Member No.: 379
Joined: 5-May 12
[OC: Well.... I had this idea poking around in my head.... then it turned into feels... It takes place in Camp Chitaqua at some point in the timeline [not sure when], I made up a NPC to use, but it doesn't fit with anything else going on in the be all end all section. If you guys think it should be there, or should be added to or what have you then.... well... we can do that. For now I leave it here.]
From start to finish it was just another day at Camp Chitaqua. He'd made the few sales that were lined up for the day and now he found himself making his way to the canteen for dinner. As he ducked inside he could almost hear Chuck's aggravated voice from the supply room, fretting about their dwindling supply.
One of the safe havens near by gave out an S.O.S a few days ago, causing them to take on more people than they were capable of handling. Cas had gone on the first retrieval mission, helping to clear the neigboring camp of the visibly infected before stalling just long enough with his comrades to find out the last of the infected. Without a thought, or show of emotion, they dispatched the unclean as easy as one might change their socks. The whimpers from the afflicted's nearby family members were not lost on him however and would likely stay with him for some time.
Cas helped survivors, mostly injured into the bed of his truck before securing the tailgate and readying to make way back to base camp. The drive seemed to drag on, the short miles between the camps stretching into an endless expanse. Reaching to the cupholders he fumbled a bit before managing to procure a Vivance and sent it down the hatch sans water. Tightening his grip on the steering wheel he had continued on, following the small trail of tail lights in front of him.
The following night he'd opted out for the scavanging hunt, stowing away in his cabin to try and forget the faces he'd blown away twent four hours ago. He knew, deep down, that what he had done was the right thing, it was for the protection of his fellow Humans, how could it be wrong? Although he was loathe to admit it he carried a great deal of grief for the things he had done in his time at Camp Chitaqua. Sure the people -monsters he killed were a threat but they still had family and friends that would be grieving.
As he shambled up to the dinner line he grabbed a plate and silver ware, drumming a mismatched beat into the ceramic with his pointers. As he dipped into the first serving tray he paid no attention to the food or the slopp sound it made as it hit his plate. He was lost in memories, Jimmy's memories to be exact. For him to have so much blind faith to just throw himself away was something Cas respected. Jimmy had left behind a family several times at Castiel's beckoning call and it was something he felt slightly guilty for now. Now that he understood what the crushing weight within his chest was he wished he could take it back. He knew without a doubt he could never take it back, never change the events that unfolded them into this existance, but a boy could dream, no?
If he had to he wouldn't have been able to recall what he'd put on his plate, it was an identifiable substance, one he'd certainly been greeted with before, but he was too lost in thought. Flashes of light and color that formed into memories of a life he never lived. Cas sat alone tonight, his ladies did their best to beckon him to a nearby table, but he declined politely with a shake of the head and a warm smile, preferring to keep to himself for the night.
Shoveling food haphazardly into his mouth he looked around at the different people in the room. He couldn't recall most of the faces, a few old familiar faces stuck out from the crowd as they talked and laughed amongst themselves, doing their best to keep spirits up as always. That was one thing Cas had always admired about the Human race, their ability to adjust and survive.
Tearing a scrap off of partially stale bread he pushed it around in his dish before nibbling at the ends. Staring down into his dish he sighed, things here were good yes, but what he wouldn't give for a little variation. Pushing himself up to stand he brushed his leftovers into the slop bucket beside the dish return and made his way back to his cabin.
The voice nearly scared him out of his boots, but the nervous tremor is what really disturbed him. Turning in the darkness he was able to make out the other person occupying his porch and offered a concerned smile, "Jane, what's wrong?"
He noticed the nervousness in her posture, the way she laced and unlaced her fingers to try and stem it, "Can we talk inside?"
"Sure." Pushing the door open he held the beaded curtain aside, motioning for her to enter, and followed in after her. He left the door open for ventilation, it was nice out, a slight chill to the breeze which made for perfect sleeping weather. But if the worried inclanation in her tone said anything, it was definitely that he would not be seeing his mattress any time soon. Moving to light the propane torch he fumbled for a moment before the room was bathed in a flourescent like glow. He waited a beat more, watching her pace in a short circle, before prompting her. "What did you want to talk about?"
She paced for a moment more, as if trying to think of the proper words, "I'm not sure how to say this, but, something's happened." She paused for a beat, "I can't explain, just get what you need and come with me."
"Jane," A nervous ball was building in his abdomen, "I am not going anywhere until you tell me whats got you so worked up."
Jane fixed him with a deadly serious look, crossing her arms over her chest as the start and finish of her argument.
