Chapter Six

"Whatever you do, you cannot let go of that." Gabriel felt something deep inside him pull and tug, then heard a groan that could possibly have come from him. He truly wanted to know what was going on now.

"Is this supposed to be happening?" Veles. Gabriel remembered the name of that voice. Veles. It made him feel calmer for some reason, though he wasn't too sure why.

"I don't know. You tell me."

"How am I supposed to know? I've never done this!" Gabriel frowned, hoping they would finally say what they were doing.

"No one has. This isn't done. We don't tend to collaborate on these type of things."

"First time for everything then? Great."


Three Hundred and Thirty Years Earlier

Loki wandered around the streets of Delhi, looking at the suffering of the people, all whilst their leader did nothing to help them, and he wondered what he could do to help them. Or if he even cared enough to help. He wasn't too sure on that last part. They weren't his followers, after all. Sure, he could give those that weren't suffering but weren't helping anyone else either, their just desserts, but he wasn't sure if he wanted to do more than that.

He was amused that the Hindu gods had seemingly decided to aid their people as they could, but were making sure that they didn't abandon the ones that truly didn't deserve any help either.

Mind made up, he decided to just do what he normally did. He was going to make the lives of those that deserved it, a misery. And he was going to have fun doing it.

Giggling to himself maniacally, Loki left the poorer, more destitute regions of Delhi and made his way to the richer side, the well-fed and more ignorant side. He mentally plotted on whom his next target was going to be and what he was going to do to them.

Maybe he could make all their food taste like ash, or rot before their eyes. Make them experience what the rest of this country was experiencing. Or maybe he could make the food attack them? That was perhaps taking things a little too far. He should probably start little. Make them think about what was happening.

With his mind completely focused on deciding what to do, he never noticed a woman appear on the street in front of him. Well, he didn't until he walked into her. Stumbling back, he glanced up and then smirked, leering as he looked the woman up at down.

He wasn't stupid, he knew exactly what she was, he just wasn't too sure who she was. Well, there was only one way of finding out.

"Well hello there! I'm Loki, and who, may I ask, are you?" Loki asked, smirking when the woman just narrowed her eyes at him and crossed her arms over her chest.

"I know who you are, Loki, Trickster god of fire. I am Kali the Destroyer. I want to know what you are doing here. Our people are having enough troubles in their life without you coming along and making their lives even more miserable," Kali snapped at him, and Loki took a step backwards, not really wanting to be 'destroyed' by the highly attractive woman.

"Er… right. No tricking the poor, destitute people that need a good meal. Got ya. How about the rich bastards that aren't helping anyone but themselves? They fair game?" Loki asked, and grinned when it looked like Kali was actually contemplating the answer.

"Okay, they can be fair game. Make them regret what they are doing and I shall make sure that the rest of my fellow gods turn a blind eye to their pleas." Loki gave a small cheer, then leered at Kali once more.

"So, want to join in? We can make a date of it. Enjoy their anguished screams of torment as I make their food rot before their eyes and make their drinking water diseased and their wines rancid. It'll be fun. It'll be romantic. I can wine and dine you with rotten food and drink! Go on, tell me you aren't convinced," Loki told her, smirking when Kali's lips twitched in amusement.

"You have convinced me to follow you to your first victim. We shall see how it goes from there though. Do not get your hopes up that I will like you enough to stick around, though," Kali told him, then stepped aside, waiting for Loki to take the lead. Loki just smiled widely at her, winked and then led her to where he had decided his first victim in Delhi would be.

"Just so you know, you're going to love me. Everyone does!" Loki told her, and couldn't help the pout that appeared when she snorted in disbelief.

"That is not what I heard from my Norse cousins," Kali told him dryly, and Loki winced. So Baldur's death and his subsequent punishment was still a little bit of a sore point for him, so what? Really though, when were people going to let that go? Wasn't like Baldur wouldn't come back one day. They always did. Damned gods. Never could stay dead.


Two Hundred and Seventy Years Earlier

Loki opened his eyes in shock when he heard someone enter the cave he was trapped in for the first time in years. Looking up, he was stunned to see his Father looking down at him with a soft smile.

"Son."

"Father? Wha-? What are you doing here? You can't be here! They'll sense you! What then? All that effort into getting away from them. I know I asked for you but… that was selfish of me, you've got to leave," Loki told him urgently, and just struggled more against his binds when his Father just ignored him and knelt down next to him. He stopped his struggles when God placed a soothing hand on his shoulder.

"They won't find us. You needed my help, I am just sorry that it took me so long to get to you. I needed to wait for those you angered to lose interest in you and to cease their searches for your children," his Father told him and then he gently freed Loki and helped him to sit up for the first time in centuries.

"They're okay, right? They didn't manage to find any of them, did they?" Loki asked, groaning when he stood up and felt his weak legs shake a little. He was just grateful that his body wasn't truly human and thus he didn't have any problems with atrophying muscles.

"They are fine. I believe that Jormungand and Fenrir are keeping a watch over Sleipnir, who hasn't left where you hid him. They are all safe," God told him, and Loki felt like a weight had been taken from his shoulders as he gave a sigh of relief.

"What do I do now? You know they are going to realise I have gotten out eventually, then they will be hunting me down," Loki pointed out, and his Father placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled widely at him, making Loki wonder if that had been a deceased humans body his father was using, or if he had created it for himself, like he had Loki's.

"I hide you. I hid you from your brothers and sisters back home, I can hide you from those of Asgard. I can take up to where you took Sleipnir if you wish, or I can just leave you somewhere else. Either way, no other god will truly know who you are unless you tell them. Eventually you will be safe enough to admit your name." Loki looked at his Father with his head titled in confusion. Clearly God knew what Loki was confused about given he answered the silent question moments later, "Loki. I mean the name of Loki."

