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Working It Out

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Aziraphale looked around at the gym with trepidation. He’d never been to a gym before, never in his forty-two years, but his doctor had been gently encouraging him to join one for the last several years, at every physical. His cholesterol and A1C were a bit high, on the borderline, but Aziraphale was never too concerned about his doctor’s words, and had never taken any real action to better himself. And he would have kept ignoring the advice, except last week, at his favorite restaurant, he’d heard the loud but ominous crack of wood when he sat down in one of the spindly chairs. Guiseppe, the proprietor of the restaurant, had done everything he could to assure Aziraphale that the chairs were old and frail and it was not his fault, but Aziraphale had been humiliated nonetheless. He’d vowed not to go back to Guiseppe’s - or any other restaurant - until he was more certain that he wouldn’t be embarrassing himself in such a way again. It was time to make some major life changes, to turn over a new leaf, and Aziraphale was ready.

But as he stood in the lobby of the sprawling gym, the nicest and highest rated in town, he was questioning this decision. ‘What does it matter if you’re portly?’ his brain whispered to him. He was just a bookseller, and he was comfortable with that. He didn’t need to be an adonis. He was stocky and strong, a result of lifting boxes of books all day. Surely that would be enough exercise for him? He should just go home.

No, he admonished himself sternly. This wasn’t about his looks, this was about his health. If he didn’t make some changes, he might find his health declining more and more, or worse, he might find himself dead before his time. Aziraphale wasn’t nearly ready to be done with this life, so joining this gym and making some other lifestyle changes was the way to go. He squared his shoulders resolutely and marched to the front desk.

The pretty, perky woman behind the counter smiled brightly at him. “Hi! Welcome to Celestial Fitness. How can I help you?”

“I need to join your gym, please.”

“Excellent! Let me tell you about our membership packages…”

For the next fifteen minutes, the young lady - named Britney - detailed the types of membership and the monthly dues for each. Aziraphale asked a few questions, but mostly just listened and nodded his understanding.

“I think I’d like the premium membership, please,” he said when she was done. “I’m very much new to the world of fitness and will likely need the assistance of a personal trainer, or perhaps a class or two. And use of the massage tables and sauna sound heavenly.”

“No problem!” Britney chirped, pulling out some paperwork for Aziraphale to fill out. He took the clipboard quickly before he lost his nerve.

Once he’d filled out all the information, he handed the clipboard back to Britney. “Here you go, dear.”

She smiled as she took it, then took a minute while he waited for her to fill in his information on the computer. Aziraphale was patient, but growing nervous again in the silence. Finally, she pulled a key fob out of the drawer, scanned it, then handed it over to Aziraphale with a smile. “Here you are, Mr. Fell. You’re good to go. Would you like a tour of the facility?”

“Please,” he said gratefully, then he paused. “Also, I’m wondering… when is your least busy time of day?”

“The least busy?”

“Yes. What time of day is traffic in your gym the lightest?”

“Oh, that’s easy. Late in the evening is our lightest time. We have some people who come by after work, but they don’t stay very long, and it’s usually a ghost town after about six thirty.”

Aziraphale smiled. “Perfect. That’s just perfect.” He closed the shop every day at six, so it would be ideal for him to come by after work when there were very few people here. That way, there would be fewer people to look at him and judge him for being so out of shape.

“Are you ready for your tour?”

He nodded with a smile. “Lead the way, dear.”

~*~O~*~

The next evening, Aziraphale arrived promptly at six thirty, and was pleased to see that Britney had been right - there were only a handful of people in the gym working out. He hoisted his brand new gym bag full of brand new gym clothes over his shoulder and swallowed his nerves. Getting into better shape would improve his life in every conceivable way: he’d feel better, he’d look better, and he’d be more confident. It was a win-win.

He ducked into the men’s locker room and was pleased to find it as deserted as the gym floor. The lingering smell of soap hung in the air - not the acrid smell of sweaty socks - and it wasn’t nearly as unpleasant as he’d feared it would be. He changed quickly out of his usual, formal clothes into the t-shirt and shorts he’d purchased. He felt silly, dressed this way, but knew that working out in a waistcoat and shirtsleeves wasn’t advisable. It would be downright ridiculous, in fact. So he laced up his new trainers, grabbed his water bottle, his mobile, and his earbuds, and made his way out to the gym floor.

There were even fewer people out there now, amongst the hundreds of machines, and Aziraphale was pleased to have the place nearly to himself. But despite the tour he’d had, he had no idea what most of the machines did. He wasn’t sure where to start and was feeling a little overwhelmed when he spotted the row of treadmills. That would work to start out with. A little light walking on his first day. Jolly good.

He selected a treadmill at the end of the row and got on, squinting at the buttons on the control panel, trying to sort out what they did. He pressed one that looked promising - ‘quick start’ - and the machine lurched to life. Aziraphale felt rather pleased with himself for figuring it out and gave a little self-satisfied smile. He put his earbuds in and used his mobile to select an audiobook to listen to, then raised the speed on the treadmill until he was walking briskly.

He’d been walking less than five minutes when he noticed the red-haired man on one of the machines in front of him. The man was exercising his arms, which wasn’t so unusual, but he was wearing sunglasses indoors, which Aziraphale found odd. Still, Aziraphale watched him as he used the machine, his muscles rippling as he worked, and appreciated the effect. The man was really quite beautiful, downright sexy, even, and Aziraphale couldn’t help but stare.

Then the man finished his workout on the machine, got to his feet, and looked directly at Aziraphale. His heart slammed in his chest and he looked away quickly, hoping he hadn’t been caught. Oh, how embarrassing! The gym probably had regulations against members ogling each other. At the least, it was very bad etiquette. Even a novice like Aziraphale knew that.

He didn’t dare look up to see where the man had gone. He just finished his workout - a mile and a quarter walk at a brisk pace - and retreated to the locker room to shower and redress in his usual clothes.

~*~O~*~

Aziraphale visited the gym every weekday after work for three weeks, getting there at about six thirty and exercising for nearly an hour before he would shower, redress, and go home for the evening and prepare a fresh, healthy meal. He was immensely proud of himself for sticking to this new routine, happy to be making positive life changes. He had expected making this change to be difficult, but it hadn’t been, not at all. It just took a little bit of willpower. He was also immensely proud of the fact that he’d lost a whopping four pounds. His hard work was paying off, and he was quite chuffed.

Everyone he encountered at the gym was extremely nice, too, he noticed. All the staff had been friendly and supportive, and when he’d finally worked up the nerve to make an appointment with a personal trainer during his second week, that person had also been exceptionally helpful and kind. They’d shown him which machines to use and how to use them, and Aziraphale felt more capable after they’d finished. He was becoming a proper regular at the gym, and the few faces that were there at the same time as him were becoming familiar. But the most familiar face, the one he noticed most of all, belonged to the red-haired man in sunglasses.

They had never spoken: in fact, the most they’d done was acknowledge each other with a little nod. But Aziraphale couldn’t shake the feeling that the red-haired man was watching him sometimes while he was working out. He couldn’t explain why he felt that way - there was no evidence to support his suspicion - but Aziraphale was sure of it. He felt eyes on him as he exercised.

He tried telling himself that he was being ridiculous, that it was all in his head. The red-haired man was gorgeous. Why would he be staring at the likes of Aziraphale? Unless… oh, unless it was disgust or pity making him look. What if the red-haired man kept staring at Aziraphale for the same reason people looked at shows like Jeremy Kyle? What if he was repulsed, but mesmerised by his disgust and couldn’t look away? The very thought was heartbreaking, and Aziraphale had to fight tears when it occurred to him.

Then he chastised himself for being overdramatic. It was impossible to tell who or what the red-haired man was looking at with those dark glasses on. Besides, Aziraphale had never turned a single head in his life, not really. He’d had relationships before, of course, but nearly all of them had grown out of platonic acquaintances and had mostly been casual - at least on the part of his partners. He was the classic example of nondescript, just an average man. There was nothing special or remarkable about him, nothing at all. He doubted very seriously he would be turning anyone’s head now, as a portly fortysomething.

Still, the red-haired man was at the gym nearly every day Aziraphale was, and he was usually fairly nearby as Aziraphale made his circuit of the machines. Aziraphale even heard him grunt sometimes, or groan, or blow out a large breath. The sounds seemed exaggerated, even lustful, like the sounds one made when eyeing someone very appreciatively, but he tried not to pay them any mind. That couldn’t be the case. Wishful thinking on his part. People grunted and breathed heavily while they were working out. It was fine.

But guiltily, Aziraphale took every opportunity he could to watch the red-haired man while he exercised. His body was beautiful - long, lean lines and wiry strength, and Aziraphale found himself deeply attracted to him, even though they’d never spoken, and even though part of him still worried that the man was repulsed by him. Aziraphale would toil away on the elliptical or the stair climber and watch the red-haired man covertly, letting himself get lost in a little fantasy about what that lean body would feel like under his hands. And sometimes, when he was on the rowing machine or the leg press, he’d swear he could feel the red-haired man’s eyes on him.

But he said nothing. He just did his workout, enjoyed the view, and took the memory of the sexy, red-haired man home with him, to help fill his lonely nights.

~*~O~*~

Aziraphale had been a regular at the gym for about seven weeks when he finally decided to try the sauna. He’d never been to a sauna, but had read in several books that they could be very relaxing. Relaxation sounded like a wonderful idea to Aziraphale, so he resolved to visit the sauna after his next workout.

His routine that evening wasn’t really different from usual. He was pushing himself a little harder every day, becoming more sure of himself on the machines, gaining strength and confidence, building up his endurance and stamina. The red-haired man was there, of course, and Aziraphale let himself enjoy more than a few guilty, lingering glances. When his workout was done, he made his way to the locker room and stripped off his gym clothes, wrapping a towel around his waist and going to the door marked ‘men’s sauna’.

The steamy air of the sauna hit him like a wet blanket to the face as soon as he opened the door, the heat nearly overwhelming. He felt sweat beads pop up all over his face at once, but wasn’t that the point? It was certainly different, so he’d give it a try. He made his way over to the wooden bench on the far wall of the small, dimly lit room and had a seat, taking a deep breath of the steamy air and letting his head rock back to lean against the wall.

His mind was relaxing along with his muscles and he was just thinking that he’d have to make a habit of this when the door opened. Aziraphale raised his head to see who had come in and felt a jolt all through his body when he spotted the red-haired man stepping inside the sauna. His sunglasses were gone and he was wearing nothing but a towel slung low around his waist, his chest bare, and heavens above, he was even sexier than Aziraphale had thought. He was all lean muscle, with the suggestion of abdominal muscles and - Aziraphale gulped - v-dents at his hips. There was a smattering of dark red hair across his chest and forming a trail from his navel down until it disappeared into the towel, and Aziraphale nearly salivated.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the red-haired man said. “I had no idea anyone would be in here. It’s usually deserted. I’ll leave you be.”

“No!” Aziraphale fairly shouted, raising his arm to stop him instinctively, then flushed to the roots of his hair and modulated his voice. “I mean, no, you don’t have to go.”

The red-haired man gave a little grin that sent butterflies rioting through Aziraphale’s belly. “You sure?”

He nodded. “Absolutely. There’s plenty of room for both of us.”

“If you insist,” the man said, then entered the room fully and crossed to Aziraphale, his hand extended. “My name’s Crowley.”

“Crowley,” he repeated. Now the red haired man had a name - and Aziraphale could see his eyes. Oh, they were beautiful, a warm brown, almost a topaz. He could get lost in those eyes.

Aziraphale smiled and took the offered hand, trying not to think about the thrill that ran all through his body at the touch. “I’m Aziraphale. It’s a great pleasure to meet you.”

“The pleasure’s all mine,” Crowley said with a lopsided smile that did things to Aziraphale’s insides. He was unable to stop himself from watching, rapt, as Crowley had a seat nearby.

“I’ve seen you around, of course,” Crowley was saying as he sprawled on the bench with an easy grace. “You’ve been coming to the gym for a few weeks now. Is that right?”

“Yes, I started a little under two months ago.”

“How do you like it here?”

“Oh, it’s very nice. Everyone I’ve met has been terribly friendly, and very supportive. Of course, I’ve never been to any other gym…”

Crowley raised a ginger eyebrow. “You’ve never been to a gym before?”

Aziraphale was suddenly very conscious of his body and wanted to hide. “No, I’m afraid not. I’ve been quite remiss in taking care of my body, as I’m sure you can see.”

He was treated to a raking glance from head to toe and back up that made his heart trill in his chest. Crowley looked… appreciative.

“I think your body looks fantastic the way it is,” he said.

Aziraphale could have fainted. Was that flirting? It seemed like flirting, but he was so terribly out of practice. Perhaps Crowley was just being polite. That was the most likely scenario.

He decided to change the subject back to safer territory. “How long have you been coming here?”

Crowley accepted the shift in topic with a smile. “A couple of years. It’s nice, I like it.”

Aziraphale hummed an acknowledgement but didn’t know what to say in response. He very much wanted to keep talking to this gorgeous man, but small talk had never been his forte. He tried to think of something to say, but nothing was springing to mind. Honestly, it was taking nearly all of his concentration not to stare at Crowley like a besotted fool. His golden skin glistened with sweat, and Aziraphale wanted to draw patterns over him with his tongue.

Stop it, he admonished himself sternly, turning his head to the side and closing his eyes. Crowley was simply enjoying the sauna - that was not an invitation to ogle him!

“I was surprised to see you in here,” Crowley was saying. “I’ve always gotten the impression that you were the type to do your workout and leave soon after.”

“I usually have been. This is my first time visiting the sauna after my workout.”

“Well, what do you think?”

“It’s very relaxing,” Aziraphale answered. And that was true, despite the fact that he felt like a ball of nerves and sweat at the moment. It had been relaxing until his secret crush had walked in.

“Like I said, there’s usually not anybody in here,” Crowley said. “In fact, I’ve never seen anyone in here before. I usually have the place to myself.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to have --”

“No! No,” Crowley interrupted. “I’m glad you’re here. I’ve been aiming to speak to you for weeks.”

Aziraphale’s eyes went wide with surprise. “You have?”

He couldn’t be sure, but he rather thought Crowley looked a little sheepish. “I have. Been looking for an excuse to come talk to you, introduce myself. Maybe offer to work out together.”

Aziraphale was utterly shocked. “You want to work out together?”

Crowley gave a little shrug, not meeting Aziraphale’s eyes. “Sure, if you want.”

“But… you’re much more advanced than I am. I’d just slow you down. Hold you back.”

“Nah. It could be fun. What do you say?”

Aziraphale’s head was spinning. What on earth should he say or do? The opportunity to spend time with Crowley was very appealing. He’d be able to look at him working out with near impunity. But should he?

