Title: Of Seraphs and Men (2/2)
Rating: Teen/Bordering on Mature for violence and swearing, be warned!
Pairings: Tiny hints at Dean/Castiel towards end, mostly just non romantic Gabriel/Castiel brother times.
Genre: Family/ Drama
Spoilers: Changing Channels episode, themes from Season 5.
Warnings: Butchering of Christian/Angel mythology, some violence and blood this chapter, siblicide (killing of siblings), swearing, glorious angst, aaaand that's it I think.
Word Count: 5,431
Summary: Heaven is falling apart and all Gabriel can do is watch.
A/N at end of chapter!
Not a day went by when Michael and Lucifer weren't arguing. Worst of all, heaven was starting to divide as well. There were those that agreed with Lucifer, that it was unfair to cater to mankind, and those who were loyal to Michael, to God's will.
It really kicked off when in a fit of defiance, Lucifer wiped out the Neanderthals.
Heaven erupted in a clamor of raised voices and even a few physical fights. The cupids had all hidden themselves in the library, only occasionally emerging to shriek in shrill voices at the other angels to stop.
Gabriel watched the commotion with a frown.
It had been amusing at first, the archangel had even set up his own viewing spot, complete with pilfered future popcorn and red liquorices. He and Balthazar had thrown popcorn at a spluttering Zachariah, booed at Raphael and even dared to shout 'encore!' at a thunderous Metatron when he had finished a particularly long-winded speech.
But this had been ongoing for several centuries now, and Gabriel was tired of it. He knew it would pass eventually; Father wouldn't let Heaven dissolve into true chaos, this was just something they had to learn from obviously.
Still, Gabriel thought the Big Guy could hurry things up a bit.
Castiel fidgeted worriedly beside him, wings twitching nervously. "Gabriel, there has been talk that heaven is to go to war."
Gabriel rolled his eyes, shaking his head determinedly. "It won't come to that Castiel. They just have to get all this out of their systems. They'll calm down."
Raphael snorted to the other side of him, arms crossed and wings stiff. "You can't really believe that Gabriel." Her face was grim as she watched two angels beat and buffet each other with their wings, rolling along the floor and screeching. "We all know the inevitable is coming. Lucifer is not going to stand down this time. Heaven will divide, and we will go to war."
Gabriel laughed out loud. "Are you crazy? This is Michael and Lucifer we're talking about here! Ok so they've never really seen eye to eye, but they're our brothers. They love each other. Lucifer wouldn't want that to happen and Michael would never allow it."
He winced as a particularly angry cherub swooped down from above, berating the two on the ground with shill words.
Gabriel shook his head, buffeting Castiel playfully with a wing. "Have faith brother, this'll work out."
How wrong he had been.
The skies roared with battle, heaven's pristine white hallways and pantheons stained red with blood. Angel clashed against angel, brother against sister. And all over the battle field swooped monstrous abominations, trailing black smoke in their wake as they descended on Michael's troops.
Any hope Gabriel had harbored of Lucifer redeeming himself had been destroyed with the first creation of such an abomination; twisting their Father's creation into something foul and evil.
Lucifer had gone too far.
Gabriel's wings were heavy as he spun, burying his blade into the throat of a male demon. The creature died in a burst of flame, hissing in outrage. The archangel's armor was dull and slick with blood, his feathers matted and stiff as he fought his way through swathes of the Damned. In front of him, Anael cut down a younger angel, the seraph exploding in a scream of white light.
Gabriel fought his way towards her, keeping his eyes away from the fallen form of yet another dead sibling.
Anael was no wet nurse or school teacher any longer. She was a commander now, and she bellowed out orders to the grim-faced youngsters behind her, wings a fiery arch over her head. She wore the light leather armor of the common foot-soldier, and Gabriel suddenly felt far too bright next to her in his own glimmering metal.
A demon lunged at him, but Gabriel dispatched it easily. Gritting his teeth, he focused on the demons surrounding Anael's garrison, and with a thought, burnt them all from existance. The task drained him, and he wobbled unsteadily on his feet, wings shivering. Anael looked around bewildered, before noticing the archangel.