"Thought so. I don't think it will ever be safe to admit to my other name, do you?" Loki asked dryly, and God sighed and clapped a hand on Loki's shoulder.

"Perhaps it may never be safe, but you may not have the choice of the matter one day. There is no need to worry over it now however. It may not happen for hundreds of years, if ever," God told him, and Loki couldn't help but wonder if God was giving him a subtle warning. But he took his advice and shoved the worry to the back of his mind.

"So where do I go?"

"That is up to you."

"I want to see my kids first, but… then… maybe I could see a little more of Europe. I tended to stick around the Vikings whilst I was with the others. I want to see other parts now," Loki decided with a nod, and God glanced at him and then nodded his head slightly in agreement.

"Then that is what I will help you to do. Are you ready?"

"Yeah, let's get the heck out of here," Loki said, glaring at the snake that had caused him so much pain, and giving a sigh of relief when he felt himself being taken away from the cave and to his freedom once more.

Maybe he shouldn't have killed Baldur. Maybe his temper was something he should work on.


"I cannot believe this actually looks to be working." Veles muttered, and Gabriel tried to convince whatever the hell he was to open his eyes, or at least do something that would indicate what was going on and where he was.

"You are not the only one feeling a sense of disbelief."

"You know, you're not that bad. I get why Lo loved you so much." Gabriel frowned and wondered who the second person was, because he was fairly certain 'Lo' was actually himself.

"I think that love faded with time."

"I don't think it did. He may have been disappointed and angry with you, but he never truly stopped loving you. You are his father after all." Gabriel gasped and lurched upwards.


One Hundred and Ninety-Four Years Earlier

Since leaving Heaven behind, Loki had changed. He knew that and accepted it. He wasn't the caring, soft-spoken, easy-tempered Gabriel of the past. He'd changed. He'd grown into a snide, mischievous, cold-hearted and quick-tempered god of fire and revenge.

So it wasn't really all that much of a surprise when he caught Baldur screaming at Sleipnir for something that Loki had no clue of. He had arrived just in time to catch Baldur strike his son with a barbed whip, and he saw red.

He didn't care that no one technically knew that Sleipnir was his son; everyone on Asgard knew that Loki was attached to the affectionate battle-horse. He didn't really understand, therefore, why everyone was so shocked over what happened when Loki found someone beating his son.

Maybe he shouldn't have killed Baldur.

Wasn't like he'd stay dead.

Back to the point though. Loki snapped. He didn't have much family left after having left Heaven and everyone behind. The small family he now had on earth, he protected furiously. It was just unfortunate that Baldur chose to pick on Loki's favourite and most vulnerable of children.

He really would have liked to have seen what Jormungand would have done had Baldur taken his anger out on him in the same way. Unfortunately, Baldur chose the one child of Loki that wouldn't do anything to retaliate.

So Loki retaliated for him.

"Baldur! What in Odin's name do you think you are doing?" Loki snarled, appearing between Baldur and Sleipnir in the blink of an eye and yanking the whip out of Baldur's hands.

Baldur sneered at Loki, and Loki decided it was time to show Baldur that he had been underestimating Loki. None of Asgard, other than Odin, truly realised just how powerful and dangerous Loki actually was. He figured it was about time to show Baldur some of the truth.

"He is pathetic. I have no idea why you are so attached to the freakish beast," Baldur scoffed, sneering at Sleipnir over Loki's shoulder. Loki bristled and growled lowly in his throat.

"That 'freakish beast' is worth more than you will ever be, Baldur. Do not strike him!" Loki hissed, stepped nearer to Baldur and mentally cursing his height when he had to look up to glare at the smug looking god.

"Oh? And what would you do to stop me? You haven't stopped me before now," Baldur told him, and Loki had enough. He had no idea that Baldur had harmed Sleipnir in any way before this, and clearly Sleipnir and never thought to tell him. Loki snapped and lunged for Baldur, shocking the god and managing to wrap the whip around his throat.

"No more, Baldur! You will not harm my son any more," Loki hissed, snapping his fingers and making the whip light into flames, whilst Baldur choked and struggled to get away, looking at him in shock.

"Son?" Baldur choked out, and Loki grinned at him maliciously, before he tugged on the ends of the whip, tightening it around Baldur's throat and ignoring the stench of burning flesh that was starting to rise.

"Yes. My son. You made a big mistake today and every other day that this has happened. It won't be happening again, Baldur, mark my words," Loki hissed, then let go of one end of the whip and slammed the palm of his hand into Baldur's chest, using what little angelic grace as he dared, and a small little piece of knowledge that his Father had told him thousands of years ago, and making the god's heart stop suddenly.

In hindsight, he possibly shouldn't have done that.

Hindsight is 20/20 they say.

At least Loki managed to smuggle Sleipnir away before the shit hit the fan and his youngest wasn't harmed in retaliation.

He just wished he had had the time to give word to his other children.

The rest of the gods were not happy. Baldur had been the darling of Asgard. Loved by all, revered by everyone that met him and most wished to be like him. No one was happy, and everyone mourned. The mourning was the only thing that gave Loki the time to get Sleipnir away.

He went back to face the music too late to save his two eldest sons, Narfi and Vali. He was on time just to witness their deaths. And that was what made him unguarded enough to allow them to grab him.

Loki didn't fight so much when he was taken to a deep, dark cave and tied to it with the intestines of Narfi. He had no fight left in him, learning that Fenrir and Jormungand had only just got away, and that his one daughter, Hel, had been made the goddess of the dead.

When they placed a snake above his face to slowly drip poison onto him, then left, Loki thrashed and tried to escape. Eventually, years passed and he realised it wouldn't work. So he did something he hadn't done for centuries.

