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If You Call (I Will Answer)

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Aziraphale is sitting at his desk in the bookshop's back room. The night is quiet. He had tried his hand at making soup, earlier, and he and Crowley had dined on the results of the experiment. Well, he had dined; Crowley had done his usual "I'm not hungry" routine and begged off. They'd drunk together, at least, and laughed, and talked fondly of times past.

Eventually, Crowley had excused himself, saying he'd needed to get back to his plants, and to go sleep on his own comfortable bed instead of Aziraphale's uncomfortable couch. Since Aziraphale doesn't need sleep, he's settled in for the night at his desk to do some heavy reading. (Night has always been best for the really dense stuff, what with the quiet, and the dark.)

But for whatever reason, he's having a hard time concentrating tonight. There's a tickle in the back of his mind, almost like . . . a voice? Aziraphale shakes his head, trying to clear it, but the voice doesn't go away. He hasn't felt like this since . . . since the last time someone tried to pray to him for help.

His eyes widen in surprise. He concentrates, trying to "tune himself to the signal", so to speak. As the voice gets clearer, he realizes that it's familiar.

"Crowley?" he whispers, a sudden panic rising in him. Why would Crowley be praying to him unless he was in mortal danger? He gathers his celestial energies around him, ready to manifest himself to wherever Crowley is, but something holds him back, and he takes a second to listen to the words Crowley is saying.

I want you on my bed, on yours, against the wall. I love you in ways no one should ever love something. Don't come near me. Have mercy. Keep away (don't—!)

It becomes blindingly apparent that this is not the prayer of distress Aziraphale had thought it was. Oh, there was distress alright, and need (or else the prayer wouldn't have connected), but Crowley wasn't in mortal danger. Now that Aziraphale was paying attention, now that he was fully "tuned in," so to speak, he could feel Crowley's state of mind. He could feel the love and the lust and the arousal and the despair all mingled together. It crashed over and around and through him, reverberating in his body like a gong, and he felt his own heart clench and his own face grow hot.

He had wondered, he had hoped that Crowley loved him, that Crowley could love him. He felt like they had been taking steps in that direction, ever since the Not-pocalypse. He had revelled in the way they had hardly spent a moment apart these last few months, together at the flat or at the bookshop, dining out and eating in, taking fast drives in Crowley's Bentley. He'd thought he'd felt Crowley's gaze lingering on him longer than it used to, Crowley slumping himself closer on the sofa when they were drinking together, Crowley's legs pressed closer to his under the table when they dined out. But something had stopped him from pressing further, from pressing Crowley for more. Aziraphale quite liked their friendship, and he hadn't been able to bear the thought of it going wrong if he'd misinterpreted.

But now, as his blood ran hot in his veins with the heat of Crowley's love and desire, Aziraphale realized how badly he'd underestimated the situation.

Angel, god, I love you, I love you, you fucking— I love you, Crowley says in his head, and Aziraphale's heart sings. He is full, full to bursting. He tingles from the crown of his head to the ends of his fingertips, every nerve crying out in unison. His clothes feel hot and constricting , but he is paralyzed, unable to lift a finger. There is a rush, a burst, a supernova explosion in his mind and Aziraphale falls to his knees, gasping at the intensity of it. Then, as quickly as the high, a crash of despair washes over him, and he sways.

Throw the water on me, throw me in the fire, I don't care, it doesn't matter, I can't get you out of my head.

And then there is silence. Aziraphale is gasping, shaking from the roller coaster of emotion, the high and then the fall. He is hard, rock-hard, oversensitive and desperate in his love and in his lust.

Then, there is a small voice, hardly more than a whisper. I accidentally prayed to you. (Did you hear it? Fuck.) What have I done? A fresh wave of crashing sadness courses over him, a grey December ocean of self-loathing and despair.

And oh, he can't have this. His beautiful demon, his darling boy, his Crowley . Aziraphale lets his power swirl around him and converge on the prayer-signal in an instant, blink through space to the one who is calling him.

The scent of fresh sex is heavy in the air. Crowley is on the bed, looking as if he'd tried to curl into himself but was too spent to move. His breathing was heavy and he was turned towards the wall, away from Aziraphale.

Aziraphale clears his throat, but Crowley doesn't move. He's afraid, Aziraphale realizes, afraid of what Aziraphale will do to him now. Gently, ever so gently, Aziraphale moves to the bedside and sits down, putting a hand to Crowley's shoulder, encouraging him to roll towards him.

Crowley responds with his body, but his head is still turned away and his eyes are closed. Aziraphale brings his hand up under Crowley's face and turns Crowley's head towards him, running his thumb along Crowley's cheekbone. He leans down and presses a tender kiss to Crowley's lips. Finally, finally, Crowley opens his eyes, and Aziraphale's breath is stolen at the sight of those beautiful yellow eyes full of fear and maybe, a little bit of hope.

"I heard you," Aziraphale says. Can I? he whispers down the prayer-channel still open between them.

"Yeah," Crowley says, his voice hardly more than a hiss of air, a strangled croak. "Yeah, angel, anything you like." Please please please, I've been waiting for years.