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A Futile Attempt to Move On

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After thousands of years of maintaining control and listening to the nagging in the back of his head telling him to stop staring and thinking about the Adversary so much, it took this exact circumstance for Aziraphale to fall into bed with Crowley: three killed Nazis, one bombed church, one saved bag of books, and a ridiculous amount of wine. Aziraphale had been so happy to see Crowley again and absolutely touched that he rushed into a church, of all places, to rescue him even after leaving off with a nasty argument seventy-nine years ago. Crowley cared, not just about his safety, but about the things that made him happy, as well, he realized as he clutched the handle of the bag of books. Aziraphale was a being of love, and it was impossible not to feel any for Crowley, his one true friend on earth, the serpent who dined with him and made him feel more valued than his superiors ever had. It was futile to even attempt not to love Crowley, who snarked and joked and walked like he owned every room he entered, and had his own unique tastes, and yes, got into trouble, but had just enough genuine goodness inside that he performed miracles as part of the Arrangement from time to time, and went on rescuing angels when he knew it would be a death sentence if Hell found out.

Aziraphale never stood a chance.

So, he could not be blamed when he couldn’t hold back the wave of love inside him desperate to spill over. He was an angel, for Heaven’s sake. Loving was in his genes. He was feeling so many overwhelming emotions, such as relief that they were still friends after all these years, but his main focus was the life-altering realization that he was absolutely in love with his brave, cocky, brilliant, caring Crowley—not just all-encompassing angelic love, but breathtaking, terrifying, raw human love. And that night, his Crowley had been sitting across from him in the bookshop, mesmerizing eyes exposed as he drunkenly ranted about dung beetles. He was so charming. 

Aziraphale watched him with his cheek in his hand, bent elbow perched atop the arm of his chair.

Crowley blinked sluggishly. “What?”

Wine clogging his brain, Aziraphale had leaned forward and kissed him, and only felt Crowley tense for a moment before he kissed back hungrily. It was a heated, drunken, thrilling daze of hands running against chests, bare, sweaty skin rubbing, and love making Aziraphale dizzy. Not needing air, they kissed until their lips were nearly numb from it, red and swollen and wet. They were in the old bed in the flat above the bookshop, mainly kept to keep up appearances of being human, when Crowley shook and moaned Angel, don’t stop and I missed you and I’ll always be there for you in his arms. Aziraphale’s aura of love was strong enough so they both felt it, and Crowley huffed harsh breaths into the crook of his neck and clung to him as if he were a life jacket in the sea. Aziraphale felt Crowley’s loved-packed aura meld with his, and he, drunk as could be, felt tears run down his temples as he was consumed by his unending love for Crowley, too overwhelmed to do anything but let out a soft cry into his shoulder. For a being of love to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of affection he felt was no small wonder. 

Although they didn’t require basic bodily functions, living in these vessels meant they were susceptible to human tendencies under the right circumstances. Worn out from the church, wine, and love-making, Aziraphale couldn’t keep his eyes open after they finished.

The mood was much different the next morning.

The pounding pain behind his eyes was agonizing, and Aziraphale immediately miracled the hangover away. What on earth? He must have been drunk, but he usually didn’t get headaches that bad. Then, with the pain gone, he noticed other physical sensations. There was weight on his right side. His eyes shot open.

Crowley’s head was on the same pillow, but ducked down a little to be turned towards the crook of Aziraphale’s neck. His face was serene, and he snored and drooled onto the pillow. His arms were wrapped around Aziraphale’s soft right bicep.

Fondness poured into Aziraphale’s heart as it sank. “Oh, no,” he whispered.

Crowley didn’t stir.

It came back to him in an instant. Some of the details were murky, but he remembered that he made love to Crowley after being rescued. He remembered the way Crowley held onto him, snake eyes opened wide as he choked out a moan and came all over Aziraphale’s stomach. Ice crystallized along his spine. What was Aziraphale thinking? They couldn’t—Heaven would be furious if they found out. This was worse than fraternizing. They would consider this a mortal sin for an angel. Crowley would certainly be murdered by Hell, there was no doubt about it. They would both be murdered without hesitation. He scanned the room anxiously, but nothing seemed out of order. Had they gotten away with it?

Aziraphale wanted to kick himself. He had been so, so careful for millennia, putting a cap on his emotions because he knew, he knew Crowley would be killed if Hell knew they even had one friendly conversation. He ruined everything because he couldn’t hide his idiotic feelings after alcohol. He was turning human, wasn’t he? What a ridiculous fool he was. What a terrible angel he had become.

Aziraphale gazed at him, sitting up slowly, extracting his arm from the loose hug, heart tearing in half when he remembered the words moaned into his ear last night. Crowley was in love with him. He let himself be vulnerable last night, and Aziraphale knew how big that was. Demons weren’t supposed to love, but Crowley did, somehow. He was sure of it, despite it being unsaid. Even now, he could feel the gentle glow of Crowley’s love in his chest. He blushed, and realized that being in love was much different than feeling a general sense of love in a given area. This was far more personal. He felt embarrassed, and the only reason why he wasn’t running away to hide was because he knew Crowley felt the same. How did humans manage without feeling auras to reassure their insecurities? Poor things. It was all out in the open now. He could never undo last night, but the ice around his spine grew sharp as he decided that there could never be a repeat. He wouldn’t put Crowley’s life in any more danger than he already had. For a moment, his imagination ran rampant and he pictured Crowley being thrown into a pool of holy water, shrieking and melting and disappearing forever.

Aziraphale’s hand flew to his mouth to hold back his gasp, his pulse hammering painfully. No. They could never do this again. The risk was too great, not to mention that he might die, too, or Fall. God had to know they did this right? Of course She did, but Aziraphale was still an angel. Was She all right with this? Closing his eyes and folding his hands into a steeple, he prayed. 

Lord, I beg you not to punish Crowley for what transpired between us; he is merely in love. It is my fault, and I am sorry for my foolishness, but please do not hurt him for my actions.

He opened his eyes. He hoped She was listening. He rubbed his eyes, feeling groggy and being unaccustomed to it. They needed to talk. Crowley would understand, certainly? He was clever, and he knew how vicious Hell was better than he. Maybe he would wake up and have the same thought process Aziraphale did, and they would agree to never speak of this again and go on their merry way. His heart had sunk down so far it felt as if it were in his gut. No, not their merry way. Aziraphale had a taste of what it was like to have his beloved in his arms, and it was going to be torturous never to have this again. There was a lump in his throat. This was part of why he held everything in so long. He loved Crowley so, so much. How was he going to be happy with the knowledge he was loved in return, but had to abstain? He...he would just have to manage somehow. There was no other way. Aside from what would happen to himself, he would never forgive himself if Crowley were killed because of this. He would rather Fall.

Still, he felt wretched as he looked down at Crowley, so at peace, so trusting, looking so achingly human in this position. Aziraphale never liked sleep much; the idea of falling unconscious was strange enough, but with someone right there, who could potentially hurt you and you wouldn’t see it coming, made him paranoid. However, he did it last night, and here was Crowley, out like a light. He had once mentioned that he never trusted other demons, that it would be ridiculous for demons to go around trusting each other, but he still should have been more inclined to trust them than his hereditary enemy, and yet… 

Getting lost in thought, Aziraphale curved his finger and gingerly brushed his cheek, and retracted his hand as soon as he noticed his action. His eyes anxiously searched the room again, but everything was silent and still, save for the snoring, which somehow didn’t irk Aziraphale. Perhaps he found it endearing because it was a sign of just how relaxed Crowley was, or perhaps Aziraphale was just a big old sap. Crowley would probably think it was the latter.

