Summary: Starts in Season Four and tells the story of how one demon and one archangel got together. So. Yes.
The world was going to hell. Crowley supposed that was the over-all idea. Being a demon, you would think he would be all for Hell on Earth but the truth was he liked things the way they were. It wouldn’t be good for business if everyone was either dead or Croatoan-infected zombies and Crowley was a business man at heart. He was also a survivalist. It had taken him awhile to work his way up the ladder but in the end Crowley had wedged himself into the ideal position. If there was one thing he was good at, it was making himself indispensable. The downside was it put him in a very precarious spot. If he was found out as a traitor, the punishment would be the stuff of nightmares even for Hell. If Crowley was lucky, everyone he betrayed would be dead by the time he was exposed, including his current boss.
Lilith was sitting in front of him, holding a teddy bear and chatting away, while he brushed her hair. To an outside eye, the scene looked innocuous; perhaps a father getting his daughter ready for Sunday Mass or her first fancy party. If you looked closer, you would see there was something inherently wrong about the tableau. It was like looking at a surface and knowing if you touched it your fingers would come away covered in something unpleasant. Even Crowley found something deeply unsettling about the whole thing, but necessity dictated it. He turned his attention back to the conversation at hand.
“And Ruby said that Sam is still coming to her even though his brother is back. Everything is going so well! Don’t you think, Mr. Crowley?”
“Yes, love, but won’t the involvement of the angels cause problems for us?”
“Don’t be silly,” she said with a giggle that Crowley would never admit sent a chill down his spine. “They’re not going to stop us. They don’t want to.”
“And the Winchesters?” Crowley asked, fishing.
She hugged the teddy bear to her chest and said, “Oh, they’ll help more than hurt. No one will stop us.”
Lilith eyed his reflection in the mirror and Crowley gave her his most charming smile. She returned it and he mentally chided himself to be more cautious.
“I think I want a braid. Braid my hair, please, Crowley.” He knew a command when he heard one.
“With pleasure, darling,” he said and began to pull her hair into a braid.
Gabriel was not really pleased with the state of the world at the moment. He had known it was coming and, really, the biggest part of him just wanted to hurry up and get it done with. The problem with that was he liked the world. It was fun. You couldn’t have fun in Heaven, let alone find a good mixed drink. And if his brother Lucifer won, it would be just as bad if not worse. So Gabriel had gotten involved in his own way which meant pestering the Winchesters. He had tried to prepare them the best he could without blowing his cover but it hadn’t been enough. The end was coming and all Gabriel could do was watch it happen.
That was easier said than done.
In Heaven, Gabriel had been a bit of a problem child. If there was something to get into you could count on him getting into it. That had made him a bit of an outcast (though not as much as Lucifer, the only one Gabriel had ever really related to, had been). Leaving was one of the hardest things he had ever done but he fell easily into the role of a pagan god. He chalked it up to his natural curiosity and sense of humor. All of which made it hard to keep away from the Winchesters who were Gabriel’s favorite targets.
He knew that he shouldn’t, especially with the God Squad running amok, but it couldn’t hurt just to keep an eye on them.
Gabriel’s intentions on this one were honestly good. Later he might have considered that the road to Hell was paved with good intentions.
And he would have laughed at the irony of just how accurate that would turn out to be.
Every being in Heaven and Hell knew the Winchesters. The forces of Heaven, as they were wont to do, were happy to let things unfold organically, confident in their Plan. The forces of Hell didn’t mind getting their hands dirty. Much to Crowley’s chagrin, the collective forces of Hell were nowhere near as organized. He had spent decades trying to incorporate some sort of structure but upper management was resistant to change. Now, all things considered, that could work to his advantage. The people who might have noticed Crowley’s odd behavior were too wrapped up in their own plans to give him much thought. Besides, his reputation as Lilith’s right hand man (and, if you believe the rumor mill, her lover) protected him from most scrutiny. That meant he could do a certain amount of reconnaissance on the Winchesters free from worry.
Currently the Hardy Boys were investigating some sort of wish gone wrong deal. Crowley appreciated it. One thing that continued to amuse him after all the years making deals was the surprise when people found out it wasn’t exactly what they bargained for. Wording was everything; it was the nature of the deal. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he watched the two brothers systematically tear apart the fountain in the Japanese restaurant. If he thought they stood a chance of preventing the seals being broken, Crowley would have tipped them off. Instead he was observing like a wolf trying to find the weakest sheep. The analogy was accurate.