Temptation won out over good sense. “If you’re sure I won’t hold you back, then I’d love to.”

Crowley’s face broke into a wide, pleased smile, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “Tomorrow, then? Six thirty?”

“I’ll be here,” Aziraphale agreed, a little dizzy with the implications.

“It’s a date,” Crowley declared, his whole face lit up, and oh, goodness, did his face look like that because of Aziraphale? The mind boggled.

“It’s a date,” he repeated, overjoyed.

Chapter Text

Aziraphale was nervous as he stood outside the men’s locker room the next day waiting for Crowley. It was nearly time, and he was starting to be concerned that he’d been stood up. Anxiety began creeping into the edges of his mind, and he felt stupid. He must have misjudged everything. That was the only explanation. He must have imagined Crowey’s reaction to him, just as he’d imagined Crowley watching him as he worked out. All of this had been the figment of his lust-soaked brain. Oh, what a fool he was. He should go into the locker room right now, change back into his clothes, and leave. Find another gym. In fact, he --

His thoughts were interrupted when he spotted Crowley opening the front door to the gym, letting himself in, and swaggering towards the locker room with his gym bag over his shoulder. His hips moved like they weren’t attached to his body, and Aziraphale had to swallow hard to contain his lusty thoughts.

Crowley’s face spread into a grin when he spotted Aziraphale, and Aziraphale couldn’t help it, he gave a relieved smile in return.

“Hi, Aziraphale,” Crowley said cheerfully. “Sorry I’m late. Traffic was hell. Have you been waiting long?”

“Oh, no. Only a couple of minutes.”

Crowley just smiled at him for a moment, and Aziraphale smiled back dumbly. Then Crowley seemed to shake himself and said, “I’ll just change, shall I? Then we can get started.”

“Yes, that would be nice. I’ll wait here for you.”

The grin he got was lopsided and made his pulse spike. “I hope you do. Be right out.”

Aziraphale stammered something, he wasn’t sure what, and could have sworn Crowley winked as he passed to go to the locker room.

~*~O~*~

Working out with a partner was much different from working out alone. Crowley was helpful and supportive, taking the time to show Aziraphale how to use the machines he wasn’t familiar with and encouraging when Aziraphale was exercising. The red-haired man seemed a bit surprised by Aziraphale’s strength, and Aziraphale couldn’t help but be proud of having impressed him.

They chatted as they exercised, getting to know each other a little better between sets. Aziraphale strongly suspected that most people, when they were working out with a partner, didn't talk about anything that didn’t pertain to the tasks at hand, but Crowley and Aziraphale did. Aziraphale learned that Crowley’s first name was Anthony, but he preferred to go by his surname. He learned that Crowley was a botanist at one of the local universities, and that Crowley drove a classic Bentley that he’d restored himself. He learned that fluorescent lights bothered Crowley’s eyes, hence the sunglasses indoors and at night. Aziraphale loved knowing those things. He loved learning everything he could about this fascinating, devilishly handsome man.

But the best part, to Aziraphale’s mind, was that it was just as he’d expected - he was able to watch Crowley exercise without fear of repercussions. In fact, when he was spotting, he was supposed to keep his eyes on Crowley. Of course, he wasn’t supposed to be ogling appreciatively and trying to fight the constant threat of an erection, but no one needed to know he was doing those things but him.

Now, though, it was impossible to deny that Crowley was watching him as he worked out. It made him a little self-conscious, ashamed of his body, but Crowley didn’t seem to mind looking at him. It built his confidence.

When they finished their workout, after nearly an hour of being in such close proximity to such a beautiful man, Aziraphale was almost desperate to hide in the shower and touch himself. He thought he may very well explode from repressed sexual desire, but when Crowley asked him if he’d like to join him in the sauna again, Aziraphale found it impossible to say no.

“That was fun,” Crowley said once they got settled in the sauna - side by side this time, Crowley sprawled elegantly on the bench and Aziraphale sitting primly with his hands folded in his lap, trying to hide his half-hard cock.

“You enjoyed that?” he asked, a little surprised.

“Oh, very much. I think we should do it again.”

Aziraphale felt himself blush a little, and hoped it wasn't noticeable in the steamy room. “I certainly wouldn’t be opposed.”

“Excellent,” Crowley replied with his bright smile.

They lapsed into silence for a minute, and Aziraphale used the time to have a stern talking-to with his cock. An erection would be offensive, he was sure, and he did his best to think of other things - and not the way Crowley’s hair flopped down over his forehead, or the tantalizing trail of dark ginger hair from his belly button down into the towel.

“So,” Crowley said, “Aziraphale is an unusual name.”

“Yes, it is. My parents were religious scholars. Aziraphale is the name of an angel.”

“You’re named after an angel?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so.”

Crowley just regarded him for a minute. “Named after an angel. I like it. It suits you.”

“You think so?”

“Absolutely. You look like an angel, anyway, and now I know your name fits you. I think I’ll call you that. Angel.”

Aziraphale bit his lip in pleasure. He was no expert, not by a long shot, but it was seeming more and more as if Crowley were interested. But that couldn’t be right, could it? He didn’t even know if Crowley favored men! He could just be being friendly. But what if he wasn’t? Aziraphale needed to know.

As casually as he could, he asked, “So is there a Mrs. Crowley?”

Crowley threw his head back and laughed. “No, I’m not married. I’m very, very single. Haven’t had a boyfriend in over a year.”

Boyfriend. Oh, that was thrilling to hear. Maybe he was interested, after all!

“How about you? Anyone waiting at home for you?” Crowley asked.

Aziraphale shook his head. “No, it’s just me, on my own. I haven’t had a - a boyfriend in quite a while,” he answered, thinking fleetingly of Gabriel. He’d hated the term ‘boyfriend’, so Aziraphale had never used it, but, well, Gabriel was long gone. Aziraphale could use whatever terminology he liked. And what did he care what Gabriel would think, anyway? He didn’t. Not at all, he told himself.

Crowley’s grin was almost wolfish, and it made Aziraphale’s belly flutter. “I’m glad to hear that, angel.”

Oh, heavens, that was definitely flirting. There was no mistaking that. But what did Aziraphale do with that information? He decided to try to be bold, for once in his life.

“I’m - I’m glad to know you’re single, too.”

Crowley’s golden eyes twinkled. “Yeah?”

Aziraphale nodded and swallowed his nerves. “Yes. Very much so.”

The red-haired man treated him to another lingering, up and down look, and his eyes were almost hungry. Aziraphale felt his cock stir.

“I think I’m going to hit the showers,” Crowley said suddenly, slapping his knees and getting to his feet, disappointing Aziraphale greatly. Then he added, “Shall we do this again tomorrow evening?”

“Would you like to?”

“Oh, absolutely, angel. I’d like to see you again very much.”

Aziraphale flushed with pleasure at the sentiment and the endearment. “Then it’s a date.”

“Yes, it is,” Crowley agreed, and the two men exited the sauna and went to the locker room. Crowley gave him a smile as he grabbed his bag and ducked into a shower stall, and Aziraphale deliberately selected the stall farthest away from where Crowley was. As soon as he was behind the curtain, he turned on the water as hot as it would go and fisted his cock in his soapy hand, pumping wildly, imagining Crowley just a few yards away, naked, with water cascading all over his gorgeous body. Aziraphale bit the fist he wasn’t fucking to stifle his noises and spared just a thought to hope that the water would muffle his sounds before he came all over the tiled wall with a whimper.

~*~O~*~

Things continued in that pattern for the next two weeks. He and Crowley would work out together, then return to the sauna and spend a long while talking and flirting. After they left the sauna, they’d each go to the showers and more often than not, Aziraphale would masturbate, silently but frantically, his head full of the memory of Crowley’s slim, sexy body. After, he would bathe himself, feeling like an absolute coward. He was smitten with Crowley, and it was clear that Crowley was interested in him, too. The two of them were engaged in a little dance around each other, both of them clearly interested, both of them apparently waiting on the other to make the first move. The tension was delicious, in a way, but almost unbearable. Aziraphale very much wanted to ask him out, but couldn’t quite get up the nerve. What would Crowley even like to do? Aziraphale tended to be a bit of a bore, or so he’d heard from past lovers. What if Crowley discovered that he wasn’t very interesting and decided he didn’t want to see Aziraphale anymore? He didn’t think he could stand that kind of rejection.

But oh, how he wanted. He wanted to run his hands all over Crowley’s lithe body, he wanted to taste the kisses of his mouth, he wanted to lay Crowley out on silk sheets and worship at the altar of him. But that wasn’t all he wanted. The more he got to know Crowley, the more he wanted to spend every spare moment together. He wanted to find out everything there was to know about him. He wanted to escort Crowley to the movies, to plays, to concerts. He wanted to curl up on the couch late in the evening with a good book - and Crowley’s head resting in his lap. He wanted a relationship, and had no idea how Crowley would feel about something like that. But they could start with a date. Couldn’t they? Just one date. And maybe things could just… grow from there.

On the tenth evening they worked out together, Aziraphale resolved to ask Crowley on a proper date. He had no idea what that date would entail, he’d never been very good about taking the lead on those sorts of things, but he couldn’t stand it anymore. He needed to make a move before he exploded, no matter how afraid and out of his depth he was.

He was quieter than usual during their workout that night, doing his best to steel himself for what he wanted to do. He should just do it, he told himself. Would you like to get dinner with me? That’s all he’d have to say. But the words wouldn’t come, and he cursed his own cowardice.

They joined each other in the sauna, as had become their custom, and took their places on the bench. Crowley was a bit closer than usual tonight, but Aziraphale barely noticed. He was still trying to work up the nerve to ask Crowley out - and coming up short.

“Are you alright, angel?” Crowley asked not long after they sat down.

“Hmm? Oh! Yes, I’m fine. Just fine.”

“You seem distracted.”

“I suppose I am, a bit.”

Crowley smiled and propped one ankle on his leg. “Care to talk about it?”

Aziraphale swallowed hard - this was his chance. He debated for only a second before he said, “I’ve, well, I’ve decided to do something, but I can’t seem to pluck up the courage.”

Crowley raised an eyebrow. “What could you need to pluck up courage for in a sauna?”

There was sweat on Aziraphale’s brow that had nothing to do with the steam in the room. He turned to face Crowley and, in as brave a voice as he could muster, he said, “I’m trying to get up the courage to ask you out.”

Crowley looked surprised for a minute, then his face melted into a small, tentative smile. “Like a date?”

Aziraphale nodded, his heart in his throat. “Yes. Just so.”

The red-haired man’s face was suddenly brilliant, it positively glowed, and Aziraphale felt sweet relief. That was a good sign, right?

Then Crowley’s smile turned a bit mischievous. “I don’t know, angel. That’s very tempting, but I’m not sure.”

Aziraphale tried not to panic. “What - why are you unsure?”

“Well, I’ve been on a fair few dates in my time, and there’s nothing worse than going on a date with someone and finding that you have no chemistry.”

His blond brows knitted in confusion. He’d thought that he and Crowley had nothing but chemistry together. Amazing chemistry. Had he been wrong?

“So I’d like to kiss you first,” Crowley finished, his eyes twinkling and his smile naughty. “Just to make sure there’s something there, you know.”

Aziraphale blinked. “You want to kiss me?”

Crowley scooted a little closer. “Very much so. Then I’ll be able to answer you about a date.”

He was being teased and he knew it, but his mind was wrapped up in the implications of the situation. Crowley wanted to kiss him, and was inching closer. His heart galloped in his chest.

Aziraphale’s eyes flicked from Crowley’s topaz eyes down to his lips and back several times. He felt himself leaning in, but was powerless to stop himself. His heart was thudding a rapid tattoo in his chest and his mind was racing. He was going to kiss Crowley! Their faces inched closer and closer until finally, their lips met.

It felt as if dozens of fireworks had been set off under Aziraphale’s skin, all at once. Crowley’s mouth was soft, sweet, its heat sending a ripple of goosebumps rushing along Aziraphale's skin, and he thought he may die of sheer pleasure. He let out a little, involuntary whimper, and felt Crowley’s hand come up to cup his cheek. Aziraphale leaned further into the kiss, parting his lips, and nearly burst out of his skin when he felt Crowley’s tongue brush against his. He tilted his head to the side to get a better angle, and sent his tongue out to explore Crowley’s mouth.

Soon, Crowley had both of his hands on Aziraphale’s face, cradling it, and Aziraphale was dying to touch him, too. He’d daydreamed about what it would be like to touch Crowley’s body, but nothing could have prepared him for the reality when he put his hands on Crowley’s sides. His skin was warm and slick with sweat, and Aziraphale could feel lean muscles rippling under his fingers. It was positively the most sexy thing he’d ever felt, and he flexed his fingers into Crowley’s sides reflexively, wanting more touch.

Crowley slid one hand around the back of Aziraphale’s head, threading through his sweat-damp curls, and Aziraphale fairly purred at the sensation of Crowley’s short nails on his scalp. His other hand left Aziraphale’s face and trailed down slowly, over his neck and shoulder, leaving a trail in the moisture on his skin and not seeming to mind, coming to rest on Aziraphale’s bare chest. Their kiss grew steadily more heated until Aziraphale was sure that anyone observing them would call it obscene.

When the need for air became too great, they parted their mouths, but didn’t go far. Crowley started applying little kisses to Aziraphale’s cheek, then his jaw, then his neck, where he nipped at the skin. Aziraphale panted, inhaling the heavy scents their bodies, laying his head back, enjoying every second.

“Do you have any idea,” Crowley growled between kisses, licks, and nips, “how much I want you?”

Aziraphale let his hands roam all over Crowley, seeking to memorize the feel of his skin. It was damp and sweat-slick and hot and smooth and perfect. He wanted more. He wanted everything.

“It can’t possibly be anywhere near as much as - oh - as I’ve wanted you.”

Crowley’s mouth closed on Aziraphale’s ear, nibbling the ear lobe then sucking it. “I’ve wanked every single night since you first started coming to this gym, thinking of you,” he whispered, breath tickling his ear.

His eyes rolled back in his head and he moaned. “I’ve… I’ve touched myself, too, picturing you naked with me.”

He felt Crowley’s hand go to his terrycloth-covered erection and groaned again.

“Can I touch you?” Crowley panted. “Please, angel, please let me touch you. I’m positively gagging for your cock, and have been for weeks.”

Aziraphale nodded quickly. “God, yes, please touch me. But only if I can touch you, too.”

Crowley attacked his mouth then, kissing him wildly, and Aziraphale gave as good as he got. Distractedly, he felt Crowley take his hand and guide it, placing it over his erection. Even through the towel, Aziraphale could tell he was long and thick - a perfect mouthful. Oh, that cock would feel so good filling him. But for now, he just tugged at the towel until it opened and Crowley’s cock sprung free.

