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A Brief History of Touch

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All Crowley wants is a nap.

Really. A nice, relaxing nap. Nothing more, nothing less.

Instead, as soon as he lies down on his bed, his mind starts to wander. His hands start to itch with a very familiar need.

"No." He tells himself, resolutely. "I'm not going to."

He turns to push his face into his pillow until he can't breathe. Maybe that's a good idea - maybe cutting off his oxygen intake will help with the burning, aching hardness in his pants screaming for his attention.

He shoves his hands under the pillow, reaches for the edge of the mattress, holds onto it tightly. "Not going to." He repeats to himself, voice muffled.

He's not sure when he's developed this awful habit of talking to himself. Probably right after Falling, in the lonely centuries that followed. He really should stop. He gives himself atrocious advice.

Right now, for example, the voice inside his head is telling him 'Why not? It would hardly be the first time. You will feel better afterwards.'

"I will not." He’s already opened that door in the past, he knows where it leads.

Six thousand years. Six thousand years of wanting to reach out, to be touched, to press his lips into every nook and corner of that soft, pure body. Six thousand years of holding himself back, of trying to keep his mind as clean as possible, with varying degrees of success. 

Of course he’s tossed off before. Millions of times now. He’s imagined it from every angle, in every possible way. You name it, he’s thought about it. And every single time he was done, it made him feel just a little bit worse. A little bit more lonely, pathetic, and deluded.

Today, though... today he got so close. So painfully close. He saw the smile deliciously disappear off Aziraphale's face as the angel realized they were about to kiss.

His body jerks against the bed, and he gets a mouthful of fabric and stuffing as he bites down into the pillow. It's too much, he can't take it.

He'll be careful, he promises himself. Tomorrow, he'll be very careful. He won't do anything that might fuck up his chances with the angel. He'll be on his best behaviour.

But that's for tomorrow. Today, he's going to surrender to the inevitable need building in his body. He pushes two fingers deep past his lips, to suck on, and a hand down his pants. He conjures the most vivid visions, as he’s done millions of times. A true expert in this field. He can almost feel the soft hands imperatively fisting his hair; almost taste the warm, milky skin. His ears ring with the unholiest sighs his brain can conjure. And, for a few minutes, he comforts himself with the illusion of being wanted, of being welcome.

 


 

In the same city, and not too far from Crowley’s flat, Aziraphale is sinking into his comfortable armchair.

It’s been a lovely night, but very intense. He would like nothing more than the company of a good book and a warm cup of tea. He would also like to be able to focus, either on the book or on the tea. Ideally on both. Instead, all he can do is try to pretend he doesn’t have half of his body. The lower half, to be precise. Isn’t that a good idea? If he were just a floating torso, his life would be so much easier right now.

No, it wouldn’t, actually. Then he couldn’t sit. That’d be a problem.

He clings to this ridiculous line of thought. Maybe keeping his brain on this absurdist track will do him some good.

It doesn’t. Because without fail, as soon as he relaxes a bit, his mind will go back to that like a moth to the flame. He reads eleven whole pages before realizing he hasn’t actually understood a single word. His eyes automatically glided over the paragraphs. He closes the book with a thump.

It seems obvious that he needs to take care of the matter at hand. His small flat is already quite dark. It’s somewhere close to midnight, but, all the same, he glances around to make sure the curtains are closed.

He gives his cock an experimental caress through the fabric of his pants. The shock that travels up his spine and into his brain reiterates he has to deal with this problem right now.

Oh, bother.

It's not a problem with his cock itself, nor with what it’s doing. It's a perfectly nice one, if he may say so himself. It's not the longest, but it is nicely thick, standing on a soft cloud of short, white-blond hair. And it's not the first time it decides to act out like this, not by a long shot. Aziraphale is used to treat it like an unpredictable little succubus. It’s to be put up with and appeased periodically. Truth be told, he could miracle it away, unmake the Effort, but… well. He doesn’t really mind that much. It’s not unpleasant, not at all. It just has terrible timing.

The actual problem here is the reason why it decided to start fussing. Then again, the reason is always the same. Has been the same for millennia now. At first, he wouldn’t even acknowledge it. Then, little by little, he began to get used to the idea, albeit reluctantly. Now, it’s just a part of his life. One he tries not to think about if he can help it.

With a stifled groan, he pulls out his cock, starts stroking. He lets his head lull back into the chair and tries to clear his mind, but, inevitably, it's inundated with a myriad little details he's memorized by heart. A swing of bony hips, a sharp jawline. The curve of a pouting lip, the inviting softness of an earlobe. Long, long fingers that ache to reach out and touch him. A mischievous smile that sets his heart on fire.

He just – if he just wasn’t so goddamn scared. If only he had ten seconds of reckless bravery. Just ten seconds would be enough. If he dared to reach out, consequences be damned… how different it could be.

 


 

The first time they touch, it’s in the Garden of Eden.

They’re watching Eve and Adam disappear over the line of the horizon. The humans are facing the endless, sparse expanse of the desert. As it begins to rain, Crawly shifts closer to Aziraphale, and the angel protects him with his wing. Crawly is thankful – in his humble opinion, water has no business falling from the sky. It’s the first time it rains, and already he doesn’t like it.

They stand side by side, until the demon accidentally brushes his hand against the angel’s. Aziraphale jumps as if he’s just been burned.

“Did I—”

“No, no, it’s fine. It’s fine.” The angel tries to smile at him, but holds the offended hand away. “I just thought…”

Crawly looks at him, encouraging him to explain himself with a slight raise of his eyebrows.

“I have never touched a demon before. Not sure what was going to happen, that’s all.”

“Did you think we were going to explode?” The demon sniggers.

“Well, possibly.”

“It’s fine. We come from the same original stock. You’re not going to discorporate.”

“A-ah, I see.”

Aziraphale nods and stares directly in front of him, uncertain. In the meantime, Crawly silently scolds himself for being so careless. He had known, once, angels are not keen to physical contact. Particularly from a lowly creature such as himself. But Hell is very different; everyone is invading your personal space all the time. To threaten, of course – nobody’s dying to give you a hug.

But the angel’s hand was soft, and his wing warm over the demon’s head. He looks soft and warm all over, if Crawly had to be honest. The perfect body for a snake to rest over. And, who knows, maybe not just rest, maybe also—

Either way. He becomes more careful after that. For whatever reason, he realizes he really doesn’t want to make the angel uncomfortable. They’re supposed to be enemies, but Aziraphale doesn’t feel like an enemy. He feels like a poor sucker who, just like him, got stuck with this lousy job.

Aziraphale has just made things harder for himself by giving away his flaming sword. She’s expecting already, he has explained to the demon, as if Up Above cared about things like that.

Crawly is left with the sneaking suspicion that he has just gone and got himself into trouble. All he did was climb the wall and have a chat, though. Surely nothing wrong with that.

Right?

 


 

The next time they see each other is in Mesopotamia, in 3004 BC. This time, Crawly is careful to give Aziraphale a wide berth, keeping his hands very much away from him.

His questions, though – those pin Aziraphale like a butterfly to a board. And he was already so full of doubts himself, what with all the drowning of humans and animals.

