Two years ago, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley tried to avert the apocalypse, because they found they liked Earth – and each other – more than they were loyal to their respective superiors. Their attempt has been successful, a fact which not only lead to the continued existence of humankind, but had also had far-reaching consequences for their relationship. For starters, it got a lot more physical, which is why the two of them are currently quite ecstatically engaged in having intercourse. They are doing this in the bedroom of a small apartment above Aziraphale's bookshop, which he owns more for appearance's sake than anything else and – until recently – has hardly ever used for anything other than making tea in the little kitchenette. This habit is about to change for good, for the simple reason that fucking in a bed is a lot more comfortable than on a sofa (although the sofa is usually a bit more fun in Crowley's opinion).
Crowley, at the moment, has a cock, which he is using rather enthusiastically to pound away at Aziraphale, who has gone with a vulva and is lying under him with his legs drawn back so far that he would be able to hook them around Crowley's neck if he were actually flexible enough to do this. He has made this choice mostly because he considers it less messy, but also because he enjoys the greater ease of achieving multiple orgasms; such as the one his demonic boyfriend is giving him right now.
"Oh! Crowley!", Aziraphale cried out, frantically bucking his hips as he climaxed again and again; his pelvic muscles tightening rhythmically – and deliciously – around Crowley's prick.
It was the angel's third orgasm tonight or rather his third round of orgasms and the demon quite felt that he had earned one as well. Therefore, he did not slow down once Aziraphale's orgasm ebbed away as he had done before, but kept going with encouraging sounds from the angel, who pulled him into a snog and dug his heels into Crowley's arse.
Sweating and trembling, Crowley was this close to coming, when suddenly a booming voice called from the bookshop below:
Startled, they froze in their tracks, catching the other's eye and looking both equally confused.
"Aziraphale!", called the voice called again, and their bewildered expressions turned into horror-stricken ones when they recognized it, for it was none other than…
"Gabriel!", they exclaimed simultaneously and stared wide-eyed at each other.
Aziraphale immediately pushed Crowley away, who drew a sharp breath and suppressed a disappointed whine but didn't object.
"What the Heaven is he doing here?!", hissed Crowley, scrambling wildly to get up from the bed and searching for his clothes, "Quick, where are my pants?"
It might seem silly, that Crowley would even think to look for his clothes in such a situation rather than leg it as fast as possible, but he had been in such predicaments before and he knew that it was never enough to simply vanish. No, Crowley knew that you had to cover your tracks, too.
"I have no idea! It doesn't matter, just get out of here!"
"Aziraphale!", called a second voice, that Aziraphale quickly identified as Sandalphon.
Crowley, having picked up his trousers from the floor, lifted a hand to simply magically summon the rest of his garb to him, but did not get far with this because the second Aziraphale recognized what Crowley was doing, he lunged at him, grabbed hold of his wrist and pushed it down; preventing the demon from finishing his gesture.
"Are you mad? You can't miracle anything right now! They'll notice!", he told Crowley in a low voice.
"But- Look, Aziraphale, you don't understand-"
"AZIRAPHALE! Where are you? I know you're here; I can feel your presence!", Gabriel sing-songed downstairs.
"What do we do? What do we do?!", whispered Aziraphale, turning around in panicky circles and searching for possible escape routes for Crowley. "He can't find you here or we're both dead!"
"Aziraphale? Are you up there?"
When they heard the tell-tale creak of the spiral staircase, it felt as if someone had emptied several buckets of ice over their spines.
Crowley hurried towards the window and tried to open it. It was jammed. He blessed under his breath, turned and anxiously gesticulated at Aziraphale to open it, seeing as a miracle by the angel would certainly be less conspicuous. Despite him trying to tone it down as much as inhumanly possible and Aziraphale extending his own to cover it, it was a small miracle in and of itself that neither Gabriel nor Sandalphon had yet noticed Crowley's aura. (As annoying as it usually was, Aziraphale had never been more thankful for his superior's self-centeredness than in this moment).
It was too late. They already heard the apartment door open and it was only Aziraphale's quick reaction that closed the bedroom door just in time.
"Aziraphale? Oh, for the love of – where are you?!"
Making a split-second decision, Aziraphale pointed at the bed and hissed: "Under the bed!"
Crowley, still clutching his trousers, could not think of anything better to do either and executed a masterful rolling dive.
"Coming!", called Aziraphale, trying to keep his voice steady. "I'm in here, just a moment!"
