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*Act Three: Isn't something missing?
Masterpost



*

Gabriel remained invisible to human eyes when he landed with Castiel outside the boundary of Widtsoe, Utah. The Winchesters had parked on the old overgrown road and busied themselves sorting through supplies in the trunk. Dean's gaze darted around before settling on Castiel, and Gabriel knew he had been checking for the archangel's presence.

"Hey, Cas," Dean greeted. "We didn't want to wait for full dark," he said, referring to the slowly changing colors of the early evening sky. "Don't need to go stumbling around and it's not like you guys have an issue with night vision."

"These are for you." Castiel held out two angel blades, expression solemn. Gabriel grimaced at the thought of striking down members of his family, but he recognized the likelihood of that outcome.

"Bobby said as soon as we break the central seal you should be able to breach the barriers," Sam said as he tucked the blade into his belt.

"Gabriel and I will be inside as soon as we feel the wards weaken," Castiel assured. "Concentrate on remaining hidden and breaking the seal. I am uncertain of their exact number, but there are at least four angels within their group."

Dean offered a cocky grin. "No problem. Those dicks won't know what hit 'em, right Sammy?"

Sam rolled his eyes but he smiled as well. He lifted two jugs from the trunk and handed one to his brother. Addressing Castiel, he said, "We'll try to trap who we can just in case we run into trouble."

"We will follow as soon as we can," Castiel promised. Dean nodded and turned away. Sam looked at the angel curiously for a moment and then ran his gaze over the surrounding area; his gaze passed right over Gabriel.

"Come on, Sammy!"

A couple dozen yards away the hunters seemed to disappear as they crossed through the barrier. Gabriel dropped the invisibility and walked up to Castiel's side. "You don't really think they're making it in there unnoticed," he scoffed.

Castiel frowned. "I plan to be ready to come to their aid as soon as possible." His blade slipped from the trench coat sleeve and into his hand.

With a sigh, Gabriel stuffed his hands into his jacket pockets and settled in to wait. The sky darkened with the onset of night and gathering storm clouds. Several minutes passed in silence.

"I'll only kill them as a last resort," Gabriel finally warned.

"It is just as distasteful to me, brother," Castiel returned quietly. He glanced sidelong at Gabriel. "But I will do what I must to protect my friends."

A few more minutes passed before Gabriel once again broke the silence. "Did I kill any of our siblings?" The before I died was understood.

This time Castiel turned to answer. "No, not to my knowledge. But I believe you were prepared to kill Lucifer to end his threat."

The idea nauseated Gabriel, even after having seen only a portion of the torture Sam suffered. Long ago Gabriel had been close to his older brothers and as much as he hated what Lucifer became, it was impossible to conceive how he could eventually resign himself to killing his brother.

"The plan to trap him worked, Gabriel," Castiel said.

The archangel looked the younger angel over carefully; he observed, "You think it would've been better to kill him."

Castiel didn't avert his gaze but he looked saddened. "I believe our brother's death would have spared our friends from great suffering."

"They're not my friends, Castiel," Gabriel reminded. He knew they should be. As he focused on the missing time and his questions, he'd begun to feel the missing pieces of himself. Not mere memory gaps, but literal empty spaces in his Grace – what made him whole. He knew he wasn't the same, couldn't be no matter how detailed an explanation others might provide him.

"They could be again."

Gabriel dismissed anything further with a wave of his hand. Knowing it would distract Castiel, he pointed out, "It's been awhile, I think they ran into some trouble."

Castiel nodded tightly, expression grim. "We must be prepared."

Gabriel watched the lightning sketching across the sky in the distance. Another ten minutes passed.

The instant the air shimmered from the failing barrier, Castiel flew off with Gabriel rushing after him. They landed next to a dilapidated barn where Dean was somehow managing to dodge the attacks of two angels. Castiel immediately stepped into the fray. Gabriel took the time to look around. A couple yards away a female vessel lay crumpled on the ground over the shadowy impressions of wings. Closer to the barn a very unhappy male was caught in a ring of fire. Gabriel hadn't spotted the younger Winchester yet.

Two bright bursts of light in succession indicated Castiel had killed the angels attacking Dean. Gabriel swallowed back the sour taste rising in his throat and turned away from the scene.

"Later, Cas!" Dean limped into view, heading for the barn. "Damn it, do something! There's two more of these assholes in there!"

"Oh hell," Gabriel muttered. He popped ahead and found another dead vessel next to the marred lines of the warding seal.

No sign of Sam or the remaining angel, though. Gabriel reached out and sensed the other angel hadn't gone far; following the feeling led him to a half-collapsed farmhouse. The angel inhabiting a severe-looking female vessel had Sam pinned to the wall as high as her arms could stretch. The hunter already sported some nasty bruises and the way his arm hung limply didn't bode well.

"Hey bitch!" Gabriel allowed the other angel time to turn her head before he flung her across the room. He barely made it in time to keep Sam from crashing to the floor. "Sorry, bucko. Just chill here for our brothers, 'kay?" Sam grunted in response as Gabriel turned away.

The angel had regained her feet and she charged at Gabriel, blade up. Gabriel waited until she came within striking distance to disappear and materialize behind her. "Oh, kid, you have no idea who you're messing with." He yanked her arms behind her back and twisted the blade out of her hand. She struggled in his grip, putting up enough of a fight that he had to be careful not to let her slip away.

"You defend these mortals? You're with that fool Castiel!"

"Yeah, pathetic that he seems to be the levelheaded one, isn't it?" Gabriel jerked her arms up a little higher. "Seriously, kid, settle down." Fed up, he let his Grace flare just enough to identify himself and was pleased when she suddenly stopped struggling.

Eyes wide, she turned her head to look at him. "Gabriel?"

"I think you're headed for a time-out."

Castiel appeared with Dean in the middle of the room. The hunter went immediately to his brother. Castiel moved forward to address the archangel. "I must see to their secure transfer." He tilted his head toward the humans. "Will you see them safely to a place to rest?"

With a roll of his eyes, Gabriel passed the angel over to Castiel's custody. "Right, babysitting, check! Try not to lose her. Oh, and you might want to see to our fire-buddy out there with the storm coming in."

"I will have assistance," Castiel replied. He arched an eyebrow meaningfully.

Gabriel muttered a reluctant "thank you" for giving him time to clear out before more angels arrived. He walked over to the hunters. "C'mon boys." With a snap, he transported the three of them back to the Impala.

"Fuck," Dean hissed as he slumped against the car. He glared at Gabriel. "Little warning, asshole."

Wiggling his fingers, Gabriel asked, "Do you want to try driving your baby with a bum leg or would you like a little pick-me-up?"

Sam's groan seemed to deflate whatever retort Dean had been preparing to give. With a tight frown, the older Winchester said, "Fine, but just enough to travel. Don't need your grimy paws on us longer than necessary."

