What kind of war god has his temple built on a fucking mountain? Dean sets his pack down to catch his breath. At least he can see it by now. It looks more like a fortress, sitting on the highest top. A few houses are nestled against the mountain side below it, a village that makes sure there’s food and people that scrub the floor, because Dean is pretty sure priests don’t do that kind of thing. And gods do neither.
And Dean needs the help of this god for a very different task anyway.
Hopefully, he hasn’t taken too much time already. Getting here had been a trip of a few days. Hopefully everyone back home is still safe. Dean pulls on his knee long cloak until it’s hanging like it should again, hoists his pack over his shoulders and starts climbing again, cursing under his breath.
Fuck those soldiers that just can’t leave their village alone. Fuck those kings and dukes and whoever is even waging the war their village has been caught in the middle of. Fuck them for thinking it’s a good idea to have their armies “live off the land”. What that means for people like Dean is that their villages get raided and burned to the ground.
Unless of course you have some gods on your side.
Lucifer and Gabriel had done their best, spurred on by Sam who had become something akin to their priest by now. (Even though Dean is pretty sure the things Sam and his gods do under the full moon on their altar are a completely different kind of worship.) But Lucifer and Gabriel are only forest gods. And the news that their village is protected made the rounds fast. Refugees came from everywhere, and by now all the war waging parties have noticed, too. The wrong kind of people have started to take an interest.
And that’s when Lucifer and Gabriel had mentioned that they have a brother. Or something along those lines, since gods aren’t born the normal way, they just grow out of flowers or from a few drops of blood of some other powerful entity. Sam had explained it. Dean hadn’t listened very well. What he had listened to was that said brother is a war god.
And Dean approaches the door of his temple now. It’s closed. He knocks.
He doesn’t expect the guy who answers the door to be a bit younger than him and kinda cute. He’s wearing light armor and he draws himself up to his full height when he sees Dean. Which is, Dean has to admit, not much shorter than him. Not shorter than him at all. “Who knocks on the doors of the temple of Michael?”
“My name is Dean, and I need your god’s help.”
The guy lifts an eyebrow in a bit of a haughty way and looks him over. “Usually we get warlords and city councilmen here.”
“Well, good for you.” Dean takes a step forward, but the guy doesn’t make room for him to step into the building.
“What do you have to offer to Michael?” he asks.
Dean sighs and takes a pouch from his belt that Gabriel had done something with to keep fresh what’s inside. Sam had taken him to Lucifer and Gabriel’s altar right before he had left the village, and that’s the part of their talk he remembers most vividly.
“What kind of offering do you bring a war god?” Dean had asked. You always bring gods gifts, that much he knows. “Some nice sword or something?” Not that they have something like that in their village. They need all the weapons they have to defend themselves.
“Everybody gets that idea,” Lucifer had says. “He has an armory full of the best weapons. Nothing you have here can compete with that. Give him something that shows your worth instead.”
Gabriel had nodded. “Something that shows him you don’t expect him to drag your sorry ass all the way. That you already know how to defend what’s yours and just need an extra boost.”
“So,” Dean had said, “the skulls of my enemies or something like that?” It would fit a god to be dramatic like that.
Lucifer had grinned. “I’d go for something that’s a bit easier to carry.”
Now Dean holds the pouch out to the priest. “Heart of my enemy. Will that do?”
This time the way the guy lifts his eyebrow looks a bit less haughty. “My name is Adam. Come in.”
Fucking finally! “Want me to leave my weapon outside or something?” Dean pats the sword at his side.
And there’s the haughtiness again. “This is the temple of a war god.” With that Adam turns and walks deeper into the temple, not looking back to see, if Dean follows.
The temple seems pretty empty, but Dean can hear the clanging of swords from somewhere. He follows Adam through narrows corridors until they reach a room that has to be the inner sanctum. There is a statue of a man in armor holding a spear at the other side of the room. It’s standing on a pedestal, two basins full of glowing coal to both sides of it. They’re the only source of light, throwing ominous shadows over the face of the statue and making it look like there’s life in the eyes made of stone.
“Put your offering to the feet of the statue,” Adam says. “Then stay on your knees and wait.”
That’s something Dean really hates about gods. They always require you to kneel. But he does as he’s told. With his head bowed he waits.
“Tell me how well the man fought whose heart you’re offering me.”
Dean startles. When he looks up, there a man sitting on the stairs leading up to the pedestal. He looks exactly like the statue, handsome features, eyes that glow like the coals. He’s wearing the same kind of armor Adam wears. Right now he’s leaning forward to watch Dean intently. “Tell the truth, though. I’ll know, if you lie to me.”
Dean is glad he has spoken to Lucifer and Gabriel before, or else he might not have been able to get a word out. Gods are kind of intimidating up close. “He was one of many who attacked my village,” he says. “He didn’t get the chance to put up much of a fight. None of them did. We knew they were coming and we ambushed them.”
He winces at how bad this sounds. But that’s how most of the stories go that he has to tell about them fighting for their village. The numerous safety measures Lucifer and Gabriel had put up would warn them, and they’d be over their enemies before they got any chance to do much damage. Otherwise the village wouldn’t be standing anymore.
The god – Michael, isn’t it? – tilts his head to the side. “Not very honorable.”
“Well, we’re no soldiers,” Dean defends himself, “we’re farmers and hunters. If we fight honorably, we’re dead.”
That makes Michael chuckles for some reason. “I knew I’d like you. But if you’re already successfully defending your village, why do you need my help?”
Is this a trick question? If you’re too weak Michael won’t like you and not help you, but if you look too capable, he won’t either? “We only survived so far, because we had your brothers at our side. But someone has taken note. There’s an army coming now.”
“My brothers?” Something in Michael’s face closes off, and Dean instantly knows that mentioning Lucifer and Gabriel had been a mistake. Fuck! They could’ve warned him. Well, they hadn’t looked happy about asking their brother for help, but how was Dean supposed to know that feeling was mutual? “They sent you?”
“They told us you might be able to help.”
Michael leans back against the leg of his own statue. “Did they now? They must be truly desperate then.”
And Dean knows he’s not supposed to get angry with a god, but he can’t help sounding irritated, when he speaks again. “Well, are you going to help us or not?”
“Tell me, Dean,” Michael says instead of an answer. “Do you know how to fight one on one?”
“‘Course I do.” He’d trained with Lucifer for a while now. Lucifer in Sam’s body most of the time, which is a bit disconcerting. But he’s gotten pretty good.
“I’d like to see …”
A flicker of Michael’s eyes, the hint of a nod that’s directed at Adam, and the whisper of steel as a sword is drawn. That’s all the warning Dean gets. He dives to the side, right when Adam’s sword slices the air where Dean’s neck had been seconds before. Cursing, he draws his own sword, parries Adam’s next blow still on his knees. He has to get up! But the priest swings again. Dean ducks away a second time. This time, though, when Adam gets close enough again, he sweeps one leg out, knocking the feet out from under his opponent. At least he almost does. Adam stumbles a few steps back and manages to regain his balance. But it gives Dean enough time to get to his feet.
The next attack comes quickly. For a moment their swords lock. “You always try to murder the people that come here for help?”
Adam grins. “Don’t be so dramatic. I would’ve nicked your skin, that’s all.”
Oh, now he’s mouthing off, too. Well, Dean won’t let a little brat defeat him.
