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Perhaps small was the way to go. Tiny creatures He could hide within His being - Amara couldn’t destroy something She couldn’t sense.

The first angel He ever created glowed with a brilliant light. It shifted and twitched like fire He had once made, burning hot and passionately. It lashed out at the void around them. It needed something to balance it out.

The second angel He created burned with a light brighter than anything that had ever existed. It was colder than the first angel (later, after using his own being as a prison, he would grow infinitely colder). Immediately, he greeted the other angel, and within the first nanoseconds of their graces’ meeting, they named each other: michaelandlucifer .

He hid them the fringes of His light as He continued to create.

The third angel He created was the first instance of colour. She was a mottled mix of greens, constantly fluctuating between shades and transparency. She saw her brothers peeking out from His being, and though they greeted her with joy, she lamented her longing for a bond like theirs.

For her, He created the fourth angel. He was smaller than his siblings, for He was growing tired, and had less grace left. To make up for his size, He imbued him with His wit and gaiety. He frolicked and skipped through the void, light blinking in glee. His sister reached out her grace to his. Just like their older brothers, they named each other: raphaelandgabriel .

The youngest angel was most adored by his siblings. They doted on him, cheered at how quick he could move for his small size, rained praise upon him. He basked in their approval and followed them around, doing his best to be just like them. They begged Him to give him a special job, for he deserved it, and he would be elated.

Thus, Gabriel became the Messenger of God.

Chapter Text

Dean closed his eyes and counted very, very slowly to ten. “Cas. We are not keeping zombie angel babies in the bunker.”

Cas narrowed his eyes and shifted the babies in his arms. “They are not zombies, Dean. They are not undead.”

“Coming back from the dead seems pretty undead to me.”

“Dean,” Cas pleaded, “they are my family. I… murdered… many of them. The least I can do is give them another chance at the lives they deserve.”

Dean pinched the bridge of his nose and stared at the floor. “Why are they like that, anyway?”

“I don’t know,” Cas admitted. “The most likely theory is that they used large amounts of their grace to escape the empty, and the stress manifested itself as such. As far as I can tell, they all have the same vessels they died in.  But… younger.”

The baby in Cas’ right arm babbled loudly and hit Cas in the cheek with his tiny fist. Cas tried to lean away from his assault without dropping him or the baby he carried in his left arm.

“And you can tell which one is which?”

Cas looked insulted. “Of course I can.”

Dean stared at all the babies. “Then which mini douchebags are these?”

Cas gave him a warning look, but name all the babies. He bounced the baby in his right arm. “This is Samandriel.” He bounced the baby in his left arm. “Balthazar.”

Balthazar? I-had-a-twelve-way Balthazar?”

“Do you know any other Balthazars?”

Dean waved his hand for him to continue.

Cas glanced down at the baby pulling itself up by his pant leg. “That one is Hannah, and the one currently attepting to eat my shoe is Gadreel.”

Dean looked up sharply. “Hold up. That litttle shit is Gadreel?”

“I know your relationship with him was not particularly amiable, but-”

“No, no way, Cas. We are not keeping him in the Bunker. I’m not letting him anywhere near Sam.”

Cas’ voice was icy. “You seemed perfectly happy to let him near Sam a few years ago.”

Dead silence. Then, “That was a low blow, Cas.”

Cas’ face softened. “I’m sorry. I should not have said that. But Gadreel died for me, Dean.” Dean’s face must have betrayed his thoughts, because Cas kept pushing. “To the best of my knowledge, none of them have retained any of their previous memories. He doesn’t even know who we are.”

Gadreel shoved his face against Cas’ shoe and blew a wet raspberry.

“He truly is just a child, Dean,” Cas pleaded. “They all are.”

The babies all seemed blissfully unaware of the severity of the situation. Samandriel was nodding off on Cas’ shoulder. Hannah fell on her butt and tried to stand up again. Balthazar was trying to eat Cas’ tie.

“Three days,” said Dean. “We do a three day trial, and if anything happens, they leave.”

Cas’ smile was like a sunrise. “Thank you, Dean. This means the world to me.”

“I know. I hope it works out. For all of us.”

Chapter Text

"Lunch!" Dean shouted from the kitchen.

Sam glanced up from Green Eggs and Ham, which he'd been reading to Castiel, Gadreel, and Gabriel. He could smell burgers.

"C'mon, guys, let's go get some food," he said, setting the book on the coffee table. He got a former grip on the youngest angel (who was apparently a cuddler as a toddler) and stood.

