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A whole armour of scars

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Dean lies stretched out on the sofa, still exhausted from the almost literal conflagration of his rekindled hatred for witches. Atop of him Michael rests, his toes curling on the warm cushions where Sam had been sitting. Just a minute ago the youngest of them all grew fed up with Lucifer and Gabriel’s combined attempt to set the library on fire, and not even the soothing circles Michael had drawn between his shoulders could bear him to stay. Instead he latched onto the first chance at snaring Castiel around the waist, still practically in the hallway, and dragged him to the other end of the bunker for whatever form of stress relieving activities.

It’s not like Dean minds - only that Sam didn’t take the insufferable pair of winged dicks with him.

He tangles his hand in Michael’s gentle curls, now that they have grown back again to settle in messy, dark waves under Dean’s absent but unrelenting ministration. He twirls a few strands around a finger and soothes them down behind Michael’s ear. Dean sighs with his angel.

When the tempers would settle he will have to thank Gabriel for this trick.

Or maybe not. After all, it was due to Heaven’s wayward trickster that Michael had shaved his - then flaming red - hair in terrible frustration. Then they almost made it a family tradition to murder Gabriel when he all but wanted to save the planet. In a way. In a really, really weird way that included the angels growing wings and shifting their appearance for a tiny bit more accurate depiction of their grace.

Dean is a huge fan of the wings. And the hair. He isn’t yet sure about the rest.

Two massive shelves crammed to the brim with books collapse. Papers file to the floor even at where Dean is trying to have some well-fucking-deserved rest.

“Mike,” he grumbles.

“Mhmm.”

“Your brothers are blowing shit up. Do something.”

Michael doesn’t stir a bit. “They will cool. Ultimately.”

Dean groans. As much as he likes the lovely blanket Michael makes on top of him, he just cannot pull him over his ears and pretend that Satan wasn’t throwing a hissy fit for being engulfed and merged with this stinking monkey meatsuit only a couple paces away.

“The bunker can’t take a freaking nuke blowing up.”

Michael makes a soft sound. “I could.”

“What?!”

“What?” Michael raises his head, folds his hands over Dean’s chest and then puts his chin atop of them.

Dean stares back at him, incredulous, with a forming grin threatening to split the corner of his mouth.

“Angel or not, I’m calling bullshit, man.”

The archangel only regards him with his unreadable, curiously impassioned look.

“I really could absorb a nuclear blast. No fallout. I did,” he adds, with a strange, feline delight narrowing just the very corner of his eyes.

“Bull.”

“I have the scar to prove it.”

At this Dean does allow the grin to spread until he is showing teeth in challenge. He knows that any blemish on Michael’s skin is as scarce as a random drop of water in the desert.

Michael blinks, his face settles back into his default seriousness. He pushes himself up, with only a hint of a pressure on Dean’s ribcage, just enough to make him huff an indignant breath - a punishment for his lack of faith -, and sits back between his heels over Dean’s knees. Curling his spine, maddeningly gracefully, Michael pulls his T-shirt over his head and wings.

The triumphant exclamation dies halfway from Dean’s vocal chords to his lips. He makes a splendid imitation of a fish thrown on land, he assumes, but holy fucking shit there must be rivers running from lakes to inland seas in the desert.

Michael’s gaze skids down his naked, muscled torso; his fingers splay over a rough patch of white just below his sternum.

“This was it,” he says. “’45. You must agree that two bombs were enough to end the war.”

“Wow,” Dean gasps.

He shifts to lean his shoulders against the armrest, squirming higher in his seat so that he could reach out better, further. Yet, his fingers stop shy from touching warm flesh.

“Why the heck are you depicted in armour on all paintings when you clearly wear none at all?”

Michael blinks a look his way.

Then absolutely unconcerned with an angel blade slicing the air so close that were he to stretch his hand he could grab the sword before it sticks in the opposite wall, Michael pulls back his shoulders and spreads his arms wide. His gaze penetrates Dean to the very sensitive core of his soul that only ever opens for the archangel.

