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Gabriel and John Holliday at Big Sur  
13:36:00, October 22nd, 2006
John Henry Holliday, DDS
Continued HERE. With a side trip from HERE. Continued from HERE, HERE, HERE, and originally HERE.

Santa Barbara has been wonderful, and now they are driving along the coast highway with its careening turns and the high cliffs leading vertiginous down into wonderlands of little beaches of white sand. The air full of flowers and moisture and the sea - a different feeling than it had further south. Somehow closer and greener. The little bridges so very high above rills in deep impossibly steep valleys, their sides rich with succulents. The ocean beside them, before them at each bend, a horizontal plane to match the vertical one of much of the green banks next to the car.

And finally, there is a small gravel place at the side of the road, wide enough even for the massive Lincoln. The car stops and they gather the beach items, and carry them down the steep little path that leads down, so small the worn part is not even a foot wide. Broad thick leaves touch their ankles and occasionally pop with a less accurately placed foot. Big trees overhang, thick smooth branches overhung with moss in the damp air. And yet it is warm - balmy. John feels as if they are truly entering Coleridge's Xanadu. An Idyll even Tennyson or Keats would have envied them with their green meadows.

Below the sand is there at their feet, fine and white, the ocean sparkling and complex with moving blue and white touched with gold, wide to the whole world beyond the little inlet. Small streams trickle down the steep slope they have come down, and the cliff opposite. Someone has put logs here to rest against, old and smooth, and there is a rope from a branch - a remnant of an abandoned swing. It is still, with the ocean's steady ever-changing rhythm and almost a peace of verdancy - no one has been here for a very long time.

They arrange their things by a log, spread out a blanket on the fine sand.

They sit comfortably under the cliff, with its moist air and succulents, the white-sand beach before them, and the Ægean-like sea beyond. The air smells sweet with the flowers, tangy with the sea brine. John gets up, and goes to sit behind his friend, his legs straddling him. He wraps his warm arms around him and draws him back against his chest, feeling his breathing, and his heart. A soft caress of Gabriel's cheek with his fine quiet fingers as he looks into his eyes. And he stays like that, so calm, letting his care for his friend flow through them both for a little. Then, with infinite gentleness, he asks him about his sorrows that he has seen shadow him and have changed his face and caused his eyes to show old and distant pain yet. "Tell me, Gabriel..."
affect: peacefulpeaceful
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9:07:04, October 23rd, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: W03
The ocean rolls before them, sunlight glittering off the waves at the horizon point. The new world that man has made with his machines is a source of endless fascination to Gabriel, but even he admits the peace and quiet of this sanctuary is welcome. There is a timelessness to this place, that sense that the ocean always brings him. The waters precede man's presence on this world, and they are slow to change. The scene before Gabriel-- the white sand, the blue sky, the dancing waves-- could be a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand years before, and it would be much the same.

Though John would not be there, Gabriel thinks with a small smile, eyes half-closed at his friend's soothing touch. It is... new, this. To be the one held, to feel a comforting hand against his face, to hear the concern in the soft questions asked-- an existence that cannot be counted in years, and yet these things are new. And that, Gabriel thinks, is also a wonder, that there is still so much to see and to learn...

If it is like anything, he can only compare it to the indescribable feeling of looking at the face of God. It is a drop of rain compared to the vastness of the ocean-- alike in nature if not degree-- but still part of the same thing.

Still the instance, the knowledge, that one is loved.

These things flash through his mind in a moment, and then the words as well as the tone of John's question reaches him as well, and Gabriel is still a moment. Then a slow breath, a sigh; Gabriel's eyes closing. He is silent for a long handful of seconds before he opens his eyes again, staring at the sea, the ever-present sea.

"What do you want to know, John?" he asks with a note of flat weariness in his voice that has not been present there during their trip. "The first war? Raising arms... against brothers and friends? Or the second, when I led us to do it all again. Those who fell then. So many. Uziel, Rafael. Danyael... Simon... Or there's hell. Could speak of the Morningstar's hospitality, maybe. Or of losing my name--"

A moment's pause, then Gabriel says softly, "Sorry. That was not... it is only that there is... so much. And I have. Wearied myself. With these memories. Too many years thinking them all over," he says, his small smile returning, self-deprecating. Gabriel takes one of John's hands in his own. For a moment he stares down at John's hand, losing himself temporarily in the fascination of the minute webs of skin and whorls of fingerprints, his own thumb stroking absentminded circles over John's warm skin.

