Looking back, he can recognise that it occurred in steps. The kiss, the embrace, the undressing; it all stripped away a little bit of grace at a time. But in the moment, he didn't notice. In the moment, he felt the stomach-dropping lurch of his free fall into damnation at the exact instant that he came, buried to the hilt inside Crowley.
It had taken them over six thousand years to get here, to admit their feelings for each other and then acknowledge that their love was as carnal in nature as it was romantic. Aziraphale loved Crowley so purely, so completely, so fiercely, he could imagine nothing better than consummating their bond in the same manner as human lovers.
After a shared bottle of wine to steel the nerves, Aziraphale and Crowley had retired to Crowley’s bedroom. They kissed, exploring the sensation of lips, tongues, teeth all joined in passionate worship. They undressed each other in reverent awe, removing each layer with care and gentle intimacy and kissing each new inch of exposed skin. Aziraphale was surprised by Crowley’s tender touches and found himself more eager to move things along than he had anticipated. Once stripped, Crowley had sunk low and taken Aziraphale’s stiffened cock into his mouth. A sharp hiss of pleasure and Aziraphale had his hands in Crowley’s hair, holding him just so and thrusting into his mouth. Looking into Crowley’s golden eyes, brimming with tears from barely suppressed gagging, Aziraphale felt powerful and adored. Finally, Crowley had offered himself up, arse in the air and face buried in a pillow. Aziraphale savoured the tight grip of his lover’s hole as he eased himself in, accompanied by the sweet music of Crowley’s broken moans. In no time at all, Aziraphale was thrusting at a punishing rhythm with his hand wrapped around Crowley’s throbbing cock.
Everything seemed to happen at once. In a horrifying collision of ecstasy and agony, Aziraphale felt himself being torn in two. A wordless scream stole the air from his lungs and replaced it with embers and smoke, searing him from the inside. He was blinded, eyes clouded with darkness and shadow.
Hands were on him almost immediately, he could feel Crowley’s concern but his voice sounded a million miles away. Aziraphale reached for him, scared and fighting the encroaching isolation.
“Crowley, are you there?” His voice pitched up in panic.
“I’m here! What’s happening?”
Crowley’s voice broke through the white noise of rushing air and pumping blood. It was enough to know he wasn’t alone. Aziraphale felt himself calm just a fraction and then there was nothing.
No air, no sound, no sensation at all. Aziraphale tried to speak but he had no voice, no mouth to form the words, no lungs to breathe them out. He had been tied to a body for so long that the feeling of having no corporeal form was disorientating. A feeling not dissimilar to vertigo had hold of him; a vague, spinning, unsettling instability that affected his very essence. Crowley wasn’t here, wherever here was, Aziraphale was sure of that. If he was on his own, then he had only his own wits to rely on. That was a more reassuring thought than it might appear, for Aziraphale knew that his wits were his greatest asset in trying times.
He just needed to think and work this out. Firstly, he couldn’t be nowhere because everywhere is somewhere. And if he was in a place that existed, then he must also exist; I think, therefore I am, right?
The nothingness subtly changed into absolute blackness. A small distinction that made a very big difference to Aziraphale. There was a solid physicality to his surroundings now and he felt just a little better. His essence was ever so slightly more concentrated, like a mist beginning to condense. Grabbing hold of that feeling, Aziraphale focused intently and pulled himself tighter and tighter, he pictured himself as a mass of atoms being drawn towards a gravitational centre until he could give form to his energy. There was a floor and he had feet to put upon it, he had arms to swing and register the resistance of the air against his fingertips, he had ears that could hear and a mouth that could speak and eyes that could see. He willed these things into being and noticed the changes that each heralded. There was air and sound and the tiniest splinter of light, enough for his ethereal eyes to pick out. Instinctively, Aziraphale reached out for his power, the energy that created miracles and caused glitches in the booking system of the Ritz. There was something there, but it felt wrong, the wrong shape or flavour. Aziraphale couldn’t articulate what the problem was, but something was different. Deciding to leave it alone for now, Aziraphale used his newly formed legs to head for the light source as the only indication of direction available to him.
He walked for a long time before there was any noticeable change to the light, it was almost like trying to walk to a star when you’re standing in Hyde Park. Just because you can see it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to reach it. It felt like weeks had passed by the time that Aziraphale recognised that the light was growing, he broke into a run in his excitement, believing that he was making significant headway. The light gradually grew into a rectangle, a doorway! Bright, white light spilled through an open door into this empty void of a place. Thinking only of how worried Crowley must be, Aziraphale sprinted towards the door and burst into the light.
Harsh fluorescents burned his eyes, shielding whatever was behind them. He looked around and felt his stomach sink. Grey, water-stained concrete, the smell of damp, a griminess that clung to the air like fog; Aziraphale was in Hell.
“Aziraphale? Aziraphale! You made it!” An all-too-familiar voice broke the silence.
Crowley appeared from behind the bank of lights, his face red and puffy from crying. He closed the distance between them in brisk strides, his arms open, but then he paused and looked unsure.
“Crowley!” Aziraphale croaked, his throat dry from a lack of use.
Crowley had found him, had come for him! Aziraphale held his hands out towards him, silently asking Crowley to make the contact. The hesitation was there and Crowley looked afraid, Aziraphale wanted to hold him more than anything, but not if Crowley didn’t want it. The tension stretched between them, drawing itself paper-thin before it snapped and Crowley fell against Aziraphale, wrapping serpentine arms around his shoulders and burying his face against his neck.
“I’ve been so worried, Aziraphale. No one could tell me what was happening or when you might turn up. I’m so sorry, this is all my fault. I’ve been so stupid.” Crowley broke down into sobs.
“Hush, love.” Aziraphale stroked Crowley’s back just like he did after every bad dream. “We’ll get everything straightened out. Is there somewhere we can talk? I have a few questions.”
Crowley loosened his hold enough to nod and sniffle. Aziraphale let him compose himself, reassuring him with soft noises and steady contact, once he was able, Crowley led him a short distance to a small room containing a desk and a couple of chairs. Crowley closed the door behind them, waited for Aziraphale to sit and then pulled the second chair close enough so he could lean his head on Aziraphale’s shoulder.
“First things first, Crowley.”
Aziraphale twisted and took Crowley’s face in his hands, kissing him like his life depended on it. Having Crowley respond to his hands and lips and tongue made Aziraphale feel much more himself again. He wasn’t alone now.
“I love you and I-I’ve missed you so much.” Aziraphale’s voice cracked with emotion, giving away just how thin his veneer of calm was.
“Missed me?” Crowley pulled away just enough to see Aziraphale’s face, his hands still laced at the back of Aziraphale’s neck. “You’ve been gone two hours at most.”
“Two hours? That simply can’t be right, I feel as though weeks have passed. Let’s go over this from the beginning. The last thing I remember was being in bed with you and, uh, reaching my climax, as it were.”
Crowley nodded, a flush of pink in his cheeks.
“Yeah, that was this afternoon.” He showed his watch to Aziraphale. “It’s only a little after 6PM now. We were in bed, you know, and then you screamed and called my name. Obviously, something was wrong so I held you but you kept pushing me away. Then you were gone, just disappeared completely.” Crowley sniffed.
Aziraphale’s heart just broke for Crowley, imagining him sitting on the bed all alone, abandoned in a moment of intimate vulnerability. No idea where he had gone or what had happened. The fear and grief Crowley had suffered was too visible.
“Yes, I remember. I think I discorporated rather suddenly.”
“Aziraphale, do you know why you discorporated?” Crowley’s tone was guarded.
“There’s a lot I don’t know today, my dear. Why are we in Hell, for instance? Why did two hours for you feel like weeks or months for me? Why does everything feel so queer, like the world has been twisted 90 degrees?” He had meant his questions to be rhetorical and certainly didn’t expect Crowley to be able to answer them.
“Aziraphale, my love. I’m so sorry. You Fell.”
For the second time that day, Aziraphale felt his whole world pitch around him.
“I-I Fell?” He looked down at himself, as if he expected to have adopted Crowley’s wardrobe.
Same old outfit, same hands, he’d put himself back together just the same way as he had always been.
“You did.” Crowley nodded. “I think you discorporated because you were a demonic essence in a heavenly vessel. That’s never happened before.”
“I’m a demon?” Aziraphale asked as he struggled to process this news.
“I could smell the sulphur as soon as you were gone. It was all I could do to get here and wait for you to arrive. Aziraphale, I’m sorry. This is all my fault, I’ve ruined everything for you. I can’t even ask you to forgive me, you’ve Fallen because of me, because you love me.”
Aziraphale knows many things. One of the things that he knows as deeply as he knows his own name is that Crowley’s Fall was the single most traumatic experience of his long existence. His Fall left deep wounds in his heart that may never heal properly, the loss of his divinity had triggered a constant cycle of self-loathing, cynicism, and self-punishment. Crowley hadn’t rebelled against God and Heaven because of some big idealogical differences, he’d only asked questions and he chastised himself for it in a million different ways since.
On the other hand, Aziraphale knows that his own Fall has really not been that bad.
Instinctively, he knows that Crowley is telling the truth about why they are in Hell, he understands that his ordeal in the darkness was meant to break him, and he knows that he has Fallen for the sin of loving Crowley. He held Crowley tightly, pressing him into his chest.
“Oh, my love. There is nothing to forgive. I’m here with you and that’s the most important thing, isn’t it? I will never regret loving you and I don’t want you to think that any of this is your fault.”
Crowley cried against Aziraphale’s chest for several minutes after that. Aziraphale felt the cold fist of anger pooling in his stomach as he held his beloved and felt him sob out all the fear he’d been holding on to. Fear that Aziraphale would reject him, that he would blame him, that the only good thing he’d ever found would be out of his reach forever.
If Aziraphale were a cruel being, he might have pointed out to Crowley that Aziraphale was the one who had Fallen and had more reason to be scared and hurt. But that’s not who Aziraphale is, was or would ever be.
Once Crowley had recovered enough to make conversation possible again, Aziraphale had only one remaining question.
“What happens now?”
“I’m to take you to Beelzebub. Hell are pretty twitchy about us being here after the holy water bath incident so I don’t think they’re going to give us too much trouble.”
Crowley summoned a pair of sunglasses and hid the worst of his tear-reddened eyes. When he opened the door it wasn’t to the same grungy hallway that they had entered from, Aziraphale saw a large room with flickering lights and a throne upon a dais at one end. Various demons were gathered around the perimeter of the room, casting anxious glances towards Crowley and keeping a wary distance. Aziraphale reached for Crowley’s hand and laced their fingers together as they walked the length of the room towards the empty throne. They stopped a few paces short of the dais, Crowley stood just a little ahead of Aziraphale.
Beelzebub stormed in to the room, still tugging on zir jacket and muttering all the way to the throne.
“Crowley, your prezence iz barely tolerated here. Get on with it.” Beelzebub was clearly in a winning mood.
“Charming as always, Prince Beelzebub. As you know, the former principality Aziraphale has Fallen from grace. He has come through the trials and, as is our custom, he is now a demon. I present him to you for consideration.” Crowley’s words were spoken with the kind of edge that surgeons dream of.
Aziraphale stepped forward, his chin up in defiance. Beelzebub flinched, clearly worried about the potential consequences of having both of these unkillable beings pissed off at zir.
