Angels were an all-encompassing inferno, balls of pure strength and smite, the creatures demons most feared but Kings of Hell could afford to shrug off. Archangels, on the other hand, are the qualities of angels multiplied by an unpredictable and unmeasured number due to their small saturation and slippery nature. If there is a being a King of Hell like Sam would fear, it would be an archangel, but not this one, not in this state.
Sam and Asmodeus always had disagreements: who would control Hell, who would sit at the throne, etcetera, etcetera. Those disagreements lead to pure hate, and that pure hate caused a bit of a war in the underworld, but Sam was sure the hunter’s above appreciated the sudden lack of demons, he, of all of the beings of Hell. Push came to shove and Asmodeus was overthrown with a surprising amount of struggle.
Despite everyone saying Asmodeus was the weakest of Lucifer's princes, he held out an incredibly good fight. Sam thought he could have died, but ended up on top after the bloody conflict, and moved into the throne room almost instantly. Sam was happy to note how the lesser demons were glad to be free of Asmodeus’s rule.
When Sam enters Asmodues’s lair, he scans the area and finds a peculiar blade. It was small and sat comfortably in a case about half of the length of Sam’s forearm. The metal was tinted and shined golden in the torchlight. It wound in an intricate spiral. Sam recalled reading about how such blades didn’t allow stitching, and he smiled at the hidden brutality of the beautiful dagger he was holding but frowned when a specific angle revealed Enochian etchings.
This wasn’t a normal blade.
The only other thing that linked directly to the now revealed angel blade was another interesting case that sat next to the throne. Sam sat on it comfortably, groping the armrests and shifting himself until he grew accustomed to it and once that comfort was met, pulled the case upon his lap, and popped open the latches.
Once it was opened, it revealed about five syringes sat snuggly in a cushion at the bottom of the case. All were empty except one that held a glowing, almost liquid, almost gas, and silvery substance. Sam gently lifted it from the case, and noted the high-pitched hum and heat radiating from the substance,
His brain reached for answers and concluded that this was angel grace, and it was fresh. The angel the grace had come from an angel that was still alive, otherwise, the essence would fizzle away along with the source.
Sam stood, now on a mission, and stuck the syringe back in the case and put it up somewhere more secure, deciding to explore for more secrets and the possible angel roped down in Hell. After a few minutes, he reached the Knight of Hell’s personal dungeon and began kicking the heavy metal doors open until he reached one that wouldn’t budge.
His excitement almost made him lose all sense and open the door without preamble, but he caught himself, hand reaching to the sliding plate that allowed him to look into the cell, and pulled it aside. The light barely met the form inside of the cell, but Sam could practically feel the air of hopelessness through the small window. His vision and the weakness of the being inside of the room, allowed him to see a sort of true form coming from it. A faint halo glowed in the darkness above the smaller beings head, and a glow radiated around his body so dimly it only seemed to extend a few inches around it.
Now tentative, and with the blade, he found and wouldn’t mind testing poised, he opened the door slowly. The form barely regarded, only shifting a little at his presence, and Sam was admittedly surprised by it not leaping at the idea of it’s now opened dungeon door. Finally, Sam scaled the room, and his free hand met the slim shoulder of the angel, blade still at the ready.
The angel looked up slowly, and jerked in shock, not recognizing the one who had his hand on him as Asmodeus but someone else, a distant memory he couldn’t grasp after his years of mind-shattering torture. Sam was almost as shocked Gabriel, hazel eyes widening at his former foe turned willing sacrifice.
“Gabriel,” He breathed with trembling lips, looking like he wanted to say so much more, but everything except the archangels confirmed name dying at his lips.
The archangel was filthy. His originally blonde, wavy hair was practically caked in dirt, grime, and blood, making it curl about in clumped strands of a disgusting, oily brown that didn’t complement Gabriel’s still soft, unique features. Despite him still being instantly recognizable, the same could be said about skin and what you could call his garb, or what would be barely considered garb.
A haunted look glowed within the eyes cast up to the larger demon before him, and though Gabriel knew he recognized this demon, he didn’t know he could trust him, and most likely couldn’t, therefore, within milliseconds, the angel scrambled awkwardly to the corner of the small room, anguished sounds leaving his throat and dying at his crewdly sewn lips. Sam couldn't blame him for being afraid, he was a large guy after all, and he couldn't bring himself, the King of Hell, to fathom what Asmodeus had done to him and for how long.
"Gabriel..." He spoke it similar to how one would phrase a prayer: all breathy and with a hint of hope. Once again, Gabriel didn't seem to respond. Sam’s fists balled.
Sam liked Gabriel. Yes, he could admit the trickster turned angel was a pain in the ass during most of their confrontations, but Sam always felt like he knew him, maybe even grew to pity him after his supposed sacrifice. For those reasons, among others, Sam wished he could kill Asmodeus again, slower this time.
"Sh!", Sam finally snapped, only just recognizing the sounds Gabriel never stopped making.
