To say the air in the room was tense would've been an understatement.

All of the key players in the apocalypse were gathered in a living room that had seemed so much larger only moments before. With all these beings packed into one space it felt rather small and confining. The tension was palpable; like some living, breathing entity that sat in there with them. Spencer wished he could figure out a way to ignore it or break it somehow. Yet he feared what breaking it would cause. All it would take was one spark to ignite this.

Even finding seating wasn't done easily. Spencer wanted his family around him – Sam, Gabriel, Dean, Castiel – but he also wanted Lucifer close for some reason. The hunters most definitely did not want Lucifer close, but they wanted to be by Gabriel and Spencer. Castiel, who was here at Dean's insistence, was keeping quiet yet also close to the humans. Raphael seemed to want to be on the sidelines, while Michael looked like he wanted nothing more than to stand guard between Lucifer and everyone.

It was Gabriel who finally had enough of it and snapped at everyone to find a seat before he found one for them.

They ended up with Gabriel and Spencer staying in their corner of the couch, Spencer still on Gabriel's lap, and Sam sitting down next to them. Dean, of course, took the seat next to Sam, leaving Castiel perching awkwardly on the armrest. Michael and Raphael each had chairs off to the side and Lucifer chose to stay on his feet, leaning against a far wall that kept him a good distance away from everyone.

If it was this hard just to figure out how to sit down so we can talk, how on earth are we going to manage the rest of it? Spencer wondered. He had a feeling they'd be lucky to get out of this without some kind of fight.

Dean was the one to start things off. It wasn't surprising, really. The hunter was obviously stressed and one thing Spencer had learned about both Winchesters was that they tended to respond to stress with either temper or silence – both were equally dangerous. A silent Winchester wasn't to be underestimated. "I wanna know what the hell happened back there." Dean demanded. "An why the hell freaking Lucifer is here." He shot a look at Spencer and the fledging caught the thought underneath all that, the one he probably wasn't supposed to hear. And since when is Doc buddy-buddy with the devil of all creatures?

"We explained to you what happened." Michael answered.

"Yeah, but no one said how exactly Lucifer managed to get in there and find them." Dean said. He sat forward, arms on his knees, and glared at Lucifer in a way that Spencer couldn't help think was utterly stupid. It was as if the man had no idea of self-preservation. Then again, Spencer had seen a lot to suggest that. Dean tended not to think about himself when it came to protecting his brother.

But Lucifer just looked amused by the impudent human in front of him. He had his arms crossed over his chest and grinned in a way that made Spencer think of Loki. "You think I can't find my vessel when someone kills him?"

That froze Dean in place. Apparently they'd told him Sam had been hurt – not that he'd been killed. Beside him, Sam shrunk back a little, determinedly looking anywhere but at Dean. Spencer fought back a little swell of both nausea and grief. He could hear Zachariah's voice in his head, telling the others to stab Sam, and he could remember the fear he'd felt. The all-consuming terror as he realized that they were going to kill Sam and there was nothing he could do about it. Some of what he was feeling must've leaked a bit, at least to Gabriel, because his guardian rubbed lightly at where he was holding on to Spencer's hip. It soothed Spencer at the same time that it had him noticing just how closely they were still wrapped together. No one else seemed to care about it, but it didn't stop Spencer from flushing a little or shuffling like he might shift away. Gabriel just tightened his grip and kept Spencer in place.

Dean blew out a breath and shuddered slightly. "Sam died."

"Indeed he did. I brought him back." Lucifer lifted his eyebrows and fixed them with a cool stare when no one said anything. "You're welcome."

"What do you even care about all this?" Raphael demanded, temper and fear both easy to read in the way he held his wings up, like he was trying to be confident, yet tucked in close, a protective gesture.

"I knew what it was I was seeing the instant my eyes fell on the child." Lucifer looked over at Spencer, who was still curled up in Gabriel's wings, and there was something about his eyes that almost seemed to soften. Spencer wasn't quite sure if he was actually seeing it before it was gone again and that cool humor was back in its place. "I know what his existence means. Did you really think I would simply stand by and do nothing?"

Great. Yet another person who knew Spencer's supposed 'destiny' or whatever. Spencer's stomach twisted a little. He drew his own wings in, curling them tight. Unconsciously his fingers tightened in the grip they had on Gabriel's jacket.

No one else seemed to notice his distress. They were all watching Lucifer.

