Sam is startled out of the bunkers silence when he hears his cell ringing. It’s the default tone, so not Dean or Cas. He picks it up to check the caller ID and sees “666” as the calling number.
Narrowing his eyes, Sam flips open the phone, “Crowley. What do you want?”
“Well, hello to you too, Moose. I see you haven’t gotten any nicer since our last conversation, hmm?”
“Gonna hang up.” Sam threatened.
“No, no, no, wait. I do actually have a pressing matter at hand.” The demon quickly interjected.
“I’m not doing anymore favors for you, Crowley.”
“It’s not a favor, well, not directly, anyways.” At Sam’s sigh, the demon hurriedly continued. “It’s a matter I’d usually take up with the men of letters, and I have before in the past. Not a huge, major deal, mostly just a pain in my ass, and it messes with the running of hell. So, seeing as you’re the last remaining men of letters who would be even willing to have this conversation. I’m stuck with the two of you.”
“And what exactly is this not-favor you’ll be asking?” Sam says.
“Well, you see, I want you to take a creature for me,” Crowley answers.
A long pause occurs.
“WHY WOULD I DO THAT.” Sam asks him, incredulously.
“Well, I don’t want it in hell anymore, and my options are pretty limited!” Crowley answered.
“Not a good enough reason.”
“C’mon Sam, it was your forefathers that took the last one, and it’ll be a good opportunity to study a relatively harmless hell creature? I assume that’s what happened to the last one. Although it’s not like they can actually technically die.” The demon says.
“They is referring to who, or what , exactly?” Sam asks.
“Well, they don’t really have a name exactly, not even in demon tongue, it’s just a hell beastie. They’re about the size of ehh, a medium sized dog? This one is just a calf, pretty young for its breed. However, it is old enough that it’s been crossbreeding with the hellhounds-,”
and I cannot have that continuing to happen, because the mutts useless for soul retrieval.”
“That doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me.”
“But it is, Sam! Hell hounds also guard souls in their travels between realms, and souls getting lost or detained as you know is a terrible thing.”
“Why can’t you just get rid of it?”
“I wish it was that easy, Moose. Sadly however, these things are immortal, so I can’t just kill it. And they’re quite powerful, so even if I knew how to banish it or managed to chase it off, it’d just show back up again. They are pack or flocking creatures, and evidently my hellhounds are close enough for it to stick around and play house with.”
Sam sighs. “I guess that answers my question.” He sighs again. “Alright. I will take this, thing, from you, but strictly for research purposes and a representative of the men of letters.”
“However,” Sam continues, “It will be on non-negotiable conditions.”
“Less fantastic, but continue.”
“One, you will be summoned into a demon-trap for the entirety of the trade off, and you will leave the premisses immediately upon the end of the transaction. And two, you will no longer have any claim over said creature.”
Crowley makes some indistinct muttering over the phone, however in person, he is debating the merits of allowing himself to be trapped and decides that as the king of hell, and with his tricky mind, it is of minimal risk to his person. “I will accept your conditions on the contingency of one of my own. The angel can’t be there.”
Sam rolls his eyes. “Yeah, okay, I’ll make sure that Cas is out while you’re here. Probably Dean too, while we’re at it.”
“Lovely, just give me a time and date, draling, and I’ll have the bastard ready.” The demon purred.
A short arrangement later, some careful suggestions on Sam’s part to get Dean out of the bunker for the day, and a spray painted devils trap laid down on a large painters tarp in the living room(easy, transportable, and convenient) and a short latin incantation and Sam had successfully summoned himself a demon and a hell-beast.
Sam stares at the creature sitting at the demon’s feet. “I thought you said it was a calf?”
“Yes, I did. Or at least it looks sort of like a calf, it’s not technically a calf at all, it’s a hell-beast.” Crowley reminds him.
Sam stares at the thing a little harder, then squints and tilts his head a little, before finally looking back up at Crowley. “So why does it look like a dog?”
“Ah. Well, it’s a hellion, and a lot like hell hounds in that regard. For those of us who can see them, these besties change depending on the person looking at them. I see a calf, and I guess you see a dog.” Crowley explains with a small sigh, probably using up whatever minuscule quiota of patience he had set aside for the day.
Despite looking, to Sam at least, far more like a hound/mutt type puppy than any kind of bovine, it was.. sort of cute. A tail that was narrow and slender until it gradually switched to being all fluffy out at the end. A square, boxy face with a slender jaw, almost like that of a jackal, and deep, dark eyes, that seemed to contain the multitude of galaxies as well as the lightless pull of a thousand black holes. Okay, it might be cute, but in like, a really, really weird way.
Sam stares at the demon standing in front of him, suit impeccable and his polished shoes which currently had a pup draped across them in an incredibly lazy way. A leather leash that Sam suspects might have once been at one point a belt dangles from the demon's hand, the other end attached around the pup’s throat.
“Well?” Crowley asks, “Will you take him, or not?”
Sam sighs. “Yeah I guess.” He reaches out a hand, intending to take the leash from him, but instead Crowley ignores him to crouch briefly and unhook the strap. He then proceeds to slide the entirety of the dog towards Sam.
Sam hesitates, looking between the two of them for a few brief seconds, before patting his leg and making an encouraging sound.
“Here, pup.” Sam said, feeling incredibly awkward. How did one talk to a demonic half creature, especially one that was as young and as almost-sort-of-cute as this one was?
To his surprise, the pup happily leapt to its feet and raced over to him, headbutting him briefly before rubbing against his legs in a strangely cat like way.
“Hey, little guy. It is a guy?” He asked, looking up and question directed towards Crowley.
