According to a meticulous and accurate research conducted by a group of unnamed and unimportant scientists, a typical human being generally has three possible responses to the onset of an inevitable Apocalypse.
The first one is spending the rest of their quite limited time with their loved ones - a fairly common, if boring answer. Second, doing something they’d never done before but always told themselves they would, one day, perhaps when they’ve got the time, or the weather was just right. And third one - getting drunk. There were statistical outliers, of course, there always were in these kinds of research, but ultimately the third option proved to be the most popular response by a long stretch.
Therefore, it was safe to draw the conclusion that in the event of a hypothetical Apocalypse people here and there all around the globe would, as they say, “party like there is no tomorrow”.
Because, indeed, there wouldn’t be.
It just so happened that the inevitable Apocalypse proved to be quite evitable, and the moment Adam Young decided that he did not want to be rid of this world quite yet, the tension that was sizzling in the very atoms of all creation had dissipated. Things have returned to normal, as normal as they could have possibly been and always were for humanity.
The planet resumed its course, leaving its many residents in blind wonder at what in Heaven’s or Hell’s name had transpired in the last couple of days of their existence.
(News networks will inevitably call it mass hysteria. Conspiracy channels will rightly call it the End Times, though those people who listen to the News would only scoff and roll their eyes.)
Aziraphale and Crowley did not have the luxury of ignorance. They were there, in the corporeal flesh, at the very epicenter of Armageddon, watching the fabric of reality tear apart at the seams as four children faced off against Four Horsemen, nuclear weapons were preparing to launch all around the world, and the ground cracked under their feet to reveal Satan incarnate.
Frankly speaking, a bottle of wine to share was the least they could allow themselves to indulge in after all that.
“Oh. There it is,”- Aziraphale murmured, watching as their ride home slowly traversed the quiet streets of exhausted Tadfield.
They were sitting on a weary bench at the far end of the town, having said their awkward goodbyes to all the odd humans they’ve met in their race against the End Times, being more than certain that future would bring them together yet again.
They now had a future to look forward to, after all.
The angel furrowed his brows.
“It says “Oxford” on the front.”
“Yeah, but he’ll drive to London anyway,”- The demon sniffed, taking a sip from the bottle, - “He just won’t know why.”
The air around them hung unnaturally still, deafeningly quiet even with the gentle whirr of the bus engine. Tadfield never was a particularly bustling village, per se, but after last week tonight was like the ringing after an explosion had finely tuned down.
Aziraphale looked down at his hands.
“I suppose I should get him to drop me off at the bookshop,”- He declared, not exactly sure of why he even bothered declaring it. He wasn’t exactly sure of quite a number of things these days, actually.
The silence stretched on between them, Crowley pursing his lips, eyebrows knitted together in worry.
He swallowed hard.
“It burned down, remember?”
Ah. Of course.
There were, admittedly, a few things going on today, but he still felt quite foolish forgetting this one prominent detail.
It burned down.
“…You can stay at my place, if you like.”
At that, the angel snapped his head towards the other being.
Crowley’s voice was soft, bordering on a whisper, and was it not for the silence of the night Aziraphale would have missed it entirely.
Something heavy settled in his stomach just then - something so desperately familiar.
Something desperately frightening.
“I don’t- I don’t think my side would like that,”- He stammered out as a last resort.
Resort against what, again, he wasn’t exactly sure.
“You don’t have a side anymore. Neither of us do,”- The demon assured him, soft, so eternally soft, that Aziraphale couldn’t help the breath that got caught in his chest. A breath that he hardly needed, -“We’re on our side.”
The lone bus neared, its lights disturbing the perfect darkness of the night. Crowley raised his hand to catch its attention.
“Like Agnes said, we’ll have to choose our faces wisely.”
The ride to London was long, longer than it had any right to be and then some.
Neither of them complained.
It was enough, for the time being, to move along through the English roads in silence, the creaking of the well-worn seats and the occasional yawn of the tired driver merging into a sort of an odd ballad sung in honor of the End that never was.
There was something mesmerizing about the shine of the street lights, the glint of the moon, the imposing structure of the corporate buildings, as though being trapped inside of a realistically abstract painting.
The World was as infinitely beautiful as it was mundane.
Crowley silently passed their bottle of wine on to Aziraphale, who took it without a word. Neither missed the significance of them sitting side by side on this empty old bus, lowering their inhibitions by drinking thrice the amount a regular human would be able to intake. Neither made a comment about it.
Aziraphale shifted closer.
They got out several blocks too early, and while the angel was certain it was because they were well beyond intoxicated to remember where they were going, Crowley insisted he just wanted to take a walk and ‘admire the magnificent sights created by human ingenuity, which were nearly annihilated in the impeding world-ending catastrophe’.
In not as many words, of course.
They sauntered around dimly lit streets, yellow and orange under flickering lights, gentle late August breeze wafting the smells of the night through the air – those of exotic foods and stale alcohol, of expensive perfume, of gasoline, and of rain that just recently passed. Crowley revealed yet another bottle from underneath his jacket. Aziraphale couldn’t say he wasn’t glad to have it.
Their walk back to the demon’s flat wasn’t necessarily a long one, but it was all too tempting to take detours to stare at a particularly old bookshop or look inside a floristry to assess their selection of succulents. Both of them enjoyed narrow side streets - there were more secrets to be found where no one would normally look, more little quirks of humanity to discover in between commercial buildings.
Crowley lived on the other side of Westminster Bridge, past the river bank of Waterloo, normally filled to the brim with tourists taking in the sights and non-tourists rushing through while grumbling about the tourists. Right now, though, it was completely empty, miraculously so, save for a few stray creatures of the night.
