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Never Gonna Give You Up

Title: Never Gonna Give You Up
Author: theblackrose16
Beta: elsa_kallan
Artist: v_son_sayian

Art: Click Me
Summary: Sam has always believed in angels and nothing anyone has said has ever convinced him otherwise. Dean has always wondered how his brother could be so sure, to speak as though he knew beyond a doubt that there are good forces in the world, that angels do exist especially with all the crap that they’ve dealt with on a daily basis. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Sam has a guardian angel he never told anyone about?

Genre: Semi AU | Slash
Pairings: Sam/Gabriel, hints of Dean/Castiel
Warnings: slash, references to child abuse/molestation, violence, character death, language, adult sexual situations, spoilers for season 1 through 5
Rating: PG-13, NC–17 for later on
Word Count: 23, 075 total
Written For: sabriel_mini bang 2011 on livejournal.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

“SAM?” Dean yelled, desperately searching for his brother. It was dark and all the buildings looked run down and were made of rotting wood. The town was completely abandoned, no surprise there. It gave him the creeps, which was saying something considering some of the things that he had come across as a hunter, and he just wanted to grab his baby brother and get the hell out of dodge, preferably somewhere on the other side of the country.

Sam turned from where Jake was lying sprawled on the ground where he’d been knocked down; to the direction in which the shout had come. Sam stumbled forward, exhausted as Bobby and Dean walked around the corner coming into view from the shadows of the buildings.

“Sam,” Dean breathed in relief upon seeing his brother alive and relatively in one piece, he’d really been worried this time.

“Dean,” Sam called out in answer, walking towards his brother, not noticing Jake getting up behind him and grabbing the knife from the mud where it had been knocked to during their fight just minutes before.

“Sam, look out,” Dean yelled, seeing the threat but it was too late.

Jake grabbed Sam roughly by the shoulder with one hand and thrust the knife into his lower back near his spine with the other, not hesitating in the slightest. Dean and Bobby ran as fast as they could to try and stop him even though they already knew it would be futile.

“NO!” Dean’s scream contained disbelief and blind panic.

Sam groaned as he dropped heavily to his knees in the mud, his body quickly beginning to shut down. He could feel the cold fingers of death already creeping up on him.

Dean fell to his knees in front of Sam, clutching desperately at him by the lapels of his favourite, his only, light brown jacket as Bobby chased after Jake holding his rifle upon seeing Dean had a hold of Sam.

“Sam, whoa, Sam, hey,” Dean murmured to his younger brother, attempting to be comforting and soothing.

Thunder rumbled across the dark, cloudy sky ominously.

“Come here, come here. Let me look at you,” Dean spoke, patting his right hand along his brother’s back searching for the damage done by the knife while holding him up with his left. He pulled his hand away and looked down feeling something wet on it. His hand was covered in so much blood. Dean leaned back slightly to look at Sam’s face as he spoke pleadingly.

“Hey, look at me. It’s not that bad. It’s not even that bad, alright? Sammy? Sam? Listen to me. We’re gonna patch you up,” Dean rambled, panicking, not sure of who he was trying to reassure, himself or his younger brother.

Sam’s eyes rolled back, fluttering, his head lolling back and forth like a giant rag doll since he didn’t have the strength to hold it up anymore. Dean’s face was swimming in and out of focus before his eyes.

“You’re gonna be good as new. Sam! I’m gonna take care of you. That’s my job. Watch over my pain in the ass little brother. Sam! Sam?… Sam?… Sammy?” Dean shouted, his voice increasing in volume with each shout, patting Sam’s face in the hopes of getting a response, any response.

Sam was barely conscious, hanging on by a very thin and frayed thread.

People say that when you’re dying, your life supposedly flashes before your eyes. For Sam though, his last thought was that for the first time in his life, something was missing, something big. He felt alone and cold as death came to claim him. The warmth and safety he had become so accustomed to feeling, especially when he was in any kind of danger, was completely and utterly absent.

It had always been there for as long as he could remember. The first time he could clearly recall something unusual happening, he had been roughly four years old. Sam remembered that for some reason or another his dad and Dean had not been there.

Most likely, Dean and Dad had put him to bed in their motel room and gone on to hunt whatever it was that had brought them to that town. Whatever the reason, he remembered waking up alone. Then being afraid, so terribly afraid but Sam can recall he hadn’t cried because big boys weren’t supposed to cry. The next thing Sam can remember is a feeling of warmth and being safe, surrounded by light.

Later, when he had been a bit older and had asked his brother if he remembered the hunt and what had happened, Dean had told him that there had been a vengeful spirit preying on children. Dean had gone with their dad to act as bait but it had never showed. Somehow though, the thing had been stopped and put to rest but not by them. Dean and Dad were both clueless as to what had happened although Dad thought that maybe another hunter might have taken care of the problem.

After that, anytime he could remember feeling alone or scared, a sense of warmth and safety would wrap around him.

The next significant event he could remember was when he was six years old. Sam had been separated from his dad and Dean when they had been walking back to the motel that night. It had been one of the rare evenings that Dad had taken them out for ice cream. He couldn’t remember what it was that had attacked them but he did remember that someone had saved him even though, try as he might he couldn’t remember his rescuer’s face..

Sam was yanked into a dark alley as he ran in the direction of their motel, trying to get away from the monsters chasing him down the street badly lit street. They threw him further into the alley and he backed up until he hit the cold, brick wall behind him. A dead end and now he had nowhere else to run to. He was trapped. He closed his eyes tightly, terrified but then he heard another voice.

“What do you chuckleheads think you’re doing?”

Sam peeked through his eyelashes hesitantly to see a figure of a man standing between him and the monsters. He cried out as the monsters raced forward and killed the man. His body falling backwards, taking Sam to the ground as well, his little body hidden underneath his body.

His little body shaking with terror, Sam slowly opened his eyes and was stunned to find caramel eyes sparkling with humour staring right back at him.

“How come you aren’t dead?” Sam whispered, utterly confused and a small frown marring his forehead.

The man above him winked, leaned forward and whispered in his ear, his breath tickling him slightly.

“It’s a kind of magic.”

Suddenly, the man was standing up and by the time Sam was on his own feet, the monsters were dead and he was once again clean and tidy with none of the scratches or dirt that he had gained during his hasty flight to outrun the monsters.

Sam cautiously made his way over to his rescuer, after all, Dad and Dea had told him to stay away from people that he didn’t know but the man had saved him. He had brown hair and was holding two red lollipops in his one hand. He squatted down in front of Sam as he eyed the stranger warily.

“Here you are, kiddo,” the man said, offering one of the lollipops to him.

Tentatively, Sam reached out and took it before shyly smiling up at the man.

“SAM?” he heard his dad shout.

“Here, Dad,” Sam called out.

“I gotta go, kiddo,” the man said and with the snap of his fingers he disappeared.

As time went on, Sam forgot what the man’s face had looked like but he didn’t forget his rescuer. At school, he learnt about angels. Out of all of the angels, Gabriel was Sam’s favourite. He didn’t want to bother Gabriel with his problems though. Sam was sure that the archangel had better things to do than listen to a child but he did pray to Gabriel everyday, just to tell him about his day and thank him for the man who had been sent to save him. Sam didn’t have any friends beside Dean since they moved around so often, so he enjoyed telling Gabriel about his day even if he never expected the angel to respond.

The next time Sam remembered seeing his rescuer, he was about ten. His Dad, Dean and he were in Nevada at the time. They had been there for two days when it happened.

Dean was going to kill him was his utmost thought. His brother had told him not to leave the motel room but had he listened? No, he just had to have his jelly beans. Dad had left to go and hunt and Dean was down in the game room playing pool. Sam had been sitting in the room by himself reading one of his favourite books that Dean had gotten him when the need for jelly beans came over him. Ignoring both Dad and Dean’s warnings, he had walked down the road to the corner shop to get his sweets.

A howl from close by had Sam practically running to get back to his room. He tripped over his own feet and landed on the ground. As he pushed himself up, Sam’s attention was caught. Crap! It was a full moon which meant that a werewolf was probably after him. It fit the description of what their dad was hunting. The moon shone above him in full view now. It seemed almost as if it was laughing at him, mocking him for his stupidity. Just then another howl sounded, this time from right behind him along with the thumping of galloping foot steps.

A heavy weight and sharp claws slammed into his back, sending him face first into the ground, claws ripping into his back through his denim jacket, ripping a scream from his throat.

Just as suddenly as the attack happened, it was over. The weight on his back was flung off of him and then there were several growls and yelps followed then by silence.

Gentle hands ran along his back, taking the pain away with them. When they reached his shoulders, the hands carefully turned him over. Sam rolled over with the help, curious to see who had rescued him from being a wolf snack. The man’s face was obscured by shadows making him unrecognisable though.

“You just can’t stay out of trouble can you, kiddo?” Sam blinked as he recognised that voice instantly.

“It’s you,” he breathed.

“Come on, we gotta get you back before your big brother freaks,” the man informed him before snapping his fingers.

A moment later, Sam was sitting on his bed in the motel room and his rescuer was nowhere in sight. It was a good thing he was sitting since he probably would have fallen over.

On shaky legs, Sam made his way cautiously to the bathroom and over to the mirror. There wasn’t even a smudge of dirt on him. Sam was 100% sure that that werewolf had taken several chunks out of his back but when he shed his jacket and shirt, which no longer had any holes in he absently noticed, he stared at his reflection with a slack jaw. Not a single scratch was visible. There weren’t any scars. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Sam shook his head dazed, stripped out of his jeans and walked under the somewhat warm sprays of the shower. Though he looked clean, Sam still felt dirty, like the mud and blood was still all there, just invisible. Once he was sure he was clean and smelled of soap, Sam simply stood under the somewhat warm water, closed his eyes and prayed.

‘Thank you. Thank you, Gabriel for sending me my own guardian angel. He saved me again tonight. Thank you that even though you must be so busy, you still looked out for me.’

“Sammy?” Dean’s call broke Sam out of his thoughts as Dean shut the door to their motel room.

“In the shower. Be out in a minute,” he replied loudly to be heard through the door.

Sam continued to speak to Gabriel everyday, the conversations always one sided, but it was another three years before he saw his mystery guardian angel again. Dean had started hunting with their Dad, tagging along on at least on the easier hunts. They had been in Nebraska at the time; hunting what Dad had been sure was a poltergeist. Sam had gone to the town library to get out of their motel room for a while. He had been feeling restless and just wanted some space ad a change of scenery.

Sam glanced up from the book he was reading when he heard a noise.

“Is someone there?” he called out to the supposedly empty room, the librarian had stepped outside for a smoke.

Shrugging absently when he heard nothing in response, Sam went back to reading his book. Without any warning, all the lights flickered and then went out and he was suddenly slammed by an invisible force into the wall behind him. He groaned out loud when his back hit the wall hard.

“Who’s there?” he called out again into the darkness of the room, “What’d you want?”

A laugh echoed through the room making the hairs on Sam’s arms stand up. It sounded eerie with a mocking edge to it.

Sam looked around the room, desperate to see who had him pinned. Suddenly, it felt as though he was being stabbed in the chest with several sharp hunting knives simultaneously. He threw back his head and screamed in pain.

Out of nowhere, Sam regained control of his body, the pain immediately stopped and he fell to the ground in a heap of limbs.

Panting, Sam glanced up. Standing in the shadows with his arm outstretched towards his direction, Sam could make out the figure of a man. There was a shriek as the poltergeist was forced to take form and then disappeared as though it had exploded, similar to a salt and burn.

The poltergeist gone, the figure slowly made its way over to him. An outstretched hand helped Sam to his feet.

“What are you?” Sam whispered.

The figure tilted its head even though Sam couldn’t make out his features in the darkness of the room.

“Does it matter, kiddo?”

“I’m not a kid. I’m thirteen,” Sam objected.

The man looked him up and down. Even though Sam couldn’t see him, he could tell that the stranger was amused by his objections to be called a kid.

“You may be getting taller and taller every time I see you, kiddo but you’re still young to me. Time to go, toodles,” the man said, raising a hand to snap his fingers.

Recognising the gesture, Sam reached out to grab him before he could once again disappear, “Wait,” but it was too late.

With a snap of his fingers, the man was gone in an instant and the lights flickered back on. The library looked the same as it had before the lights had gone out but Sam no longer felt like hanging around.

Gathering his stuff and stuffing them into his backpack, Sam hastily made his way back to the mote where they were currently stayingl.

A few minutes after he go to the room, Dean with Dad right behind him, came back.

“Did you find it?” Sam asked with his back to them, struggling to keep his emotions in check.

“No. We’ll stick around for a while but if it doesn’t show then we’ll move on,” Dad spoke gruffly.

Sam nodded. He knew that he should say something to Dad or at the very least Dean, but he didn’t know how to start. Whoever or whatever had saved him obviously was very powerful and would be more than a match for Dean and Dad should they go after him. There was also the fact that despite his protector not being human, he hadn’t done anything wrong. In fact, he had done just the opposite, protecting and healing him when he’d been in danger. Dad would want to hunt him down regardless, so for now, he wouldn’t say anything to anyone.

When he was fifteen, their Dad dropped him and Dean at some motel in Miami, enrolled Sam in the local high school and then disappeared for a number of weeks on a hunt “off the grid”. He and Dean lived in the motel with Dean looking after him and working odd jobs at the local mechanic since he was now nineteen and had finished school.

Sam had been at his new high school for two weeks now. He loved school and knew Dean would call him a dork for saying so, but that didn’t change the truth that Sam really enjoyed being able to go to school and learn. The school’s football coach had approached him a couple of times about joining the team but Sam wasn’t much of a sporty person despite all the training that Dad put him and Dean through. They’d be moving soon anyway and the coach gave Sam a bad feeling. He couldn’t explain why, maybe he was becoming paranoid these days but he avoided the coach whenever it was possible.

