Work Header

Not So Blue

Work Text:

Nothing had changed at all.

Well, apart from several things.

Mainly, Crowley had questions. The questions had changed; the fact that Crowley had them had not.

“Aziraphale,” Crowley said one evening a week or so after the end of the world that hadn’t happened. “When we switched bodies—you know, that time—you said you were in a bath. A holy water bath, was it?”

“Of course,” Aziraphale said, not looking up from his translation. Crowley had wanted to take him out for drinks, but the little line of concentration on Aziraphale’s brow made it clear that wasn’t going to happen. Pity. “They wanted to make the punishment fit the crime, and do you know, Crowley, it sounds like they were actually a bit more fair-minded than my people. I didn’t even get a trial, did I?”

“Yeah, no, just foosh, hellfire,” Crowley said. “This bath, though. Was I naked?”

What?” Aziraphale did lift his head at that. “Of course not. I kept on a singlet.”

“A singlet,” Crowley said. “Did you have me go into a synchronized swimming routine?”

“I wasn’t going to be having them looking at you,” Aziraphale said. “But I did do a little swimming bit, yes. I wanted a bathing cap but I thought it might be too much.”

“Are you sure you didn’t take a little peek yourself?” Crowley asked.

“Why would I? It’s—you’re—we hadn’t any time. And I wouldn’t anyway,” Aziraphale said. “That’s none of my business.”

Crowley thought about that for a moment that stretched out too long, and Aziraphale turned around in his chair. He refused to get one that swiveled, so he was stuck twisting uncomfortably to look at Crowley.

“Why do you ask? You weren’t going round peeking either, were you?”

“Course not,” Crowley said. “Couldn’t even get that collar undone. Getting you naked would require a day’s work.”

Aziraphale goggled at him for a moment. “It would not,” he said. “Not that it matters.”

“Oh, I’m only teasing,” Crowley said, touching his shoulder on his way out. “I’m glad you were there to protect my dignity from the drooling masses.”

Mollified, Aziraphale went back to his work.

“Just for future reference, though, I don’t actually wear underwear,” he said, and the last thing Crowley saw as he left was Aziraphale’s entire face pursing as it formed a very irritated CRRROwwwwwley. He was still smiling half an hour later, stuck in traffic, but then the conversation itself caught up to him and he did what he had always done: he wanted to talk to Aziraphale. He wanted it enough, in fact, that he turned around, shoving several cars harmlessly into one another and then back into place again without anyone even noticing, and drove right back to the book shop.

“Come on, Angel,” he said when he’d scratched at the windows beside the CLOSED sign long enough that Aziraphale had come out to yell at him. “Let’s go. In the car.”

“Weren’t you just here?” Aziraphale asked.

“That was three days ago,” Crowley said.

“My goodness.” Aziraphale gave the clock a perplexed look, but allowed himself to be led to the car and thence to the Ritz.

Crowley wasn’t sure why he parked with slightly more deference to the law than usual. Aziraphale didn’t actually care, and stopped pretending he did well before the turn of the millennium. Perhaps he was a bit more mindful of his car than before. Whatever the reason, Aziraphale gave him a suspicious look, and when he turned round again he ran flat into a young man who was darting down the walkway with his eyes on the ground.

“Wanker,” the man said amiably enough, stumbling on.

“What?” Aziraphale exclaimed, going a lovely shade of cherubic pink. “Who said so? I can’t believe—the absolute cheek of it.”

Crowley reached out to open the door. “He’s not being literal. I find it hard to believe no one’s ever called you a wanker before.”

“I just,” Aziraphale said. “Who would ever say such a thing? And on the street, too, where anyone could hear it.”

But Crowley was only half paying attention, because they were headed toward a different table than their usual. A few decades before, Crowley had consumed rather too much Gewurztraminer and wondered aloud whether Aziraphale didn’t get bored of the same table every time. Aziraphale looked rather hurt and the next time they went out for a drink, the table that magically became free was on the other side of the room, secluded, with a view of every patron. It was a marvelous table. Crowley switched it back the next visit and they hadn’t changed since.

Today they were headed to that other table, tucked cozily against a wall that let them see everything rather than be seen, and Crowley was confused.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“I thought it might be nice to try something different,” Aziraphale said. “I remember you liked this table.”

“Is that how it played out?” he asked. “I thought I asked if you ever got sick of the other one and it turned out you didn’t.”

“I’m not stupid. I could tell you liked it better. You like to look at everything.” Aziraphale stared at the menu as if he hadn’t memorized it. “I notice a great deal about you, you know.”

