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Only Sunday Footy

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The referee's whistle broke through the general commotion of the football game, and Crowley cursed colourfully.

He scrambled up from the ground, did a quick mental check on his left knee and glanced at the referee – Aziraphale, of fucking course – who tapped his chest pocket and signaled a free kick. 

Beez slapped Crowley's arm from behind.

"The fuck you're doing?" they yelled at him. 

"I tripped! It's not my fault Fell's constantly harping on me on minor mistakes, he's—"

"Then stop making those mistakes!" Beez snapped. "Your penalties are costing us too much."

"I think Fell just likes your arse," Hastur cackled. "Keeps following it around."

Crowley flipped a finger at him and jogged to the bench to take a sip of water. Aziraphale Fell was chatting with the line referees by the side of the field, looking happy and radiant, as always. Crowley huffed to himself and looked away.

They were friends once, playing on the same team as teens and picked up to play pro the same year. Back then Crowley was incredibly fascinated by Aziraphale's attitude and skill. He was, after all, one of the best British goalies of his generation. It took a while for Crowley to admit the bright smile and delectable thighs also played a considerable part in his interest.

In the end Aziraphale became a star, while Crowley played pro for exactly one season, fell spectacularly and injured his knee badly enough to end his career before it properly even started.

They fell out of touch and continued with their lives, not meeting again until almost two decades later. Aziraphale retired and returned to their hometown as a proper football celebrity. Crowley, on the other hand, was bartending at a local pub and played occasionally on the pub's team in Sunday Football League. 

Which Aziraphale started referring regularly after one charity match, because apparently it was charming…

Crowley bristled. Their team was actually pretty good, but to Aziraphale's professional eyes they must look amateurish and bumbling. Crowley himself was one of their best players. Not that it mattered since Aziraphale seemed to find his every fault.

"Are you all right?" a familiar voice startled Crowley from his musings.

"I just tripped," he snapped back. "It happens. And you ruled it as illegal tackling, so, thank you for that."

For a moment Aziraphale looked stricken, before lifting his chin stubbornly. 

"Come on dear," he tutted. "I have standards! It was clearly—"

"Oh come off it, this isn't the fucking Premier League, you can't just—"

"You used to play there too!"

"That was a long time ago," Crowley said dismissively. "You realise this is Sunday footy?"

"I'm well aware, what's gotten into you?" Aziraphale asked. "I'm forced to give you a yellow, if you insist on arguing! You ’tripped’ right into Adam Young!"

"Whatever, your holiness," Crowley snapped and turned on his heels, jogging back to the field and immediately regretted his harsh words. Yeah, the tackling had been at least partially accidental, but his foul mood wasn't really about the ruling. Back when he first heard Aziraphale was coming back, he'd hoped for… Well, something other than this constant reminder of how different their lives had turned out. 

A futile wish, apparently.

Aziraphale shook his head at himself, watching Crowley lope off into the distance after yet another failed interaction. Part of him wanted to bluster and stew and glare holes into the back of Crowley’s shirt until the game came to an end, and only his love for the sport kept him on-task. 

There was a time when he and Crowley had shared that love. An unmistakable chemistry had sparked between them both on and off the field in their youth, and his heart had leapt at the thought of spending time with Crowley, even so many years on.

It hadn’t taken long for him to realise that Crowley did not feel the same. The man was snappish and distant, and though he had always been that way to some extent, he had never been so cold to Aziraphale himself. Now, Crowley found reasons to sit at the opposite end of the table from Aziraphale when the teams went to the pub after a game. The few times when Aziraphale had tried to reminisce about old times, Crowley had looked as if he’d rather be hit by a lorry than talk to him. And, well, Aziraphale took the hint. 

If Crowley wanted nothing to do with him on a personal level, that was fine by him, really. Aziraphale’s decades-long crush notwithstanding, Crowley was entitled to avoid him if he wished. However, the chill between them had begun to affect their games, stirring up tensions and throwing the teams off balance, and that could not stand. They might not share much in common anymore, but at the very least, Aziraphale could trust Crowley to respect the game enough to move past this. He hoped, anyway. 

