While demons found torturing victims fun and exciting, and in some cases even stimulating, being tortured themselves was an entirely different story.
Where he was, Crowley didn’t know. What he did know was the room he was being held in was a nightmare in itself. It was a place where there was no sense of time and made him think that he had been here for far too long. There was also a dampness to his prison that choked him whenever he took in a breath.
He was beginning to think that that he had some internal injuries. When Crowley coughed, blood dribbled from his mouth and down his chin. Any other day he would have reached up and wipe the liquid away, but whenever he moved his arms, the chains binding his wrists to the wall rattled.
The only thing that he could manage was to poke his tongue out of his mouth, giving lazy sweeps to clean the blood away. His attempt didn’t help because the taste of his own blood made him cough again, leaving him even messier than he was before.
His eyes searched for something, anything, in the dark of the room for hours and hours, but found nothingness. His eyes slipped closed and he strained his ears to hear what was beyond the walls.
Usually his days were quiet, save for the time his captors came to pay him visits, but today was different. Today was loud, filled with gunshots and shouting beyond the walls that held him.
The locks on the door were being unlocked, squeaking and clanging as they always did.
Licking his lips, Crowley could taste his own blood on his lips. He wondered who was gracing him with their presence. The door swung open to reveal a silhouette behind a shining light. Crowley could smell traces of gunpowder, the outline of a gun in the silhouette’s hand. The light made his eyes burn, but he didn’t look away. If he did there was a chance that this was all his mind and Crowley wasn’t sure if he could handle that reality.
“Oh Crowley,” came a voice from across the room.
Everything went black.
Crowley woke with a start, gasping for breath, and a pounding headache that made him wonder how much he had to drink last night at the pub. He half expected to be lying on the powder blue sheet of his mortal years, but as fate would have it, Fergus McLeod traded in his soul a long time ago for a couple more inches below the belt. So instead of a warm bed, Crowley lay on the dingy backseats of a unfamiliar car.
His body felt real and heavy, and bound to Earth.
Breathing in, Crowley took in the scent of dried blood and tried to raise his head. The car gave a jerk as it stopped and his head bounced off the seat, then back down to smack against it. Letting out a sound halfway between a grunt and whine, Crowley squeezed his eyes closed his eyes. The pain radiated in his skull as he tried to will it away.
The car door opened, then slammed closed. The sound of heavy footsteps against gravel faded only to return a few minutes later. The car door opened again, two arms encircled his shoulders, dragging him across the seat and out into the open. He let out a warning growl to the stranger, trying to find his footing. Stumbling, his head lulling to the side Crowley gave up trying to control his borrowed body and let himself be taken wherever the stranger wanted him to go.
He was being laid back down on something soft. Probably a bed, his mind chimed in. How long has it been since he had been attacked? How bad had he been hurt?
A cool cloth was being pressed against his forehead, getting rid of the blood scent that flared in his nostrils. “Go back to sleep, Crowley,” A soft voice mumbled and if he had been more aware Crowley would have considered the tone as worn and tired. A hand dragged over his forehead brushing back his hair. Crowley’s eyelids felt heavy. He was a demon, he had a job to do before it was too late. He wasn’t meant to feel tired. Sleep shouldn’t have sounded like a good thing to him, but it did.
The next time Crowley woke up, he was laying in a dingy hotel bed. He let out a groan he turned his head and tried to go back to sleep, but his head protested with thoughts that he would have gladly pushed down if he could.
Opening his eyes, Crowley took in a very unpleasant sight. Across the room, Sam Winchester was sitting in one of the chairs reading a book. Without much thought Crowley snorted and shook his head the best he could without lifting it off the pillow. Wondering absently, if the man was comfortable or if he was uncomfortable was just good at hiding it.
It may have been a trick of the light because Crowley could have sworn that the hunter’s eyes flickered, for just for a moment, from yellow back to a darker more human color.
And with every intention of questioning the man about how much demon blood he had consumed recently, Crowley opened his mouth a moment too late. Sam had already noticed him. He got the answer to his unspoken question answered anyways. His eyes were practically glowing. “Morning,” Sam smiled at him.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Crowley managed to bite out, wanting nothing more to be anywhere else but with the youngest Winchester, who had seemed to find him no matter where he went.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Sam tilted his head at the demon on the bed like he didn‘t understand the question.
“You’ve been following me ever since Nevada,” Crowley ventured further. Or at least Crowley thought it was Nevada, maybe he was mistaken.
Humans for the most part were very stupid creatures, but the ones who had attacked him had been hunters who had known what they were doing. His head throbbed when he tried to remember what it was they used to attack him with. How had Winchester saved him? Did he drink demon’s blood for the sole purpose of saving Crowley or was there another reason?
All of his questions only made Crowley’s head hurt more. When he tried to reach up and pinch the bridge of his nose to will the headache away, but found that he didn’t have the strength to do so, and his hand lay twitching against the sheets uselessly.
“I want to make a deal with you.”
“No,” Crowley hissed, whether it was from pain or anger neither of them knew. “I don’t want to make a bloody deal with you of all people.”
“Please,” Sam pleaded. He made to get up from his chair but then paused to reconsider his approach. “You owe me for saving you.”
Crowley screwed his eyes shut and licked his dry lips, “I haven’t seen your idiotic brother in months.”
“But you know where he is,” Sam was certain of this. “Or at least where he has been.”
Over the past months since his brother’s departure and the recent outbreak of the demonic virus, Sam must have been doing research in an effort to find his brother and all that research must have proven that if he wanted help, the King of the Crossroads was the demon he needed, if only because Crowley was rumored to be working with Castiel and Dean against Lucifer. “You can take me to him.”
“He doesn’t want to see you,” Crowley tried to turn away from him, but found that he didn’t have the energy to do so. “Go away.”
For a moment, Crowley thought the man would leave him be.
“I have no where else to go.” It was a lie on Sam’s part. There were a million different places he could have been, places untouched where people looked onward without so much as a thought. People who thought the virus would be contained within the contained area, who had believed the people on the news would not survive the impending storm that was to come. This is just where Sam wanted to be, where he needed to be.
“I have my own business to deal with,” The demon lied as a last resort. Lucifer had begun the process of draining the demons of their powers. Most of them now lived in hiding, Crowley included. It was likely that the soon-to-be former demons and the hunters that had actually prepared for a disaster like this one would be the ones to survive. It was only a matter of time.
“I don’t mind,” Sam answered truthfully, hopefully even. “It’s not like I have anything better to do. Eventually, you‘ll need to find Dean anyways, every demon I’ve run into says you’re helping him.”