Afterwards, the ‘rain bow’ is… well, nice enough, Aziraphale supposes. Somehow, he catches himself thinking about long red curls, penetrating golden eyes. About roughly cut black fabric hiding much smoother skin underneath. Much more beautiful than any rainbow – although he wouldn’t dare utter such blasphemies out loud.

 


 

Getting dinner together was a bit of a risk. They’re in Rome, in 8 AD, and hopefully nobody from their head offices is checking on them too closely.

They hope so, at least. Because they didn’t just grab a bite together. They drowned those oyster in a questionable amount of wine.

It sure helped with the tension between them. Aziraphale had been practically bursting at the seams with enthusiasm. He was overjoyed to have another being such as himself to share this human experience with. And yet, he wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Now that he’s more relaxed, he’s almost glowing.

Crowley’s heart is doing funny things in his chest as he looks at him.

The thing about drinking is that the more your drink, the more it seems a good idea to keep doing it. So that’s what they do. Aziraphale tells him about the first time he’s tried to lace his caligae and failed spectacularly. Surely, that wouldn’t be such a funny story if they were both sober. But right now Crowley can’t help the stupid hint of a smile creeping on his face.

They must be on their sixth cup when Aziraphale knocks a small candle off the table with his elbow. Crowley realizes he’s way too drunk, because he almost reaches out to pick it up. He’s glad whatever shred of self-control he still has left stopped him. He would have most definitely bumped into Aziraphale, leaning down to do the same thing. Maybe it’s not self-control, though: maybe he just has very slow reflexes right now.

The demon shakes his head, pulling away from the table. His speech is slurred, and all his s’s come out like hisses. “I should go.” The room spins dangerously around him.

Aziraphale nods at him, eyes glazed over. Crowley’s gaze falls to a strand of hair upturned over the angel’s ear, a single rebellious white-blond curl out of place. Before he remembers to stop himself, he reaches out and touches it. Like he’d imagined, it’s so soft. He rubs it between two fingers, marvelling at the way it catches the light.

Then he shifts his focus to Aziraphale’s face, pale blue eyes open wide.

Fuck. 

He sobers up quick as lightning.

He produces a few unintelligible sounds before managing to get actual words out. “Have to go. Sorry, very sorry, so much to do, I’ll see you around. Fine? Fine.”

Aziraphale tries to give him a wobbly smile. “Ah, sure, I’ll... I’ll sober up and go home too. I’m sure we’ll run into each other again soon, Craw Crowley.”

As he walks out, Crowley doesn’t turn back to catch Aziraphale with his hand right above his ear, where the demon touched. Nor does he see the red on his cheeks, or the moment he suddenly remembers to start breathing again.

 


 

For Crowley, the only good thing about the Kingdom of Wessex is the heavy armour. No way he can mess up and touch Aziraphale wearing that.

For Aziraphale, there’s absolutely nothing good about it. It’s just so damned damp all the time.

 


 

Crowley prefers when head office tells him to ‘go make some trouble’. When they get specific about what he should be doing, it’s often stuff he loathes.

He should jump at the chance to visit Italy again, in 1693, if only to get away from London’s awful weather. He really doesn’t want to go, though. It’s the trial of Galileo Galilei, and, from what he’s heard, the odds are already stacked against the poor sucker. Hell is revelling in the fact that the representatives of Heaven on Earth are punishing a man who’s right. They think it’s funny. And how about the potential ripple effect of it? Slowing down the entire development of human science… what a treat.

Crowley, however, firmly believes nobody should be punished for asking questions. Or for answering them. So he’s desperately looking for a way to get out of this one. And maybe – he has an idea.

So, one winter morning, he meets Aziraphale down at the docks, where they’ll blend in among the crowd. Well – Crowley will blend in. Aziraphale, decked in white and silver like an expensive candy, most definitely will not.

“Are you supposed to be in Rome soon, by any chance?” He asks as he circles the angel, feigning a carelessness he doesn’t feel.

Aziraphale nods. “Do you?”

Crowley hums in reply, then miracles a coin between his index and thumb. “Heads or tails?”

“Crowley!”

“Come on angel, I really don’t want to go this time. Let me try my luck.”

Aziraphale pursues his lips in disapproval, but, just for today, lets it go without much of a fight. Crowley rarely asks for anything for himself. “Fine. Heads, as usual.”

Crowley tosses the coin up in the air, catches it, flips it over to the back of his other hand.

“Would you look at that? Tails.” He comments, the hint of an impish smile on his face.

Aziraphale gently grabs his wrist to get a better look at the coin. “Crowley, did you cheat?”

The touch wipes Crowley’s smile right off his face. It’s the first time the angel touches him of his own accord, and his heart jumps in his throat.

He freezes and stares at Aziraphale, who takes a second to register the reaction he’s getting from Crowley from such a simple touch.

When they lock eyes, the angel’s expression shifts from inquisitive to surprise to something else entirely. Scared, for sure. But there’s something else underneath, just a spark of it. Whatever it is, Aziraphale pushes it down and away quickly.

And then there’s just an angel and a demon, staring at each other.

“I heard Rome’s nice this time of year.” Crowley croaks out.

Aziraphale lets go of his wrist and stares at his shoes. “Warmer than London, for sure.”

The angel ends up going instead of Crowley, and, for the life of him, he can’t figure out why.

 


 

It’s 1793, and it isn’t really safe or wise to share a carriage on the way home from Paris. But it’s a long trip all the way to Calais, where they can board a ship. And it’s so mind-numbingly boring. Therefore, they agree to keep each other company for a couple of hours, split before anyone can notice. What will it hurt?

It’s a bumpy ride in the carriage. Aziraphale is looking out the window, and Crowley is looking at Aziraphale. The angel is going on about some musician he’s heard is very promising, famous in France but not yet in England. Crowley’s gaze drops to Aziraphale’s hand on the seat, he stares at the golden ring the angel wears on his pinky.

It has to be the first time they’re together, alone, in such an enclosed space, Crowley is quite sure of it. He’s feeling brave and pathetic at the same time as he puts his hand down on the seat, right next to Aziraphale’s.

Crowley stares stubbornly out of his own window, hoping the angel won’t notice.

And it does take Aziraphale a few seconds to notice, but no more than that. The moment he does, it’s obvious. He stops mid-sentence, looks down at their hands, looks up at Crowley hidden behind his sunglasses, turns again to the window, resumes talking.

Does Aziraphale move? Or is it a jerk of the carriage? Either way, at some point their fingers touch.

They spend a full minute in silence. Touching. Then, the angel moves both his hands to his lap.

“If anyone found out we were sharing a carriage, I would be strongly reprimanded. Most likely, punished in some fashion.” He says, quietly.

If anyone found out. They don’t have to know.” Crowley replies, just as quietly.

“If anyone found out we were sharing a carriage,” continues Aziraphale, “You would be tortured, and maybe even destroyed. You might be gone, forever.”

Crowley is hit by the quiet despair transpiring through Aziraphale’s words like a kick in the gut. It makes him sad, and it makes him happy, and it makes him feel all kind of weird things he has no idea how to handle.

Half an hour later, they split as previously agreed. They get to Calais on their own, but almost at the same time.