Aziraphale stared at the ground, deep in thought. The air was still, the commotion of the city a ways behind them. The only sounds accompanying their walk were the resolute clicking of Crowley’s Oxfords on the hard concrete pavement, and the quiet swishing of the leftover wine in the bottle. The angel blinked to focus his bleary vision, finally lifting his eyes to meet their reflection in the tinted sunglasses.
“The- The sound of footsteps,”- He nodded, taking a satisfied sip, -“I’d miss it. If the- What’s it called- Apoco- Alpaca- If it ended. The world. I’d miss. Footsteps.”
Crowley hummed, tilting his head in what appeared to be a questioning manner.
“Think- No, really, think about it. There’re no shoes in Heaven. Or- or in Hell. None. Not even, not even socks. There’s hardly any, any ground at all Up There.”
He pointed up, and Crowley instinctively looked. “Huh.”
“So that’s- That’s what I’d miss. If. End. Your turn, dear.”
Crowley furrowed his eyebrows, concentrating doubly hard after that speech. He reached for the bottle in Aziraphale’s hand, taking a large gulp. Thought harder.
He focused on the angel’s loafers and the soft, barely audible sound they gave off as he padded along. He decided he quite liked it. Took another sip.
“Mm, drinkin’,”- He finally mustered, taking yet another swig and finishing off the bottle. It disappeared from his hand immediately after, -“‘d miss that.”
“Now, now,”- Aziraphale shook his head, wagging a finger for emphasis, -“That’s chant- cheating, Crowley. Everyone would miss drinking. Be more creative.”
“But ‘d bloody miss it,”- Crowley persisted, scrunching up his nose in disdain, -“They don’ have booze like this Down There.”
“Up There they don’t have any at all.”
“Oh. Ouch,”- The demon winced, just as Aziraphale stepped into a pothole, stumbling forward in the most ungraceful manner. Crowley threw an arm around his shoulders, surprising even himself with his dexterity in spite of all the alcohol, and Aziraphale took a hold around the other’s waist to steady himself.
“Ah. Exc-Excuse- Um, thank you.”
Crowley tightened the hand around his shoulders.
“I’d miss drinkin’ with you.”
Aziraphale raised his infinitely wide blue eyes to stare, blinking in surprise, before offering the most brilliant smile that would put the sun itself to shame.
“Likewise, dear boy. Likewise.”
They continued on, leaning heavily against one another, dragging along their all too heavy feet. A comfortable silence settled in, and Crowley kept counting windows on the passing houses because that suddenly seemed like the most important task in the world. He kept forgetting what number came after four.
And windows really were incredible, weren’t they? Houses in general were quite the invention. Not to mention street benches and fences. Trees weren’t exactly an invention, but he was glad to see them planted alongside the road anyway. A perfect balance of urban and natural.
He threw his head up to the sky, watching as the last of grey clouds gave way to surprisingly bright stars, shining on through air pollution and city lights. Really, so much creativity and beauty could have been erased within moments. And how come he’s never noticed how the sky at night was not entirely black but rather a soft gradient of blues and purples? Or how the street lights elongated weirdly when you squinted your eyes and looked at them at different angles? Or how warm and soft Aziraphale’s hand felt on his hip?
The world was so different at night, so precious. Other creatures had to realize it too, as one jumped from a low window sill and padded across the road to settle on an empty bench.
Crowley stared at the cat that began to groom itself, an almost manic smile spreading across his face.
“Cats!”- He exclaimed, triumphant, -“‘d miss those. Miss those quite bit. I like cats.”
He really did. They had a mind of their own, those creatures. He could respect that.
Aziraphale stared at him like he had no clue what was going on - indeed, he forgot about the game they were playing in favor of watching the far off lights glint off of the still waters of the Thames.
“Hey, Azera- Aphaz-,”- The demon concentrated, forcing his brain to say it right, -“Hey, Aziraphale.”
He always made the effort to say it right.
“What you say we get a cat of our own, mm? A lil’ creature might be nice.”
Aziraphale blinked in thought, -“Cat, you say?”
It just so happened he quite liked cats too. They were graceful. Elegant. And they knew how to clean themselves. Even the prospect of shedding fur didn’t distract Aziraphale from their pristine.
“Mm, yeah, ‘was just thinkin’,”- Crowley continued, waving his free arm around way too much, -“‘d have it one week, you’d have it the other. That way it won’t turn too good or too evil-“
“We’d be its Godfathers.”
“Yeah, exactly,”- The demon laughed, shaking his head, -“Firs’ time kinda failed.”
“I think we’ve done a marvo- a bloody good job with ol’ Warlock.”
“Should check up on him sometime.”
“Mhm.” Aziraphale readjusted his grip on Crowley’s side, moving his long fingers to rest under his jacket as they made their way onto the desolate bridge.
“We- We could name her Cerberus,”- Said Crowley, his voice cracking uncharacteristically.
“The creature. Cat. We can call her Cerberus.”
Aziraphale looked, for a lack of a better word, scandalized. “No. Absolutely not- No way in Heaven, I say!”
“You never appreciated my sense of humor.”
“It’s hardly amusing- it’s vile.”
“Well, what’s your suggestion then?”- Crowley leveled him with a cold stare.
The angel flustered, dragging his eyes away. “Oh, erm- Well, I haven’t… Whiskers, perhaps?”
“An’ you said I wasn’t creative.”
