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Misunderstands & Miscommunication

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Sam stomped into the room and slammed the door shut, glad that it stopped Gabriel from following him, if only for a few seconds before the angel popped into the room behind him.  "I don't need your lectures, I get enough of that from Dean!"

 

Gabriel stalked closer to Sam.  "You nearly died!  You tore your fucking stitches and I can smell the blood, Sam!"  

 

Sam gave a hoarse laugh and sank down on the bed, pressing his hand a little tighter to his shoulder.  "Trust me, being shot in the stomach hurts a hell of a lot more.  At least this was a through and through."  

 

He snuck a glance up at Gabriel and saw him almost vibrating in his anger and Sam focused on peeling off his shirt, tossing it on the floor before grabbing the gauze out of the first aid kid to press it to his shoulder.  Sam took a deep breath and glanced around the room, looking for the bottle that Dean normally kept handy.  

 

"Are you not going to ask me to heal you?" Gabriel snapped, watching as Sam lurched to his feet, stumbled a little before walking over to the table to grab the bottle of booze there.  

 

Sam sank back down on the bed, his head swimming.  He pulled the gauze away from the wound and took a few deep breaths.  "Don't waste your juice on me," he managed, undoing his belt with a slippery hand before he folded it.  "Just have to have it cleaned before Dean gets back.  He'll stitch me up," he panted.  

 

Gabriel was still furious and was now glaring with him, and Sam was pretty sure that the angel was going to smite him, just so he could feel better.  Sam took a long swig of the alcohol and put the belt between his teeth.  He took a deep breath and then splashed it onto the wound, crying out around the belt.  

 

Gabriel made a sound in front of him and by the time Sam looked up, the angel was gone.  Sam sighed and splashed his shoulder again before replacing the gauze with some fresh pieces to wait for Dean.  Gabriel needed to save his Grace for far more important things, no sense in wasting it by healing him.  

 

~!~

 

Dean made it back in an hour and Sam had never been so glad to see his brother.  He was barely managing to stay awake, and there was a lot more of the alcohol missing.  "You gotta stitch me up and..." Sam swayed and shook his head.  

 

Dean's eyes widened and he hurried over to the edge of the bed.  "What the fuck?  Why didn't Gabriel heal you?!  He came back with you, did he just let you deal with this yourself?"  

 

Sam shook his head and tried to suck in another breath to explain, but everything was really quickly going black.  Maybe he should have asked Gabriel to at least help him with the blood loss thing.  

 

He could hear Dean shouting his name, but it was so much easier not to focus now that Dean was here.  Dean would take care of him and he could just....

 

~!~

 

When Sam woke up, it was to the super-soft sheets that he knew meant a visit (and a sleepover) from a certain archangel.  His shoulder ached, and he still felt too damn dizzy, but at least he'd woken up again.  

 

"Stay laying down," Gabriel ordered.  "I stitched you up."

 

Sam blinked in confusion, because Gabriel closing the wound didn't make any sense.  Where was Dean?  "Dean?"  

 

"His hands were shaking too badly," Gabriel said.  "You passed out on him, looking pale as a ghost, and scared the ever living shit out of him.  He went to go drive it off."  

 

Sam frowned and stared at the ceiling, because things didn't make any sort of sense.  Why would Gabriel have done this instead of healing him?  That didn't make any sort of sense either.  Well.  It wasn't like things with Gabriel were logical.  He showed up, they fell into bed together and Gabriel was gone the next morning.  

 

"He okay?" Sam croaked, swallowing hard.  He could move his other arm without issues, which told him that he was going to be okay, but his shoulder still felt like it was on fire.  

 

"Yes," Gabriel said simply, bringing clean gauze and pills to Sam, along with a glass of water.  "Here."  He reached down and carefully lifted Sam by the neck, allowing him to take a few swallows of water before offering up the pills.  Once Sam had taken them, along with some more water, he put the hunter back on the bed.  

 

Sam watched Gabriel put the water on his side table, then frown when he realized it was the wrong side, before snapping it to the other.  Sam gave a grateful smile.  Apparently having a angelic...well.  He wasn't sure what Gabriel was, but apparently it meant that he got some small kindness.  

