(m a x P O V)
You don't really get noticed.
You fade into the background around the brilliance that is your siblings, Alex's pranks and Justin's grades over shine everything you ever do.
And that's okay.
You know that it would bother some people, that sometimes people pity you when they notice the third Russo that no one ever talks about. But, it really is okay. You like being able to be yourself and get what you want done without other people noticing. You like messing around and not getting in trouble, getting bad grades and not getting yelled at.
You are not special.
Alex and Justin used up all the special that your parents had to give, so when it came to you, there just wasn't any special left.
And that's how you like it.
But the thing about no one noticing you, no one listening to your rambling stories and out of the box ideas, is that no one knows your secrets.
No one knows that you see wings.
The first time it happens, you're only six years old.
You're at the store with your mom, picking up meat and toppings for the new subs that your dad wants to try out.
You notice a man standing out front, watching all the other New Yorkers walk by him.
He's got on a black leather jacket and a pair of jeans and a green shirt. He looks like he hasn't shaved in a while and his hair is all messed up from the fingers he keeps running through it.
And he's got wings coming out of his back.
They're huge. They arch away from him in graceful curves, stretched out almost eight feet on either side of him. They're bright white, almost blinding, with slender feathers that look smooth to the touch.
When you walk out of the store, your mom grabs your hand and starts pulling you down the street. You shuffle down the sidewalk next to her, yanking on her hand when you walk past the winged man.
"Momma!" you whisper scream, "look! Why does he have wings?" you ask while you point at the scruffy man.
His eyes widen and he stares at you while your mom tells you to stop being rude and making up stories. She keeps pulling you back to the substation and when you glance back, the man is gone and a white feather is lying on the ground.
Four hours after that, your mother sends you to bed. The rest of the day had been full of watching TV while your mom talked to Alex and your dad tried to convince Justin to help out downstairs. You kept thinking about the man with wings, wondering why no one else stopped to look at him or even seemed to notice the feathery additions to his back.
You would have thought that you had imagined it, like mom said you did, but you had ran back and grabbed the white feather on the ground and were currently running it through your fingers, so you think that he probably existed.
You fall asleep still holding the snow white feather.
Sometime in the early morning, before the sun was even close to rising, you woke up.
Something was telling you to go outside and the feather still clenched in your left fist was glowing. You stood up and walked down the hallway, then down the stairs, and ended up standing on the balcony.
The feather, still glowing, served as a source of light as you looked at the rugged man with wings the color of a swan's curling around him. He was sitting on the ledge of the balcony, staring calmly at you.
"Hello," you whisper, the hand around the feather beginning to sweat. "Who are you?"
"My name's Michael," he said back, his voice rougher than you thought it would be. "You can see me can't you?"
"You mean your wings?" you ask childishly, pointing at the white feathers.
He smiled at you, nodding gently.
"Yes, I can see them," you state needlessly, still staring at him. His hazel eyes had started glowing and his wings were shimmering more brilliantly with every second.
"So you must be meant for one of my siblings," he murmured, quietly like he was just talking to himself.
"Meant for?" you question. You're only six years old and romance is still icky and you don't know anything about soul mates or angels or fate.
Michael just smiles at you again, his eyes warm. "Keep my feather safe, okay?"
He leaves before you can respond.
The next morning, you ask Alex to help you weave a leather necklace and you hang the feather off the end of it, the bright white end tickling your stomach where the necklace hangs.
The next time you meet a person with wings, and you really didn't know that they were angels at that point, you're eleven.
You go with Justin and Alex to the park because your parents wanted you out of the apartment. Your grandparents were coming for a visit, and your mom was cleaning pretty much everything in sight.
She wanted Alex and Justin gone because they had been fighting ever since Justin woke up with pink tipped hair and she wanted you out of the house because you had just gotten your wand and you were kind of… accident prone.
The three of you were walking towards the park, Alex and Justin still bickering, when you noticed a black man standing over to the side. He was leaning up against a park bench wearing a suit. There was nothing special about him, nothing unique at all. He was just another guy.
Except for one thing.
There were smoky gray wings slanting harshly away from his back. They weren't the same color or shape of Michael's, and for some reason that you really couldn't explain, they looked way more threatening.
Michael's wings had been large and beautiful, gentle and pure and glowing white.
This new guy though, his wings were all sharp angles and feathers that looked like daggers and they were less than half the size of Michael's.
