Do not try to reconcile this with the Bible or Supernatural timelines. It will only confuse. Almost completely AU

No sacrilege intended; I am Christian. This is just a story.

Whoever yields properly to Fate, is deemed

Wise among men, and knows the laws of heaven.

EURIPIDES, Fragment

Yeah, well. They never called me Gabriel the Wise…

Lucifer hurried down the hall, pushing open every door he passed and peeking inside to no avail.

"Gabe!" he called. "Gabriel!". At the end of the hall he nearly mowed over Balthazar and Castiel, appearing eight and five respectively, both of whom were crouched sneakily behind the wall, wearing dark sunglasses too big for their faces that slipped down their noses.

"Have you seen Gabe?" Lucifer asked them, too preoccupied to laugh.

"Shh!" hissed Balthazar, "You'll blow our cover!" He leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially, "We're spying."

"Ah." Lucifer nodded sincerely. "Well, I'll be quiet then. But in your spying, have you seen Gabriel?"

"He said he was going out," Castiel piped up.

"Shh!" Balthazar clapped a hand over his mouth. "Be quiet!"

"Sorry," Cas muttered.

"Well, if you do see him, let me know." Lucifer continued down the next hall until he came to the grand staircase leading down to the huge front door.

"Gabriel!" he shouted once more before setting off down the steps and out the door, onto the cloud upon which the Lord's castle was built. Cherubim and minor angels flitted about around the palace grounds, minding their own business. They were relaxed and cheerful. Good. That meant that his father, Michael and Raphael were still far away. If they came back and realized Lucifer had let Gabriel run off…he shivered.

"GABRIEL!" he roared, this time speaking not with his voice, but in a multidimensional wavelength of celestial sound. Angel echolocation.

A sharp pain shot through his head as the report bounced back to him: thousands of minor angels, just barely distinguishable amongst them Balthazar and Castiel. Gabe…where are you? Come on, Gabriel…Father will kill me…Gabey…Come out, come out wherever you are… There!

The little punk was on Earth, somewhere near the Caribbean Sea. He was under strict orders from God not to ever descend to Earth unsupervised by Lucifer, Michael or Raphael. Damn it.

Lucifer closed his eyes and found himself standing on a flat, dusty road. The sky was a cool, dusky purple, but the atmosphere was hot and arid. Not a soul was in sight.

Lucifer decided to walk instead of fly. Now that he was down here, he realized he'd forgotten how soothing the moral world was. Still, he hurried, looking left and right, seeking Gabe out with his mind. Gabriel, where are you…?

"Do not fear, Mary…" The voice, choked with silent laughter, was still far distant. Lucifer rolled his shoulders and unfurled his wings, not bothering to hide them, and took off toward the voice.

Just outside a small village of modest straw-and-stone huts, Gabriel stood in his true, glowing form, wings spread wide, speaking to a terrified looking young woman, only a girl, really. She couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen years old.

"And you will conceive a child, and call him…" Gabriel paused, wearing the face he always did when he was trying to think of a clever come back to one of Michael's snide remarks, "Jesus."

"Gabriel!" Lucifer shouting, striding angrily toward him.

Gabe looked over his shoulder, and Lucifer saw his eyes widen as they caught sight of his furious older brother. "And he shall be the Messiah and all shall worship him," he added hastily, and took flight back up into the sky.

Lucifer gave chase, paying no mind to the frightened mortal girl gaping at him, and caught up to Gabe just as the pearly turrets of the Heavenly palace rose into view.

He grabbed his brother by the arm and cried, "Gabriel, are you out of your mind!"

Gabriel furrowed his eyebrows and glared up at him. "It was only a joke."

"Only a joke! I don't care what you did to the mortal! Do you realize how much trouble I'll-how much trouble we'll be in if Father finds out you went to Earth alone?"

"He won't," Gabriel insisted, his voice rising a little in pitch. "It's one little human, it'll barely make a difference."

"Except that once little human will have children, and his children will have children," Lucifer shot back, "and millions of people will exist who should never have been born!"

"So call Fate," said Gabriel. "She's got a massive crush on you, I'm sure she'd help if you asked."

Lucifer fell silent. The kid had a good point, even if he was still to angry too admit it at the moment. If he asked, Fate could descend to Earth as soon as this Jesus had a child, and kill it. Then only one life would be added to the world, and only one would have to die. For being such an idiot, Gabriel was really rather smart.

