Author’s Note: This was written for my friend Katt for her birthday. Thanks for all the beta work you do! This story is what I think should have happened between Castiel and Claire during Season 10 Episode 9 'The Things We Left Behind'.
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters and I’m not making any money from this story.
Warning: Non-consensual disciplinary spanking of a minor by a guardian.
Castiel sat in the back of the Impala thinking about Claire while Dean drove them to Randy’s house. He knew he only had a few minutes to decide how he was going to approach the girl once they found her, but he was having trouble making up his mind.
At the bar Dean and Sam had told him a story about their father, and John Winchester’s words spoken in his son’s voices kept going through his head. “It’s not my job to be liked, it’s my job to raise you right.”
The only problem was that Castiel wanted Claire to like him. He wanted to make amends for all the damage he’d done to her and her family. That was why he’d broken her out of the state run institution he’d found her in.
The social worker’s words went through his head. “She doesn’t need a friend. She needs a father.”
He certainly wasn’t father material. He wasn’t even sure what it meant to be a father. He’d come looking for her so that he could help her, not so that he could force his will on her. Was that even what parenthood was about? John Winchester seemed to think so, and Dean and Sam had turned into good men, so maybe forcing Claire to comply with his rules and decisions would be the best way to help her.
He thought about Jimmy Novak. He’d been a good man, a good husband, and a good father, but he’d rarely forced his will on Claire. Castiel had shared a body with Jimmy for several years, and during that time, he’d had access to all of the man’s thoughts and memories. He closed his eyes and concentrated on recalling those memories of Claire, trying to imagine what her father would do with Claire now.
Obviously if Jimmy were alive, he would have provided her with a stable home, food, and clothing. He also would have insisted that she finish her education. Castiel might not be able to provide a stable home, but he could keep her clothed and fed, and with the internet he could make sure she continued her education.
But what would Jimmy have done if she’d refused his help? It was difficult for Castiel to come up with very many memories of Jimmy dealing with Claire refusing to do anything he asked her to do. He tended to parent with praise and encouragement, and the Claire he’d known was sweet and eager to please. The past few years had changed her significantly. He had no idea what Jimmy would do if he was faced with this version of his daughter.
He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jimmy would not approve of Claire stealing, or holding a gun on anyone. Castiel didn’t approve either. And if Dean’s response was any indication, he doubted Jimmy would approve of his daughter living with an unrelated adult male named Randy. But the real question was what would Jimmy do about it.
There were only five instances he could find in Jimmy’s memories where he’d punished his daughter for doing something he didn’t approve of. There were two instances of a ‘time out’. Claire was made to sit in a chair for three minutes the first time and four the second time. Castiel wasn’t sure why, but this apparently caused copious amounts of tears and apologies from Claire, though she was fairly tiny at the time, and the littler the human, the more prone they were to tears. There were also two instances of a ‘grounding’. This hadn’t caused tears, but Claire did apologize, and she did modify her undesirable behavior. Then there was one instance of a ‘spanking’. That one also caused copious amounts of tears and apologies from Claire.
Dean pulled up in front of Randy’s house, and Castiel finally decided that he would try to talk Claire into coming with him first. If that didn’t work he was prepared to take further measures whether she liked it or not, because she needed a parent, not a friend, and her current living situation wasn’t healthy or safe.
Dean turned and said, “You ready for the whole father act?”
The angel took a deep breath and nodded.
“Just concentrate on getting her out of there first,” Sam advised “You’ll have plenty of time to talk things over once she’s away from Randy.”
The three men got out of the car, and as they walked to the house, Castiel heard several voices and frowned. “They aren’t alone,” he said in warning.
Dean and Sam both pulled their weapons, preparing to fight, while Castiel politely knocked on the door. Once someone answered, Castiel used a fraction of his angel powers to blow the door off its hinges, knocking the man back.
Inside there were two large men hovering over another man tied to a chair.
Castiel scanned the area. “Where’s Claire?”
He heard a loud thunk from upstairs, followed by a female scream.
“Claire!” He yelled. When he got no response, he rushed up the stairs to find her, knowing that Dean and Sam would deal with situation downstairs.