The rest of the team were in the showers when Aziraphale finally managed to catch Crowley alone. He always was the fastest one in and out, and he was already towelling off his hair while he walked toward his car, his football kit slung over his shoulder. 

Swirling anxiety pooled in Aziraphale’s gut at the thought of a confrontation, not helped in the slightest by the inconvenient flare of attraction he felt as he watched Crowley’s still-damp shirt cling to his torso. He scolded himself firmly, but his hands continued their helpless, nervous wringing no matter how slowly he made himself breathe. 

Crowley must have heard his approach because he stopped and pivoted to face him, brow raised disdainfully. “What? Game’s over. If you’ve got any more flags to throw at my feet, you’ll have to wait ‘til—“

“No, that’s not what I—!“ Aziraphale tried. “Would you please just listen to me for a moment.”

Crowley cocked his head. “Look, I really don’t need this today. Yeah, I tripped on the field. Rookie mistake. Will probably happen again at some point. If you want to have it out with me for being pissy with you out there, I’ve got better things to do with my time.”

Aziraphale opened and closed his mouth several times. “This isn’t about that. Well, not entirely. Crowley… I’m sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable while I’ve been back in town. It wasn’t my intention. You’ve made your opinions about being friendly with me again very clear, so I won’t make any more overtures in the future. I only wanted to have a word with you so I can be sure that this… animosity we seem to have developed will not cause any issues on the field.”

Crowley looked like he had been hit by a lorry. “Frie—overtures?“

“Y…yes?” Aziraphale started fidgeting with that preposterous ring of his which he insisted on wearing even during practice. 

“You call those overtures?”

“Well, what else would I call them?”

Okay, so this was definitely moving in a different direction than what Crowley had expected at the beginning of their little impromptu chat. A new and interesting one, at that.

Crowley knew what he looked like, and, despite his injury that had made him a big… not even has-been but more like a could-have-been, he still got propositioned plenty. In the indoors (and preferably with a bed involved) as opposed to open field department.

He just didn’t expect it from the ‘Extraordinary Mr. Fell’. It wasn’t unwanted. Far from it. But he’d thought that it might go differently if this was ever to happen. Because, contrary to the way he presented himself, Crowley was a bit of a romantic. A romantic who hadn’t had any serious liaisons in the last… god knew how many years because he continued to be plagued by a teenage crush which he never seemed to have been able to brush off.

But he was a petty little shit at heart, too. So he couldn’t help what came next.

“For starters, most people who want to get a good shag out of me usually go for a candlelit dinner instead of pulling a yellow on me. So forgive me for presuming.”

This was Aziraphale’s turn to splutter over words.

“A… a good… shag?”

“You know, do the horizontal tango? Make the beast with two backs. Play the pink oboe. Hide the banana. Hunt the sausage. Play a game of Mr. Wobbly hides his helmet. Hanky panky and what have you.”

“I mean. Well. I mean. As friends.”

“You wut?”

“Overtures towards us being friendly again,” he explained and Crowley thought that ring must have gotten maybe five proper polishes by now.

Crowley also thought that he should probably go in search of the nearest well and just hoist himself inside and then try to figure out how best to live in a well, because this was beyond mortifying.

“Um…” he replied, eloquently.

Aziraphale lifted his eyes for the first time since Crowley had started being his usual cringy and filterless self at the man and he looked…Crowley had a hard time coming up with a word for how Aziraphale looked right now other than drop-dead gorgeous, which  was not a thought that should be entertained in these circumstances.

Crowley pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, thanked whatever deity was listening for having had the presence of mind to put them on in the first place, and squared his shoulders.

“I should…” he pointed the towel vaguely towards the direction that he had come from and not at all the direction his car was in, seeing as Aziraphale was blocking the way to that and proceeded in his performance for The Most Eloquent Sod Of The Year award.

And then Aziraphale was left alone, in the middle of the pavement. Wondering where exactly Crowley was off to, seeing as the Bentley was still in the car park. 

He was only wondering that  because he didn’t want to let his mind consider  more astonishing matters such as Crowley blatantly and unabashedly talking about sex. Sex involving Aziraphale. And himself. Because that was a dangerous path to go down on.

He tried his best not to think about going down on anything. Especially not anything of the sharp-of-cheekbones and long-of-legs and crimson-of-hair variety. Bad for the spirits, that. Very bad indeed.