"You wish," Gabriel retorted. He stepped forward and flicked Dean in the forehead. He ignored the hunter's annoyed "ow!" and placed his hand on Dean's shoulder. Gabriel prompted the human's body to heal broken bones and realign dislocated joints. He patted Dean's cheek when he was done, smirking at the glower he got in return.

"Your turn, Sasquatch." Gabriel squatted next to the dazed-looking hunter and decided to extend a bit of healing to sort out the concussion. He felt awkward as he patted the hunter on the head and pulled away.

Dean helped his brother up. He glanced over at Gabriel suspiciously. "Don't you have someplace to be?"

The hunter was right. Technically he'd fulfilled the deal he'd made with Castiel. Even so... "What sort of babysitter would I be if I sent you off into the dark and stormy night?" He had perfect timing – lightning lit up the sky and a deep roll of thunder followed. The first drops of rain started falling and Gabriel popped himself into the Impala.

Dean grumbled as he opened the door and slid behind the wheel. "Seriously?"

Sam got in on the other side and seemed to hunch in on himself. Gabriel kept a close eye on the hunter, wondering if he'd missed something in the quick-fix healing. The next roll of thunder made Sam wince and Gabriel relaxed, even though he found it strange that the hunter seemed to have developed a fear of storms.

"Spill anything in here and I'll kill you," Dean promised as he turned the key in the ignition. "Don't fuck with the stereo."

"Driver picks the music," Sam muttered, followed by a small chuckle.

"Damn straight."

Gabriel rolled his eyes and sat back for the ride. He told himself that he'd see that the Winchesters got checked into at least a semi-decent motel before flying off to find Castiel for details of the wrap-up.

~

When Dean came out of the office with room keys, he looked irritated to see Gabriel still sitting in the car with Sam and the hunters' bags. Despite the unhappy expression, Dean didn't comment as he got back in the car and drove across the lot. The rain was coming down hard and without a handy mojo'd umbrella effect, Gabriel would have been as wet as the two humans.

"Some help you are," Dean muttered as Gabriel pushed ahead into the room. "Yeah. Make yourself comfortable."

Sam eyed them both warily before dropping his bag on one of the beds and heading into the bathroom. Dean frowned at the closed door.

Gabriel dropped into a chair and tilted back so that he could prop his feet on the table. That recaptured Dean's attention.

"Dude, shove off. Whatever Cas had you promise, I'm sure it's done."

"What, you really want to keep that shiny black eye?" Gabriel indicated his own eye. "Your brother looks a little worse for wear, too."

Dean frowned tightly. "We've been doing this for years, thanks for the concern. We're fine."

"Very macho—" Gabriel cut himself off when harsh coughing echoed from the bathroom.

"Sam?" Dean called. A decidedly wet-sounding cough sent the hunter running to the bathroom door. "Sammy?" Gabriel followed right behind, an unfamiliar feeling of concern tugging at him.

Sam sat slumped on the bathroom floor, leaning awkwardly against the sink pedestal as he alternatively coughed and gasped for breath. He'd taken off his jacket and outer shirt. After he let loose another wet-sounding cough, he moved his hand away from his mouth, revealing drops of blood on his lips and chin.

"Jesus, Sammy!"

Gabriel easily slipped past Dean and knelt next to the younger Winchester. "Not gonna hurt, promise," Gabriel said as he placed his hand over Sam's sternum. He concentrated on making sure he dealt with the full extent of the hunter's injuries this time.

"Shit, they did a real number on you," Gabriel muttered. He carefully double-checked that the internal injuries had stopped hemorrhaging and healed over before he pulled back. "Why the hell didn't you say anything earlier?"

When he looked up to meet the hunter's gaze, he was confused by the haunted expression looking back at him. Gabriel glanced up at the older Winchester and found a similar expression. A quick skim of Dean's thoughts gave him the impression of Zachariah, hemorrhaging tumors, Gabriel rushing over to Sam, something there.

Caught up in a sense of déjà vu not his own, it took a minute to realize Sam had pulled himself to his feet and was pushing past his brother.

"Sam?" Dean's hand lifted halfway to his brother's arm, but at the shake of Sam's head, he let it drop.

Gabriel stood up and watched in confusion as Sam strode across the room, barely hesitating to open the door. It didn't look like Dean was eager to follow, but Gabriel almost felt compelled to go after him.

The rain had let up just enough that it was possible to see more than two feet in front of his face. Sam seemed not to care about the weather. Gabriel hurried to catch up with the hunter's long strides across the parking lot as the rain soaked them both; he'd forgotten to snap up an umbrella before stepping outside and there was little point now.

Abruptly Sam came to a halt and whirled around. He held his arms out at his sides as he pinned Gabriel with an anguished stare.

Gabriel came to a stop so fast he rocked forward from the momentum.

"I can't keep doing this!"

The archangel didn't have a response to the half-shouted admission.

Sam pressed his palms over his eyes and exhaled shakily. "I just... I want you back. All of you." He let loose a shaky, unhappy chuckle and slowly lowered his hands. "I..." A half-choked sob escaped and Sam scrubbed a hand over his mouth. "I can't keep looking at you when you don't really see me."

He didn't know what he would say, but Gabriel felt he needed to say something before the hunter came fully undone. He could practically see Sam unraveling in front of his eyes. "I—"

"You don't remember," Sam interrupted. He looked exhausted as he spread his arms again in surrender. "I don't even think you can."

His shrug caught Gabriel's attention when he realized the dark mark near Sam's inner elbow wasn't simply a shadow. He peered at it, trying to make sense of the tattoo's dark lines. Had he been human, he wouldn't have been able to make it out. As it was, Gabriel turned his stunned gaze up to the hunter's miserable expression.

"That's..." Gabriel trailed off and looked again at the tattoo of his sigil. Unbidden memories came to him: Sam rubbing at his arm when they were working at the library; flesh tearing under Lucifer's fingers; the desperate, broken "I can't keep doing this. Please, go away" echoed in his memory.

Sam slowly extended his arm and Gabriel met his pleading stare. "Take it back. Please just take it back."

Overwhelmed, Gabriel just shook his head. He couldn't take back what he never gave.

Castiel was right. Gabriel couldn't fix this.

He took a step back, murmuring apologetically, "I can't." He flew away before he could see the last of Sam's control break.

*

Gabriel didn't pay much attention to his flight; he didn't go far, judging by the storm still raging around him. His only intent had been to retreat and not be the focus of that agonized stare.

"Well, this puts a new spin on things," he muttered to himself. It certainly explained the elder Winchester's almost rabid protective streak and the shell-shocked expression on Sam's face when the archangel first showed up.

None of the reactions or the explanations he'd been able to get answered how he'd gotten into a relationship. A relationship that had apparently been serious enough for him to place an obvious claim on his lover's arm.

Gabriel tilted his head back and let the rain wash over his face. Last he remembered, he'd been enjoying another round of mind games with the Winchesters while dodging identification by Castiel. When that had failed, he was left in a ring of fire staring at expressions of disappointment and frustration. The best he could have said then, and he wouldn't have admitted it to anyone else, was that he had grudging respect for the Winchesters. Their tenacity plus overall track record was admirable. But that was a long way from friendship, let alone a relationship.

