Chapter 1: You Shall Go To The Ball

New York. 2009

Gabriel ran his hands over his new curves as he looked in the long mirror. It had been a long time since he'd had any. He glanced over his shoulder to his vessel, the one he always wore. The small male body lying passed out on the floor. Strolling over to it, he crouched down, looking at the peaceful face, a small smile pulling at his lips. He tapped his manicured hand to his vessel's cheek and waited. Finally the eyes began to flutter open and looked up at him with confusion and concern. "Huh, where am I? Who are you?"

Gabriel rolled his eyes. He really hated the whole amnesia-morning after affect. It always made things so much more difficult. "Hey there buddy. 'member me, Gabriel. You're co-pilot."

The man's features relaxed finally and he sat himself up rubbing the back of his head. "G-Gabriel?"

"Yep. Listen, we've already had this talk but, well….lets go over it again. Forty-eight hours shore leave…'member that. Deal with any unfinished business, then it's back to the big picture, alright."

The man stretched out his back. They'd come to this agreement weeks ago, almost the moment they'd been busted by Heckle and Jekyll. Gabriel helped Dylan O'Reilly to his feet. When he'd first become the archangel's vessel, he'd been living on the streets with nothing but his dog and faith for company, battling a guilty conscious and a need for redemption. Gabriel had offered him a better life, all he had to do was say yes. He'd never lied to the man, Dylan knew everything there was to know about the archangel-turned-trickster and Gabriel knew everything about him. Over the years he'd helped the man come to terms with his past.

"What's with the chick?" Dylan asked, looking Gabriel over.

"Fancied a change."

"Nice change." Dylan smirked. Reminding Gabriel exactly why he liked the man.

Gabriel swivelled his hips flirtatiously and laughed before turning back to the mirror. "So you sure you want to head back to LA?"

Dylan watched him, his eyes still scanning the new vessel. "Or we could hang out."

Gabriel shot him a scowl. "Dylan. I'd get my mind out of the gutter your currently fishing in if I were you, or I'll have to put you on my hit list."

Dylan dropped his gaze instantly. "Right, sorry dude."

Gabriel nodded, running his now feminine fingers through the long strands of blond hair.

Dylan lowered himself down onto the end of the bed. "I was serious about us hanging," he sighed.

Gabriel read people perfectly and he knew Dylan better than anyone. "Sorry man, but I've got plans of my own. - If you don't want to go home, I can always snap you off to Vegas. - Even supply some party dough." He clicked his fingers and a large black duffle-bag of money appeared next to the man.

Dylan shrugged. "Nuh. If the shit really is about to hit the fan, I want to build a few bridges."

Gabriel smiled sadly at his vessel.

Dylan took the duffle-bag, not bothering to open it. He stared at the thick coarse material and nodded, seeming to change his mind. "Okay, let's go."

Gabriel smiled. "Remember to keep your arms and legs inside?" He smirked. "Home it is. Have a good time D, I'll see you in a couple of days."

"See ya Gabriel." He nodded.

A click of manicured fingers and he was gone. Gabriel sighed sadly, he liked Dylan, it was a shame they weren't going to make it.

He looked back at the mirror and took in the familiar face. The deal he'd made with Katherine was simple. She lent him her body for a few days and he'd save her ailing brother. They both knew he would have done it even if she'd refused. When it came to Katherine Greaves, he'd probably do anything. There would always be a soft spot for her; after all she'd given him both the best and the worst two weeks of his entire existence.

The last time he'd worn Katherine's face had been twelve years ago. He'd been hiding from his brothers; he was always hiding from his brothers. She'd been a convenience. A young teenager with a stronger faith than most of his own brothers. Gabriel knew he'd taken advantage of that, but then he'd had little choice. Of course if he'd know what taking the fourteen year old would mean for him in the long run, what it would bring into his life, and where it might very well lead him? Well, maybe he would have stayed as far away as possible.

He pulled her lips into a warm smile. "Well, once more onto the breach." he murmured.