Oh, my goodness! Yeah, that's right. This fan fic has returned. A pleasant confluence of circumstances enabled me to get this story pretty close to completion. I don't know what got in the way of me finishing it before. It sounds really pitiful to say that it was just 'life'. It's been a long time, so I suggest that anyone who's still out there re-read the first 3 chapters before continuing.
Most of the credit for this update goes to two sources. First, to the reviewer who brought to my attention the fact that it had been approximately 10 months since I updated this story. Needless to say, I hadn't realized how long I had left everyone hanging. I'm truly, truly sorry! Second, some of the Anime I've been watching recently has brought me back into a slightly slashy mood. I didn't feel I could do justice to what happens in the rest of this story unless I was in the right…frame of mind. Are you pickin' up what I'm throwin' down?
A small warning. I haven't actually read Good Omens in at least 6 months or so, and my copy is currently on loan to a friend recovering from surgery. Needless to say, the moment the damn book was out of my house, I wanted to read it. Shows what you get for being a good friend. So, if there's any canon/characterization discrepancies in this new chapter, let me know. I felt a little shaky being removed from the original material.
Disclaimer: I don't own Good Omens, Milton's Paradise Lost, or anything else of particular literary merit. All the writing I actually own that's worth spitting on is scattered across a series of disorganized notebooks in handwriting that even I have occasional difficulty deciphering.
Why Sleepst Thou Crowley?
Chapter 4: Devil in My Dreams
Aziraphale squinted as he entered the dark room. It was a quirky habit he'd developed over the last millennium or so. Being ethereal bestowed the advantage of never needing a flashlight even in the darkest of labyrinths, but after so many evenings spent searching for rare books in the hidden back corners of shadowy libraries he had cultivated the affectation just the same.
He looked around the room with polite interest, noting the large window, sparse but tasteful furnishings, and spacious bed.
Wait a second. Bed? This was a bedroom. Aziraphale paled. Crowley's bedroom?
Sure enough, there was a very obvious demon-shaped figure sprawled across the bed. Aziraphale's hands twiddled nervously as he considered his present dilemma. Intruding on Crowley like this felt more than just generally wrong. It felt sinful. Spying on a sleeping demon seemed far beyond the danger zone of acceptable conduct for an obedient, upstanding angel. But he was so curious. And he wasn't technically doing anything wrong.
No one had ever said 'Thou shalt not take a quick peek'…
Aziraphale noticed that he had already taken several unwitting steps toward the bed.
So why not?
And here was Crowley slumbering with bare feet, black pants, and an expensive looking white silk shirt. The top few buttons of the shirt were unfastened, causing it to gape open at just the right angle to reveal a tantalizing view of demonic collarbone. The angel's lips parted in wonderment as a very uncharacteristic delighted sigh was produced by the sleeping figure.
Reaching the side of the bed, Aziraphale hesitated. The bed was rather large, and if he wanted to get any closer he would have to climb at least part way on. His hand brushed against Crowley's down comforter. It was soft, fluffy, and white.
Like a cloud.
The angel wondered only briefly about the demon's surprising taste in linens before carefully raising one leg up to perch on the edge of the bed. Aziraphale scooted closer little by little, not wishing to disturb Crowley's slumber. Leaning over, he studied the demon as he snoozed unaware.
He looked so comfortable with his limbs flung haphazardly atop the covers. And his face – the expression was agonizingly innocent. Aziraphale leaned his face even closer, bringing it mere inches from Crowley's. He could feel the brush of warm air escaping from the demon's mouth. It seemed Crowley was quite the purist, continuing unnecessary respiratory activity even in his state of hibernation.
Aziraphale smiled briefly before trailing his gaze away from Crowley's lips, up the smooth planes of his face, toward his eyes. Without thinking, the angel reached out and gently brushed aside a lock of dark hair that had fallen across Crowley's right eye. The demon's eyelids weren't squeezed tightly shut. They appeared as though they'd just been pulled gently down like a shade covering a window.
It brought to mind that old metaphor. It seemed oddly applicable, even considering that Crowley technically had no soul for his eyes to be a window to…
The angel was violently startled out of his reverie when the eyelids he'd been so carefully observing snapped open, revealing two pools of molten gold. Aziraphale hardly had time to emit a strangled cry of alarm before Crowley gasped and lurched upward.
Time seemed to stop, the frozen moment turning in and out upon itself as the dream-dazed demon's forehead cracked against that of his angelic admirer.
"Holy Shit!" exclaimed Crowley.
"Bloody Hell!" echoed Aziraphale.
Barely awake, Crowley no longer knew which way was up. One second he'd been dreaming something rather naughty about being face to face with Aziraphale in a foresty bower. The next thing he knew, he seemed to be awake and face to face with Aziraphale in his bed.
Wait a blessed minute – Aziraphale in his bed?!
Crowley tried to shake his thoughts into some semblance of order. He couldn't remember being this confused since…well, ever.
The demon's gaze quickly shifted to the area of his bed from whence this inarticulate sound had originated. It was undoubtedly an Aziraphale sound.
Which, he quickly discovered, had come from Aziraphale.
The angel was crumpled quite ungracefully near the foot of his bed, limbs tangled in confusion. His golden curls appeared even more tousled than usual, and he was blushing so severely that Crowley could almost feel the waves of head radiating from the angel's cheeks. The demon was both relieved and disappointed to notice that he and Aziraphale were both fully clothed. Unlike in the dream he'd just been having…
Crowley tried to relax. "Hello, angel. Fancy meeting you here."
