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SAM AND GABRIEL AGAINST THE WORLD

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If Sam was being honest, Gabriel was not his main priority. Not with Dean, Mom, and Jack lost in the ether somewhere while Sam was stuck in the bunker. Sam needed to be with Dean more than Ketch did. Yea, he got why Dean did it, but he trusted himself to have Dean’s back, not some defected Men of Letters who screwed up their mom. Sam sighed, running his hands over his face. He glanced back at the broken archangel and Gabriel literally flinched. Great. Just great.

“Let’s get you patched up.” Sam moved Gabriel like he had seen Ketch do. He firmly took him by the arm, used clear but direct language, and didn’t leave room for discussion. “Shower’s in here.” Gabriel’s mouth was less grotesque now that it was free of the stitches-- Sam would probably have nightmares about those. Sam prodded Gabriel into the bathroom, got the shower running for him, making sure the water was just right before he checked out. “Get clean.” Gabriel whimpered and dodged out of Sam’s way as the hunter strode back to the door. “Be done when I come back.” Sam sighed, shutting the door behind him. Gabriel wasn’t right… but Sam didn’t know how to help him right now.

Sam was off. Dean’s departure had rocked him, almost losing Dean to a crazy-ass goddess had rocked him, Dean going back to buddy-buddy with Ketch had rocked him. Sam sank into the chair, burying his face in his hands. Tears were threatening to fall, but he couldn’t afford to fall apart right now. He needed to keep it together for Dean. They had lost so many-- Sam couldn’t lose Dean too. He tried to focus on the positive-- that it would all work out and everyone would be home, safe and sound. He just ended up pacing instead.

He glanced at his watch, grimacing as he realized an hour had gone by. He hadn’t expected Dean to be back that quickly. He just got more and more anxious as he saw that time was indeed passing, drawing them closer to the moment when he would have to decide what to do next. Sam didn’t want to make that call. He didn’t want to factor in that there might be a supercharged Prince of Hell combing the earth for Ketch and Gabriel.

Oh shit. Gabriel. Sam got up from his chair and hurried down to the bathroom he had left Gabriel in. Knocking on the door, he called out the archangel’s name. When he got no response, he let himself in, relieved and worried that the door was still unlocked. “Gabriel?” He called out. The archangel wasn’t in the bathroom area where his tattered clothes were, but the shower water was still running behind the curtain. Not sure of what he would find, Sam put one hand on his gun as he reached out to grab the curtain. He pulled it back to reveal a naked archangel shivering in the corner of the bathtub, directly under the spray of ice cold water. The nervous dart of red-rimmed eyes reminded Sam that he wasn’t the only person hurting in this bunker.

Dean had been right. Sam sucked in a breath. He twisted the gauge towards the red patch, hoping that there was still some hot water in the bunker. Dean was right. Gabriel needed one of them here. Gabriel needed to get settled in. He was no less terrified of Sam than he had been since he arrived. “I’m sorry, Gabriel. I thought you were getting between me and Dean again.” It stung to admit that out loud. Sam thought he was well past the Mystery Spot, but Gabriel had fucked up that time. Sam hadn’t learned to live without Dean, no, he only learned to dread it more. The only time he had even been remotely had been okay was when he had settled down with Amelia and Riot. “I’m sorry.” He murmured again, testing the water. He was relieved to find the water warm. Gabriel looked startled by the sudden warmth, glancing over at Sam again with anxious eyes. His eyes looked so dim. Sam realized that Gabriel had been in hell far longer than he had been. Archangel or not: it had taken more than its toll.

Sam took in Gabriel’s condition. While he was less bloody and less dirty-- he still wasn’t clean. Sam grabbed two washcloths and the bottle of body wash. Dean had splurged on Old Spice apparently. “I’m going to help you get clean.” Sam pressed a washcloth into Gabriel’s hands. After a few minutes, it became clear that Gabriel was only interesting in wringing the cloth in his hands and Sam was the only one actually doing any cleaning. Taking care of Gabriel’s wounds-- how was an archangel still so injured? Sam scrubbed Gabriel down until Gabriel’s skin was back to a semi-normal shade. Sam had him stand up when he shampooed his filthy hair. Gabriel tilted his head back and closed his eyelids as Sam washed God knows how many years worth of grime and blood out of his hair. “There.” Sam leaned back and gave Gabriel’s new appearance a critical eye. “I’ll wrap you up in towels right now. I need to stitch you up before I can dress you.” Gabriel whined, apparently still not using his voice, not that Sam blamed him.

Sam blinked. He didn’t want to think about hell or his time there. If he had his soul when he first came back, he would be as passive and terrified as the archangel in front of him. He shook those thoughts from his mind, longing to forget the terror that was still buried deep inside him. He needed to keep it together. He had to keep it together. For Dean, for Mom, for Jack, and now for Gabriel-- Sam just had too much at stake to lose it now. “Gabriel, what the hell happened to you?” Sam asked, but Gabriel wasn’t looking at him anymore. Gabriel was staring over his shoulder, the look of fear almost as distracting as the fresh piss now on the floor underneath him. Sam glanced over his shoulder to see the grinning face of the last prince of hell.

“I happened to him, Sam Winchester.” Asmodeus smiled from the doorway. Sam went to turn, to shoot, to do something, but something struck the back of his head and everything went dark.