whynot: etc: excuses, excuses (express yourself)
Lassiter ([personal profile] whynot) wrote2011-02-23 02:22 pm

FIC: Memento Mori (Claire/Castiel; NC17)

I'm sorry, Claire. I'm sorry, Cas. I'm sorry, Jimmy. But thank you [livejournal.com profile] callowyn and [livejournal.com profile] zempasuchil for betareading!


Memento Mori
Supernatural. Claire/Castiel, Claire/Castiel/OCs, Risa. Peripheral Dean, Chuck, and Jimmy.
NC17. WARNING: dubious consent, de facto incest, drug use, implied unverified underage.
5x04verse. Claire lost her father for the third time when she arrived at Camp Chitaqua. ~3500 words


Castiel has no qualms about this, and that alone makes Claire reconsider. She’s naked and straddling his lap as the head of his cock rubs up and down her cunt. He leans back against the headboard with his eyes closed, one hand on her hips, one hand on his dick.

She wants him to say, Stop. She wants him to say, No, we can’t do this, but he doesn’t, and she realizes he doesn’t care. She wants to say, Don’t you even know who I am?

“Claire,” he murmurs, and opens his eyes half-mast, the blueness of them cutting something deep inside her. “Fuck--”

She reaches down and stills his hand, and then she sinks down onto him.

It’s her first time with him, and Claire entertains the thought that it might be her last. Castiel cups her ass as she balances on her knees, and he fucks her up and down his cock, moaning softly with every slide. It’s a gentle rhythm. They are taking their time. Castiel has worked her well with fingers and mouth, always pulling back and leaving her increasingly shameless and wanting. She’s glad for that, the desire that supersedes longing. She is glad, too, for the whiskey that she drank before coming to his cabin. Claire doubts he had been waiting for her, but he seemed unsurprised to see her at his door.

Did Jimmy Novak fuck like this? Did he kiss like this? Sometimes Claire would see Castiel reload a gun with instinctive ease or dispatch a croat with a few slashes of the knife, and the dissonance boggles. She can’t imagine her father being this comfortable around death. Castiel approaches the world with detachment and selfish complacency, and to have the same apathy turned on her disorients her.

“That’s it,” Castiel murmurs, tightening his grip on her thighs. “Yes, that’s it...”

When he isn’t apathetic, Castiel is curious. At least that goes both ways.

+

When Claire first arrived at Camp Chitaqua, she was shocked to see the familiar face, had hopped off the back of the truck and run to him, pushing past the knot of people listening to the man she would later remember was Dean Winchester.

Dean frowned at the interruption. “Hey--”

“Dad,” she blurted out, and threw her arms around Castiel. “Dad, Dad, oh god--”

But he froze instead of hugging her back, and when Claire looked up, there was a stricken expression on his face. She knew. Suddenly she knew, but she couldn’t stop herself saying, “Dad, it’s me.”

Some guy behind her said, “Cas, you have a kid?”

Her vision blurred, stung with heat. “Dad.”

Off to the side, Dean muttered, “Friggin’ perfect.”

Castiel’s hands settled uncertainly on her shoulders. “Claire.”

She burst into tears.

+

The sting of her mother’s slap had followed Claire into her dreams, and she dreamt of red-edged angry things that cawed fearfully and fled at her touch. This was how Castiel found her all those years ago, bound to a chair in a warehouse and locked inside her head.

Claire.

She recognized him: the distant thunder in the voice that told her he was not her father. Her dream warped around that voice, a golden sheen that chased away the darkness.

I can help you. I can help your family, but you must let me in. You must say yes. The angel wound itself around her dream-self, firm but gentle. Claire. We’re running out of time.

You took my dad.

It was necessary.


There were bright flashes at the edge of her vision and a sound like voices from another room. Castiel pushed against her consciousness, trying to break through to the waking world, trying to procure her assent.

Claire asked, What are you going to do with me?

The Lord’s work, he replied. Be not afraid.

+

Castiel offers her a cigarette.

“I don’t smoke,” she says, so he puts it in his own mouth and reaches over her for the matches on the bedside table.

Without the distraction of fucking, Claire is self-conscious of her nudity. Castiel doesn’t seem to be. He sprawls out naked next to her and lights his cigarette, unmindful of the stuffiness of the room. The smoke makes her cough.

“There should be an ashtray on the floor,” he says. “Can you pass that to me?”

“That’s it?” asks Claire.

“Yes. By the bed.”

“That’s all you have to say?”

“What am I supposed to say?”

