Work Header

God's gift

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Text

Every time the Winchester brothers thought that something was going to be easy, it actually never was. Of course things were no different when they decided to go back to hunting, choosing an easy salt and burn in Minnesota. The morning they left, they were sure to be back home the following night. Nothing, however, went as they planned. It took them two days just to identify the ghost, and another day of research to find where he was buried.

It turned out to be a teenager who’d been dared by his friends to spend a night alone inside an abandoned house. His friends had spent the entire night outside the house, finding new ways to scare the hell out of him, until he was so afraid that he ran down the stairs without looking where he was putting his feet and fell down, cracking his skull against the banister. The accident had happened a couple of years past, and since then the boy had taken on the task of scaring to death everyone who tried to enter the house the way he did. And the more time was passing, the more the ghost was becoming violent towards his victims, until he ended up killing a couple of kids.

When they were finally able to put the spirit to rest, the brothers were thrilled and exhausted at the same time. It was dark outside, but it was still early. They were too tired for a night drive back to Lebanon, so they agreed on spending another night in town, ready to leave the following morning. In the meantime, they could enjoy the evening out before going to sleep. Of course, however, they had to make a phone call first.

“Super-secret Men of Letters bunker, base of operations of the Winchester brothers, this is Gabriel speaking, how can I help you?” was the voice that greeted Sam after the phone only rang once.

The brothers were inside the Impala, Dean driving and Sam sitting shotgun as always. The younger hunter had taken advantage of that time to call the bunker, just to let the archangel and the Nephilim know that they would definitely be back the following day. He’d made the same phone call the day before, and that time Jack had been the one to answer, yelling inside the phone that he knew the Winchesters were going to abandon them. Sam didn’t envy Gabriel at all for being stuck with the panicking boy that evening. This time, however, the archangel had been the one to reach the phone first.

“Hey Gabriel! How are things going over there?” Sam asked, and right after that he heard the archangel snort.

“Everything is fine here, but what’s up with you two? Why the small talk?” Gabriel asked, and right then and there the hunter knew that he’d just been busted. The angel somehow just knew that they weren’t on their way home yet.

“It’s them, right? Are they coming home now? They’re almost here, right?” Sam could hear Jack’s eager voice on the other side of the line, followed by Gabriel’s shushing sound.

“We just finished with the hunt, but we can’t handle the drive home tonight. We’ll leave in the morning, be home late afternoon.” the younger Winchester explained, feeling guilty for having to postpone their coming back once again.

“I can snap you home if you don’t feel like driving, you can be here before we even hang up the phone.” the archangel suggested, and part of Sam really wanted to take him on the offer. Sleeping in his bed was way better than spending the night in a crappy motel room, and he already missed both Jack and Gabriel, but he had his reasons not to accept anyway. On the previous days they’d been so engulfed in research that they didn’t have any time for themselves. Now that they were free, it was finally time for them to hit a bar. If was finally time for Sam to get drunk and get laid.

“Thank you, but it’s better if we drive home ourselves. Dean really hates being snapped around, and I’m not a fan of it either. But you can tell Jack not to worry, we will definitely be home tomorrow!” Sam motivated his refusal, and he could hear the archangel grumble.

“No, I can’t believe it! They’re not coming back!” was now yelling Jack in the background, fueling Sam’s guilt. The hunter, however, tried his best not to let it get to him. He couldn’t let them convince him to get back home immediately. He still felt the need to get sexual relief, and he couldn’t bear to see Gabriel before he achieved his goal.

“Look Sammy, I get it. You need some time out of here, but Jack is worried sick and it would be a great help to me if you just let me transport you back home.” the archangel tried to argue, and Sam could really see his point. Hearing pretty well how much the situation was stressing Jack out, he couldn’t even begin to imagine how hard it was for Gabriel to be with the Nephilim at the moment, having to keep him calm in order to avoid the accidental destruction of the entire town. He tried to ignore altogether the strange feeling he had in his guts when he youngest archangel called the bunker “home”.

“First of all, I told you a hundred times not to call me Sammy. Second, I know we’re not leaving you in the best situation in the world, but we’ll be home tomorrow, and I promise we won’t leave again anytime soon.” Sam knew he was lying, but he was ready to say anything to convince Gabriel to just let go.

“First of all, you only told me forty-eight times.” the being on the other end of the line started to say, and the hunter knew the rest wasn’t going to be any good either “And second, I don’t believe a word you say. You know what? Do whatever the hell you want!”

A moment later, a confused Sam was staring at his cellphone with a bewildered expression plastered on his face. That was enough to catch his brother’s attention, so Dean slowly turned towards the younger man and inquired about what was wrong.

“Gabriel hung up on me! You know what? I hate him!” Sam snapped, throwing his cellphone on the back seat, and Dean was now looking at his brother as if he was crazy. Of course he would think something like that: who wouldn’t? The younger Winchester had been acting weird for a long time, especially when it came to Gabriel. And now, all of a sudden, he just burst out saying that he hated the archangel, acting like a proud five-year-old.

His older brother, however, could never understand what exactly brought that behavior forth. There was so much unresolved sexual tension between Gabriel and Sam that nowadays the hunter couldn’t even be in the same room with the archangel without having sexual thoughts about him. He wanted Gabriel so much it was unfair. Sometimes he just fantasized about the angel, other times he even jerked off at the memory of amber eyes looking right at him.

“Since when are you all bothered by Gabriel?” Dean asked, and Sam refused to answer his brother’s question. How could he explain the way he was feeling without admitting out loud what the archangel could do to him with just his words?

“I don’t want to talk about Gabriel. Today we killed out first monster in months, let’s go celebrate. I want to get wasted.” the younger Winchester suggested. Luckily for him, Dean still wasn’t entirely himself, otherwise he would have called Sam out on his bullshit. Sam had never been the one to admit he wanted to get drunk, but Dean was still high with adrenaline from the kill so he just accepted without any arguing.

Ten minutes later they pulled out in the parking lot of what looked like a pretty cool nightclub. There were a few people outside, and the music coming from the inside was just what Dean liked the most: rock from the ’80s. The older Winchester was eager to leave his Baby and enter the club. Sam knew that soon his brother would have been too lost in his own night to care about what he was doing, and he was waiting for that moment in order to find someone to have sex with.

Dean was flirting with a brunette with blue eyes and huge breasts, and Sam couldn’t help but smile, seeing that his brother was enjoying himself. He couldn’t even remember how long it had been since the last time he’d seen Dean have some real carefree fun; laughing at Gabriel’s jokes didn’t count.

And there it was again, Gabriel coming once again to the front of his mind. He needed to push him back, to do something to relieve himself from the stress he was under. Therefore, he started scanning the club for a girl who could satisfy his needs for the night. He was looking around the room for the right female company, when his eyes fell on a guy who was dancing by himself. He was average height, maybe a little shorter, he had short dark blond curly hair and honey colored eyes. From his stool at the counter, the hunter took a few moments to study the dancing guy top to bottom, and the image in front of his eyes went straight to his cock.

That young man was sexy, Sam had to admit it, and he had something familiar that was intriguing him. Without even thinking about what he was doing, the younger Winchester downed his last shot and stood up, starting to make his way towards the blond man on the dance floor. While he was getting closer, he could better see the guy’s clothes, and he found curious that the man was wearing a jacket full of pins. Some had the names of rock and metal bands, others had the names of movies and TV shows, but one in particular caught Sam’s attention: it was rainbow colored, with only the word “PRIDE” on it in capital letters.

Good, the guy was gay; exactly what he needed. Sam had only been with guys a couple of times in college, while he was too drunk to realize the actual difference between a boy and a girl. Before Gabriel came along, he’d never felt any real attraction towards a male body. But the archangel’s charm really did a number on him, because on the dance floor of that club the hunter kept walking towards his target without taking his eyes away, not even when a couple of girls decided to throw themselves at him. He’d made his choice: he wanted that man, the one who looked at least a little like someone else.

Once he was just a few inches away from the guy, he put his hands on the man’s hips and leaned forward, so that his mouth was at the same level of the other’s ear.

“Hi. I’m Sam. Wanna dance with me?” he let out with little more than a breath.

He leaned back up after he finished talking, waiting for the guy to have any kind of reaction. A moment later, the young man tilted his head back enough to be able to look Sam in the eyes. From what the hunter could see, his target for the night was probably in his late twenties, and he was pretty drunk. He just hoped the guy was single too, because he didn’t like the idea of having to fight a jealous boyfriend.

“Hi Sam, I’m Alex, and I’d love to dance.” the man replied, and a moment later his hands were caressing Sam’s chest.

It only took a few minutes before the two found themselves grinding against each other, hands eagerly searching the other’s body. The hunter was the one to initiate the kiss, but Alex seemed pretty happy to bring his tongue in it. Sam was getting even harder than he already was, meaning that it was time for him to find the relief he was looking for. Therefore, he took his lips away from the other man’s and assaulted his ear, nibbling at his earlobe before he whispered “You want to get out of here?”

Alex nodded, smiling up at Sam. “I know a place.” was everything he said before he took the hunter’s hand and guided him out of the club.

Dean was still somewhere inside, but Sam didn’t even think about letting his brother know he was leaving. Even if he’d had a good number of shots, he still wasn’t completely drunk. But the fact that he wasn’t entirely smashed wasn’t enough for him to suddenly start caring about what Dean could think. They could both take care of themselves, they could stand being apart for a few hours. It was just long enough for Sam to get what he wanted, then he would come back for his brother.

Sam sat down in the passenger seat of Alex’s car, and after a pretty short drive they reached what looked like a locked garage. The younger man turned off the car and went to open the garage door, exposing what appeared to be an amateur recording studio. The hunter followed the other man inside towards a back door, that soon was opened to reveal a bedroom.

Sam couldn’t help but grin when Alex grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him down, smashing their lips together. Reinvigorated by the new opportunity, the younger Winchester pushed his lover for the night towards the bed. He would have loved to do that to Gabriel. When Alex fell on the bed with Sam on top, however, something started to feel not right in the hunter’s mind. Gabriel would have laughed at him for trying to take control.

No, he needed to keep the archangel out of his mind. He needed to have sex with another human being, and he needed to do it in order to stop thinking about Gabriel. He couldn’t let the angel just pop into his mind while he was in bed with someone else. He groaned in frustration, using the weight of his body to pin his partner to the mattress. He also brought both hands to block the other man’s wrists near his head. The reaction he received was a moan from Alex, and a jeans-covered bulge rubbing against his thigh.

It was so wrong though. Gabriel would have never let him do that. Sam was actually pretty sure that, had Gabriel been the one in bed with him, their places would have been inverted. Even if Gabriel’s vessel looked like an average guy, he was still an archangel. He was strong and powerful, and just thinking about the way he could probably manhandle Sam was enough for the hunter to get even more in the mood for sex, grinding with force against Alex’s side.

A few minutes later their clothes were discarded, and Sam was putting on a condom. He hated condoms, even if he knew he needed them; he never knew if his sexual partners had any illnesses, and he hated taking useless risks. Another good thing about Gabriel: since he was an archangel, Sam wouldn’t have needed a condom to have sex with him.

Alex was submissive, quickly falling apart while Sam slammed inside him with force. The hunter, however, could bet his brother’s car that Gabriel would have never submitted like that. Actually, with Gabriel it would have probably been Sam to be forced down on the bed, taking everything the archangel could give him. That image alone was enough to fuel his arousal, taking him closer and closer to completion.

When he came, Sam had to bite his lower lip to the point of drawing blood. It was the only way to stop himself from yelling the archangel’s name when his orgasm hit him. Finally spent, he let himself fall on the bed and stared at the ceiling for a while, panting hard. He’d just done what he thought he needed: he drank himself almost stupid and had sex with a random stranger. So why had his attraction towards Gabriel just increased instead of disappearing?

He closed his eyes and sighed, ignoring the man who was in bed with him. Inside his mind, Gabriel was the only one, and his heart skipped a beat at that thought. God, he was screwed! He was starting to lose his fucking mind over someone who probably didn’t even care.

Chapter Text

A few more months had passed since the Winchester brothers had started going out on hunts again. The first hunt had been extremely hard on Jack, so Gabriel had forced himself to stay focused on his nephew and help him get through the situation. Having to change his routine was bad, but after telling himself that he didn’t care long enough, he’d actually started to believe it. Sam had promised him that they were not going to leave again anytime soon, but that of course was a lie, because they hadn’t been back more than four days before they left again to hunt a wendigo in Arkansas.

The archangel wasn’t happy with the situation at hand, he didn’t like it at all. Since he couldn’t do anything to change it without upsetting the Nephilim even more, however, he decided to just run with it. In just a few weeks, he was able to create a new routine for himself. When the hunters were home, things would go back to the way they were before. While the brothers were out hunting, however, Gabriel would just spend all of his time with Jack, and when the kid was sleeping he would lie down on his bed, thinking about new ways to make the Winchesters pay for leaving.

He could tell that Dean was pretty annoyed by his new attitude, because the moment Gabriel started with his pranks, the older hunter yelled so loudly that he almost made the bunker shake. Okay, maybe dropping a bucket of flour on him when he got out of the shower had been a dick move, but the archangel had to show that he was pissed somehow, and stupid pranks were the only way he knew to express himself. It only took a week before Dean decided to retaliate, and soon the two of them were engaged in an all-out prank war. Jack found it amusing, and Gabriel was loving every second of it.

What he was saving for Sam, however, was quite different in every possible way. He still loved to embarrass him in front of the others, but now he was taking things to a whole different level. He was putting a lot more effort in his attempts, and he had to admit that he just adored to witness his reactions. Sometimes he would catch the younger Winchester staring at him, his mind somewhere else and his bottom lip trapped between his teeth. Gabriel couldn’t deny how beautiful a sight it was, to see Sam like that.

More than once, the archangel actually found himself staring back. Sam was gorgeous to look at, how could he be blamed for indulging in such an activity? He didn’t need to like the younger hunter in any specific way in order to admit, at least to himself, that the man was handsome. Therefore, there was absolutely no reason behind his staring. Gabriel didn’t feel any kind of attraction towards Sam Winchester. If sometimes his mind was wandering around the memory of the day the hunter entered the kitchen with wet hair and a lot less clothes than usual, it absolutely wasn’t his fault!

From an objective point of view, Sam was an attractive guy. It didn’t mean that Gabriel was attracted to him. No, of course he wasn’t. He was an archangel on a mission, after all, and carrying out his plan to bring Castiel back had to always come first.

In other words the new routine he’d created for himself, with Jack and the Winchester brothers, seemed to be working just fine for Gabriel. Pranking Dean and getting pranked back was exhilarating, and sexually teasing Sam was both fun and hot as hell. As for his nephew, the boy was improving at warp speed, growing more powerful every day.

The Nephilim’s training was time-consuming, but it was definitely worth the effort. The boy was controlling himself so well that the archangel was starting to think about taking things to the next level. They’d been working on the power of creation for a very long time, and the boy seemed to be able to recreate everything he knew without the slightest margin for error. It could only mean one thing: it was time to see if Jack was able to acquire the knowledge he was missing directly from a source that knew every existing thing.

The first time they’d met, Gabriel had asked his nephew to look inside the minds of the Winchester brothers in order to search for information about him. The boy had tried to look inside the archangel’s mind instead, ending up almost killing the both of them. It was as clear as a summer sky that, at the time, the Nephilim had been nowhere near ready to take on such a complex task.

Because of his young age and lack of experience, the first time they’d met the kid had started downloading everything that was contained inside Gabriel’s memories. He’d captured every instant of the first few million years of the archangel’s life, but he hadn’t been able to retain any of it. It had been as if the content of Gabriel’s mind was just passing through the Nephilim without the possibility to stop there. To be more specific, Jack had hurt the both of them without gaining any knowledge from the experience. In the archangel’s opinion, the boy had come out of it with the worst possible deal.

Now Lucifer’s son wasn’t that much older, but he had a lot more experience. After months of training with his awesome archangel uncle, he was finally ready to try that same kind of connection once again. When Gabriel first brought up the idea to his nephew, however, the kid wasn’t so thrilled about it. And how could he be blamed? The last time he’d tried to access the archangel’s mind, he’d almost ended up in a coma. But he trusted his uncle, that part was true. If Gabriel thought he was ready to try again, the boy was going to comply at some point.

Six months after their first meeting, Jack was finally ready to attempt another look inside the archangel’s mind. This time, however, Gabriel was prepared for the intrusion and he was ready to help the Nephilim sift around his mind. He was going to keep his secrets hidden, in order to only push forward the information that he wanted Jack to find. Everything he wanted to show the boy was in the second half of his life, and it was exactly what the kid needed in order to perfect his use of the power of creation.

After practicing every day for a long time, Jack had learned how to create animals and even people out of thin air. His duplication of himself was spotless, almost ready to be used in a situation that put him under pressure. Food, however, was still his Achilles’ heel. Gabriel was well aware of the impossibility to recreate the exact taste and nutritional values of a food without having profound knowledge of it. That was the reason why he’d decided to let his nephew look inside his mind for everything he knew about each kind of food, dating back to the moment God had created the planet Earth.

The archangel could easily see how shaken his nephew was, when the two of them sat down side by side on the living room couch. He took one of the boy’s hands, trying to calm him down, but it wasn’t easy. The Nephilim was still worried that he might be about to recreate the same outcome of the last time he’d tried to enter his uncle’s mind. Gabriel, however, was certain that things were going to go very differently this time around. The kid had received six months of intense training, and this time Gabriel knew what was happening and he could use his own grace to help Jack stabilize his powers during the search. There was no way that either one of them could end up in the same situation as the last time. Not when the last archangel himself was ready to prevent it.

“It’s okay Jacky, just put your hand on my forehead and think about what knowledge you’re looking for. If you have a precise picture in your mind of what you’re looking for, it will be way easier to control the information you absorb from my memories. And of course I’ll help you, I’ll bring the memories you’re looking for to the front of my mind, so that you don’t have to go in too deep. Don’t worry, this time no-one is going to get hurt.” Gabriel tried to reassure his nephew. After that, he moved the hand he was still holding and he placed it on his own forehead. He only kept it there for a few seconds before he lowered both arms. Jack’s hand didn’t fall when he took away its physical support, and that was a good start.

The archangel gave the Nephilim an encouraging smile, and the boy tentatively smiled back. That smile, however, remained on the kid’s face no longer than two seconds. Soon it was replaced by a frown of concentration, while Jack closed his eyes and prepared himself to start. A moment later, the hand resting on Gabriel’s forehead started to glow gold and it became a lot hotter than usual. The archangel felt a light pull inside his head, meaning that someone was trying to take some information out. He didn’t fight it, instead he pushed some specific memories towards the boy, doing his best to make things easier for the Nephilim.

Doing the mind search the correct way, it didn’t take long for Jack to find everything he needed. He captured Gabriel’s knowledge about the essence of each food ever created, absorbing the information in order to plant it in the back of his own mind. The archangel knew that it could have been considered as cheating, but there was no way he was going to spend the rest of the boy’s life feeding him stuff for him to recreate. Passing his knowledge on to the boy was way quicker and of course a lot easier.

Two hours later, Jack closed his eyes to concentrate while standing in the middle of the living room. After a moment had passed, a steaming apple pie appeared on the table next to him. Gabriel took a few seconds to sniff around it, just to understand what he was getting himself into when tasting it. The smell was just perfect, nothing even slightly different from the apple pie he used to create every morning for Dean. A single bite was more than enough to confirm what he was already thinking: Jack had finally mastered to the point of perfection the art of cooking with the power of creation. He could have never been more proud of the kid! His eyes were burning with love towards his nephew, while the two of them sat back down on the couch eating the pie. In that precise moment, looking at Jack while he was thoroughly enjoying the result of his efforts, the archangel found himself thinking that apple pie could easily become his new favorite food in the entire universe.

The following day, when the Winchester brothers came back home from their week-long werewolf hunt, Gabriel decided to surprise them with a special night. The two celestial beings spent most of the day planning the surprise, with the archangel putting together all of the ideas and the Nephilim making them come to life. It was still part of the training, they were just going to enjoy the results afterwards.

Gabriel wrote down a list of foods that the Winchesters liked, and Jack had to recreate each of them out of nowhere. Some of the recipes were long and complicated, but the archangel was proud to see that his nephew had proven himself to be up to the task. He even created a huge chocolate cake to finish the meal, to his uncle’s delight. It was incredible to see how quickly he’d perfected his ability to create food, thanks to his newly-acquired knowledge about the subject.

When the two celestial beings heard the humans’ car approach, they left the library where they were relaxing to run towards the garage. The moment Dean’s Impala stopped inside the bunker, Gabriel quickly moved to stand in front of it. Right behind him, Jack was grinning like a joyful child.

“Welcome home, guys!” the archangel almost yelled, soon starting to bounce around like an overexcited puppy. The Winchester brothers got out of the car and stopped to look at him with puzzled expressions.

“What’s wrong with you?” Dean finally asked, his eyebrows raised and his voice slightly annoyed. Gabriel was forced to slow down when he heard those words. Sometimes those two were such a killjoy! And the older brother was the worse: he was able to go from pranking to getting mad in a few seconds. In order to avoid putting Dean in a bad mood and ruining the perfect evening he and Jack had meticulously planned, the archangel decided to stand still and just smile.

“I’m excited because we have a surprise for the two of you. We made huge progress in Jack’s training, and tonight you’re going to enjoy the result of his efforts. You’ll see, you won’t be disappointed!” Gabriel explained, trying to move at a slow pace when he started to walk towards the brothers. He grabbed each of them by the wrist with the full intention of pulling them towards the war room of the bunker, but he immediately stopped as soon as he touched them. He couldn’t help but wrinkle his nose in disgust.

“But first things first. You two need to shower before we show you the surprise, because you stink.” the archangel announced while letting go of them both. After that, he only had a moment to look at them before the younger hunter started to talk.

“I’m sure that you can stop a whole pack of werewolves and keep emanating this nice smell of candy, but those of us who don’t have superpowers have to get dirty in order to kill the monsters!” Sam said while gesticulating in front of the angel, and his words immediately left an impression on Gabriel.

The younger Winchester probably hadn’t even realized what he’d said, but the archangel couldn’t miss the meaning behind that accusation. Sam thought that Gabriel smelled good, and he even complimented the archangel’s awesome powers. The Ruler of Heaven couldn’t stop himself from brightening with joy when he heard those compliments. And while the angel was smiling, the hunter left his eyes wander over the celestial being and took a good look at his wide grin.

In that moment, however, the hunter probably realized what he’d said, because a few seconds later he was turning his head the other way and refusing to look Gabriel in the eyes. The archangel loved those reactions almost as much as he appreciated getting Sam hard. Embarrassing the hunter with dirty sex jokes and innuendos was for fun, nothing more. Seeing the man show his shy side was something entirely different. It was almost sweet, in Gabriel’s mind. Or, at least, it was as close as the archangel was allowing himself to get to softening towards any one of his human house mates.

“Come on Dean, let’s go take a shower.” Sam spoke again, while gesturing towards his brother to let him understand he had to move. Those words were enough for Gabriel to get out of his thoughts and back to the present. His mind came back on time to see the brothers get greeted by Jack with nothing more than a few words and a happy smile, right before the two humans disappeared.

“Come on kiddo, let’s go back upstairs. We have some final arrangements to make before they’re ready for dinner.” the archangel said to his nephew, and the Nephilim immediately agreed to follow him back up the stairs, through the war room and finally inside the kitchen.

Chapter Text

Hunting with Dean was like coming up for fresh air after drowning. As much as Sam liked the time he spent inside the bunker with both Jack and Gabriel, leaving home with his brother was always the best solution to all of his problems. Dean was miserable inside the bunker, only having a little fun while retaliating against Gabriel after the archangel had pranked him. Sam wanted nothing more than to see his brother happy, and the only thing that seemed to make the older Winchester feel better was killing monsters. Hunting was making Dean happy, or at least less gloomy, and because of that the younger man was glad to be back hunting once again.

In addition to that, as much as Sam liked spending time inside the bunker with the rest of its inhabitants, too much time in close quarters with Gabriel was quickly becoming too much to bear. The angel never stopped trying to make him crazy, and every day he was succeeding a little more. Soon the hunter was going to lose his mind completely, if he didn’t allow himself to get away from time to time. After his failure with the young man named Alex, he hadn’t tried to have sex with anyone else while he was out of the bunker, but the time away was still a miracle cure for permanent hard-on.

When the Winchester brothers were spending a few days in a row at home, the situation was never easy for Sam. Every day he had to face his strong attraction towards the archangel, hoping to come out on top. He had to look Gabriel in the eyes, talk to him, interact in front of the others, all while trying to keep his dick inside his pants. The biggest problem, however, was that nowadays Gabriel didn’t even have to try to tease him in order to get him all worked up. He just needed to walk inside a room, looking all playful and gorgeous, and Sam was done for.

How could he fight such a strong attraction? It was bad enough as it was before, but things got even worse for him after the Winchesters came back from a werewolf hunt. They were exhausted, a little sore, and they smelled like death. When they got off the car, however, Gabriel and Jack were both waiting for them inside the garage. The archangel was just euphoric, welcoming them back and talking about a surprise. He almost looked like a child on sugar high, and it made Sam’s mind wander away. As much as he was easily aroused by Gabriel’s unholy flirtation, he had to admit that seeing this other side of the angel was a change that he appreciated from time to time. It made him feel like a normal guy who was somehow attracted to another man; it was a welcomed change of path from being the hunter who was crazy enough to have sexual fantasies about an archangel.

Sam was tired and he wasn’t thinking straight. That was the only reason why he let something extremely stupid slip out of his mouth. Only after a few seconds he realized that his words were too similar to those that Gabriel always directed at him. This time he’d been the one to initiate a dirty flirt with the archangel. The thought of what he’d done embarrassed him more than he could have ever imagined, making him blush and turn his gaze away from the angel.

Even if he was trying not to look at Gabriel, however, he certainly couldn’t miss the way the archangel’s face came to life hearing his words. Gabriel was happy to hear him talk like that. But he wasn’t horny-happy, he was just normal-happy. He looked like a guy who received some compliments from someone he liked. So one thought planted itself inside the hunter’s mind. Was it possible that something had changed between them over time? Was it possible that Gabriel wasn’t just dirty-talking to him in order to embarrass him anymore? Could it be possible that, somewhere along the way, the archangel had started to really like him back?

The revelation that Gabriel could actually feel something for Sam had hit him pretty hard. He still couldn’t wrap his head around the idea of actually having a possibility with the archangel. But if the celestial being really liked him back, he could maybe stop all of the aches in his body by physically being with the one he really wanted to be with. No more distractions needed, no more secret masturbation, no more sleepless nights. He could just be with Gabriel and be happy.

