For everyone who thought Gabriel shouldn't have died, and that having an Archangel on team freewill would have saved Bobby and Cas from both supreme acts of bravery and mild stupidity,(no offense, Cas) here is my story of Gabriel's second chance. Written for my sister, and because no one wanted to see Cassie and Bobby die.
Chapter 1: Brothers
Gabriel really didn't want to get up. It was a human thing to say, but he didn't care because right now, he hurt. It was like Michael attempting archery practice when they were Cherubs, and he missed, hitting him in the leg. Quite the feat, since he was pointing the arrow in the opposite direction, but that wasn't the point. Someone was calling his name, telling him to get up, and Gabriel had the funny feeling that smiting whoever it was would only cause him immeasurable amounts of agony. Not that it would really matter either way. He felt like he'd gone a couple of rounds with death and at least a thousand transport trucks. Or his own blade, both were quite painful.
Groaning softly, he pressed a hand to his chest and let out a choked yell. Gabriel's grace was slipping away fast, which meant so was his life. But as quickly as it disappeared, it was put back. A gentle hand stroked the hair away from his face and murmured, "Open you're eyes, my son."
Immediately, his eye shot open. No, I-It couldn't be…
It was. Standing in front of him was a man with the strongest aura he'd ever seen. In fact, one he himself had only seen a handful of times. God, or Chuck the Prophet as the two knuckleheads called him, was crouched at his side in the wreckage of the hotel with a hand on his cheek. Gabriel could feel the grace and love pouring through his father in an effort to keep his own in one piece. Laughing a bit breathlessly, he wheezed, "Nice one, dad. Mikey would never look for you on earth, and Raphael would probably try to smite you…" pausing for a quick breath of air, he winced and whispered flatly, "Then again, he's smiting everyone these days."
His Father flinched at the emotionless words of accusation that were clear under the simple comment. You left us, It's you're fault we're broken.
Gabriel didn't truly believe it was God's fault. If anything, It was Lucifer's. The brightest angel, the Star of the Morning, had suddenly become the Mourning Star. Gone was the familiar laughter and happy pranks with his brothers. Sparring, wing grooming, hell, even just looking at each other was intolerable. When Michael wanted to go after Lucifer, Gabriel had lost all will to fight. How could he choose between his Commander, the brother who had taught him to fight, or the Fallen Star, who had taught him to fly? No. It wasn't possible to choose. So he faked his own death, taking the Pagan God Loki as his vessel in exchange for saving his life. He was perfectly fine, until Dean Winchester told him the truth.
God, being a martyr isn't as fun as I thought it would be, he internally moaned. Stupid team Freewill and Cassie's puppy eyes.
Sighing softly, Gabriel pushed the pain into the back of his mind and hauled himself to his feet. Ignoring the hand Father put under his arm, he turned and shakily bowed. The messenger never could stay angry. Not even at Raphael. Instead, all he felt was the painful love to his family that was rarely, if ever, returned. Angels, by God's will, were emotionless creatures. With all that they'd seen in their lives, Gabriel knew they were afraid of being hurt if they showed their true emotions or thoughts. Just look at Lucifer! The Archangel was the only one who made the effort to let his feelings be known, and now he was on a rampage following his true vessel. Yet Gabriel still loved him fiercely.
It was this love that forced him to act. He'd discovered that humans were truly interesting creatures, not toys to be played with. They had feelings, they fought and killed, but in the end they were better than angels, God's perfect creations, could ever be.
Because they could forgive.
God must have read his mind, because he was pulled into a tight hug. Feeling like a Cherub again, Gabriel willingly wrapped his arms around 'Chuck the Prophet' and started to cry. Great heaving sobs that made his three pairs of wings flare and tremble. God smoothed the beyond ruffled feathers and cooed proudly, "You did well, my son. You have accomplished what you're brothers cannot. Acceptance of a species far greater than our own, not through power but love. This is why I bring you back, Gabriel. Teach them how to forgive, to love as strongly as they fight, and one day I will come back. This, I promise. Go, Gabriel. Michael and Raphael greatly mourn you're passing. Lighten their burden. They will care for you until you are well again."
Swallowing, Gabriel nodded stiffly and quickly pulled away. There was an instant absence of warmth as his grace began flowing out of his vessel again. Stifling a scream, he clutched at the wound responsible for it and fell to the ground. Now on his knees, Gabriel curled into a ball and considered the possibility of suicide by pissing off Raphael. It wasn't that bad an idea, if you think about it. With his power as weak as it was, the older archangel might think of him as a foot soldier. With one last stroke of his wings and the words, "Hush, young one. Michael is coming," God disappeared and Gabriel fell head-on into the awaiting blackness.
The song of metal flowed through the air as the angels of the legion trained. Silvery-blue blood mixed with grace lightly coated the arena, this some still leaking from the wounds of the fighters. Michael watched coldly as they tore themselves apart at his command. He had lost too much in this new war to let it be lost by sloppy footwork. His little brother, the baby Archangel and heart of the flock, was dead. Gone for good, this time. Of course, he and Raphael had known he wasn't dead two thousand years ago when Gabriel first hid. After all, the most powerful angels in heaven were also some of the first. But…it was different this time.
