“We drift on a
chartless, resistless sea.
Let us sing when we can,
and forget the rest.”
“Daddy, Papa, tell us a bedtime story.”
“And what kind of story would you like to hear?” Dean asked their daughter, Cordelia, as he watched Castiel usher both her and her twin brother, Dylan, to their nest. He smiled as he watched his family; Cordelia was the spitting image of Castiel with her dark hair and big blue eyes, whereas Dylan looked like a mini Dean, right down to the freckles that dotted his face.
“The one about how you and Papa met!” The twins answered in unison.
“Really?” Dean mock groaned from the doorway before making his way further into the room. “With how many times you two have heard that story in your nine years of life, you haven’t tired of it yet?”
Cordelia shook her head, her long raven locks swishing from side to side. As she lay down in the nest, she motioned for her father to join her. “It’s romantical, Daddy!”
“And magical,” Dylan added as he looked up at his papa, his bright green eyes shining.
“That it is,” Castiel whispered in agreement as he ruffled his son’s rich honey colored hair.
Dean chuckled softly as he settled down beside his daughter, grinning as Cas did the same behind their son. Once the four of them were settled in the nest, Dean glanced over to his mate, giving him a look of pure love and adoration before he turned his attention to their children between them. He cleared his throat and began.
Castiel sat perched on the window bench in his bedroom, his favorite spot in the entire castle. Not only did he have the peace and quiet that he often craved, but also the best view of all of Atlantis.
His tail fin swished back and forth nervously as he thought about tonight and what it would bring. Castiel’s fingers instinctively reached up and clutched the necklace around his throat. He tried to find comfort in the beautiful multi-colored shell choker twined in seaweed with an enchanted black pearl resting in the center.
It was a gift from his mother, the last thing she gave him while on her deathbed.
Castiel let out a deep sigh. Gods, he wished she was here. She could hold him, run her fingers through his hair like she used to when he was just a youngling. She would tell him everything would be fine, it was his time, after all. She would tell him it was a gift from the Gods to be an Omega, to be born with the wondrous abilities of a Siren. He had a voice so enchanting it would one day, not only find him a strong mate who he could comfort and seduce with a simple song, but also enthrall any land born Alpha to follow his whims, even if it brought about their own demise. The sultry tone of a Siren’s song brought about death and destruction to any mortal Alpha unfortunate enough to hear their enchanting melody.
They sing their own personalized death song with pride. No two Siren songs are the same, each one hauntingly beautiful in its own way. Their tune is unforgiving and lures unsuspecting human Alphas to a watery grave. That was just the way of the Siren, and now that Castiel’s life had marked its thirtieth year, it would now to become his way. His time had come to start singing Alphas to the sea, and no Alpha will be powerful enough to resist his death song.
But... will those Alphas deserve to meet that kind of fate? And what about all those who came before, the ones his fellow Omega Sirens had sang into an early resting place? There were both good and bad land Alphas, just as there were good and bad Mer-Alphas. Castiel knew both counts from personal experience.
Being young and a crown prince, son of the powerful King Triton, had not been as easy as most would think. He had been ridiculed by plenty of Alphas over the past thirty years, received countless false declarations of love from those wanting his hand for power or for bragging rights. The ability to claim they had bedded the Omega Siren son of the mighty King Triton would grant them authority and influence that they otherwise lacked. They told their false tales of how they had made the prince sing for them. But Castiel didn’t care, nor was he naïve or interested in any of them.
Castiel had known from the time he was a youngling that when the time came for him to mate, his father would find him a suitable Alpha of equal power and stature. So, Castiel just let them talk, ignored the whispers of those Alphas calling him stuck up and prudish. None of it mattered to him anyway. Despite the odds being against him, he was holding out hope that his father would one day find his true mate, the Alpha that was made only for him. He would gladly sing songs of seduction and comfort for his true mate.
As far as mortal Alphas went, many of them pollute the Merfolks homes with their filth with no regard or care to what they’re doing. Their trash, snares, and nets have killed plenty of his kin. Not to mention the one who killed his mother. That Alpha definitely deserved hearing the sultry tones of his Aunt Rowena. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder about all the others that had or will hear a siren’s songs. Were they all deserving, too? Or were some just in the wrong place at the wrong time?
