Pairing: Sam/Gabriel. (With a smidge of Dean/Castiel)
Word count: 9858
Warnings: Some bad language.
Feedback: Yes please.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything even remotely related to Supernatural.
Beta: mithrel . Thanks, dear!
Notes: This was written for the Sabriel Everlasting Birthday Challenge. For shi_mo . Have an awesome birthday!
Summary: Prompt: "S7. God resurrects Gabriel to fight the Leviathans. S/G romance ensures." Which became a story where the leviathans are tentacle monsters, God's back at the wheel and Gabriel realizes in hindsight that being dead for real sucks big time. Picks up just after Castiel dragged his leviathan-y ass into that lake.
“Holy crap,” Dean breathed and took a few steps back. Bobby and Sam followed his example, until they were up against the fence surrounding the water. They could have made a run for it, but as the tentacles rose higher and higher, apparently never stopping, they all froze in place. It was a horrific sight and yet impossible to look away from. Like a train wreck.
“H.P Lovecraft was right,” Bobby mumbled and shivered as cold water washed over his feet, the waves created by the leviathan sloshing the water much further than the edges of the pool. Shadows fell over them all as the tentacles towered over them and blocked out the sun, and the water seemed to get sucked into the ground when whatever was under the surface took more solid form.
Then, just as it seemed like some kind of body was finally going to appear at the end of the multiple arms, there was a blinding light above them, making the leviathan cringe away. They all stared as the light pulsed, and there was a repulsive gurgling roar from the monster when the light came closer. Then a soft, yet vaguely familiar voice sounded in their heads: “You should all close your eyes now.” Considering their previous experiences with angels, they didn't hesitate to follow the advice.
Even with their eyes closed, the pulsing light still made their eyeballs hurt and they turned away from it, covering their faces with arms and hands. The sounds behind them were deafening. Whatever was happening was clearly hurting the leviathan, and there were roars and screeches loud enough to make their ears hurt and their bones hum.
It seemed like forever until the noises died down with a final rattling shriek and wet sounding collapse, that made gooey mud spray all over their backs and seep into their shoes. It was quiet for a few long heartbeats before Dean finally lowered his arm from his face and carefully turned around. When there was nothing hurting his eyes, he finally opened them. At first, all he could see were spots but eventually his vision cleared enough to show him... nothing. The water was muddy brown and the ground was torn up around the edge of the lake. A lot of trees were pulled out of the ground but... no monster. No body or limbs or anything. Sam and Bobby also turned around and for a moment they all just looked around in wonder.
“What the hell just happened?” Dean asked, not really expecting an answer. So he jerked with surprise when a leering voice said: “I killed the sucker, that's what happened!”
In the blink of an eye the familiar form of the archangel Gabriel appeared in front of them, hands in his pockets and looking utterly unconcerned. Dean's jaw dropped before he managed to compose himself. “I feel like I keep repeating myself, but... weren't you dead?”
Gabriel smirked. “Imagine that. You're actually right for once! Yes, I was dead. And... well. Now I'm not!”
“How?” Bobby asked, ignoring how Dean was rapidly going red in the face.
“I really gotta hand it to you guys,” Gabriel said with a smirk, ignoring Bobby. “You somehow managed what nothing else in the universe could.”
“Which is?” Sam spoke up from where he was still clutching the woven fence.
Gabriel cast him a strange glance before continuing. “You derailed God's plan! You introduced the concept of free will to angels, and little Castiel took your teachings to an entirely new level.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” Dean was already sounding annoyed, which was pretty much his standard setting around Gabriel.
“It means that Daddy left the house and the kids promised not to party. Then along came you guys! You somehow got the responsible son thrown in jail, the boring kids dancing on the tables and the nerdy one hopped up on acid!” Gabriel snickered. “He's currently puking his guts out up in Heaven, by the way, but he'll be fine eventually.”
Dean blinked. “Who- Cas?! He's okay?”
Gabriel nodded, for once looking almost kind. “No worries, Dean-o. He'll be up and about as soon as he's slept off the hangover.”
