A resigned sigh left Crowley’s mouth as the row of cars in front of him still didn’t move. He felt Aziraphale’s slightly accusatory glance directed at his left temple. The demon looked outside the window. His “enemy” was, of course, right again. Aziraphale had suggested going by foot to the Ritz, but Crowley felt lazy that evening.
He turned on the radio and was happy to hear one of his newestfavourite songs. He drummed to the tune until he heard something. He turned absentmindedly towards Aziraphale, slowly as if in a dream, and yes, as unbelievable as it was, the angel was humming along to the catchy chorus.
Crowley started gently headbanging, very careful not to scare the angel. Aziraphale might have been embarrassed to be found liking a song that was composed after 1850.
“Good song, hmm?”
“Yes, so harmonic and it has beautiful lyrics too!”
Crowley licked his wine-stained lips, feeling the surge of a devilish plan in his mind. But before acting on it, he just listened, enraptured, to Aziraphale’s crystalline voice, the angel quietly singing along. Crowley’s arms were covered in goosebumps and he closed his eyes, letting the soft sounds wash over him.
Don’t leave tonight
The cars in front of them finally moved as the song ended.
“That was Fade with Don’t Leave Tonight. You can win two tickets…”
The volume of the radio suddenly became quite low.
“You know, I actually have two tickets for this band’s gig next week. Would you like to come?”
“Really?” Aziraphale looked at Crowley hopefully. “You want me to go with you?”
The spark of excitement was soon replaced by fear.
“Oh, but my bookstore… and there will be so many people.”
“Come on, you need to relax a little. It would be a shame to miss this event.”
The radio became a bit louder.
“…and the two tickets go to A. J. Crowley! Congrats, bro, have fun!” the DJ announced.
Aziraphale looked suspiciously at the demon.
“What? I phoned in first,” Crowley explained, showing the phone in his right hand.
Aziraphale just sighed, thousands of years of frustration comprised in the tiny sound.
* * * * *
“You’re not actually going to wear your tartan suit, are you?” Crowley looked at Aziraphale over his lowered sunglasses, his yellow eyes blinking in disbelief.
“What’s the matter…” Aziraphale started, but Crowley interrupted him.
“Besides that it hasn’t been in fashion for several decades?”
“Put on something casual.”
As an example, Crowley pointed at his black shirt and black jacket.
Aziraphale rolled his eyes and went to change his clothes. Apparently, for the angel, casual clothes meant a three-piece dark blue suit. Before Crowley could say anything, Aziraphale declared that they were attending a cultural event and this required elegance.
* * * * *
Aziraphale was drumming with his fingers on the Bentley’s dashboard and humming to himself, unaware of Crowley’s amused stare.
“You nervous, angel?”
“Umm… a bit? I’ve never been to this kind of thing before.”
“Don’t worry, it will be fun,” Crowley grinned and Aziraphale took it as encouragement, smiling back calmly.
However, when they got out of the car and walked to the concert hall, Aziraphale was shocked by the long queues of people waiting in front of it. He started regretting his decision of coming, until Crowley winked at him, and without warning clasped his wrist and dragged him to the front.
“I know someone,” the demon offered as explanation.
Sure enough, the security guy grinned at Crowley as he let them pass. The hardcore fangirls, who had been waiting for hours, glared at the two odd strangers with unshielded hatred. Aziraphale tried to appease them with his most angelic smile (which always worked on Crowley, but didn’t seem to have that kind of effect on the girls).
The fans who were let in ran to the stage to secure a good spot. Aziraphale looked nervously at the rapidly filling area – he clearly did not expect this kind of competitiveness. He probably thought that there were rows of velvet seats and everyone behaved like a gentleman or lady. Crowley suppressed a giggle when he saw his friend’s panicked expression.
“Come, let’s have some drinks while the warm-up band performs.”