“This is my armour,” he proclaims.

Dean nods. How could he not? There is just this conviction in Michael’s voice that allows no kind of doubt to bubble in those who hear him.

He shifts again – his own face burning, eyes wide, chest heavy with a new sense of admiration and worried confusion. It’s barely sexual, the sensation that coils around him tight. It runs far deeper than that. And Dean doesn’t like pondering about it.

“Don’t you heal?” he wonders. Finally, he has emerged from the hazy fog and his palm settles with reverent slowness on one side of Michael’s hip. His rough fingertips brush a crescent arc of a dashed scar. “I thought angels bear no wounds.”

“We get injured, inside our vessels. Outside of them, more often.” Dean’s gaze jerks up to his face.  “What? Did you think the year running up to the Apocalypse was the first time for Heaven and Hell to clash forces?” An electric fingertip traces Dean’s knuckles, bearing their own pale marks of experience.

“But you heal,” Dean insists, his brows tugging deep over his eyes.

Michael hums a note of thoughtful agreement.

“We do,” he concedes. “We pick up our shards and place them back to the best of our…” at a thought that just struck him, he sighs a little secret laugh, “to the best of our anatomical knowledge. I have to admit, I’m rather lacking in such education. Raphael has threatened to just tear me apart, atom to atom, so she would have it easier to put me back in order.”

Dean snorts. “I bet if you asked him nicely enough, Adam would give you a crash course.”

“In celestial anatomy?”

“Whatever.” Dean allows. “You didn’t explain why you look like a Deadpool wanna-be.”

“I’m afraid, I don’t understand.”

“The scars, Michael. Why are you covered in them from head to toe?”

When Michael still looks confused, Dean only glares back at him. They have already had this talk multiple times. They have laid in bed with Michael’s head on Dean’s shoulder, his fingertip and painfully gentle lips mapping the old scars of Dean’s body while Dean attempted to drill a hole in the ceiling with his stare in hopes of stopping himself from crying. He has confessed time and time again, bursting with desperate frustration how much he hated the reminder of being too weak, too slow, too little time and time again. Michael never seemed to understand.

“They are—“

Michael’s reply is completely drown out by Gabriel’s cry. There is a crashing sound, a metallic flutter, a container of nails scattering on the floor. Suddenly one part of the couch dips. Dean is crushed against the armrest. Michael, too, loses his balance, and he can barely catch himself from falling on Dean.

From the point Lucifer slammed Gabriel onto the ground now there is a wide crack that swallowed a couple inches of the couch.

Michael turns around, fast, his posture rigid. There is a frown deepening between his brows. Now, here will come the intervention Dean was pressing for earlier. With quick efficiency he untangles himself from Dean, and stalks over to his scuffling brothers and, fast as a lightning strikes, he cuffs the both of them.

“Stand down. Both of you,” Michael barks.

As expected, even though they were hit by the force of a freight train, Lucifer is immediately back on his feet, snarling, like a dog beaten down. On the other side however, though he, too, is up with an indignant exclamation, Gabriel seems just a little bit relieved that Lucifer’s anger is directed away from him.

For a tense moment they only glare at each other. It should be impossible in the formation they stand, but they are archangels, and it is their family thing so they manage. The electricity flickers overhead, it crackles among the hairs standing on end along the length of Dean’s arms.

Then Lucifer turns his eyes on Michael. His nostrils flare, his lips pull back from glass-shard teeth. The temperature drops lower than the coldest part of the North Pole.

Michael stands his ground.

Gabriel shrinks away.

“LIAR!” Lucifer roars.

His bruised white wings spread with the sudden sound of snapping tent canvas - but so does Michael’s. His own dark wings curl high above his head. They stretch from one wall to the next, just an inch wider than Lucifer’s.

Curiously peeking over the slanted back of the couch Dean gasps.

