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It doesn’t come as much of a surprise when Dean gets dropped almost immediately after they enter the witch’s house. Now that they know who she is, Sam can distinctly remember the lewd comments Dean made about her the first night they were in this town, at the bar down the road from the motel, and he remembers the look of fury in her eyes when she’d stormed out.

Still, Dean unconscious, and the witch nowhere in sight, and no other backup to speak of doesn’t bode well for how Sam is going to fare in this fight. After checking to make sure Dean is okay, just fast asleep on the floor beneath the spellworked sigil he’d inadvertently walked under, Sam grips his gun and makes his way through the house as silently as he knows how.

She’s upstairs, in the last room down the hall on the left.

Okay then, maybe not no other backup. Sam grins, slips up the stairs. Still alert, but calmer about it now that the archangel on his shoulder is watching his back. Shouldn’t you be working? he asks silently. You know, doing angel-y type things?

The voice in his head scoffs. It’s practically as bad as doing paperwork up here today. This is more fun.

Sam rolls his eyes as he reaches the top floor and goes to turn to his left.

Er…your other left.

Sam goes right, biting the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing, because really, he’s in the middle of a hunt here, and witches aren’t people you underestimate. He should not be casually bantering with the archangel, because it’s distracting.

Oh, lighten up, like I’m gonna let anything happen to you.

Sam refrains from pointing out that the archangel isn’t even on earth right now. He’s outside the last door down the hall now, and can hear very quiet chanting coming from within. Anything I should be worried about?

She’s got booby-traps spread around her like you wouldn’t believe. Doesn’t want anyone messing with her while she’s in her freaky trance, but I’ll get you through ‘em, don’t worry.

Sam’s glad one of them can sound confident.

She’s right in the middle of the room, but there’s a nasty spell waiting just in front of the door. Doing your macho kicking-the-door-down thing will trigger it, so get out of the way fast. She’s shielded all the way around her, but there’s a chink in the shield on her left – your right – so go that way around the room.

Sam asks if he’s sure she won’t notice him coming until it’s too late.

She’s deaf and blind to everything outside of her shield. You’re good. Hurry up so you can go home and wait for me naked in the bed.

He can’t stop the laugh this time, but he stifles it quickly and puts himself in front of the door, gun at the ready in case the archangel is wrong. He kicks the door open forcefully, and dives as soon as he hears the shout in his head. A burst of light tingles painfully against his skin as it shoots over him, thankfully missing its target, and he rolls to a crouch.

Yeah, the witch is there, sitting cross-legged in the center of the room, eyes closed and chanting, a misty veil shrouding her partially from sight. He follows the instructions whispered to him, dodges three spelled traps and a few non-magickal surprises that would have made his dad proud.

Shit, he hears just as he’s creeping right up to the veil…and he can see the gap in it now, a place that won’t block a bullet.

What’s wrong? He asks, aiming.

Sam, don’t –

He pulls the trigger, and the witch goes down with a short, choked yell. Sam barely has time to feel proud of himself before there is blinding light, and a thousand spells hurtle at him all at once, and he’s bracing himself, fear choking him, and then –

– there are wings surrounding him, and a pure, holy light that burns and comforts all at once, and a voice whispering in his ear that he’s the stupidest hunter that ever walked the face of the earth.

He presses further into Gabriel’s embrace as the archangel shields him, and when all is quiet again, he chances peering up into golden eyes with a sheepish smile. “Hi.”

Gabriel shakes his head fondly, brushing his lips against Sam’s. “Little trigger-happy there, Sammy? If you wanted to see me that badly, all you had to do was say so. No need for the dramatic suicide moves.”

Sam flushes a little. “Didn’t mean to take you away from your job, seriously. I should have been paying closer attention. Umm. Sorry?”

Rolling his eyes, Gabriel kisses him again. “I was bored anyway, and Dad’ll never know I was gone.”

“You and Cas’ll be back tonight, right?” Sam asks, trying not to sound too eager. This is the first time he’s seen the archangel in three days.

“Promise. Now go get your brother and get your asses out of here.” Gabriel steps back, but not before he smacks Sam’s behind to get him moving, and blinks innocently when Sam yelps and glares.

He can hear Dean moving downstairs, cursing fluently. With a final smirk, Gabriel vanishes, and Sam makes his way back downstairs.

“Is the bitch dead?” Dean asks when he spots Sam.

“Yeah,” he affirms, and they make their way outside and back to the car.

“Stupid move, Sam, going after her on your own. Who knows what she could’ve done to you?”

“I had it covered,” Sam replies with a grin.