They had the discussion several months before Team Free Will & affiliated beings succeeded in killing Lucifer.
Gabriel hadn’t really wanted to explain how the Vessel phenomenon worked for archangels, but he’d grudgingly admitted that it was something that the Winchesters and Castiel needed to know.
An archangel’s Grace was exponentially greater than that of any other angel, and a purely human Vessel simply burned out, unable to adequately contain and channel that kind of power. To stop that happening, an archangel’s true Vessel needed to be descended from Nephilim sired by the archangel who required the Vessel.
Gabriel looked uncomfortable as he finished this explanation. It wasn’t exactly something he was proud of.
The Winchesters looked incredulous for several moments at the revelation that they were actually related to the archangels who wanted them as Vessels.
“So,” Sam said intently, “all that stuff about the Antichrist being the offspring of the Devil…?”
“A lot of generations removed, sure.”
Dean made a disgusted face.
“What, so me and Sam are descended from Michael and Lucifer? Nice.”
“This explains a great deal,” Castiel said, frowning.
“It’s sick, is what it is,” Dean said, shaking his head
“Once again, the angels demonstrate exactly what family means as far as they’re concerned,” Sam said dryly.
Gabriel shifted uncomfortably. It wasn’t like he could argue the point.
.“But before we wander completely away from the subject – Gabriel does that mean that in a sense, I’m sort of the heir to Hell?” Sam asked.
“Sure, why not? If Lucy wasn’t around to rule it – well, you’ve got a tiny portion of his Grace, insignificant, but there, so in his absence Hell would probably recognise you as its Lord. Although from what I hear, half the demons down there support you anyway.”
“Whatever,” Dean interjected, “Can we talk about something else? This creeps me out.”
The subject had been dropped, and Gabriel didn’t think about it again until much later.
When he did, all he could do was wonder if maybe he should have spoken differently.
Killing Lucifer was surprisingly simple, when they came down to it.
Their plan was risky as all hell, but for once luck seemed to be on the Winchesters’ side, because everything went exactly as it was supposed to.
Dean, Sam at his side, marched in and began arguing with the fallen archangel, calling him out on the things he’d done.
Lucifer listened with sympathetic condescension, but was unmoved.
It was at this point that Gabriel and Castiel flew in.
“You know, I love you, but I think we’re ideologically opposed,” Gabriel told his brother.
The surprise on Lucifer’s face was unfeigned.
“Gabriel,” he said, genuinely pleased to see him, Gabriel could tell, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t already calculating what to do about him. “It’s been a long time.”
“I know, right?” Gabriel said breezily, his casual air not fooling anyone. “It’s like we’re one of those families who never talk to each other except at reunions, and then we spend the whole time fighting about all the shit we fought about at the last reunion.”
Sam snorted like he couldn’t quite hold it in.
“The thing is, you want to go all Sith Lord and kill all the humans, while I, on the other hand, want to save them. So we kind of have a problem here.”
“I am not a Sith Lord,” Lucifer said stiffly, looking offended by the comparison.
“Wait,” Dean said, because Winchester’s couldn’t focus. “You know Star Wars?”
He sounded surprised, and vaguely impressed in spite of himself.
Gabriel turned to him, exasperated.
“Dean,” he said, with condescending patience, “I’m trying to have a conversation with my brother. Shut your cakehole.”
When he turned back to Lucifer the other archangel was looking amused at the byplay.
“They’re annoying, but cute,” Gabriel said in explanation. “Like a bunch of puppies.”
Dean scowled furiously at that, Gabriel saw, but Castiel trod firmly on his foot. Little bro
was learning. Gabriel always thought he was a bright one.
“I don’t want to fight you, Gabriel,” Lucifer said.
“Then don’t,” Gabriel shrugged.
“I need to do this,” Lucifer responded. “Brother, don’t make me kill you.”
Okay, that one got Gabriel’s goat. He looked Lucifer straight in the eye.
“No one makes us do anything,” he told his older brother, completely serious. “Pretending otherwise is just refusing to accept responsibility for our actions.”
