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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-06 01:06 am

GOOD OMENS: Some Strange Race; C/A

Summary: Aziraphael and Crowley are a new breed of angel.
Warnings: None.
Rating: R
Notes: This was previously two separate stories, Some Strange Race and The Seconds Slim. It was rewritten in 2013 to form one single story.

Original posting date unknown.

Now available at AO3.

As all the heavens were a bell,
And Being but an ear,
And I am silent, some strange race,
Wrecked, solitary, here.
-- Emily Dickinson

"Oi, angel, what the hell are you doing back there?"

Aziraphael, angel, professional apocalypse survivor, and part-time book collector, looked up irritably from his work. Standing in the doorway was the one ma -- perso -- being who had been a constant, to him, for thousands of years. He was mean-spirited, sarcastic, and a worryingly good sophist when it came to the philosophy of right and wrong. He was a demon, and his name was Crowley, and he owned a leather jacket that Aziraphael always considered just a bit too flash, even for Crowley's particular profession.

Aziraphael liked to blend in. He'd found that doing good came easier if nobody saw you do it. If, for example, you stepped in and laid your hands on some poor sod's car when it'd broken down and said "be mended!" people got Ideas about you. Whereas if you happened to be walking by, and leaned on it for a few seconds and just said an unmemorable "good morning" or some such, they thought it was all them, when the car started fine.

Not that Aziraphael was a very good mechanic, when it came to doing it the Human way, or that he'd use the word 'sod'.

Crowley would, however. He'd use words that were a lot worse, too, but it was mostly out of habit. Live around humans too long and things tended to rub off.

"I said, what're you doing back there?" Crowley repeated. Aziraphael rubbed his eyes.

"Celestial mathematics," he said.

"Apocalypse algebra?" Crowley suggested, leaning in the doorway. He wasn't wearing the entirely-too-flash leather jacket; instead he looked rather like a high-ranking accountant, in a blue linen shirt, black suit, and sunglasses. "Is that why you've been closed a week solid?" he asked, jerking his thumb at the front room of Aziraphael's shop, and the solidly locked door.

Crowley had never got the hang of taking hints like locked doors.

"More or less," Aziraphael replied.

"Doing any good?"

"No," the angel sighed.

"It's ineffable, eh?"

"It usually is, I'm afraid. Still, I wanted to give it a try."

Crowley grinned at him, the grin that said he was about to pull one of his worryingly-good-sophist arguments. "Why?"

"Because I'd like to know."

"That's half the fun of ineffable. It's a big surprise."

"I'd just like to know."

Crowley had also never got the hang of stopping when the horse was dead. "Look, it's not like we can do anything about it. It'll come round, we'll save the world if we haven't got tired of it yet, and all will be well."

"If we decide to save it," Aziraphael said quietly. Crowley's eyebrows drew together.

"You're not having second thoughts about Armageddon last year, are you?" he asked.

"No, not really. It's just that I think...I mean the world's got to end sometime, and my people did seem to have the upper hand."


"Don't you think we did?"

"Not among the humans," Crowley pointed out. "They're so deliciously temptable."

"I do wish you'd stop that," Aziraphael said. "I mean, at least around me."

"Why? Does you good to see how it's done. Makes you a better thwarter."

"I wouldn't have to thwart at all, if you -- "

"We both know that's not true," Crowley said sharply. "Humans get up to all sorts of wickedness when I'm not even in the same country. It's free will. They don't have to be evil, angel. They're always choosing it. And that's what makes me think you ought to be grateful that last time was just a run-up at armageddon."

"Would you stop harping on free will already?" Aziraphael said, just as sharply.

"Me harping on it? Your people invented it -- "

"Just because you haven't got it doesn't mean you should take advantage of it in humans!" Aziraphael exploded. Crowley stared at him, stunned. He'd never seen Aziraphael lose his temper before. Plus, he'd never been insulted in quite so backhanded a fashion.

"You think," he said, gritting his teeth, "After six thousand years around humans, we both haven't picked up the habit?"

"It's not a disease, you know! You can't catch it from humans!"

"Prove it!" Crowley shouted back.

"You can't prove a lack! You can only prove a -- "

Crowley, rage filling him, swept forward, gripping Aziraphael by the back of the neck and intending hit him, or shove him, or something violent.

Instead he found himself kissing the angel, fiercely, while Aziraphael struggled for breath. He slid his tongue between his lips, waiting for the acceptance of the kiss he was sure must come...

When he leaned back, Aziraphael was watching him, almost...almost curiously.

