He’s not sure how long he stands there, minutes stretching into hours, hours into days – I know you’re in there, Crowley, and I understand that you might not want to see me right now, but if you could please let me in, just for a moment, just to explain –
It’s tired, and empty, and his heart aches with the sound of it. He offers an apologetic smile, waiting to be granted access – he won’t push it, not now, not with this frayed thing hanging in the air between them.
“Make yourself at home,” Crowley shrugs at lenght, gesturing vaguely towards the sofa – dark shadows under his eyes, empty bottles cluttering the floor. I’m so sorry, my dear; I see now I’ve been nothing but selfish, and look where that brought us.
“I hurt my best friend,” he barges in, and it’s not how he planned to breach the subject, but this will have to do, somehow. Crowley pauses halfway through pouring himself another scotch, his posture turning unnaturally still save for the way his fingers tremble around the glass.
“He was probably not a very good friend to begin with,” he exhales, his eyes carefully trained on the tumbler that’s still shaking in his hand.
“Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. You see, he’s the dearest friend I’ve ever had, and he loves me so dearly – ”
A choked out laugh, brittle and broken. “Not enough. Never enough.”
“Crowley, will you please let me finish. I’m an angel, I can sense love. And there’s no such thing as ‘not enough’, not when it comes to you.”
“Wrong kind of love, then,” another shrug, weary and tight, a painful thing to behold. “Sorry.”
“No,” he shakes his head, conviction now firmly back in place. “Can’t you see? The way I feel about you, it doesn’t change a thing. You’re still my oldest and most cherished friend, and I’d rather step into a blaze of hellfire than lose you.”
“Don’t lie to me, Aziraphale – not about this. I saw the pain of rejection written all over your face, no matter how hard you tried to conceal it.”
“And I, on yours.”
Crowley only blinks, seemingly bewildered. “What.”
“All you ever wanted was to be my friend. And yet, there I was, asking for the one thing you couldn’t give me.”
“That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it?”
“It’s not!” he closes the distance between them, taking his hand between his own. “I don’t care how you love me, so long as I don’t have to spend another moment without it.”
“You don’t mean it,” there are tears now, streaming down his face – and if Aziraphale was ever granted one wish, he would choose never to see his beloved friend cry, ever again.
“I do.” He brushes a strand of hair from Crowley’s temple, his thumb tracing the ghost of a caress to the side of his cheek. “We’ll figure it out, I promise – together.”
A muffled sob, as Crowley’s fingers come to tug at the lapels of his coat – and then they’re in each other’s arms, holding on for dear life.
And if I had to reinvent Heaven, put it back together from the ashes of what I once thought it should be, this thing we have here, that’s exactly how it would feel.