“They’re looking for a nanny,” Crowley says. His head is in Aziraphale’s lap as he messes around with his phone. With one hand Aziraphale absently strokes his hair; the other holds a book. At Crowley’s words, Aziraphale glances down at him.
“A nanny for the Antichrist?”
“Yeah. I was thinking, it’s a good opportunity, right?” He sits up and looks at Aziraphale, who puts his book down. “Exactly what we need to influence the kid.
“You want me to be his nanny?”
Crowley smacks his arm lightly. “No, I’ll be the nanny, it was my idea. You find your own thing.”
Aziraphale supposes there’s probably all kinds of things he could do, all manner of work to be found in an American ambassador’s house, but then Crowley is straddling him and Aziraphale loses his train of thought completely.
“Honestly, dear boy, I was trying to think.”
“I know. Can’t make it that easy for you to thwart my wiles, can I?”
Aziraphale tries not to smile, but he doesn’t try very hard. “Are you trying to tempt me, Crowley?”
“Yeah. Is it working?”
“It is,” Aziraphale says, and pulls him closer. Crowley goes easily, and laughs until he decides kissing is a much better use of his mouth.
A week later, Aziraphale looks up to see a woman all in black, wearing sunglasses and red lipstick, enter the shop. He’s about to say something about being closed before he notices the not-quite-visible black wings, smells the slight tang of brimstone beneath her coriander and tuberose perfume.
“It’s for the nanny interview. What do you think?” Crowley asks, arms spread wide and turning in a circle so that Aziraphale can admire the new look.
“It’s very nice.”
Crowley beams at him, and walks over to kiss him, brief but slick with a little bit of tongue. Aziraphale wonders if he now has some of that red lipstick on his own lips and feels a little thrill at the thought of their kiss being so obvious to anyone that cared to look.
“And, ah. What shall I call you?”
“I’m thinking of going by Ms. Crowley. Originally I was thinking of something a bit - hmm, dark, y’know. Something with a bit of drama. Ashtoreth, maybe. But Crowley’s just easier.”
“Fair enough. And pronouns?”
Crowley shrugs. “Use she,” she says easily, like it doesn’t really matter to her.
Aziraphale nods. “Alright, Ms. Crowley.”
“What about you?” Crowley asks, straightening Aziraphale’s bow tie for him then resting her hands on his waist. “What’s your plan?”
“They’re looking for a gardener.”
Crowley fixes him with a long, cool look. “And what do you know about gardening?”
“What do you know about nannying?”
Crowley purses her lips, but nods. “Fair enough. I can give you advice if you like.”
“I’m not going to yell at their gardens, Crowley.”
“It works, angel!”
It only takes a bit of ethereal pressure to get the job.
Aziraphale does have some concerns about how exactly gardening works, but not too much. He’s bought some books, which are now nestled on one of the rickety bookshelves in the little gardener’s cottage at the edge of the Dowling’s grounds. It’s not much - a small living area with a bit of a kitchen, a bedroom, a tiny bathroom - but there’s room for books and that’s all that really matters.
On the second day he’s looking at some begonias, trying to remember what a book said about them, when he feels a familiar presence next to him, comforting despite its infernal nature.
He turns to see Crowley, in a black jacket and skirt, sensible flat shoes and leather gloves. She has dark glasses, of course, and her hair is neatly styled. She looks lovely, but then Crowley always does.
She’s looking at Aziraphale - or rather, at Brother Francis - with irritation that the glasses do nothing to hide.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Crowley says, and the accent’s different - Scottish. It’s nice.
“What do yew mean, young lady?”
Crowley looks pained. “Accent, too?”
“You’ve got one,” Aziraphale says, but he drops the accent anyway.
“I-“ She pinches the bridge of her nose, then shakes her head. “Whatever. It’s fine, it doesn’t matter. Try not to kill the plants.”
“I’m wearing a form that will teach the boy that appearances don’t matter. Because they don’t.”
“Mm,” Crowley says noncommittally because Aziraphale is fairly sure appearance does matter to his always-fashionable demon. She touches his elbow lightly before returning to the house and her charge.
They don’t see each other too often; it wouldn’t make sense, would it, for the nanny and the gardener to be constant companions.
Besides, both of them are busy with work. Gardening is harder than Aziraphale expected it to be, and he’s started taking a leaf from Crowley’s book, though instead of shouting at the plants he’s saying lovely things to them. Everyone responds well to compliments, even Crowley.
