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Hold Me Close, Then Hold Me Tighter

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The world around Anthony J. Crowley was falling apart and all he could see was smoke and fire. His corporeal form felt suffocated by the tainted air surrounding him, but that wasn’t stopping him from shouting desperately.

“Aziraphale! Where the Heaven are you, you idiot?! I can’t find you!”

The flames around him consumed the bookshop his best and — if he was being honest — only friend had cared for so well over the years. Crowley looked helplessly around. In the back of his mind a small part of Crowley knew this was wrong. This had happened already, this turn of events had already transpired and he couldn’t find Aziraphale because Aziraphale quite simply wasn’t there. The bookshop, in a strange reality-warped way, had never even technically burned.

But this part of Crowley couldn’t beat the terrified part of himself, couldn’t convince himself to calm down for two seconds.

He never could.

“Bastards! All of you!”

 

 

3:06 AM

 

Crowley bolted awake then, gasping as he looked wildly around the room. He may have been covered in sweat, causing his sheets to stick to him in a less than stellar fashion, but he wasn’t in Aziraphale’s bookshop and this room wasn’t on fire. Despite that, he could still feel the heat of the flames along with the grimy feel of the ash on his skin. Quickly, without thinking, he tore the blankets off of himself and lurched out of his bedroom.

Before he could compose a full, coherent thought he was in the main room, telephone in hand as he listened to it ring until a familiar voice picked up.

“Sorry, but we’re quite closed at this hour—“

“Aziraphale,” Crowley gasped, relief washing over him, “you’re alright.”

“Crowley? I. Well. I mean, yes, of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?”

The demon was more awake now, more aware as to how ridiculous he was acting; standing in his living room in his boxers, covered in sweat, speaking what may as well have been gibberish into a phone at 3 am all because of some stupid nightmare.

But the nightmare had felt real. It felt real every time Crowley had it — which had been quite a lot lately — and sometimes, on nights like this, it left him feeling nothing but pure fear until he could get some sort of proof that his angel was okay. Alive and well and not burnt to a horrible crisp. Whether it be through telephone or even a quick drive to the bookshop, he needed to know the other man was safe.

“Crowley, is everything alright?”

“Of course everything’s alright, why wouldn’t it be?” Crowley parroted back, running a hand through his hair. He realized how snippy he was being, which to be fair wasn’t out of character, but it wasn’t as if this was Aziraphale’s fault. His voice softened a bit as he muttered into the phone. “Sorry, angel, I can’t seem to remember why I called.”

And before the angel could respond, Crowley slammed the phone down on the receiver, cursing himself for being so stupid.

“It’s just a nightmare, Crowley,” he hissed at himself, “You’re a demon. You cause nightmares, you don’t get them.”

Despite this though, Crowley decided he’d had enough sleep for one night.

 

 

12:11 PM

 

“So, are you going to explain to me what on Earth last night was about?”

Crowley looked up from the bookshelf he was lazily perusing. He had been killing time sauntering around the store while Aziraphale closed up shop so they could grab a small lunch together, but now the angel was looking at him with a steady, worried gaze. Crowley didn’t like it one bit.

“I haven’t the faintest clue what you’re referring to,” he said with a wave of his hand.

“Last night? Three AM? The bizarre phone call where you sounded like you were mid panic attack? Is this ringing any bells?”

Crowley pretended to give this some thought, pursing his lips out as if trying to recall. He of course remembered it perfectly along with the nightmare that had been haunting him for the past few weeks. But Aziraphale didn’t need to know about any of that nonsense. Because that’s all it was. Nonsense.

“Mmm, nope, can’t say it is, angel!” Crowley answered, turning on his heel to head for the front door, “All ready to go then?”

Aziraphale frowned, moving to block the door, arms crossed.

“Crowley.”

Aziraphale,” the demon said back, mocking the cross tone the other man had used, hands on his hips.

“I’m serious,” Aziraphale said, exasperated, “you had me worried last night.”

“I told you, I don’t know what you’re on about.” Crowley was thankful for his sunglasses in this moment, sure his eyes would give him away. The two of them really weren’t the best at lying, were they?

Aziraphale sighed then, uncrossing his arms, “Really?”

“Maybe I had one of those fits the humans have. What do they call it?” Crowley pursed his lips again, this time in actual thought as he did his best to recall that strange thing some humans did in their sleep. He snapped his fingers, the metaphorical light bulb in his head lighting up. “Ah, yes! Sleepwalking!”

Aziraphale balked at the demon, “Sleepwalking? You, Crowley, believe you were sleepwalking.” Aziraphale’s eyebrow was raised in disbelief, but Crowley could see the gears turning in the angels head, unable to come up with another reason for Crowley’s outbursts.

“Yes, that must be it! Must be why I don’t remember a lick of what you’re talking about.” Crowley said with a point of his finger.

“I have read that most sleepwalkers don’t have a clear memory of, well...anything from the night. I suppose that would explain it.” Aziraphale murmured, tapping a finger to his lips. Crowley tried not to stare, those lips had a tendency to distract him, often making him get lost as he wondered what they'd feel like against his own. Instead he focused on the angels forehead. Seemed like a safe spot.

“Perfect, that explains that! Ready for that lunch then?” Crowley asked. He slipped past Aziraphale and out the door, calling over his shoulder, “Before dinner time, maybe?”

“Oh, alright.” Aziraphale conceded, exiting behind Crowley, a small hint of doubt knitted his eyebrows together, but he decided he would drop it. For now.

 

 

Crowley was already regretting the sleepwalking lie. He should have just persisted he didn’t know what Aziraphale had been talking about and if worse came to worse he could have then stormed off. That would have been easier than this. Because now they were at lunch, Aziraphale enjoying whatever strange treat he fancied today — Crowley had been too distracted to pay attention when the angel ordered, but it looked flaky and the very definition of the word ‘scrumptious’ — and Crowley nursing a cup of coffee as Aziraphale prattled off possible reasons and symptoms of sleepwalking.

How was Crowley supposed to know Aziraphale would know so damn much about sleepwalking of all things?

“It’s fascinating really, a demon sleepwalking. Perhaps, my dear, were more human than we think!” Aziraphale laughed at that one, the sound sent a warm feeling straight to Crowley's chest, a feeling he shoved back down. Aziraphale prattled on. “But no, seriously, you haven’t answered my questions. Has anything out of the ordinary been bothering you lately? Some sort of stress? I mean I know we avoided the apocalypse little less than a month ago, so maybe that trouble has lingered in your mind? Crowley, are you even listening?”

Crowley groaned.

“Crowley—“

“Yes, for Heav- for Hell’s sake, yes. I am listening and I’m tired. I came to have lunch, angel, not to be interrogated.”

“Coffee is hardly a suitable lunch, and I’m not interrogating you. Don't be so dramatic.”

“My lunch can be whatever I damn well want it to be.” Crowley hissed, clutching his coffee defensively, “And yes you are! You haven’t let up on the whole thing since we sat down.”

“I’m just curious is all. And a little worried, if I’m being honest. You have to admit that it’s strange, a demon sleepwalking.”

“We’re strange!” Crowley almost yelled, but could feel the eyes of the surrounding patrons of the restaurant beginning to look their way. He quieted down, lowering his voice to an annoyed hiss of a whisper, “We have always been strange and we will continue to be strange, Aziraphale.”

“I am not strange!” Aziraphale looked offended.

“You’re an angel who enjoys fine dining, expensive alcohol, and cherishes a ridiculous jacket. You’re strange, angel, get over it.”

“I’ll have you know,” Aziraphale huffed, “that this jacket is stylish and comfortable. And whether or not that’s all true, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be a little concerned about you. It’s not as if last night was the first time you’ve called me at such a late hour freaking out.”

Crowley sipped his coffee, refusing to look Aziraphale’s way.

“As a matter of fact,” Aziraphale accusingly pointed his fork at Crowley, “you’ve done that quite a few times these past few weeks and on a few occasions shown up at the shop. All at odd hours, all looking or sounding out of sorts. I was trying to let it slide, thought maybe you were adjusting to our new...lives. But clearly something is wrong and you need to talk about it—“

Crowley stood up abruptly, slamming his cup down on the table so hard that some sloshed out onto the table, “Thanks for the lunch, angel, but I’m leaving.”

