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Simple Kind of Life
(on AO3)
By Clarity Enmuse
Word Count: 3,840
Characters/pairings: Gabriel/Sam, Castiel, Dean, Bobby
Rating : Teen
Warnings: Fledgling, (sorta) egg fic.
Summary: About the time Dean was getting impatient and Sam swore his own heart was beating hard enough to burst, Castiel seemed to have regained his voice. "A fledgling has been conceived?"

Author's Notes: The holiday stockings of Gabriel/Sam fans posted on spn_gabriel and fandom_stocking held a lot of requests for some variation of fledgling fic. I'd already been toying with the idea in the back of my mind, but the holiday requests were what pushed me to try this.

This is for wolfish_willow (thank you for your support, beta-reading, & friendship!) and many others who wanted to see Gabriel and Sam expand their little family.

---

"So... how did this happen, again?" Sam asked.

"Do you have to know the details of everything?" Gabriel complained.

Sam's eyebrows arched skeptically. "I would appreciate understanding anything in this situation." Sam bit his lip as he looked over at the bed where blankets and towels and clothes and pillows were piled together in a strange sort of arrangement that really did look like a damn overgrown bird's nest. "I mean... seriously?"

Gabriel sidled up to Sam's side with a smirk. "Well, when two people love each other very much—"

Sam rolled his eyes. "No. Just. No."

Gabriel pouted and turned back to the bed. He glanced over his shoulder at Sam, expression suddenly serious, and then moved to the nest. The archangel carefully knelt at the edge and crawled into the middle of the pile. He gently pulled back the silk shirt – it was Sam's only one, and a favorite at that – and revealed the ball of light. Okay, so it was egg-shaped – oblong and glowing; and it was in a nest but...

Sam shook his head and hesitantly took a step forward. "I mean—This can't be— Why didn't you tell me?" he finally demanded. He crossed his arms over his chest and tucked his hands under his arms, realizing that he needed to curtail the strange urge to reach out and touch.

"It isn't something you can predict," Gabriel said, voice low and gentle, likely due to his proximity to the glowing... egg. Fine. Egg. The archangel's eyes shone brightly in the light of the egg and he only briefly flicked his gaze up to Sam's. "And it hasn't happened quite like this before, to my knowledge."

Feeling nervous and uncertain, Sam asked quietly, "What about the Nephilim?"

Gabriel winced, so subtle that Sam would have missed it had he not known his lover as well as he now did. The archangel seemed to curl over the egg protectively. "It was different. Unapproved, lack of devotion or love. It was... it was disastrous."

Sam knew there had to be more to the story and his natural curiosity had him opening his mouth to ask more questions, but he stopped himself from voicing them. Gabriel's fingers stroked through the light carefully and his expression was full of love and seemingly relaxed, but his shoulders remained tight. Sam knew he couldn't push, he didn't want to bring up bad memories just to satisfy his curiosity.

Apparently realizing Sam wasn't going to push it, Gabriel seemed to relax more fully and continued, "This... is new. Fledglings are rare and usually there was all this red tape to sort through." Gabriel suddenly laughed and turned a grin up at Sam. "Dad was worried about being a grandpa, sometimes. It was all complicated and involved a couple committees, and even then it was only a possibility that angels would conceive. Not every match lent the right compatibility to bring new life. " Gabriel looked down at the egg and pulled the silk shirt closer so that it partially covered the glow again.

"Sammy, this wouldn't just happen." Gabriel licked his lips, looking nervous as he fussed with the nest.

Sam's fingers tingled with the desire to go closer and touch but—

"Human souls are a little different from Grace. But we're alike enough that babies don't just pop up outta one source." Gabriel glanced up at Sam with a serious expression. "It's not the sort of thing that comes out of nowhere."

Sam swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat. "And you didn't—?"

Gabriel's expression flared with anger and hurt. "No!" He glared at Sam, but the anger faded and only the hurt lingered. "You're mine and I'm yours, Sam."

