Rating: PG-13 this chapter (NC-17 overall)
Genre: angst, hurt/comfort
Spoilers: Anything up to and including 5.14
Warnings: none really, see rating.
Word Count: 3304
Disclaimer: Not my characters. Just using them for a bit of fun. They belong to Kripke.
Summary: Gabriel goes all angsty, and Sam suffers for it. (AU from 5.14 - so all episodes after My Bloody Valentine are being totally and utterly disregarded. *nodnod*)
Chapter Summary: Dean comes back with breakfast and the truth comes out.
A/N 1: beta'd by ladyeternal Thanks so much, bb! Any remaining mistakes are my own.
A/N 2: Once again, I am incredibly sorry for the long wait. I'm even sorrier for the small wordcount considering it's the last part. But, I do have at least one porny timestamp planned for this, so hopefully that'll make up for it? *puppy eyes*
A/N 3: Thanks to everyone who read and commented on this fic. It's the first multi-chaptered story I've ever finished and it was knowing that people out there enjoyed it and your kind words that kept me from giving up on it when my muse decided to take a vacation without my permission. You guys rock! *HUGS*
Gabriel held Sam close, continuing the gentle stroking of fingers in the hunter's hair as he slept. He felt like he could breathe again, a thought that had him huffing a laugh considering he didn't need to breathe. But Sam was finally truly his and no one could touch him, no one could ever come between them again. Gabriel had never wanted to push the idea of bonding on the human before, was sure Sam would have assumed it was just to end the Apocalypse rather than because he wanted them to belong to each other. It would be just like the hunter to believe that he couldn't have this with someone for anything other than fixing the world.
Pressing a light kiss against Sam's temple, Gabriel cleaned and clothed the both of them with a thought before tracing the fingers of his free hand over the mark he left on Sam's hip beneath the layer of pajama bottoms the human was now clad in. Reveling in the knowledge of what he and Sam now had, Gabriel relaxed further against the mattress, Sam's puffs of breath light and warm against his throat as the human slept.
The door opened not more than a half an hour later and Gabriel watched as Dean entered the room, bags swinging off his arms and a beverage carrier in one hand. Gabriel could see how tense the older Winchester was, worried about Sam and whatever had been happening to his younger brother over the week. Especially after he and Gabriel finally talked the night before. And Gabriel knew he should tell Dean about the new developments involving Lucifer soon, but not until after he woke his - his now - human and got him to eat breakfast.
Sparing a glance down at Sam, Gabriel hated knowing how little Sam had eaten the past week - hell, probably longer than that knowing how the kid always let his guilt eat away at him. Who knew how Sam had decided to punish himself over releasing Lucifer from his cage in the first place - as though being forced to deal with nightly visits from the fallen angel wasn't punishment enough.
When Dean walked further into the room, setting the bags and drink container on the small motel table, the human nodded to Sam, a question in his eyes. Gabriel was grateful that Dean didn't ask anything out loud, the angel wasn't sure exactly how Sam would react if woken up by someone other than him that morning. Gabriel nodded in response, lifting his hand from Sam's hip to cup the side of Sam's face and rub a thumb across the human's cheek. Even after sleeping most of the night through, and then some more this morning, the underneath of Sam's eyes was still a purple, bruised looking color. Just another sign of how exhausted the young man had been over the week, how little sleep he'd let himself get, how unrestful that sleep had been when he got it.
Gabriel looked at the bags of food on the table a moment before focusing his attention back on Sam. He hated having to wake Sam, but the human could sleep again when they were done. There wasn't a fallen angel to keep him awake anymore, no more Apocalypse looming overhead for them. And he wasn't kidding when he told Sam he could see that the kid had been losing weight; he could feel Sam's more recently muscular physique becoming slightly lankier, closer to how he'd been when they'd first met back at Crawford Hall. That shouldn't have been happening to Sam in the matter of a week, Gabriel knew; and almost wished he could take Lucifer out again for having pulled out all the stops to wear Sam down.
Finally, Sam opened his eyes at the sensation of Gabriel's hand over his face, the angel's other hand sliding down and resting at the nape of the hunter's neck. Confused, tired hazel eyes met his gaze, reminding Gabriel just how badly he wished he didn't have to wake his human yet.
