A/N: Oh my Chuck, it's been almost a year and I'm so sorry for lack of updates. All I can say is, real life got in the way. I started seven classes for uni, my junior year, soon after I posted chapter one, and it just ended recently. I also never imagined so many people would be interested in this silly (not so) little story of mine. I. Just. Thank you so much.

Chapter Warnings: Coarse language, angst, slight sexual content, minor character death, violence and a disproportionate amount of fluff for a Supernatural fic. No, really, make an appointment with your dentist tomorrow, because too many sweets are no good. D:


Chapter Two: Hansel in the Gingerbread House


The gentle tap, tap, tap of raindrops against Adam's cheeks, nose and cracked lips brought him back to his senses. He gratefully swept his tongue over what he could reach of the cool liquid, deprived from water for so long – deprived from everything, actually – and stared blankly up at a slate-gray sky, streaked with wispy white clouds.

A few feet away from him, Michael and Raphael stood, facing each other down like desperadoes in an old western. Adam almost expected to see tumbleweed rolling up past their feet, but all around them, there were nothing but graves. The words Stull Cemetery popped into his head, unbidden, and he thought he remembered being here, once upon a midnight dreary.

"There, I've freed you," Raphael said petulantly. He was now attired as a well-dressed black man, but Adam, if he squinted, could see shadowy tendrils of that other being, the angel made of storms, and the huge, huge wings that dwarfed his human form. "Will you come back with me now, to put Castiel in his place?"

Michael stood taller than ever, if possible, regarding his brother as one would a gnat. "And what of the boy?" he finally asked, sounding what would be exhausted on anyone else, but he was Michael and he didn't do tired.

Raphael seemed surprised by the inquiry, while Adam forced himself to sit up straighter, since he was the topic of their scrutiny. Finally, a sardonic smile curled on the other archangel's face. "I'm sure we can think up…suitable arrangements for your precious, hairless mud-monkey." His words drew an unwilling shiver from Adam.

"No!" Michael rippled suddenly, his eyes burning so that rain sizzled and smoked when it touched him. "I will not allow you to hurt him."

"Who said I'd hurt him?" Raphael asked, shrugging nonchalantly. "I can feel your connection – hurting him would harm you, in turn. I wouldn't do much, anyway."

"Until I'd handled Castiel's troops for you, and then he'd be fair game, correct?" Michael spoke calmly, but his wings were agitated, barely restrained against his back, and this revealed more than his speech possibly could about his state.

Raphael's smile was positively wicked. "You know me too well, brother," he drawled.

"Then, while I thank you for freeing us, you know I cannot let you go, right? Not when you will only fly back and share my weakness with the rest of the Host." Michael's change in stance was subtle, one leg pushing back against the ground, burning up the bits of grass under his feet, while his wings barely shifted. This was his battle pose.

Raphael's nostrils flared. "Oh," he began, tone dripping with contempt. "You'd kill me – your own brother – to protect the boy?"

"Regretfully," Michael answered, as a sword blazed to life in his hand. It took Adam's breath away, this sword, snaked by red, orange and blue fire, its pommel adorned with igneous rock and glinting diamonds. "You understand, I cannot spare the brother who'd do away with me as soon as my use was up." He sounded genuinely sad.

"You understand," the other archangel returned mockingly, his own blade in hand, reminding Adam of a light-saber, "I cannot spare the weakling, the traitor, who may even be more of a shame than Lucifer. I'll make it quick, since we loved each other once, but I cannot say the same for your little human bitch." Despite how his vessel stood so small, he was completely undaunted against his colossal brother.

Michael growled, sounding more beast than man – well, angel, in his case – and charged. Their weapons met in an explosion that would have made Hiroshima look more like a burst bubble in a child's bubble-wand. An oddly metallic clanging filled the otherwise quiet cemetery, along with the occasional eerie howls made by inured angels, still somehow beautiful in their morbidity.

If anyone was wondering, 'the little human bitch', as Raphael had so eloquently put it, currently had his back pressed against a grave-stone that read 'Here lies Ezekiel, dear brother, whose fate rests in the hands of angels'. Adam knew how old Zeke felt, he thought bitterly, and he fought the urge to run away screaming. It was the smart thing to do.

Unfortunately, A+ student or not, he was rapidly coming to the conclusion that 'Winchester' and 'stupid' were synonymous, and both coursed through his veins, keeping him there, his eyes locked on Michael, actually worried about the dick, when he should be worried about himself. After all, all powerful angel definitely trumped helpless little human.

