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The Better Part of Valour

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"Oh, Crowley," Aziraphale sighed into his neck, "how are you always so warm?" 


"Hot as hell," Crowley said agreeably. He'd never particularly remarked his raised body temperature -- not until Armageddon came, saw, and was inelegantly sent packing, and Crowley discovered that Aziraphale was something of a heat-seeking missile when given the chance. Crowley had given him the chance first by accident, when too much celebratory champagne had rendered both of them unable to achieve upright sitting positions and had instead poured them, over the course of several hours, into the sagging centre of Aziraphale's battered settee. 


"Can't move," Crowley had murmured, finding himself with a mouthful of Aziraphale's hair and strangely not minding very much about it. 


"Don't, then," Aziraphale had said, leaning his cheek against Crowley's shoulder. "Warm." He shifted his face, almost nuzzling, and that had been all right; that had been nice. Crowley let himself obey his body’s instinct to wrap an arm around the angel, and Aziraphale had flowed onto his chest like plaster of Paris, slow and liquid and moulding to his shape. And that, too, had been all right — more than, if Crowley was honest with himself, which he was on occasion these days, now there seemed little likelihood of being written up for it. 


From that point, it had been staggeringly easy to fall into the rest of it. It was as if, having restricted himself to crawling in first gear for six thousand painful, aching years, Aziraphale had abruptly sabotaged his own brake cables and now was incapable not only of slowing down but also, crucially, of stopping. Tucking himself into the angles of Crowley's body by lamplight turned into doing the same by day, and then, a week later, getting into Crowley's bed with him without so much as a hesitation or by-your-leave when he arrived at four in the afternoon to find Crowley still asleep. Aziraphale had even ventured to close his own eyes, pulling Crowley's arm over his waist, while Crowley blinked and wondered if this was one of those dream-is-a-wish-your-heart-makes things the humans had been banging on about all these years. It had certainly seemed to tick a lot of the boxes, especially given that Aziraphale was still in a three-piece suit and brogues, which lent things a certain surreal quality. With a muttered incantation, Crowley banished shoes and jacket and, upon further consideration, bow tie, just to see what would happen. 


What had happened was that Aziraphale, with a sigh of relief, had unfurled himself into Crowley's arms and gone slack there, tucked into the curve of Crowley's body. 


"I never understood why you wanted to waste so much of your time in bed, my dear," Aziraphale had said softly, "but now I think I see. It's nice." 


And, as with all the other things Aziraphale had deemed nice over the years -- sushi; champagne; dancing -- being in bed (with Crowley) immediately took up a place high on his list of regular indulgences. It had been four weeks since Armageddon hadn't happened, and Crowley now could not remember the last time he had spent a night alone. 


It was all very unexpected, but Crowley couldn't say he had any complaints at all about having Aziraphale, now daringly in undershirt and shorts as a general rule, crawl into his arms on a nightly basis, all bare skin and day-tousled hair and pink mouth parting against Crowley's cheek to let out breathless sighs of gratitude. 


Well -- all right. So possibly he had one complaint. 


It wasn't as if he had never noticed before, over the course of all their misspent millennia together, how Aziraphale made him feel. On the contrary, he'd spent most of the duration trying to breathe through the crush of all those feelings tangled up in his chest: admiration and exasperation; possessiveness and love and, yes, desire. It was just that he'd never considered how those feelings might reconfigure themselves if, after the pair of them finally left the garden, Aziraphale were to take to sleeping in his arms, skin against his skin, night after night. 


In hindsight, he should have known, but hindsight was always, as the humans said, 20:20. 


Still, he was a demon, not a monster; he could control himself. Sometimes, when Aziraphale shifted in his sleep and threw a leg over both of Crowley's -- or when his fingers curved against the nape of Crowley's neck, petting the fine hair there; or when his lips murmured goodnights against the jut of Crowley's clavicle, a puff of warm breath -- sometimes, it was all he could do to breathe through the twist of want in his gut, the seam of desire grown hot in the sediment of him. But then Aziraphale would shift, uncoil, descend into sleep; and Crowley would think: you're alone, you bastard. Leave it. This is all you'll ever get, and it's more than you ever expected. Spoil it and I'll fucking destroy you. 


