adorablebastard: (Default)
 Ay! Been... a couple of years since I last posted here? Or maybe just a year. Doesn't matter.
I shall be coming to DK in July and will be living there until 1 October. How bloody awesome is that?! XD
lysanatt will help me cushion 'the fall' and introduce me to the Danish culture. And it will be the first time that I will be meeting face-to-face with a fan (SPN fan and Death\Dean, Crowbar, Samifer, Sabrifer and Debriel shipper! Ay! I really need some D\D or Crowbar love in light of recent events), and I am so damn excited to meet Lys! And other fans! :3

Clock is ticking, mates! XD

interment

Jan. 20th, 2016 11:18 pm
adorablebastard: (Default)
 A\N This one deserves its own post. Again, the poem was born from the word, which gives it the title (I didn't quite manage to explain the word in the poem, though). 



----------------------------------------------


You

      and me,

fricatives die on your tongue,
                   explode in your throat,
particles of unintended hatred
                   dissolve in doldrums:
forbearance does not look good on you.



Love
 
        and me.

it's easy, it's obvious, you know it,
                     yet you still fight me,
with shams and brotherly love, exposed,
                     "Brother, don't make me do this," 
I whisper, tremulous, weakly; he doesn't listen.



Me

     and
 
 
adorablebastard: (Default)
A\N Another 2 short poems, spurned from words I liked how they sounded, didn't quite know their meaning, tried to explain it using poetry.




---
ultramarine
---

beyond garments,
shapes, and
narrow cobblestone streets,
curly filaments of histories
lie about
in bright blue tears.
 

 
tangerine

 
let's dance in colours
and geometric forms.
let's blow the picturesque,
flesh out the intangible.
breathe.
let it in.
swallow the sunset
in deep orange-yellow
gulps, before the moon
sets the world ablaze in
pearly-white coldness.
 
adorablebastard: (pic#9723133)
Title: the softest loud
Pairing: Lucifer\Sam
Rating: Mature
Words: 21, 494
Warnings\Content: AU - Sentinel\Guide, banter, slow build, background\mentioned pairings: D\D & Crowbar.
Summary:  Lucifer is sent to rescue Sam. Little does he know that this mission will screw things up for him.
A\N: HAPPY BELATED B-DAY to [personal profile] lysanatt ! Damn, but it's been a month since your b-day! I hope you still receive birthday presents, though! :3 I think I obssessed, cried, moaned and caps locked over this fic enough for these past weeks, you know? I mean, you do know. A lot about it :))
The title and poem come from lostcap
's tumblr. Wonderful works she has there. Worth checking out! :3
This piece of sunshine is unbetaed, so any errors are mine alone (hopefully there aren't many; I might vomit, if I have to read it again). 
Also found on AO3






"

Sometimes it’s like breathing is a language my scarred lungs never learned to speak. And it’s not poetic, the ache. Of oxygen so often being lost in translation.

But in the silence of my ragged breaths the distance from your inhales to exhales feels how poetry should feel.

You are the softest loud I’ve known.

"






Russia, North-West of Taiga Forest,

Winter Fortress

1500 hours

 

A series of shots rang out in the cold silence of the Taiga forest. Sudden, angry shouts in Russian distinctly echoed off the icy mountain walls and travelled to his covered ears in pieces of information. What was… check the perimeter… find out… move, move…

He wasn’t far from the Winter Fortress, but he needed a diversion to help him get in without much trouble. Securing the rifle on his back, he moved like a shadow beyond his little observatory place, a hundred meters or so away from the now-deserted rock steps. The temperatures were well below zero degrees, and even if he would have felt more in his element without the winter gear, he wouldn’t have been able to brave the harsh Russian weather without the white Balaclava and the hot rox for extreme temperatures.

He was trained in hand-to-hand combat, so having to make use of a gun in this mission, was not ideal. Guns of any kind and variety were a hassle for him, but Balthazar wouldn’t have let him leave without at least one weapon on his persona.

Last time it was a double-edged commando knife. It looked pretty and expensive, and it was lightweight and helped Lucifer kill over a dozen of Russian gang members. He had an unintended reputation among the Academy’s Sentinels, mainly for his numerous missions in Russia.

In whispers, his nickname passed from lips to lips: White Death is back. He saved another Guide. White Death is all over the underground Russian wanted lists!

He was too old for that kind of fame, so he stirred away from them. No point in adding fuel to the fire.

The rusty iron door was unguarded, when he reached the top of the snow-covered steps, but not for long. Voices and the unmistakable thuds of heavy boots were getting closer by the second. He twisted the handle, mentally preparing himself for the onslaught of sound, and with a metallic groan, the door opened a crack. Pulling it wider revealed to be an ordeal to his acute hearing, even if it was protected by ear pieces and the Balaclava.

He winced and adjusted his high-performance goggles to night vision.

It was pitch black inside; not even a lit torch or anything equally Middle Ages. As he descended the stairs (always on silent feet, not a noise made carelessly), the walls presented a damp quality to them. The dampness became more prominent, which meant that the under structure was thoroughly heated. Either that or there was a fire and the scatterbrains above knew nothing of it.

Pulling down his mask, he inhaled deeply. No, no fire, just dry wood, humidity, warmth, iron, some paint, chemicals whose names he didn’t know, and…

Sweat, fear, body heat; more than one. His package was guarded.

He took a few seconds to consider whether he should just break in and shoot everybody before he was shot or if he could manage a more stealthy approach. Looking around, he found no other possible way of entry beside the iron door.

There wasn’t time to dwell. The morons upstairs were about to give the alarm. After all, he shot one of their own and they were so taken aback that the five minutes they needed to locate the point of impact and check their dead comrade, he was already inside and pondering his next action.

No time at all. The noise above sounded like a hive coming to life.

He pounded on the door in what he knew would translate as frantic.

“Who’s there?” Came the expected question from behind the iron door.

All the room’s attention was pinpointed at it (minus one, though). He could almost see them, but he wasn’t quite sure their current positions inside. With these thick walls, even he had difficulty hearing the low hum their body produced. He only hoped that the vague idea he had would keep him alive.

“Hurry!” he spoke in Russian, modulating his voice to a desperate rush of words. “We’re under attack. The Americans! They’ve come! Hurry! We’re being shot at as I speak!”

It had the intended effect: the door opened.

He didn’t waste time and pushed the butt of his rifle into the guard’s face, hearing the distinct crack of the nasal bone and the expected cry of pain as the soldier stumbled back and fell hard on his ass.

It took him a glance at the large room to take in the position of the other four soldiers. As he more or less expected, two were by the door; with one down, the second one acted quicker than the average person would, and almost got a punch in. If he were a fast-thinker, he would have used his gun and probably would have wounded him. Probably.

But as things were looking, he opted to use his brute force and land in a blow to Lucifer’s head which would have left him unconscious for a couple of minutes — enough time to be captured.

Lucifer slid down on his hunches in one, fluid and well-timed move and used his position to punch the Russian guy in the stomach.

Shots were fired. The fight didn’t last more than ten seconds, so Lucifer grabbed the guy’s dark moss green jacket and used him as a shield, absorbing most of the bullets aimed at him.

The fire ceased moments after, when they realized that they were shooting one of their own.

Lucifer used this to his advantage and threw the body (it was fucking heavy even for his standards) over the four tables pushed together and littered with lots of trinkets and glass tubes and other circuitry Lucifer wasn’t going to bother mentioning.

He watched with a smirk as the dead body slid across, pushing over everything on the tables and creating a ruckus just to hit the closest soldier and push him down.

Just as the body got on the other side of the tables, Lucifer jumped up on them and rushed to the other two soldiers, positioned at the far end of the tables. He slid down, using the propelling force to his advantage, and disarmed one of the guys with a kick of his leg, swiftly turning on his stomach and bringing his lower body in a half Flare, half Deadman Floating kind of kick, effectively landing a hard blow to the misfortunate man’s head.

He didn’t get up from the floor.

Lucifer quickly rose to his feet, just as the last standing soldier grabbed the rifle and turned to aim it at Lucifer, and jumped on the poor soldier, knocking the wind out of him as Lucifer’s weight connected with the other’s chest and threw him on the floor. He punched him in the face for good measure, when they landed.

Standing up from the unconscious body, Lucifer’s own breath and rushing blood clouded his hearing and for a few seconds he just stood there, looking down at the soldier.

A whimper-like sound filtered through the white noise and Lucifer turned at once, muscles coiled and ready to attack, but there was nobody trying to take him by surprise. The sound came again, and that was when he remembered the reason he was there.

In no time he rounded the second row of tables and found a man curled into a ball underneath a desk, hands firmly pressed against his ears and eyes screwed shut tightly.

Lucifer crouched down and touched him. The man jumped up and hit his head hard against the iron top, which elicited a groan, and he covered his head with his hands. Long, slim fingers attached to a broad palm.

“Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck!” The man swayed back and forth.

Lucifer winced in sympathy and touched his elbow. “Ouch. You hit your head pretty hard,” he said. “Are you okay?”

“Do I look like I’m okay?”

Dark, almond-shaped eyes looked straight at Lucifer for the first time. Lucifer’s picky aesthetic standards stirred conspicuously.

“Good.” Lucifer stood up. “If you can bitch about a simple question, then you’re more than alright.”

“Fuck you!”

The surprise at such a response morphed into a sardonic smirk as he said, “No, I don’t think you can from down there.”

Silence. Lucifer raised an eyebrow at the desk; he could only see a quarter of his mission’s shape: drawn up, denim-clad legs and a dark button-down shirt. Finally, the man decided to get out of his little hiding place.

Lucifer most certainly wasn’t prepared for this. Nobody warned him about it. Nobody even jokingly said, Hey, Lucifer, be prepared to rescue the epitome of a Sasquatch as well as possibly every man’s wet dream who had even the faintest doubt about their heterosexuality. Then again, he would have laughed and rolled his eyes and wouldn’t have thought about it once in the following days.

But there it was, his mission in all his six feet and counting glory, towering over Lucifer like he was born to do that. Dark eyes looked down at him with a mix of fear and annoyance.

“Please tell me they didn’t brought you here clothed like this?” Lucifer found himself saying, still boring holes into the tall man’s eyes. It was actually thrilling for Lucifer to respond to this man’s unabashed staring in kind.

He actually scoffed in response. “As if the Russians ever bother to provide proper winter gear for their prisoners. If I hadn’t been so valuable to them, I wouldn’t have been able to even negotiate for a properly heated room.”

Surprise flashed into Lucifer’s eyes. In Russian he asked, “you know Russian?” to which Sam rolled his eyes dramatically and said, “I know enough to understand basic phrases and threats.”

Lucifer smirked. He gave the man another once-over, for his pleasure only, and then went to the unconscious men littered on the floor.

“What are you doing?” he asked, following Lucifer. “Actually, who are you and why are you here?”

“I didn’t kill you or incapacitated you in any way. Isn’t it obvious?” Lucifer said absentmindedly as he mentally measures each soldier.

“But how did you get in? This fortress is heavily-guarded.”

“Probably during the night. Here, take these.” He divested one of the burly soldiers of his winter jacket and hat, and another one of his pants and boots. “They should fit you.” But the man didn’t make any move to take them from Lucifer. “Look, you have two options here and little time to ponder about each of them: you either take these clothes on so that you won’t freeze your balls off out there and give me a headache and muscular fever because I’d have to drag your congealed body back to America or you refuse my help and stay here to be tortured. Entirely your pick.”

With a small grunt of irritation, he took his clothes off right then and there. Lucifer’s cocked eyebrow was either ignored or went unnoticed by the grumpy, tall man. It was almost hilarious. He should rejoice that he was being rescued after two weeks of imprisonment, even though Lucifer suspected that he wasn’t treated all that badly, seeing as the room was equipped with various instruments.

There was no computer, but the four white boards on the opposite wall were full of equations and formulas. He didn’t know he was rescuing Einstein’s descendant. Or Emmy Noerther’s. No gender discrimination intended, Scout’s honor.

Thundering heartbeat filtered through his thoughts and he realized he was staring shamelessly at a lanky man clad only in a pair of blue briefs.

He gestured towards the white pants Lucifer was holding in his hands.  “Um… could you pass me…”

Lucifer handed them to him without cracking any joke at the man’s sudden politeness. Instinct told him that it would be detrimental to their continued cooperation. They were still far from touching the American soil, after all.

In less than eight minutes, he was adequately clad to resist the harsh weather outside. He stood and moved towards the door.

“Wait!” The man crossed the room to the whiteboards and began cancelling his own words.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” Lucifer breathed out. “They’ll soon come to check on the others. We can’t waste time with hieroglyphs!”

The man turned a thunderous look towards Lucifer. “They’re not hieroglyphs. If you don’t want to help, you can go ahead and leave.”

Lucifer was dumbstruck by how much haughty attitude could that chiselled face express. But then again, there was a lot of space in six feet of manliness.  “Stubborn little shit…” he muttered under his breath, but took a cloth and began wiping the equations from the other end of the white boards.

He didn’t wipe everything, he just swiped the cloth erratically and in a hurry so that behind him only disconnected letters and numbers were left. When he reached the tall man he dropped the cloth.

“Happy?”

The man smiled genuinely. “Yes.”

It was hard to clearly state if that smile got to Lucifer or slid over him like water over a duck.

By the time they got out of the basement, the night was well on its way. He put on his goggles, because his sense of sight wasn’t yet developed. Some said that partial-Sentinels were a Jolly card. They could live all their life with only half of their senses enhanced or at some point they could become full-fledged Sentinels.

Lucifer couldn’t care less if his other senses were dimmed. His hearing and smell have helped him a great deal throughout the years; he didn’t need enhanced sight or taste. He heard about cases in which partial-Sentinels had all five senses fully operative in their thirties and couldn’t go or do anything without a Guide always present, because they zoned so deeply that many of them entered into an irreversible coma from sensory overload and never came out.

Lucifer was forty-two and happy with his life. He hadn’t had a zone in over a decade, because he was always careful with his senses. Still, partial-Sentinels such as himself weren’t highly regarded by others, even though every Sentinel was born with only two or, rarely, three senses fully developed.

Discrimination in the Sentinel Community regarding partial-Sentinels was so not his cup of coffee.

“Hey,” the man whispered, and Lucifer expected to feel warm breath and a weight against or near his back. There was none. “You didn’t tell me your name.”

Lucifer pondered about the correct answer to give him. In all his missions up to that point, he never had more than basic conversation with his ‘package’; there never was a reason why he should get all personal with them.

That didn’t mean that this mission was special. He received all the information he was supposed to know: male, twenty-seven, a bunch of awards, which translated as ‘precious cargo; do not damage in any way’, kidnapped from Toronto University thirteen days and seventeen hours ago, smuggled out of the country through a private jet and brought to a fortress, called Winter Fortress, somewhere in the North-East hemisphere of the Taiga forest.

However, nobody told him that the man was a genius, sassy under pressure, stubborn and had the body of… yeah, precious cargo; do not damage in any way. Maybe if he kept repeating that to himself, he’d start believing it. Eventually.

“Nick,” he said.

It was the identity by which everybody that wasn’t strictly into ‘friends’ or ‘relatives’ category knew him. It was better to ‘broadcast’ an identity than to give a reason to his enemies to start digging all his junk in the backyard. Not that there was anything like that in any database in the world, but that was something that it was better if nobody realized.

“I’m Sam,” he whispered back and Lucifer was about to retort something nasty, when footsteps entered his hearing radar.

“Stay back and take care of this.” He pushed his rifle into Sam’s arms and darted out from behind the wall they were hiding, just as a couple of soldiers rounded the corner.

To say that they froze at the sight of Lucifer would have been totally unfair to the Russian pride. They did freeze for about half a second to realize that Lucifer was their enemy, but by then he was already striding with purpose and murderous intent towards them. No one managed to fire a single shot and thus alert the other unassuming soldiers.

By the time Lucifer incapacitated every single one of them with his bare hands, he was panting a little. He had to give it to them: they were not all guns and no real training behind; some of them put up quite a fight.

“Wow,” Sam breathed out and Lucifer turned around before the last sound left his mouth, muscles coiled and ready to attack. He relaxed some when he registered Sam’s features. “You’re awesome!”

Lucifer never received compliments apart from the bland ‘good’ or ‘well-done’ from his combat trainer, so he frowned a little, not knowing how to respond to that.

He took a step towards Sam with the intention to take back his rifle (Sam was hugging it like he was ready to protect that piece of metal with his life; cute), when he registered the moment Sam widened his eyes, focused on something above and behind Lucifer.

He got in a twitch of muscles before the deafening sound of a military gun going off, the bullet grazing fabric and tissue and the sudden metallic smell of blood overpowered all other smells.

Goddammit! How could he have done such a rookie mistake as to let down his guard on enemy territory? Wasn’t that the first thing that was drilled into every Sentinel to have passed through the Academy’s training halls?

 Goddammit!

Sam’s lips moved, words Lucifer did not hear probably spilling from his mouth, his expression filled with horror and the last thing he saw was Sam aiming Lucifer’s rifle at someone behind him. He didn’t see it go off, because he blacked out.

Metallic taste in his mouth…

Body a breathing flame…

It palpitated…

So painful…

Ringing in his ears…

Shrill.

Deafening.

White noise.

White vision. He was blinded.

Sounds tried to break through the noise in his head. It was like pounding on a door, only he was wrapped up in bubble wrap and the thudding sounded distant and muffled.

But it felt great, despite being unable to move any part of his body due to it being a huge flame palpitating. Was he still breathing?

Maybe.

Possibly.

That was the funny thing about all of that.

The side of his face stung, however. It shouldn’t have. He shouldn’t have felt anything other than this burning sensation that had engulfed him completely and thoroughly. It didn’t want to let him go.

“Nick!” The word penetrated through his bubble wrap and somehow cooled the flame that took over his body. It was very much akin to an Arctic breath. “Nick, goddammit wake up! Nick! Nick!”

