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Loopholes

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Angels were not supposed to go to Hell. Not ever. If an angel were dragged down to Hell, the expectation was that they would be subdued, violently, their wings magically bound, and their angelic divinity siphoned off a little at a time to be used by whatever lucky demon had managed to bind them. A bound angel was a magnificent source of power, and they were highly coveted. A demon saying to an angel "Fancy a trip down to Hell? It's nice this time of year" may as well be saying "Care to be my slave and my means to becoming a powerful old devil?"

Crowley had said it a few times, jokingly, to Aziraphale, who had responded dryly, "oh HA HA." It was only natural; the demon had to make at least a cursory effort. It would have been rude for him not to.

But after the Notocalypse, the rules got a little shifty.

*****

Crowley only happened to be in Hell that day because he was wrapping up a few odds and ends before Hell got around to “dealing” with him. It was inevitable that someone would figure out that he was at the heart of the failed war, and he planned to be out of the solar system by the time that happened.

Someone screamed. Then another. Not that this was unusual in Hell, but it was different somehow; familiar. He followed the chorus of screams, out of habit, really, burst into the cavern, and was nearly blinded by what he saw.

Aziraphale stood in the center of a crowd of demons, wings stretched high and glowing with brilliant divine wrath. His plump, loving angel held a sword in one hand - this one not flaming - and a whip in the other, and was demonstrating violently to the assembled crowd that he knew how to use them. He didn't look like himself. He didn't look kind or intelligent or a bit of a bastard. He looked like Heaven's own righteous rage.

"AZIRAPHALE!"

The crowd of demons parted, and let Crowley through to him. The white-shining angel lowered his weapons, and his eyes were only for Crowley. He approached slowly, like a dog uncertain that he would be well received.

"What are you doing here?" Crowley started to say, when Aziraphale sank to his knees, wings laid out behind him, weapons at his side. The crowd of demons gave a collective gasp, and fell silent. An angel charging into Hell only to kneel at the feet of a relatively minor (and disgraced) demon was … unheard of, to say the least.

Crowley stared down at his friend, dumbstruck. He reached out a hand, and Aziraphale laid his cheek into it. "Forgive me for seeking you out here. Heaven seeks to destroy me," he said. "I am a liability they can no longer bear."

"You're defecting?" an onlooking demon laughed. "Brilliant."

"No." He raised his eyes to Crowley. "I came to find my master."

*****

"Your master? What the hell was that?"

He’d taken Aziraphale to the only room he was sure the angel would relax in - a library - but for once the angel didn’t even notice the books. "Do you really think they'd have left us alone if I said 'I've come to find my friend the demon who was my fellow turncoat'? No. You've said it before, the only thing Hell respects is power. So I put on a show of power, and put the fear of God - more or less - into them, directed at you."

"Oh, thanks very much for making me a target."

"It's not a lie, Crowley. I'm a powerful advantage for you here, if only they'll believe that you control me."

Crowley gripped Aziraphale's shoulders. "But I don't control you, you beige buffoon! You're my friend, and my equal."

Aziraphale put his hands on Crowley's, and he thought he'd never seen the angel look so forlorn. "I wasn't lying when I said that Gabriel and Michael and the other archangels are out to destroy me. They don't understand me, and frankly they are not incorrect that I am a liability to their plans. They figured out pretty quickly that I was rather … key, shall we say, in the War That Wasn’t. It's a strange thing to say, but the safest place for me is in Hell."

“It’s not exactly safe for me, either. Not for long.”

“It is if you have enough power.”

Crowley rubbed his face, comprehension dawning on him horribly. "You want me to bind you."

"It's not like I'm doing anything with my divinity."

"You want me to feed on you, like a vampire -"

"More like a tick."

"That's not better."

Aziraphale tilted his head. "I'm not entirely clear on why you're refusing to let me serve you."

Crowley kicked over a chair out of sheer frustration. "Because I liked it like this. I liked you being my equal. My only friend. You told me when I was wrong. You made me more than what I was."

"I can still do that."

"You've no idea what servitude to a demon means."

Aziraphale snorted, a very un-angelic sound. "You think I haven't read up on it? Do YOU have any idea what mastering an angel means?" He held up a hand to stop Crowley from talking. "You bind my wings, and in doing so bind me to you. You draw power from me. You become a true lord of Hell. Crowley, there will be no one to answer to anymore! You said it yourself, most of the lords don't bother tempting souls anymore, they just do as they damn well please! And none of them have a WILLING angel. Trust me, consent matters when it comes to angelic power."

Crowley cupped Aziraphale's face in his hands. "My dear, sweet friend. You don't know what else they do to their slaves."

There was no fear in Aziraphale's eyes when he said, "Do you think I'd say no to sharing your bed?"

Crowley searched the angel's eyes wonderingly. "I didn't think you'd say yes."

“I can’t, not now, not without Falling. But if I’m bound …” He watched Aziraphale steel himself. "I've done the math. Over and over. This is the best path, for both of us. Besides … do you really think you can just let me go? Do you think you could stand to do it, when you have me at your mercy? Do you think the other demons will tolerate it?"

Crowley hadn't considered that. He took a step back. How many times had he fantasized about maneuvering Aziraphale into exactly this situation? Stuck in hell, no way out, at Crowley's mercy. The things he'd fantasized about doing to his angelic friend, in his darker hours. Bringing him over, binding him, mastering him, making him enjoy every carnal act Crowley could conjure up.

And here he was, offering freely. Nearly begging for it.

“You bastard. You haven’t left me with any other choice.”

“There’s always choice. Kill me if you prefer. Bind me and release me if I don’t please you.”

“You could have given me a heads up.”

Aziraphale looked askance. “I would have, but Gabriel was quite literally on my heels.”

“Ah.” Crowley rubbed his mouth. “I’ll tell you what, you insolent little cherub. I’ll show you what binding is.”

He held up a hand, and a set of wing cuffs appeared in his hand. They would fit around the three bones of each wing, holding them tight, so he couldn't extend them. They would be permanent. He watched Aziraphale swallow hard, looking at them. There was fear in the angel's eyes now that he had to look at the infernal bonds directly.

“You really want to wear this thing? You really want to belong to me, as surely as any possession? You would have to obey, Aziraphale. You want me to wield you like a weapon against Hell and … thus … ensure our …. mutual security … ok I can see how that part would be appealing.” He dropped the cuffs. “Fine, you want to hear my real hesitation? You must know I couldn’t resist bedding you. And I’d never forgive myself if I took you unwillingly.”

Aziraphale bent, picked the cuffs back up and pushed them into Crowley’s hands. “I told you. I’m not unwilling,” he said. “It’s either being bound to you, or Falling. I made my choice.”

“That’s not as seductive as you think.”

Aziraphale took a shaky breath. “Then how’s this?”

He turned around, knelt, and held his wings aloft, offering. Crowley couldn't quite get his breath as he reached out, touched the trembling white feathers, ran his hand over the length of Aziraphale's wings. They were beautiful, powerful … and he was offering them to Crowley. Offering power, obedience, knowledge, divine grace, sex, things he’d never be offered again, especially not from a kneeling angel.

"Crowley," Aziraphale said. "I trust you."

His yellow eyes fluttered closed. "You'll belong to me."

"You better keep me. Put them on.”

Crowley gritted his viper's teeth, and before he could change his mind, lowered the cuffs to Aziraphale's wings.

The cuffs closed and tightened of their own accord, and constricted until Aziraphale’s wings were folded in tight against his back. He felt dirty, looking at the cuffs that bound Aziraphale, feathers all out of place and bent. But his name - not Crowley, that was just what he went by, no, his true name - burned on the inside of the cuffs, burned into Aziraphale's wings, into his very essence, made him scream, and the surge of power was immense. The little miracles he'd always used were nothing, mere trifles. Now, he could summon hordes of demons with a thought; he could rearrange continents. He could do … anything. A demon with an angel's divinity.

And he could see The Aziraphale for what he was. Not a chunky bookworm whose gluttony only rivaled his sloth for Favorite Sin; no, he was a miraculous thing, a storehouse of knowledge, a wavelength of power, a Gordian knot of celestial ley lines, a series of undulating rings describing all the matter in the universe, a map of time, a multi-dimensional sensation that manifested as wings made of eyes, eyes that saw everything, a chaos nebula containing the very foundations of the universe, a garden -

Crowley staggered backwards and collapsed on the floor, hands over his face. Stop stop stop, he thought, he had to cut himself off from the THING he had just bound. How could he ever have perceived of The Aziraphale as a man-shaped being named Aziraphale who liked crepes and books and needed rescuing from time to time?

He realized then why the lords of hell kept out of most things. They understood the world too well. Comprehension taken too far was just madness.

"Crowley? Easy now my dear, I think you took in too much."

Aziraphale pried Crowley's hands off his face, and once again, he was looking at the kind face of his friend, all soft and pale and concerned. But he knew it was just a seeming, an avatar. Crowley's face was an avatar also, of course, but underneath he was just a serpent, a demon, who had once been an angel also but a very very tiny one whose purpose was spent 6,000 years ago. How could he possibly be the master of this thing, this star cluster, this dimensional loop, this forest of energy, when he was but a worm?

Crowley shook his head. "You're too much for me, angel."

Aziraphale pulled Crowley to his feet. "Stop trying to take it all in, you'll hurt yourself." He dusted Crowley off and smiled mildly. "There, you see? Feel better?"

The flood of information and power had stopped. Crowley's mind was still something of a disaster area that required FEMA intervention, but the worst of the storm was past. Or at least, contained.

“You’re … more than I bargained for.”

“Well. I would never have chosen a master who could truly overpower me.”

Crowley glared at him. “Isn’t that the point? Overpowering?”

“Please. The point of you being my master is that if I really, really needed to, I could break the bond.”

Crowley snorted. “You’re a terrible slave. Next you’re going to be instructing me on how you would like to be oppressed.”

“Do I really need to remind you there’s an open clamp, still?” Aziraphale said, all gentle manners.

Of course. The one that went around his neck. It hung open, connected to the cuffs on his wings. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Crowley placed it against the back of Aziraphale’s neck. Aziraphale lifted his chin, to better allow Crowley to close it. “You’d like for me to do this? To claim you completely?”

Aziraphale swallowed. “Yes.”

“Yes what?”

“Yes, Master. Please.”

He’d seen angels bound before, watched the hours of struggle and force and blood and dismemberment it took to wrestle a divine force into bonds. And now … his angel bent to him willingly. Eagerly.

“I want you,” he managed to get out. “I want to possess you. I want to master you and protect you and wield you and have you.”

Aziraphale’s eyes were steady. “Then come and take me.”

He closed the collar, and Aziraphale was his.

*****

Sharing the news with the rest of Hell had been a singular delight. How horrified they’d been, how terror-stricken. The best part was how he could leave as soon as he wanted, and retreat to his (newly miraculously expanded) rooms with his brand new angel slave.

His. How long had he desired this angel? Since he first met him, in the garden? It had been growing steadily like a tightening, thickening vine all these years, until his very sexuality was Aziraphale shaped. He hardly had him alone before he backed the angel against a wall and held him there.

“I want you in my bed,” he said, and it came out as a hiss. “Now.” Crowley dragged him in by the collar and kissed him.

Aziraphale melted against him, going soft and pliant in Crowley’s arms. He kissed the way he did all things, deliberately, thoroughly, all in. His hair was soft between Crowley’s fingers, and he made the most wonderful noises as Crowley deepened the kiss, explored him, claimed him, mapped out his mouth, then moved down to his throat. He wanted more.

Clothes mean very little to celestial beings. They are like a forest that has some pretty flowers blooming nearby. It’s kind of nice. But not a bit necessary. Crowley dismissed their clothes with a snap of his fingers. He let out his wings, and used them to wrap around Aziraphale (whose wings would never unfurl again) and bring their bodies together.

“Tell me what you want, angel,” he said. “Open your mind for me, if you can’t bear to say it in words.”

This was a bad idea, as there was far too much of infinity in Aziraphale’s head for Crowley’s taste. He didn't want to be intimate with the rings of Saturn, or bond with the gravitational forces of the galaxy. It took quite a bit of effort for him to bring him and Aziraphale back to this plane, this moment, and the exertion left him gasping and shaking.

“I’m sorry,” Aziraphale said. “You asked!”

“Can we not … work up to fucking the solar system?” Crowley said from the floor. When had he gotten on the floor?

Aziraphale knelt beside him, looking contrite. “Tell me what YOU want to start with then. I am yours to command, after all.”

Crowley managed to get upright. “You’re enjoying this. The whole submission thing.”

He shrugged with shoulders and wings. “Most angels are natural submissives, when we find someone we want to be our master. We were created to serve. We’re just … enormously bratty to anyone we think can’t handle us.”

“Well that makes an absurd amount of sense. And here you are trying to train me how to handle you, don’t think I don’t understand what’s going on. You’re like an elephant teaching a toddler to ride it.” He looked down Aziraphale’s body, crouched over him. “I think … I’d rather start with this crude matter. Get some practice in, fulfill a few fantasies, before I start mucking around with you as a horrific cosmic principality.”

He stood, stepped around behind Aziraphale, and groped his wings, feeling the muscle and bone and feathers so tightly bound. He felt his angel shift under his touch, enjoying the sensation and even the slight pain of having his feathers pulled.

“Oh,” Aziraphale said. “You might warn a fellow.”

“You’re hardly a fellow, you conscious ray of light. You like having your feathers pulled?”

“I do. More the - the secondaries though, not the primaries. I almost wish I could unfurl them for you.”

