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An Unexpected Quarter

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There were many things that Aziraphale was sure of. He was sure that it was a great honour to be a knight. He was sure that his family depended on his success and good standing with the court. He was especially sure that it was easier to do what was expected of him than what he wanted. And he was absolutely certain beyond measure that there was no such thing as a dragon.

Yet, despite his conviction, Aziraphale was on a quest to hunt and slay such a beast. He had set out from court some months previous and made his way north, following rumours and gossip as best he could. With only his horse, a cantankerous gelding named Gregory, for company, Aziraphale had spent as long as he could chasing nothing.

He hadn't even met with anyone closer than two degrees of separation from a dragon sighting. It was always the friend of a cousin, or a sibling's neighbour who had seen the beast. Once Aziraphale tracked down the cousin or sibling, it would turn out that, actually, the person they had heard it from had been told the tale by someone else. Aziraphale followed the trail of the story back and back and back, waiting to find the original source. But even that search proved fruitless.

Reports of dragon activity were, in his opinion, nothing more than a cover for local livestock thefts.

He resolved to see out the week on his quest and then begin his return to court with the accurate, if disappointing, report that there was no dragon to be slain. No one would be able to say that he hadn't been thorough.

With dusk setting in, Aziraphale began to consider his options for night time lodgings. With no sign of a nearby inn, and at least half a day's ride remaining between him and his next destination, Aziraphale decided to make camp in the forest.

He'd been following a river for some time, 

riding towards a small village by the coast where, apparently, the innkeeper's daughter had recently seen the dragon. It was good to have a source of clean water, but the ground would be too wet and cold for sleeping. With that in mind, Aziraphale urged Gregory up the embankment and off the path to search for a suitable campsite.

Just a moment later, a fallow deer leapt from the brush and bolted down the bank mere inches in front of Gregory's nose. Aziraphale got the impression of wide, panicked eyes and heaving flanks before he found his world turned on its head.

Gregory reared in shock, apparently afraid of the slender doe. Aziraphale, already off-balance due to the incline of the land, was thrown backwards with a deafening cacophony of armour, sword and shield colliding with force.

He rolled down the slope, flailing gracelessly to try and stop himself from falling into the river. The strap holding his shield to his back caught on a tree root and broke, freeing Aziraphale of at least one encumbrance, but his sword clung on and drove its pommel into his ribs with every turn.

With a splash and none of his dignity, Aziraphale rolled into the river and immediately encountered a whole new set of problems.

The weight of his armour dragged him down into the deceptively deep river, the mail hood keeping him from even raising his head above the surface as he kicked off the riverbed. Blindly, Aziraphale scrabbled at the buckles on his plate armour, tugging and clawing in an increasing panic as his lungs burned. One pauldron fell away and from there he managed to pull his other arm free, wriggling out of his breastplate. Grateful that he was wearing so little of his armour, Aziraphale pushed up again and managed a gasping lungful of air before being dragged back under. His gambeson was soaked through and heavier even than the chainmail that remained around his head. His lungs were screaming again and his muscles were aflame with the exertion of trying to reach the surface.

It was too much.

A frightened deer, a startled horse, and a waterlogged gambeson had done what countless opponents could not. Aziraphale would die at the bottom of a river with no hope for a grave.

The urge to breathe overwhelmed him, forcing him to take a gulp of the frigid water into his lungs; the last, desperate actions of a dying body. Aziraphale closed his eyes.

Something solid wrapped around his chest and yanked him up, out of the water and into the air before releasing him. For a moment, he was weightless, hanging in midair and coughing up water, too close to drowning to question what was happening. And then he was falling, head first and back into the river he'd just been plucked from.

Before he hit the water, that same grip caught him again, jolting him out of the freefall and forcing water out of his lungs. Aziraphale vomited and heaved, clinging on to the strange fingers that held him for fear of being dropped again. His throat was raw and his body felt battered, but he could breathe. He could breathe.