Crowley stared at the dingy looking man wanting to protest further, but it seemed that the hunter had finally cornered him and would not take no as an answer. As Crowley stared at him though, he took a good long hard look and started to notice details that he hadn’t before. His brow furrowed at what he saw. “What happened to your hair?”
Sam simply blinked at him, placed the forgotten book on the table next to a pair of sunglasses that were probably used to conceal current unnaturalness of his eyes. He reached up to run a hand over his head as if he was checking to see if there was something wrong was his head. His hand brushed over hair, but his once long hair was gone and now no longer than half an inch long.
A few states over they thought that the disease might have been transmitted through bugs or animals or something stupid like that. Sam could still remember the way they had dragged him from his bed, pulled at his hair and cut his locks as quickly as they could. He may have cried out when they used the clippers to get the access hair off, jerking his head to the side as they did so.
He wasn’t willing to give Crowley the pleasure of his humiliation . Instead, Sam smiled at the demon jokingly and said, “What, you don’t like it?” Crowley rolled his eyes at the hunter and they fell into a comfortable silence. In that silence, the demon made a decision he would probably regret later.
“We’ll leave first thing in the morning,” Crowley whispered quietly as he drifted back into a dreamless slumber. He didn’t have to see Sam to know that the human was smiling. His yellow eyes twinkling in absolute delight.
Crowley took Sam to Bobby’s house because it is the place he last saw Dean Winchester. The oldest Winchester wasn’t there. No one was.
Crowley lingered in the doorway, where the paint was chipping and peeling from age and neglect. He looked down to examine his nails, trying to not looked interested in what Sam was doing.
Instead of some big sappy reunion with his brother and friends, Sam stood in the middle of the empty den and looked over the house that lay ripped apart in shambles.
Gliding his hands over Bobby’s torn and bloodied wheelchair, he silently hoped that Bobby hadn’t suffered and that Dean and Castiel had gotten away safely. He turned the desk, walking behind it to trace his fingertips over the spines of Bobby’s book. His eyes moving up and down reading familiar titles.
He pulled them from the shelf and threw them atop the dusty desk. The older ones about demons and some of the ones about folklore would be useful later on while the thicker, newer volumes would have to be left behind. As Sam stuffed the selected few into his bag, he hoped that he wasn’t making a mistake leaving the others behind.
The vent of the fireplace was open and the air from outside rushed down the chimney and hummed hollowly and appropriately. Sam didn’t understand why it was open, it was warm outside and there was no need for a fire. Like most things that he didn’t understand, Sam didn’t dwell on it too long because the answer he would find would only cause him pain.
Digging his fingernails into the molding Sam pulls the piece of wood that protects the hidden cubby off easily. He finds another leather bound book inside and quickly stuffs it into his bag without much thought.
Slinging the strap over his shoulder, Sam exited the house and didn’t look back.
Somewhere else in the world, there was a hellhound with dulling midnight black fur that was thick and coarse. A hellhound with amber eyes that glowed and pupils that constricted in the dark.
There was a noise behind him. Turning the hellhound bared his stained teeth at the human that had been following him in warning.
The human was trying not to make noise, but still the hellhound heard the rustle of clothes and heavy breathing. He snapped his jaw and a whimper came. The human backed away from him. The smell of fear filled his nose, he licked his teeth.
Lifting his head, the hound smelled the air. The bright ones had come when their guard was down. His brothers and sisters were all dead and his Master had been missing for months now.
Was his Master dead too? No, there was something in the air, a faint smell that he could track.
The hellhound howled and ran off leaving the foul smelling human behind.
The next couple of months passed rather uneventfully for both of them. Sam had been right when he said he was happy to just tag along with the demon. The hunter did not grow restless when they lingered in towns for more than a few days than necessary and usually preferred to stay in one place between their hunts.
It became easier when the people started dying and the roadside towns became less crowded. They would usually say in boarded up house or abandoned motels. Keys were usually left in plain sight in the owners’ hasty retreat.
And though Crowley would not admit it, Sam had been helpful in some ways. Plus, after centuries of being surrounded by demons it was nice to not have to watch his back constantly and have a pleasant conversation as opposed to the usual hostile negotiations he was use to.
Winter was pushing itself closer with each day, starting to make tracking demons harder and travel even worse. They had settled down in an abandoned house just outside of a town in Colorado where no one could bother them to wait the cold months out. Crowley had decorated the house with every ward Sam hadn’t even known existed.
It wasn’t often they went into town, but Crowley had gotten a tip of a nearby nest. So, before they set out on the trip they stopped at the diner around seven.
While Crowley saved their booth, Sam made his way to the bathroom, ignoring the curious stares of the other customers. On the way there he made sure he checked the date on a newspaper that was on the counter. The virus was beginning to spread more rapidly now and it seemed like every town they visited had some procedure to keep the diseased humans contained. It made traveling harder, if not possible at all.
The demon looked up from his cup of coffee as Sam sat down. If Crowley was worried about the Croatoan virus or the nest they were going to encounter in a few hours, he didn't show it.
“You’ve stopped drinking demon blood.”
“I wasn’t exactly planning on making it a ritual.” Sam stared at the roof the car, the heater was on full blast, trying to cut through the chill inside the car. To any normal human Sam was shaking from cold, but the truth was that he shook from withdrawal. He had already buried his sunglasses under the clothes in his bag because his eyes had turned back to the plain green ones.
There was still a chance that he would have to feed again and use his powers. His chest tightened at the thought of the surge of power that come to him when he consumed demon blood and the rush of ripping a demon from its’ body.
Last week had been the tipping point for Sam. He hadn’t even tried to save the unlucky person that had been chosen as a suitable vessel for the demon they were hunting. Sam didn’t remember much of the incident, but when his mind cleared and he became aware of his surroundings Sam had been standing over a bloodied body.
Crowley had found him shortly after that. He hadn’t looked at Sam with disgust or fear like Dean once had, but with indifference. Still, the idea of losing control was not something Sam wanted to dwell upon or have to deal with every time he had contact with a demon.
The radio was turned down to the lowest volume, playing some song that Sam couldn’t bother remembering the name of. "When did you learn to drive?" Sam asked trying to change the subject.
Crowley snorted, his smiling eyes flickering to the man beside him. "Use to own a Bentley.”
There was a smile on Crowley's face that made Sam feel like he missed the joke the demon was trying to tell, but he didn't say anything.
Instead, he stared out the window. There's not much to look at, dirt and few shrubs every few yards. Sam wished for rolling hills or maybe a dark forests where they could be less exposed. Lucifer was likely looking for them, and the creatures that he controlled where probably trailing them.
“Where are we going?”