Shuddering heavily, he replayed again and again the horror he'd felt as the wave of grace brought many angels to their knees. Michael had seen his little brother's last moments, as well as the pure love he still felt for his fallen brother. This is what had torn his soul apart. His and Raphael's. For all his complaining, the healer loved his family more than anything in the world. He had slowly been going insane since Lucifer fell, then snapped when Gabriel left them. Michael was afraid this would be the breaking point for both of them, as he himself could no longer bring himself to care about his hurt soldiers.
Breaking from his reverie, the Archangel blinked and held up a hand. Immediately, the panting young soldiers stepped back without a sound. Staring straight at their commander, the entire Legion was silently waiting for orders. But he had none. Feeling something on the brink of his awareness, Michael pulled it forward hurriedly and felt his soul turn cold. He felt…Gabriel. Eyes wide, he pulled the bond closer and felt the crushing pain and loneliness as if it were his own. Letting out a choked breath, he nearly fell but was caught by a pair of strong, familiar arms. A hand stroked his wings soothingly, but he paid it no attention. Right now, he was focused on Gabriel.
Michael could feel even now as the Grace in his lost brother's soul continued to desert him. Rising quickly, he opened his beautiful wings and tore himself away from the angel comforting him. Glancing back, he was surprised to see Raphael with heart breaking worry clouding his eyes. Before the healer could say anything, Michael barked, "Fly with me!"
Never before had he spoken to his brothers in such a way, but there was no time to apologize. Getting off the ground, they sped towards the outward boundaries of heaven, where human souls rest in eternal peace. Just before they hit the barrier, Michael spotted a broken figure laying still in the clouds. Sobbing on a breath, he instantly dove straight down and scooped the angel into his arms. Raphael flew closer and moaned in relief. Gabriel was alive, barely giving off enough grace to fill a juice box, but not dead. Cradling the messenger to his chest, Michael couldn't help but notice how dull, weak and unruly the feathers were. Crooning softly to his hurt brother, they broke the speed record and were almost immediately surrounded by the Legion. Most were all incredibly young. Some had never even met Gabriel, the trainer and secret favorite of all the cherubs in heaven. Others had met the messenger, and were understandably alarmed by his appearance.
Not-so-subtly ignoring them, he and Raphael quickly enlisted the help of a few older angels and flew the rest of the way to the Pantheon. Laying the youngest Archangel on the stone table was the hardest thing Michael had ever had to do since casting out Lucifer. Quickly standing at his head, the most feared angel in heaven broke down and cried, stroking the long brown hair that was even duller than the triple wings. Murmuring under his breath, Raphael got to work before many of the helpers had time to blink. It was truly astonishing to some, for since Lucifer's fall from grace the healer had never stepped foot into the Pantheon or healed a single patient. To do this all for a seemingly hopeless cause was unheard of, especially in heaven right now.
However, the Legion was wise enough not to utter a word against it. After seeing the emotions, the raw, near physical pain in their commander's eyes, many were scared stiff. Big though it was, the Pantheon was nearly empty, what with all the angels spreading word of Gabriel's return. "Call us a legion, for we are many. Fearless are we, said the Archangel Michael, a near silent voice in his mind uttered. Full of pain and fatigue though it was, the tone was nearly as commanding as his own yet so gentle. Hurriedly looking down, he saw his brothers croak the next words through tight grimace. "Overstatement of the century. What the hell have you been up to, Mikey? Those guys ran like hellhounds were set on their collective asses."
Weak. The voice was much too weak for his liking. Lightly slapping his cheek, Michael whispered, "Shut up, little one. Save you're strength." Pausing for a second, he added, "And stop calling me Mikey."
Smiling warmly, he chuckled then moaned as it turned into a harsh cough. Now gasping for air, Gabriel choked and hacked up dull silver blood. Scooping him up yet again, Michael laid his brother across his chest and tucked the head of light brown hair under his chin. Running fingers through it, he inadvertently discovered an exit wound around halfway through the long locks. Brushing it lightly with the tip of a finger, a whimper forced him to give up and softly murmur comforting words to his brother. Raphael caught the look he flashed, and moved over to inspect where Gabriel's own sword had nearly ended his life.
Grace glimmered on the palms of his hands as the healer cupped the wound between them. Gabriel's back arched and an inhuman wail made heaven tremble and the sky blacken. Thunder now rumbling in the distance, the pale archangel gripped Michael's hand with a strength they didn't think he could possess and hissed, "Cas. F-find Castiel. Tell him to bring the knuckleheads." Nodding and smoothing the disarrayed caramel hair, he closed his eyes and commanded the angel to come. The order rumbled through heaven with all the potency of a hurricane, searching for the single angel the owner of the voice had summoned.
This done, Michael sat on the cold stone beneath the baby of the Archangels and turned it into a bed. Probably should have done that first, he thought with a hint of guilt. He had closed off his mind, so he didn't think anyone would reply.
Biting back a laugh, Michael kissed his brothers forehead when the kid sleepily whispered to his mind, You think?
Castiel, Sam, Dean and Bobby will be introduced next chapter. Who likes affectionate Mikey and Raph? REVIEW!