And he was flying.

He was held tightly by dark red claws about the thickness of his forearm, kept completely still and facing downwards to watch the trees sweep by below. Aziraphale tried to turn his head to look at the beast that carried him, but he was pinned in place. The recent sensation of falling was enough to deter him from struggling too much. If he'd had the air for it, Aziraphale would have screamed.

They banked around and dipped into a clearing full of wildflowers. Aziraphale screwed his eyes shut and braced for impact, expecting to be dropped or crushed by the monster that had taken him. He was no more than a mouse to a kestrel in the claws of this predator.

When no such impact occurred, he cautiously opened one eye and found himself held just above the ground. Slowly, the claws released him, supporting him as he found his feet. No sooner than Aziraphale had stood to turn and face the creature, a great gust of wind blew through the clearing and forced him to shield his eyes.

He blinked and stared, for climbing into the sky with powerful beats of its wings was a dragon.

Exhausted and weakened, Aziraphale all but collapsed on a fallen tree. The sun was setting, he'd lost his horse and all his gear, he was cold and wet without any hope of starting a fire. Worse than all of that, a dragon was probably going to swoop down and eat him at any second.

Aziraphale knew that he should move away from this place, try to put some distance between himself and the bloodthirsty beast that had hunted him, but he was so tired. His limbs were like lead and he was shivering in his wet clothes. His chances of survival were slim no matter what he did, so he saw no reason to push himself through more misery than he had already endured.

He pulled off his mail hood and rested, faintly wondering why the dragon had caught him only to abandon him here. If he was to be eaten, why let him go? Was he being toyed with as a cat plays with a mouse?

A rustling in the trees alerted Aziraphale who reached for his sword only to find it missing. He had no recollection of losing it, but everything was such a blur. Before he could decide whether to run or hide, Gregory trotted into the clearing with flared nostrils and flattened ears. Aziraphale had never been so glad to see the old horse and almost wept at the sight of him. 

Gregory let him take hold of the reins and came to a restless stop, huffing and tossing his head while Aziraphale checked him over for injury.

"Tie the horse out of sight," said a voice from within the forest.

"Who's there?" Aziraphale cried, looking about him. He could see no one nearby in the gathering gloom.

"A friend," said the voice, deep and rough, "but one who will startle your horse. Tie it out of sight and I will come into the open."

With little in the way of options and more than enough curiosity, Aziraphale walked Gregory away from the direction of the voice and into the trees. He found a spot sheltered by a holly bush, close enough that he would be able to hear if Gregory needed attention but completely blocked from the clearing. After doing his best to calm the horse, Aziraphale secured his reins and removed his pack and saddle.

The clearing was still empty when he returned with the few belongings he had left, illuminated only by the glow of the moon. But something glinted beside the tree trunk he had sat upon earlier. Aziraphale approached slowly, aware that he was almost certainly being watched.

In the spot where he had rested and considered his options were his sword and abandoned armour. The leather straps were still sodden and the breastplate was dented, but it was his crest clearly engraved on its surface. 

"Thank you," he said without thinking, "this was very kind of you."

A laugh echoed around the clearing, almost gravelly enough to be a growl. Aziraphale felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. 

"Never been called that before," said the voice.

"Come out!" Aziraphale said, sounding about as brave as he felt, which was not very much at all.

"Very well."

Aziraphale watched the tree line in the direction that the voice had come from. He heard twigs snapping and leaves rustling as something moved through the darkness. 

He saw the eyes first.

Large and yellow, gleaming in the silver light of the moon, with vertical slits for pupils. Higher than any man's head would be. Aziraphale shivered. Who knew what manner of beast prowled these woods? If dragons were real, and he could no longer deny that, then the possibilities for what was about to emerge from the woods seemed endless and terrifying.

The creature approached slowly, resolving into a dark, looming shape. A wedge-shaped head with twisting horns sat atop a graceful neck which widened into a powerful, muscular body. The dragon, for it was most certainly that, stood on four clawed feet and curled its tail around the back two. Its wings lay flat against its back, folded much like a bird might.