"That's free will," Crowley said hoarsely. It had been like kissing a mannequin; there had been no response, merely mute, passive acceptance. "For crying out loud, angel, you could at least have made the effort."

"How did you do it?" Aziraphael asked softly.

"Well, it's a trick with the tongue -- " Crowley stopped when Aziraphael waved a hand, dismissively.

"You're a demon, you're only supposed to tempt, to do wickedness," he continued, in a stunned, almost desperate voice. "You're not supposed to be able to love."

"Who said anything about -- come on now, angel, I was just trying to prove -- "

"How did it happen? Did you always have it? Did I just not know?" Aziraphael asked, wretchedly. "How could I not notice?"

"All I did was kiss you!" Crowley shouted.

"I could feel it," the angel said softly. "You love me."

It was Crowley's turn to look wretched. "Well, you spend six thousand years around a chap, you're bound to become attached."

"You love me."

"Listen, it's just, you know, you start to know what sorts of things they like, books and that, and sooner or later you've got to notice how their hands move, you realise you don't know what colour their eyes are so you make a note to yourself to find out -- I mean these human bodies, they're really quite amazing when you get down to it."

"How is that possible?"

"I dunno, your people created them..."

"I didn't mean human bodies, Crowley, and you know it."

They each stared at their shoes, and an embarrassed silence descended.

"Don't you ever think about me? At all?" Crowley asked, after a while.

"I'm an angel. We love everything. It's mostly what we do. I mean it's just this fierce, all-consuming love for everything in God's creation. Including demons," Aziraphael added. Crowley looked up quickly, then back down. "But I'm not allowed to be in love. You know that, you were an angel once."

"Yeah, well, that was a long time ago."

"You could be forgiven."

"I don't want to be forgiven. I like what I do."

"And somewhere along the line you got free will," Aziraphael said. "Because you've been both, that's it, isn't it? You've been the angel and the demon. So you know both sides and you can pick and choose and that is not fair, Crowley." He shoved his hands in his pockets. "Because I can't fall for you. I can't fall from grace on the off chance that if I have free will I'll choose to love you."

"If you're considering falling from grace on account of a demon loves you, angel, you're already halfway there," Crowley murmured.

"Don't do that!"

Crowley's head snapped up. Aziraphael was pointing at him. "You're tempting me, Crowley! We agreed -- "

"I'm not tempting you, I'm telling you the truth!"

"Get out of my bookshop! How dare you!"

"I didn't tell you to make the Arrangement with me! I didn't force you to do anything! You're almost there, Aziraphael," Crowley pleaded. "You're so close to getting it for yourself. It's not a sin, it's just -- "



Aziraphael looked at him, stunned. "What?"

"I'm not leaving your sodding bookshop!" Crowley shouted. Aziraphael crossed his arms, fingers rubbing distractedly on his sleeves. "So you can just -- bloody heaven -- " he stepped forward as Aziraphael doubled over, crying out in actual pain. He caught him under the arms before his knees hit the floor, and lowered him easily down.

"I don't want to fall," the angel cried, trembling. "I don't want to fall, Crowley, but I want free will so badly I can taste it, I want to know what it's like..."

"It's all right, angel," Crowley soothed, tucking Aziraphael's head under his chin, stroking the soft hair. He shuddered and slumped against him, weeping. Crowley, who after all was a demon, had a momentary worry about his silk waistcoat getting ruined.

"I'm an angel," Aziraphael whispered. "I've been an angel for thousands of years. I don't know how to be anything else. I can't fall, Crowley, I can't."

"If you did, I probably wouldn't love you anymore anyhow," Crowley said, lightly.

"Liar," Aziraphael managed.

"It's sort of what I do," Crowley agreed.

"Why are you doing this to me? Two minutes ago you were tempting me and now you're trying to stop me..."

"Well, we're confusing creatures, demons," Crowley admitted.

"I'm frightened of it. And I want it. Isn't that temptation?" Aziraphael asked, with a childlike faith in Crowley's ability to answer.

"Angel..." Crowley sighed. "You've gone against your people before. Yes, yes, tricky theological ground and a good lawyer could get you off, but unfortunately all the really good ones are down below. You have desires. Well. At least one. Two if you count your books. And you got angry at me."

Aziraphael shivered again, and Crowley stroked his cheek.

"You're so close. It's the apple all over again, angel. It's sitting there waiting for you."

"It was God's plan for Eve to eat the apple," Aziraphael said rebelliously. "It's ineffable."

"Yes," Crowley agreed. "Exactly."

There was a long silence, while Aziraphael considered this.

"Angels are sexless, unless they really make the effort," he said, damply.

