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a picnic plan for you and me

Chapter Text

v.

pink champagne cupcakes

 

Crowley didn’t touch the cookbook for a week.

To be honest, he avoided it. He’d put it on his bedside table, then in the desk when it had continually caught his eye as he’d been trying to fall asleep. Something about it stressed him out in a way that made him want to turn into a snake and spend some comforting hours curled up in a ball.

Then a week in, Crowley found himself not-so-accidentally around a bakery that Aziraphale was known to frequent.

“Hi,” he said, and then zapped the girl behind the counter. She stopped in mid-greeting, her face going blank.

“Aziraphale,” Crowley said. “What kind of baked goods does he like?”

The girl blinked lazily.

“Aziraphale,” Crowley tried again. “Thought he was on a first name basis - are you new?”

“Yes.”

“‘Course you are. Right - Aziraphale , dresses well, bowtie, has this overcoat he never takes off, would rather die than have bad posture, folds his hands in front of him whenever he’s not doing anything with them-”

“He likes the cupcakes best,” the girl said dreamily.

Cupcakes. Okay then. Crowley had assumed he’d go for the actual cakes, of which they had slices waiting in bright glass cabinets. Would his cookbook have a section on cupcakes? Would Aziraphale want them in the first place, if he was getting them semi-regularly from this shop?

“What kind,” Crowley asked. 

The girl hummed. “He’s especially fond of the pink champagne cupcakes.”
Pink champagne , Crowley mouthed. Oh, angel. 

“Great. Uh, you’ll now wake up after having a vaguely disturbing dream about being back at school in your undies for a test you haven’t prepared for.”

He snapped his fingers and left the girl to shudder herself awake behind him. 





 

 

The book did, mercifully, have a recipe for pink champagne muffins. After getting back from the shops with the champagne and cherries that the recipe called for, he did a thorough check of the egg temperature - room temperature, which was annoying, he ended up miracling the egg until it was okay to go into the bowl. He didn’t have to do everything the human way, and he already went to the shops for the food instead of willing it into existence, so miracling the egg temperature was definitely allowed.

He also miracled up a muffin cooking tray, which was a new experience. Much more time consuming than just dumping cake mix into a pan, no, he had to spoon out each cupcake individually. Then, when they were in the oven, he miracled up a piping bag and then a spout, so the icing would be in little frills like the ones in the photos. 

He stalked around the house and yelled at the plants a little - careful to direct it away from Aziraphale’s herb plants, which were thriving in a way that was absurdly frustrating - before it was time to take the cupcakes out. He stalked around the house some more, flipped through the cookbook to check what else he could possibly make later, and then iced the cupcakes, which proved harder than he thought. He ended up miracling the icing back into the bag and re-doing at least half the cupcakes to get the frilly loops of icing right, then miracled up some pink, glittery sprinkles. If Aziraphale asked, he’d say it was to mock him. It was kind of true. Pink champagne cupcakes, honestly .

After it was all done, Crowley took a moment to sit back and survey his work. There was a niggling stab of something, not quite shame but not not shame either - he was appalled with himself, perhaps. That sounded about it. Here he was, months and months after the end of the world, living with an angel and making him cupcakes . So he’d be happy .

Crowley made a mental note to do something demonic later. He didn’t have to do anything now, not with Hell turning its back on him, but he felt like he needed to do something to make up for all this sweetness.

He considered dumping the cupcakes out the window onto the heads of unsuspecting commuters. Then he sighed, miracled up a basket and started placing the cupcakes in it.





 

 

Aziraphale, like he always did when he thought a customer was coming in, looked annoyed when Crowley sauntered through the front door. The annoyance bled out of his face when he saw who it was.

“Ah, hello, what brings you-” his eyes lit up on the basket, which was stacked full with cupcakes. His face did a complicated series of moves. “Crowley, did you-?”

“What, these?” Crowley heaved them onto the desk that was separating them. “Nah, found these in the street. Yes , I made them. Figured you could - give ‘em to customers. Really draw them in.”
Aziraphale’s delight faded back into annoyance for a second, like he was actually imagining it.

Crowley grinned. He hopped up on the desk next to the basket. “So! How are things at Ye Olde Bookshop?”

