Chapter 1: So Take a Chance With Me
Things have changed… For all that the non-apocalypse is very hazily remembered on the whole, as much as Aziraphale can remember it, well…
Of course, it isn’t all the apocalypse itself. It’s the past eleven years and how it made them closer than ever. How it felt to meet-- clandestinely!-- once a week or even more. To get a discreet telephone call summoning him to a rendezvous, to drop a note through the mail slot of a posh flat and wait breathlessly at a cafe table, a park bench…
He’d always anticipated meeting Crowley with more… pleasure, than he knows he ought to have. But over the past eleven years, well… There was something so romantic about it all, not in the hearts and flowers sense, but the drama of it, the hushed whispers, the overcoats… the intrigue and the danger and the secrecy and all right, maybe a bit in the hearts and flowers sense, sometimes, because the lunches sometimes veered from the strictly professional… sometimes they had an extra glass of wine or… more.
They never dared… They’d never… He wouldn’t have dreamt of thinking Crowley could, but he has…
He has fragments of memory. A dove. Something naked and afraid in a pair of golden eyes. A hand holding so tight to his, tighter… The words he’d spoken, the words they had both spoken, how he’d felt…
He doesn’t know if he could call it hope, precisely. He likes having a precise word for everything, but there just aren’t any precise words for his own feelings, not where Crowley is concerned. Those have always been murky and best un-defined, but now…
But it’s been weeks, and they haven’t… They haven’t done anything. He’s not sure what they would do, doesn’t know if Crowley remembers those same moments, remembers the words they haven’t discussed having spoken, remembers… how close they’d come or how right they’d felt, together. He doesn’t know, for that matter, what Crowley thinks about intimacy. Would he rather pretend not to have feelings of an intimate nature? What about physical intimacy? There is a common belief that demons are lustful, but it isn’t necessarily so-- no moreso than angels, and very few angels have been driven by lust.
There is something he feels, sometimes, when they are very near each other, when he notices things about Crowley, which is not sexual in the least, and yet there is no word more precise than Lust for what he feels. It’s a hunger, a burning need, a desire. It’s a desperate, clawing, blinding thing inside of him that says More, more, more!, that says Crowley!, that says Oh, yes, please!, it just hasn’t… it hasn’t got anything to do with sex.
He wouldn’t say no to sex, he doesn’t think. He would be very happy to, if it pleased Crowley. But he doesn’t crave it. He feels a building pressure and he craves release, but it’s not to do with his body, it’s to do with who they are, what they are. He wants touch, he wants words passed honestly and fervently and sweetly between them, he wants to speak some things he doesn’t think he ever did get to speak, even when they thought it was the end of the line.
He wants to say ‘oh, what you do to me’, he wants to say ‘I am sorry, for so much’, he wants to say ‘I love you, and have done’... he just wishes he could figure out where they stand.
Crowley is picking him up for lunch. They haven’t really stopped meeting regularly-- if anything, more frequently, since avoiding global destruction. Crowley likes taking him to rather nicer places than he normally goes to. High teas, expensive dinners… He wishes he could take it for granted that this was courtship, but Crowley just likes those things, those are the places he takes himself. He’s flash, he’s…
He’s outside, there’s a spot where no one else has parked for the past eleven years, visible from Aziraphale’s window, and that’s where Crowley is parked.
Aziraphale heads out to meet him. He’s dressed, he thinks, for wherever Crowley wants to take him. Crowley will doubtless try to tell him tartan isn’t stylish, but this tartan most certainly is. Pale stone with black and the barest hint of sky blue, a bit bold. A bit more adventurous than he normally dresses. An unimpeachably tailored three-piece suit, well-constructed shoulders, a flattering level of fit… Tie and pocket square matched to that thread of sky blue. Cufflinks…
The cufflinks, he’s never actually worn before. Crowley had bought them for himself, somewhere around the turn of the last century, delicate golden snakes. He’d immediately lost them in some foolish wager, and he’d laughed the whole thing off, and Aziraphale had wound up in possession of them, only for Crowley to shrug and say he didn’t particularly care if he ever did get them back, as they really didn’t go with anything he wore. Which was true, he’d favored silver at the time, it was more flattering to his coloring.
He waits for a not-so-stinging remark about the tartan, when he steps out the door to see Crowley waiting by the front of the shop. He’s got one foot resting casually on the bench outside, and--
Gone are the boots he’s favored the past… oh, twenty years now, at least, if not forty, it’s all a bit fuzzy. The dark snakeskin mule loafer… He’d worn those for a bit, yes, it was close to forty years ago, before ankle boots had become all the rage and then he’d just decided he liked them and so they would be Cool if he said so. But the mules…
The low cut of them. The silky, dark trouser sock that clings, as obscenely as hose ever did. Perhaps moreso. Aziraphale does remember when hose was the norm, Crowley had worn heels then, he’d had calves you could sink your teeth into, if you were one for that. Which Aziraphale always told himself he wasn’t, the times they’d seen each other then. It seemed sexual and rather decadent.
He’s sure his calves are still as perfect as they ever were, as they always were. He’d spent a few centuries trying to woo painters into immortalizing him, and when they did do, his legs were very nice. Now, though, it’s his ankles which catch the eye.
Those thin trouser socks really do leave little to the imagination.
The break of his trousers hide his ankle again, when he takes his foot from the bench. Aziraphale wants to ask if he would be so kind as to put it back on display, but it’s not the sort of thing you ask a person.
They look an odd pair, he supposes. While Aziraphale does believe his own suit is very nice, there’s a difference between proper and stylish in the way he prefers to be, and the kind of cool that Crowley possesses. The shoes are so deep a wine red as to be nearly black, the Italian-cut suit is the same. The black shirt he wears is open at the collar, just enough, and all that dark makes the column of his throat seem white. Pale and exquisitely sculpted as a marble statue.
There is a marble statue, Aziraphale thinks, somewhere in France, that he’d sat for. He’d been very pleased with it, but Aziraphale had seen it, and the sculptor was skilled, but… he could never capture the full grace and beauty of him.
There is a tie stuffed into his pocket, the deep red silky tongue of it lolling out at one hip. To be worn if there is a dress code demanding one and vanished if there isn’t, Aziraphale imagines. The designer sunglasses, heavier tortoiseshell upper rims, thin wire under, effortless chic. The driving gloves, Crowley’s second favorite pair, but the pair that goes best with his suit. He remembers Crowley insisting that his first pair was Cool, that Aziraphale simply didn’t understand. He’d probably die to be caught in public in them today, they’re comparatively very un-chic. But these…
Burgundy leather, hugging and conforming to those terribly well-formed hands. The cut out at the back which shows off the flex of tendon and delicate bone, the little holes over the knuckles. Aziraphale finds those little openings so curiously attractive. Little places where a gloved hand could still be kissed, and skin felt…
Of course, first he would have to know if Crowley even wanted his hand kissed. He can’t say it’s ever seemed likely. Held, perhaps-- certainly in the past it had been nothing at all to hold hands, and it hadn’t been all that long, between hand-holding falling out of vogue for platonic male companions, and the un-end of the world, but it had felt like an eternity, and it had felt so like coming home, to feel Crowley’s hand in his.
Blasphemous, to say that a demon’s hand feels like home, and yet…
Crowley opens the passenger side door-- he often had done before, though certainly he never hastened to reach it ahead of Aziraphale if it was not convenient to do so. This time, though, he offers a gallant hand, and Aziraphale accepts it with murmured thanks, with a curious swooping, swirling feeling inside him.
The restaurant is in Mayfair, and it is… oh, it’s Crowley. Not the flash and stylish A.J. Crowley-the-supposed-human-of-wealth-and-taste, but Crowley… A quiet table for two that feels as if it’s in a garden. He doesn’t need a tie, though it’s possible others do. Aziraphale is rather glad for it, for the continued view of his neck, the delicately-carved dip of his collarbones and the hollow of his throat. The slightest little shadowed glimpse of chest.
It’s only when they reach their table that Crowley even bothers drawing off his driving gloves, and Aziraphale is captured by the sight of it. His hands, pale, long-fingered, deft… He takes the banquette side of their table and leaves Aziraphale a very comfortable chair-- though he’d have sat down in thin air and not fallen, distracted as he is by the removal of those gloves. How deliberate Crowley seems to make each minute movement as he strips them off and folds them together, and yet how careless. The tug of each finger in turn and then the slow and easy slide, wine dark leather soft against pale white skin...
He puts a hand on Aziraphale’s menu before Aziraphale can open it, shaking his head. “Allow me?”
Aziraphale raises his eyebrows, but surrenders his menu. Crowley relaxes, crossing one… finely formed ankle over the opposite knee. He orders them each a pre-lunch cocktail, a bit of a change-up from the usual routine of wine, wine, and more wine, but Aziraphale certainly isn’t complaining when he tastes his-- nor does he complain when Crowley insists he taste his as well.
“Come on, it’s passionfruit.” He says.
Aziraphale has spent six thousand years never developing an opinion on passionfruit one way or the other, but while he’s quite content with his own very bright and refreshing little something, he could commit to some rather positive feelings on passionfruit.
It’s difficult to remain at a discreet angle for ankle-viewing once the soup course arrives. Crowley has opted for some sort of complicated looking plate with not very much on it, instead, but the soup is very nice, rich and creamy and worth not being able to ogle to his heart’s content.
Not that he likes to call it ‘ogling’.
Anyway, Crowley uncrosses his legs after a while to be able to lean cross the table, offering a taste for a taste. Aziraphale’s soup is earthy, complex… pumpkin and chestnut mushroom, and just a hint of something… It feels luxurious going down his throat, it feels like comfort, but a very rich comfort. Crowley leans in, rather than reaching out, and so Aziraphale presents a spoonful, watching the way Crowley’s tongue wraps around it first, then his lips. The way he can just make out the flutter of his lashes behind his dark glasses, close as they are. The pleased hum.
“You’ll like this.” Crowley says, holding out his own fork. His plate is some sort of arrangement of cheese and fruit and things, swirls of olive oil.
Aziraphale does like it-- it’s almost not even flavor, it’s the rich feel of the fat on his tongue, the cheese so mild he can taste the nuance of the olive oil, the almost-sweetness of it. The burst of texture, creamy and soft, ripe for exploring… The feeling of being watched just as keenly as he had watched.
“Yes, it’s very nice.” He nods. The soup is more his speed, on the whole, but the cheese had been a very pleasant little flashbang of hedonism.
“I’m glad. I like-- That is, I want-- I’d thought you’d like the place.”
“It’s a lovely place, dear. Incidentally, what is the damage on a bill like this?”
“Mine to worry about.”
“Oh, really, now.”
“I can’t treat a very old friend, after everything we’ve been through?” He asks, and he is…
He does wish he could see his eyes. Wishes he could be sure. He remembers Crowley treating him to the Ritz a couple of times in a row-- somewhere over the past eleven years, they’d stopped keeping strict track of who owed whom and who paid when… and somewhere over the past eleven years, Crowley had taken up paying rather more often than not.
He’d paid the last time, and the time before that, and Aziraphale had… He’d wanted to say so badly… Now that we’ve survived this, what do you say? Darling, I love you. Did you know I’ve always found you rather too wonderful for my own good? He couldn’t say any of it.
He’d wanted to say ‘you’re my everything’, and he hadn’t. He’d thought about it, he’d thought about it, he’d thought… so many things he could have said. He’d thought ‘here’s to us’ and ‘my dear boy we’ve done it’ and ‘spend eternity with me’... a million things. A million things he just couldn’t say…
He finishes his soup, still going over and over all the things he still isn’t sure he could put voice to.
“Trust me to order for you?” Crowley asks.
“I did give up my menu, didn’t I?” He smiles.
“Pasta.” A grin, as he slouches in his seat a moment. His foot nudges Aziraphale’s as a result of the slouch, and Aziraphale can’t help it, the sudden thought of the low cut of the shoes he’s worn in place of the last forty years’ customary boots, the sudden thought of his ankles. The delicacy of tendon and bone, the shape of him… The thought that, were he a bolder being himself, he might… he might find himself tracing out the shape of that ankle.
“I said ‘pasta’. Seemed like maybe today you’d be in the mood for a really excellent pasta. They only do really excellent here. With a truffle sauce?” Rather than pulling back, he merely lets his foot rest against Aziraphale’s.
“Oh…” Aziraphale nods. “Sounds divine, yes.”
Does it mean something? It would, for most people. People nowadays…
But does it, for them? The first meal they ate together, the two of them, he thinks Crowley’s legs had been across his somewhere. It hadn’t meant anything then. Crowley had fed him by hand, too, it had been more of a joke than anything. A line about temptation, and a fig and some honey and they’d… They’d just laughed about it.
He’d just let him, and then they’d sort of shoved at each other’s shoulders a bit and laughed. It wasn’t… there’d been no great tension to it, to any of it, not that he recalls.
“Do you want a side? Well… not that, I expect… Oh, not that, with what you’re having… Wilted greens in a truffle vinaigrette? Keep the overall flavor profile, but it’s a lot of truffle…”
“I’m sure soup and pasta will be plenty.”
“Oh, well, you’ll want room for dessert.” Crowley nods, matter-of-fact. And it’s not as if he won’t have room-- he’ll have as much room as he likes. But if the trend of the last couple millennia continue, he’ll be eating several more bites of Crowley’s dinner than he relinquishes of his own, and half his dessert besides. He’s sure the wilted greens are very nice, but they don’t quite tempt.
Dessert does tempt.
Crowley summons a waiter, turning a charming smile on him and keeping hold of his menu.
“We’re going to reserve this for dessert, but… the hand-rolled fresh pasta for my charming companion, and I’ll have the chicken breast in madeira sauce. Whatever wines the chef recommends to pair, and, ah… oh, we’ll get the chips as well.”
“Well, you like chips, don’t you?” He shrugs, as the waiter shimmers off to put the order in.
“I’ll eat them myself if you don’t want them.” Crowley says, but he won’t, Aziraphale knows him. He always orders them and he always eats three, and then he’s done.
“And since when am I your charming companion?”
“Since year one.”
“I’ve never been charming.”
“Fine, my fussy, self-righteous, pain-in-the-arse companion. But, my companion.” He nods.
“Since year one.” Aziraphale smiles down at the table, and nervously plucks at the napkin resting in his lap. “I’m not self-righteous, by the way, righteous is part of the job description.”
“You are. A bit, you are.” Crowley grins. “Nobody’s perfect.”
“Well. Somebody’s perfect.” He sniffs.
“Why thank you, angel.”
“You know I didn’t mean you, you’re a perfect menace, that’s what you are. And… my companion. Since year one. My-- very charming companion.”
“Oh, a perfect menace, am I?” He leans forward, though his foot doesn’t move from its spot against Aziraphale’s. “And when’s the last time I menaced you?”
“You menace me regularly, dear boy. For sport.”
“I don’t think it counts as proper menacing if we’re talking about those wrestling matches we used to take turns throwing. Though I do miss those days sometimes…”
“Oh, I don’t, not the wrestling. I never did care for wrestling…”
“You did, you got into it. You played your part to the hilt. Had a spiel and everything for when you were on top. Had one for when you weren’t, too.”
“You were always too rough. There was no call for it, when it was your turn anyway.”
“Oh. I liked it a bit-- I mean, I wanted it to be convincing. I wouldn’t have minded you getting rough with me, I didn’t know you-- I mean, it wasn’t ever enough to hurt you, was it? You’d have said.”
“I did say. I said ‘not so bally hard’, every time if I recall.”
“Sorry.” Crowley flushes-- which is rather curious, as he doesn’t have to. “You could have-- Er. Well, but it didn’t really hurt you, did it?”
“You didn’t do any real damage, I suppose. Oh, it was ages ago, you mustn’t fret about it now. I certainly haven’t held it against you, I only just remembered because it came up-- I forgave you for it, of course!” He reaches out, his hand covering Crowley’s, where it rests beside his silverware. “Of course I did, every time, immediately!”
Crowley’s hand turns over beneath his own, to hold back. The smile he aims down at their joined hands is soft, Aziraphale doesn’t need to be able to see his eyes to read it.
“We used to hold hands all up and down creation, didn’t we? We used to hold hands whenever we met.”
“We did. It was nice, I thought.”
“A wicked thought.” He glances up, but the grin is uncertain.
“Perhaps it was. Perhaps it still is. I am not wholly insusceptible to an expert tempter.” Aziraphale squeezes Crowley’s hand once, brief, gentle. “I… I have heard, erm… That is, I have read, that-- that people nowadays, they really do starve themselves of touch. I wonder if the same is true of… of beings of our nature.”
“Natures, don’t you mean?”
“I don’t think I do.” He bites his lip. “I think I mean our nature. Yours and mine.”
Crowley squeezes back. The waiter arrives with their wine.
“Special occasion?” He asks.
“Oh, no, not really.” Aziraphale demurs.
At the same time, Crowley pastes on his most charming smile. “Well, yes.”
They look at each other. They both laugh.
“Just the first day of the rest of our lives.” Crowley lifts his glass. “But it’s been the first day of the rest of our lives every day these past couple of weeks.”
“Just think. You’ll wake up in the morning and it will be the first day of the rest of our lives again.” Aziraphale lifts his own. “Cheers.”