As if on cue, Crowley snorted and rolled onto his back, giving a small, sleepy moan that made butterflies flutter in Aziraphale’s stomach. He smacked his lips, rubbing his stubbled jaw. He opened his eyes, pupils wider than usual with sleep. He looked over at Aziraphale.

Aziraphale didn’t breathe.

A small, timid, lopsided smile appeared. “Hey, angel,” he mumbled.

Oh, Lord, he’s happy. Why must I hurt him? “Doesn’t your head hurt?”

He shut his eyes, then blinked them open. “Not anymore.” He yawned, and the smile faded. “What’s wrong?”

He grinned tightly. “Am I that obvious?”

“Kinda.” He sat up, tension pulling at his shoulders (one pale shoulder had a bite mark. Aziraphale got carried away). His loose, sleepy demeanor was growing rigid.

Aziraphale wished he wasn’t naked, and understood why being self-conscious of the body was one of God’s punishments for Adam and Eve. He pulled the duvet up a little higher. This was going to be painful.

 "I'll always be there for you,” Crowley had whispered into his ear the previous night.

Aziraphale clenched the sheet in his hands, steeling himself. “Crowley,” he began carefully, “you know we can’t do this again, yes?” 

Then, he saw it: a flash of devastation struck Crowley’s face, his features crumpled, yellow eyes wounded. As quickly as the expression came, it was gone, replaced by cold indifference and deep frown lines on his forehead. He shrugged one shoulder roughly. “Yeah, yeah,” he said gruffly, looking away. “Of course.” He paused. “Uh. Why, exactly?”

Aziraphale felt the shock and hurt in Crowley’s aura, and his sunken heart bled. “We’re very lucky we weren’t caught,” he said, taking great effort to keep his voice steady. “Hell will most assuredly destroy you if they found out. I don’t know what Heaven would do for sure, but it would most likely be the same punishment.”

Crowley was looking down at the bed, jaw clenched. “Ah. Right.”

Aziraphale hated this. “Listen.” He pressed his lips together. “This has nothing to do with how I feel about you—”

“Don’t,” Crowley cut him off sharply, eyes squeezed shut. “Don’t say anything more.”

“Why not?” he asked. He needed to be clear that this wasn’t about them, but Heaven and Hell.

Crowley turned his face, eyes open and piercing. “I get it, okay? Don’t need to dwell on it. Heaven and Hell would make us disappear. Poof, we’d go extinct if they saw us now. Got it.” He snapped his fingers and was fully dressed, sunglasses included.

Aziraphale felt even more uncomfortable now, so he dressed with a miracle, too. “Well, yes. It’s too dangerous.” 

Eyes hidden, his face was impassive. “Yeah.” He got out of bed, stretching in a way that seemed too forced to be casual. “You’re right. We’ll just. This didn’t happen. Fine.” He shrugged both shoulders, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “Cool.”

Aziraphale wanted to say so much. It’s not fine. I love you. This is an act; I feel how much you’re hurting. I’m sorry. This is killing me. He never felt so much anguish clawing at his soul before. Was this God’s punishment for going astray? “I apologize for my weakness,” he said, getting out of bed, smoothing out his vest. “I shouldn’t have, last night. I was the one who made the first move.”

Crowley shook his head. “Don’t apologize. I did it back.”

Aziraphale shoved the memory of Crowley’s face in the throes of passion away. “Um. Yes. Well. It was a mistake.”

Crowley’s posture was stiff as a rod. “A mistake,” he repeated woodenly. “Uh huh. Yeah. Won’t happen again. Humans fuck when drunk all the time. No big deal.”

Aziraphale winced at the harsh, dismissive language. He couldn’t tell if the hurt he felt was from his own aura or Crowley’s. He selfishly hoped it was the latter, because what if Crowley wasn’t actually as upset as he was? What if he was humiliating himself right now? 

There was a little sniff, almost inaudible, and a forced smirk that resembled a grimace appeared. “Not my first one night stand.”

Last night may have proven that Aziraphale could be gullible, but he was immediately skeptical of that claim. He let it slide, though, because neither was prepared to discuss the implications of the truth. “Thank you for discarding the Nazis last night,” he said lamely.

Crowley nodded. “They were bastards. It was my pleasure. I’ll be off, then. Got things to do.”

“Of course.”

With a snap of his fingers, Crowley was gone.

Aziraphale felt empty, alone in the room without Crowley’s aura. He gazed down at the bed. Just a few hours ago, he lay on that very mattress and let himself be kissed and caressed. He miracled a set of new bed sheets. He didn’t have intentions to sleep anytime soon, but he couldn’t bear his bed smelling of Crowley. He sighed deeply, allowing himself to feel the ache of loss in his chest. After a couple minutes, he went downstairs to the bookshop, intent on blocking out last night with a few good books. It was all he could do. This was for the best and the only way they would survive. It was only one night out of nearly 6,000 years. His love would never disappear, but he would move on.


Time and distance helped, at least at first. It was easier to ignore his feelings and try to forget Crowley when they were apart. When Aziraphale saw in again, Crowley acted as if that night never happened. In fact, if Aziraphale didn’t have a razor-sharp memory, he would have wondered if he imagined it. It was still unpleasant to turn Crowley’s offer down for a ride, however, but he couldn’t possibly accept. Seeing Crowley again rejuvenated all of those dangerous emotions inside him, and Aziraphale found himself staring at Crowley’s new hairstyle with too much interest. He needed to get away from him.

“Shall I drop you off anywhere?”

“No, thank you,” he smiled tightly. Even with the sunglasses, Crowley couldn’t hide his displeasure. “Oh, don’t look so disappointed,” he tried to say lightly, but knew both of their minds were in 1941. “Perhaps one day, we could, I don’t know.” Kiss again. Embrace again. Make love again. “Go for a picnic. Dine at the Ritz.”

Crowley stared at him. “Is that all?” he asked in a quiet, timid voice.

Aziraphale looked straight ahead at the people crossing the street. “It’s all we can do.” Don’t take this further. Don’t speak of that night. Please.

The silence was heavy.

Crowley broke it. “Even so, I’ll give you a lift. Anywhere you want to go.”

Aziraphale turned to him, his throat tight. “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

He hoped his eyes weren’t actually as moist as they felt. “You know why.”


Now as Brother Francis and Nanny Ashtoreth, time with Crowley was wonderful and terrible. Aziraphale always felt freer to be himself with him around, even with the ridiculous disguise, but it was obviously a reminder of those few hours when they were one. They had seen the most intimate parts of each other, body and soul, and had to pretend. Their unspoken night was so terribly loud. It constantly hung over their heads. Aziraphale hated that he always felt Crowley’s love. It would have wrecked him, but if Crowley had stopped loving him, then at least he could only be concerned with his own hurt feelings. But no, it was always there, a little warm nudge at his soul whenever he was the focus of Crowley’s attention.


They never shared more than a handshake after 1941, until Aziraphale called Crowley nice. In an instant, he was shoved against a wall, their noses almost touching, Crowley’s breath hot on his skin. 

“I’m never nice,” he growled viciously. “‘Nice’ is a four letter-word. I will not have you stand here and insult me.”

