Hospitals had never been a favourite haunt for Gabriel. To him they were just collections of men, women and children suffering pain and misery that they had often done nothing to deserve, making them the embodiment of the opposite of what the Archangel had come to stand for. The thick air of melancholy that resonated through the building made him uncomfortable. And so did knowing that he could cure everyone in the building with a snap of his fingers but also knowing he was not allowed. His father had always told him not to interfere and to let life run its course. Gabriel had gone against that enough with his escapades as the just desserts dealing Trickster, and he just didn't have permission to perform such a miracle.

In all his life on Earth he had only been able to bring himself to enter a hospital twice. Once was when it was in the process of burning down and quite frankly he would have deserved to have his wings ripped off if he didn't help those trapped inside. The second time was now.

The Archangel was in a private room in the ICU, standing beside the only bed in it, gazing at its occupant stoically. Blood stained bandages encircled the man's head, a thick white tube snaked from his mouth to somewhere in the vast array of wires and bleeping machines. The loose hospital gown was hanging open slightly at the front; giving a peek at the red soaked dressings covering his torso that the doctors had covered him with at the end of their emergency surgery. Which had been a waste of time. As soon as the medical staff had vacated the room, Gabriel healed everything with a brush of his fingertips. Still, seeing Sam in such a state pained him.

The younger Winchester was still unconscious, but it didn't worry Gabriel. He had left him that way on purpose so that the Archangel could say what he wanted to say without being interrupted.

He stood there silently for a minute longer, trying to work out to phrase his last words, to turn them into a light-hearted joke that, were he awake, would make his Sammy laugh. But every time he did, he cursed himself. Everything was a joke to Gabriel. He couldn't be serious, because being serious meant that people would know what you felt. Knowing what you felt leaves you exposed and vulnerable. What kind of Archangel was exposed and vulnerable? The Archangel cursed himself again. He was just as emotionally constipated as Dean and Cas.

Another minute passed and he rubbed the side of his face, running his hand up and through his hair before letting it drop back against his side limply, "I'm sorry, Sammy. It won't be happening again."

With that he reached out and laid a hand on the Winchester's forehead and closed his eyes. It only took a second before he withdrew his arm, brushing his fingers through Sam's long brown hair not entirely by accident. He allowed himself one last sweeping gaze before turning away and striding quickly for the door to leave before he changed his mind.

Dean and Cas stood quickly as the Archangel closed the door behind him.

"It's done," he said simply, not looking up from the door handle, "He'll wake up in a few minutes."

Dean licked his lips and nodded, relief evident on his face, "Thanks," he breathed as his shoulders relaxed a little, but not all the way.

A flicker of a false smile appeared momentarily on Gabriel's face when he finally turned away from the door, "Yeah, well, least I could do," he muttered, then took a deep breath and forced a cheery mask into place, "Well! I'd better be off. Things to see, people to do, you know the score."

Just as he lifted his arm to snap his fingers, Cas reached out and grabbed the sleeve of his jacket, "I wish you wouldn't do this brother."

Gabriel rolled his eyes, but his arm lowered slightly, "I'm doing the kid a favour, Cas."

Dean snorted, "A favour? Yeah right, you're taking the coward's way out. You were getting close, Sam was just coming to think there was actually something good in his life and BAM you up and leave."

The Archangel's expression darkened, "Something good? He nearly died because of me," he snapped, "Again! I am sick and tired of watching the people I care for get their guts ripped out because they know who I really am."

"Then what about us, huh?" he gestured between himself and Cas, who was still gripping Gabriel's jacket sleeve, "We know who you are, why aren't you wiping our minds?"

The familiar look of 'are you serious' dropped over the Archangel's features, "Ruffles over there is a big angel, he can take care of himself. As for you," he paused to look Dean up and down, "Well you've got your own guard dog here don't you? Besides, I don't like you as much."

Dean was silenced but glowering. Satisfied he had gotten his point across he looked to Cas, a warning in his eyes. The angel released Gabriel's jacket and stepped back, defeated. There was a snap fingers and the Archangel was gone without another word. Dean and Cas shared a look before hurrying into the room.

Sam was awake and offered a weak smile as they entered. He had already managed to pull the breathing tube from his mouth and was sat up in the bed.