He prayed to his father.

'Father, I know you're listening. Please help me. If not me, watch over my family. Please Father, don't leave me again. I'm sorry for what I have become. Don't leave me.


Seventy-Nine Years Earlier

Really, there were practical jokes and then there were practical jokes that went really, really bad. Loki had had plenty of his practical jokes backfire on him in some random and amusing ways, but this… this took the biscuit.

He got pregnant.

No, really. He possibly shouldn't have turned into a female horse in order to slow down the master of Svaðilfari, but well, he had never claimed to be one to plan ahead in his tricks. So getting knocked up hadn't actually struck him as being on the possible outcomes.

Not that he regretted it. Well, alright, yes, he regretted it a little whilst he was carrying the thing. But when he gave birth, which – when the child in question has eight legs – is actually quite hard, he loved his son. Sleipnir was shy, adorable and nothing like any of Loki's other children. Including his fledgling.

Sleipnir reminded Loki of himself in the beginning. Before everything went to shit. So yes, Loki really was rather fond of Sleipnir and certainly wasn't ashamed of hiding throughout his pregnancy and Sleipnir's earlier years, in order to protect him.

He did get word that his trick had worked and that Svaðilfari's Master hadn't managed to finish the wall around Asgard in time. Thus he didn't get the reward. But Loki knew he couldn't stay hiding forever, and that he couldn't protect his son from everything.

So he trained him up, made him something to be feared and respected, and then asked Sleipnir to be Odin's steed. Odin, safe to say, was very pleased with Sleipnir, and Loki felt much better in knowing that he hadn't made a mistake in giving his son up.

Plus, he got to see Sleipnir far more often that he did any of his other children. Though Fenrir was around almost as often.

Leaving Heaven wasn't the worst idea he'd had. He really was grateful for his children. Even if, at the time, he wasn't entirely sure what the fuck he had been thinking. At least his 'brothers' had pretty much stopped looking for him now. It was his understanding that most of the angels now believed 'Gabriel' to be dead.

He was in no hurry to correct them of that belief.


Two Hundred and Fifty Years Earlier

Gabriel, who now went as Loki, was grateful towards his new 'parents' for everything they had done for him. Eight short years ago, his Father had brought him to a desolate, cold mountain range, and had created him a vessel. Something with no soul for him to corrupt. Nothing for his archangel side to destroy the longer he inhabited it. And then He took him to two huge beings, leaders of the Giants, called Laufey and Farbauti. They took him under their wing and taught him everything they knew. Named him Loki and finally, they declared that he was ready.

Gabriel the Archangel was no more and Loki the trickster god came into being. His giant surrogates told him where to go if he truly wished to become known and feared as a god. So he had set off for Asgard. Where he had been greeted by the strangest being he'd ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Though at least he was only half a foot taller than Gabriel. That was something. Having spent almost a decade living with beings that towered over him was starting to give him a complex. But the Giants had given him more than that. They had taught him how to be sly, how to trick, how to embrace the anger he felt, the jealousy and all the other emotions that he had previously been taught were the ultimate sin. And he enjoyed it.

He no longer wanted to be overlooked and known as the quiet one. He wanted to be feared. He wanted to be remembered for something other than being faithful and quiet. And he was going to get that.

If the creepy guy with the beard and eye-patch would allow it. Well, okay, fine, that wouldn't actually stop Loki from getting his wish, but it would probably make it a heck of a lot easier.

"You must be Loki. Otherwise know as Gabriel," Odin muttered as he looked Loki up and down before raising an eyebrow, "don't look so surprised. I'm King of the Norse gods. You think I don't know who you are?"

"Well, I'll admit the thought did pass my mind," Loki admitted with a cheeky grin, getting a small smile from the taller man in front of him.

"What is it you wish from us?"

"To accept me as a god in my own right," Loki told him, narrowing his eyes at Odin and letting his entire pagan magic rise to the surface. No need to alert his brothers to where he was, after all. They had been searching for him since he had never returned and then had fallen off the radar.

"You'd have to prove that to us, Young Loki. After all, I know who you were. Once a carrier pigeon, always a carrier pigeon. Prove me wrong." Loki decided that Odin was actually kind of annoying.

"And how, exactly, would I do that?" Loki asked, raising an eyebrow and looking at Odin with as much superiority as he could given the man he was trying to make cower was taller than him by at least seven inches. Laufey and Farbauti really had given him a complex. How annoying.

"I supposed that will remain to be seen, don't you?" Odin stated, and Loki looked at the god with narrowed eyes. He wasn't entirely sure what that was supposed to mean, but at least it didn't look like Odin was going to keep him out of his pantheon. Maybe.

"So is that a 'yes, Loki, come join us in the halls of Asgard!' or 'No, Loki, go away and find another religion to bother'? Because, you've got to admit, Loki is far more Norse than anything else. I don't think I'd make it with the Romans," Loki said with a grin, which didn't fade even as Odin stared at him then gave a curt nod.

"I shall introduce you to the other gods then. Do not make me regret this, Loki," Odin told him, and Loki stared at him seriously, then nodded his head in agreement. It wasn't like it would work to his benefit if he did stab them all in the back.

Though they could all do with cheering up a little, if their leader was anything to go by. Really, he'd just be doing them all a favour.


Eight Years Earlier

He never returned. Nor did The Son. And Gabriel slowly lost his faith, lost his hope and had nothing to work for. There were no messages for him to deliver, because that was no one to give him the messages to pass on. He had no purpose anymore. There was no one from above around to give him messages, to tell him who to judge and who to leave. The other angels still had some purpose. They carried on, blissfully unaware that they had all been abandoned by the one being they had been created to worship.