Before he can do anything, though, Adam pushes his sword up. Dean gives a little bit, trying to step back, but Adam is faster. The next moment he’s next to Dean somehow, grabbing his arm with his free hand to jank it down. With the other he twists the sword around Dean’s blade, sends it flying.
Fuck. Michael won’t be impressed. But Dean has to manage to impress the god. He just has to! His whole village depends on it. He kicks, hears a grunt of pain, and Adams grip on his arm loosens enough for Dean to pull free. He grabs the first thing he can find on his belt – his purse – blindly throws it at Adam to win some time. There’s a curse and the clattering of coins. Then Dean dives for his sword, managing to be on his feet again, before Adam attacks.
The priest definitely isn’t as strong as Dean, but he’s fast and he fights with every dirty trick Dean has ever heard of and a few more. He barely leaves Dean time for a counter attack, parries or avoids every blow Dean manages to get in. If he can’t turn this around, he’ll come home empty handed.
The next time their swords lock, Dean goes for a cocky smile. “You know you’re pretty cute for the priest of a war god?”
Adam kicks, and Dean jumps back. “You know your tricks are pretty old?”
“Well …” Dean swings for Adam’s legs, at least finally in the offensive for a change. “Worth a try.”
He tries to keep it up, forces Adam back with blow after blow. That’s more like it! He fights the urge to look around for Michael, just hopes it’s enough for the war got to decide to take their side.
The next moment Adam sidesteps one of his blows, grabs the fabric of Dean’s cloak where it’s hanging around his neck and presses his sword between Dean’s legs.
Dean freezes. He can feel the edge through the fabric of his pants, and he knows this is just a test and he probably won’t lose parts of his anatomy he’s very much attached to, but he still can’t help a tiny bit of panic. He swallows, while Adam brings his face close to Dean’s. “Do you yield?”
Defiance surges up in Dean. “Listen, man,” he says. “Everybody in my village will die, if I can’t get help here.”
“Do you yield?” Adam asks again, breath ghosting over Dean’s face.
They both turn to Michael. The god is standing now, leaning against his statue. “I’ve seen enough.”
Adam steps back a little, and Dean breathes a sigh of relief. It doesn’t hold long, though. He’s failed here, and he feels sick, when he think about what will happen to his village. “Please,” he says, and now it sounds desperate.
Michael walks towards them, burning eyes on Dean. “Your fighting style is a bit rough around the edges, but you don’t give up easily.”
Dean holds his breath, doesn’t dare hope.
“But how do you plan on taking on a whole army, even with my help?”
Well, that is a valid question. “The village is hidden thanks to your brothers. We just need to get the army off-track. Confuse them. Optimally lead them into the swamp that’s a bit to the east.”
Michael’s face takes on a thoughtful expression. He extends a hand, fixes Dean’s shirt that got a bit rumpled in the fight. Dean isn’t sure, if he even realizes what he’s doing. Out of the corner of his eye he sees Adam side-eying him with a dark expression, though.
“You know,” Michael says after a while, “I like the odds.”
Next to Dean, Adam gives a less than respectful snort.
But who cares about Adam? It sounds surprisingly promising. “So you’ll help us?”
Instead of answering, Michael looks at his priest. “Do you have something to say, Adam?”
The young priest swallows, which makes Dean grin a bit. Serves him right for all his dirty tricks. But then he straightens up, “The odds are only good, if you’re in for a glorious death.”
Michael steps close to him now. He brushes a strand of dirty blond hair out of Adam’s face in a surprisingly gentle gesture, and Dean is pretty sure that he sees Adam lean into the touch. Priests and their gods. Apparently that kind of relationship is always a bit weird. “I think that just shows that we’ve fought alongside powerful warlords for a bit too long by now. I do like the odds, little one, and I’ll send you with him to show you why.”
“Michael, don’t make me leave you!” Adam protests.
Michael’s fingers brush along the side of Adam’s face in a way that looks like he’s trying to sooth him. “I’ll be with you.”
For a moment it still looks like Adam is going to protest. Then he nods. “As you wish.”
With a smile on his lips, Michael turns to Dean again. “So yes, I will help you.”
Dean has waited for those words to breath a final sigh of relief. “Thank you.” Then another thought comes to him. “We have to seal this with a kiss, don’t we?”
Michael grins. “Someone paid attention.” He grabs the clasp of Dean’s cloak and pulls him in by the fabric around his neck.
The kiss is nothing but a short touch of lips, but tastes of fire and rage and blood. It makes Dean’s head spin and his heart speed up. And it doesn’t help that Michael vanishes a moment later. Dazed, Dean turns towards Adam, just to see the younger man roll his eyes. “Yes, his kisses are mind blowing. No, I don’t want to hear anything about you questioning your sexuality.”
Dean laughs. “Don’t worry, I’m already very sure that my sexuality includes being attracted to guys, if that’s what you mean.”
For a moment Adam looks surprised. “In that case I don’t want to hear you gushing,” he says eventually.
“You get that often?” Dean asks. Not that he’d blame anyone for gushing about a kiss like that.
Adam rolls his eyes. “You won’t believe.”
Dean spends the night in one of the guest rooms in the temple, dreaming about Michael’s kiss. If that’s what Sam is experiencing with Gabriel and Lucifer, then it’s no small wonder he is pining for every full moon. Not that that would be reason enough for Dean to stop making fun of him for it.
The next morning Dean is startled awake by someone hammering against the door. “We’re leaving in half an hour!” Adam calls.
Grumbling Dean blinks the sleep out of his eyes. “What about breakfast?”
“You think your village can wait for you to take your time with breakfast?” comes Adam’s voice from the other side of the door.
Dean curses and rolls out of bed. “I hate you.”
“Well, I don’t particularly like you either, but apparently we’re stuck with each other.” There’s a short pause, and when Adam continues he almost sounds hopeful. “Unless you don’t want Michael’s help any more?”
“Fuck you. I’m coming.”
“Yes, that’s what I thought.”
When Dean emerges from the side wing of the temple he’s been sleeping in a bit later, Adam is waiting for him by the main door. He’s carrying a backpack that’s hopefully full of provisions, his sword, and something that looks like a small wooden box at first glance. Dean nods towards it. “What’s that?”
Adam opens a door at the side of it to show a small version of the statue Dean had seen inside the temple. “We’re bringing Michael with us to your village.”
So that’s how it works. Dean had wondered about it. He gives a lopsided smile. “Doesn’t like walking himself, does he?”
Adam scoffs. “You should show him more respect. I don’t understand why he likes you.” With that he starts walking.
The priest is kind of cute when he’s annoyed, Dean decides, and it almost makes up for the rude wake up call. With a grin on his face Dean falls into step next to him. A few more days and they’ll be having an actual war god on their side. Things are looking good. “Probably because I impressed him, eh?”
“Your fighting skills are good for a farmer, I guess, but not that impressive. You still lost pretty fast.”
Well, isn’t he a real charmer? “I didn’t lose fast!” Dean protests. “And I’m not a farmer. I hunt.”
Adam just raises an eyebrow in that haughty way of his. It would’ve been enough for Dean to ask for a rematch, if they didn’t have more pressing matters at hand. “Listen,” he says instead. “I didn’t ask him to send you along with me. But I’m not in this to lose, and the rest of my village isn’t, either. And with Michael’s help we won’t. We’ll figure something out and you’ll return a hero or whatever.”
