Short Story – Father’s Day

This was written because this past Sunday was Father’s Day, but also I do believe this works as a good “introduction” piece for many of the characters, even if you don’t get to see a whole lot of them.  Please enjoy ~Vera

Let it never be said that I do not love my children. I love each and every single one of them– and believe me, I have a lot. It’s just that some may disagree with whether or not I truly give them all the love they each deserve. Well, first of all, when you have so many kids to give attention to, some of them may feel like they’re getting less attention than the others, regardless of if it’s true or not. And secondly, I give individual attention to each of them, and that comes in different forms from case to case, so on the outside, yes, it may look like I’m playing favorites.

I do believe that’s how some felt when Gabriel came to me with his problems. His case was, of course, rather unique, but after the others saw how I had dealt with it, they muttered about how he had always been my favorite child. I can say, at least, he’s the most well behaved.

So, I had asked Gabriel to go off and run an errand for me, delivering a message– as that is the job I gave to him– and he had been gone for a rather alarmingly long time. Well, it turns out he had gotten into a bout of trouble, but he also met a new friend. When he finally returned to me, he was looking quite troubled.

“Father, I… I am unsure what I should do.”

“What is it you wish to do, Gabriel?”

He wasn’t meeting my eyes, which is something he almost never did, and it struck me as a touch worrisome. Finally, after taking a shaky breath, he said in a quiet voice, “I wish to stay with him.”

I tilted my head to the side and pressed my fingertips together, gazing over them at him. “You wish to be his guardian?”

“Well, maybe something… a bit more than that?” There was hesitance in his voice, and even what appeared to be a look of guilt on his face. He clutched at his forearm and turned away from me with a sigh.

I stood and went over to him, resting a gentle hand on his shoulder and prompting him to look me in the eye. “Are you afraid of what the others will think?” I asked.

His face twitched and he looked down at the floor, mumbling, “Something like that. It’s not exactly ‘normal’ after all, is it?”

“Normal? Well, perhaps not, but…” I trailed off when I saw the look in his face. It was a complicated mix of fear, guilt, longing, and a shred of hopefulness. I gave his shoulder a light squeeze and said gently, “If you wish to be with him, I shall not stop you.”

He lifted his head and met my eyes once more. His own eyes were shining with gratitude, and he looked immensely relieved. “Father, I… thank you.”

I smiled and embraced him. “Just don’t let your spending time with him interfere with your work.”

“I won’t,” he promised. The look on his face when he left was reflected in just how radiant his Glory became after that. He shined like a star in the night. Honestly, it was good to see him so happy after everything that he went through.

Now, the others found out about what he was doing, and I believe they weren’t quite happy about it at first. But I told them I had explicitly given him permission, and they pretty much shut up about it then. Still, I’m not sure how okay they were with it. I think they were mostly just confused. Something like this had never happened before, after all, and change is hard to deal with. But change is also good– well, sometimes anyway.

It was Uriel next, I believe, and looking at the two situations, it could be thought that she was just doing it for attention; to see if she could get the same sort of treatment that Gabriel had gotten. That is exactly not what it was, however.

“Father, I love him,” she said. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone else before. I want to stay with him forever.”

I could see in her aura just how genuine she felt about this. It burned like fire, but beneath it was a soft pink glow of something that could only come when two souls had found each other and knew they had to stay together. I couldn’t help but smile at the sight of her.

“If that’s what would make you happy, then you should go and be with him. I think it would be good for both of you.”

Her eyes shown with gratitude, and she threw her arms around my neck and hugged me tight. “Thank you, Father.”

I smiled and kissed the top of her head. “Go and be with him, then.”

It wasn’t only that she loved him– though of course, I wasn’t going to keep her away from him since she did– but there were other factors in my letting her go to him. She had always been so close to Michael, but recently he had grown more distant; not only from her, but from everyone else. She was lonely, and I could see that. So if she found someone who could make her happy, I wasn’t going to stand in the way of that.

Apparently her brothers were going to, though.

It finally got to a point where I felt it necessary to step in and have a talk with Michael. He didn’t seem overly happy to be talking about it. He slumped forward and crossed his arms over his chest, looking everywhere except for me and tapping his foot impatiently. I just sighed.

“Michael, I do hope you’re aware that I know exactly what you’ve been up to.”

“Of course I do,” he muttered.

“And that I’ve seen how you’ve been antagonizing Uriel’s new… friend.”