But Lucifer didn't voice any of this aloud. Instead he merely snapped, "You're just lucky I don't tell Fa-" he broke off as he and Gabriel came to a sudden jarring halt midflight.

God, their father, stood before them, flanked by Michael and Raphael, both wearing identical, nauseatingly smug smirks.

Lucifer swallowed, bowed his head respectfully. "Father." Gabriel followed suit.

"Gabriel," said God in his low, rumbling voice like the crashing of distant thunder. "Go inside." Gabriel vanished. "Raphael, Michael, you as well."

Michael opened his mouth to argue. Lucifer could tell he'd been anticipating watching his punishment.

Before Michael could make a sound, however, God said, "Now," and he and Raphael vanished.

For a long while, God stood there, surveying Lucifer with an inscrutable expression. At last, he said, "This is not something I can allow to pass unpunished, Lucifer."

"Father, please forgive me. I was with Castiel and Balthazar and I lost track of Gabriel, and by the time I found him he had already-"

God held up a hand and Lucifer fell immediately silent.

God sighed. "It doesn't matter how the events came to pass. All that matters is that they did, and that we now must deal with the irreversible damage which you have caused."

"There doesn't have to be any damage!" Lucifer said eagerly, silently thanking Gabriel for his flash of genius. "We can talk to Fate. When the human has his first offspring, she can-"

"It is not the child's descendents that are the problem," said God. "It is his followers. Gabriel has created the man who will begin a new religion. A religion that believes in us."

Lucifer's mouth fell open, as for the first time he full grasped the magnitude of what Gabriel had done. He knew that as angels, their purpose was to serve as sentries over the Earth, gently guide its inhabitants the way the Book of the Earth commanded. They were never supposed to be known to their charges. They were supposed to live in anonymity. The mortals were never intended to know about the divine powers which watched over them.

"Father, I-"

"Come with me." The next moment he and Lucifer were standing before his grand marble desk in his high-ceilinged office. The walls were carves with scenes from the world's history. Or future, rather, for most had not yet come to pass. As a child, Lucifer had spent hours in the office, gazing up at the carvings, imagining the day when he would watch them take place

Now, though, each fine carving seemed rougher, less defined, as though they were aging and crumbling.

His father's voice drew Lucifer's attention to the single item on the marble desktop: a thick, massive book bound in a blue cover which shimmered when the light changed, rippling with waves of blue and green, just the way the Earth looked from Heaven. Along the spine in fine silver thread was the word: Terra.

Lucifer knew the book well. All angels were required to read the future of the planet, and to know their own part they played in its future.

God flipped the book open. In response to Lucifer's questioning look, he said, "Read it."

Lucifer had memorized this page in particular. It was called 'The Joining', and detailed the time when he descended to the mortals as Heaven's first ambassador. It was a great honor, and due to his efforts, Earth and Heaven became one, and humans and angels lived in harmony for millennia.

Lucifer glanced over the page, and felt his blood run cold. There was no Heaven on earth. He did not descend to an adoring mass. The page now wrote of a devastating battle between him and Michael, and of a great man called Sam Winchester who cast them both into a place with an unfamiliar name which nevertheless sent shiver's down Lucifer's spine: Hell.

"Father, I don't understand. Michael-"

"Michael is sent to kill you, to stop you from ending the world." God's voice was emotionless and cold. "This is not the only page that has been changed." He turned back to an earlier one. "Holy wars, Crusades, Apartheid, Holocaust. Billions of people who were supposed to live long, fruitful lives now die young, victims of mindless violence. The human to whom you were supposed to appear on the day of the Joining will never be born because his mother, a brave woman called Anne Frank, who would have become Germany's first queen, now dies when she is only fifteen. The planet's entire future has been changed because of that woman's son. Because of you."

"But Gabriel-"

"Gabriel is a child," said God, a little louder. "You were responsible for him. It is you who must be punished."

Lucifer raised his eyes to his father's, fear prevalent on his face.

God heaved a great sigh. "I love you. I love all my children, all the mortals down on Earth. But they are flawed. They kill wrongly, take justice into their own hands. The followers which will unite behind Jesus will kill. They will kill millions in my name. When they die, I cannot allow them into Heaven.

"But I cannot leave them to fend for themselves in Purgatory either. They are still my children. Therefore the ones who have wronged in life will pass unto you. You will earn forgiveness by shepherding the evil into the place of Punishment."

"What place of punishment, Father?"