“Well, pardon me for-“- Aziraphale interrupted himself halfway through, mouth hanging agape as he gawked out towards the Thames. And before Crowley could register what happened, he was being dragged along by an overtly enthusiastic angel, the sky and ground mixing into a colorful kaleidoscope of drunken haze.
“My word, Crowley, would you look at that view! Those lights!”- Aziraphale shouted, surging forward across the street to the other side. Crowley felt sick.
It was his turn to stumble, then, as he tripped over the curb which separated the sidewalk from the road (and was placed there, he suspected, to spite him specifically). The hard metal fence bore into his back as he turned to break his fall, Aziraphale stumbling in right after and landing square onto the demon’s chest.
Crowley shut his eyes to keep the world from spinning.
“It truly is remarc- bloody pretty, that’s what it is!”
It took a few steady breaths that he didn’t actually need before Crowley could open his eyes again – and he couldn’t help but stare.
“Yeah. Yeah ‘s beautiful.”
Aziraphale turned to look at him, shaking his head. “No, no, Crowley- You’re not looking! The view- The lights!”
Crowley blinked lazily behind his sunglasses, continuing to stare at Aziraphale’s face, his soft golden curls practically surrounded in a shining halo of stars. “’m lookin’ at the brightest light of all, angel.”
“How can you be looking if it’s behind- Oh.”
They stared at each other in silence for a long moment, Crowley brought up his hand to the angel’s face, gingerly stroking a thumb under his bottom lip.
“Are you trying to tempt me, demon?”
He barked out a laugh.
“Who, me? Can’t imagine.”
Aziraphale smiled, pulling back, letting his fingers brush against Crowley’s chest. “Come now. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe we’ve got a bottle of bourbon waiting for us at your place?”
It just so happened that his place was suddenly that much closer than it should have been. The London Eye’s lights shimmered brilliantly behind them, but Crowley wouldn’t see that. He hardly bothered turning back.
Crowley’s flat was about as luxurious as it got, located on the twentieth floor with a view to the House of Parliament. Not that a demon necessarily needed a flat, but he did like to indulge in finer things humanity came up with.
Plus, it provided a place for his plants.
“Say, Crowley, what is it that you do again?”- Aziraphale asked as they were making their way up in the fully-mirrored elevator. Crowley quirked an eyebrow.
“Torture lost souls for all eternity?”
“No, I meant, here. In the human world-“
Before the demon could interject with another half-witted jab about his wicked activities, Aziraphale quickly continued.
“What is your profession?”
“My p- Profession?”
“I mean, you’ve got- You’ve got a flat in the middle of London! You drive a Bentley- Er, well, used to- Wh-What I mean to say is, don’t people ever worry- wonder where you’ve got the money from?”
“You know as well as I do where I get the ‘money’ from,”- The demon scoffed, feeling all that much more sober already, -“Where do you get your money from?”
“At least I run a legitimate business-“- Aziraphale protested as he made his way down the ever-stretching hallway, only to be interrupted by a ludicrously loud moan resonating throughout.
He snapped his mouth shut with a click, eyes growing wide as he turned around to stare at Crowley. The other shrugged.
The first moan quickly followed by another, and then another, and then a string of curse words so revolting, it would make Satan himself blush furiously. It certainly did Aziraphale.
“Looks like my neighbors are having a party,”- Crowley mused all too delightedly, staring at the jumping knocker on the door opposing his own.
(Here it should be noted that the scientists conducting the end of the world research found that ‘having sex’ was just as popular of an answer as ‘getting drunk’. At that point they turned to look at one another, shrugged, and proceeded to attribute those responses to either the first or second categories.)
“Well this is- That is quite- That is to say-“- Aziraphale fiddled with the hem of his vest, as he always fiddled in worrying or uncomfortable situations.
“You’d think a place as expensive as this would have better soundproofing, eh?”
It wasn’t that angels were necessarily ashamed of or condemning all acts sexual – Aziraphale prided himself on having a healthy and reasonable relationship with that aspect of humanity in spite of never actually participating in it himself. However, knowing of something and experiencing it, albeit somewhat second hand, were completely different concepts. Perhaps if he was sober enough he’d react differently, but as it were, desperately avoiding eye contact with the door or Crowley was all he was capable of doing in this situation.
Crowley sighed. “Let’s get inside, angel. I’ll make sure all of… that stays out here.”
As much as it would have delighted him to taunt Aziraphale further, he really wasn’t certain he wasn’t going to discorporate on the spot.
“Y-Yes, yes, that would be good. Quite good, really.”
Just a few moments later the angel found himself in an unfamiliar room, sitting on an unfamiliar couch, watching a familiar figure pour all-too familiar liquid into a couple of glasses.
Crowley’s flat was the very opposite of what Aziraphale would call ‘good taste’ – all grey and concrete, with huge windows and large rooms containing barely anything in them but a few pieces of overtly shiny furniture. He was certain there had to be some kind of a sin for having all the chairs in one’s home resemble thrones. He couldn’t quite recall what it was.
“Real- Really, how long’s it been since you’ve last visited?”- Crowley slurred, missing the glass he was holding entirely and spilling bourbon onto the counter. It ended up full anyway.
“Oh, I don’t quite- I don’t believe- Why, I-I don’t think I recall, dear- The 80s, was it?”
However, sitting on this extravagant red leather sofa, surrounded by lavish exuberant green plants and enormous windows looking out towards Big Ben, he couldn’t say he wasn’t enjoying it – and maybe, somewhere deep down, even finding a new appreciation for what he always imagined to be wasteful excess.