Crowley considered him from behind his sunglasses, watching a waiter make his way over and then suddenly get the urge to go in another direction. “What were we talking about, then?” he asked. “Oh, right. Wanking.”

“We were not,” Aziraphale said, going pink again, his eyebrows pinching in agony.

“No shame in talking about it. It was your lot made it a sin,” Crowley said.

“We didn’t,” Aziraphale said. “I don’t want to know what they’re doing to themselves that makes them call it self-abuse, but it didn’t come from us. It’s supposed to be beautiful, you know.”

There was something in his voice that gave Crowley pause. “Is it?”

“Well—yes,” he said, and there it was. Guilt. Guilt, of all the—

“You’ve done it,” Crowley exclaimed, slapping a hand on the table and pointing at him. “You’ve wanked before! I can’t believe you. And you never told me, you cunning old angel.”

“Of course I have,” Aziraphale said peevishly. “Haven’t you?”

“Sure, but that’s no surprise at all,” Crowley said. “But a representative of Heaven, now, that’s a bit different, you have to admit.”

“As I said, it’s meant to be beautiful.”

Crowley draped himself across the chair, watching Aziraphale as he fussed with his clothes the way he always did when he was flustered. “Was it? Beautiful?”

Slowly, Aziraphale stopped fussing, and actually looked Crowley in the eye. Well, in the sunglasses. Crowley stopped smiling; he couldn’t take it when Aziraphale looked at him like he was imparting very important information that Crowley was meant to decipher. “Yes,” he said. “In fact, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.”

“I think I’ve been doing it wrong,” Crowley said. “I mean, it’s nice but it’s not all that.”

“Perhaps you’ve just been doing it with the wrong person,” Aziraphale said archly, and before Crowley could react at all, he had raised his hand to order a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and arrange for another to be sent to a table where a couple had just gotten quietly engaged. He hated showy proposals. Crowley, of course, had invented the flash mob, and then regretted it after he was caught in the middle of one six times in a single day when he was only trying to lounge about London in a decorative fashion.


No, not much had changed. Except—well, there were rather more birds, rendered in colors you didn’t generally see outside a tropical paradise.

“Ah, yes, the common British green and purple swallow,” Aziraphale said when one hopped onto a table beside theirs as they drank cocoa at Ladurée. This was also new. Not the cocoa—Aziraphale was very fond of his dark chocolate and Crowley rather liked the white—but the two of them going out for brunch nearly every day.

“Aziraphale,” Crowley asked, because he still had questions, hadn’t he? “How did you know what to do and say when you were me?”

“How do you mean?”

“I mean how did you manage to fool a bunch of demons when you say things like oh, scrummy and goodness gracious me and Heavens to Betsy?” he asked, setting down his cup and examining the enormous, glossy rose pink concoction Aziraphale had ordered.

“I already told you, I notice what you do,” Aziraphale said. Crowley was surprised. He would have thought Aziraphale would be flustered and indignant again, but he only blew on his cocoa placidly. “I did grumble a lot and make it all a bit flash.”

Flash,” Crowley said, rearing back. “I’m not flash.”

“Oh, aren’t you.” Aziraphale gave his boots a pointed look.

“Yeah,” Crowley said. “That’s all right then.”

“Anyway, it was easier when I was in your body. Your spine is like rubber. Mine doesn’t do that.”

Crowley tried not to let on he was pleased, but he gave up forcing himself not to smile after the third time and simply hid it with his cocoa.

“Don’t look so pleased with yourself,” Aziraphale said. “I had quite a time being you. I’m still feeling the aftereffects.”

“Me too,” he said. “Your lot are making me rethink minimalism as a design statement.”

“Your flat is ever so much nicer than that,” Aziraphale said, patting his hand. “Gabriel hasn’t let anyone redecorate since he saw an open plan office in 1976. It’s awful. I feel like I’m in a car dealership.”

Crowley had something ready to say about that, but Aziraphale’s fingers on the back of his hand were—well, they weren’t unpleasant. He left his hand where it was and Aziraphale left his hand where it was, and Crowley sat there, finishing his cocoa, and wished for nothing more.

“Give me a goddamn macaron,” the swallow croaked.

“Get your own,” Crowley said.


