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A Safe Place to Land

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He’d been off for the past few days, ever since he had laid down to shut off his brain and body for 12 glorious hours and was betrayed instead. Normally he can recall with near perfect clarity what he dreamed about, this time however as soon as he woke up he’d been so.... unsettled and wrong-footed and- as soon as he woke up he banished it from his mind.

He’s not quite sure why he thought his luck would be good enough that forgetting the dream would be enough.

He skulked around town menacing and helping people in equal measure, trying to find his footing and finding absolutely nothing working. Not temptations, not miracles, not ducks or even botanical gardens. His skin felt stretched too tight over his bony angles, his head too pressure cooker full, and things that shouldn’t have bothered him at all, bothered him a great deal.

People gave him a wide skittish berth on the sidewalks, and normally he enjoyed this, preferred this. He didn’t want people up in his face, heckling him or bumping into him. Asking him for things or complaining to him about their boring days. But for some reason, today. Today.

It happens, that’s what happens when you’re an occult being. Some humans were more in tune with it than others but still, there was that bit at the back of their brains whispering that something wasn’t right about him, something dangerous, something unknown. Something other.

He could wax and wane the feeling at will, he could scare off a whole town if he so chose to and he could pull the feeling in so tight that humans couldn’t feel it at all. It just happened to seep out if he didn’t pay attention to it. It just happened to grow and spread and infect the area around him if he was in a sour mood. If he was unsettled, distracted, upset.

Sure, he could turn on the charm and weave beguiling grins and small demonic tugs to make people like him but-

By the time the third baby passing by in a stroller began wailing uncontrollably at Crowley his nerves were shot.

His head was too full of half formed thoughts all crashing against each other, scrabbling and clawing for the right to be on top, and his skin felt like there were a million tiny little ants crawling beneath it so, he retreated.

He was only half surprised to find himself in front of the bookshop instead of his flat.

He hesitated at the door, suddenly unsure.

Did he really want to bother Aziraphale?

It’d never stopped him before, bothering Aziraphale.

Did he want Aziraphale to see him like that?

Like what? He was perfectly fine, he was.

So why was he stalling?

The wail of a baby whose father hadn’t quite steered far enough around Crowley on the sidewalk propelled him in. Tangled thought s and feelings and feet landing just inside the door, the bell giving a cheerful tink as the door opened and shut.

We’re closed!”

Crowley let a familiar grin settle on his face at the sound.

Perfect.” He shoved his hands in his pockets for a lack of other places to put them and ambled towards the back of the shop where he’d heard Aziraphale’s voice come from. “Too many blessed babies out, almost surprised you’re not overrun in here with the fussy things and sticky fingers.”

When he rounded the corner Aziraphale looked up at him from his desk with a bright grin. “They wouldn’t dare,” he said serenely before turning back to his work. “And besides, I thought you liked babies.”

Crowley leaned against a nearby bookshelf, wanting to hover and not wanting to hover at the same time. “Kids, yes, babies, no. Kids are agents of terror and havoc and chaos and all the good stuff, babies just wail.” a pause, “and shit.” He shrugged. “How was your day?” This was new and familiar. Bickering was always familiar, it was the openly inquiring about the other’s day that was new. The not having to hide what they meant to each other. The getting to indulge and enjoy it. The whole truly being in a relationship together. Equally.

Aziraphale hummed noncommittally, head bent over the book he was working on restoring. He seemed to get lost in the job for a bit, and for a while Crowley was content to watch him. He could ignore the way his fingers twitched, wanting to reach but not knowing what for, if he concentrated on the way the noon sun scattered rays of light across Aziraphale’s pale curls. He could ignore the thrumming in his limbs, the sticky charge of restlessness, if he traced the way Aziraphale’s fingers moved so carefully, precisely across the book cover. He could drown out the clambering, hollering, fighting thoughts jumbled up and knotting themselves like a snake after its own tail if he just listened to Aziraphale’s soft humming, his little huffs when something didn’t cooperate with him, his gentle sighs when he got something just perfectly right. So he was fine.

