“I do not belong in this mad present of killing - “
“He’s getting far too old to be parading around without an alpha, and we both know this, Chuck-”
Castiel sighed, the bombardment of his parents voices making their way through the thin walls of the shack that their family calls a house. Adjusting his position ever so slightly, leaning into the wood wall of the attic that doubled as his room, he begins again.
“I do not belong in this mad present of killing and I fear I will not fit into any future, though I - “
“No, I don’t think you’re understanding! He’s 19 years old, and his hormones are not situated without an alpha! He can’t smell, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t like them, he will never know if they are his alpha or not. He’s getting too old and soon enough, no one will want him.” Naomi, Castiel’s mother, argued, presumably to his father, Chuck.
Castiel groaned, as his hand swiftly shut the book. There was no point in reading if he couldn’t even concentrate on the book in front of him. Plus, the voices that lifted from below were only growing in volume. With such a small house, it was hard to not hear every conversation that occurred inside of it.
The attic creaked as Castiel sat up, moving across his makeshift room to the small, but loved library of books that he had collected. Putting his copy of Gone With the Wind back in place, Cas paused for a moment, before pulling his hand back, not having yet let go of the book. He needed some time to read, to let his mind wander into fictional realities. He was sure that his parents wouldn’t notice him gone. Alfie was most likely in his room and waiting for the moment he could sneak off to be with Castiel, but surely he wouldn’t mind if Castiel left and cleared his head, would he? Alfie would know where he went anyway, worst case scenario.
It used to be easier to sneak out when the house was full of life, full of his brothers and sister, but being the second youngest, Castiel had to watch as first Michael, then Lucifer, then Gabriel, and finally, Anna, left leaving Castiel with just himself and Alfie. Grabbing a bag filled with a few of his favorite books and a flashlight, Castiel moved to the window, swiftly opening the window and stepping out onto the ledge of the house. Muffled voices were still able to be heard, and were wafting out from inside the house.
The lights in the lower window signaled Alfie was in his room, and Castiel watched for a moment as he saw Alfie coloring with colored pencils. The colored pencils were the only present Alfie had ever gotten.
Castiel had bought him them last Christmas after saving up for the entire year. He knew his mother would never have agreed with something that would increase his ideas of creativity and definitely wouldn’t have agreed with Castiel having money in the first place. According to Naomi, only the alpha should carry money.
He often wondered what Alfie would present as. He dearly hoped Alfie wouldn’t become an omega, it was a curse. The looks, the stares, the huffs of indignation. He was the only omega in almost his entire family lineage. Michael and Lucifer had both been alphas and both Anna and Gabriel presented as beta. They had all the freedom. They could explore the world, they could live a life like the ones he read in books. Not only that, but they weren’t forced into an arranged mating. They could find the one person who smelled like home to them. Castiel would never be able to do any of that. Not only was an omega, but he had also lost his sense of smell at a young age. After a rather harsh lesson in how to become the proper omega, the young Castiel had thrown a fit, stating that he wanted to be like his siblings, that he should be able to go out there and have fun.
That had resulted in a brutal beating by Naomi, not the first, but definitely the worst, where she accidentally hit his newly presented nose. Since then, he had never been able to smell. Not that that particularly mattered to him. Castiel didn’t care to find an alpha. The ones whom of which he had experience with were domineering, never letting another person get another word in edgewise. Michael and Lucifer often fought when they lived with him, and although he would try to end it, it usually ended in a backhanded slap from one of them, without interrupting their own conversation.
Tearing his eyes from the scene in the window and his mind away from the memories of his mother and siblings, Castiel moved to the tree that stood outside his room, climbing down it quickly, and looking back to the house once, before trudging through his backyard to the woods that lay behind it.
Though the idea of shifting into his wolf form was desirable, he knew that Naomi would have his head if she found out that an omega, especially one that was her child, had shifted.
“It’s improper, Castiel,” Castiel imagined his mother saying, “an omega should not shift without permission from their alpha, and very rarely do omega’s gain the permission to shift, and most definitely not with other people present. Only one’s alpha should see an omega in such a state.”
He shook his head to clear his thoughts once again, remembering that the point of leaving the house was to leave thoughts of home there as well. With a huff, Castiel reached down to the bag to grab his flashlight and began moving into the dark woods, searching out his haven.
After a short walk down the path, a turn at the tree with a nail in it’s trunk, Castiel arrived to his safe haven.
