A/N: This monster of a fanfic was written for LiveJournal's spn_j2_bigbang 2011. It's what I have toiled over for at least the last six months of my life and I'm kind of proud of it, so I hope you enjoy this, which is the first of a six chapter, fifty-thousand word RomCom (no, really, it's as lighthearted as a romantic comedy).

Title: Wings, Rings and Interspecies Flings
Disclaimer: I still don't own Supernatural. Underlined things and pop-culture references aren't mine. Please don't replicate my silly work without permission.
Warnings: PG-13 for sexual content (in chapter five, which ups to M, because I'll edit out as much of the NC-17 stuff as I can), coarse language, some violence, one instance of minor character death, some homophobia, minor original and show characters, blasphemy, whipped!Michael, creative license with setting, lack of true conflict in plot, overabundance of schmoop, domesticity and humor, dining of delicious foods that will leave you hungry, pop-culture references, occasional angst of Winchester proportions, voyeuristic angels, employment of cliché fanfic tropes, wing kinks explored, bonding as a means of angelic mating, mark kinks, spoilers for season six, and more. Avoid if you expect something ground-shattering and epic, rather than what essentially amounts to crack. Do not take seriously.
Pairings/Characters: Michael/Adam, with pre-slash Sam/Gabriel and Dean/Castiel
Detailed Summary: The souls of sinners eventually develop callouses that protect them from the worst of the torture in Hell. Adam, unfortunately, has too little of these to count, so he jumps at the chance when Michael offers a solution that could save them both: binding his soul to the archangel's grace. It makes life in the Pit slightly more bearable, his soul is no longer in danger of being shredded, and Adam even comes to see Michael as a friend. When they are raised from Perdition, however, Adam realizes that there was a heck of a fine-print to this seemingly sweet deal: he and Michael are soul-mated and there's no such thing as divorce in Heaven. Marriage to an angel isn't all puppies and rainbows, especially when you're also juggling a family curse and some dewy-eyed bromance crap.

Chapter One: Bonding Over Brimstone

There were a couple of reasons why Adam Milligan wasn't really gung-ho about becoming Winchester brother number three.

For one thing, an angel told him not to do it. He wanted to believe that he was ultimately a good person, and angels were on or even above par with cops and government officials for him. Except, apparently, even angels were not beyond corruption – just like cops and government officials – and how sad was the world for that to be true?

Secondly, Sam and Dean were pretty nice guys, as far as he knew, but that was the problem – Adam didn't know them, like, at all. Of course, he blamed dear old Dad for that, but come on, he wasn't a kid anymore – he wasn't about to jump at the chance of being coddled by a couple of strangers.

And last – or maybe in the vein of the latter reason – his brothers were codependent with each other to the point of making dysfunctional look sane – erotically so, as Zachariah, corrupt angel extraordinaire, had very helpfully supplied. Adam was nothing if not independent.

He hadn't exaggerated in the slightest to them. He'd been walking himself home from school and clubs, feeding himself and putting himself to bed, since he was barely able to walk, still barely a baby. He no longer wished for someone – read: his father – to swoop into his life and take care of him. Maybe if they'd been a few years earlier…

So, no, Adam was perfectly fine being an average Joe-Shmoe, rather than one of the illustrious Winchesters. But he had to admit that he was touched by the fact that his brothers – yeah, he could accept it now, at least in the biological sense – came to his rescue after he was two-timed by a freaking angel. Can't you tell, he was still just a tiny bit bitter about that?

And that was why he wouldn't have really minded being stuck in Hell with Sam, since the only silver lining in a situation like that was that he could get to know his older half-brother, maybe even bond with him. At least for a little while, anyway, because damn, he'd never done anything so bad that he deserved to be stuck down there forever, where people like Hitler and Stalin did the eternal limbo, especially since he went out of his way to help little old ladies across the street. That should have made him a shoe-in for Heaven, right?

But, of course, God must have hated his guts, because why else would Adam get eaten alive, be revived only to be dicked around by the whole of the Heavenly host, then die again, this time with no peaceful afterlife in sight? Maybe he'd cut off a voodoo priest in traffic during a past life or something. So, obviously, that – something that might have been the smallest sliver of good in Adam's world of suck – didn't end up happening.

Instead, it was Michael he said yes to, rather than trusting his own flesh and blood. It wasn't his fault, really. He'd tried saying no, if only to spite that bastard Zachariah and his feather-brained goons, but Michael had employed some mind-boggling tactics that, well, boggled his mind – hence Adam's use of the adjective mind-boggling.

Where Zachariah took sadistic pleasure in watching Adam spew his bloody guts out, Michael literally employed the kill-with-kindness tactic. The first thing he did was bear down on a cowering Adam – and the only reason he was cowering was that the archangel was the size of the freaking Earth, just so we're clear – reach out what Adam assumed to be his hand and heal him in a sudden rush of power that was like ecstasy or adrenaline or some other kind of chemical that pumped you up, made you feel like you were flying, as if you were Leonardo DiCaprio at the stern of the Titanic, like you were immortal and nothing could ever hurt you again.

Oh, and he was shiny.