Oh, good lord, the next practice session would be simply unbearable…

 


 

The only thing worse than the next practice session was the six days preceding it.

Crowley couldn’t stop thinking about the way Aziraphale said overtures . Friendly overtures, he reminded himself. Friendly . Not any other type of overtures and especially not the sort Crowley himself had jumped so idiotically to conclusions about, though he couldn’t stop thinking about those either. To be honest with himself (which he tried to avoid), he’d been thinking about those ever since Aziraphale had come back. Which was the whole damn problem, for all that he’d tried to hide behind the downright humiliating comparisons of how their respective lives had gone. Those were awkward as hell, to give them credit. Just, not as awkward as seeing your childhood crush turned superstar sitting across the pub looking more handsome than ever while, apparently, making overtures.

Friendly overtures, he forcefully reminded himself for the six thousandth time. All this while Aziraphale hadn’t been trying to lord it over him on and off the field, he’d just been trying to be friendly. 

Which meant Crowley had been a right tit and no mistake. And that was without taking into account his presumptuous misinterpretation of overtures and the pile of innuendoes he’d dumped on Aziraphale’s frustrating, beautiful head.

Aziraphale, in contrast, couldn’t stop thinking about the way Crowley said a good shag, or any of the myriad other euphemisms he’d used. Worse, he couldn’t stop thinking about what they meant. The mental images were intolerable and irresistible and worst of all, constant.

Crowley had thought he was propositioning him. He hadn’t been, of course not, that would hardly have been polite when the man had made his animosity so clear…but what if he had? What if he had asked Crowley out on a candlelit dinner? What if they did afterwards repair to his home, his bed? What would Crowley look like with his red hair flung back on white sheets, passion written all over his skin, legs spread to show off the unspeakably gorgeous cock nestled at the apex of his thighs? What would he look like with those elegant long fingers wrapped around the thick length of himself, pulling and tugging without any of the casual grace he showed on the pitch but instead with desperate need, what would he sound like saying Aziraphale, Aziraphale, please, I want it, I want you, please

Aziraphale didn’t dare go to the pub that week, though he was usually partial to treating himself to a glass of wine or occasionally cider there of an evening, with or without company. The idea of sitting and watching Crowley work with all those questions and ideas in his head, now that they’d been firmly placed, was too much.

Crowley in contrast took as many extra shifts as he could that week, hoping that being kept busy would keep his mind from wandering. The only alternative was to drink himself into insensibility, which was risky for a number of reasons, not least that Beez (who owned the pub) would make a point of playing the loudest, most bass-thumping music they could find if he dared to come in for work while hungover. If he was also hoping to see Aziraphale in public and gauge how badly he’d fucked things up and maybe find some brilliant way to fix it (or at least look like less of a wanker), well, he didn’t have to admit it to himself.

All in all it was a very long six days. And then it was Sunday again.

 


 

Crowley took a deep breath, thudded the back of his head at the locker a couple of times and closed his eyes. His hair was still dribbling small droplets of water that ran down his spine, giving him a slightly uncomfortable chill. No matter, he deserved it. 

He was still keyed up from the match, adrenaline making him twitchy. Normally he loved it, but with the additional shame and regrets—Aziraphale was clearly avoiding him—it bordered on anxiety.

"Why so gloomy?" Ligur asked, stuffing his smelly gear into his bag. "We just won the game!"

"Yeah, whatever you said to that referee last week seemed to work, he ignored you completely," Hastur joined in.

"Fuck off," Crowley muttered standoffishly, though his insides squeezed painfully. "Maybe I didn't break any rules this time."

"Yeah, right," Hastur said. "Beez keeps you around only because you can play dirty without actually causing any—"

"Speaking about Beez," Ligur interrupted. "I bet they already called Dagon to prepare a party at the pub. Move your arse, Crowley."

"Yeah, yeah you go ahead," Crowley said, waving his hand dismissively. "I'll be there soon enough. I think I left my water bottle on the field."

"Suit yourself," Hastur shrugged, and swung his bag on his shoulder. When the door closed behind them and silence fell into the locker room, Crowley continued being miserable in peace.

