"Do you remember the 14th century?"
Crowley turned away from his beer to glance at the somewhat-drunk angel seated next to him, an identical stein less full of beer clutched in his delicate hands. "For the most part."
A look of distant reflection crossed the angel's face. "What was your favorite part?"
An easy smirk quirked on Crowley's face. That was an easy question, though there were an number of memorable moments from that little span of fun. "The Black Death." Ah, the memories of those years... Just glorious, he thought. So much death and destruction. They always waxed on memories of those years down below. Those were the good old days. "Yours?"
Aziraphale's face crinkled into an expression that resembled constipation more than contemplation. "Chaucer," he answered finally, the name escaping as an absent drawl.
Crowley nodded conciliatorily. "Those years weren't very good for your side." Too many wars and revolts. Back then there was more power on the other side, pushing men towards evil and bloodshed. Conflict had sprung up across the world like wildfire, and Europe had become their special playing grounds.
"I think I was drunk for most of it."
"Wouldn't blame you."
Taking a sip of his beer, Crowley tried to remember if they'd met up back then. He'd been busy, he recalled. Hadn't had time for much that wasn't death, mayhem, or mischief. Surely he wouldn't have neglected his friend for an entire century... He snapped his fingers and the memory was there in his mind.
There was laughter, he remembered, bitter laughter not like what he normally associated with the pleasantness that surrounded Aziraphale. The Black Death had done that to him, or at least that's what Crowley attributed the angel's mood to when he found him in a Persian den, drunk off his ass and barely able to string together two sentences. He'd had a book of Chaucer's with him at the time, one of the original manuscripts that he'd somehow managed to come across.
He remembered gifting the book to Aziraphale, after all, he had no use for a book about some stupid pilgrims. He remembered the way Aziraphale had melted in his lap, too intoxicated to really know what he was doing.
"Hey, Crowley?" The then-Aziraphale had slurred into the sheets, wine miraculously tipping from the bottle he held over the edge of the bed and falling directly into the angel's mouth without so much as touching the sheets.
"Wot?" He'd answered, firm English accent settled in his voice even back then.
"You're not supposed to have that much of an accent yet." Aziraphale had corrected him absently. "They don't have that kind of slang for a while yet."
"Sorry," his tone thinned out to something more appropriate for the time.
"Is this ever going to stop?"
Crowley remembered turning to face Aziraphale and finding their faces closer than they had been before. He'd felt guilty then, staring into the red-rimmed eyes of the angel and knowing that his fun had caused this. The small part of him that had been an angel so very long ago had taken hold then, making him reach out to Aziraphale and drag a finger reassuringly along the angel's jawline.
"It'll get better," he'd promised. To this day he was thankful that none of His agents had been listening in. Or the other Him for that matter, though one would have been more forgiving.
The now-Crowley brought his stein to his lips, the pressure of the mug a faint remembrance of what had followed the words. He doubted if Aziraphale remembered the kiss. If he did, he surely would have brought it up again when they'd met up again in the fifteenth century when the banners of the girl Joan had brought the angels back in full force, for a little while. Aziraphale would have said something about how Crowley had slackened off for a while, giving Europe a bit of a break for a year or two. Well, parts of it.
"I do remember."
Crowley looked up in surprise, turning just as Aziraphale stood. A light kiss brushed Crowley's cheek as the angel passed, followed by a wink that promised more.
Crowley shrugged offhandedly. "You'd do the same." He knew beyond a doubt that Aziraphale would. It was their balance, the way they kept each other in check. Through the years their friendship had proven more than good or evil. No matter where either of them stood, remnants of affection kept them together.