"Gabriel!" Her lips flattened in a disapproving line. "You should be back with the General, not on the front line."
Now if that wasn't a hoot and a half, Raphael calling herself the General. Like this was some sort of war game.
Gabriel shook his head, the dizziness dissipating. He had bought them some time, but more demons would descend again.
"Anael, I'm looking for Castiel. Please tell me you've seen him."
Castiel had wanted to join the fighting, to fight beside his brothers and sisters in glorious battle. Gabriel had wanted to stay out of it, keep Castiel safe with him and let the other idiots sort it out between themselves. But the archangel's best laid plans never seemed to work with the seraph, and Castiel had ignored him, joining the garrison despite Gabriel's protests.
Gabriel had seriously contemplated just hog-tying the insufferable youngster and stashing him away with the cowering cupids, just to keep him out of trouble.
Anael arched a delicate eyebrow. The angel had settled on a red-headed female form, and Gabriel spared a quick glance of appreciation that she still managed to look attractive, even bloody and smack bang in the middle of civil war.
"We've been a little busy if you can believe it Gabriel. Unfortunately I can't keep him under my wing 24/7, what with a war currently underway."
Gabriel's wings stiffened at her tone, and his eyes hardened. "Sarcasm doesn't suit you, Anael."
The red-head sighed, wings twitching in annoyance, but she bowed her head in apology.
"I haven't seen him, Gabriel." Her eyes softened briefly. "I understand you're worried, but Castiel isn't a fledgling anymore and wanted to fight. If he has been killed, it is for the greater goo-"
"Where did you assign him?" Gabriel demanded. He wasn't about to let Anael spout off more of that "die for a good cause" crap. He'd heard it enough from Raphael.
Anael cast a glance behind her at her garrison. "He was with Uriel. Usually I pair him with Balthazar but unfortunately that one fell in combat…"
Gabriel was already flying before she could finish.
He found Uriel in the middle of a battle. A group of Lucifer's angels and demons had laid siege to the library, and Uriel, along with a small group of loyal others, were pushing them back, keeping them at bay.
The demons scattered as Gabriel landed; black smoky shapes retreating to the main battle field where archangels were fewer.
Uriel yanked his blade free from the throat of another angel, and Gabriel averted his eyes from the light as the angel died. He caught a glimpse of indigo wings though, and his heart sank. Hael.
The young angel looked unimpressed as Gabriel mounted the marble steps towards him, wiping his blade nonchantly on one thigh.
"Where's Castiel?" Gabriel demanded. Uriel shrugged uninterestedly, sheathing his blade.
"Who knows? We were initially defending the left flank but fell back when Lucifer deployed several Nephilim there. I lost track of him there."
Cursing colorfully, Gabriel took off again.
He could hear the distant bellows of the Nephilim, and followed the sound. The giants were happily plowing through a line of angels, demons swooping down behind them to finish off any stragglers. Gabriel took a few of the giants down, freeing the diminished line of angels to begin fighting back, but the archangel still couldn't sense Castiel. He paused above the bloody battle, wings spread.
Unless….the seraph wasn't in heaven.
There was a great deal of fighting on earth as the battle spilled out of heaven, and Gabriel descended, wings stretched wide and straining as he pushed himself to the limit.
The valley had once been a peaceful place that a small tribe of humans had settled down in. Now the humans lay scattered across the battle field, dead eyes wide and disbelieving at their luck at having settled right beneath an angelic battlefield. A little distance away from the town, in a scorched and flattened field, Gabriel finally saw the tell tale glimmer of grace he was looking for.
The young angel was on his knees, wings hanging limply from his shoulders. It looked like the seraph had been dragged to earth; breaking his wings in the headlong fall. He was unarmed and swayed drunkenly, head drooping. In front of him stood a woman clad in a simple blood splattered toga, a long deadly looking blade in one hand as she advanced on him.
Tucking his wings close to his body, Gabriel shot to the ground in a ball of fury. At the last minute he spread his wings, slamming into the earth feet first and sending a shockwave rippling along the rocky ground. His wings spread protectively, hiding the injured seraph from view from the woman, eyes angry slits.
