Gabriel was the first one to realise. He looked up slowly. His amber eyes met with her green ones.
"Feath…" his voice was a hoarse whisper. "What have you done?"
She didn't answer. She couldn't. Her tongue was so dry that it was stuck to the roof of her mouth. She looked at the blood written sigil on the glass. It was still glowing a little. She was slumped in the corner of the containment cell. Her head was hanging low, her ruby red hair was tangled and matted with blood. Gabriel pulled himself over to her. Balthazar was staring at the Angel Of Imagination with an owlish look on his face. Gabriel touched her pale cheek. "F-Feathers?"
"I had t-to help." She managed; and Gabriel hated how weak she sounded.
"No you didn't." He mumbled, pulling her into his arms. "No you didn't." He repeated. Hiding his face in her hair.
No-one spoke. No-one dared. Castiel was still tucked away under Michael's arm. Chuck was holding onto Balthazar tightly. Trying to keep his second youngest shielded from the world. Half of what made Chuck so sad was the knowledge that he couldn't always do that. Not forever. Balthazar was growing up. Castiel was too. And Chuck had never felt so powerless. He had created all of the universe and he still couldn't stop his boys growing up. He looked over at his fourth born. Gabriel was holding onto his girlfriend tightly. "You have to stay awake." He said, for the hundredth time. "You have to."
"I love you." She whispered.
"I lo-love you too."
Why is she talking like that? Why is she talking like she's about to die?...She cant die…She can't..He clamped his hands down over her wrists. "Keep breathing, darlin' "
She reached out a shaking hand, he fingers just brushing against his cheek. "I'm so sorry." She managed and to his horror he saw the light start to grow in her eyes, the dreaded white light that would burst out of her to mark her death. "Feathers no….nononono…." He tucked her head under his chin. Pressing a hand to the back of her head. "Don't die…don't die…"
She didn't reply. Her breaths were getting weaker, he could feel them against his neck. He could feel her tears running down her cheeks, dampening the already blooded fabric of his green jacket. She was scared. She was absolutely terrified and he couldn't do anything about it. He wrapped his wings around her, hiding her own broken ones from view. He looked up at his Father. "Can't you do something?" His voice was wavering. His eyes pleading as she shook in his arms. Chuck shook his head mournfully. "I'm sorry. But she's not blood. I cant do anything."
"Sssh…" he whispered through trembling lips. "Hush now." He rocked back and forth, his head buried in her thick hair.
"I love y-you…" She said again, and god her voice…her voice… Gabriel screwed his eyes shut tightly. He was shaking, his stomach was tying itself in the most complicated knot possible. His lungs were burning and his throat felt like it was about to explode. But he still managed to say them. Those broken, whispered words that, accompanied with the crackle in his voice, made It sound like he was the one dying, not her.
"I love you too, Fervailia."
She raised her head a little when he said her real name. He hardly ever called her by her full name.
It was the look in her eyes that did it. Her beautiful green emerald eyes that always used to remind Gabriel of grassy fields in the peak of summer, were slowly turning white. What made Gabriel do it was the way that they had stopped sparkling, had stopped shining like they did whenever he bought her a new book. The life was fading out of her eyes. Her grace was slowly leaking out of her body.
He wasn't going to let that happen. He took her wrists in his hands once again, squeezing them tightly. "You're not dying on me. " He muttered, closing his eyes.
"Child," Chuck breathed. "You can't do anything...She's not family…she isn't blood. "
"She is to me! I love her, Dad!"
"Brother," Michael began, holding Castiel closer.
"No!" Gabriel interrupted, a strangled sob leaving his throat. "She's not dying!"
Chuck had seen many things. He had created the whole world. But he had never seen something like this before. He was healing her. He was actually healing someone that wasn't blood. Chuck closed his eyes, half nudging his cheek in Balthazar's golden hair. Why hadn't he realised before? Gabriel had always been different. Out of all of his children Gabriel was the most laid back, but at the same time he was the most energetic. Ever since he could walk, the servants of the family had found themselves rushed off their feet in trying to make sure that the young angel didn't hurt himself or break something. And as he got older Chuck noticed something else. Gabriel never did behave like the older boys. Michael, Raphael and even Lucifer acted like they were higher than everyone else. They looked down their noses at all of the lesser angels. Chuck never noticed until Gabriel; five years old, started school. The first day he came back he was quiet and when Michael had finally managed to get it out of him it came to the truth that no-one played with him, because they all thought that he was like the other three archangels. The next day, Gabriel came home with a new friend. A small, Chinese boy that went by the name of Riland. He was a healer. Bound to work for Raphael when he came of age, and later be the elder brother of a certain young angel named Miko. Riland was Gabriel's best friend. He still was. As the years went on, and Gabriel got older, Balthazar was born and Chuck saw, once again that his fourth born was different. He loved that child. More than anything in the world. Chuck remembered laughing when Gabriel ran into his study, shortly after Balthazar had strung his first sentence together, shouting:
"Daddy! Daddy! He's British!"