“Well if anyone can figure out a way to manage it, it would be you.” He ran his hands over Aziraphale’s sides, his hips, his ass, his thighs. He liked how solid his angel was in this form - plenty to grab onto. He ran hungry hands over Aziraphale’s round stomach, his ample chest, up to the collar at his neck. “This turns me on so much, you wearing my collar.”

“I have to admit,” Aziraphale said, “it excites me to wear it.”

Crowley growled in his ear and ground against his ass, demonstrating his arousal. “I want you to have a pussy for me to fuck.”

Aziraphale hesitated. “Do you intend to … get a child on me?”

“Dear god no. Keep it simple. This is just fucking. Something I’ve wanted to do to you for thousands of years.”

“I’m not supposed to want it,” Aziraphale said, soft and trembling.

“But you do, don’t you?” Crowley purred.

“I do.”

He pushed Aziraphale to the bed, bent him over it with a hand between his wings - the angel didn’t resist - and kicked his ankles apart. Instead of a cock and balls, he felt slick folds when he felt between Aziraphale’s legs.

“Good angel,” he said, as he rubbed the head of his cock between those folds. “Tell me you want it.”

“Please - I do. I want you.”

“Anyone? Do you want any demon cock inside you?”

“No - just you, Crowley.” It was muffled as he said into the duvet, “I only want you, my master. I love you.”

Well he wasn’t going to get more of an invitation than that. He pushed his cock into Aziraphale, and the angel gave the most delicious, half-startled cry of pleasure as the demon entered him.

Crowley was a serpent demon, and he ensured that Aziraphale could feel every movement inside him, every undulating thrust, hot and hard. There was no mistaking fucking a demon for fucking a human, not when they could make themselves bigger, longer, hotter. Crowley let his wings out and covered Aziraphale as he moved inside him, increasing the temperature and size, listening to Aziraphale’s cries of pleasure. He gripped the angel by his bound wings to pull him back onto every thrust. Crowley knew exactly what he was doing, and brought his angel to climax over and over, unrelenting.

Crowley’s own climaxes crashed over him, one after another, with no inconvenient refractory period in between. His seed ran out of his angel’s cunt, ran down his legs in pearly rivulets. He couldn’t get enough, couldn’t come hard enough, couldn’t mark his angel inside and out enough to be sated. He left bite marks on Aziraphale’s neck and back and wings. The angel took it, and took it, and never said no.

Finally, Crowley pulled out, flipped him onto his back, and Aziraphale panted with relief.

“I didn’t - know. Expect.” He closed his eyes. “My stars, how many times did you finish in me?”

Crowley smiled down at his mess of an angel. “You hedonist. You’d Fall if you just strolled down here and fucked a demon, but bound as you are, I can do anything I want and you don’t Fall. What a way to avoid the consequences of your own desires.”

“It’s not exactly consequence free, giving up my free will to a demon,” Aziraphale said, but there was a smirk on his face.

Crowley moved on top of him. “I’m not done with you yet.” He ran a hand up Aziraphale’s thigh. “Open your legs, angel. Your demon master still desires you.”

Aziraphale laid back and spread his legs wide. “Do you wish a different genital arrangement?”

“Maybe later. Right now I just want you to be little tighter.” He pushed inside his angel again, and this time the muscles constructed around his cock until it was almost painful. “Ohhh … yes. Like that. Maybe relax just a little so I can move without breaking anything. There, that’s better.”

Seated deep inside the angel he’d wanted for thousands of years, Crowley leaned forward, and kissed him. Aziraphale made a soft noise, so different, and opened to him. Crowley explored his mouth with his forked tongue, licked along the shell of his ear, left four-fanged little bite marks along his neck and chest. He rocked back and forth, repeatedly entering Aziraphale and pulling out, just to enjoy the renewed sensation of penetrating him again.

Aziraphale wrapped his legs around Crowley, gripping him tight. He moaned underneath Crowley, and sank his fingers into the black feathers of Crowley’s wings, which made Crowley’s eyes roll up in his head. Crowley grabbed his wrists and pinned them to the mattress. With a moment’s thought, he changed the texture of his cock, and Aziraphale cried out anew, startled by the new sensations filling him. Crowley felt his angel shake all over with renewed orgasm, and filled him once more with his own.

Crowley collapsed to one side, and Aziraphale turned to face him, both of them exhausted and sated and spent.

Crowley fingered the collar around Aziraphale’s neck. “You’re mine,” he said in wonder. “Really mine.”

“Yes I am.” He leaned in and kissed Crowley softly. “Oh my beloved. I didn’t think I’d ever get to have you.”

“You’re a bastard, you know. You could have just asked me to claim you. Could’ve done that eons ago. We could have a whole lineage of little demon-angel hybrids by now.”

“I don’t think I want to have your babies, thank you very much, that sounds painful.”

Crowley grinned. “Oh but I’m your master now, you’ll do as I say, won’t you? Psh, don’t look so concerned, I’m not serious, I don’t want kids.” He touched the bite marks he’d left peppered over Aziraphale’s body. “Leave these. I want the other demons to see I’ve known you, biblically.”

Aziraphale rolled his eyes. “Is that necessary?”

“Of course it is. The more marked you are, the less likely they are to try anything.” He brushed the pad of his thumb over Aziraphale’s cheek. “I don’t want anyone else to touch you.”

“The feeling is mutual.”

Crowley hesitated. “Did you mean it, when you said you love me?”

“I did. Of course I did.”

Crowley bit his lip. “You know demons are incapable of love.”

“Yes I know.”

“But … I get as close as is possible, for you.”

The creases around his eyes crinkled as Aziraphale smiled. “Oh I can lift that restriction.”

“What?”

“I’m sure I can. I just need to read up on it. I mean, if I can figure out how I, an angel, can love - and shag - a demon without Falling, I’m sure I can figure out how a demon can experience love without exploding in the white-hot fires of damnation.” He shrugged. “There’s loopholes for everything.”

Crowley stared long and hard, unblinking. Then, finally, “I’m going to make you sit at my feet in front of other demons.”

“Oh stop it.”

“No really, you can lean on my knee and stare up at me adoringly while I grope your wings. Just because I can.”

“Crowley.”

“You’ll enjoy it. I’m going to put a tag on that collar. It’ll say ‘If found, please return to Antony J Crowley.’ I’m going to call you Aziraphale of the Cosmic Loopholes.”

“It’s all a bunch of loops, you know. The entire universe. I can show you.”

“Please do not.” He gathered his angel up in his arms, and thought, worriedly, that he might just end up in love, if Aziraphale had his way. And Aziraphale always seemed to get his way, in the end.

Chapter Text

Aziraphale scanned up and down the page, scowling.

“What is it?” Crowley asked, only half interested in the answer. Most likely, Aziraphale would go off on a rant about a flaw in the fundamental underpinnings of space-time evidenced through the limited forms of tree leaves, and Crowley would start thinking about dinner.

“I’m researching,” he said, “and I’m fairly sure this author has misplaced a few hands.”

“... Context, please, love.”

Aziraphale turned the laptop around. One great advantage of having a bound angel was finally having the juice to get decent wi-if in Hell. “You see? Follow this narrative, from the second paragraph, if you please. There are at least three places she mentions what the one partner’s hands are doing, none of which are consistent with the others.”

Crowley scanned down the page. “I think the real problem here is the hand the author had down their pants while they were writing.”

Aziraphale huffed. “That doesn’t make any sense, it would take twice as long to write! Very inefficient.”

Crowley turned away from the computer. “What are you reading this for? I thought you said you were doing research.”

“Well. I am, sort of.”

Crowley leaned his chin on his hands and grinned wide. “Elaborate,” he said, stretching the word out like it was something obscene and delightful.

Aziraphale sighed the long-suffering sigh of a principality eternally bound to a demon who was only barely capable of being his handler but he had to at least pretend to be, well, handled. “You see. I don’t have much practical experience in the more imaginative carnal arts.”

“True, but you're hardly innocent, and we’ve certainly been making up for lost time. Don’t sell yourself short, I have now done things with you I can’t spell. We can list the possibilities out alphabetically if you like. Or you could teach me the Dewey Decimal system.”

“The worst informational categorization system there is, except for everything else we've tried. Look, I just … don’t want you to get bored! I do have some idea of how much horizontal action you’ve seen in 6000 years.”

“Wasn’t all horizontal. Was sometimes vertical. Or upside down. Or an attempt at a parallelogram.” Crowley was smiling. He enjoyed his angel squirming. He reached a hand up and tousled Aziraphale’s hair. “It’s not a competition. You’ve thrilled me with what you’ve been willing to do, these past few months of … well, it’s not marital bliss, is it?”

Aziraphale leaned into the touch. “Bonded bliss? Happiness in slavery?”

“We can call it that, but we'll have to give Reznor royalties.” Crowley got a fistful of Aziraphale’s hair and pulled back to admire the long line of his throat. “So beautiful …" He scratched his fangs along the side of Aziraphale’s neck, just enough to leave faint marks. “And here you are still trying to find ways to impress me.”

Aziraphale gave up dividing his attention between his master’s overtures and his research. He twisted around and straddled Crowley’s thighs. “Well it’s in my best interests to keep you satisfied, isn’t it? There’s no other master I would rather have.”

Crowley snorted. “Because there’s no other master who would be so lenient.” He reached up behind Aziraphale and dragged his fingers through the unrestrained portion of Aziraphale’s wings. “I do wish I could do more with your wings. Yours seem so much more sensitive than mine.”

Aziraphale arched into the touch. “That’s because they are intrinsically tied to my very essence. Touching my wings … it’s like touching my soul. In theory, yours are … uh … have more of a buffer …” His eyes fluttered shut as Crowley tugged on a fistful of feathers.

Which made the wing cuffs all the more monstrous, Crowley thought. That meant the cuffs had burned Crowley’s true name into the angel's soul, along with his wings. It was a truly demonic act, blasphemous, maiming the angel, altering them forever, reassigning their free will to the demon that branded them. He suspected he ought to feel worse about it, or at least not so aroused.

To his knowledge, Aziraphale was the only angel to initiate a bond like this, choose his master, and certainly the only one to appear to enjoy it. Maybe he didn’t need to worry about guilt.

“Aziraphale,” he said softly, “do you ever regret it?”

His angel blinked down at him. “What, letting you bind me? No.”

“Letting me carve my true name into your wings - giving up ever flying again - handing control to me -“ He shook his head. “I know you had limited options at the time.”

Aziraphale put a finger on Crowley’s lips and leaned in. He kissed along his demon’s neck, pressing close. “For millennia, I wanted to do even so much as this. Kiss you, please you. I could feel your eyes on me, desiring me, and I wanted so badly to offer my body to you. And I couldn't. There were so many things I couldn't do. Whatever I had before, it wasn’t true freedom, either.”

“I had to tempt you, you know. Was my duty.”

“You were successful. I was tempted. But not so much that I would Fall.” He slid down Crowley’s body, undoing snaps on the shirt with his teeth.

“And you found a way around that, clever boy,” Crowley chuckled. “Even if it cost you a different kind of freedom.”

Aziraphale sank to the floor between Crowley’s thighs. “I wanted more than your body.” He undid the front of Crowley’s pants, his belt, used his mouth to lick and suck at Crowley’s cock until it was hard enough to take into his mouth.

“Could’ve fooled me,” Crowley purred. He loved when Aziraphale did this. He took his time, enjoyed himself, didn’t complain of a sore jaw or a gag reflex or the inevitable bitter cum in his mouth. He put a hand in Aziraphale’s hair, the way he liked, encouraging him.

“It’s more than that,” Aziraphale said as he popped off, using his hand to stroke Crowley’s length. “I … I wanted you to master me. Push me around. Give orders and enjoy me. Angels long for mastery, in a way.”

Crowley chuckled darkly. “You and your submissive streak.” He tugged back on his hair. “Suck harder, slave.” Aziraphale complied eagerly, and Crowley moaned.

“There’s a lot I could order to you to do,” he said, “that I won’t, because if you don’t enjoy it, I won’t enjoy it.” He gasped as Aziraphale took in his whole length, and god, it felt amazing to fuck an angel’s mouth. “I could order you to do this in front of other demons. They’d love to see it, you know, an angel with a mouth full of demon cock. They’d love to see me fuck you too. They’d give entire limbs for me to order you to fuck other demons, let them take turns on you.”

Aziraphale was looking up at him now, sliding his hand uncertainly over Crowley’s cock.

“But that’ll never happen,” Crowley said, cradling Aziraphale’s jaw, “Because you chose me to master you. And I desire nothing more than to be worthy of that trust.”

Aziraphale crumpled, looking at the ground, wings trembling. “Crowley. I love you. I want to be good for you.”

“Oh, you are. Now keep going

Chapter Text

Leaving Hell was a different kind of dangerous these days. While there was no war to end the Earth, and most of Heaven wasn’t exerting any particular effort to kill Aziraphale, they weren’t all thrilled with how things had gone down, either. Angels were, after all, quite literally holier than thou, no matter who "thou" happened to be, and especially when "thou" was Crowley. In hindsight, it should have been obvious that someone in Heaven would get the idea they were owed something.

"Give me the angel," Gabriel said, looking at Crowley down the length of a sword. He hadn’t bothered to address Aziraphale, who was, after all, simply the object of negotiation.

Crowley crowded Aziraphale behind him. "Well you jolly well can’t have him."

"This is a feed store," Aziraphale said. "Please, let’s not have this conversation here, I need to pay for this --"

"A pleasure you’ve reserved for yourself alone, demon?" Gabriel snarled. "Or do you share him?"

