Title: Pray for us, Saint Gabriel the Archangel
Author: She Who Cannot Be Turned
Artist: Odysseia (on LJ - I recommend you go check it out, it's awesome)
Warnings: Um… not all that many to be fair. Angst is in there… in abundance in the beginning. Hurt!Sammy too, and um… humour. It's got Gabe in it, really, you don't expect humour? Other than that? Well, you could kinda see it as pre-slash, if you want. Or you can just read it as is.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: When Sam ran away at sixteen, he realised that he could run away from hunting, but it would soon find him. Unfortunately, he didn't have his father or brother to watch his back this time.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, that little bit of genius belongs to Eric Kripke.
Pairing: Pre-slash Trickster(Gabriel)/Sam (If you squint)
Status: Complete
Word Count: 12,027 words
Authors Note: The title of this was taken from a prayer that I was taught at a very young age that was specifically aimed towards Gabriel and asking him for guidance and protection. *shrug* I thought it seemed apt when I recalled it. I was taught it by a priest that actually liked me. Lol. So, Sammy's belief in and loyalty to Gabriel, are vaguely (sort of) based on my own beliefs in the Archangel when I was younger.

Written for the pre_post_spnbb over on LiveJournal. Cheers and enjoy!

Pray for us, Saint Gabriel the Archangel

Sam knew he shouldn't have done it, but he was just so fed up of hunting. Of having to move from town to town. Of never staying in one place long enough for it to be worth making friends. And as close as he was with his brother, their differences in opinion about hunting, their father's orders, even the things they hunted were slowly making a gap form between them that had never been there before. The breaking point had been a night that Dean had gone out to 'relax', which in Dean speak meant 'get laid'. Their father had, for some reason unbeknownst to Sam (it wasn't exactly a common occurrence, contrary to what many people may have thought), hit the bottle and the feelings that had been niggling at the back of Sam's mind. The looks he had his father been giving him which he'd passed off as paranoia. Had all turned out to be true. Part of John Winchester blamed his youngest son for everything that had happened to them.

Sam knew it was the alcohol speaking, knew that John probably didn't mean it. But he was sixteen and it broke something in him.

So he waited. He knew Dean wouldn't be back until the early hours of the morning and given how much his father had drunk, he'd soon pass out. Thus Sam refused to allow himself to let John see how much everything he was saying hurt him and just steadfastly stared at the book in his hands.

An hour later and Sam had left the motel room with just his bag of clothes, his gun, knife and some books. He'd left his phone behind so that he couldn't be tracked through it and (if he was honest with himself) so that he didn't have to deal with the guilt of leaving Dean behind.

He had eventually stopped running when he'd run out of money for bus tickets, though perhaps buying three tickets to three different states possibly explained why he had no money, but he couldn't risk his dad or Dean finding him. So he'd got on one of the buses, not caring where he was going, and then intending to buy a ticket once he got there to wherever he could go with what he had left.

Which was how he had ended up in a small town in south Arizona, living in an abandoned shack that he'd found just on the edge of town, and living on whatever food he could steal from the shops and market.

It was one such journey that got him into the mess he currently was in, he'd noticed the full moon in the sky as he'd made his way back from the town, cursing himself for his stupidity. If he hadn't decided to visit the library after having scrounged some food for himself, then he never would have been outside at night, with a full moon looming mockingly over him.

He had heard the screams as he'd passed the last house of the main town residential area, before his own shack, which was still a good twenty or thirty minute journey if he hurried. He had stumbled when he'd heard a woman scream however, and quietly cursed whoever he thought of at the time, and felt sheer panic and dread when a pained howl quickly followed the terrified scream. He cursed himself, this time for actually leaving behind his knife when he had left the house. Dean would have been ashamed of him had he been there. And with that thought, Sam's heart ached and he had mentally shoved all thoughts of his brother to the back of his mind.

Sam had hurried his steps, starting to jog slightly away from the howling, only to stop abruptly at the unmistakeable human scream. And Sam had suddenly found his conscience torn in two halves. Did he foolishly go back to at least try and help whoever was screaming, or did he, more wisely, ignore his conscience and run as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

The scream of a child had made up his mind for him, and, cursing under his breath, Sam had run in the direction of the howls and screams. Hoping that he wasn't making the biggest mistake of his life. And that he wasn't running towards his own death.

He hadn't made it in time to save the parents, but he had made a quick decision to grab to two small children, the oldest of which was a little boy who couldn't have been older than six or seven, his little sister looking to be no older than four. If that. Sam hadn't thought of anything past getting the children away from the wolf, the father helping in that by throwing himself at the monster when he'd realised Sam could get his children away.

So Sam had. He'd picked up the little girl, grabbed the boy's hand and ran as fast as he could without leaving the boy. The father had given them a small advantage in getting away from the werewolf, but not all that much of one, and now Sam wondered if he'd ever get a chance to tell Dean he was sorry for leaving without telling him why.

Sam had had all of a seconds thought before he quickly put the girl down and yanked the boy out of the way, getting bowled over by the wolf instead and gritting his teeth when he felt sharp nails tear into his thigh. Sam managed to jerk away from the sharp teeth heading for his neck, and was shocked when the were suddenly yelped and jerked away, giving Sam the advantage he needed to push out from under it's body, aiming a vicious kick to it's head in hopes that it would stun it long enough for them to get to safety.

"Come on! Quick!" Sam gasped out, ignoring the pain in his leg as he once more picked up the little girl, and hustled the boy ahead of him, feeling a small numbed sense of shock and pride when he noticed that the boy had saved him moment earlier having stabbed a sharp branch into the werewolf's side.

So here he was, in the middle of nowhere, carrying a sobbing, terrified three year old, whilst keeping her six-year-old brother in front of him as they ran from the werewolf on their tracks. Sam was tired, he was injured and he had never felt so alone in his life as he did right at that moment. But he couldn't let himself feel any of this or show it for fear of scaring the two kids with him even more than they already were.

Sam honestly didn't know where they could go. It wasn't like they could run to the nearest house, as that'd put even more people in danger. And he couldn't leave the kids alone in hopes that the werewolf would go for him, just in case it didn't. So he was just aimlessly running with pretend purpose and fading hope.

The hope didn't really return when he saw the seemingly abandoned church amidst some pretty dead looking trees. Sure, it may provide shelter for himself and the kids from the werewolf hunting them, but Sam had been hunting almost all his life. A building that looked creepy and uninviting generally turned out to be bad news. Holy building or not. Still it wasn't like there were any other choices being handed to him and he was tiring quickly, so who knew how the little boy was feeling.

"Come on, in there," Sam whispered, tugging the hand he held towards the church, the three of them running as quick as they could through the over grown grass and dying trees until they reached the doors of the church.

