A/N: Remember the timeline is a little mixed up, having switched Trial & Error and Everybody Hates Hitler.
Gabriel woke feeling like hell. Utter and complete hell. His head was pounding, his throat scratchy and he sore, and he thought he might actually have a fever. He was just grateful that he didn't have to head off to work.
He'd been feeling pretty crappy for days now, if he were honest, not that he'd told Sam. He didn't need him freaking out and Gabriel was pretty sure that would happen, because he was almost positive that his feeling like shit had something to do with the trials. What made him think that? Call it instinct. Coughing up blood, just like he had twenty-four hours after starting these damn trials was a very clear signal.
Rolling out of the bed, Gabriel groaned, perching on the edge of the mattress as the room began to spin. It wouldn't last long, he knew, he knew that so he just waited for it to pass. When it finally did, he pushed himself to his feet with effort and cautiously made his way to the couch where his clothes had he abandoned. He slipped on his sweats and the large t-shirt that had once been Sam, then headed out to face the morning.
Gabriel didn't bother with a shower, too nervous of passing out beneath the downpour and drowning, instead he simply eased the sight of blood. Feeling part way to normal again he headed back along the corridor towards the library, knowing that was where the brothers would be. Probably hashing over a new case.
The pair were sitting in the crows next, as Sam had come to call it, eating breakfast while discussing a case, just as he'd predicted.
"...munch on any brains."
Zombies? Gabriel frowned.
"Well, who's the witness?" Dean asked, his gaze locked on the Weekly World News Gabriel had grabbed from the store the previous day.
"Montana state trooper, twenty year vet. Checked his pulse, saw his insides split all over the place, announced him dead with a capital D." Sam informed, his gaze shifting from Dean to smile up at Gabriel as he walked through on his way to the kitchen. "How you feeling?" Sam asked, concerned.
Gabriel paused, looking over at his lover with a raised brow. "Uh?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "I know you're sick, Gabe. 1: you look like death, and 2: we share a bed, you don't think I can feel when you've got a fever?"
Dean made a muffled nose, but didn't say anything.
He'd been a lot less hostile the past couple of weeks, ever since he'd returned from his bar crawl. Assuming that was what it had actually been, Gabriel had his suspicious as to just want the hunter had been doing, but in an attempt to keep his promise to Sam he'd kept quiet.
However, while he wasn't actively going out of his way to butt heads with Dean, that didn't stop him flaunting his and Sam's relationship under the guise of casual conversation. "That's not a fever Kiddo, that's just the way you make me feel when you're..."
Dean grunted almost harshly and shoved back his chair. Gabriel watched as Sam stiffened, expecting another explosion, only for Dean to head the way Gabriel had just come.
Gabriel smirked, turning to continue towards the kitchen. It wasn't that he liked making Dean uncomfortable. Oh, who was he kidding, he loved it, but it was mostly done out of a mix of self-defence, frustration and just a tinge of brotherly anger. - Mostly frustration.
Gabriel didn't exactly have a history of living with people. He'd spent most of his time on earth alone, until two years ago when he'd found himself relying on Sam and with a young woman depending on them. Things with Sam hadn't exactly been smooth sailing, though Gabriel wondered if most of that was down to the sexual and emotional tension bubbling away between them, and then he'd left and it had just been him and Claire.
It had taken him a while to find his feet, settling into a 'normal human' life. Getting a job, making friends, but it had been made easier by the fact that Claire liked him. He'd even go as far as to say loved him.
The problem now was that he was living with someone who actually hated him. It was a hostility he hadn't had to deal with since leaving heaven over 2000 years ago. And much like his sibling, when Gabriel was challenged, he did what any good archangel did, he attacked. Only now with no grace all he had was his words. - And in some cases, PDA. It was his own damn fault, Dean should learn to known before barging into a couple's room, even if it was 2 in the afternoon.
Gabriel poured himself a glass of water and took a large gulp, glaring at the refrigerator, contemplating whether he could handle food.
"I'm serious, Gabe," Sam suddenly said from behind him, causing the ex-archangel to jump and almost drop his glass.
"Dammit Winchester, don't do that!" Gabriel curse, glowering at the taller man.
Sam smiled apologetically, "Sorry." he murmured, moving over to where Gabriel stood beside the sink, the back of his hand raising to press against the man's forehead. "You're still warm."
