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Grief for the Devil

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I feel it, when it happens.

I'm supposed to be dead. That's the safest way to be, these days, with my brothers falling to the Winchesters and their angel.

I'm not. Pulled too many tricks for a silly angel blade to put me down for good.

Did a good impression of it though. Convinced those plaid wearing boy scouts. Think I convinced Castiel, even if I felt his doubt, felt his whispers of my name, across the waves of angel radio.

Never listened.

Never reached back.

Being dead is a lonely fucking business.

 

****

 

The natural disasters ease. The dead stop walking, though I know Death still wanders. He was always a slippery bastard. I knew when I sent the Winchesters after the Horsemen, Death would be the one who played ball. Who played their game and played them.

I gotta admire his skill.

The apocalypse is over and the Winchesters stop hunting. Dean actually tries on apple pie life, so disgustingly normal that I only stay and watch--hidden neatly behind the guise of a business man looking to use the contractor to build a new office building--for two weeks before I grow bored, and depressed.

 

****

 

A depressed angel is a dangerous thing.

A depressed archangel? Could be worse than the apocalypse.

I leave. Being here, while all of the Heavenly Host rejoices that Lucifer is dead. It hurts too much.

 

****

 

After Michael threw Lucifer from the house, locked him in the basement and Dad kicked town. He hid. It's why everything fell apart. Heaven needs God. Needs the archangels. We control the seraphim, who control the Host, the rank and file soldiers and the cupids, the guardians and all the others.

Without someone at the top--well. That's why Heaven fell apart. Because Lucifer was gone, and Michael sulked in his room and I? I ran away.

The whole thing was my fault, as much as it was theirs.

But the thing was. They were gone.

My brothers were gone and I was the one left alone to grieve.

 

****

 

When we were young. When it was just us four and Dad, and Raphael and Michael walked with him, learning the edges of his newest creation, the boundaries of earth--Lucifer and I would slip away.

Dad built other world's, before, and we'd slip away from Earth and explore them.

Some were crystal ice and wind, snow storms the color of grace, and Luci would wander through the frozen wind torn ocean, skating through the ice and laughing, sheer delight on his face.

One was all fire and flowers. It burned so bright, without burning the delicate red gold petals, and I loved it. Loved the scent of ash and burnt sugar and the taste of the fire flowers on my tongue and the way Lucifer looked, framed by that savage beauty.

There were planets of oceans and he would bitch for days, after we visited them, his wings wet and wrinkled and I would laugh before I dragged him to a lonely moon and spent hours smoothing his wings, picking them clean and rubbing them dry, until he purred under my hands, his eyes sleepy content and affectionate.

Angels didn't need to sleep. But he would, sometimes. He'd whisper that he wanted to dream, and he'd curl next to me on that lonely moon and my wings would cover us both and my brother would sleep.

Lucifer felt safe enough to dream, in my arms.

 

****

 

I haven't forgotten those memories. Those years spent with Lucifer on the far flung edges of creation.

But I tried to forget.

 

****

 

I go there now.

To our moon, where the Morningstar spun dreams with the Messenger.

To a place where I can't hurt anyone because it's quiet and lonely and empty, where I am utterly alone.

And I weep.

For the family I ran from.

And my brother.

For Dad and his refusal to be our father.

And my brother.

 

****

 

I helped them. In the end, I helped them, even knowing it would send Luci back to the pit. I stared into his eyes and I wanted to see my Lucifer. My best friend and protector, the brother who laughed at my tricks and taught me new ones, the one who explored the universe with me and dreamed of our family, under my wings.

I won't ever forgive myself, for that.

 

****

 

I feel it.

Even on my moon, alone and wrapped in grief.

I feel it when Castiel dives.

When he launches himself from Heaven, a too bright, too powerful, shining orb of grace and intent.

Deep into the depths of Hell. Past the pit. Past the court and the endless parade of tortured souls.

All the way to the Cage itself.

I feel it.

I feel him.

My brothers. Michael, so proud and broken and outraged.

Lucifer.

So alone.

And sad.

And for the first time, since that hotel room where he stabbed me. For the first time in what feels like a millennia, I allow myself to stretch. To be an archangel.

Castiel is pulling Sam from the Cage, and Lucifer is fighting him. Fighting to keep that pretty vessel.

I reach out.

I miss you, brother.

Lucifer falters, his grip loosening on Sam for a heartbeat, his head cocked and listening.

Gabriel?

I let my grace sooth over him, let my wings unfurl and wrap around him. For a single shining eternity, we're young and ageless and brothers.

I miss you, Morningstar.

 

****

 

Castiel steals Sam while I say goodbye to my brother.

 

****

 

It is an odd thing. To grieve the Devil.

But even the devil was loved once. And I don't remember him, at the end, petulant and angry and confused.

I remember grooming his wings and skating through the ice, and the taste of fire and flowers and laughter.

I remember his dreams.

And I allow myself to miss him.