Sam placed the little girl on the ground next to her brother and then threw himself at the door, trying to force it open. His hissed in pain before could stop it, when he felt his shoulder pop out of joint, but the doors opened enough for them all to squeeze through, so Sam certainly wasn't going to complain. There was a high-pitched screaming howl behind them just as Sam managed to slam the door shut.

"Right, come on. The altar. We can go behind it and it won't find us. We're gonna be safe now!" Sam said with false cheer, his voice sounding strained to himself. Though it seemed to work some on the kids, as they both nodded and ran to hide behind the somewhat dilapidated altar. Sam paused by the doors and glanced at them. He knew that they wouldn't hold for long once the werewolf caught up with them, but he figured he could try to at least work out a plan. Something that would get rid of the utter hopelessness he was feeling about the situation.

He painfully and slowly pushed a pew to barricade the doors and hopefully bought them some extra time, then weakly leaned against the wall as he tried to make the world stop tilting around him. He'd lost blood, had lost the use of his left arm and was running out of adrenalin to keep him conscious.

Gritting his teeth, he pushed away from the wall and stumbled over to the altar where the two kids were sitting, clinging to one another.

"Hey. Come on, it's gonna be fine, yeah? So how about we find out one another's names and then tell stories to pass the time until morning?" Sam said, false cheer still evident and his smile actually turned a little genuine when the two kids smiled tentatively back at him. "So, I'll start shall I? I'm Sammy. How about you?"

"M'Jack 'n this is Edie. We-it-what's gonna happen?" The little boy, Jack, asked. Sam smothered the sigh that wanted to escape at the two pairs of round, watery brown eyes staring at him.

"I- we're gonna wait it out here. In the morning, we'll be safe to leave. Then... I don't know. I'm sorry. Honestly," Sam told them, losing the energy he needed to keep optimistic for the two kids. They were too young for the burden of what was happening to be thrust upon them but Sam was only sixteen himself. He didn't know how to reassure two terrified kids that everything was going to be fine when he knew it wasn't.

Finally letting out the sigh that he'd been holding back since they'd got inside, Sam scrubbed his uninjured hand through his hair and then dragged it over his face. His caught a glimpse of something on the top of the altar.

Church of Saint Gabriel

He couldn't stop the semi-hysterical chuckle that escaped, but thankfully the two kids didn't seem to catch any tones of despair in it and instead looked up at him curiously. Slowly, clenching his teeth to stop himself from showing any indication of pain, Sam lowered himself to sit, cross-legged in front of the other two and shot them a weak smile.

"This is the church of my favourite angel," Sam told them, and Edie's eyes brightened slight, because apparently even when facing almost certain, painful death, little girls loved angels. Jack on the other hand just pinned Sam with a weary stare and tilted his head in silent question of why the hell that mattered, "Gabriel. He was the one that brought the news of the birth of Jesus to mankind. He's a guardian angel, protects those that seek his protection," Sam explained, and so what if he was bending the truth a little and just plain making shit up, now really wasn't the time to worry about semantics and/or pissing off an angel that may or may not exist.

"Is he pretty?" Edie asked, and Sam sighed internally, wondering why the hell that mattered.

"Sure. But more importantly, he's an Archangel. One of the first and most powerful angels to have been Created," Sam explained, figuring he may as well drag Jack into the story too. What six-year-old boy didn't like the idea of an awesomely powerful being? Even if he did have fluffy white wings and wear a dress.

"How powerful?" Sam smiled widely, only partially forced, at seeing his plan working.

"There are no other beings more powerful, other than God himself. He trusted Gabriel above all other angels. Trusted him to spread His word," Sam told them, grateful for the questions as it both kept away the silence and the darkness that he could feel creeping in the corners of his eyes.

"And… Gabriel is top angel?" Jack asked, looking at Sam like he wasn't sure if he should believe Sam or not. Not that Sam blamed him, he was making most of this up after all.

"Yep. And all other angels respect and love him. He brings joy and comfort to all those that see him," Sam told them with a soft smile, the pain he was feeling starting to dull into a buzz in the back of his mind, which he was grateful for but wasn't entirely sure was a good thing. He considered that he may have started to lose a little too much blood.

Edie and Jack were clearly gearing up for more questions about Gabriel, but were interrupted by the sound of a loud (and so very near) shriek of rage and then, seconds later, the doors to the church rattled and banged as though something heavy had been thrown at them. Edie whimpered, whilst Jack clung to his sister and Sam threw a horrified look at the doors.

"Quick, come on," Sam whispered, ushering the two children to stand up, and then slowly getting up himself, not even able to hide the wince any longer, but not caring. He hurried the two towards the old stone steps leading to the upper pews, realising that he was basically trapping them, but honestly no longer knowing what to do, "go on, up the steps. We'll be safe up there."

"Will he save us?" Edie asked in a tiny voice, making Sam look at her in confusion as he quickly followed them up the steps, glancing back behind him every time he heard the creature throw itself at the doors.


"Gabriel," Jack answered for his sister, and Sam swallowed painfully and mentally cursed himself for giving the two kids false hope.

"Yeah, yeah he will. Come on. Hurry," Sam urged, guiding them to the corner farthest from the entrance, and then dragging one of the large wooden pews slowly to block them from view. Sam glanced at the steady trickle of blood that had started at some point. Drops of his blood were leading a trail towards them from the steps at least.

Closing his eyes, and for the first time truly regretting leaving Dean and his father what felt like years ago, but was, in fact, a week at the most. Sam collapsed down to sit heavily on the pew, maybe the werewolf would be satisfied with killing him and would ignore the two behind him. Wasn't like he was going to survive the night anyway, even if they did manage to stay safe until dawn.

"Huh, looks like you could do with some help." Sam jerked in his seat and his eyes snapped open, which was disorientating, as he didn't actually recall closing them in the first place. He stiffened and looked towards where the voice had come from, but only saw shadows, and swallowed heavily.

"Who's there?" Sam called out, inwardly surprised at how strong he had managed to make his voice sound. He stood up from the bench as quickly and smoothly as he could, though he was fairly certain he failed for the most part, and made sure that he would be able to intercept should the mystery owner of the voice try and go for the kids.

"Kid, you prayed for me and so I came. I'm just... probably not what you'd expect from an angel." Sam blinked slowly and then shook his head, wondering if he was actually hallucinating. The startled gasp from behind him clued him in that he probably wasn't. Unless he and the two kids were sharing hallucinations. Which, considering everything that had happened so far that night, really wouldn't have come close to making the list of 'bad shit', but would have been a little weird.

"We didn't pray," Sam said, wishing that his voice sounded less slurred, and more confident. He also really wished that whoever was messing with their heads would come out already, "look, just... whoever you are, please... leave them alone. They're just kids. They don't... just don't."

"You're just a kid too by the looks of you, Kiddo. And I wasn't kidding, you asked for help from the Angel Gabriel, and you've got it," Sam gaped when a man, shorter than himself (though admittedly, Sam had shot up in the last six months or so and was now touching six foot) stepped from the shadows of the staircase and grinned at them. Sam heard a rustling behind him, telling him that Jack and Edie had stood up, and silently groaned.