And it was all right, for a certain value of all right, until the night he realised it wasn't true -- that Aziraphale, a pure pillar of God's light, wanted, too. 


He came awake in darkness, not suddenly, but as if something external to himself had been gradually nudging at him for some time. At first, he didn't know what it was. Then he realised that the bed was, very faintly, trembling. 


His first thought was of earthquakes, but there hadn't been a proper tremor in London for years (and all the most significant weather anomalies had been Crowley's own doing, anyway). Then he became aware that Aziraphale was not, as had become his wont, curled against Crowley's side; this, combined with the unspecified shaking sensation, occasioned a moment's alarm, which only intensified when he heard Aziraphale's voice, from somewhere fairly close at hand, break on a gasp, half-vocalised. 


"Aziraphale?" Crowley tried to say, but the word, dredged out of sleep, emerged as something closer to a grunt. Mustering his energies, Crowley rolled onto his side, groping for the angel -- whereupon the trembling, quite abruptly, stopped. 


Instantly, Crowley froze in place. Fully awake now, his ears attuned to the quiet of the room, he realised he could hear amid that quiet the sound of Aziraphale's breathing, shallow and rapid. Intrigued now, Crowley pressed his face into the pillow and held as still as he could. 


For a long moment, nothing happened. Then, very slowly, a second sound emerged from the darkness, a sussurating whisper which Crowley soon identified as the sound of skin shifting under cotton. Gradually, this sound began to quicken in pace, until -- yes -- there was the trembling again, a rhythmic tremor in the mattress which echoed the rustle of sheets. 


Aziraphale, Crowley recognised, was the source of both, and the thought set warmth spreading low in his abdomen. 


Aziraphale had shifted to the furthest edge of the bed, far enough from Crowley that the motion of his arm under the sheets would not bring him into contact with Crowley's body, but the distance did nothing to stop the shivers reverberating through the mattress, setting it trembling beneath both of them. Aziraphale's breath had quickened again, rasping now, and Crowley dared to name to himself what was happening: Aziraphale, his elbow six inches from Crowley's own, was touching himself in the forgiving darkness of Crowley's bedroom. 


Crowley bit his lip against the sound that threatened at the back of his throat, and pushed his hips, just barely, into the mattress. 


Clearly, Aziraphale thought the danger past -- or else was too absorbed in his task to be as cautious as he might. His thighs jerked and, beneath Aziraphale's cut-off gasp, Crowley heard the wet sound of his fingers moving in the slick heat between. 


Crowley swallowed hard. He had known, of course, what Aziraphale tended to keep between his legs; the cut of his clothes had, during certain periods of history, betrayed it and, more recently, the general contours of his body had been clear enough when Aziraphale tossed a thigh over Crowley's in sleep. If anything, he'd thought Aziraphale probably preferred the neatness of it, or else that it sat in some way more in keeping with his concept of himself. He'd never considered Aziraphale touching it like this, breath coming fast and legs trembling, the deep clench of muscle in his thighs setting the bed shaking. 


Now, he couldn't stop considering it. Crowley pressed his thighs together incrementally, his own body shifting in sympathy with Aziraphale's until the arrangement he’d had upon waking had entirely reconfigured itself. He felt himself slicking, cunt clenching emptily around nothing, and wondered what, precisely, Aziraphale was doing; whether the low lush circling was the sound of Aziraphale rubbing his clit or of the press of fingers into the clutch of his cunt, furnace-hot and soaking. 


Then Aziraphale cried out, a bitten-off, helpless thing, and Crowley thought perhaps both: perhaps three fingers crooked and rubbed in the secret heat of Aziraphale's body, thumb working his clit until the two points of pleasure seemed to run together. 


Fuck. Crowley's cunt throbbed, pulsed a rush of wetness, and he let himself entertain, for a helpless second, the thought of Aziraphale's clever fingers there instead; Aziraphale's pink mouth. 


