PLEASE READ THIS NOTE: This first chapter sets up the world in which this takes place, as well as the situation that starts it all; all that jazz. That being said, Castiel is not in this chapter. Nor is Dean. Their story kicks off in the next chapter. That being said... if you feel like it, you can skip this chapter.f
Michael straightened his robes and strode down the hall towards the door he knew his brother stood behind. He wore a white robe with gold trim that almost shined in the filtered light coming in from the ceiling.
As he walked all of the activity in the hallway and joining rooms stopped, the angels dropping their eyes respectfully as they stood stiffly at attention.
Michael didn't bother to cover his smirk; it was one of the perks of being an archangel.
He glanced up at the sky light above him, and watched garrisons of angels training in the sun. It warmed his grace considerably to see it; Heaven should always be prepared for attack.
He tore his eyes away as a large oak door loomed in front of him; with a small gesture the door swung open, revealing his brother Gabriel busily watching the lesser angels in the garden.
"Must you stand there, brother?"
Gabriel turned with a smirk playing on his lips. "You must keep track of the little ones, brother." He turned back, watching the sky. "If they can't keep up an adequate defense we may find ourselves in the middle of another war."
Michael scoffed. "Another war? I doubt we'll be facing another war. Not with the young ones keeping an eye on Earth all the time."
Gabriel laughed. "So you've heard about that! I was wondering, Michael. You so rarely mingle with the others."
Michael struggled not to roll his eyes. It was always hard for him to remain aloof and cold when the other archangel clearly never cared to behave accordingly. "You should not be 'mingling' either, Gabriel. Your station is above their own, you should act accordingly."
Gabriel scowled, his eyes once more lost among the flying legions above them. "You can act superior to them all you want, Michael, but I will not. They are my brother's as well."
In an instant Michael was beside him, forcing him to stumble back a step; his glare cut through Gabriel like ice. The archangel instantly put up his hands placating. "You're right. Of course you're right. Let's go inside, hm?"
Michael stepped back to allow Gabriel to pass him.
Once inside Michael seemed to calm down.
Gabriel sighed in relief, and tried to keep his gaze from darting up to the skylight above them whenever a shadow passed over head.
As the door behind them swung closed a small garrison touched down, frowns gracing their faces as they watched Gabriel walk away.
The youngest angel stepped forward and turned his back to the door. "Come on, brothers. Let's fly."
A tall angel beside him huffed out a breath, his wings twitching in agitation. "Why bother, Sraosha? We've completed our drills for today."
"Would you rather do nothing, Hamaliel?"
"No, Sraosha. You know better than that."
Sraosha ducked his head. "I apologize, Hamaliel. I meant no offence."
"I know you didn't." Hamaliel laughed, and wrapped an arm around the young angel's shoulders, pressing a kiss to his raven black hair. "You always speak so formally, Srao. Sometimes I think you forget who you're talking to."
"The loudest of all my brothers?"
Hamaliel adopted a thoughtful pose. "The most… awesome of all your brothers."
At this the angels around them began to scoff, pushing Hamaliel good naturedly, and grabbing at Sarosha's robes to pull him away. He ended up in a beautiful blonde angel's arms. She fussed over his collar as he struggled to push her hands away. "Iofiel! Stop!"
Iofiel smiled and pushed him into another angel's arms. "Hold him Jehoel."
Jehoel's arms tightened. Iofiel smoothed down Sarosha's robes, refastening ties that had come loose throughout the day. "You only want us to fly so you can show off more, little brother." She chided. "Just because you're the most graceful is no reason to give the rest of us extra work."
Sarosha flushed and looked down. "I'm sorry, Iofiel, I –"
"Oh hush, darling." She nodded to the rest of the garrison. "That's enough for today. Now, who's up for some fun? Machidiel, Liwet, lead the way."
This seemed to please the angels immensely, and together they walked towards the heart of Heaven, resting their wings while they could.