“Oh for goodness sake, Crowley, sit down. I’ll drop it, okay?” Aziraphale gazed up at Crowley. He had dropped the fork and his hand was hovering in mid air, halfway to reaching for the demon, but hesitant out of fear it’d only anger him more. “Please sit back down. I apologize, I just...I worry.”

Crowley sighed. He knew he was overreacting. Knew he was probably making a scene. He just...didn’t want to answer these questions. He wanted Aziraphale to let it go and stop fretting over him.

So he slid back down into his seat. Aziraphale began to drop his hand back to the table but before he could draw it away fully Crowley reached over and tentatively took his angels hand. He could feel Aziraphales gaze flickering from their hands to his face, but he refused to look up to meet his eyes.

Instead he gave the hand a gentle squeeze whispering a simple, “I know you do, angel. I know.”

Then, before more questions could build up, Crowley slid his hand away to pick up his coffee. He took a small sip, now ready to dare glancing over at the other man, who was just looking at him quizzically.

“Go on, then. Let’s enjoy lunch.” Crowley nodded his head towards Aziraphale’s plate, doing his best to appear nonchalant. He eyed the mans worried look when Aziraphale didn't move, instead opting to chew nervously on his bottom lip. “Everything is fine. I'm not going anywhere.”

‘And,’ Crowley thought to himself, ‘neither are you. Because everything’s fine. Everything. Is. Fine.’

He willed this thought into himself for the rest of lunch.

 

 

As it turned out, everything was not, in fact, fine. This was evidently clear to Aziraphale as he was startled awake at the sound of the phone ringing. He didn’t normally sleep, but it had been a weird day. And the book he had been trying to read wasn’t holding his interest, which was how he found himself half asleep on his couch, a book resting open on his chest as he blearily looked around the room. Finally as he climbed to his feet, setting the book aside, he glanced at the clock.

2:24 AM

“Oh for Heaven's sake,” Aziraphale whispered, picking up the phone. He had a feeling he knew who was on the other end. “Crowley?”

“Angel— Aziraphale,” Crowley gasped into the phone, “you’re— you’re alright.”

It was just like last night and the other times this had happened lately. The demon on the other end sounded panicked, confused, and terribly worried about the angel.

But why?

“Crowley, as I said yesterday, of course I’m fine. Are you...is this the sleepwalking?”

“What— oh.”

And once again just like every night once Aziraphale’s safety had been secured, there was a sudden shift in tone. As if Crowley had sobered up, so to speak.

“Yes, just sleepwalking, sorry to bother you.”

And then — it was as if Crowley was following a formula at this point, perfectly made to drive Aziraphale up a tree — he hung up without another word. He always hung up before Aziraphale could ask any real questions.

Aziraphale frowned at that last statement. He shouldn’t just know he was sleepwalking, right? That wasn’t how it worked. If Aziraphale was being honest, Crowley didn’t sound like he was sleepwalking. He sounded terrified, like he had been having a…a...

Nightmare,” Aziraphale whispered to the empty room. He turned then, snatching his coat off of his vintage coat rack and sliding it on. That was it, he decided. He was going to go see Crowley. It was clear something was wrong and Aziraphale knew he shouldn’t have dropped it earlier but he just...hadn’t wanted Crowley to leave like that during lunch. The two would jab at each other and feign annoyance, sure, but he hated the thought of the man being truly mad at him and storming out in such a way.

It was then that Aziraphale remembered the touch, the gentle feeling of Crowley’s hand in his. It was silly, the two had known each other for over 6,000 years, but his heart had fluttered at that just as it always had during those brief moments of intimacy. He wasn’t even sure if he technically had a heart to be honest, but something had fluttered in there.

But this wasn’t the time for that now. No, right now for all he knew Crowley could be mid breakdown. Why, he didn’t know.

But he was going to find out.

 

 

3:03 AM

 

When Crowley opened his front door he didn’t expect to see Aziraphale on the other side. To be fair, he didn’t expect to see anyone at this hour, but Aziraphale was still a surprise. He should have expected it though, he realized. Especially after today.

“Angel.”

“Crowley.”

“What...the hell are you doing here at...what time is it? Like, three? In the morning?”

“I could ask you the same question.”

Crowley snorted at that. “It’s my house.

“You— I— You know what I mean!”

Crowley continued as if he hadn’t heard Aziraphale. “I hardly think you get to ask me what I’m doing in my own house at three in the morning.”

“What are you doing awake?” Aziraphale clarified, stepping forward, practically in the doorway.

Crowley’s jaw dropped open for a second. He quickly regained his footing in the conversation though with a simple, “You and I both know we don’t need to sleep, why shouldn’t I be awake?”

“Oh yes, but wasn’t it you just earlier today who said we were both strange, my dear? Me with my food and stylish coat, and you with your love of sleep?” Aziraphale said, gesturing at Crowley with a flair of his hand. He took another step forward, causing Crowley to take an unexpected step back.

“You can’t just steal my words—“

“I can, and I will.” Aziraphale snapped, taking another step so that he was fully inside the flat now. He then ducked around Crowley who let out a startled shout as the angel bolted down the hall.

“Hey now— Get back here, angel!” He slammed the door shut and darted after him, snarling, “Aziraphale!” The angel was quick, that was for sure. He dashed down the hall past a myriad of quaking plants into the living room of the flat with Crowley hot on his heels, hollering after him. “Just what do you think you’re doing?!”

Crowley froze in the doorway of his living room. He saw Aziraphale standing in the middle of it, surveying the state of the room. Papers were floating in the air, gently spinning, each one listing various things about sleep, dreams, and nightmares. One page listed dream interpretations. Another went on about lucid dreaming. Another listed the pros and cons of nightmares. Aziraphale spun around on his heel to gaze at Crowley through the hovering pages.

“It is extremely rude,” Crowley said, “to barge in at such a late hour.”

“It is equally rude,” Aziraphale replied, “to not be honest with a good friend.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Then what is all of this?!” Aziraphale gestured wildly to the whole room, “Sleepwalking my arse, Crowley, how long have you been having nightmares? And why aren’t you being truthful with me?”

Crowley scowled at Aziraphale and simply snapped his fingers in response. Just like that the floating pages were gone, which only served to annoy the angel.

“Oh, very mature!”

Crowley snarled, “When are you gonna bugger off? Leave me be! This is none of your bloody business, so go home!”

“You made it my business by calling me in a panic almost every night! What is the nightmare about?”

“There’s no nightmare, I’m sleepwalking.”

What is the nightmare, Crowley?”

“There. Is. No. Nightmare.” Crowley clenched his fists, trying his best to control his temper.

“Crowley!”

“I don’t want to talk about the fucking nightmare!” Crowley shouted, slamming his fist against the wall, eyes squeezed shut behind his glasses.

Aziraphale fell silent then. Crowley’s fist flattened, his palm resting against the wall, almost leaning into it as if he’d fall to pieces without its support. The angel tentatively walked around the living room couch, getting closer to the demon.

“Don’t,” Crowley whispered, “Just. Don’t. Go away, angel. I’m not in the mood for your questions.”

“Why don’t you want to talk about it, my dear?” Aziraphalegently asked, his tone much softer than a few seconds ago. The angel hadn't meant to cause such an outburst, he never wanted to upset his demon. He was next to Crowley now, and before he really knew what he was doing, he had slid a hand into the one hanging limp by Crowley’s side. He covered it with his other, lifting it to his chest, holding it as if it were a precious treasure that could break at any moment as he gazed up at the pained look on Crowley’s face. “What is wrong?”

Crowley’s head snapped up to stare at his own hand, being clutched desperately to Aziraphales chest.

“I’m here for you, Crowley. Please, why won’t you talk to me?”

The demon pressed his lips into a thin line before suddenly moving away, pushing himself away from the wall and slipping out of Aziraphale’s grasp. Aziraphale futilely reached after the man.

“I’m going to bed.”

“Crowley—“

“I don’t care what you do. Stay here. Go home. Just...leave me alone.”

And with that, Crowley slammed his bedroom door shut, leaving the angel feeling defeated and dejected as he stood alone in the demons living room.

 

 

Burning, burning, everything was always burning.

A bookshop really was a terrible place for a fire. Or maybe it was the perfect place, what with all the kindling. Or perhaps it was terribly perfect?