Over the next week, Sam constantly felt as though he was being watched when he was at school or walking around town. It was a slightly creepy feeling, like eyes at the back of his neck. Whenever he looked around, the football coach seemed to be around nearby giving Sam an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.

On Friday for last period, Sam’s class had played a game of dodge ball for P.E. Having been trained to be a hunter by his dad, ex-marine extraordinaire, the game was a lot of fun, with him coming out as the last man standing. Sam preferred to shower last as it helped avoid all the questions he got about the scars he had from various hunting accidents. He didn’t like making up lies, they got difficult to remember and someone always asked what had happened to him.

The locker rooms were quiet and deserted, though Sam could hear the chatter of students coming from outside as everyone said their final goodbyes before splitting up for the weekend. Sam made his way to his locker with only a white, fluffy towel wrapped around his waist, for the first time not noticing the beady eyes following his every movement.

Sam dressed quickly and efficiently, missing the figure of the football coach creeping up behind him as he pulled his black shirt over his head. His hair was wet, the occasional drop falling in his eyes and Sam ran his fingers through it in a vain attempt of getting it to behave somewhat.

A voice echoed through Sam’s mind, startling him as the customary warmth wrapped around him.

Move. Now. Get out of the locker room and don’t look back.

Sam didn’t even question his automatic compliance with the order. His protector had never steered him wrong before and Dad had gotten him and Dean so used to following orders in that tone of voice that conveyed that they were in danger and would tolerate no nonsense. He pulled his dark blue hoodie down with one hand, grabbed his bag sitting at his feet with the other and tore out the locker room.

He didn’t see a man with brown hair appear where he had previously been standing, directly in the football coach’s path. He didn’t see the hard, cold eyes that stared at the coach as if see right through to his soul. He didn’t hear the man speak in a voice that was terrifying enough to make even the strongest man begin to weep and plead for his life, it was so full of power and rage.

“You were dead the moment you thought to touch him,” the man uttered quietly and calmly, which was in direct contradiction with the fury vibrating from him.

The football coached backed up against the red lockers as the menacing figure advanced on him. Sam didn’t see the coach die but when he got to school the next day, he heard about it.

Everyone was whispering. Girls and boys huddled in groups in the hallways. No one raised their voice, yet the entire school was abuzz.

“I heard that they found him in the boys’ locker room.”

“Did you hear?”

“Coach White is dead.”

“I heard he killed himself.”

“Why would he kill himself?”

“I overheard the secretaries talking. Apparently, the school was beginning an investigation into Coach White.”

“What? Why?”

“Terry said that he was behaving inappropriately with some of the guys on the team.”

“I’d say it’s more than inappropriate. He was touching them. Kerry even said she overheard Mrs Kruger say that Coach White had nearly raped one of the guys on the team.”

Hearing the whispers, Sam went cold, icy cold. His stomach dropped and his heart missed a beat as he froze on the spot. The coach had been watching him. His weird, beady eyes following Sam everywhere he went. It had never crossed his mind that that was what was behind the looks he had been receiving. Feeling shaky and unsteady on his feet at his sudden realisation, Sam made his way over to a bench and sat down. He rubbed his hands over his face and prayed.

“Thank you. Thank you so much. That could have been me. I could have been the one that the Coach hurt. Thank you whoever you are for getting me out of there.”

He had come far too close to becoming another one of the coach’s victims.

When he got home to the motel where they were staying that day, he put up with Dean’s fussing and mother-henning. His brother had heard about what had happened from the gossip around town and had been waiting for Sam after school, incredibly worried and tense. He was extremely thankful to his stranger that he could reassure his brother. Sam was exactly the coach’s type. He never told Dean how close he had come though. Instead, he took several somewhat hot showers, scrubbing until his skin was almost raw. Nothing had actually happened but he felt dirty.

The next time Sam heard the voice of his protector, he was seventeen. It was two years after the thing with the football coach. Dean and his Dad had been researching their latest hunt when Sam got a sudden craving for gummi bears.

Sam looked up from the book he was reading on his bed.

“Dad, I’m gonna go to the shop.”

John looked up from the table where he was reading his book on skin-walkers to glance at his youngest son.

“Alright, son.”

“You getting sweets again, Sammy? Careful or you’re gone get fat, you girl,” Dean teased, sitting opposite John.

“Jerk,” Sam snapped, walking to the motel door.

“Bitch,” was Dean’s immediate response.

Their father merely rolled his eyes at their actions.

Sam made his way to the shop but when he was standing on the opposite side of the street, he was filled with this feeling of dread. It was confirmed when he once again heard someone whisper in his mind.

Not that one. Go to the one two streets down

The young brunette bit his lower lip in thought. It would take longer but after all this time he would trust his faceless protector.

Half an hour later, Sam returned to the motel, a slightly thoughtful frown marring his face.

“Hey what took you so long?” Dean asked.

Sam shrugged. He couldn’t very well tell Dean and Dad that the voices in his head told him to go to another shop.

“I…uh… I took a um slow stroll.”

Dean nodded and went back to polishing his gun as Sam flopped down, face first onto his bed.

The next morning when their Dad brought them breakfast, Sam noticed him look at him strangely.

“Dad, what is it? Did I forget something?”

“No, Sam. It’s just that the corner store was robbed by three guys carrying shotguns yesterday.”

Sam paled. That explained the feeling he had gotten and why he’d been told to avoid the shop. Another close call averted thanks to his invisible guardian.

“You’re lucky, bro,” Dean said quietly, patting Sam on the shoulder.

Sam nodded, unable to find his voice at that moment even if his life depended on it. Instead, he nibbled on a slice of buttered toast, his appetite gone with news his dad had brought.

Not many people can say that their lives have had defining moment that they can put their finger on. The same could not be said for Sam. He remembered his own personal catalyst, the day he decided to leave his old life behind and strike out on his own. Some might call it running away but Sam preferred to think of it as strategically readjusting his position in the world. And if it happened to put a significant distance between him and his family, landing him on the other side of the country, well then, all the better.

The day started out as all days did. Dad was gone by the time he woke. Dean had his face buried in his pillow, snoring like a buzz saw. And Sam was hungry. They had arrived in town two days prior. Dad still wasn’t sure what exactly they were after but something was killing the young men of the town.

Sam groaned, rolled out of bed and grabbed one of the pillows. He took a step forward and then hit his brother over the head with the pillow. Startled, Dean shot up, grabbed his knife and glanced around wildly looking for the threat. Seeing his brother grinning sleepily at him, he swore.

“Dude! What the fuck?”

“Dude, breakfast.”

Dean grumbled under his breath as he stumbled into the bathroom. Sam chuckled quietly as he sat down at the small table by the window to eat the breakfast that Dad had left for the two of them before he had headed out.

Once they were both showered and had eaten, Sam picked up his knapsack from the foot of his bed and slung it over his shoulder.

“Dean, I’m gonna head to the library. See if I can’t figure out what we’re looking for.”

“Sure, geek boy,” Dean waved him off, absorbed in whatever it was that he was looking at on the laptop.

Hours later, Sam rubbed his tired eyes. He was sitting at one of the back tables in the library with a pile of books on either side of him. It looked like they were hunting something called a wendigo but there was very little information on them in any of the books and what little he could find wasn’t very helpful. The lore in the books all disagreed with each other on how to kill a wendigo which was just perfect.

Sighing, Sam stood up and began to pack up. Maybe Dad would have a better idea or he or someone else had run across a wendigo before.

“Hi, do you need some help?” a woman asked from behind him.

Sam turned around quickly.

“Hi, um… I was just going to pack up.”

The woman was about 5’5”, had long black hair and glasses. She was dressed in blue jeans and a red tank top.

“Well, then maybe I could help put them away,” she offered.

“Thanks,” Sam gave her a smile in gratitude.

Each carrying a pile of books, the pair walked to the shelves to return the books.

“So I haven’t seen you around here,” the girl started.

Sam bit his lip, thinking of an answer.

“I’m on a road trip with my father and brother. We just stopped here for a while.”

They walked to the entrance to the library.

“I’m Natalie by the way. It was nice meeting you,” she stuck out her hand to shake.

“Sam, it was nice meeting you too,” he shook her hand and slowly made his way back to the motel.

This was getting ridiculous. Dean had been teasing him already for his lack of girlfriends in whatever town they were in. The truth was that he just didn’t have any interest in anyone whether they were female or even male and yes he had considered guys when he had realised his lack of interest in the girls around him.

Sam was afraid to look too closely as to why he had no interest in anyone. It would force him to acknowledge things he would rather not so he shoved them out his mind and focused on other thing, remaining oblivious to the attention other people gave him.

Now was a perfect example. A cute girl had come over and spoken to him, flirting and offering to help and he hadn’t even thought, not for one second about trying to get her number let alone ask her out. No. It was better if he just ignored it.

That night, John. Dean and Sam headed for the forest on the outskirts of town. Dad had agreed with Sam that it was probably a wendigo. They liked to hang around in the forest and they could be killed with silver bullets and then you had to set the body on fire. Which was just great, nothing like a monster barbeque to end the day.

They split up, each moving in a different direction in hopes of finding the wendigo faster before it killed someone else.

Sam walked around a clump of trees and saw a figure standing ahead of him. Getting closer he noticed that he figure was naked and then he saw it’s face.

“Natalie?” he was shocked.

“Hello, Sam,” she greeted him, an evil little smirk playing around the corners of her mouth.

Leaves and twigs crunched under her feet as she walked towards him. The pale light from the moon was barley enough for Sam to make out her features which appeared to be rapidly changing.

“Thank you for coming to find me. It makes killing you so much easier. Now I don’t have to hunt you down.”


Suddenly, she shifted completely and lunged forward. Sam fired his gun loaded with silver bullets at her. When that didn’t slow her down, he turned and ran; sure that Dean or Dad would have heard the shots and would come investigate. Looked like silver bullets didn’t work on her.

Dean appeared form behind a tree in front of Sam.

“Dean the bullets don’t work!” he shouted a warning to his brother.

Dean shifted the gun in his hand, pulled out a flare, lit it and with deadly accuracy threw it at the wendigo pursuing his baby brother.

Sam stopped next to his brother, panting slightly. Their dad came barrelling through the trees.

“Everyone ok?”

“Yeah, Dad. Sammy here played bait while I fried the thing,” Dean quipped.

John shook his head at his boys.

Later that night while Dean was in the shower and Dad had gone to grab a late night snack, Sam sat on his bed in the motel. The only light coming from the street lamp outside and the sliver peering out from under the bathroom door.

“Glad to see you’re okay, kiddo,” a voice spoke softly from the shadows.

Sam’s head shot up, glancing around searchingly but he was only able to make out a vague shape in the shadows in the corner.

“What are you doing here?” the young brunette asked confused.

“Just wanted to check that you were alright after facing that wendigo tonight.”

“I’m okay, didn’t even have a chance to catch me,” he reassured his invisible protector.

“Get some sleep, Sammy,” the figure said gently before snapping and disappearing as suddenly as he had appeared.

Sam reached over and put his bed side light on. He stood and stretched when his gaze fell upon Dad’s journal lying open on the table. Curious, the tall, young man ambled over to see what page was open.

Sam read the page and froze.

The Wendigo (also known as Windigo, Weendigo, Windago, Windiga, Witiko, Wihtikow, and numerous other variants) is a mythical creature appearing in the mythology of the Algonquian people. It is a malevolent cannibalistic spirit into which humans could transform, or which could possess humans. Those who indulged in cannibalism were at particular risk, and the legend appears to have reinforced this practice as a taboo. The Wendigo targets young people that are in love. It will bypass other easier targets to hunt a person in love.

Sam felt numb. The last two lines echoing through his mind.

“The Wendigo targets young people that are in love. It will bypass other easier targets to hunt a person in love.”

All the feelings he had tried again and again to ignore and force away came rushing back. He was in love. He was in love with a man he had never actually seen before. Sam laughed hysterically. He was in love with a man he had never seen before that wasn’t even human.
He had no idea how his Dad and Dean were going to react to the fact that he was in love with a man but he knew how they’d react to the non-human part. They’d insist he was under some sort of spell, be pissed that he had never told them about his guardian before and then hunt him down and kill him.

Sam couldn’t accept that. He was terrified of their reactions. Grabbing an envelope from the bottom of his bag he made his decision. In the envelope was an acceptance letter from Stanford for a full ride. He wanted out of hunting, couldn’t accept that he was in love with a man and even worse a man who wasn’t even human. He had to get away. Maybe his guardian wouldn’t find him at Stanford. It was a useless hope but it made Sam feel better to think that he might be able to get completely away from everything.

Hearing the bathroom door and then the front door open and close, Sam took a deep breath and braced himself to confront his Dad and Dean.

He had been at Stanford for about a month before he had met his now best friend, aside from Dean that was. Her name was Jessica Moore. They had English together among a few other classes. One day she had sat down beside him and declared that they would be best friends, and that was that. Jess was blonde and tiny compared to Sam but the two of them became inseparable. Everyone thought that they were dating. After a while they got tired of correcting everyone and just gave up.

Jess had told Sam early on in their relationship that she was bi but she wanted to focus on her studies at the moment. She never pushed or pried at why Sam next to never talked about his family or about the fact that after four months Sam had stopped dating all together. Sam got the feeling that she had her suspicions but she never pushed for any information. Something which Sam was eternally grateful for and made him value her friendship all the more. He had trouble sorting out how he felt never mind trying to explain it. Over time with Jess’ help Sam slowly began to accept himself.