The angel snapped his fingers to dress himself and rushed towards the bedroom door; reaching for the doorknob at the same time Gabriel opened it.
He rubbed his head where the door had hit him.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!", said Gabriel, who – unsurprisingly – did not sound very sorry at all when he said it.
Behind him, Sandalphon coughed in a way that suggested he had just suppressed a snicker.
"Didn't you hear us?", asked Gabriel reproachfully, "It feels like we've been calling your name for hours!"
"I'm so sorry", said Aziraphale, not leaving the doorway and trying to block as much view of the bedroom as possible by holding the door half-closed, "I was so terribly wrapped up in what I was doing, I just didn't hear you at all."
"What were you doing?", asked Gabriel amused.
"Redecorating", replied Aziraphale, after an awkwardly long pause.
"Redecorating?", drawled Sandalphon.
"Yes, it's a terrible mess in there", said Aziraphale earnestly.
Gabriel and Sandalphon glanced at each other.
"A ter-rib-le mess", Aziraphale repeated, breaking into a cold sweat. "I'm sure you would be much more comfortable downstairs. Er, what is it you're here for, anyway?"
He squeezed awkwardly into the hallway and shut the door behind him with what he hoped was a beatific smile. In reality it was rather more of a grimace, but luckily for him, Gabriel was far too egocentric to notice this. Sandalphon on the other hand, who was perhaps slightly more adept at recognising human facial expressions, squinted suspiciously at Aziraphale. However, when his superior did not seem to think anything was out of the ordinary, Sandalphon naturally concluded that things were, in fact, fine, which came as an enormous relief to Aziraphale.
Unfortunately, the feeling turned out to be quite short-lived, when Gabriel scoffed at him and said: "Nonsense, Aziraphale! We'd love to see your apartment!" He clasped his hands behind his back and beamed at the angel. "Why, I think I've never seen it before. You should give us a tour, before we get down to business."
Aziraphale dithered and laughed nervously.
"Oof, oh, are you sure?", he tried to dissuade them, "It's nothing special, really. I'm mostly keeping it for appearances, you know? And like I said, huge mess. Huge mess."
Knowing how much of a neat freak Gabriel was Aziraphale especially stressed the last part, but to no avail.
"It can't possibly be that bad", said Sandalphon and, without further ado, headed for the open door to his right as if he owned the place. "Is this the living room?"
Followed closely by Gabriel and Aziraphale, the angel stuck his head through the door to take a look around what was indeed the living room, although it was not lived in very much. It was a small room, with grey carpet flooring and old wallpaper that seemed under dire threat of falling off, and a single dirty window. It contained very little furniture: A few bookshelves stuffed to the brim with yellowed paper scrolls that were probably worth more than the entire apartment, a surprisingly comfortable sofa of unidentifiable colour, a coffee table full of water rings (all of which were Crowley's fault, except one) and a television set that had only barely escaped still being in black and white.
"Well, isn't this… nice", said Gabriel with forced cheerfulness.
While Aziraphale was trying his best to convince Gabriel and Sandalphon to abandon their bizarre urge to see how he was living – or more likely not living – Crowley was still trapped under Aziraphale's antique four-poster bed and trying very hard not to sneeze from all the dust under it while he struggled into his trousers as silently as possible.
Once he had accomplished this he laid still, listening to Aziraphale prattling in the adjacent room and wondering if he should dare make a run for the window. It seemed risky – they might demand to see the bedroom next – but on the other hand it was possibly even riskier to be in the same room as 'the Archangel fucking Gabriel' as Gabriel had so aptly called himself and Crowley wasn't keen on finding out what would happen if he was. However, the decision was taken out of his hands when the Archangel fucking Gabriel decided that – no matter how drab and uninviting it was – he ought to see the entire apartment, and waltzed into the room, followed suit by Sandalphon and Aziraphale. Internally blessing his dillydallying, Crowley was left with no choice but to stay where he was, keep quiet and hope against hope that he would not be discovered.
Tense, sweating and terrified Aziraphale lead the two angels into the bedroom. Seconds stretched into hours, minutes into eternities, as they nosed around the room; taking in everything from the large Victorian wardrobe to the slightly dusty mirror and the heaps of clothes strewn about the floor.
"Like I said", said Aziraphale with a swallow, gesturing vaguely at the clothes, "redecorating."
