#01 – Motion
"You're doing it again."
"That slithering thing."
"Oh." Crowley grinned. "Does it bother you?"
Crowley's face fell. "Not even a little bit?"
"Fine. Then I guess I'll stop."
"Whatever you want, my dear."
Aziraphale gave himself a mental pat on the back; he really did hate it when Crowley got too snake-y.
#02 – Wrong
Crowley raked his claws across Aziraphale's back, deep enough to hit bone. The angel hissed in pain and spun, retaliating with an impressive kick that struck Crowley solidly in the chest and sent him reeling back into a wall. The demon barely had time to twist out of the way before a fist hit the wall where his face had just been.
Angel and demon circled each other for a moment. Crowley was the first to break, lunging forward with claws outstretched. Aziraphale managed to dodge the initial attack, but the poison in his veins made him slower than usual and Crowley grabbed his arm from behind, twisting it up behind his back until bones snapped. Crowley dug his claws into the wounds already marring the angel's back and felt Aziraphale stiffen beneath him. He moved his hand around to the angel's neck and dug in, hesitating ever so slightly before he tore out Aziraphale's throat.
A heavy silence filled the alley when it was done. Crowley lowered the body to the ground gently even though he knew the owner no longer had any use for it. He flicked the blood from his claws, stuffed his hands into his pockets, and trudged back into the city streets, somehow feeling that he had just made a huge mistake.
#03 – Young
The young angel turned and cocked a perfect pale eyebrow at the demon addressing him.
Crowley glared at the angel through his shades.
"Where's the angel who used work here?"
"You mean old Aziraphale?"
"That's the one."
"Don't screw with me, angel. I haven't seen him in months."
"Well I assure you, he hasn't gone anywhere."
Crowley scoffed and turned away.
"Whatever. If you see him, tell him I'm looking for him. We have an appointment."
"I'll let him know, my dear. I'm sure he hasn't forgotten."
Crowley paused. Only one person in the world ever dared to call him "dear." He glanced back at the angel and saw that his slim shoulders were shaking with barely suppressed laughter. Crowley lowered his shades and peered at the angel, open-mouthed. There was no mistaking it now, not with those pale eyes and that wavy blonde hair. Crowley could only gape.
#04 – Last
Crowley should have known that dinner was their last.
He should have noticed Aziraphale's strange behavior at the restaurant. He should have noticed the way the angel dithered before getting out of the Bentley at the end of the evening, the way his voice faltered when he tried to say goodnight, and way his eyes were shining a bit too brightly.
"See you tomorrow?"
Crowley should have noticed the wavering smile upon the angel's face when he said "sure." He should have noticed the affectionate hand upon his shoulder before Aziraphale slid out of the car.
But he didn't.
So when he returned to the bookshop the next day only to find it completely boarded up and barely able to pass for a shop anymore, he was concerned. And when no one answered the phone or the door or came to thwart him when he tempted the manager of a small grocery store into stealing a few fifties from the cash register, he was upset. But when a month passed, then another, he became certain.
Crowley should have known that dinner was their last.
But he didn't, and now Aziraphale was gone.
He hadn't even gotten to say goodbye.
#05 – Cool
"Crowley, is this really necessary?"
"Of course it is."
"But… it's leather."
"Well I can't be seen at a club with you if you're going to be wearing tweed."
"You know, I haven't actually agreed to go with you."
"You sound so sure."
"I am. I've already tempted you."
"Interesting. I must have missed that."
"Oh, shut up and put these on."
"Sunglasses? Really, my dear…"
"There. Now you're ready."
#06 – Gentle
He had fallen asleep on Aziraphale's comfy old couch in the middle of one of their late-night drinking sessions. He knew he should go back to his own flat, but he was quite comfortable and therefore quite unable to make himself rise. He cracked one eye to see that someone – and he had a pretty good idea who – had removed his sunglasses and placed them on the table beside his head. He glanced across the room toward the only source of light and couldn't help a little smile when he saw Aziraphale all cozied up in a plump chair with a heavy tome in his lap.
The angel must have sensed he was awake, because he lifted his gaze from the aged pages and looked straight at him. Crowley knew he didn't get his eye closed quickly enough, but he faked sleep anyway. He could hear Aziraphale walking toward him and was prepared for a lecture about how he was lazy and sleep was unnecessary and he should stop pretending and just go back to his own flat already, but instead a light, warm weight settled over him and a soft hand brushed his hair before the footsteps retreated again.
Crowley didn't dare move for another few minutes. He could still see the light on through his closed eyelids but he had no idea whether or not Aziraphale was watching him. Carefully, secretly, he shifted his hand until he touched the thick, worn blanket that had been tossed over him. He wrapped his cold fingers into the material and hugged it close.
If only someone from Hell could see me now, he thought wryly, but he couldn't quite make himself care.
#07 – One
It was always so boring after Crowley had been discorporated. Aziraphale never really knew what to do with himself. He would bless a few people, heal some sick, grant a few miracles (with permission, of course), but it just wasn't the same without some really good wiles to thwart.