He broke the kiss then to look at it, to take it in, and God, it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. He couldn’t wait to feel that cock fucking him, taking him, claiming him.

Crowley was frantically tugging at Aziraphale’s towel, trying to get him free, and didn’t hesitate when Aziraphale’s towel fell open. He wrapped his hand around Aziraphale and started pumping him. Aziraphale moaned, and did the same to Crowley.

“Fuck, your prick is so big and thick,” Crowley moaned, his forehead resting on Aziraphale’s shoulder. “I can’t wait to get it in my mouth.”

“Yes,” Aziraphale agreed, mindless of anything but the way Crowley’s hand felt around him, and the way Crowley’s cock slid back and forth in his hand, the movement eased by perspiration.

“You are so gorgeous, Aziraphale. Want you so much. Want to make you come. Want to make you mine…

“I am yours,” Aziraphale answered, too aroused to be anything but honest - and more than a little breathless. “If you want me, I’m yours.”

“Kiss me, please,” Crowley begged, and Aziraphale didn’t need to be told twice. He met Crowley’s mouth in a desperate, messy kiss while he continued to jack Crowley’s cock and felt his own balls tighten.

They were panting when they broke the kiss a minute later, staring into each other’s eyes.

“I’m gonna come, angel. Fuck! Your hand feels so good… you’re gonna make me come.”

“I’m - oh - I’m close, too,” he confessed.

“Come for me, Aziraphale. Cover me with your come. Mark me with it. I want it so bad…”

Aziraphale broke, coming in thick ropes over Crowley’s fist with a strangled cry of his name. With his last shred of rational thought, he kept pumping Crowley’s cock until he felt the other man go stiff and hot come erupted all over his hand.

They lay their heads on each other’s shoulders, panting for air, their messy hands still wrapped around each other’s flagging erections. Aziraphale had never felt so satisfied, so replete, so fulfilled, and couldn’t help but wonder - if this is how it was between them when it was just an impetuous handjob in the sauna, what would it be like when they made love in a bed?

He barely had time to finish the thought before Crowley started pressing kisses to his shoulder, then his neck, making him smile tiredly. He raised his head to look at Crowley and, when their eyes met, he leaned forward and claimed Crowley’s lips in a tender kiss that he hoped was sufficient to express everything he felt.

“Thank you,” he breathed when the kiss broke.

“You’re thanking me? I feel like I should fall at your feet in solemn worship.”

Aziraphale smiled and pressed a little kiss to his lips. “Don’t do that, my dear, but there is one thing you can do for me.”

“Anything. Name it. I’ll do anything for you, angel.”

“Say yes to that date.”

Crowley’s smile was like the sun coming out, and he raised his clean hand to touch Aziraphale’s face gently. He closed his eyes and gave Aziraphale a tender kiss. “I guess we’ve proved we have chemistry, huh?” he murmured when they broke apart.

Aziraphale grinned. “Quite so. Hard to deny that now. So, will you do me the honor of going on a date with me?”

“Angel, I’ll go on six thousand dates with you. I think you’re going to find you’ll have a hard time getting rid of me.”

He nuzzled Crowley’s nose, his eyes closed and a sigh on his lips. “That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Chapter Text

Aziraphale puttered around his flat anxiously, waiting for Crowley to arrive for their date - their first date. There had been a little negotiation (between stolen kisses in the sauna) about the logistics - who would be picking up whom and where to go. Despite the fact that Aziraphale had been the one to ask him out, Crowley had seemed eager to take the lead when it came to planning their date. Aziraphale was only too happy to let him do so. The fact that Crowley wanted to take the lead, wanted to pick him up and drive him and pick the location, made Aziraphale feel warm inside in ways he couldn’t describe. Perhaps it was old fashioned of him, his lizard brain at work, but Aziraphale rather liked the idea of being wooed, of being courted. The idea that a man as handsome and charming as Crowley wanted to do so was thrilling.

A knock came at the door to his flat, two minutes before seven, and Aziraphale jumped - although he’d been expecting it. He looked down at himself one last time, taking in his clothes, and worried for the thousandth time what Crowey would say to his usual kit. He knew his style was unconventional and a bit dated - Gabriel had complained of that fact frequently - but it was what made Aziraphale most comfortable. As much as he liked Crowley (and he really, really liked Crowley), he wasn’t willing to be someone he was not. Crowley would simply have to appreciate him as he was.

But that didn’t make him any less nervous about a possible rejection.

Swallowing his nerves and squaring his shoulders, he went to his door and opened it. He couldn’t help himself - as soon as he saw Crowley on the other side of the door, he smiled, feeling a happiness sweep over him from head to toe.

Crowley was dressed in all dark colors, with black, tight denims, a black shirt, black jacket, and dark grey tie. His sunglasses were perched on his nose, so Aziraphale couldn’t see his eyes, but the rest of his face was slack, as if surprised. He looked Aziraphale up and down, and, just as he had at the gym, Aziraphale could feel those eyes on him, even if he couldn’t see them. It made him flush.

“Hello,” he said, feeling suddenly shy, holding on to the door for support.

Crowley swallowed. “Angel, you look --”

Aziraphale bristled a little in spite of himself. “Stuffy? Old fashioned? Ridiculous?” he asked, calling to mind some of the descriptions Gabriel had favored.

“Fucking beautiful,” Crowley replied, his face earnest. “You’re absolutely stunning.”

Aziraphale blushed, his cheeks and ears flaming like anything. He had hoped for tolerance towards his attire, but he’d never expected anything like this. He wasn’t entirely sure how to react to it, since he’d never been exposed to open admiration. He shouldn’t have gotten defensive so quickly. Crowley was nothing like Gabriel, nothing at all, and he needed to remember that.

“Thank you. You look… rather gorgeous yourself.”

Crowley glanced down at himself, as if to check what he was wearing, then looked up at Aziraphale with a smile. “Thank you.”

The conversation faltered for a moment, and Aziraphale felt his eyes drawn to Crowley’s lips. He remembered all too well the way they’d felt on his mouth and skin in the sauna, and desperately wanted to feel that again. He wanted to taste that smile, but wondered if that would be entirely appropriate at the beginning of a date. He wasn’t even sure if it would be entirely appropriate for the end of a date - at least, a first date. So much of this was uncharted territory, and he was terrified of making a misstep and ruining everything.

Crowley pulled his hand from behind his back revealing a large bouquet. “I brought you something,” he said with that lopsided smile that made Aziraphale’s brain melt.

“Oh, Crowley,” he sighed, joy surging through him. “You shouldn’t have.”

“I wanted to. Do you like them?”

“I love them,” Aziraphale praised, then reached forward with both hands to take the colorful bouquet, bringing them to his nose and taking a deep whiff. He hummed to himself in pleasure, and felt his smile grow wider. When he opened his eyes again, he turned his smile to Crowley. “What are they? I recognize tulips, sunflowers, and - those are calla lilies, correct?”

“Yes. There’s also carmelias and a white rose or two,” Crowley explained, pointing out the flowers in question.

Aziraphale beamed. “They’re simply lovely, dear. Thank you so much. I haven’t received flowers in years! Would you care to step inside a moment while I put these in some water? I won’t be a moment.”

“Sure,” Crowley agreed, and Aziraphale stepped aside to let him in, closing the door behind them. His heart trilled in his chest: he had Crowley in his flat now, and he didn’t want to let him leave. He wanted to press Crowley against the door and kiss him until neither of them could breathe.

But he didn’t. He just told Crowley he’d be back in two shakes, then shuffled off to the kitchen, feeling Crowley’s eyes on his back the whole way. He hummed to himself happily as he dug out a dusty vase from beneath the sink, wiped it off, filled it, then arranged the flowers just so, placing them on his kitchen table. Then he flicked off the light and went back to his lounge.

He found Crowley there, looking over one of his bookshelves. Crowley didn’t look up right away, and Aziraphale took a moment just to appreciate how stunning he was - and how nice he looked amongst Aziraphale’s things. Like he belonged there.

“Please pardon the clutter,” he said, a trifle embarrassed.

Crowley turned to face him. “Clutter?”

“Yes. All my books strewn everywhere…”

“I think it’s perfect, angel. Suits you.”

Aziraphale bit his lip, pleased. “I’m glad you like it. Are you ready to get a wiggle on?”

He chuckled, then muttered, ‘get a wiggle on’. Aziraphale felt his cheeks heat, then Crowley said in a louder voice, his smile mischievous, “We can leave in just a second.”

Aziraphale was confused. “Just a second?”

Crowley stepped closer, and Aziraphale felt heat spreading through his body with every inch of distance he closed. “Yes. I need your input about something.”

“My input?”

“Yes. You see, we have reservations in thirty minutes, and I very much want to take you out on the town, show you off. But I also very much want to kiss you.”

Aziraphale fought the urge to swoon. “I think a bit of kissing would be fine. I’d certainly enjoy it.”

Crowley took another step. “I need to know, though, if I kiss you, will you promise to stop me before I get carried away? I’m afraid I don’t have any willpower when it comes to you, none at all, and once I get started, I’m not going to want to stop.”

His heart was galloping, his hands trembling. He wanted to kiss Crowley and never stop, to seek out every angle and crevice and apply his lips and tongue to it. And it seemed Crowley wanted the same thing. Heavens....

“I - I think I can do that,” he stammered. “I am rather hungry, after all.”

Crowley took one last step until they were only inches apart. Aziraphale’s entire body was thrumming with anticipation, and he couldn’t help but stare at Crowley’s lips. The red-haired man was just an inch of two taller than Aziraphale, and his lips were right at eye level. They were thin, but Aziraphale knew they were soft, and remembered all too well how they tasted. How could he not stare?

Then he felt a little tugging at his hands and quickly realized Crowley had linked their fingers loosely. Even such a light touch had Aziraphale’s pulse racing.

Crowley’s lips curved into a smile, soft and almost delicate, and Aziraphale couldn’t help but return it. The next thing he knew, those smiling lips were pressed against his, and it felt like Aziraphale’s very soul sighed in relief.

The kiss was gentle, slow, and full of something like promise. Their mouths moved softly over each other, sensual and soft, and Aziraphale whimpered a little when Crowley’s lips parted and caught his bottom lip between them. His blood fizzed in his veins like good champagne, and his head was fuzzy, too. Was this what love felt like? No, no, it was too soon for love. But whatever it was, it was very, very good.

He chased Crowley’s lips when he broke the kiss, making the ginger man smile. Aziraphale didn’t care if he smiled, so long as he kept kissing him.

After an eternity (or just a minute, Aziraphale couldn’t tell), they broke apart. Their fingers were still linked and both were breathing a little raggedly, warm breaths mingling in the small space between them. Aziraphale opened his eyes to look up at Crowley, wishing the other man weren’t wearing sunglasses. He wanted to see those topaz eyes. But he knew Crowley was looking at him because he smiled gently.

“Aziraphale?”

“Hmm?”

“I want to take you to dinner now, to wine you and dine you the way you deserve, but may I please kiss you some more at the end of our date?”

Aziraphale smiled. “I very much hope that you will.”

Crowley’s smile was brilliant, and he pressed a quick kiss to Aziraphale’s smile. “Good. Best news I’ve heard in an age. Are you ready to go?” Aziraphale nodded, and Crowley squeezed his hands. “Let’s go, angel.”

~*~O~*~

Crowley felt close to combusting, and he was having a hard time keeping himself contained.

From the moment he’d laid eyes on Aziraphale two months ago, walking on the treadmill and staring at him, he’d felt an intense, powerful attraction he couldn’t quite articulate, not even to himself. He’d spent weeks trying to work up the courage to go speak to the blond, watching him exercise from behind his sunglasses, hoping he wasn’t too obvious, lusting after the cherubic man. Thirsting for him. He’d had vivid fantasies about what it would be like to run his hands all over Aziraphale’s lush body, what he’d taste like, what his mouth would feel like, what he’d feel like surrounding Crowley’s cock. All his life, he’d been confident in pursuing men he found attractive, but for some reason, when faced with Aziraphale, his courage left him and he was stuck watching and pining. He chastised himself every night when he got home from the gym for not approaching Aziraphale. Tomorrow he would do it, he’d tell himself. Tomorrow, he’d stop being a coward and just go speak to the man. Tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

Then tomorrow would come, and Crowley would lose his nerve yet again. It went on like that for almost two months, two agonizing months.

It had been blind luck that he’d stumbled on Aziraphale in the sauna and been able to strike up a conversation with him, after weeks and weeks of wishing for just such an opportunity. He hadn’t really expected Aziraphale to agree to work out with him, but he’d been thrilled that he had. It wasn’t the date he wanted, but working out with Aziraphale was a good start. It gave them an excuse to talk to each other, and it gave Crowley carte blanche to stare at Aziraphale’s body while he worked out - which he did. He couldn’t seem to help himself. The angel was just so goddamn beautiful.

Then, after a week of working out together and hanging out in the sauna after, Crowley had started trying to steel himself to ask Aziraphale on a proper date. He’d felt confident that Aziraphale was attracted to him, too, but didn’t want to rush things. He wanted everything to be perfect for his angel. Absolutely perfect.

Aziraphale had surprised him when he’d asked Crowley out last night, but it had been the best surprise of his life. He’d surprised himself when he’d asked for a kiss, but had been delighted when Aziraphale had agreed readily enough. He’d only intended to kiss him a little, but, well, as he’d told Aziraphale just a few minutes ago, when it came to the angel, Crowley’s willpower was nil.

Now here they were, in his Bentley (which Aziraphale had admired very much, making Crowley preen), headed towards the restaurant he’d picked to take Aziraphale for their first real date. He was acutely aware of Aziraphale’s presence beside him, of his nearness, of his scent, and Crowley was having a hard time concentrating on the road. Aziraphale wasn’t even doing anything, just riding silently in the passenger seat, but Crowley was driven to distraction, just from his nearness. He was afraid to look at him at the moment, honestly, afraid he’d crash the car and utterly ruin the date.

He’d labored over the decision of where to take him, after Aziraphale had acquiesced to letting him pick last night, but had settled on the Ritz in the end. He wanted to sweep the angel off his feet, and Aziraphale seemed like the type to be impressed by a bit of flash. Crowley could do that. He’d been told more than once he was a flash bastard. If that’s what Aziraphale liked, all the better.

“May I ask you a favor, dear?” Aziraphale asked, breaking the silence.

“Anything, angel.”

“Would you mind slowing down? Just a trifle. Please.”

His voice was tight, and Crowley chanced a glance over at him. He was staring out of the windscreen, his eyes wide, and his hands were clenched tight in his lap. He looked utterly terrified, and Crowley took his foot off the gas at once.

