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The Rest of Our Lives Together

Chapter Text

“So what now?” Aziraphale was climbing off the bus behind Crowley, having spent the majority of the ride home sitting in a rather mutually contemplative silence. It had been a very long day for them both, and arriving at their destination had been a rather anticlimactic ending. It had only been a few days since they had stopped the apocalypse (‘because really, we did have an awfully large roll in stopping it, it’s such a shame that no one appreciated it,’ Aziraphale thought), and now in addition to dodging that bullet, they had actually just tricked the forces of Heaven and Hell into thinking that they were two creatures that transcended celestial and infernal laws. And now they were standing outside of Crowley’s flat, having been dropped off there despite the total lack of a bus stop anywhere in sight, without a single clue as to where to go from here.

“I don’t know,” Crowley confessed honestly as they made their way inside and up to his living space. “What can we do? I think we should avoid bringing attention to ourselves. I know, they said they’d leave us alone, but I don’t think it’d be a good idea to push that. I know that there are still some demons out there that would love to get their claws in me.”

“Do you think we should go undercover? Just, pack up and disappear? Use code names?” Aziraphale hadn’t actually listened to Crowley beyond ‘avoid bringing attention.’ The realization that they had actually managed to fool their superiors was washing over him- there would be no more surprise visits, no more tip-toeing around, no more faking reports. No more denying how he felt. That thought sent Aziraphale’s heart racing with excitement. Even though they had both just collapsed on Crowley’s couch, he was having a very hard time not jumping up and celebrating.

Crowley couldn’t remember ever seeing Aziraphale so excited. Sure, he was always pleasant, kind, and awfully easy to hang around. But right now, he was positively- and quite literally- glowing. “I don’t think we need to go to those lengths, angel. We should just lay low for a while.”

“Angel! You can call me Angel! That’ll be my code name. Now we need to think of one for you.”

“What? I call you ‘angel’ all the time, how is that a-”

“You can be Crow!”

“Oh, please don’t,” Crowley groaned. “Don’t do this. ‘Crow’ is a terrible code name! No one ever calls someone ‘Crow’, it would be totally obvious it was me you’re talking to. Come on, we don’t need to fly this low, we just need to... I don’t know, try and avoid doing anything too miraculous.”

It seemed that Aziraphale was beyond reason at this point. Apparently rebelling (if that’s what protecting the Earth was) brought out a side of him that was altogether foreign. All his nervous energy had disappeared, very quickly replaced by excitement and something else that Crowley couldn’t quite recognize. He was hesitant to admit it, but whatever it was, Crowley liked it. Fearlessness? Perhaps that was it. Of what exactly he feared before was a mystery- had Armageddon really frightened Aziraphale (‘Angel,’ his mind offered frustratingly, because bless it, he really did like calling him that) so much that he’d let it worry him for the entire six thousand years they’d known each other? A part of Crowley suddenly grew anxious himself. If his angel (his angel, already?) grew too fearless, then it was possible that maybe he, Crowley, would have to step up and be the level-headed one for a change. And that sure as fuck didn’t bode well.

“So, whats got you all worked up like this? It’s not really like you to be so-” Crowley gestured vaguely towards Aziraphale “-this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like it, I’m just wondering what exactly it is that made you so hesitant before all this happened.”

Aziraphale stared at Crowley with his mouth slightly agape, like he’d just asked the stupidest question in the world. “Why, it’s like you said, we’re on the same side now, Crowley. We don’t need to sneak around anymore. No more trying to pull one over on our bosses just to have an afternoon together. We could spend all day with each other, and nights too. We could move in together, and neither Heaven or Hell will do a thing about it after the performances we gave them!”

He stopped talking when he saw the alarming shade of red that Crowley was turning. The last time he’d seen this much color on the demon’s face had been nearly three decades ago when Crowley had returned from a trip to some desert in the United States with tomato-red skin and a rather cross attitude regarding the sun.

“I-is that something you wanted to do?” Crowley stammered. “Any of it?”

‘Could he really be this dense?’ How someone who had managed to survive millennia, deceive leagues of demons in hell, and prevent the damned apocalypse could be so oblivious was well beyond Aziraphale. “Of course it is. Come, aren’t you tired of the same old song and dance? Of going to extreme lengths to see one another? I, for one, am extremely relieved to put all that behind us. Aren’t you?”

The disbelief on Crowley’s face was something Aziraphale was only used to seeing when he was acting particularly naive. But the way the demon was stuttering was more like he was completely thrown off by the course of the conversation altogether. Like he hadn’t expected Aziraphale to want that.

“Of course! B-but what about what you said- and the whole not running away- a-and-“

“Darling,” the angel cut in, taking pity on the poor soul and reaching out to take his hand. “I do apologize for what I said before. It wasn’t true. I didn’t mean it, and I shouldn’t have said it. I still had faith in my fellow angels at the time, and had hoped that they would do the right thing. I’ll go with you now though, if you’ll have me. Anywhere. I’d even go to Alpha Centauri for you.”

One of Crowley’s eyebrows shot up towards his hairline. “After all we’ve just done to save Earth, I’m not living anywhere else anytime soon. I fought for this planet, I’m going to bloody well stay here. But staying with you... sounds, er... nice.”

“Don’t get too enthusiastic, Crowley. You don’t have to,” Aziraphale said, looking slightly hurt. “It was just a thought. We’ve known each other so long now, the idea of living together just seems natural.”

“No, I agree! I just hadn’t been expecting you to- I mean, I was actually going to suggest something similar. Again, I suppose.”

“Good!” Aziraphale said, all hurt disappearing in an instant and turning into a dazzlingly bright smile that left Crowley feeling rather short of breath. “We should start looking for a house!”

Hearing the words ‘we’ ‘looking’ and ‘house’ used in context sent Crowley’s head spinning; he’d never actually thought they would reach this point, and certainly not after just one semi-serious talk about it. But as Aziraphale had said, they had known each other for thousands of years now. They no longer had any reason to dance around anymore. Suddenly the almost overwhelming urge to wrap his arms around the angel in front of him and pull him into a kiss came over him.

Somehow, he managed to reign it in and just offered up a lopsided grin. It might’ve just been his imagination, but it looked like a flicker of disappointment flashed across Aziraphale’s face. Had he been hoping for something else? Something more? Normally he had no problem reading people, and normally the angel wasn’t an exception. But he wasn’t exactly a person in the technical sense, and from time to time, Crowley still had a bit of a difficult time figuring out just what he was thinking. Aziraphale did love to surprise him with his decisions. Like right now, when he scooted forward to sit almost on Crowley’s lap, managing to draw a bit of anxious sweat from the demon’s brow.

“Crowley,” Aziraphale murmured softly, forcing him to crane his neck just to hear. If the angel was nervous, he did a good job hiding it. “Tell me the truth, please. Do you want to be with me?”

“Absolutely! Didn’t we just-“

“You know what I mean!”

Crowley shut up quickly, yellow eyes widening and jaw gaping comically. Aziraphale could practically hear his brain short-circuiting, and the moment when his mind finally settled on a response was marked by a flash of determination and knee-shaking anxiety. It almost looked like he was holding his breath when he leaned forward to press his lips against the angel’s.

His angel.

There weren’t sparks, exactly. They didn’t really need- or want- excitement right now. Instead, it was sweet and comforting, and so very natural, like returning home after years away and finding that it still was home. It felt warm and tender, and so fantastically real to lower his arms down around Aziraphale’s shoulders, and feel hands coming around his waist to rest on the small of his back. Even if neither of them particularly cared to think that they were created for a purpose anymore, they fit together like they were made specifically for one another. Although they had both kissed others before- and even slept with a few- the tenderness being exchanged in the kiss was unlike anything either of them had ever experienced in their long, long existences. It wasn’t just a display of affection.

It was a beginning, the start of their new lives and the exploration that came along with it.

It was a promise. A promise to stay together, to support each other.

“Aziraphale...” Crowley breathed, his lips still brushing against his angel’s.

“This really has been a long time coming, hasn’t it?”

Crowley couldn’t help but laugh at that, finally pulling away from Aziraphale’s face to look down. Much to his embarrassment, he found that he was suddenly on the verge of tears. It would take him many months to admit it out loud, but this was something that he’d wanted to do- dreamed of doing, really, for thousands of years now. However, he’d convinced himself long ago that it wouldn’t happen. Aziraphale would get his happy ending, of course, as the ‘good guy’. But Crowley was a demon. When was the last time a demon got a happy ending in the stories? It just wasn’t something that happened.

Unless the demon was the good guy’s happy ending.

As though reading Crowley’s mind, Aziraphale carefully cupped his demon’s face and angled his face back up. “Oh dear,” he sighed fondly, placing soft kisses across Crowley’s cheeks. “I love you. You clever, devilish, ridiculous little serpent. I love you more than words can say.”

And that pushed him over the edge. A happy cry burst out from his chest and Crowley grabbed Aziraphale’s shirt and pulled the angel towards him. Once again, their lips met as they fell backwards to lie down on the couch. It took a bit of wiggling, but they managed to find a comfortable position, with Aziraphale wedged, halfway on top of Crowley, between him and the back of the couch. Aziraphale’s weight was a welcome comfort, a constant in the world that was always changing.

