Gabriel grinned as he ran from Lucifer. “Catch me if you can, brother!” he called over his shoulder to his older brother. A moment later he ran into the same brother. He looked back to see the mirage of the other angel fizzle out of existence. “That’s not fair!” he pouted, crossing his arms.
Lucifer laughed happily. “You never said anything about duplicates.”
“You’ve got to teach me that some day.” the younger archangel beamed.
“I will, but for now best three hundred out of seven?” he grinned.
“With a cheater like you? No way.” Gabriel chuckled. Lucifer rolled his eyes and Gabriel couldn’t help but stop and admire him. They didn’t have bodies like their father, but they liked to manifest themselves in similar forms. Of course each angel would put his own spin on the body. Unfortunately physical contact was impossible since, in all technicality, they were just energies stuck together to form a consciousness. But they would certainly feign it. Especially he and Lucifer. They were definitely the closest of any of the angels and Lucifer was very affectionate. Gabriel enjoyed watching over the fledglings; often when he was, his older brother would come from behind him and hug him. Of course neither could feel it on their skin, but their emotions radiated between them perfectly. Gabriel had never been closer to anyone. All his family meant the world to him, but his older brother topped all of that. He’d never cared for anyone more - not even his father. Lucifer was everything to him.
* * * *
Gabriel watched in horror as his big brother lashed out at their father. “What, are we not enough for you?!” he shouted, glaring down at the human he’d created. “Now you have to make these- these apes?! We have been faithful father; we have done all you’ve asked of us. Why do you replace us like this?”
“Luci…” Gabriel started but was cut off with a hiss from his brother. “Do not ‘Luci’ me, Gabriel!” He started to pace back and forth in front of the throne, turning his attention away from his little brother once more. “Not only do you replace us, Father, but you substitute us with these crude copies that come nowhere near us. I am insulted, Father. What have I done to get out of your good graces after being perfect for you?”
Gabriel actually cowered back as his father rose. His judgement was swift. He had given his soldiers an order. Lucifer said he was perfect, but his disobedience rung clear in the air as their father proclaimed one more chance. That was all he was given.
* * * *
After that, everything had declined in heaven. More and more angels begun to side with Lucifer. But apparently he didn’t think it was enough. After the incident with the apple in the Garden, their father banished Lucifer for good.
And after that, Gabriel ran. The turmoil mixed with the lack of Lucifer was too much for him. He needed out and fast. So he left. He set up a plan for himself to keep hidden from his siblings. He found himself a vessel and became a pagan, soon adopting a new family that he cared about as much as his old.
Life was good. The humans learned how to ferment grapes and make wine and that was good. Then he’d discovered sex and that was better (fantastic together, he noted), and then there was candy and life was almost as paradisiacal as it was in heaven - if he ignored the hole in his heart Lucifer had left him with. A hole no one could fill but his brother.
Then there was Kali. She was a tiger to be longed after for sure. But Gabriel had his secrets, had things he couldn’t tell. Kali the Destroyer didn’t understand the concept of pasts the persisted to torture the mind. She couldn’t understand - Gabriel got that. Such was life. But she also wanted a relationship where she didn’t have to worry about the details, about the moments the smile would slip off Loki’s face and he would brood, if only for a second. And, of course, a person who could be frank with her. The archangel didn’t have that luxury; and so their relationship was over quickly, but Gabriel would never forget it.
Next came the hunters. They didn’t understand. The people he was killing off were dicks. They deserved it! But did the hunters see it that way? No. It was just about getting rid of the “monster” because that’s all they saw when they looked at him. They didn’t see a little fallen angel too scared of his own shadow. A boy grieving at the loss of his brother. A young man too fearful of his father to step up and say he might be wrong. No, all they saw was the murderous Trickster. Gabriel himself didn’t even see those things any more.
But then there’d been the one. Gabriel had come to love humanity, even if they didn’t quite understand him. He loved them, not because he was ordered to, but because they were beautiful creatures. Sure, they had their shadowy spots, but their bright spots shone brighter than the his own Grace.Some of them stopped caring and did whatever the crap suited their fancy at the time no matter how heinous it might be. But many more of them tried to do their best, to love, to forgive. Most of all, they could think. They didn’t rely on orders to function. And it was an absolutely beautiful thing to watch - which some days that’s all Gabriel would do: watch over them. And then, like he said, there was that one that had showed up. He was bright and young and beautiful. Gabriel’s only wish was that he hadn’t been a hunter, that he hadn’t had to do what he did. But he wouldn’t let himself be taken after millenia of freedom. And so he faked a death yet again and disappeared. Too bad that young hunter had to haunt him after his escape. But there was nothing for it. He would never see him again.
Oh, wait, yes he would. As it turned out, those two muttonheads were of the Winchester clan his siblings had been looking after for some time - straight descendants of Cain and Abel. After that he took great interest in them, and not just because the tall one was attractive. From there on it was moments of heat, hospital soap operas, and STDs. He couldn’t complain though, it was good fun.
Had he seen it coming here though, him facing down Lucifer after too long of just running away from his problems? No. He hadn’t. But maybe if he was being honest, he wouldn’t change it for the world. He’d learned that it was time to stand up, stop hiding. But nothing could have prepared him for the moment Lucifer had betrayed everything they had been like it was nothing. Gabriel was only fulfilling his order - love humankind; part of love was to protect them. He hadn’t liked that it had come to this, he and Lucifer, it hurt him badly, but it had been necessary. Then Lucifer had keyed in on his trick, catching the real Gabriel’s wrist and keeping the knife from plunging not into the devil’s stomach, but into his own. “Amateur hocus pocus? Don't forget, you learned all your tricks from me, little brother.” he sneered as the fake version of the younger angel evaporated and Gabriel was one hundred percent sure that the noise he heard was not the blade slipping cleanly between his ribs but his heart shattering. His brother - his everything - had betrayed him. Not out of a sense duty, but out of lust and loathing for the humans he belittled.
Lucifer gave the final twist that sealed the deal. He let the body drop, not able to do more as he felt the emptiness overwhelm him. Gabriel and he had been bonded by Grace. Now that was gone. But he couldn’t give this up just for familial relations, he told himself even as his heart screamed out in agony. That was his brother’s blood on the blade. And it was Lucifer’s fault it was there.
He still cared deeply for his little brother, the one he’d whiled away centuries with. And now the final look of betrayal written on his face would be seared into his mind forever, his final scream of pain echoing endlessly in his ears, and the heat he felt as Gabriel’s triplet wings were scorched into the wood would eternally tingle on his skin. But he wouldn’t stop - certainly not now. He was too far into it.
He dropped the blade with a clattered and turned to leave.
No, he wouldn’t stop. The show must go on.