“I’m not interested in becoming a hero,” Adam says.
Really? “I kinda thought that’s why you become the priest of a war god in the first place. What else would you do that for?” Dean eyes his companion suspiciously. “Unless you just like killing people.”
For a moment Adam sputters, obviously offended. Then he visibly pulls himself together. “Looks like thinking doesn’t work too well for you.”
Now Dean’s curiosity is piqued enough that the insult barely registers. They have to walk in line for a while to climb down a narrow part of the path, but as soon as they can walk next to each other again, he asks: “So what did you become the priest of a war god for?”
Curiously, that makes Adam blush just a little bit. “None of your business. What did you say your village was called again?”
“Huh …” Adam looks thoughtful all of a sudden.
“As far as I know, my father is from a village with that name.”
“As far as you know?” Looks like the priest has more than one interesting secret.
“None of your business,” Adam says again. “There are probably a dozen villages with that name near the forest anyway.”
Not as far as Dean knows, but he keeps that to himself. There are several people in his village who he thinks might have fathered random children in a lot of different places. He wonders which one of them might be responsible for a cute priest that’s just a bit too full of himself.
It’s getting dark again already, when they hear the sound of hooves behind them. As far as Dean knows there should be an inn ahead, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are other people on the road. Dean still tenses and reaches for his sword. There had been a run in with would be bandits on his way to the temple, but they had been scared away, when they’d discovered that Dean carried an actual heart around with him. This time they won’t be able to get lucky like that.
Adam steps to the side of the road and sets Michael’s shrine down. At first it looks like he just wants to let the riders pass, but the way he steps in front of the shrine and puts his hand on the hilt of his sword, too, tells Dean, that he’s not expecting friendly fellow travelers either. Dean steps next to him.
They don’t have to wait for long, before people on horses appear, and they’re definitely soldiers, not bandits. There are six of them and they all look like they’ve been in a fight recently, armor dirty, bloodstains here and there. But their leader is sitting with a straight back on a white horse. He has dark hair and beard with a few streaks of gray mixed in. There are also two long scars around his left eye. When he sees them, he reins back his horse so that it comes to a halt in front of them.
“You two,” he says with an accent that reminds Dean of the plantation owners in the south, “I’m Asmodeus, Colonel of Queen Lilith’s army, and as good citizens of her Majesty you’re obligated to hand over your supplies. The brave soldiers fighting for you need them.”
It’s almost impressive how much bullshit one person can spew in just a few sentences. “Sorry,” Dean says, “but you must’ve confused us with idiots. If you’re going to rob us, at least be honest about it.”
“Great,” Adam mutters. “That’ll help.”
For a moment, Colonel Asmodeus stares at Dean angrily, who stares back. Maybe the fact that he just impressed a war god went to his head a little bit, but he’s not going to back down from an asshole like this.
“Fine,” Asmodeus says finally. “We’re taking your supplies. Hand them over.”
“No, you’re not,” Adam says, before Dean can do anything. “I’m a priest of the god Michael. You’ll better just leave us be, if you don’t want to risk his wrath.”
That gets him some whispers between Asmodeus’ men, but the Colonel himself doesn’t look too impressed.
“Michael, huh?” Asmodeus says. “You mean the Michael who refused to support our cause? Well, what a coincidence. I was going to let you live, but I think your god needs to be shown what we can do even without his hel…”
Dean barely sees the movement with which Adam draws a knife and cuts the straps of Asmodeus’ saddle in one swift stroke. He probably nicked the skin of the horse in the process, because it makes a pained and startled sound and goes up on its hind legs. While Dean draws his sword, he hurriedly takes a step back to avoid getting hit by hooves. By the time Colonel Asmodeus hits the ground (along with his saddle) his men are over them already.
Dean has fought people on horses once before and he fucking hates it. They have all the advantages on their side, including a fighting companion that’s basically a ton of muscle, teeth and hooves. Still, he manages to stab his first attacker in the thigh and pull him out of the saddle while he’s distracted by pain. As soon as the man’s on the ground, Dean drives his sword through his throat.
And at least, the horses also mean that all of Asmodeus’ men can’t attack at once, because there isn’t enough room. Dean has time to look around for Adam, sees him pull a man off his saddle, too. Still, they can’t fight all of them.
“Kill them!” he hears Asmodeus yell from somewhere out of reach. “Make them pay for this!”
Without thinking, Dean grabs the reins of the horse he’s just freed of its rider and swing up into the saddle. “Adam!”
Instead of running to him and hopping on like Dean had thought he would, the younger man twirls around to grab the shrine. He parries the attack of another rider with one hand, with the other he throws the shrine to Dean. “Catch!”
“Are you crazy?” Who’s the one not showing Michael respect now? Dean barely manages to catch the wooden box, sword still in one hand. He cradles it with one arm close to his chest, with the other he swings his sword to keep an attacker at bay that’s at least on his level now. Too bad Lucifer had never taught him how to fight sitting on a horse.
He knows how to ride, though. He puts his sword back into the sheath, grips the reins of his horse and urges it forward. He isn’t sure, if he can make it ram the other horse out of the way, but it’s worth a try, isn’t it? He almost falls out of the saddle himself, though, when the beast rears instead. Hooves kick out and hit his attacker. The soldier drops out of his saddle with a scream. Well, that works too.
And then Adam is next to him, on his own horse now. “Come on!”
“Oh,” Dean snarks, but as the same time spurs on his horse for real now, “you’re finally ready to go? You sure you didn’t forget anything else?”
Adam leans deep over the neck of his horse, while it speeds up. “You better make sure you don’t lose the shrine.”
Then the street is rushing past under them, Dean’s cloak is flapping behind him, and there isn’t much time for talking anymore.
When Dean throws a look over his shoulder, there are two of Asmodeus’ men on their heels. Fuck. And of course the guy whose horse he stole didn’t happen to have a crossbow or something else useful strapped to his saddle. The only thing Dean finds is a blanket strapped on behind him. He fumbles it lose with his free hand, trying to hold onto the reins with his hand that’s also still cradling the shrine. It’s a mess, and his horse slows down in the process, but he manages and throws the blanket at one of the riders. It unfolds in the air, wrapping around the man’s head neatly. “Yes!”
On the other horse, Adam copies his move, and both of the riders fall back. Not long and they’re alone on the street again. Over the sound of the hooves and the rush of blood in his ears, Dean hears Adam woop triumphantly, and he’s pretty sure he himself has a big grin on his face.
Well, at least that was fun.
They don’t stop at the inn. The risk that Asmodeus and his men will catch up to them there is too big. Instead they make camp in a grove not far away. When they jump off their horses, there’s still a grin on Adam’s face, and Dean can feel it on his own, too. They look at each other, and for a change Adam doesn’t look haughty or annoyed, instead Dean finds himself liking the way the younger man’s eyes are still glowing a bit with adrenalin.
For a moment, Adam’s eyes linger on Dean, too, looking him over as if he’s seeing him for the first time. Then he turns away abruptly.
For a while they’re busy unsaddling the horses, getting a fire going and getting a bit of bread and dried meat from the packs for dinner. Then Adam takes the shrine and checks on the statue inside. Dean breathes a sigh of relief when everything seems to be in order. Adam had been right, of course. Losing the statue would’ve been bad.
