“You move too fast for me, Crowley.” Aziraphale had said.
And you know what? Maybe she did.
The Bentley drove 70 in a small town 40, breezing past farmers taking their kids to school on their tractors and small-town gas station employees taking their smoke breaks and a million small daily wonders that meant absolutely jack all to Crowley at the moment. Goodbye Earl was turned up to approximately ‘holy shit that’s loud’ volume and she’d be smoking a cigarette if the wind wasn’t too fierce for such a thing. Her red hair flew around like it was searching for an escape and she drifted the corners like she had almost found one.
London sucked. Europe sucked. The entire continent? Sucked. She had gone to Italy and speed down crowded streets and thought of 6000 years and then promptly driven the Bentley into the ocean, miracled it in at least ten ways, and hot rodded it all the way to America because why the fuck not, honestly, you survive the apocalypse once and you get over mental limitations real fast.
She’d risen up like a myth from the water and who knows if she scared a beach goer because she sure as shit wasn’t going to wait on a bloody boat for however long the trip would take or leave her car behind. She’d stepped out long enough to rob a gas station (1), then promptly started going for the biggest longest highways in America, who’s names she only remembered for how long it took to get onto them, and then promptly forgot.
(1) Family owned but the family had been being shit to their transgender daughter, so fair game. Not that Crowley really had the emotions to care, she was having quite a time, but in her head she cared and sometimes that’s enough.
Crowley speared fruit gushers on her nails like one usually does with olives and got the wheel sticky and didn’t clean it. She stuck her feet out the window and shoved a coffee tin on the acceleration and just let the world go by. She took her shirt off as she passed truckers and became the final straw that made them cheat on their wife later.
She did whatever she wanted, because sometimes when you feel like you aren’t enough, you become the most firey version of yourself instead.
Somewhere in who cares Midwest, the wheat field looked like waves from an endless flood. Her dress was lipstick red and her lipstick black and pink. Her heels scrapped on the rock as she sat on the cliff, or rocky outcropping, or whatever the hell you call it. She watched the clouds slide across the sky, thought of dumb face and dumb lovable everything, and cried in heaves most are too afraid to let break free.
The Band Perry screamed about digging two graves and Crowley screamed in wordless rage. She went to the car and broke her heel and shoved aside her last meal and then grabbed a match and set the world ablaze.
The newscaster was discolored in the old tv of the hotel, the only light in the room.
“…series of unexplained fires across america, the police are warning of a potential serial arsonist but we here in Sweettrees have to wonder- is god damning us? Homose-“
The tv went off with a static fuzz then fell with the hit of a bat.
Jo Dee Messina sung about saying bye and breaking rearview mirrors.
Aziraphale had found her eating stolen corn, sunbathing in a bikini off the side of some nowhere road.
The corn made wet smacking sounds, went red with lipstick stains, and juice dripped down to her wrists.
The chewing slowly faded. Crowley sighed through her nose, sharp, and looked at him.
And Satan damn him, he was as beautiful as the last time she had seen him too.
He shifted under her gaze. Kicked a rock. Stuttered through a few syllables.
Crowley was debating throwing her corn at him when he abruptly straightened and went sharp.
“I love you.”
Oh. My god. Seriously?
The corn went flying and as Aziraphale ducked Crowley’s perfectly manicured nails clicked on the car door as she threw it open, slamming it behind her. The windows began to close at what was the fastest possible speed and unimaginably slow.
“Crow-Crowley please wait- Crowley!” Aziraphale’s voice went muffled as the window closed and almost pinched his fingers, he looked like the world’s saddest puppy and that just made Crowley hit the gas faster. One three-point turn and all that was left of her was kicked up dust.
Aziraphale coughed, watching the Bentley become a speck, and felt like universes were collapsing around him.
Somewhere in the shadow of the worlds largest peanut, a demon tore up grass.
The radio sung.
“Does my ring burn your finger? Did my love weigh you down?”
Crowley pulled up a flower by the roots.
Somewhere by the red river he had become, well, a he. Not that any of that meant much.
“Was the promise too much to keep around?”
He stood up, got in the car. Closed the door.
“Took the hourglass left the sand, now you got time on your hands.”
It was scrawled on a ripped-up hotel notepad and stapled with an industrial stapler to the sandbags. Sand was drizzled across the floor and the whole hallway smelled like cheap perfume.
Aziraphale looked at the motel employee, who was not having a good time and was incredibly pissed, looked at the note.
And he smiled.
Then he started to use that time.
But, first, “Sir, we’re going to have to terminate your stay here.”
“My daddy said stay away from Juliet, but you were everything to me, I was begging you please don’t go.”
Crowley sighed. Not the irritated sort. The hopeless sort. Like when love gets stuck on you like a burr. The rose was the most beautiful color. The dagger, made precisely to stab through an angel’s defenses, was even more beautiful.
Crowley rather wanted to cry. And he wasn’t sure at all if it was the good sort.
Trust gave him an uncomfortable wiggly feeling. The possible implication he would ever hurt Aziraphale gave him an uncomfortable hurt rage y fire feeling. His human organs felt like a sea of frogs all going in separate directions.
But at the core, somewhere beyond all this, was love. Unwavering, irritating, ineffable love.
He went to a tourist shop and bought a beige tartan bangle.
Sometimes, Crowley was ridiculous.
Aziraphale was watching the sun rise, or rather, the sunflowers facing the sun rise, when Crowley found him again.
In his hands was a single apple. Brilliant red, sharp against the pastel sky.
Aziraphale smiled, brushed their fingers as he took it.
Bite into it.
When they finally kissed, weeks later, their hair tousled from the wind and cheeks red for more than one reason, well…
No song could quite capture how they felt.
It was immeasurably, undeniably, ineffably happiness.
And somewhere, in the space between their lips, there was the taste of true love.
And that taste is so, so human.