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Stay At My Place, If You Like

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Dr Crowley sauntered into the Literature classroom a couple of minutes late, just to make sure that nobody had a chance to spread any warnings about him, and dropped far too casually into the chair Aziraphale had left for him. A buzz of scared and puzzled whispers filled the room, and his eyes flickered from face to face while hidden behind his glasses, absorbing the confusion. Just before it peaked, he raised his hand for silence. "You all know why I'm here," he said, once he got it. "My husband asked me to give you a guest lecture on papyrus and paper, so to begin..." The silence shifted abruptly from terrified to stunned.

"Your....husband?" someone faltered out.

"Small chap. Curly hair. Goes by the name Dr Fell, I'm sure you know him." Dr Crowley's voice was briskly matter-of-fact and dry, with only a slight edge (which anyone who knew him well enough, for example Aziraphale, would have recognised as him trying not to laugh at the looks on their faces). To his satisfaction, he was having also having a low pain day, which just made this all the more enjoyable.


Dr Fell stepped into the Botany classroom to a murmur of puzzled voices wondering why he was there, and bustled genteelly to the front. "Now," he began, beaming around, "while botany isn't really my subject, there are one or two parts of it that I'm familiar with, so Anthony asked me to fill in while he has to be elsewhere. Shall we begin?" There was a sudden stunned hush, which Dr Fell chattered on into with a particularly innocent expression on his face (which anyone who knew him well enough, for example Crowley, would have recognised as him being up to mischief.)

A hesitant hand went up, "Please sir, we think you must be in the wrong place. This is Dr Crowley's class."

Dr Fell blinked at them in apparent bafflement. "Of course it's Dr Crowley's class, what else would it be?"

Another hesitant pause. Then, "Your...husband's?"

"One and the same, dear child, one and the same. Dr Anthony Crowley is his name. I'm almost certain you've heard me talk about him. Now, where was I? Ah yes..." Somehow he managed to talk over the smothered gasps, groans, and mutters without batting so much as a very amused eyelash.


The students of each class rushed to tell the other what they have learned, and met in a swirling mass by the lifts. Then, parting the crowd from opposite directions, came two figures. Dr Fell still looked angelic, but somehow sterner than usual, more "guardian angel" than "sweet nativity cherub". Dr Crowley looked positively predatory, like a snake about to strike, but when one of the students stumbled trying to get out of his way, he steadied her with a surprisingly gentle hand as he glided past. The professors swept to a halt in front of the lift doors and stared dramatically, and yet fondly, into each other's eyes while a sudden hush pooled out around them. At least, from the angle of his head, Dr Crowley appeared to be staring into Dr Fell's eyes. It was hard to tell through his ever-present sunglasses. Then Dr Crowley offered his arm, Dr Fell took it, and they entered the lift together.


Once inside, with the doors closed, Crowley and Aziraphale wasted no time in collapsing both into each other's arms, and into gales of laughter. "You think maybe we finally hammered it in hard enough?" Crowley whispered breathlessly into his husband's shoulder as he groped, one-handed, for the rail.

Aziraphale's arms tightened around him in answer, and general support, as the lift started upwards. "I hope so, I really do."

Outside, as the doors closed behind them, the general consensus outside shifted to embrace the facts that Dr Fell is, it must be said, just a bit of a bastard.

And Dr Crowley, however much he denies it, is just a bit of a soft touch.