The priest bows his head before the shrine and for a moment his lips move soundlessly.
“Tell him I’m sorry for the bumpy ride,” Dean says.
“He doesn’t mind,” Adam answers without looking up. “He says he liked the idea with the blankets, and –” Now he looks up, scowling at the statue all of a sudden. “No, I’m not telling him that!”
That makes Dean chuckle. “Come on, whatever it is, now I want to hear it even more.”
Adam doesn’t answer right away, instead he tilts his head to the side as if he’s listening to something. “No,” he says. Another pause. “So what if I’m annoyingly human about it? I am human!” A deep line appears between his eyebrows. “Well, of course I can’t keep you from doing whatever you want.” After a moment his face gets a bit softer again. “Yes, I get it somewhat now. I still think –” Adam sighs. “Yes, of course I’ll do whatever you ask of me.”
Following only one side of an argument gives Dean a bit of a headache, so he’s glad when it ends and Adam closes the shrine again.
“You often argue with your god?” he asks as soon as Adam leans back a little, staring into the flames.
“Only when he tries to flirt with other people,” Adam grumbles. “Through me.”
That makes Dean choke on the bit of dried meat he’s still eating. “He’s been trying to flirt with me?”
“Don’t let it go to your head,” comes the bad tempered answer. Adam gets a blanket from his pack and moves away to lie down and sleep. Or at least stare angrily into the darkness.
So Dean had been right. The relationship between god and priest is often definitely weird. But why did he have to end up in the middle of this? He sighs and goes to get his own blanket.
But he can’t help feeling a bit giddy about the fact that a god had tried to flirt with him.
Dean takes first watch. He lets the fire burn down to nothing but embers so it doesn’t obstruct his night vision and he stares out into the darkness.
Still the only warning he gets is the rustling of leaves and the snapping of a twig under the weight of something heavy. Dean’s hand creeps towards the hilt of his sword. “Adam!” he whispers urgently. “Adam!”
The younger man shifts a bit under his blanket. Then there’s the sound of a bowstring, and the next thing Dean knows is something hitting his shoulder.
And then pain.
Someone makes a sound that’s a mix between a gasp and a strangled scream. Maybe it’s him. The embers of the fire blur in front of his eyes. He falls forward, tries to catch himself. Pain rolls through his body in waves at the movement. Only his left arm carries his weight. The other one screams in agony every time he tries as much as lift a finger.
As if from far away he can hear the clang of metal on metal. There are shouts and more screams that are definitely not coming over his lips. Dean looks up and sees Adam surrounded by three opponents, sword reflecting the faint firelight in the darkness.
He has to do something! Dean pushes himself up on his knees, every movement sending pain through his shoulder. When he turns his head, there’s the feathery end of an arrow right next to his face, and he feels sick thinking about how deep inside his shoulder the arrow head is right now. He shouldn’t pull it out, just break the shaft, he knows that. But just touching the arrow makes him almost scream in pain again. He can’t fight like this!
His gaze lands on the small wooden shrine.
Dean forces himself to his feet for long enough to stumble towards the shrine. He falls to his knees in front of it, curses when that sends shockwaves through his shoulder. But on the other side of the fireplace, Adam stumbles and just barely parries a blow from one of his opponents. He won’t hold out for much longer.
With his shaking left hand Dean opens the shrine.
“I hope blood sacrifices are as much a thing for you as they are for your brothers.” With that he grips the arrow and pulls on it as hard as he can. Dark spots dance on the fringes of Dean’s vision for a moment, and it doesn’t come out all the way, before the pain is too much and he has to stop. But there’s blood on the wooden shaft now and on Dean’s fingers, and he he smears some of it into the shrine right in front of the feet of the statue.
“Michael, please help.”
For a moment Dean looks around for the source of the voice without seeing anything, then he realizes that he didn’t actually hear it. He just somehow felt it. So that’s what it’s like, getting answers to your prayers. It’s not enough to manifest this far away from my temple, but if you let me use your body ...
He knows that one from Sam and Lucifer already. “That sounded vaguely dirty, but yes. Do it! Hurry!”
The next moment he isn’t alone anymore. Michael feels like fire and rage thrumming through his body, like the kiss but so much more intense. Dean can feel the god stretching inside him, and at the same time the pain fades without actually going away. Michael gives something akin to a content purr.
“Oh, you’re perfect.” That’s Dean’s voice, but he isn’t the one talking.
It’s still my body. I want it back later. Should he have specified that beforehand? A little bit of panic rises in Dean. Gods aren’t like humans, they’re weird and only trustworthy in their own specific way. What if –
“Sshh. It’s alright, Dean. Don’t worry.” Michael grips the arrow with Dean’s hand. “Focus on Adam.”
When Dean does, it’s just in time to see Adam fall. Fuck! At the same time Michael pulls the arrow out. It still hurts like a bitch, but Dean doesn’t have a voice to scream anymore.
For a moment he swims in a sea of pain.
When he comes to again, he’s on his feet, swinging his sword faster and with more skill than he actually possesses. Opponents fall, and now Dean recognises them as Asmodeus’ men. So they’ve found them and they’ve come for revenge or maybe to take their horses back.
When Michael looks up from the last soldier, tip of the sword already pointed right at the man’s heart, Dean looks right into Asmodeus’ eyes. The Colonel has grabbed Adam and presses a knife to his throat. Adam doesn’t look particularly afraid, though, instead there’s anger burning in his eyes.
Dean feels a wave of affection that he’s almost sure doesn’t come from him, even though pissed off Adam is a pretty nice sight.
He is, isn’t he? Michael voice is only in his head again, and it sounds kind of proud.
“Release my man!” Asmodeus demands. “And give me my horses back!”
Michael stays as he is, keen digging into the stomach of his opponent, sword pointed at his heart. Dean waits for him to say something, but he doesn’t. Instead it’s Adam who speaks. “Do your really think threatening a god like that is a good idea?”
“I don’t see no god.” Asmodeus sounds a bit insecure though.
“Seriously?” Adam scoffs. “Look at his eyes and tell me that’s still just a human in there!”
What’s with my eyes? Dean asks.
He can hear Michael chuckle with his own voice. They glow just like mine.
Awesome! I bet that looks hot.
Laughter drifts through Dean’s head coming from Michael. You’ll have to ask Adam about that later.
“But you’re his priest, aren’t you?” Of course Asmodeus doesn’t know about the conversation that’s going on in Dean’s head. “Michael, do you want me to kill your priest?”
“Please, why should he care?” Adam manages to sound bitter and slightly annoyed even with a knife at his throat. “He just found a great replacement for me.” He gestures in Dean’s direction as far as Asmodeus’ grip allows him.
“Is that why you’re mad at me?” Michael asks. Seriously? Are they going to discuss their relationships problems now? Now of all times? “You think I’m going to replace you?”
The god gets up, sword still pointed at the last of Asmodeus’ soldiers who keeps staring up at them in fear. During the movement, Michael’s – well, technically Dean’s – left hand pulls a knife from a sheath at the soldier’s belt, hiding it from Asmodeus’ view with his body.