Chuck smiled to himself, looking down at Balthazar, who had his eyes screwed shut, his face hidden within Chuck's jacket. Chuck kissed the mop of sandy hair that belonged to the young, British angel.
And there was one more thing that made Chuck realise that Gabriel was different.
He had fallen in love.
That was what was happening here. This wasn't grace healing her. It was love.
Michael was watching. Wide eyed and pale. So much had happened too quickly. He looked over at the spot where Lucifer had once been standing. He couldn't believe his little brother would do something like this. Lucifer would never do something like this. Michael looked down. Lucifer was a good child. The Morning Star Of Heaven. He would never do something like this.
But he has.
He had hurt Gabriel. He had practically killed Balthazar. And now he had made Fervailia bring herself to all this pain. Michael gritted his teeth. If it's a war that Lucifer wants…
It's a war that he's going to get.
The white light faded out of her eyes after a while. Gabriel was looking down at her, his amber eyes glinting with unshed tears.
"Feathy?" He murmured. He had healed her wrists, but her fever was still there. "Ga-Gabe?" She asked in a hoarse tone. He held her even closer. "It's ok now."
What's happening to me?
Bodies one the floor….the floor is red….
Why is it red?
. . .
I have to get away, I have to get away.
Jiah didn't move. He didn't want to move. He was curled in a little ball on the floor, amidst the mountain of dead scientists, their blood forming rivers on the floor. He had his hands clutching at his hair. He was talking to himself, whispering, jerking and flinching on the floor as more lightning coursed through his veins. Another white flash.
"Well, Happy New year, Jiah." Balthazar said, with a smile, taking another sip of his drink. Jiah looked up at his friend. Jiah frowned. What was he doing here? He looked down at himself. He felt smaller. Younger. He looked at his hands and tilted his head. He remembered this night. Gabriel had taken them to the New Years eve party in Times Square. He was seven. Or he was meant to be, anyway. "Gabriel stop it!, I'm dizzy!"
"Gabriel stop it!, I'm dizzy!"
He looked up at the sound of her laugh. Gabriel was dancing with her, spinning her around and humming his own rendition of Come fly with me. She was laughing. She was happy. Jiah took a small step forward. "'Vailia…" "Come fly with me lets fly, lets… forgot the words…" Gabriel sang, the grin on his face was probably visible from space. She beamed at him. "You're no Frank Sinatra…" She rested her forehead on his. "But you'll do." "Thanks, that really means a lot." He muttered. Still smiling, he kissed her nose and span her around again, the bottom of her white summers dress swirled around with her. Balthazar swallowed. "I think I feel a little sick." The younger, British angel laughed when his elder brother flashed him his middle finger over Feathers' shoulder. Balthazar looked back at Jiah who was staring at the whole thing with wide eyes. "Oi, can you get the football from your house?" Jiah looked up, staring Balthazar straight in the face. "H-Huh?"
Once again, she didn't seem to hear him. Gabriel was twirling around with her, spinning her, waltzing and turning. She was laughing into his shoulder, cheeks red, eyes sparkling.
"Come fly with me lets fly, lets… forgot the words…" Gabriel sang, the grin on his face was probably visible from space. She beamed at him. "You're no Frank Sinatra…" She rested her forehead on his. "But you'll do."
"Thanks, that really means a lot." He muttered. Still smiling, he kissed her nose and span her around again, the bottom of her white summers dress swirled around with her.
Balthazar swallowed. "I think I feel a little sick."
The younger, British angel laughed when his elder brother flashed him his middle finger over Feathers' shoulder. Balthazar looked back at Jiah who was staring at the whole thing with wide eyes. "Oi, can you get the football from your house?"
