Meredith had been in a deep sleep for hours. When she awoke, the first thing she noticed was how warm the surrounding environment was. She blinked a few times as her eyes adjusted to the dimness of the room she was in. At first Meredith couldn’t quite remember where she was or how she had gotten there. It was as she was contemplating her surrounds that she heard a deep purring sound next to her. She turned over and smiled at Crowley laying beside her, sleeping contently at her side, purring in his sleep and wagging his tail back and forth. That was right, she remembered now. She had gone with Crowley. He’d taken her with him to his home in hell. She moved closer to him and propped herself up on her elbow, smiling at him. She leaned forward and began to stroke his head, gently. He moved in his sleep and sighed contently. His tail wagged back and forth and she couldn’t help playing with it as it moved and gently stroking it.
“That tickles.” Crowley said, suddenly. Meredith giggled, remembering how she’d tickled him by stroking his tail before.
“Sorry, couldn’t resist.” She said.
“It’s alright, darling.” Crowley smiled. “It’s quite nice, if I’m honest.”
“You’re very adorable when you sleep like that.” She chuckled.
“I am not adorable.” He protested, stretching out his wings and limbs. “I am the King of the crossroads. A King is never adorable.” Meredith just laughed softly and snuggled closer to him.
“Well, I think you’re adorable.” She said. Crowley smiled at her words and pulled her closer to him, holding her close with his arms, his tail curled around her waist possessively. His wing laid across her like a blanket. They lay together for a few more moments, enjoying each other’s warmth and closeness. “I’d like for you to show me around today, I mean as I’m going to be staying here for a long while.” Meredith said.
“Of course, whenever you’re ready.” Crowley answered. They laid there for a few minutes more, until Meredith sat up, throwing Crowley’s wing off of her. Crowley sat up, sharply. “What’s wrong?” He asked. He noticed Meredith was sweating quite a bit.
“Nothing. I’m just really hot for some reason.” She said. “Is it usually this warm down here?” Crowley chuckled.
“Well, it is Hell.” He said. Meredith blushed, realising what she had said. Crowley thought she looked rather cute herself right now. Crowley stretched out his wings and stood up. “Maybe this’ll cool you down.” He suggested and then began to beat his wings slowly, causing a gentle cool breeze to blow in Mere’s direction.
“That’s lovely.” Meredith said, leaning into the breeze. When Crowley stopped though, Meredith found she was almost immediately hot again. Mere knew that the only way to keep cool down here would be to do as Crowley and not wear so many layers. She stripped off down to her undies, much to Crowley's surprise and delight. “There, much better.” She giggled.
“As much as I do love the view, I can’t have you wondering around hell like that.” Crowley said. Meredith was about to protest when Crowley stopped her. “Let me finish, the demons in hell are without morals, like animals, they see something pretty like you, they’ll try to take you for themselves and that’s the last thing I want.” Crowley clicked his fingers. “I hope this, is to your taste.” He said and pointed back to the bed. Meredith saw there on the bed a thin white lacey summer dress in her size. She smiled brightly.
“Thank you.” She said and hugged him. Crowley still wasn’t sure about all the hugs, but he found he liked them. Meredith changed into the dress, opting that she no longer needed a bra. Crowley approved of her show of freedom and praised her choice. She found that the dress was perfect and thanked Crowley again for the gift. “I hope it doesn’t get dirty, it’s so lovely, I wouldn’t want to ruin it.”
“Nevermind, love.” Crowley said. “I can always bring you more dresses, if you like.” Meredith blushed, she’d never been treated so well before.
“I would love that.” She said. Crowley nodded.
“That’s settled then.” He smiled. “Shall we?” He asked, directing her attention to the door with his hand. Meredith smiled and held on to his arm affectionately as they left the room together.
Crowley showed her around all the parts of hell that belonged to him and Mere was shocked about all the things she had never known about Hell. Mere found she liked Crowley’s study best. It was so elegant and gothic in it’s décor. Perfect for a King of Hell. There were two places she wasn’t allowed in and had been told never to go to. The torture chambers and a place simply known as the maze. Mere assumed this Maze was probably used to torment lost souls who tried to escape or wander. Crowley hadn’t really been very open with answers when she’d asked, but she could see the seriousness in his face when he told her never to venture there.
