Warnings: Wing!fic, magical bonding
Summary: In the course of an acquisition Crowley manages to tether himself to an archangel. A very annoying archangel. (Or: Crowley tries to have his cake and eat it too, and ends up with no cake and a Gabriel.)
Word Count: ~3,800
Notes: I tried to pack in as many of your kinks as I could, but it turned out more cracky than schmoopy. I hope you like it anyway, bb :)
"You can't possibly be serious," Crowley says, dumbfounded.
"As a heart attack," the shade of Gabriel replies. "You're the king of the crossroads, remember? You're the Elvis of demons. If anyone can do it, it's you."
"I cannot trade a soul with the being I'm pulling out of Hell," Crowley says, for what feels like the first time of many.
This is why he doesn't do crossroad calls anymore. This is why he delegates.
"Purgatory," Gabriel stresses. "And I don't have a soul."
Crowley huffs, wishing for scotch. "Close enough. It can't be done."
"It can," Gabriel argues.
"Not without burning me to a bloody crisp," Crowley snarls.
"Unless..." Gabriel starts, trailing his hand off. Crowley knows he shouldn't ask, if he's half as intelligent as he knows he is, he's going to turn around and slam the proverbial door in Gabriel's incorporeal face.
So much for that.
"Unless you were part angel."
"Also impossible," Crowley snaps.
Gabriel rolls his transparent eyes. "Have you no imagination?"
Gabriel makes a disgusted sound and pinches his fingers over the bridge of his nose, as if warding off a sudden headache. Crowley is just as irritating as Gabriel is, apparently. Good.
"Just go with me here," Gabriel says. "If I can imbibe you with some of my Grace, you can pull me out, no harm done."
"Even if your insane plan worked, what would I get in return?" Crowley spits. "You don't even have a soul."
"You'd get an Archangel's grace, Elvis."
And that... is tempting. Crowley could use it, and climb even higher on the food chain, or, even if he didn't use it himself, he could sell it for a tremendously high price.
"That's quite an offer," Crowley says, switching to his softer, darker deal voice.
"I know," Gabriel says, smirking.
"You're sure this isn't going to kill me?" Crowley asks, again.
"Nope," Gabriel answers cheerfully. His aspect is a little more there, a little more real, at the gate to Hell. The best place to do this would be in or at the entrance of Purgatory, but there isn't an entrance. Purgatory is folded into the spaces between the human plane of existence and Hell, and once you're in, there's not any way out.
"Outstanding," Crowley mutters.
"Just lie back and think of England, Elvis," Gabriel chuckles. He reaches forward, cupping his hands around Crowley's face, and it's more a sensation of water, but dry water, along his jawline then an actual feeling of touch.
"You kill me and you're stuck in Purgatory," Crowley reminds him.
"Relax," Gabriel says. "I'm about to start."
Crowley does not relax. He doesn't even try. There's about a, if he's calculated right, 70% chance that what Gabriel's about to do will smite him instantly; a 20% chance that it'll kill him slowly, from the vessel inwards; a 9% chance that if he doesn't die he'll be severely impaired for eternity; and a 1% left over chance that this is actually going to work. There's no possibility of relaxing.
"Just do it," Crowley snaps, closing his eyes.
"Drama king," Gabriel huffs, cutting off Crowley's reply with a press of his lips. His hands and lips grow warm, and Crowley's first instinct is to jerk away, but he stays where he is, eyes clamped shut. A bright light glows through his eyelids, and Gabriel nudges Crowley's mouth open, sighing something like warm, living breath into him. It coils in Crowley's stomach, spreading gently outwards. Crowley tenses, waiting for the warmth to turn into stabbing pain, but it doesn't.
Crowley feels the Grace molding to him, twining with his essence, and reaches through it to find the rest. He feels resistance, at first, but a resurgence of warmth, a gentle pop and he's through. He grabs the rest Gabriel's Grace and pulls.
"Got me," Gabriel hisses.
"Shut up," Crowley says, pushing their lips back together. He needs to concentrate on pulling Gabriel's Grace from Purgatory, one thin strand at a time, winding them around himself so they don't break. Once he has all of them -- or as many as he can get, anyway -- he pulls himself back, wrapped in wires of Grace.