The trembling of the mattress had become a steady vibration, juddering not only with the quickening motion of Aziraphale’s hand but with the helpless shivering that had spread throughout his whole body. The darkness was near total, as Crowley preferred, but he didn’t need eyes to picture Aziraphale’s body tightening as his climax built, knees bent and toes curling, everything in him braced against nothing. Aziraphale’s breathing was increasingly laboured; Crowley tightened his fist in the sheet, fighting the urge to move. Then Aziraphale stopped breathing altogether, and Crowley's whole body strained towards him, blood rushing in his ears. 


When Aziraphale came, it was with a snatched breath and a cut-off cry low in his throat. One foot kicked out reflexively, then pressed down into the mattress. His hips surged off the bed, and Crowley could feel the aftershocks rippling through his body, out from the clenched core of him through his arms and legs, his fingers and toes. Orgasm seemed to seize him like a wave and leave him beached as it retreated, panting hard. After a long moment, he shifted languorously, pulling up his knees and rolling onto his side, his every motion fluid and relaxed, as if something in him had been unwound. 


Crowley, by contrast, felt coiled tight to the point of pain. Not until Aziraphale's breaths had evened into the regular rhythm of sleep did he dare to sneak a hand into his pyjama bottoms and cup himself, squeezing as if in admonishment. He was so slippery, so wet with want that touching himself seemed likely to be a fruitless endeavour, and anyway, what if Aziraphale --? 


"Ssstupid," he hissed under his breath, and withdrew his hand. To Crowley's snake eyes, his fingers shone with slick, even in the dark. He put them in his mouth and thought of Aziraphale; whether he tasted like this; how he might sound if Crowley were ever to try and find out. 


The room was perfectly quiet, but it was a long time before Crowley fell asleep again and, when he did, he was restless, shifting on the mattress until Aziraphale, laughing, woke him with an arm around the waist and a kiss to the cheek. 


"Might as well get up," Aziraphale said, "if you can't sleep." 


He sounded perfectly reasonable. He looked perfectly content, as if he'd been thoroughly and deliciously satisfied. Crowley had seen him wear just such an expression after putting away three sumptuous courses and an aperitif at Claridge's; he knew at once that taking Aziraphale out for dinner was about to go from titillating to torturous.


Crowley grumbled his way out of the bed and into the bathroom, where he brought himself off with one foot propped on the lip of the bath and thought furiously of nothing. 


All that day, the memory of it kept coming back to him: the way Aziraphale’s breath had sounded, ragged and short, and the abortive thrust of his hips when he came. Aziraphale suggested a turn around the Park, to which Crowley acceded readily, but as Aziraphale tucked a hand into the crook of his elbow and began railing animatedly against the plot holes in the novel he was reading, it was as much as Crowley could do to make aggrieved noises in the right places. He just kept wondering what it meant. Angels were meant to be sexless; he knew that; he’d been one. It was part of why he’d given up hope, really, years ago; and equally it had, in its own way, given another kind of solace back to him: the knowledge that Aziraphale loved him, he was finally sure, as completely as he would ever love anything. That every part of what he wanted, Crowley could provide. 


Except that, apparently, he wanted more, and he hadn’t come to Crowley for it. The thought chased itself around the back of his mind as they perambulated the lake, and Crowley couldn’t seem to get the bearing of it. Aziraphale had made the effort to give himself a libido, at some point — why? Human indulgences, he supposed, were very Aziraphale, now that he considered it. He liked fine fabrics and fine food and good wine; he liked beautiful music and warm evenings and — and having Crowley wrapped around him. 


Perhaps it meant nothing. Perhaps this was just a little indulgence of Aziraphale’s, just for him, and Crowley had been cramping his style, being in bed with him and in his space so much. Perhaps he didn’t do it very often, and Crowley might eventually be able to purge the thought of it from his mind and go on like a functioning, rational being. 


Perhaps it was nothing to do with Crowley at all. 


Crowley kept his genitals the way they were, and told himself it was just that he hadn’t worn his body like this for a decade or two and he’d forgotten how much better it made his jeans fit. It certainly wasn’t anything to do with how it felt, knowing that he and Aziraphale, for all they were different in so many ways, were the same like this, underneath. 