The final room that Crowley took her to was his Throne room, which was even more amazing than she could have imagined. The walls were adorned with carved decorations of demonic imagery and dragon like creatures. The ceiling had the most beautiful chandelier, though it only took Mere a few seconds to realise it was mostly made of bones and skulls. On each side of the room there were two huge open fire places, which were both lit and burning intensely. The Throne itself was also made of bones and had skulls on the arm rests. The seat was made of a deep purple fabric and looked amazing. Meredith couldn’t resist being cheeky and ran over to his throne, full intending to sit upon it. When she got close however, she stopped dead as something large with bright eyes walked out from behind the throne, growling and snarling at her.
“Now now, Juliet.” Crowley said, walking up behind Mere. “That’s no way to greet our guest.” Meredith looked at Crowley with a perplexed expression and then she realised that the creature before her was a hellhound. She’d never seen one before and was rather unnerved by it. “No need to be afraid, Meredith. Juliet may seem rather bad tempered, but she’s just had pups and you know how mothers get when something unknown is near their offspring.”
“I’m not afraid.” Meredith lied. “She’s very big isn’t she?” Crowley chuckled.
“Juliet, here girl.” Crowley called. The hound bounded over to Crowley and greeted him warmly, licking and nuzzling her master. Once the hound was calm, Crowley reached over and grabbed Mere’s hand. Meredith looked terrified. “It’s alright, trust me.” Crowley said. He gently laid Mere’s hand on the hounds back. The hound was very warm to the touch and her fur was soft and fluffy. Meredith began to stroke the hound, all traces of fear beginning to disappear. Juliet turned and greeted Mere with a lick or two, making Meredith laugh aloud.
“Is she your pet?” Mere asked, feeling a lot more at ease.
“Yes, she’s my favourite of my hounds.” Crowley said, also stroking the hound.
“You have more?” Meredith asked. Crowley chuckled and leaned into Mere.
“Look around you.” He laughed.
When Mere looked around, the Throne room wasn’t as empty as she had first thought. There in every corner was a hound or two, sleeping, eating, playing, on guard… They were all around her.
“There’s so many of them.” Mere said, in awe.
“I find them much more loyal and better company then most demons.” Crowley said, as another hound, came over to him to be stroked. Meredith was still stroking Juliet, when some smaller hounds, her puppies Meredith assumed, came over to be petted as well.
“I can see why.” Meredith said, affectionately ruffling the fur of the pups. She picked one up and cuddled it, like she would any other puppy. Crowley sat himself down on his throne and watched her. She seemed so happy as she played with the puppies. Some of the other hounds in the room came over to Meredith wanting attention from her too. Crowley just laughed as he watched them and soon Meredith was sounded by Hellhounds. When Meredith finally got up to join Crowley at his Throne, the hounds followed. “I think they like me.” She laughed.
“They can tell you’re their Master’s mate.” He said. Mere blushed. “They’ll be as loyal to you as they are to me.”
“I’ve never had a pet before.” Meredith said and then smiled at Crowley. Crowley was staring at her, adoration visible in his face. “Does this mean, I am your Queen?” Mere asked.
“Of course.” Crowley grinned, He grabbed her and pulled her onto his throne with him. He kissed her passionately as she got comfortable in his lap. “My beautiful Queen.” Crowley murmured as he nuzzled her neck.
Just as they were getting intimate on his throne, the doors opened and one of Crowley’s minions entered. Juliet stood and growled, making the demon hesitate. Meredith noticed how this demon was small and less elegant to look at, more raggedy.
“What is it?” Crowley demanded.
“One of your clients would like to renegotiate his contract, sir.” The demon said.
“All contracts are non negotiable.” Crowley said, waving his hand at the demon dismissively, his attention back on Meredith.
“He insists, sir.” The demon said, quickly. Crowley turned to the lesser demon and growled. The lesser demon was about to leg it when Crowley in the blink of an eye was in front of the demon and pinned him to the wall with his claws.
“He insists, does he?” Crowley said, growling angrily. “I am the King and when I say something is non negotiable, I mean it.”
“Reckons, he has information that you’d find very useful.” The lesser demon said, hurriedly. Trying to give Crowley a good reason not to kill him for disturbing him and his new queen. Crowley sighed heavily and then after a few moments he dropped the demon to the floor.
“Fine.” Crowley said. “I’ll be there shortly.” The lesser demon ran out, hastily. Not wishing to stay a moment longer than he needed to. Crowley walked back to Meredith, who was still sat upon his throne. “Duty calls, it seems.” He said. He leant forward and nuzzled against her. She stroked his head and face, tenderly.
