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"So. I guess I'll, uh, see you in the morning."  Sam flashes him an almost encouraging smile as he says it, eyes flitting quickly to the left where the leggy brunette is tending the bar and then back again.  He may as well be giving Dean a big fat wink.

Dean sits at the bar for another two hours, flirting occasionally with Becka the bartender whenever she's within spitting distance.  He must be doing good, because when she slides his drink over to him she leans forward just enough to show cleavage.

The drink doesn't last him long enough.  A rush of bodies crowds the bar as everyone in the damn place tries to get their fill before last call.  He frowns down at the empty glass, shoots another glance at Becka, whose attention is fully occupied by the bar's other patrons, and shakes his head irritably.  "That's it for tonight."  He slaps some money onto the counter and hauls ass out of there.

***

You could've fucked her. The thought comes out of nowhere, and because he raided the surprisingly well-stocked mini fridge in his motel room as soon as he got back, he's too intoxicated to pretend that it's his own voice he hears in his head, and not Crowley's.

"Shut up," Dean snaps.  His words echo in the empty room.  Oh, right.  It couldn't be Crowley. They don't do that anymore.

The last time he had sex it was on Crowley's bed, in the hotel room they shared.  He can't even remember the girl's name now, but he can still remember the feel of the sheets, the way that bed smelled exactly like Crowley's aftershave.  Who fucking knew demons wore aftershave.

He doesn't know how it'd even work now.   Without Crowley.  Maybe he's been afraid to find out.

***

"Good night?"

He blinks at Sam, confused for a moment before he remembers.  "Oh." He pulls a face.  "Nah, she wasn't up for it.  Too tired after her shift."  It isn't really a lie; she probably was tired.

"Too bad."

"Yeah. Well."  He spears a piece of sausage with his fork.  "We got a free night in town, right?  Maybe I'll try again."

***

It happened by accident, that first time.  He'd come back to the hotel room he and Crowley shared, pleasantly thrumming from a very entertaining fist fight down at the local bar, to find Crowley in bed with three women.

Human Dean might have been uncomfortable, but the demon inside him was just amused.  "Three?  Really?" he asked, watching unabashedly as two of the women lavished attention upon Crowley's hard dick.

"Yes," answered Crowley, a supremely smug smile curling his lips.  He raised an eyebrow at Dean.  "Care to join in?"

Dean shrugged, and began to pull off his shirt. The third woman was already coming toward him.  "Why not?"

***

"I've been watching you."

It's the first time Dean's heard from Crowley since he regained his humanity. Crowley's voice, an odd mixture of abrasiveness and quiet assurance.  He grips the phone in his hand so hard he hears the plastic crackling.  "What the hell do you want."

A short silence on the other end. Then Crowley makes a dismissive sound..  "Nothing at the moment," he rasps.  "Your pitiful attempts to get laid were just so entertaining I had to comment."

"Fuck you," Dean retorts quickly, then realizes immediately that he's played into Crowley's trap.

"Well," says Crowley in smooth triumph, "I believe you've already done that.  Unless you mean you fancy another go?"

Dean clenches his teeth, suddenly so angry he can barely control himself.

"What, no come back?"  Crowley's voice drops lower, until it's almost a purr.  "Is that it, Dean?  Are there actually some things you miss about being a demon?"

***

"What happened to your phone? I've been trying to call you."

He feels a prick of guilt.  Sam was probably worried about him.  He certainly looks like he got to him in a hurry.  "Dropped it," he mumbles, reaching into his pocket to fetch out the smashed phone.  "My bad."

"Well, don't do it again.  I thought something happened to you, dude."

"Yeah.  I won't."

***

He gets several new burner phones and they move onto the next town.

Dean meets a pretty redhead, older than him by about ten years but still damn good-looking, and has sex with her in the back of her car, with the spike of her heels digging into the back of his thighs.

The relief makes him giddy. Afterward he invites her back to his motel room for another go.

When she leaves and he's alone in his bed, cum drying on his stomach, he convinces himself that this was a great night.  That he's satisfied.

***

He alternates between desperate cheerfulness and half-concealed irritability, all of which Sam conveniently chalks up to the guilt over his actions as demon.  He's half right, Dean supposes.  It isn't just guilt, though.  He doesn't know what else it is, but whatever it is he's pretty damn sure he doesn't want to explain it to Sam.

"I could listen, if you wanted to talk about it," offers Castiel on one of his visits.  "Sam and I have both had the experience of succumbing to the dark side that makes us exceptionally well-suited to--"

"Thanks, Cas," Dean interrupts firmly.  "But I don't want to talk about it."

Castiel looks hurt, and even more concerned, so he adds, "I'll be fine.  Just gotta shake it off."

"Well, what will help you 'shake it off'?"

Hell if I know.

***

They're following a wendigo lead that takes them to Fort Collins, Colorado when Dean opens the door of his motel room to find Crowley lounging on the edge of his bed, flipping through the skin mag Dean bought the previous morning.

"Your taste hasn't improved," Crowley tells him without looking up from the magazine.

Dean slams the door shut as quickly--and quietly-- as he can.  The FIrst Blade comes out from its holster behind his back.

"Easy."  Crowley sets the magazine down and spreads his hands in a gesture of mock-surrender.  "I'm not here to fight."

"What are you here for?" Dean asks, not letting go of the blade.  His senses prickle, sudden adrenaline making his pulse beat too fast.

Crowley's teasing smile slips away.  He stares at Dean with too much solemnity in his eyes and gives a little shrug.  "Maybe I miss you.  Thought I'd check up on my...best bud."

