Gabriel sat straight up from a dead sleep when he heard the screaming in his head from the angels. Michael and Lucifer were both in the cage. He couldn’t help but smile at that. Those Winchesters sure never do things by halves. Then the next part of the message made his blood run cold. Sam pulled them in. He was trapped in the cage with two very pissed archangels.
Gabriel got up and began to pace his room. What the hell was that kid thinking? How could he do something so stupid? If he had known this would happen he would never have told them about the rings and the cage. He had done all this to save Sam. Hell he had almost died at that hotel to save the idiotic hunter. Even two months later he still wasn’t fully recovered. His grace was so damaged that he actually had to sleep regularly to stay fully charged, and it wasn’t until a few days ago that he was able to reach full strength at all. He wished he had known what they were going to do. He could have talked them out of it.
Gabriel had long since come to accept the fact that he was in love with Sam Winchester, and put it out of his mind. There was too much history there for anything to ever happen the way he wanted between them, but he had thought that he could at least protect the bozo, but no. He was still out of commission from the last time he saved the moron. They couldn’t even give him time to recover before throwing themselves into another life and death situation. Gabriel ignored the fact that they probably thought he was dead and cursed them for not asking for his help.
He was going to try to rescue Sam from the cage. That was a given. He would battle both of his older brothers even if he had to, and this time he wasn’t going to pull any punches. He couldn’t afford to. This was one battle he just had to win. He almost went immediately, but stopped himself in time. He would be no good in his current state. He needed to be at his best. He would make his preparations and then get a full night of sleep to completely recharge. If he was going to do this, he needed to do it right the first time or he may never get another chance.
Gabriel reached out with his senses and transported himself to Castiel. “Hey bro,” he said with a forced smile. “I’m gonna need those rings.”
“Gabriel. We thought you were dead,” Cas said with a confused head tilt.
“Not quite. It’s a long story, but I really need those rings little brother,” Gabriel said seriously.
“What do you want with them?” Cas asked suspiciously.
“I’m going to rescue Samsquatch of course,” Gabriel shrugged as though it should be obvious.
“You can’t. What if Michael and Lucifer escape? We promised him we wouldn’t.” Cas hoped to get his brother to see reason.
“You promised. I didn’t, and I will not leave him down there. Don’t test me on this brother.” Gabriel narrowed his eyes angrily at Cas. “Besides I’m better at warding than the average angel. No one will get in or out except for me and Sam.”
“Can you be absolutely certain of that Gabriel?” Cas asked firmly.
“Absolutely,” Gabriel said just as seriously looking his little brother directly in the eye.
Cas nodded and disappeared only to reappear a moment later and place the rings in Gabriels hand. “I will come with you.”
Gabriel’s head snapped up so fast he likely would have gotten whiplash if he was human. “No. You won’t.”
“If there is a chance to safely save him, then I must help you.”
“Not a chance Cassie. There’s just as much of a chance that I’ll end up trapped there with them, and I have another job in mind for you.” Gabriel handed Cas an ancient looking horn. Cas looked at it in awe, but didn’t reach out to take it. “Take it Cassie. Take it and blow. All of the angels will be united again under you. You’re the only one I trust to bring heaven back to its former glory.” Cas reached out slowly and felt a spark as he touched the horn. “It’s bound to you now. No one can take it away from you. Do me proud little brother.” Gabriel said as he vanished.
Gabriel returned home in his ballroom. Other laughed at his lavish tastes, but he knew that this room would come in handy someday. He covered most of the floor and walls with Enochian warding sigils. He would take no chances with Michael and Lucifer getting out of the cage. Preparations complete, he transported himself back to his bedroom and forced himself to get back to sleep. Tomorrow he would do battle for Sam’s soul, and he was somehow unsurprised to realize that he would rather die than fail.
Sam was unsure how long he had been trapped here with the two archangels. He knew that time passed differently here than on Earth. He could only hope that Dean had followed his wishes and gone to Lisa, and that no one risked opening the cage again to try and get him out. This was his penance for releasing Lucifer in the first place. That was the only thought that kept him going. He had long since stopped trying to be silent during the torture. The only break he ever got was when they were fighting with each other. They seemed to be strangely united by the idea of torturing him though. They both blamed him for them being stuck down here, and they were both extremely skilled in the art of torture.
