkles up her nose in annoyance.

“Yeah, well, you kinda scared the living daylights out of me!” She puffs her cheeks out at Gabriel then peers around him to look at Sam and Cas. “Who are they?”

Gabe points to Cas first. “My brother, Castiel, and…” He points to Sam, but hesitates. What is Sam to him? Boyfriend? Not exactly. But they’re more than friends with benefits and definitely more than just fuck buddies. Gabe remembers the much more pressing matters at hand and quickly shrugs it off. “This is Sam Winchester. Look, Charlie, we need your help.”

“Okay… shoot,” she says with a wary expression, eyes narrowed at Gabriel.

“We need your blood,” Gabe says in a deadpan tone, “It’s important. Charlie, please.”

“What!?” Charlie looks absolutely panicked. “My blood? What do you need it for? Look, last time you asked me for a favor, I—“ Gabe quickly claps a hand over her mouth and sighs loudly.

“Long story short, I lost my mojo and I need to get it back. We need the blood of a virgin to open the way to Purgatory. Charlie…” Gabe pulls his hand away and looks at her with his famous puppy dog eyes. “Please. You’re our only hope.”

Charlie just scoffs and crosses her arms. “Wow, I’m flattered that you are so quick to assume I’m a virgin. Not that you’re wrong or anything…” She trails off before snapping back to the here and now. “Fine, but you owe me big time for this, pal. You still haven’t paid me back from last time!” She playfully nudges Gabe in the ribs with her elbow and smiles widely.

“Yeah, yeah, don’t remind me.” Gabe waves a hand and leads them to the couch. He snaps his fingers but the knife he was thinking of doesn’t come. He groans and looks at Cas. “Can you do the honors?”

Cas easily summons the knife and Gabe grabs it, plops down on the sofa and pats the seat next to him. “I’m not gettin’ any younger here, Charlie,” Gabe mutters, obviously a little peeved. Charlie snorts at him and sits down, holding her arm out. Gabe looks to Cas again, who produces a glass jar out of thin air.

The process is quick. Gabe cuts into the flesh of her wrist and she barely makes a sound as the blood trickles out into the jar. The jar is only halfway full when Charlie sways slightly and Cas steps over to her, grabbing her wrist and instantly sealing the cut. Gabe swirls the jar around and nods, smiling at her. “You did great. This should be plenty.”

“It had better be,” Charlie mumbles weakly, a lopsided smile on her lips. Gabe hands off the supplies to Cas before grabbing Charlie and hugging her tightly. 

“Thanks, kid. I owe you big time.” Gabe pulls away and grins at her, still holding onto her shoulders. Charlie just shrugs and laughs weakly, but genuinely.

“Damn right you do. Now go get your… whatever back. I think I’m gonna take a nap for the next five years.” She yawns and Gabe stands, turning to the other two. 

“Ready to get going?”

****

Sam can feel his face heat up when Gabe aims a look at him, reminding him that he and Charlie already know each other, so she knows what he's like. But with everything that's happened and knowing their luck, things will somehow go terribly wrong. Sam's feeling protective.

But they zap to a normal-looking apartment and scare the crap out of a normal-looking girl. The pause when Gabe introduces him to Charlie makes Sam wonder how Gabe knows her; not that he's jealous, and clearly they haven't slept together, but for Gabe to know someone that he /hasn't/ slept with seems to be a rare occurrence. Not that he can judge, after his whole thing with Ruby.

When they get back to Bobby's, Sam can't resist asking, with a small grin. "You still owe her from last time, huh?" He's not even going to mention the hug, because Gabe /hugging/ someone is just plain strange.

Bobby and Dean are busy painting symbols all over the inside of the panic room. When Dean sees them, he strides over to shove the jar of blood into Cas's hand. "Your turn to fingerpaint. I gotta go make sure we're armed to the teeth for whatever the hell tries to kill us once we get to Purgatory."

Cas just stands there with the jar. "Dean, there's no guarantee that human weapons will work in Purgatory. Not much is known about what's going to be waiting for us, except for more of those creatures."

Dean just rolls his eyes. "Well, I'm not going in unarmed, Cas. I'll bring some knives and stuff too, okay?" He heads upstairs to the Impala, wiping his bloody hands on his jeans.

****

Cas takes them back to the house where they find Dean and Bobby working on a large sigil in the panic room. Sam asks him a question and Gabe is briefly pulled out of his stupor. “Huh? Oh, that. Yeah… let’s just say drinking five liquor stores worth of alcohol on a dare really was not the best decision of my life. I still haven’t gotten my revenge on Balthazar for that one. Anyway, Charlie came to get me that night. Back then, we were only acquaintances…” Gabe suddenly shakes his head and smiles sadly. “That’s a story for another day.”

Dean takes off to go get weapons and Cas takes up Dean’s job of painting the sigil on the wall. Gabe reaches up and grabs Sam’s face, pulling him down to press a quick kiss to his cheek. Gabe doesn’t realize that Bobby is staring at them until he clears his throat. “All right, lovebirds, get yer asses over here and help us,” is all Bobby says before turning back to the sigil on the wall. 

“I dunno, looks like you got it covered,” Gabe says with a smile as he grabs Sam’s hand, “I need to talk to Sam, could you give us a minute?” Bobby goes to say something out of line, but Cas actually /glares/ at him and he immediately snaps his mouth shut. Gabe mouths a soundless “thank you” to Cas before tugging Sam out of the room. 

Gabe leads him upstairs and into the living room, abandoning Sam’s hand halfway across the room to go sit down on the couch. He scrubs his hands over his face and sighs. This is the part he hasn’t been looking forward to, ever since Cas and Crowley showed up here with the news. They’re about to head into Purgatory and Gabe isn’t sure that anyone will come back alive. This might be his only chance to talk to Sam and be absolutely real with him.

Gabe pats the cushion next to him and beckons Sam over to him. “You should probably sit down for this,” Gabe says slowly, his mouth a hard line.

****

Sam lets Gabe pull him up the basement stairs, confused. "Gabe, what's going on?"

But Gabe doesn't answer him, sitting on the couch with a sigh. There's a small curl of panic and apprehension unfurling in Sam's stomach, because he's not sure what the hell is going on. Gabe looks serious and worried, and sure, they're going to Purgatory and probably all going to die or be trapped there or something, but it's not like they don't already know that. Not like they haven't risked their lives like this - sometimes for far less - over and over before.

Sam sits without thinking about it. "Gabe, what is it?" he asks quietly.

Sam sits down next to him and Gabe grabs his face and pulls him into a very passionate kiss. They stay like that for a good, long time before Gabe finally breaks away from Sam, breathless and flushed. For the first time ever, Gabe is scared but not for himself. He just holds Sam’s face and strokes his cheek. Gabe catches himself before he manages to get all choked up, tearing his eyes away from Sam’s.

“Purgatory is dangerous and I can’t make any promises that you or anyone else won’t get hurt or die. Sam, I—“ Gabe’s voice breaks and he knows Sam heard it and now it’s just a mad dash to finish what he’s saying before he gets in over his head. “I’ve been watching over you for… a long time now… this isn’t going to be any different. I might not be at full strength right now but damnit… I refuse to let you die. If something happens to me, you get the hell out of there and don’t look back. Promise me you’ll do that.” 

When Gabe finally finds the courage to look at Sam, there are tears in his eyes, but he blinks them away and takes a deep breath. “Besides my family, you’re the only person who’s ever meant anything to me. If I’m in danger, you let Cas take care of it. I won’t have you risking your life for me…” He tries to laugh and the tears that were threatening to brim over and spill out of his eyes do just that. He turns away from Sam and wipes at his face with his arm, sniffling. “Damnit. I guess all I’m trying to say is that I love you and… please be safe.”

****

Gabe doesn't answer, just takes Sam's face in his hands and kisses him with a desperate mouth bruisingly hard on Sam's. Sam slides a hand to the back of Gabe's neck and kisses back, fingers twisted in the curls there, never letting his lips leave Gabe's.

He's never seen Gabe like this, so wild and distraught and /afraid/. The only time he's ever seen anything approaching fear in Gabe's eyes had been in that brief glance before Gabe had faced Lucifer alone. It had been a second of eye contact, when Gabe had meant to reassure Sam with a small smirk that everything would be fine. But Sam had seen the sooty, charred imprint of Gabe's wings on the hotel floor, and he recognized that look now. It makes his heart ache.

When the tears spill from Gabe's eyes and he turns away, Sam grabs him and turns him back. "If you're in danger, I'm not just going to...Gabe, Gabriel, listen to me." He's probably hurting Gabe's shoulders, as tightly as he's holding on right now, but Gabe needs to listen - needs to understand what he's saying. "We are going to go to Purgatory and get your Grace back, and, and come back here, and I dunno, go for pizza or something and listen to Dean bitch about everything. But we are /going/ to /come back./"

He doesn't let his eyes leave Gabe's, willing himself to believe what he's saying. He tries to ignore the absolute terror threatening his composure, because the thought of going somewhere that scares Gabriel sounds even worse than the damn apocalypse. Dean would ridicule him for acting like a girl, but Sam's not Dean, so he takes Gabe's face in one hand and kisses his tear-damp cheeks, pulling him closer to brush his lips across Gabe's damp lashes before pressing his mouth to Gabe's trembling mouth.

Realization jolts through him. He's been a complete and utter idiot.

He loves Gabe. Is /in love/ with Gabe. He has been, has been and is just too fucking stupid to admit it to himself, too damn busy telling himself that he isn't to consider that he might have been this whole time. "/Oh/," he breathes into Gabe's mouth.

When he pulls away to look at the archangel, /his/ angel with the golden eyes and ridiculous eyebrow waggling and horrible jokes, his breath catches in his throat.

He can't say it.

He can't tell Gabe, not now, not at the eleventh hour, when the three words will only be what Gabe wants to hear and not what Sam should have already said to him at least half a dozen times. So he'll wait for when they get back - because now they /have/ to come back - and he'll tell the archangel Gabriel, former Messenger of the Lord and pagan god, that he, Sam Winchester, a human polluted by demon blood and bad decisions and too much rage and guilt, loves him right back.

****

Sam grabs Gabe and doesn’t let his gaze wander from Sam’s eyes. Suddenly, all these meaningless words are pouring out of Sam’s mouth and Gabe just wishes for one minute that they didn’t have to be empty promises that they would come back alive. He’s glad Sam is trying his best to make him feel better, but Gabe has already accepted the possibility that he could die doing this and so could Sam. At the same time, it’s hard to think about any of that when he’s so fucking embarrassed about crying in front of Sam. Gabe has always kept that sturdy wall up between him and everyone else, but with Sam, it’s different. That wall has been exceptionally flimsy since the second he laid eyes on Sam 27 years ago.

He’s been there through it all with Sam whether he knows it or not. He didn’t know when he visited Mary and John in the hospital after Sam was born that he would fall in love with him. He remembers that night like it was yesterday, walking into the hospital and poking his head into Mary Winchester’s room. John was passed out in the chair next to the bed with Dean in his lap, also sleeping soundly. Mary was cradling Sam in her arms and when Gabe walked in, she had smiled at him so widely, he was sure her face would get stuck like that.

“You’re here,” she said with a sigh, holding Sam out to Gabe. He grabbed the baby carefully and pulled him to his chest, hyperaware of every little breath and movement and heartbeat. 

“I said I would be, didn’t I?” 

“I know you, Gabriel. You don’t always keep your promises,” Mary teased, watching Gabriel standing there with Sam in his arms.

“Yeah, you do know me. You know how serious this is to me.”

“I know. John will take care of the boys, you know. You shouldn’t worry so much.”

“It’s kind of in the job description. Archangel and all.”

“Ex-archangel,” Mary corrected with a smile and Gabriel grimaced, “You take your job very seriously despite the fact that you’re not tied to Heaven anymore.”

Gabe rolled his eyes and pretended to hand Sam back to her. “You can have him back, I don’t want him anymore.” They had both laughed for almost five minutes before Mary turned to look at John and Dean.

“Mary…” 

“No, Gabriel, I should thank you. I know that Sam is special. I wish you could promise me that you could keep them all safe…” Her expression softened as she looked back at the archangel.

“I’ll do my best.”

And Gabe had done his best for 27 years. He had stopped Sam from walking in front of a bus on his first day of third grade, had been the person who sent him a candygram on Valentine’s Day when his girlfriend had broken up with him in high school. Gabe had even gone as far as teaching at Sam’s university when he was there (in disguise, of course) and had been infinitely relieved when he took up Dean’s offer to go find John. It scares him now, thinking back on all of it and realizing that he might break his promise to Mary Winchester.

Gabe snaps back to reality when Sam kisses his face and eyelashes and mouth. Then Sam pulls away and looks like he might say something, but he doesn’t. Gabe takes the opportunity and runs with it.

“I’ve been watching you for a long time. I don’t just mean the time you’ve spent as a hunter, I mean, I’ve…” He pauses, recomposes himself, and continues, “I’ve watched you ever since you were born. I… knew your parents, I kept you safe when I could, and this time is not any different.” He’s about to say something else when he hears someone on the stairs and whips his head to look and see who’s coming. 

It’s Castiel and he looks like he’s finished with the sigil. Sure enough, the first words out of his mouth when he sees Gabe and Sam are, “Meet us downstairs when you are ready.” Instead of turning around and walking back down the stairs though, he holds Gabe’s gaze for a long time and Gabe understands. He nods once and Castiel disappears around the corner and out of the front door.

Gabe wriggles out of Sam’s grasp and jumps up, wiping his nose. “Well, what the hell are we waiting for? Let’s get this show on the road!” He smiles at Sam and turns on his heel to leave, peering over his shoulder at the hunter. “You coming?”

It’s a stupid question. Of course he is.

****

Gabe heads toward the basement stairs, almost there before Sam can recover enough to jump up and grab his wrist to stop him.

"Wait, wait, you can't just say something like that and take off!"

Gabe knew his parents. Gabe's known him longer than Bobby, longer than /Dean/ even. He's probably saved Sam's life over and over, and Sam never knew. The thought sends his mind reeling as he drops Gabe's arm and just...looks at him.

"I- Gabe, are you my guardian angel or something?"

****

Gabe had really been trying to avoid this situation and he’s realizing now that he probably should have just kept his big mouth shut. But he’s already said it, so he might as well elaborate a little bit.

“Not exactly. Like I told both of you that day you trapped me in the holy fire, I’ve always had an interest in the two of you. At first, it was just for the sheer reason that you were the vessels for my brothers. I kept an eye on your parents before you and Dean were even born. I made the mistake of visiting and your mom, being the sharpest woman I’ve ever met, trapped me in a ring of holy fire. Somehow she knew and I didn’t question it. I told her what I wanted and we made a deal that I would take care of the Winchester family. Your mom knew Azazel would come for her and she would do anything in her power to keep her family safe. I’d already left Heaven so I wasn’t even really obligated to help. Dean was born and then your mom got pregnant with you a few years later and…” 

Gabe inhales sharply because it hurts a little to think about all of it. Mary’s face when she asked Gabriel to protect her husband and children if she died at the hands of the yellow-eyed demon is one he will never forget. Maybe he’s said too much, but Sam deserves to know this. 

“All of that changed when your mom found out what day of the week you’d be born on. Monday, May 2, 1983. Do you know which angel presides over Monday?” He stares at Sam for a minute before carrying on, “That’s right, it’s me. And even though I was avoiding my responsibilities, I had already made a promise to Mary that I intended to keep and it made it even easier that you were born that day. It made you special. You got to have the extra protection that I couldn’t give Dean or John. That’s a longwinded way of me saying yes, I’m /sort of/ like a guardian angel to you.” Gabe almost had to catch his breath after saying all of that, his eyes still fixed on Sam’s. He’s a little worried at how he might react to this overload of information.

****

He needs a minute to process what Gabe's just told him. He turns away, his gaze travelling to the window. What he sees makes him look away, something twisting in his chest as his jaw clenches.

Dean and Cas are standing next to the Impala with bags of weapons at their feet. Cas is gripping Dean's face in his hands, their eyes locked as Cas murmurs something, mouth downturned as it barely moves with the words he's saying. He's still speaking when Dean pulls him in to crush their lips together, kissing the angel frantically as if he never wants to never be kissing Cas.

It hits him now, of all times, not that he hadn't known it before; Dean and Cas could die in Purgatory. Bobby could die. /He/ could die. Gabe could die, again. Gabe's looked after him all this time. It's time /he/ looked after the angel for a change.

Sam suddenly turns away from the window to shove Gabe against the closest wall and kisses him hard enough that he cuts his lip on Gabe's teeth and can taste the blood. He pulls back, gasping, putting some space between their bodies as he catches his breath. He grabs Gabe's hand and pulls him to the stairs, his mouth set in a hard, serious line.

"Let's do this," he says thickly as he pulls Gabe downstairs, in no mood to hear protestations about his safety when half of Gabe's being is trapped in the nightmare world they're about to visit. He'll let Dean and Cas have their time, and then they're going to Purgatory, no more debating.

****

Gabe follows Sam’s gaze to Dean and Cas outside, kissing like they’ll never kiss each other again. He feels bad spying on something so personal, but that thought is ripped away as Sam shoves him against the wall and kisses him the same way Dean is kissing Cas outside. Well, there’s one thing Sam and Dean have in common. It might be the only thing. 

He can taste Sam’s blood in his mouth and he groans softly into the kiss before Sam pulls away. He huffs angrily, not satisfied with the short kiss they shared, licking the little bit of blood off his lips. Sam is already tugging him down the stairs though. When they get to the bottom of the stairs, Gabe breaks free and pushes Sam up against the wall this time, pushing up on the balls of his feet to kiss him. His hands skim over Sam’s chest and stomach while he licks into Sam’s mouth, just savoring the taste of him before they leave on this crazy journey that they might not come back from.

When Gabe pulls back, he nearly falls over. His head is swimming, his chest aching with the emotions that are pent up inside of him. He remembers asking himself not a week ago when he became so human and he thinks he’s finally found the answer. He was always more human than the rest of the archangels, he was just good at hiding it. But he can’t do that with Sam, it’s like he’s incapable of keeping any secrets with him. 

Gabe grabs Sam’s hand and tugs him towards the panic room, mouth open slightly and eyes like liquid gold. “Sam,” Gabe says breathlessly, sounding needy and scared and vulnerable. For once, he doesn’t care how human he sounds because he’s with Sam and he knows Sam won’t judge him. 

He immediately regains his composure when they slip into the panic room, letting go of Sam’s hand and shoving them in his pockets. Bobby looks up at them and furrows his brow. He points to Sam’s lip which is still bleeding, one solitary drop sliding down his chin.

“Yer bleedin’, Sam,” Bobby points out and Gabe turns to wipe the drop of blood off Sam’s chin. Bobby visibly cringes and turns away when Gabe licks the blood off his finger. They pass some time just chatting with each other quietly when Cas and Dean join them with the weapons.

“So who gets the honors?” Dean says, holding up a piece of paper with the words that will open Purgatory scrawled on it like it’s no big deal. Gabe immediately grabs it from him. 

“It should be me,” Gabe says with a very determined expression. He skims over the paper before turning to everyone and smiling. “Everyone ready?” he asks and watches as they all nod, expressions serious. He turns to the sigil on the wall and starts to read from the page, the Latin rolling off his tongue like he speaks it everyday.

Iagnua magna Purgatorii  
Clausa est ob nos  
Lumine eius ab oculis  
Nostris retento  
Sed nunc stamus ad limen huius  
Ianuae magnae et demisse  
Fideliter perhonorifice  
Paramus aperire eam  
Creaturae terrificae quarum ungulae  
Et dentes nunquam tetigerunt 
Carnem humanam aperit fauces  
Eius ad mundum nostrum nunc  
Ianua magna  
Aperta tandem

Chapter Text

When Sam returns to consciousness, he panics when he opens his eyes but everything remains dark. Then his eyes adjust to the dim, sickly light of wherever they are.

He's flat on his back, breathing like he's just run a marathon. When he sits up slowly, his head swims and it takes a few breaths to clear away the dizziness.

They're in a clearing in a dense forest of bare trees, eerily silent except for the occasional call, quiet and repetitive, of some creatures Sam really doesn't care to meet. As Dean Cas, and Gabe wake, they clamber to their feet, Dean huffing with relief when he sees the weapons duffel made it.

"Well, this isn't completely friggin' creepy or anything," he says, pulling the bag open to inventory its contents as he takes quick looks at their surroundings, on alert.

"Dean, it might be prudent to remain quiet until we've had time to assess our whereabouts."

"Cas, it might be /prudent/ to arm yourself," Dean replies with a sour look, "because if there's a chance my guns don't work, there's also a chance your mojo doesn't."

Sam turns to Gabe, who's moved closer to him. "Now what? Can you, I don't know, feel anything?"

Everything about this place is raising Sam's hackles, telling him instinctually to leave, screaming at him with a sense of wrongness. This is not a place humans belong, not a place they survive long, and it seems every fiber of his being knows it.

****

When Gabe opens his eyes, he thinks he’s having another nightmare. He sits up and rubs at the back of his head before standing and looking around. It’s the same place he was in during his nightmare, only now there are three people standing with him in the gloom. He sees Sam stand and moves closer to him instinctively.

While Cas and Dean bicker, Gabe looks up at Sam and groans. He can barely even see the hunter’s face. “If queasy counts as feeling something, yes. Otherwise, nada. Looks like we’re just gonna have to start walking.” Gabe makes his way over to Dean and Cas, careful not to trip over anything. He grabs the bag from in front of Dean and rummages through it, finding a small handgun and knife in the bottom. Once he’s got the gun tucked into his jeans and the knife safely concealed, he holds the bag out for Sam to take his pick.

“Let’s move it or lose it, folks,” Gabe says more loudly than he should have, stepping in between the trunks of two small, bare trees, “We’ve probably got a lot of ground to cover. Dean, you got a flashlight?”

Dean nods and grabs the flashlight from the ground next to him and clicks it on. It flickers weakly a few times, but comes on. Now that is a beautiful sight. They’ve got light.

“All right, Dean and Cas can stay in the front. Sam and I will bring up the rear. Whatever you do…” Gabe starts to say something, but Cas interrupts.

“Do not get separated.”

“Right, couldn’t have said it better myself! Oh, and if you’re getting tired, it’s probably in your best interest to speak up. There’s not going to be any sense of day and night here but we still need to get rest. Our bodies are going to be under a lot of stress being here as is, we don’t need anyone checking out on us because they didn’t get enough sleep and didn’t get to eat. Got it?” At the comment about food, Dean holds up a second duffel bag.

“We’ve got plenty of snacks in here. Between the four of us, it’s plenty, so take whatever you need whenever you need it,” Dean says as he slings the bag over his shoulder. Gabe just nods and moves to stand next to Sam.

****

When they're all armed - even Cas, despite his protestations about his dislike of guns - they set off, not sure where to head but preferring to keep moving. It's rough going, clearings few and far between as the four of them clamber over exposed roots and fallen branches. Every so often, one of them stumbles; even the sparse, dry grass seems hostile here. The forest is seemingly endless and eerily quiet as they stay mostly silent except for muttered curses.

His watch isn't working, so Sam doesn't know how long it's been when they stop to rest. It feels like they've been walking for at least a few hours, judging by the ache in his legs. He sits on a nearby log with a sigh of relief at getting to rest. He'll get some water from the duffle as soon as he's had a moment to savor the break.

He can hear snatches of Dean and Cas's quiet bickering from where they're seated nearby, heads practically touching as they lean towards each other.

"...just going to wander around..."

"...my Grace doesn't seem to be effectively..."

Sam looks at Gabe, who seems drained again and is far paler than he should be. "Gabe, maybe you should eat something. You-"

"Hello, Castiel."

Cas startles and tumbles off the log. Dean's instantly on his feet, gun pointed at the grey spectre that hasn't moved any closer. Sam draws his gun as well, but the shape looks oddly familiar...

"You okay, Cas?"

Cas has clambered back to his feet, dusting off his trenchcoat. "I'm fine, Dean. Hello, Anna."

She's wan, the color leeched from her form except where her eyes glow red. Her long hair flows as if in some invisible current, although her shadowy feet are planted firmly on the ground.

"Anna?! What the hell-"

Cas lays a hand on Dean's shoulder. "It's all right, Dean. She's a spirit, what remains of Anna. Purgatory houses the remains of angels when they are killed."

"Dean, it's...nice to see you." She moves closer, but Dean only grips his gun tighter, his face grim as his body remains tense and wary.

"Yeah, well, she might still be dangerous, so pardon me if I don't give her a freakin' hug hello."

"I won't harm you, Dean, I only want to help." She looks sad, still in the form of her vessel. "I had not thought to see my brother here so soon. To see you and Sam and..." When she turns to Gabriel, her eyes widen in shock. "You- but- I did not sense your arrival, Gabriel. Your Grace is fractured, weakened. So that is why you've come."

****

The four of them trudge through the wilderness in utter silence and when they stop to rest, Gabe is so thankful because his legs are aching and his head is spinning. He sits down on a rotting log next to Sam and attempts to get rid of the dizziness by closing his eyes, but it only makes it worse. Sam is saying something that reaches his ears as garbled words. He wasn’t this dizzy before…

Then, he hears a voice that is all too familiar and his eyes fly open when he hears Cas hit the ground, the sound deafening in the sickeningly quiet woods. Gabe jumps to his feet and instantly regrets it, swaying slightly. He grabs onto a tree nearby, but it’s flimsy and can barely hold his weight. When he finally manages to look forward, he sees her. Anna.

An awkward exchange occurs between Cas, Dean and Anna while Gabe tries to focus on not passing out. When she addresses Gabe, he looks up at her, his face sickly pale and the curls at the nape of his neck matted down with sweat. He’s getting weaker.

“Obviously,” Gabe manages to say through gritted teeth, “You think we just came here for shits and giggles?” His stomach is churning now and Anna looks genuinely concerned, a frown crossing over her ashen lips.

“I have seen it…” Anna says suddenly, her voice barely a whisper, “Your Grace. By the lake. You should go immediately. I will guide you if need be.”

The atmosphere is extremely heavy, no one daring to speak a word. Gabe just nods as a shiver rips through him. He’s freezing cold again and he’s not sure that he’s going to make it. He sways again, bumping into Sam and almost falling over, but he just grinds his teeth together and forces himself to stand up despite his shaking knees.

“Anna, you don’t have to do this,” Gabe says through a groan, “Why are you helping us?”

Anna laughs, and despite the fact that they’re in Purgatory, a place full of tormented souls, it’s surprisingly gentle and warm. “You were always one of my favorite brothers. I don’t like seeing you this way. I can tell that the situation is dire. Please, accept my offer.”

“How do I know you’re not just trying to pull one over on us?” Gabe’s vision is fading fast and despite his best efforts, he falls back into Sam, trusting that the hunter will catch him. Anna shakes her head and sighs, surprisingly human, worry lines forming at the corners of her mouth.

“You should rest. This is not up for debate anymore. We will leave for the lake when you wake up.” And just like that, she disappears into the gloom. Gabe just groans softly and wipes a hand across his forehead. He’s broken out into a cold sweat, the curls at the back of his neck drenched now.

“Shit. We don’t really have a choice here. What do you guys think?”

Dean twists around to look at Gabe as Cas puts his gun down carefully. “You know what I think? We should get some shut eye and talk about this in the morning…” Dean mutters, his voice carrying a note of concern, “Gabe isn’t lookin’ too hot and I think we could all use some sleep.”

****

Sam wraps an arm around Gabe's waist when the angel slumps against him and lowers him slowly to the ground, leaning him against the log. Gabe's sweating and sheet-white, shaking as he looks up at Sam with anguished eyes.

He turns to Dean. "We need to build a fire."

Dean looks like he might argue for a second, but then sees something on Sam's face that makes him hold it in. "It's risky, but...okay. Help me get some firewood. Cas, keep an eye on Gabe, we'll be right back."

Castiel nods and picks up the gun again, already moving closer to his brother while Sam and Dean walk quickly to the edge of the clearing. They gather branches quickly, alert for the merest hint of movement among the creaking trees. They've been lucky that the only creature they've seen so far is Anna's ghost, when far worse lurks out there.

"I don't like this, Sammy. Gabe looks like shit, Cas isn't at full power either, and now we've got ghosts?"

"I know, Dean, but it could be worse. It probably /will/ be worse."

Dean groans as he hefts his load of firewood. "Man, why'd you have to say that? I /know/ it's gonna get worse, when doesn't it?"

It takes them a moment, when they get back to Gabe and Cas, to realize that the person next to Gabe facing away from them /is/ Castiel. Sam's only seen him without his trenchcoat a handful of times in the years he and Dean have known him. Cas has wrapped the coat tightly around his shivering brother, whose eyes are closed tightly.

They set to work on the fire, Sam's eyes flicking nervously to Gabe while they stack and light the wood. Before long there are tall flames, and some of the tension leaves him as the heat soaks in.

Cas is drawn by the heat as well, his eyes closing in pleasure as he holds his hands out towards the fire. Sam realizes he's probably colder than usual too, with his Grace being sapped by Purgatory.

"Dean, Sam, you should probably eat something and attempt to sleep. I will keep watch." He glances briefly at Sam before perching on the log Dean's leaning against, gun in hand already. Sam can practically feel Cas's angel sense stretching to the edges of the clearing, probing for hostile creatures.

Sam digs through their food supplies and chooses a cheese sandwich, a few proteins bars, some water, and a bar of chocolate. He nods good night to Dean, who responds in kind. He can hear his brother and Cas talking quietly through the crackle of the flames as he sits beside Gabe.

He sets everything down to run a hand across Gabe's furrowed forehead. Gabe's drenched in cold sweat and radiating a chill that reaches Sam's fingers as he brushes a lock of damp hair back. Sam pulls Gabe onto his lap, tucking the trenchcoat around them as he cradles the quaking angel against his chest.

"Gabe, do you want anything to eat?" he asks quietly, hoping his body heat and the fire will at least help a little.

****

Everything that transpires after Gabe’s question is all a blur. There are voices, but he can’t make out whose they are. Some of the noises begin to fade into the forest, but there are also footsteps approaching him. When he’s sure whoever is there is standing directly over him, his eyes flutter open to see Cas holding his trench coat in his hands. He drapes it over Gabe without hesitation, tucking in the edges around his body so he’s wrapped up like a cocoon.

“Cas…” Gabe attempts to sit up, but Cas gently pushes him back down.

“Rest, brother.” Gabe doesn’t argue, just leans his head back against the log and closes his eyes.

A few minutes later, the heavy footfalls that he assumes are Sam and Dean’s startle him out of his almost sleep. There’s a lot of noise that really bothers his ears, then suddenly, warmth. They must have built a fire. He doesn’t bother opening his eyes until he feels warm hands on his face. It’s Sam, but he looks weird. Or, more correctly, extremely worried. It makes Gabe’s heart flutter a little.

Next thing he knows, he’s being pulled up into Sam’s lap and Gabe just lets out a sigh of relief. Between the fire, his makeshift blanket and Sam’s body warmth, Gabe is at least warmed up enough to stop shaking. Sam mentions food and Gabe’s stomach twists painfully.

“No. I can’t even think about food right now when I feel like my stomach might implode on itself,” Gabe says weakly, a hint of a joke in his voice. He tries to laugh but his stomach doesn’t agree with that at all, so he settles for snuggling into Sam and closing his eyes again.

A little time passes before his stomach finally settles enough for him to try and talk again. “Mmm, Sam, m’sorry for this,” he mumbles into Cas’ trench coat. He’s slipping into sleep, nice and cozy against Sam, his shivers finally ceasing.

****

Sam holds Gabe close, watching him finally begin to breathe evenly as they both relax into the warmth of the fire. He cards his fingers through Gabe's hair, gently stroking the sweat-slicked strands. It would be peaceful, if this was just a normal camping trip and not an excursion into a place with the potential to be as bad as Hell. He doesn't remember much about it, but what memories he can recall aren't pleasant.

He manages to eat the sandwich and a protein bar one-handed, without moving much and disturbing Gabe. Not long afterwards, he's slipping into sleep, dreaming vaguely of fire and other things he won't recall later.

"Sam. /Sam/. Wake up." Dean's voice, low and urgent, rouses him. Sam blinks awake to see Dean crouched nearby, gun raised and ready. Castiel is standing nearby, gun in hand, as he watches the darkness. Gabriel hasn't stirred against Sam's chest.

"There's something out there, man, /look/."

And when he peers past the fire, Sam can see hundreds of glowing red eyes watching from the shadows. His hand scrabbles for the gun at his side.

"Jesus, what are they?!"

Castiel answers, still watching the forest. "They are the creatures of Purgatory, the remnants of demons and other monsters that God chose to keep separated from his other creations."

"We thought we saw something earlier, and then suddenly there's dozens of 'em out there."

Sam struggles to sit up without waking Gabriel. "We've got to move, Dean, we've got to-"

"We can't leave the fire, Sam. It's the only thing keeping them at bay. We'll have to wait them out," Cas says.

"How are we going to do that, it's not like we can wait 'til morning when there /isn't/ a morning!" They can't fight this many monsters off at once, and Gabe's in no condition to be fighting or running.

"We don't really have a choice, Sam."

Dean gives him a hard look that says he's just as worried as Sam is.

"Just keep your gun handy, all right? I'm gonna stay up and keep watch with Cas."

"Like I'll be able to sleep now."

****

Gabriel is sleeping soundly until Sam moves just a little too much at one point and he’s roused from his slumber. He opens his eyes slowly, vision slightly blurred from all the sleeping he’s been doing. He hears urgent whispering nearby and Sam feels tense.

“Sam, wha’s goin’ on?” he mumbles thickly, blinking a few times to clear his vision. He’s not sure he needs Sam to answer that question though, because his eyes have adjusted and now he can see the red eyes peering at them from the forest. Gabe curls into Sam and whimpers softly.

He can’t do anything, not in this state. If these things try to attack them, he’s not sure how long Dean and Cas can hold them off with guns. He won’t be able to protect Sam. He doesn’t like that at all.

“The fire attracted them,” Gabe says softly, frowning. He makes no move to get up, because even if these creatures close in on them, there’s no way he can even think about fighting. He eyes Sam’s hand on his gun and sighs, already feeling drowsy again.

****

"Probably." Sam sets his jaw, the arm around Gabe holding the archangel tighter as his other hand clenches on the gun. Dean and Cas keep watch, but Sam can't sleep. It feels like hours that he sits half-alert, eyes on the red glowing points still lurking in the shadows. He can hear quiet chirps and snarls that make his hand grip his gun even tighter until his fingers ache.

Gabe occasionally shifts on his lap, only his tangled waves of hair visible from where he's burrowed under the warm enclosure of Cas's coat. His heart is racing fast enough to keep Sam worried, and he hopes this lake Anna talked about isn't far.

Sometime during the night, he eats everything he brought over except the chocolate bar, saving it for Gabe just in case.

He's just starting to nod off again when Anna reappears just outside the flickering ring of light from the fire.

"It will be a long journey to the lake. We should go."

Dean startles, gun trained instantly on the wraith.

"Could you - I dunno, whistle or something before you just pop up like that?"

He stands and stretches, Cas rising alongside him. The angel looks paler than usual, as though Purgatory has leeched the color from his skin.

"We cannot hope to pass through the forest, Anna. Not with those creatures lingering."

She faces her brother. "Make torches. You'll have to travel quickly, but the flames and my presence should keep them at bay."

"I hate this plan."

"I don't think we have a choice," Sam tells him. "I think Gabe's getting worse."

Cas confirms his suspicions. "This place is draining to us. With my Grace intact, the effects are lessened, but for Gabriel..."

He breaks off, intense gaze trained on Gabe's huddled form. "You should keep my coat, he will need it. I would try to wake him while we work."

Sam watches Dean and Castiel make small, temporary torches to go find wood more suited for long-lasting ones. He pulls the coat collar back enough to see that Gabe is pale, lips almost blue despite his warmer temperature. If he didn't feel Gabe's fluttering heartbeat, he'd think...

But he doesn't let his mind linger long on that terrifying thought. "Gabe, we have to get up." He smoothes a hand over the dull blond hair. "Gabe, Anna's here. We have to go."

*****

Gabe is used to not having dreams when he sleeps but this time is very different. He’s completely restless and terribly uncomfortable. He remembers briefly waking up a few times during the night (or whatever it is in this hell hole) but easily settled back into Sam’s warmth and drifted to sleep again.

He’s sleeping rather peacefully when he hears Sam’s voice and can feel a large hand pet at his hair. His eyes flutter open to see Sam crouching over him with a concerned look on his face. Gabe is freezing again, but it’s not surprise. Without the fire and Sam’s body heat to keep him warm, he’s back to shivering as soon as it registers. Cas’ coat hardly helps, but he knows better than to try and give it back to his brother. They’ll all insist that Gabe needs it and then there might be a fight. They don’t need that kind of drama when they’re trekking through Purgatory.

Gabe shifts his eyes to look at the wispy shape that is Anna. Her eyes are fixed on him and despite the fact that she’s not human, he can tell she is worried. Anna was always a kind, caring angel but she’s a creature of Purgatory now. Gabe is actually pretty surprised that she has any emotion in her at all.

Gabe whines up at Sam, trying to sit up and failing, his muscles weak and shaking. He grabs onto Sam’s arms and manages to pull himself to his feet, but the way he is swaying should be worrisome to the others in the group. Anna frowns deeply and closes her red eyes.