Unlike him, however, it is not the glorious scene unfurled in front of his humanized eyes that had Lucifer stop. Not even the determination and terrible might glowing in Michael’s eyes. His gaze is glued just over his brother’s left shoulder. The battle cry curls into a snarl, teeth ground against each other so hard they would crush one another. Lucifer’s Adam’s apple bobs relentlessly in his throat, as if he was desperate to keep a flood of words still at the back of his tongue

“You liar,” he croaks. “You lied to me! How could you forgive me after— why do you still bear these? Why, you idiot? All that malice I cooked up against them - why do I see it all on you?”

Michael frowns. “They are part of me.”

Lucifer’s mouth falls open, but instead of the air, it is the earth above and around the bunker that shudders with no sound of a scream.

Like a wild bull Lucifer charges at Michael, slamming himself against his chest in an attempt to throw him off balance and bring the both of them to the ground. He would have come out a conqueror, victorious, glorious to feed his vanity if his opponent was anyone but Michael.

With one hand Michael snares him around the neck while the other has a vice-like grip on Lucifer’s hip, and with one simple swipe of his feet he trips Lucifer over.

Satan is brought to squirm in the dust with despicable grace and ease.

Upon the impact of his back colliding with the ground Lucifer’s lungs empty with a loud whoosh of a sound that topples over furniture. His wings ruffle like dry leaves in the wind of their own making. Even momentarily disabled Lucifer still growls and thrashes – he seems to be nothing but scalding white feathers and rows upon rows of violent teeth. His eyes roll, ice-floes running in a freezing sea of blood.

As Michael lowers himself to bar his brother from struggling back to his feet Lucifer spits curses into his face.

“They were not yours to step in the way!”

“You declared war on God’s people,” Michael points out, his hand sneaking back in place around Lucifer’s throat.

Lucifer tries to snap his teeth at his forearm but fails.

Man!” he growls. “The Son of Man. Sons of Man! They should bleed, they should suffer! It wasn’t you! Not you, not yet!”

Michael sets his knee on Lucifer’s chest. He counts the fluttering pulse through the point of his knee and the palm of his hand. “You thought,” he asks softly, “that God would just stand by and watch? That I would just stand by and watch you play like a sadist, spoiled brat?”

“He had! You did!”

“Lucifer.” Michael chastises, a low sound, threatening in its promise, but rolling with some distant, intangible comfort. Then he adds something, in another tongue, that has Lucifer freeze for a second and Gabriel slide further away with his eyes cast down as if he was ashamed or embarrassed of understanding the words.

Then Lucifer explodes. He is a flurry of beating wings and snaring hands, claws and teeth and flailing knees that beat the curl of Michael’s spine green and purple and draw blood from his forearm and parallel lines down one side of his face.

Dean watches with a sinking feeling how Michael doesn’t even try to grab just one of the dangerous hands to stop the assault. It is not because he couldn’t. Dean knows well that he could. Within a blink of an eye Michael could pin both of Lucifer’s wrists above his head. He’s got the free hand to do so, and yet… he indulges Lucifer. Like it was nothing. Compared to the scars on his body they might as well be – where they clearly shouldn’t be!

Yet, it doesn’t change the unmovable calm with which Michael simply holds his beast-like brother in a secure grip down to the ground – waiting the storm to rage itself out and then move on. He only lets up once Lucifer finally sighs - and doesn’t fill his lungs again to feed his fury.

Then Michael sits back on his heels, regarding the other in thought.

“How does one satisfy you, Lucifer?” he muses softly. “Once I’d praised you and you would melt into me without all this snarling.”

“That was a lifetime ago!”

“I praised you with the same word, the same mouth, same timbre…. I don’t see how that was any different.”

Lucifer’s eyes widen, their white visible fully, just as his lips pull back from his teeth to display all thirty-two. It’s a sharp snarl, but only dangerous in the fear it covers. His throat clicks dry as he swallows.

