"I think he's mute." Luciel said looking over and watching as the two new youngest Angels played. Or rather it was more Michael would tackle Raphael and Raphael would get back up and go sit a bit away from the other. Then the cycle would continue. Throughout this the young green eyed angel didn't say a word however simply watching Michael before moving again.
"He'll talk when he's ready." Gabriel replied looking over at him worriedly. Admittedly he was scared for the young angel. As an Angel they were supposed to be able to guide good souls to heaven. To put down morality that animals must follow. Yet if Raphael couldn't speak then how would he be able too?
The twelve year old seemed to sense him and turning his eyes locked with Gabriel's as his eyes crinkled in confusion. Gabriel just smiled though as glancing once more at Luciel he walked over to him. "Hey Ray is Michael bothering you?" He asked sending a glare at Michael who just rolled his eyes before turning to Luciel. Getting low he prepared to pounce on the older angel oblivious to what they were talking about.
A simply shake of the head was Raphael's response as he turned back around and sat back looking at the clouds with a soft smile on his face. Gabriel frowned before looking back at Luciel hoping for help only to find him preoccupied dodging Michaels attacks. Perhaps this was something that only Gabriel could say. "Ray... Why don't you talk?" He asked deciding to be blunt with it.
The Angels wings, freshly new, fluttered as he looked over at Gabriel a questioning look on his face. Gabriel felt nervous but deciding he couldn't stop now he voiced his fears, "You won't be able to do your Angel Duties if you can't speak. What if something happens? What if you can't warn us?" He asked eyes widening as he imagined a piece of the castle falling and crushing the quiet angel.
He was brought out of it by a hand on his knee. Looking down he saw an understanding smile from the other as he shook his head. Before he could react Raphael pulled him into a hug a feeling of calm washing over him at the embrace. It was at that moment that the once solid form of his younger brother suddenly gave way exploding into petals. Gasping Gabriel stood up in shock as he watched them float around. "Raphael!" He cried getting the attention of the other two.
"Where'd he go?" Luciel. "What are these?" He asked grabbing at one of the petals.
Michael was starting to get a bit older so he at least understood that something had happened. Looking around however he didn't see what the problem was despite the elder Angels panic. Smiling to himself he jumped up trying to catch the petals laughing as they quickly brushed just out of reach. Behind him he heard Gabriel's growing cries of panic and turned curious once more.
"No! No what happened! I don't understand?!" Gabriel said in complete blind panic believing his brother to be dead. Next to him Luciel just looked stunned but he wasn't yet over reacting figuring he was missing something.
"Children whatever is the matter?" A familiar voice asked.
"Raphael is gone! He was suddenly there then he exploded." Gabriel replied back panicking. Ever since Raphael's birth he had been protective of the other and the thought of him dying was enough to send him over the edge.
"Raphael is with me at the Crystal Falls. He seems to be quite fine," Came back the amused sounding voice. Gabriel immediately started to race towards the room Luciel and Michael following. Or rather Luciel dragging Michael along even though the other was perfectly content where he was.
Inside the room sure enough stood Raphael who was reaching into the pool of water a giddy laugh escaping him as he pulled his hand back. He didn't even get that far before Gabriel suddenly grabbed him pulling him into a bone-crushing hug. Besides a slight exhale of breath there was no other sign of acknowledgement from the other. Pulling the smaller angel away from his chest Gabriel's eyes were wet as a single tear fell. "Don't ever scare me like that again." He said before once again pulling him close his fear practically blanketing the room.
Michael shifted nervously as he watched becoming bored once more and wanting to leave. Luciel however seemed entrenched by the scene in front of him.
Hesitantly the small hands of Raphael reached over to grab onto Gabriel's robe his head resting against the crook of the others neck. Despite his gesture however he still looked confused as if he didn't understand why he was reacting like this.
Finally he started to squirm against Gabriel's hold forcing the other to let him go. Landing softly on the ground Raphael patted down his clothes before scratching at his head. "I thought I lost you." Gabriel muttered sounding incredibly young at that moment.
Raphael shook his head before putting his hand on the others shoulder a soft smile once more on his face. Letting out a yawn he started to rub at his eyes though suddenly tired. "Luciel take Raphael and Michael to the nests," Their Fathers voice suddenly said reminding them that he was in the room also. Luciel didn't waste time before walking over and picking up Raphael.
"But I'm not tired!" Michael complained before biting his lip at the glare Luciel gave him. Looking down he let out a loud sigh before following them out of the room. The door clicked behind them as they left leaving Gabriel alone with God.
Gabriel was still looking down realizing how he had acted and feeling suddenly shameful. "I'm sorry father." He said before suddenly breaking down and crying. "I'm just so worried that he'll get hurt. You said that I was supposed to protect my brothers but I don't think I..." He said his breath hitching as he felt as if he was being held. It helped calm him but only slightly as he once again felt shamed.
"The best way to help him is to let him be who he is. You will not always be there to protect him and you have to trust in your brothers," God explained getting a nod from Gabriel.
"You are worried that your brother can not speak? Perhaps it is you who is not listening."
"What do you mean? He does not make a sound. It's been 3,996 years! What if he can't? Can't you help him?" Gabriel asked suddenly hopeful.
"He does not need my help," came the reply. "He'll talk when he is ready. Now I must go Gabriel. Remember trust in your brothers judgement. You are all different and that is your strength." With that the presence of him dissipated leaving Gabriel alone. Sighing he shivered rubbing at his head as he looked back over at the doorway they left at.
A flash of green caught his attention though and slowly his head turned locking with the pool they had found Raphael playing in. Reaching out he pulled out a beautiful green rock the same shade as Raphael's eyes. Looking at it more closely he suddenly saw an image reflected inside it. Focusing he gasped as he made out the shape of.... Himself.
And in his arms was Raphael who simply smiled at him.