“We have to hurry.” She turns and starts to lead the way through the forest slowly, Dean and Cas flanking her on either side. Gabe untangles himself from the coat and actually puts it on. He starts to walk forwards, but stumbles and curses everyone in Heaven and Hell. He looks up at Sam helplessly and sighs.

“I don’t think I can walk,” he says softly, his voice gravelly and rough.

****

Gabe looks so small and frail as he struggles to stand, wrapped in Cas's coat. Sam wants nothing more than to tkae him away from this place and have him whole again and safe - but the sooner they find his Grace, the sooner they can leave Purgatory, and the sooner Gabe will be himself again.

Dean and Cas have lit their torches and grabbed the bags, waiting with Anna at the firelight's edge. When Gabe trips and looks up at Sam with despair in his eyes, Sam's worry gets far, far worse.

"C'mon, I'll carry you." He doesn't wait for a reply, simply lifts Gabe with one arm under his knees and another cradling his shoulders. "Put your arms around me, it might keep you a little warmer." At least the angel is light enough that carrying him for a while shouldn't be too difficult.

Dean and Cas look grave, but other than a "Shit, man," from Dean, they don't mention that Gabe is weak enough to be carried bridal-style by his human boyfriend.

Anna leads them over what might be a path into the dense woods. It isn't easy going; even the tree roots seem determined to bar their way. Dean moves behind Sam, eyes scanning the forest as he makes sure the torchlight covers them. But the sea of red eyes still lurks just outside the light, and Sam can see limbs moving in the flickering fire.

They move quickly, all of them eager to reach the lake. Gabe grows heavier in Sam's arms after what feels like an hour, so he pauses to adjust his grip. Dean almost runs into him, and the torch splutters long enough for one of the creatures to grow bold. Claws rake the side of Dean's leg, scoring shallow, bloody grooves into his flesh. With a loud grunt of pain, he turns and shoots at the thing, driving it back to snarl at them from the shadows.

"Son of a bitch!"

"Dean, are you all right?" Their pathetic parade stops as Cas rushes back, eyes blazing, and Sam lets his inspect Dean, arms too full of angel to help.

" 'M fine, ugly fucker just scratched me." He glares at Anna, who's waiting where she stopped. "Are we almost there or what?"

"We are a little more than halfway to the lake, Dean. But you must keep moving."

"Yeah, yeah, don't get your panties in a bunch." But Dean looks shaken; Sam knows that look, rare though it might be to see it on his brother's face.

They walk a little quicker now, and soon they're all struggling - Cas from the strain on his Grace, Dean from his wound, and Sam from carrying Gabe.

Suddenly Anna shrieks, her cry piercing the quiet noises from the hoard surrounding them. Some sort of saber-toothed tiger has tackled her, teeth buried deep in her neck. Before long, a dozen other creatures are tearing at her essence, but Sam, Dean, and Castiel can't do anything but watch from the safety of the fire.

"Anna! Anna, what do we do?" Cas's hoarse voice sounds terrified, and that alone sends dread coursing through Sam. Anna's slim, shredded hand reaches through the mob devouring her to point briefly before it's grabbed by another creature.

"The lake, she's showing us the way!" Sam shouts. He doesn't want to leave her, but there's nothing they can do for Anna. They stride quickly past her and the writhing beasts surrounding her, her screams echoing in his ears as they head towards the lake.

But they only make it a few hundred feets before Cas stumbles, his torch flickering out as it hits the ground. He looks up in horror at Sam and Dean before teeth sink into his arm and back.

"Cas, NO!"

Dean grabs Sam, yanking him roughly to keep him in the light as he reaches Cas and shoots the creature away. Blood is dripping steadily from his wounds, and he's even more pale.

"Cas, /Cas/, are you-" Dean drops to inspect Cas's arm.

The monsters are becoming bolder, and Sam can see the shapes of features, horns, hands, claws, and more as they move closer, barely outside the torchlight now. The snarls and growls that pierce the air grow louder, and Sam's heart pounds in his chest, because who knows how much longer the torch will last or if the light will keep the creatures back much longer regardless.

*****

Gabe is about to protest, but Sam has already scooped him up in his arms and is carrying him to meet up with Dean and Cas. Gabe scowls the best he can and puts his arms around Sam’s neck as instructed. Something inside of him is stirring uncomfortably thinking about this scenario. What if they get attacked? Sam won’t be able to do much of anything. They may need to stop more often too, especially if Sam gets tired of carrying Gabe.

They walk for a while without incident, but as soon as Sam shifts just a little to redistribute Gabe’s weight, Dean gets attacked. Gabe can’t really see what’s going on and he’s practically too tired to care. Some words are said and then they resume their journey once more, Anna leading the way.

Gabe has almost dozed off in Sam’s arms when he hears Anna scream and his eyes fly open to see the horror in front of them. She’s being ripped apart, and even though Gabe knows she’ll just rematerialize sometime later, it still makes him sick to watch. He turns away, burying his face into Sam’s shoulder, a nauseous groan escaping through his lips. They don’t get very far afterwards, because Sam is running and then stops. Gabe can still hear Anna screaming and then everything goes quiet, if only for a moment.

Next thing he knows, Dean is running to Cas’ sides, inspecting a wound on his arm, and Gabe is disoriented, because there are creatures closing in on all sides. Gabe buries his face into Sam’s jacket yet again and shivers, but not from the cold. The creatures are making him feel uneasy and he’s terrified what’s going to happen. Gabe is listening to the creatures draw in closer, the little flicker of flame barely keeping them shrouded in light, when a high pitched laugh echoes through the forest and the creatures scatter.

And Gabe is even more afraid now because what could possibly frighten the creatures of Purgatory? He lifts his head to see the form of a woman standing ten feet away from them. She looks almost exactly like Anna, with the red eyes and ashy skin, but she’s dark haired and her face is different. She’s smiling wryly, staring directly at Sam, and something about her gaze bothers Gabe. She moves a little closer and Gabe can feel Sam flinch.

“Hey, Sam. It’s been a while. What brings you to a place like this?” The woman is pacing back and forth in a half circle, her eyes never leaving Sam’s. “I see you brought a new pet with you.” She stops and frowns, looking at Dean and Cas now. Gabe sniffs, not appreciating being referred to as a pet, and glares in her general direction.

“If it isn’t the bitch,” Dean snarls through gritted teeth, nursing Cas’ wound. Cas doesn’t say anything, just stares at her blankly. Gabe has a feeling there’s some major history here that he’s missing and he makes a mental note to ask Sam about it later.

The woman laughs, shrill and humorless, her entire being shaking with the action. “It’s good to see you haven’t changed at all, Dean. Now, what exactly are you doing here?”

****

The creatures retreat at the sound of a sinister laugh. An icy chill of shock spears through Sam when he sees the source of the sound.

"Ruby."

His arms clench tighter around Gabe as Ruby moves closer, just outside the reach of the torch's light. Every instinct screams at him to drop Gabe and strangle the life from her, but she'd tear him apart in a second - or just rematerialize later.

Ruby's time in Purgatory seems to have unhinged her a bit. Her laugh is somewhat manic, and the look she's giving Sam with her glowing red eyes is absolutely predatory. She barely notices the others, even when Dean snarls at her.

He should have known, really. Even here, his weaknesses and failures taunt him. /Of course/ they would fucking run into the one person he wanted to avoid meeting again ever in his life most, other than Lucifer.

"We need to get to the lake."

"And why's that?" She asks as she cocks an eyebrow at him.

"It doesn't matter," he manages to say through gritted teeth.

"Oh, yes it does. I may have called off my friends now that they've taken care of that annoying angel, but I haven't decided whether to help you or eat you yet." She licks her lip slowly, making Sam blush with anger at her other meaning.

Dean looks murderous, but he can't risk letting his brother attack her when Ruby might be their only chance to help Gabe.

"Gabe needs something there."

Ruby tuts, floating even closer still. "Always with the cryptic answers, Sam. It's probably a good thing - wouldn't want to trust someone like me again, now would you? Except you really don't have a choice this time, since I sent your guide angel packing."

He hadn't noticed that part of him is half in shadow until an icy hand strokes through his hand and down his jaw. Gabe seizes rigidly in his arms at Ruby's proximity, and Sam jumps back, closer to Dean and the flame, while his brother is shouting threats at Ruby.

"Don't touch me." His voice is low and dangerous, full of the rage coursing through him. He's never wanted to hurt someone more.

But Ruby's attention has shifted to Gabe, and her eyes widen. Sam doesn't like that.

"Well, well, /well/, Sam. Babysitting half-dead angels now? I thought demons were more your thing, but it seems you'll go for anything. Ironic that everyone thought I was the slutty one." She laughs again, peals ringing through the trees. "Does he know about your little demon blood addiction? Although you seem to have kicked that habit, good for you."

"Shut up. Are you going to help us or not?" Sam growls.

She eyes the exhausted group with a grin. "Oh, fine, I'll help you to the lake, if only to enjoy the show once you get there. Now that I know what you're looking for, I don't think I'll be disappointed."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Dean asks, but she just floats away.

"You'll see when we get there. Now get moving, before I change my mind."

Sam avoids looking at Gabe as they start off again, not wanting the angel to read everything - the shame and guilt - in his eyes. Ruby leads them silently through the trees. If Sam didn't know any better, he'd think she was purposefully choosing a difficult route, full of fallen logs and shallow, bone-chilling streams that numb his feet. Dean helps Cas walk, draping one of the angel's arms over his shoulder to support him. What Sam can see of Cas's back doesn't look good, all weeping, ragged clawmarks.

"So, Sam, I guess you avoided the whole Lucifer takeover?" Ruby flashes a toothy smile at him as she turns to float facing backwards. It was probably a blessing that she kept silent as long as she did.

"Really don't want to talk about that, Ruby," he huffs, lungs straining with exertion.

"Ooh, /touchy/. Or is that part of why you're here? Running and hiding from the devil who wants your body?"

"We locked him in a cage with Michael, okay? I said yes and trapped him, and fell with them, and somehow I got out. That's all you need to know."

Her eyes widen. "Well, well, /well/, never would have guessed that. But then again, saying yes was probably easy by the end, knowing Lucifer. You always did beg so nicely-"

"Bitch, you better shut up before I gank your ghostly ass!" Dean interrupts.

Ruby just rolls her eyes. "Yeah, whatever. Been there, done that."

The lake, when they finally reach it, is huge, dark, and still. Pale light from some invisible source plays over the surface and shore.

The beach is empty.

"What the hell?" Ruby's tricked them again, he opens his mouth to say, but she cuts him off with a gesture.

"Wait here." She moves towards the water from the beach's edge where they've stopped just a few feet away from the forest.

Sam sits, relieved at the rest from carrying Gabe's weight. Dean eases Cas to the sand but quickly straightens, gun at the ready while his other hand holds the torch carefully aloft to keep them protected.

Gabe looks unchanged, still pale and barely breathing.

"Look!" Dean calls out, and Sam's attention snaps back to Ruby, who's kneeling by the lake's surface, speaking to the water in tones too quiet for them to hear.

Nothing happens for a handful of minutes as they watch, tense and anxious...and then the surface of the lake begins to ripple.

*****

Ruby. It’s a name that Gabe recognizes vaguely and sends a painful jolt through him. He was definitely right in assuming that there was some history there. He can swear that they may have been a thing at one point, but Gabe had shied away from Sam during his time being hooked on demon blood. He hadn’t been comfortable with the whole thing to begin with and he had been particularly busy trying to throw Lucifer’s lackeys off his trail.

Ruby comes closer and Gabe feels his muscles tense uncomfortably. As she glides closer and closer, Gabe begins to whine softly, the pain in his muscles getting worse. And then she’s so close she’s practically touching him and she /is/ touching Sam. Gabe should care that she’s got her filthy hands on his… whatever he is… but his body has seized up and he can’t move. He lets out a low, gurgling noise and clenches his eyes shut. Then Sam moves away at just the right time, and Gabe relaxes instantly. His muscles are still rigid, but much less painful now. He turns to look at Ruby, his chest heaving, his eyes fiery despite his appearance otherwise.

He wants to scream at her and tell her to fuck off, leave them alone because they can handle this on their own. But the truth is that they really can’t and he would be blatantly denying the fact that they need help. Ruby tosses some snarky remark his way but he ignores it, turning to bury his face back in Sam’s jacket as his muscles slowly relax.

A few minutes later, they’re starting to move again. Gabe ignores Ruby the best he can, blocking out the conversations taking place between her and Sam pretty effectively. But then Sam slows and stops and Gabe lifts his head.

He gasps as he looks out at the all-too-familiar lake, the one from his nightmare, and his stomach knots up. He looks up at Sam and whispers, “I know this place,” before turning back to look out at the lake and Ruby, who is now standing at the water’s edge.

Gabe wriggles out of Sam’s grasp, dropping onto his feet unsteadily and moving forward slowly, towards Ruby and the lake. There’s a noise, low and thrumming at first, but becomes increasingly louder as Ruby stays fixed on something in the water. By the time she’s stood and stepped back from the shore, the noise is shrill and horrible, so bad that Gabe has to cover his ears. He feels like he’s going to pass out, his head spinning and his stomach churning and his vision blurring at the edges.

His eyes snap to a shape coming out of the water and he can’t help the shiver that runs through him. Even though everything is hazy, Gabe would know that person anywhere. It’s him, only… not him. Like Ruby and Anna, he’s red-eyed and wraith-like, but he’s much more menacing than the other two. He has a certain air about him that just screams power. The fact that Ruby takes off as soon as he walks by lets him know that he is even more terrifying that she is.

Gabe drops to his knees, watches with wide eyes and gaping mouth, as the figure closes in on them. He’s expecting to be ripped limb from limb and as the other version of him approaches, but all he hears is a laugh. It’s absolutely humorless, piercing and almost violent, and Gabe can’t bring himself to look up at the figure looming over him now.

The other Gabe doesn’t make a move to do anything, just stands there for a moment, staring down at his sickly counterpart curled on the ground. When he finally speaks, it makes Gabe feel nauseous and he has to clap a hand over his mouth to keep himself from puking.

“Well, aren’t you just pathetic?” the new form of Gabriel drawls, crouching to be level with the other, “Seriously, when did I become so fucking weak I had to rely on humans like the Winchesters?” The shadow Gabe turns his attention to Sam and smiles wryly, walking towards him with a hand outstretched.

“Hey there, Sam!” The grin on the shadowy Gabe’s face is truly malicious, a wispy black hand reaching out to stroke across Sam’s cheek. He jerks away and frowns, turning towards Gabe who is still curled on the ground, fingers digging into the dirt. “Oh, so that’s how it is now. You’ve really overstepped your boundaries this time. Falling in love with a human, tch. What the hell is wrong with you? Especially since he’s the one who did this to you in the first place.”

In a second, he’s rematerialized in front of Gabe and kicks the other, hard. Gabe yelps in pain, falling onto his side and curling up into himself. His ears are ringing and he’s in so much pain he barely even registered the kick to his ribs. And those words that the other just said are echoing in his head. /He’s the one who did this to you…/ Does he mean Sam?

“Shut the hell up,” Gabe grits out, pushing himself up from the ground, “Sam’s got nothing to do with this!” Gabe reaches out to grab the other, but he disappears and reappears a few feet away, laughing.

“Did you really forget?” When Gabe doesn’t say anything, the shadowy figure laughs maniacally and scrubs at his forehead, “Oh, that’s fucking priceless!” He shoots an insane look at Sam, the smile on his face growing. “You don’t remember either, do you?”

*****

The ripples increase, bringing a harsh, tinny hum that has all of them dropping to the sand in agony. Blood gushes from Sam's nose, dribbling onto the sand, as he covers his ears. After a moment, he sees Dean and Cas clambering to their feet from the corner of his eye before his attention is dragged back to the lake and the being rising from the water.

If this is Gabriel's Grace, it's been corrupted by its time in Purgatory. Like Anna and Ruby, this version of the angel looks formed by shadows. The cruel laughter it spouts is far from angelic, the sound setting Sam's teeth on edge and harassing his already-pained ears. He can't move as he watches this Gabe approach the living, weakened on collapsed on the sand.

He honestly doesn't know what to do. This Gabriel is a bastard, but if he's really Gabe's Grace, they need him.

"Fuck!" Sam whips around to see Cas, sprawled on the sand with his eyes closed.

"Dean! Is he- is he alive?"

"I think he's just unconscious." Dean's attention is fixed on Cas, but their conversation must have distracted the shadow being. It's turned its red-eyed gaze to Sam now. When it caresses his face with fingers so wrongly identical to Gabe's, he barely resists the urge to tackle it to the ground, to maim and kill, jerking away from its icy touch instead. He can't harm it, but it can harm him, and it can certainly harm the others.

He barely hears the words before the being swings its foot into Gabe's side, and Sam's had enough. He runs to Gabe's side, falling to his knees next to the hunched angel...and then his mind realizes what he's just heard, heard but didn't /comprehend/ until then.

/"Especially since he’s the one who did this to you in the first place.”/

He swallows hard, trying to ignore the rising nausea and panic threatening to overwhelm him. It can't be true, this can't be his fault. Gabe tries to defend him as the sound of his heart pounding in his chest fills his ears. The shadow Gabriel's words don't register either, although the mocking tone is loud and taunting.

Sam looks up at the being as his fists and jaw clench in fury that attempts to drown the sheer terror. "No, I don't know. So why don't you stop with the games and /tell us./"

Trapped between an archangel and his Grace, he feels miniscule and powerless and so very human. His instincts tell him to run, but he needs to know if...if he's the one who's responsible for all of this.

****

Sam drops down to Gabe’s side and the archangel sits up enough to crawl towards him. The shadow Gabe comes to stand over them, a look of disgust on his face. Then, he smiles again and shakes his head slowly, putting his hands on his hips.

“I expected as much from you, Sam. When you were in Hell, right before you got pulled out of the cage, you decided you wanted to raise those who you had lost. The two Harvelle women and that hillbilly with the mullet… And me, of course.” He’s pacing back and forth now, voice cold and dangerous, eyes never leaving the two on the ground, “It’s your fault that your precious angel is like this. How does that make you feel?”

Before the shadow can get another word in, Gabe has risen to his feet and is approaching him as if he’d never had any difficulty walking. He can feel energy surging through him, and even though it’s uncomfortable, Gabe knows what he has to do. He lunges forward and tackles the shadow of himself to the ground.

“Fuck you!” Gabe shouts, his anger bubbling as pain sears through his body. They’re melding back together, little by little, and it feels like a fire is ripping through his veins, sewing each piece back together slowly. “You think I care if Sam did this to me!? You should know that Sam could never do anything wrong in my eyes, you son of a bitch!” The shadow underneath him writhes helplessly, but that shit-eating grin on his face doesn’t leave his lips.

“Oh, I know you care. Your precious Sam left you fractured and broken and vulnerable. You hate it, don’t you? You—“

But Gabe has already cut him off with a loud yell of pain. He turns his head just enough to look over his shoulder at Sam, eyesight beginning to fade.

“Sam, take Dean and Cas and leave! Leave now! I don’t know… what’s going to happen to me… I can’t… just go!” He grits his teeth as another bolt of pain rockets down his spine. When he looks down, his shadow form is doing the same exact thing. It’s working, but they’re both fading fast.

“You think you can survive this? Taking your corrupted Grace back into a body as weak as yours?” Gabe can’t help a smile as he clenches his eyes shut, laying his face down against the other’s neck.

“Oh, you just watch me,” Gabe says softly, not loud enough for Sam to hear him. He picks his head up just enough to stare down at the shadow slowly disappearing under him. His vision blacks out and the last thing he hears is someone’s voice… maybe Sam’s, maybe Dean’s… or maybe even Cas. He doesn’t hear what they’re saying, but he’s comforted enough to fall into the darkness without a fear in the world.

*****

Everything stops, the breath trapped in Sam's chest.

He did this.

He brought Jo back to spend her days, if she was even in there, trapped in a hospital bed, unable to tell them she's awake.

Bile surges in his throat, because the shadow Gabriel keeps speaking and says what Sam knew was coming but never, /never/ wanted to hear.

It's his fault that Gabe, /his/ Gabriel, /the/ Gabriel, is weak and broken. A tiny voice in the back of his mind fleetingly tries to tell him that weak and broken is better than whole and dead, but it's drowned out by the roar of guilt and anguish that choke him.

"No, no, no, no..." Sam can't bring himself to look at Gabe, dropping his head into his hands in shame instead. He ruins everything he touches, his brother and Cas and his parents and even their dead friends - who disturbs the dead, he thinks bitterly, before he remembers that they, he and Dean, do - and now Gabe.

Gabe's yell startles him into raising tear-blurred eyes in time to see his Gabe collide with the other. Something's happening, Sam can tell. Coils of energy connect the two Gabriels as they begin to meld together. They're ignoring him where he watches on his knees, frozen in horror. They struggle, bodies blurred at the edges with light and motion and all he can do is watch, Dean and Cas and the world forgotten.

Gabe tells him to run, and somewhere in Sam's panicked mind he recalls their conversation of hours - days? - ago and wonders if Gabe knew that this would happen, that he wouldn't survive, but let Sam and the others try to save him anyway. Sam wonders just how much he can inflict on one being.

A hand is on his shoulder, pulling him to his feet.

"Sammy, get back! We can't-"

Sam watches Gabe's head fall, the two versions of him twined together, neither of them fighting now. They fall still, then there's a dark flash, almost like the blinding Grace light but different. When he opens his eyes, there's only one Gabriel on the sand. But he's pale and motionless, and Sam chokes on bitter realization.

"Sam! Dean! Bobby's calling us back. W-we must go." Cas is awake, and the tremor in his voice hints at anguish to rival Sam's.

"Gabriel, please, don't, /please/..." he babbles, not caring about the tears forming in his eyes as he fights Dean tooth-and-nail to reach for Gabriel. He struggles in his brother's grip, but somehow Dean drags him to Cas in time for the world to go black.

When Sam comes back to consciousness, he's lying on the hard, cool floor of the panic room. They rise shakily, and the look on Bobby's face when he sees one of them missing says more than Sam wants to face. Dean's looking between him and Cas, unsure which to comfort.

Sam meets Cas's eyes. The angel's shoulders are hunched, his eyes hooded and miserable with failure and loss.

"Cas, I'm so sorry, I didn't, it's my fault, it's all my fault-"

"...You couldn't have known, trapped in the cage, that this would be the result."

He flees, managing to make it upstairs to the bathroom before vomiting up what little he's eaten. He rests his cheek on the cool porcelain of the bathtub, spikes of pain behind his eyes as he rubs them in an attempt to erase the vision of Gabe's face when his shadow had told them that it was all Sam's fault, his pain and weakness and shattered Grace.

He stands on shaky legs and brings himself to the bed, stripping naked to wrap himself in the thick comforter, not caring that the sheets are all still downstairs or that it's too early to be in bed or that the pillows still smell of strawberries and cinnamon and Gabriel.

Sam should feel warmer without Gabe's icy skin against his, but he shudders, his entire body trembling under the blanket. He lies, unmoving and half aware, until the sun goes down. No one comes to check on him, and the house is silent, hours passing.

It's almost dawn when suddenly, realization makes him gasp, and he buries his face in the pillow as tears soak into the down.

He had waited to tell Gabriel that he loved him, and Gabe had died not knowing, never having heard Sam say the words even though he felt them, he /felt them/, he loved Gabriel. Sam had listened to Gabriel practically beg and had been too blind, and now he'd never have the chance, because angels didn't go to Heaven and Sam certainly wouldn't end up there.

Begging, pleading prayers run through his mind, but no one answers. Sam falls asleep, exhausted and quaking in an empty bed.

-

The next day passes. Someone knocks on his door, but he doesn't answer. The footsteps sound like Dean's.

The day after, it's two o'clock the next afternoon when he pulls himself out of bed and into clothes and downstairs. Dean and Bobby are in the kitchen, Cas sitting in the living room on the couch, hands folded and eyes closed. Sam sits next to the angel, sure that any second he'll be turned into a smoldering pile of ash. No more than he deserves.

"Samuel, you cannot blame yourself for my brother's death."

Sam's startled into looking at Cas, whose blue eyes are blazing with conviction at him.

"You sacrificed yourself to save the world, and tried even in the worst depths of Hell to save your friends."

Suddenly Cas's arms are around him, stiff and warm, and Sam can't believe it, can't do anything but hug Cas back. Dean and Bobby freeze in the doorway at the sight.

"I know you will miss my brother greatly, Sam."

Dean walks over and rests a hand on Sam's shoulder, and Bobby nods at him, gently, before heading to the basement.

"I should be trying to cheer you up Cas," Sam says brokenly.

"Look, maybe there's something, maybe Bobby-" Dean starts to say, but Sam yanks back out of his grip, jolting up off the couch to shove Dean back. His brother stumbles, wide eyed at the anger in Sam's eyes.

"What if there is something, huh, Dean? And then what if we try it, and he comes back wrong /again/?" He looks back over to Cas, the anger gone as soon as it appeared. "No, I can't...I..."

They're all silent before Sam chokes out, "I didn't get a chance to tell him."

"Sammy..." He can't take the pity in Dean's voice.

He goes back to bed, lying awake and staring into the night, lost in the sick, bitter feeling of hopelessness.

-

It's late, almost three in the morning, when he gasps and wakes.

Crowley.

He grabs what he needs and sneaks outside, careful to avoid making the back stairs creak. The night is quiet and chill, and his hands shake as he summons the king of Hell.

"Ah, Sam. What can I do for you?"

It's tempting to try and strangle the life from Crowley or stab him until he's bleeding from too many wounds to count.

But he needs more than a convenient punching bag. He needs to fix this.

"I want to make a deal."

"Oh?" Crowley cocks an eyebrow at him. "For what?"

"Gabriel. I want you to bring him back from the dead."

Crowley watches him with an undecipherable look. Moments pass before he finally speaks. "Bringing an archangel back from the dead is incredibly difficult. It's worth more than you can offer, sorry kid-"

"-then take my soul now."

The demon's eyes widen. "What?"

"My soul, right now, in exchange for bringing him back, alive and healthy with Grace restored."

"You'd die."

"Not necessarily."

Crowley actually /gapes/ at him.

"It's true that a soul tied to a living, breathing body, feeding it, it's practically unheard of. And certainly worth something. But if I take your soul and leave your body, you'll be a walking husk. Hell, I don't know what you'd be. "

He steps closer to the demon, fists clenched as he leans in, mouth barely an inch from Crowley's as he growls, "Do we have a deal or not?"

Sam gets his answer in lips that press firmly to his.

Chapter Text

Death shouldn’t feel like anything, at least, that’s what Gabriel has always thought. When Lucifer killed him, he hadn’t felt a thing. Everything went black and he remembered absolutely nothing between then and the time he woke up again.

This is different. Somewhere inside of him, there’s a little sliver of life left. It’s almost as if he’s stuck in a dream. He feels like he’s deep underwater, thrashing his arms wildly in an attempt to resurface. He can see the light becoming brighter, the surface rippling serenely while his lungs are filling with saltwater. His mind is insisting that he won’t make it, but his body says otherwise. Even though his muscles are burning and aching from the vigorous swimming, he fights to reach his destination. His fingers are the first to break the surface and as soon as his head pops up from the water, he takes one deep, gasping breath.

/It’s fucking freezing/, Gabe thinks as he slowly opens his eyes. He blinks a few times, the brightness reflecting off the fresh snow surrounding him momentarily blinding him. He sits up and looks around, seeing only a few doe soundlessly gallop by. He’s in a field covered in a thin layer of snow, surrounded by a dense coniferous forest.

“I’m sure as hell not in Kansas anymore,” Gabe mumbles to himself, standing up and brushing the powdery snow from his clothes. He’s cold and wet from the snow and he wonders how long he’s been lying there. Probably not that long, considering he didn’t freeze to death…

“Wait,” Gabe shouts aloud, his voice echoing in the empty field. The haze is lifting and he’s starting to remember everything… Anna being ripped apart by the monsters of Purgatory, Ruby crouching by the lake, the other version of himself… Sam. Where the hell is Sam? Gabe swivels around frantically, scanning the edge of the woods for signs of anybody, but to no avail. He’s alone.

It’s then that he realizes that he’s no longer handicapped. He’s focusing on sounds far away with ease, the purr of an expensive car driving down an icy highway at least 6 miles away piquing his interest. “I wonder,” he says softly to himself as he raises his hand and stares at it.

Should he try to go to Bobby’s and see if the others are there? At first, it seems like a good idea. At the same time, Gabe has no idea if they even made it back safely, and honestly, he’s not sure he wants to know what happened to them if that’s the case. The queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach isn’t helping his decision either as he remembers the words his other self spoke in Purgatory. Sam was the one who had raised Gabe from the dead… the reason Gabe had come back to Earth all broken and corrupted. The words that Gabe had said were true though; in his eyes, Sam didn’t do anything wrong. All the same, he decides Sam probably needs some time to think on it.

He snaps out of his stupor and shakes his head, a chill running through him. Anyone else would have gotten hypothermia in a place like this, lying half-buried in snow for who knows how long. He figures out that he’s just outside of a small Eskimo village in Alaska, pretty damn far away from Kansas. He’s running through places he could go from here. He could get a hotel somewhere in Anchorage… even snap himself back to his little apartment in Wisconsin… but right now, he doesn’t want to be alone. Not after everything that’s happened.

Then he remembers someone and decides it’s time to have a little family reunion.

-

A shower and three glasses of expensive whiskey later, Gabe is curled in a leather armchair by a fire, trying to blow away a stray hair that keeps tickling his nose. Across from him sits Balthazar, legs crossed and eyes on Gabriel.

“I think an explanation would be nice,” Balthazar murmurs into his glass, his eyes not leaving his brother’s, “None of us could find you and suddenly, you’re showing up on my doorstep wanting me to take you in.” Balthazar closes his eyes and chuckles softly, swirling the alcohol in his glass. “Not that I mind, of course. After all, you were always one of my favorite siblings.”

Gabe smiles and it’s surprisingly gentle and tender. Balthazar and Gabriel have always had good times together, always getting themselves into trouble. He was one of the few angels on Earth that Gabe could put his trust into, but he hadn’t seen him since he’d risen from the dead the first time. He owes his brother the entire story.

After relaying a good majority of the story to him, Gabe sighs and pulls his knees up to his chest. There’s an extremely long silence before Gabe finally looks up at Balthazar again. “Can I tell you something as long as you promise not to laugh?” Gabe asks with a lopsided smile. Balthazar just chuckles to himself and motions him to go on.

“It’s Sam. You know, the Winchester kid. He’s, uh…” Sam’s name alone makes Gabriel’s throat tighten with anxiety.

“Oh wait!” Balthazar quickly interrupts to Gabe’s relief, “Let me guess. Did they finally get one over on you, the great Trickster?” Balthazar laughs and it makes the room seem brighter. Gabe is suddenly very aware of why he enjoys Balthazar’s company so much.

“Would you let me talk, Balth?” Gabe snaps quickly, rubbing at his brow, “It’s nothing like that. This is pretty serious…” Balthazar’s face drops and he looks at Gabe, the flickering flames reflected in his gray-blue eyes. Gabe sighs deeply before continuing. “I’m… it’s…”

“Oh, just say it, Gabriel.”

“Would you stop /rushing/ me?” Gabe says icily and Balthazar promptly shuts his mouth, “You remember when Sam was born, right? I mean, it was a pretty big deal. Anyway, I kind of promised Mama Winchester I’d keep an eye on him… and it got a little out of hand.” Gabe can feel himself blushing and Balthazar’s lips twitch with a smile. “I… Sam… I’m in love with Sam. I’m /in love/ with a damn human. And not just any human, but the true vessel for one of our brothers.”

Balthazar just stares at Gabe with a small smile on his lips before reaching across the distance with his free hand and patting his brother on the knee. “I never thought I would see the day when you fell in love with anyone, let alone a human. My question is… why aren’t you with him now?” Balthazar raises an eyebrow and Gabe just shrugs.

“We figured some stuff out in Purgatory that I thought he might want to think about before I come barging back into his life. I came on pretty strong to begin with, I’m not really sure he feels the same…” But Gabe knows that’s a lie, he remembers Sam’s urgent kiss before they left for Purgatory. Balthazar sighs and shakes his head with a grin, standing up.

“I think you should at least try to contact Castiel if he’s with them, let them know you’re safe. I’m off to bed.” He waves before exiting the room, shutting the door behind him. Gabe knows that Balthazar is right, he should get in touch with Castiel. He snaps his fingers and a phone appears in his hand, Dean Winchester’s phone number already dialed and ringing.

-

“Mmrggh, who the hell is this? It’s like 4 in the fucking morning,” Dean growls into the phone, the sound of sheets rustling incredibly loud.

Gabe hesitates, thinks about hanging up, but it’s too late. He’s already called. “I need to talk to Cas.”

That certainly wakes Dean up. “Gabriel!? What the hell? Where the fuck are you?” Gabe was afraid of this reaction, but was thankfully prepared for it. He can hear Castiel in the background asking for the phone.

“Just give Cas the phone. I’ll explain it all to him.”

“Yeah, well, why don’t you just explain it to me first?”

“Dean. Give Cas the phone.”

“No, I… Cas!” Gabe knows that Cas now has the phone judging by the sound of Dean struggling to take it back.

“Gabriel. Where are you?”

“I’m staying with Balthazar. I know I should have called sooner, I just—“

“Sam has been sick with worry over you,” Cas hisses, voice low and dangerous. That’s never a good thing.

“What do you mean?”

“We all thought you were dead.”

Gabe’s stomach drops. Shit. “Is he okay?”

“No. He’s been acting strange.”

That’s enough of a reason for Gabe to go back immediately. “Damnit… I’ll be there first thing in the morning.” Gabe can hear Dean struggling in the background still, curses pouring from his mouth.

Cas lets out a sigh of relief. “That would be for the best. We will see you tomorrow morning then.” He hangs up.

-

In the morning, Gabe bids a farewell to Balthazar (with the promise of shenanigans very soon) and snaps himself to Bobby’s. He’s standing outside and it’s as if nothing has changed. As if Purgatory had never happened and everything had been left untouched. He wishes that were true.

He approaches the door and knocks. Cas immediately appears in the door, Dean looking murderous behind him.

“Come in, Gabriel,” his brother says, holding Dean back with his free hand, “I think we should sit down and talk.”

****

Sam really doesn't see why Dean keeps looking at him like that the next morning. He can't know what's happened, and if Sam's acting less morose than before - well, personally, it's an improvement. He'd kick his own ass for being such a tear-soaked bitch if that problem hadn't been solved.

Castiel is creeping him out though, watching him with those wide blue eyes after Sam shrugs and says he's fine, feeling much better, don't want to talk, thanks. Besides, Gabe's fine now. Or will be. If not, Sam knows how to find Crowley, and he has the demon-killing knife.

And this deal seems to have some perks. He hasn't eaten in days now and instead of wasting time sleeping, he's been able to finish reading a particularly stubborn compendium that could help them find the Purgatory monsters still loose.

He gives Dean a smile, forcing his mouth upturned like he used to do before, but for some reason it just makes Dean confused. Cas looks confused and sad, but he doesn't really have time for dealing with depressed angels, so he grabs the keys for the Impala off the table.

"I'm going to the library."

"Whoa, what?! Come back here."

Sam rolls his eyes but keeps walking, ignoring Dean until his brother grabs his arm and turns him around.

"What, Dean?"

"You're not freakin' taking the Impala, that's what? I don't care if you're grieving, no way I'm letting you take my baby for a spin without permission, man!"

He just looks at Dean. "It's just a car, Dean."

Dean's shocked enough to let go, and Sam leaves Bobby's, enjoying the powerful purr of the car's motor.

-

He leaves the library at closing and gets back to see Dean, drink in hand, sulking on the couch.

"Sam, where've you been? Yer brother's practically had an aneurysm waiting for you to get back with his damn car, idjit."

"It's in the driveway." Sam hoists his stack of books and heads for the stairs.

"Samuel Winchester, you git back here and tell me what the hell is going on."

"Bobby, I have a stack of /library/ books."

Bobby turns bright red and splutters. "You- I-"

"If you don't have anything else to say, I'm going upstairs to do research. I think I might have figured out a way to kill those Purgatory creatures that made it through to earth."

No one follows him, even though he can feel their stares.

-

There's frantic knocking on the door sometime in the middle of the night while he's finishing up another set of pushups, taking a mental break between books. He pulls the door open to see Castiel and Dean outside.

"Dude, you gotta sit down, we gotta tell you-"

"-Sam, Gabriel is alive."

Oh, that's right, they didn't know. He watches them as they wait for a reaction. Judging by their faces, he might have waited too long to avoid Dean's temper.

"What the /hell/, Sam? Gabe's alive! Aren't you, I dunno, freakin' overjoyed that your boyfriend made it out?"

"Sure. That's great."

"Sam, are you all right?" Castiel is watching him again.

"Yes, why wouldn't I be?"

"I dunno, because you thought the man you loved was dead and now he's not and this would totally be an okay time to have a chick-flick moment if there ever was one," Dean interjects. "Jesus, man, what the fuck?"

"It's...great."

"You already said that, Sam." Shit.

"I have a lot of research to do." He shuts the door on them and hears rustling that sounds like Castiel is holding Dean back from bursting back into the room. The angel mutters something about time to adjust and grief. Sam snorts and goes back to his pushups.