Blinking once, Aziraphale said, “It wasn’t meant to be an insult.”

Crowley pressed him harder into the wall, the black lenses of his sunglasses reflecting Aziraphale’s unimpressed expression. “You know who I am, you know what I am. I can’t be nice. Shut it or I’ll—“

“You’ll what?” Aziraphale challenged, keeping calm. “You would never hurt me.” This was the closest Crowley ever got to making him feel physical discomfort in their entire relationship.

Crowley scowled. “Try me.”

Aziraphale rolled his eyes, not in the mood for the tough guy act. “All right, then.” He reached up and bopped Crowley on the tip of his nose with his finger.

Crowley’s eyes were hidden, but his confusion was apparent. He let go of him, taking a couple steps back. “...What was the point of that?”

Aziraphale straightened his bow tie smugly. “Any other demon would have ripped off my finger. The thought wouldn’t even occur to you.”

Crowley stared at him. “That’s—you’re so stupid. That doesn’t prove—“

“Excuse me, gents,” the former nun walked up to them, and the conversation was over. 


The oncoming apocalypse put them both on edge. Aziraphale’s faith in Heaven was wavering, which shook him to his very core, and there was Crowley, who contradicted everything Heaven believed in—there was Crowley, his ultimate deviation from Heaven. Despite Aziraphale’s feelings, he took out his anxiety and mounting doubt on him. He couldn’t listen to talk of them going off together, not when the world was ending, not when they were on opposite sides, not when Heaven wasn’t listening, not when he knew what would happen if they went alone together.

“We’re not friends! We are an angel and a demon. We have nothing in common. I don’t even like you!” Aziraphale lied through his teeth, feeling like pins and needles were stabbing his stomach.

“You dooo!” Crowley retorted immediately, and of course, he was right. “What’s going on here?” he put his hands on his hips, irritated, yes, but confused. “Why are you freaking out?”

“I’m not freaking out!” he denied too loudly. “Nothing’s going on beyond what I told you. And even if I did know where the anti-Christ is I wouldn’t tell you because we’re on opposite sides!”

“We’re on our side,” Crowley insisted through a hiss.

Panic rising, he blurted out, “There is no ‘our side’, Crowley! Not anymore. It’s over.” His heartbeat was loud in his ears.

Crowley’s lips parted, his eyebrows raised over his sunglasses. He swallowed, and then got angry. “You liar,” he walked towards him.

Aziraphale stood his ground, chin lifted, prepared for anything.

Crowley stood in front of him, breathing hard, pointing a finger at his chest. “Don’t act like we were never friends. You know damn well that’s not true. I know you love me,” Crowley accused, voice shaking.

Except that. He wasn’t prepared for that. Even during that blissful night, they hadn’t spoken those words. The proof was there in their souls, but saying it out loud was so exposing.

Aziraphale stammered. “I-I ,” he choked out, astounded. No, they couldn’t talk about this. Someone might be listening. He wanted to run. “I never said that,” he forced his tongue to form the words.

Crowley’s eyebrows furrowed, face falling. His chest moved up and down in a shuddering sigh. “I remember every second of that night,” he said quietly. “Why are you doing this?”

Aziraphale put his hand over his chest, holding back a groan. The love and pain in Crowley’s aura was making him lose focus. They hadn’t spoken about that night in eighty years, and it was awful. A part of him hoped Crowley had moved on, but he hadn’t, and Lord, neither did Aziraphale. “You know we can’t do this,” he spoke faintly.

“The end is coming,” Crowley said with a hint of desperation, getting in his personal space. “We can go off where they’ll never find us.”

Aziraphale didn’t breathe. “Stop tempting me.”

His frown deepened. “I’m not trying to manipulate you. It’s just—we can do it.” His voice was barely above a whisper, the anger draining out of him. “They won’t care about us if they have their war. We can…” He was close enough so that his eyes could be seen behind the lenses. They were pleading. “I don’t want the world to end with all these humans, but if it does, it won’t be so bad if we’re together.”

Aziraphale gathered all of his strength. “No,” he said, and held back a shudder at how Crowley deflated. “I will not risk our destruction, especially not when the earth needs us. This is about the end of the world, not you and me. I’m not having this conversation.”

Crowley was still for a few long seconds, staring at him from behind those dark lenses. Then, the anger returned, and it radiated from him with disappointment. “Fine then.” He walked away. “Have a nice Doomsday,” he spat over his shoulder.

Aziraphale didn’t leave the bandstand for several minutes because he wasn’t certain his legs would carry him. He got the creeping feeling that he just made a gigantic mess of things. It hurt tremendously, but he didn’t have time to deal with this.

It was dreadful when Crowley, despite it all, drove up in his car to run away to Alpha Centauri. Aziraphale had to turn him away again. He had to. He was put on earth to protect humans 6,000 years ago, and he wasn’t going to give up now.


 Aziraphale backed up into the wall, smiling anxiously. "I haven't been consorting," he told the angels, fear making the hair on the back of his neck stand up. This was his worst nightmare. They knew. He was going to be killed. They would probably tell Hell and Crowley would die, too. He tried so hard to avoid this outcome.

"Our files say otherwise," Michael said with an icy grin. "We have photographic evidence."

He paled. "O-o-f what, exactly?"

"You and that demon spending time together in public," she replied.

Despite the situation, he felt relief. So they didn't know about the rest?

"What must you two get up to in private?" Uriel asked with a glare.

Never mind. The terror was back. "Private?" he gave a small, hysterical laugh. "I-I never spent time in p-private with that demon!"

"Don't think your boyfriend in the dark glasses will get you special treatment in Hell," she taunted. "He's in trouble, too."

Oh, Lord, please no.

He was winded and shocked after being punched in the gut, but more than anything, he prayed for Crowley's safety.


 Aziraphale could have fainted from relief when he appeared to Crowley at the table. He was still alive. He urgently needed to tell Crowley who and where Adam was, but nearly flickered out of existence when the following happened.

“Did you go to Alpha Centauri?”

Crowley looked worse for wear. There were deep frown lines pulling his lips into a pout, he was clearly drunk, and the lighting made his glassy eyes visible. “Ah, uh, changed my mind,” he fidgeted in his seat. “Stuff happened.” He was incredibly distressed. “I lost my soulmate,” his voice cracked badly.

Aziraphale was too shocked to be afraid someone was listening. “W-what? What do you mean?”

He put his cheek in his hand, somehow growing sadder. “I’m really sorry, but your shop burned down,” he broke the news gently.

Aziraphale only sat there. “...All of it?”

“Ye-mm-um—yeah.”

He was thankful he couldn’t cry without a body. All those beautiful books…

“I thought you’d been in there,” Crowley said, looking down at the table. “Thought it was hellfire. That they found out. And I lost you.” He shrunk in on himself. “Thought it was my fault, with what I said earlier. That I mentioned. Us. Thought someone heard.”

Aziraphale’s metaphorical heart broke. First the books, and now here was his caring demon, on the verge of tears because he thought Aziraphale had been murdered. His poor, poor dear. “I’m still here,” he said softly. “I’m okay. Just discorporated, and it wasn’t even from the fire.” His mind was stuck on being called Crowley’s soulmate. It was one word, and yet it captured what they were so perfectly. And Crowley said he didn’t like poetry!

Crowley looked up, eyes shining behind the glasses. “You’re not hurt?”

