Crowley, over the course of the last two months, had been spending more time in Aziraphale’s bookshop then he did in his own flat. A flat that had cost him a great amount of money mind you, not that Crowley had ever really cared about money. The demon went back to his own flat exactly once a week for at most two hours to make sure his plants were behaving properly and to clear out his answering machine.
When he was done striking fear into the very cells of his plants and refilling their water, he would go out to buy whatever Azirpahle had craved last and return home with a smug grin to his waiting lover. On this particular day he had just finished making his rounds when he felt rather than heard something appear behind him.
After a moment he figured out, with much dismay, that it was the archangel Gabriel himself that had stopped in for a visit. Or perhaps it was for a smiting, Crowley wasn’t sure but the angels sudden appearance made him want to run and make sure his angel was still alone and safe.
First however, he would need to figure out a way around Gabriel without it becoming physical. Putting on a smile he spun on his heel with arms outstretched, “Gabriel, what a lovely surprise! Haven’t seen you for awhile, how you been?”
It was lucky for Crowley that looks could not in fact kill, he would have been dead many years ago if that were the case and he would certainly die from the look being given now.
“Cut the smalltalk Crawly, what do you think you’re doing?” A flash of panic struck through Crowley, if Gabriel knew about Aziraphale’s new condition then all bets were off.
“First of all, it’s Crowley. You know what my name is, I’ve heard you use it before. Secondly, I’m watering my plants and trying to figure out why I have an archangel in my house. One who didn’t even give me a heads up about this visit mind you, would have cleaned up the place if he had.”
Gabriel’s stern expression stayed a bit longer before he smiled in what could almost be called defeat and pointed at him, “I figured it out. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what you wanted from Aziraphale but that right there, that answered it.”
Crowley confusedly glanced around trying to piece together whatever Gabriel had so loudly figured out, “come again?”
Gabriel sighed and crossed his arms, “you never change, you’re always pushing those around you from the light ever since the beginning. Instead of most demons who do it quickly, you take your time. Aziraphale is a principality, little low ranking for you but this was probably a test run. See how long you can whittle away a pure soul until they finally fall?”
Crowley bristled and bared his teeth, “he will not fall!”
Gabriel didn’t react to the outburst but did turn his full attention back to the demon in front of him. “Is that what you said to the angels who followed you when you backed up Lucifer?”
Crowley recoiled at the harsh words, “that isn’t how it happened and you know it!”
“Oh I know what happened, I know that a lot of angels didn’t want to get near Lucifer while he was spouting all those crazy ideas. But then you would come around, the archangel Rapheal, who helped create the galaxies and stars.”
Crowley hissed and flinched back at the sound of his old name, it was painful for any demon to hear the name the Almighty gifted them when they were first created and Crowley was no exception. The only exception to this was Lucifer, though his name had become warped and underlyingly different after he fell.
Gabriel smirked at the reaction, “you would come around and tell them it was fine asking questions, it was fine rejecting the Almighty’s love. That everyone should go to Lucifer if they had any problem at all, you helped him gain followers. Those angels fell because of you, then the garden with the humans, the business with the antichrist, now Aziraphale, and that’s barely scratching the surface of what you’ve done.”
Gabriel finished his explanation with a wide gesture before letting his arms fall to his side. He looked expectantly at Crowley, waiting for the snake to either admit he was caught or start spinning a story. Instead Crowley was completely silent and oddly still, after a beat of silence the demon found his voice.
“It’s a bit flattering you think so highly of my skills, but I’ve never forced anyone to do anything. They always made a choice, they just make the wrong ones but that's not on me.” Despite his best efforts his voice was flatter than he wanted it to be, old wounds had been gouged open and it was taking precedence over the threat of the archangel.
Gabriel looked the demon over and seemed satisfied with what he saw, “I’ll give an angel a merciful death before I’ll let them fall, I’d ask you to do the right thing- but we both know that won’t happen.”
With that he vanished from the flat and Crowley stared at the place he was for a long moment before his feet began moving. Collapsing into his chair he held his chin in one hand and pushed back the raging emotions, he did everything he could to forget his time in heaven.
To forget the angels who had looked at him with respect and awe, to forget the way they wailed after the fall when their bodies had warped into something different. As the love and light that they had known from the Almighty was nowhere to be felt, they had looked to him then as well but he refused to meet their gazes. Instead the dark council arose with Lucifer at the center, they cursed heaven and God for what had happened. Crowley had wanted no part of that, instead when he was alone he begged for forgiveness.
When nothing answered him, he gave up hope. Once an angel fell, they never rose up again no matter how much they might ask or beg. The fear that his influence might cause Aziraphale to fall had been one that continuously emerged throughout history. Yet it was almost always quilled when he actually spoke to the angel again and was reconfirmed that Aziraphale was already such an odd angel that his influence could do nothing on the one that gave his flaming sword to humans.
Crowley’s usual response to unwelcome memories and emotions was a simple one, sleep for as long as he could. Typically after he woke up months or years later he was so caught up learning all he had missed and meeting with Aziraphale, that he had no time to think of before.
That wasn’t a possibility now, he couldn’t abandon Aziraphale when the angel needed him. Now it wasn’t just Aziraphale who needed him, even though the child had yet to take a breath Crowley had decided he would die for the child if needed. So sleeping for a year was out, which meant that he would need to push this all back into a dark corner until he barely noticed it anymore.
Besides Crowley felt he had more important things to worry about now then his past actions, if Gabriel or someone else decided to pay Aziraphale a similar visit it would go much worse than his own. Taking a deep breath he rubbed his face and glanced around the flat before pulling out his phone, Aziraphale answered on the second ring.
“Crowley? Is that you dear?”
Just hearing his voice made Crowley’s chest tighten, “yeah angel, look I’ve been doing some thinking. Have you found a good cottage yet in South Downs?”
Aziraphale fumbled a bit with his words before clearing his throat, “so you saw that, I thought I had closed that tab but computers are so finicky. I was hoping to discuss it with you later but yes I have found a few houses that fit what I believe are the proper requirements. Wait, does this mean that you want-”
“Let’s do it, London’s to crowded and there’s no time like the present. We’ll start packing tomorrow and pick out a house.”
The line went silent before Aziraphale spoke, “I- Crowley are you alright?”
Crowley couldn’t help but glance over to the spot Gabriel had stood less than fifteen minutes ago. “I’m peachy.”