1 Prologue

Gabriel wasn't stalking the younger Winchester. No really, he wasn't.

He hadn't paid attention to the man at all for about three months. However, after Dean's time had run out and the hellhounds had shown up to collect his contractual debt Gabriel had taken the liberty to check in on Sam to see if the human had learned anything from the lesson he had tried to teach him during that endless Tuesday, after all.

Hey, the younger Winchester wasn't the only one who would never be able to listen to Asia's 'Heat of the moment' again and the archangel really wanted to know if he had ruined one of the great classic rock songs for himself for nothing.

At first, he was even somewhat satisfied with what he saw. Sam was definitely mourning – and drinking himself silly – but that had to be expected. He had only just lost his brother – torn to shreds by hellhounds in front of his very eyes – after all.

The archangel watched as the younger Winchester buried Dean's body which might count as a good sign, even if he insisted that the body couldn't be burned, because his brother would need it once he returned. Well, at least Sam didn't keep Dean lying around to rot like his brother had done with him one year earlier, so that might even speak for a very small level of acceptance of the fact that his brother might actually be gone forever.

At that point, Gabriel thought that maybe the inevitable was evitable, after all. Maybe Sam had learned his lesson and would go on living his life in a way that might even take a turn for the better. Well, knowing the Winchesters' luck – not to say destiny – that was more than unlikely, but he might at least not take the entire world down with him. That was something the archangel would be satisfied with.

But then the younger Winchester just had to go and start to fuck everything up.

When he went and tried to make a deal with a demon to get his brother back in exchange for his own life Gabriel felt the first stir of irritation. In the end, he was sure that the demon wouldn't go for it and he was right, but it was the first sign that Sam might be more than willing to go down a very dangerous road and that was bad enough.

The following weeks the archangel watched with growing unease as Sam threw himself from one hunt to the next. His brother hadn't even been dead for a month when he wiped out a vampire nest all on his own, looking like a – probably rather big – part of him hoped to die on the mission as quickly as possible.

When the younger Winchester broke off all ties to Bobby Singer and started to obsess not over the hunt in general but Lilith specifically, Gabriel was dangerously close to pulling his own hair in frustration. The human was doing exactly what he hadn't been meant to do! He was screwing everything up, including himself!

The demon called Ruby tried to make contact to Sam about two months after his older brother's demise. To his credit, the younger Winchester sent her away, but it was easy enough to see that her words about how he was too weak to revenge his brother without her help had left a deep impression with him. The archangel had a low enough opinion of the human at that point to be sure that it was only a matter of time until he fell for the lies she was spinning and got dragged into things he couldn't possibly understand.

And so – about three months after Dean's death – Gabriel got to watch as Sam found a lead to one of Lilith's underlings and didn't even check all the facts before he packed his things and headed to the old warehouse.

The archangel honestly considered just zapping himself to Italy for a nice glass of red wine and a Tiramisu instead of witnessing the drama unfold, but a part of him seemed to be completely unwilling to leave and so he just stuck around while the younger Winchester entered the building and walked right into the trap the demons had set for him.

Morbid fascination was probably the best term to describe how Gabriel felt as he watched the three demons beating Sam to a bloody pulp. His right arm had long since been broken and a couple of bones in his right hand had been crushed under the shoe of one of the demons for all the archangel could tell. He didn't even bother keeping count of all sorts of cuts and bruises that were inflicted on the human who wasn't even fighting back anymore.

Three of the younger Winchester's ribs had been broken as well before Gabriel finally snapped.

Oh, it wasn't the cruelty of what those demons were doing to the human. The archangel had seen worse. Hell, he had done worse to people he thought deserved it and to be quite honest he thought that Sam deserved quite a lot that very moment. He didn't deserve to die, however. He didn't deserve to get to take the easy way out that he apparently thought dying would give him! The human wasn't going to die, because Gabriel was mad at him and seeing him die wouldn't do anything against that feeling and the archangel couldn't have that!

The demons never even knew what hit them before they all fell to the floor, dead.

The younger Winchester's eyes were turned toward the ceiling, but he didn't seem to be in a condition where he could take anything that was happening around him in anymore. There was a deep cut close to his hairline, but other than that the demons seemed to have left his face alone, surprisingly. Blood was seeping into the human's hair and his fingers twitched a little every now and then.

