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[personal profile] aria_lerendeair
 Title: Manners Maketh Man

Author: Aria_Lerendeair

Artist: Bright-Pyrite

Beta: Kate, you wonderful, fucking amazing darling you.  <3  

Pairing (if any): Gabriel/Sam (Sabriel)

Genre/Tropes: Spy AU

Rating: Explicit

Word Count: 38,382

Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers for the Kingsman Movie, I draw very heavily from it in places, and though I don't own the Kingsman story, I do own some of the additional plot points I added that I wish I could have seen in the movie.  

Summary: Gabriel Novak had known, since he was twelve years old that he would never amount to anything worthwhile.  He'd be a drain on society until his dying day, just like his Dad.  However, when Sam Winchester, a Kingsman agent, waltzes into his life with his bespoke suits, spy gadgets and devastating smile, to give him the opportunity of a lifetime, Gabriel can't say no.  Oh, and they have to save the world.


 

 

“Being a spy is less about guns and gadgets and far more about blending in and thinking on your feet.  You must be memorable, yet forgotten in a moment.  You must be witty, but never the smartest man in the room,” Merlin said, tapping the collection of books in the bookcase behind him. 

 

“I can teach you fighting skills, I can teach you to better your weapons skills.  What I cannot teach you is the ability to think on your feet.  Now,” he smiled at each of them.  “You will have a test in four hours.  You will be presented with several scenarios.  The answers to those scenarios, are in these seven books.” 

 

Gabriel stared at the stack of giant books that Merlin tapped with his pen and felt dread settle into his stomach.  Shit.  There was no way that he would be able to read what he needed to in order to pass a test in only four hours. 

 

“I suggest you employ whatever means necessary to pass this test.”  Merlin held up a packet of papers.  “If you do not, you are going home.”

 

Silence reigned in the room as Merlin left.  Gabriel looked up at the clock.  11:47am.  The test would be at exactly 3:47pm.  Merlin was nothing if not meticulous. 

 

“I’ve got a plan,” Baldur announced, standing up.  “There’s eight of us.  We each take a book, study and then take the test together.” 

 

“Merlin said-“

 

Baldur raised an eyebrow at Kali.  “Merlin said to use whatever means necessary to past the test.  If we each take a book, and then take the test together, we’ve got a greater chance than if we each try to read the books.” 

 

Gabriel scowled, because that was a shit idea right there.  “And what happens if, and I do mean ‘when’ when I say if, Merlin has us all take the test separately?  We’re all fucked and we’re all gone.” 

 

“You don’t know that he’ll make us do that-“

 

“And it’s the best idea we’ve got.” 

 

Gabriel rolled his eyes and stood up.  Fuck this. 

 

“We could also take each of the books for a half hour, skim them and then trade.  That would give us enough time to go through each of them, and then we could trade off reviewing one of the others a second time,” Kali suggested, striding towards the desk. 

 

Gabriel stretched.  “All right, while you fucktards decide what to do, I’m going to go take a piss.  C’mon Loki.”  He didn’t bother to wait to hear if any of them responded as he strode from the room.  Any means necessary meant any fucking means necessary.  That meant cheating was absolutely on the table, and Baldur was thinking too damn small. 

 

Gabriel headed down to the hangar and glanced around the corner, smirking when he saw the stack of papers Merlin had waved in front of them.  He looked down at Loki.  “Stay,” he ordered, slipping towards the desk.  He pulled out his phone and snapped a few quick pictures of the test.  Merlin would notice if he took a copy, but no one would notice a few pictures. 

 

Gabriel turned and whistled the whole way to the bathroom, making sure that at least two of the other people from the Merlin department heard him.  No harm in having some backup to his story about going to the bathroom.  He made his way back to the room where everyone was still debating the method of studying the books fastest. 

 

“Glad to see someone decided to join us,” Baldur sneered.  “Always pleased to see someone taking this seriously.” 

 

Gabriel tightened his hand around his phone and debated just pretending that he hadn’t done this for all of them.  He should let them fucking suffer, share the questions with Kali and then just cheat off of her.  He should!  But…

 

‘You forgot the most important thing.  Teamwork.’

 

Fuck Merlin for getting in his head, the bastard.  “I am taking this seriously,” Gabriel interrupted, striding to the table, pulling out his phone.  “And that is why I went to get pictures of the fucking test we’re taking, so we know what to look for instead of trying to memorize an entire book.” 

 

Gabriel gave them three minutes of stunned silence before he held up his phone.  “We’ll know what to look for.  We’ll all be able to pass, and move back on to whatever the next test is.  Deal?” 

 

Kali grinned at him, her eyes bright and proud and Gabriel smirked back at her.  “Now.  Who has a pen so we can write this shit down?” 

 

 

 

~!~!~!~!~!~

 

 

 

Gabriel threw his pen at the test as soon as he finished filling it out.  He wasn’t the first, but he wasn’t the last either.  Kali and Baldur had both finished before him, but fuck if he cared.  He’d taken it, they’d known all the answers, and he was pretty fucking sure they’d all passed.  Things had gone according to plan. 

 

He stood and motioned for Loki to follow him to the other side of the room as he left the test on the desk Merlin was now sitting at.  Gabriel leaned against the wall and gave Kali a grin when she raised an eyebrow.  Well, at least they knew they’d both be moving on.  They’d fucking nailed it. 