"S'got no wings," Sam knew he was delusional then when that tiny whispered comment from Edie made the man pout and frown in front of them, and Sam felt his lips twitch in amusement.

"They're hidden! Come on. You don't believe I'm an angel? I could so be an angel," the man told them in a petulant voice, which made Sam wonder if he'd possibly banged his head harder than he thought and this hallucination was a mix of blood loss and concussion. He blinked and took a step back, only to just drop onto the bench as he really didn't have anywhere to step back to, when the man smirked at them, clicked his fingers and vanished.

Gabriel, though he had been going by the name Loki for centuries now, was just setting up some just desserts for the unsuspecting priest that did things in the name of Gabriel's own Father that made Gabriel just want to rip him to shreds. Slowly.

But that would be too quick, so he'd come up with this brilliant idea, and had just finished getting it set up, when he felt something that he hadn't felt for decades.

Now Gabriel accepted that, for some reason unknown to him (nor did he truly care), there really weren't that many churches dedicated to him. Michael was the popular one. And, you know, the actual saints. How he got canonised, he actually wasn't all to clear about. It amused him though.

Still, there was a church in the small town next to this one that had been built for him, in his name, but had long since been abandoned. All saints (be it a deserved canonisation or a completely bewildering one) had a connection to a church built in their honour. Which was partially the reason Gabriel truly didn't begrudge Michael, Peter or Paul. All those churches and cathedrals would become distracting. It was this connection, that had him stopping. Someone had entered his church and...

For the first time since he had left Heaven behind and had hidden from his brothers, he felt someone talking about him. Which, okay, people had talked about him almost constantly since that whole incident with Mary (the shepherds and wise men were a bit of genius on his part, though what a newborn was going to do with myrrh, frank incense and gold was beyond his knowledge). In fact, children had dressed as him and played his part for centuries (though why he was constantly being seen as a girl was also beyond his knowledge. And sort of annoying. Gabriel was a male name) and it had never really registered to him.

So this time, he was a little confused as to why he was being subtly tugged in the direction of his abandoned church. And he was tempted to go, if only because it was abandoned.

Gabriel quickly finished setting up his trap for the priest, then vanished, not sticking around to see the end result, knowing and trusting that it'd work without him there to keep watch. And he appeared in the church eaves, frowning when he noticed that the only occupants of the actually fairly small church were children. The oldest possibly sixteen at the most. He made sure he was invisible to them completely, and stepped closer, not entirely ignoring the baffling fact that they had clearly barricaded themselves in. Nor the fact that they were all terrified of something. Stepping close enough to hear them, he started to see why he was tugged here.

"How powerful?" Gabriel's head tilted to the side at the younger males question, wondering who he was questioning the power of, though he had a small idea and smirked.

"There are no other beings more powerful, other than God himself. He trusted Gabriel above all other angels. Trusted him to spread His word." Gabriel couldn't stop the subconscious puffing of his chest. Sure, Lucifer had fallen because of his pride, but Gabriel had gone Pagan long before now. And his Pride also wasn't urging him to wipe out the entirety of mankind. He felt that made a bit of a difference in his Father's eyes. Stepping closer, he was finally able to see the three children clearly, and saw that the eldest was seemingly in at least a bit of discomfort, though how much was unknown to Gabriel. He couldn't risk letting his Grace out to find out. He hadn't let it out since he left. The risk wasn't worth it. So he shrugged and just stayed content to watch them and listen to his ego being stoked without it being realised by his flatterer.

"And... Gabriel is top angel?" The younger boy asked, and the older one nodded, smiling at him, though Gabriel suspected that it was partially forced. Gabriel could also hear the doubt in the younger boy's voice, making Gabriel pout. The confidence in the older boys voice though, that was something Gabriel had never actually heard before in person. Not wen talking about him at least.

"Yep. And all other angels respect and love him. He brings joy and comfort to all those that see him." Whoever told the older boy that was clearly smoking something, Gabriel thought, until he realised that the older male didn't really know if it was true or not. Gabriel felt a bit stupid to realise that the boy was probably making it all up off the top of his head. Still, Gabriel wasn't going to be calling the kid on the lies, he was content to let them think they were true.

Gabriel frowned in concern when the eldest child swayed slightly, and couldn't help but wonder how injured he actually was, and whether he was actually deliberately hiding it for the benefit of the other two. And Gabriel's respect for the teen grew. He was aware, on a base level, that humans had this ability. That they could hide possibly important facts in order to ease the minds of those they cared about, but he'd never actually seen it. Nor did he ever envisage that should he ever witness it, it would be someone so young.

The two youngest children were obviously setting themselves up to ask more questions about himself, and if he was honest, Gabriel really wanted to hear more about himself. From the mouths of babes after all. But they were interrupted, and Gabriel finally found out why they were in here. And he felt shame for the first time in centuries, for having not tried to find out why they were here. Why they were scared. Why they were hurt.

And for the first time since he had left, Gabriel realised that his Father was still watching him. His Father still had faith in him (even if Gabriel had long started to lose some of his own in return) and that He had brought him here. He had wanted Gabriel to help these three. Or maybe He hadn't. Maybe it was just Gabriel's subconscious screaming at him to help.

Gabriel's head whipped towards the doors, mentally reinforcing them slightly, making it so that the pew wedged against it, was stuck to the floor. If anything, it would buy them all time until Gabriel could work out what he could do to help. What he wanted to do to help. The werewolf had clearly sensed something different and the howl became even more angered. Gabriel sneered, but then turned his attention back to the children.

"Quick, come on," The eldest whispered, urging the two smaller children to get up, looking through Gabriel to the doors, fear in his eyes. He then slowly got up himself and Gabriel began to see that he was possibly in more pain that he was allowing anyone to see. Though how much was yet to be seen. "Go on, up the steps. We'll be safe up there."

Gabriel could hear the lie. Knew the boy felt it too. And Gabriel's resolve to help the trio just grew. Now he just had to figure up a plan to achieve that. Preferably without figuratively sending up a homing beacon to his brothers.

"Will he save us?" Gabriel paused in following them when he heard the almost inaudible voice of the young girl for the first time. And frowned when he noticed that the eldest boy was at least hurt bad enough that he was bleeding somewhere and was leaving a trail behind him. The boy in question either hadn't noticed or didn't care, as he glanced back behind them at the shuddering doors, before looking back to the girl.


"Gabriel." Gabriel gaped at the boy's answer. He had maybe thought that he was whom the girl was talking about, but he hadn't actually fully believed it. And he felt something flare inside him before he quickly tempered it down for fear that his brothers would sense it. Though he was slowly losing that care. Not enough to let his Grace out though, and he felt a small amount of shame at that.

