blue_bells: BY <lj user="chosenfire28"> (Supernatural :: Somewhere to Begin - dar)
[personal profile] blue_bells
» Title: Somewhere to Begin - Part V (MASTERPOST)
» Author: [profile] _bluebells
» Artist: [personal profile] chosenfire28
» Beta: [personal profile] ladyknightanka, [personal profile] mishaphappens
» Pairing(s)/Character(s): Michael/Adam, Dean/Castiel, Lucifer/Sam/Gabriel, Raphael/Balthazar, Bobby and others
» Warnings: NC-17/R for violence, torture, gore, dub-con, angelcest, language, alcohol, and character death
» Spoilers: All seasons, AU from Season 5 finale
» Summary: Adam Milligan was just another casualty of the engine of the apocalypse. After Michael breaks them out of the Cage, Adam is accidentally thrown into the future where peace has finally settled by strange circumstances. With his memories sealed to protect his sanity, Adam learns the censored, Apocalypse-free version of the life he's forged with a suite of archangels, a crabby adopted Uncle, and brothers he never knew he had, but this has all happened before and will happen again.

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"Whatever you thought you knew about these guys? Forget it. Sam and Dean might break every law of physics to save each other, but only each other. If you drift in the tailwind of that, you’re just lucky.

Castiel will not come for you if you call; trust me, I’ve tried.

Anyone else I haven't mentioned - stay the hell away. There might be angels and friendly goblins spilling out of your pad there, but here in this time? You've got to assume they're an enemy or too fluid to be trusted. Which... brings me to Michael."


Adam unbuttoned his flannel shirt, pushed up the cotton underneath. There was a dark, angry bruise the size of a fist fanning out between his ribs, it had barely missed his heart.

He chuckled, a bleak sound, and looked back into the camera.

"This is how he says 'hello'. He's not the guy who brings you breakfast in bed. You're not a person to him, you're just a ride with an out-dated engine.”

-*-


Adam’s quiet through dinner, staring off into space and pushing the last of his potatoes around on his plate while Gabriel, Dean and Bobby work their way through the roast, growing louder as the beer and wine come out.

Sam’s pretty sure that Dean hadn’t planned to drink tonight, or at least not to drink so much, but Dean with a full belly of hot, fresh meat was as good as drunk anyway, so when Gabriel challenges him to a line of shots, Dean’s judgment is already out the window.

Bobby’s reclined in his chair, a bottle on his knee and hand propping his head against the armrest. He probably doesn’t think that Sam notices the way he snickers to himself watching Dean and Gabriel race down the line of shot glasses. There’s lightness in him that Sam sees so rarely, it’s easy to forget Bobby had it in him.

Dean crows when he beats Gabriel to drink his last shot, pumping his fists in the air, and his face is flushed, eyes bright when he reaches over to high-five Sam. Sam can’t help laughing and wonders if Dean cares about the futility of trying to drink an angel under the table. An archangel, no less.

This was Gabriel: if he wanted to win, there was no way Dean was going to beat him.

Gabriel turns to his own brother next, sitting at the head of the table.

“C’mon, Michael, you and me.”

Michael lifts his head from his hand, blinking out of whatever daydream he’d wandered into, as Gabriel lines the two rows of shot glasses back up between them. Gabriel is smiling in a way that makes Sam curious because it means he has a plan and then Gabriel snaps his fingers and the shot glasses spark with blue flames.

Sam leans forward and he sees that even Adam has sat up and is paying attention now.

“… Should I ask?” Bobby looks from the cool silver liquid licking with blue, almost translucent fire, to the angels who are locked in a steady staring contest, daring, gauging the other’s nerve.

“You can ask,” Gabriel says without looking away.

“Is it poison?” Dean asks.

“It’s hellfire,” Sam says and then blinks; he hadn’t meant to say that. Dean, Bobby and Adam look at him in surprise and some of the glow has drained from their faces. Sam didn’t realise he knew that, but when he looks again at the two rows of eight, he remembers a black lake, silver riverbeds and flames on the water. He remembers it was worse than cold and burned before he’d even gotten close.

“Oh, you gotta be kidding me,” Dean says.

Gabriel almost cackles, clapping in triumph when Michael sits forward in his seat and reaches for one of the glasses.

“Hold on.” Sam’s hand closes around Gabriel’s knee and the angel looks at him, smile unshaken. “Is this safe?”

“One shot of this has more proof than a factory of Johnnie Walkers and every cactus in Mexico, but safe?” Gabriel shrugs and his grin is full of glee. “Who do you think you’re talking to?”

“Is he serious?” Adam asks, quiet with disbelief.

“Is that silt? Is that hell dirt?” Sam nods significantly at the silver in Michael’s glass. He’s seen Gabriel throw back a lot of things over the last couple of years, but nothing like this, nothing out of Hell, and, honestly, he’s a little worried.

“It’s clean! It’s completely clean – Michael, come on.”

And before Sam can stop them, Gabriel and Michael have both tipped their heads back, blue flames disappearing in their mouths, and Sam can see the table wood has darkened where the glasses stood.

It’s only the first shot. Gabriel’s glass shatters on the stone floor and Michael slams his back to the table with a full wince, shoulders hunched as Gabriel curses, his eyes squeezed shut.

“Gabe – Gabriel!” Sam shakes his shoulder, but he’s gone as solid and hard as stone.

For one long, terrifying moment the kitchen is still as the angels hold themselves.

And then Michael gasps, eyes slitting open, and Gabriel exhales with smoke on his breath.

Holy fuck. Sam’s stomach flips.

The angels’ eyes meet and there’s the hint of a smile at the corner of Michael’s mouth.

“Again,” Michael says.

They’re crazy. They’re so crazy and Sam can’t look when Gabriel snickers, shooting another round back with his brother. They recover faster this time, Gabriel sliding down in his chair with a rasping laugh when he can breathe again as Michael shoots to his feet like he’s been shocked, chair clattering to the floor. Sam hears Michael hiss a breath between his teeth, but Sam’s too busy taking in his family’s expressions. He’s not the only one who thinks the angels are nuts.

“Is this a regular thing for you angels? Sitting up in the clouds, getting high on devil juice?” Bobby’s voice is dubious and bored.

Michael’s eyes are watering when he squints at Bobby, hands on his hips as though he’s having difficulty holding himself upright.

“No, devil juice is Luci,” Gabriel chuckles, voice hoarse and wrecked and Sam looks twice at him, unused to hearing that voice outside the bedroom. “This is from one of the deep rivers; it’s lethal to them in Hell because it’s pure. Sister to the streams of Eden.”

“So… could I try some?” Dean asks, strangely curious.