"I'm sorry," Sam whispered, dropping his head to hide his expression. He hadn't exactly meant to imply that Gabriel would cheat. Sam knew better, even if he still could not fully understand why Gabriel seemed to have settled in for the long haul. His heart always jumped a bit for the joy of that realization. But a fledgling—

"This is ours," Gabriel eventually said. Sam peered through his curtain of hair to watch his lover stroke the egg lovingly.

Worry knotted in Sam's stomach and it took everything he had to remain still. He kept his voice low in hopes of restraining any tremor when he spoke; "When will it... uh, hatch?"

Gabriel hummed thoughtfully. "Well, 'hatch' isn't quite... Guess it works for lack of a better term, though." Gabriel started tugging and patting the nest of cloth into adjusted positions as he hummed again. "I don't know what to think about timing." He shrugged a little and a smile tugged at his lips. "Though we should be able to feel it when the time's close." Gabriel looked up with a wide smile and Sam caught his breath at the joy he saw in his lover's eyes.

His breath caught and he felt trapped in the midst of a whirlwind of emotions. Loved and humbled at such irrefutable evidence of Gabriel's feelings for him. Excited and nervous and hopeful at the prospect of being a parent, a role he'd come to think of as impossible. Anxious and worried and downright scared that his defects, his taint, meant the egg would yield a monster and not a fledgling. Sam's fingers curled tight against his ribs as his heartbeat picked up the pace of his growing fear.

"Sam?" Gabriel's brow furrowed and his smile began to fade with confusion.

Sam was saved from struggling to find an explanation by Dean yelling down the hallway. "Damn it, Sammy! Your boyfriend's been on a thieving spree!"

Hurriedly grabbing onto the distraction, Sam made for the door and stepped out into the hall. He had mostly closed the door behind him by the time Dean marched up, his tee-shirt and jeans clinging wetly to his skin. His hair was wet and trickled a line of water along Dean's face.

"No towels," Dean scowled when he saw Sam's stare. "Anywhere. And the damn blankets are gone from my room and Bobby's complaining about some quilt— What the hell is he up to?"

Sam looked over his shoulder at the bedroom door, suddenly realizing that the confrontation with his brother might be even more complicated than facing Gabriel.

"Um..." Sam started, at a total loss.

Dean rolled his eyes and made to shove past his brother. "What, is he planning some sort of fort? Jeez, what's the point of—"

"Don't!" Sam put his hand on Dean's shoulder and although he managed to block Dean from entering the room, his brother still managed to push the door open.

"What the hell's going on?" Dean demanded as he struggled with Sam. "What's your problem, man?"

Despite Sam's best efforts, Dean managed to look around Sam and into the room. "Ah... uh...?"

Reluctantly Sam turned his head to look at Gabriel's reaction. The archangel still half-sat, half-lay within the nest, curled like a comma next to the glowing bundle at the center. Despite the relaxed posture at first glance, Gabriel's expression was carefully blank and a tightness in the set of his shoulders hinted that he would spring into action at the slightest provocation.

"Uh... what the hell?" Dean asked eloquently. He shrugged off Sam's lax hold and stepped into the room. With a sigh, Sam followed, nervously moving to a position that put him slightly closer to the bed than Dean.

Gabriel smirked, looking nonchalant. "What, you've never seen a nest before?"

Dean looked quickly between the angel and his brother. His expression seemed caught between confused and stupefied. "What?"

The archangel gently placed his hand over the shirt covering some of the egg's glow. "Aww, never thought you'd be an uncle, huh?"

Dean's eyes widened dramatically as he stared at Gabriel; he looked dumbfounded. Slowly he turned to his brother. Sam shifted nervously, waiting for his brother to say something – he really had no idea what to expect.

"Sam...? We need to talk," Dean finally said. He cast one last glance at Gabriel before walking out the door.

