Characters: Gabriel ♅, The Holy Father ♂
Rating: G- (L1 N0 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: Blasphemy, mild expletives, daddy issues
Notes: So, BigGreenOne introduced me to the Ghurabiyya Shia, a now-extinct Islamic sect from the Middle Ages, who believed that Gabriel delivered the prophecies to Mohammed by mistake, when they were actually intended for his cousin, Ali. Obviously, given that I tend to write Gabriel as … less than entirely pleased with innumerable of the Holy Father’s decisions, I had to run with that idea. The ‘your brother’ referenced here is the Adversary, who Lucifer keeps getting mistaken for, despite never having even met the guy. (Speaking of looking like your uncle…)
The angel stood in the desert, shouting at the sky, red-gold curls with droplets of fresh glass clinging to them streaming down its back.
"No, abba, that’s not what you said to me. You told me to deliver the message to the son of Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, leader of the Banu Hashim, in the city of Mecca. You didn’t tell me he had five sons!"
The sky rumbled, and the clouds changed course.
"Yes, Talib would have been the obvious choice, but I protest again that your message left me no choice! It was delivered to the first of the sons to address me!" The angel breathed only to speak, but the inhalation was sharp, as thunder boomed above. "Well, that’s your mistake, not mine, abba! If you don’t trust my will enough to leave it to me, then you don’t get to blame me when it doesn’t get used!"
Lightning struck, inches from the angel, and part of one leg and the other foot melded into black glass.
"And you treat me like a child…" the angel muttered, stepping out of its shell to the left, and the body continued to stand where it was, still staring at the sky. It wasn’t quite right, but the angel thought this body was the best looking it had managed in all the centuries it had been walking among men.
As a pillar of blue and gold light, it continued the conversation, but in another language, and the sand danced in rings around it. "His name is Mohammed. He seems both wise and witty, from the conversation we had, after your message was delivered. A good man with both a good heart and good sense. Kind and respectful, even without your influence. I am certain that trend will continue."
The sky roared, wind tearing through the patterns the angel’s voice left in the sand.
"What do you mean that wasn’t Abu Talib’s son? Of course it was. He looked just like his little brother, but twenty years older. I arrived with a message. The message was delivered, according to the protocol you placed in the seal. That had to be Abu Talib’s son. Five sons, father. You could have been more specific."
The wind whistled and howled, carving its own patterns in the sand, deeper than a palm is wide.
"Abu Talib’s nephew?" Rivulets of molten glass bubbled out of the desert around the angel. "He’s adopted. That’s still Abu Talib’s son, and your seal agrees with me."
The clouds shifted, and light streaked down, drawing little warm patches in the sand.
"I like him. I think he’s an excellent choice. And he’s also not ten, so people are a whole lot more likely to listen to him."
The wind stilled.
"I agree. I think you made a huge mist—" The sky flashed, glittering with electrical promise, as the smell of ozone rolled across the desert, and the angel flared up, brighter and bluer. "No. No, you do not get to hang this on me. You gave me bad instructions and a screwed up seal. It triggered when Mohammed spoke to me, and the message was delivered. How was I supposed to know you meant Ali? He’s ten. And all you told me was ‘the son of Abu Talib’ — the son of the father of Talib."
Blue-white electrical flames danced along the arms of the empty shell, trailing glowing threads into the sky.
"Yeah, dad, if I had to guess, I’d have picked Talib. But, I didn’t guess. Mohammed saw me and greeted me, and it broke the seal. Don’t give me stupid seals, and this won’t happen."
The air hummed, crackling faintly, slender lines of electricity and light dancing contemplatively around the slowly-smouldering empty shell of the blue and gold angel.
"You want me to what!? What kind of message would that send? You’re supposed to be omnipotent and omniscient!"
Lightning cracked across the shell’s open palms, and molten glass ran from the scorched holes down the fingertips.
"I don’t know either! Fine. I’ll make it work. Now, what about my—"
The thunder rolled and the clouds parted, leaving a beautiful, streaky blue sky. Not a breath of air disturbed the calm.
The angel stared at both the damaged shell and the sky, at once, which is a benefit to not having one’s vision constrained by eyeballs.
"… Really!? You screw up your own mission, blame it on me, and then you break my shell? It took me half a year to get that right! How am I supposed to get back to Mecca in this?" The angel stepped back into the shell and concentrated, carefully freeing the black glass feet from the grip of the surrounding landscape. "Go eat your brother’s shoes, you motherless monkey’s ass!"
The sky did not answer. The wind moved not at all.
"One of these centuries, I’m going to find out I was adopted, and all of this is going to make so much more sense," the angel complained, calculating the shortest distance to holy water and vanishing in a flicker of light that twisted the desert toward it.