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Acts of Contrition

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It was a snow-filled day, the streets hushed and quiet, when Crowley asked the first time.

“Please,” he’d said, and fallen to his knees in the bookshop, bending over to prostrate himself at Aziraphale’s feet. Aziraphale had sputtered and choked, put his hands in Crowley’s hair and said, “There, there, dear boy, my dear boy, it’s not as bad as that, is it? Nothing I won’t forgive you for.”

And Crowley had pushed his head into Aziraphale’s hands, into his crotch, made of himself a wanton, needy, beautiful thing with pleading eyes and open heart, and Aziraphale had clutched his fingers in flame-bright hair as he unbuckled and unzipped and fucked, then came down Crowley’s throat. Aziraphale had spent exactly three seconds afterwards terrified of what would happen next, until Crowley had simply laid his head on Aziraphale’s knee for a moment, given him one hot, desperate look, and left.

Now, months later, what happens between them is a thing more infinitely beautiful, a complex web of mutual desires that feed off of each other, finding root in the liminal space between light and dark, good and evil, virtue and sin. Aziraphale is good at finding that line, bringing Crowley right up to the edge, giving him the penance and forgiveness he craves.

“Are you ready, my dear?” he always asks, and this time is no different, Crowley kneeling shirtless on a chair in Aziraphale’s apartment. His black trousers are slipping down his hips, the dimples of his spine on full display. Aziraphale wants to lick them, wants to press his fingers into the scant flesh over bone, but he always refrains.

Crowley nods. “Forgive me, angel, for I have sinned,” he whispers. Aziraphale raises the small, thin cane he’d acquired once things had really started to ramp up and lays a strike across Crowley’s shoulders. He gasps.

“What is it you’ve done, my love?” Aziraphale says kindly, then runs his hand over the slope of Crowley’s shoulder. “I think it’s best if you tell me.”

“You’ll be disappointed,” Crowley says, and Aziraphale strikes him again, across his upper back, a long, red wheal forming across the skin. “Oh fuck, angel, fuck -”

“Mind your mouth,” Aziraphale says mildly, and lays a hit across his arse. Crowley yelps and arches, but he doesn’t call out his safeword, doesn’t hide away. “Now. Tell me what it is you’ve done.”

“A - a young man,” he starts, and oh dear, this will be interesting. “He was waiting for his partner at a bar. I tempted him. He wanted me. I let him, let him…”

“Did you let him fuck you?” Aziraphale asks, as he slides his fingers up into Crowley’s hair and tugs, a sharp pull that drags Crowley’s head back so Aziraphale can look him in the eyes.

Crowley blinks at him. “I did, I let him fuck me, I took him into the loo and bent over and let him pound into me,” Crowley snarls, and Aziraphale bites his lips to keep silent. This is what he does, this is his job, and Aziraphale has no place to be jealous of his attention.

“And his partner caught you, didn’t he?” Aziraphale brings the sharp snap of the cane to bear again across Crowley’s shoulders, criss-crossing the marks he’d made before. This one is deep, the blow bringing pointillist drops of blood to the surface. Crowley whimpers as Aziraphale works across his back, skin starting to shine with sweat and glow pink with the force of Aziraphale’s strikes. Aziraphale lays one more blow across his ass, and Crowley crumples.

“He did catch us,” Crowley gasps. “I’m sorry, Aziraphale, I’m sorry, it’s who I am, I had to do it.”

He did, Aziraphale knows this, and he understands that Aziraphale will have the chance to do plenty of good to make up for it. But this is what Crowley needs now, penance and redemption, delivered at Aziraphale’s hands.

Aziraphale drops the cane and places a hand on Crowley’s shoulder, a gentle touch that has the grace of healing in it. “You are forgiven,” he says quietly, his lips barely brushing Crowley’s ear. Crowley drops his chin to his chest, breath coming in pants.

“Thank you, angel,” he says, and pulls on his shirt before he nods and leaves the apartment, leaves the shop, and Aziraphale sits down and sighs into a glass of scotch.

They’ve built something careful and delicate; a relationship of mutual benefit. Crowley wants to pay his penance, and Aziraphale wants to lovingly mete it out.

He should be happy with that. He is happy, elated, even, to give that touch of Grace to Crowley's life. To be trusted with it.

