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love like the dawn

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Oh, it’s a quiet, fiercely brilliant sort of bliss. Shedding centuries of cruel want for soft, requited warmth to bask in, a new world in which there needs to be nothing left unsaid. The days break grey and foggy, most of them, and there’s cooking to be done. Tending to the garden, the shelving too, and then there’s endless ways to touch. Gently on the back, getting past him to fetch the seed packets. Knees knocking under the dinner table, hands brushing above, just there by the soup spoon and bread. Falling asleep his head in Aziraphale’s lap, sprawled on the sofa while a silly film plays, beneath the compromise of a red tartan blanket. 

And just like this, waking up with Aziraphale curled around him, the angel’s stomach pressed to his back, sleep-heavy breath a rhythm against his bare shoulder. The curtains are drawn, their cottage bedroom a cozy haven from the coming day. Crowley burrows back against him, and when Aziraphale flings his arm around him in a daze of sleep, before Crowley lets himself drift off again, he takes the soft hand in his and presses a kiss into the knuckle.

The next time he wakes, Aziraphale is sleepily squeezing him closer, nuzzling into his shoulder. 

“Good morning,” the angel murmurs into his hair.

“Good morning,” Crowley replies. He nestles himself deeper into Aziraphale’s lap. “Mm. Good morning.”

“Oh, you like it.” Aziraphale says, and Crowley can hear the drowsy smile in his voice. “Don’t you?” 

“You know very well that I do,” Crowley says, his voice the low, drawling hum he reserves for the most comfortable mornings.

“Do I?” Aziraphale unthreads his fingers from Crowley’s to reach for his hips, pulling him close, his unmistakable erection hard against the curve of Crowley’s ass. 

“Yeah, angel,” Crowley groans. “You do, you bastard.” He tilts his head and Aziraphale kisses his throat, just the merest closed-mouth kisses, and Crowley could melt into the pillows. Aziraphale sweeps his rosy curls up over his head, tugging at them gently and exposing more of his throat to the attentions of his mouth. Crowley’s been letting his hair go long ever since they moved here nearly a year ago, Aziraphale loves to play with it. To braid his curls, undo them again, to guide Crowley between his thighs. Now, he runs his fingers deliciously over Crowley’s scalp as he rocks a steady rhythm against his ass, and Crowley can feel the sensation go right to his own cock. 

“Hey,” Aziraphale murmurs. His teeth tease at Crowley’s earlobe, his hand moves to caress Crowley’s chest, then his waist, his hip, his thigh, his touch soft and warm and deliberate. Crowley shivers, pressing back against him, leaning into it. That touch had been but a tortured dream for so long, and now it’s as dazzling, spectacular, and blessedly familiar as the sunrise emerging outside their bedroom window. “I love you.” 

Crowley looks over his shoulder and his heart leaps. There he is, just there, pale curls and soft chin and cheeks, and that brilliant dart of a nose, that clever mouth, and it’s smiling, those warm eyes trained on Crowley, only Crowley, bright with a smile just for him. 

“Fuck,” Crowley says weakly, and Aziraphale’s smile deepens, the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I love you too.” 

Aziraphale kisses him. It’s an awkward angle, over the shoulder and cramped, and it’s just as astonishingly, embarrassingly romantic as every other kiss they’ve shared. Aziraphale’s mouth is careful, and hungry. His tongue slips into Crowley’s mouth and Crowley shivers again, pressing back against him, grinding into Aziraphale’s lap.

“Oh.” Crowley breaks the kiss to let Aziraphale curl around him, centering him, grounding him, encompassing in the best way. He buries his face in the crook of Crowley’s neck. He squeezes Crowley’s thigh, pulls him flush against him. Crowley wiggles his hips, grinning as Aziraphale moans in response. Aziraphale lets his palm skim the length of Crowley’s thigh, up and down, coming to tease his fingers along the waistband of Crowley’s briefs. 