“Yes, absolutely, Aziraphale, I’m sorry. I didn’t think --”

“It’s quite alright,” Aziraphale said, a weak smile on his face as he seemed to relax a bit, now that they’d slowed down.

Crowley was still kicking himself. Everything needed to be perfect on this date. He couldn’t afford to be an idiot.

“So where are we going?” Aziraphale asked, his voice much more calm now. “You haven’t said, you only mentioned dinner.”

Crowley flexed his hands on the steering wheel. At a lower speed, he could afford to look at Aziraphale a bit more, and looking made him want to touch. “I got us a reservation at the Ritz.”

Aziraphale looked over at him with wide eyes, his face the picture of shock. “The Ritz?”

“Yes. Is that alright? We can go somewhere else if you’d --”

“No!” Then he cleared his throat and modulated his voice. “No, I’m just surprised, is all. I’d love to dine at the Ritz. It’s long been a bucket list item of mine.”

“You’ve never been?”

Aziraphale shook his cottony head. “No, never. It’s always struck me as the type of place one goes only for very special occasions.”

“That was exactly what I thought, and why I made a reservation there. This is a very special occasion. It’s our first official date - the first of what I hope are many.”

The smile on Aziraphale’s face was beautiful. Just fucking beautiful. “I hope so, too, dear.”

They lapsed into silence for a few blocks, and Crowley debated the merits of reaching over and taking Aziraphale’s hand. He wanted to feel that soft skin again, to feel those thick fingers between his, but didn’t know how Aziraphale would feel about him taking a hand off the wheel, after a complaint about his driving. Best not to risk it, he decided. He needed Aziraphale to feel safe.

They arrived at the restaurant safe and sound, and Crowley pulled up to the valet parking. Quick as a flash, he was out of the car and dashing around to Aziraphale's side to open the door for him. Aziraphale looked a little taken aback by the gesture, but his surprise melted quickly into a smile and he took Crowley’s offered hand. Crowley felt his pulse jump at the touch. Perfect. Their hands fit together perfectly, and Crowley never wanted to let go.

He did let go, though, in favor of offering his arm to Aziraphale, who slipped his hand into Crowley’s elbow with a dazzling smile. Crowley tossed his keys to the valet with a sudden, hard look on his face, giving the lad a dire warning about what would happen if there was even a scratch on his beloved car, then quickly shifted his attention back to Aziraphale and smiled. “Ready, angel?”

Aziraphale nodded, his face fucking glowing. “Very ready.”

Crowley started up the walkway from the street to the restaurant with Aziraphale on his arm and was afraid he would combust with joy.

“Reservation for Crowley,” he said to the maitre’d when they got inside, then turned to look at Aziraphale. The blond man was looking around with wide eyes, and Crowley felt a bit chuffed to have impressed him.

He was proud as a peacock as the maitre’d led them through the restaurant, towards their table, his strut a little more pronounced than usual. More than one person looked over at them as they passed, and Crowley puffed up, sure that the people looking were jealous of him for being with someone as lovely as Aziraphale. He knew he would be jealous of anyone he saw with Aziraphale.

Once they reached the table, Crowley politely pulled out Aziraphale’s chair and waited until he sat before taking his own seat a couple of feet away. He ordered champagne for them, the nicest he could afford, and basked in Aziraphale’s adoring look.

The champagne arrived just after the waiter left with their order, and Crowley poured each of them a glass, then raised it in a toast.

“To new beginnings,” he said, smiling at the angel with a rapt expression.

Aziraphale was fucking radiant. “To new beginnings,” he echoed, then the two of them clinked their glasses and took a sip, smiling at each other from over the rim.

“Have you ever been here before?” Aziraphale asked when they sat their flutes down again.

“Once or twice. Long time ago.”

Aziraphale looked around the room. “It’s very nice. I feel a bit underdressed.”

Crowley grinned at him. “You look perfect, angel.” And he did. Not really his clothing, which Crowley didn’t give a fuck about (although they were lovely). Just… him. All of him. Fussy mannerisms and old fashioned sayings and everything. Perfect.

The flush that climbed Aziraphale’s pale cheeks was gorgeous, and Crowley wondered how low it crept beneath his collar.

Down boy.

He took a steadying sip of his champagne, trying to rein in his randy thoughts. It wasn’t easy with Aziraphale sitting there, looking so achingly stunning, but Crowley did his best.

“How long have you been running the bookshop?” he asked to distract himself from the thought of nibbling that little patch of skin behind Aziraphale’s ear.

“Oh, it feels like I’ve been running the shop for a couple of centuries,” he answered with a laugh, blue eyes sparkling. “But I only opened it a little less than twenty years ago.”

Crowley raised an eyebrow. “Twenty years? You must have been very young.”

“Not too young. I was twenty-five then. I’m forty-two now.”

“So am I,” Crowley said, pleased with this new tidbit of information. “But that was very young for someone to open a business.”

“Yes, I suppose so. But I liked the idea of working for myself. I’ve been very happy with the decision, on the whole.” He took a sip of his champagne. “How long have you been at the university?”

“Seems like forever. I started uni when I was eighteen and never really left. Got my undergrad and doctorate there, now I’m tenured, so I’ll never leave.”

“That’s wonderful,” Aziraphale said. “I had no idea you had your doctorate.”

“Yes, in botany.”

“That’s fascinating. Do you like teaching?”

“I hate lecturing, but enjoy working with the students in the lab and the greenhouses. That’s where the action is.”

Aziraphale’s eyes twinkled over the rim of his champagne flute. “You seem like the type of man who appreciates being where the action is.”

Crowley gave him a lascivious grin. “Very much so, angel.”

The blond man flushed again, looking away with a pleased smile, and Crowley smirked. Oh, how he loved this feeling. He felt a little drunk with it.

“I bet your students just adore you.”

Crowley laughed. “Maybe one or two of them. And none of them like me come exam time.”

“No, I suppose not. I wasn’t wild about my lecturers when exam time rolled around, either.”

“What did you major in?”

“Literature.”

“Ah,” Crowley said. Of course. He should have expected that.

The food arrived and Aziraphale exclaimed over how wonderful it looked before taking a deep sniff with his eyes closed, just as he had with the flowers, making Crowley smile. Seemed he was doing a lot of smiling tonight.

Aziraphale speared a bite of his risotto and brought it to his lips. Crowley watched attentively as the angel opened his pretty pink mouth and put the fork in his mouth delicately. Then - God help him - Aziraphale let out a moan unlike anything Crowley had ever heard before, and he nearly dropped his own fork. The sound was utterly pornographic and Crowley desperately wanted to hear it again and again - preferably while Crowley had his mouth attached to some part of Aziraphale’s body. He watched, his eyes wide, as Aziraphale chewed with his blue eyes closed in bliss, then swallowed and looked at a stunned Crowley with a smile.

“That’s absolutely scrummy,” He said delightedly, then speared another bite. Crowley nearly died. Was he doing this on purpose?

After a couple of minutes, he got himself back under control enough to be able to eat his own food - although his instinct was to rest his chin on his hand and just watch the fascinating, gorgeous creature across from him enjoy himself.

“So you restored your Bentley yourself?” Aziraphale asked between bites.

Crowley shook himself from his ponderings of ways to make Aziraphale moan. “Yes. I did.”

“You must be very handy with a tool kit.”

“I’m passable,” he shrugged, downplaying his skill.

“I’ll bet you’re more than passable,” Aziraphale said, and his blue eyes were twinkling again, the way they got when he flirted. Crowley wanted him to look at him that way forever. It made his stomach clench with want. Aziraphale’s look was simultaneously innocent and teasing, and Crowley felt his cock react under the table - again. He’d never wanted anyone or anything the way he wanted Aziraphale Fell, right that minute, right in the middle of the fucking Ritz. In a desperate bid to control himself, he took one hand off the table, clenching it into a fist on his thigh.

Once he thought he had some semblance of control over himself - although he was still terribly aroused - he raised his hand back to the table and cleared his throat.

“Do you do this much?” he asked, as casually as he could muster, desperate for something to say that might take his attention off of his own desire.

“Fine dining?” Aziraphale asked, his face once again the perfect blend of teasing and innocence.

Crowley chuckled, then shook his head. “No, I meant, do you date much?” Perhaps thinking of Aziraphale with other men would cool his ardor.

“Oh. No, I can’t say that I do, really. I’m not exactly the type of person that attracts a lot of attention, you see.”

Crowley gave him a crooked smile, hoping for charm. “You certainly attracted my attention.”

Aziraphale gave a pleased flush, averting his eyes shyly, and fuck it was cute. Was everything this man did attractive?

“But no,” Aziraphale said after a pause. “I don’t date much. My last boyfriend and I split nearly two years ago, and I haven’t been on a date since.”

Part of Crowley recoiled from the question he thought to ask, but the other part of him was desperately curious. Besides, maybe a little jealousy would help get his libido under control. “Why did you split, if I may ask?” He regretted the question as soon as it was out. Aziraphale looked uncomfortable, and Crowley never wanted to make him uncomfortable. “I’m sorry,” he rushed forward to say, “that was rude of me. I apologize.”

“No, no, it’s fine. Just a little embarrassing, is all.”

“You don’t have to tell me.”

“No, really, it’s fine. In all truth, you should probably be forewarned.”

His brows knitted in confusion. “Forewarned about what? Surely whatever happened was entirely the fault of your ex.”

Aziraphale smiled down at his plate. “You’re very kind to say, but that’s not the way it was told to me by Gabriel. He was terribly bored with me.”

Crowley blinked, surprised. “Bored with you?”

“Yes. He complained that I was unspeakably dull. The ‘Antithesis of Excitement’, I believe were his exact words.”

“What an asshole,” Crowley said with feeling, blurting before he thought better of it.

Aziraphale gave a soft smile. “He could be, yes.”

“You’re not boring, though.”

That flush was back, high on his cheeks, and he picked at his food. “You’re only saying that because you don’t know me very well. I tend to be rather… sedate.”

Crowley didn’t know how to respond to that, and was still more than a little surprised that anyone, anywhere, could say or think anything negative at all about this angel. He did his best to recover.

“Sedate and boring are not the same thing, angel. Not even close. But what do you mean by ‘sedate’? What do you like to do? That’s a question I need to ask on the first date, anyway.”

“I enjoy reading more than anything else, as I’m sure you probably gathered from my vocation as well as from seeing my flat.”

“Yes, but reading isn’t boring.”

“Perhaps not, but it’s not exactly a thrilling pastime.”

“It’s thrilling for the reader, and that’s all that matters.”

Aziraphale looked surprised, then pleased, his face blooming in a genuine smile. Crowley basked in it until Aziraphale ducked his head again shyly.

“I don’t only like to read,” he said, pushing a bite of food around on his plate. “I enjoy a good play or a film. I like to dine out on occasion. I enjoy baking - although I haven’t been doing much of that in recent months, since I started on my journey to be healthier. I watch telly on occasion, if I can find a show that’s interesting. Most often documentaries. On pretty days, I like to go to the park and people watch while I feed the ducks. But mostly, I just like quiet evenings in.”

“None of that sounds boring to me, Aziraphale. In fact, all of it sounds downright… heavenly.”

Aziraphale gave him an unsure smile. “You think so?”

“Yes. Particularly the quiet evenings in. I’m forty-two now - going and doing all the time doesn’t interest me the way it used to. Not all the time. But I am interested in all the things you said. Truly.”

His smile brightened, dazzling Crowley, and he couldn’t help but smile back, besotted and foolish.

“I’m relieved you think so, dear.”

Dear. A term of endearment. Crowley’s heart leapt in his chest. Was it possible to be in love with someone on only your first date? Because Crowley very much thought he might be.

“I'm so glad you asked me for a date,” he blurted, laying his thoughts bare before he could censor them.

Aziraphale fucking glowed again, radiating light. “I’m glad, too. I kept hoping for you to do it…”

“I was waiting,” Crowley explained.

“Waiting for what?”

“The perfect moment. It seems silly now, I guess, but I wanted to make sure to ask you at the best possible time. I also wanted there to be a little bit of a buffer between introducing myself and asking you out. I didn’t want to come on too strong and scare you off.”

Aziraphale smiled warmly and covered Crowley’s hand on the table. “You wouldn’t have scared me off.”

“No?” Aziraphale’s hand was so soft, so perfect, the weight comfortable on Crowley’s.

“No. I’d have been deeply flattered. In fact, I have a bit of a confession. I spent quite a bit of time before we met in the sauna watching you covertly, daydreaming about you.”

Crowley grinned. “I could hardly take my eyes off of you, angel. Still can’t.”

They were both startled when the waiter came by to check on them, and much to Crowley’s regret, Aziraphale withdrew his hand.

Once the waiter was gone, Crowley attempted to pay attention to his meal. “What would you think about a nighttime stroll after dinner?” he asked casually as he picked a bite of food.

“Where?”

Crowley shrugged. “We could go to the park, if you like. It’s well lit at night, and the moon is full tonight. Or we could simply browse Soho. I’m not terribly familiar with the neighborhood, maybe you could show me around. Honestly, angel, I don’t care what we do, I’m just not ready for this date to end yet.”

Aziraphale’s blue eyes crinkled around the corners when he smiled. “I’m not ready, either. I think a nighttime stroll would be just the thing.”

“Perfect,” Crowley replied with a bright, happy smile of his own. “That’s perfect.”

Chapter Text

Aziraphale was no expert, but he rather thought that his date with Crowley was going well. Very well, in fact.

Dinner had been amazing, the most delicious meal Aziraphale had ever eaten, and the company he’d been with had been even better. He and Crowley had flirted throughout dinner, their banter light and teasing, their looks long and heated. They’d touched a couple of times during dinner, fingers or knees brushing each other - or even overtly holding hands a couple of times. Every touch was electric and made Aziraphale want more. He didn’t think he’d ever get enough of touching Crowley, but he was prepared to try to find that upper limit.

He’d gotten his wish when Crowley took his hand as soon as they finished dinner and went to retrieve the car. Crowley had opened the door for him when the sleek Bentley had pulled up, and had driven very sensibly back to Soho. Aziraphale had considered reaching over and taking his hand while he drove but decided against it. If his touch affected Crowley anywhere near as much as Crowley’s touch affected him, it could be dangerous. So he just kept his hands in his lap and counted the minutes until they were parked and he could touch Crowley again.

Crowley had parked the car near the bookshop, and gotten out in a hurry to open Aziraphale’s door again. Aziraphale had bitten his lip on a smile as he’d taken Crowley’s offered hand and stepped out of the car. Crowley had made his heart nearly fly out of his chest when he’d taken Aziraphale’s hand and kissed the back of it. Aziraphale was wondering more and more if it really was possible to fall in love with someone on the first date. If so, he was well on his way. It wouldn’t take much to tip him over into love, not much at all.