The waiter has scurried politely off, leaving them to it, Aziraphale suddenly finds himself aware of the man’s absence, of the fact that he’s been gazing rather soppily into Crowley’s sunglasses for a rather long moment.
“Oh, dear, I’m afraid we’ve given that waiter the wrong idea…”
“You-- you are?”
“Well…” He sets his glass down, and takes a moment to gently straighten a wrinkle out of the tablecloth. Is it not the wrong idea? Was this… Had Crowley meant for this to be… Are they on a date? “We’ve certainly given him an idea… Erm, I mean, I am aware of the-- the general idea that I always give people.”
“You know the idea you give people?”
“My dear boy, you don’t think I’m this flaming all by coincidence? It has been my cultivated persona for a very, very, very long time.”
“Oh.” Crowley similarly straights at the tablecloth on his side of the table. “A cultivated persona. Not-- Right, yes. Of course. Of course it is. Just… just thought it was how you-- I just thought maybe-- maybe you didn’t know.”
“Of course I know. Believe you me, if I didn’t know, there are plenty of people ready to relieve me of my innocence in the matter.”
“Who’s trying to relieve you of your innocence?” He looks up sharply.
“I don’t know, lots of people. People who shout ‘poof’ at strangers on the street, those people.”
“Oh.” Crowley slumps back into his seat with a deeply relieved sigh. “Well, imagine they get a bit of comeuppance.”
“I don’t use my ethereal powers to punish people for being rude to me. However… I may occasionally grant divine revelations on tolerance. Or orchestrate a bit of instant karma. People have to know it’s not all right to accost someone! I do mean, all very well for someone to come after me, I can take care of myself. But lessons need to be learned sometimes. What did you think?”
“Nothing you couldn’t take care of, just… Nothing, nothing. I don’t mind, you know. Waiters thinking things. I don’t mind if we… I’ve missed it, the hand-holding.” He looks away.
“Oh, dear, so have I.”
“We could do. Keep… seeing each other the way we have. But with-- with hand-holding.”
“Oh, yes. The clandestine meetings. The whispered conversations…”
“The park. The museum.” Crowley relaxes into a grin. “The Ritz.”
“You know what we haven’t done in an age? We haven’t been to the theatre.”
“I took you to the cinema in seventy-one.”
“It was abysmal, dear. We can certainly go if you prefer it to a real show, but I’ll pick the film next time. Seventy-one… that was that awful period of time you wanted to convince the world you liked martinis, I had to watch you make the most terrible face every time you drank one.”
“All right, all right…”
“You like a nice, full-bodied red. Although, I will admit, that passionfruit cocktail you had me try…”
“Yeah, that was nice.”
“That was very nice.”
“I don’t suppose it… matters.”
“I think it matters. I’m not going to order you a martini you hate but you think it looks cool, when I know what you like.”
“No, that does matter. I mean-- you and I, and… clandestine. I mean… no one’s talked to you. No one’s talked to me. Maybe we just…” He drums his hands on the table. “Meet. And no one cares if we do.”
“Oh.” Aziraphale smiles softly, and reaches out to take Crowley’s hand again. “Well, it doesn’t have to be clandestine, of course. But I do like the park. And the museum.”
“And the Ritz?”
“And the Ritz. And here. For very special occasions, I expect.”
“Like the first day of the rest of our lives?”
It seems all too soon when the food does arrive. He’d never have imagined thinking that, not when it promises to be so good, and yet he could have whiled away an hour simply sitting in this lovely place, holding Crowley’s hand. Talking, not talking, sipping at the wine…
The chips reach them first, and as predicted, Crowley doesn’t bother with more than a couple before pushing the plate towards Aziraphale with a little smile.
“Go on.” He says.
“Sometimes I think you just like to see me eat.” Aziraphale sighs. And it’s a joke, except…
Crowley does not blush, because for him, it is a somewhat more voluntary action. A way of communicating when his eyes can’t, that something has pleased him, or that he would rather not be embarrassed further if it can be helped. He merely holds very, very still. He forgets to breathe, for a moment, not that it matters much.
“I like to see you enjoy things.” He says at last, tone careful. “I mean, I like to tempt you into things. Just harmless ones, but…”
“It’s all right if you do. I mean-- harmless ones.”
“Chips are harmless enough, I hope?”
“Oh, I’m sure.”
Crowley picks up another, which is surprise enough in and of itself before he holds it out. Aziraphale allows himself a delicate blush of his own, as he leans in to let himself be fed. Some little bit of tension seems to bleed out of Crowley when he does, the worry of whether this crossed some line, but something else in him goes even further taut.
Aziraphale takes his time chewing, swallowing. Making note of the crispness, the salt, the slight bit of oil, more mindful than he normally bothers to be-- but then, he’s often more mindful of the pleasure of eating, in Crowley’s company. Whenever he thinks he might enjoy something home on his own, he winds up leaving it abandoned after a nibble. Even when he is preoccupied with other business, when he dines with Crowley, he enjoys the food.
He dabs his napkin delicately to his lips, although it’s not really necessary. It gives him a fraction of a moment more to try and collect himself.
“Thank you, dear.” He says mildly, not meeting Crowley’s gaze again. It makes him too off-balance, trying to hold it when he can’t quite see his eyes. Perhaps, at home, privately, they could…
Oh, he doesn’t know what he’s thinking… why would they?
When their main courses arrive, it’s a welcome distraction from this new idea. The idea that there really is something to it, if Crowley feeds him. That it would be different from what it once was, so very long ago.
He wouldn’t say no to recreating the experience… lounging someplace comfortable and warm, legs a tangle, a plate between them, a couple of glasses of wine… The way Crowley had dragged the fig through honey and asked ‘now doesn’t that look tempting’, and whatever else he’d said that had struck them both as quite a bit funnier, but…
But it isn’t funny when he imagines doing it now. When he imagines those same words, seductive rather than playful. When he imagines drawing the moment out… imagines Crowley’s gaze intense upon him. And then, to return the favor, because Crowley does like a little taste of this or that, and he would… he would open his mouth to a little something. He would let Aziraphale offer him nourishment disguised as novelty.
Well, ‘nourishment’, neither of them needs to be nourished. But the idea of caring for him, of feeding him, of doing things for him… Of holding him with one hand in his hair, to bring the cup to his lip, and…
“Is the pasta that good?” Crowley asks, very attentive, and Aziraphale has no idea, but he has just let out a rather indecent moan, hasn’t he?
“Yes, er, yes. Very. Would you like--?”
“Well, if you insist. A small taste. But you’ll try mine.”
“Of course.” Aziraphale nods. He holds out his very curated forkful first, careful, watches Crowley consider it on his tongue before chewing. He does wish he could see his eyes… to see what he thinks of the feel of it, soft but with just enough to bite into, and the sharpness of the parmesan curl against the earthiness of the wild mushroom, the almost musky undertone to the sauce… It really is very good, he’s almost sorry the moan hadn’t been properly for the pasta.
“Mm.” Crowley nods thoughtfully, before swallowing. “See, I know what I’m doing, when it comes to reading desires.”
“Oh?” Aziraphale nearly drops his fork.
“Well… after six thousand years, I’m not exactly firing shots off in the dark when it comes to you… Suppose it’s not the same as reading human minds, but you know… they always want things, and you vibrate on a different sort of a plane, it’s-- Guess I just know what you like.”
He’s relieved. He thinks.
“You’ll like this, as well.” He offers his own carefully composed bite.
There’s a duxelle, it doesn’t argue with the overall palate of Aziraphale’s own dinner, which helps. The madeira sauce is very nice, not too peppery, a fine complement to the roast chicken and duxelle… nothing overpowers, the flavors sing in harmony, it’s just that bit of something that the chicken needs in order to attain the heights of perfection.
“You might need another taste to be sure, of course.” Crowley adds, once he’s finished. “Allow me.”
He allows rather a lot, by the time they’ve finished, but then, making room for dessert is really not very different from sobering up. And Crowley has mentioned something about ‘Chocolate Sensation’-- for two, he’d said. With a burnt honey ice cream.
He orders two glasses of champagne, as well, to come with dessert.
“Perhaps you ought to come around to this side.” He suggests, on their waiter’s disappearance-- this time with the menu they won’t need any longer.
“You want to switch seats?”
Crowley sighs. “No, I mean… come and sit by me on the banquette.”
“Oh. Oh.” Aziraphale looks about with a nervous grin. The restaurant is full, but no one needs to notice the two of them, do they? “Er, yes, when it gets here. I will.”
“Good. Good.” Crowley nods. “Yeah.”
There’s a thrill he can’t define at the idea. Crowley hasn’t said why he’s made the invite. They might each hold their own spoons, free hands together… They might not each hold their own spoons.
Once the waiter has come and gone again, Aziraphale makes his move, bringing his champagne flute around the table, to sit pressed tight against Crowley.
“Aziraphale…” Crowley begins, lifting his own glass. He stops, and finding no other words, merely holds his glass out.
“My dear Crowley.” Aziraphale nods, and it seems the vibrations when their glasses clink travel through him and make something in him lighter, before he even tastes his first sip.
He is close enough to make out just a bit beyond the sunglasses, in the moment’s pause before Crowley’s arm links through his own.
Oh, he is giddy. He is every bubble in his glass, he is light, he is…
He is happier than he thinks angels were ever meant to be, and yet he thinks it must be proof, proof that they were right to do as they’d done, that their stopping the end of the world-- or… meaning to-- was part of the Plan, because he could never be rewarded with such a human happiness as this, if he had not done precisely as he was meant to have. He could never be allowed to be this blissfully alive to the moment if it were Wrong to be. He…
He wouldn’t be permitted to love Crowley, if it were not permissible for him to do so.
“Dessert?” Crowley asks, and he sounds as lost as Aziraphale feels, and as delighted.
“Oh, please.” He sighs.
He doesn’t know half of what he’s feeling, it’s so unlike anything else. Six thousand years on earth had given him no frame of reference for the sparks Crowley ignites in him now. The curious Lust-not-Lust. The pleasure that uncurls in him, languid and sweet, as the ice cream melts on his tongue, the tastes of caramelized chocolate and honey and a hint of cognac…
It feels so unfinished, to rise from the table, to separate. It feels as if he ought to…
He hardly knows.
He ought to be in Crowley’s arms, or Crowley in his. He ought to be tasting the very last hints of all those things on Crowley’s tongue, he ought to be kissing his throat as if it were the only way he might be permitted to tell him he is beautiful… He ought to be holding Crowley’s ankle in his hand and he ought to be…
They ought to be home. For all of this. Someone’s home.
Crowley pays the bill, and offers his arm, and it feels so Right to take it.
“Suppose I ought…” Crowley says, and he stands just a little straighter-- after a brief shudder-- as he sobers himself. And Aziraphale doesn’t have to do the same, but he does.
He lays his head against Crowley’s shoulder, only to find they’ve reached the Bentley. He straightens, embarrassed, but Crowley just opens his door and flashes him an awkward smile, before pulling on his driving gloves.
“Do you want music for the drive?” He asks. It feels like such an inane question, when he weighs it against all the things he feels, and yet once he begins with those, where will he stop?
“If you like. Of course it’s always a gamble, but you might find something.”
He finds Rachmaninov. He’s rather hoping for the Piano Concert no. 2, but what he gets is Rachmaninov’s Seaside Rendezvous.
Well… it isn’t so bad.
It’s rather nice.
“You’ll come up, of course?” He asks. There’s no ‘of course’ about it-- sometimes Crowley comes into the shop when he drops him off, but he doesn’t really come up. Except… Today, Aziraphale rather desperately hopes.
“I wouldn’t mind a cup of something, or… I mean, not that I’d need a cup of something, to want to come up. I’d come up. Anytime.”
“Aziraphale…” Crowley pulls into his customary spot, and turns to face him. He removes his glasses, one gloved hand rests on Aziraphale’s arm. “Does one of us know what we’re doing?”
“If you have to ask me, I’m afraid not.”
“Oh. That’s all right, then.”
“Well… as long as it’s us. We’ve muddled through worse.”
“Come inside.” He covers Crowley’s hand with his own. “I would very much like you to.”
Chapter 2: Let Me Romance With You
In which ankles are bared, and touched, and...
Well, and a lot of other things happen, besides.
(because gdocs does not allow for easy formatting of footnotes, for this chapter's sole footnote I just use the 'end notes' and I apologize that it is not nicer)
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
The walk from Crowley’s customary parking spot to Aziraphale’s front door is the matter of a few good strides, if one is in a hurry. Today, it seems impossibly long. Inside his little flat above the shop at what feels like long last, Aziraphale doesn’t quite know what to do. He’d had some foolish thought that as soon as they were behind closed doors, they would fling themselves forward, they would embrace, they would…
They don’t. They stand there, looking at each other. Crowley had put his glasses back on for the brief walk, and now he reaches up slowly to remove them again, and Aziraphale can almost feel it, when those eyes rake over him.
“Aziraphale…” There are volumes in his voice, in the depth of it, how soft and how rough all at once. Emotions kept under wraps for who knows how many years… For decades? For centuries? To think it could have been millennia, he could weep. He says nothing else. He doesn’t need to.
“Crowley.” He nods. “Please… make yourself comfortable.”
He nods back, setting his sunglasses atop the nearest stack of books. Eyes locked onto Aziraphale’s, he undoes the strap of one glove. Noting the uptick in interest, he tugs at two fingers with his teeth to pull it off, and Aziraphale sways towards him slightly, feeling a strange rush of heat. It’s the removal of the glove, yes, it is very much about that, but… it is also about the teeth. Perfect, too-white, too-sharp. Those teeth, Crowley’s teeth, he wants to know them.
And then, Crowley holds out his other hand, and if Aziraphale relied upon a beating heart, this would have quite the effect on it indeed.
What is it, that’s happening between them? He’s felt the power shift between them, and he doesn’t know what to make of it. It isn’t a struggle, it isn’t even one of those little games of one-upmanship they’ve played over the millennia… it’s…
He’d ceded some, in going out, in giving up his menu, he’d put the power in Crowley’s hands in exchange for the pleasure of being catered to so sweetly, to feeling as if he were special, as if he were precious… beloved. But now, here, it seems to flow between them like a circuit, and he’s not sure where he’s meant to flip the switch, where the power belongs. Who ought to control it. He feels helpless in the face of his desires, he feels utterly under Crowley’s sway, and yet there is a strong tug deep in him at the thought of bringing Crowley under his own.
He steps forward and undoes the snap holding the glove in place. His fingers brush the soft, pale inside of Crowley’s wrist. As one, they shiver.
“Permit me--” Aziraphale begins, breathless.
“Yesss…” Crowley answers, all breath.
He doesn’t even remove the glove before his lips grace that spot, the point at which a mortal man would have a pulse. There is something electric, something of his essence, which seems to serve the purpose. Which makes this spot so much sweeter to kiss.
He leaves the glove, its strap undone, and lets his lips grace each bared knuckle, through those little holes in the leather. He kisses the back, where the wider window allows. He could be content, he thinks, if this was all he were allowed. He feels such an unending wellspring of desire in him for Crowley, but still it is for no particular activity, no physical urge to sate except to be able to touch. He could be so satisfied… but he could also be permitted more.
“Are you mine?” He begins to tug the glove free of Crowley’s hand. “My love, will you be mine?”
“Yesss…” His other hand catches Aziraphale’s forearm. “And you? Mine?”
“I have been, I will be. I am.” He promises, kissing the side of the wrist, feeling the jut of bone beneath his lips. He traces his tongue over the joint there, and feels Crowley shiver. Feels the shifting of his grip, the way he keeps Aziraphale there, keeps him holding on as well.
“Mine…” A growl, a sound with sharp teeth, and yet there is some trembling question beneath it.
“Mine.” An echo, gentle and firm and constant. More constant than the sun. The one true fixed point in the universe.
“Aziraphale.” Crowley cups his cheek, he kisses the heel of his hand before being directed to meet his eyes, pupils wide as he’s ever seen them. He has never dreamt he might be looked at with hunger-- certainly, never in the sense that he wished it to happen, and expected it might. And such a hunger! And yet, when Crowley claims his mouth, he is no more lustful. He is soft… he is tender, so much so it aches… as if he still half-fears to trespass.
“My dear Crowley.” He murmurs, lips brushing lips. “Oh, my dear… Do it again.”
The next kiss is not so tentative. Restrained, yes-- oh, he can feel the restraint. It’s stretched taut and tissue-thin, throbbing with promise. The moment it snaps and tears, what will become of them? What will they do? He hardly knows, he hardly knows, but to feel the tension mount so is delicious. To whisper these words, to feel that some release is impending… There are not that many brand new experiences, after an existence so long and so varied as his, but this… is all brand new.
Aziraphale slides one hand up into Crowley’s hair. Tightens it. Holds him so that he may kiss the hinge of his jaw, so that he may breathe in the lightest touch of a familiar fougere, so that he may worship the column of his throat with lips and tongue as fully and reverently as he has ever worshiped before.
“Do you know what you are to me?” He whispers. “Do you?”
“I’m beginning to wonder… if I’m not what you are to me. Does it frighten you?”
“It does me. Because if you want me, the way I want you… angel, I--”
“Hush.” He finds his lips again. “It’s all right. I’m not afraid anymore. You don’t need to be.”