It's just past dawn when he closes the book and heads to the bathroom, stripping out of his jeans and tee. The water is hot enough to elicit groan at the feel of the heat on his skin as it washes the sweat away.

When he lets his hand trail down to his groin, he jerks himself in quick, ruthless strokes, thumbing over the head of his cock as his mind wanders. His mouth curls into a smirk, his eyes closing and his head tilting back into the shower's spray as he pictures Gabriel's mouth on him, pictures fucking the angel hard enough to make him squeal.

Sam leaves the shower with his hair smelling of strawberries.

Much later, he's skimming through one of the library books when he sees a passage that looks like Enochian. He squints at it for a moment with a frown, annoyed that he can't read it himself, before hauling himself off the bed and downstairs to find his brother's pet angel.

****

Gabriel is escorted inside by Cas while Dean retreats to the kitchen for a drink. Bobby is nowhere to be seen, though it’s not surprising. Gabe gets this feeling that Bobby doesn’t really like him that much, but he really could care less. The archangel takes a seat on the couch and Cas stays standing, staring at Gabe with a knitted brow. He’s never seen Cas look so perturbed before and he doesn’t have a good feeling about it.

“Okay, what the hell is goin’ on?” Gabe asks at length, running a hand through his auburn hair, “I’m sittin’, start talkin’.”

Cas makes a small noise in the back of his throat before sitting stiffly in the chair behind him. At the exact same moment, Dean waltzes in with a glass of amber liquid. Gabe can smell it all the way from where he’s sitting and he wonders why the hell anyone would drink such cheap shit.

“Gabriel, it’s about Sam. There will be plenty of time for you to explain what happened and how you are alive. However…” Castiel and Dean exchange tense glances, “Sam is our main priority at the moment.”

Gabe’s stomach drops through the floor as the worst-case scenario pops into his head. Is Sam stuck in Purgatory with no escape? Or worse, is Sam even alive? He’s about to open his mouth to say something when Cas’ head snaps towards the sound of wood creaking upstairs.

Dean cuts in quickly, staring up the stairs anxiously. “I dunno what the fuck happened to him, but he’s acting weird as hell. Just… weird.” Dean throws up his one free hand in frustration and shakes his head vigorously. Cas bows his head and closes his eyes as if praying before opening them and staring at Gabriel.

“I have not been able to figure out the source of Sam’s condition. It is possible Purgatory has something to do with this, but Dean suffered no ill effects,” Cas whispers as if Sam can hear them all the way down here. Dean is swirling the alcohol in his glass with a sick look painted on his face.

“Okay… so what exactly—“ Gabe starts, but Cas quickly cuts him off with another cursory look at the stairs.

“He is coming now. Perhaps it would be best if you saw for yourself.”

Gabe is expecting nothing less than missing limbs, two different forms of leprosy, or a horn growing out of his right kneecap by the way Cas and Dean are talking. As Sam descends the stairs, Gabe watches with anticipation, his eyes scanning over every inch he can see, checking for oddities.

To his surprise, Sam is perfectly fine, at least on the outside. Dean and Cas are right though, there is something /off/ about him that Gabe can’t quite place. In Gabe’s own opinion, he knows Sam the best out of anyone here, even Dean. But he still can’t put his finger on it. There’s just something about his aura that’s unsettling.

He stands up when Sam reaches the bottom step and stares at him in all his glory. The realization of how much Gabe missed Sam hits him like a fucking brick wall. Even though it’s only been a couple days for him, it feels like months. He had honestly believed that he might never see Sam again when they were in Purgatory, in those last moments before they were all swept away back to Earth.

Sam’s eyes are dim, practically lifeless, as he stares back at Gabe. That’s unusual. All the same, Gabe crosses the room and grabs Sam’s wrist, looking at the hunter with a smile. “Hey, kiddo. Long time, no see, huh?” The words barely come out, his throat tightening as he stares up at the blank expression on Sam’s face.

****

Everyone's just staring at him when he gets downstairs. Including Gabriel, who's finally turned up. Crowley certainly took his time, but at least the angel's back in one piece.

Gabriel grabs his wrist and smiles up at him, but when Sam just looks down at where the angel's hand grips him and then replies with a simple hello, Gabriel's face falls. He extracts his arm from the angel's grip and cracks the book in his arms open, flipping through the pages for the one that had caught his eye upstairs.

"So you and Castiel both read Enochian, right? I found a passage in this book that might tell us how we can kill the Purgatory creatures."

****

Sam’s response isn’t exactly the one Gabe was looking for. Sure, he wasn’t exactly hoping for some dramatic kiss or happy tears, but /something/ would have been nice. He looks down at the book in Sam’s hand, obviously more important than him, and frowns.

“Definitely Enochian, let me see it,” Gabe mumbles as he rips the book out of Sam’s hands, much harder than he needed to. He scans the passage, brow furrowed, then looks directly at Cas. “This seems pretty complicated…”

Castiel is up and behind Gabe reading over his shoulder in an instant, his blue eyes scanning the page. Cas nods after he’s finished and sighs softly, returning to his chair and tenting his fingers in front of his mouth. “Gabriel is right. That will be a very difficult task.”

Dean snorts, taking a swig of his drink. “Mind letting us in on the secret since we, y’know, can’t read angel language or whatever?”

Gabe pipes up, tracing over the words with his finger in the book. “Says here we need the blood of the fallen… that means… a fallen angel and an Alpha… but…” Gabe knits his brows and grimaces, tilting his head back, “We also need Crowley’s blood. After we acquire those and mix them, we need a bone of someone righteous. We stab ‘em with that and it’s goodbye Leviathans, but all those ingredients are pretty hard to come by. There’s got to be something else…”

Gabe scans over the passage again and grins. “Ah-ha. Beheading them seems to at least slow them down, according to this. It probably wasn’t done often, but it says it was pretty effective if you kept the head a good distance away from the body…” Gabe turns and hands the book back to Sam, trying to keep his face blank.

****

Sam tucks the book back under his arm. "There's no point in just going after these things to behead them if we can kill them for real."

He looks over at Cas. "Castiel, you're a fallen angel, right? So we've got that covered. "

Dean frowns at him. "Maybe you wanna ask nicely, Sammy?"

Sam studies Castiel briefly. "We need it to kill the Leviathans. I don't know why you'd argue."

The stunned pause prompts him to continue.

"Crowley's blood shouldn't be too difficult to come by, but even if he's stubborn, that can wait until last. Bobby can call up some of his contacts to find an Alpha, I'll keep doing research...so all we need is a bone of someone righteous?"

Dean grimaces and waves his hands, barely remembering the drink in his hand. "Dude, not mine. Hands off."

Castiel just gives him a look. "We can find the bones of someone both righteous and /dead/, Dean."

"I should be able to find something online. I'll go look."

Sam turns to go back upstairs but Dean puts a hand on his arm. "Hey, you could, y'know, bring your computer down here, spend some quality time with us." Dean's trying to figure out what's wrong with him, Sam can tell, thinks that maybe he's just in shock.

He just looks to Cas and Gabriel briefly, then back at Dean. "No. I'd rather do research somewhere you won't interrupt me. The sooner we figure out the ingredients, the sooner we can go after the Leviathans. Work on the weapons, I'll do the book work."

Sam pulls away from Dean's grip and climbs the stairs back to his room.

****

Gabe watches the exchange with a sick feeling in his stomach. Sam would never be so blunt normally. Thankfully, Cas isn’t easily insulted and takes it in stride, nodding once and looking down at his feet. But Gabe isn’t just going to stand around and let Sam act like a douche and a half. Sam is only halfway up the stairs after rejecting Dean’s idea of spending some quality time with the group when Gabe takes off after him. He takes the stairs two at a time, nearly tripping over the top step, then walks over to the door of Sam’s room.

He stands there for a long time just staring at the wood paneling. He leans his forehead against the door and sighs softly, his hand falling to grasp the doorknob. He doesn’t really want to go in and have to confront Sam because he knows it’ll turn into some kind of argument. He’s also remembering the time they spent together in this room and somehow, it all feels wrong when Sam is acting the way he is. But that’s not enough to discourage him.

He finally opens the door and slips in, closing it behind him. He doesn’t move from that spot, eyes narrowed at Sam. “You’d better tell me what the hell is going on,” Gabe says, somehow managing to keep his voice level, “Because whatever that was downstairs just now, it’s not you.”

Gabe crosses his arms and stares at Sam, a little bit of impatience showing in his eyes. He hasn’t even been here for more than 30 minutes and he’s already angry.

****

Sam's barely back in the room when he hears the door open and close behind him and turns to see an annoyed-looking Gabriel behind him.

He just shrugs, unconcerned. "You're back from Purgatory, and we have work to do. " He really doesn't understand why everyone keeps wanting to talk about his feelings. They're trying to communicate with something that doesn't exist anymore, when all Sam wants to do is focus on the hunt.

Gabriel is just watching him, and his mind conjures up various memories of their interactions, but it's like watching a movie - he recognizes that at the time, he felt something, but now it's as if those emotions were someone else's. He admits that it's a bit...strange...but isn't too concerned.

****

“Seriously?” Gabe asks flatly, “I would have thought maybe you’d be happy to see me, at least!” Gabe slams his fist down on the table he’s standing next to, his eyes burning with rage as he looks at Sam. “After all the shit we went through in Purgatory, you can’t just pretend like…”

Gabe pauses and swallows hard, shaking his head. “And you know what? The way you treated Cas downstairs was pretty damn rude if you ask me.” Gabe crosses his arms over his chest and stares at Sam.

He wants to go to Sam, hug him tight and promise him things will never get that bad again, but it’s useless. Sam isn’t himself anymore and Gabe is worried they might never get him back at this rate. Whether Purgatory did this to him, he’s not entirely sure, but he’s ready to get to the bottom of it and have /his/ Sam back.

****

"What do you want me to say? That I missed you?"

He shrugs again but doesn't let Gabriel answer. If not having a soul keeps him from having to participate in all this messy, pointless whining, he's glad to be rid of it. Having emotions is clearly distracting.

"I was 'rude' to Castiel because taking time to persuade him into cooperating would have been a /waste/ of time. These Leviathans are out there killing, and we need to be hunting them down. I'm not going to apologize for that."

Sam can practically see Gabriel's feathers all ruffled in anger, the angel's eyes dark and furious. It's a good look for him, he thinks, his body reacting where his heart can't. He sets the book down and prowls over to Gabriel, leaning over him with a predatory smirk as he places both hands on the door on either side of the angel's head.

"Or is there something else you want from me?"

****

At Sam’s words, Gabe’s throat nearly closes up and all he can think is, /Yes, that’s exactly what I want you to say/. But Sam is already saying something else that Gabe doesn’t really give two shits about right now because Sam’s simple questions are ringing in his ears. Sam has always been the type to put forth a lot of emotion, but right now, it’s almost as if he’s been stripped of that ability.

Gabe snaps out of it when Sam comes over to him and traps him against the wall. He smells like strawberries and that makes Gabe’s gut clench painfully with the reminder of their shower not a week and a half before.

“What?” Gabe snaps, looking up into Sam’s eyes, “What the hell’s that supposed to mean?” He knows what Sam’s implying judging by the way he’s got Gabe cornered and his sultry eyes. But Gabe isn’t sure that he wants this, at least not with this Sam.

****

Sam doesn't answer Gabriel, distracted by the challenging tone of the angel's voice. He lets his right arm drop from the door, splaying his hand flat across Gabriel's chest and quickly sliding it down to press against Gabriel's cock. His teeth nip at Gabriel's neck as he rolls his hand.

"Why don't I /show/ you how much I missed you, hm?"

He's crowding Gabriel closer to the door as he speaks, until they're pressed body to body with just enough room for Sam's fingers to shift and slide in teasing strokes across the fabric of the angel's pants.

****

Gabe is absolutely floored. Sam – who had been so hesitant about having a relationship with another man – has got him pushed up against the wall, teasing him. He’s even dared to trail a hand to the crotch of Gabe’s pants and even though he wasn’t hard before, he’s definitely getting there now. Fuck, his body is betraying him.

“Sam,” Gabe grits out, trying not to moan at the sudden stimulation through his jeans, “This isn’t…” His sentence is cut off with a soft groan as Sam slides past a particularly sensitive spot and his cock jerks. Gabe just bites it back and grinds his teeth together, jaw set and eyes piercing.

“Stop it,” Gabe hisses, his voice dangerous, but his demands are half-hearted. Because yeah, he missed this part a lot. But this felt like cheating on the Sam he knows and loves, as silly as it sounds to him. His body, however, is screaming for this new, unfamiliar Sam. He doesn’t like it.

****

Sam can hear the tension in Gabriel's voice, and the groan his hand elicits sends electric flickers of lust through Sam's veins. He can feel Gabriel trying not to thrust into his hand; his dilemma is amusing when Sam can clearly tell the effect he's having. But he just brushes his hand past the same spot, rubbing and caressing.

He presses wet, open-mouthed, heavy kisses to Gabriel's exposed neck until his lips are just barely brushing the archangel's ear.

"You have your Grace back. Make me stop...make me do whatever you want, make me feel good," he practically purrs.

****

“Fuck off,” Gabe growls and pushes Sam back slightly, his breathing already ragged. He looks at Sam and just feels overwhelmed. His personality might be drastically different, but he’s still Sam somewhere in there. At least that’s what Gabe is hoping.

He can’t hold back anymore, not with Sam’s hot breath on his neck and Sam’s hand sliding over his erection through his jeans and that little smirk on Sam’s face. Gabe grabs Sam by the hair and yanks him down, their lips almost touching.

“Let’s set some ground rules,” Gabe snarls at him, his fingers knotting in Sam’s hair, pulling hard enough to hurt, “If we’re going to have a physical relationship, there’s not going to be any sex. At all. Is that clear?” Gabe lets his tongue trace across Sam’s bottom lip after he says it and deeply regrets it. The taste of Sam’s mouth makes him moan a little louder, his hips bucking against the hunter’s.

****

"Fine, whatever," he says. It's not like he can't find someone else to fuck after they've dealt with the Leviathans, and he'll take what he can get here for now. After all, Gabriel's good at what he does. And there's something to be said for being able to win over an archangel.

He chases Gabriel's tongue with his own, licking into his eager, moaning mouth as he knots his free hand in Gabriel's hair, tugging at the nape as his fingers slide through gold-brown waves.

But if he's going to play along with Gabriel's sudden change of heart regarding sex with him, he's not going to play fair. Sam's other hand twines in Gabriel's hair as they kiss, grinding their hips together, until he pulls back, panting.

"So, what /is/ allowed then?" he asks in a low, husky voice as he slides down Gabriel's front, hands dragging across the angel's chest, until he's kneeling. He mouths at Gabriel's cock through the fabric of his pants as his palms shove up under his shirt, splaying on furnace-hot, trembling skin. The look he gives, down on his knees, to Gabriel says that he really isn't asking, only waiting. This isn't about whatever feelings he might have had for this angel before; this is about watching Gabriel come apart under his mouth, his hands, shuddering and crying out /his/ name, Sam's name and no one else's.

****

The way Sam says those words make Gabriel cringe, as if he really doesn’t care at all about the fact that Gabe isn’t going to have sex with him. His thoughts are short-lived as Sam kisses him, pushing his hot tongue into Gabe’s mouth. Gabe wraps a shaking hand around Sam’s neck while the other stays tangled in Sam’s hair as their kiss deepens.

Then Sam pulls away and Gabe huffs impatiently, licking his lips. He doesn’t really have to wait long though, because Sam is slowly falling to his knees and Gabe makes a small noise of satisfaction. He moans as soon as Sam starts mouthing at his cock through his jeans, his knees shaking with the sudden stimulation, and he brings a hand up to his mouth to keep from making more noises.

Gabe gasps out through his fingers, “Just fucking do it, Sam. Don’t be a tease,” before canting his hips gently and whining softly. Sam may not be the same, but Gabe doesn’t care at this point. He’s completely blinded by lust and just wanting Sam, and if this is all he can get, he’ll gladly take it.

****

Sam's only reply to grin up at him, thriving on the noises Gabriel is trying to choke down. He scrapes his fingers down Gabriel's stomach, quickly undoing the archangel's jeans and yanking them down his thighs.

Sam would take the time to make Gabriel beg, but he has a feeling that he won't need to put in any extra effort to make that happen, the way Gabriel's already demanding him to suck him off.

Sam's more than willing to comply. He swallows Gabriel down almost as far as he can, lapping at Gabriel's shaft with quick, ruthless strokes of his tongue. Sam's hands press Gabriel against the door, holding his hips in a bruising grip as he slides his mouth.

His eyes never leave Gabriel's face.

****

Sam wastes no time, tugging Gabe’s pants down and sucking his cock down. Gabe lets out a strangled moan and arches his back as much he can in his position. Sam’s tongue on his cock is unbearable, the pleasure ripping through him and sending shocks up his spine. His moaning has gone from soft to loud and whorish and he’s certain that anyone who is downstairs can hear him.

He bucks his hips, pushing farther into Sam’s mouth with a shuddering gasp. His fingers stay knotted in Sam’s hair, pulling painfully hard. He’s already close and he has to push Sam’s head back at one point. “Fuck, slow down,” Gabe pants, shivering under Sam’s hands.

****

When he feels Gabriel's fingers yank his head back sharply, Sam pulls his mouth off of Gabriel's cock, glaring up at him for a moment before his reddened lips form a smirk. He laps lightly at the underside of Gabriel's shaft, flicking his tongue in teasing tastes as he rakes his fingers down from hip to thigh, scraping the skin.

Sam's mouth moves lower as his hand grips Gabriel's dick, pumping it in slow, tight strokes. He rolls one of Gabriel's balls into his mouth, sucking gently.

He's tempted to reach down to unbutton his own jeans but keeps a steadying hand on the angel's hip for now, even though his own cock is throbbing from arousal.

****

Gabe feels like he might pop at any given second as Sam teases him with his tongue, then with his hand. He’s so close already that it’s embarrassing. His knees buckle slightly and he has to struggle to keep himself up, leaning heavily against the door, his legs shaking. “Sam,” Gabe moans brokenly, his heart slamming against his ribcage, “You’re a prick.”

The tight ring that Sam’s hand is making around his cock is driving him absolutely wild, not to mention the feeling of Sam’s warm mouth on his balls. His Sam wouldn’t be so courageous, his Sam would be careful and hesitant and cautious. He would let Gabe take control of the situation and make him lead the way. But this Sam isn’t at all like that and while Gabe appreciates the wonderful blowjob he’s been receiving, he’s having his own internal struggle coming to terms with this.

****

Sam could care less what Gabriel thinks of him, but his words only fuel Sam's lust. He nips at Gabriel's thigh, trailing bites that he laves with his tongue. But then he's done teasing, ready to watch as Gabriel falls apart because of him.

"Watch," he murmurs hoarsely, as he shifts on his knees to accommodate his cock straining against his jeans. Sam shoves Gabriel's hips back against the door as he swallows his cock down again, hollowing his cheeks as he sucks ruthlessly. He's going to have Gabriel sobbing his name as he comes, and he'd grin, but his mouth is otherwise occupied.

****

The teasing continues for what seems like an eternity and then Sam mutters a demand that Gabe can’t refuse. He stares down at Sam with half-lidded eyes, his mouth open and panting, his chest heaving. He can feel the familiar coiling sensation in his spine and he’s not sure he can hang on much longer. Not that he had planned on it anyway.

The pressure is building and Gabe can barely see Sam because his vision is blurry. One of his hands comes down to press over Sam’s eyes as Gabe comes hard, his entire body quivering as he chants Sam’s name over and over again. Across the room, a lamp falls off the bedside table and the bulb is obliterated into tiny shard of glass.

“Damnit,” Gabe mumbles as he removes his hand from Sam’s eyes and looks over at the broken lamp. But that’s the least of his worries now, because Sam is still on his knees and it’s his turn now.

****

Well, that certainly didn't take long. He must be getting better at this, Sam thinks, as Gabriel trembles and moans. Points for the lamp too, but he'll have to remember later to avoid the glass.

He stays on his knees, too hard and aroused to bother getting up after watching Gabriel come so hard he shook. Instead, Sam yanks his own jeans open and down, hissing in relief as his cock is freed. He licks his palm slowly, still watching Gabriel, before taking himself in hand, steadying himself with a hand spread on the door.

"Feel free to help," he says, arching an eyebrow at the angel.

****

Gabe is still recovering from his orgasm when Sam unzips his jeans and pulls his own cock out. Gabe is incredibly tempted to snap himself away because he feels like he doesn’t owe this Sam the pleasure. But the way Sam looks right now, almost desperate to touch his own cock, has Gabe licking his lips. Without a second’s hesitation, he sinks to his knees in front of Sam and grabs his shoulders, yanking him up and turning him so that his back is now pressed against the door.

Gabe wastes no time dropping to his knees and smacking Sam’s hand away, taking it into his own grasp and working Sam painfully slow. Gabe stares up at the hunter, his lips wet and ready and slowly forming into a smirk. Even if Sam isn’t himself, Gabe still has this effect on him, and that says something at least.

He takes his hand off of Sam’s dick and quickly replaces it with his mouth, licking a long, clean stripe up the underside of his cock. He laps up the generous amount of pre-come dripping down the head of Sam’s cock, the taste causing Gabe to moan. He takes the head into his mouth and sucks hard, looking up at Sam the whole time. One of his hands has already dropped to cradle Sam’s balls, taking turns rolling them in his palm.

****

Gabriel's tongue on his cock is much, /much/ better than his own spit-slicked hand. He can't help the panting that escapes him as he fists his hands in Gabriel's hair, his eyes meeting Gabriel's, letting the angel watch him gasp and writhe in sheer pleasure. He can't feel love or anything like it anymore, but he can certainly still feel physical desire, and Gabriel's hand gripping his balls and his tongue lapping at the head of his cock. His eyes are flashing gold, dangerous, but Sam just luxuriates in it.

"/Fuck/ yes," he growls in a toothy grin, not caring that Gabriel is furious at him, not caring about anything at all except the tension building in his groin.

****

The sounds that Sam is making above Gabe are sending a new spike of arousal through him. He’s already half hard again despite his best efforts to keep his cool and that makes him so angry that he pops off of Sam and growls up at him. Then he’s sucking him down again, all the way to the hilt, Sam’s cock slamming into the back of his throat. He sucks ruthlessly, his tongue swirling around the shaft. He rakes his teeth gently across the head when he reaches it each time, before swallowing Sam down again.

But it’s not enough, it doesn’t even begin to quench the rage that Gabe is feeling right now. He yanks Sam’s pants all the way to his ankles and pulls off of him. He stands up and grabs Sam’s upper arms, jerking him around and pushing him backwards. Their legs tangle in Gabe’s mad dash to get him to the bed and they fall in the pile of shattered glass. Gabe doesn’t care much, however, because he’s already shoving Sam’s legs apart, ghosting his finger over Sam’s entrance before pushing in to the first knuckle.

****

When Gabriel deep-throats him, Sam chokes, barely able to catch his breath as he's lost in the movement of Gabriel's tongue and the teeth scraping the sensitive skin at the head of his cock. The feeling is too new, still too different, for him to be able to bite back the moan that rips out of his throat.

He's just starting to feel close to coming when Gabriel /stops/, ire and wrath blazing in his darkened eyes. Suddenly, the angel is yanking up, shoving him roughly towards the bed, and maybe he's rethought his earlier ground rules, Sam thinks. They collapse to the floor, Sam landing with a loud thud on the floor, the almost-powered glass digging into him through his shirt and the breath knocked from his lungs.

It's probably a good thing he's unable to breathe, though, because he's barely hit the ground when Gabriel clambers back just far enough to press one finger into him.

It's, it's...Sam gasps with the unfamiliar sensation, the slight burn at even the small amount of stretching. His body tenses but he slowly forces it to relax.

He might not be the same Sam as before, but he's definitely still out of his depth here. His heart thuds in panic, a sensation that's surprisingly unexpected. Sam doesn't know how the situation changed so rapidly, but he waits to see what Gabriel will do, his body's conflicting signals rapidly becoming overwhelming even without the added confusion of emotion.

****

Gabe can tell that Sam is uncomfortable and it brings a malicious grin to his face. “Not so confident now, are you, big boy?” Gabe drawls as he licks his lips and pushes his finger in to the second knuckle. His other hand comes up to grip Sam’s cock, still slick with spit. He makes a tight ring with his fingers and pumps him hard and fast as he buries his finger all the way in. He crooks his finger and starts to thrust it in and out, slow at first, then picking up his pace as Sam relaxes around him.

He keeps a steady pace, watching Sam the whole time, that evil grin never leaving his lips. In the back of his head, a small and nagging voice tells him he may regret this one day, but he ignores it for now.

****

Gabriel's grinning at him, more wrathful Trickster than angel now. Sam's throat lets out a choked-off noise of shock as Gabriel pushes his finger deeper, but when his other hand returns to Sam's cock, Sam's drowning in the skilled twist of his hand as the pain diminishes.

"Fuck, fuck, /fuck/-" Sam's moaning and writhing under Gabriel's touch, pleasure flooding his body as he throws his head back, not caring about the glass underneath him, focused only on Gabriel's infuriating, teasing hands that know just how to take him apart. His body doesn't know whether to thrust up into Gabriel's one hand or back onto the other as his finger strokes inside him. Frustration provokes a keening sound deep from his chest.

****

Gabe doesn’t let up, increasing the speed and pressure of his hand on Sam’s cock while his finger continues to slide in and out of Sam roughly. After a minute of torturing Sam, Gabe replaces his hand with his mouth, mercilessly sucking him off, the flat of his tongue poking and prodding Sam’s shaft.

Gabe can’t help moaning around Sam, the action sending vibrations through the hunter’s cock. The fact that Gabe is ready to come again already is driving him up the wall and as much as he wants to reach down and stroke himself, he refrains.

****

When Gabriel swallows him back down, Sam arches off the floor with a cry that's quieter than he would have thought, if he was capable of concentrating long enough to think right now. Feeling the angel's moans pushes him closer and closer to the edge as he bucks his hips and rakes his fingers down his own thighs, leaving stinging red lines on the skin. The pain makes Sam practically yelp, but it blends into the stretch and burn and suction Gabriel is torturing him with, and it's too much.

He comes silently, without crying Gabriel's name this time - because he doesn't care that it's Gabriel, only that his veins are singing with the sensation - just groaning as his orgasm sweeps through him and he spills down Gabriel's throat. For a moment his vision sears white, but then he's gasping and the room reappears around him.

****

Gabe pulls away almost immediately, wiping at his mouth with his sleeve. He stands up, pulling his pants up and fastening them. He’s about to bolt, the sick feeling in his stomach intensifying as his starts to think about what he’s just done. He turns on his heel and starts towards the door, but ends up stopping in the middle of the room, looking over his shoulder at Sam.

“I’d really fucking appreciate it if you’d just tell me what’s going on with you, Sam.” His facial expression reads angry and frustrated, but his eyes say something entirely different. They’re sad and hopeless, darker and duller than they usually are. He can’t even stand to look at Sam for more than a few seconds, his eyes averting to stare at the now empty space on the bedside table.

****

Sam manages to catch his breath and stand on shaky legs, pulling up his own jeans and buttoning them as he blinks to focus. Where he'd normally be lethargic and want to nap, now he just needs a moment to recover. And Gabriel doesn't look to be in the staying and napping mood, even if they didn't have other things to focus on.

He doesn't want to tell Gabriel about the deal with Crowley. He notices that the angel looks saddened, but he made the deal to bring Gabriel back. Regardless of his sentimental reasons at the time, they need him and his power to take down the Leviathans. And he's satisfied without his soul, not burdened by guilt and love and hunger and exhaustion. He doesn't need the drama that will ensue if he reveals his deal.

"There's nothing wrong with me, Gabriel. Look at me, I'm fine. Made it back in one piece." He spreads his arms wide, mouth set. While his body appreciates what they've just done, his mind reminds him that they have a job. He's a hunter, now that he's satisfied his hormones or whatever, he needs to focus.

****

The words that come out of Sam’s mouth shouldn’t really surprise Gabe, but they still manage to tug at his heart painfully. He just exhales loudly and walks the rest of the way to the door, throwing it open. “Okay,” Gabe mumbles before walking out and slamming the door behind him. He doesn’t look back once.

He stomps down the stairs and spots Cas and Dean sitting incredibly close to each other and his stomach flips uncomfortably. It’s not the time for him to dredge up those stupid memories of him and Sam together on the sofa. Those moments seem so far away, almost like they happened in a dream. Stupid.

He advances into the living room and Cas raises his eyes to meet Gabriel’s. His brother must instantly recognize pain there, because he frowns and stands up abruptly.

“Are you all right?” Cas asks softly, stealing a not-so-furtive glance at Dean. Gabe just shrugs.

“No, Gabriel, what is it? What happened up there?” Dean asks with an edge to his voice. He almost sounds nervous.

“Nothing happened. He insists nothing is wrong, so I just left it alone.” Gabe looks down at his feet and rubs the back of his neck. Dean’s not buying it, but that’s no surprise. The older hunter stands and crosses his arms.

“You can tell us if something happened...” Dean says, his voice actually soft. But Gabe doesn’t want anyone’s pity and the simple statement is enough to send him over the edge.

“I don’t… I don’t know what happened. I just… I need some air. Cas knows how to get in touch with me if he needs to.” He nods to his brother and then to Dean before snapping his fingers.

-

He ends up in Balthazar’s living room but it looks like the other angel isn’t there, so he makes himself at home. He retreats to the guest room; it’s luxurious, with tons of antiques littered around on various tables and chests. A large armoire sits in the corner by a gigantic bay window and the king-sized bed sits against the wall opposite. It’s the most comfortable thing Gabriel has ever laid on and he thinks it’s kind of silly that an angel who doesn’t need to sleep owns a bed like this.

He flops down on the mattress now, burying his face in the sheets that smell piney. It’s unfamiliar and he crinkles his nose in disgust. He can’t stop thinking about how vacant Sam’s face looked when he first saw him, how absolutely empty his eyes were. Even the time they spent together in Sam’s bedroom was strange and stale. There was only lust and sexual desire there, at least on Sam’s part.

Gabe groans into the pillows and sniffs, slamming his fists down against the plush mattress. He hears the door squeak open and looks up to see Balthazar standing in the doorway.

“Have a row with your boyfriend?” Balthazar teases, but when Gabe doesn’t say anything, Balthazar quickly shuts his mouth. They sit in silence for a long time before Gabe finally sighs and scratches his ear.

“I don’t know what the hell is going on with Sam. It’s like he has no emotions anymore.” Gabe’s mouth twists up painfully remembering the nice little greeting he received at the bottom of the stairs. Balthazar just looks confused.

“That seems rather odd. Do you think Purgatory could have had something to do with it?”

Gabe sighs loudly. “I don’t know, nor do I care right now. I need a drink.” Gabe scrubs his hands over his face and Balthazar laughs softly, reaching to pat his brother gently on the shoulder.

“That’s the spirit. Just come down to the sitting room when you’re ready.” Balthazar disappears and Gabe just smiles to himself. Balthazar always knows how to make a guy feel better. He gets up and trudges downstairs, the promise of booze and possibly forgetting this day all he needs right now.

****

Gabriel slams the door behind him, leaving Sam to brush bits of glass off his shirt and get back to his research. But just as he boots up his laptop, the door slams back open and Dean is striding across the room to grab him and slam him against the wall.

"What the /fuck/ is going on with you? What did you do to Gabe?"

"Nothing he didn't ask for." He pries Dean's hands off of him, forcing his brother back. Huh, seems like he got a little extra strength in the bargain too. Dean's eyes widen as he moves back.

"Sammy...what did you do?"

Sam's brow furrows in confusion - does Dean mean to Gabriel or to himself? Either way, he's not saying anything.

"Look, Dean, it's me. I don't know what you want me to say. I'm not a demon, I'm just different."

Dean just watches him, something like fear flashing across his face for a brief instant. "I don't believe you," he says softly.

Sam pads over to the nightstand, yanks open the drawer, and grabs the bottle of holy water inside. Looking pointedly at Dean, he unscrews the cap and takes a deep drink. He almost expected something to happen, but he just raises an eyebrow at his brother.

"Happy? Because right now there are who knows how many Leviathans snacking on the civilian population that we need to find and kill. You can worry about not liking me later."

"Fine." Dean stalks back out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

Five hours later, Sam's knee-deep in recent police reports and ancient texts when Dean comes back, panting from his run up the stairs.

"There's a Leviathan in Dyersburg, Tennessee. We gotta go."

-

Downstairs, Bobby had pulled Sam aside and questioned him, voicing the same concerns as everyone else, but the look he had given Sam when he had shrugged the complaints off like before was far more penetrating, like he had some idea of what had happened.

Dean's antsy, trying to question Sam about the magical bone-and-blood weapon as they pack up, but he's determined to go and fight the Leviathan despite their last efforts.

"We need to behead them, that's the only thing that's going to work without the bone weapon. Besides, that only works once, and I have a feeling there probably aren't enough righteous people remains left over to gank all the Leviathans. We don't even know how many there are."

Dean clenches his fist. "Would be nice if Gabe was here."

Sam doesn't even answer him, too busy trying to find a machete. They need the archangel, but he's not too concerned. Castiel can always call him from wherever he's gone.

The seven-hour car ride would have been less-than-enjoyable, but Castiel transports them to Dyersburg in an instant. They reappear inside what's left of some sort of science classroom. Shrill screams echo in the hallway outside as students and teachers run past the windows and the gaping hole where the door had been.

This Leviathan is smaller but still nearly eight feet tall. It's covered in sharp barbs, its skin oozing and cracking as it chases after a gangly teenager. There are still students trapped in the room, they realize.

"Cas, get the kids out!"

Dean and Sam sprint at the monster, who lets out a shrill roar and charges at them. Sam is knocked against a lab station, cracking his back against the hard countertop, but it hurts less than he expected. Dean's thrown across the room by the Leviathan, landing with a grunt of pain behind the teacher's desk. Castiel has reappeared after removing the last of the civilians, and he pulls an angel blade from his sleeve. Dean's gotten to his feet, although he's still shaken, and dives back into the fight.

Sam can tell they're losing five minutes later. He almost doesn't care, the thrill and adrenaline of the fight making him grin wildly as he slashes at the monster when he can. But they're being flung across just about every surface of the room in turn and apart from almost hacking one of the creature's limbs off they're no closer to killing it.

When Dean loses his weapon, he manages to fling the Leviathan at the cleaning station with a well-placed smack with a lab stool. Suddenly, the Leviathan is shrieking, its skin burning and smoking as a tub of liquid pours from a shelf above. It flails, swiping Castiel with its claws. The angel crumples, slowly healing the grievous wound to his vessel, as the Leviathan advances on Dean.

Sam doesn't reach them in time to stop the creature from crushing Dean in its grip tightly enough that his brother screams, his ribs cracking. The Leviathan tosses his limp body aside as it spots a small cluster of children screaming and running outside. It bursts through the window, spraying glass everywhere as it rages from the pain of the cleaning fluid still dissolving its skin.

Dean struggles on the floor, blood dribbling from his lips. Sam can see how twisted and wrong his torso looks, sharp ribs poking through the skin. Castiel is barely moving, and Dean's eyes flicker first to him and then back to Sam.

"Sammy, help, please..." he begs, reaching out for his brother. But Sam has more important things to do than wait with Dean while he dies. Besides, Castiel will probably heal him. He looks down at his brother with hard, neutral eyes for just a moment, then takes off after the Leviathan. He has a monster to kill.

****

It’s been at least a couple of hours since Gabe showed up at Balthazar’s and the two are already wasted despite it being so early in the day. Gabe lies in the middle of the floor, a bottle of expensive, aged whiskey sitting next to him. His face is hot and flushed, the alcohol working wonders at drowning out all the events from this morning. Balthazar is sitting in his chair guffawing loudly at some joke Gabe has just told, but he honestly can’t even remember what he said. It was obviously pretty funny.

He’d made Balthazar promise he wouldn’t bring up Sam, or Cas or Dean. He didn’t want to hear any of it. He just wanted to have a good time. He sits up and rubs at his eyes with the back of his hand while he takes a swig of whiskey.

“There was this one time… and listen to this… there was this guy, right? Total asshole, cheated on all his girlfriends, thought he was the hottest shit. You know what I did? Guess!” Gabriel slurs with a chuckle, lying back down on the floor.

“I have no idea. With you, I never know what to expect,” Balthazar mumbles shaking his head and smiling. Gabe just chortles and closes his eyes, feeling the warmth of the alcohol in his belly.

“He walks into his dorm one night and there’s a fucking harem of women just standing around him. Shoulda seen the look on his face, it was priceless. In the end, he had sex for so long he had a heart attack and died. Happy way to go, I’d say. I went easy on him.” Gabe laughs and Balthazar snickers to himself, still shaking his head.

Balthazar looks like he’s about to say something but his face falls and he turns to look at Gabriel sprawled on the floor. “Do you hear that? It sounds like Castiel.” Gabe can hear it, but he’s been choosing to ignore it. He doesn’t want to have to deal with them right now, especially if they’re just going to interrogate him about Sam.

“Yeah, he was trying to reach me earlier but I just tuned him out. Not really in the mood…”

Balthazar cuts him off, his face grave. “It sounds like they’re in danger. You should go to them.”