When Raphael's blade sliced through Michael's arm and the sharp noise of Michael's pain rang out acutely, odd blood that resembled melted gold more than anything pouring out of his wound, Adam sprang up from behind his flimsy shelter.

"Leave him alone, you bastard!" he shouted at the cruelly smirking archangel, picking up a stone the size of his palm and throwing it at Raphael. It exploded upon contact, doing nothing except drawing Raphael's attention away from Michael and to Adam. Whoops.

"My, aren't you just eager to die?" Raphael asked in a pleasant hum, the eyes of his vessel popping out the way his true visage's had in Hell, as he shot toward Adam like a bullet-train, faster than freaking Superman.

If Adam was either Sam or Dean, he might have rolled out of the way, and if that didn't work, he would have gone down both cursing and shooting, like heroes did. Unfortunately, Adam was a scared teenager who'd died too young, solely because of his unfortunate shared paternity with the aforementioned heroes, so he stood there, caught like a deer in the headlights. His mother had always said he had such big, beautiful blue Bambi eyes, which only made things all the more fitting.

His life did start to flash before his eyes, but mostly he wondered how he could be such a dumb-ass. First, he'd been zombie-food, then a jail-bird in Hell, and now he was about to play target for an angel. And Dean had thought Adam was so fucking lucky to get his once-a-year baseball games. Screw you, Dean, and all your stupid, unnecessary angst!

He hardly had time to finish the thought before he was being pushed – no, thrown, because someone didn't know his own strength – out of the way, across the entire length of the cemetery. He hit his head hard against the already serrated edge of a grave-marker, ironically shaped like an angel, on the tiny cherub's wing, as Michael used the distraction to sweep his sword down into Raphael's stomach, curving it out through his vessel's upper back.

"I'm so sorry, brother," the archangel whispered – or did he shout it? Raphael's mouth opened in response and searing, electric-blue light ruptured out of every one of the angel's orifices, coupled with his ear-drum shattering screams. Even Adam couldn't bear to watch him die, but maybe that had more to do with a possible concussion.

He screwed his eyes shut for only a second, hearing Michael take a shuddering breath in the otherwise silent graveyard, and found that it was too difficult to open them back up.

Huh, that was bad, wasn't it?


Adam was in Heaven again. He had to be, because the face that was floating in his vision was hot – mentally bolded, italicized and underlined. Yeah, that hot. Except Michael had said that Heaven was basically a compilation of a person's greatest hits, so this guy, both literally and metaphorically, didn't apply – though Adam was perfectly willing to rectify that situation, like, ASAP.

The mysterious Adonis had light caramel skin, a thick head of dark, curly hair, somewhat scruffy, unshaven cheeks, and panty-wetting hazel-gold eyes.

Oh, and he was saying, "Adam, Adam," over and over again in his deep, husky voice. Yup, this was Heaven, no matter what anyone said. It didn't help that Adam was lying back on a soft, silk-sheeted four-poster bed and the guy was practically straddling him, so they could instigate a steamy make-out session if he only found the strength to lift his head in the slightest. It was the stuff of dreams – wet kinds.

"Uh…who're you?" Adam slurred, coming off some kind of a glorious high. His tongue felt like cotton in his mouth, too heavy to maneuver and nasty to taste, but the words tumbled out all the same.

The man blinked, apparently surprised that Adam was surprised to have an unknown person sitting on top of him.

"You do not recognize me?" he asked, the barest hint of a shy smile crooking his mouth, so that one of his cheeks dimpled.

Adam pushed back with his elbows, trying to prop himself up, and the man fell to sit on his haunches. Adam considered him seriously, but it wasn't really all that hard to guess now that he'd shaken off his sleepy stupor. The signs were all there, anyway: how those hazel eyes flashed with inhuman light, the regent shadows that phased right through the man's clothes and up past their bed's canopy, and even the way his smile, though appealing, looked out of place, uncomfortable, as if he didn't quite know how to do it properly.

"Michael?" Adam pressed, for clarifying purposes, and the archangel nodded.

"Do you like this vessel?" he asked, lightly grasping and tugging on the plain shirt his host wore. He had a boyish bright twinkle to his eyes that reminded Adam of the junior scouts that were put under his charge during camping trips, always eager to show him their newest craft project and delighted by any compliment he offered. "I tried to find someone you would. He looks, somewhat, like your father in his youth, but also like Kristen McGee. She was your first love, was she not?"