“I don’t know.” There’s so much that isn’t going the way she wants. She isn’t even sure what she wants. Claire remembers the half-cocked conviction she had coming in, remembers grasping at the momentum that would bring her here but not why she thought she’d be okay with it. Something had clouded her mind - something like hunger and fear but darker than both, the accretion of time spent orbiting a ghost. “You were... You’re an angel. You took me, you took my dad--”

“Your father isn’t here anymore.”

“You were in me.”

Castiel raises an eyebrow.

“When you took my body,” Claire says, and thinks, Be steady, be angry, don’t cry, “you said you could see into my heart, you said you knew me. You saw me.”

“I do. I did.”

“What do you see now?”

Castiel sighs. “I’m not playing questions with you. The answers always miss the point.”

“They are the point!”

“I have none.”

“No answers?” Claire challenges. “Or no point?”

He takes a drag of his cigarette. “Why don’t you stick around and find out?”

+

She can’t bring herself to stick around, but it is only slightly less terrible to leave. It’s an evening world outside, the sky a gold-streaked mauve as the buzzing of the camp takes on a domestic quality. Chitaqua settles down to unwind, preparing for the nighttime and exchanging idle gossip. A few heads turn in her direction when she steps out of Castiel’s cabin, and she avoids their eyes as she walks away.

It’s been cleared up around camp that Castiel isn’t really her dad. He just looks a lot like him, she recited. Dean had taken her aside and set her straight: no one knows that Castiel used to be angel except him and Chuck. And now her. Let’s keep it that way.

At the cabin she shares with Risa, Claire takes off her shoes, and wonders if the sex was all Castiel or if there was some of Jimmy Novak’s muscle memory in there, his habits and reflexes. The way he submits to a warm body offered. Castiel fucks her slow, with an air of preemptive satiation. He pushes her down on the bed, and even as he sharpens his thrusts, he keeps his pace, making her squirm and dig her nails into his biceps. She remembers him grunting into her neck, tongue slipping out to lick along her collarbone. Claire had wanted him to go faster, but she didn’t urge him on.

It’s like when you get what you wish for and it’s a trick, and then you realize the real trick is wanting it in the first place. She lost her father for the third time when she arrived at Camp Chitaqua, and Castiel had noticed her hollowness and never turned her away.

That day, Castiel fucked her close to the edge and came before she did. He muffled his moan against her shoulder, and she could feel his dick pulsing inside her as he thrusted forcefully, pulling her down against him. He was slick with sweat, sweatier than her, and his bangs stuck damply to his forehead as he caught his breath. He wriggled off her. Castiel’s face looked like Jimmy Novak’s the summer they went hiking in the Catskills: exhausted but alight, curiously focused.

“Finish yourself off,” he rasped.

Claire propped herself up on her elbows. “What?”

“I want to see you. Finish yourself off.”

She just looked at him for a few seconds. His parted mouth, his wide pupils.

Claire slid her hand between her legs and slid two fingers inside herself. She was already sensitive, ready for release. He was waiting, watching her even as he slid the condom off, and she closed her eyes and pretended she was alone.

+

All the times she never knew she was waiting for him. The knots in her stomach, the chills of anxiety. That feeling of being on the edge of some great precipice, waiting for the right wind to blow her over. Claire used to dream of her father or maybe it was Castiel, until the veil between them thinned. Castiel, with her father’s eyes, and her father, exuding celestial harmonies.

Claire used to wake up in the middle of night from the sensation of being enveloped in light, unsure whether to call it a dream or a nightmare, prophecy or memory. The angel had only possessed her for a few minutes, but in doing so had marked her irrevocably. She wasn’t sure he even meant to. She, a girl with paper-thin youth, and he, the tongue of flame that burned her, the memory that kept her small and enclosed.

The unseen world haunted her and her mother, or perhaps it was more accurate to say that it was they who haunted the unseen world. The same world, if not always the same ghost.

Years ago in that warehouse, Claire had asked, If I say yes, will you give me back my dad?

Claire already had several reasons to distrust Heaven’s promises by that point, but a year’s worth of absence made her forget. A year’s weight in longing gave her hope, opened her mouth and drew the yes from it.

And then she woke up.

+

The first time she spends the night at his cabin, she doesn’t mean to. They’re sharing a joint, she on his bed and he on a crate pulled up beside it. The drug loosens her heart but not her mouth, and she finds herself suffocated with things she doesn’t know how to say. Claire wants to ask why did you go, why did you take him, why didn’t you take me, but she just sits in stoned silence as Castiel mulls over the supply run Dean’s planning in two days.