Crowley sighed, "Has anyone ever told you Sammy boy, that you talk too much?“ Despite all his worries, Sam rolled his eyes and smiled.
“Oh, you like it.”
The bones in his hands felt like they had been placed in a jar and shaken up. They were blackened with dirt and gun powder, his knuckles where scrapped and in need of cleaning. He gripped the shotgun tighter and tried not to whine when pain shot down towards his arms.
The group of demons they had been tracking had scattered when Crowley had surprised them and Sam, who had been told to stay at in the car, had managed to shoot some of the demons that escaped, but there were still a few that got past both of them. Crowley had been pretty sore about the entire situation. They didn’t have the time to hunt, but they needed information about Lucifer’s whereabouts.
It was days like this one that Sam hated the most because on days like this one, long and trying and full of death always resolved into nothing good. Without thought Sam raised his head and looked to the sky for a moment. Grey clouds had began to form in the fading blue sky, but they didn't look they would cause any real trouble except perhaps cover the moon tonight and bleach the sky a pale gray. He kept his ears open and listened to Crowley, who had started to trot towards the empty barn without him and disappeared without so much as a blink of a eye.
By the time he lowered his head, Crowley was coming around the building and Sam knew that he would probably get a rude remark about his daydreaming later on the way back home. Long days, he had discovered, resulted in easy fights between them.
“Dead end,” Crowley growled.
Sam snorted and looked back up at the sky, closed his eyes and listened. “Nice detective skills.”
“Oh shut up, Moose,” he snapped at the man.
Sam turned towards him laughing. “Moose?”
Crowley looked down, torn between feeling embarrassed and ashamed at the momentary slip in control. He decided he shouldn’t feel either of these emotions, but he did. If he opened his mouth now, he knew that he would say something he would regret. It didn’t help that more than a few times he catches Sam sneaking curious glances at him.
“Moose,” Sam repeated the Crowley’s moniker as he walked back towards the car. He turned back and smiled at the demon lazily. “I like that.”
The demon regarded him for a moment. His shining eyes bore unblinking into the retreating Sam, mentally trying to get the hunter turn around to admit to his likely deception, but it never came. A moment passed and the demon stopped his silent interrogation by turning his head to stare at the grass in the distance that rolled in the wind like a sea of green waves. The leaves on the tree shook and their shadows followed.
Then, Sam screamed.
Crowley whipped his head back at the sound to see the man bounce across the ground and land some feet away, his gun flew in the opposite direction. Going off with a loud crack as it when off.
He swore when he saw the cause, and allowed his body to be lifted and from reality and then back to. Crowley crotched in front of Sam’s limp body, he wrapped an arm around the hunter’s waist and pulled Sam back tightly to the his chest. Crowley was grateful that Sam was unconscious and unable to struggle against his embrace.
The demon that had attacked Sam stood unmoving, his head tilted to the side as if he was considering Crowley’s sudden appearance as interesting. Crowley could see the demon lick his top lip and then curl his mouth into a toothy grin. A look, that in Crowley’s opinion, the demon’s meat suit really couldn’t pull off. Nevertheless, he knew how to fix it so that the demon had a much more suited look.
With a thought in his head and a smirk on his lips, Crowley snapped his fingers. The strong familiar feeling of power as it coursed through his arm as the demon’s head flew back. Blood burst from his face and his body crumpled to the ground unmoving.
Crowley tried to maneuver Sam’s body to check for injury. Running his hands over Sam’s arms, legs, and torso Crowley found no broken bones. In fact, except for the swelling bruises that were beginning to form on Sam’s arms or legs from the tumble he had taken and an occasional scrape or cut, Sam was relatively fine, save for being unconscious.
Sam came to in Crowley’s arms, struggling and trying to twist to face his captor. His hands burned but he managed to grab a handful of Crowley’s suit. His head ached from where it had hit the ground. He tried to blink away the tears welding up that began to weld up in his panicked state. Choking, he brought up his other arm, he rubbing his eyes against jacket covered arm.
Crowley watched hyperventilating terrified Sam intensely, trying to hold him still. Before he could yell at the man for being an idiot, Sam’s eyes rolled back into his skull and he went limp in the demon’s arms.
Bollocks, Crowley thought. He looked at the car some fifty yards away and then back to the passed out man in his arms. Grunting, he lifted Sam and carried him the best he could towards the parked vehicle. If he hadn’t just drained what little power he had left saving Sam the task would have been easier.
When this whole apocalypse business was over with, Crowley promised himself that he would rip Lucifer apart inch by inch just because he could.
“Hey, is it okay if you do the interrogations by yourself from now on?”
Crowley raised about a eyebrow. “What’s the matter, Moose. You can’t handle it?”
Sam cringed, his mouth formed into a straight line and his eyebrows furrowed. “No,” he admitted. “I can’t.”
The car fell silent.
“I don’t like sleeping,” Sam admitted quietly.
“Lucifer comes to me in my dreams. He keeps showing me horrible things like Dean and Castiel dying over and over again. All I can do is stand there and watch. Sometimes it’s worse than that even. Crowley, have you ever been afraid of what might be inside of you?”
“Inside of me?” Crowley snorted amused. Clearly, the demon thought, the man had a way of saying the most outrageous things.
“Like, sometimes I say yes to Lucifer and I’m the one doing the killings and Crowley, I like it. What does that say about me? What kind of monster do I have hidden inside me that would enjoy killing two people I love.”
“Dreams don’t mean anything, Moose.”
“You’re not going to say yes are you?” Crowley snapped at Sam for interrupting. His mood instantly souring at the thought of Sam saying yes to Lucifer. If Lucifer were to take over, Crowley had basically signed his own death warrant the minute he agreed to help Sam.
Suddenly, he felt the urge to throw something heavy at the hunter. Another’s pain always did made Crowley feel better.
“No, I’m not.”
“Then what the hell are you blabbering on about? You’re not going to say yes and you‘re not going to kill the idiot you call your brother and his pet angel, and you know why?”
Sam opened his mouth to answer, but Crowley got there first.
“Because that’s not who you are, Moose. You’re the moron who found me and kept following me until you got lucky and I finally agreed to help you. You’re the moron whose going say no to Lucifer and keep on saying no until Lucifer decides to give up and blows up the whole damn planet.”
“But we haven’t run into Lucifer yet,” Sam pointed out. They had been lucky enough not to run into Lucifer. There had been a demons, a few other monsters, and terrified humans both diseased and not. But Lucifer? No, Lucifer hadn’t bugged them at all.
“You don’t think Lucifer just gave up did you?” Crowley scoffed at him.