Those thoughts never left his mind during the evening, while both brothers were enjoying their surprise. The surprise consisted in a wonderful ten-course meal created by Jack without anyone’s help, a pool table in the war room to play while drinking beer, and then the first season of Doctor Who from 1963 to watch together in the living room. Sam had been excited at the idea of watching the very first episode of such a famous tv show, and when he saw that it was remastered in colors and in HD he realized that Jack had not just acquired the episodes, he’d recreated them. Both hunters were really impressed with the progress the Nephilim was making under his uncle’s guidance.

While watching the Doctor Who episodes, Dean was sprawled on one of the armchairs. Sam was rigidly sitting on the other one, trying to concentrate on the tv and ignore everything else. But it wasn’t an easy task, not when Gabriel was lying on the couch with his head in Jack’s lap and his feet sticking out from the armrest. The archangel wasn’t able to keep still, so his feet were constantly moving, occasionally brushing against the hunter’s thigh. It was useless to say that every single touch from the angel was more than enough to send an electric charge up and down Sam’s spine.

When the younger Winchester turned his head just a little towards the couch, he could clearly see that Gabriel wasn’t even trying to watch Doctor Who. And the first Doctor was a real asshole, so Sam was sure that someone like Gabriel really had to adore him! Even if, thinking about it later on, Sam would have realized that the archangel was already around when those episodes first aired in 1963, so he had most likely already watched them more than once.

Gabriel’s eyes never left Sam, and the man soon started to feel uncomfortable. Between the staring and the touching, he was growing hard again inside his pants. That was a sensation that he was used to, but it didn’t mean that he liked it. He would have given anything for the possibility to spend a nice relaxed evening with his brother and their friends, watching vintage episodes of Doctor Who without having to think about sex.

Feeling uncomfortable, Sam crossed his legs in order to hide he bulge in his pants. That movement, however, only made things worse, because the new position was keeping his leg even closer to Gabriel, and the archangel’s feet were now constantly in touch with his thigh, ghosting over it with every slight movement. Another glance at the angel, and the hunter realized that at least someone was enjoying the situation. Gabriel wasn’t giving him a playful smile, or a joyful grin. The smirk on his face was wicked, and his eyes were full of lust. There was no mistaking it: the archangel wanted the hunter. Maybe not as much as Sam wanted him, but it was definitely a start.

Feeling exhilarated by his realization, and growing bold because of the TV being the only light in the room, Sam slowly placed his hand on one of Gabriel’s ankles. He massaged the area under his touch, acting as if it was a meaningless gesture he was unconsciously doing, and he took advantage of the situation by finally touching a few inches of Gabriel’s skin under the jeans he was wearing. He could feel a little shudder move along Gabriel’s body when he first initiated the contact, but soon enough the archangel was relaxing under his hand.

Sam could never forget the sensations he felt that evening. When he went to sleep, he could still feel Gabriel’s skin under his fingers, and it wasn’t helping at all with his erection problems. Lying on his bed, the younger hunter closed his eyes and all he could see inside his head was Gabriel. He couldn’t keep those eyes full of lust and desire out of his mind. That look, in addition to the sensation of the archangel’s skin on his hand, was more than enough to make Sam lose it. And before he knew it, he was unbuttoning his pants and fisting his achingly hard cock with the same hand that he’d previously used to touch Gabriel.

That night, the hunter masturbated as if his life was depending on it. Gabriel was the only thought on his mind, the only person he could think about, the only one he wanted. Just the thought of Gabriel wanting him back was enough to fuel his arousal. And when he came harder than he’d ever done in his entire adult life, he couldn’t care less if the archangel in the next room could hear him moan his name out loud. He was sick and tired of Gabriel’s teasing; it was time for him to tease back!

The following day, coming down from the strange high he’d felt the night before, Sam was worried about seeing Gabriel again. They were still too tired from their last hunt to just leave again for another one, so he had to spend at least a few days home with the archangel. It wasn’t going to be easy though, especially after he’d demonstrated to Gabriel that he could do more than just close his legs and blush like a little girl.

Sam decided to skip breakfast in order to avoid the archangel’s looks and words. He needed more time to think about what happened the previous night, before he could allow himself to be alone in a room with Gabriel again. That creature was too much of a temptation, and he needed to be sure that the archangel really wanted him too before he did something as stupid as acting on his infatuation. Therefore, it was past 10:00 am when the hunter left his bedroom and started wandering around the bunker looking for something to do. Dean was nowhere in sight, probably in his room or, even worse, in Castiel’s. Gabriel and Jack were training together, since the archangel had said the night before that they were about to start a new phase of the Nephilim’s education.

They’d talked about that during the long – and delicious – dinner the boy had prepared. His control over basic powers was perfect now, just a little rough around the edges but in no way dangerous for himself or others. Or at least that was what Gabriel had said halfway through the meal. The archangel announced that, after teaching his nephew to control his grace, he was going to teach him how to use specific skills that weren’t essential for his survival but could easily come in handy.

Sam had wondered what skills Gabriel might have been talking about, but he’d already forgotten everything about it by the time that dinner was over. While walking past the living room that morning, however, that thought came back to the front of his mind. The reason he wondered about the training again was simple. The living room door was partially open, and the hunter could hear so much laughter that he couldn’t even start to imagine what was going on inside. It was out of pure curiosity that he opened the door all the way and moved a couple of steps inside the room. What he saw was enough to confuse him even more.

Jack was sitting on one of the armchairs, laughing like a child. Gabriel was on the floor in front of the couch, roaring with laughter while holding his stomach and frantically moving his legs. Getting a little closer, Sam could see tears on the archangel’s face, and he found himself wondering if Gabriel had fallen from the couch because of how much he was laughing. Both celestial beings were so taken by their fun that none of them seemed to have noticed the human who was now standing right beside them.

“What’s so funny?” Sam inquired, now curious to know what was going on that could make them laugh so much. He’d never seen Gabriel so amused before, and he wanted to know what happened to make him happier than he was while pranking Dean. He was starting to feel a little jealous, actually, even if he rationally knew that he had no reason to be. But, just to be sure, he needed to know what was making Gabriel happy, so that he could feel a little better about himself. However, it took the archangel almost two minutes to calm down long enough to be able to talk again and explain. Sam only felt uncomfortable during that time, doing his best not to show it.

“I taught Jacky how to tune Angel Radio in, and also how to tune it back out so he wouldn’t go crazy with all of the voices in his head. He learned that pretty fast, so I taught him how to communicate with Angel Radio. And Sammy, you should have heard it! In perfect Enochian, he simulated a phone call on Angel Radio and he ordered delivery pizza! Could you believe it? He ordered a pepperoni pizza, a veggie pizza and a giant one with bacon topping and extra cheese!” the archangel was able to say before he started laughing his ass off again.

Sam blinked a couple of times, still having problems to believe what just happened. Jack had just ordered delivery pizza through Angel Radio? He could almost picture all of those droids with no emotions and no sense of humor, receiving a delivery pizza order on their private communication channel. Could they detect that the Nephilim had been the one making the order? Or were they going to get crazy in order to find out who did it?

He was about to voice out his question, a huge grin on his face too now, when he saw Jack become all serious again before he started saying something in what could only be Enochian. As soon as he finished speaking, the boy curled on himself with laughter and Gabriel started rolling on the floor, one arm still holding his stomach and the other one hitting the ground repeatedly. It was obvious that something more had been said to make the situation even funnier.

“Hey, what did you say? Can I laugh too?” Sam asked, moving to go sit down on the couch. Gabriel was now extremely close to the hunter’s legs.

“I added a couple of beers and a soda to my order, and I asked them if they could bring the change for 100 bucks.” Jack replied, trying not to laugh at least while talking.

Yes, it was really funny, Sam agreed with the other two. Soon he couldn’t take it anymore and he burst out laughing as well. The laughter of the celestial beings was contagious, especially Gabriel’s. He only faltered for a moment when the archangel grabbed his legs and used them to pull himself up to a sitting position. The hunter had to hold his breath when he felt the angel’s touch on him, even if it was just through the fabric of his pants.

“You have no idea of the chaos Jacky created! The angels are going crazy, and I think my assistant is crying. Let me tell you, this boy is going to make one hell of a trickster!” Gabriel declared, and a moment later he was laughing again.

Sam felt his body go still when the archangel didn’t move away from him. Instead, Gabriel just leaned against his legs and rested his head on Sam’s knees. The hunter tried to act as natural as he could, but of course it didn’t work. How could he stay calm when the creature he’d been fantasizing about for months was so close, even touching him? He did his best to control himself. His first instinct had been to run his hands through Gabriel’s hair, but he couldn’t do it. Therefore, Sam convinced himself to breathe, forcing his mind to think about the prank that Jack had just played on Heaven. It was easier if he just kept on laughing about that.

Chapter Text

Even though he was the only living angel with intact wings, Gabriel didn’t fly. He’d stopped flying the moment he ran away from Heaven and decided to hide on Earth. Masquerading himself as a pagan, he had to come up with different kinds of “transportation”, considering that the one attached to his body would have easily made everyone understand that he was no common god. Therefore, he’d stopped using his wings a very long time ago. And now, millennia later, we was so used to teleporting that sometimes he could even forget he had wings in the first place.

On a day like any other, Jack came up to Gabriel at the end of their training session and asked his uncle some questions that the archangel wasn’t expecting at all. The Nephilim asked Gabriel about his wings.

“Uncle Gabriel.” the kid said “Since you are an archangel, you have wings, don’t you?” Gabriel raised one eyebrow until it almost disappeared into the line of his hair. What kind of question was that? Of course he had wings, and Jack already knew it.

“Of course. Why do you ask?” the archangel was perplexed when he replied to the question he received from his nephew. He was curious to see where Jack was going with this. The boy nodded, so deep in thought that he was barely conscious of his surroundings. Luckily, however, there was no danger inside the bunker.

“I was just wondering… archangels have wings… and I am part archangel. So… does it mean that I have wings too?” Jack finally asked after several moments.

Gabriel stood there in complete silence, flabbergasted by what happened. Did the kid want to learn how to fly? If that was the case, he was going to be in for a big disappointment. Nephilims didn’t have any wings, but they still had amazing powers. If Jack was interested in a way to move quickly from a location to the next, he still had the possibility to learn a few new tricks, such as Gabriel’s teleportation. The problem was just to find the way to explain it to him.

The archangel took a few big breaths, even if he didn’t need them. He loved the idea of breathing, he appreciated it so much that he usually breathed in order to keep his vessel oxygenated and alive, instead of just letting his grace do it. He had the power to unconsciously satisfy all of his vessel’s needs without having to lift a finger, but some of the human habits he picked up over the centuries were so deeply rooted inside his behavior that he felt like he wasn’t going to survive without them. Eating and breathing were among those habits.

Breathing was usually able to calm Gabriel down, and that’s why he decided to take his time to breathe before starting to explain to Jack that no, the boy didn’t have any wings. He didn’t want the kid to be disappointed, but at the same time he sure wasn’t going to lie to his nephew about something so important.

“You’re part archangel, but you’re also part human.” Gabriel started to say, trying to find the best words to use “You have to be entirely angel in order to have wings.”

“I understand.” Jack’s reply came too quick, and the boy averted his gaze “It’s okay. I just thought it would have been cool to fly, just like you do.”

Jack’s words made Gabriel raise his right eyebrow as high as it went. Did the kid think he was always flying around? He couldn’t have been more mistaken! After the Nephilim drained him of his energies the first time they met, the archangel had been so tired and spent that he couldn’t teleport. That had been the only time he’d used his wings in the last few millennia.

“I don’t fly, kiddo, I teleport. And that you can learn.” the angel explained, making his nephew’s eyes brighten with hope.

The following days were spent on teleportation. They’d already covered the basics of everything that Jack needed in order to take control over his powers, so all he still had to learn were some useful new skills. Gabriel couldn’t wait to teach him his favorite tricks, and teleportation was on the list of things to teach him anyway, but that conversation convinced the archangel that maybe it was time to move teleportation to the top of the list.

They started to work on the new skill the following morning, after the two of them had a huge breakfast alone. The Winchester brothers were once again out of town on a hunt, and nowadays the boys didn’t even bother to give them an estimate of how long they were going to be away for. Gabriel didn’t know how long they were going to have the bunker to themselves, and he wanted to make the most out of it by having Jack try to teleport all around the place.

It turned out that teleportation wasn’t a difficult skill to master, because it only took a couple of days before Jack could do it without any problems. He could picture a place inside his mind, knowing well where it was located, and appear there in an instant. He still couldn’t move towards places he didn’t know, or sense distant people and reach them, but it was still a good start. They would have always had time to perfect the advanced level of that skill later on.

When the Winchesters came back from their hunt the following week, they were so annoyed by Jack disappearing and reappearing all around the bunker that they had to put down some rules. When Dean almost shot the kid because he appeared out of nowhere behind his back, Sam decided to forbid teleportation inside the bunker unless it was an emergency. Gabriel laughed at Jack’s face, until the younger Winchester told him that the rule was going to apply to him too. At that point the archangel just started to bitch, even if he knew all too well that he was never going to follow that stupid restriction anyway.

As a child, Sam Winchester used to pray to the archangel Gabriel all the time. Once he grew up and found out that the archangel was none other than the Trickster, he’d suddenly stopped praying. It had been a long while since Gabriel last heard a prayer from the younger Winchester. After spending such a long amount of time confined in an enclosed space with the brothers, however, everything had started to change.

Gabriel was pretty sure that Sam didn’t even know what he was doing. It was as clear as the light of day that the hunter wasn’t aware of what could qualify as a prayer and what couldn’t. Murmuring the name of an angel under your breath, with your eyes closed in order to picture said angel in your mind, could easily send out a prayer. But the younger Winchester probably didn’t know that; he most likely wasn’t aware of the fact that he’d been praying to Gabriel every single time he pictured the archangel in his mind while jerking off.

Judging by the number of prayers that the new Ruler of Heaven was now used to receiving from the hunter, the human was going at it pretty often. Every day to be more precise, sometimes even more than once a day. And then there was that one time that Sam had sex with someone else, thinking about Gabriel the whole time and making the archangel giggle like a child. So for the past few months the angel had been receiving sexual prayers from the younger Winchester. He’d never, however, received a single conscious prayer, asking for guidance or something. That was the reason why he started to panic when he heard Sam’s voice in his head, and the hunter really didn’t seem like he was jerking off this time.

“Gabriel, please help us. We were tracking down some demons that we heard were trying to find a way to bring Lucifer back, but we got ambushed. We fell into their trap and now we can’t escape. Dean fought back harder, and they retaliated. He’s unconscious now, bleeding from his head. Please help us, I think my brother is hurt pretty badly.” was the prayer that Gabriel heard, and rage started to grow inside him immediately.

Someone dared to touch the Winchester brothers, when he had claimed the two humans as his own. They were his responsibility when they screwed up, and they were also his to protect. Now that they were prisoners, they were his to save. Someone was hurting what belonged to him, and those demons were going to pay with their lives for it. Once he finished with them, they were going to regret ever going to Hell in the first place! Death wasn’t punishment enough, Gabriel was going to do so much worse to them for daring to hurt the Winchesters.

“JACK!” the archangel yelled “Get down here right now!” he ordered. His words were followed by a crashing sound and an half-curse from upstairs. A moment later, the Nephilim appeared beside his uncle. The boy looked disheveled, and he was buttoning his jeans.

“What’s so urgent that can’t even wait for me to finish in the bathroom?” the Nephilim asked while trying to look presentable. His eyes met his uncle’s, and Gabriel stared back at him with rage. The archangel was about to lose his calm, but he had to find a way to control himself. He didn’t want the boy to think that Gabriel was upset with him for some reason. The angel was mad at the demons who took the Winchester brothers, and at himself for letting those two leave the bunker in the first place. It was time for them to fix it.

“Sam and Dean are in great danger. I hope you feel ready to try your powers on the field of battle, because right now you and I are going to rescue them!” Gabriel stated, and Jack thrust his eyes wide open. They were going to do what?

The archangel could easily see how his nephew looked conflicted during the following few seconds. Part of Jack was furious, desiring nothing more than to rescue his captured friends. But behind all that, in the depth of his eyes, Gabriel could still see fear. It was the first time that Jack was allowed to leave the bunker since his birth. And it was the first time that his control over his powers was going to be tested in a situation of real danger. He was probably scared of not living up to everyone’s expectations, or of losing control and hurting someone he cared about.

Gabriel could easily understand Jack’s worries, but at the same time he couldn’t afford to support him in his hesitation. The boy needed to step up and act like a grown Nephilim, because the lives of the Winchester brothers depended on them. They needed to stay focused in order to save the humans who welcomed them into their home when no-one else would have accepted them. The boys needed to be saved, and the two of them were their only chance.

It only took a few more seconds, however, before confidence came back to Jack’s eyes, and the kid nodded to let his uncle know that he was ready. Gabriel nodded back, and a moment later his right fist was clenching around the hilt of his archangel blade. He wanted those demons to see who was the creature killing them. He wanted them to be terrified of the archangel fighting them with his most powerful weapon.

When they were ready to go, Jack put a hand on Gabriel’s shoulder and the archangel snapped his fingers. A moment later, the two of them appeared in an abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere. It wasn’t possible to feel the presence of the Winchesters, since they were still shielded against angel localization, so all Gabriel could do was to teleport to the place that he’d felt being the source of the prayer he received from Sam. He just hoped that he wasn’t too late, and that the brothers were still there. If the demons had moved them, he had no way to find them unless Sam was able to pray to him once again.

The first thing he did after they arrived was to motion towards Jack to be silent. They needed the element of surprise in order to quickly strike and eliminate the demons. Moreover, there was always the possibility that the captors could feel threatened by sudden noises and hurt the hostages. And Gabriel, of course, was not having any of that. Therefore, he used his grace to make his vessel move in complete silence, and he hoped his nephew was going to do his best to be quiet as well.

Before they could even move, however, two demons came out of nowhere and attacked them. Jack was flung a few yards away, hitting the floor hard. Gabriel, on the other hand, didn’t move by an inch. A wicked smirk appeared on his face when he noticed the panicked expressions on the demons’ faces upon realizing that they weren’t dealing with a common low-ranked angel. It had been so long since the last time he killed some demons that he couldn’t even remember when it had been.

With a single movement, Gabriel spun around and stabbed one of the demons in the heart. A static sound accompanied a flicker of orange light inside the skin of the human meat suit, and just like that the demon was dead. The other one moved a step to run away, but the archangel was quicker. He buried his archangel blade in the back of the demon, stabbing his heart from behind and quickly making him follow his companion in death. When Jack got up and walked back to his uncle’s side, both demons were already neutralized. But they’d been too loud, so they could kiss the element of surprise goodbye.

“When they attacked us, I was flung away but you didn’t even move. I still have so much to learn from you!” Jack said, his voice charged with disbelief. He probably thought he was about to fight on the same level as Gabriel, but he clearly wasn’t. He still had so much to learn before he could be considered his uncle’s equal, let alone to surpass him! Even though one day, Gabriel knew that for sure, it was definitely going to happen.

“It’s your first time in a real battle, kiddo. With a little practice, you’ll be able to withstand enemy attacks too. I’ll teach you.” Gabriel tried to reassure him. He couldn’t have the Nephilim lose confidence while they were infiltrating an enemy lair to rescue the Winchesters.

“But uncle Gabriel, I couldn’t do a single thing! You killed the demons with your blade, and all I could do was fall! What happens when more demons find us? You have a weapon to fight them, I don’t!” the Nephilim was clearly agitated while pronouncing those words.

“You don’t need a weapon, kiddo. This is my fight, not yours. You’re here to rescue Sam and Dean while I take care of the demons. This is your first time facing real danger, I don’t want to rush you into a fight to save the lives of people you care about. You’re not ready for that kind of responsibility.” the archangel explained.

The boy didn’t look too happy with the answer, but he nodded in agreement anyway. Gabriel could see him twitch where he stood, craving to be part of the battle as well. But the archangel knew best, and he wasn’t going to let his nephew get hurt in battle, or even worse lose control and hurt someone else he didn’t mean to harm.

They quickly moved around the warehouse, looking for the Winchesters. Along the way, four other demons attacked them “by surprise”. Jack didn’t seem to have sensed them approaching, but Gabriel had, and he killed them so fast that they probably hadn’t even realized what was happening before they ceased to exist. There was a room where the archangel could sense the presence of many more demons, and he hypothesized that was the place where the Winchesters were held captive.

He ended up being right. There were two more demons guarding the door to that room, but they were quickly eliminated. At that point, all he had to do was enter the room and wreak havoc on the demons. They were never going to know what hit them! He was angry but his mind was calm and determined; he was going to follow his own plan and save the humans he’d grown so fond of.

Everything, however, changed the moment the two celestial beings entered the room. At least twenty more demons were there, guarding the prisoners and trying to interrogate them. Gabriel’s eyes fell on Dean first. The older hunter was lying on the ground, hands tied behind his back and blood streaming out of his head. In addition to an obvious concussion, he also had more injuries, probably a broken leg judging by the way it was angled on the floor. The archangel almost growled at the sight of Dean in such a terrible shape.

His eyes then moved towards Sam. The younger hunter was tied to a chair, covered in bruises and dried blood. Two demons were hitting him with baseball bats, while interrogating him on what happened to Lucifer and how to get him back. Sam, as the selfless idiot that he was, was replying to their questions by begging them to let his brother go. The hunter didn’t seem to have noticed their arrival, but the demons had. The two hurting Sam kept going on with their work, but the others went to attack Gabriel and Jack.

It shouldn’t have been such a shock for him. It shouldn’t have made such an impression. It shouldn’t have felt like someone was hitting him with a baseball bat. He shouldn’t have been unable to breathe at the sight of Sam under the demons’ torture. Dean was in a much worse shape, but somehow Sam’s state was able to affect him a lot more. That was the moment Gabriel lost his calm, and he decided his entire meticulous plan could go to hell.

“Take this.” he told Jack, while tossing his archangel blade towards his nephew. In rage, the archangel’s eyes were glowing with power “I’m gonna kill them with my bare hands.”

And then the fight started. The demons launched forward, and Jack was ready to welcome them with his uncle’s blade. Gabriel, on the other hand, was letting his grace go. He wanted to smite each one of those bastards with his own powers. He grabbed the first demon who came within his reach, placed a hand of the monster’s forehead, and with a killing look in his eyes he let his grace flow through the demon’s body. White light exploded from the meat suit’s eyes and mouth, and a moment later the demon was dead; the just as dead human he’d been possessing fell to the ground with his eyes burned out and a terrified look on his face.

Chapter Text

The demons were falling to the ground, one after the other, screaming in pain before they died. Sam knew he was about to lose consciousness, but he forced himself to remain aware of the current situation. He wanted to see, he needed to know what was happening. Had Gabriel heard his prayer? Had the archangel come to their rescue? Then one of the demons who were beating him up turned around to swing his baseball bat at someone who was behind his own back, and Sam could finally see. On the other side of the room, near his bloody and unconscious brother, Jack was dancing around the demons, wielding an angel blade and using it to clumsily kill his enemies. The hunter would have smiled at that sight, if his face hadn’t hurt so much.

His eyes then fell on something closer. He saw both of the demons who’d been torturing him fight the same adversary, and from that angle he could clearly see who it was.

Gabriel. They were both fighting Gabriel. The archangel looked murderous, his eyes full of killing intent. He was entirely focused on the demons, smiting them with surgical precision. His vessel’s body was glowing with energy, and the light of his grace was flowing out of the demons when he killed them. He was clearly furious, and in that moment he looked so great and powerful that his presence alone could fill the entire room. In Sam’s opinion, actually, it could easily fill the entire world. On a more personal level, however, it was not-so-slowly filling the hunter’s heart.

Gabriel was awesome, there were no other words to describe him. He was beautiful, and powerful, and perfect, and everything that Sam had ever wanted in the whole wide world; and he was fighting like crazy to save the Winchester brothers. How could the younger hunter stop his heart from beating even faster while looking at the archangel? Mesmerized, Sam wasn’t able to take his eyes off Gabriel.

When the last of the demons was neutralized, Sam noticed Jack walk a few steps closer, and Gabriel turn towards his nephew to give him orders on what to do next. The archangel told the Nephilim to take Dean home and heal him. Sam felt both worried and relieved at the same time when he saw the boy kneel beside his brother and disappear with him. He was about to say something but, before he could even open his mouth, his entire field of vision was occupied by a certain archangel.

“Gabriel…” he started to say, but he couldn’t continue. He wanted to thank the archangel for saving their lives, but Gabriel’s hand slowly landing on his left cheek made him stop. Before he could even realize what he was doing, Sam found himself melting into that touch, wanting nothing more than to have that hand on him forever. Gabriel’s thumb started stroking his cheekbone, and Sam craved for that sensation to never end, even if his body traitorously winced when the archangel’s finger touched a fresh bruise on his face.

“Look at you… what have they done to you?” Gabriel said, eyes never leaving Sam’s. The hunter felt humbled in front of those eyes, so beautiful and gold and full of power. For a moment, the human stupidly thought that maybe what he was looking at wasn’t Gabriel’s vessel but his true form, and that his eyes were about to get burned out. Of all the times he’d looked at Gabriel before, he’d never looked more like an archangel than he did in that precise moment. If he was about to go blind forever, Sam thought that the beauty of Gabriel’s power was the perfect last thing to look at.

His eyes, however, didn’t burn out. After losing himself in that touch for a few seconds, Sam found the ability to think straight again, realizing once and for all that all he was looking at was Gabriel inside his vessel, and there was no way he was going to lose his eyes for that. But the archangel was so great and bright that Sam couldn’t help but smile. The hunter was always incredibly glad when he could see more of Gabriel’s goodness.

“Thank you Gabriel. Thank you for coming here to save us.” the man said, trying his best to keep on holding the archangel’s gaze. But it was a very difficult task, and at some point he had to blink. All he heard was the snapping of fingers, and a moment later he opened his eyes again to his own bedroom at the bunker.

Sam was now lying on his own bed, untied, and Gabriel was still occupying most of his vision. The archangel was kneeling on the bed beside him, his hands propped against the mattress on both sides of Sam’s head. Their faces were dangerously close, and Gabriel was still looking at Sam with such intensity and concern that the hunter was feeling paralyzed under those eyes. His breathing quickened, his heart raced so fast it was about to leave his chest.

Was Gabriel going to kiss him? Sam really wanted to be kissed in that moment. He would have surged up and kissed the archangel himself, if it wasn’t for the weight of that stare pinning him down. Was Gabriel forcing him to stay still, or was he losing control over his own body under the scrutiny of those eyes? It wasn’t right and most of all it wasn’t fair. That was his golden opportunity to take what he wanted, to show Gabriel how much he cared. To kiss the archangel like he’d never kissed anyone before.