Sam had been at Stanford for three years before something even remotely unusual happened, at least unusual in his realm of weird possibilities. He and Jess were then living in a house off campus, had been since the beginning of their second year. It had been the day of Sam’s twenty first birthday. Jess had had to go home for the weekend for her Gran’s eightieth birthday. Sam had assured her that he would be fine on his own and that she should go and enjoy herself.

That evening, the first thing Sam did was head down to the liquor store to buy a six pack of beer and a bottle of tequila. He was twenty one and could legally drink now. Not that he hadn’t before, but now it was legal. He had a huge project due during that week, but right now Sam was feeling sorry for himself. He sat on the sofa in the living room and was halfway through the bottle of tequila when he couldn’t stay inside anymore.

Stumbling, Sam made his way over to one of the on campus gardens that the horticultural department were responsible for. The tall brunette found a bench under a tree and sat down, miserable.

He missed Dean. When Dean had turned twenty one, Dad had taken him out for a celebratory drink. Since then, Sam had been looking forward to celebrating and getting drunk with Dean on his own twenty first. It would have been so much fun bonding with Dean. Instead he was sitting in a garden on a bench under a tree all by himself, drunk on his twenty first birthday. He had drunk three of his beers and grabbed a fourth to drunkenly toast to himself.

“Happy Birthday to me,” he toasted to no one, taking a large swallow.

Directly after swallowing, he heard a voice.

“Don’t expect me to sing to you, Sasquatch and if you’ve finished all that beer without me, so help me, I’ll…”

Despite being somewhat drunk off his ass, Sam would recognize that voice anywhere.

“You. Didn’t think I’d see you again,” his words slurring slightly.

The figure moved to stand in front of him. Sitting down, Sam was forced to look up, a very rare thing, to squint at his visitor. Suddenly, he had what he thought at the time was a brilliant idea.

“I wan’ my bir’day kiss,” he informed his guardian before his eyes drooped shut and he face planted into the other man’s chest.
The man sighed, running gentle fingers through the long brunette locks.

“What am I going to do with you, kiddo?” he whispered, placing a soft kiss on Sam’s forehead before snapping his fingers and taking Sam home.

The next morning Sam awoke with a vicious headache. Gingerly, he looked around and was surprised t find that he was in his own bed with absolutely no recollection of how he had ended up there. Sam squeezed his eyes shut as he desperately tried to remember.

His eyes shot open when he did causing him to wince when the light hurt his eyes. He had come last night. His faceless guardian. Vaguely Sam recalled lips pressed to his forehead in a gentle kiss and groaned.

This couldn’t go on. He had been running for years and it hadn’t done or changed a thing. Maybe it was time for him to face his problems. Sam groaned again. Maybe he could face his problems starting tomorrow. Right now he felt as if an entire circus was doing a tap dance routine in his head. With another groan, Sam buried his head under a pillow.

A year and a half later, Sam had made peace with himself. He had finally accepted that he was gay. Jess had been a huge help through it all. He hadn’t told her all that much. Just that there had been someone back before he had come to Stanford. Sam accepted that he was in love with someone he had never really seen before and could never have. It hurt but he had learned to live with it. He also missed Dean and his Dad but especially Dean. Sam wanted to get his law degree to help his family out and then he wanted to go back to them. However, the best laid plans…

Sam jerked awake, glancing around his room, confused as to what had woken him. Cautiously he sat up in bed, becoming alert when he heard a crash. Carefully he made his way to the kitchen where the noise had originated. He crept forward when he saw a figure in the shadows and grabbed it from behind.

Immediately a fight broke out and moved in to the living room. It ended with Sam being slammed onto his back by his assailant.

“Easy tiger,” the figure said, placing a hand on his chest.

Panting, Sam looked up in shock.


His brother chuckled.

“You scared the crap out of me,” Sam told him.

Dean cocked his head smugly.

“That’s coz you’re outta practice.”

Sam wrapped a leg around his brother and flipped him over, reversing their positions, eliciting another chuckle from his older brother.

“Or not. Get off me.”

Sam stood up, pulling Dean with him.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Sam asked, bewildered.

“I was looking for a beer,” Dean quipped.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Sam asked again, this time more serious.

Dean reached out and patted his younger brother.

“Okay, alright. We gotta talk,” Dean informed him, his face shrouded in shadows as neither had switched the lights on and yet Sam could still read his brother perfectly.

“Uh…the phone?”

Dean was quick to respond.

“If I had called, would you have picked up?”

Sam had to concede there. He wanted to finish his degree before contacting his family or he might have been tempted to return to them without completing it.

Suddenly, the lights turned on, causing them all to blink as their eyes adjusted.

“Sam?” Jess asked hesitantly.

“Jess, hey,” Sam greeted her, apologetic for waking her.

“Dean this is my best friend, Jessica.”

Jess walked further into the room, “Wait, your brother, Dean?”

“I love the smurfs,” Dean commented, pointing at the young
woman’s sleeping top.

“Just let me put something on,” Jess said, slowly backing out the room.

Dean stepped forward.

“No, no, no. I wouldn’t dream of it. Seriously. Anyway, I gotta borrow your friend here. Talk about some private family business. But uh… nice meeting you.”

Sam got Dean’s drift.

“Jess, we’re just gonna go talk outside. Don’t worry.”

Sam grabbed a jacket by the front door as he and his brother headed outside.

“What’s Dad done this time?” Sam asked exasperated.

“He went on a hunting trip and I haven’t heard from him in a few

“He was alone? Where were you?” Sam asked as they reached the Impala.

“I was doing my own gig,” Dean informed his little brother as he popped the Impala’s trunk.

It was cold outside and as they talked, little puffs of breath could be seen escaping into the night.

“Dad let you hunt alone?” he asked his older brother surprised.

“I’m twenty six, dude,” Dean informed his brother, insulted at the implication that he couldn’t handle it alone.

“I dunno, Dean,” Sam started unsure of how to tell his brother that he was afraid he would never come back if he let now.

“Dad’s in trouble now, Sam. I haven’t asked you for anything, haven’t bothered you for nearly four years. You can’t live some normal apple pie life,” Dean told him.

Sam knew this but got angry at the idea that he couldn’t have a normal life. Sure his brother was right, he had run just not for the reasons that Dean thought but that was beside the point.

“I was just going to college. Dad’s the one that said if I left to never come back,” Sam retorted.

“Well, Dad’s in real trouble now if he’s not dead already, I can feel it,” Dean argued, completely serious.

Dean looked at the ground before looking back up.

“I can’t do this alone. I don’t want to.”

Sam sighed deeply.

“What was he hunting?”

Dean turned back to the Impala’s trunk and began to rummage around amongst the guns, amo and rock salt.

“Alright, here we go.”

They ended up hunting a lady in white and finding Dad nowhere. The only link they did have was their Dad’s journal that had been left behind with some co-ordinates. Sam insisted on returning to tell Jess that he was going with Dean to look for their Dad in person and he also wanted to pack up his stuff and put it in storage for now. Unfortunately things did not go as planned.

“Jess?” Sam called out as he walked inside, Dean right behind him. Further in the house the sound of the shower could be
heard running.

“Jess?” Sam called again not wanting to scare her when she realized that there was someone else in the apartment.
Not hearing a reply, Sam walked towards his room intent on dropping off his bag when he froze at the sigh the before him.

A man with yellow eyes was standing in front of a clearly terrified Jess. She appeared to be held immobile as the creature slowly lifted her up the wall.

A shot rang out as Dean appeared behind Sam, firing at the thing holding Jess. Sam ran forward to grab her.

“Hello, Sammy. This is a surprise,” the creature greeted him.

Sam was scared now. The thing knew his name and nothing Dean shot at him was working.

“Let’s get outta here, Sammy,” Dean shouted.

Sam agreed with his brother’s sentiments whole heartedly. He grabbed Jess by the elbow and tugged her out of the room and down the hall as fast as possible, Dean hot on their heels.

The three ran for the Impala and as soon as Dean started the car, he swung out the parking lot and down the street.

“What was that?” Jess asked, shocked from the backseat.

Sam and Dean glanced at each other. They had a lot of explaining to do.

Jess took the news that demons, ghosts and all manner of other creatures existed rather well. The three of them had headed straight for Bobby’s from Stanford. They spent two weeks there settling Jess in. She couldn’t see herself returning to her old life, not with everything she now knew. So it had been decided that she would stay with Bobby, help with research while he trained her for the time being. She had four years of medical school under her belt already but with everything that had happened, was unsure if she wanted to continue to become a doctor or to become an advanced paramedic, but there would be time to decide later.

Sam and Dean spent the next two years hunting any number of monsters while searching for their Dad and hunting the thing that had killed their mother.

When Dean had been electrocuted, Sam had been desperate. He was reminded that while it seemed he had a permanent guardian angel the same could not be said for others. For the first time, Sam wished that he knew how to find or contact his invisible protector.

There were other hunts and incidents where he once again wished that he had help, like when Meg lured them out and had shadow hounds attack them and Dad. But then again things could have gone so much worse. They could have ended up trapped or have been unable to light the place up thereby chasing the shadows away. So maybe his protector was still around just not revealing himself. When Sam thought about it, it made sense. Dean and Dad would not just graciously accept help. They were far more likely to shoot the help as well as the demons. That would be an inconvenience. He knew it wouldn’t kill his guardian but it would more than likely piss him off.

About a year in, Dean ended up in a coma and John made a deal trading his life for Dean’s. Surprisingly, or not so much to Sam, he was relatively uninjured, just some cuts and bruises but he was used to getting a little extra luck and help by now. His only regret was that there hadn’t been a way to ask for help with first Dean and then his Dad.

With Bobby and Jess’s help, Dean and Sam continued hunting for the Yellow Eyed Demon. They came across other psychics, each with the same story as Sam with only slight variations. He and Dean were still flying blind so to speak when it came to what was going on.

It all led up to Sam being kidnapped from a diner and dumped, unconscious in Cold Oak along with four other psychics, two of which he had met before. Yellow Eyes appeared to Sam in a dream and told him that they were all there to have a knock-down, drag out fight to the death and only one of them would be getting out alive.

Sam had held out a hope that his guardian angel would sense just how much trouble he was in and lend a hand in some way, but that hope was quickly dashed when the demon laughingly informed him that there were wards that he had placed around the town that would only drop when there was just one psychic left alive in the town, nothing was getting through. He’d also been only too happy to tell Sam, or rather show Sam, how he had made him drink demon blood when he had been just six months old.

He and Jake had been the only ones left alive. Ava, it turned out, had gone over to the dark side a while ago and had taken out the others before Jake had snapped her neck when she had tried to kill Sam after he had confronted her.

Sam hadn’t wanted to fight him, but Jake hadn’t been willing to listen to reason.

Sam’s body was aching. Finally he managed to knock Jake to the ground but then he couldn’t kill him. He looked down at the soldier sprawled in the mud and couldn’t bring himself to kill another human being especially when it was exactly what Yellow Eyes wanted. Dean shouting for him prompted Sam to drop his make shift weapon and turn in the direction of his older brother’s voice as he came into view.

“SAM?” Dean yelled, searching for his brother.

Sam stumbled forward slightly as Bobby and Dean walked around the corner coming into view from the building’s shadows.

“Sam,” Dean breathed in relief upon seeing his brother alive and relatively in one piece.

“Dean,” Sam called out, walking towards his older brother, not noticing Jake getting up behind him, grabbing the knife from the mud where it had been knocked in the fight just minutes before and advancing towards him.

“Sam, look out,” Dean yelled, seeing the threat but it was too late.

Jake grabbed Sam by the shoulder and thrust the knife into his lower back by his spine. Dean and Bobby ran to try and stop him even though it was futile.

“NO!” Dean’s scream contained disbelief and panic.

Sam groaned as he dropped heavily to his knees in the mud. He could feel the cold fingers of death already creeping up on him. Dean fell to his knees in front of Sam, clutching desperately at him by the lapels of his favourite, his only, light brown jacket as Bobby chased after Jake holding his rifle upon seeing Dean had a hold of Sam.

“Sam, whoa, Sam, hey,” Dean murmured to his younger brother, attempting to be comforting and soothing.

Thunder rumbled across the dark, cloudy sky ominously.

“Come here, come here. Let me look at you,” Dean spoke, patting his right hand along his brother’s back searching for the damage done by the knife while holding him up with his left. He pulled his hand away and looked down feeling something wet on it. His hand was covered in so much blood. Dean leaned back slightly to look at Sam’s face as he spoke pleadingly.

“Hey, look at me. It’s not that bad. It’s not even that bad, alright? Sammy? Sam? Listen to me. We’re gonna patch you up,” Dean rambled, panicking, not sure of who he was trying to reassure, himself or his younger brother.

“Sam, whoa, Sam, hey.”

Sam’s eyes rolled back, his head lolling back and forth like a rag doll as he didn’t have the energy to keep it up anymore, Dean’s face swimming in and out of focus.

“You’re gonna be good as new. Sam! I’m gonna take care of you. That’s my job. Watch over my pain in the ass little brother. Sam! Sam? Sam? Sammy?” Dean shouted, patting Sam’s face in the hopes of getting a response.

“Sam?” Dean started panicking though he tried not to show it, looking desperately for any signs of life in his baby brother and getting none.

“No, no, no, no, no, no,” Dean muttered, pulling his brother’s body into a tight hug.

“Oh god,” Dean cried, cradling the back of Sam’s head, his other arm wrapped tightly around Sam’s back.

“No,” Dean sobbed, rocking his and Sam’s body as he cried almost silently.

Dean continued to sob as he clutched his baby brother’s now lifeless body close to him. He didn’t notice the gun shots as Bobby tried to catch up with Jake to take him down and failed, Jake disappearing into the darkness. He didn’t notice when Bobby reluctantly returned and placed a hand on his shoulder in an effort to provide some comfort as the older man tried to also not break down in tears at the death of his adopted son.