Crowley spots Aziraphale boarding first class on the ship as he slinks below deck.

 


 

After their fight over holy water in St James’s Park in 1826, Crowley sleeps for almost a hundred years.

He loves Aziraphale through every single one of them. He wished to find peace, but dreams about him all the time. About how that soft hand would feel on his cheek. Just once. Just to know what it’s like.

Aziraphale senses the demon reaching for him every day. It becomes a habit, every now and then, to stop and let himself be engulfed in the warmth.

 


 

In 1941, Aziraphale didn’t quite say yes to the lift home Crowley offered him. He just stumbled away from the crumbled church in a dreamlike state towards the car, then into the car. The bag full of precious books the demon saved for him feels both light and heavy in his hand.

“How are your feet?”

“Been better.” Crowley replies, turning on the Bentley. “Next time you decide you’re getting yourself killed by a bunch of Nazis, make sure to pick a location more suitable for a demon to walk in. An abandoned slaughterhouse, a sketchy nightclub, a post office.”

“Why a post office?”

“I assure you, there’s no place more damned than a post office on a Monday morning.”

“Oh.”

Crowley is under the impression Aziraphale stares at him all the ride back to the bookshop. Or maybe he’s traumatized because this is the first time the demon drives him around. Hard to tell.

One of the reasons why Crowley got a car is so they have an excuse to be together alone, like in the carriage in France. As long as Aziraphale doesn’t figure that out, it's all good.

When they stop, the angel does not immediately get out of the Bentley. Crowley looks at him, interrogatively. Aziraphale has the face of a man who woke up from a very long sleep, and is not quite all there yet.

Very slowly, he leans closer. Crowley goes still as a marble statue, glancing at him through his dark glasses. Call him crazy, but he has the distinct impression the angel is about to leave a kiss on his cheek, and his heart has stopped beating.

But Aziraphale pulls back, snapping out of whatever spell he was under. “I thought I’d…” He waves a hand in the air between them, chasing away whatever he had just thought. “Well, never mind. Good night, Crowley.”

The demon sits in his car alone for a full minute before turning on the engine. He thinks about how their hands touched for a moment when he handed over the books, feeling the ghost of a kiss that never was on his cheek.

 


 

Aziraphale has made up his mind about a number of things in 1967. He materializes himself in the Bentley having already come to many difficult conclusions.

One of them is that if you love someone – truly, selflessly love someone, you have to respect their wishes. So he carries Crowley’s wish inside a tartan thermos.

The heaviest gift he’s ever made, and it hurts his heart to bring it.

Another, is that he won’t explain to Crowley why he’s been quietly avoiding him for more than twenty years. He needed time to think. But it wouldn’t do either of them any good to tell him what he’s thought about and what he decided.

He knows exactly what to say when the demon insists they spend some time together, anywhere he wants to go.

“You go too fast for me, Crowley.” Words that are safe to say out loud, and a good excuse, surely. He’s not certain Crowley understands all that he means, but he can’t say any more than that.

The next day, he receives a panicked phone call. The demon doesn’t even bother with a ‘good morning’.

“I can slow down, I— I can drive at a snail’s pace all the way to the Ritz for you if that’s what you want.” Crowley begins.

“Crowley, I…” Aziraphale is taken aback. It takes him a moment to figure out he's continuing the conversation from the previous night. “Even if you did—”

“What do you want me to do? We can figure this out, I can—”

“You can’t.” The angel grips the phone so hard his knuckles turns white, his voice suddenly closer to a shout. “At the end of the day, Crowley, you’ll still be a demon, and I’ll still be an angel. So, unless you can unfall from grace, I’m afraid there’s really nothing you can do.”

Crowley opens and closes his mouth, with the acute feeling he’s just been backhanded across the face.

“Angel…”

“Good day, Crowley.” Aziraphale slams down the phone, his throat tight and burning.

 


 

The incoming end of the world precipitates matters. Both between them, and in general. Suddenly, they’re running out of time.

On the drive to Tadfield to look for the Antichrist, Aziraphale decides to listen to some music. Of all the CDs Crowley has in his car, he picks The Very Best of The Velvet Underground. Crowley thinks about those lyrics and feels a wave of panic cursing through his body. He's very quick to point out the angel wouldn’t like it.

However, when Aziraphale has the audacity to call it ‘bebop’, he slams his foot on the gas, making him yelp.

Later that day, they’ll walk through a building that used to be a convent of satanic nuns. Crowley has just turned all the paintball guns into actual guns; let the humans have a little fun.

“There are people out there shooting at each other.” Aziraphale exclaims.

“Well, it lends weight to their moral argument.” Crowley kicks a door open as he says so, looking for any trace of the nuns he met eleven years ago. “Everyone has free will, including the right to murder. Just think of it as a microcosm of the universe.”

Despite his carefree strut, he’s irritated. He hasn’t forgotten what Aziraphale told him, all those years ago, the day after giving him the holy water. If he hadn’t fallen, everything would be okay. So it’s his fault, is that what he meant? Crowley is bad, because he’s a demon, yet Heaven is good, even though they kill people left and right as they see fit. Is that it?

“They’re murdering each other.” As always, Aziraphale is worried for a bunch of humans he doesn’t even know. A bunch of humans who are shooting one another with no qualms, Crowley would like to point out.

“No, they aren’t.” He sighs, momentarily softened by the concern in the angel’s voice. “No one's killing anyone. They're all having miraculous escapes. It wouldn't be any fun otherwise.”

Aziraphale smiles, reassured. “You know, Crowley, I've always said that deep down, you really are quite a nice—”

That’s when Crowley’s patience flies right out the window. He grabs Aziraphale by his jacket, pushing him until he has his back to the wall – but making sure he doesn’t hit his head.

“Shut it.” That’s just too much. Aziraphale doesn’t get to tell him he’s nice. He can’t be a demon and also nice. He won’t be called nice, especially not by Aziraphale. Because if he were nice, if he were just nice enough – that night, in 1967, they would have gone to the Ritz. They would have had that blasted picnic. Everything would be different now. Now the world is coming to an end and neither of them will ever, ever get the chance to find out—

“I'm a demon. I'm not nice. I'm never nice. Nice is a four-letter word. I will not have you—” They’re interrupted by (former) Sister Mary Loquacious, and he never gets to finish that rant.

That night, after dropping Aziraphale at the bookshop, he’ll think back about that moment. And he’ll realize Aziraphale did not look scared of him. At all. The angel was staring at the point where their noses touched, transfixed.

 


 

The day when the Apocalypse was supposed to happen is long, and hard, and over now. It’s night, and the breeze is comfortably fresh on their faces as they sit on a bench in Tadfield. They wait for the bus to Oxford that will inexplicably drive to London. They pass a bottle of wine back and forth, trying to relax.

And it’s not completely over, yet, but it will be soon. Heaven and Hell will come after them, probably tomorrow or in the next few days. By the looks of it, Aziraphale really will spend the night at Crowley’s flat. Crowley would be happy about it... if he could stop thinking how much it must have hurt his angel to hear his bookshop has burned down.