“You were a bit harsh to that demon though, weren’t you?” Meredith said. “I’m sure he didn’t mean to disturb us.” Meredith said, softly. Crowley looked up at her and smiled.
“You’re far to kind to be their Queen.” He smiled. “They don’t deserve it.”
“Yes, they do.” She said and hugged him. “Even the damned and the broken deserve to be loved.”
“Thank you.” He said. Meredith looked up at him.
“For what?” She asked.
“For loving me.” Crowley said. “I know it can’t be an easy task, loving a thing like me. I’m grateful that you do.” Meredith smiled at him.
“It’s not hard at all.” She said. She stood up proudly and looked at her King. “Now off you go, you’ve got important work to do.”
“Yes. Ma’am.” Crowley said and winked at her. He liked it when she got commanding. “While I’m gone stay within my domain, don’t wander off.” He told her. Meredith nodded.
“I promise, I won’t wander off.” She smiled. Crowley kissed her passionately and then with a click of his fingers, he was gone.
“I hope he’ll be okay.” She said. Juliet looked up at her and whined. Meredith stroked and petted her. “I’m sure he’ll be fine, especially with all you hounds at his side.” Mere noticed that some of the hounds had indeed vanished and knew that they must have followed their master.
Meredith stayed with Juliet and the other hounds for a bit and then headed back to Crowley’s chambers. Once there she found he had left her more gifts, more dresses and the table was laid with food. He had left her a note on the bed. She read it aloud.
“For you, my darling. I hope the clothes are to your liking. Kisses, C.” Meredith blushed and then giggled. He was so romantic and she loved it. She tried them all on, dancing around the room in each one at least twice. They were all thin fabric, slightly lacey dresses in all different colours. Meredith settled for the white one from earlier for now, but had already decided which one she wanted to wear tomorrow. She then sat down to eat the food that Crowley had left for her. Some of it was familiar to her, but there was the odd occasional thing that she wasn’t too sure of. She decided to leave those things for Crowley when he returned.
After eating, Meredith had a look around all of Crowley’s rooms. She occasionally found Crowley’s hounds milling about, guarding their Master’s home. She stopped to pet each and every one of them. She found one room which seemed pretty empty, except for the black suit hanging up on a clothes stand and mirror. Mere assumed this was where Crowley must come to dress himself when in his meat suit. She then wandered into his study. Juliet was in the corner, her puppies asleep in a pile on the floor beside her. Meredith petted Juliet’s head and then went and sat in Crowley chair. There were half written contracts on the table, as well as other pieces of paper and things that looked important. She couldn’t help her curiosity and had a look through them. She understood some of the legal stuff, but most of it bored her. She stayed for a few hours, if anything just to play with Juliet’s puppies, and then left and headed back towards Crowley’s chambers.
As she was heading back she saw a couple of lesser looking demons ahead of her. She stopped, recognising one of them as the one that Crowley had man handled earlier. She wondered if it would make a difference to be kind to the demon for change, as she knew for a fact that demons were everything but nice to each other.
“Hey, you!” She called out to him, but as soon as he saw her. He legged it. “Hey, come back, I just want to talk to you.” She chased after him but lost sight of him as she turned the corner. She couldn’t see him anywhere. She sighed and turned to head back when she came face to face with another demon. She jumped and stumbled backwards. This demon was large like Crowley, his horns were twisted and bent and his claws equally as menacing.
“Well, aren’t you a pretty thing.” The demon said, as he approached. “You must be Crowley’s new plaything.”
“I’m no one’s plaything.” Meredith said, scrambling to her feet.
“Really?” He mused, tilting his head. “So you don’t belong to him then?” Meredith gulped and moved away from him. “Maybe you’d like to be my plaything instead?”
“No thanks.” Meredith said. “I’d rather not.”
“Maybe I won’t give you a choice.” He growled and lunged forward. He grasped hold of her, but Meredith fought back and slammed her kneed into his chest hard as she could. The demon stumbled back and snarled at her.
“I’m not afraid of you!” Meredith yelled. The demon’s form changed much how Crowley’s had before and his eyes glowed white.
“Well, you should be.” He said and went to lunge at her again. It was in that moment that a cloud of red smoke smashed into the other demon and send him reeling backwards. The smoke thinned and Meredith saw an enraged Crowley standing there. His eyes were burning bright red and when he roared, flames flicked out of his mouth. Meredith backed away, she was trying so hard to be brave but the white eyed demon was larger than Crowley and she suddenly became frightened for his safety as well as her own.