Suddenly, Aziraphale had started to notice what music was playing in the Bentley. In the '50s, Paul Anka popped up without fail the moment Crowley was able to lure him into the car, and not once had he ever commented on it, just nattering on and on put your head on my shoulder, whisper in my ear Oh I say, Crowley, you nearly hit a woman with a baby carriage back there tell me that you love me too Crowley, if you’re going to try to run into a member of the royal family on purpose, you can just let me out immediately. In the '60s it was more or less constant Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin, with a single memorable instance of “Groovy Kind of Love” after Aziraphale had stopped him tempting a radar technician at a nuclear facility to just have a kip, just a little one. Five minutes. Then the '70s swooped in and Freddie Mercury took over on a semi-permanent basis.

Lately, however, whenever Aziraphale was in the Bentley, Billy Joel accompanied him. Crowley did not like Billy Joel. Crowley, in point of fact, hated Billy Joel with as much passion as you could hate a human who played the piano as beautifully as that. Crowley had once suffered through three hundred seventy-nine rounds of “River of Dreams” while lurking in Katie Donnelly’s flat trying to tempt her to tempt a young priest in the fall of 1993, and he hadn’t forgiven anyone for it.

And yet the moment Aziraphale settled himself in his seat, patting his hands on his knees and giving the little wiggle that said he was celestially happy to be doing whatever it was they were doing, on popped Billy bloody Joel. Surely there were more obvious love songs than “The Longest Time,” but Crowley couldn’t think of one for the life of him. He slunk farther into his seat and thanked no one at all for Aziraphale’s utter indifference to contemporary music.

“Oh, now this must be be-bop,” Aziraphale exclaimed, tapping the radio. “You can’t say it’s not. There’s snapping!”

“Unnamed but morally neutral powers grant me patience,” Crowley muttered, closing his eyes.


Then there was the fact that Crowley had not only read a book but had admitted it, out loud, in front of someone who could hear and understand him. The ducks at St. James’s Park didn’t count; they knew all manner of shameful things about him already but could only tell the other ducks.

The truth was that he very much liked spy novels. He had liked Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum well enough, and did not like Tom Clancy, but for his money—which he did not use to pay for books—John le Carré was his favourite, and every so often he rifled through le Carré’s computer to see if there was anything on the way. There never was, as le Carré preferred to write longhand on a yellow notepad and kept it with him while he was working on something new.  

Aziraphale knew nothing about this, of course, because had Aziraphale even suspected Crowley read a single sentence for anything other than necessity, he would have begun recommending. Aziraphale was one of those bibliophiles who see people enjoying a contemporary book and cannot help but recommend, unerringly, the dullest classic of the genre, misunderstanding entirely what attracted the reader in the first place. If he knew Crowley’s reading habits, he would have come up with a handwritten list of novels of 19th century French court intrigue, and then Crowley would end up reading them to avoid hurting his feelings even though both of them had been there and knew exactly how intriguing it had been (not one bit).

However, one afternoon three weeks after the Apocalypse that didn’t happen, Crowley was struck by the urge to lounge in the bookshop. It happened sometimes. He wanted to be around Aziraphale and Aziraphale was busy, and Aziraphale had alcohol and chairs. That was all it took to keep Crowley occupied of an afternoon, and he liked to watch Aziraphale puttering and point out the naughty books to any sheepish collectors who somehow managed to happen upon the shop when it was actually open.

This particular afternoon found him sprawled out with his feet up on a pile of books as tall as his waist, browsing idly through a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo and sipping at a wine that he noticed with some amusement was called 7 Deadly Zins. The books in the shop were never in any real order, but the area he was lounging in seemed to have a vague spylike theme. 

Two hours later, he was startled and annoyed to realize he had stopped browsing and started reading somewhere along the way and now he was nearly finished with the book. There had been a quarter of an hour between 4:15 and 4:30 when the shop was open, but it had passed by unremarked, and the sun was almost down.

“I—what?” he said, bringing his feet off the stack of books with a crash. “Aziraphale, did you trick me?”

“Did I what now?” Aziraphale had spent the afternoon on the telephone trying to fend off customers, although now that he had rather gone off books of prophecy, Crowley didn’t know why he wanted to keep them around. It was rather like putting up magazine cutouts of the Caribbean after you’d already gone on holiday there.

“Read a book.” Crowley waved the book at him and saw that he had had not one but three bottles of the zinfandel. “I don’t read books, you know that. Trickery is abook. Afook. Afoot.”

“I had nothing to do with it,” Aziraphale said, but he gave the pile of books a squirrely look. “Though I did perhaps notice that you have a penchant for spy novels and thought I might leave a few around for you.”

“Angel, I don’t read,” he said.

“So you’ve said.”

