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Life's Little Pleasures

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"Ah, hm," Aziraphale said, tilting his head as he regarded the statue. "Interesting decor."

"I've always been rather proud of it," Crowley said, nudging his elbow against Aziraphale's soft side. "The eternal fight between good and evil, artist really captured the essence of the thing. Notice that evil is coming out on top."

"I do see that," Aziraphale said contemplatively.

Crowley found he was enjoying the moment less than he had anticipated. The angel was supposed to make an indignant protest, start an argument, or best yet, avoid the whole thing but still throw the statue flustered glances. He wasn't supposed to be considering it so…thoroughly.

Maybe it was the timing. End of the world, respectively defying heaven and hell to save humanity, all that jazz. Maybe the sculpture wasn't in the best taste, come to think of it.

"Are you entirely certain they're fighting?" Aziraphale finally asked, turning to Crowley with a bright smile on his face. "It rather looks like the start of some very pleasant evenings I've had."

Crowley blinked, looking from Aziraphale to the statue, feeling heat race across his cheeks and down his collarbone. "Ha, yeah, I see it," he said, too forced, pivoting away from the sculpture.

Aziraphale laughed, a warm sound, it flitted between the Crowley's ribs and wrapped its way around his heart.

(Crowley wondered, sometimes, if he and Aziraphale had met as pure spirit, would the angel still have such an impact on him? Or was it just his body, unable to shake a six-thousand year long habit?

Crowley knew what the answer was.

He had been fascinated by Aziraphale from the moment that beautiful dumb angel had protested that there were wild animals out there, clearly the fragile humans needed his flaming sword more than he did. And then he had fallen in love not two minutes later, when rain hit his skin for the first time, and Aziraphale had raised one wing, protecting Crowley without a second thought.)

"You can't be embarrassed!" Aziraphale chuckled, dragging Crowley back to the present with a poke against his flushed cheeks. "We're surrounded by sex. Humans never stop thinking about the act."

"Different than thinking about you doing it." Crowley batted the hand away. "Never going to be able to look that statue in the eye again."

"Is it really so extraordinary? The ultimate celebration of love, I should rather think I fit right in."

"We don't even desire it!" Crowley snapped, rounding on Aziraphale. "It serves no point for us."

Aziraphale sniffed. "Well I don't get hungry either but I don't see you fussing about dinner."

Crowley opened his mouth, held up a finger, then snapped his jaw shut and looked away.

"There's all sorts of things a body can enjoy irrespective of their bearing on survival. Isn't that exactly the sort of thing we just fought for?" Aziraphale continued, undaunted. "I never expected you to be so...prudish around the idea. Isn't seduction a prime demonic activity? Temptation into lust and all that. Oh!" Aziraphale said, in the tone of someone who has just had a great discovery. "Is that the problem? I'm impinging on your territory?"

Crowley looked over at Aziraphale, finding a look of honest worry on the angel's face. Too fucking pure for the world. Though not, apparently, too pure to fuck the world. "I'm more of a...big picture demon," Crowley said, waving off Aziraphale's worry.

Aziraphale gave Crowley a slow once over, that made Crowley's skin prickle oddly. Not unpleasantly. Just oddly. "Have you actually never tried it?" Aziraphale finally asked. "Not even...you did spend a great deal of time around Sir Gawain, and I have it on good authority that he fancied..."

"I was trying to tempt him! And not—not like that. It was a matter of faith and fear of death, that sort of thing. I...I certainly wasn't..."

"I believe you." Aziraphale held up his hands, a mildly alarmed expression on his face. "I didn't expect you to take it so personally. Oh...is this like your feelings on cilantro? Say no more. Sometimes things certainly are a matter of personal taste."

"It's not that," Crowley said. "Anyway, I didn't mean to keep you in the hallway. Come on, let's go sit down." He gestured down the hallway, letting Aziraphale go first.

"Very good." But Aziraphale, damn him, was not done talking. As they continued down the hallway, he chattered, "But it must be a matter of personal taste. Some things I enjoy and you do not, and vice versa. Disco, for example." Aziraphale gave a dramatic shudder.

"You eat dinner with me." Crowley immediately wished he could shove the words back into his mouth.

Aziraphale stopped in the hallway, and Crowley nearly ran into him. "Hm?" Aziraphale said, turning to face Crowley again. "Well of course I do, but I don't see how that's rele..." Aziraphale trailed off. "Oh good Lord, Crowley—"

"Please don't go bringing her into this—"

"Did you want to have sex?"

Crowley's mouth was malfunctioning. Specifically, it wasn't managing to form words. It just hung there, useless, slightly ajar.

