Eric Kripke owns Supernatural. I'm just playing with his toys.
HUMAN AU of the angels.
A/N: Completely un-betaed as evidenced by my lack of sleeping skills and lurking on the edge of the internet's insanity.
Reviews are lovely and hopefully they'll feed my muse enough to get the lazy bitch working on my other stuff.
Luke gets up at six in the morning on the day that he gets his brother killed.
He makes his bed with unhurried movements, careful to keep the corners tight and parallel just like he has all of his life, with almost military precision. He takes a piss, takes a shower, brushes his teeth and examines his face in the mirror. Blue eyes, blonde hair, a little over average height. He’s lost a lot of weight during the last two years, ever since he’s been transferred over to the Organized Crime task force. The bags under his eyes are a true blue testament to the nights spent staying up late, nursing a bottle of Jack and looking at decades old photos of a large Irish family- five boys.
On the nights that things are especially bad, Luke spends his time looking mostly at pictures of two boys- one with almost white blonde hair and the other his complete opposite with black messy strands and the same blue eyes.
Cas is the only other sibling that shares Luke and Michael's bright blue eyes, a gift of their long-dead mother.
He sits in his car, parked outside the station and thinks about not going in. He thinks about running, abandoning the post and never looking back. The damn raid can go on fine without him, its not like there’s a shortage of policemen clamoring for Michael Novak’s life.
He can leave, go to Canada, try and track Gabe down. His middle brother might bitch and moan but he’d take Luke in, he’d never think not to. The one lesson that’s been drummed into them from the time of conception- family is everything and each one of them still remembers that.
Luke looks at his hands, at the thin blue veins running underneath his pale skin and wonders at the fact that they’re not shaking.
It’s not going to go well today, no matter what anyone says- Luke knows his brothers. He knows the way he’s been brought up, the training that they’ve all received from their father, the determination that they’ve absorbed from growing up as outcasts, poor and violent and weird- a family with too many kids, no mother and a father well past the point of return to his sanity.
He gets out of the car, blinks at the sunlight reflected off the snow- the day’s so damn bright. It hurts.
Michael’s the oldest, older than Luke by eleven months and he’s never let him forget it. He’s always been the good son, the dutiful one- the one that listened and obeyed even when their father’s commands became increasingly more erratic. He never questioned their only remaining’s parent’s authority, has never asked for reasons. Michael Novak was the son that his father had always wanted, serious and intense, obeying his every word down to a letter.
Family legend says that Michael never cried as a baby, not even when hungry or wet- he’d just fix you with those intense eyes of his and you knew that there was something wrong. You wanted to fix it.
Luke was next, the second son- never quite good enough, not obedient enough, not quiet enough, not proper. Luke had always asked questions, dug deeper and went further than all their siblings- uncovered the truth behind layers of double edged meanings. But for all his faults, and they were many- Luke was also the most talented of his father’s sons. He had always won his and Michael’s spars, fast and ruthless- he would leave his brother bleeding and gasping under the approving eye of their father. He was a better shot, having an innate grasp of guns from the time he held one at five.
Raphael was adopted when Michael was four and Luke was three, he was a small kid- scrawny with bony knees, scraped elbows and huge, terrified eyes. Nobody spoke about it but Luke still remembered the bruises on Raph’s back and the large burn that covered his entire shoulder, seen when he had accidentally stumbled on Raphael changing. He didn’t speak for a year but for some inexplicable reason, he followed Michael around like a puppy- having found something comforting in the other boy’s silence.
Gabriel was born six months later, tiny and extremely loud- he made his presence known from the time he opened his mouth in the upstairs bed of their house. If Raphael was Michael’s, then Gabriel belonged to Luke. He had the sort of wit that their house had never encouraged, a sense of humor that had blossomed from the oppressive silence of their home- like a flower growing from a manure patch. Gabe was more cunning than his older brothers, sly and quick-witted he made up for his short stature with the force of his personality.
He trained with them, sparred with them but from the time he had gone to school- Luke had seen the truth of the matter. Gabriel would never follow their father’s path for him. He was the second to leave, showed up at Luke’s dingy apartment one night- dripping rainwater on the shitty linoleum floor and clutching an old army backpack to his chest.
The last to be born into their family was Castiel. He sighed as he came into the world, already mature enough to understand the folly of a Novak’s screaming- blinking huge blue eyes at their exhausted mother who was slowly but steadily losing more blood than was healthy. He grew up quiet, a shadow of Gabriel’s exuberance or Lucifer’s inquisitiveness, he wasn’t as intense as Michael or as loyal as Raphael- he was thoughtful. That was probably his most distinguishing trait, his thoughtfulness. His ability to take in the whole world through the microcosm of their family and make it fit.
