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For God Is Ineffable in Her Love.

Chapter Text

Tadfield

Saturday 24 August 2019
9:13 pm
Hours after the apocalypse.

Two celestial beings sit on a bench near a small quaint church, in an equally small village outside of Oxfordshire called Tadfield. It is a lovely night. Far more pleasant than it has any right to be after such events previously averted that day. They are both quite thankful for this brief moment to gather their thoughts. An excellent bottle of Chateauneuf-du-pape had been conjured for a quiet celebration. Both relieved to be sitting together. No longer needing to hide their friendship. Yet utterly terrified of what the morning will bring.

‘The traitor Crowley.’ Thought the demon. 'Traitor to be sure. I betrayed them 6,000 years ago. Be it on their heads for never bothering to notice. Cat’s out of the bag as it were. 'Part of him was relieved. It was all a bit dizzying. The past week, no, eleven years, had been incredibly exhausting. If it weren’t for the knowledge that his head office would be out for blood, he might have slipped into sleep right there.

Aziraphale, for his part, tried to mute the voice in his head that demanded he begs for heaven’s forgiveness. 'Gabriel will not take this lying down.' On the outside, the archangel is composed and meticulous. Aziraphale knew; however, he did not like to be made to play the fool. There would be divine retribution, savage as any beast on its prey. One he hoped would spare his dearest friend. He loved his demon; it was unangelic to love selfishly. He should love all god’s creatures alike. His love for Crowley was far more than anything he had words to describe. The past eleven years was the most wonderful, terrible time in the entirety of his existence. And even as things stood now, so uncertain, they had each other.

The angel is the first to break the silence that had settled between them. “It all worked out for the best.” he looked at Crowley sheepishly. “Just imagine how awful it might have been if we’d been at all competent.” He says feeling a bit bashful about the whole matter. He had never been particularly good at his job. Though somehow things always seemed to turn out all right in the end. He would attribute this to his demonic companion. Always there, even when he was being a right shit. He made a mental note to apologise for his deplorable behaviour over the past...well 6000 years. Crowley is kind, not that he wanted to hear. And infinitely patient with Aziraphale. Even when the angel was anything but in return. He loved Crowley, and he had treated him so unfairly. Aziraphale wants to reach out to him. Tell him how he loves him. ‘Would Crowley even accept after everything I said?’

“Uugh...Point taken.” Crowley, for his part, couldn’t argue the angel’s logic. He could, though at the current moment he wasn’t feeling particularly argumentative. Aziraphale was safe, for the time being, sitting beside him. The Apocalypse was thwarted. More due to a pack of preteens than anything they had done. Crowley looked to a scrap of chard paper the angel was fussing with. “What’s that?”

“It fell out of Agnes Nutter’s book,” Aziraphale said, passing the paper to his companion.

Crowley read the last line aloud. “For soon enough, you will be playing with fire.” The bookshop flashed in his mind’s eye. Flames consuming everything, all of Aziraphale’s treasures. It made him feel sick if a demon could feel such. It boiled in his stomach, threatening to choke him. The emptiness he felt after discovering the inferno, thinking his friend lost, drove him nearly mad. ‘What is anything worth without Aziraphale?’ Then he was back, and that was all he needed. He would slit reality and tear it down for his angel. ‘For Aziraphale anything.’ If it came to it, he would fight all the Heavenly Host and Legions of Hell to keep him safe. He turns the paper over as if to find more clues to puzzling out the cryptic words. “So that was the final one of Agnes’s prophecies?”

He had to give it to the human. From what he knew, she was on the nose with all the rest. Hopefully, she could impart some last bit of wisdom to help them with what comes next. For his money, Crowley was sure to be pulled back down to Hell. Tortured in all manner of horrible ways until they grew bored of him. ‘Or worse.’ He tried to put it out of his mind, for now.

“As far as I know.” Part of Aziraphale wished he still had the book. ‘Couldn’t be helped, though. Perhaps if Heaven and Hell aren’t too riled up, I could pay the lovely American witch a visit. One could hope. Even if it isn’t at all a possibility.’

“Hmm. And Adam’s...human again?” Crowley inquired. ‘Would the boy be in danger now? No kid deserves that load of shit on their shoulders. Adam seems like a good enough boy.’

“As far as I can tell. Yes.” Aziraphale smiled, Crowley always had such a fondness for children. One of the many qualities Azraphale found so endearing.

A white delivery truck stopped just past them. Black-winged logo on the side. Crowley took a last sip of wine. “Angel.” he looked to Aziraphale passing the wine. “What if the Almighty planned it this way all along? From the very beginning?” ‘Could She have?’ Crowley truly considers the implications. An angel and a demon working together. A sleight of hand to keep both Heaven and Hell occupied enough so they would not interfere. A small boy using his God-given free will to tell them all to ‘fuck off.’ ‘Had She intended this? Them? And if so, what now?’

“Could have. I wouldn’t put it past Her.”Aziraphale takes a sip straight from the bottle. A ridiculous thought passes through Crowley’s infernal mind. ‘God what he would give to be that bottle. Feel those perfect lips pressed to him. O, a kiss. Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge! Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss. I carried from thee, dear, and my true lips.’

He couldn’t see how more ineffable she could possibly be. Crowley may be right about heaven, being a bunch of self-righteous pricks. But God was playing a whole separate game entirely. ‘Hopefully, she still needs us around.’

A man wearing a uniform bearing the same winged logo approached, clipboard in hand. “You’ve got the...um?” he asks, stopping just in front of the two men on the bench. Right where he knew they would be.

“Didn’t want them falling into the wrong hands,” Aziraphale said, referring to the nondescript box between them. Inside are a now silver crown, and bronze scale. The courier inspects the contents.

“Excuse me, gents. There’s meant to be a sword here.” He looks confused.

Aziraphale looks from Crowley then back over his shoulder. He feels the cold, rigid object pressing behind him. “Oh!” he gasped in recognition. In truth, he was happy to be once again rid of the thing. He, never being one for violence, would rather never need such an object ever again. Aziraphale passes the wine back to his demon. He stands, looking coyly at first the human then to Crowley. “Sitting on it.”

Crowley couldn’t help but admire his angel’s sweet smile, the light blush on his cheeks. He wanted to tell him how beautiful he was. Remind him every day. Bring a smile to those divine features. Ensure he never felt fear, sadness, or loneliness again. He bit the inside of his cheek instead. He sent up a silent prayer. ‘Let this not be the end. I can not say good-bye’ The sickness in his belly spread to his corporation's heart. Losing his composure would help nothing now. ‘Especially my angel.’

The courier continued about his task as if it were normal to be picking up such an odd parcel, at such an odd hour, from two odd men in front of a church. Leslie reasoned it was all part of the job. “Good thing you were here, really.”

Aziraphale brightened at the thought that perhaps their effort may have been appreciated by at least one individual. “It’s nice to have someone who recognises our part in saving the….”

Not paying much mind to the blonde, he offered his pen and clipboard. “I need someone to sign for it.”

“Oh. Right.” ‘Couldn’t be helped.’ Aziraphale supposed. ‘The fewer people that knew the truth, the better.’

Leslie was glad that his long week was nearly over. He couldn’t make sense of most of it. Chalked it up to fatigue or what have you. “Do you believe in life after death?” ‘Odd question to ask a stranger, but this fellow seems kind enough.’

“I suppose I must do.” Aziraphale provided with a polite smile. ‘Poor human seemed a bit out of sorts.’ He wondered for a moment how far the now not Antichrist’s influence had been felt.

“Yeah, If I was to tell my wife what happened to me today, she wouldn’t believe me. And I wouldn’t blame her.” The courier chuckled, taking back the clipboard. Aziraphale couldn’t help but look to Crowley. ‘To be able to come home to Crowley and share my day with him. What I would give for what humans often take for granted. To kiss him good morning. Hold him close and never let go.’ The courier left, box tucked under his arm.

The silence was once again disturbed by the low rumble of an approaching engine. Aziraphale looked down the dark country road. “There it is.” he pointed needlessly. “It says Oxford on the front.” ‘They need to get to London, not Oxford.’

Crowley takes a gulp of wine. “Yeah....but he’ll drive to London anyway.” Crowley sniffed. ‘Nothing a little demonic influence can’t solve.’ “He just won’t know why.”

‘London, back to reality. Well, the new reality of the Antichrist’s making anyway.’ Aziraphale doesn’t want the night to end. ‘Would Crowley come back to the shop with me, if asked?’ There were so many things he wanted to say. So many things needed to be said. ‘Can I now?’ “I suppose I should get him to drop me off at the bookshop.”

‘The bookshop.’ Crowley’s heart fell. The sickness in him replaced with a glacier size chunk of ice. His angel had forgotten. He wanted to curse. ‘Why do I have to remind him of the painful fact? His entire collection, first editions, priceless if not to the world but to my angel. None of this is fair.’ He felt like a stone was lodged in his throat as he spoke. “It burnt down, remember?”

The look on Aziraphale’s face said it all. No home, no books, no comfort they had both come to expect and love. Crowley wanted to take his hand, reassure him. ‘You go too fast for me, Crowley. I can't, not yet. I will not make the same mistake twice. I can offer him shelter, at least. Friends do that.’ “You can stay at my place, if you like.” It was a question, not a demand. He waited.

‘Yes!’ he wanted to scream. ‘I will go anywhere with you.’ But fear is such a strong emotion. ‘Can I risk putting Crowley in danger for my desires.’ His heart sank to his oxfords. “I don’t think my side would like that.” he tried to smile, but it was half-hearted.

‘His side? Aziraphale’s side already sees him as a traitor. Same as my own. What more could we do to anger them further?’ “You don’t have a side anymore.” He tried to remind him gently. 'Easy does it. Don't upset him. If this was our last night on earth, Aziraphale shouldn't spend it looking over his shoulder.’ “Neither of us do.” He wanted to hold him, drive 6,000 years and one failed apocalypse of worry away. “We’re on our own side.” ‘I am here for you.’ “Like Agnes said, we are going to have to choose our faces wisely.” ‘The witch is right. We need a plan to get through whatever those bastards are planning. Time is not on our side.’

Crowley held a hand out to the bus, it stopped. Aziraphale smoothing down his worn waistcoat, standing first. Crowley rose and entered the bus. He silently walked towards an available seat, exhaustion still calling to him. He felt like a decade long nap was needed at the moment.

Aziraphale followed Crowley. His mind racing. ‘You go to fast for me, Crowley. I was such a fool. Crowley loves me. Hasn't he proven it enough? Hasn't he said as much through every action and word?’ Aziraphale felt such shame for his behaviour. ‘What might we have had if I had been less of a coward. I just wanted him to be safe. In the end, I guess none of that mattered. We may have no other time than now. No time like the present, as it were.' He chose. 'Even if Crowley rejects me now he deserves to know that he is loved.’

He took the seat next to his demon. His fingers lacing together with Crowley’s slender, elegant hands. His corporeal heart quickened. Not from fear. Nothing in all 6,000 years on earth had ever felt so right. His world shifted. At that moment, he felt complete.

Crowley felt the angel’s impossibly soft hand take his. He didn’t freeze; he didn’t react at all. Outwardly at least. ‘Why is Aziraphale sitting so close? Why is he holding my hand? His hand is so blessedly perfect and warm.’ He couldn’t look at Aziraphale. ‘He senses your anxiety you knob. He's just trying to comfort you. My sweet, blessed, beautiful angel. Or, maybe Aziraphale needs the reassurance.’ Crowley’s thumb gently caressed Aziraphale's. It comforted him as well. He wanted to pull his angel into his arms. Envelop him in his love and desire to protect him. When he did look over at his angel, what he saw struck his mind useless.

Aziraphale beamed a brilliant smile at his demon. ‘He isn't pulling away. He's accepting my touch. Maybe accepting me. Don't get ahead of yourself. You don't deserve this kindness.' Part of him felt foolish. The other felt millions of voices singing Her praise. 'I have squandered your kindness too long. If you will have me, I will give you all that I am, all that I have, for as long as you desire. Whatever you can find it in yourself to give, I will treasure until my end.’

“The offer still stands, angel. It isn’t the bookshop, but it will be safe enough for tonight.” he managed to get out without much trouble. ‘I don’t want to spend another moment without you. Please, at least tonight.’

“Thank you, Crowley.” he shifts to look at him directly. “You are always so good to me. I don’t feel at times I deserve it.” He felt ashamed, but would not look away from the being he loved more than anything.

Crowley scoffs “Good…” ‘Aziraphale sees good in everything.’ “M’not. Not even a good demon.” his hand tightens on Aziraphale. ‘God, I love you, angel. How was it he, who feels unworthy? I'm Fallen, a snake, how can Aziraphale think so little of himself to not feel worthy? He is worth more than anything I could ever dream of giving him. I will worship at your feet if you let me.'

Aziraphale eyes burn. Tears were threatening to burst from him. He tries, he did, to restrain them but the tears began streaming down all the same. “I don’t want you to be anything but who you are.” ‘I Love you.’ The words are there, demanding to be spoken. However, this is not the place for such words. ‘I will' he told himself. ‘I will confess all, once we are at your flat. Caution be damned, consequence be twice over.’

Crowley felt warmth pour into him. Like the sun on a hot summer day heating his corporation to the marrow. ‘Azraphale sheltered me from the first storm, has been a constant in a world of ever-shifting fancies. You gave me a reason to keep going. I have to tell him. Tonight might be our last. Even if you don't, or can't reciprocate. You deserve to know how much it all meant to me.’ For now, he just smiles at his blushing angel. ‘For now, this is enough.’

Chapter Text

Mayfair, London
Saturday 24 August 2019
11:30 pm

 

The bus came to a stop in Mayfair. The driver felt a fog lift off of him. He was in London to be sure, but he wasn’t supposed to be here. He was supposed to have driven to Oxford. Two men walked past him as he tried to gather his senses.

Crowley slowly led his angel towards the exit. He loosened his grip in case Aziraphale changed his mind. Even if he wanted nothing more than to have his angel close, it was still a choice Aziraphale had to make for himself. When Aziraphale followed still holding his hand, Crowley began to hope.

Aziraphale felt like he was in a dream. He had never felt so free, so complete, so happy. His mind a haze of anticipation. There was no hesitation now. There was no going back to the way things were. He wouldn’t even if given the option. Not now that everything he ever wanted for himself was leading him towards the flat.

As they exit the bus, Crowley shot over his shoulder, “Thanks for the lift mate.” Aziraphale simply smiled his thanks.

The evening air was damp with the memory of rain. Crowley felt weightless as they crossed the street. He had no sense of the world beyond the warm hand in his. He brought them through the entrance, into the lift and pressed the button for the top floor. They rode in silence — words needing to be shared dancing on the tips of their tongues.

When the doors opened, Crowley ushered Aziraphale out into the cold corridor. The angel smiled at him with such gentle warmth Crowley’s legs felt like they would give at any moment. He opened the door, key not needed. ‘Because the flat knows well who it belongs to.’ Aziraphale stepped inside without a moment's hesitation.

The foyer was the same cold grey concrete as the hall outside. Something about it seemed familiar somehow. Aziraphale turned to face Crowley as the door was closed. ‘He looks nervous, though hiding it well.’ Familiarity, however making Crowley far to easy to read.

“C’n I take your coat?” Crowley managed after the silence grew awkward.

“Yes. Thank you.” Aziraphale smile beamed in the dim flat. He turned, and Crowley assisted him gingerly. He is trying hard not to press his luck.

Crowley hung the coat in the closet, repeating the action with his own. When he turned back, Aziraphale smiled at him with a smile that meant he wanted something. 'How could I ever refuse that smile? Oh, in all God’s creation, there is nothing so beautiful as you.’

“Welcome to my home.” ‘Not much of a home. More an art gallery with a bed.’

“Care to give me the grand tour?” Aziraphale asked, taking Crowley’s hand once again.

Crowley smiled, ‘this is certainly more than common friendship.’ Sure there were moments when the two had touched. Those moments were not like this. Before they were fleeting, lacking the intimacy that now burned between them. ‘Aziraphale is still holding my hand. He came back to my flat. Why is he looking at me like that? Happiness? Excitement? Love? Don't get ahead of yourself.’

He pulled Aziraphale along through the foyer toward the study. ‘Well, more of a room to brood.’ He stopped, seeing what remained of Ligur in the doorway. “Shit.” He nearly forgot.

Aziraphale looked from him to the soggy clothing on the floor, then back to Crowley. His face told of his anxiety. ‘Oh.’ Aziraphale remembered the phone call and conversation at the pub. “Dear, is that the friend you spoke of?” ‘Poor Crowley lost someone. How could I have been so selfish to have forgotten?’

“Whot?” Crowley looked from what remained of Ligur to Aziraphale. “Friend?”

“Yes, dear. Sorry. I had forgotten in all the kerfuffle. I am so infinitely sorry you lost your friend.” his eyes full of empathy.

Crowley chewed on nothing. ‘Are you really that daft? Surely he has to know he's my only friend.’ “No, not a friend. The friend I was referring to after your discorporation was you.” he sneered at the puddle. “That’s Ligur. Holy water,” he said matter of factly.

Aziraphale froze in horror. ‘Utter destruction, that was the gift I gave you.' The concept was scary. Looking at the reality of what could have happened to Crowley made it all too real. A hand went to his throat. ‘I will never let you be in such danger again.’ Aziraphale snapped his fingers, and the mess was resigned to the rubbish bin outside. He turned back to Crowley. “There. Now, about this tour.”

Crowley nodded and continued through the door into the study. He nearly forgot all of the rather embarrassing decor decisions he made. In truth, he had never actually believed Aziraphale would ever come to his flat. So not much consideration was made on that account. Especially not holding his hand smiling at him like he was. His heart bloomed with contentment. ‘Aziraphale wants to be here.’

Aziraphale took in the room before him. A rather ostentatious desk, and what could only be called a throne. There was a large television mounted to the wall, a beautiful sketch of the Mona Lisa, and a truly astonishing view from the large windows. Though the room was in keeping with the coldness. ‘It is Crowley.’

Crowley watched Aziraphale study his surroundings. And still, his angel smiled, somehow more so. Crowley started to move towards the rotating door, leading his conservatory. Aziraphale followed in attentive silence. When he finally saw the beautiful plants in the adjacent room, Aziraphale froze once again. His hand fluttered to his chest, his eyes wide like saucers, he drew a quick inhalation. He was awestruck.

“Crowley my dear.” a hand reached to tenderly stroke the nearest leaf. “They are so beautiful. I have never seen plants quite as exquisite.” Aziraphale looked as if he were cooing over a newborn babe. Part of Crowley wanted to stop him from spoiling the buggers. Mostly he was filled with pride.

“Thanks, angel.” Crowley watches him intently. Several plants reached their branches and leaves towards the new being. They brushed against the angel as best they could. Drawn to the kindly man like a moth to a flame. Aziraphale giggled and praised the beauties. Affection radiating off of him. Crowley understood well what his plants were feeling. He himself was powerless to do anything but yearn to be closer, hear his praise, worship his beauty and warm heart. He didn’t even mind several plants blooming miraculously. “C’mon angel. There is still a whole flat to see. Don’t want to spoile’m.”

There were large french doors on the interior wall of the conservatory. Crowley pushed the door open and snapped on the lights. It was a stylish, ‘hopefully comfortable’ sitting room. Black chic leather sofa and chairs, a modern minimalistic fireplace, another large tv over the mantle, and a sleek marble coffee table. 'Wonder what it would be like spending lazy evenings in front of the fire reading while Crowley watched television, or tended to his plants.’ Aziraphale ached for that fantasy. “It's all so very posh darling.”

‘Darling? Dear?’ The endearments washed over Crowley in gentle, soothing waves. ‘Does Aziraphale know the effect this is having on me? Perhaps now is the time to come clean. Bear my wretched soul and hope for acceptance.’ He nearly did before his angel spoke. ‘Posh was it?’ “Not really your style angel. But you are welcome here anytime.” with that; he led them further. He showed him the sparse guest bedroom and bath down the hall. Coaxing Aziraphale towards the kitchen. He momentarily considered miracling the statue of two angels, engaging each other, to the bottom of the sea. It may depict wrestling, but it could have been other pursuits.

It was too late. Aziraphale had already seen the offending sculpture. His cheeks a beautiful crimson now. “Evil triumphing over good.” He looked a bit scandalised but did not chastise his demon for the rather suggestive piece of art. ‘It is beautiful. Just another part of Crowley.’

“Yeah.” was all he could manage. Pulling him further towards the kitchen. The kitchen too was cold, clean, unused. There was an island in the centre with two barstools. “Would you like anything? Tea, wine, a strong scotch perhaps?”

Aziraphale sat on the nearest stool, still beaming. It had been a long eleven years. “I believe scotch is in order.” the effects of the wine were long gone at this point. Crowley squeezed his hand, offering a smile before letting go to prepare their drinks. He needed a moment to compose himself. Perhaps it was this last week that left his mind raging. Maybe it was that exquisite divine being sitting in his flat. Whatever the cause, he was not capable of forming one competent, rational thought. He steeled his face to hide the inner maelstrom. Aziraphale watched him as he grabbed two crystal glasses and a single malt scotch from the cupboard. He poured two generous servings and offered one to Aziraphale.

He stood before his angel. Those eyes were staring back at him. Aziraphale took the glass and pressed it to his lips; keeping eye contact while he sipped. Crowley was helpless under that gaze. He took a sip of his own, thankful for his trusty sunglasses concealing his failing composure. ‘Aziraphale has never looked at me like that.' In the vast catalogue of his mind of their interaction, Aziraphale had never seemed so sure, focused, and contented. "Was it desire?’

“Is the tour over? You showed me the guest room. Do you have a bedroom?” he said before taking another sip of the amber liquid.

“Ngk.” ‘smooth Crowley. He isn't asking for a tumble. Aziraphale just wants to see your home.' Curiosity was one of his angel’s many wonderful traits. “Yeah. It's on the opposite end of the flat. Figured we both needed a drink.”

“In that case, lead the way dear.” Aziraphale stood scotch in one hand, Crowley’s hand now in the other. Crowley led them back towards what Aziraphale now affectionately dubbed The Throne Room. ‘Leave it to Crowley to have the most garish chair ever to exist.' At least that Aziraphale had seen anyway. Aziraphale could sense Crowley’s anxiety. Every step was calculated, composed. The sway of hips almost entirely gone. Aziraphale chastised himself. ‘He is on edge because of me. My cruel words, and refusal to acknowledge how much I care for him. I have caused this uncertainty.’ Aziraphale was determined to right this wrong.

They are again in a hall. This one was far shorter than the other. Crowley informs Aziraphale the door to the right is merely storage. They are about to turn the corner when Aziraphale notices a rather familiar statue. It is a giant dove, wings outstretched. He considered it for a moment, Crowley stopping to allow him to do so. A flash of recognition caused him to draw a shaking gasp. If it weren’t for a sudden miracle, his scotch would have crashed to the floor. ‘The church, the Nazis, my valiant Crowley there to rescue me.’ His hand tightened its hold on Crowley. The other hand came to Crowley’s forearm to steady himself. “From the church,” he whispered his voice quivering. ‘Oh, my beautiful, wonderous demon. How could I ever not love you? You have always been by my side when I needed you most. Even now.’ Tears fell unrestrained. His heart seemed to want to flutter free of its cage. He turned to Crowley, eyes searching that controlled face. “How?” it wasn’t necessary, but Aziraphale wanted to know.

‘Aziraphale is crying.” But from the look in those radiant blue eyes, it was not a bad thing. He stared at the cold tile floor for a moment. Considering how to be honest and not sound like the besotted fool he was. “Souvenir.” He drained his scotch and returned it to the kitchen. “Once I got you home safe I went back. Couldn’t get it in the Bentley so…” he sniffed trying to appear normal, failing miserably. “I miracled it over.”

Aziraphale was trembling. Everything in him screamed to confess to Crowley. Before he could do that, however, Crowley deserved an apology, a thousand apologies more like. There was so much he deserved, of course, but the apology was the first step.

“Crowley my dearest I am so infinitely sorry for how I have treated you.” he began. His voice was weak and trembling.

“Angel, that isn’t…” he protested but was quickly silenced by soft fingers pressed to his lips.

“Please, I need you to hear this.” Aziraphale whimpered staring at the lips his fingers covered. When his beloved nodded, he began again in earnest.

“I have denied you, Crowley. Not just to others, but to myself, to you. I have said the most ghastly things to keep you at arm's length. Too damn selfish to leave you in peace. I have hurt you is so many ways that I am not sure I am worthy of your forgiveness.” He looked into those black lenses. He desperately wanted to see those entrancing eyes. He had always thought they were so lovely. “It was cowardice. I feared for what would happen to us if anyone were to find out... What your side would do to you if I had acted upon my desires. I should have been brave.” a remorseful sob choked him. Crowley’s free hand covered Aziraphale’s that clung to his forearm. “You were always so brave. If it weren’t for you, we would have never had the arrangement. And my life would have been unbearable without you. I am sorry, Crowley. You have been so patient with me all these years. I am sorry for assuming the worst of you. Accusing you of deeds, I knew you would have gone out of your way to avoid. You are kind and gentle, even if you refute it. And you deserve so much more than how I have behaved.” Crowley stayed hidden behind his glasses, face impassive. Aziraphale wanted to rip them off to see the expression underneath.

“M’not brave.” he sighed. “Forgiveness from a demon? Can’t say it is worth much,” he said, looking away. ‘How is this beautiful idiot even asking me this?' Of course, he had forgiven Aziraphale. He knew the dangers of their friendship. He knew his angel had far more to give up than he did. 'How can one rightly ask someone to give up Heaven for them? But that’s exactly what you asked him to do. Turn his back on God’s love, for what it was worth, and eternity. Some bloody friend.' Crowley felt Aziraphale’s hands slip from him. They tentatively came to rest on either side of his glasses eyes imploring.

“May I?” a simple request. Crowley answered with a nod. Glasses were removed, folded, and place aside on the statue. Blue eyes met yellow. “A demon you maybe, but to say your forgiveness holds no worth is wrong.” A smile swept over his angel’s focused soft features. “I love you, Anthony J. Crowley, with all my heart. And I will tell the Almighty herself. I will never deny how much you mean to me again. If God punishes me for loving you, then she isn’t much of a loving God, now is she?”

Crowley froze. Never had he expected to hear those words come from Aziraphale’s lips. The outright blasphemy was new too. His eyes now unshielded spoke as much. Oh, he hoped, dreamed, fantasised about this moment for 6,000 years. But to have it happen. It nearly did him in. His hands were trembling. His cheeks wet with tears that he hadn’t realised he shed. ‘Well, aren’t you a right pathetic excuse for a demon. Twice cursed eyes.’ He wasn’t able to restrain what happened next. He pulled his angel into an embrace and buried his pitiful face into his shoulder. A gentle hand held him close, the other softly carding through his hair. He breathed a sigh he felt he had been holding in since the dawn of humanity.

“I hope you can forgive me.” Aziraphale tightens the embrace. “I have been a complete bastard, my love.”

Crowley pulled back face red, tenderness in serpent eyes. “Blasphemy now cursing? I fear I have rather rubbed off on you, angel.” he laughed. “I would forgive you anything. I love you, Aziraphale, and nothing will ever change that. I’ve always been yours.” They were both crying now. Emotions now unrepressed flooding their essence. It was a dizzying feeling. “Angel?”

Blue eyes bright and singing of their love smiled up at him. “Yes, my love?”

“May I kiss you?” He sounded so desperate, but he didn’t care.

“Yes, my love.” Crowley’s hand came to rest on Aziraphale’s lower back. Aziraphale’s rested on his chest, pressing their bodies together. Other hand came to cup his angel’s cheek. Thumb gently wiping away tears.

Aziraphale studied those beautiful eyes. Crowley’s brows were raised and furrowed. It was the look of a man lost in a desert and finding an oasis. Disbelief, joy, apprehension, and love called out from those golden eyes. He was waiting to be stopped; shoved away. Aziraphale saw this and tightened his fist into black silk shirt.

Crowley slowly closed the distance. His lips were warm and soft as they barely touched Aziraphale. It was a question. Aziraphale answered by tilting his chin to fit their mouths together and 'Oh how marvellous this is.' He pressed further into their embrace, giving into Crowley completely. His mind was a chorus of praise for his beloved. His spicy, rich smoky scent, lean, strong body, and his an infinitely beautiful soul. The fact that his love was returned in an equal measure made all thoughts beyond them vanish.

‘I'm kissing Aziraphale.' Ask him an hour ago if he thought this was at all possible and he would have called you ridiculous, or worse. Now he could hardly maintain control of his own corporation. His knees threatened to betray him. ‘If this was part of Her plan, I will seek her out and thank her personally.' Part of him wanted to push further. Devour his angel with hungry, needy kisses. Watch Aziraphale take his pleasure from him. But a kiss was all his angel agreed to. He pulled back with great difficulty.

Aziraphale’s forehead tipped forward resting on Crowley’s. Aziraphale smells of lilies, old books, tea, and sunlight. Crowley breathed him in. Searing this memory into his essence. ‘If this was all we ever have, I want to remember every detail.’

“Can we finish the tour beloved?” he looked up, pressing a chased peck to a thoroughly enraptured demon’s lips.

“Anything Aziraphale. Anything you want.”

The door before them was opened. Aziraphale was led inside. The room was nearly bathed in complete darkness. No windows to even allow the moon to shine in. In the centre of the room was a massive four-poster bed. It was draped with sheer black curtains. The bed was luxurious, to say the least. There was a mass of black pillows, ranging from small cushions to full body length ones. The sheets were black satin. A thick black down duvet and a sable throw completed the shrine to sleep.

Heat pooled in Aziraphale’s corporation imagining Crowley sleeping peacefully. Mind lost to the beyond, far from the worries of the world. ‘Perhaps I may yet be able to see that one day.’

A gentle tug on his hand, and he was shown to the master bathroom. The bath was black marble as grandiose as the bed. There was a shower with several showerheads jutting from the grey walls at all angles. All the usual trappings of modern bathrooms were present. Sparse, as the rest of the house. Which made the few personal touches Crowley scattered about all the more intimate. ‘These things mattered to him. You beautiful lovely serpent.’

This time Aziraphale led the way. He was timid, nerves screaming their displeasure. ‘This might be too much. What we have now is more than I have ever dared to hope for.’ He crossed the bedroom to the bed. It was intimidating where his mind had settled. But if Crowley was amenable to the idea, he would see it through to fruition.

Aziraphale sat, eyes asking a question he wasn’t sure his voice was currently capable of forming. Crowley sat. His angel looked equal parts terrified and expectant. Crowley wasn’t certain of the cause, but he would be there to fight away any fear causing delicate features to worry so.

“Crowley?” his words barely a breath.

“Yes, angel?” his voice was velvet, low, and soothing.

“There is something I would like to ask you. A-and I don’t want you to answer...what you believe I want to hear. It is important that you answer truthfully.” Aziraphale still looked terrified but resolute. ‘A soldier before battle.’

“Whatever it is Aziraphale, I will not lie to you. You should know that by now.” he cupped his love’s cheek.

Aziraphale smiled, steeled himself with a sigh. “W-would...well...You see Crowley. Oh, this is silly.” He huffed and composed himself. “Would you make love to me?” Blue eyes filled with hope and longing.

Crowley's brain lost all functioning. ‘Did Aziraphale just asked me that?’ “Have you ever…” the words were left unsaid. ‘I died today; this is some dream or crazed fantasy.’

“No. No, I haven’t. I will not deny I have...o-often thought of what it would be like to...know you, as it were. The humans certainly seem to enjoy it. I’ve heard the whole act is more...rewarding if the parties engaging are in love. Though I suppose that is per the individual’s own proclivities.”

He wanted to kiss his angel into the next century. It was ever so endearing to hear him try to politely discuss a topic he was certain left his angel befuddled. Crowley stifled a chuckle. ‘This is all too blessedly adorable.’ “Do you know what you are asking?” Crowley wanted to make sure his angel wasn’t walking into something he didn’t have all the facts on.

“As I understand it…” he cleared his throat. “We both must put forth... an effort, so to say. I am not certain what effort you prefer your lovers to possess. I would be amenable to either.” Aziraphale found the floor suddenly very interesting.

“My lovers?” ‘was Aziraphale assuming?’

“I only ask that you...now...if we...to not take another. I don’t think I could bear it. I will not judge you on any dalliances, or job requirements you may have engaged in.”

“Angel I am not that type of demon. Asmodeus and his lot of Succubi and Incubi got that sort of temptation covered. I am just as in the dark as you, in regard to practical application.” he took a breath. “There is only one being in all Her creation I would even consider, have ever considered indulging in ssssinsss of the flesssh.” he attempted to lighten the tense air with a bit of humour. “Though that is just silly human dribble to shame women into sexual repression.”

“Oh dearest.” he looked ashamed. His eyes averted. “Crowley I am sorry to assume. You are just ever so beautiful. I know how humans practically swoon at your visage.”

Crowley scoffed to himself. “Let me assure you I am not alone in the humans finding them pleasurable to look at. There are quite many mortals I have wanted to curse for considering you in that way.”’

“Me? I hardly see what so alluring about my form.”

“You are having a go at me.” He cocked a brow. “I will tell you how beautiful, alluring, positively ravishing you are without all the self-deprecating nonsense, angel.”

“Oh, I am not...I am... soft.” he looked away sheepishly. Crowley considered this. He thought his angel enjoyed this form; it was sublime. The softness was an outward expression of his inner beauty. Had he misinterpreted this?

“If you want, you could change your appearance.” He leaned in, placing a hand on plump thigh. Breath hot on Aziraphale’s neck. "Though I would have you know…” he brushed a kiss just below the shell of his angel’s ear. “I am particularly fond of you like this.”

A shiver ran through Aziraphale. “You are?” this was asked as if Crowley had just suggested he had killed the Almighty. Utter disbelief staring back at Crowley.

"Oh, angel. I think you are breathtaking. I could write sonnets on the topic that would make the old bard jealous.” he said, kissing gently at that perfect neck.

Aziraphale blushed bright scarlet at this. ‘Not only does he love me, he desires me.’ Heat pooled in his belly warm and intoxicating. He felt weightless once again. ‘How more wondrous could this night be?’ He was determined to find out. “Please kiss me, my love.”

Crowley cradled Aziraphale’s face. In turn, Aziraphale leaned into the gentle embrace. Crowley took his angel's left hand, fingers brushing over knuckles. “This sinner’s cradle, a beggar's shrine to thy perfection. Mine own unbroken devotion a miserable pittance, compared to but a moment of thy affection.” A delicate kiss is pressed to his angel’s wrist. Aziraphale watched him intently. “Paradise be not of earth,” a kiss to right cheek. “Nor sea,” a kiss to left. “Nor heaven above,” a kiss lingering on forehead. “But held here, in so unworthy embrace, of one not meant for love.” Crowley leaned in, lips met, brushing in the lightest of touches. Aziraphale’s breath catches.

“Sing for me oh divine starlight,” a reverent kiss to the shell of Aziraphale’s ear. “For thy song cleanseth my soul.” teeth delicately drawn over earlobe. “For you, most deserved of veneration,” He fixes his gaze on those impossibly blue eyes. “Can make the damned once again whole.” Crowley met his angel’s mouth in a passionate kiss. His love and devotion pouring into every moment. He slowly pulled away, both beings breathless.

Crowley brought their foreheads together, “I prostrate myself bare before thee.” His eyes closed, tightening their embrace. “Oh, wondrous cupid, a garden for thy tending.” He buried his face in Aziraphale’s neck. “If this be but a dream, wake me not, that my sleep be unending.” He brushed his lips against delicate jaw, near Aziraphale’s ear. “No triumphs of Heaven, nor torments of Hell will I allow to rend us apart.” He held Aziraphale for a long moment. Grounding his aching soul to his angel’s presence. Crowley drew one long cleansing breath before meeting those blue eyes once again. “For I ne’er wish to be farther from thee than mine own heart.”

His eyes twinkling with newly forming tears closed. Crowley, like before, came forward slowly. Soft lips met, more insistent than before. The sensation was all too new. Crowley found himself lost in it. A soft moan issued from his angel’s throat. Crowley’s right hand went to Aziraphale’s back and urged him closer. His angel complied.

Crowley’s mind was awash with all the things he was witness to over the centuries. Images that he allowed to play through his mind. Things he wanted to share with his angel. Heated kisses, bodies entwined, ecstasy in each other’s arms. ‘We can now.' And how he wanted to supplicate himself to this most glorious being. He parted his lips, his love answered in kind. His hand moved from cheek to cradle his angel’s head. Crowley wanted more; he wanted to feel every inch of Aziraphale’s body against his own.

Their kisses once chasted gave way to passion. Crowley’s tongue dances along the seam of Aziraphale's pliant lips. Finding entrance almost immediately. Soft moans flowed from his angel. It stoked the fire that was steadily building all evening. ‘If this was all the time we have, I will spend every moment showing you the depths of my love.’

Aziraphale felt the tongue breach his mouth. He nearly felt faint. His world was nothing except each point of contact, the heady scent of Crowley, and the warmth growing within him. He met the serpent’s tongue with his own. Uncertain at first. Then thoroughly relishing the contact. A brush against lips. An exploration of teeth. A swipe against a particularly sensitive spot on the roof of his mouth. Aziraphale felt Crowley shift, his body pressing him towards the bed. Aziraphale allowed himself to be gently guided down.

Crowley’s mouth began to descend. First to his angel’s jaw, nipping and licking gently. Relishing every new sound coming from those heavenly cords.

Aziraphale clung to his shirt, pulling him closer. Aziraphale's head fell to the side, allowing more access to his demon. Love poured from him in intense waves. Crashing into Crowley, who groaned his pleasure against Aziraphale's throat. He kissed the softness just beneath his jaw. Teeth slightly scraping eliciting a soft keen. A hand came to tangle into his fiery hair. Holding him close, begging for more.

Crowley trailed further, nipping and sucking at the delicate flesh that peaked above the restrictive collar. His angel trembled, gasping as each new sensation rolled through him. He began to kiss his way to the other side. Aziraphale encouraged him by allowing more access, head tipping back into the mattress.

Teeth, tongue, and lips caressed every inch of exposed skin until it was not enough. Crowley returned his attention to rosy lips. One last lingering kiss before he reared back up to look into azure eyes. They were darker now, pooled with desire. ‘Another memory for the catalogue.’ “May I?” he asked reverently caressing the tartan bow tie.

“Please.” the response somewhere between a whisper and moan.

“If you want to stop, you only need to say so. That’s it. We stay where you are comfortable.” thumb swept gently over trembling bottom lip.

“I will.” his angel smiled at his concern. “How do you want me?”

“We could move more onto the bed. This position will become a little difficult, I imagine.” he considered their placement options.

“No. My...what shape...if I am to make an effort to my body. What would you like best?” his words stuttering out.

“Whatever you feel most comfortable with. I have a male’s anatomy at the moment. But if you would prefer…”

“No, I would have you as you are.”

Crowley sat up, keeping eye contact with his angel. He moved to take Aziraphale’s leg and bring it to his lap. He deftly undid the laces, sliding oxford free. The other shoe removed in the same fashion. His own disappeared under the edge of the bed. Crowley rose and knelt on the mattress. He held his hand out to Aziraphale who took it gingerly; guiding them to the centre of the bed. Both kneeling while kisses exchanged, bow tie pulled free. The first button of his collar undone. Crowley’s mouth never leaving Aziraphale. His elegant, dexterous fingers worked each button free until he was stopped by the waistcoat, buttons undone smoothly. Once it was open, he continued his original pursuit. Focusing on that wondrous mouth.

Once the shirt was freed from Aziraphale’s trousers, and the remaining buttons open, Crowley shifted back only enough to take in his angel’s features. “You wanna keep going, angel?”

He received a pleading nod. A new wave of desire pushed into him. Crowley shivered, his own effort ached. His hands snaked under the cotton shirt, trailing feather-light touches up Aziraphale’s soft sides, to his chest, then shoulder. He pushed the waistcoat and shirt off in one sensual movement. Caressing his way down his angel’s arms. He trailed back down, taking the cotton undershirt in hand. One last look to assure his angel wanted to progress. The shirt was slowly lifted, revealing the flushed pale skin beneath. He discarded the garment, thoroughly entranced by the vision before him. ‘By Her mercy.' Aziraphale was luminescent in the darkness. His eyes held some worry that Crowley was determined to erase forever. 'Divine beauty, indeed.’

Aziraphale felt quite exposed. Though from the look on Crowley’s face, he wanted it no other way. Crowley made to shift closer before Aziraphale placed a hand on the black silk still covering his body. “I want to see you as well my love.”

Crowley smiled a mischievous grin. Taking his shirt in hand, he tugged it free from leather trousers. In one sinuous movement shirt and undershirt were pulled over his head. He threw the fabric behind him. Fixing his angel with a hungry stare.

Trembling hands reached out. “Oh, my love. You are absolutely pulchritudinous.”

Crowley cocked an eyebrow at the statement. ‘My angel and his vocabulary.’

Crowley was all lean taught lines and muscle. Aziraphale placed a tentative hand over the centre of his chest and leaned in. One single chased kiss blessed the hollow of Crowley’s throat. He wasn’t sure if Aziraphale was a tease to vex him or it was completely innocent, but it was working. His trousers were agonisingly tight.

With a finger beneath his angel’s supple chin, he brought him back to a passionate kiss. His arms encircled Aziraphale, guiding him closer. Aziraphale wrapped his arms around his demon's neck, deepening the kiss. Trailing feather-light touches down Aziraphale's sides, Crowley's hands grasped ample thighs. In one sudden moment, Aziraphale's legs were lifted and wrapped around Crowley's hips. He gasped his surprise.

One hand clinging to thigh, the other on his angel's back, holding them in their press. Crowley turned them, leaning his weight forward to guide them down. His hand fell from that plump thigh to the mattress, slowly guiding them down. Perfect blond curls coming to resting on the mass of pillows. Crowley sank down, careful to not allow his weight to rest on his angel fully. Where their pelvises met Crowley became suddenly aware of the effort Aziraphale chose. The possibilities churned in his mind.

One last chaste kiss and Crowley straighten, gazing upon the hauntingly gorgeous being laid out before him. Another silent praise was sent to Her ear. A hand went to soft cheek. He glared his sincerity into those lapis gems. “I am going to take this slow. If it becomes too much, stop me. This configuration can be a bit tricky to my understanding. I will not hurt you.”

“I trust you, Crowley.” Aziraphale’s eyes glistening. Of course, his demon wouldn’t harm him. He wanted this. Needed to bare himself before his love. Open his soul and share this most vulnerable state. It was clear now why this was such a connective expression of one’s devotion to the other. The warmth gave way to a brilliant heat that rushed to his groin.

Tender fingers trailed down his angel’s body. A kiss to lips, jaw, neck, then to the centre of his flushed chest. Following the trail of goosebumps left in the wake of the caress. When his fingers ghosted over supple stomach, a nipple was taken into Crowley’s warm wet mouth. Aziraphale gasped. Chest thrusting up into the sensation. His legs falling to the bed, to assisting his ascension. A comforting hand encouraging him to lay back down. He relaxed into the delicious feeling rushing to his newly acquired manhood. It throbbed with a previously unknown need. His whole body is trembling uncontrollably; teeth lightly plucked at the stiffening bud. Another gasping moan, singing his pleasure.

Long fingers worked at his belt, unfastening the buckle. A flick of said finger made quick work of the button of his trousers. Crowley switched his attention to the other nipple, freehand caressing the now perk bud that felt the cold of the room acutely. Hands tangle into crimson hair to ground his aching essence.

The zipper of his angel’s trousers was slowly eased open. His mouth moved lower, worshipping the swell of that delicate belly. Teeth were scraping gently, tongue lapping at the sweat that had begun to bead. ‘Sweet, delicately salty, and all Aziraphale.’ The tongue slithered just above the band of his trousers.

Aziraphale’s fingers tightened in red tresses. His hips canted into the ministration, needing more, pleading for more. It was maddening and so exquisite. Crowley looked up from his focused attention. His eyes burning with intense desire. Aziraphale was lost in blissful pleasure, still yet to know the height of the mountain he was climbing.

A wicked, lustful thought burned in Crowley’s mind. This was all very new to him. But he'd damned, again, if he wouldn’t pour every ounce of knowledge he had come across over the years into it. His imagination could fill in the blanks. This next bit he would be a liar if he said he hadn’t personally wanted to indulge his angel with for several millennia.

Fingers tucking into the band of trousers and boxers beneath. “Aziraphale may I?” Aziraphale struggled to understand the question posed.

“Y-yes.” the answer straining to leave his throat.

Crowley gently pulled, raising up to get better leverage. The garments slid free and tossed aside. Quickly, right leg claimed, ankle resting on his broad shoulders. Before him looking thoroughly enraptured, his angel lay stark against the black bedding. A vision of pale cream, dusted with white, christened with the most delightful blush. His soft curls wet and clinging to his forehead and temples. His newly made effort swollen, throbbing with need. Crowley groaned struggling against his own ever-increasing desires.

The tips of fingernails ghosted over shins, down thighs and over lush hips. Tongue, teeth and mouth worked in unison. Special attention lavished on plump sensitive inner thighs. Sucking hard, teeth-baring down, tongue easing the sting. The response was just as delicious as the action. Aziraphale’s hips thrust into the air, searching for connection. This time the pulse that the angel issued forth left Crowley dizzy. He panted, teeth clenched. When the wave of arousal abated, he took several deep, shaky breaths. “Crowley...Oh, my love, please...I need…”

His voice sounded pained. Crowley looked up, but his angel’s eyes were shut tight. “Do I need to stop angel?”

“No! Please, I need... I feel like I am on fire.” fire was groaned as a tongue lapped at his hip. His hands grasping desperately at the bedding, as fingers trailed just above his desperate effort.

Crowley chuckles to himself. He wasn’t sure if his attention were exceptionally skilled or if his angel was just particularly susceptible. He took it as a compliment nonetheless. He figured it was time to get to the main course, as it were. The pads of his fingers slide lightly from the base of the proffered arousal to velvety head. That earned him a whimpering keen. He wanted to hear that sound again. His hand encircled his angel’s length. To ease the motion, he miracled his hand slick. He gave several firm explorative pumps of his wrist. Aziraphale’s whole corporation tensed. “Crowley! Somethings...Uuughn.” his words cut off by his climax stealing through him. Crowley nearly came as well. The sharp, throbbing pulses had turned into a tsunami and drowned him. He choked his own release down. Crowley was surprised that he had brought his angel to completion so easily, but then he reminded himself that this was all new. Raw, intense, no experience to help stave off and endure. Luckily for them, they were not bound by normal human limitations.

Aziraphale spills onto his hip, stomach, and Crowley’s hand. Crowley continues stroking his arousal through each pulse of ecstasy. Crowley’s chest was heaving. He was affected as well; serpent eyes were blown wide watching him convulse. Throat straining as his body came. Once the euphoria subsided he relaxed back onto the bed, panting. He stared down at Crowley who was watching, softly stroking his effort. “That was…” ‘stupendous, magnificent, divine, sumptuous, transcendent, take your pick.’

“Do you want to stop.” Crowley’s deep soothing voice coaxed him from the haze of his mind. A gentle kiss pressed to the purple bruise already forming there, eyes unwavering. It took a moment to think, Aziraphale knew there was more. He wouldn’t stop now. Crowley was still wearing those impossibly tight leather pants. He wanted to be pressed against him, with nothing between them. He wanted to hold Crowley tight and never let go. 'This feels right, ever so right.'

“Please my love. Don’t stop.” his response breathy and barely audible.

A devilish grin rolled across sharp features. His hand never ceasing its delicate stroking. His head bowed, and in the pulse of a heartbeat, Aziraphale was once again strangled by pleasure. His body tensing as his arousal was enveloped in the warm heat of Crowley’s mouth. One hand twisted in the duvet, the other harshly fisted in crimson strands. A groan from Crowley rippled through his throat and into Aziraphale’s member. Aziraphale fought the urge to buck into the sensation. Crowley’s tongue worked over his length. Pressing along the underside of his shaft as he was plunged into the hot depths of Crowley’s throat.

Aziraphale was gasping, drowning in ecstasy pleading for more. “Crowley please...please.”

Crowley brought his head up tongue, dragging up the length, sucking as he withdrew. He pressed his tongue into the slit at the head before pulling off with a pop. He looked to his angel. 'Would Aziraphale want to finish in my mouth? Would he allow me to keep going?' His thumb began circling on the underside at the base of the flared head.

“Angel, I am going to prepare you. If you come, I will really enjoy it. I want you to come for me as many times as you can. Can you do that for me love?” It may have been a question, but felt like a command. One Aziraphale was all too willing to concede to. He took gasping breaths. His whole body near to convulsing.

“Y-yes.”

Crowley dipped his head again. Pulsing up and down, working his tongue, providing suction. Both of his angel’s hands now tightening in his hair, pulling causing Crowley to groan in pleasure. Aziraphale’s hips canted up, forcing himself deeper into his love’s throat. Crowley brought one leg over his shoulder, caressing the shaking thigh. The other leg was spread wide to allow access to Aziraphale’s entrance. His fingers once again miracled slick. He brought the pads of his fingers to massage at the tight muscles; easing them relaxed.

A strange pressure coaxed him to another orgasm. His body tightened, throat locked. His cries of pleasure strangling him. His hips burying his effort deep into Crowley’s hot throat. His release spilling, which Crowley eagerly accepted. ‘Salty sweet and perfectly Aziraphale.’ Tongue still lapping at the head.

Crowley all the while watching with utter fascination. He drew off of Aziraphale’s arousal. ‘I could do this until the next apocalypse.’ His fingers working to relax his entrance. Once the shuttering subsided and his angel was able to draw a breath, he placed a soothing hand on his stomach. “Angel. This next part, I need you to relax and breathe. If you tense, it might become unpleasant or take longer. I am going to go as slow as you need. When you are prepared, I am going to enter you. Is that what you want?”

Aziraphale listened to the instructions. ‘Relax, I have to relax.’ The two orgasms left his bones feeling rather like custard. ‘Breathe.' His breathing was erratic at best. He focused, slowing his breathing.

“Just like that love.” Crowley grabbed a pillow and positioned it under Aziraphale’s hips. “I need you to spread your legs and relax as much as you can. When I enter, focus on your breathing.”

Aziraphale could only nod and comply. Crowley assisted him, positioning his legs as needed. His breathing was slow, counting to three with each intake and exhalation. “Just like that love. You are so gorgeous.”

Crowley took Aziraphale’s length back in hand. Slow, languid strokes just to keep him in a relaxed aroused state. “His other hand began massaging his angel’s entrance in earnest. Slick fingers were pressing and working the muscle. When Crowley felt certain, Aziraphale was pliant enough; he pushed one finger inside.

Aziraphale tensed but remembered to relax and breathe. The intrusion wasn’t painful, per se. Simply different. A pressure. Crowley pressed in watching Aziraphale for any signs of discomfort. Aziraphale breathed, eyes trained on the ceiling. Crowley crooked his finger and found the little bundle he heard about. Aziraphale nearly came undone. His hips thrust up, but then he brought them back down chasing the sensation. Crowley rubbed soothing strokes over his abdomen, encouraging him to relax. Several passes of the sensitive spot and he felt Aziraphale’s entrance ease. A second finger was added. Aziraphale was better able to fight the urge to thrust. His breathing became harsh. This time when the nerves were brushed, his head turned to the side, keening into the silent flat.

There was a snap, and Aziraphale glanced up. Crowley was now naked his own effort flushed red leaking at the tip. His demon made him feel so amazing. Aziraphale wanted to reciprocate, hand reaching out of its own accord.

Crowley registered his angel’s sudden movement. A soft hand wrapped around him. His head fell back, hips thrust into the hand stroking him. He groaned, quickening his fingers into Aziraphale. A third finger was added, stopping Aziraphale. A pulse hot and all-consuming crashed into Crowley.

“Crowley. That’s. Oh, that is divine.” his plump hand began tending to Crowley with more insistence.

“You are nearly ready...uh...shit...do you still want me…” his own concentration was failing. ‘I get it now. Humans definitely had the right of this one.’

“Yes. Please.” Aziraphale panted.

Crowley shifted to kiss his angel before moving back between his thighs. He threw a leg over his shoulder and kissed the knee. His fingers still working to assure a painless slide. He pulled his fingers free and worked the miracled slick into his arousal. His eyes trained on his angel, who was desperately trying to regulate his breathing. He lowered himself down, effort in hand. Lining himself with Aziraphale’s entrance. “I love you, Aziraphale. Relax and breathe for me, angel.”

Aziraphale pulled him into a heated kiss, tongue seeking, tasting himself on Crowley. He pressed forward gently. The head of his arousal slipped inside with slight resistance. Aziraphale’s breath caught, head slamming back into the pillows. Throat tensing on a moan. Crowley nearly blacked out under the surge of lust, love, and pleasure. His breath stole from him. It took a long moment to compose himself.

“Breathe for me. That’s it. I have you. Tell me when I can move.” Aziraphale was still so tight. It nearly sent him over the edge. He willed himself back from the brink. Aziraphale’s breathing evened out. His entrance relaxing.

“I need...Move for me please.” his plea thrummed through Crowley.

He pressed forward. His hand coming to stroke Aziraphale’s member. He leaned down, desperate for a kiss himself. His essence sang in praise. Not for the Almighty but for the perfection beneath him. He sheathed himself fully. Aziraphale’s breath was rapidly increasing. Crowley drank in the moans that escaped his angel. Each caress was eliciting a stronger new wave of unbridled pleasure surging into him.

“Is this alright angel?”

Aziraphale nodded, unable to form words. His eyes locked on Crowley as his hips drew back and thrust in once more. Aziraphale’s brows furrowed. It wasn’t painful. It was a plea for more. Crowley kissed him. “I’ve got you. If you need to come, come.” Aziraphale keened kissing with fervour.

Crowley set a slow rhythm. Deep purposeful thrust hitting that bundle of nerves deep inside his love. He was battered with the pulsing energy now. Aziraphale moaned into their kiss with every thrust. Those beautiful sounds, the force of the surging all-consuming love plucked at him. A violin string too taut on the verge of snapping. His hand between them working Aziraphale’s effort. Aziraphale’s body slowly tensed, his head falling back, throat straining as he climbed that impossible peak again. He clung to Crowley who watched intently. Mouth falling open as Aziraphale waled his climax. He wanted nothing more than to watch Aziraphale come undone for the rest of eternity. 'One more. Give me one more.’

His thrusts picked up. The pressure in himself was building to a fever pitch. Aziraphale wasn’t even allowed a moment to recover. He was still convulsing crying out with each thrust. The waves now felt like a constant pulsation around him.

Aziraphale felt a new sensation, more powerful than any before begin to build. He could feel Crowley. In him, all around him. Surging through him. Aziraphale melted into that sensation; it was rapturous. He reached out for Crowley. Crowley’s thrusts brought him once again to the summit. The world fell away, all his love, all his essence reached out for Crowley. The pleasure fractured him. Cracking him open, leaving him floating in a sea of bliss. He had never felt so complete, so content so whole.

When he finally felt the world right itself, he tried to open his eyes. He couldn’t just yet. He was panting. Funny thing he thought as they didn’t need oxygen. 'Probably a grounding thing, steadying the nerves.' He felt weightless still. Limbs struggled to keep himself up. "That is odd. I had been laying down. When did I come to be on my hands and knees?' He opened his eyes. He looked down on himself.

He reared back falling off of the bed. “What in Hell!” he scrambled to his feet. He, or rather his body, considered itself. Then looked at him.

“Uh, Aziraphale?” his voice. ‘Was he dreaming?’

“What is going on?” he looked down. His current corporation that of his demon. “Good Lord.”

“Aziraphale why are you in my body?”

“How the HELL should I KNOW?” he screeched. Well, Crowley’s voice screeched. He began to panic. ‘Is this some kind of punishment. How did this even happen?’ His mind was tangles of possibilities. Crowley, in his body, crawled from the bed to embrace him. Aziraphale clung to him.

“So this happened,” he said hugging his own corporation, his angel panicking inside.

“What do we do?” squeaked Aziraphale.

“Shhh. We'll figure this out.” he stroked his angel’s, ‘well his back.’ “Before the Fall angels...well... coupled. Bonded. Perhaps we ah... Perhaps our essences slipped.”

“Bonding…” He considered the implications. Cheek pressed to his own fluffy curls. ‘There essences may have attempted a bonding.’ “Yes. The mingling of essences. I’ve never... Oh, that can’t be right. We shouldn’t...I mean. Did I hurt you?” His eyes were assessing Crowley for signs of damage. Hands clenched to his own biceps. His mind was cycling between thoughts faster than he could iterate them.

“No. Quite the opposite. The human stuff is great, more than great. But that last bit. Well. We are definitely trying that again.” His last words trailed off. 'We might not get another chance. This diversion was amazing, but Heaven and Hell will still eventually come for us. Right how to fix this? We are compromised enough without being stuck in each other’s bodies.’ “Shit.” he paced back towards the bed.

Aziraphale looked at his own face in alarm. “What, what is it. Oh, I don’t think I can endure any more surprises at the moment.” He sank back on the bed.

“Choose your faces wisely. For soon enough, you'll be playing with fire.”

“Fire” the last word was said in unison. Looking at one another.

“Hellfire.” Crowley felt his world fall out from beneath him. “They mean to destroy you, angel.”

“I suspected as much really,” Aziraphale said. He had embarrassed them for the last time.

He understood his side’s anger. He betrayed hell, but Aziraphale had second handedly, thwarted Lucifer. 'Was that not worth at least a stay of execution? Of course not. Those bastards upstairs are simply more pleasant looking demons. They could kill indiscriminately all while claiming divine rite.’

Aziraphale mulled the prophecy over in his mind. His hands, no Crowley’s wringing nervously. ‘If it was hellfire for him, it stands to reason it will be holy water for Crowley. No, he will not lose him now. Not after everything it took to get here. We can finally be together, unrestrained by our former sides. I will not give up without a fight. I am still a Principality.' He took Crowley’s hand.

“Hellfire for me, holy water for you,” he said, staring at his own face.

“Right.” ‘that makes sense.’ Tightening his hold on Aziraphale’s hand. Realising suddenly they were both rather naked, he miracled them satin dressing gowns.

“Thank you.” a pleasant smile. Then something seemed to click into place. “What if...could...” He hesitates, dissecting that line of thought. He turned abruptly to face Crowley. “If I am in your body, wearing your face as it were. This body is but a vessel. I am immune to holy water. If I was to take your place in hell. And you, my place in heaven. They could not destroy us as intended.”

“NO!” Crowley said firmly. Standing, beginning to pace.

“No? How else do you suppose we survive certain destruction?” blue eyes tracking the demon.

Crowley turned hands, gripping his, Aziraphale’s hips. “I am not having you walk into hell for me.”

Aziraphale stood. Closing the distance to wrap his, Crowley’s arms around his waist. “I will pretend to be you. A little sarcasm, devil may care attitude, and the appropriate attire. Who would suspect?”

He shook his head. “Not the point.” He grabbed his shoulders. “I am not sending you down there, angel. It is not happening.”

“Crowley please.” Hands cradled his face. “The prophecy. If we follow this plan, we will come out the other end. Free. Our own side. No longer having to hide. I want that Crowley. Don’t you?” his own serpent eyes pleading to him.

“Of course I do.” he pulled him into a tight hug. “Aziraphale I have loved you from the moment you told me you gave away that bloody sword. I knew you weren’t like those prats upstairs. You were kind to me. The enemy, Aziraphale. Knowing it was dangerous. And every moment after I fell even more helplessly in love with you. I am a shit demon. What demon feels love? This factory recall is who. Demons shouldn’t be able to feel love. But I love you. And by both God and Satan, they will not have you.”

“Factory recall?”

“What?”

“What is a factory recall?”

“Something humans do when there is something faulty with a car,” he explained irritably.

“Can’t you just miracle the issue away. I doubt there is even a factory still producing parts for the Bentley.”

“Not the car. Me. I’m faulty.” he groans. ‘I love you, you dense, beautiful idiot.’

“You are not faulty Crowley. Perhaps if you look at it as...oh what is the term? An upgrade! A demon who can love. Surely that isn’t an accident.”

“That is beside the point. And let's face it. We are accident-prone.”

“And it always works out for the best.” Aziraphale kissed his shoulder. “If we do this, we are free. We can live as we please. I will stand at your side until I meet my end. But we needn't end today. We have a chance. Please take this chance with me.”

It is weird hearing his own voice plead with him. “I don’t like it. But you are probably right.” he sighs. “Has the witch ever been wrong?” He looked into his own eyes.

“No.”

“If we succeed what then?”

“We meet outside head office. We walk away from them all.” Something in Aziraphale felt suddenly confident. ‘This was right.’

“Fine.” Crowley concedes. “Come, we both could use a shower.” He stroked his arms.

“We could just…”

He levies a stern look at Aziraphale. “Angel just this once don’t argue. It’s a shower. Need to...clear my head.” he said, looking at something over his shoulder.

Aziraphale acquiesces. They shower in relative silence. He definitely sees the appeal of this human experience too. The water warms him through. Crowley’s corporation feels odd. Everything tight and on edge. He can’t help but look over at his own body. Plump, pale, and stocky. He likes his body, though he still doesn’t see the sexual appeal. He decides to have Crowley elaborate later. They dry and dress. Crowley makes them tea.

They work out the details. Crowley easily assumed Aziraphale’s mannerisms. Aziraphale for the life of him can’t master Crowley’s swaggering gait. Crowley reassures him the demons don’t really pay him much mind. “Just act like you could give two shits. That should be enough.”

Dawn was breaking over London. “Right. We should part ways.” Crowley in Aziraphale's body says. Crowley’s body is wringing its hands in a nervous fit. “None of that. You are a demonic arsehole. You can’t let them see you sweat.”

Aziraphale stops his fidgeting. “Right. Sorry.” Crowley’s own eyes look back at him with fear. He doesn’t like seeing himself or his angel like that. “I love you, Crowley.”

Crowley pulls Aziraphale into a tight embrace. “You are my world angel. None of this means anything without you. Come back to me, safe. Yeah?”

“You as well my love.” his voice breathy, choking back tears.

Crowley kisses Aziraphale one last time before stepping back. “St James Park in an hour then?”

“Right.” Crowley’s body straightened with resolve.

“Just remember to be the bastard I know you can be,” he says, smiling at his angel in his body. He disappears.

Aziraphale takes one deep soothing breath before sliding on Crowley’s glasses. "Right, too work."

Chapter Text

Sunday 25 August 2019
6:30 am
St. James Park, Heaven, Hell, and All the Kingdoms There Of.

 

Crowley stands outside Aziraphale’s bookshop. He had expected a chard ruin. Instead, he found a charming, if not cluttered speciality bookstore. Part of him wondered if it was an illusion to draw Aziraphale into a trap. When upon inspection he found no such influences, he entered. Everything seemed in order, though the real Aziraphale would have to pass the final judgment. He tried to focus on the dangerous plan they'd hatched.

Aziraphale across town was trying to master Crowley’s mannerisms. When twenty or so minutes passed he figured it was time to head to St. James Park. He rode the lift down and exited the building. There, just as good as new was the bentley. The most beautiful car loved by Aziraphale’s demon. Not a scratch. Aziraphale wanted to beam, settling on an appreciative smile. He couldn’t wait to tell Crowley the joyous news. They had plans, though. 'Hopefully, there would be time after.' Aziraphale hailed a passing cab.

St. James Park is bustling with life. None the wiser, that just yesterday the world almost came to an end. Children were playing, ducks swimming in the pond, secret meetings between opposing government agents carrying on as they always had. It was a beautiful day. Yet, even beautiful days like today can’t last forever.

“A Strawberry lolly, and uh… Vanilla with a flake, please.” Aziraphale in Crowley’s body ordered. Aziraphale really wanted the cone, but for appearance's sake he accepted the lolly. They both were on edge. Aziraphale tried to maintain that cool collected exterior Crowley was known for.

After seeing the bookshop, Crowley had come to the conclusion that a certain former Antichrist may have corrected the tragedies of the previous day. Hopefully, that courtesy was extended to a beloved antique automobile. “How’s the car?” he asked pacing behind Aziraphale. He was a physical barrier. If Heaven and Hell came for them, they would have to go through him first.

“Not a scratch on it. How’s the bookshop?” A smile was given to the vendor before turning to his demon.

“Not a smudge. Not a book burnt. Everything back just the way it was.” He was pleased to report this at least. It might not amount to anything soon, but at least Aziraphale had something to look forward to if they succeed. Aziraphale passed him the cone. Food comforted his angel, so he accepted it. At least for his sake.

“You heard from your people yet?” Crowley scanned their surroundings. Looking at each person. Assessing, waiting for the inevitable.

Aziraphale shakes his head no. “Yours?” Aziraphale hoped their respective head offices would just forget the whole sordid affair, but that wasn’t likely.

“Nothing.” Crowley felt like a cornered beast. Ready to lash out at the first sign of danger.

“Do you understand what happened yesterday?” Aziraphale was puzzled how a burned down bookshop and bentley were now restored, whole, as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.

“Well, I understand some of it.” He couldn’t help but remember their night. That, they had sorted that out well enough. “But some of it, it’s just a little bit too-” he searched for the words. A sudden movement and he found a tight gag placed over his mouth. Hands miraculously bound. Two angels in khaki coveralls began to pull him away. 'Aziraphale is alone, exposed.'

“Ineffable.” came a chillingly familiar voice.

Aziraphale saw Death, in all his horror, leering at them from a distance. His stomach knotted with fear. “Oh, that-that’s funny seeing him here. That’s meant to be bad luck.” he waggles the lolly at the surviving horseman. “It’s meant to be bad…” Aziraphale didn’t get a reply. He looked to where Crowley had been. He was gone. He turned frantically searching for Crowley. He saw him.

Crowley in Aziraphale's body was being dragged away. His eyes trying to tell Aziraphale what his mouth, bound as it was, could not. He noticed Hastur lurking near them the moment he was seized. Crowley desperately fought his captors. His angel was looking at him, not seeing the danger closing in.

“Renegade angels all tied up with string.” Uriel recited blocking the supposed demon’s path.

“These are a few of our favourite things.” Sandalphon sneered.

“Stop! Stop them!” Aziraphale ran for them. Everything inside him was screaming. He couldn’t lose Crowley, the plan be damned. His greatest fear roared into his mind. He was going to lose Crowley forever. 'No! Please!'

“What’s wrong, love?” Hastur, masquerading as a woman, called out. The next thing Aziraphale knew he was face down on the pavement. His head screaming in pain. “Ooh, bad luck, dear.”

Crowley saw Hastur strike his angel down. His mind broke. He fought, kicked, growled into his gag. 'Those fucking bastards. They will pay for this. They all will.' He was hauled into a van, fighting the whole way. He nearly broke free when a solid punch to the stomach made him double over. Sandalphon leered at him. The angel who looked more like a potato than a man loomed over him, snickering nasally.

Uriel leaned in, her eyes cold. “Don’t fight this Aziraphale. Your demon is as good as dead.” She pulled his hair so she could look him square on. “Debasing yourself for a demon. You are pathetic.” She released her grip in platinum curls. “We should have done this years ago.” She said to the potato.

Crowley was beginning to understand why Heaven seemed to put his angel on edge. He knew they were pricks, he just didn’t know they were sadists as well. He wanted to rip their throats out with is fangs. Shift into a snake and squeeze the life from them. He remembers their plan and assumes his angel’s countenance. 'We have to survive this.'

Back in the park, Aziraphale manages to look around him. A horrid man with an even more horrid wig stood over him, crowbar in hand. That explains the pain. “It’s not a problem. It’s tickety-boo.” Despite his efforts to remain conscious, the world faded away. He was sucked into the darkness of his mind.

 

HEAVEN

Crowley was escorted into heaven and bound to a chair. He checks the strength of the bonds gently. Some miraculous magic woven into the simple white rope. His anger was boiling inside him.

“Ah. Aziraphale.” Gabriel’s voice called from behind. His footsteps loud, echoing off the stark walls. A hand landed on his shoulder in a deceivingly chummy pat. “So glad you could join us.” 'The smug bastard.' The Archangel crossed the room to stand in front of him.

Crowley stifled his anger. 'Aziraphale is kind and polite when he isn’t being a bastard.' “You could have just sent a message. I mean, a kidnapping in broad daylight.”

“Call it what it was, an extraordinary rendition.” The Archangel was far too pleased with himself. 'Keep it together Crowley. Kind and polite.' Crowley wants to rip that bastard’s smug grin right off his face. Gabriel chuckles. Calling over his shoulder to his peers, “Now, have we heard from our new associate?”

“He’s on his way.” responds Uriel, in calculating coldness.

Gabriel grins in malicious satisfaction. “He’s on his way.” he approaches Crowley, hands pressed together in front of him. “I think you’re going to like this.” 'A scare tactic to be sure.' He smiles down on Crowley with his shit-eating grin, bending forward as if he were lecturing a child. “I really do.” nearly whispering “And I bet you didn’t see this one coming.”

Goodness was a trait apparently no longer required among the Host. Crowley wants to watch these fuckers grovel at Aziraphale’s feet. 'He might just make them.'

 

HELL

Aziraphale wakes in a damp dark room. His head throbbing, vision a bit blurry. The room reeks of brimstone. Well, at least he knows where he is. His hands are bound. He manages to push himself to sitting. 'No anxiety, cool carefree demon. Nobody can know. No fidgeting. You aren’t scared.'

The door opens, and two large demons in helmets pull him into a filthy hallway. He focuses on Crowley’s words. “Just remember to be the bastard I know you can be.”

He is brought into a room.
Beelzebub is seated in a rather uncomfortable looking chair. Their feet barely able to touch the floor. Hastur, accurate to Crowley’s description, is glaring at him from the Prince’s left. Dagon, all teeth and glistening scales to their right. Aziraphale notes an observation window, a tub just in front of it, and dozens of demons clambering for a better vantage point. 'Demonic arsehole, carefree bastard.'

“Hey, guys. Nice place you got here.” at least he was able to parrot Crowley’s nonchalant tone.

Hastur grinned at him. “Not for you it won’t be.”

'Demonic arsehole.' “Could do with some house plants. Maybe a coffee table.”

“Silenzzze! The prizzoner shall approach.” Beelzebub's voice echoed in the chamber,

“Love to.” 'casual as you please.' “Sooo, four of us.” none of this is terrifying. “Rubber of bridge? Barbershop quartet?”

“The trial of a traitor,” they say in mocking delight.

“Lord Beelzebub, you are…?” 'mock them, sarcasm, you are a demonic bastard.'

“I am the judge,” they respond, clearly annoyed. 'Good, keep it up. Vex them. Crowley knows how to be quite vexing at times.'

“And I’m the prosecutor.” Hastur tries to be intimidating. Even from this distance, Aziraphale can smell the repulsive scent of excrement, coming off the demon. Who seems to have a penchant for horrible wigs. 'Poor creature on his head must suffer so.'

Aziraphale looks to Dagon, back to Beelzebub, before returning to The Lord of the Files. “And so Dagon here is defending me?”

“Oh, I am afraid not. No, I’m just here in case there’s anything you’ve done that they forgot.” this one smelled of rotting fish. They all smelled abhorrent. His demon scent was so pleasant and intoxicating, which he was very appreciative of. Crowley was also far more pleasant to look upon as well. He wondered at this. 'I will have to remember to compliment him on this, later.'

“But we built this place for you specially. It shall be your place of trial . And it shall be your place of destruction.” Beelzebub informs, another attempt to intimidate him. 'Mock them, this doesn’t scare you.'

“Guys, you shouldn’t have gone to all the trouble. What appears to be the problem?”

Hastur listed out Crowley’s offences to Hell. Aziraphale has to admit he finds most of them rather endearing. Several times during Hastur's winded dissertation Aziraphale had to bite back a giggle. 'My sweet demon. Yet another thing to compliment him on.' He might be the only one to appreciate Crowley but appreciate he does. And if they survive this he will make every effort to show him.

“...and the murder of a fellow demon, a crime I saw with my own eyes.” Hastur finishes. He droned on for so long it had clearly bored the Prince; Aziraphale noted they smelled of putrid flesh. He would have the scent of decay and brimstone in his nose for weeks.

“Creatures of Hell,” Beelzebub calls out, irritation in their voice. Aziraphale looks behind him. 'Carefree demon, unaffected bastard. Brave, handsome, hypnotically alluring demon.' “You have heard the evidence against the demon known as Crowley. What is your verdict?”

“Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!” voices chant from behind the glass.

“Do you have anything to say, before we take our vengeance on you?” Beelzebub provides in mocking courtesy. Aziraphale is surprised to find even that in Hell.

Fear began to settle in. If it isn’t to be holy water he wasn’t sure what to do next. 'Brave, be brave.' Aziraphale shrugs. “Mmuh... What's it to be?” 'don’t let them see you sweat.' “An eternity in the deepest pit?”

“No, we’re going to do something even worse. Letting the punishment fit the crime,” growled Hastur. 'Brave, uninterested demon. Don’t let them see you sweat.'

There is the sudden ding of a lift that draws everyone’s attention. Michael, in all white exits. A glass pitcher of holy water in hand. Aziraphale heart flips. All fear and anxiety evaporate. 'Bless you, you beautiful astounding witch. I shall have to bless that descendant of yours. Don’t smile. Look terrified. They want to scare you, destroy you.'

“The archangel Michael? That’s unlikely.” 'Both sides are working together?' Part of him wonders now why exactly Heaven is so angry. 'I told them of my plans to avert the apocalypse. Reported on my progress regularly. If that was treason, why had they allowed me to interfere in the first place?' He would have done it regardless. 'It isn’t treason if your superiors know and approve of the plan.' And now, seeing Michael assisting in Crowley’s execution, they were all consorting with the opposition as well. 'This is all very hypocritical.' He really wanted to be home at his bookshop, in Crowley’s arms.

“Cooperation with our old enemies,” Dagon informs. 'Well obviously.'

“Well, wank-wings, you brought the stuff?” Hastur croaks. Michael doesn’t react to the insult.

“I did. I’ll be back to collect it.” she offers the pitcher to Hastur.

“No, I think perhaps you ought to do the honours. It’s…” he sucks in a breath between teeth. “I’ve seen what that stuff can do.” He is clearly nervous. 'That’s right foul-smelling Duke squirm.' Aziraphale is suddenly really looking forward to what is coming. Being a demonic bastard suddenly feels quite easy to mimic.

Michael begins to pour holy water into the tub. The demons behind the glass recoil, gasping that their own destruction is only shielded by the partition. 'What fun.'

“That’s holy water,” Aziraphale asked, already knowing the answer. 'Look scared. They want you scared.'

“The holiest, yes,” she responds voice light and breathy.

“Uh, it’s not that we don’t trust you, Michael, but obviously we don’t trust you. Hastur.” Beezlebub appears to be the only demon not affected by the weapon in the room. Or at least best at not showing it.

“Hmm.” Hastur turns to the Prince.

“Test it.” they roll their eyes.

Michael leaves the way she came. Hastur goes over to a little demon. He looks like a small balloon-shaped dragon. Hastur grabs the little fat thing by his stunted legs. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Oh ow!”

Hastur carries the demon to the bathtub. “Ahhuh.”

“No. No, no, no. What have I done?” The little demon pleads. Aziraphale is again questioning the hypocrisy of their head offices. 'They mean to allow Hastur to destroy this little creature. Had they not sentenced Crowley for this very act? Crowley was defending himself. This demon had done nothing to earn this cruel fate.'

“Wrong place. Wrong time.” Hastur informs the little demon.

“No! No! Please! Please! PLEASE! NO!” The demon shrieks.
Hastur drops him into the bath. The demon struggles, screaming in agony as he dissolves. Aziraphale is horrified. 'That could have been Crowley.'

“Demon Crowley. I sentence you to extinction by holy water. Have you anything to say?”

“Well, yes. Um…” 'Demonic arsehole. Mock this farce of a trial.' “This is a new jacket and I’d hate to ruin it. Do you mind if I take it off?” 'Crowley will probably appreciate his clothing not being soiled. 'We made plans to celebrate after all.'