Lucifer’s eyes narrowed, and he stepped forward, his sword appearing.
“Gabriel…” His voice turned menacing.
He’d either forgotten to keep an eye on Castiel and the humans behind him, or – more likely – didn’t see them as a threat.
Yeah, probably that last one.
Dean pulled Gabriel’s sword out of the inside of his jacket.
“What?” Gabriel asked Lucifer. “You thought I was gonna lie? Allow you to continue your little fiction of ‘Daddy made me do it?’ Please, that’s about as true as all those humans claiming you make them do things.”
And Dean stabbed through Lucifer’s exposed back.
Lucifer made a sort of strangled sound.
White light blazed from his eyes and mouth as Dean pushed the sword in further, and his body folded.
Gabriel looked away, taking a deep, unnecessary breath.
“Let’s go,” he said after a moment, his voice choked.
Castiel was regarding him with clear concern.
“Yeah, okay,” Sam agreed, looking equally troubled.
His brow furrowed, however, and he stooped to pick up Lucifer’s sword.
“In case we need it,” he proferred in explanation.
Gabriel just shook his head.
With a snap of his fingers, he took them all away from there.
They’d assumed, of course, that that would be the end of it.
After all, the angels had been planning to kill Lucifer anyway, right? So, they might sulk a bit about the fact that they didn’t get to turn the Earth into their own personal playground after all, but they should leave everyone alone now, right?
Seriously, Gabriel should have known better. But he didn’t, so when Michael, Raphael, and their own personal posse turned up, he was as surprised as anyone.
“What the –” Dean began, but Raphael was already grabbing him and forcing him to his knees, while Michael’s heavies surrounded Sam and Castiel.
“Hey, come on, guys, can’t we just…” Gabriel halted as Raphael pulled out his blade and aimed it in Gabriel’s direction.
“Okay, clearly you’re not in a mood to settle this civilly,” Gabriel noted, putting his hands up in a ‘steady, I’m not moving’ gesture.
Michael walked straight up to Dean and gazed down at him.
“You killed my brother.”
“Yeah, well, considering he was planning on killing everyone else, it seemed like the best idea,” Dean retorted. “You should be thanking me for doing your job.”
Gabriel winced as Michael’s wings flared.
Raphael’s fingers bit into Dean’s shoulder.
“It was my job,” Michael said levelly. “I loved my brother, and I would have killed him, because what he had become was something twisted and prideful. He wasn’t the angel I knew anymore. But I would have done it out of love. Instead, some arrogant human did it without understanding who he was, or what they were doing. He was the brightest and fairest of all of us once, and you killed him because you were too blind to see it.”
“Be quiet Gabriel.” Oh, and that was the angry voice, the heavy, stern, ‘you have disappointed me and I will not forget it’ voice. That was a bad sign if Gabriel had ever seen one. “Your role in this will not be forgotten.”
Oh yeah, it was bad, alright.
Michael’s eyes narrowed back in on Dean.
“For your presumption, Dean Winchester, you are going to be punished.”
“Hey now,” Dean protested. “You can’t just –”
“Look, he was only –” Sam joined in, but Gabriel was busy watching Michael, watching Raphael, and wondering what was going on, because something was going on and it was different and Gabriel’s bad feeling had just increased tenfold.
“Prepare to be destroyed,” Michael said, hard and unforgiving.
And Gabriel got it.
“No!” he yelled, and tried to surge forward, only to have the tip of an archangel’s blade pressed against his stomach warningly.
“Do not interfere, Gabriel,” said Raphael.
“Gabriel,” Castiel asked urgently, “I don’t understand. What are they –”
Michael started to glow.
“Don’t do this!” Gabriel shrieked in desperation. “Brother, I’m begging you, once you do this there’s no going back –”
Michael paid no attention, and in front of Gabriel’s eyes he tore Dean Winchester to pieces, pulling his body apart atom by atom, and finally shredding his soul until there was nothing left.