For a little while.

Eventually though, eventually without his notice, his leg started jiggling. A restless thing. Small movements at first, slow, until he was nearly vibrating with it. His fingers clenched the material of the insides of his pockets, then got restless and he crossed his arms, fingers clenching the sleeves of his jacket instead. He worried his lip, shifted position against the bookshelf, jiggled one leg then the other, couldn’t seem to stay still, stay focused on Aziraphale.

In fact, the gentle clearing of Aziraphale’s throat caught him completely off guard, startling him into a whip quick turn of his head to face him. When had he looked away?

Are you alright dear?”

Crowley blinked. He wasn’t sure why, most of the time he forgot to even do it. This time seemed half deliberate.

Yeah, sure, I’m fine, fine fine. Why wouldn’t I be?” He peered down at Aziraphale’s desk, “finished the book already?”

When he looked back Aziraphale’s mouth had pressed into an unconvinced line. There was a furrow of worry between his brows and Crowley shrank back against the bookcase from where he had been unconsciously leaning towards Aziraphale.

Bugger. He hadn’t meant to worry him. “I should go. I’ll just head out then, yeah? Let you finish with your book thing, got wiles to do, temptations and the such,” he kicked off from the bookshelf and made to turn around and wind back out through the shelves but Aziraphale’s voice caught him first. Caught him like a net, like a snake in a trap, like a-

Crowley.”

His back is to Aziraphale but he trots out the crooked grin because he knows Aziraphale can hear what his face is doing when he speaks. Too many blessed years between them to not, he supposes.

That’s my name, don’t wear it out.”

He hears the sigh at his forced cheer, knows it isn’t working but isn’t sure what else to do. Everything is thrumming and the chattering unrelenting clamoring noise of his thoughts fighting are getting too loud in his head to think. He’s running on instinct here. On habit. On route.

Crowley, do come here.”

He’s pivoting on his heel before the command finishes registering, what a lost sod he is, and then he’s ambling towards Aziraphale, stopping a few feet from him, ever glad for his glasses. They feel like a shield, like a mask he can hide behind. He keeps that fake grin up, forces his voice casual and light, “sure angel, what’s up?”

Aziraphale’s blue eyes flicker across his face, searching and Crowley doesn’t know what he’s looking for but he’s hoping he wont find... well. He’s not sure what he doesn’t want found. He just feels too raw, too skin scraped off raw. Wet and glistening. New and vulnerable. Tender. Painful. He’s jittery still, shoves his fingers in to his too small pockets, twists them in the fabric, stills his legs with sheer force of will.

Can you take of your glasses for me dear?”

He fights the instinctual flinch back. He knows Aziraphale doesn’t mind his eyes, knows he compliments them and prefers to be able to see Crowley, to see all of Crowley but still something sloshes uncomfortably in him at the thought of taking them off right now. Something hot and burning rises up the back of his throat at the thought of it. But he’s never refused his angel something he wanted before. He likes to indulge him, please him, make that face light up with joy and watch it beam right out of him. Like the sun. Like the brightest stars he made.

But when he lets go of the fabric caught between his claws, when he pulls his hand from his pocket and tries to reach up to grab them, something wild within him bucks , hits him right in the sternum and his breath gets caught, gets lost, and he can’t make himself reach the rest of the distance. Can’t make himself grab the glasses.

I-” his hand is trembling in the air like a fool, caught halfway between destinations and face burning he shoves it back into his pocket. Turns his head away. “I-ngk. Not, not now.” He doesn’t realize he’s biting his lip until he tastes copper.

Is that okay? He doesn't ask. Is afraid to ask. What a lark. A demon afraid of asking questions.

Shh, that’s okay.”

There’s a gentle hand on his cheek and he startles before leaning into it, pressing against it and letting it guide his face forward. He hadn’t realized he was trembling.