"You could have just said so," Aziraphale started advancing on Crowley and Crowley took a few panicked steps backward, until Aziraphale was caging him against his hallway wall. "No need for all the dramatics. Now I'll admit," Aziraphale said, laying his hands on Crowley's collar, "that perhaps in the past the whole angel/demon thing was a bit of a sticking point on this particular matter—I may have gotten a bit hung up on what upstairs would say, but frankly, after the day we've had—"

"Angel," Crowley said, the words coming out closer to pleading. "Please, don't—"

Aziraphale froze, his face just inches from Crowley's. He instantly released his hold on Crowley's collar, backing up a few steps. "I'm sorry. Have I hurt you?"

"No." Crowley leaned back against the wall, feeling suddenly exhausted. "Not...really. But I don't want you to sleep with me. Not like this."

"Like this?" Aziraphale said, his hands fluttering by his side, like he wanted to reach out for Crowley but was fighting to keep still.

"Because you're indulging some perceived curiosity. I'm not curious about it. I'm—" Crowley gave a short frustrated gesture, before grabbing Aziraphale's lapels and shoving him backward instead, like they were back in that nunnery turned corporate development gun range, less than an inch between them. "I'm selfish."

"I don't understand," Aziraphale said, head tilted, utterly unphased by the change in dynamic.

"You never have." Crowley hissed. "I defied hell for you. I would have fallen for you. I want every piece of you. I love you, I have for six thousand fucking years, and while I know you don't feel the same it would have been nice, after, you know, the apocalypse, to not have that shoved in my face again."

"Crowley," Aziraphale said, soft and a little hurt, "I do love you."

"No. You love everything. Everyone. It's your job. You don't love me. It's not special. I'm not—"

"You saved my books," Aziraphale insisted, his voice quiet and firm. "And my corporeal form, I suppose. But you saved my books. Nobody else knows me well enough to even know that I would care. But you..." Aziraphale shook his head. He reached up, his hands cupping Crowley's cheeks, his thumb tracing in slow, endearing circles. "I wouldn't want to be on Earth without you. It'd be miserable. The food, the sex, every pleasure pales in comparison to your company."

Crowley took a shaking breath, staring at Aziraphale, at the only being he had ever been inclined to worship.

Aziraphale gave a soft smile. "I left heaven so I could get back to you. Is that sufficiently selfish?"

Crowley kissed him. He wasn't sure what else to do. He'd seen humans use the gesture, often enough, when things were charged liked this. He had some hope it might somehow translate what words didn't.

It did adequately, he supposed. But that wasn't right, it wasn't enough. Crowley felt his wings shoot out behind him as he reached with all that he was, all that he could be, and he coiled himself around Aziraphale. He let himself be the greedy, grasping thing he had always known he could be. The thing he had never let himself be, not when Aziraphale always seemed poised to flee.

And Aziraphale, oh, Aziraphale did not flee. He leaned in. He didn't give, he took equal measure in return, glorious and gluttonous.

Aziraphale's wings spread too, which should have been impossible with the way he was backed up against a wall. But, divine and infernal, they had never been limited to the three commonly known dimensions. They danced through another eight or so, as they grabbed at each other, body and spirit and soul twining and merging, cosmic and vast in their need.

Heaven would know, Hell would know, everyone would know. Crowley didn't care. Aziraphale had left heaven for him, the rest could burn.

He broke the kiss and looked at Aziraphale. "That's what I want," he said, the words resonating down all the echoes of themselves, vast and boundless, stretching and twining together. "It's what I've always wanted."

"You can have it," Aziraphale said, reaching forward to place a soft kiss on the tip of Crowley's nose. "I'm sorry it took the end of the world to make me realize it. I was scared by how much I wanted you."

Crowley stepped back, running his fingers down Aziraphale's lapels. His mouth was malfunctioning, again, so he just took his time with that, smoothing the fabric back into shape.

"My offer still stands, by the way," Aziraphale said, a note of amusement in his voice.

Crowley raised an eyebrow.

"Sex. It's a delightful thing to do with a body, if you ever wanted to give it a try. Bit of a let-down compared to....all that," Aziraphale made a gesture that Crowley somehow understood to encompass the vastness of their coming together, "but still a good time."

"I'll think about it," Crowley said, letting his hands drop. "Might be fun. In the meantime, I've got a 20 year old speyside scotch and a tub of caramel toffee ice cream in the freezer."

"Oooh!" said Aziraphale, brightening. "Two of life's great pleasures! By all means, let us proceed to them posthaste."

Crowley wrapped his arm around Aziraphale's shoulders and steered them both towards the kitchen indulging himself enough to lay a kiss against Aziraphale's temple as they went.