Sam avoided looking at Gabriel as he left, afraid to meet his lover's gaze and worried about what expression might be on the angel's face. Dean stood at the top of the stairs, eyebrow raised in silent question.

When Sam looked his way, Dean said, "Come on." He jerked his thumb at the stairs before he turned and went down. Sam followed him silently and trailed after Dean into the kitchen. "Sit," Dean directed, pointing at a chair on the opposite side of the table.

"What's going on?" Bobby asked from the doorway. He glanced at Sam but his frown seemed mostly directed at Dean, who didn't seem inclined to take a seat.

"Our stuff's gone missing because we have an archangel making a freaking nest for a, a—Was that an egg?" Dean's voice went high with disbelief.

"How—?" Bobby moved further into the room and sat in the chair adjacent to Sam. "Wait a minute. Can you explain your brother's nonsense rambling?" Bobby asked Sam.

Clearing his dry throat, Sam hesitantly started, "I had no idea— Gabriel, uh, just started to explain. I'm... not really sure what's going on."

Dean arched his eyebrows skeptically. "Sammy. Your boyfriend called that messy pile a nest and implied I'm an uncle. Is Gabriel just fucking with me or is—God, can't believe I'm saying this... Did you make an egg with an archangel?"

Sam clenched his hands together. "I think he's being serious... and it's not—Okay. Maybe it's an egg?"

Dean's face screwed up like he smelled something disgusting. Sam swallowed hard and looked away. He heard Bobby shifting next to him and the older hunter cleared his throat. "What... hell, I don't even know what to ask."

Sam let out a small huff of laughter. "I know exactly what you mean," he agreed with a shaky smile. He chanced a look at the other hunter and was surprised by how calm the older man looked.

"Fine, then I have enough questions for all of us!" Dean sounded frustrated. "How the hell did this happen? What did he do, lay an egg like a freaking chicken? No, don't answer that." Dean let out a noisy sigh.

Sam ducked his head a little further and clenched his hands together. Admittedly he didn't know the details yet, but he got the impression that there had been no "laying" of the egg. If the glowing light even was an egg. It sounded like the soon-to-be fledgling was the combination of Grace and soul, something far more ethereal than a physical egg.

But how could his soul be compatible with Gabriel's grace if there were so frequently failures of conception between angels with similar graces?

"You know what? I'm calling Cas. We need straight answers," Dean determined.

"What? No!" Sam wasn't entirely sure why he was protesting, but his heart started to race and he felt renewed fear rushing through him. He looked up at his brother with wide eyes and a pleading expression. "We don't know how he'll respond—" And suddenly Sam understood what he feared. He dreaded Castiel's reaction. His mind was quick to replay their first meeting and Castiel's calm pronouncement that Sam was an abomination. Castiel had been prepared to kill him if necessary back then, before the long string of complex events convinced a change of heart.

"What's your problem, dude?"

Castiel might have come to accept Sam and see past his faults, but what would he think of an abnormal fledgling that should be angelic, pure in its birth?

Sam begged, "Dean, please. Let's talk to Gabriel first. Ask him if it's okay for Castiel to know."

"What're you freaking out for? Cas is a friend and I know he'll actually give us the facts. Admit it, Gabriel still plays his games and weaves a damn novel full of misdirection when you try to find answers. I don't know what your problem is, but get it cleared up." Dean didn't wait for further explanation and turned his gaze skyward. "Oh Castiel, I pray you get your ass down here and explain your birdbrain brother. P.S. This is an emergency."

Bobby patted Sam's arm, which startled the younger hunter. When he turned his head, Bobby said, "It'll be fine. You know, your brother makes a point about who's the most likely to answer."

Sam gave a pained smile. "Maybe."

Sam was the first to notice Castiel's appearance, having grown keenly attuned to the quiet rustle of something that sounded like a cross between wing flaps and an electric hum. He looked nervously to the angel standing in one corner of the kitchen. Dean and Bobby quickly caught on and turned to look as well.

