The truth came out when Aziraphale and Crowley decided to get married.
They had, of course, been effectively married for ages— danger from Heaven and Hell aside, one couldn’t know a best friend and ‘mortal foe’ for six thousand years without catching feelings. And even though it had taken them the majority of those six thousand years to actually admit those feelings, that didn’t change the fact that they had long had the easy familiarity and intimacy of a long-married couple for almost as long as they had been friends.
So when Crowley suggested over dinner one night several years after the Apocalypse that it might be nice to have a little wedding and sign some legal papers, Aziraphale was quick to agree. They had been living together in the South Downs for nearly a decade, after all, and they were in love. Their status in the eyes of the law was the only thing that would change. And it would be a nice excuse to get all their friends together and eat a nice cake.
“Great,” Crowley said, smiling a little nervously over his glass of wine.
Aziraphale smiled back and reached out to take his free hand, lacing their fingers together. “When would you like to have it, dearest?” he asked, swiping his thumb over the back of Crowley’s hand.
“Er, maybe in the spring?” Crowley suggested with a shrug. “Not in a church, obviously, but if you wanted we could find some nice place outside?”
“That sounds delightful, Crowley,” Aziraphale said happily, and then beamed at him. “Oh, does this mean you’re my fiancé now?”
Crowley grinned slowly. “I guess it does.” He chuckled, still clinging to Aziraphale’s hand. “Oh, I’m going to be so obnoxious reintroducing you to people we already know,” he said.
Aziraphale sighed fondly. “Should we get engagement rings, do you think?” he asked, setting down his fork to focus entirely on the issue.
Crowley’s grin turned a little nervous again. “Well, about that,” he started.
Aziraphale’s heart stuttered in his chest, and he had to make a conscious effort not to glow with love. “Go ahead and get them, dearest.”
Crowley smiled sheepishly and gave Aziraphale’s fingers one last squeeze before getting up from the kitchen table and disappearing down the hall to their bedroom. A moment later he returned, a small velvet box in hand. “Should I get down on one knee?” he asked a little awkwardly, standing in the doorway.
Aziraphale got to his feet. “No need, my love,” he said, rounding the table to he could stand in front of his beloved. He smiled. “There’s no need to put those old joints of yours to the trouble.”
Crowley rolled his eyes. “You’re one to bloody talk, you're just as old as I am,” he grumbled, and then popped the box open to reveal two rings. “Hey, Aziraphale, Guardian of the Eastern Gate of Eden and my favorite bastard, wanna get married?”
“I would love to, Crowley,” Aziraphale replied.
Crowley fumbled with the box and then pulled one of the rings out. “Um. This one OK?”
“Wonderful,” Aziraphale breathed, admiring the black and white gold band as Crowley gently slid it on his finger. “And the other one is for you, I presume?” Aziraphale murmured. Crowley nodded wordlessly, a blush creeping up his neck as Aziraphale carefully put the other ring, made of twined gold and silver, onto his finger.
“There we are,” he said quietly, smiling. “Engaged officially.”
Crowley stuffed the empty ring box in his pocket and nodded. His yellow eyes were wide, filled with open affection, and he looked as beautiful as ever. Aziraphale cupped his fiancé’s face in both hands and kissed him.
When they parted, Crowley pulled him close, and they hugged tightly in their warmly lit kitchen. “So, my dear,” Aziraphale said quietly into Crowley’s shoulder. “How long have you had those rings?”
Crowley made a choked sound in the back of his throat, and then answered in a muffled voice, “Since, ah, 1500 AD or so?”
Aziraphale laughed, and kissed his fiancé on the cheek. “Then it’s high time we finally put them to use, my love.”
When spring came, Aziraphale and Crowley went to the registrar’s office to file all the paperwork they would need to be legally recognized as a married couple. Oddly enough, it didn’t even occur to Aziraphale as he gathered his (miracled) birth certificate and passport that some of his legal documents might put a hitch in their plans. It was only as he and Crowley were walking into the registrar’s office that it struck him there might be a… problem.
Aziraphale stopped short, so short that Crowley almost bumped into him. “Everything alright, angel?” he said, catching himself on Aziraphale’s shoulder.