“Would you risk--”
“Everything. If I thought I had to. But I don’t, my dear, I don’t. Us, we’re all right. Maybe we wouldn’t have been, once, but I believe it now. We could never be wrong, love, we couldn’t be. Not when you feel this Right. Not when… not when for the love of you, I’ve-- I’m better, than I might have been.”
“You’ve improved me as well.” Crowley nuzzles into him. “Do you think that’s enough?”
“I think love is enough. I love you.”
“I love you.” He nods, and something in him relaxes, just a touch. “I do love you…”
Another soft kiss, and they part. Crowley slips out of his suit jacket, dropping it over the back of a chair.
“And you… you want me?” He asks.
He nods. “We should… we should talk about what we-- What’s all right and what we want. Shouldn’t we?”
“I can make tea, if you like.” Aziraphale offers. He’d picked up the habit of considering a cup of tea to be, if not a solution to all problems, then some help in finding one. Even if most of his wound up half-consumed and cold and scattered about the place. “And we can talk about it before… before we… oh, before…”
Crowley has begun rolling up his shirtsleeves, each movement methodical, decisive. His forearms are slender, but not thin-- the corded muscle he knows is firm and strong and solid, there is such a grace in the tendons… and so luminously pale, against the black shirt.
“My dear that is simply not fair.” He protests.
“Shall I catch you up?” Crowley stalks forward, not that they’ve put much space between themselves. Two steps and he’s there, removing Aziraphale’s own jacket, his touch lingering, his body close…
“Is that the cologne you stole from my toilette in nineteen hundred and ten?”
“No, and it took me bloody ages to track down something close enough, didn’t get this until two days ago. Anyway, it didn’t suit you. Too… earthy. I was doing you a favor.”
“Oh, were you?”
“I like the scent of you without it.” Crowley’s tongue flicks out, touching Aziraphale’s cheek and making him laugh. “... still did remind me of you. And you--”
Lightning-fast, he has Aziraphale’s wrist in a firm grip, and he brings it up between them.
“Oh--” Aziraphale gasps, as that tongue introduces itself to his thumb.
“Mm… and did you keep a little reminder of your own?” Crowley traces one finger over the cufflink, presses a series of fervent kisses along Aziraphale’s knuckles once the question’s posed.
“At first it was in case you decided you wanted them again. They always seemed too… flashy for me.” He nods. “And then it was because I could… I could hold them in the palm of my hand and think of you.”
“Then I’m glad you’ve kept them. I think they do suit you. Gold suits you.”
“I don’t know--”
“It’s just a bit. And by now they’re antique, they fit your whole look. You could wear them, whenever I take you someplace nice…”
“Yes. Yes, I suppose I could. And… if I were to take you to a proper night at the theatre.”
“You probably still wear a dinner jacket.”
“I do for the opera.”
“... Haven’t been to the opera in a long time, come to think of it. You buy the tickets and I’ll buy the drinks.”
“Well…” A grin breaks out across Aziraphale’s face, one there’s simply no fighting. He winds his arms around Crowley’s neck, pulling him into a close embrace. “I couldn’t say no to that.”
Crowley’s hands rest at his sides, spread wide, only to drag down and grasp at his hips. “Tell me… tell me what you want from me, angel, tell me how you--”
“You, you, you… You’re the only thing I know I want.”
“Sex, though? Or-- I mean, or not sex?”
“If you like. I… I’ve considered it. It doesn’t move me, not any more than it moves me to hold you close and to kiss your hand. It doesn’t put me off. I… I would like to touch you. I would like to undress you. But… there really is no specific end goal to me, except to know you’re happy. Except to see if I can ever get my fill of you.”
“Oh, I hope you never do, and I hope you keep trying.”
“Come to bed with me? And… we shall just have to make it work out one way or another?”
Crowley nods. He kisses Aziraphale again, and again once more. Hand finds hand, and he follows Aziraphale back to the bedroom. Their progress halts only once, when Crowley tugs him back into another kiss, too-light, too-careful, unable to wait.
It is… not what most angels would call a valid use of a miracle, he doesn’t think, to tidy his bedroom from the other side of the door in anticipation of taking a demon into his bed.
There’s really no part of that he thinks most angels would approve of. They would approve of the word ‘tidy’. That’s about it.
When Aziraphale opens the door, Crowley steps out of his shoes, and onto the thick cream colored rug. He looks about the room, and then smiles over at Aziraphale.
“Cozy. Suspiciously free of dust, for someone who never sleeps-- and, in fact, never dusts.”
“I dust now and then.”
“Hoping to get lucky?”
“Suppose there were some emergency and I had to host a guest? Couldn’t allow surprise company to be choking on dust all night.”
“... You weren’t hoping to get lucky, not before I picked you up. Why would you be? You did this--”
“Don’t say it.”
“For me.” Crowley’s smile goes from teasing triumph to softness, he cups Aziraphale’s cheek. “You miracled the dust off for me?”
He’d miracled more than just the dust. Everything in the room’s a bit nicer. A set of sheets and a duvet cover that isn’t tartan, that hadn’t existed until a moment ago and yet will feel worn to softness from age and laundering, and a duvet that hasn’t gone flat over the years, a rug that feels cloud-soft underfoot rather than threadbare. No half-full teacups sitting about, no half-eaten biscuits, and certainly no biscuit crumbs in the bed, where he might not need to sleep but often likes to get cozy to read.
“Sit down.” Aziraphale whispers, and he kneels beside the bed.
“Yeah.” Crowley nods, whispering back. “Okay.”
Aziraphale kisses one knee first, through his trousers, one hand lifting his calf, the other sliding up under the hem of his trouser-leg to wrap around his ankle.
“Oh, my dear, my dear…” He murmurs, laying his cheek against that knee. He traces over the joint of that ankle, feels out tendon and bone.
“I do want you.” Crowley’s fingers are light, traveling over his hair. “I’ve never wanted, except for you. Not… not these things. Not-- I don’t…”
“No?” He lifts his head.
“Lust. I don’t. Except… for you.” His hand slips down, cupping Aziraphale’s face. “But you, angel… There’s not a single thing people do to each other you couldn’t do to me and I’d want it. Well-- a few things, but you wouldn’t-- I don’t expect you know about anything I wouldn’t do.”
“I’m in Soho, dear, believe you me I can think of a few things neither of us will be doing. But…” His expression softens. “For all the rest. Has it only ever been me?”
“I don’t know. I suppose it goes without saying, but I-- Well, I’ve already said, haven’t I?”
“You’ve said enough to give me an idea.”
“I oughtn’t to have sat you down before I divested you of these.” Aziraphale huffs, slipping a finger through a belt loop, his other hand still wrapped around the captured ankle.
“All it takes is a thought and they can be gone.”
“No. No-- I want to take them off of you.”
Crowley nods. They shift, so that there’s some space, enough that he can get to his feet. Aziraphale removes the trousers with care, rising to drape them over the wooden valet by his dressing table, before returning to kneel.
“I should very much like to do something… indecent to you.”
“Please.” Crowley nods, dropping back down to the bed.
Aziraphale presses his lips to one bared knee, eyes fluttering closed as both hands close around the calf, just a beautiful moment of tension, anticipation, before he slips his fingers under the cuff of his sock. It’s so thin, it barely seems to exist in his hands as he rolls it down, as he pulls it off and tosses it towards the hamper.
“Hush.” Aziraphale says, and in such raptured tones he shocks himself, but Crowley does hush, anyway. He lifts his leg, resting the heel to his shoulder and craning his neck to nuzzle at his ankle, to press kiss after kiss to it, and then…
Oh, then, to do as he had done with his wrist and let his tongue outline the shape of it, where the bone of the joint juts out. The soft hollow beneath-behind that. The shape of him, the shape of him…
“Oh.” Crowley says. And then, “I didn’t think it would be-- Is this what it’s like for people? Ohh, is this how it feels for them? No wonder they’re always thinking about sex…”
“I’ve spent all lunch thinking about this…” He groans, and lets his teeth scrape over the joint just to feel Crowley shiver. He shifts him to the other shoulder so that he can get the other side, even more pronounced, and this time he nuzzles a path up along where the tendon lies, another, softer groan escaping him. “And the car trip there. If you wore those shoes to seduce me, it’s absolutely worked.”
“Didn’t know it’d go over this well. But I might’ve, yeah.”
He kisses the top, strokes the back, his fingers continuing to travel up the swell of Crowley’s calf. It elicits a sigh, and that decides him. He switches sides again, shifts his leg, going from the heel braced against his shoulder to the ankle draped over it, so that he can nuzzle his way further up. So that he can push his face into the side of that calf and feel him, feel the cool skin warm under his touch, feel the firmness of the muscle.
With a bit of manhandling-- about which Crowley does not complain-- he nuzzles all the way up the side of his calf and then gets at the back of his knee. Crowley jerks against his hold when he licks him there.
“Sensitive? Oh, you poor darling… and shall I be merciful to you?” He coos, and contemplates licking him again.
“Please don’t be.”
“Mm, that’s right… you did lament my not playing so rough, didn’t you?”
“Angel…” He whimpers. Whimpers. It’s the absolute darling-est sound Aziraphale has ever heard, it cuts to the heart of him, he has no defenses.
“Dear, you know I would never hurt you, of course.”
“Wouldn’t complain if you did.”
Crowley reaches out to touch his hair again. “You don’t have to if it bothers you, I mean. Just you could. And I’d know it wasn’t… Not real.”
“I don’t want to hurt you…”
“Tease you, some.” He kisses the back of his knee. Firmer and less teasing, but after an encouraging sigh, he gives him another lick. “Maybe… hold you, and make you let me. Not make you! But-- because you’d want me to? Like-- the way we used to take turns ‘winning’, you-- you might want me to hold you down and do things. Nice things. And… and then you would hold me down. And do nice things to me, maybe.”
“Oh, angel, I’ll hold you down and do the nicest blessed things to you…”
“Until you beg me for mercy.”
Aziraphale chuckles, nuzzling at the side of his knee. “Oh, don’t let my cries for mercy stop you…”
Crowley swallows. Audibly.
“Should we have a safeword?” Aziraphale asks.
“Wait, how do you know what a safeword is?”
“Our side came up with them.”
“That’s… a lot to unpack.”
“We could use the traffic light system.”
“I’ve never obeyed a traffic light in all their years of existence and I’m not about to start. We can come up with a safeword. Armageddon works.”
Aziraphale laughs. “Yes, I suppose it does do. Calls a big halt to everything.”
“Very well. Then… feel free to call Armageddon on me, if this is ever too much for you.”
That said, he returns to applying his tongue to Crowley’s knee to varying levels of speed and pressure, until he has him laid out and writhing.
“Do your… do your worst…”
“Mm, how very brave of you, dear.” He kisses the top of his knee this time, gentle. “You are beautiful, you know… oh, to think, I’ve only yet seen a fraction of how beautiful you could be… To think I never knew what a vision you could be. All these years…”
He is still wearing his shirt, his boxers, one sock. He is the most beautiful creature Aziraphale has ever laid eyes upon. He can hardly bear it. He can hardly withstand the way that he keens in the back of his throat, the way his body twists, the way his hands grasp at the duvet and his head thrown back, the luminous and radiant arc of his throat… He wants so badly, and he still hardly knows what.
He knows some things.
He knows that he must, that certain things must. He knows that his existence upon this earth is incomplete every moment he spends not doing this, this one special thing. He lifts Crowley’s leg a bit higher again to allow himself the access he needs, to sink his teeth into the fullest curve of his calf.
He knows the way Crowley groans, full and filthy, sings to the very essence of him.
He doesn’t let go right away, though he doesn’t bite down any harder. Simply holds him, simply feels the resistance under his teeth and the way Crowley shudders when he doesn’t pull back.
Finally, he eases up, and he laves over the little indents his teeth have left, and kisses the mark. It is a bruise, simply because Crowley has willed it to be, and he kisses it again, overcome.
“Aww…” He coos, soft, nose nudging gently against the very edge of it. “Beautiful… you sweet thing. You sweet thing, is that for me? Did you want me to be able to look at it?”
“Hnng!” Crowley manages, squirming.
“My sweet thing.” He gently sets Crowley’s leg down.
He removes the other sock with just as much delicate care, repeats his explorations. The act has lost none of its charm for having already tried it once, he feels just as overwhelmed by the feel of Crowley’s left ankle beneath his lips and tongue. The smoothness of his skin, how lovely he is… how lovely he is. To touch and to taste, how lovely.
Rather than one long, deep, firm bite, he makes his way up this calf with a series of sharp little nips and wet, sloppy kisses, along the curve of it to the back of his knee to tease. He makes reckless love to that leg, he kisses with abandon. Wherever this desperate feeling comes from, now that he has unboxed it, will it never be slaked?
He does have such fine legs… such beautiful legs. Moreso than any painter could render. They are long and slender, yes, but the muscle there… it’s so solid, so… all that there is to him, that whipcord muscle… the way it feels to dig his fingers in and feel how unyielding it is...
“Oh, Crowley…” He kisses one inner thigh and then the next, just above the knee, he throws both legs over his shoulders to work his way higher, along the softest stretch of him, until he reaches the silk boxers.
They are… very brief, very thin, and currently stretched very taut.
“Oh--” Aziraphale gasps, eyes zeroing in on him. “You’re aroused.”
“I do hope that was the point.” Crowley pushes himself up on his elbows.
“Oh, yes, rather. I-- I’ve just…”
“Oh, desperately, my love. But… I’ve never been, erm, physically so.”
“Here, here, c’mere…” Crowley cups his face in one hand. His thumb strokes along the apple of Aziraphale’s cheek. “Close your eyes. Open yourself up to it. You think about the pleasures you do know, you think about want. You think about me. Think about what you want, and let it come, all right? Give yourself permission and then think about what you want… really focus on it, focus on me. Focus on us.”
Navigating the initial effort is strange-- is an effort!-- but once he figures out how to unlock that gate within himself, he feels it. The other part of the equation, he supposes. He doesn’t think it makes him any more driven by sexual lust than he had been before he’d switched himself on, it just… opens up some possibilities. It doesn’t change him in any terrifying way.
“Oh!” He laughs, eyes fluttering open again, meeting Crowley’s. “Yes.”
“You feel it?”
“Yes. I-- I wanted to do this even before.” He cups his hand over Crowley’s erection, just feeling it out. “And a few other things besides… I wanted… I’ve wanted to do all sorts of things to you.”
“You can do them.”
“Mm.” He smiles, undoing a button at the bottom of Crowley’s shirt. “I do rather want to do this one in particular…”
He kisses Crowley through the boxers-- thin as they are, he can feel the heat. He nuzzles at him, drags the end of his nose along the length of him as best he can while everything is so… tightly under wraps still. He undoes two more shirt buttons and licks him.
Crowley cuts himself short on several swears, finally settling on a weak groan.
He’s boneless and pliant by the time Aziraphale has finished unbuttoning his shirt, moaning, hips rolling up into nothing, a constellation of faint little bite marks blooming from hip to hip, slung low across a pale belly… nipples teased firm, left wet and blown across to tease… And the look he gives him, it shakes him yet to be looked at so. He eases him out of the shirt, but leaves it spread out on the bed beneath him just for the pleasing visual contrast it gives.
“You’re overdressed.” Crowley says at last.
“So are you.” Aziraphale teases, slipping a finger under the waistband of those silk boxers. “And I want to uncover you first.”
Crowley lifts his hips obligingly, grinning up at him. Aziraphale has seen him naked-- in the days when clothing was optional, or minimal, or sheer, and in the days when bathing costumes were not a thing, and in the days when public bathing was… and, of course, he has seen him painted and sculpted enough. But he has never seen him like this, flushed and firm and tantalizing.
“My love for you…” He murmurs, thumb tracing over the crest of a hip. “My love for you is Right, my dear. My love for you is Sacred. My love for you even now is Pure. But if you had come to me like this, long enough ago, you could have tempted me to carnal passions.”
“Liar.” Crowley says, with a bone-deep fondness that hits him like a blow. “You wouldn’t. You only want all thisss because you love me.”
“I do love you.” Aziraphale smiles, tender, and he caresses his way up Crowley’s body and down again. “And you, dearheart? Were you ever once motivated by lust? Or do you love me?”
“I taught myself to turn onto carnal want that night in fourteen fifty-five, the banquet hall, our eyes met across the room and your face shone, oh, angel, your face shone… and you denied it to me when I accused you of your own pleasures of the flesh, but I’d seen you… Oh, you tried so hard not to give into it, you always did, but you can’t imagine what I felt to see you… to see you tempted into tasting, to see you transported on the pleasure of it, to see you licking cream from your fingers, to see the way the berries stained your lips, and the wine…”
“You do like to see me eat.”
“It isn’t about the food, angel, it’s the pleasure. That’s just what brings it out in you. I would have given anything to give you that pleasure myself… I did love you, I always did. But I discovered the way pleasure looked on you then. The very first night you ate something the simple folk didn’t, the first night you didn’t think of excess and think of those who could use it more than you, the first night I saw you give in and enjoy being a creature that inhabits an earthly body, and I’d have…”
“You’d have given anything to be the one to have tempted me?”
“No.” He whispers. “Just… to love you.”
