aj_crawley: (baby it's cold outside)
aj_crawley ([personal profile] aj_crawley) wrote2008-12-09 10:05 pm

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He'd fallen asleep.

If Crowley had been nearly too exhausted to drive, he'd been by far too exhausted to lean back and will the jeep to drive itself. The first had required only concentration; the second would have needed the sort of resources which, after fighting to will himself warm against the cold cold cold that had seeped in anyway, Crowley simply hadn't got. By the time they'd pulled into the car-park of the tiny inn, there'd been a tremor - a shaky sort of weakness - in his knees and elbows. He'd barely managed to open the heavy jeep door; barely managed to climb the stairs to their little room; barely managed to hold the key steady long enough to unlock the door.

Shrugging off coats, discarding gloves and scarves and sunglasses, and then it had hit them both at the same time, as though it had simply been waiting for the click of their heavy, wooden door, and the rustle of their curtains being drawn: Crowley's breath suddenly uneven, Aziraphael sitting down abruptly on the edge of the bed, and the raw immensity of the time out on the ice all crashing home.

There'd been such need when Aziraphael kissed him (or perhaps when he had kissed the angel; either way), when they'd crawled back towards the pillows, pressed as close as could be. Slow, and intense, and fiercely tender, and in the time it took Aziraphael to extricate himself, flushed and urgent, to pull off his shoes and set the clunky radio alarm, Crowley'd fallen asleep.

(Wearing everything but his coat.)

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-10 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
Aziraphael had managed to master his disappointment when he'd realised Crowley was still wearing his shoes: a sign of true exhaustion if he'd ever seen one. He'd pulled them off before curling as close as possible and falling asleep himself, too tired even to fight Crowley for the covers.

The next morning hadn't been any better. Crowley was still tired and cranky, the angel oddly rushed and nervous, and since they'd seen what they had come to see, they were only headed straight back to the airport. The angel dressed (he had to take half his clothes off from the night before, first) with even less thought than usual, checking every five minutes to see if Crowley was awake.

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-10 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
Aziraphael had made no real attempt at conversation as they drove; he assumed that Crowley needed all his powers of focus and concentration for the road, anyhow. He'd picked alternately at his trousers and his fingernails instead, frowning, apparently lost in thought.

Once they'd finally arrived, Crowley's disorientation had seemed worse rather than better. When he had finally wandered off toward 'Arrivals' rather than 'Departures,' Aziraphael had declared that it was Crowley's turn to have a break, set him down with a hot drink on an uncomfortable plastic bench, and went off to check them in himself. It'd been very hard to tell whether the angel was getting huffy, but Crowley was too tired to put much effort into curiosity.

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-10 06:21 am (UTC)(link)
He'd still been more than half-asleep when the angel had guided him off the bench and over to the gate, asking dazedly if their flight had been called. They'd traversed the long hallway between airport and plane without much incident, settled into their seats and been offered drinks, but the first class chair was clearly more comfortable than the one at the gate. By the time the plane had turned toward the runway, Crowley'd been asleep again.

Aziraphael had spent the flight reading a book that he'd pulled from somewhere in his coat, then staring into space, then reading some more. Generally, he'd picked up again at the top of the same page he had been reading before his thoughts had drifted away.

The next thing Crowley had known was Aziraphael's hand on his shoulder and the bustling noise of people gathering their carry-ons. The angel had watched him closely, but Crowley had waved off his hovering, instead turning his sluggish thoughts to mapping out the quickest way to the car.

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-12 04:58 am (UTC)(link)
Aziraphael only presses his lips together and murmurs a quiet "Hmm," which is neither agreement nor rebuke for Crowley's adamant cursing. His glances at the demon are becoming a little more frequent, and a little more perceptibly nervous.

"Er," he says at last, looking from Crowley to his empty hands and back again.

"To baggage claim, then? It isn't far, if I remember correctly."

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-12 05:17 am (UTC)(link)
"No," he agrees, though Crowley hadn't actually finished his thought.

"I hope you didn't have your heart set on going straight back to London, my dear," he blurts out at last. "It's just that I thought you might like a detour someplace that's warmer, first."

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-12 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
"It's the Barbados airport," he admits. "We were here before, once, but I think they've changed it a bit."

If you listen carefully, there's a faint strain of anxious hope in his voice.

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-12 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
"Yes," he agrees again, "but I made some adjustments to that. To be honest, I thought you'd catch on before now, but you were asleep, and, well."

And he didn't have the determination necessary to wake Crowley up to examine the label on the gate in Iceland or to hear the boarding announcement or the pilot's monologue about the weather in Barbados, which might have clued him in. But he doesn't say so, only shrugs helplessly.


[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-12 06:04 am (UTC)(link)
Aziraphael breaks into a wide smile as his arms go around Crowley. He's holding on tightly enough that his face can't be seen, but Crowley might be able to feel it, given that the angel is burying his face in his shoulder.

"Yes - that's good, then," he mumbles nonsensically.

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-12 06:28 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh, I suppose I was thinking generally of Barbados months ago," he tells Crowley's shoulder, "but I didn't decide I needed to bring you here until the other night. It was all rather last-minute."

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-13 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
Aziraphael looks amused, then takes pity and makes an attempt to smooth down Crowley's hair. Of course, it is mostly ineffective.

"That would have defeated the purpose of the 'surprise,' my dear."

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-13 05:03 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh," he says, considering. "I wouldn't say that I had wanted to go for months. But the idea of coming back had been brewing for a while, you might say. And there's no point coming when it's warm at home." He reconsiders that statement fairly quickly.

"Not much point."

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-13 05:50 am (UTC)(link)
"I--" He frowns slightly, shaking his head.

"Coming to Barbados was never about me," he explains. "I had a marvellous time when we came before, of course, but I'm the one who suggested we go to Iceland in the summertime, you remember. So when you chose Iceland in winter, and were sleepy and cold and unhappy for so much of it--" He shrugs uncomfortably.

"I thought you'd like to go someplace warm for a while. And we know this place."

[identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com 2008-12-13 06:28 am (UTC)(link)
Aziraphael looks a little hurt - and again not at all certain that he's done the right thing.

"Crowley, I don't know what - I didn't say because it wasn't even on my radar as a possibility. The winter trip wasn't my choice to make; we were going to Kingston, and then - we didn't."

He looks away, toward the sunlight streaming through the windows, and takes a slow breath.

"We can still go to Kingston, if you'd prefer. It's much closer from here than from London. And it's probably at least as warm."

He tries for an encouraging smile.

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