Sam is almost certain he can get back to sleep. That is if he can ignore Abe squealing, Dean shouting at someone over the phone and the sound of power tools.
He’s not really surprised when his phone goes off. At least he can drag that back under the covers with him. There’s a long silence after his half a hello and then a sigh, “Sam?”
“Luc,” Sam grins, he’d been hunting imps with Gabe the last two weeks and hadn’t heard from the kid since before then. “What’s up? Good to hear from you.”
“Well, umm, you know last time you were here, you said that I should get the roof looked at before the rainy season?”
Sam closes his eyes under the covers, “It’s the rainy season, isn’t it?”
Sam starts to chuckle at the same time that Luc snorts and huffs. “My mattress is ruined, but I got all the books out.”
“Well, at least you saved the books,” Sam grins as he climbs out of the nest and digs around in his dresser for a clean shirt. “Look, lemme grab Gabe, we can swing by and help you out this afternoon.”
“Awesome,” Luc says then quickly adds, “He’s not going to hug me again, is he?”
Sam smiles. “I’ll tell him to be on his best behavior.”
Luc chuckles as Sam hangs up and jumps in the shower.
It’s quiet when he slides out into the living room. Dean and Cas were in the bedroom, curled on the bed talking quietly while Abe sat cradled between them. They’d been having ‘issues’ of late. Issues here having the meaning of Dean being a whiny bitch about Cas being hesitant about mating.
Sam can understand, Cas’ last mate died, he’d be hesitant about fully committing too. Not that all this is stopping them from ‘making up’ after they argue. Usually in the middle of the living room, until Sam flees.
He snags what’s left of the coffee before he slides out the side door just in time to see his mate kick a bookshelf apart while cussing rather magnificently.
“I’m sure that deserved that.” Sam frowns over his coffee as Gabriel looks up surprised before he grins.
“Is Cas still leaving his emotions all over the house?” Sam smiles as he lifts his mug so Gabriel can snuggle up against his chest and cover him in sawdust.
“They are a pair of conflicted idiots,” Gabriel hums as he steals Sam’s coffee.
“They’ll work it out, I have faith in Cas’ stubbornness.”
Gabriel smiles before he blinks, “I thought you said it was Sunday and no one was gonna make you put pants on?”
Sam rolls his eyes, “Luc called, it’s raining.”
“He didn’t fix the roof!” Gabriel starts complaining about ‘feather headed fledglings’ in Enochian and Sam smiles.
“You have to behave or I’m not bringing you.”
Gabriel crosses his arms, “And how will you get to Detroit without me?”
“I’ll just ask Cas.”
“I thought I said no hugging.”
Sam is tired of hauling boxes of books down to the basement in this ramshackle old house that Luc lives in. The kid owns one set of clothes, and a mattress; but enough books to start his own public library.
He’d come back upstairs and found Gabriel with his arm around Luc, holding him still while trying to tame the kids perpetual cowlick. It looked like the equivalent of someone trying to hug a cat that had gone limp.
“I asked first,” Gabriel frowns over Luc’s dirty blond hair as if he was offended Sam would imply he wouldn’t.
The first time Sam had brought Gabe to meet Luc could really be categorized as a complete failure. Gabriel had been ridiculously excited and Luc had been completely terrified. Sam blames himself. He’d only told Gabriel that they were going to see another angel. Not a flock-less fledgling that lived in a house that was one broken window away from being condemned.
Gabriel had been horrified and bossy while Luc had been skittish and prideful.
Sam had finally ended their frantic arguing by taking the hose to them.
It’s just hard to come to terms with Luc. He’s eighteen. In human terms he’s an adult. In angel terms he’s still a fledgling that wasn’t even supposed to be away from the flock for another twenty years. On top of that he looks like he’s fourteen. All gangly limbs and messy hair.
It’s taken Sam a month to even get him to accept having Gabriel around again.
Gabriel hurts whenever they see him. Sam thinks Luc feels it, and that’s part of why he’s so resistant to him. Of course Sam knows the other half of it was how he was raised. “We were raised to deal with our own shit and if we couldn’t hack it we kept quiet.” Sam is barely getting through his own issues. He doesn’t even know where to start with Luc’s.