What the hell happened? The empty spaces he'd been trying so hard to ignore felt impossibly large now, like gaping wounds left untreated.

*

Only a few clouds drifted across the night sky over Sioux Falls and lights glowed in a downstairs windows of the house. Crowley appeared within a minute of Gabriel's arrival.

"How did the..." the demon trailed off as he looked the angel over. "You look like a drowned rat."

Gabriel hadn't thought about cleaning up. With a snap, he'd dried off and a quick run of his hand over his hair left him feeling a little more like himself.

"You knew, you bastard!" Gabriel growled.

Crowley's face scrunched up in confusion. "I know a lot of things. What are we talking about?"

"Sam Winchester."

"Ah." Crowley's expression cleared and he rocked back on his heels. "I suspected as much. Rather obvious later on with all that yelling your name." He tilted his head thoughtfully. "Well, that and a certain signature on his arm."

"You could have warned me!" Gabriel snapped.

"Hello, have we met?" Crowley rolled his eyes and pointed at himself; "Demon."

That didn't explain why Castiel hadn't seen fit to mention it, but Gabriel didn't feel inclined to track his brother down and demand answers. Restraining a sigh, he asked, "How long?"

Crowley shrugged. "Never said, but you came to me a few months before the moose jumped into the Cage. Knew something was up, so I suspect you two had been at it for a while."

Gabriel frowned at the lack of any real information. In the end he supposed a timeline for events he couldn't remember didn't much matter. He asked, "How did the kid come back? Or are you sticking around here waiting for a deal to come due?"

"Plenty of reasons to stick around," Crowley dismissed. "No deals. A mutual friend of ours pitched in. You of course remember Kali."

Startled, Gabriel said, "Kali? She brought me back... She agreed to go after Sam and didn't mention anything?"

Crowley frowned. He muttered to himself, "She brought you back. Hindu goddess, Judeo-Christian angel... would explain the memory gap." Louder, Crowley answered, "No, she didn't say a thing about you flitting about with amnesia."

"Why the hell...?"

"If you plan on calling her, count me out." Crowley raised his hands. "Last we talked, there was the distinct impression of 'don't call me, I'll kill you'."

Gabriel sighed. He agreed with the demon's caution, and in truth he doubted Kali could offer any help in fixing whatever had gone wrong. As a matter of pride she would have found him to set things right if she could have.

Apparently Crowley sensed his agreement. The demon asked, "What do you plan to do now?"

Gabriel rubbed a hand over his face and chuckled softly. "That's the million dollar question."

After a few moments of silence, Crowley offered quietly, "Good luck."

*

He'd been waiting for Castiel's return from Heaven, so he was immediately aware when his brother returned to Earth sometime past midnight. Gabriel took the time to carefully craft a barrier to keep himself hidden. It was hard to judge how astute Castiel had become with his new angel-mojo, but Gabriel hoped even his brother wouldn't be able to sense him.

Gabriel arrived in the same motel room Sam had run out of hours earlier. Neither bed looked slept-in although Sam sat against the headboard of one with his eyes fixated on his laptop screen. Castiel sat in a chair at the table with Dean. All three looked exhausted.

"How did it go?" Dean asked, leaning his elbows on the table.

"It could have gone better," Castiel deadpanned.

Snorting softly, Dean asked, "That good, huh?" He chuckled a little at Castiel's wry smile.

"There are numerous concerns, not the least of which revolves around how to handle other fracturing groups." Castiel looked down at his loosely clasped hands. "The deaths of our brethren have made some angry and it does not reflect well on your involvement."

"Anything we need to worry about?" Dean asked grimly.

Castiel shook his head. "There is distrust, but I haven't sensed any direct hostility. You are still hidden from angelic sight, if it does become a concern." Dean nodded but didn't look fully convinced. Castiel glanced at Sam before he continued, "News is quickly spreading that Gabriel is alive."

Damn it, Gabriel thought, not that he should be surprised. He knew what it meant when he identified himself back at the farmhouse, but the full import was only now starting to sink in. Just a little distracted by other things.

"So what does that mean?"

"For now, most think it to be mere rumor," Castiel replied. "I will not confirm his existence without my brother's permission." He sighed and Gabriel noted how human his brother looked when in the Winchesters' presence. "I am worried about Heaven's future. I fear that unification is elusive without a leader we can all trust. We do not share a common purpose."

A couple minutes passed; unexpectedly it was Dean who looked thoughtful while Sam appeared unfocused.

"Cas... say you found God. Would that help or just screw things even worse?" Everyone looked at Dean in surprise. "I mean, we derailed the smack-down of the millennia, stopped the frigging Apocalypse. The least He could do is manage some housekeeping, right?"

Castiel tilted his head. "When we last spoke of God I recall you making threats."

Dean looked a little embarrassed as he rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. "Yeah, well... Sammy's here now. And He did bring you back... Maybe you were right and He did some stuff we don't know about." He shrugged. "It doesn't really matter what I believe, Cas, you do. A lot of angels up there do, too."

Castiel nodded, obviously considering Dean's suggestion. Finally he said, "I would... very much like to speak with my Father. I hope He would provide us guidance."

For the first time since Gabriel's silent arrival, Sam joined the conversation. "Would the amulet help you again?"

Both Castiel and Dean looked surprised. "Didn't I—?"

Sam smiled crookedly as he stood up and moved to his bag. "Yeah, I grabbed it before leaving." He dug something out of the duffle and turned to the table. Castiel held out his hand and Sam let a necklace fall into the palm.

"Thank you, Sam," Castiel said quietly. Sam tried to shrug it off.

The mood shifted as Castiel looked around the room, finally seeming to pay attention to the here-and-now. "What happened to Gabriel?"

Dean looked at Sam wearily as the taller hunter seemed to withdraw into himself. Castiel's gaze became more intent as he looked around, expression searching. Gabriel had the sense that he wouldn't be hidden from his brother for much longer. He'd heard what he'd wanted to about the situation in Heaven, it was time to go.

*

Gabriel spent the next several days traveling through Europe and doling out karmic justice. He threw himself into the tasks, determined to get back into the flow of what had been his routine for hundreds of years. He did his best to put thoughts of the averted Apocalypse, his not-so-estranged brother, and complicated human relationships out of his mind. Most of the time he had reasonable success. He could go hours at a time focusing on corrupt politicians, abusive spouses, and schoolyard bullies. But nothing he did could fully block the continuing calls from Sam Winchester.

Surprisingly it seemed that the hunter had managed to control his screams, but Gabriel could hear the whimpered pleas. Sometimes it wasn't verbal shouts, instead a sense of longing tugged insistently for the archangel's attention.

After a few days of ignoring Sam to the best of his ability, Gabriel caved and slipped into the hunter's dreams. Thankfully Lucifer was nowhere in sight and the atmosphere lacked the heaviness of a nightmare.