When they get on the bus, Crowley sits down first. There’s almost no one else. Aziraphale can sit where he likes, but he plops down right next to the demon without a hint of hesitation. Crowley feels the ghost of a smile creeping to his lips, and forces it back down.

It’s a long ride to London, and about halfway there the last passenger gets off. It’s just the two of them and the driver. Crowley has sunk in his seat, his hands on his knees. Aziraphale is sitting up properly as always. He has been twisting the ring around his finger for the last half an hour. The demon knows he must be lost in thought, and doesn’t interrupt him. If something can get them out of this mess, that’s Aziraphale’s clever brain.

So he’s shocked when he feels the angel’s gentle hand over his, giving it a squeeze. He wonders if Aziraphale was just getting his attention, was about to tell him something, but when he turns to him, the angel has a small smile on his face. He’s exhausted, but he still has that smile that puts any sunrise to shame.

He’s holding his hand.

Crowley can feel himself blush all the way to the tip of his ears. Aziraphale keeps his hand where it is, right over the demon’s, its light weight setting Crowley’s skin on fire where they touch. His mouth has gone dry, his mind blank. Whatever Aziraphale has said in the past, however many times they’ve fought – none of it matters anymore. Crowley can’t help asking himself if this means what he thinks it means. We’re on our own side.

The demon has lost all capacity for speech, so he presses his forehead against the cold window to try and cool down a bit. But he can see Aziraphale’s reflection in the glass, and vice versa. His heart is thumping in his ears, and he’s trying his best to appear calm. That’s really hard to do, in such close quarters. Aziraphale nudges his hand to turn around, so he obliges. The angel intertwines their fingers, palm against palm, and Crowley could swear every single part of his body reacts to his touch.

He feels goose bumps rising up his arms and down his legs. His stomach twists in his chest. He might have forgotten to breathe. His face must be red as a beet. Probably redder yet, when he realizes he’s gone hard and has to cross his legs in a hurry, hoping Aziraphale won’t notice. It’s not even that he’s having impure thoughts again – his body is just overwhelmed, the poor thing, and answering the only way it knows how.

All of it, because the soft warmth of the angel’s hand against his, but most of all because of the meaning behind it. Crowley has been waiting for six thousand years for something he was sure wouldn’t happen. But now, for the first time, there’s a flicker of hope in the dark.

Aziraphale, on his part, is surprised with himself at the sudden flare of bravery. They might die tomorrow, he reasons – and once they’ll get at Crowley’s there will be a lot to do. They’re going to spend the night thinking, strategizing, scheming. For now, though, he feels brave. He feels sure. Because if they do die tomorrow, he wants the demon to know what side he’s on.

So, all the way to London, Aziraphale holds his hand.

 


 

There is a moment, when they switch, where they are half themselves, and half the other. Their thoughts resonate into each other’s mind, their hearts beat as one.

Aziraphale is almost struck down by the amount of longing Crowley’s body contains. It’s a body that wants, that burns, that has always been told no. If they didn’t have Hell and Heaven to fight, he couldn’t stop himself from taking care of it, giving it everything it craves.

 


 

They settle into the rest of their lives with the ease of two beings that are free from the first time in their eternal existences. They go out often, for movies, for shows, for dinner.

There are only two things missing from high-end restaurants. The first is a comfortable old couch. The second is the chance to drink a ludicrous amount of alcohol without being disturbed.

Days after the almost-Armageddon they’re still celebrating. After dinner at the Ritz, they're giddy with the feeling of freedom and victory. They decide to walk to Aziraphale’s bookshop, less than a mile away.

On the way there, once again, Aziraphale takes Crowley’s hand, and the demon’s brain threatens to shut off once more, right there and then. Even more so, when it finally sinks in that there really is nothing stopping them right now. No Heaven, no Hell, nothing in between. He could cup the angel’s face in his hands and kiss him. Right there. In the street, out in the open. Or they could hide in a dark alleyway together; see where the night takes them.

He won’t do any of that, though. Oh no, he has not got this far just to scare Aziraphale away. He’ll be slow. He’ll be gentle. He’ll be careful. He’ll be anything at all the angel needs him to be.

Which is a good idea, because Aziraphale is not feeling quite so brave anymore. Even reaching out to take Crowley’s hand felt like a huge accomplishment. What in the world could he be scared of now? Why, lots of things.

The world isn’t ending anymore. Now that they’re free to explore this thing between them, Aziraphale is afraid Crowley might find out he doesn’t actually like him. Aziraphale could not ignore the waves of love the demon has been sending in his direction for six millennia. They got stronger and stronger as time went by. Even through the century he was asleep. But it’s one thing to think you like someone – it’s another to get together with them and meet the reality of it. What if he doesn’t measure up? Six thousand years… that’s a hell of a build-up. Was he worth the wait? Probably not.

His bowtie feels tighter than usual around his throat. His hands shake as he opens the bookshop, then locks the door behind them. They sit in their usual places. Crowley on the couch that has almost taken the shape of his body, Aziraphale on the armchair in front of him.

The angel is expecting something will be different, awkward maybe, but nothing is. They keep up their usual conversation. Aziraphale illustrates the difference between petit fours and fondant fancies. Crowley even looks interested.

About an hour and a good amount of wine later, the demon takes off his glasses. He leaves them on the small table between the couch and the armchair. Vaguely, he registers sirens blaring in the distance as he does so.

“So,” he stretches and sinks into the couch. “List of things to do now that we’re free. Go.”

Aziraphale panics a bit. Is Crowley going to ask directly, just like that? “I-I don’t know, I haven’t thought—”

“Number one: replace this couch.” The demon cuts him off.

“Excuse me?” The angel sits up straight, taken aback.

“It’s never been comfortable, angel, but now it’s about to give out. It must be – what, two hundred years old at this point?” Crowley bounces a bit up and down, demonstrating the couch’s supposed fragility.

“It is not.” Somewhat affronted, Aziraphale stands up and sits on the couch next to the demon. He gives it an experimental bounce himself. The couch is fine.

But then he turns to Crowley with his mouth open to reply, and whatever he was going to say dies on his lips. Because the demon is staring at him in that way, and Aziraphale realizes he walked right into the trap. Wily old serpent, he lured him exactly where he wanted him. He hears sirens getting closer and closer, but pays them no mind. Crowley’s lips are slightly parted as he looks him over, eyeing him up and down. Aziraphale feels naked despite the many layers of clothing he wears.

He wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, though. And yet, he can feel both excitement and fear cursing through him. He’s ready to bolt, or ready to lunge into Crowley’s arms, and has no idea which side the coin will fall. He fingers the collar of his shirt, trying to loosen it a bit.

“Eleven years ago,” The demon says, “We decided we’d each influence the Antichrist, and we shook on it.” He extends his hand to the angel. “Shake it on a job awfully done?”

Aziraphale smiles fondly. He has to admit that was a job awfully done. Wrong child, for a start. And Warlock always leaned more towards spoiled rather than good or evil. Although it could be argued that spoiled is more evil than good. Crowley was supposed to influence him to be bad. But then was absolutely sweet and doting with him. Telling a child the world is cruel while tucking him into bed is not going to make him the Destructor of Worlds. Particularly if it's accompanied by a tender kiss on his forehead. Aziraphale had almost killed off the plants at the Dowling residence several times. He's often had to miracle them better with a little help from his favourite demon.

