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Prophecy 5004: When all is fayed and all is done, ye must choofe your faces wisely, for soon enouff ye will be playing with fyre.

 


 

 

They sat together in the dark, and Aziraphale couldn’t help but feel like it was appropriate. Waiting, with Crowley, and that gap on the bench between them that the box had been filling but which now existed only because Aziraphale couldn’t think of a way to ask him to move closer and felt paralyzed in place himself. The offer extended, of a place to stay, of allegiance, of something more that Aziraphale had been trying for years not to think about or feel, was too much, and when the bus arrived he got up and walked on beside Crowley mechanically.

They didn’t talk. Aziraphale opened his mouth several times as they moved through the night, and each time he closed it again without ever knowing what it was he wanted to say. Eventually, he gave up, simply turning to look at Crowley, who was slumped in his seat wearing a weary expression that didn’t suit his face. Aziraphale wondered if his eyes were closed behind his sunglasses, if he were falling asleep. Crowley liked to sleep, he knew. He’d never seen the appeal, before, but now, bone-tired himself and so desperately unsure of the future, he almost envied Crowley for it.

“Something the matter?” Crowley said, raising his eyebrows and shifting in his seat, turning himself towards Aziraphale, waiting for him to speak, waiting as well, all these years later, just waiting.

“I don’t— that is, Crowley— I want—” He was looking at Crowley’s shoulder now, biting his lip, trying not to feel oddly exposed by his inability to see Crowley’s eyes, and Crowley was sharp and angular and wore uncomfortably stiff clothing but for the moment his shoulder looked like the most comfortable thing in the world. And it was this brief distraction that allowed Aziraphale to get out what he’d been trying to figure out how to say for the better part of twenty minutes. “I’d like that.” He said, and met Crowley’s eyes, earnest and afraid, begging the demon not to say anything scathing. “To stay with you. If the offer still stands.”

Crowley’s face broke into a beaming smile, warm as only he could be, and he nodded. “Any time.” Aziraphale nodded back as relief washed through him. Crowley moved, looking like he wanted to say something, but instead he just smiled again, softer this time.

After a few more minutes Aziraphale put his head on Crowley’s shoulder and felt the other lean against him.

By the time they’d made it back to Crowley’s Mayfair flat Aziraphale had fallen into a doze, pleasantly warm and comfortable against Crowley despite his cheek sticking to the leather of his jacket. Crowley shook him lightly and he blinked, and Crowley let out a breathless sound that may have been a laugh. They stumbled onto the street together, Aziraphale unwilling to move away from Crowley’s side now he’d finally gotten there, and up to the doorway together. They must look like two drunks stumbling home together, Aziraphale thought, and then thought of all the times it had almost been true, all the times they could have tumbled into bed together, full of wine and their trust, their belief in one another.

Crowley flicked his wrist and Aziraphale heard the locks click.

“My key was on the ring in the Bentley.” Crowley murmured regretfully, and Aziraphale hummed at him. He’d lost his shop and Crowley had lost his car, and it would probably take some time for them both to get used to it and all its repercussions. But as Aziraphale followed Crowley up the stairs and into his flat, he thought he could probably adjust.

The entryway was ostentatious, regal, and Aziraphale hated it instantly. It echoed the sort of palaces they’d had to hang around in during the Babylonian empire, imposing slabs of dark stone. He opened his mouth and was about to say something to that effect when he spotted something on a plinth at the end of the hall and changed tacts at once.

“What on earth is that?” He said.

“Hm?” Crowley turned back around from where he was hanging his jacket in a coat closet by the door to look at him.

Aziraphale gestured to the statue and Crowley laughed.

“I bought it at a gallery showing during the Renaissance. It’s an angel and a demon.”

“Fighting?” Aziraphale moved closer to the statue. “We’ve never… I mean, certainly, we’ve had our share of arguments, but we’ve never fought.”

He felt Crowley move to stand beside him, felt rather than saw the demon looking at him. “That’s not why I bought it.” He said quietly, gently, the tone of voice Aziraphale had come to associate with that persistence, that relentless optimism Crowley had towards him and which, Aziraphale had thought more than once, was responsible for the two of them managing to stick together for so long, despite everything else.

“Oh?”

“I bought it because… well, they’re the same, I suppose. You wouldn’t be able to tell which was which if you didn’t know.”

“The demon’s got darker wings.” Aziraphale pointed out.

“Yes, but human iconography for angels and demons usually makes them look different.” Crowley argued. Aziraphale turned to him to see he’d taken his glasses off with his jacket and was now watching Aziraphale with his inhuman golden eyes, unblinking and serious. “They’re not different, really, apart from superficially.”

