[personal profile] a_fell
Aziraphael had asked, somewhat plaintively, whether they had anything built to a normal scale in Vienna when he saw the hotel Crowley had booked them into - tall and imposing yet somehow graceful, effortlessly combining function and form in a way that he rather wished modern architects would take note of. The Imperial had originally been a palace and housed a Prince, of course, before it had been turned into a hotel, and he certainly had no trouble believing it; the interior was even more sumptuous than the Opera House had been.

He had felt altogether overwhelmed, when they'd arrived, and had tugged uncomfortably at his collar, attempting to straighten his tie until he'd caught Crowley's amused glance out of the corner of his eye. Any other time he'd have returned it with an embarrassed glare, quite possibly, but he'd found himself quite involuntarily with a rather ridiculous smile and had been forced to look away. So effectively did he distract himself in fact - as Crowley murmured to the receptionist in far more fluent German than Aziraphael had had at his disposal in a very long time - that he almost jumped out of his skin when a hand lightly grasped his elbow and steered him towards the lift.



Suites at the Imperial, apparently, come not only with 24 hour room service but with a butler, and the fact that Crowley's not even hiding how amused he is doesn't do a blind thing to dampen Aziraphael's enthusiasm. He asks for a paper or two to be brought in the morning, simply to see if they'll be ironed, and after their (impossibly good) late dinner is cleared away and they have settled on the settee with a bottle of (horribly expensive) wine, he reflects that there's really not a thing he can think of that could possibly have made the day more perfect.

It's not actually possible to tell whether he's realised that he said this out loud.

Date: 2006-12-14 08:36 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (just the way it is)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
The silence that follows certainly doesn't help - there's no reply from Crowley (lounging in the opposite corner of the couch in his shirtsleeves and socks, collar unbuttoned and bowtie gone missing sometime between starter and dessert).

The demon's gone very, very still, though, all of a sudden.

And his expression might be a hint.

Date: 2006-12-14 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
Aziraphael swirls his glass idly, taking a sip and humming in satisfaction before the silence really registers as more than the result of entirely too much food.

He turns his head and raises an eyebrow slightly, scanning the demon's expression.

"...Crowley?"

Date: 2006-12-14 08:58 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (happy [blue])
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
Crowley looks away, down, in order to finish pouring his wine, and then sets the bottle back on the table with a quiet, solid thunk.

He has twin streaks of red painted one across each of his cheekbones, comically vivid against his pale cheeks, but that's alright. Because after a few moments more, it becomes apparent that despite his best efforts, he's losing the fight against what is - it must be said - a quite impressively stupid grin.

"I'm glad you think so," he mutters.

Date: 2006-12-14 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
The setting confuses him a moment.

But there is no crowd in this ridiculous room, no bartenders or cloakroom attendants, and the butler has buttled off to do whatever it is that they do.

Aziraphael slides along the couch until his leg is pressed firmly against Crowley's, takes care to hold his wine steady as his other hand cups Crowley's jaw and he leans in to press his lips against the quite impressively stupid grin that tugs at something just behind his breastbone.

Date: 2006-12-14 09:58 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (happy [blue])
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
Crowley's the one who almost spills his wine, shifting with an uncharacteristic lack of grace to make room for Aziraphael. It's likely as not he wouldn't have noticed, though, absorbed as he is in the slow, chaste movement of the kiss.

He's a little less flushed, when they break apart, but the grin hasn't gotten any less ridiculous.

"I mean," he says, rambling a tiny bit, "that was sort of the effect I was going for."

Date: 2006-12-14 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
Aziraphael settles himself more comfortably against Crowley's side.

"You do manage to do this to me entirely too often, you know. Make it, I mean, so that words are entirely inadequate to express quite how grateful I am."

Date: 2006-12-14 10:37 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (barbados)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
This may perhaps be why Crowley looks quite so at a loss for how to deal with actually hearing them; he rolls the stem of his wineglass between his fingers as his other hand splays against the warm, reassuring there-ness of Aziraphael's side.

"A 'thanks' does me fine," he manages eventually, lightly.

Date: 2006-12-14 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
The angel's fingers aren't so long as Crowley's, a little plumper and paler, standing out in contrast as Aziraphael settles his hand on top of the demon's. He turns his head and smiles, his expression clear and uncomplicated by anything other than simple happiness that he is here, that he is with Crowley.

(Home.)

He leans across and presses a kiss to the sharp corner of his jaw, rests his forehead against Crowley's temple for a moment before he pulls away.

"Thank you," he says, quietly.

Date: 2006-12-14 11:23 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (barbados)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
He could die from this.

That's Crowley's first thought.

His second is that he might; he's quite certain his chest isn't meant to feel as though its been lanced through by those blessed, bloody blue eyes, and then filled up until it can't possibly contain something that feels quite so - quite so big. A discorporation might well be imminent. But his third thought is that it wouldn't matter. He wouldn't mind.

Crowley only distantly remembers feeling so very at peace (the sensation brings to mind the smell of warm air, and the sound of waves).

"You're welcome," he replies, voice unaccountably thick.

Date: 2006-12-15 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"My thoughts are sea-foam and sand," quoted quietly, half under his breath.