…What, you wouldn't pick the guy that sparkled like a trillion fireflies over the one with a million ugly mugs, one of which was a hungry lion? Adam now kind of understood the appeal of that gay Twilight vampire guy, Edwin or something.

So, yeah, Adam said yes, and then he was pushed back into the deepest recesses of his mind – what he called his happy place and what Michael referred to as his inner sanctum, or something cheesy like that. He could still see, feel, smell, taste and touch, but vaguely. It was as if he'd been rolled up into a film of bubble-wrap, which muffled every sensation till it was nearly nonexistent and yet still there, no matter how paradoxical that might have translated to.

He drunkenly watched Michael first order around his troops and then take on Lucifer, only hazily noting that the devil was wearing his middle brother like an overgrown, earth-toned jumpsuit. He felt only the smallest spike of fear when Dean, bright boy that he was, decided it would be an awesome idea to take on the Lord of the Flies himself – not to mention Heaven's most powerful warrior. He even felt the pinching sensation of being blown up, courtesy of Castiel. Not fun at all, for your information.

However, when it came right down to it, Adam remembered every small detail of falling into the Pit with perfect precision. Sam's hand had felt slightly clammy when it wrapped around his thin wrist, but unrelenting as the giant man dragged him down. Michael parted Adam's lips into a tiny 'o' of shock, but he would have been inclined to do something much worse, like shriek in an embarrassing, not-so-masculine manner, if he'd been in control of his own body, so he didn't really mind. Falling itself was like being sucked into a vacuum, compressed into a hole that was at once pulling him apart and pressing down on him, cracking a few ribs in the process.

And then, suddenly, Adam Milligan was checked into Hotel Hell. His roommate: the archangel Michael.


Falling hurt like a motherfucker for what felt like years. Part of the reason was that Adam and Michael – because they were not, for all intents and purposes, actually one being – were literally torn apart, molecule by human and angel molecule, and unceremoniously dumped into the very lowest level of Hell, maybe even under that ninth circle Dante had written about. And there wasn't exactly something soft to cushion his fall, mind you. Brimstone smarted like a bitch when you slammed into it from bazillions of feet above sea level.

Adam remembered the impact and the way spidery cracks formed around an amusingly Adam-shaped hole, something straight out of an old Loony Toons reel, and then there was nothing but darkness.

When Adam woke up, he thought the whole thing with the angels, the devil and his half-brothers must have been some freaky, excess-of-caffeine induced dream, because shit like that didn't happen in real life, and because a bright and beautiful sun was shining hopefully into his face, while a campfire sat invitingly in front of him, which prompted him to wonder if he'd fallen asleep outside somewhere, no doubt happily wasted.

Of course, this illusion of tranquility lasted, oh, about three seconds before he realized that his reality was a gas-station toilet, fucked by every grimy freak who came in to make a rest-stop, because his whole body ached to its very core like he'd just had a throw-down with Godzilla, Mothra and all of their mutated, sexually unidentifiable friends. Obviously he'd lost.

Not to mention that, if he squinted into the light focusing on his face, he could make out huge, spanning feathers that arched into wings, flaring like wispy fire, and soon the light itself began to congeal into a more recognizable form – almost mannish, but not at the same time. And it definitely wasn't a campfire, unless it was for Bible camp.

Adam knew at once that it was Michael, because it hulked over him the same way the archangel had in the green room, and it reminded him of that luminescent being he'd met not long ago, filling him with the same warmth – the same, probably unmerited feeling of safety.

"Are you all right?" the archangel trilled in his angel-language, which was more song than words, soft and loud all at once, the native tongue of every imaginable land. It was creepy, especially since the big, searing balls of flames that passed for Michael's eyes bore into him hungrily, as if his body was a refrigerator and the soul inside was Michael's midnight snack. Adam felt himself back away, his palms scraping on rough brimstone, while the archangel tilted the giant globe that was his head, actually hurt. And that, damn it, made Adam feel bad, but could you blame him for being a little paranoid? Dude looked like an alien!

He cleared his throat to battle his discomfort. "So, uh, I take it we – you– didn't defeat the devil, huh?"

"No, unfortunately not," Michael replied, craning his endlessly long neck.

Adam followed his gaze up and felt his jaw drop, having found another source of light, which he'd mistakenly believed to be the sun. It was a giant marble-like thing, hanging in midair, that flashed dangerously every few seconds, reminiscent of the New Year's ball he and his mom used to watch on T.V., on the eve of January first, waiting for the next year to start. Or, you know, a nuclear weapon waiting for some weird guy with a claw-hand and a cat to detonate it. Details, details.

"W-what is that?" he asked, hating the quiver that developed in his voice.

Michael regarded him closely for a few moments – moments that were, perhaps, years or only milliseconds in their new home – before he seemed to find whatever he was looking for, and he explained, "We are in the Pit and the sphere above us is the Cage, where my errant brother now and forever resides."

Oh, so Lucy was the flashy thing? That made sense. Adam didn't remember Sunday school very well, having dropped it like a hot plate as soon as his mother let him take up more desirable activities, but the devil had been an angel once, he knew, and wasn't he ironically the angel of light?

He didn't muse all that aloud, although Michael had been riding him long enough to probably know how his mind worked by now, but he did wonder, "And my brother? What happened to Sam?"