“Thank God,” Dean mumbled without thinking.
“I thought we were gonna come up with a new sayin'?” Bobby commented dryly.
Gabriel beamed and threw out his hands in a grand gesture. “Lucky for you mooks, you won't have to! It's with great pleasure that I can announce... Daddy's home.”
“God? God's back in Heaven?” Sam said, his voice hushed and awed.
“Back, and cleaning up a lot of messes,” Gabriel nodded.
Dean set his jaw and glared at Gabriel. “So why now? Why not earlier? I even prayed to the son of a bitch. You know, we could have used his help stopping the freakin' apocalypse!”
Gabriel's shoulders slumped and he sent Dean an incredulous look. “You truly don't get it, do you?”
“No, I don't,” Dean barked. “Enlighten me, would you?”
Just as Gabriel opened his mouth to respond there was a shift in the air, and he looked upwards. “Ah. Sorry kids, we're gonna have to postpone this little catching up session. I'm being called home for a bit. But you guys go back to Bobby's and I'll meet you there later. And if you could maybe not shoot me on sight, that would be excellent, thanks.”
With a final wink he blinked out of existence and they were alone on the muddy shore.
Sam was deeply asleep in Bobby's guest room when Gabriel popped in again hours later. He appeared with a groan on Bobby's couch and Dean almost dropped his beer from surprise. “Ugh. Being the good son again is exhausting!” he announced by way of greeting.
“Would you rather be dead again?” Bobby grumbled, clearly unhappy, as he always was around unannounced company of the supernatural kind.
Gabriel glared. “No. Unlike certain people, I don't look gift horses in the mouth. Besides, you clowns are top notch entertainment compared to the snooze-fest in Heaven.”
Bobby and Dean exchanged glances while Gabriel snapped up a screamingly pink cocktail for himself, complete with umbrella and cherry on a stick. Dean grabbed fresh beers for the humans in the room and leaned on the desk, facing Gabriel.
“So,” Dean asked carefully. “God's back at the wheel, huh?”
“Yup,” said Gabriel, apparently unwilling to offer more details without prompting.
Dean clutched his beer with white knuckles, trying very hard not to snap at what was clearly a fully powered archangel, who also happened to have the backing of God himself for a change. Even if he also happened to be an annoying little fucker as usual.
“Why are you here?” he asked finally.
Gabriel raised an eyebrow in question. “You mean here as in Home- Moldy Home? Or Earth? Or the realm of the living? You'll have to be more specific.”
“All of those would be good to know, honestly.”
Sighing as if it was a great inconvenience to him, Gabriel drained the last of his drink and made the glass disappear with a flick of his hand.
“Well, let's get the big one out of the way first. I was brought back because of the leviathans. Or leviathan, really... or... it's complicated. Anyway, the short version is that Dad was a little short-sighted about them and only created one single way of killing them - i.e. me- should they ever get out of hand. Which they did, thanks to Castiel and indirectly you guys.”
“Hey -” Dean began, but Gabriel held up a hand to cut him off.
“Let me finish. You people have caused more havoc upstairs than we've seen since Lucifer decided to skip town and that is saying something!” Realizing that Dean was fuming, Gabriel hurried on. “Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm on your side in this! I haven't had this much fun in eons! The look on Zachariah's face alone was worth battling the calamari of doom for!”
“Wait, so Dickhead Numero Uno has also been brought back? Well that's just peachy!” Dean snarled.
Gabriel winced. “Yeah. The body count got a little too high, I guess. Dad's bringing all of the angels back.”
“But not a single human, I assume,” Dean said acidly. “It's not like anyone we cared about died for this whole mess or anything.”
Gabriel frowned at him. “I'd be pissed at you for saying that if I wasn't already aware of how little you actually know,” he said and ignored Dean's glare. “For your information, angels are created, not born. No new angels have been created since before this corner of the universe was even thought of. There are massive amounts of new humans being made every minute. You guys are a self running system. We angels aren't so lucky. So before you decide God is being unfair, just bear in mind that you guys got the long end of the stick to begin with.”