The next time they see each other is nearly a month later in the house kitchens. Aziraphale has come in to borrow some sugar - why buy his own when Cook is so obliging? - but finds that Cook has gone home and Nanny is in her place.
Almost in her place, anyway. Crowley is sitting at the kitchen table with a newspaper in her hands, and Aziraphale feels both a dull ache in his chest and a sweet light feeling at seeing her there.
He’s missed Crowley, he realises suddenly. A month apart is nothing, really; they’ve gone centuries without seeing each other in the past, but not lately. Since their whiskey-fuelled confessions of love a year ago, they’ve seen each other almost every week, if not most days, so of course he’s missed her.
He pushes away the desire to kiss her in greeting and waves instead.
“Hello there,” he says, keeping the accent in case there’s someone around who might overhear.
Crowley glances over the paper and sighs. “Lose the teeth,” she says without losing her accent; no-one to see, then. “Please, angel, I’m begging you.”
Slightly put-out, Aziraphale shifts back to his favourite form. ”Well, what about you?”
“Warlock could call for his Nanny at any time, he’s hardly bloody likely to call for the gardener, is he?” Crowley pauses, and looks at Aziraphale. “Do you want me to change?”
“No, no,” Aziraphale says, and he doesn’t; as used to Crowley’s usual shape as he is, he isn’t opposed to this one: similar enough to be familiar, but slightly softer, both in shape and temperament. The latter, certainly, is not something Aziraphale could be opposed to.
“Good,” Crowley says, and turns her attention back to the paper.
“Is Cook around?”
Crowley looks up from her paper and then with a sigh, puts it down. “She’s gone home ill. Mrs Dowling asked me if I could cook.”
“I can pick up the phone and order in.”
“I’ll make sure there is.”
“Maybe… maybe we could have dinner together, later. It’s been a while.”
Crowley taps her fingers on the table, and Aziraphale isn’t really expecting her to agree. Crowley can be very prickly. So when she says, softly, “Alright,” then gets up to kiss him gently, he’s taken so aback that he doesn’t react as she wraps her arms around his waist. “I’ll bring it over to your cottage when the kid has gone to bed.”
“I’d best go tidy up then,” Aziraphale says, staying where he is and stealing another kiss.
“Best had,” Crowley agrees, but doesn’t let go.
In the end, it’s an hour later by the time Aziraphale gets back to his cottage.
There isn’t much to tidy up, really - Crowley is used to his brand of comfortable clutter, and Aziraphale might even go as far as suggesting he likes it, though he knows better than to say so.
He tidies the books away, cleans up the kitchen a bit. He looks at the bedroom for a long moment and thinks about it. He’s not one for sleeping much - a pleasure of the world, to be sure, but he prefers reading. There are other things they could do in the bed, though, things neither of them are interested in doing that often, but a month of barely even seeing Crowley makes Aziraphale think about it for a long moment. In the end he closes the door and decides to see where the evening takes them.
A little later, Crowley appears at his front door, a bottle of scotch in one hand and a bag of takeout containers in the other.
“You’ve got plates, right?” She asks as Aziraphale gestures her inside with a gallant bow.
“Of course.” He takes the things from her and heads to the kitchen. Though he answered the door as Brother Francis, just in case, he shifts back to his favoured form as he seeks out plates and cutlery, and cut crystal glasses for the scotch.
“Doesn’t seem fair,” Crowley says, standing in the middle of the living room with her arms folded. “I get a room and you get your own cottage.”
“It’s like you said before,” Aziraphale points out. “Warlock could call on you at any time. You need to be close by.”
Crowley harumphs and sits on the sofa. For a moment she has Nanny’s upright manner before remembering she’s safe here and affects Crowley’s usual sprawl. It gives Aziraphale a peek at her stocking top which makes something twist in his belly.
He plates the food and since he doesn’t have room for a dining table they eat on the sofa with plates on their laps, talking and slowly drinking whiskey. Something Aziraphale didn’t even realise was tense inside him relaxes, and after the plates are cleared away, his hand goes to Crowley’s thigh, to the lacy stocking top, and runs a thumb over it, feeling the texture of the lace and the cool skin beneath. She raises an eyebrow at him.
“Did you invite me here for illicit purposes, angel? I wouldn’t have thought you had it in you.”
Aziraphale gasps and snatches his hand away. “I - that’s not what I-“
She takes his hand and puts it back where it was. “It’s not like I mind,” she says, then after a moment’s thought, adds, “I think I’d quite like it, actually. Give it a try, like this. What do you think?”
