I was inspired for this fanfic by the scene (and the musical theme that accompanies it) in which Gabriel explores the loft, the place where he rests during the movie. The following text also includes fictional flashback inserts and mentions of platonic love.
It was a frigid region, a lot darker than a winter night and bare of waves of joy and harmony lapping the drained grounds. And these features, were all in intensified degree because of the Fallen whose unholy works stained the whole area. The newcomer of the Light couldn't define their exact methods or strategic procedures yet, but he was determined to find out soon...
The presence of few, distinctively innocent souls -most possibly of children- was the only suspicion of shine gleaming secretly, like fireflies between thick leaves. The realisation was both comforting and painful to the Archangel, the feelings interchanging, depending on which perspective he focused. Either way, these were among the people he had to look after and shield from the Fallen.
While exploring the desolate, bleak streets for the first time, Gabriel suddenly stopped next to the entrance of an old building located in a long alley. He observed the apparently heavy, metallic door for a minute and eventually -incited by a vague, inexplicable instinct- he headed nearby with decisiveness.
He mounted the deserted, stone stairs guided by an inner sense whispering to him that something really familiar lied there; A signal of something known, of a presence that once passed from that point and whose essence existed in his heart. The notion brought him a short-term relief, a natural reaction considering he was experiencing an uncharted world by himself and he still hadn't attained complete awareness and control over his new form; Gabriel knew this was his weak point, a deficiency he had to correct as fast as he could, but even so, he wouldn't let any of his foes take him down easily, not without a tough fight...
The angel arrived at the corridor of the highest level and noted the single door at the further end of the hall. At first glance, he couldn't be certain if it was locked or not, but for some reason he hoped that it was wasn't.
He traversed the short distance and pressed his palm against the closed entrance. The door yielded smoothly under his touch and the visitor's gaze hurriedly scanned the place with clear interest and eagerness.
This loft was the only environment Gabriel had seen so far that somehow reminded him of light. Although the room was wrapped in shadows, it didn't take him long to discern the traces, to understand. His senses had detected them; An aura that continued to remain there as a meaningful vestige, as well as a vague scent of pleasantly fresh air like in the mountains, despite the fact that the connected surroundings consisted of old, worn furniture, discoloured walls, a dusty floor and a large, moist window.
Gabriel didn't really care how the items looked like. What mattered was this particular knowledge he perceived from the first moment he stepped inside...
" I know you were here."
The Archangel walked towards the interior in slow pace. He wished he could meet him that instant, to see him, hear his voice. But Michael couldn't be found there. Gabriel had to search for him and the rest of the Order as well, to learn what happened during their respective missions. When he turned his head sidewards, he noticed a pile of old papers and a piece of charcoal lying on a small table. He approached for a better examination of the sketches that were shown on a few pages...
Although he had never seen Michael drawing, he totally believed that they were done by his own hand. The angel's eyes brightened in sheer curiosity and excitation at the sight of those pictures... He was hoping to find a hidden message, a secret or a warning, anything... The first he saw, at the top of the disordered pile, pictured basic lines forming the portrait of a frightful face. Gabriel supposed that it was Sammael's, the dangerous Fallen who had to be defeated at any cost. Did Michael succeed in his mission yet? Or was he still in the middle of his fighting? Why would he intend to draw Sammael?
Perhaps he wanted to tear the nightmare out of himself.
The thought emerged so suddenly and in such rawness on the angel's mind that it startled him. He gathered the rest of the papers in his hands and sat at the edge of the neat bed to view them.
The images that followed made Gabriel's heart beat harder and the rhythm of his breathing to become shallow for a while. In contrast to the displeasing, unknown portrait, there was another work that depicted a beautiful pair of wings with successful detail, displaying great mastery. And underneath the image, the very name of the current viewer was written in calligraphic letters...
" I don't understand you."
" Think, Gabriel... What does my name mean? This will help you realise what you should do... Don't concentrate your gaze and effort in me. Remember who is important above and below us. Do not lose your wings because of the intensity of your emotion."