He found the door the noises were coming from, and blew that door off the hinges as well. Rage bubbled up inside him when he saw a middle aged man trying to force himself on Claire sexually. Just as he was about to intervene, Claire got in a good kick, and brought the man down. Once he was on the ground, she kicked him again and again.
“Claire.” Castiel said. When she continued kicking the man, he called her again, and put a hand on her arm to get her attention.
They made eye contact, and he could tell she was relieved to see him. He kept a gentle hand on her, and started leading her downstairs. He was quite pleased when she followed along without argument. When they got to the main floor, she looked at Randy with mistrust and betrayal, and Castiel knew he wouldn’t have to talk Claire into leaving.
“Come on,” he said, and she docilely followed him outside. Trusting Sam and Dean to make sure they weren’t followed, Castiel got Claire in the back seat of the Impala, and then sat next to her.
“Are you okay?” he asked once the door was closed.
“Yeah,” she said, and then leaned her entire body against his. She put her head on his chest, and wrapped her arms around his torso.
After his initial surprise, he hugged her back, and found himself suddenly filled with a strong desire to protect her from harm. “It’s going to be alright,” he said softly, copying the words Jimmy had said to her more than once after nightmares or minor injuries.
Castiel kept his arms around Claire while Sam got in the front passenger seat, and the three of them waited for Dean for a couple of seconds. Then they all heard screaming from the house. Sam darted back out of the vehicle and rushed to the house.
Castiel hastily let go of Claire, opened his door and told her, “Stay in the car,” as he got out.
“What?” Claire started getting out as well. “I’m not staying in the car. Randy may be a douche, but he’s still family.”
He heard more screaming from the house and turned to face her. He gave her a stern glare, pointed to the car and said, “Get back in the car, Claire. Randy is not your family.”
Her face twisted in anger. “Neither are you! You’re not my father Castiel, you’re just wearing his meatsuit!”
He was wondering where she’d heard that term when the screaming from the house stopped. Claire started to walk past the angel, but he put a hand out and stopped her. “No, Claire. I’m not just wearing his meatsuit. We shared this vessel for a significant amount of time. I’ve retained several of his memories and thoughts, and I know he would not approve of your recent behavior.”
He saw a flash of guilt cross her face. He gently but firmly made her sit back down in the back seat. “Stay in the car.”
He’d taken three strides towards the house when he heard Claire following him. Scowling, he turned to confront her.
“I’m not staying in the car, Castiel,” she said trying to push past him. “I can handle myself.”
Sighing, he stopped her once again, and physically put her back in the car, even though she struggled slightly. Bracing himself for tears, Castiel kept his hands on her shoulders and said, “You will have a time out in the car for three minutes while I check the house.”
After a short pause she responded, “Are you shitting me? I’m not three, you idiot!” She jerked her shoulders to try and get them out of his grip.
Frowning at her lack of tears or apologies, Castiel tried a different tactic. “You are grounded.”
She stopped her movements, and glared at him.
He let go of her shoulders, and pointed a finger at her face. “You are grounded to the car until further notice.”
Her eyes narrowed, and he was reminded of the phrase ‘if looks could kill’. He held her gaze until she looked away. He assumed her lack of response was compliance, and turned to walk to the house. When he didn’t hear her immediately following him, he congratulated himself on getting past his first parenting hurdle without trauma.
The sight that greeted him in the house froze him in place on the porch. Dean was on his knees in the center of the room with dead bodies strewn around. The bodies had been violently slashed and mutilated. Sam was in front of Dean, begging his brother to tell him it had been self defense, but Dean couldn’t.
Castiel’s worry for Dean almost made him miss the sound of Claire’s footsteps on the stairs. He instantly whirled around, and blocked her view of the doorway with his body before she could get a look inside. He gave her a seriously displeased glare. She stopped trying to move forward, and he saw a flash of nervous worry cross her features when she looked in his eyes.
“Claire.” He said, taking a step into her personal space. She took a step back. “You were to remain in the car until I said otherwise.”
