Summary: 9x04 Tag – Come Darkness, Come Light 'verse – Crowley smirked as the angel stared at him. "Fancy meeting you here, eh?" Ezekiel arched Sam's eyebrow at the sarcasm. Because they both knew full well their paths would cross again here. The Men of Letters bunker being the epicenter of the ultimate chess match between good and evil.

Disclaimer: Not mine

Warnings: Spoilers for season nine and usual language

A/N: For those keeping track, sequentially this occurs between Finding Time To Lose and Yellow

Checkmate is a game position in chess, in which a player's king is threatened with capture and there is no legal move to escape the threat.

Crowley blinked open his eyes at the sound of the hinges squeaking on the heavy iron door, then blinked again and squinted as light flooded his cell.

The silhouette momentarily framed in the doorway was unmistakable.

Crowley grunted in recognition.

"Hello, Moose."

Though as the figure approached, it was clearly not Sam Winchester.

Sam's body – yes.

But something else, someone else was manning the controls.

Crowley knew even before Sam's eyes flashed blue, the supernatural hue glowing especially bright in the lingering darkness of the dungeon cell.

The former King of Hell chuckled.

"My, what blue eyes you have..." Crowley commented as if he was reciting a line from a familiar storybook.

As if he was the victim and the angel now standing in front of him was the wolf.

"...although I don't recall that being your natural color."

Ezekiel said nothing – keeping Sam's expression neutral in response to Crowley's baiting – and instead slid a sheet of paper on the table with a black crayon.

Crowley didn't even look down to acknowledge what had been set before him but held Ezekiel's gaze, smirking as the angel stared at him.

"Fancy meeting you here, eh?"

Ezekiel arched Sam's eyebrow at the sarcasm.

Because they both knew damn well their paths would cross again here.

The Men of Letters bunker being the epicenter of the ultimate chess match between good and evil.

And while it had always been better to be the chess player and not the chess piece, those roles seemed dually occupied now.

It was time to make a move.

Crowley maintained his smirk as he stared up at the angel. "You know...I was beginning to think we had broken up," he pouted. "I mean, you don't write. You don't call. You don't visit...until now."

Ezekiel shook Sam's head. "We are not together, Rex Infernus."

"Ooo..." Crowley singsonged and pretended to shiver in delight; the collar around his neck and the chains surrounding him clanking with the motion. "I love it when you talk Latin."

He paused.

"Maybe if I'm really naughty you'll lay some Hebrew on me...or maybe even a little Enochian."

Crowley waggled his eyebrows suggestively as if he was aroused by the thought of the angelic language.

Ezekiel sighed, transforming Sam's expression to a perfect bitchface. "I do not have time or patience for your jesting. There is work to be done. And the window of opportunity is narrow..."

Crowley chuckled, amused by the angel's seriousness. "You chose your vessel well," he observed. "Since Sam also has a perpetual stick up his ass..."

Ezekiel narrowed Sam's eyes at the insult, the blue suddenly glowing more intensely in the dimly lit cell as the lights in the hall flickered.

Crowley chuckled again. "Temper, temper..." he scolded and tsked like a disapproving schoolmarm.

Ezekiel maintained his glare.

Crowley sighed. "Okay, fine..." he relented and glanced up at the ceiling. "If you're down here without a chaperone, I take it big brother is – "

" – yes," Ezekiel confirmed about Dean having left the bunker. "He is transporting the prophet to an undisclosed location."

"That's what he thinks..." Crowley countered and smiled at how delicious it was to have an inside man on this job. "But you know where our Little Bo Peep is stashing his sheep...don't you?"

Ezekiel pulled a face at Crowley's description of Dean and his task but nodded.

"Yes. Of course I have knowledge of the prophet's whereabouts."

"Excellent," Crowley replied and then paused, seeming to realize a more suitable form of praise. "Or rather...well done, good and faithful servant..." he amended and smirked at Ezekiel's offended expression. "What? You aren't the only one among us who can quote Scripture."

"I know," Ezekiel agreed smoothly. "For even the demons believe...and tremble."