"Well, yeah." Dean said bluntly in answer to the archangel's question.

Lucifer shook his head and looked at Dean almost pityingly. "Your human mind is so… limited. Why would I stand by and allow a prophecy to come to bear that destroys everything as we know it? That means Earth, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, all of it."

"Isn't that what you want?" Raphael asked scathingly.

"I want the infestation of humans gone from my Father's creation."

It was more than that, though. Spencer could see it in his eyes and in his grace. It was something that he'd felt before while they were touching and something he could still see now in the slight sense of longing as those icy eyes drifted over them all. Lucifer wanted to come home. That was what sat at the center of all of this. The fallen archangel wanted to be home. To have a family again. He just didn't trust any of them enough for it. And that – that made Spencer grieve for him.

"What about the apocalypse?" Sam asked, bringing everyone's attention to him. The hunter was surprisingly calm considering what had happened to him. His eyes were steady as they focused directly on the devil that had caused him so much grief and stress. "You're talking about helping us, but what about the apocalypse? What about this giant fight you're supposed to have with your brother?"

The whole room went quiet as Michael and Lucifer looked directly at one another for the first time since this whole conversation had started. There'd been no doubt before that the two had been paying attention to one another; it was something like the way a person would pay attention to a dangerous animal nearby. Watching them without ever making direct eye contact. Now, though, they looked at one another, and that tension that Spencer had been feeling before was only growing worse. Even Gabriel was going tense, obviously preparing for trouble.

However, Michael stunned them all.

"This is bigger than us." Michael said slowly, each word carefully chosen. His eyes never left Lucifer. "Our fight may be destined, but we both know this is bigger. It takes precedence over everything. If we don't stop this, there'll be nothing left of any of us. It'll take us all out."

The room went quiet again and Spencer watched the two stare at one another. There were so many ways this whole conversation could go right now and Spencer didn't know why they were dragging this out this way when they all knew what the answer would be – what it had to be.

Eventually Lucifer broke the quiet. "My vessel won't survive that long." His eyes slanted over to the couch for just a half a second, long enough to set everyone on edge.

"You're not getting Sammy." Dean snapped.

Gabriel held up a hand before that argument could even get going. "Won't be necessary. I was prepared for this. I've got one premade, just like I had for Mikey. Same rules apply, though. You'll have the power you have now, bro, only you'll have a body that won't burn away."

"The question here should not just be if Lucifer is willing to fight." Castiel interjected, surprising some of the angels. Spencer looked over at his brother and watched as Castiel straightened up and refused to cow before beings that it was programmed into him to listen to and obey. The brave little seraph sat there with his human at his side and dared to look at them all as if they were equals; it made Spencer a little proud of him. "The question should be whether or not we trust to have him at our sides. How do we know he won't turn on us? Or that he won't wait until the upcoming war is over and then return to his own fighting?"

"We trust Michael and Raphael." Spencer felt compelled to point out. "What's the difference?"

Spencer's words had most of the room going quiet. All eyes turned to him and Gabriel went completely still underneath him. Michael looked like he'd been slapped. "I beg your pardon?"

It seemed sort of obvious to Spencer. Yet the stares of everyone had him shifting a little uncomfortably. He pushed up a little from Gabriel's side, his chin going up a bit in determination. He had the right to voice his opinions just like the rest of them. His exhaustion and the support that Gabriel always seemed to give him helped Spencer have the courage to keep talking. "It's not like any of you love humanity like your Father commanded. Mud monkeys, you call us. You look down your noses at us like we're inferior. Like we're worse than dirt under your shoes. Is that how you love something?" When no one said anything, Spencer shrugged. "Honestly, the only difference I've seen in his opinions compared to other angels is that Lucifer's more vocal and proactive about what he believes." Warming up to his subject, one that he'd given great thought to the more that he'd gotten to know angels, Spencer sat up the rest of the way, now mostly balanced on Gabriel's one thigh. His hands got into it as he spoke. "Granted, the things he's done haven't all been good – he's made serious mistakes. But ask yourself how many angels have done just as bad, or worse, since then. How many angels have become exactly what Lucifer was? Yet I see no cages for them. They're allowed to roam free, to bring about the destruction of the earth simply because they care more for your fight than for beings they consider far lesser than themselves."

"Are you saying we should just forgive Lucifer's crimes?" Michael demanded.

