“Here’s to another quiet year,” Kali purrs as Gabriel grins and taps their glasses together with a gentle clink. Life had been good. It had been five years since he had faked his death and gone back into hiding. Five years of bliss spent with Kali.
Sure, he still tuned to angel radio on occasion and he knew that shit was a mess up there, but he knew that once his big brothers were both locked in Lucifer’s cage that it would be inevitable. He was aware that Raphael had made a grab for power and had planned to re-start the apocalypse that he had helped to prevent. Gabriel stayed silent, waiting and watching, hoping that the world, the humans, and the gods that he loved wouldn't get caught in the crossfire again.
Gabriel knew that Castiel, God love him, had tried. He tried teaching the angels to fight for their own free will but they weren't made for such freedoms and it had backfired on him in the worst way. He remembers the silence of his brothers and sisters when so many of them were decimated by the monsters inside of Castiel. Their quiet was deafening. And Gabriel wept, but still he stayed silent. What could he do? It was too late to prevent the massacre and at least there wouldn’t be a drawn out civil war in heaven. His beloved Kali was still safe.
He feared once again for his father’s favorite creations, that they would be consumed by the escaped Leviathan. And he quietly cheered as Castiel redeemed himself and stopped the horrid creatures. “Way to go, little bro,” he whispered into the breeze, pride in his brother swelling within him. Castiel loved the humans as he did. And still Gabriel stayed silent.
Now, two years later he sits with Kali on a perfect start-lit night in May, dining on their balcony overlooking the sea. He hasn’t heard any uproar on the angel frequency lately. Either his family has found harmony or one of the more powerful angels has taken over and has returned the host to order. He wonders, absently, who may have grabbed that power position.
Heaven had become quiet in the past year, though, eerily so. Lately when he listened to the angels he heard little that made any sense; only cryptic orders and never the companionable chatter that used to be commonplace among the angels. It was disconcerting. One of the angels must have seized power but in doing so they also seemed to have silenced the angels. He wonders if his family is safe.
Kali smiles at her lover, happy with the peace they have experienced, but she sees the concern that has returned to his face lately. She reaches a hand to stroke his cheek, bringing his eyes back to hers. “This peace is a blessing. We have all grown and changed. Just look at me, I haven’t fed on the flesh of my conquests in centuries. Even while I am a goddess of time, its passing effects me. We should delight in this time of tranquility, Loki.”
Gabriel smiles at the use of the nickname. Even after Kali knew he was an archangel, she still liked to call him Loki. She said it just suited him. “I just don’t trust it, doll. What if it is just the calm before the storm? I love my family, but Dad trusted us with way too much power. They are like a bunch of bickering kids. That’s why I had to get out of there.”
“Why should we worry about their power when you are the most powerful among them and I have crushed demons under my feet? Let’s not worry about the angels tonight.” Kali leans back in her chair and picks up a strawberry from the plate between them, placing it seductively on her tongue. She knows Gabriel well enough to be able to change his mood with barely a flick of her eye.
Gabriel is absolutely on board. He grins at her, impish and mischievous, leans forward and kisses her slowly, tasting the strawberry on her lips. He stands then, with his hand outstretched to pull his lover to him. But his knees buckle and his hands fly to his ears.
The sound of angels suddenly fills his head as though it will burst with the pressure. He hears the screech of thousands of his brothers and sisters in agony all at once. What the hell is going on? On his knees now, he presses his forehead against the cool tile, clawing at his hair, desperate for relief from the pain. The wail is unbearable. “Oh, Father, make it stop! Kali, don’t you hear them?!”
Kali is over him immediately, gripping his shoulders, leaning over to place her chin on his shoulder. Close enough that she can whisper into his ear. “Gabriel, what is it? Shhhh. It’s OK,” she comforts. Kali hears nothing so she gently holds him and rocks back and forth, waiting for this wave of pain to recede.
As quickly as it started, the wailing in his head stops. It leaves nothing but the vacuum of silence. Gabriel is left empty, ears bleeding, sweat beading on the back of his neck, and stomach turning. He crawls to the edge of the patio and relieves his stomach of its churning, vomiting into the grass as tears prickle at the edges of his eyes. When his stomach stops lurching, he wipes his mouth with the back of his sleeve and turns to face Kali, sitting down and leaning back onto the patio wall.
“I heard them screaming.” It comes out as barely a whisper. He closes his eyes and takes two deep breaths to calm his heart rate. “And now there is nothing.” When he opens his eyes, Kali has moved over to sit next to him. She hands him a drink, which he accepts gratefully. She takes his hand into hers, and stares at him bewildered at what has just occurred.
It is then that they see it, lights in the sky, hundreds of them. It looks like a meteor shower. Then it dawns on Gabriel that he is seeing his own family, wings burning as they hurtle to the earth. He can’t breathe. They sit silently, a goddess and an archangel, in their human vessels. They have existed for millions of years, seen everything. They have watched creation itself, witnessed the shifting of the earth’s surface, seen mountains fall and floods cover the lands, and experienced the growth of humans on this planet. But this… this overwhelms even these ancient creatures.
Kali lets a tear fall. She doesn’t know Gabriel’s family, but she mourns for the angel she loves. She mourns for yet another divine being lost to the world. How sad it is to see the mystical becoming the everyday.
Gabriel can’t watch any more. He takes his eyes off the sky to look squarely at Kali. “I think I might be the only angel left. I don’t hear anyone else. I think it’s time to get back in the game. They’re gonna need me.”
“What can we do, Loki?”
Gabriel takes a breath, sighs loudly and rolls his eyes. “I need to find the damn Winchesters! If there is crap this big going down, those two chuckleheads are bound to be involved.”
“I will help,” Kali states with conviction. She stands up and holds out her hands to help Gabriel up. He takes both hands and brings himself to stand directly in front of her. Letting go of her hands, he cups both sides of her face with his hands and kisses her deeply. It is a kiss that says more than words. It is sadness that this peace is ending, gratitude that she will face this with him, and hope that they will fix this together.
When he pulls back he frowns. “Damn it, they pulled me back into their ridiculous team free will. Well, I can tell you one thing. This doesn’t mean I am going to wear plaid!”