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The Beast Within

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“Hey there, angel.”

Crowley tried to sound laissez-faire. He couldn’t show his hand too much. Not till he knew why A.Z. Fell and Co had a vibration like a charred lizard carcass after a forest fire. When he saw the walls caked in soot, blackened angel feathers drifting like macabre confetti, the world tilted, went dark. Crowley grabbed the doorframe so hard it splintered. Not now not now not now. He had to stay in the moment.

“Azsssiraphale?”

He collapsed into scale-sharp coils as he spoke. His serpent form was the stronger of the two, more than capable of crushing bones. Gave him quicker access to his venom, too.

“Huh … huh … hi.”

“What the Hell, Aziraphale?

“I’m … it’s complicated.”

“Angel, I’m gonna need some answers right the fuck now.”

“Stop fussssing. Just … oh jusssst come to the backroom. You’ll see.”

What in the name of Satan’s pickled liver? Crowley slithered to the backroom and stopped so quickly that his coils collided with themselves and left him breathless.

“Aziraphale, you’re a ….”

“I know.”

Azriaphale’s upper half was bare (a fact which Crowley tried very hard to ignore). His hair was a cloud of static and his nails, still perfectly manicured, were talons. His lower half …

“You have … you’ve got …”

“Yes, Crowley, I am aware.”

Crowley stared at Aziraphale’s serpentine lower body with its powder-blue scales and cream underbelly.

“How the everlasting fuck, angel?”

Aziraphale gestured towards an ornamental egg, both halves glossy black and studded with emeralds, broken open on the floor.

“I spotted it at the flea market. It felt occult - I thought it safest to bring it here.”

“And then what, you opened it to see if a baby dragon came out?”

Aziraphale pursed his lips.

“I dropped it, Crowley. My leg caught the edge of the desk and knocked the cocoa over the books I was carrying, so I had to intervene with a miracle. In that split second, it slipped and cracked open. There was an explosion, and I was left like this. And even worse, the blasted thing scorched my books!”

“Yesss. That’s the worst part.”

“Says the giant serpent.”

Aziraphale’s gaze travelled the length of Crowley’s body.

“It hurts,” he added after a moment, and Crowley saw tears gleaming in his eyes, their vibrant blue bled right across the sclera.

“Oh … angel.”

There seemed to be no immediate danger, so he shifted form and moved closer, tentatively reaching out an arm. Azirphale’s lips parted as if he might speak, but instead he gave a shaky sigh and let himself lean into Crowley’s side. Crowley found himself at a loss as to where to put his hands. Naked skin felt so intimate, scales even more so. He settled his arm around the angel’s shoulders, hand dangling awkwardly in the air.

“I tried to miracle it better, but it didn’t work. Oh, Crowley, what if I cannot get my legs back? How will I go walking with you?”

“I’ll carry you,” Crowley muttered. Aziraphale looked as if he would protest, but something in Crowley’s face stopped him, because instead he offered a tiny smile. “Not gonna come to that, angel. I reckon you just need a little guidance.”

“Guidance?”

Crowley smiled a bit at the trusting look Aziraphale gave him. He wasn’t normally so unguarded.

“It’s not really a miracle, going from serpent - or naga - to human-shaped. It’s more like putting on a different set of clothes. Takes practice.”

“Oh. Well … will you help me learn?”

Crowley paused. There was a fast track, but he wasn’t sure Aziraphale would like it.

“What is it?” The angel’s brow furrowed in concern.

“I could help you change faster.”

“Then please do.”

“I’d have to … y’know … sort of slide my energy into yours, encourage your cells to shift, make your form the way you want it to be. Use my form as a template, show it what to do.”

“I quite understand. It would be far too intimate.”

“Yes.”

Crowley was confused. If they both agreed, why was Aziraphale twisting his fingers in that tell-tale way of his?

“Alright then, angel? Given the circumstances?”

“Of course.”

Crowley sighed. Twice in his life he’d burst into a dangerously smoky shop and felt his entire world crumble like wet sand. At some point, he had to make sure the angel knew that he was Crowley’s world. He reached out and let his fingers slide carefully over Aziraphale’s face until he was cupping his cheek.

“Crowley?” The angel’s eyes were wide and hopeful, his mouth threatening to burst into that brilliant smile that made Crowley weak.

Crowley closed the distance and slotted their mouths together in a messy kiss, that deepened far quicker than he’d expected. Aziraphale twined his arms around Crowley’s neck, and when Crowley reached for him and let his hands explore his beautiful soft body the way he’d always wanted to, Aziraphale groaned softly into his mouth and pressed closer.

“My dear.” He drew back, breathless, hair even more rumpled. “You are distraction incarnate, and I am unsure if we should talk about this first, or after, being that we both know what we want … I think?”

“Of course we do.” Crowley nuzzled his nose softly against Aziraphale’s cheek.

“Help me change back, then. I confess myself quite thrilled by the idea of us being as intimate as you described.”

A lightning shock of pleasure shot down the rod of Crowley’s spin, grounding itself in the staggering truth that Aziraphale wanted him, perhaps had wanted him for a long time.

“Me too, angel.”

He held Aziraphale closer, rubbing his back soothingly, even as he stole little kisses along the edge of his jaw and dipped his head to suck over his pulse. Aziraphale moaned his name softly, hands sliding under Crowley’s shirt to explore his chest.

“You feel every bit as lovely as I dreamed.” He said warmly, and Crowley whimpered and pressed closer. Aziraphale had dreamed. Of this. With him.

“Oh, and Crowley?” His voice was slightly shakier now, fingers cupping the back of Crowley’s neck as if to hold him in place, while Crowley buried one hand in those moonsoft curls.

“Yes, angel?”

“Don’t expend energy bringing my clothes back. I expect I shall not be needing them for quite some time.”

Crowley huffed out a laugh against Aziraphale’s neck, hand sliding down to gently cup the scales over his hip and rub them soothingly.

“As you wish, angel.”