Written by OpheliacAngel
Song Featured: "Suburbia" ~ Matthew Good Band (This is basically how I interpreted Suburbia in a Dean & Gabriel sort of way)
Summary: Gabriel doesn't think about the consequences when he tells Dean they'll never work out, for both him and the human. And he most certainly wasn't aware Dean was even capable of that. Aftermath of Gabriel's death in "Hammer of the Gods" but it's AU. Angsty but also slightly fluffy in the end. Rating is Teen so there's nothing explicit.
~There ain't nothing here at all
Another day, a week, the mall
And baby if I was in demand
You would be mine, you would be mine~
He calls for him, so many times he loses track. He doesn't look too closely, not wanting to see the tears brimming in his eyes, ever increasing every time he doesn't answer back. Most of the time he hates himself, because he did have a heart he wanted to give to Dean. He still carries that heart inside of him. And maybe if he had given it to him, he would be worse off than he is now. Both of them would be worse off.
He threw himself into the path of danger to protect him. A mere human he claimed he knew so much about, but desperately wanted to learn so much more. Of the places he liked women to touch him in, of how wide his smile could get, of how truly beautiful he could look under the light of the burning sun. More than he wanted to love him though, he wanted to save his life. Knew it would be the best decision in the end. Knew he wouldn't regret saving Dean from another trip down to hell.
That wasn't really his death, it was just an act. Archangels couldn't die that easily. He had been foolish enough to come back down to Earth to reassure Dean. Look at the good it did for the both of them. Dean thought they had something, and he wasn't wrong. Gabriel did love him, he just knew it would never work out. Lucifer would be gunning for him when he learned the truth, and he would learn the truth. And how could an archangel love a human anyway? It made no sense other than a one-time fling. And he wasn't even attracted to men. It was just him, something about him that drew it closer.
He chalked it up to the way Dean had looked at him, that's why he was feeling so sentimental, so strange.
Maybe that's why he couldn't ever seem to stay away from the Winchester brothers. As much as he loved to make Sam's and Dean's lives hell, especially Dean's, he wondered from the start why he had even bothered with them in the first place. Like he said, there was something about Dean. Temptation possibly, maybe even something as strong as lust. The need to possess such a beautiful human.
There, he had said it, he could see the beauty in Dean like Castiel did. His soul was unusually bright and that could be what kept on driving Gabriel closer. But Gabriel was an archangel, not stupid enough to let a mere soul draw him in from the shadows. No, there was something else and for a while there, he had been determined to find out just what it was.
Because he didn't want to admit that it was love.
He had begun a tentative romance with Dean. Although really the only thing tentative about it was the Sam problem, not that Dean's brother couldn't figure it out as soon as it started. He wasn't even aware that word, tentative, was in his vocabulary. He wasn't a take it slow kind of guy. But at the time he knew what he was starting with Dean also wasn't a one-time fling. That's why he took it slower. He wasn't sure exactly what it was but he knew one night with the eldest Winchester would be far from satisfying his cravings. It had been no doubt, one of the worst decisions he had made, starting something up with the human. Worse for Dean than for himself.
And as if on cue, Sam had given him hell for it. Especially after they had been together for a week and then he had left out of nowhere, without a word. Apparently, Dean couldn't handle that. But what was he to do? He was his own angel after all. He needed independence and needed to get out of what he had with Dean to think. To make the final decision on if what he was doing was what he really wanted. What was really best. He had decided it wasn't. And Dean hadn't taken that so well.
Everything kinda went by in a blur after that. Dean screaming at him, Gabriel screaming back, Dean starting to beg and plead and cry and get angry again at unpredictable intervals, Gabriel slamming the door in his face and Dean going after him, screaming his head off at him. Sam trying to step in and defend his brother a few times and then Gabriel had really lost it, throwing Sam against a wall and Dean cursing him, screaming at him and then begging him not to go. Saying he had needed him.
His relationship with Dean had been unhealthy, far too consuming from the start. He had made Dean latch onto him so quickly, so fiercely, that he completely forgot about what it would do to Dean. What he was doing to Dean as long as he stayed with him. He had been selfish, and he led Dean to believe that it was his fault when it wasn't. It was Gabriel's fault and he wanted to tell Dean that. He had blown it, not given the human what he rightfully deserved.