When Michael didn't immediately respond, he came to his own conclusions. Sam wasn't in Hell, was he? After all, he was one of the important ones, while Adam was only the half-brother. Figured that all of the crap he'd thought was so very important, that he done back-flips for, hadn't been worth a rat's ass. No, little Suzy, good grades, being a dutiful child, never going overboard with all that shitty gluttony stuff, and trying to help people will not get you into Heaven – not for long, anyway. It might just get you a one-way ticket to Hell.

And then warmth washed over him, briefly soothing the ache in his mind, his heart and his body – maybe even his soul – and Michael's voice was a sort of lullaby. "Sam is...in there, with Lucifer."

Adam eyes bugged out. "What? Why? Better yet, why aren't we in there with them?"

Michael ducked his head. If he wasn't a glowing, vaguely human-shaped blob, Adam would assume the expression he wore was contrite, sheepish, perhaps even guilty. "It took all I had to bring you down here, to relative safety. I couldn't risk you for Sam." He said it with finality.

Adam frowned. Okay, so he'd kind of been mentally bitching about the universe's blatant favoritism for his brothers, but still, he didn't want anyone saving him at the expense of someone else, especially if it was his brother being served up on a silver platter. Come on, he might have been the descendant of Cain or Abel or whoever, but he was not about to go all Genesis on Sam's ass.

Michael's massive frame drooped as he sighed, his wings curving and fluttering down in a waterfall of feathers behind him, and Adam couldn't help the way his eyes were drawn to them. They were beautiful. "You are thinking like a Winchester. I don't like it."

Adam pressed his lips together tightly and then opened his mouth to reply. He still wasn't a Winchester, damn it; he was and would always be a Milligan! But then a wave of pain bowled into him, so powerful that it took his breath away, leaving him unable to even cry out, to do anything but fall back and hit the hard brimstone. He tried desperately to curl into himself, though his smart-ass logic told him that doing so would do absolutely nothing against whatever preternatural forces dished out the dirty in Hell. Fuck you, logic, he screamed in his head. Fuck, now he was talking to himself…and apparently stuck on the word fuck. See, SAT vocabulary, you're not nearly as useful as you thought!

At once, Michael's mojo – his grace, as the archangel had referred to it – pushed back against the anguish.

"I feared that this would happen," Heaven's mightiest warrior murmured, when Adam's suffering was at last manageable enough for him to pretend it wasn't there – even though the stupid, agonizing bitch was saying, 'Here I am! Here I am! Look at me! Wanna feel like your appendix is bursting next? Or would you rather have a heart attack?' Damn imaginary bastard.

"Feared what would happen?" Adam repeated weakly, too exhausted to even be suspicious.

"I may have kept us out of the way of Lucifer's wrath, but we're far from safe. Not even the worst human souls can survive this deep in Hell, especially ones as pure as yours." When Adam glared at him – because 'pure soul' made him sound like a nun, not a perfectly normal teenage boy – Michael clarified, "I didn't intend to offend you. I only meant, sinning, though the principal reason human souls reside in Hell, leaves calluses on them, making them undesirable to Heaven, but protecting them from the torment within Hell. Thus, souls like yours, belonging to the side of good, truly suffer the worst when left here. Generally, this happens if they have made a deal with a demon, because even the brightest souls are not above temptation, but you have always been something of a special case – all Winchesters are – and that only means you're in more danger. Being in Hell for an extended period of time will shred your soul entirely."

Adam bit his lip till it tore, scared more than annoyed, but now was not the time to punctuate that he wasn't a Winchester, yet again. "So, what you're saying is, you saved me from whatever Sam's going through up there, but I'm still gonna die? That's great – just freaking peachy! And here I thought getting eaten alive was as bad as it would get!"

"We will both die," Michael emphasized, and he seemed oddly undaunted by this. "Angels, Lucifer exempted, do not belong down here, either. The Pit and the Cage were created to cater to him, specifically." He grew silent, flaming eyes never leaving his tiny human charge, while Adam felt the humiliating urge to cry.

He tucked his face into the worn material of his jeans,wondering if the moisture would do anything against the blood and grime. He'd always been something of a neat-freak, taking comfort in looking after their house when his mom wasn't around, but he didn't suppose that would come in handy now.

More time passed. Adam didn't really know how long, but Michael kept the pain, which came in too short intervals, at bay. Adam was observant, however, especially for someone who'd never known that the monsters under his bed – literally, in the Milligans' case – were real, and the archangel's form flickered weakly each time, seeming scarcely a tint duller after each of his healing spells. This would kill Michael faster than it would him if it went on, because Michael was keeping him alive. Adam would be all alone when the angel was gone.

The next surge of agony made his teeth crack, but when Michael moved to help him, Adam held up a hand – not that it could do much to impede the angel, if he really wanted to get through it, but it was the thought, brimming with fierce determination, that counted.

"S-stop! If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die, but I won't drag you down with me." The idea of fading away like that terrified him. His soul would be 'shredded', Michael had said, which meant no hereafter at all for him, but maybe that was better than lies from the angels who ran Heaven and being tortured for eternity in Hell. Maybe nothingness was the only escape he'd ever get, although nonexistence was a scary thought.

