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Vi veri veniversum vivus vici 15/19
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AN: I know, it took some time. What can I say? I finished the story way back before the season finale but somehow other stuff (like a BigBang) kept intervening... Um... sorry? As always, thanks to my wonderful beta citizencandy !


Dean did not like Crowley touching Castiel. Not one tiny bit. The Angel was lying on his back, eyes closed, torso bare for everybody to see - and father Ignatius had paled a little when he first caught sight of the carvings in Castiel's chest. Crowley was sitting on the bed next to the Angel, his finger softly following the lines of foreign letters and signs, making Castiel shudder from time to time.

Dean hadn't noticed how tense he had been until he felt his brother's calming and reassuring hand on his shoulder. A quick glance made him realize Sam too didn't like the demon being so near to their friend. But there was nothing they could do about it for now.

Finally the demon stood up again and turned towards his small audience.

"Dean. Please sit down. I'd like to take a look at you, too."

"Me? But I haven't been used as a notebook recently."

"I would like to take a look at you soul, you can even keep your clothes on. You just need to relax a bit."

~*~

It took a lot of coaxing for Dean to finally relax enough to close his eyes and let go. Castiel promising to keep a close eye on Crowley probably helped, too. But the Angel wasn't the only one. Like a hawk, Sam watched everything the Demon did. So he didn't fail to notice how Crowley looked at his brother, a somewhat familiar expression on his face as the demon gazed deep into Dean, at his very core. It reminded Sam of the way Castiel often looked at them when he tried to grasp their motives or inner workings.

Crowley was strange; he didn't act like the other demons the Winchesters had met prior. And this? Sam knew a lot about demonology, he'd even call himself an expert in this area, still he had never heard of a demon capable of looking into someone's soul. As soon as he would get the opportunity to talk to Castiel without Crowley nearby...

Suddenly Dean gasped as he  blinked the disorientation from his eyes. Sam was at his side only in a heartbeat and noticed out of the corner of his eyes how Castiel had ushered Crowley away. His brother was breathing heavily as if he had run a few miles. Sam no longer watched what the Angel and the demon did; he had to make sure his brother was alright. He heard how Bobby sent father Ignatius to fetch a glass water for Dean while he slowly helped his brother into a sitting position.

~*~

It took a while before Dean managed to shrug off his daze. He didn't remember terribly much; just Crowley's dark eyes turning yellow - not like Azazel's, more like that of a snake with vertical pupils. Then there had only been warmth.

Sam was still hovering over him, obviously worried, as was Bobby. With a small nod he reassured them that he was fine before he turned around to face Castiel and Crowley.

Angel and Demon were staring at each other. Not speaking, strictly keeping a straight face, standing there completely motionless, gaze fixed on each other. It was weird, as if their communication was happening telepathically.

After a few long moments, Castiel nodded and turned towards Dean, whereas a small grin spread across the Demon's features. He somehow knew that whatever they had agreed on, he wouldn't like it. At all.

~*~

"We think, we know how to defeat the Devil," Castiel said in a grave voice that had everyone focus their concentration on the dark haired Angel.

"We?" Dean asked cautiously, glancing at Crowley without much sympathy in his eyes.

"Crowley showed me an option I have failed to consider previously."

"Crowley, right...," Dean muttered with hardly suppressed aversion.

"He is really trying to help us, Dean." Castiel's voice was so soft, Dean wasn't sure anybody besides himself had been able to understand the Angel's words. He was about to drag Cas to the side so he could talk to him alone but then he looked into his friend's eyes and saw the determination and conviction that told him this was it. This was how they were gonna stop the Devil. So he closed his mouth again and nodded. He trusted Castiel. This realization startled Dean more than Castiel's sudden hand on his shoulder. They had somehow come from 'I'm gonna throw you back into the pit if you're not gonna toe the line' all the way to not only 'I trust you with my life' but 'I trust you with the lives of Bobby and Sammy and the Impala and the entire freakin' world, too'.

"I will need your consent, Dean."

The hunter blinked a few times before he managed to blurt out, "You what?! Why?"