Crowley supposed it depended on your point of view.

Either way, it was scorching, and Crowley was screaming and hollering as he always was. Searching desperately for his friend, tears threatening to spill as he ignored the flames.

Something felt different this time though, he could almost feel him. Could almost sense Aziraphale. If he was searching for a word he would say it was on the tip of his tongue, but it wasn’t a word he was looking for.

It was an angel.

“Aziraphale! I can’t find you!” Crowley spun around. He could always find his angel. Always, always, always. He could be states away, hell, he could be light years away roaming the galaxy of Alpha Centauri and he could find him. And the bookshop was incredibly small compared to another galaxy, so where was he?

Suddenly he heard a noise, something crashing to the floor behind him. He spun around, hope springing forward from inside his chest.

He breathed out a relieved sigh, “Angel—“

His excitement was cut short by the sight of his friend, followed by a panicked scream.

“No, no, no!

In front of him, laying on the ground in a heap of burnt and charred flesh was his friend. His favorite coat was all but burned away, and there were deep, dark holes where his eyes should have been. There should have been beautiful, breathtaking blue eyes looking back at him. Eyes that crinkled when he smiled and filled Crowley with some small semblance of hope whenever he saw them light up.

But instead there was nothing.

Crowley screamed out his angels name, hands gripping his hair as he stumbled backwards into the flames.

Burning, burning, always burning.

 

 

4:21 AM

 

“Crowley! Crowley for the love of Heaven, wake up!

The angel had been quietly reading when he had been startled by the sound of screams. Desperate, terrified screams. And it was Crowley, his Crowley, screaming his name as if the world was actually ending this time. He almost tripped over himself trying to run to the bedroom where he discovered his dear friend thrashing about in his sleep.

And now Aziraphale was on the bed, kneeling, half bent over Crowley as he tried to shake him awake.

“Crowley, please, I’m here! I’m right here!”

The demons eyes snapped open as he shot up, gasping, snake eyes darting around wildly until they landed on Aziraphale.

“Aziraphale,” he whispered, crumpling into the angels arms, “No, no, no. You were burning.”

“Crowley,” Aziraphale whispered into his ear, “what on Earth are you talking about? My dear, I’m right here. I’ve got you.”

This drew a shaky breath from Crowley as he slowly let the world seep in. The real world.

He was awake. The room wasn’t burning. Aziraphale was alive. He was alive and in front of him. Aziraphale was right here and Crowley was practically weeping into his arms like a fool.

Shit.

“Oh, Christ,” Crowley groaned. He slowly pulled back, just a bit, so he wasn’t a pathetic heap in the other man's arms. A part of him didn’t want to look up, didn’t want to let his angel see him so weak. But...he had to be sure, didn’t he?

Hesitantly he looked up at Aziraphale to meet those breathtaking blue eyes staring back at him and couldn’t help himself. He couldn’t stop from reaching up, placing his hand carefully on Aziraphale’s cheek, gently stroking his thumb along it and letting it rest at the corner of that mouth he wanted to kiss so much as he choked out a broken sounding, “Angel.

Aziraphale didn’t know what to do or what had just happened. All he could think to do was reach up, sure to keep at least one hand gripping Crowley’s shoulder — his bare shoulder, but this was hardly the time to think about that — and placed his free hand over top Crowley’s as he leaned into the touch.

“I’m here, my dear. I’m alright.”

Crowley shut his eyes, nodding, letting this sink in.

“You’re alright.”

“Crowley,” Aziraphale said, quietly, worried he might scare the other man with the slightest movement or wrong word, “will you please tell me what’s wrong?”

The jig was up, it seemed. Crowley took another shaky breath and swallowed his pride.

“In this dream— no.” A small shake of his head. “No, you were right before. Nightmare.” He took another breath and started again. “In this nightmare, I’m in the bookshop—“

“Now this is hardly the time for jokes, Crowley.” Aziraphale dropped his hand from the one still resting on his cheek, frowning.

“Shush, angel, listen,” Crowley hissed, moving his hand to grasp the others chin, causing the angels eyes to momentarily widen. “I’m in your bookshop, and it’s burning. Just like when I found it back when...when I was tryin’ to find you. When the world was ending. When I—“ His voice broke there for a second and he shook it off as best as he could. “When I thought you were dead.” He shrugged lightly then with a slight tilt of his head, “Although to my credit, you were dead. In a sense.”

Crowley slid his hand back from Aziraphale’s chin to rest on his cheek once more, his thumb lightly stroking again. Aziraphale’s breath caught in his throat at the touch and the gentle look in the demons eyes.

“Anyway, usually I can’t find you. Everything burns. I wake up. And then,” Another shrug of the shoulders, “I call you. Or rush over, depending on how rattled I am I guess. But this time…this time I found you. It was the first time ever really. But you were quite dead, angel. Burning to a crisp as it were.” His voice slightly broke again there as Crowley wore a small, pained smile.

“Oh,” Aziraphale breathed, “oh, Crowley, my dear.”

Crowley let his hand slide down from the angels cheek to settle on his neck instead as he leaned forward, resting his head on his shoulder, lightly breathing his scent in. It really was a lovely scent, he smelled of fine baked pastries and wildflowers. If given the chance, Crowley would lay wrapped in the scent for century.

Aziraphale could feel Crowley’s lips on his throat. Not purposefully, he was sure, but they were there. And they were distracting.

“It’s quite silly, I know,” the demon whispered, lips ghosting along the angels neck. A slight shiver ran through the angel, but as he always told himself, this wasn’t the time for such thoughts.

“Crowley, that isn’t silly,” Aziraphale said, “That's terrifying.” He let his arms circle around Crowley, one hand resting atop his head, his fingers soothingly running through the fiery red hair he’d come to adore, the other arm loosely wrapped around his waist, “I remember that day and I remember you in the pub. I thought you were going to be lost among the stars by then. You said—“

“I remember,” Crowley grumbled, “trust me, I don’t need reminding. Thought you was dead. Worst day of my life.”

Aziraphale could feel every word he uttered against his neck, causing another shiver to run through him. The two had never been this close, this intimate before, and Aziraphale wasn’t sure what to do next. He couldn’t pinpoint if Crowley’s actions at the moment were just a result of the nightmare. It made sense one might need some comfort after such a fright, didn’t it?

“Angel—“

Aziraphale cut him off, he had to. There was something in Crowley’s voice that Aziraphale wasn’t sure he was ready to handle.

“Well, I’m here now, my dear. I’m not dead, I’m not burning, and believe me neither is the shop. And— and everything’s fine. I’m not going anywhere.” The angel tightened his grip around Crowley’s waist as he continued slowly running his fingers through his hair, “I’ll always be here.”

Crowley breathed out a small laugh, hot breath tickling Aziraphale’s neck.

“I- I’m serious, Crowley.”

“I know you are, angel.”

Crowley seemed content to stay like this, pressed up against Aziraphale, as he absentmindedly ran his thumb along his jaw. Aziraphale felt dizzy, unsure of how to handle this.

“Are you…” Aziraphale sighed, “Do you think you’ll be able to sleep?”

Crowley snorted at that, reluctantly sitting up. His hand remained on Aziraphales neck, but at least with his lips not so close the angel could almost think. Aziraphale loosened his hold on the demon as well, pulling away a bit himself to give the both of them some room.

“Course not. I’m surprised I managed to fall back asleep earlier. This was the first time I actually tried to sleep go back to sleep after the nightmare and it only got worse.” Crowley drew his hand away then, shaking his head, “So, no thank you. Bollocks to that nonsense. I’ll sleep another night, maybe.”

Aziraphale’s eyebrows knitted together at that. While it was true that neither of them technically needed sleep, he knew how much Crowley loved sleeping. He had slept through a whole century once for goodness sake, sleeping was practically a hobby for the man at this point.

“What if I...stayed here for the night?” Aziraphale asked this quietly, “Do you think that would help?”

Crowley’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline, “I’m sorry, angel, what was that?”

“Don’t be like that, you heard me. I’m- You.” Aziraphale took a calming breath, “I’m just asking if you’d prefer my presence here while you tried to actually sleep. I’m not-“ He couldn’t look his friend in the eye for some reason, so instead he looked down at this hands, “I’m not trying to be lewd, Crowley.”