Oh my dear,” he sounds so terribly fond and worried in equal measure but Crowley can’t get his throat to unstick long enough to say anything, “what’s got you all riled up?”

Crowley shakes his head. It’s the only answer he can give him. He doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. Doesn’t understand it. Doesn’t want to bother Aziraphale with it but he comes like the snake he is, seeking out warmth wherever he can get it from.

What do you need my dearest?”

That one’s easy. “You.” he says immediately, trying to press his face against Aziraphale’s palm more but keeping his hands gripped tight in pockets, keeps his body angled away from him. He’s not sure why. Doesn't know why. Aziraphale is the greatest balm but he feels guilty. He shouldn’t use him like this but someone above, below, but someone Aziraphale heals him like nothing else.

Alright then,” he swipes a gentle thumb across Crowley’s shark cheekbone and his eyes flutter shut. The hand pulls away and at once Crowley feels bereft, struck open and aching, and still so raw.

When he opens his eyes Aziraphale has taken a few steps back, eyes watching him critically, and then he sits in his armchair. Back straight, arms and hands resting properly on the armrests of the chair, feet flat on the ground.

Come here.”

Crowley obeys.

He shudders too, unable to help himself as always at the steel strong command wrapped in soft cotton.

He folds himself into Aziraphale’s lap, legs straddling his hips, arms looped around his middle and his face pressed into his neck. There’s a soft whine he can’t help but let out, grateful and still somehow aching at once when he gets to press himself against Aziraphale. He burns and shudders and can’t seem to press himself close enough to Aziraphale to make it stop.

Aziraphale tsk’s and Crowley wilts, presses his face harder into Aziraphale’s neck, can’t help the gentle disappointment slicing between his ribs, cutting into the heart of him.

I didn’t say you could hide, Crowley.”

There’s a command in that one too. Part of Crowley wants to obey it, wants to be good for Aziraphale, wants to follow orders, finds it arousing and calming. But the bigger part of Crowley right now wants nothing to do with that. Doesn’t want orders or commands or things with hard edges or steel. But he can’t seem to get his whirling brain to shut up or concentrate on one single thing long enough to get the proper words out.

I- can we- i usually love but- i- can we-” he sucks in a breath that shudders all the way down, “can we not?” he finishes lamely, face burning.

Aziraphale’s soft arms wrap around him, one hand cradling the back of his neck in a wordless permission for him to stay hidden, while the other smooths over his back, up and down, up and down. “Of course my love.” His voice is soft, gentle, and the soothing repetition of his hand on Crowley’s back helps him relax, press a little less hard into his neck. He realizes with a start that his glasses must have been digging into the soft flesh there and guilt washes over him like a wave.

M’sorry,” he tries to pull back but the gentle press Aziraphale’s hand on the back of his neck doesn’t allow him to move completely off.

You’re fine dear. Stay. If you want.”

I want.” He confesses before miracling away his glasses so he can press his face closer, feel Aziraphale’s skin cradling his face, feel the pulse of him and concentrate on that instead of the whirling black hole mess of his head.

They stay like that for a while. Soft breathing, soothing hands tracing patterns across the nape of his neck, the slate of his back. Crowley loosens slowly, not gripping as tight, not pressing as tight, just, slowly loosens until he is almost lax in Aziraphale’s lap. There’s still tension thrumming through him, both of them can feel it, but at least now it’s not overwhelming him. It’s not so loud, so demanding, so all encompassing that he can’t think or do anything but vibrate right out of his skin.

Dear heart?” Aziraphale softly asks, fingers stilling so that Crowley will pay attention to him but its unneeded, the pet name alone has caught Crowley’s attention if the way he just melted into Aziraphale is any indication, “what is it you need?” he can sense there’s something more, something else needed, but he’s unsure what. This is uncharted territory for them both but he wants dearly to give Crowley whatever he wants, whatever he needs.