As Castiel watched a stingray slowly swim by his window, he couldn’t help but to wonder if his mother ever had doubts about the Alphas that heard her song. His eyes brimmed with tears and he blinked them away. He wished she could have been here today so he could voice his fears about singing to good Alphas undeserving to meet that kind of fate. He wanted to ask her every question that had been eating away at him since he first laid eyes on his intended target for his Rite of Passage.
He rubbed the smooth black pearl between the tips of his fingers as his mind filled with images of his mother’s smile, her kind blue eyes, and long flowing golden hair that matched her tail and shelled corset. He couldn’t help but to think back to that fateful day twenty years ago. He’d been a youngling of only ten at the time, without a care in the world. He was frolicking and playing with his friends, chasing the dolphins around the courtyard when his father had found him and delivered the most devastating news of his young life. His mother, Queen Cordelia, had been caught off guard and speared by a human while sunning on the rocks. It was a fatal blow, not even the most powerful Sea Enchanter could heal her wounds, and she was asking for him to say her final goodbye.
Castiel remembered swimming back to the castle as fast as his little tail would allow. The way he paused outside his parent’s bedroom until his father gently ushered him in. How frail and vulnerable his mother looked as she lay there dying, nothing like the fierce force of nature he’d known her to be. But most of all, he remembered their final conversation…
“Castiel,” Cordelia whispered as she turned her head to the side and gave her son a small smile. “Quit lingering there in the doorway and come sit with me.” Castiel hesitated, looking from his father to his older brother’s heartbroken faces.
“Go on,” Gabriel whispered as he placed his hand on Castiel’s lower back. “Father and I have already said our goodbyes.”
Castiel nodded slowly, his tail slowly swished up and down as he made his way over to his parent’s nest and settled down by his mother. “How are you feeling?” Castiel shook his head and sighed as tears filled his eyes. “That's a stupid question.”
“No, baby, it’s a logical question.” Cordelia reached over and took her son’s hand in hers, giving it a gentle squeeze. “I feel at peace.”
“How?” Castiel voice quivered. “How can you be at peace with dying? You’re still so young Momma, you should have many years left with us.” He hiccupped as tears streamed freely down his cheeks. “It’s not fair.”
“Oh, sweetheart...” She reached up and gently thumbed away his tears, flinching at the pain in her stomach where the spear had impaled her.
“Lay still,” Castiel carefully eased her back down into the nest. “You shouldn’t be moving too much.”
She waved away his concerns and continued, “Life isn't always fair, Castiel. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. That’s just the way it is.” Cordelia took his hand again. “As to why I’m at peace?” She smiled softly at her youngling, “I lived and loved to the fullest. I spent many wonderful years with your father, had two amazing boys.”
She smiled fondly as she thought of her kids. “Gabriel and you, my youngest, my baby boy.” Cordelia reached up and pinched his cheek lovingly, grinning tenderly as he mumbled and flushed scarlet. “You two have made my life complete in ways I never knew were possible. I couldn’t have asked for more in this life.”
“I love you,” Castiel whispered as he ran his fingers through her golden hair. “I love you so much, Momma.”
“I love you too, my sweet, sweet, child.” She smiled up at him before pointing over to the small nestside table. “Could you please open the top drawer and hand me the jewelry box inside?”
Castiel nodded and did what he was asked, letting his fingertips graze against his mother’s as he passed the worn, pink coral box that was adorned with a variety of shells and sea glass that he and Gabriel had collected for her over the years.
“It’s beautiful,” he whispered as he watched her trace one of the larger tiger moon shells with a faraway look in her eyes.
“It is,” Cordelia hummed in agreement. “Now,” she looked up into his sad eyes, “before it was just a plain pink box, but look at the wonder you and your brother made of it.”
Her gaze flitted back down to the shell she had been reverently caressing the entire time she spoke. “I still can remember who gave me what shells and which piece of sea glass that decorate this box. This one right here,” she tapped the tiger moon shell that was still under her fingertips, “you gave to me when you were five. I remember having a fit when you told me you found it down by the shark’s nests. I couldn’t believe you’d gone down there all alone. But then again,” she looked fondly at her boy, “you’ve always been a very brave and curious child, Castiel. You take after me I suppose.” She huffed a small laugh that quickly turned into a violent coughing fit, the jewelry box sliding off her lap and into the small space between them.