Luc doesn’t want... isn’t expecting help from anyone.
It’s all Sam can do to try and change that.
“Is this tree sap?” Gabriel frowns, “Please tell me this is tree sap.”
“Um,” Luc bites at the edge of his lip before he frowns, “Maybe?”
“I don’t like the sound of maybe. Do you even have running water in here?” Gabriel furrows his eyebrows.
“I do now,” Luc grouses over the sound of rain and Sam can’t help it, he starts cracking up.
When he’s gotten control of himself and wiping the tears off his face he realizes that Gabriel and Luc are looking at him with the same amused expression that makes Sam smile. They’re more alike than they realize.
“I think we should go to the bakery,” Sam says.
He’s greeted with a chorus of ‘yes!’ followed by Gabriel and Luc scrambling to find their jackets. If all it takes for them to get along is a lemon pound cake he might have a chance.
Sam’s half asleep that night but Gabriel won’t stop moving. He knows Gabriel doesn’t really have to sleep but the angel always spends a couple of hours curled around Sam before he gets restless.
Usually he stays still though.
With a sigh Sam rolls over onto his back and waits for the crush of Gabriel, wings and all to settle over him. Once he does Sam slides his hands up Gabriel’s back and tugs just under his wings, digging his fingers under the feathers until the angel moans and tucks his face under Sam’s chin as he goes boneless.
“So it’s it Cas or Luc?” Sam murmurs as he eases under the warmth.
“Both. No. Luc.” Gabriel growls. “I don’t see why he has to stay in that creaky dump when we have a perfectly good nest here.”
Sam smiles against the top of Gabriel’s head as he drags his fingers through Gabe’s feathers, “We’ve had this conversation. You are talking about an angel that got raised as a human, and not very well. He’s not sure what he’s supposed to be doing and the people that ‘helped’ him before were either assholes or they didn’t know what he needed.”
“We know what he needs,” Gabriel breathes against the side of Sam’s neck and he can feel the hurt, the helplessness, buzzing around Gabriel.
“I know,” Sam says as he tilts his angel’s head up to kiss him.
The week after that is a blur. An honest to God dragon showed up in Central Park, summoned by a jilted warlock that couldn’t control it. It started burrowing into skyscrapers and stealing virgins, the media scene was so huge that all available hunters had to go after it. Which included Sam and Gabriel.
Gabriel got on the news when they finally killed the thing and Sam has been listening to him be insufferably smug about it for the last three hours since they got home. Dean and Cas are rolling their eyes as Gabriel tells the story again but Abe is all giggles and keeps shouting ‘Duggin!’ and flapping his wings.
Sam is halfway to the peace and relaxation of the shower when his phone goes off. He groans and goes back to dig it out of the pile of sheets he just threw it in.
“Hey Luc!” Sam greets after he checks the caller ID.
For a moment it’s quiet on the other end, just the sound of breathing, and Sam swallows as the hairs rise on the back of his neck.
“Sam?” Luc sounds terrified and he’s whispering.
“What’s going on? Where are you?” Sam’s already out of the bedroom and down the hall as Luc takes in a shuddering breath.
“There’s... There’s people here. I think... They aren’t human. Sam, one cut me. I tried to fly away and it...”
“Just tell me where you are, Luc.” Sam closes his eyes as he hears the living room fall silent.
A blur later Sam is standing behind Gabriel in Luc’s living room. The camp lantern that the kid uses to read is on it’s side and there are pages from a book everywhere. Sam pulls his knife out just as Gabriel flicks his wrist and is holding his sword.
It’s quiet and then... voices.
They slip forward and Sam can hear the sound of wood splintering before, “Come on, sunshine. We just want to play with you.”
Gabriel growls, “Demons.”
With a quick movement, Gabriel flicks his sword forward before he makes a loop and Sam nods. Gabriel vanishes and Sam swallows before he steps forward.
There are four of them, two giant bastards, a skinny one with a knife, and a woman. They’re breaking down the basement door.
