Dean hates the way Crowley sounds so damn smug about it. Smug, and amused, and resigned. As if it's already been decided, like it's just a given that Crowley's the expendable one, the one they're all just going to throw to the proverbial hellhounds when the time comes.

Dean fucking hates that.

It's enough to make him slam on the breaks, slam the car door behind him, walk the deserted country road to where the headlights fade into the night. The creak of the passenger door, the familiar footsteps as the demon-turned-demonologist comes to stand beside the hunter. Together, they stare out into the dark.

"You seem to have forgotten that, of the lot of us" Crowley smirks, glances at Dean teasingly, "I'm the one entirely beyond redemption."

Crowley damn well knows Dean hates it when he makes light of shit like this. Probably why he does it, the sonovabitch.

"Yeah, well. We'd rather have you, damned or not."

The way the smirk falls away. The moment of uncertainty and cautious yearning before all the familiar walls go up, as if even after all these years Crowley's not entirely convinced of Dean's sincerity.

Yeah, Dean fucking hates that.

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Thanks for reading! Next chapter to be posted 9.25.2020.