Gabriel looked up from where he was sitting on the floor with his stuffed corgi. "But you didn't finish the story!"

Sam suppressed a sigh. "Gabe, I've read it to you three times today."

"You didn't finish it now!"

Sam felt a tugging on his pants and looked down. It was Gadreel.

"Can we eat?"

Laughing, Sam said, "Yeah, we can go eat. Let's go, Gabe. We'll finish the story later."

Not looking entirely with their compromise, Gabriel trailed after Sam and Gadreel, still holding his dog.

The table was already set, complete with placemats under the plates and phonebooks on the chair. Michael had already claimed a seat. Dean was just putting out a plate of hamburgers when Sam and the three angels entered.

Castiel's eyes lit up at the sight. He leaned forward in an attempt to escape Sam's arms and made gimme-hands. "Buggers!"

Dean chuckled. "Yeah, Cas, burgers." He took the youngest angel from Sam and plopped him down on the chair with the tallest stack of phonebooks. Sam lifted Gabriel up and set him on the chair next to Castiel.

Gadreel tried to clamber onto the chair next to Michael, but the older angel leaned over and slapped his hands over the chair. "No! Lucifer sits here!"

Gadreel's bottom lip began to tremble. Sam quickly said, "Whoa, hey, don't cry. Look, you can sit next to me, okay?"

Gadreel brightened at that, and he happily allowed himself to be lifted onto the chair next to Sam.

"Where is Lucifer?" asked Dean, setting down a bowl of salad next to the hamburgers. "And Bobby and Raphael?"

"I'll go find them," Sam said.

Bobby and Raphael, it turned out, were in Bobby's study. Bobby was asleep in a chair at his desk, and Raphael was sitting on his lap with Gadreel's wooden puzzle spread out in front of him. Sam couldn't help but grin.

"Hey, kiddo," Sam said quietly. Raphael looked up. "Want some food?"

Raphael nodded and held his arms out to be picked up. Sam lifted him up carefully, trying to disturb Bobby as little as possible.

Sam set him down in the hallway. "Do you know where Lucifer is?"

Raphael shook his head.

"Okay, thanks anyway. Go eat some lunch, and tell Dean that Bobby's sleeping."

Raphael ran off toward the kitchen.

Sam looked in both of the bedrooms, the bathrooms, and even the pantry, but he couldn't find Lucifer anywhere.

He poked his head into the kitchen to make sure Lucifer hadn't gone in there while Sam was looking for him, but neither Dean nor any of the other five angels had seen him.

"Maybe he went outside," Dean suggested. "Want me to go check?"

God knew Sam hated spending more time with Lucifer than was necessary, but he declined the offer. He knew Dean would scold Lucifer harshly for going outside without supervision - not that he shouldn't be reprimanded, but Dean was likely to go over-the-top with his punishment.

Sam went out on the front porch. He cupped his hands around his mouth, took a deep breath, and shouted, "Lucifer!"

When no four-year-old came running, Sam sighed. He was not looking forward to the prospect of looking through all the junk cars on the lot. Then, a flash of white in the front seat of the Impala caught his eye. Sam was suddenly very grateful that Dean was still inside. He'd flip if he knew Lucifer was in the Impala unsupervised

"Lucifer," said Sam, crossing to the car, "it's time for lunch."

The white edge of Lucifer's wing didn't move. Sam opened the driver's seat door and almost laughed. Lucifer's three sets of wings were cocooning his body. Not even his fingers or the tips of his fingers could be seen.

"I can see you, you know. Feathers don't make you invisible."

"Go 'way!"

Had it been Cas - or, hell, any of the other angels - Sam probably wouldn't have hesitated to simply pick him up and carry him inside, but this was Lucifer, so hesitate he did.

"Lucifer," he tried again, "c'mon. Dean made burgers."

"I don't want any!"

"Dude. Hurry up, or I'm gonna have to put you in time-out."

Lucifer's head poked out of his wing cocoon, making him look like a bizarre turtle.

"No! I'm gonna stay here forever."

Sam remembered something he'd read on one of those parenting websites he'd found: "You probably won't understand most things your child does or says, but ask them to explain and do your best to support them."

Sam knelt down next to the Impala, wincing a bit as his knees popped.

"Lucifer," he said. He made his voice quieter, less sharp. "Why don't you want to eat lunch?"

"I do."

Leaning back on his heels, Sam frowned and asked, "Then why won't you come inside?"