Or that's what he thought, as after only a moment someone knocked on the door and peeked in. Crowley's heart thudded uncomfortably in his chest as a familiar blonde stepped inside. 

"Um," Aziraphale said eloquently. "Good! I wasn't sure if I would catch you.” 

Crowley stared at him for a second, trying to get his whirring brain in check. The way Aziraphale's damp hair curled, and pink tongue licked the lips—not helping! He was looking very proper in khaki shorts and a buttoned up shirt, showing off the muscles on his calves, and—

"Crowley?"

"Um—shit, yeah. You did. Catch me, I mean," he said, and inwardly cursed himself for sounding like a complete idiot. 

"Yes, quite," Aziraphale said, fiddling with his ring again, reminding Crowley even more viscerally about his shame from last week. His palms felt sweaty. 

Aziraphale looked nervous as well. "I think...maybe we should...talk."

Crowley bit his lip. "Yeah. About that. I'm sorry," he blurted before he could chicken out. "I was an arse, misreading the situation. Sorry. Shouldn't have snapped at you."

Aziraphale blinked.

"As a matter of fact I'm here to apologise as well," he said formally. "I don't know what I've done for you to dislike me so—"

A shaky snort escaped Crowley's lips before he could stop himself, and angry spots rose on Aziraphale's cheeks.

"What's so funny?"

Crowley wanted to slap himself, he was really fucking this up! Aziraphale looked angry and dejected and it was all his fault.

"Nonono... I don't dislike you! I'm just—you are a star, and I'm—I'm a fucking bartender. I'm—"

"You were jealous?"

"No! Well… Fuck it. Yeah, a bit? I wanted to impress you, but I—I mean, I—like you," Crowley said and promptly hid his face with his palm. "Shit, that makes me sound like a fucking teenager."

Aziraphale looked at him as though he’d just sprouted a second head. Fantastic.

"So if I had asked you for that candlelit dinner, you'd actually— "

"Yeah, I mean—I wouldn't even need any dinners. If you'd ever so much as hinted of wanting me, I'd—"

Shut up Crowley, his mind screamed at him. 

"—be over the moon!" His mouth kept going. "Look at yourself! And back in the day, you were always – If I wasn't this socially awkward I'd have—"

Shut up. Shut up. Abort mission. Stop!

"—asked you out ages ago, so...there, but. Instead I fucked it up—not that I'd have wouldn’t have fucked it up anyway, because why would you ever want—"

Crowley's back thudded at the lockers as Aziraphale shut him up. With his lips. 

The world narrowed down to that single point of contact as the kiss turned hot and wet and deep. Crowley groaned, his mouth falling open in ecstasy as he finally, finally sank his fingers into that gorgeous white-gold hair. Aziraphale hummed in surprise, but it was only a moment before he’d collected himself and taken thorough advantage of the opportunity. His tongue teased skilfully, the kiss both a seduction and a challenge. 

Aziraphale pressed Crowley firmly against the lockers, and he whined at the contrast of hot skin and cold metal. He arched into Aziraphale, and the sheer quantity of strong, broad muscles and gentle curves he felt made him ache to explore them. His thin sportswear did little to dull the sensation of a warm body against his own, and when Aziraphale’s soft hands found his arse and caressed, a thousand stars lit up beneath his skin.

“Oh, fuck me,” Crowley hissed when they broke for breath. “Been wanting to do this for—guh, fuck, I don’t even know. Give me a second. Holy shit.”

“Crowley,” Aziraphale whispered against his lips, heavy arousal fraying the edges of his tone. “I’ve been single more often than not these past decades, and the candle I’ve carried for you is in a large part responsible for that. I don’t want you to think that this is some meaningless romp. If you are amenable, I absolutely will be taking you to dinner. Picnics in the park, champagne and truffles… whatever you want. I… I like you, too, if that wasn’t clear enough.”

The words swirled in Crowley’s head, and he spent a moment frantically attempting to compartmentalise the last few minutes. Unfortunately for Crowley’s already-addled mind, Aziraphale leaned in closer and kissed the shell of his ear, which rather put a stop to any higher function. 

“Hhhhhyeah, okay,” he breathed, half-expecting his legs to give out at any moment. “I can do that, sure. Yup.”

