He really should have known better. The peace of mind that had come from talking to Crowley kept Dean going for a week before everything started to fall apart again. When he went back to the same spot on the cliff, he tried to tell himself that it wasn't because he was hoping to see the demon. It was just to think, the same as the last time. The longer he sat out there, though, the harder it became to convince himself. And by the time he had sat there for an hour, turning his head at every sound, he began to give up hope.
He sighed as he got back into his truck, feeling even worse than he had when he had come out here.
"Don't leave on my account."
Dean spun around, catching himself on the door as he half-slipped out of his truck. "I was starting to think you weren't coming tonight."
Crowley's amused smirk slipped from his face, his eyes widening slightly. "You're here to see me?"
"I… no, I just… figured if you were coming, you'd be here by now." He knew it was a worthless excuse that Crowley would see right through, but thankfully, he didn't press it.
"I had things to do." He took a couple of steps toward Dean. "Will you stay for a bit?"
Dean couldn't help but give a small smile. "Why not? I don't have anywhere else to be." He stepped out of his truck, shutting the door behind him.
It became a weekly thing, meeting Crowley at the cliff. Dean felt a little guilty, but it wasn't like he was actually cheating on Lisa. All he and Crowley did was talk, and he always came away from it feeling better. It was what kept him going.
"Are things getting any better for you?"
It was a couple of months since they had started their weekly meet-ups, and they were laying in the back of Dean's truck, Dean looking up at the sky while Crowley watched him.
Dean could hear the skepticism in Crowley's voice and he sighed. "Yes, really. I've been feeling a lot better lately."
"You know, when I ask that, I'm asking about your actual fairy tale life, not our secret meetings."
"What does it matter, when it's still part of my life?"
"Because it's not, really. I'm just a small piece of your past that you can escape to once a week."
"Well, it's still the highlight of my week."
Genuine surprise showed on Crowley's face and Dean froze as he realized what he had just said.
"I just mean… I enjoy it."
"I know what you mean, Dean, and it's very telling."
"Drop it, Crowley."
"Why can't you allow yourself to do what you enjoy, for once?"
"I'm here, aren't I?"
"Yes, but for how much longer? Why go back when it's not the life you want?"
Dean turned his head to look at Crowley more directly. "You know why."
"And I still say that's not a real reason."
"So what do you want me to do? Leave Lisa? Run off with you?"
"I want you to be happy."
"Well, I am."
"I have to, Crowley! I can't very well say that I'm happier with a demon than my very sweet girlfriend, who has completely altered her life to be there for me!"
"Then why do you even come out here, Dean?"
Dean took a deep breath, looking away from Crowley. "Great question." He pushed himself up into a sitting position. "Goodbye, Crowley."
"No, wait, Dean. I didn't mean that." Crowley hastily sat up, catching Dean's hand before he could get out of the truck bed.
"Doesn't matter. You're right."
"Dean, please, I'm sorry. Can we just forget this entire conversation?"
Dean was about to say no, but he made the mistake of looking Crowley in the eyes and he caved. "Fine."
"Thank you." Crowley glanced down to where his hand was still wrapped around Dean's. Neither of them moved. "I never answered your question from the first time I found you out here."
"And what question was that?"
"What did I come out here to think about?"
"So, what's the answer?"
Crowley took a deep breath before looking back up to meet Dean's eyes. "You."
Dean didn't know who kissed whom, but suddenly their lips were moving against each other, passionate and desperate. They fell back to the bed of the truck, Crowley's hands clutching at Dean's back, and one of Dean's hands gripping Crowley's short hair while the other ran along his side. Dean didn't know how long the kiss lasted, maybe a minute, maybe thirty, but when he finally pulled back, he was panting.
"Dean…" Crowley breathed.
Dean pushed himself up and nearly completely out of the truck bed, his legs dangling over the edge. "I should go," he muttered, his voice rougher than usual, his eyes locked on the ground.
But Dean was already up and climbing into the cab of the truck. Crowley materialized beside him, placing a hand on the door to keep him from closing it.
"See you next week?" The worry was obvious in Crowley's voice and Dean felt an ache in his chest.
"I don't know," he answered honestly, attempting to close the door.
Crowley sighed and stepped back, watching Dean drive off.
The more Dean thought out it, the surer he was that he would not be going back. What had he been thinking? He had a girlfriend, he couldn't go about kissing demons. Meeting with Crowley at all had been a mistake, one that he had to put a stop to now.
It was an easy concept in theory, but without Crowley, his life began to weigh on him again. One week later and he felt worse than he had felt even before he had started meeting with Crowley. Two weeks later and he was at a breaking point, with which came a sort of clarity.
All along, he had known that Crowley had been right, and now he no longer saw the point in attempting to deny it. He knew what he wanted, and as great as Lisa and Ben were, as much as he truly cared about them, it wasn't them. Surprisingly enough, Lisa understood, and she responded with a calmness that made Dean wonder how long she had been expecting this conversation. He didn't have much to pack up, and so an hour later he was back in his Impala and on his way to his and Crowley's spot, hoping the demon would be there.
As he pulled into the outlet, the demon turned around, blinking in surprise.
Dean didn't let him get anything else out. He had jumped out of the car and pressed Crowley against the side, his lips crashing against his before the demon had a chance to comprehend what was happening. Crowley returned the kiss eagerly and Dean's hands slipped between them, pulling at the buttons of Crowley's jacket. When Crowley realized what Dean was doing, though, he pulled back, his hands resting on his shoulders.