"Yeah, yeah he will. Come on. Hurry," The eldest said, urgency in his voice and he guided the children to the farthest corner of the eave. Gabriel couldn't stop his jaw from dropping when the teen then somehow started to drag a pew to hide the children behind. Gabriel sent a little pagan magic to aide him with it, and then frowned when the teen noticed the trail of blood, obviously for the first time.

It was possibly the resignation on the boys face when he sat down heavily on the pew, pain etching across his face as he gave a soft sigh. Gabriel knew that the teen didn't expect to live through the night, but Gabriel could so clearly hear his silent pleas that the two behind him did. He no longer cared about his own life, just wanted the two youngest to survive. It was that that made Gabriel show himself. Or at least. Sort of.

"Huh, looks like you could do with some help." Alright, he could have put that a bit better, but it wasn't like they had all the time in the world. He could feel the doors weakening and that he truly didn't have that much time before the wolf got in.

The teen jerked in his seat and his eyes snapped open, though they seemed to glaze slightly before he shook his head to clear it. He watched as the boy stiffened and looked towards where Gabriel was standing, though obviously couldn't see him as Gabriel hadn't actually taken that part of the spell down yet. He saw him straighten his back in determined resignation, and practically heard him gulp. Which was actually a tiny bit amusing had they not all been facing uncertain death in the face. Well, the humans were at least.

"Who's there?" He'd never admit it out loud, but Gabriel was actually impressed with the strength of the teen's voice when he called out. He frowned when the boy then painfully stood up from the bench, and wondered if he knew he was swaying slightly. Gabriel knew he was placing himself between Gabriel and the two behind him.

"Kid, you prayed for me and so I came. I'm just... probably not what you'd expect from an angel," Gabriel admitted, it was probably the least he could do. He wasn't going to go all holy light and burn their eyes from their skulls after all. Not only would it be counter productive to saving them, but it'd also be a celestial calling card to his family. And he really didn't want that. The boy linked slowly, shaking his head from side to side, and Gabriel didn't even have to look into his thoughts to know that he was wondering if it was a trick of his mind. Not that he blamed him.

"We didn't pray." Alright, Gabriel could give them that, but he sort of wished that the kid would stop being so damn picky and suspicious. It wasn't making his self-assigned task any easier. See, this was why he preferred to torture mortals, not save them. "Look, just... whoever you are, please... leave them alone. They're just kids. They don't... just don't."

"You're just a kid too by the looks of you, Kiddo. And I wasn't kidding, you asked for help from the Angel Gabriel, and you've got it," Gabriel told him, silently letting his spell drop and stepping from the shadows so that the boy could see him. He smirked when the kid gaped, and then glanced past him when the other two children quickly scrambled from their hiding space to see Gabriel. He felt the resignation coming from the eldest child in waves when he realised that the other two were no longer hidden.

"S'got no wings." Gabriel heard the whisper from the little girl and allowed his pout to show, hoping that it'd put them at ease. He gave a mental cheer when the eldest actually gave a small smile before he could stop it.

"They're hidden! Come on. You don't believe I'm an angel? I could so be an angel." Gabriel said, only just stopping himself from striking a pose. He was trying to make them smile a little, not think he was completely bat shit insane. Even if he clearly was. The teen blinked and took a step back, causing himself to heavily drop into the bench behind him, and Gabriel took that as his cue, clicked his fingers and left the church to appear outside.

"Thsammy?" Sam startled a little at his lisped name, and turned his head to see the two kids behind him looking at him curiously, "was that really Gabriel?"

"Yeah, yeah it was," Sam lied, just because he didn't believe it, didn't mean he should rob the other two of their belief. It'd help keep them at ease at least. Sam smiled at them in hopes it'd back up his lie, and frantically tried to think up a plan to get the other two out whilst the other man was gone. If the stranger was going to get rid of the werewolf for them, then good, but it didn't mean Sam was going to trust him not to kill them in the werewolf's stead.

"Is he going to save us?" Jack asked, and Sam stalled a little as he wondered just how much lying he could get away with before it inevitably came back to bite him in the ass.

"Yeah, yeah he is. But we need to help him help us. So here's what we're going to do. You're going to take your sister down that passage there. It'll take you to the back, where there should be a door leading outside," Sam whispered, silently praying that he was right and that the layout of this church was pretty much the same as every other church. Or at least, Pastor Jim's church, "you're going to stay in that room with Edie, Jack. And be as quiet as you can. I'm going to stay up here to... wait for Gabriel. When it's safe, I'll come to you and we'll leave."

"Then what?" Jack asked almost silently, and Sam felt something tug almost painfully in his chest as he was forced to remember the events that had brought them here in the first place, and once more feeling a small sting of regret for leaving Dean. More so now he realised he'd never get to see his brother again.

Sam couldn't bring himself to regret his decision of going to help the two children however, he'd got to the family just in time to see the father throw himself at the werewolf in order to afford his children time to escape. Sam had wasted no time in calling the two kids to him, picking the youngest up and then running towards his own abandoned hut, gripping the boys hand in his own. There hadn't been a sign of the owner of the other scream. And Sam didn't think either of the children's parents had survived the attack.

And that was what brought Sam up short. He didn't know what would happen if they got out of this. He was sixteen, he didn't even know how he was going to afford to eat tomorrow. He'd run away from his only family, he didn't have any answers left. Didn't know how to comfort the two kids clearly looking to him to have all the answer.

"I don't know, Jack. We'll work on that when we get there, yeah? For now, just concentrate on what I've told you. When you get there, find somewhere to hide. If it's off the ground, even better," Sam told him, lifting Edie from over the pew and cringing mentally when he felt the trickle of blood become heavier from the cut in his leg. He then helped Jack scramble over the bench after placing Edie at his side. "Go on, quickly."

Jack glanced at him shrewdly, eyes darting to the growing puddle of blood by Sam's trainers before looking back at him, alarm evident in his eyes. Sam shook his head, and nudged Edie to stand next to Jack.

"Hide, Jack. Stay quiet and hide. Wait for me or... or Gabriel to come get you. If it's not either of us that you hear, then don't leave the hiding spot until morning," Sam said, hurrying the two kids to the other exit from the choir eaves, that would hopefully lead to that room the priest came from. Sam's slow working brain couldn't recall the proper name. And he didn't actually care anymore.

The two children paused at the dark steps, glancing up at Sam, before Jack straightened his back, nodded firmly and then grabbed his little sister's hand and tugged her down the steps. Neither one making much noise as they quickly followed the plan Sam had made.

Sam made sure that the two were no longer in sight, before he stumbled back to the bench and sat down. He pressed his hand to his thigh, hissing at the dull throb he usually associated with a deep cut, and then whimpered softly at the amount of blood on his hand when he lifted it away. He just hoped that whatever had helped them, and he could hear the whimpers of the creature outside as it was killed so he felt he could safely say they were being helped, he just hoped the being would get Jack and Edie out, and not turn on them. He also kinda hoped that he stayed conscious long enough to tell the man where they were.