Gabriel slowly got a little closer, and at the same time he moved one of his hands to gently caress Sam’s face again. The archangel’s touch against his skin was releasing heat, and soon Sam understood what the angel was doing. Gabriel was healing him, making all of the bruises disappear. It shouldn’t have been much of a deal, just your average angel healing, but it wasn’t. Gabriel’s tenderness made it look like such an intimate gesture that it was sweet and almost erotic.

Sam’s heart kept pounding like crazy when Gabriel’s hand left his face and started to slide down along his chest. When it stopped in the middle of its descent, right over Sam’s heart, more heat entered the hunter’s body. The younger Winchester realized he probably had some broken ribs only when Gabriel fixed them, releasing some of the pressure on his ribcage. He could feel the archangel’s grace working inside his body, making him whole again, curing him as if he’d never been injured before.

He’d been healed by angels before, but nothing ever felt like that. He could recognize how pure Gabriel’s grace was, so much stronger than Castiel’s. He could feel his body burning from the inside, but it didn’t hurt at all. The sensation he felt was more similar to pleasure than to pain. He couldn’t even describe it, but it was so intense he couldn’t even think anymore. Then, all of a sudden, Gabriel stopped. He removed his hand from Sam’s body, but the younger Winchester could still feel that warm grace flowing inside him.

“What did you do?” he asked while massaging his chest when he saw the archangel retreat a little.

“I left some of my grace inside you. This way I will always be able to find you, wherever you are. And if you’re in danger I will know it immediately. What happened today will never happen again, I promise you that. You and your brother are under my protection, and I’m sorry for letting you get hurt.” Gabriel confessed, leaving Sam utterly speechless.

Was he dreaming? Was it really happening? Was the archangel really so concerned about them, about him? Sam’s heart skipped a beat when, a moment later, Gabriel lowered himself even more, until he was basically lying on top of the much larger human. The archangel rested his forehead against Sam’s chest, moving his arms to hug the hunter. Sam did his best to keep on breathing, but he realized that he was shaking like a leaf in the wind when he tried to lift his arms to hug Gabriel back. As soon as he moved, he felt the archangel go completely still.

“Hey Sammy, you’re not going to cry or anything, aren’t you?” the archangel inquired, and Sam could do nothing other than push him off instead of hugging him back. Gabriel fell from the bed with his ass on the floor, but when he looked at Sam again he was smiling.

“You’re an ass, you know that? And stop calling me Sammy!” the younger Winchester replied, a smirk on his face. The moment of intimacy was over, they were back to teasing each other and having fun. His perfect chance was gone.

“But what a fine piece of ass I am!” Gabriel replied to his insult, of course turning it into something sexual. Everything was back to normal. Sam was about to say something else in reply, thinking about a smart comeback to spit in the archangel’s direction, but before he could say anything more he heard Gabriel speak again “It’s time to rest, big boy. I’m going to check on Dean. See you later!” and with a smirk on his face and an eyebrow waggle, Gabriel disappeared.

Once he was alone again, Sam tried to keep his heart from breaking his newly fixed ribcage once again. How was it possible that Gabriel could affect him so much? A few touches, some kind words, and the hunter was nothing more than jelly in front of the archangel.

He couldn’t stop thinking about what just happened. Gabriel had heard his prayer and he’d come to their rescue with Jack. Even though the Nephilim probably hadn’t been ready for that kind of fight, the angel had brought him along anyway in order to save them. The archangel had been so mad while attacking the demons, beside himself with rage because someone had been hurting the Winchester brothers. After successfully saving them both, Gabriel had trusted Jack with Dean, having the Nephilim take the older hunter back to the bunker to heal him. Then, the archangel had brought Sam back himself, taking his time to make sure the younger human was okay.

Every gesture, every single look on the archangel’s face, everything was burned inside the man’s mind. He was sure he could never forget how concerned Gabriel had been about him, how careful he’d been while healing him. It was obvious now that something more powerful than the sense of duty had been driving Gabriel during the rescue. Could it have been affection? Maybe.

The archangel had also gotten emotional during the time they’d spent alone on Sam’s bed. He’d probably gotten carried away by the situation, only going back to normal when the hunter had started to let his own feelings guide his actions. Sam couldn’t deny, however, that something had happened inside of him in those few instants of intimacy.

That was the moment he realized that what he felt towards Gabriel was more than pure physical attraction. Sure, he still wanted to bang the archangel like he’d never wanted to fuck anyone else in his entire life, but it was more than just that. He didn’t think it was the same for Gabriel, the archangel was probably just attracted to him on a physical level in addition to starting to care about him and his brother, but Sam’s feelings went way above simple affection. He was finally understanding that, somewhere along the way, he’d started to fall in love.

Realizing that he had that kind of feelings for Gabriel wasn’t going to make things easier. He could mask his attraction well enough not to get caught fantasizing about the archangel now, but how was he going to hide love? Sam was terrified at the idea of his brother finding out about it. Dean wasn’t going to understand his feelings, that much was for sure. Especially because the younger Winchester had always suspected that his brother had feelings of his own towards Castiel, and with Cas gone it would have been even harder for Dean to accept Sam’s love towards another angel.

In addition to that, Gabriel had marked Sam by leaving some of his grace inside his body. The hunter didn’t know if he should have felt insulted and violated or just glad. What he really didn’t want to think about, however, was that now there was a part of the archangel permanently lodged inside him, fueling both his arousal and his love. In other words, it was going to be as if Gabriel was with him the entire time, even when he was alone. How was he supposed to live with that without going crazy?

All of a sudden, Sam was brought back to the present by Dean yelling and cursing somewhere else inside the bunker. Was something wrong? Had he been mistaken when he trusted Jack to take good care of his injured brother? Cursing under his breath, the younger Winchester stood up from the bed and ran out of his bedroom, following Dean’s voice. A minute later he entered the war room, where his brother was throwing things in the air. Jack was leaning flat against a wall to stay out of the way, and he looked afraid of the situation. Gabriel, on the other hand, was trying to calm the older hunter down, resulting in Dean’s cellphone hitting him violently on the head.

Something was wrong, and Sam couldn’t spare a moment to think about what it was. He had to do anything in his power to stop his brother from destroying everything and hurting their rescuers. With a few more rapid steps, he quickly reached the other man’s side, putting a hand on his shoulder as soon as the other was within his reach. Only then Dean seemed to notice that he’d entered the room.

“Sammy! You’re okay!” the older hunter said, a genuine smile appearing on his face just to disappear again a moment later.

“And so are you!” Sam replied, a look of concern on his face “But what’s wrong?”

He was expecting his brother to say something terrifying. From how furious he was, he almost expected to hear that, in order to save them, Jack and Gabriel had told the demons how to get Lucifer back. So of course he wasn’t expecting what came next instead.

“They teleported us here, Sammy! Just the two of us! They saved us by leaving my Baby behind!” Dean yelled, besides himself with fury, and Sam found really hard not to laugh in his face. They’d risked their lives, Dean had almost died, and all his brother was concerned about was the Impala. Yes, that was prove enough of the fact that Dean was indeed feeling just fine.

Sam had tried to calm his brother down for several minutes, and only when the older Winchester had stopped screaming Gabriel had snapped his fingers, saying that the Impala was safe in the bunker’s garage. The younger hunter was going to make fun of his brother for the rest of his life because of the face Dean made when he ran inside the garage and started kissing his precious car.

The following day, however, life inside the bunker was back to normal. Jack and Gabriel spent most of the day training in the library, while Sam and Dean relaxed in the living room watching a marathon of Dr. Sexy episodes on Netflix. The younger Winchester was never going to admit it out loud, but he was starting to understand what his brother saw in that show. It was compelling, after all.

After dinner, Jack went to bed early. Dean was about to leave as well, but Gabriel decided to stop him. The archangel asked the brothers to sit down with him in the living room, because he had something important to tell them. For a moment, Sam thought that the archangel was going to leave forever, and panic hit him until he was unable to breathe. But he couldn’t act like that in front of Dean and Gabriel, so he forced himself to stay calm and he followed the other two inside the living room. They all sat down in their favorite spots, with Sam and Dean on the armchairs and Gabriel on the couch.

“What happened yesterday made me think a lot about the risks of hunting.” Gabriel started to say, and Dean didn’t even let him finish.

“If you’re saying that you don’t want us to hunt anymore, I’m sorry to inform you that it’s never gonna happen. We’re hunters, dude. That’s our life!” the older Winchester said while pointing a finger at Gabriel, and Sam couldn’t really blame him for his harsh words. He was thinking the same thing, after all.

“Oh no, don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to forbid you to go hunting. I’m just concerned about the risks of it. Moreover, when I brought Jack with me to rescue you, I realized that no amount of training inside this bunker could ever make him ready to face real enemies on the battlefield.” the archangel resumed his talking, and Sam was now completely lost.

“What are you trying to say?” he asked, because he really didn’t understand where Gabriel was trying to get.

“I think it would be best for Jack and me to come hunting with you guys, from now on. His training would improve a lot, with some real practice, and in the meantime I can make sure the two of you are safe.” Gabriel concluded, leaving both brothers speechless.

Both Sam and Dean had their own reasons not to agree with the archangel’s decision. Bringing Jack with them was going to put all of them in so much more danger. In addition to that, having those two with them during their hunts meant that Sam didn’t have any time away from Gabriel anymore, and he wasn’t sure he could handle it, especially now that he was aware of being madly in love with the archangel.

They both protested, but in the end Gabriel had it his way. Three days later, the four of them were ready to leave for their first real hunt together.

Chapter Text

Leaving the bunker to hunt with the Winchesters wasn’t a decision that Gabriel had taken lightly. He’d spent some time thinking about it after what’d happened the last time the boys had gone out alone. Bringing Jack along while facing monster after monster was a risky move, but it was also the only way for the kid to really learn how to use his archangel mojo to defend himself and the ones he cared about. While practicing in a safe environment, there was no way to know if he was ready to really handle himself in a situation of danger.

And then, of course, there were the brothers. Gabriel still couldn’t stop himself from shivering every time he thought about the state those two had been in when the demons had captured them. How could he stay put inside the bunker, playing house with his nephew, when the Winchesters were out there getting hurt? How could he live with himself knowing that he could keep them safe but refusing to do it? He needed to go hunting with them. He needed to make sure that Dean didn’t get a step too close to death once again, he needed to make sure that no creature laid their filthy hands on Sam ever again. In other words, Gabriel just had to be there with them.

The moment he announced to the brothers that he was going to join them in their hunts, and that he was taking Jack along for the ride, things went south too fast. Dean was furious, but how could he blame the hunter? The older Winchester had been raised to be a soldier, always ready to go to war against the supernatural, so taking the supernatural along during a hunt wasn’t going to be fun for him. Sam, on the other hand, seemed very uncomfortable with the decision, but he didn’t make such a fuss about it. Maybe he stayed quiet just because his brother was protesting enough for the both of them, but in the end he was the first one to give up.

Just a few days after that painful conversation, Gabriel was pacing around his bedroom, deep in thought. In about three hours, everyone would have woken up, starting a new day inside the bunker. But it wasn’t going to be a day like any other; no, it was going to be the day in which everything changed. After breakfast, they were going to leave for their first hunt together, the four of them.

Usually, before leaving on a hunting trip, people used to prepare themselves by cleaning their weapons or doing some last minute research. Gabriel, however, didn’t need either of those things. His weapon was in perfect conditions, and there was nothing a book could say about vampires that he didn’t already know, but in some way the archangel was preparing for the hunt too. His preparation, however, consisted in imagining all of the possible scenarios that could happen during the fight they were going to enter. He needed to have a precise idea of which skills Jack was going to have to use, in order to predict the outcome of his actions and always be ready to support his nephew in case of need. And, of course, to stop him if he lost control.

Taking care of the training of an archangel’s Nephilim was a full time job. While they were just practicing inside the bunker, Gabriel had not been able to fully comprehend the immensity of his duty. During their field mission to rescue the Winchesters, however, he’d started to realize that it was more difficult than he had anticipated. Now, the night before leaving the bunker on their first hunting trip, the archangel was afraid of what could happen on the field of battle.

The hunt they chose wasn’t particularly difficult per se. Some woman by the name of Jody Mills had heard of a vampire nest somewhere near Minneapolis, Minnesota, and she'd asked the Winchesters to go check it out. Gabriel had recently learned from the brothers that the Alpha vampire was dead, so all of the remaining vampires were just living in pure chaos, with no idea of what to do with their lives. It was making them more dangerous for the clueless humans they were attacking, but at the same time it made them an easy target for hunters who knew what they were doing.

While pacing around his bedroom, the archangel was sucking on a cherry flavored lollipop. The plastic stick of the candy was hanging out from one side of his mouth, moving around a little when he used his tongue to roll the sucker around. Lollipops usually helped him think, because he could just suck on them and get his needed dose of sugar without having to use his hands to hold the candy. Therefore, that night he ended up eating six of them, one after the other.

It was already morning when Gabriel let himself fall on his bed, staring at the ceiling. Yes, everything was going to be fine. He had an action plan already perfectly delineated in his mind. They were going to succeed in neutralizing the entire nest, one vampire at a time. He decided which one was the best way to use Jack in that kind of fight, so that the boy wouldn’t be in the way while the Winchesters were doing their job. The archangel, on the other hand, was going to be there observing, without entering the fight himself if he wasn’t needed. His role was going to be keeping an eye on his nephew, nothing more than that, unless the situation became critical.

Gabriel brought his left wrist in front of his face, as if to check the time on a watch that he wasn’t wearing. He sighed, deciding that it was time to leave the room to prepare breakfast for everyone else. He could already imagine the Nephilim being nervous about the field trip to the outside, and the Winchesters being edgy because of the company they weren’t used to have during their hunts. In other words, everyone needed to have a very good breakfast in order to start the day in the best possible way.

Everything was cooked and ready when Sam was the first one to enter the kitchen. Gabriel was playing with a slice of apple pie without really eating it when he heard someone step inside the room. He didn’t need to raise his gaze in order to know who those footsteps belonged to. He’d been able to feel his own grace approaching from a distance, meaning that it could have only been Sam: the younger Winchester had been the only one that the archangel had decided to mark. He still didn’t know what possessed him to leave some of his grace inside the human, but he didn’t regret it at all. At least now he could always know where the hunter was, and of course if he was safe. It made him feel better, considering that the Winchester brothers had a unique predisposition towards mortal danger.

“Morning.” was the first thing that Sam said once he entered the kitchen. Gabriel looked at him and smiled.

“Good morning Sammy!” was the archangel’s reply. The hunter sat down on his usual chair and gave Gabriel a killing glare.

“How many times do I have to tell you that I hate when you call me Sammy? Please stop!” the younger Winchester protested, and Gabriel could only laugh at that. Of course he was well aware of how much the human hated to be called “Sammy” by anyone other than Dean. That was of course the reason why the archangel never called him anything different. Sam always got all worked up when someone used his brother’s nickname for him, and Gabriel just loved to annoy him that way.

“Whatever. Eat, you’ll need your strength today.” Gabriel said, encouraging the man to get ready for the hunt of the day.

At first he didn’t even realize what happened. A minute later, however, Gabriel laid his eyes on Sam and noticed that the Winchester was staring at him in shock, his eyes and mouth wide open. The archangel blinked in confusion a couple of times, trying to understand what could have caused such a reaction from the hunter. The man’s words, however, interrupted his thought process.

“Are you feeling okay?” Sam asked, and Gabriel really didn’t know what he was talking about. Of course he was feeling okay! Maybe he was a little nervous about the idea of keeping Jack in check during the hunt, but overall he was just fine. Why shouldn’t he be?

“Yes?” he tentatively replied, still not understanding where the human’s concern was coming from “Why?” he finally decided to ask. He clearly saw Sam blush after hearing him talk.

“Because this is the first time since you moved in with us that you haven’t welcomed me in the kitchen for breakfast with some sex-related joke.” the hunter said, causing a wicked grin to appear on Gabriel’s face. Was Sam implying that he missed the archangel’s usual approach? That was a show of weakness on the younger Winchester’s part. Was he already crumbling under Gabriel’s teasing?

After seeing Gabriel’s reaction, however, the hunter had probably realized the full meaning of what he’d said. Therefore, he looked away and started to babble incoherently, trying to justify himself. It only made the archangel laugh harder. He was glad to see how much he was getting under the man’s skin. He could easily say that it was one of the things he’d been more proud of in his life, second only to the parent-like feeling he had towards Jack’s progress in the use of his powers.

“Sammy, Sammy… I didn’t know you were so fond of my sexual innuendos. Is there something you’re hiding from me?” he couldn’t stop himself from asking, adding an eyebrow waggle to his words. A moment later Sam was grunting and mumbling under his breath. Bingo! What an easy target to pick on…

The car ride to Minneapolis was a nightmare. Gabriel was stuck with Jack in the back seat of the Impala, getting bored to no end. Dean was driving while humming along the AC/DC compilation that the car stereo was playing, Sam was reading a book and Jack was too nervous to stay still. The archangel actually had to use his powers to put him to sleep less than two hours after they left the bunker, just to be sure that the boy wouldn’t lose control over himself and blow up the Impala with them inside.

Considering that nobody was paying any attention to him, Gabriel was starting to feel restless. He hated traveling by car when he had someplace to be, because it was slow and pointless. Wasn’t it way easier if he just teleported them all to Minneapolis? But the older Winchester was so opposed to the idea that they even ended up arguing about it. In the end Dean won, and Gabriel had to find a way to entertain himself during the drive.

Three ours out of Lebanon, Dean was furious when he stopped his car on the side of the road. He turned around and glared at Gabriel, starting to yell a few seconds later. His voice was enough to wake Jack up; the archangel forced himself to tune the hunter out and concentrate on his nephew instead. He didn’t want to listen to Dean, because maybe there was a possibility for the hunter to be right. It might have been Gabriel’s fault if they almost smashed the car against an oncoming truck. But he was bored, why couldn’t the Winchester understand that and just let him teleport them all to their destination?

He had to use all of his charm to calm Dean down, but after they hit the road again the older hunter kept frowning anyway. After putting the Nephilim to sleep for the second time, the archangel ended up spending the rest of the drive to Minneapolis playing with Sam’s hair, and enjoying how nervous and restless it made the younger man. Good, at least someone else was feeling as uncomfortable as he was!

When they arrived in Minneapolis and parked in front of what looked like an average crappy motel, Dean got off the Impala and slammed the door behind him. A moment later, however, he caressed the car, apologizing to his Baby for hurting her. It made the archangel laugh. That trip had probably been unbearable for the human, and Gabriel was starting to understand why the older Winchester had been so opposed to the idea of the two of them going hunting with the brothers.

Sam, on the other hand, couldn't leave the car fast enough. Before Gabriel even made an attempt to follow him, the hunter was already inside the motel to check them in. They got two separate rooms, one for the Winchesters and the other for Jack and Gabriel, even if the archangel didn't actually need a bed to sleep in. The moment he set foot inside the run-down motel room, however, Gabriel felt so disgusted that he was about to use his powers to change the room into something better.

“Okay kiddo, time to train. Work a miracle and make this room look comfy!” the archangel exclaimed, looking at his nephew full of confidence in the boy’s abilities.

It didn't take more than one hour for the Nephilim to change the room until it seemed like a 5 star hotel. Once he was done, however, Gabriel looked around and a proud expression appeared on his face. The kid was making huge progress, there was no doubt about it. He almost felt like a human father going to his only son's college graduation ceremony.

He decided to stop thinking about that before he could really get sappy, and he opted to call the Winchester brothers into their room instead. They needed to work together on some details about their action plan, before going into action at sundown, and it was going to be way better if they did it in an awesome bedroom instead of a disgusting one.

It was already dark when they reached the vampire nest. The plan was to use Jack as a distraction while the Winchester brothers killed all of the vampires. Gabriel had taken on the task of looking for human hostages and free them if there were any. It wasn’t difficult, so it wasn’t going to keep him too distracted from sensing all of the variations in Jack’s powers. He could free hostages with his eyes closed and his hands tied behind his back, so he could do it without having to keep all of his concentration on the task.

He ended up not needing to split his attention at all. When they got to the nest, all of the humans had already been slaughtered. The archangel couldn’t help but notice the way Jack’s face cringed a little at the sight of the mutilated bodies, entirely drained of their blood. His nephew was a good kid, that much was obvious. Gabriel had to pat the boy’s arm and tell him that they were going to avenge all of those people, that was the only way he got the Nephilim to move along and get on with the plan.

Jack was so angry that he was having problems keeping his grace inside his body. If he’d let it out the way he wanted to, letting it explode, he would have felt satisfied for a few minutes, but he would have hurt the Winchester brothers, who were just there with them. Gabriel couldn’t allow something like that to happen, both because he wanted to protect the brothers and because he needed to keep Jack’s innocence alive for as long as he could. Hurting the hunters would have fueled the boy’s guilt, until resentment could eat him alive.

In order to better keep Jack in check, Gabriel slightly changed their plan, acting as a diversion alongside his nephew. The two of them together were more than enough to capture the attention of all of the vampires; they kept them busy long enough for Sam and Dean to decapitate them all from behind, one by one.

During the entire time they spent inside the nest, the archangel’s eyes almost never left his nephew. Sometimes, however, he had to quickly turn his head, as a reaction to the attack of an enemy. During some of those moments, he noticed with the corner of one eye what the Winchesters were doing. At the moment it didn’t even occur to him, but not once he let his eyes linger on Dean before going back to Jack.

It was always Sam. Every time the younger hunter caught his eyes, Gabriel found that it was too difficult to look away. He still didn’t know why he was feeling the sudden need to look at Sam, to check on him. The man was safe, the grace he’d left inside the human was telling him that. So why was he always concerned? Why wasn’t he able to look away? That had nothing to do with the fact that the younger Winchester was hot, or anything like that. So what was it?

The archangel found himself shaking his head in the middle of the battle. He couldn’t keep thinking about the hunter, he really couldn’t. In that moment he needed to remain concentrated on his nephew, because Jack’s rage was strong and he needed to keep the boy’s powers under control as much as he could. He didn’t have any time to spare for thoughts of a certain Winchester. He needed to do his part for the sake of the plan, so that the brothers could exterminate all of the vampires in that nest and finally get it over with.

Not looking at Sam Winchester, not thinking about his - and his brother’s - safety, however, was easier said than done.

Chapter Text

Having Gabriel and Jack with them while hunting was awful. Their powers were useful, that was certain, but their presence could easily turn every road trip into a nightmare. The Nephilim always seemed ready to burst like the nuclear bomb that he was; he’d been able to calm down a little, after the first few hunts, but he still made Sam worry every time.

And then there was Gabriel. The archangel was literally making the hunter go crazy. He was always there, every moment of every day, never giving the brothers any space. He had an opinion about everything, usually contradicting Dean when the older Winchester was explaining the course of action that he wanted to use in order to take out the monster of the week. It was easy to understand why Dean didn’t like having him around, and it wasn’t any better for Sam either.

Gabriel was always watching him, and touching him, and making him feel as if his insides were about to jump out of his body. Moreover, he still had a small part of the archangel’s grace inside his body, and it made more difficult for him not to react every time that Gabriel gave him attentions. It was like part of him could feel the archangel inside of his body, making him horny all the time – because come on, Gabriel was somehow inside him, how could he not think about it sexually?

Every time they were stuck inside the Impala, driving for hours, Gabriel would get bored after a few minutes and start playing around with Sam’s hair, or with the sleeve of his jacket, or that one time with the pocket of his jeans. The archangel’s hand was always so warm, even when the temperature outside was dead cold. This knowledge, however, was making the hunter find excuses inside his mind for accepting those light touches as if they didn’t mean anything. I’m freezing and his hands are so warm, the younger Winchester kept thinking, it’s nothing more than that. What he refused to realize was that it did mean something. It meant that Gabriel was once again messing with him, and Sam was falling even deeper in love with the archangel, having no idea how to get himself out of that hopeless situation.

Therefore, having Gabriel around all the time wasn’t helping with his feelings, especially after he had the chance to see the archangel really care for the Nephilim. It all happened unexpectedly, and at first the younger hunter didn’t even notice what was going on. One night he couldn’t get to fall asleep, thoughts of Gabriel clouding his mind, and he was turning over and over again inside his bed. On the other side of the room, Dean was snoring lightly, badly sprawled across the other bed. Not a single sound was coming from the adjacent room, the one that Jack and Gabriel were sharing, but the younger Winchester could hear their voices coming from outside the window. Trying to be as quiet as possible, he stood up and slowly walked towards the window in order to take a look outside.

Gabriel and Jack were there, in the parking lot of the disgusting motel where they were supposed to be sleeping. Sam didn’t want to spy on their private conversation, but the night was silent and he could easily hear their voices, almost as if they were talking to him instead of each other. The hunter really tried to mind his own business, but after a little while he started to grow curious, and he couldn’t help but take a better look at them from behind the curtains. Jack was panicking, pacing around like a madman. Gabriel was there by his side, leaning against a parked car with his hands inside the pockets of his jacket, waiting. The younger Winchester was wondering what the archangel was doing, when he heard the conversation grow louder.

“How can I calm down? You’re asking me to slay demons with the power of my grace, but I’m not strong enough. What if I try it and nothing happens? I will put Sam and Dean in danger!” Jack voiced his concern out loud.

Sam felt a little insulted when he heard those words: was Jack considering both of the Winchesters as two useless sacks of meat? They were hunters, they could take care of themselves against a few demons! His eyes, however, never left Gabriel after the boy finished speaking. He was already imagining the archangel snorting, and telling his nephew to suck it up and act like a man. Therefore, it was obvious that what happened next was able to confuse him even more.

He saw Gabriel leave his comfortable position and walk a few steps until he reached the Nephilim. Then the archangel positioned both hands on the boy’s cheeks, forcing him to look him in the eyes. When he spoke next, his voice was so soft that Sam had to put his ear against the window glass in order to hear it.

“You don’t have to worry about Sam and Dean. They can fight on their own, and if they’re in real danger I’ll be there to help them. All you have to think about is your own fight, not only against the demons but against yourself too. You’re so afraid of harming the people around you that you won’t let yourself really use your powers. I’m here to keep you in check, to make sure you don’t hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it. So stop worrying, just let go. I’m here for you, Jacky. I’ll protect everyone.” Gabriel said, leaving Sam mesmerized.

The younger Winchester pressed his entire face against the window, trying to take a better look at the scene in front of him. He could see the archangel’s amber eyes shining with affection and concern under the light of a nearby streetlamp. He found it hard to breathe in front of such an intense scene. When the Nephilim threw his arms around his uncle and Gabriel hugged him back, Sam felt as if he was really intruding on something he wasn’t supposed to see, so he turned around and leaned against the wall, letting himself slowly slide down until he was sitting on the floor.