All Dean knew was that Sam was dead, and he had failed to protect his little brother when Sam had needed him most and now he was truly alone in the world. Sam was dead and now he was alone echoed through his mind as Dean hugged Sam’s body closer.

A loud clap of thunder echoed around them as it prepared to rain like the world itself was in mourning.

Loki, who had ceased going by the name Gabriel a long time ago, paused as he was putting the last finishing touches to his latest plan for a sleazy business man in South Dakota. The man loved pressuring his young secretaries into doing “favours” for him. Loki felt that the man’s actions warranted his attention and the just desserts heading his way shortly, but that wasn’t his main focus now.

Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and sent his senses out into the world, searching for what had disturbed him. Almost immediately, he sucked in a sharp breath, shocked even though technically he didn’t need to breathe, but after hanging around humans for so long, he’d picked up a couple of their habits.

He couldn’t feel Sam Winchester. At all. After having the youngest Winchester at the edge of his senses for so long and now to feel nothing, was enough for him to descend into full blown panic. For the last two decades he’d been protecting Sam, always there in the shadows but now he felt absolutely nothing. He couldn’t sense his mate!

Without even bothering to snap his fingers, Loki simply disappeared and reappeared in the living room of his home, his sanctuary, in one of his little pocket dimensions outside of time.

He tried every ritual he could think of, one after the other to find Sam and one after the other failed, and he had accumulated knowledge on many with how long he had been around. He was becoming desperate, his panic and desperation rising to new levels. His bond with Sam wasn’t fully formed so there were limitations on what he could do to find him.

Between one second and the next, his awareness of Sam reappeared and he was horrified to find that the young man was dead, his soul even now moving towards Loki’s location.

Tenderly, he met him half way and grasped Sam’s soul, cradling it against his very being as he accessed Sam’s memories of the last twenty four hours without thought, acting on instinct. As each second passed, he felt himself growing angrier but his anger would have to wait. First order of business was bring his Sam back from the dead.

In the blink of an eye, he re-appeared cradling Sam’s soul in Cold Oak. His arrival went unnoticed by the hunters.

“SAM!!” Dean screamed in anguish.

Bobby rubbed Dean’s shoulder in comfort as tears streamed down his face at the loss of the boy whom he had come to think of as a son.

Loki walked forward towards Dean who was clutching his baby brother’s lifeless, limp body tightly as if he could bring him back by sheer force of will alone. Loki knew that Dean was going to make a deal with a crossroads demon to bring his brother back. He couldn’t allow that, Sam would never forgive him especially when he was planning on bring him back himself.

Before either hunter had a chance to register his presence, Loki reached out, pulled Sam’s body away from Dean with little effort and surprising strength for someone his size, lifted his hand and pressed his forefinger and middle finger to Sam’s forehead, pushing his soul back into his body.

“What hell are…?” the rest of Dean’s outraged demand was drowned out as Loki concentrated on bring Sam back, his eyes fairly glowing in power.

Bobby put a hand on Dean’s shoulder to restrain him and silently warned him to tread cautiously. The older hunter had no idea how the Trickster had survived or what he was doing; but he figured that things couldn’t really get any worse than they already were.

The sky rumbled as lightning streaked across the sky once again before it became silent. The sound of someone inhaling sharply and then coughing broke the night time quiet.

Dean stared incredulously from where he was kneeling in the mud as Sam began coughing a foot in front of him.

“Sam? Sammy?” he whispered, afraid to believe his eyes, sure that he must be dreaming.

Wide brown eyes looked up to stare at him in confusion.

“De…Dean? How…?”

His older brother launched himself across the short distance between them. Sam blinked in confusion as Dean wrapped him up in a tight, bone crushing hug. Bobby dropped onto the ground beside them and swept both the brothers in a hug, relief pouring out of him.

Reluctantly, Dean pulled away and helped Sam and Bobby to their feet. Once all three of them were standing, he turned to look at the Trickster, who by the way was supposed to be dead as far as they knew. The Trickster was watching their little reunion with an odd look on his face, almost wistful and sad.

Sam stared at the figure of the Trickster before them, something niggling at the back of his mind as he tried to work out what was going on.

“Th…thank you,” Dean choked out.

At least being indebted to the Trickster was slightly better than making a deal with a demon, Dean reasoned silently with himself because that’s what he would have done if it had meant getting Sammy back. He hadn’t had to sell his soul but he had yet to hear what the Trickster’s price was for saving his brother.

Sharp caramel eyes never left Sam’s face as Loki spoke to Dean, “I didn’t do it for you.”

A cloud passing overhead, moved in front of what little light the moon was providing, casting a shadow over the Trickster’s face and something inside Sam’s mind finally clicked at the familiar picture.

“It’s you. It was you all this time,” Sam breathed, astonished at having found him after all this time, “I remember you.”

Dean turned to look at his little brother sharply, having overheard the whisper.

“Sammy what are you talking about?”

“You remember,” Loki quietly stated.

“Remember? How could I forget?” Sam answered breathlessly.

He had finally found his invisible guardian. It had never crossed his mind that his protector was the Trickster and could not think of a single reason why he would be guarding him all these years. They had “killed” him a while back so why did the Trickster save him or bring him back or whatever it was that the being had done?

“Sam?” Dean asked, a number of questions all conveyed with that one word.

Sam ignored his brother for the moment, desperate for answers that had evaded him for years.

“Always jumping in with both feet heedless of the dangers, hey Sammy Sam?” Loki teased before becoming more serious.

“We need to talk, kiddo,” he told Sam.

Sam nodded even as Dean shook his head in outrage.

“Oh hell no! Thanks for saving him but that doesn’t mean that he’s going anywhere with you,” Dean informed the supposed to be dead Trickster, taking a step forward in front of his younger brother in order to protect him.

Sam placed a hand on his brother’s shoulder in the vain hope of calming him down.

“It’s alright, Dean. He won’t hurt me.”

Dean spun around, poking Sam in the chest to emphasise his point.

“He’s a Trickster Sam. How can you know he won’t hurt you? He tried to kill us before or am I the only one who remembers that huh?” Dean’s voice grew louder as he spoke.

Bobby spoke up from their left for the first time, having been quietly observing all that was happening.

“Your brother’s right, Sam. He may have saved you but we don’t know why and he is still the Trickster.”

Sam sighed. This is what he got for keeping quiet all these years. He couldn’t explain everything to them until he had answers and to get them he needed to talk to his guardian turned trickster.

Loki had watched them argue amongst themselves with amusement but he also wanted to get Sam alone to reassure himself that the young man was indeed alright now and relatively in one piece.

At the end of his patience, he snapped his fingers, instantly moving them from the haunted town to the porch of Bobby’s house along with Dean’s precious Impala. He didn’t need to give the older Winchester anymore reasons to want to kill him than necessary.

“Sam-I-Am, time to go,” he addressed the youngest Winchester, holding out his hand as he turned to the older hunter and other Winchester.

“I’ll have him back shortly, Deano.”

Only stopping a second to consider the consequences, Sam placed his hand in the Trickster’s outstretched one and with a snap of his fingers, the pair disappeared, leaving behind an angry Dean and a worried Bobby.

They reappeared in a room that Sam immediately identified as some sort of a living room. The room was a warm beige colour with polished wooden floors. Deep wine red sofas were positioned around the room, against one of the walls was a large flat screen T.V. while a fire burned in the fireplace in the opposite wall.

“Where are we?” he asked, turning to find the Trickster watching his surveying of the room with something close to amusement.

Loki spread out his arms with a grin on his face.

“Welcome to my home. It’s in a separate pocket dimension so don’t worry that pretty head of yours about your brother. We can go back to a few seconds after we left, so take your time.”

Sam’s eyebrows rose in surprise, though it certainly was a useful piece of information. He hadn’t realised that Tricksters were that powerful. Speaking or thinking of which, it was getting really annoying referring to him as the “Trickster” all the time.

“What’s your name? I can’t keep calling you Trickster,” Sam asked curious despite himself.

Loki sighed.

“Guess there’s no easy way to start this is there? We’re going to need sweets and probably alcohol for this conversation,” he muttered, more to himself than anything.

Sam frowned at his response. He hadn’t thought that asking a simple question such as a name would be so difficult. He barely resisted jumping in surprise as, with a snap of his fingers, an entire dessert buffet spread appeared out of thin air.

“Grab something and have a seat, Sammykins,” Loki said while indicating the sofa behind Sam.

Sam frowned at the nickname.

“Can you not do that? My name is Sam.”

Loki flashed him a quick grin before curling up in his armchair.

“Sure it is… Sammybear.”

Despite the situation, Sam was hungry, he hadn’t eaten since before the Yellow Eyed Demon had kidnapped him. He quickly grabbed a large salad and some tacos before making his way over to a sofa.

Loki waited until Sam was sitting opposite him before he began.

“The first thing you should know is that I have many names. For the last couple of millennia, I’ve been going by Loki.”

The name was familiar to Sam who couldn’t resist asking, “The Norse god, Loki?” between bites of his salad.

“Give the man a popsicle,” Loki cheered, a popsicle instantly appearing in Sam’s right hand.

Sam shook his head in exasperation before the rest of what Loki had said caught up with him.

“Wait, you said the last few millennia. What about before that? What did they call you then?”

Loki took a deep breath and looked Sam straight in the eye.

“Gabriel. They called me Gabriel.”

Sam’s eyes widened in shock. There was only one Gabriel that he could think of off the top of his head but that was just impossible.

“Gabriel? As in the Archangel Gabriel? Angel of Justice and the Messenger Gabriel? That Gabriel?” Sam managed to choke out past the sudden lump in his throat although he was grateful that he hadn’t taken a bite of his tacos or he would have choked on that.

Gabriel looked at his hunter in fond amusement.

“Glad to know that my reputation precedes me,” he quipped.

Sam lowered his eyes to the ground. He’d always believed that angels existed, hell he’d prayed to Gabriel often enough. Suddenly, he felt extremely dirty. Azazel had revealed that he had demon blood in him. He wasn’t worthy to stand in front of an angel who had protected him all these years, let alone Gabriel himself.

Gabriel watched the shadows chase across the younger Winchester’s face and could guess as to where his mate’s thoughts were going. Making a decision, he pushed up and sat on the sofa beside Sam. The young hunter was so engrossed with his thoughts of self-recrimination that he didn’t notice Gabriel until a hand was placed on his thigh.

“Sam,” Gabriel spoke softly, “don’t.”

Hesitantly, Sam peeked at Gabriel beside him, uncertain eyes partially hidden by the hair hanging in his face. He looked a little ridiculous and Gabriel would have felt justified in laughing if the situation wasn’t so serious.

Sam was startled to see Gabriel looking at him, really looking at him, like he could see into his very soul; which, considering that he was an archangel, he probably could. His thoughts were whirling a mile a minute and he took a few minutes to take a couple of deep breaths and sort through all the questions buzzing through his mind.

Gabriel, for his part, sat patiently beside Sam, hand still resting on Sam’s arm, unnoticed by the pair.

“Why me?” Sam almost whispered, not sure if he really wanted the answer to his own question but a lack of information had caused a lot of damage in previous experience for both himself and Dean, and ignorance was not always bliss, not in their case.

Gabriel frowned at the question not quiet understanding what it was that the young man was asking. He hadn’t read Sam’s mind out of respect for his privacy but it was making things a tad more complicated, and the potential for misunderstandings was ever present.

“I’m not sure what you’re asking Sam,” Gabriel said, angling his body to face Sam completely, giving the hunter his undivided attention.

Sam, for his part, was now determined to get answers. He didn’t notice that his empty plate of food disappeared into thin air as though it hadn’t been there.

“Why are evil sonsofbitches so attracted to me? What does Yellow Eyes want with me? Why did you save me? Bring me back? Why have you been protecting me for all these years? I have demon blood in me,” he spewed, clearly agitated, “Shouldn’t you have destroyed me on sight not saved me?”

Gabriel stroked his thumb in circles where his hand lay on Sam’s arm in an attempt to sooth and calm him while he answered the barrage of questions.

“What do you know about angels? I mean really know?”

“What does that have to do with anything? With me?” Sam demanded.

Gabriel felt a small smile tug at the corner of his lips. His human was beautiful when he was all fired up.

“Just bear with me here. We’re not these fluffy, joyful, winged creatures from the fairytales. First and foremost we’re warriors. Or at least, we’re supposed to be.”

Gabriel let out a deep breath before continuing. Sam placed a hand over the one on his arm in silent support. Whatever it was that Gabriel was going to tell him, it was obvious that it was painful for him.

“I’m sure you know the story of the rebellion, how Lucifer became the devil as you humans call him. When Lucifer betrayed us and rebelled, Michael cast him out. There was so much fighting amongst us, it was civil war up there. It tore our family apart. I couldn’t choose sides. I loved both my brothers equally and then they each wanted me to choose a side and help kill the other and I couldn’t do it. So I left, I ran away to Earth and hid here amongst the pagans. I became Loki as a form of my very own witness protection, and after a few centuries they stopped looking for me and assumed that I was dead.”

Sam nodded to show that he was following but he was still confused as to what this had to do with him. Gabriel meanwhile, was staring blankly at the wall above the fire place, lost in his memories. He sighed, another human trait that he had picked up, and turned his attention back to the human beside him.

“All angels have a mate, a bonded. You only have one for all eternity. When an angel finds their bonded and they accept each other, it’s an amazing thing or so I was told. A fully formed bond transcends any other power or force. They’re linked, can sense when their mate is in danger or hurt. They can find each other anywhere; there are no wards powerful enough to hide a bonded from its mate.