Michael eyed him uncertainly, but he halted as bidden. After a moment, his whole body expanded as he did something Adam didn't even think he could: inhale. "There is another way. We could both be saved, but–"

Adam wasn't usually impatient – if anything, he was a take-your-sweet-ass-time kind of guy – but he cut the angel off right there. "What do you mean, but? What do you have to do?" He refrained from adding, "Just fucking do it already!" because someone with even half a brain should know not to boss an angel around, unless they wanted their ass smote.

"–but the spell is not recommended," Michael continued fluidly, as if he'd never been interrupted in the first place. "I would require your permission to even begin to assuage my guilt."

"Dying isn't exactly something I'd recommend, either," Adam said, taking on the I-know-best tone physicians everywhere had perfected. He'd always promised himself he would be way less of a patronizing jackass than any of the doctors he'd had when he finished med-school, but it didn't seem like he'd get a chance to prove it anytime soon. "Also, if I do die, you'll totally be guilty anyway, because I will haunt you, the judge, jury and executioner. Have me." When Michael merely stared, he flushed, abruptly realizing how it sounded like a come-on.

Michael looked away, resuming in a murmur, "It will not get us out of here, unfortunately. To free a soul from Hell requires more than mere power – grace. When that malakhim, Castiel, raised your brother from Perdition, he and an entire garrison of my brethren laid siege to Hell, and still many died. Breaching the Pit has never before been attempted." The bare bones of the matter was, they were stuck, presumably forever, and although the archangel's tone belied no distress, his eyes had darkened to the color of coal after a barbeque, when you took a fire extinguisher to it – dying, fading, hopeless.

Adam wasn't a psychic or anything, and the news made whatever optimism that remained sink down into his belly, but he couldn't resist saying, "Hey, it'll be okay," just because he hated seeing the all-powerful angel reduced to something as downtrodden as this, like a puppy that had been kicked one too many times. He struggled to sit up, feeling his rib-cage crackle like aged paper ready to crumble under the pressure, and shakily touched the angel's lustrous form. The twin coals blinked back at him, perhaps even faintly startled.

"So you would not be averse to the idea?" Michael eventually asked, still quiet, but thankfully brighter.

Adam nodded. It was stupid, the small, rational bit of his brain told him, because he didn't even know what the idea was, and it went against every conscientious part of him, which had picked apart every aspect of his college applications and acceptance letters before making a final decision. His mother had roped her friend, a corporate lawyer for Windom Memorial, into talking him through it, and she'd given him one core piece of advice: never overlook even the smallest of terms. This was a Hell of a fine-print that he was ignoring; he just didn't know it yet.

"If you are sure, then fine." Michael gave his own slow nod and then went entirely static, his eyes shutting behind flaring lids. He was so still that he looked more like a wall of flame than anything, so huge that he could have put the Great Wall of China to shame.

Adam set his chin down on the tops of his knees, circling them with his skinny arms, and silently watched. It was probably because of his diligent observance that he noticed how the archangel blazed more and more for every minute that passed. Eventually, the light became so intense that it overtook Lucifer's frantic bursts above them, so Adam couldn't bear to look straight into it anymore. And then it started.

With seemingly no rhyme or reason, Michael exploded. Adam distantly wondered if he actually liked the sensation, with how frequently it seemed to happen to him. Soon, all of his displaced particles closed back in on a single flaming ball, similar but not congruent to the Cage, suggestive of missiles with homing sensors. A more humanoid being, about Adam's height, formed after that, standing before him. Its eyes twinkled.

"Uh, wow," was all Adam could manage, musing that Michael looked almost normal. It might have been his imagination, but the shimmering ball that was Michael's head split into a mockery of a human smile.

"Thank you. I took this visage so you might be more comfortable during the ceremony. I am glad it is to your liking." That was all the courtesy the angel had time for, as he clapped his hands – now equipped with five flashlight-beam fingers each – and began to chant. It was beautiful, to say the least, but the words – if they even were words – passed through Michael's lips too fast to comprehend.

It sounded more like humming – that of a thousand hummingbirds. Finally, the angel clasped his hands together once more, thunderous in comparison to his sing-song mantra, and said what phonetically sounded like, "Parakleda, allar, a-m-ipzi," but could just as likely have been gibberish.

Adam gaped at him. "Is it... Are you done?"

Instead of answering him, Michael simply said, "This will hurt," and lurched forward before Adam could do anything to defend himself, one of his hands searing into Adam's back, just to the side of his left shoulder-blade, dissolving right through his clothes, while a single finger traced rapidly over the pale expanse of the his forehead, forming something star-shaped.

It did hurt. It hurt a fucking lot, thank you very much, burning away his skin, his muscles, his bones, his organs – everything. It hurt so badly that all Adam could think about was how much it hurt – how hurt he was that yet another angel, that this angel, had betrayed him all over again. He was probably going to die no matter what Michael had promised.

The archangel in question caught him when he slumped forward, moving his other hand to mirror its twin, doing more of the strange, ninja-like gestures. Adam fainted.

"U-um, are you okay? Adam? Er, Mr. Milligan?" Adam shot up like a bullet when a timid hand touched his shoulder, whipping his head around wildly. He was sitting on a rather unsanitary, sagging couch, and he fought the urge to spring away from it in disgust.

