Bookshop

The thing was, it always smelled like Aziraphale.

Books and tea and dust. Most people didn’t care for the last part, but most people couldn’t catch it when the dust wasn’t actually there. Aziraphale had made a place that reflected himself. Crowley had watched it happen with interest, because he didn’t think Aziraphale thought about it like that.

It explained even more as to why he didn’t want anyone inside. As good of a person as he was, Aziraphale had a lot of barriers up.

That explained why Crowley didn’t really want anyone inside. This bookshop was Aziraphale and he didn’t think anyone else really had earned the right to see the inside. That Aziraphale would try to chase others out, but not him, told him how much he was right.

But different bookshops? That was different.*

Aziraphale was an entirely different person in other bookshops. Pleasant and cordial and helpful- you know, exactly what he was like outside of his own bookshop when he wasn’t trying to keep people from buying his books.

So when Crowley sent a little temptation into someone’s mind, it wasn’t because he was bored or because he wanted to prove a point or anything. No, definitely not.

Aziraphale’s hand collided with a woman’s hand as they reached for the same book.

“I’m sorry,” they both said.

Aziraphale didn’t retract his hand though. Neither did she. Crowley watched gleefully.

“I’m sorry,” she said again, “but I’ve been looking for this book all day.”

“I put in an order for it,” Aziraphale lied through his teeth**, “and they told me it still wasn’t here.”

“They didn’t just put it in the wrong section.” Her hand gripped it a bit more tightly. Aziraphale’s lips pursed tightly.

Crowley slid between them. “Angel? Is there a problem?”

He had considered taking it away from the both of them, but Crowley wasn’t stupid. He could tell that if he tried Aziraphale would bite his head clean off. He was more worried about that than anything.”

“Not at all!” Aziraphale’s smile was forced and Crowley didn’t think it could fool anyone. “We were simply discussing… this book.”

Crowley looked the woman over. He debated what angle to go for, and went for a slightly pleading expression (as much as he could manage with his sunglasses), because that looked to get him farther with her.

She put two and two together, looking between the both, and let go of the book. After sighing, as though she wanted to make some comment of her own, she returned Crowley’s look with one of pity, turned around and left.

Aziraphale brought the book to his chest. “That was rather rude.”

“Yeah,” Crowley lied, glad he had developed a great poker face, because otherwise he would be laughing at Aziraphale about now. But that was exactly the amount of bastard he had been missing.


*Crowley didn’t like other bookshops. They were full of books and people and it wasn’t just Aziraphale. A waste of his time.

**He had to be, because Crowley didn’t remember him saying anything about that before they had arrived and Aziraphale certainly hadn’t rushed to this particular spot first thing.

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