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15 December 2010 @ 12:12 pm
fic, spn: the poison in my heart and the voices in my head (Claire, Jimmy, Castiel), PG13  
Okay I'm SO late with this. At least I did post it. *hides*

Title: the poison in my heart and the voices in my head
Characters: Claire Novak, Jimmy, Castiel.
Rating: PG13
Words: 3200+
Spoilers: mostly for 4x20, but has spoilers for the entirety of S5. Or at least it implies that you know how it ended.
Warnings: angst, angst and more angst?
Summary: The worst times are when she thinks that only her dad would understand her. You can only get it if you’ve gone through it, and there’s just one person Claire knows who has. But Dad isn’t an option, is he?
A/N: written for invisiblelove (I'm sure that she's laughing her ass off right now XD) for Novakfest at spn_jimmynovak; my prompt was Claire POV after she had Castiel inside of her; her thoughts about losing her father again/her relationship with her father; etc.. Uhm, I really hope you like it? ♥ ♥ ♥ also thanks so much to bold_seer and vella_amor_dm for betaing. ♥ title stolen from the song currently in rotation.

When it happened, it lasted five minutes.

Maybe even less than that.

Claire remembers a voice saying, I can save them, but you need to say yes to me, and Claire had. Then there was a second during which she was herself and her hand was in her dad’s hair, and when he looked at her straight in the eyes, she saw that he wasn’t her dad anymore.

(‘I’m not your father,’ was the first thing Claire remembered as soon as she was in control of her own body.)

He was Castiel again.

Strange, how five minutes can change your life. But it happens, and it does change so completely that you almost forget the way things were before.

Saying that Claire has forgotten it would be a mistake. That wouldn’t cover the issue, and it wouldn’t be true. Before, she didn’t wake up in the morning feeling like something was missing from inside her.

(Almost as if Castiel had snatched away a core part of her she thinks she won’t feel again.)

Before, she didn’t dream about her father’s sad, sad eyes as he renounced Heaven and peace so that she could get her life again. Before, Claire didn’t feel like there was an ocean of distance between her and her mother.

That’s one of the things that hurt the most, but Claire doesn’t know how to deal with it. She can’t pretend that everything is fine or as fine as it sort of was in the year her dad went missing. It’s because there’s that aching emptiness inside her. Claire doesn’t talk about it because she can feel that Mom doesn’t want to talk about it, but the problem, Claire thinks, is that Mom can’t understand it. She had been possessed too, yes, but… Claire is sure it wasn’t the same thing. Because when there’s been something pure and huge and holy inside you, you can’t not feel like an empty shell when it’s gone. You can’t compare it with being possessed by a demon. Claire doesn’t remember much of those five minutes – it was all light and energy thrumming inside her veins, and she was barely aware of her own voice speaking although she wasn’t talking – but she remembers enough to feel the difference now.

How could Dad do this for a year? Or accept an eternity of it?, she thinks all the time, yet she can’t find an answer.

It hurts, that sometimes Mom looks at her like she doesn’t know Claire anymore.

Alright. Maybe after Castiel, she hasn’t spoken much, if it didn’t seem necessary. Maybe she has been more quiet. Maybe she hasn’t been very sociable after going back to school. Maybe everyone is concerned about her. Maybe there has been talk of sending her to talk to someone, as if Claire could tell a psychiatrist the truth. At least Mom has ruled that out. She might not understand, but she knows that no one would believe a word of what Claire would say, and what’d be the point of talking then?

The main problem, she thinks, is that Claire can’t bring herself to resent Castiel. She has tried. Mom has asked her why she doesn’t. Mom does, oh, she does, and Claire can’t blame her for that. In her place, Claire probably would resent him too. But when she said yes and her body became Castiel’s, he was pure and huge and holy, sure, but he also felt sad in a way Claire couldn’t quite grasp. As if sadness was engraved into… into whatever light it was that made him. As if something had split him into pieces and then put him back together hastily and without care. She can’t bring herself to resent Castiel because she had known, from the second he’d possessed her, that he hadn’t wanted it that way. And she can remember how it had felt when her fingers tangled in her dad’s hair, and there was a tenderness in the gesture that was only partly due to her and partly to Castiel. If she has another reason not to resent Castiel, well, that’s it.

The worst times are when she thinks that only her dad would understand her. You can only get it if you’ve gone through it, and there’s just one person Claire knows who has.

But Dad isn’t an option, is he?

Oh, but she misses him. It was bad enough during that first year, but... Claire doesn’t want to go there because it’s not what she was taught and it goes against everything she’s ever believed in, but what kind of a God takes away your father like this and then gives him back to you for a mere twelve hours?