But Aziraphale remembers the look in his eyes when Aziraphale had taken his pleasure that first time, and every time Crowley nods and leaves his shop, he wonders if it's destined to be the last.


“Crowley, dear, you’re going to have to speak up. You came to me, remember? This is all your doing.”

Crowley is a vision, stripped to the waist, wrists tied down to the rough, wooden St. Andrew’s Cross Aziraphale had put together from some old wood beams left over in the basement of the shop. It held well and it looked exactly like he’d wanted it to: a reminder of harder, harsher times.

“I did it, I got her to steal from her charity, and I liked it.” Crowley says, his words slightly blurred with adrenaline. He likes the martinet, likes the whip-like sting of it, and Aziraphale is sure it’s the only thing that’s going to get through to him when he’s being this obstinate.

Azriaphale lays the ten heavy cords across his back again, and Crowley gasps, but doesn’t break. “You know that stealing is against Her commandments. Find it in your heart to repent, demon.”

“No,” Crowley snarls, and Aziraphale shakes his head. He will eventually get there, Aziraphale knows, but it takes a loving, disciplined hand to do it.

“Ten more for being so utterly irredeemable,” Aziraphale says. “Count them.” And oh merciful God he does, his voice breathy and gasping over each strike, the skin over his back and shoulders looking red and painful, white welts layering across each other. Aziraphale is viciously, painfully aroused by the sight of it, Crowley’s back arching as he reaches the last two strikes, body trembling and taut and beginning to pull at his bonds.

He drops the martinet, hands shaking from his own arousal, from the effort it takes to not just cover Crowley’s body as it stands against the cross, to press into him and fuck him senseless and pliant. That’s not what this has really been, may never be, so Aziraphale stands behind him, taking measured breaths as he tries to calm down.

“Angel?” Crowley asks, and turns his head to look back.

“It’s nothing, my dear,” Aziraphale says, and quickly bends down to gather up the martinet. “I’m simply deciding whether you’ve learned your lesson, or if you require further punishment.”

Crowley writhes, a sinuous twist of his body that ripples down his spine from his neck to his feet. “I still don’t feel sorry,” he says, voice low, and Aziraphale narrows his eyes and raises his arm again.


Aziraphale sighs and tries to focus on authenticating a third edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost and absolutely not on the sound of Crowley’s voice breaking over the word “yes,” the end drawn out between his teeth before his cries turned to desperate, incoherent apologies.

He pushes the folio away, tugs his glasses off of his nose and rubs his face. The longer this continues, the worse it’s going to get, and Aziraphle knows it. In his desperation to hold onto any part of Crowley he’d allow, Aziraphale had let himself get wrapped into only a shadow of the relationship he’d fantasized about.

He pours a fresh cup of tea, remembering the second time Crowley had approached him - Aziraphale had been just as thrown, if a tiny bit faster to recover. Crowley had slunk into the shop, locked the door, and handed Aziraphale a long, thin paddle. He’d bent over Aziraphale’s desk, hands flat on the wooden surface. His head drooped low, light shining over the crest of his hair.

“Please,” he’d said quietly.

“What is it you need me to do?” Aziraphale asked, turning the paddle over in his hands. “Do you expect me to hit you?”

“Yes, please, I deserve it, I need it. Cleanse me of my iniquity, Aziraphale, I beg you.”

Aziraphale knew those words, knew that “and forgive me for my sins” followed, and he took the paddle in hand and, with a prayer that he was doing what he should, administered his penance, fifteen hard blows that left Crowley sobbing on the floor.

But that was all. Crowley had crawled over to Aziraphale’s knee, then, thanking him through tear-soaked sobs. Aziraphale had passed a hand through his hair and soothed him, murmuring nonsense and praise and passing healing into his body until he quieted, unsure of what more he should do. Aziraphale thought he might have fallen asleep, but he’d snapped his eyes open as soon as Aziraphale moved, straightened his collar, and left. Aziraphale had been left bewildered, slightly shaken, and more turned on than he’d wanted to admit.

They’d had many encounters since, Crowley asking, Aziraphale giving, but never as emotionally fraught as the second, never as sexual as the first. They’d found a balance that seemed to work, at least for the moment, and Aziraphale had kept a tight rein on his desires. But last night, oh, how he’d slipped.