Aziraphale couldn't tell if this was the same creature as the one that had fished him out of the river; in the dark this one appeared more black than red. 

"I didn't know you could talk," said Aziraphale, rather stupidly.

The dragon laughed again, lifting its head and rumbling its throat with clear humour.

"You are surprising," it said, "so I suppose we have that in common. Please, you do not need to fear me. I didn't save your life just to kill you an hour later."

Aziraphale looked down at his hands, shocked to find his sword halfway raised in defence.

"So you are the same beast that pulled me from the water?" he asked, slowly lowering his sword.

The dragon dipped its head in an approximation of a bow.

"That I am, you'll not find many of my kind on this island. Just, uh, just me, actually." The dragon sounded a little sheepish at that last admission although Aziraphale couldn't begin to fathom the reason.

"Well, I'm grateful for the rescue. My name is Aziraphale." He returned the bow, trying to express a measure of trust in the way he broke eye contact and exposed the back of his head.

"I am Crowley," said the dragon, its voice making the name more of a growl than a word, "and you are the one who has been sent to kill me."

Aziraphale's stomach dropped. 

"Ah, well. You see, umm," Aziraphale searched for the words and found nothing but the truth to offer, "I didn't actually think you were real."

Before Crowley could answer, a violent shiver shook Aziraphale's entire body, clattering his teeth painfully.

Crowley's giant head loomed closer, its eyes roving over Aziraphale's body in a critical fashion that Aziraphale didn't think he cared for.

"Foolish human, you still wear the wet things. You'll freeze to death." Crowley strode past him, into the clearing and began dragging logs into the middle of the space. "Can we agree to a truce on the killing? I saved your life so killing me now would be pretty, uh, unchivalrous?"

It was Aziraphale's turn to laugh, even through his shivers. The dragon had a stilted but eloquent manner of speaking that Aziraphale found rather charming.

"Yes, quite right. You are quite safe from me, Crowley."

The dragon smiled. It wasn't a baring of teeth or a pulling back of lips, but a genuine smile that seemed to make its eyes sparkle.

"Excellent, now take off those wet things while I make a fire."

Feeling oddly self conscious, Aziraphale turned his back on Crowley and began obediently stripping off his wet clothes. Once he was down to just his braies, he laid his clothes out to dry on the fallen tree. Feeling warmer already, Aziraphale wrapped himself in a blanket that smelled strongly of Gregory and turned back to see how Crowley was getting on.

The dragon had piled up a collection of dead wood in a haphazard sort of mess and was now blowing a flame straight down onto the top of it. Unsurprisingly, the wood wasn't catching and Crowley was showing signs of frustration.

"Can I help?" Aziraphale asked cautiously.

Crowley sat back on its haunches and huffed, blowing smoke out of its nose.

"Go ahead, something is wrong with the wood anyway." Crowley sounded distinctly sullen.

Securing the horse blanket around his shoulders, Aziraphale approached the wood pile and began to sort through it. His fingers were still numb, but the work warmed him from the inside. He moved the larger logs to one side and built a rough cone out of some smaller sticks with a pile of dry grass and bark in the middle.

"Fires need air flow," he said, trying to explain what he was doing, "and you have to start small before building up to the bigger pieces."

Aziraphale turned to find Crowley watching him intently, its head resting on the ground just a couple of feet away.

"I'm not used to this sort of thing," Crowley admitted, "normally a bit of fire breath will solve most problems."

Aziraphale made an agreeable sound and took a step closer to Crowley's nose.

"Would you be so kind as to direct a little of your flame towards the kindling?" he asked.

Crowley squinted, inspecting the area that Aziraphale was indicating.

"I do not know if I can be that precise."

Aziraphale thought for a moment, turning the problem over in his head. There was a log that had split open and left wide splinters between the two halves, Aziraphale pulled a splinter loose and held it up.

