Title: Taking Care of Sam
Spoilers: Up to 6.06 and the preview for 6.07
Warnings: I'm pretty sure this is going to become AU as soon as 6.07 screens; theological themes
Disclaimer: Not mine
Characters: Gabriel, G-d, Sam Winchester
Summary: G-d has a job for Gabriel
Gabriel woke up with what, had he been corporeal, would have been a headache. Sure, brother against brother sometimes seemed to be the leitmotif of his Father's creation, but given a choice Gabriel would have preferred a Jacob-and-Esau ending to a Cain-and-Abel one.
Instead, he'd made a choice, come off the fence, fought for his Father's creation – and his brother, Lucifer, the Morningstar, had killed him for it. Seriously, he wanted a drink. And a ton of candy. And maybe a nice bed to lie down on. If only he had a body. Which he didn't. He was, for the moment, pure grace.
Come to think of it, that was a bit of surprise. Nothing he'd heard had led him to believe that there was an angelic life-after-death. And he definitely wasn't in Heaven. So where exactly was he?
I CALL IT LIMBO.
Where have you been?
He wanted to add some cursing to the question, but millennia of experience had taught him that swearing at his Father, Creator of all that is, was and is to come, wasn't the wisest thing to do – and his recent death for an almost-certainly lost cause notwithstanding, Gabriel had never been stupid.
AROUND. WATCHING. I'M VERY PROUD OF YOU, BY THE WAY.
He'd meant that come to out as sarcasm, after all he'd just been killed by his brother for doing the right thing, but being pure grace made it hard to lie. The emotion he was feeling was a sort of shy pride. For a moment, or a millennium, he basked in the warmth of his father's commendation. But then his need for answers intervened.
What do you mean, Limbo? You don't mean …
NO, I DON'T MEAN SOMEWHERE I CREATED TO HOUSE THE SOULS OF UNBAPTISED BABIES. YOU KNOW ME BETTER THAN THAT. SOMETIMES I JUST NEED A PLACE THAT'S NEITHER HERE NOR THERE – AND THAT'S WHERE YOU NOW ARE. NOWHERE.
And the reason I'm in your own literal utopia is …?
I HAVE A JOB FOR YOU.
Suddenly the grace that was Gabriel was no longer alone, as a ball of soft white light joined him. It was beautiful, joining with Gabriel's own grace to illuminate the nothingness that surrounded them, but the sight of it made Gabriel want to vomit. Once again his lack of body was putting a severe crimp in his means of self-expression.
Um, Dad? Is there a reason Sam Winchester's soul is here?
HUMAN SOULS CANNOT SURVIVE THE CAGE.
That was it. His lack of a vessel was limiting him too much, and so Gabriel quickly reformed his, using his reconstituted hands to gently cradle Sam's soul. He could feel tears forming in his eyes, because if Sam's soul was here …
Sam Winchester is in The Cage? His body, his mind, his memories?
EVERYTHING EXCEPT HIS SOUL.
The good thing about having a body was that it had vocal chords. Gabriel used them. Vigorously.
"Why? Why, by all that's holy, would Sam be in The Cage? What did those stupid chuckleheads do?"
WHAT YOU SUGGESTED. THEY COLLECTED THE FOUR RINGS; USED THEM TO OPEN THE CAGE; AND REIMPRISONED LUCIFER.
"Using Sam as a vessel? Sam said 'yes'?"
SAM SAID 'YES'. HIS BROTHER'S LOVE ENABLED HIM TO TAKE CONTROL OF HIS BODY FROM LUCIFER, AND HE JUMPED. I'M VERY PROUD OF THEM, TOO.
"That's just great, Dad. I'm sure your approval means a lot to them." Yeah, there was definitely a time and place for sarcasm, even with the Creator, and here and now was it. "Now what happens? You leave Sam suffering the torments of the damned in The Cage, while Dean suffers what's pretty much the same thing on earth, and Sam's soul hovers in the midst of nowhere?"
I HAVE A PLAN.
"I'm not finding that very comforting. Sam might not be able to feel emotions without his soul, but his body and mind are going to be able to feel pain. He's in The Cage! Are you going to leave him there forever?"
OF COURSE NOT. I PULLED HIM OUT ALMOST STRAIGHT AWAY.
"Then why is his soul here?"
AS I SAID, I HAVE A PLAN. FOR THE MOMENT I WANT SAM'S BODY AND SOUL TO BE SEPARATED. SO I NEED SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF SAM'S SOUL. THAT'S YOU.
YOU KNOW WHY, SON.
The problem with his Father, Gabriel decided, was that it was impossible for his children to hide anything from him. Including the strange, sneaking fondness that he had for the younger Winchester. He sighed, looking down at the soul in his hands.
The trouble with baby-sitting Sam's soul was that a soul separated from a body was almost pure emotion. Down on earth, Sam was living emotion-free; but his soul was feeling everything that his mind and body were disregarding. There was anxiety, shading into absolute terror at times. There was a lot of confusion. There were times of extreme joy, which led to Sam's soul bouncing all over the nowhere in a way that made Gabriel threaten to create a jar to keep it in.
Now there was anguish. A feeling of rejection so pure and so profound that it threatened to break Gabriel apart. He knew what must be causing it. Gabriel had been killed by his own brother, after all. Dean Winchester had obviously turned on Sam, and that was causing Gabriel the second-worst pain he'd ever felt. He dropped his vessel, and allowed his grace to surround Sam's soul.
I hope you know what you're doing, Dad.
In the place that was no place, Gabriel's grace comforted Sam's soul.