Crowley realized Aziraphale was very close all of a sudden, right next to the chair he was sitting in, and more than anything he wished he could just turn a little bit and slide around him. Aziraphale’s hand was on his shoulder and he shuddered and leaned a little bit and then without warning he was resting his head against Aziraphale’s stomach. It was hardly the first time, but he was certain it was the most difficult one, and not only because Aziraphale was stroking his hair.

“Don’t mess it up,” he said, but he was pushing into it, making a sad little noise of longing when the fingers went away and another sad little noise of pleasure when they returned.

“Did you like the book?” Aziraphale asked. His voice was soft, like he was asking something else underneath it.

Crowley nodded. “I don’t care what anyone says, you’re a brilliant recommender.”

“That’s kind of you.” The fingers in his hair went away and he whined. “I think perhaps it’s time to sober up now, my dear.”

“Don’t want to though,” he said. “Feels good. You could touch me, yeah?”

“I might when you’re not three bottles ahead of me,” Aziraphale said, and that was enough for Crowley to sit back and concentrate very hard until there wasn’t a drop of wine left in him. He gave a tiny burp and shook it off, and then he was standing right in front of Aziraphale, far too close and far too sober. Aziraphale’s eyes were doing that bit again where he was trying to tell Crowley something without saying it, only Crowley was pretty sure he knew what they were saying this time.

“See you tomorrow, Angel,” he said, voice pitched much higher than usual, all hearty enthusiasm like a schoolboy trying to convince his mum he was on his way to bed when he was planning on sneaking out to a party. “Maybe not, might be busy.”

“All right then,” Aziraphale said. Crowley had braced himself for angelic disappointment and was instead hit with a tidal wave of Aziraphale’s gentle understanding. Oh, why not just slay me where I stand? he thought, and fled as fast as he could on legs that didn’t really understand how to flee.


Aziraphale quite kindly gave him two days to sulk alone, and then he showed up at Crowley’s flat and just sort of bustled his way in like he didn’t need an invitation, which of course he didn’t. He seemed to like Crowley’s flat as much as he enjoyed disapproving of it, much the same way Crowley spent so much of his free time at the bookshop, despite his complaints, that he could tell when a new shipment of books had come in.

“Oh good,” Aziraphale said. “You’re all right. I get nervous now when I haven’t seen you in a few days.”

“I have a phone,” he said. “I have two phones.”

“I did call you. Your answerthing is ridiculous.” Aziraphale lifted his chin and looked around as if cataloguing everything that had changed since his last visit, which was only a few months previously. The plants always throve luxuriously for weeks after Aziraphale came around, although he’d never spent much time with them. Crowley suspected every living creature in the flat wanted to please him.

With a little nod, Aziraphale took off his coat, shook it out, and hung it on the back of a bar stool. Crowley was experimenting with bar stools, and with a bar. They didn’t seem quite the thing, but then again, it was nice to sit in something other than his bed or his chair when he was drinking, and they were black and shiny.

“Did you have anything in particular to say?” Crowley asked. He wanted to cross his arms over his chest, but that wasn’t the kind of thing he did, so he leaned against the desk.

“I came to bring you your book.” He produced it from some unseen pocket and set it on the bare desk, right beside Crowley’s hip. “And I have some recommendations, if you’re interested. I brought a box actually.”

Crowley groaned. He was going to be up to his ears in the clandestine affairs of various Louises and Henris for years to come, but it was almost worth it to have Aziraphale in the flat, much as he’d wanted to avoid him because of—well, because of all the things that hadn’t been changing. Because of the birds, and the brunch, and different tables at the Ritz, and the way Aziraphale had come in and taken off his coat. Aziraphale wore clothing not only because he enjoyed the way it looked, but because he liked the way it felt against his skin, which was very sensitive. This was also something that had changed. Crowley knew things now that he hadn’t known before, and it was absolutely dreadful. His skin wasn’t like that—or, well, it was, but he’d done the sensible thing and learnt to ignore it over time. You couldn’t go around feeling good like that every second of every day, especially if you didn’t deserve it. Only now that he’d been someone else for a bit, someone for whom air and sound and light were also a constant source of low-grade pleasure, he couldn’t ignore it any longer. The need to be touched—and it was a desperate need now rather than an irritating buzz along his skin—was painful, now that he knew. He was glad they had done the switch because it had kept them in existence, not to mention the thought of the look on Beelzebub’s face, but what a price.