 

It took another half hour for two of Baldur’s friends (Ganesh and Digby, because posh pricks couldn’t name their kids normal fucking things) to finish, and then another fifteen for the rest of them.  Gabriel let himself relax and doze as he leaned against the wall.  He snapped to attention when Merlin cleared his throat and stood up. 

 

“Well done.  I have to say, I’m impressed that six of you managed to pass.”

 

Gabriel shared a look with Kali.  Six?  How the fuck had only six of them managed to pass?  They’d had the answers.  Who the fuck had managed to screw up?  Unless…

 

“Gabriel, excellent job.  Pretty ballsy, snapping pictures of the test to bring back to the others.  However, despite your efforts, two of your colleagues were unable to pass.  Malcolm, Richard, pack your things and go home.” 

 

Gabriel bit down the angry response he wanted to have.  Fuck!  They should have all passed!  They’d found the answers, with time to spare, they’d quizzed each other!  They’d stacked the fucking deck! 

 

“The rest of you, go to bed, get some rest.  You have an early morning tomorrow,” Merlin said.  “You’re dismissed.” 

 

Gabriel turned to Baldur and Kali.  “What the fuck happened?  We all had the answers.” 

 

Baldur lifted his hand and looked at his finger nails.  “They didn’t.  I gave them the wrong answer to two of the questions.” 

 

Dread settled into his stomach.  “You did fucking…what?” 

 

“Any.  Means.  Necessary,” Baldur said, glaring at the two of them.  “I needed to weed out some of the competition.  You two didn’t look at the answers I gave you, so you were fine.” 

 

Fuck.  Fucking hell.  He was not going to deck the prick.  Not only would it get him kicked out, but it wasn’t going to earn him any bonus points with Merlin. 

 

“Baldur, I wouldn’t be so keen to admit that.  Merlin has said, more than once, how important teamwork is,” Kali said, heading for the door. 

 

Gabriel smirked when Baldur blanched and followed Kali out.  He pushed his hands through his hair.  They’d survived another day.  Loki headbutted his leg and Gabriel crouched down and rubbed behind his ears.  “What do you say, bud?  We get to stay for a little longer.” 

 

 

 

~!~!~!~!~!~

 

 

 

 

 

The one thing he had to say that was nice about training was that he got to see Sam in all sorts of situations.  He’d had to duck into the bathroom the first time he saw Sam wandering around in a red Kingsman robe, boxers and nothing else.  Gabriel hadn’t come that hard or that fast since he was fucking fifteen. 

 

Then he found out Sam had been hospitalized after a mission.  He’d been hit with an unknown material of some kind and was in a coma.  The second Merlin released them from their latest test (another target practice test that had gotten them down to the final five after Rufus had missed his second to last shot), Gabriel had hauled ass to the infirmary. 

 

The sight of Sam, on the bed, white as a sheet, hooked up to oxygen masks and various tubes made his heart lurch and he immediately sank into the chair beside Sam, staring at the tall man.  “Jesus, Sam,” he whispered. 

 

At one point Merlin came in, and though he could tell that Merlin was surprised, Gabriel just stared at him, until he got given a status update on Sam.  

 

Sam would be fine. 

 

And for the next six weeks, as Sam slowly grew a beard, Gabriel spent every spare moment he could in the medical area, next to Sam.  He ignored the looks from Kali and Merlin, brought his books in there to study and Loki even took to sometimes sitting on Sam’s feet on the end of the bed. 

 

“Gabriel,” Merlin called, opening the door.  “You need to stop sleeping here.” 

 

Gabriel blinked himself awake and cracked his neck, sitting up from where he absolutely had not been holding Sam’s hand and sleeping.  Because the sight of Sam’s slowly rising and falling chest was one of the most calming things he could see, especially here.  Absolutely, definitely fucking not. 

 

“Sorry Merlin,” Gabriel mumbled, standing and staring at him.  “Do we need to report?” 

 

Merlin sighed and tapped his tablet.  “Yes.  Outside, in the courtyard, in one hour.”  He turned and headed for the door.  “And Gabriel?” 

 

Gabriel looked at Merlin’s back and cleared his throat.  “Yes, sir?” 

 

“Sam would be proud of how far you have come, but don’t let yourself get sloppy because you aren’t getting proper rest.  He’ll wake up when he’s ready.” 

 

Gabriel swallowed hard and looked down at Sam, his hand twitching closer to Sam’s.  “Yeah.  Yeah, all right.”  He gave a determined nod.  Merlin was right.  He needed to concentrate so he could kick Baldur’s ass. 

 

He showered, managed to grab some quick breakfast and a change in the hideous jumpsuit before he headed outside.  Gabriel grinned widely when he saw the array of different hand guns and rifles laid out on the table.  Another fucking weaponry test.  He aced these, and the only one who consistently scored better than him was Kali.  Who had been a fucking sharpshooter and sniper in the army. 

 

“Today, we will be testing a combination of skills.  Your speed, accuracy and appropriate use of each weapon,” Merlin explained.  “And for an added wrinkle, you will be running through the endurance course.  You must meet a time of five minutes, or you fail.  On the table you will find the five weapons you will use.  You must carry the ammunition, each of the guns and switch between them on each part of the course.  If you fall below a ninety-five accuracy, you will fail.” 