Sam lay on his side, curled around the dream-Gabriel propped up by pillows on the bed. Despite the position, the hunter was obviously tense and awake, his gaze fixed blankly on the motel's hideous wallpaper. Gabriel's fingers stroked through Sam's hair at a lazy pace as they lay there quietly. The occasional sound of a passing car or people chattering drifted in from outside.

"How was the drive?" Gabriel asked eventually.

Sam snorted softly and turned his face closer to the angel's chest. "Dean shouldn't be allowed to bitch about my 'moodiness' ever." Gabriel chuckled and moved his free arm to rest over the one Sam had wrapped around his waist. "How's Cas doing?"

A sigh escaped Gabriel. "Seems like Deano might've rubbed off on him in the moodiness arena."

Silence followed as Sam and Gabriel shifted until they were more or less facing each other with their limbs entangled. Sam's eyes closed, and he leaned his forehead against the angel's.

"I'm losing them," Sam whispered. His arms tightened around the angel and Gabriel responded in kind.

"Then we gotta knock some sense into them," Gabriel replied. He tilted his head, leaving a trail of kisses along the human's jaw and neck. "You can out-stubborn the best of 'em, Sammy, you won't let those two wander off."

"Gabriel..." Sam sounded like he meant to protest, but he trailed off. He leaned into the touches of the angel's lips and fingers.

"Let go, Sam," Gabriel murmured against the human's cheek. He kissed away the worried-sounding whimper. "I'm right here with you, kiddo."


Gabriel fled the dreamscape, having found the affection almost harder to observe than Lucifer's tortures. The intimacy wasn't familiar, but the scene still tugged at him because he knew it should be.

He tilted his head back and laughed mirthlessly at the night sky. "What is this? What makes us so unworthy? Apparently I joined the underdog team, just like little brother Castiel, but I still didn't make it onto your to-do list. That human found a way to stop Lucifer and Michael without killing them and even he was left to burn.

"So what is it, Dad? How come the only one who cared enough to bring me back was an ex who felt she owed me for saving her ass? So maybe I'm back wrong, at least she fucking tried! Do you even care anymore? You can't punish me for running, you ran too!"

Gabriel's fists unclenched and the sigh that tore past his lips banished the worst of his anger. In its wake he felt tired and vulnerable with the swirling emotions of frustration, hurt, and sympathy. "So maybe I messed up and you haven't been in the forgiving mood, whatever. But what about the kid? Sam Winchester saved your precious world, Dad. He dragged Lucifer back into timeout before everything could be wiped out. So why's his soul always screaming? He's going to rip apart, Dad. He keeps on grasping for something. Shit, he's trying to reach me isn't he? But I can't— I don't know how and it's all just empty."

The gentle, "Hello, Gabriel" startled the archangel. He whirled around and stared wide-eyed at the Prophet Chuck.

But it wasn't just the Prophet standing before him, though Gabriel could sense the human's soul resting peacefully within the vessel. "Dad?" he gasped.

"I think the question you're looking for is 'where have you been'?" God smiled.

Gabriel slowly shook his head, still too surprised to truly react. "Not like I really expect you to answer. Never were big on explanations," he said with surprisingly little resentment.

"Sometimes we need to make our own choices," God replied. His expression turned serious. "My Word went unquestioned for so long, it was time for a change."

Gabriel resisted the urge to chuckle, more amused than bitter. "Really, Dad? Did you actually think that going MIA without a trace was going to turn out well?"

With a sad-sounding sigh, God replied, "I wish things had turned out better. I wasn't always paying attention when I should have. Don't doubt that I have regrets, Gabriel."

The angel did chuckle at that. "So you make mistakes – that's really gonna screw with some minds."

"But not all." God smiled. "Many of my children have learned to think for themselves. However, I had underestimated the need for guidance." His gaze turned skywards.

Considering the implication of those words, Gabriel said, "Castiel says it's a mess up there. Probably could use a Fatherly visit." Or a kick in the ass, he thought.

God's attention returned to Gabriel, His stare more intense, more knowing than any being Gabriel had ever encountered. "I have a couple things to do first. Gabriel, I'm sorry that I didn't come for you. I have no explanation to satisfy your questions in that regard. But it was not your time to die, you have just as much work left to do as Castiel."

Wary, but also grateful to hear he was still cared for, Gabriel said, "Gee, Dad, weren't we just talking about free will?"

"Maybe I just believe in second... and third chances." The teasing note faded from His voice when God continued; "Kali could not make you whole. If you wish, I can."

Surprised, Gabriel hesitantly asked, "What's the catch?"

"I cannot simply fill in the gaps. If you agree, it will be painful. It will be as if you died again, and you will be aware of your spirit and vessel being made anew." God watched carefully as Gabriel let the significance of that sink in.

Gently, God added, "You changed for the better, Gabriel. I could feel your strength, your happiness, for the first time in thousands of years."

Gabriel was shaken by the implication. Despite the trickle of fear he felt, the angel put on his game face and asked cheekily, "So what's there to lose?"

God stepped forward with a small smile. "You will forget nothing. Bless you, child." For one long, precious moment Gabriel felt his Father's kiss on his vessel's forehead.

Then came the indescribable explosion of his undoing.

*

Gabriel felt the millions of fractured pieces of his Grace explode outward before crashing against a barrier that kept his essence from scattering to the universe. Mismatched jagged edges scraped against each other as the barrier contracted. Gabriel hurt without knowing what hurt. He only recognized pain and the fact that this wasn't right. Either he was meant to be whole in life or returned to the dust of the universe in death. This in-between wasn't a real state-of-being.

Slowly, so excruciatingly slowly, the right pieces began to fit and a sense of coherency started to return. He realized he was screaming. The pieces of himself that Kali had woven together slipped into place first. As jagged edges smoothed, the indescribable pain eased slightly to a deep ache. His screams faded as his attention turned to the memories quickly piling on top of one another.

The missing fragments began to fill in, details of scenes that had been forgotten from the distant past; often things so small that Gabriel had hardly noticed their absence.

The closer his thoughts spun to the present, the more detailed the memories became. Gaps began to fill and Gabriel found himself popping through his custom-made TV realm for the Winchesters. Finally the extra details filed into place, and with every passing moment he could feel his Grace glowing brighter and the deep-set ache fading away.

*

Over a month had passed since the Winchesters had managed to trick the Trickster and exposed his true identity. Gabriel's initial anger had faded, the last simmering remains saved for the coward accusation Dean had tossed his way before leaving. He was many things, but a coward wasn't one of them.

"It doesn't have to be like that. There has to be some way to, to pull the plug," Sam had said when Gabriel expressed his desire for the fight to go down and be done with. The younger Winchester had been the one hopeful for a new ally even though he didn't look surprised when faced with Gabriel's refusal.

