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Anthony J. Crowley and the Green Eyed Monster

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Anthony J. Crowley, fallen angel, the Serpent of Eden, professional nuisance, and definitely not a little was most assuredly not jealous of the little currently seated on Aziraphale's lap who was at this moment being bottle fed and looked at adoringly, and just generally being pampered and petted and cooed over by said angel. Anthony J. Crowley, fallen angel, the Serpent of Eden, professional nuisance, and definitely not a little was also lying.

It has all started with a customer. In Aziraphale's opinion the best kind of customer. One who didn't want to buy his books, so much as sit down with him over a nice cup of tea and talk about his books. Aziraphale had known the man (who's name was Nathaniel though that's not particularly important) for what was either a few months or a few years now. The keeping track of time not being to important to a celestial being. And over this time Aziraphale had been introduced to Annie, who was Nathaniel's little and frequently accompanied Nathaniel to the shop. She colored or played quietly with her toys while Aziraphale and Nathaniel talked about the use of allegory in the Gothic novel or how Kindles were lovely but not as good as a real book which you could hold, smell, and taste too, if you particularly wanted to.

Aziraphale being an angel, a being made of love, light, comfort, as well as other angel-y things and a care giver besides was immediately loved by Annie, and she often curled into his lap instead of her own daddy's when she bored of her coloring or her toys. And it was this implicit trust that Annie had for Aziraphale that prompted Nathaniel to ask Aziraphale to watch Annie for a few days while he went away to do something boring and business-y.

Aziraphale said yes, for he had missed taking care of a little. Though he hadn't realized quite how much until a little was sat in his lap, gazing up at him with large, trusting eyes.

Aziraphale told Crowley none of this. So it was a complete surprise to Crowley when he entered the bookshop to take Aziraphale out for sushi or maybe some nice middle eastern cuisine, he found Aziraphale on the floor with a little in the middle of what appeared to be a thrilling game of princesses and dragons. (Aziraphale was the princess, obviously)

"Oh dear, is it Tuesday already?"

"Yes, Angel, it's Tuesday. What's this then?" He gestured to the sprawling mess of dolls and plushies.

"Oh, I'm watching dear Annie here while her Daddy is away. I'm afraid I'll have to take a rain check on dinner tonight dear boy. Why don't you stay in tonight with us? I have a nice bottle of merlot in the back."

Crowley did stay. They had dinner, sandwiches and salad for Aziraphale and Annie, and nothing for Crowley. Then after dinner drink. Wine for Aziraphale and Crowley and a bottle of milk for Annie, hand fed to her by Aziraphale as she cuddled up on his lap and rested her head on his shoulder. She stared knowingly out at Crowley from behind the bottle. "Look at me," she seemed to say without words "I'm where you've longed to be for years, and unlike you I deserve to be here. I'm good enough to sit in your angel's lap and have his affection lavished on me."

Crowley listened as Aziraphale nattered on about how nice it was to care for Annie. She was such a good girl, so quite, and imaginative, and clever. All the time he was speaking, Crowley sunk a bit lower in his seat, till he was lying half on the floor. A burning in the pit of his stomach that had nothing to do with the alcohol. He definitely didn't want to be the one on Aziraphale's lap nursing a bottle, being called good and clever. No absolutely not. He was just a little put out that his friend was ignoring him so thoroughly. That was all.

Crowley slunk down a bit further.

Aziraphale turned up his face to look at Crowley from where he had been staring adoringly at Annie's sleeping face. Crowley straighted up, finally he thought, his angel was paying some attention to him.

"Isn't she just the most precious thing?" Aziraphale asked. Looking at Crowley expectantly. Then he wasn't looking at Crowley anymore. He was looking at a large black and red snake. Then he was looking at a smaller red an black snake. Then he was looking at the space where a red and black snake used to be.

"I wonder whatever is the matter with him" Aziraphale mussed. Baselines were funny sometimes, no classification to give you an idea of what they were going to do next. Aziraphale shook his head and tisked.