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Aziraphale awoke with a buzzing in his head. A slight pain behind his temples forced a groan out of his mouth as he sat up. He looked around and found himself on the bed in his small quarters above his shop, wearing his beloved tartan pajamas. Surprised he looked at his nightstand where he spotted two objects that usually were not there: A cup of tea, miraculously at perfect drinking temperature, and a simple note saying „Stay in bed, I‘ll be right back“. It was Crowley‘s handwriting so instinctively he thought about obeying the words since Crowley usually knew what was best in any situation. But then again, Aziraphale had trouble remembering what exactly the situation was.

Furrowing his brows he tried to recall what had happened. Right: misplaced Antichrist, impending end of the world, a fight with Crowley.

The last thought send a jolt of pain right into his heart. Oh, the horrible things he had said to Crowley at the bandstand, the hurtful sight of the demon walking away, the tears gathering in his eyes… But wait, Crowley had come back to him, right? Yes, Aziraphale had been on his way to the shop when the familiar Bentley had screeched to a halt beside him.

The angel frowned. For some reason these newer memories were slippery. Focusing hard, he tried to remember the last exchange with Crowley. The demon had come to persuade Aziraphale to abandon Earth and hide at Alpha Centauri. There was no denying that the idea had been tempting. Spending an eternity in the stars with the person he loved most was a nice thought. But he could not bear leaving all the innocent and helpless humans to the mercy of the war-mongering agents of Heaven and Hell. And so he had turned Crowley down – again.

 

"Look, I‘m quite sure... if I can just… just reach the right people, then I can get all this sorted out,“ said Aziraphale, wringing his hands.

"There aren‘t any right people! There‘s just God, moving in mysterious ways and not talking to ANY of us!“ Crowley pressed out between gritted teeth.

Aziraphale felt the lingering pain and disappointment behind his anger. Crowley, feeling abandoned by God, no longer believed that calling out to Her made any sense.

"Well, yes! That‘s why I am going to have a word with the Almighty and the Almighty will fix it!“ the angel insisted, not sure if he actually tried to calm and convince Crowley or himself.

The demon sighed: „Alright then. But make it fast. They‘ll come to my apartment first, but who knows how much they know? Could find us in your shop, too.”

“It shouldn’t take long,” Aziraphale smiled, very glad they were on the same page again. “You can hide in the backroom while I sort this out. Then we can take care of Hell’s goons together!”

“Lead the way, angel!”

Then…

 

Aziraphale groaned. The throbbing pain in his head subsided, but still it was exhausting to grasp the memories.

 

He unlocked the door to his shop and entered, Crowley right behind him. After that he locked the door again and with Crowley’s help he closed the blinds of the windows. Then he went to check whether he had everything he needed for the call and… was grabbed from behind. A short piercing pain in his neck had him gasping and suddenly his vision became foggy. Everything blurred out more and more until finally the world went black.

 

Aziraphale drew in a sharp breath. He had been attacked! In his shop! Crowley had been right.

“Oh God!” he gasped at the thought of his friend. “Crowley!”

But then he frowned. Crowley had obviously written the note on his nightstand so he must be fine. Maybe he had overpowered the attackers? Despite his lanky form the demon was an impressive fighter so that was quite possible. Yes, that must be it. He had been knocked out and Crowley had fought whoever did this and won. Then his demonic friend had put Aziraphale on the bed to rest. Still, he needed to make sure Crowley was fine.

Calling out for the demon, Aziraphale made his way to his small kitchen. The kettle was not where he had left it, but besides that there were no traces of someone having been here lately. Concerned Aziraphale realized that he could not feel Crowley‘s presence at all and sure enough the demon was neither in the shop nor the backroom nor the basement.

Breathing in and out slowly to calm himself, Aziraphale sorted his thoughts. He had no idea how long he had been unconscious. Maybe it was only an hour or even less. It was possible that Crowley had made sure Aziraphale was not too badly injured and comfortable and had gone to get his Holy Water and other useful weapons against the forces of Hell.

