Title: Indelible Ink
Genre: Romance. Binding/bonding!fic. Marking. Schmooooop.
Spoilers: Let's say S5, to be safe
Warnings: Schmooooooop, if that needs a warning
Disclaimer: It's Kripke's sandbox, I only play and run away
Word Count: ~2000
Summary: "Forever goes both ways."
Note: The other prequel story for morganoconner's Peppermint Wind 'verse, because she is awesome and lets me play. Set very shortly after Just Say Yes, and inspired by her list for the second 5 Things Meme. Yis. *grin* Also to be used for the "wedding – consummation" square on my schmoop_bingo card. Okay, maybe I'm stretching that one a little, but it counts! I'm telling you, it counts!
"So, uhm. How does this work?"
Gabriel gives him that typical beneath the eyebrows look. He's perched like an overgrown kid on top of the dresser there in Bobby's upstairs spare bedroom come storage locker, which puts him and Dean at about the same height, for once. "Nervous?"
"No, of course not." And Dean's not nervous, really, because what's there to be nervous about? Just because he's agreed to give it all up and tie the knot, be the earthly tether for an angel. This angel.
Tied to this archangel.
Pagan, trickster archangel.
Okay, yes, he's a little fucking nervous.
Gabriel's smirk says that he's perfectly aware of what Dean's thinking.
God-damned mindreading archangel.
Gabriel's expression sobers. "Dean…."
And that's just – "No. I mean yes." Dean steps in close and puts a hand on the dresser's scarred top, right next to Gabriel's thigh. "I said yes and I meant it. I mean it. I want this. I want you. It's just a little…big." He ducks his head and turns half-away, rubbing at the back of his neck.
Gabriel's hand settles on Dean's hip. "And by big you mean…."
"Y'know. Big. Forever big."
Fingers catch the open edges of Dean's shirt and pull him in closer, between Gabriel's legs.
Gabriel tastes like maple syrup and something wild and comforting, and he kisses Dean for a bit before he leans their foreheads together. "And that scares the absolute crap out of you, doesn't it?" he murmurs. "That forever thing. You want it, but you don't really believe in it."
"Yeah, well." Dean takes a breath, flexes his fingers where they're cupped over Gabriel's hipbones. "Never had it. Never used to believe in angels, either. Old dogs, new tricks and all that shit." Gabriel chuckles, soft and warm. "What's gonna happen here, Gabriel?"
"First, I'm going to replace the pretty doodles on your ribs with a better set, keyed to me; something that doesn't make you a blank smudgy spot to my senses." Gabriel taps a finger lightly against Dean's chest. "And then I'm going to bond us, soul to grace."
"'m I gonna get another nifty scar out of all this?"
Gabriel chuckles again and lifts his head. "You might, if you want one. The bonding spell will create some sort of mark on you; something that says 'back off, this one's taken,' as the physical manifestation of the magic. A scar, a mark, a tattoo-thing, if you want – I can direct the magic that far. But you're going to wear something that marks you as mine."
Dean is – surprisingly okay with that. And possibly even a little turned on. But – "two way street, angel," he says, staring into amber eyes. "If I'm wearing a ring, so are you."
Gabriel smiles, slow, sharp and delighted. "We'll be matchy-matchy enough to make a cupid squeal."
Dean winces. "Can we leave the cupids out of this, please?"
"You've met one, I take it?"
"And got traumatized for life, yeah."
Gabriel snorts. "Stand still," he says, reaching for Dean's chest again.
Dean can't help it – instinct snaps his hand up and he catches Gabriel's wrist. "Now?"
"There a reason to wait? We've talked to my brother and yours." Gabriel just looks at him, mischief and a kind of sad caution in his eyes. "Or did you have your heart set on a Vegas wedding?"
Yeah, they'd talked to their respective siblings and that wasn't a conversation Dean ever wanted to repeat. Strangely, Cas had had more of an issue with it than Sam had had, but then Sam was barely forty-eight hours out of Hell, so his big brother making it "legal" with a formerly-dead archangel was possibly a bit low on the weirdness meter.
"No clue if there's enough left of Vegas to have a wedding there. I'd take you up on a honeymoon thing, though, if there is." He rubs his thumb lightly across Gabriel's wrist, pulse a reassuring beat against his skin, and takes a deep breath. "No, no reason. Let's do this."
Gabriel nods. He doesn't twist out of Dean's grasp, just raises his other hand and lays three fingers against Dean's breastbone. "This may suck a little."
Possibly that's an understatement, Dean thinks about three seconds later, as fire scores his chest. It recedes and he gasps in a breath, only to have it snatched from him as another wave hits, this one longer. When it lets him go, he's leaning forward, forehead pressed to Gabriel's again, his fingers dug into Gabriel's thighs, and the world is tilting a bit.
"There you are," Gabriel says on a sigh. "Breathe, Dean."
Dean takes a shallow breath, and another, and another deeper one as the dizziness recedes. Gentle warmth spreads from where Gabriel's palm flattens against his chest, dulling the pain. Dean gets his fingers unclenched, and it's a good thing Gabriel is bulletproof because otherwise Dean might have drawn blood. "Okay, yeah, that kinda sucked."
Gabriel cups Dean's face in his hands and kisses him again for a while, until the ache is nearly gone and Dean's body is beginning to start to consider thinking about more fun activities than this bonding thing is turning out to be. "Wasn't like that the first time, when Cas did it," he says when Gabriel finally pulls back.
