13 | Hot Showers
Getting up after noon wasn’t really helping to acclimatise his body to this timezone, but it happened anyway. He decided to leave the resort to stroll over the boulevard, enjoy some of the French culture, nursing a few too many black coffees while he was at it. The caffeine and sleeping in far too late didn’t help him at all, so he couldn’t sleep again when the time had come. He tried to make himself a good cuppa, but he had never been really skilled at that. He found himself going out to the gym again, but avoided the lobby when returning.
Crowley made it back to his hotel suite without being interrupted. He was glad because he was smelly and could really use a shower. He stripped out of his clothes, turned on the shower and waited for the water to heat up. Impatiently, he kept sticking his hand in the water to feel if the temperature was right (because only psycho’s go into a shower without checking) but it was still at an unacceptable low temperature after a few minutes. It might be warm in France, but Crowley really appreciated hot showers.
He groaned, it didn’t seem to work at all. He walked over the phone and called to the front desk, but no one answered. Still naked, he decided to wrap himself in a towel, around his chest because that seemed the decent thing to do in his caffeine fueled mind, never mind getting dressed or something. Besides, it was almost 2 am and he knew that most people were fast asleep at this time. So wrapped in his towel he went down to the front desk. It was empty. The night auditor wasn’t there. Crowley tried to lean over the front desk to see inside the staff room, but it was dark and he couldn’t see anyone. A little impatient and embarrassed he rang the little bell on the desk a few times. When he heard footsteps approach from behind, he turned around relieved.
“My dear boy, what has gotten into you?”
It wasn’t the night auditor, it was Aziraphale. He had a book in his hand and quite the concerned look on his face. Crowley look down, realised that he was only wearing a towel and was ready to just give up and go back to his room. At that point he also realised that he wasn’t wearing any trousers and didn’t have any place to put his key. Which meant that he didn’t have his key.
“Ngh,” he said graciously and slapped a hand on his face and dragged it down. “No hot water.”
Aziraphale raised his eyebrows and still looked a bit concerned. “Yes?”
“I tried to take a shower and there’s not hot water,” Crowley tried to explain, thinking it was kind of obvious since he was standing there in a towel. “And I forgot my keycard when coming down here.” He gestured to the empty front desk. “Guess I gotta wait until they come back.”
Aziraphale tried to stifle a laugh but clearly failed. “That seems rather inconvenient.”
“Yeah. No. Y’think?” Crowley groaned annoyed.
“You can take a shower in my room, I probably have some clothes you could borrow and you can go back to the front desk to sort your key out.”
Crowley felt like his eyes were going to bulge out of their sockets. “Your room?” he asked, his voice a higher pitch than usual. “I really don’t want to inconvenience anyone.”
“Nonsense,” Aziraphale countered. “You even brought your own towel! We can’t have you sit around in just a towel here for God knows how long. Come along.”
Crowley sighed and followed Aziraphale towards the lift. He was on the same floor as Crowley and they were both silent during the ride up. Crowley felt extremely self conscious while only wearing the towel and the idea to enter Aziraphale’s room or, even worse, to shower there while he was so close and wear his clothes afterwards. He sure got himself in a pickle again.
The lift doors opened and Crowley followed Aziraphale. He definitely noticed that they were walking in the same hallway that his own room was in. His eyes widened in a panic when they stopped next door. He remembered the noises that came from that room.
“Your room is next to mine,” he said and he wished he could just disappear instead of going with him. “Remember the noises I remarked upon yesterday?”
Aziraphale eyes, who was taking his keycard out of his pocket, grew big, but he smiled just a second later. “I’m so sorry! Adam gets a bit enthusiastic sometimes. Oh dear, I hope we didn’t disturbed you.”
Crowley’s brain went in feel meltdown mode and shut itself mostly down, save for some basic function. "Nah," he managed to answer.
"We do have to be quiet, Adam's asleep."
Crowley nodded, the only thing he could manage, and Aziraphale unlocked the door. The room was dark when they entered and Aziraphale showed him the bathroom. He closed the door behind them and turned on the light.
“I guess you know how everything works,” he whispered. “I’ll find you some clothes, you go ahead.”
Crowley nodded and Aziraphale left the bathroom. While chewing on his bottom lip, he turned on the water and just hoped it would work here. When he finally got into the shower, the hot water cleared his mind a little bit. Apparently Aziraphale was in here, with another man, making those noises because ‘he got a bit enthusiastic sometimes’? His brain almost shut down again, it was hard to wrap his mind around. His family was here! Somehow his very religious family was more accepting than his own. Aziraphale didn’t even seem flustered when he told Crowley about it. A lot had definitely changed since they last met. He couldn’t help but think that Aziraphale denying being gay the last time was actually just a rejection specifically for him.
He couldn’t deny the attraction he still felt for the man, but maybe it was easier to be just friends. He really liked Aziraphale, he was just so kind and he felt like a moth being attracted to a flame when he was around. Friendship could be enough, it had to be. Besides, he himself had a girlfriend to think about. Maybe he and Aziraphale could stay in touch after this and rebuild that friendship they had so long ago.
He made his shower quick, no time to have an existential crisis in someone else’s shower. He dried himself with his own towel and opened the door as quiet as he could manage. He heard some movement in the room and a few moment later, Aziraphale showed up with clothes in his hand to offer him. Crowley smiled thankful, closed the door again and got dressed in the cream shorts that were at least two sizes to big and a pastel polo. He felt weird in any colour scheme that was not black or grey.
Aziraphale smiled widely when he emerged from the bathroom, hair still a little wet. He walked him to the lift while Crowley thanked him.
“Don’t mention it! Really, it was no trouble at all,” Aziraphale tried to reassure him. “You look good in pastel!”
Crowley felt his cheeks grow hot and grumbled something when the lift arrived at their floor. “I’ll bring them back tomorrow.”