Angels Never Forget
"Amateur hocus pocus. Don't forget you learned all your tricks from me, little brother." –Lucifer 5x19
The first time Gabriel met Lucifer he was only a couple days old. He had met Michael the previous day when the lead archangel had taught him the basics about the universe and had given him the message that Lucifer was going to teach him how to fight so that when the time came he could battle alongside them against evil.
Curious about his brothers and the creator Gabriel had asked questions and Michael had answered all the ones he could answer, like how many others of them were in Heaven and where God was.
He'd asked about Lucifer and Michael had replied, "He is the brightest of us, and will be a great teacher, for I taught him, and God taught me."
The next day, Lucifer had appeared to Gabriel at the crack of dawn, or what he had perceived as dawn, anyways.
Lucifer was brighter than any sun Gabriel had found while exploring the galaxy God had also created, and his power radiated off of him with great intensity.
Where Michael had made him feel young, Lucifer made Gabriel feel dim, powerless in comparison to him and his light.
But he did not treat Gabriel like a weak fledgling, unlike Michael. Instead, Lucifer treated him like an equal, like the archangel he was. It was as if his light was what measured his love for his family, and his patience.
Lucifer was as well suited to being a teacher as he was a fighter. He always managed to find the right words to explain how to use grace powers.
Gabriel remembered one schooling session in particular the night he died at his brother's hands in 2010, many centuries later.
It was his third lesson, the one in which Lucifer had taught him how to make a double of himself. The same trick Gabriel had tried to use to distract Lucifer while he sneaked up behind him to try to kill him and save the world from his "temper tantrum". Foolish. Of course Lucifer would remember it. Angels never forgot anything.
"What are you going to teach me today?" Gabriel had inquired as he'd walked alongside Lucifer in a part of Heaven that was filled with imaginary redwood trees.
Lucifer stopped in his spot and turned to him. "I'm going to show you another way of protecting yourself. Only archangels have the kind of power to do it. It is my favorite power because with it you can fool your enemy into thinking you are right in front of them when you aren't."
"What is it?" Gabriel asked, intrigued.
"Look behind you," Lucifer replied.
Gabriel did as told and twisted around in his spot.
There, standing not more than five feet away, was a second Lucifer. Not shining as bright as the original, but bright enough to be confused with the real one if someone didn't know Lucifer too well.
If someone didn't know Lucifer like Gabriel and Michael did.
Glancing back and forth between his real brother and his double Gabriel was shocked. "How did you do that?"
"With practice," Lucifer answered.
"Teach me," Gabriel said.
Lucifer chuckled. "That is what I had in mind brother, or did you not hear me?"
Gabriel laughed too.
"I can do it with just a simple thought," Lucifer continued, his tone all business once again. "But to start off you will have to close your eyes."
Gabriel immediately did that, and then asked, "What next?"
Lucifer began circling Gabriel, not being one who could stand still for long.
"Next, you need to concentrate, clear your mind of all thought."
It took some time to do this but once he was sure he had done it Gabriel let Lucifer know he was ready.
"Imagine yourself somewhere around here but not where you are standing, and don't follow the path to it like you would during teleportation. Instead, just concentrate on this second you."
Gabriel tightened the lids of his eyes more and focused on the image of himself leaning against one of the trees that was rooted in the ground not far from him.
"Give your double life by focusing on different parts of his body. Make him talk by speaking the words and imagining him saying it too," Lucifer murmured.
Gabriel nodded and concentrated on the mouth of his double and he said "Hello".
When he heard an echo of the word Gabriel opened his eyes to see himself smiling at him from his position under the red tree he'd placed him under.
"I don't believe it," Gabriel gasped.
Lucifer grinned. "Believe it. You are a quick learner, Gabriel; I'm impressed. Now, imagine him gone."
Gabriel hesitated to do it because he wanted to try to do more things with his double, but he obeyed.
When he reopened his eyes his double was gone.
"That's perfect," Lucifer told him. "Now, I have to go talk to Michael, but keep practicing, alright?"
Gabriel smiled happily. "Will do."
"Good," Lucifer nodded in approval.
It seemed that he would just teleport away without saying anything else, but then Lucifer froze, and gave Gabriel one last look.
"And Gabriel, word to the wise, don't use this power against me or else I may just have to kill you."
At the time those words were a harmless joke, but ironic and foreboding to Gabriel now that he stood dying by the knife of his teacher and brother.
His last thought was that he would have laughed at this if he wasn't in so much pain, and then his grace burst.