And Gabriel wondered if Lucifer had been right all along.

"This is ridiculous! Why do we not just carry on giving the orders that we know our Father would want us to follow?" Gabriel flinched at the harsh tones of Raphael as he and his two other brothers, the only true Archangels left, had all decided on meeting up every year to see how everything was going and deciding on what to do to bring their Father back.

So far, nothing had worked. And Gabriel was fading.

"Oh shut up! You just want power! You want to be acknowledged as God! Well, you know what? You're not even second in line to that thrown, Raph!" Gabriel hissed, finally getting fed up with his brothers useless bickering.

"Oh, and you think you're higher up than I, little Gabriel? The useless angel who has no other purpose now but to wander The Garden and hope to hear his Father? Really? What would you bring as the new God?" Raphael sneered, and Gabriel stood up suddenly, his sword appearing in his hand as he glared at Raphael. He would deny it later, but he felt a thrill of pleasure when Raphael looked at him in fear.

"I do not want to be God! I don't want to lead Heaven! I want our Father to come back! But I'm beginning to see why he left! It's because of us! We're pathetic! He left to avoid the shame of having to see how pathetic we all truly are every single moment!" Gabriel spat, and even Michael dropped his normal blank expression to look at Gabriel in shock and slight horror.

"Gabriel, what… you do not know what you are saying! Brother, you are dangerously close to blasphemy," Michael told him, slowly standing up to face Gabriel, hands stretched out in a sign of peace.

"Oh screw blasphemy, Michael! What is there to blaspheme against? There truly is no God anymore!" Gabriel screamed, before he allowed his sword to vanish and then left the room in a flurry of light and wings.

He left Heaven. He's not ashamed to pretend that he wasn't running. But what else was there left in Heaven? It was ridiculous. He had nothing. So he left. He ran to the one place he knew he could hide. He went to the humans.

And was completely shocked when he arrived in the less visited, human side of Eden and found his Father waiting for him.

"Father…"

"I'm not returning. I have my reasons. You just need to know that your leaving will not stop you from being one of my angels." Gabriel just gaped, fully aware that he had no clue what was going on.

"I don't…"

"Son, you have been one of my most loyal children. So I'm going to give you a chance to get your head on straight. I will take you to a place where I can create your new persona." Gabriel just nodded his head mutely, then was taken away from Eden, not knowing he wouldn't see the Garden again for longer than most people can count.


Forty-Five Years Earlier

Gabriel believed that he was the first one to realise when it happened. Possibly because it wasn't just Him that was no longer there. Possibly because of the amount of time Gabriel spent in His presence. He was, after all, the only angel other than Michael and Raphael, that had ever been in God's actual presence.

But yes, Gabriel believed that he was the only one to notice when God left them.

Gabriel had never experienced the feeling of being abandoned before. He wished he had never had to feel it ever. The hurt that Gabriel felt was almost physical in it's intensity, and if he hadn't known better, then Gabriel would have honestly thought that Michael had stabbed him with his sword.

It hurt so much.

And he, being the messenger, apparently had one message left to pass. Though he knew that he should only pass the message on to one other angel. He wasn't dim enough to think that telling all of his brothers and sisters would be a wise idea.

So he went to hunt down Michael. And truly wished he didn't have to.

"Michael," Gabriel said softly, upon finding his oldest brother training a new group of fledglings. Michael turned to look at Gabriel as soon as he heard him, and smiled warmly, though Gabriel couldn't help but notice that the smile didn't completely reach Michael's eyes.

"Gabriel. What is wrong? Are you not well?" Michael asked, frowning in concern when he apparently noticed just how withdrawn Gabriel looked and felt.

"No, Michael. I need to tell you something. Can I have your presence in private for a small while? It is quite urgent," Gabriel told him, voice barely louder than a whisper. He knew not to tell Michael the problem whilst the group of young angels were indiscreetly listening in.

"Of course, Gabriel. Lead the way," Michael said with a small nod of his head, the ever-present frown deepening when Gabriel's main set of wings twitched a little in his anxiety and the began to play with his sleeve. "Gabriel?"

"Follow me," Gabriel told him, and led the way to where Jesus should have been, but the slice of Heaven was no longer occupied. However, given that most people did not leave Heaven once they had arrived there, there was no clause in which personal renditions of Heaven would disappear once their usual occupier had left.

And Gabriel was certain that is what had happened here.

Somehow, The Son had left Heaven without anyone knowing. And so had The Father.

"Michael, I've learnt some distressing news and I believe that I now have a new message to pass on to you. You can do with the news as you wish," Gabriel muttered, mentally pleading with his Father to come back to them. Apologising for whatever it was they had done to make him leave them. He got no answer in return, and the pain of that was obviously clear on his face.

"Gabriel, what's happened? Has someone done something to you? Are you hurt?" Michael asked, and Gabriel had to smile softly. Sure, Michael had slowly become colder and colder as the years had passed, but there were still moments where the brother that had taught Gabriel almost everything he knew shone through the ice.

"I am hurt, but probably not for reasons you think," Gabriel admitted, fidgeting a little, before he sighed and looked at Michael head on, "Michael, He's gone."

"Who has gone, Gabriel? Lucifer? Has he somehow found a way out?" Michael asked, reaching out for Gabriel, a look of horror on his face for more than one reason. Gabriel wondered if he'd be feeling the same amount, or more horror when Gabriel told him who he actually meant.

"No, as far as I am aware, Lucifer is still in his cage. No, Michael," Gabriel sighed and looked at Michael, trying to convey how much he feared and was hurt by what he was about to share, "no, I mean our Father. Father is the one that has gone. He is no longer here. There is no longer anyone to give me purpose. No one to tell us what we are meant to be doing."