"Could you, perhaps, aim upwards so that I might light this?"

Crowley's head was too large for Aziraphale to reach the flame if it was aimed directly up, so the dragon stretched out along the ground and raised its chin to shoot a stream of fire at an angle that would just clear the tops of the trees. Aziraphale placed one hand on Crowley's snout to steady himself and stuck the end of the wood into the flame.

"Oh, you're warm," he said as soon as the flame died down.

Crowley made a growling, grumbling noise and nudged him with its nose, prodding him towards the fire before his little flame went out.

The kindling caught light almost immediately, spreading the fire to the surrounding wood. Before long, there was a healthy fire blazing in the centre of the clearing. The pair chatted as Aziraphale sat beside the fire and warmed his front, wriggling feeling back into his extremities. The cold seeped into his back no matter how much he tried to ignore it. The thought of Crowley's warmth rose, unbidden, to the forefront of his mind.

In the glow of the firelight, Crowley was gloriously red and glossy. Its scales looked smooth and soft, and its voice was low and melodic. The memory of that single touch burned Aziraphale's hand like a phantom. It stirred a hunger in him that he didn't know how to define. He just knew that he wanted to touch again, more, everywhere.

A hunger that he was much more familiar with soon interrupted their conversation with a loud rumble from Aziraphale's stomach.

"Oh dear," he said, curling in on himself in embarrassment, "I'm sorry about that, I hadn't had a chance to hunt or forage today."

"Is that not what the horse is for?" Crowley asked, all innocent enquiry.

Aziraphale felt his jaw drop open. He garbled a few consonants, looking for a polite way to explain that Gregory, nuisance though he was, was most assuredly not food. Crowley only laughed again, pushed its face against Aziraphale's shoulder in what could only be a gesture of affection, and leapt into the air with a powerful beat of its wings.

"Back in a bit!" Crowley called out as it flew away.

The fire survived the sudden blast of wind so Aziraphale occupied himself with building it up whilst waiting for Crowley to return. The fire and blanket were doing a lot to keep him warm, but the night was bitterly cold outside the glow of the fire. 

It seemed like almost no time had passed before Crowley dropped silently back into the clearing. In its front claws, Crowley held several fat, silver fish which appeared to have already been gutted and washed.

It offered the fish to Aziraphale, looking very pleased with itself and waiting for his reaction.

"You do eat fish, right?"

Aziraphale nodded.

"Yes, although I'll need to cook it."

Crowley gave a pleased shimmy that started at its nose and rippled back down to the tip of its tail.

Aziraphale took the fish and quickly fashioned some skewers from a nearby stand of hazel withies. Crowley watched as he worked, appearing to be fascinated by everything Aziraphale did, its head resting on its front feet and its eyes following every movement.

As the fish cooked over the fire, Aziraphale sat back and allowed a thought to escape.

"You are very different to how you appear in the stories, you know," he said carefully, "I really can't imagine you stealing sheep or brutalising cattle."

Crowley cast a considering eye over Aziraphale, the kind of look that made him very aware of how little he was wearing.

"Is that what they accuse me of? Stealing and killing their livestock? That is the crime they would have me punished for so harshly that they sent a knight to hunt me?" Crowley didn't sound upset or angry, just curious. Aziraphale nodded, drawing a chuckle from the dragon. "I hunt wild game. Deer, fish, or boar, as I find it. I am a good hunter, I do not need to risk angering the men. The wolves, though? Those beasts will kill anything they can. There is something of a wolf problem around these parts."

Aziraphale accepted the response, finding no cause to doubt Crowley. Missing sheep and vague sightings of a dragon were more than enough to start people drawing conclusions.

"And the, uh, young women?" he asked, "Are those disappearances anything to do with you?"

Crowley turned its great head to pin Aziraphale with an unreadable stare.

"What do you think?" it asked.

Aziraphale swallowed, his throat suddenly dry.