Truly, it couldn’t have been a job done worse if they tried.

He reaches out to shake Crowley’s hand. “On a job awfully done.”

But then, the demon doesn’t let go of his hand. If they weren’t so busy staring at each other, this is the moment where they would realize that, as they talked, the sirens have reached the bookshop and stopped.

Crowley gives the angel’s hand a small squeeze, beckoning him forward. Aziraphale’s heart thrums inside his chest as he obliges, leaning closer. The way Crowley’s breaths come faster, the involuntary twitch of his right eyebrow, the tensing of his shoulders – none of it goes unnoticed. Aziraphale feels a familiar warmth rushing to his face, and between his legs, with every heartbeat.

This is it, this is the moment they take the leap and find out where they land.

Or is it? With only a few inches of distance between their faces, they both jump when someone starts insistently knocking on the door.

Aziraphale goes to see who it is, and finds two people in uniform outside his door. Crowley hears their conversation in a daze, as if he’s listening to them from underwater. Something about a huge gas leak, they need to evacuate the building or whatever. Not a surprise, really. The whole neighbourhood is old as hell, this kind of things happen every so often. But did it have to happen right now?

He comes up behind Aziraphale, scanning the street outside the shop. He wouldn’t be surprised to see one of his former colleagues smiling and waving at him. He’s pretty sure there must a poster somewhere in Hell that says ‘If you can’t fight them, cockblock them’.

“Finish the night at my place?” He proposes, not at all willing to separate after getting so close.

“Sir, I’m afraid that’s not possible.” One of the the people at the door says, “The owner of this establishment has to remain here in case he’s needed.”

Different solutions cross Crowley’s mind in that moment.

He could teleport the annoying humans to the moon, but that wouldn’t solve anything.

He could hoist Aziraphale over a shoulder and make a run for it.

He could check for himself whether there is an actual gas leak. He could fix the problem, turn away all the cops and the people who’ve come to look. But that’ll probably suck him dry, and anyway the moment is ruined now.

“It’s alright, Crowley. I’ll see you tomorrow?” Aziraphale gives him an encouraging smile, and Crowley nods. He can tell both of them are rumpled and frustrated, and that gives him hope.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow for sure.

 


 

When he’s done, Crowley miracles himself clean. Going to the bathroom would mean looking himself in the mirror, and he doesn’t want to do that. He tucks his limp cock into his pants and sinks into the bed again, and again can’t fall asleep.

He stands up and presses his body against the cool wall. Maybe it’s not so wrong, what he did. Maybe Aziraphale wouldn’t mind. Maybe. Maybe Lord Beelzebub will knit him a scarf and send it for Christmas with a ‘wish you were here’ note. Just as likely.

At this point, he knows Aziraphale likes him. Perhaps even something more than that. But that doesn’t mean he wants him, not in that way. Sex is… something humans do. It’s not angelic, and it’s not diabolic. It’s tied to the bodies they inhabit. Surely, you can love someone without wanting to jump their bones.

And Crowley has never been much interested in sex per se. It’s like eating. He would forget to do it for centuries at a time (unlike drinking), unless Aziraphale is around to bring him along. Then, all of a sudden, he’s interested. Very much so, in fact. All at once, like a Christmas tree once you plug in the lights.

But what if it turns out the angel is disgusted by the demon’s baser desires? Because Crowley is prepared to spend eternity with a hard-on if need be. But the prospect could put off Aziraphale all the same.

He’s not sure if it’s wishful thinking, but sometimes, just sometimes, he could swear Aziraphale is barely keeping himself from reaching out to touch him. The angel does this thing with his eyes – he looks at him, then looks away. Then glances at him for a split second, then turns away again. Crowley feels like he’s getting raked over coals every single time. He bumps his head against the wall. Clean thoughts. Clean thoughts. Come on now.

He needs to go about this in the most careful possible way. Let Aziraphale lead, take things at the angel’s pace. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll get through it without making an ass of himself or, worse of all, fucking it all up.

 


 

Aziraphale lets out a satisfied sigh. God, he really needed that. The tension has been way too much.

With a flick of the hand that’s still clean, he makes the mess disappear in an instant.

Ah, his dear demon… what would he think if he knew what he was doing? Aziraphale can’t fathom it. Probably he’d be surprised. It’s not as if the angel has ever shown any interest in sex before. He loves his earthly pleasures, that’s for sure. Sex is, well… a more delicate subject. He can only really picture one person, beside himself, who’d know what do with him.

He tries to steer his mind away from the thought, but he has to wonder – what would it be like, with a demon? What would it be like with his demon, who loves him so much it’s almost unbearable to stand around him?

He suspects he’ll find out very soon. If nothing else, because finally Aziraphale is this close to throwing all caution to the wind.

 


 

Crowley gave him very precise instructions. He was to get sandwiches from that place up in Camden. Pastries from the corner shop they both like in Notting Hill. Drop by Harrods and get the necessary ingredients for a cheeseboard. Get some high quality champagne.

Aziraphale had whined, he didn’t feel like running around London, and couldn’t Crowley do it, since he had a car?

Crowley generally was always happy to take things off his hands. But this time had replied something like ‘serves you right for never learning how to drive’ and had hang up on him. Offended, Aziraphale had tried calling back, but Crowley had not picked up.

At first, he wasn’t even going to do it. But then he thought that it was very weird indeed that Crowley would ask him to do something. Not to mention being so specific about it. So he decided to play along, see where this was going. The taxi bill was outrageous, but it wasn’t as if he couldn’t just miracle more money whenever he wanted, so.

He stands outside his bookshop, a wicker basket in his hand. Soon enough, the Bentley roars through his street, stops at his feet. He’s about to open the door when Crowley gets out, redirects him towards the bookshop.

“What? I thought we were—”

“We are.” Crowley reassures him, a hand on the small of his back nudging him inside. He’s never done that before, Aziraphale notices, and does his best not to appear stiff as he walks in. Even through layers of clothing, it feels intimate. Like they’re familiar enough with each other to do things like that without a second thought.

Crowley strides through the bookshop. He makes for the stairs that lead to the flat upstairs. “Angel, coming?”

Aziraphale blinks as he stumbles to follow along. “Crowley, where are you going? What is the meaning of—”

Crowley stops for a second to look back at him. “Trust me. Yes?” He doesn’t wait for a reply before turning away.

They get into Aziraphale’s flat, but they don’t stop there. Crowley keeps climbing the stairs to the roof.

The angel follows him without a word, more and more surprised. Then, he steps outside.

And… he was sure he did not have a roof garden. He does now.

Beautiful, tall, green plants delineate a cosy space right under the evening sky. They allow for a bit of privacy in one of the busiest areas of London. There’s a table for two, a few chaise longues, and a plush dark grey couch that looks extremely comfortable. A constellation of string lights, hanged all around, gives it a magical look.

Aziraphale is utterly speechless. It might be the most romantic thing he’s ever laid eyes on, and he absolutely did not see it coming. He looks at Crowley, but the demon is looking away from him. Aziraphale wouldn’t be able to tell he’s nervous if it wasn’t for his tightly pressed lips.