 

HEAVEN

“You don’t get this view down in the basement.” Crowley watches as one of the disposable brings in a bowl of hellfire. The little demon tosses the fire at a ring of stones on the floor. A column of swirling fire rises up. 'Perfect.' Crowley only hoped Aziraphale was swimming safely in a pool of holy water.

The little disposable demon placed the bowl on the floor. He looked from Crowley to Sandalphon. “Can I?” The lesser demon searching for a polite way to ask. “Can I ask you a favour? Can I hit him?” He was watching for any sign of anger from the superior beings. When he was met with flat indifference he grew a bit bold. “I’ve always wanted to hit an angel.”

“Go for it.” The potato answered through his sinuses.

The disposable demon was emboldened. He nearly pranced over, standing a few steps in front of Crowley. ‘You would let a disposable rat put his filthy hands on one of your own? On my angel?’ His rage was hard to force down. He studied the floor. He couldn’t lookup. Aziraphale was never a being to take pleasure in shredding another, no matter how insignificant. Yet, sitting bound to a chair, he couldn’t fully keep up pretences. He looked up at the gleeful little idiot. He focused on showing no emotion. ‘If you lay a finger on my angel’s body I will have the seas made holy and drown you in them myself.’ This was glared at the now not so confident demon. His eyes understood the unspoken threat. Crowley couldn’t help but give a near imperceptible smirt. He sees fear blink across the demon’s face. ‘Scurry back to your masters little rat.’

“I should be going back.” The little demon said. Eyes locked on Crowley as if he would spring from his seat and rip into his throat. Crowley cooled his anger and reasserted his angel’s air. The demon left him with the three tossers.

“So, with one act of treason, you averted the war,” Gabriel said filling the uneasy silence that had taken over the room.

“Well, I think the greater good…” Crowley began mimicking one of Aziraphale’s rants.

“Don’t talk to me about the greater good, sunshine. I’m the Archangel fucking Gabriel.” 'Titles don’t make you good, actions do. Protecting the weak, showing mercy, giving without a thought of reward, showing kindness when you have been given anything but.' His angel was good in a way he was only starting to truly understand. A bastard to be sure, but compared to this lot he was better than the whole of them.

“The greater good was we were finally going to settle things with the opposition once and for all.” The purple-eyed fuck continued.

Uriel steps forward, wanting to appear intimidating. She may be an Archangel but Crowley really wants to have a go at her. 'Might get a few good jabs in before getting smote.' Uriel gives a slight tug at his bindings. He half expects to be attacked. “Up.” 'Fuck you too.'

Crowley stands, stretches his arms. Adjusts his jacket and bow tie just so. 'Aziraphale, kind, sweet Aziraphale and his fastidiousness.' “I don’t suppose I can persuade you to reconsider?” no answer. “We are meant to be the good guys, for Heaven’s sake.” That’s amusing a demon reminding Angels, Archangels, to be good.’ If he wasn’t so angry he may have laughed.

“Well, for Heaven’s sake, we are meant to make examples out of traitors. So...into the flames.” 'Traitor? Weren't they all traitors to God for going against her ineffable plan? Wonder if there will be another mass falling? Would pay a king’s ransom to watch these three take a sulfur bath.'

“Right.” 'Be charming. Aziraphale is kind, polite and charming.' “Well...lovely knowing you all.” He tries his hand at that brilliant smile. “May we meet on a better occasion.”

“Shut your stupid mouth and die already.” Gabriel smiles a mocking smile. Which quickly fades into an annoyed grimace.

'Fuck you all. You self righteous twat.' His restraint is only still in place because the plan is working. He smiles because that is what Aziraphale would do. 'Oh, I am going to enjoy this, you smug son of a bitch.' He steps into the flames.

 

HELL

Aziraphale is basking in the holy water, splashing, very much living up to his bastard title. The moment those two demons, who escorted him in, lowered him into the holy water, and he didn’t dissolve into goo, the room fell silent. He for his part could only laugh. The two demons ran from the room. Leaving him once again with the Prince and two dukes. “You could have at least warmed it up.” he groused. He went back to absently flicking the water.

“I don’t suppose that anywhere in the nine circles of Hell there’s such thing as a rubber duck?” He looks towards Beelzebub. Finally that cool exterior cracked. “No?”

Aziraphale hums absently to himself. Flicking holy water out of the tub. Hearing it sizzle as it hits the walls and floor around him. He is rather enjoying this. 'Mischievous. That’s what my beautiful demon is, not evil.' And right now he understands the appeal. 'Wonder if anyone has ever enjoyed Hell before? First time for everything.'

“He’s gone native. He isn’t one of us anymore” Beelzebub stares at him in horror. A Prince of Hell terrified of a lesser demon, well Angel in a demon’s skin. 'What a novel idea.'

Aziraphale flicks water at the observation window. Delighting as the demons cower away. “So, you’re probably thinking,” he sits up to look at the Prince. “if he can do this, I wonder what else he can do?” He lowers Crowley’s voice to that smooth purr he finds so alluring. More for his benefit than anything else. Every demon in attendance is already intimidated by the spectacle. 'As well they should be.' “And very, very soon, you’re all going to get the chance to find out.”

“Ehhh. He’s bluffing. We can take him. One demon against the rest of Hell? What’s he going to do?” 'Clearly, Hastur isn’t a clever demon. I am currently sitting in a liquid indestructible shield. No need for oxygen, I could stay submerged indefinitely. I can destroy any demon foolish enough to get close with a flick of my wrist.'

“Shut it. Get him out of here, this’ll cause a riot.” They curtly cut the Duke off. They address the demons beyond the observation window. “What are you all looking at? Nothing to see. Nothing to see here.” Aziraphale splashes the window for good measure. ‘Fear him. Crowley is to be left alone.’

Michael finally returns, smugness masked beneath her typical collected expression “I came to bring back the…” Her eyes widen in terror. 'Good.' “Oh, Lord.”

“Michael! Dude. Do us a quick miracle, will you? I need a bath towel.” He has never seen the Archangel so shaken. 'Fear him.'

Michael produced a large white towel. She hands it to the supposed demon without another word.

“I think it would be better for everyone if I were to be left alone in the future. Don’t you?” They all nod. Beelzebub refusing to make direct eye contact, but keeping the threat insight. “Right.” He scrunches his face and gives them a smug smile. 'That's right, he is not a demon to be trifled with.'

Bath time over. Aziraphale climbs from the tub, towel over his shoulder, dripping wet. Might be prudent to remain wet until he is in the lift. 'Don’t want to risk being captured again.' He picks up Crowley’s leather pants, silk shirt, jacket, boots and tie. Aziraphale gives them all a dramatic bow then turns towards the exit. Before he steps into the punctual lift he flips them all his middle finger. He had secretly always wanted to do that. Once the doors close he finally sighs his relief. If everything goes well for Crowley they are free. He will only truly feel better when he can see his love safe, in his arms.

 

HEAVEN

Gabriel winces as Crowley enters the fire. The look you give a disgusting creature meeting a disturbing end.

“Ahh…” 'This feels wonderful.' He cracks his neck. 'Nothing like immersing one’s infernal soul in hellfire. Very invigorating. I will have to take Aziraphale for a day at the spa.' “Mmm…”

Gabriel, Sandalphone, and Uriel watch in horror. A sudden idea makes him want to chuckle. 'I bet you didn’t see this coming you prick.' Crowley spits fire at them. When they cower back, he wonders if angels are capable of shitting themselves. He hopes so. 'That’s right you fuckers, fear him.'

“It may be worse than we thought,” Gabriel says to the others.

“What is he?” Uriel seems to be in shock.

Gabriel shakes his head. Crowley hopes he is questioning his life choices. The more they fear Aziraphale the better. No angel would approach another angel who could destroy them with infernal fire.

Crowley steps from the fire. “Well, wasn’t that a treat. Anyone care for some sushi? It’s on me.” He gives them that sweet innocent tone. The one his angel uses when he is pleased with himself. The look on the faces of the slack-jawed Archangels and potato was worth every second of his Fall. “No? Pity.” He straightens his tie and smiles. “Please don’t stand on formality. I will see myself out. Good Day to you all.” Crowley leaves thoroughly pleased with himself. He hopes his angel faired just as well.

 

Crowley’s lift dings as it reaches Earth. The doors slide open and he exits. They had agreed to meet at Green Park. Crowley wanted to linger a bit longer. His ordeal had been rather straight to the point. He imagined Hell would make a great show out of his execution. Perhaps Aziraphale was already at the park. Perhaps he was being tortured for Crowley’s deeds. He couldn’t let himself think that way.

There was another ding and Crowley turned. There in the lift was his body, zipping up his pants. An eyebrow was cocked. His own face said ‘I will smite you where you stand.’

Aziraphale came to stand next to his demon. He couldn’t understand why Crowley insisted on wearing such tight pants. They were near impossible to wiggle into. “I’ll have you know holy water baths are cold.” His face failed to suppress a smile.

“Come on demon, let's get you warmed up.” They did as Aziraphale had said. They walked away from their head offices free. Crowley sent a thankful prayer up to that silent but present being watching over everything.

Chapter Text

Sunday 25 August 2019
12:00 pm
Green Park, The Ritz, and a Bookshop.

 

 

The day was still lovely. Autumn was approaching, but for today it was still pleasantly warm. Human’s went about their lives. Always in a rush. Never stopping to appreciate such a perfect day. The only two beings seeming to take note were an angel and demon, sitting together on a bench.

“Do you think they’ll leave us alone now?” Crowley asked still scanning their surroundings. He didn’t even attempt his angel’s rigid posture.

“At a guess, they’ll pretend it never happened.” Aziraphale knew how concerned Gabriel was with appearances. Heaven would probably spin it as Aziraphale being granted clemency after repenting.

“Hmmm.” 'Wishful thinking angel. My lot will continue to scheme.'

“Right. Anyone looking?” Aziraphale asked. He was ready for the charade to come to an end. 'The pretence of being Crowley is exhausting.'

Crowley focuses his mind. Pressing his fingers to his temples for extra flare. He searched through the park, the sky above and the earth below. “Nobody. Right. Swap back, then.” Crowley extends his hand. Aziraphale takes it. The first sensation is a slight static charge. It prickles and skips off of each other's essence. Aziraphale pushes forward first, though Crowley is right behind. They dance past each other, lightly pressing in, just before reverting to their own corporations. The last press sent a shiver through Aziraphale. A promise, spoken through action, of what was to come.

Crowley wasn’t certain how Aziraphale felt about daylight displays of affection. When they held hands there was hardly a soul to take notice. He diverted his mind away from the subject. “A tartan collar. Really?”

“Tartan is stylish.” Aziraphale was affronted. 'Yes, we have very different opinions, when it comes to fashion. But tartan has been in vogue since 1725, for Heaven’s sake.'

Crowley exhales exasperatedly. Of course, his angel probably had something to do with tartan's creation. He did like the way Aziraphale looked in anything he wore. However, tartan on him was like Aziraphale in black leather. Tempting but not who they were. 'Pale blue leather on the other hand… I should probably stop there.'

“So, Agnes Nutter’s last prophecy was on the money.” 'We are free. Free to do as we please.' Aziraphale intended to take full advantage of his freedom. “I asked for a rubber duck, and made the Archangel Michael miracle me a towel.”

They both laugh, Crowley’s reminiscent of a duck. 'There will be no living with him after this.' 'What I would have given to see Beelzebub’s face. Watch Hastur cower like the globulous frog shit he is.

“They’ll leave us alone...for a bit.” he takes a deep breath. 'We may not have forever. So we will just have to live every moment as if it were our last.' A notion struck him. 'Heaven and Hell in cooperation? That is a dangerous thing. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and what have you. They will still want war. Though maybe the target of their anger has changed.' “If you ask me, both sides are going to use this as breathing space before the big one.”

“I thought that was the big one.” Anxiety began to stir within him.

'It made sense. Lucifer Fell because he got his knickers in a twist, over the humans. Humans that averted their war, refused Her gifts, destroyed Her creation. Humanity was an easy target. Weak, no magic to call upon. The only advantage humans had was their numbers.' “No. For my money, the really big one is all of us against all of them.”

“What?” 'The implications.' His heart crashed into the pit of his stomach. “Heaven and Hell against...humanity?” 'They wouldn’t. Well, they could. It is the kind of mindless carnage they were looking for. With the added benefit of few losses.'

He heard the anxiety in his angel’s voice. 'Smooth Crowley. Give your angel a panic attack. Not like he wasn’t smacked across the skull with a crowbar, dragged to hell, and threatened with execution. You brooding moron. Aziraphale needs to put that behind him. Not have some demon give him a new set of worries. Food? Sex?' He leaned back, legs spread as much an invitation as his words. “Right. Time to leave the garden. Let me tempt you to a spot of lunch?”

“Temptation accomplished.” said with a happy wiggle.

'Could my angel be any more adorable? Might just have to stick around to see. What’re another 6,000 years?' His body language clearly being ignored, or missed entirely. They chuckle.

One little frivolous miracle. “Hmmm...What about the Ritz? I believe a table for two has just miraculously come free.”

“Ahhh…” They hadn’t been in eleven years. 'Perfect way to celebrate a job perfectly cocked up.'

They walk to the Ritz, which isn’t far from Green Park. Crowley wonders if this was why Aziraphale had suggested it. Crowley respectfully kept his hands to himself. That was until a certain angel decided he was having none of that. A hand fished his own from his pocket. “Have I ever told you how delightful you smell, my love?”

Crowley could still smell Hell and all the revolting odours thereof on him. “I smell like a pit. Sulfur and rot.”

Aziraphale was even more thankful for the switch. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to stomach food if they hadn’t. Though he was certain what Crowley smelled was just the lingering memory trapped in his nose.

“No my love. I have never associated your smell with Hell. It is a bit more earthly.” he cast a smile at his beautiful, sweet, delicious demon.

The table was waiting as expected. They were seated immediately. Food was ordered, the entirety of the dessert menu, Crowley noted. Their waiter opened the champagne. As the boy finished pouring Aziraphale’s glass he took it and turned to a rather contented looking Crowley. “I like to think none of this would have worked out if you weren’t, at heart, just a little bit of a good person.”

Crowley didn’t get defensive, he didn’t glower. He did turn his head to lovingly gaze at his angel. 'He seems so happy.' Crowley couldn’t help but smile. “And if you weren’t deep down, just enough of a bastard to be worth knowing.” The unspoken meaning made Aziraphale blush. 'The flirt.' He could hardly look at Crowley. He may be wearing his glasses but Aziraphale could see Crowley was trying to hide his amusement. “Cheers. To the world.” 'You are my world.'

Aziraphale could hear the love in those words. It made him feel like he was floating. “To the world.” 'As you are mine.' They both drank to their future together. The endless possibilities before them.

Aziraphale leans in and places a hand on the table. “You should have seen the way Hastur, Dagon, and Beelzebub looked. When they lowered me in the holy water the room was silent. Michael looked at me like I had sprouted a second head. It was very amusing.” He took a bite of one of the many confections on the table. It was sinfully decadent. Aziraphale’s sigh of pleasure was not lost on Crowley. “I have to say. The trial was a bit of a farce. I suppose I shouldn’t be all that surprised.”

Aziraphale begins to detail the events of the trial. Crowley has to focus on not shattering the champagne flute in his anger, barely able to keep his expression relaxed. 'Hell gave me a trial. What had Heaven given you angel? Cruelty. Told to shut up and die. They treated you like a pest to be mocked and destroyed. The trial may have been just a bit of theatre, but at least there was one.'

Gabriel’s callous delight in mocking and killing his angel made him see red. He will not tell Aziraphale how cruel they were. He may no longer be welcome in Heaven, but the knowledge other angels were getting off on his death would do Aziraphale no good. 'May Satan have them.'

“I may have gotten a bit carried away at the end there.” Aziraphale looks over at Crowley who looks lost in thought. “I may have implied that you are quite powerful. That, beyond immunity to holy water, you have gained other abilities.”

An eyebrow cocked over the rim of his glasses. “I may have breathed hellfire at your former boss.”

Aziraphale’s mouth fell open. “Like some kind of dragon?”

Crowley smirks. “Well fire breathing snake anyway.”

“Was...w-was he…” Aziraphale stammers over the question.

“I think he might need a new pair of trousers.” 'One can hope.' “He nearly fell over the potato.”

“Potato?”

“Yeah, bald chap, with something in his teeth.”

“Sandalphon.” Aziraphale had to admit Crowley was adept at descriptions.

“Yeah, i’em. Gabriel grabbed his hand and everything. Think they have something going on?”

“Not likely. Sandalphon has a penchant for smiting. Not sure if one could call him sentient, really.”

“Ha!” Crowley likes this new side to his angel. Badmouthing his former superiors. Old Aziraphale would have scolded him for referring to the little knob as a root vegetable. Crowley reaches out and takes the hand resting between them.

The champagne is finished and the empty plates are taken away. Aziraphale is revelling in the warmth of Crowley’s hand. ‘If I profane with my unworthy hand. This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this. My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand. To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.’ He tightens his grip. ‘And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.’ He looks longingly at Crowley’s lips. How many times had he denied his desire to kiss those lips? ‘O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do. They pray, grant thou, lest faith turns to despair.’

Crowley turns and sees Aziraphale staring at him. Eyes filled with desire. Aziraphale brings Crowley’s hand to his lips and kisses the knuckles. Crowley figures PDA is all well and good for Aziraphale.

He leans to whisper in his angel's ear. “Feeling a bit amorous I take it.”

“I love you dearest.” he breathes out.

“I love you too, angel.” He tightens his grip on that perfect hand.

“Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.” he kisses Crowley tenderly. Freehand coming to cup his angular jaw. He feels the world spiral away.

“M’not complain’n angel. But I think we have an audience.” They did in fact. A woman in the corner jabs her husband who looks repulsed. A group of pensioners start chattering about the lovely couple. One among them places a bet they will be married within the year. Their waiter is clearly avoiding staring.

“Bookshop?” Aziraphale asks. His blue eyes have darkened with longing.

“Bookshop.” Crowley agrees. 'Far too eager by half, but what the Hell.'

Crowley waves the waiter over for the check. The boy finally allows his eyes to settle on the two. Crowley pulls a substantial amount of cash from his pocket; handing it to the boy. The young man makes to protest. Crowley waves him away and stands, hand extended to his angel with a warm smile.

Aziraphale can’t help but blush. 'Crowley is always so dashing. Such a gentleman.' He takes his hand. 'Let the world see. Let Heaven and Hell see. Let Her see.' Crowley presses a kiss to his temple and guides him from the restaurant.

The sun is beginning to set as they make their way down Piccadilly towards Soho. Crowley was happy and he couldn’t help but smile. His angel was happy, safe, and at his side. If the Almighty had planned it this way all along he couldn’t say. What he did know was every painful uncertain step on the road that led him to exactly this moment, was worth it. 'Aziraphale is worth everything.' When they turned on Carnaby St. his heart leapt into his throat. His angel hadn’t seen the restored shop. Crowley, gave a certain cosmic mother figure a silent thanks, for being able to witness this moment. And there it was. He looked to Aziraphale. His eyes already glistening with tears.

“Oh thank the Almighty,” he said curling into Crowley’s side.

“Thank Adam. It’s his doing,” he said holding his angel close.

“I might just do that.” he chuckled. Though he isn’t sure what gift could equal saving the world, defeating satan, restoring priceless possessions, and opening a path to their freedom.

Crowley escorts him across the street. Aziraphale’s mind suddenly doing an inventory. Hoping everything is in order on the inside as well. Crowley opens the door and ushers him in. Aziraphale refuses to shed a single tear until he has a look about.

Fingertips brushing lightly over a book spine here, a scroll there. Everything, well not quite everything was as it should be. There were a couple of new additions to the collection. 'I will just have to keep them as a souvenir.'

“Everything seems to be in order.” he took one last look before turning to his demon who was watching him intently. Tears did flow. It was all too perfect.

“Want to continue the revelry?” he asked with a particularly mischievous grin. He didn’t mind these tears. That look of unbridled joy made somehow more beautiful.

Aziraphale crossed the distance between them. Standing just before his demon, head tipping back, as he leaned in. “Certainly love.” He pressed their lips together and melted into the kiss. A soft warmth cascaded over Crowley. Crowley groaned as it settled inside of him. When Aziraphale withdrew Crowley was still floating on the sensation. “Would you care for some wine dear?”

“Yessss” his hiss slipped at the end. Aziraphale gave another quick peck before heading toward the back room. Hopefully Adam Young didn’t forget his second favourite collection, wine and spirits.

They were there just as they should be. Aziraphale poured them both generous portions, handing Crowley a glass. “To old friends, new beginnings, and hope for things to come.”

“Cheers.” Crowley raised his glass in salute before clinking it with Aziraphale’s. He took a gulp crossing to his usual perch on the sofa, left arm resting over the back. Sunglasses were banished to jacket pocket. Aziraphale considered his options and decided his demon looked rather inviting. He sat and nestled himself to Crowley. His demon’s arm came to hold Aziraphale closer to him. 'I am quite getting used to this. Though it is no less thrilling each time.'

“This is lovely.” Aziraphale sighed, letting his body relax. No tension, no anxiety. Just Crowley’s warm protective body pressed to his.

“You’ll hear no arguments from me.” Crowley kissed those starlight curls. Crowley knew at that moment, what Aziraphale did for them, keeping him at arm's length. Even if it was only this chastened intimacy. Once he tasted this forbidden fruit there would be nothing, short of destruction, that would have kept him from it. Hiding what they have would be a half-life Crowley would not have been able to endure. He hugged Aziraphale at the thought. He held a long desperate kiss to his angel’s forehead. Crowley would have never had the strength he was just learning to comprehend, that Aziraphale lived with for 6,000 years. His heart ached for his loves long cold existence. To love against reason and thought of happiness. To be true to one and live for the fleeting moments you shared. Silent, denying your own desires to protect the other. What had he done to deserve a moment of that pain? 'I will cherish you, Aziraphale.'

They drank quickly through the first bottle. Crowley drinking more than his fair share. Not wanting his angel to leave his side, the demon miracled their glasses to refill on their own. They were both quite drunk when the large grandfather clock announced the new day.

“So angel,” Crowley growled playfully. “You have been disavowed, cut loose, free to do as you please. What do you intend to do with that freedom?”

“Well, I had hoped to spend some time with this rather handsome chap.” he began studying his wine. Crowley was far too drunk to register the flirtatious tone. His heart sank.

“He is so clever and kind. He wouldn’t like me saying so. I have had my eye on him for quite some time.” Aziraphale said turning his head to look into serpent eyes. “Do you think he would be interested?” Aziraphale noticed there was pain and fear there.

“Of course angel,” he said trying for levity. “He would be a fool to not be interested.” this was delivered as if it were a eulogy. He was hurt, but far too drunk to be able to argue at the moment. They loved each other. He had hoped Aziraphale was the monogamous type. Though it was his fault for not clarifying his own desire for such. He didn’t want anyone else to have his angel’s affections. He also didn’t want to lose Aziraphale to his own jealousy. 'Bugger it all.'

“My love?” His demon looked rather put out. He wanted to kiss away whatever troubled Crowley.

“Hmmm?” was all he could respond. His eyes were betraying him. He wanted to beg, prostrate himself before the entirety of existence, and plead Aziraphale to forsake all others. His pride be damned. He was besotted with an angel of Heaven. 'God help me, I can be no other way.'

“My love, is everything alright?” he placed his palm to his demon’s cheek.

“What’s I’s name?” he slurred. 'Why torture yourself? You wouldn’t harm them.' For Aziraphale, the other would be spared his wrath. He couldn’t harm something his angel cared about. No matter the pain it would cause him.

“Who?” Blue eyes searching gold for understanding.

“The clever handsome chap.” He turned to look at the expanse of books. He couldn’t cry. 'Not here, not now.'

Aziraphale giggled and snuggled in closer. “Well, perhaps not clever.” 'Oh, my incurably sweet demon.'

“You never mentioned anyone else.” his voice was barely heard.

'Oh, the poor dear sounds so dejected. It is not kind to make him worry any longer.' He gives Crowley a little shove. “It’s you.” 'How could you worry so that there was another?'

“Yeah well...ngk...f’course. Yeah.” he stammered trying to hide his staggering relief. Now he really did want to cry. 'Bastard. That is what my love is. An absolute bastard.' And he wanted it no other way.

Aziraphale giggled into his glass as he took another sip. “You haven’t answered me.”

“Spending time?” He held Aziraphale tighter.

“That was the question posed,” he said resting his head on Crowley’s shoulder.

“I believe, I said I would be a fool, to not be interested.” he kissed Aziraphale’s curls. “And seeing as we are immortal, I just might have time.” He tilted Aziraphale’s chin into a kiss.

Aziraphale giggled again, setting his drink down. He turned to Crowley. That increasingly familiar warmth consuming him. “How about now?”

Crowley felt the wave sink into him. “Whenever, wherever. Always.”

Aziraphale turned to kneel on the couch. Crowley shifted pulling Aziraphale to sit straddling his lap. Crowley’s hands came to rest on his angel's hips. Aziraphale cupped his demon's face and leaned in for another kiss. Crowley tilted his head back, arms wrapping around Aziraphale’s waist pulling him in closer.

Aziraphale rose up on his knees so that their bodies were pressed together. One arm was thrown around Crowley’s shoulder anchoring himself. Crowley’s hands drew up his back caressing and holding him. 'I'll be damned if anyone takes this from me.' He moaned into the slide of tongue over his bottom lip. His effort beginning to stir.

The warmth pulsed and swelled. It cradled Crowley in a sea of desire and love. He groaned and deepened their kiss. Tasting Aziraphale, champagne, honey, and sunlight. “Bloody hell angel.” he groaned as a particular swell caught him off guard.

“What? Am I doing something wrong?” he said providing Crowley with some space, embarrassment creeping up his throat.

The sensation ebbed away. “No.” his voice came out strangled. He cleared his throat. “By all means keep going. Whatever that thing you do is...it feels amazing.”

“Kissing?” Could such a think account for his demon’s pleading gaze.

“No. Kissing is great, but the bloody thing…” he really didn’t know what to call it. “Feels like these pulses of...Oh, I don’t know. At first, it’s warm and feels comfortable and relaxing. But as we well...it gets stronger and hot...I don’t know. Feels amazing.” he had a thought. “Angel do you have a bed in the shop?”

“Well yes, not as choice as your own. I have never slept in the thing.” He doubted the bed would accommodate them both, even laying on their sides.

“Show me.” anticipation boiled inside him.

Aziraphale stood, with assistance from his demon. He led him out of the backroom and up the spiral stairs. There on the interior wall was a door rarely used. Crowley had given him a tour of his flat, only fair he returns the favour. He opened the door to a small, dusty, book-filled room. There, just under the window is a small unimpressive bed, covered in a wool tartan blanket, books, and more dust. Aziraphale felt utterly embarrassed now. His cheeks flushed red.

“That won’t do,” he said kissing Aziraphale’s temple. “Mind if I..." Crowley asked holding his fingers up ready to snap.

“By all means.” He hasn’t been up here since 1982, and that was just to deposit the books.

“Step back love, give us some room to work.” Aziraphale complied and Crowley snapped. The room was suddenly dust free. The walls began to expand and groan. Crowley stretched out his hand pushing his will into the building. The room which was once meagre was now large, bookshelves lining the walls. The adjoining bathroom was as well expanding to accommodate the crafter’s vision. Books found their ways to shelves. The bed trembled then turned into one big enough to accommodate an entire family. Plush pillows, soft linens, and a much thicker down, tartan duvet replaced the moth-eaten wool. The bathroom was updated, a modern shower, tub, and double vanity.

Crowley all the while moulding the small flat to his will. Aziraphale watched as he worked. Crowley seemed steady and focused. Not an ounce of nervous energy. This was a side of Crowley Aziraphale rarely saw. He began to wonder about Crowley’s role in heaven before the Fall. He had asked once, but he was rebuffed in such a way he knew not to bring it up. 'Perhaps I could now?'

The final touches were two white cherub lamps on either nightstand. One sporting a minuscule set of horns. On the left side of course. His angel was smiling. Everything cosy and comfortable. “Well, I should think that will just about do it.”

“It’s wonderful dear. Thank you.” The consideration Crowley gave to make this a place Aziraphale would appreciate made him feel soft indeed.

“Purely selfish reasons I assure you,” he smirked. That was only mostly true. Even thinking Aziraphale liked it fed his essence.

“Oh, and what would the reason be for renovating my flat? Possibly stealing some of my neighbours square footage.” He was sure Vinyl Fetish would be cross.

“They won’t notice.” he had seen to that already. “I have an... experiment I need your help with.”

“An experiment?” 'What is my demon planning?'

“Yeah. Don’t worry, if last night was anything to go by, you will enjoy it.” Aziraphale blushed so prettily at the reminder.

“I am at your service. How may I assist you?” he said in his best bookshop owner voice.

“Hmmm...let m’see.” He pretends to scrutinize Aziraphale’s face. Turning his head this way then that. Then finally tipping it up and planting a kiss onto surprised lips. The warmth ebbed back. 'Interesting.'

Crowley drew Aziraphale into the angelically inspired, demonically created room. He took his angel into his arms, large elegant hands pressing them together. 'Another roll of warmth.' He drew his fingers lightly up Aziraphale’s spine. The sensation shivered with what Crowley was certain was a response. 'Am I feeling everything Aziraphale does, in a sense? This can be useful. Right, time for phase two of the experiment. Clinical trials and what have you."

“I want to make love to you, angel,” he said moving to his angel’s jaw, licking and nipping. The warmth continues to consume him.

“Pl-please.” he moans as his earlobe was taken between teeth.

Crowley backs them towards the bed. Removing bow tie, working on buttons, cursing all the infernal layers. He loved his angel’s style, but for convenience purposes, they will have to make a few changes. He snapped his fingers resigning the confounding upper layers to the newly created closet. Aziraphale gasps. A sharp barb of desire shot through him. 'Surprised, not put off.'

“For research,” he muttered, before returning to kiss that perfect mouth.

Aziraphale feels the bed hit the back of his legs. His chest flutters with anticipation. Aziraphale sits, spreading his thighs to allow Crowley to stand between them. Though to Aziraphale’s surprise, he chooses to sit beside him. Crowley takes his bottom lip in his teeth and nips before pulling away.

“I don’t want you holding back. If it feels good, enjoy it. If it doesn’t we stop.” Crowley explains, hands undoing Aziraphale’s belt and trousers. Crowley feels several fast pulses. He thinks, deepening his voice to a low purr, “I want to watch you fall apart.” Another series of pulses. A hand clasps his forearm “Over, and over, and over again.” A sharp barb of desire and a racing series of pulses. He intentionally wasn’t touching Aziraphale. 'Pleasure from my voice, or the words?'

“Will you let me?” a light whisper in Aziraphale’s ear. 'A barb, fluttering pulses.'

“Y-yes.” he breathed out. Crowley wasn’t touching him. He desperately wanted to be touched.

Crowley groaned deep in his throat. The barb and pulses punched through him, followed by the fluttering. 'Noted.' Crowley drew Aziraphale into his side. Right arm holding him close. Warm and soothing tendrils flowing through him. He licked at his ear, nipping gently. 'Sharp barb, steady pulse.' A kiss to the sensitive skin just below the ear. 'The pulses quicken.' Freehand gently brushing across Aziraphale’s chest. 'One long wave the whole of the contact.' Nails gently digging back across. Aziraphale whimpered but pressed into the touch. The warmth turns to heat. This time several sharp barbs and a slow-rolling wave. 'Noted as well.'

“Did you like that?” he purred. 'Stronger response.'

“Yes.” he breathes out.

Crowley trails his fingers to the undone trousers. Aziraphale shivers. The pulses increase, the smallest of separations between. He pushes past the waistband of boxers, gently brushing against Aziraphale's hard effort. His angel’s breath hitches. 'Barbs, and pulses, flutters and waves.' He takes Aziraphale’s arousal in hand. 'Similar, yet stronger response.'

He begins to pump his fist, forcing a low moan from Aziraphale. 'Barbs, settling into pulses, then slow rolling intense waves.' Crowley decides to quicken the pace. Each pump is a sharp stinging barb. Aziraphale is panting, body tense pressing against Crowley. 'Heat burning bright now.' Instead of relaxing the sensations build. Pulses and barbs thrumming into Crowley making it hard to focus. He groans, swimming upstream against the urge to come to release.

Everything is hammering, screaming to reach the peak. Crowley pulls his hand away. Aziraphale gasps, hips bucking for friction. “C-Crowley?” he pleads.

'A new sensation. Oh, that ache. Not mad, not upset. He is burning, aching, pulsing.' It is so bittersweet he buries his face into curls. “Sh-Shhh. Part of the research.”

Aziraphale nods and settles back into Crowley. Crowley takes him back in hand and begins to pump his hand in earnest. Instantly the barbs and pulsing return. They rise to the peak once more. Crowley withdrawals. Aziraphale whines his displeasure. 'The ache is mixing with pulses.' “Do you want me to stop?” 'A shock of cold fear.'

“NO!” he shrieks.

“Shhh. I won’t.” he begins again. “I want to do this several more times. How many times will you allow me?” he purrs into Aziraphale’s ear. White-hot ache and barbs of pleasure nearly does Crowley in right there.

Crowley focuses his ministration. Drinking his angel’s pleasure. Aziraphale is gasping, trembling, nearing again. Crowley stops. “I need a number, angel.” The ache is maddening. A single stroke. 'A barb easing the ache for a moment, before it returns stronger.'

“F-five.” he manages to speak. Another stroke.

The ache is now just as wonderful as the desire. “Two more, or five more?” He wanted to go to ten but doesn’t want to push it. He is already burning up from inside. Watching Aziraphale in the throes of pleasure would be enough. Experiencing Aziraphale’s shared pleasure is a wonder he wants to savour. To hold him, be the cause of this ecstasy is a gift.

“F-five.” said on a whimper.

Crowley kisses that delicious neck. Whispering thank you like a benediction, hand firmly pumping. The ache blends into the sharp barbs, and staggering pulses. The peak is suddenly there. Crowley withdraws, “One.” His angel is already overstimulated. It takes almost no effort to bring him near to completion.

Aziraphale is gasping, leaning a bit forward, trembling. 'The ache is nearly unbearable.' Crowley tightens his grip with the supporting arm. “Breathe.” he purrs. Aziraphale slows his breathing, lip trembling. 'The ache lessens, pulses don’t.'

Crowley takes him back in hand, firm fast pumps. Aziraphale nearly doubles over. “Lean into me.” Aziraphale complies with a whimper. “That’s it, angel. Let me see you.” a kiss to his temple. “You are so beautiful.” The ache and barbs are staggering. Once again he is nearing the summit. Hand removed. “Two.”

Aziraphale coughs out ragged breaths. The ache punches hard. Crowley can feel himself coming to his own pinnacle. He forces it down. “Can I continue?”

Aziraphale frantically nods. A snap and they are both completely nude. Crowley goes back to work. This time the ache is stronger than the barbs, but only just. Aziraphale’s head is pressing into Crowley’s shoulder, trembling, whimpering. His body begins to tense. Hand gone. This time Aziraphale feels the sting of tears.

He is sobbing, shaking. 'The ache is all-consuming.' Crowley holds him tight. “Three. Thank you, Aziraphale.” Tears fall down his angel's face. “Do you want me to stop?” Aziraphale shakes his head no. “Would you like me inside you.” Yes, he nods frantically. “I am going to have to prepare you, love. Lay back.”

Crowley assists Aziraphale down. He shifts off the bed between Aziraphale’s thighs. He wrapped his arms under him and pulling him to the right spot. He kneels, pushing plump shaking thighs up. He bows his head and flicks his tongue over Aziraphale’s entrance. He wants to spend time worshipping the entirety of Aziraphale, but keeping him at the edge of release was making things profoundly more interesting. 'For both, I'd wager.'

His angel keens, trying to push down against the wet warmth. Another swipe of tongue and he is panting. Legs still shaking. Aziraphale is fighting every urge to let go. Crowley presses his tongue, firmly sliding up towards the painfully throbbing effort. Aziraphale clutches the tartan duvet in his fists. Crowley breaches him with his tongue. Aziraphale exhales several panting sobs. Crowley works him open in haste. He feeling Aziraphale is on the edge. He slides in a finger, thrusting, avoiding that bundle of nerves. Then a second finger. Aziraphale begins to thrash. 'Panic.' Crowley considers bringing him over the edge. Aziraphale was already so far gone.

“OUT!” he screams in desperation.

Crowley pulls back. Aziraphale is crying, shaking, muscles of his abdomen contracting. Crowley is up, holding him to his chest. “Aziraphale? Did I hurt you? I can...We don’t have to continue if it is too much.”

“F-four.” he whines, eyes still clamped shut.

Crowley smiles. 'My wicked angel is enjoying this torment as much as I am.' “Four.” he agrees. “Are you ready for me angel?”

Aziraphale nods his consent. “P-pl-please.”

“Anything love.” 'Barbs, ache, anticipation.' Crowley gets back into position. Pressing Aziraphale’s thighs to his chest. His poor angel is a mess. Tears flowing freely from pleading eyes. His lip trembling, body shaking, whimpers of need straining in his throat. “Breathe.” 'Relaxing probably not possible.'

Crowley enters him. Everything inside of him screams. 'Ache, pleasure, and love.' Aziraphale’s chest rises up, head pressed into the mattress. He is rendered silent.

“Shhh- sh. I’ve got you. You have done so well angel.” Crowley thrusts in only a few inches, before withdrawing, and thrusting shallow once more. Feeling the clenching of muscles as he does. The ache is scraping against him. Aziraphale’s arms cover his face, he is crying, sucking in air in strained gasps, hands fisted in curls. Crowley stops, gently running his hands over thighs. “Five.” He says softly. “Come whenever you like.”

Crowley thrusts in deep and hard. Aziraphale’s mind goes white, stars dancing behind his eyes. His whole body tenses. Crowley was thrusting hitting that blessed spot. He can feel his angel’s climax. Brilliant electric shocks to his essence. He is determined to hold out. He takes one of Aziraphale’s hands and holds it tightly. “That’s it, love. I’m here. I’ve got you.” Crowley thrusts through each deliciously painful wave of orgasm until they begin to subside. For a heartbeat, he wonders if he pushed his angel too far, too soon.

Then he feels it, the warmth blooming in his chest. Swelling filling the room around him. Aziraphale is smiling. Eyes closed but his face is bliss. He feels his own release nearing. Aziraphale looks glorious like this. Sated and happy. He feels Aziraphale wrap his legs around his waist and pulls him in, deepening the connection. Crowley’s thrusts become erratic. A hand is touching his face. He looks down. Two blue eyes shining at him. “I love you, Crowley.”

Those words do him in. He is coming, gasping, clinging to Aziraphale. Reality flees from him. His essence singing in exaltation. He is not sure how long he is lost to the world. Yet, as he returns fear plucks at him. “Too much?” he manages between breaths.

Soothing hands run through his hair. “No dearest.”

Crowley huffs a laugh. “I think my research is complete for the moment.” He slides free. He scoops his angel into his arms. His body is lax. Crowley climbs onto the bed. Depositing his angel’s head gently into the hoard of pillows. He lays next to Aziraphale, cradling him in his arms. He presses gentle kisses on his sweat-drenched curls. Aziraphale contented to be held, lays there near to sleep. “I love you so much Aziraphale. Part of me can’t believe this is real.”

“Mmm. Then let me be a mad man. If this isn't reality, I will have none besides this” Aziraphale snuggles closer. “But I am here, and I will always be here. As long as you will have me.”

'As long as you will have me? Eternity, the end of time and beyond. Forever could never be long enough.' “Until the end of God herself.”

Aziraphale hums in response. Crowley understood that sound. His blessed angel was drifting into sleep. He pressed another kiss to the top of his love’s head.

Aziraphale, for the first time since time began, sleeps. Folded into his demon’s arms. Just before Crowley slips off to his own repose he sends Her a silent prayer. ‘Let us have this, forever.’

Somewhere a certain entity smiled, thinking ‘The two idiots took long enough.’ She heard her favourite son and sent them her blessing. They were part of her Divine Plan. The one that mattered anyway. And for all they had done, and for all they were yet to do. They would have Her blessing. For God is ineffable in Her love.

Chapter Text

Monday 26 August, 2019
6:00 am
Soho

 

It was a perfect Monday morning. Warm beams of morning seep through a bookshop’s window. Small particles of dust undulating to the floor, catching light, turning into golden wisps. An angel smiles into his lover’s chest. And a demon breathes in his divine familiarity. Birds call to their mates in the early morning calm. Everything is as it should be.

Crowley stretches, going taught then relaxing back. Pulling his angel flush against him. “I don’t deserve to be this happy, but I’ll take it.” he pressed a long kiss to that ethereal brow. He hears a contented sigh.

“We will just have to disagree to what you are deserving of, my love. For now.” He plants a kiss against the hollow of Crowley’s throat. “Good morning dearest.”

“Good morning angel. So sleep, how was it?” He cracked an eye looking down at his lover. He was bathed in light. Pale curls and skin glowing an otherworldly radiance. Blue eyes slowly flutter up to meet his. 'God help him.' His love’s angelic nature seems to be having an effect on his demonic one. This is the most he has talked to Her since his Fall, and he is completely blaming it on the divine perfection in his arms.

“I see it’s the appeal. The waking, so far, maybe my favourite part.” Another chaste kiss to the bottom of his demon’s chin.

‘Let us have this always.’ Like a jolt of lightning, it strikes him. The most preposterous, absurd, insane, right idea he has ever conceived.

He grabs Aziraphale by the cheeks and plants a firm kiss, on alarmed mouth. “I love you.” another firm kiss. “I love you.” another kiss, tongue brushing the parted seam. “I have to go. I have a plan. So have that perfect ass ready by five.” a deeper hungry kiss. Tongues met then parted. Bottom lip drew between teeth, a sharp exquisite nip, a tongue to sooth. “I have a plan.”

A bit dazed, Aziraphale’s pitch is high. “I love you. Am I permitted to know what this plan entails?”

“And ruin the surprise? I think not.” Another firm kiss. “Be ready by five.” he shoots off from the bed. Nearly skipping to the closet to dress.

Aziraphale watches with appreciation. He is loathed to leave the warmth of his new bed. If it is evil to believe anything other than God alone is perfection, Aziraphale may just be damned. For before him, is such perfection no words are prepared to equate. “Perhaps I will open up the shop to keep myself busy.” He paused cutting his demon a coy look. Getting a scolding smile in return. “Not even a hint?”

“Yes. I love you.” one quick peck and he hurries from the room.

Aziraphale, not wanting to part with his beloved so soon, scrambles from the bed. A robe suddenly covering his state of less than presentable dress. He hurries after the retreating figure. Before Crowley could fully exit the shop Aziraphale calls to him. “Crowley a moment?”

Crowley was standing on the second step when he turned. Aziraphale was already there. He grabbed the silvery scarf. Forcefully pulling his demon into a passionate kiss. His own feet never leaving the threshold. They were forced to lean in, nearly pulling the demon off balance.

Several passers-by gasped at the display. Several others applauded. One even shouted a rather crude encouragement. Aziraphale pulled back slightly, relaxing his grip, allowing Crowley to do the same. “Good-bye, my love.”

Crowley knew full well he looked like a smitten fool. 'Let them all see.' He surged forward claiming those loving lips once more. “It’s only a few hours. Then I am all yours again.”

Aziraphale nods his acquiescence and rises to his full height. “Off you get then. I love you.”

Crowley backed into the intersection arms thrown wide. “I do love nothing in the world so well as you!” he practically yelled O’l Bill’s lines. “I love you with so much of my heart that there is none left to protest!” That should have been Azirphale’s line if this were actually for audience consumption. 'That blush is worth any public theatrics.' He took a dramatic bow before sauntering towards Mayfair. He was in such a state he didn’t even notice the small gathering of onlookers. One woman admonished her partner for lacking in such romantic gestures.

Aziraphale was moved to tears. He hurried back to their bedroom floating on love. He flops back onto the bed, rolls over and buries his face into the lingering warmth and sent left by his demon. Fire, cinnamon, cool damp earth, and sandalwood. He clung to a pillow, wishing it were five. He’s starting to believe humans have the right of it on so many things. He closes his eyes ‘Thank you.’

 Crowley sauntered down the street like a man who just won the lottery. He doesn’t care who sees him smiling like a nutter. He can barely contain his excitement. If there was music he would be singing along. He felt so light that surely a good gust would carry him off. The fourteen-minute walk back to his flat seems to take no time at all.

There in all her glory is his bentley. His second favourite thing in existence. He is nearly cooing over his faithful car while inspecting her. 'Aziraphale was right, not a scratch.' “Good to see you again.” He gives the antique a pat. “We have work to do.”

He climbs in, caressing the steering wheel. A ludicrous attempt to prove to his mind that this is real. He starts the engine and the old machine roars to life. He smiles, reaches for the dial, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Can’t Stop Me Now blaring from the speakers. “Just like ol’ times.” He shifts into first and races through the streets.

It is four forty-five. Crowley knows he said five, but his plan had quite easily come together. He went back to his flat to pace, glare at his plants, before pacing some more. He had everything he needed by noon, but dinner was what was needed for this plan to, well, go to plan.

Now he sat staring at the front doors to where his Heaven resides. He could just hang around inside until Aziraphale is ready. Though he suspects his angel was ready an hour after he left.

He hops from the bentley. A few steps and he was at the door. He notices the shop is dark, and the closed sign is up. 'Maybe Azirphale decided against a mob of customers poking about. If he is still in bed, maybe even naked, that is acceptable too.'

The door was miraculously open. Crowley stepped inside. “Aziraphale?” The shop was indeed dark. Not even a light in the backroom.

The air felt heavy, prickling on his skin. The feeling one would associate with that moment just before being struck by lightning. Something inside Crowley pressed into that sensation, leaving him wanting more.

In hand, Crowley had a dozen roses, and an envelope containing tickets for the best box The Royal Albert Hall had. Sure the event was already sold out, but that was something for humans to worry about. The event wasn’t his thing really, but he would appreciate it for what it was worth. And to see his angel smile at him was reward enough. “Aziraphale? Love? I said be ready by five.” He called out making his way towards the stairs. Each step felt like walking in sand. The weight in the air turning his limbs to led.

Still no answer. “Aziraphale?” he calls out. Surely he hadn’t stepped out. No, he could feel him here. Everywhere to be precise. Pressed into every nook of the shop. It is dizzying as he reaches the stairs. Pressing inside of him, just beneath the surface.

“Aziraphale?” he calls out again. There is a rustling sound coming from the bedroom. 'What is he playing at?'

Crowley ascended the stairs cautiously. Aziraphale was here, what if there was another. A threat Crowley had yet to perceive. If he were a cat and not a snake, his hackles would have stood to attention. He moved silently through the upper floor. The door was slightly ajar to the bedroom. There was no sound. Crowley slowly pushes the door open. His heart pounding in his chest.

The room is sheer chaos. The bed was pushed against the wall. In its place is a mass of pillows, throws, the tartan duvet, feathers and clothing tucked in here and there, and one angel. Wings splayed out across the confusion. Laying on his side, his back to Crowley. He was clad only in a white undershirt, boxers, and tartan socks complete with garters. He was curled in on himself trembling. Whimpering almost inaudibly.

Here the sensation in the air is choking. It takes sheer will, to remain focused on the worrying situation before him.

He places his acquisitions on the dishevelled bed and rushes to his angel’s side. Careful of his wings, he kneels inspecting Aziraphale for any damage to his corporation. When he doesn’t see any from his limited view, he places a hand on a trembling shoulder. “Angel are you alright?” his voice seemed to be struggling. Was it fear, or was the air that oppressive. 'No not oppressive.' That wasn’t quite it. It was inviting, calling to him. This was different than what happens when they make love.

He receives no response beyond the continued whimpers. “Angel, please love. Tell me what’s wrong?” Crowley is beginning to panic. He tentatively rolls Aziraphale onto his back. His angel looked in pain, or was that desire? Two mingled together, worse than their previous exertions.

Pupils nearly fully dilated looking beyond this world. Crowley gently caresses his face. “Talk to me, angel. Tell me what you need.” The sensation constricts, pulling in towards Aziraphale like a star just before it implodes.

A hand touches his. Dark eyes pleading. “I need you.”

Crowley places his hands on either side of his angel’s frame. The air is pulling him, demanding him closer. Crowley bows, lips hovering just above his love’s. There is a strangled sound that pleads to Crowley’s infernal essence. Crowley gently, reverently presses his lips to Aziraphale’s. A hot electric surge stabs through him. He draws a sharp inhalation through his nose. He doesn’t understand what is going on, but something deep within him insists that he does.

Slowly he withdraws. “Help me here angel. I don’t…”

Before he could finish he had a lap full of angel. Clinging to him for dear life. Desperate sobs are muffled by his shoulder. Crowley wraps him in his arms and rocks them. “Please don’t cry. Talk to me love.”

“I need you.” comes a quivering voice. Barely heard.

“I am here angel.” he can feel every atom of his existence screaming for something he doesn’t comprehend. Fingers begin to paw at his back. Where his wings would be if they were in this world. The sobs become desperate, frustrated keens.

“Oh. Oh angel. Shhh shhh. It’s okay.” he rubs his back. Aziraphale wraps his legs around him tightly. He pulls at his jacket, tugging, whimpering. Crowley takes the offending garment off in haste. Aziraphale still isn’t satisfied. His hands take Crowley’s shirt and rips. Crowley is startled by the sudden, rather aggressive act. Aziraphale doesn’t seem to notice. He pulls the shirt free and holds it to his nose.

Crowley is utterly confused when the remnants of his shirt is hastily tucked into the pillows. Aziraphale is back on him, manicured nails digging into his shoulder blades.

'My wings, he wants my wings.' Crowley brings them forth. His angel’s apparent panic to have them subsides. Soft hands run affectionately through the glossy black feathers. Crowley moans at the touch. 'We’ll have to explore this more as well.'

The air expands again, the wood of the shop groans under the press. Crowley realizes this isn’t a feeling, this, all of it, thrumming in the entirety of the bookshop was Aziraphale. His essence calling to Crowley, demanding him to join. It is purely instinctual, at this realization, that Crowley’s essence answers his lover’s demands. Their corporations lay softly intertwined as his own essence slips free.

Finally, not with his corporeal eyes, he sees Aziraphale. His beauty in his natural form was beyond comprehension. All divine light singing an ancient language Crowley was trying to remember.

Aziraphale was nearly too much to behold. If it weren’t for his angel’s unspoken pleas, felt deep within himself, he may have shielded his eyes. Aziraphale pressed against him. Light dancing against Crowley’s darkness. Black as pitch, starlight shimmering at his core. He was hesitant. What Aziraphale was asking had never been done. He withdrew in his uncertainty.

What if their essences couldn’t bond. Bond, he knew then, that is what Aziraphale was attempting. A pair bond to join them for eternity. 'Oh, my precious angel.' “We might destroy each other.” his mind sang to Aziraphale.

“I need you.” came his angel’s reply.

“I don’t want to hurt you.” he pleaded, pulling back more into his corporation.

“Have faith.” it rang in Crowley’s mind. 'Faith, a demon?' And yet it was there without him bidding it so. He tentatively pressed forward. His essence skimming gently against Aziraphale. No burning like consecrated ground. His essence relaxed its boundaries. A soft tendril of night dipped into Aziraphale's impossibly cool light. It was electrifying, but right. He could hear Aziraphale’s accepting sigh as he began to bleed into him. Reaching, pushing against the core of his essence.

It was beyond any earthly pleasure. It was fulfilling in ways humans would never know. Aziraphale accepting him, melding with him. All emotions and thoughts shared. If his essence had the ability to create tears, he would be crying now. The true understanding of Aziraphale’s love for him was overwhelming. 6,000 years of fear, longing, desire to protect, unspoken words, all of it was laid bare before him.

Aziraphale could feel Crowley finally joined with him. His demon held such beauty within. Things too precious to speak aloud. Aziraphale sang his love, echoing through the fabric of creation. Crowley’s love was boundless, woven into that beautiful dark essence. "How could such wonders be damned?' It seemed cruelly unfair. Aziraphale opened his core, calling to his love.

Crowley felt it, he answered in kind. He pushed his core forward. Enveloped in Aziraphale. The world around them disappeared. Nothing existed beyond their joined essence. Aziraphale was as much Crowley as Crowley was Aziraphale. Both sharing and being in the other. Aziraphale heard Crowley’s prayers to Her. 'My blessed demon.' Crowley laughed at them both. 'Blessed indeed.' Both beings sang in unison to their creator. Praise and exaltation were given freely.

Their bonded essences slowly parted. Though there was a connective thread that marked their union. They retreated to their corporations with ease.

Opening their eyes gazing at one another. Hearts filled to bursting. This wasn’t exactly what Crowley had planned. This was far better. Nothing compared to what Aziraphale had just given him.

“Well. I guess you are stuck with me now,” he said pulling Aziraphale in tighter. There was something unfamiliar about Aziraphale’s form. Crowley shifted to look his angel over. 'Well, that’s new.' Aziraphale studied his face, then followed his gaze.

“What in Heaven’s name?” 'Breasts, I have breasts.' He took in the ample swell now straining his undershirt. He brought his hand up to cup one. 'Very real.' He looked to Crowley for an explanation.

“Wa’den’t me.” He said indignantly that he was being blamed for the sudden appearance of, quite generous, mammary tissue.

“I certainly didn’t” he shrieked. “At-at least I don’t think I did.”

“If you don’t like it switch back.” Crowley provided. He himself didn’t care as long as Aziraphale was comfortable. Which appeared he wasn’t.

Aziraphale focused on returning his body to its usual state. Nothing. “Confounded corporation. It won’t go back!” he was panicking. 'What if Crowley was put off by this form?' He’d never taken a feminine appearance before. Easier to blend in with patriarchal society if you are male.

“Shhh. Shhh, love it’s alright. Maybe just a side effect. We’ll figure it out.” He pulls his mate back into his arms. A thought occurred to him. His hand trailed down between them, palming at his lover's pelvis. As he suspected the new bosom wasn’t the only feminine expression.

Aziraphale noticed it as soon as Crowley confirmed it to himself. His eyes went wide. “Oh good Lord.”

“Um…” he had no idea what to say to this turn of events.

“Crowley I am so sorry. I will fix this. I…” his rambling panic was silenced with a kiss.

“Aziraphale I wouldn’t care what effort, if any, you made. As long as I have you and you are happy. I can definitely work with this until we figure it out. And if you choose to remain like this I will love you all the same.”

Aziraphale sighed his relief. 'Crowley has already said as much hadn’t he.' He lifted the band of his boxers to peer down at his new configuration. “Well. Maybe some more experimentation is in order.”

Crowley chuckled and kissed his neck. “We could. Whenever you like. Again, you are stuck with me, angel.”

“Like I ever want to be rid of you.” There was no pretence now. Crowley knew his heart.

“I had, well.” a hand slipped into his pocket, He brought a small velveteen box between them. “Seems there really isn’t much need to ask now.”

Aziraphale’s eyes are glistening, his brilliant smile shining in the din of the bedroom. “Will you ask me anyways. I had always hoped...well you know now I guess.”

Crowley smiled. He did know. Aziraphale wanted this human gesture just as much as he did. He opened the small box with a flip of his thumb. Inside was a black snake. Coiled several times. A single ruby bracketed between its body and head. It wasn’t Aziraphale’s aesthetic per se, but would remind him of who loved him most. “Aziraphale, former Guardian of the Eastern Gate. The First Charmer of Serpents.” Aziraphale giggles, supposing it is true. “Will you do me the greatest of honours, and accept this demon as your husband?”

Aziraphale did cry now. Tears he had no desire to suppress. “Yes, my love. Always. Forever.” he took the hand holding the box in his own and pressed a kiss to his demon’s lips. In one smooth movement, he rolled Crowley on his back. No argument was given. Aziraphale sat up, straddling Crowley’s hips, wiggling until he was seated comfortably. He offered the customary hand. Inviting his beloved to seal the deal, as it were.

Crowley removed the ring from its housing. He gently took Aziraphale’s hand and slid the ring into place. He brought that hand to his lips and kissed the ring, never breaking eye contact. Aziraphale's essence still sang. His wings beat in excitement. His mate, his husband, his love.

“If you don’t like it…” Crowley began to offer before said hand was ripped away.

“No! It is perfection.” Aziraphale studied every minute scale etched into the black metal. “It is you.” He looked back at his husband. “Even when we are apart you will still be with me. Though I would prefer that not be our norm.”

Crowley brought his hand to Aziraphale’s cheek, thumb caressing delicate features. “It won’t be my doing, love.”

Aziraphale leaned forward to kiss his demon when a loud knock stopped him. “We are closed,” he called out. Another series of knocks, more insistent. Crowley patted Aziraphale’s hip for him to saddle off. Crowley scrambled to his feet and darted for the door. Aziraphale again hastily miracled his robe on and followed.

Crowley swung the door open with a growl, “Wot?!” There in the darkness of the city, 'Darkness? How long have we been at it? And why aren't the street lamps on?' Two police officers studied the half-naked angry man before them. Crowley could feel Aziraphale peering over his shoulder.

“Sorry for the inconvenience sir, but we have received calls of strange lights coming from this address. Powers out to the whole area. Wonder if you might know the cause.” said the smaller officer, trying hard not to consider what activities they may have interrupted.

“I am sorry officers, we are just as in the dark as everyone else,” Aziraphale said clutching the neck of his robe.

“Apologies Ma’am. Might we…” There was a sudden screech of brakes behind them. A familiar white delivery truck stopped. Then an equally familiar delivery man made his way to the congregation.

“Evening everyone,” he said with his customary smile. “I have a delivery here for A.Z. Fell and Co.”

Aziraphale came around Crowley looking intrigued. “Just need a signature, Mum.” Aziraphale had almost forgotten, in the interruption, that he in fact appeared as a she in human terms.

“Yes, if you please.” he took the clipboard and signed quickly. Taking the envelope.

“Say I know you.” he smiled at Crowley. “And I believe I met your brother Mum. You bear quite a resemblance.”

Crowley chuckled and received a scolding look in return. “Yeah thanks and all that. Me and my uh...” He looked to Aziraphale who shrugged he didn’t care. “Wife would like to get some rest before work in the morning.”

Leslie smiled and bid them goodnight, before returning to his truck. The officers however remained. “Look if I have any information for you I know how to reach you.”

Aziraphale snapped his fingers and the electricity was restored. “Oh, will you look at that. Probably just a frayed wire. Well, officers have a lovely evening. Tah!” he said slamming the door in the two’s faces.

Aziraphale opened the envelope. Inside was a single short letter.

 

                  Congratulations,

                            It has been a long time coming, but I am glad to finally see you two happy. I had hoped it would have happened sooner, but that’s free will for you. If there is anything you need, you need only to ask. The lovely American witch will be of great service to you in the coming months.

                                                                                                                         All my blessings,
                                                                                                                                      G.

 

“Ineffable plan,” Crowley said resting his chin on Aziraphale’s shoulder so he could read the letter.

“Do you think…” he couldn’t finish that question. Their literal creator watching them...couple.

“Hope She enjoyed the show.” Crowley purred in Aziraphale’s ear.

“You are incorrigible.” he stepped free.

“Would you have me any other way?” he asked. Grabbing Aziraphale by the waist and pulling him back.

“No you wily old serpent. What do you think she meant about the American witch?”

“Book girl? Don’t know.”

“We will have to call on her. See if she has any clues to God’s endless riddles,” he said kissing his husband’s cheek.

“We can go tomorrow.” he offered, wrapping his arms around Aziraphale, careful of the new additions.

“Yes. We will have to explain all this.” he gestured to his body.

“Humans and their hang-ups on gender.” he groaned kissing the sensitive skin behind his angel’s ear.

“Yes, just so. It might be prudent for you to use feminine terminology when we are in public.”

“Only if that’s what you want. Husband, wife, spouse. Makes no nevermind to me.”

“I appreciate that, but I would rather not have to explain celestial physiology, to everyone we encounter.”

“Fair enough. Alright, wife, what the bloody hell time is it e’ny way?”

Aziraphale looked at the large grandfather clock. “Three in the morning.” 'Where has the evening gone?' “Well so much for supper.” he groaned. He was suddenly quite hungry.

“Get dressed. We’ll find something.” Crowley said giving his wife a quick pat on the buttock.

“I don’t think humans would take kindly to a half-naked man sitting in their establishment.” Crowley looked down.

“Oh, I don’t know. Might get better service.” he grinned.

Aziraphale gave him a stern look. “Be that as it may, it isn’t appropriate.”

Crowley shrugs but follows Aziraphale upstairs to dress. Crowley, upon seeing the rags that were once his shirt amongst the bedding, miracles himself a black t-shirt. His coat may have been spared, but Aziraphale nearly pounced on him, when he tried to retrieve it.

“So sorry. Don’t know what came over me.” Aziraphale still clung to the jacket.

“Yeah, sure.” Crowley resigned himself to never seeing his jacket again. “What is all this angel?” he gestured to the heap before them.

“Not sure. It just suddenly came over me. I was in bed, then I found myself making this. Couldn’t stop.” Aziraphale can feel the blush staining his cheeks.

“Looks like...like some kind of nest or som’then.” admittedly it was quite comfortable, be it a bit impractical.

“I… I can’t bring myself to get rid of it. I don’t want to.” Aziraphale looked very concerned.

“Fine by me.”

Aziraphale placed the jacket back into its haphazard arrangement. He took his pants and began to pull them on. Crowley was able to finally get a good look at his mate. Aziraphale was far more feminine than just breasts, and female genitalia. His hips were wider, waist still plump, but his breast gave him a fine figure. His features have softened slightly, if that was possible. He seemed to be emitting a soft glow.

“Confounded trousers,” Aziraphale grumbled when he couldn’t pull them past his hips. He let out a heavy sigh of exasperation. “I can not change back, and my clothing isn’t tailored to this shape.”

“I could just…” he started, but the look of horror told him he better not finish that statement.

“No. I will simply have to purchase something to accommodate my new...state.”

“And what are you going to wear in the interim? You can’t go out in that. And, you’ll be needing a bra, if you don’t want to draw attention.”

“I think I am in need of education in the nuances of female dress.”

“It’s not so bad, once you get used to it.” Crowley snapped and Aziraphale was in a sensible comfortable outfit. A loose powder blue t-shirt, fitted denim trousers, more female appropriate undergarments, and a beige oversized cashmere cardigan. Oxfords were substituted with tartan ballerina flats. Aziraphale smiled in delight.

“Oh this will do quite nicely.” he smoothed his hands over the cashmere. “Where too dearest?”

The pair found a rather good establishment that specialized in late-night service. The angel ate his fill, while the demon watched in appreciation. Both unable to reign in their happiness. All strange happenings aside, they had each other, and that was what mattered.

Chapter Text

Tuesday 26 August 2019
7:00 am
London

 

They had retired to what Crowley was referring to as their nest. Dove had been initially been used as a mocking term for Aziraphale’s apparent avian compulsion. Somewhere through the night, it had turned into a term of endearment. They slept, cradled by clouds of tartan and white. Both their scents mingled amongst the linens. Crowley had suggested sleeping in the bed, but Aziraphale would not quiet enough to sleep until they were nestled in his creation.

“Dove, you want to shop for new clothes, still?” His hands languidly carding through downy curls.

“I do, and I would very much like to purchase you a ring. It is customary you know.” He hugs his demon.

“Clothing and jewellery. Got it. Anything else?”

“I could go for a bite. Something quick might be best. Though not one of those rapid food dispensaries they dare call a restaurant.” he wrinkled his nose at the thought.

“Fast food. Your so fussy angel. What if I had my wicked heart set on a McWhatever?” He said with a taunting smirk.

“Fussy? I dare say, you know I have my standards.” He huffed. “You may have that rubbish they deign to call food and I will find something along the way.”

“Ha! Fussy. Don’t worry. No drive-through. Bentley would be pissed at any rate.” he thought about it. His spouse and his car. Spoiled, needy tyrants to his heart. Exactly how he likes it.

 

Crowley chauffeured them to a cafe he knew Aziraphale liked most. Aziraphale savoured several of their warm pastries, three cups of tea, and had them do up a box for their travels. Crowley chided him about what the term quick actually meant. Which got him the most adorable pout. 'Spoiled.'

Crowley figured, their first leg of the shopping excursion, was best to tackle Aziraphale’s new undergarments. He decided on an upscale boutique in hopes there would be fewer humans milling about. Aziraphale was not overly enthused about discussing his unmentionables in public.

A lovely young woman, who identified herself as Margeret, welcomed them to the shop. Crowley explained what Aziraphale needed. Then to the side, a few things he was interested in, “for my wife.” The woman showed Crowley to a seat near the dressing room and set to work.

Aziraphale was first measured. Though young Margeret was pleasant, he still found it difficult to watch, as the measuring tape was pulled around his bust. “Thirty-six D.” she informed the blonde. “Would you like to try on a few? See what you like best?”

“Yes, I suppose I should.” Aziraphale agreed, cutting Crowley a look of apprehension.

Margeret hurried off and began pulling the appropriate sizes. The redhead had insisted on both comfortable and stylish options. Lace, silk, net, straps, cotton, and satin in all variety of colours was brought to the charming couple. She popped the bounty into a fitting room and left them too it.

Crowley was idly scrolling through his phone when he heard an exasperated sigh. “Everything alright in there, love?”

“These accursed, confounding clasps.” how women got themselves ready in the morning without assistance was beyond him.

Crowley knew the frustrations bras could be, especially the first time. He stood up and went to the door. “Need a hand?”

The door swung open. Aziraphale’s eyes pleaded for rescue. “Please my love.” Crowley gestured for him to turn around. Warm hands took either side of the offending garment and with little effort secured it. Left hand slid around to grasp the underwire. The other slipped under the soft fabric, much to Aziraphale’s surprise, to help with final adjustments.

Aziraphale gasped as his breast was manipulated into place. Crowley intentionally drew his hand over the sensitive nipple on his retreat. He kissed Aziraphale’s shoulder before switching sides. This time he pressed himself against his love as he did. Aziraphale for propriety's sake was stifling his reaction, but the warm pulses rolling off of him said enough.

“You fiend.” Aziraphale scolded as Crowley hugged him close.

“Necessary evil. You have a lot going on there,” he said before planting another kiss to exposed shoulder.

They both looked in the full-length mirror. The sheer pink fabric and floral appliques left nearly nothing to the imagination. After the discovery, Crowley hadn’t seen the new additions, not fully. Like everything about his angel, they were perfect. A hand ghosted over the fabric. Aziraphale shivered in his arms.

“I like thisss one.” a kiss to soft neck. “Wonder if it is a set?”

Crowley’s lustful gaze made him yearn for the privacy of the bookshop. There was a new sensation between his legs that demanded it. Aziraphale focused instead on the task at hand. “I like this as well. Stay? Help me with the rest?”

‘How can I refuse?’ The door was closed and they began working through the options. To Crowley’s delight, the more fashionable options were favoured. Ones that accentuated Aziraphale’s new curves. Each time they stopped to admire the new brassiere, a chaste kiss here, a loving caress there and they were done. Aziraphale redressed and exited the room with their selections. Margeret was there, probably making sure nothing untoward was happening behind closed doors. She took the lot and deposited them on the counter.

Next came the panty selection. Luckily most of the selected bras did have a match. The ones that didn’t were matched well enough. Aziraphale lifted one lacy number for Crowley’s inspection. “These seem to be faulty. Why on Earth is there a slit in the bottom?”

Crowley fought back his amusement. 'You are too adorable.' Crowley snatched them and added them to the growing pile. “I will jusssst have to demonssstrate.” Unbeknownst to Aziraphale, Crowley had added an additional garment to their quarry. Just in case Aziraphale ever agreed to such a thing.

Hosiery and garters were added without so much as an explanation on their necessity. Aziraphale figured Crowley knew best. Nightgowns, a plush robe, and a satin floral one was also selected. Once they were finished they returned to the counter. Margeret began scanning the tags, folding and placing each garment into bags with care. When she was down to a few items she looked up at her patrons.

“Do you need any shapewear?” ‘Sensitive subject but a common question in this trade.’

“Shapewear?’ Aziraphale questioned. He wasn’t familiar with the term.

“You know, to smooth everything out. We have a nice selection of….”

She was cut off abruptly. “No.” the redhead looked stern, even with sunglasses covering his eyes. “You are perfection. Don’t go stuffing it away in some ludicrous girdle,” he said pulling the blonde closer.

Margeret nearly melted at the tenderness of it all. The blonde was beautiful, voluptuous in all the right ways, but she had seen women half her size insist on such things. And her husband was the one refusing, demanding she not cover up all of herself. Margeret decided then to never offer shapewear again.

Their purchases made they left. Crowley loaded the bags into the back of the bentley and they were off.

The rest of the shopping went much the same. Grabbing a hoard of options, Crowley assisting in the dressing room, kisses and caresses exchanged. Aziraphale mostly selected trousers, though Crowley did manage to persuade him to accept several skirts. One even tartan.

As it was nearing autumn most of the clothing was cosy and warm. Aziraphale appreciated this, purchasing more than his share of coats, cardigans, and jumpers. Though he suspected Crowley’s cashmere creation would be favoured over the rest.

Shoes were another matter entirely. Aziraphale needed no assistance in this department. He had always loved shoes. They spent an hour alone as Aziraphale fawned over the endless options. In the end, there was a wall of boxes in the bentley. Sensible flats, elegant tasteful heels, even several pairs of boots appropriate for the coming winter.

“Well, I think that should about do it,” Aziraphale said slightly embarrassed at the copious amount of bags taking up the rear of the bentley. There was just one purchase that Aziraphale had been fretting over the whole morning.

He had placed a call to a jeweller. Giving specific instructions on what he wanted. The man said he would get to work, and with a little divine intervention, there was no mishaps or delays. Aziraphale provided the address and Crowley drove.

Once they reached their destination Aziraphale instructed Crowley to stay with the car. He hurried inside without so much as a look back, hands wringing with anxiety. The old shop owner greeted Aziraphale, confirming this was the woman he had spoken with earlier in the day.

“Here Ma’am. It might be my finest work.” he sat a trey on the counter. There, nestled in the small box was exactly what they agreed upon. Two golden wings made the band, at the centre was a flawless diamond.

“Exquisite.” Aziraphale agreed. He paid the man, thanked him profusely, and exited the shop. The man was secretly blessed with long healthy years, success, and his son would find the help needed for sobriety.

Aziraphale was much relieved when he reentered the bentley. He turned smiling with anticipation and presented the box. Crowley smiled, took the box and opened it. He stared at the ring for a long moment, almost causing Aziraphale to grow concerned. Crowley then leaned in and kissed his angel with 6,000 years of love. “It’s you.”

Aziraphale kissed him back because to do otherwise was unthinkable. He retrieved the box and removed the ring, grabbing for Crowley’s hand. “Anthony J. Crowley, Serpent of Eden, Thwarter of the Apocalypse, my constant love, will you be my husband?”

“Forever.” he echoed Aziraphale’s words from the night before. Aziraphale slid the ring on that elegant finger and held his hand tight.

“Where would I be without you?” Aziraphale was near tears again.

Crowley pulled his sweet, fussy angel into him. Kissing his forehead. “The same place I would be. A miserable bloody mess.” He hugged him tightly for a long moment. “Right. We better get a wiggle on if we are going to see book girl today.”

Aziraphale settled into Crowley’s side, hand resting against his chest. Crowley stroking his arm as they drove towards Tadfield. Antonio Vivaldi’s I Was Born to Love You serenading them.

Chapter Text

Tuesday 27 August 2019
3:18 pm
Tadfield

 

As Jasmine Cottage came into view, Crowley gently shrugged his shoulder to wake up Aziraphale. ‘He’s really taking to sleeping.’ “We’re here love.” He pulled in front of the little gate.

Aziraphale stirred and buried his face in Crowley’s side. “You drive too fast,” he whined.

“Angel, I have been driving ten miles under the whole way.” Pampered little Principality. “C’mon. Up you get.”

“I feel so...I guess tired.” he sat up and rested his head against the seat.

“We’ve had a crazy few years.
Bound to have some effect on even ethereal beings.” he said kissing his cheek. “Let’s get this over with.”

Crowley exited the bentley and went to the boot retrieving the bottle of wine and pastries, Aziraphale insisted were required. He ran around to Aziraphale’s side and opened the door. 'Little brat, has fallen back asleep.' He knew just the thing. He leaned and pressed a long kiss to suddenly awake mouth. “Come on sleeping beauty time to meet with a witch.”

Aziraphale groaned and let Crowley pull him from the bentley. He straightened his cardigan and smoothed down his shirt. In the process remembering he was different than the last time, he had seen said witch, mere days ago. Crowley ushered him on to the property with a hand at the small of his back. They were near the entrance when Crowley recoiled and backed away. Aziraphale turned and saw Crowley grasping at his chest.

“Dearest?” he asked with concern.

“Fucking witch.” he hissed. He felt the burn deep in his essence.

“What is the matter?” Aziraphale searched the grounds for any threat to his demon.

“The bloody horseshoe. I can’t go inside.” He gestured angrily to the glowing hot iron.

The two had drawn the attention of the pair inhabiting Jasmine Cottage. Anathema opened the door. “Can I…” She recognized them instantly. “Oh, the book thieves. And…” She studied the blonde. She was sure the blonde was a man, but after this week who knew. “Forgive me for asking but weren’t you uh?....” There was no polite way to ask, so perhaps she shouldn’t.

Already prepared for such lines of questioning, “Ah well, you see angels don’t really have gender. So, my corporeal form can manifest as whatever I like. Though at the moment it rather seems it is out of my control.” That came out much easier than he’d imagined.

“Ok, what are you doing here?” This pair seemed to attract chaos. From their two interactions, Anathema was sure they weren’t here for a social call.

“Oh. Well. I received a letter. It says...well. It seems I am to be in need of you.” he provided with a smile. ‘This is all very awkward.’

The blonde looked uncomfortable. She realized she was being rude not extending them an invitation to enter her home. “I’m not even going to argue. Come in.”

The blonde turned towards the redhead with a worried expression. The man was pacing like a caged lion at dinner time. “What’s the matter with him?” she inquired.

“It appears to be that horseshoe." he pointed, trying to hide his worry. "It seems to be preventing him from coming near your home. He’s a demon, you see.” He hoped the news wouldn’t come as too much of a shock.

“Yeah, could you fucking do som’thin about all that?” again Crowley angrily gestured towards the offending charm.

“You’re a demon? Why would I let a demon into my cottage?” she glared at him.

Crowley groaned. Human were petulant children at the best of times. “Demon yes, interested in harming you witch, no. I bloody well helped stop Armageddon.” he once again paced a path in the grass.

“He isn’t an evil demon I assure you.” Aziraphale offered with a smile. “More of a prankster really.” The groan from behind him let him know his husband didn’t like the title of prankster.

Anathema looked from the blonde to the angry redhead. The blonde smiled again and went back to the other. He took the box of pastries and wine with a pitiful look. The demon stopped pacing and sighed. His head bowing in some sort of defeat. The blonde rushed over and offered the items.

“I don’t believe we were introduced at the airbase. My name is Aziraphale, I am an angel, a Principality to be specific. Former Guardian of the Eastern Gate of Eden.”Aziraphale bowed slightly. “This is Anthony J. Crowley. The Serpent of Eden.” He held a hand out towards the demon. Who gave a flippant wave and an annoyed sneer.

Anathema gaped at the two. An angel and a demon. She would think such a thing unbelievable, but she knew better by now. The angel smiled again holding up the offerings. “Pleasure. Anathema. Anathema Device. And this is Newton Pulsifer.” she shot a thumb over her shoulder to the young man lurking there.

“A pleasure. We are honoured to finally be acquainted with you both.”

Anathema considered her guests. 'They had, in fact, opposed the Apocolypse. And this demon was... friends? Lovers? With an angel. If he wanted to harm anyone he had plenty of time at the airbase, or ride home in the old car.' “Fine,” she said taking the gifts handing them to Newt. “I expect him to be on his best behaviour.” she gave Crowley a stern look.