"Wha..? Gabriel? What's wrong?"
Sam's voice was rough with sleep and he pressed the heel of his hand to his eyes, giving Gabriel the chance to answer before saying anything more.
"Up you get, kiddo. Food's getting cold."
He watched as Sam's eyes widened and the human looked down at himself. A chuckle escaped his lips when Sam sighed his obvious relief at being clothed now that his brother was in the motel room with them and he pressed a light kiss to Sam's lips before they sat up together. Sam turned his head away from Gabriel, looking up at Dean from the bed, "So what's for breakfast?"
A smile twitched at his lips as Sam stood from the bed to sit with Dean at the small motel table. They still needed to tell the elder Winchester about what happened the night before, - he was sure Castiel had sensed it when Lucifer died, like the other angels undoubtedly did - but he decided to take his cues from Sam. And he really needed to make sure his human ate something before they started discussing anything heavier than how to take his coffee.
From the bed, Gabriel watched as Sam dug through one of the bags, unwrapping a sausage and cheese biscuit. Sam didn't look repulsed by the food in front of him and Gabriel took that as a good sign, though he didn't like the tension his human was still emitting. Even after working through everything earlier that morning, even though they no longer had Lucifer to worry about, Sam was still wound up about something.
Sam picked at his food, tearing off pieces of the biscuit at a time. When it became clear that he planned on setting the rest of the sandwich down, Gabriel got up from the bed and joined the humans at the table, letting his right hand rest at the back of Sam's neck and squeezed it reassuringly before playing with the curls of hair at the nape. He smiled when Sam relaxed slightly into his touch and took an actual bite of the sandwich, and Gabriel settled back into the comfortable chair he'd snapped into existence. His hand stayed against the hunter's neck, a warm weight he hoped helped Sam relax while the humans continued eating.
The archangel appreciated Dean not making a fuss over all the physical contact between him and Sam this morning. He noticed the more Sam relaxed each time he brushed his hand over the human's skin, and the more Sam relaxed the more of his sandwich he ate. He figured Dean Winchester wasn't really all that bad of a guy if he could see how his brother reacted to everything that morning and was smart enough to keep anything he might have been thinking to himself.
Quiet minutes passed, only broken by the crinkling of a candy bar while Gabriel ripped into it and Sam balling up the now empty wrapper, finally finishing his food. Gabriel would have liked to see him eat more, thought about snapping something extra up for him, but he had finally gotten Sam to relax and didn't want to put anymore undue stress on his mate - he couldn't stop his smile at that thought.
"Where's Cas?" Surprisingly, it was Sam who spoke; voice no longer rough with sleep or shaking with uncertainty. Gabriel's smile grew at the sound of it.
Dean looked almost as happy and Gabriel could feel a little more of the tension in the room ease.
"He flew off somewhere earlier. Said he had something he needed to check out. Why?"
Gabriel had a feeling he knew what his little brother had gone to check on; probably flying around looking for signs that Lucifer was really dead and not just in hiding somewhere. As though Gabriel would have let Lucifer get away after everything the fallen angel had put his mate through.
Sam looked over at Gabriel and their eyes met for a moment before Sam turned back to look at Dean. Gabriel honestly didn't think Sam would be the one to start this much-needed conversation and he was pretty sure that his smile would be impossible to get rid of; he couldn't help the pride swelling in his chest at how quickly Sam was getting back to his regular self, trying to get everything out in the open now that they had nothing to be scared of anymore.
Before either could answer, the soft flutter of wings alerted them to Castiel's presence; the angel appearing beside Dean. Gabriel noticed his little brother's intense gaze focused on him and Sam; he wondered if it was because of the angel seeing the bond or sensing Lucifer's demise. Probably both. Gabriel smirked up at his brother, "Speak of the angel. We were just talkin' about you, bro."
"Is it true?"
Gabriel felt Sam tense at Castiel's sharp question. This was not how his mate had planned on his brother and his brother's angel finding out, Gabriel was sure. But there wasn't anything they could do about that now.
Dean turned his attention to Castiel, "Is what true, Cas?"