She looks over the top of her sunglasses at him, then gestures at the bits that are curvier than usual.
“Oh,” he says, then, “Oh.”
“Yes, angel.” She pauses. “Or I can shift back, if you prefer.”
“Oh, no it’s just - we’ve never tried it this way before. But you’re just as lovely like this as you usually are.”
“That goes without saying.” Crowley looks at him. “So what do you want, angel? Your call.”
“You,” he says, suddenly feeling hopelessly in love. “You.”
“Any and every way I can have you.”
Crowley’s smile is far too soft for a smirk, though Aziraphale feels fairly sure that’s what she intends. “Like this, then,” she says decisively, and grabs his lapels, kissing him. “Get yourself ready.”
He does, with a gasp and a sudden flood of hormones and need. The ache that is always there with Crowley suddenly intensifies until it’s almost painful and now he kisses her, loving the way her body shakes slightly as she laughs, even though it’s at him.
She takes off her glasses, putting them on the coffee table, and Aziraphale stares at her eyes; lovely, truly lovely, but he always feels a complex little twist in his chest when he sees them. She pulls her hair out of her bun and lets it fall over her shoulders. Aziraphale’s hands are moving to run his fingers through it before he’s even thinking about it. He always loved Crowley with long hair, loved running his fingers through it this past year. It’s soft and silky, and touching it feels so intimate, especially when Crowley’s eyes flutter shut and she smiles.
“Do you even know what to do?” Crowley asks. “With this body?”
“Of course I do,” Aziraphale says, and doesn’t explain any further. Let Crowley think that he’s been having dalliances with lovely young ladies over the centuries, rather than buying a book from Waterstones when he first saw Crowley like this and rereading it five times since. The truth is, inasmuch as Aziraphale has any interest in that kind of thing, it’s almost always been directed towards men, but Crowley is Crowley, and Aziraphale is deeply and desperately in love, whatever form Crowley is wearing.
“I look forward to finding out more,” she smiles, and tips her head back, inviting Aziraphale to kiss her neck, and so he does, wrapping his arms around Crowley’s waist and holding her close.
She takes her jacket off and puts Aziraphale’s hands to her shirt buttons. Obediently he undresses her, taking her clothes off carefully; he even starts folding them before Crowley groans at him to leave them, to get back here, angel. She takes off her own underwear - lovely lacy things, brief and black, and Aziraphale watches this unveiling with bated breath.
Aziraphale thinks of the first time Crowley undressed for him: all that pale skin, the hard slender body, the gently curved cock.
Naked, there really aren’t that many differences. Crowley is still pale and slender, and still painfully lovely. Aziraphale cups her slight breasts, making her sigh, then slides his hand down her belly. Her hips are a little wider and rather than the cock where Crowley usually makes an effort, there’s a tuft of hair and warm lips, dark pink and already slick.
Curiously he runs a gentle finger over them, and Crowley gasps, hands tightening on Aziraphale’s arms. He glances up, worried for a moment, but she’s smiling with her head tipped back.
“That’s good, angel,” she whispers. “Inside.”
Aziraphale looks down, tracing the edge of each slick lip before slowly sliding a finger inside. It’s hot and wet, and it makes Aziraphale’s cock twitch, but not as much as Crowley’s soft, broken moan. Aziraphale fucks her with his finger, and remembering the book, he finds her clit with his thumb, making her cry out and buck against him.
“Fucking hell, angel,” she moans, and shifts to straddle him, staying on her knees so that he can continue to finger her. He loves the way she gasps and shivers, especially when he rubs his thumb in a circle against her clit. He feels it when she comes, feels her tense around his fingers; feels it when she comes again, cursing loudly, kissing him then biting his lower lip until they both taste blood.
“Perhaps you’d like it if I were to use my mouth on you?” Aziraphale suggests, intruiged by the way that she can come so often and wanting to make it happen in as many ways as possible. He’s an angel, after all, and making people happy is one of the things he was made for. Perhaps not in this particular manner, and definitely not with a demon, but still.
“Yes,” she says, climbing off him inelegantly and pushing him down to his knees between her thighs. “Yes, do that, now.”
Aziraphale rather thinks he’s gotten good at sucking Crowley’s cock over the last year - practice makes perfect, after all. This will be a little different, he knows that much from the book, but he’ll make sure to be a quick study.
“Tell me if there’s anything you don’t like, or anything you especially do.”
