"I dunno why they want us there."
"They're being nice, Crowley. Let's not question it. It's an important day for them."
"Exactly! Why would they want us there?"
The pair had been driving for a while now. Freddy Mercury's voice had long since faded into the background under a constant stream of comfortable conversation that mostly consisted of Crowley trying to come up with excuses not to attend Anathema and Newt's 'Special Day' and Aziraphale ignoring them.
"We were there when they met. Sort of." Aziraphale had his hand tightly curled around the door handle, clinging on for dear life as the speedometer on the Bentley carelessly flung its needle up to 137. "Please slow down, my dear."
Crowley took his hands off the wheel and threw his arms up in the air in frustration. "We don't want to be late, Crowley! Where are your bags, Crowley? Not that fast, Crowley!" He ignored the angel's spluttered directions to please watch where he was going! "I can slow all the way down to 0 and we can just not go at all if you like?"
"Oh stop being so dramatic! It'll be fun. There'll be cake."
"I don't even like cake." Crowley huffed, holding onto the wheel and slowing the car down to a reasonable 115. He jutted his bottom lip out into a pout but they both knew that he wouldn't be driving the angel all the way to Tadfield if he didn't want to.
"You made it!" Anathema flung her arms around Aziraphale as she opened the door of Jasmine cottage. Crowley took a smart move backward to escape the clutches of the young woman. "Isn't it amazing that I didn't already know if you were going to make it or not?" The grin that spread across her face was truly manic and Aziraphale made his own slight backward movement.
"Absolutely, my dear."
She ushered them into the house where they were greeted by Newton with a sheepish grin. "Ana is enjoying being prophecy free at the moment." The table in front of where Newt was sat was covered in glitter, napkins, flowers, and bunting. It didn't look like they were even slightly ready for the wedding that afternoon; Crowley wondered idly if they had been prepared enough to book any entertainment because there was no way he was sitting through another one of Aziraphale's magic acts.
"It might rain when we get married tomorrow! Or thunder!" Anathema grabbed Newt's hand. "Isn't that exciting?"
"Hold on. Tomorrow?" Crowley questioned, turning towards Aziraphale in a manner one could only describe as accusatory. "I thought you said-"
"Sorry dear boy, I must have got my dates mixed up. Anathema, did you say you had somewhere we could stay the night?" The angel quickly changed the subject, resolutely not making eye contact with the demon attempting to burn holes into the side of his head.
Anathema's eyebrows knitted together in confusion. "What do you mean, dates mixed up? I thought you said-"
Newt walked over and put his arm around his fiance, effectively stopping her mid-sentence. "I was surprised that Mr. Crowley was so happy to help us set up today! It's appreciated I can assure you!" He grinned cheerfully and held his hand out to Crowley, clearly intending for the demon to shake it. Crowley continued to glare at Aziraphale for a moment before turning his own, slightly more terrifying smile towards Newton and grabbing his hand tightly.
"Not at all."
"Well, I didn't think you'd come if you knew you had to help and quite frankly I needed a lift!" Aziraphale stressed, wobbling on the stepladder as he strung what felt like the 60th string of fairy lights around a tree branch outside of the cottage.
Crowley was making a show of not helping the angel, arms folded as he watched the ladder sway precariously from side to side. "Well, I'm not helping. In fact, I'm going to personally guarantee that one of the bulbs isn't going to be screwed in properly when you plug them in causing the whole lot to stop working and I'm not telling you which one it is." In actuality, Crowley wasn't really upset that Aziraphale had offered his help, he just wished the angel would have told him the truth.
Aziraphale finished hanging the lights and made his way carefully down the ladder, his expression unchanging until he was stood face to face with Crowley. "I wanted this to be an occasion we could enjoy together but if you ruin this wedding for these lovely people I swear to- well, I just swear that I will never talk to you again." His face was serious, attempting to meet Crowley's eyes behind his dark glasses.
Thoroughly chastised, the demon nodded his head in understanding and watched as Aziraphale plugged in the lights.
They all flickered on perfectly.
"You can't keep using that as a threat you know?" He added childishly. "I know you won't actually stop talking to me."
"And yet it worked."
Crowley was sulking in the garden under a plethora of bunting and fairy lights, nursing a glass of whiskey and watching Aziraphale and Anathema make flower crowns and giggle at each other. It was utterly horrendous and from the look on Newt's face as he squished dying daisies around a metal ring, he agreed. Suddenly an idea flooded into Crowley's slightly tipsy brain.
Newt jumped, dropping petals everywhere as he looked up at the demon.
"I bet you haven't had a stag do. Am I right?"