After I ran, I never expected to find my mate. I thought I’d live for eternity alone or until one of my siblings caught up with me and killed me. Turns out, Dad had other plans. Nearly twenty odd years ago, I felt a tug on my grace, one of the first signs that an angel’s mate is around or has been born.”

Sam was scrambling to grasp what Gabriel was saying, calculating even as his mind was rejecting the very possibility.

“It was you, Sam,” Gabriel confirmed what Sam’s stunned thoughts had concluded.

“You were just a baby, such a small and bright, pure soul despite the taint of the demon blood that Azazel had forced on you. After all that time, centuries on my own and then there you were barely four years old. You’re human though. A human that is an angel’s mate is very rare and is a major magnet for all the supernatural things that go bump in the night. Mostly before the bond has been fully formed and in place, because that is when they’re at their most vulnerable.

There’s more but I think sparks will fly out your ears soon, your brain is working so hard. So let’s call it a night and I’ll tell you the rest in the morning. You can sleep on it. Okay, Sam?”

Sam nodded dazedly. It was a lot to process and Gabriel had said that there was more. At this point, he didn’t think that there was much else that could surprise him.

Gabriel stood and pointed at the hallway leading off the living room.

“There’s a bedroom down that hall where you can sleep.”

“You’re not taking me back?” Sam asked, once again bewildered, which was happening far too often lately for his liking if he did say so himself.

“Nope. Time works differently here, Sammy Sam. We can stay here as long as we need to and go back to your brother just when we left him. You need the time to rest and process everything.”

Sam rubbed his hands over his face suddenly too tired to deal with anything.

“Bed, Sammykins,” Gabriel’s voice came from behind him as a hand settled on his lower back, gently prodding him forward and down the hall.

Sam silently allowed himself to be led into a large bedroom. He barely took note of the light blue walls and soft moonlight bathing the room in warmth. He did notice when between one second and the next, he changed from wearing his jeans, white button shirt and brown jacket into his favourite old grey sweat pants and white T-shirt that he usually slept in.

Gabriel gently guided Sam to the large king sized bed in the middle of the room, that with barely a thought Gabriel turned down. Sam was so exhausted that as soon as he reached the bed, he crawled into it, settling in immediately.

The bed was the softest thing Sam had ever lain on; it almost seemed to mould itself to his body. He could barley keep his eyes open so it wasn’t surprising that he didn’t notice when Gabriel left the room turning the lights down on his way out.

Despite all that had happened, Sam was asleep within seconds of his head touching the large soft pillow. Apparently fighting for your life, dying and then coming back as well as finding out that you had an archangel as a mate took a lot out of a person.

Gabriel sat once again in his armchair in the living room Sam had recently vacated facing the fireplace and brooding. It was uncharacteristic of him but he was doing it none the less. He had almost lost Sam. If the bond with his mate hadn’t been partially formed already, Sam would have died and his soul would have moved on, and not moved towards Gabriel instead.

Even though he could feel Sam in the next room, Gabriel was driven by the need to actually see his mate. Out of habit more than anything else, he snapped his fingers and reappeared in Sam’s room. Silently, the archangel approached the bed and gazed at the figure sprawled under the covers.

“Mmmm,” Sam groaned, barely awake and squinted in the dark at the figure standing beside his bed.

“Shhhh, go back to sleep,” Gabriel whispered as he reached out a hand and tenderly ran his fingers through Sam’s hair.

“Gab’il? Wha’?” Sam asked sleepily.

“Shhh… I almost lost you today, Sammy. Just wanted to check on you. Go back to sleep,” Gabriel murmured soothingly.


Without any warning, Sam’s right arm shot out and he grabbed Gabriel. One strong tug sent Gabriel tumbling down onto the bed into the space beside Sam. In the next moment, Sam wrapped himself around his angel and pulled the covers over them both.

Utterly bemused, Gabriel allowed himself to be manhandled by his human mate.

“Stay. Sleep. We’ll ta’k in da mor’ing,” Sam muttered into Gabriel’s neck, warm breath tickling the nape of his neck.

In the next moment, Sam was once again sleeping, snoring softly while Gabriel lay in the circle of his arms, perplexed at the recent turn of events. Even though sleep was not necessary for him, Gabriel found his thoughts drifting, going over all that would need to be done now to keep Sam, and by extension Dean, safe.

Consciousness began to return to Sam in stages. He couldn’t remember when last he had slept so well or woken feeling rested and safe. Taking stock of his surroundings, Sam also became aware of the fact that he was wrapped around another warm body and with that realisation; the memories of what had recently occurred came flooding back. He also vaguely recalled pulling Gabriel into bed with him at some point during the night.

Sam blinked a couple of times, his eyes adjusting to the light before focusing on the angel lying in his arms.

“Morning Sasquatch,” Gabriel chirped.

“Morning,” Sam returned, fighting to hide the blush working its way up his face.

“Sorry I dragged you in here with me,” he muttered, causing Gabriel to chuckle.

“I’m not complaining, Sam. You can haul me into bed anytime you want,” he added with a wiggle of his eyebrows, smirk firmly in place.

Sam made a choking sound somewhere between a laugh and a groan as he buried his face into his pillow.

Gabriel smiled at his human before sitting up, exclaiming, “Breakfast!”

A second later Sam was alone in the bed and he could hear Gabriel banging pots around in the direction of where he assumed the kitchen was located.

“Gigantor, get your ass in the shower and then in here before I eat your pancakes too,” Gabriel shouted from the kitchen.

Bemused at his situation, Sam took a quick shower, put on his clothes that he had found lying spread out on the now made bed and, following his nose, walked in the general direction of the kitchen.

He stopped short at the sight that greeted him. Gabriel was standing, manually making pancakes, but as surprising as that was, it wasn’t what had stopped Sam in his tracks. The man was wearing a full on white chef’s uniform except for the large neon pink apron with black letters saying “KISS THE COOK” in the middle.

Sam was already laughing before he could stop himself. Gabriel turned and gave him a mock glare but in truth he loved the sound of Sam’s laugh and wanted to hear it more often.

“Get in here and make yourself useful Sasquatch,” Gabriel ordered, brandishing a spatula.

“Why don’t you just snap your fingers and conjure them up?” Sam asked curiously even though he was moving to help Gabriel.

Gabriel pulled an overly outraged face at the suggestion.

“Pancakes are a very important meal, Sammy. They deserve some effort,” he drawled teasingly.

Breakfast was different to anything he had previously experienced to say the least. Sam had never seen one person consume so much sugar first thing in the morning or at any other time of the day. Gabriel all but drowned his pancakes in syrup or chocolate sauce and then still added various other toppings. The Trickster Angel also regaled Sam with stories of some of his travels all over the world but was careful to leave out any mentions of killing, for which Sam was grateful even though he had no delusions that they had occurred. Once they’d both eaten their fill, Gabriel led him back to the living room from last night.

The pair once again sat on the sofa opposite the now empty fire place, each angled towards the other, giving their full attention.

Sam was much more alert now that he had eaten and surprisingly he had had a good night’s rest. He was still struggling to wrap his head around the mates’ part of Gabriel’s speech from last night but for now he would push it to the back of his mind.

“Why does Yellow Eyes want me so bad? Why does he want one of us psychic kids to lead some army and how did both Jake and I get out? I thought that only one of us could live,” Sam asked frustration and anger in his voice at being in a situation so far out of his control, one that had nearly cost him his life.

Gabriel winced at the last question.

He reached out and laid a hand on the young hunter’s knee, feeling his warmth even through the denim jeans as he quietly informed Sam, “Only one of you did, Sam.”

“Gabe, that doesn’t even make any sense. I’m sitting right here and I know Jake made it out,” Sam pointed out; puzzled as to why the Trickster turned Archangel looked pained.

“Sammy, you died,” he whispered.

Sam shook his head even as he remembered Jake coming from behind him, a sharp burning pain in his back, Dean shouting and then darkness.

“No, no… I can’t…you…why…” The youngest Winchester was at a loss for words.

He turned confused and scared eyes to the being seated beside him, needing answers.

“I brought you back. Because of the bond, instead of your soul moving on, it came to me,” Gabriel spoke softly.

Sam took a deep breath, trying to pull himself together. Even having been raised around the supernatural, things were getting way above his pay grade and he didn’t even get paid.


Gabriel tilted his head to the side, silently questioning.

“Why did you save me? Bring me back? I mean I get that I’m your mate but couldn’t you have just moved on with me? Why bring me back?”

Gabriel was slightly stunned. His mate didn’t think very highly of himself if he thought it would have been better for him to stay dead. Gabriel found himself even more determined to make Sam understand everything that was going on and added to that, just how much his loved ones would suffer without him.

“You and your brother have drawn the proverbial short straws on life. You’ve been manipulated by outside forces so much and to such a degree, and neither of you deserve what’s coming.

My brothers seem to be having a bit of a temper tantrum and unfortunately you and your brother are caught in the middle. I have had it with my brothers’ shenanigans and you’re my mate, I couldn’t let you die, especially when it’s all one big, elaborate trap.”

“A trap for what?” Sam asked, a sinking feeling in his stomach. Whatever it was, it was going to be bad, and he and Dean weren’t going to like it one bit if the pinched look on Gabriel’s face was any indication.

“The Apocalypse, Sam. Heaven and Hell are trying to bring about the Apocalypse and free Lucifer.”

“Wait, Lucifer’s real? What am I saying? Of course he is. That’s just brilliant,” Sam interrupted sarcastically, feeling completely overwhelmed, “You know, now I’m really not sure I want to know what’s going on.”

“I sincerely doubt you do, kiddo, but you and your brother have to be prepared. When Lucifer was cast out, he was put in a cage in the deepest part of hell…” Gabriel trailed off as a pang of sorrow at what his brother had become went through him.

“Gabe?” the nick name rolled off Sam’s tongue unnoticed as he placed his hand over the one resting on his knee, drawing Gabriel’s attention back to the present and his hunter mate beside him.

“There are seals on the cage. Think of them as locks on a box. There are over six hundred of them but only sixty six of them have to be broken for my brother to walk free,” Gabriel paused, allowing this information to sink in before continuing.

“Some seals can be broken by anyone but there are two that have a very specific set of requirements; the first and the last seals. The first has to be broken be a righteous man spilling blood in hell. That would have been your brother. The two of you are extremely co-dependant, and if I had stayed away, Dean would have made a deal to bring you back, playing right into their hands.”

Sam shook his head in denial even though he knew deep down that it was exactly the kind of thing his big brother would do. Dean was absolutely selfless when it came to keeping Sam happy and safe. The thought was chilling though; that his older brother would sell his soul and go to hell for him and, as far as Dean was aware, it would have been to be tortured for all eternity.

“Eventually he would have broken,” Gabriel told him apologetically, “Everybody does in the end and time works differently there. For every month here topside, it’s about ten years downstairs.”

Gabriel smirked suddenly at Sam, which was slightly unnerving given the serious nature of their conversation.

“By the way Sammy boy, you’re not the only Winchester that is destined to be dipping into the angel pool.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sam demanded indignantly.

“Dean also has an angelic mate. That’s the angel that would have been sent to break him out of hell. We’ve already changed the rules of the game, but that’s one that we can’t interfere with. Not the hell part, just the meeting part,” he added as an afterthought to reassure Sam.

“There is, however, another demon you have to worry about. Her name is Lillith, she’s the first human soul that Luci corrupted. She’s very eager to let him out. She’ll do everything in her power to see that the seals are broken and she has quite a bit of power. The demon bitch, ironically enough, also happens to be the last seal.”

Sam listened to Gabriel attentively, eyes wide with information overload. He had never seen the angel so serious, granted he hadn’t actually seen him all that much, except when he was in trouble, and then there was that time a few months ago when he had posed as a janitor. However, that was all beside the point.

For some reason he believed everything that Gabriel was telling him. There was no reason for him to make it all up, and he had been protecting him for as long as Sam could remember, which made it all the more believable. Dean was going to be the difficult one to convince. Sam mentally winced at the mere thought of that conversation, pushed it away and listened as Gabriel continued to explain.

“The last seal is also where you come in, Sasquatch. Lillith has to be killed be a man with demon blood in him. After that, it’s time to roll out the red carpet and welcome Luci back,” Gabriel declared, a wicked little grin lighting his face.

Sam frowned, showing that Gabriel’s warped sense of humour was not appreciated at the moment. It was an acquired taste, and now was not the time.

“Is there a way to remove the demon blood from me?” Sam almost begged.

The thought of having demon blood inside him made his skin crawl. He was also dreading having to tell Dean that their mom was dead because she had interrupted the demon feeding him said blood.

Gabriel smirked at his human.

“If we were to complete the bond, my grace would burn away all trace of the demon blood, the bond wouldn’t tolerate anything it would sense as a threat. I would also be able to find you no matter where you are, no matter the wards and you would be able to call me with merely a thought,” he added sounding oddly like a bad sales pitch, all that was missing was the enthusiastic hand gestures and offers of free samples.

“A bond is the angel version of getting married, right?” Sam began slowly; wanting to make sure that he fully grasped the situation and that there was no fine print that he was unaware of.

“Got it in one, Sammy Sam,” was his answer as his… well his supposed mate snapped a twizzler into existence and happily started munching away.

Sam rubbed his eyes as he sighed. Opening them, he was greeted with the site of a chocolate bar being waved under his nose. A short chuckle escaped him. They were discussing the end of the world, and marriages that really did last forever, and here Gabriel was still concerned about his sweets.

“It’s not really the best reason to get married is it? Especially in light of the fact that it’s forever. I don’t think angels have divorce courts do they?”

Gabriel laughed at the picture that popped into his head at Sam’s question. He could just picture Michael or Raphael sitting behind a judge’s desk listening to a mated pair arguing back and forth, wearing one of those old white wigs and banging a wooden gavel.