“You weren’t so scarred. Why are you so scarred?” His question, though accusatory in its first syllables, curls high. Helpless, scared.

“They are proof for all that I have survived,” Michael says as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“You’re alive!” Dean is surprised to hear his thoughts voiced by Lucifer.

“They are a part of me being alive.”

“You shouldn’t have survived these!” Lucifer insists. “Not these wars, not these sickness! The Christ! Yes, I’d poured it on him, but he was Man! You were not! You’re not! God sent you into battle that was not yours to fight!”

“They are Father’s,” Michael says, and his voice sounds firm now. It cracks like a whip through Lucifer and pins his hands to the ground.

“And you’re Father’s little bloodhound.”

“Yes.” Then a thought of a smile lights up the depth of Michael’s eyes. “And I learn new tricks. So watch your mouth.”

There is a storm of emotions raging on Lucifer’s face – all of them raw and terrible. It comes and goes, and Lucifer’s expression settles on his usual cold disdain.

Dean’s attention is snatched from them as Gabriel throws himself down on the couch next to him. With his wings it feels like that the archangel’s surprisingly short limbs sprawl even wider. There is a sheen of sweat over his brows.

Before Dean could inquire whether they should start celebrating the 19th of August as “Let’s Kill Your Trickster Little Brother” Day, Gabriel cuts in:

“It literally hurts to admit it, but you know, Luci used to have the prettiest feathers before he screwed himself over.”

Dean bristles.  He cuts a quick glance at the pair behind them. “You don’t say.”

Lucifer has his palms flat on Michael’s bare skin, touch just as tentative, reverent and fearsome as Dean’s was. The constellations of scars shift in the wake of his exploring hands, like scales turned over, always to show a different picture. And Michael lets him.

Every now and then Lucifer’s gaze flickers up to Michael’s face. In answer to their seething inquiry clipped words fall and push Lucifer’s expression through the same terrible acrobatics of raw emotions again and again.

“Well, I do,” Gabriel says matter of factly, but Dean feels his intense gaze on him even if it’s only from the corner of his eyes. “And Mick just called him – well, I don’t really have an exact translation, because your language’s seriously lacking, but, Micky just called him Morning Star.”

“Tell me something new,” Dean snaps, but the heat is missing from his voice. It has drained from his body, the same way as his heart dropped out into empty space where his stomach used to be. Even the way Gabriel said it, thick and filled with unfamiliar emotions on his tongue, he said Morning Star as if he wanted to say beautiful, admired, and precious. Dean feels sick.

Fond stories of innocence lost tumble to the forefront of Dean’s mind, and he hates Gabriel terribly for the reminder. There is a fist tightening around his chest, he worries - and he is also burning with shame. He remembers every time Michael has told him how little flesh mattered to the celestial folk, and yet. Now he cannot help but wonder if suddenly owning, not just renting a body actually matters. He wonders whether there is a new sense of curiosity kindled at the thrill of new nervous system and the sensations that rushed along them…

He really doesn’t need to think of this right now.

Dean springs to his feet (unceremoniously pushes himself into a somewhat standing position would be more like it, but his pride wouldn’t let him admit that). He glares at Gabriel. He doesn’t know what he expected.

“I’m gonna fry you extra crispy one day,” he threatens and slinks away, unnoticed into the kitchen. He will only stab some veggies for Sam with all this aggressive, green-coloured feeling he definitely refuses to name as jealousy.

 

 

 

Dean muffles a long string of carefully assorted curses against his finger stuffed into his mouth. Of course he cut himself. Wouldn’t be such a big issue if he dressed the salad for vampires. At least it happened after he was done chopping the onions. Fuck, maybe God really did have some mercy for him?

He has also been well damn aware of Michael’s gaze at the back of his head for the past minute. Michael could quote every single curse Dean just swore.

“Are you done groping each other with Satan?” Dean asks the rack of knives hung on the wall opposite of him.