“But you don’t sleep.” Crowley said this with an air of confusion in his tone.

“I’m perfectly capable of sleeping,” Aziraphale rolled his eyes, “or I can read. Either way, the point is I can distract myself just fine while lying here and you can maybe get some decent rest.”

“It’s not like I need sleep.”

“Most demons and angels don’t but I have a feeling you do. Remember, as you said, my dear, were strange.”

Crowley frowned, opening his mouth again to complain.

“I just mean,” Aziraphale made an aggravated sound, “Listen, all I’m trying to say is you seem to actually gain some benefits from sleeping. So stop trying to make this into an argument, Crowley, and just go to bed with me!”

Crowley’s mouth snapped shut, the earlier frown now replaced with a smirk. Aziraphale could feel his face flushed with embarrassment at his choice of words. He groaned, dropping his head into his hands now.

“Will you please stop being difficult?”

“”Oh, now we both know that’s not in my nature, angel,” Crowley chuckled. Watching his angel so flustered almost made him forget about the nightmare. Almost. He stretched, letting himself fall backwards into his bed. “But if you want to sleep with me so bad—“

“Crowley,” Aziraphale practically whined.

“—so, so bad, then who am I to deny you?” Crowley seemed incapable of wiping that cursed smirk off his face as he lay there, one hand propping his head up, the other arm resting on his side. Moments like this, as Aziraphale was becoming increasingly aware that the demon was clad only in thin boxers, he truly wished Crowley had some small hint of shame.

Aziraphale let out an exasperated sigh, “You’re impossible.”

“And you’re incredibly easy to rile up,” Crowley said, amusement evident in his tone, but Aziraphale could hear a hint of kindness in there. Only Crowley could be so insufferable but sound so sweet.

Before he lost his nerve, Aziraphale kicked his shoes off and climbed into the bedsheets next to Crowley.

Both men now were considering their options at this point, both worried they might make the wrong move and scare the other away. Both were unsure how to really lay without crowding the other, scared to get too close.

“You, uh, gonna fake sleep in your clothes?” Crowley asked, eyeing Aziraphale.

“It’s not like I have something else to wear,” Aziraphale looked down at his dress shirt, happy to avoid Crowley’s gaze. “Why, is it going to bother you?”

“Just doesn’t seem all that comfortable. ‘S not like what you wear affects me. I’m very comfortable,” Crowley said, gesturing to his choice of clothing (or lack thereof).

“Then yes, I suppose I’ll be wearing this unless some miracle wants to grant me whatever people decide to sleep in—“

Before Aziraphale could finish his sentence, Crowley lifted his hand up from his waist, delivering a quick snap of the fingers. Aziraphale let out a startled, “Oh—“ as his clothes were replaced by a simple white cotton shirt and lounge pants.

“Yer welcome,” Crowley murmured before sliding under the covers and promptly shutting his eyes.

Aziraphale opened his mouth to attest, he did wonder where his actual clothes had been miracled away to, but decided it was a question he could save for the morning. He let himself get comfortable, keeping a watchful eye on Crowley. The fallen demon hardly looked serene, his eyebrows furrowed together and mouth pressed in a thin line. It looked as if he was trying to will himself to sleep.

Sighing, Aziraphale turned so he was resting on his side and gently reached over to run his hands through the other man's hair. Crowley's eyes shot open, confusion easily spotted in them.

“What are you doing?“

“You need to relax.” Aziraphale whispered, as if that was an answer.

Crowley didn’t know how to explain to Aziraphale that him being so close to him, and now touching him in such a gentle way in his own bed no less, was the opposite of relaxing. But he didn’t have the energy for that conversation. And he definitely didn’t have the emotional energy to handle the look in Aziraphale’s eyes. They were full of worry and compassion and something else Crowley was too scared to put his finger on. So, instead, he opted to shut his eyes again and let himself get lost in the angels soft, far-too-gentle touches.

He slept that night, and for the first night in weeks, it felt like Heaven.

 

 

When Crowley awoke, he was a bit dazed and confused. He felt warm, warmer than usual upon waking up. After a few groggy minutes of drifting in and out of sleep he finally realized what was different. There was someone else in his bed. No, no, not just someone else. An angel. His angel. Either he or Crowley had scooted closer during the night, it was impossible to say who, but it had happened. Because Crowley’s forehead was pressed against the angels chest and Aziraphale’s fingers were loosely tangled in Crowley's hair, his lips lightly grazing the top of his head as he breathed soft even breaths.

So it seemed the angel could, in fact, sleep.

Crowley slowly looked up, careful not to jostle the other man as he stole a look at his face.

His breath caught in his throat at the sight of his angels sleeping face. Of course Aziraphale was gorgeous as he slept, of fucking course. His lips were slightly parted and it took all of Crowley’s willpower not to reach up and touch them. He untangled himself more from Aziraphale then, worried he might do something he’d regret if he didn’t get away from him that second.

The movement caused Aziraphale to stir, eyes opening and then blinking in confusion as he lifted his head to survey his surroundings. His hair was slightly matted on the side he had slept on and Crowley couldn’t help but stare.

“Crowley…? What on Earth—“ Aziraphale sat up, looking around, lost, before a wave of understanding washed over him. “Oh, it seems I fell asleep.”

Crowley chuckled at that, “Yes, it seems you did. G’morning, angel.”

Crowley pretended not to see the slight blush that colored Aziraphale’s cheeks. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of that, if he was being honest. Instead he stayed silent, one arm resting on a bent knee, propping his head up on said arm as he watched the angel come to terms with waking up.

“Yes, yes, good morning. Uh,” Aziraphale stole a glance over at the other man, “how did you sleep?”

Crowley flashed a cheeky grin, “Like an angel.”

Aziraphale rolled his eyes at that, but didn’t hold back the small smile that was spreading on his face. “Glad to hear it. I suppose I ought to go open my shop.” He climbed out of the bed, looking down at the cotton shirt and lounge pants and then back up at Crowley. “You wouldn’t happen to know where you miracled my clothes away to, would you?”

Crowley, just as he had the night before, responded with a quick snap of his fingers. And once again Aziraphale jumped in shock as his clothes were miracled back to his usual attire, sans his jacket which he had left draped over the couch in the living room.

“Crowley, will you please stop dress— undress—“ Aziraphale groaned, running his hands down his face as Crowley laughed.

“Will I stop undressing you, is that what you were going to say, angel?”

Aziraphale shot him a weak glare through his fingers, muttering a small, “Shut up, you.”

Crowley flashed another grin.

“I really do need to get going though,” Aziraphale sighed, kneeling down to put his shoes on.

Crowley swung his legs over the bed then, throwing the covers off. “I’ll give you a ride!”

Aziraphale glanced up and immediately regretted it as he came face to face with Crowley’s boxers. He was kneeling right between the demons legs. He could feel the blood running to his face.

“You alright down there, angel?” Crowley asked, his chin propped up on one hand, elbow resting on his knee. Aziraphale could practically hear the smirk in his voice.

He shot to his feet, avoiding all eye contact.

“Would you please put some clothes on or have you no decency?”

“Oh, I didn’t realize the human form made you so uncomfortable.” That smug tone was still present, and Crowley simply couldn’t help it. Flustering Aziraphale was always a favorite pastime.

“It doesn’t make me uncomfortable. Just.” Aziraphales spun on his heel, making his way to the bedroom door, “You’re just—“

Before Aziraphale could finish he was trapped between the door and Crowley’s body. He yelped in response, more shocked than scared (he could never truly be scared of the demon), and his breath hitched as Crowley leaned forward to whisper in his ear.

“I’m just, what? Too fast for you, angel?”

And then just like that, the body was off him, Crowley chuckling with another snap of his fingers. Aziraphale looked behind him to see the man was fully clothed now. Not that the tight pants and plunging neckline left much to the imagination, but it was easier to handle than his underwear alone.

Crowley looked at him innocently as he put on sunglasses that had seemingly come from nowhere. “Ready to go, Aziraphale? Or has a snake got your tongue?”

“It’s cat. Cat got your tongue.”

“Cat. Snake. Tomato. Tohmahto. Let’s get a move on, it’s almost noon.”

Aziraphale paled. He hadn’t realized the time. “Noon?! We practically slept the whole day away!”

