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(trembling ever so little)

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The demons vanquished, Castiel leaves Sam and Dean to clean up the bloodshed, to tend to Amelia.

He has a promise to keep.

He's thankful, vaguely, to the demon which possessed Amelia. Were it not for her, Jimmy would not have been shot, and Claire would have never consented to allow him entry. And, much as he dislikes the current situation, he knows he brought it on himself. It is his own fault he was removed from his former vessel, and Jimmy would not take him back now. This - Claire - was the only remaining option.

But he's forgetting himself.

Jimmy, who had before squirmed and hissed, trying to find the least uncomfortable position to lie with a bullet in his stomach, is still and silent at Castiel's approach. He puts a small, soft hand to Jimmy's forehead, finds it warm and damp. His teeth, once white, are pink with blood. If left this way for much longer, he will no doubt die. A shame, that such an ideal vessel should leave the Earth in such an inglorious way.

Jimmy pulls away from his daughter's hand and looks up at Castiel, eyes wide and questioning.

"Of course we keep our promises," he finds himself saying. "Of course you have our gratitude. You served us well, your work is done." Castiel rests one hand against Jimmy' cheek, and places the other on his bloodstained shirt. He moans softly. "Rest now, Jimmy. The worst will be over soon enough."

"No," Jimmy whimpers, and unwanted hope alights in Castiel's chest. "Claire?"

Oh. That is - well. Castiel knows what to say here. "She's with me now. She's chosen. It's in her blood, as it was in yours." He hears footsteps behind them - the Winchesters must be done with their task. Good. Castiel has something to say to Dean after he's done here.

"Please, Castiel," Jimmy begs. "Me, just take me. Take me, please."

An unnecessary breath catches in Claire's throat. He can't be serious. Not after - not when it would mean - no. No. Remember yourself, Castiel thinks. Even if he wanted this - and oh, how he wants it - he cannot have this. He does not deserve this.

"No," Castiel says. The sound that escapes Jimmy's mouth is harsh and miserable and pained, and Castiel wishes he could have avoided hearing it. If his wish is for less than altruistic reasons, no one need know it but him.

"Why?" Jimmy demands.

"It's as I said," Castiel explains. "We keep our promises."

He presses down, hard, on the stomach wound, and Jimmy's cry of pain coincides with a blinding flash of angelic light.