“No they don’t, kiddo. We mate for life. But just look at me,” Gabriel declared, jumping up to strike a pose in front of Sam. One hand on his hip, the other stretched out before him, presenting Sam with an apple he summoned with added flourish.

“Wickedly handsome, phenomenal cosmic powers, a brilliant sense of humour. What more could a guy want?” Gabriel proclaimed, puffing out his chest in an over exaggerated manner.

A laugh escaped Sam before he could sensor it. Shaking his head, he smiled at the Trickster, as Gabe took up his seat again, this time closer to Sam so that his knee brushed the one that Sam had folded underneath him on the sofa.

“Wadda ya say we get out of here, Sammykins? Oh…oh I’ve got an idea,” Gabriel exclaimed, almost bouncing in excitement while Sam eyed him warily.

“Gabe…I don’t know. I was actually gonna look for something to nibble,” Sam feebly protested.

Gabriel reached out, grabbed Sam’s hands in his own and hastily informed the hunter, “We’ll get you your food there. Don’t worry your pretty little head, Gigantor.”

One moment they were sitting on the sofa and in the next, Sam found himself standing with Gabriel holding his hand behind what looked like a canvas wall. He could hear a lot of noise, music and shouting coming from just out of sight and he dreaded what he was going to see even as he followed Gabe into the melee.

Sam froze temporarily in shock at the sight that greeted him when he reached the front of what was apparently a large tent, Gabriel tugging insistently on his hand. They were at a carnival. There were stalls all around them as far as Sam could see. Half were covered in some game or another with plenty of stuffed animals for the prizes. Others were covered in foods of all kind. There was music playing from a number of the stalls, each overlapping each other until it was all just one loud ruckus. People were walking around everywhere, laughing and talking.

Gabriel turned and grinned mischievously at the young man, a wicked thought occurring to him.

“Don’t worry, Sammy Sam. I’ll protect you from all the evil killer clowns,” he sniggered.

Sam immediately pulled what Dean had dubbed his bitch face. This one clearly said I-don’t-find-you-funny-in-the-slightest-mention-it-again-and-I-might-kill-you. It just made Gabriel snigger all that much harder.

Gabriel laced his fingers with Sam’s and tugged him to the stall a few feet in front of them. Catching sight of the stall, Sam almost lost it. They were standing before a candyfloss stall, of course they were, as if Gabriel would have put them down anywhere else.

“Oh, we’ll take two,” Gabe informed the man behind the counter, an excited smile on his face.

Sam looked at his mate beside him. Gabriel was grinning and bouncing on his toes like a kid at Christmas as he waited for the candyfloss to be spun. Sam stood with a hand resting on the small of his mate’s back in an attempt to act as an anchor for Gabe’s sugar excitement. He wasn’t in the least surprised that they had landed mere feet from a stall with some type of sugar product. He was almost ready to swear that the smaller man had a sweet-dar.

“Here you are, Sammy,” Gabriel offered Sam one of the large candyfloss covered sticks while he happily began munching on the other one.

“Where to first?” the angel enquired after swallowing a mouthful of sugar.

Sam shrugged, taking small bites of his candyfloss.

“Oh come on, Sam. There must be somewhere you want to go,” Gabriel wheedled.

Sam looked around himself at the chaos. To the right, there was a man breathing fire, to the thrilled exclamations from the surrounding children. There were a number of stalls in a row to the left. Deciding that with his luck, he’d probably end up on fire, Sam made his choice.

“Let’s go that way,” he said, point down the row of brightly, multi-coloured stalls.

Gabriel beamed at Sam as he pulled him forward, not once having let go of the hand he was holding even when he’d been getting his candy.

A group of children ran past them and Sam had to move quickly to avoid being hit in the face with the brightly coloured balloons trailing behind them. His move put him closer to Gabriel, touching him from shoulder to thigh. A chuckle escaped Gabriel, making Sam look down into his laughing face. Sam bit his lip as a light blush crept up his face, his heart beating faster.

A little girl’s shriek from behind them broke the spell, causing Sam to take a step back nibbling at his lower lip self-consciously. Gabriel gave him a smirk dripping with mischievous delight towards the young hunter, before they resumed walking.

A while later, Gabriel stopped, yanking Sam to a halt as well. Confused, Sam turned to look at his mate, and then followed his line of sight. The angel was eyeing a giant, fluffy, neon purple cat. Sam stared at it, looked at Gabriel and then back at the stuffed animal.

“Seriously? You want that? Oh who am I kidding, of course you do. This is you we’re talking about. Can’t you just snap your fingers and create one for yourself though?” Sam asked, bewildered at his mate’s strange tastes.

Gabriel tugged on his hand, pulling him forward as he answered.

“Where’s the fun in that, Sammy Sam Sam,” Gabriel asked as though it was the most obvious answer in the world.

“It’s Sam,” he gave a token protest, even though he knew that it wouldn’t make any difference. It was more of a habit than anything else.

“Come on, Sammy,” Gabriel entreated the young hunter as they reached the booth.

Giving in to the inevitable, Sam rolled his eyes at the picture the archangel made pouting. He paid the guy and picked up the toy gun with a slightly maniacal grin on his face. It probably was highly unfair. He had a major advantage; he could probably hit all the targets with his eyes closed but Gabriel wanted the stuffed cat so it was probably just easier to give in and win the thing.

Ten minutes later, the pair walked away from the stall. The neon purple cat was clutched in one of Gabriel’s hands, while his other arm was wrapped around Sam’s waist as they continued walking through the crowds, occasionally pointing out something to one another. Sam glanced down at the figure tucked against his side, surprised at how easily they fit together, and that he wasn’t freaked out at how they were around each other, as though they had been together for years instead of just starting out. He supposed that it had something to do with the bond but Gabriel had said that the bond didn’t force or fabricate feelings. It only reinforced existing feelings within them.

They spent the rest of the day walking around the carnival going from stall to stall, playing games and enjoying the occasional ride. Sam got food for himself while Gabriel just got more and more sugar. By unspoken agreement, they didn’t mention anything about the outside world or the bond. It was a day of fun and relaxation and Sam enjoyed every minute. After several hours, Sam was out of ideas on what to do next.

“Let’s go there,” Gabriel suggested pointing at the enormous Ferris wheel back-dropped by the late afternoon sun.

They made their way over to the short queue in front of the wheel and after three other couples; the pair settled themselves on the bench seat. The young man operating the ride came forward and secured the metal bar in front of them.

Gabriel grabbed Sam’s arm and drew it around his shoulders while Sam watched him in amusement. The Ferris wheel gave a jerk before they started moving backwards. It stopped and started a few more times until the ride was full and then began to turn without stopping.

Sam squeezed Gabe’s shoulder as they leaned back, enjoying watching the sun set. It had been one of the best days he could remember having in a very long time, one with no worries.

“Thanks, Gabe. I needed this,” Sam murmured into Gabriel’s ear, his nose tickled by the angel’s brown hair.

Gabriel laid his head on his human’s shoulder, unusually quiet as he enjoyed the sensation of having his mate’s arm around him after being alone for so long.

A few minutes later, the Ferris wheel jerked to a stop with them halting right at the top. Sam looked sideways at his companion incredulously.

“Really?” Sam asked him, thinking that it was too much of a cliché even for the Trickster.

“Oh come on Sammy, the oldest tricks are often the best,” Gabriel smirked at him as he placed a hand on Sam’s cheek, thumb moving in small circles.

Sam gazed down into hazel eyes and found himself drawn in. His eyes flicked down, landing on Gabriel’s lips. A sudden, overwhelming need to taste those lips came over him. Seizing the moment, Sam lifted his hands and cupped Gabriel’s face, tilting it upwards as he leaned down. He brushed his lips against the ones underneath his, once, twice. Gabriel wrapped one arm around Sam’s waist while the other hand slid to the nape of Sam’s neck, fingers playing with the soft, brown strands. Gabriel pressed his lips firmly against his human’s while he used his hand to keep Sam in place.

There was nothing gentle about their next kiss. Sam ran his tongue along Gabriel’s lower lip before licking his way into the shorter man’s mouth; delving deep, tasting the chocolate and other sugary sweets that he had consumed during the day. There was something just so Gabe about he taste that Sam gave a small moan as he nibbled on Gabriel’s lower lip, wrapping an arm around the smaller man’s waist bringing them into even closer contact.

Sam’s head was buzzing with desire and things began to get fuzzy as he once again captured Gabriel’s soft, sweet tasting lips. He was so consumed with tracing every inch of the angel’s mouth, that he didn’t notice Gabriel move until a warm hand slipped under his shirt to skim across the muscles of his lower back. His breathing hitched as he broke their kiss in an attempt to get his oxygen deprived lungs some air.

“We…oh…can’t do this he… here, Gabe,” Sam panted into the angel’s neck while Gabriel planted open mouthed kiss along his neck.

In the next second, the hard, metal bench disappeared from underneath them to be replaced by a soft mattress, with Sam and Gabriel sitting on the bottom of the bed. A split second later and Gabriel was sitting, straddling Sam. Large hands settled on Gabriel’s waist and moved upwards, taking with them the angel’s black shirt up and over his head to land somewhere on the floor.

Somewhere along the way Gabriel had lost his jacket but Sam couldn’t bring himself to care about it at that moment in time.

Gabriel placed a hand on either side of Sam’s head as his mouth closed over the young hunter’s soft, pink lips, eliciting a groan from the man beneath him. Sam tightened his hands on Gabriel’s waist as he became dizzy and his blood heated.

The angel appeared to have forgotten that he had powers when he reached down and tugged insistently on Sam’s white shirt, wanting it off, desperate to touch the skin beneath. Sam slapped Gabriel’s hands out the way and then yanked the shirt off and over his head, letting it drop to the floor on top of the angel’s own discarded shirt.

Remembering himself, Gabriel pulled his mouth away with a growl and in the next instant all their clothes were lying in a pile on the floor leaving him naked, straddling an equally naked hunter.

Immediately, Sam surged forward, capturing Gabriel’s now slightly swollen lips in another kiss as the trickster turned archangel wrapped his arm’s around his mate’s neck, burying his fingers in the mass of silky chocolate brown hair. Their kisses became hotter, deeper, more.

They had time for finesse and slow later; at that moment Gabriel was just desperate to have his mate. Gabriel ripped his mouth away to pant his demand.

“I… want… you… inside me,” he told Sam in no uncertain terms. “Now.”

It came out as an almost growl. There was no way that Sam could resist that. It was an order that made him all the harder, which should have been impossible.

“Lube?” he barely managed to control himself enough to gasp.

A small open tube appeared on the bed beside the young Winchester. With lightning fast moves that came from being a hunter for so long, Sam smeared a generous amount on his fingers before plunging one into his mate above him. Gabriel let out a keening wail as his human hit his sweet spot on the first stroke. A second, then third finger joined the first quickly stretching Gabriel open. Sam swallowed the gasp that escaped his mate’s mouth.

At the end of his patience when Gabriel let out a particularly loud moan, Sam pulled his finger out, slicked himself up, grabbed the small man’s hips and then slowly guided him down. Neither stopped moving until Sam was buried to the hilt. He tried to hold himself still while Gabriel adjusted to the feeling, and when he thought he couldn’t out any longer against the tight heat, Gabe moved.

They moved together. It was hard, fast, heat and passion all rolled into one mind-numbing sensation of being joined, of being one. Gasps, moans and half broken pleading echoed through the room, neither noticing anything but the other. The pleasure was more than anything Sam had ever experienced in his life.

All too soon, Sam felt his climax building up. He wrapped his sweat covered, muscled arms tightly around Gabriel’s back as he buried his face in the crook of the angel’s neck, inhaling the smell of candy and something uniquely Gabriel. A few more thrusts; and he was coming harder than he had in his life, muscles tensing and spasming, Gabriel a second behind him. Each moaning the other’s name as they went over.

A blinding flare of light momentarily flashed through the room as the bond snapped into place and dispersed a second after it appeared.

A shudder ran through Sam and he fell backwards, his back hitting the bed, pulling Gabriel down with him. He wiggled, managing to manoeuvre both himself and his mate up the bed to rest amongst the large, comfy pillows.

Their breathing still ragged, Sam tucked Gabriel’s head under his chin even as he wrapped his arms securely around his mate’s smaller body, bringing the angel to lie half sprawled over the hunter’s rapidly rising and falling chest, ear resting over his heart.

Gabriel nuzzled his nose into Sam’s chest as the singing in his blood died down into a low hum. He snuggled closer, content for the first time in millennia. Without a thought, Sam carded his fingers through Gabriel’s brown hair, lightly massaging his scalp which caused his mate to make a sound that sounded suspiciously like purring. Sam smiled at the thought that Gabriel apparently had a lot more in common with the purple cat Sam had won for him than he’d originally thought, not that Sam was going to say so out loud, at least not now.

Gabriel pressed a soft kiss to Sam’s chest before whispering, “You know you’re mine now, no take backs, no exchanges.”

It was more of a statement than a question but Sam responded anyway.

“As long as it works both ways, Gabe,” he replied, placing a soft kiss to the angel’s forehead.

Gabriel tightened his arm around Sam’s waist in response as he conjured a blanket that settled over them.

Sam smiled sleepily to himself. There were a lot worse things than being bonded to an archangel.

When Gabriel was sure that Sam was asleep, he looked up at his mate’s face, moonlight dancing across his features.

“What am I going to do with you? You’ve dug your fingers so deep into me that I can feel you every time I breathe, and I don’t even need to breathe, Sammy,” he whispered to the sleeping human as he sighed, happier than he had thought possible.