"So I've heard," Crowley replied, a touch of sardonic humour creeping in.

"Is it hard?"

"Is what hard?"

" angel? Being...more like a human?"

Crowley considered this.

"Most of the time I don't think about it," he admitted. "But there's this little...ache. Right down in the belly. It's nearly always there." He sighed. "The only time it isn't is when I'm around you."

"But what if I wasn't an angel anymore?"

"Do you think it would be any different?"

Aziraphael straightened, and Crowley let him go, sitting back on his heels. The angel wiped at his nose. The demon offered a nearly-clean handkerchief.

"Human bodies are so runny," Aziraphael said, with a small smile. Crowley nodded. "Thank you, Crowley."

"Oh bugger, I've gone and done something good, haven't I?" Crowley asked, laughing.

"It's my influence."

"Could be."

Aziraphael rubbed his forehead and stood, smoothing the creases in his shirt fussily. Crowley straightened as well, and leaned on the desk.

"That's that then, is it?" he asked, carefully keeping the despair out of his voice.

"I think so, yes," Aziraphael replied. "Come here, your collar..."

Crowley leaned forward and lifted his chin. Aziraphael's deft fingers fixed the corners on his collar. Crowley watched as something in the angel's tearstained face seemed to break.

"So what do you think about dinner at -- " Crowley broke off, suddenly. Aziraphael's fingers lingered on his throat, thumb exploring the shape of his adam's apple.

"I never knew," Aziraphael said slowly, wonder in his voice. "No wonder everyone's always on about lust."

"What are you on about?" Crowley asked, terrified. Aziraphael's fingers moved upwards, sliding across his jaw.

"How on earth is this wrong?" Aziraphael asked. "It feels like the divine...there's hardly any difference at all."

"Angel..." Aziraphael's thumb pressed against his bottom lip, driving him to distraction.

"Not anymore," Aziraphael whispered. "Why didn't you tell me it felt like this?"

Crowley threw his head back and laughed as Aziraphael bent, lips sliding along the corner of his jaw, following the tracings of his fingers a moment before. He laughed when he leaned forward into Aziraphael's arms, laughed as he pressed the falling angel against a bookcase and when Aziraphael finally reached his mouth they both laughed, foreheads pressed together, lips touching, laughing and laughing.

"Welcome to the party, angel," Crowley moaned.

"Stop talking," Aziraphael ordered, biting the demon's lip.

"Six thousand years all coming down on you at once, are they?"

"I told you to stop talking." Aziraphael seemed determined to explore his entire body by touch, starting with the sensitive skin of his neck and chest. He felt the just-recently-straightened collar pried apart by his fingers, felt the buttons undo themselves one by one.

"We could just..." Crowley managed, trying to indicate that with a thought, they might be elsewhere, naked, and already in bed. Aziraphael shook his head.

"I want to understand it," he said. "I want to know everything."

Crowley, who had done this sort of thing before, though admittedly never with a angel, knew that when they got to awkward things like socks and shoes, he would probably feel differently, but he let the angel unbutton his silk waistcoat and soft linen shirt, let Aziraphael discover how it felt to push them off his shoulders. It wasn't like this wasn't what Crowley had been wanting, had been dreaming of for more years than he cared to name...

"You might help out a bit," Aziraphael said, palms flat on Crowley's chest, and Crowley realised he had been so distracted by the angel's touch that he hadn't done more than push him against a bookshelf that was probably jabbing him in the back quite a bit.

"This isn't the ideal place to do this," Crowley murmured. "Let me take you somewhere."

"Where would you take me, if you did?" Aziraphael asked. Crowley ran his knuckles down the buttons on Aziraphael's shirt, and they undid themselves. He slid a warm hand around the angel's waist.

"Somewhere private. Somewhere that would make you happy," Crowley said. Aziraphael nuzzled his chin, and smiled.

"Think you could get up a flight of stairs?" he asked, sliding out from between Crowley and the bookshelf, and pulling him bodily towards the stairway that led up to a small flat (because even an angel has to have somewhere to keep his furniture). Crowley kept going when they reached the top, and pushed Aziraphael into the bedroom, down onto the bed. A good deal of their clothing vanished as he crawled over him, and Aziraphael made a noise.

Crowley had never heard that particular noise before. Not from anyone he'd been with. Certainly not from Aziraphael.

He bent his head, kissing the angel's collarbone. Aziraphael made the noise again. It was sort of a pleading noise, Crowley decided. He bent and grazed Aziraphael's nipple with his teeth. The noise got louder. With definite overtones of satisfied pleasure. It seemed to go straight through Crowley, down his spine, and lodge in his groin.