The woman looked surprised for a moment, before hiding it behind a triumphant smirk. Her eyes were all white as she clicked her tongue at the furious archangel.
"Well well. Look what we have here, Gabriel the archangel. In the flesh." She tapped the blade against her hip. "Fancy seeing you here. Do you come to this war often?"
Gabriel didn't move from his protective crouch. "Lilith," he snarled. "Surprised Lucifer let you up off your back long enough to actually do something."
The demon's eyes darkened slightly, before she shrugged, a false smile in place. She cocked a hip, blade glinting in the dull light and Gabriel could see it was wet with blood. Castiel's blood.
"I wasn't gonna hurt the little darling. Much," she cooed. "Lucifer just wants-"
"Kidnapping seraphs for his army now?" Gabriel interrupted, fury roiling in his stomach. "Wow guess that whole recruitment campaign isn't going so well huh?"
The demon tittered, flicking her blonde hair nonchantly. "Not just any seraph," her black eyes glittered maliciously. "Just him. Castiel, the littlest angel. The very last to feel the touch of God."
There was an amused chuckle behind her, and the demon moved aside, purring happily as familiar figure came out of the shadows, running the edge of a wing over the female demon's arm.
"What Lilith means, is he's Lucifer's last."
Gabriel stiffened as Azazel came into view, face splattered with blood and smirking. The archangel shuffled back a few steps, feeling Castiel lean against his back with a muffled groan.
"Azazel," he growled. "Figured you'd be lurking around nearby. Surprised you stopped kissing Lucifer's ass long enough to actually show up."
Lucifer's general just smiled. "Always a pleasure Gabriel. But if you don't mind, I have business with Castiel. Lucifer has been patient with you, but the seraph is his and the dark Prince wants him back."
Gabriel saw red, hand gripping his blade so hard he felt it cut his own flesh. "Castiel isn't his. That self-righteous prick can go screw himself!" He shouted.
Azazel just smiled. "Now, now, Gabriel, don't be jealous. You took care of Castiel well, and Lucifer is grateful to you for that. But it's time you hand over my little brother."
Gabriel glared at the angel, feeling Castiel shakily grip his wing from behind. It dawned on him then, what the angel was actually implying, and Gabriel grimaced, veins thrumming with the urge to just smite everything in a ten mile radius.
"You sick delusional idiot!" he spat. "What do you think you are? Lucifer's son? That's blasphemy!"
Azazel laughed, wings jittering in amusement. "Oh Gabriel. Poor, poor thing. My father isn't missing, unlike yours. My father doesn't abandon his children." The angel shook his head pityingly. "Lucifer is a far greater Father than God could ever be."
It was the worst kind of blasphemy, and with a cry of disgust, Gabriel turned quickly, gathering Castiel in his arms. He wasn't a fledgling anymore, but the young angel grabbed at him like one, fingers digging desperately into the chinks of the archangel's armor as Gabriel gathered the seraph to him. Castiel's head rolled limply, eyes clouded with pain, and Gabriel straightened, turning to glare at the two creatures behind him.
Azazel looked angry now, wings puffing slightly in irritation. "Give me the seraph, Gabriel," he demanded. "I have no wish to fight you."
Gabriel snarled at him, wings bristling. "If you or any of your filthy demons ever puts a finger on Castiel…" His whole body was shaking with rage, his wings puffed and spreading wider aggressively. "…I swear to God Himself, I will end you. And that's a promise."
Lilith lunged forward, but Gabriel was already gone, wings flapping down hard and pushing away from the earth. He flew hard and far, ignoring the enraged screeches behind him, ducking past other angels as they descended to join the fight and demons as they shot by.
The archangel landed on a quiet mountaintop, startling a herd of grazing sheep as he sank to the ground wearily, Castiel still held tightly in his arms.
The seraph was heavily wounded, and Gabriel held his charge close to his chest, focusing his energy on healing the bleeding wounds as he ran a shaking hand over Castiel's slack face.