His biggest problem, however, was that the company stunk, in that he had no company. He still went to nice restaurants, ordered nice wine, had wonderful dinners and even better desserts, but he never truly enjoyed them. It was all because of those words he had to say before he started each meal. They completely ruined the mood. Those stupid, horrible words:
"Table for one, please."
#08 – Thousand
"Did you put something in this bread?" Crowley asked, tossing yet another large piece into a group of particularly feisty ducks. "They seem more… ravenous than usual."
"Of course not," Aziraphale said indignantly. "I just made it instead of buying it. Do you think there's a difference?"
"Hm," Crowley said, "let's think. Angelic bread, fresh from the oven, or store-bought white loaf that disintegrates as soon as it touches the water… which do you think the ducks prefer?"
"I'm going to guess the angelic."
"Should we stop feeding them?" Aziraphale asked, tearing off another piece and lobbing it toward a group of newcomers.
"Well, we are drawing quite a crowd. And I'm almost out."
"As am I."
Demon and angel glanced at each other, then at the ever-growing mob of hungry ducks. There had to be at least a thousand around the pond, quacking and scratching and biting to get to the bread and the two men on shore, who were beginning to back away slowly.
"Shall we?" Crowley asked.
"I should think so."
#09 – Torn
The bedroom was dark, and Aziraphale could just make out a lump on the bed. He sat next to it, gently shaking what he took to be a shoulder.
"Crowley," he said. The lump shifted and a hand appeared, swatting at the offending angel. Aziraphale just kept shaking, rougher this time. "Crowley," he said, more firmly.
"Nnnghk," said the lump.
"Crowley, you have to get up."
"In the morning."
"It's four o'clock in the afternoon."
"Then I still have a good eight hours until it's morning."
Aziraphale sighed and let his hand drop. His fingers brushed something rough and very un-fabric-like, and he looked down in surprise. He pulled the sheets back to reveal dark wings sprouting from the sleepy demon's back. Aziraphale stared at them in amazement. He rarely saw Crowley's wings; the demon didn't like to show them, and Aziraphale now understood why.
Each black feather, which had once been white and whole, was almost completely shredded. It gave the wings a horribly tattered look, and Aziraphale could tell it was the sort of thing that would never be healed: it was the price for falling.
He smoothed the feathers down as best he could before laying the sheet over them again, then left the room silently.
He would let Crowley sleep through dinner, if only this once.
#10 – Learn
"Wait, now what do I do?"
"You have to attack that guy."
"Use your sword!"
"I have a sword?"
"Oh my G – yes, angel, and it's rather important!"
"How do I use it?"
"Just swing your arm around."
"Sorry, my dear. But look! I killed him!"
"I'm very pleased."
"Don't be so cranky. It was your idea to teach me, after all."
"I know, but I thought I'd get to play at least –"
"Oh my goodness! What is that?"
"Use your left hand to spin attack."
"Your left – oh, give me the damn thing."
Crowley tugged the Wii controllers away from Aziraphale, muttering something about how he would never beat the game if he kept letting incompetent, poofy angels play.
#11 – Blur
It isn't common for people to see a genuine, 60-year old Bentley hurtling down a London street, but a few had become quite used to it. In fact, one old man swore he had seen the same car with the same driver for close to forty years. His grandchildren liked to hear stories about it.
"Well," the old man would say, "I never really could make out the driver very well. He always seemed to be shadowed, and I never got a good look at his face."
"Then how did you know it was the same guy, Gramps?" a little girl would ask from her perch on his knee.
"I just know," the old man would reply. "When you see the same black blur every week for forty years, ya start to recognize it."
#12 – Wait
The small room shuddered with divine power as two archangels and one Principality towered over the lone demon. Or at least, the archangels towered; the Principality stood a bit apart from them, pale eyes filled with worry.
It shouldn't be like this.
It wasn't this demon's fault.
"Demon Crowley," Michael said, his voice echoing impressively. "You have been accused of trying to kill a member of the Heavenly Host. How do you plead?"
"If I plead not guilty, will you let me go?" Crowley asked, the sardonic grin on his face undermined by his trembling voice. His eyes flashed briefly in the Principality's direction, seeking support, but the angel was frozen, too stunned to speak.
This wasn't right.
"I doubt it," Uriel said in reply to Crowley's question, a rather wicked grin on his face. He tugged the sword from his belt and leveled it at Crowley. "It's time to end this."
Crowley's eyes widened in horror and his gaze was drawn again to the Principality, who steeled himself at last and stepped forth, mustering as much power as he could into a single word:
#13 – Change
"You know you've been acting different lately?" Crowley said one day over lunch. Aziraphale choked on his tea and dissolved into a slight coughing fit.
"I'm sorry?" he asked once it had passed.
"You've been acting weird lately. Less angelic."
"Whatever are you talking about?"
"Well, right before we walked into the restaurant a homeless man asked you for change and you blatantly ignored him."
"I hardly think –"
"Last night you were trash-talking Gabriel while you were drunk."
Aziraphale flushed. "I certainly don't –"
"The day before yesterday you stole a book."