Gabriel took all those details in with a rather detached expression before he crouched down next to Sam, putting one hand on the tall human's shoulder. The younger Winchester's lips moved as if he was trying to form words, but no sounds ever made it out of his mouth.

The archangel didn't really care what the human would have had to say, anyway.

They both disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving no signs that either one of them had ever been in the warehouse behind.

The tall human leaned into the soft touch against his forehead instinctively.

It took a few more moments before he became aware of anything other than the rather nice feeling of the palm that was pressed against the side of his head now. When reality began to seriously bleed through the darkness that had surrounded his mind he immediately wished to go back to the comfortable unconsciousness he had been trapped in before, though.

"Look who finally decided to drop the sleeping beauty act," a rather mocking voice greeted him before he had even opened his eyes, "Welcome back to the land of the living, Sam."

Opening his eyes shouldn't have been as strenuous as it was, but when he managed he shut them again, immediately. There had been a dull ache in his head before, but it flared up to intense pain because of the far too bright light.

The other man gave a long suffering groan and moved away to shut the blinds before he threw a random piece of fabric over the bedside lamp and turned it on. It was a safe bet that the direct light of the lamp wouldn't have agreed with Sam, but being completely in the dark didn't sound too appealing, either.

Sure, Gabriel could have spared himself from that sort of trouble, if he had just healed the human's injuries, but he had decided against that very early on. He had made sure that there was nothing life-threatening left, though.

"Where am I?" Sam asked in a pained voice after he had opened his eyes again and had taken his surroundings in as much as he could. He felt like all his senses and especially his ability to put coherent thoughts together had been dulled by some sort of drugs. The way his entire body hurt despite this told him that he really needed the medication, though.

"Disney land," Gabriel answered casually, popping a piece of candy into his mouth while he watched the tall human trying and failing to piece everything that had happened together. The archangel nearly felt sorry for the younger Winchester. All his attempts to make sense of any of this would fail. Gabriel had made sure of that.

"Who are you?" Sam asked, clearly irritated by the stupid answer he had gotten before. Getting upset wasn't doing anything good for his splitting headache and his general wellbeing and the jerk was provoking him!

"I'm hurt," Gabriel sighed, sounding like he meant it, "After the hundreds of days we had breakfast together and I bet you don't even remember how our eyes first met at that college…"

It took a second before the possible meaning of the words registered with the younger Winchester, but when they did his eyes widened comically.

"What?" he asked, trying to move in a hurry to put some more space between himself and the guy who was just implying things that just felt completely wrong to him. He fell back into the pillows grimacing in pain, breathing harshly in a futile attempt to relax and let it pass just a moment later, however.

"Jesus, Sasquatch," Gabriel nearly yelled in surprise, "I was kidding! We're just roomies, okay?"

The new information didn't ring any bells with Sam either, but he was a little preoccupied breathing through the pain and trying to calm his hammering heart, after all. The younger Winchester swallowed heavily and gave a slight nod. It could have been worse. He actually could have had some sort of romantic ties to the jerk!

"Alright, time to knock you out again," Gabriel announced out of the blue, taking a pill out of one of the bottles that stood on the bedside table. Most of the bottles held actual pain medication, even though the archangel intended to tweak the effects a little whenever he felt it was needed.

"Do you really want to stay awake like this? You'll have enough pain to deal with when you wake up again, no worries," he added sarcastically before Sam could actually protest against taking his medicine.

The human sighed defeated, swallowing the pill that was handed to him and accepted the glass of water Gabriel brought to his lips afterward. He had to admit that he was aching all over and simply too confused to make sense of anything that was happening, anyway. His annoying, little roommate might be right, as far as that was concerned.

"Try to remember where you are and who I am next time you come around," Gabriel stated in a definitely mocking voice again.

Sam really didn't know how he had ever ended up sharing a home with him, but he knew that the guy was annoying beyond belief and that was probably only the tip of the iceberg. Maybe he should try not to wake up again…

"Disney land," the younger Winchester shot back before the effects of the drugs he had just taken could fully kick in, "And you're a jerk."

Gabriel grinned to himself. If Sam continued to be amusing like that he might even be able to make up for all the annoyance he had caused. The way the archangel had planned for this to go they would have a lot of time to find out.