That night, Aziraphale was affectionate, and Crowley despaired quietly. His ribs felt as if they might break under the weight of the feeling that swelled between them when Aziraphale curled close to him, tangling their legs. At least like this, Crowley wasn’t liable to press anything embarrassing against any part of Aziraphale’s corporation, but Aziraphale’s hands felt appropriately divine in his hair and his undershirt had ridden up a little over his belly, enough that Crowley could feel its soft skin against his own. He swallowed hard. He could feel his heartbeat in his throat and in his cunt, which was getting wet. Aziraphale’s thigh was mere inches away from it; Crowley hoped he couldn’t feel the heat of it, hoped he wouldn’t shift the wrong way in the night (and hoped, God, that he would ). 


“Goodnight, Crowley,” Aziraphale murmured, and Crowley bade himself hold still, stop thinking about it — think about anything else. Just because Aziraphale, once in a blue moon, might fancy a wank didn’t mean he wanted Crowley’s sin-stained hands all over him. 


Only, as it turned out, the moon was blue again when Crowley woke a few hours later from disquiet dreams, which had left him feeling already rather miserably in need of attention. Aziraphale had rolled out of his arms, and was facing away from him, but they were at the bookshop tonight, no blackout curtains to keep the moonlight at bay, and Crowley could see Aziraphale’s shoulder moving. He could see it. 


He closed his eyes fiercely. “Oh God,” he prayed silently, with fervour, “preserve me.” 


Aziraphale was curled down towards the mattress, one hand under his body, moving rhythmically. Fucking himself, Crowley realised, with a sort of breathless and resigned arousal which was at least three parts terror. In this light, and from this position, the motion of Aziraphale’s arm made quite clear that this was no idle circling; he was working fingers in and out of his cunt with single minded determination, his breath fast and guarded, and Crowley might as well discorporate on the spot, because he knew he would never scrub his mind of the thought. 


His own cunt clenched reflexively, grasping at nothing. His underwear was wet. Boxers — he hadn’t wanted to alert Aziraphale to any changes by switching to anything more revealing, and anyway he wasn’t particular about having his underwear match, in the most closed minded human sense, his body parts. The boxers had a slit in the front which he’d always thought rather redundant for a configuration like this one, but now, reckless with the desire that prickled up the back of his neck, Crowley was reconsidering. 


He could put his fingers through the slit without squirming enough to be noticed, he thought. No waistband to faff around with, and Aziraphale was so preoccupied. Christ, preoccupied with his fingers in his hot little cunt and his — 


Crowley bit his lip, feeling the flush travel down his neck to his shoulders, and felt for the opening in the cotton. Down over the sparse red hair on his mons to the place where he was already opening like a flower to the sun, his clit swollen. Crowley skittered his fingers over it and caught a gasp in his throat, fuck. It was hot to the touch and Crowley trailed a path down through a reservoir of slick and then back up, catching it between his two fingers and squeezing. 


It wouldn’t do to be silly about this. Aziraphale had a head start on him, and if the angel were to catch him — 


Crowley tamped down the part of his brain which rather enjoyed the thought: Aziraphale rolling towards him, feigning surprise, but his green eyes wide with interest. Aziraphale saying, ever polite, “may I?” and bending his lovely head to drink from the cup Crowley made like this, the warm well of him. 


Oh, shit. Crowley pressed his lips together and rubbed himself harder, businesslike. He could feel the beginnings of a rough and ready orgasm building in his thighs, between his legs; it wouldn’t be the deep kind that seemed to roll up from the core of him (God, he wanted Aziraphale’s fingers in him; he wanted ) but it would be enough; he could sleep again. 


Aziraphale’s shoulder was moving faster now, and he had shifted, hips curved up and other arm curled awkwardly down. Two handed, Crowley realised, licking his upper lip where sweat had formed. Aziraphale was breathing hard through his nose, fucking himself with one hand and rubbing his clit with the other, and Crowley wasn’t sure what part of the whole mess he was most envious of, whether he wanted those to be his fingers or that to be his cunt, or all of it at once. 