“Welcome Aziraphale. We don’t want any kind of trouble here. Your Fall waz not our doing, Heaven juzt pazzing their problemz on to uz, you underztand.”
Aziraphale shrugged as if to say that he had no interest in assigning blame.
“What’s done is done. Now, is there some kind of orientation? What’s your onboarding procedure? I assume that you don’t just send fresh demons out to do evil without some kind of understanding of the big picture.” Aziraphale blinked innocently.
Of everyone in the room, only Crowley would have recognised Aziraphale’s expression as being the one that meant that he knew exactly how much of a little shit he was being but would deny it until the sun burned out. Crowley was looking at Beelzebub, though.
“Orientation?” The Prince of Hell was flustered. “Uh, you muzt know that no angel haz fallen zince the Great Rebellion, right? We don’t have a prezedent to follow here.”
Aziraphale smiled widely.
“Well, it seems to me like I might be a great asset to you. You have the Principality who has been on Earth since Eden, who knows Heaven’s current focus and challenges, and who is, frankly, rather ticked off with the whole lot of them.”
Aziraphale heard the very subtle snort that Crowley failed to contain. He appeared to have caught on to the game here. Beelzebub looked conflicted, ze chewed zir bottom lip thoughtfully, eyes flicking between Crowley and Aziraphale before coming to rest on their linked hands.
“What do you want?” Ze asked, cautiously.
Aziraphale held up his free hand and listed items off on his fingers.
“I want a body. I want a title as befitting my status here. I want freedom of movement for myself and Crowley. I want an oath that Hell will never attempt to separate me and Crowley from each other. In return you will have yourself the greatest weapon imaginable in your war against Heaven.” Aziraphale gave Crowley’s hand a little squeeze and felt him return the gesture. They were in this together.
“I-I need to talk to the Dark Council.” Beelzebub stood and stomped off.
The other demons in the room had watched in stunned silence but after the Prince of Hell had departed, a low susurration began as whispers were exchanged. Aziraphale still felt the heavy lump of anger that sat in his stomach, chilling him like ice.
“Crowley, I’m going to stretch my wings out. Will you tell me what they look like? I don’t think I can bear to look.”
Crowley nodded, knowing what Aziraphale feared. Six thousand years with one dramatic snake as a best friend and then lover does eventually rub off. This is why Aziraphale called his wings in fully extended and without warning. A couple of demons screamed in shock, a solid half of them scrambled to get to an exit having decided that there were far more pressing matters they needed to deal with. Aziraphale kept his eyes cast down, afraid of even seeing the reflection of his wings in Crowley’s glasses.
“Oh, love. How can you live like that? You really are a disaster, do you ever groom these beauties?” Crowley chided tenderly. “Other than being in need of some thorough attention, they look as beautiful as ever.”
Aziraphale chanced a look up, but Crowley had pulled his glasses down to get a better look. His only option was to bring his wings forward so he could see. Sure enough, pure white feathers broke into his field of vision and curled around Crowley, enclosing them both in a soft cocoon.
“I chose to change my wings when I Fell. You didn’t know what had happened so when you pulled yourself back together, you remade yourself in the image you were used to.” Crowley explained, pausing only to kiss tears away from Aziraphale’s cheeks.
“Thank you, Crowley. Thank you for standing with me and trusting me. This is going to turn out alright for us.”
Crowley smiled the softest smile Aziraphale had ever seen.
“There’s nowhere else I would want to be. I would trust you with my life. In fact, I have repeatedly.”
A door slammed and the rapid footfalls indicated the return of Beelzebub, Aziraphale folded his wings back sharply and watched xir settle back in tothe throne.
“The council haz decided to grant your requestz. You are granted the title of Duke of Hell. There iz a condition, though. If you do not deliver on your zide of the bargain, we will drop ourz.”
Ze drew a complex sigil in the air, tracing a line of fizzing energy. Crowley made an impressed noise in the back of his throat which Aziraphale took to be a good sign.
“The deal iz complete. You will report to Dagon with any intelligence. Now get out of here.”
“It’s been a pleasure, Beelzebub.” Crowley yelled over his shoulder as he hauled Aziraphale out of the chamber.
Getting a body was simple enough; once it had been agreed that he would be issued one, all Aziraphale had to do was leave Hell by one of the official exits and his corporeal form would cling to him as if he had walked through a mass of spiderwebs. Crowley hurried them out, stopping Aziraphale from being able to inspect himself. The Bentley was parked just outside, Aziraphale was grateful to see it after his endless walking. He wondered where Crowley would take him, to the bookshop or Crowley’s flat? Honestly, he couldn’t decide which option he preferred. Would the comfort of home feel the same now that he was Fallen? Would it be too jarring to be back in Crowley’s flat, the site of his fall? Either way, he’d have to face both those questions soon enough whether he wanted to or not.
As Crowley drove, Aziraphale looked down at his hands. They seemed unchanged on first inspection, soft and neat with well-manicured nails. He turned them over and examined his palms, finding the same old hands he’d been using for six thousand years. His ring was gone, but that was to be expected; demons don’t keep their symbols of grace. He was surprised to find that he didn’t miss it. Everything else that he could see looked normal, his clothes, shoes, build, even the worn fabric of his waistcoat was as he remembered it. Images of Beelzebub’s swarm of flies and Hastur’s toad creature were fresh in his memory, even Crowley’s relatively discrete snake eyes and tattoo seemed to dance in the front of his mind. There would be something different, something betraying his new status, Aziraphale itched to know what it was. He reached up to the rear view mirror, intending to twist it to face him. Crowley’s hand shot out and slapped him away.
“I’m using that to drive.” Crowley lied.
“You’re trying to hide something from me.”
He got no answer from Crowley.
Well, if he wasn’t allowed to look, he could still feel. Aziraphale brought his fingertips to his cheeks and gently explored the contours of his face, noticing Crowley shooting anxious glances at him as he went. Nothing felt out of the ordinary, although Aziraphale had to admit that he probably wouldn’t notice any subtle changes. Cautiously, he slid his hands up into his hair dreading the possibility of finding a creature residing up there. He found nothing and breathed a sigh of relief. Life with some kind of animal living on his head did not appeal.
“I, uh, I’ve brought you back to mine. We have a lot to talk about and here seemed as good a place as any.” Crowley seemed nervous.
“Yes, quite right.” Aziraphale said snappishly.
Crowley flinched at that but said nothing, he got out of the car before Aziraphale could begin to apologise for his tone. At the door to the flat, Crowley made a show of fumbling with his keys before snapping his fingers to miracle it open. The pretence was short lived, the lack of mirrors was the first thing that Aziraphale noticed upon entering. There was usually a large mirror with an ornate gilt frame right by the entrance and Aziraphale was counting on its presence.
“Really now, Crowley. Are you going to shadow me forever, making sure I never see another reflective surface? I know you’re trying to keep me from seeing something and it’s just making me more worried!”
Crowley looked at his feet, acting for all the world like a naughty schoolboy.
“I just want to give you the chance to prepare. Let me do this, please?”
He reached for Aziraphale’s hand and guided him to the sofa, all but pushing him to sit. Keeping their hands linked Crowley knelt, bringing his face level with Aziraphale’s. He pulled his glasses off with his free hand, again removing the possibility of using them as a mirror.
“Aziraphale, you are beautiful and perfect to me no matter what your physical form. You know that, right?” He sounded so earnest.
“You really are worrying me, Crowley dear. Is it that bad? Will I have to stop going out, do you think?” Aziraphale started to let the depth of his concern show.
“Oh no, no. It’s just that you’ve looked a certain way for your entire existence. Seeing a change that you didn’t expect can be rather traumatic.” Crowley looked away then, clearly reliving the discovery of his serpentine eyes. “It’s just some colouration changes. I like it, honestly.”
Crowley cupped Aziraphale’s face and kissed his forehead softly. A hand mirror appeared on the sofa beside Aziraphale, Crowley made no move to stop him from picking it up.
Across his forehead, extending down from his hairline, a series of tiny grey chevrons marked his skin. Closer and more concentrated at the top, thinning out to nothing about an inch above his eyebrows. His hair was now more silver than white and when he moved, the light caught a rainbow of iridescence, sickly like the surface of an oil slick. Aziraphale couldn’t say that he appreciated the new look, but it certainly wasn’t the horror that he had feared. With time, he might become accustomed to it.
Crowley was watching him intently, worry tugging at the corners of his mouth.
“Far better than having to accessorise an amphibian in my hair. Yes, I feel I’ve got off quite well, all things considered.”
Crowley snorted a laugh through his nose and the atmosphere between them lightened. Aziraphale took the opportunity to kiss Crowley, leaning forward to catch his lips. Crowley relaxed into the kiss, releasing a little more of the tension that he was holding.
“You’re handling this a lot better than I expected.” Crowley said once Aziraphale had straightened. “Better than I did.”
A puzzle piece fell into place for Aziraphale.
“The circumstances are quite different. I have you to help me and love me. I have faced far worse with you by my side.” Aziraphale let that sink in for a moment. “Now, it’s been quite the day for both of us. What do you say to a nap?”
From the way Crowley’s eyes lit up at the suggestion, Aziraphale knew that he had hit on a winning idea. He held out his hand to Crowley to help him off the floor and didn’t intend to let go until he absolutely had to. Crowley froze in the doorway to the bedroom, seeing the bed still in mid-coital disarray must have touched on a raw nerve, Aziraphale recognised the wild-eyed stare that he was giving the room.
It seemed as good a time as any to test out his demonic powers, so Aziraphale reached for the pool of infernal energy and snapped his fingers at the bed. The sheets sprang back into place, the pillows fluffed and righted themselves and the duvet smoothed out.
“Good as new!” Said Aziraphale brightly.
Crowley made a choked sound but did step into the room. An idea occurred to Aziraphale but whether it was a good one or not would remain to be seen.
“It’ll be more fun to mess it up again now. Be a dear and strip off for me, will you?” His tone of voice was unchanged, as if he had asked Crowley to hand him the newspaper or pick up breakfast in the morning.
Aziraphale didn’t look to see his request carried out, instead he began undressing himself and radiated the distinct impression that he expected compliance. Crowley opened his mouth to retort but his hands were already pulling off his clothing.
This was far more clinical than their earlier impassioned fumbling, Aziraphale was measured and calculating, determined to show Crowley that he was unchanged where it mattered. Once nude, Aziraphale finally looked at Crowley who stood with his arms folded across his chest.
“Oh yes, lovely. What a delight you are, Crowley.” Aziraphale positively purred.
He stepped forward to run a fingertip up Crowley’s arm, across his shoulder and up the side of his neck. Leaning in to the contact, Crowley bent his head to offer his neck up more readily.
“Do you want this, Crowley? All you have to do is tell me that you don’t want it and we’ll go to sleep instead.”
Crowley made a needy little noise in his throat, and then again louder when Aziraphale pulled his hand away from him.
“Use your words, dearest. Tell me what you want.”
From the twitch in his cock, Aziraphale could see the effect that this tack was having on Crowley. They would soon be making fresh new memories to replace the aborted disaster of their first coupling.
“I-I… I want you. Do I really have to say it, Ange- Uh. Aziraphale?”