“No.” He had the urge to embrace him, but it was impossible in this form, and they didn’t have time. “Crowley, we’ll talk about this later, I promise, but I worked out the anti-Christ business, okay?”

Pulling himself together, he nodded. “What do I need to do?” 


As Satan rose from the depths of Hell, Aziraphale and Crowley shared a look and ran to each other, hands reaching out, grabbing and clasping and shaking. If they were going to die, they were going to do it with the last touch they felt being each other’s skin. Aziraphale’s frightened eyes met the sunglasses, and Crowley squeezed his hand tightly.

 

Right after they averted the apocalypse, their attention turned to their imminent murder attempts.

“They’re going to kill us,” Crowley said under his breath on the bus. “We need to be ready. It’d be shit if we died now, after all this.”

“Indeed,” Aziraphale agreed grimly.

So they spent the rest of the night figuring out what to do, and even though he was in Crowley’s flat for the first time, his mind was anywhere but the bedroom. He put them through so much just so they could survive, and he was absolutely not going to compromise that now.

When the thought struck him, he felt giddy. “I’ve got it! I need to be you!”

Crowley cocked his head to the side. “Huh?”

“That’s the prophecy! We need to wear each other’s faces. Hell will use holy water on you, but it’ll really be me, and Heaven will use hellfire on me, but it will really be you.”

Crowley smirked. “You clever bastard.”

 It worked like a charm.


 Now, there were no more distractions. They were saved, at least for the time being, and Aziraphale had a feeling that meant a few centuries. Heaven and Hell would need time to get over the embarrassment of being disobeyed by a child, failing to start the war, and failing to kill their respective traitors, and then more time to regroup and strategize. Even after they inevitably came back, they believed he and Crowley were indestructible. They wouldn’t be hunted down for being together. They were free.

Aziraphale wanted to run into Crowley’s arms, but was afraid. So much had happened. He said such shameful, mean-spirited things. He denied his love. That was uncalled for. While sitting at the dinner table, Crowley smiled softly and clinked his glass against his. The gentle wave of love was back to nudge at Aziraphale’s soul, and he could have cried right at the Ritz. He was still loved, even after that disastrous argument under the bandstand. He knew that, considering how Crowley acted when he was discorporated, but it was still beyond touching to know. He wanted to talk about it, but didn’t know if the mood was right. Perhaps he should wait until tomorrow. They just swapped back bodies, and maybe needed a relaxing dinner before anything serious after the crazy past few days they had. He was tired, for once. He never really felt tired before, not counting blacking out after wine and sex, but he never saved the world and swapped bodies before, either.

He was yawning as Crowley, reunited with his dear Bentley, drove him back to the bookshop.

“Tired?” he asked in surprise.

“I believe so,” Aziraphale said through his yawn. “Oh, excuse me.”

The corner of Crowley’s mouth turned up in a grin. “You helped save the world. You deserve a nap.”

“I don’t like sleeping,” he protested. “It’s a waste of time. You don’t even know when you’ll awaken”

“It happens eventually.”

“Yes, but I find it disconcerting. My body will perk up sooner or later. I never had to go to bed before.”

“Stop fussing and go get some shut eye,” Crowley chided.

Aziraphale wanted to say he wasn’t a child, but yawned again. He looked out the window. It was night now, and the streetlights blurred as the car ripped through the streets. For once, he didn’t feel like he was going to have a heart attack at Crowley’s disregard for the speed limit. His eyes fluttered open when the car came to a halt and he sat up, feeling flustered, his cheek cold from being pressed against the window.

Crowley was watching him, smirking. “Sure you don’t need a nap, angel?” His words were meant to be mocking. They were fond.

Aziraphale glared, half for show, and half out of embarrassment. “Yes. Goodnight.” He opened the car door. “And thank you,” he said.

“Don’t thank me for anything ever again or I’ll run you over,” Crowley said.

“Of course, dear,” Aziraphale mumbled, the term of endearment going unnoticed by him, but causing a sharp intake of breath to come from the driver’s seat. Aziraphale was too tired to register any of it, and stumbled into his bookshop where he sat down in a chair. He intended to sit and recharge for a few moments before finding something to read. Instead, his head tipped back on the chair and he succumbed to his second night of sleep ever in a ridiculously short amount of time.

He was already sleeping too deeply to notice the slow, padding footsteps across the floorboards, or the feeling of a blanket he kept folded over another chair being carefully draped and tucked over him, or the annoyed yet affectionate mutter of, “Of course you sleep like an angel, too.”


Aziraphale was disoriented when he woke up, and then remembered the chaos of events that happened since Tadfield. He looked around his shop with a smile. It was all still here. He was still here. They really did it.

“Crowley,” he whispered to the air. The worst Heaven could do was kill him, and they believed they couldn’t. The worst God could do was make him Fall, but he hadn’t, not for the night in 1941, and not for defying the Great Plan. He seemed to remain in Her good graces. Literally. What else could be done to him? What else was he waiting for? Crowley was free from the threat of death, too. He couldn’t be in any danger. Aziraphale went over all of this several times in his head, trying to find loopholes, to see if there was some threat he wasn’t thinking of, but he came up with nothing. After so long, it almost felt too good to be true.

But, Aziraphale had to apologize for his harsh words. He needed to keep them safe, and it paid off, but there was no reason to say those nasty things under the bandstand. That was purely his fault. No matter the outcome of the conversation, he wouldn’t be satisfied until Crowley knew how sorry he was. He would telephone Crowley and invite him over, tell him they needed to discuss something important—

As if on cue, Crowley entered the shop with a snap of his fingers, and a bouquet of flowers in his hand and a box of chocolates under his arm. He skidded to a halt when he spotted Aziraphale. “Oh. You’re awake.”

Aziraphale sat up, taking the blanket off, eyes on the flowers and sweets. “Yes, I just woke up. What’s the occasion?”

Crowley looked at the items like they popped up out of nowhere. “Oh, well. Uh. These. Yeah, look, I know you didn’t see the bookshop up in flames, but I did, and I thought I’d just.” He held up the items. “As a little ‘hooray for the books not being ash anymore’ gift.”

Aziraphale couldn’t help but smile, remembering that Crowley had given him the same gift when he opened the shop for the first time. His smile faded, though, when he thought he didn’t deserve this kindness. “Thank you,” he stood up.

“What I’d say last night?” he grumbled. “Stop thanking me for things.”

Aziraphale took the flowers and chocolates, their fingers brushing. “I appreciate it nonetheless.” He placed the flowers on a nearby table and opened the box of chocolates, popping a truffle into his mouth and closing his eyes in bliss. “Yummy.” He held out the box.

“They’re for you,” he said.

“I want to share.”

Crowley took a piece.

Aziraphale put down the box next to the flowers, anticipation and anxiety beginning to prod his brain. But Crowley’s love was there, warm and comfortable like the old blanket on the chair. At the same time, though, Aziraphale loved him deeply and still resisted him, and doubt told him Crowley could do the same. But there was no room for excuses to delay this a minute longer. If he was about to be hurt by Crowley, he deserved it, anyway. 

“I dunno ‘bout you,” he said through a mouthful of chocolate, “but I’m still grasping what happened.”

“Me too,” Aziraphale said. What a whirlwind. He was so grateful that they made it out on the other side. Here they were in his shop, morning sunlight coming through the windows and shining behind Crowley, the light turning his copper hair an orange-red. He still couldn’t make heads or tails of the Ineffable Plan—who could?—but he had the feeling that they were meant to do this.