He didn't know how long he sat there, waiting for either the darkness to finally drag him under, or for the man-angel-whatever to come back, but it felt like a lifetime. In his defence, it probably was the end of his own, so that feeling was pretty apt. He blearily looked up when he heard footsteps shuffling forward, and blinked slowly when he saw the ma-Gabriel frowning at him in concern. Well, if he was concerned, he probably wasn't going to kill them. Silver linings. Sam giggled at the thought and continued to stare back at Gabriel.

"Shit, Kiddo, how injured are you?" Gabriel asked, dropping to his knees in front of Sam and making Sam frown at him, shaking his head.

"M'jus' tired. S'not tha' bad. Jack'n Edie are down. Hidin'. Waitin' for'ou," Sam slurred, weakly nudging at Gabriel's shoulder to push him to the other two.

"Nah, Kiddo, come on, they're fine. I can feel 'em from here. Come on, get up, I'll take you all back to your parents, yeah?" Sam frowned, wondering how Gabriel would be taking them to their parents. Oh. Maybe he'd died already. Maybe that's what the angel meant. But that meant the other two had died, that he'd failed. Huh. Even dead he could feel remorse. Maybe his dad had been right all along. He was useless and a burden.

"Tried t'save 'em. Sorry. Heaven nice? Didn' wan'die," Sam murmured, and Gabriel made a confused noise in the back of his throat as he placed a warm hand on Sam's forehead.

"You're not dead, Kiddo. Come on, I'll take you and your siblings to your parents. You'll be safe the," Gabriel said, trying to urge Sam to stand up, and Sam just felt even more confusion.


"Dun? Er... No, come on. Jack and Edie are waiting." And it clicked. Gabriel thought the other two were his little brother and sister.

"Knew weren't n'angel. Not m'fam'ly. Couldn' save their paren's. I'm... we're all 'lone," Sam said with a mirthless laugh. He watched Gabriel pull back slightly, shock apparent on his face, before the man glanced to the other alcove of steps. "Will you take 'em to other fam'ly?"

"Yeah, Kiddo. I'll take them to their other family, if they have any. Are you gonna be okay here? How injured are you? I can't tell, Kiddo. You've got to tell me how much pain you're in. Are you going to be alright here until I can get back and get you home?"

"Dun have home. M'fine. Jus'tired." Sam insisted, he didn't see any problem lying to the other man, he wasn't an angel after all, and if Sam was going to die anyway, why die truthful?

"You sure? I'll be right back. Just... I'll be right back." Sam nodded slowly, and watched through half-lidded eyes as Gabriel left him and made his way to where Jack and Edie were hiding. Hopefully not to kill them. Sam hoped he wasn't, but his hope wasn't really living up to par anymore.

Gabriel frowned and cursed mentally as he left the teen behind. He didn't really believe that the kid was just tired, he was clearly in some pain. For one, if Gabriel was to guess, then his shoulder was dislocated. Maybe the pain from that was causing the boy's listless behaviour. Kids didn't hide serious injuries, did they? He'd have told Gabriel if something serious was wrong. Right?

Shrugging and figuring that the teen would have indeed told him if something was wrong, Gabriel quickly ran down the steps and stepped out into another room, one that had clearly survived the wear and tear of abandonment better than the rest of the building. He looked around the room, trying to find somewhere that the kids would have hidden, and then shrugged.

"Kids? Come on, it's safe," Gabriel called out, hoping that the other boy had at least told them to trust him. He smiled when a shuffling from the corner revealed the two kids hiding in a cupboard that even Gabriel hadn't noticed. He was actually impressed. Clearly he didn't give little humans enough credit. "Come on, I'm here to take you to someone you can stay with. Can you think of anyone?"

"Where's Sammy?" Jack asked, eyes looking passed Gabriel's shoulder to the stairway behind him, clueing Gabriel in on the teen's name.

"He's upstairs resting, he's waiting for me to take you two to safety before I take him to his own family. So can you think of who I could take you to?" Gabriel asked, crouching down so that he was at the other two's level. Jack frowned and nibbled on his lip as he glanced at the staircase once more before looking at Gabriel.

"Gran'ma. She lives in the next town. We were staying in a motel here on our way to visit her. She's waitin' for us," Jack explained, grasping his little sisters hand in his own as he looked at Gabriel unblinkingly.

"Right, your grandma it is then. Come on. I'll get you there. You might feel a funny feeling in your stomach, but it'll pass. Close your eyes, think of your grandma's house and I'll take us there," Gabriel told them, placing a hand on the shoulder of each child and squeezing gently. Jack and Edie both nodded silently, and then scrunched their eyes shut.

Gabriel sent once last look over his shoulder before he took the two children away from the church and landed in the front yard of the house the two children had been thinking of. The sun was slowly starting to creep up over the horizon as dawn approached, and Gabriel nudged the two kids forward, pulling to a stop on the porch and knocking on the door.

He really wanted to just leave the two here and head back to Sammy, but he knew he couldn't. He knew he had to see that they were going to be safe before he could go back and check on the teen. So he waited impatiently for the door to open, lights going on in the house as the occupant made their way to the door.

A middle-aged woman opened the door, looking at them in confusion, and then fear when she saw her two grandchildren alone with a stranger and no parents.

"Jack? Edith? What's happened? Where are your parents?" Gabriel cleared his throat, as the two kids just threw themselves into their grandmother's arms, tears that they had clearly been trying to hold back all night, finally breaking free.

"Ma'am, something... something happened tonight. I'll... I'll come back to tell you the full story, but I need to head back first. There's another kid back there waiting for me to take him to his own family, and I don't want to leave him waiting for too long," Gabriel explained quickly, hoping that the woman would understand. Thankfully, even if she wasn't going to, Jack's next words made her gasp.

"S'got to save Sammy, gr'n'ma! Sammy's hurt. He... he... he made the monster hurt him instead of m-m-me!" Jack wailed, tears falling down his cheeks as his bravado finally left him in the face of safety and familiarity.

"Go. Go help the other boy," The woman told him, and Gabriel nodded, cursing Sammy silently for passing off his injuries, and himself for believing him. Clearly he had to rethink all his ideas about human children after this night. He heard the woman gasp when he clicked his fingers and vanished from her porch, only to appear in the room he had left Sam, cursing out loud when he saw the teen slumped on the floor, a puddle of blood under him, and his breathing shallow and laboured.

"Shit, Kiddo. Why'd you lie?" Gabriel muttered, dropping to his knees at the side of Sammy and gently turning him onto his back. The sunlight was starting to trickle through the windows, and Gabriel could see how pale the teen was, and that there was a huge gash in his right thigh, jeans torn around it. Groaning, but still not wanting to let out his Grace to heal the kid, he carefully picked Sammy up into a bridal hold, and made them appear in the middle of a clearing in the forest behind the church. He wouldn't use his Grace, but Pagan gods could heal. He could still heal Sammy. "This is gonna hurt, Kiddo."