The stinging sensation became more insistent. It actually hurt. With it came other information, external information. He was cold. He didn’t burn; he was freezing to death actually.

He gasped like he just broke the surface of the water and hands grabbed his face or they just touched him, but what his mind translated it into was danger and his immediate response was to grab them and throw their owner over his body, so that he could use the propelling force to get up and on top of them in a position that cut all the air from their lungs.

Of course the victim of his instincts struggled against his body weight and ironclad arms, kicking and scratching while they choked on their breath. Lucifer was looking down at them, actually saw how they struggled to breathe, but he couldn’t get past the initial input that the man under him was a danger to his life.

“Ni-ick,” Sam choked out, already his life running out of him, and it was like Lucifer was doused in cold water. His senses came to him and he jumped off Sam like he had just been burned.

Sam coughed wetly, turning on his side, and took in lungful of cold air.

“S-Sam,” Lucifer found his voice, agony and guilt flooding his system at what he almost did. He was still on his ass, a couple of feet away from the man, terror filling his expression. “Sam, I’m so, so sorry! I didn’t mean to… to…”

“It’s okay,” Sam wheezed in-between the coughs. “It’s okay. We need to get outta here. More are coming,” he relied and true to his words Lucifer’s keen hearing caught the heavy thuds approaching them.

If they were not out in about three minutes, more bloodshed would ensue. And Lucifer was never known for managing his anger well. And that anger was gearing up for an onslaught. He pushed it back, choosing to concentrate on the most urgent task at hand: get them both out of enemy sight.

As he went to collect his rifle, he caught sight of the man who shot him. The Russian soldier was splayed on his back, hands and legs parted, as dead as one could be after being shot by a rifle at such short distance.

He wasn’t sure which emotion he should concentrate on more: awe that Sam killed a man for him and didn’t seem the slightest bothered by it or terror that he almost chocked to death the man he was supposed to rescue.

Securing the strap on his right shoulder, he approached Sam. He hesitated just when he went to help him stand, brain still trying to compartmentalize the earlier event, but they were out of time so he staunchly overrid his logical thoughts and grabbed Sam’s elbow, hoisting him up with ease, despite the man’s rather sturdy frame.

“Can you walk?” Earnestness coloured his voice for the first time.

Sam’s coughs have subsided and he seemed to be doing better. “Yes, I can.”

“Good. We’ll need to run.”

He didn’t wait for him to say anything in edgewise, because he was dragging the man across the narrow path, steps sure even with the two inches of snow and ice on the ground.

Sam lost his footing a couple of times, but he never fell, so Lucifer didn’t decrease their speed until they reached the mouth of the rocky steps.

“This will get tricky and dangerous in no time,” Lucifer said. “There are about a hundred steps ahead of you, all made of rock and covered in ice and snow. I’ll keep to the middle of them, so that if you slip, you won’t fall over. You make sure you’re right behind me.”

“I can’t feel my hands and a good portion of my face,” Sam said apropos of nothing.

Lucifer looked at him and a tendril of compassion wedged its way into his perfunctory salvage plan. “We won’t be in this weather for much longer. There’s a small shed a few miles deep in the forest I already checked this morning. It has a fireplace, woods and blankets, so we’ll be staying there for tonight.”

Just as Lucifer recounted this, the silvery light of the moon shone over them as a wide window of clear sky broke into the clouds.

“Let’s move before the moon hides!”

Lucifer was quick to follow on his words and before Sam could react in any way, he was already three steps ahead of him.

They climbed down a good portion of the stairs before the moon was blocked by the clouds once again and Lucifer finally heard the alarm. Bullets whizzed past them as some of the Russian soldiers caught sight of their shadowy silhouettes. More joined the party in no time.

The more, the merrier, right?

“Whatever you do, don’t stop!” He shouted back to Sam as he widened the pace of his descending.

Sam was breathing heavily behind him, unaccustomed to climbing down icy stairs at night with the danger of either slipping and cracking his skull or being hit by a bullet. Certainly the adrenaline was rushing through Lucifer, too, but it was a different kind of adrenaline, not fuelled by fear for his life.

This was the thrill he got from every mission that kept him coming back for more. Sentinels weren’t strictly military weaponry. They could actually choose to have a job and pay the bills like the rest of the American population, if they found almost-suicidal missions too dangerous for them and nobody would even look twice at them.

But Lucifer always knew that the civil life would never do for him. He was born to be amids bullets and gore and danger and that terrifying feeling every soldier had when he came into close quarters with death and thought that this was it, this was the moment they would die and never see another day.

Only when he touched ground did he turn around to see if Sam was whole and okay. What he got in exchange for his unusual preoccupation was a solid wall of muscles and bone, sweat and something close to moss, earth and freshly-cut grass as Sam collided with him.

“Oh my god!” Sam wheezed out from above Lucifer, looking down at him, but his eyes didn’t quite connect with Lucifer’s through his gogles. “I didn’t see… actually, I really didn’t see you.”

And Lucifer, whatever he thought in that moment, whatever he knew he was supposed to do, he laughed hard and long, unable to stop himself.

His sides hurt (mostly one side), and he failed to remember the last time he laughed with so much heart in it, because that man right there, buried under all those feet of a sturdy genius, bracketed by snow on all sides, was not the Lucifer he knew.

“Stop laughing!” Sam protested and the profoundly offended expression on his face right then made Lucifer laugh harder. “This isn’t funny, Nick! And you’re hurt.” As if to emphasise that last part, his frozen hand grazed over his right side and he grunted, because even if he stopped the bleeding, the wound wasn’t completely healed.

“We should be leaving, before they decide to come after us.”

As soon as you stop leeching off my body heat with your deadman hands, we can go.”

Don’t get him wrong. The position wasn’t in any way uncomfortable for him. He  might have even got a boner in the meantime if the current weather wouldn’t have frozen his balls off.

They got up, Sam wearing that I-accidentally-sucked-on-a-lemon expression, and trudged through the knee-high snow and into the blessedly safe cover of the forest.

For Lucifer it was easy to make his way, having night-vision goggles, but Sam had some difficulty, sometimes stumbling because the snow dipped suddenly and he lost his footing. But he was a big boy and he never asked Lucifer to slow down, so he continued on with his brisk walk (or as brisk as one could walk in all that snow).

“We’re here.”

Surrounded by snow-covered pines, a rundown, distorted version of a shed sat lonely on top of a small hill. Sam’s teeth were clattering and Lucifer didn’t waste time when they got inside, busying himself with starting a fire.

Sam was shaking and moving from foot to foot by the time the smallest flicker of light came to life. Lucifer encouraged it to spread over the pile of thin branches and wood, all his senses focused on every twitch Sam was making a few steps behind him.

When he was sure the fire didn’t need any assistance, he pushed Sam near the fireplace and envelopped him in three blankets. He wasn’t taking any chances.

“Stay here until your shaking subsides,” he ordered Sam and the man only nodded.

Since Sam was safe and beginning to warm up, Lucifer allowed himself to stray away from him and sought his bag of supplies in search of those canned meals he bought two days prior at a supermarket in the last city he passed through.

He didn’t know about Sam, but he was so hungry he could eat a horse. He was always famished when he was wounded. Healing himself took a lot of energy out of him and even if he could restore that energy by simply going to sleep, right now that wasn’t a viable option. So food it was.

“Are you hungry?” he asked Sam after he retrieved his bag. “We have canned beans, canned sweet corn, canned sweet peas and… oh, you won’t believe it! chicken soup — also canned.” He smirked when Sam rolled his eyes at his attempts at sass. He spent enough time with his little brother to learn a thing or two.

He could almost hear Gabriel’s words when he decided to be his unofficial Sass Master (not teacher, he never taught; he only ever showed off), Luci, you’re too highly strung. You need to chill a bit. Relax. Stop looking like you’re devising five different ways of murdering a schmuck. You need to learn to crack a joke once in a while or you won’t get married and have five children, which I most definitely won’t be spoiling rot and flirting unashamedly with your significant other, okay? Don’t take this pleasure away from me. Do it for your li’l bro, yeah?

At which point, he didn’t remember if he told his bro to fuck off or blatantly slammed the bedroom door in his face and went back to sleep. The thing with memory (his memory, in particular) was that it wasn’t always accurate.

“I’ll have the chicken soup and canned beans, thank you,” Sam said, only slightly stumbling over the consonants.

He opened up the cans and pushed them towards Sam on the dusted, uneven table. “Oh, aren’t you a polite fellah this evening.”

“And aren’t you too damn talkative?” Sam retorted but Lucifer only smiled in return. Since there weren’t any cutlery or fork-shaped objects around the shed, they were forced to drink from the cans. “I’m not always that rude with people, you know? I’m actually a people’s person, but I guess two weeks of trying to understand the rapidly-spoken Russian and thinly-veiled threats-slash-demands at gun point finally took their toll when you burst in.”

His words created unaccustomed ripples in the usually calm state of mind Lucifer got into after a mission.

“Now you’re safe.” He felt the need to reassure Sam. Their eyes locked together and Lucifer made an effort to convey the veracity of his words; like a vow.

It was Sam who averted his eyes first. “I know,” he lowered his voice. “I feel safe with you.”

Pride and warmth swirled and mixed together at the words. Outwardly, Lucifer offered Sam a simple smile. They finished their dinner and Lucifer restocked the fire as Sam shed yet another blanket; he was down to one.

“Aren’t you cold?” Sam asked, Lucifer crouched in front of the fire. “I mean, it’s freezing outside, yet you don’t seem to—“ He trailed off midsentence and that caught Lucifer’s attention.

Horror was painted all over Sam’s face as he looked right at Lucifer. “You were shot and you bled much. How are you even standing?!”

Oh.

Lucifer stood up and unzipped his winter jacket, pulled up his pullover and a black undershirt, showing Sam the scar that was left behind  after the wound closed. Sentinels may be able to heal their wounds quicklier than a normal person; that didn’t mean that their skin was left unblemished. As usual, movies and tv shows romanticised things a bit too much.

He gasped softly when he felt his wound touched by fingertips — Sam’s. And they were warm so he couldn’t quite explain the sudden onslaught of goose-bumps all over his skin.

If he were in a movie or book he would have said that Sam’s touch was electric. Instead it was only warm and overly-cautious.

“It tickles,” Lucifer said, amusement coloring his voice.

That brought Sam back from whatever stupor or spell he fell into and quickly and apologetically returned his hand inside the safety of his blanket. Lucifer almost mourned the loss of his touch, but he inwardly sighed and latched onto the last thing Sam said before noticing his wound. He didn’t put on his jacket, choosing to stay only in his black polo neck.

“I’ve had so many missions here in Russia over the past decade and a half that it almost feels like coming home. I got used to the hellish temperatures.” He grins at his choice of words.

“Isn’t it lonely?”

Lucifer looked at him. “What?”

“Being in and out of the States. Always on the road. Don’t you–“

“Want to settle down?” He finished Sam’s question breezily. “No. To be honest I could never see myself with a family of my own.”

“You’ve got so used to be ready to change places, never leaving any trace behind that the idea of settling down and creating a routine terrifies you.”

Lucifer smirked bitterly. “Weren’t you a maths genius? When did you become a psychologist?”

“That’s a simple deduction, Nick. Also, you getting all snarky over it tells me that I’ve hit home.”

“And you pointing out the obvious shows me how much you like to put salt on open wounds.”

That seemed to shake Sam off. “I’m sorry.”

“You wouldn’t have mentioned it, if you didn’t think I could take it.”

“That’s still seen as a blatant invasion of one’s privacy.”

“Is it?” Lucifer cocked an eyebrow. “We’re not on American soil and I don’t know that much Russian to understand their Constitution.” That pulled out a small smile from Sam. “We should get some sleep. We have quite the trek to make tomorrow.”

Sam acquisced and since there was only one dusty, looking worse for the wear bed in the whole shed, Lucifer ceded it to him, electing to use his jacket as a blanket and his bag as a pillow. He already had to withstand the potent smell of motes and dust everytime Sam moved around in the bed, he didn’t need to be covered in that smell as well. So he helped Sam push the bed closer to the fire and Lucifer curled on his side in front of the fireplace, promising to keep it stoked during the night.

He was a light sleeper anyway.

Lucifer was trained to get his sleep where and however he could during his mission and he normally would fall asleep in a matter of two to three minutes, but Sam was tossing and turning in that bed, old and rusty springs creaking at his every move. After ten minutes of the infernal noise, Sam finally found a position and went to sleep.

Before he turned on the other side, Lucifer threw in two more logs to be sure that the fire wouldn’t die out on them anytime soon. With that taken care of, he succumbed into a light sleep to the lulling sound of crackling fire and unending warmth on his back.

He dreamt of formless silhouettes surrounding him. They didn’t do anything to him, but he still felt terrified to be in their presence. Something about them was deeply unsettling and when they started to graze him ever so slightly, like a breeze, his fight or flight response was immediate.

If only he could will his legs to run. He never experienced this level of fear before. It took up his whole body. His instincts were telling him that no harm would come to him, that the sillhouettes would never dare to hurt him, yet he was unable to suppress the desire to run away, just like a child when he was scared.

He woke up in a cold sweat, phantom touches crawling over his skin. Soon he realized that it was not actually his skin that felt violated, but his mind. He looked at Sam’s peacefully sleeping face and it dawned on him.

Sam tried to bond with Lucifer.

That knowledge alone scared the wits out of Lucifer and he forsook sleep for the rest of the night, afraid of an encore. He was used to sleeping less than the average person. Perks of being a Sentinel, even a partial one.

By the time Sam stirred awake it was already dawn and Lucifer compartmentalised the night’s event away. That was the thing he liked about his mind: it separated past from the present. Old traumas or bad memories didn’t get in the way while he was working.

They didn’t exchange pleasantries, but that was because Sam wasn’t actually  an early bird it seemed. Most probably a night owl, but not an early bird.

He went outside to relieve himself (Lucifer checked the perimetre three times before Sam woke up, so he gave them man the privacy of not listening in), and when he came back he was shaking like a leaf, which is why he made a beeline for the well-stocked fireplace and stood on his hunches for a good couple of minutes.

Lucifer pushed the canned food into Sam’s direction on the table. “Eat,” he ordered neutrally. “You’ll need the energy.”

Sam didn’t answer or moved right away. He looked like he was lost in thoughts. Heartbeat was regular and breathing normal, so that must have be it.

“My brother sent you,” he croaked the first words that morning.

Lucifer paused with his can of beans half opened. “I guess.” That got Sam’s attention, head snapping up, befuddlement written all over his face. Lucifer sighed. “I wasn’t given any details about what degree of relationship was between the people who hired me and the person I was asked to rescue.”

Sam’s brow dipped. “What do you mean ‘people’?”

Lucifer took a mouthful of beans and chewed on them leisurely, watching Sam getting impatient, before he spoke. “Two men approached me with the issue. My trainer pointed them in my direction, since I’m the only one who had so many mission in Russia successfully completed in their file.”

“So you’re working for the Sentinel Academy.”

“Yes.”

“How long?”

Lucifer hesitated a bit. He wasn’t sure if it was wise to give Sam so much information about himself. Other than his closest siblings and field partners, nobody knew much about Lucifer. He decided to take a risk, anyway.

“Fifteen years, give or take.”

That brought a shade of surprise to Sam’s serious face. “Sentinels usually don’t spend more than five to eight years in the Academy. You’re a Veteran, then.”

A wry smile crinkled the corners of Lucifer’s mouth. “I am, but I refused the position of Field Trainer.”

Sam’s lips puckered in the shape of a ‘w’, but then his confused expression cleared away. “Because that meant staying in one place indefinitely.”

He didn’t meet Sam’s eyes on purpose. He needed to finish his breakfast, after all. “So these two guys approach me two weeks ago and ask me to get you back.”

“I bet one of them demanded it from you,” Sam said with a resigned smile.

“Yes, but the other one smoothed the rough edges.”

Sam huffed. “That’d be my brother’s Guide, Death.” He left a pregnant pause hanging in the air. Lucifer looked up when he realized Sam was watching him intently. He raised an eyebrow. “Usually people give me a double take when I say that my brother’s Guide is called Death.”

It was on the tip of his tongue, he swore he was about to tell him his real name right there and then coupled with a roll of his eyes, because really, who in their right mind named their child Lucifer? But making a gargantuan effort to keep them from spilling from his mouth he swallowed them along with the last of his beans.

He shruged, the picture of nonchalance. “I’ve heard crazier.”

It wasn’t too difficult to avoid touching Sam for the rest of the morning. They weren’t required any kind of physical contact, so Lucifer’s meticulous atempts at averting any and all of them slid off Sam like water over a duck. He liked oblivious Sam.

An hour later, they were ready to leave their temporary hide-out behind.

“Won’t they find our tracks in the snow?” Sam asked.

“No, it snowed all night. Our tracks are covered.”

Lucifer would have gone to his grave swearing he heard the roll of his eyes in his voice when Sam said, “lucky us,” but when Lucifer turned around with very impressive lifted eyebrow, the man wasn’t even looking at him, but rather scrutinized the surrounding like it was his mission to bring Lucifer back home safe and sound.

Lucifer rolled his eyes. He was entitled, unlike someone he knew.

The day just begun to break, so the forest was as still as a tomb. Lucifer’s hearing revelled in this silence. It was easier to stretch his senses farther than he usually did in a populated area.

“How will we get out of the country?” Sam whispered, fully aware that Lucifer would be able to hear him. Either that or he was afraid that his kidnappers might be around, even though Lucifer would have caught the slightest noise miles away.

“First, we stop in the nearest village and get normal clothes for you. We can’t let you stand out like a sore thumb. And believe me, with those clothes you’ll attract a lot of attention. Also, we might consider the fact that maybe the people in this village will recognize the Russian soldier gear.”

“Wouldn’t that work in our favour? Might get things running more smoothly.”

