When he was younger, he had thought that the others were intimidated by him because of his large, golden wings. Now, he knew that it was, in fact, his title which turned them away. He knew that he was special, gifted with His most important messages, but surely that didn't afford him the same status as, say, Metatron or Michael? Sure, he was one of the first angels ever created, but if he had learned anything in his eons of living, it was that it did not matter how long you live, but what you filled that life with that mattered. Still, he supposed that others would view an archangel as intimidating.

Perhaps I should head back down to Earth again for a few centuries, he thought, It's not like anyone has stopped me before, and the humans have been developing nicely.

But he knew his duty was to "do God's bidding" or whatever. Besides, the sunsets in heaven were better than those on Earth. The way all the colors of His creation came together in a mesh of visual and physical sensations that danced off the chrome and clouds in a breathtaking majesty that reflected light onto everything was sometimes his only reason for staying. Still, he supposed he had a job to do.

The blue skies of heaven brought a lightness to him as he walked through the garden. After a full week of non-stop work he was ready to enjoy his youth and play. Most angels his age (and even those younger) scoffed at the idea of playtime, but for Gabriel it was one of the best parts of his experience, even if he was the angel equivalent to the human teenager in age. He found that all work and no play made life extremely boring. Young angels always filled the garden, so it was a reprieve from his daily expectations.

The garden was filled with plants from all over Earth, colorful tulips and roses next to proud hyacinths and narcissuses along with breathtaking lilies and amaryllises, and even some more that weren't on Earth, ones that had giant petals or colorful stems. He knew that the Department of Upbuilding Modern Botany (or, DUMB) used the garden as a testing ground for various plants that might one day be added to Earth via evolution. Usually it was boring, but sometimes it would end up with crazy concoctions causing chaos (heh, say that three times fast) for everyone within the garden. Today, sadly, DUMB seemed to be doing boring things as usual; they weren't even creating interesting plants like poisonous lillies or venemous fly traps. Still, there were plenty of other angels around. Groups of talking and playing angels gathered here and there all over the garden, it was simply up to him to choose whom to approach first.

That angel with the purple wings looks pretty young, he thought, maybe she'll want to play?

Relaxing his posture, he walked toward the young angel with a smile on his face. Friendliness, he had learned, was key to getting others to want to be around you, no matter what species or level of sentience they were.

"Hey!" He yelled with wave, "Would you like to play with me?"

The young angel turned to him in surprise from where she had been admiring a variety of roses. A smile seemed to be her default facial expression, but as soon as she saw who he was, she stiffened, and her smile affected a nervous quality.

"I'm sorry! I'm too busy, sir!" His smile dropped at her words. She shook so hard Gabriel was half-sure that she was causing an earthquake down on Earth.

"Oh," he deflated before putting on the fake smile he had learned so long ago, "That's okay. The Mission and everything, right?"

"R-right, sir!" Her blue dress fluttered as she took off, half running, half flying away from him. He sighed as he glanced around the garden for an angel who looked friendly enough to engage him.

Hmmm, Gabriel thought, maybe those Intelligence Angels won't be intimidated by me. After all, they are only two tiers below me.

Straightening his back, Gabriel walked over to the two boys who seemed to be debating the pros and cons of adding more angels to a garrison. Not the most interesting angels, but at least they wouldn't be intimidated by him. In fact, they were the most likely to talk to him, if not play with him.

"What about you two?!" He asked excitedly. "Do you two want to play with me?"

At this point he really didn't care whatever they all ended up playing as long as they played with him. One of them even had cream colored wings! White wings were said to be the purest of the pure, the nicest of the nice, the holiest of the holy, so if an angel had cream wings that must mean that they are practically a white-winged angel, right?

The two turned to look at him with annoyance, until they saw who he was. Their eyes widened and Gabriel would swear that they were sweating. The younger looking Intelligence Angel with brown wings even seemed to be shaking.

"Uhm, we have a job to do. Please excuse us, sir!" Exclaimed Cream Wings.

"Of course." Gabriel's smile took on a bitter edge. Brown Wings was looking everywhere else but him. With his dismissal, both of them turned away and started walking out of the garden, whispering frantically to each other.

Gabriel sighed and turned to another angel dressed in white. He tried to place a friendly smile on his face as he approached her, but before he could even say anything she bowed her head and turned away, pretending to be interested in the trials that DUMB was running. The air felt cold around him as he turned in every direction, only to find other angels unable to meet his eyes and shifting away, as if his power was literally pushing them away.

They're actually too scared to play with me, he frowned, just because of my rank.

Why did he even come here, anyway? Sure, usually he just walked around and played mischief on others, but he could remember times when others had played with him. It had been a while ago but….He tightened the tassal around his waist in anger before sitting down and folding his arms over his knees. The cloud he sat on was soft and removed from most of the garden, just like he had been. The sky was as true as blue could be, reminding Gabriel of when his father had created the sky; the blue of the current sky was the same shade it had been when it was first created. Back then He had started creating other angels besides the archangels, and Gabriel had held out hope for a true family, one untainted by Lucifer's betrayal, Michael's righteousness, and God's abandonment. He had wished for a new, happy family.

Heh, he thought bitterly, of course it wouldn't turn out the way I wanted it, when has it ever?

During his inner musings Gabriel had failed to notice the tiny Seraphim who had come over to check on the strange, lonely angel. It wasn't until the young angel stood a foot in front of him that he noticed the other at all.

"Uhm…..who are you?" Gabriel asked with a confused smile. Perhaps this baby angel had gotten lost in the garden?

Not saying anything, the baby Seraphim stepped closer and onto Gabriel's feet in order to gain some leverage. Staring at the Archangel with wide, blue eyes, the young angel leaned forward and booped Gabriel on the nose. To say Gabriel was shocked was an understatement. All the other angels were afraid to even talk to him, let alone touch him! The last time he had any casual contact with a fellow angel was before the creation of Earth, when Michael and Lucifer and Raphael weren't massive dicks. Blue eyes still stared at him unnervingly, so the older angel decided to move the younger into a more comfortable position at his side. Instinctively, he brought his golden wing around the toddler to protect him while he lay his hands in Gabriel's lap and looked at him inquisitively. He gave the baby angel a small smile, uncaring that the smaller one had black wings, a taboo color.

"So, kid, what's your name?"

"Castiel." Blue Eyes replied simply.

"So, uhm, Castiel, do you want to play?" The archangel asked weakly.

Castiel's eyes widened in confusion. "Play?"

Gabriel smiled widely at the young, innocent angel.

I like him, he thought, I'm gonna keep him.