No One's POV
*Three Days Later (Standard Celestial Time)*
Gabriel bit back another bitter sigh as he once more began hacking away at a training dummy, grumbling under his breathe all the while as he watched Sariel and Castiel walk along the training grounds suspiciously close together, a brand new angel blade glinting in Castiel's hand.
Clearly Castiel and Sariel were about to spar together, no doubt Sariel showing the very same advanced moves she had taught him over several millenniums ago.
Ever since Castiel had presented Sariel with the gift of a young wild dragonling, I mean who does that? Gabriel thought viciously, Castiel was suddenly back in her good graces, snap, just like that.
Meanwhile, Gabriel was still stuck high and dry in the metaphorical doghouse. Sariel had barely given him the time of day.
I mean, okay. Perhaps, well technically speaking, it was more his fault. He had disobeyed a direct order, he let his emotions get the best of him, and had been the one to initiate the fight in the first place. He should have known better, in fact he did know better. He wasn't a Commander for his good looks and charm after all. So yeah, Sariel's anger towards him made a little more sense, Gabriel reasoned to himself, or tried to reason.
If only she would allow him to apologize, honestly he wasn't above groveling at her feet at this point. Gabriel despised the distance between them, he had spent one too many centuries having a both physical, mental, and emotional distance and this only seemed to rub salt into the wound.
It hurt, plain and simple. Because this time it wasn't Father's doing, it was his own.
A light, melodic laugh, Sariel's laugh, trickled through his distracted thoughts, and Gabriel once more scowled at the now thoroughly demolished training dummy.
Finally, with one last vicious blast of grace and sword, Gabriel huffed off the field, leaving Castiel and Sariel behind him.
Fine. Just fine. If she wanted to give him the cold shoulder indefinitely he would endure it. He would prove to her he wasn't going anywhere. How could he, when everything that was his life was with her? Everything that was worth anything to him was explicitly tied up into everything that she was and is.
The door to the training grounds into the main citadel swung shut behind Gabriel with a muted thump, but it only sounded like a solid, harsh slam to Gabriel's heart and soul, Gabriel too distracted with his own self-pitying thoughts to notice footsteps following.
"Gabe." Sariel says softly, her voice stopping him in his tracks.
"Was I interrupting? I didn't know you were giving Castiel sparring lessons." Gabriel states subserviently, turning to face his High Commander. Despite the issues between them, Sariel was a higher rank, the highest rank in the celestial bodies, his superior, and deserved the propriety.
"Gabe- I- No, it's not that. I- I'm sorry. I haven't exactly been very fair to you lately." Sariel finally sighs, rubbing her face tiredly, her emotional tailspin the last two weeks draining her energy far more than the stress of impending battle or Heaven's current catastrophe that it was.
"It's fine. I deserved it." Gabriel answers automatically.
"Maybe a little. At first. But not now. I am sorry, Gabriel." Sariel concedes at first, a playful hint to her voice before it turns serious, somber.
"I- I am sorry Sariel. I don't know- I don't know what else you want me to do that can show you how sorry I am. I let jealousy get the best of me. I should have known better. I do know better. I am a Commander, I'm more level headed than that. I disobeyed your direct order, I could have really made a mess of things. And I know I- I don't really have the right to- well, we've never bonded. You don't owe me anything. But- by Father- I miss you Sariel. I love you. With everything that I am, everything that I have. It's always been you. It will always be you. And I don't- I don't care, if you want him and not me, and he makes you happy, then I have to let you go. I can. I will, for you. But it will always be you. I'll never stop loving you. Don't- don't send me away from you. If I am not who you want, who will make you happy, I understand, but please, I have pledged to serve you and I do not wish it to be otherwise." Gabriel blurts out all at once, every single emotion of doubt, of fear, and helplessness, and unyielding devotion pouring out in a blundering mess of only Father's knows what.
Silence was Gabriel's answer.
"Gabriel-" Sariel finally breaks the silence, stumbling for the right words, for once emotion getting the best of the normally level headed, controlled High Commander. "I'm not going to send you away. I haven't chosen him over you. I didn't mean to- I never meant to make you think I was going to- that I didn't love you anymore."
"Do you still love me?" Gabriel asks softly, his eyes casting downward, willing himself to accept whatever answer Sariel gave him.
"Gabe-" Sariel manages to whisper softly, her voice choking with emotion. "Of course. Of course I do. I always will. You-"
Gabriel cuts Sariel off, his wings flaring out wide as he engulfs his mate in his frantic embrace.
"I love you, Sariel. I want to bond with you. Bond with me. Please." Gabriel tumbles out before Sariel can protest.
"Gabe, what about- we need to talk things through." Sariel protests, though not vigorously. Despite her growing affection for Castiel, in comparison it was like a small flicker of a candle to an already roaring fire.
Her love for Gabriel would not wane, as it hadn't for the last centuries and millenniums spent apart, Sariel was sure of this.
"No. I don't care. If Castiel makes you happy, if you are happy, that's all I've ever wanted. I can play nice." Gabriel promises with determination.
"You are better than I deserve, Gabriel. My soul." Sariel responds softly, quickly falling back into the familiar pattern and language unspoken between them.
"My grace." Gabriel immediately responds, the tension and anxiety he felt over the past two weeks easing in his chest.
"I need to get back. I promised Castiel I'd help him with a defensive maneuver. We'll talk later. After I'm done. You have things you need to do. But well- tonight maybe. Talk first." Sariel affirms, because as much as she'd love to just say yes to Gabriel's request, she was rational, she was a leader, and there were things to be put first and sorted through.
Grace-bonding was no little thing; while the equivalent on Earth would be marriage, it was stronger than that, it was unbreakable, forever. Two graces entwined, meant to be one.
"It's a date, sweet cheeks." Gabriel teases, wings brushing Sariel's in a playful, flirty caress.
"You're a sap." Sariel snorts, stepping away from Gabriel's embrace, her wings flaring and hitting against his in a retaliatory, light hearted gesture.
"Your sap though. You wouldn't know what to do with me if I was serious all the time, hunny bun. Wouldn't know what to do with me. You'd be lost." Gabriel snarks back equally light hearted.
"You're right. I wouldn't. I mean, Heaven forbid things actually go right on a mission without some impending disaster following. I'd have so much free time I wouldn't know what to do with myself." Sariel sasses back with an eye roll and nudge of her wing.
"Hey! I resent that!" Gabriel pouts.
"But I'm right. And you know it." Sariel says smugly. "Now shoo, unlike some Commanders I have a full work load."
"Slave driver." Gabriel grumbles good naturedly, but smiling radiantly at his mate. "This evening then."
"Yes. My soul." Sariel confirms with promise.
"My grace." Gabriel answers back.