The hunters had walked out of the warehouse and Castiel followed with only the briefest of glances back. As utterly hopeless as their little team's mission to derail the Apocalypse was, the trio didn't seem to be backing down. Well, the Winchesters always had been stubborn bastards, not like he should expect that to change. Nor had they ever done well with having their convictions challenged.

They really think there's a way to get out of this without killing each other and without the world ending. He'd been thinking about that for weeks.

Gabriel sincerely doubted their ability to defy destiny, but he couldn't deny to himself that he would prefer the world to stay as is – chaotic and lively. What Michael and Lucifer had planned... in his heart Gabriel doubted their Father truly wished the same. Unfortunately, running off without a word meant tacit approval and those most capable of stopping the impending mess were disinclined to do so.

Leaving, of course, a collection of tenacious misfits.

He'd gambled in the past and no one had ever accused him of being predictable. Nothing said he'd have to abandon witness protection or bind himself indefinitely to the anti-destiny team. Shit. What the hell do I lose except a bit of time?

It took very little time to figure out where he could meet up with the brothers. If the angels had even the slightest understanding of the Winchesters, they'd have the boys prepped and ready for The End. Another point to you humans, Gabriel thought wryly. He popped into a small Midwestern town with a hunt sure to attract the brothers' attention.

"We'll just wait and see, boys."

*

It hadn't been any particular thing that won Gabriel over and made him stay. Eventually he noticed the others had stopped thinking of him as an interloper only to realize he'd stopped thinking as an outsider long before that. However, as much as the whole team accepted Gabriel, Sam connected with him the best. The reverse was also true.

Gabriel first became aware of the depth of his connection with Sam in the aftermath of Famine's effects. The archangel had turned up at Singer's in time to hear Sam yelling and screaming in the panic room. Bobby sat on the porch nursing a whiskey bottle. Dean alternated between pacing the house and walking through the salvage yard. Castiel stood vigil outside the panic room. All of them looked like death warmed over and Sam, when Gabriel finally saw him, looked even worse.

Seeing Sam like that flipped some sort of mental switch for Gabriel. He was acutely aware of the worry he'd felt during the human's screaming fits; for the first time Gabriel felt angry at himself for not being around to help earlier; he felt relieved and proud that Sam had turned Famine's game around on the Horseman. Most significantly, Gabriel felt a surge of affection and protectiveness as the hunter relaxed in his arms.

To all appearances, Sam recovered quickly from the incident with Famine. While Gabriel could fully agree that the younger Winchester was holding together, he knew things were far from fine. It was obvious to see Dean losing steam and Castiel falling further into desperation whereas Sam presented a constant front of determination. Gabriel respected that strength, and goodness knew their little team needed someone to maintain hope, but he hated how Sam seemed to have shouldered the weight alone.

It had been a long time since Gabriel had much cared about other people. He'd spent centuries wrapped up in himself and maintaining emotional distance from others. Times had changed, however, and he found himself wanting to offer Sam a respite. He liked the human, cared for him in a way Gabriel didn't want to examine too closely.

So that was why when Sam needed rescuing from a persistent admirer, Gabriel took the opportunity to kiss the human and pull him away – from everything.

"Take a little, Sam. Just us here, and I’m offering. Take it or leave it." The angel didn't look too closely at the rush of relief he felt when Sam accepted.

*

It was around the time that the Winchesters were handling the fallout of a zombie awakening near home base (a.k.a. Singer's place) that Gabriel had a novel idea. It was just the right sort of Winchester-crazy to work, too. It should have occurred to him earlier, but he had reckless humans and a complicated brother to take care of. In addition, he was working on stepped-up warding tactics to hide the trio and himself.

It took a bit of browsing through Singer's notes while the humans slept for Gabriel to get a clue. Singer had continued to monitor signs of the Horsemen while the rest of the team focused elsewhere. Reading the hunter's notes about War's and Famine's rings finally sparked Gabriel's idea.

While breaking the seals had led to Lucifer's release, the Cage could be locked another way. Combined, the Horsemen's rings opened the door. Opening the Cage meant a chance at shoving Lucifer back in – a non-lethal method of stopping the fallen archangel.

Given that the Winchesters had already managed the improbable and come out on top with the rings of two of the Horsemen, Gabriel actually didn't feel too worried about their chances with Pestilence. (That did not mean he planned on letting the humans, with their fragile physical bodies and weak immune systems, face that particular Horseman without angelic backing.) Death, however, was another matter entirely.

Death was one of the first beings ever in existence, the quintessential partner of creation. Older than God or any other deity, Death would always be around. There was no way to permanently defeat Death, only ways to cheat or harness or bind its powers. Lucifer had needed the power and chaos of the Horsemen and probably managed to bargain with War, Famine, and Pestilence. But with Death, there would be nothing he could offer or threaten, so he must have found a way to harness the ancient being. Gabriel sincerely doubted Death, even with all its patience, cared to be collared.

He knew it would be a longshot, but it was one worth making. Gabriel needed to find Death in whatever form it had currently taken and see if the Horseman would lend its ring in exchange for re-caging Lucifer.

Gabriel needed some backing before he presented the idea to the team. Tracking down the remaining rings and taking possession of the keys would be a bit tricky. Opening the Cage would be the easy part. Getting Lucifer back into the Cage might very well take a miracle.

*

Gabriel couldn't overwrite the concealing sigils Castiel had carved onto the Winchesters' ribs, but he did manage to craft a monitoring spell. He had intended the spell to notify him in case of an emergency; by Winchester standards, that translated to "near death." However, the ability to intervene depended on knowledge of their location. He hadn't exactly known how the spell would work out, he'd made it up as he went along.

At first he didn't understand why it felt like someone was tugging at his shoulder – well, it was less of a physical sensation than a disruption of his attention. Seconds later, when his focus had turned to the tug, he heard a familiar voice gasp, "Sorry."

Realization struck like a blow to the chest and Gabriel immediately flew to Castiel's side. "Tell me you know where they are," Gabriel demanded.

Castiel tilted his head with a look of confusion. "Dean has not contacted me. I believe they were quite tired from recent events."

Gabriel clenched his fists in frustration. "Shit. Cas..." Sam's dead, he tried to say, but the words wouldn't come. He took a moment to center his thoughts and reached out for the monitoring spell. No response from Dean, either. "Castiel, they're dead."

Castiel's eyes widened and for a few moments Gabriel saw a wealth of emotions rush across his face.

"I don't know anything else," Gabriel continued, "those damn sigils— Something obviously found them. Shit, we're going to be in a damn race to find them first. Heaven and Hell are going to be searching the instant they hear and news travels fast." Given the Winchesters' importance, not to mention their penchant for not staying dead, there was no doubt in Gabriel's mind that they would be back. The problem lay in how they returned and who got to them first.

"Their presence in Heaven will be detected but..." Castiel looked thoughtful. Gabriel gave him a questioning look. "We have been unable to find God on our own. Joshua could help us."

Incredulous, Gabriel gaped at his brother. "You want the Winchesters running around Heaven looking for Dad's Gardener while a pack of angels gung-ho about the Apocalypse are right on their tails? Bro, you know who has the home field advantage in this. How do you expect them to know what to do, anyway?"