Instead, he looked up at the man who'd been calling his name. He was short – very short – with messy brown curls, nervous, constantly shifting eyes and a rough three day beard.

The room behind him, the majority of it taken up by a giant writing desk, suited the man entirely, scattered with beer bottles and loose sheets of paper as it was. There was an aged desktop on the scarred mahogany antique, bookshelves filled with loosely-bound books behind it.

"W-where am I?" Adam asked, clearing his throat. Had Michael managed it somehow? Was he out of Hell?

"You're dreaming," the man said, not unkindly. Adam let his face fall, unable to hide his disappointment. The man hesitantly dropped a hand on his shoulder again. "Hey, it'll be okay, okay?" Adam distinctly remembered saying something similar to Michael, a lie then and now, so he snorted. "No, really, it's true. Wouldn't have left him alone if I didn't know Mike was a resourceful guy."

Adam looked up at the quirky man again. "Mike?" He frowned, jerking his shoulder out of his grasp. "Who the Hell are you, anyway? How do you know me? You an angel or something?"

The man kneaded his fingers together skittishly, biting his lip, as his eyes floated from one corner of the room to another. "I-I'm Chuck Shurley, a-a friend of your brothers… Or, at least, I hope they consider us friends. And I'm not an angel, I promise." Adam was still somewhat leery, since fun-times with Zack had taught him not to believe everything he heard straight-away. If he wasn't an angel, how the Hell did Chuck know all the crap that he did? As if reading his mind, the man answered, "I know you – everything about you Winchesters – because I'm a prophet. But, um, don't worry, we don't have any scary powers or anything. We just watch."

"Dude… Chuck, that's voyeurism, man. Totally creepy's what it is," Adam punctuated slowly, watching as Chuck's shoulders drooped.

"It's not on purpose!" the man exclaimed, face going red. "You guys aren't exactly easy on the eyes. For me, anyway." He began to mutter unintelligibly to himself – something about fangirls.

"Hey, don't feel bad," Adam replied, not bothering to protest. "I totally get what you mean, but…if you're a prophet, then tell me, will I be stuck down there forever?" A cold pit formed in his stomach at the very thought.

Chuck brought his hands down to pick at the wrinkled material of his shirt, doing and undoing a worn button on it. "I really am sorry, Adam. I didn't mean for you to draw the short lot, I'll admit," he said quietly, seriously, and Adam didn't know what to make of his sudden change of demeanor. Then, the man blinked and continued, "But don't give up. Like I said, things will get better."

Before Adam could ask him to clarify – really, was an answer too much to fucking ask for? He wasn't above throttling the little guy to get one, if it came to that – a chirping call resounded from an outer room.

"Chucky, are you in your study?" a bouncy feminine voice inquired. "I have marzipan!" She sounded as if she thought that the sweet confection was the answer to every last mystery in the universe. If only that was true, Adam would have taken up baking years ago.

Chuck's already huge eyes widened dramatically. "Y-you should go now! You don't want her to get her hands on you, trust me," he advised, dry lips twitching as if he wasn't sure whether to smile to whimper. Adam tried to protest, but the small man grabbed him by the arm, abruptly imposing and strong. "Don't worry, though, okay? It was an interesting choice he made, but I approve. He'll do right by you."

Before Adam could voice his thoughts, which mostly consisted of the theory that Chuck was drunk off his ass, he was gone.

Damn, that had to stop happening.

Adam woke up in Hell – for the second time – feeling really, really awesome. Nothing hurt anymore and his whole body tingled with the pleasantness he associated with only a couple of things: a good night's sleep, a better night's tumble in the sack, and the sort, which was weird, seeing as dreaming about jumpy little men wasn't exactly the stuff of fantasies. The fact that no brimstone poked into his skin was an added bonus.

Of course, when he noticed why, exactly, that was, he scrabbled off of a very confused Michael's lap as if spiders had been crawling all over him. The archangel was once again huge enough to comfortably situate his former vessel, Adam noted, and Michael's heated skin had felt nice, almost soothing – more of a balm than the nuclear bomb you'd usually take him for.

"I am glad to see you're feeling better," he said to a scowling Adam. "The pain should be all but gone by now."

It was, but still… "Damn it, that hurt, you ass!"

Michael didn't bat an eyelid. "And I believe I informed you that it would, did I not?"

Adam pursed his lips together and turned around full circle, so he didn't have to look at the angel anymore. Okay, so he was sulking and it wasn't exactly mature, but whatever. "You suck," he sniped.

"It wasn't my intention to harm you, Adam, neither physically nor emotionally," the archangel murmured, almost pleadingly. However, when Adam looked at him out of the corner of his eye – it was hard not to catch sight of something so massive – he was resplendent like the human had never seen him before, even in the green room. Huh, so they were both feeling better, were they?

Despite that, they sat in silence for what felt like decades, with Adam counting cracks in the brimstone ahead of him while Michael scrutinized his profile, probably reading from the stubborn set of his mouth and chin that he wouldn't respond to attempted amiableness.

Finally, finally, Adam got fed up with giving the only other sentient being in the Pit the cold shoulder. He sighed, turned back around, and declared, "I guess I can forgive you," somewhat reluctantly.

