A.N. This is an AU starting after the hellhound chase in Caged Heat. A random idea that sort of hit me in the middle of a lovely week in Hawaii. I think my subconscious was missing the angst. SO, it's going to have a bit of everything in the pairing department. It's kind of slash but as canon as possible? I've never written slash before so feel free to tell me if I'm crap at it (although there's none in this chapter).

P.S. I haven't abandoned the other stories. I just needed to get this out and see if anyone liked it. PLEASE REVIEW SO I KNOW :)

Sam watched as Meg opened her mouth and stood gaping up at the ceiling for a good two seconds before she apparently realized that something was not quite right.

"It's a spell, I think, from Crowley," Castiel answered the unspoken question, looking more out of breath than Sam had seen him in a while. The smug look in his blue eyes threatened to pull a smirk from Sam's lips, "Within these walls you're locked inside your body."

"Well, karma's a bitch," Dean snarked, looking back towards the door to hide his own satisfied expression, "Bitch."

Not that Sam didn't find it all very amusing, but there was a time for jokes and a time for running, and right now his very soul-less brain was telling him to get his ass moving. But neither he nor Dean could see the hellhounds, and making Cas stay behind to fight them off wouldn't be a good idea, considering he was their trump card against Crowley. So that only left the demon.

Hell, if they chewed Meg to death Sam couldn't find it in himself to fake feeling bad about it.

Pulling Ruby's knife from his belt, he frowned, reluctant to hand it over. But Dean had of course seen him, and apparently mistakenly thought once again that a lack of soul means a lack of brains.

"What are you gonna do? You gonna slash into thin air until you hit something?" Sam ignored him, offering the knife to Meg.

"You can see them." He explained, noticing the measuring look in Meg's eyes and the way Cas tilted his head beside him, "Take this, hold them off. It's our best shot."

She seemed to think about it before refusing, "At Crowley. Take it and go." He could practically feel Dean frowning beside him, "You kill the smarmy dick," Her voice sounded graver than usual, but there was something off and Sam's eyes narrowed, "I'll hold off the dogs."

"Well, how're you gonna do that if you—" Dean's voice was cut off mid sentence as Meg just turned to Cas and curled a hand behind his neck to pull his lips down to hers.

For the first time in a long time, Sam felt something writhe inside him. He couldn't quite place the feeling. What was it, jealousy?

Castiel's brow was furrowed in obvious confusion, the shock rendering him momentarily immobile. Suddenly, Sam found his eyes drawn to Meg's free hand, and noticed she was searching inside the angel's trench coat. Everything fell into place then.

Too late.

Before he could think to warn the angel, the demon had pulled back his sword and stabbed him in the stomach, causing a surprised sound to leave Cas' lips that made something in Sam's chest tighten.

What was it with him today?

"Cas!" Dean yelled in alarm, already darting forward to keep the angel from falling. Sam frowned as he saw the bluish light leaving Castiel's wound, and held Ruby's knife tightly before stepping towards the demon.

She lifted Cas' blade, taking a few steps back, that familiar leer back on her face.

"Not so fast, Sammy." She cooed, but Sam could see her eyes drift uneasily towards the doors as the hellhounds got closer to barring them open.

"Meg, what the hell!" Dean snarled, struggling to keep Cas on his feet while putting pressure on the wound. Sam could hear the angel's wheezing behind him and glared coldly at the demon in front of him.

"Oh, come on, Deano," she teased, "Me and Clarence had some unfinished business, and I just figured out a way to get sweet, sweet payback for the lovely body art you left on me last time." She lifted her shirt to show them the ugly burns that marred the white skin of her stomach.

"So now what?" Sam asked, interrupting whatever string of insults Dean had been ready to throw at her, "You go and take care of Crowley all on your own? With an angel blade?" his lips quirked up, "You don't even know if it'll work, do you?"

Meg's eyes narrowed as she glared at him, "The dogs will take their time chewing on your puppy angel's wings. You boys will be dessert." She sang, "Meanwhile I'll take that toy Scottie by surprise and stick it where it hurts."

Sam lunged at her once again, only to have her lash out with he free hand, sending him crashing against the wall while Dean and Cas flew back towards the other, his brother's grunt muffling Castiel's pained one. And it was a testament of how weak the angel was that he could be flung around by a measly demon.

"So," she chirped, "I'm just about done dealing with you bunch of horny teens," she strolled over to Castiel's trembling frame as he hung from the wall, grace bursting out with the blood tinting his shirt red. "Although," she raised an eyebrow, leering openly at the angel like only a demon had a right to, "I must admit, Clarence, it was fun," she bit her lip, lifting her free hand to run it down his chest and stick his hand in the wound, making Castiel tighten his jaw and glare down at Meg with an otherworldly coldness that made something deep inside Sam's soulless chest shiver with unexpected interest.

Seemingly torn between disappointment and lust at Castiel's silence, Meg ripped her hand from the wound, earning nothing but a muffled rasp.

"You're more stupid than I thought," Sam chuckled chokingly, her invisible grip making it hard to breathe, "I wasn't expecting you to turn on us until after we'd offed Crowley."