Carefully, Sam clears his throat. Four pairs of black eyes swing to look at him and Sam smiles.
“And what are you supposed to be?” The woman asks, crossing her arms. “The cavalry?”
“I’m the distraction, actually.” Sam says.
A beat passes and then in the blink of an eye one the giant guys is in pieces on the floor. Gabriel slams his wings out and the woman screams. Then Sam is rushing forward. Sliding through the gap in the fight to crawl through the hole they made in the basement door.
It sounds like cats and dogs behind him, but Sam holds his hand out and pushes away the boxes of books that had been shoved against the door and pounds down the stairs.
“Luc?” He hisses and freezes when he hears movement.
One of the boxes slides aside and Luc peers at him with pale eyes and whimpers, “Sam!”
Sam tries to not blink because Luc’s wings are out, sleek luminous things but there’s a dark stain across one of them. He loops his arm around Luc’s waist and together they fumble up the stairs and stop when they reach the kitchen.
It’s a massacre. Sam feels his stomach clench as Luc whimpers and clings tighter to him. Gabriel is on one of the demons and there’s a crunch as he jerks down.
His eyes are a flaming gold when he looks up.
The world blurs and Sam is standing in the kitchen holding Luc as Dean cusses.
“He needs help,” Sam blurts as Castiel gasps and the kitchen becomes a whirlwind of towels and bandages.
Gabriel doesn’t come home for an hour. Not until Sam is in the nest with Luc curled up in his lap, his left wing bound with most of the blood cleaned out of his feathers.
Luc is asleep and Gabriel looks tired. His sleeve is torn and there’s a smudge of something across his temple.
“I lost my temper,” he frowns and Sam sighs.
“You think so?” He reaches out as Gabriel presses against his side, his wings rippling into existence and coming to curl around Sam and Luc.
“I think I killed every demon in Detroit.”
The house pretty much turns into a zoo when Luc wakes up the next morning. He and Gabriel had a long fight about him going home that ended with a ‘not while your wing is like that!’ and a bunch of frowning on Luc’s part. Now Gabriel won’t leave his shed and Luc won’t get out of the nest.
Sam had sat through awkward silence watching Abe. Dean had gotten him a plastic baby walker and after twenty minutes of Cas frowning Abe had finally figured it out and was scooting around the living room in half circles. Sam sits there for a half hour before he goes to the store.
Luc still growls at him from under all the blankets when he comes into the room and sits on the edge of the nest.
Sam dangles the plastic bag over Luc’s head, “You wanna be a bitch or you want Twinkies?”
It’s like feeding a shark. One second the bag is there and the next second its gone. Sam grins as Luc sits up, his feathers all rucked up and his hair flat on one side, so he can properly destroy any and all plastic keeping him from sugary goodness.
It isn’t until Luc has scarfed three Twinkies that he starts yelling, “Why won’t he take me home!? I didn’t do anything!”
Sonofa... Sam rubs his hand over his face and speaks very clearly. “Gabriel won’t take you home because you’re hurt and he doesn’t want you to be alone. Also you almost died last night and scared the shit out of the both of us.”
The angel stops mid chew, “Oh. Gabriel didn’t say any of that.”
Sam shakes his head, “That’s because you freaked him out and when he’s freaked out he gets stressed and when he’s stressed, he yells.”
Luc is licking cream off his fingers and making a face like no one has ever broken a situation down for him before. “How do you get him to stop yelling?”
“Usually you distract him. Food, TV. He’s actually pretty simple,” Sam says leaning forward to try and pet Luc’s hair into a semblance of order.
Luc lets him before he looks up, tightening his wings around him. “Are you mad at me?”
What? Why would he-? Sam starts to think that maybe Luc’s gotten the wrong idea from all the yelling.
He does it without thinking about it, his hand sliding down to cup the boys face and he lets what he’s feeling press out just like he does with Gabriel.
“Luc, no one is mad at you.”
Luc gasps and stills as his eyes go wide. “What did you...? I felt you!”
Then it his Sam. Luc’s never communed before. He’s never had anyone... The one solid way an angelic flock communicates and he’s never... Sam swallows down the grief, the anger and he smiles.