Gabriel couldn’t help the wail of grief and horror that escaped him, while Castiel crumpled like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
“Dean Winchester has been destroyed, body and soul,” Raphael said with finality. “His debt has been paid.”
Gabriel tried to choke back the strangled sound that rose to his lips.
Sam was as white as paper, his expression set to something utterly blank, his eyes like polished mirrors that gave nothing of their own.
When he spoke his voice was cold and lifeless.
“I swear to you you’re all going to regret that.”
Gabriel stared in broken horror, but the angels only sneered in dismissive contempt and vanished.
Sam crouched down by the spot where Dean had last stood, and put out a gentle, trembling hand.
Castiel looked – Gabriel flinched away at the sight – Castiel looked like someone had just ripped his heart out and he was watching it bleed, his eyes wide and distraught. He was like anguish and loss personified.
Gabriel didn’t know what to do, or say. He felt sick to depths of his Grace.
Part of him cried out in disbelief that his brothers could do such a depraved, horrific thing, and to what was essentially a good man. The rest of him felt distant and cold.
Heaven had fallen so far, and all Gabriel had wanted to do was save everyone. But now…
They’d gone too far, too far and too twisted, and a flame had kindled in his Grace that he had hoped he would never feel burn again.
Eventually Sam stood, and turned. His eyes were hard and tearless. His face was still white.
“I will stand with you no matter what you choose to do, Sam,” Castiel rasped, his voice low and raw.
“They are no brothers of mine,” Gabriel said steadily.
Sam looked at them.
Nothing of Samuel Winchester looked out of those expressionless eyes.
“Good,” he said finally. “We have work to do.”
Castiel nodded, but Gabriel remained still.
When Sam began to walk back to the Impala, Castiel followed him.
Gabriel stared after them both, unable to join them, but equally unwilling to interfere, and remembered that it was a distant son of Lucifer who now bore his sword. The Antichrist. The Favoured Son.
The Great Beast who is called Dragon, Destroyer of Worlds.
“They’re fools,” Gabriel said bitterly, “An I hope all of Heaven falls with them.”
He spread his wings and flew.
For two weeks, Gabriel heard nothing of Sam or his brother.
In those two weeks Gabriel returned to his role as a Trickster with a vengeance, punishing the deserving with bloody and fitting punishments. At the same time, he protected and blessed the innocent, and he stopped by Hephaestus’ place to put in a request for some very special swords.
Gabriel was still the Angel of Judgement, no matter what face he wore, and Heaven had finally earned damnation.
Fifteen days after Heaven did the unforgivable, a voice called, Gabriel.
Gabriel was there in an instant, touching down not far from Sam and Castiel.
Sam’s eyes were black with demon blood as he stood in the middle of a room of collapsed forms.
Castiel stood beside him, eyes glittering like diamonds, his Grace twisted and warped.
Gabriel waited for one of them to speak.
“We’re going after Heaven,” Sam said. His voice was even and melodious, despite the fact that his eyes showed Gabriel nothing but his own reflection.
“I know,” Gabriel said emotionlessly.
Sam nodded as though satisfied, but Castiel spoke.
“You will not want the humans harmed.”
“That’s right, bro,” Gabriel agreed. “Those asshats upstairs are damned, believe me – every particle of Judgement in me screams it – but Earth doesn’t deserve that.”
Sam frowned, but the expression didn’t reach his eyes. Nothing reached his eyes.
“I’ll leave Earth and humanity intact, and avoid bringing them into this as much as possible. In return, you don’t stop me.”
A wild cackle of laughter broke from Gabriel of its own volition.
“Stop you?” he exclaimed half-hysterically. “Every hunter I can find is gonna get an angel-killing blade for Christmas! I meant it when I said they’d damned themselves!”
Lines smoothed away from Sam’s face at that, and he looked almost pleased.
“All I ask,” Gabriel continued, “is that if I find anyone worthy, they get a chance to join Team Screw Heaven. But I’m not exactly holding my breath for that one.”
“Agreed,” Castiel said abruptly.
