Disclaimer: It's not mine surprise surprise.
Notes: This came to me after watchign Tommy cry too many times.
Every Teardrop's Fall
So bright the tear in beauty's eye,
Love half regrets to kiss it dry.
Byron, The Bride Of Abydos
Gabriel hated crying, he always had. No not crying so much, because Simon had cried once and Gabriel hadn't minded that one bit. He had cradled the angel in fact, had pulled him close and shushed him quietly. Licking away the salty little droplets when Simon was done, not letting a single one escape his tongue.
Simon had asked him why later. Asked him why he would except tears from himself and yet chastened humans for the exact same action. Gabriel had shrugged, something he never did often and had offered no reply at all. What was he to say, that he found the redhead beautiful when he was spilling salty little drops. That he found him beautiful still without them. Gabriel could not confess such things to the younger angel.
That wasn't it entirely anyway, Simon cried because he could not help himself, he fought to stop it and they toppled out anyway, the shamed angel trying desperately to hide them from Gabriel. Human's weak, trembling shells that they were, blubbered gratingly over everything. Looking all the worse for it. They cried with no reason and that's what Gabriel hated. When Simon cried it was almost sanctified, when they did it, it was weak.
"Nice move." Gabriel spat.
"Beautifully done." He said picking himself up from the dirt. He had gone from being indifferent, to fed up and finally impressed with this wannabe pain all in the space of a few days.
"Tommy, you've gotta come work for me... upstairs." Gabriel offered truthfully. Thomas really did intrigue him. He wasn't like a monkey at all.
"I... I could get you in now. You'd love it." He baited; Gabriel had never been particularly interested in the talking monkeys, unlike Michael who studied them endlessly. But he finds himself fascinated by Thomas, toying with the mortal. Like they did the rat in a maze.
"Nobody tells you when to go to bed. You eat all the ice cream you want." Gabriel coaxes dangerously as Thomas grips at a bone-dry piece of branch. He feels an odd wanting at the archangel's words. A craving for what he's offering.
"You get to kill." Gabriel says low in his throat and that sends a tremor of realisation though Thomas. He remembers just what it is that's coveting him.
"All day. All night... Just like an angel!" Gabriel bites and Tommy thinks it would sound utterly obscene coming from anyone else. But Gabriel makes it almost seem fun. Killing without consequence, without conscience... But Thomas isn't an angel.
Gabriel lunges at Thomas, the mortal holding a piece of useless deadwood. Gabriel supposes its less insulting than Thomas having nothing at all. He swats at Gabriel quickly, his reflexes surprising the angel. Thomas doesn't even come close to hitting him, but Gabriel can recognise skill when he sees it. With a little training... Gabriel flips the squirming body beneath his own, pressing Tommy hard against the hood of the wrecked truck.
"Save yourself friend!" Gabriel growled into his face. He didn't particularly want to kill Thomas, actually he was trying to avoid it. Thomas was perplexing to say the least and Gabriel had always been a curious creature. Thomas was less like a monkey and more like another angel caught in a mortal shell.
"Why go to the wall for that bitch and her rug rat?" Gabriel growled, anger flaring as Thomas continued to fight with him.
"It all turns out the same anyway." Gabriel insisted hotly. His breath buffeting Thomas's face scoldingly, making his skin tingle.
"Now, later. I'm gonna rip that kid apart!" He snapped venomously. Another wash of that longing rolled up from Thomas's stomach, making his knees buckle. He swallowed it bitterly.
"I'm not an angel. I'm just a man." Thomas cried desperately.
"Which means I got something that you don't. It's a soul." He wasn't an angel and he couldn't kill, not without reason or remorse. He couldn't take what Gabriel was offering.
The archangel flipped him over into the dirt, Thomas's back slamming into the ground so hard that it jarred his teeth and made tingles shoot through his arms and legs.
"This is gonna really hurt." Gabriel growled the urge to kill Thomas, that he hadn't had before was now choking him. The impetuous little brat throwing Gabriel's offer back in his face, how dare he. Gabriel had treated him like a brother and he'd thrown it in his face. This was Simon all over again... and the whole soul thing was a low blow. What the hell was so great about those overblown pieces of fluff...? Gabriel didn't get it.
"Your war..." Thomas said clutching at straws as the angel cracked his knuckles.
"Make it good." Gabriel taunted, towering over the gasping form.
"Your war is a lie." Gabriel blinked that wasn't what he expected.
"It's not about humans; it's about God." Thomas accused.