Michael throws him a withering look.

“No.” Michael’s voice is rough, too, almost a pitch deeper and dangerous like Sam remembers from not so long ago.

“Are you suicidal?” Gabriel barks, cracking up at himself. He sobers, though not by much, seeing Sam shake his head. “Don’t worry, babe. It’s not going to hurt us. Much. It’s just about the only thing that works.”

“Hey, have some water,” Adam says, getting up from the table, and Sam realizes that Michael is coughing quietly, chin to his chest as he tries to get it under control.

“No, that’ll just make it worse.” Gabriel waves him back, voice catching as he breaks into his own coughing fit.

Sam slaps him on the back and tries not to scowl. He doesn’t do a good job of hiding it.

“Feeling proud of yourself?” he mutters, rubbing small circles between Gabriel’s shoulder blades as the coughs subside. “I think you just burned Adam’s table, too.”

“It tastes like clouds,” Michael manages, still wincing, and Sam has no idea what he means since clouds were just water.

“C’mon, we’re not done,” Gabriel calls his brother back and Sam puts his foot down.

“Yes – yes you are,” Sam insists and notices that Adam’s wrapped a hand around Michael’s arm as well, holding him back.

“Get rid of that stuff, Gabriel,” Bobby orders.

The angel rolls his eyes with a heavy sigh, but when he snaps his fingers, the shot glasses are empty, back in their two rows of eight and even the burns are gone from the wood.

“Okay, who hasn’t drunk with me yet?” Gabriel looks around, expression turning flirtatious when Bobby shakes his head at him and Gabriel holds his attention for as long as it takes Bobby to stare the angel down. Gabriel shrugs, hands held up in defence, and then seems to notice Michael still hasn’t taken his seat.

“Adam!” Gabriel points, snaps his fingers at Michael’s righted chair. “You’re up.”

Sam stops rubbing circles on Gabriel’s back.

“Gabe, no,” he whispers because that would be a terrible idea.

“I ain’t drinking no hellfire.” Adam shakes his head and Sam doesn’t think Adam realises he’s still holding onto Michael’s arm.

“No hellfire!” Dean echoes, voice ringing sharply in Sam’s ear.

Sam glares at him for the affront and Dean just frowns back, stifling a burp.

Michael lifts his study of his shoes to Adam’s face and the way he blinks, slow and heavy, makes Sam thinks the angel is actually drunk. Or poisoned. Gabriel was still making noise, so it couldn’t have been so bad for them.

Gabriel’s filling the glasses with tequila when Sam looks again.

“Come o-oo-oo-oo-on, Adam! C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, gotta wash that beef and potatoes down—“

Adam looks skeptical and he’s right to. Sam shakes his head when his brother looks to him.

“You can’t win, Adam.”

Adam’s expression shifts in surprise. He looks from Sam to the drunk angel beside him.

“Oh. Really? He looks pretty buzzed.”

“You don’t know me ‘til you’re buzzed!” Gabriel encourages, almost shouting, and Sam rolls his eyes, pushes Gabriel back in his chair with a hand on his shoulder.

“He’s an archangel, dude. He’s cheating,” Sam says and mourns for the poor kid’s innocence; Adam thinks he has a chance. Sam laments that Adam’s curious and stupid enough he’s going to try. Sam knows his brother.

Sure enough, a small, familiar smirk finds Adam’s lips and he settles himself in Michael’s seat at the head of the table. He even rolls up his damn sleeves and Sam appeals to Bobby; he can’t believe this is happening, he can’t believe they’re letting this happen.

Bobby just shrugs. He looks sleepy.

“He’s an adult.”

Then Adam’s counting down with a smile in his eyes and he races Gabriel across the line.

They don’t even use any salt, lime or lemons.

“Who the hell are you?” Adam asks when he comes up for air, wide-eyed and breathless, like he’s seeing Gabriel for the first time.

“I’m everyone,” Gabriel replies, not missing a beat, “I’m everything. And I’m a Goddamn angel of the Lord.”

“Hey,” Michael pipes up fuzzily, a vague look of disapproval narrowed at Gabriel for his blasphemy.

Adam’s had eight shots of tequila, but his eyes are clear and his smile only grows when Gabriel pours them both another round and they clink glasses in cheer before they go again.

They reach the end of the line at the same time and Dean goads Adam for not beating Gabriel and upholding the family honor. Adam orders Gabriel to pour another round, determined if slightly slurred, and by the time Adam finally wins – sometime within three rounds later – they’ve almost finished their second bottle.

Gabriel’s laughing again and Adam is staring at him, suspiciously, lolling against the table.

“I’ve missed you, kid, you can stay.” Gabriel slaps a hand on his shoulder.

“That wasn’t tequila,” Adam accuses, eyelids heavy.

“I never said it was.” Gabriel shrugs, lips pulled in a wide smirk of smug conceit.

“… Fuck,” Adam groans, slowly pressing his knuckles to the bridge of his nose.

Sam sighs. It was tequila, but probably three times as potent as anything Adam had ever drank before. That’s just how Gabriel was and it’s the reason that Sam hardly ever drinks with him anymore – especially when there were other people around. Gabriel got... handsy, and Sam was rarely inclined to stop him.

“I told you, you couldn’t win.”

“Didn’t you see that? I won.” Adam’s hand falls to the table, scattering half the glasses.

One of the glasses comes skittering back and Sam sees that Dean and Bobby have started playing poker at the other end of the table. Dean’s so focused on his cards he doesn’t even look up when he pushes the rest of the glasses aside with his arm, crumbs and rosemary catching on his skin.

Adam frowns up at Michael when the angel accidentally bumps his shoulder. Sam is too busy pulling Gabriel to his feet to notice.

Neither Bobby or Dean look their way and Sam half-staggers with the weight Gabriel always seemed to lend himself when he got like this, pressing flush to Sam’s side. He’s ready for it, steadying the angel as Gabriel’s breath fans hot against his neck and Sam feels the smile in the kiss pressed to the skin beside his pulse. It’s one thing he loved and took comfort in about Gabriel: always, almost always, Sam could trust he would find him smiling.

“Raise you two, Bobby.” Dean throws two small roasted potatoes onto the plate between them and Bobby snorts.

“That’s just curiosity. You got nothing. Four.” Bobby drops more potatoes onto the plate and sniffs, adjusting his cards with oily fingerprints dusted in rosemary and thyme.

Sam jerks at the warm hand Gabriel slides under his shirt and across his stomach, up his chest and between his ribs.

He distantly registers the sound of footsteps overhead, wooden floorboards creaking, but he doesn’t think about it because Gabriel is nosing the skin under his ear, mouth moving over the lock of his jaw.