“Oh, my dear boy…”
Aziraphale presses a kiss to his fingertips, his fingertips to the sharpish point of one hipbone. He rises, keeping his gaze locked to Crowley’s as he removes the cufflinks and drops them into a small dish on his nightstand-- their customary home. The modest cufflinks he wears live in a handsome velveteen-lined oak box, where he selects the correct pair for the day’s outfit with care. Crowley’s cufflinks sit out where he can look at them, when he’s reading for pleasure in bed, with the fireplace and the duvet and however much of a hot drink and a sweet treat he remembers to consume. Where he can reach over and touch them with light and gentle fingertips and think of their former owner. He’s aware that people make little dishes whose only purpose is to hold jewelry on nightstands, but his is a saucer whose teacup had broken in 1895, and he’d liked the pattern too much to toss out a perfectly good saucer.
Crowley rearranges himself comfortably on the bed, nestling down into the duvet as he watches Aziraphale undo each button of his waistcoat, to hang on the wooden valet with Crowley’s own trousers. He removes his tie, returns it to its spot on the rack in his wardrobe.
“Are you just like this, or are you teasing me on purpose with the world’s slowest striptease?” Crowley groans.
“Oh, I’m sorry, dear. Would you like to help?” He returns to stand by the bed, to rake his fingers through Crowley’s hair. Crowley’s hands are on him in an instant, unbuttoning his shirt with haste, only to groan again at the undershirt.
“Angel, no one’s worn one of these in decades.”
“I have done.”
“Well… it’s bloody inconvenient for me!”
“I’m sorry I don’t structure my whole routine around your convenience.” He gives Crowley’s hair a gentle tug before shrugging out of his shirt. Crowley grabs at his hips, leaving him to toss it back towards his hamper rather than walking it over.
“Dress sexier.” He growls, nuzzling into Aziraphale’s belly through the soft fabric of his undershirt.
“I’d look ridiculous if I tried.”
“No you wouldn’t… you wouldn’t. Really. Something… snug.”
“This body wasn’t built for ‘snug’.”
“I beg to differ, love, I really do… Tight across those thighs. That arse.” He squeezes to make his point. “Something dark.”
“Oh, something like you’d wear.”
“Doesn’t have to be. But it could be.”
“I’m not convinced… but… perhaps if you’d like to accompany me the next time I shop for clothing, you could recommend something. Perhaps I might be moved to listen to your recommendations.” Aziraphale pulls off his undershirt and tosses it hamper-wards as well.
“Yes yes yes yes yes…” Crowley pushes his face back into him, hands groping at the soft swell of his stomach. Cold hands, but he doesn’t find he minds it, when they knead at him so nicely. When he suddenly finds he has a physical reaction to Crowley’s touch. To his lips, wet, roaming over his skin, to his…
Oh, to his teeth! He’s very gentle with them on the whole-- considerate, as they’re inhumanly sharp. But to be nipped at by them is every bit as rapturous as Aziraphale had dreamed. Hoped. They bite and scrape and nibble, as Crowley’s tongue traces intricate looping lines against him, as Crowley’s hands move on to getting rid of Aziraphale’s trousers.
“Joining me, are you?” He chuckles, giving Aziraphale’s erection a friendly sort of a squeeze, through his underwear. “Oh-- angel, we’ve got to update this aspect of your wardrobe…”
“They’re baggy and they reach your knees. And they’ve got more blessed buttons!”
“If you have a problem with my underthings--”
“No, no, skip going shopping and giving you recommendations, I’m buying you something new.”
“I do not promise to wear it.”
“You will. You’ll like it. I can shop for you, I know what you like. Promise… I won’t change you, just bring you into this century. Save myself doing fucking… hundreds of buttons every time I want to get at you, why are there buttons? How have you worn the same underwear since before the invention of the elastic waistband? Aziraphale, the next time you take me to bed and I’ve got to undo buttons to get your shorts off, I’m ripping them open.”
“You have not precisely incentivized me towards adopting the elastic waistband.” Aziraphale swallows.
Crowley’s eyes snap up to meet his again. “Can I--?”
“Oh, yes, absolutely.” He sighs. “Wait-- erm… is it-- That is, would it be possible to--?”
“Use your teeth?” Aziraphale asks, his voice going a bit high. Blushing has never before been a biological imperative, but it seems to come with the territory-- having switched his vessel’s capacity for sexual arousal on, blush he does, arousal and embarrassment a maelstrom in the core of him.
“Angel.” A slow grin takes Crowley, he licks his lips.
He can’t say he’s sure where the impulse comes from, except…
Except it isn’t new, exactly. He just never knew where it fit, never knew why he might want, what good wanting… He never knew it could be like this. In long stretches of time spent apart, back when such gaps in their association were commonplace, he sometimes longed… he sometimes imagined. Oh, not this exactly, not Crowley tearing his underclothes away with sharp, strong teeth, but Crowley.
Crowley crouching over him in bed, taking his book from his hands, moonlight glinting off of his fangs, his rakish grin in the near-dark, perhaps the lamp blown out… Hands twisting in his shirt, the fabric threatening to tear, the air of something playful and strange, the curious twist in his gut as he’d tell himself each time that Crowley had never done such a thing to him-- never appeared in his room unexpected, never done anything at all to his clothing, would never, not under any circumstances he could imagine.
He’d always tended to get a bit of a lonely pang after fifty years or so. And then it would fade, and life would go on, and another fifty years would pass and he would think of him again… At the hundred year mark, he would start scanning crowds in unbidden hope. At the two hundred year mark, those times they had been out of each other’s orbit so long, he used to yearn, he used to wonder by what means he might summon him, might arrange to find the same next place, but it never went anywhere. Either they would see each other again by the time the next pang hit, or they wouldn’t.
And now… now, they have been so settled, so constant, and now to have Crowley in his bed, he can’t fathom… he can’t fathom not seeing him so long. But he can remember how it had been. He can remember the nights that brought wild imaginings. Crowley at his side, Crowley in his bed, Crowley sleeping beside him as if they were not enemies… Crowley’s smile, Crowley’s eyes agleam in the dark for him alone, Crowley’s hand stealing towards him with only the gentlest of intentions… Crowley’s weight against him, Crowley’s skin luminous in the moonlight, Crowley’s fluid form in repose, Crowley’s voice snaking seductively into his ear… Even before he could envision any sexual seduction between them, it had to be said his voice was seductive. He had a gift for talking Aziraphale into another glass of wine, another bite of something sweet, another mostly-harmless vice…
Crowley grabs hold of his drawers with both hands, gets the fabric at the front between his teeth and yanks, buttons scattering. Between hands and teeth, it isn’t only lost buttons but torn fabric. Old and well-laundered as they are, it rips easily.
“Oh… oh, Crowley…”
“Am I allowed to do that with all your underthings?”
He really ought to draw a line, Aziraphale supposes. He really ought.
“Yes.” He hears himself say, rather more passionately than he’d have given himself credit for.
He expects he shall have to get replacements before he allows all of them to be destroyed, but he certainly can. Besides which, he does own undergarments bought within the last fifty years, even if they are not very sexual, either. He does own undergarments with elastic waistbands, for that matter, but it never occurred to him when dressing for lunch that he would need to quickly be rid of them later.
He expects Crowley to flash him a smug smirk, having reduced him to such an agreeable jelly with the destruction of an article of clothing he’d kept in good repair for ninety-odd years, too, but that doesn’t happen. Instead, Crowley presses the softest, fondest kiss to his belly, and gives his thigh a squeeze.
He slides a hand into Crowley’s hair, grabs for him to get him on his back again, to get himself poised over him-- he gets a very gratifying look of shock and desire when he pulls the move off gracefully.
“I’ve never wanted anything so terribly as I want you now. I never knew that I could.” He says, and he lowers himself for a kiss.
“Do you want me more than you wanted that Gutenberg bible?”
“My dear. There are forty-eight Gutenberg bibles. And only one creature as confounding, infuriating, intoxicating, enticing, endearing, as wickedly wonderful as you. I have sold my copy of the Gutenberg three times. I would defy Heaven for you.”
One of them is trembling, when next they kiss. He’s not certain which.
Crowley’s arms wrap around him, firm and tight, tighter than anything less than an angel could withstand, and Aziraphale lets his weight press down into him, lets the kiss deepen and feels the way Crowley moves beneath his body, the way he rolls his hips up, the way something small in his chest seems to jerk like a sob when he bites at Aziraphale’s lip, the way his hold shifts without ever letting up…
“Let me look at you, let me look at you…” He moans against Crowley’s mouth, and struggles not to give into every new urge his body fights to process. To just thrust and thrust and keep on going until the inevitable conclusion… that’s certainly what his body wants now.
“Mm…” Crowley squeezes even tighter, somehow, and stops biting at his lip in favor of nuzzling sweetly at his cheek. “I am very fond of being looked at.”
“Oh… oh, dear thing, you-- oh, Crowley.” Aziraphale shakes his head, and his eyes feel wet, and he could hardly explain this brand new flood of feeling on top of feeling without sounding like the most foolish being, but once Crowley’s arms ease up from around him, he settles himself down the bed, Crowley’s legs up over his shoulders again.
“D’you… like it?”
“Rather like the rest of you, I suppose…” He answers lightly-- as lightly as he can, with that tremor under his voice. “Exactingly designed and sculpted… if a bit pretentious in its beauty. And utterly mouthwatering.”
“You’re--” Crowley gulps. His hands grip at the duvet. “You’re more than welcome to have it in your mouth any time you like.”
“Mm, thank you, dear, but I’m rather enjoying watching it move just now…”
Crowley squirms. His prick jerks. It’s wet, it is, already, and perhaps that’s normal but it’s fascinating to Aziraphale. To his great delight, another tic affects the balls as well. He feels a sympathetic rush of heat to his own.
Theoretically, he knows what he’s doing, with his mouth and Crowley’s…
Cock, he decides, he has never so much as casually thought the word before, and he hadn’t thought it mattered, but ‘cock’ is quite the sexiest thing he can think to call it, and he’s very recently come to care about sexy. To notice it at all.
He’s seen the act done. The young man it was being done to had certainly enjoyed it. The man who’d been doing it had seemed to enjoy it just as much. It had happened in a dark corner of his club, they had been discussing the Romantic poets over drinks, boys had been sat in laps, wine had been consumed, and then quite suddenly there was an act of sexual congress appearing right before his eyes, and he never did get everyone’s opinion on Wordsworth…
He had wondered, of course, if he ought turn away, but then… he hadn’t responded to it in any personal sense. He had not been moved to lust, only curiosity.
The year had been 1887, Crowley had been asleep, and though it wasn’t quite the fifty year mark, he had thought of him very keenly when he left the club that night. Not during the display, when he had thought of nothing at all, had barely thought of what he was witnessing, but later. When he was alone, he wondered what opinions Crowley would have offered him had he been there.
Now, at least, he’s a very clear idea of what Crowley’s opinions are going to be, and they won’t be to do with poetry. They probably won’t be.
He doesn’t think.
He trails his fingertips lightly up the shaft, feels the heat. Most of Crowley is so cool to the touch, but not here… Aziraphale is struck with the sudden and blasphemous thought, that to wrap his hand around him would be as holding the hilt of his sword-- made by Heaven to fit his grip as nothing else, and searing with Divine fire.
He doesn’t know how to say such a wicked thing.
He longs to.
“Mine.” He whispers instead, and his hand wraps around Crowley’s cock.
It is not, he realizes, an apt comparison. His sword never felt so right.
“Yours.” Crowley whines, and rolls his hips up into Aziraphale’s hold. “Aziraphale, Aziraphale, yours.”
“Oh-- oh, darling boy, I’ll take care of you.” He promises, the words wrenched from him at the sight of how Crowley twists in that inhumanly bendy way of his, and the way pleasure and need paint his face. “For eternity, Crowley, I will.”
He sets about replicating the scene he had witnessed in 1887. Crowley tastes the way the skin of an apple tastes-- at first, like nothing at all, and then like itself, like the promise of something sweet to come. Redolent is the word which leaps to mind. He is not sure if he thinks he means it in the modern sense or not…
Would the words sound clumsy if he tried to speak them, if he tried to say ‘your skin tastes like a promise’? If he tried to say half of what he feels about the feel of Crowley in his hand and in his mouth? The taste of the fluid he’s leaking is curiously clean, not that Aziraphale can imagine what it ought to taste like. It’s just a viscousness to swallow, and he finds he manages that well.
It takes him by surprise when Crowley comes, but as he’d neglected to breathe, it doesn’t matter much to him to be surprised. He licks Crowley clean, and keeps licking until he’s pushed away with a weak little ‘enh!’ of a sound.
Absolutely darling. He doesn’t want to stop kissing and tasting him for a moment, but he doesn’t wish to invoke any safewording, either, and the poor dear… oh, the poor dear looks so wrung out.
“My dear… oh, Crowley, my dearest demon.” He takes his hand, and kisses his knuckles. It seems safer, and he can hardly ask himself not to kiss him at all when he is so… so beautiful. When he evokes such feeling.
“Love…” Crowley sighs deeply. His eyes are still slightly unfocused.
“Dearheart.” Aziraphale smiles.
“No, I mean… love, I’m not-- I’ve never been… loved, so much. It’s… a lot.”
“It is.” He takes a deep breath, and seems to recover something of himself. In one fluid move, he’s rolled over and pinned Aziraphale to the bed. “I can show you.”
“Oh! Please-- please do.”
He’s certainly felt it, that love-- a love he’d always assumed was his alone, the way it always intensified about him whenever Crowley was near. He’d never dreamed they were working in concert. He’s certainly felt the intensity, in what they’d done together. But to be under Crowley’s focus takes it to yet another height. He is overwhelmed by it, to have it directed so openly his way. They had spent so long trying to keep their feelings to themselves… and now, it isn’t only physically that they touch each other, their emotions flow so much more freely. When the focus had been on Crowley, the feeling had certainly swept him along on its rising tide, but now that the focus is on him, he’s drowning in it.
Love, love, love, he is drunk on it! He shall never recover from it! He shall never recover from the earth-shattering things which Crowley’s tongue is doing to his newly-awaken anatomy, either, nor should he wish to. He shall spend the rest of existence pleasantly tipsy at the very least upon the strength with which Crowley feels for him, and he shall gladly return the favor.
He likes sex. He loves Crowley. He likes blowjobs. He loves Crowley. He likes orgasms. He loves Crowley. He likes Crowley, he loves Crowley, he loves Crowley.
The moment Crowley has finished, he drags him up into a kiss, desperate, upon which he tastes the curious un-taste of his own release.
“Can we do it again?” He asks, breathless, lips still to Crowley’s lips, and he feels his laugh.
“You’re still wearing your socks. How about I strip them off you? See if your ankles do anything for me?”
“Oh… all right.” Aziraphale beams. He doesn’t expect it shall be the same as for him, and yet…
About Aziraphale’s sock garters, Crowley has no complaints.
 He had dropped the associated teacup the morning his paper informed him that Oscar Wilde had been sentenced to two years hard labour in Reading, and it had been all day before he’d thought to go back and clean up the mess.
Chapter 3: I'm Caught in a Dream
It's not that different from when they used to pretend at fighting each other...
But vive la difference.
One moment, Aziraphale is reading-- which is not out of the ordinary in and of itself, he’s reading whenever he isn’t doing something else, and sometimes he multitasks, but he doesn’t ordinarily read naked-- and then the next, he’s forgotten his book completely.
He’s only aware of it at all because Crowley, upon emerging from his duvet cocoon to stretch luxuriously, has taken it from his hands and slid a bookmark in before setting it aside.
“Do you still want to do it again?” He asks, standing there by the bed in all his glory. Posing, in fact, with his back arched and his hips cocked to one side, and one arm lazily stretched overhead. There’s something endearing about that bit of effort, and just for him.
“I do, very much.”
“The same as before or different?” Crowley relaxes a little, and Aziraphale smiles warmly up at him, moving the covers from over his legs and swinging around to sit at the edge of the bed.
“Oh, wherever it takes us. I mostly want to kiss you, now you’re up.” He pats his thigh. “Come here.”
Crowley does, straddling his lap and wrapping his arms tight about his shoulders, his knees squeezing in at Aziraphale’s hips.
“Thought you’d never ask.” He grins, and covers Aziraphale’s face with kisses.
“I don’t recall ever needing to ask.” Aziraphale laughs, his hands settling at Crowley’s waist. Quite slender, next to his own, of course, but incredibly muscular. Something about having been a snake, he thinks, makes for abdominal muscles to die for. He finds there are ways in which he would very much like to have his tongue on those muscles, which he never thought about before. “You always used to clamber onto me, when it was the done thing to sit on people.”
“Mm…” He sighs and presses closer. “You come with so much extra padding, it’s hard to resist.”
He makes it sound… sexy. It was never meant to be-- the first time he’d had a weightier vessel, he’d carried his fat low, soft around the hips and thighs, a carefully-crafted effeminacy that said ‘eunuch’. It had been comfortable. He’d never been the kind of fat that spoke to virility, when the two went hand in hand in public opinion. He’d been careful to find other ways of making himself sexually unattractive when necessary. And now! Well it’s so easy to not be seen as a sexual being now!
Except by Crowley, who’s been coming up with excuses to be in his lap ever since he was assigned a vessel with real meat on his bones, right up until men didn’t do that anymore, and who had certainly seemed enthusiastic about all parts of him once the clothes were coming off.