Gabe is about to open his mouth to make some snide remark about how they can probably handle it themselves but he feels a change in atmosphere and he sits up, confused.

He’s not in Balthazar’s house anymore. Instead, he’s lying on the floor of what looks like a classroom and across the room, Cas is crouched over someone’s body. It’s Dean. Gabe’s eyes widen and he sobers up within seconds. He stands and sprints across the room, dropping to his knees next to Castiel.

Cas starts in on him, but his voice is weak and not very threatening. Still, the fact that Cas is scolding him makes Gabe feel a pang of guilt for not coming sooner. “Gabriel, I tried to call you, why didn’t you come?”

“I was busy, I didn’t realize things were…” He glances down at Dean’s broken body and visibly cringes. The damage is severe, but he can definitely repair it. Now isn’t the time to be explaining when he could be fixing Dean up. “Cas, you can heal yourself, right?”

Cas nods and Gabe immediately gets to work on Dean, mending his broken ribs and crushed internal organs. As he’s working, he notices that Sam isn’t around and Gabe quirks a brow.

“Where is Sam?” he asks with a hint of annoyance in his voice. Dean sharply inhales but doesn’t say anything. Gabe isn’t sure if it’s because he just re-inflated Dean’s left lung or if it was the mention of his brother.

“He went to chase after the Leviathan,” Cas says simply, healing a large, weeping wound on his arm, “He left Dean and I here to fend for ourselves.” There is a hint of anger in Castiel’s voice, something that Gabriel hasn’t heard very often, and it makes him realize how serious the situation was.

“What the fuck is wrong with him?” Gabe growls through gritted teeth. He’s pissed at himself for not coming when Cas called initially, but he’s even more upset with Sam. He left his own brother here to die without a second thought. He doesn’t have time to sit and worry about what Sam did and didn’t do right now though, because he can hear the faint cries of people from somewhere on the grounds. He fixes up the last of Dean’s wounds and stands up, holding out a hand to the older Winchester.

“Feel better?” Gabe asks, his face eerily serious. Dean nods and grabs Gabe’s hand to pull himself to his feet.

“I dunno what the hell is goin’ on with Sam, but we need to get a move on. This Leviathan isn’t gonna kill itself.” Dean kneels down next to Cas and places a hand on his shoulder. “You okay to fight?” Cas nods and stands, his trench coat still bloodied despite his healed wounds.

Dean turns to look at Gabe, and he’s genuinely surprised when Dean pulls him into a tight hug and says, “Thanks,” so quietly against his ear, he’s not sure even Cas would be able to hear it. Dean detaches himself from the archangel – who is looking wholly shocked – and takes off towards the door as if nothing happened. Castiel just shrugs and follows after him.

-

Within minutes, they’re face-to-face with the Leviathan again. It seems to be struggling a little bit, its skin looking blistered and cracked. “What the hell did you do to it?” Gabe asks with genuine interest as he snaps his fingers and his archangel blade appears in his hand. Dean and Cas glance at each other, befuddled, before Dean takes off, flanking the Leviathan. Gabe’s question remains unanswered.

Out of the corner of his eye, he catches a glimpse of Sam who is surprisingly not that beaten up despite fighting this thing by himself. Gabe has to hold himself back from going over there and kicking his ass instead. He glances at Cas and back up at the Leviathan, trying to get his mind back on track.

“Cas, you take the left side with Dean and I’ll attack it head on.” Before Cas can agree to this plan, Gabe in running towards the thing with his blade out, ready to strike. Whether it’s pure luck or skill or the fact that he’s just so damn angry, he manages to get a good swipe at the Leviathan’s neck, cutting the skin there deep and eliciting a loud screech from the monster. Gabe goes for the kill, successfully beheading the creature in one fluid motion with his blade. He drops back down to his feet and watches as the creature writhes and splutters, its body stilling after a few long moments.

They did it. They killed the Leviathan.

****

Sam chases the Leviathan across the yard. It looks like most of the students, except for this one incredibly stupid group, have evacuated the area. He sprints closer, relishing the burn in his lungs, as he yells, managing to distract it from its prey and turn to face him instead.

Whatever chemicals spilled onto it in the classroom are causing serious damage to its skin. It's shrieking in pain, flailing its many limbs in Sam's direction as it lunges for him with its dripping maw.

He manages to land a few blows, scoring its body with his blade, but nothing mortal; when the thing lunges for him, he escapes its attacks with only a few glancing cuts - although the one just below his hairline could have been serious. He narrows his eyes, glaring at the Leviathan as he battles it, fueled by the instincts of a hunter focused only on his quarry.

Suddenly Gabriel, Castiel, and Dean appear, running towards him. Dean's been healed, as he'd thought would happen, but Castiel must have called his brother from wherever he was.

Between them, they manage to behead the Leviathan, Gabriel delivering the killing blow. It's messy but effective. Sam catches his breath, then tramps back to the classroom.

Borax.

He grabs the container and jogs back out to the Leviathan's corpse, pouring some out on its body just to be sure. The resulting hiss and bubble of a chemical reaction tells him he was right.

"It's Borax. They're...allergic...to Borax."

This levels the playing field, that's for sure. He wipes his bloodied machete on the grass as he kneels down to pick up the Leviathan's head, ignoring the others as he studies it.

"We should bring this with us, bury it at Bobby's somewhere. Safer than burying it here with the body."

****

Gabe watches Sam intently, silently fuming at his nonchalance. He doesn’t care about Borax or the Leviathan or anything about this stupid case right now. What he does care about is the fact that Sam left his brother to die. But now is not the time nor place for confrontation. The few students and faculty that remain are starting to filter back into the school and this body needs to be disposed of before anyone starts asking questions.

“We need to get out of here before those nosy teenagers start prying,” Gabe says with urgency, going to stand by the body, “Cas, can you take Sam and Dean back to Bobby’s and bury the head? I’ll take this somewhere else.”

Cas nods and zaps the three away and Gabe growls under his breath. He snaps his fingers and he ends up in a large field somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Montana. He pushes the body up to the edge of the forest surrounding the field and over the embankment, hidden from sight, before snapping his fingers and instantly burying it in the ground.

A noise startles Gabe and he wheels around to see Crowley standing behind him, clapping his hands together slowly.

“Bravo! That was quite a show you put on back there.” Crowley’s mouth turns up into a malicious smile and Gabe can’t help his sneer at the demon.

“What the hell do you want? I don’t have time to deal with you right now, Crowley,” Gabe mutters as he stalks past the demon, hands clenched into fists. Crowley snorts and shakes his head.

“You really are such a brat, Gabriel. I came to congratulate you on your victory, of course.”

Gabe knows better than to fall for that, though. He spins around and faces the demon, his eyes narrowed. “Fuck off, Crowley. I’ve fallen for that trick one too many times.” Gabe turns his back again and starts to walk away before Crowley’s voice echoes through the barren field.

“Ah, yes, fooling the Trickster isn’t as hard as it seems. Tell me, how is Sam?”

Gabe glares at Crowley over his shoulder and something in the demon’s face makes Gabe suspicious. “Why are you asking me? I’m sure you’ve been spying.”

“Not in the least. I’ve been kept busy with my own problems.”

“Right. And what problems does the King of Hell have exactly?”

“You would be surprised.”

Gabe throws up his hands and frustration and stomps a few more feet away. He stops abruptly, about to snap back to Bobby’s, but something is nagging at him.

“If you know something about what happened to Sam, you’d better tell me,” Gabe snarls as he turns to look at Crowley again. His eyes are burning with rage and even Crowley cowers slightly.

“Don’t be an idiot. I can barely keep up with the carryings on of the Winchesters,” Crowley says steadily. He keeps his face straight the whole time and Gabe isn’t convinced, but he’s honestly too pissed off to care much.

“Great. Keep it that way. Later.” With that, Gabriel snaps his fingers and he’s gone, leaving Crowley behind.

-

When Gabe walks into Bobby’s, the rest of the gang is sitting in the living room with grim expressions on their face, except for Sam. Gabe can already feel the rage rising, remembering how Dean looked crushed and broken on the floor of that classroom, how Cas had been helpless and scared.

But he bites his tongue and waits for someone to say something, anything.

****

When Gabriel reappears, Sam is scrolling through the Internet looking for more information on borax while Dean, Cas, and Bobby sit near him, waiting for Gabriel to return.

When Gabriel enters the room, Sam looks up briefly before continuing his research.

"God /damn/ it, Sammy, what the /hell/ is going on?!" Dean leaps off the couch, fists balled in rage like Sam's rarely seen. He's taken aback but far from frightened by his brother's show of anger. Dean's fine, Castiel's fine, what's the big deal?

"Dean, maybe-" Bobby starts to say, but Dean cuts him off with a motion.

"No, Bobby, we need to settle this /now/. Start talking."

When Sam doesn't say anything, Dean reaches for his gun, but Castiel stops him with a hand on his arm, although he doesn't look too enthusiastic about keeping Dean from his weapon.

Sam watches them. "What do you want me to say? We did what we went there for, you're fine, Castiel's fine."

"Tell me what the /fuck/ happened to you? We get back from Purgatory and you're suddenly-" Dean waves his arms at Sam wildly as he yells, "-like, like this! You left me to /die/, Sam!"

"I don't care."

Dean falls silent, shocked.

****

Gabe listens to the little fight intently, trying to find any sign of remorse or guilt in Sam’s voice. He’s not expecting the comment that comes from Sam’s mouth. It sounds so wrong. The anger that has been building inside of Gabe has come crashing down over his head like a gigantic wave.

Sam didn’t care that Dean was dying, just like he didn’t care that Gabe was alive. Sam doesn’t care and that’s all there is to it.

Gabe’s feet are moving before he has time to register what he’s doing. The rage is swelling through him and he has to fight his own body to contain his Grace. He grabs Sam from the chair he’s sitting in, yanking him up and shoving him against the nearby wall. He holds him up by his collar and despite how short Gabe is comparatively, he’s managed to get up in Sam’s face. All of a sudden, all the words he’s been keeping to himself just start pouring out of his mouth, his voice quivering with fury.

“You didn’t fucking /care/? Are you serious, Sam? Dean is your brother!” He slams a fist into Sam’s chest, right in the solar plexus. “You can treat me like shit. I’ll get over it. But Dean is your fucking family! He was dying right in front of you and you just…”

Gabe has to stop and catch his breath, gnashing his teeth together to keep from beating the shit out of Sam. “Whatever you did, Sam, whatever kind of twisted shit you’ve gotten yourself involved in, it’s /not/ fucking okay!” Gabe swings his fist again, this time at Sam’s face, a direct hit to the left cheek. “You’re a monster! Hell, at this rate, you’d probably be better off sitting in that cage with Lucifer and Michael!”

Gabe is visibly shaking now, his entire being rippling with frustration and anger and scariest of all, a divine power that should not, under any circumstances, be coming out here. “You might be a better hunter now, but you’re a shitty person, Sam!” Then, he taps his knuckles against Sam’s head, screaming at him now. “Hey, Sam, the /real/ Sam, if you’re in there, just letting you know everyone fucking /hates/ you! Everything I told you before, I take it back!”

He’s about to deck Sam in the face again when he feels arms tugging him back. “Enough, Gabriel,” Cas says, his voice low. As tempted as Gabe is to break free from Cas’ grasp – because he definitely could – he relaxes in his brother’s arms instead. He’s emotionally drained and if he doesn’t stop now, Sam might not live much longer.

Cas drags him to the couch and they sit down together, Cas keeping a hand on Gabe’s shoulder. He’s not sure if it’s for comfort or to make sure he doesn’t get up and start bashing Sam’s skull in.

****

Gabriel starts screaming at him, suddenly slamming him into the wall with all the power of an archangel fully fueled by his Grace. It's not a good position for Sam to be in, the focus and cause of Gabriel's wrath, even though he barely feels the blows to his chest and face.

What Gabriel says, though, it...resonates with him. He doesn't feel guilty, or ashamed, or even angry, only pays more attention to the words than he has to anything any of them has said since he made the deal with Crowley that didn't have to do with hunting the Leviathans. Perhaps...he was starting to wonder about not having his soul.

Then Castiel is pulling Gabriel back to sit with him on the couch, and the look on Gabriel's face is intense. With anger or grief or a little of both, Sam thinks, trying to remember what it felt like to feel those emotions coursing through him. But it's already difficult even to recall what /feeling/ is like. He stays silent, watching the people he used to love stare at him like /he's/ the monster. Hm.

Chapter Text

They all sit in silence for what feels like hours before Gabe finally composes himself. Cas stands and moves closer to Dean before proposing an idea that Gabe had been dreading. “We should do a reading of Sam’s soul,” Cas suggests, looking at Sam. Gabe has seen this plenty of times but he never thought they’d have to do it to Sam. It’s not exactly the most pleasant experience in the world and despite Sam’s complete and utter lack of caring, it’s not going to change the fact that it will hurt like hell.

“Cas, that’s…” Dean starts before Cas cuts him off.

“It’s the only way we’re going to figure out what is going on with Sam.” Dean nods hesitantly before looking at Sam. Gabe raises his eyes to look at Sam as well and he feels a sharp bite of guilt at the words he said before.

“Gabriel, would you like to do the reading?” Cas’ question earns him a sharp glare from Dean.

“Dude, Cas, that’s like him askin’ you to do that to me.” Cas stares up at Dean for a moment, his blue eyes hazy, before realization strikes him.

“Then I will do the reading,” Cas says apologetically and motions to a chair, “Sam, please sit. This will only take a few moments. Gabriel, Dean, I will need you to hold him down and keep him very still while I work.”

****

His body tenses instantly when Sam hears Castiel's suggestion. While they're arguing about it, watching him, studying him, he tries to determine the quickest way to escape. He can't let them read his soul, because then they'll discover that he doesn't /have/ one - something they'll certainly notice.

When they come to an agreement that Castiel will do the reading, Sam's fists clench. "I'm not doing this, /don't touch me/," he hisses at them. Whatever they're going to do, it's probably not going to be pleasant. He raises his hands, ready to fight them off if need be.

****

Gabe was 97% certain Sam would try to resist them, but he’s already moved close to the hunter. He grabs Sam’s arm tightly, jostling him around a bit. “You’re not going anywhere, buddy.” He nods to Dean who grabs Sam’s other arm and they force him down into a nearby chair.

Cas approaches cautiously, watching Sam with wary eyes. Gabe sees his hesitation and grits his teeth. “Cas, come on. We can’t hold him forever.” Cas looks at Gabriel, nods, and comes to lean over Sam. He presses his hand to Sam’s chest and closes his eyes.

“We’re ready to begin the reading. Gabriel, Dean, please hold Sam very still.” Without another warning, Cas’ hand delves into Sam’s chest, a strange light emanating from the area. Gabe is gripping Sam tight enough to snap the bone in his arm if he even moves a fraction of an inch.

Gabe knows that it can’t be pleasant and despite the fact that Gabe is incredibly angry at Sam, he feels a little sympathy for him.

****

Sam might be strong, but he's no match for his brother and an archangel whose grip is like iron. He's pushed into a chair, his continued protestations ignored, and held down as Castiel moves in, hesitating for just a moment before rolling up his sleeve and plunging his hand in.

Pain, white-hot and searing. It's worse than the time Zachariah removed his lungs, worse than being shot or stabbed. Whatever Castiel's doing has reawakened his nerve endings or something, because he doesn't remember the last time something hurt like this. He can't move, can't breathe, his eyes are rolling back in his head as he jerks under Castiel's hand, jaw locking as he shakes. It's just this side of a seizure, and then it's over.

He sucks in a huge gasp of air as his body relaxes, aftershocks still quivering through him. Castiel is watching him, wide-eyed in shock and a little fear.

"Cas, what is it? What's wrong with his soul?" Dean's panicking at the look on the angel's face as he holds Sam in place.

Castiel looks between Dean and Gabriel, then back at Sam. "What's wrong with his soul is that he," he swallows, blue eyes huge, "He doesn't have one."

****

Gabe fights to keep Sam still under his hands, but the procedure is over in a flash. Cas steps back, looking absolutely horrified. His answer to Dean’s questions makes Gabe’s stomach fall through the floor as he looks down at Sam.

“What do you mean? What the hell, Sammy!” Dean shouts, shaking Sam with enough force to move the chair back a few inches.

Gabe can’t say anything, his throat tight and dry. Sam’s soul is gone, but why? He highly doubts that Purgatory has anything to do with this. But what else could have happened? Then, it hits him. Crowley. He had already been suspicious of the demon when he showed up to “congratulate” Gabe on a job well done with the Leviathan. And he asked about Sam which Gabe had found odd.

“Crowley,” Gabe chokes out drily, meeting Castiel’s eyes, “It’s Crowley.”

Everyone stares at him.

Dean is the first to speak. “That son of a… Sam, what the /hell/ were you thinking?”

Before he can get another word in though, Gabe interrupts. “It doesn’t matter. What’s done is done. We have to find Crowley, get Sam’s soul back. That’s the only solution to this problem.”

Gabe starts towards the door, needing fresh air. He steals a glance at Sam before turning away and walking out the door.

****

Dean's shouting at him, shaking him, but he endures it without comment, breathing normally again as the ache in his chest recedes.

But then it happens - Gabriel puts two and two together. Shit. He tells the others about Crowley, then stalks outside.

Sam struggles in Dean's grip, but his movements become even more wild and desperate as Castiel approaches with two fingers raised. At the angel's touch, he slumps in the chair, leaving Dean and Cas to watch him.

"Put him in the panic room for now. We'll-" he swallows hard, looking up at Cas. "-we'll figure something out."

Cas takes Dean's hand off Sam and entwines his fingers with Dean's. "We know a lot more than we did a few minutes ago, Dean. We'll get Sam's soul back." He presses dry lips to Dean's forehead, furrowed with worry.

"I'll take care of Sam."

Dean nods wordlessly and follows Gabe outside. He grabs the angel's arm. "What the fuck do you know about Crowley? What did he do to Sam?"

-

Sam opens his eyes, blinking in the late afternoon sun. He's in the panic room - of course he is, they don't want him summoning Crowley and giving the demon a heads-up.

He should probably care more that the demon has a shit storm of angry angel and hunter headed his way, but he's preoccupied with trying to figure out how to keep them from ending the deal. If the deal's broken, Gabriel will die. He doesn't care, but something's... unsettling about that. His souled self cared enough to give away his most precious bargaining chip in order to save the archangel.

****

Halfway down the lawn, Gabe feels a hand close around his arm and he swings around to see Dean looking more than a little angry. Dean’s question catches Gabe off guard, remembering that he hadn’t had a chance to tell the others of his meeting with Crowley.

Gabe wiggles out of Dean’s grasp and takes a step back. “Yeah, I didn’t really get a chance to mention it before and honestly, I thought it was just Crowley being… well, Crowley. He showed up while I was burying the Leviathan, told me he came to congratulate us on a job well done. He asked how Sam was and it made me a little suspicious but…” Gabe sighs softly and looks at Dean apologetically, “I thought he was just trying to be a dick. He obviously has been spying on us, but I thought maybe it was just because he had taken an interest in the Leviathans. After all, they’re killing a lot of people that Crowley could be making deals with, y’know?”

Dean shakes his head with a humorless laugh, rubbing at the back of his neck. “It was right there in front of us the whole damn time and we didn’t even see it. Why the hell would Sam give Crowley his soul?”

“I have no idea…” Gabe says with a shrug, “But I know Crowley has something to do with this at the very least. We need to talk to him right away.” He looks up at Dean and attempts a reassuring smile. “We’ll fix this, don’t worry. But I need to talk to Sam, see if I can get the full story—“

“He’s in the panic room right now. Cas knocked him out and put him down there for the time being. I can’t make any promises he’ll talk but it’s at least worth a try.” Both of them look up when they hear the door creak open and see Cas standing on the front porch. He’s come looking for Dean, no doubt.

“Yeah, I’ll go have a word,” Gabe says as he starts towards the house. He doesn’t make it far before Dean grabs his arm again, gentler this time.

“Gabriel, thanks… for all of this. You didn’t have to help us but you did. I appreciate it. It’s hard for all of us but… we’ll get through it.” Dean doesn’t look at Gabe while he’s talking, but Gabe can tell he’s being sincere. Dean lets go of his arm and the two part ways without another word.

-

Gabe goes down to the panic room right away, opening the door hastily and slipping inside. Sam is there looking blank as usual and Gabe makes a low growling noise in the back of his throat.

“We need to talk,” Gabe states stiffly, crossing his arms tightly over his chest, “I know Crowley is involved in all of this, so you mind telling me what the hell is going on?” He glares at Sam and the anger he had felt before is starting to pick up again, like oxygen on a fire.

****

When the panic room door screeches open, Sam sits up on the bed, swinging his legs over the side to watch Gabriel. The angel still looks pissed.

"So you figured out Crowley's involved, doesn't mean I'm telling you anything else. I'm not going to trade back for my soul."

He knows Gabriel and the others aren't going to let him keep his secret for long, but he'll do his best to keep them from making him talk as long as he can.

****

Gabe can tell that Sam’s not budging on the matter and that’s fine with him. He knows exactly how he’s going to milk Sam for the truth. He crosses the room with quick strides, grabbing Sam by the throat and shoving him down onto the bed.

“Start talking, or we’re gonna have a big problem on our hands,” Gabe growls, squeezing his throat tighter. He fixes his stare on Sam, breathing harshly against his face, the hand crushing Sam’s trachea. “If you don’t want to talk, that’s fine too. I can just ask your good friend Crowley since you’ve become butt buddies apparently.”

****

Whatever he expected, it wasn't for Gabriel to wrap his hand around Sam's throat hard enough to cut off his breath, hard enough to feel bruises already forming on his throat, bruises he doubted Gabriel would heal with his Grace.

He couldn't talk at this point if he wanted to. Shadows are starting to eat at the corner of his vision, because it may have been a short time since Gabriel grabbed Sam, but with his Grace-fueled strength, his grip's strong.

Sam scrabbles at Gabriel's hand, wide-eyed. He might not want his soul back, but he'd rather go on living regardless.

"Can't..." he manages to wheeze. "Can't trade back-" It's all he can say with the little bit of air he's getting and not pass out.

****

“What do you mean you can’t trade back?” Gabe shouts, letting go of Sam’s throat and shaking his shoulders instead, “Why the hell would you ever give it away in the first place? Seriously, what did you stand to gain that you didn’t already have!?”

Gabe shakes him a few more times before recoiling and cramming his hands into his pockets to keep from decking the hunter. He’s shaking with anger, his Grace trying to push its way out of his vessel. But Sam doesn’t look like he’s going to be saying anymore.

He takes the opportunity to grab Sam by his hair and yank him up. “Tell me, Sam! Just fucking tell me why!” He’s screaming so loud now that the room is shaking ever so slightly, his hand still tightly fisted in Sam’s hair.

****

When Gabriel lets him go, all Sam can do is gulp air into his starved lungs, listening to the angel shout at him furiously. Gabriel is trembling with rage, Sam can see from the corner of his eye. It isn't until Gabriel pulls his hair hard enough to make Sam hiss in pain, forcing him to meet his eyes, that Sam sees just how angry Gabriel is. When Sam looks at him, the angel's eyes are dark and his vessel is almost /blurry/ at the edges, like he's barely managing to stay within the confines of the flesh-and-blood body. The panic room quakes, books falling off the shelves, and there's a whine to Gabriel's voice that he realizes must be a hint of the archangel's true voice, sharp enough to make Sam wince at the assault on his ears.

If he doesn't say something, tell Gabriel about the trade, he's probably facing a rather painful, explosive death, because Gabriel doesn't seem too fond of this new soulless being he's become.

He doesn't let his eyes leave Gabriel's as he says, in the same flat tone his voice has been, "Because of you."

****

Looking down into Sam’s eyes, Gabe can see something there, perhaps a flicker of fear, but probably not. It’s just wishful thinking on his part. Sam’s eyes lock with his and then words come out that Gabriel doesn’t even register. Because of him? What does that even mean?

“What do you mean, because of me?” His voice is low and rumbling, eyes narrowed at the hunter. He doesn’t release his grip on Sam’s hair. “I didn’t do anything worth selling your soul for…” Gabe is confused and angry, and he would think Sam was just pulling his leg. He can tell that it’s not a lie though.

****

Gabriel's brow furrows, but at least the panic room isn't shaking anymore. Sam shrugs.

"You died in Purgatory, we saw you before Bobby pulled us back. When we got back, I didn't take it too well, and I made the deal with Crowley. My soul in exchange for bringing you back, Grace fixed and all."

He waits, face neutral, eyes still locked on Gabriel's.

****

The color drains from Gabriel’s face when he hears Sam’s explanation, his stomach turning over several times. This has all been one big misunderstanding and it’s basically his fault. If he had come back sooner…

“Sam, I wasn’t dead.” Gabe’s voice is shaking, his hands dropping from Sam’s hair and falling limply at his sides. A wave of regret surges through Gabriel and he can’t even be mad when he’s really part of the reason Sam is like this. If he had come back sooner… maybe this could have been avoided.

The archangel stiffens and starts to back slowly away from Sam, eyes focusing on a spot on the floor. “He tricked you… I…” Gabe can’t get the words out and he wouldn’t even know what to say if he could. This is possibly the worst scenario he can fathom.

He’s finally backed himself against the door to the panic room and he fumbles for the handle, desperately needing to get out of this room. “I… Sam… I am so sorry. This is my fault and… I’m going to fix this.”

****

"Wait, Gabriel," Sam says, jumping to his feet to grab the angel's arm. "I don't /want/ you to fix it."

He doesn't wait for Gabriel to answer. "I don't want my soul back. Crowley's going to pay for screwing me over, that's for sure, but I don't want to be that person again. All...emotional. I'm better like this."

****

Gabriel has expected that reaction. Of course Sam wouldn’t want his soul back, but… it didn’t mean that he wasn’t going to try. “Whatever. You might think you’re better, but you’re not. I…” Gabe can’t finish his sentence though, an overwhelming bout of nausea hitting him. He manages to open the door and stagger out, breaking away from Sam’s grasp.

“I need some time so just… leave me alone, all right?” Gabe’s voice is weak and barely audible and he’s not sure Sam even heard him. He retreats up the stairs without looking at the hunter, his eyes fixed ahead of him.

He has to tell Cas and Dean but… he’s not sure he’s ready to do that just yet. He feels like he’s just gotten punched in the gut and his eyes are stinging and his mouth is dry. This is like some horrible nightmare he can’t seem to shake off and wake up from, if angels had them at all.

****

Gabriel practically runs away from him, leaving the door to the panic room wide open. Sam waits a moment, the only sound the echoing whir of the fan in the ceiling.

He's not really surprised that Crowley played him, but he wasn't kidding when he told Gabriel that Crowley was going to pay for tricking him. Maybe his former self would have gone easy on the crossroads demon, but now he has no problem planning ways to make sure Crowley fully understood why conning Sam had been a very, very bad idea.

Sam heads upstairs. Dean and Bobby are talking quietly in the kitchen, a stricken look on Dean's face as he clenches his beer in a white-knuckled grip. They both stare as he enters the living room, searching for Dean's keys.

"Sammy..."

"Look, Dean, I just need to get out of here for a while. It's...oppressive being here right now."

"You can't leave."

Sam just looks at him. "Why, Dean? Are you afraid I'm going to hurt someone? Other than the Leviathan, I haven't. So I don't see why you're concerned."

Dean gives a humorless bark of laughter that says his definition of 'hurt' is a bit different than Sam's. "Why'd you do it?" That Dean ignores the Impala as he steps closer to his brother says a lot. Bobby hangs back, looking at Sam warily, as Dean grips Sam's shoulders and stares at him, searching for something in his face that just isn't there.

"Gabriel will tell you, but I'm leaving." He shrugs out of Dean's grip and heads for the door, not paying attention to Dean's offended, hurt sound or Bobby's murmurs telling Dean to let him go, that they aren't going to get any answers out of Sam.

Sam drives to town, parking the Impala outside of one of the larger bars. It's crowded, the smell of booze and cheap cologne sticky in the air. He sits at the bar, ordering a few drinks as he watches the other patrons.

He's been at the bar for about an hour, drinking steadily but barely affected by the alcohol, when he spots a fairly pretty brunette sitting by herself, oozing desperation in her skin-tight dress as she sits at a small table by herself under the glow of the neon signs in the windows. Sam grabs another drink and sidles over, sitting in the free chair across from her.

Half an hour later, they've piled into the Impala, headed for the nearest motel. He would have talked her out of the bar sooner, but it would have been a shame to waste good beer.

****

Cas is waiting for Gabe when he bursts out of the front door, nearly hitting the other angel and knocking him over. Gabe really didn’t want to talk about this, not yet, but it seems like he’s not going to have a choice with Cas standing here looking at him like that. Gabe leans against the side of the house and sighs loudly, scrubbing his hands over his face.

Castiel is probably worried about the state Gabe is in right now, judging by the way he’s hesitating to ask what happened with Sam. He could even get into Gabe’s head if he wanted to, find out for himself without having to ask, but he wouldn’t. Cas respects Gabe’s privacy and that is one of the best things Gabe could ask for right now.

A few minutes pass in silence, Gabe slowly sliding down the wall to sit in the grass. He presses his hands over his eyes with a soft groan in an attempt to keep himself from losing his cool. He feels a hand on his shoulder and peeks up to see Cas sliding down next to him. Gabe’s eyes sting at Cas’ simple gesture of comfort. He drops his arms and wraps them around his brother, pressing his face into the other’s shoulder.

Cas is slightly taken aback by the action, but rubs at his brother’s back awkwardly nonetheless. When Gabe finally decides to talk, his voice is muffled and stuffy. “He sold his soul to Crowley because he though I was dead.” The other angel doesn’t say anything, just continuing to rub Gabriel’s back.

It feels like forever before Cas speaks again, voice soft and sincere. “Gabriel, you couldn’t have known Sam would do that. This isn’t your fault—“

“It is my fault, though. I should have come back or called right when I woke up. I should have told him I was alive. ‘Cause now I’m stuck – no, we’re all stuck – with this new Sam. He doesn’t want his soul back, either.” Gabe looks up at Cas, eyes wet with tears, and shakes his head slowly.

“Gabriel,” Cas starts, his tone becoming stern, “He may not want his soul back, but I believe we all agree that is not the best option for him. We will do everything we can to get his soul back, starting with confronting Crowley. We need to tell Dean what happened…”

Gabe just nods and stands abruptly, making his way back to the front door. Cas is right on his heels, following him inside to the kitchen where Bobby and Dean are looking rather shocked.

When Gabe sees Dean’s face, pale and wide-eyed, he cocks an eyebrow. “What’s wrong?”

“Sam took off with the Impala,” Dean mumbles with a bite of anger as Cas goes to stand next to him, “What did he tell you?”

Gabe runs a hand through his hair, his composure ready to fall apart again. “He sold his soul to Crowley because he thought I was dead. But good ol’ Crowley pulled one over on Sam because I was alive the whole time. Now, he doesn’t want his soul back but I’ll be damned if…” He inhales deeply, rubbing at the back of his neck, “This is my fault and I’m going to fix it.”

But Dean has already come out of his shock from moments before, his brow furrowed. “We’re in this together, Gabriel. We all want to see Sam back to normal. If you think you’re doin’ this alone, you can forget it. We’re coming too and we’re gonna kick Crowley’s ass all the way back to Hell if we have to.”

Dean puts a reassuring hand on Gabe’s shoulder and the archangel nods, blinking to diffuse the tears collecting in his eyes. “Right…” Gabe says meekly and Dean drops his hand, a small smirk on his face.

“Wow, never thought I’d see the day that an angel got choked up over—“

“Shut it, Dean.” Gabe glares in Dean’s general direction and the hunter chuckles. They all stand there in the kitchen for a good couple of minutes before Gabe shifts uncomfortably and stretches.

“I’m turnin’ in. We can talk about this more tomorrow after everyone’s had time to mull it over. For now, I think everyone should get some shut eye and be ready to go kick some demon ass tomorrow.” Everyone nods in agreement before scattering separate ways. Bobby retreats to the living room with a beer while Cas and Dean walk hand-in-hand up the steps. Gabe lingers in the kitchen until he’s certain the two are in their room before heading upstairs himself, slipping into Sam’s room instead of his own.

****

They've barely closed the door before Sam's unzipping her dress (he never bothered to find out her name) to tug it over her hips, the cheap material puddling on the floor as she steps closer to him, yanking the shirt open as the snaps pop apart violently.

Sam shoves her back against the door, hoisting her up so she can wrap her legs around his waist as they kiss wildly. The alcohol is singing through his veins, but he's already hard, and the grind of her hips against his sends sparks of lust through him. Her hands snarl in his hair as he lowers his mouth from her lips to her neck, nipping at skin that tastes like perfume, nothing like the cinnamon flavor of Gabriel. His old self would never have found himself here, getting ready to fuck some woman while his boyfriend (or whatever they were calling what they had) sat at home. But now Sam doesn't care who he fucks, just aches with lust that seems sharpened by no longer needing to feed appetites for food or sleep.

So he doesn't think of Gabe, doesn't think of this nameless woman whose clit he's now caressing with his thumb as she arches her back and tugs at his hair, only thinks of how good it's going to feel to come, to feel that rush and the closest he can get to bliss.

She's practically dripping onto his hand already as he slides two fingers into her, stroking her until her breathing is harsh and rapid and he can't stand not being inside her for much longer. Sam hoists her higher and carries her over to the bed, dropping her so that he can pull his clothes off. She watches, eyeing him appreciatively through her drunken haze as he parts her thighs and laps at the wet folds between them, making her writhe and moan.

The sounds are too much for his painfully hard dick to take, and he moves her roughly up the bed. She presses a condom in his hand (where the fuck was she keeping it?), and he rolls his eyes but doesn't argue, hissing even the slight contact to his erection as he puts it on.

Sam has to bite back a moan when he slides into her all at once. She shrieks, grinding her hips up into his as her legs grip him closer. He thrusts into her with sharp snaps of his hips, reveling in the tight, wet grip on his cock. It's been months since he's had sex, full-on, and his nerve endings can barely take the familiar sensations that he hasn't felt in that long.

He tugs at the woman's hair, tilting her head back so he can suck dark bruises down her neck, relishing the spasms around his dick as he whispers filthy things to her, meaningless words meant only to drive her wild for this one encounter. Her nails scrabble at his back, leaving stinging grooves, as he rubs his thumbs across her peaked pink nipples, making her moan loud enough that anyone within walking distance can probably hear her. He traces the curves of her body, so different from the angled, although softened, planes of Gabriel's body, as he fucks her fast and furious for long minutes full of sweat-slicked skin on sweat-slicked skin and gasping breaths shared in between tongue-filled kisses.

She comes hard, muffling her screams in Sam's shoulder. Her orgasm sends him over the edge, his groan rumbling through him as sparks fade his vision. Everything is sheer chemical ecstasy, and he drowns in it.

She winks at him when he drops her back off at the bar, but he doesn't look back as he drives back to Bobby's, heading up to his room to discard his rumpled, sweaty clothes and take a shower.

****

The first thing Gabe does when he gets into Sam’s room is collapse face first on the bed, inhaling deeply. There’s only a comforter on the bed, the sheets that they had cleaned before they left for Purgatory never made it back on the mattress. Gabe thinks he picks up a hint of the strawberry scent on the pillows, but he can’t be sure it isn’t just his imagination.

He briefly wonders where Sam has gone. It is pretty late now after all and really the only thing Gabe can think of doing at a time like this is drinking. He sits up, focusing hard on Sam, trying to figure out where he is. All he can hear is the purr of the Impala and he thinks, /Maybe he’s just out for a drive/.

But he’s got a visual now, Sam driving in the Impala… and there’s a passenger in the seat next to him. A woman. Gabe’s heart squeezes uncomfortably in his chest as he watches the two get out at a motel. He knows what’s going to happen next and he really should ignore it, switch his surveillance off, but it’s like watching a horrible accident. He just can’t look away.

He watches as Sam peels off her dress, slams her up against the wall, and starts kissing her fervently. Before long, Sam is fucking this girl into oblivion, her moans sending a spike of jealousy through Gabe. It still isn’t enough to rip his focus away though and he keeps watching until they both climax.

When they’ve finally dressed and Sam takes her back to the bar, Gabe blocks out the signal and lays down, curling on his side in Sam’s bed. What he just watched was a little unnerving, especially with everything that’s been going on, and he can’t avoid the swell of pain in his chest as the images pop up in his mind again.

Gabe had watched Sam have sex before… with Jessica mostly, and it had never bothered him. If anything, he enjoyed it. But this was different. It was animalistic, completely devoid of emotions, and even though it shouldn’t be surprising given Sam’s current state, it still makes Gabe’s stomach feel like he just swallowed lead.

He pushes the thoughts from his mind and instead focuses on sleeping. He really should drag himself into the other room, but he’s quite comfortable here and he’s wagering Sam probably won’t be back until the morning. He closes his eyes and breathes in the faint scent of strawberries and sandalwood, before dozing off.

****

Sam slips into his room and sees Gabriel asleep in his bed. He raises an eyebrow, watching the angel sleep for a moment, before moving into the bathroom, dropping clothing as he goes.

The hot water washes the sweat and sex and perfume away, and he groans quietly at the feeling of it pounding against his back. But he doesn't linger long under the spray, ready to dive back into research even though it's going on midnight.