"Simon," he says after another moment's silence. "Could tell you about Simon. Since you're asking."
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18:35:38, October 23rd, 2006 (UTC)
John Henry Holliday, DDS
John's voice is still soft, close maybe, though there is no one to hear. He feels... He stops himself from feeling the past. He feels... close. He tries to feel Gabriel, listening to the words and tones, and now his fingers, every slight subtle change. Because knowing... it is not just thinking, sense of logic, it is sensing too, the infinity of depth beyond words. There are only those subtle tones and minute movements to reveal things in his friend that are not concealed, but too vast and multitudinous to be expressed in the time given before they change, or before another comes to prominence. He can see them suddenly as objects in a... not a pattern, so much as a dense universe of moving stars, each with such intricacy and colour and light that they attract him and fill him with wonder, but... He can scarcely concentrate on one before another shifts into view, simultaneously not.. demanding his attention, but... deserving it. An infinity of depth beyond words. And even then, it is not individual wonders in his friend, it is the whole of him, his mind and feeling, unified into his presence in John's arms, his voice, the thoughtful movement of his hand, his breath that John feels, so aware, against his own chest, and the words and hesitancies.

Oh yes, he feels close. There is no hurry, the day has provided beauty and peace - a sanctuary for them here, and they have all the time there is, so he thinks before he speaks. He matches his breath to Gabriel's, something that has soothed him, calmed his night-panic when he has been with another. A gentle steady motion - like the movement of the sea, he realises.

John's voice is still soft, close. Not whispering, but next to Gabriel's ear. And he responds not to the question, but the weariness, the heaviness of aeons, he realises, so far beyond him, really. And the new hesitant abbreviation in his friend's sentence structure. "What can I say, that I love you and want to know so much more deeply and completely, that I may love you more still? Is that selfish?" He is worried about his selfishness... has been answering Bat in his head for years. To give without taking... "You need not apologise to me. But I want, somehow... to give you something... company in your sorrow, knowledge that you are known, that it is alright. That it is you who is... loved. Not just the outside, the easy things, but the hard ones too. Not just the fun and laughter, and openness, nor even the care that you give others, and the remarkable nobility. But the really hard things, when you were hurt and angry and weak. That they are cared for too, as a part of you, known and loved."

As he says this, he moves his palm to Gabriel's cheek, warm. I am here. And he moves his fingers in his hair, smoothing it, moving it around his ear, light circles massaging at his temple. Punctuation as he speaks.

"Gabriel, tell me whatever you will, whatever weighs most on your mind. I had meant to ask you about Simon, when we were somewhere like this, just like this, quiet, peaceful, beautiful and private. With the whole world He made so plain about us. But now, my friend, there is so much, so very much. So, tell me what you will, and I will listen and love you here." He tightens his arms in a full slow but brief motion, an even more enfolding hug for those seconds.

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19:46:18, October 23rd, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: Wings
"It is not selfish," Gabriel murmurs. "The very opposite. But it is so. Rare..."

Gabriel closes his eyes again, silent a moment as he gathers his thoughts, takes comfort from John's touch, his quiet words.

The thought of Simon.... and in truth all the others, all the deaths he knows can be laid at the doorstep of his own folly... the pain has faded, somewhat, dulled by time and eased by knowledge that he has atoned in the eyes of God; but the pain is still there, all the same. He wonders for a moment if he can speak of it. The memories of what he was then are tied up with it; it is impossible to separate Simon from what he did to Simon. And to Rafayel, Danyael-- so many. So many lost, and there is still anger at himself for the needless tragedy of it all, his own blindness.

But then, this is what John asks for, the hard things, weakness and anger and pain.

Still Gabriel is silent, drawing strength from the gentle, tender contact John so willingly gives to him. This too is one of the things to be learned, he thinks; how to accept comfort as well as how to give it. Because it takes humility; the pride he once had would not have allowed him to sit here and confess his pain, his mistakes.

Yet isn't this a reflection of how they all must come to the Name? Not with the pride of perfection. But with imperfections, with flaws, with faults, into the presence of love that knows them and forgives them.

