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Dr. Anthony J. Crowley

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Deidre adored her new baby boy, but there came a point in every young mother's life that they were just exhausted. The woman jolted awake from her sleep at the noise that came from the next room over. The light from the baby monitor winked at her, and she let out a quiet sigh. She carefully extracted herself from her husband's arms and slipped out of bed, padding down the hall to the baby's room. Deidre peered down in the crib at her son, and Adam continued to whimper, his tiny pink mouth opening and closing, little fingers flexing in and out of fists. 

"Hey, Adam. I'm here. What's wrong, sweetie?" Deidre asked. She reached down to place her hands under her baby and lift him up out of his crib. She checked his nappy, and it didn't smell like it needed to be changed. 

"Does he need to be fed?" Arthur asked from the doorway, leaning against the wall. He stifled a yawn with his hand. 

"You should get back to bed. You have work in a few hours," Deidre said. 

"It's fine. I already got it out," Arthur replied. He held the bottle of formula out to his wife, and Deidre smiled gratefully, taking it from him. The woman moved over to the armchair in the corner of the room and sat down, cradling their son carefully in her arms. 

"There you go, Adam," Deidre said as she guided the teat to his mouth. 

Adam happily latched onto the proffered part of the bottle, suckling enthusiastically. She held the bottle steady for him, and her baby looked up at her half focused eyes, staring intently at her. She doubted he understood a word of what she was saying yet. He was simply too young, only a few months old at the moment. She waited for him to finish the bottle before she set it aside. The woman lifted him up to her shoulder, patting gently on his back until she heard a burping noise. Arthur took Adam from her and laid him back in his crib for her. Deidre stood up from the chair, making her way over to her husband. 

"Maybe we should get some sleep," she suggested, laying a hand on his shoulder. Her husband nodded. 

"That sounds like a great idea," Arthur agreed quietly. 

"Sleep well, Adam. We love you," Deidre whispered into the room in the baby's direction. She and her husband walked out, shutting the door softly behind themselves. 

 

The little town of Tadfield was located in the southern part of England, and for the most part, it was rather dull and tiny. No one ever talked about Tadfield, not even people from Tadfield. Nothing ever happened there that would warrant discussion, and for the most part, that worked for everyone involved. Knowing that the world was about to bloody end in barely over a decade from now made a demon a tad nostalgic, so it was the perfect little place to visit before the world all turned to goo or maybe not. Who knew what would happen, but if things went sideways, at least he'd have a few nice memories to take with him of it. 

He did have plenty of pleasant memories about Earth. He was not always working, and even when he was, he might be able to run into the angel by chance. They had made the decision to help influence the Antichrist's childhood in the near future, but for now, he had a good few years before he had to go and play nanny. Crowley parked his Bentley on the side of the road near the local market and got out, enjoying the warmth of the weak morning sun on his skin. Cold blooded creature that he was, any sort of warmth on his skin felt great. Behind him, he heard the wailing scream of a baby, and he turned to look. 

"Shh, shh, it's okay. Please don't cry," the harried young woman pleaded to the infant. She looked properly exhausted, her shoulder length blonde hair askew and the skin under her eyes dark from lack of sleep. She rocked the baby with desperate movements, continuing to speak softly to it with a hint of hysteria seeping into her tone. 

Poor girl. A few people walked past her, shooting glances at the wailing baby before averting their eyes. Crowley felt a moment of sympathy for her, and he walked over to the young mother, putting on his friendliest smiles. 

"Do you need some help?" the demon asked. He extended his hands to her. 

"What? Oh!" the woman gasped as she noticed him at last. Her blue eyes flicked over him worriedly for a moment before they settled on his face. He personally would not mind any distrust she had for him. Some people thought he rather looked like a drug dealer or some sort of unsavory character. He was a bit surprised, however, when she smiled in relief. "I know you, don't I?" 

"Do you?" Crowley asked. 

"You're that doctor. From the hospital! The one that burned down a couple months ago," the woman said. 

"Oh," Crowley replied with a slow blink behind his impossibly dark glasses. He vaguely recalled one of the human fathers calling him a doctor, and he had sort of grunted an affirmation. "Yes, I am." He gestured toward her baby. "Do you mind if I..." 

"Ah. I suppose so, yes. Thank you so much," the woman said.

She let him hold the baby, and Crowley carefully cradled it. He had held babies before, so he knew how to properly keep its head up. The baby almost immediately stopped screaming as it curled its tiny hands on the leather of his jacket, seeming surprised. Crowley smiled a little and gently rocked the baby. The baby looked up at him with wide blue eyes. Its mother was staring at him. 

"Wow. Again, I'm sorry for bothering you like this," the woman said. 

"Don't be. It'd be weird if your kid never cried, you know?" Crowley replied. "He's got a very big brain and a little bitty body. He can't communicate like an older child can, so the only way he can tell you if he is scared or uncertain about anything, it's by crying. He's not doing it to spite anybody, but you're his mother, not his engineer. You care for him. You love him. It's not about controlling his off switch." 

"Nicely put," the woman said. Crowley bounced the baby lightly in his arms. 

"What's his name?" he asked. 

"Adam. And, uh, I'm Deidre," the woman supplied. "Sorry. You are..." 

"You can call me Anthony," Crowley said. "Did you need to get your groceries or-" 

"Oh, no. I was just walking by," Deidre explained. She pointed down the road. "Our house is a few blocks away. I heard fresh air is good for babies." 

"It can be, yeah," Crowley said. Adam poked experimentally at his jacket, delighting in the strange texture under his soft fingers. The demon rubbed the baby's back in gentle motions. He held Adam back out to Deidre, and she took him into her arms. Adam made a disgruntled sound, making grabby hands at his jacket. Crowley smiled. 

"Thank you, Anthony," Deidre murmured, settling Adam in her arms. 

"It was nothing. If you need my help again, just give me a ring," Crowley said. He put one hand behind his back, miracling up a business card like a doctor at a hospital might have, and he handed it to her. Deidre smiled and nodded. "Don't give your mother too much trouble, Adam." The baby gurgled at him, waving a pudgy hand.