His heart was beating so fast that he had to keep a hand on his chest in fear that it would jump out. He still couldn’t believe what he’d seen. He’d witnessed a completely different side of Gabriel, similar to what he’d felt when they were alone after the archangel had saved him from the demons, but not quite the same. The angel always looked so tough and invincible, so far away from everyone else. He always joked, and laughed, and messed with everyone. But now Sam knew how different things really were.

The Trickster was nothing more than an act. Gabriel, the real Gabriel, was good. He cared about Jack more than the archangel could ever admit out loud, and he cared about the Winchester brothers in a way that made Sam feel flattered. And he probably cared about the younger hunter even more, enough to feel the need to leave a piece of himself inside him.

Was his ability to love what Gabriel was trying to hide by turning into the Trickster? Archangels were supposed to be pure and full of love, after all. Was it possible that Gabriel was feeling so much affection towards Jack and the Winchester brothers that it was starting to leak from behind his mask? Was his archangel self that Sam was seeing in those rare moments? If it really was, the hunter had to admit that the archangel side of Gabriel was gorgeous, and Sam was madly and deeply in love with him.

During the sixth hunt that the four of them went on together, Jack really screwed up for the first time. Gabriel had received information via Angel Radio about some demons who were studying ways to open up portals towards other dimensions, and the four of them went to investigate. Sam and Dean were fighting the demons using angel blades, while the archangel only stood there to watch. The Nephilim, on the other hand, was supposed to neutralize his enemies using the power of his grace. That was the ability the boy had been working on developing during the last couple of weeks.

From what Sam could see during the fight, Jack was having some difficulties completing his task, but he was somehow managing. When the younger hunter heard the angel yell, however, he turned around and saw that Gabriel was loudly telling his nephew to just fight, but the Nephilim was trying to contain the demons instead, keeping them around himself. The archangel looked worried about the kid's idea and, from what the younger Winchester could see, he seemed ready to react as soon as any problem arose.

Seeing that Gabriel had everything under control, Sam killed the demon he was fighting and joined his brother, who’d just finished his fight as well. Since all of the other demons were currently occupied with Jack, the Winchesters took the opportunity to go through the research material the demons had put together in order to destroy it. They amassed the books and the notes, along with every spell ingredient they could find, and started a fire to obliterate the information from the planet. Having Lucifer once again walking the Earth was too much of a risk, and they really didn’t want to take it.

From the corner of his right eye, however, Sam could easily see that Jack was failing to control the demons. One of them was able to free himself and smoke out. The younger Winchester just stood there, paralyzed by the thought of the consequences. If even a single demon could manage to get away, more demons would know that the brothers had Lucifer’s son. Every single monster who saw Jack had to die. They never said that out loud, but it was a pretty obvious unspoken rule.

Before the hunter could even open his mouth and voice his concerns, Gabriel had disappeared. The archangel was probably thinking the same thing he was, and using his angel mojo to track down the fleeing demon in order to kill him before he could say a single word to anybody about what he’d seen inside that old abandoned church. Knowing that Gabriel was cleaning up the mess actually made Sam feel a lot better, so the younger Winchester went back to his task and kept helping his brother to find more stuff to burn.

It was no more than two minutes later that Jack started to cry. Sam could feel Gabriel’s grace inside his body react to something that was happening around him, and that was the only reason why he was able to move out of the way before the floor exploded where he’d been standing a second before. Was that what the archangel meant when he'd said that he'd given Sam his grace to make sure he was always safe? Or was the grace reacting to Jack’s pain, and him moving out of the way in time was just a lucky coincidence? He needed to find out more about that. Later, of course.

The younger Winchester was still lost in his thoughts about Gabriel’s grace, when he saw a demon raise a gun against Dean’s back. The monster was ready to fire, and it was too late to prevent it. All he could do was to scream his brother’s name, terrified of what was about to happen. His mind was already imagining dramatic consequences to that scene, but nothing of the sort ever happened. Gabriel appeared out of nowhere, furious and determined, his archangel blade buried deep inside the heart of the demon.

Nobody touches those boys.” the archangel said, making Sam blink in confusion. How could Gabriel have arrived at the perfect moment without anyone praying to him? But then the celestial being turned around to look at him and winked, and that was the moment the hunter realized what Gabriel’s grace inside his body really meant. The archangel probably felt that he was in danger, and he arrived there in an instant, ready to save the day.

After killing the demon that was after Dean, Gabriel ordered the Winchesters to close their eyes, and they both reluctantly did. Even through his eyelids, Sam could still see the explosion of white light that filled the entire room around them. The moment the light went out, the hunter opened his eyes again and watched his brother do the same. When he looked around, all of the demons were dead, their eyes burned out, and Gabriel was yelling at Jack for trying to do things his own way instead of following the archangel’s instructions, ending up putting everyone in mortal danger.

Sam could easily understand why Gabriel was so mad. If John Winchester had been there, he would have done much worse to the soldier who didn’t follow his orders and endangered the lives of others. But luckily the archangel was nothing like his father, and the hunter knew that Gabriel was only yelling because he got worried and scared, not because he wanted to make his own nephew feel miserable.

What he wasn’t sure about was if Jack knew that. The Nephilim looked mortified under the weight of his uncle’s words, crying in silence while his eyes never left the floor. Sam could clearly see how upset the boy was. After all he never intended for any of them to get hurt, he just wanted to try and keep them all safe by using his powers to get the attention of all of the demons away from the humans. The younger Winchester could understand that.

Sam, to be honest, wasn’t sure if Jack was really understanding why Gabriel had been mad at him. By the time they arrived back to the bunker the following day, however, the archangel wasn’t mad anymore and everything was fine. The Nephilim, on the other hand, was still killing himself over his mistake, suffering because of his uncle’s harsh words from the day before. The younger hunter tried to do his best to cheer him up, but nothing worked. Realizing that he was the problem, Gabriel left he bunker for the night, hoping Jack would be calmer in the morning. He told the brothers he was going back to Heaven for a management meeting with the angels, and that he was going to be back in time for breakfast.

The following day, when Sam entered the kitchen after following his morning routine, there was no breakfast on the table. Gabriel was there alone, throwing dishes against the wall. He seemed pissed about something, and it looked like he hadn’t even realized that someone was inside the room with him. The hunter put a hand on his shoulder to catch his attention. Only then the archangel seemed to notice that someone was there.

“What’s wrong?” Sam asked, hoping that nothing actually terrible was happening.

“I screwed up, Sammy.” Gabriel said, sad eyes looking at the hunter “Jack is gone.”

For several moments the younger Winchester stood there unable to move, not even registering that he’d been called with the nickname he hated to hear coming out of anyone but Dean. Had he heard correctly? Was Jack really gone? The world outside the bunker was dangerous for the Nephilim, especially considering that everyone wanted him dead or captured and the kid didn’t even know who his enemies were. Jack was in danger, there was no mistaking that. Moreover, he could still lose control over his powers, or just bathe in his own resentment and turn evil just like is father, signaling the beginning of the end of the world. They needed to do something, anything, to bring him back before it was too late.

“If Jack is really gone, we have to find him immediately. Don’t you have a way to see where he is?” Sam naively inquired. Gabriel looked at him as if he was growing a second head.

“If I had any way to know where in the world he was, don’t you think I would have gone to get him already? It’s like he disappeared entirely, I can’t sense him anymore!” the archangel replied, annoyed by the hunter’s words.

“And what could have happened for you to stop sensing him? Could he have done something himself, or could he be in danger?” the younger Winchester kept asking, because he really needed to know what was happening. He had a terrible feeling that something was wrong, and he didn’t want to be right. He wanted Jack back inside the bunker, where he was safe from the world and the world was safe from him.

“I don’t know. My own mind is too limited to even imagine what he can accomplish when using the full extent of his powers. The problem is that now he’s out of control, and if he’s using his grace to shield himself from me, there is no way for me to ever find him.” Gabriel concluded, then he smashed another plate against the wall.

Sam took a deep breath, well aware that he needed to do something to calm Gabriel down. That, however, wasn’t an easy task, considering that he was on the verge of panicking himself. His first instinct was to hug the archangel and kiss him senseless, telling him how much he loved him and how perfect he was, reassuring him that everything was going to be okay. But of course he couldn’t do any of that, so he had to think of something different.

He ended up cupping Gabriel’s neck in his hands and pressing their foreheads together, trying to show how much he cared about the archangel without saying a single word or doing anything too stupid. In the beginning, however, that position almost brought Sam to panic, forcing him to breathe rhythmically in order to keep himself calm.

“You can’t panic, Gabriel. If you panic, we’re screwed. Please calm down, because right now we need you. Jack needs you.” the hunter whispered, slowly moving his hands to caress the archangel’s face with his thumbs. He was shaking while touching Gabriel, but at least his words seemed to have a good effect, because when he took a step back the angel seemed to be in way better conditions.

Since Gabriel was trying to focus on keeping his mind sharp, Sam decided to go get his brother. He needed to explain to Dean what happened with Jack, so that the three of them could find a way to get him back. Gabriel was acting like the Nephilim was just running away and hiding from him, and it was actually the most likely option, but Sam still had a feeling in his guts that the boy was in danger and he couldn’t shake it off.

Hours later, the three of them were sitting in the war room. Gabriel was calm, a lollipop in his mouth; or, to be more precise, he looked calm, because Sam could bet he really wasn’t. But at least the archangel was keeping up the act, managing to prevent Dean from worrying too much about the situation. The younger Winchester could say it was a good accomplishment.

“If you really think he’s just hiding, that’s good. Best case scenario good. It means that he won’t harm anyone because we could find him if he used his mojo.” Dean said at some point, looking at Gabriel and waiting for him to confirm. The archangel seemed to be lost in his own thoughts, but he probably heard Dean’s words because he let his eyes fall on the older Winchester and then nodded.

“So what do we do now?” Sam asked. They needed to work on a plan, something that could help them find out where Jack was. Even if he wasn’t endangering anyone at the moment, he was still in danger himself, and Sam couldn’t leave him out there. The Nephilim belonged in the bunker with the rest of them, end of discussion. They needed to bring him back home.

Sam’s eyes were glued on Gabriel after his question. If anyone was going to put together a good plan in such a complicated situation, that was Gabriel. The archangel, after hearing his words, took a good look at both brothers before he let himself speak again.

“How about a threesome?” was all that Gabriel said, waggling his eyebrows in a suggestive way.

And of course the archangel did it again. They were in the middle of a delicate situation, and he was making sexual jokes. Sam didn’t know if he should have been pissed because of that or just embarrassed because of the reaction his body was having. He couldn’t help it, his mind kept getting lost every time he heard Gabriel talk about sex.

“Take that disgusting image out of my mind, before I shower you with holy oil and set you on fire!” Dean screamed at Gabriel, punching his own head repeatedly. He was comic to look at, and Sam found himself hiding a smirk behind his right hand.

In the meantime, however, his mind was conjuring traitorous images that he would have never wanted to see. He was imagining the threesome that the archangel had mentioned. It would have been hot even if his brother was there, because at least he would have been in it with Gabriel. He tried to block Dean out of the fantasy, turning it into regular sex between Gabriel and himself, and his mind obliged.

When he felt himself grow hard, Sam snapped out of his dirty daydream and came back to reality. Jack was missing, maybe he was even in danger. In other words, the world was probably ending once again, and what was the hunter doing? As he’d lately done so often, he was thinking with his dick! No, he had to stop it and concentrate on what was important: bringing Jack back home.

Chapter Text

After finding out that Jack had left the bunker, Gabriel couldn’t stop feeling guilty. He had no doubt it was his fault. He’d yelled at the kid when he was already feeling bad for screwing up during the hunt, and the archangel had just made things worse. Of course he’d never meant for any of that to happen, he just got carried away. He wasn’t even mad anymore, and he would have gladly told Jack how sorry he was for yelling, if only he had known where the boy was.

Jack had fled from the bunker, and it was all his fault. Did it mean that he was a failure as an educator? Did it mean that he was a lousy parent figure, just like his Father had been to him in the past? Had his actions made his nephew flee the same way that the fighting in Heaven had made him run away? No, there was no way he could be put on the same level as the celestial beings who had been at the origin of his mistrust and cowardice. He was nothing like them… wasn’t he?

No. No, he wasn’t. He was a good parent, he knew that. He really cared about Jack, and he’d never had any problems showing it either. Sometimes, actually, he’d even risked to become too sentimental in front of the Winchesters, and all of that was because he didn’t want his nephew to think that he didn’t care. Had he been too cold, the kid might have thought that, for Gabriel, he wasn’t anything more than a means to an end: the one who was going to help him bring Castiel back to life. But the boy wasn’t that at all, and the archangel had pretty often used his actions to remind him of how much he really mattered.

The more he thought about it, the more Gabriel regretted leaving the bunker after they got back from the hunt. When they all arrived home, he was already back to normal, but he could still see that Jack was beating himself up about what had happened the day before. The archangel’s idea was simple: give his nephew a night to cool off and come to terms with the fact that everyone could make a mistake. That was the reason why he’d decided to spend the night away.

Now, thinking back to that moment, Gabriel was questioning himself about making that choice. Was it possible that Jack had felt abandoned by him because the archangel hadn’t stuck around when he was needed the most? The Ruler of Heaven couldn’t even imagine for how long he was going to beat himself up, if that was actually what had happened!

Gabriel had never liked the idea of leaving the bunker to go back to Heaven in the first place. He hated it there, with all of those angels who didn’t even know how to follow his simple instructions. The moment he’d become the Ruler of Heaven, however, he’d decided that they were going to have a management meeting every two months, so the archangel had convinced himself that Jack’s down moment was the perfect occasion for the bimonthly meeting. He’d thought that the kid needed more space, so he gave him some. He’d never imagined to come back to the bunker and find out that the Nephilim had disappeared!

As soon as he’d realized that Jack wasn’t there anymore, Gabriel had immediately started to worry. Why hadn’t he been able to sense that the kid had left? Why couldn’t he sense where the boy was? Did it mean that Jack didn’t want to be found? Was his dear nephew really running away from him? The youngest archangel had always thought of himself as someone to run to, he was such a catch after all, not a creature that someone he cared about so much could run away from.

He’d screwed up, he knew that. How could he ever face the Winchester brothers again, knowing that he was the reason why Jack had left? For a moment, Gabriel even tried to blame everything on the boys: they were in the bunker with Jack, he ran away on their watch, and they were completely unaware of what was happening the entire time. It only took him an instant, however, to realize how wrong he was. The Winchesters were human, so there was no way they could have detected a creature as powerful as Jack if he wanted to leave without them knowing about it. If he’d been able to disappear without being sensed by Gabriel, the hunters could have never noticed that it was happening at all.

The archangel was so angry with himself that he lost control over his own actions for several minutes. He entered the kitchen of the bunker to conjure breakfast, as he always did, but all of the plates that appeared were empty. He wasn’t concentrating enough to control his grace, so his powers took charge and made something he needed instead of what he wanted. Gabriel was so mad that he didn’t even realize what he really craved until he picked up one of the dishes and smashed it against the wall.

For less than a second he felt just a little better, so all he could think of doing was to keep going. He picked up plate after plate, smashing them all with violence and rage. We wanted to hit himself for causing such a mess with Jack, but he couldn’t risk to lose his focus completely. Breaking the dishes kept him almost sane, and he really needed to find something – anything – to keep himself grounded. He had to think about something to do in order to rectify his mistake, so he kept smashing everything he laid his hands on, in order not to lose his mind.

When all of the plates were destroyed, Gabriel snapped his fingers and created some more. The archangel was still throwing them against the wall when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He quickly turned around, wondering who could have entered the kitchen, not even thinking that Sam always came down for breakfast at the same time. That was the reason why he was surprised to see the younger hunter inside the room, almost as if the human had no reason at all to be there.

In the beginning, Gabriel contemplated the idea of lying to Sam, because he didn’t know how to tell him about Jack. After a moment, however, he opted to tell the truth. He knew that neither hunter would have been thrilled to hear about what’d happened, but he was also aware of the fact that he needed their help to get the Nephilim back home. The Winchesters had no powers, but they were good at finding people anyway, so maybe he could have used their help in the search for his missing nephew.

Telling Sam the whole truth was unavoidable: he didn't know what might have happened and he’d panicked in front of the hunter, so there was no way to hide anything from him anymore. That was the reason why Gabriel opened up towards the younger Winchester, hoping to receive some support from him. When the time came to tell Dean, however, everything was different.

Gabriel and Sam both agreed that Jack was most likely hiding from them, so there was no reason to scare Dean too, telling him that something bad might have happened. Therefore, while the younger human was looking for his brother, the archangel took a few minutes to calm himself down. When both Winchesters met him in the war room a few minutes later, Gabriel was sucking on a lollipop and forcing himself to appear relaxed. Of course he wasn't calm at all, but he didn't want to alarm Dean before they knew what the situation really was.

Joking around when things were looking crappy was Gabriel’s best act. He kept appearances up, for the sake of the mission. If they wanted to find Jack, he needed for the Winchester brothers to cooperate with him. Making fun of them had always been his way to communicate with those humans, so it might have been worse if he’d stopped doing it altogether. That line of thinking was what brought the archangel to yet another sexual innuendo, that obtained a disgusted reaction from Dean and a very interesting one from Sam.

Judging by the way his mind spaced out, leaving his face with an empty expression, Gabriel was pretty sure that the human was actually imagining the threesome he’d mentioned. He could feel the man grow hard in a very inappropriate moment, so the archangel had every reason to be proud of himself. That moment, however, didn’t last for long. Sam probably realized what he was doing and he came back to the real world. What a shame!

“Seriously though, what can we do now?” the younger hunter tried to ask again, after spending some time to compose himself. His brother only stopped hitting himself when he realized that the conversation had come back to something important that wasn’t going to leave him scarred for life. Considering how tough he always acted, Gabriel would have never imagined that Dean Winchester could be such a wussy.

What could they do, then? Gabriel was the first one who didn’t know how to solve their problem. If Jack was hiding from him, there was no way his powers could be able to detect his location. The archangel was basically useless in the search for his nephew, and all he could do was to rely on more human ways. He took a moment to think about an answer to give to Sam’s question, then he shrugged.

“You hit your computers, I guess. Work some of your human magic.” Gabriel finally said, moving his gaze from one brother to the other and accompanying his words with quick movements of his hands and fingers. An awkward silence followed his statement. That probably was not the answer the brothers were expecting, but unfortunately it was the only one they were going to get. There were miracles that even an archangel couldn’t perform, and finding Jack was one of them.

“Seriously?” Dean finally asked. He probably couldn’t believe that there was nothing the archangel could do to help. Gabriel, however, was the first one to hate how powerless and useless he was feeling, so leaving all of the work to the Winchesters wasn’t fun at all for him.

“Yes. I wish there was something more that I could do, but there’s not.” the archangel replied. His voice sounded a little defeated, even though he’d tried his best to mask that feeling of helplessness he had.

The brothers couldn’t believe what they were hearing, and they spent the following twenty minutes arguing on how to proceed with the search. Gabriel was growing restless, pacing around the war room like a caged animal. Was there really nothing that he could do? Then, all of a sudden, a realization hit him.

He was the Ruler of Heaven. The Host of Heaven was under his command. There was something that he could do to help. He could let the angels know about the missing Nephilim, and tell them that searching for the boy had to be their new priority until the kid was found and brought back home. Yes, it could work. With a satisfied grin, Gabriel snapped his fingers and disappeared. He was so concentrated on his new plan that he even forgot to tell the Winchesters that he was leaving, or where he was going.

A moment later, the archangel appeared in one of the gardens of Heaven. For a few seconds, Gabriel released all of his grace, in order to attract the attention of everyone who was not walking the Earth. He only had to wait for a few minutes before several angels joined him, confused expressions on their faces. His personal assistant, Ismael, was one of the first to arrive. He looked on the verge of panic, not understanding why Gabriel was already back so soon and if maybe he’d forgotten some of the archangel’s instructions. On a normal day, the Trickster would have loved to prank Ismael just enough to make him cry, but that unfortunately was no ordinary day. There was no time for tricks, he was an archangel on a mission. And that, for him, was a first.

“Thank you all for coming on such a short notice. I have an announcement to make, and I need your undivided attention.” Gabriel stated, and all of a sudden the angels were quiet. A background noise of complaining was always accompanying all of his speeches, but somehow this time everyone was silent. Had they realized how serious the situation was, even before he told them what the problem was? Gabriel never thought they could be so smart, considering that they were programmed to only follow orders, not to be intuitive creatures.

“I need to let you know something about Lucifer’s son. During the time we wasted on our latest useless meeting, the Nephilim ran away and disappeared. I can’t sense his grace anywhere, meaning that the kid is hiding from me. Yesterday he was pretty upset, after all. So now I need your help. I need all of you to go down to Earth and look for him. You can all use Angel Radio to talk to each other, to find a way to track down the boy. I really need to find him, for his own good and for the safety of the world.” the archangel explained, and all of the angels listened carefully and then nodded.

It was strange to see them truly assimilate his words and respond to his commands. For once, he’d given them a task that they could recognize as their own, not something that they were going to do just because Gabriel was forcing them to. Did it mean that he was becoming a good Ruler of Heaven? No, no chance for that. His new attitude that the angels liked so much was going to disappear as soon as Jack was found, that was for sure.

While some of the angels started to descend to Earth, others stayed behind to communicate with everyone else via Angel Radio. A few of them even decided to explore the means that Heaven could offer to find a person in hiding, as if something like that could work against the powers of an archangel’s Nephilim. Gabriel, however, could appreciate the effort they were all making. It made him think that maybe there was something more that he could do in order to find Jack.

Just to be sure, he tried to call the boy on Angel Radio. There was no answer, just like he suspected. All he could hear by tuning on Heaven’s communication channel was the voice of the angels who were passing on his orders to their brothers and sisters all over the world. Gabriel, however, couldn’t stay still anymore. He had to do something, he couldn’t just leave the search in the hands of two humans and a bunch of angels. He couldn’t even think about how horrible it was for him to be powerless in that situation.

That was the reason why the archangel decided to go look for Jack himself. The Winchesters were using their computers, the angels were using their connections. He, on the other hand, could use his eyes. Even though he usually preferred to move around by teleportation, Gabriel was still extraordinarily good at flying. Therefore, he opened his wings and soared away, ready to fly over and over around the world, looking for any possible clue that might lead him to his nephew.

Chapter Text

Gabriel wasn’t sure how long he’d been flying. He searched around the world over and over again, but there was no trace of Jack. He even landed a few times, when he sensed the presence of some groups of demons, in order to interrogate them on the whereabouts of Lucifer’s son. None of them, however, seemed to have the slightest idea of where the boy was. He used all of Heaven’s wrath on them, so he was certain that at least they got to tell the truth before they died screaming.

The archangel couldn’t leave any demons live to report back that he was alive and that he had – and consequently lost – the son of Satan. The demons, after all, were looking for any kind of way to bring Lucifer back to their world. Everything they’d tried so far had failed, also thanks to the Winchester brothers and himself, so Jack was most likely the demons’ last chance to reach out to their boss. Therefore, they were probably looking for the Nephilim too; letting any of them leave with the information that the boy was somewhere alone would have been incredibly stupid.

Judging by what he heard from the demons, Hell wasn’t any closer than Heaven to finding out where the Nephilim was, though. Therefore, there was no reason to suspect that any of them had him imprisoned. Moreover, no demon had the kind of strength needed in order to keep someone as powerful as Jack trapped. The more he thought about it, the more Gabriel got himself convinced that his nephew was just hiding from him. Even though, somewhere in the back of his mind, he was somehow afraid that something might have been horribly wrong.

The archangel spent days flying around the globe, as fast as he could, looking everywhere he could think of. He could still hear the angels talk through Angel Radio about their own search, but none of them had any idea of where the Nephilim was hiding. As Gabriel had suspected from the beginning, they were miserably failing. He had to admit that he’d hoped for their help to bring to some kind of result, but he’d been naïve. The angels were such a useless bunch. He hated to be the Ruler of Heaven!

Demoralized, Gabriel decided to go back to the bunker. Since he was already flying, he just landed in the war room, right behind the Winchester brothers, a rustle of feathers accompanying his arrival. Both humans were concentrating on their computers when he arrived, and the sound of his wings made them jump in surprise. He kept forgetting that they weren’t used to angels flying around them anymore, since that time several years before when Castiel and all of the other angels lost their wings. Most of all, however, they weren’t used to Gabriel using his own wings to move around at all.

Dean immediately turned around, pointing a gun directly at his face. Then, recognizing that it was just Gabriel, he sighed and went back to his research. Sam, as always, had a more interesting reaction. He simply stared at the archangel for almost a whole minute, in complete silence and with his mouth slightly open. After that, he just blushed and looked away. If the situation hadn’t been so delicate, Gabriel would have taken advantage of the opening left by the younger hunter in order to do something to embarrass him some more, but in that moment he really wasn’t in the mood for a good laugh.

“How is the research going?” he asked, since neither of the brothers had said a single word to him. He kept his gaze moving from Sam to Dean and then back to Sam, hoping that one of them had at least some answers about what was going on, and most of all where Jack was hiding.

“No clue. It’s like he just vanished from the world.” the older hunter replied. Gabriel felt demoralized by those words, and slowly went to sit down in front of the humans, hiding his head in his hands. Where was that kid hiding? He’d never felt more defeated than that in his entire life.

“Is it possible that he’s not in this reality anymore? That he’s escaped to another dimension? It might explain why there is no trace of him anywhere.” Sam tried to reason, and the archangel felt a shiver run down his spine. Oh yes, that was a possibility. A very likely one, actually. But if Jack had really run away to another dimension, there was absolutely no way to find out where he was, or what he was doing. For all they knew, he could have been looking for his father. Gabriel was too terrified to even contemplate the possibility of Jack and Lucifer reuniting in evil.

“Yes. Yes, that’s actually a possibility. And if that’s true, I have no idea how to find him. The fabric of the universe is made of an infinite number of alternate realities. It will take me all of eternity to look around them all. And Dad, even if you two could describe every detail of the reality where Lucifer is trapped, it could still take me years to find it, and most of all to find a way to enter it without Jack’s extra power, let alone the fact that I could easily die in there before I can locate Jack. And even if I decide to start looking anyway, I might accidentally bring something back from some other dimension that could alter and, at some point, maybe even destroy our world. It’s too fucking dangerous!” the archangel explained, letting his head fall on the table with a loud thud.