“You’re getting handy with a gun,” he says. “You should come. It won’t be that dangerous.”

“Everything’s dangerous.”

Castiel coughs as he hands her the joint. “Is that a no?”

“Yes.”

It’s almost nice, just the two of them. She finds it hard to be with him in a group of people, his attention always diverted. When it’s just the two of them, Claire is free to meander around their silences until their empty spaces converge. Sometimes she thinks she is more familiar with the distance between them than with Castiel himself.

“What we really need is more painkillers,” Castiel says. “The clinic’s been dry for days.”

Maybe if you didn’t eat them all, she thinks.

Claire doesn’t remember when she falls asleep. One minute she’s listening to Castiel gripe about Dean, and the next, it’s morning. She hears the distant clamor of breakfast cooking, and the usual dread settles upon her as the beginning of another day sinks in. Castiel snores softly. She turns her head and sees him sleeping facing the wall, curled up and fetal.

She touches the back of his neck and he grunts.

He’s let his hair grow shaggy, and her fingers brush through the tufts that curl around his ears. Her father was always so meticulous about his appearance. “Salesmen need to make a good impression,” he told her once. His hair neatly parted, his tie impeccably knotted, his smile so genial and bright.

If the body was beholden to Castiel, then was Castiel also beholden to the body? Was he beholden to the soul of the body and the promises it has made?

“That tickles,” Castiel mumbles, and Claire withdraws her hand.

When she gets back to her cabin, Risa is sitting on the front steps with Dean, the both of them nursing mugs of coffee.

“You okay, Claire?” Risa asks. Dean just watches her.

Claire nods wordlessly and disappears into the cabin, wondering if she can catch a few more minutes of sleep before the day really starts.

+

Risa is too impatient with the world to tolerate much of its bullshit, and the apocalypse only exacerbates her hair trigger.

Before the world ended, she had been in the army - Bravo company, 2nd battalion 6th infantry regiment in Iraq. War didn’t so much change her worldview as confirm it. She is often angry, thinks on her feet, and has a sense of justice so merciless it is almost cruel. The dynamic during strategy meetings is clear: Dean puts forth a proposition, Castiel is unimpressed at most aspects of it, and Risa is selectively scornful. They argue for ages as the rest of the assembly watches like spectators at a tennis match, offering suggestions that would be examined by the three of them and then quickly discarded.

Risa makes her feel safe, but Claire doesn’t like talking to her.

“So you’re fucking your dad?” Risa asks, one afternoon.

“I’m what? No.”

Claire is reading a tattered copy of The Secret Garden on her bed as Risa sits on a crate by a makeshift table, sharpening her machete. They’d been sitting unobtrusively, sharing the silence of the cabin. Risa’s question feels like a punishment.

“Cas,” Risa clarifies.

Claire blushes. “He’s not my dad.”

“You thought he was your dad, and now you’re fucking him.”

“Fuck off.”

Risa sets her machete down and looks at her. “He’s an asshole, Claire.”

“I know.”

“He’s been down half the camp’s pants.”

“Has he been down yours?” Claire asks defiantly.

Risa just smirks. “How old are you anyway? What, like high school?”

“No,” she says automatically.

“Whatever.” Picks up another knife, starts sharpening that against the whetstone. “You know, you two could probably pass as family. Something in the eyes.”

Aw, Jimmy, she has your smile.

Claire looks down at the pages of her book, and doesn’t register the words.

“Look,” Risa sighs, “I see this kind of thing all the time, okay? Everyone’s looking for a soft spot, some warm place. They get hurt and do dumb things. Don’t hang your heart on his hook.”

And Claire wants to say, I can’t, I don’t know how. Until she saw him, she didn’t realize she never really stopped looking for him. Maybe she never will.

Risa continues, “I wonder if the guy even has a heart, sometimes.”

Claire hears herself muttering, “He isn’t even really human.” She smiles crookedly to turn it into a joke.

Risa snorts. “We’re all human. We’re just none of us really alive, not anymore.”

+

“It’s okay, baby, you gotta relax,” someone is saying, and maybe it’s Matt, but it could be Peter, she doesn’t know. She’s not sure she gives a damn.

Claire is on her back on the bed as someone eats her out and Castiel fucks her mouth. She has her eyes closed so she won’t have to see who’s saying what. Someone is saying “so fucking good”, someone is saying “you’re gonna make me come so hard”, and someone is wailing rhythmically to the sound of flesh slapping against flesh. Claire curls her hands around Castiel’s thighs and tries to control the thrusts, but she still gags on him. It’s the wrong angle, but she’ll work with it. She’s too drunk to do otherwise.