"I think you might be a convenient excuse to cover up elopements and girls who run away from bad homes."

Crowley rumbled, deep in its chest, low enough that Aziraphale could feel it vibrating through the ground.

"That sounds likely, doesn't it?" Crowley said, closing its eyes.

Aziraphale couldn't think of what to say to that, so he bit his tongue and tended to the fire until the fish was ready to eat.

He picked the flesh from the bones with his fingers and ate with gusto, filling the emptiness in his stomach. Crowley declined to share the meal, insisting that it had already eaten well enough, so Aziraphale was soon full and content.

"You are still cold," Crowley said as Aziraphale checked to see if his clothes were dry. They weren't.

"A little, yes," he admitted, "the fire and the night are battling over me, it seems. With only this blanket for warmth, my back is getting rather chilly."

"Another fire?" Crowley offered, starting to shift and stand.

Aziraphale hesitated. Two fires could be too much, and more difficult to control. He had another idea but Crowley might be offended by it. He decided to take the risk.

"I had noticed that you are rather warm. Instead of starting another fire, might I rest against you?"

Crowley blinked.

"You would want to?" 

"Only if I'm not keeping you from anything," Aziraphale said with a smile.

Crowley settled back down and curled slightly onto his side, revealing the lighter scales of his belly.

"I have no prior engagements, Aziraphale. Come, let me warm you."

With the blanket still clutched tightly around his shoulders, Aziraphale approached the dragon carefully. They had been sitting close enough before, but this now felt surprisingly intimate. He found a spot, thick with soft moss, where he could sit and lean his back against Crowley's bulk. 

"Is this alright?" Aziraphale asked once he was seated.

Crowley's approving rumble was all the more powerful now that Aziraphale's back was pressed against the dragon's abdomen. It wasn't an unpleasant sensation at all.

Crowley lifted its head and gently blew a stream of warm air over Aziraphale. Its breath was like a lover's touch, caressing Aziraphale's hair and face with invisible fingertips. It had been a very long time since anyone had touched Aziraphale with such kindness.

Despite the warm glow he now felt, Aziraphale shivered.

"You are still cold?" Crowley asked, sounding confused.

"No!" Aziraphale hurried to reassure it, "No, I'm warm. Very comfortable. That was just-" he faltered, not knowing how to explain what he had just experienced "-it was nice."

"Nice?" Crowley asked, "You enjoyed it?"

Heat rushed to Aziraphale's face as he fought his body's natural reaction to being touched. It wasn't that sort of situation at all, no matter how difficult he found it to stop thinking about the feel of Crowley's skin under his fingers.

"Well, I've been alone for some time," he began, trying to make excuses, "it's good to be touched and to have someone care. Even if I don't understand why you're helping me."

Crowley looked up and away, seeming to stare off into the stars.

"I have been alone for a while as well," it said, rather more quietly than before, "it is good to sit with someone. To talk. To listen. It is my fault you fell into the river. I was chasing the doe that caused your horse to rear. Even knowing who you are and why you are here, I felt guilt at causing your death. I did not know I would like you."

"Oh," said Aziraphale, feeling adrift. Another warm breath rolled over him, smelling of exotic spices and a home hearth. Instinctively, he relaxed further back into the comforting presence behind him. "I like you too."

Crowley rested its head on its front feet, turned just enough to pin Aziraphale with its golden gaze.

"This is embarrassing, and you are free to decline, but would you stroke my belly? It is a comfort I have missed during my time alone." Crowley stared with unblinking eyes as it asked this favour. It seemed like the very least that Aziraphale could do after the kindness he had been shown, and he said as much.

Turning onto his knees, facing the expanse of Crowley's belly, Aziraphale first laid his palms flat on the soft, scaled skin. The warmth of the dragon seemed to flow into him through this simple contact and he felt further revived and energised.

In long, sweeping arcs, he stroked both hands up and down the red belly, noting how Crowley trembled when he brushed against the lay of the scales.