"Do not lie about such things, Gabriel! It is not amusing! I have put up with your petty jokes and tricks for the past centuries, but this is going too far," Michael hissed at him, anger clear on his face and in his tone, and Gabriel took a step back before he straightened his back and glared right back at Michael.

"I am not joking around, Michael! Sure you can feel it! Deep down, inside, you must know that something is wrong! Well, I'm telling you what that thing is! Father is gone! He's left us! Abandoned us! We're all alone!" Gabriel screamed, and apparently all that was needed for the message to get through, was for quiet, tiny, jokey little Gabriel to raise his voice.

Michael stared at Gabriel in silence for a second or two, before he shook his head and a pained expression flashed over his face.

"I will… I will need to see for myself, Gabriel. I cannot, in good conscience, believe that He would leave us. Why? Why would He do such a thing?" Michael asked, and Gabriel just sighed, all anger and energy leaving him.

"You do that, Michael. You do that."


"No! Don't leave that out! Don't ignore it! It's a part of him!" Gabriel wondered what it was that was so important to Veles, but was more focused on the fact that he remembered. Not everything. But he remembered enough to know he wasn't too sure he wanted to remember the rest.

"I cannot give him that side. I helped him the first time he left, but you were not around then. You are the God of Magic. That is your area of expertise." Gabriel's Father. God. Gabriel wasn't entirely sure how he was to feel about that.


Four Hundred and Fifty-Seven Years Earlier

He loved Mary. He stuck around, watched over her even after the Birth of Jesus, and although he wasn't forced to do so. But he still did so. Wasn't like he had much else to do.

Inevitably, as he watched over Mary, he watched over Jesus. Watched his Father's son grow up, and started to see him as an extension to his garrison. He supposed, in human terms, that he saw Jesus as his nephew. Though to be fair, he'd more likely be his brother. But well… he wasn't. It didn't work like that for angels. So, nephew it was.

The point was, that Gabriel loved Jesus and Mary, he even grew fond of Joseph. And so, he truly regretted it when Jesus was killed for his belief. For their Father.

Gabriel was the first one to stand up for the task of taking Jesus back to the humans three days later. Though he wasn't entirely too sure on his reasons why he did that.

Afterwards, The Garden wasn't Gabriel's only place to retreat. Jesus' own little Heaven became another safe haven for Gabriel.

It helped that Jesus was actually a fun person to be around, and he understood and accepted Gabriel. He got when Gabriel needed to be left alone, or just sit in silence. And he never scorned him for his absolute devotion to God and the humans.

Maybe that was why he was hurt so much by the events that would happen in the future. Maybe that acceptance and his own devotion had actually been his downfall. All he knew was, it hurt.


Thirty-Two Years Earlier

Really, there were some things that Gabriel considered pretending to be a female for. He thought that breaking to a poor young girl that she was pregnant would possibly be better received from a female.

Understandably, Mary was scared. She was unmarried, a virgin and now she was pregnant. Now, Gabriel would be honest and say that, well he hadn't really paid much attention to humans over the past few years. He had other issues on his mind. For one, his fledgling was starting to learn what he needed in order to make his own way in the garrison. Which wasn't all that large for some reason, probably because over the years Gabriel had become somewhat more scatty and mischievous and had started to care less and less for his brothers and sisters.

Apparently, that meant he was made in charge of one of the smallest garrisons in Heaven. It was also because he was one angel that was busy doing solo jobs for God. As the messenger, he needed to be free to leave Heaven at a words notice. So really, he didn't have time to take charge of a huge garrison.

Still, he'd have liked a garrison of more than four angels. That would have been nice. But he only had one fledgling, and normally, your fledglings made up your garrisons. All the same, he had taught Lo everything he thought the little angel would need to make it. And he hadn't had time to people watch whilst he had been doing that.

But, even though he was a little behind on politics and well, the fact that humanity was spreading across the small little planet like some sort of plague, Gabriel still knew that a single girl getting pregnant would not be accepted. He completely understood her fear.

And was totally stunned by Joseph's acceptance of his future bride's new pregnant state. Alright, so there were a couple of hiccoughs here and there before he actually fully accepted it. And Gabriel would maybe admit that he showed them a shadow of his wings to prove that he was who he said he was, which led to that bloody rumour about angels and wings. He turhtfully hadn't realised it would be so well received. He loved his wings, didn't know of any angel that didn't, but still… humans were really odd in the shit they accepted and the shit they didn't.

Wings? Apparently those they accepted.

But Gabriel found he liked Mary. She accepted her new status. Sure, she was terrified out of her mind, and the nearer it got to the birth, the more dangerous things became. But she still carried her head high and as he watched over them, he saw just what had made his Father choose this young, small girl.

He stuck around, watched over her, made her safe. And then, when the Son was due, he sent out his garrison to watch over the couple, whilst he led those that needed to witness the Birth to the right place.

And was pointedly warned not to smite anyone that annoyed him, including the moron that spread the rumour about the Son being the new king. Because, really? Since when? King over what? Heaven? Oh yes, that would have just gone down a treat.

Stupid humans.

There were times that Gabriel understood his brother's contempt for their Father's creations. But then he'd think of Mary and realise that really, they were amazing and incredible creatures. They just had their faults. What creation didn't? Gabriel was well aware of his own brothers faults.

And his own.


"You're gonna have to shift over for a second. He still has his Grace, yeah?"

"Of course."

"Right, time to make a Trickster as well then."


One Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty-Three Years Earlier

A really big flood. Gabriel sometimes wondered if his Father had completely lost the plot and at times like this, it just made him wonder it even more. Maybe his Father had just mentally slipped a little.

Did an all knowing being 'mentally slip'?

But a really big flood?

