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Sacrificial Dance

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They have averted the apocalypse. They are in Crowley's flat. Aziraphale has never been in Crowley's flat before. Aziraphale has never averted an apocalypse before. It is a night of firsts, if only he could enjoy them. Instead, he looks down at the typewritten scrap of prophecy he'd spent the bus ride clutching. It is creased, and greasy now around the edges, and it makes no sense at all.

Aziraphale has devoted centuries to good posture and careful enunciation, high teas and waistcoats. Normally, Crowley cannot imagine a creature more cultivated, more carefully plated, than his dearest friend. But tonight the angel looks wrecked. He is clasping that shred of paper like it's a broken ripcord and his hair is positively disheveled. There is dirt on his collar that he hasn't even noticed, let alone asked Crowley to miracle away.

"Angel," Crowley tries, reaching out to touch him. Aziraphale startles and Crowley instantly pulls back. "Ss-sorry," he mumbles, but then Aziraphale's hand snaps out and grabs Crowley's own, pulling him sharply in. Aziraphale crushes him in a desperate hug, and he doesn't mind at all, except—

"Angel. Be still, be still." Aziraphale is sucking in great, heaving breaths of air and his whole body is shivering in tune to the frantic beating of his heart. Crowley, an old pro at compartmentalizing his own terrors (and longings), is at bit of a loss, but wraps his long arms around the trembling angel, rocking him gently until the worst of his convulsions subside. "It's us now. I'm here. We're fine, we're fine."

Aziraphale jerks away and pushes Crowley, hard. "We are not fine!" he shouts, and his face hardens into something ancient and ferocious. "They're going to kill us for this, Crowley. Our own side? It's a side of two. They're going to kill us and I'm not ready and we're fucked, we're plainly fucked." His hands twist into his hair and he locks eyes with Crowley. Something new and a bit dark comes into his expression. "None of it matters, Crowley, if they're going to kill us, if they'll kill me for it anyway." He laughs, and it's not at all the gentle laugh that Crowley is accustomed to.

"Aziraphale?" Crowley asks, feeling overwrought, wrong-footed. "What do you need?"

"Not 'extraordinary amounts of alcohol' this time, Crowley," Aziraphale manages, shaking his head, as he pulls the demon towards him by the lapels, and this time it's not an embrace Crowley is being dragged into but a hard, open-mouthed kiss. Crowley gasps and spasms into it, deepens it, nearly prays, curses, blesses, screams. Because Aziraphale is right. They're absolutely fucked, and maybe he should slow this down, comfort his angel gently, coax him back to brightness—if he were good, he would surely do such a thing—but how much sweeter it is to join him in this free-fall on their last of all evenings. Crowley miracles them both to the bedroom, and leaves their clothes behind.

Aziraphale pants as Crowley wrestles him onto the bed, both of them overwhelmed and overstimulated by their sudden nakedness. The angel curls his arms up and around Crowley and sucks hungrily at his neck. "I need you to— to fuck me, Crowley, do you understand?" Aziraphale growls, rolling past the profanity with uncharacteristic ease. "They'll burn me up if they can—that's how they do it now—so just fuck me, please." As if the logic of it were self-explanatory. And maybe it is. They've been moving towards moving towards this for centuries, dancing around each other with paradoxical slowness, pierced not by Cupid's but Zeno's arrow, dividing seconds into infinities until the prospect of a romantic attachment between them sat on a par with the heat death of the universe, an inevitability to be sure, but oh, such a distant one.

But circumstances have changed and it seems like unless they force the moment to a crisis this instant it may never come to fruition at all. So Crowley answers Aziraphale with a groan and a 'yessss', and scrambles to get inside the angel with desperate haste. The room vibrates with heavenly and infernal energy, miracles wastefully expended on easing Crowley's way, supporting Aziraphale's back, calling down a cool breeze to card over their heated, rutting bodies. May as well max out the cards if you know they're about to be cancelled.

Crowley is cresting into the angel with all the determination he can muster, zeroing in on his counterpart's every twitch and sigh. This amazing, incredible, celestial creature, who is letting him do this awful, spectacular, necessary thing. Aziraphale arches his back and keens needfully and Crowley drives into him all the harder, and before he can savor it they're both abruptly climaxing, idiots, we're idiots, Crowley thinks, when we should have made it last, or done it sooner, but that thought is whited out by the veritable sonic boom of ecstasy that overtakes him, that is surely overtaking them both if Aziraphale's cries are any indication.

When he collapses against the angel, neither of them speak for a long while. They hold each other in the dark and listen to the distant sounds of several car alarms that have newly started to shrill in the parking lot adjacent the window. "Oh dear," Aziraphale mutters, sounding suddenly like his old self as he snaps the unseen vehicles back into silence. Crowley smiles despite himself, and sighs.

"It's a good way to go," he whispers to the angel's ribs. "Really it is." And then, ever so quietly, perhaps not even wanting to be heard, he finishes, "I will gladly pay for this with all I have."

Aziraphale whimpers and pulls him into another strangling hug. Crowley strangles right back, serpent that he is, and drifts into contented half-wakefulness in the angel's arms.

Hours of stillness later, the embrace tightens suddenly and then Aziraphale releases him, sitting abruptly up in the bed. Crowley hits the pillows with a whump and squints up, confused and a bit put out. Aziraphale rests a steadying hand on his chest. His eyes are on the bedside table, where there lies a crumpled piece of paper. "My dear boy," Aziraphale breathes. "I think I have an idea."