Adam's cheeks grew hot at the mention of Kristen. She was his first something, all right. "Dude, asking me if I like the meat-suit of some poor sucker that you nabbed is creepy. Picking him because he looks like a mesh of my father and my ex…well, that's just down-right rapey."

"Rapey is not a word," Michael said simply, seemingly disappointed by Adam's disinterest. "In any case, this vessel belonged to a pious young man who happened to pass into Heaven several months ago. His body, however, was comatose, useless, and the doctors were ready to let him go. He has no family to mind my employment of him."

Considering the other options, Adam figured that was probably as good as it would get. He sat up straighter and crossed his legs, digging his elbows into them, then scrutinized his companion with a cocked head.

"How's this work, anyway – you having a body? I mean, don't you need some cursed bloodline?" He didn't know much about this angel business, but if Michael could just pluck any old schmuck off the street and into his service, then all the sacrifices the Winchesters – including Adam – had made would be pretty pointless.

Guilt passed over Michael's face, setting off warning-bells in Adam's head at once. "It is because of the bonding – our bonding. My grace is connected to your soul, which ranks higher than any necessary link to your blood. Thus, this–" He held a hand against the pious man's chest, "–is acceptable." After a moment of analysis, he added, "Are you feeling better? The bond is responsible for that, as well."

"Yeah..." Adam narrowed his eyes. After spending the better part of twelve years nagging at his mother about John, he could recognize a diversionary tactic a mile away, and he was too old to get distracted by the promise of shiny new toys anymore. "You know, I keep hearing 'bonding this' and 'bonding that', but I don't actually know what a bonding is. Funny, huh?"

Michael's eyes strayed away. "I…" He stopped to pick at the sleeve of his vessel's shirt, then tried again upon realizing what he'd been doing. "Perhaps it would be better if you saw for yourself. This room is five-star, which is evidently quite high by tourist-human standards, and you will find a full-length mirror through that adjoining door." He indicated ahead, his arm as straight as an English pointer's back.

Despite having some kind of weird bond to heal him, Adam's legs wobbled when he tried to stand up, but he still shook off the archangel's attempt to help him. The carpet under his wiggling toes felt plush and soft, accented the same dark burgundy-red as the rest of the suite, and he trekked through it to the room Michael had mentioned: a bathroom.

It was easy to see why it was rated five-stars, because it looked like it could comfortably belong to foreign royalty, with a Sam-sized hot-tub to Adam's right and, as promised, a wall-length mirror just out front. He could already imagine the sort of kinky things honeymooners got up to in front of the monstrosity, but that was beside the point.

At first glance, there was nothing too different about him. His hair was a mess, and not the attractive kind that he usually went for, but rather all over the place. He'd lost a bit of weight, too, and his blue-green eyes were far too huge in his face, slightly sunken and smudged from worrying way more than your average nineteen year old should. He was also considerably paler – so pale that the light freckles that had dusted his face since childhood stood out more starkly, though he'd believed them gone years ago when camping and outdoorsy stuff had become a regular thing.

But it wasn't really a big difference. Heck, he could pass for any other college student during exams week, wearing himself ragged with all-nighters. Other than his dragged-through-Hell clothes, of course, but maybe the bum chic look was in right now?

"Take off your shirt," Michael commanded as he came up behind him, in a tone that brooked no room for argument, usually reserved for his underlings, and Adam wouldn't have been startled enough to shiver if it had been anyone else. Anyone else would have been caught prowling a mile away, reflected in the mirror, but even the inanimate object seemed to defer to Heaven's Sword, waiting until the last possible second to display him.

"You really should buy me dinner first," Adam joked, to cover up how uncomfortable he actually felt. Hell roommates or not, it was just plain rude to ask someone to strip out of the blue.

Michael tilted his head ever so slightly. "The bonding mark is on your back. Remove your shirt if you wish to see it," he said again.

Bonding mark? Oh, if he'd gotten a holy-hickey of some sort, there would be literal Hell to pay, no matter how hot Michael was at the moment. A man's body was his temple, you know?

Adam nimbly unfastened the buttons on his gray shirt, borrowed from Dean once upon a time, while trying to quell his panic. It came away, hanging loosely around his forearms, and he released it with a last look at Michael, letting it pool around his ankles and feet.

