Their meetings become more of a regular thing as Crowley works on convincing Castiel to take part in his Purgatory scheme. Castiel almost begins to anticipate them, because dealing with Crowley is so interesting compared to fighting other angels. Sure he’s evil, but he’s also really very funny, and Castiel’s missed funny ever since Uriel was killed. And they have something in common, The Winchesters.
This time they’re meeting at a riverside café named Old Man River outside Buffalo, New York. Right on the Niagara River, and with the best sweet potato fries Castiel’s ever tried. Crowley said he’d heard about this place from Death so it had to be good. They sit side by side at a little table overlooking the water and eat their fish and chips together.
“So they are actually believing it? And they are working for you? I did not think it would be so easy.” Castiel asks, surprised that Sam and Dean have believed Crowley’s lies.
“Yes, I thought for a moment there Tiny would figure it out. But no-soul Moose has still got his number. He can pretty much make Dean do anything, just like before.” Crowley says with a self-satisfied grin, he loves it when he can actually trick the Winchesters.
“It is problematic that Sam has no soul. I wish I had been able to get all of him. Even though you helped, we still have done him great wrong by leaving his soul with Lucifer.”
“I think you’ve done even more wrong not telling Dean that you brought Sam back right away. Worst decision I’ve ever seen you make, mate.” Crowley says after eating a big piece of fried fish and wiping his hands neatly on the paper napkins.
“After Sam jumped in with Lucifer, I thought Dean truly wanted peace Crowley, and as you can see, he does not have it with this shell of his brother.”
“I think you misunderstood him completely, Dean is all about Sam. He doesn’t have a self-image without him. And didn’t you say they were soul-mates? That right there is reason enough to have told him. He’ll never forgive you, you know?” Crowley points at him with a sweet potato fry dripping with tartar sauce.
Castiel focuses on the fry and drops his eyes to his own plate, “I do know. And I regret it. But this war is even more important than Dean’s feelings. He will have to understand.”
“Good luck with that bub.” Crowley says, shrugging as if he doesn’t think Castiel has a chance of that happening.
Castiel looks up and stares at him angrily across the table, “Crowley, what would you have had me do differently?”
“Go back in time and make Soul-less Gigantor ring the freakin’ doorbell and say ‘hi dude I’m back from Hell!’, instead of standing outside peering in the windows like a grade-A creep! Plus, leaving him with that psycho grandfather all that time’s just made it even worse. I don’t even like working with the guy. The stuff he’s getting Sam to do would make your short and curlies even curlier.”
“You sound like you actually care about him.” Castiel says with a note of amazement in his voice.
“Well, at some point after watching these two, even I start to root for them you know?” Crowley shrugs,
Cas sighs, “Yes indeed, I do know. I was only meant to watch over them for a short time and look what has occurred.”
Crowley leans forward and asks with a curious intensity, “What is it about them, do you think? That’s got us both so invested?”
Cas thinks about it for a moment and smiles, remembering what it is about the Winchesters that keeps him here on Earth more than he really should be, “That unbreakable bond perhaps, it shines brighter than their souls when I look at them. It’s quite remarkable.”
“I can’t see that sort of thing, but I guess maybe it’s visible in other sorts of ways, like when I’d heard Dean sold his soul for Sam. That was when I really started keeping track of them.” Crowley says, taking a bite of his battered cod.
“I had to go back and watch that part myself after I rescued Dean from Hell, it was very much unexpected.”
“That just shows you angels really don’t get human emotions.” Crowley observes.
“Well, we’ve never been humans, it does make sense. You have on the other hand. Did you ever feel that for anyone Crowley, when you were human?” Cas asks, genuinely curious, because he knows so little of Crowley’s long history.
“No, not even close. One of my only regrets really, never having the chance to love that deeply. Even my wife and son hated me in the end, I wasn’t a very nice person as a human, and I’ve been told I’m a nicer demon.” Crowley admits.