This too is to be learned.

And John is there, his friend-- and oh, the Father is gracious indeed, to send such a friend-- there, his presence undeniable, his arms around him a warm proof of his presence. So he can speak of it, he thinks, or must learn to...

"Simon," he begins, eyes still closed. "Simon was not.... Simon was gentle," he says softly. "His talents were in... finding things, seeing things that others missed. Not in battle or thunder or fire. And he was not-- mighty, as these things are reckoned: no power or principality or throne, only a humble one of the host. We--" and Gabriel smiles faintly, "--we were very different, you understand. I wasn't very humble. ...But perhaps that-- our differences-- is why we became friends."

He pauses a moment, and then recites quietly, "'And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.' Michael was the captain of the host; and I the herald. Simon was one of those under my authority. We would talk, in the lulls between battle...." Gabriel trails off and rubs at his face with a sigh.

"John, it was so long ago," he says distantly. "So very long ago." His hand drops to John's own, their fingers twining together, Gabriel taking a moment's comfort again before continuing.
Description: Wings
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21:34:36, October 23rd, 2006 (UTC)
John Henry Holliday, DDS
John closes his other hand over Gabriel's, where their fingers lace together, covering it, holding it, his movement smooth and calm. I too can learn so much, and this small thing one of them: the gestures and touch that will reassure you and please you, from watching for what you reach yourself. A whole world.

He says softly, words without interrupting, "War makes everything different. Without that... companionship, people are broken often, in war. And after, it creates bond like no other. And as for time... those we hold close are as recent as our last thought."

He sees how hard it is for Gabriel, but that is just what he wants. Not the difficulty, but the soothing of that which makes it so. He lays his cheek against his hair and gently moves his friend's other hand to his own wrist and pulse again, where he had laid it in Santa Barbara. Feeling me feeling you, so you will know by touch too that it is alright. He puts his arm about him, holding him closer, warm as he can, his fingers at his collar bone, his arm gentle and secure. I am here. "I know about pride," he says more quietly still. "And I have killed men myself. Whatever you have within you, it will touch me more deeply still with care for you, and wonder. All the intricacy you are and darkness you have been, less visible than the light I also love. And I am here - if you feel too much to bear, I am here to help you bear it."

His breath is even and smooth, moving his friend in the quiet slow slight rhythm of his chest expanding with air.
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23:31:45, October 23rd, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: W03
War makes everything different...

Oh, yes. Gabriel knows this, knows the bonds created, how precious they can be. (How terrible, broken.) And that the memories are never more than a thought away...

He lets out a slow sigh, almost a shudder of breath, at John's warm tenderness, felt in the careful touches, the quiet words. There is balm in Gilead... and the steady beat of John's pulse beneath his fingers grounds him, provides a thing to hold on to, a rhythm that he can fit the words to and thus make the telling easier. His hand tightens slightly on John's wrist, in unspoken gratitude.

"I came to love Simon's gentility of spirit," he says softly. "He took no pleasure in battle, spoke of possible reconciliation even to the last, even though he always carried out his duties. Had I been... any more like Lucifer... I might have thought him weak. As it was... his patience tempered my zeal, his perspective my orders. We-- we were..."

Gabriel pauses a moment, then shrugs. "There isn't a word in English. Friends, yes, but... beyond that. Brother? Lover? I don't know, John," he says with a sigh. "There isn't a word. We were on the same side, though.

"Until the day we weren't."

John's breathing steadies him. Gabriel closes his eyes and continues to speak. It is vastly wearying, yet the words do come, one after the other. "War again. My doing. My doing, John, and Simon, Simon who had followed me into all the battles of the war in heaven would not do so in this war on earth. He did not understand any more than I did, but he... obeyed. Oh, faithful Simon." Gabriel makes a sound that is almost a laugh.

"We didn't see each other for... I don’t know. A thousand years? Two? It's a big world. It was a big war. And so many lost. Michael has... banks of candles lit for them all, for each one who fell...

"There was. A thing I wanted. A weapon I thought would end the war. The details aren't important. But Simon had found it. His talent, his skill. Finding things. And so I found him."

Gabriel's eyes are closed again, his breathing slow and shallow, fingers tightening where they are tangled with John's own. After a moment he forces himself to relax his grip. "I....