“I’m retired.” he groused.

Anathema didn’t know what that meant, but turned and asked Newt to remove the horseshoe over the door. Once this was accomplished she invited the two in. Aziraphale thanked her graciously. Crowley glared at her. Though he followed the angel like a sullen puppy.

They sat in the living room. Newton and Anathema in chairs opposite the entities on the couch. Anathema had suspected the pair that ran her over were a couple. The rings on their fingers may suggest a more formal bond. “You mentioned a letter.”

“Yes.” Aziraphale drew an envelope from his pocket. “Here we are.”

Anathema took the envelope and read the letter inside. “I don’t understand.” The angel deflated.He had hoped the witch would answer the riddle. “Who’s G?”

“That would be God,” he informed the young woman.

“God... sent you a letter?” she looked at the angel in disbelief.

Newton listened to the exchange, straining to see the letter. ‘How does God send a letter? In the usual post? This is all very strange.’

“Ts’more than anyone has gotten out of Her in centuries.” groaned Crowley. His arms crossing, leg flung over his knee. He was ready to leave.

“God is a woman?” she asked in surprise.

Crowley was again right. Humans were vastly far too preoccupied with gender. Genitalia was only necessary for reproduction, though it was part of human perception he supposed. “Well God is whatever They choose to be. Being the creator They don’t per se have a gender. Though most of us think of Her as a mother, of sorts.”

“I suppose that makes sense.” She would think more on it later. “What is she congratulating you on?” Anathema asked looking over the paper in her hand.

“Well, um. Hmmm.” how to explain, delicately, celestial pair bonding to a human.

“We got married.” Crowley offered, taking Aziraphale’s hand.

“Married?” that confirms the theory about the rings.

“Yes, quite.” Aziraphale smiled at Crowley, who softened. Crowley squeezed his hand. “It seems God is approving of our situation. And you are to be of assistance. Though I can’t puzzle out how.”

“I see.” She thought about their situation. “Do...has any of… Is marriage common?”

“Not since before time existed. It fell out of fashion after the Fall, I assume.” Crowley answered studying his lap.

Aziraphale had never heard of any angels pair-bonding before, though there were rumours of such things. He wondered if Crowley had once had an another. The bond severed by the Fall. ‘A question for another time.’ “To my limited knowledge, it is not done anymore. Well…” until now went unspoken.

“Certainly not an angel and a demon at any rate,” Crowley said smerking at his angel.

“So...So you two?” Newt started, but couldn’t finish the question.

“Yep,” Crowley nodded.

“And well, I found myself stuck like this.” Aziraphale gestured to his body.

“You two got married and you turned into a woman?” Anathema asked incredulously.

“Well um. Nothing so simple. We um...After the um...bonding. I woke up like this.” Aziraphale could feel his cheeks burning.

“You had sex and you woke up female?” Anathema was perplexed. None of this made any sense.

Aziraphale went rigid. He couldn’t look at the humans, who were currently staring at him. “Not sex, well... not the...uh... human understanding of the matter. A merging of...souls I guess.” This was a conversation he had hoped to avoid.

“Okay we will pretend I understand.” she studied the angel. “Any other changes?”

“Not that I am aware,” he said, thankfully.

“Do you want some tea?” Newt had to find a reason to leave the room. His mind still hadn’t quite recovered from Saturday. He took the box in hand and went towards the kitchen. Without so much as an affirmation.

Anathema mulled over the information, what little there was. 'An angel and demon pair-bonded, God approves, God said I would help. What exactly was there to help? The angel being stuck as female?' A thought came to her. “I can read auras. Would you mind if I take a look at yours?” She had snuck a peek at the airbase. She knew they weren’t human, but never ventured a guess as to what. The redhead’s physical form was black mist. His aura had been streaked with vibrant yellow, dark blue, pink, vibrant red, deep red, and violet all encased in gold. The angel’s form was a brilliant cool light, same misty texture. His aura was pink, pale yellow, orange-yellow, and light green.

“If you think it may help,” Aziraphale answered for them both.

Anathema focused. Aziraphale was still that same cool light. This time however he radiated pink, brilliant yellow, the orange-yellow was still there. Entwined around it was a dazzling ring of silver and orange. It shimmered, radiant. Crowley was also that same darkness. Now he also radiated pink, brilliant yellow, orange, vibrant red, and light green. Between them was a golden threat, linking them. It was solid yet flexible but rooted deep within each of them.

She didn’t realize until she came back from the reading that she had been holding her breath. She let out a shaking expiration. She felt overwhelmed. “It’s beautiful. There is a golden threat connecting you two.” She was still staring between them, no longer seeing the threat, but feeling it. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

“Our bond is much more finite than humans. Eternal life and all.” Crowley stated as if it weren’t the most miraculous thing to happen to either of them.

“I see.” there was no sarcasm. It was remarkable. Two star crossed lovers bound together for eternity. “Very Shakespearian.”

"Without the whole teen suicide bit.” he groused. He looked towards his angel. “I told Bill that part was ridiculous.”

“Wait you knew William Shakespeare?” These two could make for interesting dinner guests. The history they must have been privileged to.

“Prat. Decent enough play write, though some of it was plagiarized.” he winked at Aziraphale.

“Without Crowley, Hamlet would not be the beloved play it is today.” Aziraphale turned towards Crowley hand on his knee.

“Don’t say it. You are welcome. Anything to make you happy.” The last bit fell out on its own accord. Though he couldn’t bring himself to care anymore what others thought.

Anathema wanted to melt. Perhaps he wasn’t such a bad demon after all. The quiet was interrupted by Newt delivering a tray of tea, cream, sugar, and the gifted pastries. “How do you take your tea?”

“Two sugars.” Answered Aziraphale with a pleasant smile.

“None for me thanks,” Crowley said reclining back on the couch. They were going to be here a while.

Anathema and Aziraphale rattled on about the averted apocalypse. Aziraphale had eaten all of the pastries brought for the humans, though nobody seemed to care. Anathema listened intently to the difference between angels and demons. Which Crowley noted was somewhat generous on his side. Probably his fault for not representing his kind’s true nature well. The events, since the Apocolypse failed, were missing the mention of their swap. They delicately discussed the bonding process. Notably, leaving out how Aziraphale ripped his favourite shirt and refused to return his jacket. When, Aziraphale appeared to be settling in, to give a detailed account of the last 6,000 years Crowley cleared his throat.

“It’s getting late, angel. We should be getting on.” He rubbed gently at his angel’s lower back.

Outside the sun was beginning to set. “Yes. Time seems to have rather gotten away from me.”

Crowley stood first, assisting Aziraphale. “My number is in your phone. If you come up with anything give us a ring.”

“It was lovely meeting you two again. I hope to hear from you soon Miss Device. Newton.” He gave a nod to the adorable humans. He was growing quite fond of them.

Anathema checked her phone. There, in her contacts, was, in fact, a picture of the redhead with “The Demon Crowley” as the name. “How? Nevermind. I will do some research. Though I don’t think there is really a precedence for what is going on with you.”

“It is kind enough for you to offer.” smiled Aziraphale. Newt and Anathema stood to see them out when there came a knock at the door.

Newt went to answer. Aziraphale gaped at the same delivery man from the previous evening. “E’llo sir. Got a package here for Anathema Pulsifer.” Anathema rushed over and took the parcel. “Sign here Miss.” Anathema signed and took the package into the kitchen.

“Oh!” Leslie exclaimed. He noticed the couple from the bookshop. “Small world i’nit.?”

“Annoyingly so.” Groaned Crowley. 'This is going to be a thing.'

“Yeah. You all have a lovely night.” He smiled before heading home to Maud.

“Shit!” shrieked Anathema from the kitchen. Newt rushed over to her. He saw a stack of old parchment. “Agnes knew. Of course, she did.”

Aziraphale peeked into the kitchen. The name Agnes spurred his interest. “Agnes Nutter?”

“My ancestor.” Anathema groaned. “She had a box of prophecies delivered several days ago.”

“Oh?” Now the young woman had his full attention.

“I burned them,” she said flatly.

“YOU WHAT?!” Aziraphale nearly shouts. His eyes went wide. ‘Burning the works of Agnes Nutter? Such a thing should be a crime.’

“I burned them. I didn’t want to live bound to prophecies anymore.”

Aziraphale was near hyperventilating. “I understand the desire to live by one’s own ideals. But burning something as important as…”

A hand gripped his shoulder bringing him out of his fit. “What my angel means is, if you come across any book, or piece of literature you don’t want, bookworm here would gladly take it off your hands.”

“Well, yes. Bookworm? Really dearest?” he cut his demon an annoyed glare.

“Good because it says give these to you.” Anathema thrust the manuscript at Aziraphale.

“To me?” Aziraphale felt honoured, so honoured he wasn’t able to take the offering without confirmation he was meant to.

“If you had read past the title page descendant,” Anathema read aloud.”You would have known I intended for you to give my prophecies to the fussy angel.”

Crowley burst into laughter. Aziraphale cut him a scolding glare. Crowley simply laughed all the more. “I hardly see what you are making such a spectacle of yourself for, love.” Love was said in a way Crowley knew he was pressing his luck.

“Sorry angel. Agnes was… what did you say? Oh! On the money.” Another fit of laughter. Both Aziraphale and Anathema did not look pleased. Crowley finally composed himself to simply grinning his amusement.

“Here.” The parchment was thrust toward Aziraphale. “Take them.”

“Oh, thank you Miss Device. I will not squander your generosity. These will be safe in my care.” He took the papers, holding them to his chest.

“Just keep her prophecies away from me. I want nothing to do with them,” she said sternly. Newton came up to stand at her side.

“I understand.” Aziraphale wanted to be back at his shop to study his new acquisition. He turned to his smirking husband and cut him another disapproving look. “You better be grateful I love you.” He tucked the pages under his arm before turning back to Anathema and her young man. “Thank you for being so accommodating. We best be off.”

Anathema and Newt escorted them out. Newt waving them farewell. Back in the bentley Aziraphale all but fell into Crowley’s side. “Angel?”

“I am sorry. I feel quite drained.” his face scrunched.

“Probably just ready to be home.” 'Home?' They were bonded but Crowley hadn’t even given their living arrangements a thought. The flat was more of a home than the shop as far as layout, but the shop was where the nest was. Where they spent hours talking, laughing, pestering each other. Where Aziraphale’s horde of books was. ‘Wonder how Aziraphale would feel about moving my plants in?’

“Indeed. I am starving.” 'That is new.' Aziraphale felt like his nonexistent stomach was eating itself. He enjoyed food, but never truly felt like he needed it.

“We’ll order in when we get back. What are you in the mood for?”

“Roast and Yorkshire Pudding.” Aziraphale felt his mouth water at the thought.

“I think I can manage that. And after, we are going to take a bath.” he kissed those graceful curls.

“That does sound lovely.” he yawned. 'Yawned? What in Heaven’s nine circles? Hunger? Exhaustion?' These were human needs, but right now he was feeling run down.

Crowley hadn’t even cleared the village by the time Aziraphale was once again tucked into his side asleep. Ludwig van Beethoven’s It’s a Kind of Magic softly filling the cabin.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 8
Tuesday 27 August 2019
10:00 pm
Soho

Back at the bookshop Aziraphale quickly has his nose buried in the pages on his desk. He meticulously takes notes, which are quickly outnumbering the actual documents. Their acquisitions brought in and tidily put into their closet. Crowley prepared cocoa before leaving his angel to be consumed by research. He knew Aziraphale well enough to know he would have ample time to procure dinner.

Crowley returned with his bounty, glasses removed once through the door. He had gone to Rules, the oldest restaurant in London. Established in 1798, making it just a bit older than the bookshop. He had the expected roast and Yorkshire pudding, though it wasn’t on the menu. They made it for him all the same. In fact, carry out wasn’t done either, yet here he was a hamper full to bursting. Along with said main fair, he had beetroot and orange salad with goat’s cheese and mint, grilled queen scallops with orange rosemary butter, and a particularly decadent looking melting chocolate tart with raspberry compote. It was more than requested but he figured it would be appreciated all the same.

He didn’t expect much in the way of a formal greeting upon his return. What he really didn’t expect was to find his angel face down in parchment, slightly snoring. He set the food down on the sofa and went to Aziraphale. He gently brushed an errant soft curl away from relaxed features. He didn’t wake his angel immediately, he simply looked on. ‘I am the luckiest bastard in existence.’

Crowley leaned down and pressed a kiss to the side of Aziraphale’s mouth. This earned him a sleepy smile. “Crowley.” was sighed in such a way it made the demon’s essence ache. He knelt beside his angel and watched as the soft smile faded back into sleep. Crowley didn’t want to disturb the scene before him. Aziraphale sleeping peacefully made him weak. His hand returned to alabaster strands. “O you, So perfect and so peerless, are created of every creature’s best. Hear my soul speak. Of the very instant that I saw you, Did my heart fly at your service.”

Tender sleep-filled eyes flutter open, ‘Your eyes are so beautiful. I wish you would never cover them.’ “Hello, husband.” Aziraphale yawned, stretching a bit before sitting up. “Did you just quote Ferdinand?”

“Nope. Quoted m'self. Bill took my drunken ramblings and put it in his play.” he stood offering Aziraphale his hand.

Aziraphale gave him a lazy smile before taking the offered hand. Crowley pulled his angel to standing. Aziraphale rested his head on Crowley’s chest as his demon held him close. “Come what sorrow can, It cannot countervail the exchange of joy, That one short minute gives me in his sight.” Aziraphale intones.

Crowley chuckled, “I think we need a lawyer. Seems William’s estate owes us royalties.”

Aziraphale chuckled. Perhaps one day they would sit down and discover just how much of their influence inspired the playwright. Aziraphale caught a whiff of something scrumptious. “Something smells divine.”

“Oh, that’ll be the food,” Crowley said releasing Aziraphale.

"Oh, thank you, Crowley." Aziraphale placed a single peck on his husband’s lips. "You take such good care of me. This has been a wonderful day."

"Wonderful? You hate shopping, and I was attacked by a horseshoe." 'It was a wonderful day, long but good. I want a million more days like today.' The two existing in the open. Living as they pleased. Aziraphale smiling at him, kissing him, sharing the world with him.

"Yes, well, be that as it may I still enjoyed today. And I don't hate shopping. Especially when I have such a lovely companion to assist me." 'There beside me, no fear of being found out.' It was everything he wanted and more.

"Downgrade me to a companion, did you?" this was said playfully in Aziraphale’s ear.

"Oh, you are most right love. How horrid of me." He clears his throat and begins again. "Especially when I have my guiding star, the pinnacle of divine expression, my one perpetual devotion in the desert of time there to provide succour." ‘I can be dramatic too, my love.’

Crowley knows he is blushing. ‘You have to know what that shit does to me. Little menace, is what you are.’ "Yeah, companion was easier to get out. And it’s infernal, not divine." Crowley kisses his angel’s cheek.

“So says you.” ‘I know you still pray, more than me in fact.’

“C’mon I got your roast and pudding,” he said taking the hamper in hand. Crowley begins to lead them towards the stairs. Aziraphale stops when he realizes Crowley’s intention.

“Darling, might we eat here? I still have so much work to do.” he pouts.

“Angel, I found you asleep on your work. It is time for a break. Have some supper, drink some wine. The old witch’s prophecies will still be here when you are done.” he hugged his angel. “Besides I do believe I am still owed that bath.”

‘No manuscript is more precious than you.’ “You are right, of course. Supper, wine, and a bath. How very domestic.” he gave a little wiggle.

“You can never truly domesticate a snake.” retorted Crowley with a sly grin.

“No?” ‘I’ll take that bet dearest husband.’ Aziraphale stepped almost past his cocksure demon. He stops, placing a hand on his husband’s chest. He looked from his hand, to lean throat, to the quickly fading smirk. His eyes linger on that mouth he knows so well. “Kiss me, my love.”

Crowley felt the desire crash into him. He drew Aziraphale into his arms, nearly dropping the hamper. Their mouths met, tongues entwining, echoing each other’s moans. Aziraphale took a page out of Crowley’s book and drew his lip between his teeth, before releasing. His demon looked dazed. ‘Good.’ “Come, I would hate to eat a tepid supper.” He shot Crowley a coquettish smile over his shoulder as he made for the stairs.

‘Right food. Get it together.’ Crowley followed mind lost to later diversions. ‘Wait.’ Just as Aziraphale ascended the first step Crowley stopped. “Oi!”

“Yes, dearest?” he turned in mock surprise.

“You right bastard.” ‘You played me like a fool. I’m impressed.’

“Well, my dear, there are exceptions to almost any rule. I am the original Charmer of Serpents, after all.” he took his husband’s scarf in hand, idly playing with the tassels. He looked coyly through his lashes at his demon. “Would you have me any other way?”

“Never.” this was growled deep in his throat. ‘Oh, you most delicious of temptations. Domesticate me at your pleasure.’

They went to their little flat above the shop. A newly added dinette was now in the corner of the bedroom, complete with a tartan table cloth and formal setting for two. Aziraphale attempted to place a candle in the centre, only to find Crowley banishing all candles in the shop away. This earned him a puzzled look.

“No open flames. Ever.” he swallowed hard on the lump of memory. “Please.”

Aziraphale studied his expression. Crowley rarely let himself be seen like this, vulnerable and scared. There was a battle going on inside that mind. “Might I ask why?”

‘You died, and I might as well had.’ “I...when the shop...I just don’t want to leave anything to chance.” he sat at the table, face buried in his hands. The fire danced in his mind. The burning pages floating in the updraft. Agnes Nutter’s book the only thing left. ‘Never again.’

“Oh, I see.” what he saw was shame, fear, helplessness eating at his demon. He saw, during their bonding, how devastated Crowley had been after the fire. His heart ached for his husband. Crowley blamed himself. In the time before Aziraphale found him, he drank himself to numb the pain. It was still there, however. He blamed himself for their fight, for pushing Aziraphale too far. Causing Aziraphale to pull away. Again Aziraphale wanted to reverse time and give his former self a proper scolding.

Crowley blamed himself for not rushing over at Aziraphale’s call, hanging up without hearing him out. Which was silly as he was busy not dying himself. He blamed himself for not getting there soon enough. He had concluded initially that Hell had sussed them out and set the shop alight with hellfire, destroying Aziraphale, seeking their vengeance. He blamed Aziraphale’s assumed death on him being a demon. That, if he had never Fallen, to begin with, they could have loved each other openly. He had such hatred for himself and thought so little of his worth.

Aziraphale wanted to cry for his demon, but that was not what his husband needed. He needed to hear the truth of the events. Not the twisted story he was still, most likely believing. “Crowley I think we need to talk.”

Crowley nodded, stood robotically, unlading the hamper. He set the food out on the little table. His mood had shifted so suddenly it left him at a loss. He focused on his task to avoid the pit that was trying to pull him under. He didn’t want to burden Aziraphale with his ‘Stupidity.’

When everything was arranged, except the tart which remained hidden in the hamper, Crowley sat. “Thank you, love.” Aziraphale took a bottle of red in hand and poured them both a glass. Crowley’s was all but forced into his hand. “Now then. Crowley, I understand you have an incorrect understanding of what happened here, with the fire. Though I am not certain exactly the precipitating cause of said fire, I do know this.” his hand reached across the table resting on Crowley’s “None of it was your fault.”

Crowley’s eyeshot up in terror. Instead of allowing his husband to stew in his self-hatred Aziraphale continues, “I had opened the communication portal. I was attempting to speak reason with the Almighty. Well, you can imagine how well that went. The Metatron is like the rest. Anyway, Sargent Shadwell let himself into my shop. I was trying to keep the old fool from getting himself killed by accidentally stepping into the circle. Turns out the exact thing I was trying to prevent him from doing, I accomplished for myself. Bob’s your uncle, discorporation.”

‘Shadwell, the little louse.’ He considers paying the human a visit to put the fear of Crowley into him. “Still, I should have been there.” Crowley diverted his eyes. Shame clawed at him. Those compassionate blue orbs speaking to him of love and tenderness. He couldn’t look at his angel.

“Well, I didn’t make myself readily available now did I.” he tightened his hand on his husband’s. ‘I pushed and pushed you away. What more could you have done?’

‘I should have refused to leave you. We had hours before the end and I was throwing a tantrum because you wouldn’t run away with me.’ “Not the point.”

“And what is the point?” ‘Keep him talking. He needs this.’

“Shouldn’t have acted that way. Told you I wouldn’t even think about you.” ‘My last words to you. That I didn’t care enough to even give you a thought. If you had died then, thinking I felt that way. You would have died all because you fell in love with a demon, who left you to die alone, and didn’t care. You died for the sin of being near me.’ he turned his hand over lacing their fingers together, holding on for dear life. ‘I couldn’t live with that, or without you.’

Aziraphale could see Crowley trembling, jaw clenched. “And then you drove your precious bentley through hellfire, stopped time, and looked Lucifer in the face and did what?”

“E’ah.” ‘Fuck all, the kid did the heavy lifting.’

“That isn’t an answer.” ‘I know what you aren’t saying.’

“Still doesn’t make it right. I should have been there. I should have stayed with you instead of trying to find someplace to hide. And honestly, it was all a lie. I wasn’t going anywhere, not without you.” Serpent eyes finally met his angel’s. There was no anger or resentment. They were forgiving, understanding, loving. ‘I don’t deserve you.’

“I know dearest. Honestly, at the bandstand, I nearly said yes. I wanted to, but there was so much to consider, and the end of days wasn’t making that decision easy. I couldn’t just leave Earth to be destroyed, I didn’t want to betray my side, and selfishly I wanted you. Having my cake and demanding to eat it too. When The Metatron informed me of their plans I knew where my loyalties lied. It was with the Earth, and you. If I was a traitor than so be it.” He moved his chair to beside his husband. ‘I will choose you forever.’

“See that’s my point. You saw the end and faced it, I ran.” ‘Pathetic, useless coward.’

“Yes, I did. So I could have you. And you ran because you were in danger. Hell was quite literally coming for you. I was too much of a coward to tell you I needed you with me. I pushed you away, yet again. But when I was able to get my head on straight you were there. No hesitations, you were there. That’s what matters. We are both idiots at times. But I love you, whether you are an idiot or the wildly brilliant demon I know you to be.” Aziraphale leans in, kissing Crowley trying to convey the truth of his words. ‘You are so much more than the lies you tell yourself. If you could only see yourself through my eyes.’

‘Coward? How are you the coward? Brilliant idiot coward, me. How can you love me?’ “Shut it. It is not right for a demon to be blubbering like a baby.” he bit back the tears that threatened to drown him.

‘Some wounds take longer to heal. Crowley’s Fall, the bookshop, these would take time. Time and love.’ Both Aziraphale was more than eager to provide. ‘I will just have to show you how beautiful you are.’ “Alright love, maybe we should indulge in the temptations you have set before us.”

Crowley sniffs and shook his mind free from melancholy. ‘We are having a lovely night. Don’t go ruining it with your bullshit.’ Aziraphale dishes for both of them. Though knowing Crowley isn’t as interested in food as himself, makes his portion a bit light. Which goes undisturbed until it is offered to Aziraphale. The food is perfection. Aziraphale takes his time savouring every morsel. His moans of pleasure quickly chase away the last of Crowley’s morose mood. ‘Snake charmer indeed.’

He chattered on about Agnes's new prophecies. “She has a flair for being cryptic.” From what he was able to deduce so far Aziraphale and Crowley would join in celestial union. That was true enough. God would send her messenger to bring them blessings and good tidings. That was also true. “Thank Her she didn’t send Gabriel.”

“Could you imagine? Poor Mary having that dry sack of shit tell you God knocked you up?” ‘Jesus was a good kid.’ “How’s her offspring fairing these days? Didn’t show up for his big performance at the end.”

“No.” ‘That should have told everyone the Great Plan was wrong.’ “He didn’t. As far as I have heard he’s doing well. Last time I spoke to him he seemed rather annoyed that the humans keep finding him in their foodstuffs, or on random buildings. He said he has absolutely nothing to do with it and wished they would stop.”

“Ha! My doing. Was hoping he’d get a kick out of it all.” he took a triumphant sip of his wine.

When the last of the roast and Yorkshire pudding are consumed Crowley brings out the tart. Aziraphale’s eyes lit up.

Crowley can’t help but grin at his angel’s excitement. He places the tart between them. Instead of cutting a serving Crowley offered his angel a helping on a dainty spoon.

Aziraphale understood immediately his husband’s intentions. ‘He means to feed me.’ It felt a bit odd at first. That was before he took the decadence into his mouth. His eyes fluttered shut as the chocolate dissolved on his tongue, followed by the tart contrast of the raspberries. A low appreciative moan escaped him.

“Good?” Crowley focused on every movement and sound.

“Positively sinful.” he beamed at his demon. Golden eyes blown wide with desire.

Crowley, never looking away, offered another helping. Aziraphale kept eye contact this time. Crowley was watching with a fiery intensity as the spoon was accepted. Aziraphale licked his lips. “It is quite delectable, love. You should have a taste.”

“I think I just might.” Crowley surged forward, spoon discarded, claiming his angel’s lips. The sensations flooding him all at once. His tongue quickly found entrance, and he tasted the sweetness of that singularly divine mouth.

Aziraphale scrambled into his husband’s lap, cardigan hastily removed. Crowley’s right hand cradled Aziraphale’s neck, the other cupped his ample breast. Aziraphale tilted his neck back into a glorious moan.

The sensations were wild, pounding inside of him. There desperate need for contact was like billows on a fire. “God, the sounds you make, angel. You could finish me with them alone.” While he had his angel’s focus on their joined mouths, a finger deftly scooped a bit of the chocolate confection and brought it to Aziraphale’s neck. He drew a line down the milky flesh. Sending a shiver through his angel. Instant hungry pulses burned through him. He withdrew from their kiss and his tongue found the silken treat.

The tip of his tongue followed the delicate curve of his love’s neck. Chocolate and sunshine titillated his senses. As he reached the end of his handiwork he pressed in for a kiss, then sucked flesh between teeth, softly scraping before release. This all earned him a symphony of the most sinfully intoxicating sounds he had ever heard. He gasped at the ferocity of the pulses biting through him.

“I think I might be developing a sweet tooth.” he purred into his angel’s ear.

T-shirt was hastily pulled over Aziraphale’s head. Crowley quickly claiming neck. Aziraphale’s arms went around Crowley’s shoulders to pull him in closer. Which was exactly what Crowley wanted. His hands snaking around to unclasp Aziraphale’s bra. He bit harder, then sucked only enough to leave a faint reminder the next day. Of course, Aziraphale could heal it, though he was beginning to suspect his angel wouldn’t.

Crowley withdrew and encouraged Aziraphale to lean back. Once his angel was resting against the table his fingers teased at the straps, hanging loosely from pearly shoulders. “If you don’t feel comfortable like this I can wait. We figure out what caused this, and get you back to yourself.”

Aziraphale felt a sudden sting pierce through him, “What if this is... permanent?” His eyes were wide and pitiable.

Crowley smiled.“Then, I stand by my word. We do nothing you aren’t comfortable with.” He took Aziraphale’s hand and brought it to his lips. He kissed his angel's palm reverently, never looking away. Aziraphale looked wistful at the display. Crowley pressed that hand to his chest, he let his essence bleed into Aziraphale. “Your happiness is all that matters.”

Aziraphale felt the joy and contentment seeping into him. “Oh, Crowley you are so wonderous.’ “And what about you? I wouldn’t deny you, not after everything…”

“None of that. I enjoy all this, but it is just a bit of fun. Well maybe a bit more than simple fun, but I don’t need it to be happy with you. If you are worried about how I feel about this form or the other I don’t care. Trust me they both have their appeal. I just want you, whatever that means.” his hand brushed through silk strands. Aziraphale pressed into the caress.

“Oh, Crowley. I don’t hate this form. Rather curious about it all, if I am being honest. I think I was just a bit startled at first. Set in my ways and all that.” he chuckles his embarrassment. “I want you to promise me as well, love. If there is ever anything you are uncomfortable with you will let me know.”

“Scouts honour.” he purred in such a way it seemed more as a challenge than an honest agreement.

“You are not, nor have you ever been a scout.” Aziraphale scolded.

“Fine, I swear on the bentley. Happy?” ‘For Satan’s sake don’t let the old girl hear me.’

“Thank you for the gesture, Crowley. May we proceed?” he said relaxing back. He could feel Crowley’s effort straining against the leather.

Crowley hooked both middle fingers in either strap. He drew down, knuckles caressing soft skin on the descent. Eyes focused, fully reptilian, watching for any apprehension. When the straps hung at his angel’s elbows his eyes went down to where Aziraphale held the fabric to supple breasts.

Crowley gently removed his angel’s hands to rest on his lap. He took the fabric delicately between his fingers and slowly pulled it away. Aziraphale’s breasts lay heavy between them, nipples already perk. Crowley bit his lip, ‘Where to start?’

Their eyes met, the rolling warm waves of his angel’s love soothed him. He brought his thumb up to brush across that perfectly pink bottom lip. His hand descended, fingers delicately gliding down Aziraphale’s throat, over the centre of his chest, between the sumptuous breasts. Aziraphale sighed trying to still the urge to press into the feather-light contact. Crowley followed the curve of bosom, knuckles accidentally brushing. Aziraphale shivered.

Crowley trails up towards the blushing bud. Tracing tantalizing circles, so near but not touching. Aziraphale could feel his new effort responding. Throbbing and slick. He keened at the deliberate denial. He dared not move. Crowley had proven to be a proficient lover. Able to draw the pleasure to a fever pitch. Crowley would satisfy his needs, in time, in his own way. Aziraphale submitted to the delicious torment, savouring the blessed ache that mixed so well with pleasure.

Crowley dips back into the chocolate tart, bringing it back to flushed skin. He repeated his previous sensual trail. Aziraphale watched with heavy-lidded eyes, breath shallow, expectant. Crowley locked eyes with his angel as the tip of his tongue tasted. Drawing upwards in one agonizingly luxurious caress. Aziraphale presses his chest forward to ease the need for friction. Crowley turned his attention to the underside of right breast sucking and licking skin clean.

Aziraphale’s hands fisted in his hair. Low breathy moans singing through Crowley’s ears. Crowley cups his angel’s right breast, kneading the ample flesh lightly. Aziraphale’s hips rocking against him, desperate for friction. Pleasure and ache plucking at Crowley like a taut bowstring.

Crowley’s tongue circled the painted halo around perk nipple. “I definitely have a sweet tooth.”

Crowley closed his hot wet mouth on the bud. Aziraphale arched into the possessing sensation. Crowley sucked intently, tongue flicking, teeth holding the flesh in place. Aziraphale cried out, pressing into the sensation. Crowley pulled off, teeth scraping sending a jolt of pleasure to undiscovered parts of Aziraphale, which he felt in turn.

Crowley turned his attention to the twin mound. His mouth claiming and insistent. His right hand caressing the seen to breast. Thumb and fingers pinching and rolling. His hands firmly massaging Aziraphale. His angel is grinding against his lap, seeking, needing more. Aziraphale lets one hand fall from his hair and braces on the table, knuckles white. “Oh, Crowley I…”

Crowley feels the crest, he bites down, sucking, tongue pulling Aziraphale to release. Aziraphale convulses in his lap, Crowley forcefully being drawn flush against him as each wave of pleasure shocks his essence.

Aziraphale is panting eyes pleading to his husband. “That was...I didn’t know I could...like that.”

Crowley kisses his angel. “Aziraphale I want my mouth on other parts of you as well. Will you let me?” Brows furrowed, Aziraphale nods. “Here on the table?”

“Yes.” Aziraphale whimpers. The thought of Crowley’s tongue anywhere on his body made that delicious ache return.

Dishes are banished to parts unknown. Crowley lays Aziraphale down, his own personal feast for the taking. Deftly jeans are removed and tossed aside. Aziraphale lays before him bare except for delicate lace panties. Damp already from Crowley’s ministrations. Which are hastily removed.

He spreads those enticingly generous thighs, opening his angel to him. Aziraphale’s mound is plump like the rest of that splendid corporation. Pink pearl already glistening with need.

Crowley tenderly presses a kiss to inner thigh. Watching, entranced by his love. “You are hauntingly beautiful.” He purs into the supple flesh. His teeth bare down earning him a whimper that fades into a sinful moan. “I want to taste you, feel you come undone. Know that I am the reason.” He kisses and licks his way to the junction of thigh and hip. “I want to hear your ecstasy.” Crowley bites the sensitive skin, pulling almost free before pressing back in to suck and lick at the offended flesh. It is red with faint teeth impressions. “Will you keep this for me?” he asks gently kissing his mark.

“Yes.” his angel answers faintly.

Crowley turns to the other leg, starting at the inside of Aziraphale’s knee. Kissing and licking his way to that thigh. He pauses looks first at the pale offering then to his angel. “This one too?” he takes flesh between his teeth waiting.

“Please.” Aziraphale moans pressing his leg into Crowley’s mouth.

He releases the skin, “Please what?” A light kiss to the previously claimed spot.

“I will keep it. If you please…Uuuhnn!” Crowley bites hard, releases then sucks the skin deep into his mouth. Tongue massaging away the stinging pain. The sensations that wash over him are maddening.

Crowley places Aziraphale’s trembling legs over his shoulders. He presses a long kiss to Aziraphale’s pelvis before looking up at his angel. “And here, dove?”

“I will keep it.” Crowley bites down just above Aziraphale’s folds. His angel arches, pressing into the contact. Crowley sucks in hard, bruising tender skin. When Crowley pulls free with a pop Aziraphale falls limp on the table.

“Thank you, dove.” he purrs nuzzling at the mark.

He doesn’t wait for a response. He bows low, tongue licking Aziraphale’s slick seam. Of their own accord, his angel’s legs clamp down around him. Crowley wraps his strong hands around either thigh and coaxes them relaxed. “I need you open for me. Can you do that, dove?”

Aziraphale nods, watching his husband. He props his feet on the back of the chair for stability before pulling his legs farther apart.

“Just like that dove. You are so good for me.” Crowley lowers again. This time his tongue splits the folds tasting the sweet-salty heat of his angel. His tongue swiping up until he catches that bead of pleasure. Aziraphale jerks at the sudden sensation. Crowley watching his angel’s response. The sensation pulsing hot inside him. He takes the flushed bud into his mouth and gives the slightest of suction.

Aziraphale’s legs threaten to close, before willing them open and compliant once again. Crowley hands smooth up ample thighs, caressing, rewarding Aziraphale’s restraint. He flicks his tongue while maintaining suction. Aziraphale’s hands fisted in his fiery hair.

“Crowley my love...uhhh...that is exquisite.”

Crowley hums his response sending electricity through Aziraphale. Legs started to close again before Aziraphale forces them back open. Crowley rewards this by alternating between rapid flicks of his tongue and pulsing suction. Never letting his angel settle into one sensation.

Aziraphale is already shaking, fighting to remain open. Crowley eases into his angel’s warm entrance with one dextrous finger. Just past the pelvic bone he finds his prize. He crooks his finger and a moan catches in Aziraphale’s’ throat. This time the angel has no control as legs clamp shut. Crowley adds another and works his fingers over the bundle of nerves. Thrusting his hand intent on one goal. His tongue and mouth drawing his angel to that divine pinnacle once more. The sensation is electric and burning. Pulses and sharp barbs stealing his focus.

Aziraphale is thrashing, gasping, fists merciless in crimson locks. Crowley knows the instant it happens. He switches places, fingers caressing the sensitive pearl as his tongue plunges inside. He tastes and licks at his angel’s climax. Fingers stroking through each agonizing wave. His angel's cries of ecstasy shooting straight ro his effort. Aziraphale’s muscles rapidly clench on Crowley’s expert tongue.

As the euphoria subsides Aziraphale relaxes his legs. Crowley stands admiring his work. His blessed angel is covered in a thin sheen of sweat. Eyes still clouded with desire. Aziraphale wraps, still trembling legs, around Crowley’s waist.

“Crowley please.”

“Yes, dove? What do you need?” he caresses those thighs that hold him tight.

“I...Crowley… Like before…”

“Like what dove?”

Aziraphale rolls his hips against his husband’s trapped body. Something cold, ridged, and perfectly in position scrapes against already too sensitive bud. Aziraphale rolls his hips again. It isn’t as wonderful as Crowley, but it gives Aziraphale just enough friction to stem the ache.

Crowley watches in fascination as his angel grinds against his belt buckle. It wasn’t purchased for this purpose but he’d sooner be doused in holy water then stop Aziraphale. His hands slide up to sensuous hips. He is transfixed. His own effort screaming to be released.

“Please Crowley...love...please...I need...you.”

“You are doing so good dove. Keep going. Let me see you.”

Crowley assisted by pushing his pelvis forward. Aziraphale quickened the roll, chasing the building pleasure. His angel's breathing becomes erratic. Crowley couldn’t decide whether to watch the unabashed display before him or his angel’s agonized needy expression. The snakehead disappearing and reappearing between flushed folds with each roll.

“Crowley.... please..i-it isn’t... enough.” Aziraphale pleading for his husband to have mercy on his state.

“I’ve got you dove.” his hands softly kneading his angel’s hips. “Let me see you come apart.” 'Sinfully wicked angel. I never stood a chance. Doomed from the moment we met.' "Come for me, my love."

With that Aziraphale’s whole body convulses. A wailing moan echoing through the bookshop. Shocks of pleasure searing into Crowley. His hands tighten their grip to ground him. Aziraphale continues to press and roll against the snakes head. Crowley’s pants are wet from Aziraphale’s release.

“Crowley I need you.” Aziraphale whimpers. Still rolling against him.

“But you promisssed me a bath.” he hisses, his restraint failing.

“Please Crowley.” Blue eyes pleading.

“Don’t worry, dove. We will, but I have other plans.” Aziraphale whines. “If I have to I will carry you...” he leans into his angel. “I will,” Crowley growled low.

“Please.” Aziraphale shivered.

“Please what, dove? Use your words angel. You know so many.”

“Anthony...uh...J...Crowley.” Aziraphale is panting, straining to make his mouth and mind cooperate. “I-if you don’t uhhh. Oh, God…” Aziraphale’s hands grip Crowley’s forearms, hips rolling, begging for more. “I-if you don’t take...uh...off those damned clothes...p-please...I-I will c-c-consigne them...to the nest.”

“As you wish, dove.” ‘Domesticate me and I debauch you. Fairtrade.’ Crowley snaps, clothing, including belt are gone. Crowley bows sealing their mouths in a hungry kiss. He scoops Aziraphale into his arms, legs still clasped around his waist, and walks them towards the bathroom.

The water is already warm and ready. Crowley never lessening his mouth's focus, steps into the bath. Lowering them down into the inviting warmth. Aziraphale can feel Crowley’s arousal pressing against aching folds.

Aziraphale looks into Crowley’s golden eyes. “Please my love.” Aziraphale reached up, trembling hand gently brushing against cheekbone. “Make love to me.” his angel whimpers. Blue eyes near violet with yearning, “I need you inside of me.”

'God above and Satan below. I am but a puppet on your string.' Crowley reached between them, taking his effort in hand. He positions himself at his angel’s entrance. Aziraphale slowly, eases down on him. Both of their breaths catch. Their brows furrow, as the intense heat of Aziraphale claims Crowley to the hilt.

“Too much?” Crowley can feel the tightness of Aziraphale’s effort constricting around his own.

“No.” Aziraphale lifts off ever so slightly before sliding back down. “Just right.” voice breathy.

Crowley holds Aziraphale close. One hand between shoulder blades, the other on the small of his angel’s back. Aziraphale rocks again. “Just like that, dove.” Aziraphale focuses on setting a steady rhythm. Slow, steady, determined slides almost pulling off completely before fully sheathing again. The sensations flooding Crowley are intense forceful waves that break against his essence.

Crowley claims his angel’s lips before moving to that perfect neck. Then to the swell of breast, before taking perk bud back into his mouth. Aziraphale arches in response. Gasping at the overwhelming sensations.

Crowley feels it almost instantly. His angel’s essence calling to him, demanding him forth. Crowley slips dark tendrils into Aziraphale’s light. They are connected in both body and spirit as they slowly climb their way to that beautiful peak.

Crowley feels as Aziraphale sings his release. Pulses of pure bliss flow from his angel. Dancing through Crowley’s essence. Crowley comes undone, spilling deep into his angel, his essence singing out in return. The world around them resonates with their shared joy.

Crowley feels Aziraphale reseed away. His angel is laying limp against his chest, as he comes back to the world. Aziraphale's arms firmly wrapped around his neck.

“Thank you my love.” he coos into his husband's neck.

“Always dove.” Crowley’s heart feels as if it could burst. ‘I never want to leave you again. Home?’ “Aziraphale?”

“Yes, love?” He sits up to look down on his demon.

“Can I stay…” his eyes pleading. “here...with you?” Crowley knows the answer but needs to hear it all the same.

Aziraphale sees uncertainty. “He’s so use to me pushing him away.’ “But of course love.” Aziraphale kisses those pleading lips.”Why would you feel otherwise?” ‘because I have hurt you so many times.’ “I thought that was a forgone conclusion.” Aziraphale kisses those furrowed brows. “We are married, I am not going to have us living in separate homes.”

Crowley’s heart does burst. Relief and happiness consume him through. “You are my home.”

“As you are mine.” Aziraphale presses another kiss to his demon. “Darling hear me. If you are more comfortable at your flat I will follow you. If you are more comfortable here I will just have to make some room. Though I ask you to keep that particular statuary upstairs. Private collection.” ‘Though it might deter certain clientele.’

“What do you want?” Crowley asks, knowing he wants to remain in the bookshop.

‘Why do you always bow to my whims?’ “I want you to choose. I will go wherever you wish us to be. We can live in Mayfair and I can work in Soho. Or we can live in Soho and you can help me scare away prospective patrons. Or if you have another idea then we will do that. Even if it is the moon.” Aziraphale shifts, turns and settles back against his husband.

“Soho for now,” Crowley answers almost immediately. He takes a bottle of shampoo in hand and begins working the soap into dishevelled curls. Which he notes are getting rather long for Aziraphale’s normal tastes.

“As you like, but if that changes I want to be the first to know.” He relaxes into his husband’s pampering.

“You will.”

Crowley bathes his angel thoroughly, Aziraphale repays him in kind. They soak in the warm water indulging in each other’s company. “We'll go get your plants in the morning. There is space enough up here. Our own little Eden or Hanging Gardens of Babylon.”

“Was that upstair’s fault or down?”

“Heaven, I am afraid. The...potato rather enjoyed himself that day.” Aziraphale remembered that disgusting grin, as Sandalphon was applauded for his triumph.

“Sodding little prick. Liked those gardens.” Crowley grumbles.

“I know, dearest.” Aziraphale yawned and rested his head on Crowley’s shoulder. Turning to look at those alluring eyes.“Thank you.”

“For what?” he huffs running his shrivelled fingers down Aziraphale’s arm.

“Never giving up on me.” Aziraphale’s eyes close. Crowley brings his arms around his angel. Aziraphale is almost instantly asleep.

Figuring they will dissolve if they remain in the bath any longer, Crowley miracles them dry and in their nest. His angel pressed tightly to him. Crowley strokes through curls glowing in the moonlight.

“You are welcome, dove.”

Chapter Text

Tuesday 3 September 2019
12:15 pm
Soho

 

One week later, a demon and an angel were now comfortably sharing a small bookshop in Soho. Not much changed on the first floor, but they had, in fact, transformed their bedroom into a veritable Eden. Missing only the massive wall and The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, of course. Crowley’s plants filled their little flat, and to their master’s amazement were even more verdant and lush than ever before. A particular angel would attribute this to his husband's ever-improving mood.

The statues and most of the furniture remained behind. Crowley figured it was easiest just to keep his flat as an upscale storage unit. What did have the pleasure of making its way over was a coffee machine, a flat-screen television, and an original sketch of The Mona Lisa. In exchange for a favoured jacket, all the pillows and bedding were now intermixed within their nest. With the added agreement of if said jacket wasn’t in use, it would return to its rightful place.

Most days Aziraphale opens the shop. Recently it was to watch in amusement as Crowley deterred anyone from purchasing any of Aziraphale’s books. To anyone familiar enough with the shop, seeing a blonde female proprietor instead of a man was easily explained away. The delivery man’s assumption that female Aziraphale and the previously unfemale Aziraphale were siblings worked well enough for anyone who would inquire.

Yesterday Aziraphale instituted a game. Crowley may use any device in his arsenal, except anything that may cause the humans to suspect their true natures, and of course physical harm. Crowley would time himself, so far the quickest exit was just shy of a minute. This little game of theirs was right up his alley. He would mingle through the shop whenever someone did happen to step inside. He started initially with simply standing too close, leering, and stalking any poor human through the shop. Once uncomfortable most patrons left.

One particularly stubborn customer, who dared attempt to purchase a signed first edition of The Picture of Dorian Grey, refused to leave. For this most unlucky of humans, Crowley felt particularly inspired. While Aziraphale tried his usual tactics Crowley slunk off to the back room. Once he was out of eyeshot he called out to his angel, “Love, have you seen my snake?”

“What was that dearest?” Aziraphale’s smile was one of mischievous delight. If Crowley was about to do, what he thought he intended to, this rather rude human would be fleeing his presents soon.

“My bloody snake. Seems to have escaped.” with that Crowley shifted into his serpent form. Obsidian black scales glistening even in the dimness of the backroom. He slithered towards the human, who was currently unaware that a twenty-three meter, six hundred sixty-six kilogram snake was loose in the shop.

When Aziraphale notices his impish husband approaching he smiles brightly at him. ‘Even like this, you are so breathtaking.’ Aziraphale is suddenly very at ease and watches the human in anticipation. Crowley rears his great weight up. If he was a common snake this gesture would signal he was about to strike, ready to devour his prey. “Oh look dearest I have found your snake,” Aziraphale calls to no one.

The human turned abruptly and found himself nose to nose with the most terrifying creature he had ever had the misfortune to meet. The great snake glared, golden eyes assessing the human who went stock still. The snake recoils then lunges with a threatening hiss. The would-be customer scrambled for the exit.

If Crowley had been a common snake he could have easily made a meal of the bumbling human. Who, had fallen three times in his hurry to escape. Aziraphale quickly went for the door and flipped the sign to closed. With a snap, all the curtains were drawn affording them some privacy.

Crowley sinuously returned to his human form smiling his amusement. “Well, that was fun.”

“Expertly done, dearest,” Aziraphale said before rewarding his husband with a kiss.

“Retired, not dead.” He straightened his reclaimed jacket.

“And beautiful as ever.” another kiss to appreciative lips.

“Now that we are closed, what do you say we go for a walk? Perhaps lunch after?” ‘The world is our oyster, taste it with me.’

Though Aziraphale was feeling quite exhausted after his interaction with the human, he agreed. Crowley ushered them to the bentley and they were off to St. James Park. George Frideric Handel’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love blaring for all to hear.

The sun was shining, a light breeze carried the promise of autumn in the air. Aziraphale was resting his head on his demon’s shoulder, arms linked as they watched the ducks paddle around the pond. There was no hiding, no pretence, just the two sharing their world in fondest company.

As Aziraphale tossed a stale morsel to the expectant fowl Crowley interjected, “You know angel, bread is bad for them.”

“Bread?” he looked at his husband in puzzlement.

Crowley shrugged. ‘Somethi’n I read somewhere.’ “Bad for their bones or what have you.”

“You mean?” he looked positively dejected. “I’ve been hurting the poor creatures all these years.” ‘Harming God’s creatures. I am a terrible angel.’

“Awww, angel.” Crowley drawls. “The humans only recently figured it out themselves. Don’t fret, we can bring them oats, or bird feed next time.” ‘Why are you so adorable when you pout?’

“I feel dreadful.” ‘I have been brittleing the bones of ducks for centuries.’

“Look at’em they don’t seem to mind.” He gestures, the quacking menaces demanding their offerings.

“Yes, but I know. Ignorance doesn’t excuse one’s behaviour.” ‘Forgive me sweet things. I will make sure to bring you better food in the future.’

Crowley kisses those ever-growing curls. He wasn’t particularly sure if Aziraphale was intentionally causing them to grow faster, but his angel’s hair was nearly shoulder length. ‘I hope you let your hair grow. Those blonde ringlets would be a temptation all on their own.’ “C’mon let’s get lunch.”

“Oh, I am not hungry.” ‘No, I am starving. I can’t eat enough. Regular glutton I’ve become. I don’t need food.’

“You, refusing food?”Crowley cocked an eyebrow over his sunglasses. ‘Sleeping, now refusing food. You never refuse food. What are you not telling me?’

“I...well...I seem to be rather making a glutton of myself recently. I was thinking perhaps I should cut back.” ‘I don’t need it.’

‘Fuck that.’ “Nope. We are getting lunch. You like food, and I enjoy you enjoying food.” He held his angel close. ‘What are you not telling me?’

“Alright, dearest. But only a light lunch. I have Agnes’s prophecies to decipher. Which, I dare say is quite challenging.” ‘What with me not being able to keep my eyes open these days.’

They turn away from the pond and begin to head back to the bentley. They take but a few steps before Aziraphale suddenly sways threatening to topple to the ground. Crowley notices the change in his angel’s hold and catches Aziraphale before his angel falls. “Angel? Love, are you alright?” ‘Shit. Something is really wrong.’

“Sorry,” a hand went to his brow. “Don’t know what has come over me.” He tries to stand on shaking legs but must cling to his husband to do so. “Feel a bit dizzy.”

Crowley scans their surroundings and glares at a couple on the nearest bench. They suddenly find themselves needing to be elsewhere. Crowley all but carries his angel to the now vacant seat. “Here, angel. Sit.”

Aziraphale complies, resting against his husband’s supportive shoulders. “I didn’t mean to cause a fuss.”

‘Fuss? Something is wrong. I have to fix this.’ “Nope, none of that. Tell me what you need.”

‘Oh, excellent Aziraphale worry your husband. That’s exactly what he needs.’ “Nothing, dearest. Just felt a bit faint is all.”

“Faint?” ‘You have been falling asleep every time you are still for more than five minutes. Then you are almost impossible to wake unless you sleep for several hours. Now refusing food. You haven’t touched a thing except for tea since breakfast, yesterday. Something is wrong.’

“Yes. Might we...might we forego lunch today? I feel I need to rest.” ‘I don’t need to eat.’ Aziraphale reclined against Crowley, eyes weakly pleading.

“Sure.” He tucks his angel into a tight hug, resting his chin in pale curls. ‘I am missing something. Something important, but what?’

Crowley assists Aziraphale back to the bentley. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s You Take My Breath Away tearing at his already fraying mind. He can see how worn his angel is. He starts assessing Aziraphale, searching for anything else that may be amiss. He drives slow, his angel already fast asleep at his side, on their short drive back to the bookshop. He parks near the door and tries to wake his angel.

“Please husband. A few more minutes.” Aziraphale groans.

“We are home, love. Let’s get you inside.” ‘Not good.’

Aziraphale only nuzzles in closer. Crowley becomes increasingly concerned. This isn’t his angel’s norm. Aziraphale who never slept a wink before their bonding. Now can’t be roused to go inside their bookshop. Crowley lowers Aziraphale to resting fully on the seat. He hurries from his side of the bentley to Aziraphale’s. He leans in, scooping his angel into his arms. “Hold on to my neck.” Aziraphale complies weakly. “That’s it. Hold on, love. I’ve got you.”

Crowley carries his angel’s listless body inside and up to their nest. He snaps his fingers and Aziraphale is in the flannel pyjamas his angel likes best. As well as the cashmere cardigan that never goes unused. Whatever is going on Aziraphale clearly needs to rest. He holds his angel for a long moment, watching those precious eyes dance behind delicate lids. “Sweet dreams beautiful. I’ll be right here if you need me.”

Crowley thinks, consults the internet, which doesn’t help. 'Angels don’t get human illnesses.' He considers pushing his essence into Aziraphale to check for any clues as to the problem. ‘No. Best get Aziraphale’s permission first.’ He is at a loss. Then a notion strikes him.

Crowley pulls his phone from his pocket and calls their witch. After two rings she answers.

“Hello?”

“Book girl.” ‘Thank whoever.’

“Anathema.”

‘Be polite.’ “Right, look I am not sure, but I think there might be something wrong with Aziraphale.”

“What do you mean?” Crowley can hear the concern in the human’s voice and is thankful she is taking him seriously.

“We were at the park and Aziraphale, well, fainted.” he can’t hide the fear in his trembling voice. ‘Without you I am nothing.’

“Could he be sick?”

“We don’t get sick. Angel and demon remember.” ‘Be polite. You are asking for help.’

“Yeah. Does he have any other symptoms?”

“Sleeps all the time. We don’t need to. At first, I just thought Aziraphale was enjoying it. Now, well.” He looks over at his angel, sleeping soundly. Clutching Crowley’s shed jacket tight. “Had a headache yesterday, chaulked it up to your great-whatever grandmother’s bloody manuscript. And Aziraphale is refusing to eat for some reason. Never known my angel to refuse food. Hasn’t eaten since breakfast yesterday. We don’t need to eat either, but its…” he sighed, he can’t connect the pieces. “Concerning.” ‘Terrifying.’

“Sounds like the flu.”

‘Bloody human you aren’t this dense.’ “We don’t get…”

“Sick, you told me.”

‘Polite. God said she will help. Polite.’ “Look, can you come over and do that aura thing you do? See if you can see anything? I can send a cab. I’d offer to come pick you up, but I don’t want to leave Aziraphale.” his heart ached at the thought. His angel helpless and alone for a moment would be too much.

“Don’t worry, I understand. Where are you?”

“A.Z. Fell and Co. Bookshop. Soho, London.”

“Oh, Newt and I are visiting his mother. We’ll be right over.”

“See you soon.” he doesn’t feel relief. He won’t allow himself until he knows his angel is alright. “Oh and Bo...Anathema? Thank you.” he means it. Humans can be cruel and positively evil to one another. Then there are times when he sees just a little of Aziraphale in them. For this, he can't help but admire them.

“You are really worried about him aren’t you.”

‘Nothing means anything without my angel. I can’t do any of this if Aziraphale isn’t here.’ “Yes. The door will let you in when you get here. We’ll be upstairs.” Crowley hangs up with a long sigh

Crowley paces for a moment. Deciding between waking Aziraphale, and laying down and holding on to his anchor. He decides on the latter. He crawls into their nest and rests his head near his sleeping angel. Aziraphale is peaceful, a small smile on tender lips. ‘I’ve done this. I knew I would hurt you. Tell me how to fix this.’ He brought his hand to caress soft cheek. ‘If you ever loved anything. Please protect him.’ tears prickle at his eyes. He would fall at Her feet if She were here. ‘Does She even hear the prayers of the damned?’ He sniffs and shoots up from the nest. He rushes downstairs and busies his mind by making cocoa.

He warms the milk on the little boiler and adds the mix. His fussy angel, for all his standards, likes simple cheap off-brand cocoa. Crowley decides against adding marshmallows for ease of drinking.

His mind torments him with all conceivable and inconceivable possibilities. ‘What if the witch is right? What if it's the flu? What if our bond is causing...no.’ He’s seen Aziraphale perform miracles. ‘Humans can’t do those things.’

Crowley hurries upstairs, cocoa in hand. He sets the winged mug down on the floor. Crowley leans in and kisses his angel’s cheek. “Dove, can you wake up for me?” Aziraphale’s eyes remain closed but his angel’s smile beams brightly.

“I love you, Crowley.” Aziraphale reaches out and finds his husband. He pulls himself close, resting his head in his demon’s lap. “I was having such a wonderful dream. You were so happy.”

“I love you too, angel. And I am happy. I’d be even happier if you sat up and drank your cocoa.” ‘Please wake up. I need you.’

Blue eyes fluttered open gazing sleepily, but happy at his demon. He knew that face. Crowley was upset about something but trying to hide it. His mind was still floating in a sleep haze so he struggled to make sense of why. “Crowley dearest what is the matter?”

‘I have hurt you.’ “Aziraphale you fainted at the park. Remember?”

“Oh, yes. Sorry about that.” ‘Stupid corporation. Please don’t worry, my love.’

“I called Book girl. She and her Salamander are coming over.” Crowley tried for levity. He wanted that smile to reassure him his angel would be ok.

“Why in Heaven would you do that?” Aziraphale’s eyes went wide. ‘Oh, Heaven you have done it now. He must have felt desperate to call the humans.’

‘I am so scared.’ “I am worried about you, angel.” he sighed pinching the bridge of his nose. “Your sleep, it’s not just for the pleasure of it, is it?” ‘Don’t you dare lie to me.’

“No, I suppose it is not.” ‘No use keeping silent now.’

“And you are refusing to eat. Why?” ‘Please let me help.’

“ I, well. I…” The shop bell rang announcing their guests. Aziraphale cut their bedroom door a look of disapproval. “We are…”

Crowley stops him, “Up here.” he calls out. His heart began to hope.

They hear the pair enter climbing the stairs. There is a light knock at the door. “Please do come in.” Aziraphale taking Crowley’s answer as confirmation on their intruders.

Anathema is the first to peek her head in. Aziraphale sits up, pulling his cardigan around his bosom. Anathema enters, surveying the scene before her. Newt awkwardly on her heels. “I am sorry about all this Miss. Device. It seems I uh...am not as I should be.” Aziraphale smiles meekly.

Anathema looks over the angel. ‘Crowley is right to be worried.’ Aziraphale is sallow, worn thin. His eyes still sparkle but something is obviously not right. “Hi, Aziraphale. Crowley called and said you fainted.” She approached the mass of linen tentatively. ‘Is this how angels and demons sleep?’ She sat on the floor, careful not to disturb whatever it was they were perched in. It didn’t feel right to even touch the structure.

“Yes, it seems I did.” ‘I am an absolute buffoon.’

“We were just discussing that. Care to continue, dove?” Crowley rubbed Aziraphale’s arm. ‘Let me in. Let me fix this.’

“Yes, well. You see Miss. Device I haven’t been feeling myself, as of late. I well...Oh, Crowley, I should have mentioned all of this to you. I was hoping it would go away. Stiff upper lip and all that nonsense.” ‘Please don’t be cross.’

“I am not mad Aziraphale. I just want to help.” he hands him the warm cocoa. ‘Let me in. I will make this right.’

“Right. Thank you, dearest.” he sips the cocoa. He feels the warmth bleed through him. ‘You are always so good to me.’ He feels his stomach respond, the overwhelming pain lessens. “Oh, that is much better.” he smiles at his devoted, beautiful, attentive husband. ‘I will never be worthy of all that you freely give to me.’

“You were saying.” Crowley encourages. Hand caressing his angel’s back.

“Ah, yes. I am tired. I feel exhausted all the time. I have never felt such a thing before. I didn’t realize what it was until I was sleeping most of the day.” he sips his cocoa. “And I am positively ravenous. If I am not sleeping I and starving. And if I don’t eat well, you heard what happened today.” he looks sheepishly over at Crowley. “I tried to not eat for a time. As our kind doesn’t need food I thought I was just being a glutton.” he shifts to his demon. “I am sorry Crowley I should have told you sooner.”

‘Don’t you know by now I will always, always forgive you.’ “We’ve already established you can be a bit of a bastard.” he brushes a curl from his angel’s face. “I want to know if n’ything, I mean it Aziraphale n’ything changes. Gets worse. Better. Whatever it is. Okay?” ‘Let me help.’

“Of course. I should have said something.” ‘I didn’t want you to worry. I knew you would blame yourself. You are an innocent in this.’

“So you are hungry and tired?” Anathema cut through the tension between the two.

“Famished. And if I don’t eat I feel faint.” He felt ashamed. He couldn’t look at anyone. ‘I have no control over this damnedable body.’

“I’ve heard of people with blood sugar problems describe something similar. I assume you have never been to a doctor.” Anathema knew this wasn’t pertinent to them.

“Whatever for? I have never felt the least bit ill. Until now it seems.” He looked up. ‘Perhaps I should. What would a human physician discover about this failing body?’

“Why don’t we get some food in you and see how you feel?” Anathema places a comforting hand on Aziraphale’s. 'They both look so afraid.'

“I could go pick something up.” offers Newton who again is looking for a reason to leave the room. His life would never be the same after meeting Anathema.

“No, I think we can manage. Unless you would like to join us?” He smiled, but it faded almost instantly. ‘I have inconvenienced everyone enough already.’

“No thank you. Mum’s making supper.” Newt offered, ready to be far from this uncomfortable situation.

Anathema cut her boyfriend a scolding glare. She turned back to the kindly being in front of her. “Have you learned anything from Agnes?”

“Some that have already come to pass. I am still working on the others. She keeps referring to miracles, but doesn’t specify who or what the miracles are for.” ‘I haven’t been able to give them the attention they deserve.’ Aziraphale studies the nest. It was better than meeting all the pitiful looks he was currently subject to.

“Cryptic as always.” agreed Anathema.

“Quite.” Aziraphale smiled out of habit.

She could see how uncomfortable the angel was. The silent demon too for that matter. “Aziraphale may I look at your aura?”

Aziraphale nods his response, still avoiding the scrutiny. Anathema focuses, eyes seeking into the beyond. There, just as they had been are the two beings. One darkness, one light. The light seems more focused, a more concentrated brilliance. The edges faded, lessened. The golden thread that connects them is more vibrant, radiating a tangible hum. Anathema finds herself once again lost in the overwhelming beauty of it. The orange and silver ring around Aziraphale is brilliant and shocking. It seems to be part of the answer, but Anathema can not place its significance.

Anathema drew back from their auras. “I am not sure what to make of it. I don’t want to speculate without investigating further.” She stood, focused her features to look resolute that she will find the answers. “I’ll give my mother a call and see if she can help. For now Aziraphale I think you should listen to your body. If you are hungry, eat. If you are tired sleep.”

“Thanks, doc,” Crowley answered. The witch surely did what she could, but he was no closer to helping Aziraphale.

“And you,” she pointed at the sullen demon. “Keep me up to date. If there are any changes call me. No matter what time.” ‘He needs a purpose right now.’

“We will Miss Device. Thank you. Newton, do give your mother our best wishes.” Aziraphale smiled his best, most courteous of smiles.

There was more to be said, but Aziraphale was in no state to hear them. “Crowley, can I talk to you for a moment?” Anathema asked, hoping the demon would catch the importance of the invitation.

Crowley smirked. “I would say we don’t keep secrets but this bastard has been holding out.” ‘Not letting me in.’

Anathema wanted to grab the insufferable demon and haul him outside. “No, it has nothing to do with the two of you. Newton’s car is acting up. Seeing as you know about old cars I was wondering if you could give it a look.” ‘Take the hint.’

Crowley shrugged. “Not a mechanic. Wouldn’t know the first thing about it.”

‘You can not be this stupid.’ “Crowley just have a look” Her eyes gestured to the bedroom door.

Aziraphale figured the human wanted to discuss his situation with his husband in private. “She did come all the way over here, dearest. It is the least we can do.” ‘Go with her. I will be here when you return.’

“Fine. You stay put. Don’t think about moving around until I get back.” He hated the thought of leaving Aziraphale in his weakened state.

Crowley kisses his angel and follows the human’s outside. Anathema turns to Crowley looking at him square on. “Look, I don’t want to upset him. Something is draining him, like some kind of parasite. Do you know of any demons who can do that?”

‘Succubi, Incubi, all manner of parasitic demons in Hell.’ “There are a few. Yeah.”

He didn’t seem concerned. It wasn’t Crowley that Anathema was certain. Their bond was too pure, too honest for him to do something so despicable. “Have you noticed any lurking around.”

‘I would drown all of them in holy water if they tried.’ “No, and I would know if they were. We haven’t heard from either of our former sides since our trial.

“So probably not a demon.” “That is a relief at least.’

“Or an angel.” ‘I would enjoy roasting that potato.’

“God?” Anathema knew this was ludicrous but still a possibility.

‘No.’ As much as he was still angry about his Fall. Crowley couldn’t imagine her doing this to Aziraphale. “I don’t pretend to know what she is doing. Could be. She sent us that Congratulations letter, however. I don’t know.”

Anathema nods. “He said when he eats he doesn’t feel the effects as much. Keep him fed and rested. Maybe leave London. Take a vacation and see if it helps. I want daily check-ins.” ‘You need the vacation as much as he does. You can’t help him if you are a mess.’

‘What is that going to solve? Heaven and Hell are everywhere. If this is their doing.’ “A holiday? You think a holiday would help?” Crowley studies the pavement.

“Do you have any better ideas?”

“Christ, between you and Aziraphale. Fine. Daily check-ins and a Holiday.” ‘Perhaps she is right. Time away from London might be what we both need.’

Anathema tentative placed her hand on the demons folded arms. “I can see how much you mean to each other. Give me a little time to look into things and I will do all I can. God did say I was supposed to help you.”

Crowley huffed. “I thought you wanted to get away from being ordered around by destiny.”

“It is one thing to burn a book. It is another thing to see someone suffer and do nothing.” she squeezed his forearm. ‘You don’t have to do this alone you ass.’

“Right. G’bye Anathema. Tell Newton he won’t have to worry about petrol. My thanks for your help.” Crowley said turning back towards the bookshop. ‘A plan. I need a plan.’

Anathema lingers for a moment watching the demon reenter the bookshop. 'He looks so lost.' Newt came up behind her and placed a consoling hand on her shoulder. “We’ll figure it out.” They both climb back into Dick Turpin and depart their new friends.

Crowley goes back in to find Aziraphale dressing. A tartan a-line skirt, powder blue blouse and the favoured tan cardigan, paired with a dainty pair of brown leather kitten heels. Reminiscent of beloved Oxfords.

“I am beyond peckish my wonderful husband. May we?” Aziraphale smiles. ‘I hope I look presentable enough.’

“Have I told you today how beautiful you are?” Crowley gaped at the vision before him.

“More than once, my love. As are you.” Aziraphale wiggled.

Crowley drove them to a little hole in the wall restaurant that served the best English cuisine he could find. Aziraphale ate his fill of wild boar scotch eggs, venison faggots and mash, baked bone marrow with gravy, wild game pie, and sticky toffee pudding with custard.

Crowley noted Aziraphale already looks more alert. His radiance back to its typical brilliance. He felt his chest relax. ‘Maybe that is all my angel needs.’

‘That feels so much better.’ “That was wonderful dearest. Thank you.” he smiled prettily at his cherished husband. ‘Whenever I need you, you are there.’

“Feeling better?” He needed the words. Needed the conformation of his suspicions.

“Quite,” Aziraphale said standing offering his hand to his demon. ‘I will not leave you. Nothing will keep us apart. Not even God’s will.’ Crowley took his angel’s hand and they left the restaurant. “I am sorry for all the worry. I truly thought it was all in my head.”

Crowley opened Aziraphale’s door. Leaning against his faithful machine. “And how do you feel now?” ‘Let me in. Let me help.’

“Invigorated. Truly. I am not tired nor hungry. Feel nearly normal again.” Aziraphale smiled as he entered the bentley.

“Good. If you start feeling like that again you are going to tell me immediately.” ‘Please.’ He was thankful for his sunglasses. They alone hid his traitorous eyes.

“I promise.” Aziraphale took Crowley’s hand and pressed a kiss to his knuckles.

Crowley nods and waves Aziraphale further into the bentley. Once safely in he closes the door. ‘Don’t leave me alone.’

Less than a half-hour later they are home. Crowley and Aziraphale lay in their nest. Aziraphale looks at his demon. Those eyes are haunted with so many concerns. He kisses his brow, then his nose, then passionately his lips. They make love that night. It is slow and so bitterly sweet. Aziraphale is in tears from the sheer tenderness of his demon. Their pleasure builds slow, unhurried. Feeling and offering to the other.

After they are sated Crowley looks down on his angel. Their hands clasped on either side of Aziraphale. “I love you. Please know that. I don’t want to ever hurt you.” ‘Please be okay.’

“I have known for six millennia. And I want you to understand the same is true for me.” Aziraphale presses his forehead to his husbands. “Try not to worry so dearest. We will figure this out. We always do. And I will be at your side, forever.”

Crowley kisses his angel gently, eyes afraid to look away. He lays down on his angel, arm pinning Aziraphale beneath him. He breathes in their joined scent of the nest. ‘This is right. Please let us have this.’ he prays.

Sleep claims Crowley first, lost in his love’s arms. Crowley dreams that night. When he wakes in the morning he will have little understanding of the dream. But while he is there he is profoundly happy. Aziraphale is glowing in the evening light. Smiling that perfect smile, only for him. There is something else there with them. Something that fills Crowley’s essence as he has never felt before. He is happy, and he is loved.

Chapter Text

Thursday 5 September 2019
9:00 am
Soho

 

After their meeting with a helpful witch, Aziraphale seemed to be on the mend. Aziraphale finds Crowley being more attentive than ever if it were possible. Food the following day was provided at regular intervals. Rest breaks were insisted upon. Aziraphale spent that time in his husband’s arms either on their sofa or in their nest. An agreement was reached between the pair. In which, Aziraphale would spend no more than two hours on the manuscript. The rest of his time was to be focusing on maintaining his corporation. Everything seemed to be falling back into place. That was until a certain demon all but pounced on his angel. Aziraphale, who had been sleeping soundly, was awoken by a shower of kisses.

A kiss to temple, “Good morning, angel.” A kiss to the cheek, “Rise up sleeping beauty.” A kiss to nose “I have plans.” A kiss to forehead. “And you can’t say no.” Kiss to the other cheek. “Well, you could. But I don’t…” kiss to awakening lips. “Think.” another. “You’ll want too.” A firm loving kiss quickly dissolved into one of passion. As his angel shifted beneath him and wrapped sleepy arms around his neck.

Aziraphale, who once again found himself quite naked upon waking, felt the weight of his beloved demon sink between his thighs. ‘Clothed. Not those plans then.’ “Good morning, husband.” He opened his eyes slowly to see a very enthusiastic smile.

Crowley kissed one last kiss to gently smiling lips. “Good morning, dove.” ‘That, I get to wake up beside you every morning. See that smile. How did I get this lucky?’

Aziraphale cleared his groggy throat. “Plans, you say?”

“Big plans.” Crowley shot up, leaving his angel suddenly without his comforting weight. “You are going to eat breakfast. I am going to get us packed. Then, we are going to the airport.” Crowley was pulling clothing from their closet laying it on their once used bed.

Aziraphale sat up on propped elbows. Watching his excited husband frantically running from their closet to their bed with all of Aziraphale’s new clothing. “Airport? Darling why ever…”

Crowley was back on his angel in an instant. “Just go with it, yeah? I want it to be a surprise. A good one for a change.” ‘Please, please say yes.’

“Alright, love. Might I know where we are g-going?” The last was whimpered out as his husband claimed his neck. An encouraging hand tangled into crimson hair. ‘How did I ever refuse you?’

Crowley felt his angels need. It swept into him in an aching pleasurable harmony. His mouth trailed down to the juncture of neck and shoulder, teeth grazing ever so slightly. He felt Aziraphale pressing into the connection. Soft moans already urging him on.

Crowley took both of Aziraphale’s wrists in his hands and pinned them to the nest. He rolled his own aching, clothed arousal between inviting thighs. “As much as I am thoroughly tempted. We are on a schedule today, dove.”

Aziraphale pouted at his husband. Who in turn provided a mocking pout. “You started this you know.”

“Yes. You married a demon, remember.” Crowley kissed his angel deeply before pulling away. “Now, get up. Get dressed. I don’t think they let people walk nude through customs.” he couldn’t help but grin at the thought. “And eat your breakfast. Dr Anathema’s order.” Crowley sprang back up before he could be snared by his angel.

Aziraphale let out a resigned sigh but would do as instructed. He begrudgingly rose from their nest looking over the chaos of their room. Finding his silk robe he tied it in place. On their dinette was a full English breakfast, cups of tea and cocoa, several pastries, and a beautiful bouquet of blush pink peonies. Aziraphale melted at the sight. “Thank you, Crowley.” He rushes over hugging his thoughtful husband from behind. Crowley who was busy folding and packing clothing into a suitcase stopped. Aziraphale pressed his face into his demon’s back. “These past two weeks have been the happiest in my existence. And it is all thanks to you.”

‘When you say things like that. God help me.’ “Love hath made me a tame snake.” he dropped the clothing and caressed those arms holding him close.

‘No. I want you as you are. All of you. The light and the dark. The exquisite beauty that is only you.’ “I would not truly want to tame you, Crowley. I…”

“I know, dove." he silenced his angel's fretting. "I have never felt free to be who I wanted to be. Until now. Milton didn’t know shit. Reigning in Hell still felt like servitude. Now I can just be, with you. Sometimes I feel like you’ll grow annoyed with my constant need for you.” ‘This is all I have wanted. It is so perfect it terrifies me.’

“Honestly, love. I worry you’ll grow tired of me. That it is all too much. Or I'm not affording you enough time to yourself.” ‘That you will grow bored of me.’

“After 6,000 years of not being able to have you. Like this. All I want is you. As much as you will let me have.” ‘Forever. I will be yours forever.’

“Quite right.” Aziraphale kisses between his husband's shoulder blades. “Perhaps one day we won’t be so desperate for each other. Though I can’t conceive of it now.” ‘Please God. Don’t let that happen.’

“You’ll tell me, yeah? If I am being too much?” ‘Whatever you need. I will be that for you.’

“Of course, love. As I hope you will for me as well. Now, stop fretting because you and I are in like mind on this regard.” ‘I will never grow weary of your affection.’

'Me, fretting?' “I love you.” ‘With everything I am.’

“And I you. And I will never tire of hearing or saying it.”

“Agreed.” Crowley presses his essence into Aziraphale ever so lightly to remind his angel how deeply his devotion is woven into every fabric of his being. Aziraphale pushes back their essences singing in unison.

Crowley abruptly pulls back into himself. ‘Fuck, we have to be at the airport in two hours.’ Sure he can hurry things along with a few miracles, but his angel takes forever to eat. He pats his angel’s arm. “ Eat. Get dressed.” he scolded. “You are very distracting.” ‘Don’t ever change.’

Aziraphale gives one last hug. He hurries to the little table and considers all of the offerings. Fried bread with orange marmalade, two fried eggs, two pork bangers, three rashes of bacon, pan-fried potatoes, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, a serving of beans, and overly generous portions of black pudding and fried lamb kidneys.

Aziraphale had never been one for offal, but when done right he could see the appeal. Since the sudden need to eat struck him it was all he could think about. The minerally taste of the black pudding seemed to be exactly what his body wants. Anathema reasoned, during yesterday’s check-in, this could be similar to a mineral deficiency. The body craving what it needs. So Aziraphale indulges.

Aziraphale eats his fill, which turned out to be the majority of the offered meal. He patted his mouth with a napkin and turned to Crowley as he snaps the suitcases shut. Aziraphale is quite sure Crowley took more than the time needed to pack to distract himself from temptation.

Aziraphale felt well, energetic even. He stood intending to dress when he saw the nest. ‘I can’t leave it. I can’t sleep without it. Oh, this is silly. It is just a bunch of bedding.’ he turns away trying to ignore his growing panic. ‘It doesn’t feel right. I don’t want to leave the nest.’

Crowley notices Aziraphale worryingly studying the nest, hands wringing. “Dove? Is everything alright?”

Aziraphale is fixated on the nest, looking panicked. “I...Crowley I know it’s silly but…”

“The nest?” ‘I know. You can’t part with it.’

“I can’t leave it. It doesn’t feel right. I...I can’t leave the nest.”

“Then well take it with us. Once we get there I will miracle it over.”

Aziraphale let out a relieved breath. “Oh, thank you, Crowley.”

“Don’t mention it. I’ve gotten used to sleeping on the heap.” ‘It does feel wrong to leave it.’

Contentment mixes with excitement. He cuts his husband a coy look. Aziraphale picks a palest blue silk mesh set of undergarments. It is impossibly sheer with sparse floral appliques to conceal only what is necessary. The delicate set includes bra, panties, and garter. Aziraphale selects a pair of sheer nude hose with a seam running along the back.

