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Sunday, December 31, 1989

New Years Eve

London


Crowley checks his watch for the millionth time in the past five minutes; unsurprisingly, only five minutes have passed. He drops his head back against the couch, then he drains what’s left of his Coke and hoists himself off the couch, a welcomed escape from the couple who’ve begun to make out rather enthusiastically to his left.

Anathema ambushes him while he’s on his way to get another drink. She grabs his arm in the darkness of the hallway that leads to the kitchen, scaring him halfway out of his skin.

“Woah, don’t piss your pants!” she exclaims, laughing at his bewildered expression. “Having fun?”

“No,” Crowley snaps, brushing past her and into the kitchen.

“Ooh, someone’s cranky,” she says, following behind him. “Just a Coke? I could find you a beer, it’s not like they’re hidden.”

“I don’t drink beer,” Crowley says. “And I have to drive.”

“Right,” Anathema says, nodding. “Come to the bathroom with me.”

Crowley nearly drops his newly acquired Coke. “What?!”

“Come to the bathroom with me!” she says again; she loops their arms together. “Come on, buddy system.”

“Don’t call me buddy,” Crowley gripes, being dragged along for the ride. 

She pushes open the door of the bathroom, flings Crowley inside, then shuts and locks it behind them. Newt is sitting on the tank of the toilet, tapping his feet on the closed lid. “Oh, hey Anthony.”

Crowley looks between them. “What is this, an intervention?”

“Yeah, for you to stop being so damn cranky,” Anathema retorts. “You’re at a party! It’s New Year’s Eve! Have some fun!”

“I have plenty of reasons to be cranky, I’ll have you know,” Crowley says.

“Name one,” Anathema demands.

“I had to wake up early for church this morning, I have to wake up early for church tomorrow morning, it’s late, I’m old, my knees hurt, and I’m tired,” Crowley lists off.

“He also doesn’t have anybody to snog at midnight,” Newt stage whispers to Anathema.

“You know what, fine, I’ll admit to that,” Crowley snaps. “Maybe I want to have my tongue in someone’s mouth!”

“So go out there and put your tongue in someone’s mouth!” Anathema encourages him.

“I don’t make out with strangers,” Crowley says.

“Queen concert!” Anathema reminds him.

“That was once! That was one time!” Crowley exclaims. “And it was a Queen concert! Are you telling me you wouldn’t want to make out with someone at a Queen concert?!”

“He kinda has a point,” Newt says. “Either way, Anathema, he doesn’t want to make out with a stranger. He wants a boyfriend.”

Anathema sighs loudly, then looks pointedly at Crowley. “Sit down.”

He looks around. “On the floor?”

She steps forward and puts her hands on his shoulders, walking him backwards. As soon as he realizes what she’s doing, be begins to protest. “Oh— Anathema— no, I don’t— I don’t want to sit in the tub—!”

She wrangles him into the tub, anyway. He sits with his legs hanging over the edge. “Thanks.”

“No problem,” she says. “Newt, do you have a pen?”

“Always,” he says, producing one from the pocket of his jacket and handing it over. Anathema rummages in her bag for a moment, before producing a folded up piece of paper; she unfolds it to reveal a menu for a Chinese restaurant.

“Why do you have a menu in your bag?” Crowley asks.

“I don’t know, I have lots of things in my bag,” Anathema says. She turns the paper over to the blank side and begins writing. 

“Resolutions!” she announces. She puts down the number one. “Get laid.”

“Oh, that’ll be so difficult.” Crowley rolls his eyes.

“The list isn’t for me,” Anathema says smugly. “It’s for you.”

Crowley blushes fiercely. “I don’t want to get laid.”

“You need to get laid,” Anathema assures him.

He scowls, sinking into the tub. “I wanna lose my virginity to my husband. You know that.”

“Right, yeah, the Catholic thing,” Anathema mutters.

“It’s not a Catholic thing!” Crowley exclaims. “And I’m not— I’m— it’s whatever! It has nothing to do with my religion, it’s just a personal preference.”

“Not even hand stuff?” Anathema asks, disbelieving.

He frowns at her and shakes his head. 

“Get a boyfriend, then,” Newt proposes, leaning forward. 

Anathema scratches get laid out and replaces it with get a boyfriend. “What next?” she asks.

“Speaking of organized religion,” Newt says brightly. “Stop going to church. It frustrates you and you think it’s dumb.”

“Can’t,” Crowley says. “It’ll make my mum mad.”

But Anathema has already written it down. “Speaking of your mum,” she says, penning number three. “You should tell her you’re, like, super gay.”

“Make things difficult between us again for, like, ten more years, right, great,” Crowley says flatly, reaching into his jacket pocket. “Sounds like a plan.”

“Oh, another good one, thank you for providing us with a visual,” Anathema says, continuing to write. “Quit smoking.”

Crowley holds a cigarette between his lips. “I’m not gonna quit smoking.”

“Why not?” Newt asks. “It causes cancer, you know.”

“I’ll take my chances, thanks,” Crowley says, flicking his lighter open.

Someone knocks loudly on the bathroom door. All three of them respond: “Occupied!”

Crowley winces. “They’re gonna think we’re having a threesome.”

“Or doing drugs,” Newt says nervously.

Anathema taps the pen against her lips. “What else?”

Crowley takes a drag and sighs. “Get promoted?” he suggests reluctantly. “I’d love to be the manager so I could make the schedules and stop working the weirdest hours known to man.”

“Okay,” Anathema says happily. “That makes five. Get a boyfriend, stop going to church, come out, quit smoking, and get promoted.”

“Yippee,” Crowley says unenthusiastically from the tub.

Outside, other party-goers begin counting down from thirty. Anathema hops off the counter and hands the list to Crowley; he folds it up and shoves it into his pocket.

“Could you, er…” she trails off.

Crowley takes another drag. “I’m finishing my cigarette.”

“Fine,” Anathema says, “but I’d like to snog my boyfriend.”

“Aw, sucks,” Crowley says.

“Can’t you…” she says, gesturing for him to move his feet. He groans, scooting back so he’s sitting longways in the tub, his back against the wall, his feet on either side of the faucet.

“Thanks,” she says. She winks at him, then shuts the curtain. Crowley lets his head fall back against the tiles and takes a drag of his cigarette into the new year.