“We’re planning to conquer Hell,” Sam told Gabriel.
“Somehow, I guessed,” the archangel responded dryly.
There didn’t seem to be anything else to be said, but Gabriel thought he’d point out one last thing.
“Y’know, kiddo, if you could get hold of an angel’s Grace, that’d be waaaaay more helpful than demon blood. Just a thought.”
Sam and Castiel exchanged sharp, thoughtful looks, and Gabriel left them to it.
Three months after Gabriel requested the swords from Hephaestus, they were ready.
There were fifteen of them, perfectly-balanced and made of the best steel, each with certain symbols inscribed on the blade.
Gabriel tested the weight and balance of each of them, admiring the job that Hephaestus had done. Maybe not the best-looking kid, sure, but he was brilliant at what he did best. Shallow bastards on Olympus were morons for casting him out.
Fifteen swords weren’t that many, but they would do to start with. After all, most of the guys he planned to arm weren’t exactly trained in swordplay, yet. Out of all the hunters in the world, there were maybe two dozen outside Japan who were competent enough to wield a sword against someone who knew what they were doing.
Gabriel grinned to himself, darkly, and selecting one of the swords went to visit an old, you know, friend.
He was forced to make his way in stealthily, dodging devoted worshippers and sneaking past guards, but hey, that wasn’t exactly new. And anyway, he enjoyed the challenge.
Gabriel waited until he reached one of the inner rooms, then leapt out flamboyantly from behind one of the rich crimson curtains.
“Well, isn’t this cozy,” he told Kali cheerfully, admiring the rich furnishings. While elegant, they somehow lent the room a sensual air. The cloying scent added to that impression.
The Destroyer gave him an unimpressed look from where she was delicately eating spoonfuls of kulfi.
“Loki,” she said dryly.
“Hey sweetheart,” Gabriel agreed, smiling cheekily.
Kali narrowed her eyes at him, but Gabriel knew her well enough to recognise the tiny dimple at the very corner of her mouth and the deepening shade of her dark eyes as signs of amusement.
Kali always did like the plucky ones. She had no time for the diffident or over-cautious.
“What do you want?” the goddess asked ungraciously.
“I brought you a present,” he explained slyly.
Kali just raised her eyebrows.
Gabriel grinned even further, and brought the sword out from behind his back.
He held it up so that it caught the light, then balanced it on one finger, before holding the blade out on display, palms out, so that Kali could see the detail on the hilt and the markings on the blade.
Kali’s expression shifted into something more sincere as she gazed at the sword in interest.
“And what is this?” she asked, studying the sword.
“This, my dear Kali,” Gabriel said with relish, “is nothing less than an angel-killing sword.”
At his words Kali’s eyes flew up to meet his, wide and startled.
“You heard about the whole Judeo-Christian apocalypse, right?” Gabriel began to explain. “And how the Winchesters somehow managed to take Lucifer out?”
“Is there a god anywhere who didn’t?”
“True enough,” Gabriel conceded. “Well apparently the angels took this kinda badly, because they totally obliterated Michael’s Vessel, body and soul, but made the mistake of leaving the other one alone. The kid’s on the warpath, taking control of Hell, with plans not to just fight but completely decimate Heaven. Apparently these things are going around. I figured you’d want one.” Gabriel let a devious, wicked smile slip over his lips. “This is everyone’s chance to finally kick their asses, once and for all.”
Kali stared up at him.
“Is there any possibility of Winchester winning?”
Gabriel thought of Sam’s empty eyes and Castiel’s burning ones, and everything they’d both lost.
“Honestly? I think Heaven is going down,” he said soberly.
Kali nodded, and took the blade from his hands.
Gabriel hadn’t exactly been keeping the closest eye on the storming of hell – he was aware that Sam and Castiel had headed down below to fight for control of the demons some time ago, and that things seemed to be pretty damn chaotic down there, but he didn’t have much idea of what was going down on a more detailed level – who was on Sam’s side, who was playing politics, what kind of violence was being used, etc. He wasn’t particularly worried; if Sam could take on Heaven, and Gabriel was pretty sure he could, then Hell wouldn’t stand a chance against him, particularly when he was its’ rightful ruler in Lucifer’s absence anyway.