“You know," Aziraphale said after a few minutes of comfortable silence, "Tadfield was a lovely little town.”

“Yeah,” Crowley mumbled in response. “Lovely.”

“I’m sure I could find a shop down there to house my books if I really looked. It’s a bit of a change of pace, compared to London. It’s always so busy here.”

“Yeah. Busy.”

“And we’d be so close to those lovely little humans who helped us avoid all that nastiness.”

“Yeah. Lovely little humans.”

“Perhaps once we lived there I could start walking around in the nude and only speak in dirty limericks.”

“Yeah. Nude- nude?”

Aziraphale laughed and caught one of Crowley’s hands, pulling it up to place a kiss on the knuckles. “You weren’t listening to a word I just said, were you?” His fond tone told Crowley that he was more amused than upset.

“Didn’t really mean to. ‘M just wiped, angel. Been a long day.”

“Poor dear,” Aziraphale said, rolling off of him and pulling him up so they were both standing once again. “Why don’t you go to bed and get some rest? I’ll be right out here if you need me.”

“Actually-” Crowley hesitated before huffing a quick breath like he was pepping himself up. “Would you come with me? At least until I fall asleep? I think it would be easier if... well, if you were there.”

The smile on the angel’s face was so sweet it almost made Crowley gag. It probably would’ve if it had been directed at someone other than himself. But as it was, that smile was all his, and Crowley was beyond happy with that. Unable to help himself, Crowley carefully took Aziraphale’s face in his hands and placed another tender kiss to his lips, one that the angel returned eagerly. This one was even less urgent than the first, slow and calm, filled with emotions that neither of them quite had the words to express just yet. They would get there, in time. For now they were happy like they were, pressed close together and doing their best to start to make up for the years- all six thousand of them- that they had wasted.

This was love. Sweet, passionate, gentle caring that had been kept hidden away and neglected for far too long, tucked under wraps for fear of what would happen when it was revealed. Love that was unafraid and ready to be put on display for the whole world to witness.

Chapter Text

Crowley wasn’t a huge fan of pet stores. It wasn’t that he disliked pets- he knew that the idea of keeping animal companions went way back, and had found the idea rather novel when it first came about. And he had no issue with rescue shelters for animals. But after a particularly humbling incident in the early 1950s when the first pet shops were opening, he had a hard time stomaching them.

(He’d gotten caught sleeping in his snake form after a very delicate assignment took a lot out of him and was stuck in a cage for nearly three months before someone purchased him and gave him an opportunity to escape. He completely confounded the owners of the store when he refused to eat any of the mice given to him. It was a whole ordeal that Aziraphale refused to let him live down.)

So he made a habit of avoiding them whenever he could.

Until the day came when he happened to walk by one with a large sign in the window announcing that it was closing. With photos of the animals still waiting to be sold.

Among those photos was one of a row of snake habitats, each one housing its own snake. All but two of the terrariums had been X-ed over, and Crowley could only hope that meant that the inhabitants had been sold. There were, however, still two tanks that weren’t crossed out that caught his eye like a magnet, and before he could stop himself, he was in the store standing in front of the reptiles. The only snakes left were a juvenile Mexican black kingsnake and a young adult Keys corn snake.

The poor critters looked so miserable, stuck in their little cages, it wasn’t like he could just leave them there to suffer. He always felt like he had an obligation to snakes- cursed to crawl on their bellies and whatnot all because of him. Although frankly, part of Crowley enjoyed being in his snake form. It was simpler than being human-shaped with all those pesky limbs. If he weren’t afraid of getting stuck, he probably would’ve spent more time as one. That was beside the point. These snakes were being kept in too-small containers, used for profit, faced being carted off to some human who didn’t know the first thing about them, living out the rest of their days trapped-

That was the day Crowley arrived home with a couple of large glass cages, some bedding, a few fake rocks and logs, heat lamps, and the last two snakes in the shop.

“Right you two, listen up. Kingsnake, your name is... Crawly. Corn snake, you’re- er- Tonya. Yeah, that works,” Crowley muttered, nodding. “I really... shouldn’t have gotten you. Probably. But don’t worry, I don’t plan on giving you back. You’re in good hands with me. I know a thing or two about snakes. Like- shit, like the fact that you need food. I forgot to get you food while I was there. Shit shit shit, I can’t remember when the girl said you last ate... okay, I’m gonna leave you guys here for a minute and get a few more things for you. When I get back, I’ll get your terrariums set up, but for now you’re just going to have to be bored.”

Of course, the snakes had no answer.

He hadn’t really expected one.

Feeling just the slightest bit guilty at not putting anything else in their terrariums with them, Crowley unloaded the snakes into their glass containers, each with a bit of water and set up the plugged-in heat lamps above them. He only paused once before leaving his flat to turn his thermostat up a little higher than normal. Hopefully that would be enough to keep them comfortable for a short period while he ran back to the store to grab the last few necessities. “Kay. Be back in ten minutes.”

•••

It ended up taking a little more than thirty minutes before he finally made it back. The pet store had a rush of customers, one or two of the nightmare variety that left everyone in the vicinity groaning internally. Crowley would freely admit to having a hand in one or two unfortunate incidents the truly annoying ones experienced, including one person who got caught walking out with a bag full of unpaid for merchandise that had mysteriously appeared there, and another who’s coupons had all happened to expire just yesterday.

Granted, the tricks kept him in the store longer than he would’ve liked, but he felt it was worth it to watch the obnoxious ones get a taste of humble pie. Plus he managed to indirectly irritate several other people waiting around- had he still been on Hell’s payroll, he likely would’ve included this in his report. As it was, his only excuse was that his demonic nature needed to come out and have a little fun, just for shits and giggles.

But he arrived home eventually with a sack full of dead mice and the knowledge that the snakes had last been fed three days ago.

He also arrived to find both terrariums empty and a pleading voice coming from his bathroom. Immediately on red alert, Crowley crept as quietly as he could toward the voice. He wasn’t really sure what he would do with the intruder- all he had was his own hands and feet, and he never had been much of a fighter. It he got the jump on the trespasser though... his heart raced as he reached the bathroom and found the door wide open.

The demon blinked and cocked his head when he saw Aziraphale crouched on the floor, stroking Crawly’s head.

“Crowley dear, are you alright? Why does your form look like this? You’re so small, was that on purpose? Crowley? Did I do something wrong? Please talk to me!”

“Angel?”

Aziraphale beamed down at the snake in his hands, and Crowley snorted. “Oh thank goodness! Why are you a snake?”

“Look behind you, love.”

Frowning, Aziraphale glanced back at Crowley, back again at the snake’s head he was cradling, back at Crowley, then finally back at the snake once more. The moment when he realized that this was an actual snake was laughably clear when he yelped and jerked his hands away. “What? Why is there a snake in here?!”

“Because I bought a snake and brought him home. That’s actually why I was gone, I needed to pick up a few more things for them. What’s up?”

“Oh right! Well,” Aziraphale said with a slightly bemused smile, “I had come to show you a little house I’d found in the South Downs, right outside of Tadfield. But then I made the acquaintance of your... pet? How long have you had it?”

“A few hours now. I was just picking up the last few necessities for them. I’ve got a couple huge terrariums in the back of the flat. Although,” he added thoughtfully, “maybe it would be best to wait with getting those all set up. If we decide we like the house you found, there wouldn’t be much point in doing all that work for just a short while, right? The plant room is nice and humid, they would be just fine out of cages for a few days.”

“Ah- right, I suppose it would make sense to skip the bother. It’s not as though you couldn’t just miracle them ready though.”

“Well, yeah, but... again, I’d need to pack it back up when we move.”

“Weren’t you going to have to do that anyway?” Aziraphale asked with a frown.

“Of course! That was before I knew you had a place in mind. Seems silly to go through all that trouble only to have to undo it in a few days, doesn’t it?”

One of Aziraphale’s eyebrows was reaching for his hairline, but he shrugged. All the same, Crowley felt the silent judgement in his gaze. Rolling his eyes, the demon snapped once and the two large terrariums situated themselves neatly next to each other on the far side of the room. Both were fully outfitted for their residents; the only thing missing inside were the actual snakes.

“Happy?”

“I suppose. Are you going to- um- put it away?” Aziraphale asked somewhat tentatively, eyeing the snake in the ground at his feet. “Let it explore its new home a bit?”

Crowley stopped and squinted at the angel suspiciously. “Hang on. You’re not scared of him, are you?”

“What? Of course not! Why on Earth would I be scared of a little snake?” Aziraphale cursed internally at the way his voice shrilled a bit at the denial. He wasn't scared, he was just surprised.

“So you wouldn’t mind if I let him stay out a bit longer?” Crowley challenged. “You know they need regular handling right? A neglected snake is not a happy one.”

“Oh, very well. I suppose I’d like at least one friendly snake.” Aziraphale tried to pout, but he was too intrigued by the whole situation to keep it up. “What’s its name?”