They were walking now, a couple of blocks away from the shop and headed farther out of the way, hand in hand, strolling at a leisurely pace. Aziraphale had been telling Crowley stories of his neighborhood, little anecdotes about people he knew and interacted with. Crowley was an attentive listener, asking the occasional question that let Aziraphale know he was paying attention - and Aziraphale was soaking up all the attention. Nobody ever listened to him when he talked, unless he was giving a brief answer to a question, and the fact that Crowley seemed to actually be enjoying his little monologue about his neighbors - the mind boggled. Was this man perfect?

“I’m sorry,” Aziraphale said after a story about the proprietor of the coffee shop and his son, who was leaving for Uni. “You must think me a motormouth, the way I run on.”

“Nah. I like hearing you talk. I think you could talk about anything and I’d listen.”

Aziraphale flushed. “Now you’re the one who’s running on.”

“Have you ever considered a career as a voice actor? Someone who narrates books?”

“No, I can’t say that I have…”

“Maybe you should think about it. I bet the books you read would sell a million copies because people would want to hear your voice.”

Aziraphale ducked his head, feeling his cheeks burn. “You’re teasing.”

Crowley squeezed his hand. “I’m not teasing at all. I think you have an utterly lovely voice, and I’d gladly pay to hear you recite the phone directory.”

Aziraphale looked up to find Crowley looking at him, too. The colored, neon lights of Soho reflected off his glasses and cast fascinating shadows on his gorgeous face, making him look somehow more attractive. How was that even possible? Was Crowley just going to grow and grow in beauty and perfection until Aziraphale inconveniently discorporated out of sheer want?

He swallowed hard. “I don’t think I’ll be giving up my shop any time soon, but maybe… maybe sometime, if you’d like, that is, I could… I could read to you?”

The offer was phrased as a question, reflecting Aziraphale’s uncertainty, but Crowley’s face cleared into a brilliant smile. “You’d do that?”

“If you’d like it,” Aziraphale answered, his heart thudding.

“Oh, I’d fucking love that,” Crowley said, his face glowing independently of the neon lights. His thumb traced along the back of Aziraphale’s knuckles. “You know the most exciting thing about hearing that?”

“What’s that, dear?”

“It tells me that you’re willing to see me again.”

Aziraphale melted. “So you want to see me again?”

“God, yes, angel. As much as you’ll let me see you.”

He beamed, happiness radiating through him. “I’d like to keep seeing you, too.”

“Good.” Crowley lifted Aziraphale’s hand and pressed another kiss to it. “Glad to know we’re on the same page.”

“I think we are, yes.”

“That’s fortunate.”

They walked a little while longer, meandering through Soho, and Aziraphale started to wonder about the end of their date. Should he invite Crowley up? He very much wanted to, but was unsure about the etiquette. Would that be inappropriate? Or too forward? He had no idea, honestly.

“What are you thinking about?” Crowley asked, breaking into his thoughts, swinging their joined hands a little.

“Hmm? Oh. Nothing of any consequence.”

One of Crowley’s eyebrows appeared from behind his sunglasses. “I doubt it’s of no consequence,” he said, one corner of his mouth quirked.

“No, really. I was just thinking of what a lovely time I’ve had tonight, and dreading the end of our date.”

“I am, too, but we’ve agreed to see each other again, right?”

Aziraphale smiled. “I’d like to, yes.”

“Then we can have as many more nights like tonight as you want.”

His smile turned teasing and he squeezed Crowley’s hand. “I don’t think we’ll have many nights like tonight. I certainly don’t expect you to bring me flowers or take me to the Ritz every date.”

“I would, though,” Crowley said immediately. “If that’s what made you happy. I would.”

Was it possible to melt into a puddle on the ground but still be a man-shaped being? Aziraphale was somehow doing both at once.

Crowley paused a little and took a deep sniff of the air. “Something smells divine.”

“That would be Anton’s,” Aziraphale explained. “Best bakery in Soho.”

“Can I tempt you into having dessert with me?” Crowley asked with a smile.

Aziraphale raised his free hand in a warding-off gesture. “Oh, no. I really shouldn’t.”

Crowley’s face fell a little. “Why not?”

“I shouldn’t be having all the empty calories. I’ve worked so hard over the last couple of months and made such progress… it would be a shame to undo all of that now.”

Behind the glasses, Crowley’s brow was knitted. “Having a danish or a slice of cake or something like that won’t undo what you’ve done, angel. Not even close.”

“I’ve just done so well. The scales are moving and I feel better --”

“And those are wonderful things. But denying yourself treats is no way to live. And it’s proven to be counterproductive in the long run.”

Oh, how he was tempted. He cast a longing look towards Anton’s.

Crowley shook his hand a little to get his attention. “Have a slice of cake with me. A sweet way to end a sweet evening.”

“You missed your calling, dear. You should have been a professional tempter,” Aziraphale teased.

The red-haired man grinned at that. “C’mon, Aziraphale. Let me buy you dessert, then I’ll walk you home.”

Aziraphale caved. “Oh, alright. We can go to Anton’s - on one condition.”

“Name it.”

“You let me pay.”

Crowley gave him that devastating, lopsided grin that made his heart pitter-pat, then kissed the back of his hand. “You’ve got a deal.”

They strode down the pavement a few hundred feet until they arrived at Anton’s. Crowley opened the door without letting go of Aziraphale’s hand, and Aziraphale favored him with a brilliant smile. Fingers still entwined, they made their way up to the counter and ordered - a slice of devil’s food for Aziraphale and plain vanilla for Crowley. Aziraphale paid, then the two men had a seat at one of the many open tables. The bakery was nearly deserted at half nine on a Friday night, and Aziraphale was grateful. It made him feel as if he and Crowley were the only two people in the world, and he very much liked that.

He speared a bite of his cake and ate it, closing his eyes in bliss and moaning a little as the rich chocolate flavor burst across his tongue. Oh, he’d missed this. Perhaps he should establish a - what was it called? - a cheat day. Yes, he might have to do just that. Every other week should be sufficient. Really, though, he knew Crowley was right. As long as he kept working out, he really didn’t need to watch his diet so stringently. He shouldn’t go wild with the sweets and cakes, but a little in moderation would be fine.

He stabbed another bite and brought it to his mouth, again moaning a little. So good. So, so good.

When he opened his eyes, Crowley was shifting a little in his seat, looking almost uncomfortable, but when he caught Aziraphale looking, he gave a smile. Aziraphale smiled back happily.

“S’good, angel?”

“Absolutely heavenly. I’m so glad you tempted me into this.”

Crowley’s grin turned lascivious, and Aziraphale felt his belly clench. “I’ll be happy to tempt you anytime.”

Aziraphale could feel his cheeks flaming. “I hope you will,” he flirted back.

Crowley just grinned and took a bite of his cake.

“So,” Aziraphale said a moment later, “You took me out on this date. I think it’s only fair that you let me take you out next time.”

“When is ‘next time’?”

Aziraphale ducked his head a little. “Whenever you want it to be.”

“Tomorrow?” Crowley asked, his tone hopeful.

“I’m free tomorrow,” Aziraphale answered, his heart racing.

“Well, now you’re not. You have another date.”

He beamed. “Two in one weekend. I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself.”

“I hope you get very used to having dates every weekend night.”

“In addition to our exercise dates during the week?”

“I’m counting on it, angel. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even work up the nerve to ask you out to dinner one weeknight sometime soon.”

Aziraphale grinned, then picked at his cake with his fork. “Well, if you were to gain the courage, I feel sure you’d get the answer you were hoping for.”

Crowley’s smile overtook his whole face. “Good to know.”

They ate their cake quietly for a few moments, both of them with ghosts of smiles on their faces that had nothing to do with their dessert. Aziraphale tried, but he genuinely couldn’t think of the last time he’d been so abundantly happy. He was practically soaking in happiness, joy radiating from him, when the bells on the door to the bakery jingled. Aziraphale looked up instinctively, still smiling, and felt like he had been dunked into a vat of icy water. Every muscle in his body tensed and he felt his smile fade.

Gabriel.

He hadn’t seen his ex often since they broke up - in all honesty, Aziraphale hadn’t left his flat or the shop much since they’d split, reducing the chances for a moment like this. Running into Gabriel always left him feeling poorly about himself, and he invariably found himself in a bit of a funk for a couple of days afterwards. The last time he’d seen Gabriel had been six months ago, and he’d hoped never to run into him again. But it seemed as if those hopes were dashed.

Aziraphale’s mind spun, frantically trying to think of a way to get out of the situation he now found himself in. He didn’t want to look at Gabriel, much less speak to him. And he certainly didn’t want Crowley to meet Gabriel. No, no. Not at all. But how could he get himself and Crowley out without Gabriel noticing him? Oh, what to do, what to do?

Crowley’s expressive face melted into concern. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing! Nothing,” he lied.

The red-haired man looked over his shoulder, around the room, then back to Aziraphale. “You were smiling, then you looked like you saw a ghost.”

Aziraphale gave him a forced smile. “It’s nothing, really. I think I’ve just decided I’m quite done. Are you ready to --”

“Aziraphale!”

He flinched when he heard that voice, then closed his eyes in a silent, unheard prayer that maybe he was imagining things.

“Is that you? It is you!”

Aziraphale opened his eyes and gave a weak smile he didn’t feel, not looking at Crowley, afraid to see his reaction. “Yes, it’s me.”

“I almost didn’t recognize you! Have you lost weight?”

“Yes, a bit.”

“Well thank God for small miracles, am I right? Or substantial ones, in this case.”

Aziraphale cringed and looked down at his plate, still not willing to look at Crowley.

Gabriel stopped by the table, as if he had every right to be there, as if he were totally welcome, and smiled like his presence was a wonderful gift he was bestowing on Aziraphale and Crowley. Aziraphale wished fervently that he would just go away, but no such miracle was forthcoming.

“Who’s your friend?”

Crowley glanced at Aziraphale, unsure, then offered his hand. “Anthony J. Crowley.”

Gabriel took it, and Aziraphale could see him squeezing harder than he needed to do during the handshake, in the way he always did, attempting to assert dominance. Aziraphale cringed again in embarrassment.

“Gabriel Messenger. Pleased to meet you.”

Crowley’s eyes widened behind his glasses. “Gabriel, huh?”

Gabriel’s grin became even smarmier, if that were possible. “Oh, you’ve heard about me?”

“Aziraphale mentioned you once.”

“Excellent,” Gabriel said, as if supremely confident that anything Aziraphale said would be flattering. Aziraphale wanted to crawl in a hole. “You two are on a date?”

“Yes,” Crowley said, “and we were just leaving, so if you don’t mind--”

Gabriel turned to Aziraphale. “Look at you! You look good. Well, better. Much better, though. The improvement is vast.”

“Er, thank you.”

“You should have seen him before,” Gabriel said in a conspiratorial tone to Crowley.

“I did,” Crowley replied in an icy tone. “He was stunning then, just as he is now.”

Gabriel scoffed, then turned back to Aziraphale. “Although I see that losing weight hasn’t improved your fashion sense. Still dressing like a Victorian dandy, I see.”

Aziraphale opened his mouth to reply (although he had no idea what he was going to say), but Crowley interrupted him. “I happen to like the way he’s dressed, actually.”

Gabriel gave another scoff, but didn’t acknowledge him directly. He just kept directing his words to Aziraphale. “Seems like you’ve figured out the secret, Aziraphale - date a man who doesn’t care if you’re fat and ridiculous. Does he know you’re only mediocre in bed yet?”

Crowley was on his feet in an instant, his hands clenched by his sides. “Apologize.”

Gabriel favored him with a snort. “I’ll do no such thing.”

“Apologize. Now.”

“For what? Speaking the truth?” Gabriel huffed a laugh, giving him an up and down look. “You seem to be a fairly fashionable fellow, barring the sunglasses. I don’t know why you’d be wasting your time with him.”

“Aziraphale is handsome and intelligent and kind and fucking perfect,” Crowley snarled. “But I wouldn’t expect a tosser like you to know his worth. Now, apologize to the man.”

“You must not have been dating very long. You haven’t had time to be embarrassed by what he looks like, it’s still a novelty to you. But eventually, you’ll get tired of having a fat, boring --”

The next thing Aziraphale knew, Gabriel was shouting obscenities, holding his nose. “You punched me! You fucking punched me!”

“Insult him again, you bastard,” Crowley snarled, hand still clenched by his sides.

Aziraphale stared at both of them, his head swinging back and forth like he was at a tennis match, his eyes wide and jaw slack. This couldn’t be real. This had to be an alternate reality. Crowley had punched Gabriel in defense of him!

“I can’t believe you fucking punched me!” Gabriel shouted from behind his hands.

“And I’ll do it again,” Crowley promised. “Ready to apologize now?”

Aziraphale got to his feet unsteadily. “Crowley, dear…”

Crowley didn’t look at him. “If I ever hear of you speaking of Aziraphale like that again, if I ever get the idea that you’re speaking of him like that, I’ll break your nose all over again. Do you understand me? This man is a goddamn angel and I won’t let you treat him this way.”

“I’ll sue you!” Gabriel threatened. “You won’t get away with this!”

“I’m not scared of you. Fuck you, fuck your opinions, and fuck your bullshit bodyshaming. Go to hell.” Crowley held out his hand without looking. “C’mon, angel. Let’s get out of here.”

Aziraphale didn’t hesitate to take his hand and let himself be dragged out of the bakery. In all actuality, he may have floated out of the bakery on a fluffy pink cloud with hearts flying all about his head. He couldn’t be sure.

~*~O~*~

Crowley was seething, in some realm well beyond angry, stomping down the pavement of Soho with Aziraphale holding his hand, following along behind. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so angry. Fuck Gabriel Messenger, fuck him all the way to hell. How dare he talk about Aziraphale like that? The most perfect man Crowley had ever known and fucking Gabriel…

He clenched his teeth, furious. Oh, what he wouldn’t give to get the bastard alone for just five minutes. A punch in the nose would only be the beginning.

No, some hidden, rational part of his brain countered. It wouldn’t, because you’re not like that. This was unlike you.

That was true. He abhorred violence, normally. He’d just seen the way Gabirel’s words were hitting Aziraphale, each insult making the angel’s face fall a little more, and he’d just … acted without thinking.

“Crowley?” came Aziraphale’s voice, and he sounded unsure.

Oh, shit. Crowley had lost his temper and punched a bloke right in front of Aziraphale! Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. What had he done? What must Aziraphale think of him now?