Gabriel lifted his eyebrows as his gaze fell upon a white and golden vest lying on top of a black piece of fabric that Aziraphale instantly recognized as Crowley's jacket.
He picked it up and examined it. Aziraphale paled accordingly and hid his trembling fingers behind his back. Under the bed, Crowley held his breath.
"Cleaning out your wardrobe, too, are you?", said Gabriel benevolently. "Making a few changes? Good, good. I always thought you could stand to… update it."
He smirked at Aziraphale, who, flooded with relief, merely responded by giving a weak chuckle and mumbling something noncommittal, before ushering them to the bathroom next door.
They almost made it. Almost.
Halfway through the door, Gabriel suddenly stopped dead, lifted his head and sniffed like a bloodhound who had just smelled prey.
"What's that smell?", he asked.
Sandalphon, who had been walking behind him, followed suit and inhaled sharply.
"It smells like…", he began.
"Oh, it's probably because I haven't aired this room in a few days", said Aziraphale quickly, with a deer-in-the-headlights look on his face, "it tends to get stuffy-"
"No, no, that's not it!", Gabriel interrupted him, holding up a hand.
He turned his head this way and that, still sniffing, trying to locate the source of the stench.
"It stinks of demon in here! Don't you smell it?", he asked, aghast that the angel did not seem to notice it.
Aziraphale took an exaggerated sniff.
"Can't smell a thing", he said cheerfully.
"But it's everywhere!", Sandalphon blurted out, "It's disgusting! Where is this coming from?"
They were pacing around the room, trying to suss out where the mysterious odour was coming from and drawing ever closer to the bed. Aziraphale's heart hammered in his chest.
"You don't think there's one in here?", Gabriel wondered. Then he turned sharply towards Aziraphale and asked point-blank: "You're not still in… contact, are you?"
His voice had taken on a dangerously low tone and he and Sandalphon closed in on Aziraphale, whose hands and feet were getting clammier by the minute under their scowls and piercing stares.
"No! Nooo, of course not", said Aziraphale. "I haven't seen Crowley since the… the unfortunate incident we must not speak of", he lied, desperately trying to buy time until he could think of a cover-up story.
"I don't know what incident you are referring to", said Gabriel blandly.
"Then where is this smell coming from?", asked Sandalphon.
Cornered by the two angels, Aziraphale's eyes flitted helplessly around the room, desperately searching for something, anything to help him. They caught on the stuffy armchair on one side of the room, where the tip of one of Crowley's snake-skin shoes was just visible underneath and an idea presented itself to him…
"I don't- Oh gosh", he said and clapped his hands together, very convincingly pretending that he had only just remembered something, "I am so sorry! I completely forgot about this!"
"Forgot about what?", barked Gabriel.
"I had an infestation", said Aziraphale. "Last week."
"An infestation?", asked Sandalphon, bewildered.
"Yes!", confirmed Aziraphale. "An infestation of… demon snakes!"
"Demon snakes", scoffed Gabriel. "Are you serious?"
"Absolutely", said Aziraphale, nodding emphatically. "That's probably why the smell made you think of Crowley", he added helpfully.
"Why would there be demon snakes in here?"
"Oh, I have no idea", Aziraphale answered lightly, "To be honest, I think it was just a coincidence. Sensed my angelic presence perhaps? I dealt with it, of course. Them. Vanquished them all, naturally. But these smells tends to linger, especially in here. It's all the… old furniture. All the dust."
"Why didn't you just miracle it away?", asked Sandalphon, looking utterly baffled that such a simple solution had not occurred to Aziraphale.
"Oh. Well, I… why, I suppose I must have forgotten about it", said Aziraphale, doing his best to give an impression of 'look at me, being such a scatterbrain' and being properly embarrassed about it, and succeeding.
"I had to clean up the stains afterwards, of course", he said, "and by the time I was done I was quite used to the smell. You wouldn't believe how fast human bodies get used to unpleasant sensations. Their senses are remarkably adaptable! And I don't use this room very often."
Gabriel and Sandalphon still didn't look convinced, so Aziraphale gave an exaggerated frown and added: "But now that you mentioned it, yes, it is quite a dreadful smell! Can't believe I haven't noticed it before."
He clasped his hands behind his back and shook his head with his lips pressed tightly together.
"Simply dreadful. But don't you worry, I'll get to it right aw- as soon as we're done. Now, why don't I show you the rest of the apartment and then we can go downstairs to the bookshop and have a nice cup of cocoa, yes?"