Lucifer mumbled something unintelligible and covered his head with his wings again.

"Dude, seriously. I can't help if you won't tell me what's wrong."

An odd noise was coming from underneath the wing cocoon, and the cocoon itself was visibly trembling. Sam took a deep, calming breath, then took a wing between his thumb and forefinger and gently lifted it. The back of Lucifer's head was revealed. He was shaking.

"Are you crying?" Sam blurted out incredulously. The toddlers cried, sure, but it was usually loud, violent crying that begged for attention. The way Lucifer was crying now was near-silent sobs, punctuated by little gasps and hiccoughs.

"No," insisted the angel.

Sam closed his eyes and reminded himself, he's powerless; the worst thing he can do is bite you. Then he lifted Lucifer out of the car by his armpits. Ignoring his squawk of protest, Sam sat down on the dirt and set Lucifer on his lap.

"Look at me. No, hey, look at me," he repeated when Lucifer avoided his eyes. When Sam was certain he had Lucifer's full attention, Sam asked him, "Why don't you want to go inside?"

Lucifer's bottom lip trembled. Then, "You don' wan' me!"

Startled, Sam said, "What?"

"You won' let me sit by you an' Dean'll not cut my burger an' Bobby'll make the mean face!"

Sam was taken aback. "You're upset because Bobby's grumpy and Dean won't cut up your food?"

"An' I never get to sit next by you! You hate me!" With that, he covered his face with his tiny hands and burst into tears again.

Oh. Oh. Lucifer was upset because the adults weren't treating him like the other angels. They were holding grudges against him for things he didn't remember doing. The kid was four, and they were treating him like he was still a millennia-old, nearly-omnipotent fallen angel.

Sam thought back to a couple days ago, when Lucifer had asked Sam to play with him. Sam had claimed he still had research to do, and now he recalled how lonely and forlorn Lucifer had looked as he played with his plastic army men by himself.

Then, yesterday, Lucifer had wanted to sit next to Sam, but Raphael had sat there instead. Later in the day, Lucifer had crushed Raphael's fingers with his miniature fighter jet and thrown a tantrum when they put him in time-out.

Just a few hours ago, Lucifer had asked to sit on the couch while Sam read Green Eggs and Ham, but Sam had told him that, between himself, Castiel, and Gadreel, there wasn't enough room.

How long had they been treating him like a pariah without noticing the effect it had on him? No wonder the toddler thought they hated him.

Tentatively, Sam wrapped his arms around the boy, being mindful of his wings, and pulled him to his chest. Lucifer immediately threw his arms around Sam's neck and started sobbing into his shoulder. Sam rubbed light circles between his shoulder blades and carded his fingers through Lucifer's hair, all the while rocking him back and forth and murmuring, "Shh, it's okay, it's okay."

When Lucifer was all cried out, Sam asked, "Do you want to go eat lunch now? I'll let you sit next to me."

"Dean," Lucifer mumbled.

"I'll make him cut up your burger."


"Bobby won't even be there. He's sleeping."

After a moment's hesitation, Sam felt Lucifer nod.

"Okay, up we go." It was a tad bit difficult to stand up when he had a toddler attached to him like a limpet, but San was getting used to it - toddlers were clingy.

"Wait! My stuff!"


"My stuff is in the car!"

Sam looked in the backseat of the Impala, and, lo and behold, there lay Lucifer's pyjamas, a t-shirt and pants, and the Ziploc bag filled with plastic soldiers.

"What's this in here for?"

"Was tryna run away," mumbled Lucifer into Sam's shirt, "but I di'n know how t' make the car go."

Sam snorted. "I'll bring it all inside after we eat."

At the porch, Sam set Lucifer down, but when he held out his hand, Sam took it in his own larger hand and led him into the house.

Dean raised his eyebrows at the hand-holding, but Sam shook his head at him, silently asking him to save his questions for later.

"Heya, Sammy," he said. "I was about to send out a search party for you."

"Sorry. Lucifer had to have a talk."

Dean furrowed his brow in silent question. Sam mouthed I'm okay and Dean relaxed. Any other interaction was stopped by Michael shouting, "Lucifer! I saved you a seat!"

"No, I'mma sit with Sam now."

Michael frowned, like he didn't understand. "But I saved it for you."

"Lucifer can sit next to you at dinner," Sam assured him, "but he's going to sit next to me for now."

"No, me!" piped up Gadreel.

"You can still sit next to me. Lucifer can sit on my other side."