Aziraphale forced a smile, his mind racing. “Ah, yes, of course. It’s just…”
“Are you having second thoughts?” Crowley asked, frowning slightly. “We can just not do this, Aziraphale, it’s fine. We don’t need to get married if you’d rather not, I completely—“
“No,” Aziraphale interrupted. He reached up and patted Crowley’s hand where it was still resting on his shoulder. “No, my dear, I absolutely want to get married to you. It’s just, ah…” He pressed his lips together, trying to figure out how to break the news to Crowley that their marriage certificate might be a little complicated, but before he could say anything they were approached by the registrar.
“Hello,” she said, approaching them with a smile. “I’m Julia Harrison. You’re Mr. Fell and Mr. Crowley?”
“Ah, yes, rather,” Aziraphale replied, flustered. He shook Julia Harrison’s proffered hand, and then glanced anxiously at Crowley. Crowley was studying him with furrowed brows, but didn’t press the issue at the moment.
“Come right into my office,” Ms. Harrison said welcomingly, ushering them in. “You have all your paperwork?”
“Yup,” Crowley drawled. Aziraphale just nodded.
They took their seats and Ms. Harrison pulled out a few forms. “Just fill these out, and I’ll take a look at your identification, and then we’ll be all set,” she said cheerfully. Aziraphale swallowed hard and handed over his passport and birth certificate. Crowley did the same, and then slouched back in his chair.
Ms. Harrison looked over his papers first, one eyebrow going up as she read his birth certificate. “Anthony Janthony Crowley?” she said a little doubtfully.
Crowley grinned lazily. “My parents had an interesting sense of humor,” he replied.
Aziraphale shot him a look, and Crowley just smirked back. He had always enjoyed the reaction his human middle name got, much to Aziraphale’s exasperation. Not that he could exactly talk.
“Alright,” Ms. Harrison said slowly. “Anthony Janthony Crowley, born June 6th, 1981, British citizen. That, uh, seems fine, then.”
She turned to Aziraphale’s papers, and Aziraphale covered his face with his hands, knowing exactly what was coming. “Um,” Ms. Harrison said quietly, squinting at his birth certificate. She glanced up. “Is this a joke?”
“No?” Aziraphale squeaked.
Crowley gave him an incredibly suspicious look. “What’s it say on there, angel?” he asked.
“Anthony Zanthony Fell,” Ms. Harrison told him dryly.
Crowley’s eyes went wide behind his sunglasses. “What?!”
“Listen, my dear, you must believe me,” Aziraphale said quickly, his face burning. “When I picked it out, I hadn’t talked to you in three decades! I had no way of knowing— and besides, I thought it had quite a nice ring to it, and it fit perfectly with my bookshop’s name, and anyway St. Anthony was a lovely man—“
“Anthony Zanthony Fell,” Crowley repeated flatly. “I can’t believe you, angel.” He leaned his head back and pulled off his sunglasses, covering his eyes with one hand.
“I’m sorry, my dear, I should have told you earlier, we could have figured it out,” Aziraphale started softly.
Crowley’s shoulders shook.
“Oh, goodness,” Aziraphale whispered. And then he realized that Crowley wasn’t crying, as he had initially thought, but laughing.
“Aziraphale, angel!” Crowley gasped, pulling his hand away from his face so that Aziraphale could see his wide, delighted grin. “Zanthony, really?"
"I panicked, the man at the registry put me on the spot," Aziraphale said defensively.
Crowley whooped. "Whoo-ee, and you— you had the nerve to make fun of my middle name! Oh my heavens—”
Aziraphale smiled a little tentatively, Crowley’s laughter infectious.
Crowley doubled over, gasping for breath. “Angel, you, you realize,” he said through his cackles, “That once we get married, according to the government we’re both going to be Anthony Fell-Crowley? Oh, Satan, imagine the chaos!” He sat up straight and wiped a few tears of mirth from his eyes before leaning over and kissing Aziraphale passionately. “I love you so much.”
Aziraphale kissed him back, smiling sheepishly. “I’m glad you’re not angry,” he said quietly.
Crowley pulled back just enough to give him a searching look, still grinning. “Aziraphale, this is the best thing that’s happened to me all week. And you’re the best thing to happen to me in my life.”
He blushed at that sentiment, and Aziraphale beamed at him. “Dearest—“
“I hope you realize I’m going to start calling you Zanthony, though,” Crowley said quickly. “Holy shit—”
“Alright, Janthony,” Aziraphale replied with a teasing smile.
