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the things you'll never ask

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“Oh my dear,” Aziraphale says, shutting his novel and pulling off his glasses carefully. “You really can’t sleep, can you?”

Crowley is pacing the length of Aziraphale’s tiny flat, pausing at his shelf of modernist authors to pull down a book, frown at it critically, and then replace it without reading. His hair is tousled from tossing and turning in Aziraphale’s bed, where he’s been sleeping for the past week. Or, not sleeping, as is evident.

“Nope. Can’t sleep. Don’t worry about me, angel. ‘M’fine, really. Just ignore me. Do your thing.”

It’s three in the morning, the time of night Aziraphale usually enjoys most. He’s never been much of one for sleep, though he does do it occasionally. In general, he prefers using the quiet hours to catch up on his reading and ensure his catalogue of books is up-to-date. Crowley, however, has grown used to regular sleep, and without it, he is a bit of a mess.

Aziraphale sighs. “How about a cup of tea? Or a nightcap? I think there’s still a bit of that Lagavulin left.”

“Won’t work. You know it won’t.” Crowley flails onto the sofa and pillows his head on Aziraphale’s lap. He isn’t wearing his sunglasses, and his brilliant yellow eyes blink up, looking slightly manic. It does something to Aziraphale, makes his protective instinct rise up like it had during that first storm in Eden, when he’d impulsively stretched his wing over the head of a demon to shelter him from the rain.

It’s been nearly a month since they switched bodies and fooled their former supervisors Above and Below. They’ve talked about it, about what happened in Heaven and Hell; it was bad in Heaven, and Aziraphale knows Crowley can’t quite let it go. He can’t quite believe they are free, or at least free for now. He’s waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it’s keeping him awake.

There are things Aziraphale knows even though Crowley will never tell him.

Aziraphale strokes his fingers through Crowley’s wild hair. They can do this now, and a little thrill of happiness mingles with his concern. Crowley makes a contented sound and burrows closer. Still, even with the scratching, he doesn’t close his eyes. He is still alert, his long limbs tense, as though any moment he expects an army of angels and demons to appear, find them like this, and drag them down to Hell.

What if they review the surveillance again, see us do the switch? We never should have done it on the damned bench, angel. For Sssomeone’s sake, what were we thinking?

The street is quiet, the world is still, but Aziraphale can almost hear the wheels turning in Crowley’s mind.

There is one thing that will help. Aziraphale knows Crowley won’t ask for it, though. He gives everything to Aziraphale and always has; it’s such a habit, he isn’t completely comfortable asking for what he needs in return. Luckily, Aziraphale has years of study under his belt. For all he has feigned ignorance over the years, Crowley has always been his favorite subject.

Crowley looks so desperately tired as he gazes up at him, unblinking. “Don’t mean to bother you. Interrupt, I mean. What’re you reading? Anything good?”

The novel is long forgotten, cast aside on the table next to the sofa. “It’s a funny modern mystery. A caper. I’m thinking of putting it on display in the front window. But that hardly matters, my dear. Do you need me?”

Crowley gives a curt nod, a slight blush staining his cheeks that Aziraphale knows better than to mention.

“Let’s go back to bed, then, shall we?”

They hold hands, not wanting to lose contact as Aziraphale extinguishes the lights, makes sure the miracle on his locks is still sound. Already the blood is pounding in Aziraphale’s veins, trousers tightening. They walk down the hallway side-by-side, this familiar path Aziraphale has travelled for years on his own, suddenly entirely new.

It is dark in the bedroom. They remove their clothes silently and fall as one onto rumpled, still-warm sheets. Their mouths meet in the darkness, a soft kiss that quickly grows passionate. Crowley moans and slides his wicked tongue into Aziraphale’s mouth, and Aziraphale welcomes it hungrily, loving the humanity and the mess of it all. Crowley’s hands tangle in his hair, drift down to cup his face with painful tenderness. It was surprising at first, that Crowley should be so soft in bed, but then he has always taken care of Aziraphale.

Crowley is hard for him, too, his prick leaking a trail of sticky fluid against Aziraphale’s belly. They rut together, sliding prick against prick, the delicious pressure and warmth kindling like fire between them. It’s strange, how easily they have transitioned to lovers; only three months ago, Aziraphale was certain it was a gulf they’d never cross. Crowley had been the brave one, in the end. If they live another thousand lifetimes, Aziraphale will never be able to thank him enough for it.

A quiet, needy sound recalls Aziraphale to the present, and he reaches between Crowley’s legs, sucks in a surprised breath when he finds his passage already slick. “You got yourself ready for me?” The idea of Crowley in here making preparations is one that Aziraphale plans to savour for some time to come.

“Yes, angel. Fuck. I need—”

“I know, my darling, I know.” Aziraphale already has himself in hand.

Crowley wraps his long legs around Aziraphale’s hips. Even in the darkness Aziraphale can see there’s no white left to his eyes. He’s babbling, nearly delirious. “Come on, gimme your prick. I need your cock. Your big, fat, fucking—”

Aziraphale slots himself inside, pushing into the hot clench of Crowley’s body. He’s thick, and Crowely, for all of his forethought, is shockingly tight. Crowley gasps, but the sound is suffused with such relief and desire, Aziraphale knows he’s not in pain. “You have me, my dear.”