“Er- well, officially his name is Crawly. I’ve been calling him Junior in my head.” Crowley admitted sheepishly, instantly regretting the names he chose. “Have you seen the other one around? Looks like the little escapee got out of her tank.”

“I’m afraid I can’t say that I have. Why would you get two snakes?”

Crowley shrugged, bending down to pick up Crawly Junior and let him curl up around his arm. “Why would you not get two snakes?”

“Well, to be frank my dear, I have a hard enough time keeping up with the snake I already have. Two more would just be biting off more than I could chew.” He smiled innocently at the sharp look Crowley shot him.

Without any further commentary, Crowley went about searching for his other snake, knowing full well that Aziraphale would follow him. It didn’t seem like he was looking very hard, hardly even taking the time to glance in the rooms, let alone actually stepping inside to examine any closer, and Aziraphale had a feeling he already knew where it was.

“Ah! There she is,” Crowley said triumphantly when they entered his plant room. There on the far side was a reddish-orange blotchy snake sprawled out by the radiator. “That’s Tonya. Don’t look at me like that angel, I don’t intend to let them be free range around the house all the time, this was just until I could get some things set up for them.”

“Tonya... like Tony?” The angel followed Crowley into the room right over to where the other snake was at. To his surprise, Crowley didn’t pick Tonya up when he bent down, and instead seated himself on the floor before looking up at Aziraphale expectantly. Sighing in exasperation, Aziraphale followed suit, sitting in front of the demon and crossing his legs.

“Well, she is a lady. Aren’t you dear?”

Aziraphale coughed out a chuckle at Crowley’s fond croon. “So you have Crawly and Tony. Two juniors? You know it’s not uncommon for humans to name their children after themselves?”

“It’s Tonya, not Tony,” Crowley stressed, not answering the question. “She doesn’t appreciate being lumped in with the boys, do you princess?”

This time Aziraphale couldn’t help but start to laugh at the way Crowley gently patted the snake’s snout and stroked her head. Like it was his kid. To the angel’s surprise, the snake- Tonya- let out a hiss, and Crowley smiled.

“Can you understand them?” He felt silly for asking as he heard the words coming from his mouth, but the way the demon had been interacting with the animals since he came in, and the way the snakes seemed to respond almost felt like he was watching a conversation unfold.

Crowley blinked, finally looking back at Aziraphale. “Well, they don’t exactly speak the Queen’s English.”

“Oh, you know what I mean!”

“I suppose. It’s not really a language to understand- it’s a bit more surface than that. I can sorta... like, just sense whatever emotion they’re trying to get across. And of course, they’re clever animals. They know what we’re talking about, don’t you Junior?”

Aziraphale was somewhat amazed to see the snake hiss and bump it’s head to Crowley’s hand like it was responding to what the demon had just said. It was hard to say whether or not if was a coincidence, but Crowley smiled all the same.

“I’ve noticed Crawly acts a bit standoffish compared to Tonya,” Crowley continued. “But believe it or not, I’m pretty sure he likes being held too. It’s a warmth thing. Hard to resist.”

“So he takes after you more?” Aziraphale joked. He wanted to reach out and stroke Crawly’s scales again, but something held him back. Perhaps the newfound knowledge that snakes were apparently much more aware than he had originally thought was making him skittish. “Would it be alright if I were to pet him?”

Crowley glanced over at the snake starting to snooze around his neck and shrugged. “I’m sure he’d be fine with it. It didn’t seem to bother him too much earlier. It’s probably be a good idea to let them get used to you as well.”

Cautiously, like he was approaching a wild animal and not someone’s pet, he reached out to stroke his hand gently down the black snake’s back. The skin was sleek and cool, similar to Crowley’s, but much more packed with muscles. Even when he was relaxed, the muscles were firm and felt ready to strike or bolt at a moment’s notice. “What kind of snakes are they?”

“He’s a Mexican black kingsnake, and she,” Crowley said, nodding down at where Tonya had appeared and was starting to coil in Aziraphale’s lap, “is a Keys corn snake.”

“They’re not venomous, are they?” Aziraphale asked, looking anxiously down at the snake resting on his legs.

“No, they’re constrictors,” Crowley assured him. “Probably will max out at a meter and a half, hardly dangerous at all.”

Aziraphale relaxed visibly and started slowly stroking down Tonya’s back. He fell silent for a minute, admiring the way the scales seemed to ripple as the snake breathed. She really seemed quite content to just rest in the warmth of his lap. He’d never imagined that snakes- actual animal snakes, not the demon variety- would enjoy cuddling, if you could call it that. “Is this how they snuggle?”

“They don’t really snuggle. They just like the warm. It can be tricky when you’re cold-blooded, that’s why I always have the temperature up in here.”

He did tend to keep a warmer house, Aziraphale noted. “Wait, is that the only reason you like snuggling?”

“Course not. If it was, I’d get with any old warm-blooded person who gave me the time of day. Only reason I like snuggling is because of you.” Crowley only looked the slightest bit embarrassed at the admission of affection, and that made Aziraphale beam.

Until he looked back down at his lap and sighed, unable to avoid the first thought he’d had as soon as he’d realized what Crowley’d done. “My dear...”

“Yes?”

“Are you sure it’s wise to grow... attached? I don’t know how long snakes usually live, but I do know their lifespans are significantly shorter than our own. Perhaps it would be best if we let one of our human acquaintances take them?”

“It’s fine, Aziraphale. I thought you be going nuts over this- me saving a few rescue animals and whatnot. Not a very demonic thing to do.”

“Of course. But you know how hard it can be to-”

“I know, angel. I’ll be fine. Promise.”

Aziraphale frowned, but decided not to press it any more for now. He knew that Crowley had a hard time opening up, and if he tried to push the subject, he risked the demon shutting it down altogether. Best to let him get there in his own time. “If you say so. Are they really rescue animals? And what do they eat?”

“The pet shop was closing! We’ll have to get them some mice.”

“Mice?” Aziraphale asked incredulously. “Like, live mice?”

“Or frozen, yeah,” Crowley said with a bit of a grin. “Is that really so hard to believe?”

The angel seemed to struggle a moment before nodding in acceptance. It wasn’t like he wasn’t aware that some animals ate other animals; it wasn’t even that he wasn’t aware that snakes ate mice. Hell, he even ate meat himself on occasion. But the messy parts had always been done for him. He’d never had to hunt and kill it on his own before. And he’d never been too keen on watching other creatures hunt and kill each other for that matter. However, knowing that they could at least get already-dead rodents was somewhat of a comfort- he likely would’ve put his foot down at live ones. “I suppose if they’re frozen...”

“It’s the whole circle of life though, isn’t it? You know, big things eat the little things, big things die and decompose, become grass, little things eat grass, yada yada. All how She planned it, right?”

“Were you just trying to reference the Lion King?”

“If I was, then you understood it too, so you don’t get to tease me for it. Relax, angel, I’m fine with being the one to feed them, if it makes you uncomfortable. ”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Aziraphale said wryly.

“You said you had a place you wanted to show me?”

“Oh, yes! Here,” Aziraphale said, hurrying to pull some papers from his jacket without disturbing the serpent in his lap. “I thought we might go take a trip this afternoon when they’re having an open house to look at it- um, should we- uh- bring the snakes? See if they like...?”

The angel trailed off at the look he was getting from Crowley. “Angel, they’re snakes. We set up a nice warm space for them, they won’t care too much about the interior decorating or what the neighborhoods like.”

“Well, all I know about snakes is what I know about you, and you’re not exactly- you know- like the rest of them!” Aziraphale scowled at Crowley when he started laughing, although there really wasn’t much heat in it. “Do you want to go look at it or not?”

“Yeah, yeah, just help me get these two in their cages and we can go.”

•••

“You’ve never eaten mice, have you Crowley?”

“What- when on- why would I- you think I would eat a mouse?”

“That’s not really answering the question,” Aziraphale said pointedly.

“So what’s the address I’m going to?” Crowley asked loudly, for once keeping his eyes glued on the road.

“1925 King’s Road.” Aziraphale was silent a moment before glancing back over at Crowley with a shit-eating grin. “So, you went in a pet shop today, eh? Glad to see you avoided-”

”That’s it, we’re playing the quiet game until we get there!”

•••

The small cottage was, in all honesty, not much to look at. The first and most accurate word anyone would use to describe it was quaint. About as storybook a cottage as had ever been seen. Absolutely nothing like Crowley’s fashionable flat or Aziraphale’s chaotic bookstore.

“Well? What do you think?” Aziraphale asked after a single walkthrough.

“I think it’s perfect. And I’m sure the snakes will love it too.”

Chapter Text

It hadn’t taken long before Crowley and Aziraphale had succeeded in making a comfortable, secluded little world of their own. The cottage they’d chosen was on the outskirts of the small village of Tadfield, Crowley having given in rather easily and admitting that ‘maybe a change of pace from the big city would be nice for a while.’ After three years, they’d managed to successfully mesh their contrasting styles. It had taken work to find that balance; Crowley enjoyed a more minimalistic approach to things after the chaotic crowds of Hell, whereas Aziraphale preferred to have things. Things, he felt, made a place unique and gave it character- Heaven, a place lacking in things, had been unbearably lifeless, and he had no desire to live somewhere like that. To the few humans that had remained a part of their lives (at first, to Crowley’s lame protests. It only took a few months for him to realize he actually enjoyed Anathema’s company, and that the Them never failed to make him chuckle), it seemed to take them forever to reach a point where they were both happy. Three years of what seemed like petty bickering dragged on in a childish mind like Adam’s or Anathema’s.