Crowley shrugs. “It’s a hell creature, they work in way stranger ways than you humans will ever even want to know of. You can call it whatever you’d like, Sam, doesn’t matter to the creature.”
“Uh, okay, that makes sense, I guess.” Sam asked looking back towards where the thing is staring up at him with black fathomless eyes that still somehow seem to be filled with joy and wonder. “Uh, sit?” The pup sits down. Sam pats him on the head.
‘So, uh, what now?” Sam says, a single earthy brown lock falling onto his forehead as he peered at the demon.
“Now,” Crowley tells him, “You let me be on my merry way, and I never have to deal with the destructive darling ever again.”
Sam looks over to where the pup is now mouthing on a bottle of what used to contain herbs. Oops, well, sage probably wouldn’t hurt him, but Sam would probably have to think about getting him some toys or something later. Probably.
The two turn as the sound of the bunker door slamming shut reaches them.
“Shit, Dean must be home early.”
Crowley huffs and rolls his eyes. “Of course, it’s not like anything can go well with either of you.”
Dean can’t see Crowley from where he enters the next room, only the creature and a sliver of Sam.
“SAM.” He yells. “I told you last time, dammit! No dogs in the damn bunker! I don’t care where you found this one, take it back!” He bursts into the room and slams to a halt, briefly staring before turning back to Sam.
“Why, the fuck , is Crowley here?”
Sam sighs. He is so done with this shit. “It’s not a dog Dean, it’s a creature from hell. Not-,” he emphasized to Dean, who had gone pale, “-a hellhound. But as the men of letters, we’re taking charge of it, it’s immortal and can’t be killed, so please don’t try.”
Dean reluctantly tucks the gun he had in his hand back into his waistband. “Fine.”
“Dean Winchester doesn’t like dogs. Fascinating.” Crowley mused.
“He’s allergic to dogs and cats, actually.” Sam muttered quietly.
“Shut the hell up, Sam!”
“Well,” Crowley replied. “The good news is this isn’t a dog or a cat, so no shedding, and most likely no allergies. And it appears differently to each person. For example, while you and Sam see it as a hound of some sort, I see it as a young bull calf.” He informed them smugly.
“Great, so know we have some sort of freakish cow-dog living here?” Dean asked.
Sam snorts. “A cow-dog, great name.”
A swoosh of wings. They all look over to where Castiel is now standing in the bunker, looking confused and wearing his ever-present trench coat.
“Why do you have Crowley in a devils trap?” Cas inquires, sounding more interested than confused. “Also, there is an animal in the bunker.”
“The fuck, Samuel Winchester! I did not agree to a meeting with a damn angel present!” Crowley yelled, looking a bit scared, he had quite obviously not planned on the angel showing up at all, risks being what they are and all that.
“This is why I didn’t want Dean here! Cas always shows up when he’s around!.” Sam yells back.
“That is not true Samantha! You’re just, jealous!” Dean says accusingly.
“Of what? Cas only showing up when you’re around?” Sam shoots back.
“Shush, both of you.” Castiel tells them sternly. “Now, what is this animal?”
“It’s a bastard that’s been crossbreeding with my hellhounds, and now I’m going to be having mixed mutts for years.” Crowley grudgingly tells them, before sighing dramatically. “They’re easy enough to train, I guess, but the mutts are useless to work as hellhounds. I don’t suppose you’d take them as well.” Crowley speaks turning a questioning look at Sam.
“No.” Dean says firmly. “One of these things is enough, and we don’t need literal hellhounds in the bunker!”
“They’re great guard animals.” Crowley tempts.
Dean gives him a bitchy look.
“Why did Crowley bring it here?” Cas asks, coaxing the group back to rationality.
“Since we’re currently the only semi-functional group of men of letters around, and he took the last one he found to them. Who knows what happened to it. But evidently they’re immortal, and kind of indestructible.” Sam says.
Crowley looks suddenly interested. “You know, they appear differently to each person who sees them. What do you see, angel?”
“Don’t call me that.” Cas says dismissively. He cocks his head to one side, studying the creature intently. “I see a cat, large for its age, possibly a linx or young panther.”
He crouches down and extends a hand to the baby. It’s ears perk, and the little thing tumbles it’s way across the floor to rub itself against his hand. Castiel’s face softens, and he moves to give it scritches under its chin.
“I believe keeping it would be a wise course of action for us.” He says seriously, glancing between Sam and Dean. Sam looks amused.
“Great, Sam gets his dog, Cas can finally have a cat, and it won’t kill me so I guess it’s freaking staying.” He throws his hand in the air, before turning and glowering at Crowley.
“You’ve dropped it off, now get the fuck out.”
Crowley looks pointedly at Sam, who quickly scuffs a foot across the still drying paint of the devils trap, maring it and allowing the demon to leave as fast as he had arrived.
The cow-dog-cat has made its way into Castiel's arms, and is purring. They watch as the creature rubs its face against Cas’s cheek, who leans into it with a contented smile. Dean’s own expression shifts.
“Well, I guess having the thing here won’t be that bad.” He mutters.
Sam gives him a knowing look, and Dean glares back at him.
“Shut up, Sam.
“You don’t have to say anything, I know your stupid face, so shove off!”
“Stop arguing you two.” Castiel interjects. “I don’t want you spooking Des.”
“Excuse me? Who?” Dean exclaims.
Cas looks embarrassed. “It means “obscurity” in Enochian, I thought it would be fitting, since his appearance is in fact, obscure to us.”
Cas looked down in dejection and Dean floundered, before seeming to finally settle on a single emotion.
“It’s perfect Cas.” Dean says softly, unable to stay mad at the angel. “It fits him.”