“I want you like black forest cake,” Gabriel hums against his skin, then, “I want you and cake.”

So, he’s in that kind of mood. Sam’s chest bounces with his laugh as he turns his head, catching Gabriel’s mouth easily. He’s the one smiling this time as Gabriel’s hands move under his shirt, over his heart, his collarbone, warm, close and intimately familiar, and Sam is really lucky that Dean and Bobby seem as drunk as they are.

“Downstairs bedroom,” Sam says and Gabriel doesn’t even have to snap his fingers before he’s pushing Sam down to that bed behind the closed door.

Sam is forgetting something important, but nothing is as important as the angel pulling his shirt off and straddling his hips, laughing against his mouth as Sam tangles a hand in his hair.

He’s where he needs to be and he forgets to worry.

-*-


Michael doesn’t plan it.

He doesn’t plan to meet Gabriel’s challenge and learn the fast and disinhibiting effects of raw, liquefied Hellfire. It’s still burning in the gut of his vessel, he’s sure of it, and he’s concerned that the next time he exhales he’s going to burn Adam from the inside out.

He didn’t plan to get Adam drunk. Gabriel did that all on his own and, in the end, it’s Adam with his strange, curious frown that pulls Michael after him up the stairs.

Michael’s back hits the wall as soon as the doors shuts, the bedroom falling into dark, and Adam’s immediately on him with hands in his hair, pulling Michael down for a kiss. If there are any flames still on his tongue, Adam doesn’t let it bother him.

Adam doesn’t kiss with any of the languor and tender affection that Michael's come to learn. It’s not even a shade of the curious, almost polite press of his mouth that had undone Michael the night before.

Adam’s body practically crashes against his and his kiss feels bruising, a persistent push of lips and tongue until Michael opens up for him and Adam welcomes himself inside. His hands drag Michael closer with drunk, jagged edges to his movements as though there’s still space to fill. His hands then push between them and Michael realizes Adam’s fumbling with the button of his pants.

No, the word strikes through Michael as Adam’s harsh breathing rings in his ears. This rough, accidental rut in the dark isn’t him, it isn’t who they are. Not anymore.

Michael remembers the first time Adam touched him. Adam hadn’t really been himself then. Tonight was pleasant by comparison, but Michael remembers the flush of that confusion when Adam had laughed, bright and mad, digging fingers into the wound at Michael’s lower ribs even as he wrapped legs around the angel’s waist, holding tight.

Tonight reminds him too much of that rough, lustful violence and Michael pushes Adam back. He catches the hand seeking the zipper of his jeans, holding on when Adam just tries to swing his arm free of Michael’s grip.

“Isn’t this what you want?” Adam mutters and Michael can hear the annoyance in his voice. It’s a shallow frustration because Adam’s only listening to his body, Michael’s almost certain it’s just the alcohol talking.

Adam’s asked him a question. He wishes he could lie.

“Not like this,” Michael manages, Hellfire dulling his strength when Adam twists, hand clamping down on Michael’s wrist and pulling him along roughly.

He thinks Adam means to lead him to the bed, but they trip, Michael catching them both before they fall over their own feet with hands around Adam’s waist, though Adam counterbalances and they fall anyway. Michael sprawls on his back and his head thunks on the wooden floor.

He stares up at the ceiling in the dark. Does he imagine those blue flames dancing across the ceiling?

Careful fingers find his face, travelling to his hair.

“Are you okay?” Adam asks, hand pressing firm, but gently, across his scalp as though searching for a wound, even if the rest of him is letting Michael bear his weight.

He’s not heavy enough to debilitate Michael. The angel could lift or push him off if he really wanted to but, for some reason, he’s too shocked by the evidence of Adam’s interest that he can feel hard against his thigh.

If Adam couldn’t remember the last five years, where was this coming from?

“Stand up,” Michael says, swallowing when Adam’s weight shifts and rolls hard against his hips instead. Adam’s hands push up under his shirt, too casual, too confident, and Michael tenses with a shiver at the wet, heavy kiss that scrapes with teeth below his collarbone. “Adam, you don’t want to do this.”

He hears Adam’s sigh from very close when Michael catches his hands again, feels the end of that breath on his face, smelling of beer and tequila.

“How the hell do you know what I want?” Adam says, short and exasperated. “You’re hot. I’m hot. We’re here anyway.”

Adam’s words land like a physical blow, his hips grind against Michael before he’s even finished talking and Michael bucks, unable to stop himself despite the ache that twists and pulls in his chest.

He thinks these vessels act too easily without their owner’s volition, he thinks he should be better at controlling their impulses, but the Hellfire’s dampened that control tonight when he needs it most and Adam’s drunk, hard and needy above him. One part of Michael wants to shove him away because this isn’t Adam, this Adam doesn’t understand where they are or how far they’ve come, and he doesn’t want Michael the way Michael needs him. The self-preserving part of Michael that’s willfully denying these feelings just wants to dig hands into Adam’s hips, thrust up against that heat and bury his face in Adam’s neck, to let this mean nothing.

Then Adam kisses him. It’s gentler this time, seeking and slow, licking once over Michael’s lips as though Adam’s sensed the change and Michael’s thin resistance crumbles.

Who was he kidding? It was still Adam.

“Need your help, Mike. You’ve gotta show me what to do,” Adam says, voice breathy, although from the way he moves between Michael’s legs and nuzzles the side of his face, Michael thinks Adam has a decent grasp of what’s he’s doing. Eventually, it’s the tremble that gets him: Adam’s involuntary shiver of lust that Michael feels through the hands trapped to his chest and the weight of Adam between his thighs.

It’s both sick and satisfying when Michael finally pushes a hand down between them. Adam helps him undo the buttons and zippers, push their briefs down and Michael draws a knee up, pushing Adam’s legs further apart before he takes them both in hand. Biting his tongue at the hot, familiar spike of pleasure, he pumps them slowly, once, and Adam breathes out harshly against his cheek.

“Come here.” Michael draws Adam to rest his elbows by Michael’s head, to lean his weight there. Michael wills himself to stay still for as long as he can, letting Adam thrust into his fist, wrapping his hand around Michael’s to make him hold tighter. He groans, low and long, against Michael’s collarbone and the sound vibrates through him.

Michael feels like a thief as he lets Adam move, as he finally thrusts up to meet him and still wishes he could take more than this. His free hand touches Adam everywhere he can reach, catching the back of his knee, his thighs, his ass, strokes up under the back of his shirt until he’s curling a hand in blond hair, but Adam doesn’t raise his head. He’s more interested in watching their hands move between their bodies and his shuddering breaths roll down Michael’s chest and stomach in wet licks of heat.