Still he could not sit idly and wait. He would visit Crowley‘s apartment and if the demon was not there, he could return here. Satisfied with this plan, he nodded to himself and snapped his fingers.

“Oh dear!” he said, blinking, feeling dizzy. As he had intended, he no longer was in his pajamas but dressed in his usual attire and held a piece of paper and a pen in his hand to leave a note for Crowley. But this relatively small miracle had been way harder to perform than it should have been. Who knew what these fiends had used to knock him out.

He scribbled a short explanation for Crowley, telling him where he went and to wait here for his return in case they missed each other. Content with his wording, he put the note on his bed, assuming Crowley would look for him there.

Then he rushed to his shop’s front door. He was surprised to find it unlocked, but Crowley forgetting this in a situation like that was understandable.

Aziraphale stepped out of his shop, preparing to meet a buzzing London afternoon when he felt a weird shift around him. While he blinked, he heard a door fall shut, assuming it was the shop door. But as he looked around, he found himself in his home again right at the back entrance. Staring at his surroundings in disbelief, he turned around to leave through said back entrance, only to find himself in his shop’s sales area again, right at the main entrance after stumbling through it.

“What the...,” he mumbled. Despite feeling foolish, he tried another time, hoping he could feel and identify the sort of magic trapping him in that way. But while trying that, he noticed that his senses for the supernatural did not work as usual. He felt something going on but was unable to focus on its nature.

Unwilling to accept being trapped in his own shop, he ran upstairs and wanted to open the bedroom window. Upon touching it, he froze. That was no window! It looked like glass presenting a view of London, but it felt exactly like the wall surrounding it. An illusion!

“What the deuce is going on here?” he exclaimed.

Frustrated he ran back into the shop in hopes to find something among his books that might help him. Of course there existed spells to identify and counter magic that might help him replace his obviously suppressed or – God may prevent it – lost abilities, but he had no idea whether he had everything he needed to perform them.

In his rush he noticed the tall shadow in the hallway too late, bumping into the figure. He lost his balance but was caught by two strong arms.

He gasped in shock but soon found himself bathed in relief when he saw the familiar face of his best friend.

“Crowley!” he beamed at the demon. “You are alright!”

The demon’s eyes were hidden by his dark glasses, but he gave the angel one of those cocky grins that made Aziraphale feel warm all over. It was weird that he had not sensed his presence, but now that he was so close, he could feel that this was Crowley, not a demonic (or angelic) imposter.

“’Course I am!” Crowley smirked. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Well, because...”

“No matter!” the demon interrupted. “More important question: Why aren’t you in bed?”

Not waiting for an answer, he snapped his fingers, changing Aziraphale into his pajamas again, manhandled him to turn him around and pushed him non-too-gently back into the direction of his bedroom.

“But Crowley!” complained Aziraphale while he was led through his kitchen. “I cannot rest now of all times. So much to do. We need to get rid of the demons that are after you, I need to talk to God so she stops Armageddon and my powers aren’t working properly...”

“Sshh!” Crowley made, his hot breath tingling over the skin on Aziraphale’s neck. “All is taken care of. Everything will be fine.”

“With all due respect to your optimistic approach, my dear...” The angel’s impending speech was interrupted by Crowley‘s hands, grabbing his shoulders and turning him back around. His sunglasses had miraculously disappeared and Aziraphale gazed directly into these beautiful golden eyes that he so often saw in his dreams and daydreams alike.

“Angel, look at me!” Crowley insisted and repeated very pointedly: “Everything. Will. Be. Fine!”

Aziraphale’s eyes widened in realization. Of course! Everything would be fine. When Crowley said it, it was true. If there was a person in the universe he could trust, it was Crowley. He smiled happily as Crowley turned him around once more, pushed him through the bedroom’s door and led him to the bed.

