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I know you, Angel (but I didn't know That)

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Nobody would ever know it by looking at him.

It was because Aziraphale was always so well-groomed. Behind the times as of late, but usually put together. Plus, fashion was more Crowley's Thing and the demon wasn't going to be out-fashioned by an angel. These things just didn't happen. But he never really seemed too enthused to compete with him, and Crowley was more than happy to accept his uncontested rightful place as top model. But fashion had nothing to do with the fact that Aziraphale couldn't keep a flat clean even if both their lives depended on it.

Crowley scowled, as he was often wont to do. It was a really good Scowl too, the kind that drifted like a wave of disapproval from one half of his face to the other, skin around his nose wrinkling in scorn as his lips lifted away from his teeth in a mighty display of bleh. It was a trophy of a Scowl that was -quite frankly- wasted on the triviality of the situation, but if things were worth doing then by G- Sata- Somebody they were worth doing well. Just like they were doing raising the Anti-Christ. Warlock was only a young lad, but Crowley had a feeling he was going to turn out Just Fine and that this was a Perfect and Fool-Proof Plan.

"I can't fathom how you exist in this jungle of a place. Do you even own a duster?" Not that the angel needed one, a fact that made the dust and little cobwebs all the more offensive to him. He didn't understand what the angel had against cleanliness that he wouldn't just... miracle away the debris. He was so keen on using those embarrassing human illusory tricks and yet, when it came to using his actual magic, he dragged his feet while hemming and hawing the whole while. Not that Crowley had ever had a problem with dust. Dust didn't exist in his flat. It wouldn't dare. He'd always thought that furniture ought to know how to keep itself clean. So it did.

Aziraphale looked affronted by the question, puffing up like the great silly bird he was. Crowley could even seen the feathers of his wings flare up, hidden in their little pocket dimension between worlds as they were. "Of course I own a duster. Don't be daft" A lot of the bluster seemed to fall out of him with the words though, eyes sliding to the side in that familiar way they did when he was trying to lessen his own guilt. "I just... lost it, is all."

Crowley rolled his eyes behind glasses. "Are you sure you didn't give it away, this time?" He was being cheeky and combative, his day having been boring and in need of some entertainment beyond whatever drivel had been on the telly this afternoon.

The angel hmphed with great petulance, straightening out his jacket and giving the demon A Look. "Quite sure."

The demon draped himself artfully over the couch, sighing at the spectacle of restraint and no-fun the angel was being. "I'm sure you're missing it terribly." The sardonic edge to his voice was sharp enough to filet a fish on contact.

One would expect books in a bookstore. It was in the name, really, and even in normal homes and offices Crowley was never surprised to see a book or two. But there were books everywhere here. Many more than the shelves could possibly hope to hold. In fact, he was pretty sure there were books that were acting as shelves, purposefully arranged so that more books could be placed atop them. There was no sort of organizational system, Dewey and all his decimals rolling in their graves somewhere wedged behind some errant piles of parchment in this bookstore somewhere. When humans wandered too close to the front door, air that smelled like tang and mold rose up from the uneven carpet, but it always settled once they stopped trying to make sense of the store hours signs. All the candles were burned down nearly to their ends, white wax dribbling thoughtlessly down holders and window sills. Crowley could see, in this room alone, three different mugs with varying levels of long-cold fluids in them. This had been how Aziraphale had kept all the bookstores he owned. Mostly to deter customers, he knew. What little bit of spine the angel had was usually reserved for deterring customers, and on days where boredom nipped at his heels Crowley would slither over and watch Aziraphale menace those that wandered in with all the ferocity of a particularly feisty sparrow. He also found even the most determined of book-buying humans bolted when they saw a rather lengthy, annoyed snake coiled over the gramophone, but that was neither here nor there.

But some part of him knew that Aziraphale very rarely had whole, complete thoughts without getting distracted by his books or some noise or even some other thoughts. That he just simply... forgot to tidy up the space around him. The one time Aziraphale had visited his place a couple decades back he'd left a mug on the table. A mug. In Crowley's den. It was unheard of. He didn't even own mugs. And yet, Crowley hadn't the heart to throw it away. His place hadn't had an extra mug cupboard when he moved it, but it had one the moment he had need for one, placing the single, clean mug inside and leaving it there... Just in case.

Aziraphale was 'tidying' the shelves now, which composed of him picking up a couple books from one pile and depositing them in other random, non-specific locations. He did this from time to time to make it harder for anyone one to keep track of them. Sometimes to his own detriment. "What's got you all riled up that you're taking it out on my poor bookshop? You love this bookshop!" It sounded like an accusation.

Crowley sneered at that, and this too was done with practiced finesse, all sharp lines with just that hint of demonic intimidation. "Demons don't love anything, Angel," he drawled, caustic and careless. But after a brief, thoughtful pause he amended his own statement with, "Except for maybe a bad job done well. And dancing."

His divine counterpart waved a flippant hand at him, so utterly dismissive he almost worked up the effort to be offended. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized he'd been spending quite a lot of time in the A.Z. Fell and Co. bookshop since the placement of the Anti-Christ. He grown accustomed to the chaotic clutter, and even knew where to step to avoid most of the creaks of the wooden floor and where to duck the spanning width of cobwebs. It must have been his irritation with the cleaning ladies tending to Warlocks room today. They prattled on for nearly 20 minutes with dusters in their hands before wandering off without dusting a single bloody thing! The nerve of it all! A quick glare and snap of his fingers had sorted the dust situation out (and also tightened the bows on the maids backs juuuust tight enough that they couldn't be undone by hand when tried at their end of their shifts and had to be cut loose) but the fact he'd had to act at all had irked him. He'd spent the rest of Warlock's nap haunting the halls of the home and snapping everything that annoyed him back into working order. This included accidentally mending a broken lamp that had been pushed off the table by small, human-child hands earlier that day. Crowley took great pleasure in re-breaking it afterwards. Seeing the state of the bookshop had apparently re-awoken his ire.

But now that he settled down, tuning out Aziraphale's mindless humming and letting his mind slow, he couldn't say he minded the dust here. It swirled through the air in thick motes, streaming golden in the late afternoon sunlight that worked its way stubbornly into the store in spite of the angel's best attempts at customer-repelling curtains. The patterns swam before his face, slow and hypnotic and Crowley almost could have indulged in a nap if the angel hadn't puttered by, disturbing the air around him. Crowley's yellowed, slit-pupil eyes traced his aimless path. Dust never seemed to so much as touch Aziraphale, never mind settle on his person. It moved around him in snake-like, writhing torrents. Like magic, his mind whispered somewhere sentimental. Not real magic of course, and certainly not those ridiculous, terrible tricks. But something... gentler. More natural. He was watching Aziraphale surreptitiously gather the mugs he'd left around, sneakily ferrying them off to the kitchenette. Crowley pretended his eyes were closed behind the glasses and he couldn't see the valiant effort. He'd missed a mug. His lips wanted to smile fondly but there was no way he would allow them to do such a despicably Soft thing when the recipient wasn't even there to witness it. So instead he rolled his eyes in a manner more befitting of a demon and snapped his fingers, a clean mug appearing on a coaster on the reading desk, purposefully arranged and matching the Aesthetic.

"Did you hear that?" Aziraphale's head popped out from behind a shelf, peering distrustfully at the front door that was most certainly locked.

Crowley snorted, head tilting up to face the ceiling, content to count cobwebs until he fell asleep. "It's just me, Angel. Just me."