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To most people -- the casual passer-through, the weekend guest -- Tadfield was an ordinary sleepy English village. Rural, idyllic, perhaps a little conservative, almost a relic of an earlier time. Those on their way to London paid it little mind.

To those who lived there, and to a certain segment of the London population, it had been unusual and special since well before Adam Young arrived. True, he had protected it, but he had not created it.

Lower Tadfield in particular was ruled by RP Tyler, as it had been by his mother before him, a formidable but kind-hearted woman. There had been a turning-point for the entire village on a random Saturday in 1984 when 13-year-old RP Tyler had turned to his mum and said, "I think I fancy boys."

Mrs. Tyler -- head of the local Anglican women's committee, chair of the civic council, and boss of the village -- had given him a closely discerning look to make sure he wasn't joking. When it was clear he wasn't, she'd said, "Well, you had better have some backing," and rolled up her sleeves. She'd heard about these newfangled "pride parade" things, and if her son was going to fancy boys, she was going to make sure nobody gave him any lip over it.

The Lower Tadfield Pride Parade and Bake Sale of 1984 was quite small, since Mrs. Tyler only had about two months to organize it. The Lower Tadfield Pride Parade and Bake Sale of 1985 was massive.

The thing was that Tadfield was quite a sleepy little village ten months out of the year. In July and August, however, every cottage and spare room and pub filled up with people who wanted to escape the heat and noise and weird occasional homophobia of London. And on the third weekend in August, the Lower (Now Entire) Tadfield Pride Parade and Bake Sale covered the whole village in glitter and celebration. The cakes were exquisite.

And because the residents of Tadfield had taken in London's queer community for so many summers, they had developed a certain gratifying open-mindedness during autumn, winter, and spring as well.

So nobody batted an eye when Mr. Tyler and his husband adopted a pair of orphans from London, a young girl and her sibling whose gender shifted by the moment. Even if they had, Adam was there by now and would ensure no harm came to Damascus. And if nobody was going to blink at Damascus, they certainly wouldn't blink at Nanny, a beguiling woman of middle years who showed up several weekends a month to load as many children as would fit into her lovely vintage Bentley and take them driving.

"Nanny?" Damascus asked on one of their weekend jaunts, shortly after she had turned twelve. "Are you only ever a girl when you're in a skirt?"

Crowley grinned down at her, petting Damascus's fuzzy buzz-cut hair affectionately. "Force of habit, I suppose, my dove. Certain conventions stick in the mind -- there's no reason a lady must wear a skirt, but I always feel I ought. Aziraphale says when I'm Nanny I'm set in my ways, and I suppose that's true enough."

"How long have you and Aziraphale been married?" Damascus asked, and Crowley pursed her lips, thoughtfully.

"We aren't, little angel," she said.

"Aren't you? Then how come you're always bringing us presents from him and such?" Damascus pressed.

"He's a very good friend, and loves you more than you will ever know," Crowley told her.

"How much does he love you, though?" Damascus asked shrewdly, and Crowley didn't answer.


"Angel!" Crowley cried, careless of customers, lounging his way into the bookshop after a long day of babysitting Tadfield's children. The sole patron of the shop gave him a peculiar look, but Crowley ignored it.

"In the stacks!" Aziraphale called back, and the sole patron of the shop went from befuddled to understanding, nodding at Crowley with a friendly smile. Aziraphale's voice drifted out from somewhere in the shop again. "How was Tadfield?"

"Oh, the usual," Crowley remarked, tilting his head to echolocate the angel and then clambering up the spiral staircase. Aziraphale, shelving books on the balcony overlooking the foyer, shot him a smile. "Sticky children and hormones."

"Well, they are coming to that age," Aziraphale said, turning back to the cart of books in front of him. "Not troubling you, are they?"

"Not really. Even an adolescent respects Nanny," Crowley said, leaning back on the railing. "You?"

"Quiet Sunday, really. Wouldn't have opened at all except I got bored," Aziraphale replied. "Give my love to the Tylers?"

"Naturally."

"Thought you'd still be in heels," Aziraphale said, gesturing at his outfit.

"At this point it's really just for the children," Crowley replied, smoothing his waistcoat down. "Nanny's fun but skirts and stockings get complicated."

"Fair enough," Aziraphale agreed. "Won't be two seconds here."

"Take your time," Crowley said. He rather liked loitering nearby while Aziraphale shelved new books; he was always so affectionate with them, and watching the stretch of fabric over his shoulders wasn't any kind of trial. "Damascus was amusing today."

"Oh yes?"

"She asked how long we'd been married," Crowley said, playing it off like a joke but watching like a hawk as well.

Aziraphale, book in hand, paused thoughtfully.

"Gosh. What a question," he said finally.

"I know, it's very funny -- "

"I mean, on the one hand, practically since Eden," Aziraphale said, and Crowley lapsed into shocked silence. "Though it depends on one's definition. We've not even signed the papers, but this modern era being what it is -- what, three-ish years since Armageddon?"

"What," Crowley replied flatly.

"Yes, three years. My goodness. Next year's gift should be linen. You look lovely in linen -- don't let me forget," Aziraphale said, and then shelved another book like he hadn't just said something insane.

"We aren't married, angel," Crowely said.

"Not officially," Aziraphale replied. "But it's very convenient to date it from the world not ending, so if you want a ceremony we should probably book it soonish."

"We aren't in a relationship."

Aziraphale gave him a perplexed look. "Call it whatever you like, my dear."

"No, I mean...." Crowley blinked at him. "Are we?"

Aziraphale set down the book he was holding and turned to him. "Aren't we?"

They stared at each other for long enough that the sole patron of the shop grew frustrated and left.

"We've never even kissed," Crowley said finally.

"That's hardly my fault. Anyway, carnal pleasures are nice but no substitute for strong bonds of mutual respect," Aziraphale said.

"Are you saying you'd have been open to carnal pleasures for three years?" Crowley asked, aware of the ludicrousness of the phrase 'carnal pleasure' and the general perilous drift of the conversation, and yet entirely unable to stop himself.

Aziraphale looked bewildered. "I may not have been the most willing in terms of emotional commitments and I'm sure I'm very sorry about that," he said finally. "But I'd have been open to carnal pleasures for three hundred years at least. I assumed you weren't particularly keen."

"What would make you think that?" Crowley asked, aware his voice was a trifle shrill.

"I don't know what demons think of sex, personally," Aziraphale said. "It's a beautiful demonstration of love. I thought perhaps you didn't like it!"

"I like sex!"

"Well, I wasn't to know," Aziraphale retorted. "All I know is after we stopped the world ending you started saying my angel and coming round constantly. I had no idea what to do with any of that and I spent MONTHS -- and now suddenly -- "

"Wait, what?" Crowley asked.

Aziraphale pinched the bridge of his nose. "When Uriel brought the children here, you called me your angel. And I thought perhaps it was just an aberration, some sort of slip of the tongue, but then you kept doing it. And -- and it was nice, actually, and I spent months trying to work out what you meant, and then I just..." he spread his hands. "Accepted it. That you and I were going to...do this. In fact, had been doing this. Where you come round all the time and call me yours and I look after you..."

Crowley reeled. It was what they did, it was true; he came round and sometimes he did say my angel because after all, now there were a lot of angels on Earth, all in orbit around Aziraphale and the bookshop, and one had to distinguish one's own from the others. And Aziraphale would take him to dinner and be the calm, quiet presence at his side, and Crowley got so used to bringing him little gifts -- a bottle of wine or a book he'd found --

"Did you not know?" Aziraphale asked quietly. "Or did you not mean -- "

Crowley swooped in and kissed him, because he could see the dawning hurt on his face and that was the last thing he wanted, and this was the first. His momentum carried them back into the bookshelf and he caught Aziraphale's head with one hand, careful of bumping it against the books. Aziraphale yielded for him, opened his mouth and let him do as he pleased, hands resting on his chest.

"I didn't know," Crowley said eventually, pulling back. Aziraphale's hair was soft under his hand. "I didn't know, but I did mean."

Aziraphale gave him a fond look. "Well. Aren't you the idiot."

Crowley stared at him. Aziraphale smiled and kissed the corner of his mouth, patting his chest, and then slid sideways, brushing past him to pick up the books and continue shelving.

"I shall put our names down for seven at the Ritz," he said. "We never did get to properly celebrate our engagement. No need for a ring unless you'd prefer. I don't care for diamonds."

He left Crowley standing on the bookshop balcony for so long that a new patron, already frustrated, called up to him, "Oi, does anyone actually work here?"


They didn't have their usual table, in the center of the dais, overlooking the restaurant; instead, the maitre'd, with a deferential grin, led them to a cozy corner table where champagne was already chilling.

"You told them, didn't you," Crowley said, when the champagne had been poured. "You told them we're celebrating an engagement."

"I'm sure they think it's well past time -- that woman's father knew us by name," Aziraphale said. "Besides, they've laid on an eight-course tasting menu for us, and I know you like tasting better than you do eating."

"You know what I'd like -- " Crowley began, grinning lewdly, and Aziraphale shot him a look that was at once so stern and so heated that he fell silent. "What, really?"

"Really what, my dear?" Aziraphale asked.

"You know you needn't impress me, angel. We've known each other since Eden. If you want a tumble, I don't need a spread first."

"Who says I'm impressing anyone? I daresay you could do with a bit of patience, and I prefer to enjoy the ritual of it all," Aziraphale said. "It'll be good for you. Build character."

"Yes, what I need is more character," Crowley replied as the soup arrived. Aziraphale didn't answer, just took a spoonful of his consomme and tasted it, beaming. Admittedly, Crowley did prefer to taste, didn't see the need to really eat the food the way Aziraphale did, but...he also liked to watch Aziraphale enjoy good food. No hardship, really.

After the soup there were oysters prepared three ways, and then little froofy paté things on toasts; a small salad with apples and some kind of cheese. Crowley picked the apples out and ate them, grinning, and Aziraphale mostly failed to notice, enraptured as he was with the chervil. Crowley wasn't sure which bit was the chervil, but it hardly mattered.

They worked their way through the main courses, seared hake and some sort of very fancy potato casserole ("Honestly, Crowley." "Explain to me the difference between this and a casserole if you can."), more and fancier cheese, and at last dessert, two small, delicate cakes topped with fruit sorbet. Crowley sipped his coffee, watching Aziraphale finish his own cake and then the half-cake Crowley had left after tasting it and pronouncing it fine.

"Very good indeed," Aziraphale said, sitting back. "Wouldn't you say?"

Crowley grinned at him. "All right, angel. Wasn't a torture."

"Good. Oh, did we finish the champagne?" he asked, as if he hadn't noticed the second bottle, midway through the meal, being opened and then slowly emptied.

"Have a little coffee. Clears the palate," Crowley told him.

"Splendid." Aziraphale sipped, savoring it.

"You have a flat above the shop, don't you? Off in the back?" Crowley asked casually.

"Ye-es, but it's in use right now," Aziraphale said. "Uriel's newest case, arrived two days ago. I don't think you've met Pahaliah yet, have you?"

"Quite the mouthful of a name."

"He's mostly kept to the flat. I've been bringing him books. Need to draw him out of himself a little. He's very shy of humans," Aziraphale said.

"So, not your place."

"Yes, and before you ask, one night in the cavern you call a flat was enough for me."

Crowley raised an eyebrow. "Angel, I'd really rather not, but I will attempt a seduction in the back of the Bentley if you make me."

"Nonsense. I did the sensible thing, knowing mine was occupied and yours was intolerable."

Crowley let that go. He didn't even like his flat that much, aside from the stuff in it, the art and the plants.

"I booked us a room here," Aziraphale said. "A suite, actually," he added, as the check arrived in a discreet leather folio, along with a keycard. He plucked it up between two fingers and held it out to Crowley. "Safer than driving, besides*."

* He left it unsaid, which Crowley appreciated, that he was not the safest driver when he wasn't distracted, and his distraction throughout dinner was probably very clear.

"Right," Crowley said, deliberately brushing Aziraphale's fingertips as he took the keycard. "Allow me to show you to our suite, angel."

A suite at the Ritz was bound to be decadent and likely to be hideously decorated, something Crowley would have enjoyed anticipating in other circumstances. But Aziraphale took his arm as they strolled out of the restaurant, and it was such a small but public gesture that by the time they'd reached the door of the suite, Crowley was on his last shred of self control. He got the door unlocked, led the way inside, turned as soon as Aziraphale was through the door, and slammed it shut, crowding the angel up against it. It was pretty suave except for the desperation when Crowley kissed him, but Aziraphale didn't seem to mind.

"All right, my dear," Aziraphale said between kisses. "You've been very patient and I appreciate that."

Crowley lifted him off the ground, pulling Aziraphale's legs around his hips and pinning him. Aziraphale wrapped an arm around his shoulders, laughing. "Perhaps I should have been tipped off by your love of pushing me into walls," Aziraphale continued, pulling Crowley's sunglasses off with his other hand. Crowley wasn't sure where they went and was very sure he didn't care.

"You're also very frustrating," Crowley informed him. "That's my real motivation."

"I shall make a note. The door's not uncomfortable, dearest, but we do have an entire suite," Aziraphale said, nipping Crowley's lower lip. Crowley desperately tried to work out how to make him do it again. "Do let me down, I chose this one for a reason."

"Won't," Crowley insisted, kissing him again. That earned him a slightly sharper bite, which was even better. "Fine," he muttered, and slowly set him on the ground again. Aziraphale touched Crowley's face lightly, holding him in place for a kiss as reward, and then took his shoulders and turned him, which was when the full force of the suite made itself known.

It was every inch as hideous as Crowley had imagined; everything was flower-patterned, from the upholstered chairs to the weird non-curtains hanging in front of the windows. Gold tassels abounded. There was a painting of chunky, awkward-looking angels and enormously round horses on one wall. The lamps looked like someone's grandmother had acquired them at a boot sale.

"I know," Aziraphale said, leaning over his shoulder from behind. "A bit much even for me."

"Breathtaking," Crowley managed. "Hell could take tips."

"Still, it has space," Aziraphale said, and Crowley turned to him, confused. "Come along."

He led him down the hall and into the bedroom, where the flower patterning was once again evident, this time accentuated by an enormous round rug on the floor in tones of pink and green. The rug itself had an uncanny depth to it, strange trompe l'oeil pleats at its center making it seem like it might undulate and trip the unwary. The windows here were tall and narrow, and what stars could be seen from London were picked out in the night sky, but Aziraphale didn't give him much time to look.

Instead, the angel took off his jacket, laying it over the back of a chair in the corner, and began unbuttoning his waistcoat. When Crowley moved eagerly to help him, Aziraphale caught his wrists, kissed him, and then reached for Crowley's waist, pushing his shirt up and off in a single efficient move. Crowley, bending in to kiss him and trying to help, probably got in the way more than anything. Once Aziraphale's waistcoat and shirt were off the angel sighed happily and tilted his head, stretching --

His wings unfurled, broad and shimmering, stretching to their full length before settling behind him. He kissed Crowley and murmured, "Go on, dearest. It's so nice to unfold them."

Space, Crowley realized. It was a big spacious room with a big spacious bed, and private. Room enough to stretch their wings out, to let that almost unnoticeable little cramp between the shoulderblades relax. He pulled his shoulders back with an audible popping noise and let his own wings spread, and oh -- yes. That was nice.

Aziraphale held out a hand, a question in his face, and Crowley brought his wings far enough around that Aziraphale could run his fingers through the feathers at the leading edge of one of them.

"Lovely," he murmured, which was perhaps less of an ego boost than "terrifying" might have been, but Crowley would take it. Aziraphale let his hand fall, drifting it down Crowley's chest, thin planes of muscle and rib, finally hooking it in his belt to pull him further into the room, back towards the edge of the bed. Aziraphale sat on the (horribly rose-patterned) coverlet and pulled Crowley between his legs, working the belt buckle. Crowley dropped to his knees.

It put him below the angel, looking up into his face and the loom of white wings behind him. Aziraphale held Crowley's head in both hands and leaned down to kiss him.

"As nice as that looks, I have bigger plans," Aziraphale said. "Up you come."

Crowley rose and let himself be guided into straddling Aziraphale's lap. He leaned in, pressing their bodies together, twisting to kiss Aziraphale's neck, the soft spot behind his ear, to press his face into his curly pale hair. Aziraphale gave another tug on Crowley's hips and --

"Angel!" Crowely managed, fingers digging into Aziraphale's skin. Aziraphale secured one hand in the small of his back and bucked, and Crowley spread his wings half for balance, half in surprise. He could feel Aziraphale's erection through his own trousers, which were more or less trapping him --

"Quick miracle if you would," he murmured into the angel's ear.

"My pleasure," Aziraphale replied, and raised his hands to Crowley's ribs, drawing his fingertips down the skin. Crowley's remaining clothing vanished, and he spread his legs a little wider without the constriction, settling into Aziraphale's still-clothed lap. It felt wonderfully sinful, naked and wings out, straddling the angel's lap, hips canting as Aziraphale held their bodies firmly together.

"Aren't you beautiful, Crowley," Aziraphale murmured, kissing his clavicle. Crowley rustled his wings, preening a little, and Aziraphale laughed. "Vain thing."

"Will you touch me?" Crowley pleaded, and saw Aziraphale's wings twitch.

"Yes, yes. I haven't forgotten you were patient," Aziraphale said indulgently, keeping one hand in the small of Crowley's back to steady him, wrapping the other around his cock. Crowley groaned and leaned in, forehead pressed to Aziraphale's shoulder, hands gripping his back just below where his wings began. His breath caught at the long strokes, tip to root and back, at how soft Aziraphale's skin was.

"You can, you know," Aziraphale said, and Crowley wanted to protest not yet, not so fast, but then Aziraphale added, "My wings. You can touch them, if you like."

His hands scrambled across skin, digging into the soft down at the base of the wings, and Aziraphale sighed.

"That's nice," he said, hand moving faster, tightening a little. "Good, Crowley?"

"Yes," Crowley hitched into his shoulder. "Angel, Aziraphale -- "

"Would you like to -- " Aziraphale's hand tightened a little more, and Crowley didn't want to come, not yet. It wasn't as though they were limited to human physiology, but he wanted to draw this out now, wanted more than thrusting to orgasm in Aziraphale's hand.

"N..." he inhaled and tried again. "No, not yet."

Aziraphale let him go, resting his hand instead on Crowley's heaving belly. "As long as you like, dear."

Crowley gulped in air, eventually sitting back a little. Aziraphale was watching him with a kind of careful affection that Crowley didn't think he'd ever seen, even for the books.

"What do you want, angel?" Crowley asked. "Anything you like. Bet I know tricks they don't teach in discreet gentlemen’s clubs."

"Oh, I think even you would be surprised," Aziraphale said thoughtfully. "I have been considering the question, though."

"Since at least lunch today?" Crowley asked drily.

"A little longer than that. But you're so..." Aziraphale looked almost worried. "You're so willing, Crowley. Always offering me anything, even when there's really one specific thing you want. And we should both like what we do."

"But it's with you," Crowley said, confused. "Of course I'll like it."

"Flattering," Aziraphale murmured. "Do you...Well. Do you care for penetration?"

Crowley stared at him and then cracked up laughing.

"Of all the propositions I've had in six thousand years," he said, leaning in and kissing him, "Do you care for penetration. Oh my angel. Giving or receiving?"

"Receiving," Aziraphale said, in a dark, urgent tone that made Crowley abruptly stop laughing. Especially since he could picture it so clearly -- being bent double, Aziraphale's wings spread above him, hips working between his thighs. Or just as fun, being put on his knees, arse in the air --

"Yes," he said. "Yes, let's do that."

"Oh good, I'm excellent at that part," Aziraphale told him, and Crowley practically crawled over him onto the bed, rolling onto his back and propping himself on his elbows so he wouldn't have to flatten his wings too much. He watched as Aziraphale stood and stepped out of his shoes, taking his socks and trousers and underthings off -- an endearingly human ritual.

Then Aziraphale joined him on the bed, kneeling next to him like a saint, and rested a hand on his hip.

"This bit's always rather messy with humans," he said a little apologetically. "Would you mind another little miracle?"

"No, please yourself, I -- " Crowley began, and then cut off with a groan. The feeling of being opened and slicked, all at once, wasn't painful exactly but it was intense. He clawed at the blankets and arched his whole body, and saw Aziraphale smiling.

"No wonder you stuck to analog* for the humans," Crowley managed, his breath heavy in the aftermath. He felt exposed in the most delicious possible way. "How many of them would have just come immediately?"

* Strictly speaking, digital, but Aziraphale didn't want to spoil the mood with a pun.

"There were one or two I tried it on -- they thought it was a particularly good magic trick," Aziraphale said, leaning forward to kiss him. Crowley kissed back hard, envious, not wanting to hear about any human dalliances anymore. Aziraphale let him, for a little while, and then his hand tapped Crowley's hip again.

"Over," he said, and Crowley hurriedly turned over, folding his arms and burying his face in them, letting Aziraphale tug his hips and nudge his legs until he was arranged to the angel's satisfaction.

Aziraphale gripped Crowley's thigh tightly in one hand and, shockingly, one of his wings in the other, and Crowley nearly wept when he pushed inside him, it was so good.

The hand on his wing wasn't really for leverage, he realized, even though Aziraphale was already starting to thrust hard enough he had to push back to compensate. It was just there, gentle and grounding, a reminder, while his other hand was nearly bruising. Crowley reveled in it, scrambling for purchase on the coverlet as Aziraphale took him, murmuring endearments and encouragements at odds with the rough shove of his hips. Crowley bit down on his own wrist to muffle his cries, until Aziraphale slowed and leaned down, body warm on his.

"This isn't just a suite," he said, hips still working, cock impossibly just that much deeper now. "It's a mansion, attached to the hotel. No one can hear you, Crowley. That wasn't by accident."

Crowley turned his head to one side, hissing, and then let himself yell when Aziraphale snapped his hips again. "Angel -- oh -- "

"My dear," Aziraphale answered, gasping too now. Crowley let every thrust push a cry from him, Yes, Aziraph -- Aziraphale --

His world reeled suddenly, everything reorienting, as Aziraphale wrapped an arm around his waist and tangled the other hand in his hair and leaned back, pulling them both upright; Crowley's wings flexed to balance him, and he found himself splayed over Aziraphale's kneeling thighs, the angel still inside him, Crowley's back braced against Aziraphale's belly and chest. The angle of Aziraphale's thrusts shifted sharply and Crowley was pinned, mostly unable to move. He leaned into Aziraphale for balance, confining himself further, and was rewarded when his hair was released, Aziraphale's hand going to his cock instead.

"Like this, dear," Aziraphale said in his ear, stroking him roughly. "Come just like this, love."

"The things you -- say," Crowley managed, and then words fled, the universe contracting down to this one point, him and his angel, Aziraphale murmuring to him.

"I know you...hate to be...called nice," Aziraphale said breathlessly, around minute thrusts that were going to drive Crowley out of his mind. "Sweet, or...anything like...but you are -- oh, Crowley -- wonderful -- so good -- "

Crowley came, back arching, wings twitching, head thrown back; Aziraphale steadied him as he writhed through it, and he felt the angel tip over into orgasm after him, felt the breathless tension in Aziraphale's body as he worked to hold them both in place. After what felt like a very long time, the arm around his waist eased, and Crowley tumbled forward onto the bed, limbs sprawling. Aziraphale landed next to him on his side.

"You're right," Crowley mumbled limply.

"About what?" Aziraphale asked, resting a warm hand on his shoulder.

"Whatever you learned in that gentlemen's club is shocking."

That earned him a laugh, and then an affectionate thumb rubbing his cheekbone.

"Well, one pulls out all the stops to impress," Aziraphale said. "It seemed like you might enjoy that. You do so love when I fuss over you."

"Must be the center of attention at all times," Crowley agreed.

"Good, because you are."

That was almost uncomfortable. His vanity was a joke, and to have it taken so earnestly was not surprising, but a little...discomfiting.

"The truth is, for a long time, I have loved you like a human loves, not at all like an angel," Aziraphale said quietly. "Which is quite dangerous, actually."

"Is it?" Crowley asked.

"Well, angels have more power than humans. Being dedicated to one being above others is more perilous for us. If anything were to happen to you..." Aziraphale gave him a slightly uncertain smile. "I know where the sword is. I always do. And I know how to use it."

"Angel."

"I'd go against Heaven for you -- "

"No," Crowley said sharply, pushing himself up to look down at him, alarmed.

"I'm not worried about that, my own. If I did, I wouldn't be the one to Fall," Aziraphale continued. Crowley frowned. "I would be righteous in it. The righteous don't Fall. I'd cast them all out of Heaven. Me and half a dozen angels against the millions."

"You can't know that, and I wouldn't urge you to try," Crowley whispered, frightened now.

"I do know that, but fortunately I needn't try, as you're here and not likely to go anywhere," Aziraphale said. "I'm sorry, dearest. Let's not talk on it, I don't want to scare you."

"I'm not scared," Crowley lied. "It's just I can't make any sort of promise like that. My lot aren't so dramatic."

"Oh? You wouldn't harrow Hell for me?"

"Of course I would, but I can't imagine why I'd need t -- oh, I see your point."

Aziraphale closed his eyes and smiled blissfully. "This all does feel nice," he said, a gentle change of the subject. "It's a very comfortable bed, at least."

"I love a sleep after a good meal and a mind-blowing buggering," Crowley said.

"Crass," Aziraphale managed affectionately.

"Well, why else have this giant bed? I'll get us breakfast in bed tomorrow morning," Crowley coaxed. Aziraphale's eyes glinted like he knew what Crowley was doing and was allowing it because of his deep and passionate love of breakfast. "Omelet with shaved truffles and bacon. Croissants. Avocado toast. Mimosas," Crowley recited, ensuring the kitchen would bring up the same order even as he spoke.

"Tempter," Aziraphale said, but he yawned. "I rarely do sleep. Don't know if I remember how."

"Here," Crowley said, sitting up. "Roll over. Easier on the wings like this."

He grabbed one of the smaller terrifyingly floral pillows and shoved it under Aziraphale's chin as the angel rolled onto his stomach, propping his head up a little. Crowley carefully navigated around the fluttering white wings and threw a leg over Aziraphale's hips, settling on top of him, just below the small of his back. He heard Aziraphale take a breath to ask a question, but before he could, Crowley had pushed both his curled hands into the space between Aziraphale's wings, knuckles bearing down on his spine. There was a soft crack under his fingers and Aziraphale's breath whooshed out.

"Goodness," Aziraphale managed.

"Just close your eyes for a bit," Crowley advised, working his hands down Aziraphale's spine, then spreading them out to dig gently into his sides. You got used to it, the little muscle twinges that came with keeping wings hidden, especially after thousands of years, but that didn't make it pleasant. Aziraphale sighed again as Crowley worked his thumbs into the line of his right latissimus, loosening the muscle slowly. When his right wing began to droop, Crowley turned to the left side, and then back to his spine, working his fingers up slowly to the trapezius muscles that anchored the wings. By the time each muscle was soft and lax and Crowley was kneading around the subtle bumps of vertebrae at the top of his spine, he could tell Aziraphale was asleep.

He slid off gently, carefully, and crawled under one nearly-flat wing, curving into the side of Aziraphale's body, leg and arm thrown over him, his own wings carefully tucked well back. Aziraphale's wing adjusted slightly, sliding over his body like a blanket. Crowley smiled, inhaling Aziraphale's cologne, the odd damp scent of both their wings, and the lingering smell of sex. Before he drifted off, he snapped his fingers, and all the rose patterns painted on the bedroom walls evaporated.


Aziraphale woke with the consciousness that something was about to happen, and he ought to be upright and at least partially aware for it. It was a little disorienting, 'waking up', particularly in a bedroom like this one, but it only took a second to sweep his eyes over the much-abused coverlet and Crowley, collapsed on his stomach and snoring softly, to remember where they were.

Breakfast -- that was why he had to be awake; someone was coming with breakfast.

He tucked his wings away and picked up a robe hanging on the door to the bathroom, sighing happily as it turned tartan when he slipped it on. Overnight, the terrible pleat-pattern rug had turned into a tasteful midcentury modern white rug with large intersecting red and black dots. He arrived in the sitting room, where the draped curtains of the night before had been replaced by pleasant blonde wood-slat blinds, just as there was a knock at the door.

"Good morning, Mr. Fell," the young man with the food cart said cheerfully. "Breakfast as ordered. Would you like me to bring it in?"

Crowley was the sort to wander naked and be'winged into the room in front of the staff, so Aziraphale shook his head.

"I'll take the tray, thanks ever so," he said, accepting the tray of food and offering a tip in return.

"As you like, Mr. Fell. Ring when you'd like me to fetch it. And congratulations upon your engagement, sir," the man added with a wink, wheeling the cart away. Aziraphale carried the tray into the bedroom to find Crowley awake and sitting on the bed crosslegged, still nude, wings in two relaxed arches behind him.

"Love what you've done with the room," Aziraphale said, gesturing at the rug.

"Spot of redecorating's fun sometimes," Crowley replied. "Is that breakfast?"

"Indeed. The young man who brought it congratulated us on our engagement," he told Crowley, setting the tray on the bed and sitting on the other side of it. The side with the omelet, because only someone who really liked food should get the omelet. Crowley gave him a grin that said he knew what he was doing, but contented himself with a sip of the mimosa close at hand.

"Course he did. I don't know if you're aware, but I am in fact a catch," Crowley said.

"Well, I shall work very hard to keep you, then," Aziraphale replied, tucking into the omelet. "Do you want to get married, actually?"

"Hadn't considered it, to be honest. Why, do you?"

"I don't see why we need the document, much as I do love documents. There's something romantic about being engaged," Aziraphale said thoughtfully. "It's the delightful tension of knowing that nothing's been fully established yet."

"No marriage, then," Crowley said.

"I think not, though if you wanted to I'd oblige, of course."

"Fair enough. Maybe someday, for a lark. Buying a wedding dress sounds like a properly demonic exercise," Crowley said, breaking off a small piece of croissant to pop in his mouth. "I think I'll keep my flat, by the way. The plants are settled, and I shouldn't want to be in your pocket constantly."

"Plus you know my visitors take time to settle in sometimes," Aziraphale agreed. "Having a demon living in the bookshop could be a bit much."

"Besides, there's always this gorgeous suite," Crowley drawled.

"Or the back of the Bentley," Aziraphale replied, sipping from the other champagne flute. "Oh, that's delicious."

"Are you serious? I was joking," Crowley said.

"Well, one must indulge one's fiance. It seems very cramped and impractical, but I suppose people do more with less every day."

"I'll take that under consideration," Crowley said, looking thoughtful. "Not much change, then, in general."

"I think a great deal of change," Aziraphale said, gesturing between them. "But all...spiritually. Internally. Not like that!" he protested, when Crowley sniggered.

"All right, angel. But we'll keep on as we have for the last three years, shall we? Only with more carnal pleasures."

Aziraphale nodded happily.

"And I'm to remind you it's linen this year," Crowley said. "What sort of linen does one give?"

"Traditionally handkerchiefs, I think," Aziraphale replied. "I was thinking some nice shirts for you."

"Black," Crowley suggested.

"Yes, dear, I have met you," Aziraphale replied. "But I shall keep the details a secret."

"And what would I give you?"

"Why, you'd wear the shirts," Aziraphale said. "Obviously."

Crowley laughed. "Low standards for gift-giving. I can do better than that. I know -- you need a new waistcoat."

"I do not."

"You do! That one's worn bare. Never mind. I'll surprise you."

"You continually do," Aziraphale agreed. He offered the last bite of omelet on his fork to Crowley, who leaned across and took it.

"Good, isn't it?" Aziraphale asked. "Keeps the energy up. We have the suite through tomorrow."

Crowley's eyes darkened to burnished gold. "Do we, now. You're too good to me, angel."

"Not yet, but be patient and I will be," Aziraphale promised him cheerfully.