Crowley miracled away the note and pulled the blanket aside before gently pushing Aziraphale to the mattress.

“Now listen, angel!” he said softly. “You rest just a bit longer, then everything will be ready, okay?”

With a smile Aziraphale leaned into Crowley’s hand cupping his cheek. Everything would be ready. But… With knitted brows he stared at his friend. What would be ready? And how could Crowley claim everything was fine? The world was ending! And why was Crowley not worried about Aziraphale’s powers being fallible?

All of a sudden Aziraphale felt like all these doubts were bundled together and pushed aside, pushed away, to a place somewhere in the back of his mind. The smile was about return to his face. Everything would be… Wait!

“Crowley?” he asked hesitantly. “Are you… using a miracle on me right now?”

Crowley sighed and a fond smile appeared on his handsome features.

“My angel!” he said, almost proudly. “You are so smart and stubborn that even with your powers blocked it’s hard to put a spell on you.”

“Wh… what? Crowley!” Aziraphale sputtered indignantly and sat up, getting in Crowley’s face. “Why would you even try to put a spell on me? We don’t have time for these shenanigans. The Antichrist…”

“…is no longer a problem,” the demon stopped him midsentence.

“You…found…you… killed…?”

“What? No!” Crowley shook his head. “Turns out, the boy… Albert,… no wait, Ashton…or Aden? Adam!... is quite alright. Didn’t want to end the world. He and his friends killed the horsemen. Well, ‘cept for Azrael of course. The old rascal called it a day when his comrades were offed.”

“What?” Aziraphale was having a hard time following the demon’s explanations. “How… I mean… when… why…”

“I found that Nutter-Book!” Crowley grinned. “Some interesting notes in a very familiar handwriting. Hidden from me by a naughty little angel.”

Playfully Crowley tipped his finger against Aziraphale’s nose.

“Crowley, I…”

“Ssh! It’s okay!” The demon stroke softly over Aziraphale’s cheek. “I know it’s hard for you. Heaven takes its toll on an angel. That’s why I took care of everything. Your notes were spot on! I found the airbase in time so I could give Adam a little pep talk before Satan appeared…”

“Satan himself?”

“Yeah, but don’t worry! Adam defeated him!”

“Good Lord! So much happened… how long was I asleep?” the angel wanted to know.

“Four weeks? Give or take.” Crowley shrugged. “Now and then you woke up, babbling adorable nonsense!”

“A month? Goodness!” Aziraphale wanted to jump up, but Crowley stopped him. “Crowley, let me go! I need to talk to Head Office. Find out how much they know about my part in this! See how mad exactly they are! And my shop! I…”

“Everything’s fine!” Crowley said once more and added with an eerie calmness: “Doesn’t matter what they know. They won’t dare hurting you! Never again!”

Aziraphale swallowed in the face of the uncanny expression on Crowley’s handsome features, but soon the scary look disappeared and the demon laughed: “As for your shop: It’s not that you really want to sell books, right?”

“But...”

“I think this was quite enough for today. You’ll be a good boy now and lay down.” Not roughly but notably less gentle than before Crowley started pressing Aziraphale into the mattress again.

“No, I won’t, Crowley!” Aziraphale gave back, struggling against his hold.

“You will!” Crowley insisted and the angel felt his friend’s demonic influences weave into his mind again.

It was hard with his own powers so weakened, but he managed to fight off the intrusion of his thoughts. Crowley’s surprising physical strength on the other hand turned out to be an obstacle he could not overcome. A frustrated sigh escaped the demon and he gave Aziraphale a sympathetic look.

“I didn’t want to do that, angel!” he said regretfully. “But you are being difficult and leave me no choice!”

“What are you…”

With a gasp Aziraphale stopped talking when Crowley pinned both his wrists above his head with one hand and used his free hand to grab his hair and pull his head back. Shortly he wondered why the demon did this until he felt Crowley’s fangs sink into his exposed neck.

