Crowley had been drving a Hummer but he'd switched to a Smart Car. Unbounded by physics, the inside of his car was just as gargantuan as the previous model but to the world he appeared to be driving a sensible, eco-friendly vehicle. Of course, he never got behind the wheel without a cigarette in one hand and a cell phone in the other.
Crowley cut off a family of four going 100 mph, cigarette dangling out the window, blasting "You're my Best Friend". Crowley was still listening to tapes in the car, he'd never believed that cds would truly replace the cassette and he was right. Not even two decades later, cds were already going out of style. Crowley wasn't about to get sucked in to buying an ipod either. Like anyone would really want to hear their music digitized. Trends were the devil's work and you don't sample your own product.
Crowley nearly forced a van full of nuns off the road, his bumper sticker read "One Love". Crowley liked his evil subtle. The gentle disillusionment of a nation.
Because Crowley like subtlety, he felt the Big Guy was being a tad obvious with his new plan to test the Earth. Melting ice caps? That seemed over the top, especially when the polar bears started drowning. Who doesn't love polar bears? They have eyes like buttons and they live too far away to feel threatening. Of course, the entire world would come together for the sake of self-preservation.
Sure, Crowley whispered into the occasional ear.
"The earth is millions of years old. What could hurt it? Liberal nonsense."
"What can you do? You're just one person?"
"Vehicles that only get three miles per gallon on the highway stimulate the economy."
Even he didn't expect to be successful. He just had to, you know, make the effort. He was shocked and horrified at his own effectiveness. Strife and dismay were his bread and butter but he rather liked the Earth. Plus he's only recently relocated to New York City and if the oceans kept rising, soon his apartment would be waterfront (terrific!) but soon after that same apartment would be in the water and he'd have to move his tape collection. Again.
Crowley loved living in NYC, especially during rush hour (which was every hour of the day). He'd had nothing to do with New Jersey, but it still warmed the cockles (whatever a cockle might be) of his heart every time he gazed across the water at that haze of pollution and hairspray.
Crowley double parked his Smart Car next to an ambulance while they were loading an elderly woman in a stretcher. Crowley, along with two other illegally parked cars, now had the ambulance trapped.
"Hey, dickhole! Move your car so the ambulance can get out!" yelled a passerby.
"I'm just going to say hello to a friend, I'll be right back," Crowley replied jauntily.
As he made his way down the street, he noticed a tourist. You can spot them by the way they are always looking up and muttering "wow".
"Hey, pal, got a light?" Crowley inquired. He always kept a pack of smokes on his person for driving.
"No, sir. That tobacco will be the death of you."
Southern. Probably Georgia. Perfect.
Crowley moved in and smiled seductively, "I bet you could still light my fire."
The man stepped back in horror, sputtered incoherently and started to retreat. He was full of ill-defined anger and shame and confusion. Crowley's favorite combination.
Then the man ran smack into the chest of Aziraphale. As usual, Crowley's friend/nemesis looked handsome in a musty old English way and he looked as gay as the owner of a rare book store in Greenwich village. Which he was.
The man tried to skirt around Azriaphale, but the angel blocked his way and showed the man his true face. For a millisecond, the man saw the visage of pure goodness and understanding and he was changed forever. The anger melted before he had time to call a single person a single offensive name. Crowley sighed. He could do the same trick, of course. He could show man the face of evil but what was a glimpse into the darkness of mankind when there was a billboard ten feet away promoting the new series of Dexter (with the tag line "America's favorite serial killer")?
Evil was suffering from inflation while good became more dear with each passing year.
Azriaphale approached Crowley with his usual mixture of pleasure and distrust.
"What are you doing here?
"I came to visit you. Why aren't you in your store?"
"I had to close for the day. People keep coming in and trying to buy my books," Azriaphale responded, clearly put out. New Yorkers loved dingy, poorly lit bookstores that were never open. Azriaphale was having a hell of a time running a business in the Big Apple, "What did you say to that man to upset him so?"
"I just hit on him," Crowley replied, making his eyes wide and innocent. An act that would have been more effective if he weren't wearing sunglasses.