“Marvelous, isn’t it?” Crowley asked with another grin and then laughed as he followed a rushing Aziraphale out the door.

 

 

Crowley zipped through traffic as the poor angel in his passenger seat held on to the car for dear life.

“Crowley you realize that if we crash we probably won’t be getting new bodies? Right? You understand tha— ah!” He clung tighter as Crowley nearly avoided a pedestrian.

“Oh for the love of Satan, Aziraphale, we’re not going to crash.”

“Fine, if you insist on driving like a madman could we at least talk about last night?”

Crowley almost slammed the brakes in response, but managed to continue driving.

“Seriously? You're seriously still trying to talk about it?”

“I just think it might help—“

“If you keep trying to talk to me about this, Aziraphale, I swear to God I will go ninety miles an hour into the nearest wall.”

“Crowley—“

No.”

Aziraphale huffed, but fell silent for the rest of the car ride. Crowley screeched to a halt in front of the bookshop a few minutes later. The angel took off his seatbelt, turning to face Crowley. He refused to look back.

He wanted to ask him about it, wanted to know what was happening inside his dear friends head. But when he opened his mouth what came out instead was, “Are you coming inside?”

Crowley continued to avoid eye contact, shrugging as casually as he could. “Might be back later.”

“Well, don’t be a stranger. I,” Aziraphale sighed, “I promise I’ll drop it, Crowley. Truly.”

“It’s fine, angel.” Crowley finally turned to face the other man, offering a small, albeit forced, smile. “Get on to your books now.”

Aziraphale offered back his own smile, bid goodbye, and climbed out of the car. He watched the demon peel off into the street, wincing as he almost hit another car.

 

 

9:12 PM

 

Crowley hadn’t come back by that day, and he hadn’t called. In fact he hadn’t been by for the past few days, and Aziraphale was slightly worried he had ticked off the demon with his prying, but also had a feeling he might have just been embarrassed. This also worried him.

He supposed he was just worried in general.

Aziraphale had just finished locking up the shop and was making his way upstairs for the night. A part of him desperately wanted to go by Crowley’s flat, but another part knew that might just make matters worse. He supposed he could give the demon another night to cool off, but would definitely stop by tomorrow if he hadn't heard from him by then. Just as he reached the top of the stairs, sure of his decision, he heard knocking on his door.

He turned around and began to make his way back down. Before he was halfway down the knocking became more insistent, which answered his question as to who it could be.

“Angel! Open up!”

Aziraphale shook his head, only slightly hurrying his pace. The demon really did have no patience.

He opened the door, having to immediately step aside as Crowley barged in. As he shut the door and locked it back up he lightly chastised his friend. “Honestly, Crowley, can’t you give me a secon—“

“I want to sleep here tonight.”

Aziraphale almost fumbled his keys. “I’m sorry, what?” He was sure he had heard wrong. He turned around from the shop door to look at Crowley, replaying the sentence in his head.

“You heard me, angel. I want to sleep here. Or just...be in your company. Idon’twanttotalkaboutit.” Crowley pinched the bridge of his nose, “I just want a good nights sleep and I don’t want to have a ridiculous nightmare, alright?”

Aziraphale blinked. He began to notice the light bags under Crowley’s eyes and wondered if he had gotten any sleep at all the past few days. He had a bad feeling that the answer was no.

“I’m clearly being stupid, never mind,” Crowley grumbled, taking a step towards the door. This snapped Aziraphale out of his daze, and he quickly stepped in front of the demon, putting a hand up and placing it on his chest to stop him from going any further. He could feel the other man’s heart beating a nervous drum.

“Calm down and, once again, give me a second.” He took a breath, taking his hand away from Crowley’s chest. “Of course you can sleep here. It’s not as if you needed a list of excuses, you know my door is always open.”

Crowley raised his eyebrows at that but remained silent.

“Come, my dear, let’s go upstairs.”

Crowley let out a breath he hadn’t been aware he’d been holding, feeling nervous for reasons he was trying to ignore, and followed the angel up the stairs.

Once they were upstairs, Crowley took a seat on the couch as Aziraphale slid his jacket off and hung it on his coat rack.

“Care for a drink?” Aziraphale asked.

“You know I do.” Crowley still felt ridiculous for his outburst and hoped alcohol would help with that feeling.

Aziraphale nodded, smiling at his demon, and made his way into the small, but cozy kitchen. He never needed a large one, if he wanted something to eat he’d much rather go out and get it. Humans just seemed to be so much better at cooking than he could ever manage.

“So, what have you been up to the last two days?” Aziraphale called from the kitchen as he pulled two glasses down from the cupboard.

“Oh, you know. The usual.”

An evasive answer, but that was par for the course at the moment it seemed.

Aziraphale set two crystal glasses on the coffee table and opened up a new bottle of scotch. He filled the glasses and set the bottle to the side as he took a seat next to the demon, holding their drinks as he did so.

“I thought you might like this one,” he said, sheepishly, as Crowley eyed the bottle.

“I’m sure I’ll like whatever you give me, angel.” Crowley whispered, smiling softly at the angel.

Aziraphale blushed, pushing one glass into Crowley’s hand and taking a quick sip out of his own. Crowley sipped his as well, letting out an appreciative hum as he did so. “Oh, this is marvelous.”

“I’m glad you think so.”

The two continued to sip their respective drinks in silence for a moment. Aziraphale was doing his best to keep the image of Crowley clad only his boxers out of his mind. He’d been having trouble forgetting that particular sight. Crowley meanwhile was still trying to get over his little outburst downstairs. Not to mention e sight of a sleeping Aziraphale had been plaguing his mind the last couple days.

They both finished their first two drinks rather quickly and refilled. And then their third drinks went down just as quickly. By then they were at least past that awkward silence, onto exchanging stories. Some they'd swapped before, some new.

“I tol—I told the man I didn’t have any first editions and then I sent him on his way.” Aziraphale shook his head, “He was incredibly rude.”

“But, angel,” Crowley has his arm draped over the back of the couch, eyeing Aziraphale as carefully as a partially drunk demon could, “I thought you had first edition Oscar Wildes? Almost certain you do.”

“Well of course I do, Crowley, don’t be ridiculous. Just none for that imb-imbecile.”

Crowley threw his head back and laughed, “What kind of a bookshop owner are you?” He kept his head resting on the back of the couch, continuing to chuckle.

Aziraphale was momentarily distracted by Crowley’s neck and the thought of his lips against the smooth skin. It would be so easy to lean over and get a small taste and he wondered what kind of sounds Crowley would make if he did such a thing.

He then noticed that the demon had turned his gaze back to him and quickly regained his composure.

Ahem, well I’m clearly a shop that doesn’t just go around selling first editions to rude patrons, that’s for sure.” He punctuated the statement by downing his drink and reaching over to pour himself a fourth. Or was it fifth? He wasn’t quite sure at this point.

When he leaned back again, new drink in hand, he could have sworn Crowley had gotten closer. Or perhaps he had moved closer unintentionally? Again, he wasn’t sure. He just knew he was practically settled into Crowley’s outstretched arm, just an inch or two from being pressed against his side. He was certain that if he turned his head he’d be closer than he could possibly handle.

“I don’t think you would have sold it to the Queen herself, angel,” Crowley murmured, once again shaking Aziraphale out of his distracted thoughts.

“P-Perhaps.”

Crowley took a sip of his drink and Aziraphale took the chance to look up. He became enraptured by the bob of Crowley’s Adam’s apple as he drank, once again finding himself wishing he could brush his lips along the demons neck.

And then he realized he was being watched, eye to eye with the demon. Well, eye to sunglasses. The point was that he had been caught for the second time staring at the man’s neck, which wasn’t ideal. Crowley opened his mouth to speak, but Aziraphale decided to beat him to the punch.

“Why do you wear these indoors?” He asked, reaching up and plucking the sunglasses off.

“H-Hey!” The demon reached for them, but Aziraphale merely pulled his arm back, tsk, tsk, tsking him as he did so. “I wear them cause I like ‘em. ‘S my...my aesthetic. Give ‘em back.”

“No. I like your eyes.” Aziraphale hadn’t meant to say that last part, but it slipped out. He tried to look confident despite the unintended compliment, still holding the glasses just barely out of reach.

