Hey look, it's a prequel!
Apparently I'm a glutton for punishment and writing this and posting it when really I should be waiting. Obviously I'm not. I've been working on this a lot in bits and pieces and finally managed to finish this beginning. It was going to be different, the first chapter. From Gabriel's POV to show what happened beforehand, but I couldn't get it out right. Maybe another time and I'll shove it in somewhere.
Anyway! Here's the prequel, title is taken from All That You Are by The Goo Goo Dolls. The song screams Dean/Cas at me every damn time I listen to it, so I recommend it to you guys.
Anywho, I hope you guys like this.
I'm nervous about it for some reason.
The sky was dark and ominous, thunder rumbled in the distance, it wasn't supposed to rain tonight but apparently, the weather channel had lied because it certainly looked like rain tonight. And of course, that was when the piece of shit car he was using would decide to stop working.
Castiel kicked at the tire in front of him and shouted, "Shit!"
The sky decided to open up then with a bright flash of lighting and a loud bang of thunder that Castiel felt down into his bones. He kicked at the tire again, "Fuck!"
He wasn't one to usually curse, but for now it was helping him to feel a little bit better. Not much, but enough. He had no cell phone, since they were too expensive, he was twenty miles from home and Rachel had already closed up the store and left. He was the only one here, standing in the rain in a grocery store parking lot at two in the morning.
"Fuck my life! Fuck everything!" He kicked the tire one last time, slammed the door shut and snatched his bag from the ground. He locked the car door, he didn't know why, it was a piece of shit that wasn't running and there wasn't anything of value inside. There wasn't even a stereo. Castiel checked his pockets for any spare change, but he had none and there were no payphones around that he could see. It wasn't like it mattered anyway, none of his siblings would be able to come and get him since he had the car tonight and it was the only car they shared between them all.
Thursdays were his day to have the car since he had his shift at the grocery store and his shift at the diner on these days. The grocery store was in the next town over while the diner was a few blocks from their apartment. If he started walking now he mightbe able to make it to his shift on time. Probably not, and then he would be fired and he was in no mood to have to start looking for another job. He would have to though, for his family he would have to.
With a sigh he shrugged his bag onto his shoulder, gave the tire one last kick, "I hate my life." And started walking.
Castiel made it to the diner five minutes before his shift started and only because he'd managed to hitch a ride with someone. That someone had offered Castiel fifty dollars for a blowjob, and Castiel had very briefly considered it since fifty dollars would feed everyone for a day and a half at least, but he knew Gabriel would not be pleased if he did. So he'd declined, gotten himself kicked out of the truck and had trekked the rest of the way to work in the rain.
By five, he was changed into jeans and a t-shirt, apron around his waist and nametag pinned to his chest. His hair was still wet and he was still shivering but he was in dry clothes now at least. His feet hurt and he winced at the thought of being on his feet all day after being on them all night and then walking a good chunk after that.
He had just turned nineteen years old and this was his life.
By eight, the original breakfast rush had passed and Castiel was dead on his feet. All he wanted to do was fall over into one of the booths and pass out. Instead, he filled himself another cup of coffee, gulped it down and winced when he heard the ding of the door opening, admitting another customer. He only had to wait five more minutes until Becca started her shift and he could take a break.
"Hey bro." Castiel felt himself smile a little as a little of the weight on his shoulders lifted. Gabriel usually came in on the days Castiel worked here before he would go off to his own job before heading to his afternoon/evening classes at the college.
"Morning Gabe." Castiel plucked an empty cup from the shelf in front of him and the fresher pot of coffee and set it in front of his brother who was sitting at the counter.
Gabriel stared up at him while Castiel filled his cup, "You look like shit bro."
"Uh-huh. Where's the car? I didn't see it in the lot."
"I'll tell you on my break, it's in five minutes. You want the usual?" Gabriel nodded and Castiel scribbled it down onto his pad before moving towards the kitchen to hand the order over. He busied himself for those five minutes by clearing off the tables and collecting his tips.
"Go take your break Cas, I got this." Castiel looked over to Becca, hesitated then nodded. Castiel went and nearly collapsed onto the empty stool beside his brother.
"When was the last time you ate bro?" Gabriel asked, staring at him from the corner of his eye. Castiel eyed the plate of pancakes, eggs and bacon sitting in front of his brother and said, "Last night." It was a clear lie, but Gabriel didn't need to know Castiel had gone two days without food since he'd given what little money he had to Anna and Jimmy so they would be able to get themselves lunch.
"Liar." Castiel rolled his eyes at Gabriel but didn't say anything. Gabriel sighed, lifted one pancake from his plate and onto an empty one, along with a slice of bacon and half his eggs. He pushed the plate in front of Castiel and said, "Eat."
"No Gabriel, you need it more than I do." Castiel made to shove the plate back but Gabriel growled out, "Eatbefore I fucking shove it down your throat."
Castiel snatched the fork offered to him, poured some syrup over everything and went about eating.
"And what's this 'you need it more than I do' bullshit?"
Castiel ignored him and asked instead, "Anna make it to school?"
