Something always brought Aziraphale and Crowley back together, The way that Crowley would orbit him sometimes made the other almost believe it could be gravity. The pull of the only other steady immortal energy on the planet.
Each pass seemed to bring the two closer still, the time between shorter than the last right up until the Arrangement. Then it was multiple times a century. Perhaps eventually multiple times a decade. There was a rising fear that things were moving too fast as Aziraphale wondered what would happen after that. What would happen in a singularity between them both.
It clawed at his throat and ached in a hollow part of his chest if he thought about it for too long, so by and large he didn’t. Mostly he stuck to his job and his little indulgences and tried very hard not to think about the next time that their gravity would bring them together.
Sometimes Crowley felt like an orbit he would never be free from.
Sometimes, the worst times, Aziraphale thought that he didn’t want to be set free. Didn’t know where he would be if he were suddenly cast away from the perpetual pull of the other.
1941 was the year that Aziraphale realised, with a mix of horror and elation, that they had come too close to change anything now. There would be a collision. He felt it in the thrill of something as their hands brushed over the bag of books. A bag which Crowley had specifically saved for him.
The first moment of alignment when everything suddenly starts to move faster.
He ended up stood in the rubble almost struck dumb at the sight of Crowley’s retreating back. His heart swelling bigger than anything he had felt in Heaven, so much that it hurt. Crowley knew everything about him, everything that Heaven missed. Was, in so many ways, everything that he needed. Everything that was somehow missing in the impersonal Goodness of Heaven.
From the very first moment in Eden Crowley had somehow singled him out. Weak enough heart to give away his sword for the humans . Strong enough to stand up to the serpent’s temptations for very nearly six millennia.
And yet it was never enough.
Aziraphale’s life was a terrifying contrast of knowing what was good, what was right , and what was so completely real and solid and right there if he could only….
If Aziraphale could drown in him, sometimes he would. But he couldn’t, he knew. Crowley had Fallen for a reason. Heaven was the sight of right and love and good .
And still Crowley held him there in orbit with barely a touch. No more than a few words. And the most nonchalant kindness – as if the demon couldn’t imagine another course of action.
Aziraphale knew that if they touched, for much longer than the few brief fleeting moments they had, what little strength he had would disappear so quickly. It felt, more and more, like a life lived on his knees begging for a way out, a way out that he didn’t know he would take even if he found it.
For a way to make things simple again.
After all the demon was neither his friend nor truly his foe, not in the way that it mattered. For all the bluster the angel put up about it he was the one true constant in his life. One he could barely stand to be apart from for too long these days.
When they met in ‘67 he almost found himself begging to be let go. To be released from the pull that kept him on earth and forever gravitating to Crowley. Instead, he gave him the Holy Water; an out from their singularity that he didn’t have the strength for himself. Instead, he fled, and wondered when and where that terrible, blessed liquid might be used. If somewhere in the intervening years he would somehow find himself adrift with the horrible knowledge of why.
Instead they met again. 2008 and the beginning of the end of it all one way or another.
Aziraphale felt that same clawing at his throat, the same urge to deny that they were anything. As if denying gravity made it any less real.
He spent a lot of those intervening years denying and pushing, almost desperate to break free and just as desperate to never be released from the other’s hold.
And before too long Armageddon had passed and they were on a bus and things were so quiet and so still as the end of their odd dance around one another approached, demanded to reach its conclusion and change into whatever it would be .
Aziraphale sat down next to Crowley, placed his hand in the other’s, and found a binary system where he had expected a black hole.