Noting the heavy gaze he nodded, "Fine, are we leaving Camp?" At her nod of acquiescence he moved to grab his pistol, his ammunition and Beretta in the truck from the other day. Tucking the gun into the back of his jeans he grabbed his backpack, turning the lantern off and followed Jane out the door. Closing up behind him he got into the truck, backpack on the middle spot between them, and started it up. "Where are we going?" He turned to her in the darkness of the truck, recalling the moments leading up to this leap of trust on his part. Jane, being one of their resident medics had saved his hide more times than he could count by now and found it odd that this was the way he realised that she was a good friend.
"I was scavanging yesterday-" She seemed to cut herself off, as if she was afraid to say too much. "Just head to the camp we responded to on Monday. You remember?"
His abhorrent drug use was definitely no secret, but she was taking it a bit far. How could he forget blowing several infected's heads off, intoxicated or not? In the darkness of the truck he gave her an 'are you serious' look, stopping and waiting for the front gate to be opened for them. "Of course I remember. Do you often forget obliterating another Human being?" He knew the comment was a tad harsh and uncalled for, but this was a trip into a hot zone, in the middle of the night when he could be sleeping.
The rest of the drive was spent silent, Jane inspected their guns, making sure they were clean and loaded a few moments before they pulled into the dusty drive way.
"Pull to the last building on the left over there."
It was a small ramshackle of a shack and it didn't look like it would house much of anything causing him to raise a brow. Parking so the headlights illuminated the building in question in front of them Cas noted a length of thick cow chain coming from a hole in the wall, secured by a number of iron tent steaks and finally wrapped around a concrete block and secured with a handful of heavy duty master locks. The image had him figuratively scratching his head and clutching the shotgun to his side he got out, leaving the engine running incase they needed to duck and run. "It looks as if they were keeping something in here. Something incredibly strong."
Jane said nothing, merely nodded, motioning for Cas to fall in behind her.
Glancing over his shoulder a few times and around the perimiter her decided they were safe for the moment, lowering his gun as they stood at the door.
"I'll go in first." She gave him a look that said 'I'm sorry', failing to elaborate on why as she disappeared into the darkness.
Switching his flashlight on to see the bits of the room that weren't bathed in light by the headlights he scanned their surroundings slowly, finding the chain he had seen outside and trying to find an end to it.
"About?" He raised a brow, slowing the speed of the light as the chain came to an end several feet away. It was secured to a- No.
"She can't reach you from there."
It couldn't be. He had been mildly surprised before, but shocked like this, never. He had held out little hope all this time, but to be confronted with the reality, rather than the dream of a peaceful death. "Claire?" His voice, normally rugged and strong betrayed him. It was small and wavering, choking on the one syllable name as a surge of emotion rushed forward. The figure turned, exposing it's face fully. And what was missing of it. He knew deep down that this wasn't his daughter. She was the product of the union between Jimmy Novak and his wife Amelia. But something inside of him screamed out that she was in fact his own.
The thing that used to be beautiful and full of life smiled at him, which was a feat in itself as a quarter of it's jaw was missing. "Daddy." It was mangled, gurgling and deep. It sounded nothing like Claire Novak. But it was. Of course the only full blown Croat he'd come across that was aware enough to speak had to be her. Just when he had begun to feel normal, like maybe the self medication wasn't actually helping, his whole world collapsed in on itself.
Falling to his knees with a strangled gasp he let out a soft declaration for what he knew he had to do. "No, not my daughter." He heard a slight whimper from Jane, understanding why she was too distraught to tell him face to face. He wouldn't have believed her without seeing first hand anyway. Discarding the shotgun he leaned forward severely, his forehead almost coming to rest on his bent knees. Reaching his hands to cradle his face for a moment he rocked back and fourth, wiping the salty tears away. Running his fingers through the dirt beneath him he took a stabilizing breath, tilting to look towards the Heavens although they were obstructed by the roof. "Have I not given you everything you have asked of me from day one? Blind obedience? Endless love?" Letting his chin swoop to his chest he let out a shaky breath, "And for what? THIS?!" The last word was yelled, causing his lips to form into an indignant, hateful line.
Claire, or what used to be Claire, took his shout as a threat and ran full speed towards him, only to be yanked back centimeteres from him. Fighting against the thick chain her shoes slipped across the dirt floor, snarling into her former Father's face.
Pushing himself to his feet he took a moment to imagine her whole and unafflicted. She would've been going into Junior High this year, attending some of her first school dances. Checking the rounds in the shotgun he pumped it, loading the rounds into the chamber. Shakily he brought it up, staring down the double barrel. Feeling his body tremble he wavered, fighting the urge to curl into the foetal position and let a few tears slip past. Bringing the barrel back up he held back his sorrow, hoping his tears would cloud his view. He had been hoping, holding out for a happy ending. Now all he was left with was obliteration, "I love you Claire," Cas sputtered the words out, wrenching his eyes shut through a torrent of sobs. "But you are not my little girl anymore." Taking one last look at what he could have once considered his daughter he closed his eyes and pulled the trigger.