 

Gabriel looked over at Kali and then at the guns on the table.  Twenty five weapons, and at a quick glance, only two that he wasn’t comfortable with on the run.  Five minutes on the endurance course was pushing it, but he’d managed four minutes and thirty seconds his last run through. 

 

He walked over to the table and stared at the list of weapons.  Gabriel grinned widely when he saw that he didn’t have two the guns he was worried about using.  He grabbed them and started loading them, throwing the two rifles over his shoulder and grabbing holsters to the other three guns. 

 

If there was one thing he knew how to do well, it was this.  He’d aced it in his training for the Marines and he was going to ace it here.  Gabriel leaned down and tucked in the laces for his boots after tightening them.  No need to have something stupid like a loose shoelace slow him down. 

 

“Ganesh, you’ll be going first.  Then you, Digby, then Gabriel, followed by Baldur with Kali going last,” Merlin said.  “Before you complain about order, it’s based on your current scores and training to date.  You have only yourself to blame.” 

 

Gabriel nearly started snickering at the look of shock on Ganesh’s face.  Oh, that had been a thing of fucking beauty.  He tucked the remaining revolver into his boot and straightened up, surveying the rest.  Kali had copied him and had set up her weapons in easy to reach places versus secure ones.  They were both going for accuracy over speed. 

 

He watched Ganesh head towards the course and closed his eyes.  Though he couldn’t be certain, he’d be able to tell what parts of the course Ganesh was using a rifle and what places he was using a pistol.  Maybe they’d be the same. 

 

An airhorn sounded and almost immediately, Gabriel heard pistol shots, and the sound of Ganesh running through the course.  So the targets were up immediately.  Ganesh was firing too fast though, he couldn’t be aiming between shots. 

 

Gabriel glanced over at Merlin and noticed the tight frown of his mouth.  Ganesh was not doing well. 

 

A few minutes later, Ganesh came around the corner, panting hard as sweat ran down his face, his hand still on his rifle. 

 

“Thank you Ganesh.  Digby, line up,” Merlin ordered. 

 

No mention of scores or performance until they were all done then.  Well, at least they’d all know if they fucked up together. 

 

The sharp snap of a rifle had Gabriel turning towards the course.  Even though he couldn’t see it, the difference in gun type had him cursing.  Either they had both read the obstacle differently, or it had changed for each of them.  He’d have to be prepared for both going in.  Merlin’s face was impassive, with none of the distaste that had shown with Ganesh. 

 

So, leaning towards the rifle a bit, but potential for a little of both.  Ganesh was a shit shot with a pistol, so maybe that was what had pissed Merlin off. 

 

A moment later, the airhorn sounded and Gabriel snapped to attention when Merlin looked at him.  He nodded and jogged towards the course.  He took his place at the starting line and took a slow, deep breath.  He could do this.  This was easy. 

 

Find the target, shoot the target.  Use the optimal gun to shoot each of the targets.  Get through the obstacle course.  Easy enough. 

 

He took off the second the air horn sounded, his eyes snapping open.  He reached for the rifle and froze for a second at the sight of the course.  It had been filled with dozens of civilian dummies.  Panic filled him for a second.  Where were the targets?! 

 

A flash of red in a window caught his eye and he smirked, ripping the rifle off of his back, aiming and shooting it a second later.  Now he knew what he was looking for. 

 

He fired six more shots in quick succession before hitting the rope bridge.  Gabriel valuted into the middle and used his momentum to hit the other side of the bridge in one bounce.  His knees protested the move, but fuck if he wasn’t going to use some of his gymnastics training to his advantage. 

 

Last time he’d pulled that move, he’d seen Baldur and Digby nearly blow out their fucking knees trying it.  Gabriel stowed the rifle and pulled out his pistol and hit the next moving targets, swinging in front of him, cursing when he missed the last one.  Ninety-five percent.  He could miss one.  Just not the next one. 

 

He scrambled a little as he hauled himself under the barbed wire trenches, digging his feet in and propelling himself forward.  Sometimes being small came in as an advantage.  Gabriel got out of it and grabbed the revolver from his boot, squeezing off two quick shots that probably brushed too close to the civilian targets, but didn’t hit them directly. 

 

He panted and made his way to the next obstacle.  Fucking hills.  He hated running over small hills.  Gabriel tucked the revolver away and grabbed his rifle.  Two more sections.  He squeezed off one shot and was glad that he’d paused to take it.  Accuracy would be important here. 

 

It wasted precious seconds each time he stopped, but he didn’t miss a single one.  One section left, and he’d saved the Sig for last, since that’s what he was best with.  Gabriel pulled it out and started sprinting through the last leg.  This was where he would have to make up speed.  No civilians here, just blank road and targets coming from somewhere. 

 

A target flew out from between the trees, hauling ass and Gabriel cursed and caught it just before it flew into the treeline.  He kept up the sprint as best he could with the gun up and hit the remaining eight targets before skidding over the finish line to the sound of the airhorn.  He dropped to the ground to catch his breath for a second, panting hard. 