“No, it would not,” Lucifer disagreed, still a step in front of Sam and eyes regularly searching the surroundings. “They might offer us help, but in the unfortunate case that the Winter Fortress’ soldiers get to the village, they’ll know that we’ve passed through it. It’s better if we don’t leave any kind of imprints around here.”

They stopped only when the sun was high in the sky. Sam collapsed in the groove of a dead tree and closed his eyes in pure relief. Lucifer couldn’t afford that luxury, so he focused on his two senses, making sure they were truly alone. Except for a couple of rabbits down the east side of the slope and a fox a couple of meters north from them, there wasn’t another soul for as far as his senses could stretch.

Not what he expected from the Russians. They were more adamant in keeping their prisoners. Maybe Sam wasn’t as valuable to them as Lucifer believed him to be.

He sat down on the stump of another tree near Sam and took a reprieve, all the while being fully aware of Sam’s hunger. His stomach had been making a fuss for some time, but Sam hadn’t said anything. Sheer stubbornness or stupid ignorance, Lucifer couldn’t tell.

And he was compelled to say nothing on the matter, but his mouth developed a mind of his own in 2.1 seconds flat and what he heard himself say was, “We still have a can of sweet peas.”

Sam’s hazel eyes opened. With all the white around, they were so intense right then. It brought to mind the smell of chocolate brownies and the sound of chopping wood, for some reason.

“Thank you, but I’m good.”

Liar, but when he was about to tell him as much, Sam stood up at once. “I know you heard my empty stomach, but it’s best if we get to the village before sunset. Then I’ll eat.”

He was not entirely wrong, but Lucifer felt like he should have protested there. He was supposed to take care of him. Still, ‘no damage to the precious cargo’ might not have extended to forcing the man to eat just because Lucifer knew he was hungry. As he had said, Sam was a big boy; he could take his own decisions, he didn’t need a partial-Sentinel to tell him what was good for him.

The trek through the knee-high snow, the bag on his back concealing most of his rifle started to be felt even on Lucifer. But he wasn’t breathing as heavily as Sam, who stubbornly kept up with him. It became harder to ignore or push aside every thought concerning the man he was rescuing. Sam was constantly tugging at his attention even when he wasn’t doing anything in that regard.

It was becoming harder to stay neutral.

Three hours later, Lucifer heard muffled chatter and domestic noises; burned trunk pines and cooking food, chicken shit, pigs’ mud, sheep and horses dung filtered through his nostrils. Half an hour later and the sloping roof houses spiked above the peaks of the trees. Another half an hour and they’d be near the village, he quickly made some mental calculations.

“This is the plan.” Lucifer turned around to look at Sam, who sagged against a tree. They were at the base of the hill on which the village stood. “I’ll go into the village and find you clothes.”

He dropped the bag and rifle in front of him and took off his jacket, winter mask and trousers, all of which were white.

“What are you doing?” Sam asked, between shock and embarrassment. Well, if he was so not okay with Lucifer divesting himself right there and then, he could have turned around. But as it was, Sam didn’t look anywhere near doing that.

Besides, it wasn’t Lucifer who started this.

“What does it look like?” he sassed Sam. “Unlike you, I came prepared.”

“A little warning next time,” he said feebly.

Clad in a pair of cargo khaki pants, black boots and turning his winter jacket inside out for the color that matched his pants, he looked like another man. Almost. He pulled out a winter cap with ear flaps from his bag and he was good to go.

“Now, you need to wait for me here and watch over my bag and rifle. If you hear or see anything come into your direction, try to hide and shoot only if you have no options left, okay?” Lucifer instructed as he pushed the rifle into Sam’s arms, careful to not touch any part of him.

He was becoming ridiculous with all this no-touch rule he imposed unto himself, but once he started on a path—well, it was difficult to change directions.

“When you say that you’ll find me clothes, you mean you’ll steal them.”

Lucifer snorted. “I’m not that desperate.” Sam shot him a doubtful look and Lucifer rolled his eyes; another thing he took from Gabriel, it seemed. “If needs must.”

Sam shook his head as if he didn’t believe Lucifer would stoop so low as to steal clothes from poor villagers. But Sam also didn’t know Lucifer and the lengths he was prepared to go to ensure that his mission went as smoothly as it could go.

It was already dark when he crossed the line of trees into the village. Few people were outside at this time of the evening, and Lucifer kept himself on the outskirts, never adventuring inside the village.

His luck was that not every house had a dog; he avoided approaching those houses. He could be as stealthily as he was able to, dogs would always sense danger coming.

He climbed the shoulder-high fence and jumped down, pausing into that half-crouched position, because the chain keeping the mongrel bound two backyards away just clinked. He smelled the dog’s confusion, heard him scent the air in his direction, but after several tense seconds he gave up and got inside his dog house.

A short sigh and he was moving like a cat towards the back entrance to the house, careful to not slip in the mud and snow mixture.

The two horses stirred inside the barn and the chickens cooed softly in their wire cages. He managed to block most of the strong smell coming from either sides. Dirty yellow light spilled from the small window of the door.

Peering inside, the only people he could see were an old man snoring on the bed and a child playing with sticks and a rag-doll on the floor. On the other side of the room-slash-kitchen the door was left ajar.

No light was coming from there.

He could be in an out of the house in under five minutes, but the child posed a problem. He had no desire to incapacitate any of them; they were, after all, innocent and had nothing to do with his mission, but if it came down to it…

He took the risk, heartbeat accelerating.

The child was so engrossed in his game that he failed to notice Lucifer slipping in. Only when he crouched down at his level did he startle, blue eyes widening in what was the beginning of fear.

“Hey,” Lucifer whispered in Russian, hands going up in an universally placating gesture. “I come in peace.” He smiled a little; the child didn’t respond in kind, still confused as to what was an old man doing in his house when his grandpa (or whoever the man was in relation to the kid) was sleeping. “I didn’t mean to interrupt your rescue mission. I saw your general Stick was about to rescue the Princess, isn’t it?” He successfully averted the child’s suspicions by drawing attention to his game.

The child nodded and proceeded to attack a bunch of other sticks with the one in his hand, breaking into a gap-toothed grin when they went down in a heap of sticks.

“You did it!” Lucifer cheered for him in the same whispery tone of voice. “Now I’m going to tell you something important, but you can’t tell anybody about it, okay? Can I trust you?” The kid nodded emphatically. “I’m on a secret mission and I need to find winter clothes for my Prince. He’s very tall, you see, so he has problems finding clothes that fit him. Your Grandpa—is he your Grandpa?—“ the kid nodded once again, “he seems to be as tall as my Prince is. Do you know where your Grandpa keeps his winter clothes?”

The kid pointed towards the other door, and Lucifer thanked him for his help.

When he opened the wardrobe, taking care to avoid making too much noise even though the doors creaked no matter how slowly he pulled them, a blast of naphthalene hit him in full force. He had to muffle his cough in the bent of his elbow. In the other room, the bed’s springs squeaked.

He stilled and waited for any other noise that could indicate that the old man woke up, but nothing came after.

He made quick work of searching for the right clothes, breathing as little as possible in the meantime. It was a good incentive to hurry up.

What he took in the end from the various garments (he found some nice tuxedos in good shape and protected by a plastic wrapper) was a pair of black pants that he doubted belonged to the old man, a knitted sweater and one of the three heavy coats. In one of the pockets he found a pair of gloves. Good.

Getting out of the house was a matter of three minutes. He said goodbye to the kid, who only waved at him with a smile in response, and he was climbing the fence and jogging towards where he remembered he left Sam. He could finally breathe freely.

Lucifer doubted that Sam would have put on those clothes would it have been plain day and a different situation, but as it was the Guide had no other option but to comply. He did complain about the powerful naphthalene smell, which pulled an amused smirk from Lucifer, but otherwise they continued their journey.

“What’s the next step?” Sam asked after a while. He was getting tired of walking, Lucifer could tell by the irked tone of voice he hadn’t even bothered to keep at bay.

“We’re almost there,” Lucifer said instead.

Almost there meant another twenty minutes of walk and a snow-covered mound appeared in his sight, near a forest road — the road that would take them to the highway and from there on out another three to four hours and they would be on a plain home.

“Help me take the cover off.”

When the protection revealed a winter truck, a well of warmth spilled unbidden inside Lucifer at the look of pure relief and surprise on Sam’s face at the sight of the car.

“You didn’t think I hitchhiked here from Moscow, did you?”

Sam glanced at him. “I actually didn’t think that far.”

Lucifer climbed into the truck. “I guess it doesn’t happen too often to you.”

“It never happens.” Sam shook his head no in the passenger seat.

The truck started with some difficulty, which is not unusual given the fact that it had been left to the elements for almost two days. It also took some time for the radiator to function, and Lucifer had to withstand the hateful noise for too long before warm air filled the truck cabin.

Unfortunately, he didn’t know and neither thought about the fact that his ‘package’ might be having trouble with his spaces.

The passenger seat had little room for Sam’s long legs, but he didn’t complain. If there was one thing he learned during the short period of time he unwittingly came to know Sam was that he didn’t complain about a lot of things. He wasn’t sure if it was because of the circumstances they were in or if it simply was a trait of his character.

It was hard for Lucifer to believe that last theory, given Sam’s profession.

“What will you do after you complete this mission?” Sam asked.

Lucifer took a few moments to think about the question. “I don’t know,” he shrugged. “I’ll most probably have a good night’s sleep and then work-out until my next mission.”

“That sounds… lonely,” Sam murmured, looking ahead at the snow-covered road.

Lucifer had no reply for that, but it seemed like Sam wasn’t expecting any, so they fell into a comfortable silence. It didn’t take long for Sam’s eyes to start drooping, but he resisted the sleep’s pull stoically.

It came across as both hilarious and adorable to Lucifer. No reason why he should banish those thoughts; they were both tired.

“You can sleep, Sam,” he said soothingly. “You’re safe.”

As if that was all he needed to hear, Sam’s eyes finally fell shut. “I know,” he mumbled.

Lucifer pushed the truck at the limit of the speed and in two hours they were reaching Moscow. It was half past nine when Lucifer pulled up on a street, which woke Sam up.

“Where are we?” he slurred, still not fully awake. “I’m thirsty.”

Lucifer disengaged his seatbelt. “I’m going to buy some supplies and another change of clothes for both of us. Don’t get out of the car.”

“Yeah, okay,” Sam acquiesced absent-mindedly.

This time it was easier for Lucifer to find what he needed. Around the corner he discovered an open fast food and further, on the other side of the busy street, a second-hand store. That would have to do.

In about half an hour he returned to the car with new clothes and two meals. He was hungry, but he knew for sure that Sam was famished.

“You’ll have to stop buying or stealing clothes for me,” Sam admonished, but it was said with a dimpled smile. Lucifer answered with a smile of his own, giving Sam the bag of clothes and a still-warm meal that were intended for him. “I never knew I’d say this, but damn did I miss junk food.”

“Being a prisoner for two weeks in a fortress in the middle of nowhere does that to people,” Lucifer got in before he took a huge bite from his burger. He tuned down his hearing and sense of smelling, before he got out of the car, so he was nowhere near zoning out.

When they finished their dinner, Lucifer stopped Sam from pulling out the clothes from the bag. “You’ll need this,” he handed him a passport — Sam’s passport, “and this,” he gave him a plane ticket. “We’ll abandon the truck and get rid of everything we don’t strictly need. Come on.”

Sam dumped the remains of his meal in a garbage can and followed Lucifer on a poorly-lit side-street where they changed clothes behind two dumpsters. Two guys purposefully walking there might have looked suspicious — if anybody could be bothered with anything but their own, personal business.

“Where did you get these suits?” Sam asked, looking at himself and checking the length of the jacket and pants. If one didn’t have an eye for fine cut suits, one might have thought that it was bespoken.

“Second-hand store,” Lucifer replied shortly, buttoning his suit jacket and putting on the heavy coat. Damn cold outside.

It was only half of the truth. The salesman actually had a secret room in the back where he kept all the contraband merchandise and since Lucifer had enough funds to buy the whole store, it was easy to find them both decent suits and heavy coats to go with the weather.

He decided against telling Sam that he was wearing a contraband suit. Something told him that he wouldn’t walk as if he was born in that suit and that would be a pity, because the view Lucifer was getting was very much appreciated.

He hailed a taxi to get them to the airport, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it in time.

“I feel like a Russian mobster,” Sam confided five minutes into their ride.

Lucifer hid his amused grin behind the turned-up collar of his coat. “If you give that sour look you’ve mastered so well to the taxi driver, I’m certain we won’t even have to pay the fare.” And there it was, the aforementioned look blooming on Sam’s face like a peacock’s tail.

Despite what his reason told him, Lucifer laughed.

Sam didn’t say anything for the rest of the time it took them to get to the airport, do the check-in and finally take a seat in the designed chairs. His pout shouldn’t  have looked so appealing, but there was no denying it now that the thought came to his mind.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking,” the tinny voice of the captain flooded the speakers after they were thirty thousand meters above the ground. “We may hit turbulences before reaching the North Atlantic Ocean. Please remain seated and make sure your seatbelts are fastened. For any other…”

But Lucifer tuned out the rest of the Captain’s words and glanced at Sam, seated near the window. He was still pouting, although not visibly. One might have mistook it for a pensive look, but Lucifer had spent enough time with the Guide and had attuned himself to Sam so completely for some reason that he was able to tell his tales.

“What will you be doing when you safely get home?” he asked, leaning towards Sam a bit. It was the first topic of conversation that came to mind, also the one Sam had asked about more than once.

It took the man a bit of time to answer. He looked like he was debating if he still was mad enough to ignore Lucifer or if it was just petty at this point.

“Most probably crash down in my own bed and try to forget what happened these past weeks.”

“You probably won’t be able to do that right away. Your brother seemed like the mother hen type.”

A low rumble of laughter came from Sam, a sound that did not go unnoticed to Lucifer’s acute hearing, even dimmed as he kept it. That laughter would haunt him for weeks, he was sure about that.

He sighed softly and made himself more comfortable in the seat, closing his eyes with a small, contended smile. Even if Lucifer didn’t have enhanced sight, he was close enough to Sam to commit to memory most of the details of his features.

“He will fret over me,” Sam said, only fondness present in his voice. “He did that since we were kids.”

“It’s something to be admired, then,” Lucifer commented. “Most big brothers tend to distance themselves from their other siblings, when they grow up.” And didn’t it sound like he was talking from his personal experience? The bitterness surely didn’t escape Sam’s ears.

“How did you know that my brother is older than me?” Ah, of course.

He grinned as he took the ordered whiskey from the flight attendant. “Surely not judging by the height.” Sam rolled his eyes. “A hunch,” Lucifer amended, but he feared that it was more projecting on his Sam’s brother than any sixth sense. “Fretting over their younger brothers is what elder brothers should do. By the looks of him, he might have zoned out just worrying about you, if his Guide hadn’t been present.”

Sam shook his head in a resigned way. That happened more often than he was telling Lucifer, he concluded. “He’s the shoot first and ask questions later type. So jumping to conclusions, many of them unfound, is something of a second nature to him.”

The two ice cubes clinked against the glass as Lucifer swirled them around. “Somehow, I feel a smidge of sympathy for his Guide.”

Sam chuckled again. “Nah, he has my brother wrapped around his little finger.”

“He does?” Lucifer perked at this kind of information.

Generally, everything pertaining the Guide’s world was new to Lucifer. Except basic information about them he was forced to learn in school when he was a kid, everything else sounded like tales from another world.

“Yeah. They’re bonded.” He shrugged like it was something not even worth thinking about, but then he smiled like a memory amused him. “Even though it took Dean a lot to finally accept that the bond between him and Death wasn’t going to go away if he ignored it. Add the fact that they had to work together almost every day, and he had no choice but to acquiesce it.”

“Do you mean that Sentinels and Guides don’t bond from the get-go?”

Sam shot him a confused look. “No. It’s not compulsory to bond with your Guide or Sentinel. It’s something that happens only when both parties agree to it. And it’s serious business. Once you bond, it’s almost impossible to break it. Especially when the bond is formed on feelings.

That’s why many Sentinels and Guides, even though they may feel attracted to each other, wait a minimum of three months to see if they are truly compatible or it’s just physical attraction.” He paused, contemplating Lucifer who was suddenly very interested in the shape of his tumbler. “But how come you don’t know all of this? Didn’t you ever have a Guide?”

But just as Lucifer was about to answer, the airplane began to shake violently and drop; panicked screams filled Lucifer’s ears, the smell of ozone, burned fuel and metal broke through his mental barrier. He didn’t dial down his senses fast enough — he zoned out.

It was to the touch of something foreign that he started to come back to his himself. That something was actually hitting him, not hard enough to hurt, but still hard enough to sting.

His response was immediate when he opened his eyes.

He didn’t think at all as his hand darted up and connected with something warm, soft, but simultaneously hard; his fingers curled around it, when they found purchase, and squeezed.

Throat.

“N—Nick!” A chocked voice feebly filtered the white noise in his ears. “Nick you—you’re ch—choki— me! Nick!” Hands were scratching at his arm, pushing, slapping, catching at the material of his suit jacket.

The environment around him shook again and another bout of screams raised in the air, only to die down shortly after.

This is your Captain speaking,” a somehow familiar tinny voice filtered the space. “We are outside of any danger. Please remain seated until our crew checks everything. We will touch ground in one hour…”

The moment he realized where he was and what he was doing (again), he would have jumped back as far away from Sam as possible, if the seatbelt didn’t so adamantly keep him where he was. As it was, he only pulled his hand to his chest lightning-fast and Sam started coughing, once his airways once again had access to oxygen.

“I’m so sorry, Sam!” He never knew his voice could sound so damn terrified, apologetic and guilty at the same time. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to! It was—“

“Everything is all right, sir?” One of the flight attendants loomed over them both and Lucifer imagined her grabbing him by his shirt collar, opening the airplane’s door and throw him in the ocean for what he did to Sam.