“Momma!” Castiel’s eyes widened as he saw a bright patch of crimson spread across the white dressing wrapped around her lower abdomen where flesh met tail. His breath hitched as his gaze snapped up to her face where spots of blood now painted her pink lips. Castiel’s hand shook as he reached up and wiped it away with his thumb, unable to stomach the sight of it and what it meant.
“I can feel it,” she whispered. “I don’t have much time left.”
“Please don’t say that,” Castiel cried out, his shoulders trembling. “I’m not ready for you to go!”
“I need you to be brave for me.” Cordelia reached out and gripped both of his hands tightly in hers, centering them both. “I need you to be the brave boy I know you are. Can you do that for me?” She waited for his curt nod before continuing, “Good.” She gave his hands one final squeeze before letting them go. With trembling hands, she picked the jewelry box back up and opened the lid, revealing hidden treasures that had been given to her by her husband and her boys over the years.
Cordelia gave him a sly smile before pulling open a secret compartment hidden in the top of the box, revealing a beautiful necklace. She took it in her hands before closing the jewelry box and setting it aside. Cordelia cradled it in her palms as she met her son’s curious gaze. “Here,” she thrust her hands towards him for Castiel to take it, “I want you to have this.”
“It’s yours, Momma.” Castiel shook his head. He’d seen the way she looked at the necklace. It was clearly something special, especially since she had kept it guarded by a secret compartment all this time. “I can’t.”
“You can, and,” Cordelia grabbed his hand and opened it, placing the necklace in his palm before gently closing his fingers around it, “you will. It’s my gift to you, Castiel.”
He slowly nodded as he opened his fist and looked at the choker resting in his palm. Magnificent shells of multiple colors and varieties were woven intricately between bright green seaweed. Pink Cardium Cardissa Hearts rested beside Strawberry Tops, Astraea Stars and tiny Conch Shells were carefully netted in the perfect spots. The placement of each shell seemed so well thought out and flawless, but what really caught Castiel’s eye was the black pearl resting perfectly in the center.
“It’s so beautiful,” Castiel murmured in awe as his fingers caressed the inky pearl. He reached up and wiped a tear away before looking into his mother’s eyes. “Thank you.”
“Take good care of it, Castiel. This necklace is no ordinary necklace,” she whispered as she gingerly shifted closer to him.
Castiel’s brows furrowed as his gaze darted back down to it. “What do you mean?”
“Well, your Aunt gave that necklace to me after I had you, and she told me within that pearl,” Cordelia reached over tapped it, “holds one wish to the owner of the necklace.”
“Auntie Rowena, the Siren Sea Witch, gave you this?”
Cordelia tutted faintly as she reached up and tapped her son's nose. “You know she’s hates being called that.”
A smile spread across his lips as he thought of the age old argument between his father and aunt. Triton had always referred to her as the Siren Sea Witch, and Rowena would flip her long red hair over her shoulder as she corrected him, “Really, Triton? Sea Witch makes me seem like an old hag. I prefer Sea Enchantress, much more fitting, you know?”
“Why are you smiling?” Cordelia asked, drawing him from his musings.
Castiel’s smile grew as he met her eyes. “Just thinking about father and Auntie Rowena.” A giggle escaped from him as she grinned as well. “They’re pretty funny when they’re together.”
“That they are, sweetheart.” The smile slid from her face and was replaced with a much more serious expression. “Castiel, keep this necklace safe, wear it always. I feel in my heart one day this necklace, and the wish within, will change your life.”
Cordelia took the necklace from his hands and beckoned him closer so she could place it around his neck and fasten the clasp. “There.” She ran her fingers along the shells and placed her palm over his heart. “Promise me. Promise me, Castiel, that you will keep this safe, always.”
“I promise, Momma,” Castiel whispered as he placed his hand over hers. “Can I ask you something?”
“You can ask me anything,” she replied as she removed her hand from his chest and let it fall to her side.