Gabriel sighed, knowing the look in his lover's eyes, he wasn't going to be able to avoid this with sarcasm. "It's just the flu, it's nothing serious." he lied with a wide smile. "Claire get off to school okay?"
They'd been able to get Claire enrolled in the local high schools a week ago, with surprisingly little stress and few questions. As far as anyone at the school was concerned Claire and her father were hauled up at the motel on the edge of town until they found a more permanent place to love. They'd actually hired a room for a few days, just in case someone stopped by to check, and were slipping the owner $50 a week just to let them know if anyone from the school came nosing around.
Thankfully, it wouldn't last much longer, Claire being so close to graduating.
Sam nodded, his large fingers moving from Gabriel's forehead to comb though the other man's hair. "You should go back to bed, I'll call Claire. Get her to grab something from the pharmacy on her way home."
"That's not necessary, really Sam, I'm fine. I don't need any more sleep." he said, only to yawn.
Sam lifted a disbelieving brow at him.
"So what's this about a zombie?" he asked, changing the subject. "You guys heading out on a case?"
Sam didn't answer and Gabriel looked up at his concerned frown. He noticed Gabriel looking at him and shrugged. "I don't know, it's probably nothing."
"Or it's something." Gabriel huffed.
"Garth can get someone else to check it out."
Gabriel glowered at Sam, arms folded over his chest. "Don't baby me Sam!" he snapped. "I'm sick, I'm not dying." yet he thought, causing his stomach to cramp. "You have a job, you can't just stop doing it because I've got a cold."
Sam watched him, eyes burning deep into Gabriel. "Except it's not a cold, is it? I'm not an idiot Gabe." he said sharply, "This has to do with the trials, doesn't it?"
Gabriel sighed wearily, dropping his gaze. "Maybe." he shrugged. "Maybe it is just a cold, I don't know, but whatever it is, you can't just stop working. - Look Sammy," he muttered softly, moving closer to stand toe to toe with Sam. Amber eyes almost pleading as they locked with Sam's hazel ones. "If this is a trail thing then there's nothing that going to stop it except to finish the damn thing, and that isn't going to be happening today, tomorrow or the day after that, so please go hunt zombies."
Sam opened his mouth to argue only to close it again and exhale slowly. "Okay." he whispered, shoulders slumping in surrender. "But if you get any worse..."
"You'll be the second to know." Gabriel smiled reassuringly.
"Well, I'd be the first, won't I." he chuckled, voice low and rough.
"Jackass." Sam spat with a laugh, leaning down to brush his lips across Gabriel's. They kissed for a few seconds before Sam pulled away and headed for the door. He paused on the threshold, looking back at Gabriel with warm loving eyes. "Eat something," he ordered. "There's soup in the cupboard."
Gabriel gave him a wide smile and a salute, even as his stomach churned at the thought of food. Even if it were just soup.
_What Doesn't Kill You_
Gabriel slouched low on the couch, his focus fixed on the TV, a mug of steaming coffee in his hand. The silence of the bunker weighed heavily on him.
He and Claire had found the large room their first week, while Sam and Dean had been off hunting Nazi necromancers. Like most rooms in the bunker it had been thick with dust and stale smelling, but it was clearly meant to be used to relax. There were two large couches, a small bar, a radio and a billiard table. Apparently even the men of letters needed a place to chill after a hard day saving the world. - And by saving the world, Gabriel meant doing lots of research about saving the world.
They'd spent the rest of the boys absence getting it cleaned and buying practically a crate of Fabreeze to hide the stick of decades old cigar smoke and whiskey, not to mention the just plan simple bad air scent.
Gabriel had even dished out for a second had TV. Dean had been over the moon to have somewhere to chill out after a hunt that wasn't filled with books, and it had gone a long way to building bridges.
But while it was a nice place to spend his time after almost a month and a half, Gabriel was going a little stir crazy. Of course there was nothing keeping him in the bunker. He had a key now, thanks to Dean and there was a garage full of cars he had use of, it was just where would he go? What would he do? He missed Solon Springs, he missed Annabella and his work. He missed the life he'd built for himself. - Most of all though, he missed being himself. He longed for his powers. Going out and setting the world to rights in his own unique way.