He also thought that it pretty much rained for forty days and forty nights on a regular basis in some of the more northern countries. Scoti for example. It was really wet there, Gabriel had observed. And in his observations, he'd never noticed all that rain bringing about a flood.

A really big one.

To wipe out the whole of mankind.

Really?

But well, He was God. Maybe he could pull something like that off. Gabriel just didn't see the other deities that had bloomed to life over the millennia being all that impressed with their entire collection of followers being wiped out.

By a really big flood.

Had he mentioned the flood?

Still, Gabriel had only ever been given the choice of delivering a message once. Only one time had God asked Gabriel to give a message. Every other message he had been told to give out – which wasn't all that regular, to be fair – and hadn't been given a choice.

Which was why he just sort of… gaped at his Father when he had been told of his new message. Before he then sighed and went to give Noah his message and then to just sit back and watch the man build a really big boat. Arc. Whatever.

Really, Gabriel was possibly just a little jaded in all of this by now. He just did as he was told. He ignored his other brothers. Michael was no longer fun to be around, and Gabriel honestly believed that Raphael was possibly dropped on his head a few too many times as a fledgling. And maybe had a few megalomaniacal tendencies that really someone should keep an eye on.

Gabriel only felt a little bad for giving that job to his own fledgling, Losanahar. But, who better to watch out for another possible renegade archangel, than the Angel of Faithfulness? And yes, Gabriel was well aware of how amusing it was that his one and only fledgling was the angel of faithfulness. After all, who was more faithful than Gabriel?

So, back on track, Gabriel kicked back and watched Noah build his arc. Collect up a very random selection of animals. Two of each. Gabriel felt sorry for the sodomite animals. He was sure there was bound to be a few. There were hundreds of species after all.

Which weren't all on the arc, by the way. No Noah worked with what he had. Quite a lot of animals seemed quite willing to go on the big boat, but Gabriel contributed that to the fact that Noah had cut down and used a good portion of their homes to build the afore mentioned arc.

And when all the little animals (and the really big ones too) were on the Arc. And Noah was on the arc with his family. Gabriel gave the signal and got the heck out of dodge. And the rains fell.

And for the first time in Gabriel's memory God actually heeded some of Gabriel's concerns and so, contrary to the belief of Noah, not all the humans were wiped out.

God left the ones that had nothing to do with him alone. And Gabriel was really quite happy with that. They really had enough issues on their time without adding more pissy deities to that list.


"What is that?" Gabriel heard a shuffling at the question from his father, and wondered what Veles was doing, before he felt a harsh tug from somewhere inside of him.

"We all need one. You know this. You do know that we're completely fucking with Fate and whoever the hell actually made us in the first place, right?" Veles pointed out, and Gabriel could sense that his father was amused by this.

"It is possible. You want to stop?"

"Too late now. Though, I'm pissed that I'm now a lowercase g god."


One Thousand and Seventy-Four Years Earlier

The thing that the humans seemed to never realise, or remember at least, about Gabriel is that, with the creation of beings with souls and the ability to believe in and worship gods, he was given new jobs. And with the Fall of Lucifer. Gabriel was not only considered to be the silent, watchful and wise Archangel that many fledgling angels would go to for their places and assignments, as well as advice. Gabriel was also made to become a fighter. A destroyer. He saw himself as more a destroyer at least.

After all, not all of God's messages to his people were pleasant. In fact, most of them weren't. And many of them lead to the destruction of hundreds of people. And thus Gabriel was one of those to destroy those towns and cities.

However, God had sent a garrison of just over a hundred angels in order to pass on lessons and knowledge to the humans. But what no one – other than God, He knows everything – expected, was for the angels to become enamoured with those they had been sent to teach.

Once more, Gabriel watched with a heavy heart as his brothers rebelled. In possibly a worse way than Lucifer. They procreated. They created the Nephillim.

And once more, Gabriel was sent to carry out a message that he truly didn't want to give, but felt he had no choice. Only, this time, he was sent as the Angel of Justice as well as God's Messenger.

It was as he, Michael and Michael's garrison were destroying the Nephillim and condemning the Grigori to eternity in Hell, destroying all those who opposed them and God, that Gabriel stood back for a second or two in the slaughter – because that's what it was – to wonder if Michael had broken a little inside when he had been forced to cast Lucifer down into his cage in Hell.

And for the first time in over a millennia, Gabriel questions what his Father's actual plan was in all of this. And why He was slowly becoming more and more withdrawn. Gabriel was soon finding that the only place he had to go for solitude, was the since shut Garden of Eden. His Father was no longer around enough to find solace in His presence.

He was just grateful that not many of his brothers found the same comfort and silence in the Garden, and so his moments alone went generally uninterrupted.


One Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy-Nine Years Earlier

The whispers turned into murmurings, turned into hushed conversations, turned into groups gathered around in corners, and inevitably turned into shouting, yelling, demands. And then, as unthought-of of as something ever could be, it turned into fighting. Angels fighting one another, coercing others to their side. A new type of whispering started and Gabriel was given a new aspect to his job of God's Messenger.

He became one of the forerunners of the uprising war and was the one who refused to pick a side. Well, it is said that, in refusing to pick one side, you automatically pick the opposing side. Which Gabriel thought had some grain of truth. Only, in his case, he picked God. He picked his Father and the one who had accepted and appreciated Gabriel constant, watchful presence. Even if he was seen as the messenger for their Father, Gabriel never really was one to speak much, preferring to watch silently. So he chose to stick by his father.

And part of him loved the humans that had caused this disrupt amongst the garrisons. He chose their Father and the humans. Not Lucifer. Not Michael. The third, silent and mostly unaware side.

