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Descent of the Archangel

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Sam wasn’t sure what to think. It felt like a dream—a nightmare, actually. From years ago when the first Apocalypse was nigh.

“Are you gonna do something stupid?”

“Like what?”

“Like Michael stupid.”

They’d almost lost him once, and now . . .

Sam closes his eyes, clenching his jaw. And now there wasn’t anything to do to save him. Cas had shut down, locking himself in his room. Jack was human now, or at least pretty close to it. The only relatively good thing was that Lucifer is dead.

Sam wasn’t sure if it was worth it in the end. Because now, they had to deal with an Archangel who wanted to end the world. Again.

He sighs. Why couldn’t they just get a break. Just once. He looks at the ceiling, glaring at a God that wasn’t there.

“Why’s it always gotta be us?” he asks quietly. “Why can’t it just . . . stop? Stop trying to end, stop making us clean up it’s messes.” Sam closes his eyes, tears falling. “Why . . .”

He pauses. Complaining wouldn’t get him anywhere. Trying to contact something that wasn’t listening just created a false hope. Well, not hope. False belief. That things might actually get better.

Sighing, Sam lies down on his bed. Perhaps it would be easier to deal with all this in the morning. After he’d had time to sort through his thoughts. Deciding this seemed like the best option, he closes his eyes and drifts off to sleep.

-

It was dark. Well, most of the time. Pitch dark. So dark, Nyx herself seemed to inhabit the area. But there was also light. A cold, harsh, blinding light. It brought pain. Actually, they did. There were two. At first, he’d thought they were one. They looked so similar. But one was more cruel. Most of the time, at least.

Sam lets out a whimper when he sees it approaching. It was too far to tell which one by face alone, but this was the brighter one. The more ruthless one.

“Hey there, Sammy. How’s it goin’?”

Sam tries to look away, succeeding only marginally.

The being pouts. “Aw, come on. I thought we were finally getting somewhere.”

Sam doesn’t say anything. This felt wrong somehow. More wrong than usual. There was something . . .

“You gonna answer me? I’m not a very patient guy.”

A thought lances through Sam’s mind. One so good, it seemed untrue.

“You’re dead,” he says. “This . . . this isn’t real.”

The being smiles wickedly. “And what makes you so sure of that?”

Doubt clouds his mind. Was it right? No, it wasn’t. It hadn’t done anything but lie and deceive.

“Because . . . this doesn’t feel right.”

An amused light takes hold in it’s eyes. “Oh, it never feels right. Pain . . . I guess it’s just not supposed to,” the being muses, bringing out it’s Blade of Light. The one that burned with each touch.

“No,” Sam grits out. “No, this isn’t real.” He felt the strong urge to press something against his left palm. Which was weird, considering he didn’t have palms.

“Well, it’ll still feel like it,” the being says, grinning cruelly as it drags the blade against Sam. Not pressing particularly hard, just creating a constant burning sensation.

“Stop it.”

“How about no,” it says, not stopping. “How about I rip into you, take you apart and put you together again. Over and over. Because it’s your fault,” the being says bitterly, increasing the pressure of its blade. “Your fault I’m back in this cage.”

Sam lets out a shout and white light fills his vision. This one felt different, though. Nothing like the clinical harshness of Lucifer’s, or the strict unwavering of Michael’s. It was like . . . nothing he’d ever felt in a long time.

-

Sam wakes with a start, eyes open wide. He takes in a breath, closing his eyes and swallowing. Lucifer was dead. That Michael was still in the Cage. He was safe.

The alarm clock on his nightstand read 2:32 AM. It was much too early for this. Sighing and running a hand over his face, Sam decides to get up. Better than reliving the torment of the Cage.

-

His nightmares didn’t return the next night. Which was weird, considering he pretty much had them every night. It made Sam suspicious, but he didn’t question it. Better he just be grateful for what he could have.

-

The thing is, it continued. Blissful nights of no dreams, no nightmares, nothing. This never happened. There was always something or another that wormed its way through his mind. No matter what he did. Sam was half tempted to let it keep happening, but he couldn’t ignore it anymore. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was going to do, but he’d figure out what was going on.