He stared at the TV, a teenager stood ranting at his teen mom girlfriend about how her pregnancy was ruining his life, and he flexed his fingers before giving into his anger. Snapping his fingers he envisioned the boy carrying his girlfriend's burden. He started as a fuse blew, the TV screen going blank and the lights flickering briefly.
Gabriel sat up right on the couch and stared at his fingers, his heart racing, he swallowed thickly and pressed the tips together again, holding his breath as he snapped them.
Nothing. No blown fuse. No flickering lights. No rush of power through his very being. All he got was a familiar irritating tickle in the back of his throat. Coughing, Gabriel tried to relieve the itch but it didn't help, so he got to his feet and headed for the kitchen.
He stood over the sink, sipping and coughing, slowly recognising that acidy taste in his mouth again. He was rinsing out when he heard the echo of the heavy metal door and glanced up at the wall clock. 4:30 PM. Claire? - Washing the remains of the blood from the sink and refilling his glass, Gabriel took a deep breath and headed out the meet the teenager.
He found her dumping her school bag on the table.
"Hey Kiddo," Gabriel smiled. "How was school?"
"Fine." She grunted, yanking her books out of her bag, and dropping them on the library table.
Gabriel frowned. "Okay, what's happened?"
"Nothing." Claire lied through gritted teeth.
Gabriel winced at the sound of the chair scraping the polished floor as Claire violently pulled it out. He watched her for a long moment but when it became clear she wasn't going to check. Moving over cautiously he joined her at the table. "Claire?" he pressed, "I know something's wrong, so spill,"
She glared down at her folder. "It's nothing."
"You know I can sit here all night," he stated, his fingers finding Riot's fur as the dog rested its head on his leg. "I don't have anything else to do."
Claire sat there silently, her pen tapping against the pad, her eyes fixed on the book open in front of her. She remained that way for a while. Gabriel silently watching her, supping his water and stroking Riot. He was so focused on the silence that he almost missed it when the girl finally spoke.
"I miss home." she whispered, gaze locked on her books.
Gabriel started, looking up from Riot's head. "Huh?"
She paused, rolling the pen through her fingers. "I miss home. I miss my friends, my old school. - My room."
Gabriel inhaled slowly. "I know." he sighed, eyes closing briefly.
"I hate being the new kid again." she grunted, "I know it's only a couple more months but... - Prom's coming up."
"Ah." Gabriel nodded understandingly, "and no one's asked you?"
Claire didn't answer, just stared at her school work. "I'm the freak who lives at the local motel with her two dads, of course no one's asked me."
Then they're idiots. - You're a great girl and if the guys can't see that then that's their loss. - But, Claire, no one said you have to go with someone." he pointed out coolly.
The young woman's eyes narrowed at her adoptive dad, "its prom. You don't understand!" she snapped, "Only losers don't get dates to prom! I've been looking forward to this all my life. Mum used to tell me all about her prom, we used to imagine what my prom would be like, and now..." she sniffled back tears, "I just want to be normal again. Just for one god-damn night, I don't want my life to be a friggin' mess!"
Gabriel watched the tears roll down his pseudo daughter's face and swallowed thickly at the pain he saw there. It wasn't about prom, a small voice told him. Claire was upset about the turn her life had taken. It was about the loss of her parents. "I'm sorry kiddo," he whispered, reaching across the table to grasp her hand. "If I could... - I'm sorry."
Claire snuffled back the tears, swiping at her face, shaking her head at him apologetically. "I just feeling..."
"Unsettled." Gabriel murmured, "I know. You're not used to this, the moving around, the learning friends at a moment's notice, not like Sam and Dean are. Its second nature to them." he sighed.
"I... I get why we had to leave, I do." she looked around the library with a sigh, "How long till we leave this place? How long before we have to move again?"
Gabriel's fingers tightened around Claire's hand, his thumb brushing comforting circles on its back. "I promise, we won't be leaving here."
"You don't know that." She huffed angrily. "Anything could happen. Dean doesn't want us here. He doesn't want you and Sam together. How long before he forces us to leave." she demanded angrily.
Gabriel inhaled slowly though his nose, squeezing the teenagers fingers once again. "Firstly, me and Sammy are fine." it wasn't a lie, not totally. Though there was still a lot of tension between them. "Secondly, Dean knows he's stuck with us."
Claire scoffed. "You forget, l've read all about them, I know the hold Dean has over Sam."