“Crowley!” he cried out, not only at the pain but at the feeling of betrayal. “Why are you doing this to me?”

Finally Crowley withdrew and the stinging subsided, but a slight burn remained. Aziraphale blinked. His vision began to blur and he sobbed at a painful realization.

“You… it was you who attacked me in the bookshop!” he breathed out. “You poisoned me!”

“It’s not fatal!” the demon said. “I know how to dose this. The last one only knocked you out long enough for me to sort things out.”

“That… that’s no excuse!” Aziraphale shook his head. “You still attacked me from behind and did this to me!”

“I had to, angel!” Crowley said apologetically. “You were doing it again!”

“Doing what?”

“Putting yourself in danger!” the demon explained. “I couldn’t allow it!”

The venom took its toll and it was hard for Aziraphale to focus and process what the demon said. But Crowley was right, wasn’t he? Aziraphale had a tendency to put himself in danger. That’s why he was in trouble so often. Crowley always saved him. Crowley probably knew best. Crowley would… No!

Crowley was using his weakened state to try his demonic power on him again!

“I… I…” Aziraphale wrestled with his thoughts and words, both a jumbled mess in his mind. This was assault, this was kidnapping! It was preposterous, it was outrageous, it was… kind of sweet now that he thought about it. Going through such great length to keep him safe. Crowley really was the best.

“Please, angel!” he heard Crowley say. “I’m doing this for you. I need to keep you safe.”

“Yes, I know!” Aziraphale nodded, a bit embarrassed how long it had taken him to understand. “You always take care of me.”

“Yes!” Crowley smiled. “Yes, of course. I will alw…hmpf!”

Aziraphale shut Crowley up by pressing a soft kiss on his lips. A surprised noise escaped the demon’s throat and for a few seconds he remained passive. But then he growled deeply, returned – and intensified – the kiss and pressed his body against Aziraphale’s. He pushed the angel back into the mattress and Aziraphale let himself fall.

*

Giving in to Crowley was so easy and felt so natural. Brave, smart and beautiful Crowley breathing heavily above him was an age old dream finally coming true: Those strong hands parting Aziraphale’s legs, the long dexterous fingers leaving no inch of his skin unexplored, the clever tongue tasting the angel’s throat, the angel’s cunt and everything in between.

With teases and touches Crowley drove Aziraphale crazy until he had the angel begging for the demon to take him. And Crowley seemed eager to oblige.

“You’re mine, angel!” he claimed breathlessly when his hard member first entered Aziraphale. “I’ll take care of you! Nobody can protect you like I can. Nobody can love you like I can!”

Each of his words was punctuated and accompanied by hard thrusts into the angel’s pliant body, his huge dark wings giving additional power to every move. All Aziraphale could do was nod eagerly and occasionally gasp out a “yes”.

When Crowley after a while spread his legs wider to push in even deeper, Aziraphale was already lost to the new sensations. The demon knew exactly how to move and where to touch his angel to add to his lust without granting release. Aziraphale lost track of time, but it was not until the red light of the setting sun streamed through the windows (or at least gave the illusion of doing so), that Crowley lifted the angel’s ass, angled his own hips and delivered a set of especially vicious thrusts, attacking Aziraphale’s sweet spot. With a helpless cry Aziraphale climaxed and dug his nails into the demon’s shoulder. Crowley all but roared when he came and Aziraphale felt his lover’s release – hot, wet and deep inside him.

Exhausted but happy Aziraphale felt his tense body relax and sank into the pillow, slowly falling to sleep. There was an annoying nagging in the back of his mind, insisting that something was off. But that had to be an error. He was with Crowley and Crowley kept him safe. Everything was fine.