“It’s called communing. I could show you how to do it if you want.”
Luc ends up not going back to his ‘creaky dump’. Sam pretty much figured he was sold the second Cas showed him the library. He still argues with Gabriel at least until someone threatens to get the hose.
Dean complains, because Dean is Dean and he’d heard the stories about what a horrible ill adjusted kid Luc was.
But Luc doesn’t get into trouble. He’s quiet and clean, he helps Cas out in the library, or sits outside in the sun while Gabriel works. He pretty much goes out of his way to stay out of everyone’s way. Then one afternoon while Sam’s doing the dishes he hears Abe laughing. Not just regular laughing, more like completely uncontrolled, out of breath laughing.
Sam had turned the water off and made his way out of the kitchen and into the living room.
Luc is on all fours growling like he’s a hellhound and Abe is crawling all over the carpet trying to get away, except he’s laughing too hard. He keeps falling over and getting caught and snuggled.
They’re both laughing ridiculously hard and finally Luc flops onto the rug in front of the fireplace while Abe giggles hysterically on his chest. Sam isn’t sure he’s ever heard Luc laugh like that. He watches as Luc sits up and rubs noses with Abe, both of them grinning before Luc spots him and blushes.
“He started it,” Luc breathes as Abe tugs on his shirt.
Sam grins, “I bet he did.”
Apparently, Abe absolutely adores Luc and it’s mutual. Which means Dean loves Luc because anyone Abe loves has to be good.
“It makes sense,” Gabriel says as Sam finishes up dinner and Gabriel gingerly unwraps a red velvet cupcake.
“What does?” Sam frowns over his salad.
“Them,” Gabriel nods as Sam follows his gaze to the living room where Luc is watching TV with Abe in his lap. It’s an old kung fu film and Sam smiles when Luc reaches down to cover Abe’s eyes when the fighting starts. “You know how we usually raise fledglings?”
“Tell me,” Sam leans forward and Gabe grins.
“You pretty much just toss them all in one nest like a basketful of puppies.”
Sam laughs at the image as Gabriel smiles, something indulgent and proud. “I was afraid that Abdiel wouldn’t be able to make those kinds of connections. With the war on it was too dangerous to keep all our young in one place, and we didn’t have any other fledglings in our flock.”
“I don’t think Luc got a chance to make connections like that either,” Sam sighs but looks up as Gabriel stands.
“Well, they’re making them now. So, what’s that phrase? Something about spilt milk?” Gabriel saunters into the living room and shoves Luc and Abe over to flop on the couch.
There’s squeals and grumbles but then Abe spots Gabriel’s cupcake and by the time Sam is done rinsing his plate, Luc and Abe are sharing it while Gabriel pouts.
A week later, Sam wakes suddenly but he isn’t sure why. He rolls over onto his back in the nest and then sits up when he hears low voices out in the living room.
It takes him a moment to recognize Gabriel but then...
Shit, it’s his dad.
He yanks a shirt on and slips down the hall, stopping just out of sight to hear Dean sigh noisily, “How long was this on the net?”
“Maybe a couple of minutes,” Sam swallows as he tries to remember the last time he heard his dad in person. “It wasn’t too long before Ash pulled it.”
He hears Gabriel grumble and then Cas, “You should wake Sam up.”
“In a minute,” Gabriel snaps and Sam frowns.
But then Dean cuts in with, “Don’t be a chickenshit. Go get your boyfriend.”
And Dean just said that in front of their father.
"Who's a chickenshit?" Sam asks as he slides out of the hall.
"Gabriel," comes the unison from Dean, Cas, and Luc.
Sam lets out a breath as Gabriel rubs the back of his neck. His father doesn't say anything, he probably knew Sam was in the hallway before the angels did. Dean is staring at him, waiting for him to do something crazy probably. But his dad is quiet and he's holding Abe, who is out cold, curled in the flannel of his fathers jacket like it's the safest place in the world. Sam remembers when he thought that was true.