He was, however, keeping a vague eye on the place, and when the chaos finally stopped and settled into something resembling order, and individual angels began disappearing without a trace with greater and greater frequency, Gabriel decided that it was time to pay the Boy King a visit.
Unfolding all of his wings he descended cautiously into the pit; no one tried to stop him, and nothing tried to strike out at him as he went.
This wasn’t, of course, necessarily a good sign; for all he knew it was perfectly easy to get in but a lot of trouble to get out again. It did, however, mean that Hell was running more smoothly – and with, dare he say it, greater discipline – than it had in aeons.
It wasn’t hard to find Sam. There was a shining beacon of Grace at the centre of the pit, fairly close to where the Cage was, and Gabriel simply flew towards it until he touched down in a massive throne room.
And there, as he expected, he found Sam.
Gabriel stared, fighting back a sudden thrill of fear.
Sam was wreathed in ethereal light, the feel of his Grace almost crushing in its intensity, and his eyes shining a bright gold-white like a pair of captured suns.
“How many angels have you drunk down like cheap beer at a frat party?” Gabriel asked, translating his fright into flippancy before it could take hold of him.
Either Sam would leave him alone, or he wouldn’t, but Gabriel was pretty sure he wouldn’t have the ability to fight Sam off if the worst came to the worst.
Sam’s mouth stretched into a thin, mirthless smile.
“Honestly? I’ve lost count,” he replied. “Um, but the last one I consumed was Raphael. He was a little too sure of himself.”
Gabriel blinked, and tried to figure that one out.
“Holy fire?” he guessed.
“Holy fire,” Castiel’s voice confirmed behind him.
Gabriel glanced around automatically, and it took everything in him not to blanch.
Gone was every trace of the light of Castiel’s Grace. Instead he was a dark thing, folded down inside his Vessel like a bat in a box, curled around himself so that Gabriel couldn’t clearly perceive the shape of him.
Gabriel stared into the blue eyes, strangely shadowed in a way that they hadn’t been before.
“Hey Castiel,” Gabriel greeted him carefully, and turned back to Sam. “Mind if I borrow my brother for a while? Be nice to catch up.”
Sam tilted his head consideringly, and frowned as he stared at Gabriel.
Gabriel gazed unblinkingly back, standing unnaturally still.
“Castiel deserves a brother who’s got his back,” Sam said finally. “Go. Talk things over.”
“Thanks, sasquatch.” Gabriel grabbed Castiel’s shoulder. “Come on, bro.”
A fingersnap later and they were standing in a deserted park.
Castiel didn’t blink at the change in surroundings, or show any other kind of response, really. He just stared at Gabriel thoughtfully.
“There’s a bakery not far from here that does fantastic cupcakes,” Gabriel remarked. “I figure we can do our best to knock ourselves out with a sugar high later. But first things first.”
Gabriel stepped forward until he and Castiel were very close.
“Let’s get a good look at you,” he murmured.
At the touch of Gabriel’s Grace Castiel’s wings unfolded hesitantly, fluttery and black, so that Gabriel could more easily see what Castiel had become.
Inside the human shell of all Castiel’s eyes were fixed on Gabriel with a kind of fierce wariness, rippling with unease, his expression guarded.
Gabriel surveyed him with careful eyes, taking in every detail of Castiel’s new nature.
He was still a waveform of celestial intent, but not an angelic one. Instead of light, the creature in front of Gabriel was composed of dark energy.
“That’s some transformation you’ve undergone, kiddo,” Gabriel said lightly, stretching out his wings to tangle them with Castiel’s. There was a tingling, sticky feeling, like rubber over satin. It was odd, but not exactly uncomfortable.
Castiel relaxed, and the tense lines of his human face turned softer.
“I was afraid that you would reject my new form,” he told Gabriel.