Castiel's gaze carefully scanned over each of their faces before settling on Dean. "What is this emergency?" he asked.

Dean exhaled noisily. "Honestly didn't expect you to answer that quick. Why don't you do that more often?"

The angel frowned. "I was not busy at this moment."

Before anyone could say anything else, Castiel's trademark trench coat vanished and the angel was left standing in an ill-fitting suit with his tie askew. Castiel actually looked surprised as he stared down at himself. Sam dropped his head into his hands with a groan that coincided with Dean's own.

"Well that is part of the problem," Dean grumbled. "Your freaking brother is setting up camp upstairs in something that looks like a damn nest!"

Castiel's head jerked up at that, eyes widening. "A nest?" He glanced at Sam briefly, then back to Dean. "He is preparing a nest?"

"Pretty sure he's finished with it," Dean said. He crossed his arms before continuing. "There's an, an... egg up there, too. What the hell is going on?"

Castiel's lips parted but he did not speak, staring wonderingly at Dean for some time. About the time Dean was getting impatient and Sam swore his own heart was beating hard enough to burst, Castiel seemed to have regained his voice. "A fledgling has been conceived?"

Dean made a face. "Maybe."

Castiel's intense gaze settled on Sam. "Is this true?" Reluctantly Sam nodded. "This is... unexpected. A fledgling is rare and only produced by the joining of grace."

"So that means your brother cheated on my brother?" For the first time Dean sounded upset on Sam's behalf.

Castiel tilted his head with a frown. "I do not believe Gabriel would do such a thing." The angel turned to Sam and stepped forward. "Would it be permissible for me to visit the nest?"

Bemused by the respectful tone, Sam replied slowly, "I... don't know. Why are you asking me?"

"Yeah, man, what's with the formality?"

For a moment Castiel looked almost scandalized; quickly he recovered his bland expression and explained, "I would not presume to intrude on the nest without the permission of my brother's mate."

Mate? Sam thought with a sudden rush of emotion.

"I hope 'mate' is some formal angel term for 'boyfriend'," Dean said, eyes narrowing thoughtfully.

Bobby directed his question to Castiel and his tone lacked any sense of judgment, only curiosity. "It's possible for an angel to form a true bond with a human?"

Castiel's face shifted in confusion and the expression settled there. "I do not understand these questions. Gabriel and Sam have been mates for some time now." Castiel focused on Sam and there was earnestness in his tone as he said, "You are bonded, surely you know this."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sam said quietly, voice slightly unsteady with the emotions brought on by the revelation. Mated? What exactly does that mean? Gabriel's offense at the implication of the fledgling being the result of a different union took on further meaning, particularly his firm, You're mine and I'm yours.

"And yet you have conceived— Please, may I be allowed to see the nest?" Castiel's deference perplexed Sam and he was surprised by the angel's apparent desire to see the nest. The hunter detected no threat and, now that he had focused, Sam suspected Castiel might be projecting his sincerity and respectful intentions.

"I..." Sam trailed off for a moment, struggling to find words that might actually befit the formalness of the current dialogue. "I would like to accompany you." Sam licked his lips before adding, "I have some questions."

Castiel nodded solemnly. "I am honored." The angel stepped back a pace and waited for Sam to stand before moving again.

Dean was busy shaking his head in confusion. "Wait. What's going on here?"

Quietly but with distinct firmness, Castiel said, "Your questions will be addressed shortly. However, I must first pay respect to my brother, his mate, and their fledgling."

"Then I'm—"

Castiel turned sharply and raised his hand. "You will wait." Castiel slowly lowered his hand and shook his head at Dean and Bobby. "I know you are family as well, but it is accepted that relatives are allowed to give their blessings in private. I am invoking this as my right."

Dean's expression looked like a cross between perplexed and irritated. Bobby responded before the elder Winchester could. "Right, then. Another hour before we get this straightened out."

