On the stiff twig up there Hunches a wet black rook Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain- I do not expect a miracle Or an accident To set the sight on fire In my eye, nor seek Any more in the desultory weather some design, But let spotted leaves fall as they fall Without ceremony, or portent. Although, I admit, I desire, Occasionally, some backtalk From the mute sky, I can’t honestly complain: A certain minor light may still Lean incandescent Out of kitchen table or chair As if a celestial burning took Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then — Thus hallowing an interval Otherwise inconsequent By bestowing largesse, honour One might say love. At any rate, I now walk Wary (for it could happen Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); sceptical Yet politic, ignorant Of whatever angel any choose to flare Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook Ordering its black feathers can so shine As to seize my senses, haul My eyelids up, and grant A brief respite from fear Of total neutrality. With luck, Trekking stubborn through this season Of fatigue, I shall Patch together a content Of sorts. Miracles occur. If you care to call those spasmodic Tricks of radiance Miracles. The wait’s begun again, The long wait for the angel, For that rare, random descent.
So I’ve been obsessed with ask-the-baby-angels for awhile now and have just now gotten around to writing something for it. So without further ado, please Enjoy
“You’re no better than they are!” Gabe yells in Sam’s face. He pretends he doesn’t see the hurt in his caretaker’s eyes when he says those words and powers on. “You didn’t do ANYTHING to help him! You just stood there and let it happen!” Sam crosses his arms, “What was I supposed to do, Gabe? Legally, I can’t interfere without express written permission. I’m sorry that kid was getting punished. I am. You know that. But collars are legal. They are required. And there’s almost no regulation to how harmful they can be to the peop-”
“Don’t defend them!”
“Yes you are!”
“Gabe, you gotta calm down.”
“No!” Gabe reaches for his collar. He ignores the warning buzz as he undoes the clasp.
“What are you doing?”
“Something I shoulda done a long time ago.” Sam just stares at him, not sure what’s going on. He’s not fast enough when Gabe springs for him. He falls back, shocked as he loses consciousness. Gabe doesn’t think. He can’t. He just makes for the door and flies. It’s not until he’s completely alone that he realizes what he’s done. He abandoned his family. Hurt the only man who cared about him and his brother. Abandoned his brother, goddammit!
Dean’s gonna go on the warpath. He sure as Hell can’t go home now. He curls under his sets of wings and tells himself he doesn’t miss his bed. Or Dean’s cooking. Or Buzz. Or Sam.
Dean and Cas come home to find the door open, the living room trashed, Sam unconscious and sporting one Hell of a black eye, and Gabe gone. “Sam?! Sam, wake up, man!” All he can think is someone attacked his brother and stole his angel- one of his children! He’s on the verge of actually breaking down when Sam groans and his eyes flutter open. “Cas, help me get him on the couch.” Cas is already there before the words are even out of his mouth. They maneuver him onto the big ugly couch and Cas chirps worriedly before making for the kitchen. Probably to get ice.
Sam groans again, “Where’s Gabe?”
“He’s not here, Sammy. What happened?”
“He was upset,” Sam manages. Dean’s heart drops. “Some asshole was abusing his angel and Gabe tried to stop it. I had to pull him off the guy. It’s a miracle the guy didn’t press charges. We got home and Gabe lost it. Said I was no better than-” He hisses as he sits up and looks at Cas, holding an ice pack. “He knocked me out. Must’ve taken off.”
Dean’s even more worried now. He left his collar. He’ll be found and taken to the Angel Shelter. Probably one of those kill shelters knowing his luck. Or he’ll be killed by some asshole with a score to settle. Or a wild animal will get him. “We’ll find him, Sam,” Cas puts in reassuringly, even though he looks about as hopeful as Dean feels.
They start that night after Sam’s asleep. They wander the streets, calling for Gabe. They call Balthazar and Bela. They call Charlie and Gilda, Anna hasn’t seen him. They call Pam. They call Madison and Benny. No one has seen or heard anything, but they promise to keep their eyes out. Cas thinks he sees a flash of gold when they drive past the park, but it’s just a yellow songbird.