Jiah looked up, staring Balthazar straight in the face. "H-Huh?"Falling
"And where the hell were you?!" Jiah felt the football drop from his hands, he stared his elder brother in the eyes. A voice in the back of his head was telling him that this wasn't real. That he was hallucinating it all. But he could barely hear it. He felt old fear wash over him. He had never been so scared. Never… Forcas got to his feet. Looking down at the seven year old. Jiah took a little step back. He glanced at the door. He could make it. Forcas took another step forward and Jiah felt his muscles shake, he slid down the wall. "Gabriel?! You were out with that posh twat again?! And I suppose the little slut was with him aswell!" Slut. He never called her by her name. His own sister and he never called her by her name. Jiah felt anger boiling up inside him. He had to stop it. "You never call her that again." It wasn't loud, it wasn't shouted…but it was spoken. The words had left his mouth. Jiah had his head lowered, not daring to meet his abusive elder brothers eyes.
Run. Why don't you run? You know what's going to happen so run!
"I said where the fuck where you?!" Forcas boomed. He was drunk again. Jiah stared up at his elder brother. "I…Gabriel…"
Jiah felt the football drop from his hands, he stared his elder brother in the eyes. A voice in the back of his head was telling him that this wasn't real. That he was hallucinating it all. But he could barely hear it. He felt old fear wash over him. He had never been so scared. Never…
Forcas got to his feet. Looking down at the seven year old. Jiah took a little step back.
He glanced at the door. He could make it. Forcas took another step forward and Jiah felt his muscles shake, he slid down the wall.
"Gabriel?! You were out with that posh twat again?! And I suppose the little slut was with him aswell!"
Slut. He never called her by her name. His own sister and he never called her by her name.
Jiah felt anger boiling up inside him. He had to stop it. "You never call her that again." It wasn't loud, it wasn't shouted…but it was spoken. The words had left his mouth. Jiah had his head lowered, not daring to meet his abusive elder brothers eyes.
He had never told Balthazar. Never. He just made it his rule to never wear short sleeved tops. He took his beatings so that Forcas never laid a hand on his sister. But, unbeknown to Jiah, Feathers was doing the same, Forcas had told both of them that they were going through all the pain to protect the other. But neither of them knew that the other was being abused too. Jiah never told Balthazar and Feathers never told Gabriel.
He winced when he felt Forcas grab a fistful of his hair, tugging his head up. "You think you can just leave with those Jehovah's? You think you can just leave you worthless piece of shit?!" He roared, "Get up!" He pulled up on his hair, forcing Jiah to his feet. Jiah clutched at his elder brothers hand,fingernails digging into skin as he cried out in pain. He felt himself being slammed into the table. Forcas was holding him down by his neck. "I'm going to teach you a lesson. Show you how worthless you really are." Jiah closed his eyes, waiting to feel the belt buckle hit the skin on his back, but it never came. His shirt was rolled up, showing scars and scrapes from previous beatings. He heard Forcas mutter something under his breath. Jiah screwed his eyes shut tightly. He remembered, he knew what was coming. He felt Forcas trace a word on his back with his finger. Jiah screamed as he felt it burn. The letters searing into his skin.
Jiah closed his eyes, waiting to feel the belt buckle hit the skin on his back, but it never came. His shirt was rolled up, showing scars and scrapes from previous beatings. He heard Forcas mutter something under his breath. Jiah screwed his eyes shut tightly. He remembered, he knew what was coming. He felt Forcas trace a word on his back with his finger. Jiah screamed as he felt it burn. The letters searing into his skin.
The scar was still there, burnt into his back, the spindly letters still hurt sometimes. No-one asked any questions when he came back with the football. Or when he just wrapped his arms around Feathers waist, trying to hide the pain on his face. He tried to wince when She rubbed his back comfortingly, unknowingly pressuring the burns…Jiah closed his eyes, like he did when it happened the first time. He closed his eyes and hid his face in Feathers' chest.
No-one asked any questions because no-one knew.
"Are you ok?"
Jiah shifted his head, screwing his eyes shut tightly.
"Rik, he's one of the birdie people!"
"Shush, Caleb…" the voice said again. "Hey buddy, are you alright?" There was music playing from a stereo in the background. If anything it was the song that made him open his eyes.