"Did I doing something wrong?" Aziraphael asked, when Crowley pushed himself up to look down at the angel's face.

"Angel," Crowley said patiently. "Do you think there's a whole lot of wrong that a sensible divine being like yourself can possibly do, in a situation where you are in bed, with me, and wearing only your underthings?"

"Point," Aziraphael said, and smiled. Oh, that smile. Like a sunrise. Still an angel's smile. Gentle. With an unerring, unwavering love for everything in the world.

But not, Crowley thought, as much as he loves me. He loves me more than everything. My angel loves me more. Me.

I should have kissed him at least two thousand years ago.

Out loud, he merely said, "They're very nice underthings."

"I changed them," Aziraphael murmured, as Crowley pressed his face to the angel's smooth stomach. Neither of them had belly-buttons.

"Oh?" Crowley asked, looking up.

"I thought..." Aziraphael flushed. "You like silk, don't you?"

Crowley let his lips slide against the waistband of the pale blue silk boxers.

"I do like silk," he whispered. "But I think I like nothing better."

He slid them down Aziraphael's legs. There was that noise again. Like a whimper, except it had words, somehow. It had a meaning that Crowley couldn't quite grasp.

Which didn't matter too much. Not when he bent his head and nipped lightly and kissed and took the angel in his mouth and Aziraphael was making other noises now, still laughing, very nearly crying as well.

Crowley, who had not in his wildest dreams imagined that this was how he was going to spend his evening, stopped before Aziraphael could even warn him, and leaned back.

"How interested are you," he asked, chest heaving, well aware that his own body was demanding immediate attention, "in being leisurely about this?"

"Not very," Aziraphael answered, shifting his legs underneath Crowley. "You?"

"Do you mind much if I...?"

"How unusually polite of you," Aziraphael said affectionately, only a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

Aziraphael being sarcastic. While naked. The world was indeed turning on its ear.

Crowley moved, slowly, and knew that Aziraphael was moving with him, and realised the angel must be picking his brain about how this was done even as they did it. When he pressed against him, Aziraphael was already prepared, and he slid forward, inward, leaning over his angel, who loved him, who had fallen for him, who was making that wonderful noise again...

Crowley realised, suddenly, what it was.

It was his name.

Not AJ Crowley, or any of the other mortal names he'd been known under. Not even the demonic name he'd signed when he was given the antichrist. It was in angeltongue, the language of the divine, and it was the name he'd had when his wings were still white and the apple had not yet, metaphorically, been eaten. It had been six thousand years since he'd heard it on anyone's lips. He wondered how Aziraphael had learned it.

Not that it mattered; the name resonated inside him, and he quickened, and the angel cried it out and divine ecstasy was nothing at all compared to this.

Crowley shuddered when Aziraphael came, six thousand years of pent-up desire wracking the angel's mortal body. But he didn't stop moving. Aziraphael was still saying his name. And then the world seemed to tilt, and he let himself go, and fell on top of the angel, his angel.

"Yes, dear boy," Aziraphael said, stroking his hair gently, while Crowley tried to comprehend what had just happened. "I suppose I am."

Crowley wondered if he'd said it aloud, or if it had been so strong that Aziraphael had heard it anyway.

"I heard it all," Aziraphael said in reply. "I didn't mean to -- "

"It wasn't anything," Crowley gasped, sliding up to kiss him, "that you couldn't hear. That I wouldn't want you hearing." Aziraphael's fingers in his hair was the best mortal feeling Crowley could recall.

"How long?" he asked, after a while. Crowley shrugged.

"Two, three thousand years, I guess," he said. "I didn't really think about it. It was just there, one day. It's not like I pined, understand," he added quickly. Aziraphael laughed.

"Of course not," he murmured.

"I mean I had people to tempt. Wiles to commit. All kinds of mischief."

Aziraphael was silent, his left hand resting just below Crowley's neck, his right arm wrapped around Crowley's waist.

"Things are going to be different now," he said finally, sleepy-eyed.

"How so?" Crowley asked, rolling a little and propping himself up on one elbow. Allowed the opportunity to touch the angel, he wasn't going to pass it up. His hand rested gently on the smooth spot where Aziraphael's navel should have been.

"Well, I'm not an angel anymore, am I?" Aziraphael asked.

"Are you?" Crowley fixed him with an amused gaze. "Are you happy?"

"Oh, yes."

"Still got love for all things in creation?"

Aziraphael seemed to run down a quick mental checklist. "Yes," he replied. "Oh -- except strawberry ice cream."

"Nobody likes strawberry ice cream," Crowley said dismissively. "Still feel like doing good in the world?"