"Have you been following me?" Aziraphale hissed. Crowley smirked and sipped his tea triumphantly. Aziraphale glared.
"Well you've changed, too, you know," he said. Crowley cocked an eyebrow.
"You tipped the bartender last night. And you paid full price for both your drinks and mine."
"That doesn't –"
"You apologized for stepping on my foot this morning."
"I didn't mean –"
"You defended Gabriel while I was trash-talking him."
Crowley paled and set his tea down slowly.
"Time for us to spend some time apart?" he asked. Aziraphale smiled and slid a passport and plane ticket across the table.
"Way ahead of you, my dear. I'll see you in three months."
#14 – Command
Crowley kicked back on his white leather sofa, TV remote in one hand and scotch in the other. He flipped to the news and sipped his drink. It was time to see how well the Arrangement was working out.
" – in other news, the Prime Mini – CROWLEY."
Crowley groaned and rolled his eyes. So much for a nice night at home…
CROWLEY. ARE YOU THERE? CAN YOU HEAR ME?
"Loud and clear. What do you want?"
YOU HAVE A NEW ASSIGNMENT.
"Did I have an old one?"
I AM GOING TO ASSUME THAT IS A JOKE. ANYWAY, SOME PEOPLE DOWN HERE HAVE TAKEN SPECIAL INTEREST IN THAT PRINCIPALITY YOU ARE CONSTANTLY WITH.
Crowley's insides twisted and all he could think was, Damn.
THE HIGHER UPS WANT YOU TO BRING HIM DOWN.
"I – uh – down where?"
I AM GOING TO ASSUME THAT IS A JOKE, AS WELL. DO PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE FUNNY UP THERE?
"Not really, no, but why –?"
HE HAS BEEN A PAIN IN THE ASS, BASICALLY. OR HAVE YOU NOT NOTICED HIM THWARTING ALL OF YOUR PLANS?
"No, I have. It's just that I've managed to do some pretty good – I mean, bad – stuff lately, too, so I didn't think it would matter –"
IT ALWAYS MATTERS, CROWLEY. BRING HIM DOWN. YOU HAVE ONE WEEK. – and gave birth to live puppies! Truly a miracle. Back to you, George."
Crowley stared at the television set blankly for a minute, then drained his scotch in one swig, wondering how the hell he was going to get out of this one.
#15 – Hold
"You look cold."
"Are you sure? You are cold-blooded by nature, after all."
"I told you, I'm fine."
"… You're shivering, my dear."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are. Come here."
And despite all of his protesting, Crowley couldn't help but sink into the angel's warm, blanketed embrace.
Not that he would ever admit, of course, that it was in fact quite nice.
#16 – Need
The bookshop appeared surprisingly empty.
"Down here, Crowley."
Crowley followed the quavering voice to behind the counter. The angel was sitting on the ground, eyes closed and leaning against the back wall. The demon cleared his throat and stuffed his hands into his pockets uncomfortably.
"Is… everything all right?"
Aziraphale sighed and opened his eyes wearily.
"A demon attacked me today."
"WHAT?" Crowley bellowed. "London is my territory! Everyone knows that! Those bastards! I'm going to –" He was about to storm off when Aziraphale caught his sleeve, stopping him in his tracks. He looked down at the angel. "What?"
"I'm sorry," Aziraphale said softly. "But could you stay for a bit? I'm still rather shaken up."
Crowley hesitated only for a moment before heaving a sigh and sitting beside Aziraphale. The angel smiled weakly and rested his head against the wall, eyelids fluttering shut. Crowley watched him curiously.
"I thought you said you didn't need sleep," he said.
"I don't," Aziraphale murmured, completely unconvincingly. Crowley smirked and reached up to flip the sign in the window to CLOSED.
"Well, no one's judging," he said, summoning a book from the counter and flipping to the first page. "I'll stay and keep watch while you rest. I can wait a while before heading out to kill that demon."
"Thank you, Crowley," Aziraphale mumbled, and was asleep in less than a minute.
#17 – Vision
It was a dark, peaceful night in Eden, broken only when the Guardian of the East Gate addressed the darkly scaled snake resting on the wall above him.
"Can you see in the dark?"
"Yes. Why do you –?"
"Great," the Guardian groaned, sinking to the ground and kicking off his sandals. He then proceeded to rub his sore feet, sighing in relief. "Could you keep watch and make sure no one's coming? I'm supposed to be standing guard all night but my feet are absolutely killing me."
"Uh, sure," the snake said, slightly baffled.
So marked the beginning of cooperation between angel and demon.
#18 – Phone
"Angel, it's me. I'm back in town for a bit. Give me a ring and we can grab dinner sometime. Ciao."
"It's me again. Where the hell are you? I left you a message days ago. Ring me already!"
"This is getting ridiculous, angel. The point of having an ansaphone is for you to actually receive messages and return them. I know this might be a strange concept for your fifteenth century mind, but please try."
"Aziraphale, are you avoiding me? Because a heads up would have been nice. But seriously, if you aren't avoiding me and are just not answering because you're a prick, ring me. I'm bored."