As they walked, Sarosha kept his eyes constantly searching their surroundings, stretching his grace out around them to check for any threat to his garrison.
Content that they were safe, he considered the angels he considered to be his family. It was true that all of Heaven's angels were his brothers and sisters, but in his heart he held some dearer than others. Secretly Sarosha always wondered if they felt the same for him, but their actions always made it clear that he was loved.
Liwet was always there to explore with him when he was too afraid to ask for company. He looked up to the others and didn't want them to always think of him as the poor defenseless youngling he was. Liwet never treated him like that; he was always pushing ahead, searching for the next thing to do.
Jehoel was like a big brother, always looking out for him, and read to catch him when he fell, but also there to tease and torment him to no end. Sarosha wasn't sure what he'd do without him.
Hamaliel was his first friend, and to this day his most cherished. They shared everything together, accomplishments and failures. When Sarosha needed to spar, Hamaliel was his partner. When he needed to relax, Hamaliel stubbornly refused to let him continue pushing himself into exhaustion. Whenever Sarosha forgot to take care of himself, Hamaliel was there to remind him.
Iofiel was beautiful; lovely. Inside and out. She constantly bothered him to eat more, to groom his wings, to tighten his armor, to tuck tighter as he fell. Sometimes it was damned annoying, but no matter how much he groaned at her attention, deep down he cherished the fact that she loved him enough to care.
In the beginning, when he was first assigned to this garrison, he felt that Machidiel didn't like him. The huge angel was always silently watching him, with a tight frown on his face. Sarosha wasn't sure what he did to anger his brother, but he was too afraid to ask. Instead he did his best to avoid doing anything to anger Machidiel. Then one day while he was learning to fly a new drill, he clipped his wing on a tall building and plummeted downward. He braced himself for impact, as he'd been taught to do early on, when suddenly he was rising up above the clouds and into the golden sunlight. He'd open his eyes and found Machidiel, his savior, holding him close as they flew. He wrapped his arms around his brother's neck, and silently thanked him. He knew from then on that Machidiel wasn't angry with him, he was worried about him. Sarosha began making a point of sleeping near him whenever their missions forced them away from home.
And Gabriel… Gabriel taught him to fly.
As they walked Jehoel's hands held a bit of his robe loosely as if to reassure himself that Sarosha was there, as Machidiel lead the way through the crowds.
Sarosha peered out at the throng of angels, some walking, more flying, and tentatively reached out his grace to feel as they did. Hamaliel laughed and swatted his arm. "Behave, young one!"
Iofiel groaned. "Children." She said testily.
As they neared the heart of the city of Heaven, the buildings cleared to allow a perfect circle, filled with beautiful trees and bushes. Within there were hundreds of small lakes revealing the kingdom of Earth.
Sarosha's garrison quickly found a lake to sit around, and peered into the deep waters to watch as God's chosen explored their planet.
They watched for what the human's would consider to be days. Finally Sarosha could take it no more. "I don't understand. What are they doing?"
"Hm?" Liwet looked up. "What's wrong, Saro?"
Sarosha leaned close to the water and pointed out a man and a woman, embracing. "I don't understand."
Iofiel smirked. "When a man and a woman love each other very very much…"
"No, no, I understand that. I don't understand this. Look. Her soul is so pure, and his is… dark. But they are entwining together in harmony. They are both happy. But they are both so different."
Machidiel placed a hand on Sasrosha's back. "Have you ever heard that opposites attract?"
"Sometimes the same works for souls. No matter how different their souls appear, when they meet each other they are complete."
They went back to watching the pool.
Slowly Hamaliel looked up. "Why can't that work for us?"
Iofiel's head fell to the side in confusion. "What are you saying Hama?"
"If it works for humans, why can't the same work for us? Demon's. They are our opposite, right? Maybe we can only know love through the darkness of their souls."
Machidiel frowned. "It would be very dangerous to even go down and check out your theory."