Gabriel wasn't sure if Sammy could hear him, and if he could, whether he cared or not at this point, but there was no reaction as he placed the tall teen on the ground and then placed his hands over the cut on the thigh and the dislocated shoulder. He concentrated on channelling his Trickster magic into healing the mortal, using it in a way that he hadn't for a long time and never for someone that wasn't himself. But the magic did as he asked and painstakingly slowly, the injuries started to heal. Sammy groaned softly as his shoulder clicked into place, but Gabriel figured he'd rather that sudden burst of pain, rather than the constant pain of having a dislocated shoulder.

Gabriel pulled back and actually felt tired at the amount of magic he had used to heal the kid, but smiled when he saw Sammy staring at him unblinkingly, suspicion still somewhat evident in his gaze.

"You healed me."

"Yep!" Gabriel agreed cheerfully, dragging his Trickster mask back in place and finally feeling comfortable again for the first time since he had arrived at that church.


"Aw, Kiddo, I couldn't let you die. Why would I do that?" Gabriel asked, shrugging slightly to hide the discomfort he was feeling. Sammy pushed himself up slowly to a sitting position and turned to face, he titled his head to the side and looked at Gabriel with narrowed eyes.

"What are you?" Alright, so that wasn't the next question he was expecting. "I mean, I know you're not actually an angel, even if I told Jack and Edie that you were. They needed something to believe in, right? Why take it from them? But... look, I don't care, okay? You helped us, you saved us, so... what are you?"

"I'm Loki." Gabriel told him, and so he wasn't quite ready to take up the mantel of Archangel Gabriel again, so sue him. Sammy didn't believe he was an angel anyway.

"The Norse Trickster god? You're a god? Why help us?" Sammy asked, and Gabriel was secretly impressed with the kid's knowledge.

"I couldn't leave you in there once I came across you, Sammy-"



"It's Sam, not Sammy. I let the other two call me Sammy because... it sounded less threatening. Less adult," Sam told him, shrugging. Gabriel was once more impressed with the kid in front of him and wondered just how intelligent the kid was. And why he seemed to know about the supernatural, or Norse mythology at least.

"Why are you here, Sam? Why'd you lie about your injuries?"

"I was gonna die. Or at least, I thought I was. I didn't see any point in keeping you from taking Edie and Jack to their family," Sam said softly, shrugging as he looked down, ripping up bits of grass and letting it fall back to the floor.

"What about your own family, Kid?"

"They don't want me. I don't have anywhere else to go. Thank you for helping us, Loki. And... actually, it's kinda cool meeting a god."

"Demi-god." Gabriel corrected almost automatically.

"Nah, I always thought Loki was a god. In my eyes, you're a god. So, thank you. I'll just... I'll just head back to my home. Are Jack and Edie safe?" Sam asked, having stood up and was now looking at Gabriel, still crouched on the floor, gaping at where Sam had been sitting, in shock.

"They're-they're safe. I need to go back and explain to their grandmother where their parents are though. Are you going to be alright?" Gabriel asked, looking at Sam closely.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. They're... Jack and Edie's parents... I didn't get to them in time, tell them I'm sorry about that, yeah?" Sam asked, looking truly ashamed of that fact, which didn't settle well for Gabriel.

"Kid, you did everything you could. They know that. Stay safe, and... here. Keep this on you, it'll help me find you if you need me," Gabriel said, snapping his fingers and making a silver crescent moon and star appear, attached to a length of thin leather. He handed it to Sam, who looked at it with a confused smile on his face.

"Gabriel's symbols?" Sam asked, but he still tied it around his neck and then shoved it under his shirt. Gabriel gaped at Sam, before he laughed and shook his head.

"Clever, Kid. I thought the irony would be a nice touch, even if I was the only one that picked up on it. I'm impressed you did," Gabriel admitted, and Sam shrugged sheepishly.

"I used to pray to Gabriel. He was my favourite angel. Seemed like the least... stuck up." Sam admitted, rubbing the back of his neck as his cheeks flushed in slight embarrassment. Gabriel's smile grew wider and he chuckled, shaking his head.

"I'm sure Gabriel is pleased to know that. Used to though? You don't anymore?" Gabriel asked, not able to let that little snippet go, and leaving a hollow feeling in his stomach.

"Nah, he... didn't make much of a difference. So I figured, if he did exist, he had other issues to deal with. I shouldn't bug him with my own petty problems. So I stopped praying for help, just... thanked God for what I did have," Sam admitted with another shrug, and Gabriel frowned and nibbled on his lip.

"Well, Kiddo, you know I exist. You need me, just call me. If you keep that charm on you, then I'll be able to find you, no matter what."

"Okay. Loki... thank you again," Sam said softly, and Gabriel shrugged once more and stepped back to the edge of trees.

"Stay safe kid. I didn't heal you just so you could go out and get yourself killed. And don't hesitate to call for me. No matter what." And Gabriel then left the clearing, not waiting to hear Sam's response to that.

Sam stood in the clearing of the forest after Loki had left for almost fifteen minutes before he shook himself out of it and looked around him. He really hoped that Loki had only taken him to the forest behind Gabriel's church, and not Scandinavia or something. He was a Trickster after all, Sam wouldn't put it past him. He felt the charm the god had given him warm against his skin slightly, and smiled softly before he decided to just go on faith (of a Norse god, apparently changing the direction of his already shaky religion to a complete different language and country of origin) and stepped into the trees, hoping that he was going in the right direction. The warmth of the charm made him figure that he possibly was.

He had wandered aimlessly (well, possibly not aimlessly given he was looking for something familiar) for what he figured was a good hour when two things happened almost simultaneously. One was his stomach announcing is hungry presence, and the second was reaching the edge of the forest, and the boundaries of the church grounds. Looking at the building that had been his and the two kids sanctuary the night before, he noticed that, in the light of day, it looked welcoming. And was actually bigger than he had thought it to be.

Sam slowly ambled around the outside of the church, looking at the building and feeling a brief spark of surprise that the windows all seemed to be intact. In fact, the only real damage the building was showing was from where he and then the werewolf had tried to force entry. Shuddering at the memories that brought forth, Sam turned away and walked down the actual path, which he'd ignored the night before, and made his way to the road so he could go back to his hut. Which really didn't seem all that inviting anymore.

It didn't take him long to walk from the church to the hut that he had taken up residence in. It had furniture in it and was shelter from the elements, so he figured he'd struck gold when he found it. But now... now he had a better idea for shelter. Somewhere that most people wouldn't look for him, and should those certain people actually narrow his presence down to being here. Which was doubtful. No matter how good they were are tracking people. They had taught him to hide himself after all.