Azriaphale frowned, "Why?"
"The usual reasons. To make him uncomfortable and distrustful. Fill him with self-doubt about his own manhood."
"I can't believe that little trick of yours still works."
They passed a couple of women having a heated discussion about Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars.
"Did you have something to do with that?" asked the angel, his voice accusing.
Crowley sighed, "I came up with the show but no, I didn't stir up the controversy. I didn't even realize it was still on the air. Mankind is biting at my ankles, my friend. Soon I will be obsolete."
Crowley approached the arguing women and yelled, "You know you're planet is melting, right?" The women glared and went back to their heated discussion. Satan's minion had nothing on "reality" show drama. Crowley made one more attempt.
"The Hoff should have won!"
One of the women took the time to flip him off before forgetting him forever.
.Crowley declared it "Azriaphale day".
"We'll do whatever you want to do. Play the harp? Dance on a pinhead?"
"How about, driving with your hands on the wheel and quit trying to ruin Smart Cars for everyone else."
Crowley rolled his eyes. Then he took off his shades and rolled his eyes again so Azriaphale could see.
"Let's go to your apartment and drink tea while we look at the city and discuss the state of the world."
Crowley knew what that meant, Azriaphale wanted to play Rock Band on his XBOX 360. Crowley was especially proud of the XBOX 360. The graphics were amazing, it was absurdly expensive and if you bumped it or looked at it wrong, it stopped working forever.
Azriaphale curled up on Crowley's couch and looked out at the city, sipping his earl grey. Crowley had offered him a cup of Red Zinger but his friend abstained from anything with zing. It was a slippery slope from zingy tea to living a life of carnality.
Crowley suddenly knew what he could do with the rest of his day.
He sat on the couch next to Azriaphale, unnecessarily close. Azriaphale politely scooted over. Crowley pressed himself right up against his friend of millenia.
"What are you up to?" Azriaphale was right to sound so suspicious. Crowley kissed him on the cheek and then again on the neck.
"What are you playing at, Crowley. I'm hardly subject to homophobic panic."
"I'm not going for panic," the demon whispered, his voice low and seductive.
Azriaphale pushed Crowley away when he felt a forked tongue in his ear.
"I know things have been difficult for you lately but really? You're going to try and tempt an angel? I'm not about to fall and I'm certainly not going to fall for your nonsense."
Azriaphale looked like a school marm, pinched and judgmental. Crowley ran his hand up a tweed covered thigh, for a school marm, the angel was still an attractive man.
He kissed the square jaw, running his hand (the non-thigh holding hand) through dark wavy hair. Azriaphale wasn't exactly participating but he wasn't resisting. Naturally, Crowley's form was lean and muscled. His face was wickedly handsome. Evil always takes a tempting form.
"This is lovely, really, but please stop. You're making me spill my tea."
Azriaphale still sounded like a school marm but he was looking a little less angelic. Crowley knocked the tea cup to the floor and pulled his friend in for a long and searching kiss. While his body was a costume, a facade, it still reacted to stimulation as would a real human form. He was getting very horny.
Azriaphale continued to complain, "This is absurd. We are ethereal beings..."
Crowley placed his hand over Azriaphale's burgeoning erection, "At the moment, my old chum, we are very much material."
The angel closed his eyes and held his breath. The demon slid his tongue between surprisingly pliant lips and explored that ever chattering mouth. He arranged Azriaphale so the man (man-like manifestation?) was lying on the couch under Crowley. He continued his eager explorations and was silently thrilled to feel his friends hands stroking his back. He slowly ground his hips into the prone form beneath him. His hips were making all kinds of promises, and for once, Crowley planned to be a man of his word. Or rather a man of his obscene gesticulation.
He didn't hear another complaint until he started to undress his partner.
"What is all this nonsense about, Crowley? I can't commit a sin of the flesh. I'm not a fleshly being."
Crowley slid his hand into those itchy tweed pants and felt fairly convinced he had a handful of flesh.
"If it's not a sin, then who are we hurting? Why not enjoy each other? Pleasure has never been a sin."