But what was three years to creatures as eternal as angels and demons? To them, the years passed by in the blink of an eye, hardly even a fragment of the thousands of years they had known each other- or of the thousands of years together that they’d yet to experience. To them, three years was nothing more than a drop of water in the ocean. A sweet, treasured drop, that had been filled with more happiness than either of them had ever experienced, but a small drop nonetheless.

The first of millions, created by every hour that they spent together, every minute they touched, every second they thought about each other. The littlest of things made life special to them. Even staying at home and curling up together in front of their warm fireplace, listening to the rain falling outside was cherished time. Just as long as they weren't apart. Of course, that didn’t stop them from taking trips together to make more lasting memories. Travel, for them, was easy, free, and fun. At first, they’d focused on the Earth, exploring every nook and cranny simply for the sake of exploration. Crowley enjoyed the warmer damp climates around the equator, Aziraphale’s breath would catch excitedly whenever he saw ice and snow, and they both adored areas with distinctive seasons- green springs, crisp autumns and the like.

But there was hardly anything on Earth in comparison to the rest of the universe.

“Crowley, do you ever think we should go away for a spell?”

“Where were you thinking?” Crowley asked back, only partially listening as he sat curled up on the couch, reading a book that Aziraphale had gotten him to try. Aziraphale wouldn’t point it out for fear of accidentally discouraging it, but since they’d moved in together, Crowley had actually taken to reading any books that the angel had finished and left on the bedside table. Although he suspected Crowley knew, Aziraphale had started trying to leave stories he knew the demon would like. At first it was just spy novels and mysteries, but lately Crowley was showing an interest in fantasy and science fiction. Currently, it was a fantasy book about a small group of thieves who find themselves playing one game too many. It was one of the books written this century that Aziraphale had actually enjoyed. Crowley claimed he only liked it for the way the author turned swearing into an art form.

“Well, I would love to see the stars.”

Aziraphale smiled at Crowley’s vaguely bemused look when he set the book down. He had taken to leaving his sunglasses off when it was just the two of them at home, and Aziraphale greatly appreciated how much easier it was to read him without them. “They’re outside. All you need to do is poke your head out the door and look up. Did you want to leave town and find a better place to stargaze?”

“No, I mean really see the stars.”

“Er- you want me to show you constellations?” Crowley was clearly completely lost and wondering what part of the conversation he must’ve missed while he was reading that brought this particular subject up. The fact that he hadn’t put it together yet was making Aziraphale chuckle.

“No,” he said patiently, “I want you to take me to them. I want to see some of the things you created. You had a hand in creating them, didn’t you? I’ve heard rumors that Alpha Centauri is a lovely place to be.”

“Oh!” The way Crowley’s face lit up warmed Aziraphale in the best of ways. He’d do anything just to get a glimpse of it. “I would love to! Did you want to go now?”

“Well, I’m not entirely sure about when. It would take a bit of planning- finding someone to keep an eye on the house for starters- but perhaps in a few months or so? I know,” he added at Crowley’s exasperated expression, “you aren’t overly fond of planning, but I am. Humor me in this?”

“Don’t I always? There’s not much point in hiring a house-sitter though, is there? I mean, that’s just another thing to put together, and it seems like there’s not much to worry about here.”

“Except the Juniors,” Aziraphale pointed out. “Some needs to feed and water, and give them attention.”

Crowley rolled his eyes. Aziraphale was the only one who called their snakes ‘the Juniors’. Even Crowley only called the one who resembled himself the most Junior. “I have no doubt that the kids would be just fine with having someone dropping a quick thawed-out mouse in their cages for a short spell.”

“Really? You think Tonya would be fine with no one doting after her for more than two-and-a-half weeks?”

The demon paused to consider that. Aziraphale did have a point- Tonya had a tendency to demand attention more than her brother, and she got a bit snappy when she was denied it. Last time they went on vacation for more than two weeks, they’d returned home to a rather hostile female snake sulking about. At least, that’s what it had felt like. She still hadn’t fully forgiven Crowley- he swore up and down that she only liked Aziraphale now, and the angel couldn’t deny that he’d noticed her snubbing Crowley in his favor. “Okay, you have a point there. I guess it would be a smart idea to get Anathema or her boy toy-“

“They’re engaged-” Aziraphale pointed out.

“To come check on things every now and then. Wait, when did they get engaged? To the dorky one?”

“Yes! We just got the invitation in the mail the other day, remember?” Aziraphale laughed when Crowley shook his head in exasperation.

“Those freaking kids met like, yesterday! Don’t they know they’re supposed to flounder around like idiots for six thousand- mff!” Crowley was cut off by a soft, smiling pair of lips against his. He immediately melted into the kiss, returning it with enthusiasm.

Aziraphale pulled away far too quickly, and Crowley actually felt himself leaning forward, trying to chase Aziraphale’s mouth without really meaning to.

“Tease.”

“Where’s the fun in being easy with you?”

“With me? Does that mean there are people out there that you have been easy with?”

“Oh, don’t be crass!” Aziraphale scolded.

“You started it! You know,” Crowley said before Aziraphale could argue further, “I gotta say, it’s kinda surprising. I’ve always sorta thought of Newt as the kind of guy who would barely make it to boyfriend status with someone. Seems like most boy toys don’t actually get married.”

“Well, I feel like I married mine.”

“What?” Crowley asked, blinking. He’d known that Aziraphale had been with other people over the years, but as far as he knew, none of them had ever been more than a fling. “Who?”

The angel stared at him pointedly until understanding dawned on him.

“Oh!”

“Bingo,” Aziraphale said with a self-satisfied smirk.

“Y’know, we haven’t actually gotten married,” Crowley pointed out thoughtfully. “Think that’s something we should do?”

“That’s how you propose?”

“You think you could do it better?”

“I’d at least get down on one knee!” In spite of the indignant tone, his angel was smiling, that wonderful grin that let Crowley know that all was right with the world. “Despite your complete lack of romance, I suppose my answer would be yes. I would love to get married to you, dear.”

“I’m old. Getting on my knees is hard!” Aziraphale swatted playfully at the demon’s shoulder, then sighed happily when Crowley caught his hand and kissed his knuckles. “I do, uh, actually have something. Sorta related to this whole conversation, I suppose. Been, you know, waiting with it. Timing, and all. Didn’t really have a plan in place. Thought dinner would be a bit cliché-”

“Crowley,” Aziraphale interrupted, “what is it?”

Crowley’s face was slowly reddening as he straightened up and snapped his fingers. A small, white velvet-covered box appeared in his hands that he offered up to Aziraphale. He studied the angel carefully as his eyes widened and he opened the box. “I know it’s not... traditional, or whatever, but I figured there’s not much traditional about us, so why bother? I saw it a few months ago, thought it was ‘you’. You kinda have that whole theme going on- like, with the mug. It’s not a big deal if you don’t like it, I can always... throw it out, or something.”

“Oh, dear, it’s beautiful!” Aziraphale’s eyes sparkled when he took the ring from the box and slid it onto his finger. (It was a perfect fit- the fact that they were two beings capable of performing miracles may or may not have had anything to do with that.) It was a silver signet ring, with the metal manipulated into ropes and swirls. Where the seal would normally be was a delicately laid pattern of white diamonds tapering off down one side. They had been placed to resemble feathers- creating a perfect, glittering angel’s wing.

“You like it then?”

Instead of answering right away, Aziraphale chose to simply launch himself into Crowley’s lap and started to rain kisses down on his face.

“How could I not? It’s perfect, Crowley. I never want to take it off. Where on Earth did you find it? The craftsmanship on it is absolutely incredible- I mean, the detailing is a work of art.”

“Actually, I found it walking by that old antique shop. So it might be haunted. I decided to take it in to a professional, see just how legit it is. It’s actually worth a pretty penny- those‘re real diamonds, I don’t think the person selling it quite realized how much it was worth. I almost felt bad for him.” As he spoke, Crowley held Aziraphale’s hand up and admired the way the ring looked on it. “Looks good on you, angel. I’m glad you like it.”

“Beautiful.”

“I certainly thought so,” Crowley said before he looked up and found that Aziraphale was looking past their hands straight at Crowley’s face. One soft hand reached out to cup the demon’s cheek, and Aziraphale leaned in to kiss Crowley again, slower and with more purpose than before. Crowley hummed in appreciation, letting his hands fall to Aziraphale’s hips.

Once again, it was Aziraphale who pulled away first, and once again it was far too soon in Crowley’s opinion. But this time he let it happen without protesting, instead choosing to simply meet those beautiful blue eyes with a smile.

“I love you, my dear. I hope you know that.”