Adam’s skin is slick with sweat, his cock beading with precome which Michael uses to ease Adam’s slide in his hand. Michael’s lungs stutter, Hellfire racing heady and traitorous through his system, when he thumbs Adam’s slit and Adam whimpers, back bowing over him and Michael does it again, feeling Adam’s hips falter, the muscles of his back tensing, then the already careless rhythm completely falls apart.

Michael works Adam through his orgasm, Adam’s groan puffing hot against his neck as his hips jerk helplessly into Michael’s fist. Michael doesn’t follow, he’s not even sure he could, and he stays very still in that grateful moment when Adam goes slack, every inch of him sprawled over Michael in his exhaustion. His breathing evens and Michael’s arm falls around his waist. For a stretch of seconds, Michael can pretend.

It’s not even a minute before Adam pushes off, rolling on his back to Michael’s side with a noise of discomfort that ends in a tired sigh. Michael sees him wipe his hand against the leg of his pants. He grabs one of the shirts off the bed (one of his, not Adam’s) and wipes his stomach before offering it to Adam.

“Thanks,” Adam breathes out once he’s done with the shirt and drops it to the side. After a moment when neither of them have moved, he adds, “This floor is really… comfortable.”

Michael focuses on trying to identify patterns in the scattered light of the moon through the curtains, but there are none tonight. He can’t see the connections. He can’t see the sense of anything.

When he looks to Adam, he finds he’s fallen asleep.

The room smells of sweat and sex.

Michael already hates himself. It’s not a feeling he enjoys.

-*-


Dean can’t remember the last time he drank this much.

He usually reserved this sort of enthusiasm for special occasions, but then, it had been a while since somebody cooked him a fresh homemade meal and Gabriel always brought the very best liquor.

He rolls over sometime before dawn, woken up by the cold. It hurts to move. It hurts to swear. It hurts even trying.

Bobby’s back in his armchair, blanket across his knees with a pleased smile as though he’s dreaming about how he took Dean to town for all of his potatoes last night and all Dean has to show for it is a splitting headache.

He cranes his neck and sees Michael asleep in the opposite armchair, head propped on his hand. Sleep had more merit for the angels now that they couldn’t return to Heaven. It was almost a year ago that Michael confessed to Dean the voices of the Heavenly Host had faded to the background of the din after years on Earth and it was harder to hear them each time he reached for that connection. Gabriel confirmed the same phenomenon when Dean asked him about it and it had left them concerned what it meant. Were they becoming human? Or was it just like another sense, dulling with underuse?

When Michael first joined their camp, none of the angels could sleep, but with time Dean thinks they taught themselves how after learning it was one of the easiest ways to plug back into the angel network and hear the voices of their brothers and sisters. Dean thinks it comforts them.

Gabriel and Sam are nowhere to be seen, go figure.

Dean staggers to the kitchen and runs a glass of water from the faucet. It sloshes cold through everything else already in his gut. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Goddamnit, he would kill for some painkillers, but the bathroom with its medicine cabinet were all the way down the hall. He could barely stomach the thought of wobbling back to his chair.

He leans his elbows on the sink’s edge and squints into the dark early morning until even watching his reflection in that black glass becomes too hard.

This was going to be a fun day.

-*-


Adam wakes up alone on the bed twisting around a sharp, bright cold in his chest. It’s like he slept in the wrong position and folded on some of his muscles too tightly. For a terrifying couple of seconds the pain is so blinding that he thinks he’s having a heart attack. He feels like he’s collapsing on the inside and actually wonders if he’s dying.

It’ll pass, it’ll pass, it’ll pass….

Finally, with a groan of relief, it does. The bedroom is dark and his stomach starts pitching violently.

He barely makes it to the ensuite in time and heaves into the toilet bowl. Afterwards, he actually feels a little better.

His shoulders shake and he drags in deep breaths, sitting back on his heels. What had that awful pain been about? Was it the drink? He holds his stomach, sore and tired from seizing. He closes his eyes and light criss-crosses, flickering in vague, lancing shapes behind his eyelids.

Hopefully that’s the one and only time he’s going to be sick tonight.

His eyes water, tongue feeling thick, chest tightening again and somehow he thinks he’s going to be firm friends with the porcelain tonight.

-*-


It’s almost nine o’clock in the morning when the knock comes at the front door.

Gabriel’s brewing a pot of coffee in the kitchen. Dean, Bobby and Michael are still dozing in the living room and Gabriel wonders which neighbor is so eager-eyed to be up and knocking this early on a Sunday morning. Then again, this was late by country town standards.

He hears Dean muffle a disgruntled groan as the knock comes again and it’s a surprise Michael isn’t already up to answer it. Gabriel leaves the second mug of coffee for Sam on the counter when he pads barefoot across the cool floorboards.

The morning air sweeps in fresh and biting as he pulls the door open.

Gabriel stares, hand still on the doorknob.

In the open doorway, leaning on the wooden frame, Lucifer looks from Gabriel to the mug of coffee in his hand.

“No hot cocoa today, Gabriel?” Lucifer asks, his voice light and teasing.

Gabriel glances once more at the sleeping denizens of the living room before grabbing a fistful of Lucifer’s jacket and yanking him inside.

-*-


“What are you doing here?”

Sam rolls over, twisting in the bed sheets, and rubs the heel of one hand against the sleep crusting his eyes. Was Gabriel talking to him?

“Raphael won’t speak to me. However, she isn’t allowed to kill me, either, and it makes for stoic company,” a low, familiar voice replies.

No, it couldn’t be.

Sam pushes himself up onto his elbows and squints in the dark of the bedroom because the curtains are still drawn.

There are two figures arguing in hushed voices by the closed bedroom door.

“You can’t be here,” Gabriel is saying, voice urgent and concerned as though somebody was going to come charging through the door at any minute.

“What’s going on?” Sam’s voice cracks, still thick with sleep.

The sound of boots is sure and steady on the floorboards as the taller of the figures rounds the bed to sit by Sam’s arm. A cool hand cups the back of his neck and lips press to his forehead.

“Good morning, Sam.”

“… Lucifer?”

It’s a little easier to see this close now that his eyes have adjusted, but Sam’s not sure that he’s actually woken up.

“I missed you,” Lucifer says and that low, smooth timbre is too accurate, caressing Sam’s skin like the morning chill, he could never replicate it that well even in his most vivid dreams.

“You couldn’t give us one day, Luci? I told you we’d be back soon.” Gabriel is still whispering as he joins them, setting a mug on the bedside table.

Sam immediately reaches for it. Lucifer hands it to him.

