I knew better than to think that Gabriel wouldn't have noticed my off demeanor, but I was still surprised when he sought me out later to talk about it. We were all gathered in the lounge of the hotel. Charlie and Jeep were off in a corner cooing at Leon. Sean was by himself in another corner, cleaning his gun, and I was lying on the check in counter, watching everything.
"What's up angel-man?" I asked with a small cheeky smile. Gabriel only gave me a curious look.
"Angel-man? My name is Gabriel." He informed me primly. I cocked my head at him and sat up.
"I know, but you need a nickname. Something not so intimidating as Gabriel." I told him, earning myself another curious look.
"Well, I mean-" I began, not knowing how to put it. "Ok. Look at it this way, that night all they saw was a intimidating, terrifyingly unbeatable enemy, yes?" I stopped to make sure he was following me. He nodded.
"They have associated your name, Gabriel, with that image of you. To them it seems detached, as if they were speaking of a figure they didn't actually know personally, but through the bible or what they have heard et cetera. You still following?" Gabriel gave another small, thoughtful nod,
"I believe so." he affirmed.
"Cool. So, to get them away from thinking of you as some detached emotionless figure, you need a nickname. Something that the can associate with the real you." I finished with a smile, pleased with myself for coming up with the idea.
"So what is my nickname?" he asked. I deflated a bit,
"I don't know. What would you like to go by? Gabe maybe, or angel-man, ooh! Maybe even terminator!" I laughed a bit at the last, hoping he would get it. If the slight smile was anything to go by, he had.
"Hmm, I believe just Gabe would be acceptable, but I leave it to you to decide." he informed me, making me glow once more. Here was Gabriel, the archangel, telling me I could decide his nickname for him. Figuring I would go with something he likes, and finding it quite fitting myself, I went with Gabe.
"Gabe it is then. So, what's up Gabe?" I asked, getting back to why he had come over, since I doubt it was just to chat.
"The new man, Sean I believe it was, you don't trust him?" he told me, more than asked. I nodded. I knew he wanted me to explain myself, so I did, leaving out some details.
"I used to know him, well, we used to go out anyway. I guess you could say I never really knew the real him until well into the relationship." I began and looked over at Gabe, who was listening quietly. I could see in his eyes that he wasn't jumping to conclusions or trying to figure out what I would say about Sean, or judging us, he was just listening.
"He was a marine, with PTSD and was paranoid. Most days he put on the act you saw today, trying to seem friendly and open with everyone. But on the inside, he was taking in and analyzing every little thing you said or did. When we were together, if I so much as talked to a pizza guy with him around, it would lead to a fight. Fighting, to him, was an admission of guilt, which lead to violence. Eventually I learned how to get around it. He's like that most of the time. But on his good days, when he was really himself, he was one of the sweetest people you could meet." I explained and noticed his hand, resting on the mace strapped to his hip, fall to his side. I had to hide a grin at that.
"So really, yes I don't like him, or trust him for that matter. But I know that he's not just some sadistic bastard, doing what he wants for the fun of it." I summed up for him, wondering what he would think of it all. He was silent for a while, considering what I had said.
"Do you think he is a danger to Leon?" he asked. I thought about it.
"No, not unless he's gotten so bad as to be suspicious of a baby. Leon should be safe." I assured.
"Then you should be the one to decide whether or not he can travel with us. Usually when it comes to disorders and diseases such as these, HE decides what to do. But since he is currently only observing, the choice falls to me and since you know him best and I trust your decision not to be made in anger, I give the choice to you." he put it simply. Again I was taken aback. This man really took the saying 'give and you shall receive' to heart. I gave him my trust and friendship and now I was gaining his, quickly. I opened my mouth to tell him we should leave Sean, but stopped myself quickly. Telling him that without thought would only be getting him back for what he'd done to me in the past, but at the same time, agreeing right away would just be trying to live up to the angel's expectations. I sighed.
"Can I think about it a while? I know it sounds heartless but I want to be sure I'm making the right choice for the right reasons." I asked, disappointed in myself. Gabriel though, seemed heartened by my answer, as if it was the only one he would have been happy with.
"Sleep on it, and in the morning we will discuss it and hopefully come to a decision." he conceded, then moved off, heading outside to patrol. He was gone a long while and in that time I debated with myself about Sean. I made a mental Pro/Con list in my head, using my fingers to keep track of each. I began with the bad.
'Ok, the cons are that he hurt me and could potentially hurt others. If he flies into a rage, he could give away our position and get us into a sticky situation. If he has gotten worse, he may be a danger to Leon. He is tricky and plays mind games. He would be bad for the groups team work and morale.' The list went on. When I couldn't possibly think of another negative what if situation, I started on the pros.
'It's another person on our side. He's trained to fight. He may have other tricks to kill the possessed. It helps Charlie and Jeep to know that there are others out there like us who are willing to fight. He is a living, breathing human being who deserves a second chance. He's good at heart..' On and on I went, eventually losing track as I had with the cons. As more time passed I still hadn't reached a decision. I glanced around and saw that everyone was asleep, and Gabriel was still gone. I got up quietly and ensured that the door leading to the hallway was locked before heading out the front myself, closing the door behind me.
"Gabriel." I called in a whisper.
"Gabe." I called again, waiting. Soon I heard the flap of wings and Gabriel touched down in front of me, looking exhausted. I smiled,
'I knew he would be tired.'
"Gabe, why don't you go inside and get some rest? I can take over watch till dawn. I don't think I'll be sleeping anyway." I offered, hoping his pride wouldn't force him to decline. He looked taken aback, perhaps that I had noticed, or at the offer, but nodded anyway. He thanked me and hid a yawn before going inside to sleep. When I was finally alone I let out a long sigh, letting my tense muscles relax. I winced slightly as I stretched. Sometime during the day I had picked up a crick in my neck. I laughed a little, quietly.
"What I wouldn't give for a good massage right about now." I sighed to the empty air. For the life of me I nearly expected to feel hands on my shoulders, or to hear the near silent flap of wings. Instead I was met with a cold breeze. I shivered lightly and shook my head to clear my thoughts. With one last sigh I began to walk the perimeter, searching the night for any movement. The night was still, eerily so. It had been that way since extermination began, no humans means no loud noises. By the time dawn came I was glad that the night was over, and I had finally come to a decision. For better, or for worse.
A/N: Thanks for reading everyone! This is just a reminder that I will be doing interviews for the characters, so if you have any questions, just PM me with the question using the story they are from in the subject line.