"What the hell, angel? It's been weeks. I'm coming down to the shop."
Aziraphale smiled and set his suitcase down behind the counter, removing his jacket and hanging it near the door just as squealing tires rounded the corner and a black Bentley screeched to a halt outside.
Right on time.
#19 – Soul
"Oy." Crowley waved a hand drunkenly in Aziraphale's direction, leaning over the table. The angel sighed lightly – not yet as intoxicated as his companion – and leaned over to meet him. Crowley seemed to be struggling for words. "Angel. 'f I… 'f I die, where d'ya think my soul'll go?"
"Probably back to Hell, so you can get a new body," Aziraphale answered logically. Crowley shook his head.
"Nononono. 'f I die for real. I mean, do I go back to Hell as a default, or can I redeem myself and go to Heaven 'stead?"
Aziraphale stared at the demon for a moment, then lowered his eyes to his drink, stirring it uncomfortably.
"I… I don't know," he murmured. Crowley closed his eyes and for one horrible second Aziraphale thought he was going to cry, but then the demon shouted for the waiter to bring another round and the moment was over.
#20 – Picture
"Will you be ready soon? Our reservations are at eight," Aziraphale called from Crowley's living room, pacing around the area as he waited for the demon to finish getting ready.
"Keep your knickers on, we'll be fine!" came the angry reply from the bedroom, and Aziraphale sighed. He paid a little visit to Crowley's poor plants, touching each in kind to reassure them that not all humanoid creatures were evil, before heading over to the pristine white sofa and taking a seat.
Something shiny on the end table caught his eye and he leaned over to pick it up. It was a small silver picture frame, and inside was a photograph that had been taken of Crowley and him a few years back at the duck pond. The demon had his arm around the angel's shoulders and –surprisingly – they were sporting almost identical grins.
"Ready?" Crowley said, striding out of the bedroom and directly to the door. Aziraphale replaced the frame with a smile.
"Yes," he said softly. "Let's go."
#21 – Fool
"Please don't, Crowley."
"Really, my dear. I'd just like to forget this, if you don't mind."
"But you're in here. This is you."
"Yes, I know. Now let's put it away."
But Crowley did not. He held the old manuscript and grinned, staring at the faded depiction of a fourteenth century English court. Along the left side, shown twirling flaming torches and dressed in the colorful livery of a court jester, was a very familiar blond man with a slight glow around him.
"You actually wore a motley hat?"
"Please don't make fun. It was a living."
"I'm not making fun! I'm just commenting." A pause. "At least it's better than tweed."
#22 – Mad
Anthony Crowley was a little bloodthirsty.
Tempting was so easy now. The world was war-crazy, thriving on combat, breathing in gun smoke, living off of death and a victory that could never be reached. Torture was a staple of life. Grotesque murders and massacres were commonplace, even smiled upon.
And despite all of the evil being done – by unsuspecting humans, no less – Crowley found himself a bit sickened.
He knew he shouldn't be. He knew he should be pleased, proud, even, but for some reason each helpless soul tossed into a gas chamber or shot dead by mindless soldiers caused what was left of his soul to rend a bit further.
It was driving him mad.
But he had one escape from the terror: a shabby little bookshop in England, where he knew he would be safe from his own mind and could lose himself in alcohol and a sympathetic smile.
#23 – Child
"Will I see you tomorrow?" the young boy called over his shoulder as he jogged toward his father. Aziraphale just smiled.
"I'll be here," he said. The boy flashed a grin and took his father's hand. Aziraphale's smile fell once the pair turned the corner.
He knew the boy would not return the next day. He knew his family was not Hebrew, and there would be no lamb's blood upon his door. So that night, as divine power swept through the city and stole the life from the first-born of Egypt, Aziraphale knew that the boy would be killed. And it was with this knowledge that he drank himself into a stupor and tried to forget that innocent smile.
#24 – Now
The squealing of tires outside should have been warning enough, but Aziraphale still found himself jumping when Crowley burst into the shop, sending the bell into a jingling frenzy and rattling the windowpanes.
"Get your coat," he said, not even crossing the threshold.
"What? Why?" Aziraphale asked, pen still poised over the crossword he was attempting to complete.
"I'm taking you to Greece. There's no need to pack anything, we're staying at an all-inclusive resort and I have credit cards. Let's go."
"But I can't –"
And, grumbling, Aziraphale went.
#25 – Shadow
He was being followed.
Aziraphale glanced casually at his reflection in the window of a little shop and caught a glimpse of the dark figure behind him, but didn't let his gaze linger too long. He didn't want the stalker to know he had caught on to his ruse.
He suddenly veered off onto a side road, feeling mischievous, and was satisfied to note that his stalker followed him. This trend continued for a few minutes until finally both angel and follower arrived in front of the Ritz.
Aziraphale turned to face the stalker with a smile.
It took Crowley a moment to realize that he had been caught and tricked into a dinner date, but once he realized it he sighed.
#26 – Goodbye
"We can't stop it this time, can we?" Aziraphale asked quietly.
Crowley couldn't answer. He stared at the destruction unfolding before him and found no words. A gentle hand took his and squeezed.