His first reaction was to wince, because man, 'a little weight loss' had been the understatement of a century. He was more bones than boy right now, but nothing else seemed out of place. However, Michael made an amusing twirling gesture with his fingers, as a judge at a beauty pageant might, a contrast to his somber face. Adam turned around and craned his neck to look down at his back.

There was a mark between his shoulder-blades, as promised, about the size of a human head and raised like a long-healed scar. It was an angry bronze-red, almost a burnt orange, and shaped like a ring, displaying a circular patch of unblemished skin in the center. Cookie-cutter shapes, letters of some kind, dotted the fiery ring, and outside the otherwise blank pool were two man-sized handprints, facing away from each other, so that they looked like tiny, skeletal wings – the sort a kindergartener might create by dipping his hands into paint and smacking them against paper.

"What the fuck is that, man?" Adam exclaimed, trying to reach back his arm to touch it. He gasped and nearly fell to his knees when Michael stretched to do exactly that, spreading the flat of his palm fully against the circle. It was hard to explain how it felt, except that it sent a soothing wave of heat pulsing throughout Adam's body, settling in his chest and...no, just his chest and nowhere else. And it didn't feel good, either. Really!

Michael blinked at the reaction, letting his arm drop slackly to his side, much to his human charge's not-disappointment. "That," he explained plainly, "is the bonding mark." He began to walk away, as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.

"Wait just a damn minute!" Adam barked, grabbing for his hand. "Don't just say it's a fucking bonding mark, then leave! What's it for? Why does it feel like that?"

"Like what?" the angel asked innocently, a mischievous dimple hollowing half his face as he smiled, belying his harmless tone. Adam glared at him, not in the mood for playing around, and Michael sighed. "Bonding is an angelic ritual that joins mates. It connects their graces – or, in your case, your soul to my grace – in order to add to their collective reserves of power. It was sometimes done in war-time, to save those who were dying, as it was in a sense for us, but that is a rare scenario. Usually, it is exploited by angels targeted by...cupids."

Adam's fingers loosened on Michael's, then tightened again, almost unconsciously. Luckily, the angel wasn't prone to pain. Adam, on the other hand…

"Couples?" he cried. "Angel couples do this to eternally tie themselves together? To mate their souls?"

Michael regarded him hesitantly for a moment, before nodding. "The closest thing I can think of, in human terms, is a marriage. Except that is not permanent." He went on and on to explain about symbolically exchanging marks and powers, but Adam wasn't really listening, even though he knew it would soon become pertinent. How could he, when his whole word had just been rocked like the Titanic?

His soul was mated. He was married to an angel – an archangel – and not just any, but the archangel Michael. He couldn't believe this.

Adam released Michael and sprinted over to the toilet precisely in time to throw up. He didn't stop spewing up the bile stuff until he felt Michael's intruding hand on his back again – on it– and then he abruptly felt good enough to run a marathon cross-country.

"Are you all right?" the angel probed gently, and Adam realized that he was crying, his cheeks and face wet with humiliating tears.

"What did I do?" he whispered. "What did I do that was so bad? What did I do to deserve this?" What did he do that got him stuck with a busy, workaholic mother, a deadbeat father, two brothers that had each other and no use for him? What did he do that made him deserve getting murdered and eaten by something wearing his mother's face, when he loved her so much? What did he do that got him ripped out of Heaven and dragged into Hell? Why him?

"You didn't do anything," Michael soothed, somewhat bewildered by his sudden bout of depression. He took a step closer, but Adam reared away from him, nearly tripping over the toilet in the process, and he got the hint. "I had to bond us. If I hadn't done it, you would have died. You didn't deserve that; I didn't want that for you."

"But you wouldn't have, would you? You're an archangel! You would have survived till Raphael staged his little rescue, am I right?" Adam spat. When Michael merely nodded, he continued coldly, "Then you should have left me to die. It would have been better than this."

The angel stared him down, a frown etched deeply into his features, then nodded. With that, in a flurry of displaced wind, he disappeared, leaving Adam alone in a bathroom with shower-heads that probably could have terminated the mortgage his mother had leaped through flaming hoops to pay.

Adam's legs gave away and he buried his face in his knees, sobbing into them helplessly. He didn't know how much later it was when he finally managed to end his pity party and drag himself to the sink, splashing water on his grimy face before heading to bed, but Michael still wasn't back. He didn't know why he cared so much – why the idea of the angel leaving him was so terrifying – except that it was.

