"Dinner?" Aziraphale questioned. Crowley smirked, rubbing his hands together.
"Always with you, Angel."
"The Ritz?" Crowley nodded, stretching his legs as he stood up from the wooden park bench. They shared a knowing smile, and beneath his sunglasses, Crowley admired Aziraphale's soft eyes, crinkled in joy at the edges.
The two strolled through the doors of the restaurant, shoulders bumping together.
"I think I could go for some champagne," Aziraphale said as they sat down at an empty table. Crowley only smiled, his eyes never leaving the Angel's face. Crowley held the menu loosely in his hands, scanning the menu quickly before placing it down.
"Angel cake sounds nice."
"Right you are, my dear."
Before Aziraphale could signal for a waiter, Crowley felt himself being pulled away. He collapsed against the table, clutching his head in his hands as a ceaseless pain entered his head, reality ringing in his ears. Aziraphale worriedly placed a hand on Crowley's arm.
A fancy looking waiter waltzed to their table. Concern flitted through Aziraphale's expression as Crowley didn't make an effort to respond to the waiters question: "Are you alright sir?" The waiter looked between the two quizzically.
"What?" Crowley hissed, raising his head from his hands to glance up at the waiter and narrowing his eyes. The waiter's mouth opened, his expression worried, but the words that came out didn't match his lips. BEELZEBUB REQUIRES YOU IN HELL.
"Oh-" he started, "not now," he finished, regaining his balance in Hell. He blinked, whipping off his sunglasses as his eyes got adjusted to the sudden dimness. "What the hell?" he spat, the words not directed at any particular being.
Back at the restaurant, Aziraphale stared at the blank space where Crowley had been just a second before, and the waiter was looking from the space and back to Aziraphale, matching the angels' startled expression. He felt his stomach drop when he thought of where Crowley could have gone. He was stupid to think their premature happiness could last long.
"Wh-" the waiter began, but as soon as the words formed in his mind Aziraphale miracled away the memory of Crowley ever having been there. The waiter stood in place for a second, then plastered a wide smile onto his face. "What can I get for you today?" he asked in a pleasant tone, pen hovering above his notepad.
"I'm afraid I've been stood up," Aziraphale muttered, smiling at the waiter numbly before pushing the chair out.
The waiter only stared blankly at the door swinging widely as Aziraphale made his quick exit, the thought nibbling at the back of his mind that something wasn't quite right. He shrugged gently to himself and moved onto another table.
As Aziraphale walked home, he thought about what he had planned to say to Crowley. He hadn't had a plan, really, he just wanted to tell Crowley... he shook his head, pushing the thoughts out of his mind by taking around his surroundings. The somewhat pleasant weather from only an hour or so before had been replaced with light grey clouds and a chill that blew through his layers of clothing.
Crowley muffled his groan as he noticed the unpleasant presence of a fly on his shoulder and the distinct low buzzing sound coming from behind him. His eyes connected with Beelzebub's sunken in ones. Crowley tried not to shift uncomfortably. Frankly, he hated hell as much as the next guy. It lacked the warmth Earth provided and the absence of a certain angel didn't make it any better.
"We are disappointed in your actions following the beginning of the apocalypse" Beelzebub buzzed, "specifically, the parts you played in preventing it." Before Crowley could say anything Beelzebub leaned forward slightly, and snatched his glasses, crushing them against the ground with her heel. Crowley let out a little disappointed sigh but refrained from speaking.
"As past punishments proved... ineffective, it was decided that you will no longer be a field agent on Earth."
"What?" Crowley exclaimed, his attention suddenly caught, "you can't do that! I-"
"You've, how do they say it, you've 'gone native'. We can't have you up there if all you're doing is enjoying the view. We need trustworthy demons on Earth, like Hastur." Hastur, by Beelzebub's side, glared at Crowley, his eyes narrowing. Crowley found himself wishing he could be back in his apartment, surrounded by plants instead of being in Hell. Heck, he longed to be anywhere but Hell. While some demons enjoyed the unlit, noisy, cramped conditions, it was everything he couldn't stand, and he longed to be back on Earth.
Crowley nodded slowly, the sinking feeling in his gut ever-increasing. His skin crawled as he avoided eye contact with passing figures as disfigured demons walked past, tasked with their own demonic duties. They always left a certain distaste in his mouth.