He licks his lip and breathes it back into Gabriel, who solidifies around him, his hands and lips becoming real touches. The Grace scratches his throat on the way out, and tries to drag him out of his vessel, but he holds to his flesh and Gabriel grounds him with his hands, one on his back and the other still cupping his face.
"You can let go of me now," Crowley rasps.
"You sure about that?" Gabriel asks, smirking. His hand moves towards Crowley's ass and Crowley rolls his eyes and catches the restored angel's wrist.
"That costs extra."
Gabriel laughs, loud and relieved in his face and spreads his wings. Crowley tries not to show his amazement, because he's never seen an angel's wings before. Fifteen minutes ago he'd have been burned out of his skin, and looking at Gabriel's he thinks that it might actually be worth it.
He catches Gabriel smirking even wider at him and scowls.
"Gotta fly," Gabriel says. "Things to see, people to do."
"Bye, then," Crowley huffs, disentangling himself. He can feel Grace running through him, warm. His demonic essence is corrupting it, converting it into something Crowley can use. He flexes his fingers, and if he looks at them just right, he can see wisps of glowing Grace. He hears the flapping of wings so great they nearly tear the air, and Gabriel's gone.
Crowley can't breathe. Not that he actually has to breathe, but he still can't, and the approximation of his heart is squeezing itself, imploding, painfully in his chest and he can only bloody use human metaphors because he's never felt anything like this as a demon, and the bloody Grace must be turning on him, squishing his internals --
Gabriel reappears, as suddenly as he left, and the terrible pressure in Crowley's chest stops. He takes a shaky breath and steps towards Crowley, laying a hand on his cheek. Their shared Grace warms.
"What did you do to me?" Crowley hisses.
"Oops?" Gabriel says.
Crowley has to pull all of his contacts by phone, because he can't very well show up at a demon's doorstep tethered to an archangel. It's bad form, and, if he knows Gabriel at all he's going to do something to ruin Crowley's hard won reputation.
Of course, even after he'd ordered all of his underlings to get cell phones, only a few have done so. Bloody demons.
"What's taking so long?" Gabriel asks, wandering around the living room of Crowley's newly found house. He's been testing their boundaries all day, and they can only be about twenty meters apart without feeling any organ-mashing side effects. Gabriel could be comfortably upstairs and out of Crowley's hair right now.
"Constant interruptions," Crowley says, pushing the phone speaker away from him mouth.
"Excuse me," Gabriel says. Something makes a chink sound behind Crowley's back.
"Whatever you just touched, put it down," Crowley orders. "It's like talking to a child. No, not you!" he barks into the phone.
Gabriel laughs, and picks something else up.
"Hold on a second," Crowley hisses into the phone. He sets his cell down on the table beside his chair, picks up an antique glass ashtray, and whips it at Gabriel's head. It's deflected by a wing and shatters against the wall, but Crowley's made his point. "Quiet, angel."
"Archangel," Gabriel corrects.
"Go ahead," Crowley tells his contact.
"What's he saying?" Gabriel asks, leaning over Crowley's shoulder. Crowley bats him away, and Gabriel moves to the side he's not holding the phone on and perches there.
"He's saying we're stuck."
"I'm paraphrasing," Crowley elaborates. "His wording was much more creative." He hangs up and angrily drops his phone onto the floor.
"How stuck is stuck?" Gabriel asks.
"This has never happened before," Crowley deadpans. "Ever. When I say we're stuck, I mean no one bloody well knows if we're stuck or not."
"Oh. So we're stuck."
Crowley finally, finally, gets some peace when Gabriel falls asleep, stretched across Crowley's couch like a particularly annoying cat, his head tucked under his arm and his wings folded flat to his back. When he breathes his feathers rustle.
Crowley wants to blame the Grace for his sudden fascination with Gabriel's wings, but he can't. He's never seen another angel's wings, and he wants to know more; touch them, taste them. They're close enough that he could just reach over and touch if he felt like it, but he's not going to.
He runs a finger around the rim of his glass, scowling at how sentimental a few hours with an angel has made him. Fuck Gabriel, if he wants to touch his feathers, he's going to. They're white, and soft looking, with an opalescence that reminds Crowley of oil slicks. His hand's nearly on them when Gabriel huffs and turns his face towards him.
"My Father, just do it already," Gabriel snaps. "Yes, they're pretty, and yes, a lot of demons want to pet them. Just freaking get it over with so I can sleep."
