If you would like to read snippets, you can; I might post bits and pieces here as I write it just to force myself to write it?
I’m also still working on Deaf!Harry and on Gellababy, I swear. I am.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth: the Earth first, then stars, and last the sun, tied to the Earth and made to serve it.
The Earth grew out of jagged stone and soil, but no shrub yet appeared nor any plant sprung up, and God sent rains to the Earth to bear fruit in the seeds and grow. The oceans bore salt and the streams ran from glen to valley, yet still no seedlings blossomed and none but God could see the Earth’s beauty. He created the stars from grains of sea-salt and set them in the sky to watch over Earth and praise the good of God’s work there, but still, no thing had yet to grow.
From the fire of the stars, God created the sun, and He tied it to the Earth with dust and salt. And the sun loved the Earth as it loved God, and loved none others; and from the sun, the Earth grew green and from the green God forged life, Alpha Man from leaves and sap, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and He was made in God’s own image.
Fortified by the sun and the love of God, the Alpha Man made from his salt a multitude and set them in the gardens and the forests to watch over him and praise the good of God’s work in His form. The multitudes grew by multitude and multitude and they farmed the Earth, graced by Lord God with all kinds of trees to grow out of the ground and all kinds of animals to swim in the oceans and streams. Soon the multitudes numbered as the stars, and God in His image the Alpha was praised well.
Yet still, the Alpha Man often to the sun and asked of God how to best praise Him. The multitudes loved God and praised Him but worked to distraction, tending the Earth and tilling its fields. God in His wisdom and kindness would be praised with a full heart as the Alpha Man could praise Him so long as there might be a dozen with the full glory of Him shining on them in His image.
So to the Alpha Man came God’s hand, and in His protection the Alpha Man fell into a deep sleep. The Lord God cradled him as He took one of the Alpha Man’s rib bones and closed its place with the dust of stars and the salt of the sea. He fashioned from the Alpha Man’s rib bone a second in His image, hollow but for love for God and love for the Alpha Man, and that was the beta man. When his eyes opened for the first time the Lord God blew dust from the Earth into his sight and blinded him but to love for God and love for the Alpha Man and He did tether them with dust and salt as sat in the Alpha Man’s wound.
That is why a beta leaves his father and mother and is united to his Alpha, and they become one flesh.
* * *
George doesn’t believe in all that catechism anymore, but in the grand scheme of things, and in Clevedon, it doesn’t matter much. Things might be different if he lived in Bristol – definitely different in Brighton, and at least he doesn’t live in America, judging by what he’s seen on the news and the internet – but as it stands, he lives in Clevedon and although basing hiring on bodily orientation’s been banned since before George was born, he still somehow can’t get a better job here than a barista. Serving. Servile.
And it’s so stupid, really, because Alphas don’t live in Clevedon. They don’t have to live in Clevedon, they can get jobs anywhere and into whatever schools they want and no one who didn’t have to would stay in Clevedon. Fucking everyone is a crotchety beta OAP with terrible teeth and an unintelligible Brizzley accent.
He blinks awake with a shattered jolt. After nestling into his forearms for a fifteen-minute lunchtime nap, the fluorescents in the break room are entirely too bright. George groans, rubbing his eyes, and kicks the leg of his hard plastic chair as he trudges over to his little locker for his apron.
His watch beeps insistently at him as he pulls the apron over his head and smooths his hair, and George pops his Wednesday pill out of its plastic compartment without even looking (he knows Poliwrath is on Wednesday, because Wednesdays are terrible and Poliwrath is not). George has been able to swallow his suppressors dry since he was thirteen, even though the pills are the size of hornets.
Tony, George’s current boss, is big in a way that only betas are. He’s a nice guy, though, and he doesn’t let people push George around so long as he’s looking. It’s an admirable trait, as far as George is concerned, and it’s not like it’s something Tony makes a big deal about because that would be sort of pushing George around, but it’s a solid, reliable kind of hum of protection around George’s dull days. It’s a paycheck as good as anyone else’s, too, although George has been here longer than Charley and really, he should have been made shift supervisor. It won’t happen; he’d have to stay late nights to lock up and count out the safe alone, and as much as people pretend like it’s safe for everyone these days, everyone knows it isn’t. He’s the de facto supervisor, anyway. Does most of the training. And it’s not like it’s George’s dream job, so he doesn’t care that much.
“Sorry, sorry,” he yawns, then pats his hair down and slides to the registers. “Fell asleep.”
“Y’alright?” Tony’s eyebrows are furrowed.
“Yeah, I was just up late,” George assures him. “Just noodling with my guitar. Got a new one for an early birthday gift. For luck.”
Tony gives George a smile at that, but nods meaningfully to the line of labeled paper cups awaiting drinks as they switch places. George prefers it behind the machines, making cappuccinos and flat whites, to making change and light conversation. He’s good at both, he just likes the way coffee smells. Even after all this time.
“You’re still going for it, then?” Tony sounds concerned. He even pats George’s shoulder paternally. “S’brave.”
“It’s not brave,” George says. “It’s just a thing. I’ve as much chance as anyone, don’t I?”