Dean, keep watch over the man on the ground. If he moves, kill him. The next moment, the fingers gripping the sword are Dean’s own again and he shifts his grip a bit, happy about having something to do. It’s weird trying to keep his attention on something that isn’t the focus of his vision, because Michael is still looking at Adam. But Dean can move his right foot, too, and he puts it on the man’s torso to keep him down. This way he’ll feel it, if the man moves, he doesn’t have to see. And it’s an interesting trick, splitting focus like that. Of course they can still only see what one pair of eyes can see, but paying attention to different things still means that it’ll be harder to surprise them.
It also means that the whole relationship talk is probably just a distraction. Michael is planning something, Dean is sure of that.
“What else am I supposed to think?” Adam bites back. “You’re eyeing him since he showed up in the temple and you wanted me to tell him that he looked hot stabbing that soldier!”
Wait, what? Dean isn’t sure what to do with that piece of information. Michael thinking he’s hot it kind of nice, if he’s honest.
Michael doesn’t pay him any attention now, though. “Tell me you don’t agree with that!”
“Could you not –” Asmodeus starts.
“That’s not the point!” Adam interrupts him, voice raised. The next moment, an angry hand movement accompanying the outburst turns into Adam grabbing Asmodeus’ knife hand. He yanks it down, unbalancing the Colonel.
Dean doesn’t hesitate, he plunges the sword into the heart of the soldier still lying on the ground. At the same time his left hand moves independently, controlled by Michael, throwing the knife he took from the soldier in Adam’s direction. “Adam!”
Adam catches the knife in mid air, half turns and rams it straight into Asmodeus’ chest.
The Colonel stares at him with wide, shocked eyes, before he collapses to the ground.
Michael is with Adam moments later. Dean’s hands grip the younger man’s shoulders, and then they’re slightly closer than Dean would’ve chosen to get on his own. Not that he minds in particular. There’s a triumphant grin on Adam’s face, and it really suits him.
“Are you hurt?” Michael asks.
Adam shakes his head.
Dean can feel his lips forming a smile. “I’m not going to replace you, little one,” Michael says. “I just thought we were on the same page regarding Dean. You want him, too, don’t you?”
Hey, Dean interrupts. This is still my body, remember? Could you discuss, if it’s okay to hit on me or not, in a more private setting?
He isn’t sure how he feels about the whole thing. They’re both hot, but Adam is still a haughty brat and Michael is a fucking god! Also, there’s still a hole in his shoulder from an arrow, even though right now he doesn’t feel any pain. And they’re standing in the middle of a handful of corpses that are part of an army that might get mad at them for killing a few of their own.
“You don’t expect me to discuss this looking into Dean’s face, do you?” Adam echos Dean’s sentiment. At least one part of this relationship is kind of sane.
Dean feels Michael’s internal sight and an exasperated: Humans …
Not everything falls into place for you just because your divine holiness wants it to, he says. It’s a bit amusing, if he’s honest, especially since he can feel that Michael really doesn’t quite get what the problem is.
“Apparently not,” Michael answer aloud. With another sight he takes Adam’s face into both hands and Dean can feel that wave of affection again. Michael tilts Adam head down and when he leans in to place a kiss on his forehead, he takes his time, giving them both the opportunity to protest. Well, Dean is willing to give them a moment.
Then Michael’s presence vanishes all of a sudden and Dean stumbles back. His shoulder starts hurting again, but it’s a numb kind of pain now. When Dean reaches for it, there is no fresh blood, the wound is closed and partly healed.
“Thanks Michael.” Being polite to gods can never hurt.
When Dean looks at Adam again, the young man doesn’t appear haughty or annoyed for a change. Instead he doesn’t seem to quite know where to look. Finally, he stares down at the corpses around them. “We shouldn’t stay here.”
They free all the horses that they don’t need and just take the two with them that they already had. Traveling goes a lot faster that way, and they reach the next inn at the evening of the next day.
For the whole day, Dean had checked the road behind them, but it looks like they got Asmodeus and all the men in his company this time. Eventually someone might come looking for them, but for now it seems they got away.
So Dean decides there needs to be some celebration. And the inn has pretty good mead (which in Dean’s opinion shows that they’re getting closer to home), and it doesn’t even take that much prompting to get Adam to drink maybe a bit too much.
They’re a few cups in when Adam starts staring at Dean angrily.
“What?” Dean asks after a moment. “Do I have something on my face?”
Adam furrows his brows. “Your face is the problem!”
“Don’t like it, don’t look.” Dean shrugs and takes another sip.
“I fucking wish I didn’t like it!”
That makes Dean set down his cup and lift an eyebrow. So the cute priest does think he’s attractive?
“Your face is too damn pretty!” Adam rambles on.
Dean grins. Yes, he definitely does.
“No wonder Michael has set his eyes on you since you set foot on our doorstep. Have you seen your eyes? Eyes are not allowed to be that green! And have you seen that thing you do with your tongue, when you’re unsure about something?”
Confused, Dean looks at Adam, licking a bit of mead from his lips.
Adam glares at him. “Yes, exactly that thing!” He leans over the table. “The more time Michael spends with you, the more he’ll fall for you, I’m sure of that.”
“So what?” Dean shrugs. “He told you he’s not going to dump you. I don’t know much about gods, but they usually seem to keep their word.”
Adam opens his mouth as if he’s going to protest, but then he closes it again. He stares into his cup, apparently mulling this over. And Dean doesn’t know what exactly makes him scoot closer. Maybe it’s the mead. Maybe it’s the memory of the affection that Michael feels for Adam. Maybe there’s an echo of that left or Dean just starts to like the priest. It probably helps that Adam doesn’t look haughty at all right now.
Whatever it is, it makes it feel natural to put an arm around Adam’s shoulder. “Listen, gods don’t have the same hangups humans do. Take my brother, for example. I mean, I really don’t want to think about it too much, but he’s fucking both Lucifer and Gabriel, and apparently they never thought of this as weird at all.”
Adam looks at him skeptically, so Dean goes on. “They’re all for sharing, at least when it comes to sex. You know, I bet we could make out right here and now and Michael would probably be delighted to watch.”
“You think so?” Adam doesn’t sound convinced, but he doesn’t try and put more distance between them either. And that’s what gives Dean more confidence. He grins and nods.
“I can prove it,” he says.
Now Adam lifts and eyebrow in that haughty way of his, but if Dean is honest, it just makes him hotter. That’s why he nods again and lets go of Adam for long enough to grab the shrine. He puts it on the table, the doors facing them, and opens it.
“Hey, Michael.” He sends the statue a cocky grin. “If you got anything against me kissing your boyfriend, send me a sign now.” After a moment he adds: “Please don’t strike me down with lightning, though. Something nicer would suffice.”
For a moment they both hold their breath, but nothing happens.
Slowly, Dean turns to Adam again. The priest looks at him with a half amused, half unbelieving expression now. “You’re not actually going to –”
“Watch me”, Dean says. With that he cradles Adam’s face in both hands and leans forward.
He moves slowly, giving the priest more than enough time to protest. When there are no protests coming, he closes the last bit of distance between them and their lips touch.
Adam makes a little sound at the back of his throat that seems mostly positive, but maybe also a bit of: ‘I can’t believe that’s actually happening.’ Then his hands find Dean’s shoulders and he pulls him closer, deepening the kiss.
Dean doesn’t know how long it lasts, but after a while, Adam leans back, looking at the statue with furrowed brows. “Michael!”
