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Love a Duck

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Aziraphale knew her wife was fond of ducks; even though the demon had never actually said as much out loud. Crowley knew an annoyingly vast amount about them since that duck-ear incident. (yes, ducks have ears, they’re just seated into the side of the duck’s head and hidden by feathers.) And it bothered the angel like an itch she could not reach that her beloved refused to just admit the enjoyment. They’d spent enough time watching the birds in various ponds and parks throughout the centuries so it made sense that there would be some attachment. Still, Aziraphale was determined to get Crowley to admit she liked ducks, even if it was so she could (smugly) rightly enjoy being correct in her knowledge.

She liked the idea of them both freely liking things. And sometimes, despite her best efforts, she felt guilt for how easily it was for her to admit to enjoying her various favourite foods, operas, books etc. While Crowley would admit to enjoying things, under duress, it barely counted on one hand how many things the demon had willingly admitted to loving. (Golden Girls was on that list and only had been added after it had been countlessly requested during illness and bad hip days.)

So, Aziraphale had used her own hobby and joy to create a painting to put in the main room. It was a lovely thing when finished; nearly a metre across within a scroll frame. Their little cottage took up the majority of the canvas; with the garden nicely detailed in amongst the trees and coast in the distance. The children they’d either helped (ruin) raise or befriended played off to the side of the driveway by the Bentley. And there nestled against the side of the cottage was a single duck. It was small but noticeable with a blue bow around its cream feathered neck; yellow bill reaching out towards the ineffable couple seated on the bench Aziraphale had handcrafted for their anniversary and thus had to have included in the painting. It was subtle.

Crowley adored the painting, her mouth splitting open into a huge grin as she slipped off her glasses. Nose nearly pressed into the paint; she’d pointed out all the details with varying degrees of glee. She especially seemed delighted to see their tiny painted figures on the bench.

“It looks like a picture.” Crowley said happily, her fingers twitching from resisting the urge to touch the blue and cream Aziraphale nestled beside her painted twin. “Pretty cool.” Which was Crowley speak for ‘I adore this and you and this doubly because you made it’.

“Glad you approve, dear.” Aziraphale preened, seemingly relaxed a step behind her. She watched carefully, hoping the duck would give a good reaction and thus finally prove her correct. “You might say it’s got a bit of everything we love.”

Crowley nodded, dislodging a few loose curls from her shoulder. It was already falling from its messy bun. Aziraphale had impatiently dragged the retired demon from puttering with radishes; dirt still dusted Crowley’s sharp black polished nails. Later today, while watching an episode or two of some comedy, Aziraphale would lovingly clean each of those fingers while her wife nestled in her lap and balanced the dill popcorn for her angel. Then, Crowley would get the last pesky bits of paint from her own fingers and they’d turn off the tv in favour of whatever book was currently a favourite. Aziraphale would read aloud until Crowley pretended to fall asleep… she shook her head, soft blonde curls bouncing as she focused back on present Crowley.

“Guess so, seeing those books through the window. Got Warlock and the kiddos playing off in those weeds. Even got Dirk in there.”

“Dirk?” Aziraphale stepped forward, miracling her glasses into place and maneuvering herself to see the painting better. “Who or what is a Dirk?” and how had this person ended up in the painting she herself had so lovingly schemed.

“Duck, Angel. One that stole your sandwich few years back and you ordered duck l'orange every dinner for a week to get back at it. Pretty obvious it’s that one thanks to those missing tail feathers and the crooked leg. Glad to see you’ve buried that hatchet.”
Crowley chuckled softly, pressing a quick kiss to the silent angel’s cheek and sauntered back towards the backdoor, crutches clicking along with her.

“Now we have something we both like besides me.” She teased as the door swung shut behind her.

Aziraphale blinked. Suddenly the duck didn’t look so harmless and cute. It was definitely smirking at her. While she hadn’t forgotten that incident; who would, the horror of the lost beef on rye, it had been sorted into the back of her brain so far that now it was annoyingly present. So, she fumed, apparently Crowley’s admission to liking ducks was not nearly as ground-breaking to her sudden realization that she actually hated them.

Drat.