Oh my gosh I am so sorry I haven't updated this story in forever! I honestly was so wrapped up in The Feather Effect stuff that I haven't had the time. This is one of the last two more definite chapters but there may be a few more depending on if there are enough people who would want to read the ideas. I'll write the ideas when the time comes.
But here is one more chapter filled with a mixture of fluff and angst. Please enjoy and thank you all so much for the support. You are all truly inspiring.
. . .
Chapter 9: Azire:
Gabriel awoke from his 'angel-slumber' to the roaring of thunder and the flashes of lightning. The Heavens seemed to shake and quake as a fight erupted from the room where he lay. He could hear the angels' shouts as clear as day and it made his grace coil within itself with the memories of the day Lucifer was thrown into the Pit.
He slowly climbed to his feet and stretched, allowing his wings to spread wide, the bones in the appendages cracking pleasingly and the feathers flaring. He shook himself and blinked a few times as his eyes adjusted to the scene around him.
He was in one of the Throne Rooms…the one for archangels where they were to relax and watch over the rest of Heaven. Usually, the room would be filled with the brilliant white-blue light of Michael and the soft green light of Raphael mixed in with the most stunning light that had been Lucifer…until Lucifer was cast down. At the moment, Michael's light was crackling with electrical energy and blue flames that seemed to engulf all around them. Raphael's light was darkening like a blanket of soil was being thrown over a white floor. His wings were filled with electricity, causing the lightning to crack down upon the usually white floor. Michael's wings were flared wide, thrashing as he shouted obscenities at Raphael, who shouted right back.
Gabriel felt a part of him become hallow as he watched his brother's fighting. He just couldn't take it anymore. First Lucifer and now Raphael and Michael were fighting...Gabriel was losing every motive he had for being an angel. He could feel his warm, sun-tickled golden grace stream through the darkened room that looked more like a small battlefield in a midnight lightning storm. He thrashed his wings and shot up in the air, letting them guide him to where Michael was throwing Raphael into the ground with a sickening bang.
Gabriel's warmth seemed to startle Michael. He had lost his hold on Raphael and was shoved back. Gabriel grunted as Michael's weight crashed into him, causing him to stumble in mid-air. He held Michael close, trying to let his warm grace sooth the elder archangel but Michael fought it and thrashed away.
"What are you doing, Gabriel?" Raphael asked as he stopped a good space away from Michael.
"This fighting needs to stop!" Gabriel shouted "We are brothers. We should not be doing this."
Michael's expression was stone cold and Raphael's was blank and void of emotion.
"This does not concern you," Raphael said slowly.
Gabriel was losing it. He felt as his grace began to swell and burn fiery hot…not warm like sunlight but more like the sun itself burning a hole into the room "Lucifer was not my fight, either but I still lost a brother that day."
Michael's eyes turned pained for a moment as he didn't say anything. Raphael was silent for a moment "Lucifer is no brother of ours."
Gabriel clenched his fists, sending a wave of fire at Raphael, who just barely dodged it. His eyes lit with fury as he threw electricity to Gabriel, who was hit full force. Gabriel winced when he felt his body ignite with agony as he smashed onto the floor, wings crumpling beneath him.
He was done…no more of this fighting. He couldn't stand it. Without another word, he gave each of his brothers a harsh look before leaving the room. It pained him to think it would be the last time he saw them but if all they were going to do was fight then he would have no part of it.
. . .
Castiel stared with wide eyes as the Heaven he was in began to fill with dark clouds. He had no idea where they were coming from but it was frightening and it had a terrible effect on his grace, which began to feel cold as though something bad was going to happen. He found himself curling up beneath a tree, using his wings to shield himself from the hail that began to pelt to the grass around him.
For a few minutes, he remained that way until the hail stopped and he started to feel warmth over his grace like sunlight on skin. He smiled when he recognized the grace it belonged to. He would never forget the way Gabriel could enlighten an entire Heaven with just his presence. He unfurled his wings and stood up to see the archangel walking over with a beaming smile on his face.