"Because you are going to stop Lucifer, but only an Angel can kill another Angel."

Dean just gaped at his friend.

"Cas, you want to take Dean as you vessel?" Sam asked.

"Thought you guys can't possess just anybody," Bobby muttered only moments later.

But Castiel was still looking at Dean, his entire attention focused on the bowlegged hunter. "Dean. Give your consent. I need to get inside of you."

Dean blinked. Had Castiel just said what he had heard? Damn, he was so screwed.

If anybody noticed the obvious blush that was spreading across the older Winchester's face nobody mentioned it. Perhaps because Crowley rolled his eyes immediately after Dean's brain made a nose dive towards the gutter, and huffed. "No wonder Heaven is losing sympathy on all lines. Angel, let me handle this. I've been in sales for millennia."

The demon then turned towards the hunters, his eyes firmly set on Dean and asked solemnly, "I assume, Zachariah didn't tell you what happens after you've given your consent to Michael riding your skin? Well, how shall I put it... Think of a tiny light bulb attached to a nuclear power station. Do you know what happens as soon as you let the entire available power flow? Our tiny light bulb burns out faster than you can say 'no'. And afterwards you may as well toss it in the bin. This is merely one of the 'perks' of having an Archangel riding your meat suit. Heaven wants the Great Showdown. So as soon as you've given consent, they'll urge Sam to do the same, break him in any possible way just to get him to let the Devil in. But even if you both are giving your consent, effectively sacrificing your lives so the Devil can be slain and the world survives, there will be more collateral damage than you could even start to imagine. Think Fallout, think Mad Max, think Waterworld - although I have to say that was one nasty example of a movie gone wrong - this is the world we are talking about, but without all the fun stuff. Because in a world ruled by Angels, there won't be booze, porn or parties. You'll all end up eating salad and fruits, drinking clear water and singing 'Hosanna' 'till your voices are raw."

"Hey, it's not like I'm gonna say 'yes' to Michael! I'm just not sure being Cas's vessel would change anything," Dean said defensively.

"Well, you tried the Colt and it didn't work...," Bobby pointed out. "It's not like we're gonna have an awful lot of options left..."

"But there have to be others, right?" Dean asked both Crowley and Castiel, the eagerness in his voice surprising even himself. Why did he object to letting Cas in so much? Because you don't want him to find out how you've been thinking about him lately. Because you want to preserve your friendship, a voice that sounded a lot like Sam said inside his brain.

"There are other options that are, upon further consideration, worthless," Crowley stated with conviction and at least a tiny bit smug.

"Crowley...," Castiel chastised the Demon.

Be he just shook his head and turned towards the dark haired Angel. "What do you want me to tell them, Angel? About the Lance? You know you probably will have to sacrifice not only yourself for that to even have a infinitesimal chance of success. And we both know that we have to act now. There is no time for trial and error. Either Heaven or Hell will find your lot. Soon. And I wouldn't want to be captured by either of them, if I were in your shoes. Before long Zachariah will start hunting down those who are still somewhat close to the Winchesters. Ellen and Jo Harvelle. Bobby here. The lovely Sarah. Or bendy Lisa and little Ben. You see, we have to speed things up a bit."

Satisfied that the Angel was put to silence at least for now, the Demon turned towards Dean again. "Look, mate. I know you don't wanna give up your spot at the wheel but this might be the only chance we have. I can make it work. Those binding spells can be broken. I can even sustain the Angel's vessel. I'll juice you both up and I'm gonna tell you where you will find Lucifer. All you have to do is agree and settle back for a bit. We can do it. Have... Have faith!"

Castiel snorted in amusement at Crowley's plea. Dean was shocked to hear such an emotion from the Angel, though he could understand where his friend was coming from - a demon calling upon his faith? Odd.

Sam nodded in agreement. A slow, deliberate movement, but nevertheless it was a nod.

A short glance towards Bobby revealed that even the old hunter looked like was considering the demon's words.

"I'd like to talk with Dean alone...," Sam stated in a soft voice, asking the others to leave the room. They followed his request, and left the brothers to themselves.