Fuck —“ His hips punched forward, punched the word out of him. At once, he flushed scarlet and ashamed, but orgasm overtook the embarrassment, set him shivering and clamping his thighs around his own hand and, by the time he could breathe again, his ears were ringing. 


Aziraphale had stopped moving. He realised, with a sudden panic, that he didn’t know whether this was because Aziraphale, too, had come (they’d come together — don’t think about it, don’t — ) or because he’d heard Crowley, and now was disgusted by him. He ached to know, and couldn’t bear to, in case it was awful. Fuck. Fuck. 


He considered turning into a snake and hiding under the bed for the next several centuries. While he was considering it, some self-preservation instinct kicked in to override his indecisiveness, and his body went to sleep in self defence. 


When he woke, for a long minute he thought he was suffering one of those sham awakenings that come at the end of nightmares, offering false hope or fresh despair. He wasn’t sure which emotion was most strongly evoked in him at the position he found himself in: Aziraphale in the circle of his arms, his back flush to Crowley’s front and his round arse pressed into the shallow of Crowley’s pelvis. Crowley's hand was on Aziraphale's stomach. 


His first instinct was to flee -- to wriggle backwards out of the bed; to sidle downstairs, careful to avoid the floorboard that creaked every time and gave the game away. To brood in the kitchen over black coffee and contemplate ways to apologise that wouldn't see him tossed out on his ear with strict orders never to return. 


Then he realised, dimly, that Aziraphale's hand was over his, and that he was stroking the back of it with gentle motions of his thumb. 




Aziraphale's voice was very soft in the morning quiet. The nape of his neck smelled of soap and warm skin and Crowley fought the urge to press his mouth to it, there where the white-blond hair held just a hint of curl. 


"Yeah," Crowley managed, after a moment. "I'm awake, angel." 


"Oh," Aziraphale breathed. His thumb still moved steadily. Crowley sensed the pause that followed to be a pregnant one, but it still made his gut lurch when what it birthed was: "Last night…" 


"I'm sorry," Crowley blurted, instantly. However many times he needed to say it, he'd say it, for Aziraphale. He'd decided as much already. He hadn't offered many apologies in all his time on earth, but if it meant getting to stay here, in Aziraphale's life and in his arms, he'd never stop saying it. Pathetic, but that was who he was now: a thing that loved Aziraphale and had no other purpose to live for. He'd suspected it for years. When the bookshop burned, he'd known it. 


Aziraphale, to Crowley's consternation, halted the motion of his thumb. " You're sorry?" 


"Yes," Crowley said, hesitant. Fuck, had he got it wrong? Was he digging his own grave even now? "I thought…" 


"I was going to say I was sorry," Aziraphale said. He hadn't turned his head to so much as glance at Crowley, and Crowley saw now that the back of his neck was pink. It was as if he could only form the words if he didn't have to see Crowley's face. For some reason, this emboldened Crowley to lean forward, pressing dry lips to the pink back of Aziraphale's neck. 


"What for?" he whispered, and Aziraphale heaved a shaky breath. 


"I know you heard." His voice was curt with embarrassment, Crowley realised. "I oughtn't, not with you here. The height of rudeness. I'm so happy, dear, with what we have; I wouldn't ever want to jeopardise it. It's just that, sometimes, when you hold me, I --" He cut himself off, sighed. "I feel I've taken advantage." 


"Aziraphale," Crowley said, very slowly. His heart seemed to have lodged itself somewhere in his throat and his head was starting to whir with the beginnings of an understanding which dared not shape itself fully into being. "Angel, do you --" His throat felt stoppered; he forced it open with a thought. "Do you want me? Like that?" 


Aziraphale's wince was visible even from behind, and he pushed his face into the pillow. "Oh, Crowley!" His voice was plaintive, miserable. "My darling, I know it isn't what we do, it's such a very human -- and I know you must think it disgusting, and I suppose I have been on earth too long. But I wouldn't ever ask it of you, don't think I would; you won't leave me on that account, will you?" 


Crowley's mouth had gone very dry. "Ask me," he said.  


