“No angel, absolutely not.”
“No,” Crowley says. He leans back on the couch in the back of the bookshop. “We are absolutely not dancing the gavotte at our wedding. Over my discorporated body.”
“But I don’t know how to do anything else!” Aziraphale pouts.
“Then I’ll teach you, for Someone’s sake. I absolutely refuse to be witnessed dancing the gavotte , let alone for our first dance.”
“No.” Aziraphale pouts at him, but this is one of the few things that Crowley absolutely refuses to budge on.
“Well then. What will we be dancing?” Aziraphale asks archly.
“Waltz. ‘S like I said, I’ll teach you. Anyways, it’s not nearly as complicated as the gavotte. How did you manage to learn that but not a waltz?”
“Well the gavotte doesn’t require a partner, now does it?”
“So? From what you’ve told me, you didn’t lack for partners in the 18th century at that club of yours.”
Aziraphale goes red. “Yes, but they weren’t you , my dear.”
Just because he likes giving Aziraphale a hard time, Crowley needles a little further. “Not even Oscar?”
“Not even Oscar,” Aziraphale affirms.
Crowley frowns, thinking that one over. “Wait, so you slept with him, but you wouldn’t dance with him?”
“It didn’t feel right,” Aziraphale tuts.
“I don’t really know how to explain it! I obviously cared for Oscar, but I didn’t Love him- not like you.”
“Wai-wai-wait, you told me you didn’t figure it out until the Blitz!” Crowley protests. He’s still trying to wrap his brain around this.
“I didn’t!” Aziraphale says. “I can’t explain it. But even in Eden, all I could think when I first met you was ‘oh, there you are’. It doesn’t make much sense to me, either. I just didn’t think I had any reason to hope until the Blitz.”
“So let me get this straight. You were sort of in love with me since Eden, which lines right up with when I fell in love with you, but you didn’t realize it until I incredibly obviously saved your books. Even if you weren’t totally aware that you were in love with me, you still refused to dance a waltz with a guy you were sleeping with?” Crowley demands, voice getting higher and higher pitched as he goes.
“Oh, yes, that sounds right. Like I said, dear, it doesn’t make much sense, even to me.”
“Angel, you are utterly ridiculous.”
“Are you going to teach this ridiculous angel to waltz or not?”
“Why not? I’m sure I’ll need to practice,” Aziraphale says. He takes off his jacket, and lays it on the side of the couch. Then, he rolls his sleeves up to his forearms.
Crowley follows the motion hungrily with his eyes only, trying hard not to swoon. Demons don’t swoon after all. Besides, they’ve been romantically involved for almost a year, now! There’s absolutely no call to get over excited by forearms! There was a time when the two of them went to Roman bathhouses together!
(He absolutely fails at not swooning. Aziraphale adopted 18th century fashion and sensibilities wholeheartedly and never looked back. Consequently, Crowley positively drinks in even the barest hint of skin.)
“Crowley, dear?” Aziraphale asks, a slight smile on his face. Crowley realizes he’s been staring- with no sunglasses to hide behind. Bastard that he is, Aziraphale probably did this on purpose.
“Alright, alright,” Crowley says, pulling himself to his feet before offering the angel his hand. After Aziraphale takes it to stand up, Crowley snaps his free hand, and the furniture flows to line the sides of the room.
“So what…. what do you do?” Aziraphale asks, smoothing his palms on his trouser leg.
“That depends. Do you want to lead or follow?”
“Oh dear. I don’t know! I’d better follow, I suppose. I’m two left feet, after all.”
Crowley rolls his eyes internally. “The waltz isn’t that hard, angel. Honestly. But if you’d rather I’d lead, that’s fine by me. It’s just a box step, see? One two three, four five six.”
Aziraphale copies him, clumsily. “Oh, dear,” he sighs. “I told you I’m all left feet.”
“Here. Put your left hand on my arm,” Crowley instructs. He wraps his left arm around the angel. Then, he guides the angel’s arm to rest on his shoulder, and clasps their free hands together, held upright in the proper frame. “Now. Let’s try again. One two three, four five six.”
This time, Crowley steps forward as Aziraphale steps back, slowly leading him through the steps.
It can hardly be considered proper dancing . More than anything else, Crowley is pushing Aziraphale around as the angel stumbles over his own feet. But the more they practice, the steadier Aziraphale becomes, the box step becoming more clearly defined. The entire time, the angel wears a look of intense concentration.
It’s positively adorable (not that Crowley would ever admit to using that word, ever).
Slowly, Crowley picks up the speed, while still staying mostly in place. Aziraphale manages to stick with him as they gradually work up to a respectable dance tempo.
“I’m going to start to turn us, now,” Crowley warns. The angel doesn’t give him a verbal response, but he nods his head. The sudden tightening of Aziraphale’s grip on their joined hands betrays his nervousness. Because he’s not a total bastard, Crowley slows them back down to half time.
Crowley guides them around the room in a slow circle. Aziraphale nibbles on his lip, eyes trained on the floor as he focuses on his feet. The footwork never changes, but Crowley is now altering their relative position on the floor. They rotate around each other, revolving in the relatively cramped bookshelf space. It’s not unlike Alpha Centauri, Crowley thinks giddily. Two bright stars, revolving around each other, to move as one unit.
On the next iteration of the box step, Crowley releases his hold, and guides Aziraphale through an underarm turn, still at half speed. Aziraphale squeaks at the sudden lack of pressure at his back, but maintains his frame and footwork admirably.
They reconnect seamlessly. “Crowley!” Aziraphale scolds.
“At least warn a being, next time!” Aziraphale tuts.
“Demon, remember? Where’s the fun in telling you everything I’m about to do? You’re supposed to be following ,” Crowley teases. “Don’t you trust me?”
He’s not really expecting an answer, but Aziraphale gives him one anyways. The angel’s eyes crinkle as he smiles. “Of course I do, dear,” he says. “It may take me a while, but I’d follow you anywhere.”
Damn it all to Hell and back (again!), but that just makes him melt. Crowley tilts his head towards the angel’s, leaning their foreheads together. “So, you’re telling me I can go faster?” he asks cheekily.
“Oh my. Well, I suppose so.”
Crowley frees his left hand from the angel’s grasp, and snaps his fingers. The soft strains of Blue Danube float through the bookstore. He brings his hand back to the angel’s, and clasps their hands together again. “How’s that, angel?”
Aziraphale smiles, bright enough to power at least half of London. “Perfect, my dear.”
Now they’re really dancing . They whirl around the floor, orbiting each other seamlessly. Crowley takes a step forward, and Aziraphale takes a step back in sync, perfectly balanced as they always have been. It’s when Crowley bends Aziraphale in a dip that it happens. There’s a sharp pop, and a bright light- and the Archangel Raphael appears where previously there had been Crowley and Aziraphale.
“Well, that’s different,” the Archangel remarks aloud.