Sam wakes up to Buzz curled on top of his head. He flashes back to when the angels were tiny and Gabe would drape himself over Sam’s shoulders. Angels purr when they’re content. Like cats. He shudders when he thinks that Gabe’s gone and it was his fault. He keeps replaying the afternoon’s scene over and over again. If he’d just said something to the guy. If he’d beaten Gabe to the punch. If he- “Sam?” Cas quietly knocks on the door. Oh God, Cas must hate him. “Dean says you have to eat something.” The last thing Sam wants to think about right now is food, but he knows his brother. Dean stress cooks. And ever since he was small, Cas has always withdrawn when he’s scared- except where Gabriel is concerned. “We’re going out after breakfast. Dean’s got a search party together.”
“I’m so sorry, Cas,” Sam says, sitting up abruptly.
“It’s not your fault, Sam,” Cas says softly.
“He’s your brother. And I drove him off.”
“Sam-” Cas enters the room completely and sits on the bed next to him. “Sam, I have known Gabriel even longer than you have. He’s always been quick to judge, he’s always had a short temper. You know this. But he’s always been fiercely loyal. And he loves you as much as I do. You raised us, for God’s sake. And I have no doubt that he will return or we will find him.”
Sam pulls him into a hug, “Thanks, Cas.”
That’s when Dean hollers up the stairs, “C’mon, guys! Grub’s getting cold!”
Gabe has dreams of dirty straw and a dark crate. He dreams of eating loads of food and never feeling full. He dreams of a lady opening the box and being plucked up by a giant man with a shaggy head and kind eyes.
He wakes up hungry. He takes a deep breath and pushes all thoughts of Sam and Dean Winchester out of his head. He doesn’t need them. He thinks of Cas and swallows a lump in his throat. Cassie’ll be fine. He’s a grown up angel. He can take care of himself. Gabe sits up and cracks his back and starts thinking about his day. Well first things first, where is he? He kinda lost his way after he knocked Sam out- something he’ll never forgive himself for. He thinks he’s North and West, but he can’t tell how far. He pushes through the trees until he uses some belated sense and just flies to the top. How Tolkien of me, he thinks. There’s a town just to his left. He flies and touches down just outside of town. What he’s gonna do, he’s not too sure, but he’ll figure something out.
Second things second, food. He looks for a diner or something, preferably a sweet shop, and hopes to beg some food off some unsuspecting human. He’s beginning to regret leaving his collar at ho- The Winchester’s house. He rolls his gorgeous golden wings in the dirt until they’re unrecognizable and parks his ass in an alley outside a swanky looking joint named Elysium Fields. They’ve gotta take out the trash sometime. Fancy joint like this, there’s bound to be good left overs.
The leftovers are fabulous. A little stale, but Gabe’s hungry and Dean’s kitchen is far away. He’s halfway through a day old pie when there’s an electric buzz behind him. He shakes his head and looks back. Nothing. The buzz doesn’t stop. He gets up and tilts his head a little. There’s no way that’s not an angel collar. His wings flare in defense that turns into protective anger when he hears a whimper. He lunges for the sound and finds a tall man gripping a female angel’s bright red wings. His vision goes white hot as he lunges for the man’s throat. Before he knows it, the man has stopped squirming under him and the female angel is crying and huddled in the corner and his nice shirt is covered in blood. Oh God. He looks down at his hands. Suddenly everything is red and everything tilts and he’s vomiting all over the pretty girl with dark hair and red wings. But then she’s pulling him to his feet and slapping his face. He turns her around and rips her collar off and then they take off. They make for the forest again. When they finally touch down, there’s sirens and the sun’s going down. They find a cave and that’s when the pretty angel suddenly decides to talk. Well. Yell. “Oh my God, you killed my owner! What the hell were you thinking?! He’s gonna-” Gabe grabs her arm and shushes her. “He was hurting you. I couldn't’t let that happen.” He takes a deep breath, “I’m Loki.” She snorts. “Kali.”