“Hey, hey, hey, what is this? You are gonna break my fountain!” The owner of the establishment rushed over, the health department threat forgotten for the moment at the sight of the crowbar and hammer.
“Sir, I don’t want to slap you with a 44/16, but I will,” the younger Winchester bluffed and Crowley was surprised that actually worked. Humans were rather gullible.
The hairs on the back of his neck stood up, Crowley’s demonic instincts kicking in suddenly, and he turned his attention away from the duo. He tilted his head to the side. Here lately there were too many angels flitting about and he had learned to sense them. Crowley could only assume the approaching angel was the one with the overcoat that seemed to be attached to the Winchesters.
He wasn’t going to wait around to find out.
Frowning slightly, Gabriel watched the demon vanish. It seemed strange that a demon would just be hanging around playing Peeping Tom. (He blissfully ignored the fact he was doing the same.) He could have done a bit of smiting but Gabriel was intrigued and he never had been the wrath of God type, anyway. He made a mental note to check out the demon in the suit later.
Right now, there was a show going on that was almost as good as something he would have come up with. He should have brought popcorn.
Crowley stood in the corner of the room, leaning against the wall and casually picking at his nails. Blending into the background was an essential skill if you wanted to climb your way to the top without getting too much blood on your hands. People were more likely to talk in front of the butler if they forgot he was there. At the moment, he was listening as Lilith and Ruby discussed their current plan.
“I want that girl, Ruby,” said Lilith. “She would be useful. We could know everything the angels do!”
“I know but I can’t get involved. It might blow my cover. Sam trusts me but Dean-“
“If I might interject for a moment,” Crowley said. Ruby glared at him and he gave her a smile that was anything but friendly.
“Yes, Crowley?” Lilith asked brightly.
“Ruby’s situation is delicate. The Winchesters barely trust her and there isn’t anyone in Hell besides those in this room that doesn’t believe she’s a traitor. Perhaps it would be best to use this opportunity to further ingrain her to the Winchesters?”
“What did you have in mind?”
Crowley spread his hands palms up out in front of him.
“Simple. Ruby goes to the Winchesters with the information about the girl.” He nodded in the direction of the still frowning woman. “They’ll see she’s actively working against us. Then we let things unfold as they may.”
“Oh, so I go stick my neck out while you sit back. What happens when the demons sent to collect her show? Because they will.” Ruby looked to Lilith for confirmation. The little girl’s face was serious with thought.
When Lilith didn’t answer, Crowley continued.
“They already believe you’re a traitor. That won’t change; it can’t. You do what you always do and survive. Surely you can handle that.”
Ruby noticed the sarcastic tone and started forward but stopped with Lilith help up a small hand.
“I like this idea. Good work, Mr. Crowley.”
Crowley smiled and studiously ignored Ruby as she rolled her eyes.
“Fine. I’ll go tip them off once we have the girl’s location.”
“Goodie! Make sure you keep their trust, Ruby.”
Nodding in understanding, Ruby shot Crowley one final glare before she turned on the spot and vanished.
“Oh, this is getting exciting. We’re so close.”
“Indeed,” agreed Crowley who had been keeping a mental tally of the seals and did not share Lilith’s enthusiasm. “Will you be needing anything else, love?”
She shook her head. “They brought me some new toys to play with.”
“You have fun with that. I have some business to finish up.”
Crowley left as quickly as he could. For years, he had been happy to just bide his time. Now the inactivity was gnawing at him. The only thing he could do was keep an eye on the Winchesters and hope some sort of opportunity presented itself which would be a miracle. So far it hadn’t.
What had presented itself was the vague sense he was being watched. A few times Crowley had felt the same angelic presence he had on that first day. He could assume it was the same; he never stuck around to find out. This time when he popped in on the Winchesters, Crowley felt it immediately. The demon froze. There was no blinding light and no figured appeared. Part of him wanted to attempt to flush out the spy but he wasn’t that stupid. Glancing around one last time, Crowley disappeared into the shadows.
It was a fun little game of cat-and-mouse, Gabriel thought. The demon was smart. From his experience, he knew most demons couldn’t tell an archangel from a pagan god. This one at least seemed to be able to tell something was up. Gabriel’s interest had been peaked but he was growing bored. It was time to take things to the next level and visit the demon on his home turf.