Gabriel doesn't stir as Sam grabs lounge pants and a clean v-neck and grabs his books. He stretches out on the bed, back propped up against the headboard and book in his lap.

He sneaks occasional looks at the angel, studying him with a furrowed brow. Gabriel cares about him, and he just...doesn't understand. After a while, Sam's mind wanders, not thinking anything in particular, just studying the rise and fall of his chest, his hand curled next to him on the pillow, the mischievous bow of his mouth. Watching Gabriel is more interesting than the incredibly dry book of mythology he's reading, that's for sure.

****

It’s close to four in the morning when Gabe stirs, draping an arm over Sam’s lap as he sleeps. It doesn’t register until a few moments later than he’s got an arm wrapped around /someone/, his eyes fluttering open to see Sam staring down at him with an unreadable expression. Gabe quickly retracts his arm as he sits up, wearing a bewildered expression.

“Sam? What are you doing—“ Gabe realizes that’s a stupid question considering this /is/ Sam’s room. He stares up at Sam, suddenly remembering the woman in the motel, and a knot rises in his throat. He scoots away marginally, clearing his throat. “So where did you go?”

****

Sam keeps watching as Gabriel shifts to put space between them. The angel looks sleep-rumpled and embarrassed. Sam's starting to forget what sleep feels like.

"I went to a bar, picked up some woman, and went to a motel to have sex with her," he says matter-of-factly.

****

Gabe visibly cringes and clears his throat again nervously. “That’s… really great. I really wanted to hear that,” Gabe mutters sardonically as he sits up and swings his legs over the edge of the bed. “I’m gonna go take a shower,” he states as he waddles unsteadily towards the bathroom. He flings the door open and subsequently shuts it a little too hard behind him.

He spends an incredibly long time in the shower, scrubbing and washing and enjoying the heat of the water on his face. He’s changed his shampoo to a sweet peppermint, the strawberry too emotion provoking at the moment. He steps out nearly two hours later, his skin flushed and glistening. He wraps a towel around his waist and walks to the door connecting to his room. He jiggles the handle a few times before groaning loudly and smacking his head against the wood. It’s locked from the other side.

Gabe hesitantly walks back into Sam’s room, not looking at the hunter still laying on the bed reading. He quickly slips out into the hallway and shuts the door softly behind him. He’s scared shitless by Dean standing at the top of the stairs, apparently about to make a trip down by the looks of it.

“Holy crap, you scared me!” Gabe shouts, stumbling a little bit. He’s wondering why Dean is looking at him funny before he realizes he’s standing in the hallway in a towel, still dripping wet, and he just left Sam’s room. Before he can explain himself, Dean cuts him off, smirking.

“It looks like you two made up.”

“Hardly. I was locked out of my room from the other side,” Gabe murmurs with a scowl. He’s confused as to why Dean is looking at him with a quirked eyebrow, a smile growing on his face.

“Dude, why didn’t you just mojo yourself in?”

Gabe just stares at Dean for a minute before cursing under his breath and actually flushing pink. “Shit.”

Dean just laughs, rubbing the back of his neck, and Gabe can’t help but laugh as well. They stand there for at least five minutes, snickering, before Dean finally yawns and starts to walk downstairs. “Go put some clothes on, feather butt. No one wants to see that.” He flashes Gabe a teasing smile before disappearing.

Gabe does just that, padding to his room and throwing the door open. The air is stale here but the bed is made so at least there’s that. He drops his towel on the floor and climbs into the bed stark naked, curling on his side and sighing. After all the awkwardness, he’s ready for a nap so he closes his eyes and falls into a light sleep.

***

Gabriel takes an incredibly long shower. Sam thinks he might be trying to drown himself, but then the door opens and the angel appears, striding quickly past Sam without meeting his eyes. The angel is dripping wet, clad only in a towel, and Sam can't help biting his lip as he lets his eyes take in the curve of Gabriel's ass under the clinging, damp fabric. Once Gabriel's gone, though, his attention returns to the book in his lap.

When the first rays of sunlight creep in through the blinds, Sam stands and stretches, stiff from sitting in the same position for so long. He grabs a few more volumes from the stack next to the bed and shuffles downstairs.

Dean's lounging on the couch when he gets to the living room, so he plops down next to his brother.

"Morning. Why are you up so early?"

Dean rubs at his eyes, bloodshot red. "Couldn't sleep. You? Oh, that's right," he says, remembering that Sam /doesn't/ sleep anymore.

Sam goes back to his research, settling in, but he can sense Dean's eyes on him. Sighing, he looks up.

"What is it?"

Dean looks torn, as if he doesn't want to say what he's thinking. "Gabe told me why you did it, why you gave Crowley your soul. Why didn't you /tell/ me, man? We could have figured out something else man, if he really was gone."

"What, Dean? It's not like there are a lot of beings out there who could bring back an archangel. I did what I could."

"You loved him, you know. You must have, to do something like that for him."

Sam shrugs. "I did. But now, I don't."

When he had told Dean that before, Dean had been furious. Now he just looks sad, wiping a hand over his face wrecked by exhaustion.

"Look, man, I don't need any more chick-flick moments in my life, I get plenty with Cas. But you /aren't yourself/ right now, Sammy. You need to trust me when I tell you that you're not better like this." Dean's gaze never leaves his brother's, mouth set in a tense line.

"This is who I am now, Dean. I don't care about you, I don't care about Gabriel, how many times do I have to tell you?" His voice is even, emotionless. "I'm not going back, because all I remember is disappointment and sadness and weakness."

Dean looks like Sam's slapped him across the face. "You might not remember, but we had...what we had, it wasn't perfect, but it was /good/, man."

"Really? Were you in a different Impala than I was, Dean? Because I really don't remember it being 'good'. I remember getting the shit beaten out of me, getting addicted to demon blood because I fell in love or whatever with a /demon/, losing Jess, losing Dad..." He trails off, returning his attention , to his book with a wave of his hand. "Thanks but no thanks."

Dean heads back upstairs. Sam cracks his knuckles and gets up to check for one of the cross-referencing books he needs to understand the passage he's on.

-

Dean yanks the door to Gabe's room open. In retrospect, he probably should have knocked, because from what he can see - and thankfully, the bits he'd least like to see are covered up - Gabe's not the kind to wear much, if anything, to sleep.

He shakes the angel's shoulder roughly.

"Gabe, wake the fuck up," Dean snarls, annoyed at himself for letting himself keep trying with Sam, /furious/ at Crowley, and generally pissed off from a lack of sleep. He'd left Cas curled in a warm ball of mussed hair and bare skin, and he would have loved to be fast asleep wrapped around the angel, but instead he has a soulless brother and a PMS-ing archangel to deal with.

****

Gabriel has just managed to drift into deep sleep when someone comes in and shakes him awake. He blinks a few times before fixing his eyes on Dean. He yawns and sits up, the blankets and sheets pooling in his lap as he stretches out. “What gives?” Gabe grumbles through another yawn, running his fingers through his tousled hair.

“Me and Sam just had a little conversation. Let’s just say it didn’t go so well. Look, we need to find Crowley as soon as possible.” Dean looks incredibly serious and Gabe doesn’t want to risk saying no and possibly being strangled to death. He agrees whole-heartedly anyway. They /should/ be going to look for Crowley.

“Sounds like a plan but what about Sam? We can’t exactly take him with us…”

“Easy, you whammy Sam and we throw him in the panic room. We’ll have to get Crowley here somehow but I’ll let you and Cas handle that job.”

Gabe nods and snaps his fingers, instantly dressed and ready. “You go wake Cas up and I’ll take care of Sam.” He’s already halfway down the stairs before Dean can even respond.

Sam is sitting on the couch doing research (as usual) when Gabe comes down. He’s still thoroughly embarrassed after earlier this morning and he really can’t stand to look at Sam. Not after what happened last night.

“Morning,” Gabe mumbles as he goes to sit by Sam on the couch. He turns and smiles at him before simply pressing a finger to Sam’s temple and murmuring without warning, “Sorry, Sam.” He’s out like a light before Dean and Cas even reach the bottom step.

****

Sam wakes up in the panic room again. His head's foggy as he sits up on the creaky metal bed, but it clears quickly as he realizes why he's back here.

They're going after Crowley. Even though he /told/ them, over and over, not to try and reverse the deal. His only reassurance is that Crowley won't just hand over his soul; they have a contract, after all, sealed with a kiss and everything.

He paces, powerless to stop them as they go to confront the King of the Crossroads.

****

The three of them head across the property to the junkyard, leaving Bobby to make sure Sam doesn’t break free from the panic room. Everyone is silent as they set up the ritual area, Dean working on the bowl of herbs and candles while Cas deals with setting up the sigil. Once they’ve got everything ready, Dean spares a little blood from his wrist, Castiel healing the cut right away. They’re ready for the incantation, but Gabriel hesitates.

“Come on, Gabriel, get a move on,” Dean urges not-so-gently, “Or I’ll do it.”

Gabe just shakes his head and grits his teeth, preparing himself for what’s about to happen. He’s going to be face-to-face with Crowley, the demon who made Sam into a monster. The thought alone makes his chest tighten with anger. He begins the incantation and everyone watches as Crowley suddenly appears in a flash of light.

-

“Hello, boys. What can I help you with today?” Crowley asks smoothly, a small smirk on his lips. Gabe is the first to step forward, his fists clenched at his sides.

“Give Sam his soul back.” It’s not a question, but a demand.

Crowley stares at him, then looks between Dean and Cas before turning to the archangel and /laughing/. “What makes you think I’ll just give it back to him? We made a deal, after all. His soul is mine.”

“I wasn’t dead and you knew it! You /tricked/ Sam into giving up his soul.” Gabe takes a step closer and Crowley backs away.

“Now, settle down, Gabriel. It’s his own fault for not doing his research,” Crowley says with a nervous edge in his voice, “Sam made a deal with me. He sealed it with a kiss and everything. I can’t give him –“

He’s cut off by Dean who has come to stand next to Gabe. “Like hell you can’t! You can’t honestly expect us to believe that load of crap, Crowley!”

Everything is quiet again for a long time before Crowley finally speaks humorlessly, his eyes focused on Gabriel. “Why should I give it back to him? He doesn’t even want it back.”

Gabe snorts and shrugs out of his jacket, dropping in on the ground. “You should give it back because you’re going to have hell to pay if you don’t,” he growls through gritted teeth.

Crowley laughs again, grabbing at his side. “You think I’m scared of /you/? Oh, don’t flatter yourself, Gabriel.”

Everything after that is a blur. Gabriel closes the distance between them in a split second, throwing a punch that hits Crowley right in the jaw. Dean moves to step in, but Cas holds him back, shaking his head. Crowley rubs at his tender jaw and opens his mouth to say something, but Gabe decks him again, this time in the cheek. There is a sickening crack that sounds quite like bones snapping. Crowley blinks several times, wiping the blood pouring from his mouth and nose, before holding up a hand.

“Gabriel, wait…”

“No!” Gabe screams, grabbing him and throwing him down on the ground, “I’m sick and tired of waiting!” He kicks Crowley hard in the ribs before reaching down and picking the demon up by his collar. It gives Crowley the opportunity to plant a punch right in Gabe’s solar plexus. The archangel stumbles back, but is barely affected.

If Crowley wasn’t afraid before, he certainly is now. He turns to run – the coward – but Gabe grabs his shoulder. The sound of bone crushing under Gabe’s hand fills the air and Crowley actually yelps in pain.

“Give Sam his soul back,” Gabe hisses, baring his teeth, “Or I will rip you limb from limb, put you back together, and do it again.” When Crowley doesn’t respond right away, Gabriel grabs the front of his shirt and shoves him against the wall of the shed, leaving a Crowley-sized dent in the flimsy metal.

“Gabriel…” Cas whispers, barely loud enough for him to hear, but the archangel is too enraged to listen now.

Crowley grinds out a desperate, “please…” and Gabe breaks. His Grace is practically seeping from his pores as he pulls Crowley back and slams him into the wall again, harder. He’s gritting his teeth, struggling to contain his power, and he can hear Castiel shout, “Dean! Get down and cover your eyes!” The pressure is building and Gabe feels like he’s about to rip at the seams, but he focuses on the terrified Crossroads demon before him. Gabe turns to look over his shoulder and when he sees that Dean is protected, he lets his wings unfurl, a strangled groan forcing its way out of his throat.

Crowley stares at the golden wings, half in awe and half in fear, before his eyes meet Gabriel’s. The archangel flaps his wings several times threateningly before Crowley finally manages to find his voice.

“Okay! I’ll give Sam his soul back!” Crowley yells as he shields his face with his good arm. Gabe lowers his wings but doesn’t let go of the demon.

“Come with me,” Gabe growls as he jerks Crowley around and leads him towards the house. Cas and Dean flank him immediately for extra protection. When they finally reach the house, Gabe throws the door open and shoves Crowley inside.

“Cas, you can take care of him. I’m going to get Sam.” Gabe takes off towards the basement but not before dragging Crowley right into a devil’s trap that Bobby must have put down before they left. Then he’s down the stairs in a heartbeat, opening the panic room and walking briskly to meet Sam. He grabs the hunter’s arm roughly and starts to drag him along behind him without a word.

****

When Gabriel returns to the panic room, his eyes are blazing with fury, his hair is rumpled, and his knuckles are bruised, like he forgot he could heal himself again. Sam opens his mouth to ask if they've found Crowley, but the angel strides across the room and yanks him out the door and up the stairs. Sam struggles in his grip, hissing, "Let /go/ of me, what's going on," but he's ignored. Bobby doesn't say anything either, just follows as Gabriel practically carries Sam up the stairs.

Upstairs, Dean and Castiel are waiting in the living room...with Crowley. Sam struggles even harder to get away, but Gabriel holds him in place with a grip that Sam knows he isn't going to be able to break.

"Crowley, you fucker." He still wants to maim Crowley for tricking him, but his soul can stay whereever the demon's sent it. "I don't want my soul back."

****

Sam struggles hopelessly against Gabe’s grip, cursing Crowley and insisting he doesn’t want his soul back. Crowley opens his mouth to respond but Gabe’s murderous gaze causes him to snap it closed and rethink what he was about to say.

After a moment, Crowley clears his throat and winces as he moves his crushed shoulder on accident. “I’m sorry, Sam. It’s been fun, but I’m really not in the mood for getting torn apart by an archangel.” The demon rubs at his bruised face gently, hissing in pain. Gabe holds onto Sam tightly, staring at Crowley ferociously.

“Do it. While you still have the chance,” Gabe sneers, shoving Sam forward a little bit.

Cas nervously shifts somewhere behind him, mumbling, “I will heal Crowley before we get started…” Gabe would argue, but whatever it is Crowley has to do might require him to have use of both of his arms. Cas steps forward and heals the demon, much to Gabriel’s dissatisfaction, then moves back to stand next to Dean. Gabe shoves Sam closer, his grasp bruising on the hunter’s arms.

“Crowley…”

“All right! Don’t get your feathers ruffled.” Crowley throws up his hands in self-defense, but Gabe doesn’t move. He just glares at the demon again.

“Now, or I might rethink not killing you.” That kicks Crowley into gear, the demon approaching the edge of the devil’s trap and grabbing Sam’s arm gingerly. There is a lot of struggling but between Gabe and Crowley, they manage to keep Sam in place.

“Do it!” Dean shouts from behind them, his voice almost tearful. Crowley grunts and grabs Sam’s face, pulling him down and locking lips with him. At first, it seems that nothing has happened, but within seconds, Crowley has stepped back and Sam has gone limp in Gabe’s arms. The archangel picks Sam up and carries him to the couch, setting him down gently on the cushions.

Gabe is tempted to keep Crowley there, in case he really didn’t give the hunter his soul back, but the demon is practically cowering in his presence. “Get him out of here, Cas. But just know if Sam isn’t back to normal, I will find you…” Crowley just nods in resignation as Cas breaks the trap and Crowley takes off in an instant.

It’s eerily silent in Bobby’s living room as they all watch Sam sleeping on the couch, Gabe still standing over him. Dean mumbles something along the lines of, “I need a drink,” and Cas follows behind, squeezing Gabe’s shoulder as he passes. Bobby disappears too, towards the junkyard, where Gabe is sure he goes to let off a little steam. Gabriel sinks to his knees on the floor and lays his head on a small sliver of cushion next to Sam’s shoulder. He brings his hand to run through Sam’s hair gently, waiting for him to wake up.

****

Sam floats in unconsciousness, not entirely sure when he lands back in his body, or how he meshes back in to skin and bone. He comes to slowly, as if he's swimming towards the surface, breaking through layers of fog threatening to pull him down.

He can feel someone stroking his hair, short fingers combing it back off of his face, and he turns into the touch, eyes still closed. He's confused, disoriented, but the gentle caress feels good.

It isn't until he blinks awake to see Gabe watching him that he remembers.

/No./ Oh, /no./

He sits up, shoving Gabe away from him with shaking hands, springing off the couch in horror. Sam wishes he didn't know, didn't remember everything he did when he'd given his soul up to Crowley, but he remembers every sleepless minute, and it seems like every emotion he couldn't feel then is threatening to overwhelm him now.

Dean and Cas must have heard the scuffle because they're staring at him now, but he can't look at them, doesn't deserve to look at them, and if he looks at Gabe he just might die.

Dean stretches a hand out to him but he backpedals quick enough to slam into Bobby's desk hard enough to bruise, raising his hands to ward his friends away.

"Please," he chokes out, tears already threatening to fill his eyes, "don't...I can't..."

****

Sam’s eyes flutter open and Gabe can immediately tell that he’s all there, soul and everything. But he’s genuinely shocked when Sam shoves him away and jumps up off the couch in a panic. He watches silently as Sam avoids Dean’s outstretched hand, tears in his eyes, and Gabe feels a knot forming in his throat.

He’d been secretly hoping that Sam might not remember, that he might wake up and wonder why he had been sleeping so long. It’s apparent now that he at least remembers some of what he said and did, judging by how distraught he looks. Gabe stands up and brushes the dirt off his jeans. He really can’t do anything but give him some space and let him come to terms with it on his own.

Dean is shuffling towards Sam, but Gabe grabs his wrist and shakes his head. “Give him some space,” Gabe says softly and Dean drops his hand dejectedly, taking a few steps back to join Cas.

Gabe stares up at Sam, wishing he could do or say something, /anything/, that would fix this. There isn’t a single thing, though. He may be one of the most powerful beings to walk the earth, but he can’t do anything to mend Sam’s emotional wounds that wouldn’t just cause more pain for the both of them. Gabe can’t help feeling somewhat responsible for this anyway. After all, he had been the one so adamant to get Sam’s soul back. He can’t come to regret the decision though, because at least Sam isn’t just running away by not having a soul.

Without a word, he nods at Sam and closes his eyes, a silent way of telling him to go and take as much time as he needs.

Chapter Text

Sam takes off running, slamming through the front door and out into the yard, where a light drizzle of cold rain hits his flushed skin. He dodges the empty hulls of rusty cars and trucks, shoes squelching in the mud, until he’s lost in the maze of wrecked vehicles.

When the rain starts to beat down harder, a distant rumble of thunder sounding, he goes to the nearest car with doors and manages to wedge one rust-frozen door open enough to slide inside. He’s soaked and already shivering as he huddles on the torn back seat, arms wrapped around himself and eyes wide and unseeing.

Sam’s shock-numbed brain tries to cope. He’d traded his soul to Crowley to save Gabe. But without a soul, he’d become someone terrible. It had almost been worse than the demon blood, and that said a lot. He’d treated everyone like shit, acted like they didn’t matter because they /hadn’t/, and that was the scariest part of all. He hadn’t been himself, but he was still Sam, even without a soul, wasn’t he?

His hands sweep across his arms, rubbing absentmindedly as he curls up on the seat and watches the rain.

How Dean can ever forgive him…he’d /told/ Dean, for fuck’s sake, that he didn’t matter, in so many flat words, over and over. He could see the hurt now, plastered all over his brother’s face, as he replayed the moments in his mind. And taking the Impala like that was like he’d kidnapped Dean’s child.

As long as he lived, he would never, /never/ forget leaving Dean on the floor of that classroom. Sam’s chest constricts and he might actually be hyperventilating as he thinks about his brother, the only family he has left besides Bobby and one of the most important people in his life, left bleeding and mangled on the tiles because /Sam/. /Hadn’t/. /Cared/. He can’t apologize for something like that, and self-hatred twists inside of him, cutting deep.

Sam leans to press his forehead against the cool glass as a few tears slip from his eyes unheeded. The only time he’s loathed himself this much, /ever/, was when he let Lucifer free. Except even that, he’d been able to fix. There’s no way to make this up to anyone.

And Gabriel.

It’s when he thinks of the angel that the tears flow and sobs rack his chest. He drops his head to his knees where he’s curled on the seat and lets the anguish lacerate him.

The episode in Sam’s bedroom was the least of it. Day after day, he’d told Gabriel that he didn’t care, only kept him around for help with the Leviathans and for sex and nothing more. Used him.

/”What do you want me to say, that I missed you?”/

/”You’re a monster…you’d be better off sitting in that cage with Michael and Lucifer…”/

/”Everything I told you before, I take it back!”/

Sam weeps, trembling. He’d loved Gabriel, still loved him. But what he’d done to him…he deserved everything the angel had said and more. Gabe had looked at him like he was one of the monsters they hunted, twisted and evil. And he’d flat out /told/ Gabe that he’d slept with someone else. The thought makes him retch, a wave of nausea surging through him as he remembers the smell of cheap perfume.

It had been so easy not to care, not to love anyone, not to worry about anyone. And he hates himself for it.

Sam cries for everything he’s ruined as the storm pelts the windows. He cries until he has no more tears left and still more.

At some point, he slips into sleep, exhausted with grief. It’s been days since he slept last, and he falls into unconsciousness quickly, cold and alone and utterly wrecked.

-

The storm is still furious around the car when he wakes, lying on his back. It’s nearly five, according to his watch, hours since he ran. Sitting up is difficult, his movements sluggish and his head pounding. He takes a shaky breath, throat burning, and scrubs at the dried tearstains across his cheeks. Sam feels empty, drained, and broken.

His hand fumbles at the door before he knows what he’s doing, and then he’s standing in the pouring rain, drenched through in moments. He can’t go back and face what he’s done. But there’s an ache in his chest and all he wants right now is Gabe’s arms around him, more than almost anything else that he’s ever wanted in his entire life.

It’s a long walk back to Bobby’s house, lit up with the yellow glow of the lamps in the window. Thunder rumbles like cannon fire, the storm drawing closer, but Sam walks slowly, not caring about the cold or the wet. There’s a small figure huddled on the porch steps, just outside of the rain’s reach, head bowed.

When Sam approaches, Gabe looks up at him, but Sam just drops to his knees in the mud and grabs the angel’s hands, lowering his forehead to them as he kneels, folded nearly double. His eyes close as the rain streams down, and he breathes, waiting with an aching heart.

****

Time feels like it’s standing still after Sam runs out of the house. No one says anything, the atmosphere far too heavy for talking. Gabriel realizes he hasn’t been breathing when Dean disappears into the kitchen and Castiel takes off upstairs. But Gabriel just stays there, staring out the window at the rain, now falling steadily. He hopes Sam is somewhere dry at least, because the clouds in the sky are ominous and black and he knows the storm is just going to get worse.

An hour and a half passes before Gabe goes to sit on the porch, watching the storm rage on as he takes shelter under the overhang. He stares at the sheets of rain pummeling the ground, unaware of anything that might be happening around him. At some point, he drops his head and dozes off, waking twice with a start as thunder rumbled in the sky above him.

He doesn’t know what time it is, only that it’s starting to get dark and Sam isn’t back yet. He drops his head again and closes his eyes for not more than five minutes. It’s when he feels a presence approaching that he looks up and sees Sam, soaked through to the bone. Neither of them says a word as Sam takes Gabriel’s hands and kneels down in front of him, resting his forehead against Gabriel’s warm hands.

Gabriel stops breathing again. He doesn’t know what he can say to make this better, but chances are, there isn’t a single word in the dictionary that could fix Sam. Instead, he slides his hands gently out from under Sam’s to take the hunter’s face in his hands. He makes Sam look at him, a thumb stroking across Sam’s cheek. He wants to say something like, “Everything will be okay” or “I love you and I forgive you,” but that’s just not enough.

He cautiously wraps his arms around Sam’s neck and pulls him as close as he can, given their position. Tears prick at the corners of his eyes as he nuzzles into Sam’s neck, inhaling deeply, smelling nothing but rain-soaked skin. Quietly, the words barely audible over the sound of the pouring rain, Gabriel whispers, “I missed you so much.”

Before Sam can respond, Gabriel breaks away and stands up, hooking his arms under Sam’s and pulling him up. He wraps his arms around Sam’s middle, trapping him in an unbreakable embrace. They stay just like that for a long time before Gabriel pulls away gently and shivers.

“Let’s go inside,” Gabe suggests softly, reaching up to run a hand through Sam’s soaking hair.

****

When Sam feels Gabe's words against his neck, Gabe's lips brushing his skin, his heart lurches and it's all he can do not to cry again.

Somehow, somewhere, someone has heard the prayer he could barely put into words in his own mind, and Gabe has said the words he needed to hear. The angel manhandles him up, wrapping him in a tight hug that Sam returns, cradling the smaller man as his cheek presses into Gabe's hair, damp now from Sam.

When Gabe looks up and runs his fingers through Sam's tangled hair, it's so comforting that he doesn't know if the angel has infused the touch with Grace now that he has enough to spare or that it's simply because it's Gabriel touching him.

Sam doesn't speak, just lets Gabe take his hand and lead him upstairs. Dean tries to intercept him but is stopped wordlessly by a look from Cas, who seems to understand that Sam needs Gabriel right now and no one else.

When they reach Sam's bedroom, he stops just inside the door, inching away from it with a sidelong glance when he remembers pressing Gabe up against it, letting his hands... his body is racked by a violent shiver and he rubs his arms through his soaked sleeves, trying to warm his numb limbs as rain drips off him to darken the floor.

****

The two of them trudge up the stairs slowly, Gabriel’s hand wrapped tightly around Sam’s. When they enter, Gabe spots the broken lamp still on the floor and snaps his fingers, making it disappear in a split second. Anything he can do to keep Sam from thinking about this whole situation.

He feels Sam shiver and turns to face him. He’s very aware that it wasn’t a cold chill, but all the same, Sam is dripping and probably freezing anyway. Gabe snaps his fingers and Sam is instantly in dry clothes, a T-shirt and pajama pants. He grabs Sam’s elbow and leads him to the bed, pulling back the comforter only to find there are no sheets on the bed still. He furrows his brow and sighs, snapping for a third time. The sheets appear there and Gabe motions for Sam to lay down while he pulls the crisp top sheet down for Sam to climb in.

“Lay down,” Gabe almost whispers, “I’m going to change and then I’ll be right back.” He gives Sam a small smile before disappearing into the bathroom. He knew Sam was uncomfortable enough as it was, he didn’t want to upset him by suddenly changing clothes in front of him. He snaps and he’s dressed in similar attire, a baggy T-shirt and very soft pajama bottoms that are too long for his legs.

When he comes back into the room, Sam is laying down so Gabe turns the lights off with a flick of his wrist. He burrows in beside Sam, lying on his side to face the hunter. His hand immediately moves to cup Sam’s cheek. He has so much to say, but he doesn’t want to overload Sam with any more unnecessary stuff. He just lies there, stroking Sam’s cheek with the pad of his thumb.

****

Sam pulls up all the blankets, still shivering, while Gabe goes to change. Everything is quiet, except for the violent tap of raindrops on the glass as the storm rages outside.

He manages to keep the panic and sadness at bay long enough for Gabe to return and climb in next to him. But when the angel lifts a hand to hold his face, what little bit of composure he's regained shatters.

He moves closer, shifting to press his face to Gabe's collarbone and wrap his arms around Gabe, probably tight enough to knock the wind from a human. But his heart aches like a bruise and Gabe is warm and soft and smells like cinnamon. Sam never wants to let go.

"Gabriel, I am so sorry," he chokes out quietly, muffled by Gabe's t-shirt. He knows that the words can't begin to change what he's done, but he has to say them.

****

Sam wraps his arms tightly around Gabe and the archangel reciprocates, pulling Sam as close as humanly possible. He tangles their legs together without a second thought, the need to have Sam close to him overwhelming. One of his hands comes to stroke through the hair as the nape of Sam’s neck, untangling small knots with his fingers.

Sam mumbles a shaky apology against Gabriel’s collar and it makes his heart stutter in his chest. Why was he apologizing? It might be partially Sam’s fault, but what he did… it wasn’t intended to be malicious. He couldn’t have known this was how it would turn out. Gabe feels like he’s the one who should be apologizing.

He takes a deep breath and presses his lips to the top of Sam’s head. When he pulls back, he’s trembling. “Please don’t apologize, Sam. You didn’t know and no one can blame you for that. I’ll admit it was a pretty stupid idea but…” Gabe sucks in another breath, “I understand why you did it and honestly, if I was in your place, I probably would have done the same thing.”

He presses another kiss to the top of Sam’s ear, his other hand rubbing at the hunter’s back gently. Even though things are broken right now, he feels comforted by the sheer fact that Sam is here and he’s mostly back to normal.

****

Sam's limbs finally stop shaking as he relaxes into the heat radiating from Gabe. It's strange to feel the angel so warm, but it feels wonderful.

At Gabe's words, Sam pulls his head up to look at the angel, relishing the slow movement of Gabe's hand in comforting sweeps across his back.

"It's not..." His voice is raspy, like he's been screaming or crying for hours. "I did awful things. It wasn't me, but it /was/, I-" He swallows around the lump forming in his throat. "I told you I didn't care about you, but I..." Sam can feel his eyes filling with tears and stops, embarrassed.

****

Gabe listens to Sam rasp out his broken sentences with a frown. When he stops abruptly, tears in his eyes, Gabe moves the hand in Sam’s hair to stroke across his cheek. “Shh, I know you didn’t mean it.”

Gabe imagines that Sam must be tired, physically and emotionally. He lets his hand return to carding through Sam’s hair gently. “We don’t have to talk about this right now, Sam. Maybe you should get some sleep.” He allows himself to kiss Sam softly on the cheek.

****

Sam /is/ exhausted, drained by everything that's happened and fighting his body's attempt to recover from days without rest. And he feels safe here, wrapped in Gabe's arms, so incredibly relieved that the angel hadn't left him after all he's done.

When Gabe's lips brush his cheek, Sam turns his head just enough that their mouths brush. The gentle kiss makes him tremble as he opens his eyes again to watch Gabe, suddenly nervous for a brief moment through the fog of impending sleep. But he's warm and tired, so he closes his eyes and burrows closer to the angel, surrendering to fatigue as thunder booms outside.

****

Sam’s lips against Gabe’s, even if for just a brief moment, makes him smile gently. “G’night, Sammy,” he whispers against Sam’s ear. He can tell that Sam is already asleep seconds later, his breathing and heart rate slowing, his body relaxing even more under Gabriel’s touch.

The storm rages on outside, flashes of lightning illuminating the room every now and then. Gabriel lies awake, still stroking Sam’s back softly. He could sleep if he wanted to, but right now he feels the need to watch over Sam, protect him from the nightmares that are certain to haunt him while he sleeps. He presses his lips to the hunter’s forehead again, banishing any foul thoughts from his brain.

He can’t stop thinking about Sam’s heartfelt apology, making his heart flutter in his chest. Sam can’t possibly begin to understand… Gabriel had met a lot of people in his lifetime, plenty who have made him angry enough to warrant never speaking to again. But Sam will never be one of those people, no matter what. Even if Sam had stayed soulless, Gabe would have kept on loving Sam, kept on fighting for Sam. It’s what he’s done for the last 27 years.

The storm has cleared and the soft light coming through the window lets Gabe know it’s almost dawn. He finally lets himself slip off into sleep, his fingers still tangled in Sam’s hair.

****

Sam wakes gradually, registering his surroundings in bits and pieces. It's sunny, the light creeping in through the blinds - it must be late if it's that bright, he thinks. He feels rested, more like himself. And he's warm, surrounded by layers of blankets and...Gabe, whose fingers are gripping his hair loosely, whose chest is rising and falling in deep breaths as he sleeps, whose limbs are wrapped around Sam.

He shifts back just enough to see Gabe's face, moving carefully so he doesn't wake the angel. It's been far too long since he woke up like this, lazily tangled up with Gabe, and he missed it so much. Missed Gabe looking at him like he was the most important thing ever, instead of seeing the hurt and confusion in the angel's eyes.

They need to talk about what he did, more than they did in their brief words last night. He /needs/ to talk about it, even though Gabe told him he's forgiven.

But right now, he doesn't want to think about any of it, wants to try his hardest to push it aside and revel in having Gabe back. So he lets his lips meet Gabe's cheek in a ghost of a kiss, then moves to press his mouth to the corner of Gabe's mouth, murmuring, "Gabriel," before he kisses him, sweet and soft but intentional.

****

Gabriel wakes to his whispered name and lips pressing against his own. After the last few days, he would think this was just a really good dream, but he’s extremely grateful that it’s not. Sam is really tangled up with him, kissing him, saying his name in a voice that doesn’t sound distant and foreign.

He presses his own lips against Sam’s before pulling away slightly, a wide smile crossing his face. “’Morning, kiddo,” Gabe purrs, feeling Sam’s warm breath on his face. He buries his face into the crook of Sam’s neck, inhaling the scent of Sam’s skin. He wraps his arms around the other tightly before looking up at Sam and grinning again.

“You look better. How are you feeling?” Gabe brings a hand up to brush a stray piece of hair from Sam’s face. He can’t help but think that his own face feels strange, relaxed instead of contorted with aggravation. It’s /really/ nice.

 

****

Sam smiles, tentatively and slow, at the look on Gabe's face. "Better. I was pretty tired."

Gabe's eyes are gold again, not dark with anguish and anger, but warm and light in the late morning glow. Sam lets his hands cup Gabe's face and just /looks/ at him, brushing his lower lip with gentle strokes of his thumb.

"I...I missed you." He bites his own lip, unable to meet Gabe's eyes, focusing on the curve of his jaw. He says so quietly he can barely hear himself, "I thought you died, and I couldn't...I missed you."

****

Gabe sighs softly and closes his eyes. Sam’s touch is calming and he would easily be able to fall back to sleep in any other circumstances. But Sam’s words make his chest tighten in distress. “Sam… you know I missed you too. I’m sorry… I didn’t come back right away. If it wasn’t for that, maybe this wouldn’t have happened…”

Gabriel trails off, finally opening his eyes to look at Sam lugubriously. He brushes his fingers through Sam’s hair while stroking the top of Sam’s foot with his toes. He wants every inch of Sam’s skin against his own, as proof that he won’t fade back into that callous person from the last few days. The thought makes his stomach sink.

****

Gabe looks serious again and a little sad.

"You- what- you can't blame yourself, Gabe. I did this, I brought you back wrong from Hell, there's no way this is your fault."

He still can't look Gabe in the eye, so he burrows closer to Gabe, pressing his face to Gabe's neck. He doesn't want to say what he's about to - wishes he could pretend it never happened - but he can't.

"I /used/ you, Gabe...that, that girl, it wasn't...I know I said that it /was/ me, but I would never-" Sam can't even get the words out. "I regret that more than anything." Except leaving Dean to die, but this...he'd /told/ Gabe that he'd gone out and fucked someone else. How can Gabe forgive him for that?

"I'm sorry," he says again, knowing that no matter how many times he says it, the words won't change what's he's done. He finally looks up, catching the hand that's combing through his hair and pressing a kiss to the palm before lacing their fingers together to press another kiss to Gabe's knuckles.

 

****

Gabe’s gut clenches, the acid in his stomach churning uncomfortably. He had been trying to forget that, the images flashing in his mind. “Sam, I…” The words stick in his throat, but he manages to choke them out. “I knew you slept with that woman… I watched you. I was just… worried because you hadn’t come back yet and I accidentally…”

His face burns with shame and embarrassment, and he can only imagine how Sam must feel hearing this. “It’s my own damn fault. I shouldn’t have spied on you,” he mutters with a self-deprecating laugh.

****

"You /saw/?" Sam chokes out, startled. "Shit, shit!" He extracts his hands from Gabe to bury his face in them, groaning as he rolls over on his back.

"This is all fucked up, isn't it?" he mumbles through his fingers. He stills for a moment, just breathing, then rolls back over with purpose.

"Gabe, this is going to sound stupid and cheesy and I don't care." He takes Gabe's face in his hands again, so small in his hands even though the angel has enough power to turn him into a tiny pile of ash.

"I thought you were gone, and I didn't want to lose you, and you're...you're the only one I want. Ever."

He watches Gabe, waiting for a reaction, because all he wants right now is to be kissing him, a real kiss, but after this, he's not sure if he'll be allowed. This awkward tentativeness is new, and he wishes it would go far, far away. He leans in, lips almost touching Gabe's. "Can I kiss you? I just..."

****

“Whoa, wait just a sec—“ But Sam has already managed to roll away from him then roll back, holding his face in his large, warm hands. Yes, what Sam says next is horribly cheesy and cliché, but it makes Gabe grin nonetheless. It’s the closest Sam has probably ever gotten to saying “I love you” and Gabe will gratefully take that.

