A/N: Sorry this took so long to update—real life decided to get interesting. Anyway, this is the last chapter. Thank you so much for reading!
Adam's lying on his back, sunlight burning at his skin and something rough prickling at the back of his neck. His chest is still throbbing, which doesn't seem fair. Shouldn't Heaven take care of things like broken ribs?
There's birdsong somewhere close by, and it's the most beautiful thing Adam's ever heard. There's the dim feeling that he should get up, or at least open his eyes, but moving sounds like work, and it's perfectly comfortable to just lie here and listen to the birds. Adam hasn't heard birds in centuries.
"Hey," a voice nearby says. It's Gabriel, and Adam's glad he made it out too. But then again, he's an angel. That would just be weird if he didn't make it into Heaven. "This is actually pretty damn close to where I was aiming!" He sounds far too pleased with himself.
So, that's all right then. Adam should probably see where they are, though, just to be sure. He opens his eyes and sits up. He's moving slowly, but it's still too fast, and his ribs scream at every slight jostle.
They made it. They actually did it, which means Heaven looks like—Adam focuses on his surroundings, blinking as his eyes adjust. It takes a moment for the landmarks to sink in and the disconnected shapes to resolve themselves into something he can understand. He's sitting on dry brown grass, and the sky above him is blue and clear, with only a few wispy white clouds. He's in a clearing surrounded by trees and shrubs, and around him there are tall shapes that look like tombstones. That are tombstones.
Adam's memories of this place are hazy at best, since he wasn't exactly in the driver's seat last time he was here, but he still recognizes it, and it's definitely not Heaven. He swears again, out loud this time, because this is not what he was hoping for.
"Welcome back to the land of the living." Gabriel's standing on the edge of Adam's vision, looking weary and beat-up, but very much alive. Which is kind of the problem. "Is it just like you remember?"
"This is where Michael and Lucifer met isn't it?" Adam asks. "Where Sam opened up the Cage?"
Gabriel shrugs. "Dunno. I guess. I'm guessing my spell found a weak spot and pushed us through there."
Adam staggers to his feet, swaying as the world goes disturbingly wavy and every bone in his body protests.
"Look, are you going to pass out or something?"
There's a hand at his elbow, and while it's not much, it keeps him from falling over. Gradually, the world settles.
"Thanks," he manages.
"No problem. Just don't throw up on me."
Adam's alive. He's escaped Hell, he's escaped Purgatory, and he's alive.
"So," he says, "what do I do now?"
Gabriel steps back and watches him carefully for a second. Apparently whatever he sees satisfies him, because he smiles and shrugs, then turns, and starts to walk away.
"Wait!" Adam doesn't even know which state he's in. There's no way Gabriel can just leave him here—"Gabriel!"
The angel turns back, face set in over exaggerated annoyance. "Well, are you coming?"
"I—I don't know." Adam knows one thing: if he goes with Gabriel, there's no chance he could ever have his old life back. He'll never go back to school, he'll never just hang out with his friends and have coffee; all of that will be out of his reach. He'll be an outcast, living on the wild fringes of society, and he's not sure if he's ready for that.
Gabriel shrugs again, and resumes walking. Adam watches him go, feeling like there's something unfinished, something he needs to say, but he still doesn't have a clue what it is.
When he realizes what it is, Gabriel's almost reached the road. Adam's figured it out though: all the best heroes are outcasts.
It's weird, but this could be a second chance. A real second chance, not the kind the angels had tried to pass off his shoddy resurrection by Michael as. He knows what's out there now, and he knows what the world will be like if it wins.
"Hey, Gabriel, I'm coming with you! Wait up!"
The angel half-turns and gives him a cheery wave, but doesn't slow down. Adam swears under his breath, and starts to run across the cemetery at a painful jog. He catches up with Gabriel before he reaches the road.
"Took you long enough," Gabriel says, but Adam thinks that maybe that's just his way of saying he's glad Adam decided to come with him. He hopes.
"Here," Gabriel adds, and wraps an arm around Adam's waist. It helps make him feel less like he's going to keel over at any second. Gabriel's surprisingly strong.
They hobble out of the cemetery gates together, looking like some sort of bizarre three-legged race contestants who got mugged on their way home. There's a whole new world out there for Adam, filled with danger and adventure, and he's ready to meet it.
Yeah, Adam is so screwed.