*

 

Crowley collapsed on top of Aziraphale. Breathing heavily he rolled off of him and stared at the ceiling. A slight feeling of guilt snuck into his mind. That was not how he had planned their first time. Aziraphale’s feelings for him were real, the venom could not create them. But obviously it had taken down the angel’s defenses, make all his usual self-prohibitions disappear. Biting his lip, Crowley told himself that this was what Aziraphale wanted but always denied himself. Still he would have preferred their first time with the angel having all his senses at full capacity.

But at the end of the day he was a demon and such a beautiful treat offered so freely was nothing he could turn down. And it had been worth it. He had finally gotten to claim his angel and it had felt even better than he had imagined it.

Crowley really did not mean to hurt Aziraphale, but if that was the only way to keep him safe, he would do it all over again. He had used much less of his venom this time. Just to make sure Aziraphale obeyed him. Even in his weakened state the angel’s amazing mind was hard to bewitch. His smart, beautiful, bratty, spoiled angel!

At first he had been angry with Aziraphale after finding the book with the notes leading to Tadfield. But then he had reminded himself how hard it was for the poor principality. Being caught between his loyalty towards Heaven, his care for humanity and his friendship with Crowley. Aziraphale needed Crowley to lead the way, to make the important decisions. So the demon would just erase all the options that would lead Aziraphale away from him. He belonged with him. Nobody else could ever understand what they had, let alone build something similar with one of them.

Tenderly Crowley took the now pliant and content angel into his arms and breathed in Aziraphale’s divine smell. With a happy sigh the angel sank into the embrace and visibly as audible enjoyed the soft strokes along his back.

Crowley had taken care of all possible dangers.

For some reason Adam seemed to like Crowley and the demon had taken advantage of that by befriending the boy. As it had turned out a reality bending child could summon a sword forged in hellfire within seconds. Heaven had been a bit persistent with their vengeance, but with Sandalphon and Uriel dead and Michael missing half of her left wing they were no longer interested in picking a fight with Crowley. And they knew that coming after Aziraphale was exactly that: picking a fight with Crowley.

Hell posed no problem anymore either. Satan was weakened, his son had chosen Crowley as his best buddy and Crowley had killed two Archangels and severely mutilated a third. Beelzebub had been fast to offer freedom from retribution and annoying calls in the future in return for Crowley NOT starting a civil war in Hell by claiming leadership of it.

So the only danger for Aziraphale left was Aziraphale himself. Aziraphale and his tendency to get in trouble by being too kind, too trusting, too curious and too naïve.

Of course it was also important to make the angel happy and he was happiest in his bookshop. But it was way too dangerous for him to be sitting in the middle of SoHo surrounded by humans that could give him weird ideas and exposed to all their enemies who knew about his shop.

Crowley had never expected that the spellbook he had once stolen from Morgan LeFay out of pure spite (he had framed Hastur for it) would actually become useful one day. But with some good detailed instructions, some standard ingredients and a lot of magical power, creating a pocket dimension was not that hard. Transferring a bookshop into it however, was exhausting. But it had been worth it.

Smiling he pressed his body closer to Aziraphale’s and allowed sleep to claim him.

*

When Crowley woke up, the artificial day-night-cycle had tinted the fake sky in a dark blue and Aziraphale, still naked, stood at the false windows, gazing at the illusion of stars. He must have heard the bed creak because he turned to face Crowley.

He whispered: “That’s not the bookshop, is it?”

“Smart angel,” Crowley said lovingly. That was good. The venom had worn off and Aziraphale did not try anything to get away. Slowly he left the bed and sauntered over to Aziraphale. He shivered pleasantly when his naked skin touched the angel’s again.

“It’s not your bookshop but a perfect copy of it.” He said after a while when his counterpart remained silent. “Granted I miracled most of the furniture, but I brought all of your real books here. Your clothes, your trinkets, your mug – all real. You might be a bit busy with bringing your books in order though. I tried my best, but your system is confusing.”

He chuckled lightly. From behind he circled his arms around Aziraphale and kissed his neck. Aziraphale stiffened but did not pull away.

“Why?” he asked quietly.