"It was wonderful knowing you, my friend," Aziraphale said. Crowley wrenched his gaze from the devastation that marked the beginning of the end of the world and studied the angel's pale face, knowing very well this could be the last time he ever saw it.
He couldn't let it affect him. This was supposed to happen, and he wasn't supposed to be so distressed.
So Crowley forced a smile and squeezed Aziraphale's hand back.
"Goodbye, angel," he said. "Until we meet again."
#27 – Hide
Crowley couldn't see straight. He stumbled along the darkened streets like a drunk, clutching the gaping, burning wound in his stomach with one hand and keeping the other out to the side, ready to catch the wall if need be.
He couldn't stay in his flat. They would look there first. But he also couldn't run anymore; his wounds had seen to that.
But then, up ahead, he saw – or rather, sensed – his destination, his haven, and relief swelled in his chest: the lights were still on.
Crowley staggered through the door of the shop and was wonderfully, surprisingly, greeted with warm arms, apparently already waiting for him.
"Angel…" he breathed, smiling weakly up into those worried, pale eyes. Before he could even ask to stay, he was bustled into the back room and up the stairs and into a bedroom and onto a soft, tartan bedspread. Aziraphale hurried off to get medical supplies and Crowley sighed, despite still being in excruciating pain. He turned his head to stare at the crucifix on the bedside table and smiled feebly.
Where better to hide from the wrath of Hell than in the home of an angel?
#28 – Fortune
"What does yours say?"
"'You will give someone great happiness.'"
Crowley snickered and Aziraphale made a face at him.
"Nothing," Crowley chuckled. "It's just that a few years ago I started the tradition of saying 'in bed' after every fortune you get. It makes the whole fortune cookie thing much more amusing."
"In bed?" Aziraphale said quietly. It took only a moment for it to register, after which he flushed deeply and took a nervous sip of tea.
"So," Crowley said, leaning across the table with a serpentine grin. "Want to make your fortune come true?"
Steaming tea hitting him in the face was his answer.
#29 – Safe
Crowley's houseplants were locked in a serious, silent battle.
The kind blond man was visiting again, the one who gave them loving pats and soothing words and tried to convince them that their master wasn't all bad. The plants were fighting for his attention at the moment, even though he was halfway across the room speaking with the bane of their existence. But, being an angel, he sensed their desperation soon enough.
As soon as he excused himself and started to walk over the houseplants stopped begging for attention and instead began vying for his love, each trying to look more pathetic than the next.
"Hello, my dears," the kind man said softly, running gentle fingers over the plants' leaves. If they had possessed voices they would have cooed.
When the man's hand came to rest on the plant furthest from the sunlight (it was being punished), he paused.
"Would you mind very much if I took one of your plants home? My flat is rather bare, I'm afraid."
"I guess not. Just don't baby it too much. It's not used to it."
The punished plant couldn't believe its luck. If it had possessed a tongue it would have stuck it out at the others as it was carried away from the tyrant's abode, snuggling happily up to its gentle new owner, feeling safe at last.
#30 – Ghost
Aziraphale watched the world pass by from the comfort of his bookshop, content to sit back and let the mortals live. He would help a couple of the do-gooders in doing good if the need came up, maybe thwart a couple of Crowley's more dangerous wiles, but mostly he liked to watch.
He was unlike Crowley in that he didn't feel the need to be ostentatious. He didn't need to be noticed. He was free to wander or stay as he liked, always watching, seldom interfering. As long as the world was in balance, he could remain unseen, unobtrusive. As inconspicuous as a spirit among humans.
Which was exactly what he was.
#31 – Book
It was so rare, and in such good condition. A first edition, signed by the author, no less. The pages crackled just the right amount and it had that wonderful old book smell that belongs in every antique bookstore.
It was perfect.
Aziraphale flipped through the pages carefully, reverently, still not quite able to believe that he was touching it. He could almost sense the book's entire history, whose hands had touched it ten years before his, one hundred years, two hundred…
"Shall I leave the two of you alone?" a voice drawled, pulling him from his musings. Aziraphale was about to glare at the demon and tell him to bugger off when he remembered that it was Crowley who had given him the book in the first place. The scowl that had been forming was swiftly replaced with a smile, so genuine and bright that it made Crowley slightly uncomfortable.
"Thank you so much for this, Crowley," Aziraphale said. Crowley flushed and was about to reply when the angel abruptly added, "But yes, I think it would be best for you to leave for a bit. This book and I need to get properly acquainted."
#32 – Eye
Crowley didn't like the way the woman was ogling his angel. She was leaning over the counter in a way that enhanced her ample bosom and playing with a strand of her white-blonde hair, all the while batting heavy lashes and chomping her gum.
It made Crowley sick.
He stood in the shadows, pretending to sift through the collection of dusty books, but he was actually just glaring at the woman through his dark shades, watching her every move.
Aziraphale, for his part, seemed completely oblivious to the woman's flirtation. He was too busy appearing to be busy to really look at her, and was instead just replying to her inane comments about the weather with his usual politeness. The woman was taking it for interest, and just as she was about to reach across the counter to amiably touch the angel's hand, Crowley leapt forward and tugged her away by the wrist.