Aziraphale had known Crowley needed a firm hand last night, and the way his body moved under the stroke of the martinet was exquisite, twisting into the pain instead of away from it, accepting his penance as his due even as he refused to acknowledge it until the very, very end. Aziraphale has never seen something so beautiful, of Crowley finding forgiveness at his hand. It moves him in ways he hadn’t expected, arouses him more fully than it should. Plainly, he wants. Wants to have Crowley soft and begging, compliant at his knees. Wants Crowley’s body to be open for him to do as he chooses, to give him his penance then take it again with a kiss.

To give himself over in all the ways angels never should, yet he craves.

He can’t ever say so, he’s sure of it. He and Crowley have reached a very tenuous and beautiful Arrangement, one more intimate than the one of centuries past. One that feels deeper and more meaningful, bonds Crowley to him even more tightly than their thwarting of the apocalypse had years before. Adding something as significant as sex to their relationship could be the unravelling of everything.


“You seem distracted,” Crowley says, flipping the large black swan a handful of cress. Aziraphale catches him before he dunks the bird, as he used to do to the ducks, and clucks his tongue.

“Would you stop that. Over a hundred years, you’d think you’d tire of being such a child.”

Crowley laughs and leans on his forearms, braced against the railing. His back arches slightly, hip cocked, and Aziraphale sucks in a breath. “I only do it to annoy you,” he says. “Your disapproving face is always a picture. So, what’s going on?”

Aziraphale looks at his face, his expression open and guileless and completely at peace with the world, and he can’t say anything to upset that. So he forces a smile and offers his arm and Crowley, with a rather disbelieving lift of his eyebrow, takes it.

“This seems a touch....chivalrous. What’s the game, angel?”

“No game. Simply a walk, Crowley, with me. That’s all. And tea, I think, at the Savoy.” Aziraphale’s arm is warm where Crowley’s fingers are wrapped around it, and he goes so far as to lay his other hand over the top of Crowley’s as they walk. They talk of nothing and everything; of the coming spring, of a potential trip to Indonesia, of a rumour that Hastur had been demoted from a Duke of Hell to an Earl, and how that had shaken up the rest of the ranks of Hell for a good few weeks afterward. Crowley is animated and funny and sharp-tongued, and Aziraphale catches little sidelong glances of his face out of the corner of his eye. God, how he loves him, loves every little piece of him, loves his light and his dark and everything in between.

It’s incredibly self-indulgent to walk with him this way, to get a few understanding smiles as they work their way toward the Savoy, people assuming their relationship is more than it is. Aziraphale drinks it in as they take their seats at the table, knowing that the kind assumptions of strangers might be all he ever gets.


It could never be said, though, that Aziraphale isn’t grateful for what he does have. So grateful, in fact, that since this started, he’s spent more time than he probably should browsing various fetish sites, ordering new bits and pieces of things he thinks Crowley would like. Floggers, paddles, canes, whips for a start; leather cuffs and restraints and ropes. He doesn’t want Crowley to get bored, so spends the evening after their tea at the Savoy ordering a beautiful red-brown flogger made of heavy, thuddy leather and, when it comes, stashes it in his cabinet for whenever the next time Crowley is in need.

It turns out to be only a few more days before Crowley walks into the shop one late Friday evening. He flips the sign and locks the door, and Aziraphale can feel his pulse quicken, anticipation ramping up as Crowley circles through the shop and comes to stand in front of him.

“What do you need, my dear?” Aziraphale asks quietly, and oh, he’s trembling already, the poor thing, and before he can stop himself, he reaches out to touch his fingertips to Crowley’s cheek.

Crowley tilts into his hand, then, and Aziraphale sucks in a breath.

“I need to feel it,” he says. “Give me everything I deserve.”

Aziraphale would usually let Crowley strip himself, but today, Aziraphale can’t help but take the liberty to slide his sunglasses down his nose and off, placing them onto the table. Startled yellow eyes blink at him.

“It’s okay,” Aziraphale says, trying to reassure him. “I’m here.” Crowley continues to stare at his face while Aziraphale unbuttons his shirt and slowly pulls it off of his shoulders. Aziraphale can feel the heat of his stare all the way to his toes, the shop so silent in the late evening Aziraphale can hear the rustle of Crowley’s shirt as it hits the floor.

