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The Bomb and the Books

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The Bomb and the Books

 

“How did it start?” Crowley wonders aloud. He’s drowsing, floating, flirting with the edge of sleep. Tucked up in bed with Aziraphale at his back. Somehow it’s easier to ask with Aziraphale’s arm a warm, heavy anchor at his waist, with Aziraphale’s body curled around his own, with Aziraphale placing sweet, absent-minded kisses to the nape of his neck in the dark of Crowley’s bedroom, and the dark behind his eyes.

 

“How did what start?” Aziraphale hums softly against his bare skin.

 

Crowley burrows more deeply into the embrace. “When did you love me?”

 

And how’s that for something he never thought he’d say? The world didn’t end, and Aziraphale loves him. It’s been a few hours now since Aziraphale first said it to him -- “I love you, of course I do,” as though it was something Crowley should’ve known all along, as though it was something he deserved -- and he still isn’t over it, the swooping swallow-dive in his chest at every new admission. He’ll probably never be over it. He hopes that’s the case.

 

“How can you put a date on something like that?” Aziraphale murmurs. He’s being kind, must be. Aziraphale spent so long refusing to even acknowledge their friendship that some part of him must have been convinced of the lie, and the other part, which knew the truth: buried so deep Crowley hadn’t been sure it was there at all, until earlier tonight.

 

“You don’t remember,” he says. “‘S okay, angel.”

 

Aziraphale takes a deep breath, and lets it out slowly, a warm gust of air that travels between Crowley’s shoulder blades and all the way down his naked back. 

 

“I’m sorry, my dear. Old habits,” he sighs. “That isn’t the answer I should have given you. It’s impossible to pin down the exact moment I fell for you because it happened quite gradually, I think. Certainly by the time we had both settled in London--”

 

“Wait, really?” Crowley can’t help but interrupt. He’s loved Aziraphale since those long years together after Eden, sitting about in the desert making idle conversation over cards while waiting for the handful of humans in existence to do something interesting. But he had no idea Aziraphale’s feelings went any further back than a couple of decades.

 

“I didn’t realise it at the time, of course, but yes, I was already deep in it by then.”

 

“Not what I expected you to say,” Crowley admits.

 

“No, well.” Aziraphale kisses the back of his neck again, sweet and warm. “I didn’t so much work it out as get struck in the head. Almost literally -- you didn’t give me much warning to work up that miracle.”

 

“Mm?”

 

“The nazis. The bomb? I saved us from the explosion and you saved my books.”

 

“Huh.” Crowley considers this. “You realised you loved me... because I saved your books. Of course. Makes perfect sense.”

 

Aziraphale makes an amused little sound. “No. I mean, yes, but it… it wasn’t so much the books as the thought behind it. You realised they were important to me, and how terribly upset I would feel if they were to be destroyed, and performed a miracle without even being asked, for no other reason than to make me happy. Expecting nothing in return. It… no one else would have been so kind … it made me realise how well you know me. How much I value that.” His arms tighten, holding Crowley closer. “How much I value you.”

 

This is straying into dangerous territory. Crowley’s body is heavy with fatigue and satisfaction, which is the only reason he doesn’t cringe away, but that doesn’t mean he’s at all equipped to withstand Aziraphale starting up with the bloody praise again.

 

“So what you’re saying,” he deflects, “is that the reason you completely ignored my beautiful new Bentley the first time you ever saw it was because I saved some dusty old books from a nazi-sponsored incineration?”

 

“The-- What--?” Aziraphale stutters. “That’s what you remember about that night?”

 

“Yup. You completely ignored my attempts to show it off. Really hurt my feelings, you know.”

 

“Oh, well then, do let me apologise,” Aziraphale says with a sort of fond sarcasm that curls up the corners of Crowley’s lips. “My distraction was unforgivable. Next time I have an epiphany about my long-suppressed feelings for my supposed hereditary enemy, I’ll make sure to set them aside for a moment while I compliment his car’s sodding windscreen wipers.”

 

Crowley’s eyes are weighted shut and his mind more than a little blurry, but he can’t help grinning like a fool.

 

“Don’t worry, angel,” he soothes. “‘S planning to drive you to the bookshop in the morning. You can make up for it then.”

 

“Oh, really,” Aziraphale tuts, but he sounds indulgent. There’s a long, hazy moment of quiet. Crowley breathes slow and steady, luxuriating in unaccustomed joy as his mind begins to let go of its conscious tethers. He’s drifting pleasantly, lulled by Aziraphale stroking circles on his bare stomach, when the angel’s voice calls him back.

