Gabriel can't quite believe that the little bundle of warmth and life in his arms is actually his.
Well, technically it's not - not in a biological or creation sense, anyway. He had nothing to do with the making of the creature he now holds, didn't shape those blue eyes or tiny fingers, didn't make the little mouth or button nose. But he's been given him. For whatever reason, his Father has seen fit to bestow this child on him, and he is grateful beyond words for the gift.
He'd spent millennia watching over humans, human women, guarding them and their children, watching. He'd seen the bond a parent and child has, something special and stronger than any bond of angelic kinship, and his heart had ached. He had wanted, without knowing why, to have what they had, to have something so precious.
The child in his arms shifts slightly, blinking at him through long-lashed eyes that still glow with the grace of creation, and yawns. His nose scrunches, eyes closing, and the little rosebud lips part to reveal the red inside of his mouth. Something inside of Gabriel's chest tightens at the motion, a fist around his heart, and he cradles the child closer with gentle hands.
"Shh, shh," he murmurs, smiling down at the fledgling. The newly created angel has no visible wings, not yet - his grace is still immature and growing, feeding off of Gabriel's for strength - but Gabriel can feel them curled beneath the skin of his back, tiny and fragile. "Hush now, it's okay."
The child looks at him curiously, nose still wrinkled, and shifts again, curling closer to the warmth of Gabriel's body. The top of his head brushes the golden feathers of Gabriel's wing and he starts, twisting to press his face against them. A moment later he lets out a curious noise, a sort of gurgling mewl at the back of his throat, and opens his mouth against them, chewing happily on the tip of one feather with his soft gums.
Gabriel laughs, and carefully moves his wing out of reach. "No, no, you mustn't do that," he chides softly, unable to stop smiling. "Daddy's wings are not for eating." The fledgling blinks up at him with wide, uncomprehending eyes full of trust and Gabriel sighs, offering him a finger instead. It's happily accepted as a replacement for the feather, and the child's eyes close as he chews on it.
"You need a name, hmm?" murmurs Gabriel, bouncing the child softly as he paces around the room. He's half speaking to himself, half wanting the child to get used to his voice. "Something pretty, to match your face." It's true - the child is beautiful, even considering that babies are rarely ugly.
"How about..." The name that springs to mind is Carasel, an old friend long gone, but that name is too painful and seems more like a curse than a blessing. "...Castiel," he decides on finally, with a small smile. "Castiel, my little angel of Thursday, hmm?" He dips his head and kisses Castiel's brow, lightly, and the fledgling's eyes open at the touch.
"Castiel," repeats Gabriel, looking down at him with shining eyes. "It's your name, isn't it, Castiel?" Castiel gurgles approval, eyes widening curiously, and reaches up with one tiny hand to run short, chubby fingers across Gabriel's chin and lips. "My little Castiel. Mine." The archangel curls his wings tighter around the pair of them and swallows down the tears as he smiles and smiles.