“Um, no?” Sam felt embarrassed. “I just thought-”
“Well,” Crowley snapped, “you thought wrong.” Sam didn’t try to argue and turned his attention back towards the window.
One night Crowley woke up suddenly from a dead sleep. Staring at the wall, he felt no need to close his eyes again and go back to sleep. He looked over his shoulder, expecting his companion to be sleeping.
Since the accident that occurred a month ago Crowley had begun to notice that Sam had been cautious and more obedient of what Crowley told him to do. Crowley couldn’t blame Sam’s shift in behavior though, the man was only human after all and the need to survive no matter what the cost was deeply rooted into his biology.
So instead of Sam curled up in a mass of warm blankets cooing in his sleep, Crowley was surprised to find the reason for his sudden awakening.
Across the room, Sam sat by the ground of his bed, rocking himself back and forth gently. Crowley’s eyes were better than most demons and even in the pitch dark room he could see the human‘s body shaking.
Sam reached up to cover his mouth with his hand, trying to snuff the sob that managed to escape anyways. His other hand pressed against one of his eyes and wipe away the tears that keep on running down his cheeks.
Crowley turned away towards the wall and closed his eyes. Sleep didn’t come to him, he didn’t want it too. He pushed the need to comfort the human down and listened until the sobs turned into hiccups and then stopped completely.
Crowley decided as he heard the bed creak and the shuffle of covers that he wouldn’t bring this up.
“You don’t get it do you,” the demon that Crowley was integrating spat out him. “If you think this is hell, you got another think coming. This disease is just the beginning to spread, it’s going to take over the freaking world.”
Twirling the crowbar into his hand, this was the sixth demon he had questioned today and not one of them had been able to answer his questions. “That wasn’t the question,” he said tiredly.
“Long live Lucifer.” the demon crackled madly at him.
Shaking his head and sighing, Crowley stepped forward. This had turned out to be a complete waste of a night that he could not afford. And while it should have, killing the demon didn’t bring him any joy.
Hopefully, the next demon would have more information.
The hotel room was dark when Crowley returned. Entering the room, he tucked the cardkey back into his jacket. He braced himself against the door for minute, pinching the bridge of his nose between his fingers. It had been a long night and he was exhausted. Pushing himself up, Crowley reached over and clicked on the lamp near the door, stiffing when he saw who was sitting across the room on the nightstand by Sam’s bed.
Crowley’s eyes darted to check Sam’s sleeping form. The hunter looked peaceful, the glow of the moon bathed Sam in a blue light. He looked back at the intruder who seemed to be ignoring him. Lucifer looked crooked. His eyes were bloodshot and they had bags under them.
“He always had such pretty eyes.” Lucifer was practically cooing as he reached over, brushing one of his fingers against Sam’s cheek to push a strand of hair behind his vessel’s ear. “He’s perfect.”
Silently, Crowley flared. His hands tightened into fists. He tried to keep his composure when he really wanted to lunge at Lucifer and rip his hand off of Sam. The devil had been torturing Sam in his sleep and now Crowley began to wonder how many times Lucifer had come while Crowley was away just to watch Sam sleep.
“He won’t say yes,” Crowley sneered. He intended to hurt Lucifer where it mattered the most.
Lucifer’s eyes flickered away from Sam to look at him. “But won’t he? We’ve had such interesting conversations while you were away. Plus, it won’t be long until you lose those precious little powers of yours and you wouldn’t be able to save him anymore, Crowley. I’m sure after that he’ll say yes soon enough.”
“He can save himself.”
Lucifer laughed at him. “We’ll see,” he said and with that he was gone. Crowley stood there staring at the spot where Lucifer had been standing. He would need to strengthen the spells he had on the car and in the back of his mind.
Crowley struggled to find his voice, still focusing on the spot where Lucifer had disappeared. “I think I know where your moronic brother is.” From his bed, Sam smiled.
The town in which Dean was suppose to be in was quarantined. Shiny new metal fences lined the outskirts of the town.
Sam kicked the fence as hard as he could, screamed obscenities, and even threw a rock.
The fence simply rattled in respond to the abuse. There was a screech in the distance, somewhere beyond the fence.
Sam stood silently with his hands on his head, looking at the destruction. The only thing Crowley could think to do was place his hand on Sam’s shoulder and lead him back to the car.
The gesture, however, had different meaning for Sam because the man turned towards him and hugged him. He didn’t talk or cry or yell at Crowley for leading him to another dead end. No, instead Sam buried his face into the crook of the demon’s shoulder with hope that Crowley would not push him away.
“What exactly does a crossroads look like?”
“What?” Crowley looked over at him trying to hide his confusion. He had a feeling that this was a conversation that probably should engage in, but the open road had left him bored and he was curious.
“You’re the King of the Crossroads aren’t you?“ Sam looked at him dumbly. “What does the crossroads look like? Is it like a place in Hell where there’s fork in the road and your house sits in the middle of that fork, or is something totally different?”
“You can’t be serious,” Crowley frowned at him. “It’s just a title.”
“Then why do they call them crossroads demons? I mean, why not soul trader demons or dealing demons?”
“Are you being intentionally thick?” Crowley hissed, putting his foot down on the gas pedal intentionally to make the car speed up. As soon as they got into the next town, Crowley was going out for a drink.
“No, sorry.” Then Sam fell silent for awhile, flipping through one of his books. “Why do demons have different eye colors? I mean, the red, black, yellow thing. Is it like some kind of system so Lucifer can tell them apart? ”
Two drinks, Crowley decided. Maybe more by the time they got into town as Sam started to question the class system of Hell.
Sam rubbed a hand over his face, digging the heel into his eye. It didn’t wake him up completely, but it helped a little. He tried to remember when he started feeling this old and wondered if there ever was a time when he didn’t feel anything other than sad and tired and worn down. There was a time he decided, maybe, when Jessica was alive perhaps, but he really didn’t want to dwell on the past at the moment.
Swallowing, he looked away from the familiar roof and rolled out of bed. He wondered how long he had been passed out as he padded barefoot into the hallway heading towards the living room where Crowley most likely was. Right now, he was too worn to be on high alert.
Crowley was sitting in one of the chairs staring out into the oblivion. In the early mornings when he couldn’t sleep, he sometimes caught Crowley in the same spot, leaning back with closed eyes. Sam wasn’t sure if he could consider it sleeping because he was pretty sure the demon knew that the human was there.
On this morning, Crowley turned his head and stared at him as he lingered in the entrance way of the room, bright scarlet eyes that pushed through the darkness. Sam glanced over his figure, turned, and left the room.
He made quickened his pace as he made his way back to the bedroom. Getting on his knee and reaching under the bed to grab the items he had placed carefully under the bed.
