Aziraphale didn’t think much about it at first. Crowley had left one of his coats on his settee. The angel made a note to himself to remind Crowley about it as he hung it up on the coat rack with the other objects which had been accidentally left within the bookshop.
A pair of shoes was much stranger. Aziraphale had forgotten to mention the coat. Crowley had picked it up without him saying anything, but had left another one in its place a few days later. As long as he knew, Aziraphale decided, that was what mattered. But shoes? Those couldn’t be just left out. Aziraphale put them away and later phoned Crowley asking how he could have possibly left a pair of shoes there.* Crowley said he took them off and forgot to put them back on. Aziraphale stared out at the gloomy weather and rain and was appalled. But the next time the demon arrived, he wore shoes, so Aziraphale put that aside.
When Crowley started leaving his music around, that was another thing entirely. Aziraphale didn’t want it on** but at the same time he didn’t want to touch them and mess them up in some way. He had done that before and had felt awfully guilty about the entire mess. So he didn’t. He let Crowley show up and turn it on and off as he so wished. Just as long as Aziraphale could get his records on as often as he wished, it was fine.
It all came to a head when Crowley had left an entire room in the back of the bookshop.
“Crowley,” Aziraphale said lowly, “what is this?”
“It’s what you told me to do.” The demon shrugged it off. “You said you had a particular order to things and you didn’t really mind, but I see it bothering you. I’ll just leave it all in here then.”
Aziraphale mouthed wordlessly as Crowley threw his coat on the bed. “I… suppose that is well enough,” he ended up saying lamely, though he didn’t actually feel that way.
Crowley looked at him, almost over the top of his sunglasses. “You keep telling me not to worry about it-”
“-well I don’t want you to worry about it-”
“-and you keep setting my things aside-”
“-because you forget them-”
“-because you tell me to put them down.”
“Ah,” said Aziraphale.***
Crowley paused, craning his neck around before looking back at Aziraphale. “You… mind?”
“Not in the slightest!” Aziraphale said before even thinking about it. “I just was caught off guard.”
Sticking his hands in his pockets, Crowley sighed. “Oh, here we go. What about your room at my place?”
“What about it?” Now Aziraphale was completely confused, not just slightly. “What does that have to do with this?” He thought about it. “You had that room to start with!”
“Yeah, but it’s just… you know… the- the thing of the matter.”
Crowley had utterly failed to explain himself. Yet, perhaps because of that utter failure, Aziraphale understood completely.
“I see.” He smiled at his friend. “You know, dear, you should have just said so.”
“Said what?” Crowley asked, feigning confusion.*****
Aziraphale strode over, placing a hand on Crowley’s arm. “Never mind that. I believe it’s about time for lunch.”
The other stared at him for a bit, before relaxing with a shrug. “Where would you like to go, angel?”
And if the extra room didn’t actually keep all of Crowley’s things from showing up all over the bookshop, well! Fair was only fair. Aziraphale had taken over Crowley’s place too.
*Aziraphale had never seen Crowley without some sort of shoes. Or socks, or something. They usually looked scaled in some way, which Aziraphale thought looked tacky on anyone else but suited Crowley immensely.
**Well, some of it was fine, but he was very adamant about some of it. You know the ones.
***Ah, in this circumstance, meant that the narrator was showing a very one sided perspective of the beginning of the story, and Aziraphale had indeed been the reason why Crowley had left those things behind. But he was just being nice, so he had thought, though in one particular instance he remembered being very demanding about Crowley leaving one of his records behind.****
****“For fuck’s sake, angel, it’s a CD. One step even above tapes. Come on, now.”
*****Dear reader, he wasn’t feigning anything. Aziraphale simply believed he had to be, so that is how it is written.