“What’s he saying?” Dean asks.
“He’s making suggestions what we should do next.”
Dean chuckles. “I think we’re both a bit too drunk for that.”
“Probably,” Adam agrees. “We could make out some more, though.”
And Dean really likes the sound of that.
In the end they stumble into their room closely entangled, Adam carrying Michael’s shrine in one hand, while he’s shoving the other one underneath Dean’s shirt. And while they set the shrine down so that it faces one of the beds and fall into it together, Dean is vaguely aware that this is a bad idea. The last thing he needs right now is a priest with morning after regrets, especially one as deadly as Adam.
On the other hand Adam is very eagerly trying to get him out of his clothes and Dean is only human. So he lets his hands wander, too, pulling on fabric, cursing about the armor Adam is still partly wearing.
They get sidetracked a little, when Dean discovers that Adam has scars. He traces them with his fingers. There are small ones on his arms like you might get in a knife fight, and bigger ones on his torso that tell of more serious injuries.
“I met Michael for the first time when I was thirteen,” Adam explains, stretching under Dean’s touch like a cat. “He brought victory to the city I lived in and there was a big celebration and I snuck off to see his shrines up close. I don’t know, why he showed himself to me, but it led to my first crush and me vowing to learn enough about fighting to become one of his priests.”
“You got all of those training?” Dean traces a particularly nasty looking scar over Adam’s ribs.
“No.” Adam laughs with his eyes closed. “I got some of them fighting in his name, too. And some are from me getting into random fights –” He pauses, looking at Michael’s statue for a moment. “Alright, stupid fights, because I can’t keep my mouth shut.”
Dean laughs. “I can imagine that.”
Adam scowls up at him, and Dean lifts both hands in a placating gesture. “Easy there. Didn’t mean to criticise.”
“Good.” With that Adam pulls him down into another kiss.
When Dean wakes up the next morning the first thing he registers is the warm body pressed against him. For a moment he struggles to remember what happened. They had celebrated. Had he picked someone up? He blinks and groans, because the sunlight filtering through the dirty window of the room is just too damn bright. The second try at opening his eyes works better, though. Enough to squint at the person snuggling into him.
Now it all comes back to him.
And his shifting has woken Adam. The younger man blinks a few times, too, before his eyes focus on Dean. It seems to take him a few more moments to recognize who he’s looking at, because then he curses and sits up – just to clutch his head and curse some more.
Dean laughs, even though he doesn’t feel much better.
“This isn’t funny!” Adam complains. “Fuck … How am I going to explain this to Michael?”
That just makes Dean laugh more. “Relax,” he says finally. “Michael was happy about us making out, remember? And I think …” He wrecks his brain for details of last night. “I think we didn’t get past that anyway. You fell asleep halfway through another rant about the color of my eyes.”
Adam groans and hides his face in his hands. “That doesn’t make it better.” He pauses. “Well, it makes it slightly better.”
And there they are, the morning after regrets. No surprise there, of course. “Listen, if you want to, we can just agree to never talk about this ever again,” Dean offers.
Finally, Adam turns to look at him. Then he looks at Michael’s shrine that’s still open facing the bed. He chews his lower lip and turns back to Dean again, pointing at him. “We’ll definitely never talk about me ranting about the color of your eyes.” Then he deflates a little, suddenly less sure of himself. “Let me think about the rest.”
Well, that could’ve gone worse.
Traveling goes a bit slower than yesterday and mostly consists of them letting the horses find their own way. But they’re still faster than they would’ve been on foot, so it’s probably all right.
Dean’s headache has mostly faded by noon. And it’s completely forgotten by the time they ride up a hill – and spot an army at the other side.
Dean curses and stops his horse so abruptly that it almost rears again. Next to him Adam manages to do the same thing a bit more elegantly. “Are they heading towards your village?”
“Yes, but I think we can get there before them.” Dean turns his horse around. “Come on!”
It’s a mad dash over deer paths that Dean has only ever used on foot and that are technically too narrow for horses. They have to duck low over the necks of their rides to avoid getting hit by branches. And Dean is cursing inwardly all the time. They should’ve hurried more. Yes, with the horses they had been faster than on foot, but that only meant that they could’ve been there even sooner! Now it’s almost too late and that’s his fault for drinking too much and flirting with a priest and his god. What had he been thinking?
At least when they arrive at the village in the late afternoon they have a few hours headstart to the army, at least that’s Adam’s estimation and he’s the only one with experiences with armies, so Dean is going to trust in him. And it’s not night yet, but they’re close enough to the full moon that Sam makes them hurry to the clearing with the altar as soon as his hears the news. After all they have to come up with a plan and the input of any god available would be pretty welcome. They all leave a few droplets of blood on the altar and they put Michael’s shrine on there too. Something about gods being able to tap into each other’s power sources or something like that. Dean isn’t very interested in the Hows right now.
But the result is that a few moments later there are three translucent gods standing around the altar, staring at each other.
Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.
But then Gabriel smiles and takes a step towards Michael. “Glad you made it, brother. We can really use the help.”
“Unless you plan on building an armada again,” Lucifer grumbles from as far away from Michael as possible.
Dean shoots Sam a questioning glance, but his brother just shakes his head and shrugs.
Michael sighs. “Lucifer, my people were fighting pirates, what were they supposed to do?”
“Throw rocks from the shore? Die?” Lucifer shrugs. “I really don’t care, but they took half the forest! It’s still not all grown back!”
Oh, so that’s why they’re not getting along. It must be some really old grudge, though, because Dean hasn’t even heard stories about this.
“Lucifer …” Sam reaches out for the god, but his hand goes right through him. “He’s here, because we asked for help, could you not be so …” He stops, trying to find the right word.
“No, he can’t help being him,” Michael interrupts grumpily.
Gabriel rolls his eyes. “There we go again …”
But Dean’s had enough. Having three gods here won’t help them one bit, if they’re busy bickering. “Could you just all stow your crap already?”
It takes Adam’s hissed “Dean!” and stares from three pair of glowing eyes for him to remember that he really shouldn’t talk to gods like that. Fuck. Dean takes a deep breath. “I’m asking with all due respect, of course,” he adds.
That gets him the hint of an amused smile from Michael, a grin from Gabriel and a grumpy ‘Yeah, fine, whatever’-gesture from Lucifer. Well, that could’ve gone worse.
And since he’s apparently on a roll, he goes on: “There’s an army heading our way, and we need a plan.”
“I think,” Michael says, “you have a pretty good plan already.” And that isn’t even actually praise, but it feels really good anyway.
The most weird thing about the execution of Dean’s plan is definitely seeing Gabriel possess Sam. It’s weird enough with Lucifer, but Lucifer just makes Sam look more arrogant. Gabriel, though …
He looks around with Sam’s eyes, grins in a way Sam never would, and goes: “Woah, good thing I’m not afraid of heights.”
And it gets only worse from there.
Dean is almost glad about getting distracted by a discussion between Adam and Michael.
“You’re the best fighter around here, little one,” Michael says. “What good would it do, if I possessed you? Let me have Dean, and keep a weapon ready for when I’m able to manifest by myself.”
Adam nods a bit reluctantly, and then Dean feels Michael’s eyes on him.
“Go ahead,” he says. “At least that way I won’t have to deal with the remnants of my headache myself.”