Sam leans in, his lips only centimeters away, and Gabe sucks in a breath. “You… are you /seriously/ asking if you can kiss me?” And Gabe chuckles, because he can, because Sam really is a big idiot. He doesn’t answer Sam’s question with pointless words, instead closes the very minute distance between them, crushing their lips together.

His arms wrap around Sam’s neck, pulling him so close they practically become one person. When he pulls away, he’s breathless and flushed and wondering how the hell he managed to go days without this. It’s almost scary how much he missed it. Before Gabe can think about what he’s saying, he blurts out, “I love you, Sam. Nothing can ever change that.” And then he pulls the hunter in for another kiss.

****

Sam presses against Gabe, feeling every inch of his body that's pressed back against his own. He kisses Gabe back, gripping the angel's hip in one hand, stroking the skin where Gabe's shirt has ridden up, and holding his neck in the other as he pulls Gabe even closer.

The noise that escapes him is swallowed between them as he licks into Gabe's mouth, rubbing the angel's neck in small, lazy circles as he kisses Gabe slow and deep, his heart pounding, feeling a little too warm pressed next to Gabe's furnace-hot body but not minding at all.

Sam's forgotten to breathe and pulls back, gasping against Gabe's neck as he tries to control the surge of want that's rushing through his veins. He presses panting kisses to Gabe's neck before returning his mouth to Gabe's.

****

/I have really missed this/, Gabe thinks as his tongue slides against Sam’s, both hands tangling in Sam’s hair. His body is burning hot, blood boiling underneath his skin, and Sam moving down to kiss his neck doesn’t help with that at all. He has to hold back a whimper, biting his lip so hard it could bruise.

But Sam comes back to his mouth, and Gabe slides his tongue along the soft skin of Sam’s lower lip before taking it in his teeth and sucking gently. All he can seem to think about is that first time they kissed in his little apartment, just like this, uncertain but passionate and heated. He has never wanted Sam more than he does right now. He wants to make things right, wants to leave his mark and let everyone in the universe know that Sam Winchester is spoken for.

They kiss until their lips are cherry red and throbbing, when Gabe pulls away and gasps softly, stealing some of Sam’s air from his mouth. He knows his pupils must be blown wide, his pulse pounding in the tips of his fingers, and his pants significantly more tented. But he won’t go there, not yet. Sam still seems cautious and hesitant and Gabriel respects that.

He grabs Sam’s hand on his neck and intertwines their fingers, his breathing finally slowing enough for him to speak clearly. “That was… I… wow…” are the only words he can seem to form at the moment. He abruptly snaps his mouth shut and just smiles that special smile only meant for Sam that he hasn’t been able to use in so long.

****

When Gabe pulls away with a gasp, Sam tries to catch his breath, dazed and distracted by Gabe's pleasantly startled look. He's actually managed to make the angel speechless - in a good way - and he returns Gabe's smile, albeit cautiously.

He places a light kiss on the very tip of Gabe's nose before rolling to his back again, freeing his hand from Gabe's as he tenses into a long stretch, arms hitting the headboard and back arching. He feels warm and sticky and gross from the rain yesterday, even though Gabe mojoed him dry.

He sits up to stretch again, cracking his neck and rolling his shoulders from where sitting in the wrecked car had put him out of place. The movement of the sore muscles wrings a groan out of him, and he looks back at Gabe after.

"I need a shower. Join me?" Even after this morning, he's still not sure Gabe will. He doesn't want to push Gabe too far after everything, or maybe it's himself he's afraid of pushing too far. But he wants Gabe to say yes.

 

****

Watching Sam stretch is a sight that Gabe didn’t know he wanted to see as badly as he did. But watching as Sam’s back arches off the bed, shirt pulling up to expose his bare, toned stomach underneath, well, it leaves Gabe feeling a little breathless. When Sam invites him to take a shower with him, he’s all for it, sitting up and stretching himself out before throwing the covers off and crawling over Sam to the other side of the bed.

“’Course I’ll join you,” Gabe says cheerily as he slides off Sam’s side of the bed. He leans over Sam, still lying on his back, and presses a wet kiss to the hollow of his throat. “Only… here’s the catch…” Gabe’s wearing a sly smile now, a finger tracing over the exposed skin of Sam’s belly, “I’ll undress you and you can undress me. How does that sound?”

He doesn’t know if Sam will accept his offer, but it’s worth a try. Sam shouldn’t really blame him, after all. That heated make out session wasn’t exactly chaste by any definition of the word and Gabe is feeling a little more comfortable now that they’ve (mostly) put Sam’s lurid behavior in the past. He leans down again to kiss the shell of Sam’s ear before straightening back up and putting his hands on his hips.

****

Sam tenses as Gabe moves over him, brushing against him as Sam thinks for a moment of grabbing Gabe's hips and keeping him there. But he resists the urge long enough for the archangel to move over him.

The press of Gabe's lips to his throat wrings a small noise from Sam, and the look in Gabe's eyes, all coy trickster, is one he missed. Sam contains a gasp as a lone finger brushes his lower stomach where his shirt has ridden up.

He returns Gabe's smile, slow and heated, as he stands up, towering over Gabe. It's something he only really notices occasionally, since the angel's intense enough to make him forget...and that reminds him that Gabe is back to full power now. The thought makes something flutter in his chest, though he couldn't say why. He definitely knows why the thought of Gabe naked and dripping wet brings on similar fluttering, though.

"Let's go shower, then."

****

With permission granted and Sam out of bed, Gabe takes Sam’s wrist and pulls him towards the bathroom. He’s trying to seem like he’s not in a hurry to get Sam’s clothes off but… well, Sam naked is a rather spectacular sight, if Gabe does say so himself.

Gabe pushes open the door and lets go of Sam’s hand, snapping his fingers to instantly turn the shower on along with locking the other two doors. He flashes a wide smile before tugging at the hem of Sam’s shirt impatiently. “Ready?” he asks as he slides his hand under and up Sam’s shirt. Gabe barely resists the urge to pinch Sam’s nipple as his fingers slide over it, deciding that might startle him a little too much.

 

****

Sam lets Gabe strip him as the bathroom starts to fog. It's far from cold in the room, but Sam shivers anyway as he reaches forward to work Gabe's oversized shirt off.

"I think you could fit two of you in here," he murmurs with a small, teasing grin, before pulling Gabe closer to kiss him. While his mouth is busy, he trails a hand down Gabe's bare chest and slowly pulls at the drawstring of his pajama pants, untying them and sliding his hands underneath the soft fabric, pushing them down Gabe's legs as his hands slide down Gabe's thighs until the pants fall to the floor and they're both naked and standing either much too close or much too far apart.

Heat coils low in Sam's belly as he straightens, letting his hand glide in feather-light touches back up to Gabe's hips as he kisses the angel again, nothing chaste about how their bodies brush together just enough to make Sam groan, dizzy from the heat and light-headed with desire.

He barely manages to pull himself away, everything that's happened in the past few days forgotten as he climbs wordlessly into the shower, looking over his shoulder at Gabe, beckoning with a look.

"I'll even let you wash my hair this time," he says with a small, purposeful smile.

****

By the time they’re both naked, Gabe is already half hard again and struggling to keep his hands to himself. Sam gets in and Gabe just smiles at his words, stepping in right behind him. He graciously lets Sam stand under the hot water first, knowing that he needs it much more than Gabe does. Gabe watches the water flow over Sam’s skin, over the toned muscles of his arms and stomach and chest and legs… and he can’t help reaching out and touching him, letting his hands wander down Sam’s sides to still on his hips.

Gabe bites his lip as he steps closer, planting kisses on the only places he can reach without standing on his tiptoes. He starts with Sam’s collarbone and works his way down, sweeping his lips across a nipple. He lingers there, hesitant to go any further, but damnit, they’re already here and naked and he might as well try and fail than never try at all. He lets his tongue flick over Sam’s nipple this time as one of his hands gently strokes up and down Sam’s side.

 

****

Sam's eyes are closed under the water's spray when the brush of Gabe's hands startles him. He leans forward, flipping his soaked hair out of his eyes, gasping when Gabe's tongue brushes across his nipple. Sam catches Gabe's face in one hand, leaning down to find Gabe's mouth with his own, to nip and lick and taste.

His kiss becomes more hesitant for a brief moment. The last time he'd been with Gabe, it had been quick and meaningless, so different from this slow, aching approach, but he can't do that to Gabe again - even if it's only him that sees it that way. He has to let Gabe take control, can't be that man that had pressed him to the door preoccupied with only the desire for dominance and his own need to get off. He wants - needs - Gabe to be in charge this time.

Because when he remembers the rest of that encounter, his body betrays him. He covers one of Gabe's hands with his own and drags their fingers together to his cock, letting out a small moan at the contact on his taut, throbbing flesh. He doesn't let his eyes leave Gabe's as he murmurs, "Please."

****

Sam is begging now and it’s obvious to Gabriel that this is an invitation. Gabe bites his own lip as he takes Sam in hand, stroking him slow and gentle, eyes fixed on Sam’s. Gabe is already painfully hard now, just watching Sam with his liquid hazel eyes and his pupils, blown wide, is making Gabe very aware of his own erection pressing into Sam’s thigh. He has to reach down with his free hand to squeeze himself a few times before quickly returning it to Sam’s hip.

He sets a slow but intense pace, his hand making a tight ring around Sam’s cock. About thirty seconds in, he ruts his own cock against Sam’s thigh. Even then, the friction isn’t enough and he groans softly, reaching down with his free hand to pump himself again a few times before grabbing Sam’s ass to distract himself.

 

****

Sam can't keep from gasping at Gabe's touch and has to close his eyes for a moment, overwhelmed by the heat and the firm grip on his cock. His eyes flutter open in time to see Gabe's hand on his own erection, clearly trying to contain his own need and see to Sam's.

The thought would elicit a small grin from him, but he's drowning in Gabe's lust-blown eyes and the slide of his hand and the noises Gabe can't quite hold back. He lets one hand drift down Gabe's side, just light enough to make him squirm but not enough to actually tickle as he leans to nibble at Gabe's jaw. Sam's hand trails over the groove of Gabe's hip to drag down the length of his shaft, just letting his fingertips slide over the warm, soft skin that's pressed against his own thigh.

He grips Gabe loosely, moving his hand to thumb over the slit at the head of Gabe's cock, slick with water and pre-come. Gabe's fingers are digging into his ass and he grabs Gabe's own in return as he lets his teeth nip at the corner of the angel's mouth.

Sam shifts his hand, stroking hard and increasingly fast down Gabe's length while the roar of the shower fills his ears around the sound of the noises he's pulling from the angel. His lips move to Gabe's ear, murmuring words he barely knows he's saying cut by deep groans Gabe's pulling from him.

"Missed this, missed you, /fuck/, want you, Gabe, Gabriel," he babbles, his voice breathy and wrecked.

 

****

Sam must have discerned Gabe’s need for his touch, because he feels warm fingers trailing down his hip and wrapping around his cock and… /oh/, this is so much better than anything he could do by himself. Sam’s strokes, unlike Gabe’s, are quick and ruthless and Gabe is being unraveled by Sam’s hand already, his loud moans echoing in the small, enclosed space of the shower. Gabriel has to brace himself against the wall with his free hand, his other still pumping away – much faster now – at Sam’s cock.

Then Sam is whispering words into his ear, broken phrases that make Gabe’s heart beat faster. The way Sam draws out the words and says his name, but not his name… the nickname that Sam has coined and made into his own very personal way of showing his affection. Gabriel loves it, so much that he feels like his heart is going to swell in his chest and possibly burst before this is all said and done.

“Sam… fuck… I… this is… I missed you…” His voice is needy and raspy from moaning so loudly but he needed to say it again, just to make sure that much was clear. It should be genuinely surprising how easily Sam has managed to break an archangel and a Trickster apart with a simple touch, but Gabriel doesn’t want to question it. He just revels in the moment, lets pleasure sweep over him while he strokes Sam increasingly faster, completely unintentionally.

And now, he’s focusing all his attention on Sam’s hand around his cock and it’s enough to send him over the edge, but he bites his lip so hard it bleeds. He’s fallen into the rhythm of thrusting up into the tight ring of Sam’s fingers, a slightly different noise being ripped from him every single time. At some point, Gabe brought his other hand to Sam’s chest to roll a peaked nipple between his fingers while he nibbles on the other.

****

Gabe’s hand leaves the wall to play with Sam’s nipples and the accompanying sharp nip of his teeth sends small shivers straight to his groin. Gabe’s hand coaxes him closer, but the noises he’s wringing from Gabe tell him the angel is needier than he is right now.

“Love listening to you, y’know. Love hearing you moan for me,” he murmurs, arousal letting him say what he’s thinking without censoring his thoughts about the moaning, writhing angel pressed against him.

Sam lets his free hand, the one not working Gabe’s cock fast and hard, slide around to the back of Gabe’s thigh, hoisting his leg around Sam, leaning his weight against the shower side so Gabe’s leg stays raised. He plants a light kiss on Gabe’s forehead as he lets his hand pull in slow, tight strokes along Gabe’s length while his other hand cups the curve of Gabe’s ass. The /only/ part of their brief, heated encounter while Sam had been soulless that he wants to think about is how it had felt to have Gabe’s fingers inside him while the angel sucked him down. He wants to try it, because it might be new to him but it’s probably something Gabe’s wanted but hadn’t wanted to push Sam into giving. He has some idea of what to do, and the chance to see Gabe even more undone beneath him, crying out /his/ name…it's terrifying and unfamiliar but if there's anyone he trusts to try something like this, it's Gabriel.

He moves his hand farther as he bends to let his lips brush Gabe’s ear. “Can I…I want to…” He can't even form the right words to ask, so hard and turned on that he can barely see straight.

 

****

Sam traps Gabe against the shower wall, allowing him to wrap his leg around the hunter’s waist to keep himself up. Sam is still relentlessly stroking his cock, but his other hand is wandering and Gabriel likes where this might be going. Gabe knows exactly what he’s asking, despite his fractured sentences, and he brings his own lips to Sam’s ear and moans his assent.

“Please… I want you to,” Gabe begs, his voice barely audible over the sound the water smacking against the floor of the shower. It’s followed by a string of soft whimpers as Gabriel bites his lip again to keep himself from going over the edge. “Sam, now… please…”

****

Sam doesn't hesitate any longer at the sound of those whimpers from Gabe. He reaches his wet hand back and presses one finger carefully into Gabe, sliding it slowly to the second knuckle as his lips ghost over Gabe's jaw and his hand slows to a steady, teasing pace.

It's not long before he's adding a second finger, crooking them both as he moves them in a cautious slide. Sam's teeth nip at Gabe's neck, his tongue licking at the spot where he can feel the angel's pulse thrumming, and he's painfully hard but watching Gabe is worth waiting.

 

****

Sam’s hands are no longer cautious as he slides a finger inside of Gabe. It elicits an obscene moan from Gabriel, who ends up slamming his head back against the shower wall with enough force to crack his skull open if he wasn’t an archangel. He’s squirming against Sam, his moaning turning into sonorous chanting of things like, “Oh fuck” and “Sam, please”, and eventually it turns back into incoherent sounds and shouting loud enough for the entire city to hear.

Sam’s fingers are stroking his prostate so perfect, it’s almost impossible for him to hold out much longer. A few more thrusts in and Gabe’s coming hard, sobbing Sam’s name as he drops his head against Sam’s shoulder. When he finally winds down enough to see again, he wriggles out of Sam’s grip and pushes him back, leaving enough room to drop to his knees. “My face,” Gabe manages breathily and licks the head of Sam’s cock, “I want you to come on my face.” He looks up at the hunter and smiles, definitely fitting of a Trickster rather than an archangel, as he starts to pump Sam’s dick.

****

Sam almost hyperventilates listening to Gabe as his fingers stroke harder. The noises he's making as he writhes against Sam are some of the most provocative sounds Sam's ever heard, and Sam can't help a moan or two of his own in response, so turned on he can barely see as Gabe comes, moaning Sam's name. He presses a kiss to Gabe's soaked hair as the angel shudders in his arms.

When Gabe pulls away and kneels, Sam bites his lip, aching for Gabe's mouth. But Gabe's request nearly makes Sam's knees buckle with lust.

He barely has to touch Sam before he tangles his fingers in Gabe's hair, yanking the angel's head back. His orgasm hits him hard and fast, come striping Gabe's face as Sam cries out with a sob.

He leans a hand to brace himself against the wall, trying to catch his breath, unable to look away from Gabe, because seeing his come streaked across one cheek and dripping from the angel's eyelashes has to be one of the hottest things he's ever seen.

****

Gabriel blinks, just once. In that very short amount of time, Sam has managed to climax and Gabe can feel hot come dripping down his cheek. He licks the corner of his mouth where a little bit lingers, just to have a taste of Sam, before standing up and pushing past Sam to rinse his face in the spray of the shower.

Gabriel turns around after a few seconds, wiping at his eyes, before beaming at Sam. “So, can I wash your hair now?” Gabriel asks, almost excited at the prospect. He’s only gotten to experience this domestic stuff with Sam and even then, it’s been sparing. It makes Gabriel feel normal, despite the fact that he’s far from it.

****

Sam whimpers a bit as he watches Gabe's tongue.

When Gabe asks if he can wash Sam's hair, he blinks for a moment, still trying to recover. "What? S-sure."

He manages to close his eyes just before shampoo is dumped on his head, and Gabe's nimble fingers against his scalp feel amazing. He slouches a bit, not to help Gabe reach but because he feels so relaxed, melting under the vigorous caress of Gabe's hands and post-orgasm bliss and the heat of the water.

Eyes still closed, Sam slides his hands along Gabe's arms to guide himself to the angel's face. He plants a light kiss on Gabe's mouth, then another with a small smile as Gabe continues massaging in the shampoo.

"Having fun playing hairdresser?" he murmurs.

****

Gabriel massages shampoo into Sam’s scalp, the sweet peppermint smell a little too strong in the small shower. He’s in the middle of sculpting Sam’s hair into a faux hawk when he decides to nip at the corner of Sam’s mouth playfully.

“Your luscious locks are just so fun to play with,” Gabriel teases, pushing Sam back into the stream of water. He helps Sam wash the shampoo out and then moves on to scrubbing Sam’s back with soap. Gabe presses gentle kisses to every inch of skin before sliding his sudsy hands across Sam’s shoulder blades.

When he’s finally done washing Sam, he steps back and admires Sam’s body. Even though Gabe is an archangel, he’s still insecure, and seeing Sam naked and looking like freakin’ Adonis makes him wonder why Sam is even with him in the first place. He could have practically anyone he wanted, but Sam has stuck with him, at least for the time being.

Gabe shakes the thoughts from his head and looks to Sam now, eyes shining brilliant gold. “My turn?” he asks with a small smile, wrapping an arm around Sam’s waist and giving his ass a playful squeeze, “I’m starting to get a little pruny here.”

****

Sam can't quite read the look in Gabe's eyes as they roam his body, but it's gone before he can think about it too much.

He swats Gabe's hand away and grabs the shampoo. "Couldn't you just, I dunno, mojo yourself /not/ pruny?" He runs his shampoo-covered hands through Gabe's hair in a light, tugging sweep that keeps the angel close. With his eyes closed to avoid the drips of lather, Gabe looks incredibly content, like a pampered housecat. It tugs at Sam's heart to see him respond so gleefully to something as simple as getting to share shower time again. It makes Sam take his time with the shower, regardless of Gabe's complaints about being pruny.

When they step out of the steam filled bathroom, Sam shivers, quickly changing into the first pair of jeans he finds and a button-down henley that's snug but comfortable. He rubs his towel through his hair briskly, wishing it was dry but not wanting to go through the process of using the hairdryer. He could ask Gabe, but it seemed frivilous somehow.

He plops down on the edge of the bed, not quite ready for what he has to face downstairs. He combs his hair back out of his face with his fingers, sighing.

"I gotta go talk to Dean. But he's gonna kill me. Maybe I can just stay in here forever." He smirks at the thought, but he's only half joking.

****

Sam scrubs his hair and Gabe purrs softly, leaning into his touch. By the time they get out of the shower, he really /is/ pruny, but it’s only a snap of his fingers and his fingers and toes look normal again. He follows Sam out of the bathroom, snapping up his own clothes – a light blue and gray striped button down and jeans – and flops down on the bed next to Sam.

It’s a good idea, Sam going to talk to Dean. He might not want to, but he really needs to. Gabe sits up and brushes a wet strand of hair stuck to his face away. “I wish, Sambo, but…” Gabriel bites his lip and runs a hand through his dripping hair. “Dean missed you too and yeah, he’s gonna be pissed, but I promise I won’t let him kill you.”

He winks, but the smile that follows is so soft and gentle that he knows it must look wrong on his face. He takes Sam’s hand and pulls him off the bed. “Come on, we’ll go together.” He pulls Sam towards the door and right before he opens it and slips out, he presses a sweet kiss to Sam’s lips.

****

Sam lets Gabe lead him downstairs. Dean's outside by the Impala, and Sam braces himself before pushing the door open and approaching his brother. Gabe wanders off, but Sam's focus is solely on his brother, to whom he owes an apology even more than he had owed one to Gabe.

"Dean."

Dean looks up from rustling in the trunk, surprised that Sam managed to get so close without him noticing.

"Hey, Sammy." He tries to keep his voice lighthearted but there's still an edge to it, cautious and sharp.

"I, uh, I kind of remember everything."

Dean just watches him, his mouth a tense, hard line. He starts to reply but Sam cuts him off.

"No, Dean, just let me say this. I can't...I would never have left you like that, if I had still been me. And having to remember that it /was/ me who would have let you die- I don't know how to apologize enough for what I did."

"You think I'm mad about that, Sammy? Jesus."

Sam's confused. "But-"

"Dammit, Sam, I know that wasn't you. I know it wasn't like the demon blood - it wasn't you but messed-up you. The /you/ you was gone." Dean waves his hands at his brother. "You know what I mean. What I'm freakin' pissed about is that you didn't /tell me/ you were planning on making a deal with /Crowley/, of all the untrustworthy sons-a-bitches! I mean, c'mon man, do you think me and Cas and Bobby would have just let Gabriel stay dead?"

"But- I- you don't even like him! How was I supposed to know-"

Dean grabs him by the shoulders in a painfully tight grip, his face thunderous. "Because I'm your /brother/, you fucking idiot!"

He lets go and steps back, shaking his head. "Doesn't matter if I like him, /you/ do."

Sam swallows around the lump that's formed in his throat. "...thanks, Dean."

"I mean, it's not like I enjoyed the soulless version of you running around. Having to hear some of the shit you said-" Dean rubs at the back of his neck furiously, frowning at the ground as he scuffs his boot in the dirt and sighs. "But...I get why you did it." Sam wonders where Cas has gone, but doesn't bring him up. The fact that Dean hasn't clammed up anyway is a miracle.

"I'm sorry. I know it doesn't make up for how stupid I was, but I'm sorry."

Dean just nods at him. "I know, man. And I'm glad to have you back. The real you. Just, you know, stop being such an idiot."

There's a flutter of wings, and Cas appears, looking slightly dishevelled. When he realizes Sam's standing next to Dean, he blinks in surprise.

"Hello, Sam."

"Hey, Cas," he says gently. "Um, I wanna apologize for everything. I know I was awful, and..." he loses his train of thought at the angel's intense stare. Those blue eyes will never /not/ creep him out just a little. Gabe's gold eyes are much easier to look at. "...and I'm sorry."

He holds his hand out hesitantly, and Cas looks at it for a moment, with a small tilt of his head, before grasping it in his own. "You are forgiven, Sam. Even though you made a poor decision, it was done with the best intentions. Thank you for caring enough for my brother to try to save him."

Sam's surprised, but Cas gives him a knowing look and releases his hand. Dean twitches next to them and Sam wonders if Cas has been gone since he took off last night, maybe trying to stay out of the way just in case.

He rolls his eyes at his brother and smirks. "Dean, aren't you going to kiss your boyfriend hello?"

Sam would taunt Dean to the ends of the earth for the blush that spreads across his cheeks - and shockingly, Cas's face - but it's too damn adorable. Dean pulls Cas in for a quick kiss, then gruffly mumbles something about the Impala, and Sam can't help smiling at how happy they look and the fact that Dean cares enough about the angel that he /doesn't/ care that Sam's standing right there.

It makes him wonder where Gabe's gone.

****

Gabriel lets Sam go at the door and settles down into the living room. He’s about to turn the TV on when he notices Bobby sitting across the room, staring at him. How did he not see him there before? Gabe thinks it might just be that him and Bobby share a strictly business relationship. Neither of them really notice the other and the words they share tend to be instructions and information on cases.

Bobby is straight up /staring/ at him and it makes Gabriel extremely uncomfortable. “Uh, hey…” Gabe mumbles and sinks back into the couch. Bobby just furrows his brow and crosses his arms over his chest. Everything is awkwardly silent until Bobby clears his throat.

“How’s Sam doin’?” Bobby looks… angry, but Gabe has realized he might just be one of those people that constantly has that look stuck on his face.

“He’s okay… he’s talking to Dean now.”

There’s another long and painfully unpleasant silence follows. When Bobby finally decides to talk again, Gabe jumps and stares up at him with a little bit of fear in his eyes. “Y’know, just ‘cause yer Sam’s boyfriend doesn’t mean I have ta like ya.”

Gabriel’s eyebrows knit and he quickly works to correct the misunderstanding. “No, Sam’s not my—“ He stops and really /thinks/ about what he’s about to say. Bobby is looking at him curiously.

There’s nothing wrong with Bobby’s assumption that Gabe and Sam are a thing. Well, Gabe would really rather like to call Sam his and not have to share. They’ve never talked about it, though. Sam is… unsure, at least that’s what Gabe thinks. He’s never even thought about bringing it up in conversation, maybe because he’s afraid of what Sam will say. He likes how they are now and he doesn’t want to ruin it by pushing his ideas onto Sam.

Bobby interrupts Gabriel mid-thought. “Whatever ya are, I don’t like ya. Yer strong and yer an asset to have, but I don’t trust ya.”

At first, Gabe keeps quiet, looking down at his feet, but then he laughs, dark and humorless. “I don’t even trust me. I don’t blame you.” When Gabe turns and looks at Bobby again, he looks surprised and there’s a hint of a smile there.

“Maybe yer not as bad as I thought,” Bobby mumbles, getting to his feet, “Anyway, I haven’t told the boys yet but Rufus called me. Needs help with a case. I’ll be gone for a few days, don’t cause any trouble.” Bobby pauses again, then turns to Gabe with a very serious look on his face. “And try not to break anythin’ else”

Gabe genuinely has no idea what he’s talking about. Except for the window (which Sam replaced) and the bedside lamp (which he fixed and he doubts Bobby even knows about), he hasn’t broken anything. Bobby is long gone by the time Gabe shakes it off. He takes off to go find Sam, feeling a little uneasy.

 

****

A few minutes later, Sam, Dean, and Cas head inside, Dean and Sam laughing and Cas looking confused.

"I really don't understand why that's so funny."

"You wouldn't, Cas, it's just, that was the second time we had to spend in the hospital because Sam had shoved a Lego up his nose. Dad was furious!"

They open the door and almost run into Gabe. "Hey! So Dean's decided I apparently owe him a pie for all the trouble I've caused - his words, not mine. Wanna help me? I know you can just mojo everything up but I figured we could drive into town and grab some stuff, borrow a car from Bobby. Cas said he'd help us make it, so I'm gonna look up a recipe."

Sam goes to the kitchen to grab a cookbook and notices that there's broken glass all over the kitchen table. A few shards still cling to the fixture on the ceiling. "What happened-" He stops himself, blushing slightly as he looks back at Gabe. "Uh, never mind. Do you even need a recipe, or...?"

****

Gabe is about to walk out the door when Sam and the others walk in and nearly plow over him. He staggers back, a little startled. “Uh… oh, yeah, pie. Right.” Gabe nervously runs a hand through his hair and nods. “I can help.” The thought of having to talk to Bobby again makes Gabriel cringe. Cas must have noticed because he’s staring at Gabe, head tilted to the side.

He shuffles into the kitchen behind Sam and isn’t really surprised to see the shattered kitchen light. Bobby had warned him, after all. He sighs and snaps his fingers, cleaning the glass up and mending the broken fixture. “Don’t worry about the recipe. I’ve got plenty that are better than any cookbook you could find.” Gabe smirks just a little and turns on his heel, making his way back to the front door.

“Come on, let’s go!” Gabe urges and Cas gives him another befuddled look. He just claps his brother on the shoulder before walking out the front door without waiting for Sam. What Bobby said… it’s going to bug Gabe for the rest of the day if he doesn’t talk to Sam about it, and he’s very keen on getting Sam alone so they can discuss it in private.

****

Sam follows Gabe out. He can hear Dean talking excitedly to Cas about how if Gabriel's pie is anything like his pancakes, he can't wait. It's funny that something as simple as pie can make Dean happy after everything that's happened lately - or pretty much their whole lives. The simple things.

Bobby tells them to take one of the Mustangs, so they climb into the faded blue car and drive off. It's nice out, so Sam rolls down the windows. Dean really doesn't let Sam drive unless he has to, so he's savoring the chance to be behind the wheel instead of in the passenger seat.

He looks over to Gabe briefly with a small smile and takes his hand, lacing their fingers together between them on the seat.

"Thanks for coming with me. I know it's probably boring doing things the human way, but I like to do ordinary stuff like grocery shopping. Or, y'know, getting to eat food that isn't from a drive-thru or a diner."

****

They pile into the car and take off, windows rolled down and Sam looking exceptionally attractive in the afternoon sunlight. Sam takes Gabriel’s hand in his own and Gabe can’t help smiling softly and squeezing Sam’s hand tighter. “Hey, I like doing that kind of stuff from time to time. It’s too easy, snapping your fingers and something instantly being there.”

His face falls as he remembers Bobby’s snide remark from earlier. He turns to stare down into his lap, still holding Sam’s hand. “Can I ask you something?” Before Sam can answer, Gabe is already talking, stumbling over words as he goes.

“Bobby, he… said something to me earlier and it just kind of made me curious… umm… what do you think of this? Of us? I mean, is this like… dating, or…” He’s obviously flustered and eventually stops, clamping his lips together as his face flushes. He’s usually so good with words, but Sam makes him lose all of his eloquence so easily he should be ashamed.

****

"/Bobby/ said something?"

Sam kind of wishes he could stare at Gabe but only watches him for a few moments before looking back to the road so he doesn't end up wrecking Bobby's car. Gabe's blushing furiously, something that's surprising in itself but coupled with the angel's stammering is /definitely/ out of the ordinary.

He absentmindedly lets his thumb rubs the back of Gabe's hand as he thinks about it. From what Gabe's told him, he's definitely slept around, never done anything close to what he and Sam have, except maybe with Kali. He doesn't want to ask and get the gory details, really.

The silence in the car reminds him that he hasn't said anything yet, and he glances at Gabe again. "I'm not - I just had to think."

He winces. "Sorry, that sounds awful, doesn't it?"

Sam's messing everything up, again. But he needs to answer Gabe seriously, and he's the kind of person who takes the time to think about this kind of thing. He signals and pulls the car over, turning the engine off. They're on a quiet backroad, the only sounds the hum of distant traffic on a nearby highway and insects in the tall grass. Sam turns to look at Gabe, watching him so hesitantly and expectantly.

"I told you the other day that I didn't want this to end up being a one-time thing, and I still don't. I missed you when you died, but even then I didn't think...I mean, you flirted with me even before I really knew who you were, and then you were gone before I could really think about it. And then you were back, and everything happened, and...I'm rambling, aren't I?"

He rubs the back of his neck with his free hand, feeling awkward and horribly young next to an eons-old archangel. "I mean, you keep telling me that I'm great even though I think you're crazy for wanting /me/ of all people, and then I think this whole thing is crazy, because you died and came back and then I thought you died again and, well, you know, and...I'm rambling."

Sam sighs and covers his eyes with his free hand, then starts chuckling quietly. "I'm an idiot." He pulls his hand away and smiles at Gabe. "Yes, I'd like you to stick around. And for us to be dating."

He squeezes Gabe's hand gently. "Although if we're going to be dating, I think we should actually, y'know, go on a date. If you want."

****

Gabe listens to Sam’s rambling expecting to be let down, but in the end, Sam comes to the conclusion that he enjoys Gabriel’s company enough to consider dating him. Gabriel doesn’t really know what that whole deal entails. With Kali, they went on dates, sure. She was never really Gabriel’s girlfriend though, just someone he slept with and had a good time with. They never had any of the things that him and Sam have. No cuddling or sweet kisses or holding hands or showers.

“Dates are definitely an option, I just don’t really get the whole concept of dating.” Gabriel tilts his head to the side and cocks a brow, looking at Sam. He’s still blushing, but he’s looking at Sam with a curious glint in his eyes.

“I don’t exactly… know how all of this works,” he finally admits, hanging his head, “I know, it’s pretty stupid.” He’s thumbing at the fabric on his jeans nervously, yet his eyes are still fixed on Sam.

****

"It's not stupid," he says, looking back at Gabe curiously. It's still strange to see him so unsure. He leans over to press a firm kiss to Gabe's mouth, then a few more while he's at it, before pulling away with a smile and restarting the car.

"I guess it's like what we've been doing," he says as they get back on the road. He blushes when he realizes what he's just said. "But there's more to it?" Sam thinks back to Jess, the last normal relationship he'd been in, and one of only a few. "You go on dates, like out to dinner and movies and stupid art festivals - I'm not going to any art festivals, sorry, I don't /get/ art," he says with a grin and a glance over to Gabe. "You hold hands when you go out and do stuff together but you also stay in sometimes and curl up on the couch and watch bad TV. Jess used to make me watch some stupid soap opera, and I used to try and distract her-"

Sam winces. "One of the more important rules is not talking about your exes, sorry."

"And I guess the important part is usually the agreement that you won't see anyone else," Sam says as he turns into the grocery store lot and parks the car. "Not that you would...but y'know."

They get out and head into the store, where Sam grabs a basket, since there shouldn't be too much to buy. "So what do we need? I figure apple pie's Dean's favorite, so we'll need apples. We can either stay together or split up to grab stuff, it's up to you."

 

****

Gabriel listens with curious interest. He’s been around humans long enough to know at least the basics. It seems easy enough, but he wagers it’s a lot harder than he thinks. Emotions aren’t really his thing, but Sam seems to bring them out more often than he thought was possible.

He’s quiet until they get inside the store, all middle-aged women and small, crying children and men who look like they’re lost as they wander the aisles. “Let’s stick together,” Gabe mumbles, a little terrified to be left alone in this madhouse. He takes Sam’s hand without thinking about it, looking around warily. “Okay, where do you even start? I’ve only ever been in a grocery store once and that was truly a disaster…”

A goofy teenager bumps into Gabriel’s shoulder and he turns to glare at the kid. The teenager looks at him, then down at Sam and Gabe’s hands intertwined between them. The kid mutters, “Queers,” before turning and walking away towards the soda aisle. Gabe cocks his head to the side with a furrowed brow.

“What was that guy’s problem?” he asks, more to himself than to Sam.

****

It's kind of amusing that an archangel is disconcerted by a grocery store, but Sam's surprised when Gabe's hand slips into his. His mouth twitches into a smile - had Gabe been taking notes in the car - but the moment's spoiled by the teenager that walks by.

Sam pales at the slur and drags Gabe away, trying to swallow the mix of panic and shame that are churning in him. Gabe looks confused and annoyed, like he really doesn't understand, and he probably doesn't. Cas had repeatedly mentioned the whole indifference to sexual preference thing or whatever, and clearly Gabe is, to put a label on it, bisexual at the very least.

It's a very strange conversation to be having with himself as he drags Gabe around the store, asking questions about ingredients but barely talking, lost in his head. He hasn't really had to deal with being with Gabe in public when there weren't fires and monsters to distract the general population, and if anything, this is the part of their...relationship that he's most anxious about. Because unlike Gabe, he knows why a man holding hands with another man - let alone one who looks about ten years older - in the middle of a grocery store in Kansas is asking for trouble.

But even while he's freaking out, he realizes he hasn't let go of Gabe's hand - so small in his, for someone that could leave this whole state a smoking crater if he felt like it - and that says something to him.

He'll tell Gabe all this later, as much as he can actually bring himself to explain, but right now there's an aisle Gabe will definitely want to see. Sam smiles broadly, anticipating the angel's reaction.

"So, before we leave, there's one aisle you're definitely gonna wanna see. Just try not to go too crazy, I didn't bring that much money with me, okay?"

Sam hasn't been to the store here in a while, but there's still an entire aisle of candy, from the kind of stuff no one ever actually eats, like those scary orange peanut things and the chalky dinner mints, to the really good stuff, a surprisingly big selection of chocolate and lots and lots of gummies, Twizzlers, Skittles, and lollipops.

****

Before Gabe can think on why that little punk looked at him like he had three heads, Sam is dragging him towards one of the aisles crowded with people. Gabe braces himself, only to be thoroughly surprised that it’s not nearly as bad as he thought. Everything goes relatively smoothly – minus the odd stares they’re getting from people – and they wind up with all their ingredients in no time. Sam has been pretty quiet and Gabe wonders if it’s because of what that kid said before. Why would Sam be upset about it, though?

Gabe narrows his eyes at Sam when he starts leading him toward another aisle that apparently Gabriel is going to really enjoy. He’s skeptical at first, but as soon as they turn the corner and Gabe sees the wall of candy, his eyes widen and he literally becomes a kid in a candy store. He lets go of Sam’s hand, pushes up on the balls of his feet and pecks Sam on the cheek before immediately walking over to the gummy bears.