Throughout lunch, Lucifer smiled so much that he could hardly chew his bite-sized pieces of cut up hamburger. His good mood continued when Sam agreed to play with him afterwards.

"Pew! Pew! Pew!" Lucifer made high-pitched gun noises with his little kid voice. He gestured with his plastic army men like the were shooting down the tiny plane Sam was whooshing around.

"Uh oh!" exclaimed Sam. He pretended to crash the plane.

"It's hurt!" said Lucifer. He scooped it up and ran over to Raphael. "Raph'el, its wing is hurt!"

Raphael looked up from his own wings, which he was examining with great interest.

As Sam watched the little boys interact, Dean came up behind him and ruffles his hair. Annoyed, Sam pushed his hand away.

"Quit it, jerk!"

"Make me, bitch," Dean shot back with a grin, but it soon melted. "What the hell is up with you and Lucifer?"

"Whaddaya mean?" asked Sam, even though he knew exactly what Dean was talking about.

"You went out to find him at lunch, and since you came back, you've been acting like he's your own damn kid, and not the actual fucking devil!"

Sam flinched. "Volume, Dean. The kids are still in the room." He leaned against the bottom of the sofa and tilted his head back to look at his brother. "Dean, he's a kid. He barely remembers anything from before. The rest of them are exactly the same. I'm not gonna be a dick to a little kid because of something he doesn't know he did. And you shouldn't, either."

Just then, Lucifer came running back, Raphael at his side.

"Raphael made the plane better!" He held it out so they could see the pretend gunshot wound covered by a fabric bandage from Raphael's toy veterinarian kit.

Dean stared down at the plane for a few moments, and then, in a shockingly kind voice, said, "That's great, guys."

Lucifer looked up at Dean uncertainly, but then Raphael tugged on Dean's hand and said, "Play with us." In no time at all, Dean was laying on his stomach and laughing as he helped Lucifer and Raphael wage war on Gabriel's stuffed corgi.

The battle quickly devolved into chaos. The other angels joined in, too. It seemed to be Sam, Lucifer, Gadreel, and Michael against Dean, Gabriel, and Raphael. Dean tried to recruit the Castiel, too, but the littlest angel seemed more interested in hiding the army men than in playing with them.

Out of the corner of his eye, Sam saw Bobby standing in the doorway. He tensed and got ready for an argument, but Bobby only grumbled something about idjits makin' a mess in his living room and walked out of the room. Sam caught a glimpse of a smile under his beard as he left. Sam smiled then, too, because he knew everything was going to be fine.

Chapter Text


“Gabriel, people are staring,” Sam hissed. “Sit down and stop making a scene.”

“I - don’t - want -” Gabriel hiccoughed between words and sobs - “a - hamburger!”

“Fine, fine, here.” Sam switched his plate with Gabriel’s. “Here, you want my salad? There are croutons in it, see?”

Gabriel stared at the salad. He picked up one of the croutons and chewed it slowly.

“If you sit down you can eat all the croutons you want,” said Sam.

Gabriel slid down the booth and started swinging his feet under the table. They connected with Sam’s knee each time they swung, but it was better than unconsolable wailing.

Balthazar seemed to agree. He took his hands off his ears and complained, “You’re too loud all the time.”

“Am not,” said Gabriel.

“Are too!”

“Am not!”

“Hey, cut it out, guys,” said Dean. “Or else no dessert.”

They immediately stopped talking and ate in silence.

“How come they listen to you?” asked Sam.

“Cause I’m the best,” said Dean. “Ain’t that right, Cas?”

“You are the best,” Cas agreed.

“I think Sam’s the best.” Lucifer immediately jumped to Sam’s defense.

Sam cleared his throat awkwardly. “Thanks, Lucifer.”

The waitress giggled as she refilled their drinks. “Daddy’s boy, huh?”

Sam startled. “Oh, no, I’m not his - I’m - we’re babysitting. For our brother.”

“Oh! Sorry.”

“It’s fine.”

She left to go to another table. As soon as she was out of earshot, Dean snorted. “Hear that, Lucy? Sam’s your daddy.”

Sam glared at him. “Gross, Dean.” He took a bite of his salad. “We should try to get to Bobby’s by tomorrow, see what he’s makes of all this.”

“We’re not a this,” Balthazar interrupted, “we’re angels.”

Lucifer screamed at the top of his lungs as Gabriel stole a chicken nugget off his plate, causing several diner patrons to glance their way in annoyance.

“Right,” muttered Dean as he moved to separate the two. “Angels.”