"You're reading my mind?" Crowley asks indignantly.
"Hard not to," Gabriel says, flexing his wing towards Crowley's hand.
"Bastard," Crowley hisses, wrapping his fingers around a handful of feathers with the full intention of pulling them out. He and Gabriel gasp at the same time. "Is that normal?" Crowley grits out.
"Nope," Gabriel says, arching into Crowley's touch. "Grooming would be a lot more interesting if it was."
Crowley runs his thumb down the center of a single feather, shivering when the same sensation runs down his spine. Gabriel bites his lip and pushes himself onto his elbows. "Feels good."
"Yeah," Crowley agrees, stroking his hand down Gabriel's wing. They're the kind of soft that makes his hand feel rough by comparison. Gabriel sighs contentedly, his eyes fluttering shut on Crowley's backstroke. Crowley makes an agreeable noise, warmth pooling in the bottom of his stomach.
"You do realize you're jerking me off, right?" Gabriel says.
Crowley lets go of the wing, all the sensation running out of him with a sigh. "And I was perfectly fine with it before you started running your mouth."
"Don't let me stop you," Gabriel says, looking at Crowley expectantly.
"Too late, angel," Crowley snaps.
He needs scotch.
Sexual frustration and revenge are the only reasons Crowley can discern when he wakes up to the sound of Freddie Mercury's voice. There is no possible way Gabriel is playing Bohemian Rhapsody for any reason other than to make Crowley suffer.
"What is that noise doing in my house?" Crowley asks, sitting up in his bed. Gabriel, instead of taking the couch, has opted to curl up beside him while he was asleep and steal all of his covers.
"Mmhuh?" Gabriel mumbles, scratching his head.
"Turn off the bloody music," Crowley orders.
"Fine," Gabriel says, shoving his face back into his pillow and snapping over his shoulder at Crowley. The sound dies away, mid scaramouch.
"What the hell was that?" Crowley snaps.
"My alarm clock," Gabriel says, sounding more than half asleep.
"You're not getting up," Crowley points out.
Gabriel shrugs, his wings fluttering. Crowley grabs a fistful of bed sheet and tugs, rolling Gabriel onto the floor with a thunk. "And now you are," Crowley says, smiling.
That's probably why Crowley winds up walking around with his own personal soundtrack for the rest of the day, like some bloody cartoon. Gabriel's hiding from him somewhere in the house, because he knows Crowley's going to wring his angel neck when he finds him.
"Come out, love," Crowley calls, softly. He's given up on stealth since the trumpets kicked in.
"How stupid do you think I am?" Gabriel snaps, his voice echoing around the room, coming from everywhere at once.
"You don't want me to answer that question, darling," Crowley says, settling himself onto the couch. What he suspects to be a xylophone quiets down, going from a walking pace to a slower, barely moving one.
"You'll never find me with that attitude," Gabriel says, and Crowley can just hear the smirk in his voice.
"You keep telling yourself that," Crowley says, closing his eyes. He reaches for the Grace still swirling around in his system and pushes into it, reveling for a second in Gabriel's -- and now his -- power. "And where, precisely, are you hiding?"
"Yeah, I'm gonna tell you that," Gabriel scoffs, and Crowley's Grace pulses. Got him.
"I think you just have, angel," he says, and his hand is around Gabriel's neck before he has the chance to remind Crowley that he is, in fact, an archangel.
Gabriel's wing lashes towards him and, just as Crowley's bracing himself for impact, he feels the blow on a different part of his body. One he was previously unaware of.
"Since when do you have wings?" Gabriel asks.
"Just now, I assume," Crowley answers, examining his new appendages. He drops Gabriel to run a hand through his feathers, marbled black and white.
"That's weird," Gabriel says.
"Shut up," Crowley says, not heatedly. He's more interested in his new wings than Gabriel. "D'you think I can fly?"
Crowley briefly, awfully, feels the squeeze of Gabriel's absence, before letting his Grace pull him along, and he's somewhere in the sky where it's freezing cold, above what may or may not be land it's that far away and he falls for a few seconds before the updraft catches his wings just right and he pushes against it and he's not falling.
"I'm going to kill you," he tells Gabriel, mesmerized by whatever is so far below their feet. He things he can make out a ridge that might be a mountaintop.
