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Come Slowly, Eden

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“Of course we’re going,” Gabriel deadpanned. He wasn’t used to being questioned. Aziraphale wilted as usual.

“I just meant...it's some of the last time we have together,” Az was saying as he stuffed a pile of books into his locker. “I don’t know if I want to spend it with the ship of fools we call our graduating class.”

Gabriel smirked, which he was particularly adept at. He curled his fingers into Aziraphale’s blond locks and tugged lightly. “It wouldn’t kill us to socialize a bit.”

Aziraphale grimaced. ‘Socialization’ was the only thing Gabe ever really cared about. It wasn’t enough that he was crowned Prom King or made football quarterback. He necessitated an adoring crowd at all times. Of course, it was one of the things that drew Az to him initially, being a much more shy and introverted person, but these days it was starting to get a bit stale. Az wondered where he fit into this grand narrative. Sometimes it felt like he didn’t.

“Look,” Aziraphale tried again. “You’re off to Ohio State and I’m slated for Cambridge. We’re going to be worlds apart! I kind of hoped it could be just us, you know?”

“Babe,” Gabriel said in a bored manner, his eyes already scanning beyond Aziraphale for something more stimulating. “We’re not going to blow off what could be the best night of our lives. This is the party of the century! Trust me, you’ll love it.”

Gabriel ended the conversation on this tone of finality before pushing Aziraphale against his locker and kissing him deeply. Az tried not to be overly affected, but Gabriel was one of the best looking guys at school. Maybe that’s why it was so easy for him to talk Aziraphale into nearly anything.

“Later,” Gabe breathed, and in the next moment he was enveloped into a sea of traveling students.

Aziraphale sighed and rubbed his hand over his face.

Meanwhile behind the cafeteria a group of students were vaping weed and trading a brown sack-covered bottle between them. Lucifer was laughing hysterically while Hastur mimicked a rude pantomime against the dumpster. He smacked it for emphasis. “And that was just her first go-round!”

Crowley rolled his eyes. He didn’t understand why Lucifer surrounded himself with these idiots other than their ready supply of drugs and booze. He gladly took the bottle when it came his way. Drinking staved off the boredom.

“So who’s going to Beelzebub’s party Saturday night?” Ligur asked, taking a deep hit before choking and spitting on the ground.

Crowley sneered. “Her name is Beatrice.”

Lucifer’s gaze drifted to Crowley’s with a slight smirk. “Then why is it love, that Beelzebub seems to roll off the tongue so sweetly?”

Hastur laughed harshly. “Cuz she’s a slag!” Ligur joined him in a round of riotous snorts.

Lucifer cooled, seeming to have lost his appetite for the present company. He turned smoothly to walk away and Crowley quickly followed.

“We’re not really going, right?” Crowley tried to affirm as he slunk beside his boyfriend.

Lucifer stopped and ran his hands over Crowley’s shoulders before skimming down his waist and grasping his arse tightly. “Oh fuck. What else are we going to do? It’s not like we’ve got college plans lined up. Might as well raise some hell.”

He leaned forward and kissed down Crowley’s neck, and he shivered at the touch. It wasn’t exactly that he was ‘lying’ to Lucifer so much as omitting the fact that he’d been accepted to Cambridge. The only reason he hadn’t revealed this tidbit was that he feared the mocking response of his S.O. Lucifer didn’t believe in plans or goals. To be perfectly honest, Crowley wasn’t sure Lucifer believed in anything at all.

Lucifer was regarding him suspiciously, but eased any tension over with a mercurial smile. “Nothing a little X can’t solve. C’mon, we’ll make our own fun.”

Crowley nodded trying desperately to believe him.

-

Beatrice’s party was all anyone talked about until the end of the week. Apparently, her millionaire parents had set off for France or Switzerland, or wherever rich absent parents disappeared to when the time was right. It was Regent High School tradition to ring in the final year with an explosive blow-out, and what better way to celebrate than caravanning the horde to posh Kensington?

Like all teenagers about to hit adulthood, many of the students were looking for excuses to check boxes off their bucket lists before Uni. Virginity, general debauchery, and pure deviance made top marks for many. For others, however, it didn’t mean much of anything. It was just another stupid high school party.

Aziraphale certainly counted among these ranks. He tried to make his way through the last week of school as he had all others, by studying diligently and keeping his head low. His best friend Anathema was much the same, other than her crippling desire to finally unite with Newton Pulsifer, her crush of three long years. For some reason, she believed this party might be her last chance.

“You think he’ll be there?” she asked for the seventh time.

Az tried to maintain his composure despite his annoyance. “You did invite him!” he reminded. “And if it makes you feel better, I’ll remind him myself!”

Anathema looked at him as if he’d just performed a miracle. “You will?” she gasped. “Oh, Azi! Thank you!!!”

Aziraphale groaned internally. The last thing he wanted to do was play matchmaker, but then, what the hell were friends for?

He found Newt in the chem lab, which was par for the course. The awkward object of Anathema’s affection was reticent to attend, but finally caved when Aziraphale mentioned that his friend would be ‘elated’ to see him there. That good deed done, Aziraphale could finally focus on the matter at hand. How exactly could he get out of this obligation himself?