“Good.” Aziraphale brought his hands around to capture Crowley’s bony hips, thumbs drawing little circles over his skin just above his joggers. “With that said, I would like very desperately to have you in my mouth. I had thought to do this properly, but it seems my patience has a limit. Shall I lock the door, or would you like to wait until—”

Crowley’s knees buckled, and only Aziraphale’s well-honed reflexes prevented him from slumping to the ground. He winced and swore as his bad knee gave a twinge, but before he could blink, he was seated on the narrow bench that spanned the centre of the locker room. 

“Oh, Crowley, I’m so sorry, I didn’t—! That was very forward of me, wasn’t it? What was I thinking, I’m an idiot—“

Aziraphale’s voice filtered in, a litany of apologies and anxious questions spilling from his perfect, well-kissed lips. His eyes were wide and sparkling with concern, the same expression he’d worn when Crowley had yelled at him over the incident with that Adam kid. The same expression he’d worn when Crowley had brushed him off during their celebratory pub nights. The same expression Crowley had mistaken for pity, for condescension, when it had been nothing more than genuine care, and perhaps a touch of sadness over what might have been.

God, he’s so fucking beautiful.

Crowley reached up, curled a fist into the fabric of Aziraphale’s shirt, and yanked him down into another heady kiss. The sensation was as electric and heart-stopping as the first time, but Aziraphale’s little gasp of surprise at the contact sent a new rush of heat flooding into him. 

“Hey, Aziraphale,” Crowley said, letting his voice go liquid with desire and adoration. “Go lock the damn door.”

Aziraphale’s expression quickly turned into what Crowley would catalogue as a ‘shit-eating-grin’ were this anyone else’s face but ‘The Amazing Mr. Fell’s’.

And the man continued to look extraordinarily pleased with himself when - after the bleeding door was locked - his mouth was all but brushing the inside of Crowley’s thigh, too close and yet not close enough from his arousal.

Crowley’s fingers dug deep into those short and silky curls and he made a series of sounds that he would never admit to making if asked about it at a later date.

His shorts and pants ended up on the floor quick enough, T-shirt and socks and all the rest still in place.

It was altogether obscene.

Especially since Aziraphale was still fully clothed and did not seem to want to correct that at any point in the near future.

But he didn’t have enough time to ponder on any of that as Aziraphale’s mouth was on him, wet and hot and desperate. All that Crowley had dreamed about and more.

His hand tugged at those heavenly curls out of reflex as he tried his hardest not to buck his hips just so and to completely take over whatever was happening. Because he was not yet certain that this wasn’t all a dream.

Aziraphale wasn’t only worthy of a prize or two or thirty when it came to football. Cocksucking would have probably won him several gold medals too, absolutely putting his all into it like that. 

Crowley let his head drop back and his spine arch and didn’t even care when both of his hands tugged at Aziraphale’s hair. Didn’t give a shit about all the nonsense that escaped his lips either.

Which, apparently, was not the wisest of choices as there was a heavy and persistent knock on the door and a growl that could only belong to Beez.

“What the hell are you doing in there, you fucker? Don’t tell me you’re having a wank?”

Crowley tried his hardest to suppress a groan.

“I know you daydream about that Fell dude, but honestly…”

Crowley’s eyes snapped open and met Aziraphale’s, and the twinkle in the blond’s eyes warned of nothing good. Nor did the long lick on the underside of his cock and the way the man hummed and closed his eyes as he took him in to the root as if Crowley was the rarest of delicacies.

“Oi! You knob! Open this bloody door!”

Crowley completely failed to notice whatever Beez said next since all of his senses were in overdrive. A hand splayed square on the middle of his stomach and another one cupping his bum and that absolutely devilish tongue doing things to him that he had never experienced before.

And then he just let go, down the angel’s throat and kept him there, hands trembling.

“I left my phone inside, you shit. I will break the door down, I swear,” he could hear from far, far away.

“Oh!” bloody Fell casually exclaimed while drawing his thumb over his lower lip to clear up some of Crowley’s quite visible relief and looking absolutely debauched and entirely unrepentant in the progress. “Maybe we should let your teammate in.”