"There's nothing here, Dean. There never was."
The last words he had left him with. The words he left him to deal with alone.
And ever since then he had suffered for it, been left to watch over Dean while he came out of the aftermath alone. Considering Gabriel had been like a drug, the withdrawal was almost too much to watch, making the human more emotional than he normally was. All he could do was stare down at him and marvel at how foolish he had been. Of what he had done to the person he cared about most.
His punishment was refusing to go back to Dean. And his vow would not be broken.
If Gabriel was different, if he was a human than everything would be different. But then he never would have met him in the first place. If he could make Dean understand that an archangel couldn't be in a relationship with a human, that that just wasn't possible, maybe everything would be better. If he could show Dean that his being near him was killing him, making him addicted, throwing away his independence and will to live. If Dean could only read the code hidden underneath his words of when he said there was nothing there, nothing there because Gabriel would never be able to find a way to live with Dean. To love him enough.
But his cries shook him hard and relentlessly. The way Dean just kept on holding on, refusing to let go, broke what little he had left of his heart. He wished he had given it to Dean, but that would have hurt a lot more.
"Gabriel! Come on, I need to see you! Just this once!"
No Dean. This has to stop.
"Come on, Gabriel. Don't make me beg!"
I don't know what you want me to say, Dean. I don't know why you just won't stop. You're making this harder than it has to be.
He told Dean once and he didn't want to tell him again. They would never work out.
He can't look, he refuses himself to look every day. But what kind of angel would he be if he didn't check up on Dean? He does care about him. More than he knows he should. He just has to stay strong, refuse to go down there and things will get better. Things will get better.
He hasn't reached the crying point, not yet, but he's close this time. Frighteningly close. Gabriel knows that if he chooses to go down there now, Dean will never be able to let go. If the human gains any hope, Dean will never quit. He knows Dean won't go on like this forever. As soon as every particle of his grace departs his body, he'll go back to normal and he'll go back to hunting. It's just a matter of time.
"I'm sorry. I can't do this anymore without you. Goddamn it, Gabe! Goddamn it!"
Why do you have to use my nickname? That just makes it so much worse. And no, Dean. You have nothing to be sorry about. I should be the one apologizing to you, if only I would let myself go down there.
If only he could let himself go down there, so he could tell him how much he loves him. How much he wants him. Even if he already knows that.
~You will come back, convince yourself
You can stay alive and wait for me
And I will know what this was for
And I'll say we're leaving~
Dean hung onto the miracle, no matter how small, that Gabriel would come back. He couldn't stay mad at him long, it was an impossibility. When the archangel had lain with him that first night he had felt it, in Gabriel's gentleness, his passion, his inability to leave even the next morning. Dean wasn't what a woman would be to him, he wasn't labeled to be thrown out after a midnight fuck. In Gabriel's eyes he was a treasure, a secret to be kept and protected at all costs. And if he asked him how he felt, Dean would say he felt the same. Feeling Gabriel beside him was love. Loving him was unlike anything the world he walked on had to offer.
He didn't hate Gabriel, no matter how loud his screams of hate were, no matter how many objects he had thrown at him that night. With anger came loneliness and he didn't want that, couldn't cope with that. The archangel had put him under some kind of spell that couldn't be broken, the grace left inside of him couldn't be severed. He felt he wouldn't heal, not with the way, the suddenness with which he had left him. Sam didn't get it because he didn't know Gabe. Didn't know the way they melted into each other those first few days, didn't get what it felt like when he wasn't nearby.
He was making a vow to wait, for as long as need be.
The more he kept on screaming, the more he felt the hope drain out of his body. Gabriel's memory, his presence was fading away from him and it hurt. He was standing in empty shadow enshrouded parking lots, begging for him to come back, to at least say something. He couldn't stand what it would mean if he didn't come back. Maybe he had only been a onetime fling. Because if Gabriel had said to him that there was nothing there, did it mean it would cease to be more than a memory? Did it mean he had been imagining everything?