“I missed you too, Gabriel,” Lucifer tells him and Sam can hear the smile in his voice.

Gabriel sighs, hand catching in Lucifer’s short hair as his brother rests his forehead on Gabriel’s chest.

“Lucifer, you can’t just show up like this,” Sam sighs, sitting up properly against the headboard. He takes the hand that falls to his shoulder and holds it loosely between his two on the bedspread.

“Why? I felt your distress. I gave you time, but you didn’t return. I had to see you for myself.” Lucifer looks from Sam to Gabriel.

“There’s just—“ Sam struggles to find the right words and realizes Lucifer has not only turned up to Michael and Adam’s house unannounced, he’s turned up with an amnesiac Adam upstairs and nobody had told Lucifer yet. “There’s a lot going on right now. We were coming back soon anyway. We could have saved you the trip.”

“Where’s Raphael?” Gabriel asks with poorly hidden nonchalance.

“Not far.” Lucifer’s fingers stroke the back of Sam’s hand and he looks completely at peace sitting there, nestled between the two of them. Just the way he liked it. “I saw Dean and Bobby. What’s going on?” Light and curious, that’s when they had to be the most careful.

“Adam’s having engine troubles. He needed a brother to take a look: one who can tell a carburettor from a gas line,” Gabriel says.

“Dean got us worked up over nothing,” Sam agrees, ignoring the personal jibe in favor of letting the lingering fatigue of not nearly enough sleep flatten his voice to something exasperated and familiar.

Lucifer looks at Sam for a long moment, long enough for Sam to feel nervous, particularly when both of Lucifer’s hands take Sam’s, his smooth palms stroking over Sam’s knuckles.

You’re lying to me, Sam expects him to accuse.

“I’ll always come for you – both of you,” Lucifer says, because distance has never mattered for him.

Sam forces a smile that he hopes doesn’t betray his nerves. He tries to remember that Lucifer loves him, but half-asleep on the edge of dreams, Sam’s heart still hammers nervously against his ribs when Lucifer leans in to kiss him, uncaring of his morning breath, and Sam wonders when he’ll get used to this.

-*-


Dean almost spits out his coffee and burns his tongue in the process.

“What?”

Sam’s looking at the ground, to the window, anywhere but meeting his brother’s eyes as he balances his hands on his hips.

“Lucifer’s here.”

Michael disappears in a moment, probably flying straight to Adam’s side. Dean and Bobby glance around the living room as though Lucifer should have appeared in one of the seats while Sam was relaying the news.

“Where?” Bobby sounds confused.

Sam jerks a thumb over his shoulder.

“In the bedroom. With Gabriel.”

Oh, this was perfect. This… the timing of everything was just perfect.

“You gotta be kidding me,” Dean groans, dragging a hand down his face.

“He just got here.” Sam puts his hands up defensively like he’s ready to make a list of excuses. Dean’s been listening to excuses for the last two years and the only reason he lets Sam talk shit is because Gabriel trusted Lucifer, and Dean trusted Gabriel, even if Dean sometimes questioned his own reasons why.

“Get him the hell out of here, Sam,” Bobby says.

“Bobby, I can’t just order him out – even if he’d listen to me, it’ll make him suspicious. He’ll start sniffing around and that’s the last thing we want.” Sam sounds like he’s already thought about this and considered their options.

“Handle it,” Dean growls and he doesn’t like having to use that voice so early in the morning. He makes his own head hurt. The ringing between his ears starts up again and he shuts his eyes with a wince.

“I will. Just… be careful what you say.” Sam backs out of the living room.

Dean and Bobby exchange a heavy look.

“This is turning into a circus,” Bobby says. “Shit’s gonna hit the fan, Dean.”

Dean scowls against the lip of his mug. Bobby was right.

“More of the same then, right?” He takes a careful sip and the burn on his tongue still smarts.

-*-


Adam wakes up shivering with a cool washcloth on the back of his neck.

He’s on the ensuite floor, curled against the cupboard under the sink with a towel wrapped around himself. He’d been too exhausted to make his way back to the bed after the third time he threw up. He doesn’t remember the conscious decision to stay where he was, but he can remember the extraordinary effort it had taken just to pull one of the towels off the rack.

Michael crouches into his field of view, the afterimage of those criss-crossing lights fading as the archangel blocks out the sun from the far bedroom window.

Adam closes his eyes beneath the washcloth Michael passes over his face.

“How are you feeling?” Michael asks.

“Kill me,” Adam begs weakly, arms still wrapped around his stomach. The towel was too thin.

Michael barely smiles, humming a humorless note under his breath, and presses the washcloth to Adam’s temple.

It’s cool and damp when Adam gets hold of it, pulling it weakly from Michael’s grip.

“Michael.” He clears his throat and swallows down the thick uneasy feeling climbing towards his throat. “Last night’s fuzzy, but I remember some stuff. This isn’t me. I’m not usually like this.”

Or is he? The thought occurs to him almost as quickly as the realization that it was five years later, everything had changed. Even him. Michael was proof of that.

“I know,” Michael says. No surprise that he sounds like he’s still reserving judgment.

There’s a distant click, the bathroom door’s been shut and the soft light of the early morning that had been piercing his brain is suddenly gone. Adam feels a guilty pang of relief that twists into nausea as Michael settles behind him and draws Adam to lean against his chest and tuck his head under Michael’s chin.

Michael is warm, too warm, and what Adam needs is exactly the opposite, but Michael’s been so fucking patient with him that Adam thinks it would be ungrateful to complain. He is grateful.

“Never drinking with Gabriel ever again,” Adam groans, covering his mouth as he feels the tell-tale twitch before the worst part comes.

He feels Michael’s fingers over his stomach as a buzz fills his ears like the quiet drone of some faraway machine through so many doors on the other side of the hall. His gut clenches just the way he expects before it should roll up through his chest, to his shoulders and into his throat – but when it doesn’t happen, when the awful feeling is stripped away like a rug that’s been pulled from under his feet, he gasps for breath and realizes he doesn’t feel so violently sick anymore.

The smells of soap and shampoo aren’t so sweet to make him hold his breath, he can bear the low sun through the skylight. His stomach is still tight, but the miserable feeling is gone.

It’s gone.

“Did you just… heal me?” Adam pants, looking back into Michael’s face.

Michael’s expression is faraway and he’s wearing that distracted, almost-frown again, not smiling when he brushes the damp washcloth at the corner of Adam’s mouth.

“I can do a lot more than this,” Michael says, as if to remind Adam that this is not all that he is.

He's not the guy who brings you breakfast in bed. You're not a person to him, you're just a ride with an out-dated engine.