Castiel frowned. "I should be able to make contact with Dean. Unless you will travel to Heaven and find them?"

Gabriel scowled and looked away. He couldn't return and irrevocably expose himself.

"I will attempt to make contact," Castiel repeated. "I could use your help, brother."

Still scowling, Gabriel glanced at Castiel and reluctantly nodded. He could boost his brother's "signal" without announcing his own presence.

For the first time Gabriel felt a disturbing ring of truth in Dean's accusation from months ago: "This is about you being too afraid to stand up to your family."

~

The instant Castiel received the brothers' location upon their return from Heaven, the angels took flight. Gabriel's eyes locked on Sam and he strode across the room. The human looked pale and a little dazed as he glanced up from picking at his blood-caked shirt. Gabriel felt ill as he stared at the evidence of the hunter's death.

"We're fine. I'm fine," Sam said, holding his hand up. Gabriel read the gesture as a sign to stay back so he resisted the urge to reach out as he ran a critical gaze over Sam's body.

Dean laughed sharply and the hollow sound caught Gabriel by surprise. "Yeah. Fine. Your Dad's gardener said to fuck off." The archangel turned his stare to Dean in surprise. Sure, Gabriel hadn't really expected Castiel's search to pan out, but his brother's earnestness must have given him some hope.

"He wouldn't..." Castiel's brow furrowed in a look of very human confusion.

"Yeah, well, apparently He would," Dean said.

Gabriel hid his grimace at Castiel's expression of disappointment. He would talk with his brother later, though. He actually had slightly more pressing matters to examine at the moment. Looking back to Sam he asked, "What happened to instigate your little jaunt upstairs?"

Sam grimaced and poked his finger through one of the holes in his shirt. "A couple hunters."

Humans? Gabriel's eyes narrowed. "I know you two can really piss people off, but why were hunters after you?" So help him, they were in for more trouble than they could hope to handle.

"They knew that I started this," Sam said quietly, seeming to hunch in on himself.

Before Gabriel could counter assigning blame, Dean added, "Not just them. They said others are looking for us. Somebody passed along the word." He made a disgusted sound as he looked down at his shirt. "We need to get the hell out of Dodge – after we change."

As the elder Winchester commandeered the bathroom, Gabriel drew closer to Sam. He gently touched the human's chin and got him to look up. "Sam? I'm sure a shower would feel better, but in the name of expediency..." He snapped his fingers, exchanging the hunter's blood-covered clothes with a clean outfit. Gabriel pasted on a smile and was relieved to receive a small one in return.

"That works." Sam stood up and started moving around the room, packing. Gabriel's stare stayed with the human.

Castiel's quiet words disrupted the silence. "Why would our Father stand by and let this happen? Does He want this?" Sam sent Gabriel a worried look.

Sighing quietly, Gabriel said, "Bro... Look, I know everyone's keen on preaching Dad's infallibility but the truth is, He hasn't been interested in stepping in for centuries. The last chat He had with anyone besides Joshua, apparently, was His message to Muhammad." He shrugged dismissively, acting far more casual than he felt. "Millennia spent in a crowd of His children, probably needed a vacation."

It had never been popular for those in Heaven to question God. Gabriel was certain that even with God away, popular opinion would originate from the top and any orders would be obeyed on the assumption that God's Will was being carried out.

Dean stepped out of the bathroom fully dressed. "Sammy, it's all—" He did a double-take as he realized his brother had changed. "Or we could just get out of here." Sam nodded and zipped up his bag.

Gabriel caught their attention by snapping and cleaning away the bloody evidence of death from the beds. Sam looked a little sheepish as he muttered "Thanks."

"Cas?"

They looked over at the angel leaning heavily against the room's divider. Gabriel flinched at the overwhelming sense of dejection emanating from Castiel. "You son of a bitch. I believed—"

Castiel turned around as he dug something out of his pocket. "I don't need this anymore," he said gruffly, tossing the object in his hand to Dean. "It's worthless."

Gabriel didn't know what it was, obviously something Castiel had thought would help find their Father. The flash of hurt across Sam's face made him curious to know the details.

Without another word, Castiel vanished. "Damn it," Sam muttered.

Gabriel wanted to stay; the longing he felt to do so surprised him. He couldn't give into the urge, though, because as much as he didn't want to let Sam out of his sight, Castiel needed his brother.

Gabriel drew close to curl his hand around Sam's arm. He wished he could give in to the urge to kiss the hunter, but Dean didn't know about them and they didn't need to add another complication tonight. "Keep in touch," Gabriel said. He waited for Sam's acknowledgement before he flew off to find Castiel.

*

It was no easy task tracking down a powerful demon on the lam. Gabriel had known Crowley since before the demon had become King of the Crossroads, however, and that combined with Gabriel's blend of angelic and Trickster powers lent him the edge he needed. He sent a simple message with a time and location.

They met at an empty beach house off the Florida keys. They sat on the deck with drinks Gabriel conjured.

Crowley accepted his glass and asked, "What's the occasion? You never struck me as the family reunion type. Or is the frenzy over the prize fight of the millennium simply too much to resist?"

Gabriel had expected the jab at his family and chose to ignore it. "I hear you're on the outs with Lucifer's crew. Not a very popular side you picked."

The demon shrugged, appearing unperturbed. "Lucifer wins, doesn't matter if I support the bastard or not, I'm dead. I happen to like living." He sipped his drink and arched an eyebrow. "But what's it to you?"

"Mutual interest in self-preservation." Gabriel mimicked Crowley's casual shrug. "Well, I'm harder to kill than a cockroach, so it's more... an investment in keeping the world interesting." He grinned.

Crowley rolled his eyes. "Chaos gods, always so full of yourselves. Only thing worse has to be a bloody archangel of judgment masquerading as one."

"Love you two, dick," Gabriel returned.

They drank in silence for a long while. Eventually Crowley motioned for a refill. He leaned back with his full glass and fixed Gabriel with a skeptical stare. "Not pulling for either of your brothers, then?"

"Oh, I have a familial connection," Gabriel answered, smiling a little at the surprise that escaped onto the demon's expression. "Just so happens my little brother is something of an outcast."

"Ah, I see." Crowley's eyes narrowed slightly. "Little lost angel Castiel. He's keeping interesting company."

Gabriel inclined his head. "They do seem a bit ragtag, true. Didn't seem to stop you taking a gamble," he challenged.

"Convenient excuse to get out from under Lucifer's thumb," Crowley dismissed.

"Maybe." Gabriel leaned forward, dropping some of the levity. "You already took a risk, Crowley. It's not like you to leave something partway. You really want to survive this? Invest a little time getting the Winchesters pointed in the right direction."

Gabriel knew he'd let his personal feelings slip into the proposal and that Crowley was more than likely to investigate that information, but if it was enough to intrigue the demon, Gabriel wouldn't complain.