Aziraphale was warm beside him, the brightest and most comfortable thing in the flat. Crowley wanted to push him into the chair, climb into his lap, and stay there for as long as circumstances would let him. That really hadn’t changed at all, actually.

“I’ve never asked you,” Aziraphale said. “You’ve asked me a dozen times how I knew what to do in your body, but I never asked how you knew what to do in mine.”

“I thought about food all the time and didn’t swear,” Crowley said, glaring at the floor. “Wasn’t hard.”

“Come now.” Aziraphale sidled up next to him until they were touching and Crowley stood and stalked over to the bar. “How did you know what to do? Not that my lot are all that easy to fool, but surely you must have playacted. You didn’t go around walking like that, that’s for sure. How did you get in character?”

“I just…” He poured himself a shot of what turned out to be very bad whisky, and didn’t even bother to change it into anything else.

“You just?” Aziraphale was suddenly beside him, tapping the bottle of whiskey, which became a Glenfiddich 1955 Roberts Reserve. He was so close and so warm, and the whiskey in Crowley’s mouth was sweet and hot and he was really rather dizzy.

“It was easy being you for a bit,” Crowley said. “You just…love. Keep on loving, against all sense and reason.”

“And you know how to do that?” Aziraphale said, touching his hand.

He tried for an indifferent shrug and opened his mouth to say no. “Ah,” he said instead. “Well, you know. I have some practice.”

Aziraphale’s fingers, tracing little nonsense symbols over the back of his hand, spread a curious shivering all through his body.

“Please don’t be kind to me right now,” Crowley said wretchedly. “I can’t take it.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Aziraphale said, putting his arms around him.

Crowley rested his head on Aziraphale’s shoulder and breathed him in. Just now he smelled like an afternoon at the seaside, all sunshine and coconut drinks and clean salt water, and Crowley was lulled into a little reverie with slow waves and gulls in the distance. He rather liked gulls. He was the one who had first suggested human food as a ripe opportunity for an enterprising bird, after all.

“Don’t you know by now that we’re in this together, my dear boy?” Aziraphale said. “You were right. There’s only one side for us now, and it’s our side.”

“Nothing has to change,” Crowley mumbled. “It’s good, what we’ve got, you know? You’re my best friend. Can’t get better than that.”

Aziraphale shifted a little and pressed his lips to the tattoo on the side of Crowley’s face, and in an astonishing thunderclap of understanding that he didn’t want to call an epiphany, Crowley saw what he had missed all this time, what he had been missing. It was there for him, specifically, not a general angelic love for the world but something tailored to Crowley in particular. It was fealty and friendship and family and forsaking all others, and all of it was for him.

“Aziraphale,” he gasped, his knees going out from under him. He clung tighter and Aziraphale held him there.

“I rather adore you,” Aziraphale said. “I suppose I wasn’t ready to make that clear to you before everything almost ended, but I am now.”

He kissed the tattoo once more and Crowley shuddered, knees weakening again. There was more than just fealty and friendship and family and forsaking in that kiss, that was for sure. There was also—

“I never would have thought you wanted this,” Crowley said. He lifted his head to watch Aziraphale’s lips. “Have you ever even thought about it?”

Aziraphale shut his eyes and looked pained for a moment, and when he opened them Crowley saw the answer. “I was curious, but I didn’t really think about it until we switched. You really are so lovely, you know. I’ve always thought you were, but…well, touching you while I was in your body made me realize there’s more to hunger than I had imagined.”

“You could taste,” Crowley said, licking his lips before he noticed what he was doing.

“Yes, I suppose I could,” Aziraphale said, and kissed him. It was more graceful than Crowley had imagined—if he had imagined it, which he had decidedly not done for several thousand years. It set him shivering, brilliant electric tingles racing all over his body, particularly when it did not remain chaste at all and Aziraphale went after kissing him the way he did any other thing he liked to taste, with slow and thorough enthusiasm, determined to wring every drop of enjoyment from it. The brief sting of teeth on his lower lip made his hips jerk forward and Aziraphale made a very soft noise filled with so much awe and pleasure that Crowley had to stop, tilting his head back and panting out sharp breaths while Aziraphale kissed down his neck.

He didn’t even realize he’d been pushing into Aziraphale to get more until he’d backed him against the wall and that was even better; he could press his body against Aziraphale’s and stop ignoring the delicious feeling of everything touching him. He was sliding against him in an unmistakable way before he knew what he was doing, and when he stopped, Aziraphale ran his hands up and down Crowley’s back, over his ass, urging him to keep moving.