He beamed at them.
"Are you quite sure you've disposed of them all?", asked Sandalphon, still not relenting.
"Oh yes", Aziraphale responded confidently, "Very sure."
"It's only", said the other angel insistently, "the smell seems fairly fresh to me. And it appears to be coming from under your bed."
He stepped up to the four-poster bed and bent down to check its underside.
Had Aziraphale been human, then he surely would have died of a heart attack at this very moment. Alas, he was not and therefore didn't, although the angel's heart did indeed stop for several beats, as did Crowley's. However, neither being ever noticed this because several things happened at once, all of which were currently infinitely more important than a heartbeat.
The first of these was that Sandalphon got down on his knees, looked under the bed and discovered Crowley.
Crowley, thankfully, had realised that the jig was up the moment Sandalphon had finished speaking and, with the blink of an eye, transformed himself into the smallest snake he could think of. This turned out to be a Southern Ringneck and meant that Crowley was still several magnitudes bigger than the Barbados Threadsnake – which is about the size of a spaghetti noodle and the smallest species known to humankind – but considering that he is currently in mortal danger, Crowley can probably be forgiven for not remembering this.
"Ah-haaaa!", screamed Sandalphon, having spotted Crowley in his snake form at the same time that Aziraphale was shouting "Wait!" and snatching at his sleeve in an unsuccessful attempt to stop him from doing what he was already doing; namely checking under the bed.
Upon being seen Crowley is shooting out from beneath the ancient four-poster as fast as he can, making good use of the increased speed and agility of a snake's body. However, he is still not fast enough to escape Gabriel, whose well-aimed and deadly lightning bolt misses Crowley's head by a few inches and hits his tail instead solely because of a well-timed miraculous intervention from Aziraphale.
"Aziraphale! What the fuck are you doing?", seethed Gabriel. "I would have killed it!"
"I know!", said Aziraphale, running to catch the terrified Crowley by the neck (or where the neck would have been, if snakes even had necks) before he could hide under the armchair.
He whispered, "I have a plan", before turning around to face the enraged Gabriel with Crowley in his hands.
"Excuse me? You can't just kill it", he said aghast, cradling the wriggling snake to his chest, "This isn't a demon, it's a regular snake! It's merely possessed!"
"Yes, and? Squash it", Sandalphon told Aziraphale, as if he were five years old.
"We are supposed to show love and care for all of Her creations", Aziraphale replied huffily. "And besides", he added, "What, precisely, would be the point of this? They'd just come back. It's actually a stroke of fortune! I thought I had exorcised them all."
"As. You. Should", said Gabriel between gritted teeth and, flanked by a grim-looking Sandalphon, strode towards the angel. "Or better yet: You don't even bother with the exorcism, you just squash them!", he yelled and glared at Aziraphale, his eyes flashing an angry purple.
"If I kill the whole squad, what do you think will happen?", Aziraphale asked him coolly.
"What?", asked Gabriel bewilderedly, clearly thrown off by the question.
"If I kill them all", explained Aziraphale patiently, "then whoever is responsible for them will just send new ones. If I leave one of them alive to crawl back to its master, then it will tell them what happened; namely that this here angel is not one to be messed with. And then they'll stay away from me. Trust me, I know how this works."
This was of course all complete and utter hogwash. However, Aziraphale has learned quite a few tricks from Crowley over the years and one of them was that provided you stated them with enough confidence, you could tell people the dumbest things and they would believe you. It was how Crowley wrote most of his reports. Since Gabriel hardly ever listened to what Aziraphale said, only to how he said it, it worked – to Aziraphale's utter amazement and even greater relief – beautifully.
"What do you propose we do with it, then? Throw it out the window?", Gabriel asked jeeringly.
Sandalphon gave a polite little chuckle, but Aziraphale's face lit up like a Christmas tree.
"Actually, yes. That's a great idea", he said cheerfully.
Crowley froze in his arms.
"An infestation of demon snakes", said Crowley in a voice filled with utter disbelief. "I can't believe they bought all that nonsense you were spouting."
The demon was sprawled – fully dressed – on the sofa in Aziraphale's not-living room and rubbing his leg, which was still hurting where Gabriel had hit him. Crowley had decided to numb the pain by having several very alcoholic drinks at once.
"I can't either to be honest", said Aziraphale, holding his second glass of whisky in a hand that was still trembling slightly.