" I don't forget who is important. Never. But together with Father and humanity, I see you as well. You are significant to me. Why do you believe that the love I have for you could ever lead to the loss of my nature? Am I doing something wrong?"
The design on the paper had stirred words from the past, back in Home. It was actually a part of a conversation he had with Michael, as a result of a personal confession Gabriel had made to him. An expression of truth which, at least for the moment and under the given circumstances, he preferred to keep it locked in the depth of his conscience. Still, a mere stimulus was enough to rouse a vivid recollection and he also remembered that Michael was composed, his voice calm while trying to comprehend and guide him during their discussion.
The next picture showed the basic outline of an angel in profile, holding a couple of flowers which appeared to be lilies.
" I could never ask you to become or behave like me; This would be meaningless. Besides, how could I make such request since I see so much in you, traits that I admire... And your downrightness enriches the good aspects of your character. Gabriel, I don't demand you to stop loving me. But I want you to view and experience this love in its proper shape."
" Your heart is always so full, Michael."
" So is yours."
" It's different. There is this void that I still need to figure out how to handle it, because I know, It's not something that can be simply overlooked or forgotten."
The following image portrayed an angel again, dressed in a long, flowing garment and holding a sceptre. Rain drops filled the background. After he observed the picture for a few moments, he noticed specific characteristics in the depiction of the emblematic staff, allowing no doubt that it was the one that Gabriel possessed.
All the other papers were blank and the Archangel looked again at the last three drawings... He concluded that Michael must had been thinking of him for some reason.
" I will pass away if I lose you... In any way this can happen."
" Look at the whole, not only a part of it. This is what counts and also what will keep you within your true path. Don't lose yourself, Gabriel."
Every phrase was clear to the angel as though it hadn't passed much time since Michael's departure to cleanse Purgatory from the rule of demons. The words of the chief Archangel sounded wise and prudent, tranquil towards Gabriel's passion and also towards the growing flame that could have burned both of them if Michael had not remained collected and free from agitation throughout the conversation. Still, Gabriel didn't want to forbear admiring and finding in him the inspiration he needed to do his best, to be kind and strong. He also discovered that the recent form he took had opened new paths of experiencing his love, almost with the unfathomable intensity of a human, accompanied by the bittersweet sense of an unfinished dream.
Gabriel rose to his feet and carefully left the pictures where he found them. The sight of a broken mirror which he hadn't seen earlier pierced his soul like a cold, sharp knife... Merciless certainty quickly descended upon his mind telling him that the damaged object was also connected to the Archangel, as much as the drawings, but perhaps in a more ominous way.
He felt his body temperature falling in an instant as he walked there... A folded note was fastened in the fragmented glass. The soldier's heart started to pound against his chest and each beat pained him. Deliberate hands pulled the note and unbent it.
The reader paid attention to each word as if there was a whole meaning behind. The letter was short, but the recipient read it several times, whispering the phrases, the warnings. Michael's writing was beautiful, stately and clear... Just like him.
If you are reading this, then I have failed.
It was the first sentence, the one that Gabriel tried and wanted to ignore, to deny it, and also the most frightening. No, he was going to find Michael. He had to be somewhere, out in this realm.
The angel folded the letter again and placed it in the pocket of his long coat. He lowered his head in thought and sorrow and it was then when he saw a bag stored in the washbasin below the mirror. He fumbled with doubt, worrying that something disagreeable was hidden. His touch detected cold metal... A pair of silence pistols. Specifically the chief Archangel and him were fully acquainted with the use of a large variety of weapons, both modern and medieval so this led Gabriel to the conclusion that the fellow heavenly soldier left them for him.
" I hope to see you soon." Michael had said to him just before he left to confront Sammael and his minions. Now, inside the loft in which the leader of angels had once found his shelter and base, the present champion was whispering the exact same words as he headed to the exit, to meet the darkness...
And bring back the light. At all costs.
Story notes: Michael's name has Hebrew origin and it means " Who is like God ", suggesting a rhetorical question. So, in the text, he asks Gabriel to ponder over his name so that the second may direct his attention to whom Michael considers as more essential.