"Then you know, Sam doesn't listen to his big brother when it comes to his love life." Though that was a lie. Dean did have an unhealthy hold on Sam, and it's frustrating how much of what Dean thinks and wants influence Sam's decisions regarding his life. While he'd never say it to Claire, not wanting her to feel anymore unsettled and nervous about their future, he had to admit he'd been wondering the same thing.
"And look what happened." Claire scoffed.
"Claire, I swear, we're okay. We're not leaving." he forced her to meet his gaze, trying to silently convince her. No matter what it cost him, he'd stay and live with Dean's bullshit at least until Claire was safely settled in college. "You know, if you want stability, this isn't the life you want." he added after a few long moments watching her cry. She lifted her red rimmed and watery eyes questioning. "Being a hunter," he clarified, "There's absolutely no stability, no fixed roots. It's a consent challenge and I understand why you wanted to hunt, every hunters story starts with the death of a loved one, and sadly ends with their own."
"We've all got to so sometime." Claire reminded him coldly.
"I know, believe me, but it shouldn't be..." he shook his head, swallowing thickly at the tears building in his throat at the thought of Claire ending up like John Winchester, or even himself. "Maybe Sammy was right, maybe you should go off to college, be normal for longer than one night. Get a degree, meet a guy, have a family. - Live."
"I owe it to mom!" she snapped, snatching her hand away.
"You owe it to her not to get yourself killed and this..." he said sharply, waving his arm around at the bunker as a representation of the hunter's life, "...is a sure fire way to be just that. - You deserve to be happy, Claire. All me and Sam want is for you to be save and happy. We may not be your parents by blood but we see you as our daughter and we love you as such."
Claire stared at him, tears once again rolling down her cheeks. Neither one spoke, unsure what to say, or even if they could voice their feelings. Eventually, after what felt like hours, but was only about twenty minutes. Gabriel got up with a warm sad smile, stepping around the table he bowed, pressing a kiss to Claire's blonde head. "I love you, kiddo." he whispered.
"Love you too, Dad." she replied, her voice hoarse and wet.
"Now, I'm gonna start dinner, you've got homework to be going. Riot, come on boy, let's leave her to it."
Gabriel was just taking the steps out of the library when Clair's voice stopped him.
"Yep." he popped, looking back at her.
Claire smiled brightly. "Thanks."
"For what?" Gabriel frowned.
"Everything. Being you." she smiled brightly.
"Gabriel flushed, his thin lips curling up at the corners." Anytime, Kiddo." he winked, then headed off towards the kitchen.
_What Doesn't Kill You_
Gabriel lay stretched out on the couch in the lounge, his laptop open on his lap as he browsed colleges. Though he and Claire hadn't spoken any more about getting out of the life before she was pulled in any further, he'd decided to check out some options, ordered a few broachers. Besides there was nothing else for him to do with the TV out of commission. - Okay, that wasn't really an issue, he could always watch Netflix.
He was just reading though the homepage for Berkley when he heard the heavy doors slam and his eyes flickered to the clock into the corner of the screen. 2:40 AM. He frowned and set his laptop aside and went to investigate. Riot rushed eagerly ahead of him. He heard loud voices and rushing voices. Riot picked up the pace when he recognised them.
Gabriel followed after them and come to a stop outside one of the spare rooms, his eyes flickering between Dean, Sam and the strangers before settling on the bed and the unconscious boy. "What the hell's happening?" he demanded.
Sam turned to him, with a troubled smile. He didn't answer, instead turning back to the woman who looked frustrated and panicked all at the same time. There was genuine fear in her gaze that Gabriel recognised all too well.
"You keep saying curse, what curse?" the woman asked, confused.
"How long's this been happening?" Sam asked quietly.
"I... I don't... Since he turned 7 a few months ago. It started with the dying then he stopped talking.
"Wait, 7?" Sam interrupted, "7 marks one of the first Greek rites of manhood."
"So what, you're saying the curse is hardwired into his programming? How do you know that?"
"We do more than make..."
"Not now Gabriel." Sam snapped, shooting the ex-angel a hard look.
Gabriel took a deep breath, shoulder's slumping as he lent against the doorframe, his gaze moving past them all to the handsome blonde in the corner. "Prometheus." he greeted.
The man turned, eyes flickering across Gabriel's face as if he's trying to remember something. "Do I know you?"
