If you do it right, lunching at the Ritz can take several hours and leave you poorer than you were, drunker than you were, and with a strong feeling that it might be good to take a slow, dignified stroll to let the food settle. But Crowley rarely worried about money or his digestion, and he rather enjoyed being drunk — was, in fact, enjoying it so much that he let Aziraphale talk him into a slow, dignified stroll back into Hyde Park.
"It's the wrong way around, though," he felt bound to point out even as he went along with the suggestion. "I'm supposed to tempt. You're supposed to thwart. I'm pretty sure it's in the job description."
"I am thwarting," Aziraphale said in the carefully reasoned tone of someone who has thought long and hard while under the influence of very good claret. "I'm thwarting like billy-o."
"Nobody," Crowley said, adjusting his sunglasses against the warm glow of a sunny late afternoon, "nobody says 'like billy-o.'"
"I do." Aziraphale was turning a small piece of paper over between his fingers. It was, Crowley saw, his copy of the signed receipt that would make American Express hand over a very large sum of money for the claret that was responsible for the angel's current state. And, he admitted, his own. "What does A. J. stand for?"
"Anthony James." Crowley glared at a puddle, and it obligingly evaporated out of his way.
"Anthony James," Aziraphale repeated, in much the same tone of voice that Crowley had used for 'like billy-o.' "Don't you think that's a little — well—" Aziraphale flapped his hand descriptively. "You know."
"The word you're looking for," Crowley said, "is twee. And coming from you, that's a really, really big stone in a really, really, really glassy house." They walked in silence for about three minutes. Puddles that saw Crowley coming hastily rolled off the path. "What's wrong with Anthony James?"
"We don't have first names, dear boy." Aziraphale frowned. "Or maybe it's last names we don't have. The point is, we don't have them."
"I do," Crowley said obstinately. Aziraphale was quiet. "I can if I want to." Aziraphale remained quiet. "You own a pair of Winnie-the-Pooh pajamas."
Aziraphale spluttered. "I do not!"
Crowley grinned. "The angel doth protest too much, methinks." They wandered on, but Crowley's mind wandered back instead, trying to remember how they'd arrived at the subject of non-existent sleepwear. "What exactly are you thwarting?"
"You, of course." Aziraphale widened his eyes. They were blue and innocent. "As long as you're walking along the Serpentine with me, you're not tempting anyone to give in to his baser nature. Or her baser nature, of course, I didn't mean to indicate that you're not an equal-opportunity tempter, as it were."
Crowley thought about it. He was pretty sure there was a flaw in that argument somewhere. "I could tempt you," he said.
"I'm an angel. I don't have a baser nature."
"'Course you do. I was an angel, and look at me now." Crowley held his arms out in a ta-da gesture, then realized that coming from a man-shaped creature in designer sunglasses, it didn't quite work. "And so was you-know-who." Mentioning his boss by name — any of his names — was a good way of drawing his attention and Crowley felt very strongly that that would be a bad idea. "Plenty of baser nature to work on there."
"Oh." Aziraphale looked thoughtful. "Well, yes. But I think you'll find that both you and you-know-who were, ah, exceptions to the rule."
Crowley adjusted his sunglasses. He had no problem with being thought of as exceptional, but large amounts of Chateau Latour made him unwilling to admit that he had limitations. "I don't know about that," he said, veering to the left. Aziraphale followed him off the path and they wandered over the grass for a while before dropping down under a tree. Crowley leaned back against the trunk and stretched out his legs. "If I offered you a rare manuscript, say."
"If you offered me a rare manuscript, as a gift, that would be very kind of you," Aziraphale said, and smiled blithely at Crowley's scowl.
"Okay," Crowley muttered, "not greed. Gluttony..." He considered the lunch they'd just shared. "No. Anger — no, sloth — no, pride, hmmm, no. Aha, got it!" He snapped his fingers. "Lust."
"I don't lust after rare manuscripts," Aziraphale said, sounding slightly offended.
"I should hope not." Crowley shifted, turning towards his companion. "It's a classic temptation — the pleasures of the flesh. Consider it an obligatory gesture."
"But I'm an angel," Aziraphale said, and Crowley caught him around the back of the neck and kissed him. "And we're in the middle of Hyde Park," he added when he came up for air.
"No one can see us," Crowley said with a small wave of his fingers that made the words true, and tried the effect of a second kiss. It had been a while since he'd done this, but it was starting to come back to him. Aziraphale tasted like all things good and wholesome, and also like claret. It was an interesting combination.
"This isn't going to work." A third kiss segued slowly into a fourth. "You're wasting your time." Crowley nipped his way along Aziraphale's jawline and down his throat. "You do realize that in order to feel these touches in the way that they are intended, I would have to make a conscious effort."
Crowley grinned, sharp as a blade. "So make an effort," he said, beginning to undo shirt buttons, finding smooth skin. He found himself wondering if his job description included falling for temptation as well, just on general principle. "I'm making an effort for you. It would only be polite to reciprocate."
Aziraphale laid a hand along Crowley's jaw and tilted his head up. "You're trying to tempt me into being polite?"
"Yes," Crowley said, as angelically as he could, and sucked a fingertip into his mouth.
Lying in the grass under the tree, they kissed lazily again and again, wrapped in the haze of a warm summer afternoon. The grass had been a bit damp at one point, but someone had taken care of that, and Crowley was fairly certain that it wasn't him. He was working on loosening Aziraphale's clothing, here and there, piecemeal; he would uncover flesh, flick his tongue over it slowly and carefully, and then fall back into kiss eighteen or thirty-four or whatever it was.
When he felt Aziraphale's hands slide in under his shirt and up along his back, stroking carefully right where his wings weren't, it was easy to replace a crow of victory with a sigh of happiness. He might be drunk enough to lose count of their kisses, but not so drunk that he'd lost sight of his primary objective. Aziraphale began to tug at his clothes, and he wriggled helpfully. Another kiss, and another, and cool air and warm angel breath on his bare skin. On his mostly bare skin.
"You've got scales on your — er. Dear me."
"Aziraphale," Crowley purred, "make an effort."
* * *
The sun had almost set, and long shadows ran along the grass. Crowley lay, boneless and satiated, with his head on Aziraphale's chest.
"You do realize," Aziraphale said, fingers idly stroking through Crowley's hair, "harmless mutual pleasure isn't really a sin."
Crowley smiled. "Shut up, angel," he said.