Slowly life seemed to return back to the young angel, and he struggled briefly in Gabriel's arms, wings flapping uselessly. Gabriel pressed a kiss to his forehead, cradling the seraph close as he continued to heal the broken bones and cuts one by one.
Those blue eyes finally opened, and Gabriel smiled in crippling relief as they focused on him, blinking slowly.
"Gabriel?" Castiel asked.
The archangel smiled, not even caring that he was rocking a nearly full grown angel in his arms as if Castiel were still a little fledgling.
"Hey kiddo. Can't get rid of me that easily."
Castiel winced as he sat up more fully, hand rising to loosely grasp Gabriel's long feathers absently.
"What…I…" His brow furrowed and Castiel frowned. "Lilith. She surprised me in heaven and dragged me to earth. She kept saying something about Lucifer wanting me back…" The seraph looked up at him with confused eyes.
"She kept saying I was the last one…what does that mean?"
Gabriel brushed some dried blood off Castiel's cheek, eyes hard. There was no way Castiel needed to know just how messed up this whole situation was. For the first time, Gabriel found himself lying to his charge.
"Ignore her, kid, she's a demon. They lie. Probably wanted to throw you off your game." He looked down in mock-anger. "Which almost seemed to work by the way."
Castiel smiled slightly, mouth opening to say something when the earth suddenly trembled. Both angels glanced up at the sky with wide eyes.
The dark clouds that had gathered had erupted into a ball of bright flame; engulfing the sky in a terrifying wave of holy fire. The earth shook, roaring beneath their feet, and Castiel clung tighter to Gabriel, breathless and afraid.
"What's happening?" he shouted fearfully, struggling to be heard over the noise.
Gabriel watched the sky in horrified awe, the yellow shifting into a fierce bloody red. Angels were screaming and shouting; demons screeching in agony as the light blinded them, forcing them down to the earth. Lightening rippled across heaven, piercing through the clouds and ripping deep cracks in the scorched dirt.
A terrible wind whipped across the mountain top, a vicious whirlwind heading for the jagged crack in the earth. Gabriel could see the wind capture demons as they attempted to escape, wrapping them inside its cyclone as it pushed them down into the dark abyss.
"Michael," Gabriel whispered.
He knew what was to come, and he quaked at it, terrified beyond words at what it meant. He hugged Castiel tighter to his chest, pushing the seraph's head into his neck as the young angel tried to turn his face to see.
"Don't look!" the archangel bellowed, wings snapped wide and straining, buffeted by the wind. "Don't you dare watch this!"
Castiel wrapped his arms around Gabriel's neck, his face tucked tightly into his brother's neck. Gabriel could feel the seraph sobbing against him, and could only press his cheek against Castiel's bowed head as he stared upwards, his own eyes blank and devastated. Both angels knew what was coming.
It was almost too blinding to watch, but Gabriel forced himself to. It was his punishment, for not taking Lucifer's threats seriously, for believing that everything would work out ok.
For having faith.
The Morningstar's fall was not quick or subtle. He fell from Heaven in a blaze of fire; his voice screaming and carrying through all creation. Something in Gabriel died as he watched the flaming inferno that was Lucifer, slowly descend into the deep crack in the earth; trapped in that dark place with his demons.
Then, it was over. With a stuttering groan, the earth shifted back together, sealing Lucifer inside.
Gabriel sat there on the mountaintop, staring dumbly into space as Castiel cried against him, deep shuddering sobs shaking the angel's battered body.
It wasn't a hard decision. Leaving.
Nothing was the same. Michael was a different angel now; he was rarely seen outside his quarters. When he did emerge, he wandered the alabaster corridors with a faraway broken look, like he wasn't really there.
Raphael however was in her element, piecing back heaven into a way she deemed more efficient. With Michael a broken shell, heaven turned to her to lead them out of the smoking ruins, and the archangel took to her new role happily. There weren't nests anymore; instead there were garrisons and barracks, multitudes of armories lined with lethal and obscure weapons.