“But…” Aziraphale looked back at the hall and then back at the demon who just raised his eyebrows, as if asking ‘Do you really think that I can’t get us to the front?’.
At the bar, Crowley asked if they had red wine, but Aziraphale thought he ought to get something stronger to ease his nerves. The bartender offered tequila and the angel accepted it willingly. Crowley sipped his wine and watched greedily over the rim of his glass as Aziraphale licked the salt from his hand, drank the tequila in one shot and then bit into and sucked a slice of lemon with a pained expression.
Oh, the demon secretly wondered how the tequila tasted on the angel. He gulped when he noticed a few grains of salt between the very fine creases of Aziraphale’s plump lips (invisible to human eyes). The tip of Crowley’s tongue swept to the corner of his mouth as he imagined licking them away from Aziraphale’s lips. In Crowley’s fantasy, the acidic tang of the lemon juice that gathered at the corners of the angel’s mouth attacked his taste buds, giving way to the sting of alcohol as Crowley’s tongue delved deeper and deeper…
A long time ago during an epic binge drinking session, Crowley had ‘accidentally’ kissed Aziraphale and he could still remember the softness and sweetness of the angel’s wine-stained lips. Seeing the angel’s shocked expression, he’d excused himself saying that he’d thought he’d kissed the inn’s maid. Aziraphale had just laughed it off and suggested they stopped drinking.
“Crowley? Are you all right, my dear boy?”
“Oh… yesss, yesss, just thinking… about sssstuff.”
Aziraphale nodded, seemingly not noticing the hissing, and chugged five tequila shots one after the other. Crowley’s eyes widened and he wondered how many he had missed while he was daydreaming. Oh, the angel was making his plan so easy. Inevitably, all the alcohol would make him lose his morals and finally have some (sinful) fun of which he would otherwise stay clear. If he embarrassed himself during the process, well, that was not Crowley’s problem. He’d just have to sit back and enjoy the show.
“I think… I think I’m properly inebriated,” Aziraphale declared.
Crowley snorted. ‘Inebriated.’ Even when he was drunk, the angel used such fancy pansy words.
As they advanced through the crowd (the people inexplicably making way for them), Crowley noted that Aziraphale wasn’t as squeamish about the other people touching him as he normally would be. Good. It would soon get even tighter. The angel just smiled excitedly as they arrived at the barrier where two fans let them take their place. Aziraphale, his eyes glossy with alcohol, looked around at the sea of thrilled people and then at the stage where the instruments were waiting for the band to pick them up.
Seeing Aziraphale’s enthusiasm, Crowley was snickering on the inside. The naïve angel thought the band would come out, sit down and sing romantic, sensitive songs. If he thought all the Fade songs were like the one they had heard together on the radio, then he was in for a surprise.
The demon thought about the band’s legendary, exhilarating gigs where he didn’t even have to tempt anyone, because humans were committing sins so willingly. First of all, the fans were lusting after the hot band members every damn second. Secondly, most people drank at these concerts which inevitably led to swearing, occasional brawling and, Crowley’s favourite, sex in the bathroom stalls or in a dark corner of the venue for the really impatient ones. Exposing the angel to this kind of behaviour made Crowley’s skin tingle.
The audience started getting impatient. People were screaming ‘Fade! Fade! Fade!’ and shrill whistles pierced the air. Finally, after a few minutes the lights went out and the screams reverberated in the hall. Aziraphale looked around in wonder. On one hand he thought about shutting down to all the overwhelming emotions around him, but on the other hand he just wanted to let go and absorb everything. His eyes found Crowley’s (who conveniently turned them hazel for this public occasion) and he smiled.
The band walked on the stage, smiling and waving. Suddenly, the crowd pushed forward to see them better and to get closer.
“Oh,” Aziraphale cried out and giggled as the mass of people pushed him against the barrier.