Crowley stilled at the compliment, pulling away and promptly downing the rest of his drink. He set the empty glass on the table.

“I believe I’m ready for bed,” he announced suddenly.

“O-Oh, of course.” Aziraphale folded the sunglasses up and set them down on the coffee table next to the very empty scotch bottle. “Did you want to sober up first?”

“Not even a little bit.”

“Well, alright then.” Aziraphale stood up, only slightly wobbling. “Bedroom’s this way.”

He led a stumbling Crowley to his bedroom, mind racing.

“I won’t lie, I don’t use the bed much...well at all, really. But it shouldn’t be...too uncomfortable,” he frowned. He was worried it would, in fact, be very uncomfortable, “I’m quite sorry if it is.”

“No need to apologize,” Crowley said, sliding past Aziraphale with a snap of his fingers. His clothes vanished then, leaving Aziraphale face to face with an almost naked demon for the second time that week.

Crowley!

“This is how I sleep, angel, get used to it.”

“You could at least wear pants.”

“Out of the question.” Crowley let himself fall into the bed, his long legs dangling over the side. It really wasn’t that bad of a bed. His was better though.

He propped himself up on his elbows to see the angel pointedly looking everywhere but towards Crowley.

“I swear, you act like you’ve never seen skin before, angel.”

“I’m sorry I’m modest, Crowley.” He snipped, finally turning his gaze to the practically naked man, trying to focus on his face. “I’m perfectly fine with the...human form.” Despite his efforts, his eyes kept roaming down Crowley’s chest. Once his gaze hit the hips his eyes snapped back up to the face, a light blush creeping up his own face.

Crowley smirked. “Ya could’ve fooled me.”

Aziraphale moved towards the bed and Crowley snorted, causing the angel to stop short.

“What now? What’s so funny?”

“Do you not have anything to sleep in besides,” Crowley gestured vaguely towards Aziraphale’s outfit, “that?”

“I—I mean, well.” Aziraphale sighed, looking towards his wardrobe that he knew full only held more slacks and dress shirts. “I’m sure I have something—“

Crowley rolled his eyes, snapping before Aziraphale could finish. And once again Aziraphale was in that cotton shirt and lounge pants (which were extremely comfortable, but he refused to admit that).

“Didn’t I ask you to stop doing that?”

“Oh I’m sssorry, did you prefer sleeping in a waistcoat?” Crowley asked, a slight hiss in his words, amusement twinkling in his eyes.

Aziraphale refused to answer, not trusting himself to say the right thing. He was, if he was being honest, far too inebriated for this situation. Instead he merely waved his hands at Crowley to make room in a shooing motion. Crowley obliged, swinging his legs onto the bed to scoot over so the angel could crawl into bed, watching as Aziraphale slid under the covers.

“What?” Aziraphale asked, once he noticed how intently the demon was watching him, “Am I doing something wrong?”

Crowley’s smirk shifted to a genuine smile. Aziraphale could feel his heart skip a beat. He wondered if Crowley knew how precious his smile was.

“No, angel, you’re perfect,” Crowley murmured before joining Aziraphale under the covers. He looked like he wanted to say something else, but ultimately decided against it, turning over on his side so his back was to the angel.

Aziraphale leaned back on the pillows, hands clasped on his chest as he stared up at the ceiling. How on Earth was he supposed to respond to that?

The best he could come up with was whispering a simple, “Good night.”

“G’night,” Crowley whispered back.

About five minutes passed before Aziraphale turned onto his side, facing the his friends back.

“Crowley?”

“Hm?”

“Are you—“

“Drunk?” Crowley interrupted, turning over to face the angel, “Yes, very.”

Aziraphale sighed, “No, I know that. I was trying to ask...well I wanted to ask if you’re okay?”

Crowley looked at Aziraphale, and for a second Aziraphale was worried he’d gone and upset the man again, but Crowley simply shrugged.

“As okay as I can be I suppose.”

Aziraphale became distracted by the sight of the demons face in the moonlight. The light was shining through the curtains and hitting his face in a thin line starting from his temple and ending at his lips. Before the angel could really consider his actions, he reached up to gently trace the light with his finger tips, stopping at the corner of Crowley’s mouth.

“You really are quite beautiful, you know that?” Aziraphale whispered.

Crowley only seemed capable of staring at the angel, eyes flickering around nervously before whispering a small, “Oh.”

Aziraphale drew his hand back. It was at this moment that he realized he was absolutely far too drunk. Perhaps he should have sobered up in the living room.

“You are too, y’know.” Crowley said suddenly.

Aziraphale blinked. “What?”

“Beautiful, I mean. Always thought so. Since the moment you said you gave that ridiculous sword away. Really was too flashy for you.”

Aziraphale took a second to let this register before saying, “I’m sorry, since— since I gave away the sword? Like to the delivery man?”

Crowley snorted, “No, you clever fool. Since the beginning.”

Since the beginning?

Aziraphale continued to stare, feeling foolish and extremely confused. Crowley let out a yawn and scooted closer, nestling his face into Aziraphale’s chest. Aziraphale hoped he couldn’t feel how hard his heart was beating.

“Dunno what yer looking so shocked for, s’not like that’s news.”

Aziraphale could feel Crowley’s even breaths on his chest, and searched for something to say back.

“I beg to differ, Crowley. You’re making it sound like you— well I don’t know what you’re making it sound like.” He was fumbling, and Crowley was drifting off to sleep. He knew he should have let him sleep, knew the man needed it, but he couldn’t hold back from questioning. “What do you mean since the beginning?”

Crowley sighed and reached for the angels hand. He took it in his, pulled it to his lips, and lightly kissed the palm of it. Aziraphale’s head was swimming, mind racing as Crowley murmured against his hand.

“You know what I mean, angel. You must know I’ve always felt that way.”

And for Crowley, this was his moment where he realized how absolutely drunk he was. His eyes snapped open and he dropped the hand as if it was on fire, suddenly sitting up.

“I think I actually will sober up.” He ran a hand through his hair, thoughts running through his head at light speed as he said, “And perhaps leave.”

“Now hang on a second,”Aziraphale reached up, grabbing Crowley’s arm, “Just lay back down, I’ll stop asking questions—“

“It’s not that, don’t worry about it.”

“Crowley.”

The demon turned to face the angel, leaning over him slightly, unsure of what to do. Aziraphale’s hand fell away as he stared up into the other man’s eyes. The moonlight was hitting his face again and running down his chest in a vertical line, and Heaven help Aziraphale, Crowley really was so, so beautiful. Aziraphale always held back, always tried not to stare for too long at the demon because the same thing always happened. His heart would race and feel as if it was lodged in his throat. He would yearn to reach over and hold him. Would wonder what it would be like to just kiss him, to run his hands down his chest. To graze his teeth along the man's skin and hear what sort of sweet sounds he would make in response.

Heavens, he was definitely too drunk.

“Angel,” Crowley whispered, a sad, resigned look on his face that Aziraphale recognized. He always gave that look when the angel rejected him in some fashion. Every time he had him asked to run away to the stars and Aziraphale had shirked away. He used to be able to blame it all on Heaven and Hell, his side and Crowley’s side.

But now they were on their own side, weren’t they? So what was Aziraphale so scared of? He wasn't sure anymore, and perhaps the alcohol was clouding his judgment.

But, for once, Aziraphale gave in.

He reached up, hands cupping Crowley’s jaw and tugging him down to crash his lips against his. A soft whine escaped Crowley’s throat as he reached up to grip Aziraphale’s shirt. It was as if he thought that if let go the angel might slip away. Aziraphale moved his own hands to Crowley’s shoulders, gripping them as he kissed Crowley's jaw, sighing against his skin. He could feel how nervous his demon was, could feel the hammering of his heartbeat and the nervous shaking in his hands due to him now laying half across Aziraphale’s body after being yanked down so suddenly.

“Is this okay?” Aziraphale breathed into Crowley’s ear, drawing out a half hearted laugh from the man.

Is this okay?” Crowley repeated back, disbelief in his tone. He pulled back, pressing one hand to the bed to prop himself up as he ran a shaky hand through his hair. “Christ, angel.”

Aziraphale gave Crowley a quizzical look, “Is that a no?”

“Of course it’s not a no.” Crowley sighed.