Gabriel just shrugged and made a ‘meh’ sound.
“Well, you know, you’re the only brother I’ve got who’s worth anything, so…” He let the words trail off. “I’m not one of those self-righteous bastards with a stick up my ass, and anyway, in case you didn’t notice, I kinda like you.” He reached up to ruffle Castiel’s hair. “You’re alright, junior.”
Castiel gave him a bemused smile, small and a little shy, like he wasn’t sure how to respond to that.
Gabriel didn’t let on just how much the sight relieved him. It was good to see that Castiel hadn’t been completely broken by Dean’s obliteration.
“Come on,” he told his little brother. “Let’s go introduce you to cupcakes, since I don’t think anyone got around to introducing you to that particular sugared delight, and you can tell me all about what you and Sam are up to. Or, like, not, if you don’t want to. But I could use some help with my ‘hunters getting a freaking awesome visit from Santa this year’ list. Who’s trustworthy, do you think?”
That Christmas, a number of hunters received a Divine Visitation as the Messenger himself appeared in all his glory.
Heaven had become corrupted, he proclaimed, perverted from its original purpose, its angels become creatures of destruction and violence rather than the guardians and warriors of the Lord that they were supposed to be.
The Messenger presented each hunter with a sword, announcing that they had been chosen, as a soldier in the war against evil, to wield a weapon capable of destroying those angels who sought to do harm to humanity.
Most of the hunters weren’t actually that surprised; all were familiar with the darker aspects of their world, and figured that if Heaven really cared, they’d have gotten their asses down to Earth and done something about it.
Gabriel figured that overall, the whole handing-out-the-swords thing went pretty well.
As Sam and Castiel made their final preparations for war, Gabriel decided that it was probably time to turn up and actually get involved.
Like last time, nothing really paid any attention to him as he landed in Hell.
A few passing demons simply glanced at him, flinching or glaring a little, but continued on with their various tasks, as though Gabriel’s presence was expected.
Gabriel ruffled his feathers, not sure whether he felt pleased or uneasy or piqued that his appearance had apparently been anticipated.
Still, he supposed that he had made it pretty clear to Sam and Castiel whose side he was on, here, and it made sense to tell the minions that he might be dropping in sometime.
Gabriel moved through the mass of aberrations easily, a path clearing before him as he walked to the throne room where, once again, he could feel Sam’s overwhelming Grace.
He paused in the doorway.
Sam was clad in the heavenly armour of the Morningstar, Lucifer’s sword sheathed at his waist, looking beautiful and terrible.
Castiel stood behind him, a dark, webbed shadow whose own armour seemed to drawn in the light around him.
Sam turned, sensing Gabriel’s Grace, and demons scurried away as the focus of his attention changed.
“Hey, boys,” Gabriel said soberly. “Gearing up for the big battle, huh?”
Sam simply nodded.
“I’m not fighting with you, you know that, right?” Gabriel asked plainly, summoning his own armour, all green and burnished gold. “But I’ll play my part in this, don’t worry.”
“I assumed you would,” Sam replied mildly.
He looked almost relaxed, an air of anticipation hanging around him as he finally prepared to wage war on Heaven.
Gabriel had no doubt that Sam’s mind was cool and clear, his rage unabated but channelled into maintaining his formidable focus.
“Let’s go,” said Sam.
The armies of Hell poured across the Earth, attacking every angel that they could find.
Gabriel sat back and observed with Sam and Castiel as the demons let their presence be known everywhere they went, leaving omens and signs, and every time an angel overpowered them, just before they were killed they made sure that they passed on the message that Sam had given them.
After approximately two weeks, Earth time, Michael, and his regiment sought Sam out.
“What have you done?” were Michael’s first words, as he saw the horrifying, yet undeniably beautiful being that Sam had become, wearing the colours of the Morningstar and wielding his sword, Sam’s vast reservoirs of Grace pulsing gently.
“What I had to,” Sam replied, walking forward. “I made a promise, and I’m going to keep it.”