Feeling his face drain of all color, he came to an abrupt stop in the middle of the pavement. Aziraphale apparently wasn’t expecting that and bumped into him, but that barely registered. Crowley turned to him with wide eyes, his hand going clammy around Aziraphale’s own soft hand.

“Angel…” he started, unsure what he was going to say. An apology, an excuse. Anything and everything to make this okay.

To his shock, Aziraphale didn’t look angry. He didn’t even look displeased. There was a faint smile tugging the corners of his mouth.

“Yes?”

“That was… I shouldn’t have… I’m sorry…”

“For what, dear?”

“For punching that prick. I’m not… I don’t normally…” he stumbled, looking for the right words.

“Well I should hope not. You’d probably land yourself in all sorts of trouble if you did.”

His eyes were sparkling in the low light and Crowley realized with no small amount of amazement that he was teasing. He wasn’t cross, he was joking. Crowley couldn’t believe it.

“You’re not - you’re not angry?”

“Good heavens, no. If anything, I’m, well, I’m more than a little touched. No one has ever defended me like that, Crowley. Not ever in my long life. You were magnificent.”

Crowley was still stunned, his brain scrambling to make sense of this development. “But I hit him!”

Aziraphale grinned. “Yes, you did. Socked him square on the nose.”

“That’s… that’s completely unacceptable behavior!”

“Well, I suppose so, strictly speaking. But I rather enjoyed it.”

Crowley was still gaping at him, trying to wrap his head around Aziraphale’s reaction - or, rather, nonreaction.

Aziraphale ran his thumb across the back of Crowley’s hand. “I was trying to get your attention to ask if your hand is alright, or if you hurt it when you hit him.”

“My hand,” Crowley repeated dumbly.

“Yes, your hand. That was quite a punch. Would you like to come up when we get back to my flat so you can ice it?”

Crowley shook himself. “No. I mean, yes, I’d like to come up, but my hand is fine. But… you’re really alright with what happened back there?”

“Oh, yes. More than.”

“It’s just that… I don't usually do that. I never do that, in fact. I haven’t hit another human being in anger since I was a bloody teenager.”

“Well, if anyone can push a good man into violence, it would be Gabriel. I’ve wanted to punch him myself, many, many times. I’m actually quite envious of you right now,” Aziraphale teased, knocking his shoulder against Crowley’s.

Teasing again. Crowley couldn't believe it. This man… this man was perfect.

“You’re amazing. Do you know that?”

Aziraphale looked pleased, but a bit shy. “I’m not, not really. You’re the amazing one.”

“No, I mean it. You’re just… I’m so, so glad that you chose my gym to start working out.”

“I am, too, dear.”

Crowley used his free hand to reach up and cup Aziraphale’s cheek, running his thumb across his smooth skin. Aziraphale closed his eyes, smiling softly, and leaned into the touch.

“Thank you,” Crowley murmured.

Aziraphale opened his eyes and looked up at him. “For what, dear?”

Crowley was at a loss. Nothing he could say would be adequate to express the depth of his emotions. But Aziraphale was looking at him expectantly, his eyes shining, his hair lit like a colorful halo, and Crowley was overcome with gratitude.

“I don’t know exactly what for,” he admitted. “I just know that I’m so, so grateful for you, angel. So fucking grateful.”

Aziraphale beamed. “I’m grateful, too.”

Crowley couldn’t wait another second, not one more damn second. He dipped his head and pressed his lips to Aziraphale’s plump ones, feeling as if every cell in his body were glowing from the kiss. He kept the kiss light and undemanding, but full of unspoken emotions.

The kiss broke when some teenager rammed into them, then shouted, “Get a room!” Crowley considered shouting something rude back at them, but his mind was a scramble. He gave a distracted glance towards the retreating back of the rude kid, then turned his attention back towards Aziraphale, who was smiling demurely up at him.

“Perhaps the pavement isn’t the best place for this.”

Crowley couldn’t help but smile. “Perhaps not.”

“I think my flat would be better.”

“Yeah?”

Aziraphale nodded, his lip between his teeth. “Yes. If you’d like to come up.”

“I’d love to come up, angel. As long as you’re sure.”

“I’m sure. Very sure. I have a bottle of white chilling, and we could share it. Then, well, didn’t you promise me some more kissing at the end of our date?”

Crowley felt like he could take flight. “I did indeed.”

“Well, I’d very much like it if you followed through with your promise, please.”

He raised their joined hands and pressed a kiss to the back of Aziraphale’s hand. “After you, angel.”

Chapter Text

Crowley accepted the glass of wine with a smile and nod of thanks, but didn’t sip yet. He waited until Aziraphale poured his own glass and set the bottle down on the coffee table.

“A toast?” he proposed.

Aziraphale smiled in response. “Of course. To whom?”

“To a story just starting,” Crowley replied,

“To a story just starting,” Aziraphale agreed and the two of them touched glasses, making a satisfying little sound that made it feel more official somehow, then both took a sip. The wine was sweet, a bit sweeter than Crowley usually liked, but he couldn’t help but think he’d very much like the sweetness when he tasted it from Aziraphale’s lips.

Soon, very soon, he’d kiss his angel, then hopefully touch him more. But it wouldn’t do to go barreling in like a bull in a china shop. He could afford to take his time. To be quite honest, he couldn’t afford not to. Going too fast may scare Aziraphale away, and that was the last thing Crowley wanted to do. Besides, sharing a bottle of wine on the couch in front of the fireplace was no hardship. Not at all. It was... nice, and Crowley hoped they’d find themselves in the same position countless times in the future, that this was only the first night of many, many more to come.

He swallowed a sip of his wine. “This is nice.”

Aziraphale nodded. “Yes it is.”

“Have you had a good time tonight? Other than the unfortunate incident in the bakery...”

“Oh yes. This has been one of the most lovely nights of my life, easily.”

Crowley raised an eyebrow, his mouth quirked. “Of your life?”

“Absolutely. Without question.”

“That’s good to hear, angel. Fucking fantastic.”

They were silent a little while, the only sound being the crackling of the fire in the fireplace and Crowley’s crowded thoughts inside his head. He wondered what he could say that wouldn’t be too forward, but in truth, nearly everything he was thinking was forward. Things like, ‘I think you’re the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen,’ or, ‘I’ve never felt this way about anyone.’ They were the absolute truth, but maybe a bit much for a first date. Maybe. Maybe not. Crowley decided just to let the evening unfold and say what felt right in the moment. That seemed like the best course of action.

Aziraphale looked over his shoulder, towards the kitchen, and smiled.

“What is it?” Crowley asked, curious.

“I just... can’t believe you brought me flowers.”

Crowley smiled. “I’ll bring you flowers every day if you’ll let me.”

Aziraphale giggled, actually giggled, and Crowley was somehow even more charmed.

“No, you don’t have to do that. I only have one vase, for one thing.”

Crowley chuckled and took a sip of his wine. “How about once a week, then? When those die, I’ll replace them.”

“I think that would be lovely, dear.”

Perfect. Crowley made a mental note to bring Aziraphale fresh flowers every weekend, on the anniversary of this night.

“Can I ask you something?” Aziraphale asked, looking down at the wineglass he was cradling in both hands.

“You can ask me anything, angel. Anything at all.”

Aziraphale didn’t look up and there was a little pink high on his cheeks. Crowley wanted to kiss it away.

“I, um, I’m rather well read,” Aziraphale started, turning his glass around in his hands, “by virtue of my occupation. It’s kind of a requirement.”

“Yes?”

“Well, one of the things my little shop specializes in is Victorian books.”

Crowley wasn’t following. “Okay...”

“And, because of that, I’m very well-versed in quite a lot of Victorian culture. Things most people might not know.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand...”

Aziraphale’s cheeks were scarlet and his eyes were firmly on the wineglass in his hands. “Are you familiar with the language of flowers?”

Crowley felt something wash over him that he couldn’t quite describe. Perhaps shock mixed with dread and fear? He was completely caught out. But he couldn’t lie. He’d never lie to Aziraphale, so he swallowed, his eyes wide and nodded. “I am. Very familiar, in fact.”

“That was, um, that was quite the message in those flowers.”

Fuck it, Crowley decided.

“It was intentional,” he said, his heart in his throat. “Red camellias, calla lilies, dwarf sunflowers...”

“A flame in the heart, beauty, and adoration,” Aziraphale recited, his face blooming into a smile.

“Yes.”

“And white roses and red tulips.”

“I’m worthy of you and passion, respectively,” Crowley finished. “Is - is that alright?”

“Oh, my dear, it’s so much more than alright. I just wanted to be sure that they meant what I thought they did. Well, what I hoped they did.”

Crowley set his wine glass down on the coffee table and scooted a little closer to Aziraphale, his eyes never leaving the angel’s face. “It was the only way I could think of at the time to tell you how I felt. How I feel.”

“And, um, how do you feel?”

He’d already declared himself through flowers. Why not just confess out loud? In for a penny and all that.

Crowley inched closer, his arm going to rest on the back of the couch, his body turned towards Aziraphale. Still not satisfied with the distance between them, he scooted a little closer and dove headfirst. “I think you’re absolutely the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen in my long life and I adore you.”

Aziraphale looked terribly pleased, but that didn’t stop him from protesting. “You hardly know me.”

“I know you well enough to be utterly enchanted by you, and I can’t imagine anything I could learn about you that would ever change that adoration.”

“I snore,” Aziraphale said.

Crowley reached out with gentle fingers and caressed Aziraphale’s cheekbones. “So do I.”

“I’ve been accused of being a snob.”

He let his fingers trace the shell of Aziraphale’s ear, following the motions with his eyes. “I appreciate the finer things, too.”

Aziraphale swallowed hard. “I - I’m boring.”

“We’ve already covered this,” Crowley replied, fingers now skimming along Aziraphale’s collar, enjoying the goose flesh that exploded on his skin. “I don’t think you’re boring at all.”

“Crowley,” he whined, and Crowley smiled. Enough teasing.

“I want to kiss you,” Crowley confessed in a murmur. “I want to kiss you and kiss you, over and over, until we’re both mindless. Will you let me?”

Aziraphale nodded, his eyes wide, and Crowley sat back from him far enough to take the glass of wine from him and set it on the table. While he was sitting up, he removed his glasses and laid them down as well, then he turned back to Aziraphale.

Crowley raised his left hand to cup Aziraphale’s cheek, stroking his thumb along the skin. “Don’t be afraid,” he whispered. “I won’t hurt you.”

“I’m not afraid,” Aziraphale replied and his voice was trembling. “Kiss me.”

Crowley did. He closed the distance and pressed his mouth to Aziraphale’s lips gently, softly, his whole body reacting pleasantly. His skin tingled, his heart pounded, and he knew without any doubt that it was possible to fall in love with someone this soon. He knew, because goddammit, he was in love.

Doing his best to rein himself in so he wouldn’t outright attack Aziraphale, he slowly amped up the kiss, little by little. First he parted his lips and nibbled the angel’s lower lip, then he let his tongue soothe where his teeth had just been, enjoying the little sound Aziraphale made when he did. He was thrilled when he felt Aziraphale’s tongue caressing his, and was helpless but to deepen the kiss, exploring Aziraphale’s mouth, tasting the lingering flavor of sweet wine. His hands were restless, one of them threading through Aziraphale’s cottony curls and the other dropping down to lay on Aziraphale’s thigh. He didn’t move it from the place it had landed, not yet, but he couldn’t help but flex and release his fingers in the flesh there. God, he wanted to touch those thighs with no fabric blocking his way, to lick, kiss, and bite them, to worship them the way they deserved to be worshipped. Truth be told, he wanted to worship every part of Aziraphale’s body, to memorize every inch of him, to learn where he was soft and where he was hard, to make him feel as beautiful and loved as he deserved to feel. And Crowley wanted to make him feel that way forever.

But for now, for this moment, he just wanted more.

Aziraphale clutched the front of Crowley’s jacket with both hands, whimpering into the kiss, and Crowley kissed him a little harder, a little more desperately. How was it possible to want another human this much and not combust?

Crowley needed to touch Aziraphale, to feel his skin, and his hand was squeezing Aziraphale’s thigh helplessly, trying to control the urge. He was overwhelmingly grateful when Aziraphale started pushing on his jacket, trying to get it off. He removed his hands from Aziraphale’s body to help shrug off the offending garment, breaking the kiss and sitting back a bit. His breaths were coming hard and fast, but he barely noticed. He only had eyes for Aziraphale, who was looking rumpled and gorgeous. His chest was rising and falling rapidly, his hair was mussed and wild, his lips were pink, swollen and spit-shiny, and Crowley loved him completely.

He finally succeeded in shucking off the jacket and dove back for Aziraphale, slotting their mouths together eagerly, one hand holding his head still for kissing, the other going to work on his buttons. Aziraphale was kissing him back as wildly as Crowley was kissing him, giving as good as he got, and Crowley felt his control slip. He needed more. Now.

Frustrated with the slow progress, he released Aziraphale’s head and put both hands to work on the rows and rows of buttons keeping him from seeing his angel’s skin. Needing air, he broke the kiss and immediately set his mouth on Aziraphale’s neck, kissing and tasting, moaning from pleasure.

“Is this alright?” he panted, hoping to God that Aziraphale would say yes.

“Yes, my darling, anything you want.”

“I want you,” Crowley insisted against his Adam’s apple. “I just want you.”

“And I - oh - I want you, Crowley. So badly.”

Crowley finally finished unbuttoning the shirt and waistcoat and pushed them to the side, baring Aziraphale’s strong chest. There was a lovely pelt of blonde hair covering him, thinning out into a line that trailed down over his slightly rounded belly and into his trousers. Crowley wanted to trace that line with his tongue.

“You’re so fucking gorgeous,” he said in awe, then lay his hands on Aziraphale’s torso, his fingers splayed, wanting to touch as much as he could. Aziraphale’s heart was fluttering under his fingers, and Crowley was thrilled to know that he’d affected him in such a way. He couldn’t stand it, he leaned forward to start pressing kisses to that chest, squeezing his fingers into the soft flesh of Aziraphale’s sides, seeking out his nipple and ringing it with his tongue. It stiffened under the attention and he suckled it, basking in the little “oh” Aziraphale gave when he did.

He forced himself to stop caressing Aziraphale’s body and put his hands to work on Aziraphale’s trousers, unbuckling the belt then starting on the button. “I want to taste you,” he said between suckling kisses to Aziraphale’s chest and the soft swell of his belly. “Can I? Please?”

“Oh, Crowley...”

“Please let me, angel,” Crowley begged, actually begged. “Please let me make you feel good.”

“I’m worried you’ll think I’m fast.”

Crowley kissed his silly mouth. “There is nothing we could do or not do that would change the way I feel about you. I’ll stop if you want me to. But please - please, let me suck you off.”

Aziraphale nodded. “Alright. But what about you?”

