Aziraphale was concerned with this. It took him a good while to realize it, but he was. He sat up and hit his head on the underside of the coffee table.
"I AM! A GOLDEN! GOD!" Crowley shrieked again, waving a half emptied bottle of rum. After a moment he tipped some into the street below. "One for my comradesss," he said. "Pissss on thisss sssstreet."
Aziraphale managed to make it to the sliding doors. How he did this is still considered a divine mystery, but there he was. He leaned against the doorjamb, really quite unable to remain standing on his own.
Crowley turned and grinned. He had fangs.
Aziraphale said so.
"Ho. You know why?" Crowley asked. "Because I AM A GOLDEN GOD! Heh. Ssaw that in a movie, you know. Bugger ssstood on the roof and yelled I AM A-"
Someone from downstairs threw a vase at Crowley. It hit the wall of the balcony and shattered. (Crowley lived in a building where the occupants were wealthy enough to use vases for shooshing purposes. Mating cats got it all the time. Quite a posh neighborhood, really.) "IT'S THREE IN THE BLOODY MORNING, YEH GREAT NOISY FAGGOT!"
Crowley looked about dizzily, figured out that the voice had come from below, and grinned. "I'M sssSORRY, WHAT WASsss THAT?"
"Fuck-?Ó Crowley blinked. "Hey. Are you going to vomit? 'Causssse you ought to vomit on th' flibb'ring fuck who jussss threw a bottle at you."
Aziraphale opened his mouth. What he had intended on saying had stopped to check out his chest cavity and didn't make it out. Crowley interpreted the blank, openmouthed stare as shock. Another sharp grin. ÒThass right. He threw it at you, angel. Get your flaming ssssword, it'sss time to do sssome sssmiting." The demon thought for a moment. "Asssmite 'em mysself. No one throwss thingss at my angel. D'yo HEAR THAT? NO ONE! Not at-"
"Crowley," Aziraphale said. He tugged lamely at the demon's pant leg.
"-my angel. Yess?"
"Get down from there."
"Why? Look at the lightssss." Crowley admired the view for a moment then stumbled a bit, pinwheeling his arms.
"You'll fall," Aziraphale said.
Crowley righted himself. "What? From here? Three floorsss? Thass nothing! Try a dessscent into hell. Thassa big one. Melt your face right off."
Aziraphale blinked. "You'll fall," he said again. But differently.
Crowley spun on his heel. "'Fi fall," he said, leaning back teasingly, "You'd catch me. Wouldn't you now? Very like you, to catch me."
"Crowley," the angel said, extending his hand to help him down.
"Crowley." The angel's head had lifted. His eyes burned blue.
In Crowley's mind there was, quite suddenly, a powerful image of a blazing white lion.
The demon's grin faded.
Without another word he took Aziraphale's hand and let the angel guide him down from the balcony. He stumbled and his friend steadied him, but, his friend being also unstable, they both ended up falling to the floor. Crowley hit his head on the pot of a plant he had left there for tme-out.
"Yes. Fucking thing."
"Got right in your way, didn't it?"
"The bloody hell it did." Crowley rubbed his head. He looked over at Aziraphale. He was tugging at the band that held his blonde ponytail in place. It was tangled up in there so it was quite a struggle, but finally he freed himself of it. He shook his hair out about his face and looked at Crowley.
"Lion," Crowley said softly.
"Snake," Aziraphale replied. "You'll never guess what I'm about to tell you."
Crowley gave a high hoot of a laugh. "Yeh. We should probably sober up."
There was a moment. Then another. And another.
Aziraphale, whose face had been folded in concentration, suddenly laughed. "I can't sober up. Crowley. I'm too drunk to...to..to sober -" The angel was cut off by his own laughter.
Crowley found himself bubbling with laughter as well. It was true. They were indeed too drunk to sober up. "My God," Crowley said, giggling.
"What you just say?" Aziraphale had doubled over. He pointed at Crowley. "You just say!"
"I said "my G- G-G-" Crowley fell on his side, eyes tearing.
"R-r-rum customer!" Aziraphale said, pointing at the bottle, then at Crowley, and back again. He gasped and hit the wall, which sent Crowley into another fit. The demon kicked the glass sliding door.
"Don't!' Aziraphale protested through laughter.
Crowley howled. "Why..why do you...care if I..kick the door? Sss'my door! I c--can k-kick the bloody-Ó He kicked the door a few more times to get his point across.