"He would not give it to me. He would not-- John, John, I was full of such anger in those days. It is not an excuse, nothing excuses it, but-- ah, John, I hurt him," he whispers. "As if setting a fire in his flesh could have eased the inferno I dwelt in. Hours, this went. A night of fire.

"And he remained faithful." Another not-quite-laugh, half a sob. That schoolroom will never fade entirely from his mind, he thinks. Not if enough time goes by that the very rocks of that desert have crumbled to dust. The dawn had broken though the windows, the sun's rays seeming hesitant to even touch Simon's flesh, wreck and ruin that he had been at the end of it all.

The last remains to be said. Gabriel takes one last steadying breath, and solace in the solid warmth of John's body behind him. He manages a shrug, a faint curve of his lips that has no humor to it; allows his head to drop back against John's shoulder while his eyes seek out the blank blue sky overhead.

"So I killed him," he says, lets the words drop where they will. Ah. Tired, he thinks, he is so tired, and is unsurprised when the sea-breeze that blows on his cheeks finds them damp.
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7:48:44, October 27th, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: Goodbye
John's words mingle with the ebb and flow of the surf and the noise of the wind in the cliffs behind them. Gabriel stares at the cloudless skies above, words of his own rising in his mind even as John's touched his heart.

Ah, Simon... El' Shim'on... do you hear? Are you still here, have you been kept here by me? I don't know. I think I felt you sometimes, during my years as one of them. But I felt a lot, those days.

Old friend... this world is so much lesser, for your absence. I am the lesser for it...

And once I would have tried to keep you, hold you present with me until all remembered joy had soured into pain and guilt.

"Father, if it be Your will, may Simon be granted peace with You, one with the heart of Your love..."

But I cannot do that, can I? Ah. I must, stop carrying you... Go home, old friend. Go well, for I am well, and all is well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well... forever and ever...


He mouths the 'amen' along with John, lips moving soundlessly, eyes fixed on the sun overhead, the brightness of which is only an echo of that which blazes in the true heavens.

And then there is the touch and the water at his chest, the cold of it (living water, there is a clear cold stream of living water that flows from the foot of the throne of God) and John's fingers... he lowers his gaze from the sun to John's face. He says nothing for a moment, just breathes, almost experimentally, as if to see if an imaginary weight has lifted from his shoulders.

Gabriel takes John's hand in one of his, a slow smile starting on his face. Despite the smile and the pun in his words, he is not truly joking when he says, "John the Baptist, I take it?"

And why not? If Christ-- "Then I am baptised," Gabriel says simply, eyes finding the water again, the distant horizon line. " 'Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me....' Thank you, John. Your prayer was beautiful," he murmurs.

Gabriel is silent a moment, then says softly, "Shalom, El' Shim'on achi."
Description: Goodbye
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21:28:18, October 27th, 2006 (UTC)
John Henry Holliday, DDS
His hand in Gabriel's, his eyes are nearly surprised, but quiet and suddenly glad also. He had touched his heart with no thought - it had just seemed... a reverent imperative. But maybe. John remembers his own confirmation - he was thirty-two, not so long ago. No oil can be more sacred than His living water. He leaves his right hand in his friend's, and bends again to the sea, raising his left, full of water, to his face. At the slight hollow of his forehead above the ridge of his brows, he makes a tiny sign of the cross, and over his lips, and on each cheekbone - one for his eyes, one for his ears. And again, as when they were sitting, his friend's face is running wet again - not tears this time, but pure living streams. "To keep you, with all you think and feel and sense."

Something special, one more thing. His fingers move his hair behind his ear, and he bends again to the water, his right hand still in Gabriel's, "And a Blessing." He is holding the salt sea again, rich from Him - so cold, his palm contrastingly still warm. He presses it close, his touch gentle, his thumb curling over his friend's jaw, just to his neck, against his brand.

Intensely aware again, John watches him a time in the sun, against the verdant green cliffs and white sand, his soft fingers curled too, around his friend's knuckles that hold them. He hears Gabriel's words for Simon in a language he can barely, and with a slight pang, recognise as Hebrew. Quietly, he says, "All sin washed away, forgiveness complete and all encompassing, the world and all one's being and intent brand new in Him."

