Rating: Somewhere around hard R.
Disclaimer: Not my characters, though the world looks strangely familiar... Anyway. They belong to Gaiman and Pratchett, and I promise I'll tidy them up when I'm finished.
A/N: You all knew I'd get to the smut writing sooner rather than later, didn't you? My first attempt at coding footnotes, so please forgive any mistakes in that wise. Feedback welcome. The title is from a snippet of poetry: Many a kiss, both odd and even; / many a glance, too, has been sent / from out the eye's firmament; / Many a jest told of the keys betraying / this night, and locks picked; yet we're not a-Maying. (Robert Herrick, Corinna's Going a-Maying.)
Crowley wanted to kiss Aziraphale.
He’d never, that he could recall, wanted to kiss... well, anyone. There’d been a brief infatuation with the idea in 1972; but that kind of kiss1 wasn’t at all what he was thinking of now.
And why now? Well, they’d been through a lot lately, it was true. Averting the End of the World and the War Between Heaven and Hell took it out of an immortal being. Perhaps he wanted to kiss Aziraphale because the angel had become, much as it made Crowley gnash his teeth to admit it, a friend.2
Perhaps he wanted to kiss Aziraphale because their respective bosses were carefully ignoring them both; Crowley’d not heard a peep from the bureaucratic levels of Hell in the three months since Almost-Armageddon. He just... sent in reports, fashioned in Aziraphale’s company, carefully crafted, triplicate tales of wiles being... wiled; Aziraphale cheerfully wrote his own reports of thwarting said wiles, and they each signed their own (Crowley with a scrawl, Aziraphale with a flourish) and passed them along to the proper Authorities.
Perhaps he wanted to kiss Aziraphale (Crowley thought, looking across the rickety table they were sat at, at the back of the angel’s bookshop, drinking a Glenfiddich that neither angel nor demon had been able to improve upon) because Aziraphale had a really nice mouth, a mouth that didn’t belong on an angelic face, a mouth that was (and Crowley should know) made for sin, though inherently sweet. (Crowley probably shouldn’t know that bit. But he did.)
Crowley thought all these things without blinking,3 staring steadily at his – dammit – friend, and then the demon leaned across the table and kissed the angel.
Aziraphale’s mouth was sinful and sweet, and it tasted of whisky and surprise, lips parting beneath Crowley’s as the angel drew in a startled breath.
Show-off, Crowley thought, and he stood up, leaning further across the table, not breaking the kiss. His hand had come up without his noticing to curve around the nape of Aziraphale’s neck; the angel wasn’t struggling to get away, but it was best to make sure he stayed that way, Crowley thought vaguely. The demon crashed his way round the table, chairs toppling, whisky spilt, until he stood hunched over Aziraphale, looming, still plundering his mouth, straddling the angel where he sat.
Crowley stopped kissing Aziraphale.
The demon straightened and drew the back of his hand across his mouth, then licked his lips, tasting – what? The angel, who was staring up at him, face dazed, hair tousled. Aziraphale's hands were curled on his thighs, loose and empty, and his cheeks, neck and ears were pink.
“You’ve never done that before,” he said, and Crowley hated him for an instant of pure, shining rage.
“No,” he agreed. He slouched back against the table; his hands clenched into fists at his sides and he looked away just long enough to materialise sunglasses into place. He felt, unaccountably, naked. “I felt like it just then.” And angry about being naked; strange for a being without a shred of modesty.
Aziraphale tilted his head to one side. “Why?”
“I was...” Crowley glared at Aziraphale. “Tempted.” He smiled his slowest, wickedest smile, and saw the poison seep home: Aziraphale blanched, and Crowley’s smile twisted into a smirk.
It didn’t last.
Aziraphale stood – far too close, and Crowley hastily straightened from his half-seated sprawl on the table’s edge to match Aziraphale’s height – and gazed fearlessly at Crowley. The sunglasses didn’t seem to be doing their new job of protection, because the demon felt exposed again.
“Temptation to good isn’t a sin,” Aziraphale said quietly, and Crowley tried to summon up some wrath, to clothe himself in it and do something really impressive, like burst into a pillar of flame, or maybe manifest as something repulsive, probably involving maggots.4 He was almost there but the angel put a hand to his cheek – it burned, and Crowley nearly flinched away – and leaned forward, pressing his lips gently to Crowley’s mouth.