“You can’t ground me, you have no authority over me.” She tried to look around his body into the house. “What happened?”
He shifted to continue blocking her view, and grabbed her arm. He purposely ignored her question, and said, “That is incorrect. I do have authority over you, Claire.” She tried tugging her arm out of his hand, and in one swift move, he picked her up the way Jimmy had several times when she was smaller, by putting one of his arms under her knees and the other behind her back. She gasped in surprise, and automatically grasped at his overcoat. Castiel kept speaking as he carried her towards the car. “As an angel it’s my duty to protect humanity, and that includes you. I also have many of your father’s thoughts in my head. I believe that does give me some authority over you, but whether you choose to acknowledge that authority or not is irrelevant, because I will be enforcing parental control over you until we find a better solution.”
They’d made it back to the Impala, and Claire said, “Look, I know you mean well, but there’s no wayyyyy…”
Castiel shifted her in his arms as she was speaking, causing her to stop abruptly. He sat down in the back of the Impala, and placed her face down across his lap with her legs hanging outside.
“What the hell are you doing!” she yelled and tried to push herself up.
He put his left hand in the center of her back to keep her where she was, and used Jimmy’s words yet again, because they were just as true for him as they had been for Jimmy when he’d said them years ago. “I’m going to spank you. I don’t want to, but I’m going to, because you made some really bad choices today, and you’re old enough to know better.”
“Don’t you dare try to sound like him! You’re not my father! You’re the monster who took him from me!”
He didn’t let the truth of her statement sway him from his current course of action. He raised his hand high, and slapped it down onto her bottom, carefully using human level strength.
She let out a very angry sounding shriek, and started really struggling. Castiel had no trouble holding the girl down, but he was concerned that she would hurt herself with all of her flailing, and wrapped an entire arm around her waist to help keep her steady.
He swatted her backside again, and wondered how many times he should strike her. Jimmy had done it ten times, but that was several years ago. He decided on twenty, and smacked her again.
Instead of the expected tears and apologies, he got a string of very creative curse words directed at him. He shook his head, and started spanking faster. “Your father would not approve of those words, Claire. He would not approve of you stealing. He would not approve of you holding a gun. He would not approve of you living with Randy. He would not approve of you disobeying me and getting out of the car. He would not approve of you refusing my help. And frankly I don’t approve of any of that either. Your father would be ashamed of your recent behavior, and I am too.”
He was on swat number fifteen when he finished his lecture, and he heard the soft sound of a sniffle and a hitched breath come from her. When he landed swat number sixteen, she uttered a loud sound of distress, which dissolved into intense crying, and all the struggling she’d been doing suddenly stopped altogether.
Her sudden change in demeanor startled him into pausing for a moment. He double checked his memory, and knew that when Jimmy had spanked her, she’d begun crying before it even started, and that hadn’t deterred him from doing what he thought was right for her. Pursing his lips in distaste, and feeling like the monster she’d told him he was, Castiel raised his hand and spanked her again.
“I’m sorry!” She cried out.
Feeling even worse, he dished out the last three swats to complete the twenty he’d originally decided on, while Claire tried to apologize and cry at the same time. As soon as he’d given her the last smack, he slowly and carefully turned her over and pulled her into a sitting position in his lap. Before he could get a good look at her face, she grabbed him in a tight hug, pressing her face into the crook of his neck.
He could feel her tears on his skin, as he wrapped his arms around her, and patted her back.
Through her crying, he heard the words, “I want my mom.”
He held her closer and said, “Then we’ll find her for you. We can do it together.”
She put her head up so she could make eye contact. “Really? You’ll help me find her?”
He nodded and wiped some of her tears off with his thumb. “I will, but you must accept my help until we’re able to track her down. There will be no more running away, or stealing, or living with Randys, or disregarding my authority. Do we have an understanding?”
With a watery smile she nodded, and leaned back in to rest her head on his shoulder.
Feeling much better about the entire situation with Claire, Castiel focused his mental attention back towards the problems with Dean and the Mark of Cain. He turned to look back at the house, and found both Dean and Sam standing a few feet away from the Impala staring at him with wide surprised eyes. He could tell they’d been standing there for a while.