Sam was curled in a ball in the corner from the most recent torture session while Michael and Lucifer were embroiled in their own battle, when he felt a rush of wings next to him. He jumped and turned to see who it could be and his jaw dropped in shock. “Gabriel. We thought you were dead. What are you doing here?”
Gabriel rolled his eyes. “I’m here to save your ass…again. Let’s go kiddo,” Gabriel said reaching his hand out to the hunter.
Before Sam could take it though Gabriel found himself thrown across the room. “Well well. What have we here?” Michael sneered.
Lucifer walked up behind him. “Looks like an interfering little brother trying to take away our toy. Now now Gabriel. You really should get your own toys.”
Gabriel had no patience for banter and immediately went on the offensive, brandishing his blade, and trying to take his brothers down long enough to get out with Sam. Two to one odds were never good in the best of circumstances, but when the two happened to be as skilled as Michael and Lucifer, and the one was as rusty as Gabriel, those odds were practically suicidal. Sheer determination and the element of surprise gave him the upper hand for a few moments, but he soon found himself on the defensive, and soon after that, chained to the edge of the cage with cuffs that bound his still floundering grace.
“What shall we do with you baby brother?” Michael asked as he dragged his blade slowly down the side of Gabriel’s face, leaving a long gash in its wake.
“What indeed?” Lucifer sneered as he pulled his blade down Gabriel’s chest slicing open his shirt and leaving grace leaking out of the wound. “The only nice thing about being here is that you can’t die. We can keep this up forever and you will never have that escape.” Lucifer continued drawing his blade down opening Gabriel’s stomach. Gabriel had been trying to be silent; to not give them the satisfaction, but he couldn’t help the scream that ripped from his throat as Lucifer’s blade continued down still lower.
“STOP IT!” Sam yelled from his corner. He couldn’t see what they were doing to Gabriel, since they blocked his view, but he could certainly hear that scream. Gabriel had come to save him and now he was being tortured for it.
Lucifer moved out of the way and turned to look at Sam, who if he could have, would have vomited at the sight of Gabriel nearly cut in two, with tears streaming down his face. Sam unconsciously shrinked back at the attention.
Gabriel knew that as bad as this was, watching Sam be tortured would be a thousand times worse. He had to get them focused back on him. “Looks like you two were cut from the same cloth after all huh Mikey? You seem to have taken to the idea of torture pretty well. I wonder what Dad would think if he could see you now.”
Michael growled and spun back to Gabriel and slashed him from his right collarbone to his left hip. Lucifer just laughed and did the same in reverse. Sam opened his mouth to speak again, but stopped at the stern look from Gabriel, who had vowed to himself not to make another noise, if it got that reaction from the hunter.
A few hours or days; who could tell down here; later, after taking Gabriel completely apart and putting him back together again a few times, Lucifer and Michael were once again embroiled in their own battle. As soon as their attention was turned to each other Sam rushed over to Gabriel and began fumbling with his cuffs.
“It’s no use Sam-a-lam. They won’t come off.” Gabriel forced himself to be upbeat for the hunter’s sake, but Sam could see right through him.
“You shouldn’t have risked opening the cage again. You shouldn’t have come for me,” Sam said looking defeated.
The chains made a dragging sound as Gabriel reached out to put a hand on Sam’s shoulder. When the hunter looked back at him he said, “Don’t worry. Michael and Lucifer won’t escape. I made sure of that. Only you and I can get out of here past all my warding. If I can manage to get out of these cuffs for long enough to get us out.” Gabriel deliberately ignored the second part of Sam’s statement.
“You’re sure?” Sam asked skeptically.
“Positive Samsquatch. Trust me. They’re not going anywhere.”
Sam nodded and got to the next question he wanted to ask. “How are you still alive?”
Gabriel shrugged. “Luci likes to monologue before he kills. Gave me time to switch places with a clone. He got me pretty good though. I almost didn’t make it anyway.”