By the time Sam reentered the room, Crowley had let his head fall against the back of the chair. His dark eyes looked at Sam with mild interest.
There is no easy way that Sam could think of to start a conversation with a demon. So, he did it the only way he could. He threw a bundled up pair of slacks and button up shirt into the demon’s lap he had bought for Crowley in town that day while the demon was off on his own. He had hidden them in his duffle bag, too embarrassed to work up the nerve to give them to the other man.
Sam had never seen the demon wear anything other than the battered black suit. The suit looked like it had been dragged through hell and back. There were rips and tears in it, and there was no human way possible for it to be fixed.
“Here, you can’t wear that suit anymore.” Sam fidgeted. “It looks awful and reeks of blood.”
“I like the smell,” the demon replied quietly, but to Sam it felt like a hollow admission. Something he said to keep the conversation going. If anything the reply is like an olive branch. Sam could see that one of the demon’s thumbs stroking one of the plastic buttons of the shirt.
“Crowley,“ Sam looked at him apologetically at him. “I’m sorry, but -.”
“I know.” The demon turned from the window to stare at the Winchester.
The memory of meeting the demon still lingered on the surface of Sam’s mind. If someone had told him six months ago that he was going to be traveling with the King of the Crossroads, heck if someone had told him the demon was going to save his life, Sam would have laughed as he shook his head and say ‘We’ll see.’
Now, thousands of miles from where he and Dean had parted ways, hundreds of hours of interrogating lowlife demons, a few bumps and arguments later, this was where Sam found himself.
Crowley stood, dropping the clothes into the ratty chair. He wanted to burn the clothes, but he knew that Sam was right. While Sam had been passed out, Crowley had done some business without him. There was rumor Dean had been building his own army to combat against both the infected and Lucifer. Hopefully, if Crowley keep digging, Sam would be reunited with his brother.
His nostrils flared at the thought and he quickly pushed the idea down. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Sam. If he hadn’t liked Sam he wouldn’t have saved him. Over the past months Crowley had grown rather attached to the human.
Reaching up, he cupped the back of Sam’s head, pulled him close, and kissed him. It wasn’t gentle, but neither of them expected it to be. Sam groaned, opening his mouth slightly which allowed Crowley to slip his tongue into the warm mouth. Sam’s hands reached up to rest up on Crowley’s shoulders and then slide down to grab the demon’s suit lapels to pull them closer to each other.
Crowley growled as Sam’s teeth scraped against his tongue as he pulled away from the human’s mouth. Sam made a disapproving noise and tried to get the tongue back.
Demons didn't have souls. So, the best thing about kissing Sam, or any human for that matter, is that his soul tickled the inside of Crowley's mouth.
Souls were such warm things and the thing Crowley missed the most about the soul trading business now that the world has gone to hell, were the souls being the down payment. When this patchwork apocalypse had began and Crowley the majority of his powers, all the souls of the people he had made deals with had been quickly gone to Lucifer. Now with this almost useless body Crowley felt cold without them.
Crowley pulled away quickly, turning his head to cough violently, as Sam's head, along with his soul jerked back surprised.
"What?" Sam questioned him. "What's the matter?”
"Nothing," Crowley hissed back at him. "Don't you have some research to do, Moose?"
He's left Sam in the empty house without so much as flutter of the curtains, off to make some deals while he still had the power to do so. Hopefully, the demon thought as he shoved his hands into his tailored pant pockets, he could collect enough souls so that he would never feel the need to try and take Sam's again.
Crowley tugged at the collar of his new shirt. He sneered when his efforts brought no relief. Sam snickered, trying to get the demon to stop pulling.
“Hm,” Sam looked at him. His eyes traced the over Crowley’s figure and then he turned back to stare out the passenger’s window. “So, about that kiss.”
“Shut up.” This wasn’t a conversation Crowley wanted to have. Ever.
“We should talk about it.” Sam insisted.
“There’s nothing to talk about. Forget it.”
“If it helps,” Sam said. “ It was a very nice kiss.”
Crowley growled and tugged harder at his collar. Suddenly feeling hotter than he should be with the air conditioning on. One of the buttons popped off the shirt and hit the dashboard with a small tap before falling somewhere by his feet.
“Shut up, Moose.”
“I didn’t say anything,” Sam protested.
“I can hear what you’re thinking. So, shut up.”
Crowley gagged, spitting the warm liquid he had just consumed back up on the ground. He scrubbed his mouth with the back of his free hand. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, trying to scrape the horrible taste from his mouth. Grimacing, he tilted the contents of the glass toward himself.
Crowley looked towards the dry rotting stairs of the warehouse that they had been staying in. The lower level, the one he was standing on, was made of concrete and was a perfect place to interrogate the few and far between demons they had found wondering around.
Making a decision, Crowley gripped the glass loosely and ascended up the stairs.
Crowley found Sam curled up on the old wingback chair in the office upstairs. They had been using the area for sleeping and basic living. Unlike the ground level, the upper level was smaller, but what it lacked in space it made up in retaining heat.
Sam’s fingers were tapping furiously on the keyboard of his laptop. In the corner, there was a constant fire in the fireplace and it washed the room in an orange glow. Crowley paused in his movements to look at the man, noticing the way the shadows fell across the different planes of his face. He shoved the glass full of liquid into Sam’s personal space.
“What is it?”
“No,” Sam made a face and looked up at the demon. “ I don’t want of that. You drink it.”
Crowley frowned down out him and stared. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and looked down to the dingy carpet. “I can’t.”
“What you mean you can’t?” Sam snorted.
“I mean, I tried.” Crowley waved one of his hands, gesturing to the glass like it explained everything. Then, clenched his teeth and sneered when Sam still looked confused “And I can’t.”
“Oh,” Sam said because it was the only thing that could think to say.
“I think we should sleep together.”
Crowley choked on his coffee, looking over Sam who was preoccupied with eating his pancakes.
“Excuse me?” Crowley asked. He couldn’t have heard right.
“The world’s falling apart around us, Crowley.”
“And you’re afraid I’m your last chance to get laid? As flattering as that is, I’m going to have to pass.”
“I‘m serious,” Sam laughed. Then, more seriously he pointed out his reasoning. “You kissed me.”
“That was a mistake,” Crowley stabbed his own waffle vigorously.
“It’s not a mistake if you liked it.”
“I don’t think you know what a mistake it is, Moose.”
Sam smiled at him, taking another bite of his pancakes. “You like me.”
“I do not,” Crowley hissed. “Demons-”
“You’re not going to be a demon very much longer. Whatever Lucifer is planning is draining everyone’s power. If it‘s any consolation, I‘m sorry you’re not.”
