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A coda for 12.15 that answers the question of why Dean no longer seems to be afraid of hellhounds.

They walk in silence for a while, a silence that Crowley resolutely refuses to break. He knows what Dean is thinking, but he's going to make him ask for it. At any other time he would have cut him some slack, made it easier on him just for old time's sake, but not now. Not after Gavin. Whether or not he cared about the lad, sending him back to die wasn't Dean Winchester's decision to make. Crowley likes to keep hold of things that are his.

So they talk about everything but, and then they walk in silence until Dean finally cracks.

"So. Uh. Hellhounds."

The dear boy can't even look at him, which means he can't see Crowley's smile. "Yes. Hellhounds."

"Just. You know. Reminded me of Juliet." He gestures toward his own left ear. "You taking care of that thing?"

"The ear mites? Nasty little things. Yes, I'm taking care of it. They keep coming back, though."

"Dammit, Crowley!" Dean throws up his hands in frustration. "You've gotta keep her ears clean. Prevention, man."

He shrugs. "My staff are instructed to wipe her ears -"

"Don't give me that crap. You can't hand this off to your minions. They all suck. You know they all suck. Once a week, I swear to god, once a week with a cotton ball and some vinegar. That's all it takes."

"All right." Crowley pauses, pretending to see something in the brush. "Is that? No, nothing, never mind."

"And don't use vinegar if she actually has an infection," Dean continues. "It'll sting. Switch to mineral oil until you get it cleared up."

"Whatever you say, Dr. Winchester." Crowley rolls his eyes, then lets his expression go soft. "She misses you, you know. Goes nuts when I get back and she can smell you on me. She was sleeping on an old T-shirt of yours, but I don't think it smells like you any more." He risks a sideways glance and has to choke back a chuckle at Dean's stricken look.

Dean walks quietly for a minute before reaching into his jacket pocket and pulling out a faded bandanna. "Here," he says gruffly, thrusting it at Crowley. "Let her have this. But not a word to anyone, you understand?"

"Not a word," Crowley agrees. He rolls the bandanna carefully and slides it into his pocket with a smile. Yes, Crowley likes to keep hold of things that are his.
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