 

“She’s a fine vehicle,” Aziraphale says softly. “I’m sorry I’ve never said so before. You keep her in excellent shape, really tip-top.” Absurdly, Crowley’s heart swells with pride. “Even if you do drive far too fast.”

 

“Ughh, don’t start, angel,” Crowley groans thickly. 

 

“No, well, all right,” Aziraphale says in a conciliatory tone. “Only, you should probably know I’ve had some… fantasies. Over the years. Regarding the Bentley. I rather think I intend to act on them, now that we’re…” he seems to stumble over what exactly they are, now.

 

“Hereditary ex-enemies?” Crowley offers helpfully.

 

“I was going to say married,” Aziraphale says quietly. Crowley’s breath hitches. Suddenly a lot more awake, he cranes his neck round to look at Aziraphale. The angel’s expression is a little hesitant, as though unsure those words will be positively received. To Crowley, that’s quite amazing. “If… if you want. It’s how I’ve been thinking of it, since we swapped bodies.”

 

“I want,” Crowley rasps. 

 

“Oh.” Aziraphale gives him a relieved smile. It practically lights up the room. “Good.” He leans forward and presses a chaste kiss to Crowley’s lips, unbearably sweet, before continuing as if he hasn’t just upended Crowley’s world for the second time tonight. “Well, as I was saying. Now that we’re married, I’d really quite like to drive out somewhere remote, and fuck you over the Bentley’s bonnet.”

 

“Aziraphale.” It comes out a strangled whine. Crowley’s spent pussy twitches with renewed interest. The fingers tracing tender loops on his belly are suddenly doing so with a little more intent.

 

“I’m sorry, my love, I know you’re exhausted.” Aziraphale’s voice is low and seductive in Crowley’s ear, and he suddenly wonders why he’s never imagined Aziraphale doing one of his temptations before. Self-preservation, probably -- the reality is devastating. “Do you want me to stop?”

 

“Don’t you dare,” Crowley hisses. Aziraphale’s fingers trail lower, fondling the auburn hair between Crowley’s legs before slipping down to where he’s now aching to be touched. A little miracle, and Aziraphale’s fingers are slick and sliding over Crowley’s swollen, well-used flesh.

 

“Ahh, there you are,” Aziraphale almost purrs as he begins to work Crowley’s clit in steady, sure-fingered circles. “You’re so good, my darling. You’re so lovely like this.”

 

“Nng,” Crowley says, thighs spasming together, trapping Aziraphale’s hand. Somehow in just a few short hours spent naked together, Aziraphale has managed to crowbar Crowley’s soul open, reach between his lungs and pull out his deepest weakness.

 

“Too much?” Aziraphale asks. He’s so blessed conscientious, always wanting Crowley to bloody say it. Crowley hates it, hates it, loves it.

 

“No,” he grits out. “Fuck. Are you pleased with yourself?”

 

“Oh, yes,” Aziraphale breathes hotly against his ear. “I’m even more pleased with you.” Crowley becomes incoherent. “That’s it, love. Just take it. You’re doing so well.” He slides his fingers down, pushes two inside his pussy, pulls them back to trail up to his clit, over and over, again and again, Crowley sweating and writhing and pinned in place against Aziraphale’s chest. “Ah, you gorgeous creature. That’s it, Crowley. You feel wonderful, I’ve dreamed about doing this to you for so long.”

 

Time stretches slow and sweet, and the world is reduced to this room, this bed, this angel holding him from behind, tenderly fingering him while he murmurs these lethal endearments in Crowley’s ear. It builds gently, warmly, no explosion this time, nothing to rescue from the flames, just pleasure blooming in sunlight, a steady inevitability.

 

“Aziraphale,” he moans brokenly, his orgasm rolling over him in languid, heated waves.

 

Panting, limbs like lead, Crowley lets Aziraphale rearrange him with his head on Aziraphale’s chest, one leg slung over Aziraphale’s thighs, duvet pulled up close and warm around their shoulders, held in love. Aziraphale presses tender kisses on the top of his head.

 

“I’m going to wear a skirt tomorrow,” Crowley says sleepily.

 

“Oh?” Aziraphale’s soft smile is audible in his voice. Eyes closed, Crowley smiles with him.

 

“You’re not the only one who’s had fantasies. I’ve always fancied the bookshop sofa, myself.”

 

“Anything you want,” Aziraphale murmurs, stroking loving fingers along his cheek. Crowley yawns massively. Aziraphale pulls him closer. “Sleep now, darling. I’ll guard your dreams.”