 

"You don't have to stay if you don't want to.  I'm sure you've got other shit that you need to do," Sam said, his eyes starting to drift shut.  "Dean'll be back soon."  

 

He didn't catch sight of the agonized look on Gabriel's face as he sank into the chair beside Sam that he had put there to make sure he could keep an eye on the stupid human.  The human who wanted to endure pain like this rather than suffer the touch of his Grace.  

 

Gabriel focused on cleaning up the supplies that he had used to stitch the wound up.  At least he had been able to provide a few things the Winchesters didn't have handy.  Like medical grade thread.  A proper needle.  And anesthesia so Sam didn't wake during the process.  

 

He looked back over at Sam, where he appeared to be resting peacefully.  Gabriel closed his eyes as Dean and Castiel walked in the front door, quietly bickering over something.  He shushed them both and closed the first aid kit, putting it back next to Sam's duffel, where it had come from.  "He woke up.  Got some acetaminophen and water in him."  

 

"Gabriel," Castiel asked, sensing his brother spread his wings to leave.  "Why didn't you heal him?"  

 

Gabriel shook his head and stepped back from Castiel.  "He made it abundantly clear that he didn't want me using my Grace on him.  I hope he lets you heal him.  He's in a lot of pain."  

 

Castiel frowned when Gabriel disappeared a moment later.  He could feel the pain in Gabriel's words, that Sam wouldn't let him heal him, and that did not make any sense.  He turned back to Dean and immediately strode over to Sam.  "I shall heal Sam as soon as he wakes up and he is able to give consent, Dean," he said, settling into the chair by his beside.  

 

~!~

 

When Sam woke up again, his shoulder hurt so badly it almost felt like he had been shot all over again.  He sucked in pained breaths for a few moments as Dean suddenly came into his field of vision.  He smiled at his brother.  "Bought time you got back.  Took your time."  

 

Dean sighed and pushed his fingers through his hair.  "Yeah, well, I didn't think you'd do something fucking stupid like tell Gabriel not to heal you."  

 

Sam frowned and tried to use his good arm to prop himself up, but the strain on his shoulder was enough to have him falling back and gasping.  "He needs to save his mojo, need, need it for-"

 

"Sam," Castiel interrupted.  "The amount of Grace to heal a human wound like you experienced is almost infinitesimal to Gabriel.  He is an archangel.  What would perhaps tax me, as a Seraph, would not even register to him."  

 

Sam blinked for a few seconds at that.  "I, what?"  

 

Dean laughed a little and shook his head.  "You're a fucking idiot.  I gotta say though, he did a damn good stitching you up.  You might not even have a bitching scar after this."  

 

Sam knew that was a lie, but he let Dean get away with it, because he could see how uncomfortable his brother was.  He focused on Cas again and took a deep breath.  "So why didn't he just tell me that?"

 

Castiel frowned and shook his head.  "I am not certain.  But he was under the impression that you did not want him to use his Grace on you.  He implied the problem you found was with him, and your excuse was only that.  An excuse."  

 

A groan escaped him as he let his head fall back on the pillow.  "Fucking idiot," he murmured, closing his eyes. 

 

"Also, you are mistakenly associating my power level while I was falling with what it would take us to heal someone.  Currently, with access to my full powers, it does not take much for me to heal either of you," Castiel added.  

 

Sam sighed again and opened his eyes, looking over at Cas.  "So what you're saying is, I not only have spent the last twenty four hours in pain because of a misunderstanding, I managed to insult Gabriel while I was at it?" 

 

Castiel's silence was all of the answer that he needed.  Sam gave a hoarse laugh and sank back into the pillows again.  "Fuck.  Of course.  Because that's just my life," he muttered.  

 

Castiel stepped forward, his fingers held out.  "I can heal you now, if you wish?"  

 

Sam shook his head and immediately caught sight of the scowl from Dean.  "Don't give me that look Dean, I'm not letting Cas do it, because I need to sort the shit out with Gabriel and see if he'll do it."  Dean immediately brightened and Sam relaxed into the pillows.  "Next time I wake up, anyways.  You two scram when I call him, I have a feeling this will not be the prettiest of arguments."  

 

Castiel put a hand on Dean's arm to stop him from saying anything further.  "That would be more than fine, Sam.  We will leave you and Gabriel to your conversation."  