That makes Michael chuckle, and then Dean can feel his presences again, rage and fire and blood that fills every fibre of his body.
A moment later Michael nods to Gabriel and Adam. “Let’s go.”
They take a small group of volunteers with them, mostly the people that have helped in the last fight already, but also some new faces from the groups of refugees that have set up camp in and around the village. They shoot arrows from hiding places, attack, kill a few soldiers, and run. Every time Gabriel makes it look like they’re a lot more people than they are. By the time the sun starts setting, the army is restless and worn down. They’ve also changed direction slightly, thanks to Gabriel’s illusions, and are heading for the marshes now.
By the time the last sunlight fades, Dean can feel Michael leave his body, and the next moment the god is standing next to him, eyes glowing like embers in the dark. “If I were them,” he says, “I’d try and find an easily defensible position to stay there until morning. We can’t have that.”
“I’ll try and make the marshes look as easily defensible as possible,” comes Gabriel’s voice from behind them. When Dean turns he can see that the forest god has manifested, too, and Sam is finally Sam again.
“I think by now we can basically herd them where we want them,” Adam says.
“We’ll see,” Michael says. “Come on.”
The problem with drowning a whole army in a swamp is that the people in the rear notice that something isn’t right way before they themselves step into the trap. That means they maybe manage to drown half the army in the swamp. They actually have to fight the rest of it. And Gabriel can make it look like they’re many, but they aren’t. Suddenly, Dean isn’t too sure, if his plan will work, anymore.
He’s fighting side by side with Adam and Sam. Wolves howling in the distance is probably a sign that Lucifer is joining the fight with a few friends, but by now Dean is glad, if he manages to keep his sword up somehow. He regrets that he’s not the vessel of a god anymore, because Michael could probably make his exhaustion vanish. As it is, he only has Adam, who catches a few of the blows meant for Dean that Dean would’ve missed. Yes, the priest is definitely the better fighter, and at the moment Dean is glad about that.
But then Adam stumbles, too, and Dean has to catch him, before he falls. Adam’s opponent lifts a spear, ready to strike. All Dean can do is shove Adam aside and dive in the other direction. The spear hits the ground, sparks flying off some rocks. But the soldier yanks it up again immediately, and Dean isn’t sure, if he can dodge it a second time …
He doesn’t have to, because then Michael is there and the man just bursts into flames at his touch. All the fighting around them stops for a moment, while everybody hurries to get away, forming an open space around Michael, Dean, and Adam.
“You have one chance to get out of here alive!” Michael roars, and Dean is pretty sure his voice carries over the whole battlefield. “Throw away your weapons and run.” Silence falls over the battlefield, when all the fighting slowly comes to a halt. “Now!”
There’s a moment where the whole world seems to hold its breath, and Dean uses it to get to his feet again. Then, with a sound that rings like a bell in the silence, the first sword clatters to the ground.
Moments later the first soldiers turn and run. Accompanied by the cheers of the villagers and the howling of the wolves, the rest of the army breaks apart, scattering in all direction. Soon there are only the dead and dying left on the field.
Dean steps next to Michael. “That was pretty awesome! Why didn’t you do that sooner?”
It’s Adam who answers. “Because he gets more powerful the more enemies are killed in his name.”
Well, that makes sense.
Michael puts his sword back in its sheath and when he turns it’s very obvious by the amount of blood on his clothes that he killed quite a few people in his own name, too. Dean isn’t sure, if that should be considered cheating, but he won’t complain.
Michael steps close to Adam, pulls him in for a kiss, and Dean can see Adam melting into it. And it’s not like he can see much with his only sources of light being the full moon and a still burning corpse, but suddenly Dean doesn’t feel his exhaustion quite as much.
The kiss lasts quite a while, and when it ends, Michael just leans back a little, keeping Adam hugged close. For a moment, his eyes take in the battlefield and finally land on Dean, and whatever he sees in Dean’s face makes him smirk. He leans towards Adam and whispers something.
Adam pulls a face, but finally nods.
“If you say no, I won’t,” Michael says.
“No, it’s fine. I kissed him, too, didn’t I?”
Michael chuckles. “Kissing is quite an understatement.”
That makes Adam pull a face again, but then he turns a bit in Michael’s arms and motions for Dean to come closer. Dean does so with his heart thumping fast, even though there’s nothing to get nervous about, of course. As soon as Dean is in reach, Michael grabs him by the front of his shirt, while keeping hold of Adam with his other hand. He gives Dean just a moment to protest, before he pulls him in for a kiss. But it’s not like Dean had planned to protest anyway.
There’s still fire and rage in Michael’s kiss, but also triumph about his victory. About the defeat of a whole army with just a handful of people. It’s a heady thing that makes Dean completely forget about his exhaustion. He steadies himself on Adam’s shoulder, letting all the sensations wash over him, probably also making little needy sounds into the kiss, but he isn’t quite sure about that. When Michael finally breaks it, Dean is panting, feeling a bit dizzy. Michael shoots him a smile that Dean’s sure brightens the whole damn battlefield, then he turns to Adam again. This time Adam is the one leaning in for another kiss, as if he wants to taste Dean on Michael’s lips. Or maybe that’s just what Dean wants to think.
“Oho!”, comes Gabriel’s voice all of a sudden. It makes Michael and Adam flinch apart. “Looks like you got yourself a set of brothers, didn’t you?”
Brothers? Dean stares at Adam, who stares back with eyes widened by shock. It can’t be! On the other hand, Adam had said his father was from their village, Dean just hadn’t thought it could be John. John and Mary Winchester had died in a fire together a few years ago. How could he …? Why would he …?
“Gabriel,” Michael growls. “I’m going to kill you!”
“Oh, come one! It was obvious! That boy basically screams Winchester! They really didn’t know?”
Dean takes a step back. So he’s almost slept with his own brother? Fuck … He looks at Michael. “Did you know?”
“I was going to tell you,” the god says. “There just seemed to be more pressing matters.”
Adam takes a step back, too. “Like watching us make out?”
Michael blinks in confusion, then understanding dawns on his face. “Oh, that’s the problem? I thought it was Gabriel’s announcing it in such an insensitive way.”
Dean can’t help it, he has to laugh, even though it probably sounds a bit manic. Gods … It seems like more and more of a miracle that Sam manages a relationship with two of them.
“No,” Adam says, voice gone cold, “that’s not the problem.”
Brows furrowed, Michael turns to Dean. “You brother is in a relationship with two of my brothers. I don’t keep tabs in which parts of the world it’s a taboo and in which it isn’t, I just assumed in your part it apparently isn’t!”
Well, that’s probably a fair assumption. But Dean had in turn always assumed that it’s something different with gods. After all they grow out of flowers and shit like that.
Adam seems to at least partly understand the explanation, because the anger in his eyes dies. He turns away from both of them. “Let’s head back to the village, shall we?”
So much for properly enjoying their victory.
Adam is keeping his distance from Dean and from Michael on their way back to the village. His life had been so easy. Since his mother had practically sent him away, telling him to yes please become a priest, because that way she didn’t have to worry about feeding him anymore, he had found happiness. It revolved all around fighting, in the end, but it was a good life. Especially since Michael had taken him under his wing.
And then Dean and his stupid green eyes had shown up and everything had become complicated.
Adam may have muttered something along the lines under his breath, because the first thing Gabriel says, after he suddenly shows up next to him, is: “If you want an advice, kiddo. Go for him anyway.”