“I love you too, angel. More than anything.”

“Let’s go out tonight,” Aziraphale suggested, eyes once again drifting down to the ring on his finger fondly. “To celebrate.”

“I had planned on making dinner...” Crowley trailed off to see if the angel was going to make another suggestion.

“Well, you haven’t started yet. You can make dinner tomorrow night. Why don’t we go try that Thai restaurant Anathema told us about? We’ve been meaning to for a while now. We could go see a show afterwards! Or if you’re tired, we could just order some food to go and take it back here.”

“Dinner and a show sounds great.” Crowley started nudging Aziraphale off his lap. “What time did you want to go?”

“I’m starting to feel a bit peckish now, actually.”

“Then I’ll change into something more presentable, and we can head out,” Crowley said smoothly, standing up. With a quick snap of his fingers, the silky pajama pants he’d been lounging in all day became his signature pair of tight black jeans, and Aziraphale’s old threadbare t-shirt he’d been wearing was a slimming, red button up. With a charming grin, Crowley offered his hand out to Aziraphale (who had already gotten dressed earlier to make a trip into the village), pulling him up off the couch to stand in front of him. “Ready to go, angel?”

“Of course, love.” Aziraphale smiled, looping his arm with Crowley’s. “Let’s go.”

Chapter Text

The relationship between love and lust is a matter of great debate. Some believe that love and lust are two entirely separate things. Others say you can’t have one without the other. And still others say lust requires love, while love can exist without lust. Demons, of course, are meant to be creatures of lust, just as angels are of love. And for a very long time, it was widely thought that only humans were capable of feeling both.

But as are most things in creation, love and lust, and how they are connected, are much more complicated than any of those beliefs. To take it a step further, the connection of angels and demons to love and lust is much more complicated than anyone had ever thought, as evidenced by Crowley and Aziraphale. While once most angels and demons believed themselves to be above lust and love, respectively, Crowley and Aziraphale have proven that angels most certainly can feel lust, and demons can most certainly feel love.

For angels and demons alike, sex isn’t a necessity, insofar as it is in most other species. That is to say, if no angels or demons ever procreated, the future of either party would be in no danger, as sex does not result in offspring. So it just stands to reason that there is no point in angels or demons even having sex.

Since the apocalypse that didn’t happen, Crowley and Aziraphale found themselves spitting in the face of reason increasingly often.

•••

When Aziraphale walked in on Crowley, it was awkward, to say the least.

“Oh! Um- would you like some help?”

“No!” Crowley answered far too quickly. His demon, looking mildly panicked and more than a little embarrassed, rapidly hid his wings from view as he spoke. Aziraphale had entered the room to find a shirtless Crowley with his large black wings out, and multiple mirrors set up at various angles around him. There was a small pile of ruffled, broken feathers at his feet, and to Aziraphale’s alarm, there was some blood dripping down as well.

“You’re- um- bleeding,” the angel pointed out lamely. It was just now dawning on him that this was one in a mere three or four times that he’d actually seen Crowley’s wings, and they were admittedly looking less than superb. “Dear, when was the last time you took care of them?”

“Er- been a bit. A year. Maybe a couple years. Three, or so.”

“Crowley!”

“What? I forget sometimes! It’s not like I use them anymore. I can’t remember the last time I flew anywhere. Besides, when was the last time you groomed your wings?”

Aziraphale shot him a ‘really?’ look at his lame attempt to flip the conversation. “My wings are taken care of weekly. Those must be hurting. Why would you put it off like this?”

“They don’t hurt that bad- what kind of a demon would I be if I couldn’t handle some achy wings? I just didn’t have the time,” Crowley said weakly. It was a blatant lie, but he wasn’t particularly interested in going into it right now.

“Well, you should’ve made the time. For goodness sake, you know it’s not healthy to let them get out of shape! Now, what’s this about? I always got the impression in the past that you were rather proud of your wings.”

“Um... I mean, I am. I... didn’t want to bring them out anywhere you can see them.” Crowley’s voice could hardly be called a mumble, and if it weren’t for Aziraphale’s super human hearing, he would’ve missed it altogether.

“Why not?”

“They’re not- ugh, I don’t know! They’re not ethereal!”

“What on Earth are you talking about?!”

Crowley groaned loudly, looking like he wanted nothing more than to sink back down to Hell for the first time in ages. “Look, you’ve got those beautiful, angelic, stereotype white wings. They’re perfect. A reminder that you’re still in Her good books. But my wings are all wrong. They’re black. It’s wrong,” he repeated.

“My dear, there’s nothing wrong with your wings. They’re beautiful. Or at least, they are when you take care of them,” Aziraphale scolded. His face softened when he saw Crowley’s uncomfortable expression. “I can help you with them, if you’d be alright with that. Some of the feathers in the back can be difficult to reach. If you don’t want me to, I’ll leave you to it. Just do something about them before you hurt yourself. And if that doesn’t bother you,” he added, “you’ll still need them for our excursion. I love you, but I’m not carrying you through space.”

“Not even as a snake?”

“No. Snakes are hardly built for space travel,” Aziraphale said firmly. “Just... for me? Please?”

That did it. As much as Crowley resented it (which wasn’t actually all that much), he always had a hard time saying no to his angel. Or, rather more accurately, he was absolutely and entirely incapable of saying no to his angel. “Fine. Come on.”

Crowley’s wings twitched, and Aziraphale suddenly realized that he wasn’t able to fully extend them in the bathroom. “Why were you doing this in here?”

“Thought there’d be less of a chance of you walking in. For future reference, a closed door means you should at least knock. Now let’s just get this out of the way.”

Aziraphale nodded and followed Crowley from the bathroom and into the bedroom where he pushed his demon down to sit on the bed and shuffled off to gather some supplies. It didn’t take long for him to return and stand behind where Crowley was sitting. “Wings out!”

Crowley had to admit, doing this in a larger space where he was able to unfurl both his wings completely felt good. He hadn’t given himself much of a chance to truly stretch them out recently, and he could feel his muscles breathe a sigh of relief as they barely grazed the walls in the larger room. He jumped when he felt hands carefully trace along his wings, getting a feel for what would need to be done and where to start.

“Oh, these poor things. Really dear,” Aziraphale tsked, “this is just sad. You have such lovely wings, you should take better care of them.”

He didn’t get an answer, but the angel smiled when he noticed a faint flush on the back of his neck. It looked like Crowley had done a reasonably thorough job of sorting through the old feathers that needed to come out, only missing one or two broken, hard-to-reach secondaries that Aziraphale quickly plucked. Now came the long process of healing the parts where Crowley was bleeding, cleaning, and re-aligning the feathers that remained. His wings were longer than Aziraphale’s own and required quite a bit more maintenance after years of neglect, but after roughly four hours, Aziraphale was satisfied that the black wings had been reinstated to their former glory. Smooth and powerful, iridescent when they caught the light.

Breathtaking.

“There now, how does that feel? Better?” asked Aziraphale, stroking lightly along the tops of his wings.

“That actually felt...” Crowley paused a moment and flexed his wings before finding a word that worked. “Amazing. I didn’t know it felt so good to have someone preen for you. I hate to say it angel, but you might’ve just found yourself a regular chore.”

“Oh, it’s no chore darling,” Aziraphale said with a dismissive wave of his hand. It froze in midair when he registered the other thing Crowley mentioned. “Have you never had someone else take care of them?”

Crowley scoffed at that. “Like I’d ever let another demon touch my wings. They’d be just as likely to tear them off as they would be to clean them. More likely, even. I’ve always made do on my own. It was just a bit- er, trickier this time. Had some catching up to do with the upkeep and whatnot.”

Made sense. Most of the other demons Aziraphale had had the displeasure of meeting hadn’t been what one might call overly caring. Among them, needing help was a sign of weakness, and weakness was unacceptable. Not that it was particularly acceptable among angels either, of course- but they had different ways of correcting it. Downstairs just tended to be a bit more overt in their threatening than Upstairs. And in spite of anything else that could be said about Heaven, wings were treated with nothing but respect.

But that wasn’t a problem for them any more. For now, they were beyond the cruelties of Heaven and Hell, and Aziraphale was going to make sure that Crowley knew that. With a happy sigh, Aziraphale once again ran his fingers along Crowley’s right wing, enjoying the soft warmth he found there and the relaxed hum he got from the demon in front of him. Slowly, he let his hands drift from Crowley’s wings to their base and started to knead at the muscles there, gently at first, but soon applying more pressure as he branched up to his shoulders, then back down to his lower back. In no time at all, Crowley was putty in his hands. Weak little moans of pleasure would escape his lips every so often, encouraging Aziraphale to continue his exploration.

“Mmm... ‘Zira...”

Unable to help himself, Aziraphale leaned forward to kiss the base of his wings, trailing his lips up Crowley’s bare skin to the back of his neck. “Yes, love?”

Aziraphale’s warm breath against his neck made Crowley shiver, and he leaned his head back until he could see his angel’s face. “Please don’t stop.”