Spencer didn't cower from him. He shrugged one shoulder in an almost negligent way. The logic of this was so obvious to him it was hard to see that it wasn't the same to others. "I'm saying that punishment should be equal. If you're going to punish him for what he's done, others who have done the same should be equally punished. If they're forgiven, why not him? Why are his crimes the only ones worthy of eternity in a cage, of endless torture, of exile from everything and everyone he's ever loved? Why is he tortured to the brink of insanity for not liking humans and being brave enough to speak his mind, while cowards run around Heaven preaching the same byline?"

"You have no right to question our Father." Michael straightened up, a furious general addressing his troops, every inch of him showing his rage. "His judgment is absolute."

The whole room went silent when Spencer calmly said "His judgment was wrong."

Gabriel grabbed for Spencer and even Sam stretched out, but they weren't fast enough to stop it as Spencer went flying off of Gabriel's lap and across the room to slam into a nearby wall. He crashed into it hard enough to shake the house around them. The archangel strolled towards Spencer and the very air seemed to crackle around him. "How dare you?"

In a flash everyone else was moving. Spencer heard Gabriel's furious shout of "Michael!" at the same time that other voices were shouting as well.

Gabriel was there at Spencer's side, hands quickly catching hold of him and pulling him up while also checking him over for injuries. Castiel, Spencer could see, had Sam and Dean protected against one wall, while Lucifer and Raphael were both standing on the sidelines, the two of them seemingly stunned.

"Who the hell do you think you are?" Gabriel demanded, glaring at Michael even as he pulled Spencer up. His wings clearly kept Spencer sheltered and slightly behind him no matter how much Spencer tried to push forward. They were also lifted in a display of temper that was more than the fledgling had ever seen on Gabriel before. "You don't touch him, Michael. I don't care how much he upsets you – you don't touch him." The words were imbued with so much threat it was enough to make even Spencer shiver.

"You are far too indulgent, Gabriel. Your child," Michael spat out the word, mouth twisted into a furious snarl, "seems to think he knows better than our Father. This tiny little infant actually dares to question Him. Someone needs to correct him since you obviously don't. This is blasphemy! Who do you think you are, Spencer Reid, to act as if you know better than He does?"

Spencer leaned against Gabriel only briefly until his feet were settled. Then he was squaring his shoulders and refusing to back down before Michael. Even if he had to speak from the shelter of Gabriel's wings, he was going to say his piece.

What he said next stunned the room. "Tell me, Michael – do you love humanity? Do you love these humans more than your Father? Do you care for them? Watch over them? Respect them?" One corner of Spencer's mouth quirked up in a grin that he had to have picked up from his time with Gabriel. It was sad and just slightly mocking; the grin that the trickster wore when hiding his own pain. Something far older than Spencer shone in his eyes in that moment. A heritage he didn't know of lit him from the inside out and gave his words a weight that took away any sort of argument anyone might've had. "Humans are nothing more than insects to you. Tools to be picked up and used and then discarded. Your Father bade you love them, and you knelt down as told, yet show me where that love has been. What have you done that shows your love for humanity? I won't say that what Lucifer did was right. We all know that it wasn't. But I will say that you should look a little closer at your own actions and the actions of those around you before you start casting judgment. If you believe so strongly that God was right in punishment, that Lucifer truly deserved what was given to him, then maybe you should've made the Cage just a little bigger, because there are quite a few others who should be in there as well. Or are you all that much more special that you get to have the chance at redemption while he doesn't?"

There was absolute silence in the room. The kind of silence in which one could've heard a pin drop. The one who looked the most stunned, however, was Lucifer. He was staring at Spencer with the most emotion that any of them had seen on his vessel's face this whole time.

It was getting harder to stand here and keep his chin up. The power that Spencer had felt inside of him seemed to be wavering and he leaned a little more heavily against Gabriel.

That was all it took to snap Gabriel out of it. "That's enough." He said flatly. He used his middle wing to actually scoop Spencer up, lifting him up off the ground and drawing him in. It had to look strange to the humans and Spencer would've wondered about that at any other time. Right then, he was just… he was too tired. Luckily, he didn't have to worry about any of it. Gabriel had it all under control. He kept Spencer close as he spoke to the others. "We've had enough. It's been a damn long day and my boy's been hurt – the last thing he needs is to stand down here arguing with you all. I'm taking him upstairs and putting him to bed. If you're all still here in the morning, we can talk then. But he needs his rest."