Adam flinches and stares angrily at the god, even though the gold glowing eyes remind him that he really shouldn’t. “I don’t want advice. I’m slightly fed up with gods right now.”
“Oh boy,” Gabriel mutters. “Michael is really going to kill me.”
That makes the corners of Adam’s mouth twitch a bit. Okay, maybe he’s a bit too harsh. He’s almost sure that Michael really didn’t mean any harm, and it’s not like Adam will stay mad at Michael for long anyway. “Maybe a bit.”
“Ah well …” Gabriel sighs and makes a show out of accepting his fate. “Seriously, though, kiddo. You know Michael adores you, right? It takes one look at the two of you to tell that. He’d never hurt you on purpose.”
Adam hadn’t been too sure about the first part. Of course he’d seen the affection Michael treated him with, but for how long can a mortal really hope to hold the attention of a god? He’d figured it’d pass eventually, that he’d eventually be replaced. That Michael had asked him for permission to kiss Dean still boggles his mind. Looking at it like that, yes, Michael had really tried not to hurt his feelings again. “That doesn’t change the fact that Dean and me are brothers,” he says.
Gabriel shrugs. “So what? You planning on having babies or what? Because I have to admit, that really wouldn’t be such a great idea with your brother.” He leans towards Adam, drops his voice to a mock conspiratorial whisper. “But let me tell you a secret about how babies are made.”
Adam shoves him away. “I know how babies are made.”
“Well, good for you. Smart lad.” Gabriel grins in a way that makes Adam feel mocked. “So what’s the problem then?”
“The problem is –” Adam starts. And of course there are a lot of problems with this. They’re obvious. Only a god could even ask what they are. It’s probably just the fact that it’s been a long day that makes him not come up with one right away. It’s just hard to put into words. “It’s wrong,” he finally says.
Gabriel lifts both eyebrows, looking amused. “Oh, is it? Who says so? Because you know, I’m a god and Michael is a god and Lucifer is a god. And usually, we’re the ones who make rules like that. Or at least our priests are. Though I’d never advice the later. Because leave people alone with making their own rules for too long and you get weird stuff like …” He gestures, looking for an example. “Like don’t eat broccoli on Sunday. And I don’t like broccoli that much, but it’s perfectly edible on Sundays, too, you know. Or there was that one time someone left their priesthood unsupervised long enough they came up with the rule to not fuck people of the same gender as yourself. That was a mess, I tell you. Took ages to correct. But then there’s the incest rule which is actually useful. Because nobility is this whole bunch of morons apparently, so you have to tell them that marrying their own sister just to marry the resulting child to their closest cousin just to marry the resulting child to their uncle or whatever will eventually get you people that can’t even take a shit on their own. Oh yeah, and people are sometimes assholes of course, so you have to also tell them that preying on family members that are dependant on them is not cool. Should be obvious, right? Well, apparently not for them. Anyway … The reason it’s a bad idea all comes down to children and power imbalances. But you and Dean haven’t even grown up together. So, unless you’re still unclear on the role women play in producing children, you have no actual reasons to deny yourself something you want, you know.”
For a moment Adam just stares at Gabriel. That someone can talk so long without stopping for air at least once amazes him. And it takes a while for all of it to sink in. Adam looks to where Sam and Dean are walking side by side, deep into their own discussion. Then back to Gabriel. Is this how Michael sees things, too? If so, no wonder he hadn’t thought of the whole thing as a big deal.
Gabriel pats Adam’s shoulder. “Think about it.” With that he’s gone.
“You know,” Dean says a few steps ahead. “The worst part about all this is that dad cheated on mom. What was he thinking?”
“Well, I obviously don’t know, Dean,” Sam answers, “but you can’t blame that on Adam.”
“Course not!” How would Sam get the idea he was blaming the priest for that? “It just makes me angry!”
Sam shrugs. “We all make stupid decisions now and then.”
Dean hurriedly lifts a hand. “If you say ‘Like wanting to bone your own brother’, so help me, Sam …”
It annoys him that Sam laughs. “Dean, he’s only our half-brother, and I’m not judging. Things get weird as soon as there are gods involved. I wouldn’t even judge you, if you still went for it.”
Dean eyes his brother suspiciously. “Seriously?”
“Who would it hurt? And Gabriel and Lucifer are brothers, too, aren’t they? And they –”
This time Dean lifts both hand. “Woah! Woah! No details, please!”
He’s pretty sure he can hear laughter coming out of the bushes at that, and it sounds suspiciously like Lucifer.
Adam stays at their house as a guest, which means he and Dean are left alone, because Sam spends the night at the clearing with Gabriel and Lucifer.
And the priest keeps stealing glances at Dean during dinner, and if Dean is honest, he does the same. He still thinks about what Sam had said. No one except them seems to think of it as a big deal.
At one point Michael is just there, when Dean looks up from his plate, making Dean startle. He sits at Sam’s usual place, and Dean knows what you do, when a god shows up for dinner. He gets up to get another plate and some food. When he returns, Michael is sitting leaned over the table towards Adam, talking lowly.
“I get it,” Adam says after a moment. “It’s alright.” And then he leans forward for a kiss.
And Dean knows he shouldn’t just stand there and stare, but he can’t help it. And he’s pretty sure that Adam meets his eyes for a moment there and then angles his head in a way that gives Dean a better view. But he’s probably just imagining that.
As soon as they break the kiss, Dean puts the plate in front of Michael, who nods with the hint of a smile. And for a moment it looks like he’s going to reach out for Dean, but doesn’t.
Which prompts Adam to sigh, get up and walk around the table towards Dean. Right in front of Dean he stops, looking him right into the eyes. “I think we maybe made too big of a deal out of this.” He says it like a challenge, as if he dares Dean to object.
“Maybe you’re right,” Dean says. Out of the corner of his eyes he sees Michael watch them like a hawk.
“Good.” With that Adam leans forward until their lips meet.
It’s a very short and very chaste kiss, then Adam leans back again, watching him somewhat nervously. Dean can’t help but grin. Who cares about what other people might be thinking is right and wrong? They’re really not harming anyone with this, aren’t they? He pulls Adam back in and this time the kiss lasts longer.
After a while, he feels a second body behind him, and Michael’s arms wrap around him. Dean shudders, when he feels Michael’s lips on the back of his neck. “You could’ve had that faster,” the god murmurs.
“Michael …” Adam presses closer and half rests his chin on Dean’s shoulder to look at his god. “Just shut up.”
“Adam.” Michael’s tone is a warning. Oh, so there’s the line you shouldn’t step over, when talking to a god like that.
“With all due respect, of course,” Adam adds, and Dean is pretty sure he can hear a grin in his voice.
A moment later they kiss over Dean’s shoulder, while Adam’s hands find their way underneath Dean’s shirt.
“You know,” Michael says. “There was something you started a while ago, but then someone fell asleep ranting about the color of Dean’s eyes.”
“We agreed to not talk about that ever again!” Adam protests.
“You and Dean agreed not to talk about it ever again. But I think I could be convinced to not mention it anymore either. With the right kind of distraction.”
For a moment Dean and Adam look at each other. There’s a glint in Adam’s eyes, then he goes for a kiss with Dean again. This night promises to be interesting, so much is for sure.