It’s so strange with all these hands on her body. Every touch feels like a claim that fragments her, antithesis to the intimacy that Castiel preaches to those who have lost hope, who need dogma to disguise their need for a hit and a quick lay. (“It’s okay,” Castiel said softly, then kissed Claire’s mouth as Mina kissed her neck and Peter unzipped her pants. “Just relax.”) Someone else’s fingers slide inside her cunt, and she thinks it’s Matt, but when she opens her eyes, Matt is kissing Castiel.

“Didn’t he tell you it would be good?” Mina murmurs. “Look at you, you’re such a pretty thing.” Mina strokes the hair back from Claire’s face, wipes the wetness from her cheeks. “Such a good girl.”

Castiel comes with a ragged moan, starts muttering breathlessly in a language she doesn’t know. Claire tries to swallow it all and can’t, almost chokes. The come dribbles down her chin. She feels Castiel’s hand on her cheek. He’s still talking in that strange language, tracing her jaw with his fingers, and no sooner does he get off her than someone else is spreading her legs.

“Claire--” Castiel gasps, and then Mina is kissing him.

“You look so sweet, baby,” Peter says, and Claire feels the head of his cock against her cunt. She adjusts herself, accommodating, and wonders how long Peter will take to come. And then he pushes in.

+

“I can’t,” she says. “I can’t do that again.”

Matt, Mina, and Peter have gone. It’s just her curled up under the blankets now, Castiel wrapped around her. The air still smells of sex, barely covered by the stink of weed, and they are weary from the excesses of both.

“Okay,” Castiel says.

Castiel's love-ins irritate her, but don’t surprise her. His voice is comforting, as are his sentiments. His paradoxes are clever and his aphorisms absurd enough to sound wise. He knows the value of proffered comfort, no matter how false. Jimmy, too, was fond of long rambling diatribes, though he was considerably more artless about it. Claire is reminded of her father talking her down from tantrums when she was a little girl. He asked her questions and smiled between his long-windedness, running his fingers through her hair, making her laugh. In the end Claire ended up going to church or the dentist or summer camp, after all. You show them who’s boss, he said to her, amused, proud.

“What was it like for you?” she asks. “What was it like when you took me as a vessel?”

The pause is long enough that she thinks maybe Castiel won’t answer after all, but then he says, “That was a long time ago.”

“I know.”

He doesn’t offer a real answer, though, and she doesn’t ask again.

+

She hears noises coming out of Castiel’s cabin, so she keeps walking.

His door isn’t closed all the way, but that doesn’t mean anything. Claire continues walking and she hears a man’s muffled moan float out the window. She can’t tell if it’s his. She takes note of who’s out here and tries to figure out who it is through process of elimination: it isn’t Joey, it isn’t Malik, it isn’t Lee.

“Where’s the fire?” Risa calls out as Claire goes by.

It isn’t Risa.

One foot in front of the other and Claire has walked past two cabins, the latrines, and the clinic before she realizes she doesn’t know where she’s going. She walks until she sees the camp perimeter just behind Jane’s cabin. Claire can just climb over it and keep walking, and who’s going to stop her?

She does stop, though.

The woods are lonely, dark, and deep. Wasn’t that a line from somewhere? The sun is low and the shadows are long; the woods buzz with evening insects, and something angry and despairing is calling her from beyond the chain-link fence.

“Claire, honey, what are you doing?”

Claire turns around. Jane is poking her head out the window, frowning at her.

“Nothing,” she says. “I was just...”

“Just what, sweetheart?”

She tries to think of a good excuse and can’t.

+

“I can’t give you what you want.”

Castiel says this without preamble. They were silent, chopping vegetables for dinner in the camp’s makeshift kitchen, and suddenly Castiel just says this thing. Claire knows what he’s talking about, though.

“You don’t know what I want,” she says, and focuses on the carrot under her knife, cutting increasingly thinner pieces.

“If you want to drop by sometimes, I’m not going to stop you. But don’t expect...”

He trails off and she lets him. Castiel continues chopping the peppers. She starts on the squash. Eventually the pot begins to boil.

Chuck and Jane return with the bowls and spoons all washed. “How’re we doing?” Jane asks.

“Good,” Claire nods, and Chuck picks up one of her carrot slices, thin as a flower petal. “We’re good.”