 

Baldur and Kali still had to hit the course.  Gabriel stood and dusted off his pants, heading back towards where the others were waiting.  Gabriel grinned at them all and started disassembling the weapons, laying them out on the table. 

 

He listened closely to Baldur and pictured running through the course.  Baldur got through the hills faster than he did, but there was no way that he had been as accurate at the end sprint.  Too many quick and desperate shots. 

 

Gabriel met Kali’s eyes and nodded, clearing his throat.  “Knock ‘em dead!” he called, waving to her as she entered the course.  He had no doubt that Kali hit every single target by the time she was done.  Every shot was measured and precise, and there was no staccato of gunfire indicating a miss.  Exactly what he’d expect from a sniper. 

 

It did make him feel better that she at least looked winded after the course.  He grinned wide at her and waited til she joined them again before they turned to Merlin. 

 

“All of you, well done.  You all met the minimum 95% score.  Gabriel I was going to offer you congratulations on missing only one target, a new Kingsman record, however, Kali beat your record shortly thereafter with perfect score.  Both of you, excellent job.” 

 

Gabriel gave Kali a blinding grin and nearly floated back to the dorm.  Fuck, he needed to shower and take Loki on a proper walk before bed, but oh god, he didn’t want to move

 

“Gabriel, if you do not get up and get into the shower, I am going to shoot you,” Kali threatened.  “I can smell you from here.  Get into the shower.” 

 

He made a sad noise, but hoisted himself off the bed and towards the showers.  “I understand, it’s okay, you just want to ogle me in the showers.  I suppose that I can oblige.” 

 

Her snort of derision made him grin.  Gabriel turned one of the showers on to scalding and stepped under the water.  If he did go walk Loki, it wouldn’t be a big deal to stop by the Infirmary to say goodnight to Sam before heading back to the dorms for the night.  Merlin was right, he needed to make sure that he made Sam proud. 

 

 

 

 

 

~!~!~!~!~!~

 

 

 

He fucking hated etiquette training.  Hated it.  He got by by watching Kali and Baldur like a hawk and then imitating them with his most bullshit posh accent, but fuck he hated every second of it.  Who cared what spoon you used to eat your soup as long as you didn’t spill it all over yourself? 

 

Same deal with fucking conversation topics.  If he did not have one more conversation about what appropriate conversation topics with certain people were, it would be too fucking soon. 

 

“Gabriel,” Merlin called. 

 

Gabriel nearly turned and bashed his head into the suit of armor he was walking past.  No, no, no, no, they were done, he’d been dismissed, he wanted to go watch trashy tv and not fucking think for the rest of the afternoon! 

 

He took a deep breath and turned to Merlin, snapping to attention.  “Sir?”

 

Merlin smiled at him.  “Sam is awake, and asking for you to visit him.” 

 

Gabriel froze and then grinned, bright and wide.  “He’s awake?” 

 

“Aye,” Merlin said, chuckling as he watched Gabriel turn and jog towards the infirmary. 

 

Gabriel opened the door, his heart doing another of those really fucking annoying flutters at the sight of Sam standing in front of the mirror, wearing that red fucking bathrobe again.  At least this time he had pants and a shirt on this time. 

 

“You know, gentlemen knock, Gabriel,” Sam said, turning to smile at him. 

 

“Good thing I’m not one of those,” Gabriel said with a laugh, walking closer to Sam.  Loki gave an excited bark and tugged at his leash, going after Sam. 

 

Sam raised an eyebrow.  “Is Loki’s training going well?” 

 

“Loki,” Gabriel said.  “Heel.”  In a second, Loki was happily sitting by his feet.  He gave Sam another grin. 

 

“Excellent.  You’ve been doing even better than I hoped.  The final five is a true achievement Gabriel, well done,” Sam said. 

 

Gabriel absolutely did not blush.  He didn’t blush, even when Sam’s eyes were shining with the compliment and he looked like he needed to be ravished.  “Thanks, thanks Sam.  Merlin said that you wanted to see me?” 

 

“Yes, Gabriel, I-“

 

“Ah, Gabriel,” Merlin said, stepping into the room.  “I need to have a private conversation with Sam.  You’re dismissed.” 

 

Gabriel tried not to let it bother him.  Now that Sam was awake, they would have plenty of time to catch up. 

 

“Nonsense.  Let him stay.  Learn a thing or two about how stuff works,” Sam said, turning to face the TV. 

 

Merlin huffed, but tapped a few buttons on his tablet.  “As you wish.  Now, we still have no idea what you were gassed with, however, your glasses feed did capture a few additional pieces of information.” 

 

Gabriel watched the feed and swore.  “Sam, did you blow up some bloke’s head?  That’s a bit much, don’t you think?  I mean, did he deserve to get his head blown up?  Fucking hell!” 

 

“Actually, it was a chip, embedded just below the scar you see here,” Merlin said, zooming in on the image of the video before it cut off.  “Your glasses picked up the signal, however, I traced back the signal to a corporation owned by Curtis Metatron.” 

 

“That dude ended up with one of those fucked up last name,” Gabriel said, shaking his head.  “I thought I got the short end of the religious stick, he got fucked.”  He looked at the blank looks being given to him by Sam and Merlin and grinned.  “He goes by Metatron, right?  Well, Metatron was an angel, is, if you believe that sort of stuff.  Anyways.  Scribe of God.  His job to write down the word of God.  Fucked up dude in some books too, because he started writing his own shit and calling it the word of God.” 

