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When the angel’s away

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There’s little else Crowley hates more than Aziraphale’s absence. Well, save of course tagging along on the excursions the angel is wont to which would negate the whole issue of the absence in the first place. But foresight has never been Crowley’s strong suit. That, and he’d rather down a shot of holy water than sit through those loathsome little auctions that, oftentimes, drag Aziraphale halfway round the world. They’re frightfully dull, and everyone in attendance is so bloody full of themselves. On a scale of phytoplankton to Siamese cat, book auctions present one of the more worthy adversaries to the feline in terms of insufferable smugness. Crowley detests them.


This one — the angel in search of some fabled Marie de France works, several apparently unpublished lais floating around, though Crowley has his doubts, he helped her pen half of those sordid tales — has thankfully only called Aziraphale to Italy, so the distance doesn’t rankle overmuch. Crowley’s main concern is that, once again, Aziraphale will become enamored of the food and wine — as he is bloody wont — and forget all about his friend languishing back at the bookshop. He has been far too wistful over pasta lately.


But Crowley is nothing if not dutiful to his promise, offering to run the shop while the angel’s away. He’s abysmal with customer service, which serves him well in deterring several particularly adamant bookworms, though he does have to suggest a spark of brimstone at his fingertips when the occasion calls for polite force, himself having to wrest several precious tomes from more than a few prying sets of hands. Bloody hell, how does Aziraphale put up with this? The demon is well keen on his own hobbies, certainly, but if napping came with even half the trouble as bookshop keeping, Crowley would be glad to call insomnia a friend. 


Just a few days more. He reminds himself this, a soothing mantra at the back of his mind. Aziraphale’s due back on Saturday at six, Crowley’s going to pick him up from Gatwick, and there’s reservations for that new Mediterranean place at eight. It’s Thursday. He can last. 


But it’s not just the bother of the shop, with its musty clientele and mote ridden sun rays that trick one into feeling like it’s mid afternoon on a cozy Sunday rather than grey and drizzle in the ornery bustle of Soho. It’s just the easier scapegoat for Crowley’s frustrations. A half year on from saving the world, five months and one week since, well, other things culminated between them, and still Crowley struggles to approach his feelings. It’s easier when Aziraphale’s around and he doesn’t have to think so much, just lets himself ease into the comfort of their relationship, the embrace of his angel’s arms, the softness of his lips…


Crowley coughs into his hand, startling the young woman browsing by the door. After one glance in his direction she decides there’s a better way to spend the morning, and briskly ducks out of the shop. Crowley’s half sad to see her go, his mind threatening to keep wandering dangerously. There’s another thing he rather misses when Aziraphale’s away. Two weeks is a lot to ask of a dry spell, especially for a demon who’s only just now permitted himself to enjoy the forbidden taste of a friend turned lover. As he fails to steer his mind from that train of thought, he does manage to resolve to have a very stern word with Aziraphale when the angel gets back. And then less stern words… among other things. 


He groans again. Saturday is never going to come.


Surprisingly, though, it does, and the morning of, Crowley departs his own flat with a springier saunter than usual. His plants received less wrath for it, too, and the Bentley even lets him choose what song to peel around London to. Fat Bottomed Girls, because why the heaven not — he’s allowed to live a little. 


At quarter to nine, he squeals the car into a hairpin parallel space just in front of the shop, and makes for the door, very much ignoring the spindly figure already hunched there, waiting for him to open up. He’s been doing so the past month, not even just on Crowley’s less vigilant watch, skulking around and rifling through the same stack of manuscripts until he’s inevitably turned away at the till. Aziraphale is far less vitriolic in his conduct than Crowley has been, but today, the demon could care less if the man just waltzed in and stole the manuscripts right out from under him. Well, not really of course; the mere thought of Aziraphale’s disappointment is deterrent enough, but it’s beside the point. All Crowley has to do today is endure the weekend rush, close up at five, and then lurk around the shop until it’s time to pick up Aziraphale. Easy as that. 


As it were, the universe is not so kind on those plans, as, at half past closing, just as Crowley is finished drawing the last set of blinds and sweeping up the interminable dust bunnies cloistered by Non Fiction, the ancient Bakelite rings to life behind the counter. His mood still bolstered by the evening’s plans, Crowley picks it up with a cheerful, “Hallo?”