Gabriel shrugged. "Never had the please, but I know a couple of your relatives. - Have to admit, they're all pretty much assholes. Though frankly," he shrugged. "My own family isn't exactly the Brady's."
Prometheus narrowed his gaze at him, then looked to Sam and Dean.
"Just ignore him." Dean huffed, shooting Gabriel a hard look.
Sam giving Prometheus an apologetic look then turned his full attention back to the woman. Gabriel watched the pair, listening to the woman's desperate words.
"...what curse?" the woman finished saying looking from Prometheus to the three men.
"He'll be safe here," Sam said gently. "Come with us and we'll explain everything." he stepped out of the room, squeezing Gabriel's shoulder and pulling him along with him.
They made their way to the library. Prometheus and his friend took a seat at one of the tables, Dean tossed his jacket into one of the leather chairs, before leaning casually back against another table. Sam took a seat opposite Prometheus, hanging his own jacket behind. Gabriel looked between them all, "You all look like you could do with some coffee." he murmured. "Please, start without me." he waved, knowing Sam would fill him in later.
Gabriel took his time making the coffee and grabbed a bottle of scotch from the pantry. When he headed back to the library, tray of mugs in hard and gave as silent sigh of relief to find the room silent. He set the tray on the table and smiled reassuring at the woman, who looked dumbfounded. "I added a little something, for the shock." he said, sliding the mug over to her. "I take it everything is...explained."
"Okay..." the woman - Gabriel really had to find out her name. - Started suddenly, "So Olley's dad is a Greek god who's cursed to die every day by Zeus, and you guys are..." she looked between them. "Ghostbusters, - Am I getting this right?"
Gabriel couldn't help the amused snort that left his nose at the woman words. Dean shot his am tired look and Gabriel sighed, reaching for his own mug.
"Well, due to the fact that your son is currently, albeit temporally dead. I'm gonna let that one slide." Dean said, shifting against the table's edge.
"You have to realize this sounds crazy."
"You're son's dead and you found him on a mountain with no memory, sweetheart, you left crazy a decade ago." Gabriel huffed, a bored smile on his lips. Sam glared at him. "What?"
"It's true, I didn't believe it myself at first but it's the only thing that makes sense." Prometheus added.
"The faster you wrap your brain around this, the faster we can solve the problem." Dean tacked on with a frustrated grumble.
"Solve the problem? I'm not even sure I understand the problem."
"Alright, so the way we usually handle this is, we summon the bastard and we work him over until he undoes whatever it is he did." Dean informed them, moving closer to the table.
Gabriel bit his lip at the confidence in the hunter's voices, like they weren't talking about a god.
"And if he doesn't want to undo it?"
"Then we take him out." Sam answered.
Gabriel snorted again. "Yeah, cause that worked so well last time." he muttered, not expecting the gathering to hear him.
The woman looked sharply at him. "What?"
"Ignore him." Dean said through gritted teeth. "Hopefully the curse dies along with Zeus."
"Hopefully?" the woman laughed. "This can't be happening?"
The sound of a dry cough echoed through the silence and all eyes turned towards the corridor. Getting to her get the woman quickly hurried to attend to her son, leaving the men to look awkwardly between one another. Dean glowering angrily at Gabriel.
"What? You act like you guys have done this before." Gabriel pointed out defensively.
"We have!" Dean snapped.
"No, you haven't. If memory serves the last time you went up against a god, or six, you boys almost ended up as desert and Zeus, he's...he's nothing like Kali and the others, he's a sadistic son of a bitch. He slaughtered, or imprisoned, his whole family in order to rule. What does that tell you, huh? He's ruthless and if you think he'd just gonna let him," he gestured to Prometheus, who was sat solemnly watching the argument. "…and the boy off because you said pretty please, you're dumber than I thought!"
"Hey!" Dean yelled furiously. "Well, if he doesn't we'll just have to take him out!"
"Oh, take him out, easy as pie." Gabriel laughed coldly. "Do you have any idea what it takes to kill a god?" he shook his head. "The last guy that tried Dragoloplis, let's just say our friend here got off easy."
"So what do we do?" Sam demanded, his own frustration bubbling over. "We can't just let the kid suffer."
Gabriel met his lovers gaze, inhaling slowly. "You might have to." he replied regretfully.
"Screw that!" Dean snapped. "We'll find a way. These books have to have something?"