And John has gentle questions, feeling for the answers too, with his touch, his eyes, the nuances of his friend's tone, "How are you, my friend? How are you with Simon? How do you feel when you touch him now, touch your memory? I do not ask if you can bear it, but how it feels when you turn towards it."
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1:53:08, October 28th, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: Tears
Gabriel bows his head slightly at the symbol John traces upon him, breath catching momentarily when the water meets his neck. His name traced in fire, baptised in water, and the water trickles down his face, runs rivulets down his neck, shoulders, and chest.

There is... so much, the vastness of the world, things that cannot be said in words, perhaps not even in the subtler language of touch. Things that could be expressed only if he spread his wings, let the flesh and the earth fall away, and blazed across the sky like a falling star, writing in constellations of fire a new scripture. One that could communicate all he has learned of the depths of error and the justice of the Name-- the terrible justice surpassed only by the Name's mercy... Mysteries and revelations.

But seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down, for the time of these is not yet come.

Gabriel breathes deeply of the sea air. It is alright, anyways; because here, with John, that is right as well, he is patient, and the sky above them does not need words of fire scrawled upon it. The quiet questions and words of friendship are a testament too.

John's hand is warm in his and Gabriel squeezes his fingers briefly, his own face reflective, contemplative, at his friend's questions.

"I... miracles are so. Rarely. Things of an instant, John. Oh, they make good stories when they happen like that, yeah, but... a process. The slow path rather than the epiphany. That being said..."

Gabriel releases John's fingers, scrutinizes his own hands for a moment, palms up. So many years of blood. He shrugs. "I feel. Empty," he says, speaking what he had thought while sitting on the beach with John's arms around him. "Not good, not bad. Only that I've set something down... been drained of something.... and now I gotta wait for something to fill me. I am-- a vessel, you understand? A messenger. Awaiting a message." He frowns, mulling his own words over. "Maybe I made. Simon. My message. And he's delivered, now."

He pauses a moment and the frown shifts to a grin, Gabriel's eyes lighting up in swift transition. "If so. I get no points for speed of delivery. Took me near twenty years. Tch..."
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23:03:17, October 28th, 2006 (UTC)
John Henry Holliday, DDS
"Gabriel..." John looks down at the water and feels the way sand pulls away from his feet. He feels as if he were a fixed point and a floating one at the same time, in the ocean's changes in its steady rhythm. Then he meets the angel's eyes again, though his thoughts are not perfect yet and he must choose his words. His voice is gentle and thoughtful, again earnest, concern in it for his friend, but no anxiety. "I don't expect that - a miracle. I do not look to hear that you are... healed of pain. It is not so simple and fast - I assume His plan is intricate, not sudden. I feel... humble. I had wanted just to... let you look, with me to hold you, let you touch your sorrow, with care there for you. And now, I just wanted to... see how you were. Just to look at you, whatever your feelings are, for as such, just for their being yours, I value them. I hope it is, as I said, not selfish to want to know and so love you more. But maybe it is less so to want to start to help you... remember with comfort not pain. I hope it is not arrogant of me to want to do that, when the things you know are so far beyond me. In simplicity, and perhaps too because Wyatt means so much to me: I don't want you to... lose Simon, for yourself. I want you to... have him back, his memory so nearly lost to you through your... regret and sorrow. And loss. Not right away, for it is long. Twenty years will not be healed by a little talk, whatever love and care I can provide. And I do pray for his peace, and I will always - for his and yours, always when I pray. But we will talk again, as I said before, of the beautiful things you were for each other, and maybe they will fill you more. I don't know how it is for you, but I... fear emptiness. More than pain, or even hatred. It feels... cold. So cold. I was... empty a long time. Are you alright?"

John looks down again, not shy, but a little sheepish that he is still asking. "I know you are... alright. That you are not... torn asunder - that you can feel humour, for instance. That you can see light and do not cling to darkness, like our friend, but... emptiness brings such fear to me. And..."

Again, John says the completely honest thing, that caught at his heart with Gabriel's words, "I do not want that for you, will do anything in my power to prevent it, to heal it."

Gabriel has released his hand, but... the talk is still so close to him, he puts his fingertips of both hands under the backs of his friend's, as he looks at them, barely a touch, but contact.