"Like to thwart wiles?"

"I suppose."

"Like it when I do this?"


"Sorry," the demon said, unapologetically. "But it's there, you know, just waiting for me to come along and -- "


"All right, all right..."

"The first thing we are going to do is teach you an ounce of self-control," Aziraphael said, not as sternly as he might have.



"What about your wings?"

"Oh..." Aziraphael sat up, and crossed his legs, closing his eyes in concentration. Crowley moved back a little, watching with interest. There was a feathery rustle as two enormous wings unfurled.

Crowley, who had expected them to be white, or at any rate pale blue -- blue was Aziraphael's favourite colour, he'd learned that in 1340 -- stared at the wings, stunned.

"What? What is it?" Aziraphael asked, worried. The tip of one wing extended until it hung in front of his face, and he reached out to touch one of the long trailing feathers.

"Oh my," he whispered. The wings were scarlet, a deep gleaming red that was elemental, the purest and most primal colour Crowley had ever seen. "Is that...?"

Crowley shook his head. "Black," he said. "Demon's wings are black. See?"

He sat up himself, and let his own batlike black wings snap open. Or that's what he expected would happen, anyhow. Instead there was another rustle of feathers, and Aziraphael pointed.

"They are demon wings! I knew it! I'm evil!" he cried.

"No, no no no -- " Crowley pulled on his own wings, which were feathery now, and the same gleaming red as Aziraphael's. "No, they're supposed to be black! Red's no good for demons! Not unless it's blood red!"

He looked at Aziraphael, who was unhealthily pale.

"What are we?" the angel asked, in a worried whisper.

"We are in a load of seriously deep trouble is what we are!" Crowley said. "Quick. You got free will?"

Aziraphael considered. "Fuck you," he said. Crowley almost took offence, until a happy smile suffused Aziraphael's face. "Seems like it."

"I've still got it too," Crowley mused. He furled his own wings back into nothingness. Aziraphael looked at him expectantly. "You think we're...we're something new?"

"There's good and evil, Crowley, and there's humans. And those are the three things that are," Aziraphael stated flatly. "There isn't anything else."

"We're obviously not humans," Crowley said.

"Humans don't have great big red wings," Aziraphael agreed. "Generally speaking."

"But an angel can't fall on account of love. That'd be ridiculous. And a demon isn't supposed to love anything in the first place."

"Maybe we're something new."

"Don't be ridic -- like what?" Crowley asked, intrigued. Aziraphael shrugged.

"Maybe we're sort of...divine humans," he said, thoughtfully. "If you have free will that means you have the ability to transcend evil. I couldn't, because I had no choice. You couldn't transcend good because you didn't have a choice either."

"But we both did, eventually. I mean we saved the world and that," Crowley answered. "We like the world."

"Oh, I agree. Full-on, I'm fond of it." Aziraphael nodded.

"So you're saying...we're angels...who get to pick sides?"

"More like we haven't got a side."

"We're on the side of the humans, then?"

"Can you think of a better side to be on?"

Crowley grinned. "Right. We root for humans."

"We protect and teach humans," Aziraphael corrected primly.

"We show 'em how to have a good time."

"Look after little ones."

"Start football riots."

"But only to show them what happens when they don't get along."

"You're hopeless," Crowley said, and leaned forward, and kissed Aziraphael soundly. The world was suddenly confined to an arching circle of soft red feathers, as the angel wrapped his wings around the pair of them.

"It's a big job, looking after all humanity," Aziraphael said, after a while. Crowley, forehead leaning against his, nodded slightly.

"They can wait till tomorrow morning, though, right?" he asked. "Humanity I mean. To be looked after."

"Well, it's not like humans don't basically look after themselves."

Crowley laughed, and pulled Aziraphael backwards, and the soft red feathers covered their bodies completely.


Strictly speaking, angels don't sleep -- or they don't have to, at any rate. Crowley, being a demon, had slept for a whole century once. Aziraphael wasn't sure which was worse: being evil but inactive, or being slack about one's entire reason for existence. He'd tried it a few times for novelty's sake, but it never went well. He always woke restlessly, with the feeling that he had left something undone or the nervous sensation that someone somewhere had needed angelic ministration and he'd missed it.

So it was with some surprise that he found himself waking up.

It was a slow process, rather deliciously so, like reading a long novel. He was naked, which was nice, and the sheets were warm, smooth linen; there was a heavy blanket wrapped around him. He wondered, idly and rather unconcernedly, whose bed it was. He himself didn't own a bed, though the little flat above the bookstore had a bedroom --

Like the unfurling of two enormous, sun-blocking wings, the events of the previous day -- of the time before the wonderful warm sleep -- came back to him. He opened his eyes. Yes; this was the bedroom of his flat, and this was a bed in the bedroom of his flat. Not his bed; some creation of Crowley's, conjured in a moment of need.