I dunno. You. This. I- i don’t-” he swallows more broken words, twisting up and curling into himself and away from Aziraphale, “i-i don’t... know...i.. ngl-” he cuts himself off but before he can curl further into himself Aziraphale pulls him closer again, pulls him flush against his body, arms picking up the soothing motions they left off on.

Take your time dear. We can figure it out together if you like.”

But Crowley shakes his head because it’s come to him now. The wanted and unwanted revelation. He wanted to know, he’d asked the questions, now he had the answers whether he liked them or not. His face burned and he could feel it traveling down his neck and to the tips of his ears.

Crowley?”

Of course the perfect bastard had realized something had changed. Of course he did.

No.”

Aziraphale chuckled, amused and overly fond at the petulant denial. “Come now, you can tell me. It’s just us.”

Crowley shook his head against its hiding spot in Aziraphale neck.

Oh? Is it embarrassing?”

A bit of a bastard indeed.

Aziraphale didn’t even try to keep the glee out of his voice, “my my, oh do tell me Crowley.”

f’cking tease,” he complained, face hotter yet.

I have absolutely no idea what you mean,” he continued mercilessly, “I only want to do what you want, my dear boy.” his fingers slipped up into Crowley’s hair like the cheating cheater he was, threading through the short hair and massaging against his scalp in just that perfect way that made Crowley go boneless. “However, I can’t do what you want if you don’t tell me, my perfect demon.” A kiss was delivered to the tip of Crowley’s nose and he scrunched it up reflexively, scowl in place, before he realized he’d been tricked. He’d been leaning into the hand playing with his hair and it had kept leaning further and further backwards until Crowley had been guided from his hiding place and was now face to face with Aziraphale.

He opened his eyes to glare at him. “Dirty.”

Aziraphale smiled back bemusedly. “Only with your best intentions at heart, my dear.” And then he scratched that spot right at the back of his neck where his hair ended and Crowley liquefied. Eyes drifting shut as he went boneless with a pleased hiss.

It was a good thing Aziraphale was so strong, because when Crowley went limp, all of his weight was being held up by that one same hand as the demon pressed back into it.

Leaning forward, unable and unwilling to deny himself the indulgence, Aziraphale trailed kisses up Crowley’s bared throat, from clavicle to chin to lips, smiling when Crowley leaned into the kiss with a pleased hum.

Something seemed to settle in Crowley at last. It hunkered down and hissed, pleased, in that way one did when finally finding the perfect spot to bask in the hot sun after a winter of sunless months.

When they pulled apart Crowley didn’t let Aziraphale go far, instead rested their foreheads together, soft puffs of their breath warming the other’s lips. He knew Aziraphale would ask again, and he did want this, he did , it just-

It was so terribly hard to ask for what he wanted.

It was harder still to admit what he wanted.

Everyone had guilty pleasures. Crowley had even coined that term, pitched it and the culture behind it as something profitable to hell. Make all these millions of thousands of people enjoy a thing and then feel helplessly guilty over it. Guilty people tended to lash out at others. Tended to project. To say and do mean things to make their guilt feel better.

What a bite in the ass that was.

So Crowley didn’t read much. Or, at least not around Aziraphale, and that’s a story for another time, but he watched a lot of tv. Shows, movies, musicals, recorded plays (still not as good as being there in person), you name it. But Crowley’s guilty pleasure was romance movies. Oh sure, half of everyone knew he liked romcoms, but he could pass that off as deriving demonic pleasure on all the embarrassment everyone went through during the whole movie. Could pass it off as enjoying every romantic out there thinking life would be just like those movies and inevitably growing resentful when it wasn’t.

Bit harder to pass off pure romance movies as anything demonic. Not a demonic thing about it really. It was too sweet by half, everyone ended up happy in the end, and there was a whole lot of too much good in everyone wanting to do right by the other with sweet actions and kind words and- just, not very demonic in the slightest. More than a bit embarrassing. More so to admit to liking it. Even more mortifying to admit to wanting it.