He is honest with something else. There is something so simple and freeing about doing this - letting truth lie plain and clear, not clenching such thoughts so tight they cut and bruise him, hidden in his mind. "I did not know it was baptism, Gabriel. I just... did what it seemed most natural, instinctive to do. I had a vision of cleansing, in His elements so wondrous and still about us here. And your heart, I don't know, but... it seemed as if... that were the right and only thing to do. I am so glad, though. It makes me feel humble, as I said. If it is not peace, it is a beginning of peace maybe. If He always gives us forgiveness, should our hearts have regret and repentance, this is perhaps a clear specific point of... emptiness of sin. Washed away in His water. Perhaps a start, Gabriel? Not emptiness of love, but emptiness of sin, for simon, and for the others too, and to find that love for Simon again? With time?" He feels such care for his friend and gently kisses the upturned palms again.

John sits down in the water, it rises as high as his upper chest, and he gasps at the icy cold. But he stretches out, full in the breaking waves, and lets them move him in their own ebb and flow. He looks up at his friend, above him now, sun in his face and hair, oh, so beautiful, and ever more moving, as more of him is revealed to John. He doesn't feel selfish now, but glad, for them both.
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3:15:35, November 2nd, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: Medallion
Gabriel smiles gently as John speaks, listening to the concern his friend feels for him. It's touching, in ways that are still as new to him as his birthday gift was. John worries over him, asks as to the state of his heart...

"I'm alright," he says at last. "I am. I... this is not... the emptiness that is so cold, John. Been there too, and this isn't that. This is only... waiting for something. And I am patient, John. I have... endless time."

That John would strive to keep him from that experience... Ah, Jonh, Gabriel says to himself. Without these friendships, life, what cauchemar...

A quicker, more amused smile for when John speaks of the baptism. "There are no happy accidents. It was right, John. As you say... a starting point."

John's lips and breath are warm against Gabriel's palms, and then John is in the water, floating free, his skin paler than the sand beneath him, the waves moving around him. Gabriel smiles at him. He stands there a moment, feeling the sand beneath him with his toes and the sun beating down on his shoulders, then turns to the broad ocean before him and goes under.

The waters close over him and it is perfect, the sounds and lights of the surface muted into this gray-green salt world. Gabriel contemplates briefly letting a human form go for something different, but.... he'd probably not want to change back. Instead he settles for swimming under the waves a few moments, fingers reaching for the sandy soil with its fine rocks. When he surfaces he does so next to John, long hair plastered over his face like so much seaweed. Gabriel grins at John as he rakes it from his eyes.

"You know that every cell in the human body dies and is replaced eventually?" he asks without preamble. "Not all at the same time, but it works out on about a seven year cycle, or so the scientists say. So every seven years you are-- from a scientific standpoint-- in a whole new body."

Gabriel rolls onto his back in the water and smiles up at the sky. "Every seven years, He creates people anew. I think that's awesome."
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5:10:30, November 14th, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: Perched angel
The wind dies back down again. Gabriel stands there a moment yet in the clear sunlight. This moment, this afternoon, is sacred-- a word he understands well, and uses perhaps for a broader range of circumstances than humans do. But so much is sacred when one is aware of the ubiquity of God...

He takes a deep breath of the salt air, letting it fill him; he is, he thinks, at equilibrium. It is a state that he supposes is something similar to what humans call 'peace', but it is motion as well, the finding of balance and the lack of encumbrance, the flying straight and true as an arrow to the target or a ship on the sea borne by a good wind. A weight has been dropped-- Simon has been released-- and now... tomorrows, potentialities, whatever will be. (Amen.)

Gabriel turns to John with a broad smile, offering his hand to the other man. "You want to swim any longer? I learned my lesson at lunch-- I'm gonna be watching, you know," he says, with mock sternness. "Making sure you don't get too hot, or too cold. And this water ain't warm."
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6:37:04, November 14th, 2006 (UTC)
John Henry Holliday, DDS
As the prayer ends, Gabriel is quiet, just standing in the sun and water and air, and John looks at him still there in that moment. He will remember it. The wind dies, and John stretches back into the water, half-trying to float there, having realised with the touch of it against his wet skin, how cold it actually was. And, there is Gabriel, thinking of him, turning to him.