"Yeah Cas. Jimmy did too. You don't have to worry about that you know." Castiel shrugged and shoveled some more eggs into his mouth. His stomach had felt like it was going to eat itself so actually having something to digest felt marvelous.
Gabriel watched him in silence then asked, "So, what happened with the car?"
"Piece of shit died on me."
A long silence while Castiel polished off the pancake and bacon, then, "So how the hell did you get here?"
"I walked. And hitched."
"Jesus Cas, that's twenty miles! And you hitched? They could have been a psycho axe murderer!"
Castiel stole some of Gabriel's over sweet coffee, "Well, he did offer me fifty bucks for a blowjob."
"Please tell me you didn't…"
"Don't worry Gabe, I didn't. I considered but then I remembered you wouldn't be too pleased." Castiel let out a surprised grunt as he was pulled sideways and into a rare hug from his older brother, "Don't you ever do that Cas. Ever. No matter how desperate we get don't you dare do something like that. You understand?"
Castiel nodded, patted his brothers back awkwardly and looked over when he was released, "I had no other way to get here Gabriel. It's not like I could have called you for a ride, buses don't run that late at night. If I missed today here I would be fired and then we would truly be fucked. I had no choice."
"I know Cassie," Gabriel rested his hand on Castiel's shoulder and whispered, "It should be me working two jobs. You should be in college with Jimmy. God, you had offers to go to all those fancy ivy league places. Instead you're working in a diner and a fucking grocery store."
"No Gabe, you're too close to finishing your degree. I'll get my turn at college when Anna graduates. This isn't permanent remember?"
"I know but-"
"Don't need your guilt Gabriel. We just need to suck it up, deal with it and work through it. Okay?"
Gabriel sighed, looking down and away from Castiel before mumbling, "Yeah."
"I need to get back to work. And you need to go, or you'll be late." Gabriel nodded and they both stood. Gabriel paid for his meal, the only reason any of Castiel's siblings ate here was because it was cheap to begin with and they received an employee discount from Castiel to make it even cheaper.
Castiel noted that the money Gabriel handed over was the last of the money in his wallet so he dug the money he'd gotten from tips and shoved it into Gabriel's hands, "Here."
"Fucking take it Gabriel. You'll need to eat before you go to class." Gabriel glared but took it since he knew Castiel would just keep it and slip it into his wallet later that night when Gabriel got home.
"We're going to talk about this self-starvation thing you're doing when I get home tonight Cas. And I'll worry about the damn car!" Castiel rolled his eyes, waved his brother off and went back to work.
When three o'clock rolled around Castiel was amazed he managed to get on the right bus for home, and even more amazed that he somehow managed to get the front door to the apartment open. It always required a hard shove or pull to open and Castiel had zero energy to do any such thing.
He stumbled into the small bedroom he shared with Anna and Jimmy and was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
When he jerked awake some time later his head was pillowed on something that wasn't his pillow, fingers were carding through his hair and someone was lying against his other side, their own head on his back.
"Shh Cassie, it was just a dream." Castiel blinked, his nightmares of his father and Michael were lessening, but they still bothered him sometimes. Castiel sighed, rubbed his cheek against the warm cotton of Jimmy's chest, still more asleep than awake and asked, "What time is it?"
"Nine." Six hours of sleep, better than usual at least. Jimmy set aside the book he'd been reading and rested his hand on the back of Castiel's neck, "I didn't know you were still having nightmares."
Castiel sighed, closed his eyes and pressed himself closer to the warmth of Jimmy's body, Anna grumbled in her sleep from where she was behind Castiel but didn't wake.
"Nothing new. Nothing to do about them anyway." Castiel mumbled, absently plucking at the hem of Jimmy's shirt.
"I know. Wish there was though." Castiel grunted and Jimmy went back to his reading and running his fingers through Castiel's hair. Castiel continued laying there, eyes closed, Jimmy in front of him, Anna behind.
Why did he still have to dream of Michael's cold eyes and his father's fists and voice? They had been on their own for a year now after two years of beatings and camps, of being told he was sick and they would fix him. Finally moving on to tell him was diseased and worthless, that he was not their son or their brother, that he was damaged. He couldn't understand how he was the damaged one, he was as God had made him, surely God didn't care who he loved or how he loved them.
Castiel grunted when Jimmy flicked his ear, "Quit thinking about them. You're bringing me down." He nuzzled into his brothers chest and mumbled his apology. Jimmy sighed, tossed his book aside and shifted down until he was face to face with Castiel; their foreheads pressed together, legs tangled.
"There's nothing wrong with you Cas." Castiel nodded and he felt Anna shift, she rolled onto her side, pressed her face against the back of Castiel's neck and threw her arm over his waist, "You're perfect as you are Cassie." Castiel patted her hand in thanks.
"You don't need them. You've got me and Gabriel and Anna. We're all you need; we love you just as you are. You're perfect." Castiel ducked his head down and pressed his cheek to Jimmy's chest, the sound of his twin's heartbeat soothing his frayed nerves and worried mind.
"What Jimmy said." Anna muttered, her arm tightening over Castiel's waist. Castiel chuckled and let himself drift again, the weight and warmth of his two siblings keeping him grounded.