The drip drip drip of blood on the asphalt trailed a line behind Sam, a macabre pathway of breadcrumbs that led to the motel room of the hunters and their angels.
Blood flowed down Sam’s shoulder, rivers of red splitting and joining along the muscle lines of his arms, trickling over his fingers.
The other cars in the lot were a blur, the shiny black of the Impala a beacon to Sam’s bleary and clouded mind.
Unlucky thirteen, the brass numbers on the door an omen that Sam had wordlessly fret over while they had planned the hunt, his own terrible luck repeating itself in his own mind, over and over like a skip on a record.
His entry card long gone, Sam knocked, slow and uneven, as he left a long smear of his blood on the wood.
There was a shuffling, and Gabriel’s voice carried through to the entryway.
“Who can't remember their shit?!”
Sam wobbled, blinked heavily as he whispered, “Sorry.”
The door whipped open, the tiny motel tv strobing behind the angel and Sam stared blankly into the light.
“Sam! What the fuck happened?” Gabriel’s angry face melted into strangled terror, and he pulled Sam into the small room roughly. Sam grunted weakly, closing his eyes to the harsh light as Gabriel practically threw him onto the cheap bed.
“Hey!” Gabriel yelled when he got no answer from his hunter, “Sam! Look at me!” The archangel shook Sam’s shoulders as he waited for dilated black eyes fell on him. “What happened?”
The light from the tv continued to flicker, drowning the figure in front of Sam in shadows. He lifted a shaking hand, a fliting line forming over Gabriel’s head.
“I think...what is this?”
“Sam, pull your shit together.”
“You're shifting. Right in front of me,” the hunter murmured.
Gabriel rolled his eyes. “All right,” he raised a hand, fingers dancing over Sam’s cheeks lightly, “let’s pull you back from the Land of Nonsense.” Grace poured into Sam, skin stitching back together and blood refilling almost empty veins. “Now, you tell me what the fuck almost took you out.”
Sam gasped at the feeling of grace roaring through him, healing his injuries. But the sight of Gabriel above him, hands on him and the shadows of a halo and all his glorious wings projecting on the wall behind the angel brought him back from the edge.
“That’s so succinct, Sam,” Gabriel growled. “Now,” he leaned in, eyebrows furrowed in unhidden rage, “tell me. What. Happened.”
Sam’s mouth flapped as the air around Gabriel waved and warbled in his anger.
“It’s already dead,” Sam blurted. “I managed to kill it.”
Gabriel’s lips turned down into a deep frown. “Barely. You were a ghost on our doorstep.” He took a step back, raking hands through his hair. “Shit, Sam. why didn't you call me?”
“I...I thought I had it handled,” Sam mumbled as his eyes fell to the floor. “We had to split up. It was only one wraith. It just...got the jump on me.”
“Sam,” Gabriel sighed, “please.”
The tired sadness in his voice caught Sam’s attention. His eyes traveled up, met gold shining through the darkness of the room.
“I- I can't lose you. Not like that.” Gabriel stepped close, fitting snugly between the knees of his lover, wrapping his arms around Sam and burying his nose in Sam’s soft hair. “Please don't do that to me.”
Sam sighed, closing his eyes tightly and hugging Gabriel back. “I survived, Gabriel. I always do.”
“That Winchester Luck won't last forever,” Gabriel sniffed as he pulled back, hands still buried in the long hair that he loved. “And if you won't ask for help when you need it, you're gonna bite the big one and you won't come back.”
Gabriel’s thumbs rubbed gentle swipes across Sam’s skin, warm beneath his fingers. He imagined the feeling of cold, sallow skin; sticky and waxen, empty eyes staring at nothing and Gabriel felt a part of himself die at the thought of not being able to save Sam from that.
“Gabriel…” Sam whispered.
That called him back, eyes refocusing on Sam’s. A tear fell, and Sam didn't make a move to wipe it away, not willing to release Gabriel from his grip.
“I’ll never leave you. Not by choice, anyway.” He squeezed Gabriel a little tighter as he spoke. “And even if a day comes where you can't pull me back, my heaven, that’s with you. Always. I will find you again.”
Gabriel gave a wet laugh, petting Sam’s hair a bit. “Wasn't I mad at you?”
“Not a chance,” Sam smiled. “You love me too much.”
They leant closer to each other, lips teasing against each other as they relished each breath they shared.
“Just kiss me, you giant moose,” Gabriel whispered. But he didn't wait for Sam as he closed the gap between them and kissed Sam breathless.