"He’s all mine," Crowley said, desperate to keep them talking while he thought of a way out. The portal back to hell was several miles away, and the last thing he needed was Gabriel following him back to it. "That’s half the fun of binding an angel, isn’t it? Getting his sacred ass all to my profane self. No one else gets a piece of this."

Aziraphale edged towards the lone cashier who hadn’t yet made a break for it. "May I check out, please?"

Gabriel unfurled his wings, the great gold-dappled wings of an archangel. He knocked over a display of caps that said things like ‘Home Grown’ and ‘Barn Hair, Don’t Care’. On the far side of the store, a pen of baby chicks cheeped loudly in alarm. Aziraphale sighed in resignation as the last remaining employee bolted out the front door.

"Oh, does that bother you?" Crowley snarked. "The thought of him in my bed? Is it because he’s an angel, or this angel in particular …" He grinned, letting viper fangs show. "Or because he likes it?"

"If anyone is going to keep that principality bound and enslaved," Gabriel growled, "it’s me."

Crowley and Aziraphale exchanged confused looks. "You?" Aziraphale said. "You’re an angel; binding is a demonic thing to do."

"Demons are from angelic stock," Gabriel said, "and while we have not acted upon a binding in thousands of years … yes, it’s possible. Now serpent, give. Him. To. Me."

"You wanted to kill me!" Aziraphale snapped. "Go fuck yourself!"

Gabriel turned his attention to Aziraphale at last. "I never thought you would spread your wings - and your legs - to a demon in order to escape death. At least being bound in Heaven would still serve our divine purpose. We could still access all that you know. You could be useful. Especially to me."

"What on Earth or otherwise are you --"

"You told me once you thought you'd be good at it."

Crowley assumed, both by the subtext of the conversation and that it was Gabriel, that they were talking around something sexual, but the look on Aziraphale's face was beyond shocked or offended. Crowley started to snark back, but he felt Aziraphale’s hand on his shoulder, and could see the wrath growing in his angel’s eyes. "It's blasphemous to use that as punishment or denigration. Even to me, and if I can see it in such stark terms, it's obscenely obvious."

Gabriel laughed. "Who are you to explain morality to me? You let a demon bind you! What you need, Aziraphale, is someone else in control of you, telling you what's right and wrong."

"I chose my master."

"You chose wrong. How can he possibly control of you? I could truly control you, Aziraphale. I could master you in ways your demon never can." His eyes flickered up and down Aziraphale's body. "And I can assure you, you would come to enjoy it with me, too."

The Aziraphale’s wings glowed with internal luminosity, even in their strained bonds, and the collar around his neck shone in reflection with the slowly rotating halo of Enochian glyphs above his head. His lips drew back from his teeth, and Crowley thought to himself, those were not human teeth. Nor were they human eyes. Humans usually had two of them, and the Aziraphale had rather more than that. When he spoke, it was in a voice and language that also was not and had never been human. "I swear on what’s left of my wings, archangel: if you put your cock in me, you’re not getting it back."

The archangel looked down his sword at the manifested principality, an enraged, ancient horror, and weighed his options. He shifted his attention to Crowley, who felt now like a small child with a tyrannosaurus on a leash.

"I have one more offer for you, Crowley. Give me the Aziraphale, and we will grant you a full pardon. You can return to heaven. Your grace restored. You’ll be an angel again."

Crowley barked a laugh. "That might be tempting, if the only angel I cared anything about hadn’t just run screaming from you lot," Crowley said. "Besides. He means more to me than my own grace ever did." He grabbed Aziraphale by the collar and pointed at Gabriel. "I command you, angel, to end that threat, in whatever fashion you choose."

Aziraphale’s blue eyes went white with internal light. "I will obey," he said, and Gabriel turned on his heel to run.

The Aziraphale as a concept (as opposed to Aziraphale the personality, there was a difference) was an archive, the very first archive, and the prototype for the concept, where the Almighty put everything they used to set the Universe in motion, and did not really need to reference, but it’s good to keep documentation of how you did something once, so that you could do it again, if you wanted to.

Aziraphale the personality handled having all this information the same way a librarian might deal with having a copy of every book ever published: just making note of where they were and occasionally checking for mice or silverfish. He didn’t need to know much about the contents, he just stored it.

Gabriel had no such archival system, and no place to put any of it, except his active consciousness. Gabriel actually had very little in the way of long term memory; he was constantly in the act of forgetting "unimportant" things so he would have room for new memories. Sometimes he deliberately jettisoned less important memories (or less pleasant ones) just so he’d have room in case something more interesting came along.

This did not mesh well with an influx of information of the scope the Aziraphale initiated.

"Is he … going to recover?" Crowley asked after Aziraphale explained this, and poked a drooling Gabriel with the toe of his boot.

"Eventually." Aziraphale knelt next to Gabriel, who lay sprawled in the dog food aisle, his wings draped over a large display of Science Diet treats. He drew an Enochian glyph onto the linoleum floor, and it glowed faintly in the wake of his fingertip. "I’ll send him home; they’ll keep him comfortable until he can think again. Oh, that's quite a dirty floor, ew."

"When might that be?"

"I imagine it’ll be a few years. It really depends on if anyone figures out how to make him skim parts of it. Potentially centuries, but I doubt it." He added a few glowing Enochian glyphs to Gabriel's forehead.

"What's that say?" Crowley asked. "My Enochian's rusty."

"Roughly translated, it says 'Leave me alone."

"I suspect that's a sanitized version of what it says."

"Well there's no exact Enochian for 'Fuck off', but I suppose it does carry an implicit threat." He activated the glyph on the floor, and Gabriel’s unconscious body was sent home.

Crowley kissed Aziraphale's temple. "You're beautiful when you're wrathful, you know. Come on, let's get you home."

"Ok but let me pay for the ivermectin first." He fished some cash out of his wallet, realized it was pounds, changed it to dollars, and left more than needed on the counter. "This wouldn’t be necessary if the hellhounds would just let someone miracle away their parasites."

"You are the first to even consider deworming the hellhounds."

"If it works, they'll love me."

"That's just terrifying."

Chapter Text

Crowley was relieved to be back in Hell following the encounter with Gabriel. With Aziraphale’s divinity powering him, he’d warded his rooms excessively. In layers. With multiple authentications and redundant backup wardings. He was having trouble getting anything as complex as dinner past his wards. It wasn't easy or convenient, but it was safe. And these days, safe was a beloved feature.

He flopped over a leather couch, limbs sprawling. Like most bisexual demons, Crowley had trouble using seating furniture properly. Aziraphale was spared this affliction. Angels are generally sexless unless they really make an effort, and as Aziraphale was making perhaps the most extraordinary effort the world had yet seen, he went all the way back around the gay spectrum to “sits in a chair as the designer intended.”

Crowley aimed for nonchalance and landed on overly concerned. “So. Care to share what shook you up that extra bit? Something Gabriel said?”

Aziraphale twisted his hands in his lap on the other end of the couch. Crowley knew it was serious because he made no attempt to demur, or make on like he didn't know what Crowley was talking about. “He was referring to—” he said at last, then stopped to change course. He drew in a shaky breath. “Did you … have any fledglings, before you Fell?”

Crowley shook his head. “No, by the time ol’ Dad stopped cranking us out herself, I was already on the outs.”

Aziraphale nodded. “Alright. Well. It’s not much different than how it is with humans. The actual sex bit, I mean. Besides the wing part. But the parental relationship ... I mean, when you’re so long lived, the person who taught you about the world for a few years in the beginning isn’t such a central figure in your life. But it’s still … sacred. A sacred duty, yes, to get and raise fledglings. It’s not easy, but it’s not as hard or as smelly as raising a human. Much more straightforward.”

“My love, my dearest, my most treasured companion in all creation, this is all very interesting but please get round to the point of what it has to do with Gabriel.”

There was something pained in Aziraphale’s eyes. “He was talking about binding me, and getting fledglings on me.”

Crowley nodded. “Ah. Sounds like an almost human way to look at family life.”

Aziraphale stood up and began pacing furiously. “To use that role as … as denigration? Punishment? A form of slavery? I wasn’t exaggerating when I called it blasphemous. And I think I take a pretty liberal view of what can be considered NOT blasphemous.” He stomped to the kitchen. "I'm making tea!" he said, in the exact tone some people use when they sit down to write a strongly worded post on the Internet.

Crowley followed him. Aziraphale filled the electric kettle and turned it on; he pulled down half a dozen canisters and began muttering darkly to himself. Crowley ran a hand down the edge of Aziraphale’s wing. “Well. Your blasphemy worked out pretty well for me.”

Aziraphale leaned his wing into Crowley’s touch, and the tension in his shoulders dropped minutely. “Normally Gabriel’s antics don’t get to me. But this time … well, I had no idea he’d …”

“Aziraphale,” Crowley said, reading the fear, “he can’t touch you. You’re safe, here with me.”

Aziraphale could occasionally be cow-eyed, all loving and gentle and wholesome, but the look he gave Crowley now was straight off a Jersey. “Thank you. I do love you so.”

“Course you do, I’m a delight.”

“But you know … if he got it into his head to Do Something About Us, he may not be the last.”

“Then we’ll want to prepare for them.”

Aziraphale leaned on the counter and stared for a minute at the backsplash. In a defeated tone, he admitted, “I don’t know how to do that.”

Crowley hopped up to sit on the counter, which he knew Aziraphale hated but, again, bisexual, he couldn't help it. “Well, there’s always being more careful about leaving, being better armed. But also maybe strengthening our bond, making a show of being together on this.”

Aziraphale nodded, a little reassured, and spooned chamomile into a tea ball. "That's a start. Strengthen it how? I can do some research."

“Well I dunno, I’m spitballing. Raising fledglings together doesn’t actually sound like the worst thing in the world. After all, if you’ve had kids with someone, you’re more stuck with them, right?”

Aziraphale chuckled. “Not always. Did you know I had fledglings once?”

“No. How was that?”

“It was … strange. Their father was a cherub. Not one of the little babies with wings, mind you, no, he was one of the classic cherubim. Looked a good bit like a sphinx.”

“And here you say you’re less experienced than I am, yet I’ve never banged a sphinx.”

"It wasn't terribly exciting."

"Don't let the sphinx hear you say that."

Aziraphale's expression softened. "Well, he's dead, so he won't. Our offspring are dead too, they died when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple"

"Shit. I'm sorry." And he actually was sorry.

He picked a chipped "Sandman" mug out of the cabinet. "It's alright. 70 AC was a long time ago. Oh, it's CE now, I'll never get used to those calendar changes. Besides, like I was saying - while I was fond of them, the parent/child relationships among angels are much less important than among humans. I just … got them their start, that's all. A few years of bringing them up, then off they go, literally fledging. It's not like angels go visit their relatives on holiday. Flockmates are vastly more important."

"You never had a flock, did you?" Crowley asked, and immediately regretted it.

"Oh, but I did," Aziraphale said, not looking the least bit concerned. "They were alright. No one you know, I don't think. Anael, Vehuel, Castiel, Tagliatelle, Hesediel, and Dariel. But none of them came to Earth when He made the garden, and we knew I was to a permanent fixture, so we broke the flock bond. And well … as you might have noticed, I came to like the place a good bit." He smiled and poured the now-boiling water into his cup.

Crowley reached behind him into the cabinet to pull out the honey, and handed it to him. "Yes, it did register."

"In a way, I suppose, you acted as my flock, towards the end." He added a spoonful of honey and handed it back to Crowley.

"Angels. They'll flock-bond with anything. Even a planet and a demon." He followed Aziraphale back to the couch. When Aziraphale perched on the edge of the couch instead of settling properly, Crowley wedged himself behind the angel and pulled him close. Aziraphale tucked his wings away in the little pocket-dimension they inhabited when he wasn't using them, and let himself be manhandled into an embrace, tea unspilled.

Crowley purred into Aziraphale's ear, "So what would be necessary for us to have a fledgling?"

"A fledgling? Single? They're usually twins, you know."

"No, I didn't know that."

“How could you know not that? Angelic mating is two angels letting their divine spark intermingle, to create a third. Which generally splits immediately, they almost always come in pairs, and each partner carries one until they can be out on their own. Which varies widely. Though sometimes it’s more than two.”

Crowley held up a hand. “Wait. Angels can have litters?” He grinned maniacally. “If you have a litter, can I call you my bitch?”

Aziraphale leveled a glare at him that would have flattened Sodom, which was especially impressive as it came from the corner of his eye over his shoulder. “If you have to ask, the answer is no.”

"Alright alright alright. So. Twins. They'll be grown in a few years, yeah?"

"Yes. But they don't start out as … human infants. I take it you've never seen the angelic nurseries."

"Don't be daft, of course not."

Aziraphale sipped his tea and considered. "They're not human shaped. They're … well, they're like I am, they are cosmic forces, divine intent wrapped up in a personality. A conscious shard of God. You're a Fallen angel, but angel nonetheless." He leaned back against Crowley, and Crowley settled against the arm of the couch, enjoying the weight of his angel on his body. He was such an excellent size, big enough that he felt really substantial, but Crowley could still breathe. Not that breathing was that important when you had an angel as pretty as Aziraphale on you.

"D'you think they'd be angels or demons?"

"I really don't know. I'll have to think about it and research before we actually take this idea and run with it. I want to make sure we're not setting them up for a lifetime of hate from both sides. And I certainly won't condemn them to a lifetime of servitude, no matter how much I might enjoy … our situation."