And, as if this perfect day couldn't get any better, he found that he stank like vomit. Awesome.


Adam had only been half asleep when he heard the muffled flutter of wings, but despite his insomnia, he still wasn't quite ready to get up. He listened from the bed as Michael bustled about without really bustling, the angel's steps quiet as a cat's, though Adam had gotten used to his mannerisms in Hell well enough to pinpoint them now.

The door to the bedroom creaked open and Michael stepped into the room cautiously, as if fearing it had been transformed from a classy flat to a war-zone in the time he'd been away. Knowing the angel, it wasn't entirely implausible.

"Adam?" he murmured, surprisingly kind. A creature that could end the world in a quick fit of temper shouldn't have been able to manage such a tone. "Are you feeling better?" He didn't ask, 'Are you awake?' Adam noticed, but he was Michael, so he didn't really have to.

"What are you doing?" Adam returned, purposely avoiding having to answer the archangel's question. He rubbed a hand across his eyes, embarrassingly heavy and itchy from his time spent as a human water fountain.

"Will you come with me?" Michael requested, shifting uneasily, his coin-like eyes hopeful in his pleasant new face. He could have made Adam do whatever he wanted – Zachariah had certainly proved that angels weren't averse to this method – but he didn't, and Adam had to give him brownie points for that, so he nodded and got up. Michael beamed and proffered his hand, which Adam accepted, feeling only a little bit girlishly foolish. He allowed the angel to lead him into their suite's kitchenette.

When they arrived, Adam gaped at the sight of the table, which was decked out in a scarlet silk tablecloth, many extravagant dishes of sweets laid across it, the mouthwatering scent of sugar, butter and fresh-cut fruits wafting their way.

"What's all this?" he asked, sweeping his hand in its general direction. Now that he was looking at it, he realized that it had been a long time since he had last eaten – a century, if not more.

"Well, you told me I should buy you dinner. However, it is now morning and I seem to recall from your memories that you dislike eating anything 'too filling' early in the day, as it makes you nauseous." Michael nodded proudly, happy to recall this minute detail about his human friend. Yup, friend, because Adam wasn't going to think about marriage just yet.

"So you brought pancakes?" Adam took in the circular treats, piled atop each other into a precariously leaning stack. Some had pieces of fruit embedded in them, like blueberries or strawberries, while others were drizzled with syrups or chocolate, waffled and smooth.

"You like these fried flat-cakes," Michael reminded him earnestly, wedging his hand into the small of Adam's back, thankfully nowhere near that overly sensitive mark, and effortlessly pushing him into one of the two available chairs. Adam complied without protest, staring down a particular pancake, which had a cute chocolate-chip smile and eyes. "They are special. One of my brethren, who enjoyed consuming human foods while sharing messages and holy texts with earthly prophets, once told me that those from Belgium were the very best. That was a long time ago, upon the flat-cake's initial creation, but I hope they are still to your liking."

Adam picked up a silver fork and nudged a fat blueberry that was sitting on the corner of his plate, blackish liquid beading out of it.

"I don't get why you're doing this – why you've done so much for me," he said quietly, watching the tiny fruit bleed.

Michael frowned. "And why shouldn't I? You've done much for me, as well, and…I like you."

"My question is why you like me? I'm nothing special. As Zachariah said, I'm the half-brother, that's all. I wouldn't even give up Heaven for me. That's what you did, right, when you fought Raphael? You've completely denounced yourself from all your feathered friends, haven't you?" Not to mention, he was willing to keep healing Adam at the risk of his own life in Hell. None of it leveled equally.

"Zachariah is what your brother would call an ass," Michael declared irritably, to which Adam quirked a brow. Note to self: Winchesters weren't the best angelic influences. Not-quite-flustered, Michael continued, "I like you. I would like to imagine we became friends during our time together, although they were admittedly unfortunate, as far as circumstances go."

"Really?" Adam inquired, his second eyebrow joining its twin, deservedly dubious.

"Yes, really," Michael insisted. "Now, eat your flat-cake."

Adam stared at him a moment longer, before allowing himself a smile. "You know, this–" He jerked a finger toward his now clothed back, which still emitted a pleasant warmth from the mark, "–isn't what Beyonce meant about putting rings on what you like."

Michael responded to his teasing with a baffled expression. "I am not sure I understand this reference. What is a Beyond-Say?"

