thank you so much for asking sorry i took so long to respond! one of my fave fics i’ve written is For To Quench My Thirst, so I picked a passage from there. Aziraphale has decided to move to Sussex after the not apocalypse, and he invites Crowley to come with him. They’ve still not talked about their feelings for each other. When they arrive in Sussex, Aziraphale surprises Crowley by presenting him with an abandoned garden for him to start tending again.
“Of course I want it,” Crowley lurched forward a step or two, still clinging to Aziraphale’s arm, into his lovely, abandoned, gloriously wild garden. It had been a garden once. There was a scraggly sort of fruit tree on the far edge near a crumbling stone wall and a very overgrown patch of herbs choked with mint. A waft of honeysuckle that Crowley hadn’t quite seen yet. Defiant buttercups here and there, arrogant daisies nearly everywhere, and in the centre, encircled in tangles of ivy and roses, a winged statue rose out of a small fountain. The place was abuzz with bees, nimbly dancing wee yellow fuzzies and tottering fat, black bumble bees. It smelled divine.
The garden is important to them for quite a few reasons. Like it’s a deliberate, conscious allusion to the way they met and it emphasizes their connection to each other as well as to the world. This garden in particular is kind of a rebirth for them.
I feel that Aziraphale is showing Crowley a really profound level of care and understanding. Tending this abandoned garden is really healing for Crowley. He’s really moved that Aziraphale knew how happy it would make him to be able to tend the plants. Aziraphale is a sensualist, and that’s not Crowley’s thing as much, but Aziraphale wants Crowley to like. Cultivate enjoyment of his physical form, yknow? Like develop an appreciation for those sensory experiences.
So he offers him this paradise where the air is fragrant and it’s secluded and peaceful and the wind is in the leaves and he grows delicious things after spending some time tenderly nurturing them. Crowley has the chance to luxuriate in his enjoyment of some mortal task for no reason other than it brings him great pleasure. He doesn’t have to pretend he’s trying to doom or torment someone else. And he ALSO gets to practice gentle, diligent care in this safe, emotionally uncomplicated situation. He gets to perform a little low stakes rescue and offer some tlc for the pure joy of helping and growing. He gets to save something and make it healthy and beautiful again.
I think Aziraphale must have found that urge very beautiful in Crowley and been so eager to encourage it. There’s even an angel statue. Crowley loves angel statues. Throughout the fic, Aziraphale is trying gently to show Crowley that he loves and understands him. Crowley is sort of quietly inspired to let more of his real self come to the surface, since Aziraphale has shown himself to be such a soft landing place.