Cas nods, “That seems likely, you are very personable.”
“Well thank you, coming from you that’s a big compliment.” Crowley says in a voice dripping with sarcasm.
“That was meant to be sarcastic was it not?”
Crowley claps him on the back, “Yes indeed it was, you’re learning my friend!”
“You count me as a friend Crowley?”
“Well, co-conspirator sounds so tawdry.”
“That it does.” Castiel agrees.
Crowley’s hand is still on his back, and then suddenly Crowley’s lips are on his, brushing back and forth, warm and a little wet. Castiel feels Crowley’s hand move to the back of his neck holding him steady and he leans into the kiss, gasping a little at the sensation of being held so possessively. The demon is stronger than he would have thought. On the gasp his mouth is open and Crowley takes advantage, tongue diving into the small space and licking into Castiel’s mouth. Crowley groans a little and pulls back.
“Why did you kiss me?” Castiel asks in complete confusion.
Crowley wipes the back of his hand across his mouth, “Just wanted to see if it was still the same.”
“Kissing an angel. And it was, you really don’t feel a thing do you?”
“I do not feel the emotions of it no, but I do experience the physical sensations.” Castiel answers, wary of Crowley’s motives now.
“So very glad that I’m not an angel. You don’t know what you’re missing.”
“That’s usually the case yes.” Cas agrees.
Crowley changes the subject back, “Will we ever be done with these two do you think?”
“I expect not. I have been alive for a very long time, and I am having a hard time seeing the end of our connection. Even when they reach Heaven.”
“Not if I have anything to do with it.” Crowley says with a little threatening growl.
“Crowley, they are both destined for Heaven now, you know that there is no changing it.”
“Never say never.”
“I’ve heard you say that before.”
“One of my favorite mottos, words to live by mate. You should try it sometime.” Crowley bumps his shoulder into Castiel’s companionably.
Cas moves away from Crowley slightly, needing the physical distance from the demon’s strange approaches, “Well, I am agreeing to your plan, does that qualify?”
“I would think so, let’s drink to our plan then. Purgatory Ho!” Crowley picks up his soda cup and knocks it against Castiel’s.
“This will be very hard to explain to them. My working with you.” Cas says, looking Crowley in the eye.
“Well, hopefully it won’t come up. We’ll think of something to cover you if it does, don’t spend time worrying about it. I’m keeping Moose and Squirrel so busy these days they haven’t much spare angsting mojo left.”
Tilting his head in question, Castiel asks, “I do not know what that means.”
Crowley grins and leans back in his chair dangerously far, “They’re worrying about each other’s asses, not you and what you’re up to, that’s what it means. I’ve got them covered. You just concentrate on winning your war, we’re counting on you.”
Castiel notices the strange use of pronoun and questions him, “Who is ‘we’ in this case Crowley?”
“Myself and the Winchesters of course. They’re why you’re doing all this anyways aren’t they?” Crowley spreads his hands out expansively.
“In a way yes, but really it’s just to see if I am able to. God keeps bringing me back for a reason, and I think this might be it. He meant me to be a thorn in everyone’s side. And so I will be.” Castiel says this as if this explanation is something he’s been working on, within himself, to justify his actions to himself or to explain them to others, maybe both.
“I like the way you think Castiel. It’s a pleasure doing business with you my friend. Ta for now.” Crowley, satisfied with Castiel’s acquiescence and hilarious self-rationalizations, winks out leaving a small puff of red smoke floating over his chair.
Castiel sits at the empty table and finishes the rest of the sweet potato fries that Crowley left behind, methodically dipping them in the ketchup and then the tartar sauce. His vessel seems to enjoy them at some deeper level. There are a lot of risks in putting in with Crowley, he knows this, but there aren’t many alternatives left to help him win this war, this has got to work. He sips the rest of his loganberry lemonade, and then disappears in the blink of an eye, the sound of feathers flapping startling one of the children at a nearby table.