He can hear Aziraphale’s smile as he responds, “Hello to you too, dear.”


“Bout bloody time, Angel,” Crowley grins. “When’d you last call? Monday?”


“Yes yes, I know, I’m sorry. Only I got tied up with some business, spent longer at that hostel than I meant to, and no payphones, you know.”


“If I’ve said it once,” Crowley chides, “just get a bloody mobile already.”


“Don't go tempting me with your wily doodads,” Aziraphale admonishes right back. “And anyway, I’m calling now aren’t I?”


“Yeah, s’pose that counts for something. You at the airport?”


“Yes, well,” Aziraphale pauses, “that’s why I was calling, actually.”




Aziraphale continues, with a sigh, “Just my flight’s been delayed so… I won’t be in until ten.”


“Oh,” this time, Crowley allows disappointment into his voice.


“I’m really so very sorry, dear,” Aziraphale presses, and does sound genuinely remorseful.


“Couldn’t you just…” Crowley dithers, not wanting to sound selfish, but, dammit, he’s missed the angel. “You know, just this once? Please?”


“Crowley -”


“We could still make those reservations and -”


“Crowley, dear.”


The demon snaps his mouth shut, caging a petulant sigh. 


“Darling, I love you,” and there’s a decided amusement to the angel’s tone that dispels most of Crowley’s building frustration, though not all of it. “But I’m not going to miracle myself all the way to London.”


Crowley can’t help it, he’s pent up and misses his angel. “Why not?” And goodness if he doesn’t sound like a five year old on a tantrum about ice cream.


Any footing he may have had in the brief argument is lost then and there, and Aziraphale’s tone takes on a wickedly self sure lilt.


“Have you missed me that much, love?”


“I… refuse to answer that.”


“Mhm,” hums Aziraphale. “And what if I said I’ll make it up to you.”


A pause.


“I’d say you need to elaborate,” Crowley eventually manages, and thank hell Aziraphale can’t see how badly he blushes.


“Well,” and the angel actually bloody laughs, “that’s a bit indecent to ask of me. I’m in public, Crowley.”


“Angel…” Crowley whines. “C’mon, give me something to work with.”


“Goodness, eager are we?


“Aziraphale, it’s been two damn weeks.”


Aziraphales response should not have the effect it does, but then… it really, truly has been two damn bloody weeks. 


“So then,” the angel says, and his smirk is audible, “what’s a few more hours, love, hm? I’m sure you can manage that.”


“You’re a right demon when you want to be,” Crowley growls, and Aziraphale laughs again. 


“Yes dear, I’m aware.”


“Just call me before you board.”


“There’s a good boy,” Aziraphale praises, and Crowley has to cross his legs at that, hunching awkwardly against the counter’s edge. 


“Just get, you,” he says.


“Take care for now,” Aziraphale replies. “I love you, dear.”


“Yeah love you, too,” Crowley mutters, and hangs up with a half agonized groan.


Bastard ,” he curses, not because of the delay or the trip that’s caused this; only Aziraphale could get him all bothered with a thousand miles between them. Bastard .


Even with the additional two hours, now, the last thing on Crowley’s mind is cleaning up the shop. He could head back to his flat and take it out on the new ficus, but that’s really too much effort.


“Sod it,” he grumbles, and, quickly checking the shop is locked, heads upstairs to the joined flat. 


Some tea should calm him down, certainly. He hates tea, but it’s the custom, isn’t it? A nice cuppa for your troubles. Save the source of his is stuck in an airport in Italy where Crowley can’t get to him and prove what a really good boy he can be. He groans again at the thought. He should be upset! He should be sulking over the delay and cursing airline travel’s impeccable ability to make one of the greatest innovations of human engineering one of the most miserable experiences this side of the DMV. Another thing he took credit for when that sort of thing mattered, but little good it does him now, and little does he care. He just wants Aziraphale here, his hands on Crowley’s hips, mouth at his neck, every point of contact a flame of sensation. No one told him how addictive an angel could be, let alone making love to one, and he’s been without his fix for too long. 


The kettle whistles, and he glowers it into silence,


“Sod it,” he says again, and decides to forgo the tea for more immediate relief.