Sam gave a wry half-smile. “I would say I’m glad you made it, but now you have this to look forward to, so…”
“Heh. Yeah. Not so fun. But I will get us out of here somehow. I promise,” he said with a grimace.
“Are you in pain?” Sam asked running his hands over Gabriel’s arms soothingly.
“Nah. Takes more than that to keep me down,” Gabriel said with a wink.
Sam just rolled his eyes. He didn’t buy it for a second, but if it made the archangel feel better to keep up the act then he wasn’t going to call him on it.
“I’m sorry I got you into this Gabriel.”
“You should be sorry,” Gabriel said annoyed, but not angrily. “What the hell were you thinking jumping in here? Are you really that suicidal?”
“There was no other way. And it was my responsibility. I let him out in the first place,” Sam said firmly.
“Bullshit Sammy. There’s always another way. You and your brother taught me that. And it was not your responsibility. Don’t forget, Dean broke the first seal, and Cas broke you out of the panic room so you could go after Lillith. It was a group effort, with all of you being manipulated along the way. For crying out loud Sam. You killed a freaking demon. That’s your job! How were you supposed to know that you were killing the wrong demon in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Gabriel said heatedly.
“You tried to tell me at the mystery spot. You tried to keep me from doing it didn’t you?” Sam half asked. He was almost certain of Gabriel’s goals with that incident now, and couldn’t help but feel grateful that he had tried.
“Sure, but apparently I make a pretty crappy teacher. That’s not your fault.” Gabriel lied. He still thought Sam should have learned his lesson, but what’s done is done and he could at least keep the kid from beating himself up over it.
Sam noticed that Gabriel was getting tired. “I thought angels didn’t need to sleep.”
“My grace was damaged pretty badly at that hotel with Lucifer. I’ve found that I need to sleep now to be able to recharge,” Gabriel said sleepily as he began to nod off.
“You came after me even though you were still hurt from the last time you saved my life?” Sam asked incredulously, but Gabriel was too far gone and he only got a sleepy hum in response.
Gabriel was awoken by screams coming from Sam. He couldn’t think of a worse possible way to wake up. The only thing on his mind was getting them to leave Sam alone. “Hey Luci! Remember that time I turned your wings pink? Too bad I’m all bound up. I’d love to see that again.”
Lucifer snarled and turned towards Gabriel. “I think baby brother wants to play some more,” he told Michael cruelly.
“Well we shouldn’t deny him the pleasure then,” Michael drawled as they advanced on the bound archangel.
Sam hated that they were torturing Gabriel now, but part of him was glad he got a break. He felt horrible about that part though. He felt weak. When they got a break again Sam turned to Gabriel. “Why the hell do you do that?” He said angrily.
“Do what?” Gabriel asked with a smirk.
“Goad them. It’s like you’re trying to piss them off.”
“That’s because I am.”
“Why?” Sam asked again getting frustrated. He hated having to watch the angel being tortured.
“Because the more focused they are on me, the less they are on you, you moron,” Gabriel snapped.
Sam was flabbergasted. He couldn’t believe that Gabriel would take that on for his sake, and he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. He went back over to Gabriel who was slumped against the wall. He helped the archangel into a more comfortable position before sitting next to him. “Why?” he pleaded softly.
Gabriel should have known he would ask that but didn’t have the heart to deny him an answer, so he gave a partial answer. “Because the human soul isn’t designed for this kind of torture. I’m more resilient.”
“I can handle it Gabriel. You don’t need to protect me.”
“Yes. I do.” Gabriel’s statement had a note of finality to it signaling the end to the conversation. Sam wanted to continue arguing his point, but Gabriel just stared him down until he deflated.
After what seemed like years to them, during which Gabriel took as much of the attention as he could off Sam despite Sam’s protests, Sam decided enough was enough. He could handle being stuck down here himself, but he couldn’t keep watching Gabriel suffer for no reason other than trying to rescue him. During their next break from the torture Sam went over to Gabriel and started messing with the cuffs again. “There’s no way Sam-a-lam. They can’t come off.”