That's what he'd called their arrangement.  A friendship.  A--a partnership .  Even as a demon Dean hadn't wanted to believe him.  

Dean draws closer, step by step, matching Crowley's unflickering gaze.  "Tell me why I shouldn't just stick this right into you."

Another shrug.  Crowley allows the slight hint of a hopeful light creep into his eyes.  He does it on purpose, Dean knows.  "Because you'd rather stick something else in me?"

"Don't be disgusting," Dean growls, even as he steps inexplicably closer, and closer, until he can feel the warmth emanating from Crowley's body, and--yeah.  There's that after-shave again.

He's close enough to touch now, and Crowley's never been one to waste an invitation.  His hand snakes up and, almost tentatively, touches the buckle of Dean's belt underneath his t-shirt.  "I could go away," Crowley rasps.  Cool fingertips slip under the fabric of Dean's shirt, Crowley's nails clinking against the metal of the belt buckle.  "Or I could stay.  Just for a spell."

Dean didn't realize he was holding his breath, but he must've been, because it comes rushing out of him now in a sharp, hot rush.  "You just wanna catch me off guard.  Take the blade."  It sounds like he's negotiating with himself rather than objecting against Crowley.

"Useless without the mark," Crowley murmurs.  The bottom of his palm shifts, rubs against Dean's hard-on.  "You can hang onto it, if you're worried.  Hell, hold it against my neck while I suck your dick if it makes you happy."

A sudden flash of memory: Crowley on his knees in a hotel room much like this one, Dean's cock buried deep down his throat, looking up at him with those fucking laughing eyes of his.

Yeah, that's right.  He fucked Crowley's mouth, and it felt so good that nothing he's done with the countless women he's had since has taken the edge off. Not the way Crowley can.

"What the hell kind of spell do you have on me?" he asks Crowley, almost flinching when Crowley finally has his pants drawn all the way down and takes Dean's hard prick into the grip of his hand.

Crowley grins up at him.  "I'm just that good," he drawls, and then wraps his lips around the head of Dean's cock.

***

It's not love, Dean would tell Crowley, except he's pretty sure Crowley already knows that.  He'd be a crazy idiot if he didn't.

"I'm not coming back," he tells Crowley instead.

Crowley, who has redressed and de-wrinkled his clothes at the snap of his fingers, rolls his eyes.  "Who said I wanted you back?  You were nothing but trouble as a demon. Fun trouble.  But trouble nonetheless."

"So what the hell is this?"

Crowley stands and straightens his lapels.  " This ," he says, reaching out to pat Dean's stubbled face in a maddeningly careless manner, "is our little secret."

He's gone before Dean can make his reply, which is just as well because Dean isn't sure he has one.

***

Crowley appears again two weeks down the road.

"You're going to get on your knees and suck me," he informs Dean in that quiet, raspy voice, hands already gripping the fabric of Dean's shirt, dragging him down, "and then I'm going to get on top of you and ride you.  Got it?"

"Fuck, I hate you," Dean growls, but he's already kneeling, hands shaking with want as he unzips Crowley's trousers.

***

The sixth time--or was it the seventh?--they're almost caught by Sam, coming back early from an interview at the police station.

"Don't you fucking dare," Crowley whispers fiercely, legs curling to hold him in place.  "I'm this close to coming."

"Fuck," Dean mutters under his breath, and continues to move, working his cock in deeper with every thrust into Crowley's ass.  In a louder, somewhat strained voice, he says in answer to the knock on the door, "Got some company!"

"Wha--?" he hears Sam utter on the other side of the door, then a moment of silence, before, "Oh! Shit. Sorry!"

Crowley's shaking with silent laughter.  "Poor Moose," he mouths.

Dean speeds up his movements, and Crowley's laughter dies away.

***

Crowley's a nasty habit that he just can't quit.  By the time he realizes it, it's already too late.  He finds himself counting the days until the next time he can be with Crowley, can walk into a room and find Crowley waiting for him.   

What will you do if Sammy finds out? What is he going to do, when it all inevitably ends?

***

"Stay away for the next few days.  Cas is coming to stay with us, and…"  

"What, don't want me to have a run-in with your other boyfriend?"

"He's not my boyfriend. And neither are you."

"Dear me, my poor feelings."  His sanity is definitely failing, because even Crowley's sarcasm hurts.

"Just. Stay away, okay?"

"Fine," says Crowley, and then leans down to touch his fingertips to Dean's collarbone, the gesture oddly possessive.  "But I'll be back."

He says it like a promise.

"Yeah, okay," Dean replies, and feels some of the tension he hadn't realized he was feeling disappear.

***

Crowley passes the warm towel over the mess on Dean's stomach, and wipes it away.  One long toss, and the towel lands somewhere in the vicinity of the bathroom doorway.  He stands there for a moment, looking down at Dean, the faint light of the lamp on the other side of the room picking up the silver in his hair.

He could be almost human.

"Why do you do this?"  It's a question he's told himself he won't ask again, and yet…

Crowley doesn't quite meet his eyes.  "I like living on the edge," he says, eternally sarcastic.  "Also, I like fucking."

"You could fuck anyone.  You're the king of hell."

"What, feeling inadequate, Dean?"  When Dean doesn't answer, he sighs and waves his arm in an arc to indicate his frustration.  "I do it because I want you, you idiot."

"Oh," says Dean.  "It's that simple, is it?"

"Yes," agrees Crowley.  "It's that simple."

--the end