Gabriel doesn’t sleep well without his flock around him.
He’s usually the first one to bed - still recovering from coming back to life, from the ripping of his Grace from his chest. It’s left a hollow, heavy exhaustion in his chest and, happy as he is to be back, being awake takes a lot out of him.
His flock doesn’t mind. They understand that he’s adjusting, that his vessel is recuperating and getting used to running on food and sleep instead of pure Grace, and when he announces that he needs to sleep at seven in the evening none of them complain.
Instead, they smile at him, and Dean nods, eyes flicking away from the tv. “Sure,” he says, easily, over Doctor Sexy’s husky tenor in the background. “I’m nearly ready to hit the sack, too. I’ll be with you in…” He frowns at the dvd player, trying to work out how much time the episode has to run. “Half an hour?”
Gabriel nods, smiles a little, and slips out of the room.
Their bedroom’s taken a bit of an upgrading since Gabriel came back - the human way, since none of them have any Grace any more. There’s not a bed anywhere they’ve managed to find big enough to fit them all, so they’ve improvised, done away with the bed frame and zip-tied two double mattresses together, covering them with pillows and blankets so they can all curl up together at night.
Like them, it’s a little unorthodox, but - also like them - it works.
Gabriel strips down quickly, pulling off his jeans, shirt, and undershirt and changing into jogging bottoms and an oversized t-shirt of Sam’s, his preferred sleepwear. The bed’s cold without anyone in it, and he shivers a little as he slips under the sheets, wishing for his Grace so he could warm it instantly. His body heat will, eventually, warm it up, but until then the pillow is unpleasantly cool beneath his head, blankets chilly against his feet.
True to his word, Dean arrives half an hour later, yawning widely as he nudges the door open with one foot. Gabriel’s still awake, but sleepy, lying in the pile of cushions and blankets they call their bed and staring with heavy-lidded eyes at the wall, breathing slow.
"So much for needing to sleep, huh?" asks Dean as he steps out of his jeans, kicking them in a pile over by the dresser - Sam will tell him off for that later on - and heads over to the bed, dropping down cross-legged next to Gabriel.
Gabriel sighs, smiling a little. “Don’ sleep well on m’own,” he says quietly, voice slurred and vulnerable with tiredness. “Y’know that.”
"Yeah," says Dean, stroking a hand through Gabriel’s hair. "But I’m here now, okay?" He lies down, moulding himself to Gabriel’s side and throwing a leg over Gabriel’s hips in an easy, proprietary gesture. "So try to get some rest."
Humming non-committally, Gabriel nods, Dean’s stubble rough against his cheek. It’s good, having Dean next to him, the hunter’s heartbeat steady against his shoulder, but it’s not quite perfect. Not yet.
Sam’s the next to join them, maybe an hour later. Neither Gabriel nor Dean are asleep, but they’re close, both dozing easily and sprawled out across the bed. He looks at them fondly as he strips down to his boxers, lips twisting into an easy smile at the way Dean’s wrapped himself around Gabriel.
Despite his frequent protestations to the contrary, Sam knows his brother is a cuddler.
"Castiel’s coming soon," he promises as he picks up his clothes, sighs at Dean’s crumpled up jeans and picks them up too, puts them away after folding them. "He just wanted to shower, he shouldn’t be long."
"Mmh," manages Gabriel, sleepy and reluctant to move too much, squinting at Sam through the darkness of the room. "Good."
"Shower addict," mutters Dean, eyes opening just a crack, before whining when Sam moves towards Gabriel’s other side. "Nooo," he whines quietly. "Sammy, c’mon…"
Sighing, Sam goes to lie next to him instead, pressing himself up against his brother’s back and draping an arm over Dean’s shoulders so he can touch Gabriel’s chest, a leg over his ankles so he can touch Gabriel’s food with his own. “Clingy,” he whispers in Dean’s ear, kissing the shell of it, and smiling when he feels Dean’s gentle laughter in his own chest.
Castiel finally joins them - naked as the day he was born and his hair still a damp mess from the shower - nearly twenty minutes later and sprawls across the side of Gabriel not covered by Winchesters. Finally, finally, Gabriel lets the last of the tension ease out of his muscles as Castiel slides under the blankets, curling his body so it slots perfectly against Gabriel’s and burying his nose in his big brother’s neck.
"Bout time," mumbles Dean, sleepily, one eye cracking open at Castiel’s arrival before falling slowly shut again. "Long freakin’ shower…"
"Shhh," murmurs Sam, and Gabriel feels him shift against Dean, the leg thrown across his knees twitching a little as the hunter rearranges himself. Dean falls silent again, his breath huffing warmly against
Then, and only then - nestled deep in the softness of the bed and surrounded by the warm, breathing bodies of his flock - can he fall asleep.