Aziraphale stiffened, and Crowley cleared his throat. He felt like he was pushing his words through a mouthful of cotton. "Angel, I apologised to you because, last night, when I realised what you were doing, I touched myself and pretended it was you instead, so, please: ask me." 


For a long, brittle moment, Aziraphale did not move a muscle, and Crowley cursed himself, thinking he'd overstepped. Then Aziraphale's fingers traced the backs of his once more; slid to his wrist. Encircled it. Pushed, and Crowley drew his breath in sharply. Guided Crowley's hand beneath the waistband of his shorts, palm against Aziraphale's trembling stomach, and Crowley stopped breathing entirely. 


Aziraphale withdrew his own hand, leaving Crowley's where it was, and, at last, he turned his head, his eyes aquamarine in the dawn light. 


"I love you," Crowley admitted, quite without meaning to, and the extraordinary eyes closed. 


"Oh, my dear," Aziraphale said, barely a whisper. "I'll ask, then. Show me?" 


The fluttering pulse in Crowley's throat became a roar in his ears. "Aziraphale," he croaked, and his fingers moved, almost of their own accord. 


Hair under his hand, softer and more verdant than his own was, and Crowley drew his fingers through it as through a thicket, seeking entrance to the garden. Aziraphale shivered against him, curling his hips upward as Crowley had seen him do last night. Crowley traced, carefully, Aziraphale's outer labia; felt them part for him, and then -- 


"Oh," Aziraphale breathed. "Oh, Crowley." 

Inside, he was like wet velvet, like warm honey. Crowley's breath faltered as he let his touch glide down, two-fingered, to the core of him, his hotslick cunt. Aziraphale arched back against him, seeking his touch, and Crowley felt himself spill over, his heart overfull of Aziraphale and his cunt not nearly full enough. 


"Can I?" His voice was thick. Aziraphale nodded frantically, cupping his hand once more over Crowley's wrist as if he could not wait. The thought made Crowley bite his lip against a wave of want, and he pressed his fingers inside, into the slippery grasp of Aziraphale's body. 


The sound Aziraphale made thrilled Crowley to the filthy depths of him. His arm tightened reflexively around the angel, pulling him closer, and he mouthed at his neck, spurred by the sudden urge to make his mark there, to brand him. To possess him, so that Heaven could never claim him back. He rocked his hand, curling his fingers, and on impulse pressed his thumb against Aziraphale's clit. "What do you like, angel?" he breathed in Aziraphale's ear. "Tell me. Tell me what to do for you." 


He felt, felt Aziraphale spasm around him, the powerful muscles in his pelvis squeezing around Crowley's hand. But then Aziraphale was turning in his arms; his pupils were wide and his hairline glistened with sweat. He looked wrecked, and beautiful, and Crowley's, and Crowley could barely stand it. He put his wet hand on Aziraphale's waist, under the rumpled undershirt, and said, "Aziraphale?" 


"Kiss me," Aziraphale demanded -- begged, and the thought that Aziraphale should ever beg anything of Crowley was so crippling that Crowley could do nothing but obey him at once, pressing their clumsy mouths together. Aziraphale shivered against him, bit at his mouth. His thigh interposed itself between both of Crowley's, and Crowley could feel the heat of him against his leg through damp cotton. He had no doubt Aziraphale could feel much the same thing, and he gasped against Aziraphale's lips. 


"I love you," Aziraphale said, almost frantic with it. "You do -- you must know, Crowley. I adore you, I've -- " He was fumbling, Crowley realised, for entrance to Crowley's clothes, tugging at them; Crowley drew back enough to denude himself obligingly, too dazed to think of doing it in anything but the human way. When he emerged from the tangle of his t-shirt, he saw that Aziraphale had done the same, and the sight of him, soft and perfect, made Crowley's heart pound. 


Aziraphale, Crowley realised, was looking at the place between his legs where his cock currently wasn't, and he realised too late that he might not be as anticipated. 


"Is this for me?" Aziraphale asked, one corner of his mouth curving upward. Gently, he drew the backs of his knuckles against the neat vee of red hair between Crowley's legs, and Crowley shivered. 


"It's -- you know I sometimes --" He stopped. "If it's not what you want, I can change it for you." I'd do anything for you. 