“I'm not sure I agree with that,” Dean grumbled. “But right now I'm more interested in the answers to my other two questions.”
“Actually, you have the answer to one of them, because the reason I'm on Earth is the same reason I was brought back to life. I'm the only one who can kill leviathans. No need to thank me,” he concluded with a smirk.
“Don't worry, we won't,” Bobby murmured, earning him a raspberry blown from Gabriel.
“Ingrates,” he sighed. “Now, as for the final question, I am here at Chéz Singer for sweet little Sammy.”
Dean was immediately on alert. “You're here for Sam?! In what way?”
Gabriel frowned. “Hold your horses, big boy. I'm not gonna hurt him. Quite the opposite in fact.”
“What?” Dean said blankly.
“Well, if you ever actually read the Bible, you might have noticed that Daddy is very big on self sacrifice. Sammy-boy jumping into the cage with Luci earned him some serious brownie points upstairs, so I've been given license to heal.” At Dean's confused gaping, Gabriel continued: “I'm gonna fix his noggin. Any other questions?”
“Lots!” Dean said hotly.
“Figures,” Gabriel grumbled.
“For one thing, you could pick up where you left off at the lake. Why now? Why did God wait until the world was in the crapper before he came back?”
For a moment, Gabriel was quiet, his face serious, which Dean was shocked to discover made him look weird. Apparently, even in Dean's mind Gabriel wasn't truly Gabriel unless he was being a prick. When he started talking again, his voice was low and soft, and for once Dean could easily imagine how anyone could take him seriously as a messenger of God.
“To answer your question, you really need the story of why He left in the first place.” Gabriel cast a grim glance at Dean. “First of all, the biggest lie the Bible ever told is that God is infallible. He truly isn't. And if there's one thing Daddy does not like, it is facing the really big fuck-ups He's made. The angels being at the top of that list.”
Dean froze with his beer half way to his face. “Wait... he regrets creating the angels? I thought he loved you guys!”
“He does. But like any parent, loving your kids doesn't mean you're blind to their defects.” Gabriel's voice was small and bitter. “We're essentially a flawed design. But we served our purpose at the time, and I suppose He was too sentimental to just wipe us off the slate when He realized his mistake.”
“I don't get it,” Dean said flatly. “I mean, most of you guys are total douchebags, but as a species you seem to be doing just fine.”
“Yeah well, being douchebags is the least of our worries,” Gabriel huffed and looked Dean firmly in the eye. “Angels don't have souls. We have grace. When we die, our grace gets absorbed back into the universe and God's creative powers. And that's it. No afterlife, no Heaven, no nothing. Everything we were, everything we knew – gone.”
Dean swallowed thickly and Gabriel continued.
“We can't have children. We can impregnate humans and create nephilim, but there are several really good reasons why this is a phenomenally bad idea. The ones in the Bible weren't destroyed for nothing.”
For a second, something wounded flashed across Gabriel's face and Dean suddenly wondered if any of those nephilim had been Gabriel's own. In spite of himself, he realized he was feeling sorry for Gabriel. Whatever else the archangel was or had been, he'd been through plenty of nightmares, and for once Dean could relate.
“But... can't God make more angels?” Bobby interjected.
Gabriel shrugged. “He can, but the core of the problem is that angels are high maintenance. We need God directly. To tell us what to do, to guide us and give us strength. Without our Father we wither away. He created us to be powerful and obedient, but essentially blank. Which was why he was so eager for humans to have choice. You guys were always meant to be able to fend for yourselves. But not the angels. For the longest time we were like puppets who needed God to pull our strings for every little twitch. But... then Lucifer grew a spine.”
Laughing without mirth, Gabriel let his head fall onto the backrest of the couch. “It's ironic, really. The same thing Lucifer was thrown into the cage for is what Daddy is trying to force out of the rest of us now.”
“What?!” Dean barked.
“Free. Will,” Gabriel said, clearly enunciating both words. “Dad made the mistake of assuming that we angels didn't even have the potential for independent thinking, like you humans. Lucifer made him aware of this blunder, and I greatly suspect that half of the reason why he was locked away was because Daddy was pissed He'd been called out on such a major fuck-up.”