“What would you like to do, darling?” Aziraphale asks, mouth warm behind the shell of Crowley’s ear. They always ask, even when it seems obvious. There are times when it’s simply better to curl up against each other, to kiss and touch and fall asleep snuggled into each other. There are times when Aziraphale wants Crowley fucking him rough and deep, times too when Crowley wants Aziraphale in him, taking what he wants, seeking his pleasure inside Crowley’s body. There are thousands of ways to make love, and, beautifully, they have the time to sample every one of them. 

“Ngk,” says Crowley. The abundance of choice and desire doesn’t mean Crowley’s not still getting accustomed to asking for exactly what he wants. Aziraphale’s better at it, directing Crowley to touch him, take him just so. Crowley struggled quite a bit with it at first, whatever you’d like, angel, but he’s getting better. Aziraphale’s right there, never pressuring, letting him go at his pace, learning his signals, the tells of him, checking to make sure he’s reading them correctly. 

“Would you like me to fuck you?” Aziraphale asks, his voice low, his palm on Crowley’s hips, and Crowley presses his body even harder against him, loving the skin against skin, Aziraphale’s bare stomach, covered in soft angeldown curls, hot against his back. “Nice and slow, perhaps. My love, would you like that? Or, we could—” 

“Yes,” Crowley interrupts. “Yes, yeah, god, Aziraphale.” He reaches back, grips the plush swell of Aziraphale’s hip and pulls it to him. “I want that. Right now.”

“Oh, Crowley,” Aziraphale says. He reaches for Crowley’s cock, taking it in the warmth of his hand. He rubs it, running his thumb over the slit, where it’s leaking a damp spot into Crowley’s briefs. Crowley lets his eyes roll back and flutter shut at the touch, settling into the sensation. To be held with such tender attentiveness, to be cared for, it’s so much to get used to. “Can I take these off?”

“Yeah, angel. If you’ll take yours off too.”

It’s a silly, wiggling thing to get the clothes off, as neither of them seems to want to sit up entirely or leave the embrace. They manage it at last, and then Aziraphale’s cock presses into Crowley’s crease and Crowley makes a small, wanton sound.

“Where is it?” 

“Oh—my side, I reckon.” Crowley reaches into the bedside dresser on his side of the bed. He hands Aziraphale the bottle, which was resting where he left it after getting himself ready for Aziraphale to ride, night before last. 

Sometimes, they just want each other immediately, and there’s nothing stopping them, no need to keep to the mortal trappings, no one to count the miracle against them, and so they get to have it. Most of the time, though, Crowley loves taking this part slow, loves doing it the human way. He loves to watch Aziraphale’s face as he fingers him open, feeling him clench and relax around him. He loves when Aziraphale licks at him until he can’t think, until he’s begging for it breathlessly. He loves the feeling of their favorite lubricant slick on him, the scent of it, the texture (there had been many trials to find one, he’d insisted. Aziraphale would have simply settled on the one with the tartan packaging). 

They don’t need to use lubricant, they don’t need to wake up with erections. They don’t need to have sex. They choose this, when they both want to, and they choose how. The expanse of earth and human pleasures are theirs to wonder at now. Theirs to play in, to share. 

“Ready?” Aziraphale parts Crowley’s cheeks, presses two slick fingers to his entrance. 

“Just—just do that, for a minute more, if you would,” Crowley says softly. “Right up against—yeah, yeah. Just like that.” 

“Mm,” Aziraphale hums in approval. He circles his fingertips slow around Crowley’s rim. Buries his face in Crowley’s hair, breathes deep, lets him curl their ankles together. 

Crowley lets time shift into a meaningless blur, the world center on the gentle press of Aziraphale’s fingers, the heat of his own cock, Aziraphale’s lips on the back of his throat, until he can’t take it anymore.

“Now,” he breathes. “No—no fingers,” he adds, as Aziraphale makes to slip inside him. I’m ready for you.” 

“You’re sure?”

He feels Aziraphale move to get himself slick with the lubricant, shuddering at the sound of it.

“God, yeah, I’m sure. I want you.” 

“I’m yours, darling,” Aziraphale murmurs, and enters him. 

“Oh!” Crowley gasps, or maybe Aziraphale does, shared sound shaking together as Crowley feels himself adjust and stretch to take him.