-

The second he opened his eyes, Sam knew he was dreaming. While he wasn’t too good at telling nightmares from reality, there was always something about regular dreaming that caught on his radar.

He was in a familiar looking hotel room, which was weird considering he’d never stayed in a nice hotel room. There wasn’t anything around him, but it was the first time in a week he was having an actual dream. Sadly, It was rather boring.

A bright light suddenly enters the room and fills Sam with dread. He couldn’t be going back . . . could he?

But this light felt different. More lively, somehow.

“Hello, Sam,” it says.

He wasn’t sure what to think about it, but it wasn’t Lucifer or Michael, so he was fine with that. “Cas?” he asks, on a hunch.

The being chuckles. “Nope. Nice guess, though. Try again.”

Sam wracked his brain for another Angel that didn’t want them dead. He could only think of one other, but he was . . .

“Gabriel?” Sam asks in disbelief.

The light does something that looks vaguely like a bow. “The one and only. Glad you got it, kiddo.”

“That’s impossible. You’re . . .”

“Dead? Yeah, not so much. Just before Mikey stabbed me with that blade, I fled my vessel. Just barely managed to get myself through that rift.”

“But . . . why didn’t you tell us sooner? You could’ve helped us.”

It flinches. “Yeah . . . let’s just say I had to take some time re-orienting myself before I could do anything, much less reach out to one of you.”

“Well . . . why me?”

“Your nightmare. I was actually heading to Cassy’s room when I heard you whimpering. I took a peek in your mind and saw . . . Anyways, I couldn’t just leave you to it. So, I brought you out.”

“Why are you just appearing now?”

“You wanted to know why you weren’t dreaming.”

“So you just decided to show yourself now? I’m sure Cas would’ve liked to know you were back.”

“He does.”

Sam pauses. “You told him?”

“Of course.”

“Then why haven’t you manifested—helped us find Dean?”

Gabriel shifts uncomfortably. “I, uh . . . don’t have a form to manifest in. My vessel’s back in Apocalypse world.”

Sam narrows his eyes.

“Relax, I don’t want your meat suit. If I could, I’d help you guys. But, I can’t.”

“Can’t you just . . . find a new vessel?”

Gabriel does something that might’ve been an attempt to raise an eyebrow. “You think Archangel vessels just grow on trees? Nu-uh. Plus, I’d rather not uproot the life of some poor sap like that.”

“Well . . . what can you do?”

“Stop your nightmares. It’s the least I can do considering what you did for me.”

It was odd, hearing something that almost sounded like kindness from Gabriel. Not really in a bad way, just an unexpected one. “What if . . . what if we could find you a vessel. A willing one.”

“Good luck with that.”

“Just humor me.”

Gabriel pauses considerably. “Well . . . I suppose that’d be alright.”

Sam nods. “Use me.”

Gabriel starts, blinking in surprise. “Uh . . . c-come again?”

“Use me.”

Gabriel chuckles almost uncomfortably. “Sam, I can’t ask you to do that.”

“That’s why I’m asking. Will you use me as your vessel?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“You don’t want it. Not really.”

“But I do. If you can help us get Dean back, then I’m all for it. Just so long as you don’t get full control.”

“So we’d basically just cohabitate the same meat suit?”

Sam shrugs, feeling uncomfortable about the wording. “Yeah.”

Gabriel looks away, an almost pained expression on his face. “Do you really want this?”

“Yes.”

“Do you trust me?”

“Yes.”

“Do you consent to being my vessel?”

Sam pauses for a few seconds. “Yes.”

The light expands until it takes up the whole room. A light so similar to Michael and Lucifer’s, but different all the same. It floods through him, but not like a crashing wave as Lucifer had. More like the rising tide.

“Well, Sam,” a voice says, almost echoing through him. “Let’s save your brother.”

And for once, the thought of giving up control wasn’t as scary as it had always been.