His fingers spread slightly, enough that Crowley's fit neatly in between, and he shifts just that little bit closer again. These millimeters of contact count more, somehow - when you're just as close as you can possibly be and it's still not quite enough to stop you from moving closer.

Date: 2006-12-15 12:37 am (UTC)
aj_crawley: (barbados)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
To set his wineglass down on the table would mean having to lean away. So Crowley doesn't, yet. Instead, he moves just enough to turn his face into the crook of Aziraphael's neck, and breathes out.

"I've run out of destinations," he says quietly, after a moment. "Where should I surprise you with next time?"

Date: 2006-12-15 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
A choked snort of laughter that he can't possibly hold in, just like the response that comes naturally to his lips and oh, Crowley's going to hate him but -

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."




The kiss pressed against dark hair might be considered an apology; sometimes you just can't help yourself.

Date: 2006-12-15 12:53 am (UTC)
aj_crawley: (barbados)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
Both hands are occupied, the one with the wineglass and the other tangled with Aziraphael's; Crowley's only recourse is a gentle, warning nip against the skin of the angel's neck.

"Watch yourself," he hums against Aziraphael's pulse, voice deeper than usual with suppressed amusement. "You never know what I'll come up with."

Date: 2006-12-15 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"So long as you don't serenade me with anything involving goatherds, Crowley, I'm sure I shall manage."

His voice still has a slight unsteadiness to it, although it's possible the reason behind it has changed.

Date: 2006-12-15 02:48 am (UTC)
aj_crawley: (barbados)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
"Well, you know, we are in Austria," Crowley says, sounding worryingly thoughtful. "I bet Jeeves could arrange for a troupe of them to wake you in the morning. Led by a choir of disgustingly cute brothers and sisters, even. And a nun. I know you miss them being part of the scenery."

As earlier, of course, these are empty threats. If something (or someone) attempted to wake Crowley with anything even remotely resembling a yodel, he would of course set it on fire.

The couch cushions rustle softly as Crowley shifts slightly, turning more fully towards Aziraphael.

Date: 2006-12-15 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"Do it," says Aziraphael, low and lazy and with an undercurrent of amusement running through his voice as he bends to put his wineglass on the floor, tucked safely beneath the settee, "and I shall somehow ensure that you don't get a shower above room temperature for - " he considers - "at least a week. Possibly longer."

He sits up again, settling himself back into position tucked against Crowley's side.

Date: 2006-12-15 03:08 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (sprawl)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
"Bluffing," Crowley replies dismissively, swirling the last of his wine in the glass. "D'you want to know how I know?"

Date: 2006-12-15 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"I have always wondered at your overconfidence..."

Date: 2006-12-15 03:33 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (sprawl)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
"Because it's petty," Crowley says. "First of all. And you hate when I know you're being petty, because then it means I've won."

A brief pause as Crowley tilts his head back, raising an eyebrow up at the angel as he knocks back the rest of his wine.

"Secondly," he continues afterwards, "that's not the kind of fight you want to start with me, because I'm better at being annoying than you are."

The glass now empty, Crowley finally leans forward, leaving it by the bottle on the table. After a moment, he ducks and retrieves Aziraphael's glass as well.

"And thirdly," he says finally, casting a glance back at Aziraphael, "right at this very moment, you want to stay on my good side. You have a vested interest in doing so."

Date: 2006-12-15 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"Oh really?" His voice is flirting with the edges of laughter and the affection is very clear in his blue eyes.

"I do believe I've already stated that it's been a quite ridiculously satisfying day, so I have to wonder why continued effort at remaining in your good books is warranted."

Date: 2006-12-15 03:48 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (sprawl)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
"Because the day isn't over yet," Crowley pronounces smugly. "And I can think of at least four or five ways to improve on it."

Date: 2006-12-15 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
Aziraphael plucks lightly at Crowley's shirt, trying to persuade him to sit back again - he was comfortable.

"...I'll admit that I'm intrigued."

Date: 2006-12-15 04:28 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (sprawl)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
Crowley acquiesces, though not entirely; resting his weight on it, Crowley's hand dents the deep cushions by Aziraphael's thigh, as the demon leans in to touch his mouth just to the left of Aziraphael's lips.

The tip of his thumb brushes against the outer seam of the angel's trousers; his other fingertips stroke minutely against the edges of the fine, raised flock of the upholstery, enjoying the feel of the rough silk against his skin.

"We could go knock on hotel doors and run away," he suggests.

Date: 2006-12-15 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
He turns his head towards Crowley's, not quite satisfied with the quick brush of lips that don't meet his, and he laughs a little unsteadily.

"That's only a step away from pressing all the buttons in the lifts, Crowley, and you know I hate it when you've won."

Date: 2006-12-15 05:05 pm (UTC)
aj_crawley: (sprawl)
From: [personal profile] aj_crawley
"That was my second suggestion," Crowley agrees lazily, leaning a second time, this time to press a kiss and a huff of warm breath beneath Aziraphael's ear.

He pauses there for a moment, nose and forehead still brushing the angel's skin, before moving to plant another kiss along the fine lines at the corner of Aziraphael's eye.

"I'm going to go out on a limb here," a gentle shift, and the length of his thumb now lies along the outside of Aziraphael's leg, "and guess that you're not all that excited about making prank calls, either."

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