“Wow. Your dad really is a dick.”
“But we still love him,” Gabriel sighed. “We can't not. But lucky for us, He loves us too. Enough to want the rest of us to at least explore the possibility of thinking for ourselves. Unluckily for us, He seemed to think the best way for us to develop free thinking was to take Himself out of the equation. As I'm sure you're aware, this produced mixed results.”
“No kidding,” Bobby said quietly and drained the rest of his beer.
“So...?” Dean trailed off and sent Gabriel a meaningful look.
“So... why is he back? Because the flip-side of the coin means that those with the ability to choose have the option of making some truly crappy choices. And some of the consequences were unacceptable to Dad. We dodged the bullet when you guys tossed Luci back in the cage, but there was only one way of stopping the leviathans from eating this marble raw, and for that He needed to come back and face the music. So He did.”
Dean stared into the air for a moment. “I don't even know what to say to that. It's just fucked up in so many ways.”
Gabriel pointed a stern finger at Dean. “You guys should just be happy that the Creator has a serious soft spot for your world. If he didn't, you all would have been wiped out ages ago.”
“Maybe we should consider going to church every now and then. Just in case,” Bobby shrugged.
Dean huffed, but Gabriel cut in: “Hey, don't knock it! Dad really likes gratitude. And it totally can't hurt.”
“Yeah well me and the Lord have never exactly been BFFs.”
“Ain't that the truth,” Gabriel snorted. “Anywho, I think that's enough chit-chat for now. If you'll excuse me, Doctor Sexy needs to make his rounds.” With that, Gabriel snapped his fingers and disappeared, and seconds later there was the subtle scrape of a chair from the guest room above them.
“I wish he would stop fucking with my favorite show,” Dean grumbled. Bobby smirked at him, but the smirk died instantly when Dean glared at him and said slowly: “Tori. Spelling.”
“I'll be in the yard,” Bobby murmured behind his beard and left Dean feeling marginally better.
Sam jerked awake, his mind still full of fire, blood and pain. The cruel, smiling face of Lucifer's vessel faded away to be replaced by the form of the Archangel Gabriel, sitting on a rickety chair, his boots casually planted on the edge of the bed. His trademark smirk was in place, but there was a sadness to the eyes, which were trained on Sam's face.
“Have you been watching me sleep?”
“Just for a little while,” Gabriel said innocently.
Sam huffed and let his head fall back on his pillow. “That doesn't make it any less creepy.”
“At least I'm giving you the courtesy of being visible. I could so very easily ogle you undetected if I wanted to,” Gabriel said with a wink.
“Okay, the creepy factor just went up like fifty percent,” Sam shuddered. He then sat up and squinted at Gabriel. “Why are you here?”
Gabriel slumped in his chair in an exaggerated gesture of defeat. “Am I having deja vu? It can't be more than ten minutes since your blockheaded brother asked me the same question. Why is nobody ever just happy to see me?”
“Because you kill people?” Sam asked with amused disbelief.
“Only people who deserve it!”
“Yeah, well personally I think that your idea of which punishment fits the crime is kinda over the top.”
“It's the pagan influence,” Gabriel said vaguely. “Eye for an eye and all that.”
“Or maybe you're just a dick,” Sam said archly.
Gabriel shrugged. “Fair point. But that's all in the past now. Being back on Daddy's payroll means no more partying with the pagans.”
Sam was surprised to realize that Gabriel actually looked sad. Not that he couldn't understand Gabriel being upset about leaving his trickster lifestyle behind. It was more the fact that Gabriel was letting Sam see his emotions on his face. This was so unlike Gabriel that Sam was momentarily baffled. But since Gabriel seemed to be disinclined to continue the conversation, Sam eventually cleared his throat and snapped Gabriel out of whatever was going on in his head.
“If I say I'm happy to see you, will you tell me why you're here?”
“Only if it's true,” Gabriel smirked.