Apparently the older Winchester noticed where Castiel's gaze was focused because he turned questioning eyes on them, just a hint of suspicion hidden in the green depths.
Gabriel turned wide, proud eyes on Sam as the human straightened in his seat. He slipped his hand over the spot he left his mark, squeezing fingers reassuringly into the sensitive flesh through Sam's pants, even as Sam rested a hand over his thigh.
His human never ceased to amaze him. After how broken Gabriel had seen him the night before, the archangel hadn't been sure he would be able to fix it himself. And after how Sam reacted to him after he woke up, nervous and angry, Gabriel could only tell the truth and show in the best way he knew how that he loved Sam and would always protect him. Now Sam seemed determined to prove that he wasn't truly broken and Gabriel would have smiled if Dean hadn't interrupted his thoughts.
"What the hell am I missing here, guys?"
Castiel finally removed his gaze from Gabriel and Sam and turned it on Dean, though Gabriel saw the blue eyes soften when they landed on the human, "Lucifer is dead."
Before Dean could do more than widen his green eyes and gape, Castiel continued, "And the last anyone has heard of him was before he supposedly tried to get at Sam. Again." There was another silent pause before Castiel added, corners of his lips twitching up into a near smile, "Though they were loathe to admit the truth."
"I bet they were," Gabriel snorted, "Don't want to admit that they've lost their chance at world domination." His heavily implied air quotes would have to do; he didn't plan on moving his hand from Sam's hip anytime soon.
"Hold up, here," Dean had apparently recovered enough to speak, brow furrowed in confusion as he looked back and forth at each of them, "You said Lucifer's dead? As in no more Apocalypse?"
They all nodded, but Gabriel felt how Sam curled slightly in on himself. He thought the reaction was strange and his human didn't so much as twitch at the reassuring squeeze he pressed into his mark; but Gabriel knew better than to go digging around Sam's mind after that morning - there would be time to figure it out later.
"Seriously? When? How? And how is it that everyone knew before me?!"
Gabriel watched as Dean looked pointedly at Castiel, like he couldn't believe the rogue angel hadn't said anything to him before - though Dean did seem to think he was entitled to everything going on in Castiel's head at times.
"I felt Lucifer die, Dean," all of Castiel's attention was on his human and had the situation been anything less serious, Gabriel would have thought they'd gone back to that agonizingly hopeless eye-fucking stage, "I had to be sure what I sensed was true before informing you."
"Maybe," Gabriel interrupted, "because it's best not to just assume anything when the Devil is involved. It could have been a trick for all Cas knew and wouldn't it just suck to be told that the Apocalypse was over only to find out later you were misinformed?"
Dean lowered his head, looking properly chagrined for not having thought of that sooner. But before long he turned back, pinning suspicious eyes on Sam. It was when Dean spoke that Gabriel realized his human reacted the way he had for, if not fear, then wariness of his big brother's reaction to the truth.
"How did you guys know?" Dean's eyes darted back and forth between Gabriel and Sam, and the Archangel didn't appreciate how tense his mate grew under the scrutiny, the way Sam's fingers tightened on his thigh. "You said Cas couldn't have known whether it was a trick or not. What about you? How do you know what happened?"
Gabriel met Dean's accusing green eyes head on, voice as serious as it had ever been, "Because I stabbed him through the chest with my own blade."
The hunter sitting across from him recovered quickly this time, barely a moment spend gaping before his eyes flicked between them again, "You were checking on Sam."
Their breathing was the only sound in the room while the Archangel watched as Dean put the pieces together. Sam sat still beside him, silent as he'd been since everything started, and Castiel had gone back to gazing intently at the point of contact between Gabriel and the younger Winchester - finally allowing himself to think on it, Gabriel figured.
"Where did you gank Lucifer?"
Dean's weary voice broke through the Archangel's thoughts and Sam tensed again, unnoticeable to anyone else in the room as the human tried to appear like himself - from before Lucifer decided to use the kid's mind as his own personal playground.
There was a beat of silence; Gabriel was tempted to snap up a cricket or drop a pin - before Sam spoke, chin jutted out in a show of defiance that he hadn't shown in the last week, since the start of the Apocalypse, really.
"In my dreamscape, last night."