Sam rubbed his face into his pillow as he woke and got a face full of hair. There was a warm body lying pressed against his chest playing little spoon to his big spoon. The memories of last night came rushing back to him as he came fully awake, cracking first one eye open and then the other. He waited, expecting to feel freaked out and panicked but it never came. A finger ran lightly up and down the hand he had resting on Gabriel’s abdomen, gaining his attention.

“Morning, sleepyhead,” Gabriel greeted, turning slightly in the circle of Sam’s strong arms to be able to look at his mate who was lying behind him.

Sam smiled shyly as his cheeks pinked. Unable to resist, he tilted his head and kissed Gabriel softly. First on both his cheeks; then his forehead; his jaw; his nose; before finally landing on his mouth. They kissed slowly taking their time with none of the urgency of the previous night. Gabriel wound his arms around Sam’s neck, pressing their bodies closer together. The touch of bare skin on skin left Sam breathless and suddenly wanting more.

The young hunter rolled them so that Gabriel ended up under him. Sam grinned down at his angel before leaning forward to kiss him languidly.

“Sammy…” Gabriel whimpered.

Sam shushed him, wanting to take his time. He kissed and nibbled at Gabe’s lips while his hands ran teasingly up and down the body beneath him. He traced every piece of skin he could find, first with his hand and then with his lips and tongue. He loved eliciting the gasps and moans of pleasure Gabriel let escape his pink lips.

Finally when he was almost mindless with need, Gabriel felt the press of one long, slick finger sliding into him. His body shuddered at the overwhelming sensations his mate was creating within him and still Sam took his time.

“Sammy,” his breath caught in the back of his throat despite the fact that he didn’t really need to breathe, “please.”

Another finger pushed inside and Gabriel threw his head back into the pillows on a gasp, fingers clutching the pale blue bed sheets as shivers of pleasure ran through him. His body arched when, as Sam added a third finger, his prostate was lightly brushed over. Sam loomed over Gabriel watching his mate writhe, trying to get more contact. The angel opened his eyes that he hadn’t even realised he had closed to stare up into his mate’s face. Sam was breathing hard with his effort to keep things slow, his pupils blown so wide that his eyes looked almost black they had darkened so much. Gabriel hooked a leg around the young Winchester’s waist nudging him forward into closer contact as he thrust upward.

Suddenly, Sam’s fingers were gone and he was slowly inching his way forward into Gabriel. All coherent thought fled their minds as Sam slid in to the hilt, pausing when he leaned down to kiss his angel, unhurried and gentle.

As Sam began to gently rock in and out, he intertwined their hands, placing them just above either side of Gabriel’s head.

“Look at me, Gabriel,” Sam murmured.

Their eyes trapped each other, neither one able to look away or close their eyes as their orgasms built. Sam slowly rising above him, keeping his pace, with Gabriel raised his hips in time with his thrusts. Their bodies glistened with sweat, sunlight dancing over them from the open window. Ever so softly, they went over the edge, on a sigh of pleasure.

It could have been minutes or hours later, Sam honestly didn’t care, that their breathing returned to normal, that he was once again able to think and his heart rate slowed. Sam rolled off Gabriel, turning to lie on his side and propping himself on his elbow. Immediately, the angel moved to snuggle closer. He really was like a cat, or a cuddly kitten. Sam smile at the thought. Gabriel began tracing invisible, intricate patterns on Sam’s chest. The taller man lightly caught his hand and kissed each of the fingers before brushing their noses together.

Sam sighed as a thought occurred to him gaining Gabriel’s attention.

“What is it?” Gabe asked in a low voice.

“We should go back. I’m gonna have to face Dean some time and he really needs to know what’s going on,” Sam said in a rush, holding his breath while he watched for his mate’s reaction.

Gabriel pouted but he didn’t protest. Much.

“You sure know how to ruin a good mood, Sam-I-Am,” he muttered, “but you’re right. We do need to get this show on the road, especially now that the bond is complete.”

Sam started at that. He had temporarily forgotten about the bond but now that Gabe mentioned it, he could feel a vague presence at the back of his mind that became clearer when he focused on it. A moment later he realised that what he was feeling was Gabriel. Unable to help himself, he leaned over and kissed his angel again.

A short time later, after Sam had showered and eaten breakfast while Gabriel had happily munched on his latest sugary treat, they were ready to go. Sam made his way over to Gabriel, wrapping an arm around his waist when he was close enough.

“I’m actually going to miss this place,” Sam told his shorter companion.

Gabriel grinned up at him, “We can always come back, Sammykins. Anytime you want to, just say the word and we’ll ditch Deano.”

Sam shook his head in exasperation. He knew Gabriel didn’t actually have anything against Dean. It was more to get a rise out of his older brother than anything else and he had to admit to it would be entertaining at times.

“Come on, Sasquatch. Time to pop you on back to your big bro,” his mate reminded him.

With one last quick kiss and a snap of his fingers, Sam found the room disappearing and he and Gabriel reappeared on Bobby’s porch, arms still wrapped around each other.

“What the fuck, Sam?” Dean’s shout came from behind them, just inside of the house.

A second later the door swung open and Dean stormed out, Bobby hot on his heel, shotgun cocked and ready to fire.

“Get the hell away from my brother,” Dean ordered.

Sam pulled away to get between his mate and his brother. While he knew it wouldn’t kill Gabriel, it wasn’t the wisest idea to piss him off so early in the morning. Well it was actually evening. Gabe had said that they would return five minutes after they left.

“Dean, don’t. Stop, please. Bobby put the gun down. He’s not a threat to anyone,” Sam tried to reason with the two hunters.

Gabriel snorted an aborted laugh at Sam’s last statement. The youngest Winchester heard, glanced behind him and then revised his earlier statement.

“Ok, well, he’s not a threat to anyone here,” Sam amended.

Bobby didn’t lower the shotgun an inch as Dean continued ranting, trying to make his younger sibling see sense.

“Sam, it’s the Trickster. I’m not about to allow him to hurt you. Bobby, a little help here, please.”

“Damn it, you two. I’m serious. You can’t kill him. You actually, literally, can’t kill him but that’s beside the point. Just stop it!” Sam ended with a yell, pulling Gabriel firmly behind him.

“Dean, I swear, it’s like you’re not even listening to me. Just give me a chance to explain,” Sam ordered, out of ideas on what else he could say to get through to his brother.

He pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming on. A hand ran the length of his back and Sam felt all the tension melt right out of him along with the beginnings of his headache.

“Thanks, Gabe,” he murmured.

“Dean, like it or not, that Trickster brought your brother back. Least we can do is listen. We can find a way to kill him later,” Bobby added when it looked like Dean was going to protest.

Sam clutched Gabriel tighter to him. Rationally, he knew that they couldn’t kill the angel. Gabriel had said that only an archangel’s blade could kill him, and they definitely didn’t have one of those, but it didn’t stop the brief flash of fear that flickered across Sam’s mind.

“Let’s take this inside,” Bobby suggested leading the way.

Reluctantly, Dean trailed behind the older hunter with Sam and Gabriel bringing up the rear. Sam was surprised by the fact that Gabriel hadn’t disappeared yet and said as such to his mate. He didn’t think that sticking around for the major Q & A that was coming would be Gabe’s type of thing.

Gabriel just smiled at him, mischievously, “Watching those chuckleheads will be fun and you know I’m always up for some entertainment.”

“Sam, I want the two of you where I can see you,” Dean hollered, sounding for all the world like a parent with his teenage child and their first crush.

Sam sighed.

“Oh this is going to be fun,” he muttered, sarcastically.

Gabriel’s smirk grew, “Speak for yourself, Sammy Sam Sam. I think I’m going to have the time of my life.”

“Gabe,” Sam chuckled helplessly, pulling his mate into the living room behind him where Dean and Bobby were waiting for them.

The pair settled onto the two-seater sofa while Bobby and Dean sat opposite them. When Gabriel snuggled into his side and Sam pressed a kiss to his temple, Dean exploded.

“Hey! No making out in front of us. Absolutely no funny business allowed actually.”

Sam frowned at his brother and tried to lighten the mood.

“Dean, if you think that that is making out, then we have got to talk, big brother. You’ve obviously been doing something wrong, despite your apparently active sex life.”

Gabriel burst into full on laughter, both at Sam’s statement and the horrified look on Dean’s face. Even Bobby, had to bite his lip to stop himself from laughing out loud. Dean glared at the laughing Trickster before turning his attention back to his little brother.

“Ha ha. Very funny, Sam. You said you’d explain, so explain,” Dean told him, waving a hand to indicate he should start.

“Alright but Dean, you have to let me finish without interrupting or I’ll get Gabe to take your voice,” Sam threatened while Gabriel watched Dean gape like a fish. It really was an amusing sight and an intriguing idea.

Warily, Dean nodded his head in acceptance so Sam began at the beginning. He started with when he was four, the first time that Gabriel had saved him. He went on and told Bobby and Dean everything. When they reached the time with the football coach, it took everything within Dean not to start raging and cursing. Instead, he tightened his mouth until it was a thin white line, gritted his teeth and let Sam continue. When they reached the part about the demon blood, it took Bobby’s restraining hand on his arm to stop Dean from swearing and yelling.

Sam left out the part where the angel that would be sent to get Dean out of hell would be his mate. He’d tackle that battle later and when they didn’t have an audience.

After Sam was finished, there was silence. Dean stared incredulously at his younger brother.

“Angels, Sam? Seriously? I could’ve sworn that we had this conversation before,” Dean began.

“Look Dean, why do you think Gabriel would lie to us about this?” Sam tried reasoning with his brother.

“He’s the Trickster, Sam. It’s what he does. Demons and evil things that go bump in the night, they lie,” Dean argued.

Sam shook his head. He knew it was going to be difficult convincing his brother, but the least Dean could do was consider the possibility.

“A Trickster that can’t be killed in the way Tricksters are supposed to be. That alone should tell you something, Dean.”

“Sam, don’t you think that if angels were real, some hunter, somewhere would have seen one? At some point?” Dean had begun using his hands to emphasise his point, showing his agitation.

Sam got a smug little smile on his face, “Yeah, you’re looking at one now, Dean.”

The younger hunter indicated the figure sitting beside him. Gabriel was enjoying himself. It was like watching a verbal tennis match, although he did wish he could conjure up some popcorn but it probably wouldn’t help things. The Winchesters never ceased to amaze him with their stubbornness.

“I’m trying to come up with a theory here. Work with me, Sam.”

“Dean, I’ve already told you what’s going on,” Sam was nearing the end of his patience.

“Yeah, could you come up with something with a little less fairy dust, please,” Dean demanded.

“You two chuckleheads wanna keep arguing religion or do you wanna get to the bottom of this?” Bobby spoke for the first time since they had all sat down.

Gabriel leaned towards Sam and in a stage whisper said, “I like him.”

Sam snorted. Now really wasn’t the time but he could appreciate Gabe trying to lighten the mood. Gabriel stood up, extricating himself from his mate.

“Look, Deano. Whether or not you believe in angels will not change the fact that we exist or who I am. It’s not going to change what the guys upstairs and down are planning. So like it or not, you have two choices; ignore everything your brother just told you, and stumble around blindly hoping that you might just pull a plan out of your ass and fail; or you can trust that your brother knows what he’s doing,” Gabriel told Dean, sounding nothing like the Trickster and every bit like the powerful angel that he was, his eyes were also almost glowing with his suppressed power.

Sam watched as his brother opened his mouth again, preparing to argue. Wincing internally, he had to bite his lower lip to stop himself from getting between his brother and his mate.

“You’re looking for a good smiting, boyo,” Gabriel warned in low tones, interrupting Dean before he could get a word out.

Sam cast his brother a frustrated glare as he too stood up.

“You know what, Dean? Think what you like. Call me an idiot or stupid and naive, but it won’t change anything. I’m gonna go outside for a while before I do or say something I might regret,” Sam declared before walking out the room and onto the porch, Gabriel following close behind him.

Dean sighed and rubbed his hands over is face in exhaustion. Bobby shook his head at the Winchesters’ stubbornness.

“Ya idjit. We both know that fooling around with non-humans only leads to a world of hurt, but how you gonna watch out for your brother if you piss him off enough that he leaves with that Trickster?” Bobby tried to get through to Dean.

“I know, Bobby,” Dean sighed.

“Besides, he could be telling the truth,” the older hunter couldn’t resist adding.

“I’ll go talk to him,” Dean gave in, slowly making his way to the porch.

Sam stood on the porch, gazing out into the dark at the scrap yard, his thoughts running a mile a minute.

“Chocolate?” Gabriel offered innocently from beside him.

Sam looked at his mate in disbelief. With everything going on, here Gabe was offering him chocolate like it would solve all of his problems. Gabriel’s smile simply widened as though he was reading Sam’s thoughts.

“Reading you loud and clear, Samalam,” the angel was quick to tell him.

“It came with the bond. On the bright side, I forgot to tell you that you’re now 110% demon blood free,” Gabriel chirped.

Sam let out a breath he hadn’t realised he was holding as a weight lifted off of his shoulders. Watching Gabriel, he saw the angel tilt his head to the side as though he was listening to something that Sam couldn’t hear. A second later his expression cleared, leaving him looking at his mate with an unusual expression.

“What is it, Gabe?” Sam asked quietly.

“I need to go check on some things, Sammy as well as talk to some people.”


“Yep,” Gabriel shrugged apologetically.

Sam leaned forward and caught his mouth in a hungry kiss. Gabriel made noises of approval as he wound his arms around the taller man’s neck, twining his tongue with the hunter. The sound of the door banging shout and Dean’s exclamation of “Dude!” broke them apart.

Taking his time, Gabriel pulled away. Between one second and the next, Gabriel disappeared, leaving only the two Winchester brothers standing awkwardly on the porch.