He takes the offered hand and stands, full of gladness. "It surely seems so much warmer than the air, though." He grins at the tone, pleased at the kindness. He really is cold, his skin shrinking and roughening despite the bright light. Gabriel's fingers are so warm in his. He puts them to his cheek for a second, warming it too. He laughs. "Oh, my wool suit was so warm this afternoon, but I shall be so very glad of it now!"

But his heart is full and singing as they walk back. All will be well, and all here has been wonderful before God, and wonderful for them. His smile and thought turn to his friend, and his eyes. Oh, he is glad for him. It has been so... healthy, for his being, heart and mind, and for John's as well.

"My uncle, Gabriel, would be so pleased. Salt air to scour my lungs, the cold to harden them, even the cold water. Sun and fresh air. Do you know this is exactly what is prescribed, beyond medicine, or rest, or whole milk and good food? I will be good." He beams at his friend, and carefully works up to deep breaths in regimen, even as he shivers. And when they return to their clothes, slightly dampened in the sea air, he dresses as quickly as he may with the great number of buttons.
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7:45:33, November 14th, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: blue-yellow
For Gabriel, the air is merely pleasurably cool, but he is aware that John shivers as he puts his clothes back on. Gabriel wishes he'd thought to bring one of the beach towels from the car as he deals with the impromptu wringing out of his salt-water-wet hair, and the dread that when it dries it is likely to poof out in all directions and cause him to resemble nothing so much as a dandelion after an unfortunate encounter with an electrical socket.

The prospect of his hair aside, he dons his boots, trousers, and shirt again. His coat, he holds draped over his arm while he glances back at the beach. Their beach, he amends in his mind, because this lovely little cove, it is theirs now; he will always think of his friend John and the comfort of his presence here, as well as the joy of the water. And the difference between salt and freshwater angelfish, of course...

He grins at John's words, turning back to him. "Fantastic. We'll have you hikin' Mt. Everest, and running, y'know, the Boston Marathon in no time, John," he offers cheerfully. He eyes John a moment longer, sharp gaze noting the tremors and goosebumps on John's skin, then takes his coat from his arm and begins to drape it over John's shoulders without much warning. "Here, c'mon, put this on, it's cold out," he mutters.
Description: blue-yellow
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(no subject)
9:39:13, November 14th, 2006 (UTC)
John Henry Holliday, DDS
"The Marathon! Mount Everest!" John starts to laugh, though he is inclined to close his teeth against possible chattering. And then, the coat... Gabriel's integral coat is placed over his shoulders, enveloping him, oh, in perfect warmth. But more than warmth - as if he were held - hugged in a living blanket, so soft and yet light, settling around him, warming his thin body where it most needs it, almost as if it knows. His eyes widen, his laugh stopped suddenly in the wonder of the miracle. His voice is full of deep gratitude. He is touched, so that he cannot even express that part of his reaction to the kindness. Such thoughtfulness - he cannot dream of refusing, though he worries for his friend, without it for even a brief time. And such... trust in him. "Gabriel. It is a part of you... Thank you. Thank you so much."

And this time he offers his hand to his friend, for the walk up from the beach, among the trees and flowers. He too looks back, wistfully. "Gabriel... it is so beautiful. Let us find an hotel near here, and come back tonight, make a fire maybe. We could bring blankets, to keep us warm. We could watch the sunset. I am loath to leave. I so love it here, and it is... it is ours, with our peace and care that must have infused and filled it now."
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(no subject)
7:59:33, November 15th, 2006 (UTC)
the Archangel Gabriel: Snrk - P3
Gabriel merely smiles at John's reaction to his coat. "You looked kinda cool," he says simply, because it is that simple-- that John was cold and it was in his power to fix. He would give more than his coat to do that. If he might do more, if he had the domain over healing as Rafayel had had... but to each according to their abilities, he reminds himself. He squeezes John's fingers once as they head back up at the beach.

At John's expressed wish, he smiles and nods. "We can do that, sure. I can definitely do a fire." An amused grin. "But yeah, I wouldn't mind coming back. It's lovely here...

"Anyways, I'm sure there's a hotel near here somewhere. And maybe a Save-Mart or something, somewhere we can pick up graham crackers, and chocolate, and marshmallows..."
Description: Snrk - P3
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