They’re “on sale” so Gabe grabs five bags of them and clutches them to his chest. Then he’s over in the chocolate, grabbing a few chocolate bars and a bag of white chocolate truffles. By the time he’s finished grabbing things, his arms are loaded with sweets and Gabriel looks like a very content archangel.

“Don’t worry about paying for all this, I got it,” Gabe states with a smirk. He looks around before snapping his fingers (a difficult feat with the sheer amount of stuff he’s got in his arms) and making a wallet appear. “Don’t worry, it’s money I actually earned back in the days when I was a janitor. I’m sure you remember.” Gabe shoots Sam a dark grin before coming to stand next to Sam again.

“Ready to go?” Gabriel beams up at Sam, his eyes scrunching up in the corners. Gabriel thinks it’s nice to pretend to be human every once in a while. He’d almost say he prefers it, as long as Sam’s around to keep him company through it all.

 

****

Gabe reacts pretty much like Sam expected, filling his arms with chocolate and gummy bears.

"What, you actually did work as a janitor? I thought all you did was sit around killing people." The fact that Sam can joke about it makes him realize how far this whole thing has come. Not that it's okay that Gabe was doing the whole taking-justice-into-his-own-hands thing, but most of those people had sounded pretty awful. Gabe had just gotten a little enthusiastic.

Gabe looks absolutely thrilled at the prospect of getting to devour all the candy in his arms as they head to the checkout. He's practically bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet as he watches the cashier pack everything up.

"White chocolate is disgusting, by the way," Sam teases as they head back to the Mustang. He'd try to steal a bag of gummies, but Gabe would probably bite him.

They pile back into the car, their bags stowed in the backseat, and it isn't until they're going fifty-five on the way back to Bobby's that Sam brings it up.

"Look, that guy back there...it's just, no one's ever called me that before. People here aren't exactly very accepting - I mean, they barely get Internet faster than dialup here, and it's not like Kansas is very progressive in general. It was just...this is kind of new, I'm not used to people looking at me like I'm...like I like guys." His hands clench on the steering wheel.

****

Gabe glares at Sam before grinning and shaking his head. “I was bored, all right? It was lonely and I was tired of sitting around all day. It was only for a while, anyway.” There’s a small hint of sadness in his voice that he quickly hides with a huge grin and a happier subject as they walk out of the store.

“Don’t hate on my white chocolate, Sam. I don’t discriminate when it comes to candy. Well, unless it’s licorice.” He sticks his tongue out at Sam and makes a disgusted face.

They’ve hit the road and are heading back to Bobby’s when Sam starts to ramble about the kid in the store. Gabe just shrugs and looks out the window, shoulders tense.

“It seems to me like the good majority of people aren’t very accepting. It’s too bad. Don’t let it bother you.” He claps Sam on the back gently, attempting to be comforting, but he knows his face is probably showing just a little disappointment. Sam had said they could be together, but he’s obviously embarrassed and ashamed to be labeled that way. Gabe knows Sam is sensitive to what others think of him but this has got him baffled still.

“You’re never going to see that guy again, so what does it matter, anyway? But…” Gabe pauses, chewing the inside of his lip absent-mindedly. “If it bothers you, we don’t have to… you know… do the whole public thing. I get it.”

Gabe leans against the window and forces a smile that he knows Sam won’t see because he’s driving. He feels obligated to pretend it’s all right, that it doesn’t bother him that essentially Sam is a little hesitant to do the whole PDA thing with Gabe.

****

It's kind of funny to hear the anti-homophobia speech from an angel, but Sam kind of gets the idea that God (wherever he is) likely has bigger things to worry about.

Gabe probably doesn't realize how much dismay is showing on his face, but Sam feels like a complete and utter jerk.

"No, you know what, I'm sorry. I just got finished telling you 'the whole public thing' was part of us dating and then I act like that? I'm not ashamed of you, Gabe, if anything it should be the other way around, me being a clumsy human and you being-" He waves a hand at Gabe. "-y'know, you."

Sam reaches out for Gabe's hand again, taking his eyes off the road to kiss their entwined fingers. He likes doing that, and likes how Gabe usually responds with one of his genuine smiles. He hopes he'll get the same response this time, because he really hadn't thought about how his confusion would seem to Gabe.

"In fact," he says as they pull back up to Bobby's, "to make up for how much of an idiot I am, would you, um, want to go on a date? Tomorrow, 'cause I told Dean we'd spend some quality time with him and Cas." When the car's parked, he can finally look at Gabe properly. "We could go anywhere, it's up to you, or I could pick somewhere, but you probably know better places in like, Europe or something..." He's rambling again. Funny how Gabe makes him do that, except for the part where Dean will tease him for acting like a stammering preteen.

"Anyway," he clears his throat, "I'd really, /really/ like to go out to dinner, with you. If you want."

****

Sam’s lips brush Gabriel’s knuckles and it is truly amazing how much the simple action means to Gabe. Sam mentions a date and Gabe can’t help grinning so wide his face hurts. “It’s all you, big guy. I’ve got my fill of traveling for a while. You take me somewhere you like and then next time, I’ll take you somewhere I like. I think that’s a good compromise.”

Gabe leans across the seat and kisses the corner of Sam’s mouth. He brushes a gentle kiss across Sam’s lips before pulling away. “That’s a yes for dinner. I’ve always wanted to be wined and dined by a true gentleman.” Gabe winks then throws open his door, sliding out and flinging the backseat door open. He grabs almost all the groceries by himself and starts towards the house.

“Come on, slowpoke!” Gabe shouts over his shoulder as he traipses up the porch stairs.

****

Sam grins back as Gabe jumps out of the car, leaving one bag for Sam to carry. He feels a little better about, well, everything watching Gabe get so excited for something as simple as a dinner date. He'll have to come up with something good, since Gabe's never been on a real date.

He follows Gabe inside and starts unpacking the groceries, rummaging around in the cupboards for mixing bowls and spoons. He's never actually made a pie from scratch, and it's only slightly more likely that Gabe has, even if he really does like to cook. Hopefully they come up with something that Dean can actually eat.

They aren't making a ton of noise in the kitchen, but Dean must have heard them anyway as he traipses downstairs.

"Dude, is that my pie?"

Sam just rolls his eyes. "Dean, we just got back from the store. So yeah, it is your pie, we just haven't, you know, /cooked/ it yet."

"Hey, it's an /apology/ pie, remember? So no harassing me." He yawns and shuffles to the fridge for a beer, but as soon as he has a drink in hand, Sam pushes him out of the kitchen.

"Go away, Dean. We're never gonna get this pie actually baked if you're in here drooling over it. Get Cas to distract you or something." He grins at Gabe behind Dean's back.

"Cas is very busy with research upstairs, thank you very much."

Sam's actually surprised when there's a rustle of wings and Cas appears fully dressed and books in hand. "Hello, Sam, Gabriel. How was...shopping?" He looks curiously at the ingredients spread across the counter.

"Pretty good, other than your brother buying half the candy aisle." He doesn't look at Gabe but he's pretty sure he's getting a bitchface aimed at him.

Cas fidgets. "Would it be acceptable if I assisted with your apology pie?"

Everyone gives Cas a surprised look. "You wanna /bake/, Cas?" Dean asks, like he's just sprouted three heads and started playing an ukelele.

Castiel just wills away the books in his arms. "It seems like a good opportunity to learn how to make pie, since you like it so much."

Dean doesn't have any clever response to that, and looks like he'd very much like Cas to forget about the pie and head back upstairs, but Sam just pats Castiel on the back and pulls him into the kitchen.

"Go away, Dean, we have a pie to bake."

Dean just grumbles halfheartedly and heads to the living room. "Hey," he calls back, "Bobby said to say bye and not to let Gabe destroy anything while he's gone."

"He left already?"

"Yeah, something about too many lovebirds crowding his house."

Sam just grins to himself and turns back to Gabe and Cas. "All right, Gabe, lead the way."

****

Gabriel sets down all the groceries before digging into his candy, pulling out a chocolate bar and ripping the paper off of it. He watches Sam unpack groceries while he eats his candy, licking the melted chocolate off his fingers when he’s finished. He’s in the process of opening a bag of gummy bears when Dean walks in, all sparkly-eyed and smiley.

Sam is trying his best to get rid of Dean, but before Gabe can chime in, Cas appears in the kitchen. Sam makes some snarky comment that earns him three whole seconds of Gabriel glaring. Then Cas chimes in, expressing an interest in helping, and Gabe shudders. If Gabe knows anything about Cas, it’s that he’s an absolute disaster when it comes to things like cooking or baking. Gabe will have to watch him carefully if they don’t want to ruin the pie.

They’ve finally convinced Dean to leave the kitchen, as Gabe is finishing up his bag of gummy bears. The archangel stands up and tosses the empty bag at the trashcan, pumping a fist in the air when it falls in. He goes to the counter and looks at the ingredients before turning to Sam and pointing at his hair.

“You need to tie your hair back. I don’t care how embarrassing you think it is, if Dean finds a hair in his pie he’s not going to be happy with any of us.” He slides around behind Sam and pulls his hair back into a small ponytail. “There. You look adorable.”

He shuffles around Sam to grab the flour and all the other ingredients for the piecrust and takes it over to one of the mixing bowls. “I’ll start on the crust since it’s the most complicated. Sam, you can help Cas make the filling. All you have to do is cut up the apples for now. I can show you the rest of the steps once you’re done with that.”

He gets to work right away, mixing the ingredients for the crust while Sam and Cas cut up apples. Gabe’s very focused on his work, as he always is when he’s cooking anything.

****

"Hey!" Sam complains as Gabe yanks at his hair. He gives the archangel a glare that's lacking any real anger and adjusts the ponytail so it doesn't feel like his hair's being ripped out.

Sam digs around and comes up with two cutting boards, handing one to Cas with a knife. After they've washed the apples, Sam shows Cas how to core and dice them. Gabe's busy nearby, working intently on the crust. Sam watches him for a minute, making sure his attention is elsewhere before murmuring to Cas.

"So I'm taking your brother on a date tomorrow."

Cas looks up from his small pile of chopped apples. "You're taking Gabriel on a date?" His brow furrows as he tilts his head.

"Yeah, so, um, any suggestions?"

"The only place Dean's ever taken me was a brothel, so I'm not sure-"

"Hey, Cas, didn't need to know!" Sam flushes, trying not to picture it. "So Dean's not exactly a romantic, we kind of knew that. But..." he trails off, looking up at Gabe again for a moment. "-I mean, I know Gabe likes candy, that's about it. So, I dunno, what else does he like?"

"I assume when you ask what Gabriel likes, you aren't referring to smiting wrongdoers or killing things?"

He's about to reply when he sees the amused expression in Castiel's eyes.

"No, that's not exactly what I mean, Cas. I know he likes food in general, just like, what kind does he like better?"

Cas's face is less amused now. "Gabriel and I...were not close, before we met you and Dean, Sam."

Sam falls quiet. He'd forgotten how Gabe had treated Cas back before Sam and Dean knew who he really was. They get along well enough now, but it's not something Sam wants to dwell on. It's clear Castiel still prefers to spend his time with Dean.

"That's okay, Cas, I'll come up with something." He clears his throat. "You really don't need to try and make every piece the exact same size, y'know. Dean's going to eat the pie regardless."

Cas just looks over at him with something like gratitude in his eyes. "I'm sure whatever you come up with, Gabriel will appreciate the effort. He cares for you a great deal. It isn't something...archangels don't fall in love with humans lightly, Sam. It's practically unheard of. Although you and Dean tend to be the exception to a great many rules."

Sam sneaks a look over at Gabe again, elbows-deep in piecrust with streaks of flour on his cheeks. He looks ridiculous, and Sam feels that flutter in his chest again.

"Thanks, Cas. Let me help you finish your apples."

Castiel motions slightly and the apples are cut up into perfect cubes. "Thank you, but I believe I'm done." He gives Sam a small smile.

****

Gabe can hear snippets of Sam and Cas’ conversation, but he chooses to ignore it. The fact that Sam is asking his brother for advice on where they should go on their date is endearing and hilarious considering that it’s Castiel. He just smiles to himself and keeps working.

Gabe finishes up the crust right as Sam and Cas are finishing their apples, so he pulls his hands out of the dough and goes to inspect their work. He wipes his forehead with the back of his hand, only to remember that it’s covered in flour. He’s probably got a white streak across his forehead the size of Texas.

“Okay boys, let’s see what you got!” Gabe pushes Sam and Cas away from the apples and studies each one carefully. As he figured, Cas’ apples are perfectly sliced, each one exactly identical to the others. Sam’s are mostly the same, but every single one of them is different in some way. Funny that how someone cuts apples can tell you a lot about a person.

“Great, lookin’ good, now…” Gabe grabs another bowl along with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. He dumps about half of the bag of sugar in, then adds a little cinnamon and just a dash of nutmeg. “Okay, what you’re gonna do now is toss those apples in this mixture. Once I’m done pressing the crust into the tin, you can dump all that in here then we’ll put it in to bake.” Gabe nods once and leaves them with the job to return to the crust, grabbing one of the pie tins off the counter.

****

Sam takes the ingredients from Gabe, lets Cas measure them out and dump them in the bowl while Sam stirs.

Before long the pie is in the oven, they're pretty much all splotched with at least a little flour, and Dean is poking his head into the kitchen to check on their progress. Sam balls up a dish towel he'd been using to wipe off his hands and chucks it at Dean's head.

"Hey, c'mon! There's an Indiana Jones marathon on, by the way."

Cas follows Dean back into the living room, already spotlessly clean again, while Sam collects bowls and dumps them in the sink. He feels spoiled that one of the angels can just will them clean again, but he really doesn't like doing dishes.

Sam grabs Gabe by the hips and brushes some of the flour off the angel's face. "How did you manage to get so much flour in your eyebrows?" he asks with a laugh. When Gabe's face is mostly clean, Sam pulls him close and presses a quick kiss to his mouth. He tastes like candy, so Sam kisses him again, this one more attentive as he nibbles Gabe's lip lightly. He gives Gabe one last sweet, gentle kiss before pulling his mouth away.

"C'mon, let's go watch TV while the pie's baking."

****

By the time they’ve put the pie in the oven to bake, Gabriel is covered in flour. He’s managed to get it in his hair and all over his shirt, with just a few splotches on his jeans. He wipes his face off on his sleeve as Sam instantaneously grabs him. Gabe just scowls and flicks Sam’s nose. “I kept forgetting my hands were covered in it…” he admits sheepishly, furrowing his brow.

Sam is kissing him and Gabe sighs softly into his mouth and wraps his arms around Sam’s middle. “Indiana Jones? Seriously? I’m so over those movies.” Gabe sticks out his tongue but starts to make his way towards the living room anyway.

He stands next to the chair right by the couch, the only one big enough to fit him and Sam (if Gabe sits on his lap). Dean and Cas are hogging the couch for once, hand-in-hand. They don’t say anything when Gabe comes in, they just look at each other and Dean flushes slightly. Gabe just chuckles and waits for Sam.

****

Raiders of the Lost Ark is playing when Sam follows Gabe to the living room. He's surprised to see Dean and Cas practically cuddling on the couch, hands intertwined. Dean glares at him as if daring him to say something, and he wonders if Gabe made a comment. But since he's already had to make one apology pie today, he keeps his mouth shut. Although it is annoying that they're taking up the entire couch.

Gabe's standing awkwardly next to Bobby's faded armchair that's probably older than Sam. Sam plops down into the chair, pulling Gabe onto his lap as they settle in. Dean gives him a look, but Sam shoots one right back. If he didn't want to have to have to see his brother sharing space with the archangel, Dean should have saved more room on the couch.

Sam half-watches the movie, bickering with Dean about plot points and sidekicks, enjoying the chance to just /sit/ with Cas and Dean and Gabe, his boyfriend, and wow, that's strange to call him that, but in a nice way. A way that fits with the comfortable weight of the angel in his lap and the smell of apple pie baking and the afternoon sunlight streaming in through the dusty curtains. It's the kind of day they don't spend together very often.

He takes one of Gabe's hands and absentmindedly twines their fingers together, brushing back and forth across Gabe's knuckles with his calloused thumb, completely at peace for a few moments while he forgets everything and watches a movie he's seen more times than he can count in hotels with Dean.

****

The time passes with no real surprises, other than a few quarrels that got out of control. Gabe is truly befuddled by the idea of someone liking Indiana Jones as much as Dean Winchester does. Gabe is nearly asleep, attempting to ignore the bickering and just enjoy Sam’s warmth, when the oven dings. He groans and curls closer to Sam, knowing he should get up and take it out, but he’s too comfortable in Sam’s lap to care much.

By the third ding, Gabe finally rolls off of Sam’s lap and heads towards the kitchen. He takes the pie out and sets it on the counter, watching the steam roll off of it. It looks delicious and he gives himself a pat on the back for a job well done.

“Hey! Pie’s ready!” he calls out, shuffling around trying to find a knife to cut it with.

****

By the time Dean's eaten the whole pie - Sam had tried to get him to at least share with Cas, who got a small bite before Dean wolfed down the rest - and the dishes are cleaned up, the second Indiana Jones movie is finished and The Last Crusade has started. Sam nudges Gabe off his lap and stands to stretch.

"We're gonna go for a walk," he tells Dean and Cas. He takes Gabe's hand to lead him outside, into the warm, dark night. Sam's missed being outside too - he used to go for walks at night while he was at Stanford to clear his mind in between brain-numbing assignments. There's a slight breeze, but the sky is clear, the moon is bright, and there are hundreds of stars dotting the inky sky. Sam laces their fingers together as they walk slowly, no real destination in mind. He swings their arms a little and smiles down at Gabe.

****

There is a lot of fighting over the pie, but in the end, Dean hogs it all. When the second movie starts, Sam tugs Gabe up and outside before he can argue. They walk for a while in silence, enjoying the wonderful evening weather. They walk at least a mile and a half and when they can see the lights from the town, Gabe tugs Sam’s hand.

“We should go back,” Gabe suggest without waiting for Sam to agree. He just tugs Sam along behind him. Within thirty minutes, they’re back on the front porch. Gabe spots the swing there and sits down in it, stretching and yawning. He pats the seat next to him and grins, his gold eyes glittering in the light of the moon. “C’mere.”

It’s weird how natural all of this feels, just sitting around with Sam, hanging out. Gabe’s never really had anyone to hang out with like this. There’s always been a reason behind visits from others, whether for sex or anything else. But being here with Sam, there’s no real reason, just that they want to be together.

****

Sam sits next to Gabe on the swing. He can hear the sound of the movie still playing inside, but otherwise it's quiet, almost serene. Gabe's eyes are bright and he's smiling happily, and it makes Sam's heart sing. Dean would definitely call him a girl, but Sam tells his mental version of his brother to shove it and enjoys seeing the angel happy instead.

He wraps an arm around Gabe and pulls him closer, pressing a kiss to the top of the angel's head. But that really doesn't feel like enough, so Sam tilts Gabe's face up with a gentle press of fingertips on his chin and kisses him lightly, savoring the feel of Gabe's mouth on his own. He sighs, relaxing into the kiss even as a slow, hot tingling sparks through his veins. There are no demons or monsters to fight, nothing to distract him from the warm, pliant archangel in his arms. All he wants is Gabriel, and having him here makes Sam feel complete.

Sam pulls back to catch his breath, feeling lightheaded as he rests his forehead against Gabe's. His heart is pounding like it's about to burst, and then without warning, the words are spilling out, quiet and devout, all that he's feeling condensed in three simple words before he decides whether he meant to voice them, though they're completely sincere.

"Love you, Gabe."

Chapter Text

It’s moments like these that make Gabriel feel like all of his wasted years here on Earth have amounted to something. Having Sam like this is like a gift he’s been waiting to unwrap for millennia. Right now, everything is so peaceful, almost as if the Leviathans and Purgatory and Sam being soulless never happened.

Everything feels as if it’s stopped when Sam finally speaks. The words knock the breath right out of Gabe and he has to spend a few seconds regaining his composure before pulling away to stare up at Sam, wide-eyed.

Did Sam really just say that? Gabe is suddenly in denial, absolutely sure that he couldn’t have heard that right. “W-What did you just say?” Gabe stutters as his hands grip Sam’s arms. He needs to know that he didn’t just imagine Sam saying he loves Gabe. Sam, who had been cautious from the start of all of this, could have just potentially admitted to loving /him/, Gabriel, the archangel. That’s… a pretty big deal.

As soon as Gabe thinks he’s about to get an answer, Dean throws the front door open and walks out, Cas in tow. “All right, lovebirds. Break it up. I don’t want to have to do a hand check.” Dean’s face falls when he sees Gabe looking rather shocked. “Dude, what the hell happened to you? You look like you just saw a ghost.”

Gabe just shakes his head and drops his hands into his lap. “No, it’s… what the hell did you need anyway?” Cas and Dean exchange a glance before Dean clears his throat.

“Well, since the two of you losers ran out on us before, we figured we’d come spend some quality time with you.”

“You’re just bored because your movie marathon is over,” Gabe says in a flat voice. /Of course this would happen/, Gabe keeps thinking as his grimace grows. He catches Cas’ eye and has to look away.

Dean furrows his brow and smirks. “If it was up to me…” Cas cuts him off with a quiet but fierce “Dean”. That’s enough to shut him up.

****

Gabe stares at him, wide-eyed in complete shock, and all Sam can do is inhale sharply and stare back. He's about to reply when Dean and Cas appear, and Sam has very rarely wanted to be an only child, but this is definitely one of those times.

Dean, with his usual emotionally stunted immaturity, rolls his eyes at Cas. "All right, don't get your panties in a bunch, Cas."

"I don't wear..." Cas starts, looking confused.

"Cas, it's just an expression!" Dean chokes, blushing furiously.

Castiel and Sam catch each other's eyes, and then Sam is cracking up, giddy for no reason except that he just told Gabe that he loves him and of /course/ Dean would interrupt.

"Well, at least Cas and I aren't sneaking off to go feel each other up on the porch!"

Sam just grins at him, and says, "You know, there's a back porch too," before cracking up again. He's not really sure why it's so funny, but it is.

Dean stammers at his brother. "Dude, what- have you guys been fooling around out there too? Is there anywhere in Bobby's house you haven't defiled?"

Sam sobers up, wincing. "Well, you probably don't want to sleep on the same sheets-" Dean chokes.

"Dean," Castiel interrupts. "Your brother and my brother haven't actually had sex on our bed. In fact, they haven't-"

Cas is speeding into dangerous territory, so Sam cuts him off. "Hey, Cas, c'mon! Life's no fun if I can't harass my brother."

Castiel looks over at Gabe, whose idea of harassing his brother is sending him to parallel universes. "I suppose you're right."

Dean just leans back against one of the support beams, arms crossed. "Man, it's /weird/ to just be sitting around like this. Bobby needs to get back from vacation or whatever the hell he's doing with Rufus and get us something to hunt."

"Yeah," Sam agrees, although he's not too upset at the respite. Especially when he still has to plan his date with Gabe, the first date /he's/ been on in as long as he can remember. "It really sucks not to be mauled and beaten by supernatural monsters daily. Man, I miss it."

Dean flicks Sam on the nose, so Sam swats back at him. "Hey, it's our job, man. Someone's gotta take a beating to save the world while you two sit around holding hands and making goo-goo eyes at each other."

"Says the guy who was holding his boyfriend's hand earlier."

"Whatever, bitch."

"Jerk," Sam replies automatically with a grin that's cut with a yawn.

"Aw, is someone sleepy?"

Sam reaches out to poke Dean in the gut and gets his hand swatted away. "What time is it, anyway?"

"Uh, quarter past midnight, why?"

Sam shrugs, suddenly conscious of Gabe's body pressed against his side. "Dunno, we'll probably head up to bed soon. You guys staying up?"

The climate has shifted, now that they're suddenly paired off again. Sam hasn't minded bantering with Dean, but his declaration to Gabe is hanging over them, unresolved.

Dean shrugs, looking to Cas.

"I believe you were going to show me how to play poker."

Dean brightens up at the reminder. "Oh yeah, I forgot!" A sly grin appears on his face. "Man, you are going to /lose/."

Castiel just gives him a deadpan expression, but there's a hint of playfulness in his eyes. "Dean, I'm an angel of the lord and will have the advantage of, I believe it's called 'beginner's luck.'"

Dean ruffles Sam's hair. "'Night, Sammy. Try and keep it down tonight, huh?"

"Dammit, Dean!" He lunges half-heartedly for his brother but Dean's scooted out of the way, laughing as he pulls Cas back inside.

"Good night, Sam, Gabriel," Cas calls before he's yanked through the door.

When the door has shut behind them, Sam looks back over to Gabe, who's watching him intently.

****

Gabe listens to the pointless bantering without saying a word. Normally, he’d be very keen to join in on the festivities. He’s too buys repeating Sam’s words over and over again in his head until Cas butts into his thoughts like Gabe knew he would.

/Gabriel, is something wrong?/ Castiel asks through thought, leaving Dean and Sam completely unaware that they’re even conversing.

/You need to keep a leash on your boyfriend, Cas/. Gabe thinks right back sourly, frowning. /Sam just told me he loves me. I think/.

Cas pauses to contribute to the conversation between Sam and Dean briefly before raising his eyebrows and looking at Gabe softly. /That is a very good thing. I don’t see the problem…/

/The problem/, Gabe snaps, gritting his teeth, /is that Dean seems to have impeccable timing when it comes to ruining moments/. Gabe is miraculously managing to keep a straight face while he rants in his head. Cas checks out again briefly to say a few words to the Winchesters before turning back to Gabe.

/I’m certain that I can get Dean to come inside with me…/

/Sometime in the next century would be nice…/ Gabe jabs angrily. Cas looks as if he’s about to open his mouth to speak, but Sam and Dean’s bickering cuts him off. Sam basically does Castiel’s job and manages to get rid of Dean for the rest of the night, leaving the two of them alone on the porch again. Before Cas disappears inside, he directs one last thought at Gabe.

/Good luck/.

The only things Gabe can hear are crickets chirping and the sound of his pulse in his ears. Gabe swallows nervously and puts his hand on Sam’s. “Maybe we should take this upstairs. You know, where it’s a little more private.” He glares in the general direction of the living room where he can hear Dean teaching Cas how to play poker.

****

"Oh-" Sam opens his mouth to reply, but Gabe snaps and they're upstairs in Sam's room. "-kay."

He just looks at Gabe, who's watching him with wide golden eyes, waiting.

He'd said it. He'd /finally/ said it.

He'd meant to tell Gabe after Purgatory, then everything had happened. It hadn't been like he'd forgotten, but...he'd said them without thinking, instinctively, because just being that close to Gabe made him incredibly happy. He wants to cling to Gabe and never let go, wants to see him smile and laugh like when he was the Trickster (but without the malicious pranks), wants to hold him and protect him and cherish him.

He's been a complete idiot, head over heels and unable to see it. Even after he'd realized, Sam had held back, but now that he's said the words, he wants to say them over and over.

Sam turns to Gabe and kisses him, claiming him with an intense but brief press of lips. "I said that I love you." It's still surprising to hear those words from his own mouth as he runs his thumb over Gabe's lower lip, then kisses it gently. He hasn't told anyone that he loves them in a very, very long time, and he's missed it.

He presses another kiss to Gabe's waiting mouth, pulling the archangel against him. Sam smiles gently against Gabe's lips, pulling back to press a series of small kisses just under Gabe's ear, murmuring, "Love you, Gabriel."

****

Gabriel is too impatient to wait on Sam to make up his mind and definitely not in the mood for Dean to butt in… again. He snaps and they’re in Sam’s room… no, /their/ room. It takes Sam a long time to finally come out with it, obviously lost in thought for a moment before leaning down to press his lips to Gabe’s.

Sam loves him. Deep down, Gabe has had a feeling that maybe that was the case, but his pessimistic side told him that it was just reading too far into this. Gabriel is an archangel, an oddity, and while Sam doesn’t seem to have much trouble getting alone with beings that aren’t human, he couldn’t help but feel like he wasn’t adequate. All this time, he watched Sam, protected him, /loved/ him. He had convinced himself they could never be together, ever, because Sam is a human tainted with demon blood and Gabe is an archangel, powerful and pure (generally speaking).

Now, they’re sitting here, so close that Gabe can feel the heat radiating off Sam’s body, and he’s happy. Happier than he’s ever been. There is nothing on this small planet that makes Gabriel the archangel happier than Sam Winchester does.

He leans into Sam’s kisses by his ear, closing his eyes and sucking in a breath. “You know I love you too,” Gabe whispers, his voice suddenly very clear and piercing even when he’s speaking in hushed tones. He’s practically glowing when he pulls away, a little bit of his Grace shining through.

Instinctively, Gabe reaches out to Sam and takes his hand, intertwining their fingers. “You trust me?” Gabriel asks, despite already knowing how Sam will answer.

****

Gabe inhales sharply, and his reply is tinged with a ringing tone that makes Sam draw away. Gabe looks like he did in the stairwell, skin faintly luminescent, and his eyes are the molten color of sunshine.

"Gabe?" He's not sure what's happening but he can't look away. He nods in reply, entranced.

****

Gabe presses his free hand to the middle of his chest and closes his eyes. In an instant, six wings unfurl from his back, all gold and beautiful. Each feather is slightly luminescent, shimmering even in the dull light of the room. Gabriel is literally glowing, his Grace seeping out and filling the room.

“You don’t have to close your eyes or anything. This is a pretty small amount of Grace…” Gabe laughs softly and squeezes Sam’s hand gently. “But if your eyes start stinging or anything, you should probably tell me.” He winks and ruffles his feathers, a few falling out. Gabe grimaces and remembers it’s been a while since he’s groomed them.

His face quickly becomes serious again as he watches Sam’s reaction. This isn’t something that happens everyday. In fact, Sam is the first to be seeing Gabe’s wings in a situation like this. He watches and waits, hoping that Sam won’t freak out and run from the room.

****

Whatever Sam expected, it wasn't this.

Wings, huge and feathered - /six/ of them, the span of the room, taking up most of the space - unfold from Gabe. They're the golden color of his eyes, shining like Gabe is with a soft, resplendent light.

"Gabriel," he whispers, completely in awe.

But even as he speaks, his eyes are already half-closed on instinct. When Gabe tells him not to worry, Sam blinks and looks again, noticing that the wings a bit rumpled but fascinated by their movements. They rustle and ruffle, twitching mostly independent of each other. They fill the room, and Sam's not entirely sure how they aren't disrupting furniture and books and papers, but what does he know about angel physics?

A few golden feathers float to the floor. "You're shedding," he quips, still reeling from the vision before him. It's Gabe, but it's also Gabriel, and a small part of Sam is telling him how unworthy he is to be shown something like this. The wings remind Sam exactly how powerful Gabe is, and /what/ he is, and the thought sends a thrill through him.

But Sam can't help the wide smile that appears slowly across his face. He reaches a hand out but stops himself just before his fingers meet with feathers.

"Can I..." he asks in a hushed tone.

****

The way Sam whispers Gabe’s name sends a thrill down his spine, like an electric shock extending all the way to his toes. He lowers his wings just a little so he can scoot across the bed towards Sam without breaking things. It’s a damn hassle and it makes him remember why he doesn’t like having his wings out in small spaces.

Gabe laughs at Sam’s comment about shedding. “It’s because I don’t groom them like I should. It’s easy to forget I even have them.” He shrugs and runs a hand through his feathers, allowing a few more to float down onto the bed. Sam is smiling like an idiot, but Gabe is thoroughly enjoying seeing him like that.

Then Sam reaches out for his wings, but doesn’t touch them. Gabe winces away instinctively and flaps his wings nervously a few times. He accidentally knocks over a lamp and it shatters on the floor. He swallows hard, watching Sam cautiously, before nodding. “I don’t know what it’s going to feel like… I guess I’m apologizing in advance if I accidentally thwack you.”

Gabe grins lopsidedly and grabs Sam’s hand, bringing it to gently brush over his feathers. It’s the smallest of touches but it sends a bolt of the strangest sensation through him. He’s almost tempted to back away, but the feeling isn’t /that/ bad. He allows Sam’s to touch them fully, bracing himself.

****

Sam stops breathing, entranced by the warm grin on Gabe's face as the angel moves Sam's hand to graze over the feathers of one of his middle wings. He doesn't think he'll be able to reach the top of the highest set, despite being so much taller than Gabe - they're that enormous. Gabe shivers but doesn't pull out of reach, so Sam scootches closer and combs his fingers through the feathers. They're similar to birds' wings, he thinks, fascinated by the texture. The feathers are sharper, more substantial, towards the tips of Gabe's wings, while still managing to be soft. And towards the joint where they fold and next to Gabe's back, the feathers are downy and shorter. Sam drags his fingers downward gently, watching a few more long, loose feathers fall to the bed. A frisson of energy moves through him, seemingly coming from Gabe's wings - maybe it's static. Sam licks his lip, daring to let his hands roam more.

He brings up both hands to stroke over the crest of the lower wing, from end to end, letting his fingers flex into the feathers before smoothing out the ruffled, rumpled patches. Sam's captivated watching them glow gently with Grace as he lets his hands wander, stroking and petting and exploring. To be allowed to do something like this, when Gabe had made it sound like no one else had, /ever/, it's a gift Sam doesn't even know how to begin to repay.

****

At first, the sensation is overwhelming and Gabe has to fight to keep from ripping Sam’s hands away. His skin is tingling uncomfortably, a jolt firing through him each time Sam combs his fingers over Gabe’s sensitive feathers. Eventually, the feeling becomes much more pleasurable, letting Gabe relax into Sam’s touch. It’s /almost/ arousing. Gabe finds himself leaning into Sam, humming softly as he presses his face to Sam’s neck. He could fall asleep, just like this.

Gabe feels like he might actually doze off, his eyelids drooping as Sam’s fingers play with his feathers. It’s not until Sam accidentally pulls out a feather that was still partially attached that Gabe recoils, yelping.

“Careful!” Gabe hisses, almost angry, before sighing softly and leading Sam’s hands back to his feathers, a silent apology for being grumpy. Gabe settles against Sam and draws his wings close, cocooning them both inside as he nuzzles Sam’s neck.

****

Sam flinches when his hand snags a feather and Gabe jumps.

"Sorry," he murmurs as Gabe returns his hands to his wings a moment later. As he combs his fingers through them again, Gabe moves closer, wrapping them in golden feathers. It's late, and he's tired and relaxed and, for once, completely content.

"Here, let's get into bed," Sam says quietly. He nudges Gabe off the bed and pulls the blankets down before stripping off pants and shirt, wearing only his boxers as he gets into bed. He leaves the blankets shoved to the end of the bed as he looks back at Gabe, who's still glowing faintly, wings and all.

"You can keep them out, if you want. I wouldn't mind." By which he means that he definitely wants to keep exploring Gabe's wings with his hands, because they're /wings/ and he's fascinated and Gabe had hummed with satisfaction, a sound he always likes to hear.

****

Gabe slides off the bed and starts undressing, folding his wings up in impossibly uncomfortable ways to avoid breaking things. When he’s in nothing but his boxers, he climbs into bed and crawls over to Sam. Before he lies down, he shakes his wings out and feathers go everywhere, raining down on the floor and bed.

He flops down on top of Sam and spreads his wings out over them, accidentally knocking the alarm clock off the bedside table. It clatters to the floor and Gabe sighs angrily before shifting to get comfortable. He wraps his arms around Sam and rests his head against Sam’s chest.

****

Sam chuckles when the alarm clock falls. His wings might be gorgeous, but Gabe clearly has trouble maneuvering them in spaces as confining as this.

He wraps an arm around Gabe's lower back, holding him close while his other hand strokes the strip of skin between Gabe's shoulders, just brushing the edges of his wings. The hand on Gabe's lower back rubs small circles into the skin in slow, lazy strokes.

Sam yawns, feeling Gabe's weight rise and fall with the movement of his own chest. The angel is warm, radiating heat, but he's keeping Sam warm in the absence of the blankets.

His hand moves from shoulders to feathers again, and he watches Gabe through heavy-lidded eyes. "They're amazing, y'know," he says softly, studying Gabe in the faint light. "Thank you...for showing them to me."

****

Gabe stares at Sam, his own eyelids drooping as he struggles to stay awake. He shrugs gently before pressing a kiss to Sam’s collarbone, his wings rustling slightly. “No one has ever told me they love me before…” Gabe mumbles quietly, closing his eyes and enjoying the feeling of Sam’s fingers brushing gently over his wings, “I trust you. Always have. I was just… waiting for the right time to show you.”

Gabe flushes and looks away, embarrassed and annoyed that he’s being so damn cheesy. He buries his face into Sam’s chest and sighs, holding Sam tighter. He’s ready to just go to sleep and forget about letting his walls down like this. It’s nice, yeah, but it’s also making Gabriel panic a bit. After all, he’s an archangel and his wings are one of the more mild things that he could show Sam. If Gabe showed him anything else, he’s really not sure how Sam would react.

****

No wonder Gabe had been so hurt when he hadn't said it back. But when Sam thinks of the other angels and their zealous devotion to duty and cold disdain for weakness - and how the archangel tends to view and interact with humanity in general - he's not surprised that Gabe had never once in his long existence been told he's loved. It makes his heart ache that he's the first to say it.