The demon sneered, making his was over to the couch with the glasses and the bottle, -“You’ve got to do better than that, angel! You ‘aven’t even seen my- my TV! I’ve cable ‘n everythin’.”
Aziraphale wasn’t quite listening anymore, paying more attention to the steady onset of London traffic than anything his counterpart was saying. He was, as they say, rather drunk.
It really was rare that he would seek out Crowley’s company first, and when he did it was always on business. Admittedly, business more often than not turned into either drinking or dining, but the point stood that he wouldn’t allow himself to indulge in the demon’s presence for longer than strictly necessary.
Not even when he desperately wanted to.
His eyes trailed over to scan Crowley’s form, sitting in that familiar spread out pose that Aziraphale could hardly imagine was comfortable, watching TV that he didn’t realize was now turned on to one of the News networks. The host was saying something about mass hysteria, but the angel was focused on something else entirely.
How queer was it, he thought as he watched the reflection of London traffic in Crowley’s sunglasses, that he always had such a wonderful time in his company. They were never anything more than work associates, he would always tell himself, and if he was being drunk or particularly honest, he would even go as far as to call them friends. But now his eyes kept trailing back to Crowley’s hand lying idly next to his, and his mind to the reckless couple next door. He wondered if Crowley has ever done anything like it – though, he must have. It was practically his job. Aziraphale poured himself another glass of bourbon. He stared at Crowley’s hand again.
Surely it would be alright to hold it, wouldn’t it? They held hands multiple times before. There was nothing special about it. Then again, now he’s made it weird by thinking about it too long. But, of course, Crowley wouldn’t have any idea how long he’s thought about it, so it would hardly be weirder than any other time. And what if all those other times were weird too?
He downed his glass in one go and firmly slid his hand across the couch before he could change his mind yet again. His fingers slipped into spaces between Crowley’s, surprisingly cold in the summer warmth.
The demon slowly lolled his head to the side to throw a questioning look at Aziraphale, who was firmly avoiding his eyes. Then he blinked down to stare at their locked hands.
And in another stunningly lively move, Crowley was suddenly toppling over Aziraphale, pinning his wrists over his head and staring down at him from behind his sunglasses.
The angel gasped in surprise.
“Why, darling, could it be that you’re trying to tempt me?”- He grinned, leaning in just that much closer.
Darling, Aziraphale noted mentally. That was a new one.
“Hardly able to, my dear.”
He wriggled one hand free and reached out to pinch the sunglasses off of the demon’s nose. Crowley swallowed hard.
“You might want to check up on that,”- He whispered, blinking languidly, bringing up a hand to stroke Aziraphale’s cheek. It was burning.
Aziraphale always found his eyes fascinating. Even after all this time he still wasn’t quite certain if it was okay to bring it up, how sensitive of a subject it was – but they always seemed to hypnotize him right in place. Very on the nose, he had to admit.
“Do you- Is this- Um, do you really-“- He tried to no avail, licking at his dry lips, his drunk mind trying to tie together a single sentence in spite of the sudden dizziness, -“Um, is this- Do you really think that this is- That this is wise, Crowley?”
He was unable to tear his eyes away from the demon’s piercing gaze. His throat was suddenly too tight.
“I ‘aven’t got the faintest what you’re referring to,”- Crowley lazily smirked down, his hand still pressed against Aziraphale’s cheekbone, thumb stroking gently.
The angel furrowed his brows, his own free hand finding its way to Crowley’s wrist. He licked at his lips again, the air surrounding the two of them suddenly that much warmer. He was practically burning.
“I believe you do.”
Crowley was burning.
“…How long, Aziraphale.”
The angel didn’t dare pretend he didn’t understand the question, finally found the strength to avert his eyes and stare at House of Parliament instead. The lights really were so beautiful…
That all too familiar heavy feeling settled in his stomach again; that feeling that he desperately tried to suppress. Run away from. A feeling that was rejected by his very nature, yet lingered like a lasting aftertaste.
The TV was now turned off.
“Far too long, dear. Far too long…”- He muttered, barely audible if not for the all-encompassing silence of the flat.
Aziraphale shut his eyes, wrinkling up his nose as the alcohol left his system practically against his will. He needed to be drunker- so, so much drunker.
“Why, decades, dearest,”- He swallowed down, feeling as though if he had a heart it would surely stop beating right then and there, -“Eight of them, if I’m not mistaken. Give or take a few, that is.”
Crowley didn’t respond, and Aziraphale dared to turn only to see a ghost of a smile trace his lips. There was something… almost tortured about it.
The angel exhaled hard, feeling as though he might just catch on fire.
“Millennia, angel,”- His voice was quiet, gentle, so incredibly, unfairly gentle.
Aziraphale blinked, eyes growing wide- “No-“
“Six of them, if I’m not mistaken-“
“No-! No, I would have-“- He leaned up on his elbows, mouth dry, hands suddenly shaking. No, it couldn’t have been- He would have known, he would have felt it!
He was an angel, it was in his very nature! But looking at Crowley then, in that moment, he couldn’t- He didn’t feel any different.
Crowley always felt just like Crowley.
“Would I lie to you?”
Of course, Aziraphale hardly could account for the fact that once something was there long enough, one simply stops noticing it, no matter how prominent it was.
That’s why you don’t exactly notice the beating of your heart or the rush of blood through your veins; why you don’t exactly stop to take note of the air around you and how easy it is to breathe. It is simply there – a fact of life that always has been, and, if you’re lucky, always will be.
The demon smirked, tilting his head.
They were close now, ever so closer. Closer than they have ever been.