The angel couldn’t help but smile and nuzzle his nose into Crowley’s temple at the longing in the demon’s eyes. Aziraphale was all too happy to oblige. Smooth, manicured hands slid from the small of Crowley’s back around to his front and pulled him back firmly so their bodies were flush. Aziraphale nipped at Crowley’s earlobe playfully before continuing to explore his neck, shoulders, and back with his lips. One of Crowley’s hands caught Aziraphale’s and carefully dragged it up past his chest to kiss the palm. He positively purred when he felt Aziraphale’s teeth graze at the nape of his neck.

When Aziraphale’s other hand slid down the front of Crowley’s pants and palmed at the bulge there, Crowley groaned desperately. His head fell back against Aziraphale’s shoulder, and the angel wasted no time in leaning forward to suck red marks along his exposed throat and collarbone.

Crowley pulled away briefly to stand, and drew in his wings to turn around and face Aziraphale. He stopped at hiding them entirely when he felt a hand reach out and brush over them.

“Don’t. Keep them out.”

“Bit impractical, don’t you-”

“Don’t care. I want to look at them.”

The blush on his demon’s face made Aziraphale laugh and lean forward to pepper his cheeks with kisses. It seemed Crowley’s self-conscious issues disappeared rather rapidly as he started returning the kisses with fervor. He wasted no time in tugging Aziraphale’s shirt off and running his hands greedily down his bare chest.

“But what- about- yours?” Crowley asked breathlessly into Aziraphale’s skin. He didn’t have to ask again; Aziraphale’s wings burst into existence and surrounded them in a sea of white, like they’d been waiting for him to say something. In an almost uncharacteristic display of tenderness, Crowley reached out and caressed several of the large, white feathers. “Beautiful.”

Now it was Aziraphale’s turn to turn red, although it was hard to say if it was because he was embarrassed or because he was aroused. Instinctively, his strong wings curled around the two of them, wrapping them in a protective cocoon of soft whiteness. Crowley’s black ones shrank back closer to his body; not for any fear of rejection or judgement, but more so he could get closer to Aziraphale and hide deeper in his feathers. His angel let out a poorly stifled moan when he felt Crowley’s hands on his hips and his lips on his jaw, then moving down his body with a tantalizing slowness that only a demon with centuries of tempting people could achieve.

“You don’t need to be quiet, angel,” Crowley whispered. He had reached Aziraphale’s stomach, planting one last kiss into the chubby flesh there before he paused to look up and judge his angel’s reaction. “I love your noises.”

Aziraphale couldn’t help the whine that escaped when Crowley started pulling his pants and underwear off. “Crowley-”

“That’s it.” Crowley took his sounds as encouragement, and gently stroked his legs before twisting his head to press more hot kisses to the sensitive skin on the inside of his thighs. He was on his knees in between Aziraphale’s legs now, looking up at his angel with wide yellow eyes, pupils heavily dilated in desire. It took a minute for Crowley to tear his gaze away from the deliciously wanton look on Aziraphale’s face and turn instead to the hard cock in front of him. With almost religious reverence, Crowley leaned forward and licked the tip. His eyes immediately flicked back up when a weak choking sound stuttered out of his angel’s mouth. “Okay?”

“Don’t stop!” Either he didn’t notice the wicked grin on Crowley’s face, or he chose to ignore it. A reaction like that had been exactly when he was looking for. Not one to deny his angel anything, Crowley leaned forward and wrapped his lips around Aziraphale’s dick. The noises leaving Aziraphale’s mouth were positively obscene and Crowley was desperate to hear more. Not needing to breathe came in handy durning these sorts of situations, as did the mastery of his gag-reflex that came with being a snake. He was able to take all of Aziraphale in his mouth at once. Above him, he heard Aziraphale make a small sound that went straight to Crowley’s groin.

He would’ve smiled, had his mouth not been hard at work already, when he felt gentle fingers in his hair and legs tense around his head. Aziraphale set the pace, his hips jerking back and forth eagerly into Crowley’s mouth. At first, Crowley allowed his angel to take the reigns and fuck his throat, happy to let his yellow eyes drift back up to stare at Aziraphale’s beautiful face.

After a few moments, Crowley moved to hold down Aziraphale’s hips, bobbing his head almost leisurely. It wasn’t that he couldn’t handle it- he just enjoyed drawing the process out.

“Crowley, I’m- oh, Crowley-!” It wasn’t until he felt the hand on his head tug at his hair that he pulled away from Aziraphale to look back up at him, and Christ, the expression there made him want to get right back at it. He was about to do just that, but Aziraphale caught his jaw and angled his face up before he could. “Wait, love. I’m almost-”

Crowley’s tongue darted out and licked his red lips, like he was contemplating whether or not he wanted to finish a meal or move on to dessert. The motion had Aziraphale holding back another moan, struggling against the urge to shove his head back down and let Crowley finish him off right there.

But that wasn’t how he wanted it to go. He wanted Crowley to get there with him, and that wasn’t going to happen unless his demon got some attention himself.

“My turn,” Aziraphale said with an impressive amount of composure, given the circumstances. He guided Crowley back up, then flipped positions with him so that Crowley was seated back on the bed and Aziraphale was standing and turning around to reach for something at their bedside table.

While it was always an option to simply miracle his fingers wet, Aziraphale found he rather liked using lube- something about taking the time and doing things without magic felt much more meaningful. He liked doing it deliberately and letting Crowley watch in excited anticipation. Crowley’s golden eyes stared up, wide and entranced, tracing Aziraphale’s every move with a hungry expression.

Once he was satisfied that his fingers were lubed enough, Aziraphale leaned over the demon and bent down to kiss his lips- they were hot and wonderfully slick and made Aziraphale once again rethink his decision to pull away from them. His resolve- and his cock- hardened when he slid his hand down Crowley’s body to reach in between his legs and heard the strangled cry when he pushed a finger inside of him. “Angel-”

Crowley’s body reacted instinctively, seizing up and shuddering in desire, catching Aziraphale’s hand and leaving it totally immobile between Crowley’s thighs.

“Legs apart, dear,” Aziraphale instructed gently, free hand coming to rest on Crowley’s right knee and nudging it away from his left. “That’s it. Good, darling, that’s so good.”

He continued moving when Crowley made a conscious effort to spread his legs again. It didn’t take long for him to be ready for a second, then a third finger. When Crowley’s hips started jerking up desperately, Aziraphale finally withdrew his hand, deliberately dragging one slow finger up along his demon’s cock and smiling at the whine it got.

“Are you ready, love?” he asked.

“Yes! Angel, yes I’ve been ready- ah!” Crowley gasped when Aziraphale began to work his way into him.

He’d done a good job prepping him, and was easily able to slide all the way in Crowley’s ass. Even so, Aziraphale moved ever so carefully, treating Crowley with a gentleness no other being had shown him before, determined to make his affection clear with every move he made.

Hands reached up to grab at Aziraphale’s shoulders, pulling him down so they were almost chest-to-chest. Aziraphale took it as an invitation and started kissing and sucking at Crowley’s neck and chest, humming as he felt the hands move down his body to his plump thighs, and Crowley’s hips start to roll with his thrusts. Aziraphale couldn’t help but speed up when he felt nails starting to dig into his skin as Crowley took in all the contact he could get.

His demon below him was rendered an incoherent wreck when Aziraphale reached down with one hand and began to stroke his erection. Suddenly Aziraphale stopped and shifted onto his knees, pulling Crowley up to sit on his lap. Any protests Crowley had died in his throat when Aziraphale managed to hit that one blindingly incredible spot that left him practically seeing stars. Aziraphale’s hand went back to Crowley’s dick between them. His eyes never left Crowley’s face, watching the waves of pure pleasure wash across it with each push into his body. Crowley was never subtle- it was clear as day he was about five seconds from cumming just by his expression alone.

“Az- Zira- angel, I’m going to- fuck-”

“Do it. Let go, love. Cum for me,” Aziraphale urged, his breath coming in short, quick gasps and his pace increasing. As much as he wanted to be gentle, Aziraphale couldn’t keep himself from starting to fuck him harder. Going by the way his toes were curling and his chest was heaving, Aziraphale concluded that Crowley didn’t mind too much.

With a barely choked-back yell, Crowley came. A shiver of ecstasy ran through the demon as he felt Aziraphale join him, filling him with cum. The angel rode out his orgasm, his hips continuing to thrust into Crowley until he was entirely finished. Even after they were both spent, they kept still, Crowley in Aziraphale’s lap, his arms wrapped around the angel’s neck, face buried in his chest. Aziraphale’s arms cradled Crowley closely, rubbing his back in slow, gentle circles.

“Are you ready to get cleaned up?” Aziraphale asked reluctantly after a few minutes, not quite ready to let go of him just yet. He turned his head to once again nuzzle Crowley’s temple affectionately and kiss his jaw.

“Ngh.”

“Should I take that as a ‘no’?”

“Mmm.”

“Come on,” Aziraphale said, smiling as he scooped Crowley up like he weighed nothing. “Quick shower, then we can go to bed. Alright?”

“Looks like I don’t have much of a choice,” Crowley answered. He was trying to sound irritated, but it didn’t really work when he was snuggled close to Aziraphale’s chest with a content look on his face.