Aziraphale felt his heart break just a touch at seeing Crowley stumble over his pet name and the guilt that triggered in him. Time to ramp up the distraction.
“Yes. I want to hear you say it. If you can’t say it, you don’t get it.” His voice was silk and steel.
“Damn you, Aziraphale. I want you to fuck me, I want you to use me. I want to know deep in my bones that I am yours.” Crowley was flushed but he got the words out, a defiant tilt to his chin.
Heat spread out from a spot low in Aziraphale’s belly, a fire of lust and passion consuming him as he wanted to consume Crowley. A guttural growl shatters the silence and Aziraphale was shocked to realise that it was coming from his own throat. He lunged at Crowley, knocking him to the bed with the force of it. The earlier trepidation was gone, the worst case scenarios had been played out and now there was nothing to fear, just hunger and Crowley and the promise of satisfaction. Aziraphale straddled Crowley, delighting in the feeling of skin on skin, and leaned in for a kiss. Rocking his hips against Crowley’s hard prick, Aziraphale took possession of his mouth, fiercely assaulting his lips and forcing his tongue beyond teeth that weren’t his. Crowley matched his intensity, always just a half second behind. Aziraphale bit and sucked at Crowley’s tongue and lips, drawing them into his own mouth as if he intended to devour them. Crowley whimpered under him, a needy and pleading sound that intoxicated Aziraphale more thoroughly than any spirit, it vibrated through his mouth and deep into the molten core of him. Dragging himself away from the delicious treat of Crowley’s mouth, Aziraphale dragged his teeth down the side of Crowley’s neck and towards his collarbone. That desperate whine was a sweet reward, Aziraphale smiled to himself pleased with the mess that Crowley had been reduced to within so few minutes.
“Look at you, love. Such a delightful little plaything. Do you think that I can break you? How fragile are you, really?” Aziraphale’s words were low whispers in Crowley’s ear.
“P-please, Aziraphale. Try to break me.” Crowley’s hands flew up from Aziraphale’s waist to hold his head and enforce eye contact. “I am all yours. Please. Please. Whatever you want, take it from me.”
Aziraphale pushed his hips into Crowley again and caught the answering gasp within another savage kiss.
“I intend to.”
Aziraphale shifted his weight to one hand, sliding the other between their bodies to grasp the root of Crowley’s cock.
“Who does this belong to?”
“Y-you. It’s yours.” Crowley stammered, his hips lifting in response.
“And these?” Aziraphale cupped Crowley’s balls, applying gentle but steady pressure.
“Fuck, ang- Aziraphale. You- they are yours.” Crowley cried out, pushing into Aziraphale’s palm.
Aziraphale brought his hand up and spat on his fingers roughly. Crowley’s eyes grew wide but his legs shifted apart all the same, Aziraphale could feel the shallow panting of anticipation against his chest. He circled Crowley’s hole with one wet finger.
“And this?” He asked sweetly, honey dripping from his words. “Is this mine too?”
Crowley squeezed his eyes shut and nodded.
“Words, dearest. Use words or I might get the wrong idea.” His finger still circling, gentle and rhythmic.
“Mmm, yes. Yes Aziraphale. It’s yours, every part of me is yours. Tear me open and take a lung, my liver, my heart. It’s all yours. Say the word and I’ll have your name etched on to my bones.” His voice was ragged with want, Aziraphale felt his cock swell in response.
“Oh good boy, such a good boy.”
That insistent finger finally pressed up into Crowley. He dug his nails into Aziraphale’s shoulder and stuffed his other fist into his mouth, muffling a sob. Aziraphale worked him steadily, stretching him open and curling his finger against that spot that made Crowley shudder and rock his hips in response. The ache in his own cock was maddening, it longed to be buried inside Crowley but Aziraphale knew that this part, this game, this mental preparation, it was all vital to what he and Crowley were becoming. He rolled Crowley towards him a little, holding him and slipping a second finger inside. With his lips pressed to Crowley’s ear, Aziraphale began to pour his honeyed poison.
“You are so good for me, aren’t you? Look at how beautiful you are, it almost hurts to see. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than you. You are so sweet, fucking yourself on my fingers. Are you even thinking right now or can you only want? Your eyes are just stunning and oh so vacant. You’re like a beautiful doll and I’m going to ruin you.” Aziraphale crooned, softly.
Crowley whined and whimpered, clinging to Aziraphale as tightly as a life-ring. His whole body was shaking even as he visibly tried to fight it. Aziraphale pressed one last kiss against the pulse point in Crowley’s throat, taking a deep breath of him. He slipped his fingers out and flipped Crowley over on to his belly.
“You’re such a wanton little slut, aren’t you. Look at you presenting yourself to me like a harlot.” Aziraphale purred, positioning himself between Crowley’s thighs and enjoying the view afforded him by Crowley’s lifting hips.
“Only for you, Aziraphale. Please. Please use me hard.” He sounded choked.
The thick head of his cock looked obscene pressed against Crowley’s tight entrance, a pearl of pre-come smeared into a trail between those pale cheeks. The ache was unbearable, Aziraphale needed to be inside Crowley as much as Crowley needed to be filled. He sank in to Crowley, groaning as the heat and pressure overwhelmed him. An accompaniment of noises were poorly muffled by the pillow that Crowley had taken between his teeth. Knowing that he had entered rather quicker than Crowley had expected, Aziraphale paused to let him get used to the sensation. At the first hint of a whine from Crowley, Aziraphale started to move. Planting his hands firmly on Crowley’s hips, he set an ambitious pace that didn’t pull any punches. He saw Crowley’s hands stretch out in front of him to brace against the headboard.
“Crowley, you feel incredible. I could fuck you like this for hours and never get tired of it. Look at how well you take me. My good, good Crowley.”
Beneath him, Crowley is gasping, choking, sobbing, and doing his damnedest to rock his hips back against Aziraphale. In one fluid motion, Aziraphale sat back on his heels and pulled Crowley with him so he was impaled on Aziraphale’s lap, he wrapped one arm across Crowley’s chest to clasp his shoulder whilst his teeth sank into the muscle on the other side of his neck. A veritable siren’s song of need and want rose from Crowley, punctuated by his vain attempts to buck and feel the motion of Aziraphale inside him again. Ruined, panting, and weak, Crowley pawed at Aziraphale’s hands. Without warning, Aziraphale closed his free hand around Crowley’s cock.
“You’re so hard, love. Let me help you.” Aziraphale said between bites.
His fingers ran up and down the rigid length, feather-light and teasing. Once he heard the half-swallowed sob in Crowley’s chest, he gripped more firmly and began pleasuring him in earnest, gradually working his hips in time with the pumping of his fist. A change in the tone of Crowley’s panting told him that he was getting close, Aziraphale released the vice-like grip of his will and allowed his own climax to build too. Releasing Crowley’s shoulder, Aziraphale took hold of his throat and drew his head over to one side, exposing an expanse of neck that Aziraphale practically devoured with kisses and the threat of his teeth.
“Come for me, Crowley. Be good for me.”
“Oh! Oh fuck, Aziraphale!”
His hand was flooded with Crowley’s orgasm just two strokes before Aziraphale reached his own climax, shooting his spend deep inside Crowley’s whimpering body. He held Crowley tight against his chest, panting and more relieved than he’d like to admit.
“You’re still here.”
“Of course I am. I won’t let anything take me from you again.”
Carefully, Aziraphale laid Crowley down and withdrew himself choosing to ignore the aggrieved pout on Crowley’s lips as he pulled the duvet over them.
“Look at the mess you’ve made of my hand.” Aziraphale held his come-covered hand out for Crowley to see.
The feeling of a soft tongue lapping at his fingers was more surprising than it should have been, but it was by no means unwelcome. Crowley licked up every drop, gently turning Aziraphale’s hand and sliding the velvety tip of his tongue between his fingers. Once he was satisfied with his work, Crowley placed a kiss in Aziraphale’s palm and then on the tops of his knuckles.
“If you’re cleaning things up, love, you might as well do a thorough job.”
Crowley twisted his neck to look at Aziraphale, his eyes alight with excitement. Aziraphale nodded encouragingly which was apparently all Crowley needed. He wormed down the bed until his face was level with Aziraphale’s spent prick. Aziraphale felt hot breath wash over his balls just a split second before that delightful tongue made contact. Crowley made this obscene act feel like an act of worship, something reverent and sacred. There was a twinge of pain in Aziraphale’s chest at that thought, quickly dismissed and just as easily forgotten, especially with Crowley’s clever tongue being put to such remarkable use. He hummed contentedly to himself, enjoying the deft ministrations that he was being treated to. Finally satisfied with his efforts, Crowley squirmed back up to be level with Aziraphale and was quickly tucked into a protective embrace.
“Are you OK, love? Do you need anything? A snack, a glass of water?”
“M’kay. Just wanna sleep now.”
“Would you like to clean up before sleep?”
“Do you mind if I don’t? I like feeling you there.”
“Of course not.” Aziraphale kissed the top of Crowley’s head.
One skinny arm reached out from the duvet and snapped the lights off.
“Goodnight Crowley. I love you.”
“I love you too, ang-ugh. Sorry.” Crowley tensed.
It really didn’t bother Aziraphale though. Crowley had been calling him ‘angel’ for so long that it felt more like a pet name than a description. He buried another kiss in Crowley’s hair.
“It’s OK, my love. You can still call me angel if you want. It means so much more coming from you.”
“Kay, angel.” And Crowley was asleep.
It was peaceful, laying there with Crowley tucked up against him. The little snuffling noises of sleep coming from his beloved were endearing and made his heart sing. Aziraphale knew that he wasn’t supposed to feel this way; that Falling was a punishment, an eternal sentence of damnation and agony; he just didn’t feel like he deserved to suffer. If it was a sin to love Crowley and to consummate that love, then Aziraphale didn’t agree with the morality of Heaven. He had been an angel, a being of ethereal love, it seemed an arbitrary line in the sand to declare some being as off limits for adoration and devotion. A thought struck him, something he dared not even think too loud let alone voice. Slowly and carefully, Aziraphale extracted his arm from underneath Crowley and crept out of the bedroom.
Aziraphale poured a glass of water from the expensive filter jug in the fridge and took a sip. It was a cover story more than anything, in case he was discovered, but it gave him a little thinking time. He clasped his hands in front of him, still naked but unashamed, and bowed his head.
“Lord, I do not know if you even hear the prayers of demons, but that is what I am now. It was not my intention to Fall, I did not turn against you. I have not lost my faith and I am not angry. Loving Crowley is not something that I can regret, though. If that makes me unfit for you, so be it. If serving as a demon is where I fit now in the ineffable plan, then I will serve well. I have made my peace with this. Please, though Lord, do not take him away from me. I’ll take anything else and bear it with a smile if I can keep him.”
Aziraphale waited, uncertain. He didn’t expect a response which was as well, as none was forthcoming. He took his water back to the bedroom.
“You were gone.” Crowley sounded half-asleep and worried.
“Just to the kitchen, my dear. I’m back now.”
He climbed back into bed and wrapped Crowley in his arms once more. A weight off his mind, Aziraphale managed to sleep until dawn.