"Is this alright?" he asked, "I can't say that this is something I've done before."

Crowley's inner eyelids had drawn across its golden eyes and it didn't open them when it responded.

"It is good, it feels good just as you are. I am grateful." 

Encouraged, Aziraphale widened the sweep of his hands, caressing even more of the skin on display. He felt the subtle flexing of Crowley's muscles under his touch and glowed warm with pride at pleasing such a fine creature.

Abruptly, Crowley lifted its head and snapped its eyes open.

"You do not need to stroke so low. That is a sensitive area. I am finding this pleasant as it is, although you may stop whenever you please. I would not wish to impose upon you."

Aziraphale looked at the spot he had just stroked, where the scales became larger and plate-like. A slight swelling of the area had caused a slit to become visible between two plates.

Not knowing anything about dragon anatomy, but being greatly learned in the natural sciences, Aziraphale quickly drew some conclusions about what Crowley was experiencing. His body's own reaction to that realisation was just as surprising but, really, he had been enjoying making Crowley happy, was this so different?

Watching Crowley's face, Aziraphale deliberately stroked down towards the lifted scales and trailed his fingers along the edge of the slit.

"And what if I would like to touch you lower? Would you like that as well?" Aziraphale asked, his heart in his throat.

"I do not think you realise what you ask," said Crowley, his eyes bright and intense. "You can not want this."

Aziraphale considered. Part of his interest was definitely scholarly curiosity, he wanted to learn and see what he could about dragon sexuality. But that was only part of it. He was also lonely himself, charmed by this kind, generous creature. He wanted to make Crowley happy, and not just because he owed it his life. The idea of sharing intimacy with Crowley was thrilling and exciting, the possibility only recently realised but now greatly desired. He was certain of his own mind.

"I do," he said, quiet but confidently, "if you are at all interested, you will find me more than willing."

Crowley dropped its head back to the ground with something like a laugh.

"This is madness!" it said, covering its eyes with a forepaw, "Do as you please, I will stop you if it becomes unpleasant or dangerous. I ask that you do the same as I do not know how compatible we might be."

Thrilled and nervous, Aziraphale shuffled down to be closer to what he took to be Crowley's genital area. Crowley wrapped its tail around him, holding him in a surprisingly gentle embrace.

The conversation appeared to have caused Crowley to become more aroused, the slit now open enough for Aziraphale to slip his fingers inside. He stroked around the outside, encouraging Crowley to relax and enjoy the sensations. The skin inside the slit was even warmer than the rest of Crowley, smooth and slick with arousal. Ever the epicurean, Aziraphale lifted his wet fingers to his mouth and tasted Crowley for the first time.

The dragon groaned, low and rumbling, as Aziraphale licked his fingers, tensing its tail and stroking the flexible tip against Aziraphale's thickening cock.

Pleased with his discovery, Aziraphale pressed his face against Crowley's opening and licked into it, caressing the sensitive skin and gathering the rich, warm juices onto his tongue. He wondered if he would be able to fuck Crowley's slit, if his humanly proportioned cock would give any pleasure. Crowley appeared to be enjoying the attentions of his tongue, so Aziraphale was hopeful. It was getting more difficult to think as Aziraphale's own arousal was building, his hips pressing against the tip of Crowley's tail.

Something nudged at his tongue, pushing out from within Crowley. The dragon moaned and shivered, knocking Aziraphale back just enough to watch its penis spring forth from the slit. The flesh around the entrance that Aziraphale had been enjoying was now swollen to protect the base of the penis from the edges of the covering scales.

It was unlike any penis Aziraphale had ever seen or read about. Compared to Crowley's body, it was small and slender. Still, that was significantly larger than Aziraphale's own cock. The head was bulbous and covered in soft spines, the shaft was textured with nubs and fin-like protrusions, and the base flared out into an even wider bulb. The entire thing was deep red and coated in that same slick fluid that Aziraphale had tasted before. 