“How come you never used the wish?” He queried as he drew his bottom lip into his mouth and waited for an answer.
“I never felt the need.” At his perplexed look, Cordelia continued, “I had your father, Gabriel, and you. Castiel, I couldn’t have asked for more. No wish could’ve made me happier than I was already.”
Another coughing fit wracked Cordelia’s body and crimson oozed past her lips and down her chin. When it subsided and Castiel had wiped away the blood staining her face, she met his eyes with a somber expression. “The time has come for me to say goodbye to you.”
“No,” Castiel shook his head as he began to cry again, “no, I’m not ready for you to leave me.” He reached for the necklace. “I want to use my wish to save you.”
“Castiel,” she reached up and stopped his trembling hands pulling at the necklace, “my time here has drawn to an end. I’ve accepted it, my son, now you need to. This wish,” she held the pearl in her weak grip, “is not meant for me. It’s meant for something greater. You will know what when that time comes.” Cordelia twined her tail around his. “I love you, my sweet boy.”
“I love you, too, Momma.”
Castiel blinked back the tears from his eyes and wiped his cheeks with the back of his hand as he settled closer to the window. He pressed his forehead against it, focusing on the younglings swimming and playing with a pod of dolphins in the courtyard down below. He watched them, waiting for the remnants of pain to bleed out into the current around him.
He focused on the younglings, studied their movements until he recognized the game they were playing. Then Castiel found himself smiling. What he wouldn’t give to be that young and free again, to not have priorities or a care in the world. Despite his gloomy mood, he found himself waving back when a little girl swam by his window laughing and waving both her hands at him, while two young boys chased after her with large grins on their faces.
A ruckus in the hallway drew Castiel’s attention from the younglings to his door moments before it burst open.
“Castiel!” Gabriel swam into his room out of breath, and following closely behind him was a sea lion pup. “Your damn pet has been in my room again chewing up my stuff!” He shot a glare at the pup. “You need to keep a better eye on that lil’ shit.”
“Finn.” Castiel smiled and shifted on the window bench as he motioned for the pup to come to him. A happy bark sounded loudly as the sea lion quickly swam over and joined Castiel, laying his head in the Siren’s lap. Castiel ran his fingers through the short thick fur down the slope of his back. “Have you been getting up to no good this evening? Have you been messing about in Gabriel’s room, again?” Castiel scritched Finn beneath his head, fixing him with a stern look. “You know he doesn’t like that.”
Finn looked up at Castiel with big brown innocent eyes before flitting his gaze over to Gabriel, his innocent eyes now narrowing as he huffed at the Alpha Merman.
“Don’t be so dramatic,” Castiel rolled his eyes at his brother before leaning down and pressing a kiss to Finn’s snout. “He’s just a curious little pup, that’s all.”
“Speaking of curious,” a wicked smirk spread across Gabriel’s lips as he flitted further into the room and settled down in Castiel’s nest. “I’m curious if my lil’ bro is ready for his Rite of Passage ceremony? Are you ready to sing your death song for the very first time tonight.”
“It’s my time,” Castiel whispered as he gnawed on his bottom lip.
“Hmm,” Gabriel quirked a brow, “Okay.” The Omega watched his brother’s mischievous expression turn serious. Castiel could tell he was debating on pressing him further on the half-assed answer he had given. Instead the contemplative look melted back into one of playfulness as Gabriel waggled his brows and changed the subject. “Well, I wanna hear all about the Alpha you have chosen to be your first sacrifice to the sea.”
Gabriel dug his amber tail into the sand, making himself more comfortable before continuing, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been going up top every night for over a month now. What were you doing, swimming around and sniffing until you found the one Alpha that caught your fancy?”
“No,” Castiel huffed a small laugh and shook his head. “That’s not how it works, Gabriel.”
“I’m not an Omega, nor a Siren, so I have no clue how it works.” The Alpha rolled over onto his stomach and propped his elbows up before placing his chin in his palms. “So why don’t you tell me.”
“It’s hard to explain,” Castiel moved to the edge of the window bench and leaned forward, whispering an apology when it roused Finn from a deep slumber.
“Well,” Gabriel shrugged nonchalantly, “just give it a try, I’m pretty smart.”