Crowley insisted on coming with Aziraphale whenever he had to report to Hell; he claimed that it was in case Aziraphale needed protection or support but Aziraphale suspected that it was far more for Crowley’s benefit than anyone else’s. The impression they gave as they strode through the halls of Hell was similar to that of a farmer and his sheepdog. Aziraphale found that his attitudes and personality were practically unchanged greeting his fellow demons with warm smiles and polite conversation. The fact that this unnerved those beings far more accustomed to being kicked out of the way or thrown to hungry hell hounds was of no importance to Aziraphale. Any suggestion that he enjoyed making other demons uncomfortable in his presence was nothing more than a nasty rumour, he would be quick to assure you.
At the door to Dagon’s office, Aziraphale would kiss Crowley fondly on the cheek and disappear inside, leaving him to lurk around the hallway and kill time.
“Oh my! Is this really how you keep your office, Dagon?” Aziraphale asked on his first visit.
The furniture was chipped Formica with a varied combination of slick spots and sticky patches, the carpet smelt damp and the walls had water stains. Even the solitary lightbulb looked like it was about to give up the ghost at any second.
Dagon had shrugged.
“It’s Hell, isn’t it? It’s not meant to be nice.”
“Not for the human souls, perhaps. But you, we, demons run the place. Why should it not be pleasant for us?”
She hadn’t given a response to that, just moved on to the matter at hand; working out if Aziraphale truly did have any information worth his demands.
On the next visit to Hell, Aziraphale noticed that the damp smell of Dagon’s office had been replaced with a much more welcoming peat smoke kind of scent. The carpet didn’t suck at his shoes nearly as much and when Dagon opened a filing cabinet, there was only one snarling horror inside. He made sure to compliment the changes without insulting any of the previous appearance. Aziraphale had learned his social etiquette well and had no interest in rocking the proverbial boat, not just yet anyway. Over the next six visits, Aziraphale noticed the ripple effect of Dagon’s remodelling spreading out. The bullpen had functional lighting, the walls were almost clean, the shuffling damned groaned in more pleasing tones, even Hastur had a little succulent on his desk.
“I know what you’re doing, Angel.” Crowley muttered under his breath as they left Dagon one day.
“Who, me?”Aziraphale was the most innocent looking demon possible.
In Hell the demonic aspect was nearer the surface and just as Hastur’s toad and Beelzebub’s flies were all the more visible, so was Aziraphale’s owl. Truthfully, he had been delighted to find that he had an animal aspect just like Crowley. It being a snowy owl felt a little on the nose, as it were, but it was still far better than being plagued by a swarm of flies wherever one went. Like Crowley and Dagon, Aziraphale wasn’t encumbered with a physical aspect, he simply had more visible owl-like features when in Hell. The grey chevrons on his face became soft feathers, his O vowel sounds elongated if he didn’t concentrate, and any rodent affiliated demons felt inexplicably nervous around him.
“Yes, you. You’re actually improving Hell.” Crowley sounded disgusted.
“I’m not doing anything of the sort! I merely pointed out that Dagon needn’t sit in damp misery if she didn’t want to. I hardly think that’s a revolutionary thought.”
They were in the elevator by this point, ascending at a rate never imagined by its inventor. Crowley looked like he might burst a blood vessel.
“It ABSOLUTELY is a revolutionary thought! They’ve all been down there in dank misery since before time began thinking that it’s what they deserve, the best they can hope for! You come along and within six weeks you’ve got them talking about decorating and maybe putting in some windows. It might actually become bearable down there, can you imagine that?”
Aziraphale gave an involuntary little wiggle of his shoulders, betraying the immense satisfaction he found in that idea.
“You are such a bastard.” Crowley shook his head in disbelief.
Aziraphale held out his hand as the lift came to a stop and opened its doors. As soon as Crowley took it, Aziraphale pulled him forward sharply, closing the distance between them.
“Keep up that attitude and I’ll show you just how much of a bastard I can be. Understand?”
Seeing Crowley’s eyes dart from mouth to eyes and back to mouth as his tongue darted nervously to wet his own lips gave Aziraphale a little thrill.
“Yes Angel, I understand.”
This was another facet of life that had been developing rather nicely. They had surprised themselves by falling into a very natural relationship dynamic that Aziraphale had read all about in some of his more salacious books. Crowley had responded so eagerly to their first tryst after Aziraphale’s return, had been so eager to please and willing to be used. In turn, that had spurred Aziraphale on to explore his more base desires. No matter how hard he pushed Crowley, he took it and turned it into devotion and obedience. The structure that developed around their relationship helped Crowley to flourish and it warmed Aziraphale’s heart to see him shrug off centuries of self doubt and fear. It was about so much more than the sex now, although that was delightful as well.
Crowley drove them back to the flat in silence, clearly not wanting to risk sassing his way to a punishment. Aziraphale smiled to himself, content with the current state of his life and planning how he and Crowley might spend the rest of the day.
As soon as the front door closed behind them, Crowley stripped to his underwear and put his clothes away neatly, even his sunglasses were removed. Aziraphale took himself to the sofa, a new and much more comfortable addition to the flat, with a good book and settled in for a few hours of reading. Crowley reappeared with a mug of tea and a plate of biscuits, setting them on the side table for Aziraphale. He sank on to a pillow on the floor beside Aziraphale’s feet and rested his head against Aziraphale’s knee.
“Thank you, sweetheart. That’s very good of you.” Aziraphale bent to kiss Crowley’s head.
With one hand holding the book, Aziraphale casually raked his fingers through Crowley’s hair, petting and stroking him as one might a beloved pet. Crowley closed his eyes and leaned in to the contact, a subtle smile curving his mouth. The caresses continued without pause, Aziraphale choosing to put his book down when he wanted a sip of tea rather than deprive Crowley of his hand.
“May I groom your wings tonight, please? I think it’s about time again.”
“You may, thank you for asking so nicely.”
Aziraphale dropped his hand a little lower, stroking the parts of Crowley’s neck that were extra sensitive to such attention. Crowley rolled his head, presenting his skin up for Aziraphale’s fingers. They sat like this for a while longer, silent except for the occasional papery whisper of a turning page.
“Crowley, dearest. Would you like a spanking today?” Aziraphale asked as casually as one might offer a slice of cake.
Crowley looked up at Aziraphale with unabashed delight.
“Yeah, I really would. If that’s OK, Angel.”
Aziraphale gave an indulgent smile.
“Of course, love. When you’re ready, go get set up and I’ll be right behind.”
Crowley was apparently ready before Aziraphale had finished speaking. He shot up off the floor, planted a kiss on Aziraphale’s cheek, and, stumbling over his own feet, all but ran to the bedroom.
Aziraphale finished reading the chapter he was on, put a bookmark between the pages and then took his mug and the crumb-covered plate out to the kitchen. By the time he made it into the bedroom, Crowley was nude and kneeling on the bench at the foot of the bed, his torso resting across the bed itself. Beside him, on the duvet, he had laid out a small selection of implements. These represented the level and type of impact he wanted, sometimes it could be a solid paddle and nothing more and other times it could be a full selection of floggers, canes, dragon tails and more. It was a good way from Crowley to communicate his desires without undermining the dynamic they were building. Today, Crowley had laid out a suede flogger, a steel ruler, a hairbrush, and a slim cane indicating that he wanted a variety of sensations but not intense pain. Aziraphale ran his fingers over the soft leather of the flogger, working out a quick plan before starting.
With the flat of his palm, Aziraphale stroked Crowley’s lower back, buttocks and thighs.
“You are so beautiful, Crowley. Breathtaking, really.” He kissed the hollow of Crowley’s hip, still stroking the backs of his thighs.
He began to focus on Crowley’s arse, rubbing his palm over each pale cheek and digging his fingers into the meat of them. Two quick, stinging slaps landed in quick succession, one on each side. Crowley hummed a low purr of pleasure in response, holding very still. Aziraphale caressed his skin again, feeling the heat rising to the surface where his blows had landed.
“Is this what you want? You want me to hurt you?” Aziraphale kept his voice low and soft.
“Yes, Angel. Please hurt me.” Two more quick slaps rang out.
“Why? Why do you want this.” Gentle circles smoothed onto warmed skin.
“Because I like it. I like it when you do it. Everything else in my brain shuts off and I can focus on giving myself to you.”
“And you are mine, aren’t you?” Nails dragged up the back of one thigh and down the other.
“Yes! Yes Angel, I belong to you.”
“Such a good boy.” Smack. Smack.
The whimper, Aziraphale felt, was due far more to his words than to his hand at this point, but that would change soon enough. He picked up the flogger and draped the falls across Crowley’s lower back, tickling him with them. The build up was an important part of this ritual for both of them; Aziraphale could better gauge the strength to use if he worked up to Crowley’s edge and Crowley could tolerate a lot more if he was brought in slowly. At first, Aziraphale let the falls swing against Crowley’s butt, just using the weight of them before putting any force behind it. Knowing how his patience could frustrate Crowley and feeling disposed to be kind, Aziraphale swung the flogger over and caught Crowley with the tips. He worked over his whole canvas, using the tips and middles of the flogger to give both stinging and thudding blows. Between flurries, he would stroke Crowley’s back and press kisses into his skin. Before long, Crowley was presenting a nicely pink behind with a faint mottling of red and purple threatening to break through. He had stayed very still and been heaped with praise for it. Aziraphale laid the flogger back and picked up the hairbrush, giving the back of it a couple of test swats against his palm.
Pat, pat, pat, pat, pat, pat, pat, PAT, PAT, PAT, SMACK.
Crowley threw his head back and yelped. Aziraphale paused, but Crowley didn’t move any further so he continued on the other cheek. Soon he was landing hard, stinging smacks on two very red cheeks. Crowley whimpered and pushed his hips back, as if begging for more. Aziraphale flipped the brush over and scrubbed the bristles against Crowley’s tender skin. His reward was a yelp and Crowley burying his head in his arms, panting through the pain.
“You’re doing wonderfully, love. Such pretty noises you make for me.” Aziraphale encouraged him.
The hairbrush went back on the bed and up came the ruler. The cold metal skated over the glowing heat of Crowley’s buttocks, as soothing as it was a warning. There was no warm up this time, just a swing that left a red welt across the backs of Crowley’s thighs. A breath hissed between clenched teeth was the only reaction. A second blow and another welt caused Crowley to curl his toes. A third and his entire body tensed up. Aziraphale put the ruler down.
“Relax, please.” He ran his hand over Crowley’s backside, urging the muscles to rest.
Crowley breathed deeply, releasing tension from the toes up until he was slumped against the bed.
“Check in with me, love.” It was an order but laced with concern.
“I’m OK. It’s all good, Angel, I promise. Please, don’t stop just yet.”
Aziraphale pushed Crowley’s hair out of his eyes and kissed him on the mouth.
“It’s the cane now. I’m going to do sets of five and you are going to count them each time. Understood?”
“Yes, Angel. I understand.”
“Good boy, I’m so proud of you.”
Aziraphale swatted the air once, the sound making Crowley flinch. He ran a soothing hand over the red-raw skin, feeling the heat of blood drawn right to the surface. The front of his trousers had become quite tight as the sight and sounds of Crowley taking his spanking so well caused Aziraphale to become aroused. He was ignoring it and focusing on what Crowley needed from this, there were always plenty of chances to release sexual frustration and this wasn’t one of them.
“Ready?” Aziraphale squeezed Crowley’s arse cheek as he asked.