Crowley didn't even have to turn his head, he could feel Aziraphale rolling his eyes at him and that knowledge made him grin even wider.
"No, I suppose I haven't."
"You should go to the pub with Mr. Crowley!" Anathema sparkled, placing her perfect crown atop her long, raven locks and grinning beatifically. She looked more like an angel that Aziraphale did, particularly as the actual angel was staring daggers at Crowley from across the table. The demon couldn't help but smile back affectionately. "I think we've got everything covered here!"
"Only if you're sure," Newt said, already pulling on his coat.
Aziraphale sighed and stood up with him, "Well if you insist-"
"Oh no angel, you offered to help Anathema here. It would be positively devilish for you to leave her in this time of need."
The look on Aziraphale's face as he sat back down was enough to fuel Crowley's happiness for a decade.
"Thank you for saving me. I don't know a thing about all of that wedding stuff." Newt gulped his diet Pepsi which he had chosen despite Crowley's insistence of purchasing the man a real drink. He could have tempted him if he really wanted to but if Newt was hungover on his wedding day Aziraphale might actually kill him. Failing that, Anathema would definitely kill him. "It's not that I don't want to help, I'm just sure that me not being there is probably more helpful than me being there!"
He laughed nervously. Nothing about Crowley's presence made the young man feel more comfortable, in fact, if anything the slouched posture, strong liquor, and dark sunglasses made him rather uncomfortable, but it was still more appealing than folding napkins.
"I was actually wondering since we're here,,, if you could give me some advice?" Newt questioned anxiously.
"Of course! Don't throw a brick straight up in the air, it'll just come straight back down and splat! There goes your head." Crowley spread out his hands and made a weird fart noise with his mouth, seemingly to attempt a verbal representation of a brick falling on one's head.
Newt stared at him for a moment and then shook his head. "No. No, I was thinking more... marriage advice..."
"Why on Earth would you come to me for marriage advice?"
"Well, I know we don't know you guys that well but you and Aziraphale seem to have a really strong relationship. I mean, how long have you known each other?"
"6000 years," Crowley answers with a straight face.
Newton laughs. "I can imagine it feels like that!" He smiles and takes another drink as Crowley stares at him, still processing what Newt might be implying. He's about to inform Newt that he is, in fact, not married to Aziraphale when the younger man asks him another question. "What do you do if you get into a disagreement?"
Now, this is a question Crowley can definitely answer whether he's married or not. "Well, that's easy."
"I buy him lunch."
"Lunch?" Newt blinks unbelievingly. "That's all?"
"I mean there's not much that can't be solved with a good crepe when it comes to Aziraphale," This was true. "Or a good book. Or an apology when I'm really in the wrong which is honestly basically never and can sometimes take a few decades for me to come to terms with it."
Newt was taking mental notes, his tongue sticking out in concentration as Crowley seemed to be on a roll.
"There's always a nice holiday. He loves Europe, France, etc." The whiskey in Crowley's glass didn't seem to be going down despite the constant gulping. "Sometimes it takes a bit of a heroic gesture if I've done something really bad. A little life-saving here or there doesn't go amiss."
"Fascinating." Newt grinned. "My mum and dad got divorced when I was little so I've never really had a good example of a loving relationship before. You guys are probably the closest thing!"
Well, now Crowley really couldn't tell him that he wasn't married, he'd break the poor man's heart. He just smiled awkwardly, patted Newt on the back and drained his glass, not even blinking behind his dark shades as the tumbler hit the table half full.
"I thought the idea was that you tempted him to a drink, not the other way around!" Aziraphale muttered to the drunken mess formerly known as Crowley who Newt had dumped onto the tiny sofa before going to bed.
"Y-sh-said I couldn't ruin their ssspecial day." Crowley slurred, pointing his finger at Aziraphale. "Or you wouldn't- hic- speak to me." He sat himself up and raised his eyebrows. "Hangover- that would ruin the day. And blood falling from the sky. That'd-That'd ruin loads of stuff actually. Could you imagine? Do you think Adam is coming to the weddin'? Will he make it rain blood because I'm pretty sure Anathema is plannin' on wearin' white."
"Crowley. I think it's probably time to sober up, my dear."
"Nah'll wait till they go to sleep else they'd be like 'Whaaaaaat?' and I'd be all like 'I have this magic, I don't stay drunk' and they'd be like 'Whaaaaat?' and I'd be like-"
"Okay point taken." Aziraphale straightened up quickly and smiled as Anathema brought over a glass of water and two small pills from the kitchen, presumably to help cure the hangover Crowley wouldn't have in the morning. "Sorry about him, my dear."