Damn trickster, tricking him into believing they were in love, passionately giving their bodies over to one another, reveling in the lust and possession they felt in one another's arms. The archangel had drawn him in and the trickster had left him out to dry, in the baking sun, with no protection and the lack of a warning that only burned like acid more and more every day.
The thing he had taken for granted was how warm it once was, and how cold he now felt. It had been a comfortable warmth, being around Gabriel, just enough to keep him happy and calm. The sun couldn't replicate that warmth even on the brightest days, it just burned his skin. And he didn't know what was worse, the coldness of every single motel, or the scorching heat of the daytime. The emptiness of life without Gabriel, or the love he still had for him that never should have been there in the first place. That had been taken away from him without another memory.
But he had taken his vow. He could keep himself alive and wait.
Because the alternative was letting go. And he'd rather die than do that.
He started getting more reckless on hunts, it drove Sam nuts, having him convinced his big brother was repeating the days following their father's death. But he didn't care what Sam thought. If he couldn't understand what he felt towards Gabriel, than he certainly wouldn't understand this. It started with an extreme amount of confidence, more than he usually had, the mentality that he could do nothing wrong. That nothing would go wrong. He let the monsters get closer before shooting them down, didn't wipe away the blood on his face when he was done ganking demons. He could barely feel the pain of a bullet going through his shoulder anymore. A deep gash in his thigh courtesy of a knife was nothing to get worried about.
Sam confronted him early on, telling him he was going all self-destructive and he couldn't just stand by and watch his big brother go down that road again. Dean blew him off and told him he didn't know what the hell he was talking about.
Then he started leaving Sam behind to go on hunts alone. When he was alone he felt closer to Gabriel, maybe because he couldn't feel Sam's thick hatred for him. He started using his own methods to kill all the demons and all the monsters out there he could find. He'd go in headfirst, too bold and too impatient to wait. And then he'd attack. Considering he couldn't feel pain much anymore it was easier than expected. He would come back to Sam feeling revitalized. Alive.
Screw Sam and everyone else's opinions. He felt freaking fantastic. This was the best he had felt since Gabriel left him. And maybe if Gabriel did care about him, worry about him, than he would get his angelic ass down to him and stay put where he belonged. Just maybe.
The day he heard his brother call out to Gabriel, was the day he truly lost it. It was late at night and the fact that he was even in an empty parking lot saying the archangel's name was both a miracle and a tragedy in itself. Because if Sam was calling out for Gabriel, begging for him to listen, then things were maybe worse than he thought. It meant that Sam finally understood. But unfortunately, it also meant that Gabriel wasn't coming back. There was still a tiny bit of hope left, but Sam's words hit him like a hammer in the chest. Gabe wasn't coming back.
And what the hell was he doing? Why was he still waiting?
What was there to wait for after all this?
He couldn't remember running, just that he did. He ran through the woods and found the cliff he had found a day or so back. He had come here to think, about what he was doing, about where Gabriel was, if he was looking down on him. He leaned against the tree and breathed in and out, wondered if Sam was still back there praying and pleading. He hoped he was, for his own sake, he hoped he wouldn't find him out here. Because this was all beginning to be too much.
He just couldn't see it anymore, what he had with Gabriel. If he even had anything at all with Gabriel. Was it a dream? And if it was he was still left with the ultimate question. What was he doing? And why couldn't he stop?
He walked forward and peered down. It was a small cliff, wouldn't be too long of a fall. He took a step back, collided with the tree again and breathed just like he had done before. Was it normal to feel this way? He couldn't even begin to imagine if this was all the archangel's doing. His leaving had brought this side out of him he didn't want to see. Gabriel was a selfish bastard if he was letting him resort to this, if this was all his doing. Because who would truly stop him if he decided he had enough? And if anybody came to pick up the pieces, his pieces, would it be Gabriel or Sam?
Fuck you for what you've done to me. You can't just leave me like this, Gabriel. Oh, that's right, you can. Cause you're a high and mighty archangel who's just a dick. Who doesn't care about anything he breaks.
Did I really mean so little to you?