His frightening demeanor wasn't helped by the fact that he was glaring at everyone who walked by. You strode towards him, leaving behind your still arguing siblings.
"Hello," you started, not even flinching when he turned his glare on you, "do you know Michael?"
He startled slightly, looking at you with shock instead of disdain. "Michael?"
"Yeah. He had wings too, although they were much larger than yours," you state, not even realizing that your words could be taken as an insult.
"You see people with wings often, kid?" he snarls, his eyes narrowed on you.
"Nope, just two so far. Michael, and now you. By the way… who are you?" you smile up at him, the same smile that results in cookies before dinner.
"Uriel. My name is Uriel," he spits, still glaring at you for your unintended slight.
Another man walks up behind him as he finishes speaking, this one an older man with another suit on. He's got light blue wings, slightly larger than Uriel's but nowhere near the size of Michael's. They're sharp too, with knife like feathers and harsh points all over.
"Why are you talking to a child?" he questions Uriel, his eyes wide with incredulity.
"Hello mister. I like your wings too, they're a pretty color," you speak up before Uriel has the chance to and watch as the new man's eyes open wide in shock as well.
"You can see us?" he chokes out, his face several shades lighter than it had been when he had walked over.
"Yep. I just wanted to know if you could say hi to Michael for me, he seemed like a pretty nice guy," you say, glancing back and forth between the two of them.
"You know Michael?" he asks, his voice suddenly dark with suspicion.
"Zachariah, do you really think Michael would have left him if he was meant for him? Michael would never be so careless with a being created for him." Uriel finally interjects, still glaring slightly at you. The anger in his eyes has been tempered by curiosity, and you wonder what's so intriguing about you.
"Well, how do we know he even met him?" the old man, Zachariah, barks suddenly, once again staring at you with doubts in his eyes.
You just reach into your shirt and pull out the end of the leather necklace that you hadn't taken off in five years, showing them the still bright and clean white feather.
"He gave him a feather?" Uriel gasps out, now so shocked that he completely forgets to glare at you.
"Well… do you think we should…?" Zachariah starts, trailing off when Uriel's angry eyes fix on him.
"Do whatever you want. I'm leaving," he hisses, fading away and leaving no more than the sound of fluttering feathers behind him.
"Maxie! Who are you talking to?" Justin shouts out from behind you and you turn around to see him and Alex walking towards you, worry making them quicker than usual.
"I imagine I'll be seeing you," Zachariah whispers while you're still turned around. When you turn back, he's gone and there's a pale blue feather spinning slowly on the ground.
You pick it up and put it next to Michael's, the sharp point dangling next to the soft tip on your chest.
The third time your fifteen, and by now you're calling them angels. And you meet someone broken.
She walks into the substation, looking kind of confused and definitely sad.
She has flame red hair and a pale face, almost black eyes and pretty features. She's clothed like regular people, just jeans and a white shirt.
And she's got wings.
They look fragile, delicate like a butterfly's wings. They're dull gold, hanging limp and twisted behind her back. The feathers aren't shimmering and her wings aren't glowing and they don't look anything like the other three angels that you've seen.
You grab a coke and go sit opposite her in the booth that she had sat down at.
"Why are your wings broken?" you ask quietly, more somber than you ever have been. Her eyes widen and you slide the soda across the table, quirking a half smile at her and waiting for a response.
"Because… because I fell," she finally murmurs, still looking at you like a puzzle that she wants to solve. You gesture at her to say more, wanting to hear the rest of the story. "I was thrown out for disobeying," she states, calmer than you expected.
"From heaven?" you question, quiet again because you don't want people to think you're insane for talking about wings and heaven and angels.
"Yes. I… I had to help a couple of people a little while back, so I got all my grace back. My wings grew back too, but…" she trails off and swallows painfully, tightening her hands around the half-empty glass sitting in front of her.
"I'm sorry," you say, simple but direct. What else can you say to someone who was essentially disowned and then had to jump back into her old life with wings that could no longer fly? Her eyes lighten almost imperceptibly and she smiles at you.
"I'm glad I came here today," she says, her voice stronger than it had been for the entire conversation.
"Why?" you ask, already nodding at Justin to let him know that you were well aware you needed to get back to work.
"Because it reminded me of why I defied my father in the first place. For people like you, for people willing to help strangers," she pauses, looking at you calculatingly. "You're going to make one of my brothers very happy," she finally states, standing up and smiling at you again before leaving the substation.