Crowley notices his angel’s less than modest selection. 'You mean to vex me this morning.’ He watches with bated breath as first the panties are pulled on. They hide nothing except a sparse area in the front. Then the bra is drawn on. Luckily for Crowley Aziraphale still hasn’t mastered this art. His angel turns with pleading eyes. Crowley assists eagerly. Warm hands brushing his angel’s milky skin as he does. Next Aziraphale slides on the garter, the straps hanging loosely around succulent thighs. ‘How is dressing so seductive?’

When Aziraphale sits to pull on silk stockings Crowley is there. He takes the delicate hose from Aziraphale. Who looks at him questioningly. “Allow me, dove?” Crowley deftly glides the first stocking on so precisely it needs no adjustment. He secures the garter, pressing a kiss to his angel’s knee. He echos the action with the other. He can’t help but run his hands over those silken legs. His eyes focused on his angel’s with the look of a starving man. ‘You are infinitely gorgeous.’ He takes the shoes Aziraphale selected and slides one on, fastening the buckle. Hands caressing at his angel’s elegant ankle. “You are impossibly distracting.” He slides the other shoe on kissing the top of Aziraphale’s foot, buckle fastened.

Crowley can no longer contain himself. He surges up claiming his angel’s mouth. Aziraphale accepts his ravishing husband in a desperate embrace. For a moment they both forget why Aziraphale was getting dressed to begin with.

‘Schedule. You are ruining his surprise.’ Aziraphale forces himself to pull away. “Crowley you said we were on a schedule.”

‘Fuck.’ Crowley allows his head to fall to Aziraphale’s shoulder. “We are, but...Satan’s ballocks.” he groans in frustration. “Dress.” he kisses his angel’s flushed cheek. ‘I love you.”

Crowley steps away, hands clenching and unclenching. He disappears into the bathroom to collect himself. ‘How can an angel be so vexing?’

Aziraphale quickly dresses. A white button-up goes on first. Then a thin pale blue jumper over, leaving only collar and cuffs exposed. A tan pleated chiffon skirt is pulled on. The upper garments tucked underneath. His tartan bowtie is added. And of course, the cashmere cardigan completes the ensemble.

“Crowley, dearest. I am presentable.” Aziraphale calls out to his poor husband who is fighting for restraint. ‘I don’t know if this is a mercy or more torment.’

Crowley exits the bathroom chewing on nothing, hands shoved into tight pockets. ‘Get it together you lust addled demon.’ Crowley escorts his angel to the bentley and loads their luggage in the boot. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Body Language playing mockingly for the driver’s torment. “You are on thin fucking ice, car.” is growled at the bentley.

Crowley drives them to London City Airport. There, waiting for them, much to Aziraphale’s astonishment is a large jetliner. Aziraphale wonders if they are indeed late when he doesn’t see any other passengers boarding the hulking aeroplane.

Even more to Aziraphale’s amazement, the pilots and flight staff greet them personally. The captain all but bows to the pair. “G’ud morning Mr. Crowley. Mrs. Crowley. Everything is ready for take-off. We’ll have the lads see to your luggage.” Crowley simply nods.

Crowley leads his dumbfounded angel into the aircraft. It is luxurious to say the least. Far more spacious than any two beings need for air travel. Crowley guides his angel through the entryway and is greeted by a pleasantly smiling woman. “Mr. Crowley would you and your wife like a tour? Or I can show you to the stateroom. Lunch will be provided once we are in the air.”

“You can give the Missus here a tour if she likes. I know where the stateroom is.”

“Of course Sir.” she averts her eyes. Aziraphale tries to smile his thanks but is too quickly led away.

They pass by a spacious lounge and into a veritable bedroom, complete with an ensuite. The whole plane is opulence epitomized. “Crowley what on Earth is all this.”

“What? Didn’t want to cram in with a bunch of humans.”

“I am not complaining. But isn’t this a bit much?”

“This is the age of excess. We are eternal beings. If we don’t live a little what’s the point?”

“The crew…they were treating us as if we...”

“Yes. Look Aziraphale I bought a rather large, rather ostentatious plane as a well… Call it a wedding gift. For the both of us. Just in case.”

“You bought a plane? Just in case?”

“You never know when you’ll want to fly off to parts unknown. We can now. No assignments or head offices to stop us. At least I didn’t steal it.”

“As I appreciate.” Aziraphale takes another quick look around. Everything is resplendent. Glossy white cupboards, plush bed, gold detailing, and white leather chairs. Aziraphale doesn’t want to know how much the flying house costs. “It is extravagant darling. Thank you.” ‘I hope this was a selfish purchase and not one done to appease me.’

“Think of this as our honeymoon. A bit of extravagance is to be expected.”

“Honeymoon?”

“Yeah, we did get married. It’s customary. A little holiday away.”

“Crowley my loving husband I fear...That is to say...You have been so focused on caring for me and my needs that…” ‘I have been negligent in my spousely duties.’ “I have failed to take into account yours.”

‘Adorable fussy angel.’ “I have everything I need.” Crowley grabs Aziraphale by the waist and pulls his angel close. “Right here.”

“That is very flattering. Is there something, anything that I could do for you that you haven’t thought to ask?”

“Nothing offhand, no.”

“Oh well, perhaps...perhaps.” he searches. ‘Crowley likes cars, but really just one car. He likes alcohol, but we do that all the time. Plants? No, our flat doesn’t have any available room for more plants. If I knew where we are going I could plan something formal. He likes mischief but he can do that any old time. Perhaps I could assist him. No probably just muck it up. Oh, what to do?” his hands are wringing.

‘Fussy, well-meaning idiot. Don’t you get it? I have you.’ “Stop that. You are going to work yourself into a full panic.”

“I…” it hits him. Crowley has been focused solely on Aziraphale’s pleasure. Giving more than he takes. ‘What could I do that is just for him? Oh yes!’ “Crowley I would like to...uh... well you see you...You are ever so thorough as a lover. I would like, well if you would permit me...to reciprocate.”

“Reciprocate?”

“Yes. I believe the term for the act is fellatio.”

Crowley thinks his brain must have malfunctioned. He can’t help but look at his angel in disbelief. ‘Did you just ask to give me a blow job, thinking I would say no?’ His mind was so gone he didn’t realize his angel was still talking.

“I will think of a more formal gesture once we arrive at our mystery destination. But for the moment I would like to give you pleasure.”

“Aziraphale I am not saying no, but you already do please me.” 'How could you think otherwise?'

“Yes but I feel quite selfish.” 'Take and take. Never giving you anything in return.'

“You shouldn’t.” 'I enjoy helping you, pleasing you. It makes me feel useful, needed, wanted.'

“Please allow me this.” his eyes pleading with his demon.

“I already told you I am not saying no.” He smiled tenderly.

'When you smile like that I could melt into nothing.' “Oh, excellent. You could be on the bed or sitting. Standing is also an option, though it might be safer too not. How would you like me to uhhh…”

'Oh, you meant now?' “I thought this was an offer for later?”

“If you want…” he felt deflated. 'Perhaps he doesn't want this.'

His angel looked like he was about to start pouting. “No. No, no. Now’s good. Whenever.”

“Wonderful. Where would you be comfortable?” he smiles brightly at his husband.

“Bed. I think.” 'Hell, on the moon.'

Aziraphale approaches his demon, who is unmistakably tense. ‘It’s not like you haven’t done this to me. Selfishly I didn’t reciprocate then. I will be more attentive.’ Aziraphale gently takes Crowley’s reclaimed jacket by the lapels and eases it off his shoulders. “Relax dearest.”

Crowley realizes he has gone rigid. He forces himself to relax. His angel is watching him as each of his shirt buttons are undone. ‘Satan those eyes.’ Aziraphale reaches his trousers and with a good firm, yank frees his shirt. The remaining buttons opened, the shirt joins the discarded jacket. His angel takes his snakehead belt in hand and unfastens it. Then comes the button of his trousers. All the while those peerless blue eyes watching. The zipper slowly slid down. “Wait.”

Aziraphale looks at him in alarm. ‘Do you not want this? Have I crossed an unspoken line?’

“I want your clothes off, but the under bits to remain. Will you do that for me, dove?” his voice a low smooth purr.

‘Oh thank goodness.’ “Yes, love.” Aziraphale can’t contain his excitement.

Aziraphale gently pushes Crowley to sit on the bed. Cardigan is hastily removed and tossed to a nearby chair.

“Hold on.” Crowley's voice was commanding. Aziraphale stopped, hands ready to undo bowtie. “I want to watch you, dove. Please, take your time.” Crowley rests back on his elbows. His arousal apparent through tight leather.

Aziraphale slowly pulls the bowtie loose and lets it hang. The jumper was taken in hand and gradually pulled over his head. Aziraphale paused, letting the jumper fall to the floor. He unbuttoned the cuffs of white shirt, then slowly works each button open. Pale blue peeking through the widening fabric. Like before, focused cerulean eyes regard his husband. When he reaches the skirt he pulls the fabric free to finish. Once the buttons were undone he slowly opened revealing bra and ample breasts underneath.

Crowley desperately wants to reach out but restrains himself. ‘No, just watch. This is to be savoured.’

Aziraphale let the shirt fall to the floor. He unzips the skirt, allowing the garment to float gracefully down. Aziraphale stands before his husband in nearly nothing, save for that deliciously sheer lingerie. He moves towards his demon, eyes focused.

“Wait. Turn around for me, dove?”

Aziraphale does as instructed. Crowley sits up and presses a kiss to his angel’s back. A shiver tingles the length of Aziraphale’s spine. Crowley runs his finger under the strap holding up the hose and gives it a snap. Which earns him a delightful little squeak. Then he caresses Aziraphale’s supple bottom. Crowley bows forward pressing a kiss between the exposed flesh between panties and garter. “Will you keep this one for me, dove?”

“Yes” The others had long since faded, and he longed to have a cherished reminder of the time spent in each other’s arms.

Crowley bites down, sucking, leaving a perfect mark. He admires the already bruising skin. Crowley trailed a finger under panty line. Following the soft fabric down between his angel’s legs.

“Will you take these off for me too, dove? Don’t want them getting in the way. Can you do that for me?”

‘I know where this leads. You giving and me taking selfishly.’ “Crowley? I want to give you pleasure.”

“That would please me. Will you? For me, my love?”

‘If that is what you desire.’ “Yes.”

Aziraphale considers how, then decides to slowly push them down, bending forward for Crowley’s consideration. As he reaches his ankles Crowley grabs him and pulls him onto his lap. Either of Aziraphale’s legs coming to rest over Crowley’s. “That was quite a show, dove.” Slowly, Crowley spreads his legs. Pushing Aziraphale’s legs wider apart. His hand snakes around to rest on his angel’s abdomen. Aziraphale has gone quite still. ’Oh, how the tables turn.’ “Dove, you said you want to please me?”

“Yes. I was going to…”

“And you will.” He cuts his angel off. “But thissss” his hands dip down, finding that slick pearl and begins to rub. His angel sighing a delicious moan. “This pleassses me. Will you let me, dove?”

“As it pleases you, dearest. uuuhn.” Aziraphale rests against his husband, legs already trembling.

Crowley strokes Aziraphale, feeling his angel already so undone. His other hand cups his angel’s breast as he kisses along Aziraphale’s exposed neck. His angel is shaking leaning fully into him. The barbs of pleasure spiralling towards that height.

Though Aziraphale knows there are people just beyond their stateroom door, he can’t stifle the keens that escape his throat. All at once he is lost, stars dancing behind closed lids. Fingers coaxing him through each wave of ecstasy. He is left panting, resting against his husband.

“Thank you, dove.” Crowley purrs into his angel’s ear.

‘No. I will not be selfish this time.’ Aziraphale scrambles to his knees before Crowley can distract him further. With a snap, Crowley is naked. To the demon’s surprise. Aziraphale takes his husband’s effort in already slick hand. He watches his demon’s beautiful features as he gently strokes his length. Crowley groans, head falling back. Aziraphale leans in licking the underside of his husband’s effort.

Crowley forces himself to look up. Watching his angel take time licking at velvety head. Encouraging sounds of pleasure spur Azirphale on.

Aziraphale envelopes Crowley with his lips. A groan is strangled in Crowley’s throat has his arousal disappears into his angel’s hot wet mouth. Aziraphale tries to mimic what Crowley did with him weeks before. He sucks and caresses with his tongue. Remembering all the sensations Crowley drew from him. Then he slides down, taking Crowley’s whole effort in. He feels his demon’s arousal twitch. Crowley’s hands tangle into his hair, pulling. The sensation stings enticingly. He moans in response.

‘Shit, you are hurting Aziraphale.’ Crowley realizes what he is doing and pulls his hand away. Guilt raking at his insides.

Aziraphale grasps it before it is out of reach and returns it to his curls. He pulls up almost all the way off before descending down once again. He repeats this several times. Moaning as his husband’s hands tighten harshly in his hair. Crowley is shaking, nearing his release. Aziraphale pushes down, sheathing Crowley deep in his throat. A loud groan is all the warning he has as his demon spills into him.

Crowley is panting, running his fingers through downy curls. “You can do that whenever you like.”

“Did that please you, my love?”

He huffs a laugh. “Yes. By someone’s sake Aziraphale you are exquisite.”

“I have a wonderful tutor.” he nudges his demon playfully.

Crowley pulls his angel onto the bed. Holding Aziraphale until he can function again. They took lunch in their room, once they were once again dressed.

 

4:00 PM Nice

 

The plane touches down and the stewardess from before, who didn’t miss any of the sounds coming from the stateroom smiles at the lovely couple. “Welcome to Nice.”.

Aziraphale turns to Crowley. “France?” it is a question, but one of happiness.

He shrugs. “What? Nice is nice. You like France.”

“Oh, I do darling. Thank you.” 'Beautiful thoughtful demon.'

“After you, wife” wife was said in a way that amused Aziraphale, but lost on the humans.

They exit the plane into the Aeroport Nice Cote d’Azur. The airport is full of people hurrying here and there. None aware of the entities currently in their presents. They miraculously make quick time through customs. Crowley guiding them through the sea of humans out to the city. The air is perfect, a light breeze wisps through Aziraphale’s hair.

The only drawback is he has to hold his skirt down for modesty’ sake. The faint smell of the sea washes over him. Aziraphale takes in their surroundings. There, parked waiting at the entrance is the Bentley.

‘Of course.’ “I should have known you wouldn’t leave your beloved automobile behind.” Crowley simply smiles. Their luggage already loaded into the boot. “So far this is turning out to be a wonderful honeymoon.”

“Just wait. It gets better.” ‘I hope whatever is causing you to suffer was left in London.’

Crowley puts the car into drive. George Gershwin’s Seaside Rendezvous announcing their arrival to the beautiful French Riviera coastal city. They travelled the Promenade des Anglais. Aziraphale hadn’t been to this part of France in over two hundred years. He was amazed by how it had changed, and how much still remained the same. His eyes were glittering brightly as Crowley leisurely drove them on.

They pull up outside of a beautiful villa perched precariously on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful azure bay. Crowley is greeted by a man, “Monsieur Anthony J. Crowley je présume.”

“Oui. Donnez-nous les clés et partez.” Crowley grouses at the now annoyed looking man.

The man shoves the keys in Crowley’s hand and turns. Grumbling ‘Putain de touristes.’ on his retreat.

Aziraphale missed most of the exchange. He was loathed to admit his French hadn’t improved from the Bastille debacle. Crowley opened the door and ushered him inside. With a snap, all of their luggage was consigned upstairs, neatly put away.

“Have a look around love. I am going to let Bookgirl know we arrived.”

Aziraphale nodded and began roaming through the lovely villa. The walls were a soft lemon yellow. Beautiful mosaic tile floors through the first level. There were many terraces. One of the lower,  near the sea had a beautiful garden. Purple bougainvillaea, native palms, several types of shrubs, fragrant lavender and a cascade of blue jacaranda that clung to the cliffside. He could imagine them taking breakfast out there.

In the living room, there was a marble staircase that led up. On the second floor, the walls became a soft cream. Floors were hardwood in a chevron pattern. Everything felt light here.

A pocket of calm in a crazy world. The light diffused through the windows making everything seem to glow. Aziraphale wandered from room to room taking it all in. When he found the master bedroom he smiled. There where a bed should have been was their nest. ‘True to your word as always.’

The doors to the terrace were open. Aziraphale felt pulled towards the view of the bay below. It was breathtaking. Azure blue waters, calm, gentle waves lapping at the rocky shore. Everything beyond the villa was full of life. Boats milling about. He could see distant humans enjoying the beach. ‘Perfect for a honeymoon.’

Crowley followed the warm sensation of love up the stairs and into the bedroom. He froze as he saw his angel standing on the terrace bathed in sunlight. Curls slightly swaying with the breeze. ‘Do you know how beautiful you are?”

Aziraphale hears his husband enter. He turns seeing his demon in the arched doorway. “Crowley this is so beautiful.” his eyes are full of tears.

Crowley smiles. ‘Well done, me. For once.’ He saunters over to his angel, taking hold from behind. Moulding into Aziraphale’s back. “You know this place has quite the legend.” He rests his chin on his angel’s shoulders.

“I love a good story.” Aziraphale leans his head to Crowley’s

“If you hear the humans tell it, after the business with the apple, your charges came here. Guided by angels. So they say.” he informs into his angel's ear.

“You mean...Adam and Eve?” 'Surely not.'

“It’s just a legend. Humans wouldn’t make it this far until long after they were dead. They call this the Baie des Anges.” 'Poor bastards.'

“Bay of Angels...Agnes.” ‘Be contented Principality. Be held in thy Serpent coils. Upon the Bay that shareth thy name. Ye will be at peace.’ "Crowley! Agnes knew we would come here.”

“Always on the money.” Crowley hugged his angel tighter.

‘Yes, she is.’ “Thank you, darling. You have really outdone yourself.”

“It’s not over yet. We…” a kiss to shoulder “Are going…” kiss to neck “to explore every inch…” a nip at ear “of this paradise.” Aziraphale turns his head to his husband. Mouth accepting a tender long kiss. “We have the villa for as long as you like.”

“It is exquisite.” 'As are you.'

‘No more so than you.’ “Now, we need to get you fed. This place is the land of fine cuisine.”

“I am at my leisure. Where should we try first?”

They had a wonderful dinner that night at La Reserve. The establishment boasted a magnificent panoramic view of Nice. The wait staff informed them the building was constructed in 1862. Aziraphale felt a sting of guilt remembering that particular year. He gave his husband the most sombre of apologetic looks. His demon’s response was simply, “We have each other now.” And it was true.

Every dish was a masterpiece. An expression of colours complemented by exquisite design. The flavours were vibrant and layered. Aziraphale felt another twinge of guilt disturbing the delicate craftsmanship that went into each offering.

After dinner they walked along the promenade, taking in some of the sights. Crowley cursing the city lights for drowning out the celestial ones. This gave Aziraphale an idea. One of many, now that he knew where they were. ‘I can’t wait to surprise you.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 11
9:00 am Friday 6 September 2019

Nice

 

Aziraphale awoke in his husband’s arms. He turned to see his demon smiling in his early morning dreams. His hair looked like spun copper in the golden rays seeping through the windows. ‘Thank you for loving me.’ He pressed the faintest kiss to Crowley’s mouth, careful not to wake him. Crowley had made it a point to be up before Aziraphale every morning since he fainted. Today, Aziraphale reasoned it would be a kindness to allow his husband to sleep in.

Aziraphale donned his plush powder blue robe. Heading toward the kitchen to make tea. A knock echoed through the silent villa. Aziraphale hurried to the door. Yesterday before supper, they stopped at several shops near the villa. While Crowley arranged for local shops to deliver groceries and wine, Aziraphale had seen to it that a beautiful bouquet with specific blooms was to be delivered this morning. He opened the door to a sweet-looking young man.

‘Bonjour Madame, j'ai une livraison pour Aziraphale.’ the young delivery man smiles.

“Je te remercie Aziraphale.” Aziraphale smiled at the young man. Who was now looking at him in puzzlement. ‘Oh dear, that wasn’t right.’ Aziraphale thought, then cleared his throat. “Je suis Aziraphale. Merci d'avoir livré les fleurs.”

The boy simply smiled and nodded. “Je vous en prie, Madame. Sont-elles à votre satisfaction?”

Aziraphale scrutinized each flower carefully. Pink and purple hydrangeas, perfect blush peonies, purple stock, rosy cloud daffodils, and white chrysanthemums and carnations. They were all flawless. Aziraphale couldn’t wait for his green-thumbed husband to see the exquisite blooms. “Oui elles sont parfaites!”

The young man smiled again, “Merci m'dame. N'hésitez pas à nous solliciter si vous avez besoin d'autre chose.”

“En fait, ici.” Aziraphale hands the boy a slip of paper. “Si vous pouviez les livrer le matin?”

“Oui m'dame. Je vais m'en occuper personnellement.” the boy smiles accepting the paper.

“Oh, bless you. I-I mean ... Soyez béni. Merci beaucoup...uhhh... Bonne journée.”

The boy nods and leaves. Aziraphale carries the flowers inside and places them on the dining table, adjusting it just so. He considers them for a moment, brows furrowed contemplating. ‘I hope Crowley likes them.’ Aziraphale hurries and makes coffee and tea. Setting them out near the flowers. He only took the first sip of tea when lips pressed to his cheek.

“Good morning, dove.” Crowley nuzzled against his angel’s ear.

“Good morning, husband.” Aziraphale crumbles every time the name dove comes from his demon’s lips.

Crowley caresses his angel’s arms as he surveys the table. Black coffee, tea, and a bouquet he was quite sure wasn’t there last night.
“Those are new,” he said, kissing Aziraphale’s temple.

“Yes. I had them delivered.” ‘I hope I did the right thing.’

“They are beautiful.” ‘This is one of your “I am selfish things” isn’t it.’ “For me?”

“Yes, love.”

Crowley considered the arrangement. ‘There is a lot of meaning to these particular flowers. Of course, you would try to revive that old victorian practice. Just like that coat. Probably had something to do with the whole thing, to begin with.’ Sure they were pleasant to look at. The stock and peonies have the most heavenly, well not heavenly scent. ‘Heaven smelled like a sterile surgical room.’ These were delicately sweet with a hint of spice. ‘I know, angel. I love you too.’ “Thank you, Aziraphale.” He hugged his angel tightly before sitting in the chair, taking coffee in hand.

They drank in silence before they both hurried to say.

“So what do you have planned today?”
“It is a beautiful day. What do you say about going to the beach?”

“Oh! The beach sounds wonderful...only…”

“Only?” ‘This better not be one of your “I’m soft” excuses.’

“I don’t have the appropriate attire for the beach.” ‘If I had known I would have prepared.’

“A bathing suit?”

“Yes, that would be it.”

“Oh, don’t worry. I brought one along.” he sipped his coffee. ‘Not sure how you will feel about it.”

“Oh?” They hadn’t purchased one while shopping. ‘When did he pick one up?’

“Yeah, s’upstairs. Perhaps we should go change? Get you some breakfast?” ‘This was far too easy.’

“Alright, beach it is.” Aziraphale agrees with a happy wiggle.

Upstairs was, in fact, a bathing suit. A white, alternating lace and mesh one piece that was only solid over the bust and bottom. It might as well be a string bikini the way Aziraphale scrutinized the garment.

“Darling, this hardly leaves anything to the imagination.” turning the suit over in hand looking as if searching for more fabric.

“There will be a lot of people with less on. I can guarantee.” ‘Should take you to a nude beach so you can get a real eye full.’

“Yes, but...I haven’t been this naked in public since Rome. Even then I kept my towel on.” he pouted. ‘Even with the towel I felt rather exposed. Effort or not.’

“Look, it's fine. This is quite modest these days. And you will look stunning in it.” his angel was fretting. “Look, just try it on. Would you do that for me, dove?” he was learning how to get his way. Every time he uses the pet name, it earns him the most demanding pulses of desire.

‘Damn you. You know I can’t refuse you when you call me that.’ “Alright.” Aziraphale removes his robe and steps into the garment. He pulls it up and is surprised how comfortable it is. The fabric is soft, and the little flare of lace around the hips distracts from the fact that this is basically publicly acceptable lingerie. Aziraphale studies his reflection in the bathroom mirror. “Well, it is rather lovely.” It hugs his body just right. Accentuating his new curves. He is rather growing used to this form. Aziraphale runs his hands over the cool fabric.

Crowley smiles, knowing he has won, shrugging out of his satin robe. He pulls on a simple black square-leg swimsuit. He puts on a pair of loose black linen pants and button-down. And of course his sunglasses. He offers Aziraphale a pair of white sandals and sunglasses to compliment the suit. His angel smiles and accepts them. Crowley sliding his own black pair on. The finishing touch is a gossamer caftan that falls to Aziraphale’s mid-thigh.

‘Oh, that is a little better.’ “You are ever so thoughtful, dearest.” Aziraphale kisses his husband, wrapping his arms around his neck.

Crowley kisses back, pulling his angel in close by the waist. “Purely selfish reasons.’ he smirks giving one last peck. He takes his angel’s hand, and they go to the Bentley.

They stop at a patisserie and pick up fig, blueberry, and anjou pear tartlets, Tarte tropézienne, Paris-Brest, palmier, Kouign-Amann, and the compulsory croissant.

 

11:00 am

 

Crowley drove them to Saint Laurent du Var’s Beach Club. Nice was beautiful, but the stony shores weren’t as pleasant as sandy beaches. When they arrive all the pastries already long gone.

Waiting for them is a lovely beach bed. White canvas curtains to afford them a modicum of privacy. Crowley quickly strips out of his linen ensemble, adjusting the band of his suit. Removing his sunglasses before giving Aziraphale an anticipatory look. “Well? Aren’t you going to join me?”

“If you don’t mind dearest I would like to just relax for a bit.”

“Are you feeling sick again?”

“Nothing like that, love. I just simply want to take in our surroundings. You go ahead. I promise to join you later.”

Crowley thinks, hands on his hips. ‘Is this your polite way of asking for alone time?’ “Alright. If you’re sure.”

“Yes, dearest. Go enjoy.” Aziraphale smiles to reassure his demon.

Crowley shrugs and turns walking to the cool blue clear water. Aziraphale watches as he wades out to waist deep, before diving below the gentle waves. Crowley staying under, longer than a human could on a single breath. Aziraphale starts to worry if anyone has taken notice.

Below the surface, Crowley enjoys the singular feeling of weightlessness. It reminds him of a time before. A time when he was more than a minor demon. Before the war, before he lost Her favour. He loses track of time, mind lost to memory. He wondered what Aziraphale had been like back then. What could have been if they met before time began? Would he have questioned God? Would he have risked their love for such things? If you asked him now, he would say no. Back then he didn’t have Aziraphale. Back then, he loved as angels were meant to, and it wasn’t enough. Crowley pushes off the bottom, breaking the surface with a loud splash. ‘Better to leave the past alone.’

Crowley spends a few long minutes paddling about. He tries to give Aziraphale time to enjoy the solitude. His angel was always better at finding things to occupy silent moments. It isn’t long before he grows bored and swims to shore.

Aziraphale notices his husband approaching, dripping wet. Long, lean frame glistening in the warm sunlight. Aziraphale has to avert his eyes before thoughts turn to other wanton pursuits. He quickly folds up Travels Through the French Riviera by Virginia Johnson.

“How was it, dearest?”

Crowley grabs one of the towels they brought with them. Running it over his body once before flopping on the bed. Elbows tucked beneath him, propping him up to look at his angel. “The water is amazing, angel. Put the bloody book down, swim with me.”

Aziraphale miracles the book back to the villa.“I will, darling. Just getting to know the area.” ‘And making my own plans.’

Crowley shifts on his back. “Have it your way.” he runs his fingers through his dripping hair. Pushing it away from his face and lays back.

Aziraphale sees his disappointment and snuggles alongside his still damp demon. Head resting in the crook of his shoulder. Children play at the shoreline. Chasing each other as their parents look on. Their giggles shrill and joyful, little smiles shining bright. Aziraphale notices Crowley grinning, contentedly watching the pair darting to and frow.

“They are having a wonderful time, aren’t they?” Aziraphale comments. ‘Softy.’

Crowley is pulled from the scene, “Yeah.” ‘Shame they grow up so fast.’ “Kids, they are so curious and full of life.”

“Is that why you are so fond of them?” Aziraphale asks snuggling closer. ‘Big soft sweet demon.’

“Fond?” ‘Just prefer the small ones to the selfish creatures they are destined to grow into.’

‘Don’t try to deny it.’ “Yes, dearest. You have always had such a soft spot for the little dears.”

“I dunno.” he thinks back on the horrible flood, the terrible wars and plagues. His chest aches at the millions of little souls that never had a chance to grow to their potential. “Just don't like seeing em hurt." He can’t look at the happy family any longer.

Aziraphale notices his husband trying to hide his sullen expression. ‘You love them more than all those pretenders in Heaven.’ "Nor do I. Babies are especially precious."

Crowley groans, "Lot of pooping and crying, babies. Though I suppose they must have their appeal."

Aziraphale crunches his nose. "Yes, excrement. One of the Almighty's odder creations."

"Hmmm. What were you reading?" Crowley asks needing to diverge from that line of discussion.

Aziraphale sits up, looking primly down on his husband. He affords him a mischievous smile. "You have your surprises, and I have mine.”

"Surprises?" ‘This should be interesting.’

"Yes." Aziraphale quickly kisses his demon. ‘And no, I am not telling you.’

‘If you want to play that game then.’ "You are going to surprise me with a book?" he cocks an eyebrow.

"I am not telling. You'll get no hints from me." his nose coyly poked up.

Crowley leans in whispering in Aziraphale's ear, "not one single hint." He takes earlobe in his mouth. Teeth nipping, making his angel gasp in surprise.

"Darling, we are in public." Aziraphale scans their surroundings for anyone who might have seen.

‘That is too adorable.’ "What? If we want to go unseen, the humans would be none the wiser." He pulls Aziraphale down on top of him.

Aziraphale manages to wriggle free and pushes up, "Be that as it may, it would make me uncomfortable." He gives Crowley a pleading look.

Crowley removes his hands from Aziraphale instantly. ‘Too far. Should have known better.’

Aziraphale sees his demon’s rejected eyes focused on the water. “That is not to say all affection. Just our more intimate moments I should like to keep private." ‘Please don’t look so sad.’

Crowley looks over. Aziraphale looks like a weight has suddenly settled hard on those soft shoulders. ‘Fuck. You are blaming yourself again.’ Crowley thinks. Generally in such situations, he would pick at Aziraphale’s uptight sensibilities. Aziraphale would scold him, perhaps laugh, but not look so disheartened. Crowley holds up his fingers to snap "Sooo... as long as there is no one around?"

"Anthony J. Crowley don't you dare." He said sternly. A blush burning in his cheeks.

"Then take off that cover-up and swim with me, dove." ‘So predictable, you.’

Aziraphale cuts him a scolding look, "Fine. You wily serpent." ‘Incorrigible.’

Aziraphale stands, about to remove the caftan when he looks around. Checking to see if anyone is watching. Crowley sees hesitation and stands, coming to his angel’s side. Aziraphale’s brows are drawn up in distress. Crowley takes the hem of the garment in hand, “You are beautiful you daft fussy angel. Nobody is even looking.” Aziraphale sighs his acquiescence. Crowley guides the covering off of his angel and takes his hand, leading them to the sea.

‘Crowley was right. The water is invigorating.’ They spent several hours lost in the gentle rolling of waves, stolen kisses, and the warmth of each other's arms. Aziraphale can’t help but notice Crowley’s definition of swimming is cuddling in the water. He is so contented he doesn’t even notice when he starts to tire.

Crowley sees it first. Aziraphale has gone a bit pale. It is everything Crowley can do to choaks down his fear. He hadn’t allowed his angel a moment to become fatigued in days. “Let’s get lunch.’ He hurries Aziraphale back to their sea bed. He closes the curtains, leaving only Aziraphale’s side unsecured.

Crowley orders for them. Soon a bountiful lunch is brought. Aziraphale savours the cuisine. The fresh seafood and local ingredients are scrumptious. Once the colour has returned to his angel’s cheeks, they lay down. The gentle breeze, warm sun, soft waves, and sounds of children playing lull them both to sleep.

They remain like that, in various states of consciousness until the sun begins, it’s decent. Crowley checks his large watch. “Alright, time to be getting back.”

 

5:00 pm

 

The ride back to their villa is a veritable history lesson. Aziraphale chatters on about each landmark they pass. Even some they can’t possibly see from the Promenade. They arrive back at the villa, and there on the dining table is a large white box. Aziraphale looks at it wondering if he is meant to open it. His husband smiles like the cat that got into the cream.

Crowley takes the box in one hand, and his angel’s in the other. Upstairs the box is placed on the nightstand hear their nest. Crowley gestures to the box, “Open it.”

Inside, wrapped in tissue is a silvery-white silk organza dress. Stars picked out in crystals and glass beads, with bursts of varying size crystals throughout. Making the dress look like there's a galaxy glittering across the fabric. Aziraphale’s hand hovers over the striking raiment.

“Crowley, it is exquisite.” His eyes are full of wonder. ‘One human thing Gabriel and I can agree on.’

Crowley takes Aziraphale’s hand away from the box and kisses his angel’s knuckles. “Would you wear this tonight for me, dove?”

“Of course. May I ask as to the occasion?” ‘No common dinner arrangments call for such finery.’

“Seems the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra is holding a preview concert for those who can’t attend their upcoming church event.” he shrugs smirking his amusement.

Aziraphale fights to hide his delight. He manages to give Crowley his best mock scolding look, “I am sure you had nothing to do with it, dear.”

“I would have taken you to the church, but…” he looks as if he is a disappointment. Looking at the boxed dress and not Aziraphale. ‘I could have if I hadn’t Fallen.’

Aziraphale cups his husband’s cheeks gently between his hands. Turning that haunted face to meet him. “Crowley, please love I didn’t mean it like that. One time of seeing you in pain was far more than I can bear.”

Still not looking at his angel “If I wasn’t a demon we could…”

Aziraphale holds Crowley firmly in place. “It is my turn to tell you I will have none of this. You, my fabulously wonderful husband, are a demon, yes. But you are so much more. You are kind, don’t correct me. You are considerate, gentle, trustworthy, dependable, curious, patient, witty, and positively alluring in all that you are. And the most wonderous husband a silly angel could ever hope for. It hurts to see you be so uncharitable toward yourself.”

“M’not...” ‘You’re giving me qualities you want to see.’

“No, I will hear none of that. You tell me all the ways you love me. Things I don’t see in myself. Do you believe those things to be true? Or are they idol compliments? Kind words and nothing more?” Aziraphale was stern now. ‘You also have the skull of an ox at times.’

Crowley looks deeply offended. “Of course not Aziraphale! How could you…”

Aziraphale stops him by placing a hand on his husband’s chest.“Then, is it not possible that as I don’t see those things, you can’t see the beauty I see in you?” ‘Perhaps we are both oxen.’

He considers this a long moment. Part of him doesn’t believe it. But a small voice in the back of his mind thrills at the thought. “S’pose so.”

“And just because you can not go into a church, really? Do you think that that truly disappoints me?” Aziraphale demands, a brow raised.

‘That part of who you are I can never be?’ “Doesn’t it?”

“Crowley it is just a building. Most have had their fair share of sorted histories at any rate. Surprised they can even be consecrated.” Aziraphale looks up at his demon, pleading for him to understand. “I will never prize anything over you.”

“Not even your bookssss?” he tries to joke.

“I would be sad to part with them. But I will choose you over my books this moment. If that is what it will take to prove to you how much I love you.”

‘Well damn.’ he is a bit taken back by his angel’s sincerity. “No. You are right. I’ll work on it.” ‘I still don’t think I will ever see what you see.’

“Good.” Aziraphale nods, shoulders swaying with pride. ‘He likes to feel needed.’ “Now, this dress looks rather complicated. Will you assist me?”

Aziraphale gently removes the gown from the box and fluffs it out. It is like something out of a dream. ‘Probably is. Crowley’s imagination at any rate.’ Aziraphale hands the dress to Crowley and goes to the dresser to select undergarments. Aziraphale pulls out a white and a nude bra considering them. Crowley lays the dress down on the chest and searches through the drawer. He holds up a sheer pair of nude lace panties. “Only these, dove.”

Aziraphale registers what Crowley didn’t offer. “No, brassiere?”

Crowley smirks. 'This is all going exactly to plan.' “No, the dress isn’t made so you can wear one.” He hands his angel the undergarment. Then works to slip the bathing suit from Aziraphale’s shoulders. He guides the suit down, exposing his angel’s breasts. He assesses them before assisting Aziraphale out of the suit.

“Crowley, isn’t that a bit, well, tawdry?” Aziraphale looks down at himself. His breasts weren’t a trivial matter. He worried if the organza would be able to restrain the weight of them.

‘The world can get fucked.’ “Nobody will think you a tart in this dress, trust me.” Crowley, in truth, would curse the first person who even dared give his angel the slightest of disapproving looks.

Panties are pulled on, and the dress is brought over Aziraphale’s head. There is no zipper. Instead, the back is open in a deep v to the waist, stars clustered up the length. Crowley assists his angel in sliding into the delicate sleeves. Which are so thin they are barely seen, except for the stars and crystals twinkling along the length. A small loop secures the ends to the middle finger. The bodice appears from a distance to have a low plunging sweetheart neckline, but in actuality, there is a ghostly thin mesh allowing stars and crystals to appear floating on Aziraphale’s pale skin. Along with the close-fitted ones, there are gathered split- sleeves flowing to the floor. The whole thing is impossibly sheer. Any undergarments other than the one Aziraphale is wearing could be clearly seen, through the fabric. Ethereal is the only word that comes to mind.

Aziraphale goes to the vanity mirror. It as if he is painted with starlight. “Crowley I…”

“Are stunning.” ‘As always. Clothing will never change that.’

Aziraphale feels the prickle of tears. “Thank you, dearest.” ‘I won’t cry in this dress.’

“Will you let me do up your hair, dove?” he asks, pulling out the little stool. Aziraphale smiles and sits, back elegantly straight. His angel keeps tracing delicate fingers over the little stars. Seeming to be lost in deep thought. Crowley pins his angel’s now fully shoulder-length hair into a coiffure of ringlets in the back. Securing small crystal stars throughout. Several curls are intentionally left loose around his angel’s face.

Aziraphale is handed a tiny box. ‘Good Lord, more gifts? Do you not think this is all more than enough?’ Aziraphale opens the velvet box. Inside are two teardrop diamonds on impossibly dainty white gold chains.

“Don’t think I haven’t noticed you have pierced ears.” he purrs into one of said ears. Aziraphale watches in the mirror as Crowley takes the gems in hand and slides each in place. “Perfection.”

Aziraphale had to admit Crowley had a refined taste in fashion, “Crowley you spoil me.”

“I have wanted to spoil you rotten for quite some time, dove.” He takes his angel’s chin between his fingers and turns that perfect face to him.”Please let me?”

Aziraphale smiles up at his doting husband. “Only if you allow me to reciprocate from time to time.”

“Is that what we are calling it now?” he teases.

Aziraphale tuts and turns away in coy disapproval. “No, you fiend. I meant, will you also allow me to indulge you?”

“I don’t think you realize you already do.” ‘Every moment I have with you.’

Aziraphale turns back and stands. Quickly taking his husband’s hand. “Not as I would like.”

‘Fussy angel.’ “Then spoil away.”

Aziraphale considers. Thinking of a thousand options at once. “Crowley?”

“Yes, dove.” he presses a kiss to his angel’s forehead, before disappearing into the closet to dress.

“Next Thursday, do you already have plans?” ‘Please say no. It is vital to mine.’

“None that can’t be rearranged,” he calls out. ‘So Thursday will be the surprise.’

“I would like you to leave that day free. I-I... may have plans for us that day.” ‘Don’t give to much away. He is crafty.’

“The book?” Crowley teases in a singsong tone.

“Well, it assisted me in forming those plans, yes.” ‘I will tell you nothing more beloved adversary.’

“Alright. Thursday is all yours.” ‘Can’t wait to see what you’ve cooked up.’

“Thank you, dearest.” ‘Perfect’ he can’t help but wiggle.

Crowley smiles and returns from dressing. He is wearing a polished all-black three-piece suit and tie. Making their two outfits quite the contrast. A small silver snake pin sits coiled on his lapel. Snakeskin boots abandoned for sleek black dress shoes.

‘It is not fair how gorgeous you look in everything you wear.’ “You are so beautiful, Crowley.”

“I think tonight, as always, angel, you have me beat.” He tilts Aziraphale’s chin up for a quick kiss.

Aziraphale blushes. Crowley offers his arm, and they go to the Bentley. Franz Shubert’s Heaven for Everyone softly floating in the air.

 

6:30 pm

 

At the Opera de Nice, they sit in a private box near the stage. The whole room is awash in gold and red. Making the blonde in white, and the redhead in all black, contrast starkly against their surroundings. The concert began on schedule. Well, Crowley’s schedule anyways.

Aziraphale took his husband’s hand as the first triumphant calls issue from the orchestra. He recognizes it instantly as Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for two trumpets in C. major. Aziraphale leans into the notes as they dance through the air. Violins a quick staccato duelling the effervescent horns. It reminds Aziraphale of the moment he was assigned to Eden. He was so excited to be given charge of such an important post.

The unmistakable jarring first chords of Jean-Fery Rebel’s The Elements, Chaos brought Aziraphale out of his daydream. He jerked into Crowley as if the murderer of a horror movie just popped on screen. “Good Lord, I wasn’t expecting that.”

“Good thing I was in the area, dove.”

Aziraphale tutted, but leaned against Crowley all the same. The orchestra played through The Elements splendidly. Aziraphale closed his eyes once again lost in the richness of the beautiful work. Music was a language all of its own. Every note carrying the composer’s intentions. Speaking of emotions and thoughts often, no words can surmise.

When Rebel gave way to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major. Aziraphale turned to his husband. “Tonight has been amazing my, love. But I do hope you understand I don’t need all these material things to love you.”

“I know, dove. I had a similar evening planned the night we bonded. I had tickets to your Albert Hall. Just getting it right this time is all.”

Aziraphale smiled, “You dearest, are what the humans would call a romantic.”

“Guess that comes with loving someone for 6,000 years.”

“Quite. Alright but I am setting a rule. You and I will only go to excess on special occasions.”

“Fair. I like our little corner of mundane and quiet. Let’s just enjoy tonight.” Aziraphale snuggles back into Crowley, head resting on broad shoulders. The concert concluded some twenty minutes later and the house cheers. Aziraphale stands applauding beaming brightly at the performers.
9:00 pm

 

They had reservations or at least an expectation of their arrival at Le Chantecler. Crowley threatened the poor valet with torture in hell if he found a single scratch on the Bentley. They were shown to their table overlooking the bay. Their waiter greeted them. “ BBonsoir Madame, Monsieur. Célébrez-vous une occasion spéciale?"”

“Oui, j'ai épousé l'amour de ma vie”

“Congradutlations. Êtes-vous ici en lune de miel?”

“Oui!" he is delighted that his French may be slowly improving.

They eat the sumptuous offerings of the expert chefs. The Sommelier pairs each dish precisely. Between Aziraphale’s appreciative moans and nattering about each dish, there isn’t a moment of silence. Crowley drinks until the room becomes a bit fuzzy.

The meal concludes with an apple dessert. Crowley insists on feeding Aziraphale. To his surprise, the apple is smokey and sweet. It contrasts beautifully with the warmth of the calvados, the richness of the cream, and tart bite of vinegar. The texture is provided by puffed spelt, which gives the whole dish a rich nutty note. Aziraphale has a feeling the dessert might be why his husband chose this establishment. It reminds him of his demon.

Dinner concluded, the wine finished, they return to their villa. Crowley has one more thing he wishes to do before he allows this day to end. He guides Aziraphale out to the patio. Once out beneath the starry sky, he pulls his angel into his arms. “Did you enjoy yourself tonight, dove?”

“Yes, dearest. It was all so wonderful.”

“Good.” he kisses his angel’s perfect nose. “Will you do something for me? Will you dance with me, dove?” ‘I have wanted to dance with you for so long. Please say yes.’

“Crowley, I only know the gavotte. I don’t think this dress is meant for such rigours.” ‘I am not refusing you. Please don’t think I am refusing.’

‘I love you, but I will never dance the gavotte.’ “No. It’s far more simple than all that. We just hold each other and sway with the rhythm.”

“That doesn’t sound so difficult.” ‘Yes, yes, I will dance with you.”

Crowley takes his phone from his pocket and turns on B.B. King’s Come Rain or Come Shine. His hand returns to the exposed skin between shoulder blades, the other holding Aziraphale’s in a relaxed hold to the side. They sway to the songs sensual beat.

The words aren’t lost on Aziraphale. He presses his temple to his husband’s cheek. Crowley’s hand gently caressing his back as they shift slightly from foot to foot. When the song ends, Aziraphale finds they continue to dance in the silence.

In recent moments similar to this tenderness Aziraphale wanted to chastise himself. ‘We could have had this for centuries. Danced through history in each other’s arms. This is worth any amount of danger. I am an ox.’

Aziraphale turns to meet his husband’s eyes. On a trembling breath, he asks, “Take me to our nest. Make love to me?”

Crowley only nods. A fluttering of love, anticipation, and desire seep into him. He kisses his angel, who removes his jacket and leaves it on the blue iron table. They slowly kiss their way inside, tie, vest, shirt and shoes discarded, leaving a trail towards the stairs. Belt removed, trousers are undone falling to the floor as they stop. Crowley unpins his angel’s hair. Fingers sliding through those curls, causing little stars to disappear. Aziraphale’s hair falls in mussed waves, sweeping tops of shoulders. Crowley slowly peels Aziraphale out of the starlight gown, draping it over the stair rail. He turns his angel, kissing down smooth pale back. Gradually Crowley assists Aziraphale out of the lace undergarment. Pressing a kiss to the mark left yesterday. Every inch of him is suddenly enveloped in pulsing warmth.

Aziraphale turns to face his husband. He kneels, removing Crowley’s boxers. His arousal already at attention. Aziraphale stares up at his demon as he kisses a prominent hip. “May I?” eyes pleading.

‘For someone’s sake, yes. Mark me as yours.’ “Yes.”

Aziraphale kisses tenderly one last time before he opens his mouth and bares down. Teeth biting, sucking at the taut skin. Crowley gasps clutching the railing to steady himself. Aziraphale licks up the length of the hip bone when he is satisfied with his work.

Crowley pulls Aziraphale up, kissing his angel deeply. Hands wrap around, smoothing over ample cheeks, down between thighs, and picking Aziraphale up. Legs wrapping around his waist instinctively. They ascend the stairs. Aziraphale kissing Crowley languidly.

Crowley kneels, lowering them to the nest. His angel takes his left hand in right, letting it be pinned to the nest. Crowley gently slides into Aziraphale’s warmth. Hips thrusting unhurried, building slowly to that peak. Crowley presses gentle kisses over his angel’s upper body. The soothing waves of pleasure, emitting from Aziraphale, sing to his essence. He pushes in, essence prickling against Aziraphale’s. His angel is moaning, trembling, aching beneath him. He withdrawals almost all the way, before slowly sheathing himself again in steadily focused thrusts. Aziraphale turns, eyes shut tight, biting at the side of their joined hands.

Crowley brings his free hand to caress at his angel’s cheek, “Can you look at me, dove?” Aziraphale complies, eyes telling of the agonizing climb. “Just like that, dove. Let me see you.”

Aziraphale is keening, struggling against the pleasure to keep eye contact with his husband’s possessing golden eyes. He feels as the last few tender thrusts claw him to the summit. His legs tightening on their own. He can’t fight it any longer as his necks strains, head falling back, the orgasm breaking through him. Aziraphale’s hand grips Crowley’s harshly. His whole body convulsing in ecstasy.

“That’s it, dove. You are so beautiful. I’ve got you.” Crowley coaxes his angel through each wave of orgasm. Never faltering in his concentrated pace. Several thrusts later Crowley groans, spilling into his angel.

Crowley slips free. Positioning himself, so he's cradled between Aziraphale’s thighs, head resting on his angel’s chest. They fall asleep, neither willing to separate. Hands still clasped at their sides. The waves below crashing against the cliffs bidding them pleasant dreams. And pleasant they were.

Chapter Text

Thursday 14 September 2019
6:00 am
Nice

Their week had been marvellous. They toured all the major cultural sights Nice had to offer. The food was impeccable and varied. The only thing Aziraphale disliked about the culinary scene in Nice was the difficulty choosing what to select next. Crowley enjoyed just seeing is angel free from anxiety for the first time since they met. Though their new game of guess Aziraphale’s surprise was beginning to grate on his angel’s nerves. Which made it all the more amusing.

On Sunday, Crowley succeeded in keeping his angel in bed the entire day. Food did not go missed. Between the grocers and food delivery, neither stepped a foot from the villa. Crowley had his fill of fine dining as well.

In the evening Crowley would send their witch updates. Unbeknownst to his angel, several pictures accompanied the reports. One of Aziraphale on their beach bed, holding a ridiculous cocktail, looking out over the bay. Another of his angel in a remarkable dress. And one of the two of them in front of Castle Hill Park’s waterfall. Anathema was still unable to come up with an explanation for Aziraphale’s condition. Though, thankfully, food and sleep seemed to keep the worst of it in check.

Thursday came. Before the sun cracks the horizon, Aziraphale is up. He hurries downstairs, putting on the kettle and a pot of coffee. He knew he doesn’t have long before his husband is missing him, and comes looking. He spreads his map out on the patio table to make sure their routes are all precisely accounted for. Thanks to a certain floral delivery boy, the final pieces to his surprise have fallen nicely into place. ‘I hope there are no mishaps. Crowley deserves this.’

When he hears footsteps on marble, he folds the map and tucks it into the pocket of his favourite cardigan. He goes to the coffee machine and pours a generous cup. “Good morning, husband.” He smiles, turning to see Crowley stagger towards him, in nothing more than black boxers.

“Morning? It’s still dark,” he grumbles, accepting his coffee.

‘You would think you were human the way you carry on in the morning.’ Aziraphale walks out to the patio. It is becoming part of their daily routine to take in the morning air there. He takes his usual seat. Watching his husband flop into his own. “It’s Thursday.” Aziraphale reminds, restraining a wiggle.

‘Thursday? Right. The surprise.’ “Is it? Well, today is your day. Whatever will you do with me?” He takes a sip of coffee, peering over the rim of the cup. It is strong and bitter on his tongue.

‘You haven’t pestered me into a confession yet. It is not happening you beguiling demon.’ “We, dearest, have a very busy schedule today. And as much as I enjoy our lazy mornings, I must insist you hurry and dress.”

“Hurry?” He drinks more of the superfluous liquid.

Aziraphale sips his own tea before responding.“Yes. The first leg of our adventure is already preparing for business. I should like to get there by seven. Best get a wiggle on.”

‘Wiggle on. Who even says that besides you?’ He quickly finishes the beverage in one gulp. “As you command.”

‘Command? I dare say.’ Aziraphale cuts his husband a scolding look. “More of a firm request.”

Crowley stands, dismissing his cup, clean, to the kitchen. He presses a kiss to the top of angelic curls, then takes his leave. Before he is through the door, he turns back, “Aziraphale?” his angel shifts to look at him, smiling. ‘God, your smile.’ “If I could write the beauty of your eyes, And in fresh numbers number all your graces, The age to come would say 'This poet lies; Such heavenly touches ne'er touched earthly faces.'' Crowley disappears into the villa before Aziraphale has a chance to respond.

Once they are both ready, and in the Bentley, Crowley turns to his angel. “Where to?" ‘You don’t have a GPS. I will win this game yet.’

‘You think I don’t know what you are attempting? Well, I will show you.’ Aziraphale pulls out his ludicrously large map, which takes up most of the dashboard. “Let us see.”

‘Bastard. Will you just get a smartphone already. A paper map? Really?’ “You know if you just tell me where we are going or give me the address I can…”

“NO!” ‘I am not giving in. This is a surprise, you dastardly fiend. Honestly.’ “It is meant to be a surprise. I will not have it spoiled,” he says, refusing to look at his impossible husband.

‘Stubborn. God, I love you.’ “Fine. No spoilers. Just don’t have me running anyone over.”

‘Me? You are the madman behind the wheel.’ “I seem to recall you managed that all on your own last time.” Aziraphale retorts.

“I…” ‘Shit.’ he can’t look at Aziraphale. ‘Fucking Apocolypse. Fucking head offices breathing down our necks. Flashes of love. I nearly told you everything then. I should have. Fucking coward.’ “When you were going on about flashes of love. I was…”

“Wondering how I never felt it from you?”

“No. Just worried I was giving myself away. Going too fast. Scaring you off again.” ‘And yeah, wondering why you never knew how I felt. If you could feel all that.’

‘So many hurts by my hands.’ “Oh, dearest, no.” Aziraphale scoots close to his husband. Eyes pleading his apology. “I was a little confused at first when, well, the first time I felt love coming from you. I thought perhaps I was imagining things. Then when I knew for certain it was love, I knew it was all too dangerous. I loved you and wanted you for myself. So I pretended not to know. I lied to myself. Told myself it was ludicrous. Not that you weren’t capable of love. But, that’s why we got on so well. That, at heart, we were the same. Beings of love. And you just loved everything as we are meant to. Not singularly as one loves another. As I love you.” ‘I was such a coward and an idiot.’

Crowley huffs a laugh. ‘Believing the best in even the enemy.’ “You thought that I just loved everything?” he asks incredulously.

‘Stupid.’ “Simply the lie, I told myself. So as to not get close enough, to endanger us.” Aziraphale feels so shamed by his own actions he wonders again how his demon had such patience with him.

‘Pouting again? Why does that make me want to kiss you?’ Crowley leans into his angel. Taking that pitiful beautiful chin in hand. Thumb brushing lightly over quivering lip. “Have I told you today that I love you?”

‘Patient, kind, loving demon.’ “I am not sure.” Aziraphale’s eyes find those tempting lips. “Perhaps you will just have to jog my memory.”

Crowley does, he kisses his angel pouring in his love. Essences brushing gently. He pulls back enough to look into those blue eyes. “I love you, Aziraphale.” This time Aziraphale is the aggressor. Kissing, pulling at his hair, tongues tasting, hearts and essences singing.

After a long moment lost in each other’s arms Crowley manages to compose himself. “Right, lead on.” ‘Or we’ll have a repeat of Sunday.’

Aziraphale clears his throat, remembering his mission. “Head north.”

Twenty minutes and several wrong turns later they arrive at the Marché aux Fleurs du Cours Saleya. Aziraphale is bubbling with excitement. He pulls Crowley towards the striped canvas topped stalls. There before them a kaleidoscope of flowers in every imaginable colour. Potted plants ready to find a home in someone’s garden. Aziraphale can’t help but wonder what Crowley might do with a garden.

Local artists are intermixed with the other vendors. Selling their creations, some even demonstrating their skill with live painting. There are also purveyors of fresh produce, cheese, local wine, and cured meats. Various pop-up restaurants are available to purchase a quick nibble. Each offering exceptional fare.

Aziraphale stops at each stall, giving the owner a smile and considering their goods. If Crowley shows any mild interest in something Aziraphale is there in case interest turns to want. He sees his demon looking over a small lemon tree, abundant with bright yellow fruit. He is inspecting the soil, assessing the leaves. This is the first thing Crowley took a real moment to consider. Aziraphale hurries to the merchant, paying more than the asking price.

Crowley doesn’t have a moment to react as he realises what Aziraphale is doing. The purchase was sealed with a handshake and a sweet smile. “You didn’t have to do that. Where the Hell am I going to put a lemon tree n’yway?”

‘I can tell you wanted it. Frivolous or not.’ “I am sure we will figure it out. Think of it as a memento of our honeymoon. Menton has a whole festival dedicated to them.” Aziraphale presses a quick kiss to his husband.

‘The bookshop’s ceilings aren’t tall enough.’ “I don’t think I can get it into the Bentley.” He says, looking back at their new addition.

“Not to worry.” Aziraphale made sure no one was looking and with a gesture made the lemon tree vanish. It would reappear on the patio of their villa. “All taken care of.” ‘We'll make it work.’

They continued their adventure. Aziraphale’s arm is laden with bags heavy with cheese, olives, fruits, wine, and cured meats. Sure that they weren’t for Crowley per se but he figured it was a necessary selfishness, on account of his condition.

Crowley stopped at an exceptional produce stand and purchased a single red apple, while Aziraphale was distracted. His angel was buying up every imaginable flavour of jams, preserves, and marmalades. As Azirphale turns to find him, he is there, apple presented.

Aziraphale looks first at the apple than to him. Those soft blue eyes recognising the gesture. “Care for a taste?” ‘You are so very tempting. Turn about’s only fair.’

‘Oh, that’s the game your playing. Serpent of Eden indeed.’ he cuts his demon his best coquettish smile. ‘Two can play that game dearest husband.’

Aziraphale takes the apple. Turning it over studying the fruit, a smile playing across that sublime mouth. His angel looks up at him, mischief sparkling in those brilliant blue pools. Teeth bite through the skin, eyes never looking away. The apple is offered back to him, a generous bite missing. Aziraphale licks those seductive lips. ‘How are you better at this than me?’ He, in turn, takes a bite of the sweet, crisp flesh. Crowley can’t help but grin. His angel is so much more than those self-righteous shits upstairs. All those pompous tirades about good and evil were merely Gabriel’s words. Something Aziraphale regurgitated out of habit, not personal sentiments. His angel, the real Aziraphale, was far more intriguing. Able to be both sinner and saint, loving and kind. Yet frustrating and stubborn. Which is ever so alluring. ‘My own forbidden fruit.’

“This was quite a lovely market, but I have a feeling you have more plans for me.” he finally says, knowing where this game could lead.

‘Got you.’ “Quite. What time do you have?” Aziraphale asked confidently.

Crowley checks his watch, “Nearly nine-thirty.”

‘Right on schedule.’ “Perfect. We should return to the car.” Crowley takes Aziraphale’s bags offering his elbow. He accepts, and they leave the lovely market. All of the kind people they met receiving a secret blessing for even more successful harvests and amenable customers.

They found a quiet little cafe away from the buzz of the Cours Saleya. Aziraphale took his prescribed medication as quickly as he could. Which was much longer than the average diner. They paid and were off to their next destination.

 

10:00 am
Nice

They arrived at Parc Phoenix, pay admission, and entered the expansive garden and menagerie. This Aziraphale decided quickly was a good decision. His husband seems drawn from one exhibit to the next. All types of local and exotic plants were curated into little areas. Some themed by regional representation, others by the characteristics of the plants. There was a small garden for growing produce, including grapes. Another looked like a quaint replica of an ancient Mediterranean home.

One particular area made Crowley scoff at the dinosaurs and “ancient” plants. “When do you think they will figure it out?” Sometimes humans are very clever, others the most gullible idiots to ever exist.

“Well,” Aziraphale says, rolling his eyes, brows raising to cut a dubious look. “It’s been two thousand years since Jesus, and they still haven’t figured out how to be kind to one another.”

‘Poor bugger died for them. How do they repay your sacrifice? Wars, death and hatred.’ “You have a point.” Crowley leads them away.

Throughout the park, there are foreign animals from all over the globe. Crowley didn’t care much for the captive beasts. Zoos only seem to remind him of Noah. Something they both would rather forget. The sounds of the dying animals and humans outside of the arc still haunted Crowley. He only managed to rescue a small group of children from the deluge. Children that he cared for until they were able to go off on their own. Despite their adoptive father being a demon, they all led good lives. Lives that would have otherwise ended because God got “tetchy.”

Once they had seen all of the outdoor sections, they finished their tour at the greenhouse. A glass panel cone, housing exotic tropical plants. The air was humid and warmer compared to the world outside. This had Crowley’s undivided attention. It was like being transported to a lush jungle halfway across the world. How humans came up with such things was beyond him. Conquering nature on a small scale. Bending the natural elements of Earth to their design. ‘No wonder Satan envies them.’

“Aren’t humans amazing. A jungle in France.” Aziraphale said absently. Pulling Crowley from his thoughts. “Reminds me of Eden.”

‘Eden.’ That struck a nerve. Crowley did look around then. Eyes seeing what the humans themselves probably couldn’t. “Yes.” it did remind him of Eden. Paradise lost, a home forever gone. Because of the temptation of a serpent. ‘I wonder if this is their way of reclaiming what I took from them?’

He knows the humans had free will. But he will never know if they would have eaten of the fruit without his influence. ‘Brood later you idiot.’ He shook the troubling thoughts from his mind and went to Aziraphale.

“C’me here, dove.” ‘You are what matters now.’ Crowley held out his phone, pulling Aziraphale in close. “Smile.”

Aziraphale was getting used to these photographic opportunities as Crowley called them. When Crowley’s thumb slipped to the little circle to take the picture, Aziraphale turned his head and planted a kiss square on his husband’s cheek. The cellular telephone managed to capture the blush that stained his demon’s cheeks a moment later.

“Cheeky bastard.” Crowley smiled. ‘You are impossible not to love.’

“I love you too.” Aziraphale’s smile widened. ‘Plants check.’

 

12:00 pm
Nice

Lunch was more of just indulging Aziraphale’s sweet tooth. They had been meaning to try the local gelateria, but always seemed to be occupied by other things. Today fortune favoured them. Or at least an angel with his heart set on a specific treat.

Azzurro boasted over fifty flavours throughout the year, depending on the seasons. Aziraphale selected lemon with a cone; it was smooth and dense, but not heavy. The first bite reminded him of lemon curd. The second with a bit of cone was comparable to lemon meringue pie. “Dearest try this. It is delightful.”

‘Paybacks for earlier.’ Crowley tasted, kissing his angel, who had merely offered a cone. Crowley had picked a berry gelato. The tart lemon and sweet berries mingled on their tongues. Aziraphale nearly dropped his cone in surprise. “Mmmm. Delicious.”

It was Aziraphale’s turn to blush; though there was no photo evidence. His husband looked very proud of himself as they made their way back to the Bentley.

2:00 pm
Monaco

For the next stop, Aziraphale did his best to follow the route on the map, but eventually caved and gave Crowley the address. Crowley’s phone did a much better job getting them to the Principality of Monaco. The navigation ended, leaving them in front of Ermanno Palace. Crowley looks around trying to figure out their destination when Aziraphale doesn’t provide further instructions. “So where are you taking me?”

‘God, help me.’ “Here,” Aziraphale says feeling dread settling in the pit of his stomach.

‘What the fuck is here? The middle of the road?’ “Here? What’s here?” he still searched their surroundings.

‘Heaven preserve me.’ “I am told that this is the location of the Monaco Grand Prix. You, according to my research, are currently at the starting line.” He tries to smile, but it is feeble at best.

‘Grand Prix? As in race?’ Crowley gave his angel an assessing look. “I don’t see the point.”

‘Please keep us safe and whole. I should not like to explain a discorporation to Gabriel.’ “This circuit is one of the most challenging races on Earth. It is dangerous. So best get everyone out of the way.” Aziraphale swallowed against the lump firmly wedged in his throat. He snaps, around them, people suddenly find the need to enter the nearest building. Cars pull away quickly, their drivers having miraculously decided to locate themselves elsewhere. The city swiftly appears deserted.

‘As much as you complain about my driving?’ “Aziraphale, dove, are you suggesting I drive a race circuit with no other competitors?” ‘With you in the car?’ He knows he looks like an idiot staring at his angel but doesn’t care. What Aziraphale is suggesting has him stupified.

‘Please don’t get us killed.’ “Well, the actual race is in May. But there is a record for the fastest lap.” Aziraphale informs trying to ignore the voice inside him that screams to get out of the car. ‘If I am in the car he will be more careful, I hope.’

“Which is?” ‘You not only want me to speed, but also to beat a record? From a race? A professional race.’

‘You have done it now. No going back.’ “According to the kind boy that delivers the flowers, one minute fourteen seconds, two hundred sixty milliseconds.” ‘Little over a minute. You can do it. This is for Crowley. He does so much for you. You can do this for him.’

“Right.” He sees the panic on his angel’s face. ‘You don’t have to do this. We don’t have to do this.’

Aziraphale pulls out a stopwatch. ‘We are doing this.’ “I have made sure this will start and stop precisely. So we might see if you beat the current record.”

‘I know you don’t want to do this.’ “The Bentley isn’t a race car Aziraphale.” ‘Take the out.’

‘When has that ever stopped you before?’ “Surely the old girl can handle it.” The Bentley’s engine revs a determined growl. Queen’s I Love My Car suddenly erupts over the radio. ‘I am doing this.’ “Your route is clear, my love. Do make the most of it.” Aziraphale braces himself. Hands pressed to the ceiling and dashboard. ‘God if you can hear me, watch over us.’

Crowley looks at his angel in utter disbelief. “You are serious?”

‘Just do it.’ “Yes. Quite serious. Now please, dearest, before I come to my senses.” He adjusts in the seat, preparing for what is sure to leave him a crying mess.

Crowley looks at the road before them. He only needs to desire to know, and the course is clear in his mind. It is treacherous. Sharp turns, narrow streets, and a tunnel. He grips the steering wheel hard. ‘This is mad.’ He looks over at his angel who is fighting his anxiety. ‘You are mad.’ He looks back at the road chewing on nothing. ‘Mad and amazing. This may be the best idea you have had all day.’

Crowley revs the engine. The Bentley has never let him down. ‘Alright, old girl. What do you say? Show these humans what you’ve got?’ The Bentley responds to his thought with a loud growl. ‘Here goes nothing.’

Crowley floors the peddle. The Bentley lurches forward, tires squealing into motion. Aziraphale’s breath catches but makes no sound.

They race down the harbour road, quickly coming to the first bend. The Bentley takes it with no problem, Crowley’s corporeal heart quickens. The road veers left, then a short distance later right. Another right and they are suddenly at a sharp hairpin. The rear of the Bentley whips around, tires squealing. “WOOO-HOOHOO!” Crowley calls in excitement. Another sharp right and they enter a tunnel. He is aware that Aziraphale has not taken a single breath since the start.

When they exit the tunnel Aziraphale knows they are at the midway point. ‘So far, so good. This is fine. Everything is fine. Crowley won’t let us get discorporated. This is fine.’ They are once again speeding along the harbour. A quick left, then following the curve, accelerating even more.

“HAHAHA! AZIRAPHALE THIS IS AMAZING!” he shouts over the music.

“Glad you are enjoying yourself, dearest,” he says, voice shaking in terror. “Please mind the road.”

“HAHAHA!” ‘I love that you are here. Doing this with me. Trusting me.’

They enter a narrow strip with planters on either side. Crowley wills the Bentley to stay away from the concrete barriers. ‘I’m a demon. A little cheating is to be expected.’ In reality, with no power steering, the Bentley is wholly reliant on its master’s will to be as agile as it is.

Two hard rights and they are nearing the last leg of the course. The Ermanno Palace was coming into view. Crowley sees the checkered finish line. Once past, he slams on the breaks. The demon’s will is keeping them in their seats. Aziraphale finally shrieks but is drowned out by the tires coming to a sudden stop.

They are both panting. The Bentley’s engine lowly rumbling. Crowley slowly turns to look at his angel who looks both horrified and relieved. “THAT WAS AMAZING!” ‘Thank you.’

‘We are alive. Oh, thank Her.’ “As much as I love you, dearest, I am never doing that again.” his hands still bracing against the Bentley.

Crowley burst into a fit of laughter. His fussy angel trusted him enough to ride in the car while he drove like a literal bat out of hell. ‘I will have to make this up to you.’ “Whot’s my time?”

‘Time?’ Aziraphale searches for what on earth his husband could be talking about. He feels the little object in his sore hand. “Oh, yes.” He checks the little contraption. “One minute six seconds.”

“YES!” The Bentley plays Queen’s We Are the Champions. “That’s right!” He is grinning from ear to ear. If they had adrenaline, he would be floating on a high. “Dove, how did you ever come up with this?”

“I know you enjoy driving, especially when you can break the speed limit. So, what better place than one of the most famous tracks near to our current location.” Aziraphale says, snapping to allow the usual flow of the city to recommence.

“Thank you.” Crowley leans over and kisses his stunned angel’s lips. “This day just keeps getting better.”

‘I love you, but this is NEVER happening again.’ “Yes, well. The next bit isn’t as exhilarating, but I think you will enjoy it as well.” Aziraphale relaxes in the seat.

2:05 pm
Monaco

At the Collection de Voitures Anciennes Aziraphale was thankful he thought to include this place. He is in need of a walk after their harrowing drive. Once through the door, his husband stops mid saunter. His mouth agape looking at the expanse of vintage cars before them. ‘Ha!’ “This whole collection belongs to the Albert II Prince of Monaco.” Aziraphale informs, rather smugly.

“Lucky bastard.” is all he can say. “I feel like I am cheating on the Bentley.” he begins to walk. More of a man lost in a dream than his usual swagger.

“I am sure she won’t mind.” Aziraphale offers following behind his gobsmacked demon. “Prince Rainier III had a great affinity for automobiles. He started this collection in 1950” Aziraphale can’t help but giggle.

‘You don’t know how temperamental she can be.’ He figures he will just have to deal with the consequences later.

They slowly work their way through the collection. Crowley was taking a picture here, providing a bit of automotive history there. Aziraphale listens, though he has no idea what his husband is talking about, but listens. This is important to Crowley. And that he is sharing it with Aziraphale makes it important to him.

They come around a turn, and Crowley stops. “Aziraphale…” Crowley is stock-still, staring at a silver car. “Aziraphale, love of my life, divine creature that owns me completely. Is that…” he is pointing mouth trying to form words.

Aziraphale looks at the car that has stunned his demon so. “Is that what?”

“Aziraphale is that the 1964 Aston Martin DB5? The car James Bond drove in Goldfinger?” ‘James fucking Bond. Sean Connery. 1964. James Bond.’

‘This is important. An old human friend?’ “I have never met Mr. Bond. Where exactly is Goldfinger?” he asks. ‘Crowley has never mentioned James before.’

‘What the actual Hell, angel? How do you not know about Bond?’ “I don’t know whether to kiss you or be offended.” he is still unable to move.

“I’d prefer a kiss.’ “Uh...I assume that is an important car.” Aziraphale says studying his husband’s mystified stare.

‘Important?’ “If I were a single demon, I would steal that without a second thought.” He can’t pull his eyes away from that piece of movie history.

‘I will smite you, so help me.’ Aziraphale comes between his demon and the car. “Crowley I did not bring you here to pilfer cars.”

“Which is why I am not driving that beauty away right now.” He walks around Aziraphale to the car, committing every line, every bullet hole, every machine gun barrel to memory. He turns around to Aziraphale and scoops his angel in his arms. “If we weren’t already married I would propose to you right here.” “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!’’

Aziraphale giggles at his husband’s enthusiasm. “I take it this is going well?”

“You sweet.” he kisses his angel. “BEAUTIFUL!” He kisses again. “Angel.” He lowers Aziraphale until just the tip of angelic toes touches the floor. He kisses his angel, causing just enough of a scene to earn them a few looks. “I can't believe you brought me here.”

‘I would have brought you sooner if I knew this was the reaction I would get.’ “I told you I wanted to surprise you. I didn’t know it would go so well.”

“I love you.” he turns his head to look back to the car, then back to Aziraphale. “I am very surprised.”

Aziraphale smiles brightly. Crowley sets him down. He is eventually able to drag his husband away from the apparent famous car. Before the temptation to steal, it becomes too much. The rest of the collection is taken in; Old Fords, tractors, Jaguars, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, cars used in the actual Grand Prix, and a considerable collection of Rolls Royces. One particular Rolls from 1903 even catches Aziraphale’s fancy. He can’t help but think it looks like a motorised carriage, which the collection has as well.

Old models and new, the showroom is astounding. Before they leave they return to the Astin Martin for Crowley to take hundreds of pictures. Aziraphale feels proud that he could effect his husband so. Crowley even flags down a passer-by, to take a picture of them with the car before leaving.

They return to the Bentley, who is blaring Queen’s Jealousy loud enough to attract a crowd. Crowley groans, he knew this was going to be a problem. “Oi! Haven’t you lot seen a sentient demonic car throw a temper tantrum before? Va te faire foutre!” Crowley yanks the door open and slides in the car, trying to turn the dial. The volume increases. Crowley groans, trying to turn the Bentley on. It refuses to start. “I will not stand for this. Sssstart you damned macccchine.” he hisses.

The song suddenly changes to Queen’s Bicycle Race. “I will not have sssasss from a car.” Crowley is growing impatient.

Queen’s Death on Two Legs breaks in, reverberating the windows.

Aziraphale puts his hand on the dashboard and gives a gentle pat.
“I am so sorry dear.” The Bentley goes silent. “It is entirely my fault. It was inconsiderate of your feelings. I assure you he would have never gone in there if it weren’t for me. I promise to never do it again.” he tries to sooth the very upset vehicle.

The Bentley roars to life; Queen’s Hijack My Heart playing on the radio.

Aziraphale smiles over at his husband. ‘Love of cars check.’

7:30 pm
Monte Carlo

The two sit at a table at Le Louis XV in The Hotel Paris Monte Carlo. The interior is magnificent. Gold and white in every detail. Aziraphale as usual, thrills over the food. Crowley drinks enough for two; he can’t help but smile through the whole service. His angel knew him so well, took into account his hobbies and found things just for him to enjoy. Even if one was above and beyond his comfort level, he took his angel’s hand. “Well, I have to say, angel, today was fun.” ‘I love you so much.’

‘Hm, it’s not over yet.’ Aziraphale smirks as he sips his champagne. “Oh, I am delighted to hear it. But we have one last stop.”

‘I know I don’t deserve you now.’ “I assume I still am not allowed to know where,” he says, taking a long sip of champagne.

‘You never give up.’ “Afraid not, dearest. This one, well...This one I have had to perform several miracles to make possible.” ‘If Gabriel is paying any attention, he will be very cross.’

“Ha! I bet Gabriel is ready to shit.” His angel is growing bold in their newfound freedom.

Dessert is delivered in an elevated gold bowl. The Rum Baba is served with a generous pour of rum syrup, and a portion of lightly whipped cream. Aziraphale moans in appreciation as the rum warms and the cream cools his palet. His husband focused on his pleasure. ‘Later dearest. I haven’t been wearing this lingerie all day for my benefit.’ “Perhaps in May, we can return. Sneak you into the actual Grand Prix. And I can have more of this cake.”

‘Anything. Everything you want.’ “Sounds like a plan, dove.”

They leave the beautiful restaurant. This time the Bentley is more cooperative. Aziraphale provides the address to their last stop. Night has settled over the south of France, the lights of Monte Carlo bidding them farewell. Queen’s Made in Heaven serenading their journey back to Nice.

9:00 pm
Nice

Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur appears at the top of the hill. The grounds are deserted. A soft breeze and the crunch of their footsteps on the gravel path are the only sounds to be heard. Aziraphale leads them to the main building. A rather Egyptian looking depiction of the Greek God Apollo over the entrance is the only face to greet them. Aziraphale opens the door with a snap and steps inside, “After you, dearest.” ‘Mischief check.’

In the centre of the room is a massive telescope. It is pointing up at the open dome above. Crowley looks around the otherwise empty room. “Aziraphale what the Hell are we doing here?” he whispers as if they would get caught at any moment.

“I know you are fond of the stars. And…” he steps closer. “I know we never did go to Alpha Centauri. So I figured I would bring Alpha Centauri to you.” He gestures to the telescope. “I don’t know how to use this technology, so I encouraged a young astronomer to...well...set everything up, then forget he did so.”

‘A marvel. That is what you are.’ “Aziraphale, you never cease to astonish me.”

“Just there, dearest. If you look through the lens, you should be able to see the binary star system.” he points to the platform at the end of the telescope.

Crowley walks up to the steps leading to the elevated observation platform. He tentatively climbs. His angel watches intently as he bends and peers through the telescope. There, in all its glory is the cool radiance of the cluster, surrounded by the glittering of distant stars. Crowley feels a knot form in his throat. ‘That’s not who you are anymore.’ The thought comes unbidden but imperious to his mind. He pulls away and walks back down the steps.