Gabe presses his face to Sam's chest and sighs, gripping Sam tighter as if he never wants to let go. Sam leans up to press a kiss to the crown of Gabe's head before relaxing back into the pillows.

" 'Night, Gabriel," he murmurs, warm and drowsy, drifting to sleep with one hand entwined in golden feathers and the other wrapped possessively around the angel in his bed.

****

Gabriel isn’t really sure when he fell asleep. He wakes up with a start, his wings rustling restlessly. Sam is still asleep underneath him, fingers tightly gripping Gabe’s feathers. He pries Sam’s hand away before sliding off the bed and folding his wings up against his back. He leaves Sam to sleep, pressing a light kiss to his brow before plodding downstairs.

Gabe spends most of the day sprawled out on the couch, alternating between watching TV and napping. Sam joins him a while later, then Cas and Dean after that. Gabe can’t hold back his comment about the shattered glass of the picture frame in the hall upstairs that makes Dean scowl at him and Cas blush.

It’s about 5:30 when Gabe rolls off the couch and starts to head towards the stairs. Sam hadn’t really told him when they were doing their date but Gabe figures it’ll be sometime soon. He needs to get ready. “I’m goin’ to take a shower!” Gabe announces as he practically skips up the steps.

****

Sam came up with the plan for their date while he was scrolling through Google's search results for 'date ideas'. The dinner part would be simple, but then what? And then he'd seen an events page that made him smile.

While Gabe's in the shower, Sam changes into a dark-green v-neck sweater over a button-down and dark jeans. The clothes are tighter than he usually wears, and it feels strange not to throw on a heavy jacket.

He packs a bag with a change of clothes for the after-dinner part of their date and sits on the edge of the bed to wait for Gabe, elbows resting on his knees as he laces his fingers together, trying not to fidget restlessly. Sam's nervous about this date for some reason. After everything that's happened, a date should be the least of his worries, but this - like a lot of this thing with Gabe - is new, uncharted territory. And it's been a really long time since he's been on an actual /date/.

****

Gabe showers and shaves (yes, even archangels need to shave every now and again) before changing into his favorite jeans and a silky maroon button-down. He bounds from the bathroom and climbs up onto the bed next to Sam. “So, where to?” He laces his fingers with Sam’s and grins widely.

Gabe is excited to say the least. He’s never been on a real date and knowing Sam, it’s not going to be anything extravagant or fancy. While Gabe could take them halfway around the world, Sam would probably prefer something in a quiet town in the middle of nowhere. Gabe is perfectly okay with that, though.

****

Gabe looks /good/ in maroon, Sam thinks, glad the angel hadn't gotten too dressed up but enjoying looking at him nonetheless.

"There's this place we went to, on one of our trips to Massachusetts. It's just outside Boston, this place called Romano's. I figured you could snap us there...It's Italian if that's okay?"

He had good memories of the place. He and Dean had gotten dinner there after doing their whole FBI agent routine, and it was one of the times they'd managed not to talk about monsters or hunts or any of it, just been able to pretend they were normal brothers out for dinner to catch up. And the food had been amazing.

****

Gabe just grins wider and licks his lips. “Italian sounds great!” Before Sam can say anything else, he’s snapped them to right outside the restaurant. It’s a little hole-in-the-wall joint with a flickering neon sign reading Romano’s.

“Is this the right place?” Gabe asks before making a move towards the door. He’s not disappointed at all if this is Sam’s choice, he just wants to be sure he got the location right. He hopes Sam answers him soon because the smell of food wafting towards them from the restaurant is absolutely delicious.

****

Romano's looks as shabby as when Dean and Sam had stopped there, small and unimpressive. The food had been some of the best Italian he's ever had, but he's not surprised that Gabe asks to make sure they're where Sam had in mind.

"Yeah, this is it. Trust me, it's better than it looks."

He holds the door open for Gabe and follows him in. The inside of the restaurant is small and cramped, filled to capacity with tables around the bar, but the space is full of diners. It's dark, with most of the light coming from the candles on the tables, although there are a few dim overhead lamps.

Sam winces when he sees how crowded it is. He and Dean had come in at an off hour, not prime dining hours. But by some miracle, a table near the window has just opened up. It seems the universe doesn't hate Sam after all.

The hostess seats them, handing them menus before leaving them to wait for their server. Sam picks his up with a grin, giddy and absolutely starving. Everything on the menu sounds good. He sneaks a glance at Gabe over the top of his menu, and it might be sappy as hell, but Gabe's eyes are glowing gold in the flickering candlelight and it's something Sam could look at for hours.

Fortunately, their waiter arrives before long. The large man grins down at them.

"Welcome to Romano's! I am Angelo, your server. Here on a date, no?"

Sam cocks at eyebrow at Gabe and gives him a smirk at the man's name before turning back to Angelo. "How could you tell?"

****

Gabe looks around curiously when they enter. The place is small and quaint, just the kind of place that Gabe would expect Sam to take someone on a date. He smiles to himself as the hostess takes them towards the table by the window. He had noticed Sam staring at the table wistfully when they walked in and Gabe couldn’t exactly help himself. A furtive snap of his fingers and the couple sitting there before decided maybe they had better things to do somewhere else.

They sit down and Gabe immediately opens the menu, scanning over all the options. He doesn’t notice that he’s resting his feet between Sam’s under the table, the outer edges of his shoes touching Sam’s. He’s deciding between two very delicious sounding entrees when a very large man with a heavy Italian accent comes over to their table.

This Angelo character is really more observant than he seems, but the fact that he can tell makes Gabe smile. Angelo laughs, his entire gut shaking, before leaning over the table with a gleam in his eyes.

“You have that… what is it? The spark!” Angelo wipes a hand across his sweaty forehead and nods as if he’s accomplished something. “Now, can I get you boys something to drink?”

Gabe skims over the drinks menu again before looking up at Angelo and grinning. “I’ll have a glass of the Righetti Amarone,” Gabe says with a perfect Italian accent.

Angelo grins and claps Gabe’s shoulder. “Very fine taste, my friend!” The waiter looks at Sam and smiles toothily. “Anything for you?”

****

Wow, okay, Gabe should speak Italian more often.

"I'll try that, too," Sam says, not even trying to compete with Gabe's pronunciation.

"Coming right up!" Angelo disappears, barely fitting between the tables on his way.

He's back only a few minutes later to drop off their wine and some bread. He take their orders and departs with a wink.

Sam's hesitant to try the wine, but when he takes a sip, it's not bad at all. It's spicy and strikes Sam as the kind of wine Gabe /would/ like.

"So when did you learn Italian? Or were you, like, born knowing all languages or something?" he teases in a quiet voice.

He leans forward a bit to take one of Gabe's hands and lace their fingers together on the table. He's smiling like an idiot, he can tell, or like a teenager out on his first date, but he's kind of surprised to find he doesn't care.

****

Gabe squeezes Sam’s hand and chuckles, sipping his wine. “I spent some time in Italy. Yeah, I guess we all come with the languages ingrained in our heads but it’s more fun to actually go and experience it firsthand.”

 

He rests his chin in the palm of his free hand, elbow propped on the table. He’s staring at Sam, studying him. Gabe smiles before laughing to himself. “You’re really captivating, you know that?” It’s cheesy and romantic and something he totally wouldn’t say to anyone else except Sam.

Right as he’s about to say something else, Angelo appears with their food then dashes off to go help another couple at the table across from them. Gabe looks at his food and his stomach growls.

“Let’s eat!” Gabe says enthusiastically as he lets go of Sam’s hand and grabs his fork.

****

Gabe stares at him, his eyes shifting from Sam's lips back to his eyes, and Sam can't help but look back with a soft smile.

He laughs at Gabe's comment, though. "No, I'm not." But it makes him grin regardless.

Sam's starving, so he turns his attention to the stuffed shells sitting in front of him.

"Tell me something about you." He doesn't know what made him say it, in between bites, but now that he's said it, Sam's curious. "It's something people do on dates, talk about themselves. I mean, I already sort of know you, but."

He crams another bite of pasta into his mouth to shut himself up.

****

Gabe starts digging into his lasagna, taking large bites of the steaming hot food that would surely burn anyone else’s mouth. “Well…” he starts through a mouthful of lasagna. He swallows quickly and thinks for a second before taking another bite. “I was the baby of the family for the longest time. I can’t even begin to tell you how spoiled I was by my brothers.”

Gabe laughs and sets his fork down, staring out the window. Thinking about it brings back a lot of memories, both good and bad. He hasn’t gotten so nostalgic about it in a while. “Lucifer was the one who taught me everything there was to know when I was a fledgling. I mean, Michael was there sometimes but he was usually too busy sucking up to Dad to really care much about me or anyone else for that matter.” He takes a long drink from his glass of wine and furrows his brow. “Raphael, well, he never really got along with me. Probably because I was a terror.”

Gabe looks down at his hands and smiles sadly, rubbing his thumb over his knuckles. “I was already gone by the time angels like Cas were born. It was hard at first, but eventually I came up with the idea of being a Trickster and that was that. I’ve spent millennia wreaking havoc on people and traveling the world.”

He shrugs and goes back to eating, not looking at Sam. Gabe isn’t usually forthcoming about his time in Heaven but he feels like Sam understands.

 

When he finally looks back up at Sam, he grins and rubs his nose. “I’d ask you to tell me something about you but I already know all there is to know… that sounds pretty creepy, doesn’t it?”

****

Sam swallows thickly when Gabe tells him about Lucifer. Lucifer had raised Gabe, and then… he can imagine better than most people, he thinks, what happens when that relationship turned sour. He hadn't seen Gabe die, but he remembers feeling numb for days, unsure why the angel's death had affected him so deeply. It hadn't helped that Lucifer had still been loose after one of their most powerful allies had been destroyed.

"Nah, it would be, but you're you. I wouldn't expect anything less. But if you, y'know, wanna know something, it's fine."

His brain recalls something Gabe had just said. "Wait, /fledgling/? Were you a /baby/, Gabe?"

The thought makes him laugh, picturing the same kind of clueless baby bird look Cas used to wear but on a baby version of Gabe.

****

Sam’s face is sad for a moment before turning into a look of surprise. Gabe just grins and pops the last bite of lasagna into his mouth. “Of course I was a baby! What else would I have been?” He winks and drains the rest of his wine, knowing he’ll need it.

“It’s very different from being a human baby, obviously. You don’t have to go through all that learning how to walk or talk. You just kind of… know it already. Most fledglings don’t start talking right away, but…” Gabe grins proudly, turning his nose up, “I was pretty much talking the second I was created. Big surprise, huh?”

Gabe winks before sitting back against the seat, absently rubbing Sam’s shin with his foot, which he’s taken out of his shoe. “Being a fledgling is mostly just growing into your wings. That was…” Gabe trails off, nostalgia in his eyes, “Good times. The first time you really use your wings is kind of a big deal.”

****

"Not really," Sam teases, still trying to picture a baby version of the angel. His older brothers would have had their hands full, that's for sure. Although those gold eyes probably got him out of a lot of trouble.

Sam sips at his wine, enjoying the heat pooling in his stomach from the alcohol.

"So can you actually fly with them? I mean, you snap yourself everywhere."

Angelo arrives back at their table with dessert menus. Sam doesn't even look at his, knowing he'll get the same as the last time they were here.

"Strawberry cheesecake, please." It had been one of the most delicious things he'd ever eaten, all fresh strawberries and homemade graham cracker crust.

****

Gabe rolls his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest. “Duh. How else do you think we get around? I mean, it’s a little old school. Most angels these days just zap wherever they want to.”

Gabe grabs his menu and stares at it intently, trying to pick the best dessert. Of course, he’s got about four in mind that he /really/ wants but he’s making a conscious effort to go easy on Sam’s wallet.

“I’ll… uhh… hmm… how’s the chocolate cake?” Gabe asks, looking up at Angelo for advice on the matter.

“One of our best sellers! It’s very good!”

“I’ll have that,” Gabe says with a nod and turns back to Sam. Angelo flits off to go get their desserts and Gabe is back to trying to explain all the stuff Sam needs to know about angels. He’s interrupted about ten minutes later to Angelo bringing out their desserts.

Gabe stares down at the cake and he’s genuinely surprised he’s not drooling because it looks so damn delicious. He grabs his fork and immediately digs in, shoving a huge piece of cake in his mouth.

****

Sam's kind of overwhelmed by all the information on fledgling angels, but Gabe looks happy, so he does his best to follow along.

When Angelo drops their desserts off, Gabe looks especially happy, taking a huge bite of cake. He'd be worried that Gabe would choke, but instead Sam just eats a much-smaller piece of his cheesecake, popping a strawberry into his mouth and humming happily at the taste.

"So, did I pick a good place to eat?" he grins at Gabe, watching the angel devour his cake with practically pornographic noises.

****

Gabe finishes his cake in less than a minute, spewing cake bits as he tries to talk to Sam with a full mouth. “Oh yeah! We should come here again.” He swallows the rest of his cake then sits back in his seat, rubbing his belly.

“Are you having fun?” Gabe grins at Sam and rubs his shoeless foot over Sam’s shin. He picks a bit of chocolate cake out of his teeth and laughs. He feels like a teenage girl on her first real date without a chaperone. Maybe he should be ashamed of that, but he’s totally not.

****

"If by fun you mean letting you grope my leg with your foot, then yes," Sam teases.

Angelo comes back to harass them about coffee, but Sam's as full as he wants to be for what he has planned next. He heads to the restroom and changes into a plain t-shirt and an older pair of jeans. When he gets back, he settles the bill and - after a hug from Angelo - they head outside.

When they're on the sidewalk, under the orange glow of the streetlights, Sam can't help stealing a kiss - or three - that are probably a little too heated for being out in public. But he's happy that Gabe's happy, so he really doesn't care.

"Mm, you taste like chocolate," he can't help murmuring.

He'd be content to make out on the sidewalk a little longer, but the second part of their date is waiting, and he can't /wait/ to see Gabe's face when he snaps them there.

****

Sam goes to the bathroom and comes back in different clothes. Gabe is thoroughly bewildered, but goes along with it. Maybe Sam has something else planned for them. They head outside after paying the bill and Gabe is immediately assaulted with kisses that make him a little breathless.

“Duh. I just ate chocolate cake,” Gabe teases as he slides his tongue across Sam’s bottom lip before pulling away. There are people staring at them and even though it doesn’t bother Gabe all that much, it might bug Sam. There’s always later.

“What’s on the agenda next?” Gabe pinches a piece of Sam’s shirt in between his index finger and thumb. “What’s with this get up?” He wraps an arm around Sam’s waist lazily and leans into his touch.

His face hurts from smiling so damn much but as hard as he wills his face to relax a little, it doesn’t seem to be listening. Being with Sam makes him happy, especially like this. No monsters to fight or demons to negotiate with or any of his stupid siblings trying to end the world.

****

Sam just smiles at Gabe's question. "I can't tell you, it's a surprise."

He pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket with the address for the next part of their date written on it. "Here's the address - you'll see when we get there." The gleeful smirk on his face could rival some of Gabe's better Trickster grins.

"It's a warehouse outside of New York."

****

Gabe stares at the piece of paper quizzically with a cocked eyebrow. “A warehouse? Even I know that’s an odd place to take someone on a date…” Gabe just shrugs and folds up the piece of paper, shoving it in his pocket. He grabs Sam’s wrist, taken aback by the malicious grin on his face, and snaps them to their destination.

He has all of five seconds to take in his surrounding before he catches something hurtling towards him out of the corner of his eye. He’s about to duck when lime green paint splatters across his face.

Gabe just stands there looking confused and slightly annoyed. “What the hell!” He looks around for something to throw back and finds a can of lilac purple paint turned over on its side. It’s still got enough paint to throw, but Gabe isn’t sure this is an acceptable form of punishment. Hell, he doesn’t even know where they /are/. It’s all loud music and lights and it looks like people are throwing paint at each other.

****

Moments after Gabe snaps them to the party, the angel is splattered with paint, looking so dumbstruck that Sam can't help laughing. He's cracking up, holding his stomach as he laughs at the irate look on Gabe's face.

Gabe's eying a can of lilac paint when Sam's smacked in the shoulders with what turns out to be a balloon filled with blue paint. He turns and spots a table across the packed room with bowls full of paint balloons.

"It's a paint rave, Gabe. C'mon, let's go get some balloons!" He takes Gabe's hand and tugs them through the crowd. Most are dancing, some are standing yelling to each other, and many are chucking paint filled balloons or drenching their friends with paint from cans. By the time they reach the table, he's been hit a few more times, wearing green and neon pink paint now as well.

Sam scoops a handful of balloons out of a bowl and turns to kiss the tip of Gabe's nose.

"Sorry about your clothes, I didn't want to ruin the surprise. If you snap into something else, I don't think anyone will notice," he shouts over the pounding beat of some house mix track.

He leans back with a giddy grin on his face and lobs a balloon at a group standing nearby, managing to catch a girl in the back of the head. She turns around, looking for the culprit, and mouths 'Nice shot!' and gives Sam a thumbs up when he waves before turning back to her friends.

****

Gabe honestly doesn’t know what to think about this. He’s never been to a rave before, let alone one that involves throwing balloons with paint in them at other people. Sam drags him through the throng of people to a few giant bowls filled to the brim with balloons.

Before he grabs a few, he takes Sam’s advice and changes into a white V-neck and jeans. It’s not that it really matters, he can just snap his clothes clean, but he feels a bit out of place in his nicer clothes. It makes him an easy target.

Gabe watches as Sam throws a balloon and hits a random girl. He’s about to say something about manners and not throwing paint-filled anything at people you don’t know, but the girl just turns around and smiles and acts like it’s all fine and dandy.

 

Gabe picks up a balloon and holds it in his hands before launching it at an unsuspecting guy with a weird blue hoodie on and glasses. He manages to get him in the shoulder, neon pink paint dripping off his hoodie. The guy turns around and grins maliciously, throwing a balloon at Gabe that he narrowly dodges. It hits a guy in a red shirt instead and he looks none too happy.

“Shit, we’d better go somewhere else. I think I just started a fight,” Gabe giggles and grabs a few more balloons before taking off into the crowd.

****

Sam pushes through the crowd after Gabe, catching a few more splashes of paint on his shirt as they weave through groups of people. He spots a stack of paint buckets and grabs one full of neon blue paint before catching up with Gabe. He sneaks up behind the angel, yells, "Hey Gabe!", and waits for him to turn around before splashing the entire bucket of paint on Gabe's front. It's a harmless way of getting Gabe back for all the tricks he's played, even though he's kind of afraid how Gabe's going to get him back.

 

****

 

Sam dumps a bucket of paint on Gabe, managing to cover his entire front in blue. Gabe glares at him before chucking three balloons in succession at Sam. He ends up being coated in pink, yellow and purple paint, one balloon hitting his neck and splattering across his face and into his hair.

Before Sam can get him back, Gabe stalks over to him and grabs him by the waist. He pushes up on the balls of his feet and presses his lips to Sam’s ear. “Wanna dance?” Gabe murmurs into Sam’s clean ear, nipping at the lobe.

He doesn’t get to answer. Gabe is already tugging him into the crowd of people, hands stilled on Sam’s hips.

****

"Hey!" Sam splutters, half laughing, when Gabe manages to get purple paint all over Sam's hair.

He shivers at the feel of Gabe's mouth murmuring into his ear, but he doesn't have a chance to protest before Gabe is pulling him into the middle of the surging mass of dancing, writhing bodies.

"I don't," he manages to say, feeling horribly awkward because he couldn't care less what any of these people think, but Gabe's watching him, and he /can't/ dance. "I don't dance. I mean, I can't. I look stupid when I do."

****

Gabe stares at Sam before busting into gut-shaking laughs. “As if I care what you look like when you dance. I could look like a leprechaun when I dance for all you know!” Gabe slowly pulls Sam closer as he starts to sway to the music, eyes locked on Sam’s. He moves one hand to Sam’s lower back as he grinds his hips against Sam’s thighs.

He’s trying to get Sam to loosen up because he’s obviously tense and pretty damn insecure in his dancing ability. But it can’t be that bad. Sure, Sam’s as tall as a tree, but it doesn’t mean his dancing is awkward. Even if it was, Gabe wouldn’t mind at all.

****

Sam swallows thickly as Gabe pulls them together, grinding against him as he gives Sam a heated look. He'd tease Gabe about the leprechaun comment, but he doesn't want to shout again - and the sudden press of the angel's paint-smeared body on his and the heat of Gabe's stare are distracting.

Sam moves his hips tentatively at first, splaying one hand on Gabe's chest, but soon the music and the come-hither look flashing in Gabe's eyes have him grinding back against Gabe in turn. Their clothes are tacky with paint and slick with sweat as they slide against each other, and Sam's heart is pounding in time with the deafening thump of the bass. Sam leans down, breathing hot against Gabe's open, panting mouth but keeping their lips barely apart.

He might not like to dance, but this is something different - this he /definitely/ likes. Sam's dizzy with sensory overload, but all he's focused on is Gabe. He gives the angel a slow, sultry smile before leaning to cup the back of Gabe's head with his free hand and closing the scant distance between their mouths to kiss him.

****

That certainly escalated quickly. Gabe kisses Sam back feverishly, wrapping his arms around Sam’s neck and yanking him closer. He licks into Sam’s mouth that still tastes faintly of cheesecake. Gabe catches himself panting and moaning softly, but it’s all lost in the noise around them.

Tonight has been going so well and this is just the icing on the cake. Something about Sam soaked in paint and sweat grinding against him really fires him up. He’s already painfully hard and his breathing is harsh and fast. He pulls back from the kiss, flushed a deep shade of pink, and tries to mumble something about going home. But the way Sam is dancing leaves him speechless and he can’t help pulling Sam down for another heated kiss.

He nibbles at Sam’s bottom lip, rutting his erection against Sam’s thigh. He’s about to just snap his fingers and take them home, but he’s enjoying this teasing far too much for his own good.

****

It seems like no matter how much of Gabe he has, Sam can't get enough. Something about him makes Sam forget that they're in public, that incredibly recently he had been worried about holding Gabe's hand in public. Now they're separated only by a few scant layers of clothing in the midst of a massive - albeit completely uncaring - crowd in public, and Sam's letting himself roll his hips against the man pressed tight to him. He's letting himself savor the slide of Gabe's tongue against his in kisses are heady and hot, the press of Gabe's cock between them sending blood rushing to his own, the bruising grip of Gabe's fingers on his hip.

Even in the flashing lights, Sam can see how flushed Gabe is and how his pupils are blown wide, the hungry look in them sending a thrill through him. He would be content to drown in them and never resurface, he thinks inanely.

Then his body interrupts, their almost-hour of dancing catching up to him. He doesn't want this to end, but for now, Sam feels like he's run a marathon, in part from the dancing and in part from the effect Gabe's having on him. He leans down to press a light kiss to the shell of Gabe's ear, trying to slow his breathing.

"I need a break. Come with me to get a drink?"

****

Gabe is slightly frustrated by Sam’s human needs, but he grits his teeth and bears it, adjusting himself before nodding and following behind Sam towards the drink machines in the far corner.

Other than a few people hanging out nearby, Sam and Gabe are alone. It takes every bit of Gabe’s self-restraint to hold back from shoving Sam up against the wall and kissing him until he forgets he was even thirsty in the first place. Gabe shoves his hands in his pockets and leans against the wall next to the machines, trying to think about things that might make his erection disappear. It seems even the most foul thoughts aren’t helping much, but at least it’s not as noticeable now.

“You don’t give yourself enough credit,” Gabe says suddenly, turning to Sam with a small smile on his lips, “You’re a great dancer.”

****

Sam leans next to Gabe, downing half a bottle of water in one go as he tries to catch his breath. He's in good shape, he knows, but this kind of constant movement is different than a brutal but quick fight.

He swipes a hand through is sweaty hair, combing it back from his face as his breathing finally evens out and his heartbeat slows. When Gabe smiles at him, he grins back, exhilarated.

"Not really dancing, though," he teases, sipping some more water. When the bottle's almost empty, he leans forward and pours the rest of the ice-cold water on the back of his neck, ruffling the hair stuck to his neck with the other hand. His shirt's soaked with sweat anyway, and the water feels amazingly good on his hot, sticky skin.

Sam playfully tugs Gabe closer by the belt loop on his hip. "So, more not-dancing or are you ready to go home?" He wouldn't mind staying a little longer, even though it's going on two am and his body is practically trembling with the exertion. But the thought of stripping Gabe out of his paint-caked clothes and tasting every inch of his sweat-coated skin - especially some particular inches - is definitely appealing.

****

Gabe watches Sam’s throat move as he drinks, beads of sweat rolling down his long neck. He licks his lips and eyes Sam hungrily. It’s like Sam is purposely teasing him by being so attractive in the first place. It really doesn’t help when Sam grabs him by his belt loop and tugs him close enough to feel the heat radiating off Sam’s body.

“Let’s go home.” Gabe swallows hard and grabs Sam’s wrist. He looks around the rave one last time before focusing on their room at Bobby’s house. It’d be best not to turn up anywhere else in the house. Dean might just blow a gasket making fun of them for being covered in paint. Gabe can almost hear Dean’s jeering and it gives him a damn headache.

He snaps his fingers and they’re standing in their room seconds later, still paint-splattered and sweaty.

****

The look in Gabe's eyes answers Sam's question as much as the angel's words do. With a snap of his fingers, Gabe brings them back to Bobby's. Sam shivers, the air less humid here than the packed warehouse had been.

"If you weren't having a good time, you could have just sai-" he teases, but he's tackled to the floor before he can finish, surprise and momentum knocking the breath from his lungs.

****

Sam doesn’t even get a chance to finish his thought because Gabe is too busy tackling him to the ground. He presses a hasty kiss to Sam’s mouth, panting heavily into the hunter’s mouth as he straddles Sam’s lap. He ruts his erection against Sam’s thigh while exploring Sam’s mouth with his tongue. He doesn’t care that they’re covered in paint and drenched in sweat. He’s had enough of the teasing, even if Sam wasn’t doing it intentionally.

“You’re really an idiot,” Gabe breathes out as he kisses and nips his way across Sam’s face to the curve of his jaw, then down his neck. He licks the sweat off Sam’s neck, a strangled moan escaping his own throat as the sharpness of Sam’s sweat fills his mouth.

****

Gabe is all over him as soon as they hit the floor, exploring hands and gyrating hips and wet, soft mouth. Sam can feel the tension of Gabe's body against his, as if the angel had barely held off absolutely mauling him at the warehouse. He really doesn't blame Gabe; Sam's just a little better at controlling his impulses, but he'd had a hard time sticking to affection allowed by public decency, even somewhere like the warehouse where the rules were stretched quite a bit.

When Gabe nibbles at his jaw, Sam tilts his head back, arching under the feel of teeth and tongue on his skin. He thrusts his hips up to Gabe's, savoring the hard length that rolls against his own, as Gabe's mouth finds that certain spot on his neck that has Sam stuttering out a groan. Gabe laps at his skin, and Sam squirms, breathing in harsh, deep, quiet panting, submerged in sensations building on what had turned out to be essentially hours of foreplay, entwined and writhing together to electronic beats.

"Uh-n, am I." He rasps out his meaningless reply, voice hitching. While Gabe lavishes attention on his neck, Sam leans forward and pulls the neck of the angel's shirt aside to sink his teeth into muscle curving between neck and shoulder. He can smell the metallic tang of paint, the acrid, musky smell of sweat and sex, and that irresistible faint hint of cinnamon he's come to associate with Gabe that makes his mouth water. His hand slips between them to tease one of Gabe's nipples into a hard peak through his thin shirt, the other hand sliding down to cup Gabe's ass.

****

“Fuck… /fuck/…” Gabe moans through gritted teeth as Sam’s teeth sink into his skin, no doubt leaving red, angry-looking indents in the crook of his neck. Gabe is practically blind with lust, completely forgetting what he was saying before to bite into the sensitive skin of Sam’s collarbone. Something about how he had been having fun… it was just the dancing…

Sam’s hand brushes Gabe’s nipple and he really does forget everything. Gabe rucks Sam’s shirt up against his belly and grinds against him, moaning provocatively. After a few seconds of running his fingers over the smooth, toned muscles of Sam’s stomach, Gabe grabs the hem of his shirt and tears it off of him, ripping it in the process. He throws it over his shoulder and dives in again, lapping at Sam’s nipples instead.

****

Gabe literally tears Sam's shirt away, dipping his head to swipe his tongue along first one nipple, than the other, while his hands wander the skin on Sam's now-bare torso. In retribution, Sam wraps a leg around Gabe, flipping them as smoothly as he can while he can barely think straight, and makes quick work of Gabe's pants, pleased to find when he yanks them off completely that the angel had neglected to wear anything underneath. He splays a hand on Gabe's sweat-slicked chest, pinning him to the floor under a broad palm as he nudges Gabe's thighs open, wrapping the other arm behind his knee and sinking his teeth into Gabe's upper thigh, sucking gently. He laves the bruise with his tongue, lapping at the skin, before moving his mouth just another few inches higher to bite down again.

It's not long before he's nuzzling at the base of Gabe's erection, stroking up the shaft in slow, small tastes, until he's licking at the head, tasting the precome beading at the slit.

Gabe is moaning and cursing beneath him, but Sam wants more, wants to make Gabe /scream/ his name, wants things he doesn't have words for and a few things he does.

He sits up suddenly, manhandling the angel onto his lap as Sam leans against the bed, mouth wild against Gabe's as they roll their hips together. Sam slides his hands from the angel's hips to his shoulder blades and pulls his mouth away enough to voice his question, something he's been thinking about in the corner of his mind since the other day.

"Your wings, Gabe," he pants, voice completely wrecked by arousal as his lust-hazed pictures them, huge and alluring. "I want to touch your wings." He doesn't know if it's something he can even ask, if it's allowed, if he's crossing some sort of boundary here, but he wants to sink his hands into the golden feathers, to see what kind of noises he could wring from the angel.

****

Before Gabe can even think about what he’s going to do to Sam next, he’s on his back and Sam is tearing his pants off. When the cool air hits his sweat-slicked skin, he shivers, until Sam moves his mouth to Gabe’s thigh and starts sucking unabashedly. Gabe moans and writhes underneath Sam, letting him have his way with Gabriel here on the floor.

Then he’s up in Sam’s lap and Sam is panting out what seems to Gabe like a rather odd request. He hesitates, drawing back from Sam with a furrowed brow. But the look on Sam’s face, slack-jawed and heavy-lidded, is enough to convince Gabe that Sam really does want this. With a single nod, he lets his wings unfurl from his back, a loud moan escaping his throat. He presses his forehead against Sam’s and attempts to get a grip on his erratic breathing.

“Go ahead,” Gabe says through a stuttering breath, twisting his hands up in the hair at the nape of Sam’s neck.

****

Gabe's shirt disappears, replaced by massive golden wings. Sam would let his hands wander the expanse of naked Gabriel in his lap, but instead he gently strokes along soft, shimmering feathers. His still-clad erection grinds along Gabe's, the friction delicious, but he's wholly distracted by the wings he's miraculously allowed to touch.

Sam drags his fingers down, raking through the feathers slowly. A shudder of something like static makes him gasp as it ripples through him, straight to his heavy, aching cock.

"Is this- is this okay?" he manages to ask.

****

As soon as Sam’s fingertips brush gently against the downy feathers of his wings, Gabe has to fight the urge to recoil. His nerves are oversensitive and the sensation that spikes through him when Sam runs his fingers through Gabe’s feathers is a lot like eating something sugary when you’ve got a cavity. It’s raw and overwhelming at first, but after a few strokes of Sam’s hands over his wings, he’s starting to get used to the feeling.

Like last time, it’s more arousing that anything, Gabe’s cock twitching every time Sam rakes through his feathers. Gabe bites his lip to hold back a moan and nods slowly, watching Sam apprehensively. His uneasiness quickly melts away as Sam becomes more courageous, less gentle than before. He can’t hold in the moan that escapes him this time, a loud, strangled sound that sounds like he’s half in pain and half in utter pleasure.

It’s very odd, Gabe thinks, but in a good way. He relaxes, allowing Sam to touch his feathers, to skim his fingertips across the sensitive areas he didn’t even realize he has. It’s not long before his uncertain, soft groans turn into a desperate chant of Sam’s name. It might have felt weird at first, but now it’s come down to sheer pleasure.

Gabe tips his head back, his throat bobbing as he pants and gasps. He would reach down and grab his cock but he’s too busy relishing in the feeling of Sam’s fingers buried deep in his feathers.

****

With Gabe's nod of permission, Sam lets his hands experiment, testing Gabe's reaction to a drag of fingers here, a caress there. At one point, the angel practically yowls, wings shivering under his fingers.

He teases and tugs for minutes, working Gabe to the point where he's babbling Sam's name, head tipped back in ecstasy. Sam slides his hands away for just a moment to pull Gabe off his lap enough that Sam can yank his own jeans and boxers off. When he's completely naked, he jerks Gabe back down and chokes at the feeling of skin on skin.

One hand does return to the feathers. But the other hand finds one of Gabe's own and brings it between them to stroke their cocks together.

Sam leans in for a kiss, a quick press of lips. He skims his nose along Gabe's jaw, nuzzling with gentle nips of skin. That this is the archangel Gabriel, and he's /Sam's/...that he loves /Sam/...

"You're amazing, you know that," Sam murmurs to the curve of Gabe's cheek as their hands continue to twist and pull. "I love you, Gabriel." He says the angel's name like a prayer, supplication and worship and claim all combined. Sam kisses Gabe again, deep and loving and achingly sweet while their bodies grind together in gasp-inducing heat.

****

Gabe is completely lost in the feeling of Sam’s hands in his feathers until he jostles Gabe around a little to take the rest of his clothes off. Then, Sam moves Gabe’s hand down to stroke their cocks.

He’s a babbling mess within seconds, hand shaky as he pumps away. He’s aware of Sam’s fingers twisted in his feathers, Sam’s other hand over his as he works their aching cocks together.

Sam mumbles those sweet words against his jaw and Gabe moans softly. “I love you, love you… Sam.” His free hand grips Sam’s hair as he groans and bucks his hips.

****

It's not long before Sam's getting close, but a particularly sharp crackle of energy from Gabe's trembling wings sends him careening over the edge with little warning.

"Gabe!" he manages to choke out as he comes, spilling hot and thick over their entwined hands. Sam's actually lightheaded for a minute, on the cusp of blacking out, but manages to stay conscious enough to keep moving his hand, stroking himself through his orgasm and then still gripping Gabe's dick, using his come to move his hand in slick, rapid strokes. His other hand is still clenched around a handful of feathers, but Sam shifts it to hold right where the base of Gabe's wings meet his shoulder blades, fingertips brushing the downy, softer feathers there while his palm presses against the place where wing meets skin.

"Come for me, Gabriel," he rasps, voice low and rough. "Mine, just for me."

****

Sam is coming after a few moments, wet trails dripping down Gabe’s hand. He bites his lip and moans softly as Sam’s hand strokes his cock, now sticky with come. Sam’s hands move to the base of his wing and an electric shock jolts through Gabe. And then the words Sam mutters in a voice that makes Gabe shiver. He doesn’t even realize he’s close until he comes hard over Sam’s hand, cock twitching and jerking as he rides out his orgasm. His wings are glowing slightly from the surge of Grace that follows, loose, shimmering feathers falling to the ground as he settles.

He slumps against Sam, pressing his forehead against Sam’s collarbone. His wings flap restlessly, feathers sloughing off and drifting to the floor gracefully. Gabe groans and picks his head up to look at Sam. “I really need to do something about these damn wings…”

****

"Tell you what," Sam manages to say, pressing a kiss to Gabe's sweat-damp hair. "You mojo us clean so we can just get in bed, and I'll help you with your wings tomorrow...ah, later today."

Sam's tired enough to fall asleep right here on the floor, his body sore and exhausted in the best way. But after they're cleaned up and Gabe's tucked his wings away, he manages to stand, lifting Gabe with him to deposit the angel in bed and crawl under the sheets after him. Sam burrows up close to Gabe, resting his head on Gabe's chest and wrapping his arm around Gabe's waist as he listens to the steady, comforting thrum of the angel's heart.

He cranes his neck up to study Gabe, mouth curled into a small, sleepy grin. "So, what'dya think? Good date?" Sam's hand curls around Gabe's hip, rubbing soft circles into the skin with his thumb as he watches the angel with drowsy, half-closed eyes.

****

Gabe nods and snaps, his breathing still heavy and ragged. He hides his wings as well, not wanting anymore of the dead feathers to fall out until he can get somewhere that won’t be such a nuisance to pick up.

Sam hoists him up into bed and he doesn’t argue, merely grunts his assent and settles into the warmth of the blankets and sheets. When Sam lays on him, Gabe musters a grin through a very loud yawn. He tangles his fingers in Sam’s hair and hums happily, the heat from Sam’s fingertips giving him a pleasant, warm feeling in the pit of his belly.

“Great date. A little unexpected, but still pretty damn awesome. You did good, Sammy.” Before Gabe’s even finished with his sentence, his eyes close and another yawn rumbles from his throat. He lets his other arm fall back onto the pillow, right above his head, while his fingers card through Sam’s hair gently. “I think… it’s time for bed.”

Gabe leans up to press a gentle kiss to the top of Sam’s head before settling back into the pillows and letting himself drift off.