Sam directed a brief, grateful smile at the older hunter. "Yeah, that sounds good. Thanks." He left the kitchen, Castiel following, before his brother organized his thoughts well enough to protest again.

Unsure what to say, Sam decided to stay silent as he led the way up the stairs. At the top, Castiel placed a hand on Sam's arm and they stopped. "I noticed your fear and understand that you are anxious with the news. Let me be clear, you have no need to fear me or this blessing. I am certain that my Father had a hand in this miracle."

Sam swallowed nervously and kept his eyes averted. "Why would He do that?" he asked quietly.

"I believe that is for you and Gabriel to determine. It is not my place." Castiel withdrew his hand. "By your leave, I would like to see the nest."

Sam made it to the bedroom door before hesitating. He knew what awaited inside, his lover – mate? – the nest, and their egg. Castiel seemed accepting, much to Sam's surprise. With a fortifying deep breath, Sam opened the door and walked inside with Castiel following close behind.

Gabriel perked up immediately from his relaxed position at the nest's center. "Sammy, you brought company!" The archangel grinned at Castiel and patted the familiar trench coat that had been added close to the glowing egg. "Thanks for the loan, bro."

Castiel briefly dipped his head; "I am honored." His gaze soon fixed on the glow and a look of amazement settled on his face. "May I...?"

"Come over here, you big sap," Gabriel said with a roll of his eyes. He sat up, crossed his legs, and pulled back the silk shirt still mostly covering the glow. It looked brighter to Sam. When Sam tore his gaze away, Gabriel caught his eye. The angel presented a calm expression with an eyebrow arched in silent question, but Sam could see a hint of hurt or concern within Gabriel's eyes.

"He's beautiful;" Castiel sounded reverent, drawing Sam's attention.

"H-he?" Sam asked.

Castiel looked over his shoulder at Sam with a smile. "Well, I understand that referring to someone as 'it' is impolite, and English has no gender-neutral pronoun."

Gabriel added, "Besides, gender is for vessels."

Despite all of his other fears, Sam felt his throat close up with that pronouncement. He knew he had to look disappointed as he said, "You mean he... she... will be like an angel's true form? Too much for a human to handle?"

"Oh, Sammy," Gabriel disappeared from the bed and reappeared right in front of Sam. The archangel wrapped his arms around the hunter and assured, "You will have no problem. You're a parent, here." Gabriel kissed him gently. When he pulled back he continued, "But there might be a problem for your brother and Uncle Bobby. I'm sorry, I just don't know yet." Gabriel did sound apologetic and he eased the announcement with a gentle stroke of Sam's cheek.

Sam offered a small smile to show he was okay.

"Brother," Castiel said, drawing their attention to him, "Apparently you have been remiss in informing your mate of his status."

Gabriel's eyes widened as Sam cringed. He hadn't decided on how to approach that issue yet, though Castiel's blunt approach was probably as reasonable as anything he would have come up with. Gabriel turned back to Sam and began rubbing his hands over the human's arms with an anxious expression.

"It was... I wasn't sure what you'd think. Then I realized the fledgling was coming and I needed to prepare." The angel looked worried as he stared up at Sam. "We couldn't have been blessed with a fledgling if we weren't bonded."

Sam asked, "It wasn't intentional?" How did something like this happen on accident?

Gabriel's smile slowly widened. "Not exactly planned, though not completely unexpected. This kind of thing evolves in time."

"Wait, you knew this could happen and didn't tell me?" Sam demanded, frustrated.

The archangel's smile dimmed. "I expected it to take longer and we would have time to discuss it." Gabriel withdrew his hands and his expression blanked. It made Sam's heart ache but he didn't appreciate getting hit with two major surprises in just as many hours.

Castiel intervened during the uncomfortable silence. "However this has come about, you would not be mated without inherent acceptance on both sides and the strength of your sentiments to build the connection."