So, smiling to himself, Sam quickly gathered up everything that he could find of his own (and maybe things that caught his eye that could possibly be useful to him) and then shoved it all in his bag and made his way back out of the hut.

Shutting the door behind him and making sure that he hadn't left any obvious proof of his having been there from the outside at least, he made his way back to the main dirt road of the town, and the direction of the church. Maybe praying to Archangel Gabriel would distract the celestial being (should he actually exist and be listening) but it couldn't harm anyone to just... stay out in his abandoned church, right? No one else was using it. And eventually Sam would either move on or swallow his hurt feelings and pride, and go back to Dean.

But in the mean time, he was going to set up base in the church. And he was going to spend the rest of the daylight making it as safe against the supernatural as possible. And possibly stock up on candy. Though that would be a just in case provision. He may need to boost his blood sugar levels or something. It certainly wasn't to appease any gods that might stop by.

A few hours later, and Sam had set up a comfortable nest in the confessionary that the church had, and had then started on salting the perimeter. He had originally considered salting the doors and windows of the building, but was soon daunted by the task and decided to just dig a ring of salt into the earth around the church. In the grand scheme of things, it was an easier task.

When he'd done that, he was exhausted and hungry. But he didn't really have all that many food resources left to him, and he'd lost whatever he had stolen and scrounged the previous day, which now felt like it was months ago. Still, he had some food, and he could probably get some more the next day, so he would be safe to eat what he had left. It was entirely possible that he hadn't truly thought out the ins and outs of living alone with no actual source of income.

Snorting derisively to himself, Sam went back into the church, closing the door behind him, that he figured Loki had fixed for some reason known only to the strange god. And then made his way to the nest he had made, digging out a bag of chips from his bag and sitting down on the floor in front of the confessionary. He probably wasn't completely safe, but it'd do for the night at least, so Sam figured he could relax for the rest of the day.

"Back here? I'm surprised, Kiddo." Clearly insane Norse deities didn't agree with that idea and also wanted to test just how strong his heart was. Sam cursed as he picked up the chips he had spilt on the floor, and then looked up the see Loki sitting on the edge of the pew nearest to him, smiling widely.

"Loki. Erm... not that I'm complaining, but... why are you here? I didn't call for you or anything. Did I? I don't think I did," Sam said, scrunching up his nose as he looked at Loki grinning at him. He truly didn't recall calling for Loki, but maybe it was a subconscious thing. Or a bored god thing. He was willing to bet on the latter if Loki's face was anything to go by.

"Nah, you didn't call for me. Why? You need me? Well, whether you did or didn't, here I am, so not a problem. Actual reason I came was to update you on the little kiddies you saved," Loki told him cheerfully, hopping off the bench and moving to sit on the floor opposite Sam, making a chocolate bar appear with a snap of his fingers.

"They're okay, right? I mean, as okay as they can be, given the circumstances?" Sam asked, looking at Loki with wide eyes, gratefully taking the offered chocolate bar and biting into it, savouring the first taste of chocolate he had had in weeks.

"They're doing as well as they can. They'll be fine eventually. You humans, you're made of sturdy stuff. I'd be impressed if I gave a crap about that kind of thing," Loki told him with a shrug, and Sam looked at him with narrowed eyes and a smile.

"You care. If you didn't care, you'd have left us to die last night. At the very least, you wouldn't have pretended to be an Archangel to try and keep us at ease," Sam pointed out with a smile, which just grew when Loki fidgeted uncomfortably.

"If it makes you feel better to believe that, go ahead. So, Kiddo, what are you doing in here of all places? Did you not say you were going home? This wasn't your home last night," Loki pointed out, and Sam's smile just grew, making Loki eye him warily. Quite an achievement, Sam thought.

"If you don't care about us mere mortals, why are you asking about my home-life or lack thereof?" Sam asked, smile not leaving his face, even given the current conversation topic straying towards something he'd really rather not touch upon.

"Fine, so I care. What are you going to do about it?" Loki asked petulantly, and Sam giggled before quickly covering it with an embarrassed cough. He so didn't just giggle.

"Why did you say you were Gabriel? Honestly? Why not just tell us you were gonna help us. We didn't really have a choice in whether or not we should trust you. Why the lie?" Sam asked, looking at Loki earnestly, and wondering why the god looked uncomfortable.

"Why didn't you believe me? Not once did you believe me, though you played along for the kiddies. What, you don't think I could be Gabriel? It's the height, isn't it? Angel's could be vertically challenged, you know. I could so be Gabriel," Loki said, and Sam smiled slightly at the pout, shrugging sheepishly when Loki looked at him.

"No wings. You don't have wings, it's what made me not believe you." Sam admitted with a shrug, bowing his head and looking up through his fringe at the god before him. He had the fleeting thought of what his father would think about this strange relationship he had forming with Loki, then pushed it away. He was already a failure in John's eyes, why bother trying to change now?

"Who needs wings?" Loki asked looking at his nails nonchalantly, though Sam had the feeling he was watching him too.

"Angels need wings. God gave them wings to-to fly and... stuff," Sam trailed off feebly, not actually sure why everyone claimed angels had wings.

"Screw that! I refuse to look like a puffed up pigeon! Go pagan, Kid. We're the life and soul of the parties. And we don't get laughed at or shouted at for moulting and leaving feathers all over the place like a dying parrot," Loki said, and Sam grinned at him and nodded.

"Right, Paganism is the way to go then?" Sam asked with a smile, and he felt proud when Loki beamed at him and nodded his head. Making a god happy was kind of fun, even a god with dubious morals. "Why do you like sugar so much? I mean, I read about Trickster's in general, so not so much about you, but well, you are eating lots of sugar. So why? Do you need it?"

"No, I don't need it. Not really. I don't really need any sustenance in the way you need it," Loki admitted, though he did snap his fingers and make two lollipops appear in his hands, handing one to Sam, which he took.

"So why candy then?" Sam asked, unwrapping the offered treat and then popping it in his mouth and looking at Loki curiously. He'd never actually gotten a chance to ask questions from someone that would know the answers intimately. Hell, he'd never really gotten to ask questions at all really. There wasn't a lot of time to do so, and uncle Bobby had always seemed hassled whenever they'd stopped by. Or pissed at their father.

"Why not?" Loki questioned back, and Sam paused for a second, stumped by the question.

"Not very... godlike." It was the only thing Sam could really settle on for his answer. Other than that, Loki had a point. Why not go for sugary goodness. If given the choice, most humans would do the same.

"Do I strike you as godlike?"

"No, you kinda suck as a godly poster child," Sam said, grinning cheekily and wondering how he could feel so comfortable and at ease with a total stranger. A total stranger that was something he had been raised to hunt down and kill.

"Careful, I'll smite you," Loki told him casually, waving his own lollipop to the side and making Sam snigger.