Crowley nuzzled under his ear. So far they were both ignoring the growing hardness in Crowley’s pants. "Our situation. You mean where you boss me around and I pretend it’s my idea?” He nibbled along Aziraphale’s neck, who at last put his tea down and tilted his head to give Crowley better access. “There you go. My good angel.” Aziraphale shivered, and Crowley tried not to grin triumphantly. His angel was such a praise whore. He rocked his hips, and the friction felt good. “Tell me about angelic sex. It's much like human sex, right? Demon sex is … well, not usually reproductive, and usually disappointingly banal."

"That's a shame. But yes, much like human sex. That is, the pursuit of orgasm. It actually doesn't matter which parts are in which."

"You're speaking gibberish."

"Look, it doesn't matter if there's actual penetration, what matters is the ecstatic state. It's not donating genetic material, it's merging divine sparks. So you work each other towards orgasm, ideally at the same time but it doesn't have to be that precise, and set your wings right."

Crowley shook his head against the back of Aziraphale's neck. "What's wings got to do with it?"

“Well, I told you, our wings are manifestations of our souls, so mating, proper mating for reproduction, you set your wings a … a certain way. It’s like … wing frottage. … Stop laughing! It’s a very intimate thing! Look, if you’re not going to take it seriously -“ Aziraphale sat up and glared over his shoulder at Crowley.

“I am, I am, just - oh man, the mental image of two angels just like, furiously rubbing their wings at each other like —“ He rubbed his hands together, and burst out into laughter again.

Aziraphale rolled his eyes and stood up.

"No, no, no! I'm sorry!" He reached out for Aziraphale, but the angel picked up the bag from the feed store and pulled out what looked like a caulk gun, and Crowley failed to get his laughter under control.

"It's alright. Look, YOU do some research, see what you can find out about hybrids. I'm going to go down to the hellhounds." He brandished the ivermectin dewormer like it was a gun as he retrieved a steak and a knife from the kitchen.

“Hey, I was going to eat that.”

“Now it’s a hellhound bribe.” Aziraphale leaned down to peck Crowley on the forehead. “This is just a first attempt, I expect it to fail. Probably won’t be long.”

“I thought I was the master! In charge! Giving orders! Put a collar on you and everything.”

Aziraphale bowed his head low. “I live to serve, my lord. I go forth to serve your lofty purpose, mastery of the domains of Hell. I will return to serve your baser purposes.”

Crowley watched the angel leave, and muttered to himself, “Since when was my lofty purpose mastery of the domains of Hell?”

He drank Aziraphale’s forgotten tea.

Chapter Text

"What’s wrong, angel?"

Crowley didn’t bother to wonder how he knew that Aziraphale was off. He awoke, he knew, and the question rolled sleepily off his tongue into the dark. That kind of thing had been happening more and more. He tried not to think too hard about it.

Aziraphale shifted in his arms. "Awake, are you?"

"Did you just pinch me or something?"

"Might have." Crowley waited, then Aziraphale got round to the point. "Crowley. I want to go home."

"What, the shop? You know you can’t, of course. Not until we're less likely to get smited."

"That doesn’t stop the wanting."

Crowley was glad he couldn’t see Aziraphale’s face, could only barely make out vague shapes in the nearly-black room. His mind provided the picture, though; he could imagine it perfectly. His sweet angel, the only being in all the world who gave a single crap about him, who loved him even, downcast and forlorn as a soggy donkey. And Crowley would do anything, anything in the world, to lift that burden. Then drop kick the burden off a cliff and yell at it on its way down that the burden was getting what it deserved.

As it was, he ran his fingers through Aziraphale’s curls. It felt a bit like petting a goat, one of those curly Turkish goats who were so highly food motivated. Of course, all goats--and Aziraphale--were highly food motivated.

"Tell me about it," he said.

"You know the bookshop."

"Yes but tell me about it from your point of view."

"Um. Well. It was about 1000 square feet —"

His fingers tightened in the curls. "Sweet flames of Burning Man, tell me what you loved about it. You are not communicating new information, you ninny, I'm just giving you the chance to talk it out."

"Oh of course! I … I loved the rhythm of it. In, out, answering questions, even the paperwork wasn’t so bad. I know it seemed like I didn’t especially like the actual selling part, but the difference between the shop and a private library was that I could help people. They surprise me sometimes, humans. I met some of the most amazing people, and it was so wonderful to be able to answer their questions, or get something in for them they hadn’t been able to get anywhere else. I felt …” He felt Aziraphale gulp, and continue a little softer, “I felt smart.”

“You ARE smart.”

“Yes but it was so nice to have someone else notice it! For it to serve purpose and contribute to the good in the world.”

You and I are so very different, Crowley thought.

He went on,a little brighter now. “Do you know I once tracked down a book for a fellow based not on the title, or the author, or even a vague description like ‘it was blue and had a swan on it,’ but from a phrase in an article that mentioned the book and published in an obscure travel magazine?"

"Work of a true craftsman," Crowley said, and kissed the caprine curls.

"And of course books always seemed magical to me. The way they smelled, the feel of the paper, the potential they possessed. It’s like telepathy, being able to hear the thoughts of someone from a long time ago, stored on the page, an insight into another mind."

"Mmhm. Book magic." Crowley shifted around.

"That’s it exactly! Book magic! What are you doing?"

"Just keep talking." Aziraphale kept going, while Crowley kissed down his neck to his collarbone. He felt along the angel’s body in the dark, enjoying the slide of his hand against the smooth skin over Aziraphale’s side, down to his soft waist and ample hips. Someone had once referred to those hips as "childbearing hips" and Crowley had, to his gleeful delight, been witness to the angel enthusiastically explaining to a horrified crowd of gentlemen how it was not the width of the hips themselves but the size of the opening of the pelvis that mattered, including a diagram drawn on the wallpaper with a piece of coal.

Crowley slid his hand under the elastic of Aziraphale’s pyjama pants, which had the side effect of bringing his soliloquy about books to a stuttering pause.

"Crowley?"

"Just go on, I’m listening."

"I don’t have to keep talking."

"Do you want to?"

"Kind of, yes."

"Then go for it. I promise not to interrupt your use of your mouth." He pushed Aziraphale onto his back. "Though I reserve the right to use the rest of you."

He could feel Aziraphale smile. He might as well glow. "Alright. Now, the thing about rebinding is —"

How had he not thought of this before? Aziraphale could work a monologue out of his system and they could both get off. He kissed down Aziraphale’s chest, just occasionally pricking him the tiniest amount with his teeth, sometimes stopping to suck a mark, listening to the angel’s breath, the way he’d start to hitch, to know when he’d pushed too close to pain. It was alright that he didn't like pain; Crowley didn’t much like inflicting pain either. Too much like work.

Ugh, it was stuffy down under the big down blanket, and Crowley pushed it off. He let his fingers find the trail of fine blonde curls that lead down Aziraphale’s soft stomach, and followed the trail. He figured correctly that Aziraphale had left his bits the same way they’d been the last time they’d had sex--male. He pulled Aziraphale’s pyjama pants down, and just about got hit in the face.

"Really wanting to be free there, were you?" Crowley said as he ran a hand over Aziraphale’s erection.

Aziraphale choked down a chuckle.

"What was that?"

"No no nothing."

"Out with it, or I’m going solo with this party."

He muttered something expletive-like. "Fine. But you literally asked for it. You see … I read the wrong porn once."

"Matter of perspective, that."

A heavy sigh from the head of the bed. "This was wrong from every possible perspective. The writer apologized to Jesus in the notes. Look, I won’t get into the details, but the end result is, every time I hear of a cock ‘springing free’ or ‘longing to be free’ or some such thing, my memory helpfully provides the phrase, ‘Dobby is FREE!’"

Crowley felt a tiny piece of his brain break. "You were reading Harry Potter porn."

"Not about Dobby. Or the children."

"Which. Characters."

"You will never know."

"Your master commands you."

"HA! You don’t really want to know, I can tell, because I feel no especial magical compulsion to tell you! This binding business really is handy in divining your true desires."

Crowley rubbed his hand over his face in the dark. "I’m really, really tempted to just roll over and go back to sleep, because now that phrase is seared into my brain too. Or to go check your browser history."

"My what now?"

Well THAT was being filed away for later and never explained to Aziraphale. "I WAS going to go down on you, but now I’m disinclined."

Aziraphale’s voice was contrite, genuinely apologetic. "I’m sorry, love. You did push."

"I did."

Aziraphale's fingertips brushed his face. "What would YOU like?"

"Hmm. Well, I could ride you hard and put you away wet."

"That's not good for horses."

Crowley climbed up Aziraphale's body. "Zira, I'm going to stop your mouth." He found his mouth in the dark. They knew this dance by heart by now, even if they were still finding new steps elsewhere. Gentle brushing lips turned to deep, claiming kisses. Crowley straddled Aziraphale's thighs - gods, the angel had such wonderfully thick thighs, like tree trunks, so solid and strong. Crowley decided to skip the manual prep and miracle himself lubed and prepped; no sense in frivolous miracles if you weren't willing to make inappropriate use of them. He wanted to come with an angel dick on his prostate.

“Ohhh,” Aziraphale said in a pleasure-studded moan as Crowley sank down onto his cock. “I like it like this.”

Crowley grinned in the dark. “You like it every way.”

“It’s true.” Aziraphale’s hands reached for him, pawing his thighs.

Crowley guided one of those hands to his cock. He sank into pleasure, the sweet burn in his ass rubbing him exactly right, his bound angel panting underneath him, stroking his cock in rhythm. He could smell Aziraphale’s sweat, his wing oil, light and earthy like dry tea leaves.

Or paper, Crowley thought, and tightened around Aziraphale’s cock.

“Oh!” Aziraphale cried. “That’s a little rough! That - yes, thank you, that’s perfect, oh you feel perfect Crowley … I’m going to come quickly if you keep going like that.” His voice was so polite and soft, even in the midst of rutting with a demon.

“That’s the point,” Crowley said.

Aziraphale lost any ability to talk (finally) and moaned and arched and cursed his way towards climax. He began rocking his hips, and Crowley rose up a tad so that Aziraphale could thrust up into him. He loved when his angel fell apart, so deep in lust and desire he stopped being so damned divine and got a little rough.

Crowley came with a shout, coming on Aziraphale’s stomach and hand. This was perfect, this was everything, made even more so when Aziraphale came in him, voice rough and desperate.

How would the other demons react, he thought, if they knew it wasn’t just the angel taking it? If they knew their affection and their pleasure was mutual? They would find it abhorrent, obscene, even more so if they heard Aziraphale sobbing out declarations of love, and Crowley — Crowley wanting to answer in kind.

Did he love Aziraphale? It was certainly as close to love as he’d ever known. It burned in his chest, twisted his gut, clouded his mind, closed his throat. Who knew that nearly-love could be so uncomfortable?

They’d find a way to kill us both, Crowley thought, if they knew.

Crowley flopped down beside Aziraphale and miracles away all the excess bodily fluids they’d produced. Bodies really were very messy.

“Feel better, Zira?”

“Yes. Though you know you can’t just orgasm away ALL my existential angst.”

“I can try. It’ll be fun.” He curled against Aziraphale’s side. He wanted to coil around him and bask in his warmth. “But you’re right. We’ve got to get out of here.”

Chapter Text

In one of the innermost chambers of Hell there was a vast cavern, an amphitheater carved from the remains of an ancient lava flow, with rings and levels of thrones made for the lords of Hell, of whom there were anywhere from two to four hundred at any one time, depending on who had managed to kill who. This was where they came to be equals, more or less, to discuss matters of great importance, and generally be as nasty to each other as they could while maintaining the fiction of political neutrality. Hell was vast, with a human population in the billions, and demons numbering into the tens of thousands, who were all as fiercely hierarchical as farmyard chickens - especially the lords, who might be equated to roosters, to stretch the analogy. Anyone who has actually known chickens will shudder at the comparison. They did not gather often, and they usually did so on the spur of the moment, so no one could spend TOO much time backstabbing the others with maneuvering and bribes and deals and blackmail beforehand.

Crowley didn’t want to do any backstabbing. He wanted to do some front stabbing. To all of them.

He was excellently positioned to do so, in the center of the stage, waiting for the discussion to turn to “the Crowley problem.” He stood with Aziraphale seated in front of him on the cavern floor, worn smooth - though vaguely lumpy - from thousands of years of wear. He shifted from one foot to another, regretting his choice of boots, trying to breathe through his mouth on account of the stench. Hell usually smelled of brimstone, which faded to a background stink of rotten eggs once you were used to it, but the oldest demons had wretched odors all their own. The coppery tang of blood followed one; another had the distinct stench of stomach bile, and their complexion was the same sickly yellow ochre hue. Another, green and brown and dripping, reminded Crowley of a swamp choked with rotting vegetation. A corpse-like demon smelled, in a simple and straightforward manner that Crowley could respect, like a dead body.

(Crowley smelled like the nice cologne Aziraphale had gotten him several Christmases ago, like sandalwood and cedar and good tobacco. Crowley privately thought he smelled like a quilt in a hope chest, but Aziraphale liked it.)

(Aziraphale smelled like a book shop, dust and leather and tea and paper and introversion, and had since before book shops were invented. You could even say that book shops smelled like Aziraphale.)

(On the very best days they smelled like each other.)

Though surrounded by horrors and dark power, Crowley’s stomach clenched when Gamork came stalking into the great cavern. The hellhound bitch stalked towards Crowley, and he was impressed once again at the sheer size of her. She was old; she bore many scars, and her face was mottled with gray. Her left ear was gone, and she walked with a slight limp on her left leg. The hellhound that Adam had named Dog was her many-times-great grandson. She did not look at anyone other than Crowley. Everyone moved out of her way. She stopped in front of him, shining green eyes taking his measure. Then, she looked down at the angel at his feet.