But bless it all. Surely, bibliophile that Aziraphale was, he’d at least recognize the signs from his romance books if Crowley showed him, wouldn’t he? Crowley doubted there was a genre Aziraphale hadn’t read, the books only for a lack of adequate time, so surely Aziraphale had read romance books. Surely he’d understand, he’d get it.

Crowley just... just had to show him.

He could do that better than words anyways.

So he pulled back slowly, eyes darting up to Aziraphale’s lovely half shut blue ones, before darting back down again. He pulled in a steadying breath that stuttered when a soft thumb ran across his lips.

“Dear heart, you’re making yourself bleed again.”

And then with the gentle tug of his thumb, Aziraphale pulled Crowley’s lower lip from between his fangs, and with another swipe across it, he left it tingling with the brush of a miracle to heal it. Crowley’s breath stuttered. He leaned into it, into the thumb still pressed gently against his lips and into Aziraphale who didn’t shy from him even when his fangs came out. Didn’t shy from snake yellow eyes or patches of scales down his spine or when he lost control and nails became claws and teeth became fangs.

He took a breath.

He leaned back and looked at Aziraphale, face pinking, but that was fine, this was Aziraphale, he was safe with Aziraphale. He wouldn’t mock this. He wouldn’t twist it into something ugly. He’d just...

Crowley licked his lips nervously, overly large fangs slipping over his lips but Aziraphale only smiled, full of love.

He’d just accept him. It. Him.

Crowley took a breath, leaned back a bit and let go of his loose embrace around Aziraphale. Let his hand trace up Aziraphale’s left arm, let it go slow, let it feel the way his soft jacket wrapped around his form. Let it trace it all the way to cuff, to the hem, across the tiny sliver of the blue shirtcuff peeking out, to the soft skin of his wrist, his hand.

He cradled Aziraphale’s hand in his, drew it up slowly to his mouth, eyes locked with Aziraphale’s as his breath brushed over pale knuckles.

“Can it.. can it just be this?”

And then he turned Aziraphale’s hand over, bent his head, and pressed a lingering kiss to the inside of his wrist. Let his lips linger for a moment, reverent, and drinking in the sound of the softest awed oh above him. He let his lips drag across the skin down to the inside of his palm, careful to keep too long fangs from doing more than brushing skin lightly, lightly enough to draw goosebumps. He kissed the inside of Aziraphale’s palm, traced the lines there with kisses until they’d all been covered and then he turned his hand over, moving to press love into each knuckle, each fingertip, and a lingering soft kiss to the back of his hand.

His heart was thumping away in his chest when he pulled back, over eager to give love and receive it, past ready for tenderness and reverence and everything wonderful he’d never allowed himself to have before. Never allowed himself to shamelessly want.

“Can i-” he licked his lips, raised his eyes to Aziraphale’s, and had the breath knocked out of him at the amount of pure unadulterated love he found there, spilling over and out, “can I have it too?” his voice was small, soft, vulnerable and unsure but Aziraphale just smiled, words tumbling out “of course, of course my love, my loveliest, and aren’t you just? So sweet, oh, I love you so much dear, so much you don’t even know.”

And then Crowley’s eyes were overflowing too but that was okay because Aziraphale was so so bright and he was overflowing with love, leaning forward and kissing the tears off Crowley’s cheeks, hands rising ever soft and tender, cradling his sharp jaw in plush hands, and swiping thumbs across cheeks with such care.

Crowley shuddered in his hands, but the good kind of shudder, the kind that felt like walls crumbling down, like bridges lowered over moats, like love being let in finally. Like a craving being indulged in, like it being allowed, like it might even be wanted.

“I- again. Please?”

“Oh yes, certainly. Now and forever. Whenever you want, my lovely. Just ask, ask any time, any time at all.”