"No," Aziraphale said, "not at all." His hand moved lower, cupped Crowley between his thighs, just holding. Crowley, with a twist of mortified desire, felt himself sluicing afresh, a pulse of wetness which Aziraphale surely felt. But, "it's perfect," Aziraphale said. "You're perfect for me, love." 


Crowley's thighs jerked, parting slightly, and Aziraphale dipped his fingers immediately inside. He looked, Crowley thought in amazement, as if he were being presented with something delicious, a decadent gateau or an elaborate millefeuille or the most indulgent Eton Mess, all cream. Aziraphale pressed three fingers inside him almost at once, as if he had known Crowley's body would swallow them easily, hungry for him. With his other hand, he spread Crowley between his index and ring fingers, and his middle finger described a slow circle around Crowley's clit which made Crowley's legs kick out, his body spasming. 


"Kiss me," he pleaded. "Angel, please --" 


He was horribly aware that this wasn't what was supposed to happen. He'd meant to serve Aziraphale, to indulge him as he always did; to put him on his back and make love to him as if it could make him, Crowley, good again. Not -- to beg him like this, for more than he deserved. But Aziraphale leaned down over him, the whole clean length of him bare and smooth against Crowley's body, and kissed him, not like benediction but as if he needed it just as much; as if he, too, knew how it felt to burn. 


His mouth was soft. Crowley sucked at it greedily, his lower lip and then his upper, stroking his tongue over Aziraphale's soft palate and tracing the shapes of his teeth. Aziraphale's fingers curled in his cunt and Crowley groaned, palming Aziraphale's waist, the dip of his spine where sweat had collected. He wanted to taste Aziraphale there, he thought. He wanted to taste him everywhere. 


He pushed, and Aziraphale went easily, spilling onto his back like a skein of silk unfurled on the sheets. His nipples were pink and peaked and seemed to cry out for Crowley's mouth, so Crowley answered, sucking at them and then, when Aziraphale began to writhe and pull at his hair, scraping over them with his teeth, one after the other. Aziraphale's legs had fallen open and Crowley settled himself between them, his skin tingling everywhere. He could feel the heat of Aziraphale's cunt against his stomach as he moved, kissing Aziraphale's ribs and the softness of his belly, then the very fine skin at the junction of hip and thigh. He pressed his flushed cheek to Aziraphale's inner thigh, and Aziraphale moaned, opening further for him, pulling up his knees. 


"Can I?" he asked, again, and Aziraphale's fist clenched in his hair and then smoothed over the place where he'd pulled. He canted his hips, and the scent of him made saliva pool under Crowley's tongue, wanting. 


"Please," Aziraphale said. He was so wet, he shone with it, slick welling from his cunt, glistening on his stiff pink clit, and Crowley couldn't bear it a moment longer. He took hold of Aziraphale's thighs, palming the soft white weight of him, and put his mouth between Aziraphale's legs. 


Aziraphale almost wailed. Crowley could sympathise. Like this, with Aziraphale's thighs tensing around his head, the whole wet spread of his vulva open for Crowley to taste, it was as if the rest of the world had been shut out: Heaven, Hell, and all the rest of it, leaving nothing but himself and Aziraphale. He felt cradled, buoyed up on it. He licked, tracing his tongue up one side of Aziraphale's inner labia and then down the other, deliberately avoiding his clit, and moaned when Aziraphale pulled his hair again, a deliberate and unmistakable instruction. 


"Suck me," Aziraphale said. His voice was ragged. "Please -- darling, that's so good, you're so good, but -- oh, God, yes, Crowley." 


Crowley closed his mouth around Aziraphale's clit, sucked at it, and felt Aziraphale begin to come apart beneath him, his whole body shaking. For himself, he thought, this would be too much, too intense, but Aziraphale seemed desperate for it, clamping his thighs around Crowley's head and pushing up against his mouth. On an impulse, Crowley pulled off for a moment, just to dip his tongue into Aziraphale's cunt, and Aziraphale cried out almost in pain, jerking him back by the hair. 