“Yes, Angel.” Crowley nodded emphatically.
The cane sang as it cut through the air and struck its mark.
Aziraphale aimed a little higher for the next strike, seeing the welt rise already.
Noting the subtle tremor in his voice, Aziraphale did a quick visual check of Crowley’s face before committing to a third swipe. He was breathing steadily enough and seemed calm.
That was more like it, the stoic and strong voice of a masochist taking their licks.
Aziraphale was varying his strokes to spread the burn over a greater area and prolong the experience for Crowley. This also created a lovely pattern of angry red stripes across already tortured buttocks. One more.
Moving around the bed, Aziraphale leaned over to where Crowley lay to deliver a kiss. He used gentle fingers to move sweatdamp hair off Crowley’s face and was offered a pleased, sleepy smile in response.
“Can you take another set for me, love?”
Crowley nodded and mumbled an affirmation. Another kiss, this time with Aziraphale’s fingers buried in fire bright hair and just pulling ever so sweetly which drew a shivering whine from Crowley’s bitten lips. Aziraphale delivered three more sets of five swats with Crowley dutifully counting each one with varying degrees of dignity. As he was checking in for a fifth and final set, Aziraphale found Crowley holding back tears and fighting from letting sobs creep into his voice. Throwing the cane to the floor and knocking the other tools off the bed, Aziraphale climbed on to the bed to take hold of Crowley.
“N-no! Angel, I c-can tak-ke one more!” Crowley protested through hiccups.
“I know you can, love. We’re stopping because I want to, not because you can’t go on.”
“No.” Aziraphale interrupted. “I want to stop now, you’re not going to try and make me do something I don’t want to, are you?”
“That’s my good boy.”
Aziraphale removed his waistcoat, shirt, and under-shirt with a snap of his fingers, tucking Crowley against the bare skin of his chest for the kind of intimate comfort that he knew was needed. He rested his chin lightly on the top of Crowley’s head and stroked gentle fingertips up and down his back, letting him cry out whatever he needed to. With little more than a thought, the duvet settled over them and a glass of cool water appeared on the bedside table, should Crowley need it.
After several long minutes, Crowley moved back enough to be able to see Aziraphale’s face.
“Thank you for that. I really needed it.”
Aziraphale gave a soft smile and kissed Crowley’s temples.
“Of course, my love. Thank you for taking it so well. I’m very proud of you.”
Crowley made an embarrassed little noise and buried his face against Aziraphale’s chest again. For his part, Aziraphale moved his hand up to stroke the back of Crowley’s neck and the base of his skull.
“You are simply the most beautiful creature, Crowley. Language doesn’t do justice to how much I love you. You just rest here as long as you need and let me hold you.”
“Love you, Aziraphale.” Crowley’s reply was muffled but heartfelt.
Aziraphale wasn’t sure if Crowley was asleep or not, but he had gone very loose and his breathing was so slow as to be worrying in any other being. Asleep or not, he was definitely relaxed and resting which was the important thing. Aziraphale cherished the time they spent like this, the quiet cuddles and shared vulnerability, it wasn’t often that Crowley would be reduced to tears and rarer still that he tried to hide it. They would have to talk about that later, once the aftermath of the session had passed. It wouldn’t do for Crowley to be trying to push himself without being honest about how he was coping. It took control away from Aziraphale and that was not the relationship that they had found themselves in, not the guidelines they had then negotiated, this couldn’t work if Crowley was going to hide things or undermine Aziraphale. Not that Aziraphale was upset or angry about this transgression, he was worried more than anything. Worried that Crowley wasn’t getting what he needed, that Crowley felt he couldn’t be honest, or that he had lead Crowley to believe that he should be taking more pain. Chewing his bottom lip thoughtfully, Aziraphale worked out how best to broach the topic later in the week.
Crowley’s masochism hadn’t been a surprise to either of them once they’d discovered it. It had been reflected in every act of self-sacrifice, every self-destructive decision, and every act of denial he’d ever inflicted upon himself. He had focused so much of his existence on suffering, punishment, and denying himself any real relief. It hadn’t been at all healthy, Aziraphale had finally recognised that and discussed it at length, holding Crowley in his lap so he would feel safe opening up.
What had struck Aziraphale hardest was Crowley’s insistence that he deserved to be miserable, that he deserved to be punished by the universe at large. Whether it was residual trauma from his Fall, guilt developed from 6000 years of tempting humanity, or something inherent in his character, Aziraphale might never know. He did know that he would spend as long as it took teaching Crowley that he deserved love and praise and happiness. If it took all of eternity, Aziraphale would not tire of showing his beloved all of the wonderful things he deserved and all the love and joy he sparked. This was one of the undeniable benefits of having Fallen; Aziraphale didn’t have any worries about the consequences of loving Crowley so openly. There was no guilt or shame, nothing to make Aziraphale want to hold Crowley at arm’s length or tell him that he was going to fast. They could speed along as fast as they wanted, now. Heaven couldn’t touch them, although he did sometimes picture the look on Gabriel’s face upon hearing that the demon Aziraphale had shacked up with his boyfriend in the dark glasses within hours of Falling. The thought of making that self-righteous prat sputter and explode kept Aziraphale amused for far longer than it should have.
How much had Aziraphale himself contributed to this need for punishment that lived deep within Crowley? How much had he been hurt by the constant cycle of invitation and rejection? Knowing that the answer was ineffable didn’t stop Aziraphale from worrying at the edges of it, hoping to find a loose thread of understanding. As if knowing the damage he’d caused would help him in charting the depths of Crowley’s self loathing. They both had their issues to work though, really.
Crowley stirred and made a snuffling-snorting noise, pulling his arms free of Aziraphale’s embrace and stretching in a way that would have looked at home in a horror movie. He made a face and smacked his lips a couple of times, anticipating his need, Aziraphale reached for the water glass and held it for him as he slurped.
“Good nap, love?”
With sleep-slender eyes and a satisfied grin, Crowley nodded an affirmative between gulps of water.
“Can I do your wings now, Angel?” He flexed his fingers to warm them up as he spoke.
“In a minute, love. Let’s have a look at your backside first, shall we?”
Crowley splayed on to his front, technically complying but not in the most helpful fashion and earning himself a chiding cluck of Aziraphale’s tongue. The bruises were blossoming now, displaying a riot of colour from near black through purple, violent red, and down to a warm pink. In a few days they’d fade to gold and green, maybe sooner if Crowley wanted. Aziraphale never mandated a healing time or asked Crowley to manage his marks in any particular way, he simply admired them whilst they were visible and used them to remind Crowley of how good he had been.
“How do you feel?”
Crowley looked over his shoulder and grinned lazily.
“I feel wonderful. Calm and centred.”
“That’s what I like to hear. OK, how do you want to do this?”
“Could you lay on your front and spread them out to the sides?” Crowley sat up to check down the sides of the bed for anything that would need to be moved out of the way of a suddenly appearing wing.
Aziraphale caught Crowley’s face in his hands, treating himself to a minute or so of kisses before assuming the position desired of him and carefully calling in his wings. He felt rather than heard Crowley’s little gasp of delight at the sight of them, he was always so enamoured with Aziraphale’s wings, wanting to touch, preen, and kiss them. Grooming time was as much a treat for Crowley as it was for Aziraphale, something they could both enjoy without worry.
Crowley was methodical in his approach to wing maintenance, always the left wing first and starting with running his fingers loosely through all of the feathers to free up any that had been shed since the last preen. Then he would focus his attention and tend to the wing in sections; the leading edge would be smoothed down from shoulder to wing tip, then the scapulars would get fluffed up, the muscles rubbed and soothed of any cramp. The secondary and primary coverts would be straightened and neatened, usually accompanied by Crowley’s mutterings about how no self respecting demon would let their wings get so messy. Aziraphale liked to hear the playful scolding. The primaries and secondaries usually needed the least attention, just a gentle combing through with Crowley’s fingers was enough to set them in place properly. He’d always get a kiss between the shoulder blades as Crowley switched from the left wing to the right and then the pattern would repeat. Lastly, Crowley would sprinkle his hands with a scented massage oil and lightly stroke the feathers, stimulating the natural cleansing oils and making the whole process just a little more decadent.
Aziraphale had offered several times to help Crowley with his own preening, but that was something that Crowley was not prepared to relinquish control over yet. Possibly because he’d seen the state that Aziraphale had been keeping his wings in.
At last, Crowley clapped his hands together and declared himself finished. Aziraphale felt as if every bone in his body had been dissolved; he was so relaxed, his wings couldn’t even hold themselves up. He felt Crowley climb on the bed and straddle the tops of his thighs, even through his trousers, Aziraphale could tell that Crowley was still nude and currently aroused, judging by the state of the cock that was pressed against his legs. Crowley’s next few moves would determine whether he was going to bed frustrated or sated, Aziraphale waited to see which way things were going to go.
Crowley surprised him by laying flat along his back, resting his cheek just below the nape of Aziraphale’s neck.
“I love you, Angel.” He said, softly.
The familiar sensation of being overwhelmed with a love that knew no bounds hit Aziraphale like a truck. His wings ceased to exist on this plane and he managed to get an arm behind him and around Crowley, pulling him over to Aziraphale’s side. That made kissing a lot easier, and kissing was what Aziraphale craved at that moment. He wrapped Crowley in his arms and held him tight, controlling the depth of their kisses, allowing him to take possession of Crowley’s mouth and taste every word Crowley had never said. One hand crept up into Crowley’s hair, fingers following the curves of his skull before curling into a fist and holding him captive. Crowley whimpered into the kiss, lifting his head towards Aziraphale’s hand to try and ease the tension of his grip. This tipped his chin up enough to remind Aziraphale of the delicious skin of Crowley’s throat; he yanked his hand down, forcing Crowley to present his slender neck for Aziraphale’s attentions. The sounds vibrating through sweet skin to Aziraphale’s tongue suggested that Crowley was enjoying this treatment immensely. Aziraphale felt like he could consume Crowley, his mouth moving hungrily over the tight lines of his throat, sucking at his collarbones and sinking his teeth into the spot where should meets neck. He tasted so divinely real, so Crowley, better than any dish Aziraphale could imagine.
One demonic miracle later and Aziraphale was fully undressed, grinding his hard cock against Crowley’s hip. The whimpers, needy little moans, and choked sounds that Crowley was making were only serving to arouse Aziraphale further. He wanted to possess every inch of Crowley, to mark him with his love in indelible lines that proclaimed to all who saw them that this was Aziraphale’s, his and his alone. He rolled Crowley onto his back and pinned him there, looming over him and flexing fingers that now held unresisting wrists. Those gorgeous, unique, breath-taking, golden eyes watch him from under heavy lids. Aziraphale feels every inch the hungry predator as he grinds his prick against Crowley.
“Be a sweetheart and make a cunt for me, love?” It’s both a question and an order, an oxymoron that gives Crowley room to refuse whilst making it clear that he had better have a good reason.
Crowley nodded and made the effort, his mouth opening as if he wanted to respond but the words were lost. Aziraphale took advantage and kissed his open lips, delving his tongue in to stroke against Crowley’s.
“Stay there, hands on the headboard if you don’t mind. You’ve been so very good for me today, wouldn’t you like a reward?” The tone of his voice betrayed the pleasure he was already getting from treating Crowley this way.
