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“You know I love you, right?”

It was a bad start to a conversation, Crowley knew, but he’d been trying to broach the subject for weeks now, and he had arrived at the conclusion that this was the best way to ease Aziraphale into it.

“Of course,” the angel murmured, concern already creeping in at the edges of his voice. “Why?”

“I just — well, I’ve been thinking…” Crowley trailed off, chewing on his lower lip. He refused to look up at Aziraphale, not quite embarrassed, but hesitant.

Aziraphale cleared his throat, a gentle prompt for Crowley to finish his thought. Too gentle, apparently, as Crowley stayed silent until Aziraphale pressed the issue. “What have you been thinking, dearest?”

Crowley swallowed the little thrill he got from hearing the angel's term of endearment. He buried his face in his hands, groaning. “You know how we do things, sometimes?”

“I would like to say yes, but I'm afraid you'll have to be more specific.”

“We do things,” Crowley repeated, injecting meaning into every syllable. “You and I, together.”

“Oh, you mean — my dear, why so cryptic?” Aziraphale fanned his fingers out across his lap. “We can talk about sex,” he said simply, “no need to dance around the topic.”

Crowley frowned and took a deep breath, unsure how to continue. “I… well, I love the things we do,” he said, his voice sounding hollow in his own ears. “You’re quite skilled, you know, and you’re so good to me.”

“But?”

Shit. The angel read his mind – not literally, but by virtue of his intuition and Crowley’s predictability. Crowley had really not thought this far ahead; he’d been sure he would have chickened out by now.

“But…” Crowley plunged in without a plan, “I was thinking maybe, wondering, really, if you might be willing to be… less good to me.”

Aziraphale furrowed his brow. “I don’t understand.”

Folding his hands in his lap, Crowley pursed his lips and tried to come up with the best way to explain it. He blew out a breath, looking up at Aziraphale, and a pained expression crossed his face. “Angel,” he began, mustering up all the courage in him, “can I speak candidly?”

“My dear, I am begging you to speak candidly.”

“Okay, so,” the demon said slowly. “When we…”

“Have sex,” Aziraphale offered helpfully.

“When we make love,” Crowley continued, “what, er, does it for you?”

The angel paused, smiling softly, allowing his eyes to sweep up and down Crowley’s body. “You,” he said after a long period of thought.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean,” Aziraphale said, moving closer and lowering his voice, “that you’re beautiful. I love having you laid out under me, unraveled and flushed, and seeing the way your face moves and hearing all the little sounds you make. I love when you say my name. I love making you feel good. That’s what does it for me.”

The demon’s face reddened, and he looked away, trying to suppress his body’s Pavlovian reaction to the angel’s words. Somehow, when he had thought of having this discussion, it hadn’t occurred to him that Aziraphale would talk the same way he did in the bedroom. Crowley had been picturing a casual tea-time conversation about their sex life, where nobody got aroused and everybody got embarrassed, but the end result was a healthier relationship for all. What he was getting instead was an inconveniently timed erection. He pushed through it, swallowing nervously.

“Er, what about you?” Aziraphale cocked his head to the side, thrown off by the demon’s long silence.

“I… well, I love you,” Crowley said lamely.

“So you’ve said.”

“It’s just…” he hesitated again, unable to finish the thought.

Aziraphale placed a hand on the demon’s knee, firm but gentle, and squeezed. “Crowley, you can tell me anything. You can ask me for anything.”

Crowley inhaled deeply, closed his eyes, nodded his head. He knew this. He had worked himself into a state over nothing, because of his own personal issues, and not because of any real fear of Aziraphale’s reaction. “I want to try something,” he said, “in the bedroom, but only if you’re okay with it.” He paused for a moment in thought. “Or, well, I suppose it doesn’t have to literally be in the bedroom. It might work better in your study, or maybe the kitchen.”

“You’re babbling, love,” the angel murmured. “Just tell me what it is.”

“I want you to fuck me,” Crowley said, the words coming out quickly and without his permission. “Really, properly fuck me.”

Aziraphale furrowed his brow and bit his lip. “Have I been doing it improperly?”

“No, angel,” Crowley said with a small nervous chuckle. “No, that’s not what I mean. Just – I want to try it… harder, faster, messier. I want you to take control and be rough and tell me dirty, filthy things while you touch me.”

“Oh,” the angel breathed. He was now dealing with his own unexpected physical reaction, as well as his own anxieties, for the first time since the conversation began. “I, erm. I don’t know how.”

“You don’t know how?”

“I’ve never done it like that before,” Aziraphale explained. “I mean, most of it seems fairly self-explanatory, but – I wouldn’t know what to say.”

Crowley gave him a fond smile. “I’ve never done it, either,” he said, if only to reassure Aziraphale that they were wading these waters together. “Haven’t you seen pornography, though?”

The angel wrinkled his nose, shaking his head. “Why would I want to watch other people fornicate when I could do it myself?”

“That’s… fair, I suppose,” said Crowley, who had never considered that point of view before. “But, I mean, do you – is this something you’d want to try, with me?”

“Yes,” Aziraphale answered, maybe too quickly, but Crowley didn’t notice. “I just, I need you to walk me through what you’d like me to do.”

Crowley pressed his lips into a thin line and considered how to describe it to the angel. “When we're in the middle of it, do you ever want to say or do something, but you decide not to? Do you ever get a deep-down urge that you squash down before it even gets a chance to fully form into a thought?”

Aziraphale thought for a moment. “I suppose.”

“Just do it. Don't think.” Crowley noted the angel’s look of distress and reached for his hand, a gentle contrast to the words he spoke. “I want you to tell me, in graphic terms, in explicit detail, what you want to do to me, what you’re going to do to me, what you want me to do for you. And then do it, without reservation, without overthinking it.”

“But what if I – what if you don't –“

“Angel,” Crowley interrupted, “I'll tell you. You'll know, but I'll still tell you. I won't let you do anything unless we both want it.”

“Okay,” Aziraphale said, soft as air.

Crowley smiled and squeezed the angel’s hand. “Tell you what,” he said, “we could do some research. I know you like research.”

The angel looked at him quizzically, raising an eyebrow. “What kind of research?”

“I think,” the demon leaned in closer until his lips grazed Aziraphale’s ear as he murmured, “we could start by studying established doctrine, and work our way up to a practical application of emerging theory.”

Aziraphale’s eyes fluttered shut and his breath hitched. He placed his free hand somewhat possessively on Crowley’s waist and spoke in a reverent whisper. “Oh, my dear, you do know how to set the mood.”