“You’re sorry for a lot of things.”
“Yeah,” Sam nodded in agreement, “ I am.” He reached over to place his hand over Crowley’s, but Crowley snatched his hand away and off the table. Sam retracted his own slowly, trying not to look hurt.
There was an awkward lull before Sam smiled realizing something quite happily. “You didn’t say you didn’t like the kiss,” he said. “If-”
“You just want to get in my pants so that I wouldn’t leave you,” Crowley said. He had meant the comment as a joke, but the way the smile slid from Sam’s face and was replaced with a look of shame made Crowley wonder if the joke was more mean-spirited than he had originally thought.
The way Sam’s eyes began watering confirmed that thought and Crowley felt a twitch of guilt in his chest. Stupid human emotions. I loathe you, He thought, hoping that Sam wouldn’t start crying. The ability to comfort people wasn’t one of his strongest suits.
Crowley rolled his eyes, if he was going to upset Sam he might as well cheer him up too.
“Can’t take a joke can you? I hate to break it to you, Moose, but you’re stuck with me. I mean, you do my laundry and when you cook it doesn’t taste terrible. And don’t think that when you ramble on like a stroke victim, I’m not listening, laughing at you, and thinking of ways to use what you’re saying against you later. I’ve grown accustom to a certain standard of living, Sam Winchester. It’s not an ideal standard of living, so don’t get your knickers in a twist. ”
Sam didn’t say anything, but the corner of his lip twitched upwards for a seconded as he fought back a smile.
Crowley stared down at his coffee cup for a long while, considering his next move. “Alright,” he said finally, placing both of his hands on the table.
“Alright?” Sam asked. He took a sip of his own coffee, enjoying the way the liquid’s warmth spread down his throat and into his stomach.
“You’re right, we should sleep together.”
This time it was Sam’s turn to choke and stare at his companion with wide eyes. “I didn’t think you were going to say yes.”
“Having seconded thought?” He grinned teasingly and watched as Sam made a noise in the back of his throat, his cheeks suddenly rosier than they had been.
“No,” came the small reply accompanied by a smile that made Crowley’s chest flutter.
“I’ve been reading some of Bobby’s books you know. There might be a way to get your powers back.” Sam had brought the subject up with caution.
It had been a tough week for both of them, full of hunting and interrogating demons with no powers was little fun and had come with a lot dead ends, which disappointingly were nothing out of the ordinary.
Crowley’s thumbs tapped against the steering wheel. He felt disgusting and tired and too human. It was discomforting being so powerless and mortal. If he died now, he would spend the rest of eternity in Hell where there was promise of torture galore. The human part of him didn’t find it appealing at all.
“I’m not a hundred percent sure it’ll work, but there’s no harm if we try.”
Crowley was willing to try anything once. “What do we need?”
A few mixed concoctions and choice Latin chants later left them with nothing but disappointment.
Sometime in between a town that Crowley couldn’t remember the name of and a town he couldn’t pronounce the name of, a funny thing happened. Sam had reached over and taken his hand and seemed content just hold it in his own.
Every once in awhile, Sam’s eyes flickered towards him, as if Crowley was going to rip his hand away from the grip. Crowley tried to make a game out of it by picking a time. Three minutes and fifty three seconds was the current goal, and began counting. If Sam looked at him before the time was up, the hunter was rewarded with a cocky smile. If he didn't look, Crowley would make a rude comment about anything and everything that would make Sam want to fight him.
Crowley was pretty sure though, that Sam had caught on the game because the man kept on looking up at him now more often with a small smile that doesn't even begin to rival the demon's and made him wonder why he had been so against bringing Sam along in the first place.
It all seemed so childish, but recently Crowley discovered, he didn’t mind one bit.
Sam screamed and twisted as he tried to claw at the ground in front of him, trying to break free from the creature that had come darting out of the field and captured his thigh in a tight grip its jaw. Sam’s mind raced, trying to decide whether he should try something else like going limp and playing dead or curl up into a fetal position. Vaguely, he could hear Crowley entering the room, his footsteps heavy as he ran.
Crowley almost fell over himself trying grab hold of the creature that was attacking him and pull it off. If Sam hadn’t been scared out his mind, he would have thought it was noble and brave thing to do. Well, it would have been brave and noble if Crowley wasn’t smiling like a moron and hugging the creature around the neck with no intention of letting go.
“Crowley?” Sam questioned, the arm he had been using to shield his face fell to the ground uselessly. He was rather confused at the man before him and why .
“Hmm?” Crowley was scratching the creature’s head, which now Sam could see looked like a very big dog.
“What the hell?”
“It’s one of my hellhounds, his name is Bartemaeus,” Crowley explained affectingly as he scratched behind the creature’s pointed ears. He looked Sam who was covered in dirt from being dragged. “I see you two have met.”
“You’re joking,” Sam gawked at the large creature. He had seen plenty of depictions of hellhounds. “Wait, why can I see it?”
“He’s just a dog now,” the former demon said frowning. Crowley abandoned the hound by standing up off the floor. The dog whined at his owner, his tail beating against the floor.
“Crowley, that’s the ugliest dog I’ve ever seen.” Bartemaeus turned towards the voice, noticing that his original conquest was sitting sprawled out on the floor, he bounced over to the hunter as if he was a puppy. Sam cringed when Bartemaeus plopped himself down on the floor. It’s muzzle was stained with mud and dried blood.
“Not everything can be as beautiful as you, Sam.” Crowley rolled his eyes, the sarcasm thick on his tongue. “Finish packing, we have to hit the road.” And with that he turned and left to go back into their hotel room, leaving his pet and his companion outside.
Sam stood up, brushing himself off. He looked over to the hellhound who was studying him carefully. Sam frowned, then hesitantly he reached out his hand in front of the dog as a peace offering. He was surprised when Bartemaeus moved forward and pressed his nose to Sam’s palm.
“Don’t mind him,” Sam smiled when the hellhound licked his hand. He looked towards where Crowley had disappeared. “He’s just grouchy.”
Bartemaeus made a noise that told Sam he agreed.
Across one of the buildings in dripping red, the words ‘COATOAN’ stared dauntingly at them.
“Get back in the car,” Crowley hissed as he looked at the letters. His eyes darted to the darkened alleys of the building, then down the road they had been traveling on.
“But-” Sam started. They hadn’t even been in the town for five minutes.
“Now!” Crowley yelled, slamming his own door as he got in. Sam considered not obeying. Over Bartemaeus’ barking, something in the distance gave a sick roar. Sam just about tripped over himself as he scrambled clumsily to open his own door and climb in.