Dean rubbed the back of his neck with his left hand as he searched for something to say. Sam saved him the trouble.

“I suppose you still wanna talk about Gabe.”

It was a statement and not a question, showing how well he knew his brother.

Said older brother snorted.

“Ya think, Sammy? You kept him a secret for basically your whole life.”

“I know, Dean but I didn’t want you and Dad to hunt him and he wasn’t hurting me. He was protecting me and I didn’t see the harm in it,” Sam tried to get his brother to understand his side.

Dean sighed. There was nothing they could do to change what had happened and at least Sam was coming clean now.

“Just… no more secrets dude. Okay?”

“Okay,” Sam readily agreed.

“I don’t trust him,” Dean said. Neither had to say who the him was.

“But I do. He’s never hurt me and he never will intentionally hurt me. I just need you to trust that I know what I’m doing,” Sam pleaded with his brother.

“I get that it’s awesome to have a boyfriend with phenomenal cosmic powers and all but why are you trying so hard to get me to accept this?” Dean asked honestly confused.

Sam nibbled on his lower lip slightly nervous while he thought.

“I guess…it’s because…I…I love him,” Sam spoke at last, startling even himself when he realised that he spoke the truth. He loved Gabriel. He was in love with the archangel Gabriel.

Dean stood staring at his brother flabbergasted before a smile broke out on his face.

“What?” Sam demanded.

“I’m not saying that I trust him or that I’m buying his story, Sam. However, you now have a super powerful boyfriend to help protect you, and let’s face it; you, my little brother, get into enough trouble for a small country.”

Sam shook his head helplessly. He didn’t know whether to be insulted or glad that Dean wasn’t going to carry on putting up a fuss. He decided to go with the latter.

“Come on, man. Let go grab a beer before Bobby finishes them all without us and you can tell me what happened while I was gone.”

Two hours later, the three hunters were nursing their beers as they told Sam what had happened to the Roadhouse. The youngest hunter looked around the room sadly when a thought occurred to him.

“Bobby, where’s Jess?” he asked, not believing that he hadn’t realised that his blonde friend was missing.

“She went into the city. Said she’d be gone for a day or two. Expecting her back tomorrow,” Bobby told him gruffly.

A bang from outside had all three hunters on their feet and out the door, reaching for their various weapons as they ran in the direction the noise had come from. Dean was the first to reach the intruder, grabbing the figure by the shoulders with both hands before he recognised who it was.

“Ellen?” he breathed, disbelief flashing across his face.

The shaken brunette nodded her head, still some what in shock over what had occurred earlier.

“Ellen, fuck,” Dean gasped, as he pulled her in a tight hug, relieved that she was alive.

Ellen’s whole body was shaking and she looked about a second away from bursting into tears. While Dean was hugging the life out of her, Bobby moved to wrap an arm around the woman’s shoulders, trying to shepherd them inside where it was safer.

Sam opened the door for the group, surveyed the dark junk yard and walked back inside behind everyone else.

Bobby hauled out his flask of holy water and poured Ellen a shot on the counter.

She picked it up as she asked the older hunter, “Bobby, is this really necessary?”

Bobby shrugged, “It’s just a belt of holy water.”

Resigned, she tossed the shot back before sliding the glass back over, this time asking for whiskey.

The three hunters relaxed. While Bobby was pouring her a stronger drink, Dean leaned forward in his seat.

“Ellen, what happened? How’d you get out?”

“I wasn’t supposed to but we ran out of pretzels of all things. Had to go into town to get some more. Wasn’t gone more than ten minutes when Ash called. He was in a complete panic, told me to look in the safe. By the time that I got there, the flames were sky high.”

“Ellen, you mentioned a safe. Did the demons get it?” Sam spoke for the first time.

The brunette shook her head as she pulled out a map from the inside pocket of her jacket, laying it on the tap.

“Wyoming?” Dean asked confused, a frown on his face, “What does that mean?”

After some research, they managed to work out where Jake, and by extension Yellow Eyes, were going to be. It was a graveyard, inside which Samuel Colt had built a solid iron railway devil’s trap to either keep something out or to keep something in. No demon could cross the railway lines which explained what Yellow Eyes wanted with a human. The four hunters packed up quickly and headed for Wyoming now that they had a lead.

They arrived before Jake and set out to hide in wait for him. When Sam saw Jake walk past him, he saw a different Jake. This Jake had changed; he could see it in the set of his shoulders and feel it in the oppressing air that surrounded the other psychic. Sam watched horrified as Jake told Ellen to turn her gun on herself and after a moment’s hesitation the older woman did just that.

Unable to do anything, they watched as Jake put the colt into the doorway and turned it. This was the distraction that they needed. It allowed Dean, Bobby and Sam to spring into action but it was too late. With a click, the door swung open and hell quite literally spilled forth. Sam aimed his gun and shot Jake multiple times.

He watched as the other man fell to the ground, aimed and shot him again to ensure that he was well and truly dead.

“Take cover,” Bobby shouted, prompting the others to run and dive over the surrounding headstones.

A cloud of demons unlike anything the hunters had ever witnessed in all their lives, spilled out into the graveyard. The sheer force of them sent a shock wave out, breaking the railway lines allowing Azazel to cross over and make his way over to the Winchesters.

The steady stream of demons out the gate didn’t stop as the sky rumbled and lighting streamed across the sky.

“What the hell is that?” Dean shouted to be heard over all the noise.

“That’s a devil’s gate. A damn door to hell,” Ellen’s answered shout came.

“We gotta shut that gate,” Sam yelled, already moving forward, the others following close behind.

Sensing someone behind him, Dean turned just in time to see Yellow Eyes hold out his hand as the colt flew to him.

“Boys shouldn’t play with daddy’s guns,” Azazel taunted, before flinging Dean into a nearby headstone.

Sam heard Dean yell and ran to aid his brother. He was immediately pinned to a tree, unable to move.

“I gotta thank you, Dean. Without that deal, Sammy would still be dead. I liked him better than Jake anyway. You ever heard that if a deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is?”

Dean glared up at Azazel silently. Yellow Eyes thought that he had made a deal to bring Sam back. Gabriel had been telling the truth about that. He sure as hell wasn’t going to enlighten the bastard though because if this part of what Gabriel had told them was true then it was looking all the more likely that everything else was true too. Lost in his thoughts, Dean missed part of what Azazel and been saying.

“…until now anyway. I couldn’t have done it without your pathetic, self-loathing, self-destructive desire to sacrifice yourself for your family.”

Dean watched over Yellow Eye’s shoulder while he talked as a shadowy figure approached to form solidly into John Winchester.

A second later, John wrapped his arm around the demon and grabbed onto the demon’s real form, pulling it from its human host. Azazel managed to wriggle free and return to his human body. He stood up just in time for Dean to use the distraction to take aim with the colt and shoot.

Sam watched the demon fall to the ground as a hand appeared in front of his face. Following the hand upwards, he came face to face with Gabriel.

“You can’t stay out of trouble for longer than thirty seconds can you, Sammy Sam,” his mate sighed, helping him to his feet.

Bobby and Ellen made their way over to the boys, stopping short next to Dean, Sam and Gabriel as they stared in shock at the surprisingly solid form of John Winchester. Their father didn’t say a word as he looked at them in pride. Gabriel stepped forward and placed a gentle hand on their father’s arm. He faded away in a soft light. With a snap of his fingers, the group disappeared from the graveyard and reappeared in Bobby’s living room.

“Gabe?” Sam asked hesitantly, a world of questions conveyed in one word.

“That really was him, Sam. He’s at peace now with your mother. I’ve added protections so that nobody can try and resurrect them or summon them. They can rest now,” Gabriel reassured Sam and Dean by extension.

“It’s over. He’s dead,” Dean whispered unable to believe that they had finally done it.

Sam grinned at his brother, flinging an arm around his shoulders in happiness.

“We can check that off the to-do list.”

That night Bobby broke out the alcohol as the four hunters celebrated the death of the yellow eyed demon. Gabriel had left them to it, telling Sam that he would be back to collect him later.

Sam woke the next morning on the couch with a groan as the sunlight intruded on his sleep. On the floor beside him, Dean groaned, reassuring Sam that his brother had survived their night of celebratory drinking.

An increasingly familiar laugh filled the room.

“Sam’y? I’m a gonna kill h’m,” Dean mumbled into his pillow as Gabriel continued to laugh at the picture the two hunters made.

“Gabe,” Sam whined and his mate sighed, shaking his head even as he walked over.

Two fingers gently brushed across Sam’s forehead and when they were gone so was his hangover. Sam rolled over to blink owlishly up at Gabriel.

“Thanks, Gabe,” Sam whispered before he pulled the angel down into a kiss. It was sweet and slightly playful, and would have probably become more had Dean not chosen that moment to remind them of his presence.

“You’re gonna ma’e me sick,” Dean groaned, having opened his eyes a little and been greeted by the sight of his baby brother making out with his angel whatever.

Hazel eyes dancing in amusement at Dean’s predicament, Gabriel moved his hand to the other hunter’s forehead, taking away his hangover.

Dean sighed in relief.

“Well, damn. Maybe you’re good for something after all,” Dean joked.

Sam shook his head at his older brother fondly. It probably was the closest thing they were going to get to his blessing for the moment. A snap of his fingers and Gabriel had the kitchen counter covered in an assortment of breakfast items. The brothers were quick to dig in, and when Ellen and Bobby stumbled into the kitchen Gabriel removed their hangovers in response to Sam’s puppy eyes.

Dean watched the scene with something close to amusement. A being as powerful as Gabriel was unable to resist his brother’s puppy eyes. Dean snorted at the entertaining thought.

“Not to be a downer on this party, but while the yellow eyed demon might be dead, a lot more got through that gate,” Ellen’s voice broke through Dean’s thoughts.

“How many do you think?” Dean asked more serious, smile gone from his face.

“Hundred, maybe two hundred,” Sam guessed, “It’s an army. He unleashed an army.”

“Hope you boys are ready. The war has just begun,” Gabriel informed them, his trade mark smirk nowhere to be seen.

Dean cocked his head at the angel, “Well then, we got work to do.”

Epilogue: One Year Later

In An Open Field Somewhere On Earth

Castiel stood before his superior, Zachariah, as he was ordered to go to hell and retrieve the righteous man, Dean Winchester. He had sold his soul to bring his brother back from the dead, Zachariah said.

“You will be able to sense where he is, Castiel,” his superior was instructing him.

Castiel closed his eyes and reached out with his grace. There was a barely noticeable tug on his grace and he followed it. What he felt when the presence became stronger, confused him though.

“Are you positive that this man is indeed in hell?” Castiel asked Zachariah hesitantly.

“Of course he is. You have your orders, Castiel. Now go,” the other angel barked.

Castiel focused on what he could sense from Dean. He had expected pain, despair, agony, anger even hatred. What he had not expected was this intense hankering for pie and mild irritation at someone. Despite his confusion, Castiel focused on the feelings and with a flap of his wings disappeared.

Motel in Indiana

“Dean,” Sam exclaimed, clearly exasperated, warning his brother away from the food, more specifically the pie for the third time in the last five minutes.

Dean pouted and slouched further down in his chair, folding his arms over his chest. He looked like a petulant child. They had finished a hunt just two days ago one state over. He, Sam and Gabriel were sitting around the table in their motel room waiting. Gabriel had announced that today was the day that they were sending the angel that was supposed to pull him from hell. Said angel apparently also happened to be his mate. Something that Sam hadn’t told him for a while after finding out. He had wanted to ‘ease Dean into it’ or some such shit.

Dean had had the last year to observe his brother and Gabriel’s relationship grow. Over time he had come to accept that he too had an angelic mate and he’d never even told Sam, but these days he was almost looking forward to it. To having someone beside him no matter what, and Sam, along with Gabriel these days, didn’t count.

Dean’s hand inched slowly across the table, hoping to snag a piece of the pie only to have it smacked away by his little brother.

“What the hell, Sammy?” he cried indignantly.

Suddenly, a figure appeared in their motel room just between Dean and Gabriel, behind an empty chair, accompanied by the now familiar sound of flapping wings. Dean turned to look at the new arrival properly, after all this was supposed to be his mate according to Gabriel and Dean had come to respect, trust and maybe even like Gabriel. Not that he would ever admit it out loud.

The new angel was slightly shorter than Dean but still taller than Gabriel, with the bluest eyes Dean had ever seen in his life. He had short, somewhat messy dark brown hair. The thing that really amused Dean though, was that he was wearing a full suit complete with a tie and even had on a long tan coloured trench coat. He looked like a holy tax accountant.

Dean turned to look at his brother to distract himself from staring into the new angel’s captivating blue eyes.

“He’s here, now let’s eat. I wants me some pie,” the oldest Winchester declared.

Gabriel pulled out the empty chair between him and Dean, silently indicating that the other angel should sit, “Have a seat little brother, we need to talk.”

The End… For Now

Author’s Notes:

A big thanks to my wonderful artist, v_son_sayian , and her wonderful artwork. I’m really grateful for all the effort and time you put into it, hun. It was great working with you. You went well and truly beyond what I was expecting and I am very grateful and happy that you were my artist for this challenge.

Thanks to insertcode11 and wolfish_willow for creating and maintaining this amazing challenge. It was a wonderful working with you and I really appreciate the experience.

A huge thank you to my beta, elsa_kallan, who was there for me every step of the way sometimes literally perched on my shoulder encouraging and making sure that I got this done on time. Thank you for listening to my freak outs and then getting me back into my writing. I wouldn’t have finished this in time without you.

I loved writing this so much that I’ve decided to turn this into a ‘verse. The ‘verse is called: In the Shadow of Your Wings. There will be a sequel and some timestamps at some point.

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