Crowley reaches for his belt, then, and Aziraphale pauses on an indrawn breath. Crowley lifts it from the loop, and raises an eyebrow.

“Of course, my dear boy,” Aziraphale murmurs, hoping the beat of his heart isn’t as loud as it seems. Crowley unbuttons and shucks his trousers, leaving him in just his black shorts and socks.

This feels like a test, a pushing of boundaries that Crowley himself had created, and Aziraphale lets his power reassert itself before he gets lost in it. “Over my desk, if you please,” he says crisply, and Crowley does as he’s bid, leaning against the desktop on his hands. Aziraphale considers, then taps his shoulder. “On your elbows. Feet further apart.”

Yes, this is what he wants, Crowley’s back bent in a supplicating arch, arse presented and ready. “Oh, you’re so beautiful, my Crowley,” Aziraphale whispers, and yes, this can be allowed, can’t it? This simple statement of adoration. He couldn’t find fault in that, could he? Nothing so terrible that he’d pull away.

And, miracle of miracles, he doesn’t pull away, he twists and shifts into Aziraphale’s questing fingers down his spine. “Angel,” Crowley breathes, not a warning, but a plea.

“I expect the truth from you, demon Crowley,” Aziraphale says, as he pulls the new flogger from his cabinet. “No lies. No prevaricating. No convenient omissions.” The flogger feels heavy in his hands, more than he’s accustomed to using, but the long steel handle is balanced and light, and it’s a delight to swing, easily gaining momentum. Crowley will definitely feel it, but he has been through the Fall, after all, and this is nothing in comparison. Aziraphale gathers the tails on one hand and drops them smartly right on Crowley’s arse cheek. He gasps, and drops his head to the desk.

“Deus meus,” Crowley whispers. “Ex toto corde paenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum, eaque detestor, quia peccando…

Aziraphale lays another blow over his shoulder, and this one leaves welts.The flogger carries a lot of weight, and a half-powered blow is enough to make Crowley’s entire body sway under the impact. Crowley gasps through the Latin, his act of contrition just barely beginning. He’s begging for forgiveness when he’s not even confessed, and Aziraphale wonders if Crowley’s too emotional tonight, too jittery to push this as far as Aziraphale thinks he might.

The third blow is over his arse again, and Crowley whimpers. “You have to tell me what you’ve done, Crowley,” Aziraphale says, kindly. “You know I can’t read your mind. Tell me what you’ve done, and we can get this all over with, and you’ll feel better.”

“I didn’t know she’d leave them all!” Crowley chokes out, and Aziraphale holds his next blow. “Just a few potholes, down near Twickenham, people lose a few tyres, no big deal. How was I to know that was one misfortune too many?”

Aziraphale steps back, the intimate nature of their play turning sour in his throat as he watches Crowley gasp out his confession into the shiny wood of Aziraphale’s desk. He sounds like he’s in real, significant distress.

“I didn’t know, there were kids in the car, she just...she just lost it. Got out of the car, crying about money. She wasn’t paying attention, walked in front of a bus. I’m sorry, Aziraphale, I’m so sorry.”

Aziraphale is horrified. Crowley’s brand of evil tends toward temptations of the flesh, lust and gluttony and greed, along with a few annoying little headaches thrown in along the way just for fun. But this, the unintended consequences of one of his more ridiculous misdeeds, cuts deep.

“How many?” Aziraphale asks.

Crowley lifts his head from the desk and looks at Aziraphale with sorrowful eyes. “Three,” he says. “All small.” He sinks down to the floor and clutches his head. Aziraphale drops the flogger and sits next to him, gathers him up in his arms.

“You can’t always know what can happen, you know this,” he says carefully, gently, into Crowley’s hair. “You’re a demon, for better or worse. I know you’d not have caused such an outcome on purpose.”

“But I did,” Crowley says, lifting his head to look Aziraphale in the eyes. “I did it, whether on purpose or no, and I can’t change it, and there are days even I loathe what I’ve become.”

Aziraphale cups Crowley’s cheek in his hand, heart aching for his friend. “And what have you become? You are that which you have been for six thousand years. Yet I remain, and I am still your friend. In spite of it all. Or because of it. So don’t cry, serpent of Eden.” Crowley blinks and huffs disdain at the notion, and Aziraphale smiles and brushes a not-tear from the underside of his wide yellow eyes. Crowley reaches up and grasps his wrist and holds his hand still, fingers still cradling Crowley’s jaw.