It’s nice, he thinks. He’s never wanted to be wanted by humans, no, but he likes having Crowley want him. He likes the way Crowley grabs for him and squeezes him and bites him and moans over him. He likes the way Crowley looks at him, as if he’s always contemplating the next bite he wants to take, the next handful he wants to grope… He likes the way Crowley looks at him now with naked want, naked love.
“You don’t try very hard to resist temptation on the whole, my dear.”
“On the contrary. I’m on the supply side where temptation’s concerned, I’ve spent thousands of years working very hard to resist what you put out there without even trying.”
An ‘aww’ might escape him, at that. Certainly, he urges Crowley a little closer, his expression soft as he strokes his back, as he gazes into his eyes.
“I hope you shall spend the next however-many-thousand allowing yourself to give in.”
“And after that?” Crowley smiles, nuzzling at his cheek.
“Oh, by then I should think the honeymoon phase will have worn off, but we shall see, we shall see. You’ll certainly be welcome to my lap. Be it six thousand years from now or six million.”
“Aziraphale.” He buries his face down in the crook of Aziraphale’s neck.
“Yes, my dear?”
“Yes.” He whispers, and laps at the skin. “And even after. For forever, if you’ll have me.”
“As if I would ever let you go. As if I could… I could never do without you now.” His hands rest lightly over Crowley’s upper back, he noses at his ear. The very idea… the very idea of spending any less than an eternity like this… “A couple thousand years in your company and I couldn’t have done without you, how much more now that I have you like this?”
“Oh, a couple thousand years? And you spent the next four thousand not saying anything to me?”
“It wasn’t really… I mean, I didn’t know I could… I didn’t know how much you could delight me. Only that knowing you made existence… more. You made it all more. You spent-- you spent a good deal of time saying nothing to me!”
“Spent six thousand years saying nothing to you.” He nips at Aziraphale’s soft neck.
“Oh, you.” Aziraphale eases him out of his spot there, to be able to kiss him. “You have not, you-- You have not, that long. You-- And said nothing?”
“Thereabouts. Didn’t think you’d go for it.”
“Not at the start, no… not-- it wouldn’t have mattered that I wanted it. I couldn’t have done… I was afraid before. For a long time. It was best not to think that it was possible, best not to think… Nothing like the end of the world to make you brave.”
“Would you do it all again?”
“With you at my side? As often as need be.”
“Here’s hoping that’s not often. But… so would I. With you.”
“Dearheart…” Aziraphale cups his face a moment, between both hands. He kisses him, slow and sweet, his touch sliding down the sides of Crowley’s neck, down to knead gently at pointy shoulders. “Darling… tell me how best to please you. I should very much like to.”
“I want you to…” Crowley laughs softly and sweetly, like he has the most delicious secret, nuzzling at his ear. He flicks his tongue across the lobe to make him shiver. “Oh, angel, I want you to smack me. Just one good one, if you’re not into the idea of a lot of it.”
“Smack you? What, like…?” He bites his lip, and manages a very weak swat to one of said shoulders. “Surely not the face, Crowley, I don’t think I could.”
“Not at all like that. And no, not the face.” He kisses Aziraphale’s cheek. “Harder than that, for starters--”
“I really don’t--”
“And right across the arse. And if possible, several times.”
“W-why would I do a thing like that?”
“Because.” He grins, and teases that earlobe with his tongue again. “When it’s your turn to be on top, I’m a wicked creature. And you’re punishing me.”
“Oh, I don’t think I should want to punish you… tease, perhaps, but-- Wouldn’t it hurt you?”
“If I’m very lucky, just a bit. I don’t need it to hurt, angel, just a little sting, it’s just play. Like…” He shimmies down from Aziraphale’s lap, and gives his thigh a tap-- one which does sting, just a very little bit and then not at all. He kisses the tip of his nose and plays with his hair a little and then he stretches out across his thighs, arse up.
“It still seems like it hurts…” Aziraphale protests. Though he supposes not for very long, except won’t the cumulative effect do so?
“Some kinds of pain can be very satisfying. You didn’t complain about whether it would hurt when you bit me.”
“That’s different, biting is-- biting’s…”
Crowley pushes himself back up to sit astride Aziraphale’s lap again, to be able to meet his eyes. “You like biting?”
“I would like for you to bite me some more also. But I don’t care for being smacked. I don’t see the appeal to it.”
Crowley’s pupils widen slightly. “You’d like me to? Harder than before?”
Aziraphale nods. “I would. I want to feel your teeth sink into me.”
“You don’t-- you don’t want me to… hurt? Not to break the skin?”
“I want you to come very, very close to piercing me…” He instructs breathlessly. “And then, I wish for you to restrain yourself… I wish for you to hold, on the precipice, knowing how easy it would be for you to sink in deeper…”
“You… yeah. Yeah, I-- But… you’ll try for me, after? Make a game of it. It’ll be to punish me for the biting.”
“Why should I punish you for the biting, I asked you for the biting--”
“Because it’s a game. And I’m the wicked demon who’s pretending to bite you not because you asked me. You’re the righteous angel punishing me for it. But in a fun, sexy way that doesn’t have to hurt that much if you’re not comfortable with that.”
“Well… I suppose we can try.” Aziraphale nods, a delighted and uncertain grin spreading across his face. Crowley slithers from his lap to kneel between his thighs, to begin with wet kisses.
“Mmm… angel…” He sighs, his tones dripping with lust. It’s such a change, so much… dirtier than before. It sends a thrill through Aziraphale that he can’t quite explain. “Look at you, all naked and helplesssss in my grasssp…”
Crowley’s tongue flicks out to tease one side, then the other, and he pushes to spread Aziraphale’s legs wider.
“Oh-- oh-- you… you really are wicked…”
“I really am.” He grins. “I’ve got you at my mercy now, don’t I? All alone with no one coming to your rescue…”
Aziraphale squirms. “My dear-- erm-- wicked thing, you… and just what do you intend to do with me?”
“Oh, I don’t know… I’ve always wanted to tassste an angel… Do you have sweet flesh? Do you taste Divine?”
“I-- oh-- I d-don’t know, you… you would be the first to taste me.”
“Would I burn my tongue on you, angel? Mm, bet it would be worth it, if I could make you scream. Have you got blood like holy water? Shall I be careful with you, not to break the skin?”
“Oh-- oh--” He hesitates over touching. Oughtn’t he to pretend he’s enthralled somehow, to have a reason why he isn’t fighting back against this supposed onslaught?
He is enthralled, really. Crowley does a fine job of pretending to be wicked, with his words and his voice, but his eyes are aglow with worship, so intense and so devout.
He does not deserve it. He has never in all his days desired veneration, but Crowley… Crowley, who has turned his back on Heaven, looks at him with reverent devotion, and he burns. He aches. He would suffer all things to earn the look which Crowley fixes him with, though it is not the sort of thing he could ever truly earn. Not the look of an enemy… but then, has it ever been?
“You-- you really mustn’t…” He says weakly, unsure if he means it in play, or if he means he shouldn’t be worshiped. He shouldn’t be, but… isn’t all right if it’s only Crowley, if no humans do? Crowley can’t get any more damned, and Aziraphale can’t be blamed for it if that’s how he feels… he didn’t seek it.
Crowley pauses, searching out his eyes for any honest discomfort, relaxing when no safeword comes. “Mustn’t I? If you think you can stop me, ssstop me. Do you think you’re going to punish me?”
“I shall be forced to, if you continue on in this manner. I shall… I shall have no choice but to punish you severely. For such a-- for such a wicked transgression.”
Crowley shivers. “Well… then I intend to earn it this time.”
He drags his mouth up one inner thigh, from just above the knee until his nose is buried in the crease of Aziraphale’s hip. He breathes in deep and shudders as the want ripples through him, and then he finds the spot he wants and he bites.
It’s everything. It’s everything.
The pain is sharp and sweet, Crowley’s teeth, and he loves him so much, and there’s such a heat… He can’t help the sound which escapes him and he doesn’t want to help it. His head tips back, his hips shift on the edge of the bed, and Crowley… Crowley just growls against him, Crowley just squeezes both his thighs, and were he human, he would have ten perfect little bruises… plus the eleventh, where he’s been bitten.
He allows all of them to blossom across his skin.
“Oh, you beast.” He sighs.
“I want… to taste you again… you delicious thing, do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had a mouthful of Heaven?”
He does know precisely how long it’s been since Crowley has had a mouthful of Heaven, if he counts as Heaven-- they’d had a cup of tea and Crowley had napped for an hour or so while Aziraphale read, before that they’d very much had their mouths all over each other. But he thinks perhaps he’s not meant to say that out loud. He’s meant to be… he’s meant to be something forbidden and long-missed.
Is he those things? The very thought...
“You, ah-- you torture me all you like, I shall… break free of your wicked thrall eventually, and all the worse for you when I catch you.” He says, in a solid attempt at playing up his part.
If it comes out slightly more ‘stern librarian’ than ‘avenging angel’, Crowley doesn’t seem to mind. He just looks up at him with all the adoration possible, sharp grin and soft eyes.
“Oh, I can’t wait.” He says, and then be bites down on the other thigh. He muffles a moan into the soft flesh, tongue working against the skin, teeth gripping hard-- and it’s much easier to get a mouthful of Aziraphale’s thigh, which is not all firm muscle.
Of course, he thinks the effort is worth it, biting Crowley’s thighs, and he likes the feel of that hard muscle under his teeth, but… being bitten like this gives him a renewed appreciation for his own rather comfortable sort of shape. And Crowley… Crowley devours him.
He’s awash in a sea of bliss which runs rather counter to the sharp pain of those teeth on the edge of piercing his skin. The licking, yes, and the sucking, but always the teeth, not quite fangs and not quite not… He’s not sure exactly when he’d collapsed onto his back or how long he’s been making all these noises, he’s only even breathing because it’s necessary to draw breath in order to make some of the sounds he’s making…
“Do you know what I really, really want to do? Do you?”
“What?” He asks weakly.
“I want… to taste… an angel.”
“... Haven’t you done?” He pushes himself up to blink owlishly down at Crowley.
“Oh, innocence.” Crowley chuckles. “That is delicious. But look at you. Look at what I’ve done to you.”
He flicks his tongue out over the head of Aziraphale’s very erect cock.
“Mm-hm. What would the Host say about this? Oho, if your friends could see you now, gagging for a demon’s touch… You--”
Suddenly there’s distance between them, and Aziraphale makes a sound which he hopes Crowley will understand to mean ‘come back here this instant’.
“I’m sorry, that’s not-- that’s not on, is it? Bringing the Host into this, I shouldn’t have…” Crowley’s voice tumbles out, fast and just a bit quiet. Upset, which he certainly doesn’t want.
“It’s all right. I-- It didn’t bother me.”
“How could it not?” Crowley’s eyes do meet his again, guilt and anguish and anxiety, oh dear…
“Because. I’m not ‘gagging for a demon’s touch’, my dear, only yours. Because if they saw what you do to me, they would have to recognize it as love. Because as much as I’ve no desire to make this particular scenario a reality, there is a part of me which wants them to see us. Erm, not-- not in this particular moment, but… To show them that you are capable of love, and worthy of it. That you are so complicated and so noble.”
“Oh, here I am trying to be filthy and you bring romance into it.” He chuckles weakly, and presses a gentle kiss to one vicious bite mark. It aches at that light touch and Aziraphale isn’t one for pain, but he likes that ache in this moment.
“Would you like for me to be filthy?”
The look he gets at that is sudden and intensely interested, and he can’t help a little laugh, which is somewhat at odds with the role he’s trying to play.
“You vile beast.” He purrs, hooking a leg over Crowley’s shoulder. “You dare try to defile me? You think to tempt me with base desires?”
“You’re not pushing me away, are you?” Crowley relaxes a little more, and puts his hands right back where they belong, holding on nice and tight to Aziraphale’s thighs. “I might even think you wanted a taste of the forbidden yourself… a taste of the wicked. Is that the case? Does my poor captive angel want to feel a little hellfire on his tongue? A walk on the wild side?”
He teases him with another flicker of tongue, starting where head and shaft meet before dancing over the tip, before probing at the slit so briefly, so maddeningly briefly...
“I’ve never heard such an accusation! I-- I’ve never-- oh…”
“Oh, indeed.” He grins. “If you promise to play nice, I’m prepared to be very good to you. A taste for a taste, angel, isn’t that fair?”
“Demons aren’t known for being fair, are they?”
“And angels aren’t known for being lustful. But look at you… look at that cock. Ssso thick. I can feel the heat of you from here. I want to suck you down and let myself burn.”
“Oh, oh, my dear-- I mean-- oh dear…”
Aziraphale lifts his hand, his fingers just brushing Crowley’s cheek before his wrist is grabbed. Crowley grabs the other for good measure, so that he can pin both hands down to the bed.
“Naughty, naughty, angel… thought you could grab me and fight your way free of my dark wiles? Shall I show you what that gets you?”
He brings that first hand to his lips, tongue swirling around each finger. He shifts his grip, letting his teeth just graze over Aziraphale’s wrist, before he sucks at the skin there, just at the inside. Aziraphale makes absolutely no protest as that hand is pinned back down to the duvet so that the other can be gone over just as thoroughly. This time, Crowley nips at him, sharp enough and to tender enough skin that he yelps.
“Tasssty.” He hisses, though there’s an almost apologetic little kiss before he has that hand pinned once more as well. “Go ahead and give me a good ssstruggle, if you want to get bitten again.”
It’s really not so unlike the wrestling matches. Employee reviews back in the old days did sometimes expect a bit more out of you… but they’d had an easy system for signalling to the other that they were being watched and needed to give a good showing, and then the big show, rolling around and threatening each other. Then one of them would take a dive, slink off to lick his wounds, and they’d usually be meeting up for drinks by that night. And he’d felt bad at first, lying to Heaven like that, except… well, they had to believe Crowley was well-contained as a threat, easily thwarted and… he hadn’t done it for his own glory, he’d done it because both sides needed to think that everything was for the best if they were the two respective agents operating in the area, otherwise…
He hadn’t wanted to think of any other angels going after Crowley.
And it was only fair to lose when it was Crowley’s turn to be reviewed, good for Heaven in that Hell wouldn’t replace him with someone who would be worse, and…
And he hadn’t liked wrestling, but he’s beginning to think he’d have liked it far too much if they’d ever allowed for biting. As it is, he’s recognizing that it’s for the best he had never experienced sexual desire at the time or he might yet have liked it too much.
He ‘struggles’. Crowley makes the most delightful noises just before biting him, something beyond a growl, if not quite a roar. He sinks his teeth into Aziraphale’s thighs, playing at reckless abandon, and yet he never loses that care, never breaks the skin. Again and again, as Aziraphale pushes back against his hold, so weakly that if Crowley were summoning all his strength for it, they wouldn’t budge an inch. But there is something in that little push back and forth between them, when it’s in play. It’s only ever been in play, really…
“Oh! Oh! Oh, you wicked beast!”
“That’s right.” Crowley grins, triumphant. Aziraphale is still laid out on his back and looking up at the ceiling, but he can hear that grin. “I’m bad, angel. And I do bad, bad things… and I’m going to do every single one of them to you.”
The worst thing Crowley has done all week, Aziraphale knows, is move all the furniture in a nearby office block three inches to the left, and stick chewed gum into the coin return slots of a few payphones at random.
“What sort of things?” He asks breathlessly, just the same.
“I’m going to make you scream my name, you’ll be loving it so much, what I do to you… I’m going to taste you and tease you and leave you craving my touch, every long dark night you spend alone not sleeping. You’ll be wishing you had me back again…”
“Dreadful fiend, you couldn’t make me long for your touch… not anymore than you could teach me to read.”
“That’s all you ever-- oh.” There’s a pause. Crowley’s nose presses into his belly, and then a soft kiss follows. “Oh.”
“Call me dreadful again.”
“Dreadful. You beast, you-- you vile tempter.”
“And are you tempted?” He returns to flicking his tongue almost lazily over Aziraphale’s cock.
“N-no… no, I could never… I could never be-- oh, oh, do that again-- tempted to such… low desires.”
“Oh, you’d never, hm? I guess you’d never give it up for the likes of me? Never beg for a demon’s tongue? Certainly never beg to have my cock…”
“Never!” Aziraphale gasps. “I-- I could hardly imagine such a thing. Or-- or how you would… go about, erm, all of that, then. I shouldn’t even think of it!”
He trusts that Crowley will tell him exactly how he’d go about it all, as he’s not sure how to ask any more plainly without breaking character.
“Oh, I can imagine. The only question is… how do I want you? Every single part of you’s so pleasing… plump lips, plump hands, plump arse…”
Aziraphale squirms. He’s not sure his lips are particularly worth writing home about, really, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s the knowledge that this is Crowley’s own little hint of the truth beneath the game-- Crowley finds him desirable. Crowley wants him, and wants him so many ways… Crowley sees beauty in him, and he wants so desperately to say the same all of a sudden, there are so many things he still hasn’t said…
“And those thighs… they look essspecially pretty with my teeth marks in them.”
“Oh-- oh, my dear…”
“I want to defile you, as I’ve never wanted anything… I want to own you, the way no one’s ever had a hold on you… I want to devour you, my deliciousss angel… Honey’s never been so sweet. And there are no sweet things in Hell to begin to compare. The taste of you’s like a whole other world.”