“Later,” Crowley promised, his hands frantic on Aziraphale’s trousers now. “We’ll worry about me later.” He pressed one more urgent kiss to Aziraphale’s mouth, then shifted his body off the couch so he was kneeling on the ground. He situated himself so he was between Aziraphale’s legs while tugging his trousers and pants down, freeing his cock. As soon as Aziraphale’s gorgeous, thick cock was revealed, Crowley felt himself start salivating, dying to taste it. He didn’t take his eyes off the flushed purple head as he pulled Aziraphale’s trousers and pants down to his calves, exposing him.

As much as his body was begging for him to take that cock into his mouth and suck it until Aziraphale was screaming, he forced himself to slow down a little. He put his hands on those thighs, thick and meaty, and looked up at Aziraphale with happy eyes.

“I’ve wanted to do this since I first laid eyes on you.”

Aziraphale nodded. “I’ve wanted you to.”

Crowley wrapped one hand around Aziraphale’s cock, pumping it slowly, loving the way Aziraphale hissed a breath when he did.

“Do something for me, angel?”

“Anything. I’ll do anything.”

“Talk to me while I suck you off. Tell me what you like and don’t like. Help me make it so good for you.”

Aziraphale nodded, his eyes hooded with lust. “Alright.”

Crowley smiled, then bent his head and started pressing kisses to those glorious, pale thighs. Aziraphale’s muscles jumped under the attention, trembling beneath his lips, and Crowley reveled in it. He sucked a bruise onto the inside of one thigh, a mark of possession that only he and Aziraphale would know about, then made a matching one on the other thigh.

Aziraphale moaned. “Please, Crowley... please suck me.”

“Anything you want, Angel,” he promised. Then he leaned forward, licking a long stripe from the base of Aziraphale’s dick to the top, swirling his tongue around the head to taste his precome. Aziraphale moaned brokenly, leaning his head back against the cushions, and Crowley did so again.

“Crowley,” he whined. “More, please.”

Crowley was only too happy to oblige. He opened his mouth and engulfed Aziraphale’s thick cock, humming contentedly. Aziraphale’s cock was so thick, so big... and Crowley’s mouth had to stretch a little to accommodate it - just like he liked. Fuck, it was just one more way Aziraphale was perfect. He brought one hand to Aziraphale’s hip and wrapped the other around the base of his cock and started sucking.

“Look at you,” Aziraphale said, and Crowley opened his eyes to see Aziraphale looking down at him. “Just look at you, your mouth wrapped around my cock. Do you like that? Do you like sucking me with your pretty mouth?”

Crowley made an affirmative noise and started bobbing on his length, sucking hard enough to hollow his cheeks with every upstroke. Aziraphale hissed and swore and Crowley wanted to hear more of that. He wanted to hear all of Aziraphale’s sounds.

“You’re so lovely down there with your mouth full of my cock. Simply the most erotic thing I’ve ever seen. I could look at you like this every day and not get tired of it.”

God, Crowley devoutly hoped to get the chance to suck Aziraphale every day. He wanted nothing more out of life at that moment.

He reached for Aziraphale’s hand, clenched beside him on the sofa, and brought it up to his head, putting it where he wanted it. Aziraphale followed the unspoken instruction and threaded his fingers through his hair, and Crowley was delighted when he felt the other of Aziraphale’s hands do the same.

“Oh, Crowley,” Aziraphale breathed. “Yes. More.”

If he wanted more, Crowley would give him more. He did his best to relax his throat and took Aziraphale as far as his body would allow, until he was gagging around the head.

“Fuck!” Aziraphale swore, his hands tightening in Crowley’s hair. The slight edge of pain was just enough to spur him on, and he bobbed on Aziraphale’s cock at this depth, fucking his throat with it.

“Fuck!” Aziraphale shouted again, his voice hoarse. “Yes... fuck!”

Crowley used his hands on Aziraphale’s hips to gently but insistently encourage him to thrust upwards inside his mouth.

“Ooh, you naughty thing. You want me to fuck your mouth?”

Crowley nodded as best he could while sucking the thick cock in his mouth and was delighted when Aziraphale started thrusting - very slowly at first, but still perfect.

“God, your mouth feels so good around my prick. I’m getting close, my darling. Do you want me to come for you? Do you want me to fuck your pretty mouth until I release?”

Crowley moaned, desperate for the taste of his spent seed. He palmed his own raging erection, needy for just a little friction, and concentrated on giving Aziraphale the best orgasm he’d ever had.

Aziraphale’s thrusts were getting faster, more jerky, and his words had dissolved into broken phrases and guttural sounds. Crowley sucked harder and enjoyed the sharp pull of his hair.

“Here I come, I’m going to come, oh God. Fuck!!”

Crowley pulled off just enough that the head of Aziraphale’s cock was in his mouth and he could catch his come on his tongue. Aziraphale shouted and babbled and came like a fountain, filling Crowley’s mouth with his milky, salty fluid. Crowley sucked up every drop, swallowing his come, not wasting a drop. He did his best to prolong Aziraphale’s orgasm, not wanting Aziraphale’s bliss to end, but eventually, the angel’s hands relaxed somewhat in his hair. Crowley diligently licked his cock clean, delighting in every aftershock his tongue produced. When he was done, he looked up at Aziraphale. The blond man collapsed back against the couch, his head back and eyes closed, his chest heaving with his breaths. Crowley thought he was absolutely the most beautiful, erotic thing he’d ever seen, and pressed an impulsive kiss to the thigh beside his head.

Aziraphale raised his head, lips parted to facilitate his breaths and his eyes heavy lidded, and gave Crowley a tired smile. Crowley smiled back and leaned into the touch when Aziraphale ran his fingers through Crowley’s hair.

“Gorgeous creature,” he said, almost to himself. “How did I get so lucky?”

Crowley ducked his head and kissed the inside of Aziraphale’s wrist. “I think I’m the lucky one, angel.”

“Come up here. I’m dying to kiss you.”

Crowley was hardly going to refuse that request, so he clambered off the floor and had his lips pressed to Aziraphale’s awaiting lips before he even took his seat next to the angel.

This kiss started slow, languid, but Aziraphale very quickly ramped up the intensity and brought his hand down to cover Crowley’s hard cock. The touch was electric and Crowley moaned a little into the kiss, but covered Aziraphale’s hand with his own, stopping him.

Aziraphale broke the kiss, his brows and eyes confused. “My dear, what’s wrong?”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“But you just gave me an orgasm - an Earth-shattering one, I might add...”

Crowley smirked, proud of himself. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

“...and you deserve for me to make you fall apart the same way.”

“No, you don’t owe me an orgasm just because I gave you one, Aziraphale. No one is keeping score. This isn’t tit for tat.”

“But Crowley...”

Crowley kissed his lips quickly. “If you want to pay me back or whatever, you can let me hold you for a while. I’m dying to just hold you. Please, angel.”

Aziraphale’s face was screwed up in thought, then he gave a small smile. “Alright, I’ll make you a deal. A compromise, if you will.”

“Go on.”

“You and I retire to my bedroom and curl up in bed together. We hold each other.”

Crowley beamed. “For how long?”

Aziraphale grinned back wickedly. “Until the songbirds outside my window wake us.”

He chuckled. “So you want me to spend the night.”

“Very much, yes. I have a spare toothbrush.”

Crowley kissed him softly. “You don’t have to convince me to stay. I want to stay. I’m only wondering where the ‘compromise’ bit comes in.”

Aziraphale’s eyes twinkled. “I don’t have pajamas for you to borrow, so you’ll have to sleep in your pants.”

He smirked. “Oh, what a tragedy.”

“Quite.”

“Well, if you’re sure, I’ll be accepting your compromise and following you to bed. Lead the way.”

Chapter Text

~*~O~*~

Aziraphale woke slowly, coming up out of his sleep gently and with a smile. The sun was warm on his face, peeking in through the windows, and he could hear the birdsong outside his window. He felt incredibly good, honestly, he hadn’t felt this good in ages. And it was all down to…

There was a gentle snore behind him, a puff of warm breath on his shoulder, and he smiled. Crowley.

They’d retired to his bed the night before, stripping to their underpants and joining each other under the duvet. Aziraphale had very much expected Crowley to hold him for a while, then become amorous again, but Crowley had been a perfect gentleman. They’d shared soft words and kisses, their hands slowly roaming each other, but there had been no urgency. Aziraphale had been perfectly willing to take Crowley into his hand or mouth - even eager to do so - but Crowley really had seemed content just to hold and be held. It was a distinct change from past relationships, where being mostly naked in bed would have automatically meant sex, with little discussion. It would have been an expectation with past lovers. But not with Crowley, and the change was pleasant. If Crowley hadn’t been constantly murmuring over and over again just how beautiful he found Aziraphale, how much he adored him, Aziraphale might have felt badly about not pursuing an orgasm for Crowley. As it was, he’d been too content to push the issue.

Crowley snuffled, and Aziraphale felt the lean body behind him stir, the arms around him tightening just a little. Crowley sleepily nuzzled into his shoulder, and Aziraphale wondered if he was really awake. Then he decided it didn’t matter and nestled back into Crowley’s arms with a sigh and a contented smile.

He was just drifting back off to sleep when he felt Crowley stir behind him again. Aziraphale bit his lip while Crowley simultaneously threaded his fingers with Aziraphale’s plump ones and pressed a drowsy kiss to Aziraphale’s shoulder.

“Good morning, angel,” he mumbled in a voice clotted with sleep.

“Good morning,” Aziraphale replied, his voice low. “Did you sleep well?”

Crowley snuggled himself a little closer and nuzzled the back of Aziraphale’s neck. “Best sleep I’ve ever had, holding you.”

Aziraphale raised their linked hands and kissed Crowley’s fingers, sure that he’d never been so happy in his life. He’d never felt so… so… cherished before. And he was quite sure now that yes, it was entirely possible to be in love with someone this soon in a relationship. He knew because that was the only word for the way he was feeling. It had to be love. That was the only explanation. The only question now was whether Crowley felt the same.

Crowley kissed his shoulder again. “Turn over for me, angel. I haven’t opened my eyes yet, and I want the first thing I see to be your gorgeous face.”

Aziraphale giggled to himself, but acquiesced, rolling over to face Crowley. His ginger hair was wild, sticking up in all directions, he had pillow wrinkles and a soft smile on his face, but just as he’d said, his eyes were closed.

He slid his hand down to seek out Crowley’s on the bed between them, linking their fingers. “You can open them now,” he said, and Crowley did. His topaz eyes blinked open, focusing on Aziraphale, and the small smile he’d had grew until it overtook his whole face. Aziraphale couldn’t help but smile brightly in return.

Crowley reached up with his free hand and traced Aziraphale’s cheek with soft fingertips. “You’re so beautiful,” he whispered.

“I think you are.”

“Nowhere near as beautiful as you, angel.”

Aziraphale leaned forward and kissed him sweetly. “Thank you for staying with me,” he murmured against Crowley’s lips.

“Angel, staying with you was entirely my pleasure. You’ll never have to twist my arm to get me to stay over.”

“Good. I’ll remember that.”

He lay his head back down on his pillow and just gazed at the man on the pillow across from him. In the early morning daylight, he was able to see more detail of Crowley’s face than he’d ever seen. There was a smattering of freckles across his elfin nose, and crinkles near his eyes and mouth that indicated smiles and laughter. He was achingly, stunningly beautiful, and Aziraphale’s heart swelled with love.

Crowley sighed and closed his eyes on a smile. “I could get used to this. Sleeping beside you, waking up with you in my arms.”

Oh, Aziraphale hoped he would get used to it. He hoped so very, very much. In all honesty, at that moment, that was all he wanted in the world: more mornings like this. Six thousand years of mornings like this could never be enough.

“I could get used to this, too,” he admitted, and Crowley smiled with his eyes still closed.

They lay in silence for a while, legs and fingers tangled, listening to the nightingale outside Aziraphale’s window singing as the room became brighter. It was perfect, Aziraphale thought, like something out of his most ridiculously romantic stories. He’d never thought anything as beautiful as this would ever happen to him. Never in his wildest dreams.

Unable to stop himself another minute, he leaned forward and kissed Crowley just because he could. When he pulled back, Crowley was smiling.

“What was that for?”

“Because you’re so handsome, just so lovely, and you’re mine.” Then he had a sudden spike of anxiety. Perhaps that was too much. Crowley may not want that. He thought he did, but he couldn’t be sure. And it was very early in their relationship. Too early? Oh, what was he thinking? Hastily, he tried to backpedal. “I mean, that is to say, I didn’t mean to be presumptuous...”

Crowley snorted a laugh and stopped his mouth with a kiss. “Of course I’m yours, you daft thing. I have been for weeks, pretty much since you walked into that gym. All yours, for as long as you’ll have me.”

Aziraphale felt like he could take flight. “I hope you’re mine for a long, long time. I’m mad about you.”

“I’m mad about you too, angel.”

His face fell a little, concern lining his brow. “You aren’t worried that it’s too soon to be so mad about each other? I mean, we’ve only known each other for a handful of weeks… We only just spoke for the first time about two weeks ago.”

Crowley shook his head. “No, I don’t. I’ve heard people talk about ‘first sight’ my whole life, or how ‘when you know, you know’. I always thought it was bullshit, but, well, now I’m living it. And I do know.”

Aziraphale’s heart was pounding fit to burst. “What do you know?”

“That you’re different. That you’re perfect for me. That this is a good thing and I want to keep it for a long time. God, Aziraphale… would it scare you off if I told you I think I’m falling for you? I am. I’m certain of it. In fact, I think I’ve already fallen.”

His eyes sparkled with tears and he felt like he was glowing. “Do you mean it?”

“Yeah. I do.”

Aziraphale let out a burst of happy laughter and reached for Crowley, pulling him into his arms and kissing him excitedly - fervent, hard presses of his lips against Crowley’s. When they broke apart, Crowley was smiling.

“I take it you’re pleased by that? Not scared off?”

He laughed again, too full of joy to contain it. “I’m over the moon, Crowley. I spent nearly all of our date last night wondering if it were possible to fall for someone so soon.”

Crowley’s smile was lopsided. “Yeah?”

Aziraphale nodded. “Yes, dear. I know it’s very, very soon, but I do think I’m in love with you.”

Crowley used his free hand to grab Aziraphale’s head and pull him into another exuberant kiss. Aziraphale kissed him back through his smile, radiantly, incandescently happy.

“I love you,” Crowley said between kisses, showering Aziraphale’s face with them. “I love you. I love you, my angel.”

“Your angel,” Aziraphale agreed. “I love you, too.”