Sam sighed. “Right. Well, I can honestly say that I'm happy to see you're alive. Good enough for you?”
“Better than I expected,” Gabriel said warmly, once again throwing Sam for a loop with his apparent honesty. “Anyway, the short version is that I'm here to fix your head.”
“What?” Sam asked blankly.
Gabriel swung his feet off the bed and leaned closer. “Look, you did a really big thing taking the dive with Luci. You made the ultimate sacrifice, and contrary to what many people think, it ain't dying. So God has decided that a reward is in order. He has given me permission to do whatever it takes to glue your mind back together.”
When Sam still just looked at him blankly, Gabriel threw his hands up in the air and cried: “For just 19.95, the Good Lord will heeeeal ya!”
“Aw man,” Sam groaned and covered his eyes with one hand, shutting out the sight of Gabriel doing his very best television preacher impression.
“What, you'd rather have a candy-gram?” Gabriel snickered. “I can do that, no problem! For just five bucks extra we include cheesy poems to the tunes of the latest pop hits!”
“For the love of God, please stop!” Sam begged.
“Not until you cry uncle!” Gabriel countered breezily, before suddenly chewing his lip in thought. “Or aunt. These are times of equality after all.”
“Uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, I don't care, just can it for a second!”
Sam had forgotten how hard it usually was to get a straight answer out of Gabriel. Perhaps the few moments of honesty had frazzled him more than he'd thought. But somehow he was also relieved at seeing the trickster again. Gabriel might be a holy messenger of God, but in Sam's eyes that was more like his job. Being a trickster was who he was, if not by nature, then at least by choice. And that thought more than the silly jokes made Sam grin a little in spite of himself.
“If I can trick more smiles out of you like this, then I might just keep going for a while,” Gabriel said with a surprising amount of warmth. Sam put a hand out to stop any continuation.
“Look, you can tell all the jokes you want later, but could you just hold it in until I get this straight?”
Gabriel sighed as if it was a truly arduous task, but he still mimed zipping his lips shut. Sam took a moment to shut out the constant mumbling and whispering of Lucifer in the back of his head before wording his question.
“So... God sent you to heal me?”
Gabriel shrugged. “Well, not as much sent as I volunteered for the job. And since I was already here to take care of the squid business, it would save someone else the trip.”
“Why would you do that?” Sam asked incredulously.
“Are you kidding?” Gabriel frowned. “After all the time I spent messing with that head of yours, you think I'd let just anyone waltz in here and start digging through your grapefruit? Please. I do have some personal pride, thank you very much.”
“Yeah, because that scheme worked out so well,” Sam griped.
Gabriel fiddled with the zipper of his jacket, as if it were the most interesting thing in the room. “Uh, yeah. Not my best plan. But my heart was in the right place!”
Sam snorted. “Where, Canada?”
“Hey, don't knock Canada. They've got moose. Or... mooses. What's plural for moose anyway?”
Sam pinched the bridge of his nose, ignoring his budding headache. “Fine, I'll buy that you're doing this because you don't want someone else cleaning up your mess, but that still doesn't explain-”
“Hang on,” Gabriel said, suddenly serious. “My mess? I'll admit that my method was flawed, but my message was clear. I was trying to help you!”
“Oh, really,” Sam sneered, not really asking as much as stating.
“Yes, really!” Gabriel snapped. “All right, so maybe it took me a while to see your side of things, but even before I jumped on the suicide wagon of Team Free friggin' Will I only ever wanted the best for you guys!”
“Why?!” Sam asked, his voice rising with disbelief.
Gabriel jumped to his feet and darted in until he was almost nose to nose with Sam. “Because I know all too well what it's like to have a huge, unavoidable destiny hanging over your head. And at the time, I genuinely thought that the best I could do for you was to give you the resources to make it through to the other side in as few pieces as possible!”
Sam felt his eyes widen, and despite the fact that Gabriel was still in his short, unassuming vessel, he suddenly seemed to fill the entire room, his eyes swirling gold and his voice almost ringing through Sam's skull.