Sam continued to gasp and cough, and with a raspy voice he said, “Yeah, I’m okay. I swallowed my chewing-gum,” he lied, even though one of his hands was tenderly stroking his throat.

But it seemed to have placated the flight attendant as she moved on to tend to other passengers.

“You didn’t have to lie for me!” Lucifer told him in the same scared tone of voice. “I hurt you. I could’ve—“

“You zoned out and you didn’t,” Sam cut him off, his coughs subsiding, but he still continued to clear his throat after every other word he spoke.

And then he took his hand away from his throat and Lucifer felt like the plane was taking a dive once again. He didn’t realize what he was doing, but the next thing that filtered through his buzzing thoughts was warmth, softness and his.

“Your brother’s gonna kill me,” he whispered as he stared at the blue and purple markings on Sam’s throat. They were beginning to take the shape of his hand.

“What?” A gust of breath hit his chin and that was when Lucifer looked up to realize how close he was to Sam. Closer than he had been in the last thirty-six hours.

He realized how much more complex Sam’s eye color was. Specks of golden were kept at bay by the green, a darker and dilute shade, almost olive. He could detect only one or two dilated red veins in his eyes, which most probably meant that Sam was more rested than Lucifer.

He ought to pull back, he really ought to, but he selfishly stayed put, just to revel in this strange, new feeling of being close to and touching another body. So close, in fact, that he could easily lean his head forward another couple of inches and he would taste Sam’s lips.

“Nick?”

He pulled back and stared at the back of the seat in front of him. “Your neck is bruised,” he said mechanically. So much for ‘no damaging the precious cargo’ rule. He looked up as Sam was touching his neck again. “I’m so fucking sorry,” he stressed each word through gritted teeth as his gaze kept narrowing down on Sam’s neck.

He couldn’t help it. He was clearly in distress for hurting the person he rescued — for hurting his Guide. Where that thought came from, Lucifer was too upset to be bothered by the audacity of it.

“Nick.”

“I shouldn’t have—I shouldn’t have touched—I’m so sorry. So sorry.”

“Nick! Nick you’re zoning out again. Nick, stay with me. Look at me.” Sam was frantic. He could hear it clearly in his voice, but it began to fade away so softly and soothingly, the darkness pulling him adoringly into her embrace. So hard to resist. So impolite to ignore her call.

Sam grabbed Lucifer by the back of his neck and forcefully turned his head to look at him.

But Lucifer wasn’t really seeing Sam.

“Nick, dammit! Come back!” In a desperate, last attempt to stop Lucifer from zoning out he pulled his head into Sam’s neck and kept stroking his head and whisper nonsense words into his hair.

It was to the smell of Sam and ghostly hands caressing his psyche that Nick came to his senses. For the short time Sam wore the suit, it absorbed most of his smell. It still didn’t feel like Sam, but his mind latched onto it with fierceness and the darkness relinquished her grip on him with reluctance.

“You’re okay, Nick,” Sam kept whispering, unaware that Lucifer was coming to his sense. “Everything’s gonna be alright. You’re with me and we’re going home.” Then, so subdued that Lucifer had to strain to hear it, because he didn’t dare dial up his sense of hearing again, Sam pleaded, “come back to me, I need you.”

Not as much as Lucifer needed him, apparently.

He started to pull away and Sam startled from the way he was half-cuddling Lucifer, head on top of his.

“Thank you, Sam,” he said, looking into the man’s eyes even if he wished to be anywhere else but there.

Sam searched his face for an indeterminate amount of time, and when he deemed whatever he saw as good, he relaxed in his seat once again with a relieved smile. They didn’t talk for the rest of the flight and Lucifer pondered if all the Guides were this selfless and kind, if they were born with this trait written in their DNA, or if this was something preternaturally Sam.

He didn’t find the answer to that even when they were walking through the baggage claim area to the last set of automatic doors before they’d meet with Sam’s brother and probably his Guide.

But just as they were approaching them, Sam stopped dead in his tracks.

“Do you have American Dollars with you?”

That was a peculiar question. Lucifer frowned.”Yeah, I think I still have a fifty. Why?”

“Can I borrow it, please?”

Lucifer silently wondered as he took out his wallet and handed him a fifty bill, if people were usually this compelled to give Sam what he asked for without inquiring after the reason why he needed it.

Or was Lucifer this easy to convince?

Searching his memory while Sam disappeared into a nearby store, Lucifer found that no, he really wasn’t that easy. And Gabriel was a pretty stubborn little shit when he wanted something. Too bad that Lucifer demonstrated time and again that he was more resilient than Gabriel’s stubbornness and patience put together.

At first sight, when Sam walked out of the store, Lucifer didn’t see anything different about him, but then his eyes caught the white scarf twirled twice around his neck, the two ends left to dwindle at uneven heights over his coat.

“I’ll give you back your money once I have my wallet.” Sam flashed him a genial smile. “Let’s go. I feel my brother’s impatience from here.”

 

Chicago, Sentinel Academy

0900 hours

 

“What kind of truck ran you over countless times?” Was the first thing Balthazar asked Lucifer, when he entered his combat trainer’s office.

He was leaning on his desk, eyes perusing the page on his clipboard as if he was a doctor revising his patient’s health situation. In some ways, it was just that. Lucifer didn’t bother to answer. He turned the chair around, the back revolved towards Balthazar, and plopped down in it, forearms resting on top of it.

“You look like you could use some beauty sleep, darling. What have you been up to, anyway?”

“I’ve been partying all week, isn’t it showing?”

Balthazar raised an unimpressed eyebrow. “When you do decide to go out, ten out of ten times you get laid. I see neither signs.”

Lucifer rolled his eyes. “Aren’t you a perceptive dear this morning.”

“So what is it?”

Lucifer sighed. “Had a rough night.”  He might want to make that a week. A mostly sleepless week, if he wanted to be more precise.

Balthazar narrowed his eyes, but let the matter drop, thankfully. He went on with his usual drill about what he was about to ask Lucifer and if, by the end of it, he was cleared out, he could take on another mission, yadda yadda yadda.

“Stop scoffing like this is a waste of time.” Balthazar’s accent smoothed the consonants, making them sound almost like vocals. “It’s standard procedure, and you know it. Any zoning outs?”

Lucifer was the picture of a grumpy cat. “Three,” he muttered.

Balthazar went to tick a box, but stopped short. “Sorry, what did you say?”

“I zoned three times.” Lucifer forced the words out.

Bloody hell! What happened?” Now that was something he didn’t hear every day. Not the cuss; the worry.

Balthazar wasn’t a man who could afford to worry about his subordinates, even though Lucifer was more like his equal, given all his field work. So hearing and seeing the worry on his face, actually made Lucifer give him a double look.

“A Guide happened,” he confessed slowly, as if he was afraid Balthazar might freak out or something.

His combat trainer pulled the other chair with his leg and sat down like a normal Sentinel in front of Lucifer. “So you went from zero zoning outs in more than a decade to three in two days just because of a Guide?”

The incredulity in his tone was founded. Lucifer had a lot of missions that implied rescuing a Guide. Heck, even at the Academy he had to interact with them—once every blue moon, that is.

In this respect, he knew what a Guide was and what their main job entailed to. But their presence never felt so intense as Sam did. His touch still lingered on his skin, and, it seemed, his brain didn’t take lightly to this kind of sensory memory, so it tormented Lucifer for the past week every time he nodded off for more than five minutes.

A wry smile. “Pretty much.”

Balthazar whistled. “You have it rough, mate.”

Lucifer rolled his eyes. “You can stop right there. It’s a topic long since closed and forgotten.” To which Balthazar barked a laugh.

“You don’t know the first thing about how this works, do you?” Lucifer’s blank expression sent him into another fit of laughter. “Oh, you’re darn adorable when you’re clueless.”

“Can we skip to the part where you okay my file and I leave?”

Balthazar shook his head in disbelief. “That’s not how it works.”

“I’m pretty sure that is how the standard procedure works. I should know. I’ve done it countless times before.”

“Hold your sass, darling. We’re nowhere near done here. You need to know what to expect. Do you think I knew that my Guide was bloody Crowley Fergusson?”

And Lucifer should have expected this, really. Balthazar did so like to talk about his Guide when there was even the slightest chance, and be dramatic about it. Like he wasn’t irrevocably head over heels for that asshole. Lucifer appreciated the fact that his friend refrained from waxing poetical over the guy—much.

He only met Crowley once.

What a gargantuan effort he had to make to not punch the arrogant fucker right away.

“I lost my shit for two days when I found out,” Balthazar continued. “And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You don’t want to know how much I hated his guts at first.”

He wouldn’t have stopped hating his guts until his dying breath, if Lucifer would’ve been in Balthazar’s shoes. Thank God he and that bastard were light years away from being anywhere near compatible.

“He’s the type of man who can get under your skin without you even noticing. I mean, I did a pretty decent job at fending off his advances and actually managed to drive him nuts in doing so—“

Lucifer rolled his eyes again. “I’m sure you’ve had copious amounts of angry sex afterwards, to make up for the lost time,” he drawled and regretted every word as soon as the sentence was out of his mouth.

Balthazar’s whole face lit up like a Christmas tree. “Oh, we did. He pretty much kidnapped me for a whole weekend, and I have to confess, when he bites me right—“

“For fuck’s sake, Balthazar!” Lucifer erupted, desperate to salvage the last shred of respect he held for his trainer and friend. “I don’t need a detailed account of your fervid bedroom adventures with your Guide.”

Balthazar blinked himself out of the memory recollection. He cleared his throat. “Ah, you’re right. This is about you, finally finding the Right One!”

“I’m going home.” Lucifer stood up and took his jacket, all in one fluid movement.

“You haven’t completed your examination,” Balthazar said before Lucifer reached the door.

“Not my fault, if my trainer isn’t doing his job.”

“You still need my okay to take on the next mission.”

Lucifer paused, hand on the doorknob; he breathed in and out and then turned around to fix narrowed eyes on Balthazar.

“Are you, by any chance, blackmailing me?” His tone of voice was quiet and calm, which belied how much more serious the situation was.

Balthazar, the picture of innocence, said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Lucifer’s vision clouded, a surge of undiluted anger he had no idea where it came from, obfuscated his reason. “That conniving bastard of your Guide is rubbing off on you!” His fists were clenched at his side and muscles coiled.

Balthazar’s expression darkened at Lucifer’s accuse. Fleetingly, the Sentinel remembered how lethal Balthazar could be in a fight and how many fights Lucifer lost to him, still. His friend wasn’t a Sentinel one could trifle with, even though Balthazar had a knack at inducing his opponent into a false sense of superiority with his easy-going, sometimes silly nature.

“I’m gonna warn you just once, Lucifer. Don’t you dare talk like that about Crowley.” The growl caught on the consonants, making them roll off his tongue like they were rocks, heavy and deadly.

He snapped the pen he was holding between his fingers in two. Apart from that, his tone of voice, and the murderous expression on his face, he looked pretty composed.

The tension cracked like a whip in the room, both Sentinels staring each other down.

But then Balthazar blinked and sighed. “I don’t want to fight with you, Lucifer,” he said softly, willing his body to relax.

That snapped Lucifer out of his murderous rage. He exhaled and touched the bridge of his nose. “Sorry,” he offered.

“It’s alright, darling.” Balthazar fluttered a hand. “Water under the bridge.”

“I still want to go on a mission.” Lucifer pushed.

“Not if you’re not cleared.” Balthazar sighed and looked at the papers on his desk once again. “And you had three zones in a short span of time. I can’t let you go out there with the risk of you zoning out and no Guide near you to bring you back. You could get killed, Lucifer!”

“Are you saying this as my friend or as my trainer?” Lucifer challenged.

Balthazar didn’t raise to the bait. “Does it matter? You can’t go on a mission until you sort yourself out.”

“Can’t you assign a Guide to me?”

Balthazar shook his head. “Can’t do. All our Guides have already been assigned to Sentinels, most of which are also bonded. When will you learn that Guides aren’t mass-produced? They’re not rare, but they aren’t disposable either.” He let out a gust of air, stroking his forehead in search of the right words.

“Not all Sentinels find their Ones during their life. A pretty high number are forced to go from Guide to Guide, which is why there are a lot of cases where Sentinels fall into depression and refuse to listen to the call of a Guide when they zone out. I’m not saying you need to bond with this person, but bear in mind that you won’t ever find another Guide who will fit you and you them, so perfectly.”

“So I can’t go on a mission?” Yeah, he was an insensible, selfish asshole, but when a man had an itch—usually one scratched it.

“Bloody hell!” Balthazar said exasperated. “Your stubbornness increases one’s blood pressure. No, Lucifer, you’re not allowed to take on another mission.”

“How long?”

“Until you show me that you’re not in any danger to zone out.”

It was so frustrating to go from pretty much being his own person and moving however and how much he wanted around to depending on someone. Where did all his freedom go?

Most probably in the same direction Sam went.

Now that he finally allowed those thoughts that were thrumming in the background at the fore of his mind, he had to wonder about Sam’s whereabouts. He told Lucifer he was going to give him the money he borrowed. It’s been a week since they parted ways at the airport. Balthazar always picked him up personally when he finished a mission. But he never came as his trainer, so he didn’t break any unwritten rule.

Which was why the only thing that could have qualified as ‘debriefing’ was a friendly, “how are you?” to which Lucifer responded with his usual, “tired,” and that was it. Balthazar knew Lucifer well enough to wait for him to sleep away the mission, before coming in and answering whatever question they came up with. But after working as much as Lucifer did, they became repetitive.

That first debriefing was solely focused on the mission, both in general and in particular, so he was only required to expose the facts as professionally as possible. It was his trainer’s job to inquire after his mental and physical state.

A week passed and Sam was present only in his memories.

It wasn’t about the money.

“Mister Morningstar?” A calm voice came from behind and Lucifer whirled around even before the man finished pronouncing his surname. The hallway was deserted at this time of day.

He didn’t need to look the stranger up and down to take in the attempt at a casual look. It was hard to decide if it was a success or a total failure. He remembered how formal he was dressed the first time they spoke to each other.

“Could I borrow some of your time?” he asked politely, and Lucifer couldn’t bring himself to deny him the request.

“Sure,” he replied as neutrally as he could. The man gave him both the jibes and a soothing feeling. That was unsettling. “You’re Sam’s brother’s Guide. Death, wasn’t it?”

Death looked surprised for a passing moment. He inclined his head. “Yes, that would be me. I take it Sam talked about me and his brother.”

Lucifer allowed a cheeky grin. “He did, when he realized that it couldn’t have been anyone but his brother that could have sent me to his rescue.”

The ghost of a smile caressed Death’s thin lips. “A charming conversation you had there.”

Lucifer went to answer that with a smile, but it dimmed almost immediately to a frown. They had plenty of conversation, now that he thought about it.

“May we walk?” Death inquired politely, still.

Lucifer instinctively gestured for him to go ahead, even if he had no intention to stay behind Death. The cream walls and faded-brown ground of the wide corridor stretched on for quite some bit, so the man probably knew this or he wouldn’t have suggested the walk.

“I apologize in advance if I may seem rude, but how are you?”

It wasn’t so much rude as confusing. Why was a man Lucifer only ever exchanged a few words with inquiring after his well-being?

“I’m doing fine, thanks. Why are you asking?”

“Sam told me about your zones back when you were rescuing him,” Death replied smoothly. Ah. “I was merely worried about your health.” Once again, why was a stranger worried about him? “Have they occurred ever since you returned?”

“No.”

But there was this feeling he couldn’t quite put a name to it. He experienced extreme body temperatures, like icy cold during the day and blazing hot during the night. They were pretty constant, but never with the same intensity.

The man hummed noncommittally. “Sam took on a Guiding course.” Death’s lips shaped into what looked like a smile, but Lucifer couldn’t be sure. “He likes to live in his mind, so even though he excelled at the Preparatory Course for Guides in middle school, he never really bothered to apply them. It’s unlike him, since he is curious by nature.”

“Maybe because there was no one who could catch and hold his curiosity,” Lucifer offered, shrugging.

“Maybe.”

“How is he?” No matter how much he pushed that question down, he wasn’t strong enough to fend off the curiosity and worry for this particular Guide.

The smile seemed to stretch a tad on the man’s lips. “He is doing fine. Preoccupied by your well-being as well.”

“If he was so worried about me, he could’ve come to see me.” He couldn’t stop the bitterness and sadness from coloring his words.

“Trust me, Mr. Morningstar, you are always present in his thoughts.”

Lucifer stopped dead in his tracks, forcing the willowy man to face him. “Why did you really come here?”

Death regarded Lucifer calmly, before saying, “I came here to ascertain that you are the One for Sam.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “And you discovered that by asking me how I am?”

“No, I did that by feeling your emotions in regards to Sam.”

Without thinking, Lucifer took a wide step back, as if to fend off an unseen blow. Death’s eyes crinkled at the corners as he smiled more deliberately.

“I assure you, I did not invade your mental privacy.” That didn’t help Lucifer brush off the feeling of being violated, as odd as it sounded, seeing who he was. “There was no need. I just picked up the wavelengths of your brain. They were strong.”

Lucifer sighed and looked away. He continued walking. “I’m suspended for an indeterminate time. This last mission screwed things up.”

“Do you think it is Sam’s fault you cannot go on another mission?”

“No,” Lucifer said quickly, defensively, but then paused. “Maybe a little bit.”

“I don’t think it was Sam’s intention to hinder you in any way.”

“I know, I know,” Lucifer grumbled. “As far as he’s concerned, he didn’t even know I was coming for him.”

“What happened there?”

“What do you mean?” Lucifer glanced at him with a raised eyebrow. “Didn’t Sam tell you?”

“He told us.” The man nodded once. “But then, Dean threatened to play a childish prank on him if he so much as dropped another reference of you.” That pulled a smile from Lucifer.