God dropped his eyes to the marble floor. "I prayed I would never have to use it. When I built the Earth, I created it as a precaution, in case any of my children rebelled against me. it is called Hell. you will rule it and watch over the condemned if you ever wish to be accepted back into my Kingdom."

Lucifer bowed his head. "As you command, Father."

oOo

As he left God's office, Lucifer passed Balthazar and Castiel, both now wearing fishbowls over their heads and walking in slow, laborious hops.

When they spotted Lucifer, they pulled off their fishbowls and scuttled toward him, clustering around his legs.

"Luci, is Father mad atchoo?" Castiel asked.

"Of course he is," snapped Balthazar. "Why else does he call us into his office?"

Lucifer sighed and hugged his brothers to him. "Don't worry about it guys. Everything will be fine," He assure them. Inwardly, his mind returned to the glimpse of the book, the one he'd caught just before God closed it. The image filled his mind, yet he refused to believe it was true. It couldn't be. He would never…

After a moment, Lucifer extracted himself from Castiel's and Balthazar's hugs.

"Where are you going?" Castiel asked as he walked down the hall toward the main door.

Lucifer turned back and gave him a small, sad smile. "I have to leave for a little while, but I'll be home soon. Don't worry."

Castiel nodded, looking reassured. He beamed a gap-toothed smile. "When you come back we can play as'ra-nots!"

"I can't wait. Bye-ya, kiddos." As he said it, Lucifer locked eyes with Balthazar and received a shock. He'd always been little Balthy, his baby brother. But he was grown up now, somehow, and looking at Lucifer with a sad, knowing look that told Lucifer his brother knew exactly what was going, on that he was leaving for good, and most likely would never see them again. Silently, Lucifer pleaded, Look after Cassy.

Balthazar nodded gravely, making Lucifer feel as though a knife were being wrenched around inside his stomach.

In the grand entrance hall, he passed Gabriel, and felt his heart lodge in his throat as the image of his father's book rose unbidden in his mind.

Gabriel dropped his eyes to his feet. Lucifer could tell he was about to say something, but he cut him off.

"I don't blame you," he said, resting a hand on Gabriel's shoulder. He was quite a bit taller than his younger brother, and with his head bowed, Lucifer spoke only to the blonde hair on the back of it. "You're my brother, and I'll always love you."

Gabriel nodded at the floor. Lucifer's insides seemed to have been replaced with writhing snakes. He couldn't get the book's page out of his mind. But looking down at his brother now, he couldn't even imagine being angry with him, not that angry. He could never imagine harming. How could he ever kill him? He couldn't, Lucifer told himself. He simply couldn't. The book must be wrong. But the book was never wrong. Everything written within would one day come to pass. And for the first time in his life, Lucifer feared something besides his father. But it must be a mistake.

At the door, a snide voice said, "Took Father long enough."

Lucifer stopped dead. Michael was leaning against a marble pillar, arms folded, a smirk twisting his thin lips.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Lucifer turned to face his older brother.

Michael straightened up away from the pillar and walked toward Lucifer. "I mean it took him long enough to banish you like the outcast you are."

Lucifer seized Michael by the collar and slammed him against the pillar so hard that the marble cracked. He had had it. He had had enough of Michael's constant taunting, constant blatant self-centered, holier-than-thou crap. They were all holy. Michael was barely older than him at all, and yet it was he who got to boss Lucifer around, he who got to fly around with their father smiting the evil, he who was allowed to travel the Earth uninhibited or chaperoned, all with that ever-present taunting smirk so horrible, Lucifer wanted to rip it off his face.

But Michael only smiled. "I have to say, I won't miss you. We'll be better off with you gone. You've been disloyal and selfish since the beginning."

"Who served in the First Legion, on the front lines?" Lucifer snarled. "Who practically raised Balthazar and Cas? I have given more to this family than you and Raphael combined."

"You only serve yourself," Michael spat back. "If you hadn't been so careless and self-centered, Gabriel would never have gotten out, and none of this would have happened!"

Lucifer opened his mouth to retort, but then closed it without saying a word. He knew Michael. It was his fault Gabriel had left at all. He released his brother and stepped back. In an instant, all the indignance and anger leaked out of him, and he suddenly felt extremely tired.

"I don't want to kill you, Michael," he said wearily, letting his shoulders sag.

"Is that a threat, little brother?" growled Michael.

"No," said Lucifer. "It's the truth."

Without another word, he spread his wings and took flight from the palace.