The angel ran his hands down the demons chest, but was stopped short by Crowley shifting to a kneeling position, grabbing hold of the roaming hands to still them.

Aziraphale shot another confused look at his trapped hands. “You're sending me mixed signals, my dear.”

“And you're drunk. And we’re not thinking clearly.” Crowley shut his eyes for a moment, collecting his thoughts. “And I don’t need a mistake happening that you regret,” He let out a shaky breath,“I can’t lose you, angel. Not again.”

Aziraphale sat up now too, beginning to understand the problem. Not just now, but with the nightmare as well. Crowley was still holding Aziraphale’s hands, clutching them in a death grip as he avoided eye contact. Aziraphale shut his eyes, concentrating on sobering up. He needed a clear head now, needed to choose his words wisely.

Crowley felt the angel shake as he sobered up and followed suit. They both shook their heads a bit, letting each other get situated with sobriety again.

Once Aziraphale felt normal and clear headed, and had gotten the taste of alcohol off his tongue, he looked up at Crowley. He was still avoiding looking at directly at him. That wouldn't do.

“My dear,” Aziraphale whispered, slipping his hands from Crowley’s grip. He slid a hand under his chin, gently lifting up so Crowley would look at him. Despite sobering up, the same level of fear and worry was in his eyes. “You’ll never lose me. I thought that was obvious. We’ve already proven that neither Heaven nor Hell can keep us apart. And as for regretting anything,” Aziraphale glanced away, a tad nervous now himself. He was never good at expressing his feelings. Oddly enough, out of the two of them, Crowley seemed to be the one less shy when it came to that. He was the one who had asked not just once but twice to run away to the stars with him. Always the one to claim that they were together on their own side, even before Armageddon came knocking at the door.

“As for regretting anything, I also find that impossible. You’re all I’ve ever wanted, my dear, without you this world wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful, not nearly as exciting. You’re beautiful, you’re everything, and if I’m being honest I think about kissing you at least once a day. That wasn’t exactly an impulsive drunken action.” Aziraphale sighed and looked up at the ceiling, “I mean, I suppose it was a little impulsive that I did it but it wasn’t as if it was a new idea. Am I making sense?”

Aziraphale looked back to Crowley now to find him watching intently, almost holding his breath.

“Crowley?”

“You think about kissing me?”

Aziraphale blushed and drew his hand away from Crowley’s chin, embarrassed now.

“I mean, yes. Amongst...other things.”

Other things?” Crowley’s voice hit a high pitched tone of disbelief.

“You know, Crowley, I’m trying to be kind and honest over here. I really don’t need you mocking me—“

The angel was cut off by Crowley surging forward to press his lips against his. Aziraphale was momentarily caught off guard, but quickly moved past that, sighing sweetly against the other man, letting himself fall backwards. Crowley crawled so that he was straddling the angel, moving his mouth against his as he did so. He nipped at his angels bottom lip and Aziraphale let out a small gasp.

Crowley capitalized on Aziraphale’s now open mouth, slipping his tongue in. The two were gripping the other wherever they could get a hold; Crowley’s hands under the cotton shirt he had miracled into existence, Aziraphale’s own hands tangled in his demons hair.

When Crowley's hand snaked his way up the others chest to lightly tweak a nipple, Aziraphale moaned, his hips involuntarily bucking up against the other man’s hips and the two men became very aware of the others situation.

Crowley groaned at the friction, at the feeling of his angels arousal against him. “Fuck, angel,” he breathed against Aziraphale’s lips, “Excited, are we?”

Aziraphale responded by using his grip on Crowley’s hair to yank his head back to expose his neck. Crowley moaned wantonly as Aziraphale kissed down his neck, alternating between gentle kisses and less-than-gentle bites.

“This,” Aziraphale murmured, voice low and husky, “I thought about constantly.”

Crowley moaned, reveling in the attention his neck was receiving. He didn’t want to stop Aziraphale, this was a side to the angel he quite frankly didn’t think he’d ever get a chance to see, but he needed to get that damn shirt off. He tugged at it.

“This. Off. Now.”

Aziraphale laughed, “I’m surprised you don't just snap your little fingers.”

“I will if you don’t hurry up and lift your damn arms.”

Crowley helped Aziraphale out of the shirt, throwing it to the floor behind them. He made a pleased hum as he ran a hand down the now bare chest before him, smiling warmly as he did so.

“You’re breathtaking," he whispered, admiring the angel beneath him.

He leaned down into the angels open arms, capturing his mouth again in a heated kiss. He left his own trail of kisses down his angels neck, stopping at his clavicle to suck until a small mark was left there. Aziraphale groaned, squirming at the sensation.

“You good?” Crowley whispered, looking up from under his eyelashes.

“Never been better,” Aziraphale assured him, a pleased smile on his lips.

“Mmm, good.” Crowley moved then, flicking his tongue out at a nipple, and Aziraphale was almost embarrassed at the high pitched whine he made. The demon smirked, this time circling the same nipple with his tongue, hoping to earn more delicious sounds.

Crowley,” Aziraphale whined again.

“Yes, angel?” Crowley asked, feigning innocence as he trailed his lips down Aziraphale’s chest. He wanted to kiss every square inch of him. When he reached the waistband of the lounge pants and still hadn't gotten an answer, Crowley cast his gaze back up to the angel. “I said, yes, angel?”

Aziraphale groaned. “You’re being a tease.”

“Me?” Crowley nipped at Aziraphale’s hip bone, smirking at how the angelic hips bucked up in response, “Now that doesn’t sound like me.”

“It sounds exactly like you, you foul, temptatious demo— oh, oh goodness, oh Crowley,” Aziraphale gasped at the sudden sensation of Crowley’s hand slipping into the lounge pants to palm him through his underwear. He ran his long fingers up the length, surging forward again to capture Aziraphale’s desperate moans in a hungry kiss.

Aziraphale whispered out an aggravated (well as aggravated as he could sound with Crowley on top of him), “Tease,” at Crowley as the demon traced his fingers along the edge of his underwear, just barely sliding beneath the waistband.

“What’s the matter, angel?” Crowley whispered to Aziraphale with a quick nip at his jaw, “Something you desire?”

“I— You—“ Aziraphale was having trouble thinking, finding it difficult to formulate a complete thought with Crowley’s fingers teasing him like this.

Crowley hovered his face above Aziraphale’s, taking in the sight of his flushed face, his lips parted as he drifted from moans and pleading whines. For a holy being, the angel looked so beautifully debauched. He smiled down at the angel, slipping his hands out from the lounge pants, which was met with a very needy whine from the other man, and placed his hand lovingly on Aziraphale’s cheek.

“What is it, angel?” He whispered, his thumb lightly stroking circles on said angels cheek. “What do you want?”

Aziraphale leaned into the touch, eyes shut as he attempted to steady his breathing.

“You, Crowley,” he finally sighed, “I want you, I thought that was clear.”

The demon kissed his angel lightly on the other cheek and leaned in to whisper. “Oh, yes. Clear as the moonlight. But it’s nice to hear out loud.”

Aziraphale turned his head to capture Crowley’s own lips with his, tracing his tongue along his bottom lip. Crowley moaned into the kiss, parting his lips to meet Aziraphale’s tongue with his own. The kiss was slow and full of 6,000 years worth of love and longing that had been held back for far too long.

Aziraphale pulled away slightly, reaching down to gently tug at Crowley’s boxers.

“And, if I’m being honest, I also want these wretched bottoms off the both of us as soon as possible.”

Crowley laughed against soft, swollen lips, and gave the angel a quick kiss before sitting up. He realized that if he wanted to take off anyone’s pants or undergarments he would have to stop straddling Aziraphale, which was truly a shame. But, he did have an idea.

He grabbed the top of the pants and glanced back up at his angel to get one last confirmation that this was truly okay, truly what the angel wanted.

Aziraphale saw the slight worry in Crowley's eyes as he met his gaze, and simply smiled back, reaching down to caress his beloved's cheek.

Its fine, I’m here, it’s okay, the touch seemed to say.

And with that Crowley pulled the lounge pants down, along with Aziraphale’s underwear. Before the angel could move, Crowley gripped his length by the base, making sure to keep eye contact as he ducked down to deliver a light kiss to the tip. He watched as Aziraphale threw his head back against the pillows, a beautiful moan slipping through his lips and Crowley decided he absolutely needed to hear more of that.

