Aziraphale had been quite contentedly reading the book Anathema had so thoughtfully picked up for him while out shopping one day when the front door flew open and Crowley stomped in, trailing several lonely, late autumn leaves in around his heels and slamming it again behind him so hard the entire shop shook. The angel didn't even bother to flinch this time; he'd been having a lovely day and was in no mood to put up with a demonic outburst. He did, however, have the good grace to gesture to the chair across from him with the extra teacup he'd set out, just in case, because he had noticed earlier that morning that it felt like a Crowley day.

"Right, then," the demon announced, coming to a stop next to Aziraphale's chair and staring down at him with his arms crossed, not having bothered to take off his coat. "You and I are going out. Now."

The angel looked up at him and blinked, owlishly, behind his spectacles.1 Crowley's jaw was set in determination and his face was flushed, as though he had been out walking in the cold, but the Bentley was parked haphazardly outside the shop (which was unusual simply because Crowley's parking had always been so precise) and it wasn't chilly enough to cause the red tinge on the demon's cheekbones. As Aziraphale looked up at him, Crowley began to shift slightly, from one foot to the other, and hastily pushed his sunglasses up the bridge of his nose with one finger. He looked, Aziraphale decided, highly agitated. "Tea?" he suggested helpfully, reaching for the teapot.

"No," Crowley snapped, halting the angel's hand mid-reach. "No, I will not have any tea. Not yet. We're going out, and we can have some tea when we get there." He snatched Aziraphale's suspended sleeve and turned, attempting to forcibly pull him out to the car. When it became apparent that he did not intend to move, Crowley sighed and looked back over his shoulder. It is not an easy feat to glare through a pair of sunglasses, but Crowley managed it.

"Crowley," said Aziraphale, blank-faced, as he gently removed his cuff from the demon's grip and settled it in his lap.

"It's my turn to buy," Crowley said impatiently, crossing his arms again and jerking his head toward the door. "Come on."

"Crowley." The angel was still looking at him, expressionless, and the demon's steely resolve began to buckle.

"I'll let you choose the place," Crowley offered. He'd be blessed if he was giving up now. "We could go to the Ritz, or that new place, the French one that just opened, or we could go get a curry somewhere. Or just the tea, if you've already eaten. That place we went to a few years ago with the–"

"Crowley." Aziraphale was standing now, a fact Crowley had failed to register during his ramble, and his face was still maddeningly blank. The demon opened his mouth, closed it, opened it, closed it again, and gave up. "My dear, are you trying to ask me out on a date?"

Crowley's face flared and then blanched before he managed to regain control of it. He cleared his throat, gulped, and opened and closed his mouth a few more times, experimentally. "If you'd like to," he finally got out, more weakly than he had hoped. "Go out, I mean. On a date. With me."

Aziraphale continued to survey the demon with impassive, blue-gray eyes, and Crowley grew more anxious with each passing second. His heart jumped into his throat when the angel reached up and carefully removed the dark glasses from his face, folding them neatly and tucking them into the breast pocket of Crowley's jacket. Aziraphale brought his hands up to rest on Crowley's shoulders and looked into the golden, snake-like eyes before him.

"Crowley." Said demon gulped loudly.

"Yes, angel?"

"We've been dating for over a millennium."

Crowley's eyes narrowed in confusion and then widened in shock. He gulped again, twice, before he was able to speak. "Oh," he said, very quietly.

Finally, Aziraphale smiled. It was a small, knowing smile; the sort that Mona Lisa wasn't meant to have but ended up with anyway. He gently patted Crowley's shoulder and closed his jaw with one finger. "I'll get my coat," he said kindly, and departed to do so, leaving the poor, stunned demon in the middle of his shop.

Crowley had to be led out to the Bentley by his elbow, but he regained his composure once he was behind the wheel. Aziraphale let him pretend that nothing was different as they drove. He also let him pretend, some time later, that they held hands under the table all the time.


1Not that he needed spectacles, of course, but they seemed like something that the sort of human he pretended to be would wear. Plus (though he would never admit it to anyone, not really even himself), he thought they made him look rather dashing.