35 please? :D
This got really long and really angsty. I don’t know what happened. (also on ao3)
35. “Here, take my hand. Everything is fine, just hold onto me and keep moving.”
Castiel had always been deathly afraid of fire. In any form, no matter how big or small.
It all went back to when he was just a little kid, barely seven years old, the youngest in a ridiculously huge family consisting of an absentee writer of a father and the eldest siblings trying to make sure no one died.
Michael was the oldest. He was the Good Son. The one that sang their father’s praises while he was off on a bender god knows where, drowning himself in whiskey as he agonized over his latest book.
He was stern and almost militant in his rearing of the younger siblings, orderly to the point of obsession. In the mornings, he would instruct all of the younger children to brush their teeth, make their beds, and get themselves ready for school.
The younger siblings were his little drones, little soldiers ready to dive into battle the moment he told them to. He barked orders and preached Bible verses from memory, fire and brimstone in his voice.
There was an odd sort of affection he held for his siblings. He had cared for them, but he was ultimately selfish and nothing would ever be more important than himself.
After joining the Air Force when he turned eighteen, he worked as a local police officer. He mostly just wrote parking tickets but the badge gave him power that he so fervently craved.
Raphael was the second eldest. If Michael was the heir, he was the spare. And he seemed to be rather content with his lot in life.
He let the others handle most of the child rearing, occasionally stepping in for discipline purposes. But unlike Michael’s punishments of jumping jacks or pushups or scrubbing the bathroom tiles clean with their toothbrushes, Raphael preferred timeouts and corner time.
His favorite game to play was the quiet game. His second favorite was hide and seek though he was often very hard pressed to do any actual seeking.
He chose medicine for his career path. He became a specialist working with terminal patients, easing their pain when he could.
Many thought it was because he was compassionate, even courageous, so wonderful that such a fine young man would devote himself to such a noble cause. But his siblings knew it was only because he preferred the silence of those who were not long for the world, the only sound their breath as it came slower and slower and slower.
Gabriel was the third. The trickster. The one who saw life and their family itself for what it was: a joke.
He would spend his days lounging on the couch watching any television show that aired, from cartoons to cop dramas to country western classics. He liked to compare his siblings to archetypes and tropes, laughing all the while.
He had a predilection for sweets and women, especially those who could crush him in one blow if they so chose. Some speculated it was because the woman he dated for the longest time’s name was Candy. In truth, her name was Kali and she would destroy anyone who dared to call her Candy.
He found work as a porn star slash porn director, much to the displeasure of his older siblings. But when they criticized him, he just claimed they were jealous. Not about the sex but about the fact that he could do what they could never dream of: not conform to their father’s dreams for them and feel no trace of guilt.
Of all the brothers, he was the real caregiver, a god of mischief more than happy to raise mere mortals. His methods were unorthodox and oftentimes unheard of but so were many grand, amazing things and the time he spent with his younger siblings was the time that they most felt loved.
Then, there was Lucifer. The black sheep of the family. Rebellious to their father’s plan.
He did not care about any of his siblings, save for the ones who themselves had raised him. He did not care about many things, adrift in a life of alcoholism and apathy. In that way, he was more like their father than he ever wanted to be.
He barely interacted with the younger children, hating them with an undeserved passion, almost as much as he despised their father. Most believed it was simply an extension of his own self-hatred, like an injured animal lashing out at those that tried to help it.
He moved out shortly after he turned eighteen. On one of the rare occasions their father had been home, he had started an argument which had blossomed like a poisonous flower into a knock down drag out that had lasted all night.
In the morning, both he and their father stormed out of the house, neither to return for a long time. He started a rock band shortly afterward, diving headfirst into a life of drugs and sin.
The younger siblings were too numerous to mention by name with a few notable exceptions.
There was Balthazar, an art dealer who followed in Gabriel’s footsteps of hedonism and the pleasures of the flesh. There was Anael, who insisted on being called Anna, a love crazy chef who specialized in aphrodisiac dishes.
There was Muriel, a zookeeper who preferred the company of animals over anyone else. There was a Hannah, a sociologist who investigated what made people tick.
And then there was Castiel. The youngest. The one who became a writer. Like their father in many ways yet vastly different in others.