"You're very kind," the archangel replied, the faintest hint of amusement coloring his tone. "Your mercy knows no ends, it seems."

Oddly enough, he was teasing. Whatever, Adam didn't care. He was bored out of his mind and he had a trillion year old warrior angel in front of him. Why not make use of that, right?

"Could you, I dunno, tell me stories or something? You must have seen some epic shit in your life." He tried – and failed – not to sound too eager.

Michael hummed thoughtfully. "You like stories," he stated at random. "Your mother…she used to hold you in her lap when you were upset and spin great tales for you."

Adam almost regretted ever making the request, but all he said was, "Yeah, and don't get any ideas," remembering how – and where – he'd woken up. He'd go pretty far for entertainment down here, but not so far as to become easy prey to the predatory being before him.

Michael smiled that weird not-quite-smile again. "You've heard the tale of Adam and Eve, have you not? Of your namesake?" At Adam's nod, he continued, "Well, let me tell you the true story…"

And that was the start of a beautiful friendship. Fucked up, but beautiful, nonetheless.

After that, Hell got better. It wasn't quite up there with Heaven – both literally and metaphorically – because, while Michael fascinated Adam to no end, he wasn't a hot chick or even a hot dude whom Adam could make out with. All the same, rampant teenage hormones aside, Adam wasn't about to get choosy so soon after begging.

Every day, Michael would tell him stories. They took epic to a whole new level, as promised, with prose better than Homer's Iliad or Odyssey, though Adam had always been a fan of ancient myth.

They were about everything: from Lucifer's fall to the last time the true vessels had appeared on Earth and angels had walked alongside mankind. Michael told him about his battles, but also about life in Heaven for angels, the every day and the extraordinary. He even spoke, somewhat warily, of the Winchesters and their adventures, which Adam couldn't help feeling enamored with, if only because, no matter how much he wanted to hate them, they were his brothers and his father – his family.

Thankfully, Adam managed to condition the habit of telling more, what could he say, intimate stories, out of Michael. Some things, you never wanted to know, even about – especially about – people you were supposed to unconditionally love.

Adam eventually grew so comfortable looking into those sun-bright eyes that he told Michael some stories of his own. He told him about his life with his mom, how awesome she'd been, and how hard she'd tried to raise Adam on her own. He told him about what family they'd had outside of each other, and what friends had become something like family over the years. He told him about John Winchester's imposition on his life, and how much it had hurt him when the man had to leave, particularly now that he knew how John had better sons to get back to, no matter what Adam did to win him over.

Of course, he realized that they were probably stupid by comparison, since the angel had the abridged version of his life simply because Adam was his – or one of his – bloodline vessels, but they meant a lot to Adam – they were him, these stories. Michael, for his part, seemed to sense that, and he always listened with a serious sort of patience and dedication that left Adam feeling both proud and immature, similar to a little kid who went up to a soldier and told him about the make-believe adventures of his action figures.

Sometimes, disregarding how far they'd come with each other – how Adam could almost consider Michael his friend – they didn't really talk at all. Instead, Adam sat watching the Cage, whispering softly to Sam, and Michael sat watching him, somehow never losing interest in his doe-eyed human vessel with a sweet face and a sharp tongue.

Adam hadn't forgotten about his brother – not by a long shot – but he didn't know what to do for him, either. He honestly was a nobody – not as strategically brilliant as Sam nor as righteously heroic as Dean – so he couldn't do anything but talk to Sam, hoping against hope that his giant brother would hear him, and that it would somehow help him forget his ordeal. Adam wasn't exactly the go-to-guy when it came to supernatural creatures, but he knew in his gut that he'd lucked out with Michael where Sam surely hadn't with Lucifer. A guilty part of him was happy about it, but he stamped it down whenever it reared its ugly head. Mostly, he wished Sam was down here, with him, so he could rant and rave about being yanked down with the big idiot, but he could do it while certain that Sam was safe and sound.

Of course, it was looking more and more likely that Sam couldn't hear him. After all, he couldn't hear Sam, and he didn't want to think that it was because Sam would rather not answer. He'd been all for the dewy-eyed bromance crap earlier, after all, but that was before Adam had stepped into Benedict Arnold's cowhide boots, so who knew? Maybe Sam was giving him the silent treatment? Either way, it was so damn unfair that Adam sometimes wanted to throw masculinity to the wind and bawl like a baby.

One day, after another of his failed communicate-with-Sam ploys, Michael said, "Your mother…her Heaven is the day you were born." He said it so calmly, as if he was only commenting on something mundane, on something like the weather, yet Adam felt anything but composed. He just listened, though, as the angel continued in his soft, lilting voice, "You were so fragile, reminding her of a precious doll she'd had in her youth. She'd been very afraid for the whole eight months she knew about you – she hadn't known she was expecting the first month – but all those anxieties left when her doctor-friend wiped you clean and handed you to her in a blue fleece blanket. You were small and perfect, all tufts of soft blond hair and sleepy blue eyes, and she thought you were a little angel." There was affection in his tone, and amusement, too, at this ironic comparison. "From what I know, you were a beautiful infant, ten little toes and ten fingers always eager to touch, but you inspired new fear in her. She was afraid of everything that could hurt you – imaginary threats, criminals who targeted children, animals, even your father – and she was right to be, wasn't she? She loved you very much."