And it was quietly that Gabriel watched, horrified as his brothers fought. Then, breaking his millennia of silent watching, Gabriel was asked – not told – asked by his Father to give the message of Lucifer's fate. The fate of the one who started the uprising against God and all they were taught and told to understand and believe. And, given that was what he was created for, Gabriel accepted.

For the first time, Gabriel felt regret for having given the message of Lucifer's fate. He watched Michael cast Lucifer down into Hell. Watched as his oldest brother essentially stripped Lucifer of his wings and Grace. And he felt regret for destroying all that he loved with just one message.

Yet he never stopped believing in his Father's plan for them. And he never stopped loving the humans and all of the creatures on the earth.

He just didn't quite like what he had been asked to do.


"Time to face the music. Hold on to your God socks."

"I'm not wearing socks."

"Well, socks with flip flops would be uncomfortable. Ready for this? Because I'm not sure I am. He'll remember, right?" Gabriel wanted to reassure Veles that he remembered. He remembered everything. Actually, it was giving him a headache.

"I don't know. One way to find out. We can't back out now."


In The Beginning…

Gabriel watched his Father work to create the planets, the stars, and everything in between. He then watched in awe as he slowly began to create the creatures that would evolve – and yes, creationists and evolutionist both got it right – and become the creatures that would rule over the world his Father had created for them one day. He was silent, however, as he watched these creatures being placed on the strangest of the nine planets – though really, was that little one at the end technically a planet. Michael thought so, but Gabriel and Lucifer had their doubts on that one – and he wondered over how patient his Father was to create something so small and fragile, and to have hope it would flourish.

He watched as the huge reptilian creatures ruled the planet, knowing nothing of fear, only of hunger and survival. And he watched, still silent, as they were nearly all wiped out with just one rock colliding with the planet. One 'act of God' to begin a whole motion of 'acts' that would ultimately lead to humanity.

And then, a garden was formed in the desolation, and his Father started to mix up the creatures to create His greatest creations. The ones He made in His image. The ones he gave the choice of Free Will. The choice to follow those who they wished, giving them to ability to create their own religions with no retribution. He gave them the chance of His forgiveness, something no angel had ever truly considered as something they would receive. He created humans and he gave some of them a little something that made them different to the rest of the species. And he put that same something into the actual planet. Gabriel would forever wonder over that. Why give something seemingly lifeless and at the very least, non-sentient, something that it can't appreciate. His Father, upon being asked that very thing, just smiled at Gabriel and told him that all Gods had to follow some rules.

Gabriel, at this point, knew not to question his Father any further on the topic. What his Father said was law to the angels. It just was.

However, as all of this was happening, and Gabriel was silently watching the whole of Creation unfold, Gabriel was also listening. He was silent as he heard the whispers of his brothers and sisters. He heard of their distaste of what their Father was creating. And he knew the instant that, with the good that could come with the humans, too much bad would also come to pass. Gabriel stayed by his Father's side. Ever present as the Voice and Right Hand of God, never leaving God's immediate presence. And thus deciding to ignore the unease that was building inside of him.

Afterall, his Father knew. Knew of the whispers. Knew of the thoughts and feelings of some of his brothers and sisters. He knew. He knew everything, after all. All that was. All that would be. All that would ever come to pass.


"Come back to us, my son. We're not yet ready to let you leave us."


Now

Gabriel jerked up, silently disappointed that he hadn't given the patented Jack Harkness gasp of life, and then blinked at the harsh sunlight hitting his eyes. Completely belying the fact that it was bloody freezing.

"Huh, no gasp. I'm kinda disappointed. G?" Gabriel turned and smirked when he saw Veles grinning back at him, then looked to the side of Veles and locked eyes with his father.

"What are you wearing?"

"You've been dead for over eighteen months and that's the first thing you ask? He does have a point though, G. What are you wearing? We're in the Baltic's and you're wearing Bermuda shorts?" Veles asked, and both tricksters turned to look at the sheepish looking older man, wearing Bermuda shorts and a bright green shirt. "I'd wonder if you'd been taking tips from my old headmaster, but seeing as he was reborn as Boy George…"

"Really?" Gabriel asked, looking at Veles in a sort of disturbed shock, before looking back at his father. "The clothes?"

"I misheard you when you told me to meet you here, Veles. I thought you said Lebak." God admitted, sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck.

"Lebak? Where the hell is that?" Veles asked, looking over at Gabriel to see if he knew.

"Never mind. It's warmer there, anyway. Now! Are you going to tell Gabriel everything, or shall I?" Gabriel narrowed his eyes at that, and moved to sit up, folding his legs in front of him and feeling his wings shift behind him, making him look over his shoulder in shock.

"Er… why are they out?"

"Ah… see… we're fairly certain that you'll be able to hide them… but… we're not a hundred percent so," Veles admitted, biting on his lower lip and wincing, which just made Gabriel more suspicious.

"What did you do? I'm pretty sure I was dead. Like, the permanent kind of dead, no coming back. So how am I here?"

"You were dead," God told him, and then sighed, shocking Gabriel that he was acting so human in front of him and Veles, even though they both know who he was. "Veles hunted me down. He stopped your brother, then started to search for me."

"Yeah, took me almost seven months to find the little bugger mascarading as one of my people! That was kinda ballsy of you, you know." Veles admitted, sending an impressed look to God, who just chuckled.

"No one would look for me there. Especially your brothers, Gabriel. I did not want to be found."

"You're gonna have to find Castiel at least. You sort of broke that little angel," Veles informed him, and Gabriel frowned as he remembered what Castiel looked like the last time he'd seen him.

"Yes, Castiel will be getting a visit from me soon. I know I've got to return. You stopped this ridiculous Apocalypse anyway, so I no longer have to hide." God said, and Gabriel huffed impatiently.