“Yesss,” Crowley hisses, nuzzling against Aziraphale’s neck as he starts to rock back and forth. While Crowley is taller, Aziraphale is heavier, and he knows that Crowley likes the feel of him bearing down, using his full weight to anchor Crowley’s hips. He likes it too, likes knowing that he can give Crowley this, ground him to the Earth when his mind starts drifting to the stars—or worse places.

It doesn’t take long before Crowley starts to relax, his limbs loosening as Aziraphale fucks him steadily. Even Crowley’s breathing calms, becoming slow and even as Aziraphale fills him again and again. His eyes are heavy-lidded, the knife cut of his mouth softening.

“There, there you are,” Aziraphale says, trying his best to keep his own urgency contained. He knows Crowley needs to keep going until he’s so pliant and sleepy, he’ll drift off without another thought when they’re done.

“Feelsss good. You’re sssso good at this, angel.”

Aziraphale silently preens at the praise. If he’d been surprised by Crowely’s attentiveness, Crowley had been equally astonished by Aziraphale’s skill. It wasn’t as though either of them had been celibate for six thousand years. Lovers came and went, but were never mentioned between them by some unspoken agreement—one of many.

Of course, no one had even come close to capturing Aziraphale’s true affections; not like Crowley. Aziraphale watches his face carefully, sees the worried lines start to fade. “You’re a beauty, do you know that? The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

“Shuttup,” Crowley says, all languid vowels. He really means, tell me more.

“Dearest, how you feel around me. You’re perfect.”

“Just fuck me. Fuck me until I—ngk—Aziraphale.”

Aziraphale kisses him again, his chest aching at the way Crowley says his name. The first night, it had been that way, the two of them staggering into each other, unable to really believe they could finally touch. Breathing each other’s names into their kisses.

I’ve always loved you, angel.

I know, my dearest, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry it took me so long to tell you I feel the same way.

He can feel how hard Crowley is between them. He bottoms out, held within the cradle of Crowley’s thighs, and tries to think of something other than the aching pleasure building deep in his belly. Anything to stop himself from tumbling over the edge too soon. Perhaps a change of pace is in order.

“Shall we move to our sides, my dear? I know you like it that way.”

Crowley grunts an agreement and complies with lazy movements. Aziraphale slots up behind him and pushes back inside, holds himself still until he feels his pulse deep within Crowley’s body. Crowley sighs with contentment, and Aziraphale wraps an arm around his chest to hold him closer, going so slowly, it’s almost excruciating.

“Is that all right?” Aziraphale pets Crowley’s hair back from his forehead, presses a kiss to his temple. “Is this what you want?”

“Sss’good, angel. Sss’nice. Love your cock. Love it.” Crowley is mumbling into the pillow, his eyes closed. His usually frenetic body is lax, moving gently with the cadence of Aziraphale’s thrusts. Aziraphale reaches down, strokes along the curve of Crowley’s spine and over his thin hips to grasp him, and Crowley lets out a stuttering moan.

“That’s it, my love,” Aziraphale says. “Let me take care of you.”

Crowley mutters something incoherent, sounding almost drugged. Only Aziraphale can do this for Crowley, help him forget. If he weren’t an angel, the power might go to his head. As it is, he is almost unbearably aroused by Crowley’s complete trust in him.

Tomorrow, they will need to talk. Perhaps they should leave the bookshop and London entirely, get away from the memories still lingering here. There isn’t any place they can really hide, of course, but Aziraphale knows that come what may, they can face anything together. Hopefully Crowely will see the truth in that as well, and soon.

Crowley won’t be long now, Aziraphale can tell by the slickness on his fingers, the heat of the velvety skin in his palm. Crowley makes sleepy, needful sounds as Aziraphale speeds up his hand.

When he finally feels Crowley give in to his release, the rippling clench around him nearly sets him off.
Aziraphale strokes him through it and is just about to follow him over, hovering on the brink, when Crowley says, “Fuck me to sleep, angel. D’you mind?”

He is so turned on, he struggles to keep his rhythm steady. “C-Crowley,” Aziraphale gasps. He’s really not sure he can hold on much longer.

“Please. Feels ssso good. Don’t want you to stop.”

Aziraphale bites his lower lip and wills himself to be still. He must give Crowley this, knows what it costs to ask. Every beat of his heart brings him closer, and Crowley holds him so tightly, even pliant as he is now. Each minute stretches into infinity, and Aziraphale’s hips hitch slowly, carefully. He is nearly delirious himself, waiting, wanting.

Finally, Crowley breathes out a sigh, and his eyelashes flutter. He is asleep.

Everything peaks, becoming golden, and Aziraphale comes silently into the heat of Crowley’s body. The pleasure is so intense he has to hold back a sob. Crowley doesn’t even notice, his face relaxed and his breathing even. He looks so young and at peace, and Aziraphale can hardly bear to be parted from him.

“We’re safe here, darling,” Aziraphale whispers, watching his demon sleep. He whispers other things, too, telling Crowley the things he says to him every day and things he wants to say but hasn’t found a way to express just yet. Maybe if he hears it in his sleep, he’ll start to believe it when he’s awake. “I’m safe. You’re safe. You can rest.”