“Oh, you know.” Aziraphale waved a distracted hand. “Shelving. Inventory. Customers sometimes coming in.”

“The nerve ,” Crowley said. “Customers, coming into a bookshop. Really, we should’ve let the world burn.”

Aziraphale let out a sharp laugh at that, then tried to cover it with a cough. “Let’s not go that far,” he said. He plucked a cupcake from the basket, tilting it around as if to admire it.

“What,” Crowley said.

“Nothing,” Aziraphale replied. “Just - not quite your usual style.”

“I make anything work,” Crowley said. “Even pink glitter.”

Aziraphale made an amused noise and bit into it. Crowley pretended to be interested in grooves in the desk.

“Oh, marvelous,” Aziraphale said. “Pink champagne, is it?”

“Dunno.”

“You don’t know what kind of cupcakes you made?”

“Fine,” Crowley said. He started to pry a screw from the desk. “It might be pink champagne, I just did the first recipe I saw after opening the book.”

“You’re using the book!”

“Mm. It’s there . Might as well.”

Aziraphale took another bite. It looked hard to chew around that smile. “I love pink champagne cupcakes,” he said quietly after he swallowed. “Did I mention it to you?”

“Must’ve,” Crowley said, and then noticed how that could implicate him in making pink champagne on purpose. “I mean, I don’t know. If you did, I didn’t pay attention.”

Aziraphale looked less than convinced, so Crowley really started digging at the screw in his desk. Aziraphale swatted his hand away almost absentmindedly.

Crowley was looking around the shop for something to ruin - nothing big, just something to break the tension - when a customer emerged from the stacks and gasped at the basket.

“Ooh, glitter,” she said, and laughed. “Are those for customers?”

“Yes,” Crowley said, the same time that Aziraphale said, “No.”

They looked at each other. Crowley raised his eyebrows. Aziraphale raised his back.

The customer hovered uncertainty near them. 

“Um,” she said. 

“Take one,” Crowley told her.

“Don’t,” Aziraphae said right after.

Crowley snorted. “You can’t eat them all , angel.”

“I can and I will,” Aziraphale said as indignantly as he could through the last mouthful of cupcake. He reached for a second one and Crowley tilted the basket towards him.

“Sorry,” Crowley told the woman, who was looking between the two of them like she wasn’t sure if she should laugh or not. “Staff only.”

“All… right,” the woman said. She looked back at them no less than three times as she left the shop.

Crowley waited until the door closed, then turned back to Aziraphale. “You should set up a bucket.”

“What?”

“A bucket,” Crowley repeated. “Over the door. Then when a customer opens the door, they’ll get doused with whatever you want to put in the bucket. See if they come in after that .”

Aziraphale stared at him. He wiped a smudge of glittery icing off the corner of his mouth.

“I’m not going to douse customers, Crowley.”

Crowley pushed his sunglasses further into his face and leaned in. “Look me in the eyes and tell me some part of you wouldn’t enjoy it.”

Aziraphale sucked in a breath to answer.

Crowley bumped his eyebrows at him. 

Seconds passed.

Aziraphale blew out the breath.

“Yeah, there we go,” Crowley muttered. He sprawled out over the desk, ignoring Aziraphale’s put-upon sigh. “So, you excited for Tadfield?”

“I am,” Aziraphale said. He shifted a paperweight out of the way when Crowley’s elbow came close to knocking it over. “I was thinking, shall we bus or drive down?”

“Drive! Why, you worried about my driving?”

“...No, I-”

“I’ve only hit one person in all my years driving. And she hit me , really, so all in all-”

“I only wanted to check. So, we’ll be driving.”

“Yyyyep.” 

“Well.” Aziraphale polished off his cupcake and went for another one. “It will be good to see everyone again.”

“Yep,” Crowley said. He wasn’t much paying attention at this point. Or, he wasn’t paying attention to the Tadfield conversation - he was always paying attention to Aziraphale. He watched the angel bite off a swirl of icing, glitter sticking to the corners of his mouth.

Crowley’s fingers itched to wipe it off, so he sat on his hands. Aziraphale had that napkin of his, he didn’t need Crowley reaching for him.