Without waiting for anyone to say anything else, Gabriel pulled Spencer in close, taking hold of him with his arms now, and Spencer was whisked away before anyone could get the chance to speak.

For a long moment everyone watched the space where the two had just been. The words Spencer had said hung heavy in the air around them. No one could forget them. There'd been too much weight to them to ever be forgotten.

"I think it's safe to say one thing." Sam said slowly, eyes on the stairs where the two had just vanished. "Biological or not, Gabe's his father. Because I'm pretty sure that was a hint of a Message we just got." The way he said it made the capital on Message clear to them all.

No one could argue that. Either Gabriel truly was Spencer's father, or God had recognized the Claim on him, because only the child of the Messenger could've delivered a Message like that.

Gabriel didn't leave Spencer's side that night. He was there when he tucked his fledgling into bed, neither one of them quite wanting to let go of the other after everything that had happened. He was there when nightmares woke Spencer more than once through the night and had him shooting up in his sleep, a scream caught in his throat. And he was there in the morning when Spencer woke up again. Seeing him sitting against the headboard, book in hand, was a surprisingly soothing sight. Spencer didn't even comment on the fact that Gabriel must've sat up watching him sleep most of the night, because this was the same position he'd been in when Spencer had fallen asleep. All the fledgling felt was gratitude.

It was strange to think that a few short months ago he would've been terrified to wake up and find someone in his bed. Now, he simply pressed himself closer, cuddling up until he could pillow his head just above Gabriel's hipbone. He buried his face in against the trickster's shirt and breathed in the toasted sugar smell that sat there. Gentle fingers began to card through his hair.

"I'm sorry we didn't find you faster, Sparrow." Gabriel said softly, after the silence had begun to stretch out.

Tilting his head in, Spencer nuzzled a little at Gabriel's shirt. "I knew you'd come."

"Still – I'm sorry I couldn't save you."

"You're here now." To Spencer, that said it all. Gabriel may not have been the one to bust in and save him the way he obviously wanted to, but he was here now and for Spencer that meant more than anything else in the world. Heroics were one thing; it was what happened after that mattered the most. Working at the BAU had meant that Spencer had been in plenty of dangerous situations where someone had needed to come in and save him. Most recently – Georgia. He'd been saved before and, yes, he always appreciated it. But what he'd never had, what he'd always secretly and desperately wanted, was someone to be there after. Someone to hold him through the nightmares and be there for him, without him having to ask. He'd wanted someone who would look past the mask he put up and see that he really needed them despite whatever protests he made.

Gabriel had done that. He hadn't even given Spencer a choice on it. He'd just been right here in bed with him all night long. That, more than anything else, meant the world to the fledgling.

He knew Gabriel had to have heard all those thoughts and followed along with them in Spencer's head. He gave him a soft squeeze, pushing love over to him with his grace, and Spencer melted happily into it all.

They lay there for a little while long before Spencer broke the silence again. "What happened to Zachariah?"

"Luce killed him." Gabriel's voice was flat and with a hint of power underneath that reminded Spencer just how dangerous he could be. He sounded pleased by the idea that Zachariah was dead, yet at the same time almost annoyed. Spencer wondered if it was because he had wanted to do it himself.

Speaking of Lucifer reminded Spencer of his presence, though, and everything that had happened yesterday after he'd been rescued. Gabriel must've realized what he was thinking about because he scratched lightly at Spencer's scalp and reassured him before he could even ask. "Everything's fine, little bird. The humans are still sleeping, Cassie's in there with them, Anna's being smart and staying away until this is resolved, Mike and Raf are outside whispering up a storm, and Luce is…" Gabriel paused, and then humor laced his tone. "…draped over my couch reading my books it looks like."

"He's not what I pictured he'd be like." Spencer admitted quietly.

He felt Gabriel chuckle a little. "Yeah, I bet. No devil horns." The archangel laughed outright when Spencer shoved at his leg. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you meant. Calm down, Sparrow." Still chuckling, he went back to playing with Spencer's hair. "He's not quite what I expected, either. He's… different. But he's also still the same. I saw him with you, kiddo. That guy? That was the brother I knew. That's who he was when everything was good."

"He felt safe." Spencer murmured. He rubbed his cheek against the material of Gabriel's shirt and tried not to think of how he'd felt hanging from those shackles. Instead, he focused on the light that came after, the one that he'd gripped at later. "He was cold, but he felt… nice. Safe. And so bright."

