The Angels of Heaven sang in choir: “Gabriel has returned”.
Castiel fell to his knees in the library of the bunker as the news reached his ears and wept tears of joy.
Jack hid his head under his arms on the table and wept in pain at the voices singing in unison.
The Winchesters weren't sure what prompted such a reaction but they moved quickly.
Dean rushed to Cas' side, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Hey man are you okay? What’s going on?”
Sam did the same for Jack, gently pulling him into a hug. “You're okay. I promise, it's going to be okay. Cas a little help?"
Castiel pulled himself out of his brethren joy, and aided Jack in blocking the voices of Angel Radio. “Gabriel has returned to us. I'm not sure if it was the work of my father or who caused it, but the Messenger of the Lord has returned.”
Sam and Dean shared a look. Neither had forgotten the mischief and pain the Trickster had caused, but nor did they forget how he sacrificed himself at the Elysian Fields Hotel. If any Archangels return was even slightly welcomed by them, Gabriel would top and be the only point on that very short list.
“Guess he's probably going to try to clean up Heaven with Chuck. Get shit sorted out.” Dean went back to his beer. “Not a problem of ours.”
“That's what you'd think and you'd be wrong Dean-o.” A familiar voice sing-songed from the front door.
Drawing their guns, the boys looked up to the balcony door and there stood Gabriel, leaning against the balcony railing, in the same vessel he had been in when they last saw him 8 years ago.
They stood in shock for a second.
“How the hell did you find us here? You shouldn't know about the Bunker!” Dean protested.
Gabriel just smiled and started down the steps. “Cassie led me here. Thought it would be safer.”
Dean looked over his shoulder and Castiel shrugged. “I wasn't wrong.”
The Archangel whistled. “You two look a tad worse for wear and harbouring a nephilim. Who's your parents kid?” Gabriel was nonchalant as he snapped a lollipop into each persons mouth.
Jack was shocked at the sudden candy. “umm. Lucifer is my biological father, but Castiel is my dad.”
Gabriel cocked his head to the side. “I feel like I missed a lot.” He sat down at the table and helped himself to one of Deans beers. “Someone needs to catch me up.”
The next few hours were spent in reflection and story. Telling Gabriel of everything thats happened. From getting the Horsemens rings, Sam pulling Lucifer into the cage, all the way to a few months ago, tracking down Kelly Kline, when they destroyed the British Men of Letters; America compound, and the deaths of Lucifer, Castiel and Mary. They ended with the return of Castiel a few days ago, when he called them from a payphone.
Gabriel sat with his eyes closed, lollipop almost dangling from his mouth, beer in hand. He tried to digest everything that had occurred on Earth after this death. “And the Empty, just let you out. Just that simple”
Castiel nodded slowly. “He was angry that I was awake in the nothingness. I'm not sure why I awoke there, but so long as I was awake, so he would be too. That angered him greatly. I believe he sent me out as a banishment of sorts. Rather I'd be alive then keeping him awake. That does make me wonder, how you are back brother. Was it Father or something else that brought you back.”
“Honestly I don't know baby bro.” Gabriel took a swig of the beer. “One moment I remember seeing Luci kill me, the next I'm butt naked in the middle of a corn field. Thankfully I can still snap things up, so I have that going for me.”
Sam looked over at Dean. He wondered if there would ever be a point that they could ever go back to the simple hunts. Monster of the Week type hunts in small podunk towns. He was tired of all these higher powers and feeling helpless and useless on a human scale.
Dean was staring at his empty beer bottle, picking the label off. He missed the simple hunts with his brother, before God and the Devil and everything and their monstrous aunt decided that the Winchester brothers were good eats. He remembered Billie threatening to throw Sam and him into the Empty when they died, only to have her come back as the new Death. Her promotion revealed a lot of things to him and being told that they have a... a mission... a purpose, it scared him. It was one thing when the past had cultivated the perfect vessels for Michael and Lucifer, this was different. It felt a lot different.
Jack had been silent most of the day. Silently listening to the stories, the memories of things, painful moments that had lined the road of the brothers lives. After all of that he understood why Dean was so cautious about him, the number of times they'd been back stabbed and betrayed, Jack was surprised Dean didn't go against Sam and just kill him outright.
“And Luci's son isn't inherently evil hu? That’s good to know.” Jack looked up at Gabriel’s comment.
“I don't.... want to be evil. I want to be good, like my mother believed I could be. Like Sam believes I am, and Castiel believes I am.” He responds simply.
Gabriel just nods. “Alright then Nephew, I'll believe in you too.”
Jack smiled and nodded.
The four men sat for a bit, silent contemplation, beers in hand until the angels finally sent the Winchesters and Jack to bed.
“So, Cassie, any progress between you and Dean-o?” Gabriel teased.
“I don't understand Gabriel. What progress? And please don't call me Cassie.”
“Oh, come on. It's plain as day the way he looks at you and you look at him... Cas. You two getting together, making some nephilim of your own? Taking advantage of your ‘profound bond’.”
Castiel stared blankly at Gabriel. “Dean would never permit the survival of more nephilim. Knowing what he knows, its amazing he hasn't killed Jack. Also, I don't believe Dean would be comfortable with the level of companionship required to create a nephilim.”
Gabriel shook his head. “Well you never know unless you try. You do want to have a deeper connection with him don't you. On human terms I would say you two won’t admit your in love with each other.”
“Gabriel please stop your teasing.”
“Fine Cassie. Fine, but unlike you, I'm going to use my return to Earth to see if I can get closer to a certain Sam-moose that I was hoping to get to know better before I died. With the amount of times you or Dean-o have died, perhaps you should do the same.”