Abruptly, Aziraphale is almost physically aware of the hour and the scene, Crowley still stripped to his pants and Aziraphale holding him close. There’s a soft chime from the clock in the front of the shop, and Aziraphale tilts his head down until his lips barely brush across Crowley’s. It’s a soft brush of mouths, their lips barely moving as they carefully trace the shape of each other, gently nudging and pressing together before falling apart without a sound.

“I’m sorry,” Aziraphale whispers. “Forgive me.”

“Sorry? What on Earth -” Crowley starts, before Aziraphale carefully drapes Crowley’s discarded shirt around his shoulders, pulls back, and walks away toward the stairs to his above-shop flat, carrying the vision of Crowley’s half-lidded, passion-drunk eyes with him.


It’s weeks before Aziraphale sees him again.

He tries to give Crowley his space, doesn’t try to hunt him down or even sense where he is. Walking away from something he knew he could take had been one of the most difficult things he’s ever done, and yet his divine resolve still stood strong, throughout.

If he couldn’t fight the spectre of the most perfect temptation, he was no angel.

So he waits. Crowley may never come back to him, or he may wait him out for decades, even a century or more. Their longest separation had lasted almost two hundred years, and Crowley had said nothing more than “Well, glad that’s over. What’s on for nibbles, angel?” when he’d reappeared.

Weeks is barely a blip in their celestial lives.

But Aziraphale can’t help but dwell on the soft brush of Crowley’s lips on his, the way his body melted into Aziraphale’s embrace. The way he’d swayed just the tiniest bit closer when Aziraphale had slipped his shirt from his shoulders.

It’s ridiculous for him to be thinking this way. Crowley had just been caught up in the moment, emotions roiling under the surface, more difficult than those he usually dealt with. It was rare for Crowley to care at all about an individual human life, and the stress of it had made him vulnerable. Aziraphale could kick himself for taking advantage of that vulnerability, especially when Crowley had needed him most.

So he works. He attends blessings and funerals and weddings. He takes walks, hours upon hours in the park, just trying to banish the scent of Crowley’s hair from his mind. He finds his steps turning toward Mayfair more often than they should, and he catches himself almost to Crowley’s street before he turns away.

Once he catches the Bentley out of the corner of his eye, going hell-for-leather down Marylebone High Street, and he smiles before he can stop himself.

But finally, one fine spring morning, the buds barely burst open upon the trees, Aziraphale finds himself face to face with Crowley on the sidewalk outside of his shop, as he’s on his way to pick up some things from the cleaners. He nearly runs into him as he turns away from the door, and he’s startled.

“Oh, goodness, there you are,” he says, a bit flustered. “I was just on my way out.”

Crowley looks...well, he looks beautiful, if Aziraphale is honest, his hair tousled just so, a black wool coat added to his usual ensemble in deference to the spring chill. His mouth, though, looks slightly drawn, and he opens and closes it a few times, as if he can't find the words he is looking for.

“I just thought...well. I just thought we might want to have a drink, is all,” Crowley finally says, all brash bravado and nervous energy. “Been a while, maybe we could...could talk.”

Aziraphale pauses, unsure. “At eleven in the morning?” he says.

“Sure, well, doesn’t have to be drinks, just.” Crowley takes a deep breath. “Please, angel.”

Aziraphale turns back to the door and opens it, then ushers Crowely inside and locks the door behind him. Crowley looks around the stacks, a slight smile on his face, and obediently follows Aziraphale toward the back. He slips his coat off and hangs it on a chair. Aziraphale puts the kettle on.

“Seems to me alcohol would make this a bit easier,” Crowley quips, circling the room before settling on the tatty old sofa. Aziraphale ignores him, simply finishes the tea and hands it over, Crowely staring into the cup like it holds the mysteries of the universe. Aziraphale takes a sip then rattles his cup in the saucer as he tries to put it down with a shaking hand.

“So,” Aziraphale starts, settling into his desk chair and ready to rip the wound wide open, “should we start with the fact that I rather unforgivably took advantage of your emotional state the last time you were here, or is there a different topic of conversation you’d prefer?”