You lean over and pick up the tarnished gold feather lying on the bench, pulling out your necklace and hooking it on the opposite side of Zachariah's feather. As soon as it touches the long white feather, it begins to shine. The feather straightens and begins to emanate a slight glow, the same as the other two.
You slip it back into your shirt and grin, picking up the half-full glass on the table and going to wash it out.
Three days after your seventeenth birthday, you meet another angel.
You're walking back to Justin's apartment in the city, Alex and Justin holding hands in front of you, after a late birthday dinner. Your parents were still a little shaky on the whole Justin and Alex being in love thing, so you waited until the weekend and then went to celebrate with them. You were spending Saturday and Sunday at their place, and on Saturday evening they took you out for a fancy meal.
The starch that your mother put on your collar is itching your neck and you unbutton the top of the pressed white shirt. You're wearing slacks and shining black shoes, and it's for this reason that you're paying more attention to your feet, and less attention to where you're going.
You bump into someone, glancing up to apologize and meeting dancing brown eyes. Your hand subconsciously grips the leather still wrapped around your neck as you gaze at the guy in front of you and tell Alex and Justin that you'll meet them back home.
Alex is so busy smiling at the fact that you called Justin's place home, she forgets to ask who the random man you're staring so intently at is.
You look the man up and down quickly, noticing that he's less formal than the other male angels you've met. He's clothed simply in a pair of dark jeans and a black long-sleeve shirt.
The thing that you can't stop looking at though is the emerald green wings jutting proudly from his back. They curve up, arching back down and swooping out into delicate points. They're almost as big as Michael's were, the second largest set of wings that you had seen. The were shimmering, green light dancing from feather to feather, gliding from one wing tip to the other in smooth waves of emerald fire.
"Woah," you breathe out before you can stop yourself. You glance back to his eyes, which are level with yours, and the mischievous brown darkens with bemusement.
"Not usually the reaction I get from teenage males," he smirks, the sarcastic words leaving his lips easily.
"Sorry, it's just, man, you're wings are cooler than Michael's were," you say without thinking, glancing away from curious eyes to once again watch the green fire ebb and flow.
"You know Michael?" he questions, his voice oddly tight. You glance back at him and simply nod when you notice the loss in his eyes.
"Yeah. I met him… eleven years ago. Then it was the dude with the small wings, Uriel, and the blue winged guy, Zachariah. Then I met the girl with the twisted gold wings, Anna," as you speak; you pull your necklace from your collar. You grin when he raises an eyebrow at the three feathers dangling there. "Who are you?" you question, tilting your head to the side.
"I'm Gabriel," he mumbles absentmindedly as he continues to stare at you. "You see angels," he muses, tapping a finger against his chin. His eyes brighten with mischief and he smirks again, opening his mouth and saying, "hey kid, you got a girlfriend? Boyfriend?"
You choke out a "no" and stare at him, shocked and more than slightly confused.
"Good. Baby brother wouldn't like that," he laughs, smirking at you again.
"Why do you all keep saying that!" you snap, annoyed with the fifth angel you met saying the same cryptic ridiculousness as the others. You huff and cross your arms, glaring at him when his smirk grows into a grin.
"No one's told you?" he giggles, looking positively gleeful.
You shake your head and continue glaring at him even though you already know he isn't going to tell you either.
"Sorry, kid. That story isn't mine to share," he states, as you knew he would, placing a surprisingly serious hand on your shoulder before speaking again. "But, just to forewarn you a little bit, I wouldn't start any serious relationships. You'll be finding out why soon enough," he smirks again and disappears the same way Michael did, noiseless and without any walking.
You grab the long green feather floating towards the ground before it can touch the dirty New York City sidewalk and tie it onto your necklace in between the white and the blue.
You roll your eyes and grumble about cryptic, feathery, angel jerks all the way back to your siblings apartment.
After that, the angels seem to disappear for a while.
You aren't sure where they went, where they faded away to. Actually, you really aren't sure that they disappeared at all because you have only met five angels in about twelve years.
But now you're twenty-four and a full wizard and you haven't seen any angels since you met Gabriel when you were seventeen. You wouldn't be so worried, but Gabriel's feather stopped glowing a while ago, then Zachariah's faded too. Anna's went out before Gabriel's did, and Michael's dimmed, it still faintly glimmered but nothing like before, after the other three went out.
Something big had happened, something major had changed, and you didn't know what.