It reminded him of Gabriel’s pranks. Most of them leaned on the harmful side, though, but that was a story for another time. Lucifer pushed his hands into his cargo pants pockets, because it was the only way he knew how to stop the warm feeling from bursting out of his rib cage at the knowledge that Sam talked about him as much as Lucifer was haunted by his memory.

“But Sam didn’t tell us everything.”

“So you came here to fish for details?” The grin Lucifer wore wasn’t entirely friendly.

“That is an impolite way of putting it,” Death’s lips wrinkled in distaste, “which implies that my worry for your well-being was not genuine.” He looked at Lucifer with eyes that felt like they were boring into his very soul. “I assure you, I am not—fishing for details. You can choose to tell me or not. It is entirely up to you.”

Another sigh escaped Lucifer’s lips.

“He tried to bond with me,” Lucifer confessed after a few, tense moments. He hadn’t told this little detail to anybody until now; not even his oldest friend, Balthazar.

Death remained a silent, unobtrusive presence at his side, inviting Lucifer to either continue or leave it at that.

“It wasn’t a conscious thing. We were sleeping and I felt—I felt this foreign touch in my dream. It wasn’t physical, which scared me so much I didn’t sleep that night at all. I still dream about it.”

Lucifer glanced up at Death to catch the pensive look on his face. He couldn’t read anything on him. Not even his heartbeat betrayed the man; it was a constant, lulling thrum.

“Sam caught your interest.”

Lucifer looked sideways at him. “You said that as if it never happened before.”

“Not in the same way.”

He knew what the man was implying. Actually, he knew even before he talked to Balthazar. All those drastic shifts in body temperature, restless nights, sensitivity to his usual t-shirts and clothes in general, not to mention the strong light that started to make his eyes tear—all those indicators pointed into one direction only.

Partial Sentinels didn’t develop all five senses, unless they were bonded or started to form a bond with his or her One.

Lucifer could choose to break any kind of relation he might have with Sam; they didn’t work together, so it wouldn’t have been difficult. He only had to tell Death that he didn’t want anything to do with Sam and maybe call the Guide himself and tell him to not bother coming or searching for Lucifer.

He could do all that and in a month or two he would be back to normal, he hoped. As far as he pieced together, it was the prolonged contact with one’s Guide or Sentinel that made the bond form and become stronger in time. If he and Sam never saw each other ever again, the Guide would eventually succumb to Lucifer’s memories, as did everything that was good and made Lucifer happy. Only in the grim hours of his life, when everything seemed to be against him, Sam would resurface to haunt Lucifer’s thoughts.

He would be able to go on missions again, without the need of a Guide.

He would tell Death. He would, it was on the tip of his tongue—

If only the thought of Sam being disappointed and sad didn’t fuel his heartache. Didn’t clog the words in his throat and make them feel like cotton, shapeless and senseless.

This wasn’t going in the direction Lucifer wanted. Even his usual breakfast had been too much to even swallow, for fuck’s sake!

“Goddammit!” Lucifer ushered through his gritted teeth, unsure if he felt angry or panicked at the knowledge that Sam was his One.

“What are you going to do, Mr. Morningstar?” Death asked placidly, witnessing and most probably feeling Lucifer’s inner turmoil.

“First of all: call me Lucifer,” he said with a glint in his eyes. He was going with cheeky and confident and see where that took him. “Second: where can I find Sam?”

 

Chicago, North of Brunham Park,

2100 hours

 

It was the most logical thing an adult could do, when confronted with a dilemma: talk it out with the interested party. And since Lucifer wasn’t a guy who liked leaving unresolved issues to fester away and create an even bigger mess than it already was, there he was breathing in salt, seaweed and the smell of cooling sand.

He could still see stragglers on the beach, enjoying the sunset, while the waves lapped at the shore sleepily. All in all it was a calm evening around the apartment complex Sam was living. He found he liked the area. It was peaceful.

He took the lift to the fourth floor, just because he was too lazy to be bothered taking the stairs.

“Nick!” Sam’s completely caught off guard expression was worth anything Lucifer could have thought of, when the tall man opened the door.

Lucifer might have cheated a bit and listened in on Sam, drying himself off, the scraping of cotton over unblemished skin, the occasional drops from his wet hair, the sound his hair made as it slid over skin at the tiniest move, like the sound his fingertips made when he drew smiley faces on the bathroom mirror after his dad took a shower (how old had he been? seven or eight probably).

His dad always helped him reach the mirror; it was their little thing.

It automatically made him take a deep breath and catch the subtle whiffs of Sam’s shower gel: lime and ginger; and the shampoo: green tea and honey.

The smell was more potent now that he had all of six feet and counting of gorgeous man right in front of him.

“Hello, Sam,” he greeted with that fond smile that Gabriel always said it crinkled around the corners of his eyes and made him look like an old man. He couldn’t repress it at the sight of his Guide.

Primal instincts purred at the accepted knowledge that he now had a Guide all for himself to protect. Sure, getting to rescue so many Guides along the years did bring him some satisfaction. But it always had been a temporary one, that left him hollow for days on end.

Yet now, now he had the opportunity to finally have something of his own —something to return to from his missions.

“You—how… come in,” Sam settled for and an amused smile bloomed on his lips at his own blabber. “How have you been? I’m sorry I haven’t come to see you, but I’ve been—“

“Busy doing some Guide courses,” Lucifer finished smoothly, a knowing smile on his lips.

Sam blinked, then mentally backtracked a bit. “How did you know?”

“I guess it’s safe to say that a little willowy birdie told me.” He winked and stepped closer to Sam.

There were only two standing lamps switched on in opposite corners of the room, and the light was suffused and warm. It didn’t bother Lucifer even when he dialed up his sight to gauge the smallest twitch on Sam’s face. He had no need to be that close to the man, but that had been both an instinctual action and a desire to feel Sam’s body heat better; almost as if he was enveloped by those long, muscled arms.

“But that is not why I came here to talk to you about.”

“Oh? Then what’s the reason for you being here?” If Lucifer didn’t have most of his senses heightened, he wouldn’t have heard the small hitch in Sam’s breath, the increasing heartbeat and the taunting way he pronounced those words; so subtle it would have totally bypassed normal hearing.

Staring into Sam’s dark eyes, it didn’t escape his notice the moment his pupils began to stretch and stretch, pushing back all the green, brown and golden, how his body seemed to lean forward on his own accord, how to the citrus perfume of lime and ginger another smell was added, earthier, muskier and richer, but still ways from overpowering the other ones.

His skin broke into goose pimples; the tension in the room surely climbed a notch or three.

“Do you wanna build a snowman?” Lucifer blurted out.

Sam blinked. “What?”

Lucifer exhaled and shook his head. He couldn’t believe himself. “Sorry. The pressure was…” he looked up at Sam, patient and calm, and then looked sideways. “What I want to say is that you’re… we… I…”

Sam chuckled good-naturedly. “Nick, it’s okay.”

“No, it’s not!” He turned around, hands going into his hair, disheveling it more than it already was. Sam didn’t understand how hard it was for him to talk about it. He never did, and he never thought he would have to.

Even now, he came there with the intention of showing Sam everything he couldn’t put into words, but then he looked at his Guide and realized that Sam deserved more than that. That what Lucifer wanted wasn’t a mere physical relationship.

He wanted everything that came with being emotionally involved into something,  be it good or bad.

“You have no idea how fucking difficult it is for me to say this, but I have to. I want to.” Sam sucked in a breath, and even if Lucifer couldn’t see him, he imagined his lower lip was mercilessly worried between his teeth. “It’s so damn ridiculous. Everything. I mean, it took fucking Death visiting me with the pretenses that he was worried about me, for me to fully acknowledge that you were my Guide.” He turned around, finally, and he almost lost his shit then and there; maybe it was better if he faced a wall again, so he could retain a modicum of dignity.

“You’re my One, Sam,” he said softly, all the distress and anger and worry flying out of the window.

The full brilliance of Sam’s smile was gathered around the corners of his eyes. He shrank the distance between them with a step.

“Say it again,” Sam demanded, dimples attempting to deliver a low blow to Lucifer. He managed to withstand it—barely.

“You’re my One and Only.” And Lucifer was smiling. What could he do in the face of Sam fucking Winchester, looking both predatory and like he was begging to be cuddled and never let go for the rest of his life?

“Are they with a capital letter?” Sam’s smile became strained around the edges, but Lucifer didn’t have that much self-control and he chuckled.

Then, Sam took another step towards Lucifer and the space between them shrank to almost nonexistence. Sam lifted a hand, but stopped shy of a few millimeters from Lucifer’s cheek; his hand exuded heat and the faintest smell of sweat. His heart surely sounded like it was trying to tattoo its shape into Sam’s rib cage.

The intent was evident in his eyes, on his face: lips ajar, shallow breathing, pupils dilated, dusted cheeks.

Sam reacted to Lucifer in a way he never saw (more like he didn’t pay attention to) a Guide react to a Sentinel. Was all this pure physical attraction like they said? But it couldn’t be. What he felt (and assumed Sam did too) right then and there couldn’t have been describe as mere attraction.

He knew how that felt. His mind would have been a buzz of seduce, conquer, fuck, disappear.

This was not it.

His hand slid around Sam’s waist and pulled even as that paused hand of his Guide finally made contact with Lucifer’s jaw. The gasp Sam released emboldened Lucifer and he surged forward to capture the lips that Sam so easily and eagerly surrendered to Lucifer’s fevered ones.

The intensity of the moment threatened to push him into a zone, but Sam’s solid body was the perfect anchor to keep him from depriving himself of that moment.

Sam’s mouth was blazing hot, and he probably would have melted then and there, if he didn’t consciously know that his sense of touch amplified the sensory information too much. He wanted more, though.

Fist clenched into Sam’s grey shirt, he pressed his whole body into Sam’s, which elicited a pleased moan from the Guide. Damn, but he needed to feel Sam’s lips remodeling his with so much fervor and undiluted desire. How could he have ever thought of refusing this? Or pushing Sam away?

If he could go back in time and slap himself over the head, he would be most grateful to his own self.

He pushed Sam into the nearest wall and hands grazed soft skin (Sam moaned into Lucifer’s mouth; Lucifer echoed it) and soon he found himself mapping  Sam’s back, gliding up over his shoulder blades, tracing with two fingers the bony edges, feeling the muscles slide over, contract and relax, feeling Sam’s heartbeat thudding into Lucifer’s chest as if it wanted to break out and greet Lucifer’s own.

The curve of Sam’s spine had Lucifer mentally counting the vertebrae and losing total somewhere around twelve, as his fingertips slid over his sacrum, finding—Venus dimples. Sam arched with a close-mouthed groan, letting his eyes fall shut and throwing his head as far back as the wall allowed it, when Lucifer pushed one finger into each dimple.

It went straight to Lucifer’s cock. Pale neck column, Adam’s apple bobbing as Sam swallowed, strong jaw fully on display, unguarded and inviting, hands fisting into Lucifer’s shoulders in time with Lucifer’s fingers, which were caressing his dimples in slow, sensual circles.

Seeing his Guide on the brink of coming in his pants, didn’t help Lucifer’s self-control. Add to that the rhythmic and uncontrolled movement Sam’s hips were engaged into, and the moans and groans every time Sam’s erection pressed against Lucifer’s were unavoidable.

“Sam,” Lucifer gritted out, breathing uneven, “you’re making it impossible to think straight right now.”

Sam released a breathy laugh and looked down at Lucifer, pupils blown wide and naked desire rivaling Lucifer’s own. He was never letting this man go. Not now, not ever.

“And I look the epitome of composed right now, ain’t I?” Sam sassed and they both dissolved into manly giggles as their hips didn’t stutter a bit in their frenzied rut, because contrary to popular belief, men were secretly able to multitask.

“Shit!” Lucifer breathed out as he felt his orgasm approaching.

Sam caught his head into his hands and crushed their mouths together, careless about the clash of teeth or abused lips. They came more or less at the same time, two grown-ass men with the libidos of teenagers. Lucifer sagged against Sam, keeping both of them on the vertical side of gravity, even though his major muscles were pulsing in time with his heartbeat.

He reveled in the pleasant ache and the post-coital bliss. Sam was idly passing his hand through Lucifer’s hair, mussing it up more than it was.

He pushed himself up, not further than Sam’s arms could stretch, which was still too far to be able to properly feel Sam’s body heat. Hopefully, that was something Lucifer could easily rectify: he let gravity (with a small nudge from himself) push him back just to taste Sam’s lips once again.

“I think we need a shower,” Lucifer said idly, when he allowed Sam to unglue himself from the wall.

“You don’t say,” Sam sassed back and Lucifer slapped his ass, which Sam wasn’t prepared for and thus yelped.

“Don’t give me that outraged look,” Lucifer told him, grinning. “You asked for it since your first snarky comment, but the opportunity never presented itself.”

“Oh, really?” Sam cocked an unimpressed eyebrow and, to Lucifer’s internal cringe, it reminded him of Death. They probably spent too much time together. “So you thought that this is the perfect opportunity to show me how much you appreciate my sass?”

“Pretty much,” Lucifer cheekily replied, still grinning. An affronted Sam was something to behold.

A moment later and Sam’s whole expression changed from affronted to mischievous. “Wait until we get into the shower.”

Lucifer’s surprise was somehow tamed by the big smile still on full blast. “Are you really challenging me?”

“This is my apartment,” Sam said haughtily, but the dimpled smile took the brunt off. “I can challenge whoever I want. Be it a stranger, my brother or my Sentinel.”

That was the cherry on top for Lucifer. He stepped forward; Sam mirrored it backwards, playful grin not helping Lucifer’s self-control. He wanted to plunder that mouth and ravish this gorgeous man that just so happened to be his fucking Guide.

Could a man be luckier than this? Lucifer was going to be crushed under the happiness that was swelling inside his chest.

“You little shit,” he said on notes of laughter, grin threatening to take over his whole face.

Sam was shaking, then he opened his mouth and said, “I think you have some sight problems.” A pause, barely keeping himself together. “There’s nothing little about me.”

And he sprinted out of there, laughing heartily, because Lucifer leaped to catch him. A short, manly chase ensued around the rather spacious apartment, because let’s be honest, running around with all that jizz in one’s pants was far from being ideal. Especially with Lucifer’s new, enhanced sense of touch. They soon stopped and got into the shower, not before trading more kisses and some light petting.

Lucifer wasn’t really thinking about it, since Sam wasn’t going anywhere farther than his arm’s reach, but Lucifer was actually touch-starved.

He kept his hands on various parts of his Guide for the entire shower, which meant that Sam had to wash two people and not just one, but he wasn’t complaining either. He got to satisfy his caring side and make his protective Guide instincts purr in self-gratification.

Or that was what Lucifer imagined Sam’s expression wanted to convey as he couldn’t even avert his eyes from his Guide’s face. He felt like a thirsty man, drinking water for the first time in a long while. He couldn’t have enough of Sam. Not to mention that the urge to taste him was becoming more and more difficult to resist.

With that little smile in the corner of his lips, Sam said, “In my Guide course, I learned that when a partial-Sentinel finds their One, all of their senses will start to develop in one, sometimes two weeks, because the presence of their One allows every barrier a partial-Sentinel put up to protect themselves from zoning outs, to crumble to piece. In this respect, the partial-Sentinel becomes more powerful, be they are also vulnerable. Especially when they’re as close to their Guide as we are right now.”

The soothing rumble of notes washed over Lucifer like a balm on a fevered skin. Everything in him relaxed at once, and even if he wanted to, he wasn’t able to close his eyes and revel in Sam’s velvety tone of voice. His body didn’t allow him to focus on one sense only.

Sam’s hands went into his hair, slowly and carefully rinsing the suds off.

“The next twenty-four hours after the pair acknowledged and consented to bond with each other, are the most critical. Not so much for the Guide, who’s protective and caring nature will become more difficult to control, yet still manageable, but for the newly full-Sentinel, who will inevitably be compelled to attune their senses to their Guide only. They will become overly protective of their Guide and will not be able to distinguish between friend and foe, if anyone were to interrupt those critical twenty-four hours, making them aggressive and territorial.”

Lucifer could go on like this forever. Enveloped in Sam’s smell, Sam’s touch, Sam’s voice, Sam’s sight—but here’s only one sense missing for him to feel fully satiated and relaxed.

He swallowed the pooling saliva in his mouth at the thought, and went to his knees.

Sam’s breath caught in his throat, when Lucifer looked at his half hard cock and wetted his lips, before gazing up at his Guide lustfully.

“Don’t stop talking,” Lucifer said, voice ragged. It was the only coherent sentence he managed to get past his fuzzy thoughts.

His fingers encased around the base of Sam’s cock. A firm grip that made his Guide gasp as if it were punched out of him; coupled with the feeling of hot and silky skin, and it sent a jolt straight to Lucifer’s dick. Like being in a trance, he leaned forward on his knees and took Sam into his mouth, slowly pushing forth until his lips touched his fingers.

He stayed there, unmoving, listening to Sam’s harsh breaths and feeling his clenched hands in his own hair, the sting a welcome distraction from his own leaking cock. Sam’s salty precome was filling his mouth and he had no choice but to let some out, because he might have been in a sort-of trance, but he remembered what he told Sam.

He wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of friction at swallowing his precome.

He squeezed Sam’s dick and looked at him as much as he was able to.

Sam’s breath hitched. “B—but a Guide a—and a Sentinel—shit,” he cussed and lost himself in the moans that Lucifer was so expertly pulling out of him. “T—they don’t bond if—fuck, Nick—they don’t bond if they have sex,” he said in a rush as he started to lose control over his hips.

That came as a surprise to Lucifer’s sex-addled brain. He always thought that Guides and Sentinels completed their bond through sex.

“It—God, Nick, your mouth—it’s only the first step. Shit, Nick, I’m gonna—nnnng,” he cut himself off with a drawn groan, because Lucifer wasn’t actually going to let Sam off the hook that easily.