If Azriaphale wanted to put an end to their little game, all he had to do was cast off his mortal coil as it were. As long as he wasn't sporting wings, he was fair game.
The angel showed no signs of bolting. In fact, he seemed perfectly content. His breath was ragged, he was biting his lip, he wasn't quite moaning... Crowley tightened his grip on the "man's" "manhood" and began to pump. Now he was moaning. Crowley gave in and used a little otherworldly skill to divest them of their clothing. He loved almost everything about modern living but he wasn't a big fan of buttons.
Once they were naked, Azriaphale's half-hearted look of concern returned. Less concern than general fussiness.
"What's the endgame here, Crowley? What are we going to accomplish?"
"Orgasm? I think that usually tops the list of 'reasons to have carnal relations'. Are you afraid of getting your halo tarnished?"
"You're an angel as much as I."
"We'll see about that."
There was no need for preparation or precautions. They weren't quite that fleshly. Crowley was able to enter Azriaphale smoothly and easily. They both gasped in surprised pleasure and bumped their heads together and shared a mutual gasp of shared pain.
"Oh my," gasped the angel, "this is. Well... It gives you a new insight into Sodom and Gommorah at any rate."
Crowley gave a throaty chuckle as he began to move. The biology of their bodies was roughly that of real men and Crowley was able to find that spot. A spot so sensitive, Azriaphale forgot to keep chattering on about nonsense. Instead, he dug his fingers into Crowley's shoulders and wrapped his legs around his partner's narrow waist. The tightness was nearly unbearable. It was so good, it needed a bigger better word. It was like the first time Crowley heard Elvis sing or the first time he snorted cocaine or the first time he snorted cocaine with Elvis. Meeting Robert Johnson at the crossroads. Janis, Jim, Jimi, Kurt, Tupac, Biggie... Crowley destroyed that which he loved. It was part of the job description. Except Eminem. No, it was a constant battle to keep him alive into middle age. God didn't send Slim Shady to piss the world off. Crowley did.
Azriaphale was getting frustrated with his lack of leverage prompting them to reposition so the angel was kneeling on the couch with Crowley behind him. It allowed for a wider range of movement but Crowley missed seeing the angel's face.
"Well, that's an interesting place to put a mirror." Azriaphale's tone was snippy but he was watching his partner's face intensely. If he could convince his friend to make this a regular occurrence, Crowley might just keep his wall mirror hovering beside the couch on a permanent basis.
"This is..." Azriaphale whispered.
"Heavenly? Divine? Rapturous? Sublime? Glorious? Beatific?"
"Don't... flatter... yourself. It's... nice."
Crowley heard a challenge in that moaning voice. He adjusted his angle and speed and soon his partner couldn't say a word if he tried. He had gone prelingual. Not that he wasn't making himself understood with moans and whimpers. Crowley understood every non-word. He was almost disappointed to feel a tightening that let him know it was almost over. He wasn't about to finish first so he took Azriaphale's situation firmly in hand until the angel cried out his release and slumped panting on the couch. Crowley was stunned by the intensity of his partner's reaction, until he found his own release. Crowley had existed before mankind. Before any kind other than the angelkind. He'd seen, heard, touched, eaten and fucked everything under then sun but he'd never felt anything like this. This was... heavenly.
Azriaphale was back to his usual prim and stuffy self. He'd erased all signs of Crowley from his person. Including the rather marvelous hickey.
"I hope you see now that I can't be tempted or changed. Not even by the most... extreme carnality."
Crowley didn't buy it for a second. He knew the angel was just as unwavering in his "goodness" as ever but he was not unchanged.
Now Crowley, he was less unwavering.
"I feel... changed. I'm definitely changed," he whispered, more to himself than anyone. Azriaphale looked concerned and wrapped his arms gentley around the demon.
"It's all part of a larger picture. We can't see the full image any more than an actual mortal," Azriaphale's voice was reassuring but to Crowley, the words were nonsense, "Don't be afraid."
And Crowley wasn't afraid. It's a funny thing, ineffability.