“Leave her be.” Crowley growled.
“Why? She’s not your plaything, I asked.” The white eyed demon snarled.
“She’s no plaything, but she is mine!” Crowley snarled.
“I saw her first, Crowley.” the other demon said. “You can’t just showed up and claim her for yourself. You may be the King of the crossroads, but you don’t rule all Hell, yet.”
“I can and I have, Astor.” Crowley said, bluntly. “Now piss off or I’ll put you back on the rack.” The other demon laughed.
“I’d like to see you try.” He laughed and then lunged at Crowley knocking him backwards. Meredith moved out of the way as the two demons began to smash into each other, their horns clanged and bounced off of the other as they tussled. Meredith’s heart pounded as she watched in terror. Sparks flew from their horns as they clashed and the stony floor below them cracked with the force of their skirmish. Meredith was frozen with terror as Astor, the larger demon smashed into Crowley sending backwards onto his back and leapt on top of him, attempting to get his fangs into Crowley’s neck. Crowley kicked out with his legs hard and then lunged for Astor’s neck. The two of them clawed and bit the other, drawing blood each time. Crowley got the upper hand for a few moments and smashed Astor’s face into the floor repeatedly. When Astor stilled, Crowley moved away and looked about for Meredith, seeking her location.
“Crowley!” Meredith shouted. “Watch out!” Astor smashed into Crowley’s back and pinned him to the floor, smashing his face into it and then raking his talons through one of Crowley’s wings. Crowley roared out and flames erupted from the cracks in the ground around them, making Astor jump back.
Meredith’s heart was pounding, she couldn’t just stand there any longer watching Crowley get battered by this other demon, she needed to do something. Meredith ran back to Crowley’s rooms and retrieved her bag as quickly as she could. As she made her way back to where Crowley and Astor were, she pulled her Angel blade from her bag, ready to defend her King. She looked around the area where they’d been fighting and was shocked when she saw the blood splattered across the floor. There was a trail of it, which she followed. There lying on the stony ground was Crowley, barely moving except for the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed.
“Crowley!” She called out and ran to him. Before she could reach him, Astor appeared in front of her. Meredith noticed how out of breathe and bloodied he was. Crowley had given him one hell of a beating and Meredith was worried that Crowley may have suffered more. He stepped forward, but stopped when Meredith held her angel blade up defensively.
“An angel’s blade?” Astor hissed. “I’d like to see you try and take me if you think you can, woman.”
“Don’t tempt me.” Meredith glared. “I’m not afraid of you.”
“I very much doubt that.” Astor said. He went to step forward again when suddenly Crowley was upon him again. Meredith quickly got out of the way as the two demons tumbled passed her, clawing and punching each other as they each tried to get the upper hand. Meredith could see the bruises and lacerations on Crowley and matched them to those on Astor. She could see that Crowley had given just as good as he’d gotten in the fight, though she was still concerned for him. Astor once again knocked Crowley down, this time he rammed his horns towards Crowley’s face. Crowley managed to move his head out of the way of the sharp points and grasped hold off one of Astor’s horns with his mouth, his fangs actually cutting into them. Astor couldn’t get his horns free no matter how much he shook his head and tried to get Crowley with his other horn. They still clawed and tussled with each other, Crowley’s grip on Astor’s horn unwavering. Meredith saw her chance and ran forward, plunging her angel blade into Astor’s thigh. He let out an almighty roar of pain, his wings shot out knocking Meredith off her feet. She hit the floor and was dazed for a few moments. When her sight returned and she looked up, she was shocked at the sight of Crowley snapping Astor’s horn off with his mouth, crushing the remnants of it between his teeth. Astor stumbled back, howling in pain. Crowley almost immediately went to Meredith, standing in front of her, wings spread wide. Astor roared at Crowley and Mere, his voice however was weakened from his injuries. Crowley stood proudly and let out a roar that shook the very ground beneath them. Astor hesitated not sure if it was just a façade, but then Crowley let out another roar which opened cracks in the floor all around them. Flames burst out of the cracks and Meredith was suddenly awe struck as she was sure she could see a crown of flames upon Crowley’s head in that moment. Astor suddenly didn’t look so brave, turning tail and fleeing.