“Kali. I’m sorry I scared you. If we just lay low and keep moving, they won’t be able to find us.”
“Easy for you to say. I’m chipped. They know exactly where I am.”
Shit. Gabe takes a deep breath and tries to think. Charlie. She knows about these things. So does Dr. Pam. But he can’t go back. He doesn’t even know where he is exactly. “Come with me,” he says grabbing her hand. “I have a plan.”
A week passes and no one has heard from Gabriel. Charlie’s pulling some strings in the computer system and even Bela’s trying to be useful for once, but so far nothing. Sam takes off work until Dean forces him to go back. “You can’t just mope around forever, Sammy. We’ll find him. Kid’s family.”
Sam (and Dean, but Sam’s more closely bonded to Gabe) would rather be tearing the world apart, but Cas won’t let them. He wants his brother back, but he doesn’t want to lose either of the only parental figures he’s ever known in the process. So he gets up early and searches. Then he goes to work and does as little actual work as possible in favor of research and cyber searching for ANYTHING that might be Gabe. Then he gets home and the whole family searches. On weekends its all they do. They even call in old Bounty Hunter contacts of Dad’s and gradually widen their searches.
Two weeks later, Charlie shows up on their doorstep at 6:00 in the morning, Anna in tow. Before any of the Winchesters can get a word out, she blurts, “Gabe called me.”
“What? When? Where is he? Is he okay? Is he hurt?” Everyone just starts firing questions at her. She holds up her hand and says, “Coffee first. I’ve been up all night trying to track him. Or well. His girlfriend anyway.”
“Coffee. First.” the fiery redheads push through the door and get their own damn coffee because Charlie just dropped a bombshell on their half asleep asses and they’re in utter shock. Cas recovers first and scampers after them. Dean rubs his hand over his face and wraps his ancient robe even tighter around his frame. Sam shuts the door in a daze and blindly collapses into his chair.
An hour later, they’re still not entirely sure what’s happening, but Charlie’s typing away at her computer and Anna’s called out of work for both Sam and Dean. Dean’s on the phone with Bobby Singer (Who they haven’t even thought of in over ten years) and Cas is seemingly lost in thought, looking over a map. “Why did Gabe call you?” He doesn’t mean it accusingly, but that’s how Sam blurts it out. Anna gives him a sharp look, but Charlie just shrugs it off. “I don’t think he wanted me to know it was him. Honestly, how he got ahold of a phone is beyond me. Anyway, he wanted to know how to get a chip out of an angel. Hypothetically speaking, of course.”
“Yeah. Wanted to know if there was a way to disable it without extracting it.”
“Well, not legally. Anyway, that’s beside the point cuz he told me to tell you he’s sorry, but he has things he has to do and to stop trying to find him. Then he hung up.”
“That was it?”
“Yeah. That’s all he said.”
Dean lets out a breath and says, “Thanks, Bobby.” He hangs up the phone. “So. Bobby’s got his ears to the ground just in case, but no one’s seen any stray archangels around so far.”
“So we got nothing,” Sam grumbles. He puts his head in his hands.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Cas pipes up. He has Dean’s laptop and a series of maps spread out in front of him on the kitchen table. “A local business owner was mauled to death in the alley of his own hotel earlier this week,” He reads from the computer. “He was last seen with his prized angel, the latter of which has gone missing. Police suspect a stray angel was to blame and remind citizens to always keep control of their property.” He spits out the last sentence.
“What was the angel’s name?”
“I’ll look it up,” Charlie’s already hacked into the National Angel Registry Database. “Her name’s Kali.” Finally. They have a lead.