Aziraphale didn’t have any organs, of course, not any physical ones, but something in his chest still ached. His soul, perhaps. His very being.
“Crowley, I-“- He began, gently tracing a thumb under his jaw, the heat almost painful to his fingers, eyes darting to his lips if only for a moment, -“…May I?”
And Crowley was leaning in in seconds, lips hovering just inches away. They didn’t need to breathe, but both hungrily swallowed each other’s air, heavier than the weight of the world combined in that small space between their existences.
“Of course. Of course you may, angel,”- Crowley murmured, not quite touching, so close and so far, his own hands trembling terribly.
Aziraphale exhaled hard, leaning forward while everything in his angelic being screamed at him, scorched at his core. His hand traveled back, getting lost in the demon’s hair, the other holding onto his neck, moving almost as though through heavy water, something in the very air resisting, pushing him away.
“Well… This is… An unprecedented outcome, now isn’t it?”- Crowley tried to smile, poorly masking the crack in his voice with a cough.
The angel couldn’t help the nervous laugh that bubbled out of his throat, -“Yes, it- it really is. Ineffable, you might say-”
Crowley kissed him.
And when they finally connected, it was as though inferno itself broke out inside Aziraphale’s chest, as though he was fully submerged in a bucket of ice cold water – as though he could finally breathe again. His eyes fell shut instantly, the contact almost physically painful, his hands grasping at Crowley’s hair, the collar of his shirt, whatever force pushing him away was now gone entirely, replaced with a desperate need to pull him closer, closer, so much closer-
He didn’t know whether this was because Crowley was a demon or because he was just Crowley, had no point of reference to compare this to, but it felt as though hellfire was licking at Aziraphale’s lips, his skin, his very existence. That familiar dark feeling returned, twofold, threefold, overwhelming him whole to the point of drunkenness yet again, and in the next moment the angel was opening his mouth in pure lustrous desperation.
Crowley welcomed him entirely, sliding his tongue over, releasing a low, rumbling moan which resonated throughout the angel’s chest. Aziraphale tasted of honey, of clouds, of lemongrass, of angel cake, and something so very remarkably fresh. Every touch was sending him over the edge, his shaky hands barely managing to support his weight, overwhelmed by the burn, the pain, the sweetness, the need.
That new cologne made his head spin.
And in the next moment they really were spinning, turning over as Aziraphale roughly flipped him onto his back, towering above him without stopping to break contact, kissing him as though his very life depended on it. Crowley released a surprised gasp into his mouth, threading his fingers into the angel’s feather-like hair before reciprocating, soft, tender, pulling away only when he felt he couldn’t take it much longer without completely discorporating.
It could have lasted a month. It could have lasted ten seconds. He wasn’t sure anymore.
The room was swimming, detached from reality, a vague assimilation of shapes and colors.
Aziraphale breathed hard above him, eyes half-lidded, expression darker than anything Crowley has ever seen before. His gut twisted painfully.
“Angel…”- He began, voice raspy and hardly his own. He forgot what he was going to say entirely, as Aziraphale was now taking off his coat, shrugging it off to the floor, leaning back in and gently biting down at his bottom lip. Crowley couldn’t help the mewl that escaped his throat, the breath that got caught somewhere in his chest.
Six thousand years - six thousand goddamn years – and every second was worth the wait just to have Aziraphale lightly press his lips to his jaw like that, to feel that heavenly tongue run down the side of his neck, making him squirm in place, desperately swallow in the air he never needed until now.
There was something scratchy in his stomach then, something sending sparks all throughout his body, making his hips buckle forward against his will, his limbs no longer listening as he threw a leg over Aziraphale’s back, bringing him closer.
The angel paused in leaving a trail of particularly wet kisses down Crowley’s throat, changing his direction upwards to press his lips against his ear instead, whispering, -“Are you alright, dearest?”
And Crowley barely found it in him to turn his head, stare Aziraphale into those forever blue eyes, now nearly all the way black with the pupils diluted. He exhaled a shaky breath, pressing his nose into the angel’s cheek, inhaling hard.
“I am better than I ever was. The best I’ve been since I fell, Aziraphale,”- He felt the angel’s hand travel further south, his fingers now stroking at his hip, -“And- And what about you? Are we going too fast again, angel?”
He grasped at Aziraphale’s shoulders, closing his eyes as he waited for the answer. It was nothing new – it took centuries for them to sit on the bus side by side. Crowley was prepared to wait several more if he had to.
They had all the time in the world now, after all.
Aziraphale brought his hands back up to cup Crowley’s jaw, before catching his lips in another slow kiss.
“On the contrary, dear,”- He smiled against his skin, sweet, tender, and so eternally burning, -“I believe it is long overdue.”
And as though to prove his point, the angel shifted and now Crowley could feel a resolute hardness prodding at his thigh. He stopped breathing for good this time, eyes blown wide as he turned to face Aziraphale.
“Oh- You- You have a bedroom?”
“Now I do.”
The angel blinked as he was suddenly being tugged from the couch towards a door he could swear wasn’t there before, stumbling ever so slightly on the way in.
The room was as large as any other in Crowley’s flat, all greys and plants, with those giant windows facing out towards Big Ben. It didn’t seem to matter that with the door placement it should have technically been in the middle of the outside hallway. In fact, reality didn’t seem to matter at all just then.
“Wh- I don’t remember adding these,”- Crowley paused in his tracks, taking a moment to feel the silk canopy bed curtains between his fingers. Aziraphale couldn’t help the blush that formed on his cheeks.