He stalks back to the bedroom, then, a modest little thing with a bed taking up three quarters of the room if only because Aziraphale’s meager twin proved absolutely pathetic that first, precious, clumsy time, and the angel would not have him nearly falling off again. Although that was more Crowley’s fault than anything. Turns out he’s a bit of a sprawler in the throes of passion. The new, plush king contains them both nicely, and Aziraphale has taken advantage of it many, many times, much to Crowley’s desperate delight. Now, it looks almost abandoned, sheets crisp from their last untouched starching, pillows plump, and Crowley, grimacing at the neatness, makes a very concerted effort to inflict as many wrinkles as he can as he subsides atop it. 


“Stupid angel,” he grumbles, carding one hand through his hair as he wanders the other down, down, and between his thighs where he’s involuntarily crossed them again.


Were said stupid angel here, he’d approach this in a much less aggressive manner than Crowley does now, lavishing kisses and touch like alms, taking his time undressing the demon, pampering him with praises. Now, Crowley just needs relief, his nerves on end for ages now. He hadn’t thought to tend to himself the whole time Aziraphale has been gone — didn’t really feel the need to, but that conversation lit a small flame in his stomach, and it flares now as he rucks off his trousers, tosses them aside, and takes his cock in hand. 


Shit ,” he hisses, and treats himself to a minor miracle that slicks his palm as he fucks up into his fist. 


He tries to imagine it’s Aziraphale tending to him, all lovely manicured fingers wrapped around his cock, massaging the length, teasing the head, just to drive him a bit mad. But Crowley’s own fingers are too spindly, too sharp with angles and far too long; it spoils the fantasy almost immediately. Not that it doesn't feel good, but that’s the problem anymore, isn’t it. On your back for an angel once and it’s on your knees for eternity, searching out that perfect body to share the pleasure with. He wants relief, yes — needs it, even — but there’s no real satisfaction in it if it isn’t Aziraphale. 


“Fuck,” he breathes. “Fuck fuck .”


He lets go of himself and groans. Ostensibly, he could remedy this right away, he’d still be stuck in his mind with the desperation of it, but at least he wouldn’t have to deal with the physical side effects, but, Satan below, that’s a lot of effort. And so is jerking himself off when the spirit’s not in it. 


“Aziraphale you, bastard ,” he repeats for a third time, to no one but the ceiling, and feels only marginally better for it. 


He won’t let the angel win like this. There’s hardly a competition at play, really, but it’s the least Crowley can afford himself after performing the part of a veritable housewife for two weeks. Books and petty customers, the 9-5 drag, sod it . And when Aziraphale finally gets back, Crowley’s going to let him know exactly how he’s felt about this all. Going to make that damn angel see so many brilliant stars, he’ll think twice before leaving again.


In the whirlwind of his thoughts, Crowley’s body has taken on a mind of its own, and he returns to his senses to find he’s wedged one of the goosedown pillows between his legs and that, well, it actually feels quite nice. It’s an unsatisfying pressure, but he’s straddled Aziraphale’s lovely, thick thighs enough times to know how to eek out a bit of pleasure from it, and it’s much less effort, too. Carefully, slowly, he ruts against it, and sighs through his nose at the brief spark of relief it brings. In fact, it’s rather very soothing. Weird angle, though, laid on his side like this, and he — somewhat bashfully — sits up, straddles the cushion properly, and anchors his hands at the corner seams, effectively securing it in place as he moves again. 


It’s undeniably good, the fabric soft and plush against him, and, well, the implication of the position secretly thrills him. Though Aziraphale’s never admitted it directly aloud — preferring to shower him with less specific praises — Crowley knows he adores the sight of him helpless in the angel’s lap, grinding down on his cock.


“Nhm…” he groans, closing his eyes and imagining the soft give beneath him is Aziraphale’s lap. And then, somewhat traitorously, “ Ah… Angel.


“Oh,” replies a breathy whisper, and Crowley’s eyes snap open, revealing he is very much no longer alone in the room, said angel suddenly stood in the doorway, his own eyes wide, and a smattering of dainty pink dusted across his nose and cheeks.


Crowley’s pulse runs cold, his stomach twists — not entirely unpleasantly — and his own face flares with a burning flush.