“Wasn’t it you that said that first day that there’s always a way? I just have to find it. You can still get out of here right?”
“Course I can,” Gabriel said as if Sam were an imbecile. “But you won’t get them off.”
“Just shut up and let me try would you.” Sam fiddled with them for a few minutes before he came to a conclusion. “There’s not even a seam anywhere for them to open.”
“Of course not. They were simply brought into existence in their current position. There is no need for a seam.”
“There has to be a way.” Sam wasn’t going to give up.
It was a few days later that Sam had an idea. He had seen Gabriel get taken apart more times than he could count and he always healed up afterwards. The next time he was being tortured he used his skills to take Gabriel’s blade from Lucifer’s sleeve without him noticing. Thankfully Gabriel was in the process of distracting him or he would have noticed. He slipped the blade underneath him, but had to wait until they were finished with Gabriel and distracted with each other. If all went the way it normally did, they would have a few hours so long as they didn’t do anything to attract attention.
Sam went over to Gabriel and said, “I found a way, but you’re not going to like it.” When Gabriel looked at him curiously Sam pulled the blade from behind his back.
“How did you…” Gabriel trailed off in shock.
“I’m good,” Sam said with a shrug and a half smile. “I really really don’t want to do this to you.” Sam said softly.
“I’ll heal,” Gabriel said as he held out his hands for the hunter.
Sam, with tears in his eyes, cut off Gabriel’s hands and caught the cuffs before they could clatter to the ground and draw attention. Gabriel just had his head leaning back against the bars with his eyes closed. He understood the necessity, but somehow, the fact that it was Sam doing the cutting, made it hurt so much worse. He refused to let Sam see that though. He placed his wrists on the ground against his severed hands. It took about 20 minutes before his hands knitted themselves back on, and about an hour before his grace was built up enough to fly them out.
Once he was strong enough, he wasted no time or words and just reached out and grabbed Sam’s hand in his and flew them back and they appeared back in his ballroom where he opened the cage from.
Sam hadn’t even registered the change in location before Gabriel collapsed. After making sure that he was still alive, Sam picked up the archangel, marveling at how small he seemed. He was usually so full of life that he seemed larger than he was. He set out into the house looking for a bedroom of some sort. After going up the stairs the first door he opened seemed to be a bedroom, but it was sparsely furnished so he assumed that it wasn’t Gabriel’s bedroom, but from what little he saw this place was huge. It would take forever for him to find it, so this bedroom would have to do for now.
Sam finally took a moment to process the fact that they were out of the cage. Gabriel had come through in the end, just like he always did. He looked back to the weakened archangel on the bed and was overcome with concern, so he did the first thing he could think to do. He prayed for Cas.
“Sam. I am glad to see you well,” Cas said as he appeared behind Sam.
“Yeah Gabriel saved me, but he was trapped with me for a long time, and now…well…” he trailed off gesturing to the bed. “Can you help him?”
“I will try,” Cas said solemnly and placed his hands over Gabriel’s chest. “I cannot help him, but he will survive. I don’t know how well he will recover though. His grace is severely damaged and currently completely drained.”
“He said his grace was damaged when he fought Lucifer before at that hotel,” Sam said sadly.
“He went into the cage with already damaged grace?” Cas asked incredulously. He was finally beginning to understand the depth of Gabriel’s feelings for the young hunter. He had suspected before of course, but he was now certain. “Would you like me to take you to your brother?” Cas asked him, not sure what else to say on their previous subject.
“Did he go to Lisa like I asked?”
“He has not yet. You have only been gone two weeks by our reckoning, though it would have been approximately five years for you. He said he wanted to be in a better state of mind before going to her.” Cas saw no reason to tell Sam that he suspected that Dean never had any intention of going to her.
Sam looked torn for a moment but then sighed. “I should probably stay here. I want to keep an eye on Gabriel until he feels better.”
“I can do that if you would rather be with Dean,” Cas offered. He was very busy running heaven, but some things were more important.
“Nah. I’ll be okay. What’s a few more days?” Sam said committed to staying with Gabriel. After all the angel had gone through for him, he would never just leave him in this condition.