She knows that what she’s thinking is dangerous. She can’t blame Castiel and she can’t blame anyone else, and now she’s halfway towards blaming God, but who else is there? It’d be so easy and convenient to just blame Castiel, indeed, the most natural conclusion. But she can’t, she just can’t. Sometimes the easiest solution isn’t necessarily the right one.

She can’t even blame him for being the reason that she isn’t as close to her mother as she used to be. Because how can they be close, when the Castiel issue stands between them like a tall, thick wall that won’t fall down anytime soon? Claire wishes life was as easy as it was before, when they used to say grace before dinner and everything was good and angels were an abstract entity.

Maybe, if Castiel hadn’t possessed her, she could have tried to go back to how things were in the year Dad disappeared. Or maybe she could have hoped that things would eventually have straightened out and that Dad would’ve appeared on their doorstep again. But when you’ve had an angel inside you that felt shattered into a million sharp pieces, you can’t go back to how things were because you’d just be fooling yourself.

Sometimes she wishes Dad hadn’t asked Castiel to take him again. She doesn’t think she’s ready to deal with any of this. This is the time in her life when she’s supposed to start arguing with her parents because she wants to try make-up and stay at too many sleepovers. Or because she likes someone in her class. Definitely not because she can’t bring herself to hate an angel who destroyed their lives, and anyway, she doesn’t have both of her parents exactly for that reason. Then she feels awful about it all because if Castiel had continued to possess her, Dad would be dead right now and Mom would have lost them both. Except that, at times, Mom looks at Claire as if she had lost her the second she gave consent.

That’s probably what hurts most. And still, Claire can’t be sorry for it. She has done the right thing.

But then why does it hurt so much? What kind of God punishes you for having done the right thing?

--

Claire dreams about them both.

Half of the time it’s Castiel, who is light and holiness and sadness, telling her that he’s sorry about it (but his voice seems so far away); half of the time it’s Dad and he looks at her like it pains him a deep pain that never stops not to see her every day. They never talk about important things. They do what they used to before. He helps her with homework she can’t remember when she wakes up, they go watch movies that she forgets when she opens her eyes and he always buys her the huge bowl of popcorn he never bought her in real life because it was not good for your health. But he seems sad even though he’s smiles and it’s a genuine smile, and Claire always thinks, He’s like Castiel. It’s the same sadness. Exactly the same.

She doesn’t know if it’s something in her head, or if they’re real and it’s Castiel trying to say that he’s sorry, but whenever she stops to wonder whether they make the situation worse, she decides that they’re still better than nothing at all.

--

At times, Mom blames Dean Winchester. It only happens once in a while, but it does happen. After all, from what she’s gathered, Dean was the only reason Castiel needed someone to possess in the first place. On one hand it’s better when she isn’t blaming it all on Castiel. Then, Mom doesn’t seem to resent Claire so much for not blaming Castiel at all. It makes life is more bearable. On the other hand, Claire can’t help thinking that it’s unfair. She doesn’t know the entire story – five minutes weren’t enough to see all of Castiel’s memories – but she knows Dean and his brother tried to help them, and when Castiel was inside her and their eyes met Dean’s for a second, Claire felt a rush of affection that disappeared in a split second. As if Castiel had killed it before it could surface. But… it was warm. It was real. It reminds her of what she had felt in that second she was herself and Dad was himself, and how can you blame someone who makes angels feel?

--

Life goes on, though. Claire brings herself to behave as normally as she can, even though the nagging emptiness inside her will never completely disappear. She’s pretty sure it’s here to stay. When she does manage a semblance of normality, they stop talking about angels and Mom looks at her as if she never lost her, which makes that wall a bit less thick. When a year passes by, Claire asks whether she can use make-up and doesn’t receive a single objection. Mom looks so happy to hear her ask something normal that Claire doubts she could ever have said no.
Pretending that she is slowly forgetting is easy enough.

But she hasn’t forgotten a single thing. She checks the newspapers. She reads about the population of an entire town, reads about an epidemic coming down in Iowa, about strange things happening in Detroit all through the following year.

Doing the math isn’t hard. She might be thirteen now, but she thinks, sometimes, that those five minutes aged her. So much. As if she’s been around for decades. She never tells Mom that she’s waiting for the world to end any day now.

Then it doesn’t. Strange things don’t happen anymore, and there’s that emptiness again that doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon. All her friends envy her because Mom gives her a lot of leeway and lets her stay out longer than anyone else is allowed to and lets her do a lot of other things. Claire never tells them that she is the envious one. But that’s a lie. She’s envious, sure, but she still thinks it doesn’t change anything, because whenever she asks herself if she regrets saying yes, the answer to that question is always no.

--

The day she sets foot inside a church for the first time since Castiel, she’s almost seventeen and it doesn’t happen in Pontiac.