"Not at all, I think Newt had a wonderful time. Plus we somehow managed to get everything ready for tomorrow between the two of us!" She smiled and placed the water down next to Crowley who gave her a weird sort of thumbs up. Aziraphale rolled his eyes and in response, Crowley shot him some finger guns.
"You two are very cute."
Crowley seemed very confused by this statement for a second before a light switched on in his brain. "Oh yeah!" He shot up and pointed at Aziraphale. "We're married!"
The angel blinked. "I beg your pardon?"
"We're married, remember?" With a very unsubtle wink and an exaggerated head movement, the demon seemed to be gesturing towards Anathema who was giggling happily.
"It's lovely that he still remembers when he's drunk." She said. "I'm pretty sure Newt will forget that we're married five minutes after we say I do!"
"Oh..." Aziraphale couldn't for the life of him figure out what was going on, even with Crowley consistently wiggling his eyebrows at him. "We're... Married?"
"Yeah, just told you that! I thought you were s'posed to be smart?"
Anathema beamed at them. "I better go and get some rest before tomorrow! Do you remember where your room is?"
Aziraphale nodded dumbly in response and Anathema leaned over to kiss his cheek goodnight. "S'cuse me that's my husband." Crowley grinned and Anathema apologized jokingly before making her way upstairs.
Once the sound of her footsteps disappeared Crowley sobered himself up, smacking his tongue against the roof of his mouth at the horrible dry feeling. "Well, that was fun."
"Would you care to explain what on Earth is going on?" Aziraphale hissed quietly.
"'Bout what?" Crowley stood up from the sofa, stretching out his limbs and cracking his back loudly. "The marriage thing?"
"Of course the marriage thing!"
"Oh, they think we're married."
Aziraphale was sure that he was going mad. He'd folded that many napkins into swans that his brain had finally given up and sent him round the bend. "That much is clear. Do you know why they think that?"
"Because of the look of love in your eyes every time you see me-ow!" The demon rubbed his arm where Aziraphale had punched it. "I don't bloody know! Newt was asking me for marriage advice and he seemed to think I was doing a pretty great job of being married so I just kind of... Went with it."
With an exasperated sigh that Crowley was very much used to at this point, Aziraphale rubbed the palms of his hands over his eyes. "Well that would explain the room situation, I suppose."
"What room situation?"
"You're right, this is a situation. These bedsheets are hideous." Crowley shook his head in disgust. "Do you think they have a website where I can leave a yelp! review?" As the inventor of yelp! reviews, Crowley tried to write one wherever he could.
"I was rather more referring to them providing us with only one bed."
"Ah, well that's okay. We don't need to sleep. We can just, sit around and chat like little girls at a sleepover." It sounded wrong even as the words came out of Crowley's mouth. "I know you've been dying to braid my hair for centuries." More accurately, Crowley had wanted the angel to braid his hair for centuries. It was only when the invitation never came that Crowley decided to cut off his long, orange locks because he certainly wasn't going to ask.
Aziraphale perched on the end of the bed, chewing his lip apprehensively. "How likely is it that they'll check in on us, as guests?" He questioned nervously. "I don't want them to think that we haven't appreciated their hospitality or that their bed is too uncomfortable to sleep on. It would be ever so embarrassing if they came in and we weren't in bed together." He looked over at Crowley like he very much wanted a specific answer but the demon wasn't quite sure what it was.
If he were speaking honestly Crowley would probably tell Aziraphale that there was an almost 0% chance that the humans would come in and check on them when they were asleep. Partly because A, they weren't infants and B, they were also asleep. However honesty wouldn't be what got Aziraphale into bed with him, and the angel had lied to him to get him here in the first place so this seemed like a fair trade.
"I reckon it's pretty likely," He said matter-of-factly. "Humans have no boundaries. Have you seen the show 'Embarrassing Bodies'? It's wild."
Aziraphale hummed in agreement despite having no idea what Crowley was talking about. "So do you think we should just... Go to sleep? Just in case."
"I mean the thought is torturous," The demon was already undressing, unbuttoning his shirt with impossible speed. "But I think to preserve their perception of us, it'll be worth it."
"Yes, I suppose you're right." Aziraphale removed his jacket and hung it neatly on a peg on the back of the door before toeing his shoes off in the corner of the room. As this was happening Crowley had crawled out of his trousers and under the duvet, his sunglasses still sat firmly on his nose. The angel had his back to the bed, hesitating slightly before unbuckling his trousers and shimmying them nervously down his legs. Crowley almost commented but stopped himself as he realized that this was probably quite a strange experience for the angel.
After removing his bow-tie and placing it on top of his neatly folded trousers, Aziraphale slipped under the covers beside Crowley.
