There was fire. There was smoke - or maybe that was just the sooty clouds. Regardless, everything was just shrouded in pain. Crowley didn't see the star-dusted sky, the rippling winds shaking him to his very core. No, he was in too much pain. The burn in his back was spiraling through his entire being like writhing roots breaking concrete. It seemed to last too long, too short, then CRASH. He was on a battlefield, leveled by bombs. He felt the radiation in his skin, his feathers, smelled it in the very air he was unnecessarily breathing in.
Two sides. But they were parted like the Red Sea. There were faceless faces and shapeless bodies. They all watched Crowley, unseen gazes prickling at his skin. Every instinct told him to flee, but his feet remained stubbornly planted.
"Please," a voice croaked pathetically. "Please, Crowley."
He looked down to see Aziraphale, wings bent all wrong and eyes blinded by something dark. There was no light around him. Just bloodied, bruised, and nearly collapsed.
"I trusted you," he wailed, voice broken to the dry winds. "I trusted you. How could you?"
Crowley wanted to scream, "I didn't mean it! I can't have done this! I'm so sorry, angel!" but all that came out was a cold and cruel, "You deserve it." He didn't want to say that. He didn't want to pick up the flaming sword. He absolutely did not want to kick down his angel and point the blade to his throat while he cried in fear. He didn't want to slash it through the air until it cut through Aziraphale's-
Crowley shouted in a blind panic, kicking his sheets as he scrambled up in bed. He was breathing so hard, his lungs were near bursting, and his heart was beating so loud that he swore anyone could hear it from outside. Sweat made his hair and outfit cling to his quivering body, sticky and hot and very unpleasant. He coughed, choking on a sudden breath. Once he came to his senses, he heard only silence. There was wind from outside and his place smelled like it always did: sulfuric and new, as if no one lived there. He wiped stray tears he hadn't noticed were there and got up shakily.
"Fuck," was all he hissed, grabbing a bottle of whiskey and drinking straight from it. He didn't stop until it was halfway finished. "Fuck," he repeated with a groan. Then he continued drinking every last drop of the bottle.
Crowley blinked, staring at the ceiling. How long had he been there? He sat up, joints protesting and reminding him that the floor was not the best choice to sleep on. Especially when it was littered with bottles. He rubbed his head, certain that he was hungover. It had been a long time, and damn, he did not miss that feeling. He vaguely noticed some sort of ringing sound but opted to ignore whatever the hell that annoying thing was to get a glass of water. There was no way in Hell he would be doing any miracles for the day. He juggled the idea of taking another bottle out of his cabinet to reinforce his sleep. But the hungover jabbed at his head painfully, and he knew that that just wouldn't be happening. He swallowed the glass of water greedily, throat nearly expanding to take it all. It was a habit of his, being part snake and all.
His breath hitched, choking on the water and coughing it all back up. That triggered everything else to leave his stomach. Crowley was just glad he had a mind to jump to the sink. He gagged, licking his lips when he was done. Alcohol and acid burned his throat. So it was the doorbell that was ringing, his subconscious thought.
"Oh dear lord!" Aziraphale exclaimed in a panic. "Crowley! Are you alright?! What's happened?!"
"Fine, fine, angel," Crowley replied hoarsely, wiping his mouth as he stumbled back. "Just fine."
"You clearly aren't! What in Heaven's gotten into you?" Aziraphale waved a quick hand, clearing his sweat and grime and fixing his outfit.
"Had a bit too much to drink, is all. Forgot to take it out."
"Crowley, you're a mess!"
"Not the first time," Crowley mumbled.
Aziraphale sighed. "I think you should get some rest, dear."
The angel nodded, offering a kind smile. "It can't be too pleasant using so much effort just to stand when you're sick!"
Crowley swayed slightly. "What? No. Sure." His head was still throbbing. He couldn't think right. "Bed?"
"Yes, bed," Aziraphale agreed, taking him by the arm. "Come now, my dear. I'll help you."
Crowley mumbled something about not needing help but obediently followed Aziraphale anyway. He dropped like a bag of bricks once they reached his bed. Its sheets were twisted and thrown half off while the pillows looked disturbed, as if someone had thrashed them. Aziraphale fixed that easily, tucking in Crowley.
"There you are, love," he murmured.
"Angel," Crowley called groggily.
"Promise me you'll be okay."
"Why wouldn't I be?" Aziraphale tilted his head in question, but Crowley had already fallen asleep. He smiled slightly, shaking his head. "Had a night to himself and he drinks himself silly. Oh, what am I going to do with you?" Take care of him, his mind answered. He clearly needs it.
"Aziraphale," Crowley mumbled.
"Crowley?" Aziraphale tried calling.
"No," Crowley breathed. "Don't touch... my angel. Don't. Aziraphale."
Said angel looked over him with concern. "A nightmare," he said with a frown. "How awful."
"Aziraphale," he called again, craning his neck to one side as if to avoid a burn. "No."
Aziraphale held a hand gently against Crowley's forehead. The demon leaned into the touch. Aziraphale couldn't help smiling.
"Sleep peacefully," the angel said. "Dream of the good things, of whatever you like most. Dream well."
One moment, Crowley was about to see Azirahale burned, and the next moment, he was at the Ritz. A sense of calm and peace washed over his being as he sat back, crossing his leg. Aziraphale was eating, like always. Savoring every little bite of cake and cream. Crowley watched, violence and death forgotten. Aziraphale was next to him, safe and sound. They were untouchable. At this moment, they were absolutely untouchable.
"Champagne?" Crowley offered, tilting the bottle.
"Oh, why, yes! Thank you."
They toasted, sipping happily and casually. They talked of nothing and everything. They were perfectly together.