Crowley nodded, his collar once again clanking as his head bobbed. "James 2:19..." he easily identified. "Though I prefer, 'Beware of those who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.'"

The former King of Hell stared meaningfully at the angel.

Ezekiel clenched Sam's jaw at the implication. "Matthew 7:15."

"Indeed," Crowley confirmed, holding the angel's gaze. "That comparison ring any bells?"

Ezekiel lifted Sam's chin defiantly. "There are many who walk the earth cloaked in deception. But what you intended for evil, I have used for good. And I explain myself to no one, least of all you."

"Or Dean..."

Crowley paused, smiling.

"Am I right...or am I right?"

"You are rarely as right or as smart as you think," Ezekiel informed coolly. "I am of my word and will keep my word. Dean knows the terms of our arrangement."

"Yes, I'm sure he does," Crowley remarked, shifting in his chair and rattling his chains. "Like myself, I'm sure you give just enough information to bait the hook...but conveniently omit the fine print."

Ezekiel didn't respond.

Crowley's smile widened, knowing he was right regardless of the angel's denial.

"And I'm sure big brother doesn't know the company you keep...present company included. Or the plans you have..."

"My plans are perfect," Ezekiel countered. "'For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future...'"

Crowley arched an eyebrow at the quoted verse. "That's sweet," he replied, his expression not matching his words. "Though Moose may not agree with you..."

Ezekiel narrowed Sam's eyes. "He does not like when you call him that."

"Oh?" Crowley asked as though he was surprised by the announcement. "Well then, I'll have to call him that more often."

Ezekiel said nothing.

Crowley chuckled.

There was silence.

"You know..." Crowley mused. "Even if Sam does agree with your plans, you still have to get through big brother."

"Dean is not my concern," Ezekiel scoffed.

"Clearly," Crowley agreed and paused, seeming to realize something. "Speaking of the squirrel, I bet Dean doesn't even know that you were here long before the angels fell from Heaven," the former King of Hell continued. "And I bet he hasn't figured out that if you can still use your powers...then your wings are only damaged, not burned off like a fly beneath a magnifying glass."

Like all the other angels who had fallen from Heaven...wingless and powerless.

"Sssss..." Crowley hissed, imitating the sound of burning wings. "Gotta love the stench of burnt grace."

Ezekiel didn't react, watching Crowley like a father reaching the end of his patience.

Crowley chuckled once again, his laughter echoing in the small, shadowed space.

There was more silence.

"How goes it with Metatron?"

Ezekiel frowned at the question, wrinkling Sam's forehead. "How should I know?"

Crowley flashed an exaggerated blank expression. "Seriously?" he countered dryly.

Because he knew otherwise.

But Ezekiel shrugged, offering no other response.

Crowley snorted. "Fine."

He paused.

"Then where do we stand with our plan?"

"It is not our plan," Ezekiel corrected, his tone sharp inside of Sam's voice. "My plan and your plan operate independently of each other and will intersect at the appointed time."

Crowley rolled his eyes. "Blah, blah, blah..." he drawled. "Enough waiting. The time is now."

"To everything there is a season..." Ezekiel reminded, once again paraphrasing Scripture. "A time for war and a time for peace – "

" – and a time for you to kiss my ass."

Ezekiel blinked at Crowley's interruption and twitched a smile with Sam's lips, like a cat amused by a feisty mouse.

The silence stretched.

"You may say what you wish. And you may do what you can," the angel finally allowed. "But we both know, even in my weakened state, my power is greater than yours."

He paused.

"Therefore, you are not a threat to me," Ezekiel concluded. "Your only ability now is to run to the end of your chain and bark."

Crowley predictably bristled at the taunt, his movement rattling those chains that held him.

Ezekiel smiled, splaying Sam's massive hands over the table and leaning forward to stare more directly into Crowley's eyes.

"Any previous relationship between us has been severed. For you are exactly where I want you. And here you will stay..." he told the former King of Hell, glancing around the dark, damp cell before refocusing on Crowley.

Crowley held his gaze.

"Checkmate," Ezekiel quipped with a wink and turned, not looking back as he switched off the light and closed the dungeon's door behind him.