Adam rolled his eyes, choking back a smart retort. Instead, he carefully cut up the pancake, put a small piece in his mouth, and promptly moaned in wanton pleasure. "Holy fuck, this is the best pancake ever! It's like a syrupy sweet slice of Heaven in my mouth!" He proceeded to shove more bites in, making his cheeks puff out like a chipmunk's, as Michael watched in bemusement.

"I'm glad you are enjoying this. Yet, I don't believe a dessert can taste like Heaven," the archangel mused. Adam grinned. Michael looked like such a creeper, hunching over him and staring, but confused was a good look on him – kind of, sort of adorable.

He kicked out a long leg toward the other chair, knocking it away from the table, and said, "Take a load off, man. Try it for yourself and tell me."

Michael was visibly hesitant. "I acquired the flat-cakes for you."

"Yeah, and I know I've grown up as an only child, but I am capable of sharing." Adam made an impatient, long-suffering gesture, about ready to seat the man himself. Okay, so it wouldn't exactly be easy – far from it. He and Mr. Pious Man were about the same height, but Michael had a good fifty pounds on him, probably all muscle, if what his artfully disheveled clothes hinted at was anything to go by. The dude could probably kick Adam's ass even if he wasn't in the possession of an almighty archangel.

Luckily, Michael was the one angel who hadn't ever hurt him, at least purposefully, and he did as Adam bid, sitting on the very edge of the chair with undue caution. He picked up a free fork and, with a last trustful look at Adam, who nodded encouragingly, speared some pancake off the dish, seeming almost fearful as he brought it up to his lips and smudged honey across them. Adam lazily drank in the expressions that passed over his face, amused by the novelty of them, and took slow sips of the orange juice Michael had poured earlier for him.

Of course, he regretted watching so carefully when Michael finally reached his goal, because his face twisted into something right out of a porno – pleased, surprised and straight-up erotic. Adam choked a little on his juice, then cleared his throat and wiped the back of his hand across his face.

"My vessel likes this flat-cake," Michael declared delightedly. His eyes crinkled into a brilliant almost-gold, miniature suns in their own right.

Adam couldn't believe he was there, eating breakfast with an angel of the Lord in a fancy hotel-room, somewhat turned-on and, well, not happy so much as content.

"Good," he replied, when he'd swallowed down the last of the fluttering butterflies that had been caught in his OJ pulp. Maybe this bonding thing wouldn't be so bad, after all? Then again, maybe he'd just enjoy the moment without letting any of that supernatural stuff bog it down. Baby steps, Adam, baby steps.


After their impromptu breakfast, Adam piled together the last of their dirty dishes for the hotel staff to pick up and said, "I think I'll go check this place out. You coming with?" He was secretly hoping the answer would be 'no', because he'd spent his every waking moment with Michael for some very long lifetimes, and his sleep-cycle hadn't been what you could call normal even then. There was a point where a lot became too much, and what better way to amend the situation than by making full use of this place that Michael had booked?

The archangel appraised him for a moment, then displayed his approval with a terse nod, apparently sensing his human charge's desire for space. "If you must."

"Oh, I'm too curious not to," Adam answered, before reluctantly tacking on, "I can't yet, though."

"Why not?" Michael blinked.

"Well..." Adam fidgeted, staring down at his bare feet and soiled clothes. "Um, it's just, I haven't bathed in a while. It's kinda gross, 'specially considering how I've been wearing this same outfit the whole time – this dirty outfit." It wasn't unhygienic to the point of his first revival, when he'd been covered head to toe, nook and cranny, in mud and earth, but he still didn't make for a pretty picture yet.

"I hadn't considered that," Michael admitted, a small frown materializing between his eyebrows. He scrutinized Adam's entire body for a few drawn out, uncomfortable minutes, before murmuring, "I haven't done it before, but I believe it wouldn't be impossible to create a wardrobe for you."

Adam listened incredulously, and when the angel didn't explicate at once, he began clapping his hands, loud in the otherwise quiet room. "Wow, a warrior of the Lord and a fashion designer? I'm impressed," he jibed.

Michael frowned. "I do not make couture. Not in that way, in any case. Truthfully, I don't understand the use of human garments. There was a time you felt no shame in displaying your natural state."