Crowley sent a few well-aimed elbows in the ribs of rude people and squeezed beside Aziraphale, his left arm snaking around the angel’s waist protectively and his hand joining the angel’s on the barrier. The demon was about to raise some kind of defensive wall around them when Aziraphale put his hand over Crowley’s.
“My dear boy, I appreciate your intention, but I’m quite all right. Let’s just be two humans tonight who want to have some fun.”
Crowley, surprised, nodded, his cheeks turning slightly pink as Aziraphale’s thumb caressed his hand. Right, he forgot the angel sometimes turned a bit touchy-feely after drinking. Not that he minded, of course, he just wasn’t prepared for it.
Meanwhile, the singer greeted the crowd and promised to make it an unforgettable night. Crowley counted on that. The singer took up his guitar and started a song, the heavy riffs making the crowd lose their collective mind. Aziraphale clutched at his chest, surprised by the vibrations the music caused. Crowley smirked as all the members screamed into their microphones and the craziness started.
The crowd jumped and pushed and sang and Crowley was having the best time watching Aziraphale getting used to these stark and unusual sensations. He didn’t even mind when during the first songs the people pushed into them, making Crowley bump against Aziraphale’s side or arse. Of course, if he stayed closer than necessary to the angel and rubbed himself against that tempting backside, that was not Crowley’s fault. The angel looked at him after the first such occasion, but didn’t comment anything, his eyes burning with excitement.
After the third rock song, Aziraphale applauded with the rest of the people and leaned in to Crowley.
“Thank you so much for bringing me, my dear. They sound so much better live than on CD.”
A second later Crowley knitted his brows. Wait a minute, the angel knew how to use CDs? He actually knows what CDs are?! And he liked the band, even though they were definitely ‘bebop’ as Aziraphale categorized every modern song? Was the world coming to (a second) end?
Before Crowley could answer any of those questions, the band started a slower song. The bass player had put down his instrument and went to a piano on the right side of the scene. The drummer wiped his face with a towel and rested after the hard songs they had just played. A beam of light focused solely on the singer as he came out from the shadows and gripped the microphone.
The singer, Tom, had dark hair that he wore in a ponytail. His long fingers caressed the mic stand as if he were touching a lover. It was a slow, melancholy song and the crowd sang quietly along, as if afraid that they’d disturb its holiness. Unexpectedly, Aziraphale joined in at the next chorus and Crowley’s breathing hitched. He stared at the angel as he sang with his eyes closed, completely absorbed, and unaware of the admiring glances people threw at them.
It was so beautiful and so clear that, Crowley realised with a start, even Tom noticed it. The singer’s brown eyes widened as he looked at the crowd and his eyes settled on the angel. When the song ended, Aziraphale opened his eyes and saw that Tom was watching him. The singer broke out in a smile and Aziraphale mirrored his gesture. The voice of an angel usually had that effect on people.
However, what Crowley didn’t expect was Tom’s continuous attention to Aziraphale from then on. His eyes often searched for the angel and he seemed to award him with the brightest smiles. During one of the crowd favourite songs he even dared to wink at the angel. The bastard! Aziraphale, a bit embarrassed, giggled at it, but Crowley could see that those red spots on his cheeks were the sign of pride.
Aziraphale combed his fingers through his golden curls, brushing away the hair that stuck to his forehead. He fanned his warm face.
“It’s getting hot in here, isn’t it?”
“I told you to put on something casual,” Crowley grumbled, not taking his eyes off Tom who was ogling the angel again. Not without reason, though.
Aziraphale took off his suit coat, willing it into nothingness, and then proceeded to roll up his shirt sleeves. Crowley gulped as he took in the pale arms. Some people, thinking that Aziraphale was a dedicated bookworm, didn’t realise how strong the angel was. Crowley knew all too well from their first millennium on Earth together how much power the angel possessed (he could squeeze one’s throat very hard). He watched as Aziraphale gripped the barrier, muscles flexing.
