Crowley requests the scratches he leaves on Castiel’s skin not be magically healed, lest the chance for his precious human friends to know what one could really do to an Angel should the occasion ever arise. He thinks about this as he makes those pretty little marks. Dozens scoring his back where his true self would have had wings, his mortal vessel unable to contain their power yet when it came to it, there didn’t appear to be an upper limit on all the things he could do with that supposedly fragile body.
But on those few instances when his body did end up broken, by enemies or people Castiel alluded to as old friends, Crowley longed to pull the metaphorical horns off the demons, or the literal wings off the Angels, responsible. On quite a few instances, when he could coax names out of him, he got his wish. After all, only he was allowed to render Castiel helpless and only in his very own, different way.
Castiel is surprised how easily he takes to lying. One big act and lots of little white lies. To call Crowley all the despicable names under the sun, meaning them entirely but not in the context imagined by the naive brothers.
He burns the fake bones in front of them and then hours later sends white light through Crowley, burning his actual bones, a little Angelic humour mixing in with the brands protecting him from his kin.
When Dean and Sam discover Crowley’s continued existence, he is torn for just the briefest of seconds. How far would he got o make sure they don’t find him and by proxy, find his long list of dirty little secrets, a list that refuses to stop growing.
The fact they know scares Crowley, he can see it in his exaggerated gestures and the fact he can’t pick a consistent volume at which to speak. He does whatever it takes to take his mind off going after the Winchesters. He makes threats and makes the tiles on the wall crack. He leaves with tension so thick in the air; he knows he will pay for it later.
He’s pretty sure it’s going to be a moment of great surprise to all of them when he is inevitably made to choose. When that time comes, surrounded by fire, Crowley’s army banging at the door and Dean’s eyes shining with disappointment, he is glad that choice is taken away from him. In his own little way, Crowley rescues him.
They will come for him now, both himself and Crowley and he knows it will end badly with body parts scattered like fallen leaves and souls sentenced to endless torment. Heaven and Hell will all come knocking on their door and while he could risk that, Crowley was in this because of dissention in his ranks, could he risk the same?
He cuts him out in an act that looks cold and self-serving. He brings it all down, their arrangement, everything, just like he’d said he would. It’s a hollow victory after that, guilt swimming with all the souls inside him. He tells himself it was a necessary cruelty in order to be kind, more to convince himself than anything else. Not that it works.
For one second there he’d thought Castiel had returned to him. His Angel to become his God. His head swam imagining all the new games they could play in the name of worship.
Castiel and his damn conscience, he always knew it’d be both their downfall eventually.