“O-Oh, that was me. I just- I, um, thought it might be a bit more… Intimate, this way?”
The demon turned back with a delighted smirk, one that was practically bordering on a grin.
“Is that so?’
It struck Aziraphale quite prominently just then that Crowley was, indeed, really incredibly beautiful. With those striking yellow eyes, that lean pose, the fiery ginger hair and the constant bemusement that seemed to never leave his thin lips – the angel blinked in surprise at his own realization, taking a few definitive steps forward to let his fingers undo the first button on Crowley’s shirt. He bit his bottom lip, tugging back the fabric to reveal a slender collar bone.
“I think I understand it now, the whole ‘devilishly handsome’ business,”- He smiled, allowing his fingers to continue undoing the buttons.
Crowley’s hands were now firmly grasping him by the elbows as he was leaning against the canopy, looking as though his legs might just give out if not for the support. Aziraphale leaned in, tasting more of that painfully hot skin, toppling them both over onto the bed as the demon underneath him released another loud whimper.
He hardly bothered to resist that dark overwhelming feeling, letting it encompass him whole as though someone switched off the very sun, allowing it to take control completely, following its every whim and desire, his hands travelling over Crowley’s ribs, his back, his slender hips, his mouth moving down the exposed chest. His fingers felt as though they were continuously stung by innumerable needles, the pain sending electric jolts throughout his body and right into his abdomen. He bit down hard at the side of Crowley’s navel, licking at the teeth marks when he heard the demon underneath him let out a low hiss.
Crowley could only do so much not to completely dissolve on the spot, digging his fingers into Aziraphale’s hair which he could swear was glowing, his other hand tangled up in the bed sheets. The angel’s mouth reached the hem of his trousers and didn’t stop there, continuing on to leave wet kisses down the front of his pelvis, making Crowley’s hips buckle forward violently and his eyes roll back in his head.
“Fuuuuck, angel- Oh holy- Oh, fuck-“- He swore loudly, tugging Aziraphale upwards, capturing his lips in his own, desperately licking at the inside of his mouth.
And in the next moment their clothes were gone entirely, flesh against flesh, Aziraphale gasping in shock and Crowley lulling his head back as electricity coursed throughout his body.
“Crowley!”- The angel complained loudly, the tone of his voice having some weight if not for the brilliantly red blush spread throughout his ethereal face, -“That’s cheating!”
Crowley panted hard, hands thrown over Aziraphale’s back as he held on for dear life, -“No- No, angel- You were the one cheating- With your teasing and your- I- I simply made it more fair.”
And how could Aziraphale possibly argue with that when he was now looking at him from underneath those hooded eyelids, his erection prodding at his hip, his fingers practically burning a hole in his skin. He breathed out hard, moving ever so slightly as Crowley’s fingers found their way to his chest, brushing over his nipples, that resolute pressure building up in his stomach with every stroke.
“Al- Alright. That is to say, um- Quite- Quite well, indeed-“
Aziraphale released a shaky breath, his hands suddenly too cold despite the astounding heat between their bodies.
If there was one thing he admired about Crowley it was that he was completely unpredictable – brash in all his decisions and ideas, always bold and straightforward and so unlike Aziraphale. Unlike any angel, in fact.
Unlike anything Heaven.
And looking at him now, suddenly completely and utterly naked, putting a definitive damper onto the angel’s hard work of undressing, taking it to himself to strive forward and simultaneously wait for Aziraphale to catch up – well, he couldn’t help but lose his composure for a minute or two.
This was Crowley. His Crowley.
Right here, right now, underneath him, completely naked and unashamed - and so obviously desperately, thoroughly, so overwhelmingly in lo-
“Please don’t tell me you’ve suddenly remembered the Old Testament,”- Crowley quirked an unimpressed eyebrow, interrupting the long moment of frozen silence.
Aziraphale, in turn, didn’t hesitate to scoff, perhaps even having the gull to look slightly offended.
“Excuse me, this has nothing to do with the Testaments- Not that the Old one should matter anyway, it has been outdated for quite some time- “
“Then are you going to do something? Or should we just go for tea and crumpets instead?”
The angel blinked.
“Sorry, sorry-!”- The angel sighed, the minuscule movement sending a jolt of pleasure up his back as their bodies brushed against one another, having him cough to mask a moan building up in the back of his throat, -“Th-Th-This is all too new to me, all too human-“
“Then let’s figure it out together, yeah?”- Offered Crowley, voice suddenly much gentler, his hips slowly bucking upwards, making Aziraphale exhale sharply.
“W-Wait- You mean to tell me... You’ve never-?”
“Of course not,“- The demon replied immediately, looking everywhere but the angel’s face
“In six thousand years-?”
“Not even once-?”
“And why would I.”
“But weren’t you ever curious? Didn’t you ever want to-?”
“Oh, I wanted to...”- Crowley suddenly leaned up, his lips pressing against Aziraphale’s throat, taking a moment to leave a wet mark on his skin, -“But you weren’t ready.”
Aziraphale swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing up against the demon’s lips, his jaw dropping slightly. He wanted to say something else, something entirely unnecessary, perhaps, or maybe something that needed saying all along - but then Crowley was capturing his lips again and all he could do in that moment was reciprocate with as much force as he could muster, kissing him deep, needing, wanting-
He closed his eyes, letting his instincts take over once again, letting that feeling that he would now forever associate with Crowley lead him to new, never before considered places – and in the next moment, Crowley was crying out, throwing his head backwards as Aziraphale’s suddenly slick fingers found their way to his backside.
