“You know, Crowley, I’ve always said that deep down-”
He tenses instantly, waiting for Aziraphale to stop himself from saying something stupid and potentially damning. After all this time, he should know better than anyone that They could be watching at any moment. Doesn’t he realize the trouble he’d be in if one of Hell’s spies reports back that an angel - the sodding Guardian of the Eastern Gate, no less - has been singing Crowley’s praises? The consequences of something like that getting back to Beelzebub are enough to make him shudder.
Don’t say it, angel. Don’t you dare -
“-you really are quite a nice-”
He moves without conscious thought, instinct taking over as he lurches forward, grasps Aziraphale by the lapels of his coat, and shoves. Aziraphale moves with him, like they’re dancing and he’s trusting Crowley to lead. They stumble together into the nearest wall and as they collide, Crowley hisses in his face. “Shut it. I’m a demon, I’m not nice.”
And of course, Aziraphale doesn’t do the decent thing and cower. He just stares at him patiently, as though Crowley is an overtired toddler having a tantrum. He doesn’t struggle in Crowley’s grasp, doesn’t try to shove him away or ask to be released. He seems perfectly content to stay right there, back pressed to the wall and Crowley crowded against him, for the foreseeable future. Safely hidden behind his sunglasses, Crowley studies his calm, guileless eyes and sees not even a flicker of apprehension. Nothing but implicit trust.
Crowley falters. His grip slackens on Aziraphale’s lapels and a frown tugs at his mouth. Of course he would never actually hurt Aziraphale. He’d dunk his head in a baptismal font first. It’s one thing for him to know that, whether he’d admit it aloud or not, and quite another for Aziraphale to be so unshakeable in his own certainty.
He swallows hard, struggling with the sudden desperate urge to bury his face in the crook of Aziraphale’s neck and scream. Satan below, when did he become so completely and hopelessly enamored that even an angel as skittish as Aziraphale wasn’t afraid of him? The Garden? That time they shared oysters in Rome? The night he walked onto sacred ground to keep Aziraphale from falling into the hands of Nazis? The day he showed up at the bookshop’s grand opening with chocolates? Out of all the countless times Crowley has dropped everything just for the reward of sitting beside him with a bottle of wine, what was the moment Aziraphale realized he was safe with him?
Frozen in wonder, he feels Aziraphale shift beneath him and it finally registers in Crowley’s jumbled thoughts just how close they are. In all the years they’ve known each other, there has been an unspoken agreement not to get too close. Always sitting on opposite sides of the table at lunch. Making sure the space between them on a park bench could fit another person. Aziraphale keeping his hands folded behind him and Crowley shoving his into his pockets when they walked, just in case their fingers might accidentally brush.
Sometimes, when they were very drunk, they’d forget. Or at least, pretend to forget. They felt safe when they were drunk, like Heaven and Hell couldn’t see their hands lingering or the light caress of fingers brushing hair back from a forehead, the way they slumped against each other on the sofa in the bookshop and reveled in feeling invisible. Free.
And now, because Crowley had briefly lost control of his own actions in a fit of panic, they’re pressed together from the chest down. Every time Aziraphale breathes in, Crowley can feel it all through him like he’d been the one to inhale. He can feel damn near everything - the worn material of Aziraphale’s coat under his hands, the radiant warmth of him seeping through his fragile human skin, the soft press of his thigh against Crowley’s. This close, he can smell the scent of old books and the cinnamon Aziraphale always sprinkles in his cocoa.
It’s intoxicating. Like his very first sip of wine, back when humans first invented the stuff. He feels his mouth grow dry, wondering what in Hell’s name he’d been thinking when he decided to shove Aziraphale into this wall. How is he supposed to let go and walk away like nothing at all has happened?
Still pliant in his grasp, Aziraphale licks his lips. Crowley watches him intently - so focused on the tip of his pink tongue that he almost misses the way the angel’s gaze drops to his mouth and lingers for a moment too long before flicking back up again. The yearning written across his face is plain. Unmistakable to Crowley, who knows it well enough in himself to recognize it in another, especially a face he knows by heart.
He bites back a hiss, desire and thousands of years of keeping his hands to himself tangling up together in his head. Aziraphale stares at him innocently, as though he hasn’t just turned Crowley’s entire world upside down with a single look. Because not only is Aziraphale not afraid… he likes this. He wants this. The very notion of it makes Crowley dizzy.
As he struggles to make sense of it, Aziraphale turns his head - just slightly - and their noses brush. They both freeze, shakily breathing in the same air as they stare at each other in silent conversation. Aziraphale watches him just like he had outside, when he’d been complaining about the paint on his coat. Waiting for Crowley to miracle it away for him, hoping he wouldn’t have to ask for what he wanted in order to get it. He never has before. And as long as it’s up to Crowley, he never will.
