He stumbled across her in a strange pocket of time and space, where stars went to dance and black holes slept through the music of impossibility. He wasn't feeling very at ease; this was the farthest he'd run since he'd decided that their Father had left them and that he'd leave his family in turn.
"Hello," she said, and smiled.
She looked like a pretty, blonde Earth girl, talked and smiled like one too, but her eyes... Her eyes glowed as if Grace, golden where his was silver, was about to burst forth from the vessel.
The aura of power around her was so strong, he wondered if she wasn't maybe a lost sister to him. Then Gabriel tried to look her in the eyes and had to turn away. The sheer raw power that radiated from her was dizzying. It made him think of a child god, raised without her divine family.
He felt around her aura cautiously, suddenly aware that a mere thought from this entity could wipe him out of reality altogether. He wasn't used to meeting beings more powerful than him, and he didn't like the feeling. But in the same time, there was something candid and open about her, that stopped him from snapping himself back to the safety of Earth.
There were more things in Heaven and Earth than were dreamed of in humans' philosophy, after all. Why wouldn't there be creatures beyond the ken of angels? It wasn't like their Father told them everything, he thought bitterly.
"Are you all right?" the girl asked, and Gabriel realised he'd forgot to reply. Her voice was so mundane and... British, he realised. She sounded like a regular London girl, concerned for a lost tourist, and the absurdity pulled Gabriel back.
"I'm fine, thanks. Nice to meet you. So, what's an entity like you doing in a place like this?" he asked, grinning. He couldn't help himself.
She smiled at him playfully.
"I bet you say that to all the time vortexes you meet."
"Would that be a bad thing? At least I'm consistent."
"I'm glad you're here." Her voice took on a wistful tone. "I haven't seen many humanoids in a long, long time. It's all stars and clouds around this place. It gets so lonely when you're only talking to stars. But sometimes I'm more Rose than Wolf, and that's when it's the loneliest."
Right. There went reason.
"Ah, what do you mean?"
He felt around the edges of perception again. He couldn't tell where the vessel ended and the - wait a second, time vortex? ouch - began.
"I am a bad wolf," she said sadly. "And my Doctor has left me. Rose did something, and then I was both Rose and Wolf, and he said I was all wrong now, and fled. The Captain was dead, and then I made him alive, but the Doctor left him too."
Men, women, angels, or entities beyond the stars, it was always someone leaving someone else. Gabriel felt drawn in to this drama despite himself.
"So why aren't you with this Captain now?"
"He wants to find the Doctor."
"And you don't?"
"I know where he is. I know each and every moment of his existence. But the Doctor doesn't want to be found."
"Ah," Gabriel said.
So, he thought, this mystery Captain wants to find the Doctor, but the Bad Wolf girl won't tell him, because she still respects the wishes of this jackass Doctor who abandoned her.
"Don't you dare!" she said suddenly, voice sharp and commanding.
Gabriel froze. He hadn't even begun to contemplate punishing this Doctor, he hadn't even begun to try and track him across the Universe.
He raised his hands as if to show they were empty.
"I wouldn't dream of it! None of my business!"
"I know what you do, Trickster-Angel," she said, but the menace was mostly gone from her voice, replaced again with a sort of playfulness, as if a supernova would have winked at him. "Call me Rose, by the way."
"Well, Rose, if just deserts isn't what you're looking after, what else can I do for you?"
"I'd like some fish and chips. I haven't had them in ages."
"But you could..." Gabriel began, but her look stopped him.
He snapped and produced two bags of fish and chips, complete with booth and white outfit for the vendor, who was himself.
Rose giggled and offered him a bar of Hershey's in exchange for one of the greasy paper bags. She didn't snap, she just extended her hand and the chocolate was there, a faint golden glow around her fingers.
He got the meaning, all right. Each of them could have gotten his or her own treats, but it was more fun when someone else made it for you. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or of a catastrophe of literally cosmic proportions, but they wouldn't be alone.