"Is there a reason we're having a meeting at five in the morning?" He frowns but Cas is making coffee so at least there's some respite coming. He can hold off on arguing until he finds out what's going on.
"Luc's got a warrant out on him," Dean says with a proud grin.
“More of a subpoena,” his father clarifies, “Gordon started some shit with Lenore’s people so the council has him cleaning out all the paper backlogs. Turns out the kid was in them.”
“Because of what happened at the Home?” Sam asks.
“From what I gathered from the database it seems that the case is still open because the hunter that testified had every word that came out of his mouth red flagged. Autopsy showed crushing trauma, and from where the body was found it was ruled as accidental. But from the testimony we can’t tell what exactly happened.”
Sam knew this was going to catch up to Luc sooner or later. At least it wasn’t an official bounty, that could have brought all kinds of trouble. If Dad hadn’t...
“How did you know Luc was with us?” He blurts, because he’d thought they hadn’t told anyone.
Dean drops his head on the dining room table as Gabriel rolls his eyes, “Cas.”
Sam looks up at the angel who is setting cups of coffee and tea on the table. Cas just rolls a shoulder, “He calls once a week.”
Sam is trying to not call bullshit on this whole thing as his dad makes Luc tell his side of the story. Cas has taken Abe back to bed and Dean is at the dining room table writing everything down. Gabriel is pacing like a caged lion in the kitchen, it’s making Sam nauseous to watch.
“It was an accident,” Luc breathes and Sam hates the questions that his dad is asking him, making him repeat parts of his story over and over again. But he knows it will be so much worse at a real tribunal.
“There were only two?”
“Did they tell you what they wanted?”
“They said they wanted to see an angel fly. I was scared, I thought if they saw my wings they’d go away.”
Sam watches as Luc shakes his head, “They pushed me down and started tugging on them and...”
“And one of them pulled some feathers out. I didn’t expect it and my wings snapped out. He fell back into all the storage crates and there was a crash, then the other one started screaming at me.”
“Did you see what happened?”
Luc makes a hurt face and that’s it, Sam can’t take it anymore. He’s going to do something stupid and it’s bad enough that Gabriel is barely holding himself back. He stalks out of the living room and gets out the front door before he starts yelling or crying or something... He doesn’t know how long he’s out there, crouched in front of the railing trying to get himself under control before he starts making the windows shake.
He doesn’t hear the front door open but he feels the warmth behind him before a hand comes and rests on the back of his neck. He knows from the light questioning press of grace that it’s Cas.
“‘M fine,” he gets out before he looks up, “Are they done?”
“Yes, Gabriel has taken Luc to your nest and your father is calling the Council.” Great, probably to tell them he’s located Luc and he gonna bring him in... “I believe he’s telling them that a formal tribunal won’t be necessary.”
Sam freezes. His dad can’t do that. Only a Justicar could do that. Castiel tilts his head above him, “Did I forget to mention that your father received a promotion?”
It slots into place. Cas talks to his dad every week. How long would it take for his dad to apply for a Justicar position?
“You planned this.” Sam breathes.
“Gabriel is my brother, and whether or not it’s official, you are his mate,” Castiel tucks a lock of hair behind Sam’s ear and he tries to not smile because the other angel is grooming him, “And when you two stop commenting on just how dense Dean and I are, you’ll see that Luc is flock, and all members take care of one another.”
Even the members that Sam wants to blame for... everything.
Dean is in the kitchen making breakfast when Sam walks back into the living room. His father is on the phone. He’s ‘hmm’ing at whoever is on the other end but his attention is focused on Abe who is intent on having him gather every stuffed animal he owns and putting them in a pile on the couch. They share a glance but Sam knows it isn’t time to deal with that right now. He’s not sure he has the energy.
He can hear Luc crying from down the hall. He bites his lip before he carefully makes his way to the bedroom. Gabriel is sitting in the middle of the nest with Luc in his arms. His wings are out, both golden pairs wrapped around Luc as he sniffs and says something unintelligible mid-sob that has Gabriel frowning.