 

Gabriel gave a sheepish shrug at the surprised looks from the other two men.  “But, regardless of what I think of the shaft he got on his name, the man is a fucking genius.” 

 

Sam cleared his throat.  “And why is that?” 

 

Gabriel blinked.  “Didn’t you see his announcement today?”  At the blank looks, he snatched the tablet from Merlin and pulled up a link off Metatron’s website.  “Here, look!” 

 

“We spend on average more than $2,000 a piece on internet for our cell phones, and for our computers a year.  I find this figure disgusting, when this money could be spent properly revitalizing the planet and our own economy.  So, I came up with a plan.  Starting tomorrow, every single man, woman and child is welcome to pick up one of my sim cards that are compatible with any computer and cell phone currently on the market.  Free internet, for everyone, forever.” 

 

Gabriel grinned widely.  “I’ve got to figure out how to get one of those.”  Merlin snatched the tablet back from him a moment later with a dark look, only to have it pulled out of his hands by Sam.  Gabriel managed to keep from laughing at the indignant look Merlin’s face, but only just. 

 

“Look at this,” Sam said, tapping on the video and zooming in.  “Metatron’s assistant, the one that introduced him on stage?  She has the same implant scar.” 

 

“Oh shit,” Gabriel whispered, staring at the video. 

 

Sam hummed and looked down at the tablet.  “Merlin, I think Metatron and I need to have dinner.  Preferably in the very short future.” 

 

Merlin took his tablet back and tapped at it.  “There’s a gala dinner next week.  I’ll get you an invitation, but be careful.  Hundreds of VIPs have gone missing in the past few months, especially after events like this.” 

 

“Well, I would make sure that my alias is someone worth kidnapping,” Sam said. 

 

Gabriel grinned widely.  It was almost like they had forgotten he was here, but it was so damn nice to hear Sam again, with his quips and sarcasm.  Fuck, he’d missed it so much while Sam was out.

 

He headed back to the dorms, completely unable to wipe the stupid grin off his face.  Kali gave him a knowing look, but he decided that he didn’t care as he settled into bed.  Sam was all right, they were tracking down whoever the hell had hurt Sam, and he was going to land this job and figure out some way to land Sam along with it. 

 

 

 

 

~!~!~!~!~!~

 

 

 

 

Gabriel stared at Kali as she sucked in slow, calming breaths.  He reached out and touched her knees.  “Not a fan of heights?” 

 

“I’ve done it before, but yeah.  Not what I would call a fan,” Kali muttered. 

 

“You’ll be fine,” Gabriel said, rubbing her knee.  “You’re top of the class.” 

 

Kali nodded and held onto the straps of her parachute. 

 

“Twenty seconds to the drop zone,” Merlin called over the comm.  “Your objective is to land within the target without being on the radar.  Open your chute too soon and you’re out.  Land outside the target and you’re out.  Understood?” 

 

Gabriel grinned widely at Kali.  Fuck, he’d always wanted to try jumping out of a plane like a hero.  This was going to be fucking fantastic.  He stood up and pushed his seat back against the wall, turning to look at Kali on his left. 

 

“Gabriel, I don’t know if I can do this,” Kali said, her breathing coming harder. 

 

Baldur rolled his eyes and pushed past her and Gabriel.  “Move to the back, because you clearly can’t, so let me show you how, yeah?” 

 

Gabriel scowled at the bastard, but reached out to squeeze Kali’s arm as the hatch in the back of the plane opened. 

 

“Go, go, go!” 

 

Gabriel ran for the exit, but a hand on his arm by Kali stopped him.  He growled and grabbed her shoulders.  “Kali.  Listen to me.  Stop fucking about.  You can do this.  Just follow me.”  He turned and stepped to the edge of the ramp before leaping off and heading to where the other three where already gathering into a circle. 

 

Gabriel waited, but didn’t see Kali following him.  She was going to miss the drop zone!  “Kali, it’s now or never, now trust me, and fucking jump.”  A moment later, a figure in black leapt out of the plane and Gabriel grinned. 

 

He focused his attention on catching up to the others.  A few seconds later, Kali joined them and they all cheered, doing flips in the air and spinning around each other.  Gabriel laughed and floating up closer to Kali, giving her a nudge just to make her chuckle. 

 

“My, my, you are all very excited.  Any idiot can read a Heads Up Display.  A Kingsman agent needs to be able to solve problems under pressure.  Such as what to do…when one of you, has no parachute.” 

 

Gabriel’s eyes flew wide and he looked to Kali.

 

“What?”

 

“Oh, you’ve got to be fucking joking!” 

 

“What are we gonna do?” 

 

Gabriel cursed and looked at the sky.  They were an odd number, so they couldn’t pair off.  The others were frantically glancing at each other for ideas.  Fuck, he wasn’t positive it would work once you got down to two people, but it would be close enough.  “I know what to do!  Quick, form a circle!” 

 

“Good thinking Gabriel, but you’re running out of time.  You have thirty seconds,” Merlin said. 

 

Gabriel grabbed Kali’s hand and reached out for Baldur.  “Come on, come on!  We each open, one by one, then the last one grabs the one who’s fucked!” 