He might have been impatient to taste and feel Sam when he came, but he could also be pretty sadistic and torture his Guide a little bit more. Not that Sam was complaining, seeing as Lucifer made no move whatsoever to pin his erratically thrusting hips to the wall. He was free to fuck his mouth however rough he wanted, but it was Lucifer who decided when he climaxed.

“The bon—nding will happen over the course of a couple of months—fuck—or less. Depends how much time they spend together.” He paused to catch his breath, even though it was just wishful thinking at that point; Lucifer wasn’t going to relent on sucking his dick in time with his thrusts. He finally synced himself to Sam. Like hell he was going to stop now.

A thud made Lucifer look up to see that his Guide was panting, head against the wall, eyes probably closed and hands keeping Lucifer right where he was as Sam mercilessly fucked his mouth.

“The territorial and overprotective in—instincts in a Sentinel are triggered—fuck, Nick—during the first time that the Guide lets their Sentinel attune themselves to—shit, I’m close—their One, and will continue to be vicious for a few days. T—to this intense period,” a pause filled with uneven breath, “will follow one where the Sentinel is fully in his or hers element around their Guide; they won’t feel the fuck-or-die need, but they won’t be able to control the urge to be in constant physical contact with their Guide, either.”

Satisfied with the explanation, although he felt that wasn’t all of it, he released Sam’s cock from his firm grip and braced himself against the wall, giving his Guide free reign over his mouth.

Sam would have probably been more careful, but since Lucifer denied him his first orgasm, he didn’t have any control over his lower body, pushed into frenzied thrusts, desperate to release all that build-up pressure. It didn’t took him more than several more thrusts to tip over the edge.

The moment Sam’s come filled his mouth, the saltiness and musk and everything that he associated with stable and safe overloading his senses, Lucifer followed suit and climaxed untouched. He was between completely zoning out and fully lucid.

Sam’s grip on his hair surely helped to keep him in the present.

He didn’t remember ever feeling this satiated and fulfilled, like everything was right once again. They got out and Lucifer took the task to dry them off, to Sam’s amused expression.

“You’re starting to show signs over-protectiveness,” he commented lightly, as Lucifer had to raise himself a bit on his tip-toes to dry Sam’s hair with the towel.

He scoffed. “Since when does helping someone towel himself off qualifies as being overprotective?”

Sam chuckled. “Since I’m not a disabled person.”

Lucifer snapped the towel over Sam’s ass, eliciting another yelp from the Guide. The cat-got-the-canary smile Lucifer offered in response to Sam’s outraged expression was purely self-satisfactory.

Sam shook his head in amused resignation and disappeared into his bedroom for a short while as Lucifer was finishing drying himself off.

“By the way, you’re staying the night,” Sam announced from the doorway, clad in a pair of black pajama pants, two piece of clothes hanging over his forearm.

Lucifer raised an eyebrow. “And I have no say in this?”

Sam grinned. “Even if you’d want to go all gentleman on me and wait until our one hundred date to ask my hand, your instincts wouldn’t let you reach the front door.”

Lucifer reached Sam in three steps, and looked up at Sam. “You have everything figured out, huh?”

Sam leaned down, clearly reading the intent into Lucifer’s eyes. “One of my job’s requirements.” He smiled, eyes focused on his Sentinel’s lips.

“What was that about a hundred date and ask your hand?” Lucifer whispered as Sam was millimeters away from his mouth.

“Shut up and kiss me.”

No man, however much control he had over his instincts and body, could have denied such a request. Lucifer molded his lips against Sam’s and for a glorious minute or eternity, it was just them and that moment.

The pair of grey pajama pants and blue t-shirt Sam brought to him, actually fit Lucifer to a T.

“Why am I the only one who looks one piece of garment too covered?” Lucifer grumpily asked.

“Because you’re sexy like that.”

Lucifer’s gaze immediately traveled down to Sam’s hip, but Sam chuckled and pushed away. He tried to reach any part of Sam to keep him close, but the Guide proved to be faster.

“Let’s keep the spanking to the bedroom, shall we?” Sam said as he picked up the wet towels and put them on the rack to dry themselves. There was a twinkle in his eyes when he turned around.

“You’re full of surprises, Sam Winchester.”

“Good.” Sam came up to him and allowed Lucifer to circle his arms around his midriff, long fingers working their way into Lucifer’s hair in a loving gesture. “We won’t get bored of each other very soon, then.”

Lucifer nodded as he yawned, receiving a kiss to his temple from his Guide. Two orgasm in such a short span of time was a lot for his old, battered body. Sam silently guided them towards his bedroom and let Lucifer crash them both into the bed, absent-mindedly noticing that the covers were already pulled.

Sleep found him fully enveloped around Sam.

What woke him up was a total mystery to his mostly unconscious brain, but he couldn’t shrug off the feeling that it was important. He looked down and his arms were still full of Sam, blissfully asleep, so his Guide’s absence mustn’t have been what woke him up. Perusing the surroundings, his enhanced sight allowing him to seen even the farthest nook of the room, he found nothing suspicious.

Sam moved in his arms, which pulled his whole attention back to him, as the Guide turned on his other side, escaping from Lucifer’s embrace, but still keeping their legs entangled. A smile graced his lips as he continued watching Sam sleeping, mesmerized by the rise and fall of his shoulder as he breathed evenly.

That was when he discovered what woke him up.

Head rising from the pillow, he zeroed in on the opened bedroom door through which he could see only the bathroom from a diagonal angle.

Furtive movement outside of Sam’s apartment was the culprit for his sudden 360 degrees focus. It wasn’t loud enough to be passed up as neighbors coming home late at night, neither soft enough to be catalogued as a cat, as unlikely as that sounded.

That was the kind of sneaky steps he was trained to do to take by surprise his enemies or pass unnoticed.

Two troublemakers were right outside Sam’s door. This was not happening. Not on Lucifer’s territory. The instincts Sam talked about so much and which Lucifer discarded so easily as scarcely possible, were rearing their head at the notion of intruders.

His muscles coiled tight at the possibility of a fight and murderous rage obfuscated his vision for a second, instincts roaring and releasing adrenaline into his system.

They finished picking the lock to Sam’s door, probably thinking that Sam was alone and asleep and wanted to maybe catch him unawares. But little did they know that a full-fledged Sentinel was already on alert and waking Sam up, silencing him quickly in case one of the intruders was a Sentinel.

Sam didn’t seem to make heads or tails of the situation, since Lucifer only silenced him with a hand on his mouth and motioned for him to not utter a single word, but his attention was soon attracted by the intruders pushing the door open and getting inside and panic spilled into Sam’s eyes, but Lucifer calmed him down with a reassuring smile.

He motioned for Sam to get behind him as he made his way towards the door to check where the fuckers were. He might have looked calm on the outside, it was like a trigger when he saw Sam scared, but on the inside he was like a volcano full of rage ready to spill over the first motherfucker who crossed his way.

He was beyond angry. How could they even think of trespassing into his territory like entitled assholes and fucking threaten his Guide’s safety? They certainly had a death wish Lucifer was all too eager to satisfy.

He stomped into the living room, not giving them a chance to react, before his fist connected with the closest masked dude, quickly recognized the outfit as the one Russian assassins usually wore.

He channeled all that anger into his blows, so that every time a punch or a kick connected, it either send the fucker sprawling into the kitchen (on one, glorious occasion) or into some well-placed piece of furniture, where Lucifer fucking hoped any pointy angle did some hurting of its own.

It didn’t help that his fucking senses were dialed up. Even his own breathing angered him. In short time he was well on his way to rage.

Two assassins adamant on kidnapping Sam again?

Over Lucifer’s fucking dead body!

But as he was thinking all this on repeat, his body was moving on its own accord. Blows were dealt in the same way kicks were: either returned or avoided. He fucking managed to deter any and all of them—that furious he was.

And he didn’t always listen to his senses, which, by the way, were working overtime, sending so much fucking information to his brain that he had a hard time hearing his own thoughts. On the odd chances he did, the mantra didn’t change at all, although it was in flashes of words like mine, fucking assholes, douchebags, Guide, hell to be paid and on and on the same words, different position.

The brush of something foreign sent his sensory input into a short-circuit. Eyes frantically searched for the source. This time a blow landed fair and square under his jaw and he fell on Sam’s goddamn wood coffee table! The breath got punched out of him, two ribs were surely cracked, his head pounded like a motherfucking marathon parade, and he bit his freaking tongue to boot.

He needed a few seconds to regain control over the internal alarms firing away like everything was on fire.

It actually was. His fucking mouth!

Ni…

Too much input all at once. His tongue felt like it grew ten fucking inches in his mouth. He tried to control the amount of information he gained from five different directions, but to no avail. Copious amounts of data assaulted him in too little time.

He turned around and another blow hit him in full force.

Nick!

This time he heard it loud and clear, as if it was spoken into his mind and not near his ear.

“Sam?” He didn’t even get out a fully-formed, normal, intelligible fucking word. It was a gurgle of two or three sounds, spit, and blood.

Y-yeah. Sorry. I’m trying to get—

And the connection was lost again. What was that? Fucking WI-FI problems? They were on the fourth floor, for fuck’s sake!

Nick! Don’t fight me. Let me help you.

How? he thought back, seeing as he was busy fending off other blows and kicks and his fucking means of verbal communication was momentarily out of order.

Allow me to touch your mind.

You did that before, Lucifer snapped, the anger all over the place.

Sam’s calm voice reached him again as he narrowly avoided a kick to his stomach and managed to kill one of the two assassins by twisting his head with brute force and anger. I wasn’t conscious at the time. And it’s not the same thing.

Lucifer would have sighed in exasperation, if he wouldn’t have been otherwise engaged. He thought it would require a certain amount of concentration to allow Sam to have access to his thoughts and senses, but it was actually as easy as understanding a new concept. The way his mind opened up and wrapped around that foreign feeling, it pushed Lucifer off balance and he tilted sideways, which came to be in his favor as another kick was flying his way.

To say that everything became sharper and clearer was a given. What really surprised him was how effectively his rage stuttered down to nonexistence when Sam’s well of patience and calm and balance and all that was so preternaturally beyond Lucifer came spilling inside him like a summer breeze into a hot room.

No more bits of information and chaos.

No more confusion.

No more fighting on autopilot.

His ribs still hurt and his tongue was pulsing alongside his heart, though. So no improving on that front.

It was still better than before.

When the second assassin was down with zero chances of getting up ever again, he released the tight hold he held onto himself and Sam’s mental presence, and let gravity pull him down.

Sam’s hands fisted into the t-shirt whose material wasn’t the softest, most Sentinel-friendly, but it was still better than most of his own clothes, and shook him, a desperate look on his face.

“Nick! Nick, stay with me! Please don’t zone out again!”

“’m not,” Lucifer slurred, because it happened when one hit his head as hard as he did and still made gargantuan efforts to assure their Guide that they weren’t on their merry way to Hell. Because people like Lucifer would always choose the company over the climate. “‘m just passing out.”

And he was out like a light, with the knowledge that Sam was safe. He protected his Guide. He appeased his Sentinel instincts. He did his duty.

Sam was safe.

 

Chicago Hospital

1500 hours

 

The smell of strong coffee, saccharine, ginger and something else, unfamiliar and sterile brought him back among the living. The apparent silence in the room had background noise, suffused by the thick walls and double-doors, which meant that he was most probably in a hospital, laid half-naked on a bed that had Sentinel-friendly sheets.

Three sets of heartbeats, besides his own, he distinguished from the usual chaos outside his room. Each one was at a different stage of closeness to him. He tried to guess to whom they belonged to; at least one of them he was sure at one hundred percent that belonged to Sam. Another one should have been Balthazar, and the third one was a mystery.

“Good morning, ray of sunshine. I see life’s been treatin’ you well in my absence.”  He would have recognized that snarky voice anywhere, anytime and anyplace. He wished his brother would have stayed a mystery, though.

Everything that had anything to do with Gabriel should stay where it belonged. His brother included.

“Nick!” The scrape of the plastic chair pulled a wince from Lucifer and when he finally braved the world beyond his eyelids, he was treated to a relieved and unscathed Sam.

His fucking Guide.

He drank in the sight of Sam, because he had nowhere near enough of him.

“I see you still cling to your childhood alias.” The grin cracked into the words. Lucifer stubbornly refused to look at his brother, even as Sam turned a confused look into his direction.

A perfectly distinguished sigh came from the foot of his bed. “You better tell Sam the whole story, before your brother makes everything worse,” said Balthazar.

“Excuse me!” Ah, the dramatic flair of his brother. Unmistakable and totally dismissible.

He actually managed to tune out the little argument his brother and friend were having in the other corner of the room. But then he looked up at Sam and the smile on his face told Lucifer everything he needed to know.

He was starting to like the perks of being bonded to a Guide.

“Can I get a kiss before I start to spill my tragic history?” he asked with the best pleading expression he could summon up on a hospital bed.

Sam just laughed and shook his head, but complied almost too readily. Relief bounced off from Sam to himself and back again, but he was too caught up into Sam’s closeness and warm lips to wonder at the strangeness of it all.

“Hey, hey!” Gabriel’s offended voice filtered feebly through his thoughts. “I want in on the action! If not actively, at least passively.”

“You and your voyeuristic tendencies.” It sounded like Balthazar was grabbing his brother and bodily pushing him towards the door. “Let’s give them a bit of privacy, darling.” Said with a load of sarcasm.

“It’s called threesome, Luci,” Gabriel continued. “And sharing with your little bro.”

Lucifer flipped him the finger, before Balthazar closed the door behind them, and Sam broke the kiss because he couldn’t repress his chuckles anymore.

“Your brother is pretty adamant,” Sam noticed, eyes twinkling.

“And a perv.” Lucifer rolled his eyes and roamed over Sam’s face. “Besides, I’m not in a sharing mood right now. I recently realized how close I came to skirt around the opportunity of my life. So no sharing.”

“Oh.” Sam leaned in and touched Lucifer’s nose with his own. “That doesn’t sound as final as it’s meant to.”

Lucifer grinned, and winced almost immediately when the smile tugged at the cut on his lip.

“So, from where should I start to spill my guts?” His smile wasn’t as light as his words were, and Sam regarded him for a few drawn-out moments.

“From where your brother left?”

Lucifer cocked an eyebrow. “Are you asking me if I’m into threesomes, Sam?”

His Guide blushed. Six feet and counting of Adonis frame and a blush? He was so screwed. But he got his answer, even if in a non-verbal way. He tucked that information away for later prodding.

“What did he mean by childhood alias?” Sam tried to compose himself and will the heat down from his cheeks.

Lucifer hummed, smiling at Sam as the man was suddenly interested in the room’s decorations. “My real name is Lucifer Morningstar,” he said finally, and that got Sam’s full attention. “On my birth certificate I figure as Nick L. Morningstar. When kids started to pick on me because of my unusual name, I told my dad that I won’t ever return to school. He sat down with me for the entire evening, thinking up a lot of tactics to change my mind, but I wouldn’t budge.

We reached a compromise by the end of dinner: he would help me find another name, but I would have to go to school. I agreed. Truth to be told, I didn’t really want to give up school. Despite the nasty kids, I liked learning new things. When I thought up Nick as my name, dad made all the necessary arrangements to change the name on my birth certificate and moved me into another school. It was farther away from where we lived, but at least I could go to school and never worry about the name-callings.”

He couldn’t read Sam’s expression (or lack thereof). It was a clean slate. Not even his heartbeat changed during Lucifer’s recounting.

“Thank you,” Sam said sincerely, and there it was: his voice wasn’t steady.

Lucifer looked dumbstruck at Sam. “You’re thanking me for telling you my woes?”

His Guide huffed a laugh. “I’m thanking you for being truthful to me and for trusting me with your past.”

Oh.

It actually was easy to open up to Sam, something he found damn hard around even Balthazar, who was his closest and oldest friend. He grabbed Sam’s shirt and pulled him into another intense kiss, to Sam’s surprise and temporary flail.

“You know I’m never letting you go, right?” Lucifer breathed out, forehead touching Sam’s.

Sam just smiled that dimpled smile of his that got to Lucifer every single time, and closed his eyes in pure relief and joy.

 

 


adorablebastard: (pic#9723133)
A\N Apparently, I have a poetic vein in my body -- still pulsing. 




----

there's violence 
in your heart
that shatters hope 
in fragments,
kaleidoscopic 
and mundane.
 

----

 
you break down
on a dislocated knee,
teemed with gargled noise
like a gargoyle with fish
behind its ears
and Harpies screeching
from old wounds.


 
----

scratch, exhale,
inhale, whimper,
noteworthy of your
attention,
a hagiography of nonsense
blessed by the morning's dew.
 
adorablebastard: (pic#9723133)
"How do you want to be: safe or free?"
"Why can't I be both?"
"A bird can't fly and breath underwater, too." The look on the boy's face was very much unconvinced by the metaphor. He backtracked. Smiled from the corner of his lips. "Your society made it so you couldn't have one without giving up the other."
A few seconds of thought, the boy's face serene, but the man could see the cogs turning behind those deep hazel eyes. 
"I still don't want to choose," the boy pronounced the words carefully, as if he wasn't entirely sure if those were his words or another's.
The man huffed and looked up at the starry sky. 
"One day you will have to."


A\N  I found this little conversation in my Writerbox. I still don't know what I wanted to do with it or where do I want to go, but I'm confident that one day I'll know. Today is not that day, heh. It can be an original idea or a fanfic one :) Until I decide which one, I'll post it here to know where to find it :)
adorablebastard: (Default)
Title: He is just away.
Pairing: Gabriel\Sam
Rating: General Audience
Words: 2,436
Warnings\Content: Major Character Death, AU, placed in the 19th century, POV first person. 

Summary:  None of them want to acknowledge it. But both know deep down that they can't fight it off.

A\N: Another old-ish fic of mine. This is the result of listening to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata while doing the dishes.  Title comes from J. W. Riley's poem "He is not dead". 