And something was thrumming in Crowley, something warm and soft and comfortable and safe. It was thrumming and growing with every word, every kiss, and Crowley trembled beneath it all, hands reaching up, reaching for Aziraphale. His angel met him half way, caught one hand in his and laid soft kisses on his knuckles, smoothed gentle fingers across the inside of his wrist, let Crowley’s other free hand smooth up Aziraphale’s arm, down his sides, and back up to hold on to his shoulder. He needed to hold on, he felt fit to burst apart with this growing warmth in him. It was soothing edges he didn’t know were frayed, filling cracks with soft golden love like the Japanese did with pottery. Like he was something beautiful even with his flaws, like he was something beautiful and loved not in spite of his flaws but like he was perfect the way he was, flaws included. They were just another part of him. Another beautiful part of him.

The sob worked its way up his chest and came tumbling out despite his best attempts to keep it locked behind his lips.

“oh,” and his voice was a wrecked thing, “oh you bastard,” he crumbled into Aziraphale’s waiting hands and his voice shook but was fond and so overflowing with love, “you absolute bastard you.” He was weaving feelings into Crowley the way Crowley weaved temptations into humans. He was pressing love and acceptance and everything lovely into Crowley, making him feel it, making him think it. He was nearly at the point of believing it.

“I didn’t know you could do that.” he said weakly, sagging into Aziraphale and then letting himself be manhandled as Aziraphale gathered him up in his arms. He didn’t realize what was really happening until Aziraphale stood up, Crowley cradled against his chest bridal style, and then Crowley clung on but before he could hide his burning face again Aziraphale leaned down and pressed a kiss to his forehead first, then his nose and then finally his lips.

“I should have tried it a long time ago, my dearest.”

And then somehow between one breath and the next they’re laying on the couch that Crowley’s pretty sure wasn’t big enough for them both to lie down on but is anyways and Crowley’s heart is just pounding away. Aziraphale’s arranged them so they’re spooning with Aziraphale being the big spoon, nestled up behind Crowley like a blessedly warm, soft, comfortable embrace. One arm is looped around Crowley’s narrow waist and the other is pillowed beneath his head and Crowley had to shut his eyes for a moment to get his bearings so he doesn’t get swept away in the tide of how safe, how loved, how cared for he feels like this, gathered up and held like something precious in Aziraphale’s arms.

“Is this okay, my dear?”

“Ngk.” He nods instead, presses back against Aziraphale and feels the arm around him tighten in response. “Ye-yeah,” he rasps, his own arm wrapping around the Aziraphale has holding him. “Perfect,” he manages and then there’s a kiss being pressed gently to the nape of his neck that has him struggling against tears again.

He’s so weepy right now it’s embarrassing. “m’sorry.”

“Nothing to be sorry for.”

“But-”

“No. There’s nothing to be sorry for. I love you just the way you are Crowley, and you’re allowed this. You’re allowed all that you want and more.” Aziraphale pulls him back against him, rests his chin on Crowley’s shoulder, turns his head so that he can press a kiss to the spot just below his ear, the one that makes him shiver and fall apart incoherently, “I love this too, dearest. And I would love to indulge you any time, sweetheart. You’re so good to me, so very good. I want to give you whatever you want.”

Crowley’s having trouble finding words beyond what he can hear. He’s nearly drowning, nearly bowled over by the rush he feels at being called good, at being lavished upon, at being loved.

“Would you like to do this more often, my dear?”

Words are beyond him but someone help him he wants that more than anything, more than he’s embarrassed by it, so he nods, a touch too frantically.

Wonderful,” Aziraphale breathes against his neck and then he places another kiss there, “you really are a romantic at heart, aren’t you dearest?”

It’s a very undemonic, very embarrassed whine that escapes Crowley but he could no more deny it at this moment than he could the assessment.

“I hadn’t realized you wanted it returned the same way,” Aziraphale removed the hand from around Crowley’s waist but began smoothing it up and down the length of Crowley’s side before the demon could even begin to complain. It felt wonderful and careful and reverent and loving all at once. “All those gifts and all those big and small gestures. Oh, hamlet, of course. I thought it had only been because I asked.”