 

“Ah, good plan Gabriel, but you’re running out of time.  Hurry,” Merlin urged. 

 

“Me first!” Ganesh yelled, yanking on his parachute. 

 

Gabriel watched as it immediately deployed and shifted to close the circle.  “Okay, okay!” 

 

Digby immediately reached for his chord.  “Me next!” 

 

A few seconds later, the next chute deployed.  He looked to Baldur, about to yell that Kali was next when the jackass beat him to it. 

 

“I’m next, I’m next!” 

 

Another yank, another chute.  Gabriel ignored the fear settling into the pit of his stomach and grabbed on to Kali again.  “Kali, look at me, no matter what happens, I’m not letting go of you, got it?” 

 

Gabriel shifted and wrapped his legs around Kali, holding onto her tightly.  His HUD was blaring red at him.  They were below the safe deployment zone, and fucking hell, they needed to get one of their chutes deployed now!  “Kali, pull yours!”  he shouted. 

 

Kali fumbled, and Gabriel watched the altitude meter blare alarms at him until she pulled the chord.  He shouted as Kali’s body was suddenly jerked upward, causing him to fumble his grip.  He screamed, holding onto her tightly. 

 

The ground was coming up, too fucking fast, and shit, if both of them survived, he was going to kill her for waiting so fucking long to deploy! 

 

His legs hit grass, the impact jarring him, and Kali had landed half on top of him.  Gabriel lifted his head, just enough, to make sure that they’d landed in the fucking circle before he let his head fall back and pant.  “Fucking, hell Kali.  Let’s not do that again, yeah?” 

 

Kali punched him in the shoulder.  He might have deserved that, he really might have, but they’d nearly died, so he was pretty sure that he could be forgiven for it. 

 

Baldur landed almost three minutes later, only a few feet away from them, but still within the circle.  Digby and Ganesh didn’t show up at all.  Fuck, it was down to just the three of them. 

 

“Fall in,” Merlin ordered. 

 

Gabriel tugged off his helmet and fell into line with the others.  He was more than a little pissed at Merlin for picking him as the one that didn’t have the parachute. 

 

“Ganesh, you opened too soon.  You were all over the radar.  Digby, you don’t land in the K, you’re not in the K.  Both of you, pack your bags, go home,” Merlin said, marking another item on his clipboard.  “Gabriel, Kali, congratulations, opening at three hundred feet is another new record, two of which you now hold.  That hasn’t been accomplished by a Kingsman trainee before.  Well, well done.” 

 

Gabriel crossed his arms over his chest.  “And is there any reason that I was the gimp one?  Am I the expendable candidate?” 

 

Merlin frowned.  “Oh no, no, no, you have a problem, you come here and whisper it in my ear.” 

 

Gabriel stomped closer to Merlin and opened his mouth when Merlin reached behind him. 

 

“You need to take that chip off your shoulder.” 

 

Gabriel flailed and fell backwards as his chute suddenly deployed.  He looked backwards at it and could hear Merlin walking back towards the house.  He stared at the clouds above him and grinned.  Fucking hell. 

 

If Sam was proud of him for reaching the final five, he had to wonder how happy Sam would be that he reached the final three.  Holy fuck, he’d actually managed to beat out most of the candidates.  Gabriel grinned even wider and turned around to grab his parachute. 

 

Time to head in and see Sam! 

 

Fucking hell he was a teenage girl. 

 

 

 

~!~!~!~!~!~

 

 

 

 

 

Now that they had reached the final three, Merlin seemed in no hurry to knock them down to two candidates.  Gabriel sighed and slumped against the wall of the dorms, rubbing at his forehead.  Everything they had done before they were now doing again, it seemed like, only harder, faster and with harsher deadlines.  Even Kali was starting to feel the strain.  If Kingsman was trying to make them break, they were doing one hell of a job. 

 

“Gabriel!” Kali said, jogging up to him.  “You left before Merlin could debrief all of us,” 

 

Gabriel groaned.  Fuck.  That probably counted against him in the massive scores that Merlin magically kept tallied on his clipboard.  “Can I go just pass out for the next six hours?  I really fucking need to Kali.” 

 

“Not tonight you don’t, we’ve got another task,” Kali said, slapping a folder to Gabriel’s chest.  “And be glad I fucking grabbed this for you on my way out.” 

 

Gabriel watched as Kali stomped into the dorm room, her hips swinging angrily.  Fuck, and just a few months ago, he would have been after that like a mouse on fucking cheese.  Now, because of a tall bastard with dimples, he was ruined. 

 

He flipped open the file and stared at it.  Observational testing, again.  Go to a VIP party, find celebs and see what information you can bring back as a result.  He sighed and snapped it shut.  It sounded like the worst game in the world of who was fucking who. 

 

At least now he’d have a chance to wear some of his nicer stuff. 

 

He finished pulling on his trainers and made his way downstairs to where the limo was waiting.  Ash, one of the mechanics waved at him as he was walking by.  Gabriel checked his watch.  He still had a few minutes before Merlin had ordered them to report.  “What’s up?” 

 

“Hey, you heading out to that fancy party with the other two?” 