 

Sam closed his eyes and let himself doze off.  This was going to be an awesome conversation.  He couldn't wait.  

 

~!~

 

The next time he opened his eyes, the sun was setting and Dean and Cas were on their way out the door, already discussing dinner.  Sam smiled and this time managed to force himself upright, looking around the room.  

 

Once the sound of the Impala's engine had faded, Sam took a deep breath and closed his eyes.  "Gabriel, we're under a bit of a misunderstanding here.  Can you come so I can clear things up?"  

 

There was no answer and Sam reached for the glass of water that was at his bedside, taking a few gulps.  He gave the agent a few minutes to answer, but there was still nothing.  Sam tried again.  “Gabriel, please, will you show up so I can straighten things out?”  

 

Nothing.  

 

Sam sat on the bed, clenching his fists in the blankets as Gabriel ignored every single one of his calls, no matter what he said or tried to explain.  

 

When Cas and Dean came back more than hour later, Sam was desperate to know that Gabriel was all right more than anything else.  "Cas, can you check on Gabriel!?" He knew his tone was frantic, and Castiel must have realized that, because he disappeared a second later.  

 

Sam didn't let himself breathe until Castiel reappeared, looking decidedly rumpled, almost like he'd been in a fight.  "Cas?"  

 

Castiel swallowed and stared at Sam.  "Gabriel is all right, Sam.  He does not wish to visit at this point in time." 

 

Sam felt his heart sink and he stared down at the blankets.  "All right," he said, taking a deep breath.  It made his shoulder ache, but it was nothing compared to how much his heart ached.  "What are we having for dinner?" 

 

Castiel didn't answer, but Dean did, immediately bringing over the salad that he had gotten for Sam.  Castiel looked back up at the sky and thought of the anger and hurt Gabriel had displayed before banishing him back to the Winchesters.  

 

As the days, then weeks went by, Sam healed, his shoulder regaining almost all of the full functionality in it.  A month down the road, and he couldn't even feel the pain anymore.  Still Gabriel stayed away and Sam knew it was his fault.  Sometimes Castiel would disappear, only to return, looking angry and like he had been in a fight again.  Sam knew he was meeting with Gabriel, and he wanted the angel to stop trying, because it was his fault.  He needed to fix it.  

 

After two months, Sam was desperate.  If nothing else, he just wanted to explain himself to Gabriel, and then if the angel wanted to leave and never come back, well, he could.  So he set up the summons for Gabriel and poured a ring of holy oil around the summons.  

 

"I do not think this is a good idea," Castiel said as he watched Sam draw out the circle, his motions slow and careful.  

 

"He'll avoid me forever if he can," Sam said, lifting the bottle of oil.  "So it's the only idea we've got."  He took a deep breath and pulled a lighter out of his pocket and added the final touch to the summoning circle before he lit the oil on fire.  

 

Gabriel appeared a moment later, scowling, his eyes glowing and Sam didn't miss the image of massive shadows behind him, reminding him of exactly what he had summoned.  Gabriel crossed his arms over his chest and Sam stared at him, waiting.  

 

"Let me out," Gabriel snarled.  

 

Sam tightened his hand on the bottle of holy oil.  "Cas, I'll be fine.  Go back to Dean," he said, glancing over at the other angel.  Cas disappeared a moment later, leaving him alone with Gabriel.  They'd hash this thing out one way or another.  

 

"Reliving the past?" Gabriel taunted, pacing inside the ring of fire.  "Trapping me here, to, what?"  

 

"I'll let you go," Sam said with a small shrug.  "I just want you to listen to me for a few minutes, then I'll let you go, no questions asked."  

 

Gabriel laughed, and it was a dark and harsh sound.  It was nothing like the gleeful laughter Sam was used to hearing.  He flinched and looked down at the fire.  "I'm a human, you know?"  

 

Gabriel scoffed and rolled his eyes.  

 

"That means I don't know how Grace works," Sam went on, watching as Gabriel tensed, and the shadows behind him snapped, like his wings were moving in the constrained circle.  

 

"Dean and I got used to the fact that we needed to make sure Cas conserved as much power as he possibly could at all times.  Especially," Sam swallowed hard.  "Especially when he started to Fall.  And when he was fighting Raphael."  

