Aziraphale had a secret, a secret that if discovered could totally alter the order of things.
To anyone else, that secret would not seem so terrible, but to him it did, and he had his reasons. It was a being made of love, but that exceeded the known limits.
That secret was that ... he was in love with the demon Crowley.
He never knew when or where, he only knew that every time the demon was near him he felt his legs fail, his heart was racing and he started to feel breathless.
It was something he had insisted on hiding for a long time, under a facade of disinterest and rejection to the demon, but the truth was that he loved him and probably would never admit it, but he loved the demon more than anything.
What the angel did not know was that the demon was aware of the feelings of the angel, Crowley had spent millennia loving Aziraphale with a fervor not typical of a demon, the only thing he could consider a defect in that relationship was the fact that he had avoided declaring his love for a long time ... until now.
Crowley was willing to express his feelings that night to Aziraphale, to tell him that they could be both of them against the world, he was prepared to face anyone who wanted to stand between them.
But ... was he prepared to face Aziraphale himself?
The demon sneaked into the bookstore, owned by the angel who stole his breath every time he saw him. Instead of cracking his will, Aziraphale's presence only reinforced the sureness of the demon.
The arrival of the devil went unnoticed by Aziraphale, who was fully concentrated arranging some books on the shelves.
Crowley took advantage of the inadvertent angel to admire him for a few more minutes. One of the things that the demon loved most of Aziraphale was the dedication and care he gave to his books, treating them as if they were his greatest treasures
"And they probably are" he told himself.
Well, it's now or never.
"Angel" he said almost whispering, affectionately.
Aziraphale was startled to hear that but quickly reassured to see that it was only Crowley, the one who, despite being a demon, who would never try to harm him in any way.
"Crowley! You scared me to death" he said, trying to calm the nerves that floated every time he saw the demon.
Crowley said nothing, slowly come up to the angel until he was inches from him, took his hands, feeling like a small electric current running through his body as if that touch of hands was meant to be.
Aziraphale looked at him with an almost palpable curiosity, that attitude was inappropriate from Crowley, he suspected that something bad was happening and that increased his nervousness. He squeezed Crowley's hand harder, trying to convey confidence, that action caused his legs to shake due to the closeness and touch of the demon.
"Crowley, tell me what's happening" he tried to cheer him up.
Every confidence that accompanied Crowley seemed to have vanished at that precise moment, but Crowley knew there was no going back, so with the little confidence he had managed to gather, he declared tactless:
"I love you."
Those simple words managed to completely disrupt Aziraphale. His heart and brain had an internal struggle. The first one told him to correspond to the feelings of the devil and that he would throw himself into his arms while telling him how much he had expected that moment, but the second one objected, said that he had to put aside his feelings and do what was right, a relationship between an angel and a demon was simply ominous.
Crowley felt how despair began to grow inside him in the absence of an angel's reply, he fought against the tears that threatened to come up while he tried to express his love in words.
"Do you know something, angel? I love you, that's something I've never tried to hide..." he said in a trembling voice while taking off his glasses, fixing his golden gaze on the angel in front of him "Do you have anything to say?"
"Yes, I love you too Crowley" Aziraphale thought, but he knew it was something he could never say out loud, he had to be loyal to his side even when it broke his heart so he just kept quiet.
Crowley could see something in Aziraphale's expression, so he gently took the angel's chin and raised his face until his eyes collided with his. "Tell me something, Angel, do you love me?"
"Yes" Aziraphale replied flatly, even though his whole being wanted to effusively express everything he felt for Crowley.
Crowley felt like a wave of hope invaded him completely, he smiled at her lovingly as he used the hand with which he had taken her chin to gently stroke the angel's face.
"So? Why do you keep claiming that you don't?"
Aziraphale felt a lump in his throat, that was difficult for him.
"Crowley, this is simply impossible, you and I..." He felt as the first tears began to flow, this had already become something painful.
"Don't try to say any excuse!" The demon's tone was accusing, although he could hear his voice breaking.