"If they had something that worked, we wouldn't be standing here. The only think that can kill a god is another god, a weapon forged to kill gods. - Or death himself."
Sam glanced over at Dean. "Maybe he'd..."
Dean shook his head. "Not after last time." he sighed, "Weapon, huh? Like maybe Artemis' bow?"
Gabriel scoffed. "And what, you boys just gonna ask for it? Hate to break it to you but that chick is a serious daddy's girl. She'll kill you first."
"Who says we're gonna ask?"
Gabriel rolled his eyes and headed for the door.
"She's been hunting for years." Sam said slowly.
Gabriel turned to watch Sam watch Prometheus.
"She's been trying to kill you for years, right? Daddy's orders, yet..." Sam shot Dean a look, then smirked at Gabriel meaningfully. "The goddess of hunters couldn't find a cabin in the Montana mountains?" he shook his head. "Either she's losing her touch or..."
"She knew exactly where he was." Gabriel grinned, looking over at Prometheus. "She was hiding him." he let out a soft whistle. "Guess not even a goddess is immune to a little star-crossed romance."
"What?" Dean and Prometheus said in unison.
"You and her were lovers." Gabriel clarified.
Prometheus frowned, shaking his head. "I... I don't know, I don't remember her."
"Amnesia tends to do that to a guy." Gabriel mocked. "Look it's the only explanation, and if you were and she's been covering your ass all this time, means she's still in love with you."
"She tried to kill me." Prometheus reminded them all.
Sam shook his head. "Did she? I'm not overly sure she did. - We're just saying, if she does still care about you, we may be able to convince her to help."
"Assuming you're right." Dean grumbled, "You really think she's going to help save the kid he had with another woman?" he scoffed, shaking his head. "You really don't know women."
Gabriel smirked over at him. "And you really don't understand love. If she loves him enough to go against her father's orders and her family, all she'll want is him alive and happy, even if that means letting him go."
Dean laughed humourlessly. "Right, if you love them set them free." he rolled his eyes dramatically.
Gabriel fixed the older hunter with a scathing glare. "That's exactly what it means. - And I can think of at least one 'guy' who's put up with a lot of bullshit in the name of love."
Dean narrowed his gaze at the ex-angel for a long moment before turning away, stomping over to the decanter to pour himself a large glass of scotch.
Sam looked between them with a heavy sigh, shaking his head apologetically at Prometheus. "IF that is the case," he continued, ignore his brother and boyfriend. "We just need to talk to her. You have to talk to her." he corrected looking across at the titan.
"And if we're wrong, she'll kill him." Dean clarified.
"At least our plan has a chance at working." Gabriel snapped. "Yours will get you all killed, and I'd rather not lose my boyfriend just yet. There's still a ton of positions we haven't tried yet."
"Gabe, don't start." Sam warned.
"I'm just stating the facts, you boys have been doing this long enough now that you should have gotten tired of rushing head first into a situation with the worst plans in history."
"Dean has a point, we need a back-up plan." Sam replied firmly.
Gabriel shook his head. "Whatever, good luck with that, say hello to Dragoloplis for Me." he turned on his heels and marched off in the direction of the lounge, leaving the brothers with the titan, planning their deaths.
_What Doesn't Kill You_
Gabriel looked up from the laptop at the sound of Sam's voice. A soft, almost apologetic smile on his handsome face as he approuched.
"You and dumber figure out how to get yourselves killed?" Gabriel reaching for the soda can on the table beside him.
Sam took a long slow breath, lifting Gabriel's feet as he took a seat, then set them in his lap, his thumb rubbing at the man's slim ankle. "We're going to summon Artemis, try to persuade her to help us."
"Good luck with that." he muttered, dropping his gaze back to the computer screen.
"We're leaving Haylie and Ollie here, if that's okay with you?"
Gabriel shrugged. "Whatever."
"Gabe." Sam sighed, squeezing his ankle.
"What?" his eyes didn't leave the screen, so Sam reached over and slammed it closed. "Hey!"
"WE won't get killed."
Gabriel let out a loud scoffing sound. "Famous last words. That's what you thought when you headed into the Elysian Fields dining room."
Sam sort out his lovers gaze, holding it. "This is what we do, Gabe, remember. You were the one that forced me back into hunting when I was all but ready to walk away for good."