He comes to stand before Aziraphale. His eyes downcast. Crowley pulls Aziraphale into a tight hug, “Thank you, dove.” ‘That isn’t who you are anymore.’ A voice shouts inside him. He is angry at himself, at Her, at the lot of them. His angel was trying to give him a beautiful, thoughtful gift. And all he could think about was what he lost.

Even behind those dark lenses, Aziraphale can see his demon’s sullen snake eyes. “Crowley?” he tries to take off his husband’s glasses, but Crowley turns away. “Dearest is something wrong?” ‘Please tell me.’

‘This isn’t fair to you.’ “No, dove. Just tired. Let’s get back.” Crowley releases Aziraphale and heads for the door.

Aziraphale is right behind him. He is confused as to what might have caused this sudden shift in mood. Once past the entrance, he snaps. Returning the observatory to as it should be.

Aziraphale is panicking. He has done something dreadful by bringing them here. ‘Is it the Apocalypse? The fight? My behaviour that last day?’ “Crowley my love if there is something I did that…”

‘Fretting.’ “No Aziraphale. It is something I did. Don’t worry about it. Thank you for today. I can tell you put a lot of thought into everything.” ‘Please stop blaming yourself.’

They ride back to the villa without another word spoken. Crowley too lost in thought. Aziraphale too afraid to make the situation worse. Queen’s These Are the Days of Our Lives plays over the Bentley’s speakers.

‘I messed up.’ Aziraphale chokes back tears.

They don’t make love that night. Aziraphale watches Crowley from their nest. His husband is staring up at the night sky from the terrace. ‘Why are you so upset? Why won’t you talk to me?’ He resigns to lay awake all night just in case. Crowley doesn’t come to bed, he stands alone, watching the stars.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 13
Friday 13 September 2019
7:24 am
Nice

Crowley studied that silent sky all through the night. He could remember Her voice as clear as the sound of the waves breaking below him. ‘Ineffable. That’s what Aziraphale says you are. Did he know you as I did? Did he ever see your face? Create the stars at your side? Why? I never wanted this. I questioned you, but never stopped loving you. I just didn’t understand. Then you cast me out. I am thankful for Aziraphale. For a chance to have this. I am thankful that we have your blessing. I am thankful that the world didn’t end. But I still don’t understand you. Please show me how.’

Crowley heard rustling coming from their nest. When he turned, his angel was walking from the bedroom, satin floral robe being pulled on. ‘I am hurting you.’ Last night he wanted nothing more than to hold his angel and forget the past. But this time there was no running from the memories that clawed at his mind. He wanted to sleep, but the Fall would be there in his dreams. He couldn’t allow himself to bring those horrors into their nest. ‘Not there. It isn’t right.’

Their nest was a place of shared love and safety. It was no place for the bitterness he felt consuming him. He would have taken another bed in the villa, but he knew that would only distress his angel more. So he did the only thing he could think of. Talking to that absent Mother far away on her lofty throne. His failures, disappointments, fears, regrets, and anger all directed at Her.

It was easier to brood when you are alone. To forget the flow of time and curse fortune. It is another thing entirely when the love of your life is being damaged by your selfishness. He knew Aziraphale was blaming the day that his angel planned so diligently, on his gloomy disposition. It only made the knife twist deeper into his essence. That bottomless pit of despair pulling him down. Twenty million hands grasping, calling him to the perpetual darkness. His one beacon of hope was that spark that just glided from the bedroom. ‘I am being such an idiot. I have you. That is all that matters. Fuck everything else.’

Aziraphale descends the marble stairs. His heart hollowed by unanswered questions. “What to do? I have to fix this.” Their day had been lovely. Crowley admitted so himself. His brows drawn up, tightly furrowed, hands wringing, eyes prickling with tears. 'It was that last stop. Something happened. Something so dreadful Crowley couldn’t even share our nest. But what?’

He looked around their villa. The light was different this morning. The warmth somehow diminished since yesterday. ‘Best, keep busy. He will talk to you in time.’ He had to reassure himself. Crowley didn’t appear to be angry with him. ‘Sad, morose, but not angry. Perhaps he is, and trying not to show it.’ that hurt more than if Crowley was openly angry with him. ‘Books.’

He hadn’t brought the manuscript with them. It was one thing Crowley insisted upon, but he did bring a small selection of books. Books could always soothe his nerves. ‘I’ll make tea and read. And when he is ready to talk, I will be there.’

Aziraphale put on the kettle. The coffee pot staring at him. Crowley hadn’t moved all night. ‘Will he even want coffee?’ Aziraphale decided to err on the side of hope and made a pot as well. ‘Keep busy.’ Aziraphale was about to return to their bedroom for his books when he heard footsteps. His heart lept to his throat. When he turned, Crowley was there, still looking as though a world’s worth of weight was perched on his shoulders. “Crowley?” he said so faintly he wasn’t sure his husband heard him.

The soft, desperate way Aziraphale breathed his name ran him through. ‘You shouldn’t sound like that. Never because of me.’ He walked to his angel. Heart heavy with how those cool sapphire eyes pleaded him for some sign of affection. ‘I didn’t mean to worry you.’ He reached for Aziraphale, hand coming up short then returning to his side. “Aziraphale I am sorry. About last night. I am so sorry. ”

Aziraphale held still as if Crowley would spook at any abrupt movement. “Crowley dearest, I think I should be the one apologizing. If I knew that…”

‘No, I will not have you blaming yourself.’ Crowley cut his angel off with a firm possessing kiss. His poor angel immediately began to cry, holding him in desperation. Aziraphale keened frantic with impassioned need. Hands clutching his face forbidding him from pulling away.

Crowley plucked Aziraphale up and sat his angel on the counter. Their kiss was feral and demanding. Robe sliding free as Crowley claimed that sensual neck. Tears swept away by soothing fingers cradling Aziraphale’s cheek. His angel moaning, hands pulling at his hair. Crowley tears the silk free, casting it to the floor. Aziraphale was wearing the first pink floral bra, garter, and panty set from their shopping trip.

Any other time Crowley would relish the way the garment accentuated his angel. Right now, it was a barrier he couldn’t abide. He hurriedly unfastened the bra and discarded it. There was no hesitation or finesse when Crowley took his angel’s breast with his mouth.

Aziraphale let out a pained whine shoving him away. “Angel? I am sorry. Are you ok?” ‘Shit. Too fast, you idiot.’

‘I am not rejecting you.’ Aziraphale covered his breasts. They were miserably aching. “S-sorry. I just...well.” he tried to catch his breath and form a thought which he was currently struggling with. “T-they are rather... tender this morning.” He gestured a finger between his breasts.

“Tender?” ‘Pain? You are in pain? Hunger, sleep, now pain. I need to call Anathema.’

He saw Crowley’s mind working. “My breasts hurt like the dickens. Felt like there was a hot poker shooting through them.”

“Your breasts hurt.” he acknowledged, mind working the riddle of symptoms.

“Yes! Stop repeating me! And I forbid you to tell Anathema.” ‘She may be there to help, but I don’t need her knowing about my intimate parts.’

Crowley nodding eyes downcast. “Fine. Personal. I get it. Anything I can do?” ‘There has to be something we are missing.’

Aziraphale looked at him, remembering his sadness and uncertainty from before. “You could please tell me what happened last night. What I did?” He couldn’t meet Crowley’s eyes if he were to look up. His hands worrying between them. ‘Please tell me.’

Crowley looks up and sees that pitiable expression. His angel looks near to tears again. ‘Forgive me for making you question yourself.’ “Aziraphale. Dove…” he massaged delicate circles into those soft thighs. “You did nothing wrong. I-I just...I am a demon. Not everything is sunshine and roses. I...I am dealing with it.” He brought his angel into a loose hug, careful of the sensitive tissue. “I am sorry for acting like an ass.” ‘Please forgive me. Please let me take care of you.’

Aziraphale carded his fingers through his demon’s hair. “Crowley, you were upset. That doesn’t make you a-an ass.” ass was whispered as if disapproving ears might hear.

‘I am an ass. The biggest ass that ever assed.’ “You put a great amount of effort into making yesterday perfect. And it was. I need you to understand that.” He kissed his angel firmly, holding the press. “Just...m’de me think is all. About before… Before the Fall.”

‘Your Fall. The stars made you think of the Fall? Who were you before?’ “Crowley, you don’t have to do this alone. Talk to me. We will face whatever it is together.” ‘Through everything.’

‘Sweet fussy angel.’ “I know, dove. I will. Maybe after we figure out what is going on with you. One crisis at a time.”

“Promise?” Aziraphale held Crowley’s eyes with an imploring stare.

‘God, what wicked design did you have when you made those eyes? They ruin me.’ “Yes, alright. I promise. Once we get you sorted out, we'll...sssssort me out.”

“Thank you, Crowley." Aziraphale smiled sweetly. ‘Soft demon.’

“Now,” he said, deepening his voice to the low growl that he knew affected his angel. “I know you didn’t sleep last night. And you haven’t eaten this morning. I…” He brushed a curl out of his angel’s face. “am going into town for a bit. I am going to pick us up some food and a few other things.” He kisses those lips. “And I want you back in bed. You need to rest. D’nt want you fainting on me again. Alright, dove?”

Aziraphale’s heart quicken. Crowley’s commanding deep voice soothing over him like warm velvet. “Will you join me after?” ‘I want you now. I want to be in your arms in our nest.’

Crowley felt the wave of desire thrumming into him. ‘Patience.’ “Yes, my little dove. Just as soon as I get back.” He kisses his angel. A slow possessing press, tongues meeting in a methodical caress. Aziraphale’s thighs tightened around him. ‘I want you too.’ Crowley stepped back, knowing he needed to find the strength to pull away. He had a mission, and he could not allow himself to be distracted. Even if the distraction was nearly naked, sitting on their counter; looking at him with pure unrestrained desire.

He assisted his angel down. He brushed his fingers over full bottom lip. “It is only for a couple of hours. Be good for me, dove. Rest.” Aziraphale nodded and with one last kiss he left.

10:30 am

Two hours later and Crowley stumbles through the door, arms full with his purchases. He pushes the door closed, gingerly with his foot. Trying not to wake Aziraphale should his angel be asleep.

He places everything on the dining table and sets about unpacking. There are soaps, creams, and a small bottle of oil from a shop near the market they visited the previous day. A box of pralines and ganache from Patisserie Lac, with a few confections just for good measure. And a bouquet of purple hyacinth, daffodils, white tulips, eustoma, purple stock, yellow roses, and ivy.

Crowley put the flowers in a vase and heads upstairs with his gifts. Aziraphale was laying in their nest, sleeping soundly. He considers throwing away all of his plans and enjoying this moment with his angel. ‘No you are on a mission.’ He quietly snuck into the bathroom, closing the door behind him, placing the items on the vanity and went to the tub. Crowley turned the water to its full heat, with a little miracle, the sound of the water didn’t leave the bathroom.

He went back and took the foaming bath and aromatic salts, adding them to the water. The room immediately began to bloom with the scent of lavender and rose. This too, was bid to not escape the room. A small table was miracled to the head of the tub, remaining soaps and creams were placed there. Along with a soft natural sponge. A bottle of cabernet sauvignon was opened and allowed to breathe before two glasses were poured. Once satisfied with his work, he crept back into the bedroom.

Crowley slithered into the nest next to his sleeping angel, a light kiss pressed to cheek. Aziraphale hummed a happy sound, shifting to look up at Crowley. “There you are. Good nap?”

“I like dreaming.” he stretched languidly. “Though when I wake up, I never remember what the dreams were about. I do remember being very happy.” his smile was soft but still bright.

“As you should always be.” another kiss, this time to waiting lips. “Come on, dove. Time for a bath.”

He scoops Aziraphale up and carries him into the bathroom. Just inside, he sets his angel down, removing the satin robe that had found its way back on. Aziraphale now very naked, held close, stared around the room.

The bouquet on the vanity was the first thing he marked. Yellow, white, and purple blooms declaring Crowley’s pleas for forgiveness. ‘That you feel you needed to do all of this.’ Aziraphale turned, tender eyes meeting gold. Blue eyes fell to his demon’s mouth. He kissed his husband a delicate promise, “Always. Forever.” He turned back and saw the tub, sweet scents washing over him. It was all so lovely. Crowley took his hand and guided him over.

“Spoke to a lady at the market. She said this might help your particular problem.”

“A bath?” Aziraphale considered the steam rising from the tub.

Crowley shrugged.“Said it helped her whenever she had this dilemma. Figured it was worth a try.”

Crowley unceremoniously miracles his clothing away. ‘You are ever so splendid.’ Aziraphale can’t help but think how wonderful it is they are this comfortable with each other. Wishing they could have always been this free to be as they are now.

Crowley steps into the water, guiding Aziraphale to follow. He sits, pulling his angel down to sit in front of him, warm back pressed to his front. As soon as Aziraphale’s breasts break the bubbly surface, he winces at the heat. ‘This is horrid. Why in Her name is this body betraying me?’

Crowley didn’t miss the sudden tension in his angel. “Rest your head against me, dove.” he purrs low in his angel’s ear. Aziraphale complies. “Thank you, dove. Now…” He kisses the shell of his angel’s ear. “I am going to give you a bath.” he kisses those silky curls. “And you are going…” He shifts pale strands and kisses the juncture between neck and shoulder. “to let me make up for being an ass.”

Aziraphale made to turn, but Crowley held him firmly in place. He huffed but faced forward all the same, “I already told you…”

“I know, dove. Just work with me here, yeah?” Crowley took the sponge and bar of lavender soap in hand. He dipped the sponge into the water and pulled it over his angel’s shoulders. The warm water melted away the tension held there, rivulets flowing down around Aziraphale’s breasts. Crowley repeated on the other side. Then once more to wet flaxen ringlets hanging past his angel’s shoulders.

‘Oh, this is divine.’ Aziraphale reclined into his husband’s soothing presence.“Only if you stop referring to yourself as an... Equus asinus.” he would not curse twice in one day.

“You know there is another type of ass, dove.” He purrs low, lips brushing against Aziraphale’s ear.

Aziraphale stiffens, then settles back determined to not let his husband win this new game. Whatever the goal might be. “Which you aren’t either. Really, Crowley. You are always so unkind to yourself. I don’t approve.” ‘I will breakthrough that stubborn head of yours one day.’

He chuckles at his fussy angel. “I know. Don’t worry. Just trying to get you to curse is all.”

“Cheeky.” ‘Please don’t change.’

“Fussy.” ‘I love that about you.’

“I love you.” ‘all that you are.’

‘I know.’ “And I love you.”

Crowley works the sponge and soap into a thick lather. Humming Come Rain or Come Shine lowly. His voice lending a sensual richness to the melody. Aziraphale felt transported to that moment they danced on the patio. Crowley begins washing his angel gently, small slow circles over shoulders, down arms, and across Aziraphale’s pinkening chest. Mindful to bypass sensitive skin.

“Lean forward for me, dove.” Aziraphale does, and Crowley washes his angel’s back. Moving damp tresses out of the way to reach every available inch. Aziraphale has gone nearly limp, breathing quiet and steady.

“Lean back, dove,” he says, encircling his arm around Aziraphale’s soft middle. Drawing his angel tenderly back against him. “Thank you, dove.” The sponge dips below the surface, repeating the soothing little circles down his angel. The soap was surely gone, but that was far from the point.

His descent was slow, intending to sooth, no rush. His angel was resting wet strands against his shoulder. Once again, Aziraphale is almost asleep in his arms. “Now, be good for me so I can take care of your situation.”

“My situation?” ‘Do you have to say it like that? Like I am hiding some salacious secret.’

“The woman who suggested the bath. Nice lady, you’d like her. Sold me the soaps and such near that flower market. I was looking at a couple things that might help. She asked what specifically I needed and well… She gave me this. Said she used it during all three of her pregnancies.”

“What on earth is it?” he considered the little blue bottle.

“Massage oil. S’pposed to help with the pain. Specifically aching breasts.”

“Oh. Thank you, dearest.” Aziraphale didn’t quite know how to feel about reclining naked, in the bath, with his husband, while he massaged his aching breasts. There was a familiar interest starting to grow all the same.

“Don’t thank me yet. She said it will hurt at first. Then it should lessen and stay away for a bit.” He caressed Aziraphale’s shoulders to try and reassure his angel. He didn’t like the thought of causing pain, but this was necessary for overall comfort.

Aziraphale gulped. Crowley’s mouth was excruciating. The thought of being manhandled was causing him a great deal of trepidation. “Very well. What should I do?” He gripped the rim of the tub in preparation.

“Relax.” Crowley took hold of his angel’s wrists. He lowered one beneath the water, the other was brought to his lips. “Breathe and relax. Can you do that for me, dove?” he kissed Aziraphale’s wrist before returning it to join the other.

Aziraphale shook his head, trying to focus on remaining calm. “Yes.”

“And I will have to touch your breasts. She said to start from the...aoli and work your way out.”

Aziraphale cocked an eyebrow. ‘I don’t think she said that.’ “Like the mayonnaise?” his face scrunches at the thought.

“Whot?” ‘Why would there be mayonnaise?’ Crowley’s face too scrunched. ‘I know you like food angel, but I’m not rubbing mayonnaise on your breasts.’

“Aoli. It is basically flavorful mayonnaise.”

‘I am a fucking idiot.’ “No the pinkish flesh around the nipple.”

“Oh. Right. I believe that is referred to as the areola.” Aziraphale informed, trying not to sound pompous.

“Whatever. So, yeah I have to start slow and work in circles out.” ‘he demonstrates in the air.

‘Something about all this sounds very odd. A woman offering advice to a random man buying lotion.’ “Are you sure you aren’t just making this up?” he peers back at Crowley with an accusatory look.

‘That’s rich.’ “Didn’t think I need a justification to touch you. Haven’t since our bonding.” he pretended to muse the allegation.

‘Oh, I didn’t intend it to sound like that.’ “And you don’t now dearest. I…”

Crowley cut his angel off. ‘I am teasing you. You daft twit.’ “If you bloody apologize I won’t show you what’s in those little black boxes on the counter. And you definitely want to see what I have brought you, dove.”

Aziraphale tries to remain relaxed, but can't help worrying about the pain to come. Crowley pours the oil into his hand, rubbing it between his palms warming it. “That smells lovely.”

“That would be violets. She gave me her recipe. Said it’s easy enough to make.” ‘Might have to make a batch if it works.’

Crowley begins working the oil into his angel’s muscles. Massaging Aziraphale’s shoulders, down arms, delicate hands, then back to neck. His angel was pliant to his ministrations. Little relieved groans encouraging Crowley to take his time. “Dove, I need you to tell me if it is too much. She recommended we take this as slow as you need.” Crowley pours more oil in hand, once again warming it. Aziraphale breathes, preparing for what is to come.

Crowley gently cups each breast, allowing the slick oil to coat his angel’s skin. He slowly draws his hands around and up, careful of the most sensitive portion. Crowley brings the pads of his first two fingers just beside each aching bud. In steady slow circles, he presses in. He feels his angel tense, a sharp inhalation confirms the woman’s warning. Aziraphale turns agonized face into the side of Crowley’s neck.

“Is it too much, Dove?” ‘I hate seeing you in pain.’

“I can manage.” is breathed out with some difficulty. ‘Breathe. Relax, This is going to work.’

Crowley spirals from the centre then kneads the breasts gently. Aziraphale whimpers but doesn’t ask him to stop. Crowley returns to repeat the circling motion. This time his angel sighs. The pain begins to lessen. Crowley repeats until Aziraphale is resting comfortably against him. He holds his angel comfortingly and kisses drying ringlets. “Better, dove?” Crowley tenderly caresses waiting to see if more attention is needed.

“Much. Thank you, darling.” Aziraphale smiles sleepily.

Another kiss, “You are welcome, dove. If it happens again, I don’t mind at all doing this.” Crowley snaps and the chocolates and wine are next to them. Crowley offers Aziraphale a glass. Who accepts it and takes a long sip.

Aziraphale feels like custard. The wine warming the last vestiges of his corporation. He could slip into sleep right now if it weren’t for his determination to savour every moment of his husband’s diligent intimate care.

Crowley then opens one of the boxes and offers him a ganache. “Try this, dove.”

Aziraphale takes the proffered morsel in his mouth. It instantly melts on his tongue. He can’t help the moan of appreciation that escapes from him. “Thank you, dearest.” ‘Wonderful, dear husband.’

“Anything, dove.” he kisses his angel’s temple.

“You take such immeasurable care of me.” ‘I will never be able to repay you, will I? It won’t be for the trying, love.’

‘I know you are fussing.’ “And you me, dove.” ‘I like doting on you. I like you letting me care for you. It is something I haven’t been able to do for you or anyone since I Fell. It feels so right being like this. With you. You could give me nothing more than this and I would be happy.’

Crowley opens another box and inside is a selection of pastries. He took the first between his fingers and presented it to Aziraphale. “This one they call Desire.”

Aziraphale opens, allowing Crowley to serve him the decadence. Smooth chocolate cream, balanced by crisp biscuit and hazelnut praline. It is sumptuous at a word. Aziraphale closes his eyes, and a low hum resonates his pleasure. “I can see why.”

When Aziraphale finishes that bite Crowley offers the next, requiring a spoon. “This one is called Temptation.” The contrast with the first is enticing. It was airy light mascarpone mousse, tart fruit compote, and a buttery crisp crumble. This too earns him a delicious moan.

‘Sing for me, angel.’ “This one is called Religious Shock.” He offers the top pastry with a little fleck of gold dusting the dark chocolate.

Aziraphale comes out of his blissful haze to cut his devious husband a litigious look. ‘You find all this very amusing, don’t you?’

Crowley smirks at him. ‘Caught that did you?’ “I didn’t name the things, dove.”

‘Though you did pick them, dearest. If that is the game, we are playing.’ He meets his husband’s gilded serpent eyes as he accepts the chocolate-covered confection. Drawing Crowley’s fingers in, to the second knuckle. The look of shock is just as appetising as the luscious pastry. He slowly withdraws sucking as he pulls free. ‘Checkmate.’

They remain as they are for a long time. Much longer than should have been possible without the water growing cold. It knew better. Once the wine bottle sits empty, and the chocolates consumed, they retired to their nest. Aziraphale slips once again into the world of dreams. Somehow his demon finding him there.

 

The next day they fell back into their regular easy routine. All thoughts of worry eased by each other’s company. Saturday morning was spent at the beach. That evening they shared another excellent dinner. Then, as the world around them slept, they danced under the stars, near their little lemon tree.

Sunday 15 September 2019
5:40 am

 

Crowley is up, scurrying about the kitchen in the early morning. When Aziraphale discovers him, he is dressed oddly in dark worn jeans, his new black linen shirt, sleeves rolled to the elbow, and his boots. Crowley is packing a small tote with gardening sheers and gloves. Aziraphale is puzzled at the reason for such activity before the sun has woken.

“Angel!” he nearly shouts in enthusiasm when he sees his sleepy angel watching him.

“Good morning to you too, dearest. What on Earth has you so inspired this early?” ‘It is good to see you so excited.’

Crowley darts over to his angel and sweeps him into a tight hug. “You, my muse. Always you.” This earns him a playful tsk and roll of perfect blue eyes. “You and I are going to a vineyard today. I found out, from that soap woman, that we came just in time for the grape harvest. This human opens their family's vineyard to people to pick grapes. Which will be turned into wine. After, they serve a meal, including wine.” he informs with a kiss to the tip of his angel's nose.

‘Oh, how very pastoral.’ “That sounds delightful. So you and I are going to pick grapes?”

“Yep, wine, food and…” he pinched his angel’s bottom. “Good company.”

Aziraphale squeaked and glared at his husband. “What time does the harvest begin?”

“7:30. So, get dressed. Put on something comfortable. I’d wear boots or something more substantial than sandals.” he takes the kettle and turns on the stove.

Aziraphale goes to dress while Crowley makes tea, coffee for himself. Aziraphale selects his short tartan romper, which Crowley had definitely argued against. Along with a pair of sensible brown boots and his beloved cardigan. He looked himself over before heading downstairs.

Crowley was already waiting on the patio with a simple breakfast of scones, jam, and tea. Aziraphale found his usual place and sat, waiting for the inevitable mocking he would receive for his tartan outfit. He takes a sip of tea and looks over at his husband.

Crowley is surprised at the choice. Yes, the bathing suit definitely reveals more, but that is appropriate for the beach. The bottom of the garment fits flush to ample thighs. The belt around the waist accentuated his angel’s curves. It is almost sinful how attractive Aziraphale is in the outfit. “Yep. You were right about that getup.” he takes a sip of coffee.

“Was I?” Aziraphale looks over himself. The tartan was originally a different colour, but he prefered his own tartan. So he changed it with a bit of angelic magic.

“Dove, you are so beautiful you succeed at the impossible. You make a tartan romper vastly more alluring than it has any right to be.” he tries to make himself sound as though he is teasing, but he means it with all sincerity.

‘Tartan?’ “Oh, I don’t know. Every time I am in Edinburgh, I can’t help but think how ravishing you would be in a kilt, darling.” he bats teasing his husband back.

‘Hell will freeze over, Beelzebub will make out with Gabriel, and that potato will learn to be charming first.’ “You will see me in a kilt the day you wear an entire leather outfit.” He grouses. ‘Which is just as likely as the rest of it.’

Aziraphale considered the idea. A bit of leather and his demon would wear one of those fetching Scottish garments. 'That could be arranged.'

7:30 am

They arrive at Domaine Saint Joseph on time. A nice blonde young man provides them, and a group of humans, a brief tour of the grounds, an explanation of proper grape harvesting, and what time they needed to be back at the main building for lunch. Crowley listened distractedly. He was more focused on the vast rows, to his assessment, lazy vines. Aziraphale tried to keep up, but his French was still not up to par. When the lecture concluded they were free to roam. As long as they abide by the protocols, that neither fully heard.

Crowley took to harvesting like he had done it for 6,000 years. Aziraphale was lost on the natural beauty of everything around them. They both loved nature in different but equal ways. When they had gathered several baskets of grapes, they decided on a break.

Aziraphale takes off his gloves and places them, with sheers, back into their tote. “Have you ever wanted a garden, dearest?”

Crowley pats off his pants, thinking about the question posed. “I have my plants,” he says with a shrug.

“I know, but a real garden. A bit of land you can cultivate. Perhaps grow grapes. Or flowers.” Aziraphale had been thinking of such a thing all day. ‘Could Crowley find contentment in tending the earth? Raising a whole host of plants to maturity. See the fruits of his labours every day. I could read in the garden.’ It was a pleasant thought.

He considered the idea in earnest. Flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables, the thought was intriguing. “Sure but the bookshop doesn’t really have a lawn.”

“What if we did? What if we found a place so you could have a garden?” Aziraphale had never considered leaving the bookshop, no more than necessary. Now it was all he could think about. A home, away from the city. Just the two of them, and a garden.

Crowley studied his angel. 'This is odd.' The bookshop was their home. Their little refuge against the world for more than two hundred years. “Move out of London? You can’t leave your bookshop.”

“I could. I don’t really sell my books. Just something to occupy my time, really.” ‘If it is something that you want, I will sell the shop.’

Crowley could see how ardent his angel’s eyes regarded him. “You’re serious?” ‘A home for the two of us. Away from pestering humans. I could garden, and you could read your books. We could.’

“If it were something you wanted.” ‘I want this. But I will not force it on you.’

“And what about you?” ‘You love your bookshop. I don’t want you giving that up for me.’

“I want to see you happy. I want to watch you in our garden if that is what you want. At least give it some thought, dearest.” he took his husband’s hand and gave a little squeeze.

‘Aziraphale is right, this needs real consideration.’ Crowley wanted it, but he couldn’t just make decisions on a whim. They were bonded now. If his angel gave up the shop, it would have to be Aziraphale's decision. He went back to the harvest, mind working at the possibilities. ‘A home.’

By the time they were called into lunch Crowley’s forearms were stained with splotches of purple. Aziraphale hadn’t noticed yet, but the cardigan was also stained. Crowley miracles them clean and they head inside. The food was simple and rustic. Grilled meat, several offerings of vegetables, rice, and of course wine.

Crowley selected a red for both of them. The name Noir Majic was not lost on Aziraphale. He brought two plates, but really had no intention of consuming anything but wine. ‘More for Aziraphale.’

Aziraphale sipped the velvety red before turning to his food. He was just about to take a bite of the lamb when a sudden odd sensation gripped his stomach. His mouth began to water, his brow dripping with sweat. Crowley noticed it instantly.

He pulled Aziraphale out and around the building. His angel looked ashen. “Angel, are you alright?” panic already rising in his chest.

“Crowley, there is something terribly wrong.” before he could say more he was retching. It was agonizing. His demon only missing being covered by the mess with a quick jerk out of the way. His husband soothed him as his body locked, expelling the contents of his stomach. He had never in all his existence done such a thing. His eyes were blurry with tears. ‘Why is this happening?’

When the dry heaving stopped, and he was able to stand once again, he looked at Crowley, “Dearest, I feel faint. My head is splitting.”

Crowley took his angel in his arms and pushed stray curls from pale features. A man who saw the ghastly display hurried to bring a chair to the couple. Crowley was too anxious to comment. Aziraphale did the thanking for them.

They had been so careful, food as needed, plenty of rest, nothing to tax Aziraphale’s new worrying condition. ‘Sick? Pain, hunger, sleep? Was this the Horsemen reborn taking their revenge? Was this perhaps some wasting plague that angels were susceptible to? I won’t let you have my angel. Aziraphale is mine! I will fix this. I will figure this out, and I will fix you.’ Crowley couldn't make his mind cooperate. The blinding fear that he might lose his beloved nearly crippling him. ‘Anathema.’ “I am taking you home.”

Aziraphale leaned against Crowley for support. His stomach still threatening to expel what wasn’t there. “Yes, I think that is for the best. I would very much like to be in our nest.”

“No, home to London. We need to see the witch.” The Bentley wasn’t far. He could carry Aziraphale if need be. ‘Nothing will take you from me.’

Aziraphale tried to put on a brave face. ‘I know what you are doing to yourself.’ “Crowley it isn’t so serious as all that.”

“You don’t know that.” something in him broke. He couldn’t stop the tears. “You don’t know that. I can’t lose you, Aziraphale.” his voice was trembling with fear. Fear that grew every moment like a suffocating weed around his throat. He needed answers.

Aziraphale willed himself to stand. He took his husband’s hand in his and squeezed tightly. “You aren’t going to lose me.”

“You don’t know that.” He wanted to yell at the cosmos. He wanted to rip her from Heaven and demand she heal his angel. He cursed himself for the bond that clearly started all of this. He wanted to take whatever punishment she had given to Aziraphale upon himself.

Aziraphale forced a smile. “Dearest, I am not leaving you.” ‘We will figure this out.’

“We are going home,” Crowley says sternly. His fear turning into hellfire in his heart. ‘I can’t be weak now. You need me to help you. I will fix this.’

Crowley assisted his angel to the Bentley. It took everything he had to remain composed on their ride to the airport. Knuckles white on the steering wheel. His other hand holding Aziraphale's for reassurance. His mind a tempest of emotions. ‘You can’t take this from me too. Don’t take my angel.’ Queen’s The Show Must Go On playing low as they raced for the airport.

 

“We are leaving now. Get this fucking plane in the air before I drag all your worthlesssss soulsssss to Hell.” Crowley hissed at the young stewardess. She saw the state of the woman in his arms and ran to inform the flight crew of the urgency.

Aziraphale wanted to calm his husband but the new wave of nausea was choking him. Crowley willed their belongings packed onto the plane once they arrived. The staff could explain it to themselves as they like. Aziraphale was hurried past the humans without another word. They entered their stateroom, and the door was slammed shut and locked.

Aziraphale felt another wave of sickness hit and darted for the bathroom. Crowley was there holding his hair. He wanted to rest on the cold floor, but his husband refused by carrying him to the bed.

Crowley sat, back against the headboard, legs spread wide and his angel between them. Aziraphale was snuggled in tight. Groaning at the ache that settled in his stomach. Crowley was doing his best to sooth, but the plane was in the air and headed for London long before Aziraphale could sleep.

‘Why are you doing this?’ He asked the ceiling. Crowley didn’t know what to do. Somehow he knew this was his doing. Something he should have seen coming. An angel doesn’t just bond their essence with a demon and come away unscathed. His damned nature was killing his angel. Slowly, so the two could watch as his angel faded away. ‘Please God no. Why would you do this? Punish me.’

He pulled his phone from his pocket, careful to not disturb Aziraphale. He dialled the number and waited.

“Crowley, how’s the grape picking?” Anathema’s voice was light and pleasant. Unaware of the plight of the caller.

A sob couldn’t be stopped. “Something is wrong, Anathema. We are headed home.”

“Crowley, what happened?” she never heard the demon cry. She tried to remain calm and focused. He was panicking she could tell even through the phone.

“It’s Aziraphale. I think…” saying it allowed was not something he could do. It made it all too real in a way. “Aziraphale is sick. We are headed back. Be in London in a couple of hours.” his voice broke on every word as he tried to explain.

“I will have Newt drive me to the bookshop.” She tried to reassure him. ‘Help. They need to hope help was possible.’

“Thank you.” he sniffed. ‘Crying to a human. Fuck what anyone would think.’

“Crowley?” her voice schooled and calm.

“Yes?”

“We will figure this out.”

“I need you to be right.”

Chapter Text

Sunday 15 September 2019
3:40 pm
London

 

Sunlight suffuses through the leaves of an ancient oak. Great limbs groaning as the breeze sways the boughs. Aziraphale is in a garden, their garden. Soft sweet scents carried on the air breathed into his lungs. It is peaceful here. All of God’s wonders sheltering them from the harsh world beyond their little Eden.

Crowley is there, tending their garden. Knees cradled by thick grass as strong hands tend the rich earth. He is planting a beautiful lilac bush in full bloom. One of the hundreds of beautiful plants encompassing their home. Crowley looks so content, so at ease, Aziraphale feels his heart ache with appreciation.

Crowley turns his head and smiles. His eyes unshielded by dark lenses. There is no worry nor pain in that smile. Crowley is happy, at peace, content in their little corner of the world. “They are beautiful, aren’t they, dove?” His voice is calm, reassured by the tranquillity of their life.

A shrill exuberant giggle cuts through the silence of their garden. Crowley and Aziraphale both look. The sound is coming from around the side of their home. Aziraphale can not see the source of the joyous laughter. His husband turns back to him with the brightest smile he has ever seen. “Don’t worry, dove. It’s my turn.” Crowley springs into a run. Bare feet bounding over the lawn in the direction of the sound.

A moment later he hears another effervescent giggle and Crowley’s echoing laughter. It is such a carefree sound Aziraphale begins to cry. ‘Oh, to see you so happy.’

The breeze shifts, a presence approaches from Aziraphale’s right. It is comforting yet speaks of unimaginable power. “You will, blessed one.”

He knows that voice. He has longed to hear that voice on so many occasions. “My Lord?” he breathes out. He has not heard Her since the walls of Eden. Since he lied to her. Aziraphale often wonders if that was the reason she abandoned them all.

She approached the little table where he is seated. Her smile warm and kind. “Hello, Aziraphale.”

“My Lord. Are you real?” ‘I am not worthy to behold your grace.’

“I Am that I Am. Tell me Aziraphale why is your husband so distressed? Is he not pleased with my blessing?” She asks, taking Aziraphale’s hand that rested on the powder blue wrought iron table.

‘Yes, he is so distraught. I hate seeing him so troubled.’ “He is worried for me, my Lord.”

“Be not afraid, Aziraphale. You are favoured above all.” Her words caress his essence. All fear, all concerns fade, fleeing her comforting utterance.

‘Favoured? Over the others. All the angels above, demons below, and humans between?’ “I don’t understand, my Lord.” ‘I am nothing special.’

God rises. Even in this form, Her aura demands attention. She stands before him in her radiance and places a hand on Aziraphale’s abdomen. “They will be named Etzbael. Though your demon will have something to say about that.” She remarks with a knowing smile.

‘Etzbael. The Finger of God?’ “A child? My Lord are you quite certain.” Aziraphale asks knowing it is foolish. ‘This is God; certainty belongs only to Her.”

“My blessing Aziraphale. They are meant for great things, as are their parents.” She assures.

‘I have gone quite mad. God is here, touching me, telling me I am to bear a child.’ “My Lord, I am with child?” he asks aporetically.

The look Aziraphale receives is one of indignation“Yes, Aziraphale. Fear not, for I am with you. Protect My children of Earth. Look after them as you have always done.”

“I will, my Lord.” ‘I knew you never wanted them harmed.’

She looked off into the garden. Her smile was one of fondness, then one of regret. “Tell your demon I am with him as well.”

‘He is good. He deserves your forgiveness.’ “May you yet forgive him, my Lord?” ‘Please. I know how lost he is without your love.’

She returns to their conversation. “His fate is his alone. He understands this.” Her eyes appear as if she yearns for the circumstances to be different. “When you wake, you will remember. There is much to do.”

‘I wish Crowley were here to see You.’ “Yes, my Lord.” he bows his head in respect.

God smiles, taking a knee before her Principality. A single perfect kiss replaces Her hand. Aziraphale feels a sudden fluttering pulsation in his abdomen; it resonates through his body. Singing its awareness with notes of love and mirth. Aziraphale brings his hand to caress the spot where God’s lips anointed him.

Tears fell from him as the little essence acknowledges their connection, gentle tendrils sweeping Aziraphale’s heart. ‘You are real. Oh, you are so very beautiful, my love.’ “Hello, little one.”

“Go in peace Aziraphale,” God promises pressing a final kiss to Her Principality’s forehead. With that, She is gone.

Aziraphale awakens with a start. He grasps his husband’s arm as he screams, “STOP THE CAR!”

The Bentley screeches to a halt. Aziraphale is panicked looking at Crowley with wide blue eyes. “Aziraphale what’s wrong?” ‘Are you going to be sick? What do you need?’

Aziraphale doesn’t respond. He looks down at his stomach, at his hand resting there. He still feels them. A small static charge just below the surface. ‘You are real. It wasn’t just some dream.’ A terrifying thought crashes into his mind. He looks back to his demon, ‘Oh God, what if this is something he doesn’t want?’ “Crowley?”

Crowley fully shifts to his angel, eyes assessing. ‘What now?’ “Talk to me, dove. What is wrong?”

“Crowley...I...we...I…” Aziraphale can’t bring himself to say the words. ‘What if he is angry? What if he leaves?’

“Aziraphale spit it out!” ‘God, please don’t do this. Please don’t take my angel.’ Panic is suffocating him. He knows his terror isn’t helpful, but he can not battle it into obedience.

‘We need you.’ “Crowley, it seems...It seems I am with child.” ‘Please don’t leave.’ His eyes focused on his husband, watchful, for any sign of displeasure.

Crowley stares open-mouthed at his angel. ‘Is this real? Did Aziraphale just say we are having a kid? We are having a baby. I am going to be a father? Blessing, that’s what She meant. Thank you. I am such an idiot. We are idiots. We should have known. I am going to be a dad.’

Then a revolting feeling settles within him. His mouth goes dry, and his heart nearly stops. ‘Shit, I am a demon. What does that mean for our kid? What if Aziraphale doesn’t want this? I am so happy, but what if Aziraphale isn’t? I need to approach this properly. What if...what if Aziraphale is angry at me? I did this. What if Aziraphale doesn’t want our child?’

Crowley searches for the appropriate words to say, anything. Inside his mind is wrestling between boundless joy and incapacitating fear. He wants this more than anything, but he is terrified he wants it alone. He looks first at Aziraphale’s stomach then his angel’s panic-stricken face. ‘Please be happy.’

 

‘He isn’t saying anything. He’s angry. Angry at me. He likes children but maybe doesn’t want this. God. God blessed us. Oh, our baby is such a gift. Please be happy about this, with me. We need you with us. In the dream, you were so happy. I know you would never forsake our child. Why are you not saying anything?’ “WELL SAY SOMETHING!” he shouts, breaking the unnerving silence.

“Aziraphale...Please don’t be upset. I don’t want to make you upset.” he takes his angel’s hand. Aziraphale’s eyes start to glisten with unshed tears. His angel looks painfully anxious. “I am so happy. This, us, our kid. I want this Aziraphale.” he confesses with an elated grin. “I have never in all my existence been so happy. I want this with you. Please don’t be upset. I love you.” ‘I want this. All of this. Share this with me.’

‘Upset?’ “I was worried you would be mad. That you never wanted this.” ‘That you wouldn’t want us.’

‘Like you could get rid of me with something as perfect as this.’ “It’s a surprise. I didn’t think it was a possibility. Everything makes so much sense now. I can’t be mad about our kid. The fact that they exist at all is a miracle.” He wanted to hug his angel, sing Her praises for all of Hell to hear. He settled instead on kissing that impossibly perfect hand.

‘Oh, dearest. Why do I ever doubt you? I am such a fool. She knew. She showed me how happy you would be.’ “Crowley, God came to me.”

“When? Where? I didn’t see Her.” he looks around as if She might still linger.

“In my dream. Oh, Crowley, I heard them. Felt them. Here.” he places Crowley’s hand on his belly. Crowley’s pupils dilate impossibly wide, as a current of electricity dances across his palm.“God said their name is Etzbael.”

“The Hell it is.” he says with a grimace.‘That won’t do.’

‘You were right.’ he couldn’t help but admit. “God said we are to protect the Earth. She is with us. She wants me to tell you. She is with you as well.” He said, holding his husband’s hand firmly to where their child grew.

‘With me?’ “Not bloody well likely.” he groused in disbelief. ‘She wouldn’t give me a passing thought.’

Aziraphale saw the self-doubt written in his demon’s expression, even beneath those damned sunglasses.“Crowley, please. God has blessed us.” ‘Why would she bless us if not for love?’

“A kid.” It was the most impossible, ineffable thing. She could do. Never had an angel given rise to one of their own. That was part of what it meant to be an angel. Beholden to no one but Her alone.

“Yes, dearest.” Aziraphale smiles. ‘Our child. Our little perfect miracle.’

“We are having a kid,” he says again in disbelief.

‘Poor thing is in shock.’ “As it is God’s will.”

“We are having a kid.” ‘I am going to be a dad. What the Hell?’

‘Seriously it isn’t that hard to comprehend.’ “Dearest we have established that.” ‘Honestly.’

Crowley looked at their hands joined on his angel’s stomach. “God, I don’t know what I did to deserve this but thank you.” ‘Thank you. A million times, thank you. Thank you for not taking Aziraphale from me. Thank you for your blessing. Thank you for this wonderful gift.’ He wants to cry, to laugh, to sing infinite praises to Aziraphale and Her.

‘Why does he look so terrified?’ “So you are happy...I mean you want to have a child...with me?” Aziraphale grips his husband’s hand tighter.

 

Crowley looks up. His angel looked as though he was waiting for Crowley to come to some horrible decision. ‘How could I not?’ “More than n’ything.”

Aziraphale breathed his satisfaction “Oh, oh, I am so relieved.”

It was all he could think to do when he pulled his angel in for a passionate kiss. Somewhere inside him, a voice reassured that everything would be ok. Raging waves of love and longing roll through him. His angel answered his kiss by scrambling into his lap. Hands grasping, tongues caressing, hearts beating in unison. Crowley’s pocket rang.

“Dearest, I believe…” a deep feral kiss. “Someone…” Crowley presses him against the steering wheel. “Is…” he gasps as his demon’s hands grip his sensitive breasts. “Trying to contact you. Yes, just there.” Crowley’s teeth bite into the flesh of his collarbone. He sucks possessively leaving a mark Aziraphale would relish come a new day. ‘I am yours, and you are mine.’

The searing heat of need pushing through him. Crowley knew who was on the other end. He wanted to ignore her call though something inside him needs to tell. Needs to share their news.

He pulled back pressing a hand on Aziraphale’s abdomen, holding his angel in place. The desire turned to ache almost instantly. He drew the phone from his pocket levelling Aziraphale a commanding stare. He leaned back into the seat, pressing his pelvis into his angel’s juncture. “Bookgirl.” his tone was deceptively light.

“Crowley we are on our way, we got stuck on the M25.” the witch explained.

‘Stay right there, dove.’ his eyes demanded. “Yeah, sorry about that.” his hand brushed along a sumptuous hip. He gripped under his angel’s lush bottom, pulling Azirapale flush to his chest. Aziraphale was forced to bow with the ceiling. Hands grasping at hair. Breasts enticingly close to his mouth. “My fault.” Crowley’s serpent eyes focused on blue. He kisses that exquisite stomach. “Hey, so yeah, we figured it out.”

“Figured...What is it, what’s wrong with Aziraphale.?” her voice was sombre.

“Yeah, seems to be I knocked Aziraphale up.” He grins provocatively up at his angel. Kissing the tartan separating them.

Aziraphale frowned at the crudeness of the phrase. “Do you have to be so crass?” He shivers as Crowley drew his nails across his buttock.

“Well...Wow! We’ll be there in ten minutes.” She exclaimed in surprise.

“Yeah, see you then,” he says, hanging up and tossing his phone aside. Crowley growls low in his throat, feeling a wave of raw desire stab through him.

The romper is ripped open as Aziraphale moans, “Do we have time?”

“Time bends to my will,” he growled low again. The world around them stopped. It was only them. An eternal moment at his command. This moment was theirs and theirs alone. Crowley possessed his angel’s throat with his tongue. There was love in the pulses, but the desire was all-consuming. He could do nothing but answer their call.

He willed them naked, though the only sign of either taking note was an increase in fervour. Aziraphale pushed down onto Crowley’s effort in one sudden movement. He groans low at the acceptance, head falling back to the seat.

Aziraphale rolls his hips. There was nothing but this; them, their bond their shared love, this moment of joy. Aziraphale takes Crowley’s hand; entwining their fingers and using them for support. His hips became insistent; he is moaning, chasing their shared pleasure. Crowley is thrusting, panting beneath him. Everything demanded more. “Take me Crowley.” was keened in desperation.

Crowley flipped them. His knees in the floorboard. Aziraphale’s legs through hastily over his shoulders. He thrust in, pinning his angel to the seat. Aziraphale moaned quivering around him. Crowley withdrew nearly completely then thrusting in again pressing upwards to graze that wanton spot. There was no restraint, no thought beyond this. Crowley set a demanding pace; his angel clung to him, kissing desperately.

The peak was there suddenly. Aziraphale gasped as he lost all sense of himself. The world went white, aching pulses rippling through his corporation.

Crowley came seconds later. His body still thrusting riding each wave of his angel's orgasm. When Aziraphale ceases trembling, he slumps into his angel’s embrace. Breaths laboured with satisfaction. “I love you.”

Aziraphale smiles in bliss, “I love you, husband.”

4:40 pm

Crowley and Aziraphale took up their standard seats on their sofa. Crowley’s arm protectively thrown over his angel shoulder. Even if these two weren’t deemed a threat, a force within him made it compulsory.

Anathema pulled up a small chair and studied Aziraphale. She is transfixed by the new little aura shinning within the angel. It looks like a sun made out of rainbow, brilliant and shining, it has a fiery core that shifts between red, orange, and yellow.

The aura has a willful presence. “You are going to have your hands full with this one.”

“Probably my fault.” groaned Crowley.

Anathema stood, still focused on the aura. “They are definitely a healer. Very strong. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Aziraphale caressed his stomach. “I don’t imagine there has ever been anything like our child. Angels don’t reproduce like humans.” 'Half angel half-demon. We are both of angel stock. Does one's parent's status even matter?'

Newt considered the implications. 'No reproduction?' “How were you two…?”

Crowley exhaled irritably. “We are created. God’s will made manifest and all that.” 'this human isn't the brightest.'

'If you don't reproduce how then is the angel pregnant?' “So...how did...I mean...clearly you…” Newt asks in confusion.

'God, you missed handing out brains to this one.' “Yes, yes. We bonded. I imagine it had something to do with that.” Crowley explains curtly.

“Makes sense why you turned into a woman. The baby will need somewhere to gestate. And when it comes time for delivery, wider hips are somewhat necessary. I assume the breasts mean you will be feeding them.”

Aziraphale flushes crimson. “Oh, I hadn’t even considered. Yes, that does explain my inability to change my form.”

“Explains the need for food. And the leeching. The baby has to draw energy from something to develop. Either you or what you consume.” she expounds, beginning to pace before them.

“Indeed.” 'Why didn't we recognise this before?' Aziraphale looks to his husband. 'We are both idiots.'

“How far along are you? The bonding was what? Almost three weeks ago?” she continues to pace. Mind working through a thousand considerations.

“Yes, the evening of the twenty-sixth.”

“You said you already...sensed a heartbeat?” she pointed to Aziraphale's stomach.

“More like a, well...like an awakening. Hard to explain really.” it is difficult to explain to a human this unprecedented metaphysical implantation.

“I am not sure how long an angelic pregnancy is, but conception to four weeks that seems about right. Do you two know how it all works?” '6,000 years you must pick up a thing or two.'

“Never been pregnant. Typically didn't make it a habit to be in the birthing room,” informs Crowley with a shrug. The antichrist was the closest he had ever come to childbirth.

“I have been privy to several birthings, but never participated in one.” And those Aziraphale chose not to observe from a distance.

'Why am I not surprised?' “Right. Well, good thing you like books. You guys have a lot of reading to do.” Anathema looks around. The bookshop was so haphazard it's a wonder there isn't an avalanche of books at any moment. “And this place is going to be a nightmare to baby proof.”

'This is no place to raise a child. Crowley still hasn't said if he is willing to relocate. We have time for that.' He was suddenly famished. 'I haven't eaten. The baby is hungry.' “Thank you, Miss Device. Would you and Newton like to join us for sushi?” he offers.

“You can’t eat sushi,” Anathema instructs. 'Who knows, he might be able to.'

“Why ever not?” Aziraphale adjusts his restored romper. 'I will eat what I want. The nerve.'

“Mercury in fish is bad for the baby. Raw meats as well. There is a whole list of things you need to avoid.”

'Quicksilver? In fish? Who's ever heard of such a thing? Nasty stuff. It could do horrible things to a baby. That can't be right.' “No sushi?” he asks, brows furrowing. 'I had sushi on our honeymoon. Did that harm our child?'

Anathema remembers the picture of Aziraphale drinking on the beach. “No alcohol either.” she scolds.

'No alcohol?' Aziraphale's worry turns into indignation. “Oh, now wait just a moment,” he says affronted. 'Humans have been consuming alcohol nearly as long as they have existed. Pregnant or no. Though, this could be like ducks and bread.'

Crowley starts laughing hysterically. He sees how worried Aziraphale is. Face falling to that adorable pout. 'I shouldn't laugh. No sushi, fine. No alcohol and you nearly just smote the witch. I bet Gabriel had something to do with this. Fucking tosser.' “Maybe this is God’s way of saying you need to cut back.”

“I don’t see what is so amusing about it all. Really, Crowley.” he shifts away from his ridiculous husband. Looking off into the shop. 'I am in no mood for mockery.'

“Listen, I’ll send you two a list of books. Also, some links to helpful websites. You have a lot of stuff to consider.” Anathema says gathering her things. Newt assisting, ready to be away from this uncomfortable situation.

“Humans have been doing this for 6,000 years. It can’t be all that serious.” Aziraphale says, more trying to reassure himself. 'There does seem to be quite a considerable amount of pain in the birthing. Isn't that enough?'

'They are like teenagers.' “Where are you going to deliver the baby? At a hospital? At home? Are you going to deliver the baby yourself, Crowley?” She cuts a look to the demon that tells him she knew he wouldn't.

'If I have to witch. Though…' “I don’t know the first thing about delivering babies,” he admits. 'Shit. I hate reading.'

“Exactly. Read the books. And I know you two don’t do doctors, but you might want to consider at least seeing an ob-gyn. Just to be on the safe side.” she instructs, throwing her bag over her shoulder.

'Not bloody likely. What is an ob-gyn?' “You’re a witch. They were really just healers and midwives that pissed off the patriarchy. Can’t you just do it?” he asks in annoyance. 'Aren't you suppose to help?'

Anathema folded her arms in front of her. “I’ve never delivered a baby either. My mom has. A couple of times." She reflects. 'Perhaps mom would agree to help?' "You have time to think about all this. If you. Areally don’t want to go the traditional route we will figure something out. I could send Newt to school to be a midwife.” she knew how anxious that would make her boyfriend.

“I daresay,” he says in alarm. 'I'm rubbish with computers. Don't want to think about what could go wrong if I handled a baby.'

“We’ll think it over,” Aziraphale says flatly. 'There is so much to consider. So much to do in preparation. God is with us. Everything is going to be fine.'

Crowley could see Aziraphale growing tired. The enthusiasm his angel had a moment ago consumed by the true gravity of their situation. "Thank's Anathema. We'll call you." They needed to be alone.

The two humans leave. Crowley drags Aziraphale into his lap; arms holding his angel close. "I'm here, you know. I won't let anything happen to you or our baby." He is more determined than ever, to be anything his angel needs him to be.

"I know dearest. It's just all a bit daunting." His mind skipping from all the things they need to do, to purchase, to the messy business of labour.

"Look, the witch is right. We need information. We…" he kissed his angel's cheek. "Are going to get you supper. Then…" he turns Aziraphale to look at him. Those eyes are full of worry. 'Your eyes are impossible.' "Are going to add to your collection. We can do this." He claims those pouting lips with a sincere kiss.

'You are going to make a wonderful father.' "Thank you, dearest. Of course, you are right. But perhaps we should get the books first. I would hate to endanger our baby out of ignorance." 'I hope I haven't done so already.' He clung to his husband for reassurance.

Sometime later, they have purchased every book on Anathema's helpful list. Even a couple extra the clerk at the bookshop recommended. They sat at the Italian restaurant several doors down from their bookshop. Aziraphale studying a book on prenatal nutrition.

"This diet is very restrictive. No shellfish. No organ meats. All I wanted at first was offal." He closed the book and poked at his food. Which was not carbonara he wanted due to the book forbidding it.

"Dove, it will be fine. Our kid isn't human. Did God say you should be worried?"

"No." 'Surely she would have. "I just don't want to risk our baby on chance."

"I don't either. Now eat. You've got my kid in there. Eating for two as the humans say." Crowley grins wolfishly.

"Our child." Aziraphale scolded, but ate.

10:15 pm

Nighttime settled over London hours ago. The rain was pattering against the silent bookshop's windows. The two lounging in their nest, Aziraphale propped on pillows diligently reading one of the many books.

Crowley having hiked up the soft nightgown his angel selected, rested his head on Aziraphale's stomach. Every once and a while, a tender kiss was offered to their child within.

'You are so endearing like this.' “A watched pot never boils dearest.” Aziraphale chides turning a page.

“Yes, but they are in there,” he says in wonder. Hand smoothing over the nonexistent bump. 'I wonder if I can see their essence?' “Dove, can I?” he looks up hoping for permission.

Aziraphale sets down his book. “Yes, of course, dearest.” he shifts a little to get more comfortable.

Crowley smiles in appreciation. He wants to meet their little one so badly; this would have to do for now. He let his essence seep out. There, just inside, is a little glowing ball of light. It is bright like Aziraphale but fiery in a way that reminds him of a star. He feels the little essence acknowledge him. It brightens and reaches out with love; he answers in kind. He feels his corporation crying. Crowley hugs his angel tightly, burying his face in that warm stomach.

"Thank you, Aziraphale." 'Thank you for everything. Thank you for this.'

"There is no need to thank me, my love. I am just as blessed to have you" Aziraphale caresses those crimson locks.

'Blessed. You are blessed. I am still damned. No matter how amazing this all is, I am still Fallen.' Fear scrapes against old wounds. “Do you think...I mean...Me being a demon and all. Do you think…” 'I want to be a good father.'

'Oh, you can't think that about yourself. I will not have it.' Aziraphale grasps his brooding husband's face and demands his attention. “Crowley I do not doubt that you will be an exceptional father.”

He rests his chin on his angel. “I hope you are right. There are enough shit dads out there.”

'None of that.' “Dearest would you ever let anything harm our child?” 'Poor soul who would be foolish enough to try.'

Crowley shoots up at the idea. “No! I would…”

Aziraphale cups his cheeks. “And would you harm our child?” 'I know you would sooner bathe in Holy water.'

Crowley considers. 'Not intentionally. I would never hurt them intentionally. But what if I did? Just being around the baby, what if I hurt them?' He felt sick. “I…”

'You doubt what I see so clearly.' “Crowley, dearest husband, I do not think you capable of harming our child. I know you would do everything within your power to protect and care for us both. I know you will show them all the wonders of this world and teach them all there is to know. I know you are so full of love all ready for our little one, as they are for you.” Aziraphale wanted to kiss his worries away, but Crowley had him quite effectively pinned to the nest.

“You can’t know that,” he said, looking away. Aziraphale's sapphire eyes sometimes burned with love so tender that it hurt to look upon.

'I will grind this into your head, my stubborn husband.' “Can’t I? Every time they hear your voice, I feel them reaching for you. Dearest, they love you very much.” It was true their baby demanded to be as close to their father as Aziraphale could be. 'Crowley might even sense it without knowing.'

Crowley smooths his hand over Aziraphale's abdomen. “I love you, kid. I am going to be the best dad there has ever been.” He presses a long kiss to his angel and their baby.

He feels a tingling warmth caressing his essence. If the baby were here, he was sure they would be smiling. "Happy little one aren't you?"

'That's the smile from my dream. Thank you for letting me see him so happy.' He offers to the One on high. “See dearest.”

“Thank you, Aziraphale.” he kisses his angel's belly again.

“Thank you, my love.” 'for being so wonderfully you.'

Chapter Text

Monday 23 September 2019
London
12:23 pm

Autumn was officially upon them. The trees of London beginning to turn their vibrant seasonal hue. An angel and demon recline on a blanket in St. James Park. It is another lovely day. A light breeze heralding the cooler weather to come. It has been one week and a day since the pair learned they are destined to be parents, and they couldn’t be happier.

Crowley is thoroughly studying Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! By John Pfeiffer. The most helpful book he’s consumed so far, on his quest to be the best partner a demon could be. An exasperated sigh draws him from the Twitter etiquette section. Aziraphale looks somewhere between miserable and contemplation. A look his angel has been getting since the not so morning, morning sickness began. “Hungry, dove?”

Aziraphale slumps, letting his book drop to his lap. “Yes, but I am so nauseated I can’t bring myself to eat.” he wants to cry. He always wants to cry anymore. Fresh tears prickle at his determination to deny them.

‘Right, time to shine.’ “Well, good thing I packed for such occasions.” Crowley opens the hamper next to him. He riffles through the contents and begins presenting the options. “I’ve got ginger tea,” a thermos is set out. “ginger preserves,” a small jar and crackers join the thermos. “ginger snaps,” a large bag of soft ginger biscuits are presented. “And ginger ale made with real ginger.” Several miraculously cold cans are produced.

‘You are so good to us. I am not going to cry.’ “Thank you, love. It’s so very thoughtful, if a bit excessive.” ‘I will not cry.’

‘Still got candied ginger and popsicles at the bookshop.’ “I am just looking out for you and our sweet pea.” He says opening the thermos and pouring a bit into the cup. “Here.”

Aziraphale accepts the offered tea. “Sweet pea?” he asks levelling Crowley with a curious look.

Crowley shrugs and opens the jar of preserves before closing the lid again. A courtesy for the mother to be. “They are the size of a pea at this point.”

Aziraphale’s face melts at the thought of their tiny little one. “That is so small. Are you sure?” He places a hand over his abdomen.

“S’what the books say.” Crowley shrugs again then sits up. Taking the bag of biscuits in hand and opening, offering the bag to his angel.

“While I appreciate the thought, I don’t think I can live off of ginger-based foods alone.” ‘I want real food that doesn’t make my insides rebel.”

Crowley smiles. ‘Sometimes, I get things right.’ “Which is why I also brought a fruit salad full of vitamin B6. And Greek Lemon Soup with Chicken and Orzo. I’m told it is bland enough not to agitate your nausea. And lemons seem to be a thing.” He sets two bowls next to Aziraphale.

‘I love you, you sweet, considerate demon. I am not going to cry.’ “What is the significants of lemons?’ He blinks back several tears.

“S’pose to also help with morning sickness.” He explains opening the offerings.

‘I will not cry. It looks so good. When did you have time to go get this?’ “Well, that is very thoughtful. Thank you, my cherished husband.” Aziraphale leans in pressing a kiss to accepting lips, which threatens to escalate; before remembering their current location. Crowley grins mischievously at him.

“Drink the tea first. Wait a bit and then try the soup.” He gestures at the little plastic cup in his angel’s hand.

Aziraphale studies the liquid. ‘Ginger root.’ “Agnes mentioned ginger tea.”

“Did she?” he says in mocking astonishment. 'Of course, the witch knows our every move.'

“Yes.” Aziraphale sips the tea. He feels the pleasantly warm tea settle in his irritated stomach. “She said, trust in thy demon. Take thy tea with root of ginger. ‘Twill easeth thy affliction.” he sips the tea again. Aziraphale sighs as the nausea is eased.

Crowley pours more tea. ‘Looks to be working.’ “See, she said, trust me.”

‘I trust you completely. I love you. I will not cry.’ “I do trust you. And the tea appears to be doing the trick.” Aziraphale takes another long sip. ‘Maybe, I can live off of ginger alone.’

“Good. You’ve been looking a bit green all week.” ‘I am glad I can do something.’

Aziraphale swirls the amber tea. He is fighting a pout.“The book, I was reading yesterday, says the morning sickness will probably end around the second trimester.” ‘God, willing sooner.’‘

“Seven more weeks.” ‘I wish I could do more. I wish I could make it go away completely.’ “I could try to miracle it away.’

“I’ve already tried. It simply comes back worse. And please don’t remind me.” He finishes the cup. “The tea was lovely. Thank you, dearest.”

‘There has to be more I can do to make this easier for you.’ “It’s the least I could do. You’re doing all the hard work over there.”

‘Oh, you are blaming yourself again.’ “It isn’t all that bad.” ‘Stop whinging. It will do him no good. I am a Principality for Her sake.’

Crowley grasps Aziraphale’s hand and pulls it to his mouth. A gentle kiss is pressed to his angel’s wrist. “If there is anything you need? I…”

‘You are doing everything you can. I can see how diligent you are with everything. You are going to be such an amazing father. Oh, damn these eyes. I WILL NOT CRY!’ “Dearest, you are going to worry yourself mad. I am fine. We are fine. Its all part of bringing our little miracle into this world. You couldn’t be a better father or husband if you tried.” Aziraphale kisses his devoted demon in reassurance.

“I bloody well intend to try.” He says with conviction. ‘I am going to be with you every step of the way. Every moment. Anything you need.’

“I know dearest,” he says, voice betraying his battle of will, against his flooding emotions.

“Mr Crowley.” a familiar Scottish brogue breaks into their contentment.

Crowley bristles at the greeting. Every fibre of his being is at attention. Ready to strike the contemptible human down for his actions that led to his angel’s discporporation. “You manky son of a bitch,” Crowley growls putting himself between the conman and Aziraphale.

Aziraphale is there, holding his angry husband’s arm. “Sargent Shadwell. So good to see you again. Madame Tracy.” Aziraphale says with all courtesy. ‘The Witchfinder doesn’t know the danger he has just walked into.’

The former Madame sees the obvious threat the redhead is offering. Thankfully the angel she shared a body with seems to be holding the leash. “It’s Mrs Shadwell these days, love.” she smiles. The fact that the angel is female doesn’t go unnoticed. The books laying on their blanket is evidence enough as to why.

Aziraphale smiles brightly, pulling Crowley into his side. “Congratulations. What wonderful news.” ‘Calm down.’

Shadwell looks over the blonde at his former employer’s side. Appearing confused as ever. “I’m afraid I dun’t r’member make’n yur aquaintance, mum.”

Ms Tracy turns to her husband and places a pat to his chest. “Oh Mr Shadwell, do be a love and get me an ice cream?” She bats her eyelashes at her oblivious husband.

“Du I luk like’n erran boy?” he sneers at his wife.

‘Manky, rude, pustule on Hasturs rotted maggoty bollocks.’ “I suggest you do as your wife says.” he glares, chest heaving to maintain restraint.

Shadwell knows a command that best not be ignored when he heard one. “R’ght. Icecream. Be r’ght back.” He fears to turn his back on Mr Crowley but hurries off through the park.

Ms Tracy sighs in relief that for once her husband made no curt protest. “I see there is a Congratulation in order for you two, as well.” she gestures to the books.

Aziraphale turns to see what the lady was referring to. “Oh, yes. Bit of a surprise.” he smiles sheepishly.

‘The only reason I am allowing you to stand here is for the help you gave my angel, harlot.’ “Keep him away from my angel,” Crowley growled.

Ms Tracy tisks. “Oh, he’s harmless.” ‘I am familiar enough with Aziraphale to know you are nearly harmless as well.’

Crowley’s rage boiled at the human’s dismission. “He burned down our bookshop.” He pointed at the Sargent, arguing with the cart vendor.

Aziraphale pulls his husband back to his side. “Crowley! Dearest, it was an accident.”

“I don’t care.” he turned to his angel, hand cupping cheeks. ‘Nothing will harm you ever again.’ A protective arm was thrown around his angel, holding Aziraphale close. He turned back to the woman. “Keep him away from Azzziraphale, away from the booksssshop, and if he wantssss to live, away from me.” He hissed with every bit of venom he could suffuse into his words. It was not a threat. ‘My family will be safe.’

Tracy rolled her eyes. ‘Please, no need for dramatics.’ “Tetchy. Is he always like this?” She asks Aziraphale flippantly.

‘Oh, please don’t test his patients.’ “No, he’s just concerned for our safety,” Aziraphale says, a hand absently resting on his stomach.

“How far along then?” she asks determined to ignore the glowering demon.

“By human calculations, which are a bit odd, six weeks.” ‘Why they count the two weeks before conception is beyond me.’

“Oh, isn’t that wonderful. Is your man treating you well, love?” she patted the angel’s hand.

Aziraphale melted thinking of how wonderful their child’s father was, even now. ‘I WILL NOT CRY!’ “He is the best husband anyone could hope for,” he announced, looking directly at his demon.

“Good to hear. If you need anything, dear…” she pulls a card from her bosom handing it to Aziraphale. “give us a ring.”

Aziraphale accepts the card. “Thank you, Mrs Shadwell. I will keep that in mind.”

“H’re ya are woman.” Shadwell returns with a cone.

“Thank you, love. Now, why don’t we head over to that side of the park.” She knew their presence would only be tolerated for so long. She walked her husband away from the kindly angel and his wrathful demon.

“She is a good lady,” Aziraphale says coaxing Crowley back to their blanket.

Crowley sneers at the departing humans. “No accounting for taste. Marrying that pillock Shadwell.” he groused.

‘Can’t argue that.’ “Well, that may be.” he sat taking the fruit salad in hand. Crowley handed him a fork glaring at the ground. Aziraphale took a bite. It was cool and delicately sweet. “Oh, this is delightful.”

“Put a bit of lemon juice innit. Well, and yoghurt.”

“You made this?” He looked at the beautifully crafted salad.

“Yeah, while you were napping. W’sn’t hard. Cutting fruit mostly.” he informs, taking up his book again.

“Thank you, dearest.” The tears finally win. ‘Oh, damn it all.’

Crowley sees his angel crumble into a fit of crying. “C’mere.” he pulls his angel into his lap. “Crazy emotions again?” He kisses Azirphale’s temple.

‘No control over my body, and now my feelings.’ “Sorry. You are just so wonderful.” he sobs against his husband’s chest.

“You are so damned adorable.’ “S’alright. Eat. Cry. I’ve got you.” he rubs soothing circles into his angel’s back.

“I love you so much.” Aziraphale grips his demon’s shirt.

“I love you too, dove. And that little emotional terrorist inside you, as well,” he says holding his little family tight.

“It’s...not...their...fault.” he manages between stuttering sobs.

“I know.” Crowley kisses his angel’s forehead.

After Aziraphale is able to compose himself, he finishes the fruit salad and most of the scrumptious soup. Crowley encourages him to stop before getting too full, causing the nausea to return. “Could you make this again for dinner?” he pleads.

Crowley smiles at his angel’s little pout. “Yes, dove. Now” He stands and pulls Aziraphale up. “We have an appointment to keep.”

“An appointment?” Aziraphale questions as Crowley packs up their little picnic.

“Yeah, it’s not far. Kill two birds with one stone,” he says, taking his angel’s hand.

“How so?” He knows his demon is up to something.

Crowley turns, pulling Aziraphale to him. “You, my beautiful dove, need to walk after eating. Helps with the nausea. And…” holds up his angel’s hands for inspection. “How long has it been since you had a proper manicure?”

“Oh, oh dear.” he assesses his hands. “They do look awful.” ‘Oh, dear. I have been so focused on other things I have neglected my nails.’

‘Shit.’ “Not what I meant. You and I are going for a bit of pampering.” he kisses his angel’s palm.

Aziraphale loses to his emotions once again. Tears and sobs are all he can manage in response.

“C’mon, dove. It’s this way,” he says, throwing an arm around his angel’s shoulders. He would be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy being there to comfort Aziraphale in his little breakdowns.

After a brief eight-minute walk, they enter a posh spa, greeted by the attentive woman behind the counter. “Hello, how may I assist you?”

“Yeah, me and the Missus have an appointment,” Crowley says, leaning an arm against the counter the, other holding Aziraphale to his side.

“What is the name?” she asks, taking the appointment log in hand.

“Crowley,” he says, glancing around the room.

“Oh, yes. Mr and Mrs Crowley, please if you would follow me.” They are led to a private changing area, two plush robes provided. “Can I get you anything? Tea? Lemon water? Champagne?”

“Lemon water for the both of us,” Crowley instructs, already removing his shirt. The young woman sensing this was her cue to leave hurries from the room.

“Lemon water?” ‘Oh, this won’t do.’ “Just because I can not drink, dearest, doesn’t mean you should deny yourself.” Aziraphale offers.

“Solidarity.” he shrugs unfastening his trousers.

Aziraphale pouts but knew arguing was useless. If his demon refused, there was nothing he could do to convince him; short of forcing a glass into his hand. He began to undress. The soft dress he selected that morning was hastily pulled over his head; undergarments following in quick order. He was pulling on his robe when he turned and saw his husband slipping out of his boxers. ‘Oh confound it.’

One of the more appreciated side effects they both seem to enjoy was Aziraphales ever-increasing need for Crowley. Yet, in moments like this, the all-consuming urge to have his husband was at best an inconvenience. His desire raging inside him as his eyes study that sinuous body.

Crowley felt it. A sharp jab of desire shooting through him. He groaned as his own body demanded he responds. “I could help you with that, you know.” he purrs low.

Aziraphale hears the promise of pleasure in that tone and turns away. He hastily put on the white robe, tying it closed. ‘Not here. We are practically in public.’ “I can put on a robe Crowley.” he scolds, hoping to discourage them both.

“No. I know what you want, dove. That thing you give off. I have you at a bit of a disadvantage.” He closes the distance between them. Tugging on the sash of Aziraphale’s robe. “I always know exactly... what you want.” his voice deepening more as the robe slips open. Aziraphale gasps as Crowley presses his angel against the wall, knee between already trembling thighs.

Aziraphale felt guilty. ‘I don’t even know if you want this or just feel obligated.’ “I am sorry, Crowley. I don’t mean to be so demanding.”

“Demanding?” ‘You have got to get over this selfishness thing.’ Crowley pushes his knee up, feeling his angel’s arousal already desperate for connection.

Aziraphale can’t help but seek the friction provided.“It’s constant. I can’t seem to control myself anymore.” he whimpers fighting to regain his composure but failing miserably under that possessing serpent stare.

“So don’t” Crowley in one fluid movement lifts Aziraphale, robe and all, wrapping his angel’s legs around his waist. “Do you want me, dove?”

“Yes.” is breathed between them.

Crowley thrusts up. Aziraphale gasps at the sudden connection. ‘Like this, dove?” He knows the answer. He feels the overwhelming need calling to him, but he wants to hear it all the same.

“Yes.” Aziraphale doesn’t even try to restrain the tears that fall freely now.

Crowley groans low as he slides slowly, almost free, before pressing in again, with a determined thrust. The keening moan he receives as all the affirmation he needs. He keeps that rhythm. A slow drag out countered by a firm quick return. It isn’t long before his angel is nearing that peak. Nails biting into his shoulders as the pleasure builds.

Aziraphale’s head collides with the wall behind him as his climax rips through him. Crowley follows almost immediately. They stay there for a moment; Aziraphale firmly pinned to the wall. He is sure if he tried to stand now his legs would give out.

Crowley huffs a laugh between panting breaths. “Better?”

“Yes,” he says, kissing his husband firmly.

There is a light knock at the door. Crowley growls his displeasure. Aziraphale clears his throat and answers, “Be out in a moment.”

Crowley sets his angel down, miracling away any evidence of their coupling. Save for the marks left on his shoulders. Which causes his angel to blush, but no protest is offered.

The spa services were divine. They both received luxuriously diligent manicures and pedicures. Aziraphale happy to have his nails once again presentable. He was glad to have his husband there to enjoy in the “pampering” as he called it.

Crowley was enduring the humans for his angel’s sake. He knew if he had simply arranged for his angel to go alone, it would cause Aziraphale to feel unnecessarily guilty. Watching his angel relax for the first time in days was a generous trade.

When they were led to the couple’s massage room, Crowley took great pleasure removing his robe, revealing his proudly earned scratches. His masseuse was pretending not to notice.

The massage began with a thorough exfoliation. Neither of them informed the humans that such a thing was superfluous. Once they washed off the scrub, they both received wonderfully relaxing massages. Crowley opted for a deep tissue treatment. Aziraphale’s was specifically tailored to expectant mothers, designed to ease tension in areas prone to discomfort during pregnancy. The heated smooth rocks they both appreciated. Aziraphale’s own treatment ended with a soothing facial that left him sleeping soundly.

Crowley ordered the humans from the room. He sat next to his angel and smoothed his hand over Aziraphale’s warmly wrapped abdomen. “Mum is resting.” he delicately pushes his essence in to meet their child. “I know it is a lot to ask, and you are busy working very hard to grow strong. But I need your help here. It is going to be a very long seven months for you both. Mum really needs our help to get through it. I’ll do everything I can on my end. Just go easy on the kicking when it comes time, yeah? And stay off the spine too. I heard that hurts.”

He felt their little one’s answering caress. He lays a kiss to his angel’s stomach. “Thanks, kiddo. I promise to get you a poney or whatever one day.”

Soho
6:14 pm

Back at their bookshop, in their nest, Crowley rests his chin on his new favourite spot. He was already on to another book.

“Huh...” he says, intending to get his angel’s attention.

“What’s that, dearest?” Aziraphale looks up from Agnes’s prophecies, which seem to be nothing more than a midwife’s advice on an uncomplicated pregnancy. Though several lines he has yet to decipher speak of fire and The Host.

“You read about this mucus plug thing yet?” he asks, wondering if his angel has one.

Aziraphale’s brows furrow at the thought. “Please don’t, dearest. I just finished supper.”

“Says here it…” he began but was quickly cut off.

“Crowley I am begging you to not finish that sentence,” he whined.

“It’s fascinating.” when he saw his angel’s pleading blue eyes, he sighed. “Fine. Your no fun.” he went back to his reading.

A worrying thought seeded in his mind. ‘What if something is wrong? What if I don’t have a mucus plug? What if the baby was affected by my careless behaviour early on? What if they aren’t developing properly?’ He set his own book aside, anxiety making it impossible to focus. “Do...Do you think I should see a doctor, as Anathema suggested? Make sure everything is alright?” ‘Please let everything be alright.’

Crowley looked up. ‘You are fretting. It is going to be okay. She blessed you. Not some standard pregnancy.’ “If you want. I’ll go with you. But Aziraphale everything is going to be fine. God’s blessing and all.”

Aziraphale was once again fighting against the need to cry. “I...I mean. Oh, I know it’s just me being silly. I am a bit scared.”

‘Scared.’ That one word sent Crowley, rushing to his angel’s side. He drew Aziraphale into his arms, hand caressing his angel’s soft cheek. “What are you afraid of?”