It had been a heartbreaking experience for Gabriel; his carefully constructed nest where he had spent so many peaceful moments with his little brother, was flattened to make room for a larger armory and barracks. It was like Gabriel didn't recognize anything anymore. Not even Castiel.
The little fledgling had finally grown up.
Under Raphael's new organization and strict training, he was a soldier. And soldiers did not question, or doubt, or fear. They did not ask for stories, pester older brothers for just one more glimpse of the ocean, swim with fish, or fly into a hurricane just for the fun of it. They did not curl up under the night sky, tracing the constellations and far away worlds with eyes glittering with awe, as their older brother murmured intricate stories and tall tales to them.
They did nothing but obey orders.
Gabriel had tried to dissuade him at first, that Castiel would just be another toy soldier in Raphael's master plan of remodeling heaven and her constant battle against Hell. But Castiel was a grown angel now, a far better strategist than Gabriel had ever been, and a warrior. He joined Anael's garrison, and Gabriel found himself alone for the first time in many a millennia.
He had no place in this new heaven. Raphael had tried to put him in change of his own garrison, but Gabriel refused. He wasn't made for war, and sending angels out as cannon-fodder to be ripped apart by demons and the like didn't sit well with him.
One day he just couldn't take it anymore, and Gabriel left heaven for good.
He sought solace and comfort by hiding amongst the pagans, crafting himself a new identity where no angel would think to look for him. It didn't take much power to convince the Nordic deity, Odin, that he was his son Loki. Old codger didn't tend to pay that much attention anyways, he was always off battling Ice Giants, drinking mead or pillaging wenches. Gabriel may have joined in on the pillaging wenches crusade a few times and mead drinking, but had found his real calling in being a Trickster.
Heaven forgot about him, and that suited him just fine. After a while, he too forgot about heaven, and forgot tiny fledglings with inky ebony wings and bright blue eyes.
The righteous man had been born.
By the time Gabriel heard about it he was somewhere in central Europe, terrorizing the British aristocracy. He'd forgotten what the child's birth really meant, until about four years later. Another child was born to the same family, a child that would one day bring about the apocalypse.
Gabriel heard through the grapevine about a yellow-eyed demon with plans for the child, and an unbidden image of burnt sepia wings on a long extinct plain flitted through his memory. Azazel.
Now if that wasn't a blast from the past.
He was all set to just ignore the whole thing and continue on his merry Trickster way, but he remembered everything now, and it ate at him. Azazel's words echoed through his head, "My father doesn't abandon his children", and worried the fallen angel was back to make good on his threats on a certain seraph, Gabriel decided to see what the little prick was up to. Just to make sure.
The house Gabriel arrived at would seem normal enough at first glance to a human, but it might as well have had supernatural police tape stretched all around it blinking 'SHIT GOING DOWN', in huge flashing red lights. The place was under such heavy angelic guard it was ridiculous. Gabriel hadn't seen that much muscle and serious looking Raphael clones, since the birth of Mary's child.
Even more confusingly, the angels just stepped aside as Azazel approached, not batting an eye as the fallen angel moved past them smirking. Gabriel didn't dare move any closer in case he was detected, but watched from a distance as screams suddenly erupted from the house; the upper level bursting into flames. Still none of the angels moved.
There was a lot of shouting, and Gabriel jumped as the front door slammed open, a tiny boy struggling outside with a crying baby in his arms. The boy struggled down the wooden steps, eyes wild and frightened as the baby wailed into the night air.
Reaching the bottom, the boy's little legs gave out, and with a frightened yell, he toppled forward. Gabriel almost didn't dare look, expecting the baby to be squashed.
There was a flutter of wings however, and suddenly, Castiel was there.
Gabriel felt winded as he watched the seraph catch the boy gently, preventing the baby from dropping, then placed the boy back on his feet. The boy couldn't see him, and looked around confused for a moment, before a man was running out of the house and grabbed him from behind; carrying both boy and baby to safety.
Azazel sauntered down the steps slowly as the whole roof caught ablaze. He smirked at Castiel as he passed by, and Gabriel stiffened. The fallen angel made no move towards the seraph however, merely passing him by and disappearing in a flap of featherless wings and sulfur.