"Throwing your lot in with more than your little brother, then." Crowley finished his drink and stood up. "Our meetings are never boring, I'll give you that."

Gabriel stood as well and tried to gauge the demon's thoughts. "You know me, always fun-loving," he replied. "Michael and Lucifer always were the spoilsports."

Crowley smirked, easily catching onto the archangel's fishing.

"I'll think about it," the demon said before disappearing.

With a sigh Gabriel fell back into a lounge chair and settled in with another drink. He hadn't expected much else from Crowley. Now he had to hope that the demon would join in before it was too late.

*

Dean looked furious as he got into the car and turned to glare at Gabriel. "You asshole! I thought you were dead!"

Gabriel held back a grimace, hoping that Sam had seen through the trick. "You think I'd give Kali my real sword? That thing can kill me!"

"So what do they have in there?"

"A fake! Made it out of diet orange Slice – only time that stuff's good for anything. So hey, go snag our blood, okay?"

Dean looked at him incredulously. "What?"

Gabriel sighed irritably, this really needed to go smoother. "Kali likes you, man. You can get close so grab the plasma and we can vamoose!"

Dean's expression closed off and Gabriel knew he was going to hate whatever came next. "No. Hand over the real blade if you're not going to use it. Someone in there will!"

"You can't be serious," Gabriel scoffed. The only thing he wanted to do was grab Sam (which by extension had to include Dean) and fly the coop. This night was all leading up to something very bad and he wanted everyone away from ground zero. Dean's unwavering determined expression looked a lot like one of Sam's bitchfaces, which meant the hunter was deadly serious. Gabriel tried, "Since when are you butt-buddies with a bunch of monsters? That's all they are to you, right?" So what if a little bitterness crept into his voice?

The hunter dismissed the question with an irritated shrug. "So? You know, they're right, it's nuts but it's the best idea I've heard so far. So if you have a better one, now's the time to fess up. I'm sick of you popping in and acting like you'll eventually deign to help us mere mortals."

Somehow the older Winchester almost always rubbed him the wrong way and riled him up. Certainly Dean's recent track record hadn't endeared him to the archangel. "Screw you, Winchester. Those lemmings in there want to run off a cliff, fine. But Sammy, me, and your idiotic self are getting out of here. Listen for once in your damn life and grab the blood!"

"I see right through you, you know," Dean said. "You have this whole 'don't give a crap' thing going on, and you keep smart-mouthing those guys in there, but those freaks are your family."

"They stabbed me in the frigging heart!"

"So has Sam," Dean shot back. They glared at each other for a while, Dean's angry breathing the only sound.

"Damn it, Gabriel. You care for those freaks, you like the world, and you still won't take a fucking stand!"

Gabriel grabbed the collar of Dean's shirt tightly and got right up in his face. "I chose a side, boy. I'm in this shit nice and deep."

Although Dean was obviously uneasy, he held his ground and retorted, "Maybe you're leaning our way, but I sure as shit don't see you making the commitment that could end all this."

Gabriel grit his teeth as he shoved Dean away. The human bumped against the steering wheel. "What you want from me..." Gabriel trailed off, tone dangerous and low. "I can't kill my brother."

"Can't or won't?" Dean had the audacity to demand. Gabriel stared at him, speechless. He was appalled that the hunter apparently disregarded that their roles could very easily be the same. Dean snorted and muttered, "That's what I thought." He got out of the car and slammed the door closed. He didn't look back as he strode away.

Not even a full minute had passed when Gabriel felt the change. He stared at the hotel's sign as he let the realization sink in that his brother had arrived. He bought himself a little time, twisting time to form a small bubble set apart from reality where Lucifer would slaughter his way through Gabriel's desperate pseudo-family of pagan deities before turning to the Winchesters.

Gabriel groaned as he finally acknowledged the inevitable. He had to choose Lucifer and Michael or the world and its wealth of life. He had to make the choice: Lucifer or Sam.

He flew into one of the rooms, it looked like a prime set for a porno, really, and on a lark he materialized a copy of Casa Erotica 13 to leave his just-in-case message behind. He had precious few minutes left; already he could sense the massacre had begun outside his pocket of time. He took a breath, then pasted on a smirk and started recording.

"Sorry Dean, this probably isn't the video you're looking for."

*

The memories following his revival passed quickly. As the final pieces fell into place, Gabriel regained awareness of his surroundings and God's presence. For the first time since leaving Heaven Gabriel stood in his true form, wings unfettered and fully spread. His Father, still inhabiting the Prophet, watched with an indulgent smile as Gabriel folded himself into the dimensions of his vessel.

"Welcome back," God greeted.

Gabriel's thoughts whirled as he processed the flood of information and sensation. Gradually he felt less dizzy and re-centered himself. Thoughts of Sam occupied the forefront of his mind, and instinctively he reached out to try and sense the human's location.

God cleared His throat. "I believe you'll want Bobby Singer's."

Gabriel just barely managed to keep himself from instantly taking off. "Thanks, Dad," he said. "I'd stay and chat, but there's somewhere I need to be." He didn't try to hide his restlessness.

"Go." God smiled, and Gabriel took flight.

*

Gabriel landed in the living room and was surprised to notice the sunlight streaming through the windows. He wondered how long it had taken God to resurrect him.

"Oh, hell. What do you want?" The less than enthusiastic greeting drew Gabriel's attention to the couch where Bobby and Crowley sat.

As soon as Gabriel met the demon's stare, Crowley's eyes widened slightly and he put a hand on the hunter's arm. Gabriel's gaze darted to the intimate gesture and smirked a little.

"Figured it out?" Crowley asked.

Ignoring the confused hunter, Gabriel replied, "With a little help." He turned his focus to trying to listen for clues of where Sam was.

Crowley smirked knowingly. "Outside with the damn car."

Gabriel popped outside without replying. He stayed near the house, just watching for a few minutes. Dean leaned over the engine of the Impala. Sam, his back to Gabriel, leaned against a pickup bed nearby with a toolbox and a couple of beers.

Neither brother noticed his presence and Gabriel took advantage of the time to try getting his emotions under control. He'd be throwing Sam another curveball and the angel didn't know if he'd end up only causing more pain.

Dean straightened up, wiping his hand on a rag. He glanced at the house and his gaze caught on the archangel. Immediately noticing his brother's tense body language, Sam stood and turned. He visibly paled. The look of apprehension on Sam's face made Gabriel's heart ache.

Dean switched to full-on protection mode and placed himself between Gabriel and his brother. Expression stormy, he demanded, "What the fuck do you want?"

This wasn't about Dean, and Gabriel quickly determined that Crowley could clarify things or at least restrain the hunter until he calmed down. "Dean, shove off and give me some privacy with your brother." Gabriel snapped his fingers and sent the hunter inside.

Sam eyed him suspiciously but didn't move away when Gabriel took a step forward. Gabriel licked his lips nervously but refused to break eye contact. Just loud enough to carry, he repeated the words he'd said months ago at Elysian Fields, "Better late than never, huh?" Sam's eyes widened a little and Gabriel saw a spark of nervous hope flare up momentarily.