“You’re being jealous.”

“And you’re being an asshole. What’s your excuse?”

“Eye for an eye.”

“Oh, shut up!”

Dean knows there is a lazy grin stretching on Michael’s face.

“If I were to sulk about you and Sam having such an intimate relationship…”

“I’d say you’re out of your goddamn mind.”

“Language.”

“Fuck you.”

Michael laughs. “We aren’t that different, you, Winchesters, and us,” he says. “Except I don’t have a no chick-flick rule.”

At that tone Dean rounds on Michael like a bull ready to charge, he even has the kitchen knife lifted like an accusing finger, but really, all he does is turn red in the face and wonder how he could exhale without making an even more ridiculous dick of himself. His lungs ache with it he so desperately wants to protest. But it only takes Michael to arch one of his scar-crossed perfect eyebrows. It dares Dean to deny that entire month it took him not to flinch away when Michael leaned in to kiss him. Or that and the following two months it took for him to admit he was okay with cuddling after sex. It was truly outrageous how a celestial wavelength, who, supposedly, hasn’t taken earthly form in centuries was more comfortable with and within his foreign body than Dean who has inhabited it for his entire life.

 He clenches his jaw and glares.

“Whatever,” he says and turns back to his aborted dinner-project.

“Dean,” Michael sounds from very close. He cannot teleport in a body like this, but that doesn’t mean that Dean believes him.

Dean grunts.

“It’s not just Lucifer that upset you so much.”

“It’s a pretty good reason though.”

“Is it the scars?” If only Michael didn’t sound so damn sincerely confused. “You demanded to see… Are these all too much?”

With an exasperated eye-roll Dean turns to face Michael. “You’ve got them layered on your—!” He makes a frustrated waving motion indicating Michael’s entire body. Being. Whatever. When he realizes he waved with the tip of his knife, he quickly drops it back to the cutting board. “Look. It literally pains me to admit, but I’m with Satan on this one.”

“You wish your scars wouldn’t show.”

“It’s. Damn, it’s not about me, it’s about you!”

Michael frowns. “They don’t bother me. They don’t hurt.”

“Yeah, that’s bullshit. An arm torn off is only a pinprick on your scale of it-doesn’t-hurt-that-much, so excuse my scepticism.”

“They are memories.”

“Can’t you just, I dunno, make photographs or some other shit? What- Wait, what are you doing?”

Dean watches as the crazy map of scars fade. There is only one pale pink scar that remains in the dip where collarbone joins shoulder. He knows there is a palm-sized exit scar on the exact opposite side.

“I like this one. You could call it a favourite.”

Dean pales, and he is very lucky that there is the counter right behind him, or he would simply fall right on his ass.

“You need some serious therapy, pal.”

Michael shrugs in his way that doesn’t really involve actual movement.

“You speak as if we could pick whether we heal without marks or not. Sometimes, yes, but sometimes there is not enough healers to attend to all of us. Sometimes the injury is too severe even to Raphael’s knowledge,” bitterness flickers in Michael’s eyes. “Sometimes Father isn’t there to put us back together when things get real bad. But what you have to understand, Dean, is that it’s not always easy to remember so many millennia. No matter how many hymns are sung, no matter how many thousands of prayers are declared in our victories, there is always four times as many psalms of woe, and cries of misery that reach Heaven.”

Michael smiles, something soft on his handsome face that looks so sad in its tentative newness and freshly re-learnt compassion.

“Is it so strange that you need visible reminders of victories?”

Dean shakes his head, incredulous, stubborn. “It shouldn’t be so.”

“And yet it is.”

“How about that one?” Dean points in the general direction of that scar on Michael’s shoulder. He feels sick just thinking about it. His only comfort since they got together has been that it didn’t matter; it was forgotten since there was no physical evidence left to be mad about.

Michael apparently doesn’t share the sentiment. He touches the flattened round scar with his fingertips. He absentmindedly caresses its edges.