Aziraphale nodded slowly. “No, I suppose they aren’t.” He glanced back at the statue. “Maybe they ought not to fight, then.”

“They think they have to.” Crowley hadn’t moved at all but Aziraphale felt somehow that he was closer nonetheless. “They think… I don’t know, I think they think if they’re too similar they might…” He trailed off.

“Maybe they aren’t fighting.” Aziraphale murmured, still looking at the statue.

There was a snort from Crowley as he moved closer, looked from Aziraphale to the statue with an expression of exasperation on his face. “You think they’re, what? Fucking?”

Aziraphale gave him a withering look. A pained expression flitted momentarily across Crowley’s face as he straightened up. “Angel—"

“Crowley.” Aziraphale stepped forward, closed the remaining distance between them before he lost his nerve entirely. “Kiss me.”

The play of emotions on Crowley’s face, very evident without his glasses, made Aziraphale’s insides twist up with anticipation and giddy relief. Pleasant with an edge of danger. Safe and not-safe at the same time. Crowley’s hand came up to cup Aziraphale’s cheek, fingers trembling. All the air had left Aziraphale’s lungs, his blood rushing and his lashes fluttering against his cheeks as he was drawn into Crowley’s touch like magnetism, like twin suns finally colliding as gravity pulled them inevitably, irrevocably together. He could feel Crowley holding his breath.

When he spoke next it was barely a whisper. “Please.”

Crowley sighed shakily, the tickle of it warm against Aziraphale’s face, and then he leaned in and pressed their lips together, brief and chaste. Aziraphale found himself gripping Crowley’s wrist where he was still cupping his cheek. “Crowley.” He reprimanded him softly, and then Crowley was on him.

Aziraphale felt the back of his coat bunch beneath him as Crowley slammed him against the wall, and his hands went to Crowley’s hips, pulling him closer, closer. Crowley was all but panting between kisses, pressed along the side of his mouth and along his jaw, down his throat. There was a heavy sort of sound and Aziraphale realized it was his head hitting the wall as he leaned back, desperate for Crowley’s mouth on him as the demon’s long thin fingers tore at his bowtie and the top few buttons of his shirt.

“Angel,” Crowley growled, sucking a spot against his collarbone, and Aziraphale felt himself shudder. He rucked up the back of Crowley’s shirt, wanting to touch him, feel his skin warm under his fingers, and Crowley pressed a leg between Aziraphale’s thighs. “Is this where you want to do this?”

It took a very long time for the words to travel to Aziraphale’s brain, because all he could focus on was wanting to wrap one of his legs around Crowley’s narrow hips and the way his skin felt under Aziraphale’s nails, the way his own skin felt tight and hot everywhere Crowley had been kissing him. When they did, it was like falling off a boat into a cold lake.

“Oh.” Aziraphale said. He cleared his throat. Crowley was looking at him, attentive concern and something not unlike tenderness on his face. “I don’t… I suppose not.” His hand fisted in the front of Crowley’s shirt as he looked away, flushing. He stood up a bit straighter, trying to regain his bearings.

“You alright?” Crowley asked.

“I haven’t done this much.” Aziraphale admitted, the color in his cheeks and exposed neck deepening with embarrassment. “Which I’m sure must be frightfully funny to you, but all the same, I’d—”

“Why would it be funny?” Crowley frowned.

“Because—well—you’re a demon!” Aziraphale spluttered. Crowley’s eyes narrowed. “Temptation is your stock and trade! I’m sure you’ve slept with—”

“No one.” Crowley cut him off, his tone quiet and matter-of-fact.

Aziraphale stared at him. “No one?”

“No one. Came bloody close, a couple of times, but it always seemed a bit…” Now Crowley was flushing and looking away.

“A bit too human?” Aziraphale supplied.

“No, it’s just that… well, I’d always end up thinking about you.” He said it very, very quietly, adding a self-depreciating grimace on at the end, and backed away from Aziraphale slightly to bounce on the balls of his feet. “Never seems quite right, to go ahead sleeping with someone when you’re in love with somebody else.”

For a moment, there was silence as they looked at each other. Then Aziraphale said, very softly, “Do you have a bedroom?”

Crowley laughed, the sound relieved and bright, and pulled Aziraphale through the flat to a room that was decorated rather less like a palace and more like it was actually lived in.

The back of Aziraphale’s knees hit the mattress and he pulled Crowley down as he fell, undoing the buttons of his waistcoat as Crowley worked his way down Aziraphale’s shirt to his trousers and underclothes. It was like they’d never stopped. Every sensation came rushing back, every tremor of pleasure and thrill of almost-fear. Crowley placed a kiss on his hip, kneading at his thighs as he spread Aziraphale’s legs.

