The Meaning of Ineffable

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"Okay, but here'ssa question for you," slurred Aziraphale, tilting his head and looking pointedly at Crowley, who sat opposite, wine glass in hand, slumped over his chair like a puppet. "Wha' does nnneffable actually mean?"

"Nnnnneffaffable?" repeated Crowley.

Aziraphale nodded enthusiastically, his wine sloshing around in his glass as if affected by the tide, precariously close to spilling over. Oh well, he could always use a little divine interference to clear it up after. At least Crowley would approve of this abuse of holy power.

"Nnneffable... Nnneffable... In... neffable." Crowley screwed his eyes shut (Aziraphale could tell -- his sunglasses had long since slipped down his nose), rapping his bony knuckles on the table in an effort to remember... well, anything at all. Then he shot his hand up into the air, making Aziraphale jump and spill the rest of his wine. "S'means it's not effable!" he proclaimed.

Unimpressed, Aziraphale squinted. "Yes, but wha'ssit mean?"

"You're the one who always says it," snapped Crowley, feeling rather dejected after the poor reception of his epiphany.

Aziraphale gestured wildly with his now empty glass. "'S Dad who came up with it. I think. 'S Dad's great big 'neffable plan, issn'it?"

Crowley bit his lip thoughtfully.  Forgetting he had fangs, he accidentally drew blood. "Maybe, maybe..." he shook his head. "You're the one who owns the bookshop here, mister, mister, mister... mister bookshop owner. Why don't you look in a di-di-di... wordy book thingy?"

"Because I don't have a bloody di -- wordy book thingy!"

"Tha's ridiculous!" cried Crowley. "You own a bookshop an', an' yet you haven't got a wordy book thingy?!"

"No! Yes! Well, I have lotssa wordy book thingies. In fact," he raised one eyebrow and tapped his glass on the table to add emphasis to his point. "In fact, ALL my book thingies are wordy!"

There was a moment of silence. The angel and the demon stared at each other in deep concentration, sunglasses and reading glasses (respectively) utterly askew.

"D'you mean," said Aziraphale, quietly, after a while. "D'you mean a, a, a dick-shun-ree?"

"I din't say anything about dicks," grumbled Crowley, eyebrows furrowed.

"No, not, not di -- those," said Aziraphale. Even drunk, he was careful not sin, and innappropriate language was more Crowley's end of the celestial scale than his. "'M not talkin' 'bout those. 'M talkin' 'bout a..." he racked his brains. "A dictionary!"

"Yes!" agreed Crowley. "Tha'ss what I was on about!"

They both grinned at their achievement (what exactly they had achieved is certainly open to debate) and sat there, gazing drunkenly into each other's eyes.
Aziraphale had a vague suspicion that he was about to do something very stupid and alcohol-influenced which he would regret once he was sober, and a slightly less vague suspicion that it was probably fairly sinful, and yet...

"Oh, to Hell with it," he snapped (a poor choice of language), and leant straight across the table, taking Crowley's angular face in one hand, steadying himself on the wood with the other, and capturing the demon's lips with his own.

Crowley responded with a very out-of-character squeak, followed by the snaking of his hands around Aziraphale's neck. He all but dragged the angel over the table and onto his lap when he grabbed his tie to pull him closer and deepen the kiss.

There were benefits to not having to breathe, and indefinite kisses were, in both of their opinions, most definitely a benefit. In the end, it was Aziraphale's hand slipping off the table thanks to the spilt wine and him landing in a dishevelled, giddy heap on the floor that broke the kiss.

Aziraphale sat up. The sudden fall had shocked him into accidentally sobering up, and now came the flood of... well, of 'oh, dear, what on Earth did I do that for?'

A similar thing must have happened to Crowley, as he sat there, sunglasses halfway down his face, dark hair a mess. Through yellow eyes he stared at Aziraphale in awe.

"Does this mean I finally tempted you?" he asked, righting his sunglasses and smoothing his hair out again with a smirk.

Relieved that Crowley didn't seem too perturbed by this sudden turn of events, Aziraphale smiled. He, too, righted his glasses. "Maybe. But I think it means I love you."

Crowley's eyes widened. He wasn't sure an angel was supposed to love a demon.
He wasn't sure a demon was supposed to love an angel. Or anything, for that matter.
But, he realised, he was sure that this particular demon, whether sinful or righteous, most definitely loved that angel.

"I think... I think I might just love you, too," he said softly.

Aziraphale looked the happiest Crowley had ever seen him. The tips of his ears flushed pink, standing out against his bright blond curls, and his wide eyes sparkled. "You know what this is, don't you?" he whispered.

Crowley shook his head. "What?"

Aziraphale smiled. "There's only really one word for it..."

It dawned upon him.

"Ineffable," they both said in unison.

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