 

Gabriel was still glaring at him, his eyes glowing bright gold, so Sam sucked in another breath and tried to get the rest of it out of him.  "So that meant when I refused your help, it wasn't because I was trying to, to say I didn't want you to heal me, or that I didn't think you were strong enough to heal me!  I didn't, I didn't know!"  

 

Gabriel scoffed.  "Like you would have let me heal you even if you did!"  

 

"Of course I would have, and if you'd listened to my fucking prayers that first day, that's what I would have told you!" Sam snapped, stalking closer to the fire.  "I wanted you to heal me, so you could get over this, this fucking notion you managed to get your head that I don't want you touching me with your Grace!"  

 

He rolled his eyes and glared at Sam.  "What, did my brother start to miss having me around?  Is that why you're doing this?  You've made yourself perfectly clear, Sammich."  

 

Sam wanted to scream in frustration as he glared at the archangel.  "There's nothing clear about any of this!"

 

Gabriel laughed and rolled his eyes.  "Now who is being dramatic?"  

 

"What did any of it mean?!" Sam shouted, anger getting the better of him.  "We were fooling around, I thought that maybe it might go somewhere, but then this happened, and you went back to pretending that I didn't exist!  If that's the way you want to have things, fine, but I would expect you to, to, fucking man up enough to tell me!"

 

He swiped his foot along the fire, breaking the circle and turned his back on Gabriel, stalking back towards the Impala.  Sam pulled the keys out of his pocket and clenched them in his fist, the small pinpricks of pain enough to help him focus.  He yanked open the door and climbed in.  

 

Sam gave Gabriel one glance in the rearview mirror, but the angel was gone a second later, and Sam gunned it all of the way back to the hotel.  Even after he parked, he kept his hands tight on the steering wheel and told himself not to be upset.  It wasn’t worth it, and it hadn’t meant anything to Gabriel.  He’d known that at the start.  

 

~!~

 

Castiel gave him an odd look when he got back to the room and Sam knew he was in no shape to talk to either of them, because he would just end up picking a fight that didn't need to happen.  He grabbed his wallet and headed back towards the door.  "I'm going to see if there's any assholes at the bar that I can scam some money off of."  

 

He didn't bother announcing himself in any other way as he shut the door behind him.  Hell, Dean and Cas were probably glad for the privacy.  Sam definitely didn't pay attention to how much it hurt that Dean and Cas had managed to figure out their stuff and end up on the right side of things.  

 

Thankfully, the bar offered the distraction he was looking for.  Sam played drunk very well and he knew it, so he stumbled into the bar, and immediately got himself in with the "wrong" type of guys in a poker game.  He threw out too much money, too fast, and managed to tease them into a third and final game, double or nothing.  

 

He pulled out all of the stops and pretended to be excitedly happy when he won the final round and cleaned all of them out, more than four hundred dollars in his pocket.  Sam settled into a seat at the bar and ordered a beer to relax with.  Maybe the dumbasses would be even stupider and pick a fight so he could really work off some of that tension.  

 

"That was pretty impressive there, darling," A low, sultry voice purred next to him.  

 

Sam glanced to his left and saw a pretty woman sliding into the seat next to him, golden hair tumbling down her back and a perfectly manicured eyebrow raised at him.  He gave her a quick smile.  "Thanks."  

 

"Not drunk at all, are you?" She asked, giving a delighted laugh.  

 

Sam shook his head and winked at her, taking another sip of his beer.  "Nah.  Just needed to work off some tension and they helped."  

 

"I could help you work off some of that...tension if you wanted too," she said, flipping her hair over her shoulder.  

 

Sam tightened his hand around the beer bottle, images of Gabriel immediately coming to mind and he smiled sadly, shaking his head.  "Sorry, I appreciate the offer, I really do, but I, uh-"

 

She raised an eyebrow.  "Have someone waiting for you at home?"

 

Sam took a deep breath.  No, he didn't and that was part of the problem.  He'd probably never see Gabriel again at that rate.  "I wish I did.  But I fucked it up, pretty damn bad."  

 

She hummed and tapped a manicured fingernail against her drink.  "Cheating?"

 

Sam laughed and shook his head.  "No, hell no.  I would have walked away if that was the case, and let him kick my ass to boot.  But no, not cheating.  I'm, I'm, well."  