“I told you, Aziraphale,” Crowley answered. “To keep you safe!”

 “Since you keep telling me that everything is alright now, I should be perfectly safe!”

“You are safe, Angel!” Crowley assured. “And I promised myself to keep it that way.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

The demon sighed. He should have known. His angel! Always full of questions. But Crowley of all people could not blame him for it.

“You see,” Crowley explained. “I understand now. This world,… it’s too dangerous for you. You’re so sweet and kind, but the world is not.”

“So what?” Aziraphale asked offended. “Lock the idiot up so he won’t hurt himself?”

“No, no, no!” Crowley answered. “I could never think about you so poorly.”

Aziraphale laughed humorlessly at that.

“All evidence to the contrary,” he said dryly.

“You are very clever!” Crowley commended with a fond smile while he caressed the angel’s hair. “My smart little angel. That brain of yours never ceases to amaze me. So I didn’t get it for so long. I should have known before but I just didn’t get it.”

Crowley laughed fondly and stared at the illusion of the nightly sky, shaking his head.

“But then,” he went on. “You stood right in front of me and in all honesty told me that you’ll get God to stop the apocalypse! Then I knew. You’re very intelligent but way too naïve. Way too nice. Sooner or later this world will eat you alive.”

Harsher than intended he clutched at Aziraphale shoulders and spun him around. He gazed deeply into the skyblue eyes and grabbed his chin.

“I will not allow this!” Crowley growled. “You’re only safe with me and so you‘ll stay with me!”

 “But my powers… I can’t…,” Aziraphale stuttered.

“And you don’t have to! This place only suppresses divine power, not mine!” Crowley said. “I’ll get you anything you need!”

“Crowley, I know you would, but you MUST see that this is madness!” the angel stated.

“Don’t worry!” Crowley smirked, deciding to ignore the last comment. If loving Aziraphale was madness, so be it. “I know how spoiled you are. After all, it’s mostly my fault. So I made sure small miracles are possible. Like warming up forgotten cocoa or teleporting a book through the building when you’re too lazy to lift that divine butt from the sofa.”

“Oh, Crowley…” Aziraphale turned his gaze away and freed himself from Crowley‘s grip to face the window again.

He was obviously not convinced. But Crowley would not fault him for it. It took him 6000 years to understand as well. He could not blame Aziraphale for needing time to adjust. Sooner or later he had to see reason and Crowley would no longer need any magic to keep him on track.

Aziraphale would understand. Crowley had eternity to make him understand.

*

Helplessly Aziraphale looked around. He was at Crowley’s mercy here. The demon could overpower him magically as well as physically in this place. Not that he had anywhere to run for the unlikely case he could best Crowley.

But that was not even the worst part. No, what really scared him was how he felt. There was no longer any of Crowley’s venom in his system, he was sure of that and still behind all his arguments, his resistance, his righteous indignation at Crowley’s doing, there was a part of Aziraphale that felt at home. Deep inside his heart he thought that this was right. That this was where he was supposed to be: In Crowley’s arms, under Crowley’s care.

So even if he could wrestle Crowley down despite his disadvantages, if he could – against all odds – find the exit of this place, in the end there was no place he’d rather be since Crowley was right here.

“Just relax, Aziraphale!” Crowley whispered. “I swear that you will wish for nothing as long as you’re with me.”

Aziraphale wanted to be with Crowley and Crowley wanted him to be here. After all, the demon had always taken the lead. Maybe it was just the logical end of this journey. If this was where Crowley’s path led him, it was Aziraphale’s destination, too.

He closed his eyes when Crowley’s arms circled around his upper body again.

“My angel!” the demon said tenderly.

The familiar scent, the safe embrace and the velvety voice telling him that everything was going to be alright were more powerful than any venom, any potion or any spell could ever hope to be.

Sighing Aziraphale relaxed into Crowley's strong arms and whispered: “Yours. Always.”

 

End