He reached out to touch it, just run a finger along the length, and Crowley whined. 

"Is that too much?" Aziraphale asked, not looking away from the arresting sight before him.

"No," Crowley growled, its body twitching with barely controlled writhing, "it has just been a long time and never like this."

Aziraphale wanted to ask more but it didn't seem to be the right moment. He really didn't want to get off track.

Experimentally, Aziraphale stroked Crowley's erection as he would his own, gripping the shaft and pumping up and down. The spines and protuberances all flexed easily under his hand, just adding an unusual but pleasant sensation. Immediately, he knew that he wanted to feel it inside him.

"Crowley, can you roll onto your back?"

The dragon released him from its tail and shifted its lower half to lie flat, still watching Aziraphale with the graceful curve of its swan-like neck.

Aziraphale paused only to strip off his braies and cast aside the horse blanket.

"I want to try to take you, is that alright?"

"You cannot want this!" Crowley cried, confused, "I am monstrous and terrible. This cannot be something you wish for!"

Aziraphale ached for the wonderful creature who believed itself so unworthy.

"You are kind and good. I want this. I want this with you, if you will allow it."

"I do not wish to hurt you," said Crowley, sounding uncertain.

"You won't. I'll go slowly." Aziraphale tried to sound calm and reassuring but his heart was pounding against his ribs with the anticipation.

Crowley nodded and dropped one rear leg to help Aziraphale climb up onto it.

"You are beautiful," Aziraphale said, kneeling to straddle Crowley's penis. He wondered how he hadn't noticed before.

Gathering some of the slick coating Crowley's penis, Aziraphale reached between his thighs to stroke around his hole. It had been a while for him as well, and he had never taken anything as large as Crowley, but he wanted to try. He pushed a finger into himself, spreading the slippery juices as deep as he could, and forcing himself to relax.

With Crowley watching him, unblinking and adoring, Aziraphale began to ease himself down onto Crowley's penis.

At first, the spines tickled as they moved against the delicate skin of Aziraphale's cleft but that soon became a more intense sensation as he opened up around the head. He stretched wide, pausing to adjust to the burn, and the spines seemed to stroke his insides in a way he would have never expected to be pleasurable. But it was, so much so that he was encouraged to bear down faster than he intended so he could take the entire head within him.

With his palms pressed against Crowley's belly, Aziraphale froze and hissed in slight discomfort. He focused on his breathing, only to realise that Crowley was practically panting under him, its entire chest heaving with the effort.

"Is this-" 

"It's good, very good, yes! I will not move!" Crowley interrupted and Aziraphale recognised the strain in its voice. Crowley was holding still for him and fighting the urge to thrust or move. An upwelling of affection did wonders for Aziraphale's resolve and he began to press down once more.

He could feel the spiny head move deeper, tingling and stroking him from the inside. Now the nubs and fins of the shaft were pressing up into him, changing the pressure and forcing pleasant undulations within him. His cock was hard against his stomach, dripping arousal and aching with need. Aziraphale knew that he wouldn't last long once he actually started to move.

The top of the bulbous base nudged against his hole and Aziraphale stopped to breathe. As much as he wanted to feel Crowley completely buried within him, there was no way that he would be able to fuck himself over the swell of that final bulge. He hoped this would be enough.

After a moment, Aziraphale felt his body relax. The slight burn abated and all he could think about was getting into a pleasurable rhythm. Tentatively, he lifted himself a few times, testing what he could take. He was breathing as hard as Crowley was now, staring into bright golden eyes and trying to express how wonderful he felt.

Crowley stayed still as Aziraphale rode it, its body seemed tense with the effort but its face spoke only of bliss and pleasure. Aziraphale had never felt anything like this before, he was so full but also completely alight with sensation. His pleasure built to unimaginable heights, beyond what he had thought possible. A single touch to his straining erection would have ended him, so he kept his hands on Crowley, refusing to forfeit even a second of this if he didn't have to.