 

"In love with him?" she guessed.  

 

Sam picked at the edge of the beer bottle and considered the truth of that question.  He supposed that he was in love with Gabriel, even though he hadn't known it before hand.  "I'm in something with him, and he, well.  He isn't interested."  

 

This time she raised both of her eyebrows and looked him up and down.  "He blind?"

 

Sam grinned and winked at her again.  The blatant appreciation felt nice, even if there wasn't anything that he wanted to offer in return.  "You're sweet, thanks," he said, holding out his hand.  "Sam."  

 

She took it and gave him a firm shake.  "Gabrielle.  Nice to meet you, Sam."  

 

The name was enough to have him starting, but he smiled easily enough at her.  "Yeah, nice to meet you too."  

 

"So tell me about this guy of yours, and I'll order you another drink.  Sounds like you need someone to complain to," she said, waving for the bartender.  

 

Sam laughed and hung his head a little.  Well.  Getting drunk and complaining about his non-existent relationship with an archangel to a complete stranger?  Yeah, definitely a great idea.  "Sounds like a plan."  

 

~!~  

 

"-and the problem is, he thinks that I don't want him!  And, and, and that was the opposite of the problem!" Sam said, waving his hand.  "I want him, I want him so bad, but I thought that I was just, just something to pass the time, and now he'll never come back."  

 

"Right," Gabrielle said, smiling at Sam.  "So, basically, he's an all-powerful angel and you turned down his offer to heal you and he got offended?"  

 

"Yeah," Sam said, giving a morose sigh as he sipped the last of his beer.  "I shouldn't tell you this either, cause you'll never believe me."

 

"Either that, or I'm a supernatural being myself and find this rather hysterical, Sam Winchester," she teased, raising an eyebrow at him.  

 

Horror lurched through Sam and he stumbled out of his chair and away from her.  No, fuck, she could have easily drugged him, he had to get back to Dean, get to a hospital-

 

"Sam!" Gabrielle called, running after him.  "Wait, Sam!"  

 

When Sam didn't show any signs of stopping, Gabrielle raised a hand to the sky and shouted a single syllable in Enochian.  A clap of thunder later and Gabriel appeared.  

 

"What the-" Gabriel said, looking around.  The cupid in front of him pointed to the rapidly fading figure of Sam.  "What is going on?"

 

Gabrielle walked up to the archangel and grabbed his arm, sealing the connection between the hunter and the archangel before she pulled away with a smile and a wave of her fingertips.  "Just handling a case as I was passing through the neighborhood!"  

 

Gabriel could feel the connection that the cupid had forged and he wanted to rage against it, because this wasn't what Sam wanted! But first he had to calm down his panicky human, who was stumbling for his car.  

 

Sam fumbled with the door handle and tried to yank it open, but it was abruptly slammed shut.  He spun around, Ruby's knife clenched tight in his fist.  

 

"While I appreciate your ability to think of your self-defense, even while extraordinarily drunk, you know that won't do a thing to me," Gabriel said, sauntering forward with his hands in his pockets.  

 

"She, she-"

 

"She," Gabriel said, his voice a bit of a growl.  "Is nothing more than a cupid.  She was handling a case in the neighborhood and is already gone.  You're not in any danger, Sam."

 

Sam nearly dropped Ruby's knife as he sagged back against the car, relief flooding through him.  A cupid, and fuck she could have told him at some point.  "What the hell was she doing?  A case?  In a bar like that?"  

 

Gabriel shrugged and didn't think of the cupid brand he could still feel singing through his Grace, pulling him closer to the human in front of him.  "No idea.  Love shows up in the weirdest of places."  

 

Sam clenched his hand around the keys and looked towards the car again.  Looking at Gabriel hurt.  "Why are you even here?  Thought I'd finally managed to scare you away for good."  

 

Gabriel tilted his head and frowned at Sam.  "What are you talking about?  You left."  

 

Sam gave a hoarse laugh this time and looked up at the stars.  He could see some, they were far enough away from a major city.  He closed his eyes.  "I said my piece, and well.  Ball is in your figurative court.  Since you disappeared again, I had my answer."  