Sam let the information sink in as he watched his lover send Castiel a thankful look. Discovering he'd bonded with the person he loved wasn't an unpleasant surprise. He still wished he'd been given a little forewarning, but he realized that few things in his life unfolded smoothly. Communication issues aside...

"Wish you would've told me sooner," Sam murmured, his words eased by the affectionate kiss he pressed against Gabriel's temple.

"Took me by surprise, too," Gabriel admitted. He looped an arm around Sam's waist and tugged him towards the bed. "Now come on and let our fledgling get used to your presence."

Sam's anxiety made a quick return as they drew close to the nest. "Gabriel—"

"Sammy. Trust me."

Although Sam's nerves still felt like a live wire, he allowed Gabriel to lead him forward. Gabriel readily moved back into position near the center of the nest and knelt beside the egg. The archangel guided Sam's hand to the light and threaded their fingers together. The human didn't feel anything solid beneath his palm, but heat and light suffused his hand. After a few moments his palm tickled with what felt like tendrils of static electricity.

Distantly he was aware of the sound of Castiel's departure. Gabriel leaned closer to Sam and smiled.

---

Notes: This story grew into something more complicated and serious than expected, thus begging the question of how things continue. I honestly don't know the details of what's to come, but there should be at least one more story that comes out of this 'verse. (I just have a few other things to finish first.)

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
murf1307
Jan. 11th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
*wibbles*

That's adorable. And I love formal!Cas and confusedasfuck!Dean and how Bobby seems to already know what's going on.

Also, they're gonna be wonderful daddies, will Sam and Gabriel. *snuggles fic*
enmuse
Jan. 11th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
:3 Yay! Thanks. Cas kinda entered the scene and became all formal. Bobby doesn't really get it, but he's pretty open to learn, lol.
whitepawn_alice
Jan. 11th, 2012 02:42 am (UTC)
So I admit I went into this pretty skeptical, but I enjoyed reading it! And I'll keep my eyes out for any future installments. :)
enmuse
Jan. 11th, 2012 03:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! It's great to hear - hell, I was skeptical just trying my hand at writing it. (Still drives me nuts that there's this egg-like thing in here, but I didn't know how else to conceptualize it, lol.)
mangacrack
Jan. 11th, 2012 09:16 am (UTC)
*leaves a big time squeal*

This is so cute beyond anything I've ever read. Eggs ... it's just perfect. But is it insolent to ask for more? Something with Sam & Gabriel only able to see the fledgling and Dean being clueless of a little ball of light? Please?

Edited at 2012-01-11 09:16 am (UTC)
enmuse
Jan. 11th, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
lol The continuation will definitely have the fledgling being born/hatched/whatever. I don't know the details though xD So glad you enjoyed!
whogeek
Jan. 11th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
**flails** Ohmygodsoadorable!!! XD I love how confused Sam is, and how worried but pleased Gabriel is, and Dean is even more confused than Sam, and Cas is all formal, even after Gabriel steals his coat for the nest, and BONDED even though Gabriel hasn't told Sam and Sam is more upset that Gabriel didn't tell him than by the fact that they're bonded and Gabriel has stolen all the towels and Bobby's quilt for the nest.

>.>

Now that I've gotten the ridiculous rambling out of the way...

I loved it. Obviously. Just, I love how nervous Gabriel is, even though he's trying not to show how nervous he is. And Cas being all formal when he asks if he can visit the nest. Just, so perfect. Definitely adding this to memories. :D
enmuse
Jan. 11th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
I couldn't have asked for a better response! Thank you so, so much. :D
whogeek
Jan. 11th, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC)
Forgot to mention, I very much look forward to the continuation. :) And Dean will be an awesome uncle. Once he gets over the whole Sam-and-Gabriel-have-a-fledgling thing.
lefoste
Jan. 11th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
that was so freaking adorable!!! please please continue? *puppy eyes*
slvrcrystalc
Jan. 12th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
Awwww, the static-y baby kicked. =D
enmuse
Jan. 12th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
*snickers* That's a great way to think of it!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )