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The World of Our Creation [An Omen of Imagination]

Chapter Text

A great many things happened in the twenty four hours preceding the Armageddon-That-Wasn't. An angel possessed a mortal body, a demon grieved, an unlikely romance between a witch and witchfinder resulted in the aversion of nuclear destruction, four of Them defeated four of Them, and together they saved the world by the very human nature of an eleven-year-old boy who had been born the Antichrist. And so, those two sworn enemies and old friends turned in the tools of the Riders of the End of Days, and shared a miraculous bottle of wine at a bus stop in Lower Tadfield. With All That sorted, things Went On.

 

“Well, I’m beat.” Crowley sank into the bus seat, body taken to its natural sprawl, albeit more wearily than normal. He winced. Had he had a hand in the design of bus seats? They were hellishly uncomfortable.

“The world nearly ended, my dear. I’m not surprised.” Aziraphale smiled sympathetically.

“Yeah, twice for me.” Crowley sighed and let his head tilt lazily to one side.

“Pardon?” Aziraphale asked.

Crowley rocked his head to look up at Aziraphale with a sad smile. “I thought you were gone, angel.”

Aziraphale blinked. Crowley’s bittersweet despair seeped into him where their arms touched in the narrow seats. “Crowley…” he whispered, returning the sad look with an apologetic one. He touched Crowley’s arm.

Crowley shifted in his seat and moved his arm so as to grab Aziraphale tightly by the hand, as if by sheer force of will, he would prevent Aziraphale from ever disappearing again. He glanced up at Aziraphale, his jaw set firmly. Don’t you even think about leaving me again.

“What made you… change your mind, my dear?” he asked softly, squeezing Crowley’s hand. “About Alpha Centauri.”

“Well, wouldn’t be much of a vacation if…” he drawled, trailing off as Aziraphale fixed him with a knowing look. “Alright. I was worried about you.”

“I won’t even think about you!” Aziraphale mimicked Crowley’s blustering tone.

“Hey…” Crowley narrowed his eyes at the angel. “I didn’t sound like that, did I?”

“Just so,” Aziraphale chuckled.

“Blimey. What a brat.”

Aziraphale sighed. “To be fair, I might have gone off with you, had I known…” He sighed again.

“What?” Crowley asked, flexing his fingers and lacing them with Aziraphale’s. What in the worlds could have happened that would make Aziraphale even think about changing his mind?

“Well… Just like I said, I needed to speak to a higher authority. The Highest Authority. I… I thought it would make a difference.” Aziraphale’s face twisted in disappointment.

“You spoke to God?” Crowley’s eyebrows lifted over his glasses.

“The Metatron.” Aziraphale pursed his lips.

“Ahh, the ol’ talking head.”

“Quite literally.” His lips were stuck in a frown.

“What’d the big windbag have to say?”

Aziraphale choked on a laugh. “Crowley!”

“What? They are.”

The angel shook his head with a sigh. “They said…” His expression grew pained, brows knitting together. “That the point wasn’t to prevent the war, but to… to win it.” His heart sank in his chest again at the very thought. Even though they had averted total destruction, it still hurt to think that all of Heaven, even… even God might have been willing to see the war through.

Crowley could see how it was eating away at Aziraphale. “What about… like I said - what if this was the plan all along? For us to… to thwart the end of the world?” He brightened with a smile.

“Could be.” Aziraphale tried on a smile.

“Angel… You never belonged,” Crowley said gently. “No more than I did.” He shifted in his seat, pulled himself up a bit and tried--failed--to get more comfortable. “I’ve seen the way you get around Gabriel.” He scowled. “That’s not respect for authority. That’s fear. Like a beaten dog.”

Aziraphale frowned and shifted uncomfortably. “The angels did get a bit rough with me, in the end…” He straightened his coat.

“What?” Crowley snapped, venom in his voice. “ Who got rough with you?”

Aziraphale glanced at Crowley, startled by his thinly veiled fury. “Oh, well…” He wheedled.

“Tell me, angel. I’ll see to it that--”

“Oh, Crowley, do calm down. Please. Let’s… let’s put all that aside for now.” He patted Crowley’s white knuckles laced over his own. 

“I’ll do it, you know. I doused Ligur with holy water. I’ll fucking do it.”

“You what?” Aziraphale eyes grew wide.

“Insurance.” Crowley grinned broadly. “I told you, angel! Told. You.”

“Oh my… You actually used it.” Aziraphale looked both awed and surprised. “What… what did it do?”

“Oh, it was horrible.” Crowley grimaced. “I mean, it was great, watching his stupid face slough off like--oh, you know that movie? Raiders of the Lost Ark?”

Aziraphale shook his head.

“How can you not have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark?”

“I run a bookshop, Crowley. I’m not one for movies.”

“Right--first thing we’re doing with the rest of our lives is watching Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Aziraphale chuckled. “You’re right, you know.” He smiled fondly at the demon. “We are on our side.” His smile brightened from within. For so long he had denied it. In the end, Crowley was right. Theirs was the side of choice, of peace. There would always be chaos, but that wasn’t so much devilish intervention as it was human nature. There would always be a little good with the bad, a little bad in the good. That was where they resided.

Crowley melted under Aziraphale’s soft glow. “Took you long enough.” 

“Some things are worth waiting for, aren’t they?” Aziraphale asked with a quirk of his brow.

“Some things,” Crowley muttered low. “I won’t wait another six thousand years for this.” He took Aziraphale’s cheek in hand and met his lips.

Aziraphale’s chest tightened at the tender confidence in Crowley’s touch, and his hand found its place over the demon’s heart. No more stolen kisses. This kiss belonged to them.

“We’ve got a lot of catching up to do,” Crowley whispered against Aziraphale’s lips.

“I think it may take a bit more than one night to amend six thousand years, my dear…” Aziraphale replied with a twinkle in his eye, cheeks rosy.

Chapter Text

Aziraphale wasn’t accustomed to this part of town. In the same way that his street had stayed old and quaint, hardly changed its facade in two hundred years, this street had gotten facelift after facelift--in no small part from Crowley’s influence, to be sure. Crowley was much fonder of the new, the sleek, the modern; his owned-from-new Bentley notwithstanding. It had become so antiquated as to be stylish again.

“I’m so sorry about the Bentley,” Aziraphale mused as they departed from the bus. The rocking of it had lulled them into a quiescent mood. The angel’s words seemed to come out of a fog left in the wake of everything that had happened.

“Hm?” Crowley was just as lost in the haze.

“You loved that silly old thing.”

“It was a good car,” Crowley said quietly. The artificial glare of the lit bus departed with a hiss, and the dark street enveloped them. “They don’t make cars like that anymore.” He was stuck on a loop about the Bentley. He didn’t know how to put into words how special that car had been.

“You can always miracle yourself a new one,” Aziraphale offered.

Crowley let out a deep sigh. “S’not the same.”

“I know, dear.” Aziraphale patted Crowley’s arm.

“Suppose it might be worthwhile--drive out in style.”

A grave quiet settled between them; the poised guillotine over their necks. Many things had happened, but something still loomed before them.

Aziraphale looked up at Crowley’s building. There was still a tailor on the street level. It had kept up with the times, in no small thanks to the demon who was their regular patron. Above, he could see the balcony that he knew led into a room full of luscious plants. It had been over fifty years since he had been to Crowley’s flat. He thought of the last time--it was during the blitz. Bombs and sirens outside; a warm bath for just the two of them. Crowley’s anger, pain, and suffering suffocating him. His chest felt tight at just the thought. That was the night he had pushed Crowley away again.

“Sorry,” Crowley said to truncate the silence. “Angel?” he asked softly. His hand found Aziraphale’s again.

Things were different now. Everything had changed. They were no longer bound by their stations. The thought terrified him; for himself, for Crowley. Agnes’ prophetic words rattled about in his head. Choose your faces wisely...

Crowley’s pensive look reflected his own. “Come on.” He pulled Aziraphale inside and up the stairs to his massive door.

“Crowley…” Aziraphale cut into the quiet. They had wandered like ghosts into Crowley’s flat. There was still a sizzle in the air, the lingering sensation that Something Had Happened.

“Hm?” The demon drifted about the kitchen and looked aimlessly in the cabinets. He didn’t have anything in them. That wasn’t unusual. Just gave him something to do.

“I’m… I’m ever so proud of you.” A smile bloomed on his lips as he settled on the good that had happened instead of the bad that was still yet to come--as was his nature.

Crowley took it like a punch to the gut. “What?” he spluttered.

Aziraphale beamed. “You really pulled it off in the end, my dear.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Crowley didn’t take compliments well.

“You did. I… well, it might have helped that I threatened you…” He chuckled.

“It was a low blow, even for you.” Crowley shot back with a frown. “Never talk to me again? Well, s’ppose that’s about right if the world had come to an end. Not much talking to be done during Armageddon…”

Aziraphale came up to Crowley and took both his hands from fiddling with the empty cupboards, holding them tightly. “ You saved the world, Crowley. Don’t sell yourself short.”

“I didn’t do it for me. I was off to Alpha Centauri…” he grumbled.

“Really,” Aziraphale gave Crowley that knowing look. “You’re not a very good liar, for a demon.”

“I’m not lying! I did it for you.”

That shut Aziraphale up.

“I’ve been trying to tell you, all this time. You were so… stubborn. You think I was trying to tempt you into hanging onto all this just for my pleasure? Think about it. When was the last time I bought anything?”

“I seem to recall you buying a Bentley…”

Crowley waved a hand. “Other than that.”

“Well, you did pick up the tab at the diner…”

“For you, angel.”

“You didn’t have to,” Aziraphale argued.

“I like seeing you enjoy things. Remember Rome?”

“You were quite cross that day.”

“And you offered me oysters.” Crowley smiled. “You just think back on all the meals, the outings, the perfect cups of tea…” He looked meaningfully at Aziraphale.

Aziraphale’s gaze drifted as he thought, remembered all those times together. Even during that year of tempting fate… Always--always Crowley had been focused on his pleasure, his enjoyment, his little indulgences.

“Y-you… you did all this… for me?”

“You never enjoyed any of that holy stuff. But this?” He squeezed Aziraphale’s hands, felt them solid and corporeal in his own. “These earthly pleasures, ” he teased. “That’s what made you smile.”

Aziraphale blushed. “I-I don’t know what to say, Crowley…” he whispered, brimming with emotion.

“Don’t say anything.” Crowley took Aziraphale’s face in his hands and kissed him.

Aziraphale was filled with such affection for the demon who had risked everything for him. He kissed him without a second thought, all those hesitations and worries wiped clean from his mind like footprints on a beach. He held onto Crowley like he was the only thing left in existence. It was only thanks to the depth of his love that there was anything left in existence.

Crowley finally parted their lips. Aziraphale removed his glasses, pouring his entire soul’s worth of gratitude and love into that serpentine gaze.

“I owed you the world.”

“Crowley…” Aziraphale kissed him again.

Crowley held his jaw and pulled back. “I mean it. For the things I did--”

“Shh,” Aziraphale urged through a smile.

“And all the things you did for me.” Crowley hugged Aziraphale tight.

His best friend felt small and brittle in his arms, and Aziraphale wrapped him up as if to protect him.

“I fell for you just as quick as I Fell from Heaven.” There was no point in pretending now. Aziraphale knew he loved him--but did he know for how long? They’d already screwed the pooch as far as their so-called loyalties to their respective sides went. They were traitors--in definite hot water with Heaven and Hell. If there was to be Divine or Infernal Retribution, it wouldn’t be punishment for being in love.

“Oh, Crowley.” Aziraphale blushed. His heart sang to hear Crowley say that. “Yes, but not when you Fell from Heaven,” he clarified. That was an awful long time ago. Surely Crowley hadn’t...

“I saw you, before. Before I Fell, and… and after. I saw you when She gave you that flaming sword and told you to watch the Garden. Never suited you, that sword. Not these soft hands,” he said, taking the angel’s hands in his own. “But no--I didn’t fall for you, then. Well, not really. Might’ve…” He trailed off, unwilling to admit he’d had a little bit of a crush on Aziraphale from the first time he laid eyes on him, even in his manic rambling. 

“Might’ve…?” Aziraphale was speechless. All this time… since the Beginning...

“Well, it wasn’t until you told me you gave it away that I knew. I knew you were different. You were special.”

“Crowley…” Aziraphale could hardly keep up. His chest fluttered with a mixture of pleasure and ache. 

“I never meant to Fall. I was doomed for asking too many questions, for… for… it doesn’t matter.” Crowley pulled back to look at Aziraphale. “What matters is… even though you never questioned the Almighty--not outright--despite how bloody clever you are; you had a heart. Not many angels can say that.”

“What do you mean?”

“What do I mean, angel? What do I mean? ” Crowley gasped, exultant. “I mean--take Noah and the whole great big flood. You were conflicted! An angel! In the old days! Conflicted!” Crowley laughed. “And- and, God, the Crucifiction? You wept for that poor sod. Even when you didn’t question the Almighty, you were questioning Her.” He grinned. “You finally got the balls to ask Her, really ask Her, what the hell She was doing, setting off this fucking war--and you got your answer.” He ran out of steam, and looked sorry.

Aziraphale let out a tight sigh.

“Hey--it’s not the end of the world, eh? We fixed that.” He tried to cheer Aziraphale up.

“I suppose… all we have left is each other.” Aziraphale said, looking away. His eyes darted back toward Crowley. The demon was smiling. Really smiling. Aziraphale realized he hadn’t seen Crowley smile like that in a very long time.

“I love you, Aziraphale.” He said it as easy as breathing.

“Oh, Crowley.” Aziraphale felt the pain of betrayal from his own kind, the fear of being untethered from Heaven, all swept away. “Of course I love you,” he breathed like a confession.

Crowley kissed him, giddy. Hearing those words from the angel was like the breaking of a new dawn. It filled him with so much life, all the trials and fear and pain of the last twenty four hours, the longing and self-loathing of six thousand years, became like a distant dream.

Chapter Text

Kissing was just like riding a velocipede. One never really lost the hang of it.

Aziraphale cherished Crowley’s lips on his after what felt like centuries. It wasn’t the gentle, bittersweet kiss stolen in secret. This was the kiss of true love wrought over millennia of hardship and pining. The no-longer-forbidden kiss.

Crowley’s fingers traced over his face tenderly, ran into his hair and held him like the precious thing that he was. The demon’s love blinded him, left him senseless to anything but that familiar six thousand year old body against his own.

He had spent so long denying the magnetic pull between them. Their orbits had swung wildly--so distant as to be invisible to each other, and so close as to burn and hurt. Now, the illusion of good and evil, righteousness and wickedness, had turned to dust. The truth laid bare: he had always loved Crowley.

He had been afraid of what loving Crowley might do to him. Even though, all those years ago, he had been swept up in Crowley’s confession, in his carnal desire, his physical demonstration of his love for him. Then, he had been too naive to fear what might happen. He knew they shouldn’t get caught--but how dangerous could something so mortal, so tethered to the earthly plane, be in comparison to their arrangement in which they traded miracles of both blessing and temptation?

Crowley had blessed him with carnal knowledge, and Aziraphale had tempted him for more. They really were made for each other.

As Crowley’s lips melted against his, they became like one, lips tumbling over each other as they fell into an embrace they had never quite forgotten.

When they finally remembered to breathe, it was because they had no breath left. Their bodies had moved on their own accord, and Crowley found that Aziraphale had him pinned against the far wall. To describe the look in Aziraphale’s eyes would have even made him blush.

“We might not have--” Aziraphale breathed.

“Shut up.” Crowley kissed Aziraphale hard, holding him by his lapels as they stumbled deeper into his flat. He didn’t want to think about running out of time. They’d been running out of time for eleven years. They’d been stealing time, biding it, denying it for six thousand years.

In their passionate stumble, unable to tear apart from each other, they knocked paintings askew and nearly shattered a ming vase before they made it to the bedroom.

“S-slow down,” Crowley gasped as Aziraphale’s fingers pulled at the collar of his shirt and kissed at his chest.

Aziraphale remembered himself and cleared his throat to compose himself. His clothes were already disheveled, one shoulder of his coat caught on his arm. 

Crowley helped Aziraphale the rest of the way out of his coat. “ You’re the one who said I go too fast…” he muttered, eyes downcast.

“Oh, Crowley, I’m sorry.” Aziraphale touched Crowley’s cheeks, lifting his chin. “I was scared… Of… of how I felt, and how I made you feel, and with everything…”

“I know, angel.” Crowley smiled. “That’s all over now. I’ve waited a long time to have you… I don’t want to rush now.” He fiddled with the angel’s bowtie, using it to draw their lips back together.

Aziraphale allowed his hands to smooth over Crowley’s chest. How he had missed feeling that lean chest under his fingers, almost brittle. The angel always found it remarkable how small Crowley looked without his coat. The lines of it accentuated his sharp angles, made him a jagged, looming shadow. As it fell away, Aziraphale saw someone almost fragile, gaunt, love-starved. As he held his narrow waist, he kissed the protruding bones of his collar.

Unlike most demons, Crowley dreamed. It was one of the benefits of having an imagination. Crowley had dreamed of Aziraphale’s lips on his skin for so, so many years. Those few months of temptation had only made the dreams more frequent, more intense. But his imagination paled in comparison to the soft realness of Aziraphale’s lips. He couldn’t feel love in a place the way the angel could, but he would have to be truly damned and scraped clean of any emotion not to feel the love in that touch.

Nakedness came easily to them once again. The touch of bare flesh was not sinful--it was ecstatic. Aziraphale drew Crowley into his lap and rediscovered every groove and curve of his corporeal form; the slash of his jaw, the serpentine coil of his ribs, the sharp plunge of his hip.

Crowley did not think his body was worthy of such angelic worship, but Aziraphale’s gaze kept him from saying so. It was that same brilliant fondness that shone out of the angel like Creation itself had blessed him. Like he was still worthy of Light and Love, like there was nothing wrong with being Fallen. Forgiveness.

He translated his gratitude into a tender kiss and pressed Aziraphale to the bed. His lips slithered over Aziraphale’s soft form, from the gentle cord of his neck to his plump hands and down his generous sides.

Their human-like bodies remembered the pleasure of the flesh. Crowley drew his angel further across silk sheets, clasping his hand above those golden-white curls as his thigh grazed between Aziraphale’s. His own quiet groan of pleasure as his cock brushed against the angel’s hip was lost under the vocal desire that escaped Aziraphale, Crowley’s narrow thigh pressed against his arousal.

Aziraphale gripped Crowley’s hand tightly, canting his hips toward the demon’s body as he turned his cheek away to welcome those devious lips against his throat. He moaned almost in surprise as he felt those lips latch onto him, sucking and working at a tender spot as he shivered.

“O-ohh, that feels heavenly…” Aziraphale moaned and bit his plump lip.

“Leaving a little love note for those bastards to see,” Crowley purred. A nip to the angel’s neck earned him another little gasp from smiling lips, and he eagerly went about leaving another sinful, loving bruise on that warm neck.

“Crowley,” Aziraphale scolded playfully, “you need not broadcast what we did after saving the world.”

“And why not?” Crowley husked in the angel’s ear, his wicked tongue tracing the delicate curves. “You don’t want them to be jealous?”

“If anyone’s going to be j-jealous,” Aziraphale’s breath hitched as Crowley rocked his thigh between his legs. “It’s your lot…” He turned his heavy-lidded gaze to Crowley. It had been centuries since Crowley had seen that sinful light in the angel’s eyes and it went right to his groin. “Spending a night of sin with an angel…” Aziraphale kissed him eagerly, rolling over on top of him so that he had a better angle at which to return the kisses to his throat.

The angel’s lips devoured him like he was a scrumptious treat, his tongue tasting every inch of his neck, suckling at pale flesh. Crowley hissed as Aziraphale’s teeth raked at his skin, hands gripped to his hips. The angel straddled him, and he thought he would lose it just from feeling that soft, milky flesh against his own.

“You can put those lips to work elsewhere, angel. You haven’t lost your touch, have you?” Crowley whispered with a grin.

“You said you were better at it yourself,” Aziraphale replied primly. “If I recall correctly.”

Crowley groaned. “I was joking, angel!”

“Why don’t you remind me how it’s done?” Aziraphale whispered in Crowley’s ear as he slowly sat up. His hand moved almost shyly to his own cock, letting Crowley watch as he touched himself for the first time in his view.

Crowley’s eyes were wild with lust at the sight. He practically jumped up and kissed Aziraphale. “Oh, that’s good, angel.” He wrestled Aziraphale to the pillows and caught his hand before it could leave his cock. Crowley encouraged it to stay put as he slithered between the angel’s legs, to demonstrate the “really weird” things he could do with his tongue. Pleasuring Aziraphale was a much better application than some of the uses he’d found over the millennia.

Aziraphale gasped, curling inward toward the pit of desire sunk into his core. His hand instinctively tightened around the base of his own cock, drawing a lewd moan from his throat. Had it always been this intense? He had forgotten just how Crowley undid him with that devilish mouth of his.

Crowley’s tongue was as nimble as his fingers, and a great deal hotter and wetter. It slithered around Aziraphale’s cock as he welcomed it down his throat until his lips kissed the well-manicured fingers at the base.

“Crowley,” Aziraphale moaned and shuddered, his toes curling in the silk sheets.

The demon let the cock slide deep down his throat until Aziraphale’s fingers were slick from his spit, then withdrew back to the tip with a moan. He felt the hard flesh throb against his lips and tasted Aziraphale’s mounting pleasure on his tongue. He might very well end Aziraphale right then--but he doubted their six thousand year desire would be sated by just one climax tonight.

Before Aziraphale could come, Crowley left his cock and wiped at his lips. He crept closer and straddled the angel, holding his face as he kissed him and lowered his hips, presenting Aziraphale’s slick cock with the curve of his ass.

“C-Crowley…” Aziraphale blinked up at him, surprised by this position. He looked scandalized.

“The thought never crossed your mind?” Crowley grinned.

“I-I thought you…” He blushed.

Crowley reached behind himself to grasp Aziraphale’s cock, guiding it against his flesh. “There’s time enough for that, angel,” he promised. “Let me tempt you.” He pressed back against Aziraphale’s cock and groaned as his body yielded.

Aziraphale gasped, going stiff as his hands latched onto Crowley’s hips. “Oh, fuck, ” he whispered as Crowley seated himself fully.

Crowley raised his eyebrows. “That good, angel? Never heard you curse,” he replied through heated breaths.

Aziraphale’s lust-glazed eyes drank in all of Crowley, from his flush, grinning face to his eager cock and pale, narrow body fully hilted around him. He couldn’t find the words to tell Crowley how sinisterly beautiful he was, how earth shattering this sensation was, how he wished they had forever been close like this. Instead, he kissed him hungrily.

Crowley moaned against Aziraphale’s lips, grinding his hips down under the weight of Aziraphale’s soft hands. He pressed his forehead to the angel’s as he eased his hips up, shivering as he felt Aziraphale’s cock slide out of his body. His arms wrapped around Aziraphale’s shoulders to steady himself so he could plunge back down. He craved all of the angel, and the eager pace of his hips said so.

Aziraphale had never seen Crowley so wild and raw. It wasn’t senseless, sinful lust. It was honest desire. This was the first time Aziraphale had ever been inside someone, but it felt so right to be buried deep in Crowley. Their bodies fit together like they were made to be joined. The pleasure was transcendent, unlike anything he had experienced--except, perhaps, that very first crepe he’d ever tasted.

The angel came undone in record time, shouting Crowley’s name and clinging to him. Crowley rode him mercilessly, nails raking through his hair and over his shoulders. Finally, Aziraphale had to beg him to stop, holding his hips tightly.

“Sorry--I waited millennia for this, you know,” Crowley told him with a chuckle.

“It’s… incredible,” Aziraphale panted. His cock was still throbbing, trapped deep inside Crowley. “You feel so good…” The angel nuzzled against Crowley’s throat, breathing deep of that woodsmoke smell of him.

“You can stay as long as you like,” Crowley purred, twining his arms around Aziraphale’s curls, holding him close.

“I want to know what it feels like,” Aziraphale breathed with a smile. “Once I… catch my breath…”

“Don’t bother. I’m just gonna take your breath away again.” Crowley was eager, but reluctant to quit this deliciously full feeling.

Aziraphale kissed Crowley’s throat, letting his hands slide over the ridges of his ribs and up his spine. If he had gone soft after his orgasm, he hadn’t registered it. Crowley’s hellfire-hot grip around him had him hard again and wanting more.

With a delicate moan, Crowley lifted his hips and let Aziraphale slide fully out of him. The angel kissed his chest and chased him back down to the sheets. He loved the hollow of Crowley’s stomach and the harsh lines of his pelvis with his lips. It had been so long since he had gone down on Crowley, he felt nervous all over again. He blushed as he kissed the firm flesh, looking shyly up at Crowley. The demon looked more at ease than he ever had in these intimate moments.

“Don’t be shy. It won’t bite,” Crowley promised with a smirk.

Aziraphale shot him a look. “Don’t be cheeky with me.” He took Crowley in his palm, watching as the demon flopped onto the sheets with a blissful grin, folding his arms behind his head. The angel couldn’t help but smile. It was good to see Crowley so at ease around him. Finally, after all these years of dancing.

He reacquainted himself with the once-familiar member. His questing lips drew soft moans from the demon, whose fingers soon wandered down to run through his hair. When he let Crowley’s cock between his lips, the demon’s groan filled the far reaches of the bedroom. His fingers tangled in Aziraphale’s hair, and his thighs tensed.

Crowley was already teetering at a dangerous height of pleasure, but he would make it last. This was worth saving the world for.

Crowley’s moans were riling Aziraphale up, making him more eager to give the demon all that he desired. He wanted to let Crowley inside him, take that final plunge that had been haunting them for centuries. Finally be together. He raised his flush face to look at Crowley, licking his lips as he crept over his prone form.

Crowley lifted himself up on his elbows and met Aziraphale’s lips tenderly, despite the fierce desire pumping through his veins. He rolled the angel over onto his back, and Aziraphale’s thighs found their natural place around his hips.

“You know how this works, right?” he teased.

“I’m an angel, not an idiot,” Aziraphale shot back.

“Just relax.” Crowley guided his cock against Aziraphale’s body and heard the angel let out a little gasp before biting his lip. He went slowly. He heard his breath shuddering from his own lips, heart pounding in his ears. The angel’s body accepted him, though it was tight as a vice. It was Heaven. Better than his wildest imagination.

Aziraphale’s fingers wove through Crowley’s hair, holding the demon’s brow against his chest. It was unlike anything else. He could feel Crowley slowly pressing inside him, becoming a part of him. Moans bubbled up in his chest, and he thought he might burst. As Crowley penetrated deeper and deeper, the pressure was almost too much. His breath hitched, and Crowley kissed his chest, squeezed his hip, and hissed softly. It was all he needed to be reminded that this moment was perfect--he was here, on the other side of the end of the world, with his best friend, and no one could stop them.

Crowley groaned as the last inch of him sank inside his angel. He wrapped Aziraphale up in his arms and just held him. The pleasure was immense--but not just the physical pleasure. The sensation of uniting their bodies, having every inch of each other pressed together, was the culmination of a desperate need Crowley had felt since the first time he’d laid eyes on the angel of the Eastern Gate.

“I love you,” Crowley whispered to Aziraphale.

Aziraphale turned his cheek toward the demon, feeling their chests rising and falling against each other. “Say it again,” he whispered.

Crowley grinned and rose up to look into Aziraphale’s eyes. “I love you,” he said more emphatically.

The angel’s eyes shone as he touched Crowley’s cheek, drawing his finger over the serpent mark on his cheek. “And I love you, you wily old serpent.”

“Did you ever imagine we’d wind up like this?” he asked, pressing his hips against Aziraphale’s.

The angel gasped and saw stars, fingers tightening on Crowley. “I-I might have let my imagination r-run away from me once or twice…” He smiled shyly. 

Crowley grinned down at Aziraphale as he sat up, watching that sweet face as he rocked his hips back, seeing the ecstasy he wrought in the angel.

“It was--ahh!” Aziraphale gasped as Crowley thrust back inside him.

Crowley paused and narrowed his eyes at Aziraphale. “... Were you going to say ‘ineffable’?”

Aziraphale grinned back at Crowley. “Possibly.”

“You are an idiot,” Crowley laughed breathlessly. “My idiot,” he growled. The following hours involved a lot less banter and a lot more ecstatic proclamations.

 

Chapter Text

“What do you think, my dear?” Aziraphale contemplated the wine in his glass as he ran his fingers over Crowley’s hair. He was feeling deliciously worn, thoroughly blissed, and the wine was helping--but the night was not yet over. There was still what was to come to worry about.

“I think,” Crowley said as he lifted his head just enough to slosh a bit of wine past his lips--though some of it ended up trickling down Aziraphale’s thigh--and sank back into the warm pillow of Aziraphale’s lap, “I think you should tell me which angels did what so I can kick their asses in particular.”

Aziraphale pursed his lips. “Before or after the trial?”

“Oh, is there going to be a trial?” Crowley asked, his eyebrows knit in mock concern. “It’s not gonna be a trial, angel. It’s gonna be an execution. Obliviation.” He sneered.

“But there’ll be paperwork. There’s always paperwork.” He sipped his wine nervously.

That’s the problem.” Crowley propped himself up on his elbow on the opposite side of Aziraphale’s thigh, not giving up his domain over his lap. “They’re gonna actually check the paperwork,” he groaned thinly. Rolling his eyes, he downed the rest of his glass.

Aziraphale frowned. “Awful lot of paperwork. Maybe it’ll take them a few days…”

“Well, it was nice knowing you.” Crowley kissed Aziraphale’s tummy. “Why don’t we just…” His lips crept further up Aziraphale’s bare chest and found their favorite place tucked against his throat.

“Do I need to threaten you again to come up with some brilliant plan?” Aziraphale asked. He pushed Crowley’s shoulder, and the demon relented to slump back into Aziraphale’s lap. “Let me think,” he murmured, resting his lips against his wine glass.

Crowley rested his cheek against the angel’s thigh. He could stand to spend his last few moments before total annihilation like this.

“What constitutes total obliviation in Hell?”

Crowley groaned. “I don’t want to think about that now!” He hugged his face closer to Aziraphale’s naked skin.

“Crowley.” Aziraphale’s voice dropped low, that rare voice of reprimand. He knew it was terrible to think of now, when they were so at ease, but things would not be so easy the minute Heaven and Hell got things in order enough to rain retribution on the two traitors who had ruined their lovely little war. He sighed and reached for the wine bottle, refilling Crowley’s glass.

Crowley found a wine glass thrust at him by a determined angel. He took it and sat up with a great, heaving sigh. Aziraphale smiled at him, and he found the strength to trudge on.

“So?” The angel looked expectant.

Crowley took a deep slug of wine and slouched back on one arm. “Well… I’d think they’d prolly want to torture me… Throw me in the Lake of Fire, flay off my skin, hang me by my wings for a bit....” His face scrunched unpleasantly. “Then they’d prolly have me working in the Files.” He went pale and finished off his wine, jerking the empty glass toward Aziraphale.

The angel dutifully refilled it, then his own. “If they’re going to obliviate you, they wouldn’t make you work in the Files, my dear,” he tried to reassure the demon.

Crowley tilted his head back and forth thoughtfully. There was some hope, then. “What about you?” Crowley winced.

“Well.” Aziraphale fingered his wine glass nervously. “Well, there’s going to be a trial in Heaven, of course.” He nodded, as if that would help make it true. “And… and I’ll tell them,” he puffed up, “I’ll tell them it was all for the greater good.”

“You tried that line already, didn’t you?” Crowley pointed with his wine glass. “Fat lot of good that did you, huh.” He slurped his wine.

“If they…” He didn’t want to think they would summarily execute him, but, “If they did find me guilty…” He swallowed and wet his dry throat with more wine. “I suppose the Almighty might smite me.” His smile was thin and pleasant. “Though She hasn’t seen fit to do so yet, ahem… There’s always… Hellfire. That would do the trick.”

Crowley looked sadly at Aziraphale. Even now, the angel held onto some hope that he would be absolved by a Righteous trial. He even summarized his possible destruction with his usual lightness. It broke his heart.

“You think angels would play with Hellfire?” Crowley drawled. The wine was making him muzzy and all this dreadful talk seem droll.

Aziraphale’s eyes widened. He put down his glass loudly and leapt from the bed.

“What? Was it something I said?” Crowley looked worried--but not worried enough to shift at all.

“Yes! Yes, my dear boy!” Aziraphale shouted as he ran over to his discarded coat. He shuffled through the pockets wildly and pulled out a charred piece of paper.

“Playing with fire !” Aziraphale shouted, waving the scrap of prophecy with eyes ablaze.

“Yeah, that’s what I said. It’s an expression.” Crowley waved his hand for Aziraphale to get on with it.

“If they’re going to play with fire, why shouldn’t we?”

Aziraphale looked downright devious and it was actually frightening. “Still not seeing it, angel.”

“Obviously I can’t touch Hellfire, but you can. You could bathe in it if you wanted to!” Aziraphale paced excitedly. “Oh, it could work. It could work.”

Crowley narrowed his eyes at Aziraphale. “What? I’ll just come up to Heaven, then, ‘Scuse me, Gabriel, actually I’m going to be taking Aziraphale’s punishment.’”

“Yes! Precisely!” Aziraphale babbled. “Well, not exactly. I mean, not you. You would be me, and I would be you, and they’ll be in such a tizzy they won’t even be able to distinguish--I mean, already our auras are confused from all this time on Earth, and what with the temptations and the blessings we’ve been trading all these years…”

“Hold on, hold on. Stop… pacing, for Go- for Sa-,” Crowley shut his eyes a moment. Why was this expression even in his vocabulary anymore? “For my sake.”

Aziraphale was practically vibrating. “That's what she meant. Choose your faces wisely. We can change our forms. Look like anything. Anyone. Why not each other?”

“You really think that’s going to fool them?” Crowley looked doubtful.

“Well, alright then. We’ll do a proper swap then, shall we?”

Crowley’s eyebrows lifted. “A proper swap? You’re… you’re mad, angel.” He laughed. “ That might destroy us.”

Aziraphale smiled knowingly and crept back to the bed. “We’ve already been inside each other, my dear.”

Crowley blushed. Hearing Aziraphale say it so plainly, with that devious, confident look in his eyes did things to him.

“I’ve already proved my competency with possession. I presume you’ve done it before.”

“Actually… I haven’t,” Crowley admitted and scratched at his cheek.

“Really?” Aziraphale looked surprised. “Your first time?” he asked slyly.

Crowley bristled and blushed. “Don’t say it like that!”

Aziraphale laughed and moved closer to Crowley and took his hand. “This is our best chance, Crowley. If we can withstand their punishment, show them that we’re not on their side, that we’re something… different--we can finally be free. Back to drinking wine at the shop and lunch at the Ritz. Everything we worked for.”

“I’m all for that, angel,” Crowley said, squeezing Aziraphale’s hand. “But what if…” He sighed. “What if it’s not as simple as that? I’m…” His jaw tightened. “I’m afraid, ” he said carefully--it wasn’t something he liked to admit to, “of what Hell has in store for me. Hastur likes to remind me damn near every time he drops by what he’d like to do to me. They told me they were gonna go medieval on me, Spanish Inquisition style.”

Aziraphale didn’t look deterred. “I’d do it for you, my love.”

Crowley was taken aback. “No! No. After all I’ve put you through--it was to avoid exactly this. Damnit, I will not let you go to Hell, Aziraphale.”

“Whatever it is--we always find a way, don’t we?”

“This is different. This isn’t sneaking around so our bosses don’t find out what we’ve really been up to. That game is over. This is answering for fucking up Armaggedon.” 

“They won’t be expecting an angel. My holiness can withstand whatever demonic torture they can come up with.”

“If it’s holy water, sure, but--”

“That’s it! They probably intend to destroy you with holy water! Let the punishment fit the crime…”

Maybe. That’s a big maybe.”

“I imagine Heaven and Hell will be cooperating on this. Yes, get a bit of mutually assured destruction for their little problem… Us, I mean.”

“It’s possible. I guess.” Crowley threw his hands up.

“Demons don’t have much imagination, Crowley. Present company excluded. And with everything that’s happened, surely they want it over and done with. Not some long, drawn out torture.”

“You underestimate the love of Hell’s favorite pastime.”

Aziraphale blinked at Crowley.

“Torture. I mean torture is Hell’s favorite pastime.”

“Well. Have you got any better ideas?” Aziraphale straightened and gave him that look. “One single better idea?”

Crowley met Aziraphale’s gaze with hard, serpentine eyes. He searched the angel’s face for anything--any way that he could convince Aziraphale this was the worst possible idea, any crack in his stubborn armor. But Aziraphale was pure determination. By sheer force of his will, he would make this work.

“Aziraphale,” Crowley said slowly. “This is a gamble. The biggest gamble there ever was.”

“I know, my dear.” Aziraphale smiled. “I can’t do it without you.”

Crowley wilted under that smile. He kissed Aziraphale, lingering, memorizing this moment, his smile, this kiss. He crystalized this moment, saved it, put it up as his mind’s background.

Finally, he withdrew and sighed. “Well, what’s the worst that could happen?”

“It’s not like the world is ending or anything,” Aziraphale said lightly.

 

Chapter Text

“Should we try it out?” Aziraphale asked brightly.

“Why do you look so excited about this?” Crowley whined.

“I’ve never been a demon before.” He was positively giddy.

“Well, I was an angel once. Not all it’s cracked up to be, honestly.”

Aziraphale gave him a sidelong look.

“Yes, alright. Let’s try it out.” He sighed, looking anxious. “How do you wanna go about this?” A little smirk crept up on him. “Maybe we should… be inside each other to really get inside each other,” he suggested with waggling eyebrows.

“I think any sort of physical contact will do nicely.”

Crowley looked slightly put out, but he conceded to merely hold hands.

“Right. Here goes nothing,” Aziraphale said.

The angel closed his eyes and concentrated on the feeling he’d had before, when he had been all spirit. He exhaled slowly, letting out all the unnecessary oxygen.

“Uh… how do you do this, exactly…?” Crowley asked.

Aziraphale smiled. “It’s simple, really. You just… let go. Let it all go. You sort of… become all of the spaces between electrons, instead of residing in just one spot. Leave behind this mortal coil, and become the flame of your soul…”

Crowley frowned and tried to become the flame of his soul. It was harder than it sounded. He’d been in this body for six thousand some odd years. The flame of his soul was quite used to being in the brazier of his body.

“I’m going to…” Aziraphale’s voice grew distant, ethereal like it had been when he’d been discorporated.

Crowley felt something. Not so much physically. Something was gently pressing against his Crowley-ness. His soul? He’d never thought too hard about what his soul felt like, but he could feel it now. A feeling of warmth, a presence of golden light, gently pushed him.

That’s it, he heard Aziraphale’s reassuring voice in his mind. Come on over.

It was cold outside of his body. Like a brisk winter day without a proper coat on. For a moment, he was half in and half out. And then he was out in the cold. He opened his eyes and regretted it. He was looking at himself and Aziraphale, sitting naked on the bed, hands clasped. Was that really what he looked like? God, he was skinny. Awful bag of bones. Couldn’t understand what Aziraphale saw in him. Gangly, bony…

“Go on, Crowley.” He heard the words in his voice, saw them leave his mouth. His damned snake eyes were staring at him. “Don’t stay out too long.”

He looked at Aziraphale. Peaceful, as if he were asleep. His head drooped, sweet eyelashes lowered, soft curls mussed. It was hard to leave his body, but it was easy to slide into Aziraphale’s. He wanted to be inside him, to inhabit the space of the angel he had loved for so long. He was actually looking forward to it. He dove in. Aziraphale’s body felt nearly as familiar as his own body.

“Well this is different. Oh my, your voice sounds so much deeper in your head, doesn’t it?” Crowley said in Aziraphale’s voice and laughed. He loved the sound of it, like bells in his ears.

“Good God, is that what I sound like?” Aziraphale asked in Crowley’s voice. “No wonder Shadwell calls me a southern pansy…”

“He calls everyone a southern pansy, honestly.”

“Don’t slouch,” Aziraphale told him. “You’re slouching, like you always do. It looks good on you. It does nothing for my…” Aziraphale eyed his gut with a little sigh.

“What?” Crowley looked down at himself, then positively keened with joy. “I’m so soft! Look at me!” he cried, touching all of his new, soft edges. He hugged himself, hugged Aziraphale’s tender body. “Ohh, good soft body. This is wonderful.”

Aziraphale’s smile glowed through Crowley’s features as the demon joyfully embraced his softness.

“Oh, that look has got to go.” Somehow Crowley’s pinched scowl managed onto Aziraphale’s face.

“What look?” Crowley’s serpentine eyes blinked wide.

Crowley laughed, bracing himself on his knees. “ That look.”

“I don’t know whatever you mean, my dear.”

Crowley howled louder, flopping back on the bed as unseemly guffaws shook his new, generous frame. “Oh, that’s too good. Oh, angel. Never change.”

“I look like you, don’t I?”

“S’a good thing we decided to practice,” Crowley gasped breathlessly. “You’re gonna have to try harder than that to get me down.”

Aziraphale let out an all too delicate grunt of dismissal as he shuffled off the bed.

“Where you going?” Crowley asked, tilting his head back to watch his body walk stiffly away.

“I want to have a look.”

Crowley rolled over and grinned at his backside as it retreated into the bathroom. “Not bad.”

Aziraphale stood in front of the large mirror that took up several feet of the wall. His soul fell into its natural resting position, hands clasped and stood straight. It looked so awkward on Crowley’s body. Even his face was all wrong, he noticed immediately. He adjusted his stance, tried to relax with his arms down at his sides, experimented with a tilt of his hips. In his mind’s eye, he knew exactly how Crowley held himself, but it was much more difficult to recreate than he anticipated.

“How do you do it, Crowley?” he called out.

Crowley crept off the bed. It was disorienting to be a few inches shorter than normal. And heavier. But it felt so comfortable. He could understand why Aziraphale kept this form, even if it was imperfect by angel standards. Hips didn’t move right, though.

“Do what?” he asked as he sauntered awkwardly in Aziraphale’s body.

“Look so… unaffected,” Aziraphale said with his usual delicate tone.

“First off. Hard to do this when you’re naked.” With a sharp snap of manicured fingers, Crowley miracled his clothes onto Aziraphale.

“You’re not wearing pants,” Aziraphale gasped at the distinct lack of underwear.

“Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Didn’t you notice? Nevermind.” Crowley waved his hand, the other planted on his hip. Nice, soft hip. Still didn’t jut out right. “Now--stop holding yourself up. Just sort of… slink down.”

Aziraphale tried to slink, but just ended up looking like a marionette with its strings cut.

“No, no, not like that.” Crowley stood in front of Aziraphale and adjusted him. Set his shoulders back but heavy, encouraged a hand into his pocket, canted his hips to the right. He gave him a once over--the concerned, thoughtful look on his face was good--then stepped aside so Aziraphale could look at himself in the mirror.

“Oh.” Aziraphale’s Crowley face brightened, looked amazed. “Oh, it’s you.” He grinned. “Now I just have to get used to this…” He looked giddy.

“Don’t look so excited. I don’t get that excited about anything.” Except you, he thought, but didn’t dare breathe aloud.

“Right, right.” Aziraphale exaggerated Crowley’s scowl and turned on his heel to face Crowley in his body.

“Now you look like you’re sucking on a lemon. Tone it down.”

“Sorry.” Crowley’s face turned sweetly apologetic and Crowley himself sighed. It was damn cute. Aziraphale turned the rest of the way around and tried to do the signature Crowley saunter.

“You’re just waving your hips around, angel. You gotta slink into it.”

“I’m not a practiced slink er, you know!” Aziraphale shot back.

“Stop, stop. Just walk normally.” Crowley watched. “No--normally. Like a normal person.”

“I am walking normally!” Aziraphale snapped.

“I look light in the loafers, but not that light.”

“Oh, you don’t need any help from me.” Aziraphale shot a withering look at Crowley.

“That’s good, ” Crowley purred. “There’s a signature look.”

“You can’t grin like that, Crowley,” Aziraphale tutted, losing his Crowley air as he worried.

“You always smile.”

“Yes, but not like that. You have to placate with your smile. Your smile should serve the viewer.”

Crowley grimaced in a very un-Aziraphale-like way. “I don’t like serving anyone.”

“You’re going to have to be polite to Gabriel, Crowley. Otherwise he’s going to know it’s you.”

“Fuck. You’re right.”

“Don’t curse!” Aziraphale cried. “Lord, that looks obscene on me.”

Crowley smirked and posed indecently. “Don’t tempt me, angel,” he said, and almost did a double-take on his own voice. “That’s so weird. Hearing your voice. Coming out of my mouth.”

“Go on then, Crowley. Do me.” Aziraphale prompted. He held Crowley’s body in his usual way, and somehow it looked daunting on the demon’s stature.

Crowley frowned and slumped, then snapped and dressed himself in Aziraphale’s clothes. He looked down at the bowtie, held out the edges of his coat. Then, he preened in Aziraphale’s best smile and clasped his hands in front of him, almost mirroring the angel’s own stance.

“Incredible,” Aziraphale gasped and stepped forward. He circled around Crowley, studying his posture and expression. He hesitated before he spoke, then dropped his voice low to a Crowley tone and murmured, “Oh, that’s good, angel.”

Crowley, in Aziraphale’s body, blushed and tittered. “Oh, Crowley, you wily serpent, you....”

“I’m not that gay, am I!” Aziraphale gasped.

“Sometimes,” Crowley shot back with a devilish smirk.

“Be serious, Crowley.”

“Fine.” Crowley adjusted himself again, this time his smile held Aziraphale’s gaze with that knowing look. 

Aziraphale smiled back at him, though his look was too warm in Crowley’s face.

Crowley tried walking about on the marble tile, smiling all the while. It took great effort to keep his hips still and his gait straight.

“Almost…” Aziraphale mused. “If you’re going to waltz into Heaven, you have to look timid.” Aziraphale gestured delicately with Crowley’s hands.

“Why am I getting all the critique?” Crowley gestured wildly. “You make me look like a fairy! Stop moving your hands like that. Act like you’re brushing away a fly--act like you’re brushing away Beezelbub.” He lunged forward and shoved Aziraphale’s hands down.

“I talk with my hands.”

“Not around angels you don’t,” Crowley noted. “You’re very prim with them.”

“What about you, then?” Aziraphale asked, fighting to keep his hands still. “You shut down around your superiors, too.”

“Not worth my time, really.” Crowley frowned. He didn’t like that Aziraphale could see through his disaffected attitude and pinpoint the reserve beneath it.

“Do you think you can muster a little timid respect for your angelic superiors?” Aziraphale couldn’t hide his concern. Crowley could hardly breathe the same air as Gabriel without sneering at him. Like he was now, just at the thought.

“Don’t really have a choice, do I.” Crowley said flatly. He looked Aziraphale up and down, wearing his body like a costume. “I still don’t like this, angel.”

“I know, Crowley.” Aziraphale wrung his hands, then took Crowley’s. He smiled down at them, his slender Crowley fingers around plump, manicured Aziraphale hands. He twisted the ring on his pinky. “I wish I could take this with me…”

“Special?” Crowley wondered, wiggling the pinky it was on.

“You gave it to me.”

“I did? I think I’d remember giving you a ring.”

“You remember that silly old Pythagorus--when he did that little magic show after he came back from Egypt. He did have a good sense of humor, then.”

“I still regret going with you. That’s what started all this “magic” nonsense with you.”

“It’s fun, seeing humans do those neat little illusions.” He wrinkled his nose with a smile and Crowley couldn’t help chuckling. “Pythagorus did the bit where he turned a clay coin into a gold one, in your hand.”

“Bribery works well for magic.”

“You gave me that coin. As a souvenir.” Aziraphale beamed. “I made it into a little memento.”

Crowley blinked at Aziraphale and felt heat rising up in him. “You’re such a sap, angel,” he spluttered to avoid fully feeling the rush of affection that assaulted him.

Aziraphale giggled. “Be nice to have a little of you with me down there.”

“You got my whole body to be there with you,” Crowley muttered.

“You’re blushing.”

“Shut up.”

“You are blushing. It looks good on you!”

“You mean it looks good on you. Don’t flatter yourself.”

Aziraphale squeezed Crowley’s hands. “What about you?” he asked gently. “Will you be alright, going to… going back to Heaven?”

Crowley stared despondent out of Aziraphale’s smile-creased eyes. “I didn’t really think of it that way,” he admitted in a hollow voice.

Aziraphale worried over him, wringing his hands, then drew him stiffly back into the bedroom. He retrieved their wine. “I think you might be the first demon ever admitted back to Heaven.”

“Dragged back, more like.”

Aziraphale pressed Crowley’s glass into his hands. “It’s changed, over the millennia. You won’t even recognize the place.”

“Mm.”

Aziraphale almost regretted bringing it up. But better to anticipate the worst of it all before the time came.

“This is fucking mad,” Crowley spat suddenly. His smile was incredulous and humorless.

“I know.”

“This could be the last time I ever see you.” His eyes darted over Aziraphale--even in his Crowley costume, the familiar look of soft concern shone on his face. Crowley’s expression crumpled and drowned in despair. “Come here,” he begged and hugged Aziraphale tight to his chest.

“Oh, Crowley…” Aziraphale kissed his blond curls and wrapped him up. Crowley’s body had always felt somehow small in his arms--now he realized it wasn’t the body, but the soul within it that felt small and in need of protection. “Everything is going to be fine. We’ve battled to the end of the world for this. They won’t stop us now.”

“You can’t fight torture, angel. You can’t win if you’ve been destroyed…”

“If you think I’m going to give up now…”

“I’m not giving up! But it’s all worthless if you don’t make it back.”

“Listen to me, Crowley,” Aziraphale said firmly and took Crowley by the shoulders so he could look into his eyes. “I will come back. Not the forces of Heaven or Hell could keep me away.”

Crowley’s eyes were full of despair, his borrowed face hollow.

“Believe it.”

Crowley took Aziraphale’s face in his hands--well, his face, with Aziraphale’s steely determination behind the serpentine eyes. How he hated those eyes. How could Aziraphale look at those eyes with such utter adoration? It reminded him of his Fall, of his past, his damned questions and sinful feelings and desires. But seeing Aziraphale looking out from behind those eyes reminded him that Aziraphale would do anything for him. “Just believing it doesn’t make it true, angel…”

Aziraphale looked surprised. Then he laughed. “How can you say that?” His holy brightness softened Crowley’s sharp features. “You’re a being of pure belief. Of course believing it makes it true.”

Crowley swelled with a mounting argument, then swallowed it back down with a bleak smile. “I hate all that new age belief crap…”

“It’s the oldest trick in the book.” Aziraphale lifted his hands to Crowley’s face, brushing his soft cheeks. It was bizarre, touching his own face, but seeing and feeling Crowley beneath it. “It’s almost dawn,” he sighed. “How shall we spend our last few hours on Earth?”

“Naked,” Crowley nodded, “with extraordinary amounts of alcohol.”

 

Chapter Text

“Should we try it out?” Now it was Crowley’s turn to ask the question. He was getting used to seeing his body from outside of it. “Be a shame to meet obliviation without trying it at least once…”

Aziraphale blushed, hearing his own voice husky in his ear. “You’re just being vain,” he teased.

“It’s not vain. I know what my body likes.” Crowley ran his fingers through Aziraphale’s hair, harder than the angel might have in his own body, and was rewarded with a contented sigh. He kissed his neck, guided his body down to the sheets with a firm grip on his hip.

“I can show you,” Crowley whispered, tugging Aziraphale’s head back to expose his throat. The angel’s breath hitched and he arched toward the demon’s questing lips. “And think of the things you can do to yourself…”

“It’s embarrassing,” Aziraphale breathed, tilting his head to see the strange sight of his own curly head pressing kisses to his throat. “I’m not a sexual creature like you.”

Crowley laughed. “That’s a lie.” He’d seen just how sexual a creature Aziraphale could be. He ran his hands down his borrowed chest, then over his thighs as he spread them. “Would you like a demonstration?”

“Don’t do lewd things with my body.” Aziraphale kept his gaze averted, but he could see Crowley sinuously moving his thicker frame.

“You let me do lewd things with your body when I’m on the other end.” He wasn’t sure why Aziraphale was acting coy now, after they had already thoroughly explored each other.

“That’s different.” Aziraphale didn’t look totally convinced, himself.

“Come on, angel. You don’t often get the chance to drive around that bag of bones.”

“I don’t want to, Crowley,” Aziraphale finally blurted.

Crowley stopped short and looked surprised. “Alright… you don’t have to… I just…” He softened and crept down onto the sheets beside the angel, watching him.

Aziraphale looked embarrassed and rolled onto his side, snuggling back against his own soft body. Crowley brushed his hair back from his temple. “Is it because--”

“I’m not pretty like you.” Aziraphale mumbled.

“What?” Crowley spat out, incredulous. He sat up and leaned over Aziraphale, trying to catch his gaze. “Aziraphale, you’re beautiful. Where’s this coming from?”

“I’ve never been the proper image of an angel.” Gabriel’s underhanded comments, his judgemental looks, came to mind. “I’m... comfortable, but... just… not pretty to look at.”

“You’re perfect.” Crowley couldn’t believe he had to convince Aziraphale of this. He grabbed the angel’s hand and brought it to his cheek. “You’ve got the angelic curls,” he said, running his own long fingers through the golden-white wisps, “the radiant smile,” he kissed his hand, “and you’re soft… ” He brought Aziraphale’s hand down his chest, resting it over his heart.

“But would you call me pretty?”

“If you like.” Crowley rested his cheek in Aziraphale’s hand again. “I believe I said ‘perfect.’ But those are my words.”

“What does it say about me that I could look like anything in the world, and I look like this?” Aziraphale asked as he sat up and looked himself up and down.

“It says you don’t care what other people think.” Crowley looked quizzically at Aziraphale and kissed his palm. “Or Heaven’s standard of beauty. I like that about you.” His brow creased as he kissed the angel’s wrist and laced their fingers together. “What’s gotten into you?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Seeing myself from the outside… being inside of you… Just thinking about you facing Heaven in such a soft body…” Aziraphale sighed. “I was meant to be a general in Heaven’s army…” He looked away thoughtfully.

“No, you weren’t.” Crowley took Aziraphale’s face in his hands, faced with those serpentine eyes of his own that he so disliked. “Were you ever that?”

Aziraphale sighed and smiled thinly. “No, I suppose I wasn’t.”

“Listen. I’ve never liked my eyes. Not once they got like that.”

“Really?” Aziraphale could understand the difficulty of wearing such eyes, but they so suited Crowley. “But they’re so expressive. They sort of change depending on your mood.” Aziraphale’s smile warmed.

“Would you call them pretty?”

“Yes. Yes, I would,” Aziraphale said promptly.

“See? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Crowley leaned forward and kissed Aziraphale’s brow sweetly. “I want you to see how beautiful you are. How I see you.”

Aziraphale blushed, looking shyly at his lap. “Alright,” he whispered, then met Crowley’s gaze again. “Show me.”

Crowley grinned and kissed the angel. “I always wanted to know what it felt like, from your end,” he admitted. “Back then, when you would invite me ‘round for a glass of wine and a little heavy petting.” His hand went between his legs, slowly stroking himself. The body was familiar, but the sensation of his hand, Aziraphale’s hand, against the cock attached to Aziraphale’s body, was new. Every touch was heightened to a level Crowley had forgotten. He shivered. 

“Never got to see you do this, though…” He hummed in pleasure as his borrowed body responded.

“It was silly of me, really. You know… I didn’t actually think it would cause such an upset if I did it myself…”

“I know,” Crowley replied with a smirk.

Aziraphale laughed. “But you played along.”

“I felt wanted…” Crowley’s gaze grew soft, his expression tender on Aziraphale’s features.

Aziraphale touched Crowley’s cheek. That expression did look beautiful on his face--if only because it was Crowley behind those eyes. “I wanted you,” he admitted.

Between the angel’s words and touching himself, Crowley felt his skin growing warmer, his heart beating faster. “Do you want me now?” he asked and bit his lip.

Aziraphale kissed him in reply. He welcomed Crowley into his arms, exploring his own soft edges with borrowed hands. His skin felt like velvet vellum, soft as kid gloves. He shivered as Crowley’s plump thighs straddled him, bolder than he ever was in that body.

“Touch me, angel,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around the shoulders he was used to having on his own body.

Aziraphale’s hands skimmed up his thighs, and he loved the way the muscles trembled under his touch, squeezed around his narrow hips. He kissed just below Crowley’s ear, in the little hollow of his jaw and heard the demon gasp in his light voice.

Crowley was amazed at how sensitive Aziraphale’s body was. Every kiss to his neck electrified his skin, awoke greater desire in his body. When Aziraphale’s hand found his cock, he couldn’t hold back from moaning.

“Your body is incredible,” Crowley whispered, dragging his fingers through Aziraphale’s hair.

Aziraphale hadn’t realized until now why Crowley always seemed in such more control of his pleasure. Every sensation was duller, as if his body were not quite wired right to receive it. He felt those fingers scrape against his scalp and he held Crowley tighter.

“Try out the tongue,” Crowley said with a grin.

Aziraphale let out a little chuckle. “I nearly forgot I had yours.” He sought out his favorite place to be kissed on his throat, where just beneath his pulse throbbed, and ran his tongue along it. Crowley moaned loudly and pulled at his hair to encourage him.

Pumping his cock, Aziraphale used Crowley’s tongue to lathe his chest with affections, even boldly tonguing at his nipple. That earned a particularly girlish cry from the demon. It was amazing the things this tongue could do.

“S-stop--don’t stop--yes,” Crowley begged. He had never gotten so worked up so easily. Aziraphale’s body was built different to his. Perhaps not with the intent of experiencing carnal ecstasy, but so much the better. To feel it now, he didn’t know how the angel could withstand him.

Aziraphale fed on Crowley’s delicate noises, increasingly eager to show Crowley just what he did to him. In a weird way, he felt like Crowley--he could all too easily understand what made him so devilish in moments like this. It was intoxicating to hear him moan and beg.

Crowley gasped and dragged Aziraphale’s lips back to his own, kissing him hard. It was practically bruising to Aziraphale’s lips, but Crowley knew what his own body needed to feel something. He loved how gentle Aziraphale was, but now he had a chance to show the angel what his body craved. He rocked his hips firmly against the erection between them and Aziraphale moaned against his lips.

Looking into Aziraphale’s eyes, Crowley dragged his nails down his chest. The angel shuddered inside his borrowed body, his breath caught in his throat. As Crowley’s hand wrapped tight around his cock, he treated his neck with teeth. Aziraphale moaned, his hand tightening around Crowley’s arousal. 

“Can I fuck you?” Crowley whispered.

“Y-you want to…?” Aziraphale didn’t know why he bothered asking. The answer was painfully obvious. “Yes. Yes,” he breathed.

Crowley pushed Aziraphale on his back. Somehow, the angel’s essence inside his body made it look softer. It had the same delicate poise as Aziraphale did in his usual form. He wasn’t used to seeing his sharp angles softened with desire like that.

Aziraphale felt long, not unlike a snake, as he lay on the bed, legs coiled around Crowley’s hips. It was odd to see himself, his plump, often timid form in such a position of power. He looked sexy--but that was probably just the Crowley energy suffusing from him.

Their bodies clashed together, Crowley with more force than he would ever use on his angel, and Aziraphale hungrier for more than he could usually stand. Aziraphale’s borrowed body sang with pleasure as Crowley’s hips slammed against his. He gasped as he felt Crowley plunge so deep inside him.

Aziraphale’s body didn’t have the stamina that Crowley’s own did, nor did it lack sensitivity the way his did. He wouldn’t last long. The sensation of the angel tight around his cock was too much. Buried deep inside his own body, Crowley reached his climax, utterly overwhelmed by the pleasure that ignited his veins. Stars burst in his vision, and for a moment he was sure he had actually gone to Alpha Centauri.

Aziraphale watched in awe as Crowley came with such abandon, groaning as he shuddered inside him. Did he look like that when Crowley pushed him over the brink? It was nothing like the dowdy, too-soft man he saw in the mirror when he dressed for the day. Maybe it was just Crowley who made him beautiful, but… he saw, if but for a moment, what Crowley saw.

Crowley collapsed to Aziraphale’s chest, and the angel held him there, chests heaving together. He loved the weight of his body atop him, covering him, pressed so close they were like one. Being on the opposite side of the embrace, he realized that he really could wrap the demon up. It made him glad for his chosen form that contrasted and complemented Crowley’s own.

“How do you…” Crowley sounded drunk. “Oh, Satan, that was good.” The demon tried to lift himself up, but his limbs were jelly.

The sound of Aziraphale’s amusement rumbled under Crowley’s cheek.

“No, but really. That was incredible. Is it… is it always like that?”

Aziraphale’s smile was very convincingly Crowley. “Yes.”

“I, for one,” Crowley was beginning to catch his breath, “am glad we tried it.”

“I feel much more informed as to the nature of being the demon Crowley.” Aziraphale’s smile was cut with just a tinge of pity. “Is… everything…?”

“Well, shit. Now that I’ve been on the other side of things, I remember what it was like to feel things as an angel.” Crowley shivered as he withdrew and flopped over onto the bed beside him. “Yeah. Pretty much everything is…” Crowley described mediocrity with a wave of his hand. “Even food. That’s evil.”

“Is that why you don’t eat.” It wasn’t so much a question as an observation. Aziraphale frowned. “But it… felt good.” He blushed and turned toward Crowley. “Different, but… good.” The angel brought a curious finger over Crowley’s chest--which was actually his own chest. “Now that I know what it feels like, I can…”

“I like you just the way you are, angel,” Crowley was quick to assure him. He didn’t want Aziraphale to feel like he had to change anything. But, knowing Aziraphale, he would do everything in his power to please him better and never say a word about it.

Aziraphale smiled at Crowley and relaxed with his cheek against his shoulder. “Crowley?” he asked after a quiet moment. “What were your eyes like before?”

“Where’s that coming from?” Crowley asked, eyes closed.

“You said… that you don’t like your eyes, ever since they changed…” Crowley had never offered up much information about his existence before he Fell, so Aziraphale had never asked. He was curious, but it seemed like a very private matter that Crowley would prefer to leave to the past. In his curious moments, he had read about some of the angels who Fell, and those who were lost in the first great Schism--he had some hypotheses about Crowley’s identity before the first war in Heaven, but he couldn’t be certain.

Crowley looked up at the ceiling. He wasn’t looking at the ceiling, but past it. He was looking past the haze of pollution, past the clouds and the atmosphere, out toward his greatest work. Once, those stars at been a twinkle in his eye. He exhaled slowly and let his eyes slide closed.

“Doesn’t matter. I’ve had those eyes longer. Should be used to them by now.”

Aziraphale snuggled closer, wrapping Crowley’s body around Aziraphale’s in a very Aziraphale way. “I like them. They’re very… you.”

“That’s all that matters.” Crowley smiled. “That you like them.”

Chapter Text

The wine had done little to curb the gnawing anxiety of the day ahead. Even the soft reassurance of each other’s still-corporeal bodies couldn’t dull the nervous energy growing within. As the city came awake, Crowley and Aziraphale dressed for their trials.

“I should really check on the bookshop…” Aziraphale murmured, though just the thought of seeing it burned to a husk, flooded from the efforts to quench the blaze made his chest ache. He supposed he could try one last big miracle to make it all right again, but… what was the use, if he might not ever come back to see it again? He didn’t want all his precious first editions, personal dedications, and notes to fall into the wrong hands. And it wouldn’t be the same, even if he did miracle it all back.

“Not dressed like that.” Crowley gestured toward Aziraphale’s current Crowley form, which the angel was adjusting with the delicacy usually reserved for his own bowtie.

“Oh. Right.” Aziraphale smiled thinly.

“I’ll go check on it,” Crowley relented. Might be the last thing he ever did. The image of the scorched corpse of a bookshop haunted him--reminded him of when he’d thought Aziraphale was gone forever.

“Really?” Aziraphale swelled up brightly. “Oh, thank you, Crowley. I would be ever so grateful. Just… let me know what the damage is like.” His brightness dimmed.

“Meet you at St. James park. Unless our people find us first.”

Aziraphale nodded gravely. “Good luck,” he said softly.

Crowley looked Aziraphale up and down. “We’re gonna need more than luck.” He grabbed Aziraphale by the sash draped around his neck and pulled him into a kiss. Aziraphale held his face tenderly, savoring the kiss.

“This is the part where we say tearful ‘I love you’s because it might be the last chance we get,” Crowley said as he looked up at Aziraphale.

Aziraphale searched Crowley’s eyes and saw his own, but Crowley’s sadness and longing reflected back. “Seems a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Preparing for all of it to go wrong.”

“Thought so, too,” Crowley said, with worried love in his eyes.

Aziraphale smiled sadly. “You look very much like me right now.”

Crowley’s lips quirked and he turned away. “Shut up.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets, Aziraphale shoulders uncharacteristically hunched. “See you at the park.” With a snap, Crowley disappeared.

 

Crowley arrived across the street from the shop. No one seemed to notice that a man in a taddy, old-fashioned tan suit appeared out of thin air--but that was Londoners for you. He stared across the lane at a remarkably unburned bookshop.

He squinted at it dubiously, not bothering to look for oncoming traffic as he crossed the street. For a moment, he just stood and stared at the familiar facade, minorly inconveniencing motorists by standing in the street, as per usual. He confirmed it was no illusion as he touched the handle of the door and let himself in to the cheery jingle of the bell.

Although he did not have the scrupulous mental catalog that Aziraphale did of his collection, he could see that everything seemed to be in order. Well, mostly in order. It was a great deal cleaner of dust, for one, he noted as he ran his fingers over a stack of books in passing.

“Those are new,” he mused over the first edition set of William books lined up neatly atop Aziraphale’s desk. Aziraphale was more fond of big, dusty tomes, but he would never turn down an opportunity to expand his collection of rare first editions. The appearance of these children’s books gave him an inkling of who was responsible for setting the bookshop right again--and it didn’t have anything to do with Heaven or Hell.

He wandered toward the back rooms, poking his head in one, then the other. There was one more important article in the shop he had to ensure was still there--three bottles of Chateaunuef-du-Pape, right in the alcove where they always were. He smirked. “Not bad, kid.”

It had been a long while since he’d been up to Aziraphale’s flat. There wasn’t time--but he wanted to see it. It might be the last time. He walked up the narrow spiral staircase and into the small room. It could have been larger, had Aziraphale wanted it to be. He could have ignored some of the spatial restraints of the nearby buildings. But he didn’t. Just like Aziraphale himself, it was cosy and packed to the brim with things he liked. Mostly books--quite a few of them cookbooks, despite the fact that Aziraphale never cooked--and a soft bed laid in a quaint, old-fashioned golden frame. Hooks on the wall held his favorite sweater, and a spare coat.

Crowley let his fingers wander over the worn wood of a dresser, the well-used shelf of a bookcase, touring the familiar surfaces he had not seen in centuries until he found a very old, very threadbare black silk cravat tied to the drawer of the bedside table. It looked suspiciously like the cravat he had left behind centuries ago, forgotten after a night of passion in Aziraphale's back room. That very first time, after Aziraphale had learned the gavotte. He smiled, bemused, and sank down onto the bed. Had Aziraphale kept this? All this time? 

He thought of the years they had spent apart. Drawn together, scared apart, two pawns in this cosmic game of chance. Maybe he wasn’t the only one who had been pining. Even after he banished himself from Aziraphale, caused him all that hurt by staying away… Aziraphale had kept some little piece of him near to his heart.

Crowley sniffed and rubbed quickly at his eyes. He stood up and straightened himself. This took significantly longer than usual, as there were many more layers to straighten in Aziraphale’s costume. “Right.” He set himself onward, on the path to possible obliviation.

 

Aziraphale felt very strange being in Crowley’s flat alone, looking like the demon himself. He made himself a cup of tea out of habit. It was all very normal--while being the utter opposite of normal. The air still carried this strange electricity, as if anticipation could be made tangible, like a held breath. 

He took his tea to Crowley’s study, drawn to his bookshelf. Quite a lot of astronomy, new and old. Funny. Crowley never mentioned much about his interest in the stuff. The books that weren’t related to the stars were botanical in nature. A couple cookbooks. And one curious volume--big and old with a worn binding, no title. How could he resist?

He put down his tea and gently slid the volume from its place. The cover held no more answer to the contents than the spine. It was a lovely old book. He opened it and found Crowley’s halting scrawl, the letters refusing to stay on their line, some higher, some lower. He scanned over a page and then quickly shut the book.

Dreams. It was a book of dreams. Crowley’s dreams.

He shouldn’t look. This was private.

But when else would he have the chance? These were potentially the End Times, at least for him and Crowley.

Aziraphale looked around, as if Crowley might suddenly walk in on him, then cautiously opened the book once more.

18 December 1666

Same dream again. This year is cursed. I’d sleep through it, but probably would just have this dream over and over again. Fuck.

That night. It was dark in the shop, but his hair caught all the light and still glowed. Always sort of glows, like a halo. Thought he’d still be mad at me for stealing that kiss. Ha. The look on his face…

But then he pushes me against the door and kisses me. Just like that. Bold as anything.

I’ll never forget that kiss.

Fuck, I keep dreaming about it.

He was warm and soft. Those lips… He tasted of sherry. We had quite a bit of sherry. But not enough to lose our senses. And he still kissed me. I couldn’t rightly control myself then, in that moment. There was a fucking Aziraphale parade going on in my head. Okay, not fucking--

What did I say? It was so fucking stupid, I don’t say anything in the dream. Gloss over that bit. I was out of my mind. Here he was, that brilliant, stupid angel, kissing me, of all people. He was sweet.

I was horny. My first mistake of the night. That set him right off, me having a cock. He’s bloody adorable when he’s shocked.

Then we’re in the back room. On that velvet number. When I dream about it, it all happens so naturally. Aziraphale’s got this look in his eyes. That look. I’ll never forget that look. When he realized he wanted me, when I

It’s all ballsed up now. Damn Hastur and damn Gabriel and damn the rotten lot of them. I’d damn God if I could, but I don’t think it works that way.

I just went for it. Why did I just go for it? Angel practically threw himself at me, and I’m supposed to be the good one and resist it? Fair’s fair. But… if I hadn’t

I’d still be near him. I could talk to him. Meet with him for a play. See his smile. Bring him chocolates. He likes the ones with nougat the best. Or was it cherry cordial?

I’m forgetting now. Prolly for the best. I can’t. I can’t. I CAN’T.

I’m haunted by him. I see his face everywhere and I run. I can’t run from dreams. Can I? Are demons supposed to dream? Some elaborate punishment from the Bitch.

This time… my imagination got the better of me. This time, I actually went through with it. He’s so delicate, simpering, but wanton, hot as hellfire as he takes me, begs me for more. It’s horrible. I woke up afraid that I’ve done it. Afraid that the Heavens open, and Gabriel comes down to condemn him, and the pits of Hell split the bookshop, and he just Falls.

Can’t be damned for dreaming, can you. Maybe take up opium, blot it all out. Couldn’t be too bad a time, eh.

Aziraphale’s fingers shook as he ran them down the page. The words swam in front of him. Seventeen years--this was from seventeen years after Crowley told him to stay away and left. A drop in the bucket of the millennia of their lives. But to dream so vividly of that night again and again, to be scared and alone…

He touched the book reverently and bit his lip. Just… just one more.

For the next hour, sunk in Crowley’s ostentatious throne, he devoured the demon’s dreams. Dreams of making the stars. Dreams of fond memories--usually featuring him. Nightmares of the early days in Hell. Dreams of imagined outings, of a world where they were not angel and demon, free from their loyalties.

His eyes were red-rimmed and damp when he finally resolved to close the book. He brought it to his lips, kissing the worn cover sweetly. He felt guilty for prying into Crowley’s most honest musings, but so grateful to have a glimpse at what he kept locked away.

Aziraphale stood and returned the book carefully to its spot. He wanted to read every page. He wanted to be there with Crowley in his dreams. He wanted to know more about his stars, his tortures, where his imagination took him when he escaped reality. But reality was knocking at the door. It was time to face it.

He left the flat and walked down the back stairs, stepped out onto the street and looked about. Everything normal. Everyday people going about their everyday lives, as if the world hadn't been on the brink of total annihilation less than twenty-four hours ago. As he walked toward the corner, his eyes swept the street and stopped. There she was. The Bentley. Good as new.

Aziraphale beamed. Oh, Crowley would be so pleased.

The thought of driving the thing didn’t even occur to him. He hailed a passing cab and directed it to St. James park.

 

Chapter Text

Crowley was just as relieved as Aziraphale to see that they both had made it. But their reunion was tainted with tension. Furtive glances over shoulders, nervously checking behind the other.

“How about ice cream?” Crowley asked. He hated to see Aziraphale so anxious.

“Yeah,” Aziraphale sighed. His Crowley impression improved under stress.

They both worked on their character walks as they strolled over to the ice cream stand, and Aziraphale asked for their usual--strawberry lolly for him, vanilla with a flake for Crowley.

“How’s the car?” Crowley asked, hands clasped behind his back with Aziraphale poise. If the bookshop had been restored, then perhaps the world at large had been, including his beloved Bentley.

“Not a scratch on it,” Aziraphale replied lightly in Crowley’s voice, watching over the demon’s shoulder. “How’s the bookshop?”

“Not a smudge.” Crowley’s smile was firm and serious. “Not a book burned. Everything back just the way it was,” he said as he paced around Aziraphale to subtly scan the park. He took the vanilla cone from Aziraphale with a moment’s hesitation. Aziraphale usually ate the strawberry lolly, and he the vanilla with a flake. So, if he was in Aziraphale’s body, shouldn’t he eat the strawberry lolly--oh, fuck it. It was the end of the world. No one but each other knew the other’s favorite ice cream, for Christ’s sake.

“Have you heard from your people?” he asked Aziraphale.

Aziraphale shook his head, shoulders tense. “Yours?”

“Nothing,” Crowley murmured.

“Do you… understand what happened yesterday?” Aziraphale mused, his Crowley impression thoughtful. Of all the things they had spoken of and done the night before, the very fact that the events of yesterday had happened had not come up.

“Well, I… understand some of it,” Crowley offered. “But some of it…well, it’s just a little bit too--”

“INEFFABLE,” said Death.

“Oh that’s-- that’s funny, seeing him here. That’s meant to be bad luck,” Aziraphale babbled while not finding it funny at all.

Death vanished back into the ether of everything with a fog of black promise.

“It’s meant to be… be…” Aziraphale’s heart dropped in his chest. He whirled around wildly, unsteady in his gangly borrowed body, just in time to see Crowley being dragged off by a couple of angel brutes.

“Renegade angels all tied up with string,” said Uriel coquettishly.

“These are a few of our favorite things,” finished Sandalphon with a glint of his awful smile.

God, Aziraphale hated them. Crowley’s name threatened to come spilling out of his lips, but he swallowed it down with a shout, “Stop! Stop them!”

He barely managed three steps before he was knocked to the ground by a vicious blow to the back of his head. Crowbar, something heavy and metal, wielded with demonic force, he registered vaguely. A crow-bar for Crow-ley. Funny. Was it funny? About as ‘funny’ as seeing Death in St. James park. His head spun and he tried to blink through the stars swimming in his vision, ears ringing.

It was happening. They had come for them. And so far, the plan was working. They’d taken Crowley disguised as him, and now, Aziraphale checked with muzzy, fading consciousness, the Dukes of Hell had come for him.

“It’s not a problem. It’s… tickety… boo…” He hadn’t meant to say it out loud. Then, he said nothing as consciousness failed him.

 

Aziraphale came to in a familiar foyer. The world came back to him slowly. First, there was pain. His skull throbbed where Hastur had struck him, and his shoulders screamed. He was being dragged, boots scuffed from the pavement, held by Hastur on one bicep, and Dagon on the other.

His head lolled uselessly between them. There was someone walking in front of them in a bright red raincoat. Pepper? His addled brain wondered. The figure turned. It was the shorter, altogether more horrible demon with a ruined face. He jerked back from the awful sight and thrashed only to find his wrists were bound together.

“Morning, sunshine,” Dagon said with sick pleasure.

“Your chariot awaits,” spat Hastur as he gripped his arm hard enough to bruise. They tossed him into the elevator that went Down, and he smashed against the corner like a doll thrown by a petulant child.

Aziraphale groaned and turned himself over, slumped in the corner of the elevator. The finish of Crowley’s boots was absolutely ruined. The angel winced. He’d have to miracle those better. If he got out of this alive.

Hastur, Dagon, and the ruined child stepped in after him. Dagon stood stiff as a soldier at attention, smiling at the doors as they closed. Hastur glared down at Crowley--or what he thought was Crowley.

Now everything hurt. His head, his arms, his knees. He still wasn’t quite right, but enough to roll his head back and meet the furious gaze of Hastur. “Did you just… drag me through London? Are you mad?

“I’m furious!” Hastur snapped.

“Not what I meant.” Aziraphale smacked his lips.

“You…” Hastur went from barely contained anger to boiling over in the blink of an eye. “You always act like you’re better than us! Smarter! You piece of shit.” Hastur kicked Aziraphale in the ribs. The angel crumpled, the wind knocked out of him. “Not anymore!” Hastur shouted.

Dagon rolled their eyes.

“Now you’ll get what’s coming to you!” Spittle flew from Hastur’s foaming lips. “You’ll get what you fucking deserve! For- for destroying Ligur, for fucking up everything-” he kicked Aziraphale again, “-we-” another kick, “-worked for!”

Aziraphale wheezed and instinctively curled his knees to his chest, unable to protect himself with his bound hands. He coughed and squeezed his eyes shut. It’s not like he hadn’t expected this. He expected a lot worse. This was only the beginning.

“You had one job!” Hastur was not abated by the traitor’s fetal position. He aimed for a kidney this time.

“Alright, enough, Hastur,” Dagon intervened. “Lord Beelzebub will be pissed off if you beat him to hell here.”

Hastur’s chest heaved, hackles raised. He swung wildly to look at Dagon. “Piss off. This is personal.”

Dagon’s eyes flashed and they swiftly backhanded Hastur. “We all want a piece of Crowley, Hastur. Lord Beelzebub will deliver the punishment.”

Hastur still had fire in his eyes, but he acquiesced. Dagon outranked him, and they were Beelzebub’s right hand. He would be on the chopping block, too, if Dagon said the word.

“Ha…” Aziraphale wheezed. He grinned through the pain. “Ha.. ha…” he laughed weakly, coughed, then let out a proper laugh. “Hahaha. That’s right, Hastur. Better watch yourself, or Daddy’s going to be cross…” Even beat to hell, Crowley wouldn’t have given up the chance to mock Hastur.

Hastur went blind with rage. “You little…!” he growled and lunged at Aziraphale with hands clenched into claws.

Dagon grabbed Hastur before he could reach him and pushed him against the far wall. “You,” they turned on Aziraphale, “shut up. And you,” their sharp eyes snapped to Hastur, “shut up.” Dagon straightened their clothes, and the neat tourist outfit changed instantaneously into their Hell attire; tattered suit and high, ruffled collar. “For Satan’s sake,” Dagon muttered.

“That dress suits you,” Aziraphale croaked at Hastur.

“Shut up!” Hastur shrieked and swiftly changed into his usual rotting trenchcoat.

Aziraphale was having a bit too much fun being a demon.

As the elevator descended, it grew hotter and hotter. The air was suffocating, and the metal walls burned. Crowley’s body didn’t react to it--except for muscles minutely relaxing in the heat--but Aziraphale was sweating.

“Get up,” Dagon said. The child with the ruined face grabbed Aziraphale’s arm and yanked him to his feet. Aziraphale staggered and winced, pulling his arm away from the little hand. He pitied the poor thing, and scolded himself for being repulsed.

“Walk,” Hastur growled and shoved Aziraphale out of the elevator. They entered into a dank hallway lit with flickering fluorescent lights. It wasn’t much to look at--certainly not the fire and brimstone, the lakes of flame and pits of wailing lost souls, he had expected. But he could feel the evil of the place. The suffering of humans and demons alike seeped into his bones. He shuddered as he marched ahead of the gloomy procession.

“You’ll wait in this cell until Lord Beelzebub is ready,” Dagon said.

The cell looked ordinary, a few stained feet of concrete behind grimy iron bars. Aziraphale felt a flash of dread. Something he had read. Crowley’s nightmares. He tensed and dug his heels in. He knew what he would see when they locked him in that cell. 

“No… nonono…” He shook his head.

“Oh, yes.” Hastur’s smile split like a wound across his face and he shoved Aziraphale inside. The iron bars shrieked as the gate closed behind him. “Sweet dreams, Crowley…” Hastur sneered before he turned to walk away with Dagon and the ruined child.

Aziraphale’s chest was tight, his breath coming in sharp bursts. He grimaced and gripped his hands into tight fists. No. No, he shouldn’t see this. He had read about it, and only in vague terms, but that was different than...

“Lucifer… What have you done?” Crowley-who-was-not-yet-Crowley asked.

“I’ve set us free, brother.” The angel Lucifer was excruciatingly beautiful. Golden cornsilk hair tumbled from his glittering crown, falling in waves over his broad shoulders; now tangled and wild and singed at the ends. One of his eyes was the most delicate purple, like bellflowers, and the other had become a black ruin.

“I-I didn’t know. I didn’t know this was… This wasn’t what you meant! You have to tell Her that!” Crowley’s voice was laced with fear, wracked with sorrow.

“Oh, my sweet Raphael…” Lucifer whispered and took his face in his hands. “This is part of it. You are part of it. She meant this for you. It is ineffable.”

“She…” The vision grew blurred with tears, then cleared again as they streamed down his cheeks.

“YOU WHO SO QUESTIONS ME--BEGONE FROM MY CREATION!” God’s voice was terrible and cracked the Heavens and the earth.

“I will rule my own Kingdom.” Lucifer was calm. “With those loyal to me.” He turned to smile sweetly at Raphael.

Raphael’s voice caught in his throat. He could feel the ground below him ripping apart. It was not the earth as it would be. Eden was but a twinkle in the Creator’s eye. But it would swallow him up. Raphael knew the doom coming for him. He clung to Lucifer’s arm desperately.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do this,” he begged.

“You love me, don’t you, brother?”

“Of course I do.”

“Then Fall with me.”

Raphael was struck by a bolt of light that consumed him in flame. He was ripped away from Lucifer. 

Please, let him forget me.

The flames roared around him, screamed so loud Raphael could not hear his own shrieks of torment, and he burned. 

Please, forget me. Please.

The horrible flames burned away his wings, his hair, his skin, charred his bones, and he could feel every moment of it. 

Forget me.

Every inch of him was cleansed by holy flame until nothing was left but the torment of existence. Slowly, as he Fell, surrounded by the screams of his fellow Fallen echoing in the void around him, he was put back together. 

Please. I ask for nothing else. Let him forget me.

Being stitched back together piece by painful piece was no less excruciating than being ripped apart. Every fiber of him was raw and new. He was cold. So cold. And still burning. Still burning. Still burning.

Please. Please. Please.

Aziraphale retched and slumped against one of the filthy walls of the cell. He shook, his palms raw from digging fingernails. Oh, God… Raphael--that’s who Crowley had been. Before the Fall. Aziraphale had never dreamed of what it would be like to be cast out of Heaven, to have been one of the damned in that fateful time before Eden.

Raphael… he had known Raphael. It was such a very long time ago. His memories before Eden were fuzzy, half-remembered glimpses into that idyllic time. Raphael--a vision of blood red hair in waves around a kind smile and eyes that shone with the majesty of the celestial heavens. His eyes… he could remember his eyes…

To be damned was to lose the love of God. To Fall was to suffer for eternity. The vision was more than a vision. It was sensory. Aziraphale could feel himself burning. Still burning. The flames tearing away his flesh, consuming his wings. He trembled and shut his eyes. They flew open again, as he feared seeing those flames again.

No, he could not be afraid. He would embrace this fear, this pain. 

Aziraphale would not wilt in the face of Crowley’s painful memories. He would not let this shake his resolve. He had promised Crowley that he would withstand anything--even eternal torment. This was only the beginning, and Aziraphale would face it with the fervor of his love for the demon.

The vision began again, and Aziraphale steeled himself. However many times, however many tortures, he would withstand it for hope. There was always hope.

The torture stretched on for what felt like an eternity. Again and again he relived Crowley’s Fall, the agony and despair of being shunned from the God’s embrace, the fear and heartbreak of the angels he left behind, the desperation to be forgotten. Finally, two demons came to fetch him, to deliver him to the trial and total obliviation. The promise of destruction felt like a reprieve.

“Bring in the traitor!”

Aziraphale’s brow was heavy and dark, haunted by the lingering sensation of burning, still burning, as he was led into the grim courtroom. The dukes of Hell flanked the prince themself, Beelzebub, before an eager audience gathered behind glass. They looked on at the proceedings and the gleaming, ominous, empty bath tub. 

All was going according to plan. His survival was ineffable. Time to put on a show.

Chapter Text

It took maximum effort on Crowley’s part not to shoulder-check Sandalphon and crush Uriel’s foot under his fine leather loafer as the angel brutes muscled him bodily into the elevator that went Up.

“We haven’t had a Retribution in some time, have we, Uriel?” Sandalphon keened in his nasal voice.

“Too long, I say,” Uriel replied.

Crowley fought back a sneer with mixed results. His mouth was still covered, which helped.

“You’re lucky Gabriel wanted to see to this personally,” Sandalphon said.

“I suggested we throw you straight to Hell and see how far your boyfriend’s infernal reputation got you.” Uriel smirked.

Crowley made use of Aziraphale’s expressive eyes and some mumbled pleading to request he be un-gagged.

“What’s the traitor got to say for himself?” Sandalphon asked.

Uriel smirked. “Alright. But keep in mind that anything you say may be used against you during your trial.”

“I just wanted to say, demons can be nice people,” Crowley said in Aziraphale’s airy tone. “Unlike you two chucklefucks.”

The two angels gasped and spluttered, their voices running over each other as they admonished him for such foul language. 

“How dare you-” 

“Such language!” 

“Truly demonic!”

“You just wait until I tell Gabriel what you said!” Afterwards, an awkward silence filled the elevator.

“So… what’s it going to be, then?” Crowley asked. “A good, old fashioned smiting? Hardly need an audience for that. Bit tacky, don’t you think?”

“Oh, you’ll see,” Uriel sneered.

“You’ll see.” Sandalphon beamed.

It was blinding in Heaven. Crowley longed for his sunglasses to shield his eyes from the holy light pouring out. If head office looked this bright, he shuddered to think of what Heaven proper looked like. All he remembered from his last glimpse of Heaven was the light fading into a distant pinpoint as he Fell into the abyss.

As he was inhabiting Aziraphale’s body, it didn’t actually hurt him. But he was seething just beneath the surface. Keeping up the pleasant, timid Aziraphale act was wearing on him.

Uriel and Sandalphon shoved Crowley-as-Aziraphale into the singular chair in the massive room. His instinct was to jump back up to his feet and deck them both. He was beginning to suspect a particular aggressor that Aziraphale had as of yet refused to name.

Uriel took great pleasure in tying his wrists tightly to the chair, as evidenced by the sharp look in their eye. Then they and Sandalphon moved to stand at attention in their prim suits, smiling smugly. Crowley recognized Gabriel’s footfalls behind him. Gang’s all here. Except for Michael. He would have expected Michael to be here.

No crowd, though. Not a jury or witnesses in sight. Whether this was because of pride in their conviction of the accused, or shame for the angel who had become a traitor, he wasn’t sure. Less spectacle, but somehow less righteous, in his eyes. Why should they hide the trial of a traitor? He was sure there was a crowd in Hell.

Crowley twisted his wrists in the silly rope bonds. The glint of Aziraphale’s ring on his finger caught his eye. He hoped the angel was faring as well as he was. Somehow he doubted it. The cold fear constricting around his insides only fueled the fire in his blood.

“Ah, Aziraphale.” Gabriel clapped him on the shoulder and it was all he could do not to lunge forward with his skull to smash his smug face in. He wouldn’t pretend to be timid for Gabriel. He would show Gabriel the cold, thinly veiled hatred he deserved. “So glad you could join us.”

Crowley bit back all the venom he wanted to spit at the archangel. “You could have sent a message. I mean, a kidnapping in broad daylight.”

Gabriel opened his arms broadly. “Call it what it was: an extraordinary rendition.” He chuckled. “Now, have we heard from our new associate?”

“He’s on his way,” Uriel said.

Gabriel clenched his fist with a giddy smile. “He’s on his way. I think you’re going to like this.”

Crowley carefully fixed his face into wide-eyed curiosity, interest almost.

“I really do,” Gabriel said as he stepped forward, hands clasped as if in prayer. “And I bet you didn’t see this one coming.”

Crowley swallowed down the pit in his gut. He worried about the fate ahead of him. Would their hypothesis prove true? Aziraphale was clever. Terribly clever. But, would their plan actually work? The moment of truth was coming.

“So, a trial, then?”

“Oh, we’re way past that, sunshine.” Gabriel smiled with cold promise. “You should know how we do things around here!” He chuckled and rubbed his hands together.

Crowley was all too familiar with how things were done Up Here. One wasn’t so much tried as accused, and once an accusation had been put forward, it was already over. God had hardly a second thought about casting Her too curious angels out. But that had been a long time ago. God had seemed to turn over a new leaf after allowing the death of Her own son for the sins of the people She created.

Apparently Her loyal angels hadn’t gotten the memo. For fuck’s sake, Hell had trials. This might have had more to do with the number of lawyers who ended up down there, and perhaps some devilish inspiration for the whole legal system touted by so-called civilized nations, but nevertheless. At least they asked questions and went through the motions.

“Your actions have already been considered, and there is no question. The scales are tipped against you. Lying to your superiors about your involvement with the demon Crowley, sabotaging Armaggedeon, corrupting the Antichrist… the list goes on.”

“Well, go on,” Crowley goaded Gabriel with a thin smile.

Gabriel bristled. “I would say there’s no time for all that, but because of you, there’s all the time in the world!” His purple eyes burned with unspent rage that had been building with the promise of a war on the horizon. The ranks were still tetchy about getting all fired up and then being told to put down their weapons, there wouldn’t be the war they were promised. It was beyond taxing and had put Gabriel, ever forcibly cheery, in a foul mood.

“You don’t want to rub in all of my failures? That’s new for you, Gabriel.” Careful, he told himself. You are Aziraphale, the ever timid angel in the eyes of Gabriel. Act the part.

Gabriel’s eyes widened and his nostrils flared in barely-concealed fury. “That mouth of yours…” A strangled, cheerless laugh managed out of his throat.

“You should have heard what he said to us in the elevator, Gabriel,” Sandalphon mewled, his lip curled.

“It doesn’t bear repeating,” Uriel sniffed.

“You really have Fallen from grace, haven’t you?” Gabriel looked incredulous. “This… betrayal… I wonder how long you’ve been planning this.”

“You have no idea,” Crowley said quietly.

“You… snake!” Crowley’s eyes widened a bit, but he forced an Aziraphale smile on his lips. “You ungrateful, spiteful little…” Gabriel’s hands tightened, muscles bulging against the tailored arms of his coat. “And what? Do you think they’ll welcome you with open arms in Hell? Oh, no. They hate you just as much as we do. You and your little… demon friend.”

“Boyfriend,” Uriel coughed.

“Boyfriend?” Gabriel asked, then looked aghast. “I wouldn’t be surprised! You disgust me. You’ve been sneaking around behind Heaven’s back… God sees all, Aziraphale. You can’t hide anything from Her.” He blazed with righteous glory.

Crowley glanced upward, a little nod to God. She hadn’t smote him yet. That was his one saving grace.

“Well. Given the circumstances, obviously we’re not going to cast you out. We’re going to destroy you,” Gabriel said cheerfully. “Prepare the containment area!” he called out.

Two angels, just little things, bore a basket between them proudly. They set the basket down, as if to have a picnic, between the accusers and the accused. They smiled at Gabriel in unison, and the archangel waved them to continue. With a shared smile between them, they began to withdraw white stones from the basket. One by one, they placed them carefully in a circle. As they began to close the circle, they consorted with each other, adjusting the stones just-so.

It was all very quiet, except for the little murmurs between the two angels. Gabriel shifted with subtle eagerness. Uriel looked bored. Sandalphon stared a little too fondly at the young angels.

Crowley concealed a smile behind tight lips. Aziraphale may have just saved their eternal souls.

The young angels finished their work and beamed at Gabriel. “The traitor’s circle is complete,” said one.

“May we stay and watch his righteous obliviation?” the other asked.

“I don’t think such a sight is fit for two such pure souls as you,” Gabriel said sweetly. “Run along.”

“Aww,” complained one of the boys.

“As you wish, Archangel,” said the other politely, curtseying with his basket.

The two boys shot a furtive glance at Crowley. The demon grimaced through a smile and gave them a little wave. They were, honestly, innocent in this whole ordeal, even if they had set the stage for his demise. Fucking Heaven--it was all so… innocent.

Gabriel watched the two depart, then smiled officiously at Crowley. “They’ll be up for Principality with you gone,” he said pleasantly. “Now. It’s time we got this show on the road, isn’t it?” He glanced toward the door through which Uriel and Sandalphon had dragged him in. “Come in,” he called over Crowley’s head.

Crowley heard loping steps advance across the marble. Then, “Don’t get this view down in the basement.”

Crowley raised a brow at the familiar voice of one of the Disposable Demons. They had a lot of them, built of the same stock--hence the “disposable” part. The demon came into view and walked toward the stone circle that had been placed reverently on the smooth marble floor.

“As we discussed.” Gabriel spread his hands impatiently. He didn’t care for having a demon in his midst. Made him itchy.

With a thrust of his hands, the demon ignited the waiting circle with Hellfire. The flames roared and circled with deadly promise all the way to the vaulted ceiling. Crowley watched the Hellfire swirl and rise. Must’ve been specially packaged by Lord Beelzebub themself to have that kind of kick. Little Disposable Demons didn’t pack that kind of punch.

“You are dismissed,” Gabriel said in short order.

“You’re not gonna let me--”

“No, you best be off.” Gabriel’s smile dripped with disdain.

“Really? That’s it. Man…” The Disposable Demon leered at Gabriel. “Fuckin’ angels,” he muttered as he stuffed his hands in his pockets.

Gabriel’s eyes flashed, and with little more than a burst of light and a chorus of holy choir and horns, the Disposable Demon was disposed with.

“So,” Gabriel moved on impatiently, obscured by the column of flame between them. “With one act of treason, you,” he frowned, “averted the war.”

“Well, I think the greater good--” He was hardly impressed by Gabriel’s dismissal of the little demon, and wished to show as much by acknowledging it as little as the archangel himself did.

“Don’t,” Gabriel snapped, “talk to me about the greater good, sunshine. I’m the Archangel fucking Gabriel.” There was no smile on his face, now. “The greater good was where were finally going to settle things with the opposition once and for all.”

Crowley’s lip twitched. Fury boiled just beneath the surface. He could tell this way of speaking to Principality Aziraphale was nothing new. Gabriel always exerted his power over Aziraphale, treated him as lesser. It was no wonder Aziraphale became nervous around him, shrinking back from his holy ferocity. Crowley knew that Aziraphale was no stranger to confrontation--he stood his ground against the demon who had become his friend all those years ago. He did not shy away from a fiery debate with him. It had taken the averted Armaggedeon, the potential End of Days, for Aziraphale to finally show his spine.

Uriel came forward, a click of heels and a flick of wrists as they unbound Aziraphale from the chair. “Up.”

Crowley took his time adjusting his sleeves as he stood, carefully gussying his bowtie. He wouldn’t let Aziraphale go forth looking any less than his usual coiffed self. “I don’t suppose I can persuade you to reconsider?” Crowley offered that placating smile that was Aziraphale’s signature. The fire roared between him and the impassive faces of the angels who damned him. “We’re meant to be the good guys, for Heaven’s sake.” The phrase came out clipped, almost forced. 

“Well, for Heaven’s sake, we are meant to make examples of traitors,” Gabriel said coldly. “So… into the flame.” He gestured simply, as if going through the motions of a powerpoint presentation.

Crowley walked slowly toward the Hellfire. He felt his breath tight in his chest. Would Aziraphale’s body truly survive this? And what of his angel, Down Below? Crowley hated how many factors, how many variables, how many unpredictable chances this moment held. There was a chance this would still destroy Aziraphale’s body. His demon soul could survive Hellfire, but what of Aziraphale’s form?

The very nature of Aziraphale’s familiar body acting as brazier of his soul gave him some small comfort in what could be his last moments. “Right.” He looked at the angels in attendance of this sham of a trial. “Well, it was lovely knowing you all,” he said with thinly-veiled spite. It’s what Aziraphale would have said. He would not have been afraid. Aziraphale was the braver of the two of them. “May we meet on a better occasion.” Yes, Aziraphale would have faced obliviation with his usual poise and grace. Crowley would show these angels just how fearless the Principality they looked down on was.

Gabriel had lost all patience. “Shut your stupid mouth, and die already.” There was no pity or remorse in his face. Judgement made his beautiful face ugly as he forced one of his signature smiles through gritted teeth.

Crowley shot him a smile full of hatred. If Aziraphale needed any more proof that angels suck, here it was. Part of him wished Aziraphale was here to see it, but another part of him was glad not to give any more fuel to the doubt in his angel’s mind. They may have become something different in their time on Earth, but Crowley feared that Aziraphale could still Fall if his doubt became too great.

He looked sidelong at Gabriel before he took a step forward. He had no more doubt of what would happen. Just as Aziraphale had planned to come out victorious against their punishments by sheer force of will, Crowley would not allow any harm to come to his angel’s body by sheer force of will. He imagined Gabriel’s face when he saw him consumed in flame and unburnt, and it gave him strength.

Gabriel winced uncomfortably as Aziraphale stepped into the flame, tensed in preparation for the horrific screams that would soon fill the Heavenly office.

Uriel looked on with ferocious anticipation, all but grinning as they witnessed the fiery justice lick at Aziraphale’s coat and heels.

Sandalphon watched with morbid wonder. Just how would the soft-spoken Principality scream as he was consumed?

Thinking of nothing but Aziraphale, uniting their wills across Heaven and Hell, Crowley stepped Aziraphale’s body into the flame.

Relief washed over the demon with the warm flames. “Ahh…” Crowley sighed slowly, eyes closed. Hellfire flared up around him, tingling and cleansing away the unpleasantness of the Heavenly surroundings. He could stand the glare of fire and flame so much better than the clinical gleam of Heaven itself. It was actually quite relaxing, taking a nice little Hellfire shower. He cracked the tension out of his neck with a little murmur of content.

He could feel the growing tension outside of the Hellfire cyclone and relished in it. Nearly as satisfying as the warm embrace of the fire he had been branded Fallen in. The looks on their faces was priceless. Now he really wished Aziraphale was here to see it.

Crowley couldn’t resist putting on a little show. It was one thing to withstand Hellfire, but if he showed them he could use Hellfire? Oh, they were going to shit their fancy little trousers. He belched out a stream of flame and had to fight down a giggle as they staggered back, terrified. 

“It may be worse than we thought.” Gabriel tried to take control of the situation, but his abject fear was like a stink in the brimstone-tainted air. 

“What… is he?” Uriel asked, exasperated. 

Gabriel shook his head slowly.

Crowley stepped out of the flames with confidence. “Well..." He adjusted his lapels with a snap of his wrists. "I believe we are finished here,” he said primly, clasping his hands before himself.