He protectively tightened his grip on Claire, and pressed one hand to the side of her head to cover her ear while pressing her other ear against his chest. “It’s not like the pizza man,” Castiel whispered defensively.
Sam held his hands up and shook his head. “No one said it was. Clearly it isn’t.”
“We get it, Cas,” Dean said wearily. “No judgement here. Both Sammy and I had our share of trips over dad’s knee for pulling dumb stunts. In fact the story I told you tonight ended with me not sitting comfortably the next day.”
Relaxing marginally, Castiel tilted his head towards the house and said, “What are we going to do about that?”
Sam said, “Dean’s going to drive you guys back to the motel while I take care of the…” He glanced at Claire, but she wasn’t looking at him. “…everything here.”
Dean immediately shook his head, but before he could argue, Sam said, “No, Dean. I just… I need you to go back to the motel and stay there. Please. Once I’m done here, I’ll call Cas, and he can come pick me up after he gets Claire settled for the night.
After a moment’s pause, Dean slowly nodded, and headed for the car. Castiel had seen his friend full of self-loathing many times in the past, but tonight Dean was practically radiating it. The fact that he didn’t argue with Sam made it clear that he was in a seriously bad state of mind.
Sam put a hand on the open back door and said, “You okay with that plan Cas?”
He nodded. “Call me when you’re ready.”
Sam shut the back door, while Dean got in to drive. Twenty minutes later they were at the motel.
Castiel had been worried about explaining what had happened at the house and then convincing Claire to get some rest, but by the time they arrived, she was already fast asleep in his arms. Dean turned around to say something, but closed his mouth as soon as he noticed Claire was sleeping. Castiel tilted his head towards the car door, and Dean nodded in understanding. He got out, walked around the car, and opened the door for his friend.
As Castiel got out of the car, Claire stirred. Her eyes fluttered open for a second, and she mumbled, “Daddy?”
“It’s okay,” he said gently. “Go back to sleep.”
She snuggled closer to him and closed her eyes again. Castiel looked at Dean who was headed towards his motel room. Opening the door, he gestured for Castiel to follow him in. Dean turned the covers down on Sam’s bed, and stood back so Castiel could gently lay Claire down on her side, and then cover her up.
With Claire taken care of Castiel turned his attention back to Dean. He walked towards the door and motioned for Dean to follow him. Dean followed the angel outside, and shut the door behind them to let the girl sleep.
Dean was the first to speak. “You can stay in this room with Claire, and I’ll get a new room for Sammy and me.”
Castiel put a hand on Dean’s shoulder and said, “The Mark took over tonight. You lost control.”
Dean clenched his jaw, looked his friend in the eye, and nodded in agreement.
Castiel squeezed the other man’s shoulder. “We must find a cure.”
“What if we can’t?”
“We have to. We will,” the angel said with conviction.
Dean nodded, and said, “If we can’t, you and Sam need to lock me up. I can’t be allowed to… to slaughter people like I did tonight.”
Castiel nodded and said, “Sam and I will take precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But for tonight, I think you need to accept my help.”
Scowling suspiciously Dean said, “What kind of help?”
“You look weary. I’m going to help you sleep.” Castiel tilted his head to the side. “What kind of help did you think I meant?”
Dean shook his head rapidly. “Nothing. Sleep sounds fantastic right now, and if I can get that without drinking until I pass out, I’m all for it.”
“Come.” Castiel opened the motel door, and led Dean to the unoccupied bed.
“I should get another room first,” Dean whispered as he jerked a thumb back towards the door.
The angel put two fingers to the center of Dean’s forehead, and the man was asleep before he could argue. Castiel had no trouble lifting his friend and getting him situated in the empty bed. He put a finger to Dean’s temple, and gave him a mental nudge towards happy dreams. He wasn’t sure how effective it would be with the Mark on his arm, but it couldn’t hurt.
Now that both Dean and Claire were sleeping peacefully, Castiel walked out, locked the motel room door behind him, and headed back to help Sam clean up the carnage.
(Feedback makes me happy.)