“Oh… oh, you wicked creature, you-- I-- oh…”
“I tell you what… I’ll let you decide. However you want me. And you will want me… I mean, one good turn’s going to deserve another, don’t you think?”
And with that, Crowley stops teasing him and starts working him towards orgasm, sucking his cock-- making good use of that clever tongue-- and letting his hands roam everywhere. To gently massage at bruised and bitten thighs, to cup and roll Aziraphale’s balls, to spread and slide over the soft swell of his belly and then to squeeze just so… He lets the pleasure of it all sweep him away. Not only the clever tongue and the silky, warm wet of his mouth and the sucking, but the groping and the squeezing and the petting. The ache of each bite mark and bruise. The knowledge that he is loved and wanted. The sounds Crowley makes and how eager he is, and Aziraphale buries a hand in his hair with a sigh. He feels Crowley moan around him.
He tugs him back, when he’s close, though he doesn’t tug him far. He pushes himself up on one elbow, and Crowley looks up at him, eyes shining.
“Oh no…” He licks a stray dribble of come from his chin. “I must have let my hold on you slip… you seem to have got me.”
“Mm, yeah. Yeah, couldn’t get away from you now, you’d pull my hair, and that’s… you know. So… I guess I’m at your mercy to punish.”
“And all those things you bragged you would make me do, when you thought you’d have your wicked way with me.” He chuckles. “And now I’ve got hold of you and I’m going to teach you a very important lesson… you’re going to learn exactly what you get for-- erm… meddling with angelic forces.”
“I had a good run.”
“Oh… oh, my dear demon, did you think I would let you off so easily? Did you think I might only smite you? No, no, you’re going to learn a lesson. You’re going to be properly punished-- so that you have to think about what you’ve done a long time after. Up you get, now, and don’t dawdle, or I shall make it worse for you.”
He sits, and gets Crowley over his lap. He can feel him, hot and hard and insistent against his outer thigh, already worked up from their little game, and squirming for more touch. And for…
For something Aziraphale can give him. He can . He can bring his open palm down against the perfect tight curve of Crowley’s backside, presented as it is for him to do his worst…
His first smack is… underwhelming. He can tell it’s underwhelming.
“You’re going to have to go harder than that, angel.” Crowley sighs, and Aziraphale isn’t sure if he’s speaking in character or if he’s broken out of it.
He’s afraid the second errs too much to the other side, but Crowley moans and arches his back for more.
“How’s that for you?”
“I don’t know yet, give me another.” He grins, and yelps when Aziraphale does.
“That’s for being such a terribly wicked creature.” A third good swat. “For bringing an angel under your sway. For marking me up so!”
“Mm… I did mark you up…”
“For saying all manner of filthy things to me, you vile little beast. With your poisonous tongue…”
“You love my tongue.”
“Be that neither here nor there. And this is for-- erm-- for all your blasphemous activities!”
“Yeah-- yeah, I’ve got a lot of those.”
“And this…” He pauses, and switches to the other side, and feels the way Crowley’s hips jerk against him. “Daring to tempt me-- did we do tempting already?”
“Bringing you under my sway.”
“Well, tempting deserves another, anyhow, tempting’s a bit different.”
“I should get a few for tempting an angel, shouldn’t I?”
“This is meant to be a punishment, dear, you can’t keep asking me for more.”
“Right, right. It’s just-- bless, Aziraphale, if you could spend all day doing that…”
“I shall decide when you’ve had enough. And don’t distract me from listing all your crimes, dear-- er, demon.” He pauses a moment, his hand resting over one cheek, feeling where the skin is just starting to feel gently heated. That is fascinating… For all he isn’t sure of, that is fascinating. And he can’t deny the effect it’s having on Crowley, evidence of said effect keeps grinding into his thigh.
“Yes, all yours to deal with.” Crowley promises-- though there’s a bit of a whine in it when Aziraphale spends some time groping and not smacking. An almost relieved sigh when the next light blow comes.
“For daring to take such a tempting form.” Aziraphale purrs, giving him a firm squeeze just after, and then another. “For attempting to beguile me with your beauty. For thinking I could be so easily led astray by your eyes, your lips… for becoming such a pleasing creature before me, you wicked beast… for your arrogance, thinking I would be so easy for you. Did you think all you had to do was come to me with such a… fine face? Such a handsome body? Did you sculpt your vessel just to seduce me, demon, is that why you are so lovely to look upon? Did you dare presume to search my thoughts for such desires?”
Crowley just whimpers. He does sound rather overwhelmed, poor dear…
“If you need to put a stop to things…” He offers, but Crowley just shakes his head-- as best he can with a hand still fisted in his hair.
“No, don’t stop, don’t stop, not now, not yet… and just… keep talking!”
Aziraphale doesn’t know quite what else to say , after listing all of Crowley’s supposed crimes and claiming to have him at his mercy, so he just lets himself talk, as requested.
“You really are something else entirely like this, my dear, just look at you…” He breathes, bringing his hand down firm against the curve of one buttock and then squeezing, making Crowley cry out-- barely, though! The smallest, sweetest noise. “So desperate, it makes me want to take care of you so badly, it makes me so eager to give you that which you need so badly. And I do think you’re beautiful, oh, Crowley, your eyes especially, but all of you… I do, love, I do, I--”
He cuts himself off when he feels Crowley come, when he goes limp across his lap. He stops the spanking, but not the squeezing, and it’s a thrill the little sound he makes which is barely a sound… the way he pushes his head into Aziraphale’s other hand as if it’s all he can do.
“Oh, dear…” Aziraphale tuts, and he gathers Crowley carefully up into his arms.
He has never used his bath, but it works as he expects it to when he starts the taps going with a wave of the hand, and he lowers Crowley into the clawfoot tub, once a lukewarm bath has been filled.
“Hush. You need taking care of.” He kisses Crowley’s forehead. “Feel free to adjust the temperature if you like, I didn’t want it to be too hot to be soothing.”
“Heat’s good. Heat’s soothing.”
“Can I get you anything else?” He summons up a low padded stool, so that he can sit next to the tub and run a hand gently through Crowley’s hair.
“No, just stay… Was I all right? You liked it?”
“What, being at your mercy? Yes, very much. Did I do all right?”
“Perfect, angel. But then, that’s your nature, isn’t it? Stand?”
Aziraphale does. Crowley produces a damp flannel which Aziraphale is sure he never owned, and uses it to gently clean away the mess he’d left on his thigh.
“There. Promise I’ll kiss your bruises better later. If you will do mine.”
“Oh, don’t bruise, not this time.” He frowns. “I couldn’t take it, I don’t think…”
“I’ll un-bruise once you kiss me better.” Crowley bargains, and Aziraphale finds himself smiling again in spite of himself.
Chapter 4: And My Dream's Come True
Aziraphale and Crowley continue to explore this newfound side to their relationship, and important questions are asked and answered.
While Crowley soaks, Aziraphale sits beside the bathtub, a very small side table summoned into being next to his padded stool. The table holds a glass of thirty year old Recioto della Valpolicella-- medium-bodied, notes of black cherry and fig predominate in it. It also holds a box of chocolate bon bons and a rose-scented candle.
It may be a bit much, but Aziraphale can’t help it. He’s never done any of this before, and he wants to do it all.
While the table holds these things, Aziraphale holds a book-- in one hand, the other outstretched to run fingers through Crowley’s hair, gently wetting it, pushing it back from his brow.
“With looks disheveled, flushed in a sweat of drunkenness... His shirt torn open, a song on his lips and wine cup in his hand... With eyes looking for trouble, lips softly complaining. So at midnight last night he came and sat at my pillow…”
“Mm, enough poetry.” Crowley turns and twists to nuzzle at Aziraphale’s forearm. “I’m missing a wine cup from my hand.”
“Your hands are wet, my dear. And I’d rather my nice glass not slip from your hand and into the bath.” Aziraphale tuts, and brings the cup to his lips himself. “Do you like it?”
Crowley’s tongue snakes down to touch the surface first, before the glass is tilted and he drinks.
“Light… velvety… dessert-y.” He nods, when Aziraphale takes the glass away again. “Yes, very nice.”
“I thought a bit of variety… it’s very young, but I was told at the wine shop that given our usual tastes we would enjoy it very much.”
“Our usual tastes? Your wine shop knows my usual tastes?” Crowley says, and then the amusement slides suddenly from his face, and he blinks up at Aziraphale. “Oh. How long has your wine shop known my usual tastes?”
“Always.” He takes a sip and sets the glass aside, selecting a chocolate instead. “Here, love, have a bon bon. I think this one’s raspberry.”
“You’re feeding it to me because you hate the raspberry ones.”
“And you hate the orange ones, and I always eat those. It’s nice, I think. We get through the whole assortment that way. Do you not like the raspberry ones? Only you’ve never complained before.”
“No, I like them fine. Just teasing. Gimme.”
“You really do?”
“I really do, and if you don’t give me a chocolate right now, I’ll drag you and the chocolate down into the bath with me.”
“Wicked little beast.” Aziraphale smiles, with all the warmth and adoration in the world, and brings it to his lips. There’s a certain satisfaction in having it nibbled from his fingertips and having his fingertips licked clean. “You absolutely will not, you’d make an appalling mess for me to clean up.”
“Mm, but I want you in the bath with me.” He grins.
“And don’t talk with your mouth full.”
Crowley hums and closes his eyes, and Aziraphale locates the orange cream out of the chocolate box, to pop into his own mouth, to feel the melt of the chocolate, to roll the center around on his tongue and suck at the sweetness of it.
The bathwater is clear and glassy and steaming gently. Crowley’s skin looks paler, underneath the water, white. His body is a collection of elegant angles, of sharp bone and prominent tendon, of rosy flush and blue vein which are more ornamental than anything. The way his prick floats gently, soft… The ways his body is familiar after all their long years of association, and the ways Aziraphale feels he is still seeing it anew.
He feeds him a praline, and a violet cream, and something with coconut, and a champagne truffle, and then most of the rest of the wine, and learns to love the music of the water when Crowley moves and a little wave slaps the sides of the tub. He feels his heart swell each time that Crowley demands something of him and is given it easily and relaxes-- it is the moment of relaxation, which comes quicker each time as he learns that he is to be indulged, which plunges into Aziraphale’s heart and drives him wild with love.
“Should I feed you one?” Crowley asks.
“Later, dearest, if you wish it. I should like that very much. But you’ll drip, and… and I want you to relax, that’s all. I want… I want you to consider me your most devoted servant. One who knows what’s best and how to take care of you, and who only wishes to please you now.”
“Ohh, angel, you’ve granted me a dangerous power.”
“Yes, well, it isn’t forever. I mean-- it is, but-- I won’t indulge you in all ways at all times.”
“Shall I sometimes indulge you?”
“Oh, I do hope. But… not just yet.” He draws his fingertips along the sharp shape of Crowley’s collarbone.
Aziraphale has not had a visible collarbone in hundreds of years. He can feel it, if he presses in. The layer over the top of it is soft and yielding and not too thick. Most of his bones are a well-hidden secret, though. He likes his body, for living in, but he does rather prefer Crowley’s for looking at. At least he can say he tapers to a rather shapely wrist, between plump forearm and soft hand. At least he can say his own ankles are as nice as most people’s, if not as nice as Crowley’s-- and no one’s are as nice as Crowley’s.
It’s a dizzying thought, to ask himself if Crowley might not feel the same way, when he looks at him. If he might not look at Aziraphale and think how much more aesthetically pleasing the soft curves of him, the thick shapes. A body that says ‘sturdy’ and ‘safe’ and ‘warm’, more than it says ‘elegant’ and ‘lithe’ and ‘fine’.
He doesn’t really know which words spring to Crowley’s mind, what attributes make him revel in Aziraphale as Aziraphale revels in him… He has time to learn, now. Oh, he does hunger for him… To spread him out like a banquet, to devour him like a feast. To appreciate with all his senses the beautiful thing Crowley is in his physical form… How delicate his bones seem where they show through, and how firm and thick his muscle where they do not, and yet no bulk, no spare… His lean body ripples with strength, and yet that delicate beauty remains.
Aziraphale’s touch slides down his sternum, sinks into the bath to travel over Crowley’s chest. The hard planes, the tight, teasable nipples, pale and rosy. The smoothness of his skin…
“A third time?” Crowley asks, eyes twinkling. “What have I got myself into?”
“Only if you like. I am content… except in my desire to touch you and look at you, which cannot be satisfied.” He travels further down, to spread his hand over Crowley’s abdomen. “Oh, my dear, but you delight me.”
Crowley rolls his body up into Aziraphale’s touch. There’s no lust in it, he’s no more aroused than he’d been at the start, merely just as desirous of touch. He sighs and stretches and relaxes, and wraps his hand around Aziraphale’s forearm.
“Oh, touch me.” His head lolls towards Aziraphale, though his eyes rest closed. “Anywhere, everywhere. Much as you like.”
“Much as I like? Oh, dear boy, you’ve granted me a dangerous power.” He chuckles. “You’re so beautiful… Crowley, you’re so beautiful.”
“Mm.” He stretches out again, luxuriates in it, and clings ever more tightly to Aziraphale’s arm, urging his hand lower. Not down between his legs, but down to the softest part of his belly.
Aziraphale kneads little gentle circles there, and watches his face like a particularly lovestruck hawk.
“I won’t.” He promises. “The world will be there tomorrow, for today, for tonight you have all my attentions.”
Crowley gives another highly gratifying little sigh, his grip loosens but remains unshakeable.
“I could get used to this.” He says, his voice soft and low. It’s a delightful voice, but all the moreso like this, when he rumbles like distant thunder, deep, but with every edge worn smooth… Aziraphale likes listening to Crowley talk no matter the circumstance, but it’s this particular contented timbre which does... things to him. Lovely shivery things.
“So could I.” Aziraphale agrees. “A nice candle burning, wine, a variety of little things to feed… poetry. Bathing you.”
“Did you want to bathe me? I mean… really do it?”
“Do you still have that flannel?” Aziraphale finds it, hanging over the edge of the tub, and he miracles it clean-- though Crowley is the one who comes up with the body wash.
“Summoned from my shower to your tub.” He grins, pouring a generous dollop out onto the now-clean damp flannel. It smells rich and dark, a masculine floral lurking beneath the heavy weight of incense. Like a seductive roue in a cathedral. Like a little taste of Heaven and a little taste of Hell, if you could only puzzle out which half was which.
He takes one arm at a time to run the soapy cloth over, and under each, and he bids him to sit up straight to get his upper back and chest. It’s not so much that any of Crowley needs to get clean, that couldn’t be clean with a thought, it’s that he’s able to do this. To touch and to indulge. To cover him in a thick lather of scented suds. To massage at his shoulders and feel him relax, hear him groan…
He scoots down to the other end of the tub, and washes Crowley’s feet, abandons the cloth after that to let his hand slide over one wet, soapy ankle.
Crowley sinks down deeper into the water, lifts his leg a little higher, and Aziraphale caresses the muscular curve of that well-turned calf. He cups handfuls of water to rinse away the suds, before bringing the ankle to his lips once more. The scent of the body wash clings so intoxicatingly to his skin, adds a note of spice to him, here where he doesn’t carry the scent of his cologne.
“Are you planning on getting worked up again?” Crowley asks, with a wicked grin-- and a little moan, as Aziraphale’s tongue circles the jut of his ankle.
“Mm, if you are, dearest… I can easily go again. I imagine I could just… keep going.” Aziraphale hesitates. His nose follows along the achilles tendon. “If you liked, I don’t see why I couldn’t.”
“Just… what, just-- not stop?”
“We don’t have to stop, we’re not human.” He kisses the shin, he nips at the calf again as he had before. “Shall I, dearest? Shall I carry you back to bed? Shall I love you until the act loses its lustre?”
“You’ll drive me out of my mind before then. No-- not bed. Get a book you like, and a blanket. And your chair, your favorite cozy chair. You’re going to read to me. All night long.”
“If it pleases you.” He releases Crowley’s leg, and produces a towel as warm as if it had had a heating rack. “Come on, then, I’ll at least dry you off and carry you there.”
“You really want to carry me.”
“Desperately.” He nods, and sees Crowley shiver. Sees his pupils widen.
“All right.” He takes Aziraphale’s hand and steps out of the bath, and submits himself to being toweled off. “Aziraphale?”
“We’re not getting dressed.”
“I see.” He smiles and kisses him, and trades the damp towel out for a dry one, before scooping Crowley up into his arms. He bears him easily into the living room, where he throws the towel down over his chair, and makes sure he has everything else at easy reach. His thick, soft, nubby blanket, a stack of books… Well, that’s all there is, surely.
He sits, and pats a naked thigh, but Crowley only kneels on the thick, soft rug.
“Don’t worry about being aroused.” He murmurs, creeping closer, hand snaking around one thick calf, nuzzling along one full thigh. He kisses each bruise he’s left, each bruise Aziraphale has allowed, he kisses them with all the fervor of a pilgrim before a relic, he is a penitent and a worshiper as much as a lover. “But if you are, you are… you’ll please me either way.”
“Shall I read?”
He plucks ‘Giovanni’s Room’ from the stack, and opens where he had last had his bookmark. And then, with Crowley slowly traveling up his thigh, he flips a few pages back, to a passage which had made him think rather keenly of him.