"Put your," he panted, "put your fingers -- yes, like that, that's it, now don't move, just keep -- Crowley -- Crowley --" 


If Crowley died right now, he thought -- really died; if he were destroyed, body and soul, in this moment -- it would be all right, because he had heard Aziraphale saying his name like that, as if he were adored, as if he were good. Aziraphale's cunt spasmed around his fingers, clenched and released, and Crowley sucked at him harder, tongued at him, until he felt the fluttering spasms get closer together. Above him, Aziraphale's whole body was straining, his stomach muscles tensed and trembling, his back curving off the bed like a bow. Crowley moaned against him, crooked his fingers, and felt the moment Aziraphale fell apart entirely. 


It seemed to go on and on, and keep going. Crowley lapped at him through it, the ache between his own legs like a slow burn. By the time Aziraphale finally, gasping, pushed Crowley's face away, Crowley's wrist had cramped and his face was wet with Aziraphale's slick. The taste of Aziraphale was under his tongue. Crowley was covered in him, a creature made to give him pleasure, and he thought he had rarely been so happy. 


"My darling," Aziraphale said, when he could breathe, "oh, my darling. Come here." 


Crowley came, happily. Aziraphale kissed him, sucked the taste of himself from Crowley's tongue and moaned for it. Crowley pushed his thigh between Aziraphale's and pressed the wetness of himself against Aziraphale's leg, unable to help himself; Aziraphale mmmed and sighed and tensed the muscle in his leg, grinding back up against him. 


"Is this what you want?" They were rocking together now, just slightly. Aziraphale slid his hand to the base of Crowley's spine and pressed there. "You can have it, my love, if it is. Or you can have my fingers, or my mouth. Tell me." 


"I want to kiss you," Crowley told him, half-drunk with it, and did. Aziraphale's hands carded through his hair, and he could feel his pulse thundering in his cunt and in his clit, grinding. At length, he became dimly aware of Aziraphale's fingers on his lower belly, questing, and he let himself be lifted, let Aziraphale shift him so that he was straddling the angel's waist. 


"Like this," Aziraphale whispered, pushing two fingers inside him. Crowley cried out, back arching, and squeezed around them and yes, yes, that was better. Everything was better with Aziraphale inside him, Aziraphale underneath him. He ground himself down onto Aziraphale's clever fingers, felt Aziraphale's thumb circling his clit, and forgot to breathe. 


His arms gave out when he came, the muscles trembling, but Aziraphale was there to catch him, to kiss his sweaty temple and hold him while he shivered through it. His cunt, unwilling to let Aziraphale go, squeezed around Aziraphale's fingers for a long moment and Crowley felt it in his core when it released, letting Aziraphale, gently, withdraw. His chest was heaving with his breaths, and Aziraphale shushed him, kissed his nose, his mouth, the curve of his eyebrow. For a long time, they lay like that in the quiet, listening to each other breathe. 

"Well," Aziraphale said, eventually, "I didn't expect that this morning." 


"I didn't expect it ever," Crowley said. His voice was still ragged from all the noise he'd been making, which made him feel oddly vulnerable. He pressed his face into the curve of Aziraphale's neck. "I thought it was just me." 


"It was never just you," Aziraphale whispered. His fingers curled at the nape of Crowley's neck, petting, and Crowley felt something in his chest unclench. "Crowley, I'm sorry I --" 


"Don't," Crowley said. He lifted his face. Against the light that filtered through the curtains, Aziraphale looked even more radiant than he usually did, his blond curls haloed, his eyes windswept and wild. "Don't be sorry," Crowley clarified. "Just be--" He hardly dared say it. "Just be mine?" 


"Oh, my darling," Aziraphale said, his expression going soft. "I've always been yours. I think we were made that way, you know. I've never belonged anywhere but where you are. It's just that it took me so damnably long to realise. I'm afraid I've been frightfully stupid." 


"Never," Crowley lied. He would have said more, but his shrivelled, blackened heart felt as if it was trying to swell to fill the whole of his body and the room beyond, and it made it rather difficult to speak. "Let's just stay here a bit, yeah?" 


"As long as you like," Aziraphale promised, and kissed him.