Crowley smiled a little. “What? You’re staring at me.”

“Crowley,” he said seriously. “I must speak to you about a pressing matter.”

“Oh?” he arched an eyebrow, reaching into the box for another chocolate. “What would that be? Thought we were done with pressing matters for a few centuries.”

Aziraphale folded his hands in front of his stomach. “It’s about us.”

Crowley froze.

Chapter Text

Crowley put down the chocolates. “Us?” he asked faintly.

“Yes.”

He tilted his head to the side with forced nonchalance. “What about us?”

“You know what,” he said patiently.

A pause. “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” Aziraphale twiddled his thumbs. “I do believe we’ve waited long enough.”

Crowley lowered his arm slowly. He gripped the edge of the table, knuckles turning white. He appeared unsure of himself. “So.”

Aziraphale licked his lips. “I’d like to apologize.”

“Huh?” he raised his eyebrows. “Why?”

“For when I pushed you away and said I didn’t like you,” he recalled with shame. “I was terribly frightened of the reality that Heaven was wrong about everything, and I took it out on you, since I wasn’t even supposed to like you, and yet you shared my bed.”

He swallowed audibly.

Aziraphale played with the ring on his little finger. “I didn’t have to go that far. Please forgive me.”

“Angel,” he breathed, “I knew you were full of shit. I get it.”

“You did?” he asked with relief. “Oh, but still, it was awfully rude of me, and as you pointed out, a lie. You didn’t deserve that.” 

His grin didn’t quite meet his eyes—or, sunglasses. “I’m a demon; I can take some fake insults.”

“I can’t take giving them,” he insisted. “And I apologize for shutting you out with Adam.”

“You went through a crisis of faith, yeah?” His smile grew more genuine. “I understand that entirely. It’s hard. I’ve known you since Eden and how hard it’s been for you to listen to your gut rather than Heaven. That’s been your thing. I saw through Heaven’s nonsense sooner, that’s all. It’s fine.”

Aziraphale wasn’t satisfied. “You’re letting me off the hook rather easily.”

“You’re being too hard on yourself,” he said. “You’re a bastard, but not that much.”

Aziraphale shook his head, still feeling like Crowley was being too understanding. “I still shouldn’t have.” He squeezed the ring in his palm, feeling the metal dig into his skin. “I shouldn’t have denied my feelings for you.”

Crowley inhaled audibly, his grip tightening on the table. “I still knew,” he said in a quiet, slightly hoarse voice. “I felt it. It’s how I knew you were full of it.”

“You can feel it?” he asked in surprise. “But you’re Fallen.”

He sighed. “It sounds cheesy, but I can only feel yours. When we went to the nunnery? I couldn’t feel the love you felt, but. For some reason, I’ve always felt yours. Can’t explain it.”

Aziraphale was glad that he hadn’t badly hurt Crowley, then, at least not as much as he thought he did. “Well,” he slid the ring back on his finger, “I’m glad you could feel it.” He hesitantly laid his hand on top of Crowley’s. “I never stopped, you know,” he murmured.

Crowley ducked his head, a deep flush blooming on his cheeks. “I do know,” he said softly. “It was hard to ignore for all those decades.”

“Always there,” he felt his eyes glaze over.

“Poking and prodding at me.”

“Begging for attention.” Aziraphale was rubbing a slow circle into Crowley’s skin without even knowing.

Crowley kept his face turned downwards. “It made things better and worse,” he murmured, a frightening amount of vulnerability in his voice. “Being able to feel what you feel, that is. It’s good, knowing you care. But knowing was almost like a curse.”

“I know,” Aziraphale said, entirely empathetic. He sighed. The pain of the last 80 (6,000) years was fresh. “I didn’t want to end it, I hope you know.”

Crowley’s hand tensed under his. “I know, and you were right; we would’ve been killed. I wanted to be angry at you, but I knew there was no other way and that it hurt you, too. We would’ve died and the world would’ve ended several decades later.”

“It was a terrible situation,” he bemoaned.

“I was so angry at the situation,” Crowley shook his head. “I…” he laughed hollowly. “I finally got what I wanted and reality smacked me in the face. Us in the face,” he corrected himself.

Aziraphale slid his hand up to his bicep, the fabric of his jacket smooth underneath his palm. He hated to see him so miserable. “It’s over now. They think we’re indestructible. We don’t work for them anymore. If they see us together, in bed, even, what could they do to us?”

Crowley lifted his head. “In bed?” he asked hesitantly.

Aziraphale leaned a little closer, his body drawing to Crowley’s like a magnet. He used his other hand to pluck the sunglasses off and set them on the table, gulping when golden eyes peered into his.“If you would be so inclined,” he gave a short, nervous laugh. His hand came to rest on his chest, feeling a hard, quick pulse beneath his palm. “Your heart is fluttering like a bird’s,” he murmured.

Crowley was so red he looked feverish. His face was pinched in pain. “Aziraphale, listen. If you do this, you can’t take it back. I can’t pretend it never happened a second time.”

“Why would I do that?” he asked genuinely, feeling the quick pulse reverberate throughout his body. “We’re safe.”

Crowley looked torn, as if he were fighting to listen to his head instead of his heart. “You have to know what you’re getting yourself into. I’m a demon, I’ll never not be a demon. I’m not nice. I’m difficult to be around. I make trouble and I like it.”

Aziraphale chose not to argue about his being nice. “Yes,” he nodded, “I know all of this. Do you think one day I’ll dislike you and leave?”

“I’m just giving you all the warning labels so you know can’t act surprised if I do something you don’t like,” Crowley said.

“I’ve known you since Eden,” he repeated Crowley’s earlier statement, “I’m not going to wake up one day and hate you. The only thing that kept us apart is gone. If we had to separate for some reason, believe me, I’d be just as upset as you.”

Crowley pressed his lips together and turned his face to the side. “Once I have you, I’m not letting you go.”

Aziraphale could smell his cologne, and leaned forward, his body acting on its own accord so their torsos were flush up against each other. “If I really wanted to go, you would let me,” he countered. “You’d never force me into anything.”

Crowley’s jaw clenched. He knew it was true.

“But I promise you don’t have to worry about that,” he attempted to quiet his fears, the old, familiar warmth glowing in his abdomen. “You don’t have to push me away to prevent yourself from getting hurt.” 

Crowley scrunched up his nose with an annoyed, mortified groan. “I’m not,” he protested weakly. “I’m just saying. If there’s any doubt in your mind, don’t even finish this conversation, ‘cause I can’t stand feeling this and not being able to do anything,” he told him, growing distraught. He gritted his teeth, eyes shutting tightly. “I feel you now.” His shoulders drooped. “You’ve no idea what it’s like. There’s been an emptiness in me, like a gnawing thing since She cast me out, but I finally feel love and I cannot lose this again,” he said harshly, hands shaking.

Aziraphale bit the inside of his cheek to hold back a gasp, his vision blurring. He rapidly blinked away the wetness. He never thought of that aspect. He knew the Fallen lost Her love, but he didn’t think it hurt Crowley this badly. Oh, Crowley, my poor darling. What a sensitive soul. He knew, then, that he would have to try to make up for it for the rest of his immortality.