“What are you- Fuck, angel, what are you doing!?”- He hissed out, voice hoarse and trembling, fingernails digging into the angel’s shoulders.
“Erm, preparing you? I believe that is the standard custom-“
“Shit, just get it over with- I’m a demon, for heaven’s sake, I can-“
Whatever it was Crowley could do was lost in a particularly loud moan that resonated throughout the room once he felt Aziraphale’s middle finger prodding at his entrance, his back arching out as his eyes rolled back in his head.
He was practically falling apart in his arms at the smallest movement, and the angel could not look away. He’s known Crowley for six thousand year – six thousand goddamn years – and in all this time he has never, not once, have come even close to seeing him so utterly and purely destroyed. Aziraphale pressed his lips to his chest, letting his tongue taste the spice and the bitter sweetness of his sweat, watching his every move, every pant, every squirm as he added in another finger.
He could not look away.
Crowley looked beautiful. Crowley was beautiful.
And in that moment Aziraphale felt it yet again, that something that tugged at his chest ever so often – that time in the Garden when they first met, that time in Rome when they dined together for the very first time, that time in France when they had crepes, that time in the church when the bombs fells, and all and each and every other time after and in between – he felt it now once more, and he suddenly knew exactly what it was.
Indeed, maybe, he always knew.
The demon bit down the back of his hand to stifle his moan, and Aziraphale knew that he wanted to know him – know him in a very biblical way. He needed it.
He wanted it.
“I want you, Crowley,”- He whispered against his chest, voice low and rumbling, resonating throughout every electron of the charged air between them. Aziraphale pulled his fingers out, adjusting his also suddenly slick erection to the demon’s entrance, that dark feeling becoming him entirely.
“You have me, angel,”- Crowley whispered back, and Aziraphale realized all too clearly that whoever said that angels weren’t capable of sin were absolute liars.
In that moment, this one angel felt pure lust, and there was nothing in the entirety of the whole damn Creation that could have prevented him from following through with this temptation.
He slowly pushed his hips forward, biting down on Crowley’s shoulder hard, filling him up and feeling absolutely whole himself.
“Fuck,”- He swore, loud, unapologetic, feeling as though the entirety of Heaven and Hell combined could not have possibly separated them in that moment. He felt Crowley’s hips jerk wildly, a ludicrously lewd moan escaping his lips as he barely whispered “Say that again”.
And so Aziraphale did, swearing loudly, wantonly, over and over and over again as he moved his hips in rhythm with Crowley’s, his head suddenly clouded over with sparks and flashes of absolute pure bliss, the heat between them rivaling that of Armageddon itself. Pure fire was coursing through his veins as his lips somehow managed to find Crowley’s, perhaps pulled together by a force stronger than that of any magnet, their kiss slow and chaste in spite of the absolute fireworks going off in the angel’s stomach.
Crowley’s legs locked behind Aziraphale’s back, his hands digging into his shoulders hard enough to leave deep bruises, fingernails tearing at the fragile skin, as the angel’s own hands desperately held onto his sides, moving deeper, harder, more urgent with each passing second, their bone marrows mixing into one as their existences transcended human, Heavenly, or Hellish understanding - becoming something else entirely.
Aziraphale was suddenly looking at his own face from underneath himself, knowing full well Crowley was above him, there, still with him, still moving, rocking, gasping for air as one, and as their lips connected once again, he opened his eyes only to see the demon back where he belonged, his eyes staring intently into his own, a new understanding written into them. The angel bit at the side of his neck, feeling a pulsing vein with his tongue, Crowley’s heat around his hardness overwhelming.
The universe itself stopped existing just then. All of Creation was gone, save for the two of them.
That was what it felt like, at least – and who’s to say that in that one short, insignificant moment, one falling angel and one rising demon really weren’t the only ones in being.
Aziraphale came with a soft cry, something in between Crowley’s name and a swear, hot sweat rolling off of his back as he took a moment to let his vision adjust and his breathing steady. He didn’t dare move again as his consciousness settled in and realization of what they’ve done took over. He pulled out slowly, exhaling hard, feeling exhausted, dirty, weak, manic.
Feeling so remarkarbly, utterly human.
“Aziraphale…”- A voice dearer than any other quietly resonated throughout the room.
And when Aziraphale cautiously opened his eyes again, the angel couldn’t breathe.
It was a good thing that he was already half-lying down, or he would have surely fallen over in that moment. Crowley was looking at him – really, truly, sincerely looking, his eyes lost, diluted, exhausted, and so, devastatingly, purely, frantically full of love Aziraphale couldn’t help his arms giving out from underneath him, having him fall flat onto the demon's chest.
The drunk feeling returned with the force of being hit by a speeding truck, that feeling of absolute love knocking the very wind out of the angel’s soul, having him take a moment to even remember to exist. Never has he felt anything quite like it, not even in Tadfield, and certainly never directed towards himself.
That unadulterated, whole, ethereal, mesmerizing, eternal feeling of complete and utter love.
Crowley loved him.
The thought alone was enough to ascend him into Heaven - if he didn’t know what the place was like.
It coursed throughout his entire body, that pure ecstasy that swelled within his corporeal form and overflowed into the universe; that pulsing, shrieking sensation of love, love, love, love that made the past, the present, and the future bleed together into one beautiful, disastrous mess that washed over him in waves like a warm tide at a sunny beach on a tired afternoon.
It was love, he was loved, he was loved by Crowley and-
Aziraphale snapped his eyes open.
There was now something very tangible burning at his fingers, something beyond the realm of abstract feeling, and he turned his head only to realize the entirety of the canopy curtains were on fire. Actual, literal fire.