Aziraphale is drowning under a torrent of emotions. “I...our baby...I know they are God’s direct will...but…” Tears began to blur his vision.

“But?” Crowley kisses his angel’s trembling lips.

“I read about the chances of miscarriage being highest during this time. I want to make sure they are safe.” ‘I need to know they are alright.’

Crowley saw the guilt and panic in his angel’s eyes. “Aziraphale, dove, they are going to be fine. But if it will make you feel better than we will go see a doctor.” He holds Aziraphale close, rocking them slightly.

“Thank you, love.” ‘You make me feel so safe.’ “I...I just can’t get it off of my mind is all.” he holds his husband tighter.

“Then we’ll look for the best doctor in London. One of these sods must know what they are doing,” he says, grinning down at his emotional angel. ‘I won’t let anything happen.’

“Thank you, dearest.” ‘I appreciate everything you are doing.’

“Anything angel.” He tilts Aziraphale’s chin to claim his angel with an encouraging kiss.

Chapter Text

Monday 30 September 2019
2:25 pm
Soho

 

After an exhaustively thorough search, they both came to an agreement on an Ob-Gyn office not too far from the bookshop. The client’s ratings were the highest in the city, with only stellar reviews. The doctor that ran the facility had quite the list of accolades attached to their name. Crowley called and made their first appointment. Which, had finally arrived on this rainy Monday afternoon.

 

Crowley was pacing irritably outside their bathroom door. Aziraphale has been hold up in the bathroom, door locked, for nearly an hour. He was determined to be patient, but they currently have an important appointment to keep. One which Aziraphale has insistently obsessing over for since last week. “Aziraphale? Aziraphale, dove, come on. We're going to be late. Angel!”

There was no answer. Crowley knew he had no other choice. None that would solve their current dilemma at any rate. With a snap, The door was unlocked. Slowly he peers into the dim bathroom. There, sitting despondently on the edge of the tub, was his angel, clutching a bra. Crying softly so as to not be heard.

“Dove?” he asks tenderly. His heart aching at his angel's current state.

“None of them fit.” Aziraphale huffs a sob. He wipes his eyes with the back of his hand, looking away from his husband. “Not a single one. I can get the clasps to close, but the cups are too small. My breasts hurt so much.” a little hiccup distorted much.

Crowley slowly approaches his angel, “Hey, C’mere.” He takes Aziraphale’s hand, which gripped the plain cotton bra. “Lemme see. I can fix it.” 'I hate seeing you so upset.'

“I have…” he looks up pitifully at his husband, eyes red and swollen. “Cramps. Just this dull ache that won't go away... I still feel like I'm going to be sick at any moment… and I can't stop crying.” at this, he burst into a renewed fit of tears.

Crowley knelt in front of his angel. Hands soothing over bare thighs. “Shhh. Aziraphale, dove, we don't have to go. You can come back to the nest and rest.” ‘I really hate that you are so miserable.’

“No... I need to know... I have to know... if they are alright.” He sobs, frowning, hands punctuating his determination.

“Fine, but as soon as we get home, you are getting in our nest. You need to take it easy. I’ll handle e’vrythin else.” Crowley tilts Aziraphale’s chin to force eye contact. ‘God, you are so beautiful.’

‘Don’t look at me. I am a mess.’ “You already do too much.” ‘I want you to hold me. I want to sleep until my next trimester. I am tired of being sick. I want normal food. And I don’t want to sit in our bathroom blubbering like some idiot.’

‘I wish I could do more.’ “Listen, this is my job. One I am more than happy to do. I know it makes you feel selfish, but right now, until you feel better, let me handle things.” ‘Let me make this easier for you.’

‘I am selfish. I am selfish, and you are so wonderful. You are going to get fed up with my weakness. “I feel so weak right now. I am being a burden.”

“No, you aren't. You're being the hormonally overwhelmed mother of our child. It's normal Aziraphale, and you are not weak. You’re a Principality for God’s sake. We faced down Armageddon together. We can certainly get through the next few months.”

 

‘Principality of the Bathroom Tears. Soft, ridiculous, useless Aziraphale. Always letting everyone down. I don’t want to let you down.’ “You are going to grow tired of my foolishness, and regret we ever bonded,” slips from his mouth very much unbidden. He looked at the floor; unable to meet those golden eyes. Aziraphale didn’t want to see if there was even a hint of truth to those words.

Crowley stood, considered pacing, but remained where he was. ‘Regret?’ Part of him was angry. ‘You think so little of me, that a few tears and some mild inconveniences would what? Make me ditch you and our kid? Make me throw away 6,000 years of loving you? I think fucking not Aziraphale. I’d sooner pull my own heart from my chest, and watch you dance the fucking gavotte on it.’

The other, clearer side of his mind knew what those words really were. ‘They hurt you in so many little ways. You don’t even see the scars. I know this is just leftover shit from Heaven. You are the most beautiful thing God has ever created. No matter what those pricks made, you believe. You aren’t getting rid of me. Not now, not ever.’

His mind as a whole settled on something a bit in between. “Absolutely none of that. Get up.” Aziraphale starts to pout. “Now,” he growls. “I'm going to fix you up. Then you are getting dressed. I am going to help, no arguments. We are going to see this doctor.” he grabs a few things from the bathroom counter so fast Aziraphale isn’t able to see what they are. “And she is going to tell you that e'vrything is fine. I will hear no more about me regretting you or our child.”

This time, when Aziraphale’s chin is tilted, the look in Crowley’s eyes is commanding. Crowley makes it a point never to demand his angel do anything, but this he needs his angel to understand. “Ever again, do you hear me. Not ever Aziraphale. I will never regret you or our child.”

Aziraphale knows that look is one of hurt, not anger. “Oh, oh, dearest. Crowley that was most unkind of me.” ‘this whole day is turning into a complete nightmare.’ “I am so sorry.”

Crowley wants to hold Aziraphale. Fight away his angel’s troubles and maybe punch a couple of archangels in their faces. Right now, however, Aziraphale needs him to be understanding and a motivating voice of reason. “Well, if you are sorry then work with me, yeah?”

Aziraphale stands, handing Crowley the offending bra. Taking it, he ushers him from the room. Aziraphale doesn't fight, doesn't protest. He knows Crowley is right. His kind husband is just trying to help, and it would be easier for them both if he were to be compliant.

Crowley sits his angel in a chair at their dinette. Setting the bottle of primrose oil, and lavender lotion down. "Nauseous still?" Aziraphale nods his acquiescence.

He hurries over to their little lemon tree and plucks a fruit. Setting it on the table, Crowley miracling a knife and cutting board. Silently he cuts the bright yellow lemon into thin slices before handing one to his angel. "Never thought our little frivolous purchase would come in handy."

Aziraphale thinks about that happy day in the flower market. For the first time that morning, he smiles. "Thank you, dearest." He says, accepting his husband's offering. A tentative nibble is taken of the juicy flesh. It is perfectly tart, biting back against the nausea. "I'm not sure why this works, but I'm thankful it does." 'And I'm thankful for you.'

"Good," Crowley says with a pleased smile, handing Aziraphale another slice. "Where are the cramps, dove?" serpent eyes gliding over his angel’s bare skin. ‘Keep your hands to yourself. Aziraphale doesn’t feel up to it, and we don’t have time. Focus.’

"My lower back," Aziraphale says gesturing with the lemon, turning slightly as if there were some evidence to the fact. Eyes dolefully asking for what has already proffered.

‘Shit. That look is not helping. God, you are so gorgeous.’ "And your breasts, dove?" Crowley looks them over, biting hip lip. ‘This simply isn’t fair.’ "They have gotten bigger. S'a wonderer you don't have upper back pain." He says running a finger along the bottom curve. The skin enticingly soft and warm. Everything within him hung on the caress.

Aziraphale tries to distract himself with the lemon. Under the weight of his husband's scrutiny, he feels other needs beginning to make themselves known. The hungry look in those golden eyes turns his insides to a furnace of desire. ‘Take me.’

Crowley shakes his head free from his lustful trance. It would not help either of them to continue to indulge in such thoughts. ‘Baby. Appointment. Aziraphale needs this.’ He takes the bottle of massage oil in hand. "To work then." He pours the little that remains into his palm, warming it vigorously, needing the distraction. "I need to get the ingredients to make more."

All of his efforts to compose himself rocket right out of the flat’s window. His angel, the beautiful divine ruler of his heart, hits him square in his essence with a barb of raw need. Crowley is staggered and for a moment, questions if Aziraphale isn’t in control of the of this sensation. Hypnotic cobalt eyes shining up at him.

‘I am yours. Take what you want of me.’ “Thank you, darling. You are so good to me Crowley. I appreciate everything you do immeasurably.” his voice light, enticing his demon to action.

Crowley clutches the little chair at his side. Wood creaking in his grasp. ‘Why do I have to be the sensible one? I am the fucking demon here. Doctors. Baby. Shite.’ Jaw clenching, he positions the chair in front of Aziraphale. This position would be a bit awkward compared to the bath, but clothing was his only restraint at the moment. He growled a deep, resonant groan, determined to focus his mind. Cupping each breast at this angle did allow him to apply firmer pressure with his thumbs. ‘Doctor. Focus. This isn’t pleasurable. This is fixing a problem. Aziraphale is in pain; you are helping.’

The massage was never as painful as the first time, but it did still needles something awful. Not enough to discourage Aziraphale’s ever-burgeoning thoughts. He knew Crowley could feel the desire pulsing within him. He knew the groan that escaped Crowley was an attempt to stay on task. Aziraphale was also aware he was nearly naked, feet from their nest, and his longing was palpable. His own moans that escaped him weren’t entirely involuntary.

Crowley knew if he looked up from his ministration, and saw those blue eyes clouded with desire, they would never leave their bookshop. As it was, he had already miracled their appointment to a later time, twice. He figured that was the human’s problem. Right now, his problem was controlling himself and keeping their plans on track. The soft exquisite sounds his angel was making was putting those plans in real jeopardy. ‘Focus, focus, focus.’

He clears his throat, trying to muster the necessary composure for the next bit. “I…” He has to clear his throat again. “Need you to lay down, dove.” standing, he turns away abruptly, one hand shoved securely into his pocket, the other strangling the lavender cream. “Let me see to your back.”

Aziraphale does as asked. Crossing the flat to their nest and laying down. Careful to tuck a soft pillow under him to mitigate the pressure on his breasts. He waited for Crowley to join him, the anticipation doing nothing but fanning the already raging inferno within.

‘Fuck me.’ Crowley stood there, looking down on that pale vision of ethereal beauty before him. Little delicate lace panties the only thing even playing at the pretence of covering his angel’s nudity. ‘What have I gotten myself into. Trouble. That is the only thing this is. Trouble. The things you do to me, angel, just aren’t fair.’ He stifles another groan as a new wave of aching desire pulses through him. ‘Dammit.’

Aziraphale turns his head to peak over his shoulder. His demon looks as though he is losing a battle of will. “Crowley?” he whispers, nearly a plea.

‘Fuck. You can’t say my name like that, looking like that. Shit. Ob-gyn, ob-gyn. Doctor, doctor, doctor. No sex. Shit.’ He clears his throat to no success. Half his words still hitch on their way out. “Righ...right here d...dove. Lem...lemme get the uh...lotion.”

He looks to the table then realises he already has the lotion in hand. Crowley sighs in utter defeat but goes to the nest. It would have to be Aziraphale’s call. He resigned himself not to press the issue but knew he was hopeless to stop if Aziraphale initiated anything.

Aziraphale felt Crowley beside him, kneeling in their nest. Feeling the bedding shift as a leg came over and straddled his thighs. His mind wondered what it would feel like to make love in this position. Crowley insisted, silently with his actions, to always couple face to face. The one occasion Aziraphale was turned away was on the plane. He made a decision to broach the matter, should things not progress where he currently wanted them to.

He could hear his husband's methodical breathing as warm lotioned hands came to rest on his back. ‘I want you. I never stop wanting you. Take me just like this.’ As diligent hands begin kneading at his aching muscles, he feels a shiver of desire run the length of his spine.

Crowley sees it. The muscles in his angel’s back tensing rapidly then releasing. He feels it, thrumming into him with a delicious ache. “Fuck.” Then he hears it, a soft, breathy moan as his thumbs follow the rippling muscles. His own effort demanding he gives in to their mutual need. All their options racing through his mind. ‘Quick, we can do quick. No, can’t guarantee that. I could just satisfy Aziraphale. No, that damn selfishness thing. Shit. We have an appointment. I can’t make it any later. Didn’t they say something about abstaining? Fuck! How long can I stop time for?”

Crowley poured his frustrations into the massage. the rhythmic movement was grounding, but not wholly diverting. He knew he was trembling; he has sense enough of himself to feel it. Aziraphale’s skin is flush from his tending. He quickly looks to his watch. ‘3:19. Time to go. We have to go.’ “How is your back?” he struggles to ask.

“Much better, dearest. Thank you.” He felt Crowley hurry to stand. Aziraphale watches as his husband darts past him to their closet, searching through his clothing. “Crowley?”

“Dove?” ‘Please don’t ask. Doctor. We are going to the doctor to check on the kid.’

Aziraphale hears the struggle in the pet name. “Is everything alright, dearest?” Clearly, it wasn’t, but he was recently making it a point only to engage Crowley at his demon’s insistence.

'Nope' “Yup. Fine. Here wear this.” he turns, holding a soft sweater dress. Refusing to look directly at his basking angel.

“Crowley do you...uh...that is…” 'If he wants me, he will tell me.'

“Aziraphale we have an appointment. Trust me. It’s not that I don’t want to.” 'I reaaally want to.' “But if we don’t leave now, then we’ll have to wait at least until tomorrow.”

“Right, of course.” ‘The baby’s health is more important.’ “We have plenty of time after.” Aziraphale smiles ‘Tonight I will see you thoroughly satisfied, my love.’

Crowley assists his angel from their nest. He goes and retrieves the wicked bra from the dinette. Miracling it to accommodate Aziraphale’s ever-growing breasts. “They’ll all be more comfortable going forward.” Crowley gestures for Aziraphale to turn and assists his angel into the garment.

Aziraphale quickly slides on the dress, Crowley helps him into the little tartan ballerina flats. “Thank you, dearest. Ready when you are.” He says, smiling turning towards the door, pulling on his favourite cardigan.

“You are far better at tempting than I ever was, dove,” he says, kissing his angel’s cheek.

3:45 pm
Divinity Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Crowley seats Aziraphale in the chair nearest the restroom, as a precaution should the need to wretch occur. He saunters up to the receptionist who smiles at him cloyingly, “Hello. Name please?”

“Aziraphale.”

“Oh, yes. Here you are.” the young woman passes him a clipboard and pen. “Fill this out and bring them back to me. The nurse should be with you, momentarily.”

“Thanks.” Crowley took the papers and sat next to his angel. He considers letting Aziraphale fill out the forms, but he was quite confident he could do it faster. “Right.” The first page was easy enough. Name, address, the usual. The birth date was a bit tricky. Aziraphale looked roughly forty in human years. Any older and they might draw unwanted questions. Reading the pregnancy books, he decided thirty-five would do.

Then came the medical history form. “Chief reason for today’s visit?” he read aloud. Smiling to himself, ‘They won’t believe a word of this anyways.’ “Pregnant by God’s divine will.” he murmured so only Aziraphale could hear.

"Crowley." ‘Don’t you dare.’ he cut his husband a warning look.

Crowley’s smile widens at his fussy angel’s reaction. "Whot? I'm not going to lie to the doctor." He says emphasising lie. “First day of last menstrual period? Never.” he writes.

“You can’t put that.” Aziraphale admonishes. ‘God give me strength.’

Crowley acts as if insulted. “You’ve never had one.”

Aziraphale leans in and whispers, “I know that, but it might make them suspicious.”

“Fine,” he groans. “Give us a date then.”

Aziraphale thinks on his research, “Uh, August 12.” he says watching to make sure Crowley doesn’t write anything untoward.

“What year?” he glances up, determined to frustrate his angel. 'Only a bit.'

Aziraphale rolls his eyes, ‘You are being purposefully difficult.’ “This year. They happen once a month,” he informs in a whisper.

“Excessive.” Crowley scrunches his nose.

“Suppose to be your fault, you know.” Aziraphale offers, with a quick glance at his husband’s reaction.

“My fault?” Crowley asks loudly.

“Shhhh. Keep your voice down.” Aziraphale scolds, hiding a slight satisfied smile.

“How in Heaven is it my fault?” he asks, aghast at the thought.

“Some theologians say it was Eve’s curse after the temptation though it’s rubbish. Just a less than convenient bit of biology.” Aziraphale explains.

“The things I get blamed for,” he grumbles. “Last pap smear?”

“What on Earth is that?” he frowns at Crowley.

“No idea.” he fishes his phone from his pocket. Punching in the word, then he hits search. Clicking on a website he begins to read. After a moment, his phone is hastily returned to his pocket. “Oh, you don’t want to know. I’ll just put June of last year.”

He reads the next question, “Type of birth control? Never thought to use it.” he writes.

“Crowley.” Aziraphale groans.

“Well, we didn’t,” he says as if innocent of any mischief. “Are you happy with this method of birth control, dove?” this is asked mockingly.

‘I love you, but do not like you right now.’ “I am happy we are pregnant, yes,” he answers curtly.

“Yes,” Crowley says seriously as he writes. “Are you currently pregnant? See answer above,” he says with a sing-song tone. “On what date was the first positive pregnancy test? When did we get the letter?”

Aziraphale thinks aloud, “Well, our bonding began on the 26th. We technically received the letter on the 27th. But we didn't figure it out until we got back from Nice.”

Crowley nods, “Right 15 September it is.”

“The total number of times pregnant, including…” ‘Not reading that to you.’ He skips over the next few questions. The word miscarriage would inevitably cause his angel another emotional episode. After a while, and some rather pointed questions, he grimaces, “God, these questions.”

“What’s wrong?” Aziraphale looks at the clipboard, which is hastily turned away.

“Nothing! Glad I am the one filling this out,” he says hoping Aziraphale didn’t see. Crowley quickly moves onto a section he could read aloud. “How’s your health in general?”

“I feel awful.” Aziraphale groans thinking about their miserable morning.

Crowley selects Good. His angel might be suffering from pregnancy symptoms, but from what he understood, they were all normal. “You don’t smoke. Used to drink alcohol. Is very upset we can’t anymore.” he informs the paper.

Aziraphale’s eyes look to Crowley pitifully. “I said I don’t mind if you do.” 'Please don't deny yourself over this.'

“I am joking, dove,” he reassures. “Doesn’t do drugs. Psychological?” he turns, knowing he better not remark.

Aziraphale pouts, “I am a mess. Maybe they can do something about it.”

Crowley speaks aloud as he writes, “Crys often, since conceiving our hellspawn.”

Aziraphale gasps, “Crowley, don’t you dare.”

“Too late,” he smirks. ‘Doctor ought to get a kick out of that one.’ “No illnesses, or hospitalisations. Any allergies?” he asks his visibly flustered angel.

“You know I don’t” he mutters.

Crowley shrugs, “Just checking.”

“Last mammogram? We'll just put a year ago. Seems to be about right for these types of things. No lumps. Discharge?” an eyebrow raises.

“No.” Aziraphale whines. ‘I am never letting you fill out any paperwork ever again.’

“Pain? Yes.” he writes.

All frustration falls away at the thought of all the wonderful things his husband does for him. He places a hand on Crowley’s forearm to get his attention, “I do appreciate you helping with that, dearest.” 'And all the other kindnesses I will never be able to repay.'

Crowley sees the affectionate look his angel is giving him.“Trust me, angel, it is my pleasure.” He takes Aziraphale’s hand and kisses his angel’s knuckles. “Marital status?” he asks brightly.

“Blissfully married to the most wonderful creature in existence.” Aziraphale intones.

“I am putting that down,” he says with a smile.

“Sexual orientation? Depends on the day.” He writes beside the two inapplicable options.

“I think they would expect it to say heterosexual.” Aziraphale whispers.

“That is for humans,” he smirks. Questions all answered, to his satisfaction, he hands the clipboard to Aziraphale. “Here. Sign.”

“What did you put my name as?” He asks, flipping through the pages.

“Aziraphale Z. Crowley. You can change it to Fell if you want.” Crowley answers. ‘Should have asked.’

“No. It isn’t really a last name.” ‘I like being Mrs Crowley.’

Crowley smiles at the acceptance Aziraphale gave his name. He kisses his angel’s temple. Once all the papers are signed, he returns the forms to the little receptionist.

 

Crowley has only enough time to return to Aziraphale when a door swings open. “Mrs Crowley?” came a raspy low woman’s voice. Crowley turned to see a middle-aged nurse standing in the doorway, clipboard in hand. Her wavey brown hair pulled into a ponytail.

Aziraphale stood tentatively. Hands wringing. “That would be me.”

“Come on then Ma’am. You’re already ten minutes tardy.” she scolds.

Crowley takes Aziraphale’s hand with a little squeeze. He guides them to the waiting nurse.

“You must be the father then?” she says, looking him over.

Aziraphale smiles brightly at Crowley. “Yes, my husband.” ‘It is so wonderful to be able to say that.’

She cuts Crowley an appraising scowl “You sure you don’t want to wait out here?”

‘This woman has some nerve.’ “I’m not letting my wife do this alone,” he says containing his annoyance.

“Right answer,” she says in cavalier approval. “You’ve got yourself a good one. This way.” waving them in, she leads them to a scale and takes Aziraphale’s weight, scribbling it down. She then escorts them to the exam room. “On the bed, dear. You.” she points to Crowley. “The chair, there.”

Crowley walks to the identified chair on the other side of the bed and sits, cursing the nurse under his breath. Aziraphale wiggles onto the bed, giving Crowley a pleading pout.

The nurse doesn’t miss the exchange but makes no comment. She takes Aziraphale’s vitals and completes her assessment.

The door opens, and a middle-aged blonde enters in a white lab coat. “Hello” she smiles at the pair. “I am Dr Frances.” she shakes both of their hands. “So, according to your paperwork, you are expecting your very first bundle of joy.”

Aziraphale beams at the doctor. “Yes, we are very excited.”

“Congratulations.” She smiles, going to the sink to wash her hands. “So no previous history of pregnancy, no family history of complications?”

“No Ma’am. Fit as a fiddle.” Aziraphale says jovially.

She takes a paper towel, drying her hands as she looks to the spouse. “What about you, Mr Crowley? Any family history of genetic defects?”

‘So to speak.’ “I...well.” He knew he didn’t have to tell the human, but it had been eating at him privately since they found out they were expecting. “I have an eye condition,” he says, hanging his head.

“Such as?” Asks Dr Frances formally.

Crowley removes his glasses and looks up at the human. She doesn’t look away or appear unnerved. Instead, she walks over and takes a closer look.

“Chorio-retinal coloboma. It isn’t typically inheritable. Not unless you are both carriers.” she informs as if snake eyes were common as rain in London. “Beautiful colour.”

Crowley blinks up at her, then to Aziraphale. He considers putting his glasses back on. Yet, for the first time since humans existed, he didn’t feel he needed to.

Dr Frances looks at Aziraphale. “Number of sexual partners?”

“Just the one.” Aziraphale blushes.

“How long have you two been married?” This she asked of Crowley.

“August 26.” He says taking Aziraphale’s hand, finger rubbing his angel’s ring.

“That should be close to the conception date. Wedding night babies are supposed to be good luck,” she says. “How is your pregnancy going so far? Any bleeding or severe pain?” She turns again to apply gloves.

“No. I am nauseous, exhausted, and crying over everything. My husband is infinitely patient. My breasts are sore. Recently every muscle in my body has decided to make themselves known.” Aziraphale says with a pout.

“Frequent urination?” Dr Frances asks.

“Ah…” Aziraphale looks at Crowley. “No.”

“Constipation?” she sits on a rolling stool near the bed.

“No,” Aziraphale says, thankful he doesn’t have to worry about those two symptoms at least.

“Are you able to keep food down?” Dr Frances scoots closer.

“Yes. Thankfully. My husband has been very accommodating. He makes sure I eat and drink properly.” he squeezes Crowley's hand. 'I appreciate you so much.'

“Good man.” Dr Frances says, smiling to Crowley. “Now if my math is correct, you should be about seven weeks. We should be able to get a peek at your little one with an intravaginal ultrasound.” She informs pulling a machine to her side.

Aziraphale looks at Crowley in excitement. Missing completely the specific type of procedure offered. “Yes. We would like that.”

Dr Frances nods taking a long cylindrical wand from the side of the machine.“Our tech is out sick today. So I guess I get to do the honours.” She looks to the nurse, “Agnes, can you get the lights, please. Mrs Crowley, you were smart to wear a dress. If you could please remove your underwear and lay on the bed, Agnes will help you with the stirrups, and I need you as far to the edge as you can get.” she proceeds to apply a guard and lubricant.

Aziraphale is suddenly aware of what the woman intends to do. A look of horror is shot to his husband.

Crowley sees his angel’s apprehension and tightens his grip on Aziraphale’s hand. “You don’t have to do this if you are uncomfortable.”

Aziraphale turns to the doctor with pleading eyes. “Isn’t there an external option?”

“Yes, but you're only seven weeks. We might not get a clear picture,” she says casually.

“Oh...well…” Aziraphale looks at the apparatus. ‘I need to know if they are alright.’

Crowley knew this was a possibility when they decided to seek medical attention. Seeing his angel in distress, however, was another thing entirely. “You don’t have to. We can wait.”

Aziraphale looks to Crowley. “I have to make sure.”

“Then I’ll be right here.” he grips his angel’s hand with both of his. “If you want to stop just say the word and it stops.” he cuts the doctor a look that indicates she has no control of this situation.

“It’s not all that bad.” She says, focusing on the mother to be. “Some women complain of discomfort. But most just don’t like how invasive it is.”

Aziraphale nods “Alright.” taking a deep breath to calm himself before standing and removing his undergarments. 'I can do this. Nothing too it.' He climbs back on to the table and lays down. The nurse drapes a thin sheet over his lap. The stirrups are jerked into position, and Aziraphale’s legs are guided into place. He gulps, feeling very exposed.

Nurse Agnes puts her hands under each hip and with a firm yank pulls Aziraphale down to the edge of the bed. Which causes a yelp of surprise.

“Hey, steady on,” Crowley warns the woman, who doesn’t seem to care.

Dr Frances moves the chair between Aziraphale’s legs. Agnes assisting by moving the machine within arm’s length of the doctor. “Alright, Mrs Crowley. I am going to spread your labia and insert the probe. Just breathe and try to relax. It will feel cold, that’s just the lubricant.”

Aziraphale looks to Crowley taking his hand. Crowley kisses his angel’s knuckles and doesn’t look away. ‘I am right here. Say the word, and this ends.’

“Ready.” asks the doctor.

Aziraphale nods, “Yes.” 'God, preserve me.'

“Alright, when I reach your cervix, you will feel some pressure,” she says, focusing on her task.

Aziraphale's breath catches as he feels her touch him. She does as she said, hand spreading him open, the cold, dull press of the instrument at his entrance. He feels it slide in, moving slowly until it reaches the end of the canal. It isn’t painful, just rather revolting.

As the probe is pressed against his cervix and rotated, he flinches. It causes some more than noticeable discomfort. As the doctor presses further Aziraphale tightens his grip on Crowley’s hand.

“Are you alright, dove?” Crowley is ready to pounce on the woman at the smallest of objections to the procedure. Aziraphale looks on the verge of saying something when the doctor breaks the silence.

“There you are,” she says with a smile.

They both stop; everything stops. The discomfort, their worries, possibly the world outside. They look to the monitor and there on the screen is a little smudge inside a dark void. Neither of them is even able to pretend to breathe.

The doctor makes a few clicks on the machine and turns to the awestruck parents. “There is your baby.” she points to the little smudge.

Crowley’s serpent eyes are transfixed. Not a thought crosses his mind besides the doctor’s words. ‘There is your baby. Baby.’ Aziraphale smiles at him and begins to cry. Hearing his angel’s slight gasping breaths, he looks to Aziraphale in profound admiration. “That’s our kid.”

“That is your baby. Now let's see.” She agrees, seeing the pair are paying her no mind. A few more clicks on the machine, a slight adjustment to the probe and the room is filled with a choppy whirring sound. On the screen is a pulsing line indicating the baby’s heartbeat.

“Dearest.” Aziraphale gasps. Pulling Crowley’s hand to his heart.

Crowley can’t move, can’t think. His heart is overflowing with love, excitment, and appreciation. Tears he never felt coming flow unimpeded down his cheeks. His existence before this moment seems unreal. Like it was all just a terrible dream he was suddenly waking from. Nothing matters beyond his angel and their child.

“The yoke sack looks great. The gestational sack is perfect.” a few more clicks. “Yes, you are seven weeks pregnant. Congratulations again, Mr and Mrs Crowley.” Says Dr Frances sliding the instrument free. She quickly cleans Aziraphale up and goes to remove her gloves and wash her hands.

“We’ll do a full blood panel and urinalysis to be on the safe side. See you two back in a month. Agnes will handle the rest and get you a print of your sonogram.” She informs Aziraphale, seeing the woman's husband is not currently of this world.

“Thank you, doctor.” Aziraphale smiles. He is relieved, excited, and so very much in love with their child and their father.

“I want you on prenatal vitamins immediately. It should help with some of your symptoms. But everything looks great.” She says as Agnes helps Aziraphale out of the stirrups. “He might need a moment.” pointing to Crowley who is still in shock, or something quite near to it. Leaving the room, she closes the door gently behind her.

“If he faints, I have salts.” quips nurse Agnes.

“I think Dr Frances is right. We just need a moment.” Aziraphale says sitting up patting Crowley’s trembling hand.

“I need to draw some blood and collect some urine from you. But I can go get you set up with your next appointment first. Any prefered time?” she offers.

“No at your convenience. Thank you.” Aziraphale smiles politely. The nurse marches from the room.

Turning to his husband, Aziraphale brushes his hand over wet cheek. “Crowley, dearest, are you alright?”

Crowley looks to Aziraphale still awestruck. His angel smiles and presses a kiss to his lips. Something in him snaps into awareness. He surges forward nearly toppling them to the floor. “Thank you,” he says between heated kisses. “Thank you.” pulling Aziraphale into his lap. “Thank you.” hands grasping, tangling in hair, kissing all the while. “I knew they were real. I felt them.” He kisses, unable to get close enough, though they are pressed tightly together. “But…” His mouth seeking every inch of exposed skin.

“I know.” Aziraphale gasps under the onslaught.

“Thank you, Aziraphale.” he looks back at the screen. Serpent eyes wide, still shedding tears.

“I am happy we came today,” Aziraphale says, committing his husband’s face to memory. ‘I am so glad you are happy. I am so glad you got to experience this.’

“Me too.” He says hugging his angel tightly, burying his eyes in the crook of Aziraphale’s neck. “We are coming back, yeah?” ‘Please say we are coming back.’

“Of course,” Aziraphale assures smoothing his fingers through Crowley’s crimson hair. ‘Soft sweet demon.’

“Thank you, Aziraphale.” his words muffled by the dress.

“I didn’t do it alone, dearest,” Aziraphale says kissing his husband’s temple.

“Thank you for choosing me.” this was said as he dissolves into sobbing heaves.

‘Oh, my dearest beloved. That you think you have to thank me.” “There could never have been anyone else.” Aziraphale holds Crowley and rocks them until his crying subsides. “Dearest, I need to put my underthings back on.”

Crowley releases his hold and Aziraphale gives him one last kiss before standing. He is reluctant to leave his husband in such a state, but he was sure the office was getting ready to close. And humans can only be expected to have so much patience. He redresses and sits back on Crowley’s knee. He needed to be close to his husband, as Crowley also appears to need.

Agnes returns a moment later with a picture and an appointment card. She quietly draws the necessary blood and shows Aziraphale to the bathroom for the urine specimen, which was miraculously produced.

Once everything is in order, and Crowley is clutching their baby’s first sonogram they leave. Both angel and demon were floating on air, wings unnecessary. Crowley drives them home. Funny How Love Is by Queen playing happily in the background.

Before exiting the Bentley Crowley takes a picture of the two of them, sonogram held in between. He sends it to Anathema with the caption “Our little miracle.”

Chapter Text

Monday, 30 September 2019

6:15 pm

Soho 

 

Anathema’s response was almost instantaneous, “Congratulations on your little bean!”

Crowley smiles down on his phone. He was glad they had at least one person, beyond themselves, to be happy for them. “More of a blueberry to my understanding,” Crowley responds, guiding his angel into their bookshop.

Aziraphale glances over his shoulder at his suddenly occupied husband. “Is that Anathema dearest?” He couldn’t help but kiss that proud smile on his demon’s lips.

Crowley smiles all the more. “Yeah, congratulating us on our bean.”

“Bean?” was questioned of his husband with a quizzical look.

“Our baby.” Crowley dropped to one knee, smoothing his hand over Aziraphale’s middle. ‘I saw you. You are real. I can’t wait to hold you.”

Aziraphale nearly melts as a tender kiss is pressed to his stomach. “Why did she call them a…” The sonogram was held up for his inspection. Their baby was currently very much a little grey bean in the picture. “Oh, they do look a bit like a bean.” ‘I haven’t even met you yet, and my heart feels like it's about to burst.’

Another buzz of Crowley’s cellphone drew his attention away from Aziraphale. “How was the doctor? Everything go well?” asked Anathema.

Crowley quickly stood and texting the witch back, “Yup said everything looks great. We're due back in a month.” Aziraphale was trying to peek at the phone. “Just wanting to know how the appointment went.”

Aziraphale nods. He had recently finished reading through the prophecies, for the fifteenth time. They were clearer, now that he knew that the miracle Agnes was referring too was their child. However, several prophecies still alluded his understanding. ‘Anathema specifically asked I not trouble her with the prophecies. But if I were to keep my questions on Agnes alone, perhaps I might piece together this riddle.’ “Will you send a textual message to the young lady and ask if I might call upon her. I have some questions about Agnes specifically. I will not bring up any prophecies.” he assures, mostly himself.

Crowley nods, he was beginning to like the witch. She was clever and kind. Two virtues that didn’t always walk together. “Aziraphale wants to come to see you. Says you two won’t talk about the prophecies, just needs more information about Agnes.”

“We are in Malibu seeing my mom. Poor Newt.” Came the response almost as quickly as the first.

“Need some demonic intervention?” Crowley offers. ‘Glad both our sides are out of the picture.’

“No. Thank you. Mom wasn’t happy about the manuscript.” This response was somehow faster. Crowley had to smirk at the apparent discomfort his offer of an intervention must have caused.

“They are in Malibu California,” Crowley informs Aziraphale who has disappeared to the backroom to make cocoa.

“In the United States? Whatever for?” he calls out to his husband.

“Visiting her mum,” Crowley says from the entrance to the back room.

“Oh, that is nice of her. Is she coming back?” ‘To have one’s child across the world. Perish the thought.’ his hand slips to his stomach. ‘I hope you never venture too far from home.’

Crowley doesn’t miss the little furrow of Aziraphale’s brow. 'I will drag her back myself if you ask it.’ “Aziraphale asks when/if you will be back?”

“Next Friday.” came the response. Crowley gave the phone a considered glare. ‘You better had.’

“She’ll be back next Friday,” he says, imparting a bit of the devil’s luck on their swift and easy return.

Aziraphale hands Crowley a steaming cup of strong black coffee. ‘I will never understand how you tolerate that stuff.’ “Would she be agreeable to meeting for lunch?” he asks, taking a sip of his cocoa. His stomach seems amenable at the moment. ‘Might as well make the most of it.’

Crowley types “Wants to know if you can meet for lunch, or tea, or whatever?”

“Yeah, we can do lunch,” Anathema returns.

“She says lunch is good.” He says as his angel leads them to their flat.

“Oh, excellent.” Aziraphale beams back at his demon, a couple of steps ahead. ‘She is such a lovely young woman.’

“Aziraphale says thanks.” Crowley offers without needing to be instructed to be polite. He was currently in no mood to be an ass.

“No problem. How do you guys feel about Halloween?” came the next text.

He huffs a laugh at the question. “You’re welcome.” He replies with a knowing grin.

Crowley and his angel sit at their little dinette to finish their drinks. Part of him really wishes his was spiked, though he has resolved himself to be supportive.

“What?” asked the witch.

“You are welcome.” he texts back immediately.

“Welcome for what?” inquires Anathema.

“Halloween. One of my better ideas. Took a few ancient festivals, a scoop of spooky, and threw in candy for good measure. A bit of mischievous fun for the family.” ‘Or at least it was supposed to be. Adults ruin everything.’

“I should be surprised, but I am not. So do you two celebrate?” comes her response.

“Not really. I do like movie marathons though,” he answers. ‘I wonder if Aziraphale ever has. Never mentioned it."

“Well, I am throwing a Halloween party. If you and Aziraphale want to come. At the cottage.” she offers.

“I’ll ask. Costumes?” he looks over at his angel. Who was currently trying to make out the invisible bump. ‘Wonder what I could talk Aziraphale into?’

“A must. Please don’t come as an angel and a demon.” She commands.

‘I am a bit more creative than that witch.’ “Got any other demands for someone who hasn’t even agreed to come?” he retorts.

“Not really, but Adam and his friends are coming so no slutty costumes,” Anathema charges.

“There goes my playboy bunny idea,” he quips with a smirk. ‘Aziraphale would look amazing in one of those get-ups.’

“So are you coming?” she asks.

Crowley looks up at his angel, who was finishing the cocoa. “Anathema is having a Halloween party. You want to go?” ‘Wonder if you will be showing by then.’

Aziraphale looked up at his husband, who was waiting expectantly for his answer. “Halloween. Is that the holiday you…”

“Yes, angel. You want to go? We have to wear costumes. Anathema says we can’t be an angel or a demon. And nothing slutty.” he grumbles.

Aziraphale felt personally affronted. ‘Slutty? I am an angel for Heaven’s sake.’ “I have never been slutty.”

Crowley can’t help the smile that takes over his face. “That outfit you wore in the bastille came close.” ‘Those satin heels, silk hose, tight breeches. Positively sinful. Wish you could have kept it.’

“Crowley!” Aziraphale admonishes. ‘The outfit was a bit extravagant, but nothing so tawdry as to be called a harlot.’ he stands at the offence. Walking past his husband to their closet. Glaring his disapproval at the very idea of someone thinking him a commonplace slattern.

Crowley has to bite back a chuckle. ‘You are too easy.’ “Sorry, dove. You were very pretty.” He glances to see a coy smile quickly hidden. “Do you want to go or not?”

Aziraphale pulls the dress over his head and hangs it in the closet. ‘It might be fun.’ “I…” he turns to his husband. ‘My body is changing by the moment.’ He looks down at his breasts. Hands roaming over his middle. “If you will help me find a suitable costume.” ‘Something that won’t be too revealing.’

Crowley saw the fretting beginning to play at his angel’s features. He stood and went to Aziraphale. Taking that perfect chin between his fingers tilting his angel to look at him. ‘It was a joke.’ “Yes, dove. We’ll get you something to compliment your divine perfection.” The blush that painted his angel’s features nearly did him in. ‘Nothing can compare to your beauty.’

‘Lord, the things you say to me.’ “Thank you, my love.” he smiles at his husband prettily. Aziraphale looks down at himself before pouting once again at Crowley. “One that will be able to accommodate, should I begin showing.”

‘You subjugate me with those endless blue eyes. Never stop.’ “F’course,” he says, kissing those delicate lips. Crowley pulls himself away long enough to text Anathema “Aziraphale says yes.”

He pulls his half-naked angel towards their nest. If Aziraphale was tired, he was more than happy to just hold his little family and sleep. Their day may have not been perfect, but you couldn’t tell that to one single neuron in his corporeal brain. They were happy, they were in love, and they had everything they ever wanted.

Aziraphale stops them at the edge of the nest. With a snap, Crowley is in his favourite black pyjama bottoms, and he in a thin blue negligee. With an inviting smile, he pulls his husband down into the comfort of their nest. Crowley stretching out for him to take up his usual position tightly tucked into his demon’s side.

He nearly forgets about the phone still in his hand when it buzzes. “Great! Am I coming to London next Friday? Or you coming to Tadfield?” Anathema inquires.

He kisses his angel’s forehead, “You want to meet in London or Tadfield?”

Aziraphale looks up at Crowley in confusion. “I thought you said she would be holding the party?”

“No, Aziraphale. You wanted to speak with the witch next Friday.” he reminds his angel.

“Oh, yes.” He smiles in embarrassment. ‘It would be nice to get out of the city for a bit. Surely Crowley would like to take the Bentley out for the day.’ “It would be lovely to go for a drive.”

“Tadfield it is.” he agreed. “Aziraphale says we’ll come to you.”

“Ok. I am happy for you two. See you on the eleventh at twelve.” came the final text.

“See you, Bookgirl.” he ends. Miracling his phone to their dinette. He shifts to his back, pulling his angel’s thigh over his lap. He could never get close enough when they cuddled. He caresses his angel’s peaceful smile. “I love you, dove.”

Aziraphale felt so safe in his husband’s loving arms. “I love you too, dearest.” He stretches up to press a kiss to Crowley’s lips. “Thank you for everything you do darling. I hope you know that I appreciate it all very much.” his eyes speaking of his sincerity.

“I know, dove.”

 

Friday 11 October 2019
6:00 am

Friday finally arrives. The loving couple and their ever growing child are resting in their nest. Watching Crowley’s favourite eighties sitcom. This episode, the ageing debutant’s daughter was currently explaining to the elderly women, a birthing clinic she intended to use for her joyous day. Aziraphale found the program very endearing. Much to his husband’s astonished delight.

Becky Devereaux informs the quintet in her heavy southern accent, “They emphasize natural childbirth, in a relaxed atmosphere, with no pain killers.”

Blanche Devereaux, in turn, gives her daughter a concerned look, “Becky, I know I mentioned where babies come from. Did I ever mention where they come out?” The audience laughs in the background.

Aziraphale giggles, jostling his husband, who was resting his head on their baby's current accommodations. Fingers carding through his demon's thick ruddy hair. “I like this show. It is very amusing.”

“Yes, it is.” Crowley agrees, kissing his angel's bare stomach. “Glad you are enjoying it.” 'I'm glad we can finally share moments like this. No chaos. No demands from our former sides. Just this.'

“I especially like the sweet one. What is her name?” He stops playing in his husband's luxurious strands to think.

“Rose,” Crowley informs, pushing his head into Aziraphale's idle hand, to encourage his angel to recommence.

“Yes! Rose!" He agrees excitedly. "Though I don't believe she can speak a word of Norwegian.” once again taking up his soothing ministration.

Crowley chuckles, “That’s the point, angel.” ‘I love you. You might be a bit of a Rose.’

“Oh! Yes, I see.” he smiles down at Crowley. A bit embarrassed for not catching on to the humour.

Crowley turns his head, resting his sharp chin on his new favourite pillow, “How are you feeling today, dove?” ‘You look so much better. I hope the worst of the sickness is behind you.’

Aziraphale pushes his fingers through fiery locks one last time, before taking his husband’s face between his hands. “Most content. Rather lovely really.” He smiles, sweetly at his happy demon.

A delicate kiss is brushed against his angel’s soft tummy, “I am glad to hear it, dove. Maybe the vitamins are working.” He nestles his cheek back down onto Aziraphale.

‘I love seeing you so peaceful. I would fight for this all over again. As many times as need be, to see you this happy.’ “Yes. haven’t been the least bit nauseated this morning.” ‘Let’s hope it continues.’

“Is that so?” Crowley questions. Kissing his angel’s irresistible belly once more. ‘I hope you don’t get tired of me doing this.’

“I seem to be on the mend,” he says proudly. Eyes twinkling at the little squeeze his husband gives in acknowledgement.

“Good. I hated seeing you like that.” he frowns at the memory. ‘I didn’t like that I couldn’t help.’

‘Please don’t be upset. It would have been far worse if it weren’t for your constant care.’ “I know dearest. I hope we are past such unpleasantness.” he smiles, trying to ease his husband’s sudden melancholy. ‘You are going to be such an amazing father. I hope they have your hair.’ “You have such beautiful hair, dearest."

"Think so?" he huffs a laugh. ‘I hope our kid has your hair. Perfect little pale ringlets. I’m doomed if they have your eyes. God let them have Aziraphale’s eyes. Don’t curse our kid with mine.’ He steeled his face to keep from worrying his angel. ‘This morning is too perfect to let it sour because of my bullshit.’

"Yes, I've always admired it. When you kept it long, I thought of how lovely it would be to run my fingers through." he reminisces. ‘You are so gorgeous. I know you would hate it, but I would love our child to have your golden eyes.’ He studies those living serpent eyes. He'd always thought they were hauntingly beautiful. Another piece of the perfection that was his husband.

Crowley considers for a moment Aziraphale’s words. ‘I like my hair long. Shame the fashions of the day are so fickle. I guess the only one I am trying to impress is you.’ He closes his eyes, and all at once, his hair is flowing over his shoulders. Long thick curls perfectly coiled, down to the middle of his lean back.

Aziraphale’s eyes go wide, taking the nearest strands in hand. ‘You always try to please me.’ Tears prickle at the corners of his eyes. “Oh, dearest. You didn’t have to do that. Your hair is lovely at any length. Please don’t feel like you have to change anything about yourself to appease me.” ‘I love you no matter what you wear. How you keep your hair. Or your need for grand gestures. I love you.’

‘No. No fretting.’ “I like it long as well. And It will be easier to keep with an extra pair of hands.” he says, shifting to rest on his elbow. Pulling a thick section around for his own consideration.

Aziraphale takes his husband’s hand “Oh, dearest. It will be my honour to help you maintain your lovely hair.”

Crowley riggles up to hover over his angel. The night of their bonding playing in his mind. “Speaking of maintenance, dove. When was the last time you did anything with your wings?” This was asked as he brushes his own fingers through Aziraphale's curls.

“My wings?" He thinks. For the life of him, he can't remember. 'We have been so busy since…' "Well...Good Lord, before the apocalypse. Before...Well. It has been some time.” he says afraid to even consider the level of disarray they are in. 'I can't let you see them in such a state. I'll have to find a moment to properly tend to them.'

His angel's lack of a definitive answer told him all he needed to know. Aziraphale's shop may be chaotic if you were being polite, but he's always kept his physical appearance more than presentable. “That won’t do. Give us your wings.” Crowley said, sitting up miracling a small grooming kit into their nest.

Aziraphale sat up suddenly, snatching up the grooming kit. 'No, this won't do. Oh, they are sure to look dreadful.' “Crowley, I am quite capable of tending to my own wings.” he is about to stand and retreat into the bathroom when Crowley takes his forearm. Aziraphale is stunned immobile by the pleading look his husband is levelling him.

“I know you are more than capable of doing it yourself," Crowley says, reaching for the kit gingerly. "But I am asking if you will trust me to do it.” 'Please let me do this.' He caresses his angel's arm with his thumb.

'Oh. That's not sporting. You never ask for anything. Then when you do, it's a kindness for me.' Aziraphale tightens his grip on the small box. "I-I...Crowley... I'm sure they are a mess. And I don't… it's… it isn't seemly to allow one's wings to fall into such an unkempt state." 'Please let me do it.' His own eyes pleading back with his husband.

‘Your eyes will not save you this time. I am going to see too your wings.’ "That's my point, dove. I want to help. Listen, I am good at wing grooming. Won’t take me long at all.” he assures, still holding tight to his angel's arm.

‘I won’t deny you. And you’ve seen me in worse states. You are very frustrating at times.’ Aziraphale angrily pouts. “Fine. But I get to reciprocate.” He demands shoulders slumping in defeat.

Crowley leans in and purrs “Deal.” low into his angel’s ear. This earns him a delicious throbbing pulse of desire. “Now quit fussssing and give me your wingssss.” he hisses in a way he knows will send pleasant shivers to Aziraphale’s core.

He sighs again, before turning so his back is facing his husband. Still clutching the box, Aziraphale settles into a comfortable sitting position in their nest. Nightgown straps pulled out of the way. He calls his wings into this world. Part of him is waiting for a snide comment on their appearance. Or at least a half-hearted quip, but nothing happens.

Crowley is lost for a moment, a long moment. Yes, his angel’s wings are in desperate need for a good preening, but they are still magnificent. Pearly white with a faint iridescence to the primaries. Crowley is sure once they are properly groomed they will be all the more lustrous. ‘I wish you would show me these more. They are so stunning.’

“I need the kit, dove,” he says reaching forward skimming his nails between the two alabaster wings. Aziraphale moans at the relaxing touch, muscles almost instantly relaxing. The kit was set down in the nest. “Thank you, dove.” Crowley takes the kit and places it in his lap. Fingers returning to his angel, massaging the muscles that connect human body to angelic wings. This earns him another gratifying moan. “Now, lay on your stomach. This will be far more comfortable that way. Can you do that for me, dove?” He purrs again.

Aziraphale couldn’t refuse. The tender sedating caresses strip him of all thought beyond his husband’s touch. ‘God, that feels divine.’ The nest seems to virtually pull him down as he complies. Warm hands encouraging him to relax and luxuriate in the attention.

“Thank you, dove.” Crowley purrs, coming to kneel beside Aziraphale’s right wing. From the kit, he takes a bottle of oil. He coats his hands and begins working it into the coverts nearest the scapula. Fingers massaging to the skin, checking for pin feathers as he goes. The soft, breathy moans are the only indication his angel is still awake.

When he finishes with that section, he takes the polishing brush from the box. The bristles are dense and soft. This he brushes over the treated feathers making sure any excess oil is evenly distributed. The first glide over Aziraphale’s feathers causes his angel to shiver. Each successive moan is accompanied by the blooming waves of desire.

“Crowley. Is...you are v-very good at this.” Aziraphale manages to groan.

“I am glad you are enjoying this, dove,” he smirks. ‘More than enjoying.’ he begins working on straightening and oiling the secondaries. Finding one pin feather and freeing it from the casing. He works an extra portion of oil into the cuticle. A higher pitch moan, his reward.

By the time he finishes straightening the primaries, his angel is slightly trembling. Pleasure reverberating into Crowley with an intoxicating mix of urgency and relief. “How are you doing, dove?” is asked in a deep sensual tone.

“I-I...Crowley…I…” Aziraphale tries and fails to express the maddening bliss he is currently experiencing.

“Is it too much, dove? Do you need me to stop?” he asks, anticipating the answer.

Aziraphale shakes his head furiously. ‘Don’t you dare stop. I want…” “Keep going. P-please, d-dear-rest” he keens.

‘That good, huh?’ “I still have your coverts to finish. And a whole n’other wings on the other side.” this is whispered into his angel’s ear. The desperate whimper is answered with a kiss to the exposed neck, finishing with a tantalizing nip. ‘If this is the response I get we are doing this once a week.’

He works his way up through each layer of coverts. Providing each feather with his absolute care. Once he finishes the alula Crowley begins massaging the muscles hidden beneath the down. Working the oil into the skin. The sounds his angel was making were positively sinful. His own aching need now echoing Aziraphale’s.

Satisfied with his work, he moves to the next wing. This side receives the same diligent, focused attention. All the while, his angel is moaning his praises. He finishes by kneading the muscles between the scapula; raking nails interspersed with the soothing caress. Both wings are now luminous with pastel iridescence. “How are you feeling now, dove?” he asks already aware of the pulsing relaxation coming from his angel.

“Positively, incandescently euphoric.” Aziraphale manages to express after several composing breaths.

Crowley runs his hands over his angel’s satin enshrouded sides. “Glad I can be of service,” he says, gripping Aziraphale’s sumptuous hips. ‘Anytime, dove.’

There is a sudden movement. White fluttering, shifting, then he is pinned. Before his mind could catch up to the unexpected turn of events, he feels hands roving over his bare shoulders. His own face buried in their nest.

“You take such good care of us, dearest.” A kiss claims the base of his husband’s neck. Aziraphale sits up, firmly seated on Crowley’s hips, securing his demon in place. “And now you are going to let me take care of you.”

‘This is new.’ “What did you have in mind?” he resigns himself to his angel’s command.

“Wings.” Aziraphale instructions, nails feather light down Crowley’s sides. Jet black opalescent wings unfurled in their full majesty. Greens, blues, and purples shimmering in the sheen of each feather. “Crowley” Aziraphale breathes in awe. “They are perfection. There isn’t a feather out of place,” he says, running a finger worshipfully over a particularly beautiful primary.

“Sorry, dove. Demons are vain. Did it one night last week while you were busy with Agnes. Doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy a bit of a massage.”

“But Crowley I…” he is near to whining. ‘This will not do. This is something I can do for you, and I will not hear no for an answer’ “From now on, dearest husband, I will be doing this for you.” this is said resolutely, with no room for dissent.

Crowley brings his arms up to rest his head in the crook of his elbow. “You’ll get no arguments from me, dove. Weekly groomings?” he offers with a sly smirk.

“Agreed,” Aziraphale confirms. His exquisite demon may not need the meticulous attention his own wings received, but Aziraphale was resolute to give no less than Crowley had so assiduously afforded him. Each feather is seen to, oil worked into each muscle, every cuticle. His ministrations indefatigable until Crowley was groaning his own pleasure beneath him. Wings shining like polished marble in vibrant, lustrous hues. ‘I hope you see your wings as the blessings they are.’

“All done?” Crowley asks lazily. Peering at his wings. ‘Shit. That was amazing.’

“Not just yet,” Aziraphale says rising a bit off of Crowley’s. “Could you reorient yourself onto your back, dearest?”

Crowley shifts to his back beneath his angel, cautious of both their wings. Aziraphale sinks once again onto him. Soft hands resting on his abdomen for stability as his angel slides against his evident arousal. His own hands encouragingly gripping his angel’s hips. ‘I am yours. Always yours.’

“I am so lucky to have you, my love,” Aziraphale says feeling Crowley’s effort answering to his intent. “All these years, I have been so fortunate to have you by my side.” He leans down, claiming his husband’s mouth with his own. Kisses focused and emphatic, hips never pausing. Groans of passion urging for more.

Crowley pushes the cascades of ringlets away from his angel’s face, as Aziraphale rises back up. “Luck had absolutely nothing to do with it, dove.” Dove fell from him in a low growl. “You have a gravity that I can never escape.” he cups his angel’s cheeks, “That I never want to escape from, Aziraphale. I am forever drawn to you.” Crowley smiles up at those peerless blue eyes. “You are my northern star, dove. My refuge from all storms.”

“Flatterer.” Aziraphale descends once again into frenzied kisses. Hands entwining into newly grown crimson locks.

“Honesty.” Crowley manages to answer between his angel’s demanding onslaught.

“And you, my husband.” he breathes between them. “Are my safe harbour” Aziraphale descends to Crowley’s neck. Mouth tasting “my shield against the horrors of this world and the next.” Lips dancing over his husband’s chest. “my everlasting counterpoint.” Teeth grazing against his demon’s nipple. “The father of our child” Mouth claiming, tongue gliding down Crowley’s taut stomach. “And the most beautiful soul I have ever met.” Aziraphale lightly brushes his lips at the waistband of his husband’s pyjamas. “May I, dearest?” he stares up seductively at Crowley.

“Ye…” Aziraphale bites down, sucking, tongue soothing the sting. “Fu...uhng. Aziraphale.” his angel’s name is a whispered benediction on his lips.

“Yes, dearest?” he pulls the drawstring of his husband’s pants. There is no meaningful reply just a chorus of moans as kisses trace the trail of receding clothing. There is only a moments pause before Aziraphle takes Crowley’s aching effort in hand and begins to stroke.

Crowley isn’t sure if Aziraphale has become confident after there many previous lovemaking sessions, or if this is a fun side effect of the pregnancy. But at this moment he doesn’t care. His angel is deftly guiding him to the height of pleasure. Hand slick and warm pulsing, wrist adding a delicious twisting motion. All the muscles in his body tensing as he nears his release.

It is suddenly there ripping through him, spilling onto his angel’s hand. Instead of allowing him a moment to collect himself, Aziraphale takes him fully into his mouth. Crowley is helpless but to arch into the sudden heat of his angel’s mouth. Tongue lapping up his shaft, one moment. Then focus applied to velvety head, before finding himself buried in the warm depths of Aziraphale’s throat. ‘When the hell? Fuck’ Another orgasm is wrenched from him. He doesn’t even realize his hands are tangled in his angel’s hair until Aziraphale is moving up to him once more.

“Az...an...dove?” he stammers, as he quakes under the throws of the climax.

“Yes, my love,” he asks as he straddles Crowley’s effort, moving his panties aside.

“What?...shiii...fuck.” he groans as he is enveloped in Aziraphale’s folds.

“I am making love to my beautiful…” His hips coming to rest flush to his husband’s body. “Loving…” Aziraphale rises, then sinks back down. “Supportive.” he moans as his undulation drives Crowley deeper. “Seductive husband.” is sighed as his head falls back. “And I will see him thoroughly satisfied.” Aziraphale sets a slow commanding pace.

Crowley already over-sensitive, not allowed to fully come down from his last two climaxes, finds himself nearly lost to the world. As yet another orgasm claims him. He is keening, hands tearing at their nest. Chest heaving as his angel doesn’t relent. He hears Aziraphale’s voice faintly through the haze of ecstasy. He focuses willing himself to make out the words.

“Is it too much, my love?” Aziraphale moans, his own release demanding him to surrender. ‘Not yet.’

Crowley answers by thrusting up to meet his angel. This earns him a surprised gasp. ‘I want to hear you. Please let me hear you.’

Aziraphale bites his lip, determined to outlast to his intended purpose. Brows furrowed, hands gripping Crowley’s sides for support, he redoubles his efforts. He hears his husband gasping again, feels his muscles contract, then another hot spending is released inside of him.

The focus to remain in control is quickly failing. His eyes prickle with tears as he denies his bodies urgent demands. ‘Not yet damn you.’ He steels himself. Finds the will to push on, sending his essence into his writhing demon. The shock of their essences uniting sends his love over the edge once more. He can hear his husband’s euphoric singing. ‘You are so glorious, my love.’ is his answering song.

Crowley feels Aziraphale quickly pulling away from his essence. His own rushes back into his quivering body. He forces himself to open his eyes. Aziraphale is there, still trying to drive him to another conclusion, but his pace is shaky. Stopping for a few breaths before continuing again. He sees the pained focus of his features. ‘Why are you denying yourself?”

Crowley forcefully composes himself and sits up. Grabbing Aziraphale to halt his angel’s movement. “Aziraphale? What are you doing?” he demands.

“I wanted this to be for you.” he explains, tears falling from his eyes.

“Oh, I will have none of that.” Crowley shifts them, pinning his angel to their nest. The pace he sets speaks of his determination. Aziraphale is instantly lost. Barbs of pleasure, screaming into Crowley’s essence. He sees Aziraphale trying to mouth something, but his voice is stifled in his straining throat. “What is it, dove? Tell me what you need,” he growls low in his chest. His thrusts are unrelenting.

“T-turn... me over.” struggles from his lips. “I-I want…”

Crowley does, sliding free and quickly changing their position. Aziraphale is unable to bear up, on angelic arms. So Crowley holds their bodies together, hands clutching firm as he slides back into his angel’s welcoming heat. “Like this, dove?” Aziraphale is only able to nod. “I want you to look at me. Can you do that, dove?” he asks. Returning to his rapid thrusts.

Aziraphale turns his head, though his eyes remain closed. He is gasping, crying between desperate moans. Crowley feels it, the peak nearing for his angel as he propels them both to the summit. His angel falls apart in his arms. In heaving gasps, and sobbing moans his angel’s effort constricts in pulses around him.

He follows closing behind. Spilling one last time into his convulsing angel. He holds Aziraphale until they both descend into awareness. “Are you alright, dove?” ‘What the hell was all that?’

Aziraphale’s eyes open slightly, “Yes, my love. That was…” he nearly faints.

Crowley feels his angel’s body go lax. He lowers them to their nest and holds Aziraphale close. His angel hums softly as he pulls them together. “Angel, are you with me?”

“Yes, dearest. Just a bit tired.” he smiles up at his husband’s concerned face.

“Rest. I’ll call Anathema and tell her you don’t feel up to meeting today,” he says, pulling a blanket over them both.

“Don’t you dare. I just...oh I need a moment.” he sighs snuggling into Crowley with a whistful contented smile.

‘You and I are going to talk about this later.’ “Fine. Perhaps a shower?”

“What would you say to crepes,” Aziraphale asks drowsily.

‘“I would say if I were a human I would be damn near dead right about now.” Crowley jokes kissing his blissful angel.

Aziraphale’s eyes go wide, “Oh, Crowley. Was it too much? I am sorry if I-I...”

“Aziraphale.” Crowley scolds.

“Sorry, dearest. Remember, I am the fussy angel.” He says, cuddling closer.

“Yes. We can get crepes.” he laughs. ‘You are so damn adorable. It really isn’t fair.” Tilting his angel’s chin to look at him. “We should get ready. You have a date.”

That caught his attention. He looks at Crowley in pure terror, “A date. Crowley, I would never…”

“With Anathema.” he sighs. ‘How gone are you?’

Realizations struck him. “OH! I nearly forgot.” ‘I’ve been doing that a lot recently.’ “I fear I may be becoming very forgetful.” he sighs.

Crowley chuckles, “They call that pregnancy brain, dove.” he hugs his angel tight.

“Well, I will take it over the nausea any day. I will just have to write everything down.” he muses.

“Alright shower time,” Crowley says, patting his angel’s buttock.

In their spacious shower Aziraphale it's grinning for ear to ear. “You know, dearest, I love moments like this." He informs massaging conditioner into his husband's hair.

“What naked in the shower?” Crowley jokes turning to kiss his angel's nose.

“No. Physical intimacy is ever so wonderful. But moments like this." He beams up at his demon. "Casual intimacy. Just sharing our lives. I do so love that we have this.”

“Me too, dove." Crowley agrees, turning his angel to return the favor. 'Who would have ever thought we could have this?'

Chapter Text

Friday 11 October 2019
12:00 pm
Tadfield.

 

The trip out to Tadfield was pleasant. Autumn was painted across the English countryside in flaming glory. The air was perfectly crisp as they neared the picturesque little village. Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s You and I playing faintly for the little family.

Crowley parked in the drive of Jasmine Cottage. They were welcomed by Newt, who was carrying boxes into the house. “Good afternoon. Anathema is inside.”

“Good afternoon Newton.” Aziraphale smiles at the awkward young man, who nearly drops his items. “Might I assist you?” he offers, noticing even more boxes in the old blue car.

“But, you are pregnant,” he says in shock at the offer.

‘Aren’t you a gentleman.’ Aziraphale is amused at the human’s concern. He tuts, his nose in the air cutting Newt a confident smile. “That I am, but I am not an invalid. Where would you like these?” he offers the boy again.

“Um...up-upstairs. You really shouldn’t” Newton stutters in apprehension. He knows they are not human, but the thought of a pregnant woman carrying boxes upstairs is alarming at best. Though, arguing with an angel and his demonic husband isn’t something he is willing to chance.

Aziraphale gives the young man a scolding look before snapping his fingers. All of the boxes, including the ones in Newt’s hands, disappear. ‘Tah dah.’ “There you are. Everything is upstairs.”

“T-thank you. Um…” he isn’t sure what to think of what just happened.

“Hey!” Anathema greets the pair. Noticing her boyfriend’s terrified expression. “Nice man-bun Crowley.” she jokes. Though she had to admit privately, the half-up, long hair, suited the demon. She receives a sarcastic sneer for her mocking compliment.

"Hello, Miss Device." Aziraphale addresses the more intrepid human.

While his angel is engaging in pleasantries, Crowley saunters up to Newt, leaning in to whisper, “Close your mouth. Or one of Beelzebub’s pets might find itself a new home.” He smirks as the boy quickly shuts his mouth. “Moving in?” he asks assessing the unnerved human, circling like a hungry shark.

“Yes. We um…” Newt looks to Anathema happily chatting with Aziraphale who is presenting the sonogram photo.

It is fleeting, but Crowley recognises the look the young man regards the witch with. “Good for you, kid. You don’t have eternity. Make the most of every moment.”

Newton is shocked by the demon’s advice, and the bruising pat he suffers. “Um...thank you.”

“Though for the life of me, I don’t know what she sees in you. It definitely isn’t your eloquent conversational skills.” He grins, sauntering away.

“No bump yet?" Anathema looks over Aziraphale’s cable knit clad stomach.

He smiles sweetly, hands brushing over where the witch is peering, "No, but Crowley has had to adjust my undergarments and pants. It seems I might be just expanding." he groans. ‘Going to look like a veritable pumpkin at this rate.’

Seeing the angel’s pout, she offers a reassuring smile, "You'll get there. You're still pretty early on."

"Eight weeks, four days." Aziraphale beams with pride, looking over to Crowley.

"Did you hear the heartbeat?" Newt asks sheepishly.

Taking his husband’s hand, Aziraphale confirms, "Yes. We were both very excited."

Anathema flits a finger at Crowley, "He cried, didn't he?"

Crowley nearly chokes at the accusation, "Ngk! I am a demon. We don…"

Remembering his demon’s sweet display, he cuts his husband’s denial off, "He was in shock. Cried until the nurse brought our sonogram."

"Aziraphale!" Crowley nearly shrieks. His own pride the only thing keeping him from being too shrill.

Realising then that perhaps his husband might be embarrassed he turns whispering, "You did, dearest. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of."

Over his shoulder, he hears a triumphant laugh, "Pay up Newt." Anathema is holding out her hand for the prize.

"You two made a bet I cried?" Crowley bristles. ‘For fuck sake? Do I have cry baby demon written on my forehead? At least the little coward thought better than to bet against me.’

Anathema has grown to know the pair well enough by now. After over a month of nearly daily texts and phone calls, she knew the likely outcome. It wasn’t passing judgment on his emotions per se. It was merely humorous that this outwardly cavalier demon wasn’t as cold as he wanted the world to believe. "No, I bet you cried. Newt bet you fainted." She outed her boyfriend. Who instantly looked as if he might bolt.

"Near to it." Aziraphale chuckles mostly to himself.

"Aziraphale!" This time Crowley is shrill.

"Why are you ashamed? It is very endearing how affected you are by our child." Aziraphale reassures patting his husband’s hand. The flush on Crowley’s cheeks was worth the little embarrassment his husband had to endure.

Crowley leans into his angel’s ear, "Yes, but that's private." ‘Stop telling these human’s how weak I am.’

"As you wish. But I don't see the issue." He says kissing his sweet demon’s knuckles. ‘They already know your true nature, dearest.’ "So what is for lunch? Any decent restaurants in Tadfield?" Aziraphale asks to change the topic of discussion.

A small bell chings, announcing the arrival of a group of children. Everyone turns to see Adam and The Them stop at the main gate. "There's a diner in town. They have really good hamburgers. And an ice cream shop too. Nice to see you two again." The not-antichrist informs.

Wensleydale studies the vaguely familiar-looking blonde woman intently, "Actually, I don't believe we have met Ma'am."

Aziraphale approaches the quartet, "Hello Adam, Pepper, Wensleydale, Brian, Dog.” the last barks his greeting. “It is lovely to see you all again, as well. And Wensleydale I just look a bit different from before," he says hoping the explanation would suffice.

Brian squints, cocking his head to the side. "So, you're a girl now?"

"Brian! You can't just go around asking someone if they are a girl, stupid." Pepper scolds harshly. Glaring at the soiled child.

"Pardon me, but he was a man at the airbase. Now she's a female." Wensleydale announces, sure of his analysis.

Peppers glare is turned to the smallest boy. "Shut up. That's her business. If she wants to talk about it, she would. Both of you stop being nosy."

‘Well, aren’t you the little heroine.’ "It's alright. Angel's don't have a gender. So typically I look however I choose." Aziraphale again hopes this explanation is adequate.

"So you're choosing to be female?" Pepper asks as if there were some profound feminist statement to be discerned.

Sensing he might receive the next scolding from the young woman he carefully explains, "Not completely by choice, but I'm happy at the moment."

"I don't understand." Pepper scowls at the blonde.

‘How do I explain to eleven-year-olds the importance of a female form for childbearing?’ Aziraphale swallows against the little lump that unbiddenly nestled itself in his throat. "Well, you see…"

"I knocked Aziraphale up," Crowley calls from across the lawn. ‘Fair turn about.’

"Crowley!" Aziraphale scolds. ‘I know what you are doing, and it is uncalled for.’

"Well, I did. We're having a kid." Crowley says proudly, ignoring his angel’s scolding blue eyes.

Aziraphale takes a few steps towards his demon to loudly whisper, "They're children. They do not need to be exposed to such vulgarity." ‘What would their parents say?’

"It’s alright, Miss. I'm happy for you." Adam says, kindly.

‘You are such a sweet boy.’ "Thank you, Adam.” he smiles back to the former antichrist. “And thank you for the restoration of my bookshop, and Crowley’s car.”

Wensleydale interrupts, "Pardon me, but did you become a woman to have a baby? Like a clownfish?"

"Shut up, Wensleydale! " Pepper shouts at the inquisitive boy.

‘A clownfish!” "More like a hormonal angelfish." mocks Crowley. ‘These kids are great.’

‘That is unnecessary. You have made your point.’ "Crowley, will you please." Aziraphale admonishes with ever-increasing annoyance.

Brian cocks his head the other direction, "Will you have a baby, or lay an egg?”

Aziraphale sighs. ‘This is ludicrous. Between my husband and these children, I will need a strong drink. Damn it all I can’t drink!’ He turns and gives his aggravating demon a warning frown. It is answered with a mischievous grin.

Pepper whirls on the grimy boy. "Brian! Shut up both of you. It is none of your business. Just drop it." she yells.

“Egg. I am a snake demon.” Crowley laughs his answer.

‘It is one thing to have a laugh at my expense, but not our child.’ “Crowley, please don't joke about our child.” Aziraphale pleads.

Crowley sees his angel’s frustration turn into discomfort. ‘Shit. Too far.’ He looks down at his snakeskin boots. ‘Shouldn’t joke about our kid.’

Aziraphale takes a collective breath, “I am female for the time being. My husband and I are expecting a baby. To my understanding, a normal human birth. Not an egg. If you are wondering, no, it is not common for an angel and demon to reproduce. Yes, we are delighted. And yes, Crowley cried at the first doctor’s appointment. ” ‘Take that, you fiend.’

“HA!” Crowley shouts. ‘I love you, you bastard.’ “I deserve that.”

“Sorry about them. But it’s all good, isn’t it? You two having a baby and all.” Adam takes over the increasingly awkward conversation.

“Yes, thank you, Adam." He smiles down on the polite boy. ‘Your parents raised you well.’

"And that's all that matters," Adam affirms to the others.

"Excuse me, are you coming to Miss Anathema's Halloween party. I've actually never been to one before." Wensleydale inquires.

"That is the plan," Crowley says having come to his angel’s side.

"Wicked. What are you going to be? I'm going as The Doctor." Adam says, excitedly.

"What kind of doctor," Aziraphale asks politely.

"Dr Who," Adam says as though he doesn’t understand the question.

"You said you were intending on being a doctor for Halloween." Aziraphale helpfully reminds the young boy. ‘Perhaps my forgetfulness is contagious.’

"Yeah, Dr Who," answers Adam. It hadn’t occurred to him anyone living in the United Kingdom hasn’t heard of The Doctor.

‘What in Her name are you playing at?’ "Shouldn't you know?" Aziraphale asks in frustration.

‘You are so adorably oblivious at times.’ "It's a show Aziraphale." Crowley groans.

‘Dr Who? I’ve never heard of it on any theatre announcements.’ "I've never seen it,” he says to the former antichrist. “Is it an American production? Has it premiered at the West End theatre?" he asks, wondering if this is just another thing lost from his memory.

‘What? Not a play.” "No angel. The telly." Crowley huffs.

"Oh!” ‘Of course. Thank Her I haven’t lost it altogether.’ “Sorry. Crowley has been acquainting me with several television programs recently. We haven't gotten to that one." he smiles to the group of children.

"You should see it. The tenth doctor is my favourite." Adam encourages.

"Damn right." Crowley agrees.

"I shall." ‘If I can blasted well remember to ask Crowley later.’

"Pardon me. You never said what you two were going to be." Wensleydale once again interrupts.

"I am afraid we haven't come to a decision yet."

"I'm being Nikola Tesla. He was actually a brilliant inventor," Wensleydale announces.

"I'm gonna be a zombie. Mum says she's going to use some of the clothes I've ruined for the costume." Brian shrugs.

"I'm being a handmaid with a bomb jacket." Pepper declares with complete confidence.

Aziraphale chuckles in alarm."A handmaid? W-why would a handmaid need a bomb?”

Pepper puffs up her chest, "Because they are women oppressed under a theocratic regime. They are forced to be broodmares under some sexist ideology, that allows men to treat them like property." The scorn with which she delivers this explanation is palpable.

"Rise up" Crowley encourages throwing his fist in the air.

"Theocratic?" Adam asks his audacious friend.

"They believe it's God's will women be subservient to men." she glowers at Aziraphale.

Aziraphale raises his hands defensively in front of him, "I assure you it isn't."

"This century" grouses Crowley. ‘Though I guess that should be blamed on humans.’

"Dearest, please. God doesn't want any of her children subjugated," he says, his hands nervously wringing. ‘Why do humans always impose their opinions with talk of God’s will?’

"Except to Her." Crowley reminds his angel of that fact. ‘One master above all.’

Though he had lost faith in Heaven, Aziraphale still held faith in Her. "I am ending this conversation." He turns towards their future hosts. "What are you two going to be Anathema? Newton?"

"Lupin and Tonks," Anathema announces for them both.

‘Is this another television program?’ Aziraphale sighs in defeat. "I fear I am a bit lost on all these modern references."

"Oi! If I can't be a demon, you can't be a witch." he points at the accused witch fiercely.

Anathema rolls her eyes at the demon standing on her lawn. "It's a fictional character. Besides Newt picked them." she thumbs to her boyfriend.

Newt jumps at the declaration, "Why don't I make everyone some tea."

"No, thanks. We are headed to Hogback Wood. Got a renegade alien to catch." Adam informs proudly to the boring adults.

"You kids have fun." Anathema waves.

The four nod their goodbyes and peddle toward their sanctuary. The retired Hellhound is sitting happily in his master’s basket.

"We will have to decline as well, Mr Pulsifer. I believe we were going to lunch." He raises an eyebrow towards Anathema.

"Yes. Let me get my coat.” She darts inside. Returning, hastily pulling her tartan coat on.

They do decide to take their lunch at the little diner. They had all decided on the advised hamburgers. Though at this current moment, Aziraphale’s stomach was deciding quite the opposite. He felt the first real wave of nausea in days. Already familiar with the particular face, his angel was making, Crowley was up berating their absent waitress for anything cold to drink with lemon or ginger.

 

Aziraphale tried to distract himself from the sickening feeling welling up within him. If he were to succumb to the urge to rid his body of the hamburger, their day would assuredly come to an end. “Miss... Anathema.” he swallowed hard. Breathing several slow breaths through his nose. “Did...your ancestor...ugh...leave any mention of contact with angels? O-or heaven?"

Anathema hadn’t seen the angel like this before. ‘No wonder Crowley thought you were dying.’ Aziraphale’s face was ashen and contorted into something between anguish and concentration. "I thought you read the book?"

"Yes... I-I mean... besides the book?" book is groaned. ‘I will never eat another hamburger again.’

"No. Did she mention something in the manuscript that she had?" She considers getting Aziraphale up and dragging the angel into the ladies room.

"I can not say... as...as it involves the prophecies you have forbade... me to discuss." He shoved the offending plate as far away as his arms can reach. ‘Please don’t let me vomit in front of these humans.’

"I take it back for the day.” she quickly offers, “What specifically did you want to talk about?"

"There is mention... of our child, of course…” he smiles painfully. “And bits...o-of advice for the pregnancy. But...Oh, Lord…” he nearly retreats to the restroom, but the threatening wave subsides a bit. “The matter I'm most confused with is the mention of an angel... Agnes... says she has met, or-or was at least familiar with. Something... about stars and a saviour. I'm not certain." Aziraphale reaches for a napkin to wipe his brow. ‘Why does this always make me sweat? Isn’t the pain enough?’