Aziraphale was true to his word- their shower was a short one, spent wrapped in each other’s arms, getting sweat and other fluids rinsed off their bodies. Given the rubbery way his legs were starting to feel, Crowley managed to convince Aziraphale to carry him from the bathroom back to the bedroom and lay him back down on their bed. Crowley, in return, used a small miracle to dry them both off, and another one to replace the dirty sheets with clean ones.

Aziraphale let himself fall back beside Crowley, who sputtered indignantly when he wound up with a sudden face full of feathers. Laughing, the angel pulled his wing in just enough for Crowley to scoot out from under it. As soon as Crowley was in the clear, the white wing sprawled back out flat against the bed, and Crowley didn’t hesitate to flop face-first down on top of it, letting his own black wings drape across their nude bodies. He knew from experience that Aziraphale’s wings were strong enough to support him.

“That was wonderful, Crowley. You were so good,” Aziraphale said, tenderly kissing Crowley’s cheek. “So, so good, dear, you’re amazing.”

“Every time,” Crowley said quietly into Aziraphale’s shoulder.

“Every time what?” Aziraphale was warm, but Crowley felt wonderfully cool beside him, and he knew that the demon was enjoying his body heat as well.

“Every time I think you can’t get any more amazing,“ Crowley said after a moment, with such a look of adoration on his face that it was making Aziraphale’s head spin, “you go and prove me wrong.”

Had it been possible for Aziraphale to turn redder, he absolutely would have- as such, he was suddenly very glad he was already flushed. “Oh, you are such a sap.”

“I get it from you! You’ve been a terrible influence on me,” teased Crowley. “I was a respectable demon before you got your hands on me. Evil, evil beast I was.”

Aziraphale snorted. “Please, you went around gluing coins to sidewalks and convincing children to start dramatics at family get-togethers. An inconvenience, that’s what you are.”

“I caused the Spanish Inquisition, remember? And World War One-”

“It was the second one you got credit for-”

“All that manifest destiny shite over in America-”

“You weren’t even in America at the time-”

“The Russian Revolution-”

“It was the French Revolution, you idiot,” Aziraphale said, starting to laugh. “You didn’t actually have a hand it any of those events!”

Crowley was laughing too. When the angel looked down at him after a moment, he found Crowley was resting his chin on Aziraphale’s bare shoulder and was looking up at him. Unable to help himself, Aziraphale stroked some of Crowley’s hair back- he was starting to wear it longer again, said he liked it when Aziraphale braided it- then cupped his cheek, loving the way his demon leaned into his touch.

“Mmm. I could’ve though.”

“I’m sure.”

“I’m a mean bastard.”

“You certainly are a bastard,” Aziraphale agreed. “One of you finer qualities.”

“Oh? And what would you say my other finer qualities are?”

“I’ve never met anyone who fishes quite as much as you.”

“And here I was, thinking I was being subtle.” As he spoke, Crowley’s eyes started to shut and he let his head roll to the side so his cheek rested on the angel’s shoulder. Postcoital bliss, gentle hands petting his hair, and Aziraphale’s soft warmth beside him made for an extremely sleepy demon. “‘M gonna fall asleep if you keep this up.”

Aziraphale knew all too well that Crowley wasn’t asking him to stop, so he didn’t. They’d played this game before. The rules never changed, the routine never got old, and neither of them would ever get tired of it. “Your hair is so beautiful when it’s long. You look gorgeous with short hair, naturally, but long hair... you look positively divine.

“And then there’s the eyes. You don’t see very many golden eyes in this universe, they’re truly one-of-a-kind. Absolutely stunning.” Aziraphale spoke softly, unable to keep the fondness from his voice as he watched Crowley start to drift off. “Your wings, of course, are unlike any I’ve ever seen before. Like looking at the night sky.

“Your voice is delectable- I swear, I could listen to it all day long and never tire of it. Never tire of you. Not in a thousand lifetimes. I love every last bit of you, my dear, and I am so grateful for every day you’re with me. I don’t know how I got so lucky.”

He was mostly talking to himself at this point, but Aziraphale liked to imagine that some of his words were reaching Crowley in his sleep. The small smile on his demon’s face told him that he had at least fallen asleep hearing the words Aziraphale had spoken, and that was enough for now.

Although he wasn’t very big on sleep himself, Aziraphale felt his eyes starting to slide shut on their own accord. The feeling of utter peace and love that filled the room was intoxicating, stronger by far than any alcohol he had ever tried before. He could feel it in his bones, seeping in and surrounding him until it felt like there was nothing left but him, Crowley, and the pure adoration they had for each other. It made him feel safe, and more comfortable than anything else he’d ever experienced. As much as he wanted to stay awake and revel in it some more, Aziraphale couldn’t fight the tranquility that tenderly urged him to shut his eyes.

Sleep wasn't so bad when he had his sweet, beautiful demon at his side.

Chapter Text

Crowley didn’t think too much of it, the first time he noticed Aziraphale staring into a mirror. His angel liked to maintain his appearances, keeping himself prim and proper to the best of his abilities, and he’d just assumed that was what was going on. It wasn’t as though Aziraphale had ever given him a reason to think that he was anything other than, at worst, perfectly fine. Most of the time, he seemed to be fantastic. The life they’d built together was a good one, better than either of them had ever dreamed possible. It was free in a way that no creature- angel, demon, or otherwise- could ever achieve. They had an eternity together, with no bosses hanging over them to tell them what to do.

Not literally, anyway.

Over six thousand years of following the rules laid out by their supervisors had ingrained certain behaviors and beliefs that both of them had a hard time moving past. Hell had left Crowley rather paranoid, and constantly looking over his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t being stalked. After all, even if he’d avoided any official punishment, plenty of demons would love the chance to skin him and salt the wounds, and the higher ups wouldn’t do a damn thing to stop it. And now that they were living together, he secretly worried that he’d put a target on his angel’s back as well- that thought had kept him up at night.

Aziraphale, on the other hand, seemed to have a much better handle on things than his demon did. Rebellion had suited him, made him all too happy to distance himself from Heaven. At least, that’s what it looked like. While Crowley was suspicious and suffered from the occasional nightmare, Aziraphale looked to the rest of the world like the very image of a well-adjusted being. If he were being honest, Crowley would’ve said he was jealous at how easily Azirphale had moved on from his former taskmasters. He had assumed that knowing how quickly Heaven was willing to destroy him had laid any loyalties or belief he had in them to rest.

How wrong he was.

Altogether, it took him far too long to get it, and when he did, Crowley was caught totally blindsided. He simply wasn’t prepared to wake up and run into Aziraphale in the bathroom at three in the morning.

He stumbled in, bleary-eyed and still clad in his boxers to find his angel already there. Aziraphale was only wearing a pair of sleep trousers and a small frown on his face as he looked down at the ground. Without really thinking, Crowley stepped over and wrapped his arms around Aziraphale’s waist, resting his chin on the angel’s shoulder and giving his belly a playful squeeze. It was a gesture he had to have done a dozen times before, always meant to be a sign of affection. “G’morning-”

“Stop it!”

Crowley pulled his arms back in alarm when Aziraphale slapped at his hands and turned around to glare at him. He couldn’t remember the last time his angel had struck him hard enough to sting. A few centuries ago, at least.

“Wha-?” He was too stunned to say anything else before Aziraphale pushed past him and stormed out of the bathroom. His half-awake mind struggled to comprehend what just happened before he managed to semi-jolt himself into action and followed his angel, finding him tugging on a large, baggy t-shirt that Crowley had never seen him wear before. “Angel?”

“Don’t.” The tone was sharp, and Crowley felt his jaw snap shut. Probably a good thing, for now, as he had absolutely no clue what to say. “I don’t want to hear it.”

Well, that was a relief, as Crowley had nothing for him to hear. Aziraphale had never voiced any issue with Crowley hugging him in the past. Crowley frowned. Was he mad that he had just barged into the bathroom? He’d done it before though and it had never garnered this reaction. Maybe it was just one time too many. That made the most sense. At least, he wanted it to make the most sense. He didn’t like the other option. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t’ve walked in without knocking. I didn’t mean to-”

Aziraphale cut him off with an almost hysterical burst of laughter, and Crowley’s frown somehow deepened. That was a good thing. Laughing meant he was happy, right? Apparently not, as the laughter stopped abruptly and Aziraphale sniffed loudly and rubbed at one eye. Feeling hopelessly lost, Crowley stepped forward and knelt down to the ground in front of Aziraphale and took the angel’s warm hands in his own cool ones.

“Please talk to me.”

“I’m not mad that you walked in on me.”

“Then...?” Crowley trailed off, prompting Aziraphale to continue.

“You... squeezed me.”