 

Gabriel looked down at his outfit.  His best jacket, trainers and jeans.  He’d been pretty fucking obvious about where he was going tonight.  “Yeah, why?” 

 

“You want anything fancier?  I got some stuff that I’m sure’ll fit-“ 

 

Gabriel scowled.  “I paid two hundred for these shoes, and more than that for the jacket.  My stuff is plenty fancy, thank you very fucking much,” He scowled and stomped to where the car was waiting. 

 

“Gabriel?” Kali asked, looking him up and down with a raised eyebrow.  He managed a quick nod at her, but Ash commenting on his outfit had rubbed him the wrong fucking way. 

 

“You’re wearing that out?  Honestly Gabriel, if we want to get any information at all, we can’t be seen with you,” Baldur said, adjusting his cuffs.  “You look like a gang member.” 

 

“Baldur, that’s enough,” Kali snarled, turning to face Gabriel with a nod.  “Let’s go.” 

 

Thankfully, she had enough manners to not fucking insult him.  Gabriel smiled at her as they pulled up to the club.  He tucked the pen that would allow them to communicate easily into his front pocket and made his way straight to the bar.  At least there was alcohol. 

 

It took less than fifteen minutes for it all to go to utter and complete shit. 

 

“All I’m saying Kali is that he’s not made to hack it in this world.  I mean, did you see the way he’s dressed?  He doesn’t fit in with us and he certainly isn’t Kingsman material,” Baldur said. 

 

“Just because he doesn’t dress like you or I doesn’t mean anything, Baldur-“

 

“But you can’t deny that he is noticeably struggling.  I mean, he could never fit in around a place like this without our help,” Baldur shot back. 

 

“Baldur-“

 

“You don’t disagree Kali, I can see it in your face.  You just like him, so you aren’t willing to say it.”

 

Gabriel scowled and stomped out of the club, depositing his drink on a nearby table.  This was what he got for thinking that he could ever hack it with these posh bastards.  Fuck them.  Fuck them both, fuck Kingsman, they could all go to fucking hell.  Well, now they had made it abundantly fucking clear that they wanted nothing to do with him and he felt the same way, so they could all fucking go screw. 

 

He heard Kali come across the comm line before Gabriel ripped it out of his ear and dropped it on the ground behind him.  The pen was next.  Well, if there was anyone that knew how to fuck up in style, it was him.  He smirked and made his way back towards the Kingsman compound.  He knew just what to do. 

 

He ignored the thought of Sam's disappointed face and what it would like coming his way again after everything he had tried to do, but fuck it, he was a fuck up and Sam should have never tried to help him.  He would never have escaped the shit heap.  It was where he belonged after all, and he knew just how to remind everyone of that. 

 

 

 

 

 

~!~!~!~

 

 

 

 

 

Sam headed down to the garage, glad that he did not need to use a cane to walk for the first time in months.  Merlin had finally decided he was done mothering him, and Dean was off in Spain, preventing a terrorist ring from hitting several prominent landmarks in Madrid.  He had the house to himself and could relax and catch up on the video of the latest recruit tests.  Gabriel had been doing well, despite all supposed evidence to the contrary, and Sam couldn't have been more pleased. 

 

He frowned when he realized his car wasn't waiting for him in its usual spot.  He turned to one of the engineers.  "Jo, where is my car?" 

 

Jo only blinked at him and looked at the empty space behind him.  "It was just there, I'd finished looking at the rocket launchers like you'd asked..."

 

"Well, it is clearly not here, as it should be." 

 

She frowned and picked up her tablet from her desk.  "None of us would have moved it, and I only just finished the work on it this morning." 

 

"Activate the-"

 

"What do you think I'm doing?" she snapped, tapping at her tablet impatiently. 

 

Sam waited, letting his shoulders relax.  There was no need to exacerbate the broken ribs now that he had finally been freed from medical. 

 

"Galahad..." 

 

Sam snapped his attention back to Jo and swore at the image on the tablet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~!~!~!~

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabriel pulled up in front of Smith Street and parked, rolling down the windows so he could grin at Balthazar.  "Hey, fancy a ride?" 

 

He winked at the stunned looks on his face and unlocked the doors for Balthazar to climb in before he gunned it.  If you were going to fuck up, you did it in style, and nothing was more stylish than Sam's car.  Especially now that he knew it had fucking rocket launchers. 

 

Gabriel swerved in and out of traffic, delighting in the shouts of Balthazar as he sped down the street.  Now this was a car that the cops couldn't keep up with.  He flicked a few buttons on the dash and activated one of the smoke bombs, dropping it behind him before he turned down a side street and gunning it all over again. 

 

Gabriel yanked on the wheel, spinning them down another street, firing the rocket launcher into one of the buildings behind him as he gunned it harder, the engine giving a loud whine.  Balthazar screamed and Gabriel laughed again, grabbing the stick shift and drifting around the next corner.  Fuck this car was awesome

 

He was about to pull a sick u-turn and get back into normal traffic when the car shut down and pulled into the emergency lane.  Gabriel frowned and hit the gas pedal, but the engine stayed at a low rumble.  He tried to turn the key in the ignition, but it wouldn't move.  He cursed and stared at the ceiling.  "Ride's over Balthy.  Get out," he ordered. 