“Alright,” Castiel snorted. “I’ll make sure to dumb it down some, you know, just to make sure you understand.” He scratched behind his pup’s ear flaps laughing softly at the affronted look on his brother’s face from the little jab towards his intelligence.
“Hardy har-har, you’re a regular comedian, little brother. Now,” Gabriel made a ‘come on’ gesture with his hands, “get to explaining.”
Castiel took a deep breath and began, “Sirens, we can just tell if someone is an Alpha. We don’t need to scent them, we just know. They have this aura about them, it draws us to them, makes us want to sing to them.”
“And this Alpha you have chosen,” Gabriel wriggled in the nest, settling deeper in the sand. “You were drawn to him because of his aura, no scenting needed?”
“Yes,” Castiel nodded, “I was. From the moment I saw him over a month ago, his aura instantly intrigued me.”
“How romantic,” Gabriel mock sighed dreamily as he batted his eyelashes dramatically. “Tell me all about him.”
“Not much to tell,” Castiel muttered as he looked over his shoulder and out the window just as a sea turtle whizzed by.
“Come on, Castiel,” Gabriel whined as he swished his tail enthusiastically. “I wants deets on this land Alpha that makes you wanna sing.”
“Fine,” Castiel sighed as he turned his attention back to his brother, knowing Gabriel would just continue to annoy him until he gave up some kind of information. “He bought the seaside cottage on the north side of the caves, close to the rocks where I like to sun. That’s where I was when I first saw him.” The Siren’s lips quirked up into a small smile. “I was lying on the rocks singing as I watched Finn swim and play when I heard a noise on the beach. I perched up higher on my rock so I could get a better look at the bank, and there he was, sitting at the shoreline barefoot, letting the water lap up over his feet.”
Castiel’s smile grew as he thought about the first time he saw the handsome human. “His hair is the same shade of a Fighting Conch Shell and he has eyes as bright as turtle grass.” He let out a soft sigh remembering. “That day, I laid there silently on my rock, and I watched as he sat in the sand with his jeans rolled up to his ankles.” He looked over at his brother, “He had a childlike grin on his face every time the water tickled his bare feet. And every now and again he would close his eyes and let his head fall back. And the sun kissed his face. He is quite beautiful.” Castiel shook his head, clearing the vivid memory of that day away. “The moment I laid eyes on him I just knew, Gabriel. I knew I needed to sing for that Alpha.”
“Wow,” Gabriel sat up and met his brother’s eyes. “That sounds intense. I mean being drawn to someone and feeling a need that deep. Is it always like that?”
“I wouldn’t know,” Castiel shrugged. “I’ve never felt it before now.”
Gabriel nodded and they both fell quiet, each lost in their own thoughts. Their calm reflections were shattered when the evening bells chimed throughout Atlantis. Gabriel gave Castiel a small smile before swimming over to join him on the bench. “C’mon, little bro, it’ll be dark soon. It’s almost time.”
“Yeah,” Castiel whispered as he leaned in closer to his brother, Finn huffing when the Siren jostled him awake again. “I know.”
“Sing with pride,” Gabriel smiled as he twined his tail around his brothers. “No Alpha will be able to resist you.” He gave Castiel a comforting squeeze with his tail before untangling and swimming toward the door, pausing just outside of it. “If you ever need me, you know I’m here for you, right?”
“I do,” Castiel nodded. “Thank you, Gabriel.”
The door closed with a soft snick. Castiel kept his gaze on it for another few moments before he shifted his position and laid his forehead against the window. Finn barked softly and shuffled closer, laying his head back in the Siren’s lap. Castiel immediately started stroking the pup’s side, finding comfort in the closeness of his aquatic friend. He watched as all the younglings started making their way home, the sun would be setting soon and playtime was over.
Castiel watched the ocean life mill about around him as the waters grew darker and darker. When the Moon Jellyfish began to move about lighting up the sea in a variety of pinks, greens, and purples, like ghosts through the water, he knew the time had come. There was a pull inside him calling him to the surface, calling him to the land Alpha he had chosen.
The Siren’s Rite had now begun. It was time for him to sing his death song, time to serenade his first Alpha to the sea.