"It is not an excuse! It's true! When have you seen that a demon and an angel are together?!"
"And who does that depend on?!" Crowley exclaimed, trying to hide his pain under rage and anger.
"It's part of the great plan, after all, we're hereditary enemies..." he said solemnly, trying to recover.
"To hell with the great plan!" Crowley shouted as rage seized his being. "Tell me, angel, do you think this is written in the stars?"
"If it's part of the great plan, of course, it is" Aziraphale replied, trying not to alter as the demon had done.
"I made the stars! I can rewrite them if I want!" Crowley had become a being that boiled in rage, his body trembled with fury and his gaze was teary.
"Crowley, nobody can, nobody can rewrite the stars" Aziraphale said.
"Because nobody has tried, angel" Crowley said as he tried to calm down.
Aziraphale let go of the handgrip to get away enough from the demon, hoping it wouldn't occur to him to approach, he felt miserable and Crowley's closeness made him feel even worse.
Crowley remained where he was, totally motionless. He felt the burning of tears in his eyes "This can't end up like this, no, it can't" he told himself, he had come here and it wasn't time to give up, after all, he was the fucking Anthony J. Crowley! Surrendering was not in his vocabulary, of course not.
"Angel, you know me, do you think any smallness will stop me if I want to get something?"
"It's not a smallness, Crowley! It's the great plan..." Aziraphale said, feeling insulted
Crowley just rolled his eyes at the angel's exaltation, tried to come near Aziraphale, but when he took a few steps, the angel backed away as if prey fleeing from some predator.
He wasn't going to deny it, Aziraphale's attitude broke his heart a little, but he wasn't going to give up, he loved Aziraphale and he wouldn't stop, even if he had Satan himself in front of him, he wasn't one of those who gave up easily.
"I don't care what others say, I love you, besides, who can stop me if I decide that you are what I want?" Said the redhead, putting his heart into every word he said, openly stating what he felt.
Aziraphale smiled, although tears reappeared and flowed freely down his face. "I wish all this would have been different, Crowley," he said, then slowly approaching the demon. "But you can't, we can't be together." Saying that broke his heart. But it was the right thing, wasn't it?
Crowley took Aziraphale's face in his hands, studying each of the angel's features, letting go would be too difficult, he didn't know how he could live after this. He hadn't realized that his own tears had begun to slide down his cheeks.
He was tempted, not to ask, but to plead to god itself, yes, to the one he had denied for too long, he would beg, even for a small opportunity to be with his angel, to enjoy his smiles, delight in the sound of his laughter, of feeling his warm hands in his, of being able to feel what the corresponding love was.
"But who cares what a poor and pathetic demon wants? Right?" He thought bitterly as he felt like despair made his soul crumble inside him.
Aziraphale, who did notice the tears of the devil, placed one of his hands on his cheek, wiping some of the tears that arose from those golden eyes that he loved to see, the simple fact that they were flooded with sadness bother him.
"Let's rewrite the stars, angel," Crowley whispered in his ear, his voice a little broken. "Let's make this world ours tonight."
"You think it's easy Crowley, but it isn't. You have to stop living a fantasy." He said, he didn't want to break Crowley's heart, but this was the only way to make him see that what he wanted was impossible.
"Don't you love me, angel?" The demon choked, while the pain in his heart became even more present.
"Crowley, I love you" he confessed. "But in the end, we don't stop being an angel and a demon, we're destined to fight against each other."
The demon placed his hands on Aziraphale's waist, clinging to him like a shipwrecked man would make it from his lifeboat. His tears had dried, but that didn't stop the distress he felt.
"Angel, I fervently believe that we are destined to meet, always together, from Eden to eternity, we are simply... "
"Ineffable" Aziraphale completed, laughing a little.
"I was going to say inexorable, we are something that cannot be avoided or stopped."
Aziraphale didn't know what to say. "Maybe there is hope, after all, right?"
"Besides, the fact of always finding ourselves does not mean that it is part of the plan, which is written in the stars?" Crowley asked, trying to convince his angel.