 

Balthazar didn't hesitate this time, and bolted.  Once he was out of the car, it started driving again, this time melding seamlessly into traffic.  Gabriel put his hands on the wheel, but it delivered a sharp shock to his hands and he raised them up and off.  "I get it, I get it, I'm done touching it." 

 

He settled back in the seat and scowled, closing his eyes.  Well, if he was going to be chauffeured somewhere to get yelled at, he might as well take a nap while he did.  Gabriel opened his eyes when the car pulled to a stop in front of Sam's flat.  He cursed.  Of course, of course they couldn't just take him to some random field and shoot him and leave his body in a ditch somewhere.  They had to attempt to be gentlemanly about this. 

 

He climbed out of the car and put his hands in his pockets, sauntering up to where Sam was standing on the stoop.  "Hey there Sammy," Gabriel drawled, watching Sam's eyebrows pinch together in frustration. 

 

Gabriel grinned when Sam didn't answer, only turned and led him back into the house.  Apparently there was a song and dance that had to be followed before he was thrown into a cell for the rest of his life or shot.  Not really surprising.  Sam always had been a sucker for protocol. 

 

He was surprised when Sam led him into an office and went to go sit behind his desk.  A moment later, Sam pulled out a bottle of brandy and placed it on the desk before pouring himself a glass.  Gabriel let Sam do whatever he needed to and looked up at the frames on the wall.  It looked like old news article stories. 

 

"Wouldn't have thought you a reader of that sort of bullshit," he said, glancing back to Sam. 

 

Sam reached behind him and tapped the closest frame without looking at it.  "I defused a bomb in the Vatican here." 

 

Gabriel's mouth went dry as Sam shifted to another picture and pointed. 

 

"Here I figured out how to disable a death ray that had been pointed at a number of major cities on the planet." 

 

Gabriel clenched his hands into fists and pulled them out of his pocket.  He was not going to think about it.  He would not.  "You're a badass that saves the world regularly, that's not news to me." 

 

"Exactly.  It's not news," Sam said, turning his eyes to Gabriel. 

 

Gabriel snorted.  "It should be.  You've saved the lives of thousands." 

 

"I don't do this job for the accolades.  Neither does Merlin, or any of the others.  This job will not give you recognition and no one will ever know what you do," Sam said. 

 

"Then why do it?" Gabriel asked, shrugging. 

 

Sam gave him a hint of a smile and Gabriel gave Sam his best poker face.  He would never see that smile again and he would deal with it. 

 

"Because it must be done.  And because I can," he explained, sipping his brandy slowly. 

 

Gabriel rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to the news stories.  He remembered some of these.  What had happened behind each of them that had made Sam put them up on the wall of his office? 

 

"I grew up where you did, Gabriel," Sam said. 

 

Gabriel blinked and turned back to Sam.  "What?" 

 

"About two blocks down from where you were living with your father, actually," he added, standing and walking to the window. 

 

"Oh, save the fucking 'you can change just like me' speech and tell me where I'm going to be locked up for the rest of my life," Gabriel said, glaring at Sam's back. 

 

"What happened, Gabriel?" 

 

Gabriel laughed and stepped away from where he was standing so Sam couldn't look at him.  "I realized that I'm never going to fit in, that I don't fucking want to, and y'all can keep your silver spoons shoved up your-"

 

"Gabriel," Sam interrupted.  "Tell me what happened." 

 

"I don't need to tell you what happened, I'm sure that it's all on tape for you to watch." 

 

"You caused more than two hundred thousand dollars in property damage and could have killed someone," Sam said, turning to stare at Gabriel's shoulders.  "You are not one for mindless violence, Gabriel, so tell me what happened." 

 

Gabriel shrugged.  "I failed my interview.  I go back to my shithole and you get to move on with your life happy that you don't have to deal with me on a daily basis." 

 

Sam frowned and leaned back against the window, staring at Gabriel.  "I won't be happy, Gabriel, but you understand-"

 

"I can't go back, yeah, I fucked up, yeah, I did it on purpose, you don't need to analyze my motives-"

 

"What if you could come back?" Sam asked.

 

Gabriel froze and closed his eyes.  "No thanks." 

 

Sam smiled and kept staring at Gabriel.  That response had been more reflex than an actual response.  "Liar." 

 

Gabriel snarled and stalked towards Sam, who only stared at him calmly, as though he had been expecting it.  "I am not a liar!" 

 

"Then prove me wrong," Sam whispered, looking down at Gabriel. 

 

Gabriel sucked in a few harsh breaths and glared at Sam.  He'd let Baldur and those other twats get the better of him, and he'd dealt with bastards like that his entire life.  None of them deserved to be a Kingsman.  Kali was the only one that did. 

 

Sam was still smiling at him, waiting for his answer.  Gabriel growled under his breath.  Damn Sam for being able to read him so fucking easily, and to play him like this.  Fucking damn him!  "Fine." 

 

"You'll come back?" Sam asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

"Yes," Gabriel said, glaring at him. 

 

"Excellent," Sam said, raising his sleeve and hitting Gabriel in the face with a burst of gas. 

 

Gabriel wanted to hit Sam, but his body felt heavy and it was impossible to move.  The last thought he had was that Sam's arms were warmer than he thought as they closed around him and kept him from falling to the ground.  Fucking bastard

 

 

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