Regret and Reminiscing
The bottle was half empty already. Crowley couldn't remember drinking it, but he must have, there being no one else who could have done so. There were already two empty Scotch bottles on the table, and he was on his way to finishing a third. He really shouldn't be drinking Scotch like that cheap swill on the streets, but he was beyond caring. All he cared about right now was him; all Crowley could see when he closed his eyes was him. Oh, those gorgeous eyes, like molten gold, so striking and otherworldly, unlike any human's he had seen before. He set the bottle down with a thump and placed a tired hand over his eyes. Oh, why, why did he have to be so stubborn! Crowley told him not to go, he told him what would happen, but, no, of course he didn't listen, the stubborn arse he was. He was so sure that he could stop his brother, so determined to stand up for those Winchester boys. Memories floated unbidden to the surface, and though he tried to stop them, Crowley dropped unwillingly back into the past, into his brief but unforgettable relationship with Gabriel.
They first met in a candy shop out in a rural town called Creston, Washington. Crowley gotten wind of massive powers spikes down in the hot-pot called Hell from other demons. Being naturally curious, he decided to check it out. That would be how he got himself stuck in a time-loop involving two rather handsy lads and a busty dominatrix. Not that he didn't enjoy it all, it's just that he soon realized that a regular trickster, as what rumors said what the deity was, just simply can't be this powerful. So, he did his very best to get out of the very pleasant time-loop, and once he did, confronted the fake-trickster. Of course, that was how he met Gabriel, the candy-loving runaway archangel. They hit it off immediately, after mutually agreeing not to kill each other. Oh, the time they spent in that town, dealing out just desserts, pranking people. He wasn't sure when exactly he realized that he was in love with Gabriel, but when he had to leave to deal with some crossroads affairs, he suddenly didn't want to go. He had grown attached to the fun-loving angel, having so much in common with each other. Gabriel had promised they would meet again, so after a wild night together in silk sheets, Crowley left Creston, and his tawny-eyed angel.
Crowley shook his head and took another drink. He was a demon, for Hell's sake! He shouldn't be feeling these emotions! He shouldn't be- crying? Crowley reached up to touch the wet spot on his cheek. Why- How was he crying? Another memory surfaced, and this time he didn't bother to suppress it.
The second time they met was less pranks and more fooling around with each other in the time that followed. Of course, Crowley knew that their relationship wasn't permanent, that a demon and an angel could never end up together, but he didn't care. For once, he wanted to live in the moment. Gabriel wasn't exactly complaining, either. This time, they spent longer with each other, almost a year, even moving in with each other. Crowley would go back to his mansion time to time, just to check in on things, but he and Gabriel would always spend their nights together. As they both didn't need to sleep much, they had a lot of fun during that time.
Of course, everything blew over when he came home one day to find a hastily-written goodbye note and no sign of Gabriel. His heart broke for the first time in centuries, and that night was the first night he actually drank himself drunk.
Crowley stared at the picture on the table. It was taken at their favorite loch in Scotland, where he had gotten some real Scotch for a change and introduced Gabriel to the marvelous Scottish culture. In the picture, they were both wearing kilts, a result of much pleading from the angel. Gabriel looked gorgeous, as usual. Crowley never liked wearing kilts much, but he seemed never able to refuse his golden-eyed angel anything. He closed his eyes, but those molten eyes seemed to be stamped on the inside of his eyelids, sometimes blazing with heavenly fury, sometimes dark with lust, and sometimes…filled with disappointment and loneliness.
They met again, three years later, in a park, of all places! Crowley was just strolling around the park, minding his own business, looking for potential clients, when he caught a flash of gold across the small pond. He froze, fervently telling himself it was just his imagination, that it was just someone else with both golden hair and golden eyes and a short stature. Any hopes of this were dashed when the man looked up, and Crowley saw his true face under the vessel. Three pairs of shining wings, ranging in color from pale gold to blood red to light brown, and four huge animal heads: an eagle, facing north; a fox, facing west; a wolf, facing east; and a monkey, facing south. Currently, the golden eyes of the fox was staring at Crowley, wide and filled with surprise, guilt, and many other emotions the demon couldn't place. Crowley couldn't help but stare into that mesmerizing gaze. The park seemed to disappear as they stared at each other, both unable to pull away. Finally, Crowley gathered the strength to turn away. He closed his eyes briefly, fighting down the urge to run to Gabriel, and with some self-restraint he never knew he had, he started to walk away. He hadn't gotten very far when he heard the angel calling after him. "Crowley, please don't- can we talk?" Foot frozen in mid-air, the demon stopped. He forced himself not to turn around. "What is there to talk about, Gabriel?" he said in an icy voice. He heard footsteps approaching, stopping behind him, but he still didn't turn. "Crowley, please, I know- I know I messed up, okay? You probably will never forgive me, and I'm not expecting you to…" Crowley forced a flicker of emotion down. Not for the first time nor the last, he told himself vehemently that demons shouldn't feel emotions. Unfortunately, he couldn't block out Gabriel's voice, no matter how hard he tried. The archangel sounded more broken, more raw and emotional, than he had ever heard. He turned around, carefully composing his face a blank mask. "You're right, I never will, so why are still here talking to me? Don't you have better things to do than to converse with a demon?" he said in a flat tone. Gabriel flinched like he had struck him. "I…I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry, and maybe…tell you why I left…" he looked straight down at the ground, scuffling his shoes together like a schoolboy knowing he had done something wrong, and was waiting to be punished. Crowley's metaphorical heart melted a little, but he was careful not to show it. He wanted nothing more but to sit down with Gabriel again, to hear every little thing that he has to tell, to forgive him and let him back into his life. But, of course, there was that small matter of betrayal and pain in the way. Still carefully withholding all emotion from his expression, he crossed his arms. "Toby's, 8 o'clock, don't be late, and don't waste my time." he said, then without waiting for a reply, snapped his fingers and teleported away.