“When you make an effort, angel,” Crowley breathed, looking up at him from between his thighs, “do you prefer to have something inside you?”

Aziraphale’s head fell back against the soft cotton sheets of Crowley’s bed, taking a breath. “What makes you presume I—”

“I’ve known you for six thousand years, Aziraphale, surely you don’t think I haven’t noticed you’re a shameless hedonist?” Crowley’s hand squeezed his mound and Aziraphale gasped.

“I typically—oh, Crowley, don’t tease—I have a number of toys for—” Aziraphale yelped as Crowley bowed his head and his tongue flicked against sensitive skin.

“For penetration?”

“Yes.” Aziraphale exhaled. “Oh yes, Crowley, keep doing that.”

Crowley was working his fingers into him, rubbing Aziraphale to wetness, his nails pricking at the skin and tugging deliciously every once in a while.

Aziraphale shuddered as Crowley removed his hand and stood up from the end of the bed. “Don’t stop.” He said, too late, his voice almost pleading. Aziraphale heard the drawer of the bedside table open and the clink of what sounded like metal on glass. Aziraphale looked up to see Crowley frowning down at the clasp as he adjusted the harness Aziraphale was fairly certain had just been materialized from the ether, and he closed his eyes, light-headed.

“I’m going to take such good care of you, angel.” Crowley said, his voice throaty and close to breaking as he climbed onto the bed and kissed him again.

Aziraphale’s hands came up to pull Crowley closer, wanting to hold him, just wanting him in his arms, and then Crowley angled his hips and pushed the toy inside him and Aziraphale’s nails scraped down Crowley’s back. The demon hissed, and the sound went right through Aziraphale, an electric shock of pleasure that made him push up against Crowley, rising to meet him as the glass held around Crowley’s hips thrust deeper.

“So sorry.” Aziraphale said, gasping a little.

“No, don’t be—you can do it again, if you like.” Crowley said. His lips were parted just slightly and his breath was coming very fast. There didn’t seem to be any damage done to the skin, going off the brief survey of Crowley’s back Aziraphale did with his fingertips, and when Crowley pulled out to slam back in again Aziraphale did it again. Crowley shuddered.

“Aziraphale…” Crowley started, looking down at him with such an expression of reverence on his face it made Aziraphale feel naked, truly, all of a sudden. Then Crowley’s hand slid down his side, stroking at the softness of his belly and thigh before nudging his leg around Crowley’s own, and Aziraphale, taking the cue, wrapped himself around Crowley and held on.

 

It was later, as they were laying together in the light of dawn breaking, that Aziraphale’s mind drifted back to what Heaven and Hell were likely going to do to them just as soon as they could get somebody sent to Earth to get them. He took a deep breath, watching the way Crowley’s head rose and fell with the movement of his chest, his eyes closed and his hair mussed. For a moment he longed to run his fingers through it, and then remembered he needn’t, that if he wanted to, he could, and so he did. Crowley hummed and shifted against him. His cheek and ear were pressed somewhere above Aziraphale’s heart. It felt, Aziraphale thought with a small smile, extremely full. Amazing Crowley could sleep at all, with it thundering away underneath him.

It had taken them such a very, very long time to get here. Too long, considering. Aziraphale had known in the garden, before the storm, when they’d looked at each other like equals. Like two people unexpectedly finding themselves in someone else, and it had only been because of Heaven, because of Hell, because Aziraphale had always tried to be the cautious one for the both of them because Lord knew Crowley was reckless, that they hadn’t spend the last eternity of sunrises doing exactly this. They’d always been more like each other than they were like the others, and thank goodness Crowley had clung so readily to it even when Aziraphale had tried to push him away.

What was it Crowley had said about the statue earlier? That the angel and the demon were only superficially different?

“Crowley.” Aziraphale said, quietly but firmly, and Crowley hummed that he was listening, shifting around and propping his sharp chin on Aziraphale’s sternum. “I’ve just had a sort of thought.”

“About what?”

“About the final prophecy.”

Crowley blinked.

Aziraphale’s mind was working at a hundred leaps an hour, stringing together the idea of faces and bodies and good and evil and their respective headquarters and back to bodies again. “I’m worried about the future.”

Crowley groaned dramatically and nestled himself comfortably back against Aziraphale’s chest. “It’s barely 5 A.M., surely this can wait.”

“No, just listen.” Aziraphale snapped, then took a deep breath. “Do you think… Crowley, do you think we could trade corporations if we wanted to?”