"Oy! What's the big idea?" she snapped, whirling to face him in a huff. Crowley did his best to look as menacing as he could (which was pretty damn menacing) and slid his sunglasses down his nose, revealing inhuman golden eyes to the woman.
"I think it's time for you to leave," he hissed. The woman blinked, gulped, and nodded. As soon as Crowley let go of her wrist she sprinted for the exit.
Aziraphale looked at him disapprovingly.
"Now, really, my dear," he said.
Crowley just grinned.
#33 – Never
The flaming sword plunged through the chest of the demon all too easily, igniting a raging inferno in the cursed flesh and staining the once-prim black suit scarlet. The blade slid out just as easily as it had gone in and the writhing began, the hands crimped in pain, the mouth wide in a soundless shriek of utter agony. It wouldn't be long until all life ebbed from the demon…
Aziraphale lurched to wakefulness with a strangled cry, the dream still vivid in his mind. He could feel the blood on his hands, the warm sword by his side, the life flowing steadily out of the demon before him –
It would not happen, he told himself desperately. It would not happen. It would not happen.
He would not let it.
#34 – Sing
Aziraphale made Crowley go to church with him once. The demon had, understandably, refused to do anything vaguely church-like whilst being there, but he had accompanied the angel nonetheless.
About halfway through the service Crowley noticed that although Aziraphale was paying close attention to the sermon, he never sang.
"Isn't it rude to not sing when sung to?" he muttered into the angel's ear. Aziraphale flushed slightly.
"I can't sing," he said. Crowley frowned.
"Nonsense. I've heard you sing before. You have a nice voice," he said.
"That's not the reason," Aziraphale said.
"Oh? Then what is it?"
Aziraphale sighed and rolled his eyes to the heavens, then joined in the hymn and promptly began to emit a glowing, ethereal aura. Crowley blinked in surprise and cocked an eyebrow.
"Seriously," Aziraphale said, cutting off both singing and glowing. "I can't help it, and it's rather embarrassing."
"I don't know. I kind of like it."
"It's ostentatious, Crowley."
"Hence why I like it."
Aziraphale sighed. "Of course."
#35 – Wash
"AH! For goodness' sake, Crowley!"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"The water, you dolt."
"Sorry. My aim is pretty bad."
"Crowley, the Bentley is ten meters to my left. Your aim can't possibly be that bad."
"Oh, but it is. Just watch."
"Ah – CROWLEY!"
(What followed was one of the most epic water fights ever to be had between an angel and a demon. Needless to say, the Bentley never did get properly washed.)
#36 – Stop
The demon had the angel pinned to a wall, trapped in the dark shadows and rain of the ancient Roman alleyway.
"Let me go," the angel said firmly, aura shining like a threat.
"Relax," the demon said. "I'm not hurting you."
"Then why won't you release me?"
The demon tsked. "So anxious to leave, angel? I just got you here. And I can't let you wander around this dangerous city wounded."
The angel frowned. "I'm not –" He broke off with a small cry as sharp claws dug into his side. The demon grinned toothily.
"You were saying?"
"Wretch," the angel grimaced, glaring with such ferocity that even the demon was impressed. He removed his claws from the angel's wound and licked them clean. His golden eyes stayed fixed on his adversary, and he could sense the holy aura starting to fade as the angel weakened. With a grin he leaned down and ran his forked tongue along the angel's wound, relishing the way his victim writhed.
"Stop," the angel groaned, struggling against the demon's iron grip. The demon chuckled lightly and stepped away.
"As you wish, angel."
The angel, shocked at being released so easily, slumped against the wall and stared at the demon with disbelieving pale eyes.
"You're… you stopped."
"You told me to."
"But that doesn't make sense."
The demon laughed again, a surprisingly soft sound.
"Only to you," he said. He gestured toward the angel's bleeding side. "Get that taken care of. And stay out of my city."
"It's not your city, snake!" the angel growled, starting to get dizzy from blood loss. The demon shrugged and turned away.
"We'll see, angel. I'll be in touch."
#37 – Time
Crowley learned long ago that times change quickly.
Live bands turn to records, which turn to eight-tracks, which turn to cassette tapes, which turn to CDs, which turn to mp3 players.
Horse drawn carriages turn to automobiles, which - apparently - turn into everything under the sun, from Hummers to Bentleys.
One year it takes months for humans to cross the sea, the next, mere hours.
But there is one thing Crowley knows will never change, no matter how much time may pass.
The phone is picked up after five rings.
"Crowley! Back in town, are we?"
"For now. Dinner at the Ritz tonight?"
#38 – Sudden
Crowley was in a panic.
He had just been settling down for the night when he felt the connection he had with a certain angel suddenly snap, flicker, and die.
He was unable to move, think, or speak for a good long minute before he leapt to his feet, grabbed the car keys and sprinted down to his Bentley, taking four stairs at a time. He left a wake of terror behind him on his way to Soho but took no pleasure in it. His mind was too preoccupied with denial of what his demonic senses were telling him.