"Err…yes. Terribly sorry to wake you." Aziraphale collected himself into a more comfortable position.
Crowley stretched his arms lazily, smirking at the angel's obvious discomfort. "So, do you come here often?"
Aziraphale looked scandalized. "I—must you always be so perverse?"
"I was only kidding. Retrieve thy mind from yon gutter."
The demon's mischievous grin faded as he saw the flustered angel begin to scoot toward the edge of the bed. He'd better stop teasing before he scared Aziraphale away. That was the last thing Crowley wanted. This situation was way too good to squander carelessly.
"Don't run off, Aziraphale. I promise I'll behave." Crowley mentally crossed his fingers behind his back.
"I didn't mean to disturb your nap…" The angel looked like he'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Crowley wondered why.
"Don't worry about it. It was actually the dream that woke me up."
Aziraphale seemed to relax a little, rolling onto his side and propping his head up with one arm bent at the elbow. Crowley was surprised at the curiosity in the angel's pale blue eyes. "What were you dreaming about?"
The demon paused, carefully considering his answer.
"Do you remember that Milton chap?"
"Yes. He was a bloody charlatan. I mean, honestly:
'Why sleep'st thou Eve? Now is the pleasant time,
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling Bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song…'?
…as if The Adversary would ever talk like that."
Crowley flopped onto his side, facing Aziraphale and mirroring his comfortable pose. "True. It sounds more like something your lot would say."
"My 'lot' don't go around tempting innocent women to their ruin."
"Oh? What about that one you did? Paris 1902 if I recall correctly."
The angel paled. "That was a return favor for you. Rescuing orphans from a burning building ring any bells?"
"1897," Crowley mumbled.
"Anyway, I can't see what any of this has to do with your dream. Was Milton in it?"
The demon smirked, thinking privately that if Milton had been there he probably would have pissed himself.
"Not in person, no. Just a variation on some of his…lusher imagery."
"Care to elaborate?"
"Not especially, no."
"Did something bad happen to wake you so suddenly?"
"Not bad, just…surprising." Crowley regarded the angel thoughtfully. "Though not as surprising as seeing you hovering over me when I woke up. Inquiring minds want to know…"
Aziraphale's eyes shifted to and fro, trying to focus on anything but Crowley's amber gaze. "Errr, yes. You see, I came to apologise for being difficult earlier. But you were…sleeping, obviously."
"So why didn't you wake me up?"
The angel sighed. Crowley hated making him look like a little kid that had been caught at something naughty, but he really was dying to know what Aziraphale had been up to.
"I guess I was…curious. You always talk about sleeping, so I thought it was interesting. I just…wanted to look at you."
Crowley was truly startled by the earnestly whispered answer, and mildly shocked at how it made him feel. If the demon had been endowed with a pulse, it would have been speeding along at quite a clip.
He shifted his body closer to that of the blushing angel with a snakelike movement. He slowly reached out, devilishly gentle fingers turning Aziraphale's face toward his own. The angel gasped, not having noticed Crowley's advance.
"Angel, you can look at me anytime. Whether I'm asleep or not."
The angel's eyes widened. "Crowley…there's no need to tease—"
The demon leaned closer, stopping Aziraphale's words by placing one slim finger on his lips. He could swear he saw the brightness of the angel's ethereal aura increase in magnitude with his touch. Not wanting to miss his opportunity, Crowley slid one hand into Aziraphale's curly hair and closed the distance between them with a soft kiss.
The angel stiffened slightly as the demon's lips pressed gently against his own. The feel of it intoxicated Crowley. He felt lighter than air, and as tentatively as he was kissing Aziraphale he could still tell that he tasted of everything sweet…
After a few more blissful seconds, he released Aziraphale's lips with one last gentle press. He found himself staring into the angel's glowing blue eyes, scarcely realizing that he still had one hand twined in Aziraphale's golden hair.
Looking into those luminous eyes, Crowley realized that they were the same as they had been in his dream. Questioning, burning with some untold desire…
Before he had a chance to think anymore, he became conscious of the fact that Aziraphale was now kissing him, rather insistently. The demon tilted his head to the side, tugging the angel closer with the hand now fisted in his curls. Crowley released a surprised groan when he felt the angel's tongue tracing along his bottom lip. It was as warm and sweet as melted chocolate as it slid into his mouth.
The demon's eyes burned a message of want and need into the angel's as he trailed his hand down to Aziraphale's shoulder, gently pushing him flat onto the mattress. He returned to kissing the angel soundly.
Aziraphale produced an encouraging purr in the back of his throat. If things continued on in this manner, Crowley would hardly have to make any effort to…well, you know. He slithered one hand up under the edge of Aziraphale's argyle sweater, lips and tongues still locked in a sensual slide.
The demon could scarcely comprehend his rapture when he felt Aziraphale's shy fingers slide inside the top of his shirt to trace along his collarbone. He could have sprouted wings. The white and feathery kind, because he was in heaven.
Amidst the heated kiss and the exchange of increasingly bold soft touches, Crowley was able to process one scrap of irony.
Who could have ever expected that this angel in his bed would turn into the irresistibly tempting devil from his dream?
Well, there you have it. A nice, big chapter! I hope it was worth the wait. And I also hope there's nothing screwy with the formatting. By my calculations, there will be one more shortish chapter, and this will be complete! In case anyone is…curious…the passage from Paradise Lost can be found in Book V, beginning at line 38. And the chapter title is from a Cure song. If you're still out there, drop me a review!