 

"You are the most infuriating human I have ever met," Gabriel said, stalking towards Sam to push him back against the Impala.  "You want me, but then decide to pretend otherwise?  Make up your mind and decide what you want!"  

 

"I told you!" Sam shouted, his eyes snapping open as he glared at Gabriel.  "I fucking told you!  We were fooling around, I thought it would go somewhere, and it didn't, because you got your fucking panties in a twist, imagining there was an issue when there wasn't one!"  

 

Gabriel opened his mouth and then snapped it shut.  Yes, Sam had said something to that effect, but he had been a little furious about being trapped in holy fire, so he might not have remembered that piece of the conversation.  

 

"See!" Sam said, throwing up his hands, reaching out to shove Gabriel back from him, scowling.  "You don't want anything to do with me, so you might as well just pull the disappearing act so I can work on getting over you!"

 

"Getting over me?" Gabriel echoed, his mind spinning a little.  He could feel the pulse of the bond from the cupid, singing happily at the knowledge that he was wanted, that his mate wanted him.  

 

Sam froze, icy fear settling over him.  He'd said too much.  He turned away from Gabriel and opened the back door, only to have it slammed shut on him again.  He snarled and turned around, but Gabriel was there, just in front of him, golden eyes glowing and shadowed wings behind him.  His mouth went dry and Sam stared, his heart pounding so hard he was certain that Gabriel could hear it from here.  

 

"Sam," Gabriel said, reaching up and trailing one finger over Sam's jaw.  He remembered what it felt like to lick up that neck, to taste Sam's skin, to watch him strain as he screamed and begged for more.  "Tell me," he ordered.  

 

Sam slumped back against the car and glared at Gabriel.  Now of course, he had to bare his soul, just for the amusement of an archangel.  "I don't want to.  Just, leave.  I already know you're going to, and frankly, considering my track record, that's probably for the best."  

 

Gabriel wanted to laugh, because now, now the bond from the cupid was singing, because that was as good as a confession, and it meant, it meant...

 

"Sam.  Please," Gabriel said, cupping Sam's chin in his hand.  "Tell me.  No misconceptions.  I'm listening this time."  

 

Sam exhaled hard and he wished that he was still even remotely drunk, but after all of the adrenaline, there was no way he could hide behind it.  "We were fooling around.  I thought it was heading into what might be something more," he said, his voice quiet.  

 

"It is," Gabriel confirmed, smiling when Sam's eyes snapped to his.  Sam's mouth dropped open in surprise, but Gabriel gave a small 'keep going' motion with his hand.  

 

"So, while in extreme amounts of pain, and not realizing that hey, Grace doesn't work like that, I asked you not to heal me.  Not because I didn't want you to, but because I didn't want you to drain yourself if you needed your power for something else," Sam said, swallowing hard as Gabriel's thumb trailed over his lower lip.  He shivered and Gabriel pressed in even closer to him.  

 

"And?" Gabriel prompted, wanting the last of it out.  

 

"And," Sam said, his voice quiet.  "When I called you the next day to explain, you didn't come.  And then you stayed away.  Until I summoned you.  And then you stayed away again."  

 

Gabriel nodded.  "I was angry and hurt.  I thought that you didn't want me to touch you any longer.  You weren't the only one who needed some time to 'get over' as it were," he said, his grin widening.  "Anything else we need to cover?"

 

"I want us to be more.  I want you to stay," Sam blurted, his heart pounding, but he wasn't going to hide, not any longer.  Not from Gabriel and not from this.  "I don't want to wake up and have you gone.  I want to hold you and wake up with you.  I want sleepy morning sex with you, and I want, fuck, I want to out-sap Dean and Cas sometimes."  

 

Gabriel gave a delighted laugh and grinned at Sam.  He held up a hand.  "Mind if I snap us some place more private?"  

 

Sam smiled, bright and wide.  Gabriel snapped and in a moment, they were in one of his safehouses that Sam recognized.  The one in the Colorado mountains.  He reached out and wrapped both of his hands around Gabriel's cheeks and pulled him into a kiss, holding the angel close.  

 

The second their lips touched, a shock with through from him to Gabriel and he pulled away, blinking in surprise.  "What was that?"

 

Gabriel felt the bond from the cupid flare even brighter and dammit, she was going to brag about this for several millennia.  "Do you want me to tell you?"  