"The Morningstar."

"His grace was beautiful."

"You see parts of him I don't think anyone else has seen for a long, long time, little bird." Gabriel said, voice soft. There was a hint of wonder, too. "I never expected you to stand up for him the way that you did. The things you said… those were some pretty big words."

They had been. Here, in the light of day, Spencer was slightly flustered by what he'd dared to say, and by who he'd dared to say them to. Yet he didn't regret them. They felt – right. "Someone had to say them."

"They meant a lot to him." Gabriel's hand slid out of Spencer's hair and he pulled the boy up and in a little, just enough to hug him. "To me, too."

"I just hope they worked."

Quiet fell over the room once more. Spencer just held on, knowing that this was very much the calm before the storm.

It was a much more subdued group that gathered together in Gabriel's dining room not even an hour later. As seemed to happen for these big conversations, the group seemed to be split into sections of 'us' and 'them'. Spencer, Gabriel, Sam, Dean, and Castiel sat on one end of the table, with Gabriel at the head and Spencer actually perched on the armrest, which was a bit of a reversal of their usual way of sitting. At the other end, Michael sat with Raphael at his side. Lucifer stood casually off to the side like he wasn't going to join them. Like it was no big deal for him to just stand and lean against the wall instead of seating himself with them. Spencer wanted to say something, to draw him to the table, but the light touch of Gabriel's hand on his leg drew his gaze downwards and his guardian gave a small shake of his head, a silent 'no'. Smothering a sigh, Spencer kept quiet.

Gabriel, in true fashion, didn't really beat around the bush. He reclined back a bit in his chair, one leg kicked up to cross over the other, and he cradled a mug of sugary smelling coffee in his hands as he looked down at his brothers and arched one eyebrow. The amused mask of the trickster sat on his face. "So, I see you guys managed not to kill one another overnight."

"We've come to an… understanding." Michael said slowly. It looked like Raphael wanted to say something, yet he stayed silent. Still, Spencer could see his wings twitching behind him in annoyance.

In contrast to their somber moods, Lucifer made an amused sound low in his throat. "What Michael means to say is that we've agreed to put the apocalypse on hold until all this is done with. Until we get this new threat dealt with, I'll stop all my plans." His smile turned just a bit sharp. "That's the best any of you are going to get out of me."

"So we're just supposed to, what?" Dean asked. "Keep you around to help us save the world – which I'm still not convinced you'll actually do – only for you to turn on us and destroy it once we're done? No thanks. We don't need you."

"Dean," Castiel said lowly, his hand going to Dean's shoulder.

Lucifer shook his head. Thankfully, he looked more amused than offended by Dean's words. "You need me, human, whether you like it or not. You've no idea what you're up against. What we're all up against."

"Maybe because no one's bothered explaining it to us." Sam said. In contrast to his brother, his voice was calmer. The two always seemed to work together that way. It amazed Spencer how their moods could change at the drop of a hat to perfectly counter the mood of their sibling.

The whole table went quiet at Sam's words, though. The hunter was right – no one had bothered explaining to them yet what was going on. What this 'big evil' was that they were facing. Gabriel had put them off by saying that he would explain to them after the apocalypse. Now, that time had come, only Spencer wasn't sure that he was ready to hear it. This was something big, he knew. Something huge. And it was something that directly involved him. How, he wasn't sure, and he was both eager and terrified to find out the answer to that.

"You haven't told them yet." Lucifer said slowly, his eyes moving over the humans, up to Spencer, and then to Gabriel.

Gabriel looked a little embarrassed by that for one brief moment. Then his spine straightened and his wings ruffled behind him in a sort of defensive gesture Spencer had seen before when the archangel felt like he was being backed against a wall. "It wasn't the right time. We had other things on our plates."

"The time for hiding is past." Raphael said. It was strange to see him look so gentle in that moment. His eyes flashed to Spencer and his wings twitched like they wanted to reach out. Whatever this was, it was even worse than Spencer had thought. Enough to make the healer want to reach out towards Spencer somehow. That only served to make Spencer's stomach sink a little more.