Aziraphale flipped on his back next to Crowley, tears streaming down his cheeks. "I-I don't know!"
"You can kick the door too! Kick it!" Crowley gasped.
Aziraphale kicked the door. Hard. "Fucking door!"
Crowley gasped and pointed. "You- you- you-Ó he raised his hand. ÒGimme five!"
The angel tried, missed. Tried, missed again. Gasped. Aziraphale had run out of breath. His inhalation came as an extremely loud, wet snort.
They roared, and then there was silence, because they were both laughing too hard to produce sound, so hard they forgot to breath, so hard that the universe pounded around them. Inside them. They rolled toward one another, holding their stomachs.
Finally, after a moment that by some dimensional perceptions really had lasted an eternity, they quieted, their foreheads resting together. Thier eyes were closed but neither was asleep.
A breeze blew through. They listened.
Aziraphale opened his eyes halfway. Had Crowley's been open he would have seen that the look on the angel's face was one of deep inner stillness.
But his eyes weren't open. He was listening to the breeze. It whipped a lock of his hair onto the bridge of his nose, his eye. Aziraphale raised a careful hand and brushed it aside with the backs of his fingers. He stroked Crowley's cheek, his hair.
The tips of their noses touched.
"What're you playing at...?" Crowley barely whispered.
It wasn't so much a kiss. It was lips finding their proper places.
And as neither had to breath, it lasted quite a while.
Crowley's hand rested against the back of Aziraphale's neck. Part of him was aware of the kiss; the other was more acutely aware of misty fifth dimensional waves that radiated from the angel, lapping at the edges of Crowley's being. There were image / feelings; The white sun sparkling through a stream of water poured from a jug into the vegetable garden. The particular temperature old wine has when you've just taken it from eighty quiet years in the cellar. An unexpected current on a stifling London afternoon.
Crowley attempted to pull away from the kiss to take in an unneeded breath, to back away, to gain perspective (what was happening here, anyway?). Aziraphale pulled the demon closer, sent another thoughtform:
Cool, powdery air blown on Crowley's face from the first beat of an angel's wings.
It took Crowley a moment to realize Aziraphale was making a request.
The angel radiated forgiveness for any action the demon took, any choice he made, any response he gave to this ancient question. Aziraphale, he realized, was fearless in his offering. Which scared the living shit out of Crowley.
He was going to refuse. He was going to push Aziraphale away, laugh a little, and go in to feed the fish, or something. He was going to do anything but what he did.
Which was open himself to the angel. Just a little. Just to see.
Aziraphale flowed into Crowley, the coolest, smoothest salve into a white hot fissure.
Thier human bodies, unable to register the intensity of sensation, arched, cried out, and went limp. Thier inhabitants abandoned them. They were a hindrance.
Crowley was screaming. It was not a scream so much of fear as it was profound terror, not so much of pleasure as true, undiluted bliss. Aziraphale was upon him, around him, inside him, reaching into the tightest locked corners of his being, softly sealing shut wounds and rends along his way. Crowley had lost himself somewhere, panicking as he searched for his identity, yet finding amazing release in having lost it and having gained...Aziraphale. But the fear returned, redoubled, and Crowley shoved the angel out of his spatial dimensions.
Aziraphale complied and withdrew.
Crowley thundered back down into his body, back to the relief of solidity. It was still in shock and unable to move. He withdrew into it further, a small ball of consciousness burning inside a fortress of flesh.
Aziraphale hovered above him, registering only as a soft presence, a slight breeze, utter compassion. The angel sent him images. A soothing mother, a brave look, a reassuring laugh, a genuine apology. Bright, bright wings.
Crowley sent back spit. A child weeping over his mother's body. A screaming cat. Desperate hunger. Death by bayonet, by fire, by flaying. Rape. That, he thought, should drive the angel away.
There was a pause.
Aziraphale sent back an image of an apple.
Crowley demanded an explanation in a very loud tone of thought.
The angel sent:
//a little bit
i've learned from you:
want to know something neat?//
want to know something neat?//
Crawly had hissed that very phrase in Eve's ear six thousand years previous.
The apple gleamed before the demon.
Crowley was letting Aziraphale touch him in a way that was beyond intimate. It was ultra-violet, spectral black, subvocalized and supersonic.
//Atomic//, Crowley sent.