Aziraphale kissed like an angel. Which is to say, like an inexperienced creature, because he was an inexperienced creature. Like Crowley, he had been watching humans perform osculation for millennia, though, and like Crowley, he was a quick learner. What began as hesitant, almost fumbling, moved swiftly into the realm of the Heavenly. Or the Hellishly good, anyway, Crowley thought, and this time he was the one who gasped.
That spurred some rage, and Crowley growled into the angel’s mouth and grabbed him, clutched his arms and held him close, pressed himself against him, hard. “I’m not tempted to do good things,” Crowley snarled, pulling his head back after a long, dizzy eternity. “That’s not how it works.” His sunglasses were crooked and he thought them irritably back into place.
The corner of Aziraphale’s (slightly swollen, red, wet) mouth twitched up. “My dear friend,” he said. “What else could you be tempted toward?” His thumb stroked Crowley’s cheekbone, then slipped down to press his lower lip. “Surely a demon can’t be drawn into evil.” His eyes gleamed.
“In the past five minutes I’ve already been prideful, wrathful, greedy, and – and this one you’ll have to trust me on – lustful. Really, really lustful,” Crowley said. “Throw in some sloth and envy and a pinch of gluttony and we’ll have the whole catalogue.”
Aziraphale was – Chri– Luci– shit! – hugging him. Or something. He’d leaned forward and put his arms around Crowley’s waist and his head on the demon’s shoulder. “I’ve always thought gluttony and greed were the same thing. I don’t understand why they get separate listings.” His mouth seemed to be... mapping Crowley's neck. Or something. His lips, anyway, were travelling the sensitive territory along the line of the demon's jaw, and lower, pressed damply to where his pulse – he had one at the moment, it seemed – was thudding away, a dull, irritating tympanum beating out a rapid tempo.
“What in the world do you think you’re doing?” Crowley said. He flexed his fingers and felt Aziraphale tremble under them; Crowley thought for a brief moment of claws, of attack, of rending and tearing and the swift awful movements that meant death, that came most naturally to demons.
“Don’t,” Aziraphale whispered against his skin, and Crowley made a sound that was certainly not a laugh. He let go Aziraphale’s bicep with one hand, only to fist his fingers in the fine, soft hair just above the nape of his neck. He wrenched Aziraphale’s head up and back.
And Crowley meant, really he did, to snarl something at the angel, to hiss and spit, to shove him away, but instead he groaned and forced their mouths together again, all the images, dreams, wishes of violence in his blood turning to this: battle of another kind, contest and conquest, vanquishment. Victory.
“I’ve never,” Aziraphale breathed into his mouth a few moments later, and Crowley’s hand stilled at its work of shredding the angel’s clothing.
Crowley pulled his head back for a moment. “Do you think that I have?” he asked, and Aziraphale was looking seriously at him again, eyes wide and guileless, mouth wet and half-open. The angel shook his head slowly. “We shouldn’t,” Crowley said.
“No, probably not,” Aziraphale agreed. He smiled, quirk of his lips, and Crowley tightened his fingers in the angel’s fair hair again, to see if it would stop that smile. It did, and Aziraphale closed his eyes as his lips parted in what might have been5 pain. “We will anyway,” he said, and Crowley watched, fascinated, as Aziraphale’s tongue (pink, soft, utterly normal) flicked out over his lips and disappeared again.
“I want to,” Crowley said, loosening his fist, fingers curving over the back of Aziraphale’s skull. It was almost a caress.
“I suspected,” Aziraphale replied.
Crowley gathered the angel close and put his face against his neck. A moment of concentration, a dizzy turn, and when he pushed Aziraphale backward, they toppled onto Crowley’s unmade bed.6 Aziraphale’s clothing was gone. So was Crowley’s, though he’d kept the sunglasses; a moment later they vanished as well, and Aziraphale was trying to laugh up at him.
“I can do it, too,” Aziraphale moaned as Crowley crashed down onto him. The angel’s body had begun to sweat, and he was warm all over, soft and hard by turn, skin smooth and pale and ah, Crowley wanted to bite every inch of him, lick and taste him, mark him and take from him.
Aziraphale moaned again and again, shuddered under Crowley’s hands and mouth. They struggled against one another, clutching skin and bone, limbs tangled, mouths colliding whenever position and proximity permitted. “Please,” Aziraphale said, rolling atop Crowley, and Crowley didn’t have the wit left to deny him, couldn’t have summoned up malice or even a gentle, delaying tease if all the legions of Hell had demanded it right at the moment.
“Yessss,” Crowley heard himself respond. They moved together, equally matched as always, and Crowley splayed his fingers over Aziraphale’s shoulder blades and rocked against him in a rhythm that reminded him of older things, songs he’d known long ago. He tasted salt and honey on his tongue, and his body took over as his mind wound around the angel’s and balanced on some frightful precipice, a place where he’d forgotten to conquer, forgotten what victory was, forgotten everything except what they did, utterly human and utterly not.
He felt the angel fall, too.
It was shocking, the intensity and banality of it: messy and gorgeous, ridiculous and sublime. It faded slowly, and Crowley opened his eyes to look up at Aziraphale, who looked silly, gobsmacked, as if he’d been hit in the head with a two-by-four –
Ah, well. Might as well say it: He looked divine.
Crowley made a sound that was certainly a laugh. Aziraphale’s eyes at that moment looked no more human than his own, he suspected, but were reassuring in ways his own never could be. The angel smiled and dropped his head, resting their foreheads together. They breathed easily, hearts slowing, the farcical workings of their farcical bodies recovering from their actions, which had either been comedy or tragedy. Perhaps both. Maybe that was the point of it.7
“Do you… bathe?” Aziraphale asked, and Crowley made a derogatory noise. He snapped his fingers and the sticky mess that had been gluing their bellies together disappeared, along with rather copious amounts of saliva and perspiration. Aziraphale hmmed and slid off Crowley to lie beside him, tucked in tight, pulling the duvet up and over them both. Crowley did not at all help the angel fit more closely, and he most certainly did not loop his arm beneath Aziraphale’s neck and cuddle him. It would be preposterous to suggest that he did.
“Water and demons,” Crowley said. “We don’t mix.”
“You should try it sometime,” Aziraphale said. He turned his head and lay the side of his face against Crowley’s chest. “Feels quite nice. And it’s not holy water, you know, coming out of the taps.”
Crowley yawned. “Yes, well. I’ll leave you to it, angel. I don’t even drink the stuff.”
“Are you going to sleep?” Aziraphale’s hand smoothed over Crowley’s stomach, and the demon briefly considering purring, a habit he’d got out of since the Egyptians stopped worshipping felines. “Crowley?”
Crowley sighed. “Yes, I’m going to sleep. Haven’t you ever watched them? That’s what they do.”
“Who?” Aziraphale’s hand rubbed small, warm circles. “Sleeping is so dull.”
“Human males,” Crowley slurred. His eyes were closed, and he exhaled until the wisp of hair that had been tickling his mouth was gone. “They shag, then they sleep.” He knew what Aziraphale wanted, knew he was right to protest, but three bottles of Glenfiddich and his first orgasm ever were reminding Crowley that really, sleep was the only way to go. And he was useless at resisting temptation. Built that way.
“We should talk about this,” Aziraphale said softly, and his voice was serious, and afraid.
Crowley turned his head without opening his eyes, and kissed the angel’s hair. “Tomorrow,” he said. “Don’t go. Stay here and sleep.” He puffed air out again – damned fine hair getting in his mouth – and then sighed.
“I won’t,” Aziraphale said. Crowley fell asleep with the angel half-draped over him, and a warm hand rubbing his belly. He dreamt about music, songs he hadn’t heard in an Age, and even in his dreams, he knew everything had a price: war, music, love. As he slept, he wondered what currency he had paid in, would pay in, for what he and the angel had done.
When he woke up he was cold.
1Which involved a solemn moment, the victim – erm, kissee – having his head held between the kisser’s hands, and the kisser later having the kissee killed violently. Crowley had seen The Godfather sixty-six times in the cinema.
2Crowley carefully did not think about the eleven years of co-godfathering young Warlock, or the somewhere-in-the-neighborhood-of-six-tho
3His sunglasses had vanished around bottle number two of the single-malt, and he couldn’t recall if he’d dropped them under the table, or thought them out of existence. It seemed (Crowley snorted to himself) immaterial, at this point.
4Although he knew perfectly well that maggots didn’t really bother Aziraphale – he’d probably name them, or something equally embarrassing; and it would be so passé to incinerate the bookshop again, so soon after its resurrection.
5Or might not have been.
6It never occurred to Crowley to make the bed, though the sheets were never dirty and full of crumbs, an amazing fact, considering the demon’s proclivity for eating Hobnobs in bed while watching late-night infomercials for ideas on making humans’ lives miserable.
7Somewhere far away (or not far away at all; it's difficult to tell), God was making everyone nervous because He hadn’t stopped smiling since, well, ever. You know: the beginning of time and all.