“Come on, come on, come on … where the heaven are you?”
Dusting his Oscar Wilde collection, Aziraphale peeks up when he hears the voice of the demon he didn’t even realize had arrived. “Crowley?”
“This isn’t as funny as you think it is …”
“Crowley? Are you alright?” Aziraphale puts down his duster and goes in search of him. “Where are you?”
“You pain in the ass! This isn’t a game, you know!”
“I beg your pardon!” Aziraphale snaps with a disgruntled harrumph, putting on a bit of speed. He follows the voice to the bathroom and finds his demon, door open, staring at his face in the mirror. The angel watches, bewildered, as Crowley starts giving himself some sort of examination. He looks at his ears, his neck, his hands front and back, then down his shirt. He pulls his shirt off and spins around to get a view of his back. When he starts reaching for the fly to his jeans, Aziraphale averts his eyes.
“Crowley! For Pete’s sake!”
“What’s the matter, angel? Ain’t nothing you haven’t seen before.”
“The door is wide open! Anyone can walk in and see you! What’s the matter with you!?”
“I seem to have lost something,” Crowley mutters as he yanks down his jeans and inspects his legs.
“Is it something that I can help you find with my clothes on, or would it require me to be naked, too?”
Crowley looks up at his angel and throws him a wink. “You do you, baby.” Then he goes back to searching. “But if you must know, I seem to have misplaced my mark.”
Aziraphale tilts his head, mildly confused. “Come again?”
“My tattoo. I seem to be missing my tattoo.”
“Oh!” Aziraphale’s eyes pop. “I … wasn’t aware it could move.”
“Oh yeah. All the time.” With his jeans around his ankles, Crowley starts shoving down his underwear, and Aziraphale steps out into the bookshop, eyes glued to the front door to watch for customers. “I mean, it’s not really a tattoo. It’s more of a familiar, you may say.”
“Like a friend? Or a pet?”
Crowley glares at his angel. “No.”
“Well, when’s the last time you saw it?”
Crowley’s glare intensifies. “Last night. On my FACE!”
“Yes,” Aziraphale says, mildly put off by his demon’s pique. “I guess that would make sense …” A question suddenly comes to him, so unsettling he has to swallow hard before he asks it. “There’s no chance that it could have gone … inside of you. Is there?”
“Luckily, that’s not the way it works.” Aziraphale hears a zipper close and sighs in relief. He turns back to Crowley pulling his shirt back over his head. “Well, I’ve looked everywhere. I can’t imagine …” Crowley stops. He peers at Aziraphale’s face, his eyes narrowing to slits. “Well, well, well, there you are, you sneaky little devil, you.” He inches closer, eyes locked on Aziraphale’s mouth as far as the angel can tell, and he thinks for sure Crowley is going to kiss him. He’s not opposed. They have already, plenty of times. But like he said before, the shop is open, and anyone could walk on in.
“Might I ask what you’re doing?”
“It seems that my little friend is on you, Aziraphale.”
“On me?” Aziraphale’s eyes snap left and right, trying to catch a glimpse of the tattoo taking residence on his face. “Where? What … what are you talking about?”
Crowley steps to the side, giving Aziraphale an unobstructed view of the mirror. Aziraphale sees it, clear as day, coiled in front of his ear the way it does when it’s on Crowley. Now that he sees it, the angel becomes hyper-aware of its presence, hearing a slight hiss he’d dismissed as the sputtering of a corner vent, and feeling an odd tickling when it moves that he’d originally written off as dust.
“Oh, I see.” Aziraphale walks up to the mirror and leans in for a better look. “Now that’s a thing, isn’t it? How do you suppose it got there?”
“You slept with your head on my chest. It probably decided to pop on over for a spell, spend the day with you for a change.”
“Isn’t that nice?” Aziraphale smiles at the tiny snake winding and unwinding happily on his face as if it’s a friend who’s stopped by for tea. “Does that happen often?”
“I don’t know. This is the first I’ve heard of it. Here … let me just …” Crowley puts a hand to Aziraphale’s cheek, carefully pressing his palm to his angel’s uniquely soft skin. The tattoo scuttles away, hiding behind Aziraphale’s ear, and Crowley rolls his eyes. “Come on then. We haven’t got all day!”
An odd sensation pricks Aziraphale, like a piece of tape pulling his skin. Crowley retracts his hand, flexing his fingers to get the small black serpent on its way. A moment later, Aziraphale sees it again, settled back into place on Crowley’s face.
“That’s that.” Crowley sighs, checking for himself in the mirror. “I’ll have to be a bit more careful from now on.”
“How come?” Aziraphale puts a hand to his face, searching for bites or burns. “Can that mark hurt me because I’m not a demon?”
“Oh no. It’s because that mark happens to know all my secrets. Things I’ve never told you in the thousands of years we’ve known one another.”
“Really?” Aziraphale asks, a devious gleam twinkling in his eyes.
“Really. I’m just lucky I got him back in time. Who knows what he would have said if I didn’t find him till later on.”
“Yes, yes. Quite right. Very lucky indeed.” Aziraphale watches Crowley walk off to their private room, hatching a plan to get that mark back as soon as possible. Crowley’s secrets? About what? About his time in hell? About his falling? About his feelings for him? Whatever his demon is keeping from him, Aziraphale needs to know. Sure, he could simply ask. That doesn’t mean Crowley will answer.
It’d be nice to get the gossip from an actual fly on the wall, so to speak.
Aziraphale goes back to his dusting, and Crowley turns a corner, beaming with the knowledge that that remark guarantees every second they’re alone together, Aziraphale will have his hands all over him.