Gabriel nearly whooped out loud at the strength in his mate's voice; it seemed Sam wasn't going to let himself stay scared when they were finally free of the toughest enemy they'd ever faced.
"How in the hell could that have happened last night, Sam?! I was only gone for a couple of hours. I didn't leave you alone so you and your angel could go and take on the Devil without any backup. How could you done something so - "
Sam's grip on Gabriel's thigh tightened further during Dean's rant, and he knew Dean was going to ask how they could have done something so stupid. He also knew his brother was right, Sam had been stupid when he didn't tell anyone what was going on with him. But he didn't get the chance to apologize before Gabriel stood, cutting off Dean right before that word was spoken. Sam's hand slid off at the angel's movement, and he hated losing the contact between them, but then Gabriel was speaking, nearly yelling, and Sam's focus was on the former-Trickster's words more than the loss.
"You might want to pick your words carefully before you finish that sentence, Winchester."
Dean's jaw shut with an audible click before Gabriel continued.
"Better," Gabriel glared at Dean and Sam looked between the two of them warily from where he sat, even as Gabriel took his seat once more, "Now, I didn't see either of you stop and take the time to help out, or even ask, what was going on with Sam this week when it was obvious something was wrong." Sam felt the angel's hand move back to his neck, squeezing it gently in what Sam took as an apology for Gabriel not noticing sooner. He leaned back into the touch; he'd forgiven the angel before he'd fallen back to sleep that morning, especially after they'd already gone over why Gabriel hadn't sensed anything himself. There was nothing for Gabriel to apologize for. "Maybe, just maybe, we didn't go after Lucifer like the idiots you seem to assume we are. Maybe he came to Sam."
All eyes shot to Castiel, whose own eyes were focused entirely on Sam, as he spoke, voice slow and careful to Sam's ears, "Did Lucifer invade your dreams again, Sam?"
Dean's eyes softened and Sam saw the worry in them as he nodded in the affirmative. He swallowed the lump in his throat, "He found a way back in last week."
"Why didn't you say anything about it then, Sammy?" Dean's voice was softer than Sam had heard it since they started this conversation, and knowing that his brother wasn't angry, like he'd assumed he would have been, went a long way towards calming the younger hunter's nerves.
Sam really didn't want to have to explain everything, not after he and Gabriel had gone over so much earlier. Gabriel's fingers playing at the nape of his neck slowly helped him relax enough that he was finally ready to get it over with. But as he opened his mouth to speak, his brother held up a hand, and Sam paused, closing his mouth as he raised his eyebrow curiously.
Dean stared hard at him for a moment before speaking, "Lucifer's really dead? Dead as a door nail, no way he's coming back from it, right?"
Sam nodded and glanced at Gabriel, comforted by the matching confused look his lover wore, before focusing his attention on his brother again. He couldn't help but be taken by surprise when Dean's lips stretched up into a grin, white teeth flashing at them. His brother stood and wrapped him in a tight hug before he knew what was happening. Gabriel's hand slid from his neck, but he found he didn't need his lover's support right then, not when Dean was actually hugging him - which only ever seemed to happen after one of them died - and smiling like he hadn't seen in years.
"Then why aren't we celebrating or something?" Dean let go of him and looked back and forth at their angels while Sam tried to get his bearings again and stared at his brother with wide eyes. The younger Winchester was just about to ask why the sudden change of heart when Dean beat him to it. "Why should we sit here angsting over something we've been trying to do for years?"
And Sam really couldn't, nor did he want to, refute that logic. He smiled and turned to Gabriel as the angel stood and pressed into his side. Wrapping an arm around the archangel's shoulders, Sam pressed a kiss to Gabriel's temple while Dean seemed to try to lift Castiel off the ground with his second hug of the day.
An arm wrapped around his waist and Sam looked down as Gabriel placed his other hand into the mark at his hip and shuddered; his brother was thankfully too occupied with his own angel to notice Sam's eyes darken as he pressed closer to the angel at his side. Amber eyes met hazel and the hunter never thought he would be glad to see Castiel whisk Dean away for what he knew would be quite the romping session, but it meant he had some more time alone with Gabriel. Time he was more than ready to put to good use. After all, they had plenty of it without an Apocalypse to worry about.