Aziraphale could not be dead. He could not.
Crowley wouldn't accept it.
Because if what Crowley sensed was true, then it meant Aziraphale had not merely been discorporated, but officially killed. Executed. Destroyed. It would mean the angel was really, truly gone.
And Crowley could not allow that.
He pulled up to the bookshop in Soho with his heart beating in his throat and his insides in a twist. He still couldn't sense the angel. It was terrifying.
The shop was dark. Crowley entered, filled with apprehension. The bell on the door jingled loudly in the silence. Crowley removed his shades to see better in the darkness and golden eyes widened when he caught sight of dark liquid spreading slowly over the floor. He followed it to the source and froze.
Aziraphale was sprawled out on the ground behind a bookshelf, pale eyes wide and sightless, glasses crooked, and completely motionless. Even his chest failed to rise and fall with breath. The liquid was coming from a broken mug near the angel's right hand, which had obviously been dropped when Aziraphale collapsed. It smelled like tea.
Crowley couldn't stand it. It couldn't be true.
He fell to his knees beside Aziraphale and grabbed the angel by the shoulders, yelling his name and shaking him until – shockingly – the angel blinked, gasped in a deep breath, and coughed.
And Crowley uttered one of the most blasphemous things a demon could ever utter, while cradling Aziraphale to his chest.
"Thank God," he murmured into the weak - but breathing - angel's hair. "Thank God thank God thank God…"
#39 – King
Crowley surveyed his kingdom with pride. Each of his subjects was perfect, standing tall and beautiful in the summer sunlight. Not one tiny feature out of place.
"You!" Crowley yelled, leveling a finger at one of his subjects. Said subject seemed to cower from his rage. "You have a wilting leaf. This is unacceptable! I cannot have this in my kingdom!"
The next few moments were filled with terror and pain and fire, and ended in an empty pot and much trembling from the other subjects. Crowley smiled and surveyed his kingdom yet again.
Each of his subjects was perfect.
#40 – History
Through the screaming crowds, beyond the mob of bloodthirsty Roman soldiers, slightly aside from the chaos that was Calvary, Crowley saw him. At first glance he thought he was crying, but then he realized the expression upon the angel's face was exquisitely stoic, beautiful in its complete lack of emotion.
After all, this was supposed to happen.
It had been written.
Crowley found he could not take his eyes off the angel. His serenity was just such a divergence from the pandemonium all around. It was captivating. And as much as Crowley knew he was supposed to be witnessing the death before him, he could not tear his gaze away from the angel.
In fact, he looked away only once, when the sky grew dark and the ground shook and the crowds panicked and fled. But he looked away only for a moment, and when his gaze returned to the angel, he realized the other had not once wavered in his tranquility.
A single tear coursed down the angel's cheek and his eyes closed briefly, but then he was gone and Crowley was left alone in the terrified mob, with only the memory of that peaceful face.
#41 – Power
It was easy for Crowley to forget Aziraphale's true power when all he usually saw was a poofy, middle-aged blond man dressed in tweed.
Contrary to popular belief, Aziraphale knew this.
So when Crowley burst into the back room only to be overwhelmed by the surge of ethereal power radiating from the beautiful, shining, white-winged being before him, the satisfied grin upon the angel's stunning countenance was not just in his imagination.
#42 – Bother
He could see the angel's patience was wearing thin. He saw the flicker of annoyance in those pale eyes, the twitch of an eyebrow, the slightly violent flipping of a page. Crowley grinned and sang louder. It was working.
"But I would walk five hundred miles, and I would walk five hundred more…"
Twitch. Glare. Flip.
"Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles…"
A flash of movement, and a hand was suddenly clamped over Crowley's mouth.
"All right," Aziraphale said. "I give. We'll go out."
#43 – God
Aziraphale was uncomfortable. Even though he was wearing the customary flowing white robes and his fiery sword had returned to his side, he still felt like he was stark naked.
Which was normal, he guessed, considering he was kneeling before the Almighty and Omniscient God.
/Aziraphale. You know why you have been called here./
/Is there anything you would like to report concerning your time spent on Earth?/
"Nothing in particular, Lord."
/What of the demon, Crawly?/
Aziraphale felt his heart leap into his throat.
/Have you overcome him yet?/
"Not yet, Lord. He is quite powerful."
/I see./ A lofty pause. /You are sure you have nothing to tell me, Aziraphale?/
Aziraphale considered it. He thought about telling God that he was currently late for a dinner with Crowley, about the Arrangement, about how the two had become close friends and thus the angel would never "overcome" the demon. He thought that maybe God would be understanding and forgive him; He had, after all, been known to do that from time to time. In fact, He probably knew all about it already and was just waiting for Aziraphale to tell Him. Maybe this was a test.
But then Aziraphale realized he had been quiet for a while, and he said the first thing to come to mind:
"No, Lord. Nothing."
And – rather surprisingly – God let him go.
#44 – Wall
The crash was audible for six blocks all around, at least. Aziraphale almost jumped out of his chair when he heard it and was running to the door before he even really comprehended what had happened.