The next week, they came across a sign saying that the area had been quarantined, along with several other.
With a pen, Sam crossed each location on a worn out map. The more places that he crossed out, the closer they were to finding Dean.
“Rumor has it that the angels are all gone.”
“Really now?” Crowley looked up from inspecting his nails to the demon before him. Suddenly, Crowley was more interested that he had been in awhile. Most of the demons he had captured and integrated were mindless drones loyal to Lucifer. This one however seemed to have a brain.
“Lucifer killed them all now did he?” Crowley grimed.
“No,” the demon’s head shook. She looked panicked and not very demon-like at all. “They‘ve all given up and left.”
“Well, what do we have here?”
Crowley walked into the room casually as he could manage and sitting down at the table. He watched the human from across the room. Sam was laying on the bed in only his undershirt and boxers. His legs bent and tilted slightly sideways in what Crowley considered an invitation. He didn’t dare show any form of outward interest in the half naked man, who let a questioning noise at his question. “So,” Sam said obviously trying to be nonchalant as he looked up from his book. “Find out anything interesting?”
The demon sat down and propped his elbow on the table and tilted his head so that it rested in his hand. Crowley hair was messed up and fluffy, and his suit jacket was slung on the back of the chair he was sitting in.
“Not really,” Crowley stated. He had decided that he wouldn’t tell the hunter about what he had learned about the angels. It was possible that Castiel had not fled with his brothers and sisters, but in case he had, there was no real use in getting Sam’s hopes up.
“Liar,” Sam smiled, “I can tell when you’re lying you know and just so you know, I found out something extremely interesting.”
Both of Crowley’s eyebrows came up. “Really now?”
“Yep,” Sam nodded, “but I’m not going to tell you unless you tell me what you found out.”
Crowley snorted, his tongue ran over the point of one of his canines. Sam had told him sometime ago that Crowley did it often when he was negotiating. “Alright,” Crowley smirked, “you first.”
“This is the last one I had to read,” Sam closing the book he held as he sat up. “There was a photo.”
“Well you know what they say about pictures,” Crowley teased. Sam, however, seemed to want none of his game and got straight to his point.
“I think I know where Dean is. This is Bobby’s journal or something.” He flipped open to one of the pages and tapping his finger against the page he stopped at. “Look, Camp Chitaqua.”
Crowley’s face fell. Quickly, he stood and crossed the room. Planting himself next to his companion, he took the book and looked at the black and white photo. He recognized only one of the hunters, but it was enough to make him shake with rage.
Standing, Crowley paced the room trying to calm himself. Closing the book, he stared at the closed cover as if it held all the secrets in the world. His nostrils flared as his fingers traced over the worn leather and then he threw it at the wall, cursing as he did so.
“The entire time,” He yelled at no one in participle. His hands were shaking from the rage that swirled in his stomach. “The whole fucking time!”
The anger that settled in his stomach was like a brick of hot lead. Dean Winchester had always never been far from where he and Sam had started searched.
Sam cringed from where he sat. He looked to his hand, turned them over and ran his thumb over his calloused palm. “Crowley.”
Crowley spun around to face him. “What,” he spat out, his voice fall of venom. Sam flinched at the tone and didn’t continue. The former demon frowned and squeezed his eyes shut as tight as he could. He rubbed the back of his hand against his nose and counted to ten. Opening his eyes, he stared at the ceiling and sighed. “I don’t believe it.”
“You couldn’t have known. Hell, when we started traveling together Chitaqa was where everyone was going. You know as well as I do Dean wouldn’t have touched the place with a ten foot pole unless it was his last option.”
Looking back, Crowley realized Sam was right. Dean had probably been off bashing in demon heads with Castiel.
“Plus,” He heard Sam laugh from across the room and say halfheartedly. “Dean was never one to picking up a phone and call to say hello.” Crowley snorted in agreement. He looked over Sam with softer eyes.
“So,” Sam broke the glance and looked out the window. “What do you want to do for dinner?”
Crowley hummed as he did his best to swagger over to Sam’s side nonchalantly, “I can think of one thing.” He slipped in between the space of Sam’s legs and gathered the man into his arms. Crowley’s hand slid under Sam’s shirt and down his back. The feel of fingers brushing lightly against Sam’s spine make him shiver and the demon knew it.
Crowley could feel Sam swallow hard as he kissed from Sam’s jaw line and down his neck. Sam panted out something and started to clawing at the demon’s back trying to bring Crowley’s body closer to his. Crowley crackled at Sam when he started to make a whining noise in his throat. Though, if Sam had been in his right mind he would probably be laughing too. He was only half-aware, even now, that he was being pushed down hard into the mattress.
Crowley came off him and picked him up, barely an inch and threw him back onto the mattress. As odd as it may have seemed, the fact that Crowley liked pushing him around wasn’t unusual. From his experience Sam had figured that the roughness was a demon thing. Not that Crowley caused him pain on purpose or anything. Now that he thought about it, the roughness might have just been a Crowley thing.
The former demon growled at him suddenly and Sam stilled all movement. This had never happened before.
“Crowley?” Sam’s lips brushed against the patch of skin he had been sucking on, leaving behind a barely noticeable purple mark. With all the collar shirts that the demon wore, the hickey would never been seen. Sam felt himself smile at the thought of his hidden marks on the demon’s neck.
The growling must not have been a warning because is nibbling on his chin, He made his way down until his mouth was pressed into between the space between Sam’s neck and clavicle, mouthing at the patch of skin with interest.
Sam started to laugh at the sensations and thrusted his hips upward teasingly. His boxers were uncomfortable and damp, and he wished that Crowley would get the hint and get on with it already.
Crowley was biting down on his neck and it hurt. He struggled to get away from the mouth, but the demon’s hand was holding him in place. When he stopped trying to get away, Sam could smell blood in the air. Crowley has stopped his biting and started licking the wound.
“Damn it, Crowley,” Sam let out a frustrated noise and let go of his hold on the demon, “that hurt.” Before he could reach up a hand to touch the mark that would probably scar, Crowley’s hand was around his cock. Sam let out a startled cry, arching into the touch.
“Crowley,” he hissed.
“Yes, Sam?” the demon questioned as he gave a few gentle tugs which just about set the man under him off.
Sam cried out at the loss of Crowley‘s hand. “Please,” he managed with a straight-faced, “Make love to me.”
Crowley pursed his lips, frowning down at the human who began laughing at him.
“I’m kidding,” Sam laughed. “Please can we have sex?”
Crowley made a noise of consideration, his eyes sweeping over the body underneath him. “Alright, but only because you asked so nicely.”