"What would you know about that you monkey?" Gabriel spat, how dare Thomas talk to him about God. He had sat at God's left hand once.
"I don't have to Gabriel. I know you." Gabriel felt another spark of anger at Thomas's presumption; no human would ever understand him.
"I know what's its like to be ignored, pushed aside. I know your anger Gabriel." A small tremor ran through the angel at that, Thomas striking a cord. A small one.
"I know what it's like to lose your faith in the word. I know." Gabriel stared at Thomas, caught between disinterest and fascinated horror. Gabriel knew Thomas's life instinctively, the way he knew every human's. Gabriel knew he had been pushed aside, but that didn't mean that Thomas understood... Yet Gabriel felt a quiver run through him at every word, Thomas was laying himself bare before the archangel and Gabriel was starting to understand why Thomas felt so unhuman to him. It was then that Gabriel noticed the tear collecting in Thomas eye, his mouth went dry and Gabriel could only give half his attention to everything else.
"'Cos you're jealous. That's what this war is about... jealousy." The archangel could find no words to dispute what Thomas was saying, actually he couldn't find any words at all. He watched instead the teardrop's fall as it slipped from Thomas eye and tracked down his face, cutting a line in the grit and collecting dirt as it went. So that by the time it reached his jaw it was more like a speck of mud than a salt laden tear.
"Jealousy that he could love something more than you. Something with a soul." Thomas choked up, unnerved by the quiet intenseness of the archangel. Gabriel was actually less scary when he was acting insane. The bile he was spitting up was hurting him as well though, because hadn't god pushed him aside as well...
"Well" Gabriel sighed after a moment, Thomas was human and yet God had cast him aside too... Gabriel blinked nothing-made sense anymore. He turn woodenly, this was over tonight.
"If you wanted to prove your side was right Gabriel, so badly. Why didn't you just ask Him? Ask God?" Thomas cried with no other motive other than wanting to know. The archangel could talk to God. Thomas was cut off from Him. If the archangel couldn't get the answers that he wanted than what chance did Thomas have.
Gabriel turned and walked back to him crouching down and getting in Thomas's face.
"Because..." He bit softly, compulsively studying the tear tracks down Thomas's cheek.
"He doesn't talk to me anymore." Gabriel spat sourly. He thinks he understands everything so well, he doesn't have a clue. Gabriel thought bitterly. Shocked surprise blossoms in Thomas's eyes as he stares up at Gabriel in wonder. He understood now, he got it and he found himself blaming Gabriel less and less, because they really were quite unlike and Thomas knew what it was to be cast aside.
Another tear trickled and fell from his eye, the other still clinging to his jaw. Gabriel watches this teardrop's decent just as raptly as the first. Quiet crying, there's something about it that burns Gabriel's very being. If he had a soul he's sure it would be marred by it too. Since the dawn of time Gabriel has never been witness to a human doing it. They always sob and sniffle. The only two angel's Gabriel has ever seen cry though... they both did it. Lucifer and Simon. They had both cried with tears as the only evidence... and now so was Thomas.
The wispy dewdrop skims along Thomas's cheek and stops just above his mouth as Gabriel raises a hand and tilts Thomas's chin up slightly. Thomas swallows as Gabriel touches him, barbs dancing across his skin and heat flowering in his stomach. Gabriel bent down further and tasted the first drop of salt. It was sour and dull against his tongue, damaged by the earth collected in it. Gabriel swallows the taste and turns his attention to the second tear. The tiny little bead of moisture sits clear and uncorrupted on Thomas's face. Gabriel laps up the salty little jewel with reverence. It's perfect, absolutely perfect. Its like sweetened acid against his tongue and he sighs in soft euphoric pleasure.
Thomas watches the angel as he closes his eyes and rolls the taste around in his mouth. Tasting Thomas's tears like they are the most expensive wine. Perhaps to the angel they are, to Thomas though all they have ever tasted like is salt.
Gabriel opens his eyes slowly and looks at a quivering Thomas, before leaning back in and licking from Thomas's jaw to the lashes on his eye. Removing any trace that the brackish liquid had ever existed. It wasn't as perfect as the last taste had been, not even close, but even tainted by dust it is still too good to waste and Gabriel licked Thomas's face clean just like he had Simon's.
Gabriel is almost regretful when its finished and he's done swallowing and committing to memory, every taste and every tear. He's disappointed that there is nothing else for him to lick, no new taste to sample, but he will always remember. Just as he does with Simon. Every taste and every tear... How each of them fell... and felt against his tongue.