Gabriel moved closer, one slow step at a time. "You asked why I kept coming back." He stopped close enough to touch. When Sam remained still, Gabriel cupped a hand behind Sam's neck and placed his other over Sam's tattoo.

Pushing onto his toes so he could reach, Gabriel murmured against Sam's lips, "Because of you. I keep coming back for you."

Warm arms wrapped around him tightly and Gabriel surged up to meet the desperate kiss. Gabriel's palm pressed against his sigil, and he let a thread of Grace trace over the mark.

~*Fin*~


On a final note.... there is a sequel in the works. There are obviously issues not yet addressed, which will be part of the main focus in the next story. If you have anything in particular that interests you and/or wasn't addressed in this fic, please let me know!

Feedback = a very, very happy and grateful writer. :3

Comments

( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
race_the_ace
Oct. 19th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Awesome! Really loved this. =)
enmuse
Oct. 19th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
Does that bottom part say "life is a great big bag of dicks"? LMAO Love the icon, obviously Gabriel is too amazing to fit into a single label!

Glad to hear you liked it! :D
(no subject) - race_the_ace - Oct. 19th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
castielfaii
Oct. 19th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
Loved it this was a great story in i can't wait to see how you do the sequel :-)
enmuse
Oct. 19th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The sequel's shaping up to be a bit darker than this one! :o

P.S. I love your icon <3
(no subject) - castielfaii - Oct. 19th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
mangacrack
Oct. 19th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
This is so awesome. The lengths alone deserves woreship, the plot even more and THERE'LL BE A SEQUEL? *squees*
Means I don't have to beg pathetically? Awesome!
enmuse
Oct. 19th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
:3

Well this is a case where begging should actually pay off! (Goodness knows that doesn't always happen, lol.) If you have any suggestions, I'm stocking up. There is are tons of torture methods Sammy's facing already in the sequel u_u (or in flashbacks, whatever.)
(no subject) - mangacrack - Oct. 20th, 2011 08:55 am (UTC) - Expand
trollmela
Oct. 19th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
This is really good. Gabriel losing his memory was completely unexpected for me and I liked that he changed completely because of it.
And while I'm personally not a great fan of tattoos, I liked Sam's from Gabriel :)
And thank you for including Crowley! I just love that demon :D

Great story! I'm all for a sequel!
enmuse
Oct. 19th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
I like unique tattoos and oh, let me tell you, I've been struggling for months with the craving to get the sigil tattoo! Tight money situation and my indecision of where to get it has kept me from doing anything (yet), lol.

I'm glad you liked the memory loss and Crowley! I'm quite fond of Crowley but wasn't sure how well I'd written him, particularly in terms of his dialogue.
darlapr0duction
Oct. 19th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
I really, really enjoyed this. I love amnesia fics. I'm really looking forward to the sequel. Please don't leave it to long. Congrats on your first SPN fic.

Forgot to add; I can't wait to see the art for this story.

Edited at 2011-10-19 10:09 pm (UTC)
enmuse
Oct. 19th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
(I'm excited for the art, too! I've only seen one of the pieces. :3 )

So glad you enjoyed it! I'm an amnesia!fic fan - it is absolutely my favorite trope. Despite that, I've only written two (maybe three? I don't remember my anime fics well xD ) in the past 12 years.

Since the fic I've been working on the most lately has been the sequel, I think that'll be my cwbigbang project, which means I have to have it finished by the end of November! So it won't be too long to wait! (Meeps!) I'll definitely take any suggestions you might have! :D
auntmo9
Oct. 20th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
And yes! God makes an appearance and makes everything better (just as the Cardinals win Game 1 of the World Series yay!)
Another lovely description of Gabriel's undoing and remaking.

And I will patiently look forward to the sequel :D
enmuse
Oct. 20th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
Ha! Nice timing!
I knew almost from the beginning that I'd have God make an appearance to help Gabriel. He'll make his stop in Heaven, but he's still not hanging around so... it'll be interesting. At least his intervention (& Gabriel's presence) should help keep Cas from going crazy!

(And patiently? Wow. I can hardly ever to patient! *g*)
(Deleted comment)
enmuse
Oct. 22nd, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
Thank you~!
(Deleted comment)
enmuse
Oct. 22nd, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
Bribery ALWAYS HELPS. ;D
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - enmuse - Oct. 23rd, 2011 04:26 am (UTC) - Expand
fireflybanner
Oct. 22nd, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
Delightful
That was a pleasure - and the ending was nicely satisfying. I like the way you juxtaposed Trickster with Archangel - both rang very true to canon. I look forward to the sequel.

Thank you.
enmuse
Oct. 22nd, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Delightful
Thanks so much for the comment! I'm glad that both "versions" of Gabriel worked out well. I know I didn't show in detail the progression of Gabriel's change into someone who worked in a relationship with Sam, but I definitely wanted to make that as believable as the more canon-compliant aspect. :)
slvrcrystalc
Oct. 24th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
*squeeeeee*
ms_marly
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
This was so emotional and well written. You actually "made" me cry and to be the first to say that sucks. The others are holding out on you out of shame...they cried, they know they did! LOL! Very few writers have made me cry and you got a lip tremble too I think...the shame...

You got the humor I love in this pairing, I adored protective Dean, Snarky Crowley and how you showed Castiel being manipulative and a bit cruel but with a good reason (help for heaven & for Gabriel to spend some time around Sam I believe)

I can't wait for more. I will be watching 0_0 LOL, thank you!

Edited at 2011-10-26 11:25 pm (UTC)
enmuse
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comments! Didn't mean to make you cry~ wibble, yes, cry, no. (Cuz really, crying should be reserved for the darker sequel. *shifty look*)
ohmynostalgia
Oct. 30th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
This story was absolutely amazing - LOVE it! Can't wait for the sequel :).
enmuse
Oct. 30th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm hoping the sequel will work out well. Already it's got quite a different tone, so I'm a little worried :p
lady_drace
Dec. 4th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)
Very very nice! What a ride! I enjoyed it all the way! Awesome!
enmuse
Dec. 4th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
tfwftw
Dec. 12th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
You! I am normally not an AU person at all, but you totally drew me in!

Go you!
enmuse
Dec. 12th, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
xD YAY! (and hey, I kept S1-5 canon pretty much! It's more alt!canon than tru AU.) ;)
beccers4469
May. 21st, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
OMG 0_0 I LOVE this! I want more! LOL! When do have plans to do the sequel?
enmuse
May. 21st, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
:) The sequel will be posted in late July - I managed to finish it up for spn_j2_bigbang. I'm working on revisions and there's several scenes I need to add to my current draft. But it is done! :D Fair warning - it's much darker than this one and won't be for people who like Lucifer or Michael.
(no subject) - beccers4469 - May. 21st, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - enmuse - May. 21st, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccers4469 - May. 21st, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )