Status: OneShot; Complete
Characters: Gabriel, Lucifer
Disclaimer: SPN belongs to the mastermind Eric Kripke, CW and others, I'm just playing.
Warnings: unbeta'ed, spoilers for "Hammer of the Gods", possibly OOC (but Gabriel comes with so many persona's by default, I'm not too sure about that – and Lucifer is the devil, so him dancing to Heaven's tune makes no sense in the first place)
Feedback: most welcome and appreciated
Summary: Alternative ending to "Hammer of the Gods". 'Figures that the day I decide to listen to a bloody Winchester will be my last,' Gabriel thinks with a lopsided grin that turns into a grimace as pain blossoms in his chest...
The blade, infused with his brother's essence, plunges deep into Gabriel's core with a sickening crunch, forcing his true form into the confines of his vessel. He is trapped inside a physical form like no angel was ever meant to be. His focus shifts for a second, feeling how his cells die all round him, one by one – it is what happens to humans every second of their lives but Archangels are immortal.
'Figures that the day I decide to listen to a bloody Winchester will be my last,' he thinks with a lopsided grin that turns into a grimace as pain blossoms in his chest.
"Amateur hocus-pocus, really, Gabriel? Illusions and a false bottom? Did you forget? You learned all your tricks from me, little brother," Lucifer says, but his tone is mild and oddly fond. His grip tightens to keep Gabriel upright with the ease of a being to which weight is nothing more than an abstract concept.
That mockery of an embrace feels like coming home, and Gabriel thinks: 'That's irony for you.'
He hears and vibrates with the frantic pounding of his vessels' heart while his grace burns and twists to get away from the dying flesh, but he can't move, can barely gulp in air. The sword's point only nicked his essence so far, his physical body suffering the brunt of the attack. He can taste the blood, a coppery flood bubbling up his throat.
Lucifer's face is so close that they share each others breaths and his eyes are all Gabriel sees as he drags his own open to escape the darkness behind his lids that never before scared him. They are golden, all four of them share that color, but his are a shade brighter, as befits the Morningstar, the Lightbringer. Gabriel can't decipher their look, but something is there and gone as he groans in pain and his legs give out beneath him.
The flare of his wounded grace subsides with Lucifer this close and they are back to the irony of his essence reacting as if his brother hasn't changed, has not become the enemy of all living beings. But his presence, his soul, his light – it's the closest Gabriel has felt to his brothers of the Host in many millenniums. It makes him want to weep with joy and horror for everything that is lost and the knowledge what the future will bring – because he didn't want to get involved, because he failed. Running away never worked out right for him, it seemed.
"You could have stopped. It was your decision," Lucifer says, possibly more in response to Gabriel's thoughts than his failed attack.
Gabriel's gaze flickers to his creation, his illusion, and sees his own face staring back at him in shock before it dissolves into particles of light that fade before they touch the gray carpet. He thinks about Kali and Dean Winchester, remembers the faint rumble of the Impala's engine he had heard and knows they are safe – that might be enough of an achievement for one night of heroism.
He chokes on more blood, it clings to him and suffocates him – Lucifer reeks of it too – and winces as his cough shifts the blade that impales him. Time has stretched itself thin, like a bubblegum, creeping away to torture him. If the sword is pressed the slightest hint further his grace will be severed.
"You could have, too," Gabriel forces out and a fine mist of red hits Lucifer's human cheek. He can't see that shell, its decaying flesh, though, because his eyes are fixed on the truth behind the mask and there is only perfect beauty to be found.
Lucifer seems to consider this and his smile is almost wistful. "Your soul screams with the wish to live."
The comment sounds offhand but is true enough, his grace's struggle to survive is desperate enough that Gabriel almost shakes apart in his brothers firm hold.
Abruptly, Lucifer pulls the blade out and steps away from the white light and blood, spilling from the wound. Gabriel gasps in shock and drops to his knees. His hands rise on instinct to cover the hole and it burns beneath his palms.
Gabriel feels a bit cheated somehow – this night is not the brightest of his existence. "Fuck! If you never meant to kill me, why stab me in the first place?"
Lucifer raises an eyebrow at him. "Reflex." He shrugs at Gabriel's incredulous stare. "What? You tried to kill me first."
"So we're even now?"
"Why?" Gabriel can't do anything to change how small the question sounds.
"You are my little brother," Lucifer says, tossing Gabriel's sword aside – it clatters away and comes to rest under one of the conference tables. "Did you truly think our bond lost its meaning? That's Micheal, not me."
Gabriel can't say anything to that, he's not willing to risk setting his brother off. "No, I meant -"
"Zachariah used to say that 'Dad left the building' – did you know that?" Lucifer steps closer, within reach. He doesn't wait for Gabriel to catch his ragged breath for an answer. "He's right. But still I burst with power and hear the Host as clearly as my own children's prayers. Why do you think that is?"
Gabriel just frowns up at him and shudders when fingertips brush first his right then his left temple and warmth rushes through him like a balm, softening the pain and making his soul sing with the joy of recognition.
"Father decided not to intervene, Gabriel. He left us to grow up, to force us to finally use his gift of free will. And I have decided a long time ago to change the rules of this game."
"That's quite the statement after all that crap about destiny," Gabriel comments.
He can feel his vessel's flesh knitting together and his grace soar, but he plops down to sit cross legged before his brother who was supposed to kill him tonight but didn't. Lucifer, his true form, looks so bright and golden and true, just like on that fateful day, when Michael denied him his help – and all went to Hell.
The memory makes Gabriel shudder. "Micheal will kill you."
Lucifer shrugs, six wings and mortal flesh moving. "He is the good son after all, and what else to expect from such a one track mind?"
He offers his hand and Gabriel takes it without hesitation, allowing himself to be pulled up. The touch radiates warmth and standing so close again he can smell the fresh scent of icy air around his brother – it is stronger than drying blood and decay. It takes him far too long to let that hand go, but he figures he has a right to be a bit sentimental.
Lucifer smirks – the ass! – but doesn't comment.
"Remember, little brother – you made your own choice tonight. You sided with the Winchester's. No more standing on the sidelines for you, and good luck - dealing with those two you will need it."
It was less a warning than a well meant advice to avoid the crossfire. Gabriel nods his understanding but then his brother turns around to leave and that's more of a shock than it should be.
"Wait! What are you planning, Lucifer? Brother - "
Lucifer is smiling now – with his back turned to him, Gabriel can't see it, but it lights up the whole room; Lightbringer.
"Tricksters like surprises – don't they?"
Lucifer vanishes with a flutter of wings and leaves a bewildered Gabriel behind who cannot decide whether he fears or longs for their next meeting.
Note: I might write a sequel, but I'm not yet sure...