Oh yes. Need.

He was lying on his side, right hand resting next to his face on the pillow, palm up; a pale, cream-coloured pillow, like the blanket and the sheets. Here and there on the blanket he could see little flecks of red fluff. Down from their wings, brilliant red wings unlike any shade he'd seen before, even in Heaven. Wings that meant he wasn't an angel anymore.

He curled the fingers of his right hand against his palm, watching them move, slowly. Normally he didn't pay much attention to his human body. It was simply there, to be used. Now, however, he watched the tendons shift and slide under his skin, knowing that every movement, every act, was his.

Free will. Crowley had kissed him and he'd wept because he was so afraid to fall, but he'd craved free will, something every human from the most wretched to the saintly was given as a gift at birth. To do and act because one wanted to, to have a choice -- to feel the unutterable joy of doing good because one had the option to do bad. To know virtue, something impossible for a being who was created to be inherently good.

He had fallen and become something more than an angel. What was it they had called themselves, in the rush of shock that came from the discovery? Divine mortals?

Yes, he thought, though he heard Crowley's voice as he thought it. We side with the humans now.

He was still sleepy enough that he wondered where Crowley was without actually wanting to get up and look for him. The blanket was so warm, and the heady memory of his fall, the memory of Crowley's body moving against his, was so pleasant to think on. If this had happened before his fall, he would have been frantic with worry, he would have wondered how he could possibly let something like this happen. Now he was content to lie in bed and wonder what his lovely new red wings really meant. He was supremely unworried about Heaven or The Other Place. Besides, Crowley loved him. He'd said so. Crowley loved him and they were the only two divine mortals on the face of the earth.

He became aware of a splashing noise, somewhere beyond the bed; there was a bathroom attached to the bedroom which he'd likewise never used, but now it appeared someone was. Water was running against porcelain, and the scent of lathered soap, fresh and sharp, drifted into the bedroom. He pushed himself up on one elbow and was about to call for Crowley when there was an oath from the bathroom.

"Crowley?" he asked, hesitantly.

"Angel?" Crowley's voice called. It sounded annoyed.

"Is something wrong?"

"I should bloody well think there is!" Crowley said, emerging into the bedroom. He had a pair of black trousers slung low on his hips and that was more or less it; his face was covered in soap from the cheekbones down, and he was holding a bit of cloth against the skin under his nose.

"What have you got on your face?" Aziraphael asked, mildly amused. Crowley glared at him.

"Soap. And do you know why?" he asked, taking the cloth away for a moment. He examined it, then put it back again.

"It smells nice," Aziraphael said, burrowing back into the blanket a little.

"Because I have to shave," Crowley said. "I have stubble."

"Why'd you do that for?"

"I didn't do it on purpose! I woke up and I was all -- scratchy," Crowley said. "And I tried to just....send it off, and it won't go."

"Won't go?" Aziraphael asked, becoming slowly aware that his chin was a little rough in places as well.

"So I thought I'd shave. Can't be that hard, right? Humans do it every day. And then I cut myself and I started to bleed!" Crowley exclaimed. "Blood! Look!"

He took the cloth away from his face once more and waved it at Aziraphael, who sat up in bed to examine it better.

"Did you mean to?" he asked.

"Are you always this dim after you sleep?" Crowley asked. "Of course I didn't mean to! Argh!"


"The soap's drying. It itches," Crowley growled, vanishing back into the bathroom. Water began to run again, and Aziraphael could hear the sound of a razor blade scraping across skin.

"But we don't bleed," Aziraphael pointed out, sliding to the edge of the bed. He wasn't sure where their clothing had gone, but if he concentrated, a nice subdued tartan dressing gown appeared on a hook next to the bed. He pulled it on as he wandered over to the doorway. "And we don't need to shave..."

"You might not, but I do," Crowley said. He was wielding a flat razor carefully around the edge of his jaw. "Nice dressing gown."

"Thank you," Aziraphael said, supremely unaware of the sarcasm in Crowley's voice. He scratched his cheek and was surprised to feel a fine down of hair there. He looked over Crowley's shoulder at the dark, spotty mirror that Crowley was shaving in. The mirror brightened, gradually. Aziraphael, studying the beginnings of a thin gold beard on his chin, willed it away.

Nothing happened.