As he reads, Crowley travels higher-- he sighs in satisfaction when Aziraphale’s hand slides into his hair and stays. Aziraphale shifts, spreading his thighs as wide as the chair allows. Crowley shoves himself between, with a pleased little sound as he finds himself cozy and warm, the press of soft thighs at either side, the gentle bulk of his belly hanging over them. He nuzzles up into that belly first, before he worries about getting his mouth around Aziraphale’s still-soft cock.
He’d been told not to worry about it, and so he hasn’t, and so he remains flaccid, but not uninterested exactly, not un-pleased. Crowley’s mouth is warm and wet, and merely being held in it is a curious pleasure. He expects him to suck, or to do things with his tongue, and he doesn’t.
For three pages, Crowley does absolutely nothing. He just holds him, and listens to him read.
He pulls off when Aziraphale takes a moment’s pause.
“Angel?” His voice is husky, his pupils are very nearly round.
“Dearheart.” He smiles, scratching gently at Crowley’s scalp, ruffling and smoothing his hair. “Would you like me to… erm--?”
“I’d like you to, yeah. Ah…” Crowley leans back, inspecting the chair and finding it wanting. “Couch? And-- Would you… would you want to be in me?”
“Very much. Just like this? Just… resting?”
“Not my mouth. I mean… is penetration a thing you’d be interested in?”
“Oh. Yes, if you like. On the couch?”
“I am at your command.” Aziraphale shrugs. He lets Crowley arrange the towel and the cushions and things, so that he can recline against the arm, where the lamp will shine down on the book in his hands. He makes himself comfortable. He puts his afghan over the back of the sofa to pull down over them once Crowley’s read.
This time, when Crowley’s hand wraps around him, he lets himself respond fully. He lets himself arch into Crowley’s touch with a sigh, with a moan.
“Oh-- oh, shouldn’t I do something to make you ready for me?”
“Not necessary.” Crowley says, having evidently decided to be ready. It doesn’t seem as fun, somehow, but he can always do it next time.
“Crowley? I love you.”
“Love you.” He echoes. “Here-- here, just… shift a bit, let me get on you.”
Aziraphale gets a hand under his gut, just to try and move himself out of the way a little-- it would be easier lying in bed, but who is he to deny Crowley a fantasy? Anyway, once they get into position, he won’t need to worry about that, any potentially inconvenient bulk will just rest against Crowley, and Crowley likes to press himself close to Aziraphale... likes that the bulk is there. Very much, it seems.
“Your thigh over this way, angel.” Crowley tugs at him, and he follows, offers a bit of support as Crowley sinks down onto him at last, tighter and slicker and hotter than he could have imagined before it was reality. “Oh yeah…”
Crowley melts back against him, spine curving to conform to Aziraphale’s belly and chest as closely as he possibly can. And perhaps that does work best like this, the both of them reclining.
“You feel incredible.” Aziraphale cranes his neck, to be able to kiss Crowley’s. “You are incredible.”
“You’re incredible.” Crowley reaches back a bit to squeeze at a love handle. “Mmm, and thick. All of you’s thick, I could spend all night laid out on you like this.”
“Could you? And… are we supposed to move, for this?”
“No.” Crowley wriggles just a little and then settles as if his only intention is to remain unmoved for hours. “Read to me.”
“People don’t move?”
“People do. We won’t. I just want to hold you…”
He holds mostly still, except to rub his head against Aziraphale’s shoulder, and the way he sighs out that ‘hold’, filthy and sublime…
“Oh.” Aziraphale breathes. “You just want to… oh.”
“While you read to me. I want to lie on your chest and feel every word.”
“My darling, anything you wish.” He kisses an ear. Holds his book up with one hand and rests the other just over Crowley’s belly, radiating warmth for him and feeling him melt even further.
He only removes his hand in order to turn the pages, though it migrates between chest and belly in soothing strokes. He watches, in discreet glances between paragraphs, the way Crowley’s prick softens and then twitches back to life. Stands proud and hard a while only to droop again, as nothing quite happens. And it’s such a beautiful thing, too, in any state of arousal.
He thinks his favorite is as he finds it when he finishes the book at last… the deep rosy flush, the slight swell, the way it lolls against his pale thigh… firm, not hard, but still so luscious-looking, so lazy… the sort of state where it could be easily ignored, or easily indulged.
“Crowley…” He blows against his ear. It’s… comfortable, this. He’s in a nice halfway state, where he is not quite tethered to his own arousal. It’s there, it’s possible, he enjoys the fact that he’s buried deep inside Crowley, his erection isn’t something he’s indifferent to while it’s in use. It’s just…
There’s nothing urgent about it. He doesn’t need Crowley to move. He doesn’t need to worry about anything.
Except keeping Crowley warm and happy.
“Would you like the blanket now?”
“Oh, and stop you perving on me?” He chuckles, his hand covering Aziraphale’s, guiding it to still over his belly. “You keep me warm enough.”
“Oh, do I?”
“Mm. My big, soft, cuddly sunning rock…”
“Romantic.” He snorts, and with the book set aside, he lets his other hand rest over Crowley’s heart. “You never could give up the habit of a good bask.”
“And why should I? I refuse to give up anything pleasurable. Get used to lying right there, that’s your fair warning, I find you very pleasurable indeed.”
Aziraphale hums and buries his nose in Crowley’s hair, kissing him. “And I you, my dear, and I you.”
He can remember seeing Crowley, in his human form, lying naked in the sun… He’d been by a river, on a large, flat stone, he’d bathed and then he’d stretched himself out to warm and dry, his body breathtaking, the look of bliss on his face… He remembers the feelings he hadn’t been prepared for then. Not sexual, but something. To see him, relaxed and… and as vulnerable as he could possibly be.
Vulnerable, knowing Aziraphale was there-- and there was no reason for shame then, not between the two of them, not out where no one else might come upon them. But there had been something about the way he’d luxuriated in it, the way he’d not bothered to open his eyes even when they’d exchanged a few words, the way he’d stretched and arched his back and then relaxed…
Even then, they had had an understanding… enough that he’d felt safe not so much as glancing Aziraphale’s way. Soft, flat belly to the sky, one leg dangling. There had been a moment of fascination, he recalls with startling clarity, there had been an innocent desire to touch. To lay his hand flat over that most vulnerable spot, the way it is now.
And it is innocent now as it was then. His desire to touch is as innocent-- with his cock buried in the slick, close heat of Crowley’s body-- as ever it was.
“This… us…” He hesitates, thumb stroking at soft skin. “Crowley… Will you live with me?”
“Or at your place. Or a new place. Will you?”
“Yeah. Your place and my place, if you want, we can take turns. At least… until we get an our place.”
“Then… will you think of me as a husband?”
“You’re asking me now?” Crowley sputters a bit, but his cock springs back up.
“Name a better time.” Aziraphale purrs. “It’s right, isn’t it? You and I… making love, making a home, what else would we call each other?”
“Nowadays people have weddings, they don’t just decide it.”
“Some people just decide it. Some people don’t have weddings. We can’t have, not really. So tell me why I ought to care if it’s the done thing nowadays? It used to be so simple, marriage.”
“Aziraphale…” Crowley reaches up, back, cupping his cheek. “Ask me when we’re face to face, at least.”
“But it could be hours…”
“I’ll say yes, just ask me when we’re face to face. You know, nowadays people have wedding receptions. With big cakes and champagne.”
“I’ll buy you a cake if you want one. And champagne. We’ll feed it to each other in bed.”
Crowley groans. “Will we? Aziraphale, talk to me…”
His eyebrows lift a bit. His hand slides a little lower. After a moment’s hesitation, he cups it around Crowley’s cock, and that’s all he does. Crowley struggles not to squirm at the sudden warmth of his touch.
“Talk to you? About what, dearest? About sex? About marriage? About how madly I love you?”
“Yes, all of it… Aziraphale, your hands…”
“What about my hands?”
“So warm… so soft. Such beautiful hands, I love your hands…”
“And I yours. As I love everything about you… that’s why you must be mine, my darling boy, my husband, my helpmeet. We’re one, Crowley, you’re bound to me and always must be. You’re bound to me. You’re mine and I am yours, I am yours, I am yours. In you and forevermore a part of you, my love, you shall never take a single step in this world without my love upon you. I will keep you in my heart in a place above all else, I will hold and honor you… and you will be sacred to me.”
Crowley shivers again, and cuddles back into him, gropes blindly until he has a handful of thigh to squeeze, a handful of hair to hold onto. He manages to hold himself otherwise still, his hips don’t move.
“Yeah… husbands, we will be, with our own place. After the honeymoon--”
“Oh no, my dear, from the moment you came to my bed, we were joined together… weren’t we?”
“You owe me a honeymoon, then.”
“It’s yours. Something you’ll really like… you’ll get to be lazy and spoiled, wicked thing.”
“Good. And I’ll get you a cake-- something you’ll really like.”
“Mm, yes you will. You’ll get me a cake, a nice sized little one for two… a bottle of champagne. You’ll drink it from my fingertips, won’t you? Just a little drop at a time, just tasting it, not hardly anything to it at all. Just little bubbles fizzing on your tongue, just little tastes… oh, hardly even that.”
“Wrap my tongue around your fingers…” Crowley moans. “Forget the champagne, I’ll just taste you.”
“Naughty thing, we shall not forget the champagne.” Aziraphale’s second hand slides up and down Crowley’s torso now, making no moves towards teasing him exactly, but touching, always touching. “We shall toast our blessed union--”
“Our damned union.”
“Our union. Beast.” He nips at an ear. “We shall toast our union, with a very nice champagne. Which you shall drink from my fingertips, pretty sweet thing that you are.”
“Am I a pretty sweet thing or am I a beast?”
“You’re a pretty, sweet beast.” Aziraphale chuckles, and then Crowley laughs, a belly deep laugh that he can feel, where their bodies connect.
“I am a pretty sweet beast. Tell me about the cake?”
“Oh, something pretty and white… delicate.”
“Strawberries. You like strawberries.” Crowley sighs, his hand on Aziraphale’s thigh loosening its grip, stroking slowly from up towards the hip down to the knee. “Strawberry and cream, light and sweet. Don’t think you could take it if it was something heavy.”
“Oh, yes, considering you’ll be intent on feeding me the whole thing… I might give you the first taste. A little fingerful of frosting here, a slice of strawberry there… just a bit, just to be able to slide my fingers into your mouth. To let you get some pleasure from it.”
“I’ll get plenty of pleasure from it.”
“I’ll just bet you will, you old serpent. You just want to stuff me.”
“And be stuffed by you. Albeit in a very different way.” Crowley rolls his hips once for emphasis and stills again.
It awakens something. That movement, he should be rising to meet it, there’s a primal rhythm that ought to be obeyed… To not obey it goes from comfortable to unbearable, and yet… and yet to simply hold still is what’s been asked of him, what he’d promised they’d do.
It’s one of those moments, where he knows that there is something in the balance between them but he doesn’t know what. Does he have the power, or does Crowley? Does anyone? It’s such an effort now not to move, when it used to be an effort to want to begin it… The slightest change in Crowley affects him so deeply. The cock beneath his cupped hand twitches, smacks his palm gently, and he wants to wrap it in a tight grip and twist and slide and please, and that isn’t what they’re doing...
“Naughty naughty.” He tsks. “You wicked thing. I expect I shall allow you, of course… you do have a way of tempting me. And that cake will be… so much sweeter from your hand than from my own. Oh, it will be by hand, Crowley, won’t it? That I might lick and suck each crumb from your fingers… that I might taste the pure essence of your skin… That I might feel full with you, and so satisfied. That I might lick the juice of a berry as it drips down your hand, that you might push more upon me and I might yield to you…”
Crowley shifts just slightly, a whine rips its way out of him. “Lying on top of you, and I’m lying on top of you… pillows beneath you and… and you, soft and warm, trapped under me. And I bring the champagne to your lips, and I feed you…”
“Trapped beneath you.” Aziraphale promises. “At your mercy, my love, always… Will you be good to me? When we celebrate our marriage bed, will you be good to me?”
“Always. I’ll be so good to you, angel, you won’t know what hit you. You’ll have cake and champagne from me, you’ll have-- you’ll have me. Won’t let that pretty mouth be empty for a moment, unless it’s so I can kiss it…”
“I’ll take you in my mouth.” Another heated promise, another nip to Crowley’s ear. “You’ll fill me, and I you…”
“I’d sleep like this, you know… with you inside me, connected to me, warm under me… I’d sleep like this and wake up to the sweet feel of you stretching me with that thick cock of yours--”
“Too much talk like that and you won’t have the chance to fall asleep with me.”
“Aziraphale, please… don’t finish, I want you for hours. I don’t want to walk straight when we separate.”
“You never walk straight, my dear, you do that enticing thing with your hips too much…”
“Tell me how it feels? Having me inside you… tell me what makes it so good for you?”
Crowley whines. “Oh no, you just told me no dirty talk. You said you wouldn’t last.”
“I can last, really, I can.” He gives an apologetic little kiss to the side of his head, and he tries to divorce himself from the sharper edge of need. It’s not as easy once he’s switched on. Not with the noises Crowley makes and the way he can feel his breath hitch, as if his body has forgotten it doesn’t need to breathe. He wants to do this right, whatever this is… but he also wants to flip them over and thrust deep into him, to take him over the arm of the couch until he cries out… and he wants to learn what about being taken is so pleasing. He knows it’s pleasing, he knows men have died for it. Some of them he’s called friends.
He supposes he can understand. He would die for this. To know and be known, when it is Crowley, who already knows him so deeply and so well. He would die to experience a physical union to heighten the spiritual one. If it came to that, he would die before he would ever turn his back on this love. But he would like to better understand the pleasure of it, the physical pleasure Crowley is currently experiencing.
If he didn’t last, it’s not as if he needs a human refractory period, he could will himself to just… stay. Stay hard, stay in him. Couldn’t he?
“You just feel good.” Crowley sighs, craning his neck to one side to rub his face against Aziraphale’s chest. Twisty thing that he is, he manages it without real trouble, but the jolt it sends through Aziraphale when he does… “I like to be stretched around you. Nice and thick… and I can settle all the way down and you nudge right up against my prostate if one of us so much as breathes deep enough…”
“Am I?” He laughs, delighted. “Am I right there for you?”
“Right there. And it’s-- it’s you. You’re you, so I want you in me, so it’s good, because it’s us.”
“And I like this position… like being in your lap and leaned back on you. You’re cushy. Makes me feel… makes me feel on top of the world. Having you, it’s… Bless, it’s… it’s indulgence. You feel like indulgence, you give me pleasure, what else do you want to know?”
“I want to know you love me. As I love you. I want to know you are mine to the last atom of the universe, as I am yours. I want to know my love is as sweet to you as honey. That yours, as mine, is as unwavering as eternity. I want to know that the core of you trembles for us alone as mine does, that you believe we are written into the truth of Creation as one inextricable whole, for I do love you so that I could never bear it to be other--”
Crowley comes in his palm, the mess dripping back down over his still-firm cock. Aziraphale takes him in hand and strokes him, wringing out a jet of release that stripes his belly. He doesn’t allow himself to finish, despite the sweet pull of Crowley’s body, the way he looks and feels, the way he tightens. The sounds he makes. He doesn’t let go of him.
“Yes, fuck, yes…” Crowley sobs and writhes.
“Still. Be still, precious thing, be still. I am trying very hard to hold back for you, you’ve got to be still for me...”
“Fuck… fuck, Aziraphale…”
“You only said I couldn’t finish, you didn’t say you couldn’t…” He says, though a little guilt creeps in. He hadn’t meant to, at first, but once it had begun, he’d just acted. It had seemed wrong to leave him hanging with half a proper orgasm, untouched, when it was such an easy thing to bring him through the end of it…
Crowley struggles to be still, body heaving with the effort, with his breath, with so many conflicting needs… Aziraphale shushes him gently. He miracles the flannel from the bath to his hand, and feels Crowley shudder and jerk beneath his touch as he cleans him up.
“Crowley, we can stop, if--”
“Don’t you dare.” He says, and it’s not quite a growl and it’s not quite a sob, but it’s deep in his throat and it’s urgent.
“Do you want this?” Aziraphale whispers, and he wraps his hand around Crowley’s softening cock, through the damp flannel, and he strokes. Slow.
Crowley’s hands scrabble at him, nails dig into his hip, his thigh. The sound that wrenches free starts somewhere in his chest and comes out wild. It sounds like ‘yes’.
“Oh, you sweet thing…” He coos. “My dearest demon… my love.”
It’s more primal than any language, it is the second oldest human tongue, it is love and pleasure on a level beyond all else. Every noise Crowley makes pushes him closer, every twist of his hips as he simultaneously avoids and seeks further touch, further stimulation. Aziraphale’s touch is light and steady and slow as he plays with his soft member, and much less light and steady and slow as his other hand pinches at nipples and traces teasingly over ribs, over abdomen.
There is a fascination in it he cannot explain, because it is and isn’t sex. His own pleasure comes second-- indeed, if it did not, he might have lost control completely. His focus is so entirely upon Crowley that the world might cease turning and he would never know it.
“Do this to me, next time.” He whispers. “You seem to be having so much fun, my dear…”
“Could you come again?” Aziraphale asks.
He can, as it happens. Aziraphale very nearly follows him.