He licked the underside of the shaft and promptly took the angels dick into his mouth. Hearing his angel — his beautiful, hedonistic angel — letting out such needy sounds made his own arousal stronger, cock straining against his boxers. He took all of Aziraphale into his mouth as he held his thighs apart, gently raking his fingers down them.

“Cr—Crowley,” Aziraphale whined, digging his hands back into Crowley’s hair, gently tugging, “that’s no— ah! That’s not fai—“

Crowley ignored Aziraphale and instead swirled his tongue around the tip of his dick.

Fuck!

Crowley groaned at the sound of Aziraphale cursing, because fuck him it was hot. He wasn’t sure he’d ever heard it before and immediately wanted to hear more of that as well.

He just wanted more of the angel in general though. He always had.

When Crowley groaned around Aziraphale’s length, it sent sparks through him. The poor angel realized that if the demon didn’t let up he was going to come before he even had a chance to get his hands on him.

“Crowle— ah, Crowley, please, I don’t know how much more I can take,” he warned with another tug at Crowley’s hair now, this time much harder.

Crowley moaned at the hair pull, slowly releasing Aziraphale’s dick with another small kiss to the shaft before eyeing him, a mischievous glint in his eye. Aziraphale tugged again and this time Crowley let himself be pulled up, crawling up until he was eye level again. He shivered as Aziraphales hands slid out of his hair to slide down his sides, fingers grabbing hold of sharp hip bones.

“I believe it’s my turn?” Aziraphale asked before pulling down the boxers that had been keeping him from his prize, and sliding down so his own face was between long, far-too-tempting legs.

Now, if you had asked Anthony Just a J Crowley a couple hours prior where his night was heading, the last thing he would have answered was with him straddling a beautiful angels face as said angel sucked his dick.

Life sure was full of surprises.

Aziraphale gripped Crowley’s thighs as he bobbed his head, swirling his tongue around the tip as Crowley had done. At first, Crowley didn’t realize the desperate noises he was hearing were coming from him. His dick had been aching for attention but he’d been far too focused on his angel to really notice. At least until now. Now he was well aware, just as he was aware that Aziraphale really really knew what to do with his tongue.

“Oh, fuck, ange— Aziraphale, fuck,” he moaned, his head thrown back, neck bared as he did his best to not thrust directly into Aziraphale’s throat. He looked down at the angel, in love with the sight beneath him.

Aziraphale hummed lightly back, fluttering his eyelashes as he looked up at Crowley.

It was truly a miracle that Crowley didn’t come right then and there. Instead a wanton whine came from his throat and now he was the one pulling on Aziraphale’s hair.

“Angel, I—“ he gulped, yanking this time, “Aziraphale fuck me.”

Aziraphale slid his lips — swollen and beautiful and begging to be kissed lips — off of Crowley’s lips with a small pop! and a raised eyebrow.

“You want me to-“

“I want to ride you. Now.” Crowley couldn’t stop the words from tumbling out but he supposed they were well past holding back.

“R-Really?”

Crowley laughed, slightly nervous now. “Is that...okay?”

Absentmindedly, Aziraphale ran his hands up and down Crowley’s thighs before a small smile lit his face up and Crowley swore to God, Satan, and whoever else wanted to take a stab at being some omniscient asshole that he could stare at that smile for the rest of his life.

“Oh, it’s more than alright,” Aziraphale whispered.

The angel slid back up so he was propped up against the pillows, Crowley once again straddling him, chest flush against the angels. Aziraphale mouthed at the demons neck as he inserted a miraculously lubed finger into him, reveling in the desperate whine that slipped out. Crowley's hands were lost in Aziraphale blonde curls, holding tight as the angel worked him open. It wasn't long before he had slipped a second finger, and then a third as he occasionally checking he was okay.

Crowley merely laughed, breathlessly, every time the angel checked in on him.

A few minutes later Crowley was sliding down onto his angels dick with his head thrown back, one hand splayed out on the angels chest, another helping guide his length in. He let out a satisfied hiss as Aziraphale let out a sweet moan, hands gripping Crowley’s hips.

The two took a second to adjust to the sensation, nothing but the sound of their breaths echoing in the room.

And then Crowley began to move, both hands now on Aziraphale’s chest for support. He began slowly, not wanting to overwhelm the Angel beneath him, but quickly picked up speed, sweet moans escaping him.

Aziraphale couldn’t take his off eyes of his dearest friend, the love of his long life. He watched as Crowley slammed his hips down and threw his head back, moaning out Aziraphale’s name like his life depended on it.

“Fuck,” Aziraphale whispered, and he felt Crowley’s fingers dig into his chest in response. “Yes, Crowley, Yes, you feel so good, my dear.”

He heard a needy whine come from the man above him, felt him pick up the pace at the slight praise.

“You’re perfect,” he breathed, and he meant it. Crowley had always felt perfect. Be it side by side on a park bench, sharing a spot of lunch, and now with him inside of him. There was never anything Aziraphale would change about him. Well, maybe he would slightly tone down his driving speed, but then he wouldn’t be his Crowley now would he?

Overcome with the urge to press his mouth to some part of Crowley, to taste his skin on his tongue, he sat up. Crowley let out a confused noise that quickly morphed back into a delighted moan as Aziraphale wrapped on arm around his waist and angled his hips to snap up, mouthing again at Crowley’s bared neck. He must’ve hit the right spot because a chorus of fuck, yes, shit, angel touch me touch me’s flowed out of Crowley.

Aziraphale happily obliged him by wrapping his hand tight around his demons dick and began to stroke him in time to his and Crowley’s rhythm.

“Angel, ah!” Crowley dug his face into the crook of his sweet angels neck, arms wrapped around his shoulders now as he continued to ride him. His movements were more erratic now. He was nearing the edge. “I- I’m close, angel.”

“Well then, my dear,” Aziraphale whispered, his voice raw and breathless. He twisted his hand and flicked his thumb across the tip of Crowley’s dick, “come for me.”

With a sudden bite down on the angels neck and a long, beautiful whine, Crowley did just that. His hips jerked as he came, his arms wound tighter around Aziraphale as he rode out his orgasm.

Aziraphale followed him over the edge, gasping out Crowley’s name as he came.

Several seconds passed before the two untangled themselves; Crowley sliding off and releasing Aziraphale from his embrace as the Angel let himself drift back into the pillows. The demon moved so he wasn’t straddling him anymore, now sitting next to him. He glanced over his shoulder at Aziraphale. Both were still breathing fairly heavily.

Aziraphale met Crowley's eyes and simply opened his arms, reaching for his love, whispering a gentle, “Come here, dear.”

Crowley sighed out of relief, realizing he had half expected to be possibly kicked out of bed after everything. A silly thought, but one that was hard to ignore at first. As he slipped into his angels arms he placed a quick kiss on his chest. He then rested his head there over his heart as Aziraphale pulled the blankets over them both. The two lay in silence for a few minutes. Aziraphale lazily tracing circles along Crowley’s arm, considering everything that had just happened.

“Angel,” Crowley whispered.

“Yes, my dear?” Aziraphale shifted so he could look down at him, suddenly nervous.

He watched Crowley take a calming breath and prop himself up so he could look Aziraphale in the eyes.

“I love you. Ever since I thought you’d been killed in that fucking fire I’ve been terrified of losing you. Maybe I should have just said this earlier-“

Aziraphale smiled that radiant smile at him again, placing a hand on the demons cheek to gently pull him in for a kiss. He pulled back slightly, turning his face to kiss the tattoo on his temple.

“And I love you, Crowley. As I said before, I’m not going anywhere.” Aziraphale looked him in the eyes, “I’m sorry I took so long.”

Crowley huffed out a laugh, placing his head back on Aziraphale’s chest. He felt at home.

“Don’t be, angel, you were worth the wait. All 6,000 years.”

And as Aziraphale resumed lazily tracing patterns into Crowley’s skin, the demon began to slowly drift off to sleep, the steady sound of his angels heartbeat was like a gentle lullaby.

Safe in his lovely angels arms, he slept wonderfully, untouched by any nightmare. He was loved and they were safe.

That night and for the nights to come, he truly slept like an angel.