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three reasons why

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Sam Winchester wasn’t completely sure how they’d ended up here.

He looked down at his book for just a moment while Dean and Gabriel argued about how to take down Metatron and then he looked up and it was deathly quiet.

He almost wanted to ask what happened.

”Is this about Lucifer, Dean?” Gabriel asked tiredly after a moment. “Look, I don’t want to have another conversation about that.”

”Don’t want to face your own past? Face your own cowardice?” Dean pressed, clearly angry. He didn’t back down, not even when something popped and the distinct smell of ozone filled the air.

”You can call me a coward for a lot of things, Dean Winchester,” the archangel said softly. It was moments like these that Sam remembered that Gabriel was, in fact, an archangel. Heaven’s most terrifying weapon. “But refusing to face off against Lucifer until you forced my hand is not one of them.”

”Yeah? And why is that?”

Gabriel snapped.

”Listen up, bucko. For one, I’m going to need you to understand something. I love Lucifer. The way you love Sam, tenfold. Maybe. He’s my brother and he’s a dick but I love him. Could you kill Sam, hmm? Even to save the world? Didn’t think so,” Gabriel sneered when Dean had the sense to look abashed for at least a moment.

”But he’s the Devil!”

”He’s my brother! You love Sam despite all his fuck-ups-” yes, thank you Gabriel, Sam definitely needed more reminder of those. “-don’t you?”

Dean was silent.

”Good. Got that point across. For two, I don’t know if you realized, but I literally could not beat Lucifer. He has always been smarter, stronger, faster- well, not faster. I’m the fastest creature in existence besides God, pretty sure.” He paused for a moment as if contemplating befor getting back to the point. “Going against him was suicide.”

”You walked in there ready to die?” Sam breathed out, his first comment in the argument. God. No wonder Gabriel had looked so final.

”Well, I wasn’t ready, but I wasn’t going to let you die instead,” the archangel muttered in response, glancing at Sam once before turning his attention back fo Dean.

”And for three! For three.”

”Look, Gabriel, I get it, you don’t have to continue-”

”No, I don’t think you do. Tell me, what was the Apocalypse going to be?”

”A prizefight between your brothers,” Sam supplied helpfully, gears turning in his head. It was starting to fall into place in his head. Gabriel. An archangel. The Apocalypse. Two archangels fighting. 

“Now you’re getting it, Sam,” Gabriel laughed, pointing at him. It seemed sad, though. “See, Dean, a prizefight between my brothers. Archangels. Now tell me, what am I?”

Dean sucks in a breath and it seems he’s realized too. “An archangel.”

Gabriel smiles bitterly. “If I fought Lucifer with any hope at all of beating him, it would’ve been the Apocalypse anyways. I might not be as powerful as Michael but I’m still powerful enough to take out all of North America with one missed shot.”

Dean is silent and Sam can literally feel his shame from across the room.

”And that, Dean-o,” Gabriel says with a note of finality. He raised his hand. “Is why I couldn’t fight my brother until you literally forced my hand.”

He wraps Dean’s hand around his and snaps.

Gabriel is gone.