Also found on AO3.





I hear his wet cough as soon as I step inside, the snowflakes following me in as if attracted by the lukewarm air in the house.
 
I shed my winter coat and take the gaslamp from the table near the door. I take the stairs two at a time, finding it bittersweet how not a month ago I used to do it with anticipation and not trepidation.
 
“Sam,” I say, pain, relief, warmth and love all mixed together, when I step into our chamber. “Sam,” I say again, lower, whispering, letting my hand caress his fevered forehead.
 
Letting myself remember his smiles and laughs, the voice that always called me to him, now just a ghost of what once was. He opens his eyes, slowly, as if he doesn’t want to greet the dim lit chamber, the grim reality of his condition. I wish that I could see again that vivid green, brimming with life and curiosity; I wish that the dark color which greets me now isn’t so unfocused, so lost and helpless as it is.  
 
I lean over - I can’t help myself, I just can’t -  lean closer to him, a pathetic smile surely adorning my lips. I wait for him to recognize me, to remember he’s not alone in this; to remember I’m still here, still beside him, still loving him with the same devotion and passion as the first day we met.
 
He smiles weakly when he does. I feel my heart swelling and breaking at the same time. My fingers, entwined with his, squeeze in reassurance and Sam tries to do the same, but he’s too weak to do it properly.
 
So I let myself lean over some more, looking at him as my lips touch the corner of his mouth, soft and lingering. I close my eyes, savouring the moment, the feeling, and Sam’s hand squeezes mine with more force now. Before I have time to process it, his head turns, just an inch and my peck transforms into a close-mouthed kiss.
 
My eyes snap open and I get sucked into the warm green, now clear of any fog or uncertainty which made me feel so much pain and loneliness. But not now. Now I freely let myself get lost into his eyes, enveloped in familiar warmth and love. Things I crave so much, now handed to me for the first time in a long while.
 
It’s more than I could’ve hoped for. Our lips touching, even if it’s an echo of how we used to devour one another, sometimes fighting for dominance. Sometimes evolving into more.
 
I don’t choke on my greed, every inch of me fighting against me to taketaketake, because Sam breaks the kiss suddenly, turning his head in the opposite direction, the coughs that he probably suppressed becoming unbearable.
 
I try to lighten the pain, when the fit ebbs away and Sam’s face is full of remorse and apologies. I try to bring warmth again.
 
“How’re you feelin’ today, gorgeous?” I ask, and I miserably pat myself on the shoulder for the perfect act of cheerfulness I managed to put on. “Ready to take your sexy instrument in your hands and make me hot for you again?”
 
He smiles, a touch brighter, a touch more lively, and he sucks the humid air in, prepared to answer, but the words get lost in another violent fit of coughing that overwhelms him. I have to help him sit so he won’t choke on his cough.
 
I see the signs of what’s to follow fast enough and I quickly bring the bowl from under his bed to let him empty the contents of his stomach.
 
I cringe and lock my knees so they won’t give out on me when all Sam spits is blood. I’m breaking inside seeing him suffer like this and I simultaneously curse myself and the world for being so helpless, for not finding anything to alleviate the pain of what doctors have no clue Sam has.
 
It’s eating me alive.
 
I keep going on.
 
“Sam, you need to eat something,” I say half an hour later, hands full of a bowl with soup.
 
It’s made from scraps, from what I could still find in our empty cupboards. Not even spiders live there. The situation is that drastic.
 
Sam shakes his head again. Of course he does. Of course he knows. I haven’t managed to sell another song in a week now.
 
“Sam,” I say more forcefully, hoping he’ll listen to reason and eat.
 
Sam just looks at me, eyes half lidded, and I can’t gauge what he’s feeling, I can’t see beneath the sick filled mask. It pains me to not be able to read him like I used to.
 
He purses his lips and I know. Somehow.
 
“Sam, don’t do this to me!” I say, sucking in air and fighting with every remains of energy I have against the tears that are welling up behind my eyelids. “Please eat,” I plead, hoping against hope that my last resort will move him, make him give in.
 
He sighs, a long, suffering sigh, as if it pains him to eat more than it pains me to see him not eating, and I want to laugh. I want to let out a long, pathetic, broken laugh, because he’s being so damn ridiculous. And stubborn and brave and… and… selfless, caring, loving, even when he’s fighting the disease that’s eating him from the inside.
 
Even when he sleeps fretfully, never enough to give his body a break, to leave space for recovery.
 
He opens and closes his mouth, repeating the motion a couple of times, before he coughs a little more and finally, finally gives in and takes the bowl.
 
I smile. Not the usual pain-sustained one, not even the tired, pathetic one. No. It’s that smile that’s become so rare for the past months, the one full of relief and warmth and joy and love. I watch as he slowly lifts the spoon to his lips, sipping almost reluctantly. My smile grows when he repeats the motion, and soon the bowl is half empty.
 
More than he ate this week. God, I’m so relieved.
 
I don’t even feel the hole in my stomach as I take the soup from his hands, but I do stop when Sam’s long, slim fingers latch onto my wrist. They’re cold, but sweaty.
 
I look at him, a question in my eyes and he keeps his gaze locked onto mine, no sign that he wants to say something nor that he’d let go of my hand. Truth is, I don’t want him to. It’s been so long since I touched him for any other purpose but to check his temperature or help him sit or use the toilet.
 
It’s been so long since I touched him just because I could, just because that was another way of saying ‘I love you’ when my mind was too busy creating music, but my body remembered the need of affection we both craved. I miss him like that.
 
I miss him horribly.
 
“Gabriel,” he rasps, and I can’t feel bad for what does my own name spoken by him do to me; for the leap my heart did, encouraging it to beat faster, harder, with renewed power.
 
I’m weak against the surge of hope that fills every inch of me, making me believe in tomorrow, into another day beside Sam.
 
“I love you, Sam.” I need to say it; I just need to say it again to him like I just need to breath to keep me going. I don’t care if I voice out those words every day, if I did it this morning, before going out to hunt down doctors, information and potential clients for my songs.
 
I want to say it again. I will say it as many times as I want; as many times as he needs me to. I’ll say it until my lungs catch fire, until my voice gives up on me. Then I’ll write it in as many forms as I know of, I’ll give my piano the voice I lost, make it continue intoning those three words.
 
Sam smiles, and his eyes fill with warmth and love. I find myself mirroring it and we look at each other for what seems like hours. Of course, it’s no more than a minute, probably.
 
“Will you play for me?” he manages to say without being interrupted by the coughs.
 
“Moonlight?” I ask, voice breaking a bit over the last syllable.
 
Sam smiles. “You know me so well.”
 
I wish I didn’t.
 
I wish I didn’t have to smear that song with our grim reality.
 
I want to remember it as the song that made you unable to take your eyes off me when you first heard me playing it. I want to remember this song as the thread that linked our fates together.
 
But Sam likes to hear it when he’s well enough to be delighted by it.
 
Disheartened, I stand up from the chair and make my way to the adjacent room, where the piano waits beside the fire. Sam can easily see me playing from his bed.
 
Before I can touch the keys of the piano, I hear Sam saying, “Don’t stop,” in a weak voice, and when I turn around to look at him, I see something in his eyes, something that tips me off. I ignore it. Sam seldom asks for something, so if he wants to hear Beethoven’s sonata, then so be it.
 
But that’s not it and I know it. It’s easier to follow that thought, though.
 
The first note slides reluctantly in the air, and I find myself sucked into a familiar world. A dimension parallel to the one I’m living in. I always feel welcomed here, close to the warmth I so much miss, close to that memory I treasure.
 
Like this, I’m closer to Sam than I’ve been for the past few weeks.
 
I know he’s watching me through dark, long eyelashes, watching how my hands dance around the keys, black and white, high and low, nimble, gracious. I’m sure he remembers, now halfway through the sonata. That day we met at the party; a beautiful, warm day, spring in full bloom, friends and strangers mingling together, and then there was the piano.
 
And Moonlight tingling the pads of my fingers, of course.
 
I felt his eyes on me across the room and as soon as I lifted them, I knew I wouldn’t be able to will them to return on the keys.
 
We never exchanged any words until that day. But we did pass each other in the Academy’s halls or catch glimpses of one another at different concerts.
 
I laugh at my own inability to make the first move. Me, charismatic, socialite Gabriel Milton unable to charm my way into Sam Winchester’s pants. But I knew deep down that there was more to it than mere physical attraction.
 
He knew it too. We slowly gravitated towards each other. A slow waltz of casual glances, small smiles and awkward conversations. We were still learning how to navigate this unknown feeling that brought us together.
 
Sam coughs again and I frown, eyes still closed, but I don’t stop. He asked me not to, and I’ll respect his wish, even if I’m fighting against the instinct that tells me I should stop fooling around with the piano and go stay at his side.
 
Go be the faithful man I transformed into.
 
Go be the loving man Sam brought to light.
 
His lover, boyfriend, partner… I don’t care. Love is fluid and endless. The love I feel for him is protective, fierce and passionate.
 
I’ll never give up on Sam, on what we have between us. I’ll never hate my heart for beating so loudly when I’m near him. I’ll never--
 
“Gabriel.” An almost imperceptible pause in the song.
 
No. No, please. Stop. Don’t.
 
I squeeze my eyes shut tightly.
 
“I love you, too,” he says, voice quiet, tired, and I stop myself from clenching my hands into fists.
 
I fight my heart, stubbornly refusing to let my pulse rise, but I’m helpless against my body’s reactions. Feelings, oh so many feelings. They’re too much, too many, too… intense, fierce, they ruthlessly rip me apart.
 
I let them. I’m only human.
 
I don’t stop. The song is nearing it’s end, but I keep repeating the last notes, I keep imagining that Sam is still watching me, still smiling, still breathing… heart still beating.
 
It’s not enough. It’s never enough. Not the time, not the love, not…
 
Feelings can’t be stopped. I know. So I let them overwhelm me, let them break the adagio sostenuto of the sonata, let them spill forth. Tears evade my tightly shut eyes, warm and wet, sliding down my cheeks and then falling into oblivion, crashing onto the cold floorboards.
 
Now I give up. I do. I’m sorry. I’ve been strong for so long…
 
I can’t take this anymore, I can’t lie to myself that tomorrow I’ll be doing the same things that I did today. I just can’t bring myself to believe that tomorrow I’ll tell him again those three words.
 
“Sam.”
 
It’s shattered and wet, salty because of the tears. It’s not a shout, but an ugly sob, a desperate plea of a broken man who loved so much… so little. It never felt enough when I was at his side. Sam deserved better than me, I knew it, but he still chose me. Still told me with fierce conviction that I was all he needed, all he searched for. The same as me. And I believed him. God, did I believe him.
 
I needed him, needed his love. All he would give me. And just like that I fell in love with him, and then continued to do it each day, falling in love over and over again. A vicious cycle. One that I delighted being a part of.
 
I lean over the piano, hiding my face into my hands.
 
I don’t want to look back, look at him. No. Not now. Not ever. He didn’t deserve this. I didn’t deserve this. He was all that I cared for in the world for the past three years. Every last crumb of love I had in me was dedicated to him, to his smiles, to his words, to that smart, working mind behind the warm green of his eyes.
 
“Sam.”
 
How am I supposed to go on now, broken, barely functional?
 
Tell me…  
 
… wherever you are now.
adorablebastard: (pic#9723133)
Title: The gravity of love
Pairing: Sam/Lucifer
Rating: Teen
Word count: 4,950
Warnings/Spoilers: Lucifer as Sam, Sam's soul, settled somewhere after Sam says yes.

Notes
: This is actually my first Samifer fic from back in 2014.

Summary
: "You're ready to destroy the entire human race, but you wouldn't dare touch your vessel's soul. I wonder what that says about your true intentions, brother."

Found also on AO3.





--


“What a happy place your head is.”

It startles Sam and he loses the grasp of Milton's Paradise Regained. The Devil’s smooth voice is not a thing he hears everyday.

“Thoughts running free, never denied a position in your mind, never kept on a leash just because the outside world has very instilled, very black and white notions about what’s bad and what’s not. Here, good and evil smolder together like they were never meant to be apart. Here, you didn’t let the outside poison your inside. Yet, I don’t understand why you are so harsh with me. Why do you keep labeling me?”

“Maybe because you’re the Devil, trying to wear me like a Halloween costume party?”

A smile plays at the corners of Lucifer’s lips.

“You’re so eager to please your brother, so willing to take on your shoulders the weight of saving humanity from destruction, that you’re pointedly ignoring what you really want; what you truly desire.”

“You’re speaking nonsense again.”

“See? You readily disregard yourself just because you know it’s for everybody’s good; it’s what you’re supposed to do and in doing so you are slowly deteriorating yourself.”

“Is this another of your sick games to make me say yes? If so, you can stop right there, because I won’t say it.”

Lucifer’s smile, a touch wider than the previous one, sends chills down his spine, a bad feeling creeping at the back of his mind. Immediately after, though, a strange noise breaks the silence of the motel room and the sound of flapping wings catches Sam’s attention.

An impossibly white dove settles on the edge of the desk, not two feet away from where Lucifer stands. It has a certain glow to it and Sam can’t make the uncomfortable feeling from underneath his skin stop. He doesn’t know if he should flee the room and never turn back or get up and touch the dove. The intensity of these two feelings is making him jittery and he glances at Lucifer, who, in turn, is looking at him intently, hungry even.

It’s like he’s curious to see what kind of reaction Sam will have at the sight of the small bird.

“What’s that?” Sam finds his voice again. Dread is seeping uncontrolled through every letter his mouth forms.

“You know very well what it is.” Lucifer’s levelled tone carries out to Sam.

He gulps, his eyes fixing the dove with horror.

“Make it go away!” He whispers, the irrational fear having bested him.

“Why? Why are you so afraid of your true self?” The Devil asks, rocking slightly on his feet, the ghost of a smile adorning his chiselled face. “Because in my opinion, this is the most spectacular and beautiful think I’ve ever seen since the beginning of time. And trust me, I’ve seen a lot.”

Yeah, trust the Devil to find beauty in the oddest things ever. Maybe he’s an oddity himself -- most definitely, given the changes he went through while Falling.

“Change is not always a bad thing, Sam,” he says, because of course he heard Sam’s thoughts.

Nevermind one’s privacy, it’s not important.

Sam snorts. “Speaking from your personal experience or is it a line you heard during your stay on Earth?”

He’s being bitter on purpose. Actually, he can’t quite help it, his tongue seeming to have a mind of its own. A flash of hurt crosses Lucifer’s features. It is just that, though - just a flash, gone before his next blink.

Lucifer’s eyes grow distant for a moment and his mouth turns into a displeased frown.

“Think about what you truly want, Sam. Only when you’ll come to terms with it, you’ll finally be free.”

Sam blinks, taken aback, and Lucifer’s gone.

 

--

 

There’s nothing left of Dean in there.

There’s nothing left of the angel that dared disobey his orders.

There’s only chaos until the fight will be over. Whichever side wins, that will be the ruling one. That side will decide the faith of the Earth.

Lucifer looks at Michael’s vessel--at his brother now, because Dean has been completely overwhelmed by the archangel’s Grace. He looks at him and sees only desire to win this battle, only hatred and betrayal (most probably on behalf of their Father).

As broken and changed as Lucifer is, he can’t not feel a faint stir of sadness somewhere within his chest. This is his brother that he’s fighting. The archangel that always looked up to their Father with reverence and love. The archangel that so readily shared his love with the humans. The archangel who never once stepped wrong, who never once disobeyed any word of his Father.

The same archangel is blaming Lucifer for all that went wrong with Heaven and Earth, because both of them know that that’s actually the root of the current battle.

The fight that both sides have long since been awaiting is finally in full development.

Half of the planet is destroyed, flattened to the ground, burned. All of this has happened in a week and nobody stopped them from doing it. Nobody interfered with their wrath-like outbursts of energy. Pure, thick waves of energy creating devastating repercussions for every clash of wings or swords.

Once again, where is God in all this mayhem?

Does He like the suffering His beloved seraphim brought into the world of His favourite toys?

Except for Michael, all the other archangels are dead. The rest of the Garrison is fighting Lucifer’s demons. The bets are even between the two sides. What will determine the winner is their fight. Only their fight.

Somehow, Lucifer wants God to interfere. Somehow, he wants to see Him again. To look at him and feel even a faint echo of His Love.

He smiles bitterly when nothing happens.

Of course He won’t show up and stop His sons from fighting. Of course He won’t grant his wish to see Him again. After all, Lucifer is the root of all evil. Maybe the world was too perfect back then, at the beginning. Maybe God needed something to balance things, to make them even. Too much good was becoming insufferable. That’s why he created the humans. To have an excuse for creating the evil.

An evil borne from good, that is.

Lucifer is long past the stage of feeling the victim here. He is well past wanting the things to go back to the way they were before--before everything.

He misses the warm feeling of love His Father always sent to him, he misses his brothers and sisters dearly. It’s true. But he chose a path, even if he was somewhat induced to do it. He discovered he has a will of his own and he is free to be and do whatever he wants. So, what he’s doing right now is trying to exploit the ‘destiny’ his Father wrote for him. As best as he can.

Lucifer realized that not just the humans have free will and the liberty to choose. Angels, too, have it. If Castiel and Gabriel and Anna weren’t enough proof of it, then the others are too caught up in the system to avert their eyes slightly to one side and see things from another perspective.

He knows that starting to think, to really think, doesn’t truly mean that they disobey orders, but the lot of them were specifically created for this purpose. To obey orders; to be soldiers.

The only comfort Lucifer allows his brothers and sisters is that they are needed.

“You’re not focused, brother,” Michael says through Dean’s voice, using his wings to create a gush of wind and send Lucifer flying--

-- two states over, because there are no obstacles slowing him down.

Lucifer was distracted. The first in a very long while. Must have been because of his conflicted vessel’s soul that his train of thought went further and further back in time and in so many different directions.