His first thought is to scramble for an apology


“I - you - but? You said ten? I -?”


“I decided to take your advice, dear,” Aziraphale coughs, but a cheeky smile peeks out through the embarrassment of it, and he continues, far more boldly, “Good thing too, mm? Couldn’t quite hold out, could we.”


“I -“ squeaks Crowley, but the words stick in the back of his throat as Aziraphale rakes his gaze up and down his body, eyes going just that wicked shade of darker. 


“Mm, you’re a sight, dear,” the angel purrs, and Crowley swallows thickly, rooted to the spot. 


“Oh come now,” Aziraphale says, and begins slowly divesting himself of his jacket, then his tie, waistcoat to follow. “Don’t stop on my account. I’m sure you were enjoying yourself, hm?”


He strolls over to the bed, then, and sits primly on the edge, unbuttoning his sleeves and rolling them up to the elbows. 


“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting,” he says, and curls a soft palm against Crowley’s jaw, drawing him in for a languid kiss. “If I had known, dear.”


“Aziraphale,” Crowley moans, low and desperate and breathy, and much to his chagrin, the angel pulls away.


“Ah yes, I’m forgetting myself. Somewhat interrupted you, didn’t I?” He smiles oh so sweetly, and his appraising look sends a wave of shocks to the pit of Crowley’s stomach. 


“Go on then, love, I’d hate to leave you unsatisfied.”


Crowley opens his mouth to protest, voice the thousand and one insults building on his tongue, demand that the angel show him some bloody mercy and fuck him into the mattress already, but he’s impeded from doing so as Aziraphale kisses him again, fierce and hot this time, with his free hand digging into the flesh of Crowley’s right thigh.


When they part, it’s only on a millimeter, and Aziraphale growls against his lips, “Show me how much you’ve missed me, darling.”


There’s little else Crowley can do but obey, little else he wants to. Aziraphale doesn’t often indulge such delicious aggression, and dammit if each demanding word doesn’t go straight to the demon’s cock. 


He moves, slowly at first, shame still painting his cheeks and collarbones with flushed heat, but as Aziraphale’s hand remains on his thigh, tightening its grip, a more lascivious heat encourages him to savor the building pleasure and the knowledge that his angel is watching all of it, adoring him like this. 


“That’s it,” Aziraphale murmurs when Crowley lets loose an undignified whimper. “Good boy, you’re so beautiful.”


He smiles against the demon’s lips, “And all of this for me? Oh you know how to flatter an angel don’t you.”


“Mmhh, l-love you,” Crowley manages before all air dispels from his lungs in a shattered gasp, Aziraphale suddenly taking him in hand and stroking with a perfect, blinding pressure.


“Come for me, darling,” the angel hisses in his ear, scrapes his teeth there, flicks his thumb at the head of Crowley’s cock, and the frayed cord in Crowley’ stomach snaps entirely, climax shuddering through his body in crashing waves of debilitating, sugary sweet heat. 


Fuck ,” he gasps, and collapses entirely against Aziraphale.


“Perhaps I should go away more often,” the angel teases, “if this is what I have to look forward to.”


“I will smite you where you sit,” Crowley mumbles.


“Sounds lovely, dear.”


They lapse into an amused silence, Crowley allowing his angel to pull him into a more comfortable embrace as he surreptitiously miracles away the mess on his, no doubt, antique pillow case. 


“I am sorry it took so long,” Aziraphale says at length, brushing his fingertips through Crowley’s hair as the demon nuzzles against his chest. 


“S’okay,” the demon replies, wistful and soft, very much boneless at the moment, and very much enjoying it.


“I will make it up to you, love.”


“Mm’already did.”


Aziraphale laughs, and guides Crowley’s chin up, kisses him softly. 


“More, then,” he says, and his eyes sparkle as he smiles. “Although,” and he pauses, expression hardening into one of deliberation. 


“I do wonder,” he says. “Still think we can make dinner?”


His resulting smile is equal parts wicked and beautiful, and Crowley, laughing, drags him down onto the bed and kisses him for all the ones they have missed these past two weeks. And he keeps kissing him, and keeps kissing him.


And they do not, in fact, make those reservations.