"Bully for Castiel. What the hell did you do to me?" Gabriel asked, and then wondered on his ability to blaspheme without at least feeling a small niggle of shame from doing so.

"Ah, noticed that, huh? Fine. Here's the dealeo. We brought you back, but we changed some things. You're not… well you're not just… I… G?" Veles looked over to God to see if he could help out a little, and Gabriel just felt his frustration rise.

"What?"

"What Veles is trying to explain, is that we had to recreate you from scratch, pretty much. But we soon learnt that, even with my ability to bring any of my children back, it wouldn't work with you. You had embraced your paganism too much to be considered just an Archangel."

"So we had to join our abilities, our powers. No Gods have ever done that before. And well... As you can see, it worked. But now, you're not really an angel. You're not actually a part of Christianity at all, in fact," Veles said as he took up where God had stopped. Gabriel blinked at him and then shook his head in confusion.

"What? Then what the hell am I? Because I'm certainly not human. They don't tend to have wings," Gabriel pointed out with forced calm.

"True. You're a god. Lowercase g," Veles added with a strained grin, that dropped almost as quickly as it had appeared, making Gabriel frown in concern and shift to place a hand on Veles' knee.

"Why is that bad?"

"It's not. Really, it's not. Just… If you're not a part of Christianity, Lo, and I'm the only other religion around. What do you think you're a part of?" Veles asked, shrugging, and smiling weakly. Gabriel looked at him, concerned, before glancing over at his… father? Was he still Gabriel's father? Or was he just… another God. And Gabriel gasped as he remembered what he'd heard when he was… floating.

"You're no longer the only God in your religion? You're a lowercase god? Vel…" Gabriel trailed off and looked at Veles, who just shrugged.

"It was worth it, Lo! So, yeah, I'm still the god of magic and death, but you're now the god of fire, thunder and judgement. Congratulations! I cast the buggers down, and you decide what happens to them! We're both still tricksters, by the way," Veles added, and Gabriel smirked at him.

"What's my name?" Gabriel asked, and Veles titled his head at him before looking at God beside him.

"You can still go by Loki and Gabriel," God said and Gabriel narrowed his eyes at him.

"But?"

"But, my people now have the ingrained knowledge that there is another god in their religion called, Perun. They've always known of you, never realised you've only just been created. Magic is awesome," Veles said with a grin, which faded and he frowned. "You're somehow more liked than me. Somehow, I'm Satan and you're him. How's that work?"

"I'm awesome?"

"Yeah, yeah. You are part of my tree, by the way," Veles commented lightly, before shifting to look at God when he moved.

"I need to leave. Too much celestial power was used here, someone is bound to come looking soon enough. You two should consider leaving too," God pointed out, and Veles nodded before turning to look at Gabriel.

"I guess I'll see you when I see you then?" Gabriel said to his father, who nodded to him with a soft smile, then just faded from view.

"Huh, classy. We gonna head off?" Veles asked Gabriel as they both stared at where God had been moments before.

"Sure. I'm part of your tree, am I?" Gabriel asked, moving to stand up along with Veles, and looking at him with a smirk.

"Yeah, strangest thing. Someone had planted a lily there… my tree now blooms lily flowers, and has a strange lily-like plant wrapping around it's trunk. And it reeks of your magic. Strange really, wanna see it?" Veles asked, reaching out and entwining their fingers.

"Why not?" Gabriel agreed, squeezing Veles' fingers, and then being shocked into laughing out loud when Veles winked at him and then took them away from the cold beach with a snap of his fingers.

End Notes: So this... You ever get half way through a fic and think 'I shouldn't have done this'? Yeah, I got this way about a week before the final deadline. I just... I feel like I made a mistake in writing this and should have left White Rabbit well enough alone.

But, on another note... I really enjoyed giving Gabriel/Loki's side of things. How he felt in Heaven and why he left. I really enjoyed writing little things that made Gabriel into Loki, and okay, I'll admit, one of my favourite things? Making Veles a god (yep, lower-case g). I dunno, I loved that part. It was actually one of the first things I wrote for this fic. Heh.

I have to ask... how many of you thought Gabriel's fledgling was Castiel? *snicker* Yeah, no. Really? Come on, Gabriel creating Castiel, the Angel of Thursday and Temperance? Yeah... I don't see it either. *snort* So yes, that's why I never even considered it. Lol.

So yes, this is the spin off and sort of sequel to White Rabbit and I can categorically say, without a doubt, that i will not ever be writing any more to this. I'm sorry. I just don't think I should and I don't think I could. So yeah, no more to this verse. Make up what kind of havoc Veles and Loki/Gabriel/Perun will wreak.

Just a few other notes:
First, Perun - should you be wondering - is, like Veles, a Slavic god. He's apparently the leader, though Veles and Loki/Perun will be equals.
Second, Yes, I know I changed how Baldur was killed by Loki, but the whole cave and snake thing were true to the lore (I figured, on the whole Baldur thing, if the SPN writers could ignore his death in the first place, I could at least change it).
Third, Scoti was the name of Scotland around the time that The Flood supposedly happened.
Which brings me to my fourth note; if you're like me and kinda pedantic, and have a thing for timelines, then you can work out the dates of most of the events of the Bible. The Old Testament at least. Going by the fact that according to Christianity, this whole planet is about seven thousand years old give or take, then you can count backwards to the events all mentioned (Noah was old).
Finally, and most importantly, those that read the end notes to White Rabbit will possibly recall that Friedrich Wewer was an actual soldier who was killed during World War One on No Man's Land.

I do really hope that you enjoyed this and the end didn't disappoint! And people thought I was just being pedantic about the whole uppercase G God thing... *snicker*