"You're trying it, aren't you?" Crowley asked, the razor hovering in front of his face.

"Nonsense," Aziraphael said loftily, much more easily than he felt. "I think I'll just...shave today."

"Hah," Crowley answered skeptically. He set the razor down and splashed water on his face, rinsing it. The nick below his nose was now a tiny red line on his upper lip. "Have you ever used a straight razor before, Angel?"

"It can't be that -- ow!" Aziraphael cried. He'd picked up the razor by the blade, dropped it when it cut him, and promptly, instinctively, shoved his bleeding finger in his mouth. "That hurt," he said indignantly, around his finger. Crowley, watching his reflection in the mirror, chuckled. Aziraphael saw the wounded look in his own pale blue eyes, and had to admit the sight was somewhat amusing.

"But you conjured the razor and the soap," he pointed out. "Why can't we just vanish away the cuts?"

"I don't know," Crowley said. He turned to face the former angel, leaning on the sink. "Maybe it has to do with what happened yesterday. Is it deep?"

Aziraphael took his finger out of his mouth. "No," he said.

"Good," Crowley answered, an unreadable look in his eyes. "I don't think I'm going to let you near your face with a razor."

"But -- "

"Stand still," Crowley ordered. Aziraphael froze obediently. Crowley reached behind him and turned on the faucet. His fingers were cold and wet when they touched Aziraphael's cheeks; cold that couldn't be willed away, wet that didn't simply evaporate off his skin. Crowley's fingers worked soap into a lather and spread it on his cheeks, and Aziraphael made the mistake of licking his lower lip. The bitter taste of the soap made him grimace.

"Hold still," Crowley said, lifting the razor. Aziraphael, mindful of the startling pain when he'd cut his finger, froze every muscle in his face. Crowley sighed.

"Hold still but relax," he corrected.

There was something oddly soothing about the way Crowley drew the blade along his skin, though Aziraphael wasn't sure he wanted to know how Crowley'd gotten so good with a straight razor. On other people, at least. Crowley's eyes followed his hands, and Aziraphael watched them as they roamed over his face. Finally he wiped the remains of the soap from Aziraphael's face with a towel, and kissed him.

Aziraphael, soothed by the attention he was being paid and still not quite fully awake (and why not? Was this like bleeding and having to shave too?) was jolted out of a half-dazed state by the force of the kiss. It didn't seem to want to end, or maybe it was a series of kisses; Aziraphael, not having extensive experience in the romance department, wasn't sure how one quantified a kiss like this.

Crowley's lean body, swaying against his, reminded him that not everything in life needed to be quantified.

"Crowley," he managed, against very smooth, soap-smelling skin. "Crowley, we should -- "

"Fuck," Crowley suggested. "Like bunnies."

Aziraphael burst out laughing. "Bunnies?" he asked.

"Don't mock me, angel."

Aziraphael lifted a finger and pressed it against Crowley's lips to keep him from trying to kiss him again.

"That's what we should discuss," he said softly. "I'm not an angel anymore, Crowley. I think this -- the razor, the cuts -- proved that."

"I don't want to discuss it," Crowley said sulkily.

Aziraphael felt his wings snap out, gloriously; if they'd been on a cliff somewhere the wings would have caught the wind and lifted him off the ground. As it was they filled the room, and he furled them quickly, bringing the edges around to enclose himself and Crowley in stunning, vibrant red.

"Point taken, angel, but really -- "

"Crowley, something's happened."

Crowley went very still. "Are you sorry?" he asked.

"No, dear boy. Not in the least. But I've slept, and you've nicked yourself, and who knows what other surprises are waiting for us. Don't you think we ought to proceed with a reasonable degree of caution?"

Crowley didn't meet his eyes, and Aziraphael let the wings fade slowly into nothingness.

"I think we ought to enjoy the one thing we do know is safe," Crowley said finally. There was an odd, quiet urgency to his tone that Aziraphael didn't understand. "And -- angel, I'm..."

He made an odd, vague gesture which had no meaning for Aziraphael. Finally Crowley made a frustrated noise and put a hand on his chest, pushing him back against the wall. Their hips pressed together, and Crowley's urgency became a trifle clearer.

"Mmh," Crowley said against his neck, nosing at the sensitive skin under his ear. His body pushed against Aziraphael in a gentle but unrelenting rhythm and Aziraphael felt his own body begin to respond without his meaning it to. Crowley moaned a little, and one of his hands fumbled with the trousers that had only been staying on by uncertain physics in the first place. Aziraphael felt the sash of his dressing gown slip away and the fabric fall back, and his eyes began to roll up in his head as Crowley's insistent rhythm increased, the ex-demon's deep voice resonating against the skin of his neck.