Dean sighed and sat down heavily on the bed, rubbing his hands across his face. "I dunno..." He shook his head, not even sure what he was about to say.

~*~

The old door made a soft click, when Sam closed it. He took his time turning around and joining his brother on the bed, the only place to sit down in the small chamber other than the wooden chair Dean had held his vigil in yesterday. The young man tried to work out what he was going to say before he finally sat down next to his brother.

"Dean, I like the idea probably as much as you do, but it looks like there's no way round. And Cas is better than Michael, right? You trust him, we both trust him..."

"I'm not sure if I can...," Dean interrupted his brother and stopped again mid sentence, shaking his head.

"Dean, sometimes I don't get you. You don't hesitate to make a deal, knowing that you'll end up in Hell for all eternity, but you can't give consent to an allied Angel to use you as an vessel even if it would save the entire freaking world? What is so big that you can't...," then Sam stopped, his eyes growing big as saucers. Damn, he knew. Dean and Castiel... He had entertained the suspicion that there was more to their soulful glances and longing looks for a long time and seeing them wrapped around each other this morning... "You are afraid of Cas finding out."

The blush spreading across Dean's face was evidence enough that Sam was right.

"Dean, there is a bit more at stake than you being an emotional retard could ever justify! And honestly, don't you think Castiel already knows? The way you've been making goo-goo eyes and all?"

"I have not been making goo-goo eyes at anyone."

"Yeah, sure. Whatever. By the way, I think Cas likes you, too."

Dean raised his head, blinked at his brother in astonishment and Sam had to roll his eyes. Really, sometimes he wasn't sure how Dean had managed to even get his GED.

"Just talk to him, okay? You'll see I'm right on this one. I'll make sure nobody's gonna disturb you, but please get your head out of your ass so we can proceed in saving the earth."

Sam stood up, patted his brother awkwardly on his shoulder and hurriedly left the room. Now he just had to keep the others out of Dean and Cas's hair for the rest of the day... Easy.

~*~

Sam didn't know how he ended up with Crowley, but somehow he found himself sitting next to the Demon on one of the wooden perches, talking. Crowley was different. So different than each and every other Demon Sam had ever met before. Even different than Ruby. There was something in those brown eyes, hidden behind layers of sarcasm and smugness. At first glance he reminded Sam of Zachariah, oh so sure of himself, cocky and arrogant. But behind this facade there was something ancient, wise and melancholic. There was more to this demon than he let on. And Sam was determined to learn more.

"So, you know Castiel?"

Crowley shrugged as an answer and added after a second, "Yes, we've had our fair shares of run-ins."

"You some kind of arch enemies?"

"No." The demon smirked, shaking his head in amusement. "He wasn't important enough for the Lords of Hell to worry about him."

"Was?"

"Well, you know, after this entire strolling down, grabbing Dean right from under Alistair's nose and resurrecting Hell's most valued price, he's now on the Most Wanted list, too."

"But you didn't kill him."

"As I've told you, we happen to have the same goals."

"You always been a demon?" Sam suddenly changed the topic.

"Is this some kind of interrogation? 'Cause boy, I have to tell you, you have to come up with a bit more than that. I am the one who invented the Spanish Inquisition after a..."

"No," Sam interrupted Crowley with a small, apologizing smile, "Sorry. I just want to understand what's happening. You're not like the other demons."

Crowley nodded slowly, not answering.

"You know, you're not the first demon telling us that we're gonna work together and be friends."

Again the demon nodded, obviously understanding that Sam needed him to reveal something that acted as proof of his trust. "No. I haven't always been a demon. I was created as an Angel once."

Sam raised his brows and blinked in astonishment. After a few seconds he asked needlessly, "You fell?"

"Obviously." Crowley laughed without humor. "But I like to think of it more as vaguely sauntering downwards."

Sam had been a Winchester long enough to recognize the hurt and pain behind those flippant words, the sadness carefully covered up with the joke. It was exactly the same way Dean or even his Dad would try to cover up that they were still hurting.

"Why?" he asked, his face showing a hint of compassion and understanding.