The sound that Lucifer made was somewhere between a sigh and a scoff. "If none of you are willing to do it, I suppose it falls to me to deliver the bad news. But I suppose that's fitting, isn't it?" Pushing off the wall, he strode forward to one of the tall backed chairs in front of him and lifted his hands to rest on the back of it. His eyes, however, went straight to Spencer and there was no doubt that it was to him alone that he was speaking. "Long before any of your minds can comprehend, my brothers and I bore witness to a prophecy about a coming darkness. An evil that's stronger than anything this world has ever known. One that's powerful enough to scare even our Father."

"Dad's the Creator." Gabriel said, his voice pitched low yet ringing clearly through the room. "He's both dark and light. He made everything. But everyone has their opposites. Where there's creation, there has to be destruction. This thing is it."

"We have no idea where it came from, or how it came into being. Our Father bade us not to speak of it." Michael said. "All we know is that it wants to destroy everything. Not just humans or earth – everything. The prophecy says: And a darkness will come, greater and more powerful than any before, and it will seek to consume us all. It is death, it is hunger. It is night and the end to all realms above, below, and between."

"Many will fight, and many will be lost. Dark will spread over the lands and cover it in its shadow." Raphael said softly, clearly reciting something he'd heard.

A chill was spreading over Spencer. His whole body felt like it was freezing, held there in place on the arm of this chair. It felt as if he were barely breathing. With each word they said, he grew a little colder, the chill seeping down into his very grace. Images grew in the back of his mind – memories of the dreams that had terrified him over the years, nightmares he'd been sure were nothing more than horrifying dreams. But as they spoke, he could see it, could feel it. The dark that crept over everything.

The air was thick and heavy and the sun long since gone. Only darkness remained. Even the moon was dim, the faint light it cast nothing more than a hint through the dark and death that was all around. Tendrils of that darkness crept out, reaching for him, curling towards his ankles to try and trip him, to catch him and hold him. Darkness behind and darkness ahead, blurring where he'd been and obscuring where he was going.

His breath caught in his throat.

It was coming.

"This thing…" Sam paused, clearing his throat. "You're saying this evil is stronger than God? How is that possible?"

"We don't know." Gabriel said gently. He reached out, catching Sam's hand in his and holding on.

Spencer watched them with a detached feeling, not quite able to process it all.

The door opened once more and the darkness seemed to part at the arrival of its master. From the shadows it stepped, a living nightmare made flesh, and the whole world held its breath in fear.

"What does this have to do with me?"

The words were out before Spencer even realized he was going to speak them. He hadn't planned them, had barely been able to keep his thoughts together, yet once they were past his lips they were the only thing he wanted to know. What did this have to do with him? He knew the prophecy involved him. Gabriel had admitted as much. So what the hell did this have to do with him?

All eyes turned his way and Spencer felt sort of sick when he saw the sorrow on all the archangels. Gabriel's free hand came up to curl over his thigh. The gesture would've soothed Spencer under normal circumstances. Now… now he was too cold to feel it. He didn't want to feel it. His insides were like ice and he felt like he was on the edge of something, ready to fall off it, ready to run away. "Gabriel." He croaked the word out, his voice hoarse. "What aren't you telling me?"

The sorrow in Gabriel's grace grew. Without letting go of Sam's hand, he turned himself a little more until he could look up at Spencer. He tried to curl a wing in towards him, only to stop when Spencer pulled back. Right now the fledgling didn't think he could handle anyone offering any other gentle touches. All of him was focused intently on Gabriel's face, waiting for an answer, terrified of what he might hear.

"Sparrow," Gabriel said the nickname in a soft whisper, full of an ache that was palpable.

Spencer cleared his throat and tried to find some strength inside. Enough to keep his voice somewhat firm when he said "Tell me."

"According to the prophecy, there's only one thing that can stop this thing." Even before Gabriel said the next words, Spencer knew what was coming. Deep down inside of himself he knew. But hearing it was more terrifying than he'd ever known. "A fledgling – a human fledgling."

"Your birth was predicted ages ago." Michael said. "A fledgling of two angels, born to humans. Our only salvation. He shall bring the light to chase the dark, for the dark can never survive where there is light to shine. He shall lead them, and break them, and make them anew. He is our destruction and our salvation. Without the light, all shall fall to the dark."