Unlike Michael, Lucifer didn’t allow his Grace to consume Sam’s soul. Instead, he created a sort of cocoon inside his own infinite micro-universe where Sam can continue living, unaware of the outside situation. He still thinks he didn’t say ‘yes’ to Lucifer, even though he isn’t suspicious of the fact that none of his family or friends are there. He could always conjure them from his memories, if he wished it hard enough, but until now, Lucifer hadn’t felt the presence of anyone except the two of them.

It became -- and he was aware of this development long before deciding on keeping Sam alive -- his own little paradise. A place where he goes each and every time there’s a break in his fight with Michael.

“I was reminiscing times long past,” Lucifer says, standing up from the ground as if he were a human.

His wings, outstretched at their full width and height, are still and only the breeze of warm air moves the feathers.

“You speak the truth,” Michael concedes, looking at his brother with a calm and assessing look. Something that is so far from the expressions Dean usually wears -- only Sam could tell. “They are times long since past. They will never return and we will never return to them.”

“Time isn’t a foreign and unknown concept to us.”

“It is not, but that doesn’t mean we are free to bend it at our will.”

“Except we are,” Lucifer counters. “As beings far above the others that He created, we are entitled to use our powers.”

“Not how we please,” Michael says and Lucifer’s wings quiver a little. “This is something you stubbornly refused to understand, brother. What our Father did was test our capacity to share our love for something other than our siblings or Him.”

“Things were perfect before He created them.” The Devil’s voice changes tone, turning out more wistful and vexed. “Why did he have to create the humans?”

“You speak with so much anger and wrath about our Father’s last creations, yet, you are reluctant in letting your vessel’s soul perish under the force of what’s left of your Grace,” Michael points out, his green-blue eyes piercing through his brother’s.

Lucifer blinks, his face an expressionless mask containing the multitude of emotions that Michael’s comment riled up. He forces his wings into stillness, not wanting to give away how surprised he is.

How could he know about Sam? He was careful in hiding every trace his soul might have left behind. It’s impossible for him to have discovered Lucifer’s little secret.

Michael smiles a private smile.

“You’re ready to destroy the entire human race, but you wouldn’t dare touch your vessel’s soul. I wonder what that says about your true intentions, brother.”

It amazes Lucifer how easily Michael managed to created a ripple in his otherwise determined reasons.

He refuses to let him win this small argument.

“That maybe I’m keeping him for the last,” Lucifer says indifferently.

Michael smirks before launching himself into another attack.

The entirety of Canada is an unrecognizable patch of dark, scorched vastness.

 

--

 

The dove is still there, even if the room is different.

It goes from here to there, always in as close proximity as Sam lets it be. He’s currently gazing out of the window, lost in thought and unaware of Lucifer’s presence.

The fallen archangel takes more than a couple of moments to look at Sam, because the calm is back again in Lucifer’s mind and he just wants to revel in it. He feels Sam’s wandering thoughts, how they jump from one thing to the other, always ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room (which, apparently, has taken the form of a dove, but that’s a minor detail).

Sam is aware of the bird; Lucifer knows it, because there’s a restlessness at the back of his mind. It also shows in the fingers that keep drumming on the window sill to a foreign tune for Lucifer.

He reasons that starting to talk would spook Sam so he chooses to flutter his wings.

The result is not far from what Lucifer tried to avoid, Sam taking a sharp intake of breath and turning around. Only when the archangel offers a small, apologetic smile, does the hunter visibly relax to his previous state.

“Have you thought about what we’ve talked about?” Lucifer asks in the smooth tone he reserves only for Sam.

It is pleasant to the ear and it seems to coax the hunter into being more open than if he were to speak in his usually toneless voice he uses for when dealing with the others.

Sam throws a quick glance at the dove that has settled itself on the backrest of a chair, three feet away from him.

“No. Why?” he asks, trying for casual and missing by a mile.

“Because I can’t help you, if you don’t help yourself, dear Sam.”

A muscle twitches on Sam’s face at Lucifer’s use of the endearment. The archangel can clearly see how Sam is debating whether to make him take back what he had said or give an answer and shrug off the little incident.

“You don’t mean that.” He settles for ignoring the endearment.

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“Because you have nothing to gain from helping me.”

Lucifer smiles. “Maybe I do have.”

Sam’s eyes narrow. “And what would that be?”

“Your trust.”

The hunter snorts.

“You’re playing for a cheap and unattainable prize.”

“Am I?” Lucifer smirks and silently approaches Sam. “And why would it be cheap? One’s trust, especially yours, is precious and irreplaceable.”

For a split moment, the hunter’s eyes flickered. The birth of a thought. The Devil stops a mere step away from Sam.

“Oh, you mean the same trust you failed to cherish when you rebelled against God?” Sam counters, but there’s no trace of pride or victory on his face.

“This isn’t about me,” Lucifer says gently, though he’s sure Sam is able to see the sadness and hurt on his face.

“Why not? It seems to me that we have more in co--” He stops mid-sentence, realizing what he was about to say.

They both watch one another, Sam with sheer terror and Lucifer with an unchangeable expression of calm and patience. He’s waiting for the hunter to accept or most probably get used to the fact that he can’t take back those words and their meaning (and that Lucifer will never forget them no matter what happens).

When Sam seems to still be at a loss of words, Lucifer says, “You were let to know only a part of the story. You were led to believe only one side and I’m not sure you’re prepared to hear the whole story. It goes against all that you have learned.”

The hunter looks at him, assessing his features, even though there’s nothing there to assess and inspect with careful and undivided attention, because right now, Lucifer doesn’t seem keen on repressing his emotions. He has everything right before his eyes. Unhinged honesty.

“Try me,” he challenges after a minute of consideration.

It takes the archangel a couple of seconds more to finally give in and start recounting his side of the story. He explains to Sam how much he loved God and the other angels, how happy they were together until God decided to create the humans. Sam winced at the way Lucifer talked about humanity. There was so much hatred and sadness and all of that was mixed together.

In short time, Sam realized that he opened old wounds and each and every one bled profusely into the room, making the atmosphere heavy with negative emotions until he began feeling like suffocating--or drowning. He wasn’t even sure about which one was more intense, because he has never felt this level of intensity and denseness. He had this vivid scenery of being engulfed in a smoldering black sea of hopelessness.

The most terrifying fact was that he gave up on screaming for help even before he thought about it. There wouldn’t be anyone who would rescue him, anyway. So why bother?

If he payed enough attention (which he was not, being swept away by Lucifer’s words as he was), even the room’s light seemed to dim, to bow before Lucifer’s sorrow, to accept the feeling and make room for it.

Lucifer stopped as soon as he realized the effect his feelings had on Sam. He has always kept those gates sealed--until Sam has dared to poke at them and release what was inside.

“I’m sorry,” Lucifer’s tone is somehow subdued and apologetic, though his eyes remain as piercing as ever. “I didn’t mean to do that.”

Sam’s breath is still uneven. “It’s okay. I forgot your emotions feel real even without needing to empathize.”

A faint smile plays at the corners of Lucifer’s mouth, but it disappears immediately after, replaced by a grim, though determined expression.

“Think about it,” Lucifer says, glancing at the dove that remained in both their peripheral vision.

Before disappearing, though, he leans in and places a delicate kiss on Sam’s forehead, leaving behind the shape and feeling of cool lips.

It goes without saying that Sam remained frozen in place a solid couple of minutes afterwards.

 

--

 

He never would have thought the Devil would be so cold.

Not as in distant, but as in physically cold.

It was a curious difference of body temperatures, but he never asked about it, even though whenever Lucifer caught him staring either at his face or at his hands, a smirk would bloom on his lips. That’s how Sam knew that the fallen archangel was aware of his curiosity, yet never prompted the hunter to act on it.

It was a mindless, wordless game they were playing. No rules, no boundaries. Probably something to gain, but it was unclear as of what that might be.

If Sam ponders about the whole situation, there hasn’t been any returns to the real matter for which Lucifer continued to be present. Not a single word or a mindless, natural or inconspicuous digression. He might have grown suspicious, if it weren’t for the Devil’s deftly constructed deviations. Many topics concerning as many valid points and large spaces left open for consideration.

“You know,” Sam begins after Lucifer settles on the only chair in the room, while he is sitting on the bed, his back against the wall. “you can always go with the simplest solution and just ask for forgiveness?” He says, half-shrugging. “Have you ever thought about it? Pride and all of the others left aside.”

Lucifer’s lips curl up in an amused, yet warm, smile. “Yes, I’ve thought about it. On multiple occasions, actually.”

“Yet, you never acted on it?” Sam quirks up one eyebrow.

The Devil looks at the hunter for a long time, his face unreadable. When Sam starts to fidget under the intense stare, he simply says, “No.”

“Because?” Sam prompts, since Lucifer doesn’t elaborate.

“Sam, don’t try to search for reasons why I acted the way I did. You will lose yourself in the whirl.”

“But you did have a reason--or more, for your actions.”

“Yes, I did,” Lucifer answers promptly, though unhurriedly.

Several minutes pass and neither of them utters a word. A shadow of a smile plays on Lucifer’s features. He feels the wheels of Sam’s brain working furiously, trying to put the pieces of information together, then searching for the underlying messages, then overlapping the new information with the old one and see what and where the incongruencies are.  

All of this happens in the span of a couple of seconds.

He catches the furtive glance the hunter throws in the direction of the dove and sees the exact moment an idea forms in his head. Then his eyes lock on Lucifer’s, and the fallen archangel can’t deny the thrill of anticipation the look in Sam’s eyes promises.

“How about we make a deal?”

Lucifer’s lips curl into a smile like a pleased cat’s would. “A deal?”

Sam knows he should kick himself for even considering this option, but there’s a gnawing curiosity in him right now that he knows won’t spare any empathy on him.

“I will work on that,” he says, pointing at the dove and leaving an unsure pause hanging in the air. “--thing, if you promise you’ll tell me the whole story, complete with reasons for your actions and all that.”

“Are you sure you want to hear the whole truth of your religion’s very foundation?” Lucifer asks, while approaching Sam. “Because I assure you it is not something that could or would put you to sleep.”

The hunter’s eyes roam on The Devil’s features, considering it for a moment, then nods.

Lucifer smiles. A genuine, open smile that almost makes Sam take a step back in shock and wonder. He doesn’t, and then it happens. Without warning, without time to prepare for it. Sam is frozen for the duration of it.

Lucifer’s lips press gently onto Sam’s, neither of them closing their eyes. Glacial, piercing blue, focused on dissolved green with specks of brown.

All Sam’s thoughts vanish. Just like that. He’s not thinking, not hearing anything. He only feels. Feels the press, the cold, the shiver that travels through his body, dispersing and fragmenting itself in tiny rivulets of unrestrained energy. They settle just beneath his skin, bringing it alive in a way he has never felt before. It’s like there’s not a single inch of skin that’s not vibrating, causing bouts of goosebumps all over his body.

Lucifer’s intense stare doesn’t help one bit. It pins Sam down; it makes him unable to even dare to blink.

How much did it last, Sam doesn’t know. Doesn’t even want to know. It’s not important. Not the way Lucifer’s action is, right now. Why?

“Why did you do that?” Sam whispers, not trusting his voice with a higher volume.

He’s aware of the mixed feelings it triggered in him. He’s not prepared, however, to hear their consequences in the way his voice will come out. Whispering is a safe bet.

Lucifer smiles again. Small, warm--fond. “Because I love you, Sam.”

The hunter’s eyes widen impossibly and he forgets to breathe.

“My actions may trigger hate and distrust, but that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of love.”

“But that goes against--”

“Everything,” Lucifer finishes with a calm smile. “Yes, I know. It goes against everything that you know about me.”

“I…” Sam frowns.

How do you deal with something of this magnitude? How do you even begin to understand it?

“How am I supposed to reply to that?”

Lucifer shrugs. “You don’t have to. I only wanted you to know that I love you.”

It hurts. Whenever he pronounces that word, it makes Sam’s stomach contort into a knot. It’s not because he’s disgusted by it, but because it’s such a simple word, he himself used so many times. Yet, falling from Lucifer’s mouth, it holds so much meaning behind. It feels intense, fierce, protective.

It hits Sam with such force, he’s surprised he’s still standing.

His eyes have not stopped roaming over Lucifer’s face, searching for even the tiniest evidence that he was playing another of his games. He sees only honesty and openness; eagerness, even. As if he’s hanging on the next words that will come out of Sam’s mouth.

“Sam,” Lucifer says gently, as if he’s afraid he’ll spook him if he speaks in his normal tone. “You’re shaking.”

The hunter’s eyes dart down to his hands, and true to Lucifer’s words, they are shaking. Every joint in his body is shaking. He doesn’t know what that means.

Before his knees give out on him, Lucifer’s there, effortlessly supporting Sam’s weight and guiding him to the bed. He settles on a bent knee, right besides Sam.

“Take it easy. You’re in shock right now,” he says, pushing a couple of locks away from Sam’s face.

“Of course I am. It would’ve been ridiculous not to be,” the hunter comments, a shaky smile on his lips.

Lucifer hums noncommittally. He steers Sam’s head to rest in the crook of his shoulder without any protest from the other. It seems he’s too distracted to do anything but let himself be guided.

He falls asleep to Lucifer’s hand, caressing his hair.

At the edge of the bed, a few centimeters away from Sam’s feet, the dove shines.

No deal is made between the two.

 

--

 

“You’re not cold,” Sam tells Lucifer, some time after his confession. “You’re actually burning so hot that to my touch you feel like an ice block.”

They never did talk about what The Devil admitted to him, although Sam could tell, Lucifer hadn’t forgotten. There was always an intent look in his eyes. As if he was prepared for anything Sam might say on that subject.

“Is that so?” Lucifer says in his usual calm tone, but it didn’t escape the hunter the flash of surprise that was smoothly engulfed by his usual mask.

Sam cracks a smile and looks down at the shining, white dove in his hands. It became impossible to separate himself from it after that night. It would feel unnatural to have it in any other place but beside him. Something must have unlocked deep inside Sam to feel this much love and acceptance towards the dove.

“Am I ready?” Sam asks, not taking his eyes off the little bird.

“Are you?”

He takes a couple of seconds to mull it over, then a slow, deliberate smile creeps on his face. “I am,” He whispers.

The dove explodes into a blinding light and everything disappears.

 

--

 

They don’t come back slowly. All his memories, that is. All that has happened until that very moment, which stayed hidden from him. Lucifer’s battle with Michael; his wavering determination.

They all come at once, imploding inside him like a pot kept under pressure for far too long. He’s confused, afraid, but then a soothing voice pierces through the thick veil of memories, calling him and all the chaos quietens.

He turns to look at the source of the voice. He knows he shouldn’t be able to comprehend or even take in the vastness of an archangel. But he does, and he can’t help but look at Lucifer, at his true form, with wonder.

It must say something about Sam, something that he would consider so fucked up, if he were still the old Sam, that he willingly accepts Lucifer’s beckoning embrace.

 

--

 

“Sam,” Lucifer’s true voice creates comfortable ripples in his soul. “We lost,” he tells him, no edge of sadness or anger. Nothing. Just comforting warmth.

“You let him win,” Sam smiles fondly. Or he thinks he is.

Lucifer must have seen it either way, because in the next moment, Sam’s hit by a wave of love and care.

“They must be celebrating by now,” Lucifer says instead, enveloping Sam’s soul in what can be best described as a hug from behind.

“With how uptight your brother is, I doubt it,” Sam replies and Lucifer chuckles. “Why don’t we celebrate our cosmical defeat?” he asks, feeling the way Lucifer’s Grace is playing with every particle of Sam’s soul, making him dance in tandem with the archangel.

“Wonderful idea. I’ll tell you the once and only time Balthazar managed to pull a prank on Gabriel, which then sealed Gabriel’s fate as a Trickster.”

“Now that’s a story I’d very much like to hear,” Sam says, excited. “Is he still in Spain?”

“No. He was in New Mexico, last time I saw him.” Lucifer confesses and Sam hums, the resulting waves teasing the archangel’s Grace. “But that’s a secret. He made me swore I won’t divulge it to any living or celestial being.”

Sam smirks.

“Cas and Dean are getting by,” Lucifer says without preamble, and for a split moment, Sam’s playful waves freeze in place. “They miss you, especially Dean, but they’ve resigned themselves to your presumed death.”

Then, slowly, ever so slowly, they retake their languid dance with Lucifer’s Grace. Shortly after, the archangel feels a warmth so thick it makes him smiles fondly.

“Is Cas back in Heaven?” The thought about how Dean must have felt and still feel is too painful to go and poke it just yet.

“Yes, he is. Michael restored his Grace, but he told my brother he’ll visit Dean periodically and help him if he needs. It seems Castiel’s love for your brother is hard to resist.”

Sam chuckles. “I hope Cas can fill in the hole I left… “ He trails off, his voice wavering dangerously, biting back a sob.

Lucifer soothes him, by guiding his soul into a slow dance, offering comfort. When he speaks, his voice is barely above a whisper. “You know nobody will be able to replace you in your brother’s heart. That’s how siblings, who care about each other, are made. Castiel can only try to appease the sorrow.”

Sam offers a shaky grin. “He believes in Dean. I can only hope he’ll be stubborn enough to distract him from me.”

Lucifer smiles and hums, the dance never faltering. It calms Sam to a deep level.

They remain in silence for a little while.

“Now, what was I saying about Balthazar?” Lucifer says suddenly, trying to cheer Sam up. “Oh, yeah. Gabriel was patrolling the Eden’s Gates, as he always did out of boredom, when--”

And Sam can’t do anything but let himself be filled by Lucifer’s soothing voice, as memory after memory flows in, giving Sam the most vivid and hilarious picture of a recounting. He’s surrounded by warmth and love, his brother and Cas are okay, Earth is in no Apocalypse-danger anymore--everything’s as fine as it can be.

It feels like coming home.



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