Gabe’s kicking himself for calling Charlie, but there was literally no one else. He and Kali have been almost captured twice, got cornered by a mama bear, it’s rained three days straight, and they haven’t eaten in almost two weeks. In fact, that half a slice of pie he had before killing Kali’s owner? The last meal he’d had. They have to keep moving constantly and they can barely do that. Good thing they have an almost constant supply of water. They’d fly, but there’s also a constant supply of helicopters just waiting to take down a pair of rogue angels.
Gabe wishes he could take back the last- how long has it been? He doesn’t remember precosely. He wishes he hadn’t killed Kali’s owner. He wishes he hadn’t hit Sam. But he just keeps seeing those two events over and over in his head. Then one night, he dreams it was Sam in the alleyway. If Kali hears him cry, she doesn’t say anything.
Another week passes. They find a few scraps and keep moving. Gabriel’s feathers start to actually turn gray. Kali’s turn pink. They stumble out of the woods and find themselves in what Dean would call Heaven. There are cars stacked fifteen feet to the sky. The whole place smells of motor oil and rust. Gabe’s first instinct is to run, but there’s a familiar scent. It smells like home. Against all his and Kali’s instincts, they make their way to the house. Maybe there’ll be some food or a phone at least. Hopefully no one’s home.
The Winchester Clan converges on Bobby Singer’s scrap yard like ants to a piece of Dorito chip. It had taken a couple days, but Charlie worked up a tracking system for Kali and found her, of all places, in South Dakota. Dean called Bobby the second the words were out of her mouth and they were on the road in fifteen minutes. They didn’t even stop for food. Bobby’s wife Ellen wrapped everyone up in a big hug and sent them all off to bed immediately. Especially Sam. Dean’s worried sick. Cas is literally climbing the walls. Sam, though. Sam is running himself into the ground and Dean is scared he’ll get himself killed before they even find Gabe.
Almost another week in and no new hits on the tracker. They’re starting to suspect the worst when it pings- on the edge of the scrap yard. Cas is out the door before anyone can stop him. Sam and Dean aren’t too far behind either. There. At the edge of the woods. Two angels stand hand in hand, wings drooping in defeat. Dean puts a hand on Sam’s shoulder and one on Cas’. They’re so close. They don’t want to frighten them off. Dean doesn’t think they’ve seen them all up by the house yet, so he practically wrestles his little brother and his almost grown Angel fledgling son back into the house. “Dean, please!” Sam begs. Cas’ feathers ruffle and he chirps as he tries to shove Dean out of the way. “If we chase them down now, we’ll never get them back.” Sam’s shoulders sag and Cas nods, but goes to the office window to keep an eye out.
An hour goes by. Then another. Finally, they reach the last stack of cars. There’s a car out front. It takes Gabe’s exhausted and starving mind a few seconds to realize. That’s the Impala. It takes him a few more seconds to realize that, yes. The Winchesters are here. Oh God, Gabe wants to run up to the front door and throw his arms around his family and tell them how sorry he is and he’ll never do it again, but the image in front of him swims a little. Maybe he’s imagining it? Maybe it’s not the Impala. Maybe Kali’s not really there. Maybe he’s- his vision clears and he sees Sam stumble out the front door followed by Cas and Dean. Kali tenses up, but neither of them are really capable of running at this point and then his knees are buckling and Sam’s there to catch him and Cas is there and Dean has Kali and everything’s okay for a few seconds before he finally just lets himself fall asleep.
Dean calls Pam as soon as they have Gabe and Kali squared away in a couple of the upstairs bedrooms. The woman must be psychic cuz she’s already getting on a flight to Sioux Falls and she’s bringing her entire medical kit. Downstairs, Sam and Bobby are discussing legalities and loopholes, cuz that’s what Sam needs right now. And Cas- Cas hasn’t left his brother’s side since he and Sam caught his collapsing body in the scrap yard. Dean tries not to pace- it stresses Cas out- so he ends up outside Gabe’s room, leaning against the doorframe, watching as Cas climbs into the bed next to Gabe and wraps his wings around him- something Gabe used to do with him when they were tiny and Cas was afraid. Cas starts humming really low in his chest- Hey Jude, Dean realizes. Cuz that’s what Sam and Dean’s mom sang to them when they were afraid so that’s what Dean sang to the angels on bad nights. His breath catches in his throat and he makes his way downstairs. The angels are going to be hungry when they wake up.