“Crowley.”

The demon still doesn’t look at him. “Yes?”

“Crowley.” He says again, willing him to turn.

Crowley does, face blank behind his dark glasses. Aziraphale puts down the basket, comes closer to slowly reach up and take the glasses off. The demon’s eyes are wide and unblinking.

Dearest.” Aziraphale cups his cheek with a hand, and Crowley makes the weirdest face, as if he just choked on something, or is about to sob.

The angel feels guilt burning inside his chest. Because he knew. He knew his demon was so soft and loved him so much. And he left him to torture himself, wondering whether he was loved back. This garden – this is not something one comes up with in a few hours. Crowley must have had a clear picture in his mind of what he wanted this to look like. And then he sent him away from the bookshop to run errands and give him time to set it up. How many times has he thought about kissing him? How many scenarios have been playing inside his head? It’s been such a long time, so, if Aziraphale had to guess, he’d say all of them.

And he’d be right. Crowley’s heart is doing that thing again, where it beats in his ears and he almost can’t hear anything else. He would want nothing more than to finally reach out and wrap his arms around his angel. Kiss him. Finally, finally let him know how he feels. But he needs to go slow, he’s promised himself he would. Keeping still is all he can do.

Aziraphale swallows, then locks eyes with him, his fingers still toying with Crowley’s glasses. “Oh Crowley, I’m not…” he sees the flash of panic on the demon’s face, and hurries to finish the sentence. “I’m not worth all of this.”

He gestures at the space around them, then brings his hand back to point at Crowley.

“What…?” the demon’s voice is soft, it sounds like his heart is breaking. Aziraphale tries to reach for all the courage he has left.

“It’s not that I don’t want it. I do. I…” his voice breaks, and he clings to the glasses in his hands for dear life. “I’ve wanted this for so long. But I’m… I’ll disappoint you.”

Crowley snatches the glasses from his hands and tosses them on the ground, making them crack. He grabs his hands, squeezing tight. “Angel. I’ve known you for six thousand years. And you make so mad, all the time. But I’m not going anywhere. This—” he gives their hands another squeeze. “This is what I want. Please, Aziraphale, please. Listen to me for once in your life. Give it a chance.”

Aziraphale has always thought Crowley can never say no to him. He’ll indulge and spoil him in every possible way. This time, though, he finds he’s the one who can’t say no. Not with those hopeful yellow eyes burning into him. Not with the strength of all of the demon’s love hitting him full-force, leaving him breathless.

So he leans closer, putting a kiss on Crowley’s cheek that’s more than fifty years overdue. His mouth trembles, but he makes his way to the demon’s lips, pressing his own against them. Crowley shudders.

They stay like that for a time that feels infinite.

Then something shifts – a breath, a hand – and Aziraphale is opening his mouth, catching Crowley’s lower lip and giving it a tug.

Crowley’s knees almost give out from under him.

He wants to clutch Aziraphale’s shoulders, but his grip isn’t firm. He presses his fingertips into the soft material of his jacket, but doesn’t grab with his whole hands. It’s delicate, and it makes the angel’s heart twist in his chest all the more for it.

Aziraphale is reminded, in that moment, of the first time they ever touched. Accidentally, briefly, in the Garden of Eden. He smiles against the demon’s lips. “You do not have to be so careful. We’re not going to explode. Same original stock and all, remember?”

Crowley smiles back, six thousand years of fears beginning to lift from his shoulders. “Speak for yourself.”

Aziraphale chooses that instant to poke his tongue into the demon’s mouth, sinking his fingers into his hair. And Crowley finds out that maybe he can stop talking to himself, giving the right circumstances, because right now there are no nasty voices in his head. Zero. None at all. Everything is drowned out by a single, loud, imperative chant of yes, fuck, yes, fuck, fuck, fuck, yes.

He lets out a truly embarrassing sound around the angel’s tongue, as obscene as it could possibly get, and feels his face catching fire. He expects Aziraphale to recoil; instead the angel is encouraged by it, pushes deeper, fingertips trailing down Crowley’s neck and onto his chest, then under his jacket.

It’s Crowley who breaks the kiss, taking half a step back. “Don’t you… don’t you want to have dinner first?” He manages to croak out. “Like… do this properly?”

As it turns out, it’s not true that he can stop talking to himself. Because as soon as those words leave his mouth, the voice is back again, berating him for being the stupidest of God’s creations.

“Oh, my sweet demon.” Aziraphale traces small circles on his chest, fingers spread wide. The way the angel says the word demon now sends a shiver right through him. “If we were to measure this as humans do, you would have already taken me on so many dates. We would be married many times over.”

Crowley’s brain short-circuits at the word married. Doesn’t his angel realize he can’t just say things like that and expect a coherent answer from him?

“Unless… do you want to have dinner instead?” Aziraphale asks, hands stopping for a second.

Crowley shakes his head a bit more vigorously than it was strictly necessary. “Nope. No dinner. My schedule is clear for the next hours. Days. Weeks.” Stop rambling, admonishes the voice inside his head. “We can have our date later, I mean. M-married many times over and all that.”

“Actually, speaking of which…” he looks down at the floor, towards his flat. “Where did I— ah, there it is.” He materializes a small velvet box in his hand, but keeps his fingers wrapped around it. Crowley’s eyes go wide.

“So, ah… I guess I saw this, back in 1591, and I bought it because it made me think of you, but, well.” After a few seconds of hesitation, he opens the box, and there’s a golden ring inside. He tugs it out of its box and slides the tip of a finger on the inside of the band. The ring opens into a sphere. It’s engraved with various intricate symbols.

 “It’s supposed to represent the universe. Planets and stars and such. I thought I’d give it to you. You would have liked it, I reasoned. But then I realised it would be, somewhat…”

“Too much.” Finishes Crowley, his voice hoarse.

“Somewhat too much, yes.” Aziraphale gives him a wobbly smile, getting the sphere back into ring form. He holds it between two fingers, looking at Crowley. Maybe they’ve really spent too much time on Earth. Because they can’t look at the ring and see just an artefact meant to adorn the body. They see the meaning behind it. Aziraphale opens his mouth as if to speak, closes it again.

“Are you going to give it to me now?” Asks Crowley, trying to read Aziraphale’s face, and not without some urgency.

“You don’t think it’s too much?”

“Angel. Don’t get me started on my list of things I think are ‘too much’. This isn’t one of them. Not now.” He opens his hand, and Aziraphale drops the ring in his palm.

Crowley puts it on without a second thought. After a pointed look from Aziraphale, the ring shrinks to fit his ring finger perfectly.

“It’s…” Crowley doesn’t know how to put it. He just said it’s not too much, and it isn’t, but it is a lot. He always imagined being loved by an angel would be an all-encompassing affair, and he wasn’t wrong. “It looks good.”

It feels surreal, and his head spins. Thankfully, he’s not one to be afraid of something that’s new, or fast. He enjoys the thrill. He’ll have time to put his thoughts in order later on. Right now, he wants to feel this moment. It’s been a long time coming.

