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Aziraphale doesn’t even think of protesting when Crowley asks if he minds walking back to his place, after they finish their dinner at the Ritz, because he wants to “check something” before they head to Aziraphale’s bookshop. The angel knows what this is about right away.

“It really hasn’t got a scratch on it”, Crowley says after a quick inspection.

“Did you ever think I had lied to you?”, Aziraphale asks.

“No, not really”, he trails off, placing a hand on the car hood.

The music playing softly is the only thing one could hear as they make their way to Aziraphale’s bookshop. Crowley isn't saying anything, and Aziraphale thinks it's best to let him have the moment.

The first time Crowley drives his Bentley after the Armaggedon't, he drives slowly – which is quite unusual for someone who usually goes ninety miles an hour in Central London. Perhaps he’s still in a bit of an awe after losing his beloved car. Aziraphale thinks he almost looks like he fears it’s going to disappear in flames any moment. Perhaps it's the fact that, after stopping the Armageddon't and surviving their respective punishments in Heaven and Hell, they don't really need to rush anymore. They have all the time in the world.

It's not like Aziraphale ever really pays any attention to Crowley's bebop. He couldn't really catch up with music after the 1920s, you see. Besides, most of the time he's in the Bentley he's too busy telling Crowley to slow down a bit, because we'll get discorporated, for Heaven's sake, and keep your eyes on the road. So even now in that quiet night, Aziraphale's just staring distractedly at the darkness outside the windows when a very sweet melody starts playing. 

His eyes immediatly turn to where the song is coming from, because it's rather impossible to ignore. The tune he's listening to is very gentle, and Aziraphale thinks it could ressonate every emotion in the world. It's not exactly sad, despite its slow pace, but it isn't full of joy, either. It's peaceful, and yet, there's a kind of urgency to it, as if those notes are carrying a profoud knowledge.

The song makes him want to be in another place, as he stretches his wings and floats among fluffy clouds in the sky, watching the sunrise from afar - with his head resting on Crowley's shoulder, because he's there too, of course.

And suddenly Aziraphale is smiling to himself without even noticing. There are a few human pleasures that he's happy to indulge in, like good food, old books and pretty harmonies. That melody is unlike any sound he ever heard coming out of those noisy electric guitars. In fact, it reminds him of celestial harmonies - perhaps the only piece of heaven he holds a fond memory of at this point.

For a second, he gets so distracted that the doesn't notice the way Crowley is suddenly shifting on the driver's seat, because he's heard it before and now he feels something inside him aching again as he knows what's coming next. So fucking appropriate, he thinks to himself, just like he had thought the other times.

"No, don't change it, dear", Aziraphale says as he notices Crowley's hand discreetly reaching to the controls. "That's quite a nice one."

It's almost instinctive, the way Aziraphale reaches for it too and their hands meet halfway. Without realizing, Aziraphale not only gives him that look that makes it impossible for Crowley to not do what he asks, but now their knuckles are softly touching above the panel. It lasts only a brief moment - long enough for Aziraphale to notice Crowley's fingers are cold as always, brief enough so Crowley can repress the inhumane noise stuck in his throat. While looking at Crowley, in that same very moment, Aziraphale discovers that the very sweet melody he had been admiring is accompanied with words.

You and me

We are destined, you'll agree

To spend the rest of our lives with each other

Crowley pulls his hand back to the stereo wheel, suddenly looking very interested on the traffic. Aziraphale pulls his hand close, too. He's still smiling softly, but there's something else in the way his eyes are fixed on Crowley, as if he can't bring himself to look away.

Sitting there, Aziraphale looks like someone who claims the ineffability of life suddenly being taken back by words. He thinks of six thousand years of finding each other. He thinks of just yesterday, when they managed to advert the end of the world only because they had found each other.

The rest of our days like two lovers

Forever, yeah,

Forever

My bijou

Crowley is looking away into the dark streets of Soho. He doesn't notice the way Aziraphale's eyes are almost glowing as the angel looks at him with all the adoration that exists in this world. It's almost the same look he gave him 84 years ago, when Crowley saved his books in the church - as if there's a realization catching him off guard and he once again finds himself realizing something fundamental that was right under his nose. 

 

The subject doesn’t come up again until much later in that night, when they’re sitting rather closer to each other in the back of Aziraphale's bookshop after drinking their asses off.

“Ohhh, and I think you’re going to like this! I kept flicking the water into the glass, like this”, he poorly imitates the gesture of flicking something out of his fingers. “They were so terrified.”

Crowley ducks his head back as he laughs, and Aziraphale decides he quite likes seeing him so happy and relaxed.

“See, I said there was a bit of bastard in you. Wish I could have seen their faces.”

Aziraphale smiled rather shyly. “I think you’re quite feared down there, darling", he took a last sip of his glass of wine. "What about my trial? You didn’t say much about what happened up there."

Crowley suddenly seemed very tense.

“Uhhhh. It went alright. Big trial, yea. Full of angelic witnesssessss.”

Aziraphale, however, didn't seem convinced at his poor explanation.

“Crowley, is there something you’re not telling me?”

"Course not. 't was a big trial with a... slide presentation thingy. Gabriel wore the powdered wig."

"Crowley."

Crowley is quiet for a moment. He thinks of changing the subject, or making a story up. But Aziraphale is giving him that look.

“There wasn’t a trial, Angel. They just chained me to a chair and then brought the hellfire.”

“Oh."

Aziraphale stares at his empty cup, looking rather taken down at this.

"I'm sorry."

"That's alright. What should I have expected more of those... bad angels, anyway?"

"If it makes you feel better, I did blow hellfire into their faces. For you."

The angel gives him a sweet smile.

"For me? That was sweet of you."

"Shut up."

"It was. Pass me the wine, my bijou, will you?"

Crowley freezes, unsure if he heard that right or if the drunkness is messing with him.

“Ngh. Wh. Uh. What was that thing you called me?”

Aziraphale is cofused for a moment. “Oh, Bijou? You didn’t like it?”

“I didn’t say that.”

It's not that he doesn't like it, it's simply new to him. Crowley is used to being to being called dear or darling or even you old serpent, but that? That's totally new to him. And he feels like it's another level. Trying not to stumble in his thoughts, he makes an effort to pass him the bottle.

"I just thought- Well-” the angel places the bottle down, looking embarrassed. “It seemed appropriate, don’t you think?”

He looks up to Crowley, and when he speaks, his voice sounds like he's been holding back something for too long (which is true).

“You are so beautiful", he breathes. "Quite like jewellery, my dear."

"Mmph."

"A relic with beautiful golden eyes. Worth being treasured.”

"Angel-"

The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold”, Aziraphale quotes, with gently fingers lifting Crowley's chin. It's the last thing he says before breaking the distance between them and pressing his lips against Crowley's.

It takes Crowley a moment to close his eyes. He's too shocked at first, but he decides it's best not to question what's real and what's part of his druk imagination and he immedialy responds to it, leaning into his angel. The kiss is very chaste and peaceful and Crowley is not even sure of how long it lasts. It could have lasted days, for what he knows. He feels Aziraphale's hand cupping his cheek.

“I'm sorry”, Aziraphale says weakly when they break apart again, resting his forehead against Crowley's, “for taking so long."

"You don't have to apologize."

"But I do. I had my reasons and I was scared of what they could do, but I ended up committing the most shameful sin of all: I let you hurt for too long." He places his hand on Crowley's chest. "But I suppose we have eternity now. And I have forever to... treasure you like you deserve, if you want me to.”

Forever. Crowley likes the sound of that.