"That makes sense" Aziraphale thought, while a beam of optimism seemed to illuminate him.
"We don't have to stay here, angel, we can go wherever we want, just you and me against the world" Crowley said cheerfully, fantasizing about what they could be, finding a place among the stars.
Aziraphale giggled, Crowley's enthusiasm was contagious. "Me and you? I like that" in a fit of confidence, he gave him a chaste kiss on the lips, pleasantly surprising Crowley who was enchanted with those sweet and warm lips
"All I want is to be with you, fly with you, fall with you, if you let me" he said to later take one of Aziraphale's hands and lovingly place a kiss on his knuckles.
Aziraphale almost seemed to melt at the show of affection, this is what he always wanted, a world where he could be himself, without celestial obligations or having to answer to anyone., where he could be free to love. He was willing to hold on to that opportunity, to that probability of being together, to find a corner near heaven to love and worship.
All the despair and hopelessness Crowley had felt was replaced by hope and illusion, together he and Aziraphale as he had always dreamed and loved. Without pressure from either side, only he and his angel, loving each other for an eternity. He didn't want to accept it, but Crowley knew that he needed the angel more than Aziraphale needed him, he needed to feel the presence of his angel, the one who with only a smile was able to ease all his sorrows, that angel with whom he could come when everything tumble down around him and the pain was present.
Both could feel that they were flying, that they had taken off their feet from the ground and that they were in the air, fluttering like two jovial carefree angels, so in love and happy. Dancing through clouds, playing among the stars, those that had been rewritten to be together.
"It feels impossible" Aziraphale admitted nervously.
"But it isn't, angel" Crowley said in a murmur and then gently kissed the angel's forehead. "No one can tell us what we have to be, it just up on you and me."
They remained silent for several minutes, smiling and looking into each other's eyes, Crowley losing himself into those blue eyes while Aziraphale delighted in observing those beautiful eyes that the demon possessed. Aziraphale curled up on Crowley's chest, listening to his heartbeat, which apparently had a calming and palliative effect on him.
"Then..." Crowley said, breaking with that silent atmosphere. "What do you say, angel? What if we rewrite the stars?" He held out his hand, inviting him to take it and accept to love each other in perpetuity.
Aziraphale was about to accept... until he collided with reality.
As much as he loved and longed to be with Crowley, he had to accept that there were limits that could not be exceeded because it was not correct and endangered both of them, he could never be forgiven if something bad happened to Crowley "Even if I'm doing now" he thought.
Crowley's hand trembled slightly when he saw that the angel did not intend to take it, the smile on the demon's face disappeared completely when he saw that the angel shook his head.
"I'm sorry Crowley..." Aziraphale said, struggling not to fall apart at that moment. "I know you don't understand it now, but someday you'll wake up and realize it's best."
"I don't think so, angel" Crowley thought but remained silent.
"I love you" Aziraphale murmured. "But my hands are tied" he began to sob, unable to control himself. That was his destiny, unfortunately, he was an angel and Crowley a demon, they were destined to hate each other, not to love each other.
Crowley, extraordinarily, maintained his composure, gave a long sigh and then stroked Aziraphale's cheek. He rested his forehead against the angel's as they joined their hands, enjoying that touch that could be the last.
"I don't love you" Crowley cried. "I adore you, but I can't have you and it breaks my heart." That suffering was worse than what he had felt when he fell, it would have been more merciful to stab him in the heart, so he would know that the agony would end at some point, but it was not possible.
"Maybe in another life, my love" Aziraphale promised as despair completely dominated him and grief mixed with helplessness.
Neither of them separated for a long time, hurt and desperate, almost yearning for something to tell them that they should be together, but deep down they were both aware that those hopes were futile, so they stayed together eliminating any space between them, extending the farewell between them.
"How can we rewrite the stars?" Asked the demon bitterly. That was the last thing Aziraphale heard before Crowley left the bookstore with sorrow.
And he was right.
How do we rewrite the stars?