“If you wish. It will likely be at least two days before he wakes up.”
“Thanks Cas. I appreciate it. Hey you don’t happen to know your way around here do you?”
“I do not. I have never been here before now.”
“Ah well. Would you mind staying with him while I go see if I can find a kitchen somewhere to get some food?”
“I could go get you something instead. I don’t know if Gabriel keeps his house stocked with anything, and if he does it is likely the sugary concoctions he likes so much.”
That was a good point, and Sam couldn’t stand the sugary stuff so he took Cas up on his offer. “Maybe a few pizzas or something? They keep pretty well so that will take care of me for a few days. Oh and bring back a cake for Gabriel for when he wakes up? Just in case he doesn’t have anything.”
Cas was back with the requested provisions about 20 minutes later. He would have been back sooner, but he had to wait for them to cook the pizzas. Once Sam indicated that he was all set Cas left. If Sam was staying with Gabriel, then he could get back to his duties. He did tell Sam to pray for him if he needed anything else.
Sam barely left the room, as much because he was afraid of getting lost as wanting to be close in case Gabriel woke up. Just finding the nearest bathroom had turned into an adventure after all. Sam wasn’t going to share a bed with Gabriel, not that the bed was large enough to share anyway, but even sleeping on the plush carpet after 5 years in the cage was heavenly so he couldn’t be bothered too much.
Sam was sleeping on the floor near the door when he heard Gabriel groaning. He jumped to his feet and ran to the bed just as the archangel opened his eyes. Gabriel blinked a few times taking in both his surroundings and the large hunter looming over his bed. Sam figured Gabriel was feeling a bit disoriented and confused so decided to help him out. “You got us out of the cage, and I’m guessing this is your house. You collapsed so I brought you upstairs and this is the first bedroom I could find.” When Gabriel still didn’t speak, Sam turned to the bedside table and grabbed the double chocolate cake that Cas had picked up and held it out to him. “I’ve got cake,” He said with a sheepish smile.
That got a reaction from Gabriel. He nearly snatched the cake out of Sam’s hands and snapped up a fork while saying, “You are a sight for sore eyes.”
Sam smiled. “Are you talking to me or the cake?” he asked with a laugh.
Gabriel raised an eyebrow at him, “both?” He followed Sam into laughter and oh did it feel good to be able to laugh again.
Gabriel devoured the entire cake in record time before he said to Sam, “I’m sorry I collapsed on you like that. I got us out of there as soon as I had enough grace to do it so it took everything I had. I didn’t want to wait around for more and risk us getting caught out.”
Sam’s jaw dropped. “You stormed the worst part of hell, fought your brothers, and endured years of torture to try to rescue me and you’re apologizing? Are you nuts?”
Gabriel laughed again, a full belly laugh. “I guess when you put it like that…” he was laughing too hard to finish. Sam just shook his head and smiled at him. “So I’m guessing you want me to take you to your brother?” Gabriel asked.
“Are you well enough?” Sam asked concerned. He didn’t want Gabriel pushing himself.
“I’m nearly back to full power. That’s as good as it’s gonna get for a while, and more than enough to do most everything I normally do.”
“Most?” Sam asked curiously.
“Well I’m not going to be bending time or creating alternate dimensions anytime soon, but otherwise yeah. I’m good.”
Sam laughed. “Ok, if you’re sure then yeah. It’ll be great to see Dean. Can you tell where he is?”
“You guys are warded remember,” Gabriel said as he shook his head.
“Well can you find Bobby? If Dean’s not with him then he will know where he is.”
“Sure thing kiddo,” he said as he grabbed Sam’s hand as they landed in Bobby’s study startling the old hunter out of some research he was doing.
After both of them being accosted with silver, salt, holy water, and anything else the old hunter could think of, he grabbed Sam in a bear hug. “Damn good to see you boy.” After he pulled back he said, “Your brother is outside working on that car of his.”
Gabriel chimed in, “I’ll leave you guys alone to catch up.”
Before he could leave Sam said, “Come back later?” Gabriel nodded as he disappeared.