“Yes, Angel. Yes please.” Crowley’s voice trembled.
Aziraphale kissed him once more, possessive and fierce. Crowley’s fingers wrapped around the bars of a rather surprised wrought iron headboard, it had been an expensive and designer leather deal just a few seconds previously. Aziraphale had to admire Crowley’s dedication to following instructions even in his currently delicate situation. He trailed hungry, consuming kisses from lips to jaw, to neck and collarbone, down his sternum and across the relative softness of Crowley’s stomach. Aziraphale gripped Crowley’s thighs and dug his fingers in hard enough to make him yelp. Burying his nose in the coarse hair of Crowley’s pubic mound, Aziraphale took a deep and obscene sounding breath. Crowley’s fingers made tinny, metallic noises as they flexed and re-gripped the bars above his head. These little signs of his want, his impatience, his lust, they drove Aziraphale to distraction. Unable to hold back any longer, Aziraphale pried Crowley’s thighs apart and licked a broad, firm stroke up his labia, his tongue just breaking between the lips to brush his clitoris at the top of its path. Crowley yelped again and pushed his hips upward into Aziraphale’s face, eagerly seeking a repeat. Aziraphale was only to happy to oblige his needy masochist. With one hand, he eased Crowley’s labia apart to reveal his slick opening and the hard bead of his clitoris. The tip of his tongue reached out to gently circle it, dragging against the hood and teasing it. Aziraphale pulled Crowley’s legs over his shoulders and locked his hands across Crowley’s hips, holding him still and stopping any excessive wriggling. He could be ever so wriggly when stimulated in the right way and Aziraphale didn’t fancy healing his own broken nose today.
Ignoring the ache between his legs and focusing entirely on Crowley, Aziraphale finally clamped his mouth on to the treat being presented to him. His tongue lapped in a steady rhythm, hitting Crowley’s clitoris with demonic precision, and his mouth suckled, pulling just enough on all that sensitive flesh. Crowley was performing another symphony of delight and tortured cries, whining and moaning like a thing possessed. Aziraphale was barely holding it together himself, tasting Crowley’s slick arousal and playing him like a penny whistle.
“Oh! Angel, I-I’m gonna. I’m gonna come!” Crowley cried out.
Aziraphale sped up his motions just a touch, intensifying the already overwhelming sensations and helping Crowley over the edge of his climax. Thighs slick with sweat clamped around Aziraphale’s ears, a flood of arousal wetted his tongue and whetted his appetite for Crowley. One wasn’t going to be enough. He allowed his tongue to dip lower, flirting with Crowley’s welcoming cunt, before sucking his labia into his mouth and tugging. Crowley was panting and moaning, grinding his hips into Aziraphale’s willing lips. The briefest glance told Aziraphale that Crowley was keeping his hands firmly on those conveniently placed bars. He had definitely earned plenty more orgasms, probably far more than he would want but luckily for Crowley, that was Aziraphale’s decision.
With his nimble tongue and preternatural ability to ignore fatigue, Aziraphale tore five more orgasms from Crowley’s abused and twitching cunt. He was near tears again, his knuckles white and lips well-bitten, Aziraphale could recognise the approaching limit easily enough. He pulled away and began planting kisses along Crowley’s inner thighs, a couple on each side before switching and giving each leg equal attention. Crowley’s breathing returned to a more normal rate, the flush on his chest mellowed to a less violent shade, though his hips still bucked towards Aziraphale in want.
Letting one leg slide off his shoulder, Aziraphale got to his knees and hitched his remaining captive leg up with him. He traced kisses half way up the graceful limb and then teased the hollow at the back of the knee with his tongue. Crowley moaned sensually, urging Aziraphale on to lavish hungry kisses on this sensitive spot. He adored every last molecule of Crowley and would have worshipped at this shrine for millennia if he’d been allowed. There was no part of him that didn’t deserve to be covered in loving kisses.
His love and lust and need all overwhelmed him then, urging him on. Aziraphale leaned forward, releasing Crowley’s leg and taking himself in hand.
“Would you like me to fuck you, my love?”
Crowley’s eyes were glassy, his mouth slack, in fact the only part of him with any tension or control were his hands still gripping those bars.
“Hnnngh, pleeease. Angel, please.”
“You can let go now, hold on to me.” Aziraphale crooned and immediately he had arms looped around his neck.
Crowley’s cunt was wet and eager, Aziraphale could feel the radiating heat as he drew near with his cock in hand. He rubbed the head against Crowley’s entrance and up over his clit, smearing together Crowley’s arousal and Aziraphale’s drops of pre come. Crowley keened, a pitiful and reedy sound that told of a soul-deep need to be filled by Aziraphale. And how could he not oblige such a need? Crowley was tight, Aziraphale had to slow himself to keep from being overwhelmed by the grip on his cock. He buried himself in Crowley and paused, his eyes fluttering closed as he was consumed.
“Crowley, my dearest love. Can you ever know how perfect you are?”
Crowley had no words with which to respond, so he offered up a kiss. The kiss took Aziraphale’s smouldering fire and fanned it into a roaring blaze, all the passion and bare, animal want that he’d been putting on hold while he saw to Crowley was reignited. His hips rutted into Crowley, seeking extra depth that just didn’t exist. He wrapped Crowley in his arms and held him still, kissing his face and neck as he thrust into him, giving him the full length of his cock again and again. Crowley reached between them with slender fingers to stroke his overly sensitive clitoris, making noises that betrayed his need to come again with Aziraphale buried in his cunt.
They both came without warning, Aziraphale just before Crowley. They clung to each other as tremors and shivers passed, still kissing, still needing, still wanting.
“Oh, my love. You are a marvel.” Aziraphale said once he was able to form coherent thoughts again.
“It’s teamwork, really.” Crowley deflected.
Aziraphale tutted but Crowley hadn’t put himself down so he let it pass. They had rules about Crowley being cruel to himself.
“Let me get you cleaned up so you can rest.” Aziraphale summoned a warm, wet wash cloth as he spoke.
Crowley seemed reluctant to release Aziraphale but did allow him to clean the sticky mess they’d made of his beautiful cunt.
“Is there anything you need? Can I get you anything to drink?”
Crowley shook his head and then rested it on Aziraphale’s chest.
“Just stay with me, Angel.”
“Always, love. Always.”
“I think the key to it all is choice, really.” Crowley waved his chopsticks as he spoke, ostensibly for emphasis. “You shouldn’t to force them to do anything they don’t want to, you just create the situation where they get to make the choice.”
Aziraphale nodded, enchanted.
“I don’t take down phone networks because that’s inherently evil, I do it because these little inconveniences really add up in the daily grind of a human life. When you tip the scales, just a little, people start making the bad decisions all by themselves. The ripple effect of one bad interaction can tarnish a hundred souls before I’ve even got my boots on!”
He was breath-taking like this; full of energy and joy, Aziraphale had become more and more fond of hearing Crowley speak his opinions on demonic duties. The way he gesticulated, his whole body came alive when he really warmed to his topic. It was little wonder that he had inspired so many motivational speakers back in the 80s.
“That was the whole point of free will, if I recall.” Aziraphale urged him on.
“Exactly! Exactly, Aziraphale! No point in giving them free will and the knowledge of the difference between good and evil if you’re not going to even try and make use of it. There’s a huge difference between going up to a human and being all ‘Oi mate, nick that bike, take that bribe, blame that colleague’ because you’re just using your wotsit, y’know, demonic influence to undermine their free will. You gotta make the bus leave early, summon a gust of wind to knock the bike down, plant the idea that they could nick it, and then let them make the choice. Do they wait for the next bus, do they walk, or do they take this conveniently unlocked bike? That’s where the real art of temptation lies.”
He was radiant. Aziraphale couldn’t possibly love him more, he’d become so engrossed that his dumplings were growing cold.
“And you say that Hell doesn’t share this philosophy?”
Crowley had just stuffed the tea-stained egg from his ramen bowl into his mouth so had to settle for shaking his head to express his exasperation with their short-sightedness.
“I have noticed that they seem rather, heh, old-fashioned in their approach.”
These conversations had become a staple of the weekly check in with Hell. Before making his appointment with Dagon, Aziraphale Duke of Hell and the demon Crowley would get lunch and have the kind of talks usually reserved for late night bars and setting the world to rights. Aziraphale found them so much more enlightening than anything he learned in Hell itself. Dare he say it, he was even starting to get ideas about how to improve Hell’s efficiency.
They finished their meal, Aziraphale paid the bill and wiped a streak of broth from Crowley’s chin, earning him a look so soft it shouldn’t have been possible from a demon. Crowley kissed Aziraphale’s temple as they stood to leave, pressing love into the demon marks that framed his face.
“Shall we?” Aziraphale offered his arm to Crowley and lead him out to Hell.
“The windows really brighten the place, Dagon! What a marvellous addition, You have a very good eye for this sort of thing.” Aziraphale enthused.
Dagon smiled, pleased enough with her praise that even her rows of needle teeth couldn’t diminish the glow of it.
“Don’t think we haven’t noticed the effect that your presence has had here, Aziraphale. Beelzebub and I were discussing it just yesterday. Ze was thinking about getting a therapist brought up to help the more traumatised demons.”
“Oh that’s lovely!” Aziraphale beamed, he had been maintaining his position that demons needn’t be miserable to be effective and having great success. “Just, not Freud. That’s a can of worms you don’t want to open.”
Dagon laughed, knowing all too well what was on Sigmund’s files. The moment was broken by a crashing noise from the hallway. They glanced at each other for a split second, unsure of how to react. A yelp of pain had Aziraphale halfway to the door before he could think.
He threw the door open to find Crowley pinned against the wall, blood flowing from his nose and his eye swelling shut. The shattered remains of his glasses hung from his face. Hastur had one hand full of Crowley’s shirt, holding him up and firmly in place. His other hand was raised in a fist, ready to strike again. Crowley caught Aziraphale’s eye, fear written plainly across his face.
“Help me.” He mouthed.
Hastur turned his head, not releasing his captive. A nasty sneer split his face as he caught sight of Aziraphale.
“Ah, look who’s come to save your skin again. Can’t fight a single battle on your own, can you?” He spat at Crowley, dropping his hands and knocking him to the floor.
With a mocking bow, Hastur turned to face Aziraphale fully. Dagon stood in the doorway to her office, as if unsure of where her allegiance should be. All three of them were of a rank, there was no hierarchy protocol to follow, just old scores to settle and millennia of bad blood.
“Principality Aziraphale.” Hastur turned the greeting to poison in his mouth.
“Frog boy.” Aziraphale inclined his head ever so slightly.
“Wha-Fro-Who… FROG BOY?” Hastur spluttered, incensed.
Aziraphale broke out his most angelic smile, Crowley had been right about how easy it was to get under Hastur’s skin. He took a quick step towards Aziraphale, puffing up as if to intimidate him. With a roll of his eyes, Aziraphale allowed his demonic aspect to break through more than usual. A sharp beak and matching talons glinted with menace as he grew to tower over Hastur, the hallway stretching space-time to accommodate him. He pinned the Duke of Hell under one vicious foot and leaned down, brushing the side of his beak against Hastur’s face.
“Never heard of a little froggy eating an owl. That seems backwards, doesn’t it?”