Gabriel had learned a thing or two about demons over the years, probably more than most angels. Typically, they were all just about the same. He had never heard of one living in a sumptuously appointed mansion. Well. There was a first time for everything. Gabriel walked up to the house and let himself in. The place was nice, if a bit stuffy for the angel’s taste. As he sauntered down the hall, he trailed his hand along the wall not caring if a picture or two got in the way. He came to the kitchen and whistled.
“Suh-weet,” he exclaimed to the empty space then headed straight to the stainless steel refrigerator.
Digging around, Gabriel found what appeared to be a chocolate raspberry mousse cake. He was starting to like this demon. He helped himself to a generous slice and, eschewing the kitchen stools, hopped up to sit on the granite countertop.
If he was going to have to wait, he might as well make himself at home.
Crowley knew as soon as he stepped into the house that something was wrong. He would have known even if it hadn’t been for the crooked pictures on the wall. Even with a possible intruder in the house, there were some things Crowley couldn’t over-look. Scrupulously, he straightened the pictures and then continued down the hall.
In the centuries since he became a demon, Crowley had seen a lot. He was prepared to find almost anything in his kitchen.
Almost anything except what was actually waiting for him.
Sitting on the counter with legs dangling and stuffing his face with the cake Crowley had baked was a man with blonde hair. It was the angel; there was no doubt about that. Crowley felt it in every fiber of his being. And looking at the lop-sided grin the angel was giving him, Crowley also felt this was one of the few times he could stand in the same room with an angel and not fear for his life.
“You’ve made yourself at home.” It was the only thing Crowley could think of to say.
“Mm-hm,” the intruder said around a mouthful of cake. He swallowed. “This is good cake.”
“Thank you. I made it myself.”
“Really?” The angel raised an eyebrow. “Hmm.”
“Who are you and why are you in my house?” Crowley asked getting straight to the point.
“Because you’ve been snooping around the Winchesters. Kind of caught my attention.”
“Ah, right. Who are you?”
The man slid off the counter and Crowley found himself noting he was shorter than the demon by a couple inches. He vaguely wondered why he did.
“Gabriel. And you?”
“Gabriel,” he repeated, not completely able to keep the stutter from his voice. “There’s a bloody archangel in my kitchen.”
“Yup! Can I have another piece of that cake?” he asked without waiting for an answer.
Crowley stared incredulously as he began helping himself to the contents of the entire fridge. He debated telling Gabriel to get out of his house but he somehow doubted it would work.
“Could you at least not spill my food all over my floor?” He contented himself with glaring at the angel.
“Oops. So what do they call you? Or should I make something up? How about Sugar-britches?”
“No.” Crowley paused. He had been in a lot of odd and dangerous situations but this one took the cake, excuse the pun. An archangel could easily destroy him but instead he was just leaning against the fridge, smirking at him. Crowley weighed his options.
Finally he said, “Crowley.”
“Crowley,” Gabriel said as if tasting it. “I kinda like sugar-britches better.”
The demon stared at him, mouth partially open.
“Anyway!” I gotta jet,” he said when Crowley remained silently fuming. “See you around.”
Once the angel left, Crowley stood quietly in the kitchen for a good while. After a bit he shook his head and brushed his suit off.
“Insane,” he muttered. “That angel is insane.”
The addition of archangel into Crowley’s life was not one even the always prepared demon quite knew how to handle. Crowley was pragmatic, though, and as soon as Gabriel had left his kitchen, Crowley began thinking of ways to use it to his advantage. If Gabriel was for the Apocalypse, his best bet was to avoid the angel. Considering the fact he hadn’t killed Crowley, his assumption was that at the very least Gabriel was on the fence about the whole thing. An archangel on your side could be useful.
(It would be erroneous to think that Crowley was the only one thinking of how to turn this new acquaintance to his advantage. The only difference was that while Crowley’s thoughts were on how to stop the Apocalypse, Gabriel’s were on how to convince the demon to bake for him.)
Crowley’s one real issue with attempting an arrangement was that Gabriel was, in his mind, at the best unstable and at worst a complete nutter even for an angel. Still desperate times called for desperate measures and Crowley had a knack for making things go his way even when they shouldn’t. He had no intention of going out of his way to initiate anything, however.
Right now was not exactly the best time to have an archangel start hanging around him.
Crowley really should have forwarded that memo.