Mom thinks she’s visiting a friend of hers who has a house out of town. Her friend has agreed to lie in case Mom calls.

Claire doesn’t usually lie to her. At most, she withholds information. She doesn’t want to lie, not when they’ve reached an equilibrium that Claire doesn’t want to change because it’s the best she can hope for. But how could she have explained to her mom that she has an appointment with Castiel? Or that’s what she thinks.

It was one of the dreams.

Are you real? Claire had asked Castiel for the first time in years.

Castiel had asked her if she could get to a church in Springfield. She had said yes.

So she has taken a Greyhound and arrived in Springfield and right now she’s inside a church, which is mostly empty. Apart from the altar and the kneelers and confessionals, there isn’t any kind of furniture. The walls are white and without paintings or statues or decorations at all. You can light a candle in three or four different places, and there’s a cross hung on the left wall, but that’s it. What’s puzzling, though, is that there aren’t any people inside the church. Not a priest, not anyone else. It feels peaceful, but also strange and at least a bit unsettling.

“What do you want?” she asks, out loud. It’s not like anyone will complain about it.

And then she hears Castiel. She doesn’t see him, but she hears him the same way she heard him the first time.

I’m sorry it took all this time, he says. Do you recall what I told your father at the end?

Claire thinks she does. Her memories are fuzzy, but there’s one thing that stands out. Maybe that’s what Castiel means.

“That you don’t forget your promises?” she asks, thinking that if that’s where all of this is headed it has to be a joke.

We don’t. Or, I don’t. I thought I kept my word. But then I understood that it wasn’t the right way.

“What do you mean?” she asks, her voice shaking.

You and your father deserved better and… I couldn’t grant it until now. I don’t think you can forgive me, but I understand, Castiel says, and then he’s gone. She feels him gone, and she almost screams for him to come back.

Claire wants to tell him that it isn’t true. That she forgave him years ago and that she never could resent him even though she wanted to, and although she has spent years pretending a lot of things she wishes she never would’ve had to pretend, there’d be no point in blaming anyone for that.

Then she wonders what he meant, because now something is supposed to happen, isn’t it? Why would he have talked about rewards, otherwise?

“Claire…?” she hears from behind her, and everything stops.

It’s not possible. It’s not and she’s going crazy, because it can’t be happening. The voice is uncertain but she recognizes it, she never could mistake it, and she takes a very deep breath before she turns.

She decides she’s hallucinating because it can’t be happening. Her dad can’t be standing in front of her in an empty church in Illinois, looking not a day older than last time she saw him and wearing the same clothes.

But he is, and he’s looking at her like he can’t believe she’s in front of him either (or that he’s alive at all) and she doesn’t know if she should move or not. They both stand frozen in their spots. Claire suddenly feels self-conscious in a way she’s never felt before, because she’s wearing tight jeans and she’s dressed all in black, her fake leather jacket is probably not suited for a church and she’s sure tears are ruining her very dark make-up. The last time he saw her, he wasn’t too keen on heavy make-up on people younger than twenty, and she liked pastel colors and wanted him to kiss her goodnight every time she went to bed even though she probably was too old for that. What if he doesn’t recognize me anymore?, goes through her head. If she isn’t hallucinating, which is still to be proven. Or what if I don’t recognize him?; after all, he must have changed, too. How could he have stayed the same? He had already changed when he came back the first time.

“Dad?” she blurts out, feeling her eyelids burning and her hands shaking, and then he’s moving across the few feet dividing them. And it’s him, no doubt about it. It’s the way he moves and the way he looks at her, and his voice is shaking, and his hands close around her shoulders and drag her forward; it can’t be Castiel. She goes with it until her head is in the crook of his neck and he’s hugging her so hard that it hurts, but she doesn’t care much about that. Because as soon as it happens it feels exactly like it used to feel before Castiel. He feels warm and safe and there like he used to be and like he had felt when he was back that first time, and she doesn’t know that she’s crying against his coat until she realizes she’s sobbing so hard that her frame is shaking. But he’s too, she can feel it in the way he’s shaking against her, too, and ohgod but he’s alive and real and there and that void inside her is gone for the first time since Castiel left her.

She doesn’t know how long it lasts. The only thing she knows is that she doesn’t want to let go, and even though being almost as tall as he is feels wrong and weird, Claire ignores it. When she raises her head, there’s mascara smeared all over the lapel of his coat, but he isn’t exactly pushing her away.

“Yes,” he says when they stand far enough apart to look at each other, but his hand is on her face, tracing her cheek, and he’s still crying as he shakes his head.

“How… how much time has passed?” he asks, and she can see in his eyes that he has no idea.

