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"But You Do" Secret Santa for BlueRandom (Good Omens, Crowley)


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Happy Christmas @BlueRandom:xmastree: I got you in Secret Santa this year. I hope you enjoy reading as it as much as I enjoyed writing it :hug:

"But You Do"

“You’re being absolutely ridiculous,” Aziraphale said, placing a hand on his hip and doing his best to look stern.

“I am NOT wearing that,” Crowley said, curling up into the corner of the sofa. If Aziraphale didn’t know better, he’d have sworn he was dealing with a petulant toddler and not a 6000 year old demon. The angel sighed and urged the flames in his fireplace to burn a little hotter then sat down at the other end of the sofa. He let a hand come to rest on Crowley’s ankle and tried again.

“I’m just trying to make you more comfortable, dear boy. You’re obviously chilled and I was told this is the ideal article of clothing for someone struggling with a cold.”

“It’s allergies,” Crowley mumbled, pawing at his nose.

“Whatever you say, dear.”

It’s the same argument they’d been having for the better part of four hours. They’d planned a holiday dinner at the Ritz and Crowley and Aziraphale were both looking forward to enjoying the opulent Christmas décor and several courses of seasonal food and wine. The Ritz did not disappoint: the dining room was practically dripping with fresh evergreens, holly, poinsettias, roses, and amaryllis. Candlelight refracted through crystal stemware and vases. The whole effect was really quite breathtaking—soft sparkling light, reds, greens, and gold dominating every inch. Even Crowley begrudgingly acknowledged the extraordinary decorations.

“And not a snowman in sight,” Aziraphale added as they took their seats, knowing Crowley had a particular distaste for snowmen. He had no idea why—perhaps just Crowley’s general dislike for all things cold and icy. After a toast to their first holiday season post almost-apocalypse, they tucked into their first course. The angel noted that Crowley was, perhaps, a little quieter than usual, but the demon had a complicated relationship with the Christmas season. Perfectly understandable of course, and Aziraphale kept the conversation light and mostly one-sided.

What the angel wasn’t aware of was that Crowley was fighting a battle beyond just his annual seasonal…ennui. The angel loved Christmas and Crowley found it equal parts contagious and annoying, but he did agree that dinner at the Ritz had been well-earned after the year they’d had. The only problem was that the demon wasn’t feeling exactly well. Not exactly ill either, just…off. He’d considered asking Aziraphale to reschedule until he wasn’t feeling quite so fatigued and cold, but when the angel answered the phone, he was practically buzzing with excitement about their evening out and Crowley couldn’t bring himself to dampen the angel’s enthusiasm. Now he was sitting in the Ritz fighting the urge to shiver and doing his best to focus on the angel seating across from him.

“Crowley? Did you hear what I said?” Aziraphale asked. Obviously he hadn’t, and he hadn’t heard the angel’s prompt either. Aziraphale put his knife and fork to the side with a concerned little frown and watched the demon. His eyes were unfocused, aimed at something just above the angel’s head and he seemed very far away indeed (regardless of their physical proximity). For a being that enjoyed sleeping as much as Crowley did, the demon certainly looked like he was in need of a good rest. In fact, now that he was paying close attention, Aziraphale had to admit that Crowley seemed…well, he wasn’t quite sure precisely how to label it. The angel took a sip of wine and was about to try and pull the demon back from wherever he’d wandered off to, when Crowley sniffled wetly shook his head like he’d just remembered something important.

“Sorry, Angel. What did you say?”

“Actually, I haven’t said anything in several minutes.”

“No?” If Crowley were inclined to blush (which he most certainly was not) he might have done so when he saw the angel’s face—that unique blend of concern, fondness, and exasperation.

“Any interest in telling me where you went?”

The demon was spared from having to formulate a plausible answer by a needling, prickling sensation just at the bridge of his nose. He curled a long index finger against his nostrils, but it only served to inflame the feeling rather than stem it. Crowley realized that he was about to sneeze, and he grabbed his napkin off his lap (demon or no, it was still the Ritz) and did his best to muffle the sound.

ehhIhMfshh! heh hihhMfsshh!

Aziraphale frowned, but waited for the other two sneezes he knew were coming—

ehhMFSHH! hehMFshhoo!

—before offering a quiet “gesundheit” to the sniffling demon. Crowley absolutely forbade blessings, but they compromised on one neutral offer of politeness and good health once the series of sneezes was over (because he never sneezed just once).

“You might have mentioned you weren’t feeling well.” Aziraphale said it in that way that always made Crowley feel like he was being equal parts scolded and teased.

“M’fine,” he said with a sniffle. When the angel raised an eyebrow, Crowley shrugged. “Probably allergic to all these bloody holiday decorations—flowers, pine—”

“Not to mention the candles,” Aziraphale added.