“What both you and Lucifer need to understand,” Michael says, “Is that I don’t keep my scars to hold grudges. Neither because these are my only reminders of you. I’ve learnt to forget and forgive. And this one,” he touches the scar again, “this taught me that I am allowed to want some things for myself.”

Dean’s head is still heavy and fuzzy. He stubbornly refuses to understand Michael’s logic. There is no way he could so easily erase the guilt and nightmares of lonely nights that haunt him because of that damned bullet wound. He remembers still too vividly the blood splattered on the side of Michael’s neck and face. He couldn’t just forget and forgive the growl; or the pain that had the archangel’s eyes round. It arguably was probably more surprise that any wound out of an ordinary mortal gun could hurt so much. It also matters an awful little now that back then Michael totally deserved that bullet even aimed between his eyes – just one single bullet extorted out of Crowley back in the day when they were pretty much on the same team against Heaven. And still.

“Dean?”

Dean also kind of understands. But only kind of.

“I still think you’re sick.”

“But not too sick?”

“Terribly sick. Like, I’ll start looking for a hunter with a psychology degree. Someone who can look past your blatant god-complex.”

Michael’s expression is drawn in slight disdain. “You surely could join me.”

“Couple therapy, huh?”

“I wasn’t informed inferiority and martyr-complex doesn’t call for professional help.”

It is Dean’s turn to make a face.

He somehow missed to notice Michael inching closer to him. He can’t really tell if he is getting warm around the collar from Michael’s close proximity or the smirk that doesn’t really sit on his lips just yet.

“You’re not as funny as you think you are.”

Michael’s laugh is smeared onto Dean’s lips. It’s warm and liquid sunshine that easily spills into his mouth when Dean moans a little, pleased and hungry sound. He has never been a huge fan of summer – hot, itchy all over, the dust of the road sticking to his clammy skin even through his shirt – but now it’s summer whole year with Michael kissing him.

And Michael kisses him thoroughly. Always. As if taking away Dean’s breath was his life’s mission.

Dean is crowded back against the counter. Michael’s chest is hot, his body is hard lined up with his. There is a tactically placed thigh slotted perfectly between Dean’s, and he is way past feeling embarrassed at how eager his body is to react at the intimate closeness. His hands grasp for strong shoulders, fingertips play along ridges and dips of muscle and bone as if on the keys of the piano.

The back of his mind wonders if memory paints the layered scars right under his touch. He realizes he doesn’t actually care. They are a part of Michael after all. And if he doesn’t have any qualms against them – their memory, their rough texture, the pain – then who is Dean to project his own resentment onto the archangel?

When his hands finally find their way into Michael’s thick hair Dean cannot help a moan. He loves the feel of the wavy curls slide and twist along his fingers, and knot against the thin skin webbing between them. His mouth opens up on the sound and Michael immediately presses closer, kissing deep and dirty with tongue. Dean really can’t help grinding his twitching erection down against Michael’s thick thigh.

A sharp hiss whistles on Michael’s teeth as the heat from Dean’s fingertips has the fresh little scars on his face sting; but just as Dean is about to pull back with a breathless little apology Michael only dives back deeper and more vigorous into their kiss.

Dean won’t complain. His world narrows down to olive skin, hot-hungry mouth and gold-green eyes – and Dean will have to wonder later how long his brain could operate strictly on endorphin and adrenaline but absolutely no oxygen.

Michael’s hands are steady on Dean’s belt buckle. One end of the leather is already freed from the loops of his jeans when with the sound of a comet crashing through the atmosphere Gabriel bursts into the kitchen.

“Come on, guys,” he complains, “can’t you wait until I have something to throw up?”

With a forming snarl Michael turns just enough to send a nasty glare at Gabriel.

“Then leave.”

Gabriel huffs. Mischief paints his eyes light amber.