He disappeared for a moment, leaving Sam on the bed. From across the room Sam could hear the sound of a bag being rummaged through.
If he wasn’t so excited, Sam might have paused to think about how thin the motel walls were and that Bartemaeus might come running in on them because of all the noise that they were making. However, with the world falling apart around them he didn’t waste time on the thought of a hellhound coming to his rescue.
Without haste he grabbed one of the pillows on the beds and placed it under his hips, and removed his shirt and boxers while he was at it. It worked out perfectly because when Crowley popped back on top of him, he shoved a slick finger into Sam without so much as a word. The sensations made the hunter happy that the scavenger hunt had been a success.
“Crowley,” he moaned, trying to unbutton the slacks of the man above him. He let out a triumphant laugh when the difficult task ended and they popped open.
“If we leave tomorrow we can be there within a week.” Crowley kissed him on the forehead. Though it was more like a quick peck on the side of his temple, Sam knew that this is Crowley’s way of caring and nodded without much thought.
The thought of being reunited with his brother was a nice one, but it had proven difficult to put his whole heart into the task. Especially because of all the disappointments they had had to endure almost daily now.
Where there once stood tall buildings of cities, now lay rumble. While its resident had once lived normal lives, now lived in diseased state or on the run trying to find safe havens.
Sam knew he had been lucky to have a traveling partner who knew how to keep safe and unseen, and that they had been lucky to only have met minor problems along the way. If they didn’t find Dean this time, Sam had already decided he would ask Crowley if they could find an abandon house out in the country with a big field for Bartemaeus.
Sam woke sometime later that night, his head resting on Crowley’s shoulder.
“Good sleep?” Crowley asked as he brought a hand over the mop of hair that had grown back, if not completely, over the past year.
“Had a dream,” Sam said sleepily, not willing to uncurl himself from Crowley just yet because it wasn’t often that Crowley let him snuggle up to him.
“Don’t remember it,” Sam yawned as he shook his head. “Had a dream though; I think it was a good one.”
“Shhh,” Crowley said. “Go back to sleep.”
“Don’t think I haven’t forgotten our deal, Crowley.”
Crowley made a noise of acknowledgement. “We didn’t kiss on it, mate, so it wasn’t a deal.”
“Crowley,” Sam said sternly. He tried to move away from Crowley, but the man’s grip tightened. Instead of fighting it, Sam adjusted his position as much as Crowley would allow, resting his cheek against Crowley’s chest.
“I don’t think Lucifer is planning much of anything,” Crowley mumbled against the crown of Sam’s head. He waited for Sam to stiffen in his arms or for a freak out.
“What makes you say that?” Sam asked quietly, turning his head to look up at Crowley who sighed and ran a hand over his face.
“When was the last time Lucifer visited?” Crowley asked.
Sam’s eyebrows knitted together, his lips formed a thin line. “I don’t know,” he said, “around the same time you lost your powers. Why?”
“The angels have gone and fled,” Crowley said flatly. “Us demons are back to being humans. Lucifer is as MIA as God himself. It’s like we’ve been abandon, Sam, and the only thing we can do is try to survive.” He turned his head to look at Sam who was staring at him with an unreadable expression. Crowley turned to look at the ceiling, closed his eyes.
Crowley sighed in annoyance. He wanted nothing more than to go to sleep now and dream the conversation they were having away.
“What Sam?” He asked despite his mind’s own protests.
“Do you think we’re going to be okay?” Sam asked.
Crowley raised his head and looked at Sam like he was crazy. His hand came back up and ran through Sam’s hair like it had earlier, coaxing him. “I really hope so,” Crowley replied honestly.
“Me too, Crowley, me too.”
Crowley stepped out of the car, his foot sinking into the muddy ground a good inch or two. He used the frame of the car door to keep his balance as he pulled his foot upward, the ground giving a gurgled pop as it released him.
He looked at the overcast sky with mild interest. The rainstorm that had seemed to be one step ahead of them all the way to Camp Chitaqua carried on its way. Anyone else would have considered the misfortune weather as a bad omen, but Crowley liked to think that the storm was clearing a path for them, washing everything clean, and leaving the road ahead of them anew.
Bartemaeus sprinted from the car sporting a new red collar, made out the several different collars clipped together, they had found in an abandon pet store on the way.
Now, as Bartemaeus eagerly splashed in the mud, Crowley thought he should probably dig out the leash that was somewhere in the trunk. He decided against the leash when he saw Sam, wearing a beanie and a jacket that was too short for his body type, chase off the dog as if he were a child.
“This place is a dump,” Crowley grumbled, if only to stop himself from smiling as Sam caught himself from slipping in the mud. Bartemaeus, thinking Sam was playing, ran in circles around him.
Crowley shivered, pulling his coat closer around him.
“I don’t know,” Sam smiled at him, making his way over to Crowley. “I kind of like it.”
Sam had managed to grab onto Bartemaeus, stopping the animal from getting dirtier then he already was. They could always give the dog a bath later.
“Doesn’t look very safe either,” Crowley looked at the barbed wire fence that closed off the camp, “or friendly.”
“When have you ever been concerned with friendliness?” Sam asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
“If you’re implying that I’m not friendly, Moose, you’re wrong. I’m one of the friendliness people I know.”
“Crowley,” Sam rolled his eyes at the comment. Then smiling, he took Crowley’s hand, leading him towards the ajar gate. “Come on, I think I saw some movement over there.”
“You Winchesters, always running into danger and then dragging me into it. It’s bloody annoying.”
Sam just laughed, tightening his grip on Crowley’s hand slightly. “I think it’s more like one of us runs into danger and the other follows,” Sam said.
“We must be morons,” Crowley chuckled as he squeezed Sam’s hand back.
“Yeah,” Sam watched as Crowley slipped through the fence after him, “I guess we are.”
There were tales, both elegantly and poorly spun, that trickled down to Crowley every once and awhile, about how Lucifer and Michael had made up and run off with one another like the other angels had.
When Crowley had first been told one of these stories, he had wondered for one brief moment, if their reunion had been anything like the Winchester brothers’ reunion, full of hugs, tears, and apologizes that were long overdue.
Years later, as old age rears its ugly head, Crowley didn’t wonder any more about the angel brothers than he had in his younger years. Even when he did think of them, those thoughts were far and few between, and often set off by Dean and Sam.
He was much more content now with staying in bed, covers drawn up to his chin with Sam, whose hair he had noticed had begun to tinge gray, tucked at his side and Bartemaeus at his feet, dreaming of a younger version of himself and Sam, and a road they had once traveled that Crowley knew could only led to one place.