~A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square~
A/N: So I just finished reading Good Omens, and I loved it. (And I do not use "love" lightly. I mean I really, really loved it.) Especially Crowley and Aziraphale's totally-obviously-not-gay relationship. But what really cinched it for me was the part at the end where they're eating at the Ritz and a nightingale sings in Berkeley Square. I can't tell you how thrilled I was that I got that reference, because it's to a famous Nat King Cole romance song. And so this song fic was born. I'm not guaranteeing they'll be in character. I'm not guaranteeing it will be good. And please forgive my attempts at h umor; they will never measure up to the master's. Italics indicate Gaiman and Pratchett's original text- but it's sooo not mine, guys, however much I might wish the opposite, and the song lyrics are also italics but set apart in brackets. (Also not mine.) Footnotes will be indicated with an asterisk (*) and a number for easy reference. They'll all be at the bottom. Well, enjoy!
"What was I saying?" Crowley said.
"Don't know," said Aziraphale. "Nothing very important, I think."
Crowley nodded gloomily. "Let me tempt you to some dinner," he hissed. They went to the Ritz again, where a table was mysteriously vacant.
[That certain night,
The night we met,
There was magic abroad in the air.
There were angels dining at the Ritz,]
"So what will you do now?" Aziraphale asked Crowley, stealing a bite of Crowley's food.
"Same as I've always done, I suppose," the demon answered, absentmindedly swatting away Aziraphale's wandering fork with his own. "There's always people to tempt, tempers to fray. I might even throw in a minor scuffle or two for variety."
Aziraphale shook his head. "Doesn't that seem a bit… mundane, given recent events?"
"Nope," Crowley said. "Mundane's good. That's what we were fighting for, after all. What we went up against the devil himself to protect." Aziraphale had to acknowledge that he had a point, and before he could check them, additional words tumbled from his mouth:
"That's not all I was fighting for."
Crowley's smile was lightning-fast and with a decidedly predatorial air, but Aziraphale caught it nevertheless.
[And a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.]
Silence reigned and Aziraphale chewed deliberately, and then asked Crowley something that had been bothering him: "So… apparently, you rushed into my burning bookshop looking for me." It wasn't so much a statement as an open-ended question that begged elaboration.
"It's not like I was in any danger," Crowley said dismissively, while not quite managing to meet the eye of the man across the table from him.
"But still," Aziraphale pressed, with the same air of daring as he'd had while questioning Metatron earlier. "Were you… worried about me?" He said "worried" like it was a dirty word, which he knew to Crowley it might as well be. Demons don't worry, *1* and Crowley told him as much.
"But you were," Aziraphale continued, in what he would later be forced to acknowledge as a sing-song voice.
[I may be right, I may be wrong,]
"You may or may not be right," Crowley said, "But can you really expect me to admit it?"
"'Course not, my dear," Aziraphale said dismissively. "But I choose to believe so because-"
"Don't you dare say it-"
"I know there's good in you," the angel finished triumphantly. "I've seen it."
"And is that all you've seen?" Crowley shot back at him, only mildly disgusted with himself for so easily admitting his own good-ness and more concerned with one-upping Aziraphale. He was smiling, however, and he knew it because Aziraphale was smiling right back at him. It must have taken any potential threat from his words, but nevertheless, a faint blush diffused the angel's cheeks.
[But I'm perfectly willing to swear
That when you turned and smiled at me,
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.]
He rechecked the words in his mind to account for the blush, and decided they must have been suggestive.
"I thought we agreed we wouldn't talk about that?"
"I made no such agreement," Aziraphale affirmed, with just a hint of teasing.
"You have a bit of evil in you, angel," Crowley returned with equally subtle mockery.
[The moon that lingered over Londontown
Poor puzzled moon, he wore a frown.
How could he know that we two were so in love?
The whole darn world seemed upside down.]
"I guess we're even, then," Aziraphale said. Crowley set down his fork and wiped his hands with his napkin.
"Not quite. I paid last time. It's your turn." Aziraphale set down a hundred dollar bill without blinking and added a generous tip, which Crowley then pinched half of when his back was turned. "I'll walk home with you then, shall I? My Bentley's still parked outside your shop."
"Sounds fine to me," the angel said, and they left the restaurant together.
[The streets of town were paved with stars,
It was such a romantic affair.]
The night air was refreshingly crisp and frustratingly normal for the day after Armageddon. Crowley readjusted his sunglasses and oh-so-nonchalantly reached out for Aziraphale's hand. He noted with pleasure that the angel did not shrink from his touch. He had expected as much. They'd been stepping on eggshells about it throughout dinner, and quite frankly he didn't want to wait any longer to drag it out into the open.
He took off his sunglasses with a small shake of the head and swooped in to capture Aziraphale in a brief, searing kiss. Immediately Aziraphale blushed scarlet with embarrassment, glancing around to make sure nobody had seen. Despite the fact that homosexuality hadn't been a hanging offense for at least a hundred years, old habits die hard.