"I-I loved her, too…" Adam finally whispered. "So fucking much. I love her so fucking much."

The tears leaked out as if some dam broke. She was up there, holding baby him forever, and it was the happiest moment of her life all over again, but it wasn't really him. They were the farthest two people could possibly be from each other. He'd kept himself from thinking about it for so long, knowing it'd destroy him if he did, but he could acknowledge it now: he wasn't ever going to see her again.

"I am truly sorry," Michael said, evidently penitent, and Adam let himself break.

After that, the archangel learned to pick at less raw wounds. Sometimes, to break the rhythm of their conversations, he told Adam about the afterlives of the people whom he'd once loved, who'd died and left him behind.

He told Adam about his first best friend, a little girl called Lily, who'd just stopped coming to kindergarten one day – "She was really sick, baby. Cancer," his mom had later informed him – who now spent her days on a ranch in Texas, happily riding the ponies she'd always loved. He told Adam about Grandpa Max, Kate's only living parent upon Adam's birth, who used to take the little boy fishing every summer, till a severe stroke had left him immobilized. Now, however, he married the beautiful woman of his dreams each and every day, his Eva, Kate's mother. He even told Adam about John, whose Heaven was unlike anyone else's: a day playing toss-the-football with three year old Dean; kissing his wife Mary after Sam's difficult birth, the squirming baby held lovingly between them; and, against all odds, watching a baseball game with Adam on his thirteenth birthday. Adam agreed that their second visit was much better, because the first, during his twelfth birthday, had been nerve-racking for both of them.

Hearing these stories hurt, but it was a good kind of hurt – the kind that eventually scabbed over and healed.

And then the day came when everything changed.

It started out like any other day in Hell. After those first two knock outs, Adam never slept or dreamed, so it wasn't much of a start at all, only an endless continuation.

It was another Sam-day, and those weren't as rare as you'd think they'd be, considering the Sasquatch never replied. Adam had always been an imaginative, thoughtful person, and it was almost fun to take what he knew of Sam to piece together replies to the things he said. Yeah…so it was kind of pathetic, but he didn't really care.

He was in the middle of explaining the plot of a book-series he'd read a few years back, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but he took Sam to be more of a Harry Potter kind of guy, for whatever reason; he just had a Hagridish feel to him, that was all. And then, suddenly, the air above them combusted into a billion pieces, Michael immediately surging to Adam's defense, so he let thoughts of prepubescent heroes trickle into nonentity.

The thing about Hell was, its sky was mostly blocked by the Cage, and everything over that, contrary to popular belief about hanging bats and ceaseless night, was daylight, although there was no sun that Adam could find – or maybe it would be more apt to say that the Cage was the sun and old Lucy was its core. So, yeah, it was a pretty big thing when lighting – fucking lightning, of all things – burst out from behind the Cage, long as the encircling arms of a lover, and filtered into the shape of an angel – something like Michael, but not.

Adam thought it was an angel, anyway, but he could barely see, what with how Michael held him so close to his massive body, his huge wings wrapped protectively around them both.

The archangel only pulled away when the new arrival barked, "Michael," sharp and maybe even slightly relieved.

"R-Raphael?" Michael asked, and it was the first time that he was ever truly caught off guard, in the years that Adam had known him.

Adam used this distraction to his own advantage, squirming away from the archangel to analyze the newcomer. Where Michael was the pure embodiment of fire – his eyes, his wings and his very form comprised of white hot flames – this guy was all storms, electric blue sparks of lightning molding together to shape him, perfect lightning bolts shooting out to create the skeletal structure of his wings.

"Yes, brother," he began, and even his voice clapped like thunder, making Adam's knees go so weak that he had to cling to Michael for support – not that the angel noticed, since he'd been all eyes for this Raphael guy since he'd got here, which left Adam feeling unexpectedly jealous.

He told himself that it was normal, since anyone would feel that way after going from the apple of someone's eye to absolutely nothing in a New York minute, but it wasn't reassuring. It didn't help that Raphael passed his spark-plug eyes over Adam disdainfully, as if he was a little fly stuck in Michael's honey, waiting to be scooped out and swatted. "I am here to free you from this loathsome place, Michael. Heaven has been in shambles since you left. That foolish child, Castiel, tries to claim what could never be his."

Even though the archangel ignored Adam – and quite purposefully – he suddenly felt giddy. "All right! We're finally going to get out of here!" he said, his face rending into a brilliant grin.

"We?" Raphael laughed outright, growing first loud, then silencing gradually, as thunder did when a storm drew farther and farther away. "There is no 'we,' boy. You Winchesters… Well, I certainly don't mind you rotting here, though I'm surprised you haven't already withered away. Like roaches, you brothers are."

Adam's stomach dropped. He now knew how Winston McNaughton felt when he was picked last during gym every single day of sophomore year. But then he sensed Michael's wings brushing along the length of his body, offering him comfort.

"I understand that the risk to free Samuel Winchester may be too high, as Lucifer might also be liberated with his vessel, but I will not leave mine," the archangel said, determined, and Adam felt so damn grateful.