Crowley growls and pushes his hand through his hair. “See, this is what I was worried about, you castigating yourself over something that - you know what, let me explain first, okay?”

Aziraphale nods into his cup.

Crowley stands, and begins pacing. “I should have known, and I’m too stupid to have realized it before. But don’t you see, angel, you’re the best part of my existence, and I’ve gone and fucked it all up.” He stops, facing Aziraphale, and crouches down so Aziraphale can look directly at him. He pulls off his sunglasses and tosses them on the table. “I’m not allowed to want this, Aziraphale. I’m not supposed to feel good about it. I’m trying to atone for my sins, not...not ah. Like it.” Crowley’s eyes flash in the dim light, his face a picture of pleading confusion. He slumps to the floor and sits directly in front of Aziraphale, his arms wrapped around his knees.

“And how do you think I feel?” Aziraphale says carefully. “I watch you confess, I give you penance and forgiveness. What do you think that does for me?”

“I suppose you probably enjoy it,” Crowley grumbles.

“That’s the problem, I do enjoy it. I feel good about it.” Aziraphale takes a deep breath and leans forward in his chair. “And every single time you come to me I want to pin you to the floor after and take you for my own, to take your loving repentance into my very soul. But that’s not what you asked me for, and...and I am sorry, for that. For betraying your trust in that way.”

Crowley looks up, his eyes wide. “But you haven’t, I was the one who...who did that, the first time. And I thought it was too much, for me to want that from you. That I was getting enough as it was.”

Here it is, finally, acknowledgement of things they’ve never talked about, and refused to say. Aziraphale knows it’s time to lay out his cards on the table, so to speak, if they’re going to get anywhere with this. “I find it beautiful, you know,” Aziraphale says. “Watching you break for me. Watching your body crave what I can give it. It’s exquisite.”

Crowley looks poleaxed. “I didn’t think you’d like it that much,” he says.

Aziraphale fiddles with his teaspoon. “Oh, but I do, my dear. And I think you do, too.”

“Shouldn’t,” Crowley mumbles. “Shouldn’t enjoy it. Shouldn’t crave it, shouldn’t want to feel your hands on me, feel you push me down and take what’s yours.”

The chair shifts and creaks as Aziraphale slips to the floor to sit next to Crowley. “Finding forgiveness isn’t supposed to make you feel bad, my dear one. It’s supposed to be liberating, freeing. That’s why we do it. To help us move past the hurt and the pain. I think you know this, that’s why you wanted me to punish you like I did.”

“Well, yeah, I rather thought that was the point.”

“But forgiveness is part of love,” Aziraphale says, and reaches out to lay a hand on Crowley’s arm. “To bring you to your repentance and give you the care you need - to feel that, together - that couldn’t be so bad, could it?” Aziraphale traces a hand down Crowley’s cheek, watching as his words process. If Crowley really did want more, and his own fear of being too happy was what was holding him back, then Aziraphale would clear up that misconception right away. He hadn’t been misreading him all this time, after all. He cups Crowley’s jaw. “Your punishment is an act of loving mercy at my hands. Your sin and your Grace are mine. If you will allow it.”

Crowley’s eyes slide closed at the touch, and he leans into Aziraphale’s palm. “Oh, angel. If you only knew.”

Aziraphale smiles. “I’m beginning to learn, my dear. I’m beginning to learn.”


The afternoon finds them curled up together on Aziraphale’s old sofa, Aziraphale leaning against the arm and Crowley slotted between his thighs and against his chest. They’d been talking, chatting really, all afternoon, and slowly, slowly, trading touches and soft exploratory kisses. Aziraphale cards his hands through Crowley’s hair once again, just to watch the shiver erupt over Crowley’s skin.

“How are you feeling, my dear?” Aziraphale asks him, drawing the backs of his fingers over Crowley’s cheek.

Crowley closes his eyes and thinks a moment. “Not sure. Better, I suppose. But twitchy.”

“Pent up, perhaps?”

“Yessss,” Crowley says, and turns over onto his stomach and nuzzles into Aziraphale’s neck. He licks up the tendon there, and Aziraphale gasps. “That’s exactly it.” He grinds into Aziraphale’s crotch and lets out a quiet moan. “I’ve sinned,” he says, voice low. “I’ve succumbed to lust, angel.”