Crowley loved this display of skin, but he didn’t like it all that others like that tosssser on the sssstage could enjoy it too. Unaware of the demon’s train of thoughts, Aziraphale undid his collar, a patch of sweaty skin peeking out from under his shirt. The angel clapped and laughed, and all Crowley could see were Aziraphale’s perfect eyes, shining with ecstasy. Aziraphale looked at him and even though his chest ached, Crowley smiled back, because he could never resist that smile.
They looked back to the stage just in time to see Tom undoing three buttons on his shirt.
“What a twat,” Crowley grunted more to himself, but the angel heard him and laughed.
“He actually reminds me of you,” Aziraphale replied.
Crowley was mortified. What the hell was in that tequila?!
It seemed like the plan worked and the alcohol had its effect. The angel screamed like the others and raised his hands when Tom asked the crowd to accompany him in the next song. He needn’t do that though, the fans always sang in unison with him. While the bassist went to the piano again, Tom took his guitar in his hands and started playing as the lights went out. Most fans recognised the song and took out their phones, the bright screens like tiny stars in the darkness. Aziraphale made a strange noise in his throat and turned to his concert buddy.
“This is the song!”
Crowley made a confused face. “What song?”
“You know, our song. The one we heard in your car!” the angel was close to hyperventilation as he patted Crowley’s left shoulder.
The demon bit his lip. ‘Our song’. How strange it sounded and still, how good it felt to hear it. The special atmosphere, the people waving their phones in the dark, all got to Crowley to such an extent that he joined in the singing.
It was all perfect, and Crowley almost forgot certain events, when Tom stopped right in front of Aziraphale and danced provocatively less than two metres away. The fangirls around them shouted at the top of their lungs and even the angel seemed like he couldn’t take his eyes off of the singer. He was probably drunk as a lord. The ‘normal’ Aziraphale would never stare like that!
Crowley was boiling with rage. How dare that wanker Tom steal his shine?!
“Angel,” he growled, and Aziraphale turned to him.
Crowley didn’t care that they were in the middle of an awesome concert, that hundreds of people could see them or that, not even a minute before, the singer had been heavily flirting with Aziraphale. The angel was his alone and he was determined to prove that with a kiss. His lips crashed heavily against Aziraphale’s and he put his hand on the angel’s neck to support it (and also to be sure that at least he could make Aziraphale captive for at least five seconds).
But after a couple of seconds of surprise, Aziraphale put his hands on Crowley’s hips and brought him closer, kissing the demon back fervently. Crowley sighed with relief, completely forgetting where they were, and continued to taste Aziraphale while he played with a curl on the angel’s nape, twisting it around his finger. It wasn’t until the angel peppered his face with kisses that Crowley realised something.
The flavour of tequila, the one he dreamed about tasting on Aziraphale, was lacking. Completely.
“My dear booooy,” Aziraphale imitated the demon’s tone, laughing as he dragged Crowley outside, away from the crowd.
“You’re not drunk.”
“Quelle surprise!” Aziraphale feigned shock, but he couldn’t keep it up and laughed heartily. “Oh, darling, you should see your face!”
Crowley didn’t remember when he felt this horrified. It was probably when he accidentally saw Napoleon naked.
“You old serpent, you have to wake up earlier if you want to fool me.”
“Is that so?” Crowley’s eyes flashed as they returned to their normal colour, and he hovered over Aziraphale.
His mouth was a few centimetres away from the angel’s. They stared at each other until Aziraphale gulped, his Adam’s apple bobbing with want. The demon smirked.
“Tell me, little angel,” Crowley said, licking his lips, “if you’re so clever, what do I want right now?”
“I believe the same thing I have in my mind,” Aziraphale replied, daringly raising his chin.
Muffled music was coming from behind them as Crowley embraced Aziraphale and kissed him again, their figures slowly disappearing into thin air. They probably reappeared in Crowley’s apartment to fulfil their wishes, and promptly forgot even about Tom’s existence.