'Come fly with me lets fly lets fly away….'Jiah sat up, leaning back on his arms. Already he could feel the scarred skin, that still etched out the word 'worthless' on his back a full eight centuries later, tighten as he moved.
"Where the hell-"
Erik had an exasperated look on his face. "I still cant understand what they're saying."
Caleb wriggled out of his elder brothers arms and sat down infront of Jiah.
"My name is Caleb Kruger…what's yours?"
"He says his name is Jiah...I think he's one of the bird people…." He looked back at Jiah. "Are you one of the bird people?"
Jiah anxiously glanced at his wings. "Well..I'm…I'm an angel."
The four year olds brow furrowed. "Oh…ok…"
Jiah looked up at them, "We have to go and get my family back."
"They got them back. Jiah found us, all of us. In that containment cell. Alistair promptly vacated his body. I suppose it was nice to see Erik and Caleb finally reunited with their true Father and not the demon that had been inhabiting him for the past year."
Castiel looked down at his hands. He glanced over at the stack of board games in the corner of the room before looking back down at his hands again. "You knew Caleb. When he grew up. He became a hunter. One of your Fathers most trusted allies. Meg killed him as a threat to John, back when she wanted the colt."
Castiel picked at some fluff on his white clothes. "Times only got harder after that. Of course, I was still a child, I didn't understand. But Balthazar…Balthazar saw it all. And it gave him the worst nightmares. Gabriel had to stay with him most nights cos he was so scared of being alone in the dark. He'd probably never tell you that. A few weeks after we all got back, Father went missing. Michael locked himself away from us all, focusing on the war and only the war. A few weeks after that Gabriel proposed to Fervailia…of course she accepted….the next day she was killed in battle. Died in his arms." Castiel took a shaky breath. "…Jiah didn't speak for 4 was then that Gabriel discovered that he had been beaten as a child. He killed Forcas. And when he did it it was the eve of Jiah and Balthazar's first battle. He was killed by a rebel…he died in Balthazar's arms….ten years after that Lucifer killed Gabriel…and he fell into the cage with Michael….and two months ago….I killed Balthazar….I'm the only one left."
He swallowed, taking in a sharp breath. "I'm the only one left."
He was quiet for a few minutes, looking around his room in the mental hospital. "Dean…"
He looks up at his friend, The hunter is just standing there, a wide eyed expression on his face. He had barely spoken as Cas had told his tale.
"Dean, I know you had a terrible childhood. I know that and I'm sorry for you. But there is one thing that I need you to understand."
"What?" It was the first word Dean had spoken in three hours. His voice was croaky, dry.
"You spent a long time believing that my elder brothers were useless, 'dicks' as you called them. I just need to make sure that you know that they were the best elder brothers in the world. Gabriel. You said to me that he was a dick, a coward and a no good Trickster. The Gabriel that I knew was a hero. He was the one that protected me and Balthazar and Jiah…he was the one that fell in love with the one girl that was probably his complete opposite. I knew him as the one that sacrificed himself to save you and Sam and to stand up to the brother that did this to us . The brother that tore my family apart."
Dean's eyes softened when he saw Castiel stifle a sob, he stood up from his chair and sat down on the bed next to his friend.
"And Balthazar…you thought he was just a son of a bitch, as you phrased it. He was a loyal soldier. An even more loyal friend….and…and…I killed him"
"Cas it wasn't you…"
"Yes it was!" Castiel snapped, looking up. "That was before the leviathans were in me! That was 100% me!"
"Cas for the last time it wasn't you!"
Dean had never seen Castiel cry before then. And he didn't like it when he did. He locked his arm around Castiel's shoulders, pulling him close, trying his best to stop the sobs that were racking their way through Castiel's form.
"I can't be the only one left…"
"I cant be the only one left…" Castiel repeated, clinging onto the hunter tightly.
Castiel looked up when he heard it, the sound of someone laughing softly in the corner of the room. Castiel's eyes widened. He knew he was mad. He knew that he had taken in Lucifer when he had exchanged the madness from Sam to himself. But he looked so real.
Lucifer smiled at him.
"Oh no, Brother….you're not the only one left"
Thank you for all of those amazing reviews! I loved writing this story and I hope you all enjoyed reading it. I know the ending is quite evil and cliffy but I just wanted to end it with Castiel in the mad house.
Thank you all so much for all of your reviews,
All the angels, (other than Lucifer) Send hugs!