There’s blood and wire and a whimpering archangel at his feet, and Sam has no idea what to do. Gabriel’s face is a mess, crusted scabs around the points where the wire was forced through, blood everywhere else, lips pulled together and drawn up in a grotesque impression of a smile. Not that it could be mistaken for such, with the panic in his eyes as Sam crouches down and takes him by the shoulders, tries to calm him to no avail.
"It’s going to be okay," he promise, a cross between desperate and determined, and Gabriel shakes his head, eyes wide and urgent as he leans forwards - only to be pulled back by Dean, who has a pair of wire cutters in his free hand. None of them really think they’ll work - Castiel had told them outright they were wasting time - but they have to try, because there’s no other option. "Stay still," Dean tells Gabriel, and the archangel swallows hard, left hand curling into a fist around the curve of Sam’s ankle where it’s stretched out next to his hip.
Unsurprisingly, the cutters don’t work. It’s ten minutes of work just to fit them under the wire, and Gabriel whines his way through the whole of it, a high, nasal, distressed sound as the creation of space to fit the cutters tears the skin further. When they finally manage to get the blades into position, Dean brings the handles together carefully, not wanting to catch Gabriel’s skin. They cutters don’t even scratch the wire.
Gabriel pulls away when they remove the cutters, before they can try again, shaking his head and reaching out with his free hand towards Dean. Against his better judgement, the hunter lets him, acquiescing to the desperate, inscrutable look in Gabriel’s eye. When the archangel touches his jaw lightly, presses fingers past his lips and curls them against the soft flesh inside his cheek, though, he is too stunned to do anything other than allow himself to be pulled forward. Gabriel nuzzles at him, rubbing his wire-bound mouth against the warmth of Dean’s parted lips and keening softly with need. The strange, metallic drag of it, the warm smear of blood across his mouth, is enough to give Dean the impetus to break through the confusion and spit the fingers out, push Gabriel away.
"What the hell, man?” he snaps, looking almost hunted as Gabriel shakes his head frantically and makes muffled noises of distress, reaching out desperately towards him again even as the hunter twists away. When he turns to Sam, the other Winchester also pushes his questing hands away, flinching back, eyes wide and confused. Gabriel forces himself shakily to his feet, the soft noises escaping his closed lips frustrated and of escalating irritation as he gestures to his mouth, and then each of them in turn.
For all his lack of social skills, Castiel is the first to understand. “Oh,” he breathes, as if the Lord himself has just granted him inspiration. “I know what you need, brother.” He steps forward, crosses the distance between himself and Gabriel in a few steps. “Be not afraid,” he murmurs, cupping Gabriel’s face in soft hands and sealing his mouth over the mess of wire and blood.
The kiss can barely be described as such, a chaste and formal gesture, but somehow incredibly intimate all the same. When Castiel pulls away, Dean can’t help feeling as if he has just witnessed something incredible - certainly, he has witnessed a miracle, as the wires that had been so strong only moments before are now weakened, frayed.
Sam stands up as Castiel steps back, taking his place in front of Gabriel - it seems right, somehow, proper. “It’s okay,” he whispers, hesitating, and licks across Gabriel’s lips, heedless of the blood, tongue curling around the twists of wire where they loop through the skin before he’s kissing Gabriel, hard and messy. There’s nothing formal about it this time, nothing controlled about the way Sam tugs and pulls, the way Gabriel melts against him and makes these soft, wrecked noises that pull at Dean’s insides.
And then it’s his turn. He knows it is, they’re all watching him expectantly, and he pushes himself to his feet with a sigh. For a long moment, there’s only silence, and then he says simply, “The things I do for you.” It’s one part fond and two parts a statement of fact, and they all know he’s not just talking to Gabriel. He leans forward, wraps an arm around the archangel’s waist, and when he kisses he can feel the last of the wire dissolve in the sparks of heat against his lips, the way that Gabriel’s mouth slides open under his, wet and greedy, the obscene curl of a tongue against his lower lip.
"The things we all do," breathes the archangel into the warmth of Dean’s mouth when he pulls back, eyes closed as if in prayer. "For each other, forever."
“Amen,” whispers Castiel, because it seems right, and the rest of them echo the word in a quiet prayer to a God who probably isn’t listening.
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- cales said:I just read this all over again and had all the same feelings and I JUST REALLY REALLY LOVE THIS A LOT. askdjasklda just let me drown forever in mute!gabriel and team free love feels
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