Castiel disappeared a moment later, as did the other angels, and Gabriel frowned, trying to process what he just saw. It seemed there was a larger game at play now.
What that was, he didn't know. Nor did he want to, but something in his gut told him something big was on its way.
It was stupid. He didn't even know what he'd been trying to do; he was just so curious. Sometimes he got confused over which part of him was what; if he was still Gabriel the archangel, or he really was a Trickster.
It was so easy to lose himself in it. And there was just something about the Winchesters. They reminded him so much of times long go, of two other brothers who used to love each other the same way.
He hated them for it.
The whole supernatural community was buzzing about them, Dean this, Sam that, and it got on his nerves. So he toyed with the Winchesters, taking out his frustration on them. It was fun to begin with, watching them struggle to figure out what he was. Then playing with Sam's perception of time and killing his brother over and over again. Ok so that had been pretty mean of him, but it had been so much fun. Course, he had to hide the two chuckleheads from the other angels before embarking on that game. It was worth it though.
At the time he hadn't understood their role in the game; why they were so important. Then he heard about the siege on hell, and things started clicking together. Horrible things. It was like watching history repeat all over again.
He just wanted it over with. All of it. He heard that angels were taking vessels on earth, Castiel included. He heard that the Righteous man had been saved, by none other than Castiel himself and had even felt a tiny glimmer of pride. But even that small glimmer of pride wasn't enough to outweigh the fear.
War was coming again, and this time Gabriel wasn't sure there would be a victor.
That's it, he was done, screw everything. He was going to find a deep dark hole to go crawl into, and just never, ever come out.
The water soaked his hair and clothes, dripping into his eyes as Gabriel watched the ring of holy fire die down, listening to the heavy boots of the Winchesters as they walked away, his pride stinging.
He kept his eyes on the ground, avoiding looking at the figure standing in front of him, but he could feel those intense eyes on him, waiting. Finally, as the last flame spluttered and died, Gabriel sighed into the silence.
"Do you remember, Castiel?" he asked wearily. "The fish? If I had known all the trouble that damn thing would cause, I would have let you step on it."
Castiel didn't move, but Gabriel heard the rustle of his wings as they shifted.
The fledgling was old now; his voice low and deep. Gabriel raised his eyes, something fluttering in his chest as he properly looked. It was almost funny; Castiel had taken a vessel that was incredibly close to the form he manifested in heaven, dark hair and pale skin. Gabriel didn't know if he should laugh or cry as he stared back into oh-so-familiar eyes, Castiel's grace still shining through in an iridescent blue hue.
"You left." There was no accusation in Castiel's words, just stating a fact.
Gabriel shrugged helplessly, feeling like a young kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "I…I just couldn't. I still can't." The explanation didn't make much sense, and Gabriel sighed irritably, casting his eyes towards the ceiling where the water still dripped down. "I'm so tired of it all."
Castiel looked solemn, hands tucked into the pockets of a long beige trench coat. "A wise brother once told me, it is all God's plan. That everything is as He intended."
Gabriel smiled wryly, dragging his eyes back to look at the angel in front of him. "Maybe that brother wasn't so wise after all. Just a silly old fool who believed in fairytales."
Castiel's gaze didn't waver. "That same wise brother also told me to have faith. So I do. Sometimes that's all I have."
Gabriel shook his head slowly. "I don't have faith anymore Castiel. God left us, Lucifer left us, heck even I left."
Something flickered in those blue eyes, and Castiel's jaw clenched. "Gabriel. I cannot put into words the pain I felt when you left. Many presumed you dead, and mourned you as such."
Gabriel winced at that, but Castiel just continued talking.
"I was…perhaps I still am, angry, that you could do such a thing. Not just to heaven, but, to me."
Yeah well, cowardice thy name is Gabriel. "You didn't need me anymore kiddo," he said lightly, regretting the nickname as soon as it escaped his lips.
You grew up kid. I couldn't bear it.
Castiel took a step forward, and Gabriel could see his wings then, manifesting and arching towards him slightly. "I will always need you brother. And I used to think you needed me too."