Just like this, hard and sure. It’s overwhelming in the best way, the flare of ache, the overflow of that bonedeep hunger, at last fed and fed and fed.

“Is it all right? Is that too much?” Aziraphale steadies a hand on his hipbone.

“Fuck,” Crowley groans, grinning, “I love how you sound when you’re inside me.” He pushes his hips back hard, gasping again as Aziraphale fills him to the hilt. His eyes flutter shut and he gives himself to the sensation. Aziraphale’s cock is thickset and broad, and Crowley loves how his body shifts to take him deep. “Your voice changes a bit, you know that, angel? Goes all rough, and breathless. Sexiest fucking thing.” He pushes back again, and this time Aziraphale rolls forward to meet him and the pleasure crests sharp and brilliant, flooding through him. 

“Is it?” Aziraphale asks. He draws out nearly all the way, until just the flared head of his cock teases Crowley’s rim, then eases back in, the heft of him stretching Crowley as he buries himself deep.

“It goddamn is. Tied with just about everything else you do, that is. Crowley says. He pushes even further, until Aziraphale moves to lie on his back and pulls Crowley onto his lap.

“Is this—?”

“Oh, oh, yes, angel!” Crowley plants his feet on either side of Aziraphale’s lap and bears down, taking him to the hilt. Aziraphale starts fucking up into him, slow and deep. 

How can he feel so vulnerable and so cared for at once? There with his legs spread, his cock hard and desperate against his stomach and Aziraphale’s erection buried inside him, and Crowley has never, ever felt so safe, so loved.

“Yeah? Do you like that, darling?” Aziraphale’s voice is perfect, that rough low sound. 

“Yes, yes, please.” Crowley moves his arm, which he’d flung up helplessly, to pillow beneath Aziraphale’s head. Aziraphale moans, reaching to shift his own arm beneath Crowley’s back, pulling him closer, twining his fingers in Crowley’s curls. “Oh, fuck. Just like that, please, just like that.” Tight and full and touching in a thousand places, alit, no room for doubt or second guessing, just this push and pull of pleasure and love.

Aziraphale thrusts up into him, deep and deliberate. He steadies Crowley’s hip with his other hand, and Crowley arches his back, breathless, bearing down and lost in it.

No, not quite lost in it. Found, rather. This is exactly where he belongs, cradled here, welcome in Aziraphale’s arms. They fit together, they always have, and this year has proved that as much as anything. It’s a terrifying thing, to get what you’ve always wanted, when you’ve already told yourself you’re not good enough.

Aziraphale makes him feel good enough. Every single fucking day. And god, despite himself, Crowley’s starting to believe it.

“Come here,” Aziraphale murmurs, threading his fingers deeper into Crowley’s curls and tugging. Crowley turns to him and lets himself become enveloped in a kiss. A crook in his neck and Aziraphale’s shoulder in his spine, and it’s the absolute best thing he’s ever felt. This tender, messy, morning love, the many ways they can tangle together.

“Harder, please,” he whispers into Aziraphale’s mouth. The angel grins, bites at Crowley’s lower lip, and obeys. Crowley plants his feet and arches his back more, grinding down on him, his mouth falling open. “Oh, you’re—you’re hitting me just right, right—right there…”

“Here?”

“Fuck! Oh—god, yes, there, please, please, you feel so good, angel, I love when you’re inside me.” The heat builds, even as Aziraphale fucks up into him messier, unsteady, uneven, a stutter to his hips as Crowley’s pressed down on him, and it’s hot and rough and fucking perfect. “I love your cock.”

“You do?”

“I do, I do, you bastard, you know I do, you just want to hear it.”

“I do want to hear it,” Aziraphale murmurs into his ear. His breathing’s gone ragged, his heartbeat knocking against Crowley’s spine, and Crowley loves him, loves him, loves him, loves his pillowsoft chest, loves his strong thighs, loves his fussy hands and his clever mouth and the miracle of his good heart. “You know what else I want to hear, darling?”