“Where were we…” he mutters, coming close again, doing something he’s always wanted to do – burying his face in the crook of Aziraphale’s neck, running a hand through his soft hair. God and Satan and everything in between, he smells so good. The angel makes a small noise at that, and this time it’s Crowley kissing him, slowly nudging them towards the couch as he does so. He’s quite sure that if his angel has any other surprises in store for him, his legs won’t hold him up much longer.

That was a good idea. As soon as the demon sits down, Aziraphale plants a knee on the space between his thighs, pressing their bodies together as he kisses him hungrily. This time, when Crowley puts his hands on him, he holds on tight to the angel’s waist, trying to find some stability now that his world has been turned upside down.

Not that he’s whining. He lets himself sink into the couch, the warmth from the angel’s body seeping through his clothes, into his very core.

Then, Aziraphale moves his knee a bit too close, and brushes against his erection. Crowley’s nails dig into the angel’s clothes, and he gives another very embarrassing sound. He hadn’t even realized he’s become so hard. Both of them look down at the same time, and Crowley is sure this must be it. This must be the moment where Aziraphale slaps him across the face and tells him he’s changed his mind. He’s too much of a pervert for him.

Instead, when their eyes meet again, the angel is smiling. It is not, however, his usual innocent, kind smile. No, this is something proud, and feisty, and as un-angelic as it could possibly get. Crowley is about to suggest they go downstairs when Aziraphale gets his hands on his belt, unbuckling it, and swiftly opens the fly of his jeans. Crowley forgets how to form words when the angel gets into his boxer briefs, and his hand is soft and warm and slick and wet, and it’s not supposed to be slick and wet, unless Aziraphale deliberately miracled it to be so, and—

“A-angel, fuck!” His entire body arches into the touch, shaking uncontrollably when the angel wraps his fingers around his cock.

Crowley can’t believe he was afraid to go too fast.

In a way, Aziraphale is surprised by himself too. Not so much that he’d enjoy something that feels so good, but that he’d have no qualms at all about enjoying it. Because this doesn’t just feel good, does it? It also feels right. It feels like it’s been coming since the beginning of time – in a sense, it has. It feels like this is exactly where he’s meant to be, and it’s a feeling he hasn’t felt in such a long time.

Because where else is he supposed to be if not here, with Crowley, who’s out of his mind with love for him? Who’s waited six thousand years for him, and asked Aziraphale to take a leap of faith with him. Maybe it’s true – the demon really will love him for the rest of eternity.

What’s terrifying is that the angel knows the depths of his own love for Crowley. The demon has taught him so much. Always unafraid, and brave, and quick, and so, so smart, even though nobody gives him credit for it. Kind, and fair, and absolutely beautiful.

The risk he’s taking is enormous, and yet Crowley is worth the risk.

Speaking of risks, he glances over his shoulder, assessing how exposed they are. “Dear, can you make sure no one’s looking?”

“I— what— sure, I’ll— aaah…” Crowley bites down on his lower lip, trying to focus on his surroundings as if his life depended on it. Because if he doesn’t succeed, Aziraphale might stop touching him, and he shouldn’t stop, he should never, ever stop touching him. “Done.”

He’s rewarded with another languid kiss, a flutter of lashes against his cheek. The angel’s face is burning hot, and Crowley feels like he’s basking in sunlight on a summer morning. His fingers fumble with Aziraphale’s buttons and fastenings and whatever else is keeping him from reaching more of his skin. He’s seen the angel wearing everything and anything through the years, but never has he seen him wearing nothing. Finally, he manages to bare his chest, though he leaves all the layers in place, including the undone bowtie that sits around his neck, uncharacteristically crumpled.

He reaches out to run his tongue flat against the milky skin he finds there, from a pink nipple all the way to the pulse point on his neck. He sucks lightly at the tender skin, careful not to leave a mark – this time. He’s quite sure a next time will come, especially since he’s just found out he could spend hours upon hours upon hours just doing this, letting his tongue explore Aziraphale’s whole body.

Being touched feels amazing, but he wants to be able to touch the angel too. So, slowly, he nudges Aziraphale to let go of him, then to shift and lay on his back, so that Crowley can be on top. He’s very delicate throughout the whole process. He makes sure the angel doesn’t hit his head, and that he’s comfortable on the couch.

“I am not going to break, Crowley.” Reprimands the angel.

“Didn’t say you were.” But there is a certain hesitation still, as if he’s scared Aziraphale might evaporate in a puff of smoke. Crowley sees Aziraphale frowning, and tries to backpedal. “I don’t— it’s not that I think you’re fragile or anything.”

But Aziraphale has had six thousand years to study him. And, when he actually tries, can read right through him.

“Crowley, I am not going to change my mind.” He stares into the demon’s golden eyes as he says so. He tries to communicate that he couldn’t run away anymore, even if he wanted to. Not now that he knows how this feels. Then, more quietly: “I’m not afraid. Of you, at least.”

Crowley’s voice is very soft when he asks, “What are you afraid of?”

Aziraphale takes the demon’s hand and places over his own heart, which is beating wildly. “This.”

The demon looks at him, his expression grave and tender at the same time. Then he leans down to leave a shower of small kisses over his heart. If he could dissipate all of Aziraphale’s fears, he would. He can’t, however. He’s just a demon with a capacity for love he was not supposed to have, and he too is learning to deal with it. All he can offer is to learn together.

“Not my specialty, angel, but… it’s yours. And you can handle anything.” He gives him a little smirk. “Including me.”

“Oh, Crowley. I have loved so many things in my existence.” God, and humans, and books, and good food and wine, and beautiful art and music, and… “But never, never any as much as I…” He trails off.

So… love. It’s love. Crowley has never put a label on his feelings for the angel. Didn't need it. The demon had clung to the definition of ‘best friends’, a definition that already stretched what Aziraphale was willing to accept. Aziraphale who called him a friend as rarely as possible, who reminded him he was a demon as often as he could, and therefore blamed Crowley anytime the humans did something bad. Not anymore, though.

He supposes it’s fitting, ‘love’ - if they wanted to contain this enormous, unstoppable power that binds them together and makes them dumb and needy and pathetic and brave in a four-letter word.

Crowley closes his eyes and presses their foreheads together. “I know. Believe me, don’t I know.”

The next kiss they share is urgent and full of need. Crowley’s hands roam over the angel’s body, caressing and pressing and squeezing, hunting for the most sensitive spots. Aziraphale’s knees bracket his waist as he makes his way down, stopping to press kisses all around his navel. He keeps a hand over the angel’s heart, holding him down, and barely keeps himself from pleading please, please let me do this for you, let me do something for you.

He revels in the sharp intake of breath Aziraphale gives when he yanks his pants and underwear down. It’s ridiculous, the way he dresses; they’re not in the 1890’s anymore. But Crowley has long since made his peace with the fact that he’s attracted to someone whose sense of style is two centuries behind. That’s alright. He has enough fashion sense for both of them.

“Crowley…” Crowley does hear his name, vaguely, from a hundred miles away. He doesn’t look up at the angel, very busy sucking on the soft, delicate skin where Aziraphale’s thigh meets his belly. Slowly, he drags his clothes another couple of inches down, freeing his cock. When it springs up, Aziraphale covers his face with both hands. Crowley gives himself a second to admire it. “Nice.” Is all he says, before taking the tip into his mouth.