Meg turned to look at him, "Yeah, well, I hadn't expected to have an opening to take Blue Eyes, or trust me, I would have waited," she sent another leer in Cas' direction over her shoulder, "But such a great opportunity, I couldn't help but give in." she raised an eyebrow, "Temptation's not something I'm used to resisting." She winked lasciviously at the angel.

Dean was practically trembling with rage on Castiel's behalf, which in any other circumstance, Sam might have found amusing, but now he couldn't help but empathize with his brother. Which was just about the weirdest thing he'd come across since he'd been brought back.

"I wouldn't feel so triumphant…if I were you," Castiel rasped, a small smirk tugging on his lips at the questioning look in the demon's eyes, "If the…the hellhounds are here then…Crowley knows too."

Meg's eyes narrowed, and suddenly all her satisfaction seemed to have disappeared in favor of nervousness, maybe fear? "You know something," she accused, walking back to the angel, the blade a dangerous reminder of her power over him.

Castiel huffed a breath that, Sam thought, was as close to a chuckle as anything, "I just know…that if you'd b—" he winced, "Bothered to pay…attention…you'd have notices something." Meg frowned, her patience running thin as she studied the angel's blue gaze.

Then Sam got it.

"It's awfully quiet in here, don't you think?"

Dean's eyes widened in understanding only to close as he let his head fall back against the wall with a dry chuckle, "Wow. Today's just not your day, is it?"

Meg was already looking around in fear. Of course, Sam did remember that Crowley liked to brag about the size of his hellhounds, so maybe it was for good reason. Not that he'd be able to sympathize at the moment.

"Seems like…you'll end up serving…as dog food, just—" Sam found he didn't like how pale Cas was becoming. Not that he cared. Because he didn't. He couldn't. Right? "Just like us." He finished with a tired, small grin.

The demon snapped her eyes to glare back at him, black as ebony in the midst of her fear. But before she could threaten to do anything to Cas, the doors they'd been trying to escape through burst open, and a choir of angry barks and roars echoed through the hallway directly towards them.

Meg was the first to go down. A hound leaped on top of her and pushed her harshly to the floor, earning a terrified scream from the demon. And despite the fact that Sam would have been perfectly fine with watching her get torn apart, the hounds just held her down and snarled threateningly whenever she struggled.

Okay? So much for that.

At least it set them free. Sam used this time to try and catch his breath, only to see his brother tense across from him, eyeing the space in front of Cas with something between fear and protectiveness while Cas simply leaned heavily against the wall. Dean stepped in front of the angel—unarmed, the idiot—in a last attempt to protect him from the hellhounds, but he was thrown aside without much effort on their part, it seemed.

Sam was going to try to help—what? He was—but was thrown off by the angel's expression. He didn't seem afraid. In fact, if Sam didn't know any better he'd have said he looked relieved.

Dean was glaring disbelievingly at him from wherever he'd landed, "Sam, what are you doing!" he growled, staggering to his feet to help Castiel.

But Sam just raised his hand and shushed him, not taking his eyes off the angel, "Look."

Castiel let himself slide down to the floor, a small gasp of pain making it past his lips.

Then the unthinkable happened.

A couple of very dog-like whimpers came from somewhere in front of the angel, and the padding of paws on the dirty marble floor as the hounds carefully approached Cas and…licked his face?

Sam still couldn't see them but from the sounds of if, and the way that Cas' cheeks were suddenly wet with sticky-looking saliva, he was pretty sure the big, scary hellhounds were acting around Cas like sweet, little puppies.

"The hell?" he heard Dean mutter.

"Looks like Cas is the…hellhound whisperer." Sam snorted, still unable to look away from the angel, who was trying to push the hounds away so they would stop liking his face.

"Well I'll be damned." Dean raised his eyebrows, eying the angel with a mixed look of amusement and disbelief.

A loud whistle startled them out of the reverie, and they turned to the closest door to see Crowley watching them with his usual smug expression. The hellhounds whined and padded back towards their master, one of them bumping Dean on the way, who barely managed to keep himself from jumping.

The demon looked down at Meg, who had been released by the hellhound and had backed up against the farthest wall, glaring hatefully at Crowley.

"Crowley," she greeted, a pathetic attempt to hide her fear and anger behind her usual leer.

Crowley arched his eyebrows, as though surprised that she'd even try to speak in her situation. Sam knew better than to think he was anything but amused at the moment, "Whore." He replied easily, making Meg's grin vanish from her face.

She took a reckless step forward only to be stopped by the angry snarl of a hellhound. Apparently still smart enough to not risk getting mauled, she pressed her back to the wall again.

A muffled pained grunt brought everyone's attention back to Castiel, who was trying in vain to push himself up. Dean immediately went to his aid and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, urging him to stay down.

Crowley watched all this with a look that Sam wasn't quite sure how to read, but as those dark eyes focused on the fallen angel, there was a familiarity in them that made the hunter pause.

"Really, Cas," Sam could practically feel Dean blanch at the use of the nickname, "This is getting ridiculous."

Sam frowned, looking down at Castiel, who was glaring angrily at the demon. Dean's eyes moving from the angel to Crowley in confusion.

"How many times am I gonna have to clean up your messes?"