“Damn it!” Dean exclaimed while punching the table, after Gabriel’s words had time to sink in “Damn it! We should have killed him when we had the chance, right after he was born. Taking him in had been a mistake!” Sometimes the older hunter was a real caveman, a “shoot first, ask questions later” kind of man. And every time that something was wrong, he needed to put the blame on someone. In that moment, all he could do in order to work out the stress was to accuse someone else of having created the problem at hand. Gabriel was well aware of that.

“How could you say something like that? Jack is family, Dean!” Sam tried to make his brother see reason, but his effort was vain.

“No Sammy, he’s not family. He’s yet another monster you took pity on. All of our family is gone because of creatures like him!” the older hunter almost yelled, making his brother gasp for air. His last words probably hurt the younger human. There was a good reason, after all, if Sam kept finding a certain affinity with creatures that his brother so easily dismissed as monsters. He’d always felt as if he was one of them, it had never been difficult to tell by the way he acted.

The archangel remained in silence, listening to the Winchesters argue about whether Jack was family or not, whether he was a monster or not. Even though he would have never admitted it out loud, Gabriel felt offended by Dean’s words. Was that all he thought of Jack? Did it mean that he had the same idea about Gabriel? Had those months they’d lived together inside the bunker meant nothing for the older hunter? Hadn’t the archangel and the Nephilim done enough for the brothers in order to be considered at least as friends?

When he realized that all the time they’d spent talking and laughing and hunting together had meant nothing for Dean, Gabriel had to admit that it hurt like Hell. He wasn’t, however, the one he needed to be concerned about. He’d survived his Father leaving; he’d survived his brothers trying to kill each other, not caring who they were hurting in the process; he’d survived his favorite brother killing him with no hesitation. He could withstand the hate of a human hunter, even though he thought he’d done more than enough to make the Winchesters like him, to make amends for all the times his Trickster side had been a dick towards them.

No, he wasn’t thinking of himself in that moment. Gabriel was thinking about Jack. His nephew was nothing more than a kid. He was just a few months old, and he was innocent. He’d never done anything wrong, nothing that could have made someone like the Winchesters hate him. Of course he’d made mistakes, but who hadn’t? Those two humans had started the freaking Apocalypse, freed the Darkness and done any other imaginable kind of stupid things in the last few years alone. If there was anyone in the world who could understand the difference between making a mistake and trying to do real damage, it would have been them.

Dean, however, was pointing his finger at Jack as if he’d done something horrible. And for what? Probably for being the son of Lucifer, as if that was his fault in some way! The kid was good, he was nothing like his father had become. Actually, he reminded Gabriel of the Lucifer he grew up with, the one who was kind and beautiful and brighter than anyone else. Therefore, the archangel couldn’t allow that stupid human to talk about his nephew like he was some kind of monster, because Jack wasn’t one.

“Don’t you dare say another word, Dean!” Gabriel yelled, jumping to his feet and slamming both hands against the table “Jack is not his father, and you can’t blame him for Lucifer killing Castiel!” He couldn’t control himself anymore, he couldn’t keep his rage in. He didn’t want to be rude, he didn’t want to rub Cassie’s death in Dean’s face, but he had no other choice. He needed to say it, he needed to hurt Dean back. And, most of all, he needed that stupid human to understand that it wasn’t Jack’s fault if he was suffering. Lucifer was the evil one, his son had nothing to be blamed for.

The eyes of Gabriel’s vessel were filled with tears, that slowly came sliding down his cheeks when the hunters started staring at him in silence. He’d never intended to get so emotional, but he couldn’t help it. It was all because of Jack: he loved that kid more than he’d ever loved anyone else in his entire life. His love for his nephew was greater than it would have been if the kid had been his own. The archangel never realized when or how things got so far, but in that moment in time he loved Jack more than he’d ever loved his own Father, God himself.

Almost growling with every breath he forced himself to take, Gabriel felt a sadistic satisfaction in seeing that his words had hit base with Dean. The older hunter was now looking at the floor, his right hand curled in a tight fist and an expression of rage and discomfort on his face. Maybe, after all of that was behind them, he could think about apologizing to the human. In that moment, however, he had no intention of doing it. When Dean got up and left the room, actually, the angel felt glad that he was gone.

On the other hand, the archangel barely registered the compassion and the affection in Sam’s eyes. The younger Winchester was looking at him in pure adoration, but Gabriel did his best to ignore him. He didn’t want someone to comfort him, he didn’t deserve it. He’d let his nephew get lost, he’d been stupid and acted without thinking. He didn’t deserve to be wanted, to be cherished by someone as good and precious as Sam Winchester. Had that been any other moment, he would have loved to see that his teasing had resulted in Sam developing unexpected and strong feelings towards him, but not in that specific situation.

The younger hunter gazed for half a second towards the direction where his own brother had walked away, biting his lower lip. He probably wasn’t certain about what to do next, if he should have stayed with the angel or gone after Dean. A moment later, however, he was standing up, eyes fixed on Gabriel while he walked around the table. The archangel didn’t move, he didn’t know what to do. Sam was opening his arms, ready do hug him, and the Ruler of Heaven was conflicted. He needed some comfort, someone telling him that everything was going to be okay. But, at the same time, he couldn’t allow himself the luxury of falling apart.

He stared at the hunter in desperation, wondering if his body was going to move on his own or if he had to force it to do something. Sam was getting closer and closer, and Gabriel was almost about to give up. And the worse part was that he was showing his weakness to the Winchesters, again. He’d always wanted them both to see him as a powerful being to be feared and respected, and once again they were seeing him as a weak child who didn’t know how to face his own problems.

Sam reached him and slowly wrapped his arms around him. Gabriel felt his legs turn to jelly, and he finally decided to let go. He buried his face against the hunter’s chest, clinging to Sam’s hips as if his life depended on it. Suddenly, one of the arms around his back tightened its grip, while the other moved away until he felt a strong hand caress his hair.

“I’m sorry you have to see me like this… I just want everyone to be okay…” the archangel tried to justify himself. He wanted to be stronger, but he couldn’t; not when Dean’s words from before were still echoing inside his head. He was mad at himself for crying in front of the brothers, especially because he was feeling so warm and wanted in Sam’s embrace, and he hated himself for letting all of his defenses fall down. How long was he going to have to work, in order to put his mask back on?

For a few seconds, he even thought about lifting his head and kissing Sam, giving the hunter what he wanted. The younger Winchester was crazy about him, he would have never refused Gabriel if the archangel decided to throw himself at him. He, on the other hand, would have experienced some human comfort, that was exactly what he needed. He could have buried himself in Sam Winchester’s warmth, forgetting everything that was wrong in his life. Gabriel was well aware of the fact that such a move would have been him once again being a coward. Fucking Sam after crying in his arms would have meant to run away from everything that was wrong in his life, it wouldn’t have been any different than fleeing from Heaven when Michael and Lucifer’s fighting had intensified. He’d vowed, the day his Father had resurrected him, that he was never going to be a coward ever again. Yet, he was once again almost ready to give up and hide his head under the sand. What was wrong with him?

Chapter Text

Gabriel tilted his head back to look Sam in the eyes, and what he saw there was just love. How could he bring himself to use that man in such a complicated moment? He was now fully aware of the feelings the hunter had developed towards him, and he also knew that he absolutely didn’t love Sam back in the way the human would have wanted. At the same time, however, Sam’s love was exactly what he needed in order to feel better about himself. That was the selfish reason why, without even thinking about what he was doing, he started to rise on his tiptoes. With his eyes almost closed, inch by inch he was getting closer to his prize. Then, all of a sudden, everything changed.

The archangel heard a voice inside his head, something he’d lost any hope to hear. The angels were speaking frantically through Angel Radio, and only one was the subject of the conversation. Jack. Those maybe-not-so-useless robots had found the boy. The archangel couldn’t believe what he was hearing! He would have thought they were playing some kind of trick on him, had the angels been able to joke at all.

Before anything could happen between Sam and himself, Gabriel pushed the hunter away and turned around. He closed his eyes, massaging his temples with both hands to help himself concentrate on what he was hearing. The angels were speaking pretty fast on Angel Radio, but he couldn’t miss a single word of what they were saying. It seemed that one of the angels had found a way to bribe the right hunter by letting him talk to his dead wife in Heaven, and that hunter in exchange had given up precious information.

It looked like the boy had left the bunker on his own accord, and the wrong people had found him wandering around. They’d probably been waiting for him to be alone the whole time, because they even seemed to know about Gabriel’s presence by his side. It only made the archangel angrier, finding out that the only reason his nephew had been safe the whole time was because the boy had been with him. He’d been the one who endangered Jack by going back to Heaven for a few hours. What stunned him the most, however, was to find out where exactly the boy was.

His nephew was in England. To be more precise, he was inside Kendricks Academy, prisoner of the British Men of Letters. No, it shouldn’t have been possible. Those unscrupulous, immoral humans shouldn’t have had access to any kind of equipment strong enough to contain such a force of nature as Jack was. Moreover, they’d been able to hide the Nephilim from the sensing powers of an archangel’s grace. How had they done it? When had they become so dangerous? They’d never been people to be underestimated, but they were absolutely nothing like that when Gabriel last crossed paths with them, almost a full century before.

As the Trickster, throughout the centuries Gabriel had played a lot of tricks on humans who deserved to be punished. It was fun, and it was also the perfect way to give his new “Loki” character its own life. The first time he invented the identity of Loki, in fact, it was nothing more than just a name. He’d been the one to play pranks on people, to make sure that his name was automatically associated to the term “Trickster”. It had been one of the greatest accomplishments of his entire existence.

The British Men of Letters, of course, had been his victims for a very long time. Among all of the Men of Letters chapters, the English one was the worse. They weren’t just studying the supernatural world, they were experimenting on it, and they were pushing the American chapter of the Men of Letters to do the same. Moreover, they had a stupid Academy where they forced young children to fight each other to the death for supremacy. It wasn’t the right way to educate the new generations, it was just torture.

At the beginning of the 1900s, the British Men of Letters were among his favorite targets for deadly pranks and well deserved punishments. The younger members were taught lessons that they could remember for the rest of their lives, hoping they would change their attitudes and become better persons. The older members, those who were completely unredeemable, Gabriel used to kill in incredibly funny – and poetic – ways.

There was that one time, in 1912, that he infiltrated Kendricks Academy, making himself pass as a student. He even changed the physical appearance of his vessel so that he couldn’t look any older than twelve. He spent his days going to class, making friends with the actual students and studying the teachers instead of the subjects they were teaching. He made sure to be such a bad student that, after less than two weeks, they had to summon him to the Headmaster’s office, together with all of his teachers. They probably hoped to teach him some memorable lesson of life. They’d been the ones who’d got taught a lesson instead. It had been so easy to kill them all at once, when they were all together.

In that occasion he’d even had the satisfaction to walk out of the burning room with his child appearance still on, slowly turning back into his older self while, with a wicked grin on his face, he walked around the halls of Kendricks. Most of the kids who’d seen him had changed their mind about being trained to become Men of Letters, running away from the Academy the next day. Other kids, however, kept going on with their studies, and some of them received another visit from Loki a few years later. They never came out alive from that new visit, since they’d already screwed up the only second chance they were ever going to get.

Then, in the early 20s, something changed. The higher powers at Kendricks were sick and tired of his punishments, having to continuously fill in the holes that the Trickster was leaving in the chain of command. They thought of Loki as their enemy, so they decided to retaliate. Gabriel could never forget what happened that day. He just teleported inside the Academy in order to eliminate the Headmaster, as he’d done so many times before, but everything went wrong from the moment he arrived.

An entire army of Men of Letters and hunters ambushed him, shooting at him from every direction. It didn’t hurt, but it didn’t bring him any pleasure either. When he tried to teleport outside of the Headmaster’s office, however, he found out that he couldn’t. He tried over and over again, forcing himself to break through whatever was blocking him, but it was useless. The more he fought to free his powers from their constrictions, the more visible the sigils on the walls started to become. Those humans had done their homework right: all of his powers were entirely suppressed.

The only way he would have had to free himself would have been to stop hiding and masking his grace, to just let it explode. Such a great amount of angelic power would have broken through everything, he was certain about that. The biggest problem was that releasing his grace would have also made everyone aware of what he really was. He couldn’t allow any humans to find out about him and live, so he would have had to kill everyone inside the building, including the innocent kids. In addition to that, every angel in creation would have sensed his grace, and his older brothers would have recognized him without the shadow of a doubt. He would have had to kiss his secret identity goodbye. After centuries spent calling himself Loki, he wasn’t ready to go back to being Gabriel again; he wasn’t ready to go back to Heaven and face his brothers for running away.

Therefore, he had to endure everything that those awful men decided to do to him. They chained him up, tortured him for days. He was almost starting to lose his mind, even considering the possibility of revealing himself for the archangel that he was. Everything to make that horrible pain stop. Then, at the end of a day where he’d done nothing more than scream and look defeated, the British Men of Letters thought that they’d done enough damage and decided to kill him.

They stabbed him with seventy-two wooden stakes, all of them drenched in the blood of the last Man of Letters he’d killed. Seventy-two, one for each British Man of Letters he’d killed. It hurt like hell, but Gabriel had to resist. They thought that they were finally killing Loki, the Trickster who’d taken great pleasure in making them pay for everything they ever did. They needed to think they were winning. They had to believe that they were succeeding in killing the Trickster.

Had Loki been a real pagan, he would have died at the first stake that penetrated his heart. Luckily, however, Gabriel was an archangel, so he couldn’t be killed that way. His vessel, however, received a lot of damage. There was a large hole in the middle of his chest, something that would have taken a lot of time to repair. The poor guy who was hosting him would have died because of the damage to his body, if Gabriel hadn’t been holding on to his soul with all of his strength. He didn’t want his vessel to be just a useless piece of meat, he wanted it to be alive, and for that he needed the soul that was sharing his body to stay where it was.

At the second stake the Trickster shut down, faking his own death. The humans kept stabbing him, but he remained completely still. All of his attention went in wrapping his grace around his vessel’s soul, keeping it from harm. Only after the Men of Letters felt satisfied, sure that he was as dead as a doornail, they burned his body and dumped him in the woods. When he was sure that he was alone, Gabriel teleported himself in a safe place and slowly healed his body. Had he had the possibility to use his grace at full power, he would have completed the healing in just a few seconds. But he was still in hiding from Heaven, therefore he was forced to let his grace come out in small amounts, so that it wouldn’t be detected.

It took him days to go back to full health, and luckily his vessel hadn’t suffered any permanent damage. That, however, was the last time he got anything to do with the British Men of Letters. All of them were bound to go to Hell at some point, so he didn’t have to butt in and send them there before their time. They had a lot of pain in their future anyway. Therefore, that was the last time he got anywhere near any of them.

When they captured him, the British Men of Letters had already created a very good way to keep any kind of supernatural creature trapped. It would have never worked on an archangel who could use his powers freely, and maybe it wouldn’t have kept a seraphim trapped there for long either, but low rank angels, the average demons, pagan gods and any other creature alive would have been unable to do anything against those restrictions. That thought was already terrifying in the 20s. But in the present, with modern technology at their disposal and after several more decades of research, they’d been able to do something much worse.

If he ever got trapped, Jack would have tried to release his grace to free himself. Gabriel was certain that he’d taught him well enough. Whatever the British Men of Letters were using to trap him, however, was strong enough to withstand the Nephilim’s grace. At full power, Jack was stronger than Gabriel, yet he was trapped. He’d been trapped the whole time they were thinking that he was just running away from home. Instead, someone else was hiding him from them, and it scared the crap out of Gabriel.

Were they going to be able to rescue him? Was he supposed to leave the Winchesters behind, and storm Kendricks Academy with the full might of Heaven’s army instead? Was all of that power even going to be enough to succeed? Or was he maybe supposed to sit that one out, and let the brothers save Jack on their own? If the British Men of Letters had done something that allowed them to stop an archangel’s Nephilim, was Gabriel going to get trapped too the moment he tried to help his nephew?

Gabriel could feel the rage grow strong inside him. He was feeling like he was about to explode, but he couldn’t allow himself to do anything stupid. He wanted to release all of his grace, to feel at least a little of satisfaction. By doing that, however, he would have probably destroyed the entire town of Lebanon, Kansas, killing all of the humans who lived there. Even though he didn’t care about the fate of his chosen victims, he still had enough heart not to want to annihilate a whole town full of innocent people. Nobody deserved to die that way, especially in order to satisfy the need to destroy of a furious archangel.

All he could do in order to contain himself was to grab his head, pulling his own hair, and scream his lungs out. Wherever Dean was, he could most likely hear his loud voice as easily as Sam could. With that, his thoughts went back to the younger Winchester for a second. The poor guy was just standing there, close enough that he could touch Gabriel if he only outstretched one of his long arms. The archangel couldn’t even begin to imagine what the hunter might have been thinking in that moment.

Before he received the news about Jack on Angel Radio, Gabriel was about to kiss Sam and lose himself in him. It was something he’d vowed to himself never to do, because the younger hunter would have been nothing more than a distraction from his final goal. With Jack gone and that goal lost to him, with no idea at all of what to do in the future, that thought was the only one in his mind. A distraction from the pain of living with his mistake would have been exactly what he needed.

Luckily, the angels had found Jack with the perfect timing. He was about to screw up, but he didn’t have enough time to do it. He didn’t kiss Sam, so he could say he stopped himself before he ruined everything. He didn’t want things between them to change, not one bit. Indulging in the pleasure of Sam Winchester while looking for comfort would have been good for him in that moment, but devastating for the human in the long run. Therefore, when he pushed the man away, Gabriel knew that it was for the best.

Something inside him, however, was telling him that the moment he lost, the perfect chance he wasted, was going to haunt him for a very long time.

Chapter Text

The search for Jack wasn’t going as well as Sam had expected in the beginning. Actually, it wasn’t going anywhere at all. There was no trace of the Nephilim, nothing at all. Dean had suggested to hack into the traffic cameras system, hoping to see through the cameras where he’d gone. All they could find out was that he actually left the bunker on foot, he looked back a couple of times as if he was about to change his mind, then he shook his head and concentrated. A moment later he disappeared, and the Winchesters didn’t have the slightest idea of where he’d gone.

There was no other trace of him in the entire country. Had he left the United States then? Just to be sure, Sam had suggested to hack into surveillance cameras everywhere, but there was no way that two people alone could watch all of that footage in a lifetime. It wasn’t the right way to look for the Nephilim, that was for sure. But what else could they do? Dean was furious, because Jack was dangerous and they let him escape. Sam, however, was just worried about the kid. Could he be in danger? Could he become a danger himself? They needed to find him. They needed to bring him back home.

Sam and Dean tried all of their connections, trustworthy hunters included, but the final result was the same. Moreover, there weren’t many people they could trust with that kind of information, so they only ended up talking to Jodi, Claire and Donna. It would have been too dangerous to talk to anyone else about something as big as Lucifer’s son loose in the world. The wrong people might have heard of it, if the word were to spread too much.

For two whole days they kept searching and searching, day and night, without rest. On the third day they accepted the fact that maybe a little sleep was needed, but after a few hours they went back to their research. They even tried to use the library of the bunker, hoping to find a book that contained a spell that could help them, but of course that turned out to be useless too. It was with a very low morale that Sam woke up on the fourth day from Jack’s disappearance.

The younger hunter made his way down to the kitchen very early in the morning, prepared a lot of coffee and sat down in the war room in front of his computer. One hour later his brother joined him, visibly hangover but still lucid enough to go on with the research. The two Winchesters sat down side by side in the war room, only taking their eyes off their computers to go get some book from the library or to make a new pot of coffee in the kitchen.

Since they’d started looking for the boy, someone else had been missing from the bunker. Gabriel had left all of a sudden, without saying a single word about what he was going to do or how long he was going to be out. They hadn’t heard from him ever since. When Sam tried to ask his brother’s opinion on the matter, Dean only said that the archangel could take care of himself, that Jack was enough of a problem for them to solve already, they couldn’t start worrying about Gabriel too.

The thing with Sam, however, was that the thoughts of Gabriel were never really out of his mind. During the entire time that the archangel was away from the bunker, the younger hunter could feel the other’s grace inside his own body. It felt like it was agitated, maybe reacting to its owner’s anxiety. Gabriel was far from okay, and Sam would have done anything in his power and beyond to help him feel better. He would have reassured the archangel that everything was fine, that he didn’t have to feel guilty for Jack running away. He would have told Gabriel how much he loved him, how he would have given his own life if that could have helped to make the archangel happy again.

In other words, Sam was starting to think like a crazy person. He was so in love with Gabriel that he would have really done anything for him. But the angel wasn’t there, and not being able to see him was making Sam get more and more out of his mind. While trying to find new ways they could use to look for Jack, his thoughts kept going back to Gabriel, over and over again. Why wasn’t he coming back? Was he mad at them for not keeping a better eye on the Nephilim? Was he mad at himself for letting the boy feel the need to run away in the first place? How could Sam help him get better if he didn’t even know what the archangel was feeling?

In the early afternoon of the fifth day, both brothers were concentrating on their computers when the archangel came back. The rustle of feathers that interrupted the silence made them both jump and turn around in a sudden movement. Dean was so quick to take out his gun that Sam himself was surprised, but his brother and how much he was attached to his weapons wasn’t Sam’s biggest concern at the moment. Gabriel was back, and he didn’t look any better than he did when he’d left. Actually, he looked even worse.

In addition to that, the archangel had used his wings around the Winchesters once again. After Jack had injured Gabriel on their first encounter, Sam might have imagined things. But this time he heard it loud and clear: the sound of feathers. Gabriel had just flown into the bunker instead of teleporting. Even in the middle of such a crappy situation, all that Sam could think about was Gabriel’s wings. The archangel had just lost another little bit of his Trickster façade, letting the brothers see more of the angel hiding behind the mask.

The hunter didn’t even notice how long he’d been staring at Gabriel after his arrival. His brother was already facing his computer again, going back to his research. He, on the other hand, was looking at the archangel like a lovesick puppy. He blushed upon realizing that, and he quickly turned around to hide his face. When Gabriel asked them how the research was going, he still didn’t think he was going to be able to talk out of embarrassment, so he let his brother answer the question.

After that, it didn’t take long for things to get really screwed up. Gabriel moved around the table to sit down in front of them. He looked defeated, and Sam’s heart ached at seeing him like that. More than once he thought about reaching for him with his arm, taking the archangel’s hands and holding them for comfort. But he couldn’t do it, because that would have revealed his true feelings towards Gabriel. No-one could know that he was in love with that angel!

The three of them kept talking about different possibilities, even contemplating the option of Jack having left their dimension to go looking for his father. That one, of course, was the option Sam feared the most. Even though he didn’t like that possibility one bit, the younger Winchester never thought his brother could react as badly as he did. Dean raised his voice, calling the Nephilim a monster, as if he was nothing more than the average demon that they needed to kill during a hunt.

Sam didn’t know how to react to that. He wasn’t sure he could even open his mouth to reply to those words, because what could he say? Dean was hurt, he was still suffering because of the events of the night the Nephilim was born. Losing their mother once again had been terrible for both of them, but Sam knew that his brother had taken the loss of Cas even worse. Taking Lucifer’s son in, after everything that the Devil had done to them, had never been easy for the older Winchester. But the younger hunter never thought his brother could actually feel that way about Jack!

They’d lived together for months, and during that entire time Dean had never acted like the presence of the Nephilim inside the bunker disgusted him or anything like that. Had his brother been hiding how he really felt the entire time? Was he really suffering so much that he ended up hating Jack for no good reason at all? Had Sam been so concerned about his own feelings for Gabriel that he’d become blind to his brother’s pain?

On the other hand, however, there was Gabriel. Sam could accept the idea that his brother might have been suffering in silence the entire time they’d spent with Jack and Gabriel, but how could the archangel react to that new piece of information? The younger hunter moved his gaze towards the creature he loved, and what he saw made him freeze on the spot.

Gabriel looked broken, as if he’d been beaten almost to death. But then a fire started to shine in his eyes, and a moment later the archangel jumped to his feet, almost shaking with rage. The words he used were horrible, but they were not wrong. Dean hated Jack so much because Lucifer had killed Castiel, and he was treating the boy as if he was his father. It wasn’t the Nephilim’s fault if he was Lucifer’s son! Gabriel’s words were rough, but they were also right. Sam could have reached the same conclusion on his own, if only he’d taken his head out of his own ass long enough to think about his brother’s feelings for just a second.

Dean didn’t take it well. He stormed out of the room, and for a moment Sam was conflicted on what to do. Follow his brother, or stay where he was with Gabriel. He knew that Dean was in pain, but he also knew that his brother would have never allowed him to help. “No chick-flick moments” was his brother’s motto. There was no way he could have forced Dean to open up and talk about his feelings in such a situation. Gabriel, on the other hand, was crying, making Sam’s entrails writhe inside his body.

It didn’t take him long to make his decision. Without even thinking about it for more than a second, he walked around the table and wrapped the archangel in his arms. He held Gabriel close with strength, because he knew that his vessel’s body could take it, and because he was sure that the angel on the inside needed it badly. One of his hands moved to Gabriel’s hair, while he other was still holding him in place. In that moment, Gabriel’s body felt to tiny in his arms. And it was so strange for Sam, because the archangel he loved was so great that he always looked bigger than his human vessel actually was.

The hunter wanted to say a lot of things. He wanted to confess his love to Gabriel, tell him that he was never going to leave the archangel. He wanted to reassure the love of his life that everything was going to be fine, that they were going to find Jack and bring him home. Because they were some kind of family now, the four of them, and it was normal for families to fight when something was wrong, but once the boy was back inside the bunker they were going to be happy again. He didn’t have the strength though, he couldn’t find the courage to say all of those words to Gabriel.

Even though he refused to confess his love, Sam wanted to make sure Gabriel knew how much he cared about him. He didn’t even have to think about what to do, it just came natural to him. He looked down at the archangel in his arms, currently hugging him back as if his life depended on it, and all of his feelings became easy to read on his face. Not that he really wanted to show them all so much, but he couldn’t stop himself. The one he loved was in pieces, and he wanted to let Gabriel know he was going to be there for him, ready to put him back together.

He never expected for the archangel to raise his head and return his gaze in a confused but at the same time mesmerized way. Most of all, he didn’t expect for Gabriel to slowly get closer, standing on his tiptoes, slightly parting his lips. That was the moment of truth. Gabriel was going to kiss him, and Sam needed to stay calm. He couldn’t allow himself to freak out, or he would have scared the archangel away. The situation was a delicate one, after all.