Crowley opened his eyes, looking at him directly, suffering in his eyes. “I hated feeling this when I knew I couldn’t have you. Aziraphale,” he practically begged, voice cracking and trembling as it did two days prior when he was drunk and sitting at the bar, “if we can’t do this forev-um, for the foreseeable future, just end this now and stop being cruel.”

“You know I love you deeply,” Aziraphale somehow said without letting out a sob, despite his throat feeling tight enough for asphyxiation. He was sure the heartache pressing into his ribcage was from both of them. Holding his hand wasn’t enough, so he put his chin on Crowley’s shoulder and wrapped his arms around his back. They were both trembling. “You won’t go a day without me loving you. I’ve never been more sincere about anything in my life when I say we’re never going back. I hated it, too, my dearest boy.”

Crowley buried his face in his soft curls, arms around his soft middle and just holding. His breaths were loud and quivering, filling the room. “ Fuck, the things you do to me.”

Aziraphale wanted to do this all day long. Crowley was so warm and solid in his arms, their chests pressed together, hearts beating in sync. He didn’t think he ever loved Crowley more than at this moment. He was allowing himself to be the picture of vulnerability, admitting to his insecurities, shaking, and on the verge of tears. Aziraphale was blessed to be the only one to witness this side of him. “The feeling is mutual,” he said through his dizzying daze of emotions. A pang flicked his heart. His demon was such a forgiving creature. “An irrational part of me worried you wouldn’t after the way I acted,” Aziraphale told him.

Crowley huffed out an irritated breath, ruffling his hair. “I already told you—”

“Thank you for still loving me,” Aziraphale interrupted, the pitch of his voice raising, his ears burning. Saying this out loud was so new, so revealing.

Crowley pushed him back by the shoulders, his jaw dropped, pupils widening. Then his lips snapped shut. His pupils narrowed back into slits. “I’m—you stupid angel, wh-who thanks someone for something like that?” He sounded scandalized. “Love is supposed to be thankless.”

That was the single sweetest thing Aziraphale ever heard, and the bouquet beside them bloomed vibrantly as a joyful bubble of laughter escaped him. “Crowley!”

“Shut up,” he hissed, neck turning very red very quickly. He averted his gaze quickly and instead focusing on his discarded glasses. “Shut uuuup. I didn’t mean that. I’m selfish. I want you all to myself. See? Greedy.”

Aziraphale bit his lip to stop his smile from being wide enough to hurt.

Crowley looked at him from out of the corner of his eyes, and then turned exasperated. “Oh, Hell, you can’t go around making faces like that. It’s…”

“Yes?” he prompted.

“It’s fucking cute ,” he growled. “Satan, I’m gonna have to go drown a duck later or something.”

“You’ll do no such thing!”

“Can’t help it!” he said dramatically. “You’re making me all—“ he waved his hand, “—gross and mushy.”

“You’re in love,” Aziraphale said gently, with fondness and amazement. 

Crowley instantly softened. “Yeah.” He sniffed, cheek twitching. “I was a bit much a minute ago, wasn’t I?”

“No,” Aziraphale said, not wanting him to feel ashamed of his emotions. “After everything that’s happened, I think your caution was completely understandable.” His arms were still around Crowley, loosely now. “You do get it now, yes? You have me.”

Crowley’s lower lip wobbled before he bit it. “Uh huh.”

The raw desperation was seeping out of their auras. They were calming down. Even Crowley’s furious scarlet blush was easing into a lovely dusting of rose-petal pink. Aziraphale took a deep, steadying breath.

“Can I ask you something stupid?” Crowley looked at him, bordering on shy.

“Yes?”

“Well,” he played with Aziraphale’s bow tie. “You’re an angel, so of course your love feels,” he made a face, “warm and kind and all that rubbish.”

Aziraphale knew that he was feeling more at ease if his sarcasm was coming back. “Right?”

“What’s mine feel like? Is it, dark and possessive and, you know, unpleasant?” To anyone else he would have appeared only idly curious, but he was self-conscious.

“Goodness, no,” Aziraphale denied quickly. He focused on the sensation hugging his soul. He smiled. “Since I awakened beside you and allowed myself to let you in, it’s always been nothing short of warm and pure.”

Crowley looked at him like he’d grown ten heads, then rolled his eyes hard and hissed. “Satan, don’t say that! I’m a demon! I’m—”

“Not nice, I know,” Aziraphale rolled his eyes in turn. “But I absolutely know what I feel.” His hands slid down to his waist. “It’s just us,” he said, “you don’t have to deny it.”

Crowley looked like he wanted to put up a fight, but sighed, resting his forehead against his. “...All right.”

Aziraphale beamed. “All right?”

“When it’s just us, I’ll tell you I love you and all those things I’m not supposed to do.”

Aziraphale couldn’t help but giggle, and Crowley grinned. Aziraphale squeezed his hips. “Crowley, why haven’t we kissed yet?”

He chuckled, breath ghosting over his face. “I dunno. Bit ridiculous, really, after all the fuss.”

Aziraphale slid their lips together like two puzzle pieces fitting into place. It wasn’t hot and needy (at least not yet), but more like finally sitting down after wandering aimlessly through the desert. Crowley would sneer if he brought up biblical references now, so he focused on the kiss instead. Crowley’s lips were unbelievably soft, puckering slightly and sucking. He lightly wrapped his hand around the back of Aziraphale’s neck. The kiss was long and slow, an unhurried caressing of lips as they both fully accepted that, yes, they had all the time in the world. Aziraphale gave a pleased little hum, the bouquet on the table gradually growing more vibrant. Crowley’s mouth was so plush and silky smooth, and Aziraphale’s tongue grazed over his bottom lip, needing to feel more of those soft lips. His tongue retreated only to have Crowley copy his action, and he took it further by hesitantly taking Aziraphale’s bottom lip and leaving a featherlight nibble.

Aziraphale’s hands twitched and he pressed their bodies together so that their thighs were touching, too. He sucked Crowley’s upper lip, enjoying the whine that reached his ears. This was so right. Their kissing grew deeper, lips parted, hot, wet tongues meeting (tongues were sort of slimey, weren’t they? Ah, well, it couldn’t be helped), hearts pounding. Crowley was the one to break it, golden irises taking up his whole eyes, pupils widened, face as if he were in a trance. He was utterly beautiful. He searched Aziraphale’s eyes, but went back to kissing before he could be asked what for. Aziraphale felt hands run through his hair, and he shivered, discovering that being petted was quite nice. Then, Crowley’s mouth left his and began pressing affectionate kisses to the corner of his mouth, his round cheeks, the soft swell of his jawline, the sensitive skin by his ear.

Aziraphale’s grip tightened on his hips, his mouth dropping open in a gasp. It was like someone lit a match in his body, the uncommon yet welcomed sensation of arousal entering his body. “I do still have a bed,” he suggested. 

Crowley was nuzzling his neck with his damp lips. “Mmmm.”

“You listening?”

Crowley lifted his head and blinked slowly, appearing drunk. “Bed,” his brain caught up, his posture straightening. “Mhm. I want. Yeah. Let’s do it.”

Aziraphale did always find his moments of incoherent babbling incredibly endearing. It was a little awkward to walk with the growing pressure between his legs, but they made it to the bedroom hand-in-hand without much issue besides getting distracted against a bookshelf for a minute. 