Aziraphale’s hands fly to Crowley’s head and he arches his back against the couch, trying to push him closer and to pull away from him at the same time. The demon lets out an amused, proud hum around his cock. He’s envisioned this for thousands of years, and there’s not a single detail that doesn’t exceed his expectations.

Aziraphale, on his part, had no idea that Crowley’s tongue pressing against the wet tip of his length would shut down his brain and set it on fire at the same time. He knows the helpless little sounds he’s making into the open air could be overheard, but he’ll maintain to anyone that it’s not his fault. Nobody can see them, but if they could, he’d point to the hungry demon doing weird, obscene, spectacular things with his tongue between his legs.

Scratch that, actually, if anyone could see them he’d discorporate out of embarrassment. For it is one thing to quietly come into your own hand, when and how you like, in the privacy of your flat – it is completely another not to know what’s going to happen next, to have moans ripped from your lips and breaths broken and skin set on fire by the one you love.

Crowley’s fingers wrap around the lower half of his cock and squeeze just so – while his mouth takes care of the other half, lapping against sensitive skin, making the angel writhe beneath his touch. Aziraphale can feel himself beginning to – how embarrassing – leak from the tip, but all the things he assumed Crowley would be put off by seem only to spur him further.

The demon is completely and solely focused on him, eating him like a starving man, enveloping him in a thick, intoxicating fog that couldn’t be anything but love. In its purest form, love – here, now, while they’re doing this of all things. Aziraphale would be baffled if he could think straight at all. Maybe it’s a sin, or maybe it was part of a plan all along – he’ll think about it when Crowley’s hand is not slipping down to cup his balls and his mouth is not, somehow, coming down even further, taking him in all the way, and his tongue is not wrapping around his cock in a way tongues are definitely not supposed to be able to do.

He can feel whole galaxies explode behind his eyes and knows – he won’t be able to last long. He lets it go on a few seconds longer, letting himself relish the way Crowley’s throat feels around him, letting the demon fire off a thousand nerve-endings, the pleasure so hard it almost hurts, then—

“W-wait.” Crowley does stop, but doesn’t move yet, glancing at him while his tongue still vaguely moves around him. “I want to— oh good Lord…” The demon’s tongue chose that moment to move like a wave, pressing his cock against the roof of his tongue, letting go, pressing again. Aziraphale gets all the words out before he can get side-tracked again. “I want to do this together.”

Crowley lets him go, and the air feels cold and harsh compared to the wet, comforting warmth of his mouth. Aziraphale reaches out to wrap his fingers around Crowley’s cock again, realizing he’s so hard it has to be hurting him – must have been hurting him for a while now.

Crowley sinks against his body with a shudder, lips returning to the angel’s mouth. He too reaches down, gently grabbing Aziraphale’s wrist to ask to be let go. Then, he guides his hand again to grab both of them at the same time. Their moans echo one another as their cocks rub together, drenched in spit and pre-come and whatever it was that Aziraphale miracled into his hand.

They’ll have time – Crowley hopes – to explore, to experiment. He wants to map every inch of the angel’s body, know it all by heart. He deserves it – which wouldn’t matter; and he needs it – which wouldn’t matter; and Aziraphale wants it and deserves it and needs it – which is the only thing that matters.

Right now, though, neither of them can take it any longer, undone and aroused out of their minds as they are. Crowley holds out just a little bit longer, grinding and grinding until the angel beneath him gives out a loud cry, truly the holiest sound the demon has ever heard in his existence, and starts spilling between them. Crowley drinks in the sight of him, pride swelling in his chest, and fuck he’s wanted this so long and so hard and so hopelessly and finally, finally – Aziraphale is muttering something incoherent, and Crowley catches the words good and love and wonderful and his own name over and over and over, and that’s just too much, to be praised and touched and called on like that – he comes with a force that shakes him to his very soul.

They collapse together, trying to catch their crazed hearts and lungs.

Aziraphale shifts just enough to lay a kiss on Crowley’s forehead, then holds on to him so hard it hurts.

“Angel…”

Aziraphale shakes his head. He can’t speak right now. And it’s not as if Crowley is doing much better. His throat is tight and burning and it has nothing to do with what he physically did to it. He waits a few minutes before perking up again.

“Let me?” He gestures down at their bodies, and Aziraphale smile and nods at him. Crowley cleans them with a wave of his hand. Then he sinks back into the angel’s body, satisfied, and – completely happy, something he hasn’t felt in such a long time. A feeling that comes like a memory from a past life.

Then, Aziraphale’s stomach grumbles.

Crowley laughs, out loud, unabashed, like he did in the park when Aziraphale told him about the rubber duck. “Someone got a little too used to never skipping a meal, isn’t that right?”

Aziraphale’s fingers tap on the top of his head, reproaching. “I believe you promised me dinner.”

“That I did.” Crowley smiles at him, knowing full well he’s just promised a lot more than that. But they can start with dinner.

When they stand up, they’re reluctant to leave the warmth of each other’s bodies. Crowley carefully buttons back up Aziraphale’s shirt. He even tries his hand at tying his bowtie. The jacket and vest though he slides off his shoulders, as the angel buttons up his pants.

The demon pulls and zips up his jeans on the way to get the basket they abandoned on the floor.

Aziraphale sits at the table, hands in his lap. He’s watching Crowley with a subtle smile.

“What?” The demon asks.

“Nothing at all. I simply want to see what else you had thought up for this dinner.”

Crowley grumbles something, and he hates and loves that he’s being read like an open book. So Aziraphale watches him set the table, fussing with the tablecloth until it's perfect. He decides it should be white, and the plates and silverware should be black. Then he creates some small scarlet candles to scatter around.

He places the food in a very specific way, as if he’s readying the table for a photoshoot. Then he pulls out the champagne, fills their glasses. In all of this, he still hasn’t crossed eyes with Aziraphale, who’s been staring at him intently.

“You know, Crowley, I always thought you were very… visual, so to speak.” He lifts the glass to toast. “But now… I think that what you have is an unbridled gift for imagination.”

Crowley smirks. “Had to do something for six thousand years, didn’t I?” He clinks Aziraphale’s glass with his own. “To you, for finally coming around after taking your sweet, sweet time.”

Aziraphale gives him a sardonic smile. Then, he softens. “To us.”

The whole time they eat and drink and chat, Aziraphale keeps his left hand on the table, available for Crowley to touch, and hold, and squeeze. Which he does, never leaving it alone for more than a couple of seconds at a time.

 


 

As they stare at each other with stars in their eyes, in Hell a certain demon is getting a sound scolding.

Hastur tries to defend himself. “I-I know we had orders to leave him alone, but…” He looks around him for support from his colleagues, obviously finds none. “‘If you can’t fight them, cockblock them’, right? Right? It says so on the poster in hallway C7 on the third floor, Lust and Correlated Minor Sins Division.”

It goes without saying that he walks away with a demotion that erases centuries of work.

Whatever, though. You couldn’t convince him it wasn’t completely worth it. Just to see the look on Crowley’s face as he stumbled home with his tail (and not just his tail) between his legs.