Which story should Adam believe? The one where Michael lets Adam be a douche and lie in the cradle of his thighs after the event, or the violent and unpredictable version forewarned by himself from a video diary that he’d felt important enough to leave behind even after they’d apparently forged this utopian ever after years later?

He makes a point to ask Michael later how they met.

He tries to remember what his mom had said, something about Michael making it up to him.

He’s not sure what he should believe, but she’d said to give him and everyone else a chance. So, Adam stays where he is, because right now Michael radiates safety and the will to protect in spite of everything and Adam’s still trembling anyway, it wouldn’t kill him to hold still for a few minutes longer.

Just a few more minutes, he promises himself, as Michael’s arms wrap around him.

“There’s someone downstairs,” Michael says. “You won’t remember him. When you meet him, it’s very important that you show no reaction to the things he does or says. We’ve been estranged, but he’s seeing your brother… and my brother.”

Adam stares at the tiles for a long time trying to process that statement.

“… You lost me.”

“He likes to agitate people.”

“Sounds like a charmer. So, what do you want me to do?”

“Ignore him. And don’t be left alone with him.”

“Who the hell is this?” Adam tries twisting to look back into Michael’s face, but motion? He finds that’s still a bad idea.

“Lucifer,” Michael says.

“… You’re kidding, right? Lucifer? The devil? The devil’s downstairs?”

-*-


There’s bacon and eggs cooking on the stove when Adam staggers downstairs, preferring to brave the steps than stomach the full body wrench of Michael’s offer to transport them below.

The smell of meat intensifies when he rounds the corner and he slams a hand over his mouth.

Michael is right behind him blocking his path when he turns back for the stairs. He can’t believe Michael is forcing him to enter a kitchen with the devil. But, apparently, Lucifer was no physical danger and if Adam just played the role of the deaf, dumb, mute and put something in his stomach, Michael had promised to let Adam retreat back to the bedroom.

“Eat something.” Michael turns Adam around by his shoulders, ignoring his groan, and marches him back into the kitchen.

You eat something,” Adam retorts, letting Michael’s hands steady his blind wobble, a hand over his eyes to shield them from the morning sun. He hopes Michael’s leading him toward a seat.

Someone thumps his arm.

“Hey.” It’s Dean. “Sorry, we’re out of juice. You still drink coffee?”

Adam cracks an eye at his brother. Dean’s wearing the same clothes from the night before and the hair on half of his head is flattened. If Adam's head wasn't splitting apart, he might have thought it was cute.

“You been cooking again?”

He hears Dean snort a laugh before disappearing out the back door. Adam spots the shape of Bobby standing over the stove out of the corner of his eye and reaches for the nearby sink to steady himself. Washing one of the glasses in the basin, he pours himself some water. Michael’s hand lingers, a warm reminder steadying him low on his back.

Adam’s still gulping the water when he hears the new voice, light and curious.

“There’s something different about you.”

He looks over his shoulder.

Lucifer is as tall as Michael, dirty blond, with squarer features and a broad but lean physique. He’s crossed his arms, head tilted to the side, and he’s studying Michael’s face with interest. Adam feels the hand at his back curl slowly around his waist.

Michael carries off contemptuous disregard so well that Adam doesn’t think he’s pretending. He doesn’t even flinch when Lucifer leans in, for a second Adam thinks he’s actually going to kiss Michael, but he stops a breath away and looks down as though he’s searching for something at Michael’s neckline. After a beat, Lucifer meets Michael’s eye in surprise.

“Hellfire!” He sounds impressed. “Have you been down below, Michael? Did you miss the old views?”

Adam looks at Michael in surprise.

“You were in hell?”

He jumps, then glares at Michael after the hand around his waist squeezes tightly. Fuck, Michael had a grip. Bastard. That hurt.

… But judging by the bright, delighted look of curiosity Lucifer has just turned on Adam, maybe it was deserved.

“Good morning, Adam.” Lucifer sounds way too happy to see him, at a level bordering on creepy. And Adam is not so thrilled about having all of that attention focused so intensely on him, either.

“Morning,” he says, feeling lame. He glances at Michael for hints, but the angel’s jaw is clenched shut, muscles of his neck standing with tension. The squeeze around Adam’s waist is bracing this time, a comfort, and his hand skims Adam’s lower ribs.

“Have you had your coffee yet?” Lucifer asks with a knowing smile.

“I – uh—“

Lucifer presents a steaming mug of coffee under his nose. Adam suspects the devil had first planned on drinking it himself.

The devil was offering him coffee. Could this get any more surreal?

Michael hums with a dark smile of his own, like this is a dance he and Lucifer have done before, taking the proffered mug and raising it to his lips.

Lucifer smirks at Michael.

“One day, I will poison that. And then you’ll be sorry you drank first.”

“You’ll be sorry you can’t fly fast or far enough before it takes effect.” Michael seems satisfied with the drink, his voice just as light and taunting.

Adam looks between them: Lucifer brought out a whole new side to Michael that he hadn’t seen yet and it was… interesting. Amusing, even.

Bobby chooses that moment to lean away from the stove and shove a plate of bacon and scrambled eggs into Michael’s arm.

“Yes, ladies, ya both got big sticks. Now feed your faces before I eat it myself.”

There’s amusement dancing in Lucifer’s eyes and it’s not because Bobby is such a wisecrack; Adam’s missing something.

In the end, Lucifer steals a slice of the crispy bacon and Adam quickly pawns the second one, leaving Michael with a plate of eggs he doesn’t even look like he’s going to consider. Instead, he takes a fork from the drawer by Adam’s thigh and holds the plate to Adam’s chest.

“Eat.”

Adam stares at him, bacon caught between his lips.

“I swear to God, if you try to spoon feed me—“

“It’s a fork,” Michael interrupts, dryly.

“Be careful. He will force you,” Lucifer tells Adam with a small smile.

The flat, droll stare Michael turns on Lucifer is hysterical. These two were either really old friends or just as old frenemies, but based on Michael’s warning upstairs, Adam doesn’t think it’s safe to hazard a guess. Michael wasn’t doing such a great job of taking his own advice.

Michael and Lucifer. Adam had to go back and re-read the bible because from what he remembered hearing in secondary school, Michael was the one who’d led the charge evicting Lucifer from Heaven. Or had it been Gabriel? Looking between the two taller angels, it seemed nuts that Adam would look for clues about his apparent boyfriend from a millennia old text. Besides, what if Adam didn’t have a copy of the right translation on hand?

At this point, Lucifer is smart enough to make himself scarce. He flashes one last smile at Adam before he strolls out of the kitchen for the backyard.