[And as we kissed and said goodnight,
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.]
"What was that for, my dear?" Aziraphale asked, the words once more leaving his mouth unaccounted for. What he really wanted to say ran along the lines of: "Holy buttercups and turtle doves, and I dreaming or did you just kiss me? And will you please do it again?"
"Relax, no one saw. I made sure," Crowley said. "We've danced around this for 6,000 years, and next time Armageddon comes around, I don't want to be facing Satan with the only thought going through my mind being that I wish I could have kissed you before I died."
"And here I was thinking you were asexual," Aziraphale managed. He grinned sheepishly, and both of them registered the unsaid words. Crowley obviously hadn't been the only one nursing a soft spot for his "enemy" for all those centuries.
"Unless I make an effort," Crowley asserted. "I've been making an effort ever since 1925, you fool."
"I... I..." Aziraphale trailed off, lost for words and equally lost in Crowley's yellow eyes.
"There's really only one response when someone comes out to you like that," Crowley said, only half sarcastically, "and if it doesn't come immediately to mind I'm gonna feel pretty stupid right now."
"I love you," Aziraphale finally managed to say very quickly. Crowley was imperceptibly relieved.
"Good. I thought so." They were still holding hands, so Crowley tugged Aziraphale into the stream of pedestrians going home. "I just wondered if it was against your creed or something."
"Against my what?" Aziraphale asked.
"You know," Crowley said. "Are your people even allowed to love my people?"
"Angels have an unlimited ability to love all things," Aziraphale said after some thought. "I believe that includes you too, my dear," he said, smiling gently.
[Our homeward step was just as light
As the dancing of Fred Astaire,
And like an echo far away
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.]
They said nothing for a while as they navigated the crowded sidewalks. Crowley finally broke the silence four blocks from their destination, hurrying to match Aziraphale's even more sprightly than usual step.
"Your halo is showing," Crowley said off handedly. Aziraphale instinctively dampened its glow so as to not shock passing mortals.
"I didn't realize," the angel said. Only when he was especially happy did his halo start to glow again. It made him smile just thinking about it. Crowley had been making him happy for a long time now, and he supposed it was all culminating tonight.
"I could fill a book with the things you didn't realize," Crowley said.
"And how did you expect me to guess that I was loved by a demon?" Aziraphale asked, immediately sensing where his friend was going.
"Guess? Who said anything about guessing? We left enough clues for each other down the centuries that a blind man could have drawn the conclusion."
"Then that time at the World's Fair…?"
"I was flirting unashamedly. You know, for an angel, you are surprisingly blind as to acts of love."
"To be honest, for a long while, I was afraid. I'm sorry I didn't overcome that fear sooner."
"Don't worry about it, angel. We've got all of eternity to remedy the situation."
Crowley didn't go home in his Bentley that night. Aziraphale didn't sleep *2* with Crowley that night either, though the demon yet cherished plans to instill his own love of the mortal past time on the angel. *3* And even though he was now in love, *4* that didn't mean he wasn't a demon anymore.
He snaked along the floor like only a former reptile could in a pair of slippers he found lying conveniently next to the bed. He leaned against the doorframe of the bedroom and watched Aziraphale, who was in the kitchen, making tea.
"I had the strangest dream last night," he began languidly, "that I was kissing you outside the Ritz… and you were blushing," he finished, with added emphasis on the last word. Even as he said it Aziraphale turned red as he brought over two cups and handed Crowley his. He took a sip. It was strong and bitter, just the way he liked it.
[When dawn came stealing up, all gold and blue
To interrupt our rendezvous,
I still remember how you smiled and said,
"Was that a dream? Or was it true?"]
How did the angel know how he liked his tea? They were so depressingly domestic he was amazed they hadn't gotten together sooner.
"It wasn't a dream, dear, though it felt like one."
"And you were being incredibly sappy, too," Crowley went on, as if he hadn't heard. "Are all angels like that?"
"Are all demons so fussy in the mornings?"
"Only the good ones," Crowley immediately responded, with what he considered some wit.
"Ha! You admit it, then!" Crowley smiled ruefully. He left himself wide open for that one.
"I love you, you bastard."
"I love you too, my dear."
And perhaps the recent exertions had had some fallout in the nature of reality because, for the first time ever, a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.
No one heard it over the noise of the traffic, but it was there, right enough.
1. Excepting when there's holy water within forty yards.
2. NO, you dirty minded fan girls. Not sleep as in, well, you know, but SLEEP. As in snoring and dreaming.
3. Still talking about the snoring kind here.
4. Technically, he had been in love for a few centuries or so. He was only now completely admitting it.
A/N: There wasn't enough of Aziraphale in this one. And I don't particularly like the morning scene. Oh well. I'm already cooking up a new idea for a holiday fic featuring these two… whether or not it will get written, well, that's for me to know and you to find out. Thanks for reading!