"Stars?" asks Anathema. She glances over at Crowley, who looks like he might hex the old woman behind the counter.

"Yes. The crafter... of stars... will confess.” Aziraphale’s groan is harsh enough to cause his husband to turn to look. He hears Crowley growling a threat at the woman who is nervously preparing something. “To thy miracle a-a baldachin... of night. Be.. not afraid Principality... for my sweet.. angel will be thy protection." he manages to get out. ‘God, make this nausea go away.’

"Her angel?" she asks.

They are interrupted by Crowley’s return. “Here, dove. Iced ginger tea with lemon.”

Aziraphale weakly smiles at his husband accepting the tea. He takes a tentative sip. To call it, tea was ignoring the fact that it was nearly lemonade. The first real swallow of the acidic beverage cut the nausea almost in half. “Thank you, Crowley.” He wasn’t sure if it was relief from the sickness or his demon’s devoted care, but he was now fighting back tears.

Crowley sits down, pulling Aziraphale’s chair close to his side. “Small sips, dove.” he doesn’t care what their human companions think. He kisses his angel’s temple, running soothing strokes through his angel’s long curls. Their waitress shuffles over and places a pitcher on their table.

“Sorry you aren’t feeling well Ma’am.” says the woman, who looks at the redhead in utter terror. “Do any of you need anything?” she asks of Newt and Anathema. When they both refused, she hurries back to the safety of the kitchen.

“So? Wha’d I miss?” Crowley says, acting as if their waitress didn’t look scared within an inch of her life.

"Oh, nothing, dearest. Anathema can't make sense of it either." he would normally discuss Crowley’s use of such tactics, but he knew none of his blusterings was genuine.

"Perhaps I should have a look. None of these seem to be directed at me." She says considering the consequences.

"Only a few. I have not mentioned them as I respect your decision to not know." Aziraphale assures her.

"Well maybe just write down the ones you haven't yet deciphered. I'll take a look. I could send them to my mother as well."

"Thank you, Miss Device. You, as always, have been most accommodating."

"Yeah, about accommodations. Have you decided on where you two want to have your baby?" she asks, eyes darting between them.

Looks were exchanged, after a moment of hesitation Aziraphale answers. "We don’t have much of a choice. We aren't sure if our baby will be born with wings. If I were to deliver in hospital, it would cause a scene. It is a risk we simply cannot take. Humans have delivered children for thousands of years without medical intervention. So a home birth seems to be the safest option. Though..." he looks to Crowley. “It is not without its own perils.” ‘I know you worry about our safety. God will protect us.’

Even from behind those dark lenses, Anathema can tell the demon is worried. "My mother has offered to be your midwife. If you want."

They both turn to look at her. Relief on both their faces. "Oh, thank you, Miss Device, and thank your mother. That would be most appreciated. We would be willing to reimburse her for any inconvenience this may cause."

"Trust me she doesn't need the money," she informs.

Crowley looks from Anathema to Aziraphale then back."Where would she stay? Can't say she would appreciate the close quarters of our bookshop."

"No. I suppose you are right." Aziraphale agrees.

"Don't worry about that. She can stay with us. Or she can find a place in London." knowing her mother Anathema assumes she might just move to England to close the distance between them.

"She can have my flat. M’not using it except for storage these days." Crowley offers.

"I'll let her know."

"Thank you again. If there is anything we can do to repay your generosity, you only need to ask." beams Aziraphale at the kindly witch.

"Actually there is one more thing I wanted to talk to you two about."

"We are at your service."

"Well, I was wondering if we could throw you a baby shower."

"A baby shower?" Crowley asks with a grimace.

"Yes. You get a bunch of people together. They bring presents for the mom and baby. It's a tradition." Anathema explains.

Aziraphale smiles half-heartedly. "That sounds lovely, but I'm afraid you are the extent of our earthly acquaintances."

"What about that woman with Sergeant Shadwell?" Newt supplies.

Aziraphale feels his husband’s muscles tense. A low, threatening growl boils in his demon’s chest. "I will not have that tosssser near Asssiraphale or our child." Crowley hisses.

Anathema now realises that perhaps her earlier assessment may not be wholly accurate. She can practically feel the rage slithering off of the demon. "I'll think of something.” She clears her throat. “When are you due?"

"May 18th," Aziraphale says excitedly.

"How about April?" she offers, making a mental note to tell her mother later.

"We leave it in your capable hands Miss Device." Aziraphale can't help but like this young woman.

"We'll finalise the details when we are about a month out. Are you going to find out the gender?" she inquires.

"We aren't certain they will have one," Crowley grumbles.

"Another reason a home birth is necessary." agrees Aziraphale.

They conclude their lunch a short while later. Aziraphale tips their waitress handsomely for the anguish his husband caused on his behalf. Crowley delivers the humans home, relieved that he will no longer be alone to help Aziraphale through the birth. They say their farewells and start back for London.

"They are such a sweet couple. I think Agnes might be right." Aziraphale says, looking back at the little cottage.

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, you'll see." He says, snuggling in for the trip home.

 

5:00 pm

Aziraphale does remember to ask Crowley about the Doctor. Crowley selects season 3 episode 11, which has his angel clinging to him through most of the episode. Crowley himself has seen the weeping angels enough times he can recite the dialogue from memory. So he once again has his nose buried in yet another pregnancy book.

“Our little raspberry is growing a millimetre per day right now.”

“Are they?” Aziraphale winces, as the young couple realises the angel in the room is upon them. Clawed hands reaching, face contorted in a menacing fanged scream. ‘Why is this so scary? He’s not even a Doctor.’ “They make me feel as though I am feeding a horse.”

“Hungry?” Crowley asks, folding his book closed.

‘Somehow. Though I might need a moment after this is over.’ “Cravings I should think.” Aziraphale all but climbs on top of his husband, as the boy turns to see the stone angel inches from him.

Crowley laughs, holding Aziraphale close. ‘You’ve been to Hell and back, and this frightens you?’ “And what might that be?”

Aziraphale can’t look away from the screen. “Stop laughing.” ‘This is horrifying. Don’t let the angels get them. Oh, this is dreadful.’

“Who’s laughing? Not me.” Crowley smirks. His angel is paying him no mind. Aziraphale looks as if he is taking the not blinking challenge of the episode to heart. “Tell me what you want, dove.”

“Apples,” Aziraphale says on a whisper as the angels close in on their prey. ‘Please, please, please let them be safe.’

“Say again?” Crowley asks his transfixed angel.

“Apples.” Aziraphale glances at Crowley then back to the screen. ‘Not the lights.’

‘Apples?’ “Maybe our kid has already developed a sense of irony with their webbed toesie woesies.” Crowley is fighting an urge to startle his angel. ‘Satan knows it would be easy right now.’

“Webbed?” Aziraphale questions, half paying attention to their conversation. ‘Why is the...No the box can’t just leave them there.’

“Haven’t you been reading these books as well?”

“Sorry, dearest. Yes. I-I...This show is terrifying.” Aziraphale admits, arms tightening around Crowley.

“Don’t worry. At this rate, I might have become an expert on fetal development,” he said, slithering out of Aziraphale’s hold with considerable effort. “So, apples?”

“Crowley?” Aziraphale tries to pull his husband back. Eyes were pleading for his comforting embrace.

“Why do you look so upset, dove?” ‘You can’t be that scared of a show.’ “I’m just going to get your apples. What kind would you like?” He asks, putting on his sunglasses.

He glances back at the two as their screams fade. ‘Oh, thank God. They are safe.’ Aziraphale looks up at his demon. “Tart apples. Not sure why.”

“Alright, tart apples you shall have.” He turns to leave.

Aziraphale starts to scramble from the nest. “Wait! I am coming with you.”

Crowley stops him with a kiss. “No, dove. Stay here and keep the nest warm. I’ll be right back. You won’t even know I am gone.”

“You know that’s not true. You don’t have to go. I’ll be fine.” ‘Maybe he needs a break. I’m just being silly.’

‘Don’t look so sad.’ “Our baby demands apples. What kind of father would I be to deny them?” He wraps his arm around his angel’s lower back and pulls them together.

“You are going to spoil them?” Aziraphale says fiddling with his husband’s lapels.

“No more than I do you.” He says claiming his angel’s mouth with a possessing kiss.

Aziraphale nearly swoons as Crowley withdrawals. “Don’t be long.”

“I’ll be right back.” He promises before leaving their little flat.

Aziraphale quickly decides not to watch any more of The Doctor until Crowley returns. He takes up the book his husband was reading when the shop bell rings. ‘Well, that was quick.’ Walking out onto the upper landing to ask if Crowley changed his mind, he sees Gabriel and Sandalphon.

The floor feels like it is falling from beneath him. He had hoped never to see those lavender eyes ever again. ‘I should have known. Why are they here? Do they know about the baby?’

“Aziraphale,” Gabriel calls as he notices the Principality staring down on them.

His anxiety was instantly skyrocketing, reigniting his nausea.“Gabriel, Sandalphon, w-what are you two doing? Here?” he asks meekly as he descends the stairs. ‘They haven’t seen me like this. What must they think?’

Gabriel looks over the nervous little angel. “We have come to see you, Aziraphale. Made some changes have you?” He gestures to his body.

‘The last time you saw me, it was Crowley. He told me how frightened you were. You might yet be.’ “Yes. You might say that.” Aziraphale fains confidence.

Gabriel chuckles, “Aziraphale we are here to offer you your position back. You will need to repent for your treason of course, formally.” he says matter of factly.

“Repent?” Aziraphale frowns. ‘The very idea. You should be the one repenting.’

“Yes. God is merciful. As we all should be when the situation calls us to do so.” Gabriel says, clasping his hands together.

“Situation?” 'They know.' Aziraphale focuses on concealing his fears. He gives his smug former boss an indignant look.

“Yes. We know the demon Crowley is responsible for tempting you away from your duties.” Gabriel provides smiling a sickening smile.

“Tempting? He has never tempted me to do anything I wasn’t willing to do in the first place.” Aziraphale scolds the archangel. ‘I should have chosen him sooner. Should have told you all to go to Hell. You belong there, not my husband.’

“So, you are saying you won’t repent?” Gabriel questions him with a faux puzzled look, taking a step closer.

“I should think not,” Aziraphale says mimicking the brave little girl from earlier in the day. Chest thrust up, posture rigid, chin held high.

“This isn’t a social call Aziraphale. We may have been unsuccessful with the Hellfire, but there are other ways we can deal with traitors.” Gabriel threatens, purple eyes glaring his anger.

“Are you threatening me in my own home? You need to leave Gabriel, and take your potato with you.” Aziraphale commands, uncertain to where this boldness is coming from.

“We aren’t going anywhere. Call this an ultimatum. Renounce the demon Crowley and return to Heaven. You will make a formal confession and repent. Or Sandalphon here will do what he does best.” He smiles in smug delight.

‘Like Hell, I will.’ “I will never renounce Crowley. We are bonded. He is my husband and we…” the words are quickly cut off. He thinks quickly. ‘God gave us her blessing.’ He rushes to his desk and takes God’s letter in hand. He marches back towards the intruders and presents the paper. “We have God’s expressed approval. Though I would have married him regardless.”

Gabriel snatches the paper. He scoffs as he finishes reading it, casting it to the floor. “That means nothing. Your demon could have made that himself, or you. What kind of angel would bond with a demon?” his lip curls in disgust.

“Leave Gabriel.” Aziraphale demands. ‘Crowley.’

Gabriel stares at Aziraphale, eye deep violet with rage. “I will not stand for this treason, Aziraphale! Sandalphon.” he looks to his companion. A silent order is communicated.

Sandalphon sneers his horrible grin at Aziraphale and pulls a flaming sword from the ether. ‘We will destroy your corporation. You will be forced to return to heaven. There we can bring you back into the fold. And if we can’t well, eternity is a very long time.” Gabriel informs in wicked delight.

Crowley felt it, his angel’s terror. He tries miracling directly into their shop, but something is barring him. Only managing to materialise on the steps. He sees the cause for his angel’s panic. “YOU FUCKING BASTARDS! LEAVE MY ANGEL ALONE!” He tries punching through the window. He only succeeds in bloodying his hand. He tries to freeze time. Only the world outside the shop is affected. Sandalphon is advancing on Aziraphale. “GABRIEL TAKE ME! IF YOU WANT BLOOD I’M HERE! I WON’T EVEN FIGHT BACK!” He screams to the heartless archangel. ‘This is my fault. My fault for mocking them.’ his mind is a million fractures stabbing into his essence.

Looking through the windows, their eyes lock. His angel smiles a sorrowful smile and mouths, “We love you.” All thought of reason, time, and reality breaks. Crowley steps back from the doors. Infernal fire and blind rage consuming him. He reaches into the fabric of reality. He feels the atoms that compose the wood, and glass of the bookshop. He feels the iron piecing it all together. He wraps his essence into every particle, gripping tight. Whatever magic Gabriel was using was also drawn into the snare. In a ragged roaring cry, Crowley rips the front of the bookshop asunder.

He advances, unable to think beyond a primal need to protect the ones he loves. He reaches the top of the steps when a bright orange light erupts from the interior. It sends him staggering back.

“AZIRAPHALE!” he cries into the destruction of the bookshop. Glass glittering on the pavement, splinters of wood all around him. There just inside is the same orange light. This time it is a softly glowing sigil circle. Behind it is his angel. The light dims then disappears.

Crowley runs to his angel, falling to his knees, holding Aziraphale in a crushing embrace. He hears coughing from over his shoulder. There in a dishevelled heap on the floor is Gabriel. Crowley is about to turn his fury upon the archangel when he miracles away. “That’s right run, you fucking coward.”

“Crowley?” Aziraphale manages in a weak voice. ‘Why am I so tired?’

He pulls his angel down into his lap, as he sits in the ruins of their shop. He holds Aziraphale, rocking them both. He sobs into those impossibly soft curls. “I thought I lost you.” ‘I can’t lose you. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.’

“They were trying to force me back to Heaven,” Aziraphale says, voice barely audible.

“What?” he growls impossibly low. Fear, rage, and something darker takes root in Crowley’s mind. ‘I didn’t know how much of myself you let me keep Mother. But I will use every last piece of it to destroy your Host if they come near us again.’

“They were going to destroy this body so my essence would be pulled back to Heaven.” he can’t help but fall into gasping sobs. ‘They would have destroyed our child.’

“That would…” ‘Our baby.’ “Aziraphale are you alright? Are they alright?” he searches his angel’s corporation for any sign of injury. When he doesn’t find any, he forces his angel to look at him. Kissing his love with all that he is, or ever was. “I won’t leave you again. I am so sorry.”

“You couldn’t have known. I never thought... and then they were here.” Aziraphale looks up. The shop’s doors are just a gaping hole. Humans beginning to gather outside. The books that were along the windows are among the wreckage. ‘None of that matters.’

“What happened?” Crowley pleas for understanding.

“I thought you had come back. And they were standing there. They wanted me to renounce you and return to Heaven. I refused. G-Gabriel ordered Sandalphon to discorporate me. That was about the time you showed up.” he weakly smiles, caressing his husband’s tormented face. “Sandalphon was bringing down his sword when…” Aziraphale looks to a pile of ash on the floor. “He was gone in an instant.”

“Aziraphale what did you do?” ‘You incinerated an archangel.’

“It wasn’t me. I don’t know what or who saved me, but it wasn’t me.” Aziraphale explains moulding into Crowley’s body.

Crowley looks around their once-peaceful haven from the world. ‘It will never be the same. Not now. Not after this.’ “We can’t stay here, Aziraphale. My flat might not be safe either.”

“Where could we go?”

Crowley holds Aziraphale as close as he was able without causing pain. A tendril of his essence seeps into his angel connecting them even there. “I’ll find a place. A cottage, like we talked about. We’ll figure this out.” ‘You will be safe. Our child will be safe.’

“Crowley, I love you.”

“I love you too, angel.”

Chapter Text

Friday 11 October 2019
8:40 pm
Soho

 

What came next was necessary but no less grievous for the pair. Everything that was salvageable, through physical or metaphysical means, was evacuated to the Mayfair flat. Books could be repaired, and walls willed back into place, but the memories from the last two hundred years would forever be changed after today. Now the bookshop was empty. Just another husk for time to consume.

'We were deluding ourselves. Couldn't possibly be safe for long. Nowhere is.' Crowley looks down at his angel sleeping peacefully against him. He was hoping his angel was just overexerted after the incident, nothing that would cause lingering concerns.

They were headed back to Tadfield. Anathema had all but demanded they stay with her and Newt. Crowley wasn’t overly thrilled about dragging the humans into their dangerous situation, but presently they had little choice.

The moon that rose over the horizon was nearly full. The world around them was quiet. Even the Bentley remained silent the whole of the trip. After everything that happened, Crowley was able to maintain a level of angry composure. But now, in the silence of the evening, everything caught up to him, all at once.

He felt like he was drowning in his own mind. Thousands of moments flooding his senses, happy, sad, euphoric, painful. Everything converging into a mass of all his angel and their child meant to him. Crowley pulled the Bentley to the shoulder and put it in park. Teeth clenching, wanting desperately to cry, but he couldn’t allow himself to disturb his angel.

His eyes burned like they had been doused in holy water, from unshed tears. 'I almost lost you again.’ Crowley’s jaw clenches tighter. ‘They would have destroyed our baby. Without them even being able to see this world.’ he wanted to hold his angel close, close as any two beings could be. ‘You should have fucking renounced me. I would have survived it. You would survive it. I am not worth your or our child’s life. I would have found you. Both of you. You can’t risk yourself for me.’

Crowley looks to the roof of the Bentley. ‘Why give us your blessing and let something like this happen? Why not tell those fuckers your true will. It’s so easy to hide away and pretend you don’t see how fucked everything is. They almost destroyed your blessing, our...our…” This is the thought that drags him down into that pit that always tries to claim him.

Aziraphale hears something, a laugh maybe, or someone crying. His mind is pulled from his sleep. It is then he realizes Crowley is shaking at his side, they were no longer moving. Aziraphale looks to his husband. Crowley is hysterically weeping, forehead resting against the steering wheel, "Dearest?"

Crowley slowly shakes his head from side to side. "Y-you sh-should have renounced-d me," he says through his gasping sobs.

Aziraphale shot up and turns to his husband. "Never." He says firmly. 'How could I? Why would you think I could? Do you still fear I will abandon you? I will never deny you again.'

Crowley pulls Aziraphale by the cardigan into his lap, pinning his shocked angel to the steering wheel. "YOU STUBBORN BASTARD! IF IT MEANS YOUR LIFE! OUR CHILD'S LIFE! YOU HAD BETTER FUCKING RENOUNCE ME!" his fears came out as anger. Not with Aziraphale, but for his angel, for his family. His fury fades again into whimpering sobs. Burying his face in his angels soft warm chest, he clings to Aziraphale.

‘Never.’ He composes himself and takes his husband’s face between his palms. "Crowley, look at me, damn you,” he demands. Crowley does as ordered, sunglasses obscuring his eyes. Aziraphale tentatively removes them. His demon looks lost in grief. ‘I am so sorry, I scared you.’ “I will never deny you ever again."

The yellow of Crowley’s eyes already flooded his sclera. This statement made his pupils blow impossibly wide.."You have to dammit. If…if it means your life. I-I would have understood. I would have found you." ‘As long as you are safe. I would find a way for us.’

"And what if it severs our bond?" Aziraphale asks softly.

‘Would it? Could it? Is such a thing even possible? Even if it could, you would still be alive. That is all that matters.’ "That wouldn't make me stop loving you. We could just...just…"

This question Aziraphale didn’t even want to speak aloud. Such things often tempt the universe into action, but he had to break through his husband’s fear to make him see reason. "And what if severing our bond harms our child? What if our bond is what makes them possible?" He tries to say the words as gentle as he could.

That horror never crossed his mind. ‘No. No, I can not make that choice. You or our child? What is life without you? Could I sacrifice one to save the other?’ Perhaps there was a limit he was not prepared to cross. 'No. I couldn't. I can’t make that choice. Please, God, don’t ever force me to make that choice.’ He couldn’t respond. ‘Aziraphale is right. There was no choice. If my angel had gone willingly and renounced me, and our bond was severed, there is no guarantee our baby would survive. If Aziraphale didn’t go willingly, what would it matter? Our baby would be lost either way. Fuck you fortune, you hateful bitch.’ He wanted to cry again. Not out of fear or anger but for his helplessness in the face of such a decision. He wanted to yell at something. Curse Her name. Tell all of existence what a pile of shit it all was.

Aziraphale watches the play of emotions on his husband’s pained face. ‘Sometimes, there is only faith.’ "Would you have renounced me?"

Crowley feels as though he has just been smacked. "No." ‘My side could do their worst a million times over before I would give you up.’

"And why not? Is not all the same reasoning applicable to you? Would I not have found you? Why is my life so much more valuable than yours, Crowley?" Aziraphale demands. It was his turn to pin his demon to the seat.

‘Yes. Yes, you are more valuable than me.’ "Be-because…I" his words catch in his throat.

Aziraphale pushes his husband harder into the seat. "Because what?" ‘Say something damn you.’

Crowley takes his angel by either shoulder and shouts, "BECAUSE!” his fury quickly fails, “I can't do this without you." he whimpers.

"And I could?" Aziraphale scolds. ‘You would be gone, and I would carry on as if none of this ever mattered. Facing down eternity alone.’

Fear consumes him once more. ‘You are so much stronger than me.’ “As long as you are safe. I need to know you are safe. Even...even if...My life doesn’t mean much. But if…”

“It does to me,” Aziraphale says with all sincerity he could force into the words. ‘You mean everything to me.’

Crowley can’t look at his angel. Can't look at the cool focus of those beautiful blue eyes. "You would have our baby," he says, trying to reassure himself.

"You can't be certain of that.” Aziraphale scolds. “And neither could I.” His demon finally meets his eyes. He smiles sweetly. 'It was a horrible position to be in. And I know you are scared, but I am still here.' “Besides Agnes was right," he says trying to lighten the tension that consumed the air in the Bentley.

"You and your damned witch," Crowley grumbles.

"It was our baby, Crowley," Aziraphale says, smoothing his fingers through long red waves.

"What?" Crowley asks, trying to decipher his angel’s meaning.

Aziraphale takes his husband’s hand and places it on his stomach. "Our baby protected us." he smiles warmly.

"How? That...isn't possible." Crowley says in disbelief.

Aziraphale leans in and kisses his befuddled demon. "Ineffable perhaps, but apparently very possible."

Crowley surges forward claiming his angel’s mouth. “I am sorry,” he says, pulling his angel into him.

“What in Her name for?” Aziraphale asks as lips find his neck.

Crowley stops and sits back in the seat, “For everything.” Crowley sniffs.

“I don’t blame you now. And I certainly didn’t blame you then,” he says nestling into his husband’s warmth.

“Aziraphale can we...without the whole divine ecstasy part that is. I want to check on them.” Crowley asks sheepishly.

“Of course, dearest,” he confirms. His essence slips free from his corporation into their little pocket of solitude.

Crowley follows closely behind. They are both there. Darkness and light acknowledging each other. There, tethered to Aziraphale’s essence is a little ball of warm amber light. It is shining and singing a happy call to its parents. Crowley answers with a song of gratitude for their little one’s intervention. A dark tendril caressing its happy gleam. If you were to ask both of them, they would have sworn before God Herself they heard a faint little giggle.

 

Tuesday 22 October 2019
11:00 am
Hampshire

Over a week later the two had toured nearly twenty listings. On the third day, they decided to hire a realtor. This made things a bit easier, but no more successful. Crowley’s comprehensive list of requirements left little room for discussion. A move-in ready cottage on five achers or more, no less than three bedrooms, and two baths, a garden or potential therefor, a greenhouse, a library, a playroom, formal dining, a spacious living room, large kitchen, wood-burning fireplaces, great views, nothing near a church, something remote and away from people, and of course a garage. Luckily for their realtor, money was of no consequence.

Several homes came close, but there always seemed to be something off. Their former agent was out with the flu, though they knew it was just the human’s way of getting rid of unrealistic clients. Today they were meeting their replacement agent at a listing in Standford. Aziraphale was hopeful. Crowley was beginning to grow impatient.

They pulled up along a winding secluded drive. Crossing over several small streams via bridges. The property was well away from anyone who might be considered a neighbour. The grounds were exquisite. All manner of trees dotted the landscape. Cypress, pines, willows, yews, beech, elders, oaks, birches, crepe myrtles, and varying types of fruiting trees; all dressed in their seasonal best. Flowers would also be abound come the spring. The whole property seemed to be one massive garden.

Around the house was a stone wall. It did little in the way of privacy, but added to the overall charm. There was a creek that ran along the right side of the home. Whoever this realtor was, definitely knew a beautiful property when they saw one.

The house itself was grand, far larger than anyone might call a cottage. Though it had a quaint feel to it. Natural stone walls, cross-gabled rooves, large picture windows, and two bay windows flanking the main entrance’s dutch door.

Pacing near the front door was a young woman, elegantly dressed in a floral satin blouse and emerald pencil skirt. She looks nervous as she sees them arrive. Crowley looks to Aziraphale, “The grounds are beautiful.”

“They are very picturesque. It should be breathtaking come spring.” Aziraphale agrees. ‘Let's hope the interior is just as lovely.’

The young woman approaches with a cautious smile. Crowley exits the Bentley and is greeted with a firm handshake, "Mr Crowley?"

"That would be me."

"Pleasure. Evelyn Mackintosh." She introduces herself.

Aziraphale comes around the Bentley. The young woman turns to him with a more confident smile, "Mrs Crowley."

Aziraphale takes the woman's offered hand. "It is a pleasure, Ms Mackintosh."

She laughs at the formal address, "Oh, just Eve, please. So what do we think so far?"

"The grounds are astonishing." Aziraphale answers for the both of them.

"Yes, I know that was an important aspect of your criteria. The former owner was a magnificent gardener." She says, looking around them with a more confident smile.

"Show us the interior," Crowley demands, taking Aziraphale's hand.

"Yes! Follow me." She says, turning on her heels walking towards the house. Unlocking the door, she invites them in. The foyer has high vaulted ceilings with panelled skylights. There isn't a single lamp on, and the whole house is suffused with light. "It is estimated the home was built in the 1800s. Though it has been extensively renovated." She walks into the main common room. "It has all the modern amenities."

Eve provides a comprehensive tour of the ground floor. Everything is spacious and inviting. The open floor plan is contrasted with hints of Tudor craftsmanship. There is a formal dining room that seats ten comfortably. A full gourmet kitchen, with breakfast nook. There are several living spaces. One even identified as a perfect playroom. Finally, they come to a door, and Eve stops with her hand on the knob.

"This might be my favourite room." She opens the door and inside is a two-story library. The second story catwalk is accessible by a small spiral stair. There is a large bay window looking out on the front lawn. The rest of the walls are floor to ceiling mahogany bookshelves.

"Well, that should fit your collection well enough." smirks Crowley.

"It is perfection." agrees Aziraphale.

Eve sighs in relief at the declaration. "Let me show you the second floor."

Upstairs is just as warm and welcoming as the rest of the house. There are five bedrooms in total; one Crowley has already designated as the possible nursery. The master bedroom is stunning at a word. The whole of one wall is taken up with picture windows, and a pair of french doors that led out onto a wrought-iron terrace.

Aziraphale looks to Crowley with an anticipatory smile. The view beyond was wonderful, densely wooded grounds with paddocks beyond, rolling hills in the distance, and no one within miles.

The ensuite was just as perfect as everything else. Crowley turns to Eve who is currently talking about the His and Her's walk-in closets. "Could you give my wife and me a moment?"

The young woman looks suddenly pensive, "of course. I'll be downstairs. There's more to see in the back." She nods a goodbye then exits the room.

"Crowley it's magnificent," Aziraphale says once he is sure Eve is out of earshot.

Crowley pulls his angel into his arms. "You like it then?"

"Very much." He looks around the room. ‘It’s so far everything we asked for.’ Then the memory of the bookshop creeps in, stealing the joy from the moment.

Crowley sees the sudden change in his angel’s expression, “What is it, dove?”

“Do you think we’ll be safe here?” he asks timidly.

“We stick to the plan. No miracles anywhere near the property. Anathema is going to put up wards to mask our presence here. And we'll keep a low profile. We won’t even have to worry about nosy neighbours.” Crowley reassures.

“I suppose. It is a beautiful house.” Aziraphale smiles with renewed excitement.

“Well, if you like it we’ll take it.” Crowley kisses the tip of his angel’s nose.

“But what about the greenhouse?” Aziraphale pouts. ‘I know it is something you wanted for yourself.’

“We haven’t finished the tour. Let’s go. Human’s don’t have an eternity to wait.” Crowley says leading Aziraphale from the room.

Downstairs Eve is waiting restlessly at the bottom of the stairs. Crowley calls, “So, about the rest.”

Eve turns and smiles up at them. “This way, please.”

Past the kitchen is a sunroom wholly made out of glass panels, including the ceiling. Crowley can see his plants making themselves at home here. Aziraphale imagines stormy days curled up reading a book, listening to the patter of rain on the glass.

Beyond that is an attached victorian cast iron greenhouse. The ironwork is stunning and intricate. It is large enough to house hundreds of plants. “Uh, well done. You managed to do the impossible Ms Mackintosh.” Crowley praises the human.

“T-then...You like it?” she asks tentatively.

“What do you say, wife? Is this the home of your dreams?” Crowley asks his angel sarcastically.

Eve hurries to inject, “There is more. The garage and the little guest cottage out back.”

Aziraphale smiles graciously at the woman, “We’ll take it.”

“Brilliant!” Eve exclaims. She takes out her tablet and begins tapping at the screen. “I will call the owner and inform them. The asking price is one point seven million…”

Crowley cuts her off, “We’ll pay the full asking price, and an additional half if we can close today, and they have all of their stuff out by tomorrow evening. You do work off of commission, yes?”

Eve gapes at the two, blinking her confusion. “But... that...I can see what I can do.”

“Tell them it is a cash offer. We’ve been imposing on our friends for far too long.” Aziraphale explains.

Eve nods dumfounded and leaves them standing in the greenhouse. “Well, welcome home, dove.”

“They haven’t agreed to it yet,” Aziraphale says hugging Crowley.

“They’ll never get a better offer. I can assure you of that,” he says with a sly smirk.

‘Fiend.’ “That isn’t very sporting Crowley.” Aziraphale mockingly admonishes. ‘Wonderful, beautiful fiend.’

Eve comes running back, smiling as though she just won the lottery. “Alright. I spoke with the seller. They have agreed to your terms. The house is yours.”

“Thank you. Wasn’t that hard. Never is when you throw enough money at someone. So, where do we sign?” he asks, leaning against one of the greenhouse tables.

“I could...I’ll have my office email me the documents. I can get your signature here if you like,” offers Eve.

"You do that," Crowley says dismissively. He takes Aziraphale's hand and walks them out of the greenhouse.

Their end of the purchase is quickly completed. Eve insists on finishing the tour. The small guest cottage is large enough to be its own home. Crowley figures he will offer it to Anathema's mother when it comes time.

Crowley texts Anathema, "Well, roomie, we are moving out."

"Damn. I was enjoying not doing the dishes. Congratulations!" She messages back.

 

Thursday 24 October 2019
8:34 am
Mayfair

 

Aziraphale and Crowley spent the next day shopping for the necessary furniture to make their new house a home. They hit a balance between Crowley’s love of modern minimalism and Aziraphale’s love for comfort and craftsmanship. With a little assistance from the salesperson, they managed to find everything they needed.

Once they received confirmation their little paradise was now vacant they hired a moving crew. The team of men were currently busy loading boxes into the moving trucks. Miracling the flat’s contents packed was one thing. Sending everything magically to their new residents would definitely spark some curiosity from above and below.

Crowley was downstairs busy terrifying one young man about his lack of care handling the dove statue. They were nearly finished. Aziraphale was absently humming to himself, walking from room to room, making sure they didn’t forget anything. The last place to be checked was the little storage closet near the master bedroom.

Aziraphale opened the door and stopped. ‘What in God’s name?’ The room wasn’t a room. There, just past the threshold was a vast expanse of darkness, bespeckled with glittering distant stars. There was no floor, no ceiling, only the door. Aziraphale stood in awe looking at the wonders before him. He didn’t even hear Crowley reenter the flat.

“Angel?” is all Crowley could say. He knew precisely what his angel was currently gawking at.

Aziraphale turns wide-eyed to his husband. Crowley was standing there looking as if he was caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. "Crowley, what is all this?"

"It’s uh...It’s nothing.” Crowley groans. He crosses over to Aziraphale taking the door in hand, attempting to close it.

“No,” Aziraphale demands, forcing the door back open. “Crowley, dearest, talk to me.”

“It’s...It’s nothing. The trucks are all packed. You ready to go?” he asks, trying to divert attention away from the literal galaxy of stars in his closet.

“Crowley, I love you. This is...not nothing. You can trust me. I won’t bring it up again if you don’t want to talk about it further. But this…” Aziraphale gestures to the room that isn’t, “This shouldn't be here. It’s...what even is this?”

Crowley slumps his shoulders in surrender, “It’s my purpose.” he says, looking out into the void.

“Your purpose?” Aziraphale questions. ‘What purpose is a room full of stars?’

Crowley looked towards his angel, “From before…” he says softly. He takes a few steps into the room. Feet finding footing on emptiness. “Before the Fall.”

“Crowley, I don’t understand,” Aziraphale says considering if the room will accommodate him as well.

Crowley turns but can't meet his angel's sapphire stare. "I was a Seraph, Aziraphale."

"A seraph?" He asks in astonishment. He chances it and takes one tentative step. There does seem to be a solid surface he cannot see. Aziraphale comes to his husband's side.

Crowley nods. "Lucifer, Beelzebub, and me. We were choir mates."

'You must have been known by some other name.' "Who were… What was your name?" He asks, taking his demon's hand.

'I can't say that name. I don't deserve to say that name.' He glances up at his angel. "God’s venom."

Aziraphale's eyes go impossibly wide. "Samael… but Crowley he was… you were." 'This can't be. That's not you. You couldn't do those things.'

Crowley sees the accusation in his angel's expression. He scowls and turns away. “The great seducer? Angel of destruction? The accuser? God’s fucking lapdog of death? Bullshit propaganda Gabriel and his pals decided to spread around after my fall. Half of the shit I get accused of is Azazel’s or Lucifer’s doing. ”

“But…" 'You know him. He would not lie to you.' Walking around his husband, Aziraphale faces him square on. "Crowley, I want you to tell me everything. You promised we would talk about it.”

Crowley smiles. 'You'll never let this go until I do.' “Everything...there is a lot to tell.”

“We are immortal.” Aziraphale reminds, taking his husband's hands.

“Right. Well, where to start?” He looks around them. The pain of the memories flooding in from the dark recesses of his mind. “You’ve seen a Seraph.” Crowley releases his angel’s hands and sits on the nonexistent floor. He curls his lips in a sneer, “Burning pile of feathers flying around God’s throne singing hail and hallelujah.” he describes as if it were distasteful.

“Honestly, I haven’t. They don’t associate with the lower choirs.” Aziraphale says, taking a seat next to his husband.

“No.,” he says, eyes seeing into the past. “We didn’t back then either. That was the problem, wasn’t it? You keep people cooped up doing the same thing for eternity, and they are bound to go mad. Even if that is your divine purpose.” purpose he groused between grit teeth.

“Was it always like that?” Aziraphale asks. ‘To look on her face. So many would cherish the opportunity. Surely it couldn’t be all that awful.’

“For most. Though she did let us out from time to time. The odd job here, terrifying some lesser angels there. Not for me, though. I don’t know why she picked me over the others, but she did. Her left hand. She wills, I did.” He says wistfully. “All this…” he points to the room. “I was given the power of creation.” he swirls his hand. A small blue ball of light spins into existence. “And destruction.” Crowley frowns and closes his fist. The small light explodes in little sparks. “She said you can't have one without the other. Not just conjuring things that already exist, or manipulating the world around you. She gave me the power to shape reality at a thought. Bend it to my will. Guess that's how the whole angel of destruction bit started." Crowley reclined back on his elbows, staring up at the starry space above them.

"You created the stars?" ‘That’s why at the observatory you were upset. I am so sorry, my love.’

Crowley smiles at the memories playing in his mind. His eyes closing indulging in that joyful time. "At her side. It was a privilege. I enjoyed my work. Not just stars. Whole systems, nebulas, galaxies, creating things from my imagination.” He flicked his wrist, and before them, a beautiful kaleidoscope of gas and dust appears. “The Great Nebula in Carina,” he smirks. “That was fun. Radiation is so strong in some places it strips electrons from atoms. Pillars of destruction they call it. They aren't pillars at all.” he says frowning at the classification. Crowley smiles sadly at his angel. “Alpha Centauri was my last. Isn't really finished."

"But..you retained your powers?" asks looking at the little nebula before them.

"Not all. Not completely. This is the most I can manage these days. Though I seem to have more than I previously thought. Figured it was part of the punishment. Knowing what I had at her side. What I lost. So many of the others lost theirs completely. Their minds too." He sits up, hunched, so his elbows rested on his thighs.

‘My poor husband. I never knew.’ "So, what happened?"

"Lucifer. We were the first to be created, the Seraphim. Her children. Then She started making the rest. We still outranked them, so Lucifer didn't care. Arrogant prick. Then there was talk of humans. God said we were to love them as we do Her. Old Scratch couldn't abide that. Hurt his ego.” He turns with a cocked eyebrow. “You know there was a time when I was more powerful than him."

"More powerful than Lucifer?" Aziraphale stares in shock.

Crowley chuckles, "Yeah. Firstborn and your little brother is Mummy's favourite."

"Bet he didn't like that."

Crowley smiles, mischievously, "What could he do? He'd pick a fight I'd bend reality. Freeze him in place. Leave him there until She ordered me to free him."

‘That does sound like you.’ "What happened after She talked about the humans?"

"You know that bit. Luci got pissed, amassed a following of other angels. Everyone was jealous of someone else's role. Upset about their jobs. Wanting this new thing called free will. Sods didn't know we already had it. S’why they could rebel in the first place." he explains glowering at his boots.

‘Luci?’ Aziraphale looks at Crowley wondering what he was like before.

"So there Lucifer was causing all kinds of trouble. God wasn't blind. She just thought they were all blowing off steam. Being told you have to love powerless weak humans as we loved Her was going against our nature. She knew, though. Had too." he says more to himself than to his angel.

"Then there was talk of war. Angel against angel. Small skirmishes broke out. Nothing serious. Then she called me back from Alpha Centauri. Told me of her plans of casting out Lucifer for his crimes. I didn’t know what to do. I was loyal to Her, but he was my brother. I knew what he was doing was wrong, but he was still my brother. I asked her to let me talk to him. She agreed. Some of what he said made sense. So that's where I come in with my big fucking mouth." He grumbles.

"What do you mean?"

"I went to Her and pleaded their grievances. She told me they must be punished, or it would get worse. I asked Her why.” He holds up a finger. “Mistake number one. Then she said there was no other way. I, in my infinite stupidity, said there must be. Mistake number two.” Crowley holds up a second finger. “Then She… She… made me an offer. If I could find just one of them willing to repent, She would spare them all. I agreed to find one.” His eyes are far away in a time long before time existed. “Mistake three.” He says as tears seep from the corners of his eyes. “I judged Her. Told Her... S-She was wrong and said I knew better than She did.”

“And then...then...I…I Fell.” He fought back the tears, fought back all the memories that were too painful. Tucked the feelings that wanted to consume him away deep in his mind. Crowley composed himself with a sharp sniff. “Fell from the highest circle of Heaven to the lowest circle of Hell. And I didn’t understand. I was trying to help. End the war without violence. And what did it get me? A pit of boiling sulfur. Burned right through me.” he looks at his hands as if he might still see the wounds. “I had to claw my way out. Still not sure how I managed it. But there I was. Crawling on my chard hands and knees in my new world.”

“Crowley...in my dream...that’s what she meant. That you knew why you couldn’t be forgiven.”

“Yeah. I tried at first. I did. Clinging to some blind hope, I could find one. You don’t make friend’s in Hell when you go around preaching God’s love. Nobody would hear me. Lucifer obviously didn’t approve of it either. Said I wasn’t one of them. S-said...said...he would make me one of them.”

“What did he do?”

“Torture. Y-years of torture. My own brother. I tried to save his sorry ass, and he tortured me.” Crowley frowned at his clenched fists. “I was given my first corporation just so they could really do the job. I was dismembered, animals set loose on me. Eating me from the inside out. I would heal.” He sighed heavily, “And they would do it all over again. At first, I prayed to Her. Begged Her to deliver me from their hands. When She didn’t, I broke. When pain is all you know you find someone to blame. I blamed Her. I was angry. Promised I would do whatever they asked. Crawled at their feet. I’s how I got my name.”

“Crowley, that is horrible.”

“Worst part is they made me tempt the humans into their own Fall.” He scoffs. “It wasn’t pain, wasn’t being abandoned. It was going directly against Her. I intended to love them as she said. But I was fresh off the rack. Begged for a chance to prove myself. To be a proper demon. I was given a great opportunity. The first temptation. I would have to betray Her, and condemn the humans. Just to make the pain stop. So I went up.”

Then, just as clear as it had been six thousand years ago, was his angel; standing atop the walls of Eden. Crowley smiles at the memory. “That is when I saw you,” he says, turning to look at Aziraphale. “You and your bloody flaming sword. You showed the humans compassion. Something I had never seen before. Then me. You...an angel. Showing compassion to a Fallen. It was unimaginable. More than I deserved for what I had just done. I fell in love with you right then and there. Never stood a chance. You were always so beautiful. You smiled at me, and I knew I would do anything to see your smile again.” he confesses brushing his thumb over his angel's trembling lips.

“My love.” Aziraphale huffs a sob.

Crowley leans in and kisses his beautiful angel. “So that is it. My story. Now you know.”

“Oh, dearest." Aziraphale hugs Crowley close. "Thank you for telling me.”

Crowley buries his face in his angel's curls. “Thank you for saving me.”

“You saved me as well.” Aziraphale whimpers.

“Just returning the favour.”

“You lost so much trying to help the others.”

“Yeah, but I got something really amazing in return," Crowley says tilting his angel's face to look at him. "We might have never met if I stayed in Heaven. And I would go through it all over again if it meant having you.”

Aziraphale can’t hold back his tears any longer. He cries for everything Crowley suffered, everything he lost, and everything he endured to be where they were now.

Crowley smiles down at his angel, holding Aziraphale close. “What is all this about?”

“Oh, dearest I wish you never had to go through any of that. I never could have imagined what Hell was really like for you. I wish I could do something, anything to make it right.”

“You already have,” Crowley says kissing his angel amongst his stars.

Chapter Text

Wednesday 30 October 2019
9:00 am
Standford

They were finally moved into their new home. Anathema had come and warded the whole property to the best of her abilities. The only rooms not completed where the playroom and nursery. Crowley had asked to hold off on those rooms until after the shower. His reasoning was to not offend anyone who might get them gifts. Aziraphale, however, knew his husband was up to something.

Their appointment with the good Dr Frances was finally upon them. Crowley was determined to not become so emotional. Bets this time were among not only Anathema and Newt but also Aziraphale. One for tears, one for full hysterics, and one for no tears or theatrics but a very happy demon who won’t be able to stop smiling.

This time Aziraphale was determined to have no difficulties leaving their home. He was up, taking his vitamins, and had eaten a substantial breakfast long before the sun cracked over the horizon. Crowley was still upstairs fast asleep. Aziraphale made a pot of coffee and tidied a few things before going to roust his husband.

In their search for furniture, they came across a rather fortuitous find. The large round bed meant they could elevate their nest off the ground. Crowley explained that once his angel was showing, it would make things a lot easier for Aziraphale in the morning.

Crowley lay naked among the mass of bedding, pillows, clothing and now black and white feathers. Face buried to hide from the light that suffused every inch of their home. “Dearest,” Aziraphale called softly sitting on the edge of their nest. When no response came, he brushed a stray tendril from his sleeping husband’s ear. “Dearest, we have to leave soon. Our appointment is at eleven, and it will take us an hour and a half to get to London.” Crowley groans and shifts slightly, though doesn’t move to get up. “Darling please ge-oomf”

Crowley has Aziraphale pinned to the bed beneath his upper body. A blanket pulled over them, concealing them from the morning light. Too stunned to protest Aziraphale lays there waiting for what comes next. “I love you,” Crowley mumbles sleepily.

‘Oh, my sweet husband.” Aziraphale combs his fingers through sleep mussed hair. “I love you too dearest, but we have an appointment.” he reminds with a peck to the crown of Crowley’s head.

“I know that. I just want to hold you for a minute, dove.” Crowley says, nuzzling into his angel’s neck. “You smell like honey and sunshine.”

“You are trying to start something we do not have time to finish.’ “I will let you hold me the rest of the day if you like, but we need to leave soon if we are to arrive on time.” ‘And not break any traffic laws.’

‘Time to check up on the little one.’ “I’m up. I’m up.” Crowley slithers down and kisses his angel’s stomach. “I am holding you to your offer when we get home, dove.” ‘I am going to hold you and our child the rest of the bloody day. I can’t wait to hold them. Why does it have to take so long?’

‘Our child is never going to see their crib with you as their father.’ Aziraphale smiles down at his affectionate husband, “And I will happily indulge you. When we get back.”

Crowley huffs, flinging the blanket off of them in dramatic protest. Looking over at his angel who still laying next to him, he sighs heavily. ‘Baby. Doctor. Promise. Why are you so beautiful?’ “You think they will mind if I show up like this?” he gestures to his nudity.

“I do not care how they will feel on the matter. I will be very cross.” Aziraphale says refusing to look at his husband’s obvious taunt. ‘Vexing. That’s what you are. Utterly vexing.’

Crowley chuckles at the obvious annoyance he has caused. “Don’t worry, dove. I am for your eyes only.” He leans over and kisses his angel’s cheek. Crowley is up, showered, and dresses quickly. Aziraphale helps him work his hair into a long neat plat. And they are off. Queen's Now I Am Here playing over the speakers.

 

10:40 am
Divinity Obstetrics and Gynaecology

 

They arrived twenty minutes early, thanks to Crowley’s refusal to heed the speed limit, much to his angel’s chagrin. They are once again greeted by the sweet little receptionist. No paperwork needed for this visit, so they wait.

“Mrs Crowley?” comes the same raspy nurse’s voice. She once again stands in the doorway with an air of authority looking at the only two seated in the waiting area.

“Here.” Aziraphale smiles standing, looking back to his husband.

“On time I see,” she says eyeing Crowley, shifting her clipboard to the other arm. “This way.” They are once again escorted towards the exam room, stopping first to take Aziraphale’s weight. “Fifteen kilograms. You seem to be right on the mark.” nurse Agnes says, still looking as though indifference is her calling.

“Fifteen...isn’t that a bit much. I..I’m not even showing.” Aziraphale worries. His hand resting on his abdomen. Though there is a slight protrusion, he figures it is merely weight gain.

“And what might you call that?” Agnes asks, pointing at Aziraphale’s middle.

Aziraphale’s soft blue blouse does little to hide the burgeoning bump. “Too many crepes.” he sighs. ‘I’m soft and getting softer.’

“No dear. You are doing just fine.” The nurse says patting Aziraphale’s hand.

Agnes shows them into the exam room. Crowley takes up his formally designated spot on the opposite side of the exam bed. Vitals are in the process of being taken when the door opens.

“Mrs Crowley. Mr Crowley. How are we today?” greets Dr Frances with a wide smile.

“We are well,” informs Aziraphale. ‘Better than a week ago at least.’

Frances looks over the papers she is carrying in her folder. “Your lab work came back perfect.” She nods. Assessing her nurse’s clipboard, she nods once more. “Eleven kilos. Weight gain right on track. How are you feeling? Morning sickness? Fatigue?” she inquires, looking at both parents.

“I don’t feel nauseous as often. Fatigue is manageable.” Aziraphale smiles his response. “Positively ravenous most of the time,” he admits looking back to Crowley. Who gives him a knowingly mischievous smile. ‘Not like that you fiend. Honestly.’ he rolls his eyes at his husband’s impertinence.

“What does your diet normally consist of?” Frances pretends to ignore the exchange.

“Since we discovered that I am pregnant, I have been diligent in following the recommendations. No compromising foods. I am craving apples, of all things. Can’t seem to get enough of them. My husband will have to plant an orchard at this rate.” ‘Our child has a very odd sense of humour. Wonder who they get that from?’ Again Crowley is given a scolding look. “I am taking the vitamins as directed. They seem to help with some of the symptoms. I am very grateful to say.”

Dr Frances notates the information. “You might consider increasing vegetables and decreasing fatty foods. Decreasing sugar as well.”

‘I’ll say.’ Aziraphale gives the doctor an agreeing look, “I learned my lesson quite effectively with a hamburger. We have been even more cautious with my diet since.”

“Good to hear. Still, no alcohol?” This she looks directly at Crowley.

“Not a drop,” Aziraphale assures.

She continues to record the answers, “What about exercise?”

“My husband and I go on daily walks. Thankfully our new home has plenty of beautiful areas to explore.” He gives Crowley an appreciative smile. Receiving a little grin in return. ‘What would I do without you?’

“New home?” Dr Frances asks in surprise.

‘Oh, dear. Perhaps I should not have mentioned our move. Too late now.’ “Yes. Near Hertfordshire. It is magnificent.” Aziraphale says quickly. He hears a chuckle from Crowley. ‘Yes, I lied. It is for our safety.’

Frances gives him an appraising look before continuing. “Congratulations. Speaking of moving, how is your stress level?”

“Well, we um…” ‘How do I answer this? Oh, just tickety boo. Nothing like your former boss showing up, threatening your life and that of your unborn child. Hiding at your friend’s home while you search for a new residence. Moving from the shop, you have loved for more than two hundred years, into a new home after a little over a week of searching. Fabulous dear. I am as carefree as a flower in May. Could the stress have hurt our baby? No. Surely I would have felt something.’

‘Oh were are swell. Nothing like watching the love of your existence be threatened. Have to rip apart their fucking beloved bookshop trying to get to them. Knowing if it weren’t for your kid, they wouldn’t be here now. I hope none of that has affected them.’ “Could be better,” Crowley grumbles.

“How so?” Frances asks of the pair.

‘I should tell you. It might be important. How to explain to a mortal?’ “You see we...The reason for the move...We were...I was…” Aziraphale looks to Crowley. Eyes pleading for help explaining their situation delicately.

Crowley’s face was hard, thankful for his sunglasses in moments like this. He might be able to fool the human into thinking he had some rare eye condition normally, but right now, he knew there was little hope in concealing his own stress. “My wife was attacked. We figured the city wasn’t safe anymore,” he explained, taking his angel’s hand. ‘It was my fault for leaving them unprotected.’

“Attacked?” Frances asks body going rigid.

“I am afraid so, yes,” Aziraphale answers not able to meet the doctor’s concerned stare.

“Was there...What happened?” She asks tentatively.

‘I failed my family.’ “Two men broke in. Held my wife at knifepoint while I was out. She managed to getaway. One of them died in the process.” Crowley answers flatly. ‘Fucking potato.’

“Were you injured?” asks Dr Frances in a gentle voice.

“No." smiles Aziraphale nervously. "Just a terrible fright.”

“I am glad you weren't hurt. Seems you have someone looking out for you.” Frances says, looking relieved.

“You might say that,” Aziraphale says smiling down at his child.

“Did the police catch the other one?” the doctor asks, looking at Crowley.

“Pfff.” he grouses. “Police can’t do n'ything about em.” ‘Sods upstairs won’t do a damn thing. Not even Her. Bless it and forget it.’

Dr Frances frowns at the thought. “I see. Well, I am glad you two are safe at least. Stress can have some nasty effects on your pregnancy. It’s easier said than done but try to manage it the best you can. It could exacerbate any negative symptoms.”

“And our baby?” Aziraphale looks up at their doctor with pleading eyes. ‘Please don’t let it affect our baby.”

Dr Frances's face softens, “No. Your baby should be fine. We'll do an ultrasound to make sure, but I wouldn’t worry. As long as you haven’t had any concerning symptoms.”

“I haven’t. Thank you, Doctor.” His hands caress the little bump hoping their child can feel how loved they are.

Frances nods in approval. “How is your sleep?” she asks, returning the conversation to the business at hand.

“Oh, no problems there. I usually sleep through the night. Occasional naps during the day.” Aziraphale answers.

“How long are the naps?” she writes down the information.

“Sometimes, only a few minutes. I might get a bit light-headed and just need a moment to collect myself. Other times a couple of hours.” Aziraphale admits.

Frances nods, again making notes. “I want you sleeping eight to ten hours a night. And take your naps. You might find sleep more difficult as the pregnancy progresses. Dad, that is where you come in. Try and make sure mom is as comfortable as possible. Take as many burdens off of her as you can.” pointing her pen at Crowley to impress her command.

‘Like I need to be told, human.’ “Consider it done.”

“Good man.” Dr Frances says, turning to set the paperwork on the counter. “Any heavy lifting or dangerous substances you might be exposed to? Do you work Mrs Crowley?” She asks, going to wash her hands.

“No on all accounts. We had plenty of assistance with the move.” He gives Crowley’s hand a little squeeze.

“No more than eleven kilos. If it is heavier than a toddler, let him get it.” Dr Frances gestures to Crowley.

“Yes, Ma’am.” He answers quickly with a mocking salute. Aziraphale cuts him a scolding grimace.

Dr Frances chuckles to herself. She applies her gloves and turns back to face them. “Keep your feet elevated when you are sitting as well.”

“I shall,” Aziraphale affirms politely.

Sitting on her rolling chair, Dr Fances pulls the machine to her side. “Well, you two seem to have everything under control. Let’s get to the fun part. My tech is out again. Getting ready for Halloween it seems. So shirt up, push your pants below your little bump and we will begin.”

Doing as instructed Aziraphale lays back on the bed. In this position, the little rise of his abdomen was far more noticeable. He can’t help but caress the small swell. Looking over at Crowley, he sees his husband smiling sweetly at the evidence of their child finally making an appearance.

Dr Frances grabs a bottle and pops the cap. “This will be cool but will warm up with your body heat. Lights please Agnes” She says, turning the bottle up overexposed skin. The room is suddenly dim, the excitement tangible in the air.

Aziraphale quickly moves his hands to allow the doctor to work. The gel is cold, making his stomach tense at the sudden sensation. The doctor takes the little contraption and works the gel over the whole of his abdomen. Making a few clicks on the machine, Dr Frances presses the implement firmly into the minuscule bump.

“Let’s see. I want to get a good look at your uterus. Make sure everything is as it should be.” She swipes from one side to the other studying the machine. “Good.” her hand dips lower, repeating the process. “Excellent your uterus looks perfect. Now let’s get a look at your little one.”

Crowley and Aziraphale both focus intently on the screen. There in the centre of the little black void materializes a tiny figure. Aziraphale has to fight the urge to touch his belly. Crowley resolutely refusing to cry again.

“There they are,” Frances announces and makes several clicks on the machine freezing the image. “That’s their head.” The cursor points to the identified portion. “Eyes, nose, mouth.” she highlights each of their baby’s features. “Their arms and legs. And their little bottom.” each new revelation is studied by the pair eagerly. “Four centimetres.” She confirms measuring their baby. “Long arms. Must take after you dad.” she cuts Crowley a slight smile.

‘I hope they do. I very much hope they look like their father. They will be so beautiful.’ “Might we hear the heartbeat?” asks Aziraphale starting to tear up a bit.

“Sure.” Dr Frances says, focusing on the machine. She unfreezes the picture and frowns. “They've moved.” She repositions the little tool and smiles. “There they are. Active little one.”

Aziraphale and Crowley watch as their baby’s arms and legs flutter around in the little void. They look restless, swimming, turning, stretching in the darkness. “They are moving? I don’t feel a thing.” Aziraphale says breathlessly.

“No, you won’t until things get a little more cramped in there.” Dr Frances assures.

“But they are moving,” Aziraphale exclaims voice quivering. He squeezes Crowley’s hand to convince himself he isn’t dreaming. ‘Hello, little one. I can’t wait to meet you officially.’

“Yes, making it rather difficult to get a fix on their...There we are.” The same whirring sound fills the room as before. “See that slight flutter?” she points to the identified spot with the cursor. “That is your baby’s heart.”

Aziraphale pulls his husband’s hand to his own chest. “Oh, oh, Crowley. It is so fast.” ‘This is so wonderful.’

Crowley once again is mesmerized. Their child looks more like a baby now than a little bean. Everything in him wants to tell the world how happy he is. ‘That’s you. You brave little beauty.’ He pulls Aziraphale’s hand to his lips, kissing his angel’s knuckles. ‘I love you both so much. What did I ever do to deserve all this? Damn the witch and her little nob. I will not cry.’

“One hundred and thirty beats per minute. Very healthy heartbeat.” Dr Frances agrees. “You’ve got a strong little one.”

“If feel like my own heart is about to burst,” Aziraphale says wiping away his tears.

Dr Frances removes the wand and cleans Aziraphale’s stomach. “Agnes will take more blood and urine samples from you. It is standard. Just want to make sure everything stays on track. But you are looking great. Keep up the good work.” she says, giving the bed a pat before standing.

“Thank you, Doctor,” Aziraphale says, righting his clothing as Crowley assists him to sit up.

“You are most welcome. See you again in a month. You will be in your second trimester. We’ll go up to every other week then.” she informs them removing her gloves and washing her hands. “You said Hertfordshire?” she looks back questioningly.

“Yes,” Aziraphale confirms, hoping his memory hasn’t decided to fail him at this moment.

Dr Frances tucks her hands into her lab coat. “If you want I can refer you to a doctor nearer to your new address.”

“No, we like this office. We don’t mind the drive.” Aziraphale says a bit hurried. ‘I feel comfortable here. I don’t want to go anywhere else.’

“Alright. See you two in a month. And Mr Crowley?” She says giving Crowley a pointed look.

“Yes?” he answers with a cocked eyebrow.

“Remember what I said. Nothing over eleven kilos, plenty of rest, and healthy foods. She will need good sources of iron and calcium.” Dr Frances commands. Smiling at Aziraphale, she resumes, “Continue on your vitamins. And should you have any questions about the pregnancy or concerns please don’t hesitate to call.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Crowley answers again with a mocking salute.

Dr Frances chuckles at the comical gesture. “Well, good luck you two. Hope those bastards that attacked you get their comeuppance.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Aziraphale says as the door closes behind her. ‘She is such a lovely woman.’

Agnes draws the labs and prints their baby’s new photo. Crowley again claims it as soon as Aziraphale hands it over. Smiling down on their little one, he notices their fingers held up as if waving. His heart is hammering his love for their little miracle. Inside the Bentley, he looks over to his beautiful angel, grinning warmly. ‘I am so happy it hurts, and I love every second of it.’ “Thank you, dove.”

“Are you going to thank me every time?” Aziraphale asks playfully.

“Probably," he admits, beaming from ear to ear. “Just can’t get used to the idea that I am going to be a dad.” ‘Me a dad. I guess stranger things have happened.’

‘What do you mean?’ Worry creeps into Aziraphale’s mind. ‘You are smiling. Doesn’t that mean you are happy?’ “Crowley…” he begins timidly. Trying to find the courage to face the answer. “You still want this, don’t you?” ‘Please, please say you do.’

“Yes, dove. More than anything.” He grins down on their child’s picture. Brushing a thumb across the little smudge of a face. Looking back up at his angel, he meets those azure eyes. “Sometimes, I just can’t believe how lucky I am.” ‘It's amazing and terrifying.’

Aziraphale beams at Crowley. “How lucky we both are, dearest.” He says, hugging his husband close. “Now, I am starving. Let's pick up something on the way home so I can fulfil my promise.”

“One thing first,” Crowley says, grabbing his phone. They recreate their picture from the previous month. This time the caption reads “Can’t wait to meet you guys.”

After Crowley hits send Aziraphale clears his throat. “Oh, and dearest. Do inform Anathema that I am the winner of this bet.” this is requested proudly as he adjusting his favourite cardigan.

Chapter Text

Thursday 31 October 2019
10:15 am
The Cottage

It is Halloween. The day Crowley has convinced the world that the ghosts of those who have passed on are able to walk among the living. It is the night of witches, ghouls, vampires, and all manner of spooky creatures. Some call it the Devil's Holiday. Which by Crowley’s influence alone, this could be considered valid. As of recently, it is merely a boon for the economy wherever it is celebrated.

Crowley receives word, early that morning, Aziraphale’s costume was finally ready for pickup. They had commissioned a local seamstress to make the garment to their expressed demands. An intricate Grecian gown befitting the chief muse, and patron of epic poetry herself. Aziraphale was upstairs bathing in their beautiful new bathroom. Crowley was in his greenhouse hands deep in soil. Repotting their little lemon tree in a large planter.

There came a sudden pulse of desire that tickles over his essence. It is faint at first, nothing more than a light tingle. Then it slowly begins to build. ‘What are you up to?’ Curiosity peaked, Crowley dusts off his hands, then rinses them in the greenhouse sink. The pulses intensify thrumming into him with urgency.

He hurries through the house. Bounding up the stairs two at a time, careful to make as little noise as possible. Once on the second floor, he follows the growing sensations towards their bedroom. Silent as a snake on its prey he makes his way down the hall. He hasn’t even reached the door when he hears the first breathless moan.

Everything inside him tenses. Knowing he may be intruding on something he is not meant to see halts him. He waits, listens, he hears his angel’s panting breaths, feels the mounting pleasure. ‘I shouldn’t. If Aziraphale wanted me here…”

“Crowley.” Aziraphale moans faintly into the silence of their bathroom.

He lurches into their bedroom, coming to stand just outside the bathroom door. Peering around the door frame, he sees his angel. Damp curls falling over the edge of their tub. Head resting on a rolled towel. Face obstructed as his angel is oriented away from the door.

The increasing pulses and soft moans tell him everything he needs to know. He watches his angel with rampant fascination. It is everything he has in him to remain unseen. To appreciate what he has unfolding right before him. Part of him wants to make himself known. Ask for permission as he should. The other is enjoying his angel’s unrestrained pleasure.

Aziraphale tenses, neck arching against the rim of the tub. Crowley can finally see his angel’s face lost in ecstasy. ‘Just like that, dove. You are so exquisite.’ Crowley feels the peak nearing. His own effort responding to his own desires. Then it is there, overflowing, drowning his own senses. Aziraphale moaning his name loudly as the release washes over his angel. He waits still until the last of the sensation subsides, and Aziraphale is relaxing in their tub. “Well that was mesmerizing,” he says finally making himself known.

“Crowley!” Aziraphale shrieks turning so abruptly water splashes from their bathroom. Face aflame at being discovered. ‘Oh, you saw. Oh, this is dreadful. How much did you see?’ “Dearest...I...I thought you were tending to your plants?” He asks, unable to look at his husband directly. ‘This is shameful. Why must I be so wanton all the time?’

‘You are embarrassed? We’re going to fix that.’ Sauntering over to their tub Crowley sits on the rim. “I was,” he says, looking over his nervous angel. “Then it felt like there was something far more intriguing going on up here.” Leaning forward, he presses a kiss to Aziraphale’s flushed lips.

‘Intriguing?’ “Sorry, dearest.” Aziraphale sighs in shame. ‘You must have seen everything.’ “It just came over me. I…”

‘You are too adorable like this.’ “None of that, dove.” he purrs deep in his chest. “Rather enjoyed it.”

‘Enjoyed it?’ “You...but…” The words allude him. ‘You enjoy watching me pleasure myself? What would it be like to watch you? Oh enough of that dammit.’

Crowley didn’t miss the little spike of interest. ‘I wonder.’ leaning in, he purrs low in his angel’s ear. “Might have to give me a more formal performance one day.” This earns him a delicious surge of desire.

“Oh, um...well…” Aziraphale sheepishly glances up at his husband's alluring golden eyes. “That could be arranged. Now...if you are interested.” this is offered meekly. His need has been demanding since he woke this morning. Clawing at his mind for attention. ‘Perhaps now it might be quelled back to a manageable state.’

Crowley claims his angel’s mouth. Tongue seeking, finding entrance. Wet arms burst from the water threatening to pull him in. He braces himself on the rim of the tub. His angel’s lip nipped just as he pulls free. “I am never not interested, dove.”

A hand is offered, and Aziraphale takes it as he rises from the water. Crowley assists him out of the bath, taking a towel in hand. He is turned, so his back faces his husband. First, his shoulder-length curls are dried until no longer dripping. Then his shoulders, arms and hands are seen too. Each wrist receiving a gentle kiss.

Crowley comes to stand in front of Aziraphale. His angel’s body is flushed from the warmth of the water and desire. The pulses flow into him as he takes his time roaming over every inch of that perfect body. Kneeling before Aziraphale, preparing to tend to his angel’s legs, he comes face to face with the little swell just below the navel. Crowley looks up worshipfully at those sapphire eyes, kissing his angel’s belly. Hands caressing over still damp hips. “I never created n'ything that came near your beauty, dove.”

‘Now, I know you are exaggerating.’ Pulling at the elastic, he freed his husband’s flaming curls. “You have me at a disadvantage, dearest.”

“We can’t have that now can we?” Standing Crowley unceremoniously sheds his clothing. First, his shirt is pulled over his head and tossed to the wet tiles below. Each subsequent layer joins it in short order. When they are at last on equal ground, Crowley leads them to the nest.

Kneeling, he guides his angel gently to the centre to lay before him. Legs spread over his thighs, he studies his angel’s pensive expression. “Dove, we don’t have to do this if you are uncomfortable,” he reassures, hands smoothing over his angel’s supple calves.

“It’s not that, dearest. Just considering how to go about this.” His hands wringing nervously.

“However you want. Just relax and do what feels good.”

“Of course.” he smiles. ‘Should I look at him? I know he enjoys that, but I’m not sure if I can. Do what feels good. Right. That’s not so hard.’ A hand is brought up to rest just above his mound. Crowley’s eyes watch as his fingers dip between his folds. Finding the little sensitive bud he gives a light caress. His need instantly reacts, demanding more.

Another firmer slide and he relaxes into the sensation. He sets a steady rhythm of circling motions on the pearl, eyes falling shut in concentration.

He thinks of his husband watching, taking his own enjoyment of the moment. Of hands reaching and claiming his breasts. Aziraphale’s own hand echos the thought. Nipples extremely sensitive but no longer painful. He caresses one gently making the heat pooling in his abdomen burn with intensity. Warm hands slide down his inner thigh. Tantalizingly close to his arousal, before nails scrape up to his knees. He keeps a steady pace out of pure will. Breathy staccato gasps telling of his rising pleasure.

The sight before him is captivating. His angel absorbed in need, brows furrowed at the steady climb to the summit. “Tell me what you are thinking about, dove.”

Licking his lips to collect his mind, he whispers, “This... Y-you w-watching... What you m-might d-do next.”

Crowley’s eyes travel the length of his angel. Watching Aziraphale’s fingers kneading the little bead of pleasure. The pulses are steady but insistently climbing. ‘You are so exquisite.’ “What do you want me to do next, dove?”

“I-I...I want y-your mouth on me. Y-your hands...Oh, Crowley…” He feels Crowley’s hands repeat their earlier motion. This time nails biting in ever so carefully. A strangled moan escapes him the whole of the enticing graze.

“Tell me, dove,” he purrs low.

Focus and thought are beginning to fail. He forces his hand to maintain the unhurried rhythm, but he can already feel his muscles starting to tense. “I w-want...Oh, Crowley my love...I-I want y-you i-inside me.” this is moaned as his thighs tighten around Crowley’s.

There is ache mixing with pleasure. ‘You are drawing this out. For my benefit or yours?’ Either thought makes his arousal ache with its own need. “Keep going. Just like that, dove. Let me see you come undone.”

‘Not yet.’ Aziraphale forces his eyes open. “I-I want to see...y-you...as-as well.”

‘So that’s your game.’ Bringing one of his angel’s legs over his shoulder, he presses a kiss to Aziraphale’s inner knee. “Anything, dove.” He takes his effort in hand and begins pumping firm even strokes up his length. Already halfway up the climb from the display before him, he runs his thumb over the velvety head. Spending, already leaking from the tip, eases his slide back down the shaft.

Crowley can feel both of their releases nearing. Aziraphale’s teetering on a razor’s edge. His angel is moaning, shaking at the restraint to stay the impending orgasm. Turning his head, he kisses, then tongue tastes the same spot as before. Trailing down to the middle of his angel’s sumptuous inner thigh. “Please may I, dove?” is asked tenderly before his teeth brush gently to indicate his intention.

“Y-yes” Aziraphale moans on a strangled breath. Eyes focused on his husband’s hand working his effort.

Crowley bares down hearing his angel cry out as Aziraphale finally falls over the edge. The sight of his angel trembling before him, and the barbs of ecstasy pulsing through him, bring him quickly to his release. Spilling over his hand and onto his angel’s quivering thigh. The muscles of his abdomen tensing with each subsequent wave.

“Crowley, oh my dearest husband that was...was…”

Crowley descends on his angel, captured leg pressing up towards Aziraphale’s chest. Claiming his angel’s mouth in a passionate kiss, he drives his effort against Aziraphale’s slick folds. “I want you, dove,” he growls between a desperate kiss.

“Take me, my love.” he moans, feeling his husband’s length heavy against him.

Taking himself in hand, Crowley shifts to position his effort at Aziraphale’s entrance. In one sinuous thrust, he enters. His angel gasping at the sudden intrusion. Free leg wrapping around his waist, welcoming him further.

They set a steady rhythm once more. Crowley thrusting up, dragging against the little bundle of nerves inside his angel. Aziraphale rocking down deepening their connection.

The pulses crashing into Crowley in an instant are intense and urgent. He quickens to meet their need. Each thrust he feels his angel’s effort constricting around him. Urging him on, pleading for more. Aziraphale breaks their kiss, neck straining, head listing towards the side. Agonized keens of pleasure whimpered into their silent bedroom.

Crowley bows and takes his angel’s breast in his mouth. Tongue and teeth worrying at the perk nipple. Hands tangling in his hair, grasping, pulling as the pulses reach a fever pitch.

Aziraphale feels it as one last thrust buries his husband deep inside him. Muscles clenching, stars dancing behind his eyes as the orgasm crashes through him. He is moaning in ragged heaving breaths. Crying his demon’s name. Feeling Crowley’s answering groan from deep within his chest.

His thrusting slows as both spiral down from their peak. They are panting, clinging to each other, an anchor to this world. It is a long moment before either has sense of themselves. Aziraphale’s legs and arms holding him close as Crowley kisses and laps lazily at his angel’s neck.

“Happy Halloween to you too, dove.” he chuckles into his angel’s shoulder.

Aziraphale giggles beneath him, “Is this how you intended the day to be celebrated?”

“Not precisely, though it can become our tradition.” he offers, resting his upper weight on an elbow, brushing a sweat-damp curl from his angel’s face.

“That would be most agreeable.” Aziraphale beams up at his beloved husband. Raising a finger to miracle away their spending.

Crowley grabs his angel’s hand and forces it to the bed. “Aziraphale, what are you doing?” he shouts.

‘What is the problem? We always…’ “Oh, Crowley. I completely forgot. Silly me. Perhaps a shower instead?” he offers sheepishly. Face crimson from both their exertions and his misstep.

“Yes. Can’t go to the seamstress like this. What would the human think?” Crowley says, pulling his angel from the nest.

They shower, only shower, quickly. After all evidence of their morning exploits is cleansed away they dress. The weather outside is becoming much more in keeping with the season.

Aziraphale layers a soft blouse under a cable knit tan jumper, a tartan knee-length wool skirt, sensible undergarments to not scandalize the older woman, and his cardigan. Brown leather ballerina flats are selected in lieu of warmer boots.

Crowley is kitted in his customary black, though he opts for a warmer wool coat instead of his regular jacket. He dawns a thick red scarf, foregoing his thin silver one . Tying his hair in a loose bun at the nape of his neck, they set out for the nearby village.

The seamstress ran her little shop out of her home. The pensioner kept her mind sharp by continuing her trade well into her golden years. "I just finished the beading late last night. It is a wonderful garment. Some of my finest work." Explains the slight woman waddling into the drawing room.

Holding up the Grecian inspired dress, she looks to the lovely couple for approval. Standing Aziraphale approaches to inspect the work. Gossamer thin silk, in varying shades of pink, gathered below the bust splitting to tie at the shoulders. A panel of gold lace for modesty to conceal Aziraphale's ample cleavage. Flowers, leaves, and little lyres picked out in iridescent glass beads around the hem and plunging neckline. Swags of dainty pearls hang from the shoulders. A gold silk ribbon wraps several times below the bust.

"Perfection. Thank you, Mrs Anderson." Aziraphale smiles to the talented woman. Hands ghosting over the intricate beadwork.

"Well try it on. Let's make sure it fits." She says, pushing the garment into Aziraphale's arms. "You remember where the fitting room is?"

"Of course." Aziraphale nods leaving his husband with Mrs Anderson. Walking to the little curtained room just down the hall.

"Rather busty your wife." The older woman smiles to Crowley.

"What can I say? I am a lucky man." Crowley says with a sly smirk, lounging on the couch, arm thrown over the back.

Undressing from his warm clothes Aziraphale slips on the dress. Tying the gold ribbon in place, he exits the dressing room. "Well? What do we think?" Aziraphale ask hands brushing down the silk.

"The most peerless piece of earth, I think, that e' er the sun shone bright on." Crowley recites Shakespeare's verse.

"Aren't we poetic? You are a vision, my dear." Grins the old woman over her glasses.

Blushing the deepest colour of his dress, “Thank you. Mr Anderson, you are quite remarkable.”

She smiles at the compliment, “What’s remarkable is my arthritis disappearing. My doctor said it is a medical miracle. I was just doing my job. Now I have recently gained quite a bit of business. If you two lovebirds don't mind too terribly, I need to get back to work.”

“Not at all, Ma’am. We will pay our due and be out of your hair.” Crowley says presenting the woman with the money.

Accepting the notes she gives Crowley a considered look. “Thank you, love. And should you need my services again give us more than a week for such extravagance.”

“We will. Thank you, Mrs Anderson.” Aziraphale says, disappearing to remove the dress.

“Take good care of that one. She is a kind soul.” the old woman says patting Crowley on the chest.

“I intend to. Though my wife is a lot stronger than most give her credit.” Crowley says, looking off in the direction his angel disappeared.

“How long have you two known each other?” questions the woman.

“For an eternity it seems, and not nearly long enough,” he says shoving his hands into his coat pockets.

Aziraphale returns with the dress folded over his arms. “Here, deary, I have a garment bag.” The old woman shuffles over to a closet and produces said bag. Once the dress is secured, they leave. Mrs. Anderson waving to them as they pull away. They stop at a local market to pick up a few items for lunch, including a bag of fresh apples.

 

12:45 pm

 

Seated at their little breakfast, nook Aziraphale nibbles at his lunch. Spinach salad with grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, pecans, and a lemon dijon vinaigrette. With it fresh bread and of course an apple.

A light jingling of little bells echoes through the hall. Aziraphale turns seeing his husband, clad in only an impossibly thin black linen wrap skirt and gold sandals. The skirt hangs precariously low on his hips. A delicate gold chain the only thing holding it in place. In his hands is an ornate Egyptian collar; at its centre a winged serpent with golden gemstone eyes.

‘Good Lord.’ Aziraphale is so entranced he doesn’t feel the fork slip from his grasp. The loud clank of metal striking the ceramic bowl startles him back from his lustful thoughts.

Crowley doesn’t notice his angel’s shock. Too busy fiddling with the beaded neckpiece. “Dove, can you help me with the…” A pulse of desire hits him as he enters the kitchen. Looking up, he sees Aziraphale’s awestruck expression. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

Standing and meeting his husband at the door, he looks over the costume. The fabric is so thin Aziraphale can make out the silhouette of Crowley’s thighs; far too easily for it to be considered decent. His adonis belt fully on display. Wrist, ankles and upper arms gilded in gold bangles, cuffs, and bracelets, encrusted with lapis, pearls, carnelian, obsidian, and garnet. All repeating the serpent theme. “Dearest, you look…” ‘Tempting.’ “Ravishing.”

