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Lie Your Shining Silver Tongue Off

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Crowley has had thousands of years to prepare the arrangement. When he’d bring it up. How he’d present it to Aziraphale. Arguments against whatever point he’d bring up, not that there should be many. The arrangement made sense in every way: More work gets done with less effort. The human world gets kept in a neutral balance. And most importantly, he’d have an excuse to see Aziraphale more than once in a century.

Now, what to do in case Hell found out about it? He’d put significantly less thought into that.

A part of him wanted to just play things fast as usual and enjoy whatever his stub pulled him. If things really came down on him, he could always run off. Alpha Centauri was nice around this time of year anyway.

Still, he knew there was a chance he’d get caught and dragged away before he could. Like he was now.

His delightful demon colleagues had taken it upon themselves to tie him up to a chair. Little good it would do normally, but they also saw it to circle him, jeering, spitting insults, and pulling his hair.

“Hey! Hey! Watch the glasses!” He snapped at one particularly brave hand. Of course, the demon it belonged to snatched his glasses and snapped them in half in response.

“Enough!” The demons stopped and backed up into a neat semi circle, the gap in which was filled with Beelzebub themself.

“Well, this seems rather much.” Crowley said, holding onto his calm and cool demeanor like a lifeline. “If you wanted to speak to me, m’lord, you could’ve just called-“

“Shut up.” They demanded. They marched up to Crowley, leveling their cold stare at him face to face. “Would you mind telling me why in the Hell have you been colluding with the angel, Aziraphale?”

Now, any sane person would look in the face of the leader of Hell and choose their words carefully.

Instead, Crowley bit out a “What does it look like I was doing?”

Beelzebub’s expression doesn’t change. Instead, they looked up. White hot metal pressed into his back. Crowley cried out in surprise, hissing and writhing along with his burning leather jacket. When the demon finally pulled it away, Crowley heaved our a breath.

“That was my favorite jacket, you wanker!”

“If I we’re you, I’d worry about yourself.” Another demon mocked him. Crowley craned his neck. It’s Hastur. Of course, it’s Hastur. Bastard never liked him. “I doubt your boyfriend will rush down here to save you.”

Boyfriend? They thought Aziraphale was his boyfriend.

Crowley smirked. “I’m sure you’ll be happy to note that my boyfriend is on a fast track to...well down here.”

That put a surprised look on Beelzebub’s face much to Crowley’s satisfaction. “What do you mean?”

“Aziraphale has gone soft from living with humans all these years. That makes him weak to the same temptations. A little of the right ones, if you know what I mean, and I can have him doing anything I want.” Crowley claimed. The demons around him broke out into hushed conversations in their surprise. A few of them threw more insults and loudly dismissed him.

“Silence.” Beelzebub called out. The demons clammed up immediately. They looked at Crowley. “To what end are you going for?”

“Look at the big picture here. We’d have a double agent, someone with access to our enemy’s every move. We could be one step ahead of Heaven like that. And, all it takes is a little of the right charm.”

Beelzebub thought this over for minute before nodding. “I like the sound of that.”

“Well, brilliant. Now if you just-“ Crowley gestured his body. Beelzebub snapped and the ropes around him disappeared. Crowley stood up gratefully only to wince at the wound on his shoulder. The demons around him cried out in protest. Crowley smirked at them. “I’ll just be on my way then. It’s been real lovely.”

“Hold it.” Beelzebub said. Crowley stopped to look at their stern face. “What I don’t like is you flirting with an angel. If Aziraphale is as high and mighty as you say, I want him down here.”

Crowley swallowed, a pit forming in his stomach. “You don’t mean-“

“I want him to fall.” Beelzebub raised an eyebrow. “Is that a problem?”

“No, of course not. That’s no problem.” Crowley chuckled despite the sour bile threatening to climb up his throat. “I’ve already put some of the work into it, so I estimate that I’ll have rearing to full in the next-“ Crowley tilted his head side to side. “century or so?”

“I want it done in ten years.” Beelzebub said calm and collected. Crowley didn’t bother trying to hide his shock.

“Milord, I don’t think you quite understand. This is a delicate operation I’ve been handling for years now-“

“Do it in ten years or it’s a few centuries in the 6th layer of hell for you. I will not tolerate this kind of insolence. Do you understand?” Beelzebub said.

“Crystal.” Crowley snapped his fingers, pointing to the door. “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll get right on that. To seducing my boyfriend into falling.”

Beelzebub nodded. “I expect results.”

Crowley was already heading for the door, demons parting as he walked by. “Of course, you do, milord.”

Crowley was never more glad to be out of the dark, crammed offices than he was then.