The registrar cleared her throat, and Aziraphale and Crowley both turned to face her. Crowley quickly slid his sunglasses back on his face, but Ms. Harrison seemed surprisingly unfazed by his snakish eyes. “Alright,” she said calmly. “Now that we’ve established this is your legal name… Anthony Zanthony Fell, born February 17th, 1980, British citizen. Seems to be in order.” She pushed a form across her desk, and added, “Just sign here, and then I’ll file your paperwork.”
Crowley messily signed his human name with a flourish, and then handed the pen to Aziraphale with a grin. “That explains why you looked so panicked in the church,” he said as Aziraphale carefully signed his name. “It wasn’t the Nazi spies, it was you realizing we had the same name!”
“Well, it was a little bit the spies,” Aziraphale mumbled, setting the pen down.
“Thank you, gentlemen,” Ms. Harrison said, getting to her feet. “You’re all set.”
Aziraphale and Crowley stood, and Crowley slung an arm around Aziraphale’s shoulders. “Thanks,” he said to the registrar, flashing her a sharp smile. “Always nice to learn new things about my fiancé.”
“Oh, really, dear,” Aziraphale huffed, but couldn’t stifle his fond smile.
Crowley kissed him messily on the cheek as they left the registrar’s office together. “Yes, really,” he said. “Aziraphale, I love you with all my blackened heart and twisted soul, but I’m not going to let you live this down quickly.”
Aziraphale smiled back, leaning into Crowley’s side. It was only fair— after all, Aziraphale had teased him for centuries about the thing with the tomatoes and the Catholic Church back in the 1400s, not to mention about that time in Mumbai. “I would expect no less, my dear.”
Crowley and Aziraphale got married in May. Anathema had agreed to marry them after revealing that she could legally sign anything they needed, so they took their vows in an apple orchard near their cottage in front of a small group of friends and acquaintances met at Armageddon, made in London, or from the village.
Crowley almost started giggling in the middle of the ceremony when Anathema asked as a joke if Anthony wanted to take Anthony as his spouse, and Aziraphale gently stepped on his foot even as he stifled his own smile. They both teared up a little at each other’s vows, six thousand years of love expressed as much as possible in a few sweet words, and when it came time to kiss the Them and Warlock (despite all being in their early twenties) fulfilled their roles as godchildren and heckled them affectionately. The reception was just as wild as could be expected of a party for two supernatural beings attended by witches and mediums and antichrists, and the cake was miraculously whatever flavor people wanted.
It was nearing midnight when Crowley asked Aziraphale to dance one last time before heading home to bed, and it had been a long day, but Aziraphale accepted the invitation anyway with a gentle smile. Their dancing was really more like swaying together in the middle of the makeshift dance floor, gazing more at each other than at the sparkling fairy lights strung up on trees around them or the wide, clear sky of stars above them.
“This was a lot of fun,” Crowley murmured, one hand stroking slowly up and down the length of Aziraphale’s spine. He had left his sunglasses off all day, and his golden eyes shone with soft love in the dusky light.
“We should do it again, sometime,” Aziraphale agreed with a small smile, resting his head on his husband’s shoulder.
“Hm,” Crowley hummed. “Maybe not for a few decades.”
They were quiet for a long while, simply enjoying each other’s company, until Aziraphale said, “You know, I’ve had a lot of names in my time. I’ve been called a lot of things besides Aziraphale.”
“Like Anthony Zanthony,” Crowley interjected with a teasing smile, kissing Aziraphale’s forehead.
Aziraphale chuckled. “Quite. But I think this—“ he lifted Crowley’s left hand, kissed his wedding ring, “—this is my favorite.”
Crowley made a small noise of agreement, pulled Aziraphale close again. “Mine too. Love you, angel. Even though we have the same name.”
Aziraphale smiled into Crowley’s shoulder, overflowing with more love than any language could express. “I love you too, my dear. For always.”
1 After deciding that they wanted to take each other’s names (at least on their legal forms), Crowley and Aziraphale had debated the merits of Fell-Crowley vs. Crowley-Fell. Aziraphale had vetoed the latter, despite the fact that Crowley seemed to find it uproariously, ironically funny.[return to text]