Crowley smirks knowing what his angel is currently thinking about. “Think so?” he asks, pretending to look over himself, turning this way then that.

‘How am I going to make it through the night with you dressed like that?’ “Dearest? Didn’t Anathema say...that is...that costume is very...”

“Angel, are you suggesting my outfit sssslutty?” he hisses taunting his flustered angel.

Blushing scarlet Aziraphale begins wringing his hands, “Dearest, I am ever so sorry. I...well...it it…” ‘I have been aroused all day. And you standing there, dressed like you are. This is madness.’

“Oh.” Crowley pretends to just now notice the reason for his angel’s state. Pulling Aziraphale into him, hand on his angel's lower back, “You want me.” he purrs. “You are quite insatiable today.”

“Oh, dearest please don’t joke. You know what my body is doing to me. I very well can not help myself.” Aziraphale whines brows raised in embarrassment.

Crowley turns them, pinning his angels against the door.“You want me to help you with your body’s needssss, dove?”

“Yes.” he breathes out. Then his mind catches up with his words, “NO!” he shrieks, startling Crowley away. Seeing his husband’s worried confusion he pulls him back into his arms. ‘This is so infuriating.’ “Oh, dearest, it isn’t you. I...I fear if the goal is to satiate me today, we will not make the party.”

‘And you think that’s a problem?’ “Like that Sunday in Nice. That would be fun.” purrs Crowley, kissing his angel’s neck. “I could…” his hand slips up Aziraphale skirt, trailing up his angel’s inner thigh. “call Anathema and let her…”

“NO!” he shrieks again. This time holding his husband in place. “No, my love. We said we would attend. It would be rude not make an appearance. They have been so kind to us. I would hate to disappoint them.” Aziraphale says drawing little circles into Crowley’s bare chest.

Chuckling Crowley steps back, withdrawing his hand. “Well, when you are ready to leave, just say the word.” tilting his angel’s face up, he grins mischievously. “The doctor said I am to attend to your every need, remember? And I take my job very sssseriousssly.” he hisses before tenderly kissing his angel’s lips, pulling away slowly.

“I don’t think she meant that.” Aziraphale scolds, brushing past his mocking husband.

“Can’t be certain. Besides, I’ll take any excuse to get my hands on you,” he smirks, leaning against the wall.

“Well, perhaps when we return home?” Aziraphale shoots over his shoulder, heading towards the stairs.

Following closely behind Crowley leans into his angel’s ear hissing, “Then, conssssider your ssssatiation my challenge.”

‘I am wanton, and you are incorrigible.’ “But Crowley your costume. Won’t it be a bit too revealing for the children?” He asks ascending the stairs.

“Whot? No.” Crowley says pretending to be offended. “It’s historical. I’ll have you know Pharaoh Khufu gave this jewellery to me personally. Thought I was some God named Apep. Never bothered to correct him. Besides, I got a robe.” he informs following his angel into the bedroom.

Cutting his husband a knowing look, he huffs, “Thought? Or you encouraged?”

“Perhaps a bit of both. Come on, dove. Give us a hand with the collar.” He begs, thrusting the heavy piece in his angel’s hand.

Looking over the ancient masterpiece, Aziraphale brushes a finger over the snake’s jewelled head, “It is quite lovely, dearest.”

“The eyes are made out of glass found in Lybia,” Crowley informs caressing his angel's hand.

Aziraphale walks around his husband, pushing his long curls out of the way. The collar is brought into place, fastened, beaded strands hanging down his lean back. Aziraphale circles back, taking in the beauty before him. “Perfection.”

'I believe that title is reserved for you.' Crowley kisses his angel “Now let’s get you ready. Don’t want to disappoint the witch.”

Moments later, they were both dressed. Crowley was busy fashioning his angel's hair into a proper Grecian woman's hairstyle. Complete with a gold crown of myrtle leaves and blossoms. A strand of pearls was woven into the intricate coiffeur. “I am glad we decided on this. It is quite comfortable.” Aziraphale beams at his husband in their reflection.

“That’s not all it is.” grins Crowley. “Promise me we won’t stay long.” he purrs. A long elegant finger caressing his angel's chin.

“Once the festivities are over, I am all yours,” Aziraphale promises slipping a pair of earrings on. Which match the motif of the crown.

Aziraphale takes the robe Crowley had mentioned and aided his husband slipping it on. It was just as thin as the skirt. He tucked it under the heavy collar covering, but barely, his husband's body. Crowley takes his serpent circlet in hand, heading for the Bentley.

"Can't wait to see the witches face." He grins mischievously before pulling out of their garage.

8:00 pm
Jasmine Cottage

 

Jasmine cottage was dressed for the event as well. Skeletons rising from the Earth, massive spiders on the windows, complete with fake webs, and ghost dancing beneath the trees. Jack-o-lanterns glittered along the path and near the door. Crowley had to admit the witch did a fair job preparing for the party.

Aziraphale knocks turning to his husband, pulling the robe a bit more closed. Crowley gave him a disapproving look. When the door is opened, Aziraphale shouts “Happy Halloween!”

A pink-haired Anathema greets them. Her eyes roaming over their costume, “Wow. You guys went all out.”

“Who are you supposed to be?” asks Newt, wearing an oversized ill-fitted brown suit, his tie a bit askew.

Gesturing with his hands “I am the Muse of epic poetry Calliope. Crowley is the Egyptian God Apep.” he announces proudly.

Anathema points to Crowley with an annoyed look. “That costume leaves little to the imagination.”

‘Checkmate witch.’ “This fine linen was highly prized in ancient Egypt. I’ll have you know.” he feigns indignation.

Rolling her eyes, she waves them in. “Whatever. The kids will be here soon. Food is set out in the dining room. Help yourselves.” She closes the door and hurries off to the kitchen.

The interior is decorated as well. Candles floating from the ceiling, black cloth covering every service, and little spooky accents scattered about the room. On the dining table was a buffet of different foods. All appearing in some grotesque aberration of what they are. A cauldron at the centre spewing a thick mist.

“Crowley, what on Earth is all this?” Aziraphale asks grimacing at the spread.

“Beats me. Possibly edible?” he says, taking a sausage from a gruesome platter of meats that looked like something a cannibal might enjoy. “I think it’s all just meant to look disturbing,” he says before taking a bite. “Oh. Black pudding. Here, dove, you’ll like it.”

Aziraphale picked over the offerings, refusing completely the green matter falling from the jack-o-lantern’s mouth. The one thing he eagerly ate was the caramel apple. Then came another knock at the door.

Newt skipped from the kitchen to answer. Upon opening it, he was met with a loud chorus of “Trick-or-Treat!”

Adam, Wendslydale, Pepper, and Brian stood at the door in their costumes, presenting their various candy receptacles. Anathema calls out from the kitchen, “Coming.”

Crowley and Aziraphale greet the pack of preteens. “Hi, guys.” Crowley waves.

“Hello, everyone. Happy Halloween.” Aziraphale smiles brightly as the group filed into the cottage.

The children were in their costumes. Adam wore a brown pinstripe suit, tan trench coat, white button-up, red tie, converse sneakers, and a tardis bucket. Pepper was indeed dressed in a red cloak and white bonnet. A duct tape vest with little cardboard boxes was fixed on top. She was carrying a small basket. Brian was grimy as Brian always was. His face was painted grey with a smattering of fake blood covering his mouth. His clothes were tattered and stained but little else done to make them appear more decrepit. He carried a pillowcase. Wensleydale wore a formal black suit and fake moustache. If he hadn’t identified who his intended costume was, he simply looked like the boy in twenty years. He carried a simple pale.

“Pardon me, Ms Aziraphale, who are you two supposed to be?” asks Wensleydale.

“Uh, I am an Egyptian snake God.” Crowley quickly offers, knowing the children would be lost with his angel’s explanation. “And Aziraphale is a Greek Muse. They inspire poetry, music, and the like.”

“Wicked.” Exclaims Adam. Next to him, Dog barks happily.

“Hey, Hellhound. How’s Earth treating you?” Crowley asks the little terrier.

Dog barks excitedly in response.

The group is about to move into the dining room when another voice calls to them. “Happy Halloween Newton!”

Newt looks at Crowley with a terrified expression. The retired madam dressed like Rita Skeeter pops through the door with a cheery smile. Following closely behind was the not costumed, nor cheery Shadwell. Crowley's and the Sargent's eyes met.

Crowley growls, “What in F..” Aziraphale quickly covers his mouth.

“Not here. Not in front of the children. Please, dearest.” he begs with both his words and wide blue eyes.

Shadwell looks to his wife and walks over to his former employers. Crowley pushes Aziraphale behind him and glowers down at the human daring to approach. “Mr Crowley. I believe I o yu and yur...wife isit? An apology.”

“Crowley, dearest. Not here.” Aziraphale insisted, to his angry husband.

“Ma wife explained evrythin. I mada horrible mustake. I hope yu en yur husbun cun furgive ma stipidity.” Shadwell says looking over Crowley’s shoulder to Aziraphale.

Growling low, teeth sneering at every word he levels the human with his full demonic glare. “You think that an apology is just going to…”

Aziraphale steps between them, cutting off his husband’s inevitable tirade, “Thank you, Sargent, I accept. It was a difficult time for everyone, and I bear you no ill will.” he turns to Crowley. “Dearest may I speak with you?” When Crowley doesn’t immediately follow, he takes his hand, “Now, my love.”

They duck into an empty room, “Crowley I understand you are trying to protect me. And I understand your fear that the Sargent is a threat, but it was an accident.”

“Aziraphale I don’t want him near you or our kid.” Crowley grouses, folding his arms in front of him.

“I know dearest. And I appreciate your concern for our safety, but Shadwell is harmless. He is a bit delusional but a danger to no one. My discorporation was more my fault than his. And the bookshop was a complete accident. Please, for me, let this go.” Aziraphale pleads, eyes staring into his husbands fully serpent ones.

“Aziraphale I don’t like it. I don’t like…” he is silenced by lips crashing into his own.

When he feels his husband relax into the kiss, Aziraphale withdrawals a bit, “I love you. And I promise should Shadwell ever pose a threat again I will not stop you. But please try to be cordial just for tonight.”

‘That was entirely unfair.’ “Fine. That was a dirty trick, you know.” Crowley grumbles.

“How else was I going to get you to see reason?” Aziraphale smiles coyly pressing one last kiss to his husband’s lips before leaving the room.

The party is in full swing. Anathema and Newt lead the group in a series of games. Crowley and Aziraphale are forbidden from using any magic to enhance their performance. Adam and Pepper win the mummy wrap game. Tracy and Shadwell surprisingly win the pumpkin carving contest. Aziraphale and Crowley quickly win the Who Am I game. Pepper swearing they cheated. Crowley insisting that after knowing someone for six thousand years, you are just better at each other’s cues.

The whole party moves outside for a flashlight scavenger hunt. The children hurry off to find the items hidden around the grounds. Crowley and Aziraphale hold back drinking the closest thing to alcohol Aziraphale was allowed, ginger ale with lime sherbert.

“You know what I think?” Crowley cocks his brow at his angel. Who sips at the punch. “I think this party could use a little livening up,” he says, leaning against the side of the cottage.

Aziraphale looks aghast at his husband, “Crowley, don’t you dare.”

“What? Don’t you want the kids to have some fun?” he asks, pushing off the wall, circling around his angel.

Considering the possibilities, Aziraphale is apprehensive, “Only if they aren’t in any danger.”

“No danger. They’re kids. Wouldn’t think of it.” Crowley says, pacing the lawn into submission.

“Fine.” Aziraphale relents. ‘Don’t make me regret this.’

Crowley stops mid-stride holding up his fingers. His angel nods, he snaps. There is a sound of something clawing at the Earth around them. The chattering of the children in the distance suddenly stops. A grey hand bursts through the grass, then another, soon the lawn is sprouting hands everywhere.

“Crowley, what the Hell is that?” Aziraphale demands.

“Just a bit of Halloween fun for the kiddies,” Crowley says reclaiming his place on the side of the cottage.

Zombies begin to pull their rotting corpses into the world. Everyone starts scrambling towards the house. Brian is grabbed by the ankle as one frees itself from the disturbed soil. He falls, legs kicking, screaming for help. Pepper brazenly comes to his rescue. She kicks at the creature’s side trying to distract it from her friend. Anathema makes to run to the children, Newt close behind.

Aziraphale is about to intervene as well when Crowley takes him by the arm. “Crowley I did not agree to this.”

“It’s fine, angel,” he assures. “Oi! HANDMAID! GO FOR THE HEAD!” he calls out to the fearless girl.

Pepper raises her foot and brings it down hard on the zombie’s head. The monster bursts into an explosion of candy. Everyone stops looking around in confusion.

“What are you waiting for? Show those ghouls who’s boss!” Crowley yells to the stunned humans.

Adam is first on the charge. Dog biting into the nearest zombie’s ankle. Finding a flower pot, Adam smashes the monster over the head. Another explosion of candy falls to the lawn. The children are chasing down the staggering creatures littering the grass in buckets of candy. The adults looking on in amusement.

“That was very imaginative,” Aziraphale says, standing close to his husband’s side.

“What is Halloween without a bit of spooky fun.” Crowley grins very satisfied with himself. “Right. Ready to go?” he asks, pushing off the wall, offering his angel an elbow.

Taking his husband’s arm, they walk around the house, “Let me inform Anathema.”

Miracling their glasses washed and put away, Crowley calls out, “Witch we are leaving!”

“Thanks for coming guys.” Anathema waves her farewell.

“We had a delightful evening,” Aziraphale calls over his shoulder.

“So did we. Can you make zombies again next year Mr Crowley?” Adam asks scooping candy into his tardis bucket.

“Sure kid. Anytime you feel like bashing in a few zombie skulls in, I . Iyour demon.” Crowley shouts before climbing into the Bentley.

They pull away from Jasmine Cottage. Aziraphale cuddles into his husband’s side, “That was very sweet what you did for the children.”

“I am Apep. Had to cause a little chaos. Went with the costume.” Crowley says wrapping an arm around his angel.

“As you say.” Aziraphale giggles kissing his husband’s cheek.

Friday 1 November 2019
12:10 am
The Cottage

 

They walked into their home, Crowley tossing his keys into a bowl on a table near the garage door. Aziraphale began removing his earrings, walking towards the stairs. A hand wraps around his waist, and he is pulled into his husband’s arms. “Dearest?”

“Still interested in that challenge, dove?” he whispers into his angel's ear.

'Wiley serpent.' “If you are up to the challenge, my love.” Aziraphale presses into the embrace.

Crowley turns his angel, pinning Aziraphale to the wall, hands pulling up the dress to expose those enticing thighs. Mouths meet, tongues exploring, moans echoing each other’s need. Crowley’s hand is seeking higher when a knock calls out from the front door.

They both freeze, looking towards the sound. Crowley is moving his hands to his angel’s waist. “Go upstairs, dove,” he orders kissing his angel quickly before guiding him to the stairs. Another knock echoes through their silent home.

“Crowley I am not leaving you,” Aziraphale says, pulling away from his husband’s commanding hands.

He turns, grasping his angel's face. “Go upstairs. We don’t know who is on the other side of that door.” 'Please don't fucking argue.' Another knock.

“Which is all the more reason for me to stay,” Aziraphale says, marching for the door.

Crowley grabs Aziraphale by the hand pulling his headstrong angel back, “Just this once will you please do as I ask?” 'I can't watch you die.'

A harder, more insistent knock calls to them. 'No, I will not hide away from whatever is out there. We are in this together.' “I am staying,” he says firmly planting his feet.

“Urrruh! You are so damn stubborn at the worst times. Fine! I’m getting the door.” Crowley snaps, storming towards the incessant knocking.

“After you. Dearest.” huffs Aziraphale.

Crowley yanks open the door, “Whot the Hell do you want?”

Leslie smiles at the familiar faces, “Hello again. New place? I have a summons here for the both of you. Need your signatures.”

“A summons?” Aziraphale asks, peering around his husband.

“That’s what I am told,” Leslie says offering the clipboard and pen.

Crowley takes them, looking over the form, he signs quickly. Then hands it to his angel, who signs passing it back to the delivery man.

Handing over an envelope, he tips his hat, “You two have a lovely night.”

Closing the door, he opens the envelope. He quickly reads it then hands it over to his angel. “Seems we are summoned to Gabriel’s trial.”

Principality Aziraphale and Demon Crowley,

You are both herby summoned to the trial of the Archangel Gabriel. You are to testify to the events that transpired on the 11 October. Which resulted in the death of the Archangel Sandalphon, before the Council of Angels. You are expected tomorrow at noon. If you refuse, you are forfeiting your ability to testify to the allegations of the egregious acts the Archangel is so accused.

I expect your attendance,
G.

 

Crowley knows that look his angel is giving him. “We aren’t going.” He says, heading for the stairs.

Aziraphale follows, “Crowley God summoned us.”

Removing his jewellery, he continues to their bedroom, “It could be a trap. It’s probably Gabriel trying to finish the job.”

Aziraphale stomps after his husband, “Crowley I have faith in Her. We are going.”

He removes his collar, placing it and the rest of his gilding in their box. “I know, but I don’t have faith in them.”

Aziraphale stands next to his husband, resting a hand on his shoulder, “We have to go. This might be our one chance of being safe.”

“Or our second chance at destruction.” groans Crowley sitting on the edge of their nest.

Pulling up his dress, he climbs into Crowley’s lap, “She will protect us. I am sure of it.” he assures, wrapping his arms around his husband’s neck.

He holds his angel, fearing for what they might face come tomorrow. “I really hope I am wrong.”

Chapter Text

1 November 2019

The Cottage

1:42 am

 

That night neither of them could sleep. Crowley’s mind was busy tormenting him with the thousands of scenarios they might face. Aziraphale was focusing on their testimony, continually replaying the events of that terrible day over in his memory. Wondering just how much Heaven knew about their current situation. They were thankful Gabriel didn’t appear to know about their child. Hopefully, they could keep the rest in the dark. 

 

They had removed their costumes but couldn’t bring themselves to redress. Laying naked in their nest for what Crowley was fearing might be the last time. His husband cradled Aziraphale, back pressed flush against him, as close as they could manage. A long elegant hand is caressing the little swell of his abdomen. The other arm is supporting his head. Tender kisses pressed to his shoulder. 

 

‘It will be fine. No stressing. God blessed us. Gave us a child. Surely she wouldn’t recall me to Heaven to watch her blessing be destroyed. I’ve never seen a trial. Perhaps Crowley could tell me about mine. It might help at least to know what we are facing. Lessen my stress.’

 

‘Please, God, I can’t lose this. I have to know they are safe. Please don’t hurt them because you are angry with me. I want to see our child. Watch them grow up. I want to hear them call me Dad. See them sleeping in peace in my angel’s arms. See them happy. I want Aziraphale to be happy. I need them to be safe. Please don’t take this from me.’

 

“Dearest?” Aziraphale breaks through the uncomfortable silence of their home. 

 

“Yes, dove?” Crowley answers somberly, nuzzling into his angel’s downy platinum ringlets. 

 

“My trial. That day...what was it like?” he brought his own hand to rest on the one caressing his stomach. 

 

‘Fuck. I can’t tell you that. Not now of all times.’ “It was...can we talk about s’methin else, angel?” he asks, kissing his angel’s ear. 

 

Turning his head to look into his husband’s golden eyes, “I need to know. You told me you breathed Hellfire at Gabriel and Sandalphon, but nothing more.”

 

‘I hoped to keep it that way. It is only going to hurt you.’ “I did. Why ask about this now?” he groans.

 

“It might help if I knew exactly what we were facing.” 

 

“Yeah, don’t think it will be much help.”

 

“Why ever not? I’ve never seen a trial before. Only yours and that was a sham.”

 

‘At least they had the decency to pretend.’ “Wasn’t much too it.”

 

“Who was there? I know the general makeup of The Council. I never bothered to find out who was on it.”

 

“The Council wasn’t there.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Just Sandalphon, Gabriel the twat, and Uriel.”

 

“I wasn’t even afforded a formal trial. I know they disliked me, but to not get a formal hearing?” 'it doesn't make sense.'

 

“Please, let’s talk about something else. E’nything else.”

 

Aziraphale fully turns to look at his husband. 'You aren't telling me something.' Placing a hand on Crowley's bare chest, his blue eyes plead with his husband's stern serpent ones. “Crowley, this is important. I will need to know if it is brought up.”

 

'Why did God see fit to give you those eyes.' He turns on his back. Staring at the ceiling for a way out of their current line of conversation. “There isn’t much to tell.”

 

Frowning at the cool rebuttal, Aziraphale shoots off of the nest, coming up to straddle Crowley. Fixing his husband with an insistent glare. “There is something bothering you. What aren’t you telling me?”

 

'Please don't make me tell you. What they did to you wasn't right.' Again he can't meet his angel's stare. “Aziraphale I am begging you here. Drop it.” 

 

“No!" Grabbing his husband's face, he forces their eyes to meet. "Dearest, I need to know.”

 

“You didn’t have a trial!” Crowley shouts in frustration. “They dragged me up there, tied me to a chair. Called you a traitor. Then when I tried to plead your case, Gabriel told me to shut up and die already.” 'Fucking smug son of a bitch. I should have incinerated him that day.'

 

Aziraphale releases Crowley. It shouldn't hurt. He severed all ties with Heaven after the trial, but it does. “But that…” 'I didn't betray them. I loved you but never turned my back on God. I was only trying to protect Earth. Protect us. We were trying to stop Satan and his evil machinations. Where is the betrayal?' He felt the tears, felt his breath strangled in his throat.

 

'I didn't have to shout. Dammit. Don't cry over those fucks.' “See that is exactly why I didn’t want to discuss it.”

 

Hands wringing, he dissected his many conversations with Gabriel. “But I...I told them I was trying to stop the Apocalypse. They knew the whole time. I didn’t tell them I was working with you but…”

 

Crowley took his angel's fretting hands. “Dove, they didn’t even bring me up.”

 

 “I see." He says, hanging his head. 'It was never about you. Never. They didn't care whom I spent time with.' "It was all about their bloody war.” Aziraphale climbs off his husband. Crossing their bedroom, he hastily grabs his floral robe and pulls it on. 

 

'Shit. You were never supposed to know. Damn you, Gabriel. And Damn me all over again.' “Where are you going.” he asks his retreating angel, springing from their nest.

 

Grasping the French doors, he flings them open. The cold early morning breeze bursts into their bedroom. “I just need a bit of air.” he can't help the whimpers that escape him. Gripping the iron rail of their terrace, knuckles white, grieving all the times he worried over those who would see him dead.

 

Crowley approaches slowly. Hands caressing satin clad shoulders. “Dove?”

 

“I...I always tried." He sobs, breath causing white wisps in the light that spilled from their home. "I tried to do the right thing. In the end, I guess none of that mattered.” Warm, strong arms envelop him.

 

“Don’t judge yourself by Gabriel and his cronies actions.”

 

Leaning into his husband's comforting presence, he asks on a pained whisper. “Do you think She knew?”

 

“Perhaps. Perhaps that is why Agnes made that last prophecy. Maybe it was God’s way of warning us.” Crowley tries to reassure, though he scarcely believes it himself.

 

'She must have.' “I suppose you are right.”

 

“Come back inside. It’s cold out here. Can’t be good for the baby.”

 

Aziraphale turns, wiping away the tears that cooled on his cheek, giving his husband a pensive smile, “Oh, right. Silly me.”

 

“C'mere." His angel folds into his embrace. "You aren't silly. Just a bit fussy." This earns him a little giggle. He kisses those delicate curls. 

 

“I love you, Crowley.”

 

“I love you too, dove.”

 

When he looks up at his husband, six thousand years of love stares back at him. Golden eyes so full of tender affection they nearly lose all reptilian qualities. 'Your love is the only thing that matters. You are such a wonderful husband. I just know you will be an amazing father.' His gaze travels down to Crowley's mouth. 

 

Crowley feels it deep in his essence. A sorrowful yearning calling out to him. He holds his angel flush against his chest. One hand tangled in silk strands. The other pressed to the small of Aziraphale's lower back. At this moment he couldn't help but remember the first night they made love. How scared they both were. The need they both felt. "Can I kiss you, dove?"

 

The answer is a kiss. No hesitation, no restraint, all his love poured from Aziraphale as their lips met. 'I love you. No matter what comes tomorrow know that I love you.'

 

Crowley's hands slip to his angel's thighs lifting, wrapping Aziraphale's legs around his waist. He walks them back to the nest. Gently lowering his angel down.

 

"Make love to me, Crowley." He pleads on a whisper.

 

"Always, dove."

 

Crowley's effort is welcomed into Aziraphale's warmth in one gentle thrust. The moment of connection brings his angel renewed tears. He rests his weight on his elbows, hands cupping his angel's cheeks, thumbs wiping away each drop that fell from those haunting blue eyes. Aziraphale's hands clung to his wrists as he set an agonisingly slow pace.

 

There was no rush, no urgency to their union. The tenderness of his cherished husband made his heart ache. The weight of Crowley's arousal as it thrust slowly into his own soothed away his worries. It was just them, sharing themselves with the other. Kisses were soft, lips meeting, tongues tasting in languid caresses. Eyes never breaking contact.

 

The ache they shared slowly built. With each measured thrust, they climbed unhurriedly to the summit. Breaths gave way to panting gasps. Aziraphale’s entire body trembling as he refused to let this moment of intimacy end. Nails digging into his husband’s wrists as his body clenches around the sensuous heat of Crowley’s length. 

 

“I love you, dove.” he purrs, hips steady, unyielding.

 

“I l-love...you, C-Crowley.” Aziraphale keens. The pleasure scraping at his senses.

 

“Please don’t cry, dove.” the throbbing need for release forcing him to focus on composing his words. “I hate seeing you so sad.”

 

“It-it’s...oh God...n-not from...sadness.” he moans, spreading his legs wider, back arching as his husband fills him.

 

A deep groan escapes Crowley as he fights against the urge to tumble from the peak, “W-what is it then? D-do you w-want me to s-s...stop?”

 

“No...I just...l-love y-you s...so much...s-sometimes it’s...overwhel...ming.” he nearly comes undone. An anguished moan escapes him before he can regain control  “I...f-feel like...m-my heart...is is...unnha... cr-cracking op..open.”

 

“Let go, dove. I am r-right here.” his thrusts become more insistent. The steady waves of pleasure shift into barbs as Aziraphale's effort constricts. 

 

Aziraphale is sobbing, moaning, body rigid, trembling at his restraint, “I-I...oh...C-Crowley...I d-don’t want t-this to end.”

 

“I w-on’t le-let this end. I am yours,” he growls in determination. “They will not have you.” thrusting up purposely grazing that bundle of nerves over and over.  He drags them off their pinnacle.

 

The world falls away from them both. Aziraphale crying out his release in a sharp wail of euphoria. Crowley growling deep in his chest as he sheathes himself fully in his angel. Spilling in throbbing pulses, watching his angel gasping, writhing beneath him. 

 

They both cleave to each other for a long moment. The haze of ecstasy receding, but their need for closeness intensifies. Without either needing to speak a word, their essences slip free. The darkness enveloping the light, holding his family in a shroud of protection. Their little one singing of love and joy. Both parents’ song harmonising to their child’s. They remain in their united embrace until the sun announces the new day.  




11:45 am

London



Outside the London entrance to Head Office, they sit in the assumed safety of the Bentley. Aziraphale clutching his husband’s hand, staring at the revolving doors. Nobody is going in or out. Neither knows whether it is a good or ill omen. 

 

"I hoped never to see this place again" Aziraphale confesses. 

 

"We don't have to go. Its not just our life we are risking. It’s our child's as well." ‘Say the word, and we are gone.’

 

‘We are doing this for them. We can’t run forever. It has to be done.’ "I know. And that's precisely why we must. If there's even a chance, this will protect us from further aggression.” He tears his eyes away from the cursed building to look to his husband, eyes imploring. “Crowley, we must try."

 

“I don’t like this.” ‘I don’t want you walking into their fucking hands. They want you destroyed.’

 

“I know, dearest. I wish we had a better option.” ‘We are doing this for our child.’

 

“I can think of a million other things we could be doing instead of walking into certain death.” ‘God watch over my angel. Please protect my family if I am unable.’

 

‘I have faith. We have to believe in Her.’ He takes a composing breath. “Death is absolutely not certain. We can do your million things after we have testified and are safely on our way.” 

 

Crowley presses a bruising kiss to his angel’s knuckles, “If there is any sign of danger you run. Don’t argue. You run and don’t stop. Find Anathema or somewhere safe to hide.”

 

“And what of you?” Aziraphale demands.

 

“I will find you. No matter how I have to. I will find you.” he promises, eyes focused behind dark lenses.

 

“Promise me.” blue eyes plead with gold.

 

“I promise, dove,” he says, pulling his angel into a passionate kiss. ‘I will always find you.’ After a long moment, they separate. Crowley huffs his displeasure, “Right. Let’s get this over with.”

 

They exit the Bentley and walk to the main entrance hand in hand. Both vigilant for any sudden attack. At the door, Crowley stops them, surveying the scene beyond. The main lobby is deserted. They both enter through the door just to the right of the revolving ones. Floor rippling as they make their way to the escalators. Crowley stepping on first, should they meet a threat once at the top.

 

As they crested the height of the escalator, they were greeted by a warm, welcoming smile. Before them stood a beautiful angel. Honey blonde hair, gentle brown eyes, soft, pleasant features, dressed in the palest of pink suits. 

 

“Peace be with you Principality Aziraphale. And you Demon Crowley.” came their amiable voice.

 

“Peace be with you Chamuel,” Aziraphale greets. ‘If you are here. Perhaps we have nothing to fear.’

 

Chamuel bows to them, “The Council of Angels has asked me to see you to the chambers. If you would follow me.”

 

‘Is this some trick?’ “So? What are we in for? More Hellfire?” Crowley asks as Chamuel begins to lead them to their destination.

 

The Archangel chuckles at the demon’s accusation, “Hardly. No, our brother seems to be in a great deal of trouble. Going against God’s orders. Trying to cover it up with lies and deceit. Very unbecoming behaviour for one in his position.” They say turning the corner heading toward two massive white doors. Flanked on either side by two Powers, kitted in full battle armour, holding golden spears. 

 

“What do you mean?” Asks Aziraphale. 

 

Chamuel stops a few feet from the two glowing angels, “Seems he tried to blame everything on you and your bondmate, Principality. Though evidence was discovered that hints to the contrary. I will let The Council explain the details.” they say with a sweet smile.

 

“Thank you, Chamuel.” nods Aziraphale. ‘At least there is one pleasant angel still in Heaven.’

 

With a dramatic flourish of their hand, the doors open, “Go in peace kin.”

 

The chamber beyond the doors is pristine. There is a marble stand facing a semi-circle of angels, three each representing the nine hierarchies. They are seated in high gloss white benches. Positioned around the room are more battle-ready Powers. In the centre, behind his elevated desk is The Metatron. To the far left, shackled in gold chains sat Gabriel. All the malice in the universe burning in his violet eyes. 

 

“Hey, arsehole. Long-time no see. How’s your pal Sandalphon? Gold’s your colour.” quips Crowley to the unamused Archangel. Gabriel sets his jaw and looks away.

 

Aziraphale turns his head so only Crowley could hear, “Dearest, under any other circumstances I would not mind your wit. But we aren’t in any position to make a mockery of these proceedings.”

 

‘It’s expected of me. You can play nice if you want.’ “Hopefully I will never get another chance to say that,” he whispers into his angel’s ear.

 

‘Well, perhaps you are right.’

 

Aziraphale works to identify those among The Council he has met. The Archangels are easy, their lot like to make themselves known. Jeremiel elegant in a lemon cream ensemble, Raguel in a dusty-blue dress, complimenting their cobalt eyes, and Uriel looking grim as she ever did. Next to them are the Seraphim. These three were, in fact, as their name implied burning beings of immense power. Eyes shifting flames, clad in gleaming gold armour over white robes. Aziraphale couldn’t help but envision his husband seated with them. Firey red hair, golden eyes, fierce beauty personified. ‘Do you miss them? Would you want to be one of them again? What would that mean for us?’

 

The Cherubim had not chosen to attend in their more monstrous form. Like the Seraphim, he had no knowledge of them personally. He could only identify one Throne. Pahaliah they, along with the other two, chose a more human appearance. Though the thousand eyes were still evident. The Dominions he knew by name only Vasiariah, Hashmal, and Muriel. He had never had so much as a passing conversation with them. The Virtues and Powers he was wholly without knowledge. 

 

The three Principalities he did know. Mebahiah was a bit of a know-it-all, though well-meaning. Imamiah was a fitting addition given her desire to help those redeem themselves from their mistakes. Nanael was quiet but a very brilliant mind. He couldn’t call them friends, but they would be fair at least.

 

The lesser angels he knew nothing of as well. They tended to be far too busy to spend time chatting with anyone for too long. And compared to the upper ranks who counted few in number, they were millions strong.

 

The only individuals that gave him any real reason for concern were Uriel and The Metatron. Though the latter was never directly involved in his attempted execution. 

 

They approached the stand together. Two chairs were provided side by side. Their every movement scrutinised by their hosts. Crowley feigned indifference to the best of his demonic abilities. 

 

The Metatron spoke, “The Council of Angels recognises the Principality Aziraphale and The Demon Crowley. You have been summoned before this council by God the Almighty to testify in truth to the events that transpired at the Principality’s Earthly residence. On the eleventh of October of this year.”

 

Aziraphale held his husband’s hand firmly. ‘Thank you for always being at my side.’ “We are prepared to give our testimony.”

 

The Metatron nods his approval, “Please have a seat. The Council would like to acquaint you with the proceedings thus far.”

 

They both take the offered chairs. Crowley, as usual, reclining as if he was unconcerned with the twenty-five angels currently casting him disapproving glares. Though Aziraphale could tell by the tension in his hand, he was uncomfortable. ‘I will make this up to you.’

 

The Metatron continues, “This Council and subsequently, The Host at large was informed that God has placed your persons under Her divine protection. The accused asked for the honour of notifying you of the holy mandate. Upon returning from his duties, the accused informed the Archangel Michael of the death of the Archangel Sandalphon. The accused stated that he and the Archangel Sandalphon were set upon by the two of you. He claimed the Principality caused the utter destruction of the latter. God ordered a formal investigation into the matter. This is the evidence The Council uncovered. Please direct your attention to the screen.”

 

A transparent crystalline panel descended from the ceiling. The room dimmed from blinding white to something more normal by Earthly standards. 

 

The screen blinks to life. Aziraphale and Crowley look to one another, realising it is an aerial view of the front of the bookshop. 

 

The video begins: Crowley leaves the bookshop and enters the Bentley. Time speeds up. The feed resumes after fifteen minutes have passed. Gabriel and Sandalphon approach and enter the bookshop. Moments later, Crowley materialises on the steps. He tries to open the door but is unsuccessful. 

 

He begins pounding on the window furiously. He screams, “YOU FUCKING BASTARDS! LEAVE MY ANGEL ALONE!” He tries punching through the window, leaving bloody prints on the glass. He steps back and tries to freeze time. The world around him stops. He is suddenly at the window again. 

 

“GABRIEL TAKE ME! IF YOU WANT BLOOD I’M HERE! I WON’T EVEN FIGHT BACK!” Crowley punches the window. 

 

He suddenly goes still. Crowley steps back onto the sidewalk. He holds his arms towards the bookshop. Six fiery wings erupt from his back. Flaming tendrils bleed into the shop front. The light is bright, nearly obscuring the camera’s view. Crowley lets out a furious roar and pulls his hands wide. The bookshop’s front explodes. Splinters of wood and shards of glass rained down around him. The wings are gone in the same instant. 

 

He walks into the destroyed shop front as a bright orange light erupts from the interior, entirely obscuring the screen. When the light fades, Crowley shouts “AZIRAPHALE!” staggering into the bookshop. The camera sees him fall to his knees before Aziraphale. 

 

The screen goes blank, and the panel returns to its place. Turning to his husband, he clasps Crowley’s hand between both of his own. The tears are there, though he refuses to let them fall before The Council. ‘You tried to sacrifice yourself for us. I can not bear the thought. You and I will talk about this once this is all over.’

 

Crowley sees the glistening of unshed tears in his angel’s eyes. ‘Don’t look at me like that. I know I am going to get an ear full.’

 

The Metatron calls to Crowley, “As you are the main focus of the evidence at hand The Council would like to hear your testimony first Demon Crowley.”

 

“Yea’s.” Crowley looks to their hands. Giving one last squeeze, he stands before The Council. Hands are pushed firmly into his pockets. “Alright, what would you have me say?” he asks with every ounce of the cavalier persona he has cultivated over 6,000 years. 

 

“The truth. If a Fallen is even capable of such a thing.” barks Uriel. Her disdain for a demon’s presence clearly on display.

 

‘Yes, you miserable fuck. Let’s see just how much you like the truth.’  “Oh, the truth is it? And where would The Council like me to begin?” he asks, mockingly bowing before them. “I could start with the day Gabriel, Sandalphon and Uriel there abducted my angel?” he says in a haughty questioning grimace, “Dragged Aziraphale right up here and tried to destroy the one decent angel among you.” Chatter broke out amongst the council members. 

 

The Metatron gave Uriel a considered look before answering, “If you would like you may begin there. The Council has uncovered the unsanctioned attempt on the Principality Aziraphale’s life. We were going to ask them to testify. If you would like to share your knowledge of the events you are welcome to. We understand Gabriel gave the orders himself.”

 

“Oh, unsanctioned? Well, the accused as you call him, set his dogs loose on us at the park. Uriel and Sandalphon took Aziraphale and brought him up here. They tied him to a chair. They were going to allow the demon who brought the Hellfire to attack him while he was restrained. Then without so much as the false trial I got, ordered him to step into the Hellfire.”

 

“You were witness to this?” asked one of the Powers. 

 

‘Shit. They can’t know.’ “No, I was in Hell taking a holy bath.”

 

“You can not testify to events you did not witness.” Uriel snarls. 

 

Crowley locks his gaze with Uriel, “Then ask Aziraphale.” 

 

Aziraphale stands, “Every word is true.”

 

“Is it your testimony that a member of The Council willingly took part in your attempted destruction?” inquires The Metatron.

 

“Yes,” Aziraphale says proudly. Hearing Gabriel’s chains shift, he refuses to look at his former superior.

 

The Metatron stands and waves over the two Powers at the right of the chamber. “Uriel you are relieved of your duties to this council. You will be remanded pending further investigation.”

 

The two Powers move to either side of the Archangel. Uriel rises and is escorted from the room, pausing only momentarily to glare at the pair. Crowley sneers at her in roguish delight. ‘Not so much fun being on the other end of things, is it?’



The sound of a spear shaft striking the floor calls everyone back to attention. The Metatron speaks, “We call the Archangel Chamuel to assume the vacant seat on this council.”

 

Walking into the room, Chamuel gives them both a sweet smile. “It is an honour to serve on The Council.” They take their position amongst the others. Something tells Aziraphale that they were expecting this turn of events all along.

 

Once the chamber comes back to order The Metatron gestures with a wave of his hand, “Demon Crowley if you will please continue.”

 

‘Maybe this isn’t just a farce.’ “Gladly.” he addresses the flock of angels once more, “I went out to pick up a few items at a nearby market. Figured I wouldn’t be gone more than thirty minutes. I felt…” glancing back at Aziraphale, he considers. “I felt like I should get back to the bookshop.”

 

“Felt?” asks one of the Cherubim. 

 

‘Maybe I shouldn’t tell them this part. Not sure what they could do with it. I’ll blame it on the bonding.’ “I can sense Aziraphale’s emotions.”

 

“You are able to sense how the Principality feels?” Questions another Principality. There is worry in their expression.

 

‘No it doesn’t extend to just any Principality.’ “Yes. Alright. Do you want me to continue?” he groans indignantly.

 

Chamuel raises a hand, “One last question on the matter. What did you perceive the Principality was feeling?”

 

‘Something I hope to never sense again.’ “Terror.”

 

“So that’s when you returned to the bookshop?” inquires a Throne.

 

“Yes. Tried miracling right inside but couldn’t. Ended up on the steps.” the memory settled in his stomach like a cold stone. Looking at the polished white floors, he can’t meet the eyes studying him. 

 

“What did you see upon returning to the shop?” asked Chamuel sweetly.

 

‘That fucker over there. I wanted to kill him.’ “Gabriel and Sandalphon were inside. The doors were locked, and I couldn’t get in. I tried breaking the glass, but that prick did something to prevent me from entering.” Crowley’s jaw was clenching and unclenching. ‘I almost lost you. I can’t keep failing you like this. You and our child will be safe.’

 

Aziraphale knew he was growing increasingly agitated. Slipping a hand into the top of his husband’s pocket, he encouraged Crowley to take it. He did, entwining their fingers. A fleeting genuine smile was flashed across his beautiful features. ‘I love you. I am here.’ Aziraphale smiles back.

 

A Seraph questions him next, “You offered yourself in exchange for the Principality. Why?”

 

“Love. I have loved Aziraphale from the moment we met. Not that you lot would understand such things. " he says almost to himself, but the acoustics in the room make it so everyone can hear. "I saw Sandalphon with a flaming sword. Aziraphale saw me and...I knew they meant to… to...kill my angel.”  The words had to be forced out. His hand tightened on Aziraphale’s. ‘I was too weak to protect you.’

 

“We saw you freeze the humans. Why would you need to freeze them?” questions a Power.

 

“Wasn’t the humans I froze.” Crowley groans.

 

“What was it then?” asks Chamuel.

 

‘Fuck it. You want the truth.’ “Time. I tried to buy Aziraphale time to escape. It didn’t work.”

 

“Time? You expect The Council to believe a rankless demon can control time?” a Throne all but shouts this question. 

 

‘Kiss my arse you wagon wheel with eyeballs.’ “I wasn’t always a demon.” He points to the Seraphim in attendance. “They know me.”

 

One of the Seraphim stands, “I am afraid you are mistaken demon. We have no knowledge of you.”

 

‘Hello to you too, Jehoel.’ “Not as I am now. But you did once.” He removes his sunglasses.

 

“No. You can’t be.” another Seraph gasps.

 

‘Seraphiel. Somehow knew you would be mixed up in all this.’ “I am quite a lot of things these days. Try me.”

 

“Samael?” asks Seraphiel.

 

“Oh, so you do remember. Here I was beginning to believe you all didn’t care,” he says with a mocking pout.

 

The Metatron booms his command, “This council will come to order. Demon Crowley former Seraph Samael you were telling The Council you froze time.”

 

‘Enough of the family reunion.’ “Yes, but it didn’t affect anything on the inside of the shop.”

 

“Then?” asks Jehoel.

 

‘Then, I lost it. Wanted to tear apart the world to get to my angel, my family. Wanted to destroy that pile of shit you have fettered in gold.’ “Then I saw Sandalphon moving towards Aziraphale. It...I...I did what you saw on the video.”

 

“What did you do?” asks a Cherubim. 

 

‘Something I wasn’t sure I could anymore.’ “I reached into the fabric of existence, down to the atoms and ripped them apart. Gabriel couldn’t control what no longer existed.” He shrugs.

 

“You materialise the wings of a Seraph?” The Archangel Raguel asks cooly.

 

‘Just as surprised as you were.’ “Didn’t know about that until just now.” Chatter once again broke out through the council members.

 

“You attempted to enter the bookshop?” asks a Throne.

 

“Yeah got knocked on my arse,” Crowley smirks. ‘Thanks kiddo.’

 

“What caused that light?” inquires Chamuel.

 

‘Nope. That you won’t get out of me.’ “Um...not sure. Some orangey sigil circle thing or some such. Figured it was divine intervention.”

 

“From God?” asks a lesser angel with a hopeful smile.

 

“What my guess was.” ‘S’not a lie really.’

 

“What happened after you went into the shop?” inquires Chamuel.

 

“I made sure Aziraphale was all right. Gabriel was on the floor, and O'l Sandalphon was a pile of ash. Gabriel disappeared.” he cut the chained archangel a murderous glare. ‘I would love to see you join your potato.’ In return, Gabriel rolled his purple eyes in revulsion.

 

The Metatron spoke. “Thank you, Demon Crowley, for your testimony. We appreciate the risk you took coming here today.” 

 

He sits, legs crossed resting on the rail of the stand. “Well when the Missus commands I must obey.” he winks at Aziraphale. Who gives his feet a disapproving look. ‘C’mon they don’t expect much from me.’

 

“Principality Aziraphale you are called to the stand.” commands The Metatron.

 

“Yes,” Aziraphale says hands stopped from smoothing down his clothing. They had intentionally selected a loose-fitting dress that concealed the minuscule bump. The cardigan's oversized shape also helped.

 

“You alone, beyond the deceased, and the accused know the exact events that transpired within your bookshop.” The Metatron informs.

 

'God, preserve me.' “Yes.” he smiles, nervously, “I was upstairs waiting for Crowley to return home. I heard the bell above the shop door and thought it was my husband returning.”

 

“Husband?” asks Muriel in puzzlement.

 

‘Yes. Husband. Seriously it is not that difficult to comprehend.’ “Ah, well. We are not only bonded, but we also practise the human custom of matrimony.” he beams holding up his hand. The little black serpent's scales glittered in the harsh light.

 

“How is it an angel and demon came to be bonded? It isn’t even done anymore.” grumbles the boisterous Throne from before.

 

‘It is now.’ “Well, you will have to ask God. I love my husband very much, and the bonding happened, well...naturally. I’d rather not go into detail. It is a private matter, after all.” Aziraphale says as if scolding a group of naughty children who asked an impertinent question.

 

“You are not here to testify to your private endeavours. And council members will refrain from further questioning on the pair’s relationship.” orders The Metatron.

 

“As I was saying.” Aziraphale slips back on his friendly demeanour. “I thought my husband had returned. When I went to greet him, I saw Gabriel and Sandalphon. Gabriel ordered me to return to Heaven. To which I refused.”

 

“Ordered? Please be specific. What did the accused say?” Raguel asks eyes quickly, glancing at Gabriel.

 

‘Oh, let me tell you.’ “He commented on the change in my corporation. He told me I was to return to Heaven, make a formal confession. Repent my treason as he calls it. He said he believed my husband tempted me away from my duties. Which he did not.”

 

“You are certain of this?” scoffs the annoying Throne.

 

‘I have had quite enough out of you.’ “Certain my husband never tempted me? Yes. More certain than I am of anything. I trust Crowley more than I do that this council will deliver justice.” Aziraphale says meeting the Throne’s many eyes.

 

“Bold words,” Archangel Raguel smirks.

 

“You asked for the truth did you not?” he says, cutting the Throne another silencing look.

 

“Please continue Principality.” The Metatron groans.

 

‘Where was I. Ah, yes.’ “Gabriel threatened me. He said that though the Hellfire didn’t work, they had other ways of dealing with traitors. I told them to leave. I informed him I would not renounce my husband under any circumstances.” He pulled a piece of paper from his cardigan pocket, “I showed him this letter.” He presents it to The Council.

 

A Power walks over and delivers the letter to The Metatron. Looking over the words quickly, he passes it back. “We are aware that you have God’s sanction for your bonding.” The Power returns the letter to Aziraphale.

 

“Gabriel said it was a forgery. Though, now I believe that was to incite a confrontation of some sort. I demanded Gabriel and Sandalphon leave. That’s when I saw my husband had returned. Gabriel ordered Sandalphon to attack me. Which as you can imagine was quite alarming. He told me I would be forced to return to Heaven by being discorporated if I did not go willingly that I would be forced to renounce my husband and brought back into the fold. Whatever that was supposed to mean.” He felt a gentle caress at his elbow. ‘I love you too, dearest. And I do not blame you.’

 

“Forced? Under what means did he intend to force you to renounce your bondmate?” Archangel Raguel asks, shifting forward in her chair.

 

‘Probably making me listen to The Sound of Music on repeat.’ “I can not say. Though he did say, eternity was a very long time. I imagine I would at the least be kept here against my will until I was compliant with his demands.”

 

“Please, what happened after Gabriel threatened you with discorporation?” Archangel Chamuel asks sweetly.

 

“Sandalphon advanced with a flaming sword. Overkill if you ask me. Then Crowley destroyed the front of my bookshop.” he turns to his husband, “Which I am not cross about, dearest.” returning to The Council he continues. “Gabriel ordered Sandalphon to strike before Crowley could reach us. He was bringing his sword down. There was a sudden light and Sandalphon was destroyed.” 

 

“Did you destroy the Archangel Sandalphon?” asks the Principality Nanael.

 

“No. I am not powerful enough for all that.” Aziraphale admits with a nervous smile. 

 

“What or who destroyed Sandalphon?” barks the bothersome Throne.

 

‘What do I say?’ “I...it was…” ‘If they find out about our baby? We have God’s protection. Surely that extends to our child.’

 

“Please tell The Council the truth. Whomever it was, was acting in your defence. They will not be prosecuted for intervening on your behalf.” The Metatron commands.

 

Aziraphale looks to Crowley. ‘I have to.' His eyes conveying his regrets.

 

Crowley instantly sits up, taking his angel’s hand. He shakes his head, eyes screaming, ‘Don’t do this. You will endanger them.’

 

‘I am sorry, my love.’ Aziraphale squeezes his hand. ‘It will be all right. I have faith.’

 

Turning back to The Council, he brings a hand to rest on his belly, “It was our child.” an audible gasp echoes through the chamber.

 

“YOUR WHAT?” Shouts the Throne standing aghast at the implications.

 

‘Why must you be here?’ “Our child protected us,” Aziraphale says louder for the obnoxious Throne. “They destroyed Sandalphon out of self-preservation. If I was discorporated, our child might not have survived.”

 

“Angels do not have offspring.” the obtuse Throne challenges.

 

“This one does.” Aziraphale says with pride, “Eleven weeks and four days into the pregnancy to be exact. I assure you it was a shock to us as well. God came to me in a dream and informed me Herself. She has named our baby Etzbael.”

 

There is a malicious chuckle from the side of the chamber. Everyone is silent, looking to the origin. “You fucking demon loving whore. That abomination should be ripped from you and cast into the abyss.” Gabriel says in disgust.

 

A dark desire floods Crowley’s mind, “What the fuck did you say?”

 

“I said, demon.” Purple eyes glaring at gold. “That thing inside that disgrace who dares call itself an angel should be destroyed. Along with the host.”

 

Crowley rushes from the stand towards the chained Archangel. The chamber erupts in chaos, several of the Council members call for Crowley’s imprisonment. Several more call for Gabriel to be removed for his taunting outburst. The three Seraphim and the guarding Powers stop him. He growls low in his chest. The primal urge to tear into the offending Archangel has his serpent eyes fully on display. 

 

“He will be punished Samael. Don’t let him provoke you.” Seraphiel begs so only he can hear.

 

“What the fuck do you care Seraphiel?” growls Crowley pacing his frustration.

 

“You were my brother once. You have a bondmate that doesn’t need to see their husband destroyed because he can’t control his anger.” her words are gentle and low.

 

Crowley glares at her. ‘Since when are you the voice of reason?’ “Fine.” he begrudgingly returns to his seat. The Council is still in an uproar.  

 

Aziraphale grasps his husband’s arm, “Please calm down. It was only idle words from a creature in chains. He has no power here.” 

 

The Seraphim return to their seats. Encircled around Gabriel, the guarding Powers are an imposing barrier to any further attempts on the Archangel’s person. The Metatron shouts over the chorus of angry voices all arguing their points, “I will have order in these chambers. Those who disrupt that order will be removed or returned to their cell.” The Council falls silent.

 

“I CONFESS!” shouts Gabriel from his seat behind the wall of Powers.

 

“The accused wishes to make a formal confession?” asks The Metatron.

 

“Yes,” he says standing. “I confess that I tried to destroy Aziraphale. I knew the little idiot was trying to avert the Apocolypse. The only reason I allowed him to try was because he is such a failure at being an angel; there was no way he was going to succeed.” 

 

Aziraphale faces his former superior square on. Crowley grips the railing the marble cracking in his grasp.

 

Pointing a finger in Aziraphale’s direction, Gabriel continues. “He took away our chance at settling things with Hell. He took away my chance at a glorious victory. He sided with the opposition. He’s carrying a Hellspawn for fuck’s sake. Do any of you see how insane this all is? He deserves destruction. And if God expects me to turn a blind eye and allow this perversion to exist than I no longer wish to serve God.”

 

Yet again The Council almost unanimously draws a startled breath. “You are asking to Fall?” questions Raguel.

 

Gabriel laughs at his fellow Archangel’s query, “I am asking to be free of this madness.”

 

“Archangel Gabriel if you do not serve God then you will be cast out. Is that what you are requesting as the punishment for your crimes?” inquires The Metatron with a grave expression. 

 

“I welcome it,” smirks Gabriel.

 

The Metatron nods, “What says The Council? The accused confesses to his crimes. His actions resulted in the death of the Archangel Sandalphon. He has renounced his allegiance to God the Almighty. He requests to be cast out of Heaven and damned for all eternity. All those in agreement say aye.”

 

All angels in attendance from the lowest to the most high all shout their agreement. “Aye.”

 

“Didn’t see that one coming,” Crowley says, leaning into his angel’s ear.

 

“Nor did I,” admits Aziraphale.

 

The Metatron stands, “Gabriel, you are at this moment stripped of your rank and all powers accompanying such title. You are reduced to that of a first sphere angel. You are henceforth banished from both Heaven and Earth for all eternity.  Damned to the pits of Hell as so requested. Any final words.”

 

The Council all turn in attention. Gabriel sneers “All Hail Satan.”

 

Beneath the former Archangel the floor cracks. The Powers retire to a safe distance. Fire licks at the pale grey hem of his trousers. As the chasm expands a polished shoe slips into the flames. A chard blistered arm reaches up and takes hold of Gabriel’s leg. He tries to shake free, but another hand grasps his other leg, then another. Soon Gabriel is screaming as the arms pull him off balance. He hits the floor in a loud thud. The Council watches in horror as the once formidable Archangel is dragged to Hell. He is crying out as he plummets to the brimstone below.

 

“Enjoy the Fall,” Crowley smirks as the fissure closes.

 

The chamber is deathly silent. The Metatron turns to the pair. Addressing the Council in an imperious voice, "Under God's Divine writ no angel is to interfere, threaten, or in any manner cause harm or even inconvenience the Principality Aziraphale or their bondmate Crowley. To do so will result in immediate imprisonment, possible banishment to Hell, or depending on the gravity of the offence, destruction. All in attendance are required to make your peers and subordinates aware that the Principality Aziraphale and the Demon Crowley are under God's personal protection. As well as any offspring they might have now or in the future." The Council all nod their acquiescence. “The Council is adjourned.”

 

As everyone makes to leave a sudden weight falls over the chamber. The Council members all stop and bow. Crowley and Aziraphale turn to see God in divine radiance standing in the doorway. "My Lord." Aziraphale bows hurridly. Crowley averts his eyes, sliding his sunglasses back into place. He can not look at Her out of shame. 

 

God approaches her favoured children, "Principality Aziraphale. My blessed Aziraphale." God kneels before him kissing his stomach. "Grow strong little one." She coos to their baby. Rising again She addresses  the mother to be, "I would ask you Aziraphale how would you like to fill a vacant position as Archangel?"

 

"My Lord?" Aziraphale gapes at the offer. 

 

"It would afford you more autonomy. You would report only to me. And you would be my paramount Earthly representative." She informs, laying a comforting hand on his shoulder. 

 

"It is an honour, my Lord. But…" ‘My family. My husband. I can not stay in Heaven. I will not be separated from Crowley.’ "But...I...I will remain with my husband. Whatever that means." 

 

An elegant eyebrow is raised, "Who said anything about you leaving your husband? No Aziraphale you will remain on Earth. With your husband and child. I will rarely impose upon you. It’s just a long-overdue promotion." Her smile is warm and earnest. 

 

‘An Archangel? I never dreamed.’ "In that case. I would be honoured, my Lord."

 

"Good." She says giving Aziraphale a firm pat. Her attention turns to Crowley, "Hello, Samael."

 

‘No. Don't call me that. I do not deserve your kindness. Please don’t look at me like this.’ "I am no longer that angel."

 

She steps closer to Her former Seraph, laying a motherly hand on his face. Crowley presses that hand firmly to him. His breath ragged, fighting back tears. Shutting his eyes tightly, he clings to the touch he has yearned for since that day. “My son. I still love you.”

 

‘Why? Why love me and cast me out?’ “But you can not forgive me.”

 

“Have you found one that would repent?” She asks gently.

 

“No, Mother.” He finally does look at Her. “I tried.”

 

“I know My son. But you must try again. You will know when the moment is right.” She says brushing a thumb over a sharp cheekbone. Crowley nods and forces himself to pull away from Her tender affection. “Metatron inform the others of Archangel Aziraphale’s promotion.”

 

“Yes, my Lord.” The Metatron bows.

 

“I will be in touch.” She says, smiling at the pair before turning from the room.

 

They watch as She glides down the hall and out of sight. Crowley star in agony as she disappears. Taking his husband's hand, Aziraphale whispers, "Come my love. Let's go home."

 

2:00 pm

 

Once they are outside seated in the Bentley, Aziraphale turns to his husband, “Well, that all worked out for the best.”

 

Crowley puts the keys in the ignition and the old car roars to life. "There'll be no living with you after this," he grumbles.

 

‘No living with me? What have I done?’ "Aren't you pleased, dearest?"  

 

‘That we aren’t dead, yes. That Gabriel is free to roam Hell no.’ “You shouldn’t have told them about our baby.” he says, pulling into the flow of traffic. 

 

‘I know we agreed to not speak of them.’ “They would have found out eventually.” ‘Please don’t be angry with me. I did what I thought was best.’

 

“Yes, but now Gabriel knows.” ‘He knows, and he is in Hell. I am sure he is running his fucking mouth to anyone who will listen. How long before we have them busting down our door?’

 

‘Gabriel?’ “He is banished.” 

 

‘Banished. Heaven may be in check for now, but he is still a threat.’ "Doesn't stop him from coming after us. He's Fallen now."

 

‘You are overreacting. He is diminished and cast out.’ "He can not set foot on Heaven or Earth. What can he do?" Aziraphale shifts uncomfortably in his seat. 

 

"Send others," he says, face stern as he grips the steering wheel. ‘Sure Hastur is chomping at his maggoty bit to settle the score.’

 

Aziraphale tsks, "Whom would he send. Gabriel has no friends below."

 

‘It’s not some discreet gentlemen’s club, angel.’ "Nobody has friends below. But we have plenty of enemies," he says in exasperation. 

 

“I know that.” Aziraphale pouts, “And I am aware that was difficult for you up there.”

 

‘Oh, no, it was great. Wanted to shove my snakeskin boot right up that wanker’s ass.’ “You could say that.” he groans.

 

‘Perhaps this isn’t the right time. You already seem so angry. No, best, get all the unpleasantness over with before we return home.’ Placing a tender hand on his husband’s thigh, he turns to face him,  "Crowley about the video."

 

‘Yea I would like to know about that as well.’ "I don't know e’nythin bout the wings. Didn't even know that a’ppened." he says focused on the road. 

 

"Yes, I was going to discuss that as well, but what you said to Gabriel. That day." ‘I couldn’t hear any of that. He must have blocked sound as well.’

 

"Oh. Yeah...that bit." ‘Shit knew I was going to hear about that.’

 

"Yes, that bit.” Aziraphale scolds. “Crowley I know we've discussed it already, but you can not sacrifice yourself for me."

 

"I'm not agreeing to that." he glares at his angel.

 

"Crowley, listen to me.” shifting closer, he rests his head on his husband’s shoulder. “I value your life. I will not have you throwing it away on my account." 

 

"It’s my job," he grumbles.

 

"Your job?" Aziraphale sits up blue eyes studying his husband. ‘How is dying your job?’

 

"My job is to protect you and our child. And I mean to do that job, no matter the cost.” Crowley sets his jaw. ‘What was it you said to me?’ “What would you do if our roles were reversed?"

 

‘Fine. You are right. If I were in your position, I would feel the same.’ "Crowley, please. I don't wish to quarrel. Just promise me you will not throw yourself needlessly into harm's way." ‘Give me that at least.’

 

‘Protecting you isn’t needless.’ "Needlessly. Yeah got it."

 

‘I know what you just agreed to.’ "I love you." Aziraphale rests his head against his husband’s shoulder in momentary defeat.

 

"Love you too." Crowley kisses his angel’s forehead.

 

“Are you angry with me?” ‘You seem angry. I am sorry, my love. I know I can be difficult.’

 

“No, dove.” he sighs, wrapping an arm around his angel. “I am not angry. Just worried is all.” ‘We need a plan.’

 

A spark of his own mischief strikes. Aziraphale kisses his husband’s strong jaw. “Perhaps you just need a distraction?”

 

“Distraction?” the tone in his angel’s voice let him know they weren’t talking about a round of chess. ‘Seriously, after all that?’

 

“Well, we were interrupted last night as I recall. And…” A hand finds his husband’s effort, as he kisses the side of Crowley’s mouth. “I seem to remember something about a challenge you agreed to.” Aziraphale sits back with a provocative smile.

 

‘Wicked, deliciously devious angel.’ “I believe I did, dove.” His effort already responding to his angel’s delicate touch. 

 

“When we get home, I would very much like to commence with that challenge,” Aziraphale announces straightening his dress.

 

‘I have to focus on the road, but you don’t.’ “How about we start now?” he asks, looking over his enticing angel sitting primly beside him. 

 

“What did you have in mind?” inquires Aziraphale grinning out the window. 

 

“Well…”Crowley brings up his fingers and snaps. Without looking over at his angel, he retrieves his phone from his pocket.

 

Aziraphale is caught by surprise. Something is nestled inside of him. Cutting his husband a curious look, he asks, “Crowley what on Earth did…” Crowley slides a finger across the screen of his phone. Instantly the object comes to life. With a startled twitch he gasps, “OH!...oh my...what in...Crowley dearest…” he presses his legs closed. The little object sending pleasurable vibrations into the little bundle of nerves. 

 

He knows the answer. The sudden pulsing waves tell him everything he needs to know, but he asks anyway. “Feels good, dove?”

 

“What is it?” he asks, shifting. ‘It’s pleasing but not enough.’

 

Crowley sees his angel’s face trying to puzzle out what is going on, “Little human invention I figured we could try out.” With a flick of his finger, his angel nearly lurches off the seat. “Do you like it, dove?”

 

The vibration intensified almost immediately. He feels his whole body respond. The sensation tantalising, slowly the pooling pleasure swells within him.   “Crowley...mmmye...yes.” he sighs on a moan.

 

“More, dove?” he purrs. Part of him wants to pull the Bentley over and take in this beautiful feast for his eyes alone. The other wants to push the old girl to her limits to get them home faster. 

 

“Please.” Aziraphale keens hand clutching the fabric of his dress near the throbbing need. 

 

Crowley swipes his phone again and Aziraphale curls into his side, face buried in his shoulder. The gasping breaths on his neck make his own effort painfully hard in his leathers. ‘That’s right, dove. God, the sounds you make.’ “You alright, dove?” he purrs. The overwhelming barbs of pleasure already answering for his angel. Little whimpers and the nod in response is merely cursory. A desperate trembling hand pulls his face towards his angel. 

 

“K-kiss me. P-please kiss me.” Aziraphale begs as the muscles in his body begin to tense. Blue eyes painfully lost to pleasure, staring up at his husband. Crowley momentarily obliges his angel. Mouths meet, tongues seeking, Aziraphale’s moans breathed between them. 

 

Crowley has to pull away suddenly to return his focus to the road. His angel whimpers, kissing his neck in consolation. He feels Aziraphale’s teeth graze against his pulse. “Go ahead, dove.” There is one last sensuous slide of tongue before teeth bare down. It’s all the restrain Crowley has not to take his angel then and there. Groaning, he feels the sudden burst of his angel’s release crash into him.

 

Aziraphale comes undone, convulsing against Crowley’s side. Hand grasping at his husband’s lapel, moaning into the wool of his coat. The little machine’s vibration slowly recedes. Clinging to Crowley, he slowly composes himself.

 

“I’ll take that as you enjoyed it, dove?” Crowley asks slyly kissing the crown of his angel’s head.

 

“Very much, my love.” he snuggles closer. ‘That was exhilarating.’

 

‘Oh, I’m not done with you.’ “How about another?” he swipes his thumb sending the little contraption into full gear. 

 

Aziraphale gasps, nearly curling in on himself. His effort already sensitive from his recent climax he finds himself trembling all over again. A hand cups his breast, but through the thickness of the dress, it is not nearly what he needs. ‘I want to be home in your arms. Damn this dress.’ “Crowley I…”

 

Crowley sees the agonised look on his angel’s face. “What is it, dove? What do you need?” They are on the A3 driving at breakneck speed. 

 

“Crowley I can...This dress…” Aziraphale whimpers, brows furrowed in frustration. 

 

“Just take it off, dove.” Crowley offers, sliding his hand up his angel’s inner thigh. 

 

“S-someone... will see.” he breathes as he feels his husband’s fingers push his panties aside. Finding the little bud between his folds, Crowley begins to press in circling motions. Aziraphale's own hand cover’s his husband’s as he spreads his legs to allow more access. 

 

Crowley releases the steering wheel momentarily to tap the roof of the Bentley. Windows suddenly darken obscuring any chance of another motorist peering in. “Now they won’t.”

 

“But..” Aziraphale pushes into his husband’s caress.

 

He pulls his hand away, “Dove, we live in the middle of nowhere. I’m going to park in our garage. N’body besides me is going to see e’nything.” 

 

In desperation, Aziraphale hastily pulls the dress over his head. Bra unclasped and tossed aside freeing is breasts. He takes a nipple between his fingers, rolling, kneading at the flesh. Crowley’s hand is instantly back on him. Worrying the little bud with renewed insistence. The small machine urging him to his peak with intense vibrations inside him. His head fell to the seat, back arching as another orgasm tears through his corporation. Moaning his husband’s name as he convulses through each aftershock. 

 

Crowley removes his hand, finding his phone he turns the toy down. “I think we are going to have to keep this around, dove.” he grins, pulling his nearly nude angel into him once more.

 

‘It’s fun but not the same.’ Aziraphale’s hand slips to his husband's hard arousal, “Crowley, I need you.”

 

‘Fuck.’ “Got to keep my eyes on the road, dove.” a swipe of his thumb and the contraption begins vibrating in revving pulses. “Just relax. We’ll be home in oh...about an hour,” he smirks. ‘Wonder if you can keep this up that long?’

 

Aziraphale’s effort clutches around the little gadget. ‘I am not going to be alone this time.’ “Two can play this game dearest.” Focusing on unfastening the snakehead belt, he bites his bottom lip. 

 

“What are you doing?” he asks in surprise as the button of his pants is undone, and the zipper slides down. 

 

Aziraphale says nothing as he frees his husband’s effort from their leather confines. In one confident manoeuvre, he takes him entirely into his mouth. Tongue pressing against the shaft as he works Crowley’s arousal in long sucking motions. Rising up he takes the length in hand, stroking in firm twisting pumps of his wrist. Tongue flicking against the velvety head.

 

It is all Crowley can do to keep the Bentley on course. His effort disappears once more into the hot depths of his angel’s throat. Head bobbing, tongue pressing, mouth providing suction. He fumbles for his phone and turns the toy up to its full strength. The moan that escapes his angel is hummed into his throbbing arousal. It’s his turn to gasp, hips aching to thrust up. His free hand grasping platinum curls. Teeth gritting as his own release nears. A strangled groan escapes him as his angel forces him in, to the hilt. 

 

No need to breathe Aziraphale pulses only slightly, forcing Crowley as deep in his throat as possible. Moaning as his own climax nears once more. He draws up the full length before pressing back down. His husband groaning his name each time he takes his arousal in completely. 

 

Aziraphale can stave off his own orgasm no longer. Sheathing Crowley one last time his moaning ecstasy is carried into his husband's effort. Moments later with a deep growl, and a harsh thrust up, he feels Crowley’s release spilling into him. When he feels the grip in his hair relax, he sits up.

 

His demon’s serpent eyes are blown wide. He is struggling to compose himself. Aziraphale takes the phone that has been discarded on the seat and pushes it into his hands. Swiping the screen, the toy turns off.   

 

Crowley clears his throat, “Fine. Understood. Get us home.”

 

They arrive home in half the time it should have taken for the journey from London. Scrambling from the Bentley, they stumble into their home. Crowley wanting to waste no time strips as he goes. His angel’s arms around his neck, hands pulling at his hair, mouths demanding.  

 

They all but fall into the kitchen. The only clothing still clinging to him are his leather pants and boxers. Crowley picks his angel up and plants Aziraphale on the counter. “My turn, dove.” Ripping the lace panties from his angel, he casts them to the floor. Swiping his phone once more, turning the gadget back up to full strength. He kneels before Aziraphale, thighs resting on his shoulders. Hands tangle in his hair, gripping tight. Mouth claiming that bead of pleasure between his angel’s plump folds. Flicking his tongue, providing suction, he coaxes his angel to the summit. The pulses of pleasure are intense and demanding. Panting rapid moans urge him on. 

 

Carefully he slips two fingers into his angel’s entrance. He pushes under the toy, pressing firmly up into the bundle of nerves. His angel comes undone almost instantly. Thighs clamping around him, grip nearing painful in his hair.  Removing the pink device, he continues working the fleshy pearl with his tongue until his angel relaxes back against the wall.  

 

Kissing his angel’s luscious thigh, he purrs,  “You still want me, dove?” The little device and his phone are tucked into his pocket. ‘For later.’

 

“Yes, my love.” Aziraphale sighs, combing his fingers through his husband’s crimson hair. 

 

Crowley rises, removing his arousal from his pants once more. Lining himself up, he slowly thrusts in. His angel’s entrance, slick from four previous orgasms, welcomes him eagerly. Hips withdraw before snapping back, burying himself fully in Aziraphale’s heat. He sets a steady pace, thrusting up each time to drag against the most sensitive spot. One hand on the small of his angel’s back, the other gripping the counter supporting them both. 

 

Aziraphale hooks his arms under his husband’s. Holding him as close as possible as he finally feels Crowley’s effort filling him. He wraps his legs around his husband’s narrow waist pulling him deeper. They are both gasping as yet another climax nears. 

 

Crowley kisses the juncture between his angel’s neck and shoulder. “May I, dove?”

 

“Please.” Aziraphale moans turning his head to allow his husband access. 

 

Crowley claims his angel’s neck, teeth nearly breaking the skin. He sucks hard to ensure Aziraphale has a mark for several days to come. Simultaneously his angel’s effort clamps around him as another release is wrenched from Aziraphale. Crowley continues to thrust until he follows shortly after. Spilling into his angel’s depths. 

 

“You are amazing, dove.” he pants as he slips free.  

 

Nearly limp on the counter Aziraphale smiles up at Crowley, “Are you accepting defeat?”

 

“Never.”

 

He drags his angel from the counter and carries Aziraphale upstairs to their bedroom. There he sets his angel down gently at the edge of their nest. “Dove, I would like to try something, but if you are not comfortable, we won’t. Understand?”

 

“Yes, dearest.”

 

“Turn around for me, dove. Lean over our nest.” Aziraphale complies eagerly. Crowley’s hands caress his angel’s soft hips. ‘How in all creation did I get this lucky?’

 

Removing the toy and phone from his pocket, he sets them on the nest. He quickly removes his pants and boxers before taking position behind his angel. “Dove, I would like to make love to you while this…” he shows Aziraphale the little pink gadget. “Is here.” Crowley brushes his thumb over his angel’s other entrance. 

 

“Inside?” Aziraphale asks considering the prospect.

 

“Yes inside. Will you try this with me, dove?” ‘You don’t have to.’

 

Aziraphale smiles back at his husband, “Yes, my love.” ‘I trust you.’

 

Leaning over his angel, he presses a kiss between Aziraphale’s shoulder blades. ‘You always smell amazing.’ “Thank you, dove. If at any point you want to stop, we stop.”

 

“I know, darling.”

 

“Spread your legs a bit for me.” Aziraphale obeys. “Just like that, thank you, dove.”

 

Crowley brings a hand to his angel’s inner thigh, caressing up to Aziraphale’s effort. Dipping his fingers between his angel’s fold slickening them. “We haven’t done this in a while, dove. Let me know if it is painful, yeah?” Aziraphale nods remembering to breathe and relax. Crowley begins massaging the entrance in firm circles around the tight muscle. He watches for any hesitation as he slips the first digit inside.  

 

Aziraphale responds by pushing himself back onto the intrusion. Instead of waiting for Crowley to work him open, he begins rocking his hips. A second finger quickly joins the first. It doesn’t feel as it once did, but the filling stretch still has Aziraphale panting all the same. When a third finger is finally added, he moans, “Crowley, more.”

 

Taking the cue, Crowley grabs his phone and turns the little device to half strength. This too he slides through his angel’s folds brushing intentionally over the little bud. Causing Aziraphale’s knees to give a bit. He coats the contraption in the slick of his angel’s arousal. Removing his fingers, he presses the pink toy to his angel’s prepared entrance. 

 

Aziraphale stops his hips to allow Crowley to work the toy inside as intended. Slowing his breathing, he focuses on keeping his muscles relaxed. The vibration promising of the pleasure to be had.

 

“Are you ready, dove?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Crowley presses the gadget slowly into his angel’s entrance. Careful not to rush the process. Once passed the midpoint Aziraphale’s body accepts the rest readily. Leaving only the thin retrieval cord exposed. “How does it feel, dove?”

 

“Exceptional. Please, my love. I need you.”

 

“I am right here, dove.” Taking his effort in hand, he slides inside his angel once more. The vibration of the toy could be felt against his own arousal. Crowley begins thrusting, slowly nearly withdrawing before pressing forcefully back inside. Grasping his angel’s hips, he groans. He hadn’t anticipated he too would feel the effects of his plan. 

 

The sensation of being completely filled is exquisite. Each forceful thrust elicits a gasping moan. He grips the bedding as his legs threatened to fail him. “Dearest…”

 

“Yes, dove?” he growls deep in his chest. 

 

“More...Please…” Aziraphale begs between keening moans. 

 

“Look at me, dove.” his angel turns his head. Blue eyes are nearly black with pleasure. 

 

Crowley grabs his phone and turns the toy to full strength. Taking the retrieval cord, he pulls until the toy is nearly halfway out then lets it slip back in. His angel’s moans become a quick staccato. He repeats the motion as his thrusts intensify. The sensations crashing into him tell him how overwhelming the whole experience is. His angel is nearing a climax once more. Aziraphale’s whole body quivering as his angel tries to remain standing. “That’s it, dove. Come for me.”

 

At his husband’s words, Aziraphale cries out his release. His legs give, but  Crowley is there pinning his hips to their nest. Coaxing him through each wave of orgasm.  

 

Seeing his angel lost to pleasure Crowley’s thrusts begin to stagger. His own groans increasing until he lets out a deep growl. He spills into Aziraphale, thrusts becoming shallow until his climax subsides. Pulling the little toy free,  he turns it off, setting it aside. His angel is still trembling, legs barely able to maintain support.   

 

Aziraphale huffs a laugh, “My love, you are the victor. I yield.” he lays his head down in their nest in satisfied defeat. 

 

“Is that so?” Crowley scoops his spent angel into his arms. Climbing into the nest, he lays them both down. Aziraphale snuggling close as he pulls the tartan blanket over them. “Hell of a challenge, dove. Anytime you care for a rematch.” he kisses his angel’s sweat damp curls. 

 

“I know where to find you, dearest,” he says on a yawn. “I love you, my beautiful husband.”

 

“I love you too, dove.” Crowley might have asked for a kiss, but when he looked down, his angel was fast asleep. A soft smile on gentle lips. 'Sleep well, angel.'