A couple of blocks down from the shop, a crowd was forming around what appeared to be the source of the racket. Smoke billowed up from something in the middle of the crowd, and Aziraphale could see a distinct shiny blackness between the milling passers-by. His eyes widened and his heart clenched as he sprinted toward the wreckage.
"Crowley!" he shouted as he approached, shoving people out of the way in a very non-angelic manner. He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw a black-clad figure stumbling away from the wreck, dark glasses crooked and one hand held to his head. The demon looked up at Aziraphale and blinked – a rare occurrence.
"'Ziraphale?" he mumbled, staggering in the angel's direction.
"Are you all right?" Aziraphale asked, catching Crowley before he could fall. Crowley just blinked at him again.
"Yeah," he said. He looked back at the ruined Bentley, then at the building he had crashed into, then back up at Aziraphale, clearly baffled. "The hell'd that wall come from?"
#45 – Naked
A familiar knock sounded on the door of Crowley's flat, and he called for the angel to enter.
"I'm sorry to bother you so late, my dear, but – why are you naked?" Aziraphale stopped in the doorway, hand still clutching the doorknob and eyes wide.
Crowley just continued to dry his hair with a towel, totally unfazed by Aziraphale's reaction.
"I just got out of the shower. You were saying?"
"I – I forgot," Aziraphale said, looking away with a light flush on his cheeks. Crowley grinned.
"Pervert," he said triumphantly, but the word was muffled by his pants hitting him in the face.
#46 – Drive
Mr. Arnold Jones was on his way home from a long, hard day at work. Or at least that's what he told himself. He had actually spent the entire day shagging his secretary, who was both much younger and much more flexible than dear old Mrs. Jones. Mr. Jones felt this was fair. After all, he had been faithful to Mrs. Jones for 12 of the 28 years they had been married. He had lasted as long as he could.
Mr. Jones stepped into the street while checking his watch, sighing heavily when he realized he was late for dinner. He didn't see the black Bentley hurtling his way until it hit him, and after that he didn't see much at all.
Crowley cussed when the middle-aged businessman tumbled over his hood but barely let his speed drop below 90. He ran the windshield wipers to clean off the blood and sped on; he couldn't afford to stop.
He was already late for dinner.
#47 – Harm
"What's the harm?"
It was Crowley's catchphrase. It never failed to push a human over the edge. Crowley had used it countless times with much success, due to his victims rarely being able to find a suitable answer.
Because really… what was the harm?
But now, watching his best friend sob in agony and despair as gleaming white wings turned dark and an angelic glow began to fade, Crowley felt he had finally found the answer.
#48 – Soft
Angels were like cats. Feathery, divine, poofy cats.
Crowley had been surprised at first by how sensitive an angel's wings were, but now he found it sickeningly adorable that, without fail, every time he even so much as patted Aziraphale's wings the angel would melt in his hands.
Over the years, Crowley had become quite good at massaging the angel's soft wings. He didn't mind, really. The feathers were silky and smelled (forgive the pun) heavenly, making the experience almost as enjoyable for Crowley as it was for Aziraphale.
Crowley stroked a skilled hand over the tender skin near the base of Aziraphale's wing and smiled when he felt the angel shudder at the touch. He leaned down near Aziraphale's ear, burying his hands into the fluffy feathers and eliciting a low moan from his companion.
"It's cute, you know. If you were a cat, you'd be purring."
#49 – Hunger
"You know you want to."
"Crowley, don't tempt me."
"It can't hurt anything."
"Yes, but –"
"You've never even tried it before. You might like it."
"Have you tried it?"
"Of course I have! I love it."
"Come on, angel. Just do it with me."
Crowley smiled triumphantly and shoved the jello shot into his associate's hand before downing his own. Aziraphale watched him with distaste before daintily draining his. His eyes widened. It was… good.
"Mm," Crowley groaned appreciatively, reclining back against the bar. "Alcohol in solid form. What will humans think of next?"
#50 – Believe
The Apocalypse was over. Heaven had won, and the denizens of Hell had been almost completely wiped out.
Somewhere on the battlefield an angel was crying, pale hands stained with blood in a futile attempt to save the life of the demon he was crouched over.
"A-angel?" Crowley rasped, reaching out blindly. "You there?" Aziraphale grasped the demon's hand and tugged it to his chest.
"I'm here, Crowley. It's all right."
"Am I… is this it?"
"I'm afraid so," Aziraphale said quietly, his voice trembling something terrible. It broke his heart to see those golden eyes wide and sightless, their usual sharpness replaced by pain and fear.
"So… what happens now?" Crowley asked softly after a moment of silence. Aziraphale shook his head.
"I don't know."
"Maybe I'll go to Heaven," Crowley said. It was getting harder for him to breathe. The pain was becoming unbearable, and every word was a struggle. "That would be nice… right?"
"Yeah," Aziraphale said. "Yeah, maybe I'll see you there."
And when the life finally passed out of the demon, the angel cradled the broken body in his arms and desperately tried to believe that that was true.