Tell me to stop. Tell me you don’t want this before I ruin goddamn everything.
Aziraphale swallows audibly, catching and holding Crowley’s gaze as his throat works. His lips part and if Crowley weren’t already damned, the sound of his quiet, strained please would have done it. His breath catches painfully in his chest. The sound of gunfire outside fades away. The missing Antichrist is nothing but a vague, distant nuisance - some future trouble that has no bearing on the present at all. The present is right here in this deserted corridor, Aziraphale pressed intimately against him and asking for things Crowley has wanted to give him since they met. And Crowley thinks:
Well, they’re fucked anyway, right? World ending, spawn of Satan MIA, what is there to lose?
His fingers white-knuckled around Aziraphale’s coat lapels, he brushes his mouth over the angel’s for the first time in six thousand years. A need as old as the Earth itself finally met. And Aziraphale melts. His eyes flutter shut and he goes completely limp under Crowley’s hands and his mouth, a whine in the back of his throat that sends instant, searing heat sparking through Crowley’s veins like hellfire.
He groans, flicking his tongue along the seam of Aziraphale’s plump lips until they part to let him in. And fuck does Aziraphale open for him, so ready and eager - like he’s just been waiting to be asked. Crowley doesn’t realize he’s released Aziraphale’s coat until his fingers come in contact with blond curls, soft as down beneath his touch. Just as he’d always imagined. Curling his fingers in it and holding on tight, Crowley tips Aziraphale’s head back and plunders his mouth with wild abandon. God - Satan - Somebody help him, the angel tastes like everything good left in this world. Like dry, rich wine; like starry nights and eternal summer.
Crowley sucks on his tongue, the ghost of a smirk curling his mouth when he feels Aziraphale go a bit weak-kneed against him. One of his hands clutches at Crowley’s shoulder for purchase and he mumbles, dazed, between one grasping, wet kiss and the next, “Fiend.” Another kiss. “Tempter. Wily old-” He gasps when Crowley nips sharply at his bottom lip, dragging his tongue slowly across the stinging mark. “Oh. Darling.”
“Mixed signals, angel,” he mutters, licking back into his enticing mouth. He tastes so good, like drinking from a fountain in the middle of Eden. Pure and perfect, coating Crowley’s tongue and quenching his thirst so thoroughly. “Make up your mind.”
“My dear Crowley,” Aziraphale breathes, fingers curling tightly around the back of Crowley’s neck. “Do shut up and kiss me again.”
He tilts his head up, expectant and greedy, eyes already falling shut. Crowley stifles a groan and bends to give Aziraphale exactly what he wants. He should have known the angel would be such a demanding little thing but oh he loves it. He loves the slick slide of their mouths, the feel of Aziraphale’s hot palm against the back of his neck to keep him near, the little noises he makes like he’s eating something particularly good. He loves how soft Aziraphale feels against the hard, flat planes of his own body - the broad chest perfect for leaning in to, the core of steel beneath that initial softness that hides the strength and muscle of a warrior. And he especially loves the clear evidence of just good how he’s making Aziraphale feel - pressing insistently into his hip.
With a sharp nip to the corner of his mouth, Crowley shifts his stance and slots one of his long, lanky legs between Aziraphale’s thighs. The reaction is immediate and unspeakably delicious. Aziraphale actually fucking keens, fingers tightening around the back of Crowley’s neck and his head tipping to rest against the wall behind him. “Crowley.”
Everything else becomes a hot, hazy blur around him after that. Crowley is only aware of Aziraphale, writhing against him and gasping these gorgeous, shocked little whimpers as his body takes over and seeks what it needs. Crowley can do nothing but stare, greedily drinking in the sight of an angel - his angel - grasping at pleasure with such flagrant wantonness.
He’s perfect like this. Aziraphale is always lovely, even all buttoned up and sitting beside him on a park bench or hunched over a dusty book with his glasses slipping down his nose, but this? Nothing in Creation comes close. He’s all flushed cheeks and glittering blue eyes; his pale hair mussed from Crowley yanking on it as they kissed; his lips swollen and bruised, parted on a gasp as he rocks his hips. He looks so utterly fuckable Crowley has to toss out all his previous fantasies because none of them will ever compare to the illicit reality of Aziraphale coming undone so exquisitely against him now.
Leaving a trail of biting kisses along Aziraphale’s throat, Crowley shifts his leg to a new angle and Aziraphale chokes. “Crow-” He stifles a desperate cry and buries his face in Crowley’s shoulder, wrinkling his jacket beyond repair as he clings to him and moans sweetly. “Oh god.”
“That’s it, sweetheart.” Crowley licks a stripe along his jaw, feeling stubble under his tongue, and wonders if all angels taste like candy floss when they sweat or just this one. “Scream all you like. She’s not listening.”