“So what the hell happened?” Bobby couldn’t help but ask, and then cringed as he realized the wording.
Sam winced and said, “Let me go see Dean and then I’ll fill you both in. I don’t want to go through it more than once.”
Bobby nodded and followed Sam as far as the kitchen where he grabbed three beers as Sam went outside to find Dean.
Dean looked up in shock as he saw his dead brother walk out of Bobby’s house. He wasn’t quite sure how to react until Sam said, “Bobby’s already tested me. It’s really me.”
Dean grabbed him in another hug, so tight that Sam could barely breathe. “What the hell?” he asked as he finally let go.
“Let’s go inside so I only have to tell it once,” Sam sighed. He really didn’t want to have to relive it, but he knew they needed to know.
Once they were all seated Sam began his story. “So after I pulled Michael and Lucifer into the cage, they were pissed. It was pretty bad. They really were masters at torture. They would ‘play’ with me for a while, then they would go off and fight each other for a while and so on. I was there for almost a year by my reckoning when Gabriel showed up. He told me that it had only been two days here so that’s about right.”
“Wait, Gabriel? I thought he died in that hotel,” Dean interrupted him.
“Apparently not, though he was hurt pretty bad. He still wasn’t fully recovered by the time he came to get me.” When Dean nodded for him to continue he did, “Before Gabriel could pull me out though, Michael and Lucifer caught him. He fought them, but it was two on one and before I knew it they had him chained up with these cuffs that bound his powers.” Sam paused and took a shaky breath. “For years, every time they would start in on me, he would start taunting them and pissed them off enough for them to torture him instead. Four years, he did that. I was getting desperate, but I couldn’t get the cuffs off of him and he couldn’t do anything with them on. Then Lucifer dropped his guard while they were torturing me when Gabriel started taunting him, so I picked his pocket and grabbed Gabriel’s blade from him. When they finally finished with Gabriel and went off to have their fight I…” Sam swallowed audibly. “I had to cut Gabriel’s hands off to slide the cuffs off, then Gabriel got us out. He collapsed right after though and didn’t wake up for two days, and then he brought us here.” Story finished Sam leaned his head back on the couch and closed his eyes.
No one said anything for a long time. Dean couldn’t believe that Gabriel would have done that for Sam. He had already started to respect the trickster archangel after he stood up for them at the hotel, but after what he did for Sam, Gabriel was his new best friend. “So where’s Gabriel now? Is he okay?” Dean asked.
Sam was a little surprised that Dean was worried about Gabriel, but answered his questions. “I’m not sure where he is. He wanted to give us time to catch up. I asked him to come back later though. He’s doing much better, almost back to full strength, but he may never recover completely,” Sam said sadly.
Dean nodded, “Well at least he’s mostly better.” At Sam’s questioning look he added, “Hey I owe the guy a lot.”
Sam just smiled and said, “You’re telling me.” Sam owed him more than anything.
Bobby stood and said, “You must be hungry. I’ll go whip something up.”
Dean and Bobby made sure to keep the conversation light over dinner and afterwards. It was a couple hours after they finished eating when Gabriel arrived. He was completely shocked to be grabbed in a hug by Dean Winchester as soon as he arrived, and he just stood there with a bemused look on his face for a moment until Dean said, “Thank you Gabriel. I owe you.”
Gabriel just snorted amusedly. “You can thank me by not making me save your asses anymore. I swear you two muttonheads get in more trouble in a week than the rest of the world does in their entire lives…combined.”
They all laughed at that, but Sam heard what Gabriel didn’t say. That he would keep saving them if they needed it and he couldn’t help but feel warmed by that thought. “We’ll do our best.”
Gabriel yawned, “Good,” he said with a smile. “So did you need anything?”
“No. We’re good. Thanks.”
“Good. I could use some more rest,” Gabriel said snapping his fingers and disappearing.
“That sounds like a good idea. I could definitely use some more rest too,” Sam said heading up the stairs. Sam was surprised that he had trouble sleeping without Gabriel nearby, though thinking of the fact that it had been years since the archangel hadn’t been around constantly he shouldn’t have been surprised.