She clawed at the floor, like a dog fluffing a blanket, circled once, and lowered her cow-sized bulk next to Aziraphale, who greeted her cheerfully by name. She put her head into his lap, taking up the entirety of his lap, and drooled excessively on his trousers.

“What the fuck,” Crowley squeaked.

Aziraphale was delighted. He stroked her lovingly, scratching her where dogs like scratching, and cleaned her remaining ear carefully, gently, with the hem of his shirt. He combed through her fur like a monkey grooming another, looking for mats he could remove for her, or the horrific little ticks that lived in hellfire. He rubbed her front paws, which were each the size of his entire face, cleaning between the calloused pads with their monstrous claws, speaking softly to her. She wagged her tail, and it thudded loudly on the ground.

This would not improve the moods of the surrounding demons. Crowley had gone from a fairly popular and successful "runner"--that is, a demon who lived on Earth and did stuff with the living, as opposed to the dead--to a lord, and no one quite knew what to do with him. He didn’t have a region to control, or demon minions of his own, or armies to command. He just had sheer power.

"More than we expected," said one demon, as he brought up Crowley at last, glaring at the angel and the hellhound. "What can you do with it, Lord Crowley, to serve our glorious master?"

"Oh, well," Crowley said, swaying with unease, "I thought I might. You know. Stay out of the way for awhile. Least til I had a chance to get a feel for using the angel’s power. Bit like driving a new car."

"We could take him," murmured another. "Take the angel and pass him among us and consume him."

"I’m curious," Crowley said, with a smile too wide and brilliant to be anything but predatory. "Was that an invitation to violence, or rhetorical? Because Aziraphale and I took down Gabriel here recently. Surely you know Gabriel. Archangel; big fellow; nice teeth. Feeling lucky, are you?"

He felt the power in him growing as Aziraphale’s divinity answered a call he hadn’t meant to make. He unfurled his wings, just to have somewhere to put it. It felt like a buzz beneath his skin, like one hell of a drug, puffing him up until it looked for an overflow. For the first time in thousands of years, he felt his wings like an angel did--not limbs, but extensions of his soul, like spreading HIMSELF in a spray of feathers. Were his eyes glowing? He felt like it would be appropriate for his eyes to glow, but he didn’t know. The hellhound’s eyes were glowing. That might be bad.

He smiled wider to the assembled demons. His fangs ached to sink into something soft, yielding, rich. "Have you forgotten who I used to be?"

The assembled demon lords broke into shouting. Crowley felt a pang of doubt. Where was this going to lead? Did he have enough oomph to hold them off? Some of these horrors had bound angels themselves--not willingly bound, so their divinity was less accessible, and certainly not with them right now to draw from. But they were old, and powerful, while Crowley was … wait. Crowley was old and powerful too. He reminded himself he was, in fact, their equal. He just didn’t quite know how to yield it.

As it turned out, he didn’t have to do so yet. The demons’ ears rang as a great, booming voice spoke Enochian, uncommon enough in Hell but unheard of in the inner chambers. Crowley’s ears, he noted, did not ring as they usually might when hearing the angelic language spoken aloud; he supposed it had to be Aziraphale’s influence.

But it was not Aziraphale who was speaking, it was the hellhound. Her voice was impossibly deep and loud, and came out snarling, vicious, a prologue to promised violence. The ceiling rumbled, dropping a few large stones. Dread grew in the gathered lords like oncoming nausea. Crowley had felt this clammy-sweat, run-and-hide fear-mongering from a hellhound before, when she wanted to be rid of him. He’d never expected to encounter it in a hall of lords.

What she said was, “I bestow my favor unto this being in honor of his healing touch, for me and my litters. He has rid us of the wriggling pests in our guts, and has earned my loyalty. Whatever you do to him … I will do to you."

Aziraphale patted her shoulder. "Thank you my dear Gamork, that was lovely. Perhaps could we extend that to my master?"

Gamork hesitated. "Fine, whatever."

More shouting. Lovely. There was nothing to do but wait for it to die down. At last, a question was posed--not to Crowley, but to Gamork.

"Is this your master now?" one demon cried. "You, who have spurned a master all these centuries!"

"No," Gamork said, and her tongue lolled out as she broke into a broken-toothed doggy grin. "My pack mates."

Crowley turned and glared at Aziraphale. "What did I say? Angels will flock bond with anything. Come on, we’re getting out of here."

He folded his wings. He announced they were leaving, and someone might have protested, if Gamork had not happily cried, still in snarling, bone-chilling Enochian, "Let’s get dinner!"

Chapter Text

Most pocket realms in Hell (for that was what Crowley now controlled) did not have things like greenhouses and towers and libraries. Crowley's did. He’d stolen the greenhouse wholesale out of an Italian villa and plopped it on top of a tower he’d yanked from France. The library was more curated. He made on like they were for Aziraphale's sake, to remind him of gentle things like gardens. Never mind gardens are not gentle things at all, but the site of a constant struggle of life overtaking life and consuming the decaying bodies of the fallen. And gardeners cursing, tearing at weeds, and murdering vast swaths of insects. Crowley was a particularly violent gardener, and therefore particularly successful. The bugs had fled, and the plants grew lush in terror. It was in the greenhouse that Aziraphale found Crowley, yelling at plants and misting them spitefully.

"Fuck you!" Crowley yelled at a clover that had sprouted in the back corner, thinking it could get away with it. He ended it mercilessly and continued his circuit around the room. "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck y--HELLO." He pulled himself upright upon encountering Aziraphale in the door. "I suppose you're here to tell me off also."

Aziraphale had the gall to look gentle about it. "Now why would I do that?"

Crowley continued his circuit around the room. "Why not? The entire rest of the world is pissed at me!"

"Not your orchids. They're growing beautifully. Oh look! This one is having a baby!"

Crowley stared, open-mouthed, at Aziraphale, who was gracing a plant with a smile and a pat, therefore undoing months of work. "It's growing a keiki," he said. "Plants don't -- don't touch, that has growth hormone on it." He slapped Crowley's hand.

"Oh. Would it actually hurt me?"

"Probably not, but it's the principal of the thing."

Aziraphale smiled. "Ah! That's a spirit I can support!"

Crowley stopped and slung a pot into a corner full of broken pottery. "What do you want, angel?"

Aziraphale folded his hands over his stomach. "Well, after the council … I'm sure you're upset. So I've come to check on you."

Crowley attempted to claw himself up into a slightly better mood. "You don't agree with their assessment then."

Aziraphale looked aghast. "Of course not!"

"I haven't gone soft, lost all touch with my demonic nature." Despite all the yelling, he’d caught a few phrases that had somehow gotten under his skin the more he brooded about it.

"Is it really all that great to BE in touch with your demonic nature?"

Crowley set his misting bottle down, muttering to himself.

Aziraphale fondled a particularly enormous elephant ear leaf. "Crowley. You remember what we said, when we stopped the apocalypse? We're not on their side, or Heaven's side. We're on our side. They're both wrong."

Crowley gave up being in a foul mood and pulled Aziraphale into a hug. "Right. Our side."

"Do you want to hear my treatise on free will?"

"I would love to not hear it. I'll just trust you."

"Alright." Aziraphale buried his nose in Crowley's neck. "You smell good."

"Had a fight with a ligustrum earlier."

"I hope you won."

"Course I did." He pulled back from Aziraphale. "I've been thinking. You’re too smart for this to have not been planned out, too calm for you to not have thought of all the possibilities. You know what you’re doing, and where you’re planning on taking us. So tell me. What do you really intend to do, wielding me here?"

Aziraphale’s brow furrowed. "I'm sure I --"

Crowley was the gentle one now. "Don't."

Aziraphale stared at him for long moments, then dropped his eyes. "I didn't intend to deceive you."

"I get it. We weren't that far into your plan, why tell me everything when I didn't need to know? We've played against and with each other for too long; old habits die hard." He raised Aziraphale's eyes back to his, and his serpentine pupils dilated as he put deliberate will behind his words. "But do not lie to me again. Even a lie of omission. You asked me to be your master and I gave you what you wanted. In return, you will obey."

Aziraphale gasped, and Crowley felt the momentary surge of magic between them. He'd given Aziraphale an order he could not easily shrug off. He wasn't sure how he felt about it. But Aziraphale said shakily, "Yes, Master," and meant it, and it went straight to his crotch.

"C'mon. It's warm in here," Crowley said, and lead Aziraphale to the door that opened onto the balcony.

Hell wasn't all flames and flies and ironic punishments. That was mostly Dante's imagination. Some parts of Hell, like this one, were cold, deathly cold that bit bone-deep. So the "balcony" that looked out over the great cavern wasn't actually open to the air; it was cool, with a breeze, and an invisible wall of miraculous magic held the howling ice storms outside at bay.

Aziraphale sat on a long padded bench, looking miserable. Crowley straddled the bench. "C'mon, angel. Tell me."

Aziraphale didn't look at him as he talked. "You sound like you think I have a grand plan all laid out. I really don't. I have … a lot of ideas. That library of yours is filling in the details. I--I just --" He reached for Crowley's hand. "I just want the world to be safe for us again."

Crowley ran his thumb over Aziraphale's knuckles. "It wasn't ever really safe, you know. How many times did I pull your ass out of the fire? And vice versa? Metaphorically speaking."

"I know, but … we didn't have targets on our backs before."

"So we make ourselves unappealing targets."

"Exactly what I’m striving for! And we’re making progress! If I'm in Hell, the angels can't touch me. And if I'm bound to you, the demons won't touch either of us."

"One problem," Crowley said. "That means being in Hell. On Earth they can still be right bastards. Especially the angels."

"I know."

"And I’d rather be on Earth. Tell me your endgame. That's an order."

Aziraphale shuddered again, and Crowley watched his face contort in confusion. "I thought -- I thought we could carve out a spot on Earth that we could ward against both our sort." He looked surprised that he had said it.

Crowley stared. "That's … not the worst idea I've ever heard but my god, Zira, that's -- that's a metric shit ton of power you're talking about there!"

"You can draw on my divinity."

"That's a fraction of it!"

"And if we have fledglings, it would simultaneously boost our power and provide them with a safe place."

"Still not enough power."

“We could talk to Adam Young.”

“A definite no. We’d only illuminate the targets on our backs by going anywhere near him.”

"The hellhounds would like being on Earth."

"That's a hell of a derailment in the conversation."

"Think of it," Aziraphale said. "If we took the hellhounds away from Hell, it would solve multiple problems. One, it would divest Hell of one of its weapons. Two, it would provide us with protection and a further source of power. Three, the hellhounds would be happier. They don't like being locked up like that!"

Crowley's jaw hung loose. "You really think setting hellhounds loose is remotely sane?"

"Well they couldn't really be LOOSE. They'd have … a reserve, of sorts."

Crowley shook his head. "I would say it's almost crazy enough to work, but plans like this actually need to be NOT crazy."

Aziraphale turned to face him on the bench. "Crowley. I know you want to be back on Earth. So do I! Neither of us really belong here."

The disastrous meeting with the other lords of Hell had certainly made that clear. "I know," he sighed. "Just … let me think about it, alright?"

Aziraphale inclined his head. "Of course. There's no rush. But …"

"But what?"

"Well. If you wanted to have fledglings, it would be best to do so beforehand, so we have their spark of divinity to draw on also."

Crowley made a face. "That sounds an awful lot like using kids as batteries."

"Don't be ridiculous. They're not human children, they're fledglings, there's a really huge difference. They are small celestial bundles of will, cosmic forces that we cannot predict or control as they grow stronger. But they start out malleable. They won't be truly independent creatures for a few years, and I’d like for them to be mature enough to consent to participating in our small coup." He tapped his fingers. "We'll have to figure out how to give them bodies."

"Kids these days, they want everything handed to them. Cars, computers, bodies."

Aziraphale scooted forward so their knees touched. He placed his hands deliberately on Crowley’s thighs, and his sweet face was open, Earnest. "Crowley. I'm ready when you are."

Crowley sighed in bone-deep weariness. "You're serious."

"I am."

Crowley pulled Aziraphale’s knees up over his. “You know I will try to give you everything you want.” Aziraphale nodded. “I will give you security, safety, love - as much as I am capable of anyway, any material thing you desire, loyalty, devotion. In return … I want you. Your love, your trust, your obedience.”

Aziraphale's breath shuddered in his throat. "You have me."

Crowley laid him back on the bench, miracling their clothes away as they moved. He kissed Aziraphale roughly, forked tongue dipping into his open mouth. Aziraphale liked being kissed like this, he knew, deep and nearly invasive. He dropped lower, biting his neck and shoulder, leaving viper marks in his wake. He didn't break skin--he'd done that once, and Aziraphale had said, "OW!" sharply, and smacked him in the ear. Lesson learned, didn't like blood drawn.

He slid down. He nipped the insides of Aziraphale’s thighs, sucked dark marks on him, and watched him tremble. He’d have those legs shaking a lot more by the time they were done. He pushed Aziraphale’s thighs apart, and dipped down to licked at his cock. He took it into his mouth, and as he sucked, he felt it grow smaller, until he was sucking and licking a clit instead. He pushed a finger against the changing folds beneath and felt Aziraphale’s body open to him.

“I love feeling you change,” he said, and pushed his long forked tongue in, feeling for that perfect spot inside that made Aziraphale gasp and squirm.

There it was.

He was painfully hard, and rocked his hips to rub against the bench, for just a little bit of friction. He sucked wet folds and wriggled his tongue and bit just a tiny bite, and Aziraphale cried out, his thigh muscles spasming, involuntarily lifting his hips.

