The room was quiet. Perhaps too quiet. Crowley could have been breathing in the alcohol, that was how quietly he drank it.
Aziraphale could have closed his eyes and Crowley would be gone, that was how quiet he was. Which wasn’t a completely new experience, but it didn’t often follow Aziraphale also being as quiet. Usually one of them filled in the space. Currently neither of them did.
There was more space than Aziraphale remembered. He didn’t know where it had come from. To fix that, he got to his feet and moved over to the couch with Crowley. He already missed his chair, but he had to be here.
Crowley pulled the bottle away from his face. When had he stopped drinking from the glass? Where was the glass.
“Don’t,” said the serpent. “Don’t. I can’t handle it right now.”
Aziraphale frowned. “Handle what?”
“It,” he continued, as though that should have explained everything.
It was then that Aziraphale realized how drunk he was and how little he remembered how things had come to this. He wasn’t often drunker than Crowley. Either the demon always drank more or he could handle less of it than Aziraphale could. It was hard to tell.
“Should I sober up?” Aziraphale asked.
“No,” said Crowley. “Because if you do I might have to and I don’t want to.”
Aziraphale couldn’t decide if avoiding the topic was for the better or not in his state, but he didn’t want to distress Crowley more so than he already had. He cast about for his glass, not seeing it near the chair he had been in, but noting he hadn’t brought it with him either.
Crowley handed him a bottle. Aziraphale took it.
“I can’t… What were we talking about?” Aziraphale asked.
His friend made a whine that expressed more than most words could have. “Nothing important.”
As Aziraphale was about to take another draught, he froze. Sobered up. “Crowley, stop drinking this instant.”
“Noooo…” Crowley planted his face into one of the couch cushions. “I told you, angel, I told you.”
Aziraphale straightened himself out.* “Crowley,” he warned.
With a garbled bunch of blessings to express his irritation, Crowley reluctantly sobered up. He moved his head enough to look at Aziraphale, but despite how askew the rest of them had gotten his sunglasses remained perched exactly where the demon always wanted them.
“What in the world happened?” Aziraphale asked. He remember a little more of their conversation now and it didn’t make any more sense than it had when he hadn’t remembered it well.
Crowley made some nondescript noise.
“I said you go to fast for me,” Crowley mumbled into the cushion.
“Yes, I heard you say that,” Aziraphale said. “And perhaps I shouldn’t have told you that you haven’t been putting the time in, I apologize. But… did it really bother you that much?”
Crowley stared at him. Aziraphale might have felt uncomfortable, like he was missing something, except he thought the conversation was ridiculous now.
“I can help you, you know.”
“Go fast enough?” Crowley said bitterly.
Aziraphale sighed “I just don’t think it should take you two weeks to get through the Magician’s Nephew when you promised me we would read the Chronicles of Narnia together! When can I start the next book?”
Crowley started laughing as though he were still drunk and for the world’s very existence Aziraphale couldn’t understand why.
“You’ve already read them!” Crowley exclaimed.
“That wasn’t the point and you know it.”
Aziraphale wouldn’t get why Crowley was so riled up over the entire thing, but he offered to read it to him aloud.
Crowley grumbled, but did not decline the offer.
*You know, physically.