He made a shooing motion at Crowley and the demon reluctantly pulled his legs away so that Aziraphale could sit down. Once he had Crowley immediately draped his legs over the angel's lap.
"What were they here for anyway?", he asked.
After Aziraphale had unceremoniously dropped him out of the bedroom window (where he had very nearly landed in an inconveniently placed garbage can) and gone downstairs to the bookshop with Gabriel and Sandalphon, Crowley had not been able to eavesdrop anymore.
"Just a check-up", said Aziraphale absently and put his free hand on Crowley's knee. "Gabriel wanted to talk about my last reports, now that I'm officially reinstated."1 He shrugged, looked into his whisky glass and, after a few moments of deliberation, emptied it in one go. "I think he just came to gloat. He always does. Even if there's nothing to gloat about."
The demon snickered and snapped his fingers to refill their glasses.
"Well, he's done gloating for today", he said, "Hopefully it will be a very long time until the next time."
"You know", drawled Crowle, put his glass on the coffee table – making sure to add another water ring – and leaned back into the sofa, "it really was quite traumatizing for me."
"I'm sorry", said Aziraphale, feeling a pang of guilt. "For what it's worth, it wasn't exactly a picnic for me either."
"Yes, but you didn't get SHOT AT with a lightning bolt by the Archangel fucking Gabriel and then thrown out of a window!", replied Crowley testily. "I mean look at this, angel!" He rolled up his trouser leg, showing the slowly receding remnants of a red welt. "That hurt you know!"
"I think what you meant to say was: 'Thank you, Aziraphale, for saving my arse from an inconvenient and painful discorporation, not to mention a lot of paperwork' ", said Aziraphale.
Crowley sighed and rolled his eyes, then rubbed them and grumbled: "Thank you, Aziraphale, for saving my arse from an inconvenient and painful discorporation, not to mention a lot of paperwork"
"Can I get pampered now? I'm hurting all over", whined Crowley.
"Well, what do you want me to do, kiss it better?", Aziraphale asked irritatedly.
Crowley crossed his legs and put his hands in his lap, seemingly pondering the question.
"That would be a start, yeah", he said eventually, looking pleadingly at the angel, who let out a resigned sigh.
"Well, where does it hurt the most?"
Crowley clasped his hands together and, resting his index fingers against his pursed lips, looked at the ceiling and appeared to think about this for several seconds.
"I'd say…", he said slowly, "Right… here."
He pointed at his crotch.
Aziraphale threw a sofa cushion at his face.
"Crowley, you are the absolute worst."
The demon giggled into the cushion before he removed it from his face (although he held onto it as an improvised shield just in case).
"Awww, come on, angel", he said, grinning at Aziraphale.
"The worst", repeated the angel and pointedly turned his head away, although the corners of his mouth were twitching. He balled one hand to a fist and held it up to his mouth to cover it.
"Don't you feel at least a little bit sorry for me?", said Crowley, trying to make puppy eyes at Aziraphale, which is fairly difficult to pull off if you have snake eyes. Crowley somehow managed it despite the handicap. "Not even a little bit?"
"A smidgen perhaps", conceded Aziraphale, still trying not to laugh and not entirely succeeding. "I have to admit that we were quite rudely interrupted."
"Pretty please?", said Crowley, pouting and fluttering his eyelashes at the angel.
"You're terrible", Aziraphale repeated once more, then lifted Crowley's legs from his lap so he could stand up. The demon's face drooped at first but lit up immediately when Aziraphale turned around and kneeled in front of the sofa.
He watched eagerly as Aziraphale undid belt buckle, button and zipper of the tight black jeans Crowley was wearing.
"Well, I do suppose I should-", he began lightly, but Crowley cut him off.
"I swear, if you're going to say anything along the lines of", he took on a mocking tone, " 'Well I suppose I should finish off the last snake', angel, I'm going home."
"Why is it that you're allowed to make terrible puns and I'm not?", grumbled Aziraphale, a trifle testily.
"Because", said Crowley, melting into the sofa when the angel's warm hands began to coax his neglected cock back to life (not that much coaxing was needed), "there's 'terrible' and there's-"
Crowley threw his head back, eyes flying shut. Aziraphale had just taken him wholly into his mouth.
"Ah- heavenly", he moaned.
1 So was Crowley. Official policy was that nothing had ever happened and what are you even talking about? click to return