“What?” He can hardly speak anymore, pleasure building sweet and sharp through him. The word comes punched out of Crowley’s chest as Aziraphale fucks into him harder, hand gone firm on his hip, pulling Crowley down onto his cock. 

“Want to hear you say my name when you come. Can you do that for me?”

“Fuck, angel, I—I think I’m about to.” Crowley’s gone weak, clinging to Aziraphale’s curls, letting the pleasure build as Aziraphale fucks into him deep, again and again and again.

“Oh, my love,” Aziraphale says. “You feel so good. So good for me, so tight and hot. You feel so good on my cock, Crowley. Here.” He moves to take Crowley’s erection in his hand but Crowley seizes it, puts it back on his hip.

“Don’t—don’t think I need it, just, please keep doing that, right there, right there, please.”

He hears Aziraphale draw a sharp breath, feels his cock twitch inside him. Crowley has only come untouched once before, the very first time Aziraphale fucked him, but the familiar, magnificent pressure fills up, lighting him up from within.

“I love you,” Aziraphale pants, keeping his pace. One hand holds Crowley’s curls tight, the other grips his waist, and Aziraphale fucks him so good and deep, his cock swelling and leaking inside him. “I love you, I love you, Crowley, I always have, and I’ll never stop. I’ll never, ever stop. I want you every way I can have you, every way you’ll have me. I can’t believe I get to wake up with you and kiss you, I can’t believe I get to have this and it took so long but we’re here now, darling, and that’s what matters, and I love you, fuck, I love you more than anything.” 

It’s a terribly vulnerable thing, to come in front of someone else. It took Crowley quite a while to even consider it, further weeks before he stopped trying to bury his face in his hands as he did, hiding the absolute ruin Aziraphale makes of him. Aziraphale was patient, and gentle, but it was watching Aziraphale’s face as he brought him to climax that got Crowley to give in at last. He can’t get enough of that magnificent shattering apart, the catch of breath, the slamshut eyes and parted lips. Give me that , Aziraphale had coaxed from him, and so he does. 

“Aziraphale!” 

True to his word, Crowley comes with Aziraphale’s name on his lips, the angel crushing their mouths together in a kiss as he does. Aziraphale fucks him through it, the waves of pleasure crashing through him as his cock throbs and pulses untouched over the hair on his stomach. Nothing should be able to feel this good, not in this catastrophe of a messed up world with its distant, unforgiving mother god, but it does, this love does, and so does every way they get to express it. 

“Crowley, oh god, I’m going to—is it all right if I still—”

“Come inside me, please.” Crowley’s a wreck and his voice is too, fucked-out on the aching downwards crest of his orgasm, but he wants it so badly, he always does. And here, in the sweet spillover point of them, in the heat of their sex, he finds the courage to say it. “Fill me up, I want to make you feel good, I want to know I am, please.”

“So good,” Aziraphale chokes out, half a laugh and half a sob, and he holds Crowley down on his cock and fucks him so deep, seeking his pleasure there, “the best, the absolute best, I want you always, darling, always, always, in every way, and I—oh, Crowley.” 

And Crowley cries out as Aziraphale fills him, hot and deep, overwhelming and absolutely perfect. His back arches one last desperate time, his body aching and overstimulated as he takes Aziraphale as far into himself as he can, his chest bared and his fingers tangled tight in matted white curls, Aziraphale’s clinging to his own heart-red ones.

“Oh, love,” Aziraphale breathes in his ear, what feels like an eternity and a millisecond later. “Oh love, love.” His grip softens into a caress. Crowley knows he’s to climb off now, but the moment is too bright and good, he can’t bear to leave it. Aziraphale doesn’t make him, makes a small, beautifully breathy sound as Crowley clenches around him instead. He presses kisses into Crowley’s throat instead, the plane of his cheek, skims his hot hands over Crowley’s cooling stomach, his hips, his thighs, dragging his fingers through the mess. Until at last, Crowley feels him gone soft, and makes himself clamber off him, moving to curl up in Aziraphale’s arms.

