Lucifer made his way up to heaven figuring if Michael would be hiding anywhere Heaven would be the place. So he was more than a little surprised when Virgil appeared in front of him in the garden.
"Virgil." Lucifer nodded. "I'm looking for Michael, have you seen him?"
"Actually the Commander requested I deliver a message to you." Virgil responded.
"Oh did he now?" Lucifer snorted.
"He said to 'tell the Morningstar to meet me in the place that rivals God's most beautiful son'." Virgil said.
Lucifer was taken aback by Virgil's words. "Are you sure he told you to say that?"
"Positive." Virgil replied. "Having all of the Archangels back with us is something that many of us prayed to father for. Not all of us wanted the Apocalypse. There were many like Castiel, they simply lacked Castiel's conviction. We watched you know? The showdown between you and Michael. We did not understand why Father would ordain that it happen but then allow the Winchesters and Castiel to prevent it. More importantly why would father allow Sam Winchester to drag both you and Michael into the cage. Our confusion was immeasurable."
"Virgil don't try to make sense of it, the old man's thought processes are confusing on the best of days. But thanks to that confusing twisted thinking old deity, Where all back together and we all have a greater appreciation for each other." Lucifer put a hand on Virgil's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. "Gabriel will be coming soon. He'll want a progress report on how our new Guardian angel fledglings are coming along. I must go to Michael. We have something to discuss."
"Are you going to fight about whatever it is that you will discuss?" Virgil asked. "Michael seemed uneasy when I saw him."
"I cannot promise that the discussion will not become 'heated' Virgil. But I can promise that Michael and I will not come to blows over it. We will work out the issue with words." Lucifer smiled and then disappeared.
With Balthazar agreeing to assist Raphael, Gabriel went in search of Castiel finding the Seraph (surprise) with the Winchesters.
"I do not know much about the destruction of the nephilim." Castiel said "My garrison was not called to that battle. All I know is that our father decreed their destruction."
"Luci and I tried to talk him out of it but he wasn't hearing it." Gabriel spoke up. "He felt the nephilim were a 'contamination' among his oh so precious humans. The birth of the first nephilim was also the beginning of Lucifer's rebellion. I fully agreed with Lucifer's position back then. His attitude wasn't so unreasonable when you got right down to it."
"Really? Seems to me he's pretty good at convincing others he's being reasonable, even when he's not." Dean said.
"Dad loved us the angels, he loved you guys even more." Gabriel said. "So tell me how could he love us and hate the nephilim? They were us, human and angel." Gabriel snapped his fingers producing a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup. "Two great tastes that taste great together. Dad didn't see it that way. Maybe if it had just been a handful, but they were prolific. They bred like bunnies and before we knew it the Nephilim were a race. One on track to soon outnumber humans. That's when I understood why dad hated them. They were about to wipe out his most cherished creation without ever lifting a finger."
"I did not realize that father had ordered their destruction to protect humanity." Castiel said.
"Most of the host didn't although there were a handful who saw the writing on the wall." Gabriel said. "Mainly among those who had sired nephilim themselves. They gathered their children took them far away from the land the nephilim had claimed as their own. So when Dad gave the order they survived."
"So what happened to the ones that escaped?" Sam asked.
"They blended in with humans eventually getting 'reabsorbed' back into the human race. They married and had kids and all of the traits of being nephilim simply became an extremely recessive bit of DNA coding in the human genome. And every so often it manifests itself in one of you."
"Manifests itself how?" Dean asked.
"A vessel is born like Jimmy Novak over there." Gabriel pointed at Castiel "But the rarest occurrence is when a physically identifiable attribute manifests itself. The Nephilim were referred to as Giants after all."
"Wait Sam's a nephilim?" Dean demanded.
"Sam shows a hereditary nephilic trait. He's not a Nephilim and why am I trying to explain molecular human genetics to you Dean? It's all going to go over your head anyway." Gabriel said. "Suffice to say that the Campbell/Winchester DNA Mix carries enough nephilic traits to create vessels sturdy enough to be used by Archangels with little to no damage. Just the Winchester DNA by itself can temporarily contain an Archangel with no damage at all, Daddy Winchester was in better condition after Mike rode him than he was before saying yes."
"And that's why Nick was falling apart. He wasn't meant to be the vessel of an Archangel, right." Sam asked.
"Bingo, he was a vessel but not the vessel." Gabriel said. "The only reason he lasted as long as he did was the demon blood, which by the way simply weakened you Sam. You were born to contain the second most powerful angel ever created. The demon blood simply stained your soul, luckily your soul was a lot stronger than anyone gave you credit for. You managed to retain the majority of your purity even when you were sucking on Ruby's blood like it was a chocolate shake."
Gabriel then turned to Dean "And they failed with you too. Sticking a four year old with the responsibility of practically raising an infant? It should have made you resent the hell out of Sam. Instead you were more of a father to him than John ever was. Sam should be giving you an ugly tie every Father's Day, that's how much of a parent you were to him. They had the Apocalypse all planned out from start to finish both sides pushing to get their prizefighter in the ring."
Gabriel threw an arm around Castiel's shoulder. "Instead you two along with my little bro here screwed up all of their plans. Instead of an apocalypse, we've got a family reunion."
Lucifer found Micheal sitting on an outcropping of rock and watching the water roaring over the edge of the falls. Lucifer Lowered himself to the ground next to his brother.
"So did you pick this place to keep me from yelling at you?" Lucifer asked. "You knew I had plans for him Mikey."
"Yes I knew. But I also realized your vessel had stumbled upon something that was more important than you settling the score for something that even your vessel has let go of." Michael turned toward Lucifer. "Sam considers them even. Jake had information we could use he was willing to give that information to us so there was no need to give him to Crowley."
"Michael that doesn't change the fact that we had an agreement, you and I." Lucifer said. "Jake belongs to me. You got the innocent souls of the children Azazel had tainted to take to heaven. I kept my side of that agreement."
"Yes you did Lucifer, and I have kept my side of the agreement." Michael sighed. "I never told Jake that I would save him from hell or even lift a finger to prevent you doing what you wished to him. The deal is that Sam and I will speak to you and do our best to keep you from putting him on the rack. Everything else is fair game, he still belongs to you."
Lucifer looked at Micheal like he had never seen him before. "Who are you and what have you done with my 'holier than than thou' brother?"
"I guess I just learned a few lessons. Being right all the time, micromanaging the host, forcing everyone to adhere to such rigid and unforgiving standards is no way for a family to live and be a family." Michael said. "All it got us last time around was you in the pit, Gabriel running away to adopt another family and the rest of the host becoming such rigid adherents of the word that we forgot the one command our Father gave us. We couldn't even remember how to love each other, much less them.
I don't want to fall into that trap again Luci. So I'm making it a point not to act like an ass this time around. Father has given us a second chance, I intend to take full advantage of that chance."