“You truly don't realize how special you are, you and your brother. You were literally made for your parts in this play. And yet, you tore up the script and walked away. By some amazing stroke of luck, you're both still alive and while I can't exactly say I went about it right, I still like to think I at least managed to help you get there.”
Blinking, Gabriel seemed to suddenly realize how close he was. He shook his head minutely and backed away to the foot of the bed, leaving Sam to his thoughts. It wasn't that he really blamed Gabriel for anything. It was just difficult being generous about things when he was constantly wondering what was real and what wasn't. In truth, Sam had forgiven Gabriel for the eternal Tuesday and the TV-Land adventure after he died for them. But even before then, Sam had known for a long time that Gabriel did want to help, in his own backwards way. What he'd never really understood was why.
He'd given up on that question after Gabriel died, but he suddenly found himself wanting badly to know. What would Sam matter to an archangel? Dean he could understand. The Righteous Man, warrior of Heaven and all that. But Sam was the abomination. The demon kid. Hell's poster boy.
“I'm still having trouble understanding your motives here,” he said honestly.
“Do I need to have any?” Gabriel asked quietly.
Sam slumped back against the headboard. “Yes, because in real life nothing is for free. There's always a catch.”
To Sam's surprise, Gabriel chuckled. “Oh, there's a catch, all right. And you're not gonna like it. But considering how your brain is currently melting, I think you'll find it's a price worth paying.”
That piece of information pushed the question of Gabriel's motivation to the back of Sam's mind at top speed. “I'd like to decide that for myself thanks. Tell me about it.”
Gabriel put his hands heavily on the footboard of the bed and fixed his liquid eyes on Sam's. “You have to understand, your entire conscious mind is falling apart. So to put you back together right, I'll have to go in there. Basically, you'll have to give me permission to go digging in your thoughts. You'll have no secrets from me. And since I've never actually done this before, I can't say exactly what effects it might have on us.”
“Yes, us,” Gabriel replied darkly. “It's not entirely risk free for me either. I'm going to have to devote an awful lot of my energy to this and it'll leave me vulnerable until I can power up again. And considering how deep I'll have to go to make sure it's all done right, I can't promise I won't end up leaving something behind.”
“Okay, that sounds vaguely disturbing. Leave what behind, exactly?”
“Maybe some of my grace or an imprint of some of my memories. It shouldn't affect your life at all afterwards.”
“But it could?”
Gabriel sighed. “Yes. But like I said, I'm pretty sure it'll be worth it, considering that if we do nothing, you'll be a drooling mess in a matter of months. Maybe weeks. It's actually a miracle you're still walking and talking.”
Sam knew Gabriel had a valid point, but that didn't change the fact that this whole situation made Sam wildly uncomfortable. He already knew he was going to accept the offer. He felt the truth of Gabriel's words, as every second more of his mind fractured to the sound of Lucifer's laughter and the rattle of meat hooks. But what really bugged him was that it came down to trust. He would have to trust Gabriel with his thoughts and dreams. And his secrets. He had plenty.
“I'd be lying if I said I was okay with all of this,” he said eventually.
Gabriel only smiled crookedly.
“I suppose confidentiality is too much to ask?” Sam said quietly, looking down.
There was silence for a moment, before Gabriel stepped closer and sat down on the edge of the bed. “Hey, Sammy? I'll let you in on a little secret. We angels might be dicks, but we keep our promises. So if it'll make you feel better about all of this, I'll promise to keep your secrets.”
Sam looked up, surprised. “Really?”
Gabriel nodded. “Can't promise I won't taunt you endlessly about it, but yeah.”
Rolling his eyes, Sam groaned. But despite Gabriel being his usual annoying self, that thought did make him feel better. So he finally nodded and said: “Okay, Doc. Do what you gotta do.”
Gabriel beamed and clapped his hands together. “Awesome! Now you just lie back and relax. This won't hurt a bit! I think...”
“What?!” Sam managed to squeak, before there were two fingers on his forehead and the world went dark.
OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOThis entry was originally posted at http://ladydrace.dreamwidth.org/563431.h