"Archangel's smite, we've covered your lack of wings," Sam pointed out, deciding that he enjoyed verbally bantering with Loki, in fact, he enjoyed Loki's company full stop and was sort of dreading when the god would have to leave.

"They do not have monopoly on smiting. That's not fair," Loki whined, and that was something that Sam had trouble getting his head around, a whiney god? But then Loki pouted as well, to back up the whine, and Sam broke down into giggles.

When he finally calmed down, wiping tears from his face as he gulped down breaths of air, he glanced at Loki to see the god smiling at him, but also looking a little baffled.


"Kid... why are you here? Why didn't let me take you to your family?" Loki asked him, and Sam nibbled on his lip, any trace of laughter leaving him in an instant. He didn't really want to talk about it, as it'd make him confront the real reason. He didn't want to do that. He'd been avoiding doing that exact thing since he'd left. "Kid, I want to help. I can't do that without the facts."

"I ran away," Sam finally admitted in a small voice, refusing to look up at Loki, and instead picking at the hems of his tatty jeans.

"Why'd you run?"

"I wasn't wanted there," Sam muttered, not really wanting to go into details about the night he had left, but knowing that he wouldn't really be able to hold them back were Loki to really want to know.

"That can't be true, Kiddo. What makes you think you weren't wanted?" Sam shrugged at the softly worded question, trying to find the right way to explain it all. Trying to find the words to just say in the first place.

"I got my mom killed when I was a baby, my dad blamed me. He never said it out loud, but I could see it on his face when I was finally old enough to get what the looks meant. I was just a burden. A reminder of a tragedy that didn't have to happen. So I just... I just left. Figured it'd be easier for all of us in the long run," Sam finally said, sniffling and feeling a dull sense of horror when he realised tears were threatening to fall.

"Aw, Sammy. You can't honestly believe that? How could something that happened when you were a baby, a harmless infant, be your fault?" Loki asked, and Sam jerked when a hand was placed on his knee. He looked up through his fringe and shrugged, sniffing again.

"I don't know. But he thought so, told me so. Even if I don't believe it, or understand it, why stick around and live with someone that does?" Sammy asked, and even to his own ears, his voice sounded weak and pathetic. No wonder his dad was ashamed of him.

"Kid..." Loki sighed, and then shuffled around, before stunning Sam completely by moving to sit next to him and tugging him into his side. "You can't live on your own, Kid. How are you going to survive? Yeah, you might be fine now, but what are you going to do in the winter? This draughty building certainly isn't gonna protect you."

"I'll have moved on by then. My dad... he's a hunter. Like... supernatural hunter. If he's looking for me, I won't be able to stay for long if I don't want to be caught. I'll be long gone by winter. And hopefully, I'll have found a better place to hide out by then. I'll survive. I have to, right?" Sam asked, resting his head on Loki's shoulder and sighing wearily, letting his eyes close.

"Come with me." And Sam's eyes shot open again as he jerked to sit up right and look at Loki incredulously.

"Go with... why? Why would you offer that? I'd be a burden, I'd slow you down. And I have weird morals. I'd probably stop you killing people that you thought deserved it. And... I'm human. Why would you want me to go with you?" Sam asked, frowning when Loki just smiled at him widely.

"Kid. Sam. For one, if you only think you'd only 'probably' try and stop me, chances are, you're not going to try hard. And on that point, I don't always kill my victims, only if I think they're beyond being able to better themselves." Loki explained, and Sam tilted his head to the side and scrunched his nose.

"Fine, but the other reasons. I'd be a burden and I'd just get in the way."

"Nah, Kiddo. You were raised by a hunter, I'm thinking you are damn good at protecting yourself for the most part, so I wouldn't have to constantly worry about that. And you've already proven to me that you're damned smart. I promise you, Sam, you wouldn't ever be a burden," Loki told him earnestly, or at least, Sam thought he was being earnest.

"Where would we go?" Sam asked, and Loki chuckled and ruffled his hair playfully.

"I'm a god, Kiddo. We go wherever I want us to go, and at the snap of a finger at that. You won't have to worry about your father ever finding you either, if you didn't want him to," Loki pointed out, and Sam nibbled his bottom lip. If he went with Loki, he'd be as safe as he'd ever be with his dad and Dean, probably safer. But if he went, chances were he'd never see Dean again. He wasn't sure he'd be able to deal with that.

"Would I be able to go back to them, if I ever wanted to?" Sam asked in a whisper, looking down at his feet so that he didn't see what sort of reaction his question would bring.

"You'd only ever have to say the word, Sam. But... if you ever did want to go back, you wouldn't be able to tell them where you'd been," Loki pointed out, and Sam completely understood the reasoning behind that. One hundred percent. If he did tell them, chances were, his dad would shoot him, then hunt Loki down to kill him as well.

"I'm fine with that. So... where would we go?" Sam asked, suddenly feeling shy for some unknown reason. Loki chuckled and stood up, holding out a hand to help Sam up once he'd stretched.

"Wherever you wanna go. The world is your oyster, if you like that kind of thing. Personally, they creep me out a little. All slimy and just don't ever want to go down your throat. Like they stick there and make you wanna throw 'em back up again," Loki said with an exaggerated shudder that made Sam chuckle.

"Can we start off simple, just... somewhere in America still? New York maybe or... I don't know. Somewhere here," Sam suggested with a shrug, leaning down to pick up his still packed bag and shouldering it before turning to face Loki.

"Anywhere, Kiddo. We'll try New York first. No place easier to get lost without trying. And you should see the amount of stuck up morons that live there. I'll even let you pick our first target. Never had an apprentice before," Loki said gleefully. He placed a hand on Sam, and just before they left the old church, Sam had the fleeting wonder of what he'd just gotten himself in for. He was fairly certain it was going to be fun though, and it wasn't like he'd never see Dean again.

In fact, he'd see Dean again in about seven years time. Though he wouldn't realise it at the time, and Dean wouldn't realise the monster he was hunting was actually the baby brother he'd finally accepted had gone two years after Sam had run away.

But in the mean time. He had some tricks to learn and some morals to lose.

End Notes: Alright, so that so wasn't how I had planned it to turn out. Well. It sort of was and sort of wasn't. Originally, Gabriel saving them and then giving Sam the option of going with him was just a part of the whole, hence the whole "Sam/Gabriel" thing. Because, I was going to continue it up to Dean and Sam meeting again. And Sam would have been with Loki/Gabriel by then. *shrug* I think it works without that, though, don't you? I might come back to this one day and write that whole Tall Tales episode from a whole new perspective, but who knows?

Hope you enjoyed it, I certainly enjoyed writing it. And shocking myself by actually realising how much random crap I have remembered from my little Catholic girl schooldays… *snicker* Throttling an upstart lesser angel with their coat-hanger halo was a highlight of those days… good times. *grin* Thanks for reading!