"Me, specifically?" Adam asked. "Because, in my defense, I only ran around naked when I was a baby and back then I didn't know any better." Michael opened his mouth to counter, but Adam cut him off, not feeling tolerant enough to engage in a repertoire with him. "Dude, I upchucked my stomach lining yesterday, then didn't so much as gargle before I ate. I feel like something on the bottom of a shoe right now, but if it'll make you feel better, I'll return to my 'natural state' as soon as you zap me some clean clothes to wear for after. It's kinda necessary, you know, if you're gonna shower."

Michael eyed him with annoyance, but eventually relented with a sigh. "If I'm not mistaken, the proprietress of this establishment has books filled with fashionable images. I can use them as my inspiration." Before Adam could say anything else, the angel disappeared in an assault of wing-flaps, and only returned, coincidentally, after Adam had already snapped his jaw shut. What a hint. "Here they are," Michael said obliviously, motioning with his chin to the formidable armload of magazines he now carried. He offered the one at the top of the stack to Adam, who glowered from him to it, as if they'd somehow affronted him, before grumpily receiving it..

It was the sort of glossy publication that department stores everywhere gave out like water, with apparel and accessories for all genders within it, so Adam said, "This is perfect," after only a perfunctory flip through it, nowhere near the adequate amount of patience he needed to compare it to all the others. Judging from the seemingly endless pile, the angel had visited every newspaper stand in the city and wading through them would take hours, anyway.

Michael blinked at his hasty reply, but nodded, carefully retaking the magazine and holding it between both of his open palms. He shut his eyes and began murmuring, while Adam watched him with three parts awe and one part paranoia, recalling what had happened the last time the angel had chanted. Right before his eyes, the book exploded in a puff of talcum powder smoke, and then Adam's vision was impaired by a pair of boxer-shorts that had landed directly on top his head, other articles of clothing raining down around him, appearing from seemingly out of thin air.

When he'd pulled off the underwear, he noticed that the floor was now completely covered, and a couple of socks even hung from the rafter. "Huh," he mused. "I think this is more clothes than I had before I died."

"Shall I get rid of the excess?" Michael offered, somewhat earnest under his infamous calm.

Adam bit the inside of one cheek, before he shook his head. "No, it – it really was nice of you to do this in the first place. I couldn't ask for anything more. Besides, the closet in the bedroom is completely empty. Now it can have something more to entertain it than Narnia, while we're here." More shyly, he added, "I'm sure it feels grateful."

"Does it?" Michael asked, canting his head to an intrigued angle.

"Yeah," Adam affirmed, and skillfully avoided having to look at the angel by wading through all the clothes, only standing back up when he had a pair of loose jeans, a baby-blue t-shirt with, of all things, Fonzie on it, and a white button down with a single gold stripe along each arm – not to mention the boxers he still held. "I think I've got everything I need. Luckily, it's pretty warm in here. I hate the cold, you know."

It wasn't a question, but Michael still nodded. Adam gave him a last, strained smile, more like a grimace, and began carrying his light bundle back through the bedroom to the bathroom. When the door finally shut behind him, his breath whooshed out in hushed relief.

Sure, it was true that one door, even if it did have three locks – heck, a thousand locks – stood no chance against Heaven's mightiest warrior, but Adam could at least trick his mind into believing he was alone, if only for a little while.

His unease receded, anyway, by the time he'd stripped off his clothes and stepped into the shower, shivering at first because the porcelain tub was chilled, then relaxing when hot water from the tap made his toes curl.

It was unbelievable how many mundane things – which you'd probably never spared a thought to previously – you could come to miss when you didn't have them. For Adam, water was one of those things, and he sat on his hindquarters for a while, running his hands under the faucet till they'd wrinkled, before he halfheartedly picked one of the many comfort settings the shower-head offered and stood under the scorching spray.

The jet feature, aptly called masseuse, hit his body so forcefully, and in just the right way, that he groaned aloud, feeling his muscles relax – muscles that he hadn't known were tense in the first place. To add to that, both the shampoo and the body-wash, probably more expensive than a healthy man's kidney, smelled sweet and soothing, like vanilla ice-cream straight from the truck, which immediately reminded him of nights spent cuddled up in his mother's arms, her hair emanating that same scent. He smiled unconsciously at the memory, before grabbing one of the hand-towels the hotel had issued to soap himself up, scrubbing so hard that his skin felt pink and new, as if all the Hell had melted right off of it. He could almost let everything go for the transient period of time he spent in there.