Their bed was burning.
“Oh, dear-!“- The angel mumbled as he shot upright, waving a hand to make the raging flames disappear. The damage was done, of course – most of the bed sheets were gone, and the canopy was now slowly but surely falling apart piece by piece. The floor and the walls were a blackened mess of scorch marks.
One of the bed legs cracked under their weight.
“Oh, my- Oh- Oh, I-I’m… I’m so sorry, Crowley, let me just-“- Aziraphale tried to stand up, to move and fix the damage that was no doubt a result of their recklessness- but in the next moment, Crowley was suddenly laughing, hard, bubbling, throwing his head back in pure delight as he pulled the fidgeting angel close to his chest, dropping back down on the mostly destroyed mattress.
The leg gave out then, and one corner of the bed dropped down to the floor with a resolute thud.
Crowley laughed harder.
Aziraphale failed to see the humor in the situation, but after a moment of stunned silence he chuckled along anyway, too dazed and utterly exhausted to even bother thinking about doing anything other than tucking himself into the crook of his demon’s neck.
He suddenly remembered that he was loved.
“Well that was... Something. Ineffable, even,”- Said Crowley and Aziraphale didn’t even need to look to hear the smile in his voice, -“…Didn’t know my plants could bloom like that.”
The angel exerted a fraction of an effort to look around just then – and indeed, the various plant life Crowley had placed around the room was now sprouting numerous flowers the names of which Aziraphale could hardly recall. He was certain there were quite a few of them that weren't supposed to actually exist.
“I don’t believe they can, dear,”- He mumbled, feeling a blush creep up his neck. Yes, this was definitely the result of their little exercise as well, -“I quite like it, though. Our very own little Eden.”
It really was. A bit more constricted space-wise, but lovely nevertheless.
Crowley tensed underneath him.
“A-Ah, but it doesn’t have to be!”- Aziraphale was quick to correct himself, sitting up again, ready to miracle it all away, -“Let me just fix this for you, yes-?”
“Don’t you dare, angel,”- Crowley suddenly snapped, roughly pulling him back into an all-encompassing embrace. Aziraphale gasped at the contact.
“R-Right, sorry, I’m just- Let me at least fix the bed-“
“No. Leave it.”
“I said leave it, Aziraphale,”- The demon burrowed his nose in the angel's hair then, inhaling sharply as his thumb gently stroked down his arm, -“It’s perfect the way it is. I don’t want you changing a single damn thing.”
Aziraphale couldn’t help the smile that formed on his lips. Lying there, on pieces of destroyed rubble that could hardly be called a bed anymore, surrounded by a multitude of plants the likes of which could not be found anywhere else on this Earth, he could not possibly be happier. Heaven had nothing on being held like this in Crowley’s arms, knowing that he is loved. By Crowley.
Crowley, who was now reaching for the pair of sunglasses that suddenly appeared on the side of the mattress.
The angel caught him by the wrist, stopping him halfway.
“Why bother? It’s just us here,"- And then, when he didn’t reply, -“I really do love your eyes, Crowley. They’re wonderful.”
The demon took a long, long moment to stare at him then, slowly bringing up a warm hand to cup his jaw and leave a soft, quick kiss at his lips. His eyes were practically glowing, as bright as the lights of London.
“I know, Crowley,”- Aziraphale replied immediately, his chest clenching painfully. Delightfully, -“I felt it. I know.”
Crowley had always felt like Crowley, and that much hasn't changed. What the angel has come to learn in the span of these several hours, is that Crowley always felt like love.
The demon exhaled then, blinking slowly, and that was perhaps the very first time in six thousand years that Aziraphale saw him blush.
He promptly turned away, scoffing.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t even like you.”
The angel arched his eyebrows in surprise – before bursting into a fit of giggles, scooting up closer to bury his face in Crowley’s neck.
The demon smiled softly, holding onto Aziraphale tight, as though if he let go this all just might disappear. He was so angry for the past six thousand years. So thoroughly annoyed and pissed off and disgusted – with the angel, with the world, with himself.
He thought it was because that was just the way he was – it was in his very nature to feel nothing but the very worst. But now… Well, maybe it wasn’t all so bad. Maybe he didn’t need to be so angry after all.
Maybe, this was… Okay.
“I love you, Aziraphale-”- Crowley finally admitted, out loud and out there for the entirety of all Creation to hear, -“-More than you could ever know.”
“I love you, Crowley-“- Aziraphale replied right back without missing a single beat, turning his face to stare Crowley right into his eyes with those unbearably vibrant blues, -“-More than you have ever realized.”
Whether it was the tone of his voice, the look in his eyes or the touch of his flesh against his own, for the first time since he could remember, Crowley was certain that he could actually feel it. He felt love.
He was loved.
Aziraphale made him feel holy.
Holier than Heaven ever could.
There would be a lot of things yet to come – in the morning there would be strange new sensations and awkward conversations, strained limbs and tender kisses. There would be a realization of what happened this night, a recollection of an experience shared, and a coming up with a brilliant plan that would fool Heaven and Hell itself. There would be punishment avoided and life preserved. There would be St. James Park and cold metal benches. There would be jokes and laughter, and dinner at the Ritz.
There would be a nightingale singing in Berkley Square.
But all of that would come later.
In this one, eternal moment, an angel and a demon lay together as one, holding each other in their arms. Love, blooming in between.
For humanity. For the world. For each other.
There would be many things to come – but most of all, there would be love.
And love, as we know it, does conquer all.