 

Sam nodded, touching his own lips again in surprise.  There was no shock this time.  "Yeah, what was that?"  

 

"Well, remember how I said a cupid was working a case?" Gabriel asked, raising his eyebrows at Sam.  

 

Sam blinked and then his eyes went wide as he realized what Gabriel was getting at.  "We were the case?"  

 

Gabriel rocked back on his heels and grinned up at Sam.  "Yup!  Tied us good and proper.  Granted, it's only fulfilling the potential that we'd already started building.  She just added a little incentive to meet the potential."  

 

Sam swallowed and nodded, staring at Gabriel.  "You don't just want, because...?"

 

Gabriel shook his head and reached up to comb his fingers through Sam's hair.  "All right, as eager as I am to strip you and fuck you silly, I think we need to do a little bit more talking first, huh?"  

 

With another snap, Sam realized he was standing in his pajamas and Gabriel was in red silk boxers and a white tank top, striding for the bed.  He followed and climbed into the decadent bed that was more than big enough for him with a happy sigh.  

 

Gabriel cuddled up next to him a moment later and Sam leaned down, burying his face in Gabriel's hair, inhaling the scent of candyfloss that was always with Gabriel no matter where he went.  "Mmm, missed this," he whispered.  

 

"So, the thing with cupids," Gabriel said, talking into Sam's shoulder as he relaxed into the possessive hold Sam had on him.  "Is that they're fulfilling bond potential that already exists.  Which means that both the people, or, well, not-people could have easily figured things out themselves, but sometimes things like miscommunication-" he smiled against Sam's shirt and pressed a kiss to his heart.  "And other things get in the way."  

 

Sam slipped his hand under Gabriel's tank top and pressed his palm against the warm skin, humming into Gabriel's hair.  "So that's what she was doing with us?"  

 

"Yeah.  Gabrielle, the cupid you met, is one of the bosses upstairs too.  She must have seen our case and considered us special enough to intervene herself," Gabriel said, huffing a little.  

 

Sam grinned against Gabriel's hair.  "She's never going to let you live this down, is she?"  

 

"Nope," Gabriel said, annoyance coloring his voice.  "She'll lord it over me for at least a couple of centuries.  On top of that, she matched one of the archangels, which, in itself, comes with a great deal of prestige."  

 

Sam laughed and pressed another kiss to Gabriel's head.  "That's pretty awesome."  

 

"You're pretty awesome," Gabriel mumbled in return, wrapping an arm tightly around Sam.  "Now do you believe me when I say this isn't the cupids fucking with us?"  

 

"Yeah," Sam said, closing his eyes as he started to yawn.  Fuck, he hadn't slept well in months now, and he was going to drop off any second.  "Don't get me wrong, I want you, but..." he yawned again.

 

Gabriel chuckled and shook his head against Sam's collarbone.  "No offense taken Sammich.  I'll make it up to you when you wake up.  Get some rest."  

 

Sam nodded and twisted a little, frowning when it made his shoulder twinge.  "Hey, Gabe?"  

 

Gabriel absolutely did not think about how much that little nickname meant to him.  It was something that only Sam called him, and the possessiveness of it made his Grace sing.  "Yeah?"  

 

"My shoulder is still a little sore and if we sleep like this, I'll regret it in the morning.  Think you could, uh, help?" Sam asked, giving Gabriel a gentle squeeze.  

 

His Grace danced at the idea of being useful to his mate and Gabriel pressed another kiss to Sam's heart, healing the last of the muscle soreness from the wound Sam had suffered a few months back.  "There," he said.  If he also healed some of the excess scar tissue to make sure Sam got his full range of motion back?  Well.  He was just being thorough.  

 

Sam smiled and relaxed properly into the pillow, yawning widely.  "Mmm, perfect."  

 

"Get some rest, Sam," Gabriel said, his voice a quiet order.  

 

Sam poked Gabriel in the side.  "Bossy."  

 

Gabriel chuckled.  "Very, yes."  

 

"Good thing I like bossy," Sam said, snuggling in properly with Gabriel.  

 

"And if I get too bossy, you can always spank me for misbehaving!"

 

Sam groaned, but he couldn't help grinning.  Just a little.