Crowley stood for a moment breathing heavily. He turned to Meredith and smiled at her, his eyes softening as he saw she was safe. He then suddenly dropped to the floor unable to stand any longer.
“Crowley!” Meredith shrieked. She ran to him and knelt beside him. “Oh god, are you okay?”
“I’m fine, just exhausted.” Crowley said, through strained breaths.
“But you’re bleeding.” Meredith said. Crowley could see the concern in her face and that she was visibly shaken by what she had witness between the two demons. “At least let me tend to them for you.” She said, voice shaky with nerves. She rummaged in her bag for the small first aid kit she always carried in her bag. Crowley raised his hand and stopped her.
“I said, I’m fine. Don’t waste those on me,” He said. Meredith was about to speak when he stopped her. She looked down, still a bit panicky from earlier, her hands shaking. Crowley reached forward and lifted her head, so he was looking at her. He touched his forehead to hers and closed his eyes. Meredith closed her eyes almost at the time as him. “Now just relax and breathe deeply. Everything’s going to be fine now.” Crowley said, softly. “You’re safe now.” Meredith felt her heart beat slow back to it’s steady pace as she listened to his soft voice. When she felt calmer, she opened her eyes and smiled at him.
“I thought I was going to lose you.” Meredith said.
“So did I.” Crowley said. Meredith looked away feeling as if it was her fault. Crowley lifted her head with his hand again, so she was looking at him and then smiled. “It’s not your fault, so you can stop putting the blame on yourself.” He said. He sat himself up more and pulled Meredith into his arms, she hugged him tightly. “You’re quite a formidable woman and very brave, jumping in there with your angel blade.”
“I was terrified.” She confessed, her voice muffled slightly as she pressed her face into his chest.
“There’s no shame in that.” Crowley said, running his fingers through her red hair as he spoke. Meredith pulled away from his arms and sat herself up.
“You really think I’m brave?” Meredith asked.
“Yes, very.” Crowley said. “And beautiful and strong and…” Meredith interrupted his words and passionately kissed him.
“Thank you.” She said and smiled. “Are you sure you’re okay though?”
“I‘m sure. All those wounds have already started to heal. See?” Crowley said, indicating his chest where previously there had been large wounds and lacerations from Astor’s horns, now there was barely anything except for a few scratches and bruises.
“Wow.” She said and ran her hand along his chest. Crowley chuckled.
“That tickles.” He smirked. Meredith giggled.
“You always say that.” Mere said with a grin.
“Well, it’s true.” He smiled. The two of them just laughed at the other for a few minutes. Crowley then pulled himself to his feet, Mere helped steady him as he was still pretty weary from the fight. “I think I need a good long rest.” Crowley chuckled.
“Sounds good to me.” Meredith said. “Let’s go home.” Crowley nodded and the two of them walked back to Crowley’s chambers.
As soon as they entered Crowley chambers, Crowley flopped down onto the bed, exhausted. Meredith approached and stroked his head lovingly, she was so proud of him and of herself for trying to help him. She’d never been so frightened before, but hearing Crowley call her brave made her realise just how brave she really was. She had grown up fighting vamps and rugurus etc, something which most other people her age didn’t even know existed. No wonder Crowley thought she was brave. She went to get up when Crowley’s tail wrapped around her wrist. She turned and looked at him.
“Everything, okay?” Mere asked.
“Where are you going?” He asked. Meredith leant down and kissed his cheek tenderly.
“I’m just going to get my book from my bag, then I’ll be right back.” Mere said. Crowley let go of her wrist and smiled at her. Mere fully understood him now; she could tell he was worried she was going to leave and go back to the over world, especially after witnessing that fight. She had no intention of ever leaving him. She had no words as she knew Crowley could read her thoughts, his smile confirmed that he had heard her thoughts and was content to sleep knowing she wouldn’t leave. Meredith walked softly over to her bag and rummaged through it, finding one of her books at the bottom. She made a mental note to ask Crowley if they could swing by Bobby’s at some point and pick up the rest of her books. Before she returned to the bed, she picked up her angel blade from the table and took it, along with her book, back to the bed. Meredith had decided that as Crowley was exhausted he would be vulnerable as he slept and therefore she wasn’t going to take any chances. She placed her Angel Blade on the small side table beside the bed that she could easily reach and then climbed on next to Crowley. She leaned down, kissed his cheek tenderly and then opened her book and began to read with no intention of sleeping until she knew Crowley was fully recovered.