~*Angels, I believe, are gender neutral. With this I use BOTH male and female pronouns and switch between them. Take a second and wrap your head around that so you're not confused while reading. Good? Carry on reading then.*~

Also, I see time in Heaven like it is in Hell, it passes faster. So Castiel in fact does not wait really long to go see the Winchesters.

Metatron was imprisoned, order was slowly being put back into Heaven (the Souls at the Gate were the first thing looked to in the aftermath), Angels were coming back - if they wanted to of course (and what a novel thing!)-, Castiel was slowly dying, and the doors to Metatron's "office" were sealed off.

Dust one's hands off and relax a little, Heaven was coming back together.

Except, after a week of things being quiet there came curious whispers - some Angels had experienced a feeling of energy that came from behind the sealed off doors.

And then it was felt again two weeks later.

Zander, an Angel from one of Raphael's garrison's who became curious with her time on Earth, went and watched the doors for three days. Nothing happened.

Two and a half weeks later it happened again and Zander rushed to see if he'd feel it. She was too late but a comrade, Y'halif, told Zander while shivering that it felt like ice. Ice and terror and anger.

The Angels that weren't curious were afraid and they argued that the doors, and whatever laid beyond them, should be left alone. Those Angels won the argument.

Almost four weeks went by before it was felt again. There was panic laced in with the other feelings this time. The doors were finally opened and the room was searched. Nothing was found.

Zander stayed behind as the others left. Once the room was quiet Zander began to sing, calling out to the mysterious energy.

And it responded, a tinge of hope colouring it but not replacing the other emotions.

Zander faltered for a second, his metaphorical heart hurting; she'd been right, it was an Angel.

He kept singing and started frantically looking around the room again. The energy finally lead Zander to a wall covered by shelves of books. Frustrated she let out a small burst of energy from his own Grace, slamming it against the books. Some fell from their shelves. And something clicked. The bookcases slid towards Zander before opening.

Zander got the feeling that he should throw up.

Stretched out in their True Form - eight wings, five faces, halo, horn, and all - and stuck there by chains tying them to the walls and knives pinning their wings was the Arch Angel Gabriel.

Shivering and weak and pissed. His fourth eye glowed faintly with the small amount of power she had left.

Zander took a step forward.

Stop."Stop." Both of Gabriel's voices rasped out the order, weak from vollying threats and curses at Metatron and the doors. And from praying.

Zander then saw the sigils covering the walls of Gabriel's small prison - ones that forced an Angel into their True Form on all dimensions, ones that took an Angel's power away from them by slowly gnawing away on the connection their Grace had to Heaven - to God-, and ones that banished Angels, giving Gabriel whiplash and bruises from bouncing back and forth between two places while chained down.

Zander shivered in horror. "How…" Her voice trembled.

Gabriel's second pair of wings twitched, oozing more blood and Grace. "Your ve-essle."

In a second Zander was gone, back to Laura from Wisconsin and asking her for help. Laura took spray paint from her neighbour.

Angels - shocked to see the actual, physical vessel of Zander in Heaven and for Zander to be within and repressing himself - followed Laura to Metatron's old office. They cried when they saw Gabriel. Both in happiness and scared, angered sadness.

Laura climbed around Gabriel, wincing slightly as the sigils tried to find Zander, and crossed out all the sigils. She called out for Healers as she tried to get the chains off of Gabriel's wrists.

Angels rushed forward to help and Gabriel was taken away by Healers.

Almost three months later Gabriel came hobbling out of his private recovery room despite the protests of her Healers. He hobble-marched to where Castiel silently worked in making a system for Heaven, fearful and greatful of each day she had. Gabriel poured Grace into Castiel on the spot, stunning many Angels into silence, and almost fainted.

Gabriel was dragged back to her room.

Castiel cried and flew. He flew to the Winchesters. And cried even more. Her Dean had become a Knight of Hell (he knew it was going to happen with Dean having the Mark of Cain, she had just hoped it wouldn't be so soon).

Gabriel was kept by his Healers for another seven months before letting other Angels come and see her to help with the final leg of healing. Zander was first to Gabriel's room. With other Angels around him and feeling their love and hope and acceptance Gabriel finished healing in two weeks. And then she fled.

He apologized that she couldn't stay and though words failed him on how to express why, everyone reluctantly understood.

Too much time away.

Too much to apologize for.

Too much acceptance and understand that she couldn't himself accept.

Too many scars.

Too many memories (it's what happens when one exists since almost the beginning).

And a love never allowed which could now have a chance (if the Winchester understood and could live with the past).

But, if there was anyone who could be Gabriel's partner it would be Samuel.

They were both creatures who lived in the aftermath of war after all.