Of course, even that didn't last. After he'd wiped away all the residual suds from his torso, and the shampoo in his hair had settled for the three to five recommended minutes, he hung the small towel up over the pole that held the shower-curtains and ran his fingers through his scalp, his hair standing up in amusing, slicked spikes of gold. Using his palm, he flattened all the protruding locks down past his neck, feeling the soapy water rush along his back, and twisted around, hopeful that the spray could wash off whatever he couldn't get to.

Instead, it felt as if he'd suddenly been thumped hard between his shoulder blades, as if he'd been choking and some good, if ignorant Samaritan – who was completely off beat about the Heimlich maneuver, by the way – had decided to try and help him clear his airway.

The worst part was, it didn't feel bad. Yes, it made his vision blur, his eyes welling with tears in response, and it jellied his legs so that he had to prop both arms against the wall in front of him, but intermittent, hot pulses from his back also made his whole body flush, and he choked up more than one shameless moan. If anyone was directly outside, they'd probably assume that some old, horny John had picked up an especially slutty hooker, and he was oddly okay with being the whore in question.

Unfortunately, there was someone right outside, and he had no problem with mojoing himself in.

"Are you well?" Michael inquired, as he did just that, his suitably worried facade at odds with his actions.

Adam squeaked in reply, though he'd never before known making such a squirrely sound was even possible, and grabbed at the shower curtains like a prude woman from an old cartoon, whom the comic lead hastily apologized to after bursting in. He pulled them around him so that only his angry face showed.

"Get out of here!" he barked, hands too occupied to make accompanying shooing gestures.

Michael was unperturbed and made no move to listen. "I heard strange sounds," he explained, remorselessly deadpan. "I thought you were in pain."

Adam's ears flared hotly again, and he felt as though he could crawl in a hole and die from the mortification alone. "I-I'm fine, okay? I was perfectly fine before you came! So just leave! Go!"

When Michael nodded and vanished again, an unreadable expression on his face, Adam felt guilty, so he resolved to apologize after toweling himself off, since his self-consciousness had attributed to his snapping in the first place. Before that, however, he had to deal with one remaining problem: he was still painfully horny.

Damn.

Ultimately, he ended up taking care of business, so to speak. It wasn't that difficult – he was determinedly notgoing to use the word 'hard' – especially since his personal Heaven had been doing the dirty with a particularly hot girl. He was practically an expert.

Or, anyhow, that was how Adam wanted to feel – casual and confident. In reality, his culpability still gnawed at him, not just because he'd bitten off Michael's head, while that was a good starting point, but also because visualizing the faces of all his exes hadn't worked for him at all. Visualizing Michael, on the other hand…

Again, damn. He was going back to Hell for sure.

Adam didn't quite know whether to be relieved or bummed when he called the archangel's name and Michael didn't appear. In the end, Adam decided to go with his initial plan to explore the hotel, mostly because he still had too much excess energy to stay in a huge suite all by himself, no matter how many nice things it boasted of having.


A/N: I'm very anxious you'll all expect a really epic story and be disappointed by the crack that this is, but at the same time, I hope you had fun with this chapter. I swear on my love of Supernatural, chapter three will be posted way faster than this one was. I'd love to hear your thoughts and am grateful to everyone who read, reviewed and/or put this story on their alerts. :DDD

Anon Reviews:

Wiccawoman: Thank you! No, not abandoned, and I apologize for that misconception. I like stories with a positive characterization of Michael, too. He's really a blank slate, because we don't see him for a lot of episodes, but what we do see is somewhat contradictory. :)

Anaon: Again, I'm so sorry it seemed I quit. I haven't! I'm also sorry that this website decided to kill all my links. :( Anyway, I really adore this pairing, too, and there's actually quite a bit of it on livejournal, which is my primary hangout. I wish we'd seen more of both Adam and Michael in canon. They could have been fun. Thanks for your kind words.

Mamono: Thank you so much! I apologize for how long it's been. :(

Profound Yaoi: Thanks! I'm delighted you like my characterization of Adam; he's such a fun, snarky character and definitely would have been an endearingly annoying baby brother to the Winchesters, had he been around more.

Ockermuller: I hope you enjoyed it, if you found and read it on my LJ. Thank you for reviewing! :D

HarleyKinnish: I agree, it's sad how little Adam fics there are, but you know, the amount is growing. There's even a mini-bang for Adam on livejournal that will start posting soon (23 stories!). Maybe those will help you like his characters more? I also wish there had been more development of he and Michael in canon. Ah well, what can you do? Thank you for your comment. :)