Title: A Little Consideration
Summary: Claire Novak shares a moment with Castiel while waiting to see her father for the first time in years.
Disclaimer: Supernatural was created by Eric Kripke. No disrespect is intended.
Notes: I was surprised to find very few fics with Claire and Castiel.
"Don't be afraid."
Claire had the impression of pure power crackling about her, a power so strong that she wanted to throw herself to the floor and turn her face away.
"I can help you, Claire."
The voice was in her mind. She knew that because the demons didn't react at all. "What do you mean," she asked back in her thoughts. For a minute, she wasn't sure he'd heard her, but then the voice explained.
It was the angel Castiel talking to her, the angel that had been in her dad's body. He wanted her to be his vessel now. He said he could help her and her mother, perhaps even her father, but it had to be now. With a last worried glance at her demon-possessed mother, Claire said yes to Castiel.
It was like being filled with light and heat, Claire slipping into a strange half conscious state, aware and not at the same time of what happened around her. Hosting Castiel wasn't completely unpleasant. Nor was it pleasant. It was like…when her mother bought her new shoes and they didn't fit quite right, pinching a little, though she knew they'd be okay once she got used to them. It was going to be that way with Castiel, wasn't it? She'd have to get used to him.
Claire observed, saw her father on the ground, bleeding, dying. She saw it all and for a split second, as Castiel moved from her and back into her father, Claire saw her father.
She was now twenty-three and hadn't seen him since that night.
While she'd seen Castiel since that day, her dad had remained asleep during each visit. Castiel had explained that Jimmy was healing, though Claire wasn't sure why it took so long and Castiel never said anything else about it. It didn't seem to be a subject he cared to discuss, so beyond asking if her father was well apart from healing, Claire never inquired further. They'd sit and Claire would talk to him. It was always Claire talking, telling Castiel how she'd been in the time that had passed since he'd visited with her last. She assumed he passed on the information to her dad.
Her mother had no idea Claire had seen or talked to Castiel. It hadn't been something Claire thought she should share. Cas hadn't ever said she couldn't tell her mother, but Amelia Novak wasn't entirely civil on the subject of angels and demons. She'd start crying or she'd become so angry that she'd quit speaking. Time had only made her bitter on the subject.
It was better to keep the visits to herself.
But for this visit, Claire had made sure her mother knew he was coming.
She watched Castiel study the room they were in with a calm she herself didn't feel and thought about how surreal this was. If any of those people out there waiting had any idea there was an angel back here they'd run away screaming. Either that or fall to their knees babbling.
At present, they were the only people in the room. Her attendants were waiting in the next room, giving Claire some time with the man she'd introduced as her father. None of them knew the truth and she didn't see any reason to tell them.
"Did you pick out the suit," she asked, reaching up to tighten the tie he kept loosening, fastening the button beneath it that he also kept undoing.
He tilted his chin up, an indication he was familiar with the gesture. She thought he ought to be after the years he'd spent traveling back and forth between earth and heaven. "Jimmy said it would be acceptable. Was he in error?"
Claire smoothed the jacket. "It's nice." She found herself avoiding Castiel's gaze because it was too weird to look at him and see Castiel and her father looking out of those eyes at the same time. "Did you eat so he wouldn't faint?"
"Sam forced sustenance upon me. I partook of it rather than listen to Dean snickering."
She'd asked Castiel to find the Winchesters, thinking that her dad might like some familiar faces present, since he wouldn't know any of the other guests. Apparently Dean's only concern was whether or not there was an open bar, which there was.
"More than a bite of salad, I hope." She'd seen enough of Sam's eating habits the past few days to conclude he wasn't one to have much fun in his diet. He ate a lot of vegetables, whereas Dean's choice of vegetables were along the lines of tomato and lettuce on a cheeseburger. Claire herself preferred to keep something more of a balance in her diet.
"Dean picked out the meal."
"Ahh." A cheeseburger then.
"It was large, heavy, and made Jimmy feel sleepy."
"A lot of carbs then. Was it pasta? My dad liked pasta."
"You should use present tense, Claire. Jimmy is very much alive and he still likes pasta." Castiel raised a hand as though to touch her face, fingers actually grazing her skin, then dropped it back to his side. "He wanted dessert as well, but Dean had already eaten the pie. Both slices. It's a hazard with Dean around. He has a sweet tooth."
Claire turned, going to the mirror and checking her dress and hair. This was harder than she'd thought it'd be.
"Claire." Castiel was suddenly right beside her, peering at her reflection with her. "You do understand that a half an hour is all I can suppress myself for?"
"You mentioned that." It was just long enough for the ceremony and nothing else, but at least her father was there. Her mother had been certain he wouldn't be. Amelia had had many things to say on angels stealing her husband and life away.
"Any pictures will have me in them save those during the ceremony. I can't attend the reception."
She glanced up at him. "You can come. Sam and Dean are." They were even bringing dates. Claire wasn't sure if the dates were steady girlfriends, wives or what. She hadn't asked. It was her dad who was the important one to her, not the Winchesters.
"I regret that I'm unable. Dean has referred to me as a …killjoy for years now."
"What if I want you there?"
He seemed pleased by that, the hint of a smile upon his lips. "Then I will, of course, attend." He turned. "It's time."
At the door, Claire watched her father appear and Castiel slip back.
Jimmy Novak smiled, hand raising to touch her cheek. "Oh baby, I'm so proud of you." He looked her over. "You look beautiful. Just like your mother." He glanced at the door. The first strains of the music were starting.
"Are you okay," she asked. "I mean really okay? Cas said -"
"I'm fine. I'm all better. I'll be able to see you sometimes now." He took one of her hands in his. "If you want. I mean, I know it's been a long time and I haven't been there -"
"It wasn't your fault. I know that." She hugged him, giving no thought to the state of her hair or makeup. "I love you, daddy."
He hugged her back. "I love you, too. Let's walk you down that aisle now."
Claire took his arm and was content in knowing that her father had joined her for this important day. He still loved her, he still cared, and he'd come when she really needed him there.