Six Years Ago-
A burning pain erupted in Gabriel's gut as Lucifer plunged his own blade into his stomach and he doubled over in shock and agony. He'd be lying through his teeth if he said that this turn of events was entirely unexpected, but the betrayal still seared like a dagger to his heart. In spite of his better judgement, there'd been a small, hopeful and oh so foolish part of him that had believed that Lucifer wouldn't really be able to hurt him like this. Not even now. Well, joke was on him, because the thing that had once been his favorite brother did not give a shit about Gabriel beyond that he'd gotten in his way.
The feeling of his wings burning was a special kind of agony that pulsed alongside the stab wound in his gut, but the youngest archangel somehow managed to find the strength to leave a believable copy of himself behind and run before they'd been completely reduced to cinders. Better that they think he was dead; they had no way of knowing that Dad had made sure that no archangel could be killed by his own blade and as far as Lucifer was concerned, Gabriel had been more than sufficiently dealt with.
He crashed into a bed and took a moment to be relieved that he'd landed in the right place. Gabriel didn't know how long he'd be incapacitated for, but it would be for long enough that holing up somewhere with what he knew were good people was definitely for the best. Sure, they'd be confused as hell to see him here, unconscious, looking very nearly exactly the same as when he'd last seen them, some twenty five years ago he was pretty sure, but these people were used to the weird and impossible. He'd just have some explaining to do when he woke up. And anyway, he'd meant to come over to check on them some years ago, seeing them would just have to wait a little longer and this time he wouldn't be able to procrastinate anymore about it. He hoped that they wouldn't be too pissed at him, especially considering he was pretty much totally at their mercy until he was healed, and Dad knew how long that would take.
One thing was for sure. Gabriel wouldn't be waking up in time to help the boys anymore than he already had, that was for sure. He just hoped that he'd bought enough time for the Winchesters to get Kali the hell out and that they'd found his Casa Erotica CD with the instructions for opening and then closing the Cage again. Gabriel was almost loathe to admit it, but if anyone had even the slightest chance of being able to slam Lucifer back into his cage, it'd be those two knucklehead Winchesters, even if they only had Cassie for angelic assistance. Death, at least, would probably just give him his ring as long as he had access to junk food, and he was, for obvious reasons, by far the most deadly of the Four Horsemen. Mind, if Gabriel woke up and the Winchesters had gotten his little brother killed, it wouldn't matter if Samsquatch and Deano had managed to stop Lucifer and Michael's slug-fest, they were dead men no matter how cute the younger one's puppy dog eyes were. Same went for Dean Winchester specifically, if he broke Cassie's heart. If that happened, there was nowhere that the elder Winchester could run. Gabriel would find him and destroy him entirely. Cassie'd already been through enough.
Of course none of that was particularly relevant just then. Gabriel would have to wait to find all of that out when he woke up, provided that the Winchesters didn't fail end of the world or his brothers didn't just kill him while he slept. He wouldn't put it past any of them at this point to track him down and end him while he was out of it, never mind that he was their little brother. Not like they'd ever bothered trying to know their charges beyond "Dad's annoying little new mud monkey favorites" anyway. They wouldn't care that he'd just been trying to protect the humans as best he could. It occurred to Gabriel that he might be a little bit bitter. Hah. Who was he kidding, he'd been more than a little bitter for a few millennia. Thanks for that Pops.
That last little bit of his wings burned off, leaving a dusting of ashes to fall beside him on the bed. A tiny whimper managed to make it's way out past his lips as his thoughts went decidedly muddled with pain. It hurt more than any of the other, many things he'd gone through. Still, if it meant that the boys, Kali and any of the pagans who were left had managed to get out alive, it was worth it because that meant for maybe the first time since he'd left Heaven, what he'd done had counted for something. He hoped it had anyway, and at this point hope was about all he could do.
His last thought before he drifted off was that something didn't seem quite right here. Something was missing, something very, very important, but the archangel was too tired and too injured to even really register that thought before his eyes fell closed, his body slumped, and his mind quieted for the first time in a very long time.
What Gabriel had noticed subconsciously was this: the manor he'd landed in was completely empty, and had been that way for over two decades. No one was there to notice the archangel asleep in the spare room on the second floor. And the manor would continue to remain empty but for it's single sleeping occupant for several more years to come until a boy and a man, both on the run, were led there by a large black dog who at that point in time was a whole ocean away, trying to get back home.