“A bit more than five years,” she whispers, sounding more like the scared almost-twelve-year old she hasn’t been since she said yes, and he shakes his head as if he hadn’t realized it could be that long.

“I think,” she says before he can speak, “I think we should talk about a lot of things,” she ends, and her throat feels so choked she can barely get the words out.

“I think you’re right,” Dad answers, his hands still on her shoulders.

“We could do it on the bus back home,” she blurts out. She’s sure there’s one that leaves in an hour.

“What… what if we get a burger first?” he replies, and he’s still half-crying. Not that she isn’t, too. “Being brought back to life doesn’t mean you have a full stomach,” he says, trying to make it sound like it’s not a big deal. “If you offer. I’m afraid I can’t even –”

“Dad, just shut the fuck up and let’s get out of here. I’ll take a rain check,” she answers, and he doesn’t even flinch when she swears. It’s such a stark contrast with what he would have done five years ago (he wouldn’t hear swearing in the house, let alone in a church), and she knows it won’t take a burger or a bus ride to talk everything through. Considering he has been missing for years, things won’t be easy when they get back home either, but in this very moment it doesn’t matter.

“Alright,” he answers, looking at her like she’s some kind of miracle materialized out of thin air, but she’s pretty sure her expression matches his. “Since you’re paying, I guess you can choose where.”

She nods, her throat too tight to even say deal, and when he brings an arm around her shoulder as they get out of the church, she lets out a breath of relief.

Thank you, she thinks. She doesn’t know if the person she’s thinking about hears it, but Claire hopes he does.

End.
 
 
feeling: okayokay
on rotation: word forward - foo fighters
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural jimmy 2.0janie_tangerine on December 16th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, I'm glad you liked it :D
nrrrdy_grrrl on December 15th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
WOW!
the female ghost of tom joad: misha = awesomejanie_tangerine on December 16th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
Ee, thank you! :D
lover all alone: SPN: Castiel worriedinvisiblelove on December 15th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
Thank yooooooooooooou <33333333333333 Oh Cas, feeling guilty ;__; And Claire being all messed up. And JIMMY. OMG *HUGS ALL OF THEM* I think Claire is a really intriguing character. I'm actually writing her POV for my fic too ;)

Oh my goodness, and no worries at all about not posting it last week. You were a little busy with minor matters like graduating :p

Thanks again, I LOVED IT AND ILUUUU :D
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural jimmyjanie_tangerine on December 16th, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC)
You're so very welcome! :DDDD I'm just sorry I couldn't manage to post it in time but.. LOL YEAH GRADUATION WAS GETTING IN THE WAY XD I'm so glad that it worked for you though, I had been wanting to write Claire for a while and I loved the prompt. ;) She's intriguing indeed. And ha, lol, I couldn't help the ending. I want Jimmy happy, dammit. ;)

THANKS SO MUCH AGAIN! :DDD I'm so glad that you liked it. <3333333333333
goldenusagigoldenusagi on December 16th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Aw, I like Cas giving Jimmy back! Even if it took him a while.
the female ghost of tom joad: christmasjanie_tangerine on December 16th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
I'd like if it happened in canon as well :| thanks so very much! :DDD
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural jimmy 4.0janie_tangerine on December 17th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that you liked it, thank you! :D And you flatter me, lol. Also ff Novaks are awesome. ;) ;)

A.: dean sadvella_amor_dm on December 17th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
*CLAPS ENTHUSIASTICALLY*
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean 2.0janie_tangerine on December 17th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
;) \o/ good to know! (and thanks again for betaing!)
A.vella_amor_dm on December 18th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
no thanks necessary - it was my pleasure :)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on December 17th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
I really want this to be canon.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural jimmy 2.0janie_tangerine on December 17th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
I'd like it if it happened too, actually. ;) Thanks for reading"
joe buck rides again: spn | and the night you camemiscellanium on December 21st, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
But he seems sad even though he’s smiles and it’s a genuine smile, and Claire always thinks, He’s like Castiel. It’s the same sadness. Exactly the same.

after that line it was teary eyes forever, aaa. Your Novak fics are always so so good. <33
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural jimmy/casjanie_tangerine on December 24th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you so much! I'm so glad that you liked it. :DD <3333333333333
dossier: clairedossier on December 22nd, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
I love Claire's story, the way that she's frustrated and raging, and still can't bring herself to blame Castiel. Jimmy's return is fabulous!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural jimmy 4.0janie_tangerine on December 24th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, I'm so glad that you liked Claire in this. And ha, well, I'm a sap. I can't resist the temptation to bring Jimmy back when I can. ;)
beatlemaniac9beatlemaniac9 on January 21st, 2011 06:38 am (UTC)
Awesome!