//Nuclear//, Aziraphale replied.
Though technically, it was neither.
What exactly they were doing is a bit hard to explain. You kind of had to be there. But for the sake of clarity, let's just say that Aziraphale was strolling about the streets of Crowley City, planting flowers in the lawns and kissing all the lightposts, putting bells on the doors and little notes in the iceboxes, dancing at the clubs and wiping the dust off things Crowley had long ago forgotten were pleasure colored.
Aziraphale saw some pretty gross things in there, too. Crowley squirmed when he went into the ghettos, the red-light districts, and the more touristy bits. The angel did what he was best at, what he was made to do, which was take the shame, wrap it in a warm blanket, and sing it to sleep. He saw plain as day everything maggot filled and writhing about the demon, everything shameful and disgusting, but he sent it all warmth and smiled, all the same, and wasn't afraid or disgusted by any of it. Thankfully. Even as a demon, Crowley didn't know what he would do with such an intimate disapproval.
Which was why it was so dangerous. Aziraphale could just as easily kicked over mailboxes and burnt down neighborhoods. He was, after all, The Enemy. But instead, every movement the angel made tasted like creme brulee or felt like a back rub or sounded like a violin concerto or spoke of other lovely things that are beyond human understanding.
Crowley melted. There are some things even a demon can't resist.
Aziraphale stroked Crowley from the inside and told him stories, gave him reasons. The demon suddenly saw what made those damned snuffboxes so appealing. It's just that...they were small. And ornate. And shiny. And they opened and closed and you could hide small things in them. And during the Regency period Aziraphale had acquired quite an affinity for snuff, which Crowley didn't know. And probably wouldn't have known any other way, because the angel wouldn't have readily admitted to it.
In fact, as Crowley took a look around, there were quite a few things here that Aziraphale wouldn't admit to. Fair was fair. The angel let him in, putting himself in a foolish amount of risk. Giving a denizen of Hell such admittance to his everything was really, really asking for trouble.
But Aziraphale trusted.
And it was a jolly good thing he did, too.
Because Crowley had hidden behind his metaphorical back a metaphorical twelve gauge guilty pleasure gun, which he lowered to Aziraphale's metaphorical head, and fired.
Two could play at this game. Crowley let Aziraphale experience the slow, methodical seduction of a catholic schoolgirl, drowned him in high quality drugs of assorted varieties, had weeks and weeks of amazing sex, the more forbidden the better, got into a few barfights (Crowley knew very few pleasures greater than the feeling of delivering a solid punch to someone who had been pissing him off, Aziraphale should damn well know what it felt like). He topped it off with the four acute pleasures: participating in full-scale ground war, eating meal after gluttonous meal, watching the sun rise after a night of dancing and LSD, and an unexpected blowjob from someone who really knows what they're doing.
Aziraphale was still spinning like a top when Crowley, grinning, offered him the metaphorical keys to the metaphorical Bentley.
Eventually, it all boiled down to them grasping, needing, demanding more of each other, Aziraphale sucking in sin and Crowley digging on the divine (in a major way). This supersexual writhing and gasping went on for quite a while, until there was no more forbidden good and ecstatic evil left to delve into.
The deeper they dug into each other, the more apparent it became that their titles, Angel and Demon, were just that. Titles. Hats they wore. They were more more than angel and demon. a thousand leagues more, they stretched on into infinity. Two fully conscious entities attuned to every nuance of thought, expression, and personality of the other, devoid of prejudice, devoid of sides in the cosmic ÒwarÓ. There was a sensation of climbing up two sides of a horseshoe, shedding skin after skin along the way, until finally they reached the curve at the top and saw only each other, two beings and their most essential, most pure.
They smiled. Smiled like old, old friends.
When they reached over the top of the horseshoe finally pressed their consummate selves together, a sensation thundered through them that made human orgasm look like a nervous tick.
In an instant so quick it fell outside time, Aziraphale and Crowley knew what it was like to be one being.
It very quickly returned to being an angel and a demon. On this plane, not even supernatural creatures can maintain omniscience for more than a fraction of a second.
But, Somewhere Else, they stayed combined forever.
When they awoke back in their bodies, it was raining, and they were covered in feathers.
Sometime during the night they had reverted back to their true forms and, quite unconsciously, each had extended his wings to shield the other from the rain. Underneath the mess of wings it was humid and dark. Crowley's lips were pressed against Aziraphale's damp hairline. The upstairs neighbor was practicing her violin. The sound was muffled by the pattering of raindrops, but it was there.