On the whole, Castiel was boring and predictable until the day when he wasn’t. Luke got the shock of his life when he opened the door in January during his first year on the force and saw his baby brother standing on his doorstep, hand poised above the bell, wearing a ridiculous parka and clutching a piece of paper with his address.
“Gabriel,” Castiel has swallowed with blue tinged lips and his gaze was still the same worryingly unblinking stare that Luke had remembered so well, “he said that you’d help me. I- He said that if I wanted to leave, to come and see you… He said that you helped him, and I, I didn’t know where to go-” and that was how Luke found himself helping another sibling escape the clutches of their family.
The building looks just like the rest of the block, square and grey with windows large enough for a grown man to stand in.
Luke watches the second floor window through his binoculars, third from the staircase and wonders whether Michael knows. He always had the freaky sixth sense thing going on and maybe he knows that a SWAT team is briefing at this moment, heavy arms ready and expressions somber.
The building’s heavily fortified, recon’s counted about sixty men inside- guards posted at every entrance and more firepower than a small Middle Eastern country about to go to war over ridiculous religious differences.
Luke hears the SWAT Commander- Winchester, and isn’t just the height of irony, call his name and grunts an affirmative, giving one last glance at the windows where his brother is currently plotting on how to best further advance the arms trade across Liberia or crack or hookers or whatever it is that Michael deals in these days. It’s hilarious in that absolutely not-funny way, but Michael- the most pious son of them all has now become the Eastern seaboard’s fastest rising criminal mastermind.
He stays behind, watching as the black clad men swarm inside- mindful and so very thankful of the fact that he’s not being forced to go with them, he won’t have to raise a gun at his brother’s head, shoot one of the guys that they grew up with. They’re all there, Michael’s gathered them all around him- Azazel, Jimmy, Anna, Adam- all the outcasts and rejects from the old neighborhood, born into deprivation and weaned on Michael’s brilliance. Of course they followed him, Luke never expected them to do otherwise.
He wanders out of sight of the building, not wanting to see the kids he grew up with led out in handcuffs.
Ten minutes in, just like specified, he digs around in his pockets, pulls out the familiar red pack of Marlboros and lights up, inhaling deeply. Fuck it, eleven days in and he’s already breaking one of his new year’s resolutions. He smirks mirthlessly and thinks that maybe he actually has a legitimate reason for smoking again, waiting for his brother’s life to be destroyed is probably reason enough.
He exhales and stiffens up, suddenly and without warning- feels that familiar buzz at the back of his neck and tries to reach for his gun, knowing in his gut that he’s too late.
“Don’t even try it,” says a familiar voice, low and angry, “I can’t believe you have the balls to show up here.”
“Raphael,” Luke acknowledges with a sinking feeling, knowing that the situation’s gone from bad to worse within the space of ten seconds, “how’ve you been?”
“How’ve I been? How’ve I BEEN?” Raph snarls out and the muzzle of the gun nudges more and more into the back of Luke’s head, making him wince with every exclamation.
Shit. Raph’s never been one for impulse control, but pissed off and with a deadly weapon? The man should come with warning signs plastered to his forehead.
“How do you think I’ve been, Lucifer?” he taunts and Luke, he’s been Luke for the last five years and Lucifer for the last twenty seven and a Novak since his father went crazy. “Real shitty,” Raph says and nudges him again with the gun, “I’ve got two brothers missing, the other one’s sold us out to the fucking FEDS,” he spits out, “how do you think I’ve been?”
“Well,” Luke says, hating himself a little bit for his predictability and inability to control his own goddamn mouth, “at least your anger management classes have paid off real well.” There’s a hiss of anger at his back and at least Luke will go out the way he came to this world, loud and obnoxious and with a wide grin on his face- “swell job on that by the way, baby brother.”
The silence at his back is lengthy and ominous and Luke knows, feels it with all the fibers of his being, the point when Raph’s rage percolates and boils over the edge- the gun suddenly heavier against his brother’s head and hand steadier.
“Turn around, you smug fuck,” Raph says, not sounding that angry anymore, having gone apparently to the place where he used to retreat to after failing one of their training sessions, small and sullen and angry at his own failures, “I want to see you.”
“You look good,” Luke tells him and he does. He’s wearing a black suit, tailored and expensive looking with a crisp white shirt that stands in sharp contrast to his skin. His eyes are still the same though, burning with a low level intensity that’s been ebbing in waves since Raph had been brought into the Novak house.