Hastur squeaked, he was excreting slimy mucous and trying to wriggle free. Aziraphale gripped his talons tighter, threatening to puncture skin.
“You do not touch Crowley. He is mine, under my protection, mine alone. I shall take any assault against him as a personal insult. Do I make myself clear, Duke Hastur?”
Hastur looked petrified; eyes wide, skin pale, and mouth gaping. He managed a nod, still trying to squirm free from the claws that pinned him. Aziraphale lifted his foot and watched Hastur scramble free and retreat at speed down the corridor, leaving a trail of slimy footprints in his wake. He didn’t return to his customary form until Hastur was out of sight, then rushing to Crowley’s side. Crowley was propped up against the wall, one arm curled protectively around his chest while the other dabbed at the blood flowing from his nose.
“Oh, my love. What happened? Where are you hurt? Let me help.” Aziraphale reached out to touch Crowley’s face but stopped short, fluttering and uncertain.
“Bastard just went for me. Caught me in the ribs and then the face. I didn’t see him coming.” Crowley looked distraught.
Aziraphale passed his hand over Crowley’s black eye.
“Why can’t I heal you? Crowley, I can’t heal you.”
“Injuries inflicted by another demon whilst in Hell can’t be healed miraculously.” Dagon supplied the answer. “You’ll be dealing with these the old fashioned way, I’m afraid. Here.” She summoned a box of tissues and an ice pack and offered them to Aziraphale.
“Thank you, Dagon. I’m afraid we’ll have to cut our meeting short today. I must get Crowley home.”
The nosebleed had tapered off so Crowley could hold the icepack over his swollen eye. A quick inspection confirmed that his ribs were bruised and not broken, which was a relief. Aziraphale scooped Crowley into his arms bridal style, apologising for the discomfort. It was difficult to rein in his anger when Crowley kept wincing at each movement, but Crowley needed his care more than his anger, he needed to be looked after and made to feel safe. Aziraphale could do that, he swallowed down the rage and buried it for later, focusing on carrying Crowley home and getting him comfortable.
For the next week, Aziraphale did everything he could for Crowley. Every time he saw the yellowing bruise around his eye or the fleeting grimace of pain from an awkward movement, Aziraphale’s fists itched for Hastur’s teeth. He felt like a failure. He was supposed to protect Crowley, to keep him safe and care for him, but this had happened while Aziraphale’s back had been turned. He’d known that Hell wasn’t safe for Crowley, that was why they spent as little time as possible there, but this had been a shock.
They fought over whether or not Crowley would accompany Aziraphale for his next meeting; Crowley still wanted to, to show he wasn’t afraid, but Aziraphale was afraid. He was afraid of the repercussions of his rash threat, for Crowley’s safety, of having unleashed something more vengeful than Hastur. He also didn’t like the idea of leaving Crowley at home alone, especially at a time when the rest of Hell would know that Aziraphale was occupied. Ultimately, Aziraphale knew he would have to keep Crowley with him. There would be no lurking in doorways or skulking through corridors any more. He also knew that he was going to have to make some amendments to his image if he was going to be taken seriously. No one was going to take threats from fluffy, soft Aziraphale who still looked like an angel, not for long anyway.
Crowley’s face had lit up when he heard the news. Aziraphale was going to do something he hadn’t even considered in over a century. He was going to find a new outfit.
Crowley was less enthused when he learned that the first stop on this adventure was merely Aziraphale’s wardrobe.
“I have plenty of perfectly functional clothes that may suffice. We will still go shopping, don’t you worry.”
Crowley grumbled something about miracling in some demonic moths but clearly thought better of it.
As it happened, Aziraphale’s wardrobe was an excellent starting point. He was able to play with items he already knew and liked, trying different combinations of eras, styles, and cuts. The colour palette was a problem, but for inspiration purposes it served well enough. Crowley lounged on the bed, watching the progression of outfits and commenting as best he could. When they left the flat, Aziraphale was wearing black, slim-fitting trousers and a white shirt. By his usual standards, he was practically indecent, but the weather was mild and Crowley had smiled so encouragingly that he chose to embrace the feeling. They had shopping to do.
Crowley led him to an unusual little boutique, a ways back from the main streets. As much as Aziraphale wished that he could hop back in time and pick up another coat from his favourite tailor from the 1840s, he was pleasantly surprised by the store he now found himself in. Who knew that the visigoths had been keeping style alive so well?
Crowley flitted from rack to rack, pulling out items to inspect, feeling the material of this jacket, comparing the quality of these shirts, examining the cut of a coat, and then discarding them or handing them to Aziraphale depending on his findings. It was a joy to see him happy and carefree, just enjoying the act of shopping. Aziraphale didn’t even mind that the pile of items he was to try on was becoming difficult to see over. The shop owner knew the difference between people playing dress-up and serious customers, she happily waived her usual dressing room limitations and allowed Aziraphale to take his fabric mountain in for trying. When Aziraphale came out in his first outfit, he was surprised to find that Crowley had apparently struck up a conversation with the woman and had enlisted her help in picking Aziraphale’s new look.
It was quickly decided that all-black was not a good direction, with his white curls and tendency to blush, he looked too absurd. Jewel tones made him look like a housefly, not a style to wear around Beelzebub. He was starting to lose hope that anything would look good, that perhaps he’d spent so long in one outfit, one colour palette, one style, that nothing would ever feel right again. Aziraphale shrugged a wine-dark swallowtail jacket on over an Edwardian-collared shirt in black. The mirror reflected a relatively hopeful image. The deep red velvet of the jacket felt a more comfortable match for Aziraphale, the black braidwork lent a sophistication to the look which was emphasised by the high collar of the shirt. He stepped out of the dressing room to see Crowley’s face light up and the shop owner gasp, bringing her hands to her face.
“This is it. This is the one, Angel!” Crowley jumped to his feet in order to stalk around Aziraphale.
“Really? It’s not too severe?” Aziraphale twisted to try and see his back view in the mirror.
“Oh no, it’s perfect on you.” The owner was on her feet now, tugging at sleeves and checking the fit.
“It really is. This is so very you.” Crowley added.
Aziraphale smiled and cupped Crowley’s cheek, holding him still for a kiss.
“Thank you for your help, dearest. You’ve been invaluable as always.”
Crowley blushed at the compliment and rushed off to find other items in the same colour scheme, most likely hoping to convert Aziraphale to the idea of rotating his outfits. Aziraphale changed back into his old clothes and helped the shopkeeper put his discarded items back on the racks before buying whatever Crowley had collected along with the successful outfit. If she seemed a little confused about Aziraphale’s comments regarding Germanic tribes, he didn’t care to notice.
Beelzebub’s voice rang out behind them. Aziraphale froze and felt Crowley do the same beside him. He took Crowley’s hand, gave it a squeeze and turned to face the Prince of Hell, pulling Crowley behind him protectively.
“Beelzebub! How good to see you, how have you been?” Aziraphale was almost sickeningly sweet.
“Shut up and come with me.”
Aziraphale looked from Beelzebub to Crowley and back again. Ze sighed and nodded.
“Yez, Crowley too.”
They followed zir down a labyrinth of corridors. Aziraphale wouldn’t stand a chance of getting back out without assistance and Crowley was trembling so much he doubted that he’d remember the route either.
Aziraphale looked at Crowley and saw abject fear written across his face.
“What’s wrong?” He gave Crowley’s hand another squeeze and rubbed his thumb across the back of his knuckles.
“This is the way to the Dark Council. Shit, Aziraphale. We can’t go in. We can’t.”
He was so panicked, he dug his heels in and tried to stop Aziraphale from going on.
“It’ll be OK, love.” Aziraphale was terrified, but Crowley didn’t need that. He needed to see strength and protection. “I promise. I’m not going to let anything happen to us. You are safe with me, Crowley.”
He lifted Crowley’s hand to his lips and pressed a kiss on to his fingertips.
“Gentlemen, I don’t have all day.” Beelzebub stood a little way ahead, tapping zir foot impatiently.
Aziraphale looked into Crowley’s honey-gold eyes, silently asking for his trust. A barely imperceptible nod and they moved forward as one. Heavy wooden doors appeared around the next corner, carved with profane runes and crude imagery, swinging open at a touch of Beelzebub’s hand.
This was one part of hell still very much decorated for the aesthetic. An enormous, dark, wooden table dominates a room lit by candles that flicker atmospherically. The walls are hewn rock with iron banding as supports. It’s pretty much exactly what Aziraphale would picture for the room where the Dark Council convened.
Beelzebub indicated a chair for Aziraphale at one end of the table. Ze turned away before he could ask about Crowley but it appeared to be a non-issue as Crowley sank to his knees beside the chair and practically cowered beside him. He ran his fingers through Crowley’s hair, thinking reassuring thoughts as they awaited their fate. Beelzebub walked to the other end of the table and sat at the head, glaring down the length at Aziraphale. A door at the far side of the room opened and in filed seven demons who Aziraphale barely remembered from before the Rebellion. Leviathan, Asmodeus, Berith, Astaroth, Verrine, Gressil and Soneillon all took their places with stony faced expressions. The Dark Council was in session.
“Aziraphale, former Principality, Duke of Hell. You have been summoned before the Dark Council under very unusual circumstances.” Leviathan spoke in a rich voice, more calming than it had any right to be. “The Council is aware of the recent incident with Duke Hastur. It has prompted us to move sooner than we had originally planned.”
Aziraphale swallowed nervously, unsure of what was coming. He heard a choked sob come from Crowley, despite all the love and comfort he was pouring into him.
“We apologise for his actions.” Said Asmodeus. “He is the Duke of my legion and I do not condone what he did.”
“Uh, thank you.” Aziraphale was thrown off.
“We have dizcuzzed thiz at length. Dagon haz been very pleazed with your reportz and all indicationz are that you are a fully committed demon. And we have been keeping a cloze watch.” Beelzebub ended with a pointed look at Crowley. They had got away with an awful lot of they years.
“Yes, Falling does tend to focus the mind, I’ve found.” Aziraphale answered.
“I have been overzeeing the workingz of Hell for eternity. I am tired, to be frank. You’ve shown yourzelf to be a valuable azzet and we have an opportunity for you.”
Crowley buried his face in Aziraphale’s knee and muffled a snort of laughter. Half the table gave him a sharp look.
“Az I waz zaying, I want a break. I want time to myzelf for once. You are to take on a portion of the day-to-day running of Hell. You will hold audiencez and hear all their petty gripez. Maybe you can work your weird influence over that like you did with the décor.”
For a moment, Aziraphale was speechless. He really thought he’d been pushing his luck with his first demands and yet, here he was; in front of the Dark Council and being handed the keys to Hell.
“You’ll be a Prince of Hell and a member of the Council.” Verrine added.
“Will I still be permitted to live on Earth? How often will these audiences be?” Aziraphale had so many questions but the ones that affected Crowley the most were his priority.
“Yes, you can live on Earth with Crowley if that is your desire. You will need to hold at least 12 hours across a minimum of two sessions a week. That’s all.” Said Leviathan, consulting a file in front of him. “You will be in charge of punishing errant demons as well. They will be brought before you as needed.”
Aziraphale was sure that there was a trap here, a sting in the tail that he didn’t yet see. Beside him, Crowley had relaxed significantly, though. Taking comfort from something Crowley had told him about how demons lacked imagination, Aziraphale allowed himself to come down from his mental anxiety perch and thank the Council for their generosity and trust.