There was a lump in his throat, and Gabriel ducked his head, blinking furiously. Castiel didn't comment on his sudden silence, eyes still trained on the archangel's bowed head.
"Lucifer is free, Gabriel," Castiel murmured. "If not stopped, he will destroy mankind."
Gabriel managed to get himself back under control, and he swallowed hard. "Maybe that's what God intended."
Castiel glared at him, and Gabriel felt like laughing, remembering how the angel used to look at him like that, before…well before. "You know that it is not. Mankind is worth saving."
Gabriel smirked, crossing his arms, feeling his Trickster mask sliding back into place. "Not in my experience. Sure you're not just talking about Dean-o? I mean, I know the man is like sex on bowed legs, but really Castiel-"
"It's not just Dean," Castiel interrupted. "Though I will not deny I care for him a great deal. This is about all of them, Gabriel. Lucifer will destroy the earth in a scourge of fire. Nothing will remain."
That would suck. No more candy. Or naked ladies. Damn. Gabriel rolled his eyes, shrugging his shoulders helplessly.
"So what do you want me to do?" He allowed his wings to finally emerge; joints creaking and snapping as he stretched them. He had hidden them for so long, they felt alien to him. "I don't know if you've noticed, but Heaven is one huge mess. Raphael would probably just kill me the moment I set foot in her domain."
Castiel smiled slightly at him, just a tiny quirk at the corner of his mouth.
Gabriel felt like he didn't know this angel; an adult Castiel. He was quieter, more serious than the mischievous fledgling that had shared Gabriel's nest and heart. Did this Castiel still love the Ocean? Did he still whisper to dragonflies, or watch the stars and remember the stories Gabriel used tell him?
Gabriel didn't know. But Father, did he want to.
"I just ask that you have faith, Gabriel. That you will help us and when the day comes…you will fight."
Gabriel hesitated, unsure. Fight with the Winchesters? For them? There was only so much an angel could take. It would be so much easier to just go back to his simple life of the Trickster, ignoring heaven's juvenile dispute.
But that hadn't exactly worked the last time he tried the whole 'ignore it until it goes away' tactic. Maybe Castiel was right. He couldn't sit out on this one again. Not when he could actually do something this time around. Maybe even slap some sense into Lucifer that was several million years overdue.
"I can't promise anything on the faith front Castiel but…" Gabriel sighed. So much for hiding. "I'll help you, and when the day comes…."
Gabriel smiled, and though it was tired, and probably broken, he could see the spark of hope leap in those blue eyes. "I'll fight for you."
Gabriel's wings were arching forward tentatively, nervously. Castiel watched them for a moment, before his own answered; curling forward. Gabriel felt close to hysterics as the younger angel opened his arms, walking forward with look of uncertainty on his face, as if he wasn't sure he was allowed to do this.
Gabriel grabbed him fiercely, arms wrapping around him desperately. Castiel was taller than him now, which made him chuckle slightly, and after initially freezing, Castiel wrapped his own arms around the archangel, relaxing into his embrace.
Gabriel's wings shuddered happily, brushing against Castiel's lovingly. Those ebony wings he had groomed for so long were scarred now; singed by the flames of hell, and Gabriel trailed his long feathers along their edges.
"I missed you, Gabriel," Castiel murmured quietly, almost shyly against his shoulder. Like it was an admission of weakness.
Gabriel blinked his eyes furiously, wrapping the two of them in his wings tightly. "I missed you too, kiddo. You have no idea how much."
Azazel had been wrong. Castiel wasn't Lucifer's.
Castiel was his, and Gabriel wasn't going to leave his fledgling again.
A/N: I had way too much fun writing Gabriel. Sorry for a pretty angst ridden chapter, but I tried to make it hopefully optimistic in the end! I might actually expand this little drabble into a larger story at some point in the future, I'd love to explore the whole Lucifer-thinks-Castiel-is-his-son thing, but we'll see. Thanks for reading guys, leave me a review if you enjoyed it! :D
Edit: This now has a sequel! Seraphs and Phoenix Wings :)