Hell had been quiet for long after the Apocalypse That Wasn't. Crowley hated it. He knew retribution was coming, the waiting between fear and hope only made him more and more nervous. He almost wished they'd come already to drag him downstairs. Torture for the rest of eternity seemed slightly better than waiting for it to happen.
But nobody came. Months passed, life looked normal. He almost started to believe they have forgotten about him (no, they haven't, Hell never forgets about a traitor). Eventually he gave up waiting before it would have driven him insane.
A day came when he thought, for the first time, that maybe all would be well. He could just spend the rest of his existence with his angel, not worrying about stupid Apocalypses.
It was that day when Hell choose to strike.
He walked up to the bookshop, carrying a bottle of golden wine from the year 1926, sweet and velvety, expecting a nice afternoon. He entered, too absent-minded to notice the smell of sulphur. But the sight made him stop dead.
The bottle fell from his grip and crashed. He had to grab the door frame to keep himself from collapsing.
"No" he whispered, staggering forward, making his way among scattered books. He had to fight for breath. "No..."
He fell on his knees beside his friend, refusing to believe his eyes, but knowing, deep down, that he was too late, that he couldn't save him.
The angel lay in a growing pool of blood, his wings spread around him, a sword piercing his heart. It was a weapon of Heaven, although the flames died down already. But Crowley knew this was not Heaven's work.
He reached out to touch Aziraphale, to search for any sign of life, but there was nothing. Crowley noticed his glasses fell off, the broken shards scattered a few steps away. For some reason, this little detail hurt the most.
It made everything so final, so beyond hope.
The demon looked around, his gaze growing dim, the only thing he could feel was immense pain washing though his body in waves.
He must have passed out because the next thing he knew, he was lying on his back and waking up to Hastur seizing him by his jacket and overcoat with both hands, looking into his eyes from inches. Crowley was too weak to fight or even move. He desperately wanted to escape back into the darkness, but the other demon didn't let him.
"Did you really think you'd get away with something as pathetic as eternal torture on the rack?"
He didn't answer.
"Oh, you're wishing for that now, aren't you? But I'm not going to take you with me. Nothing could possibly hurt you as much as this. This is your worst nightmare, your personal Hell. Enjoy the rest of eternity, knowing your angel died because of you."
If Hastur expected a reaction, he had to be disappointed. Crowley just stared at him with a vacant expression, then closed his eyes.
When Hastur finally let go of him, he fell back, still not making a sound.
"You truly are broken.”
Crowley stayed still long after the sound of Hastur's footsteps faded away. He didn't want to move, he didn't want to open his eyes. He was simply too tired.
When he finally looked up, he noticed something that would have made him laugh if he was still capable of that.
Hastur left the sword where it was, maybe because it made the whole scene look so much more dramatic. The fool.
He collected what little strength he had left to get on his knees again and take Aziraphale in his arms. "I'm so sssorry, angel" he sobbed. Aziraphale looked so peaceful, almost smiling is his sleep. "I'm so sssorry." He kissed him gently on the forehead and yielded to his pain, letting his tears flow.
He didn't know how long he had been crying, clutching his beloved, caressing the soft white feathers. When he came to his senses again, it was getting dark outside.
"Screw your eternity, Hastur" he said. He shifted position so he was kneeling between Aziraphale's wings, holding him gently but firmly. He unfolded his own wings, lightly wrapping them around his mate. He breathed a kiss on the unruly blonde curls. "I won’t keep you waiting, angel." His right hand found the hilt of the sword, gripped it thrust it deeper.
This pain was different, like cool and calm water after the lacerating agony. It almost didn't hurt. They slid softly to the floor, connected by the blade. Crowley still had one arm around Aziraphale, the other hand buried in the angel’s hair.
Death came tenderly, almost unnoticed, embraced the demon and granted him peace at last.