“And you look like shit,” Raph bares his teeth in return.
The gun, Luke notices, is a Glock-17. Ironically enough, half the Feds storming into Michael’s newest hideout are carrying the same model.
“Yeah, well,” Luke shrugs in a ‘what can you do?’ gesture.
The sun shines into his eyes and he can see the puffs of his breath on the air, the heat generated by his body evaporating into the coldness of the January day. It’s a Tuesday, not a particularly special day to die but then again, besides his name and his absolute refusal to follow any type of authority- Luke had never been a particularly special man.
“What are we waiting for?” Luke looks at him.
Raphael cocks the gun and aims at Luke’s forehead, smirking as he says “I never liked you Lucifer, you always thought you were better than us.”
Luke brings his arms apart and smiles, wide and uncomplicated and maybe a little happy that this shit will finally be over soon- “I am better than you.”
The rage flashes back in Raphael’s eyes and Luke, Lucifer, the most talented and brightest of his father’s sons closes his eyes and waits-
He can smell the blood before he can see it and there’s no hole growing in him by the moment, no pain in his extremities and Lucifer’s no stranger to life altering events but even he has to blink as he opens his eyes and sees his brother sliding to his knees, the top half of his head blown off.
Hot blood droplets are all over his skin and Lucifer doesn’t notice the fact that he’s just licked at his sibling’s blood on his lips when his phone starts ringing.
The buzzing feeling at the back of his neck grows stronger and more insistent and he fumbles a little before flipping the phone open and bringing it up to his ear, Raphael’s body fully crumpled before his feet now.
“Hey little brother,” drawls a painfully familiar voice, instantly tensing Lucifer’s shoulders and making him gag on the bright feeling of violence blossoming in the pit of his stomach, “you can thank me for that one later.”
“What did you do?” Lucifer demands, horrified and sickened and not one bit surprised. “What the hell did you do Michael?”
He whirls around, feeling eyes on the back of his head and sees a flash in the window of the building on the opposite side of the road. Lucifer quickly brings up the binoculars and tries to track that flash of movement.
“Couldn’t let Raphael spoil my fun,” Michael drawls and Lucifer shivers at that, wondering belatedly whether that bugfuck sense of insanity will someday activate in him too, make him the same paranoid bastard that his father was, that his brothers have become.
“He would have done anything for you,” Lucifer says, lips numb as he finally catches the movement in the upper quadrant of the building and trains the binoculars on the half opened window. Shit, double shit and a whole heap of other expletives.
Michael’s calmly packing away a sniper rifle, what looks like a PSG-1, not really surprising since their father’s trained them all to trust German guns first and foremost.
“I know,” Michael says in his same, dead amused voice and snaps the case shut.
Lucifer knows that he should be calling back-up, he can feel the years of training screaming at his instincts, at his head- but he can’t, that’s his brother up there- the one that taught him how to play poker, the one that stayed up nights with him while Lucifer was going through his astronomy kick and the one that took it the worst when Lucifer finally left.
“But,” the nausea escalates to some kind of hitherto unknown level as Lucifer sees Michael standing up, cracking his vertebra, “that wasn’t his call to make. Father always said that it'd be down to you and me.” He says and looks straight into Lucifer’s eyes, somehow knowing despite the years of estrangement and silence and bloody, angry violence where exactly he is. It’s like they’re kids again and Michael’s the only one that could have ever picked him out of a crowd, despite Lucifer’s talent and his immense and utter love of fucking with people’s minds.
Michael stands tall and proud and smiles proudly into the scope of Lucifer’s binoculars, “You’re mine, little brother.”
Belatedly, Lucifer remembers the other cell-phone that Winchester had slipped into his hand, exclaiming that Michael Novak was a tricky bastard and they’d need all the help they could get. He slips his hand into the pocket and presses the little side button on the phone, keeping his eyes trained on his brother’s figure in the window of the building completely opposite of the one they’ve stormed.
Michael’s eyes flash to something on the left of Lucifer and he follows the movement, seeing a flash of red before something heavy hits the back of his head and he crashes to the pavement like a limp rag doll.
The last thing he hears before darkness completely overtakes him is a voice from the past, and oh how they’re fucked if Chuck Shurley’s joined Michael’s little army, asking Anna on what they’re supposed to do now.
‘Yeah Anna,’ Lucifer thinks drowsily, blinking out of consciousness, ‘what are we supposed to-