Gabe wakes up to the smell of bacon and home. There are black feathers in his mouth and a warm blanket snuggled around his shoulders. He drags himself out of the strange bed and into the hallway. He follows his hollowed out stomach down the stairs towards the bacon and sounds of life where- to his utter dismay, there sits Kali in deep discussion over some pagan god or another with Dr. Pam and a grizzled old man in a trucker’s cap. Cas sits on the counter and watches Dean and an older woman fight over how to cook the bacon to perfection. Sam is sitting in the corner rereading the same page in a law book over and over again with a cup of coffee. It all looks so normal. It fits. It’s almost as if Gabriel hasn’t run away from home or killed someone in the last month.
Cas trills happily when he finally sees him and moves to get off the countertop, sending a carafe of orange juice and a plate of pancakes crashing to the floor. Sam looks up from his book, Dean turns to see what Cas is gaping at, and before the fight or flight instinct kicks in, he’s sobbing into Sam’s shoulder and gripping his back and crying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Don’t hate me, I’m sorry,” over and over again. Sam’s crying back, “I’m sorry too, Gabe. Don’t you ever leave again, Oh My God, You’re alive. I’ve got you, I’ve got you, I’ve got you.” He feels Cas’ wings wrap around them and Dean’s arms. They stay like that for a long time. So long, Gabe thinks he might pass out again, but that might just be the lack of air- and food. Luckily, the older woman sets a platter on the table piled high with eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, French toast, pancakes, waffles, and every other good thing the Breakfast Gods ever blessed the Earth with and says, “Boys, I’m mighty glad you found your wayward angel and all, but food’s gettin’ cold and it looks like your boy might collapse again if he doesn’t get something in him soon.” Everyone’s tears turn to laughter then and Gabe takes a seat between Kali and Cas, with Sam and Dean across the way and everyone else squeezed in wherever.
He eats his fill, plus a little more, and just when he doesn’t think he’s going to be able to move, everyone retires to the living room where Sam hijacks him to an old dusty office. “Gabe, listen. I was wrong.”
“No, Sam. You were right. There’s a way to do things. And- God. I. I hit you. I killed a guy. I-”
“Hey. We’ll take care of all that, kiddo. Right now, though, let’s agree we’ll do this as a family. Okay?”
That, Gabe can do. “Okay.”
“Good. We wouldn’t want Dean to eat all the Salted caramel cookies.”
“With the dark chocolate drizzle?”
“And homemade caramel.”
“Oh My God, give me life.”
Sam laughs and throws his arm around his shoulders and right then, Gabe knows everything will be okay.
“I’m a walking travesty But I’m smiling at everything.” ― All Time Low, “Therapy”
you are not alone; a Jack Frost playlist.
01. An Unfinished Life - Audiomachine // 02. The Birth of a Soul - Really Slow Motion // 03. Immortality - C21FX // 04. Cold - Jorge Méndez // 05. Get Home - Bastille // 06. Midnight Starlight - Jason Walker // 07. World Beyond The Distant Mountains - SIG Music // 08. Arctic - Sleeping At Last // 09. Therapy - All Time Low // 10. Winter’s Tale - BrunuhVille // 11. Winter Heart - Peter Crowley // 12. Reclamation - Austin Wintory // 13. Snow - Ason ID // 14. Whisper of Hope - Gothic Storm // 15. You Are Not Alone - Gothic Storm // 16. Believe - James Paget // 17. Destiny of the Chosen - Immediate Music // 18. Winterspell - Two Steps From Hell // 19. White Angel - Florian Bur // 20. Flares - The Script // 21. I was Born for This - Austin Wintory