Gabriel is the Messenger. He was told that for most of his life, his only purpose to blow the whistle at the end of time and signal the Apocalypse, to send the very species God asked him to love and serve into a chaotic spiral of death and destruction, a neat and clean ending to a book that Gabriel never had a hand in writing. The power is incredible, and a cruel rush of mercilessness fans an ancient fire inside of him when he thinks about it too hard, losing himself in his role as archangel or demi god.
Staring at Sam, Gabriel doesn’t feel the weight of that purpose. He’s all wings and no blade, gliding just above the rest of creation. And he wants nothing more than to pull Sam into that feeling, the feeling of being unburdened with destiny and the original design. Sam looks terrified, another potential mistake staring in the face and asking him for all the things he keeps so carefully guarded. But Gabriel can only smile at him, suddenly so sure of the existence of a different reality, one where Sam’s smiles are easy and Gabriel is something more than just another one of Heaven’s deadliest weapons.
Part of Gabriel tells him to run, the same part that burns with the responsibility of Revelation, but that doesn’t make sense, not really, and Gabriel’s has been alone long enough, pretending he prefers the violent highs of unbridled power to the lingering sweetness of other things. Things like Sam’s thumb moving cautiously over his knuckles and his shaky laugh when Gabriel pushes their knees together.
This thing, whatever it is, it makes him feel human. Not weak or flawed or capable of being wounded. Something lighter and sweeter. The softness and gentleness of humanity is all contained in Sam’s slightly unsure eyes, and Gabriel feels a lightness inside of him, a refreshing change, one he wants to share with this heavy, broken human.
He can’t say for sure, as he’s never done it himself, but he thinks it feels like breathing.