“Don’t stop, it feels lovely,” Aziraphale said, his voice like nothing Crowley had ever heard. It infused him with a sensation of utter peace and—well. Of course he knew what the sensation really was. He couldn’t speak, but pressed his face into Aziraphale’s neck and tightened against him, feeling the pull of pleasure rolling through him, slow and sure. It was drawn from everything around them, the stars and the night air through the window and the trees and the power in him and the power in Aziraphale, but it was created between the two of them and that was more powerful than anything they could conjure alone. He could feel it glowing through and around them, the way Aziraphale surrounded him, protected him, inexpertly led him with one hand on his back and the fingers of the other hand stroking through his hair, pulling a little. He choked out a trembling, excited noise at that, pressing even harder against him, hips moving without his permission.

“Is that all right?” Aziraphale said low into his ear, pulling him closer. “Are you all right?”

“Angel,” Crowley said, not knowing what was even spilling out of his mouth. All he could see or hear or think was the contact of his body against Aziraphale’s, the way the pressure and friction slid along his cock and pushed him closer, closer, closer, and the way he knew without a doubt that Aziraphale felt it too because they were in it together. “Angel, oh, please, please.”

Aziraphale made a lovely startled cry and surged against him, tugging Crowley’s hair really quite hard, and it occurred to Crowley that—

No, nothing occurred to him at all. He curled his fingers into the front of Aziraphale’s shirt and came in a sweet, ecstatic rush. The release of it, the relief of it, was like nothing he had ever known, no sin or satisfaction or sensual consummation. He’d had his fair share of orgasms in this body and obviously they were brilliant, but there was also some measure of emptiness to the whole process that he had always assumed was inherent to indulging a craving. Of course there was disappointment afterward. It was the entire mechanism behind temptation—the desire, the pleasure in attainment, and then the drop afterward that made one grasp for the pleasure again. He’d gone through eternity resisting even thinking about doing it with Aziraphale for that very reason, but now—now there was this flood of euphoria through every part of his body—more than his body—without the drop afterward. Aziraphale had given it to him, all love and light.

It should have destroyed him, but as with most things related to Aziraphale, he couldn’t bring himself to be sorry about it. He sank into it, into Aziraphale’s embrace—not that he seemed likely to let him go. A moment or a week or a month later he turned his head just enough to see out of one eye and realized he was shielded from the world by a great blanket of white feathers. He had no idea where they were and didn’t care.

When he opened his eyes again he was in his own bed, tucked in cozily with the covers up to his chin. Having been put to bed thusly many times by Aziraphale over the years when they had imbibed too much and forgotten to sober up, he knew instantly that it was his work. It was not even the first time he’d awakened in the same situation with Aziraphale sitting beside him in the bed, reading a book while Crowley used his thigh as a pillow.

“Did you know,” Aziraphale said, stroking Crowley’s hair and kindly ignoring the noise he made at the touch, “that that American novelist we both hate, the one who’s always going on about millennials, has written a series of erotic adventures under a nom de plume?”

“Is it any good?” Crowley mumbled, curling closer in the hopes that Aziraphale might touch more of him.

“Oh no, it’s dreadful. I shouldn’t be surprised. Nothing he’s written elsewhere would suggest he has any insight into sexual pleasure.” Aziraphale did, in fact, touch more of him; his manicured fingers ran gentle lines over Crowley’s ear and the side of his neck. When he touched the tattoo, there was an echo of the earlier pleasure and he groaned against Aziraphale’s tartan pajama-clad leg.

“Speaking of insight into sexual pleasure,” he said, “you’ve got a surprising amount of it.”

“I only did what I’d been wanting to do for some time now,” Aziraphale said. He set down the book and smoothed his palm over the cover, incapable of breaking the spine even on something terrible, and looked down at him with what Crowley hoped was more fondness than amusement. However, given that he was in the process of wrapping around Aziraphale in a manner that more than suggested his original form, he suspected amusement won out.

“You’re warm,” he said by way of explanation.

“Ah,” Aziraphale said. “Well, you may have all the warmth from me that you should ever want.”

“Mmm,” Crowley said, perfectly content with the world and all its trappings. “And you can have all of my custard creams. Every last one.”

“Are you sure?” Aziraphale asked with a level of alarm appropriate to one who had asked for a custard cream before and been told in no uncertain terms that Crowley did not share them, not with anyone.


Oh,” Aziraphale said. His thumb swept over a particularly nice place on Crowley’s neck and Crowley reflected that things had changed—but only just a bit.