“Thanks for the food, Bobby,” Lucifer says, briefly clasping the older man’s arm on his way past.

Bobby tenses and his entire body doesn’t release until that back door shuts.

“What is his deal?” Adam breathes in amazement, watching Lucifer take the orchard lane at a leisurely pace. He spots Sam at the far end, standing at the wooden gate with who could only be Gabriel, judging by their size.

He looks between Bobby and Michael who have both stopped to watch Lucifer’s back. Their faces are sombre.

“Is he for real? Is that really the devil? He stole my bacon!” Adam almost laughs, incredulous. Lucifer was sort of… funny. And charming.

Bobby looks at him sharply and points with his wooden spoon.

“Don’t you get any featherbrained ideas. That’s the devil, Adam.”

Michael’s free hand smooths over his lower back and his tone is a lot less biting than Bobby’s, but shares the same warning.

“He’s dangerous. You must always be on your guard.”

“You guys were funny,” Adam can’t help saying it, he’s confused.

Michael nods, but he shrugs it off with a sigh. Adam decides to try eating his eggs and stabs at them with the available fork.

“He’s still my brother and I’ll always love him. But he is who he is. I wish I could trust him.” Michael sounds genuinely disappointed and there’s an old, old wistfulness in his voice.

Adam recognizes mourning.

“Do you think he likes me?” Adam asks abruptly, looking back out the window. He should really know where he stood. Was it a good thing to be liked by the devil?

Michael chuckles under his breath, a confusing bitter sound.

“He likes you more than I prefer. You did well,” Michael assures him, wrapping an arm around his shoulders from behind. The plate comes back to Adam’s chest and he feels Michael’s mouth press against his temple.

“Dude, I can’t eat like this.” Adam frowns at the plate with the top of his arms trapped.

“Yes you can,” Michael counters and raises Adam’s hand holding the fork to prove his point.

Never mind that Adam had virtually no range of motion for his head or shoulders because Michael was hugging him like this. Obviously, Michael thought those things were optional.

“Thanks, I’ll feed myself.”

“Then feed yourself.” Michael’s smiling, he can hear it.

“Fuck, you’re bossy.” Adam bites his cheek to stop his own smile. Shoveling a mouthful of eggs, he glares at Bobby when the man snorts under his breath. Bobby is smirking and probably thinks he’s doing a good job of hiding it. “’The fuck do you think you’re laughing at, old man?” he means to say, but it comes out sounding more like, “Mmfrrghuugrrawwooom!”

“Don’t talk with your mouth full.” Michael motions with the plate as though it’s possible Adam could have forgotten it was there and Adam cranes away to look at him, incredulous. Was he kidding? The devil was in their backyard and Michael was more interested in getting Adam to finish his breakfast? Adam’s not sure that Michael had his priorities straight.

Bobby leans over and slides two more slices of still sizzling bacon onto his plate. His eyebrows raise as his mouth shrugs helplessly and Adam is smart enough to read leave me out of this.

That’s okay. Bobby made him breakfast and Adam was in a good mood; Bobby could be forgiven.

Bobby turns off the stove and wipes his hands on his jeans before leaving the same way as Lucifer, door clicking softly shut behind him.

“What’s everyone doing out there?” Adam asks, pushing more eggs onto his fork.

“I think they’re going to play baseball,” Michael says.

“Oh. I like baseball.” Adam thinks he might join them once the last of the throbbing behind his eyes was gone. He’d almost completely forgotten how much pain he was in when he first staggered downstairs.

“Did I say ‘baseball’? They’re actually playing hockey.”

“Wow.” Adam twists around to stare at Michael who is wearing the worse façade of over-casual innocence. “You’re a really bad liar!”

Michael seems to take that as a compliment. He smiles and it’s a good look on him.

“Hmm. Not when it matters.”

He does wonder what’s leading everyone out to that backyard. He wonders why Michael’s obviously trying to keep him inside. It was okay, Adam was all for feeding his face first. He could bide his time.

-*-


“It’s Sunday, right?” Adam asks later when he’s convinced Michael to let him outside, after convincing him that he wasn’t going to keel and puke his breakfast behind the nearest bush. He was feeling a lot better, honestly.

“Yes.” Michael keeps glancing around the rows of trees surrounding them and Adam tries to see what’s got his attention.

Nothing but fruit and fallen leaves, as far as he could see.

“So, did you have to go to church or something?”

The look Michael gives him is completely bewildered. He even stops walking.

“What?”

“Church: should we be going to church?”

Michael should not look this confused. He knew what a church was, right?

“… No,” Michael eventually answers, stiffly, uncomfortably. “We don’t attend church. We have no purpose there.”

Adam doesn’t completely understand, but he thinks he might be treading into some sensitive territory here. He’s still half-drunk, so he ploughs on, anyway.

“You don’t think seeing a flesh and blood angel would do a lot to help people keep the faith? I never knew you guys even existed.” Adam motions loosely at Michael. “Or that you could look like that.”

Michael glances down at himself and frowns.

“Our appearance is secondary. We are more than this.”

Adam shrugs it off and starts again towards that back gate where he’d last seen their house guests. He pushes his hands in the pockets of the light jacket he’d pawned off one of the chairs; he has no idea who it belongs to.

“I know, appearances are only superficial, right? You going to preach to me about inner beauty and compassion now?”

“No. I meant that what you see is not my true form. This is not even my true vessel.”

That sounds familiar. Adam pauses with his hand on the gate half ajar.

“Sam said something about that. What’s a vessel?”

Michael is studying the ground, there’s nothing particular there, and he takes a long time to respond. Adam pulls the gate open and waves the angel on through. Michael starts to speak, halts, and has to try again.

“Angels need a human vessel to set foot in your plane of existence, one capable of withholding our power. True vessels are designed by bloodlines.”

Adam nods, he’s following so far. He waves Michael through the open gate and Michael finally acquiesces, looking both ways up and down the open paddock.

“So, this isn’t your… ‘true’ vessel?”

Michael shakes his head.

“No.”

“Then where is it? He… she?”

Michael hums another of those humorless notes in his throat and peers up the boundary towards the East.

“Not far.”

“What, did you lose it?”

Michael searches Adam’s face then, shaking his head slowly.

“No. But he wouldn’t agree to my possession of him.”

Adam frowns in surprise.

“Oh. That sucks.”

Michael chuckles and brings Adam forward with a hand behind his shoulder.

“He had his reasons. And, despite my best intentions, I couldn’t guarantee he would have survived it.”

“Oh….” Now Adam understands. “So, you’re borrowing the guy you’re in right now?”

Michael sighs. Adam has a feeling the angel is getting tired of talking about this.