Sam’s heart was beating like crazy. He was a few inches away from kissing Gabriel, after having dreamed of nothing else for months. The archangel was getting closer and closer, and his intentions were clear. The hunter didn’t know if it meant that Gabriel had feelings for him too, or if the angel only needed some comfort and Sam just happened to be there to provide it. To be honest, he didn’t really care. Even if Gabriel didn’t like him the way he wanted him to, so what? He knew from the start that he didn’t have much of a chance to ever be in a relationship with Gabriel, so of course he was going to take whatever the archangel felt ready to give him. And if Gabriel only needed someone to help him lose himself, Sam could be that person for him. Because he loved Gabriel and he was ready to give him whatever he needed, even if it meant that the hunter was going to suffer for it in the aftermath.

The younger Winchester closed his eyes the moment he felt Gabriel’s breath getting near his face. He started counting the seconds that separated him from the kiss he craved so much, ready to forget everything else once he felt Gabriel’s lips touch his own. That moment, however, never came. Before he could have even a taste of the archangel, Gabriel jerked out of his embrace and pushed him away before turning around. In that moment, the angel was still within his arm’s reach, yet it felt as if he was too far away.

What was wrong? Was Gabriel okay? Did something happen to him? He was holding his head as if it hurt, after all. Was it about Jack? Could Gabriel hear the boy’s voice inside his head? Or was he just improvising, trying to find an excuse to run away from Sam? No, the younger Winchester knew for sure that the archangel wasn’t putting up an act to get away from him. So that option wasn’t one to consider, but all of the others were still valid. Needless to say, Sam was once again starting to worry about Gabriel, hoping there was something he could do to make things better.

After several moments of silence, Gabriel started pulling his hair and scream. Sam remained frozen on the spot, unable to react in any way. What could he do to help? There was nothing he could think of. But Gabriel was starting to scare him, because he seemed ready to lose control over himself. The hunter couldn’t allow that to happen, so he decided to stop thinking and just start acting the way he felt like. Since the archangel didn’t seem to be going to stop yelling on his own, Sam moved a step in his direction and once again wrapped his long arms around the smaller body of Gabriel.

At first, Gabriel didn’t seem to have noticed what was happening; he just kept going on, almost making Sam’s eardrums explode. Then, after several seconds, he let go of his hair and brought both hands to cover his face. Was he trying to hide from Sam? Was he ashamed of showing so much emotion to the hunter? There was no need for that. There was nothing to be ashamed of, Sam would have been honored to be trusted with such an obvious display of the archangel’s feelings. He didn’t want to say so out loud, because he was afraid the wrong words could spook the angel in his arms, but he decided to do something to demonstrate that Gabriel could trust him.

He kept holding Gabriel close, and slowly he started to rock the archangel on the spot. Sam laid his chin to rest on the top of Gabriel’s head, accompanying his slow movements with shushing sounds. He couldn’t think of anything else he could do to get the archangel to calm down from his highly agitated state. A few seconds later, he could just perceive the difference as the archangel completely relaxed against him, letting both arms fall limply along his body. From that angle, Sam could see the tearstains on Gabriel’s face. He would have loved to kiss them away. In that moment, however, he could consider as a victory the fact that the archangel was even starting to calm down in the first place.

Chapter Text

Their moment of peace, however, didn’t last long. Attracted by Gabriel’s yelling, Dean came back to the war room to see what was happening. As soon as he realized that his brother had walked through the door, Sam quickly – yet reluctantly – let go of Gabriel. His hands slid down the archangel’s arms and brushed against Gabriel’s ones. The hunter also took his time to smell Gabriel’s hair before taking a step back, trying to memorize every detail of the fragrance.

“Am I interrupting something?” Dean asked with sarcasm, and those words were enough for Gabriel to put his mask back on. He quickly wiped his face with a sleeve of his jacket and walked towards the older Winchester, without even sparing a look at Sam. It hurt, but the younger hunter really did his best not to let his pain show.

“Always the funny man, Dean Winchester.” Gabriel defended himself, snapping his fingers. A lollipop appeared in his mouth, and Sam immediately started to wonder what could happen if he decided to walk towards the archangel and take the sucker out of the other’s mouth and into his own. Would it taste like Gabriel? No, that was absolutely not the appropriate thing to think about in that situation!

“Now that you’ve calmed down, can you tell us what happened?” Sam was finally able to say. Gabriel was still closer to Dean than to him, and he had his back turned at Sam.

“I found Jack.” Gabriel replied after a few seconds of silence “He’s been taken captive, and his rescue won’t be an easy one.”

Sam couldn’t believe what he was hearing. What exactly had the power to keep someone like Jack trapped? The sheer thought of something so powerful even existing was scaring the crap out of him. The younger Winchester turned his head to meet his brother’s gaze, and he could immediately read there that the same question was rising in Dean’s mind too. What were they dealing with? Nothing they’d ever faced before, that was for sure. And Sam was certain it was going to be something really dangerous.

“What are we dealing with, then?” Sam asked, eyes fixed on the back of Gabriel’s head.

“Yeah, are we talking demons, angels, gods, primordial beings or some kind of new Big Bad?” Dean inquired as well. He was staring at Gabriel too, a little frown on his face.

“Worse, much worse.” the archangel started to say, and Sam couldn't stop himself from shaking. What could be worse than the most dangerous creatures they'd ever encountered?

“What then?” he asked, not sure he really wanted to hear the answer to his question.

“It’s the British Men of Letters.” Gabriel replied with a sigh.

Sam couldn't believe what he was hearing. Had the archangel really mentioned the British Men of Letters? He didn't know if he was more shocked by the fact that Gabriel seemed to have mentioned their name in what looked like fear, or that they actually had the power to hold Lucifer's Nephilim against his will.

“Are you kidding me? Fucking humans did that?” the older Winchester yelled, and with a good reason. How was that even possible? Gabriel, however, just nodded in reply.

“But Gabriel, humans don't have the means to do something like that!” Sam tried to see reason, because of course there was something wrong with what the archangel had said. It couldn’t be true, it just couldn’t.

“If we were talking about common humans, I would say that you’re right. But with them? Anything is possible. After all, just less than one hundred years ago they were able to do the same to me. Of course they didn't know I was more than a pagan, so I could have freed myself if I had used my grace. But still, they held me captive. Since then, I haven't kept track of their experiments. With new technologies and the right spellwork, they might have actually developed something that's even stronger than Jack.” the archangel explained.

Sam couldn’t truly believe what he'd just heard. What in the world could be so powerful to stop a partially trained archangel Nephilim? And an even more disturbing thought came to his mind. Whatever it was that they were using on Jack must have taken years of research to be developed. They must have started working on it long before Jack was even conceived. So who were they initially planning to use it against? Its intended use might have been on Michael and Lucifer to stop the Apocalypse. Or did they want to have a weapon powerful enough to use on God himself in case of need? That idea alone was enough to send shivers down the hunter’s spine.

“Wait a minute. I thought we'd killed the bitch in command of operations.” Dean stated, bringing Sam back out of his own reasoning. Gabriel shrugged.

“Cut off one head, two more shall take its place. Like hydras. I should know how things with those British fuckers work, since I've punished so many of them in the past.” the archangel commented, because of course someone like the British Men of Letters had to be on the Trickster’s hit list. His words were followed by a few seconds of silence, during which Dean blinked a couple of times.

“Wait, wait, wait. Dude, did you just quote the Captain America movies? They came out while you were dead, when have you even watched them?” the older hunter inquired. Gabriel shrugged and most likely winked, though Sam couldn’t be sure about that since he was still facing the back of the archangel almost completely.

The younger Winchester was surprised by that exchange. Not by the fact that Gabriel quoted Captain America’s villains, but because Dean couldn’t seriously think that an angel who didn’t need to sleep would spend his entire nights doing nothing. In addition to that, a question started forming in Sam’s head: did hydras really exist? But that, probably, was a subject to revisit at a better time. He couldn’t afford to be his nerdy self in such a delicate situation. Jack was still trapped, and they still had to find a way to save him.

“Guys please, let’s focus, okay?” Sam decided to intervene, because of course they were going off topic. Leave it to Dean and Gabriel to be serious in a time of need, and you’ll most likely be disappointed. Thought the guy who could barely keep his boner in check; but that was different, and in any case it was still Gabriel’s fault.

The older Winchester looked at his brother when he finished talking, and the archangel turned around as well. Both of them had incredibly serious expressions painted on their faces, every sign of the previous humor completely gone. It looked like it was finally time to put together a plan for the rescue. From what Gabriel had explained about the situation at hand, they didn’t seem to stand a chance at all, but it didn’t mean that they weren’t going to try as hard as they could to save Jack from his kidnappers.

“I’m focused, thank you very much.” Gabriel’s reply came as a surprise, with the archangel pointing a finger to indicate the plastic stick of the sucker currently sticking out of his mouth “I’m always focused when I’m sucking on something!”

The archangel’s voice was ironic but cold, as if he’d been pissed about the possibility of someone considering him not focused on the task at hand. His face, however, said a whole different thing. He waggled his eyebrows at Sam; he was safe to do that since he was completely facing away from Dean, so the older hunter had no way to see what he was doing.

Sam felt a strong heat explode inside his body. How could Gabriel be such a jerk to go ahead and do this to him in such a delicate situation? How could he just make Sam get hard without even thinking of how inappropriate a moment it was? The hunter was trying to figure out something to say in order to downplay what was happening to him, but while doing that his eyes fell on Gabriel’s face and he had the opportunity to take a better look at the archangel.

There were worry lines all over Gabriel’s forehead, and his upper lip was twitching a little. He wasn’t making sexual jokes to rub salt in Sam’s wounds; he was just trying to keep it together, and that was probably the only way he knew how. The younger Winchester took a deep breath when he realized that, and then he exhaled while trying real hard to make something in his body not stay hard. A look at Dean’s perplexed expression was luckily enough to do the trick.

“Seriously dude, what the fuck? That sentence almost sounded like porn!” the older hunter said, and his brother was thankful for the statement because those words were able to make Gabriel smile a little. Dean couldn’t see it, because the archangel was facing Sam at the moment and he had his back on Dean, but it was beautiful. The younger Winchester even felt the need to smile back with adoration, but he succeeded in containing himself. He didn’t want to allow his jackass brother to see him pine like a girl.

After they’d all stopped doing and saying inappropriate things, the three of them sat down in their usual spots around the table in the war room. Sam and Dean were on one side, Gabriel was on the other. It was time for them to figure out how to free Jack from the British Men of Letters, and nobody seemed to have any ideas on where to start. Gabriel told them everything that he’d just found out through Angel Radio, but that was the only information they had on Jack’s imprisonment.

“We know where they are keeping the kid. Can’t we just storm the place with some archangel mojo and take him back?” Dean tried to ask, but Sam already knew it was a pointless question. He could see in his brother’s eyes that the other human was probably thinking the same thing, that he’d just asked because he felt like he had to try.

Gabriel shook his head in denial. “Whatever they’re doing to keep Jack in check is strong and way out of my league. The moment we get there, I will most likely be rendered powerless, or even worse I’ll be trapped just like my nephew. We have to be prepared for the possibility that I might be completely useless in this one.”

When the archangel finished his explanation, Dean snorted and averted his gaze. Sam let his eyes fall on his brother for just a moment, then he nodded in silence. He’d already been suspecting that something like that might risk happening. If Jack was stronger than Gabriel, anything that could overpower him was of course going to overpower Gabriel as well. They couldn’t count on the angel’s powers for the rescue mission. Sure, the archangel could still take them there in an instant, but once on location? They were probably on their own.

Best case scenario, Gabriel was going to be as powerless as a common human, doing a minimum fighting but with the possibility of succumbing to enemy fire. Things didn’t look peachy for their team in any way. Sam sighed. Once again, they were about to face a situation that seemed pretty much hopeless. Were they going to succeed this time? That was still too soon to say.

“If what you said is true, if you could really be powerless, we need more human backup. Dean and I can’t neutralize everyone at Kendricks on our own.” Sam suggested, torturing his hands while speaking.

“True. Last time, we had the help of every freaking hunter we know, and we were only invading their US base. We can’t defeat the whole damned Hogwarts the two and a half of us alone!” Dean agreed, making a really good point. He gesticulated in the general direction of Gabriel while he mentioned the “half”, and Sam could see the archangel roll his eyes at that. Yep, that was a cheap attempt on his part. If Dean wanted to piss Gabriel off, he could have done so much better than that!

“Sure thing. How many hunters would you trust with Jack’s rescue, eh hotshots?” the archangel retorted, and of course Sam knew immediately that he was right. There weren’t that many people they could trust with something so delicate.

“Well, there’s Jodi of course, then Donna maybe. And…” Dean started, but he stopped almost immediately. Sam knew very well why: because there was no-one else they could trust except those two.

“Wonderful. Five of us sneaking inside the most highly guarded place on the planet. Nice chances we have!” the archangel cut in when Dean had no more names to say, giving the older hunter a sarcastic thumbs up.

“It’s not like we can tell everyone about this.” Sam came to his brother’s rescue “I mean, other hunters will most likely not understand. Working with an archangel, protecting the supernatural against their own kind. Most people in our line of work are not capable of understanding the difference between dangerous and innocuous, all they care about is the difference between human and not-human. We can’t risk bringing people like that to England on this suicide mission, when they might change their mind and switch sides in the middle of the operation. In addition to that, the more people know what we’re doing the more the voice will spread, meaning that more and more of our enemies might surface thinking that this is the perfect time to act against us. It could be too dangerous.”

“Right, what he said!” Dean exclaimed at the end of Sam’s speech.

Gabriel, on the other hand, only nodded after listening in silence. He snapped his fingers and a pack of Twizzlers appeared in his hands. He opened it and took out the first piece of candy, slowly bringing one extremity to his mouth and letting the rest hang down his chin while he chewed. Sam was hypnotized by the sight of the archangel eating that specific kind of candy, and soon he found himself unable to take his eyes away.

What was wrong with him? Why was he unable to stop thinking with his dick all of a sudden? He realized that things had worsened when Gabriel had healed him, after he and Dean had been rescued by the archangel and the Nephilim. He’d had a small amount of the angel’s grace lodged inside him for a little while now, and ever since the moment Gabriel had left a part of himself inside Sam, the hunter had always found more difficult to contain his physical attraction towards the archangel.

Most of the time that inability to keep his body in check was just frustrating, but in such a delicate situation it was almost crippling. It was going to be only five of them against the whole organization of the British Men of Letters, they were at enough of a disadvantage already, he didn’t need to make everything worse by losing his focus every time Gabriel used his mouth for anything!

After Sam finished giving his explanation on why they couldn’t bring more people with them for Jack’s rescue, Gabriel remained silent for some time. He just kept munching loudly on his candy, relaxing against the back of the chair ad gazing at the ceiling with a concentrated expression of his face. When the archangel decided to talk again, the hunter came back to reality and was finally able to stop looking at the candy slowly disappearing behind Gabriel’s lips.

“I understand. Well, better going in five than three!” Gabriel commented, somewhat resigned on the matter “Now, I suggest you two go pack your stuff, because I’m going to drop you off somewhere you can meet with your friends before I go take care of an important errand.”

Both Sam and Dean snorted at that, but a moment later they both sighed. They knew, after all, that this was a matter of importance, and time mattered. They couldn’t allow themselves to travel by car to Jodi’s house, and then to Donna’s. And, of course, they couldn’t catch a plane to England and then rent a car to Kendricks. They needed to move around by the means of Gabriel’s teleportation, even though they both despised that kind of transportation.

“What kind of errand is so important that you’re willing to delay our departure?” Dean asked, and Sam had to admit that he was curious to know as well.

“I need to meet with the hunter who told the angels about the British Men of Letters holding Jack prisoner. If he knew that, he probably knows how they’re holding him as well. I want to be prepared as much as possible for what I can find inside, I need to know what will happen to me or my grace once we get there. For everyone’s safety and for the sake of the mission.” Gabriel explained, and it actually made sense.

“The angels had to let the man talk to his dead wife in order to convince him to spill the beans. I need to do more than that, I don’t care if I have to resurrect everyone he has ever met, but I need to bribe him into giving up some more vital information.” the archangel continued, and once again his words were able to broadcast how serious he was about the matter. In moments like that, sometimes the younger Winchester still marveled at the realization of how intense Gabriel could be.

Chapter Text

Sam and Dean spent the following hours preparing themselves for the mission. Or, to me more accurate, they prepared their weapons. Dean was cleaning guns like a doctor about to get into surgery, while Sam was sharpening knives. Everything had to be ready for the fight. In the meantime, however, they were talking about what they could say to Jodi and Donna in order to convince them to join their team for the mission. Of course they knew their friends would have helped them with anything, but this was not your average monster hunt. This was different and way more delicate than anything else they’d ever done.

“I wish Bobby, Ellen and Jo were here.” Dean said out of nowhere, and Sam could do nothing more than nod in agreement. Yes, Bobby or Ellen would have known what to do. But they’d already got both their surrogate parents killed, as well as many of their other friends, so they didn’t have any options anymore when it came to people willing to help them.

They’d called both Jodi and Donna in advance, asking the women to meet them at Jodi’s house in a few hours. That was going to give Donna the time she needed to reach Sioux Falls. When the weapons were ready, Dean started to pack them and Sam went looking for Gabriel, to let the archangel know that it was okay for them to be snapped at Jodi’s. He was surprised to find the archangel pacing around his own bedroom, no candy in sight and a worried expression on his face.

“Hey, just wanted to let you know that we’re ready to go.” Sam said once he entered the bedroom.

Gabriel stopped his pacing but he didn’t turn to look at the hunter. He just let his shoulders fall and he sighed while staring at the ground. He sounded worried, defeated. Sam would have loved to do something, anything, to see him smile again. He knew, however, that the archangel would have kept feeling guilty until Jack was once again back in the bunker with them. Therefore, if he really wanted to make the angel happy, all he needed to do was to save the Nephilim and bring him back home. Easier said than done, of course.

“Yeah, I’ll be down in a minute.” Gabriel replied after a few seconds of silence. The younger Winchester bit his lower lip, uncertain about what to do. In the end he decided to move a few steps inside and put a hand on Gabriel’s shoulder.

“Gabriel… it’s okay, we’re going to take Jack back.” the human tried to reassure the archangel, but he was the first one to know that his words were just pointless in the face of what was happening.

“Even if we really manage to save him, it doesn’t change anything. I still messed up, it’s still my fault if he suffered. How can I even look at him, knowing that they’ve probably tortured him because of me?” the archangel let out, and Sam could feel something tighten inside his chest. Seeing a creature as powerful as Gabriel feeling so down was hurting him.

The two locked eyes with each other, and for a moment Sam didn’t know what to do. He wanted to hug Gabriel, to show him his support in any way he could. He wasn’t sure it was the best thing to do, but the archangel needed all of his support, so the hunter finally moved again. He wrapped his arms around Gabriel and kissed the top of his head. Only after he’d done it he realized what that meant. It was the first time his lips actually touched any part of Gabriel. He blushed, but he did his best to keep it cool.

“I’m sure Jack will never blame you. Bad shit just happens, it’s nobody’s fault. Hell, to me and my brother it happens almost daily. But you’re fighting for your nephew, and that’s what matters.” Sam said, and he really believed in every word he said.

“Thank you Sammy.” Gabriel whispered after taking a long breath.

“It’s Sam!” the Winchester said in reply, but he was smiling.

“Yes, that’s exactly what I said!”

A smirk was back on Gabriel’s face, his Trickster mask back on. He was feeling a little better, or at least he was keeping it together just fine. The hunter rolled his eyes in a fake annoyed way, because he was actually glad to see that the archangel was playing around again. It was a very good sign.

A few minutes later, Sam and Gabriel joined Dean in the war room and everything was ready. All the archangel had to do was snap his fingers, and the three of them appeared in Jodi’s driveway. The house looked just the same as every other time they’d been there. There were two sheriff cars parked up front, belonging one to Jodi and the other to Donna. The brothers were carrying two duffel bags full of weapons each, and they adjusted them on their shoulders as soon as their feet were steady on the ground. Neither of them really liked traveling that way, but they begrudgingly had to accept it for that mission.

“So, you go get your allies, pray to me if you have any problems. I’ll come back as soon as I’m done.” Gabriel announced.

Both Sam and Dean nodded, and after raising a thumb the archangel disappeared. Sam was hoping Gabriel could stick around a little, but he knew the angel had to go. He had something important to do, after all. The hunter would have loved for his friends to meet him properly, but there would have been another time – a better time – for that. They could leave the official introductions for later.

The Winchesters walked towards the door and Dean knocked. A minute later, Alex opened the door to let them in. She’d grown since the last time they’d met, looking even more like a real woman, now that she was out of the teens. The girl led them inside the house, pointing towards a table where they could leave their bags. Then she walked into the living room, motioning for them to follow her.

Inside the room, Jodi was sitting on a couch, still wearing her sheriff uniform after a day of work. Next to her was sitting Claire, who was surprisingly home for the day. During their catch up phone calls, Jodi had mentioned more than once that the Novak girl was almost never home, always around hunting on her own. Had she come back because of the reunion the boys had organized? Sam couldn’t be sure about that without asking, but what he was certain about was that she was going to offer to join them. That, however, they couldn’t allow.

On the other couch was sitting Donna; she too was wearing her sheriff uniform, as she’d probably been forced to leave in the middle of her work day in order to reach Jodi’s house in time to meet them. When the brothers were inside the room, Alex went to sit down next to Donna. Sam didn’t miss how Claire glared at the other girl before focusing her attention on them. So things hadn’t changed much around there, those two still couldn’t stand each other. He really didn’t envy Jodi’s position.

“Hi, everyone! Thank you for meeting us on such a short notice.” Sam started to say.

“I know this might seem weirder than usual, but we could really use your help on this one.” Dean continued, letting his eyes wander from Jodi to Donna and vice-versa.

The idea the boys had in mind was clear: they wanted to bring the women along for the mission, but there was no way they were bringing the girls. It was going to be dangerous, probably suicidal, and they didn’t want to have that kind of weight on their conscience. Especially because Alex wasn’t even a hunter, and Claire was just reckless to the point of doing pretty stupid things. To be honest, Sam didn’t even want the girls to hear what they had to say, but he knew that it would have been easier to explain everything in front of them and then just tell them they couldn’t go than refusing to talk until they got kicked out of the house.

At Jodi’s request, Sam and Dean started telling the story of what was currently going on with their lives. After all, they hadn’t said much when they asked their friends to keep their eyes and ears open for a missing Nephilim. They filled everyone in about Jack, and the fact that he was now living with them full time. Dean talked about Gabriel, because Sam didn’t think he could tell the story of how the archangel had come back into their lives without blushing at the thought of what he felt towards him. When all of the premises were set, they alternated each other in telling how Jack had gone missing, explaining that the British Men of Letters had him captive. That was the moment Sam decided to ask Jodi and Donna for their help in bringing him back to safety. Silence followed his final question.

“Wait a second, boys. Months ago we united a good group of hunters to attack their headquarters in the United States, and we lost a lot of people in the process. It was just an outpost, and it resulted so difficult to penetrate. How do you intend to take down their entire base with five people?” Jodi asked after at least a couple of minutes.

Sam sighed when he heard her question. Of course she was going to ask something like that. The truth was, however, that there was no answer he could give her. They had no plan yet, they had no ideas. All they knew was that their embarrassingly low number of people was going to give them the advantage when it came to sneaking in undetected and taking them by surprise. That, however, was all they had on their side. The others had magic, technology and a school in which to hide, and they had... guns and knives. They were obviously screwed.

“Well, for starters, it’s going to be six of us. There’s no way I’m going to sit this one out.” Claire replied to Jodi’s words.

Her guardian immediately glared angrily at her. The sheriff of Sioux Falls was about to speak again, probably threatening the girl of grounding her, but Dean was quicker.

“Oh no, there is no way we’re letting you come with us.” the older hunter said, making his brother sigh with relief “And you better not come up with something equally stupid.” he also turned towards Alex, who raised her hands and shook her head; she probably had never even thought about offering her help for the attack.

“Come on Dean, I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a hunter!” she tried to argue, but in vain. Luckily, the older Winchester wasn’t even putting it up for discussion.

“You’re not a hunter, you’re a toddler with a gun! Nothing you’ll say will ever convince us to take you along!” he stated, putting an end to it all.

Sam nodded towards his brother, to let him know that he agreed completely with what he’d said. Even though, to be honest, maybe the younger hunter would have used a little more diplomacy and less yelling. Jodi, however, was looking at Dean with gratitude in her eyes. Claire didn’t seem too happy about the reaction she’d received, considering how she was now sitting back against the couch with her arms folded over her chest, pouting like a child. Alex seemed to be amused by that reaction.

When the situation had settled down, the discussion of what they were going to do came back up. Jodi and Donna still needed to give their answer, after all. Were they going to join the brothers and Gabriel in their crazy mission to rescue Lucifer’s son from his kidnappers? Or were the three of them going to be left once again to solve everything themselves?

“About the mission. Look, at the moment we don’t know much about what might happen when we get there. There is still the possibility that Gabriel won’t lose his powers, and that might give us a real advantage. What we really need to know, right now, is just if you’re going to have our back. That’s all.” Sam said, hoping to receive a positive answer form them.

“You betcha! Count me in, boys.” Donna stated, a smile on her face.

Sam could feel himself brighten when he heard those words. Good, at least one of them was on board. All they needed was for Jodi to say yes, and then wait for Gabriel’s return, hopefully with more information about what they were going to find once inside Kendricks.

“So. How’re things going here?” a voice said out of nowhere, making everyone except for Sam jump in surprise.

Gabriel was back. The human couldn’t be sure if it was because of the grace still lodged inside his body or because he was so in love with the archangel, but Gabriel’s sudden appearance didn’t startle him at all, it only made him smile fondly. Not everyone, however, had a calm and composed reaction. Gabriel’s question was barely over when Claire shot him right through the heart. Silver bullet, probably. Sam almost had a panic attack at the sight, before he remembered that Gabriel was the one carrying the only weapon in the room that could have really hurt him. The archangel, however, had always been one for dramatics, so he let himself fall to the ground, clutching his chest and gasping for air. He was fake-dying in a very theatrical way. Sam had to bring a hand to cover half of his face to hide his amused smirk.

All of the ladies in the room immediately started to react to what they were seeing. Soon more guns were out, and Alex covered her mouth with both hands after letting out an acute scream. The situation was getting out of control, and Dean was the first one who decided to bring it back to what might have looked like normal. He moved a few steps until he was standing right over Gabriel, and then he unceremoniously started nudging the archangel’s side with his foot.

“Stop being a dick, shortie! Stand up and try to be serious, for once in your life.” the older Winchester said, probably making the others wonder what was going on.

With a sigh and a muttered “You’re no fun”, Gabriel stood back up and dusted off his clothes. Then he turned towards Claire, right hand on his hip and left pointing at the wound from where his blood was still streaming out.

