Title: I traded in my wings, for everything freedom brings
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Castiel/Dean, Castiel/Crowley
Spoilers: 6x20
Warnings: M/M, fallen!castiel
Summary: Imagine throwing it all away. Living on the street because you want to make your own choices. Fallen angels don't have to pretend.
A/N: This pairing is so unloved, gosh! I needed to contribute something :)

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Imagine being a successful businessman. Imagine having the perfect wife, a nice family and everything that you wanted. Your wife's on a vacation for a few weeks. Or a few months. It couldn't have been that long. Slowly but surely you begin to forget the shape of her face. You wonder how you two even met, because you're not quite sure if you can recall anymore. Yet you are still happily following her scent around and you have the rest of your family.

Imagine throwing it all away

Imagine leaving your wife, your family and your job

Imagine living on the street because you want to make your own choices

A fallen angel doesn't have to play pretend.

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And what exactly does one do, when they are fallen? It would have been extremely convenient to have something like a guidance book. A Bible for fallen angels. "Fallen Angels for dummies" or anything of the sort.

There wasn't.

Castiel, former angel of Thursday, had to look for answers on his own.

Can you really blame him for what he did – however regretful it might be?

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Allow me to let you in on some Angel lore: They were created thousands at the same time. Born from light, they had a hierarchy. That was what counted. Angels have to obey, to submit, to follow. To stand rightfully at their assigned rank.

Castiel had his first thoughts of free will when Dean told him to stop destiny so blatantly. They don't take kind on thoughts of disobedience. So Castiel refused.

The second time he had this weird string of thoughts was when his brothers and sisters started to disobey. He was furious, to say the least. Yet, Castiel still refused.

The third time these thoughts occurred to him, they were followed by immediate action. His bloodstained hand landed on the sigil in the green room. Boom, disobedience. Castiel didn't dare to admit that he didn't even feel bad.

He could, however, admit that this human had changed everything. Castiel 'broke the rules and ripped out the pages of the rule-book', as Balthazar would say.

Granted, he stopped the apocalypse through disobedience, with the help of the Winchesters. Granted, he had been resurrected. Granted, this had stirred a lot of chaos up above.

Standing up to Raphael was one of the hardest things the angel ever had to do.

When a certain demon stood next to his side and talked to him, he really could've used that "fallen angels for dummies" book.

When that certain demon persuaded him into that deal, he really could've used some conviction, someone dragging him down to his feet again. A large neon sign that said "Don't make a deal with devil!".

Castiel would have appreciated it if someone had explained to him the difference between love and lust. It would have been really fucking nice to have someone tell him that faux compliments can be given by about anyone.

He would have given his soul, if he had one, to have Dean yell at him that this wasn't right.

A few sarcastic words of Dean – when Crowley called him nicknames - saying something along the lines of "I bet you tell that to all the girls" – when Crowley got close – "I'm sorry, do you two need a room?" – when Crowley treated him as an individual - "He knows what he's worth, he doesn't need a freaking abomination spawn to tell him how to feel!" – when Castiel believed him – "I'm done"

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This self-destructive partnership with Crowley had made him lie to his family and his only friends. Yet it was his only chance. Castiel really felt powerful for once. He knew that Crowley's words were lies. He knew that that was basically the only thing demons do. Demons don't do love, don't do friends. He wanted to believe them so bad.

"There's a lot of angels swooning over you, God's favorite buddy boy, you've got what they call Sex appeal"

Demons can really pinpoint your weaknesses and push all of the right buttons to manipulate you.

"Everything you worked for, everything Sam and Dean have worked for."

He didn't want another damned apocalypse. Crowley's words sounded so true, so genuine. It wasn't long before these words became something he clung to. It wasn't long before the demon's hands started touching him and, it's not like he had a choice, right? So he touched back – thinking this is the only way – more words – soothing, the ex-angel bathed in these words, bathed in the touch of Crowley, holding him close and letting him persuade him, No time for thoughts, Angels, demons, purgatory, heaven, hell, Sam, Dean, Bobby, the Apocalypse, Love, lust, Raphael, Crowley Crowley Crowley CROWLEY -

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Hands found their way into the ex-angel's hair, caressing it. "You have to give it to the humans, this whole sex-thing is worth it." Castiel glanced at him, leaning into the touch – because intimacy – leaning into those words again, filthy old habits of depending on words. "Tell me Cas, you enjoy being human, don't you?"

Crowley watched in surprise as the other man sat up as quickly as the words left his mouth.

"No"

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As much as Castiel depended on those words – they completely paled in the light of Dean's words. Dean's honesty, Dean's loyalty to him.

"When crap like this comes around, we deal with it! Like we always have; what we don't do, is we don't go out and make another deal with the DEVIL "

"You should have come to us for help, Cas"

"we can fix it, Cas"

"Dean, it's not broken"

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Imagine being the retired businessman, living on the streets.

Imagine being offered a second chance. A way out of it.

Imagine refusing it.

Fallen Angels don't need to play pretend.