So, instead of worrying about it, you went about life as always, moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico because that's where Alex and Justin went so Alex could work on her art. You knew that it was kind of weird to follow your siblings across the country, but they were your best friends too.
You moved in to a little apartment in the middle of the city and spent your days learning a culture that you had never imagined existed while living in Manhattan. You met Alex for lunch every other day and Justin for random stuff on the weekends and you babysat their daughter Kylie on Friday nights so that they could go out on dates.
You worked whenever you found a job that was interesting and practiced magic whenever you felt like it.
But there was something missing. Some part of your life was lacking and you didn't know what to do about it.
A few weeks later, after dropping off Alex back at her studio, you notice that there's a black Chevy Impala parked across the street. Three men are standing there, a really tall one with floppy hair was gesturing angrily at a slightly shorter man who was leaning against the car. And, no matter how cute the one against the car was, you completely forgot about them as soon as you caught sight of the last man.
He was wearing a suit and a beige trench coat and had mussed black hair. His eyes looked blue from where you were standing, but you were more focused on the large black wings attached to him.
They were the same size that Michael's had been, maybe even larger. The feathers were all deep black, the color of midnight in the middle of the desert and looked soft to the touch. The wings arched proudly from his back, gracefully draping on both sides of his body.
He was beautiful.
Your breath caught as you crossed the road without thinking about your actions, all you knew is that none of the other angels felt like this. Michael had been ruggedly handsome, Gabriel rakish and Anna beautiful.
But none of them were anything like this.
You walk calmly up to them, still trying to remember how to breathe, and continue to stare at the angel. The tall guy is blinking at you and the cute one is glaring, but you don't care. The angel turns to look at what made the others stop talking and freezes.
You grin dazzingly at him, finally refilling you lungs with air at the sight of his blue gray eyes.
"Hello," you murmur, "I think I've been waiting for you for a while." You step closer as you speak and ignore the looks that the other two men are giving you.
"Uh, Cas-" the cute one starts, but the angel cuts him off.
"You are… you can, you can see me?" he sounds so in awe that you almost blush. "I mean… Michael had said that he had met a child who could see wings, but that was nearly twenty years ago. I did not know you existed, let alone that you were meant for me. I thought maybe you were for Gabriel…" he trailed off, still looking at you with an entirely too attractive look of confusion on his face.
You smirk lightly and pull out your necklace, showing him the four feathers. "I met him. He was… interesting. And there was Zachariah and Michael and Anna. And Uriel, but he seemed kind of asshole-like," you laugh slightly, pointing at each feather as you say the angel's name. The other two guys are staring at you with wide eyes, but the angel just steps closer.
His eyes are mournful at the sight of the dim green feather, slightly vindicated at the sight of the lifeless pale blue. The tarnished gold makes his eyes dark with regret and the faintly shimmering white makes his face go blank.
He looks away from the feathers and brings his hand up and wraps it around yours on the leather necklace that you made so long ago.
"I'm Castiel," he whispers, taking another step closer.
"Hi, Castiel. I'm Max, Max Russo," you respond quietly, forcing some of your golden magic up your arm and into your hand. His eyes widen at the feel of it before his expression relaxes into a smile and he grips your hand tighter.
"I'm sorry I made you wait so long," he says, his eyes smiling and his slips still.
You take just one more step closer and smile as you feel the brush of his wings against your sides.
"That's okay, I didn't even know what I was waiting for," you mumble, reaching your free hand up to gently touch his right wing.
The feathers quiver under your fingertips and you smile as his eyes brighten.
"Still. I am glad to know you now, Max Russo. It takes a special person to be able to see my wings." Castiel smiles at you as he says it, his hand twisting to lace with yours around the necklace holding feathers from his siblings.
You smile back and lean into him as his wings tighten around you, the black feathers a warm cocoon against the world.
Maybe you were special after all.
ALL RIGHT. I own neither WOWP or Supernatural. I'm also aware that I took some liberties with this whole, five angels randomly showing up in New York thing, but whatever. It's fanfiction about angels and wizards anyways. :)
I know, I promised a Max/Castiel fic, and there was barely any Max/Castiel in this. I just liked how it ended, and it was getting way longer than I expected anyways. So, WyldCard4 dear, if you wish for me to make this a twoshot and dedicate another chapter to Max/Castiel bliss, I shall. Simply let me know.
And Happy (Early) Holidays to the rest of you readers.
You should all give me a gift, and review. Because I'm greedy like that.