The cage was built to last, it could contain the grace of a single Archangel for all eternity. It was however not designed to withstand the concentrated force of four determined Archangels.
"I think we can call that a design flaw." Gabriel said as he waved a hand through the sulphur dust created by the crumbling walls of the cage.
Michael was the first to climb his way over the rubble. He stretched his six pairs of wings to their fullest span. "Gabriel, Raphael, go. Lucifer and I will meet you at the gates."
The two younger archangel's obeyed Michael's order as Lucifer made his way over the rubble. "Are you going to order me to stay away from our little brother like you did when he was a fledgling?" Lucifer asked. "Save your breath, Michael. We have far more important concerns right now."
"I'm just making sure that you realize it." Michael said as he and Lucifer headed to the gates of heaven to find Gabriel and Raphael standing there frowning.
"Why are we just standing here?" Lucifer asked as Gabriel and Raphael continued staring at the gates.
Michael snarled as he realized that the gates were sealed. "We are locked out of Heaven, that's why."
"There is someone in there." Raphael said. "I can sense their presence although they are very being quiet."
"Maybe they know what happened and they're trying to avoid the same fate." Lucifer suggested. "Our siblings didn't just fall silent; they were struck mute somehow."
Gabriel turned to Michael "Luci is right, something happened to them. Before we go barging in there not knowing; we need to find out what happened."
"And how do you suggest we do that, Gabriel?" Michael asked exasperated. "There's no song to gather intel from."
"Mikey, Mikey, Mikey;" Gabriel shook his head fondly exasperated. "You need to get out more big bro. All these prayers getting tossed our way some human will let something slip in a prayer sooner or later. But until then there are a couple of humans who may know something."
"You speak of Sam and Dean Winchester? Castiel hid them from us." Raphael said.
"And even if we could find, them I don't think Heaven and angels are on their "Must Save' list." Lucifer said. "After all Sam was stuck in the cage along with me and Michael."
"And of course you two had nothing better to do than torment him." Gabriel sighed. "You know Sam and Dean are exactly like the two of you. I used to think that it was that way so that you two could play out your hissy fits down here. But I watched them long enough to realize that no matter what, they have each other's back. They may fight like Ali and Frazier but let someone else threaten one of them and they will have to deal with both of them. They forgive each other time and time again. Funny how the human vessels can do that while you two hold a grudge for eons."
"We won't harm the vessels or try to get them to say yes." Michael said. "Now can we go find the Winchesters?"
"No, you guys are staying here. I'm going to find the Winchesters." Gabriel said. "Out of all of us, I'm the only one who has a small chance of actually getting them to talk to me before they try to turn me into holy extra crispy hot wings. I mean I died for them after all, but if you want your feathers singed with Holy Oil, be my guest. It may not kill us but it still hurts like a mother."
"Go, find the vessels but take Raphael with you." Michael ordered.
"That would not be wise, Michael." Raphael said. "My presence would be detrimental, they like me about as well as they like you and Lucifer."
"I'm not a fledgling Michael, I'm a grown-up Archangel. I don't need my big brothers to hold my hand while I cross the jet stream." Gabriel said. "I'll let you know when I find them." Gabriel said as he snapped his fingers and disappeared.
Castiel had never been so tired in his entire eons of existence. Although he had walked great distances while falling, the little bit of grace he had managed to retain had kept him energized. Now along with his own exhaustion, he was also dealing with a dozen complaining angels suffering from their own first experiences with exhaustion. Castiel made his way down to the bunker door and knocked.
Two things happened simultaneously. The door opened and Castiel was hit in the face with a stream of holy water. As a matter of fact, the collected angels behind him were also sputtering and Kevin Tran, Prophet of the Lord, stood there holding a now empty Super Soaker.
"Why are there a dozen angels on the doorstep?" Kevin asked Castiel as he looked at the soaked men and women standing outside of the bunker.
"They have fallen. Metatron cast down all the angels." Castiel replied.