“It could be those too!” Crowley shot back.

“And the cutlery looks suspicious.”

Crowley, no doubt, had a scathing comeback at the tip of his forked tongue, but was forced to abandon it and hastily catch another little fit of sneezes in his napkin.

hehTshchh! Mftshh! ehh Ehh hehmftshh! hehmptshhoo!

“Gesundheit.” The angel frowned and signaled to their waiter, exchanging a few quiet words as Crowley took a few sips of wine to try calm the scratch in his throat threatening to turn into a cough.

“Sorry,” Crowley mumbled.

“Think nothing of it, my dear,” Aziraphale said. “I do think it might be wise to complete our meal back at the shop though.” Crowley opened his mouth to argue, but the angel pressed on. “I mean, if something in the air here really is making you sneeze I’m sure you’d be more comfortable where we know there’s nothing that triggers an allergic reaction.”

Wiley angel. Crowley had been boxed in and they both knew it. The demon crossed his arms across his chest with a disgruntled huff as the waiter came back with a series of neatly wrapped boxes containing cheese, fruit, and chocolates.

In the hours since returning to the bookstore, Crowley was still clinging to the (increasingly unbelievable) claim that his sniffling and sneezing, plus the recent addition of shivering, hoarseness, and coughing, was due to an allergic reaction. Aziraphale didn’t push too much as long as the demon accepted the things he brought him: first, a blanket and cup of hot spiced wine; then a box of tissues; later, a few pieces of hard candy meant to ease his sore throat. However, they now seemed to be at an impasse over the latest item Aziraphale was pressing into service.

“I told you I’b not wearing that,” Crowley repeated. “It’s awful.”

“It’s not that bad,” Aziraphale said, looking at the garment. “It’s called a hood-ie and it’s meant more for comfort than appearance.” Crowley shook his head and took a few tissues from the box in his lap, his nose flaring and breath hitching.

heh ehh eh ehtishhoo! EhhKtshhhoo! hehihh—ehh hehKTSHHoo! Ktschooo!

“Gesundheit.” Aziraphale tutted as Crowley shook his head indicating that he wasn’t done. “Poor dear,” the angel said, patting the demon’s ankles (which had snuck their way into the angel’s lap during their exchange).

hehKtschhoo! HepTSHHooo!

Even Crowley couldn’t repress a groan that followed the harsh sneeze that tore through his throat, temporarily ending the fit. He blew his nose and tossed the tissues into the bin Aziraphale had set out during one of his trips through the sitting room. A violent shiver wracked his body and he was very close to admitting defeat. Aziraphale watched all this from his vantage point at the other end of the sofa. As much as he had teased Crowely, he really didn’t like to see him feeling so poorly. He looked at the hooded sweatshirt he’d been trying to get Crowley to put on—perhaps a cream hoodie lined with a pastel tartan pattern was asking a bit much. He snapped his fingers and it instantly switched into black with a deep red lining (which, incidentally, was dangerously close to matching the demon’s nose). He held it out to Crowley.

“Give it a try,” Aziraphale said. He scowled but it was half-hearted at best. He pulled the hoodie over his head and then tugged the hood up over his tousled hair. A smile tugged at the angel’s face as he watched Crowley shove his hands into the pocket in the front and seems to consider this new choice in apparel.

“Hmm. I s’pose it is rather warm,” Crowley said.

“I’m glad it’s helping.”

“Still ugly though.”

“Of course, dear.”

“Angel? M’sorry I ruined our dinner.”

“Oh, Crowley, you did nothing of the sort,” Aziraphale said, his voice full of warmth. “I don’t care where we go or what we do. Fine dining at the Ritz or take away here at the shop—it’s about being with you that matters to me.” He cleared his throat awkwardly and added, “I’m just sorry you’re under the weather. I know this time of year is…well, is complicated for you. Being ill can’t help.” Crowley snuggled down into the sofa and stretched his legs across the angel’s lap. Aziraphale ran his hands over the blanket-covered shins and felt a tremendous sense of peace settle over him.

“It doesn’t help,” Crowley mumbled, on the verge of sleep. “But you do.”

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Aww, this is great! I love the slow build, and the mental image of Crowley all curled up in a hoodie with his feet in Aziraphale's lap is very pleasing :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is so so perfect! Your characterisation is super on point, and Crowley's grumpiness-but-also-kind-of-softness is so ridiculously endearing :') The hoodies are too funny, and the OTT Ritz dinner is 100% accurate for both of them (and your descriptions! <3). Also, I love how familiar they are with each other, and Aziraphale's knowing little comments - especially the suspicious cutlery.

Thank you so much - I love it!

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