"You'll have to catch me first," Gabriel laughs, whooshing by Crowley. He tucks his wings down and plummets like a hawk. Crowley follows him, the wind whistling through his feathers as he tips into his nosedive.
Gabriel's just inside their range, but Crowley's catching up fast.
Somehow he finds himself passing Gabriel, speeding past him, wind roaring in his ears, the ground getting clearer and clearer, and Gabriel whips a hand out and touches him, and they're falling straight onto Crowley's bed, at a few hundred miles and hour. They land in a painful heap, Gabriel pinning Crowley down with his wing at an odd angle.
"What was that?" Crowley pants.
"Flying lesson." Gabriel licks his lips where they've chapped, tinged blue at the edges. "Crash course." He moves to roll over and Crowley holds him where he is.
"Don't do that again," Crowley hisses.
"Guess you'll just have to distract me," Gabriel chuckles, reaching a hand out and tangling his fingers in Crowley's feathers. They both jerk, unexpectedly. "I think your wings are more sensitive than mine."
"Shut up," Crowley says through clenched teeth, "and do that again."
For the sake of his Egyptian cotton sheets, Crowley has to outlaw candy in bed.
"Honey is not candy," Gabriel argues.
"I don't care," Crowley says, glaring at the container in Gabriel's hand. It's shaped like a plastic bear and Crowley would behead it if the action wasn't counterproductive to keeping his damn bed clean.
"It's not like you can't just remove any stains," Gabriel whines. "Magic angel dry cleaning powers, remember?"
"No." Gabriel huffs and draws the covers up to his chest.
"Not even if I make it a little more interesting?"
"You are not eating anything off of me," Crowley deadpans. "Out."
Gabriel doesn't stop scowling as Crowley slowly hunts down and destroys every sweet in the bedroom.
"You suck," Gabriel pouts.
Crowley throws a surprisingly large jaw breaker at his head. Gabriel ducks, grumbles, and disappears. It takes Crowley almost five minutes to feel strange in his absence. Not painful strange, but strange nonetheless. He thinks he might actually miss the nuisance of an archangel, and resolves to never think that within earshot of Gabriel.
“Wait,” Gabriel says, landing behind him with a soft wing beat, “you’re still here?”
“Obviously,” Crowley says.
“Because I was just in Greece.”
Crowley’s eyes widen. “I couldn't even tell.”
“We’re unstuck!” Gabriel laughs.
“Get the hell out of my house,” Crowley orders.
“See ya around,” Gabriel winks. He looks just as obscenely happy as Crowley feels.
Crowley immediately returns to hell. He has new powers to test and a few dozen employees that disobeyed a direct order.
He hasn’t had this much fun since the Inquisition.
It lasts about a month. Coming up with progressively more creative ways to hurt people is Crowley’s job, after all, and he is very damn good at it, thank you very much, but it’s not as enjoyable as it should be.
And he can’t even use his Grace, unless he wants to instantly vaporize a minion. That got boring after Crowley had to find an entirely new garrison of low level demons just to clean up after the messes he made of the demons they were replacing. There hasn’t been one argument the entire time he’s been back, since his entire department is so far up his ass to get away from his new angel powers. He’s itching for a good fight.
Which is how he finds himself working crossroads again. No one can haggle like a human trying to buy themselves more time.
He hadn’t counted on angels showing up and ruining his bloody deals.
Raphael reaches out a single hand and heals the third cancer patient this week and Crowley finally snaps.
“Why the hell are you here? Since when do you give a flying fuck about a few dying souls?” Crowley hisses.
“I don’t,” Raphael intones. “But I do care for my brother. I followed his trail, and here you are.”
“Gabriel?” Crowley asks, trying to ignore the roaring in his ears.
“His Grace.” Raphael points a finger at Crowley’s chest ominously. “Brother.”
“What did you do to me you slimy little -”
“Whoa, Crowley, down boy!” Gabriel shouts, throwing his hands up.
“- good for nothing waste of -”
“Is that any way to talk in front of a lady?”
“- prostitute fucking -”
“- half-dead prick?”
“What do you mean ‘half-dead’?” Gabriel snaps. The prostitutes take it as an opportunity to sneak away, leaving Gabriel alone in a jacuzzi built for about forty.
“You’ll be all dead when I’m through with you,” Crowley growls.
Gabriel sighs long-sufferingly. “What now, Crowley?”
“According to one of your fellow archangels,” Crowley says, “I’m no longer a demon.”