“Yeah, yeah, get on with it,” Crowley says as Aziraphale settles between her legs. She runs her hands through his hair and then shivers as he flicks his tongue out experimentally against her clit. He does it again, and this time draws a shaky fuck from her. He thinks of everything he’s read from the book, and with that and Crowley’s breathless guidance he learns that she loves both his eager attentions to her clit as well as him fucking her with his tongue. He loves the taste of her, like no-one else could ever taste, with a vague spiciness from her demonic nature. In truth that just makes it all the more enjoyable and he licks her out until she comes for a third and fourth time, until his chin is dripping with it.
“Angel,” she gasps, hand tightening in his hair. “You’re too good at this.”
Rather than argue or acknowledge, instead Aziraphale turns his attention to pleasuring her, this time sucking at her clit as he fingers her; when she comes this time there’s a desperate edge to it, and she cries out so loudly that Aziraphale is glad his cottage is far from the house.
She pushes him away and he goes, worried he’s done something wrong, but she drags him onto the sofa and kneels on the floor between his legs, swapping their positions.
“Oh,” he says, and she grins up at him, squeezing his cock through his trousers. The pleasure is instantly intoxicating.
“I want to suck your cock,” she says, stroking him, and he nods, trying not to look too desperate.
“Ah. Yes, please.”
She chuckles, dark and deeply sexy, and extricates his cock from his trousers without undressing him. There’s something deeply erotic about that, he thinks vaguely, beneath the crush of hormones; about him being fully clothed and her gloriously naked. From this angle he can see her lovely shoulders, an occasional glimpse of buttock or breast as she moves.
As she starts to suck him off things are more familiar - Crowley has always been very, very good at this: good with that slightly forked tongue, good at using teeth in a way that doesn’t quite hurt but that could, and Aziraphale has always shivered at the not-really-a-threat. Crowley loves deepthroating him, taking the entire length of him, something that always makes Aziraphale feel like he’s drowning. The pleasure is almost too much, so heady that it’s almost blasphemous; the way he feels about Crowley’s hot wet mouth is dangerously close to worship.
She glances up at him when she’s got the whole length of him in her mouth, her throat; yellow eyes are bright and beautiful, lipstick smeared, hair unruly from where Aziraphale has been grasping at it, and he is certain, utterly certain that there has never been a more beautiful sight in all of God’s creation.
“I love you,” he groans, and Crowley’s eyes widen. She pulls away from his cock to kiss him, and Aziraphale wraps his arms around her, holding her close. He doesn’t much care what they’re doing as long as they’re doing it together.
“You need to fuck me,” Crowley gasps. “You need to fuck me right now.”
“Agreed,” Aziraphale says, and gestures at the door to the bedroom.
“No - here, now,” Crowley says. Straddling him, she gets into position, the slick heat of her lips against the head of his cock making Aziraphale so dizzy he almost lets it happen.
“I can’t wait!”
“I know, just - you can’t get pregnant, right?”
“The, ah. That mess, you know, with the nephilim. That was bad enough and that was the child of an angel and a human, who knows what the offspring of an angel and a demon would be like.”
“No, Aziraphale, I can’t get pregnant. Now fuck me.”
Mind at ease, Aziraphale is very happy to oblige.
Grabbing Crowley’s hip with one hand and his own cock with the other, he guides her into the right place and pushes her down gently. She gets the idea and lowers herself. Both of them moan as Aziraphale slides inside her. Crowley is a size queen, and Aziraphale has always made sure to oblige: his cock is long and thick, and he’s always loved the way that Crowley writhes and moans and hisses in his usual form, begging for more, insisting he can take all of it. It’s easier like this, though Crowley’s cunt is still achingly tight around him, hot and slick and wonderful. She fucks her hips down, gasping with each thrust, until Aziraphale is all the way inside her.
They pause there, staring at each other open mouthed.
“You,” starts Aziraphale. “You’re marvellous, my dear.”
“Your bedroom talk still needs work,” Crowley says, but she’s laughing and her kiss is fond when she leans in. “And in case you didn’t notice, I’m always fucking amazing.”
Aziraphale definitely noticed, but she doesn’t need anyone to stroke her ego. He grabs her hips with both hands and starts to fuck her with vigour, getting a good rhythm going. She slides a hand down between them and starts to play with her clit, but then she moves lower, until Aziraphale can feel her fingers against his slick cock as he fucks into her. Both of them moan at that, and though this is far from the first time they’ve had sex, for the first time in a long time, Aziraphale is suddenly struck by the understanding that they’re doing this, that he is fucking a demon - a wonderful, marvellous demon - and he moans at how - how illicit this is. Perhaps part of him is afraid but most of him doesn’t care because he loves Crowley. Love is the highest, holiest thing, but even if it isn’t, he would do anything to keep this.
