And just like that, everything was done. Apocalypse avoided, Satan banished, employers defied. Of all their six thousand years, this had easily been their busiest twenty-four hours, in Aziraphale’s humble opinion. Topping it off with being tossed out of Hell, still dripping with holy water, onto the streets of London wasn’t exactly ideal, but he couldn’t really complain. Hell was nothing like what Aziraphale had expected. It was terrible in a way that cloyed at his skin, rather than flaying it off as the human cliches had led him to believe. At the end, the result was the same; Aziraphale wanted to go home and curl up with a good book for the next century.
There was just one last thing to be done before the world was set right. The serpentine eyes he was borrowing certainly wouldn’t make reading very pleasant. And Aziraphale was just borrowing them. Crowley was probably already waiting for him at their meeting place. Crowley was probably fine.
While Hell was unlike anything Aziraphale expected, he knew exactly what to expect from Heaven.
Crowley would be fine.
The lingering holy water had dried on his walk in the summer sun. Aziraphale couldn’t risk a miracle showing up on Heaven’s radar while his corporation was up there, so while he would really rather not walk about in only Crowley’s thin black underthings, it was surely not the oddest sight for the busy commuters of London.
Any worry about his appearance evaporated when he saw the empty park bench. Maybe he was just early? Hell seemed rather keen on getting rid of him, after all. Heaven would take their time. He took his seat, trying to act as Crowley-like as possible.
After an hour of waiting, his attempt at demonic slouching faded away. He had to sit up, even as this corporation’s spine protested. He had to have some sort of structure as he felt like fidgeting apart. Was Crowley’s body always this nervous or was it the being inhabiting it?
Midday turned to twilight and Aziraphale had taken to pacing. Crowley had invented the concept of ‘fashionably late’ but this was unacceptable. In all their time together, he nearly never made Aziraphale wait for him, it was always the other way around. He should be rushing back into Aziraphale’s arms– Aziraphale didn’t care how silly that fantasy was. He wanted it. He deserved it, after everything that happened today. There was no explanation for Crowley’s tardiness, other than…
Crowley didn’t make it.
Yet, the sun had set and there was only one being standing by the park bench. His other half had marched into Heaven to protect him and hadn’t returned. He’d gone wearing Aziraphale’s face, but it felt like he’d taken Aziraphale’s heart too. All he had left of him was this body. How long had he wondered what these slender hands would feel like around him? Now he’ll never truly know.
With nothing left to do, he made his way to the bookshop. The door didn’t think twice before unlocking for him, familiar with both the body and soul walking inside. It should have been nice to see this place with his own eyes again, but his “own” eyes had seen it this morning. The eyes he had now could hardly see anything, swimming with pesky tears.
“This won’t do.” This gravelly voice was such a comfort, but his own words sounded so meaningless in it. His demon always said so much, with so few words. The millions upon millions of words around him now, usually such a source of comfort, felt worthless. He scrubbed at his eyes, but their covers remained blurred. Maybe with a demon’s body, he should try Crowley’s hobbies. If only he’d partaken in them before, they could have enjoyed so much more together.
“No point in wallowing,” he muttered, despite doing just that and collapsing onto the couch. This lean body luxuriated in the cushions, the fabric soft against his mostly bare skin. He wondered if this body would have enjoyed sharing the softness of Aziraphale’s body.
What’s done was done and he had to move forward. He attempted to enjoy just the touch of a nearby book, the weight in these familiar hands and the red leather cover against these delicate fingers.
Distantly, the shop bell chimed. “We’re closed,” he managed, but the words barely rolled off this serpentine tongue.
“Not again, I can’t do this again. Please…” Frantic words floated in, warped around posh lips. “Where–” The familiar voice broke, “Where are you?”
There wasn't time to answer before someone crashed against his side. Plush arms wrapped around him, feeling warm against this cold-blooded body.
His book fell to the floor. “Crowley?”
“Why weren’t you in the park?”
“Why weren’t you!” he shot back. “I waited–”
“I’m so sorry, angel.” That one word sounded strange from that mouth, with his own blue eyes staring up at him. “Heaven kept prattling on and on. ‘Fraid I gave you a bit of rope burn when I got fidgety.” He held up a wrist and Azirpahale didn’t hesitate to press his lips against it.
The sound of Crowley’s trademark stuttering coming from Aziraphale’s body was certainly unique, and would’ve been amusing in another circumstance. “Can we switch back, dear? I’d rather like to see that you’ve returned to me in one piece.”
The transition was as smooth as it had been the first time and then he was looking at his demon again, whole and in his arms. Crowley picked at the hem of his tank top. “What happened to my clothes?”
“Didn’t want them to get wet. Why aren’t mine burnt?”
“Bit of a demonic miracle. Those angels shouldn’t bother us again any time soon.”
“Good, because I’m not going to move any time soon.” He tightened his grip around Crowley and felt the demon grin as he curled in closer until they were flush together.
“Everything is done, angel. We’ve got nowhere else we need to be.”