“Wanted to- want to give you everything. Anything you want.” He mumbled, surprised the words came at all and equally surprised to be rewarded for them in the form of a kiss on his head and a hand brushing his jaw before tilting his face back for a proper kiss.

“So lovely, you are.”

“Love when you smile,” he admitted, face burning but courage rattling around in his chest as a product of all this love, this reassurance of love.

“You’re too sweet by half,” but Aziraphale sounded so fond and awed that Crowley let it go. Let himself enjoy it for once, let himself hear it and let it be. “What else do you want?”

At the confused noise in the back of his throat Aziraphale amended, “what else would you like? Not just right now, but whenever we’re together? Or perhaps there’s something you want when we’re apart?”

He had nearly 6000 years of half smothered ideas and wants but how was he to go about sorting them? Putting them to words? Figuring out which ones were okay to ask for and which ones he shouldn’t?

“Oh my dearest, you needn’t think so hard.”

Was he overthinking it?

“Shh, we don’t have to do it all at once.” A hand was smoothing up and down his side, from ribs to hips to thighs and then traveling back up again. It was a bit soothing, a bit distracting. “You can just tell me as you think of them. And perhaps I’ll try some things of my own, and you can let me know if you enjoy them or not. How does that sound, hm?”

“An’-and you too.”

“Me too?”

An embarrassed shuffle, “yeah. Tell me things you want to do too. Or- or if you don’t like something I’m doing. Or do. Do like.”

He could feel the warmth of Aziraphale’s smile spreading from him, through his back and through all of Crowley.

“Oh yes, that all sounds wonderful. And right now, if it’s okay with you, I think I should like to hold you like this a while longer. We can watch the tube if you like, or we could just lie here.”

The angel knew him too well by half. He’d wager that’s why Aziraphale had brought them to the couch, why he had curled up behind Crowley and positioned him where he could see the tv. Because that sounded spectacular right now. Curled up with Aziraphale watching some show he could lazily bitch at or a cooking show that he could indulge in Aziraphale’s lovely sighs over, and just- feel peaceful. Safe. Maybe drift off on the edge of sleep, curled up with Aziraphale like a good sun warmed rock that emanated far too much love.

“Y-yeah,” and if his voice cracked a little at the beginning, then Aziraphale was merciful enough not to comment, just smiled loudly and pressed another kiss to the nape of his neck. “The tube, sounds good, maybe- maybe the Great British Bake Off? Know you prefer the cooking ones.”

Aziraphale hummed, “I do and that sounds lovely. But I also prefer you, my lovely.”

“Ngk.”

But the tv flickered on obligingly, a model old to Crowley, new to Aziraphale, and sitting somewhere comfortably in the middle. The Great British Bake off was indeed playing, the volume low enough to be soothing and loud enough to be understood. Crowley shifted, on the edge of perfect contentment but wanting one last thing.

He wrestled with himself for a moment before caving. Aziraphale had indulged him in all of this, wanted him to ask for things he wanted, so maybe, maybe it’d be alright. One last thing.

“Angel?”

“Yes dear?”

“Uh, could you- co- would you mind- ngglmn” he struggled to get his tongue under control, and then his nerves, and then finally, “play with my hair?”

Aziraphale tilted his chin back gently, let him see the wide, bright, effervescent grin on his face and then kissed him and kissed him and kissed him.

Finally he broke away when Crowley was breathless, head floaty, and thoughts scattered.

“Thank you for asking my dear,” he praised, and his delight at Crowley asking for what he wanted filtered through the kiss haze of Crowley’s mind and sent a little thrill through him. “It would be my pleasure,” and then he guided Crowley back to facing the tv and then his fingers were carding through his hair, gentle tugs and soothing scrapes against his scalp.

And Crowley just melted into pure bliss.