There was a familiar itch in the back of his head that told Gabriel this was probably bad news. Ignoring that itch was all but instinct at this point, though, so he popped down to Earth to check it out.
He wasn't even there for a minute before he started berating himself for coming down.
It was the Winchesters - of course it was the Winchesters, who else could draw him down here but a couple of sigil-protected idiots? Anyway, it was Sam and Dean, and rather than do anything new or creative they lit a ring of holy oil on fire. Of course.
Gabriel sighed dramatically, mostly because he knew how much it pissed them off. "What do you want?"
"You been messing around down here?" Dean bit off. The guy was so tense, it was ridiculous. No wonder he suited Michael so well.
Gabriel rolled his eyes. "It's a little hard to pull Trickster moves now that my cover's been broken. Thanks for that, by the way." Dean sneered, and Sam's brow wrinkled. Gabriel raised his eyebrows in exaggerated surprise. "Oh, wait a minute. You were expecting it to be me. But since it's not me, you've got no leads." Their silence was confirmation enough for a wide grin to spread across his face. Though now that he thought about it, he wondered. He'd pulled some pretty good ones in his time. Who was good enough to be mistaken for him? Rocking on his heels, he said, "Oh, what the hell, I'll bite. What's my copycat done?"
Sam dug into his bag and pulled something out. "Copied a Greek god," he said, tossing a golden apple into the ring of fire. Gabriel caught it, turned the apple over in his hands, stunned. But sure enough, ΚΑΛΛΊΣΤῌ was inscribed on it in a familiar hand.
"Oh man, does this take me back," he murmured, tracing the markings. So this was what caused that itch.
"The police found that on the scene of a double homicide," Sam explained. "Two professors at a local college killed each other in cold blood. Their specialties were ancient Greek mythology. Apparently, they were both vying for tenure and the school was only going to give it to one of them."
"They were rivals, probably muckraking each other's work to try to get ahead, dragging their students into it, yadda yadda." Gabriel waved a hand around in the air absently. He'd heard this story a hundred times, even interfered once or twice. But not this time... no, he knew who this was. Continuing, he said, "So, given the violent death and this here apple, you figured someone tried to teach them a lesson?"
Dean and Sam glanced at each other. "Are you saying it's not?" Sam asked cautiously. Gabriel snorted.
"Afraid so, kiddies! This here's the real thing," he said, holding up the apple. "The Golden Apple of Discord."
"What, so some ancient goddess of chaos decided to pop up in Nowhere, USA and pull an old trick on a couple of Greek myth geeks?" Disbelief was not a good look for Dean, however often it appeared on his face.
Gabriel pretended to think it over. "Yeah, pretty much." Dean scoffed, and Gabriel decided to take the higher ground and ignore him. "These professors of yours, what did they focus on? The Iliad, right?"
Sam blinked. "Uh, yeah."
"Eris is vain. She loves having worshipers, almost as much as she loves mischief and mayhem. But she's also jealous. Very jealous." Gabriel looked past the Winchesters and grinned. In ancient Greek, he asked, "What did they do, write a paper on you and then forget about you, Ερις?"
The Winchesters spun around, coming face to face with an attractive woman with long dark hair and a prominent Grecian nose. Eris could have been mistaken for human, if it wasn't for that old-fashion chiton she still wore. Though that buzz of something supernatural that hovered around her probably made it difficult for her to hide.
She pouted playfully at Gabriel. "Of course not. Do you think me so petty? They wrote two," she added before frowning and kicking at the ground. "Before moving on to Ἀφροδίτη!"
Gabriel rolled his eyes. "Always with Aphrodite," he complained halfheartedly. "When are you going to give it up? People like her."
Eris kicked at the ground again. "I will give it up when they forget her name completely!"
"Ooh, that's gonna take a while," Gabriel said, wrinkling his nose. "You'd have to knock Mamma Mia off Broadway to do that, and have you seen the reviews? People love that show."
Making a frustrated sound, Eris glared at him. "I never should have taught you to play with humans!" With that, she disappeared in a poof of smoke, taking her apple along with her.
Coughing, Gabriel waved the smoke out of his face. "She always did have a fondness for theatrics," he said nostalgically, taking in the flabbergasted expressions on the Winchesters' faces with no small amount of pleasure. Tapping his foot mock-impatiently, he said, "Can I go now?"
Blinking slowly, Dean went to find the fire alarm.
Sam looked at Gabriel warily. "So, you and Eris...?"
Gabriel tsked. "An archangel doesn't kiss and tell, Sammy."