"I know," Gabriel breathed, "but there's a big difference between vampires, ghosts and werewolves, and fucking gods! - The older they are, Sammy, the more powerful they are. The Greeks, they're at the top of the food chain, along with Egyptian and..."
"I'll have you know, I killed Osiris a couple of years ago, and it's really not that difficult." he brushed off casually.
Gabriel stared into the Winchester's hazels eyes, searching for a lie and fining none. "Osiris?"
Sam smiled, shrugging. "It was him or Dean. And we've ganked our fair share of Pagan gods over the years."
"You took out a few lesser Celtic gods, they're all pussies." he huffed with an amused laugh.
"Look, what I'm saying is this isn't our first rodeo, we can do this, okay. Trust me."
"I do, and I know you guys can handle yourselves." Gabriel lowered his gaze, letting his head fall back against the arm of the couch.
"Then what's the problem?"
Gabriel closed his eyes, listening to Sam's and his own breathing. "I am." he whispered after a long silence. "I can't help. I can't back you up this time. I'm a god damn human and it's killing Me." literally, he feared, though he wouldn't say that.
Sam smiled reassuringly, leaning forward to snag the collar of Gabriel's t-shirt and pull him up so he could look him in the eyes. With Gabriel facing him, Sam cupped his jaw, brushing gently below his ear. "You are helping," he said softly. "You pointed out how stupid it would be..."
"Don't patronize me, Winchester." Gabriel warned harshly, not for the first time.
"I'm sorry. I'm just saying that you help in other ways. You might not have your grace anymore Gabe, but you still have over two thousand years of knowledge in that stubborn obnoxious head of yours."
"I'm bored, okay. I miss having a reason to get up in the morning."
"You have a reason." Sam insisted. "You're going to close the gates of hell for good. You're going to save so many lives with a single act. - Okay, three acts. - And you have Claire, and me."
"Seriously?" Gabriel smirked. "You're feeding me rom/com clichés when I'm feeling worthless?"
Sam shrugged. "Better than letting you wallow."
"What am I going to do with you?" Gabriel sighed, shaking his head.
"I'm sure you'll come up with something." Sam replied in a low husky voice, leaning into the ex-archangel's personal space and capturing his mouth.
Gabriel threated his fingers through Sam's long soft hair, deepening the kiss and shifting his position to pull the taller man over him, so they were laying stretched out on the couch. Sam's hand slipped between them, grasping hold of the laptop and setting it with a clunk on the floor before sliding his hand beneath Gabriel's shirt, groping at his sides.
A cough ended their kiss, the pair lifting their eyes from one another to the door where Haylie and her son stood. The woman looked flush, her hand covering her son's innocent eyes. "Sorry." she murmured. "Dean said there was a TV."
Gabriel cleared his throat as he sat up. "Was being the operative word." he caught Sam's confused gaze. "It kinda blew yesterday. I figured Dean could fix it when you boys got back."
Sam looked from Gabriel to the TV with a sigh, then realising he was still stretched out over Gabriel, he hurriedly climbed off, flustered and hard. He adjusted his trousers as subtly as possible, but the amused look Haylie was giving him said she'd noticed the bulge in his jeans.
"But that's the joys of the internet, right?" Gabriel smiled at Ollie. "Who needs a TV anymore." he reached for the computer again.
Sam smiled at him. "We'll finish our discussion when I get back."
"Pretty sure you don't need to use code, Sammy. They had front seats." he grinned smugly over to a still red Haylie.
Sam quickly flushed red. Dropping a kiss to Gabriel's lips he hurriedly left. "See you later."
_What Doesn't Kill You_
Gabriel spent the next few hours, wandering around the bunker, anxiously waiting for news from Sam. He'd already cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen, and was currently sat in a leather chair reading. Claire was off entertaining Ollie when Haylie strolled into the library aimlessly, and over to the shelves, Gabriel glanced up to watch her.
"I can't believe this is really happening." she said after a long few minutes.
Gabriel didn't say anything, he just closed his book and waited.
"Gods, monsters? This is insane."
"You don't believe in God?" he asked curiously.
Haylie turned. "Of course, but...one god, not..." she waved her hand at nothing in particular.
Gabriel nodded understandingly. "There are as many gods as there are religions. - It's...complicated..." he sighed.
Haylie strolled over to him, pulling out a chair. "So...God is real?"
Gabriel smirked. "You just said you believed in him."
"Believing and knowing, very different."
"True. - Yeah, he's real." Gabriel murmured regretfully.
Haylie slouched in the chair, staring at him dumbfounded. "Huh. I guess I should start following the rules."
Gabriel chuckled. "Rules are made to be broken." he winked.
"And...have you met him?" she asked cautiously.
Gabriel smiled sadly, dropping his gaze to the closed book. "You could say that." he shrugged.
"And what?" Gabriel frowned, already knowing what she was asking.
"What's he like?" Haylie curious and eager to know the truth. Only Gabriel doubted she actually wanted to hear the truth.
"He's...God." he shrugged. "He's a father, just like any other father. Strict, foreboding..." he face fell nervously, tugging her lip between her teeth. Gabriel cleared his throat. "...but forgiving. Loving his children unconditionally. The bible isn't always accurate." he added with an awkward smile. It was a lie of course, his father could be so much worse than the Bible would depict him.
Haylie smiled, nodding understandingly in a way only a parent would. "And... Well, you and Sam?"
Gabriel frowned. "What about us?"
"I have to admit, I didn't pin him as the type." she said almost apologetically.
"That's complicated too." Gabriel huffed. "I'm his first...guy thing." he clarified.
"Oh." she flustered, tapping her fingers against the table. "Well, you seem very happy."
Gabriel shrugged, flushing. "We are." he hoped. He knew how happy he felt, but Sam...? Sam was a continued mystery.
Gabriel laughed, leaning forward. "Trust me, there isn't enough time in the world to explain my confusing, mixed-up family situation."
"Mixed up?" Haylie scoffed. "I just discovered my holiday fling is a Greek god."
"Titan." Gabriel corrected easily.
"Titan, who's cursed and has passed that curse on to my, our son, and now I'm sat waiting to hear if he was able to get his ex to help kill her father to break the curse." she said in a rush of words.
Gabriel smiled, leaning back in his chair. "I'm an archangel turned pagan god, who died and came back human, shaking up with a hunter who spent five years trying to kill me, raising the daughter of my brother's vessel after a demon killed her mom. - Oh, and said brother is ridiculous in love with my boyfriend's infuriating jackass of a brother. Believe me, your life is nowhere close to mixed up. It's practically normal in this whole new world." he snorted at her shocked expression.
Haylie opened and closed her mouth a couple dozen times but by the time she found the words she'd been looking for the library echoed with sound of the heavy iron door being opened. Both Haylie and Gabriel were on their feet and rushing towards the entrance, staring up as Dean and Sam came through the door. Haylie craned her neck, looking passed them to the empty dark alley behind. Gabriel inhaled slowly, dropping his gaze to his feet regretfully. Hating himself for being glad it hadn't been Sam.
"I'm sorry." Sam whispered, stopping in front of Haylie. "The curse is broken through. It's over."
Haylie swallowed thickly then walked away, the three men watching her vanish down the corridor.
Gabriel turned, looking up at Sam intensely. "What happened?"
"Zeus tried to use him as a shield, he got hit by the arrow. - But he finished the job." Sam sighed.
Gabriel smiled sadly. "He was saving his son." he said, stepping closer and wrapping his arms around the hunter, holding him tightly.
_What Doesn't Kill You_
Dean watched the pair for a minute or two before the sight became too much. Inhaling angrily he marched away. Reaching his room quickly he slammed the door behind him, ripping off his jacket and threw it violently onto the couch. With a tired sigh, the anger having burned itself out, he dropped down onto the bed, his head falling into his hands, a lump forming in his throat. He closed his eyes and took a deep sharp breath at the image bursting to life in his mind.
Dean forced his eyes open to stare at the floor, his heart racing and his hands shaking. "Cass? You got your ears on? - You know I'm not one for praying. In my book...it's the same as begging." he sighed warily. "Well this is me begging." he took another deep breath, his eyes closed once again. "I need you man. - Come back."
He held his breath for a moment before opening his eyes and glancing around, his heart dropping to his toes when he found the room still empty.
Rubbing at his eyes and shaking his head, Dean got back to his feet, grabbing his jacket and left.
A/N: Like I said before I hadn't planned on having any Destiel in this, it was meant to be a pure Sabriel fic, but it's really hard to drop my number one ship. Though it's mostly just the B-Plot. Now I have to go and figure out how I'm going to deal with Goodbye Stranger.