When he woke the next morning he was surprised to find that another bed had been added to the room that had a sleeping archangel in it, and he was even more surprised to find that said archangel was reaching across the gap holding his hand. He gently extricated his hand and made his way downstairs where he found Dean and Bobby eating breakfast. He sat down at the table and grabbed a plate before he spoke, “So…um…Gabriel…” He wasn’t quite sure how to ask his question, but Dean understood him.
“Yeah, you were having some nasty nightmares and calling his name in your sleep so he showed up, snapped up a bed, grabbed your hand and passed back out. You didn’t have any more nightmares after that.”
“Huh,” was all Sam said. It seemed that Gabriel didn’t need to be awake to guard his dreams. He was guessing by the hand-holding that he did need to be in contact though. Sam wasn’t complaining though.
When Gabriel stumbled downstairs a few hours later, he took one look at the assembled hunters and said, “How about you all come stay at my house for a while?” When they all looked at him confused. “What? Sam, quite understandably, is having nightmares, but I have to be with him to help, and no offense, but this isn’t exactly my idea of a vacation home. And I know that you won’t want to be split up so it makes sense.” He caught Bobby’s longing look at his books and added, “Besides I have the most complete reference library in the world.” Bobby looked up with a hopeful look and he knew the oldest hunter was hooked, so he looked to Dean, “And plenty of fun stuff to do, including multiple big screen TVs and video game systems,” and Dean was hooked too.
“His house is pretty nice, but make sure you get a map,” Sam added.
Gabriel snorted in amusement. “I suppose I could be bothered to make some maps for all you directionally challenged hunters.”
“Hey, it’s a necessity. It took me half an hour just to find a bathroom while you were unconscious.”
“Moron,” Gabriel said affectionately.
Once the hunters were all packed, Gabriel snapped them to his house. He gave them the tour and, as promised, snapped up some maps for all of them. Sam and Bobby spent the day nerding out in Gabriel’s massive library, and even found some books that were supposedly one of a kind. Gabriel even had some ancient scrolls for crying out loud. They were in heaven.
While Sam and Bobby were occupied by the library, Dean and Gabriel spent the day playing video games, which Gabriel handily lost…right up until he started cheating. It seemed that hunter reflexes easily carried over to video games.
When they went to bed that night, Sam and Gabriel were obviously sharing Gabriel’s room, but Sam noticed something as they went in. “Umm…Gabriel. There’s only one bed.”
“We need physical contact for me to help with your nightmares. It’s easier that way. It doesn’t have to be weird. We’re both mature adults.” At Sam’s skeptical look he added, “Okay we’re both adults.”
Sam snorted in amusement, but just shrugged and went to the bathroom to change into his sweats and t-shirt. He found that Gabriel slept in boxers and a wife-beater, but the boxers were plenty modest so it didn’t make him too uncomfortable. Gabriel’s bed was huge so they each picked a side and held hands in the middle.
Sam found as he woke the next morning that the sleeping arrangement didn’t last, as he had a sleeping archangel cuddled up against his side doing a realistic impression of an octopus and his arm was wrapped around Gabriel’s back. Once he got over the shock he realized that he liked it. He felt safe and warm, so he wasn’t going to complain. He even stayed put until Gabriel woke up about twenty minutes later.
When Gabriel woke up and realized the position they were in he panicked for a moment thinking Sam was going to freak. Then he realized that Sam was already awake and hadn’t moved so he smiled and looked up at the hunter. “Good morning.”
“Morning octopus,” Sam said teasing.
“What can I say? You’re warm and comfortable,” Gabriel said in a teasing tone as well before he stuck his tongue out at the hunter and hopped out of bed with a grin. Sam made his way to the attached bathroom as Gabriel called out, “Breakfast in five.”
“It takes ten minutes just to walk there!” Sam protested, knowing that he was exaggerating, but the point still stood.
“Not my fault you’re slow Samsquatch,” Gabriel quipped as he snapped his fingers and disappeared.
“Showoff,” Sam grumbled to the empty room.