"Archangel," is all Gabriel says, but Dean gets the point. And the apology too, there in the pinched corners of Gabriel's eyes.
"Is – the bond gonna be like that?"
"It shouldn't be." Gabriel slides his hands over Dean's shoulders and back and down, curving them around Dean's butt, fingers slipping into Dean's back pockets. His thighs are warm and solid where they bracket Dean's.
"Shouldn't be," Dean repeats.
"You're gonna feel it, of course; you're hooking your soul to a cosmic power, here." He squeezes Dean's ass. "I'm gonna feel it too. But it shouldn't hurt if neither of us fight it."
Dean narrows his eyes.
"Forever runs both ways, Dean-o," Gabriel says. His voice is soft and uncomplicated; his eyes are anything but. "It's not an offer I made lightly."
And that, somehow, is what Dean needed to hear. He leans in and kisses Gabriel this time, a slow, hot tangle of lips and tongues. "Do it. And do not ask me again if I'm sure."
One corner of Gabriel's mouth lifts, and he gives Dean's butt another quick squeeze before his fingers vacate Dean's pockets. "Give me your hands." Dean does, and Gabriel laces them together, left-right, left-right. "Close your eyes."
Years later, Dean still couldn't really describe it. Sam had always been the one with the words, not Dean.
Heat that isn't heat, coming from light that's far more than light. A voice, a chant of rough sounds, a song of more beauty than humanity could fathom, a thunderous whisper like the roar in a seashell. A question asked of a distance, and permission granted. A letting go, only to be picked up, surrounded, held by an intimate enormity, the full balance now on him, the warmth of something that had to be – was this love?
Do you? Will you?
Pressure now, the weight of light as it streams in, swirling into his self like a flash-flood into a dry lake, increasing until he's filled with the invisible, pushing, pushing, pushing until something in him – his heart, his soul – opens.
No longer just him, but them.
No longer alone.
Ani leh-dodee –
A long, long time later, Dean draws in a shaky breath. He's full of light, and the physical just – doesn't matter very much.
But slowly, eventually, he registers the warmth of Gabriel's human body pressed against his own skin, along his chest, his neck, his face. His eyes are wet, and he'd be embarrassed, but – he's not. His forehead is resting on Gabriel's shoulder, and there's silky hair against his cheek and warm breath against his neck and no reason to move. Ever.
He's still standing up, and his legs are pressed hard against the dresser's sharp edges. His hands are still entwined with Gabriel's and resting on the archangel's thighs. Dean flexes them a little, and grunts. Ow. Stiff. And achy, the left one moreso.
Gabriel's chest rises as he takes a deep breath Dean knows he doesn't actually need, and lets it go in a long sigh that ruffles Dean's hair. He flexes his hands too, but doesn't untangle them from Dean's. "All right?" he whispers.
Dean makes some sort of small, manly noise in reply, because he might be married but he's not a girl, dammit.
Gabriel snorts, like maybe he heard that. "Oh, you are now very, very married, Dean-o." His voice is hoarse.
Dean swallows and yeah, he's kinda dry himself. "So it worked?"
Gabriel snorts again and yeah, okay, stupid question, because there's still a pocket of, well, light right next to Dean's heart and something else in his head, not a presence but – possibility, maybe? Like a door he could open, maybe, sometime. When the idea of being possessed doesn't scare him white. "Okay, it worked. So where's my tat?"
Gabriel moves, and there's breath against Dean's ear. "Examine, if you will, your left hand."
Dean straightens enough to turn his head and look at their clasped hands, where Gabriel has raised them to eye level. And stares. Damn, no wonder that hand hurts. "What is that?" Gabriel obligingly lets go when Dean pulls, and he takes a closer look.
What he'd thought at first were squiggles resolve into tiny individual marks, a line of ink-black symbols that starts just below his knuckle of his hand and twines around his finger – his fourth finger – until it stops just at the second knuckle there. It's Enochian, he's pretty sure, but he's not recognizing some of the combinations. And why his – oh. Oh. He grins and grabs for Gabriel's right wrist.
"You did say rings," Gabriel says, smirking, as Dean sees the matching line of ebony characters wrapping around the fourth finger of Gabriel's hand, just where their hands had been clasped together.
"I did, didn't I?" Dean says, with a snort of laughter.
"Harder to lose when you can't take it off in the shower."
"What's it say?"
Gabriel's next words sound like Enochian, but more. The air quivers, and there's a sort of ping in Dean's chest. "In English, dude," Dean says, although it almost seems like he might understand that, if he listened a little harder?
"Ani leh-dodee veh-dodee lee." Dean glares at him. "If lost or stolen, return to…." Dean glares harder, and Gabriel huffs, like Dean is spoiling his fun. "'I am my beloved's,'" Gabriel says this time, his voice going soft and lyrical, "'and my beloved is mine.'"
Oh, wow. "Song of Songs, right?" And crap, Dean's just 'fessed up to knowing religious poetry, hasn't he?
But the glow in Gabriel's eyes is worth the chick-flick admission. "Your name is here," he says, taking Dean's hand and tracing a portion of the tattoo. "And mine is here, and here – " and Dean looks up in alarm because he knows that tone, " – is where you agreed to be the girl."