A flash of horror crossed Crowley’s face when he came to what, in his mind, was the next logical conclusion, and jerked his hands away. Aziraphale must’ve disliked his touch. He’d hoped so hard that that wasn’t the problem, because it meant that Aziraphale had been simply enduring his touches this entire time, and the thought of that made him shudder. “Aziraphale, I’m so sorry. I swear, I didn’t know it upsets you when I touch you- you should’ve said something, I would’ve stopped-”

“Oh, for the love of- I’m fat, Crowley! It’s... it’s gross!” Aziraphale could feel his eyes start to tear up and cursed himself for it. He’d tried so hard to keep this issue to himself, convinced that the best he could hope for was Crowley simply mocking him for his insecurities. At worst, his demon would realize that he was right, that Aziraphale wasn’t what he wanted, and he would leave. He didn’t want to think about how much it would hurt to have Crowley sneer at him- but he couldn’t even begin to imagine how he would feel if he left.

For his part, Crowley simply gaped at the angel in disbelief. “You’re... what?”

Aziraphale groaned, but kept his eyes glued to the floor, too scared to meet Crowley’s eyes. “I’m soft. Angels are meant to be fighters- strong and powerful. I’m not that. It’s pathetic.”

“Erm- how’d this become an issue?” Crowley asked carefully, trying to downplay his upset. Slowly this time, Crowley once again took Aziraphale’s hands and started rubbing his thumbs over the backs of his knuckles. “Where’d it come from?”

“It was just something Gabriel had mentioned over the years. And Uriel. Michael brought it up too. Just pointed out that... my gut was too soft and that I should... pack on some muscle.”

Of course. The demon threw the briefest of glares upwards before turning his scowl back to Aziraphale, albeit with much less resentment. He really should’ve known Heaven’s special brand of abuse would have stuck with his angel. Aziraphale was a sensitive soul who felt things more intensely than just about anyone Crowley had ever known. While Crowley was rather vocal about things that bothered him- at times, excessively so- Aziraphale internalized things and let them eat away at him. Crowley was rather horrified that he hadn’t picked up on it sooner. How much had he missed because Aziraphale was too insecure to say anything? Because Heaven had spent so much time knocking him down and rejecting everything he said, everything he did, everything he was? When was the last time another angel had said anything genuinely kind to Aziraphale? For all their talk of love and acceptance, the majority of Heaven’s angels were a great load of insufferable twats.

This was an Aziraphale that Crowley wasn’t used to seeing, and quite frankly, it was alarming. Usually it was Crowley who had the emotional meltdowns, and Aziraphale was the one to sober him up and get him through it. He couldn’t think of a time when he’d had to return the favor. Well, aside from the few times when humans had pulled something magnificently terrible that had left them both feeling down, but the mutual solution there was to simply get sloshed beyond all reason, and Crowley didn’t think that that would be the way to go this time.

“Is... have I said or done anything to make you feel this way? To make it worse?” Crowley finally asked cautiously. He didn’t like that it felt like he was making it about himself, but he had to know if he had ever made his angel feel like he was anything less than perfect so he could try to make it right.

Aziraphale stared mutely down at Crowley’s bare stomach, and he suddenly realized that perhaps being mostly nude wasn’t the best way for this conversation to happen. Not bothering to try and be subtle, Crowley simply snapped his fingers and made some loose pajamas appear on himself. Squeezing Aziraphale’s hands, Crowley took a quick breath and tried to think of what to say. There was so much he wanted to get across, he had no idea where to even begin. “Aziraphale, I don’t- I want you to- fuck. This is our home. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable in it just by being shirtless. I don’t know- well, I don’t know exactly what brought this about, but if I’ve had any part in making you feel bad, I want you to know that I didn’t mean to. I love looking at you, no matter what you are or aren’t wearing. I love seeing you naked just as much as I love seeing you in your cute old jacket.”

“Since when do you think it’s cute?”

“I think it’s cute every time I see it on you. When it’s hanging up, it’s atrocious,” Crowley tried to tease, “but the minute you put it on, it looks better than any designer jacket I’ve ever seen.”

The smile that flitted across the angel’s face was fleeting, but still felt like a small win. “I’m not what angels are supposed to be like.”

Crowley snorted. “If you were what angels are supposed to be like, then you would’ve smote me back in Eden. Since we’re talking about how we’re ‘supposed to be’ though, then I say we start with me- a demon with a moral compass? Who fell in love with an angel? I’d say I’ve got you beat in the ‘wrongness’ department, love.”

This time it was a weak laugh that Crowley got out of him, and his heart soared, same as it did every other time he heard his angel’s laugh. Like the smile, it faded all too quickly. “That’s different though. It’s a good thing to not be like demons. Demons are vile, hateful creatures. Angels are meant to be perfect- oh no, dear, I didn’t mean-” Aziraphale realized what had just slipped out of his mouth all too late, judging by the mildly offended look that appeared on Crowley’s face.

But Crowley knew what Azirphale had meant, even if it rubbed him the wrong way. Right now, his angel didn’t need his irritation; he needed his support and understanding, and Crowley was determined to give it to him. “Then you should feel all the more special. You got a vile, hateful creature to fall head over heels for you.”

Aziraphale blushed at that, feeling ashamed of his thoughtlessness. It had been centuries since he had last thought of Crowley as a demon. He was just... Crowley. And even before that, he’d never thought of him as vile or hateful. He’d long since created a divide between Crowley and every other demon out there in his mind. “My dear, I didn’t mean you- I don’t think of you like that, you know that, don’t you?”

“Of course I do. I don’t think you’re like other angels either. And that’s a good thing, because the other angels all suck! I like you because you’re different, angel.” As he spoke, Crowley brought one of Aziraphale’s hands up to his face and pressed his lips to the knuckles.

“But... it’s just... wouldn’t you like my corporation more if it was...” Aziraphale trailed off helplessly and pointed a finger down in the general direction of his stomach.

“No. Angel, how long have you had this corporation?” Crowley asked patiently.

“Um... 1500s, I believe?”

“Right. And how many of your corporations have looked just like this one?”

“Well, all of them. Getting a new body from Heaven involves a nightmarish amount of paperwork. Reusing the same-”

“So when,” Crowley continued loudly, “in the last six thousand bloody years have I ever given you any reason to think I would want you any other way than exactly how you are?”

Aziraphale went silent as he contemplated that question- six thousand years was a long time, and much had been said between the two of them. But the more he thought about it, he realized that Crowley had a point- he couldn’t think of a single time when his demon had made him feel like his body was wrong. In fact, if he really thought about it, he could recall several times when an offhanded comment made by Crowley had actually made Aziraphale feel better about himself. Something stirred in Aziraphale’s chest then. Hope, perhaps. Adoration. The warmth that came along with knowing you’re loved by someone special.

“Look, if you want to lose some weight, if that’ll make you happy, then I support that. But I won’t support this. You’re not doing it for you, you’re doing it for them. And we do things for ourselves now, not for Hell and certainly not for Heaven.”

Crowley knew better than to think that the effects of centuries of being under Heaven’s influence and living with their abuse was something that would go away with just a few sweet words. Just as he had his scars from Hell, Aziraphale had his own trauma to bear with. This was an issue that had been pounded into Aziraphale’s head for the last six thousand years, at least. It actually saddened Crowley to think of how much Heaven must’ve changed- when he’d last lived there as an angel, before all the fighting, it really had been all about affection and compassion. Unfortunately, the war had shaken angels and demons alike, and as a result, bonds between individuals started falling apart. After all, it was much harder to let go of someone when you loved them; in a time when half of the heavenly host Fell, the angels started growing apart from each other, and loving sibling relationships transformed to chilly business-like relationships. That had just been starting to change around the time that Crowley Fell.

Apparently it had only gotten worse. Crowley finally released his grip on Aziraphale’s hands and let his left hand fall down to rest on Aziraphale’s thigh while the other one reached up to cup his angel’s face.

“I mean it, Aziraphale. You’re amazing. You’re perfect the way you are, and I love every inch of you. I’ll say it as many times as I have to until you believe it.”

With an almost bashful smile, Aziraphale reached up to cover the hand that was on his face. “Say it again?”

“You’re amazing, angel.”

“Again?”

“You’re perfect.”

“Again.”

“I love you.”

With a small sound that was hard to place, Aziraphale pulled Crowley up so he was standing in front of him and threw his arms around Crowley’s waist, pressing his face into his stomach. If Crowley was surprised by the sudden movement, he hid it very well, simply letting his own arms fall around Aziraphale’s neck and resting his chin on the angel’s head.

“I’m sorry dearest,” Aziraphale mumbled. “Just being ridiculous.”

“Aziraphale,” Crowley said, pulling far enough away to get Aziraphale to look up at him. “Stop it. You’re not ridiculous. I mean, you have your moments, but not about this. You spent a long time listening to those wankers up there lie to you about everything- it’s not your fault that it stuck with you. But they were wrong.”

“I suppose...”

“And it’s okay if you can’t see that right away. Like I said, there’s a lot of unlearning to do, but I won’t stop until you believe me. And even then I probably won’t stop.”

Aziraphale couldn’t think of a single time someone had treated him with so much respect and adoring as Crowley was now. He could never get tired of it. “I would... appreciate that. Reminders, I mean. That you- oh, you know, that you love me.”

Crowley studied him closely with a fond smile, then let his thumb trace under Aziraphale’s eye to gently take care of the tears that had managed to spill down his cheeks.

“As many as you need, angel.”