But Dean is in a good mood too. His face is already flushed so that he feels no heat of shame at being caught, only the bright summer days and sweet sunshine that Michael has filled his lungs with. He nuzzles the side of Michael’s jaw. His entire body is buzzing.

“I know what’s his problem,” Dean says. “He’s jealous he didn’t get an invitation.”

“I can take back the complaint in that case…”

“It was no invitation.”

“Micky didn’t say no!” Gabriel wiggles his eyebrows, but all he gets in reply is a slightly lighter version of the previous glare from his brother. Dean simply laughs at him. “But seriously, in the kitchen? I wouldn’t want to eat from a counter with the imprint of your naked ass Dean-O. It’s a nice piece of ass, don’t take it personally, all I’m saying is—”

“You eat. From the counter.” Dean asks, somewhat suspicious. One would never know.

This is also the point of the conversation when Michael decides to extricate himself from Dean’s embrace and rather slink over to the fridge. Dean might be pouting at his back.

Gabriel throws his arms wide, “You can’t know! I might have a knack for licking that nice Raspberry Ripple ice cream from the counter.”

“Now that’s gross.”

You wanted to fuck there like horny teenagers!”

“Gabriel,” Michael cuts in before the situation deteriorates into a competition of who did/would do grosser things in the kitchen. He holds a cup filled with sliced pepper in his hand. “Where is Lucifer?”

“Hell if I know. You’re his probation officer.”

“I might step aside the next time you stump on his feathers,” Michael says matter of factly. His still too hot eyes are trained on the red, yellow and poison green slices Dean had arranged just for him still the other day. As it turned out Sam isn’t the only rabbit in the Winchester-Arch-Douche-Angels household. It is fascinating and truly ridiculous how Heaven’s most terrifying weapon has picked sweet peppers as his guilty pleasure, and act of choice of rebellion.

“Bully,” Gabriel grouses, but explains either way. One may never be sure with tyrannous big brothers. “He’s fucked off, seeking out Raphael to commiserate over what a nuisance I am, no doubt.”

“I might join them later.”

“Rude! You can’t complain, Micky, this time you even got a dick so you can bang your boyfriend.”

Without the heat of Michael’s chest pressed against his heart Dean can clearly feel that only his stirring curiosity is keeping his blush down. He will have to ask Michael about this particular story later. But until then. He really doesn’t enjoy blushing in front of way too corporeal ethereal beings.

“If you’re done,” he says sharply with all the authority he can muster. “You could help me with dinner. I wanna eat by the time Sam and Cas are done.”

Gabriel agrees immediately, but he also has to add that Dean should take example of his little brother and hump Michael somewhere more private, and somewhere with a bed.

Michael doesn’t help. Not because he is a disaster in the kitchen (he is a mild, unexpected shower out of nowhere, but it’s not like he sets water on fire like some of his other siblings do), but because he prefers to simply watch Dean in this little haven of his. Once they even joked that Dean’s Heaven would be a roomy cottage’s rustic kitchen, with wood surfaces and herbs growing in neat little pots on racks and in the windows. That was one weird, but awfully heart-warming conversation.

Now Michael stands to the side, munching on his peppers the same way Gabriel does with his candy, and sometimes strategically flexes his wings so that the bristling, outstretched primaries would brush Dean’s arm. It always sends a thrilling sensation through his system. It sings with the promise of everything, and still something more after.

When they share a look Gabriel makes gagging noises again. To the point where Dean has to warn him, if he hurls on dinner Dean is going to pull him on a spit and roast him instead. Gabriel only laughs.

He isn’t much help when it comes to cooking either. He wants to put either sugar, chocolate, chili or some un-pronounceable other spice in the dish every damn time. They bicker constantly, and Dean has lost count how many times he had to body-check Gabriel in the last minute so that the compact angel wouldn’t ruin the pasta. He will have bruises, no doubt. And not even the fun kind.

It truly is a miracle that they even finish dinner.