The shift in the air is palpable, tension singing like a live wire. This could be a bad idea. This could be simply the worst idea he’s ever had, but Aziraphale can feel an answering edginess in his own body, a desire to meet Crowley where he very obviously wants to be. He captures Crowley’s wrist and presses a kiss to the fine, blue veins on the underside, his lips tingling at the contact.

“You remember your safeword, my darling, correct?”

“Won’t need it.”

Aziraphale frowns. “Humour me, then.”

Crowley sighs. He’d hated to have to choose one to start with, but Aziraphale had been absolutely insistent. He’d read about safe words, and heaven knows what could have happened when heavenly punishment had been meted out to a demon with no way of communicating true distress.

“Aspidistra,” Crowley grumbles, pouting.

“Thank you.” Aziraphale kisses his forehead. “Strip for me, darling.”

Crowley gets up from the sofa, then smirks and slowly unbuttons his shirt, every movement a tease. His hips roll as he slides his tight jeans down his legs and steps out of them, and Aziraphale is left licking his teeth and wondering just how flexible Crowley’s human body actually is.

“Beautiful, my lovely one. Now, come, across my lap, there’s a good boy.” Aziraphale’s heart is in his throat, the pulse of his human heart loud in his ears. Six thousand years of being integrated with a human form, and he’s never felt it so keenly than as this moment, when Crowley lifts an eyebrow before settling himself across Aziraphale’s legs, head on one side, legs on the other, bare arse in the air and right where Aizraphale wants it.

“I feel a bit like a naughty schoolboy,” Crowley quips.

“Quiet, demon,” Aziraphale snaps, and gives him a full, open-handed smack right on his pert arse cheek, the sound a crack in the quiet stillness.

“Fuck!” Crowley breathes. “I’m, ah. Oh God,” he whimpers.

Aziraphale smacks him again. “No, Crowley. She’s not going to help you. Only I can do that.” Aziraphale can feel himself growing hard under Crowley’s weight in his lap, his warm skin, rosy pink, under his palm. He spanks him again, then soothes the skin with a caress.

“You’ve been wicked, Crowley. Thinking lustful thoughts about one of the Divine.”

Crowley sucks in a breath as Aziraphale’s hand connects again. “And what of it?” he says. “Little bit of lusssst never hurt anyone.”

“But not just lust, is it?” Aziraphale says, and runs his finger gently down the crack of Crowley’s arse.

“Not just, no,” he replies. “Bit of gluttony, too. But I think you like it when I’m bad.”

Aziraphale narrows his eyes, then smacks him again, across both cheeks this time, his own hand starting to sting from the impact. He can feel power suffuse his body as he gives Crowley the punishment he’d been asking for, but in a way even more intimate than before, more visceral, the kind of thing that Aziraphale knows will claw deep into his soul and never let go.

Crowley is most definitely along for the ride, his cock hard and nudging Aziraphale’s leg, so he pushes a little more and slaps Crowley’s thighs. “Spread your legs, demon. If you’re that sure of yourself, then I’ll quench your lust for you.”

Crowley squirms and shifts and tries to do what he’s told. He’s a bit awkward over Aziraphale’s lap, all long legs and angles and elbows, so Aziraphale helps him settle by dint of pressing one hand between his shoulderblades and slipping two fingers of the other hand between his arse cheeks and just resting on his hole. He’s moving almost entirely on instinct, something in his hindbrain telling him what would feel good, what he could do to take Crowley’s wanton insolence and turn it into supplication. Crowley gasps and goes still.

“You’re not to come, Crowley, until I allow it,” Aziraphale says mildly. “Do you understand?”

Wide, yellow eyes look up from where Crowley’s face is half-pressed to the sofa cushions. “And what if I do?” he breathes.

“Then I’ll have to find the whip,” he answers. “So let’s not find out, shall we?” Aziraphale steadily presses in, in, Crowley’s body yielding under his fingers, his body tight and hot. Crowley is breathing deeply as he does, hips twisting as he tries to drive himself back on Aziraphale’s questing fingers.