The corners of Hastur's mouth lifted, but the smile didn't quite reach his eyes. The smile dropped from his face as Beelzebub added that it would be necessary for Hastur to "show him around." Something about Crowley getting lost, but they both knew it was rubbish.
"Well I don't think that's entirely necessary," Crowley mumbled, but quieted down as he noticed the murderous glower Beelzebub was giving him.
"No tricky business, Lucifer is back in Hell after his little trip in LA and he won't be pleased if you screw up anything else." Beelzebub turned on her heel and walked briskly down the corridor, her figure meshing with the other demons milling around. Crowley was left standing alone with Hastur. Oh, he knew this would not end well.
As soon Beelzebub was no longer in sight, Hastur put a hand on Crowley's shoulder tightly, and started guiding him down a dark corridor. His snakeskin shoes clicked against the concrete ground. Crowley glanced at the demotivational posters on the walls but didn't have enough time to read them as they hurried down the corridor. He slapped Hastur's hand away. They turned to face each other, and Crowley shuddered, feeling Hastur's warm breath against the side of his face as Hastur leaned in, lowering his voice.
"The others may not punish you appropriately, but rest assured I will have no mercy." Crowley pulled away from Hastur with a tight-lipped smile, hesitating and tilting his head slightly to the side.
"I'll look forward to it," he said, putting his hands together, "but for now, fare thee well." He waved a hand, already making his exit from the tight corridor, walking briskly backward. He heard Hastur yell at him to come back as he turned around, increasing his speed as he heard the demons careless footsteps beginning to follow him. 'There must be a way outta here', he thought. 'I just have to blend in.' He could get back to his angel, if he was fast enough.
He felt a pang of guilt imagining how hurt Aziraphale must have been when he disappeared. He was so deep in thought about his angel that he didn't notice as he slammed into a looming figure.
His eyes widened in shock as he looked up, straight into the eyes of the Lord of Darkness, Father of Lies, Lucifer himself. The slicked back hair, slight stubble, designer suit, odd cologne, it almost made Crowley laugh.
Hastur's yells still echoed down the hallway, but Crowley ignored it as he straightened his posture. "My Lord," He stammered, his mind faltering as tried to think of an apology worthy of Lucifer, King of the Underworld, Satan himse-
"Won't you shut up," Lucifer said in a startingly British accent, shocking Crowley into forgetting his train of thought as the Lord of Hell tilted sideways to look behind Crowley, to glare in annoyance at the demon still yelling profanities down the hallway. Hastur seemed to recoil as he noticed the Overlord beside Crowley, who was tapping his foot in annoyance.
Hastur huffed loudly, "My Lord, he was trying t-" Lucifer held up a hand, silencing the demon.
"I'm not interested." Lucifer sighed loudly as his eyes flicked between the two of them. He offered a small smile to Crowley, and he was forced to watch as Lucifer's figure disappeared down the hallway. Even Hastur was stunned, Crowley opened his mouth to say something, before quickly closing it again, biting down his witty remark.
Hastur grabbed Crowley's sleeved arm.
"Beelzebub won't like this," he spat, pulling Crowley along with him down the hallway.
"Well as I said before, I ought to-"
"That won't work for a second time, Crowley." He inwardly cringed, baring his teeth.
"Well, it was worth a try." Crowley smirked.
Hastur guided him to his quarters. "I'll come back for you later." He closed the door but cracked it open one last time to add: "And don't try to get out. Your precious angel might not fair so well if you do." Crowley heard the door lock with a loud click.
He waited until Hastur's footsteps were far down the hallway before testing the door, rattling the handle, not even his demonic miracles working, confirming what he had suspected; Beelzebub had already taken his power away.
Everything was monotone. He paced around the small room, slightly hunched to accommodate for the uncomfortably low roof, before sitting down on the dark bed. The rusted springs groaned under his weight. He stretched his magnificent obsidian wings, as much as he could in the small room, and they caught the dim light briefly before he tucked them away again. His heart ached to be with Aziraphale in his bookshop... Or out dining with him at the Ritz.
He was going to get back to him no matter what, he thought decidedly. He craned his neck to look at the door. He only had to figure out how to escape first. He chuckled lowly in the small enclosed room. He could do this.