Sam walked into the kitchen just in time to see a full breakfast spread to rival any buffet, and sat down to feast. Dean and Bobby were apparently roused by the smell of the food as well since they arrived only a few minutes later.
The day started much like the last one, but the four came together to watch movies after dinner. The next morning when Sam woke up, he was unsurprised to find that, despite once again starting on opposite sides of the bed, they were once again, curled up together in the middle. Sam just smiled and turned slightly to rest his head on Gabriel’s. He could get used to this…and holy crap. When had he fallen for the archangel? Sam groaned softly. This couldn’t end well. He pushed the thought of his mind as he felt Gabriel starting to wake up and managed to start the day making fun of each other again.
He was lost in thought most of the day though. Trying to pinpoint when exactly his feelings had changed. When he realized that it was about the time that Gabriel admitted to pulling Michael and Lucifer’s attention from him, he realized that maybe it wasn’t so far-fetched to think that maybe Gabriel would be receptive of his feelings.
Sam may have figured out his own feelings but he certainly hadn’t intended to act on them like that. When he woke, he found Gabriel already awake and propped up on his elbow watching him. In his sleepy haze, he didn’t even realize that he had lifted his head and kissed the archangel until after it had happened.
Gabriel blinked at him for a moment before grinning. “Good morning to you too, sleepy-head,” he said with a laugh.
Sam just had a shocked look on his face. He couldn’t believe what he had just done. “Gabriel…” he trailed off not sure what to say.
“S’okay Sambo. You were half asleep and didn’t realize what you were doing. No biggie,” Gabriel said with a shrug. He knew that Sam would never kiss him like that if he were aware of what he was doing. The thought hurt, but he had learned a long time ago not to try to lie to himself. It only got him in trouble.
“No, that’s not it…I just…” Sam was frustrated with his inability to articulate. It was too damn early in the morning for this. He then realized a question he really wanted to ask. “Why did you come for me?”
Gabriel blinked again at the change of subject. “That cage wasn’t designed for human souls. Your soul would have been flayed alive if I had left you there,” Gabriel once again gave him a half answer.
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
“It doesn’t?” Gabriel asked innocently. He knew exactly what Sam was asking him, but was trying to avoid it. He liked what they had going, but if Sam knew how he felt, then things would get weird and awkward and it would end, nightmares or not.
Sam propped himself up on his elbow too so that he and Gabriel were eye to eye and he reached out and put a hand on Gabriel’s arm. “Why did you come for me?” he asked again both firmly and softly.
Gabriel sighed and looked down. “Because I couldn’t bear the thought of you being in there.”
Sam emboldened by that answer moved his hand up Gabriel’s arm and cupped his cheek. “Why?” he asked hopefully.
Gabriel, also emboldened by Sam’s actions, looked back up at the hunter, and seeing the emotion in his eyes, couldn’t help but answer truthfully. “Because I’m in love with you.”
He had barely finished speaking before his mouth was captured in another kiss. Gabriel just melted into it and gladly opened to Sam’s probing tongue. Sam’s hand moved to his waist and gently pushed him onto his back on the bed. It wasn’t until Sam’s hand was trailing down his chest that he ended the kiss and grabbed Sam’s arm. “Sam don’t…not if…not unless you…” Gabriel couldn’t finish. His mind was still mush from kissing Sam.
Sam knew what he meant though. “I love you Gabriel,” he said softly.
“You’re grateful. That’s not the same,” Gabriel said closing his eyes so that Sam wouldn’t see the pain in them, but made no move to push the hunter any further away.
“No I’m not.” Sam realized what he said and then quickly amended it. “Well yes I am. Grateful I mean. But that’s not what this is. I didn’t fall in love with you because I’m grateful. I fell in love with you because you’re you.” Gabriel opened his eyes and looked into Sam’s trying to decipher the truth. “I do love you Gabriel,” Sam said looking into Gabriel’s eyes willing him to see the truth.
After a moment that seemed to last forever, Gabriel broke out in a grin and reached up to tangle his hand in Sam’s hair and pulled him down for another kiss. It was another hour before they made it out of the bed wearing matching grins.
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