“I love you,” he says again, and Crowley groans.
“Love you too,” she says, and kisses him, fucking her hips down to meet his thrusts.
They lose themselves then, adrift in the pleasure and the kisses, no longer feeling like individuals but like a meeting, a merging, a coming together.
And then they do come together, crying out their pleasure, voices twining around each other.
Aziraphale has come inside Crowley plenty of times before and it’s always like this, it’s always perfection, it’s always this is where I belong.
Neither of them move as they catch their breath; not that they need to breathe but they always do when they do this very human thing. And then they kiss and they kiss and they kiss, and Aziraphale never wants this moment to end, except that he does so they can do it all over again.
“Now,” Crowley says eventually, pulling back to give him a grin that Aziraphale thinks certain authors - not that he would know, you understand - might describe as fucked out. “Now we can go to the bedroom.”
“To - to do it again?”
“To sleep.” Aziraphale isn’t disappointed; he prefers reading to sleeping alone, but sleeping with Crowley by his side is another matter entirely. “And maybe we can do it again in the morning.”
“Again with the tempting, my dear.”
“Always, angel,” and it sounds like a promise.
“Do you love Nanny?” Warlock asks Brother Francis several years later. He and Crowley have tried to be subtle, but children do tend to notice things you don’t want them to.
“I love all living things.”
“Yeah, but - you love her in a different way, right? Like - like mommies and daddies are supposed to.”
That he doesn’t mention his own parents breaks Aziraphale’s heart, but that sorrow is pushed onto the backburner by the sudden certain, terrifying knowledge that this is the exact question Gabriel might ask him, if they were ever found out. Though Gabriel would have a more accusatory tone, he rather thinks, and possibly a flaming sword in his hands, with the scent of burning feathers imminent.
Aziraphale swallows and decides on truth. “I suppose I do,” he says, and wraps his hands more tightly around the shovel so that Warlock won’t see how badly he’s shaking.
“Then you should live together,” Warlock says. “You’d be happier.”
Cautiously he says, “We might at that.”
Warlock nods with the seriousness of a young child, and then walks off thoughtfully.
“What did you do?” Crowley asks a few days later, not accusing but curious.
“What do you mean?”
“Mrs Dowling came to speak to me today. Said how Warlock mentioned to her that we’re a couple.”
“Oh,” Aziraphale says. “Oh dear.”
“She also said that she understands how hard it is being apart from the person you love. Said that if I want to, I can move into your cottage as long as I keep my phone on at all times.”
“Oh.” That was not what Aziraphale had expected and he finds himself rather taken aback. “And - do you want to? Move in with me?”
Crowley leans in and kisses him, not entirely gently, and she ends with a bite to his lower lip. “Thought you’d never ask.”
Years later, Warlock will mention his nanny and the gardener to his therapist. He’ll talk about the way they cared about him more than his parents did, and yeah, he is kind of bitter about that, but he’s still glad he had someone who gave a damn. He’ll talk about the way they were both weirdly religious in seemingly opposite directions, but how obviously they loved each other despite that. It taught him a lot, that did, about respecting people different than yourself.
Years after that, Warlock will invite them to his wedding. They’ll turn up, Nanny - or Ms. Crowley, rather; it’s hard to kick the habit - dressed like Audrey Hepburn in black crop pants and oversized sunglasses; Brother Francis looks incredible to the extent that Warlock wonders if he’s had work done - a lot of work - but he only smiles and puts it down to clean living. Both of them wear matching gold rings on their left ring fingers, and Warlock feels a little put out that he didn’t get an invite to their wedding. Still, they’re here now, whereas his dad is on Skype and his mom is sulking in the front row, which is par for the course, really.
On their honeymoon, his husband comments on how odd they were, but then he cracks a smile, the smile that made Warlock fall in love with him in the first place.
“I wonder how things would’ve turned out if I’d had someone like that when I was a kid,” he muses.
“Your parents are great, Adam,” Warlock says, looking over at him where he lies on the sun lounger beside him. “You didn’t need weird surrogate guardians.”
“S’pose you’re right,” Adam says. “Things turned out for the best.”
“Yeah,” Warlock says, leaning over to kiss him. “They really did.”