He balked and set a glare on me, opening his mouth to argue, but then stopping before he made a sound. I quirked an eyebrow at him, then he hissed under his breath and turned his face away, muttering something unintelligible.

“I know how you feel, Michael,” I said at last to break up the tension in the room. “Neither you nor Raphael are pleased with Uriel’s decision.” My eyes narrowed and I dropped my voice. “In fact, Raphael went so far as to throw her into a wall.”

“He did what?” Michael stared at me, an intense look in his eyes. Good, I finally had his attention.

“I’ve already spoken with him about that, and that’s beside the point. I think there’s something else going on with you. You’ve been… rather more on edge as of late, and it has me worried.”

His shoulders slumped for a moment, then he puffed out his chest, a hard look in his eyes. “How do you expect me to act, Father? Things are getting out of control, and it just feels like–”

“Like what?”

He flinched visibly and curled his lip a slight bit. He took a few shaky breaths, then said in an unsteadily quiet voice, “It feels like you’re not taking this seriously.”

A moment of silence passed between us in which we gazed at each other, seeing who could go longest without blinking. I won, of course, when Michael turned his face away. Finally I spoke, keeping my tone even. “I’m taking this very seriously, Michael. I know exactly what is happening, and I’m monitoring the situation closely. Your job is to keep things in check. But it seems you yourself are slightly out of control. You’re far too emotional for your own good.”

“I am not,” he growled under his breath. I let out a sigh.

“All I ask is that you consider everyone else before you brashly go running into danger again. Your every word and action has consequences, and you would do well to remember that.”

“I know that,” he huffed. I shook my head.

“Well, unless there’s something you wish to speak with me about? You may go.”

He sat there for a moment longer before getting up and turning to leave. Just before he got out the door, though, he stopped and glanced over his shoulder at me.

“I want to find him and bring him down,” he said.

“I am well aware.”

He said nothing more, and then he left.

Michael has always been a hothead, even before… certain family members decided to run off. He did mellow out, after a time, but recent events have made him ignite again, and he is, frankly, being ridiculous. But what can you do? Sometimes children need to be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. I’ll provide guidance, but he has to be the one to see his faults and make an effort to right the wrongs. I’ll be waiting for that day.

Next to Michael, Raphael is the last one I would have expected to come to me with such a request as his other siblings had. Of course, I certainly couldn’t refuse him. Not after everything else he had been going through.

“There is a child,” he started in a quiet, cautious voice. “She is rather unique. I think that perhaps it would be a good thing that she be watched over.”

I tilted my head to the side, considering this, then smiled at him. “And you wish to be the one to do it?”

He floundered about for a moment, seeming to search for the right words, but being unable to find them, then he let out a breath and simply nodded his head. “I wish… to be her guardian, for whenever I can be.”

“You may,” I told him. “In fact, I daresay you needn’t even ask my permission for it. Go and take care of that child. I know you’ll do an excellent job.”

He nodded at me and then left. By how stiff and quick his steps were, I could tell he was somewhat embarrassed. I chuckled as he disappeared. Raphael was never one to show his feelings on things so easily, nor did he form attachments. I’m rather glad he finally did.

I heard from another child in a most unexpected way. Well, I didn’t hear directly from him, but it was at least something to know how he was doing. I took a letter lying on my desk and opened the envelope, carefully unfolding the large handwritten pages in beautiful script. I did so enjoy getting these sorts of letters from my other children. A different kind of prayer that I could take my time with, and they were usually much more thought out rather than rushed.

I especially enjoyed reading Caroline’s letters. Always eloquent and beautiful, but never pandering. Her words were raw and full of meaning, never disguising some sort of ulterior motive. She’s honest and she’s genuine and that means more to me than anything else.

So when she started telling me about how she’d been spending time with him, I was quite intrigued. He, like Raphael and Michael, wasn’t one for forming attachments or showing his feelings all that often, though he, like Michael, was also terribly emotional, whether either of them liked to admit it or not.

So the fact that she had somehow found a way to get into his heart was quite the accomplishment indeed. It was also dangerous. But I decided to let it play out, rather than give any sort of shotgun speech to either of them. She knows what she’s doing, and if anyone could get through to him, I do believe that it would be her.

I take care of my children, and I love each and every one of them, even if some would disagree. I’m certain he would. But Lucifer will come around, one day, at least I hope he does. I’ll wait for that day. Until then, all I can do is watch and hope.

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