“That didn’t even tickle, but you seriously messed up my shirt. If we survive this, you’re getting me a new one!” he stated, making the young blonde blink in confusion. It was obviously time for the introductions.

“Okay, okay, calm down. Please, heal yourself: you’re making a mess on the floor.” Sam told Gabriel, and the archangel rolled his eyes but he reluctantly obliged. Then the hunter turned to face the women and the girls in front of him “Everyone, meet the archangel Gabriel.”

After all of the introductions, and Alex’s “I thought an archangel would be taller” that made Dean almost choke with laughter, they were finally ready to go back to their mission. It was time for Gabriel to explain what he’d found out. Hoping, of course, that he’d actually been able to find something out in the first place.

“So, bad news: hunters these days are way more demanding than they were before. I had to revive three people and make him rich out of his mind before I got the son of a bitch to talk. I’m telling you, when this is over I’m going to make his loved ones die again in strange accidents in front of his eyes, just out of pure spite.” the archangel started to say, and he probably would have gone down that road longer if Dean hadn’t been growling at him.

Sam, however, didn’t know what to think. The creature standing in front of him in that moment was the Trickster, he didn’t even sound like the archangel he’d got to know and love in the past few months. Was Gabriel trying to act tough as a defense mechanism? Yes, that probably was the case. The important thing was that, if he really wanted to undo what he’d done for that hunter, he wouldn’t bring Jack along for a new lesson. They really didn’t need a Loki junior with all of that potential!

“Good news” Gabriel resumed to say “is that I won’t be powerless most of the time. Turns out that what’s stripping Jack of his mojo is a combination of a binding chain, a spell designed to paralyze Dad himself and a room full of sigils so strong that they make the heavy warding of your bunker look like the messy work of a one-handed toddler. Anything not entirely human will be affected upon entering the room, stripped of their life energy if I’m right, so as long as I remain outside the door we can actually do it.”

After the archangel’s explanation of what the British Men of Letters had done to Jack, the room was full of chatter. They were finally putting a real action plan together. Jodi followed Donna’s example, announcing that she was going to join them for their trip to England as long as the girls remained at home where they were safe. The sun was setting when they were finally ready to go.

Chapter Text

Every time that things for the Winchesters seemed too good to be true, they most likely ended up actually not being true at all. They thought they had a good plan, this time. Gabriel was going to teleport them to Kendricks, where they were going to look for the room where Jack was held. Sam was going to stay outside with the archangel guarding the entrance, while Dean, Jodi and Donna worked on freeing the boy. It was important that at least three people were there, because the chain, spell and sigils needed to be deactivated exactly at the same time in order to stop working. Gabriel had said that the combination of elements restraining his nephew had been the perfection of something he already knew how to work around, and no-one had any knowledge on the subject to try and contradict the archangel.

Everything seemed to be fine, and it really was, until… Donna’s phone rang. They were calling her from her sheriff station, telling her that one of her deputies had just been found dead, claw marks all over his body and heart missing. Of course, that night had to be a full moon. There was no way Donna could ignore a werewolf attacking one of her own. As sheriff, she had to get back to Stillwater to handle the difficult situation. That meant they were down one person.

“There is no other way.” Jodi said after Donna had left in a hurry “Gabriel will have to stand guard outside on his own, we will need Sam on the inside.”

“Or I could come with you.” Claire tried to pitch in, but she was ignored completely.

“Actually no, Sam can’t get inside. He’ll be affected by the sigils, he could die two steps past the door.” Gabriel objected, and Sam turned to look at him in shock.

What did it mean that entering the room where Jack was held could kill him? Why was he the only one who risked to be affected by the defense the British Men of Letters had put up against the supernatural? He really couldn’t think of a good reason for him not to be considered as a regular human.

“Is it because of the demon blood?” Dean inquired, making his brother’s blood freeze in his veins. Was that really what it was all about?

“No, that’s not an issue anymore.” the archangel replied “It’s something else. Something heavenly.”

A wink towards Sam was enough for the younger Winchester to understand. It was Gabriel’s grace. He should have thought of it himself. That room was enough to annihilate Gabriel’s powers, so of course if he were to enter it with Gabriel’s grace but without an archangel’s strength he was going to die. That was a real bump in the road for their plan, one he didn’t know how to fix.

“Something heavenly? Does it mean that one of your douchebag siblings has messed with my brother?” Dean asked in reply to Gabriel’s statement. The archangel seemed to be uncertain about what to say next, so Sam decided to act first.

“Take it back, Gabriel. I got used to it now, but you really have to take it back. I have to get inside that room, it’s the only way.” the human said, one hand clenching his shirt right in the middle of his chest. A light blush colored his cheeks when he realized that everyone was staring at him in confusion. Sam, however, didn’t want to say out loud that his body was currently hosting a portion of Gabriel’s grace. It was something intimate between the two of them, so he wanted to keep it a secret.

“Or I could come with you.” Claire tried once again, and just like before nobody paid attention to her.

“I won’t take it back, not now and not ever! I won’t let you get anywhere near Kendricks without my protection on you.” Gabriel argued loudly.

Why was Sam’s best dream quickly turning into a nightmare? Gabriel was yelling that he was never going to let Sam face danger without the archangel’s grace inside his body, he was admitting out loud that he cared a lot about the younger Winchester. Then why was Sam feeling as if he was the kid showing up at school in his underwear? He was embarrassed because he didn’t want Dean to find out about Gabriel’s grace, he didn’t want to give his brother any reason to suspect that there might have been something between himself and the archangel. Dean, faced with that notion, would have tried to extract that information from him by following his instincts, and it would have only meant outing Sam’s feelings in front of everyone.

Gabriel couldn’t know that Sam was in love with him. It would have broken the hunter’s heart to be rejected by the archangel, especially in front of the people he cared about the most. Because Gabriel cared about him, and was attracted to him, but he didn’t reciprocate what the hunter was feeling from the bottom of his heart. To avoid the humiliation and the heartbreak of public rejection, Sam needed to show that he didn’t care about Gabriel’s grace, even if that was of course a lie. He would have wanted to keep that piece of his angel close to his heart for the rest of eternity, but of course luck was never on his side.

“You have to, Gabriel. We have no other choice, if we want to rescue Jack.” Sam raised his voice, hoping that the volume was high enough to cover how much his voice was trembling.

“Or you can bring me!” Claire interrupted once more, waving her arms in the air trying to be seen.

“Or we can bring her!” Gabriel accepted, eyes never leaving Sam’s even though his finger was pointing at Claire.

No, that was out of discussion. After that, everyone there ended up yelling. Claire and Gabriel against Jodi, Dean and Sam; Alex was just neutral. Even though they were the minority, the girl and the archangel ended up winning. Unfortunately, nobody knew how to argue against Gabriel’s “If you don’t let her join us, I’ll recruit a random stranger down the street, put him under mind control and kill him as soon as we’re done.”

Sam, to be honest, didn’t think Gabriel could kill a random stranger just to prove a point. Non without bringing him back to life afterwards, anyway. What they’d just witnessed was a perfect display of Gabriel’s tantrums, and they’d just given up without a fight. In the end, however, the part of Sam that wasn’t worried about Claire’s wellbeing was feeling relieved. He still had a part of Gabriel inside him, he was not going to lose his connection to the archangel he loved.

Once her involvement in the plan was confirmed, Claire put a smug grin on her face and finally started to look satisfied. Both Dean and Jodi had their eyes narrowed to a slit, and they were eyeing Gabriel as if they wanted to murder him – which was probably true. The archangel was the one who made the final decision about Claire, after all. Sam himself didn’t like the idea of bringing the girl along, but at the same time he knew they had no other choice. If he really couldn’t enter the room while carrying Gabriel’s grace, and the archangel was so firm on not wanting to take it back, having Claire with them was their only option.

“So, your team upgraded from an angel to an archangel.” Claire started to say out of nowhere while looking at Gabriel “Where’s Castiel anyway?” she then asked turning to look at Sam. Explaining that was not going to be easy. He looked at his brother for help, but he didn’t find any. The older hunter was suddenly interested in hearing the exchange, but not in participating.

“Cas died…” he started to say, but then he stopped. Seriously, how could he explain it in a good way? She was still Jimmy Novak’s daughter, after all. As much as she hated seeing an angel walk around with her father’s face, he’d always thought she had some kind of connection with Cas.

“Good riddance!” the girl commented while folding her arms. Her sad expression, however, didn’t match her harsh words. Sam was certain that neither Gabriel nor Dean had liked Claire’s comment, but they both did a good job at maintaining a straight face.

“You don’t like Cassie very much, uhm?” Gabriel asked, probably curious about her reaction to the news concerning the angel.

“How could I like him? He might have saved my life, but he was the one who stole my father and destroyed my family in the first place!” the blonde replied.

At that point the archangel really looked confused. He was probably trying to imagine how someone as good as Cas could have done something so wrong to a human family. The fact that he wasn’t understanding the situation on his own meant that he wasn’t extracting memories from anyone, and that of course was a good thing. Therefore, Sam felt the need to fill him in on the situation. He wasn’t going to tell the whole story, of course, because it really wasn’t a good time for that, but at least he was going to explain the most important detail.

“Her father was Castiel’s vessel.” the hunter said, and Gabriel nodded to let him know that he understood.

The atmosphere, however, was starting to get tense, and they were going way off topic. They needed to stay focused on revising once again their plan of attack, just to be sure that everyone had memorized their part. Surprisingly, Dean was the one to call the group back to order for once. After that, they went to review their action plan until they all knew it by heart.

“Okay, we’re as ready as we’ll ever be. Let’s go kick Snape’s ass!” Dean stated when they had no further changes to add to their plan, comparing once again Kendricks Academy to Hogwarts. Sam chuckled at the Harry Potter reference.

“In the end Snape was one of the good guys, you know?” he replied to his brother, who looked a little surprised.

“What? I must have dozed off during the last movie…” Dean said, eyebrows raised in confusion.

Sam shook his head and tried not to laugh. If only Charlie had heard that, she would have ripped Dean a new one for falling asleep while watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2. But first of all she would have gotten mad at him for relying so much on the movies for his Harry Potter notions instead of reading the books. The younger hunter couldn’t stop a sad smile from curving his lips at the thought of how much he missed his friend. Hers was one of the deaths that had been more difficult for him to digest, especially because it was mostly his fault, as Dean had kept repeating to him for a very long time.

Kicking the thoughts of their fallen friend out his head, Sam prepared himself for the trip. They were going to cross the planet in a split second, so he was already taking deep breaths in order to manage the nausea. Every one of them was armed with how many weapons they could carry, and even Gabriel had his blade out and ready for a fight. It would have felt strange to see an archangel smite humans with that weapon, but it was of course better than the alternative: those humans killing them with whatever weapons they had at disposal. Moreover, Gabriel was still going to have his powers during the exploration of the Academy, so that was going to help them for sure.

“Should we stand in a circle and hold hands for this?” Jodi asked out of nowhere, probably not sure how she should get ready for the teleportation.

“If you want.” Gabriel shrugged while saying those words “Not that it would change anything.”

“It’s okay, just act natural and prepare for landing, because we won’t have time to adjust once we’re inside the enemy base.” Dean really answered Jodi’s question, ignoring Gabriel’s attempt at humor. Sam still found it funny, though. It reminded him of a scene out of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the one in which people wanted to put paper bags on their heads to prepare for the end of the world.

After that, everyone was ready. Sam took out a gun and held onto it with both hands. Slowly, he moved his thumb to remove the safety. A moment later, Gabriel snapped his fingers and the five of them disappeared, only leaving Alex behind. It took them the time of blinking to get from Jodi’s living room to what looked like an old and dusty classroom. The younger hunter assumed that they were somewhere inside Kendricks, exactly where they should have been.

“Okay, now stay silent and be quick. They probably have already detected our arrival. The fact that I can sneak past their warding doesn’t mean that it won’t react to my grace.” Gabriel announced, and the entire group nodded in reply.

They immediately moved as fast as possible towards the hallway outside the door. They walked in a line, with Gabriel in the front and Dean in the back. Claire, of course, was in the middle, with Sam in front of her and Jodi right behind. The younger Winchester had to admit that he liked walking in that position, because sometimes Gabriel stopped without any warning and Sam ended up bumping into him. He sure didn’t want to cause any kind of problems to the archangel during their stealth mission, but he still liked the idea of having the possibility to feel the archangel’s body with his own without raising any suspicion about his motives. And if sometimes he lingered a moment longer after bumping into Gabriel, well sue him!

Just as Gabriel had predicted, the British Men of Letters were well aware of their presence inside the Academy. At first, some random teachers and hunters came looking for them, but they ended up lying on the floor. Then those assholes sent the students after them. Those bastards were trying to catch them off guard by playing on the fact that they would have never harmed the kids willingly. Sam, of course, was the first one to stop as soon as he saw a bunch of armed pre-teens coming their way. Dean lowered his own weapon a moment later, and Claire only hesitated a second longer, before Jodi forced her to put her gun down.

They were screwed! How could they attack the kids? Those children, however, didn’t seem to be hesitating at all. They soon started firing in their direction, and they would have all died if it wasn’t for Gabriel, who easily stopped the bullets with a wave of his hand. The younger Winchester looked at the archangel with desperation in his eyes, hoping Gabriel could do something to help them get out of that situation. A snap of Gabriel’s fingers later, luckily, all of the kids fell to the ground. Sam immediately ran towards them, unwilling to believe that the archangel had just killed them all. He hadn’t; they were just asleep. A smile appeared to curve the human’s lips while he checked the neck of a young girl for a pulse. It didn’t matter how tough he acted in front of others, Gabriel was still a compassionate guy.

More kids came at them after the group started to move again. Once again, Gabriel had to use his mojo to put the all to sleep. It was a relief knowing that the archangel could to that. A shiver ran down Sam’s spine at the thought of what could have happened to them if Gabriel had lost his powers the moment they entered Kendricks. How could they have handled the shooting kids without angel mojo? He didn’t even want to have to contemplate that idea in the first place.

The more they explored the school, the more expert the people they encountered became. Were the heads of operations sending them stronger opponents the more they killed their enemies? If that was the case, it meant that they were doing a good job. Of course having Gabriel with them still at full power was a good thing. Things got complicated, however, when they reached the lower levels of the building. Based on the archangel’s information, that had always been the place where they kept their experiments. But what were they going to find in there? Was Jack being held in there?

The moment they reached the lower levels, the best of the best in the enemy’s ranks started to attack them. Some people used magic, some others used strange devices that none of them had ever seen before. Even Gabriel struggled a little in the fight, not because their opponents were stronger than him but more because he’d been caught off guard. Those sons of bitches kept catching the humans by surprise, forcing the archangel on the defense of the rest of the party. It was a relief when Dean finally shot the strongest bastard in the head.

“We’re close. I can sense everything inside this place, except one area. It’s like it doesn’t exist at all, but I know that it’s there, because I’ve been there before. So that’s where they’re keeping Jack. That’s the warded room.” Gabriel explained when they all took thirty seconds to breathe and recharge their weapons.

“Good. Let’s go, before the next wave of dicks comes in.” Dean stated, and an instant later they were moving again.

From there it didn’t take long, all they had to do was kill a few more crazy fanatics and follow Gabriel. More than one of the people they encountered ended up reminding Sam of Ketch. Not a good one to remember, that son of a bitch. It was with a great pleasure that the younger Winchester shot a guy who acted just like Ketch in the chest until he died.

Little less than one hour after appearing inside the Academy, the group of five stopped right outside a door covered in symbols that Sam couldn’t understand. Maybe Enochian writings? Jodi and Claire took out a couple of hunters, shooting at their arms and legs instead of killing them, then everything went silent. That was it. They'd found Jack. All they needed to do, now, was take him out of there. Easier said than done.

Chapter Text

It had been years – almost a century, to be accurate – since Gabriel last let himself kill some British Men of Letters fuckers, and a couple of months before his death since he last killed a human at all. At first he’d thought that maybe something had changed during that time, that he wouldn’t have felt the same joy as he had felt in the past while taking them down. He’d been wrong; it didn’t take him long to realize that smiting assholes was mostly like riding a bike. After the second round of attacks they received, the archangel was back in the game, a smile on his face while he fought. All around him, people were going down in strange ways, including that guy who got smashed under an anvil falling from the ceiling. It was exhilarating.

He could detect the attacks while they were coming, so it wasn’t difficult for him to defend the humans under his protection from any harm; he actually was even able to do it with some style, most of the time. He paid extra attention to the wellbeing of the girl who was with them, because it was basically his fault if she’d come along in the first place, and he really didn’t want her to get hurt because of him. Castiel’s vessel’s daughter; interesting character, he really wanted to know more about her. But there wasn’t the time now, he had to hold that thought for later.

Inside Kendricks Academy, Gabriel could detect the position of every single human. That was the reason why he was stunned when he realized that someone had been able to sneak up on him. It was a couple of guys with Enochian writings carved all over their bodies, from what he could see when they appeared in front of his eyes. Thankfully he had good reflexes, otherwise he would have never raised a shield – an actual, physical, metal shield with a middle finger painted on – in front of Dean and Jodi in time. It didn’t take him much to realize that those humans were most likely covered in warding against archangel detection. It probably was the same stuff that they were using to hide Jack from him. It only made Gabriel angrier.

He concentrated while moving silently around the hallways, trying to figure out what else was missing. He remembered the entire structure of the Academy from back in the day, so he was trying to sense all of the school by extending his grace all over it. If there was a part of the building that he couldn’t feel, that was where Jack was being held. It took him some time, especially considering that he had to fight in the meantime, but in the end he managed to find what he was looking for. Therefore, he kept guiding the human team until they got in front of a door.

The door itself was wooden and simple, but it was covered in Enochian markings. On top of those, several more symbols in a few different languages were overlapping, creating a pretty indestructible combination. Gabriel knew that not all of those were visible to the humans, but he didn’t care. It wasn’t important that they understood what they were up against. All they needed to know was how to stop it.

Because of his past experiences with the British Men of Letters, and thanks to his research before they left the United States, Gabriel had a pretty precise idea of what was inside that room, and consequently how to disable it. What it would have taken to get inside, however, was a whole different thing. He couldn’t know what was blocking their access until they got there.

“Interesting.” he muttered to himself while examining the door.

“Can you open it?” Dean asked, but Gabriel didn’t reply. He honestly didn’t know if he could. From what he could see, some of the markings on the door were designed specifically against the power of the archangels.

Ignoring the way everyone was staring at him, the archangel kept looking at the door from different angles. Then, he decided to try something. He raised his right hand, arm outstretched in front of him. He let himself focus, gathering all of his energy in that hand. He could feel it tickle in his fingertips, ready to explode.

“Close your eyes for a second.” he requested, and reluctantly the humans obliged.

That was he moment he let his grace out. He used all the power he could conjure up without having the place collapse on top of them, illuminating that entire section of the building with his light. He could feel several humans die in the distance, eyes burned out. When the light got back to normal, and his companions opened up their eyes again, the door was still standing right in front of them, and Gabriel’s expression was perplexed.

Yup, just like he figured, he couldn’t do a single thing to harm that door. That meant they had to get inside through the walls. They were thick and empowered by some spells, but they could go down. Not with his powers, though. With a sigh, Gabriel snapped his fingers and a duffel bag appeared in his hands. It was completely filled and pretty heavy. With a smile, the archangel handed it to Dean.

“What’s that?” the human asked while taking the bag and almost dropping it to the floor, probably not expecting that weight.

“C4. We’re going to make that wall blow up!” the archangel explained, a joyful grin on his face. He couldn’t even remember how long it had been since he last made something explode in such a spectacular way.

Sam opened his eyes so wide that Gabriel was surprised they hadn’t fallen off their sockets. The woman Jodi didn’t seem to be too convinced with their plan either, while Claire immediately reached for the bag in Dean’s hands to help him set everything up. Oh yes, Gabriel really liked that girl. Even though she sort of hated Castiel. Maybe, after bringing Cas back to life, he could do something to make things better between them. But that, of course, was a thought for later.

They succeeded in taking down one of the walls. When it exploded, some of the rubbles flew in every direction, both inside and outside the room. A pretty big piece of concrete hit Jack in the head, because the Nephilim was bleeding from a fresh wound when they could finally see him. The boy looked terrified, and when he turned around to look at the hole in the wall he didn’t seem to be able to believe what he was seeing. Did he think they’d abandoned him? Well, he was wrong. Gabriel would have turned the world upside down to bring him back. That was how much he loved his nephew.

“We’re coming for you, kiddo!” the archangel tried to reassure him.

The boy seemed to be unable to talk, since he was both bound and gagged, but his eyes shone with gratitude at Gabriel’s words. He looked like he was about to start crying, and the archangel was suddenly feeling the need to hug him and comfort him. Unfortunately, however, he wasn’t able to enter the room. He tried to get closer anyway, resting a hand against the partially collapsed wall to try and enter the hole. His whole body froze at that, he felt as if the air was kicked out of his lungs. He immediately felt weak, as if his whole energy - his whole grace - was being sucked right out of him. It was a horrible sensation. Was that what Jack had been feeling for the past few days? Of course the poor kid looked traumatized! The archangel didn’t even realize it at first, but he was growling with rage when he let go of the wall and stepped back once again.

“Okay guys, time to refresh the plan.” Gabriel said while turning to face the others, who seemed to have equally shocked expressions because of what they were seeing. The kid inside the room, after all, looked like a caged animal, hands chained to the ceiling while he was forced to stand in the middle of a room that was sucking all of his energies away.

“Now that you see the whole… situation… can you confirm what we’re dealing with?” Jodi asked, probably not finding a more adequate word to use. Gabriel stood there in silence for a moment, then he nodded.

“It’s exactly as I expected. The chain around his wrists is a powerful item, as well as the spell lingering in the room. The room itself, however, is the worst thing. Even blowing up a wall hasn’t stopped the flow of the magic in the area. So, to disable the room you will have to choose one type of symbol – I would go for the paralysis symbol if I were you – and ruin every copy of it.” he pointed a finger to one of the markings, so that everyone could see which one he was talking about “You can work together on that until there’s only one left. At that point you will have to act together. Jodi, you will destroy the last symbol. Claire, you see the bowls at the corners of the room? You have to set one on fire. And Dean, your task will be the most difficult. You’re going to need this.” Gabriel gave his explanations about what everyone had to do, and at the end he offered Dean his blade. The hunter seemed a little perplexed when he took it.

“It will be too risky for us to go look for the actual key to unchain Jack. It might get you all killed and me trapped. But I’ve seen that kind of chain before, and I know that its lock can be picked. Even though the only way to do it is with an archangel blade. Remember Dean-o, you have to be quick. I’m counting on your skills here.” the archangel gave the human his instructions, and the older Winchester nodded in understanding.

“Perfect, now go!” he commanded, and the humans immediately ran inside the room.

Gabriel gazed at Sam, who looked worried by his side. He smiled, hoping that could be enough to make his favorite human feel a little more confident. They could do it. They were doing it, actually. Soon everything was going to be over. The hunter tentatively smiled back, and that alone was enough to distract the archangel from everything else. Which resulted to be a terrible mistake.

More untraceable enemies appeared out of nowhere, and one of them shot Sam in the chest. The look of surprise on the man’s face was enough to make all color vanish from the archangel’s face. Stupid, stupid, stupid Gabriel! It was his fault, of course. He got distracted, and he couldn’t react in time. He snapped his fingers and a giant tiger covered in armor appeared between them and the two assholes who’d just shot Sam. The animal tried to kill them, and resisted their attacks in return. It was enough to chase them away.

It gave Gabriel the time to kneel beside Sam, who was lying on the ground. The younger Winchester was bleeding copiously, and he was going to die soon. He seemed to be afraid, using what remained of his ability to move to grasp Gabriel’s shirt. The archangel tried to erase the panicked expression from his own face, but he failed. He couldn’t think straight for long enough to calm his breath. He rationally knew that he had no problems healing the human, but for a few seconds it was difficult to concentrate on the task of actually doing the healing. Sam was dying in front of him, and he’d never witnessed anything more painful and terrifying in his entire life.

“SAM!” Dean yelled from inside the room, and the older Winchester started to run towards his brother. That was enough to snap Gabriel out of his panic.

“No! Stay there, take care of Jack. I got this!” he replied, ordering the human to keep on with what he was doing.

Right when Sam was passing out, Gabriel deposited both hands on his chest and used his grace to heal him. It only took a few seconds for the human to be as good as new. The archangel smiled at the hunter when he opened his eyes again. Sam touched his own chest, as if to check that everything was actually as fine as he was feeling, then he raised his gaze on Gabriel and the archangel froze. Love and gratitude were firing up those hazel eyes, taking Gabriel’s breath away once again.

“Don’t you ever try to die on me again!” Gabriel accused, because it was the only thing he could do to stop feeling that awkward sensation of… he couldn’t even recognize what it was. Loss, maybe? He wasn’t sure. Without even realizing what he was doing, however, Gabriel wrapped his arms around the human and held him close. For a moment, Sam remained still, then he reciprocated the hug.

“Gabriel… thank you.” Sam whispered, and Gabriel could only hold him tighter at that.

Losing himself in that gesture, Sam buried his face against Gabriel’s neck. His arms around the archangel’s body were strong and affectionate at the same time, and Gabriel felt goosebumps appear everywhere when the human sighed against his neck, lips lingering on his skin. That was torture!

“Let’s go!” Dean’s voice came from inside the room, and it was enough to destroy the moment. Gabriel and Sam let go of each other and stood up just in time to see the other humans come out, Dean and Jodi helping the Nephilim move and Claire walking right behind them.

“Jack!” Gabriel almost yelled, launching forward and taking his nephew away from his rescuers.

He held on to the kid as if his life depended on it, letting the boy lean against his body for support. One of his arms was wrapped around Jack’s torso, the other one was on the back of his neck. The archangel took a moment to look into the Nephilim’s eyes, and all he could see was pain. It was his fault that Jack had been captured, his fault that his nephew had suffered. And Gabriel was going to do everything in his power to make it better. He needed the boy to forgive him, because he couldn’t live with the kid’s hate.

But that wasn’t the time to lose himself in thoughts. More enemies were approaching, and they needed to go. He blinked, without even snapping his fingers, and the six of them were outside, at a safe distance from the school building.

“What are we doing here? Shouldn’t we go home or something?” Claire questioned upon realizing where they were.

“There’s something I need to do first.” Gabriel stated.