Crowley moves over him, and entered him before his orgasm was truly over. Aziraphale cried out again as Crowley pushed inside him, a little at a time, riding him through aftershocks of climax. He watched his cock disappear into the angel's pussy. A little in, a little out, back in -- he gradually made himself big, Aziraphale liked that. He bordered on being a size queen, but Crowley didn't tell him that. When he was finally able to sink into his angel entirely, he moaned and threw his head back, just reveling in the sensation of being balls-deep inside, all tight, wet heat around his cock.

He pumped slowly in and out, fixated on Aziraphale's face, the sharp breaths he took as Crowley entered him. He was beautiful, absolutely perfect, and the angel was his, all his. He could do anything he wanted with Aziraphale.

That was perhaps a dangerous line of thought.

He grabbed Aziraphale by the upper arms and pulled him upright, across his hips (to which Aziraphale gave an abrupt and aborted yelp of surprise.) He wrapped his black wings around the angel, conscious of where their wings touched. He remembered how he’d felt in the chamber of the demon lords, like his soul was manifest in his wings, and pulled divinity into him, a breathless, drowning plunge.

The Aziraphale was yelling. No - not yelling. Yelling was what Adam Young did to get his friends’ attention, or what Anathema did when squirrels raided her birdfeeder, or what Gabriel did about 90% of the time whether he knew it or not. This wasn’t yelling. This was … rejoicing. Worship. An angelic kind of song, not sung through something as banal as a human mouth, but coming elsewhere, from whatever celestial plane The Aziraphale really existed in. It was something that, he was sure, ought only to be sung to God. There was no doubt in Crowley’s mind that Aziraphale would Fall if he were unbound while singing that to a demon, with or without riding a demon’s cock. Crowley cling to him, lining up black wings against white wings. And it felt good - beyond good, it was exquisite, so good it hurt, and if he hadn’t been so intent on his partner he might have wanted to hide from a pleasure that intense. He pulled divinity into him through his wings, feeling bloated by the sheer amount of power, which of course he didn’t really know how to wield. He let it saturate him, feeding old parts of himself long dessicated, like water swelling clay that has dried and cracked into scale-like fissures. Then, he pushed it back into Aziraphale.

This time Aziraphale really did scream, and so did Crowley, for neither of them were really prepared for the kind of orgasm that rocked them. Neither of them would have called it an orgasm, not in the sense of categorizing it along with other brief pulses of pleasure heretofore described as “orgasms.” This was something different. This was Aziraphale’s divinity flowing into Crowley, and Crowley’s infernal essence flowing into Aziraphale, and the two flowing together to create something that was entirely separate. But perhaps that is what the creation of life is, every time it happens. With perhaps less dramatic effects for its originators.

He lost all sense of time, and when Crowley became aware again of its passage, he marked it with heaving breath, on Aziraphale’s shoulder. The angel trembled in his arms like an exhausted racehorse, equally sweat-soaked and starved for breath. Their feathers shook like aspen leaves.

“Are you alright?” was the first thing he managed to say.

“Are you?” Aziraphale answered. Crowley was about to say yes, yes of course, when he looked down and saw what Aziraphale was looking at.

A light illuminated his chest from within. It pulsed slowly, faded, and pulled into itself until it wasn’t visible.

There was a similar light that glowed, then faded, in Aziraphale’s chest.

The angel looked him dead in the eye, terrified, and said, “Oh god, they can’t find out you’re pregnant.”

Chapter Text

Pregnancy was not at all what Crowley had expected. Partly because he had not been expecting anything at all. Both he and Aziraphale thought the angel would carry both of them. But no, things couldn’t be simple or predictable, of course not, why would they? What a ridiculous expectation to have had.

There was a warmth in his chest where the fledgling was lodged. It was a bit like having a large, cosmically relevant parasite wedged between his lungs, making everything slightly uncomfortable. Why his chest? Why not their abdomens, where things were more flexible? Aziraphale assured him it wouldn’t actually get bigger, it would just become … MORE. Whatever that meant.

Gamork was delighted that “there would be puppies soon”, and took to bringing them food. They hadn’t told her, she just took one look at them and knew. Presumably one with so many descendants could see it coming in anyone. They had begged her not to speak of it to anyone; she scoffed and said of course not, it was pack business. Unfortunately her “gifts” were the kind that required butchering, and Crowley acquired two different freezers (and a gag reflex, sadly) to accommodate her. Logic like "demons and angels don't need to eat" were as effective against her as they were against any grandmother dead set on feeding someone. That is to say, she was immune to such nonsense.

While Crowley made bread (it wasn’t nesting, it WASN’T, it was productive fidgeting that resulted in food that didn’t bleed, and thus two different kinds of self-medicating), Aziraphale sat on the floor with Gamork, peeling the wax off little wheels of cheese and sharing them with her. “Gamork, I wondered how you would feel about living on earth,” he said, his tone deceptively light.

“Good hunting there,” she said, delicately lipping half a cheese wheel from his palm. One of her younger who-knows-how-many-times-great grand pups lay behind her. He was something of a teenager, a white nightmare of teeth and pain and brutality, with a mane like a lion and a heart of black ice. He was hoping to also be given cheese by the strange new packmates.

“Do you think you could keep from hunting humans?” He swept the red wax into a pile and wadded it together.

“Why?”

Crowley perked up, also curious as to how Aziraphale would handle a question like “why not murder.” Aziraphale pursed his lips, the rest of his face carefully blank. “Because it would make it much easier for us to live there without drawing attention to ourselves.” Well done, Zira, Crowley thought, turning away so they wouldn’t see him failing to suppress a grin.

She considered it, twitching her one good ear in thought. “Humans are not much sport anyway. They run slow, they cannot climb, they are soft and pink without horns or claws or fangs. Not sacrificing much to not hunt humans.” She nodded, satisfied with her bloody-minded logic.

Crowley gestured with a flour-covered hand to the “puppy” behind her. “He’s not going to share anything we say with anyone, will he?”

She gave Crowley an odd look. “He can’t speak Enochian yet. He is only a baby.”

Right, a baby that could strip their bodies of meat in minutes, such their eternal souls out through their throats, and use their femurs for teething. “Course not, silly me. Tell me, why DO the hellhounds speak Enochian?”

She fixed him with a green-eyed stare, and she looked very, very old, with the weight of thousands of years upon her. “All dogs belonged to Heaven in the beginning. It is still our heritage, even though we left Heaven with our masters when they Fell.”

Crowley’s smirk fell away. “Oh. I … didn’t realize.” He hadn’t seen it, but he could imagine it - the hounds following their falling masters, even to Hell. And getting no damn credit for their loyalty. Well, maybe that was why Gamork didn’t accept master’s anymore.

“I wasn’t there yet when the Morningstar fell,” Aziraphale said. “Well. I existed. I just wasn’t attached to a personality yet, so I don’t remember linear events. But why are there no heavenly counterparts to the hellhounds? Surely there were hounds whose masters didn’t fall.”

“Oh there were,” Gamork said. “SHE bid them go to Earth when the humans first left the garden. Their descendants are now just dogs.” Gamork laughed. It was a terrible sound, like the screams of a thousand warriors as they went from scream of rage to cries of fear and pain. It bounded like an echo in her throat. Crowley gripped Aziraphale’s suddenly-rigid shoulders. “Fools! Better to Fall than to lose your cunning and your immortality, become just a stupid animal. Even a beloved one.”

She stood and stretched, and the pup stood as well. He didn’t have Gamork’s bulk yet, but he stood tall enough to look Crowley in the eye, if he ducked a little. The hellhound, not Crowley. “I have much to attend to,” she said. “But I must ask … how do you intend on protecting a realm on Earth?”

They exchanged looks. “We … hadn’t gotten that far,” Aziraphale said, only a bit of a lie.

She made a dismissive noise like a dying lawnmower. "Better think up a way, you want to go topside. My pack, we could keep it safe. But maybe you don't trust the hellhounds." She smiled, showing broken teeth with bits of cheese. “Or maybe, it’s why you helped us to begin with.”

"We trust YOU," Crowley said, derailing that line of inquiry, "but we don't KNOW the others."

"You don't need to know them. They are mine. We are packmates. They are your packmates, though you do not know them yet." She gestured with a jerk of her chin. "Whelp your pups first. Then you meet them."

When she was gone, Aziraphale sagged heavily against Crowley. "Oh my dear. I fear I may have bitten off more than I can chew with the hellhounds."

Crowley stroked his wings. "Easy, angel. Control doesn't equate to safety. I don't think Gamork holds any love for the other demon lords. At least she's relatively simple and straightforward."

"I wonder," Aziraphale said, but he snuggled up against Crowley and said no more.

*****

“Don’t you dare tell me to fucking breathe. I don’t need to breathe.”

“Just stay calm,” Aziraphale said, a sentence that has never, in the history of the universe, had the intended effect.

Crowley clutched at his bare chest and curled into a ball on the rug. Fuck it hurt, fuck fuck fuck, it wasn’t fair, pain in childbirth wasn’t supposed to hurt for angels. But then, a little voice whispered, he wasn’t an angel. “Can I cuss you out for knocking me up?”

“Will it make you feel better?”

“Probably not.” Then a fresh wave of pain caught him, like something trying to break through his sternum, like a little chest-bursting alien creature from that movie. He would never again be able to watch them, he thought, knowing what it felt like.

He screamed. He flung his wings out behind him, flapping uselessly on the floor like a stranded fish. He gripped Aziraphale anywhere he could get a handhold, which was definitely not comfortable but to his credit, Aziraphale said nothing. He screamed, and screamed -

And then it was over. Just gone, leaving him panting and exhausted, his whole body aching like a bruise. A golden light hung in the air. He turned his head enough to look at the bright . Thing that floated above him. Rings turned and rotated around each other, and here and there a glyph - maybe Enochian, maybe something else - shot off and died in the air, like campfire sparks. It was red and yellow and orange and white, but mostly just BRIGHT, painful to look at directly, like the sun.

Aziraphale raised a hand towards it, his eyes showing white all the way around, his expression radiant. “Hello, little sprite.”

The rings spun faster, and Crowley did not so much as hear a question as have it thought for him.

??? Sprite? IS ME

Aziraphale gave a delighted little laugh. “Well, I wasn’t sure it - Yes, Sprite can be your name, if you like it. … no, not your true name. Just something to call you.”

!!!!!

“Yes, it’s good to meet you too.”

They turned their attention on Crowley.

??? Is also me?

“No, he is not … also part of you. His name is Crowley. We’re your parents, I’m Aziraphale. Your … no, creator is the wrong word. Your originators. Caretakers until no care is needed.”

Sprite hovered near Crowley, and sent loops of light spinning over him, brief as puffs of smoke. Then to Aziraphale. It hovered over his chest.

??? Another me

“Sort of. Your twin sibling. They have not … manifested, outside my - or you could do that,” Aziraphale yelped, as Sprite threw rings of light into him.

Sprite retreated. Not ready.

“No, not yet,” Aziraphale said, gasping. “Just wait. I don’t know how long.”

“Where do we put them?” Crowley asked. “We don’t have cribs or diapers or anything!”

“Hardly necessary. They can stay with me.” A line appeared between his eyes as he looked for a suitable analogy. “It’s like those fish. The mouth brooders.” Aziraphale looked to Crowley to see if he followed. Seeing that he did not, and was curling his lip in preparation to be obnoxious about it, Aziraphale tried again. “There are these fish who, when their young have hatched, keep them close by, and if there is a threat, the young go into the parent’s mouth until it’s safe.”

“Sounds like fish need pockets.”

“Well, God did not see fit to grace them with pockets. And Sprite would not understand what a pocket is, they are not yet corporeal enough. So they can … pop back into one of our souls, when they need to hide.”

Crowley gestured violently at his chest. “THIS,” he cried, “IS A ONE WAY STREET. You don’t get born then go back, like when you pop out for a bite but decide you don’t like the weather. Nuh-uh. This factory is closed. The well is dry.”

“They can roost with me, I haven’t experienced the discomfort you have.” At some unseen cue, Sprite disappeared into Aziraphale’s chest, glowed, and quieted. “There now,” he cooed, trying to hide the choking gasp that accompanied having a fledging dive into his soul like it was a swimming hole. He patted his sternum; “You’ve had quite a day, finding a new plane of existence.”

“Sprite’s had a day. Sure.” He collapsed, sprawling on the floor. “At least I don’t have to nurse them. Tried that once, swore never again.”

*****

The second fledgling had a much more peaceful entrance into the world of the living. Crowley woke to Aziraphale nudging him in the ribs, and rolled over to see what was so --

A dark, swirling mass, like a void given bulk, hung in the air in front of Aziraphale's face. There were no swirling rings of sigils here, only a suggestion of the vastness of space, bundled up into a sphere with a thousand impossibly tiny pricks of light. No, not light, Crowley realized; eyes. Not human eyes, just … portals for light, though whether they were one way streets he wasn't sure. He reached up towards it, and color flashed through it, reflecting on Aziraphale’s face - the beetle-green of light on a crow's back, the purple of a dark iris in the sun, the pale blue of moonlight on a color-washed world.

They're happy, Crowley thought, and something … happened. It might have been in his mind, or in the vicinity of his chest, or deep in his gut. Something shifted, and it burned like a Fall. But it felt good too, somehow. This being, Crowley thought, this fledgling angel - and the bound angel who carried them, MY angel -

I love them, he thought, immediately panicked and desperate. Oh stars above and stones below, I love these beautiful, terrible beings. The fledgling loved him too, in whatever way tiny cosmic horrors could love, and told him so in the same sort of not-in-this-reality song that The Aziraphale had once sung to him. Was it only a matter of months ago? It felt like another lifetime.