Raphael's eyes bugged out in what might have been a comical way, if he wasn't so shit-your-pants scary. "What? This boy – you would persist in Hell for this boy? I can't even believe this has come into question!" The look he gave Adam made his skin crawl. It was official – he never wanted to meet Raphael in a dark alley, although frying Adam till he was extra crispy could probably light up even Sutherland, Africa, let alone a graffiti-tagged backstreet.

Michael stepped a minute distance away from his charge, but before Adam could panic, the archangel said to his brother, "Even if I wanted to, I couldn't leave him. You asked how he was still alive. Don't tell me you cannot sense what I have done?"

Raphael made a snorting sound, but leered closer curiously, and Michael allowed him to. It didn't take long at all for the temperamental angel to pull back, a hole the size of Adam's head splitting his enormous face into an alien expression of terror and disgust. If you looked close enough, Adam thought you could see Jupiter's eternal storm within it.

"You didn't," the angel gasped, revulsion palpable between them, not really much of a question.

"It was the only way," Michael answered calmly.

"Ha! You know that isn't why," Raphael scoffed, his eyes burning with hate, though Adam couldn't fathom who the brunt of it was directed at: Adam or Raphael's archangel kin. He was pissed the fuck off, that was for sure, his entire body sizzling, his wings especially, in response to his anger. For a second, Adam thought he might attack them, and he worried over Michael, but then Raphael eventually muttered, "I wish I could dump you here, traitor that you are, to suffer with that cretin Lucifer for eternity. In spite of this, it wouldn't be wise of me. There is no one more powerful than you, so only you can handle Castiel, no matter how I wish I could tear the wings off you both. Come."

With that, the archangel turned and began to flap his massive wings, wind sweeping around him like a cow-tipping cyclone in Kansas. He flew up toward the Cage, sparing not a single glance over his shoulder, and Michael paused to bend down to Adam's level, peering into his eyes.

"With Raphael's aid, we should be able to traverse through the Cage without alerting Lucifer or incurring his rage," the angel explained, his huge hands, almost as tall as Adam's torso, on either side of the boy, lingering. "I will have to hold you. I know that makes you uncomfortable, so I'm providing – what do the humans call it? – 'fair warning'."

Adam frowned. Yes, it did make him pretty uncomfortable to be held by the angel – mostly because he was to Anne Darrow as Michael was to King Kong– but he had his priorities straight, analogies aside.

"What about Sam?" he asked, stuck on what the archangel had told Raphael. "You aren't seriously going to leave him, are you? You're gonna, I don't know, swipe him when your brothers aren't looking?"

Michael's wings drooped. "I am sorry," the angel said and that was answer enough. "If you stay, I will stay with you, but I beg you to come away with me."

Adam didn't know how to reply. Could he leave Sam behind? What would Sam do in his place? Was he any help to his brother even if he stayed? Could he really let Michael suffer alongside him without knowing any of that, definitively? It really came down to that – to Michael.

Eventually, he sighed, curling his comparatively tiny hands around Michael's long fingers, so huge that Adam couldn't even wrap all five of his digits all the way around one, even though he'd never been what could be considered small – for a human, anyway. He nodded.

Michael made a sound of relief that helped Adam believe that he was making the right decision, even as the angel's colossal palms cradled him close to his warm chest, where the core of his grace pounded. His luminescent wings began to mimic Raphael's, cutting through the tepid air of the Pit with ease. Still, Adam was glad that he couldn't see the Cage very well – glinting more and more, faster and faster, so that he had to wonder if, perhaps, Lucifer knew that his brothers were there, abandoning him yet again – because he didn't want to think about Sam. Lucy wasn't the only one about to be left behind.

"He'll get out," he murmured against Michael's body, uncaring of whether the archangel heard him or not. "He's Sam Winchester, for fuck's sake. This is what they do, isn't it?"

Too bad he couldn't quite make himself believe.

Hell was sort of like a hill: going up it was considerably more difficult than simply dropping into it. Even held gently against Michael's powerful body, Adam felt the air of the underworld rip away at him, trying to force him back down as the clinging arms of a horror-movie boyfriend who made cliche threats like, "If I can't have you, no one can!" would.

When they broke through the atmosphere that barred Hell from Earth, Adam found his breath stuck in his throat, unwilling to get out. He wished he had an astronaut's helmet, because surely leaving Earth for space was a similar sensation. Man, he had to wonder why three-year-old him had thought being a space-traveler would be so epic. It really wasn't.

Eventually, he shut his eyes and passed out, the whoosh-whoosh of the archangels' wings something of a lullaby to alleviate his discomfort.

A/N: I hope you're enjoying this so far! It promises to be (I hope) a fun-filled ride of snark and schmoop, both! Actually, because it's a big bang entry, I'm not sure whether to list this as complete and only have this chapter available as a teaser, while linking you to the story masterpost (ladyknightanka . livejournal 13921 . html), so you can see the pretty accompanying art and not have to wait, or to upload the rest. You tell me, k?

R&R: Other than that, please review with thoughts/praise/critique/hate. It's my first big bang, as I've mentioned, and I want to come away with more knowledge on what could make the experience better, next time. Help me out?