He peered down the steep cliff edge again, trying to figure out exactly where to fall. It really wouldn't be that long of a fall, and he would break a leg or an arm at most. He could live with that. It was a small price to pay for seeing the archangel again. Maybe if he hurt himself enough, Gabriel would be concerned enough to check up on him. Thinking of this made him wonder if he should try to fall harder, take a running start or something. Because if he couldn't physically move, or even lost consciousness, that would prove if the love had been real. Gabriel wouldn't leave him in the middle of nowhere, helpless, if he even cared an ounce for him.
He just hoped Gabriel didn't figure out what he was trying to do before he did it.
Because he had to do this. He couldn't even think about going back now.
I just want to see you. Just one last time.
And so it was that Dean Winchester took one very long and very deep breath, got a running start, and closed his eyes as his body and soul took the plunge into darkness. Into the unknown.
Gabriel heard a sickening crack. It came from deep within his consciousness, nearly more of a feeling than a sound. He heard his grace tug inside of him, forcing his body to respond, sending off very loud and very urgent sirens in his head. He didn't want to look down. He was so afraid to look down. But the not knowing would drive him completely insane. There was only one place where the noise could have come from. Only one person deeply imbedded into his heart and mind and grace, whose pain could affect him so much.
He had made a vow, but there was only one thing in the world that could break that vow. His human's physical suffering.
He didn't want to look, didn't want to see the damage until he was there. So he shielded his eyes and made his descent down to Earth. And what he saw left him speechless.
"Dean! Dean, no!"
Standing at the edge of the cliff, looking down to see his body utterly broken, his limbs twisted into every direction imaginable. There was so much blood and he had… he had to go to him. He had to see the real damage done.
The flight down was at the speed of lightning, and he ran the few steps further towards him, where his body lay still… so agonizingly still, sprawled out on a rock. He glanced at his human for a brief second before taking him completely into his arms and pulling him away from the scene of the disaster.
"No no no no no no no no no."
He knelt down on a soft patch of grass and felt his neck for a pulse. And however weak it was, however almost not there it was, he felt it. He felt it beneath his shaking fingertips, and just because of that his shaking eased and his mind calmed enough for him to focus.
There was no going back from what had happened. No way to heal what had been done. He was an archangel but this sort of damage wasn't within his power. And he couldn't even get hold of himself enough to at least clean up the blood. The blood that was still flowing and was sickening to watch. He couldn't fix Dean because there was nothing to fix, everything was broken and there was nothing at all to salvage. His skin was torn and ripped apart and hiding under pints of blood.
"I can't fix you, Dean. I'm so sorry but I can't fix you."
He looked down and saw the most beautiful thing in his never-ending existence. Dean's eyes were open, looking up at him, and in what little strength he had left he was talking. He was saying his last words.
And suddenly everything came rushing in on him all too fast.
"What the hell did you do! Do you realize what you've done to yourself!"
"Ddn't think was that long."
"Dean, you threw yourself off a cliff. Why?"
"Jus wan see you."
He was barely there anymore, he could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes. He was slipping away out of his fingers and he wondered if he held him tighter, if he would maybe postpone his death, get him to stay a little while longer. Situations were now reversed. It was Gabriel that didn't want Dean to leave now. It was Gabriel that was begging him to stay.
And as the human's eyes slipped closed he finally felt what it was like to lose. He finally felt loss.
"Wait, don't go yet. Please don't go. I never wanted this to happen, Dean. Please, you can't do this to me."
He suddenly got a taste of what Dean had felt when he had left. The absolute misery followed by the draining of hope. He had never known that Dean was capable of something like this, and it was a tragedy. But it was also beautiful because in this moment he saw nothing else but Dean's love for him. Even if he wasn't planning on suicide, even if he only wanted to break a few bones, it was still the most touching and real thing in the universe. Dean's love for him, his want of Gabriel's love, was what was killing him. Was what was drawing Gabriel ever closer to the human lying still in his arms.
He pulled Dean closer and held him tight. He knew he was numb from the blood loss but he could only hope that he could feel this. Feel him with him.
"Wan you ta know…"
"I know. I know."
"I love you too. I never stopped."
Dean smiled and Gabriel could feel his heartbeat slow down and stop. And it never started back up again. He was already growing cold, and so was Gabriel. Cold in a way that was all consuming, that meant he would never feel warm again. How could he have been so selfish? It had cost Dean his life and his life had been the most precious thing. The only thing he gave a damn about.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't save you."