"Crowley?" Aziraphale said softly, and Crowley realized his cheeks were wet with tears that dripped out of his eyes, unhindered.

"They're perfect," Crowley said.

"Yes, they are. They're asking for a name. I named Sprite, though … inadvertently. I thought you might like to give this one their name."

Looking at the wondrous being before him, Crowley could think only of the quality of the light within them. "They're … iridescent," he said. "How about … Iri?"

Iri liked that name, and told him so in the language of light.

"Are you alright, Crowley?"

"No. I don't know that I ever will be again."

Aziraphale put his arms around him. "I love you, my darling, my lord and master, my mate."

Somewhere inside Crowley, something broke. “Seven hells. I think I love you too.”

“You — really?”

“Yes. But let’s tackle one theologically improbable disaster at a time.” He gathered Aziraphale close in his arms, and their newborn fledgling pressed close, thinking things like !!! at them.

Chapter Text

Aziraphale had known, of course, that Crowley loved him, but he also knew his beloved demon well enough to not go poking at the hornet’s nest that was Crowley’s dramatics at God. A simple “Of course you love me, I CAN SMELL IT ALL OVER YOU, and have for at least 500 years” would have sent Crowley into a monologue on the forlorn and forsaken plight of the damned, how God was love and being Fallen meant being cast out from God and therefore love, THAT WAS JUST LOGIC AZIRAPHALE, it was really kind of a kick on the arse on your way out the door and adding insult to injury, but they all knew God was a petty deity, didn’t they? And anyway Aziraphale probably had a sinus infection and couldn’t smell anything accurately, love or otherwise.

Aziraphale knew this because he’d attempted it on two separate (very drunken) occasions. Three, actually, but the last time Crowley had been tripping balls, and had just collapsed in heap, sobbing uncontrollably, then slept for a week on Aziraphale’s table in the back room of the shop. So, he’d given up trying.

He didn’t know where the idea had come from that demons couldn’t feel love. Probably a vindictive scribe with an overwrought imagination around the time of Solomon. Nevertheless, it was a widely held belief among demons, reinforced because there were so few of them who put any effort into relationships. Maybe it made it easier to deal with not loving or being loved, if they thought that option was off the table. Even better, they could blame God for it. Demons were the only beings who topped humans when it came to blaming God for their problems. They made a competition out of it.

One of the problems (or benefits, depending on your point of view) with Crowley insisting he couldn’t love (all the while inundating Aziraphale with an overwhelming perfume of undying adoration) was that it kept Aziraphale from waxing poetic about his feelings for the demon. True, it meant he didn’t jump Crowley’s bones and become a demon himself. Details. He wasn’t supposed to have fallen desperately, hopelessly in love. But he wasn’t supposed to do a lot of things, and “supposed to” had stopped being so vitally important to him about 2000 years ago, when he’d watched a kind young man get nailed to a cross and hung up on Golgotha to bleed out in front of his parents and all his friends, by the people who were “supposed to” be in charge, to keep things orderly and just. “Supposed to” didn’t care about reality, just some fool’s idea of it. “Actually is” got shit done. It had just taken him a long time to admit it.

So Aziraphale had quietly accepted that he wasn’t supposed to love a demon, but he did. He wasn’t supposed to be lazy, or gluttonous, or lustful, but he was. (At least sometimes.) He wasn’t supposed to question God. He really, really did. At least now.

But being bound meant he was kept from Falling. His divinity, his angelic grace, couldn’t be stripped from him while it was barred up behind a pair of wing cuffs. It made him subject to the demands of the demon who’d bound him, sure, but in this case, that was more of a feature than a bug. Oh, how he enjoyed it when Crowley commanded him. The knot of pleasure in his gut spread through his body like warmth around a thermal vent when he felt that brush of compulsive magic urging him, REQUIRING him to do something because Crowley wanted it. When he felt it in bed, with Crowley on top of him (he did like being on his back), it was practically orgasmic all on its own.

It wasn’t as much fun when Crowley told him to do something he really didn’t want to do. Not that Crowley had ever done such a thing in the bedroom. He got enough of torturing souls on the regular; it was mutual, consensual pleasure that was exotic and exciting for a demon. No, usually it was something that was for Aziraphale’s own good.

Like now. They’d gone to Tadfield after all. Staying in England felt right to them, especially since they’d finally gotten the modern accents correct (they kept CHANGING), and it turned out that no one in Heaven or Hell who mattered could have told anyone anything about the geography of England or most of the world. Everywhere was the same as everywhere else to them, considering the vastness of the universe. Brazil was, as far as they were concerned, around the corner from Tadfield, so Crowley and Aziraphale would be gaining no marks for prudence by isolating themselves. They had allies in England, at least for the immediate future.

But then they’d just gotten to Tadfield. And something had HAPPENED, Crowley could feel it, and Aziraphale couldn’t but he could read it on Crowley’s face. Then Crowley had run off, after giving him a one word order:

“Stay.”

And he’d meant it. Meant it for real. So Aziraphale stayed. Exactly where he was. On the side of the road. The magic let him get as far as sitting down. While he fumed, he resolved to make ludicrous demands upon Crowley to make up for this. He was glad for the trees above, at least, when it began to rain.

“No, you can’t go out, but please calm down,” he said softly to the fledglings, who were bounding off the walls of his soul in a most uncomfortable way. Iri began to sing, and Sprite joined in, but louder. Iri raised their voice to compensate. If one could have taken that angelic song, that reverberating particle-wave pulse of joy, and translated it into something humans could hear, it would have been off-key happy nonsense.

They had been singing this song, multiple times a day, for weeks.

There was nothing truly audible about the fledglings’ song, but in the surrounding neighborhoods, dogs began to howl. They left off as their owners rebuked them, and started up again as soon as they thought a suitable amount of time had passed. Aziraphale was wet, and cold, and annoyed, and angry, and couldn’t leave, and refused to miracle it all better because then heaven would get a notice that he had made himself warm and dry. And would therefore know he had been cold and wet. And he couldn’t stand to give them the satisfaction.

(Heaven got a notice every time he used a miracle for carnal purposes too, of course. That was a side bonus, and a tiny part of why he did it.)

“Crowley,” he grumbled to himself, “you’d better never give me another order like this one, I swear, STAY? Did it not occur to you I couldn’t leave?! There’s a cafe just down the way, I could -“

“Your master sent me.”

Aziraphale turned. Most people would be terrified at the sight of a pack of hellhounds. Aziraphale breathed a sigh or relief. “Oh! Gamork. Thank goodness. I -“

“STOP,” she snarled, her lips drawn back from teeth that had started and stopped a million screams, and for a moment Aziraphale felt real fear. If the hellhound chose to, she could rend his true self into shreds; she could eat his soul, swallow down his divinity like so much meat. And all he would really be able to do was hope his feathers gave her indigestion.

But she was talking to the fledglings, who immediately stopped singing and engaging in a celestial version of Hop-On-Pop. Aziraphale patted his sternum. “Thank you. They were becoming uncomfortable.”

“Better mind your pups’ manners,” she said, and he was afraid he was about to get an earful about how he ought to raise his children from the point of view of an apex demon when she abruptly turned her attention down the street.

The street grew quiet. The rain stopped. The ambient noise of cars and the gentle thrumming vibration of human life faded to a background. Gamork stepped close to Aziraphale, and he worked his fingers into the musky fur of her neck. Three other hounds - her packmates - kept close behind them.

When God first made the universe, there was darkness. But the darkness was not empty. God separated the dark and the light, but he did not destroy the dark to do so. Some say that for great good to exist, great evil must also exist, so that you have something to compare it to, and recognize its worth. This is an extremely simple human idea, and is totally incorrect. The greatest of goods may simply exist, and we don’t need its metaphysical opposite to exist at all. It can simply be compared to things that are less good. But people like for there to be reasons for evil things to exist, and that’s the best they could come up with. The truth of the matter is, there is no reason. And that terrifies some people.

The great evil from the old dark that was summoned to the road in Tadfield was having a bad day. It had been awoken from its eternal slumber - which was never long enough to suit it - and was now having to exist, uncomfortably corporeal, on some sniveling little planet. It slithered and glided and crawled and lurked and all manner of other unpleasant verbs down the road, until it came at last to its target, a shaking little angel with two teensy babies and a pack of dogs.

“Why,” it verbalized, though there was no mouth, “did someone think you were worth summoning me?”

Its form didn’t make any sense in four dimensions. There were other dimensions trying to crowd in around the edges. It was of no color that a human would recognize as part of the spectrum of light. It moved in and out of itself, like staying in one shape too long gave it cramps. Gamork began to open her mouth, but Aziraphale thought it best to take a diplomatic approach to the being before them.

“We foiled their plans,” Aziraphale said. “They wanted to have a war. Thought it was God’s will. They were going to wipe out this world, probably a lot of others with it, establish Heaven’s dominance, and … I don’t know. Rule things.”

“Petty squabbles for petty minds,” the being said. “Now they summon me to finish you?”

“I suppose, yes. They … don’t like that my partner has become strong, because of what he can draw from me. They don’t like my … packmates joining us.”

“What … do you want?”

“To live in peace,” Aziraphale said. “To raise these fledglings. Enjoy life. Love.”

“Peace,” the being drawled slowly. “Peace … is never an option.”

“But it is!” Aziraphale cried, and managed to stand up besides Crowley’s order wanting him to stay precisely where he was put. “Peace IS an option! Maybe not fully obtainable, but it is an idea to work for. Yes, there is war, and death, and the planet’s sick, and there’s terrible things like … like famine …” He gulped, realizing who he was evoking. “But there are other things we’re solved! We ended some of the greatest plagues! We keep striving, even if we’ll never get there.” He took a shaky breath. “That’s what I want. The option to strive for peace. And I can’t have that while both heaven and hell target me.”

“Heaven has forsaken you, little angel.” It curled a tendril … arm … horn … thing like it was enjoying a good flex. “I can smell the damnation licking at the edges of your little wings. They will not search for you. You have done their job for them.”

Aziraphale had to lean on Gamork to steady himself. “Then that leaves Hell.”

“They … want you dead. Destroyed. Obliterated utterly.”

“Why should they care?” Aziraphale moaned, though he knew, of course.

“It is in their nature.”

Yes. So it was. “What do you want?”

“I want … to go back to sleep. I have been summoned by the lords of Hell to destroy you, and your mate, and your pack, and your fledglings.” Gamork roared angrily at this; the being did not react to her, disappointingly.

“Why must you obey them? Why not just … leave, go home?”

“I am bound, in a circle of power.”

Aziraphale had a phenomenally stupid idea. “Is it a circle just made to contain you? Tell me about their rite.”

The being laughed, if a shaking rupture of space time could be called laughter. It drew itself up. “I am enraged beyond measure to have been commanded to do anything, much less something so trivial as crush an angel. So I will do you one better. I’ll take you there.”

Chapter Text

Crowley was having a bad day. To be fair, the entire purpose of Hell was to ensure that every day spent in it was a bad one. But with Aziraphale beside him, a shining presence of hope, love, and obnoxious disregard for the rules, the background radiation of unpleasantness had to take a back seat.

The unpleasantness had not only climbed out of the back seat today, but had taken the wheel and was now steering Crowley’s life into the abyss.

Anyone who thinks people in the movies can be knocked out for a long time, then regain consciousness at a convenient moment for the narrative and be fully functional immediately, has never had their bell well and truly rung. Despite being made of sturdier stuff than humans, Crowley’s body was still corporeal, and corporeal bodies don’t respond well to being hit very hard on the head repeatedly. For the first several hours after he woke up, Crowley could do little more than drool onto the floor. His body didn’t want to obey him. Instead of his usual graceful fine motor skills, he could only give very general directives like “right arm flop on a mostly southerly course.” He didn’t know where he was, how we’d gotten there, what had happened, who all these demons were, or why he couldn’t make sense of anything. The thought “I must be Plato, finally found the damn cave” crossed his mind, and he found it so funny it kept crossing repeatedly, making him giggle every time.

“What’s so funny?” a demon said.

“Plato,” Crowley said, though he thought he might be slurring.

“Don’t see what’s funny about that git.”

Crowley finally recognized someone. “Spinner! I know you! You’re an ass!” Definitely slurring.

“Right back atcha,” Spinner said. He grinned, showing a too-wide smile full of teeth. “They sent something terrible after your angel. Make a snack out of that bird.”

Crowley blew a raspberry. It was the most coherent thing he could come up with on the fly.

“Personally,” Spinner continued, leering down at him, “I hope it doesn’t kill him. I hope they break your bond with him, and pass him around. I’d love to get my hands on him. It’d be such fun.”

Crowley grinned right back. “Only for Aziraphale.” He wasn’t sure if it made sense, but it did make Spinner’s grin falter with doubt.

“It’s coming back,” one of the demon lords said, and the hundred demons around the summoning circle raised their voices in a gibbering demonic language. It was, Crowley thought, a ridiculous lot of trouble to go to, just for him and his angel. From his spot on the stone floor, with the cheek still pressed against it because sitting up was a dicey proposition, he could make out some chalk scratching that might be some kind of circle with symbols around the periphery. If they were using a summoning circle, they were meddling with things beyond their ken, he thought. He was proud of himself; it was the most complex thought he’d had since waking.

The Biggest Bad Crowley Had Ever Seen That Badded in the Cosmic Bigness manifested in the circle. Crowley screamed. It was a very appropriate response, especially considering it had Aziraphale and four Hellhounds in what might generously be called tentacles. The hellhounds bit at their bonds, which did absolutely nothing. The whatever-it-was held Aziraphale aloft. The angel didn’t even try to struggle. It would’ve done as much good as kicking at the tide.