“My current vessel is a complicated matter. But this is not a loan.”

“… Do you want to change the subject?”

“Yes.”

“Okay.”

“Thank you.” Michael sounds relieved.

“Why don’t we go to church?” Adam asks without missing a beat. Not that he’d want to go in the first place, but he was curious to know how much bible-beating mattered in the bigger scheme of everything.

Michael’s relief looks pretty short-lived. Adam does his best to repress his smile in case Michael decides to glare at him.

“Because God is dead,” Michael says, his hand falling from Adam’s shoulder and he stalks off down the stone wall without waiting for Adam.

Adam quietly shuts the gate behind him. He might have struck a nerve.

“He wanted your brother.”

Adam turns abruptly and finds Lucifer standing on the other side of the gate, leaning his hip against the stone. Adam was pretty positive that Lucifer hadn’t been standing there a moment ago.

“… What did you say?”

Lucifer nods after Michael who has already disappeared around the corner of the property – and it wasn’t like the estate was small. How the hell had Adam ever afforded this and where was everyone? What the hell were they doing?

“Dean is Michael’s true vessel.”

Adam’s not sure that he heard him right.

“Dean?”

Lucifer laughs, quiet and pitying, and he shakes his head.

“I knew something had happened to you, Adam. You’ve forgotten, haven’t you?”

It’s at this point that Adam distinctly remembers Michael’s instruction never to let himself be left alone with Lucifer. Adam glances back down the line of the wall, but Michael hasn’t come back; stupid angel wasn’t helping him.

“I think – I think I should go—“ Adam starts down the direction Michael had disappeared, but Lucifer doesn’t let him get far.

“Do you know how you met?”

Adam squeezes his eyes shut. God, he should keep walking. He should not be talking to the devil.

But he really wants to know.

He sighs when he looks back at Lucifer who hasn’t shifted an inch from his lean against the wall, like he had all the damn time in the world and he wanted to share it with Adam.

“I can’t remember,” Adam confesses. “We haven’t gotten to that part yet. Do you know how?”

“Oh, Adam. Everybody knows. You were the contingency, kid.”

Lucifer sounds so damn sympathetic, so sick with pity that it makes Adam’s fists curl.

“The contingency for what?” he asks through gritted teeth.

"Michael wanted your brother, but Dean wouldn't say 'yes'. So, Michael moved onto you and he made you consent."

… Michael made him?

Lucifer's face is perfectly serious, polite, and considerate. Adam’s heart is racing as he searches the devil’s face, waiting for the tell.

"I think you're lying," Adam says, but the quiet choke in his words gives him away.

"I don't need to lie."

"Where’s your proof?"

"Ask Michael. He can’t lie to you. You'll see that I'm right: he forced you.”

Adam feels sick. But he’s still here. Adam looks down at himself and presses hands to his hips, his stomach. He’s still here.

“Oh, he doesn’t need to wear you anymore. You served your purpose and you put up a respectable fight.” Lucifer pauses, eyes crinkling with delighted curiosity. “But you don’t remember me either, do you?”

Adam glares and tries to clamp down on the hot nausea rolling in his stomach again.

“Why the hell would I remember you?”

“We were all down there together,” Lucifer smiles and reaches for Adam before he can lean away, “See?”

The memory cuts through Adam like a knife across his throat and the criss-cross of light he’s been seeing every time he closes his eyes flares into substance: a vast web of bones, metal and stone stretching on to eternity with lightning through the dark. There’s silence at first – then a shock of fire and pressure crushing his chest; there’s screaming and he realizes it’s him. Cold smooths over him quickly, like super-cooled water sliding against his skin, over, around and beneath his limbs. It’s numbing relief and he knows without understanding that this is Lucifer.

Something brushes against the frost on his jaw, tilting his head back on the narrow slab. He gasps as the cold slides through and into him from beneath, flash burn of confusion and agony, and when he flails, flesh tearing through barbed metal, his hand threads through waves of fire, clings onto the form above him.

Michael breathes light into Adam and it’s too much, it just burns in a different way, but it thaws the places Lucifer’s reached. Adam keens, trembling between the push and pull of them, and when he opens his eyes, he sees Sam beyond the light of Michael’s grace pressed against the wall of the cage, arms wrapped tightly around himself. His face is stricken, but for a split second of clarity, Adam just thinks he’s glad it’s not Sam this time.

His vision clears and he’s fallen back on the ground, panting and shaking with grass tangled between his fingers. Lucifer’s standing over him, hands in his pockets with his head cocked to the side as though Adam’s sprawl is a subject worth studying.

“Incredible… you’re fresh,” he says and Adam startles at the sound of his voice.

“Get the hell away from me!” Adam’s voice breaks, he doesn’t mean to scream.

Lucifer shakes his head with a frown of doubt.

“Poor choice of words, Adam, but this is for the best. Knowledge is power. Unlike your brothers who have coddled you, and my brothers who would take the higher ground, I know that you deserve to have it. We’ve all earned the choice. So, I’ve given you back your power; now decide what to do with it.”

Adam shakes his head, shuddering out a dry sob around the rough unseen tear inside of him. He pushes the heel of one hand against his chest where it throbs beside his heart.

Fuck. He squeezes his eyes shut.

“We’re all in this together,” Lucifer promises him quietly.

“Why am I here? What do you want from me?” Adam is hoarse, he doesn’t know how he’s lost his voice so quickly, but Lucifer still hears him.

“The only thing keeping you here is Michael.”

Adam finally looks the devil in the eye.

“What?”

“You have his name.”

Adam’s eyes fall involuntarily shut as another wave of pain shoots through him. He tries to remember why that name was so important.

“I can’t return to Heaven without my name.”

Adam shudders, he can feel himself sweating.

“He said he couldn’t take it back.”

“It’s true: you have to give it back to him.”

Adam experiences a strange falling sensation that makes his elbows weaken, though his hands are planted behind him in the grass and he hasn’t made any effort to push himself up.

There’s something else. There’s something else important that he’s missing here…

But it hurts, like a needle through his brain, behind his eyes, when he tries to catch onto it. He shuts his eyes with a moan and waits until the feeling passes.

“How… how do I give it back?” he finally manages to ask.

Lucifer shrugs.

“You just have to say his name, Adam.”

“I don’t know his name,” Adam mutters, his vision swimming again. There are afterimages playing behind his eyelids when he closes them, a flash burn of wings, lightning, fire, bones and metal that spikes and webs upwards and on, forever, and ever….

Even with his eyes closed, he sees the shape of Lucifer kneel, vapors rolling off his form that flickers at the edges like an ember of ice holding back the heat.

“Well, it’s lucky for you that I do.”

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