He tilted his head slightly when he noticed Gabriel holding something in his arms. It was small and white.
"Cassie!" Gabriel called as he walked over. He was trying everything in his power to act as normal as possible. He knew this was the last time he could see Castiel for a while. He figured he would give the angel a gift before he left.
Castiel seemed wary of the thing in Gabriel's arms. Castiel eyed the object once Gabriel was right in front of him. He tilted his head more to realize it was a living creature. It was small and covered in what looked an extremely soft and thick coat. Small, triangular ears were perked up. One was straight up while the other was bent slightly on top, falling over the rest of the ear. Huge and round, gleaming honey eyes gazed up at Castiel.
Gabriel smirked at Castiel's reaction. So he held the little hound out, watching the young angel's reaction more.
Castiel lifted his eyebrows when he could see the rest of the body. It was somewhat long and had four little legs with paws that seemed much too large for its body…he realized what this creature looked like. He had seen something similar and the creature was called a 'wolf' though this was different in so many ways. A fluffy white tail was dangling down, swinging from side to side so fast, Castiel could almost not see it. Its snout was long with a little pink nose with brown spots on it. A pink tongue lolled out the side of its mouth.
What made this creature so much more different than a wolf was the set of wings that were protruding from its back. The wings were mostly pure white and meshed from the texture of the fur into feathers as they went on. Deep, dark ebony was smeared and spotted from the tips of the feathers, graying on their way up into the down feathers.
Gabriel smiled at the amazement in Castiel's big, blue eyes. He held the hound out more towards the angel, who backed up slightly, feathers twitching.
"What is that?" Castiel asked, his voice filled with awe.
Gabriel sighed "Hold him," he said.
Castiel hesitated but wouldn't go against an order from an archangel. Gabriel or not, he knew that if he was told to do something, he was to do it. So he gently took the creature into his arms. He couldn't help the smile that broke across his face as the little pink tongue began to lap around his cheek and the wings began to shake and thrash excitedly.
"That is a new creature to heaven. I managed to get you one," Gabriel said, smiling as the hound tried to climb up Castiel's face.
Castiel let out a laugh as he managed to pry the hound into his arms to stop it from attacking his face with affection.
"It looks like a wolf…but so much softer and smaller," Castiel said.
"His name is Azire," Gabriel noted.
"Azire?" Castiel repeated, earning more thumping of the tail "So he is like a wolf…but smaller and with wings?"
Gabriel sighed "I guess you can say that. As you know…Hell has their hounds."
Castiel shuddered at the memory. He had to practice combat against a Hellhound. He was terrified of the creature and never wanted to see one ever again. He took a deep breath though and stared at the creature in his arms "This is like the hound of heaven?" he asked.
Gabriel nodded "Yes. First litter of them; I saw him and thought of you. None of the other pups would play with him because of the color in his wings."
Castiel ran a hand through the feathers of the 'pup' as Gabriel called it. Azire let out a groan noise and stretched his wings.
"He needs a good owner," Gabriel said "I think you would do amazing."
Castiel smiled as he allowed his hand to soothe Azire. He turned back to Gabriel "Thank you but…I don't understand. Why are you giving him to me? Why don't you keep him?"
Gabriel felt his grace turn cold for a moment but he waved it off and remained passive "I wanted you to have him."
Castiel smiled brightly "I will take care of him, Gabriel," he said "I promise."
Gabriel smiled "Good," he said "Now…there are some things you need to know about…" the hounds didn't have a name yet. He had to make one up "Cheruhounds."
"Cheruhounds?" Castiel asked with a tilt of head.
"Serahound sound better?" Gabriel questioned.
Castiel just stared at him "I don't understand," he admitted.
Gabriel laughed. He was going to miss the naïve angel. He tried to remain happy but the idea of leaving heaven and all of its occupants was becoming a burden on him. For as naïve as he thought Castiel was, he was surprised by the next words from the observant little angel.