"I was hanging around with the wrong people. But..." Crowley looked down on the old stone floor, studied the pattern made of the different stones, either not sure if he should answer at all or simply recollecting himself.

Sam had never thought he would ever again feel something besides hate towards a demon. But he could not prevent himself from experiencing a bit of sympathy.

"What finally made me fall... It was love." Crowley raised his head again, still not looking at Sam but instead up, towards the dark ceiling, the old archways. "Eyes so blue the sky seemed grey in comparison, ringlets the colour of polished gold, softer than anything I've ever touched..." The demon's voice sounded pained as he interrupted himself and shook his head, suspicious moisture glittering in the corners of his eyes. "Let's not talk about the past, shall we? Better we start the preparations. There's still a lot to be done and neither your friend Bobby here nor the surprisingly useful priest will be able to help us."

Us. It looked like their small bunch had managed to make another ally after all.

~*~

Dean looked at the Angel who was radiating thirst for action and determination despite his tired demeanor. Castiel was pulling at the dressings wrapped around both of his arms where he had cut himself in order to ward off the Impala and later this very church. His hair was greasy, no longer standing to attention, but hanging into his face, covering his forehead behind a disheveled layer. His eyes were alert despite the red color of exhaustion trimming the intense blue. However, he was moving even more stiffly than usually, the strange carvings seemed to pain him despite the feeling of raw power he was radiating again. Dean took in all these conflicting signals and let his eyes roam over his friend.

Underneath all those bruises and bandages there was still an Angel, a warrior of God, one of the most deadliest creatures in all of creation. Although he had been thrown off balance by the recent events, he obviously was regaining his footing again.

A small smile spread across Dean's face as he watched his friend frown down at a thread he had managed to pull out of his bandage. Castiel had put all of his hope on Crowley's plan; he really didn't need to be a genius to see that. The prospect of being able to actually do something, of no longer having to react, but to act, was obviously giving the Angel new strength.

"Dean...?" Castiel finally asked.

With a sigh, the hunter sat in the wooden chair, opposite his friend. "I know… we need to talk, Cas."

The Angel nodded and watched Dean, waiting expectantly for him to finally talk.

"Uhm… Look, Cas…" Dammit! He had no idea how to actually word it.

"Dean. Your brother said there is a reason for you refusing to give your consent. Please, tell me why so we can find a solution."

The hunter rose with a sudden movement, walked a few steps towards the bathroom and turned around again - this closet was even too small to properly pace! He needed to tell Castiel but without actually telling. What if Sam was wrong? What if Castiel had no 'feelings' whatsoever towards Dean? How could he imply what he wanted to ask in a way that he could blame it on Castiel's inability to understand human phrases if the Angel really just wanted to be friends?

"I promise to take uttermost care with your body."

"Huh?"

"Dean…" Castiel was suddenly standing just a few feet away, as always, right inside Dean's personal bubble. The Angel extended one arm and put his hand on the hunter's shoulder. "You look distressed." His face was just inches from Dean's, his breath tickling over the other man's chin as the Angel observed his friend closely. Dean could smell dried blood, antiseptic crème, sweat, but underneath it all was the faint scent of Castiel: Wet pavement, summer air heralding a thunderstorm, cool November chill. It was too much.

"I'm sorry," Dean mumbled and bolted out the door.

Chapter 16

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But Castiel was still looking at Dean, his entire attention focused on the bowlegged hunter. "Dean. Give your consent. I need to get inside of you."

Dean blinked. Had Castiel just said what he had heard? Damn, he was so screwed.


LOL! Oh yes, Dean. Let Cas get all up inside you.

Oh Dean! Stop being a wimp about your feelings and man up already!


LOL! Oh yes, Dean. Let Cas get all up inside you.
First they have to kill the Devil ;D

Dean. Man up already! Oh boy.

He *really* was planning to talk to Cas - he just got cold feet :/

Hmmm...interesting take on Crowley!!

Dean! Man up, get some balls and let Cas inside you!

And when you're done doing that, let him inside you. :P

Next chapter he will, as soon as he's done freaking out ;D

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