"Sammy!" Dean beamed as he entered, throwing himself into the chair beside the bed, dragging it closer that he could talk to his brother easier, "How you feeling?"

Sam looked over himself a minute, thoughtfully, before nodding, "Yeah, feel fine, head's a bit fuzzy though. What happened?"

Dean frowned a little, "You don't remember?"

Sam shook his head, "And also, who was that angel you guys were talking to outside? He seemed pissed."

Cas and Dean shared an anxious look before Dean licked his lips.

A frown furrowed Sam's brow, "What? He was an angel wasn't he? I was watching through the window and saw him disappear. If it was demon, you would killed him, so come on, who was it?"

"You didn't recognise him?" Cas asked, tone measured.

Sam raised his eyebrows as he looked up at the familiar angel standing on his other side, "Should I have?"

Dean shared another sad look with Cas before sighing, "He came in last minute and saved your ass," he answered, hiding his anxiousness with a chuckle, "Fixed you up before Cas and I could get to you."

"Well, he did a pretty good job. I'll have to remember to thank him next time I see him," Sam decided checking himself over.

"You probably won't be seeing him again," Cas commented, earning a scolding glance from Dean. Not that Sam seemed to mind. The younger Winchester nodded with a quiet 'oh' before shrugging.

"Shame, I would've bought the guy a drink and everything," he smirked.

Dean raised and lowered his eyebrows quickly, "Yeah, I bet you would have."Sam shot him a questioning look, but Dean waved it away, "Doesn't matter, let's just get you out of here."

Sam didn't see much of the journey to Bobby's. It hadn't taken long for them to unhook him from the supercomputer's worth of machines and sneak him out to the Impala parked in the car lot and once they had set off, Sam promptly fell asleep, not without a little help from the angel in the back seat.

"So?" Dean asked hurriedly, stealing glances over his shoulder, torn between trying to gauge Cas's reaction and keeping his eyes on the road ahead.

Cas continued to gaze contemplatively at Sam as he retracted his hand from the human's forehead before turning his head to look at Dean, features set, "It appears that Gabriel was true to his word."

There was a pause as Dean waited for further explanation. When it didn't come he twisted a little to raise his eyebrows at Cas momentarily before checking the road again, "What, so Sam has no idea who the guy is?" he asked quickly, "None at all?"

"Well it seems that the man we know to be the Archangel Gabriel, Sam will know only as his alias, the Trickster," his voice was neutral as it always was, a stark contrast to Dean's whitening knuckles and clenched jaw, "At the hospital, Sam didn't get a good enough look at my brother to recognise him as either."

"But what about everything else?"

At the uncertain silence, Dean turned to see Cas's forehead creased a little. He quickly looked back to the road, suddenly stuck for words. He hated talking about emotions and feelings and all the lovey dovey crap that went along with it anyway. It just made it harder when it came to talking about his brother and a surprisingly forward Archangel. Instead he just made a small gesture with one hand and muttered something incoherent that he hoped Cas would understand. A glance over his shoulder informed him he was wrong. Dean licked his lips, and tried again.

"You know, how they...felt. How they were," he looked again and rolled his eyes at the angel's increasingly perpetual expression of non-understanding, "With each other."

Realisation laced Cas's features before he shook his head, "No, that has been brushed aside. To Sam, the two of them have met twice. In fact to his knowledge, the Trickster is dead."

Dean slammed the heel of his hand against the steering wheel, "I hate your brother, you know that?"

Cas nodded a little ruefully, "Yes, I thought you might do."

Hey guys! If you've gotten this far then i assume you kinda liked it at least a little? Well if you did then please let me know...I geniunely do a little dance everytime someone leaves a review or favourites or whatever. It's like drugs. Seriously.

Just so you guys know, this is the same universe just a slight alternate timeline from Hammer of the Gods on wards in which (slight spoiler alert) Gabe doesn't die and instead helps them defeat Lucifer. However, because Gabriel helped them defeat Lucifer Bobby never made a deal with Crowley and so never got the use of his legs back and unfortunately in my headcanon the angels are still under certain strict rules about that sort of yeah...

Anyway! there will be more to this, how much more and exactly what that the more will be is still to be completely combed through and sorted out so just bare with me, pretty please?

for serious i love you guys so much for reading through it xD *hugs for everyone*