His gratitude was cut off mid-flow by Beelzebub.
“Yez, yez, you are zuch an angel in too many wayz.” Ze rolled zir eyes dramatically. “Your change of attire iz noted though. It waz about time.”
Crowley managed to moderate the volume of that giggle far better, Aziraphale paused in his petting of Crowley’s hair to give a quick tug of admonishment.
The Council was adjourned which Aziraphale took as his cue to leave, ushering Crowley before him before he could say something stupid and ruin their luck. Dagon was waiting on the other side of the door, files in her hands and a nasty glint in her eyes.
“Congratulations on your promotion, Aziraphale. Who knew you had it in you?” She thrust the paperwork into his hands. “These are the current petitions for you to look over. Really, as long as you put the hours in, you’ll be fine.”
With that, she disappeared into the Council chamber and closed the door behind her. The sound of her footsteps clicking across the stone floor echoed into silence. Two voices raised in delighted giggles made Aziraphale and Crowley look at each other in amazement.
“Was that?” Aziraphale asked.
“I think so. How long d’you think?” Crowley trailed off.
“Dagon and Beelzebub. What a surprise.”
Well, at least they knew what Beelzebub was going to be doing with all zir free time now.
The throne room had needed a little work before Aziraphale’s first audience. He recognised a lot of the tactics that he used in his bookshop to discourage customers from lingering too long, the smell of damp, the unknowable stains, and the floor with exactly the wrong amount of give. He could appreciate the work that had gone into crafting a truly unpleasant place but he didn’t see the need to subject himself to it any longer than necessary. There were other ways to make a place feel unwelcoming to demons without making Aziraphale and Crowley suffer. The walls were now grey slate, all jagged edges and sharp angles, the floor was marble, polished to just beyond what was wise. Discrete lighting was angled to create dark corners which fostered a feeling of being watched. Aziraphale’s throne had been a bone of contention as he had argued for something like an overstuffed wingback whereas Beelzebub insisted on something more traditional. Ultimately, Aziraphale had conceded defeat and would sit in a throne of black velvet and brushed steel miraculously altered to feel like a comfortable old armchair.
It was in this room that Crowley and Aziraphale were now stood, alone and undisturbed.
“Strip off, love.”
Crowley swallowed hard and cast an anxious glance towards the door before complying. Once Aziraphale was content that his order was being followed, he turned towards his ridiculous throne and shrugged off his jacket. Draping it neatly over the arm, he opened the buttons at his wrists and began rolling his shirt sleeves up to his elbows. Crowley had stripped quickly and was eyeing the slow, methodical way that Aziraphale exposed his forearms.
“This is an important day for me. It’s imperative that my first audience goes well; all of Hell will be watching and the last thing I need is for you to show me up. Are you going to be a problem today, Crowley?”
“No, Angel.” Crowley stood as still as he ever had while Aziraphale circled him.
“I want to believe you, love. I really do. But today is too important to leave to chance.”
Aziraphale paused behind him, admiring the lean combination of bone and muscle that formed Crowley’s back. He looked both strong and fragile all at once. From his pocket, Aziraphale withdrew a pair of latex gloves and put them on, letting the wrists snap just enough for Crowley to hear them. Noting the slight flinch of his shoulders and the subtle shift of his head, Aziraphale completed his circuit and came back into Crowley’s field of vision. One gloved hand took hold of Crowley’s chin and turned his head.
“I’m just going to have to check you all over to make sure you’re up to my standard, aren’t I?”
With meticulous and gentle motions, Aziraphale carried out an inspection of Crowley’s ears, hair, nose and chin. He eased his mouth open and probed rubber tasting fingers to the back of Crowley’s throat.
Lips closed around his fingers and Crowley sucked on him, looking Aziraphale in the eye. Sighing in disappointment, Aziraphale pulled his hands away.
“Crowley, that’s not helpful. If you can’t behave then you’ll have to spend the afternoon in the crate.” He pointed towards the far corner of the dais where a large dog crate had appeared.
Crowley whimpered and cast his eyes down.
“I’m sorry, Angel. I’ll be good.”
“Hm, we’ll see I suppose.”
Aziraphale used one hand to hold Crowley’s jaw open as he continued his inspection, running a finger over Crowley’s teeth and gums. He could feel Crowley watching him and pointedly avoided making eye contact. Content with his mouth, Aziraphale put his hands on Crowley’s neck, encircling it easily. He smoothed his hands along bony shoulders and down slender arms, catching both wrists and bringing them up in front of Crowley. Each hand was examined, turned this way and that before being placed back at Crowley’s sides. From the way he flexed his fingers when his hands were released, Aziraphale could tell that Crowley was getting antsy from this game. Well, he was only getting warmed up.
Running firm strokes down Crowley’s sides, Aziraphale sank to his knees and heard the gasp of hope from above him. He smiled and made a note to reward Crowley with oral if he’d earned it by the end of the day. For the first time since telling him to strip, Aziraphale allowed himself to look at Crowley’s crotch. He had chosen to manifest a positively stunning cunt and Aziraphale was pleased with the options this presented. Tapping on Crowley’s thighs to indicate that he should spread them, Aziraphale licked his lips in unconscious anticipation. One gloved finger stroked the slit of Crowley’s lips, feeling the slickness gathering there, before dipping deeper and probing his labia. Aziraphale pressed his thumb between Crowley’s outer labia and opened him up.
“Oh my, look at how wet you are, Crowley. Are you even going to be able to sit still through this?” Aziraphale asked, teasing.
“I can!” Crowley protested even as his hips tilted towards Aziraphale.
His index finger slipped easily into Crowley’s eager cunt, feeling the tight and hot grip drawing him in was almost enough to make Aziraphale through Crowley over the arm of the throne and fuck him right then. But that wasn’t the game and if Aziraphale had learned one thing from this new position he found himself occupying it was that some pleasure was worth delaying.
Keeping his thumb clear of Crowley’s clit, Aziraphale eased a second finger into Crowley and wriggled them.
“You’re such a wanton slut, Crowley. Everyone can see it when they look at you, you know.”
Crowley’s response was a low whisper.
“I’m your slut, Angel. I don’t care who knows it.”
A burst of love and pride exploded in Aziraphale’s chest. He rested his forehead against Crowley’s hip for just a moment and concentrated on how consumed with love he was. Crowley made a little noise in the back of his throat that wasn’t related to the two fingers currently stuffed into his cunt.
The moment passed and Aziraphale resumed his inspection, withdrawing his fingers and making a show of examining the wetness that coated the white latex. He clambered back to his feet and offered his slick fingers to Crowley who obediently took them in his mouth and sucked his own arousal from them.
“Good boy, you’re so very good. I’m exceptionally proud of you.” Aziraphale poured praise on to Crowley as freely as a waterfall.
The motion of Crowley’s tongue against his fingers was stirring something hot and urgent in the pit of his belly, Aziraphale pulled away and removed his gloves, using the same care that a surgeon might. Crowley watched him with eyes of liquid heat, his tongue flicking at his lips as if chasing the taste of himself.
In one graceful movement, Aziraphale vanished the gloves and called in a box of black velvet, flat and square. He held it out to Crowley, nodding when Crowley’s hands hovered above it nervously. Inside was a silver collar of intricate chain mail with a ring for a leash and a locking clasp.
“Only if you want it, love.”
“Of course I want it! What kind of thing is that to say? Can I wear it now?” Crowley spat all his words out at once.
Laughing, Aziraphale lifted the collar and fitted it around Crowley’s neck, walking behind him to close it securely. He pressed a kiss to the side of Crowley’s throat as he locked it in place.
“It looks perfect on you. Like your neck was just waiting for it.”
Aziraphale was seated on his throne, his wings spread behind him almost casually. Crowley knelt just to the left of his feet, wearing low-slung, black leather trousers. A silver chain rain from his collar to Aziraphale’s right hand where it wrapped several times around his fist. They were sending a very clear message; Crowley belonged to Aziraphale and Aziraphale was really not someone that you wanted to cross. As Aziraphale had predicted, half of Hell seemed to be crammed into the audience chamber, watching his every move. Yes, he was nervous, yes, the other demons intimidated him more than he liked to admit, but with Crowley at his side, Aziraphale felt like he could take on anything.
“Next case!” He called out.
The doors swung open and two demons strode in, dragging something between them. As they came closer, it became clear that the thing was in fact a demon. They dropped the sorry-looking beast at the foot of the dais.
“Lord, this demon is awaiting punishment.”
“What are the charges?”
The demons exchanged glances.
“Surely you know?”
One of the guards grabbed a handful of hair and pulled the head of the culprit up, revealing the face of Hastur. Crowley gasped and shrank back, Aziraphale tightened his grip on the chain, keeping him from retreating too far. Hastur’s eyes opened and focused on Aziraphale in all his princely glory.
“Oh, fuck no.” He scrambled to his feet, knocking away the hands of the guards who reached out to restrain him. “I’m not going to be judged by some angel and his murdering pet! Where’s Beelzebub? I am a Duke of Hell! I deser-”
A casual flick of the finger had silenced him. Aziraphale knew that this was a test. The Dark Council had presented him with a chance for revenge or forgiveness, to see how much of the angel still lurked beneath his snowy feathers. His left hand reached towards Crowley, smoothing over his hair and down the side of his face. With his right hand he pulled the leash and drew Crowley closer to him.
“Love, look! It’s our old friend Hastur. He wasn’t very nice to you the last time we saw him, was he?”
Crowley shook his head, hardly able to take his eyes off the demon currently clawing at his throat as if he could free his voice.
“And what about before I got here? Tell me, love.” Aziraphale turned away from Hastur and lifted Crowley’s chin with two fingers, forcing him to make eye contact with Aziraphale. “Was he terribly cruel to you?”
Crowley nodded, his eyes brimming with tears. Aziraphale bent down and kissed them away, one wing dipping briefly to give a second of privacy.
“I see. It seems that this has been a long time coming.” Aziraphale’s voice was cold enough to freeze Hell. “Perhaps the former Duke of Hell would be prepared to explain himself?”
A motion and Hastur was coughing up lungfuls of frogspawn.
“You jumped-up little twerp! Who do you think you are? You don’t get to sit in judgement of me!” He spluttered and advanced towards Aziraphale.
Aziraphale watched, as calm as anything, his hand again threaded through Crowley’s hair both calming him and holding him steady. He flicked a toe in Hastur’s direction and sent him sprawling backwards.
“I think we’ve heard enough.”
Aziraphale looked at Crowley one more time, the yellowing bruise was still visible around his eye. A deep cold loathing filled Aziraphale’s chest.
“Hastur, you’ll lose an eye for what you did to Crowley. And for the repeated insults against me, well, I’d like to see how well you perform your duties with one less limb. To the rest of you gathered here, let me make one thing perfectly clear; Crowley is mine. Any action against him is an insult to me and I will not tolerate it.”
Suddenly, every demon in the chamber had somewhere else to look, no one dared meet Aziraphale’s burning stare except for Crowley. As Hastur was dragged, screaming, from the room, Crowley discreetly caressed Aziraphale’s ankle. A simple gesture of gratitude invisible to anyone but the two of them.