He let go of Jack, leaving the Nephilim in Sam’s caring arms, then he took a few steps to distance himself from the others. He was facing the building hosting the headquarters of the most dangerous human organization in the world. He’d thought for some time about what needed to be done about them, and he’d finally decided it was time to do what he couldn’t bring himself to do a century ago. Taking a deep unneeded breath, Gabriel raised both hands towards the building, and soon the entire construction started to shake as if under the effects of a strong earthquake. A few seconds later the school collapsed on top of the people inside it, disappearing into the ground beneath it. Kendricks Academy was no more. The British Men of Letters were no more.

“Let’s go home, now.” Gabriel announced with a sincere smile when he turned back to face the others.

The following days were difficult for everyone. Jack was back to a perfect physical condition, but psychologically he was still a mess. Gabriel could see him spend quite a lot of time staring into the void, his mind lost in thought and his body shivering. Every time he saw that, the archangel found himself clenching his fists in rage. He would have done anything to see his nephew happy once again.

Of course, since Jack wasn’t feeling like himself, his training was suspended. The boy needed to rest in order to heal, and he needed all of the support he could get for that. Sam and Dean seemed to understand completely, when Gabriel told them his thoughts on the matter. They even agreed on temporarily suspending their hunts, until Jack was feeling well enough again.

Gabriel was surprised when he realized how helpful the Winchesters were being for Jack. He could have expected it from Sam, who kept trying to include Jack in whatever he was doing around the bunker, always smiling softly at the boy to try and make him comfortable. But Dean? Had Gabriel been human, he would have gotten a heart attack when Dean took Jack to the garage, telling the boy he wanted to teach him how to fix a car without using his angel mojo. The older hunter was probably feeling guilty for being a dick when Jack was missing, but it was still a lot for Gabriel to process.

All in all, the archangel was satisfied with the entire situation in the bunker. Everything was fine. In just a month, Jack was ready to start his training again. Gabriel kept the two of them home the whole time, while the Winchesters started to go back hunting as soon as Jack was feeling well enough to see them leave without panicking. Another month later, the archangel and the Nephilim started to join the humans once again on their hunts. Everything was finally back to normal.

Chapter Text

They’d been back hunting for a couple of weeks, when Gabriel thought that Jack was ready to learn something new. He’d made a lot of progress since he got back from captivity, as if he was more focused on everything he did. He’d suddenly even started to use his powers by snapping his fingers, just like Gabriel did, or at least by concentrating in an instant when adding the snap of fingers was too much. It was a huge step in the right direction, meaning that it was time for the archangel to teach his nephew something more difficult.

In order to bring Castiel back to life, there were a few skills that Jack needed to master. One of them, of course, was how to resuscitate someone in the first place. But, in order to learn that, there was something else he needed to do first. He needed to learn how to communicate with the dead, talking to the souls of the humans that were in Heaven. It wasn’t an easy task, it required an incredibly high level of concentration. But Jack’s recent improvement was surprising, and Gabriel thought it was time to teach him how to do that.

Two days were spent on Jack focusing his energy the right way. Gabriel didn’t tell him, at first, what he was going to learn, but the boy followed his every instruction nonetheless. It was proof of how much his nephew trusted him, and the sheer thought of that made the archangel’s heart warm. When he thought the kid was ready to actually use what he was learning, he called the Winchesters too. One morning after breakfast, they all sat down in their usual spots in the living room.

“You never call us for Jack’s training sessions. What’s up?” Sam inquired, curious to know why they were asked to witness the Nephilim’s training for the day. Dean didn’t say a word, but his facial expression was saying as much as his brother’s words.

“I thought this could be fun for you too.” Gabriel justified himself while looking from a Winchester to the other, then he turned once again towards his nephew “Today, Jacky, you’re going to learn how to talk with the souls of the dead in Heaven.” he stated with a satisfied smile.

Everyone went silent at that. The humans were speechless, their mouths hanging slightly open. Gabriel thought it was a pretty hilarious sight. Jack, on the other hand, just looked surprised. The archangel smiled encouragingly towards his nephew, hoping that could be enough to build some confidence inside the kid.

“Do you really think I might have the power to do that?” Jack asked, probably doubting his own skills.

“’Course you can.” Gabriel commented while patting the Nephilim on the back “Every angel has the power to talk to the dead, so you can do it even better!”

A tense silence followed the archangel’s words. His eyes were still fixed on Jack, just to make sure that his nephew wasn’t going to panic or anything like that. His grace, however, was outstretching all over the room. Even though his eyes were not gazing at the Winchesters, he could still feel their discomfort. Was that concept too much for the two of them to process? If there were any humans who could understand and accept something like that on that planet, it would have been them. Had he been mistaken, when he’d thought they could handle the concept of something like that even being possible?

“Hey, wait a sec. You said that every angel can talk to the dead, but you’re lying.” Sam started slowly, and Gabriel was actually curious to see where he was getting at “A few years ago, Cas and I contacted Bobby in Heaven. In order to speak to him, we had to use a psychic as a medium.” the hunter finished. He looked confused, and soon his brother mimicked his expression. Winchesters, always the clever ones, still always missing some pieces of the puzzle. There was a reason if Gabriel had always found them to be so amusing!

“You have to consider that, after what Metatron did to him, Cassie’s mojo has never been the same again. In addition to that, in that moment he wasn’t even using his own grace. And that’s not all. I don’t think anyone had ever even bothered to teach Cas how to do that stuff in the first place. After all, angels are supposed to be able to fly in and out of Heaven whenever they want, right? The higher ranks most likely never bothered passing down the knowledge about some of the things they could do, so Cas probably didn’t even know that talking to souls in Heaven was within his powers.” Gabriel explained.

His eyes suddenly got clouded with rage, and the archangel couldn’t do anything to stop it from happening. All he could do was turn around abruptly to face the floor, not wanting to be seen getting emotional over something like that. From his high horse, Gabriel still thought that his siblings were just winged dicks who needed to learn how to live in a world that their Father had given to the humans. Nevertheless, some part of him surprisingly still cared about whether they lived or died. He was okay with knocking them down a peg or two, Dad only knew if they deserved it, but what Metatron had done to them? That was outright cruel. It was too much, even for the Trickster, and he despised having to think about it.

“Anyways, I know how to talk to the souls in Heaven, and I can teach the trick to someone else.” Gabriel said while - so suddenly - going back to normal. If the humans noticed his moment of weakness, they didn’t point it out, and he was grateful about that.

“Do you mean that you might actually be useful? Wonders never cease!” Dean commented in a sarcastic tone, laughing at his own joke.

“Gee, thank you Dean! I really appreciate your love and devotion!” Gabriel replied; two could play the game of sarcasm, and there was no way the archangel was ever going to lose to a human.

Dean tilted his head back to face the ceiling, but Gabriel couldn’t stop from noticing that there was a smirk curving his lips. Not far away from his brother, Sam was grinning openly. After all that they’d been through, after the tension when Jack had disappeared, those two humans seemed to be perfectly at ease joking around with Gabriel. Sometimes he still found himself wondering how that was even possible, nonetheless he felt lucky by thinking that he had a place in the lives of the Winchester brothers.

“Uncle Gabriel… does it mean that I can talk to my mother?” he heard his nephew ask, and the smiles fell off everyone’s lips. That was not going to be an easy conversation for the archangel, he knew that. But at the same time he needed to explain to the Nephilim why he wasn’t allowed to talk to his mother.

“Actually, kiddo, you sort of can’t.” Gabriel said, staring into his nephew’s eyes while they suddenly darkened.

“Why?” the boy asked, and Gabriel sighed heavily before he started to reply.

“Because it’s the natural order of things, kid. In order for you to be born, you mother had to die. It sucks, I know that, but it’s just how things have to be. I understand that you would like to talk to her, and I’m sure that one day you will. It will give you closure, being able to say goodbye to her.” the archangel stopped for a moment, feeling something that reminded him of guilt when Jack’s eyes, filled with sorrow yet not with tears, pointed towards the floor.

“Right now, however, you’re not ready for that. Honestly, would you be able to talk to her without feeling the need to see her, to bring her back? Succumbing to that desire will mean to disrupt the natural order of things for selfish reasons, and I won’t allow you to do it. You need to be more mature, more in control, before you can be trusted with talking to your mother.” Gabriel finished explaining, and he saw Jack nod in silence.

With the corners of his eyes, he watched the Winchester brothers exchange a knowing look. His words had probably sank in with them too. After all, there had never been other beings – human or not – who had disrupted the natural order of things as much and as often as those two. At some point they needed to learn the lesson. And maybe, just maybe, Gabriel teaching Jack about the risks of screwing with nature’s course was going to help them get there. The archangel, however, was confident that, even though they seemed to understand his speech now, each of them would have thrown away every good intention in case the other got in danger. That was how the world had gotten close to the end more than a few times, after all.

“I understand. Probably I’m not ready yet for that judgement call, so I will follow your instructions. You know what’s best for me.” Jack said all of a sudden, and Gabriel felt his heart warm up once again. He’d been with the Nephilim for months, yet he still got surprised every time his nephew gave him a demonstration of how much he trusted the archangel.

“Good. Now smile for me, okay? We’re going to have some fun today!” Gabriel announced, and soon he could feel everyone’s attention focused on himself once again.

“If we can’t contact my mother, who should I be talking to? I don’t know anyone else who’s dead.” the boy asked, a shy smile coming back to his face. With a wicked grin, the archangel turned to face alternately between Sam and Dean.

“You two, is there someone you would really like to talk to?” was Gabriel’s question. He knew they’d lost a lot of people who were near and dear to them, so he was sure they had a list of people they wanted to contact.

“Bobby!” they both exclaimed at the same time, without even spending a second longer to think about it. Gabriel couldn’t help but smile at that. That old drunk had really meant so much for those two, raising them even though it wasn’t really his place. The archangel chuckled at that thought, eyes lingering on Jack. After all, he was doing the exact same thing.

“Very well, Bobby it is!” he almost yelled while clapping his hands once.

“I don’t know who this Bobby is. How can I manage to talk to him?” his nephew asked, and Gabriel smiled in reply.

“Don’t worry about that. So, let’s start with the basics. You will need to concentrate like we trained to do these past few days. But first, you need something to recognize Bobby by.” Gabriel started to explain, turning to look at the Winchesters a moment later “You two, I need you to think of your happiest memory of Bobby. Jack will download those memories from your minds, and they’ll help him find Bobby.”

“Will it hurt?” Sam inquired. He probably still couldn’t think about Jack reading someone’s mind without remembering what he’d done to Gabriel the first time they’d met. The archangel had to admit it hadn’t been pretty, but the Nephilim had improved a lot since then, so the humans had no need to worry about something like that happening again.

“No, it won’t. You won’t even realize I’m there, and I’ll be out in a second.” Jack reassured the younger Winchester, just to prove Gabriel’s mental point. The kid was good at that, now.

The Winchesters reluctantly nodded, and Jack extended both arms so that he could touch their foreheads with his fingers. His eyes burned gold for a second, then he withdrew his hands. Sam and Dean both looked at him with perplexed expressions painted on their faces, probably incredulous because it was already over.

“I’m done. What should I do now?” Jack asked, and Gabriel turned his full attention on him once more.

“Now you concentrate. You will need to focus on nothing other than Bobby, extending your grace to reach for Heaven. Once you’ve established a contact with Heaven, just look for Bobby. Thoughts of him will be enough to help you find him. Come on, try it.” he encouraged his nephew.

The boy did as he was told. Just to be sure, Gabriel did his best to ignore the trepidation radiating from the humans and focused on Jack’s grace. He didn’t want to help the kid, but he still wanted to be there to guide his nephew in case of need. Minutes passed in complete silence, Jack trying to sense around Heaven and Gabriel following his every move.

“I think I found him! Yes, uncle Gabriel, I found Bobby!” Jack yelled with joy, and Gabriel had to suppress a laugh when he felt with his grace that Bobby Singer, sitting somewhere inside his house that represented his own Heaven, jumped in surprise when Jack’s voice suddenly came out of and old radio.

“Who’s there?” Gabriel could hear Bobby’s voice inside his head.

“You did good, kid. We can hear him, and he can hear us. But Sam and Dean can’t read our minds. So concentrate on the space around you, and let your grace broadcast his voice inside the room.” the archangel gave once again instructions on what to do next.

Jack focused even more, and Gabriel felt the boy’s grace slowly slip away. He was starting to lose control. The archangel was about to step in and help his nephew contain his powers, but the Nephilim managed to re-establish control on his own. There were no words to describe how proud of him Gabriel was. A smile was brightening his face when he heard Bobby Singer’s voice loud and clear in the living room of the bunker, as if it was emanating from the walls.

“Bobby, can you hear us?” Sam said immediately, looking incredibly on edge. Dean didn’t look much different.

“Sam? Is that you?” Bobby asked, probably not believing what he was hearing.

“It’s us, Bobby! How are you feeling?” Dean immediately answered with a question of his own.

“I’m dead, you idjits!” the man replied, and Gabriel couldn’t stop himself from laughing at that.

“Hey Bobby, remember me? It’s Gabriel, the super-awesome archangel!” he decided to pitch in.

“Oh yes, I remember well enough you trying to kill me.” the dead man stated.

“Oh please, you’re going to make me blush…” Gabriel commented, making everyone laugh.

The group kept talking for some time. They introduced Jack to Bobby, and they quickly explained their current situation to the former hunter. It was needless to say that Bobby wasn’t pleased with Sam and Dean’s endless streak of potentially world-ending disasters, but he seemed to be glad that at least Lucifer’s child had ended up being a good kid. Everything was unicorns and rainbows, until Bobby asked Gabriel one specific question.

“So now that you’re back, what? You just teach your nephew how to be like you?” Bobby asked.

“Well, that’s the fun part of my new life, but I actually have a job now. Ruler of Heaven.” Gabriel explained. Silence on the other end of the line made him suspect for a second that Jack had dropped his concentration, even though he knew it wasn’t the case.

“The damned Trickster is the Ruler or Heaven?” he heard the dead human say after a while “Balls! That’s why the entire place is going to shit!”

“Hey, what do you mean by that? I’m doing an awesome job delegating the crappy stuff to other angels!” Gabriel tried to defend himself, pouting in a theatrical way and folding his arms over his chest.

After a little more than thirty minutes of conversation, Jack was getting tired and his concentration started to falter. That was when Gabriel decided to put an end to their heavenly phone call. After lunch, however, he asked for the entire group to sit down together in the living room once again. Just like that morning, he started talking about communication with a soul located somewhere else. This time, however, he was talking about Hell.

“Angels can only communicate with Heaven, but archangels are stronger. They can talk to Hell as well. I would like to give it a try, to see if Jack has the power to do that too.” Gabriel explained to everyone, then he addressed his nephew directly “I mean, the principle is the same. The only difference is that this time you will have to extend downwards instead of upwards.”

“But who do we even know in Hell?” Dean inquired, probably forgetting about someone.

Gabriel’s first thought was to try with Adam Milligan, Michael’s vessel down in the Cage. It could have been a good occasion for Sam and Dean to apologize to their little brother for having him thrown inside the Cage in the first place. Then, on second thought, the archangel changed his mind. Adam was in the most guarded place in Hell, and his only company there was an archangel who’d gone insane quite some time ago. Michael could have tried to block Jack out, or worse to grab him and pull him in. The kid wasn’t strong enough to go against the most powerful of the archangels, not yet anyway. And being completely out of his mind didn’t make Michael weaker, just more dangerous.

They ended up trying to call some dick Gabriel had killed a few years back, that resulted in an incredibly awkward conversation. But at least it worked, and that was on the plus side.

Chapter Text

During the first few days after Jack’s rescue, the Nephilim was always on edge and ready to panic at the slightest movement. It wasn’t pretty, but at least the boy was hanging out in the bunker with the rest of them instead of hiding in his bedroom. That was a good start, it meant he was willing to let himself heal and forget the horrible experience that he’d been forced to live.

Gabriel was never leaving his nephew’s side, ready to give Jack whatever he needed at any moment. The younger Winchester really appreciated what the archangel was doing, because it meant that he really cared about the boy. He was also glad to see that Jack was reacting well to the attentions he was receiving, meaning that at least he wasn’t going to close up to the other occupants of the bunker. He still wasn’t talking about his experience, but Sam was pretty sure the kid would have needed more time for that.

Following Gabriel’s example, Sam did his best to be there for the traumatized Nephilim. He started spending time with the boy, reading or watching TV. Sometimes they just sat together in the living room of the bunker in complete silence, without doing anything at all. During those moments, the hunter could see Jack slowly relax until he was perfectly at ease in that situation.

Dean was doing his part to help taking care of Jack as well. He was spending most of the day in the garage, fixing the old cars the Men of Letters had left there in the 50s. Some of them were fine, some others still needed some work. One day he called the Nephilim and asked him to join him, and soon he started teaching the boy how to work on the cars without using his mojo.

Sam was mesmerized at the sight of that. He would have never expected that his brother could do something like that to help Jack. Not after the way he’d spoken about the boy when he was missing. Did it mean that Dean hadn’t really meant what he’d said that day in the war room? Did it mean that he’d not been suffering every time he was in the same room with the Nephilim? Or was he just trying to apologize for being a dick, while secretly still feeling resentment towards the boy? There was no way for the younger Winchester to know that for sure without asking his brother, and there was no chance he was going to do that. Dean was not the type to talk about his feelings, and Sam had learned a long time ago not to provoke him on the matter.

A month after Jack’s rescue, Sam was glad to see that everything was finally getting back to normal. The boy was laughing at Gabriel’s jokes and he even announced that he was ready to resume his training. When Dean brought up the idea of going back to hunting, the archangel was the one who suggested to keep the boy home for a little bit longer, but the Nephilim didn’t show any worry at the thought that the Winchesters were leaving for a few days. That probably meant that he was feeling fine.

It felt strange to be on the road with Dean again, the two of them alone inside the Impala all day, every day. A part of Sam was glad for the time he got to spend with his brother, but at the same time he was feeling a little nervous. Gabriel’s grace was still inside his body, after all. Even though that was exactly what Sam wanted, it still caused him some unpleasant situations.

Like that time he was out at a bar to collect information about a rugaru, and the bartender winked at him with a flirtatious smile. She was hot, but she wasn’t Gabriel. Sam felt a burning sensation around his heart, that only stopped when he let his mind travel once again towards the archangel. That was the first time he’d captured the attention of another human being since receiving Gabriel’s grace, and it was also the first time he let himself think about someone else for a second. He soon realized that trying to take his mind off the archangel was a pointless waste of energy, because it was always going to get back there at some point.

When Jack was well enough to go back hunting, all of the residents of the bunker started traveling together as they used to do before. It meant having once again Gabriel inside the Impala, teasing Sam in any way the archangel could think of. It was torture for the younger hunter, who was forced to keep a jacket in his lap so that his brother wouldn’t notice his perpetual boner. It was also difficult for him to take care of his erection, considering that he was sharing a bedroom with Dean, and the older hunter really didn’t need to know what he was doing.

One night, Dean decided to hit the nearest bar for a game of pool. He didn’t ask Gabriel and Jack to come along, but he asked Sam. The younger Winchester faked a yawn and told his brother he just wanted to go to sleep. The moment he was alone, he took his clothes off and sat down on his bed, back against the wall and legs spread. He closed his eyes and pictured Gabriel in his mind while he jerked off.

When he was coming, Sam whispered the archangel’s name under his breath, in between moans. A noise of shattered glass came from the room on the other side of the wall, followed by Jack’s panicked inquiry about what was wrong and Gabriel’s annoyed reply to shut his mouth and go back to sleep. Those voices, however, barely registered in the hunter’s mind, while he spilled all over himself with the archangel’s name on his lips. The grace inside his body was burning hot, warming him from the inside and intensifying his pleasure.

When he came down from the high of his orgasm, the younger Winchester finally let himself consider what was happening. That was the moment that realization hit him like a punch in the face. Gabriel had just reacted to him masturbating. But he hadn’t been loud enough for the archangel to hear him, so it meant that he’d been able to feel the hunter some other way. Was Gabriel’s grace acting as a connection between the two of them in such an obvious way? Had Sam been jerking off thinking about Gabriel for months, with the object of his desire perfectly able to sense everything that was happening?

If Gabriel had been able to hear, or at least feel, Sam jerking off every day for the past few months, he’d never given any indication that he knew. Did it mean that he was okay with that? Did he like the idea of Sam going crazy while thinking about him? Did he just not care about what the human was doing? Maybe, however, that was the final proof that Sam needed in order to convince himself that Gabriel definitely liked him back. After all, the archangel would have told him to stop, had he not liked the idea of being the object of Sam’s sex fantasies!

After that event, Sam paid even more attention to the archangel’s reactions to everything he did. Nothing, however, seemed to be any different than it had always been. Gabriel was still making him crazy with his sexual jokes and innuendos, and he still did his worst to make the hunter feel uncomfortable and aroused in front of his brother.

After Jack’s powers allowed the Winchester brothers to talk to Bobby in Heaven, Dean was always in a pretty good mood. It was a strange phenomenon to witness, but Sam wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Seeing his brother smiling more, the younger hunter soon realized that he was feeling happier too. The only problem in his life, at the moment, was Gabriel.

The more time went by, the closer Sam was getting to his breaking point. Gabriel kept teasing him every day, and at some point he really couldn’t take it any longer. Sam knew that he was deeply and hopelessly in love with Gabriel, as well as he knew that the archangel didn’t feel the same way about him. But the angel liked him, he wanted Sam back, that was for sure. That was the reason why the hunter decided that he was going to get whatever he could from the archangel he loved, even if that ended up being nothing more than a night of sex.

How was he going to do that, though? That was still uncertain. He soon realized, however, that planning for something like that to happen was pointless. He just had to wait for the perfect moment to present itself, and seize the opportunity before it could get too late. Enduring all of that sufferance, however, was just pure torture.

They had just finished dinner, and the four inhabitants of the bunker were getting comfortable in their usual seats in the living room. When they weren’t out on a hunt, they usually spent the evenings watching TV or talking about themselves. On that specific evening, Gabriel was the one who was talking. He was telling the others about his relationship with Kali, using probably too many details. Jack looked clueless and confused, Dean was disgusted and Sam was hard. Why couldn’t he even listen to the archangel speaking without having an erection? Sometimes he really hated his cock for having a mind of its own!

The subject then changed towards porn. In that moment, Chuck was probably laughing at Sam, the hunter was sure about it. Because God wanting to prank him was the only reason he could imagine for having the archangel of his dreams talking non-stop about himself having sex with other people. Soon Gabriel was explaining how he’d been able to feature himself in the Casa Erotica 13 DVD that he’d given Dean before his final battle with Lucifer. He was pacing around the room while talking about the girl in the video, and how much she’d liked the experience she had with him to film that customized version of the famous porno.

Sam’s eyes were glued on Gabriel while he talked about having sex, and he was so aroused he couldn’t keep his legs closed any longer. Therefore, the hunter spread his legs and made sure that the erection tenting his jeans was visible to the archangel. The position of his arm on his leg, in addition to that, was strategic, as it was preventing his brother and Jack to see that he was essentially parading his dick.

Gabriel seemed to notice his position, but his reaction wasn’t what Sam could have expected. He saw the state the younger Winchester was in, and he laughed. A moment later he had to say out loud that he’d just remembered a funny joke about a vampire porn star, but when he told the joke for Dean to hear, Sam was certain the archangel had just pulled it out of his ass. He was the one Gabriel had been laughing at. His sexual frustration was so amusing for that jackass? He needed to make him pay, then. All he needed to do was wait for Jack and Dean to get tired of the conversation and go to bed.

When they were finally alone, Sam decided it was time to act. The bulge in his pants was hurting, and the smirk on Gabriel’s face was both turning him on and making him angry. He locked eyes with the archangel, making sure to keep staring into those amber depths for as long as he could. Gabriel’s smile didn’t falter for a moment. Without even realizing it, Sam jumped to his feet and moved a few steps towards the archangel.

“Why do you always do this to me?” he asked, his voice stronger than he intended, his anger filling the room. Gabriel kept smirking.

“Because I know you like me, and I love messing with you.” was the angel’s reply. Those words could only make Sam angrier. No, it wasn’t the truth. Not the entire truth, at least. Not anymore. He knew that Gabriel had, at some point, started to like him back, he could just feel it. Nowadays there was lust in the archangel’s eyes, every time he had fun making Sam get hard in public.

“That’s not true. I really think you like me back. Just admit it!” the way Sam stepped closer while pronouncing those words was almost predatory.

“Do you?” Gabriel chuckled like a mischievous kid, making fun of the hunter and his assumptions. Damned fucking archangel! Why did he have to humiliate Sam that way? And why was Sam allowing him to go on?

In a fit of rage, letting his pride take control, the younger Winchester closed the distance between the two of them and pushed Gabriel against the wall with all of his strength. The archangel let him, and a moment later Sam slammed his body against the angel’s. The hunter rested his left forearm against the wall, while the right hand went to fist around Gabriel’s hair.

“I know you fucking want me too.” he said directly to Gabriel’s ear. Then, without wasting another second, he attacked the archangel’s mouth with his own.

He kissed ferociously, as if his life depended on it. Gabriel, however, didn’t do anything. He didn’t pull back, but he didn’t respond either. The way he was just standing there, without moving a single muscle, was infuriating. Had he wanted Sam to stop, he would have done something about it; he was way stronger than a simple human, after all. But if he didn’t want Sam to stop, why wasn’t he kissing back?

Furious, Sam licked Gabriel’s lips until he was able to part them. Once he succeeded, his tongue got full access inside the archangel’s mouth, searching for the angel’s tongue. Still no reaction from Gabriel.

Kiss me back! Damn it Gabriel, kiss me back! Please! Sam was thinking, hoping, praying. The voice inside his head sounded commanding but desperate at the same time. He didn’t know what to do anymore. That was the moment he felt Gabriel’s tongue caress his own. The archangel was finally kissing him back.

Before he could even realize what he was doing, Sam tightened his hand in Gabriel’s hair, and he brought the other one to the back of the angel’s neck, pushing him further into the kiss. Both of the archangel’s hands moved to grab his ass, pushing him harder towards his body, and Sam could finally feel happiness explode inside him. He’d been right all along. It was mutual, Gabriel wanted him too. He was in such bliss that he thought he could cry.

Sam kept kissing Gabriel voraciously for less than a minute, then he heard the snap of fingers. A moment later his head hit the wall, his hands grasping thin air. The archangel had vanished. How was that even possible? It wasn’t right! He’d spent months pining like a schoolgirl, enduring Gabriel’s efforts to turn him on in front of other people just for fun, jerking off at the thought of the angel’s intense eyes staring at him with lust. He’d finally gathered enough balls to kiss him, to keep on kissing him until Gabriel kissed back, and then what? He fucking vanished in the middle of the kiss!

“FUCK!” tears of rage and humiliation were streaming down Sam’s face when he hit the wall with a fist.