Crowley’s heart was beating faster than it had ever beat before. It was difficult to swallow, especially when his tongue felt two sizes too big and when his mouth was so dry. He was concentrating on matching his pace to Aziraphale’s as they walked across their old college campus. Aziraphale squeezed Crowley’s hand. It was late, and the sun was beginning to set over the horizon. A warm breeze blew around them.
“Everything alright, dear?” Aziraphale asked. Crowley nodded, not meeting Aziraphale’s searching gaze. “I know it’s hard,” Aziraphale said, “I went through the same thing when I left the bookstore.”
“Yep,” Crowley said weakly. He tried to swallow, but his mouth felt like it was full of sand.
They were on their way to the greenhouse Crowley had worked in for the past four years so that Crowley could say goodbye to Francis. Crowley had asked Aziraphale to come with him for ‘moral support,’ knowing Aziraphale couldn't possibly turn him down. Crowley prayed Aziraphale wouldn’t catch on to what was really happening.
Crowley pushed open the heavy greenhouse door and held it so Aziraphale could walk in first. There was a steady buzzing from the fluorescent lights overhead.
“Be right back,” Crowley said, kissing Aziraphale’s cheek. Aziraphale squeezed his hand reassuringly. Crowley looked at him a moment longer, then turned to the back room.
Francis wasn’t there. Crowley knew he wouldn’t be there. He leaned against a metal workbench and took a deep breath. His hands were shaking violently as he pulled off his round sunglasses and set them on the table. Swear to someone, if I drop it... he laughed to himself nervously. He took one more breath and held it until he felt a tiny bit better. Showtime.
Crowley pushed a red button on the wall of the back room, and the big fluorescent lights shut off. The greenhouse was filled with the pink and orange light of the sunset.
“C-Crowley?” Aziraphale called from the main room. Crowley flipped another switch and strings of fairy lights lit up the greenhouse. Crowley had spent the previous day painstakingly hanging them from every shelf and table. He pulled a small, velvet box from his pocket and double checked its contents before slipping it back into his jacket.
He stepped out of the back room.
“Crowley, dear, what’s going on?” Aziraphale asked, his eyes wide. Aziraphale sounded a little panicked. Crowley took Aziraphale’s hands and held on tight.
“Aziraphale,” Crowley choked on the word, and he almost faltered, “Aziraphale...Angel...” Crowley gulped. “T-there’s...something I need to ask you.” He dropped Aziraphale’s hands.
“Crowley, what are you…” Aziraphale whispered. He brought his hands up and covered his mouth.
Crowley reached into his jacket, and knelt.
“Aziraphale, I’ve known you since we were six years old. You were the most interesting person in the world to me then, and you’re the most interesting person in the world to me now.” Two big tears fell down Crowley’s face. He wiped them away, and looked down. “You’ve brought more joy into my life than I thought even existed. You’ve-” Crowley’s voice caught in his throat, and he looked up at Aziraphale, whose face was blushing bright red.
“Yes, Crowley?” Aziraphale urged him on softly. His blue eyes were huge. Crowley cleared his throat.
“Aziraphale, you’ve brought more love into my life than I thought I deserved. Sometimes it seems like too much, really, all the love in your heart. ‘s all I can do to keep up with you. But…” Crowley lifted the lid of the small box carefully, as his hands were still shaking. He revealed a golden band, twisted up on both sides to form a pair of angel’s wings guarding a single diamond.
“But…” Crowley started again. He looked straight into Aziraphale’s clear blue eyes. “But I’ll never stop trying. If you’ll let me, Angel, I’ll never stop trying to love you the way you love me.”
“Crowley, dear, ” Aziraphale said gently, “you love me plenty-”
“Just...just let me…” Crowley interrupted, laughing nervously. “Damn, I practiced this!” He laughed again and wiped a wayward tear away. “Aziraphale. My angel. I love you. I love that you think bowties are stylish. I love the way you spend days in bed reading books I’ve never heard of. I love the way you feed me sushi. I love the way you always smell like lavender. I love everything about you, and I want to keep loving you forever. Will you marry me?” Crowley held his breath.
Great, big tears were rolling down Aziraphale’s cheeks. He sniffled loudly, and nodded. A single laugh escaped his mouth, and he couldn't stop smiling. He kneeled down beside Crowley.
“Oh, Crowley,” Aziraphale cried, throwing his arms around Crowley’s neck, “you fool, of course. Of course I’ll marry you!” Aziraphale shook as he laughed and cried, and Crowley held him tight. When Aziraphale pulled away, Crowley took his hand and slid the ring onto his finger. He ran his hands up his arm and cupped Aziraphale’s cheek. He leaned forward, and through their smiles, kissed him confidently on the lips.