Then they were lying side by side on the bed, hands on chests, arms, stomachs, shoulders, everywhere. He was so unused to being touched, and Aziraphale noted how lonely most of his existence had been. Humans held each other, even if all they did was hug. Angels didn’t touch each other. He didn’t allow himself to get attached enough to humans for them to touch him, not really. Forming a deep relationship would be seen as inappropriate by Heaven, and it would be terrible to have a human companion age and die while he stayed the same. Crowley was his one true companion. His hand was currently up Aziraphale’s waistcoat, long fingers splayed across his stomach, and he was sucking his neck.

Aziraphale shivered pleasantly, slotting his thigh in between Crowley’s legs, feeling himself harden at the small moan buzzed against his skin. His eyes widened when Crowley started to move his hips, rocking his erection against his thigh. Did he even know he was doing it? He seemed rather in a world of his own. He was paying a great deal of attention to his neck, sucking so Aziraphale’s nerves jolted with electricity.

“Crowley?” he asked.

“Huh?” he lifted his head, almost looking disappointed that he had to stop what he was doing.

Aziraphale kissed his cheek, filling with anticipation, but not anxiety. That was gone. After all, they’d done this before. “How do you want it, Crowley?”

Crowley’s Adam’s apple bobbed. “Ah...Um…” His eyes shifted around the room, unused to being without his sunglasses.

“You can tell me,” he offered a small smile.

Crowley didn’t look at him. “With you in. Um. Inside.”

Aziraphale, oh dear, felt a twitch below the belt. That was a terrifically appealing suggestion. He pecked him on the lips. “Certainly.”

Crowley looked at him, flushed. “O...kay. Great. So?”

“I think we should undress now,” he said, removing his leg from in between Crowley’s.

“Right.” He lifted his hand, and it hovered in the air.

Aziraphale kissed him. “Go on, dear.”

Fingers twitching, he said, “Oh, sod it,” and undressed them both with a snap of his fingers, leaving their clothes in a heap on the floor.

Aziraphale blinked, looking down at his own nude form. “That’s one way to do it.”

Crowley’s eyes were exploring his body, lips parted, his cock hardening.

Aziraphale couldn’t help but blush. “I believe it’s a sin for me to inspire lust,” he joked weakly. 

Crowley gripped his chin and pulled him into a searing kiss, tongue tracing the seam of his lips and splitting at the tip, going forked.

“Oh,” he gasped, “your tongue.”

Crowley made a questioning noise.

“Like a snake.”

He retracted it. “Sorry,” he muttered.

Aziraphale let himself touch Crowley’s chest. “Not a problem at all.” He watched, transfixed, when he experimentally rubbed his nipple and Crowley’s mouth dropped open. The flesh puckered beneath the pad of his thumb. Crowley seemed to have stopped breathing, his eyes wide and watching Aziraphale’s hand. 

“Sensitive,” Aziraphale observed. Out of the depths of his memory, the image of Crowley writhing as he had his nipples licked flashed before his eyes. He got on top of Crowley, rolling him onto his back, and got to work.

Crowley gasped sharply, and coughed as he exhaled. “Ah! Damn, forgot how good this felt.”

Aziraphale’s tongue circled his right nipple and his thumb played with his left. He may not have been incredibly experienced, but these bodies appeared to be well-equipped to know what they want and take the lead. He lapped over the pink bud, becoming fully hard when Crowley moaned and bucked his hips.

Crowley reached into the air and a bottle manifested. He pushed it into Aziraphale’s unoccupied hand. 

“For doing the thing,” he rasped.

Aziraphale saw that it was lubricant. Good thinking, since he didn’t have any. Heat swirling in his pelvis, and unscrewed the cap with his thumb. He squeezed some onto his fingers. “We didn’t do this last time,” he said. “Why’d you choose this?”

Crowley licked his lips. “Heard it’s cool.”

Aziraphale giggled. “‘Cool’?”

Crowley twisted his mouth to the side. “Don’t laugh.”

“You’re funny.” His finger approached down there, and he swallowed hard. The vulnerability of Crowley’s position not at all lost on him.

“Really?” he grinned, and then it was gone with another gasp, his hands flying to Aziraphale’s shoulders to find something to grip.

Aziraphale was pushing in a finger, amazed by how hot he was inside. Their eyes locked, and he had to kiss Crowley. Their kiss was sloppy and kind of more like bumping mouths together as Crowley’s moaning grew louder and louder, but it was fine. Aziraphale found himself leaking as Crowle squirmed from his ministrations, and they did their little mouth bumping until Aziraphale was working two fingers inside of him. 

“C’mon,” Crowley panted, his hair damp and sticking to his forehead.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, yes,” he hissed. 

Aziraphale gazed down at him, drawing out his fingers. His heart fluttered, taking in the view. Crowley’s messy red hair was over his eyebrows, skin glistening with sweat and pink from the chest up. He was enticing enough to be an incubus. Aziraphale felt a little anxiety in him, but could tell the energy was coming from Crowley. “It’s all right,” he stroked his cheek with his clean fingers. He wanted to be as close as possible, for both their sakes, after being apart for so long. He was overcome with the need to hold him. 

“Roll onto your side, please,” Aziraphale said.

Crowley did as he was told, glancing back at him curiously over his shoulder.

Aziraphale laid down next to him, chest facing his back. He wrapped his arms around his chest and hooked his leg over his hip, breath shaking when his tip nudged his entrance. His lungs emptied when he slowly pushed into the tight heat. This. Oh, Lord, this was divine. Aziraphale moaned and buried his face into Crowley’s shoulder blade, his body trembling with pleasure and the effort to fight against his body’s instinct to slam into him.

Crowley was panting out a succession of ah! ah! ah! .

“You okay?” Aziraphale slurred. He was getting drunk with pleasure, and he only just started.

Crowley nodded frantically, hands flying to Aziraphale’s and lacing their fingers together. “It’s good,” he hissed.

Aziraphale was fully seated inside him, holding his body tightly against his chest. He moved his hips backwards and slid back in, hot tight glorious walls stroking his entire erection. He built up a deep, steady rhythm, Crowley’s body rocking against the mattress with each thrust, which somehow made him more aroused. Aziraphale bit his shoulder, groaning.

“Ungh!” Crowley moaned. His face was upturned and his mouth was open, his voice loud in the quiet flat above the sleepy bookshop. He was unselfconscious, lost in their bubble of pleasure. He was gorgeous.

“You’re marvelous,” Aziraphale told him, lips near his ear. Crowley’s heartbeat was thundering beneath his hands. He nuzzled the back of his neck, placing sloppy, wet kisses there. He needed to pepper him with kisses, because even know he wanted more . Finally, finally, finally , they could do this, let loose and shirk the roles their superiors dictated. He could finally allow himself to care for him, and in turn be on the receiving end of Crowley’s devotion without feeling guilty.

Crowley turned his face and whined into the pillow, muffling curses into the fabric. His hands squeezed Aziraphale’s tight enough to hurt. “Hah, nnnugh, I feel you everywhere .”

Aziraphale was losing control rather quickly, thrusting harder, brimming with love. He lifted his head to see his face.

Crowley’s face was still buried in the pillow, his eyes shut, breathing out of his mouth.

“Darling boy, look at me,” he kissed the snake tattoo on the side of his face.

Crowley turned his face, golden eyes raw and wet. He looked at Aziraphale and groaned, eyes shutting and face falling back to the pillow. “Fuck, Aziraphale, can’t— oh —you can’t look at me like that!”