"Are you going to keep your shirt on?" Crowley asked innocently.
"It's a self-preservation thing. Are you going to keep your sunglasses on?"
Crowley touched them self-consciously. "It's a self-preservation thing."
There's an uncomfortable silence while both figures lay perfectly still under the sheets, eyes wide open and staring at the ceiling. It was not a large bed and although they were both very much lying on their respective sides, there were still barely inches between them. Crowley found a small, innate part of him desperate to reach out and close that gap. He fought with this part of himself until Aziraphale broke the silence.
"Would you ever get married?" The question seemed slightly strained, as though the angel had to force it out of his mouth despite the words desperately clinging to his tongue.
Crowley considered the question, turning to face Aziraphale despite the angel staring resolutely at the ceiling. "I don't think anyone would marry me. Demons are notoriously hard to love, angel."
"I'm not sure that's true, my dear." Aziraphale finally rolls over to face Crowley, tucking his hands under his face in the prayer position. "And even if it is, I think you'll find that you're a very atypical demon."
"I'm going to take that as a compliment."
"It was meant as one." He smiled softly and Crowley felt his stomach do something very strange and decided that he wouldn't think about that too hard. This was probably the point where Crowley was meant to ask the question back to Aziraphale. Would he get married? However, the fear of the answer was enough to stop the question from escaping his lips.
"There's no possible way that you can sleep comfortably with those glasses on. I rather do think you should take them off."
"Oh you rather do, do you?" Crowley mocked as an attempt to move away from the subject. It failed miserably.
"Yes, I rather do."
"Well, I rather don't want to!"
"Well, it would be rather nice to look into your eyes for once! I feel like every time I see you I'm simply looking at my reflection and honestly, I'm quite fed up with it." Taking matters into his own hands, the angel reached out and pulled the glasses off Crowley's face before the demon could protest, throwing them onto the bedside table.
Aziraphale had taken away the one thing Crowley could use to hide his demons; the eyes that must remind the angel of what he really is, where he came from and what he's done. He wore those glasses not only to hide his eyes from the humans around him who wouldn't understand the yellow hue of his irises but to hide his past from the angel. He felt naked without them, and he was angry that they were taken without his consent. Moving without thought and through rage, Crowley grabbed the angel's wrists and pinned them either side of his head; in one swift moment he was sat on top of Aziraphale, but it wasn't a fair trade yet.
"Crowley I'm s-"
"You can't have self-preservation if I can't, angel," and in a second Aziraphale's shirt was ripped open, his chest bared to the world. The angel's face was full of fear, staring up at him, into those eyes. The exact fear he was terrified of seeing and the entire reason he wore his glasses around the angel in the first place. "I'm sorry." He let go of Aziraphale's wrists but before he could move so he was no longer straddling the angel, he felt a soft hand against his cheek.
"We both need to apologize. I just wanted to look at you properly."
"I... don't want you to see me properly," Crowley admitted, staring at the angel's pale chest rather than looking up to meet his eye. The rage ebbed away as quickly as it had transpired and the demon just felt tired. "They're a constant reminder of who I really am."
"Exactly." The hand caressing his cheek moved down to cup his chin and lift his head, forcing the demon to make eye contact. "That is exactly the reason I want to see them, my dear."
He ran his thumb across one of Crowley's pronounced cheekbones and sighed heavily, as though he was about to be free of a weight he had been lifting for a long time. "Crowley-"
"Can I change my answer?" Crowley interrupted, "about whether or not I would get married?"
Aziraphale seemed confused but allowed the interruption. "Of course."
"There is only one bastard on this godforsaken planet that I would consider spending the rest of my life with. Mostly because I've already spent the entirety of it with them."
Aziraphale seemed to consider this for just long enough to make Crowley wonder if he'd just made a massive mistake. A subtle smile flitted across the angel's face. "It's Hastur, isn't it. I knew you had a weird thing for frogs."
"You know it. Can't get enough of the croaky prick."
The angel laughed and pulled Crowley down to meet his lips, grinning madly into the kiss as his demon responded happily. Crowley found himself filled with a rush of warmth and love and regret for having not done this sooner but couldn't find himself to focus on anything other than the angel underneath him, clinging onto his back as though he was terrified that Crowley would leave him. As if he ever would.
Anathema and Newt were woken up simultaneously to the sound of rhythmic banging on the wall coming from the guest bedroom. While Newt looked slightly traumatized, Anathema couldn't help but giggle. "Do you think we'll still be going at it like that when we've been married for... You know, I don't actually know how long they've been married for."
"6000 years." Newt groaned and buried his head under his pillow.