They were all looking at him now and Spencer couldn't, he just couldn't….no. No. They had to be wrong. This stupid prophecy had to be wrong. It couldn't…they couldn't mean him! Before he even realized what he was doing, Spencer found himself up from the chair and backing away from them, towards the wall. "No." He said the word like a prayer, not a statement but a question begging for an answer he wanted to hear. His eyes drifted from one archangel to the next, silently begging them to tell him they were joking, that this was all some big mistake. When he saw nothing like that on them, he took another step back. "No, you're wrong. I'm not… that's not me."

Gabriel pushed up from his chair, his wings stretching towards Spencer. "Little bird…"

"No." Spencer cut in sharply. All at once he found anger inside of him; it broke through the ice, sharp and jagged, cutting at him even as it slashed out at the others. "No, you're wrong. This isn't…it's not me. You've got it all wrong. It's someone else. It has to be!"

"You are the only human fledgling." Michael pointed out calmly yet not unkindly.

Spencer shook his head. "Then you're missing something! It's not me. It can't be me!"

"Why?" Raphael asked.

Why? Why? A hysterical laugh bubbled up Spencer's throat. He was backed up to the wall now, his back pressing hard up against it, and he flattened his palms there as well to keep his hands from lashing out. "Have you seen me?" He demanded. "I'm not – there's nothing special about me! I'm nothing. Nobody. I'm just some awkward, nerdy little geek who happens to have angelic parents. There's not a damn special thing about me! I'm certainly not this…this savior you're trying to look for here. It's not me!" How could they not see that? He wasn't some magical savior destined to rescue the world from impending darkness.

The chill of his dreams washed over him again.

It was coming.

He'd been hearing those words his whole life. Seeing the dark inside of his dreams. He'd known something was wrong for a long, long time.

The world opened up around him. The moon, the stars, almost blotted out by the thick dark that tried to smother and consume them all. The darkness climbed the great stone walls, creeping and oozing over the edge, twisting and curling all in a terrifying dance towards him. In the air he heard the sound of the crows, the howl of the wolf, and the screams of the dead.

"No." Spencer whispered. This time it was more for himself than anyone else. His eyes squeezed shut and he tried to fight it, tried not to see the familiar haunting images, but the chill inside wouldn't let him forget. "No. No."

Gabriel moved forward a little more and Spencer heard the pained sound he made, could feel his worry almost rolling off of him. "Spencer, sweetheart, calm down, please. It's going to be okay."

The fear grew and grew until it shook Spencer's whole frame. Worse than any dream, worse than any time he'd woken up alone and terrified inside his bed, because this time there was no one telling him that this wasn't real. Instead, they were telling him just how real it was, and that he was going to have to face it. That he was their only hope for facing it.

The terror grew stronger and the only thing that Spencer could think of was getting out of here – now.

He didn't think about what he was doing. Didn't think about how this was dangerous and he wasn't strong enough, didn't know enough to know what he was doing. Using the instincts that had never steered him wrong in the past, his body took over while his brain couldn't compute anything, and his wings spread wide.

He was gone before anyone could say a word.

Spencer hadn't thought about where he was flying to. He hadn't thought about anything but his need to get out of there and away from all of it. He flew blindly – something Gabriel had already taught him was dangerous. Right then he just didn't care. He had to get away!

When he landed, it was hard and unbalanced, sending him toppling straight down to the ground. For a moment he just laid there and stared down at his hands in front of him, clutching hard at the solid floor that had taken the brunt of his impact. He didn't hear or see anything at first beyond the terror that still burned brightly inside of him.

It wasn't until he heard a voice that he realized that maybe his flight hadn't been so blind after all.

"Reid?" A voice called out, stunned and incredulous – and oh-so familiar. "Holy shit. Reid, is that you?"

Spencer lifted his head and looked through the screen of hair that had fallen over his face. When he finally looked up, he found that it wasn't some random place he'd flown to. It was a very familiar looking living room inside of a house he'd been to many, many times before. And there, sitting on the couch that Spencer had wasted hours laying on watching movie after movie, sat the man that Spencer's brain and grace had apparently decided he needed to see. A man who was staring at him with an open jaw and wide, shocked eyes.

A sound that was halfway between a gasp and a sob broke past Spencer's lips.

"Morgan, I need your help."

So ends this story! I know, I know. Shitty place to leave it off, I'm sorry. But I've got the next one started and once I get a bit more of it planned out and put together, I'll start posting it I promise!

This story so far has become huge on here, so I'm going to go ahead and break it up to a second story "The Fledgling Series: Part Two" Keep your eye out for it!