“I’ve been thinking,” Crowley said slowly. They were in Aziraphale’s back room, Crowley curled against Aziraphale’s side after a particularly irritating customer had seen fit to try to flirt their way into a first edition. Crowley had scared them off, naturally, but couldn’t quite place why the experience had made him feel quite so irritated , far more than a normal intrusion would justify. Hence the current train of thought he was going down.
“About what, dear?” Aziraphale said, glancing over with a soft smile.
“What - what are we, exactly?” Drat. He’d had a plan, he was going to be smooth about this. But now Aziraphale had a confused expression on his face, and it was far too late to stuff that eloquence-challenged snake back in the bag, so he just kept going, spilling what he hoped was a cohesive train of thought. “To each other, I mean. We’re obviously, y’know, we’re -” Friends? Together? He couldn’t wrap his words around exactly the kind of emotion he was feeling. “- bit more than acquaintances, but, y’know. Never talked bout it. And we can, now. No - no Sides to look out for. So. Yeah.”
Aziraphale was quiet for a long moment, then set his book on the nightstand, turning slightly to look at Crowley better. “Did you have any term in mind?” he asked in that quiet, soft voice, lacing their hands together and oh look there went half of Crowley’s remaining brain cells.
“Ngk. Uh. Not - not in particular?” He gave Aziraphale’s soft palms a squeeze. “I’m, um. In favor of anything that means this.”
“Mmm,” Aziraphale said. “I must agree with you there. This -” He accentuated the word by squeezing back. “- is rather nice. And -” He paused and Crowley realized he must be having just as much trouble articulating as he was, just in a different way. “I don’t think friend fully covers it. But, oh, boyfriend just seems a bit reductive, doesn’t it? Implies all sorts of things about longevity and the nature of the relationship, not to mention those involved.”
“Partner,” Crowley blurted out. As soon as it was out there, hanging between them, a warm feeling settled in his chest, one that only grew when Aziraphale gave a happy smile and wiggle.
“ Partner ,” Airaphale breathed, and yes, that was just right. “Dearest, I think that fits wonderfully .”
Unable to hold back any longer, Crowley pushed himself forwards, letting go of Aziraphale’s hands only to cling around his shoulders, burying his face in his chest. Aziraphale pulled him closer, one hand running through his hair, and Crowley decided that he was never, ever going to let go.