Michael drew his sword as Sam approached, the other angels readying their own blades, but none of them seemed to realise exactly what they were facing.
Gabriel shook his head.
He would have pitied them, but he was past feeling pity, now. His brothers had lost any right to it.
Sam smiled a little, like a cat with a mouse, and moved.
Before anyone quite knew what was happening the fight was already over. Michael was flat on the ground, his sword flung to one side, with Sam standing over him. Sam’s Grace had simply overpowered Michael’s own, and he had knocked the sword out of the archangel’s hand as Michael was overcome by it.
“I want you to understand something,” Sam said coolly and calmly, pressing the point of Lucifer’s sword into the hollow of Michael’s throat so that blood welled up around the blade, “I would have rather – and I’m sure Dean felt the same way – led the armies of Hell than serve you douches. You messed around with free will, and you didn’t care at all about what happened to the humans you were going to hurt and kill. In fact, most of you are as bad as the demons. But, you know, as long as the Earth was saved, we didn’t care. We were just – going to leave it all behind us. Then you destroyed Dean.”
Sam’s expression abruptly morphed into an animalistic snarl, his eyes flaring with stolen Grace.
“And now I will not stop until every one of you fuckers is completely annihilated, just like you did to Dean.”
Sam wrenched the sword back and rammed it viciously into Michael’s chest.
Michael’s mouth fell open in a silent scream and his eyes instantly lit up in death.
Sam watched with vicious satisfaction as Michael’s Grace unravelled before him and dissipated, leaving nothing of the angel behind but for the wing silhouettes left burnt into the ground.
Sam turned around, smiling slowly, Lucifer’s sword still in his hand.
“Run,” he told the assembled angels simply, and stepped forward.
For a long moment the angels simply stood there, frozen in shock and disbelief as Sam walked calmly forward.
One angel stared blankly, as though he couldn’t understand what had just happened, and Sam reached out and laid a hand against his Vessel’s face.
A touch was all it took. The angel’s Grace was instantly shredded, and ripped brutally from the dying angel to pour into Sam and be absorbed into the rest of his stolen Grace.
The Vessel dropped to the ground with a moan of confused pain, blinking against the shock of suddenly being in control of their body again.
Pandemonium instantly broke out as the gathered angels abruptly realised the danger that they were all in, and attempted to escape or defend themselves.
A lucky few managed to break free of the crowd in time, but the rest were trapped as Sam began drinking down their Grace.
Castiel had launched into action like a furious army knife the moment that Sam had begun to move, all whirling wings and sword, determined to destroy as many as possible of those who had ended Dean’s existence.
Gabriel didn’t get involved in the fight at all. Instead, he pulled out a very old, very sacred object from one pocket, and gazed at it.
It had been with Gabriel since the day that he had been made, created in the same instant that he had been conceived as an idea in his Father’s mind, and he had not been parted from it since.
It was both incredibly old and profoundly holy, and the weight of it in Gabriel’s hands was just right, as it had been only three times before. It shone with a mellow golden glow in the afternoon sun, waiting to be used.
For the fourth time since the Beginning, the Messenger Gabriel, Archangel of Justice and of Judgement, put the Horn to his mouth and blew.
Sound barrelled out of the trumpet bright and bold and deep, attracting the attention of every angel in existence whether they liked it or not.
For a moment a single long, sweet note rang out.
The sound changed.
You have trespassed against the will of the Lord. You have betrayed your Purpose, you aberrations, traitors, curs. Arrogant! Full of hubris! Unrighteous! You have been judged and found unworthy!
The terrible message rolled out, blaring and sickly and angry, but Gabriel didn’t stop playing; he kept repeating those awful notes as angels clapped their hands to their Vessel’s ears in anguish at the sound.
Finally, the sound died away, and Gabriel lowered the trumpet.
Sam smiled lazily.
“Come on, Cas,” he told his follower. “Let’s see this through.”
Gabriel watched them go, like wolves in a chicken coop, and did nothing to stop them.