At that, the archangel quieted down, looking to the grimy floor. The King of Hell questioned if he had the patience to deal with the situation, but before he could make a conscious decision, he was walking to the smaller male again.
Sam kneeled down, not meeting his height because Gabriel somehow managed to look smaller in his state, but just enough to establish a level between the two.
"I'm gonna get you up, alright?" Sam asked him, but didn't plan on listening to the response, and picks him up by the forearms Gabriel presented in his last-ditch effort of self-defense. Somehow, the archangel managed to stand, still looking down with wide fearful eyes and trembling legs.
The word Sam uttered caused a tremor to wrack down the small, weakened body.
“he's dead now. I swear." Sam felt almost prideful when Gabriel merely flicked his eyes across the had been hunter's gaze. He visibly struggled with his words for a moment, before ending with, "I'm not gonna hurt you unless you make me, it's over." Sam recognized how odd it is for a demon of all things to say those words, but they did the trick as Gabriel met his eyes and melted into Sam's hands.
After a discussion with the lesser demons on how they would deal with this new concern, he entered the room he had fashioned to have Gabriel cleaned in, as, after slight inspection, he found Gabriel to be nearly lacking in almost all of his grace. For that reason, he was as close to human as Sam has ever seen an archangel be.
When he came in, the demons he instructed to try and clean or tend to the man were failing miserably and became desperate when Sam entered the room, now trying to drag the distressed angel into the tub or at least keep him still to remove the stitches without damaging him further.
"S-sir, we've been trying to-"
"It's fine, you're both dismissed, go."
Hesitant, after looking at one another, the demons release Gabriel's arms and leave the room. The instant he was free, he shuffled quickly to the furthest corner of the room. Sam let out a sympathetic sigh, trying to gather some form of empathetic emotion.
"Work with me, Gabe." Sam came close to him, once again kneeling to his height, "It's just me and you, I won't send anyone else. We just need to get those stitches out and get you cleaned, so c'mon."
During the brief span of Sam speaking to him, he relaxed slightly but stiffened and squirmed when the slightly impatient king of hell seized him and he found himself in the bath water.
"Relax," Sam grit out impatiently, noticing the way Gabriel's dirty hands gripped desperately at the edge of the tub.
The angel looked up at him with wide eyes of insecurity. His muscles tensed and relaxed at random intervals, as he obviously couldn't choose from being scared or allowing himself a moment of relaxation. Sam couldn't gather enough empathy to care, he merely wet a cloth with soap and water and began scrubbing and soothing the skin.
After 10 minutes, his body was clean, the dirt and blood scrubbed away to reveal creamy skin, blemished with ugly cuts and forming scars. Sam's nose wrinkles at the crude "A" carved into Gabriel's left chest region, still steadily leaking blood.
Gabriel steadily calmed after that, now only staring down at the mildly murky water. Sam took this as an opportunity, and lightly cupped the angels face, recognizing the lack of fat in it. A rag found his mouth and pat against it, ridding it of the dried blood caked to the stitches. After it was cleaned, he took the knife he holds on him at all times and cuts each stitch with a furrowed brow. Sam was relieved by Gabriel's trust in him.
Once his mouth was free, he cleaned his hair soothingly and released the water from the bathtub, smiling fondly at Gabriel's shivering at the lack of warmth. Hell was cold. Sam fetched his fluffiest towel, and wrapped him in it, hoisting him up and after drying him, slipping on one of Sam's old warm sweaters (that he didn't need because of his lack of body heat), and some drawstring boxers.
As that all happened, it felt like Sam was in autopilot, like he was back to his old self because of the old face's reintroduction. Now, he realized he wasn't that old Sam, he was a prince of Hell now. In his short reign, he's done unfathomable things. He's defeathered and tainted dozens of angels just like Gabriel.
With fire in his eyes, he looked back down to the archangel he was now supporting. The heat that clouded his head cleared as he looked down at Gabriel. Demons were malicious, yes, but they were humans reduced down to their base instincts, with no restraint, and Sam didn't want to hurt Gabe at that moment.
As Sam thought to himself and unconsciously dried Gabriel, he'd sagged and leaned fully against Sam's broad chest. With a light sigh, a large arm hooked below Gabriel's knees and he leads him to his large room, deciding against shoving him back into that dungeon.
When he sat him down at the center of the king sized bed, Gabriel still clutched his wrist weakly. It felt weak anyway, but also firm, probably because Sam didn't want to force him to let go. Giving in, he laid on his side beside Gabriel, taking in his newly relaxed features and drying, clean, and feathery hair. Shifting, he got closer, allowing Gabriel to shift closer to his comforting mass.
Sam thought to himself, thought what something like this could do to a demon's reputation, wondered if, when Gabriel gathered his senses, he would leave, if he would try to kill him. A thumb was now unconsciously stroking at Gabe's temple and jumped slightly in surprise when Gabriel let out a quiet "Sam..." and fell asleep.