The day was as good as any other had been so far that week, or month, or perhaps even longer than that. It had been nearly a century since he had experienced a quarantine, and the angel Aziraphale had quite forgotten not only how tediously boring they were, but how dreadfully lonely, especially when he didn't have the foulest of foul fiends to keep him company.

Crowley had been sleeping away the past few months completely oblivious to the fact that Aziraphale was very quickly realising just how little effort he had put into making any new friends these past eleven years, especially with the until very recently ineffable apocalypse; it hadn't exactly been at the forefront of his mind, unsurprising considering the fact that the only people who ever came into his little treasury were fellow bookworms, and he daren't make friends with someone like that for fear of one day needing to choose between said new friendship and departing with a dear old book.
And so, he found himself feeling really rather lonely and secluded. It didn't help that he had been unofficially cut off from the other angels; they wanted no part in his business ever since Gabriel and the others failed at executing him with Hell Fire.

It had been so lonely in his big empty bookshop, that he'd been forced to fill his time baking his poor little heart out and eating everything he made, as he had found it nearly impossible to give away a cake with a slice already missing, but he couldn't resist having a little taste of all his hard work, so there really was no other option. He simply had no choice. None at all.

Aziraphale had just plopped a soft ball of dough onto an evenly powdered counter when the phone began ringing in the other room; he shook his hands free of flour as he made his way over, "One moment," he requested of the telephone, giddy with the sudden excitement of a possible conversation, "just a moment, please!"

After picking up the receiver, he sat down on the arm of the chair beside the little table, "hello?"

"Angel."

The slow drawled voice made a bouquet of bright tulips bloom in his chest, and Aziraphale lit up with a smile, "Crowley! Why, I was just thinking of you, what marvellous timing," there really was something to be said of devil's appearing whenever they are thought of too hard, "how was your sleep?"

"Good. I overslept," there was a quiet sip of what was probably coffee, "I can see the World's still enveloped in a plague."

"It's not a plague, it's a virus, but I'm afraid it's still going."

"Hm. Remember the Black Death?"

Aziraphale shuddered, that had easily been one of the lowlights of the past 6,000 years, "well I don't think I'd very much be able to forget it, now would I?"

"That's not what I meant." There was unmasked concern in Crowley's voice when he spoke, "you've not been burning yourself out going out and trying to help them lot, have you?"

"No." The angel replied quietly, thinking about the deserted streets outside, "not that I haven't wanted to, I have, I just thought it would be worse if my going out would encourage others to go out, and I don't want to be a bad influence…"
He sighed, and wondered if the pain in his voice was as clear to Crowley as it had been to his own ears, "it hurts me to stay inside, I feel like I'm turning my back on them when I should be out there helping them!"

Crowley sighed, but his voice was kind when he spoke, "Aziraphale, you can't help all of them, you should know that better than anyone."

"I suppose I should." Aziraphale's eyes dropped to his socks; he had taken a liking to slipper socks during his time indoors, but their cloudy softness couldn't distract him from the tug at his heart. He had seen the entirety of humanity's existence. He was no stranger to its tragedies.

"Hey, come on, let the humans do some of the work themselves, we just saved them from Armageddon, remember? Let them figure this one out," there was a small hesitation before Crowley spoke again, "look, you just need to keep being the good influence we both know you love being. That's enough, I swear."

His dearest demon had never been able to completely absolve his sins, but Aziraphale's heart was lifted by the thought that he cared about him, "if you're sure." He said quietly, closing his eyes so that their voices could be together in the same darkness.

"I am." Crowley left it at that, then cleared his throat, "so what have you done, did you get far with all that baking you'd started?"

"Oh, yes!" Aziraphale said, relaxing as they moved away from the worst possible topic, "I've made cakes and breads and pies and pastries and oh, the most wonderful little shortbreads, but…"

"But?"

A silken sadness wrapped itself around him in a shroud, but the feelings had been following him and it had become impossible to deny, "but, well… I…" the angel started, wanting to avoid sounding like a fool, but unable to find the words to save face, "not a single one of them have felt at all fulfilling."

"Why not?"

"Well because nothing tastes as good when there's no one to share it with!" Aziraphale suddenly blurted before he could stop himself, "and the local hooligans think I'm some kind of crazed baker. I don't think there's a single one of them that would try to rob me again, even if the doors were open and there was a neon sign inviting them in to… pillage!"

Crowley laughed, short and sharp, "I see you've made a name for yourself while I've been asleep!" He paused, thinking, and Aziraphale gave him the time to do so, "I thought you would have enjoyed the solitude, catching up on all that quiet reading, what with your bookshop being restored and all, but are you saying you've been lonely?"

Was that hope he heard?

"In a roundabout way, I think I'm saying exactly that." Aziraphale conceded, "I've been quite miserable, and I really am very happy to finally hear from you."
There was four months' worth of single-sided conversations to catch up on, the entirety of Heaven seemed to have turned their backs on him, and also there was the time he ate so much of a tray bake that he still couldn't look at the vanilla extract without turning a shade of green.
Aziraphale held back everything else he wanted to say; he had missed Crowley more than he had ever done before, and that the prolonged isolation had made him realise that too much had gone unsaid for far too long.
The steady creep of times passing had fuelled in him a deep longing that made very being ache for someone.

For Crowley.

"Really?" The demon sounded positively delighted when he spoke, "Maybe I should have set an earlier alarm then, I mean it's hardly fair that you've been deprived of good company," he was definitely smiling, "and seems to me like that might be the answer to you feeling down, so why don't I hook you up with a demon I know who's awfully good company over a bottle of red?"
Crowley's voice drawled, slow and tempting, "what do you say, Angel?"
Before Aziraphale could answer, the other paused, and muttered, "wait, hang on, I'm going to have to go, I'll call you back, soon, I promise."

"Of course, but is everything alright?" The angel waited for an answer, but the only response was the phoneline going dead. With a confused sigh, he turned the receiver over in his hands, and ran his fingers over the smooth curve, willing Crowley to call him back; his vocal visit had been far too brief to scratch Aziraphale's long-waiting itch, and much like a tantalisingly small canapé before a banquet, it had only served to make him hungrier.

As the longing gripped him, Aziraphale almost didn't feel the calculated gaze of familiar purple eyes on him, but the hairs on the back of his neck raised, and he instinctually froze before turning slowly.

"Hello, Aziraphale."

-.-.-

So I got a recommendation on youtube for the little Ineffable Husbands phonecall at the start of quarantine, and after watching it immediately binged all of Good Omens, and it spoke to my soul and played my dopamine buttons like Beethoven.

Is it because rivals to lovers?

Of course it is, it always fecking is.

I know it isn't Erisol, but I hope it's enjoyable.

So it's set after the quarantine video, but I'm going to go ahead and just make the virus vague because I'd hate to be doing something in bad taste, but the isolation is important… you'll see. Short first chapter, but I always seem to start short!