Crowley sighed happily, then pulled Aziraphale into his arms, so their bodies were flush, their legs tangled. Aziraphale buried his face in Crowley’s neck, taking a deep whiff of the ginger man, inhaling the faded scent of his musky cologne, the light scent of sweat, and something that was indescribably Crowley. He ran his hands up and down the smooth skin of Crowley’s back, holding him close, their hearts beating against each other, loving him terribly. Impulsively, he sent up a little prayer of thanks for what he’d been given.

“Does that make you my boyfriend?” he asked into Crowley’s shoulder.

Crowley chuckled and pressed a kiss to Aziraphale’s neck. “You can call me anything you like, as long as you call me ‘yours’. I’m nothing but honored to be your boyfriend.”

Aziraphale held him a little closer. “Mine.”

“Yours,” Crowley agreed.

They lay like that for a long time, locked together in an embrace that Aziraphale never wanted to end. They stroked each other’s skin gently and murmured sweet nothings to one another, both utterly lost in the sensations of being held - and loved. Aziraphale knew, with absolute certainty, that he’d remember this moment for the rest of his life.

He started to feel Crowley pressing kisses along the skin of his shoulder and neck - slow, worshipful kisses, and Aziraphale felt his body start to react. First, he broke out into goosebumps, then he felt his cock stir.

“Crowley?” he asked quietly.

“Hmm?” Crowley answered between kisses.

“I, um, I was wondering how you’d feel about making love to me.”

“You were?” he answered almost innocently, parting his lips now when he kissed Aziraphale’s skin.

“Yes. I was wondering if you might be interested in fucking me.”

Crowley groaned a little, nipping the skin over Aziraphale’s jugular and flexing his fingers into Aziraphale’s hips. His own hips rolled forward and Aziraphale was delighted to feel his cock hardening, rubbing against his. Aziraphale answered by rolling his hips forward, too.

“I’d be interested,” Crowley said in a strained voice.

“Excellent. That’s excellent news, indeed.”

Crowley scoffed a little and pulled his head back. “You’re ridiculous. Kiss me.”

Aziraphale was only too happy to oblige, meeting Crowley’s mouth in a kiss that was only slow for a minute before it grew more heated. Aziraphale let his tongue explore Crowley’s mouth, mapping the shape, seeking out all the hidden crannies, and planting his flag in every corner - claiming this man as his own.

They were both fully hard now, grinding against each other, cocks rubbing together behind the fabric of their underwear. Aziraphale sent one of his hands between them, down the rippling muscles of Crowley’s abdomen, and into his boxer briefs, seeking out his cock. Once he found it, he wrapped his hand around it and started pumping gently.

“Your cock feels so good in my hand, Crowley,” he breathed while Crowley sucked a hickey into his neck. “I’ve been fantasizing about it for weeks and weeks.”

“Tell me,” Crowley panted, bucking up into his hand. “Tell me your fantasies. I want to make every one of them come true.”

“I thought of you most often in the shower at the gym. I’d go in there and imagine your gorgeous body working out, and think of what your body would feel like under my hands, my tongue. I’d imagine you fucking me, claiming me, and stick a finger up my arse. Then I’d stroke my cock until I came. After, I’d come home, and when I went to bed, I’d do it all again, imagining you beside me, just like this.”

Aziraphale gently pushed Crowley onto his back and started laying kisses down his chest, the hand not pumping his cock trailing all over his body. “You’re so sexy,” he said, between kisses. “So incredibly sexy, and I want you so much.”

Crowley’s voice was strained. “How do you want me?”

“I want you every way. I want you to fuck me in every position you can think of, then I want to do them all again.”

Aziraphale took a break from ringing his tongue around Crowley’s navel to grin up at him, his eyes mischievous. “You can do anything you want to me, Anthony Crowley. Anything at all. I’m yours, and you can have me any way you want.”

Crowley surged upwards, pulling Aziraphale into a messy, desperate kiss. Aziraphale kissed him back wildly, fisting his cock rhythmically, dragging his thumb through the little pearl of fluid.

He became aware of Crowley pushing and pulling at his tartan boxers. “Off,” Crowley bit out. “Get them off. I want you naked. Now.

Aziraphale released his cock and raised up onto his knees, shoving down his boxers, watching with rapt attention while Crowley wriggled out of his tight, black boxer briefs. He never took his eyes off Crowley’s body, even when he kicked his boxers free and watched Crowley do the same.

Once Crowley’s feet were free of his pants, he sat up again, attacking Aziraphale’s mouth, pushing him down onto the bed. Aziraphale went willingly, pulling Crowley down on top of him, winding one leg around Crowley’s.

Crowley grinded his cock against Aziraphale’s, and the friction was delicious. “You drive me mad, do you know that?” he growled against Aziraphale’s throat.

Aziraphale clutched the firm globes of Crowley’s bum and nipped his shoulder. “You’ve been making me mad with lust for weeks. I’ve wanted your cock so badly.”

“This cock?” Crowley asked, punctuating the question with a roll of his hips.

“Yes, God, please. Fuck me with it. I need you inside me.”

Crowley raised his head and covered Aziraphale’s mouth in a messy kiss. Just when Aziraphale was beginning to feel desperate for oxygen, Crowley broke away.

“Do you have lube?” he asked, his breath choppy.

Aziraphale nodded, wide eyed, also panting. “Top drawer.”

Crowley reached across to the drawer in question, lengthening his body, and Aziraphale took advantage of the opportunity to stroke and kiss the lean torso. Beautiful. He was so beautiful. Aziraphale wanted to spend hours worshipping every inch of him, finding every hidden spot that would make him moan and fall apart.

When Crowley returned with the lube, he raised up so he was on his knees between Aziraphale’s legs. Aziraphale just took a moment to appreciate how gorgeous he was - the lean muscle rippling under his skin, the auburn hair that covered his chest, his hooded, brown eyes, hazed with lust, and his proud cock, straining towards his abdomen. He felt a surge of pride that he was the reason Crowley was so aroused. That all of this was for him.

“God, you’re fucking gorgeous,” Crowley growled, almost to himself.

“I’m not…”

“You are. The most amazingly gorgeous man I’ve ever seen, and you’re all mine.”

Aziraphale nodded. “Yes. I’m all yours. I love you, Crowley.”

One corner of his mouth quirked up. “I love you, too.”

Crowley’s hand went to Aziraphale’s cock, stroking it, making Aziraphale bite his lip. “Are you sure you want me to fuck you?”

“God, yes.”

“Anything you want, angel. Anything at all.”

He gave Aziraphale’s cock a couple more strokes, then bent down and covered it with his mouth. Aziraphale cried out, his back arching and his hands clenching beside him. Crowley was bobbing his head, sucking Aziraphale so wonderfully, and he was getting lost in the sensation, when he felt slick fingers parting his cheeks. Within a second, they found his hole and started circling, and Aziraphale made a strangled noise.

Crowley pulled off his cock. “You alright?”

“So much better than alright. Don’t stop. Keep going.”

The fingers circling his rim increased their pressure and Crowley lay down between Aziraphale’s legs, pressing kisses to his thighs and licking his bollocks. When Crowley sucked one of his balls into his mouth, he also pushed his finger inside, and Aziraphale gave a ragged moan.

“Alright?”

“God, yes. More.”

Crowley fucked him with his long finger for a while, just barely grazing his prostate, and Aziraphale was glad. If he applied those dexterous fingers in earnest, it all might end too soon.

“More, please.”

“You want more?”

“God, yes.”

Crowley complied, withdrawing his finger and adding a second. Aziraphale moaned from the stretch, so perfect. He loved this gentle preparation, and Crowley showered his lower abdomen and thighs with reassuring kisses. The fingers slid in and out a few times, Crowley scissoring them gently, driving Aziraphale mad with lust.

“You’re so beautiful like this,” Crowley said in a low voice, still fucking Aziraphale with his fingers. “Do you like it?”

“Yes, oh, yes…”

“I like doing it. Next time, I’ll open you with my tongue. Would you like that? Would you enjoy me eating you out?”

Aziraphale’s hips bucked off the bed involuntarily. “God! God…”

“It's just me,” Crowley replied, a smirk in his voice. “I’m no god.”

“You… you have the body of a god.”

“‘I’m pleased you think so, but it’s not made to be worshipped.”

Aziraphale would have disagreed if he’d been able to string words together.

“No, my body was made for another purpose. Would you like to know it?”

“What - oh, dear Lord, just like that - what other purpose?”

“I was made to fuck you. I’m sure of it. I was put on this earth to make you feel good.”

“Oh, fuck,” Aziraphale moaned.

Crowley paused his fingers. “Are you ready for more?”

“Please, please, give me more. I’m begging you…”

“Shh, angel. Shush, now. I’m going to take care of you.”

He withdrew his fingers and slowly, so slowly, added a third. Aziraphale was so overwhelmed that he covered his face, his fingers digging into his skin as he moaned and swore, dragging down his face.

“Fuck, Crowley… fuck...”

“Are you alright?”

“I need you. Please. I need you so badly…”

“Are you ready?”

“I’ve never been more ready. Please, Crowley, please my love…”

Crowley pressed one last kiss to the inside of his thigh and reared back up onto his knees, fingers still buried, walking forward on his knees. Once his thighs were pressed against Aziraphale’s body, he eased his fingers out and quickly slicked his cock. Aziraphale watched with rapt attention, his breath ragged, feeling something akin to hunger.

Once he was satisfied that his cock was slick enough, he fell forward so his arms were bracketing Aziraphale’s shoulders and nudged his hole with his cock.

“Are you ready?” he asked again.

“Please,” Aziraphale gasped.

Crowley reached between them to grip his own cock, lining it up, and capturing Aziraphale’s mouth in a filthy kiss. Aziraphale clutched him, wanting him closer, closer, sure that he could never be close enough. He could feel the pressure growing on his hole, until there was a small pop and he suddenly felt deliciously full.

“Are you alright?” Crowley asked, breathing heavily.

“I’m so good. Don’t stop. Please fuck me.”

Crowley moaned, but pressed forward, sinking his cock deeper into Aziraphale. Every inch felt like a miracle, and Aziraphale had never felt so complete.

“Your cock is so big, I’m so full, oh, my darling, you feel so good, I love you so…”

“Jesus, angel, your arse is so tight. Feels so good…”

Aziraphale grabbed his arse in great handfuls and pulled him. “More,” he demanded breathlessly.

“Fuck,” Crowley swore, but he complied, pushing inexorably forward until he’d gone as deep as he could.

“Aziraphale, angel, love you, you feel so good, want this forever…”

“Oh my love, please fuck me…”

Crowley withdrew slowly until Aziraphale was afraid he’d pull all the way out, then pushed back in suddenly, making Aziraphale gasp.

“More. Faster.”

Crowley obeyed, sliding in and out, his thrusts picking up speed and force, the head of his prick dragging Aziraphale’s prostate just right.

“Harder, Crowley, please…

“You want it harder?” Crowley asked, even as he complied.

“Yes!”

“Fuck, angel, your arse is so good…”

“It’s yours. It’s all yours…”

Crowley sped up. “Do you like it? Tell me how to make this good for you. Please.”

“Just… keep going. It’s so good.”

Their bodies were making an obscene slapping sound with every thrust, and Aziraphale was being rocked back into the bed every time Crowley fucked into him. His hands scrambled on Crowley’s back, gripping him tight, and he spread his legs as wide as he could.

“Crowley, oh, Crowley. Yes! Just there. Oh, that’s perfect. Don’t stop. More!”

Crowley groaned, but fucked him harder and faster, pounding into him now, and Aziraphale was reduced to base, animalistic sounds that were broken into grunts with every pounding thrust.

“Getting close, angel. Gonna come for you. How do you - oh fuck - how do you want it?”

“Oh please, oh please, fuck me until you come. Fill my arse with it. Please, I’ll do anything…”

Crowley put on a final burst of speed, the head of his cock hitting Aziraphale’s sweet spot just right and quite suddenly, without warning, Aziraphale was tipped over the edge, coming untouched, hot come erupting all over his chest and belly. He was shouting, clawing at Crowley’s back, babbling and pleading while Crowley fucked him mercilessly through the orgasm, until Crowley groaned ‘oh fuck’ and went perfecty still, his cock buried as deep as it would go, his eyes screwed shut and his teeth bared in a grimace of ecstacy. Aziraphale could feel him pulsing deep inside, and had never felt so full, so blissful.

Seconds passed with no movement or sounds except their harsh breaths. Crowley was still propped over Aziraphale, his eyes still closed, his hair a wild mess, a flush on his chest, and Aziraphale just stared at him, mesmerized.

He opened his topaz eyes and looked down at Aziraphale, a soft smile spreading on his face. “I love you, angel.”

Aziraphale nodded, still breathing heavily. “I love you, too.”

Crowley lowered himself and Aziraphale caught his lips in a sensual kiss. They both whimpered into each other’s mouths when Crowley slowly pulled himself out of Aziraphale’s body, and the kiss only broke when he flopped down onto the bed beside Aziraphale. Aziraphale grabbed the nearest available cloth - his boxers - and cleaned the sticky mess off of himself as best he could, then discarded the soiled boxers and rolled over to cuddle up to Crowley, throwing one arm and a leg across him possessively. Crowley's arm went around Aziraphale’s shoulders, and Aziraphale rested his head on Crowley’s shoulder.

“Well that was a thing,” Crowely said quietly, and Aziraphale giggled. Crowley chuckled and kissed his forehead.

“That was, without a doubt, the best sex I’ve ever had,” Aziraphale declared.

“That was only our first time,” Crowley pointed out.

Aziraphale raised his head a little to look at him. “And?”

“My point is, it’s almost certainly going to get better and better every time.”

Aziraphale shivered. “Oh, I almost hope not. If it gets much better than that, I may not survive.”

Crowley nuzzled his nose against Aziraphale’s small one, smiling. “Don’t worry, angel. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“You won’t?”

“Never. I love you.”

Aziraphale pressed a sweet kiss to his lips. “I love you, too.”

Crowley smiled, gave Aziraphale one more kiss, then lay back on the pillows with a heavy sigh.

“Are you alright?”

“I’ve never been better, angel. My life is perfect right now.”

Aziraphale rubbed a circle on his chest. “Mine too. I’m so glad I broke that chair.”

Crowley raised his head to peer at him. “You what?”

“I broke a chair at my favorite restaurant. It was old and spindly, but I still broke it. It was the single most humiliating thing that had ever happened to me, and I wanted to die. But I didn’t die. I joined a gym and met you instead. What seemed like the worst moment of my life led to the best.”

Crowley was giving him that lopsided smile, the one that always made his belly flip. “Well, all I can say to that is ‘thank god for spindly chairs’. I love you, angel.”

Aziraphale beamed, happier than he’d ever been in his life. “I love you, too.”