Saturday afternoon, August 2018. The day Armageddon failed.
“Oh, my shop,” Aziraphale cried, one hand flying up to his forehead as his smile fell away. He looked at Crowley, bewildered.
“You can always stay at mine.” The demon shrugged, his voice non-committal. More sceptical beings might say it was suspiciously non-committal. With one hand lazily draped across the newly pristine steering wheel of the Bentley that was, decidedly, no longer on fire, he gauged the angel’s reaction from behind his dark glasses.
“Oh, Crowley, thank you.” Aziraphale gave a firm nod, smiling at his demonic counterpart.
A glance at the ignition and off they went, speeding back towards London, Beethoven’s ‘Under Pressure’ playing quietly in the background as they separately contemplated that afternoon’s events. It had been an unusual Saturday for a number of reasons, not least because the world had almost definitely, very nearly been decapitated. A solitary sinew had held it together in the form of an eleven year old boy, supported by a demon who wasn’t half as hellish as his frontman-cum-goth-detective stylings would suggest, and eternity’s only dancing angel who had, until an hour previously, temporarily shared the body of a rather gifted, ahem, retired lady of the night.
“How long has it been, angel?” Crowley asked, turning back on the stairs to wag a finger between them.
“Six thousand years, give or take.”
“Six thousand years and you haven’t visited once since I moved, people would think you don’t even like me.”
“I do,” Aziraphale protested, picking up the pace to keep up with Crowley’s long, languid stride.
Hands buried in the pockets of his black jeans, Crowley ran a quick mental reccie of the state of the flat. Somewhat neglected due to the end of the world, the houseplants had been left to their own devices all week. No discipline for days, they’d be running amok, not literally of course, they didn’t have legs… Crowley shook his head a little, refocusing his thoughts. What did it matter anyway? Overflowing bins, a puddle of Ligur in the doorway, leaf spots where leaf spots had no business being. It was just an overnight stay of convenience for an… infernal enemy? Friend. Yes. Better. Less expectation of bloodshed at any given moment. He smiled to himself, an unspoken reminder that hell didn't have jurisdiction over his thoughts, just his actions. You can think the truth, even if you can't say it. Infernal enemy, acquaintance, friend, temptation. Evolution is a hell of a thing.
Hovering a hand over the lock (demon from the pits of hell, yes, but he still kept the door locked; this was London for crying out loud), Crowley twisted the rounded door knob and pushed the door open, sweeping his arm forward to usher the angel in ahead of him. He followed him inside, closing the door behind them and hovering nervously in the hallway, realising that he was waiting for the angel’s opinion, for no reason other than there was no other being whose opinion mattered.