"You are upset about something. What is happening, Gabriel? Everything was dark before you just showed up. Is Michael fighting again?" Castiel asked, curiosity clear in his voice.
Gabriel just stared at him "Everything is fine. Just a little brotherly argument between Raphael and Michael…but it's fine," he said smoothly, not missing a beat. Castiel observed him with those scrutinizing blue eyes once more before nodding. He wasn't reassured, Gabriel could see that but he was thankful the young angel was willing to let it drop.
"So what does Azire eat? Or does he eat?" Castiel asked, petting the pup some more.
Gabriel smiled "He doesn't need to eat, technically but these little guys love bacon."
Castiel knit his eyebrows "What is bacon?" he asked.
"It comes from pigs," Gabriel said, creating a piece of bacon.
Castiel stared at it and his nose wrinkled "It looks nasty."
Gabriel looked offended as he lifted the greasy pinkish-red, crispy meat. He held it out and Azire went crazy in Castiel's arms. The wings fluttered and paws pushed until he jumped from the small angel's arms. He then pounced at the bacon, which Gabriel handed right over. Azire chewed it up with a swinging tail.
"Where would I get bacon?" Castiel asked, smiling at the joy in the pup.
Gabriel pursed his lips and shrugged "you'll find some. I know you will."
Castiel nodded but he could still sense something off about the archangel and it had him worried. He wouldn't speak about it though. Gabriel's closest brothers were fighting so Castiel could understand if he wasn't as happy as usual.
Gabriel sighed when he could feel the presence of Michael looming closer. He needed to leave before his brother managed to convince him to stay.
Castiel watched the elder angel but didn't say anything as those amber-gold eyes hinted at worry.
"I have to go for now," Gabriel said, standing up.
Castel nodded and stood up as well, lifting Azire into his arms in the process. The pup snuggled up to him.
Gabriel couldn't help but pull Castiel into a hug. He held him for a moment. He would make sure to keep an eye on Castiel in the future. When the day would come that he would go to Hell to save the Righteous Soul…he would be there for him even if he wasn't technically there.
"Thank you for Azire," Castiel said when Gabriel pulled away.
Gabriel smiled "Thought you would like him."
"I do," Castiel said, pressing his cheek against the soft fur.
"Bye Castiel," Gabriel said before letting his wings unfurl. He then took off before he could stop himself from doing so. He was on his way to Earth to live hidden amongst the humans. He would see Castiel again one day…he just hoped the little angel wouldn't end up as nothing but an emotionless warrior like the rest of the angels.
. . .
Gabriel was gone. Castiel had heard it spoken several times already in the past few months but he still couldn't wrap his mind around it. He had thought it was just something everyone would say…an untrue statement. He hadn't seen Gabriel since that day though and he hadn't felt the warmth of his grace anywhere in Heaven.
He frowned as he turned to Azire, who was running about the Heaven, chasing birds and letting out a strange, grumbling noise as he did it. Castiel should have gone with his instincts. He knew something was bothering Gabriel that day. Now Gabriel left him and he would never see his brother again. He felt the pain in his grace but pushed it off.
If Gabriel was just going to leave like that than he was just like all of the other angels; none of them really cared about each other. All they did was fight and be emotionless. That was what he was taught and that was what he would believe in. From that day forward, he wasn't going to get attached to any other angel. He didn't want to deal with losing someone again.
With a deep breath, he pushed back all thoughts and worries. He gave Azire a pat on the furry head, which Azire returned with a rumbling noise and thumping tail. Azire was all that Castiel had left and he would make sure to take care of the little angel-wolf.
"I'll be back after my lessons," Castiel said to the pup, which lapped at his face in response.
Castiel smiled once more before spreading his wings and flying to his next training lesson.
. . .
Sorry this was so short but I wanted to get out a chapter since it's been so long. I hope it turned out alright. Please let me know what you think. Feedback is always amazing to read.
Also…I can't think of a name for the heaven-hounds…any ideas?