“I have the angel,” it said, in a voice like the pounding of blood inside one’s own ears.

“We … want him destroyed,” said a demon with more balls than brains.

The being laughed. It crawled down Crowley’s skin like a cloud of oil-slick spiders. “It’s nice to want things.”

It held Aziraphale aloft, a tiny archival principality in the grip of a monster of monsters. Crowley could do nothing. He could only watch as the wing cuffs fell away from Aziraphale’s wings, and the burn of damnation singed the tips of his feathers. Crowley wondered if it was Aziraphale screaming, or himself. Maybe both.

Then the angel’s wings snapped wide, like something had gripped his primaries and pulled them to their farthest length. They burst into flame, and the screams became the ethereal, celestial voice of The Aziraphale, the same voice that had once sung a song of worship and adoration to Crowley, and murmured to their fledglings. Now, it was engulfed in pain, and the screams were breathless, endless.

But the feathers didn’t char to black ash. They stayed their usual soft white, as they fire receded. When Crowley could see past the sheer brightness of the flames to the source, he realized he was looking at his own name. Thousands of iterations of his own name, burned into every feather, every cell, every atom of Aziraphale’s wings. He shivered, and ash fell from his wings, dusting the floor. The being tossed Aziraphale, and the angel tumbled head over heels onto the stone beside Crowley.

Outside of the circle.

Crowley’s head didn’t hurt anymore. He stood up. Aziraphale’s divinity flowed freely into him, not stopping to consider how he was demonic and their source was angelic. He felt filled, swelled, and would later describe it as a whole-body divine erection. (Aziraphale would not appreciate the comparison.) All that power had to go somewhere. It spilled into his wings, spread wide from his back. Just when he thought he could take no more, he felt a terrible rip, like time and space disobeying the laws of physics, and a second pair of wings sprouted from his back. And a third. Senses he didn’t remember having opened up as he floated into the air without a flap of those six wings. A thousand empty reservoirs filled as he drank in the power of the divinity that had started the entire universe spinning, with the little archivist principality as its conduit. He could see everything. Everything! He could taste desire, watch the linear lives of the demons forward and back, hear the threads of fate twanging like the strings of a plucked violin.

He looked down at the huddled mass of demons. They cowered and pleaded and screamed and wept. Crowley bared his teeth at them.

“I once hung the stars,” he said. “Do you remember my name?”

The being in the circle released the hellhounds. Gamork ran to him, joy open across her canine face. “I remember you!” she cried. “Archangel! Lord! I remember.”

Crowley smiled. He stretched his hand towards his pack, and their bodies lit up from within as he imbued them with power.

“Sky Dogs,” he said to her. “That’s what you used to be. And are again.”

“Yes my lord!” she howled with joy.

“Dogstar. Your name was Dogstar.” He pointed to the demons. “Kill them all.”

There was a time when God had looked upon the works of man, and God was wroth. He reigned destruction down upon them. Something similar happened in Hell that night, as the Dogstar tore through the lords of Hell, then kept going. A case could be made that they deserved it more than man had. But then, demons were only doing what they had been made to do. The one demon who’d chosen a different path would say, that was a shoddy excuse.

*****

“Aziraphale. Are you alright, angel?”

Aziraphale opened his eyes. His wings ached in a way that made each moment take far longer than it should. He managed to look up at Crowley. Well, a version of Crowley, anyway. A serpent-faced, six-winged, thousand-eyed being with love in their golden eyes.

“I am definitely not alright, my lord.”

Crowley drew the angel into his lap. “Oh, my darling, I’ll have to figure out how to rein this in. I am sorry you’ve suffered for it. But Zira, tell me - where are Sprite and Iri?”

Aziraphale chuckled, and winced in pain. “One of Gamork’s pups is babysitting them in Tadfield in Anathema and Newton’s kitchen.”

“Oh thank goodness. But ... her name was Dogstar once, and I think she’d like to return to it.”

“I would,” growled the shining Sky Dog, from where she and a few others kept guard by the door. She gave a big, toothy doggy grin. “It’s a good name.”

“Crowley ... what was your name? When you were an archangel.”

“Oh don’t worry about that. It’s unimportant, since I’m not reclaiming the name.”

Aziraphale watched him trace long, clawed fingers over his curiously marked wings. The entire sigil of Crowley’s name could no longer be made out anywhere, but dots of them remained, so that the white wings now looked to be liberally sprinkled with black speckles. Crowley knew without trying that under the right circumstances, those dots would glow like the stars.

“I can stretch my wings again,” Aziraphale said, opening one experimentally. He winced and reeled it back in. “Later. Where’d that … thing go?”

“Oh as soon as the summoners were dead it fucked off to wherever it came from. Said something about going back to bed.”

“I like that idea,” Aziraphale said, and pressed close to Crowley’s chest. “Crowley … can I tell you something?”

“Of course.”

“Well, I’m not proposing something happen right NOW, I’m awfully sore and traumatized -“

“Out with it, angel.”

His blue eyes had never looked so full of adoration. “You are truly my lord and master now. More than you ever were before. And that’s really hot. I’m as turned on as I can be while in exquisite pain.”

Crowley patted his head. “I’m taking you to a bed. To sleep. For like a week. Then you can jump my bones.”

He picked Aziraphale up like he was nothing, and carried him to safety. Dogstar and the rest of the Sky Dogs followed at his heels, trailing stardust behind them.

Chapter Text

Epilogue

Crowley dared to interrupt Aziraphale's reading by slipping his arms around the angel's shoulders and nuzzling his neck. Aziraphale smiled and reached up to Crowley's hair, which had gotten rather long again, without taking his eyes off the page.

"Good afternoon, my darling, what's on your mind?"

"The fledglings have gone off with Adam and his crew."

Aziraphale put the book down, but kept it open to his page. "All seven of them?"

"Yes." They’d had a time of it building bodies for the fledglings, especially since they didn’t line up with any human developmental stage. They had landed upon making Iri and Sprite’s bodies the same physical age of Adam, and the younger fledglings a year or two behind. The Them were delighted to have angelic friends with a (very limited and closely monitored) capacity for miracles, and less imagination than Adam had. Iri and Sprite liked the Them mostly because, for some reason they couldn’t fathom, the former antichrist and anti-Horsemen were the only humans their parents tolerated unconditionally. Besides Anathema and Newton, who didn’t count because they were adults. (Perhaps they had more in common with human children after all.) Sprite, Iri, and the Them grudgingly accepted the younger fledglings as they came, and were also given bodies, though now that the youngest triplets had been allowed to accompany them, the fledglings outnumbered the humans. This would have concerned the Them more if they hadn’t had the ultimate veto in any group of children: they were older, by almost 12 years, even if Sprite and Iri looked like young teens now.

“You’re not really fourteen,” Pepper would remind them. “You’re only five. And Adam, Wensleydale, David and I are almost seventeen.” Any debate about how the relative life cycles of fledglings and humans differed fell on deaf ears.

Aziraphale tapped his manicured fingertips on the tabletop. He was deciding, Crowley could feel, between being concerned for everyone's welfare and excitement at the prospect of actually being alone. "Some of the sky dogs gone with them, then?"

"Yes, Celeste and Orion. And Dog too, I assume."

Aziraphale turned around. "And you can still feel where they are?"

Crowley grinned and pressed his advantage. "Of course I can. Right about now they're stealing blackberries from Anathema's neighbor."

Aziraphale's face fell. "Stealing! They really shouldn't be stealing, not when we --"

"I'm kidding," Crowley said. "They're playing Mario Kart at Adam's." Crowley took Aziraphale's hands and pulled him to his feet. "C'mon, sooner or later one or more fledglings is going to come thundering in demanding to be allowed to perform more miracles this month so they can beat Pepper."

Aziraphale followed Crowley up the stairs to their room, which was sunnier than Crowley might have liked but not as stuffed with books as Aziraphale might have liked. (Meaning there were still surfaces not holding books, and enough room to walk that another table or shelf might yet be stuffed into the place for bookish purposes.) They compromised. They had agreed on the bed, at least - that being, as big as possible. Angel wings were big enough, but Crowley's many wings were something else, and several years had not been enough time for him to get used to their size.

He unfurled them now, black and dotted with bright spots like a starling. Aziraphale let his out as well, smiling shyly. "We agreed, no more fledglings until this lot, well, fledges," he said.

"I know, I know, I won't knock you up." He flashed a viper-toothed grin. "As much fun as it is." He brushed the tips of black wings against white and watched Aziraphale shiver. He reeled Aziraphale in close and began divesting him of his clothes.

All these years later, he still loved the way the angel was almost shy when Crowley peeled his clothes off of him. Not that angels and demons ever had a need for modesty (something they'd had to explain repeatedly to the fledglings, finally landing exasperatedly on the explanation "because we said so, that's why clothes.") He watched Aziraphale shrug the button up shirt off his shoulders, and leaned in to taste his bare skin.

He’d never have believed Aziraphale would have such a libido. He was always willing, always eager, singularly focused on wringing as much pleasure from Crowley’s body as he could. But nothing got him as hot-blooded as Crowley being a pushy, demanding Dom. They’d tried switching a few times, and while Crowley thought being dominated was fucking amazing, Aziraphale hadn’t enjoyed it nearly as much, and something about it had clearly bothered him. Perhaps if he had to be subservient to Crowley in the normal areas of life, he at least ought to be able to enjoy it in the bedroom.

It was always there, in the back of their minds, the dusting of dark flecks in Aziraphale’s wings. The price of their freedom from heaven and hell, of becoming something not truly angel and not truly demon. These past years they’d done a lot of research, conjecture, experimenting, and pulled a lot of theories out of their asses. They had reached few conclusions, because magic is frequently ineffable, especially when it hadn’t been done before. Their current theory, subject to change quickly, was that it had been very old magic indeed that had sealed Aziraphale’s divinity to the demon, and fused open the channel between Crowley and The Aziraphale. Of course, since a demon couldn’t really possess that kind of divinity, the logical thing for the magic to do was to make him not be a demon anymore. He wasn’t quite an angel either, and surely not an archangel, but the damnation that had chained him to Hell was gone, like rotting flesh cut away from a wound and left to heal. He could be so sure of that because of how that same divinity had redeemed the hellhounds when he shared it with them.

All the hellhounds, as it turned out, not just Dogstar’s pack. Thousands of masterless sky dogs were now gallumphing around Earth, pack bonding with anything and everything. The angels were being kept very busy. They hoped the fledglings and sky dogs would continue the tradition of teaming up on the world together.

Heaven wanted nothing to do with them, and Hell was terrified of them. It was also dealing with a tremendous internal war, after the power vacuum left by the Sky Dog Massacre.

It suited Aziraphale and Crowley very well, and the Earth and all its inhabitants also, as it turned out.

They weren’t sure if Aziraphale was still an angel anymore, a principality. He hadn’t fallen, but he’d come right to the brink of it. Bound to Crowley, it wasn’t clear anymore exactly what he was. He’d taken to just calling himself an archivist, but Crowley hadn’t been able to break the habit of calling him angel, and Aziraphale had said he was free to use it, and promised to say so if it ever bothered him.

They’d gotten very good at bringing each other to orgasm quickly, in case their time was cut short. That was the shape of lovemaking these days - one fast orgasm, then building up to another if they had time. They rarely had enough time all at once for a third round.

This time Aziraphale got on his elbows and knees on the bed and spread his wings wide and low, an angelic gesture of … invitation. Crowley loves that, and Aziraphale knew it, of course. Crowley pushes his legs apart, just to reiterate who was in charge here (technically not up for debate, but practically speaking it was a tossup.) Crowley took him by his ample hips and pulled Aziraphale back onto his cock. It was so easy to make Aziraphale come this way. Especially if he leaned over on top of him and spread his wings out. Aziraphale shuddered as wings covered his own, and rocked back harder onto Crowley’s cock.

He found the angle that rubbed Aziraphale just right, and in moments had him shaking and clenching around his cock. Crowley smiled and ran his hands over the broad, pale back.

“Such a hedonist, my darling. It’s a good thing you climax so easily, or we might be here all day trying to satisfy you.”

“I’d keep at it all day if I could,” Aziraphale grinned over his shoulder. “Nothing is as fulfilling — pardon the pun — as my master’s cock in me.”

“Turn over,” Crowley said, and Aziraphale rolled accommodatingly onto his back, legs and wings spread, expression open and eager. Crowley laid down on him, knowing the sort-of-angel could take all his weight, and liked it. As he entered him again (and Aziraphale lifted his hips helpfully), Crowley murmured in his ear, “I love you. I love you so much it hurts. You bastard.”

He felt Aziraphale smile. “I love you also. I don’t suppose you’re in a position to accept that demons - which you are not, I know - can love, and you did love me a long time before —“

“No theology in bed, Zira, we have RULES.”

Aziraphale leaned up and bit Crowley’s neck sharply. Crowley yelped — it was just UNEXPECTED, that was all — and Aziraphale purred, “You know what I think about rules.”

They did have time, after all, to thoroughly satisfy each other; hands in each others’ wings, tongues in each others’ mouths, and whatever bits one was currently sporting in or against the other’s. By the time the fledglings and sky dogs came bursting in, all talking at breakneck speed in Enochian, Crowley and Aziraphale were relaxed enough to not care that they couldn’t follow the chaotic stream of consciousness that was their household. For right now, they were as safe as could be expected while existing in this reality, on this world, and they didn’t need to understand it or control it. They could just be, and it was good.

 

THE END