“Ngk.”

“What I’m saying is that I would not be opposed to a proper bed, at the moment,” Aziraphale continued.

“Mnh,” Crowley replied.

“We aren’t as young as we used to be, after all. And the things I’m planning on doing involve quite a lot of strenuous physical activity.”

Crowley quickly nodded, sorted himself out and then got up, game gear still in tow.

“Right then,” he intoned as he took Aziraphale’s hand and dragged him towards the door.

“Whu-” Beez started before being faced with a very flushed and out-of-sorts  Crowley holding on tightly to the hand of his archnemesis.

"We’re off. See you on Sunday."

"Whu—" Beez tried again.

"Pip pip!" Aziraphale replied, all smiles and then gave Crowley’s arm a light squeeze. 

And Beez might have imagined it, but then again they might not but they thought they noticed a cupped bum at some point there.

“You have a shift tomorrow, you tit!!”

 


 

Several months later:

 

Crowley was, as usual, the first one out of the shower rooms. His football kit bounced against his back as he jogged towards the parking lot, eyes darting as he sought out his target. Aziraphale didn’t take long to spot–he was standing near Crowley’s Bentley, hands comfortably held behind his back, beaming up at the sky like the sun was shining solely to make him look even more angelic than he already did. 

Crowley’s grin turned into a smirk. “Oi, Fell!” he shouted, picking up speed. 

Aziraphale, not noticeably perturbed, lowered his head to look at him. “Yes?”

Crowley ground to a halt just in front of him and crossed his arms. “What the hell was that yellow card earlier about?”

Aziraphale rolled his eyes. “That, my dear, was because you tackled a referee while the game was technically still ongoing.”

Crowley stepped forward, his smirk growing. “I tripped.”

“I do hear that can happen.” Aziraphale managed to smirk with not just his mouth but his eyes and entire body. It was impressive. “But I’m quite certain it wasn’t an accident.”

“How can you be so sure?” Crowley said, low and sultry.

“Because, darling,” Aziraphale breathed, tilting his head up so their mouths were a scant inch apart, “your hand was groping my arse at the time.”

If I catch you fuckers shagging in a booth at my pub I’m banning you for life!

Crowley flipped two fingers in Beez’s direction even as he bent down and took the offered kiss, revelling in their slips of tongue and mutual catches of breath, and letting his lips linger teasingly afterwards. Aziraphale looked extremely pleased as he pulled away and opened the Bentley’s door. Crowley threw his kit into the back and walked around to the driver’s seat while Aziraphale settled himself on the passenger side.

“But in a booth at the pub, really,” Aziraphale repeated, tutting with disapproval as Crowley turned the key. “As if I would choose a pub booth as a location for engaging in...in…”

“Friendly overtures?”

Aziraphale chuckled. “I was going to say amorous congress.”

“Of course you bloody well were.” Crowley’s voice was fond. 

“Hmm, I forgot, you’re a connoisseur of such terminology.” Aziraphale turned and looked at him, the picture of cherubic innocence. “Would you prefer playing Chesterfield rugby? Planting the parsnip? Dancing the goat’s jig? Shooting twixt wind and water? Putting the devil into hell?” Crowley was nearly choking with laughter. Aziraphale reached out and brushed a finger lightly over the fourth finger of Crowley’s left hand, which rested lightly on the gear shift. “Dancing the matrimonial polka?”

Crowley managed to calm himself down enough to grab Aziraphale’s hand with his and bring it up to his mouth for a kiss. “Can’t do that last one, we’re not married yet.”

Yet,” Aziraphale repeated happily. “I do like the sound of that word.” [1]

They drove down the road in contented silence for several minutes, until Crowley said, “But you were still wrong about that one illegal tackle, you know.”

“Do shut up, my dearest.” Aziraphale smiled. “After all, it was only Sunday footy.”

Footnotes

1. Crowley hadn't actually managed to propose as such, despite many, many practice attempts in front of a mirror. But fortunately by this point Aziraphale was quite fluent in Crowley's nonverbal communications, and the sight of him on bended knee holding out a ring box had provided enough context for Aziraphale to answer appropriately despite the lack of clear language. For certain definitions of ‘appropriate’.