"There, angel," Crowley moaned, one hand on his hip, the other sliding up around his back to grip his shoulder. Aziraphael hadn't thought the sensation of skin touching skin could provoke the moan that came out of his own mouth, unbidden, and for the second time in two days he marveled at the power of lust.

But Crowley smelled so good and everywhere he touched made Aziraphael's skin throb, and there was this feeling -- that tightness in the stomach and lower, a tense feeling that nevertheless made light dance behind his eyelids and made him arch up against Crowley with a distinctly un-Aziraphael-like cry --

Human bodies really were so messy in the grip of powerful emotions, but Aziraphael found he did not care.

"Okay," he said, as Crowley breathed heavily against his shoulder, their bodies still locked together and Aziraphael's shoulderblades up against the wall.

"Okay what?" Crowley asked.

"Bunnies it is then."

Nods from the gilded pointers,
Nods from the seconds slim,
Decades of arrogance between
The dial life and him.
-- Emily Dickinson

[identity profile] 2005-11-18 07:15 am (UTC)(link)
I really like these two. Now I shall go look for more...

"Fuck," Crowley suggested. "Like bunnies."


[identity profile] 2006-01-07 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh! How adorably perfect!
admiral: gwendolyn → odin sphere (Default)

[personal profile] admiral 2006-02-08 09:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, that was so lovely. I seriously adore this one.

"Start football riots."

Ehehh. Great.

[identity profile] 2006-08-17 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I like strawberry ice cream...

[identity profile] 2006-08-20 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
Mmm, lovely. I adore A/C and you write it very well.

[identity profile] 2006-10-08 10:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, that was wonderful.

[identity profile] 2007-08-05 09:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Good fic!

[identity profile] 2007-08-31 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm not sold on the idea that they don't have free will (after all, you can't *choose* to be able to choose).

However, this bit was achingly tender:
"Where would you take me, if you did?" Aziraphael asked. Crowley ran the back of his hand down the buttons on Aziraphael's shirt, and they undid themselves. He slid a warm hand around the angel's waist.

"Somewhere private. Somewhere that would make you happy," Crowley said. Aziraphael nuzzled his chin, and smiled.
And at Crowley's realization that Aziraphale was saying his (Crowley's) angelic name... I got all choked up.

[identity profile] 2007-08-31 07:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I think I was working off the idea that while Angels didn't have free will, they did have one decision open to them, and that was to fall. After all, how Good can you be if you're never tempted to be Bad? :D

(Anonymous) 2007-12-21 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
I stumbled onto your page while searching for the Stealing Harry story, and I was so glad to see you have these too. Good Omens is probably my favourite book, and you're...just amazing at this. Nice concept, too.

[identity profile] 2008-01-22 05:16 am (UTC)(link)
My reaction when Crowley realized Aziraphael was saying his name in angeltongue, that that was his moan of ecstasy, was so strong that my roommate thought I was in anguish. I don't believe I will ever get over how well you write. And, since I've said it elsewhere but it bears repeating, I actually read Good Omens in large part because I loved your R/S and A/C crossover fic. So thank you, doubly.

[identity profile] 2008-02-13 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
okay so...i just finished good omens earlier today and i'm already neck deep in slash. the best of which, quite unsurprisingly, is yours. mmmmmmm... :D
ext_15498: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-03-28 06:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Love, love, love these fics! Beautifully done.

[identity profile] 2008-05-08 02:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Now I want to go back and read the book. I love your inbetween entity they become. Gives me plot bunnies for role-playing games... and visions of possible art work.

[identity profile] 2008-07-27 09:15 am (UTC)(link)
I've just read this at skyehawke. You didn't write sequels to this, did you? I just love a good get-together fic that continues after the first sex scene. There are so few of those. And the idea with what they had become: human bodies that behaved like humans' bodies but with the power to influence things is just intriguing. I would be also curious about how they'd go about their "jobs" after this.

[identity profile] 2008-07-27 03:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I had intended to do a continuation, but it fell by the wayside; at the time I wasn't certain how to address their "jobs" myself :D

[identity profile] 2008-07-27 09:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Hm, I don't even know how they go about their original jobs. :) Too bad no one's really writing in this fandom anymore.

[identity profile] 2009-07-28 04:35 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow, this is a very interesting exploration of what their relationship could do to them. I like that it's not all the way one direction or the other, nor is it all the way human either. What they have is something new, they ought to be something new!

Also, awesome last line. *grins*

Thank you for sharing!

[identity profile] 2012-07-04 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)