Hearing his own name in such a needy voice made Aziraphale shift his hips and slam, drawing a long moan from them both. “Like you’re everything to me?” he asked sincerely.

Crowley mewled into the pillow. Aziraphale hugged him, practically squeezing, his body tingling everywhere. His toes curled. He changed the angle again, and Crowley cried out.

“Crowley?” he asked in alarm.

His nails were digging into Aziraphale’s skin, back arching, and then one hand let go and flew to his cock. “The fuck ? That’s good. I dunno why b-but, ngk, keep going!”

Aziraphale watched, and the sight was so intoxicating that he felt his bollocks pulling up, and he vaguely remembered that was a sign it was all coming to an end. As much as his body needed release, he was almost disappointed. But he remembered something about the human prostate and how it apparently assisted orgasms, and figured that was what probably set Crowley off, so it would be over for him soon, too. Aziraphale drove into him, dimly aware of how harsh his breaths sounded. Their shared love was highlighting the experience, glowing inside him. “Make yourself feel good,” he whispered into his ear. 

“Ugh!” Crowley let out through gritted teeth as he jerked himself off. He pressed his lips together tightly to stop little whines from coming out, his body starting to writhe in Aziraphale’s arms.

“You amaze me,” he whispered, completely genuine. “Yo-you’re so charming.” The love and pleasure was now one, overflowing in his chest. It was the best feeling in the world. “Thank you for, oh goodness, for letting me see you like this.”

Crowley’s hand moved faster, strained, broken syllables tumbling from his lips. He was wrecked, breaths more like sobs than anything else.

Aziraphale kissed the shell of his ear. I love you so much. I feel your love for me, and thank you, beautiful, you brave boy, thank you. I’ll take care of you forever.

Crowley stiffened, and then snapped back to life, and he would have been thrashing if it were not for Aziraphale’s grip on him. “Oh, oh , Aziraphale!” he yelled. “I can’t, it’s happening!” His walls suddenly clamped around Aziraphale and he spilled onto their hands, quickly turning to bite the pillow to stifle his shout, his aura overpowering Aziraphale and curling around him. Aziraphale choked out a moan, surprised by the intensity of his orgasm as he thrust erratically and shot his release into his body. Everything went white, a slight ringing in his ears as he shook and held onto the equally trembling body against him. 

His vision gradually came back, the sounds of Crowley’s breathing entering his ears. Aziraphale pulled out, shivering, and miracling away the mess. He kept hugging him, though, face buried into his sweaty back, his heartbeat calming. They were quiet for a long time, to the point where it was concerning. Aziraphale put his head on the pillow. “Crowley?”

Crowley tiredly turned around in his arms, blinking blearily. He was debauched, yet sweet. “Hey.” His voice was hoarse so he cleared his throat. “What was that white light?” he squinted.

“You saw it, too?”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t know.”  He gave a puff of laughter. “Maybe the force of our love combined?”

Crowley performatively sighed. “Gross.”

“Don’t pretend,” Aziraphale rubbed the tips of their noses together and kissed him softly. “I felt your aura everywhere, you faker.”

Crowley’s lips quirked into a smile. “Hm. I felt yours, too. Still feel it.”

“And I yours.”

He chewed his swollen bottom lip. “You know you projected your thought towards the end?”

“Projected?” he furrowed his eyebrows.

Crowley kissed the corner of his mouth. “Stop thanking me for loving you.”

“Oh.” He didn’t know telepathy was possible for them. Maybe it was only when they were connected like that? “You weren’t meant to hear.”

Crowley just grumbled and nudged Aziraphale onto his back so he could curl up at his side, head on his shoulder. His face was hidden. “Would it be overkill if I said it out loud? I mean, after that aura business and stuff.”

Aziraphale wrapped his arm around him, playing dumb. “Said what?”

Crowley’s finger came up to trace patterns in his fair chest hair. “Love you. A lot. You mean more than the world to me.”

Aziraphale sighed in bliss. “Not overkill, lovely.”

Crowley poked his chest. “You’ve been giving me lots of nicknames over the past 24 hours.”

“It’s all come very naturally, dear,” he said, turning his face to rest his cheek on top of his head.

Crowley sighed dramatically. “You ruined me as a demon, you know.” He yawned. “I was the original tempter, and here I am, willing to do anything for a bloody angel.”

Aziraphale wondered if he knew just how much he revealed himself when trying to be sarcastic. “Here I am, an angel, in bed with a demon.”

“A foul fiend,” he said playfully.

“A wily, devilishly handsome serpent.”

He titled his head up, eyes relaxed and liquid gold. “How did you ever convince Hell you were me? You’re so,” he narrowed his eyes, “soft.”

Aziraphale chuckled. “I’m a very good actor.” He placed a light kiss to his forehead. “Did I tell you how I frightened the demons?”

“No,” he said with a smirk.

An impish curl to his grin, he said, “They were behind glass, you see, and I splashed holy water at them.”

Crowley was proud. “You’re awful,” he said affectionately. “That’s sadistic.”

“I know,” he said triumphantly.

“I breathed hellfire at Gabriel, Uriel, and Sandalphon.”

Aziraphale kissed him as a reward. “I wish I had been there to see it. I didn’t know you could breathe hellfire.”

“Course I can. I’d show you, but it’d suck if I killed you now after all this.”

That startled a giggle out of Aziraphale. “That’s morbid.”

Crowley shrugged, yawning again. “Mmmf. The past two days’ve worn me out more than the past 6,000 years.”

“You did stop time,” Aziraphale reminded him, “and just enjoyed a nice romp.”

“Don’t call it that!”

“A vigorous session of love-making?”

Anyway , yeah, stopping time takes a lot out of me. But it’s so cliche, falling asleep after fucking.”

“Last night, you said I deserved a nap for saving the world. You deserve the same.” He combed his hand through Crowley’s hair and cradled the back of his head. “I think we deserve a bloody long rest.”

“Yeah,” Crowley agreed, cuddling his face into Aziraphale’s neck. (He would have turned into a snake if he knew Aziraphale thought he was cuddling.) “Guess you’re right. It’s weird not having assignments anymore.”

“It is, but,” he smiled at the ceiling, “it’s a relief.”

Crowley settled in the crook of his neck, arm wrapping around his stomach. “I might sleep for a week, fair warning.”

“Are you serious?”

“I am, actually.”

“Let me get some books, then.”

“You don’t have to stay with me.”

“Don’t be silly.”

Crowley slept for four days instead of a week, and the whole time Aziraphale was there, re-reading some of his favorites. The covers were over them, and he didn’t think reading could get any better, but being snuggled up in bed with a warm demon snoring and occasionally cuddling into his neck was a new, wondrous experience. It was surreal. He didn’t have to wonder where Crowley was or worry for his safety. He didn’t have to ignore his heartache anymore. Not all of the pain disappeared, not immediately; millennia of repression was quite a lot to get over. But Aziraphale never felt this content before. He remembered Crowley calling him his soulmate. Did God create soulmates? He didn’t know, but if She didn’t, they must have been the closest possible thing to the concept. He felt complete.

Four days later, Aziraphale was sitting up, choosing what to read next out of the large pile beside the bed when he heard a deep sigh. He looked over, smiling and perking up.

Crowley rubbed his eye with his knuckle, a crease from the pillow across his left cheek. His sleepy, golden eyes blinked once at Aziraphale, and a tender smile graced his features. “Hey, angel.”

“Hello, dear.”