‘More home than my actual home,’ Castiel thought, as he pulled back the makeshift door that was a blanket. The inside had several overlapping wood planks on the wall, with a large blanket and dirtied pillow laying on the ground. It was sparse, and empty, but it was the perfect escape for Castiel. Cas’ mind rushed back to the warm summer day when he was building it with Gabriel and Alfie. It had been soon after the incident that resulted in his loss of smell, and Gabriel had wanted to build him and Alfie safe place to go to when it was bad at home.
“Listen, Cassie, I won’t always be here. When I’m 18, I’m outta here, I’m gone, but once I find us a place, I will take you and Alfie, and we can leave behind this place once and for all.” Gabriel had said that day, standing much taller than Castiel, seeming almost gigantic at 14 compared to Castiel at 9, even with his sucker hanging from his mouth. Castiel remembered looking at Gabriel and thinking how his big brother had looked like an angel. Alfie had sat off to the side being only 2, and playing with the small blanket they had brought for the door. Although he could no longer smell the comforting smell of fresh baked bread wafting from Gabriel, his words brought him comfort. Sadly, Gabriel had left six years ago, and Cas hadn’t heard anything from him since.
Castiel didn’t blame him. He knew that Gabriel wanted to explore the world just as much as any of his siblings, and having an omega to take care of was not something he wanted to have. Cas still loved Gabriel, and completely understood why he didn’t come back. Personally, Castiel would never leave, but if he did, he would come back for Alfie, no matter how he presented.
Laying back down and resting on the pillow, Castiel lost himself in the words of a book.
Castiel woke with a start, the howl of a wolf shaking him out of his slumber. The moon was high in the sky, meaning that Castiel had been gone for some time. After grumbling to himself and mentally preparing himself for a beating, Cas stood slowly, brushing off his pants. No point in rushing if you’re already late, right? Turning at the nail in the tree, Castiel joined the path, noticing how illuminated the path seemed to be for it being after midnight. As he grew closer to the house, Castiel noticed an orange glow that seemed to be growing. Picking up his pace, Cas began to jog back to the house, almost tripping over a log as he came close enough to see what the orange glow was. His small, quaint home was ablaze, almost silent in the dead of night, the only sound being that of the fire burning.
His heart pounding, Castiel sprinted to the back door, carefully feeling the door knob, before wrenching open the door. The smoke hit him as he stepped in, wrapping itself around his lungs as he heaved in large breaths. Moving past the debris to the living room, Cas saw the empty eyes of his mother wide open and unmoving. Castiel put his shirt over his mouth, eyes still on his mother’s corpse. His mind wouldn’t give him the time to consider the death of his mother, running on adrenaline with only one thought in his head.
‘Alfie, Alfie, Alfie.’
Castiel began running until he reached his destination, stopping in front of Alfie’s room for a moment, before kicking as hard as he could to open the door. The door split with a crack, and Cas’ heart stopped. Alfie was leaned against the wall, his hands clenched around a colored pencil, his face covered in soot. His clothes were burned through with holes, and his hair stood up in all directions. Not wasting any more time, Castiel scooped Alfie into his arms, moving back to the door, stopping as wood crashed down in front of it, blocking his entrance. The flames in the room seemed to be growing and Castiel was a little boy again, his mother was the flames, and she was going to beat him, he was a bad omega and - no, he couldn’t be thinking of that right now. He needed to be brave. For Alfie.
Turning his back to the door, Castiel looked around, settling his eyes on the window, setting Alfie down on the soot filled ground. Castiel grabbed the lamp on the bed stand, taking off his shirt and wrapping it around his hand, before punching the window, shattering the glass. Moving to grab Alfie, Cas carefully, but quickly, climbed through the window, running far to the woods. Chancing a look back, Castiel shed a tear, before tearing off into the forest, down the path, a turn at the tree, and to his safe haven. The adrenaline had faded and the glass in his foot was making it hard to walk, along with his bloodied hand, but Alfie was more important.
Setting him down softly, Castiel removed Alfie’s clothes, before rushing to the nearby stream and dipping his shirt into the water. His ankle was starting to burn, and looking down, Castiel noticed that he had cut himself deeply on something in the house. Closing his eyes and taking a large, shaky breath, Castiel quickly tore the shirt, tying half of it around his ankle, already bloody from his hand, and the taking the other half to Alfie. Castiel leaned down to check his pulse, finding a weak, and barely there, but it was there pulse. Castiel moved the wet cloth slowly, and with utmost care, across Alfie’s body, cleaning off what blood and dirt he could. After Alfie was all clean, Castiel wrapped the door blanket around Alfie’s body, adjusting the pillow for when Alfie awoke. Castiel did the only thing he could do then. He sat and waited.