"Azzphale...?" Crowley whispered.
"You reek of rum," he replied softly.
But that was all right, because underneath the wings, everything was sacred.
So Crowley said something sacred. After a moment, Crowley asked: "Does this make you less of an angel?"
"Does this make you less of a demon?"
Aziraphale thought a moment, then reached for Crowley, who reached back.
Everything was sacred.
A couple of hours later, Aziraphale and Crowley were quite cleaned up and entirely sober. And sitting in the middle of what appeared to be a jungle.
The demon's plants had inexplicably sprouted new plants, and from those new plants, until the entire apartment was filled with lush green leaves, some of them wide enough to shield two men from rain.
"They finally learned," Crowley had said casually on his way to the bathroom. Aziraphale had gaped at the flora, and was making his way towards the kitchen when Crowley said, "Don't even think about it, Angel."
"You were going to make us breakfast. I can see it in your face. Well, I won't have it."
"Why not?" Aziraphale asked, dissapointed.
"Because. Well, because. It would be strange."
"It would be lovely," Aziraphale said.
Crowley paused. Laughed uneasily. Ran his hand through his hair. "This is...odd."
Aziraphale smiled knowingly.
"What do I do with you now?" Crowley asked.
Aziraphale shrugged knowingly.
"You're being impossible," Crowley said, and got into the shower.
When he came out a rather nice, large breakfast was laid out on the kitchen table.
"Bloody hell. At the table, even," Crowley'd remarked. "I haven't eaten at the table in years. In fact I haven't eaten a meal at home in years. Nice work, wifey."
"Because that's what I'm going to start calling you if you keep this up. Don't you dare touch my laundry."
Aziraphale shook his head and held up his hands.
"There's the spirit. This is the best damn scone I've ever had. With honey butter too. I love that. You're bloody impossible. You're so impossible I'm going to buy you a new car. Because I hate you. Don't ever mistake that, you're a right bastard. And you've got a bit of jam on your...no, here- Ò Crowley leaned forward and wiped a spot of jam from Aziraphale's cheek. ÒAnyway. You're an awful smug git. These are the best scones in history. What am I going to do with you?"
Aziraphale looked extremely amused.
Crowley's hand shook. "You can't possibly understand the quandary I'm in right now."
Aziraphale stepped softly to Crowley, leaned against the arm of his chair, and stroked the demon's hair. He lifted the demon's chin and looked into his eyes.
"I understand. I know all about love," Aziraphale whispered.
"I don't," Crowley whispered back.
"Yes you do," the angel replied, and gently kissed the demon's forehead.
Crowley was about to argue for his limitations when suddenly, he realized, he did know. He remembered everything about love. It was bizarre. And familiar. And enormous. And pointed very much in the angels' direction.
Crowley touched Aziraphale's chin, tilting his head down to meet his eyes.
"What do you know about sex?" the demon breathed.
"Oh my," Crowley said. "Oh my dear."
Aziraphale's eyes suddenly widened.
"I seem to recall there being two fish in that bowl last night."
Crowley turned. And was startled. "Bloody-"
"That's a lot more than two fish, demon dear."
"I'd say that's hundreds of little fish, angel. What are we going to do with hundreds of fish?"
"Keep them in water," Aziraphale said, very seriously.
Crowley closed his eyes and laughed. "You're a great silly bugger," he said. "Keep them in water. I wonder if they'll get bigger? Shall I have a koi pond put in?"
"Oh, I rather like koi."
"So do I. Remember that huge koi? The old fat one in that sushi restaurant?"
"The one that had the pattern of scales that looked like the Greek word for 'dry'?"
"Ironic," Crowley said.
"Highly," Aziraphale replied. "You know, with all this fish and greenery it looks rather like the Garden in here."
Crowley took a moment to consider the implications of that before kissing Aziraphale.
Which he did for over an hour.
"What of the woman?" Crowley asked some time later against Aziraphale's jaw line.
"The suicidal one. Who came into your shop."
"Oh." Aziraphale smiled. "Well, she went to sleep, and-"
"And dreamed of whatever she liked best."
The angel smiled. "You know me too well."
"I'll never know you well enough."
"Likewise," Aziraphale whispered.
And they kissed again, knowing they had eternity to work on it.