“Wait, darling—can I?” Aziraphale’s cheeks are sweat-pink, his hair damp from exertion. He moves out from under him, lays Crowley out on his back, traces a thick finger down Crowley’s jawline, the armorplate of his chest. It takes Crowley’s blissed-out brain a moment to recognize what he’s being asked. By the time he does, Aziraphale’s between his pushed-up thighs, gazing at him inquisitively, waiting.

“Oh— oh. Oh, er. God, yes,” Crowley manages, his voice a hoarse whisper, and he barely has time to scrabble for Aziraphale’s hand before the angel bends and begins to clean him with his tongue. He laps long, lazy licks, moaning obscenely as he swallows down his own come. He presses the flat of his tongue into him, spreads him wide and eases his tongue inside. 

Crowley’s too far gone to get hard again just quite yet, and Aziraphale knows. Sometimes they’ll go again right away, and again and again, pushing their bodies as far as they can go, which is much farther than human ones, but sometimes, like Crowley, Aziraphale just wants to prolong it just a bit longer, to love him this way. To remind him it’s not over, it’s not done, there’s no shame in this aftermath, no regret. Only love, and the many ways they get to share it. Aziraphale licks him until Crowley’s boneless and trembling, then moves to lick Crowley’s own come from his chest, and when he’s done at last, coming to curl up in Crowley’s arms, when Crowley kisses him he tastes like them both.

Aziraphale tangles their limbs together, noses Crowley’s cheek, tugs at his hair. Their stomachs slide together, their thighs too, their soft, spent cocks bumping slightly. Outside, the sun warms the garden, the sea kisses the shore. There’s a farmer’s market on in town this weekend, there’s plans to make crepes with the fresh herbs (Crowley’s long since bought the tools).

“I want absolutely everything with you,” Crowley whispers. Here in the aftermath, the rosegold glow, the angel’s mouth shining still, some words come easier. “I want all the bloody stupid little bits, the picnics and the groceries. Want you to ignore me over some old books, want to go to the ends of the earth to get rare editions for you, except this time you come with me and complain about the mosquitos. I want you in sockfeet on cold mornings, want to build you a goddamn fire—in our hearth, where it’s safe, where it’s never going to burn us. I want sunsets and long walks on the fucking beach, and I want to wake up like this every day you’ll let me, if you’ll let me—”

“I want that too,” Aziraphale beams at him, his eyes very bright. “Darling, darling. There’s nothing to let you. I want that too, more than anything.”

“I—I know,” Crowley stutters. They’ve talked about this, how many times? But it still doesn’t feel like enough, feels too much like a dream not to name, not to hold onto in as many ways as he can. “I just. Guess I don’t get tired of saying it. Or hearing it. Sorry if it’s too—”

Aziraphale kisses him with a softly smiling mouth. Kisses him with both arms flung around his shoulders, with their naked bodies pushed together, easy and damp and warm in their bed. 

“There is nothing to be sorry for. Never stop telling me, please. I love you, my dearest, my own.” He dots a kiss onto the tip of Crowley’s nose. “You absolute romantic.”

“Am not,” Crowley says automatically, terribly aware that he’s really lost that argument, even before Aziraphale laughs. “All right, well, if I am, it’s because you made me this way!” And then he kisses Aziraphale again, in part to stop him laughing, but mostly because he wants to. 

This can be how the world remakes itself, how things get set right. A cottage and an embarrassingly domestic love, a tenderness that feels raw and safe at once. The sweet vindication of two hearts finally able to speak love aloud, to tangle and play, to reach for each other, to be found.

“I think you always were,” Aziraphale murmurs into the kiss. “I just brought it out in you.”

“You’re right about that,” Crowley acknowledges, and kisses him into an absolute swoon. When they break apart again, Aziraphale is looking at him with so much love Crowley feels his cheeks pinken. “Gosh, angel. Some breakfast then, yeah? Let me make you an omelette before we go to the farmer’s market, or would you prefer pancakes?”

“Oh,” Aziraphale says, starry-eyed, “oh, dear. Fuck breakfast, I suppose, goodness—you can cook for me tonight, when we get home. Right now, if you're ready, I’m rather in the mood for seconds.” And when Crowley nods, he pounces.