Kripke owns Supernatural and all the characters (that lucky fuck), and I'm not making any money off this. Here's hoping the next chapter has more words...

Just an FYI, this story revolves primarily around Castiel, but Balthazar, Gabriel, Lucifer, Dean, Sam, Anna, Rachel, Michael, and Raphael all get attention (and I also have Crowley and Bobby in the story, and maybe Meg, too). I welcome all comers! (Castiel = Cas, Michael = Mikey, Gabriel = Gabe, Lucifer = Lu, Raphael = Ray, Balthazar = Taz)

"Hey! Get up!" Mikey's yelling was accompanied by a pounding on the door.

"It's my birthday, asshat!" Castiel yelled back. "Leave me alone!"

"Don't you have work?"

"Don't you have a life?" He had no desire to be awake right now. Still, Castiel reluctantly pulled himself out of bed and stumbled to the door. When he wrenched it open to snap something scathing at his brother, though, Mikey was already halfway down the stairs. Grumbling, he closed it again and went to his bathroom to shower.

He didn't have to be at work for another three hours, but now that he was awake, he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep until that night. He made a mental note to punch Mikey as he turned on the hot water.

A half-hour later, clean, dry, and fully dressed, albeit in sweats, he descended the stairs to the kitchen where Mikey was sitting. Crunching through a bowl of Cheerios and reading the newspaper, he didn't realize Castiel was there until the younger man banged a cabinet door.

"Jesus Christ, Cas! Make a little less noise, why don't you?" Mikey had dropped his spoon and rubbed his chest over his heart. "You scared the crap out of me."

"Why are you awake again?" Castiel asked. "Clearly, it wasn't to make me breakfast."

"What, I can't make sure you get to work on time?"

Castiel glared at his brother. "That can't be it, considering I've made it to work on time every day before this."

"Yeah, well, Jeremy said you were a bit late on Tuesday…"

Something about hearing his boss referred to by his first name deeply disturbed Castiel. "Don't call him that."

"You don't seriously call him Mr. Crowley, do you?"

"No, just Crowley." Castiel poured himself a bowl of Cheerios and splashed some milk in it. "Why would he have conceivably called you to complain about my attendance?"

"Fuck you."

Realizing he wasn't going to get a satisfactory answer out of him, he dropped the subject and absently started eating his cereal.

He finished about ten minutes later and looked back over at Mikey. By now, he'd basically abandoned his cereal and was flat-out studying an article on budget cuts for the state. His Cheerios were soggy, so Castiel picked up both their bowls and washed them out in the sink. When he let the cabinet door slam again, Mikey snapped out of his reverie.

"Hey, you wanna read the newspaper?" he asked, twisting in his seat and waving the paper.

"Not really." It's not that he had anything against newspapers—he just didn't like the one the city put out.

"Good." Mikey slid out of his seat and handed Castiel the paper. "Throw that in there. Don't be a litterbug."

Castiel opened the cabinet beneath the sink and tossed the paper in the blue bin. "Don't you have work today, too?"

Mikey scoffed, heading out of the kitchen. "Hardly. I go in for three hours, correct some papers, and get out of there. No big deal. It's not for another four hours anyway."

Castiel almost sighed. Mikey went up the stairs and slammed the door to his room, and he went to the living room and turned on the TV. His brother was lucky—he had most Fridays either completely off work or with shortened hours. He, however, was stuck working eight or nine hours most days.

Nothing was on, so he switched to the recorded TV menu. There were still a few episodes of The Walking Dead he hadn't caught up on, so he queued the next one up and hit play.

"Previously on AMC's The Walking Dead…" that ominous voice said, and Castiel felt himself relaxing into the sofa.

He only got to watch about five minutes, though, because his phone started buzzing in his pocket. He paused the show, fished out his phone, looked at the caller ID, and groaned internally. If Crowley was calling him, it wasn't a good thing.

"Morning, Crowley," he said, fighting the urge to sigh dramatically.

"Morning, Novak." Even through the phone, his light Scottish accent was still detectable. "How soon can you get here?"

"Um, I can be at work in a half-hour. Why? My shift doesn't start until eleven."

"Yeah, I need you to be here now. Meg called in and I'm a little short-staffed right now."

This time, Castiel actually did groan. "Come on, Crowley, it's my birthday. Cut me some slack."

"Oh, it's your birthday?" Crowley's suddenly-jovial tone put Castiel on edge, and for good reason, because his demeanor changed the next moment. "I don't give a rat's fucking ass if it's your birthday! I'm paying you to work, aren't I? I need you here now, so get moving!"

"Okay, Crowley," he said, fighting to keep the annoyance from his voice. He made a mental note to hit Meg the next time he saw her and turned off the TV.

He went back to his room and changed his clothes in record time, replacing his sweat pants and T-shirt with black slacks and a black dress shirt. As he shoved his feet into a pair of black Converse, his brother stuck his head out the door. "Where you off to?" Mikey asked.

"Work," Castiel grumbled, patting his pockets to check for his wallet and cell phone. "Crowley called me in early. The bastard."

"Sorry to hear that, little bro. Have fun!" he called cheerily, and closed the door to his room again.

It was his goddamn birthday, and his older brother was fucking with him. Fuck my life.

He traipsed down the stairs and out the door to his beat-up Ford Ranger. He was just buckling up and adjusting his rearview when someone drummed on the window. Castiel jumped about a foot in his seat before cranking down the window. "What?" he snapped at the trickster standing there with a shit-eating grin on his face.

"Ooh, someone's touchy this morning," Gabe said, reaching into the truck to give Castiel a brotherly noogie. He reeked of cherry-flavored Jolly Ranchers. "What's got your panties in a twist?"

"Crowley just called me in two and a half hours early, that's what. I mean, bad enough that—hey!" he yelled, offended when Gabe started walking away toward the sidewalk.

"Go to work, Cassie!" Gabe called, waving at him and continuing past the house.

"Fuck you, too," Castiel grumbled, starting up the truck. What a great start to my 24th birthday. Fuck this noise.

"It's Castiel Novak's birthday! Write on his Wall"