The hum of grace was so close to his own, so achingly familiar. Strength, safety and home. He pulled away with an angry snarl immediately. His amber eyes burnt with centuries worth of anger as he locked his eyes on the other angel.
'Stop it,' he said angrily, but managing to keep his voice quiet. 'Not this, not ever again.'
Michael looked baffled, confused for about a moment, then his face darkened with anger that matched Gabriel's, oh and then some.
'You fought Lucifer--'
'Not for you!' Gabriel interrupted. Michael's shoulders straightened further and his face became hard.
'You were the one that ran away. You left me behind, without looking back. I restored you. I brought you back home. And you dare looking at me like this? Talk to me like this?'
Gabriel used to fear his brother's power. He was a magnificent power that no other angel could match, but he faced Lucifer, he won't back down from Michael either.
'I wouldn't have left in the first place if it wasn't for you and Lucifer! I wouldn't have died if you wouldn't have allowed him to get free, just so you could settle a score! Because Lucifer may be prideful, but you're an arrogant, blind dick.'
'I want to end this!' Michael thundered.
'You want to win! And you don't care that this fight tore our family apart beyond repair.'
'Lucifer was the one who--'
'Are you ever going to stop putting all the blame on him? This is on you too Michael, you better realize it,' he turned his back and took in his surroundings to figure out how to leave.
'You can't leave again, Gabriel,' Michael said.
'Just watch me,' Gabriel said. He was not staying, not for a moment. Michael could try and stop him.
The only warning he got was the flare of grace that filled all his senses before Michael grabbed his arm. Gabriel reacted immediately, manifested his blade, swiftly turned around and swung. Michael was faster and drew back, but Gabriel felt how he did cut something and his brother let out a pained hiss.
There was a gash on his forearm; blood seeping out of it, like he was human, an archangel's blade would do that to you.
'You... don't get to touch me anymore,' he hissed out and raised his blade in a protective stance. Michael's face was angry and thunderous for a moment as he clutched his arm and looked back at Gabriel. Then his face just simply went blank.
'First Lucifer... now you... why would you hate me so much?' There was honest confusion on his face now, but Gabriel didn't relax his stand. 'I have done nothing to you. I've always been a good son, did what Father told me. I have always cared for you all... why do you turn against me?'
'Oh, don't give me this crap, Michael. You never cared about anyone, never loved anyone but Father and Lucifer.'
'Why would you think that?'
'Because it's the truth!' Gabriel said fiercely, raising his voice and glaring at his brother now. Michael just kept looking at him, his expression unreadable, like it often was.
Then he started walking forward and Gabriel's entire body tensed right away.
'Don't,' he warned, not lowering his blade. Although it was already screaming in his mind how little a chance he actually had. Michael's steps were slow and certain and Gabriel should've backed off already, but he stood his ground. He was certain, that this would end just as badly as his confrontation with Lucifer, or worse, Michael had a tendency to not be that quick with his kills.
But even so, even when Michael was close enough for Gabriel to move, to strike, or try to... he didn't. Just like with Lucifer, he hesitated. Right now he was frozen on the spot with Michael's hard gaze locked on his face. This was so fucking unfair.
Gabriel's eyes widened a little when Michael took one last step forward until the tip of Gabriel's blade was touching his chest. Gabriel looked up at him in the eyes, both of them just standing there, not moving. Michael's stance was mostly calm, no murderous intent radiating from his grace.
'Feel free,' Michael said.
'If you truly, honestly believe what you just said... do it,' he said and stared Gabriel down calmly. Gabriel stood there, gripping his blade tightly, not moving, not breathing, and not blinking. Not knowing what to do.
Michael raised his hand, and Gabriel was too shocked to react. He didn't pull away when his brother covered his hand gripping the blade with his own. Michael moved and tilted his hand, making the tip of his blade slide up until it rested at the base of his throat, and he stepped even closer. Gabriel sucked in a breath.
'Do you really believe I never cared for you?' Michael asked and Gabriel averted his eyes for a moment.
'You never listened to a word I said, Michael,' he said. 'No matter how many times I pleaded with you.'
'I had to do what Father expected of me,' Michael said.
'Open you eyes! Father is not here! You have been the one making the choices. This is not about Father anymore! You get to decide, so don't give me the “obedient son” bullshit! You’re the one who can choose; you’re the one who can actually change everything immediately!' He gripped the blade tightly again, but Michael didn't back off, didn't move an inch.
They stayed in silence for a long time, neither of them moving.
'I don't know how to do that,' Michael said very quietly.
'I do,' Gabriel answered with conviction. Michael gripped his hand tighter, yanking on it and twisting the blade out of his hand and before he could blink in response Michael had two hands on his cheek and pressed his forehead to his. His eyes closed and breathing hard.
'I needed you,' he said.
'You could've stopped me... you didn't.'
'I still need you,' Michael breathed before he kissed him.
Gabriel shut his eyes and didn't pull away. It's been so long. Michael's kiss was hard and needy, like he wanted to devour the warmth and the taste of Gabriel's lips. His grace lit up with burning force and this time Gabriel's light reacted to it. Michael let out a small noise and pulled him close to his body when he felt it.
Gabriel loved his brothers, loved Lucifer like the mentor, the guardian he has been to him, but Michael he loved like the burning fire that he was, that Gabriel himself was too.
Lips met lips, grace met grace, together they burned brighter than the sun, and Gabriel missed him so very much. It felt different, after so many centuries among gods and humans Gabriel felt pleasure differently than he used to in Heaven. Michael was the same; it was a consuming rush of emotion and grace, but something much more innocent that what Gabriel had in mind. Oh, his brother did not know pleasure like that, so it was up to Gabriel to show it to him.
Michael was surprised, lost for a moment at the shift, at the physicality Gabriel started, but he did not fight it, he did not question it, he let Gabriel do whatever he wanted. All touches, every kiss and stroke was repeated and he learned fast. They were not in a completely physical plane, but Gabriel knew the pleasures of the flesh enough to make it feel real. Michael let himself be guided and it was more surrender from the oldest archangel than he has ever displayed before.
Gabriel's heart leaped at his actions. His brother changed, or maybe was just lonely. No other angel – not even Raphael – treated him like an equal. Lucifer did, before... and Gabriel simply didn't care. He could never look at either of the other archangels as his superiors, they were his beloved brothers, and he always treated them like that. After Gabriel left, Michael must've been alone and distant from everything, Gabriel knew the feeling all too well.
They were close, wrapped up in each other, panting and kissing, the heat of their burning grace touching deliciously. Gabriel pushed them over the edge, made Michael feel how this felt down on Earth and his brother's face looked open, young and alive like it hasn't been since the Fall.
Michael did not stop kissing him, didn't let him pull away from the embrace of his grace either. They way he clung to him made Gabriel want to not let go either.
'I will listen, Gabriel,' he said finally. 'Do not leave me alone again... I cannot bear it anymore. I'm tired of being nothing but a weapon... I cannot be Father for our brothers, I never could… I tried--’
‘I know you did,’ Gabriel soothed.
‘I don’t know what to do… tell me what to do, Gabriel.’
‘We’ll figure it out,’ Gabriel answered, because he didn’t have all the answers. They will have to search for them together. He liked the idea actually, it took Michael long enough to admit how lost he was really, but now that he did, now that he was willing to listen. Gabriel didn’t plan on letting him continue on his own.