Disclaimer: I didn't create Supernatural or Castiel. Sadly. Please don't sue me because that would make me sad. ):

Author's Note: This is an angsty little mini fic I started a few months ago and finally got around to finishing. Because you can never have too much Castiel angst. Or apparently I can't. It's set in season 5 so vague spoilers for season 4 and 5.

These Things Are Not Mine

The human concept of family was a strange one to Castiel. Foreign.

He had countless brothers and sisters but they would never share a meal together. Angels did not eat. They did not sit around tables and tell stories, laughing, and enjoying each other's company.

He had a father but he'd never seen Him. Few had. His Father had always been good to them, asking only faith, nothing more. And Castiel had never questioned, never wondered about things beyond his current task.

Now things were different.

Often Castiel blamed his borrowed body. This vessel made things difficult for him. With it he could touch and taste and feel the human world in a way he never had before. Flesh was a curse as much as it was a blessing. His borrowed form made him feel. Even now it longed for its own family. The woman, Amelia, and the daughter, Claire.

Without a thought, Castiel stood in the yard of the Novak's home. They had moved someplace new, a safe haven after the demons had found them in Pontiac, Illinois, but it wasn't hard to find them again.

They had settled in months ago, packing away cardboard moving boxes and arranging furniture. Amelia slept in the bed meant for two, alone. Jimmy's clothes were neatly folded and sealed into boxes in the basement. Castiel often wondered why she kept them. The box was marked with Jimmy's name in neat block letters. It sat in the corner on the cement floor beneath boxes of dishes and Claire's old toys. The photographs bearing Jimmy's face had mostly disappeared in the move, sealed away in another box or in photo albums. The girl, Claire, still kept one in a drawer beside her bed. On one of his previous visits, Castiel had seen her take it out, speaking to the smiling man in the frame as if he could hear her.

Castiel told himself that the visits were merely a precaution. He had promised after all. It was his responsibility to ensure their safety until the end of their short human lives.

But one night he'd found his name on the girl's lips.

Kneeling beside the bed, hands clasped in prayer, she had whispered his name. "Castiel."

It drew him instantly but he stayed hidden, uncomfortable in the golden glow of her bedroom. He was aware of his own recklessness. He should never have come so near.

"Please keep Daddy safe."

Her eyes were closed. She wouldn't have known he was there even if he allowed his form to manifest. But he didn't do it. To this girl, Castiel would be an impostor behind her father's eyes.

Castiel stood for a long time, watching the girl with her head bent in prayer. As the words flowed from her, silently filling his mind, Castiel reached out a hand to stroke her hair back from where it had fallen over her forehead. Barely a breath away, he stopped.

He was halfway across the world before he had time to consider what he'd been doing.

He told himself that it was a product of Jimmy's longing. The man was still awake, somewhere inside of this body. Castiel reminded himself of this as he stood outside their house watching Amelia and Claire sit down to dinner. It was because of Jimmy that he watched the smiling curve of their lips as they spoke to each other. Because of him, Castiel stayed, uncomfortable and alone. This was not his life, not his body. These feelings did not belong to him.

There were other matters to attend to. The war between Heaven and Hell for one. With every passing moment, Lucifer drew closer to his goal and it was unwise for Castiel to be around the Novak family. Heaven would think to search for him there sooner or later.

But he had promised and he always kept his promises.

Castiel stood on the lawn of their house and watched the lights go out one by one.