Hamaliel nodded. "I'm sure it'll give Jehoel's blade something to do."
The corner of Jehoel's lip twitched up. "It would be… interesting."
Lewit sighed. "Well if you lot are going, I better too. If something happened while you were down there I'd never hear the end of it.
Hamaliel grinned widely. "So we're agreed?"
Iofiel stood, and brushed imaginary dirt off her crimson robes. "Too bad we can't invite Gabriel to join us. I'm sure he'd love the excitement."
Sarosha pushed himself to his feet and helped Hamaliel up. "Why can't we."
"Michael'd never let him leave the palace."
"But they're both archangels. Gabriel should be free to go."
"No little one," Machidiel touched his back. "You never cross Michael."
"Not unless you want to be burnt to a crisp." Lewit sniggered.
Jehoel punched his arm lightly. "Be nice, he's practically one of us."
Lewit ducked his head, abashed. "Right, sorry."
Sarosha's eyes darted to the upper teruses of the palace that touched the sky in their display of majesty, and silently prayed for his brother Gabriel, wishing for his presence. "When will we leave?"
"Tonight. After lights out."
Lights out in Heaven was only required of very few angels. For the most part everyone was given free range to be any where they liked, so long as they kept up with their duties. Most angels spent their time watching Earth through the pools, occasionally flexing their grace when they felt they could do good.
The soldiers were under stricter command.
They were required to spend ten hours within the palaces walls every day. After watching the humans for centuries many of the angels started referring to this time as 'lights out.' The time they spent here allowed archangels the opportunity to utilize their serves, while at the same time ensuring the soldiers did not tire out from drilling too much.
Sarosha and his family retired to an annex, and casually waited until they were forgotten amongst the rush and movement of their brothers. Machidiel gave a signal, and they moved out, using all of their training to move about unseen. Their first stop was the weapons locker. The weapons in here were generally used for sparing purposes only, but Jehoel was certain they would meet with heavy opposition once they reached Hell.
They each selected the weapons they were best at, and strapped on the brilliant silver and gold armor the angels of Heaven were known for.
Sharosha felt instantly better after he tied on his armor. It was like a second skin to him now, and he always felt vulnerable without it.
Finally ready, the once more employed their stealth as they made their way down the large hallway that led outside to a garden.
Clear of the building Jehoel took a deep breath. "Are we sure we want to do this?"
Iofiel looked at all of her brothers in turn. She paused on Sarosha. "Maybe you shouldn't come, little one."
Sarosha drew himself up. "I'm coming."
She frowned, but eventually nodded. "Very well. Let's go." She unfurled her black wings, and launched herself to the sky. The others quickly formed up behind her.
After they left the outer most regions of Heaven, the tucked their wings tightly, and plummeted downwards.
They had never tried this before, with their class and rank they were not allowed to visit Earth unless Hell was once again waging war. As the clouds gave way to an endless expanse of sky, their eyes widened automatically, each trying to memorize the details of a world they'd only ever seen a reflection of.
Earth was beautiful.
There was a vivid green meshing with brown, white, and blue, each possessing too many shades to count. They saw buildings of all colors, reaching to the sky to great them like old friends, and as they came closer and closer they could begin to make out movement as billions of humans moved about their days, oblivious to the attention their actions garnered.
And then the ground came up to meet them.
For one terrifying moment, Sarosha closed his eyes tightly, and waited for an impact that would not kill him, but would certainly leave him crippled for many days.
It never came.
He opened his eyes, and saw that they were now moving through the Earth itself, through a thick crust, the painfully hot mantel, and then they were in a cavern.
They all pulled up short and marveled in the scene laid out before them. Hell had never been a pleasant place to visit, and this had never changed. Screams filled the air as souls were tortured somewhere deep below in the pits very belly. Chains could be seen stretched across the vast ceiling, each holding a writhing soul in place, as small black creatures moved across them, occasionally pausing to bite at wrists and shoulders.