And the archangel cried for several long eternities. Mourning his loss.
Gabriel's life ended and his world collapsed into flames before he made his way back to heaven. It took several more long eternities of searching before he found what he was looking for, his human's heaven. He would never abandon Dean again, never convince himself to keep that vow. He would find him and he would bring him back to him.
"You found me."
"I found you."
He pulled Dean closer into him and could hear and feel his beautiful sigh of relief.
"What took you so long?"
He ruffled Dean's hair and pulled him closer for a kiss, caressing him.
"I search under every rock and tree and flower to find the one I love."
His grin was like a million fireworks exploding in Gabriel's eyes.
"I'm sorry I did that to you."
Gabriel shook his head, "It's nothing compared to what I did to you."
"Then you think it was payback, when it wasn't. I just wanted to see you again."
The archangel pulled him closer for another kiss, "I don't need convincing, Dean. I believe you. And I'll never neglect you again."
Dean pulled away to ask the question he had rehearsed in his mind for ages, "Does this mean we get to be together?"
Just one simple wish. The only thing his human ever wanted, and that one simple thing he had been denied. But not anymore. His search was long and hard and it would pay off. Dean had killed himself for love, and now Gabriel would give it all up for love. It was only fair.
"Yes Dean. And it means so much more than that."
He wrapped his arms around the still human-like body and closed his eyes in order to better feel him. He was perfect, just like the first time in which they had lain together. But he still could not deny, nor choose not to tell his human about what he really wanted.
"I can give you a choice. You can come back down to Earth and continue to live with Sam."
He shook his head instantly, "No. If you resurrect me, I'll just kill myself again."
"Dean, Gabriel took the hunter's head in his hands and stared into his deep hazel eyes, I want you to live."
"That's why you left me in the first place."
It wasn't a question.
"Yes, but I did it in the wrong way. I abandoned you instead of dealing with your humanity."
"And I won't go through it again."
"No", he pulled his head away, out of archangel's hands and his body followed as well.
Gabriel sighed loudly, knowing with Dean that this would be a lost cause. But he still had to try anyway, for Dean's sake.
"I want you to live."
He wanted to say more but unfortunately, Dean beat him to the chase.
"And I want you to know there's no way I can live without you."
"You won't be without me, you'll just be a human again. Isn't that what you cherished most, your humanity?"
Dean shook his head, "Yeah, and I know how that story ends. I'll eventually die from old age and you'll have to find me again."
"Don't do this for me, Dean, he pleaded to him now, pleaded desperately, don't give up your humanity for me."
"So all you loved about me was my humanity?"
Apparently, Dean could read the shock on his face, which caused him to back down a little.
"Is that what you think? Dean Winchester you are a fool. I love you for your personality and the way you make me feel. Not for that."
Dean understood, Gabriel could see that clearly and his day was becoming that much more beautiful.
"I can't, Gabriel. Can't go through that again, that pain, that waiting."
His human's voice was heartbreakingly sad. And there was no way Gabriel ever wanted to hear those words again. Not after what they had just been through.
So he nodded, "Whatever you wish, Dean. It's all yours. I'm all yours."
They embraced again and nothing could tear them away this time. Not even the next words Gabriel spoke.
"You'll be an archangel, Dean. And together we'll walk the Earth and live within each others grasps for all millennia."
He could feel Dean's smile and he reveled in it. Stored it away in his mind and treasured it even if there was no need. He would see his Dean's smiles through the end of time.
"As long as my angel mojo doesn't make me a total dick."
He slapped the back of Dean's head and held him tighter, knowing he would never need to let him go again.
And so they did walk the Earth, watching over Sam and staying close by. Never straying too far from each others graces. They were at peace and together in their love. It was what they had wanted in the first place, the perfect way to live with one another. The perfect way to love one another.
Gabriel only wished they could have skipped through all that pain and death to find their hearts desires.
~Someday this place is going to burn
Is your whole life in there waiting?
Someday their heads are going to turn, they'll realize
They'll realize, they'll realize, you're missing~