Sylver and Marcus were waiting in the lounge for them.
“Well that was quick” Sylver smiled and stood up.
“What was?” Dawn asked vaguely thinking about what Gabriel had said.
“You woke him up in under half an hour and if I heard correctly, you made him laugh” Dawn nodded as Gabriel adjusted his sword that sat on his belt. “Gabriel?” Sylver frowned the prince looked up at him.
“We are not going immediately.” Gabriel sniffed and looked at the large clock on the mantle.
“I can’t go now anyway” he said.
“Why not?” Sylver frowned.
“I have punishment to dish out at eight” Gabriel sighed.
“Very well” Sylver said he watched Gabriel as the prince did the top button of the black and gold uniform up and straightened his collar. “Then Marcus and I will go an get ready, I will have some food sent up.” Gabriel nodded.
“Do you want me to leave sire?” Dawn asked.
“No Dawn” Gabriel said looking at him “I want you to hear this.”
Sylver left when the clock read a few minutes to eight.
“Who has punishment sire?” Dawn asked fiddling with the strings on his shirt front.
“Wait and see” Gabriel smiled as someone knocked on the door.
Gabriel shook his head as Dawn went to stand up. “No, I said at eight.”
“It’s a few seconds away sire” Dawn frowned.
“I am aware of that” Gabriel said he looked up as the minute hand ticked over and then he moved to the door and pulled it open.
“Good evening sire” Areem said.
“What are you doing here?” Gabriel snarled.
“The boys have refused punishment duty sire.” Areem said calmly but carefully.
“What?” Gabriel said his voice was dangerously quiet.
“They said they shouldn’t be punished for what they did, the boy they fought was outcast and they don’t understand why you care.” Behind Gabriel Dawn felt his cheeks begin to burn.
“Then you can tell them that they have two choices.” Gabriel growled. “They get good enough to fight me when I come back from the little trip I'm going on if they're not good enough I will kill them. It is that or they go home.”
“But sire…” Areem stuttered “the army is having trouble enough”
“I am aware of the state of the army” Gabriel snapped “I would rather that then allow cowards into it” he slammed the door and turned to see Dawn had gone his fury melted quickly to concern. “Dawn?” he called.
Gabriel moved through to his bedroom but Dawn wasn’t there he noted that the small bedroom door was closed and he moved quickly across the room, he knocked gently.
“Dawn?” he called again.
“Yes sire?” Dawn's voice was strained and Gabriel opened the door to see the angel sitting on the end of the immaculately made bed, his elbows resting on his knees. He didn’t look up as Gabriel moved into the room and sat down beside him.
“Hey” Gabriel smiled.
“Why do people do that?” Dawn asked not returning the smile Gabriel heard the barely contained anger and frustration in Dawn's tone.
“Do what?” he asked “judge you on the fact that you have a number?” Dawn nodded.
“Yes” he managed to push the word out.
“Because they can” Gabriel said he put an arm around Dawn's wide shoulders, Dawn felt the strength in the prince’s misleadingly thin arms as he squeezed gently. “People judge what they don’t understand because it scares them.”
“I agree” a voice said from the doorway Gabriel looked up and saw Sylver, Dawn didn’t move. “People judge Gabriel all the time because of who he is and they obviously do the same to you because you're not part of their norm” Dawn did look up now and he nodded slightly. Gabriel smiled at Dawn and stood up pulling his arm away.
“I presume dinners ready seeing as you back?” he asked.
“Yes” Sylver said then without another word he moved through Gabriel's bedroom and vanished into the lounge.
“And people say I'm weird” Gabriel muttered to himself then he turned to Dawn. “are you okay?” he said looking at the angel who was still sat near him.
“I don’t know why sire but it always gets to me” Dawn said standing up.
“and it will for the rest of your life” Gabriel said “but only people who don’t know you will judge you” Dawn's eyes met Gabriel's and the tall angel smiled, Gabriel let out a squeak of surprise as Dawn pulled him into a tight hug then the prince laughed and wrapped his own arms around Dawn avoiding the stitches in the angels side.
“Thank you” Dawn said letting go Gabriel smiled and cocked his head, “for not judging” Dawn said already knowing what Gabriel's small gesture meant.
“What kind of person would I be if I did” Gabriel said “quite frankly Dawn I would be a hypocrite if I did”
“How sire?” Dawn frowned, wondering vaguely if Gabriel wanted another hug.
“Because I hate being judged too” Gabriel said he turned and walked slowly from the room Dawn thought almost reluctantly. “Come on lets get some dinner.” Gabriel called.