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.

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