“More, damn you,” he snarls, and Aziraphale shuts him up by shoving two fingers of his other hand into Crowely’s mouth. Crowley wraps his tongue around them immediately and sucks, and Aziraphale has to fight to stay focused. His mouth is hot, wet, and the memory of that mouth around Aziraphale’s cock just a few months ago has him on edge himself. He slips his fingers deeper into Crowley’s arse and strokes his prostate. Crowley gasps, but doesn’t disengage from Aziraphale’s fingers in his mouth.

“That’s it, my darling,” Aziraphale coos. “Always so cocky, when I can reduce you to a quivering mass of want with just my hands.”

Crowley chokes, then gasps. “I’m not trying to be, please, angel. I just need you.” Crowley pulls in deep breaths, and Aziraphale is fairly sure he’s close to coming just from fingering his prostate and rubbing off against Aziraphale’s leg.

“Climb up here then and sit on my cock, there’s a love,” Aziraphale says. “And tell me how sorry you are. Pride, my dear. You know better.”

Crowley sits up and he looks dazed, his face flushed, slit pupils blown wide. He watches avidly as Aziraphale opens his trousers and pushes them down his thighs, then licks his lips. Aziraphale smirks.

“You knew what you were getting,” Aziraphale says, and Crowley looks almost feral, eyes glowing in the dim afternoon light. He swings a leg over and settles carefully on Aziraphale’s rather substantial cock, sliding down bit by bit, hissing as he does.

“You’re a bastard,” he says, eyes closed and chin tipped down, brow furrowed as he works himself flush against Aziraphale's thighs. Aziraphale kisses him, then slaps his flank.

“Hush. It’s the same one I’ve manifested for millennia. Don’t you dare come until I’m satisfied,” he says. “Come on, you delightful demon, fuck me. Use those hips for something useful.”

Crowley growls, then sets a rolling, languid pace, his arms wrapped around Aziraphale’s neck. Aziraphale can’t stop kissing him; his mouth is blistering hot, tongue twining wickedly with Aziraphale’s. The sofa creaks as Crowley drops down with a particularly brutal thrust of his hips, and Aziraphale nips him for his impatience by setting his teeth in Crowley’s lip, just hard enough to leave a tiny mark. Aziraphale relishes the groan Crowley gives him in response, a needy whine that curls into his chest and makes him shiver.

“That’s it, love. Please me, give yourself to me, and all will be forgiven.” Aziraphale shoves his hands under Crowley’s arse and shifts him just a little bit as he moves, changing the angle, watching as Crowely’s face goes slack with pleasure when he gets it right.

“Close,” Crowley slurs. “Trying so hard not to but fffffuck, you feel so good.” He tightens his body down, the magic of his ethereal form starting to shine through the corporeal in his ecstasy, and the sight is so beautiful and so arresting Aziraphale hooks both hands under Crowley’s arms, yanks him down into his lap and comes, shuddering, eyes locked on the astonishing vision of Crowley’s face bathed in light.

“Oh, my beautiful boy, Crowley darling, let me help you now, my precious one,” Aziraphale babbles, and puts his hand on Crowley’s cock and jerks him with strong, twisting pulls until Crowley throws his head back and comes with a throaty gasp, thighs quaking, fat white drops spilling onto Aziraphale’s shirt.

Crowley collapses against him, their bodies twitching every so often with aftershocks. Crowley has buried his head in Aziraphale’s neck, his body curled and hunched over, Aziraphale still just barely inside him.

Aziraphale doesn’t want to move, terrified the spell will be broken and Crowley will leave, as he always has before. So he keeps his hands wrapped around Crowley’s back, feeling him breathe into his throat.

“Am I forgiven?” Crowley finally says, voice sleepy and satisfied.

Aziraphale swallows and allows his hands to fall to the side, knowing he will have to let him go. “Yes, my dear. I will always forgive you.”

Crowley disengages and slips off onto the sofa, body still pink and shining with exertion. “Then may I stay?” he asks, and he looks almost shy. Aziraphale can’t help but grin and take his hand. The glow returns, something deeper in their connection than had been there before. He smiles at their entwined fingers, happiness suffusing his entire body.

“You could have always, you know,” Aziraphale says.

“Well, I just didn’t want to add greed into the mix,” Crowley replies, with a saucy wink.

Aziraphale leans over and kisses him. “We’ll find a way to deal with it if you do,” he says, “I’ve still not managed to use the new flogger to its fullest extent.”

Crowely laughs, delighted.

And he stays.