Hamaliel winced and reached out a hand to touch a blackened soul hanging before him. Carefully he stretched out his grace to mend the poor things pain. The soul instantly snapped to attention, and began drawing away from his grace, moving as far back as its bounds would allow.
Hamaliel moved closer, his hands closed around its face. "Shh, shh, its okay."
The soul's eyes snapped open, and brilliant blue eyes locked on the angel. It began to scream.
Hamaliel jumped back as every eye in Hell looked up.
"That's great," Mac+hidiel whispered harshly. "You just had to touch the damn thing."
Demon's were leaping onto chains, running at them.
"Well excuse me," Hamaliel whispered back. "I just assumed that our job was to bring comfort to lost souls."
"Not when you're trying not to be seen!"
"I thought the whole point of this was to be seen."
"Shut up! Both of you!" Iofiel snapped.
The demons were almost on them.
"Guess its show time guys!" Liwet said cheerfully. He drew his sword and leapt forward to attack.
The others hesitated for a moment, and then they followed.
As they fought, they did there best not to kill any of the demon's; Heaven was not here to wage war, and demon's healed much slower than angels. Fighting is much more difficult when you do not seek to kill, and your enemy does.
Despite this, they seemed to be winning, and many of the demons began to fall back. Hamaliel looked up cheerfully, when they heard a sound down below. They all turned to look, and saw the ground bellow them filling up with demon's who'd heard the ruckus and wanted to get in on the fun.
Machidiel knocked the last demon off the chains and looked at his family hesitantly. "Maybe we were wrong in this. Maybe there is no one down here for us."
Iofiel winced as she looked at him. "Perhaps –"
"Wait!" Sarosha shouted.
They all turned to him as below the demons began pulling out their weapons and started climbing.
Sarosha pointed at a tall demon with short scraggy hair. He was covered in blood and staring at Sarosha just as fixedly. "Him. It's him." The young angel tucked his wings and began to fall. As he got closer, other demons began jumping at him, their blades slicing through his robes, and knives cutting into his face. Sarosha paid them no mind as he worked his way towards the demon.
Worried, the others immediately leapt to his aid, trying to keep the demons off him. Hamaliel shook his head at how determined Sarosha was when his eye caught on a beautiful red headed demon snarling at him a few feet away. "I'm sorry, Saro, but –"
"I know Hama, go get her."
Hamaliel nodded and began working his way to her.
As they fought the others gradually saw demon's whose souls cried out to them. Souls that looked familiar in every way, and they just knew they had found their match. With a renewed strength, they each battled their way towards their prey.
The fight reigned on for a long time, neither the demon's nor the angels willing to give in, but eventually they were close enough. Each quickly sheathed their weapons and lunged forward, gripping their demons tightly as the ascended back up towards Heaven, and out of reach of the mob beneath them.
The demons in their arms fought viciously the whole way back, doubling their efforts when Heaven finally came into view.
The angels persevered, for each time they looked back at the beings in their arms, they knew they'd chosen correctly, and each couldn't stop the swell of love and joy they felt within their hearts.
It was midday when they finally landed within Heaven's gates. All of the activity stopped as the other angels saw the blood cascading down their brother's faces. The five calmly walked towards their rooms, and the other angels were quick to get out of their way, looking on in horrified fascination.
Exhausted, Sarosha, Hamaliel, Iofiel, Jehoel, Liwet and Machidiel did not say much to each other as they parted ways heading for their separate quarters, but they all silently wished the others luck.
Sarosha's quarters were the farthest away, and he made his way as quickly as he could, bloody footprints marking the path behind him. He struggled to hold onto the demon as he freed one hand to unlock his door and force the demon inside.
The second the door was closed and barred, he allowed the demon to leap from his arm. A silver knife appeared in the demon's hands.
Sarosha dropped his weapons and spread his arms and prepared for the blow.