"Aziraphale!" Crowley cried, "I am very close!"

Aziraphale could have cried with happiness at that 

"Let go!" he said instead, finally allowing himself to grasp his cock.

Crowley shivered and growled, bucking up once with an apparent involuntary beat of its wings. It met Aziraphale on a downstroke and that pushed the base fully into his clenching hole.

The increase of pressure inside him sent Aziraphale over the edge just as Crowley pulsed, hot and long and satisfying. It seemed to last forever, both spilling his meagre seed onto Crowley's belly and being filled by the draconic load. 

Ripples of pure pleasure continued to sweep through him for several long moments. He felt deliciously full and warmed right to his core. 

"That was sensational," Aziraphale said, breathless. He shifted on his knees to let Crowley withdraw but instead found himself stuck. "Oh, that's unusual."

Crowley craned its neck to look at Aziraphale, its face flushed with happiness.

"Ah, I am locked in to you," Crowley said, the smile dropping from its face, "please do not move, it will be painful for us both."

Aziraphale hated to see the way Crowley's pleasure died.

"It's alright, I promise, but what does this mean? How long are we locked together?"

"It will not be very long, certainly it will end before sunrise. When my kind mate, we take to the sky. We fly high and chase each other for hours until one is caught. The couple join and are locked together, flying and falling as they mate. This keeps them connected. When the flight is over, the penis shrinks back behind the scales and the couple are released from each other. It was difficult to stay on the ground when I wanted to fly! But we are locked and that is all, it will pass."

Aziraphale nodded his understanding and tried not to think about being fucked by Crowley whilst flying. It sounded exceptionally thrilling.

"Do we need to do anything more? Or do we just wait?" he asked instead.

"We wait. Together. I am sorry."

"There's nothing to apologise for, Crowley! This isn't your fault and, honestly, I liked it. I still like it. It feels like you're staking a claim on me, that this is more meaningful than a simple exercise in release." Aziraphale exposed a little more of his heart than he intended, but Crowley's smile returned and that made it alright.

"I am protecting you from other mates," it said, smiling shyly, "making sure that you take my seed and no other. I caught you and you are mine."

"I think I like that," Aziraphale said quietly.

Crowley made a fuss of getting Aziraphale as comfortable as possible, insisting that he lay down upon Crowley's belly and sleep if he could.

They spoke quietly for a while, but the soothing rhythm of Crowley's breathing, coupled with the crackling of the fire, soon had Aziraphale feeling drowsy. He pulled the blanket that Crowley had retrieved around his shoulders and relaxed into Crowley's warmth.

"You really never steal livestock?" Aziraphale asked sleepily.

"Never," Crowley said, stroking a claw down Aziraphale's back. "I only eat wild animals, usually deer."

"Do you eat a lot of them?" 

"No more than one or two a day. Is that a lot? Oh, it is, isn't it? Perhaps the wolf problem is my fault after all!"

Aziraphale laughed and gently petted Crowley's belly.

"Don't worry about it now, let's just rest."

Just as Crowley predicted, by the time the sun rose Aziraphale was free. He woke up cradled between Crowley's front legs, where he must have been moved after they unlocked. 

Lying in the embrace of a creature he hadn't even believed in less than a day ago, Aziraphale considered how else his view of the world had shifted. He didn't enjoy being a knight. His family pushed and pushed him to do things he hated so that they might benefit from his good standing, but what did they do to help him? None of them had even offered to part with a servant to act as a squire for this quest. He was tired of doing what he was told and ignoring his own desires. It was time for him to make his own decisions.

Crowley shifted in its sleep, nuzzling its great head closer to Aziraphale and snuffling at him.

They were both lonely creatures in a world that wanted them to be at odds. Perhaps, together, they could make something better for themselves.

Aziraphale pressed a kiss to Crowley's snout and allowed sleep to claim him once more; they would talk about it all later. There was time.