A sigh escaped Crowley's lips, as he remembered the conversation they had. He had purposely not told Gabriel which Toby's, and had secretly enjoyed the sight of the angel bursting through the door of the high-end club exactly at eight, looking as though he had just ran a marathon. He had wasted no time on pleasantries; instead immediately demanding that Gabriel explain his reasons for leaving so abruptly last time, and what he wanted. Turns out Gabriel had only left because, in his own words, 'afraid of responsibility and commitment'. Crowley had scoffed at that, but in truth, he knew exactly what Gabriel meant. After all, the archangel left Heaven for those reasons, because he didn't want to get between his brothers and their prizefight, and didn't want to rule over Earth like his 'dickhead' (Gabriel's word, not his) brothers did. As soon as Gabriel had finished, he went to leave, but Crowley, being the love-sick wanker he was, told him to stay, and finish his drink. Apparently, Gabriel took that as a good sign, and he had sat down again with a more toned down version of his characteristic grin on his face.
Their relationship didn't fix itself at once, of course, but after that meeting, Crowley and Gabriel reconciled, opting to stay as friends at first. Gabriel had been perfectly fine with that, being the one that suggested it, but Crowley wasn't as content. It had been him in the end that caved and asked Gabriel for more than just friendly companionship. He would never forget that moment, when Gabriel's golden eyes lit up with a bright spark that had been absent for a long time, and smirking mischievously, pulled Crowley in for a passionate kiss by his collar.
They had a good time together, keeping themselves happy and relatively safe, even when Lucifer was raised by those two idiots, Moose and Squirrel. Gabriel still went away from time to time, to get the pranking out of his system, but he never went away without informing Crowley first, and so Crowley tolerated it. Of course, everything went downhill from the moment the boys found out Gabriel's true identity. Gabriel had come home from that encounter, looking somewhat shaken up. When asked what was wrong, he wouldn't answer, and instead teleported himself into an empty room in the house. When Crowley tried the door and found it locked, he gave up the cause and left his angel alone to brood. He had known something was wrong then, but Gabriel wouldn't tell him, so he didn't pry and left the matter alone.
Elysian Fields Hotel was one of the last places that Crowley would've thought as a great vacation spot, being in the middle of literally nowhere, but Gabriel had insisted on going. That wasn't exactly all that weird by itself, but what was weird was that Gabriel had insisted on going alone. When Crowley had gotten suspicious and asked just what the angel was going to do there, Gabriel just winked at him and told him not to 'fuss too much, you're starting to sound like Sasquatch.' That night, they made passionate love; Crowley should have known that would be the last time. Gabriel left the next day, promising to be back in a few days, and left Crowley with a goodbye kiss. That was the last time Crowley ever saw his angel, except when he saw the picture of Gabriel's vessel lying prone on the floor, ashen wings leaving an imprint on the wood.
The phone beside him buzzed slightly, indicating a new text. Crowley ignored it, taking another pull from the Scotch. It was probably Moose and Squirrel again, asking for some favour or another. He had hoped those two mutton-heads would have gotten the point already, as their past thirty-something texts had all been ignored. The phone buzzed insistently again, and Crowley let out a groan despite himself. "Bollocks," he muttered, and reached over to shut off the phone. His hand was closing around the small black electronic device when it started to ring. Not his regular business ringtone, but a song. Not just any old song, but one he hadn't heard since the last time he called. 'For Your Entertainment', by Adam Lambert. It was the ringtone Gabriel had put into his phone, for his own contact number. Crowley had argued with him about that, claiming it was unprofessional for his subjects to hear that ringtone, but Gabriel had won out in the end, as he always did. For a few seconds, his body seemed frozen, unable to do anything but let the phone ring. Finally, he managed to pick up the phone and hit 'answer' with a shaky hand. He brought the phone to his ear, and mustered up his courage. "Hello?" he asked quietly, willing his voice not to tremble, and held his breath, waiting for the answer. It came quickly, making his heart skip a beat.
"Hey, sweetcheeks, you miss me? Bet you thought I was dead, didn't you?" There was a slight pause, Crowley holding his breath, not daring to speak, then Gabriel chuckled. "You should know by now, Crowlster. I'm the Trickster, remember?"