The sun rose the next day, golden sunlight glinting off the pristine gold fixings and filled the court yard with light. The other angels stared transfixed at the bloody footprints leading to five separate rooms.
Their commanders quickly walked over to see what was distracting the soldiers from their tasks.
After staring at the blood, Raphael cleared his throat. "What happened here?" He asked softly.
Uriel blinked, and was finally able to drag his eyes away from the scene in front of him. "A garrison went down to Hell and brought back demons."
Raphael snorted and shook his head. "Demon's cannot love. They will learn their lesson quickly. The rest of you! Get back to work!"
Quietly the other angels took to the air, each sending down a scout to listen at the five angels doors.
For three days all they heard were screams of pain, and crashes as various solid objects connected with walls. As each day passed, the noises slowly faded until all they heard was silence.
Uriel was sent to inform Raphael that the five angels had died. Sadly the angels grouped together and prepared to burry the poor fools who tried to find love in a Hell Spawn.
They slowly opened the doors and stopped in surprise.
In the darkness of the rooms the angels slept, each wrapped around their demon, each covered in blood, each completely at peace.
The demons had seen into their angels souls and they too had recognized their match.
The doors were quietly closed once more.
The next day Sarosha, Hamaliel, Iofiel, Jehoel, Liwet and Machidiel appeared in the courtyard. The other angels watched as they smiled and embraced, each lit with an inner glow. The demon's appeared by their sides; each had wrapped their tails tightly around their angels wrist or waist, clearly unwilling to allow them to venture too far. The angels likewise seemed to be almost unconsciously shielding the demons with their wings.
It was beautiful in its imperfection. It was glorious.
Disgusted, some of the on looking angels turned away wanting nothing to do with this. Other's looked around, locking eyes with their brothers, each wanting whatever this new thing was as well.
Soon flocks of angels descended to Hell. Hell flocked to meet them, vicious chains and blades at the ready; they were curious to see what would happen as well, but that didn't mean rolling over and letting the angels get away with this without a fight.
Besides, it was terribly interesting to fight an angel.
The skirmishes were always brief, and not every angel always found his match. Those who did inspired hope within them though, so those who failed to find their other half would continue to go back as many times as it took to find one.
The denizens of Hell began to get used to angels appearing high in their sky and zeroing in on one point. The demons who left ended up being happy, so they didn't protest too much, but they still did all they could to force the angels to fight as long as possible. Once the angels began to notice this trend they always sent a minimum of five angels down at any one time, no one ever came solo.
Used to this routine the demons looked on curiously when one angel touched down before them. He looked familiar.
The angel was beautiful. He had long blond hair that fell in gentle curls around his face, and his body looked like it had been carved out of marble.
There was a tail wrapped around his wrist.
From behind him stepped a demon they all recognized. He had been one of the first to be taken.
"Alistar." They whispered.
The demon grinned cruelly at the demons surrounding them, and turned to face his angel with a slightly softer expression. "Are you sure, Sarosha?"
The angel smiled and leaned close, brushing their foreheads. Alistar grabbed his hand and lead him down into the pit.
The other demons were intrigued; all they could do was follow.
Alistar lead the beautiful angel to the center of his old workshop and fastened him securely to the rack in the center of the room. He ran a hand down the angel's face. "Ready, darling?"
The angel stretched forward as far as he could and pressed his lips to the demons. "I love you."
Alistar smiled and moved to a table behind him, selecting his favorite knife and holding it up to catch the light. He moved back in and went to work, his tail still caressing his mate as blood started to cascade down the glowing beings chest.
The angel jerked and twisted with every move of the blade gasping "I love you" with every breath he could draw.
The watching demon's couldn't help the slight burst of arousal, and smiled as they return to their rooms, selecting their favorite toys and preparing them for when the angels came back and eyeing the sky eagerly.
After all, turnabout is fair play and the angels could certainly take it.