"Um, yeah. You guys had better get inside before something sees you." Kevin said opening the door wider and grabbing on to Castiel's sleeve and dragging him inside. "Angels aren't the only thing showing up on Earth right now." Kevin quickly gestured the others inside. "Hell gates are bursting open all around the world." Kevin gestured at the numerous blinking lights on the console he had been watching.
"It would be advantageous for them to abandon hell now." Castiel said. "All angels have been made human. We have no grace, only our knowledge." Castiel looked around. "We should strengthen the warding around this place."
Kali spun around feeling a presence behind her. Her eyes widened as she watched Loki's form coalesce in the center of the glowing silver light.
"Now that's more like it." He said rolling his shoulders as if he were working out kinks in his muscles.
"Loki, or should I say Gabriel." Kali asked warily.
"I really don't care what you call me Kali. I'm only still here because you have one more thing that I want. Or rather two more. The vials of blood belonging to Sam and Dean Winchester." Gabriel said. "I just helped myself to my own as you can see." Gabriel shook the empty tube.
"You gave your life for me." Kali said as she slinked forward to place her hand on the Archangel's chest.
"Kali, the only difference between you and Lucifer is that he succeeded. You tried to kill me and would have if it had been my real sword. You were so determined to prove to them that they could kill an Archangel." Gabriel snorted. "All you managed to do was get them all killed at Lucifer's hands. You don't know how to listen or to keep your nose out of what doesn't concern you. You were the one who pushed for that little gathering, because you couldn't accept the fact that you are not the strongest thing out there."
Gabriel held out his hand palm up in a silent demand for the vials. When Kali placed them in his palm he curled his fingers over them using his grace to confirm that it was the blood he wanted. "Out of a sense of nostalgia I will give you something to consider Kali. There is a reason that Pride is a cardinal sin. Think about it." Gabriel snapped his fingers and disappeared.
Dean had barely brought the Impala to a halt before he was launching himself out of it and opening the back door. Sam was still unconscious in the back seat.
"Well Crowley, you just going to stand there or are you going to give me hand?" Dean said as he started trying to Sam out of the back seat.
"I don't think Castiel would like that." Crowley croaked drawing Dean's attention. The angel had Crowley pressed against the car, angel blade tight enough against the former demon's neck to draw blood.
"Whoa Cas." Dean said. "Let's hold off on smiting Crowley until he helps me get Sammy inside okay."
"I will assist you with Sam as soon as this abomination is dead." Castiel said still glaring at Crowley.
"Cas, he's human!" Dean said finding it hard to believe that he was defending Crowley of all people.
"I would venture to say there's an epidemic of that going around right now Angel." Crowley said as Castiel released his collar.
"How?" Castiel demanded.
"The Sleeping Moose over there 'cured' me. Not that I wanted to be cured mind you. Strictly against my will and now Abaddon has claimed the vacant throne of hell." Crowley said studying Castiel. "Of course with all the angels having their wings clipped she gets to have free run of the entire world!"
"Look you guys can fight later. Help me with Sammy." Dean reminded.
Kevin sat at the long table with Castiel and Dean. "Metatron asked specifically about the Archangels when we met him." Dean said. "He said the Archangels wanted to take over and run things when God left."
"There would be no reason to fear them taking over because they were given assigned tasks by our Father." Castiel said with a frown. "God had already given them the authority."
"It wasn't about the authority of the Archangels." Kevin said. "It was because Metatron knew that the Archangels wouldn't let him carry out this spell. What Metatron did stripped the grace from every angel with a connection to heaven."
"So what happened to all the grace?" Dean asked.
"It will seek to attach itself to any angel with a speck of grace it can find. Since Metaron not only cast us out but sealed heaven behind us; there are only two angels left who were not connected to heaven." Castiel said.
"Are you saying Lucifer and Michael could become even more powerful?" Dean asked as he put two and two together.
"At this moment, it's the most probable outcome." Castiel answered.