DISCLAIMER: Not mine. No profit.

Ratings: G

Gratitude Series: #9

Breaking The Rules
by Tanners_girl

"What have you got there, Michael?" Gabriel asked as he fell into step with Michael, who has walking hurriedly down the corridor. He tried to look at the parchment in Michael's hands. His golden curls fell into his eyes and he brushed them back off his forehead as he looked at his friend's worried face.

"I'm just on my way to check something."

"Must be something important to get you scurrying down the hallway. I don't think I've ever seen you this concerned before." He tried to read the writing on the paper again. "Hey, stop." He grabbed Michael by the arm. "Did I read that right?" His cornflower blue eyes filled with astonishment. He looked into Michael's stormy blue eyes and saw the acknowledgement. "It can't be," was all he could say.

Michael ran a hand through his thick brown hair in agitation. "Yes, I agree. But it's here. And if I don't get to the final list before Hadriel leaves..."

"Well, then, let's go."

"But, the rules,...I don't know...who are we to question?"

"Not this one." Gabriel replied emphatically. "Not now. And especially not after all the work I've put in to keep his butt out of the fire." Michael looked at him questioningly. "Besides, six *is* the devil's number. We can't have that!" Gabriel saw the look of determination settle onto his friend's face.

"WooHoo!" he shouted as they took off and ran swiftly down the corridor, their feet barely touching the marble floor.

"Shush!" Micheal commanded. "Do you want Him to hear?"

Gabriel grinned at his friend. They raced through the empty corridors, silent except for the fluttering of their white linens. The two heads bowed close together as they whispered quietly.

"With choir practice on right now, there shouldn't be too many in the room," commented Gabriel.

"Yes, but how do we get to the list without Saint Sebastien noticing."

"What we need is a diversion," Gabriel was saying as they rounded the corner. "Whoa. " He grabbed Michael by the shoulders to pull him aside but they were going too fast. Gabriel lost his balance and they collided with the figure in front of them, the three of them tumbling down the hallway several feet before coming to rest on the floor. Gabriel was the first to his feet and he shook out his wings to settle his feathers while he raked the golden curls off his face and into place over his shoulders. The draft he created stirred up the feathers that had been knocked loose during the collision and he watched as a large white primary floated lazily downwards and settled onto the face of the figure lying at his feet. The eyes opened and looked up at him.

"I should have known it was you." He swiped the feather off his face. "Well, are you just going to stand there, or are you going to help me up?"

"Sorry, Rafe. Didn't mean to knock you over." Gabriel brushed off the white linen, adjusted the robe, and stood back to admire his handiwork. "There you look as good as new." He paused for a moment as he looked more closely at Rafael. The blue eyes had turned a sea green and there was a faint golden light hugging the brown hair. The normally immaculate clothing was creased and the shoulders of his wings drooped. Gabriel looked at Michael and raised an eyebrow. Michael shrugged his shoulders.

Gabriel spoke quietly. "Hey, Rafe, you know that your eyes are turning green and you're emanating?"

"So would you if you had just discovered that months and months of work is about to be wasted." He stared at the two figures in front of him. "All that effort. Nudging him and prodding him in the right direction. And I was finally getting somewhere." His eyes flashed with green fire. "Did you know he gave Li Pong that money by himself? And now what? It's all gone to hell." He paused and tried to smooth the creases from the front of his robe. "I have just spent hours in that little room. Hours. He wouldn't leave, you know." His eyes fell on the parchment in Michael's hand and he looked up into their faces. "And where were you flying off too in such a hurry?"

Michael smiled wolfishly at him. "Something you'll be interested in but we'll tell you on the way."

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