In the end, he miracles away the mess entirely, and focuses on the very pleasant way Crowley’s weight feels. Passed out, the poor lucky creature… well, that’s what he’d wanted. And Aziraphale is determined to let him wake just as he’d hoped to, still stretched around a hard and ready cock. And with a soft, nubby afghan over him.
It’s what he deserves, really. It’s what they both deserve. They deserve each other, and it’s just what they’ll have. For forever. And should the combined forces of Heaven and Hell ever think to take his husband from him, well… Aziraphale is preparing his arguments.
Chapter 5: Every Single Day of My Life
Aziraphale and Crowley get properly married-- which is to say, they have a cake and more sex, and plan a honeymoon. Which is all it ought to take anyway, if you ask them.
The strawberry cream cake doesn’t look at all like a modern wedding cake, and Aziraphale doesn’t care. It’s perfect. They lounge in his bed on a mountain of pillows, they’ve had their champagne toast-- a Dom Perignon rosé brut, and he’d rather melted when Crowley had presented the bottle with a flourish-- and set bottle and glasses aside, and the cake there between them, just the right size for two. It’s a pretty little thing without any flowers or little plastic figures, and Crowley had been right, it’s the perfect choice, it’s exactly what he feels like.
Aziraphale plucks a slice of strawberry from the top to offer to Crowley, a besotted smile in place as Crowley accepts it, nibbling slowly, savoring, kissing Aziraphale’s fingertips. He offers the whole berry from the center of the top of the cake in return, with a look more carnal than besotted as Aziraphale bites into it.
“Beautiful…” Crowley sighs, leaning in and licking a drip of juice from the corner of Aziraphale’s lips. “Mm, beautiful.”
They kiss, and Crowley pops the other half of the berry into his mouth, opens wide when Aziraphale drags two fingers through the frosting. His tongue slides around Aziraphale’s fingers before he sucks them into his mouth. His warm, wet, beautiful mouth. A mouth Aziraphale has spent the past three days becoming so very intimately acquainted with. Crowley moans around his fingers, teases him with the application of now-forked tongue to fingertips.
Three days… time had gotten away from them a little bit. Once they’d gotten the marriage proposal right, on Aziraphale’s second go at it, Crowley had taken several hours saying yes as enthusiastically and physically and fully as possible. And from there, of course…
And now. Now, with the perfect little cake that Crowley had picked out just to please him, and the bottle of champagne, and their honeymoon arranged… the promise that they would look, after, for a place that’s Theirs entirely…
“Do you know, you make me terribly happy.” He says, sliding his fingers free, dragging at Crowley’s lower lip on the way, losing himself in the haze of lust and adoration in his eyes.
“Um-hm, I was beginning to suspect.” He swipes a fingerful of frosting to offer Aziraphale next. Fluffy, delicately sweet, just a hint of the strawberry that’s been sitting over top of it dripping juice…
“Do I make you happy?” Aziraphale asks, one hand stroking along Crowley’s side.
“You know you do. You always have.” He feeds him a slice of strawberry.
“Yes, but-- erm-- sexually, I-- how do I make you happy?”
Crowley blinks. “The past three days comes to mind.”
“I’m doing a good job, then? I mean, because you are! You’ve been lovely, I couldn’t ask for more.”
“You’re everything.” He chuckles. “Couldn’t ask for more?”
“No, you-- you give me everything I could ask for. More than.”
“Of course, it helps you’re irresistibly sexy.” Crowley offers up another fingerful of frosting.
“You drive me wild.” He doesn’t bother with care, smears frosting over his lower lip as he pushes two fingers into his mouth. “You’re mine, my hedonistic angel. Seeing you like this, you’ve no idea what it does to the demon in me…”
“I can think of a few things the demon in you could do to me.” Aziraphale says, words slightly garbled around the fingers he’s not yet done with.
“So sexy.” He growls, leaning in to nip at Aziraphale’s neck-- leaning right over the cake, and he yelps a little, at the sudden chill of having frosting and cool berries pressed to his torso.
Aziraphale laughs, nudging and shoving him to lie back, and moving the cake out of the way before leaning over Crowley to lick him clean. He takes his time with it, getting every last trace as Crowley squirms and sighs, working his way up past where the smears of berry juice and frosting end…
“Ohh, not to discourage you, angel, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t get my nipples in the cake…”
“Mm, my mistake.” He draws back, snagging two more slices of berry, reveling in the way Crowley struggles not to squirm even more at their application, the quickly cut off sound that can only be called a giggle.
“This is what we’re doing, is it?”
“You love it.” He gives Crowley his fingers to lick, before he returns to nibble at the strawberries where they lie.
“I love it. I love you.”
“I love you.” He echoes. “Darling, dearest, but I do love you… you’re very enticing, you know. Of course, that’s by design, I expect… I’ve never-- I always wanted to… to avoid that sort of thing. I mean, with my vessel and how I look and the idea of people being attracted to me… I don’t know how you manage.”
“Just letting people know I’m not interested.” Crowley shrugs. “Often as I need to.”
“Must be often.”
“Are you flattering me?” He grins, running his fingers through Aziraphale’s hair. “It’s not too often. Often enough. Worth putting the rest of the world off if you like it.”
“Please… I’d like you in anything, dear, at this point. Although…” He trails a finger down Crowley’s abdomen. “There are worse bodies to discover lust with, I’m sure. My dear, you really are all muscle… I’d all but forgotten over all these years, your naked body-- and so flexible.”
In the right outfit, Crowley could look downright waifish, and had done when it was fashionable, and it’s not that the waifish look doesn’t inspire some feeling as well, but the muscle is exciting . The waifish look in a loose shirt and close-fitted trousers says ‘take me in your arms and have your way with me’-- though Aziraphale had ignored that message pretty well back when that was the look Crowley was pursuing on a day-to-day basis. The muscle says ‘I’m going to pin you to the nearest flat surface and do all manner of things to you’. Aziraphale finds himself very interested in both sides.
“And what about you?” Crowley kneads at a shoulder, eyeing him with open appreciation.
“What about me?”
“You. If you’ve been trying to design yourself to be un-sexy, you’ve done a poor job of it.”
“You’re only saying that because you love me.”
“I am not. I mean… I suppose I wouldn’t want to do anything about it if I didn’t love you, that’s true, but I’d still have eyes, angel. I could still like to look.”
“You would still like the look of me?”
“D’you remember before… when I said you were indulgence?”
Aziraphale nods, feeling rather warm. Crowley reaches for the cake and tears a little chunk free to feed to him.
“Well that’s some of it. All the, you know, the mental associations. The memories of seeing you eat and seeing the way you enjoy yourself. The idea of food and pleasure. The idea of… I mean, we’ve been around a long time, and a body like this used to be a luxury-- not just big, but soft. I know with you it might not quite work the same way, but when I look at you I think of pleasure and I think of ease. I think of safe, warm beds and heavily stocked larders. I think of time, free time to spend enjoying that bed and that larder. And I think about you with your books. And I think about… I think about this. Lying in bed and feeding you and feeling drunk off your pleasure. And I think you’re beautiful. I think the soft, curving lines of you are elegant. And I think… I think it’s a pleasure to dig in and squeeze you. I think you feel good. Something in me goes a little faster when I’ve got a handful of you, soft and thick and plush, you feel good to touch. To bite. To lie against. I’ve had worse pillows than your breast, your thigh… You wrap your arms around me and hold on tight, and press me up against you, and the world narrows down to you, and it’s… It’s safe and it’s exciting all at once. And every part of you, your body fits next to mine like we designed ourselves to lock together, like you were made for pleasure. My pleasure. Your own pleasure.”
“Oh.” He whispers.
“And lying on top of you’s like a luxury, and lying beneath you is a haven. And when you put a little power into something, you drive me wild, and there are things I only want because it’s your body, because I do love you and have done for so long, but I hope I’ve made it clear I do like your body. We’d still do this if you had another one, because I do love you. But… I mean, if something happened to this one, and they sent you back in another one, I’d be pretty keen for you to get your own shape back. I’d miss those thighs if anything happened to them…”
“Would you?” Aziraphale smiles, and breaks off a bite of cake to feed Crowley. “I suppose we wouldn’t fit so well if we were both lean and muscular.”
“Imagine if you had pointy bits, we’d be a nightmare.” Crowley agrees, around his mouthful of cake.”Mm, no… no, you’ve got to be like this. I like this and I won’t be without it.”
He snakes a hand down between them, pushes himself up on his other elbow to reach properly, a handful of Aziraphale’s belly, squeezed and then kneaded at.
“You like that? It’s yours, it’s yours… I mean I could understand the backside--” He starts. It’s not as if he’s ever been self-conscious, it’s that he’s always been comfortably certain in his own lack of sex appeal, and preferred that way. To like being attractive is a brand new feeling.
“Oh, I like that, too. I’ve got further plans for your arse, and those plans are extensive. But yeah.”
“Well…” Aziraphale kisses him. “Much as I don’t want anybody else looking at me with prurient interest, ever… I’m glad that you do. And we-- we do fit. And I-- maybe I wasn’t made for pleasure, to begin with. Over time, though… maybe we’ve shaped ourselves to each other’s pleasure. Really, though? That part of me in particular?”
“Yes. And it’s mine. No taking that back, all mine. For squeezing and kissing and biting and sleeping on and holding and biting--”
“You’ve said biting twice.”
“You like biting.” He grins, and he pops another strawberry into Aziraphale’s mouth. “Biting’s your favorite, don’t try and tell me otherwise.”
He doesn’t try. Not much use in it. Instead, he lets Crowley feed him bite after bite, while he whispers increasingly sexual things into his ear. He follows through on his own promise, dipping fingers into one of the champagne glasses, letting drops fall onto Crowley’s tongue, or sliding his fingers into his mouth.
The cake itself is light, the creamy middle layer rich, even more strawberries there… after a few bites, Crowley refuses more, and watches with a hunger that isn’t for the cake as Aziraphale licks the last bite offered from his own fingers. The cake itself is light, which means Crowley can feed him a fair amount of it before he starts to feel satisfied, and he enjoys every single morsel pushed past his lips, enjoys the freedom to lick and suck at Crowley’s fingers-- to lick stray smears of frosting and cream and juice from his palm, the heel of his hand, his wrist.
He might lick his wrist even when there’s nothing there…
“A little more champagne?” Crowley asks. He has three fingers in Aziraphale’s mouth and his pupils are very nearly round. Aziraphale reaches to refill a depleted glass, to gently tilt the glass to Crowley’s lips. He spills a little down his chest and moves to lap it up, and lap up the bit of cake he winds up smearing there, which he hadn’t realized was clinging to his chin.
“You’ve made a mess of me.” He accuses, moving the glass to safety on his nightstand.
“Yes, and I’m about to do it again.” Crowley rolls him onto his back and grabs for another bite, and this time he smears at least as much on him as he winds up feeding him-- but then, this time, he drapes himself over Aziraphale and takes on the job of licking him clean.
With his weight pinning Aziraphale down, he feeds him a few more bites, takes a large slice of strawberry in his own teeth to bring it to Aziraphale’s mouth, and what can Aziraphale do but let him? This… this is what first drew Crowley to him, sexually. Had he touched himself then? Had he learned to masturbate to thoughts of Aziraphale at that banquet table? Had he imagined his fingers were the ones being licked, back then? Fitting, that the cake should be strawberry cream, it had been berries and cream he’d mentioned watching him with. Dessert… that has always been something of a weakness, since he first discovered it was something he could enjoy.
At that banquet, Aziraphale had turned the Lord Mayor’s heart to charity, and Crowley had inspired three extramarital affairs, and now Aziraphale wonders if that surfeit of lust had been because of Crowley’s own frustrated desire.
He stops Crowley with a gentle hand wrapped around his forearm, when he finds himself pleasantly full, and finds himself arrested by the way he’s looked at. The way Crowley’s gaze moves from his own to his lips to his hand where they touch…
“One more bite?” Crowley asks, voice husky. And he does already have it in hand…
Aziraphale nods, mouth falling open. Crowley moans as that final bite slides past Aziraphale’s lips. He withdraws his hand a moment too soon, leans forward to suck a glob of cream from Aziraphale’s lower lip before returning his fingers to be licked clean.
He can feel how hard Crowley is, and this time it seems no effort at all to let his body answer in kind.
There is still roughly a quarter of the cake left when they give into a temptation which has nothing to do with food, and that cake winds up ground into the bedsheets beneath them as they roll around in a frenzied heat.
After the fact, Aziraphale lazily licks Crowley’s back clean. He’ll know the sheets had been ruined even if he miracles them clean… but in this case, he rather likes the knowing.
Aziraphale had done his research. The place he’d picked had promised to be gay-friendly. He’d booked the honeymoon suite, pre-arranged for a few spa treatments, a winery tour… They could arrange to picnic in the countryside if they liked, or a day trip down to the sea…
In the backseat of the Bentley, Crowley’s sleek, slim black leather luggage sits side by side with his own rather shabby tartan bag with the tan leather straps. And Crowley…
Crowley looks breathtaking. His customary boots, his dark, close-fitting jeans, the slightly-too-unbuttoned red shirt beneath the black leather jacket. His favorite driving gloves. And the air of excitement he doesn’t bother trying to hide, as he leans against the Bentley while Aziraphale closes up shop.
‘On Honeymoon’, the little cardboard sign in the window reads.
“Angel.” Crowley opens his door, offers him a hand, just as he had the last time he’d picked him up in his car. This time, he kisses that hand before he releases it, and Aziraphale swoons as if they had not spent half the week making love.
Just as the last time he’d ridden in Crowley’s car, Aziraphale feels they are not a matched set, to the eyes of the world. He’d let Crowley decide upon his outfit, from the safe confines of his existing wardrobe, and Crowley had taken to it. Crowley had insisted upon dressing him, doing up the buttons of a barely-blue shirt with whispered promises of how he’d undo them once they reached their destination. He’d left him feeling practically naked, pulling the grey trousers and waistcoat and not the jacket that went with them, nor a necktie.
He’d left Aziraphale’s top button open, which feels faintly scandalous. And then… oh, and then he had carefully lifted the cufflinks from the saucer on the nightstand, and fastened them in place, eye contact unbroken, and Aziraphale had made an excuse about last minute shop business just to give himself a moment to regain his composure.
Once Crowley is settled into the driver’s seat, Aziraphale reaches for his hand again, to bring to his own lips.
“Are you ready, my dear?”
“Oh, I don’t want to waste another second.”
Aziraphale’s brow furrows, and he studies Crowley a moment, before his expression melts into a soft smile.
“You look older.”
“Do I?” He blushes and faces forward, actually keeping his eyes on the mirror and the street as he sets off, rather than miracling the world out of his way and just driving as he pleases.
“Yes, older than you usually do. It’s a very handsome look.”
It’s not much, really-- it’s the top end of his rather flexible appearance, the space he occupies when he needs to command respect, the age he looks when he wears a proper suit and carries himself a certain way, but…
But he could have elected to be younger and-- for lack of better word-- prettier, on holiday and wearing jeans and all.
He still looks a good dozen years younger than Aziraphale does at least-- and it’s only so low because Aziraphale is skewing rather younger than usual, dressed as casually as he is.
“If it’s because of how people will see us, you needn’t worry-- you needn’t change yourself to make the world happy.”
“Not always-- you look however you best like, my dear, people will stare no matter what we do. You and I know the truth, and no one else much matters. I’m not about to let anyone ruin our trip either way.”
“This is fine. If you think it’s a good look on me.”
“I always do.”
“So what is there to do at this place? Very little, I hope, beyond taking you to bed.”
“There’s a spa that offers a warm wine bath, which I thought sounded just about decadent enough to please you. I booked that, and a hot rock massage, and a private steam room. That’s all for tomorrow. Winery tour the day after that. And then… whatever you like.”
“Tonight, of course, there’s nothing at all for us to do but have a quiet candlelit dinner and repair to the honeymoon suite… and keep each other up all night.”
“Suppose I’ll have all the time I like to sleep in the bath and the steam room…”
“Yes, if the mood takes you.” Aziraphale smiles. Crowley may enjoy watching him eat, but he supposes he can’t fault him-- he feels a certain special tenderness seeing Crowley indulge in sleep.
He had always found the habit annoying before, when it meant there might be some period of time in which Crowley would disappear or be unreachable, but… when it had been Crowley melting against him, face slack and softened, body soaking up Aziraphale’s warmth, and… and Aziraphale inside him… he’d rapidly grown very fond of the idea of Crowley and sleep.
The drive is pleasanter than it might have been, considering the terror which usually grips him when Crowley is trying to get somewhere in a hurry. It still does a bit, but… he’s in too good a mood to let it ruin things.
When they arrive, he goes to get them signed in, to get the key, and Crowley joins him with their bags.
“Got our room, angel?”
“That I do, my dear. Shall I take my bag now?”
“No, I’ve got it.” He leans in, kissing Aziraphale’s cheek. “So this spa treatment tomorrow… are we in one big tub full of wine, or are we in side-by-side wine bathtubs?”
“I believe side-by-side, but I’m really not sure. I just said it would all be couples’ treatments.”
“Follow up question, do you think the spa would frown on my drinking out of your wine bath?” Crowley grins.
“Oh, you wicked thing!” Aziraphale exclaims.
The spa does not really notice, in the end, if Crowley has had just a taste of the wine Aziraphale had soaked in.