“No one is gonna make you go back to the Home. You gotta stop freaking out,” Gabriel shifts so he can drag his fingers through Luc’s hair and he spots Sam leaning in the doorway. “That’s not what John said. John said that they were gonna want you to stay in custody of known Hunters. Come on. What am I?” Luc grumbles something and Gabriel grins, “Besides an assbutt.”
Sam chuckles and Luc lifts his head, wiping his nose along the edge of his sleeve. He buries his face in Gabriel’s feathers as Sam slides into the nest, but with a bit of coaxing Sam gets him to look at him.
“He’s a Hunter. Just like I am, and no one is taking you anywhere.”
It takes a bit before Sam sees the realization dawn on Luc’s face. Then he’s got an armful of blubbering angel and Gabriel is leaning back with a ‘he does that’ look on his face and a smile. They curl together until Luc stops crying and they send Gabriel to bring back a roll of toilet paper so he can blow his nose.
“Y’know,” Sam says over Luc’s head at Gabriel who is sprawled on top of the pair of them and flopping his wings everywhere. “You were supposed to ask me to marry you before we had kids.”
“Shit, was I?” Gabriel lifts his head.
“Yes,” Luc says from where he’s tucked against Sam’s chest and Sam chuckles.
“Geez, fine, marry me?”
Sam pretends to think about it until Gabriel is frowning and Luc is starting to giggle before he says, “Okay, but Luc’s right, you’re kind of an assbutt.”
“I’m your assbutt. Am I supposed to ask you how you feel about kids now?”
“How I feel about this kid or the ones were gonna have later?” Sam watches Gabriel’s eyes widen and he grins, obviously Gabriel hadn’t thought that far into the future. But Sam had and the idea that’s forming in his head now is something wonderful. Maybe he was a Hunter. Maybe he killed things and knew way too much Latin. But he had a family that loved him.
A month later Sam is laying on the couch, going over maps, when he gets a phone call from his dad. They had been exchanging words here and there. After Castiel had rolled his eyes and explained that “Yes, you two, your father knows how to text”.
“What exactly are these marks that showed up on my back?”
Sam tries to not snort coffee, he really does, and hears his dad chuckle as he coughs. He gets a glance from Dean and Gabriel who are hunched over the dining room table, shoulder to shoulder, going over poltergeist statistics. But they stop paying attention to him when Cas walks over with two plates of french toast.
“They’re, uh, just flock marks,” Sam manages to get out and listens to his father ‘mmm hmm’ over the soft sound of shuffling paper.
“Just flock marks? Rufus did some research on them. Says you got, his words here, angel married.”
“Uhh, yes.” Crap. He didn’t really think about telling his dad. They weren’t even really sure if his dad would get marks but Dean, Cas, and Abe had theirs and Gabriel did some ritual to alter Luc’s and shit, he should have know...
“Took you two long enough.”
Sam blinks for a minute before what his dad actually said registered in his head. He’s pretty sure that was his father’s equivalent of ‘congratulations’.
“Thanks, Dad.” He smiles and looks up as Luc comes down the hall carrying Abe. He gets about a second of warning before both of them are on the couch and him, getting elbows and wings everywhere while he shouts. He knows he’s complaining at them. But right now all he can focus on is his dad laughing at him over the phone and the brilliant smile that his mate is giving him.
Six months later they’re having a get together, because that’s what families do. They had to put it off for a little bit because of werewolves and schedules and the usual sort of stuff. Plus Cas went into heat, so the house was sort of off limits for other people for a while. That had been an awkward, ‘You need to come get me and Abe.’ phone call from Luc. Gabriel is still making a new set of dining room furniture.
It’s dusk and Sam is sleepy. Gabriel keeps scratching his fingers through hair on the nape of Sam’s neck while his dad explains the human school system to him. Cas has slipped off to the library with Bobby despite Dean insisting that no one was working today. His brother and Jo are in the kitchen, washing all the cake off of Abe while Ellen laughs and takes pictures. Luc is folded up against Sam’s legs playing with the e-reader that ‘Grandpa John’ had given him. Sam opens his eyes when Luc pokes him, “Dad, I can’t get it to connect to the wifi.”
Sam smiles and leans over to help his fledgling.