"Dean, I am not having sex with you out in the middle of the country. There's no telling what sort of things are out here; I could get bit by some poisonous creature and die."
"You can't die from poison," Dean pointed out.
"You could, though. Besides, I have more class than this."
Dean rolled his eyes. "What do you suggest, then?"
Crowley smiled as he brought a hand up and snapped his fingers. The next second, the two of them stood in a lavish bedroom, furnished in black and red. "What do you think?"
"Where are we?"
"I thought Lucifer burnt your house down."
"I got a new one, obviously."
"It's nice. A little… show-offish…. It suits you." He smirked.
"You know, Dean, just because I'm not as cheap as you, it doesn't mean I'm – 'show-offish.'"
"I'm not cheap! Hunting just doesn't pay well."
"I thought you weren't a hunter."
"I'm…" Dean sighed. "I guess I don't know anymore."
Crowley scrutinized Dean for a second, then walked over to sit on the edge of the bed, patting the space beside him. "What's going on with you, Dean?"
Dean sat down beside Crowley, staring into space for a few seconds before speaking. "I wasn't going to come back. I was sure of it this time. But… I missed you. It wasn't the life weighing on me anymore. Sure, I still prefer hunting to the way things are now, but that wasn't what was bothering me. I just want to be with you, whatever life I'm leading."
It was probably one of the hardest things Dean had ever admitted, but it was also one hundred percent true. He could be happy doing just about anything, as long as he was coming home to Crowley.
He felt Crowley's hand on his cheek, turning his head to face him. "That can be arranged," he said softly, before kissing him passionately.
The kiss started out soft and fervent, but it quickly became more rough and desperate. Crowley grabbed tightly at Dean's hair as he pushed him back onto the bed and straddled him, both of them kicking off their shoes as they fell back. The last time that the two of them had slept together, the only time that Dean had been aware of Crowley's true identity, Dean had been determined for it to mean nothing, for it to be the last time for them. This was completely different. Now they were both being one hundred percent honest to each other, and it wasn't the end, it was the beginning. Somehow these simple changes made everything so much more amazing.
"Crowley?" Dean murmured as he curled into the demon's side, his breathing slowly returning to normal.
"Hmm?" Crowley hummed as he stroked his hand through Dean's hair.
Dean held his breath as he struggled to figure out exactly how he wanted to word his question. "Do you… I mean, you've sort of made it seem as though you honestly care about me… and maybe even a little more than just that… But do you, really? Is that even possible for you?"
Crowley was silent for a few seconds, and as much as Dean wanted to look up to see his expression, he was scared of what it might be. When Crowley spoke, his voice was hesitant and pensive. "Demons rarely fall in love. It is something that we try to avoid, as a general rule. It is a dangerous weakness, and beyond that, it just ruins our reputations. It does happen, though. I know of only a small handful of demons who have fallen in love – always with other demons. I have never heard of a demon falling in love with a human, or any other species. Of course, I don't imagine that they would advertise it, even if they did. I can only imagine what other demons would say, and I can't see everyone making it out alive in order to live out their happily ever after…." Crowley sighed. "That being said, I am very hesitant to admit my feelings for you. But… I am very powerful and do hold a fair amount of sway, so… it's your choice if it's worth the risk."
Dean pushed himself up, off the demon's chest, in order to look him in the eyes, searching the hazel depths for some kind of sign. At this point, there was no more denying how he felt about Crowley; he just had to decide if pursuing what he wanted was worth risking his life for, and if he could truly trust a demon to return his feelings. And what he saw in Crowley's eyes was the same look he had worn so many times that he had looked at him; the look that, while they were dating, Dean took as assurance that their relationship did mean something to the both of them; the look that, after Dean had learned the truth, he tried to pretend he didn't see. It was a look that he had a hard time not trusting, and now he had no desire to doubt it. Because as long as Dean was right in this, he had no doubt that Crowley was worth the risk.
Dean drew in a deep breath, his gaze growing determined. "I love you, Crowley."
Crowley let out the breath that he had been holding, his wide eyes making it obvious that he hadn't expected Dean to say the words aloud. Dean caught the smile that was just starting to form before Crowley leaned in and kissed him softly. "Good," he murmured as he drew back.
Dean raised his eyebrows. "Good? That's it?"
Crowley blinked. "You aren't going to actually make me say it, are you?" he demanded indignantly.
"Yeah, yeah, I am!"
"Dean, I think that's all pretty well implied. Surely you don't need to hear the words."
"I'd like to. Why won't you just say it?"
"Because I'm a demon! It's embarrassing!"
"It's embarrassing to admit that you love me?"
Dean just glared at him for a moment before shaking his head and pushing himself away. "Fine, if this is so embarrassing for you, how about I just leave? I'd hate to be any kind of burden on you, after all."
Crowley groaned. "You're insufferable, you know that?" he snapped.
Dean turned back towards him with a slight smirk. "Is that all?"
"No," he sighed, running a hand over his face. "I love you," he mumbled into his hand, the words barely audible.
"What was that?" Dean pressed, his smirk growing.
Crowley's head snapped up, his eyes focusing on Dean in a glare. "I love you," he growled so vehemently that Dean couldn't help but laugh.
He cupped either side of Crowley's face in his hands and pulled him into a longer kiss. "I suppose I'll stick around, then."