“Duh,” Gabriel says.
Crowley is going to drown him.
“You knew this was going to happen?”
“What do you think happens when you’re infused with Grace?”
“And you didn’t mention this before, because... ?” Crowley asks, shedding his jacket. Gabriel smirks appreciatively.
“I thought you knew.”
Crowley rolls his sleeves back, ignoring the wrinkles that he just knows are forming.
“Coming in, Crowley?” Gabriel asks.
“Yeah, I am.” Crowley toes his shoes off and climbs over the edge of the jacuzzi. Gabriel waves his hand and offers Crowley a glass of champagne.
Crowley slides into the water and grabs Gabriel by the throat.
“Don’t be like that, Elvis,” Gabriel laughs.
“You made me an angel,” Crowley huffs. “The one thing that can kill you, or don’t you remember?”
“... I didn’t know you knew that, actually.”
Crowley grins, pressing Gabriel against the wall of the jacuzzi.
“... So, the sex is still awesome,” Gabriel says, laying face up in the last two inches or so of water in the broken jacuzzi.
“Shut up,” Crowley snaps. He’s still moderately upset that he didn’t get a chance to kill Gabriel before he started doing that thing with his tongue. “How do we make me a demon again?”
“Oh, you definitely still have some demon in you, Elvis.”
“Focus, angel,” Crowley says, jabbing at Gabriel with his foot.
“You could fall?” Gabriel suggests.
“Become a human? Absolutely not,” Crowley scoffs. He’d been human, a long time ago. Demons have better benefits.
“What’s so bad about being an angel?” Gabriel asks, sitting up. Water sloughs off of him, seeping out of the tatters of his clothes.
“I’m not some goody-two-shoes messenger, angel,” Crowley says.
“No one is, now that Dad’s gone AWOL,” Gabriel muses. “I went pagan for a few hundred years and no one batted an eye.”
Ignoring Gabriel’s issues, Crowley has to admit that he has a point.
“Hell,” Gabriel snorts, “you could probably even work the crossroads. Just tell Raph that you’re saving souls.”
“That’s ludicrous,” Crowley scoffs.
“Maybe,” Gabriel says. “But then again he did make the playtipus because someone convinced him that ducks were supposed to look like that.” He’s grinning, and Crowley’s reasonably sure that someone was Gabriel.
During Crowley’s next long stay in hell he’s waiting the whole time for a superior to show up, and smite him for having the audacity to be an angel in hell, of all places. He’s spent far too long climbing the corporate ladder to be knocked off now, especially since the last demon knocked down from his position had a new and highly unpleasant torture named after him.
“... Boss?” pipes up a demon of the lowest level; boils, bad rashes, that sort of thing. “If it’s not too much asking, I need some marching orders, sir.”
“Excuse me?” Crowley hisses. All this kowtowing is making him nauseous.
“You haven’t given my regiment any orders, your wingedness,” it says. If it bowed any lower it’d be standing on its head.
“Keep it quiet about the wings,” Crowley snaps. “Especially from the higher ups.”
The imp looks as though it’s being tested.
“If you’ll pardon me, your eternal extra-badness, but... you are the highest up.” Crowley raises an eyebrow and tries to look like a demon with a twitchy smiting finger. “I mean, your epic sirlyness, but with Lucifer absent and Lilith dead... we thought you were in charge.”
“Of course I am,” Crowley answers, not skipping a beat.
It’s not quite how he imagined seizing power, but it’s a start.
Someone seems to have convinced Crowley’s minions that he wants to be addressed as Elvis, lord of the massive sideburns (though they aren’t quite that big, sir, they look quite fetching on you), and Crowley has an idea of who.
“How’s being acting king of hell treating you, Crowley?” Gabriel asks cheerfully. He stretches out a wing, gracefully, and touches one of Crowley’s. He recognizes it as something like a hello kiss.
“Interesting,” Crowley says.
“And the crossroads?”
“You were right about Raphael,” Crowley answers.
“Oh yeah?” Gabriel laughs. “Where is Raph, anyway?”
“Searching for Lucifer.” Crowley smiles. “In Georgia.”
Gabriel’s jaw drops, and his laughter sounds more surprised than anything. “You didn’t.”
“I picked up the idea from a friend of mine,” Crowley says. Gabriel grins, leaning in for a proper kiss.