“Don’t,” he whispers, but his eyes are wild and he looks so hopelessly wrecked Crowley wonders if he even knows what he’s protesting about. “Blasphemy.”
“What’s blasphemous, angel,” he drawls, slithering a hand between them. “Is you saying Her name when I’m the one making you forget your own.”
Aziraphale bites his lip so hard Crowley finds himself hoping it’ll bleed just so he can taste it. “Crowley-”
“There you go,” he croons, cupping him firmly through his trousers. “Again.”
“Crowley.” Aziraphale bucks against him, squeezing his eyes shut. “I’m going to-”
Crowley thought he had seen beauty before this. He has seen the world when it was still new, walked the streets of Rome at the height of its power, roamed the halls of Versailles before the Revolution. He has stood beneath a black sky and looked up at the stars he made, warmth in his chest because he knew that the Almighty could erase him from heaven but She could never erase him from the universe he helped to build. He was there when the Thames froze over for the first time and humans decided to toddle out and skate on it. He has dived beneath glistening waterfalls, walked a barren desert in the cool of the night, and watched these remarkable humans fumble their way through existence since Time began. And none of that -
not one single thing -
was ever more stunning than the sight of Aziraphale giving himself over to pleasure beneath Crowley’s hands. His kiss-bruised mouth slack, his eyes fluttering helplessly shut, and his brows pinching adorably together. A luscious little moan tripping off his weakened tongue. Oh, if Crowley hadn’t been utterly fucking gone for him six thousand years ago, watching Aziraphale now would have done the trick.
And then it’s over.
They slump against each other like puppets with their strings cut, their foreheads pressed together and their panting breaths mingling as they hold each other up. Crowley doesn’t move, too afraid of shattering whatever delicate thing hangs in the air between them. Hand still curled possessively around the back of Crowley’s neck, Aziraphale trembles against him and does not open his eyes.
“Well,” he finally says, clearing his throat primly when his voice comes out hoarse. “That was quite…”
“Excuse me, gentlemen.” They both turn, staring in dazed confusion at the woman striding confidently toward them. “Sorry to break up an intimate moment but can I help you?”
Crowley lifts a shaking hand and snaps his fingers.
The woman freezes mid-step but he barely spares her a glance, reluctantly stepping away from Aziraphale and turning his back. He can hear the sounds of Aziraphale righting his clothes and miracling his trousers clean but he can’t bring himself to look at him - not when his ears are ringing and his hands are still burning with the memory of touch. Crowley shoves his hands into his trouser pockets and struggles to remember the concept of breathing, staring hard at the floor.
Behind him, Aziraphale takes a step away from the wall. “Erm - you didn’t-“
“No.” Crowley stiffens. “S’fine.”
“But…” Aziraphale trails off and Crowley doesn’t need to see him to know he’s frowning uncertainly, that way he always does when he thinks he’s done something wrong. “That is to say, do you not want-”
He doesn’t finish his sentence, apparently back to being the stuffy angel Crowley knows and - Satan help him - loves but his meaning is all too clear anyway. He finally forces himself to turn around and thanks Whoever might be listening that the angel has somehow managed not look as if he’s just been debauched against a wall. He looks like he always does. Still tempting, but all buttoned up and composed now. It does nothing for the lurid images still dancing in Crowley’s head. He eyes Aziraphale incredulously over the rim of his sunglasses. “Of course I want it, you idiot.”
Aziraphale fusses with his bowtie, his gaze darting around as though he’s afraid to look directly at Crowley during this conversation. “Then why-”
“Because I can’t-” He stops, choking on the words.
Because he can’t bear to watch this world burn, as it’s likely going to, if Aziraphale reaches out and touches him now. Crowley wants so much with him. He wants his body, yes. But he also wants in ways a demon has no business wanting. He wants to enfold himself in Aziraphale’s arms and drown himself in angelic warmth. He wants to lay his head in Aziraphale’s lap and listen to him read. He wants to retire with him to the countryside and look after a garden while Aziraphale keeps bees and they’ll argue about the definition of bebop and never have to worry about Heaven or Hell ever again.
And he cannot give in to what he wants now only to have it taken away in a few days’ time. It would utterly destroy him - far better than any of Hell’s attempts ever could.
Crowley can’t bring himself to actually say any of that but luckily, he doesn’t have to. Aziraphale is finally looking at him now, his expression soft and his eyes wet, like he knows exactly what Crowley is thinking. After six thousand years, he probably does.
Straightening the collar of his jacket, Crowley sniffs and says, “There’ll be plenty of time to return the favor later. If you want. Plenty of time for lots of things.” He meets the angel’s gaze meaningfully, silently asking for understanding. “After.”
Though his bottom lip trembles, Aziraphale smiles and it’s everything Crowley needs right now. Soft and brave. Trusting. “Very well,” he says, and the words carry the weight of a promise he expects Crowley to help him keep. “After.”