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Elodie

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“What’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“That!”

“What?”

That!”

Anthony J. Crowley narrowed his eyes and turned his head to peer out the window Aziraphale was sitting by. The angel, having sensed he’d moved to look, quickly widened his eyes and pointed his hands a little dramatically at the steering wheel. “Look where you’re going, Crowley!”

Crowley didn’t. He made a face of utter disgust. “You just told me to look out the window!”

“No, I didn’t!” Aziraphale insisted. “I asked what that brown basket was by that tree over there!”

“Well, how in the bloody Heaven am I supposed to know what it is if I don’t look?” He shook his head, and Aziraphale was sure he’d rolled his eyes under those dark glasses, but nevertheless turned to look back at the road.

The angel leaned over slightly and desperately tapped him on the shoulder. “Wait! What are you doing? We must stop!”

“You just told me to look at the road!”

“Yes, well-“

“’Well’ nothing! Make up your mind, angel!”

“Stop the car!”

Crowley stopped the car probably a little more forcefully than needed, causing both men to lurch forward as it did so. As soon as it was stationary, Aziraphale opened the door and jumped out, walking briskly back the way they’d just come. Crowley simply remained in his seat, wondering about the strangeness of angels – or maybe it was just Aziraphale – before shutting his eyes and dipping his head. “Satan give me strength,” he muttered quietly, before opening the door and stepping out. He watched, one dark eyebrow raised, as a blur of tan scuttled off into the trees. He’d probably have disappeared in the enveloping darkness of the evening had it not been for the brightness of his suit and the glow which seemed to naturally encircle angels; otherwise, Crowley would have followed after him to ensure he didn’t wind himself up in any trouble.

As it was, the demon could see him quite perfectly from where he was leaning against his car. He was bent – presumably over the brown basket – and if he strained hard enough, he could hear him talking. Probably to himself, Crowley couldn’t help but muse.

“Well? What is it?” he shouted, narrowing his eyes slightly so he could gain better vision.

Aziraphale didn’t respond, still seemingly bent over whatever he’d found. Pushing himself away from the car, Crowley subconsciously titled his head slightly to the side and blinked several times, awaiting his response. “Oi, Aziraphale!” he shouted. The angel eventually turned his head, simultaneously lifting an arm and beckoning him over.

“Come quick!” he just about heard.

“What is it?” A cold breeze flew past him, and he found himself shivering slightly. He’d never liked the cold, though he supposed living in the fiery pits of Hell had something to do with that. Walking slowly down the empty road, completely dark save for the headlights of his car and the bit of moonlight the canopies of trees above them allowed through their leaves, Crowley attempted to crane his head to allow himself a preview before he came any closer.

He did not need to ask twice. Aziraphale stood up not a second later, and though his back was turned to him he could tell something was in his arms. As he’d said, there was a brown wicker basket on the floor. It was empty. He would have questioned him again if he hadn’t turned around.

“Oh my-“ The demon wasn’t quite sure why he’d taken a step back and his face contorted into one of absolute appalment. Maybe it was to do with the fact that Aziraphale, stood with a half-shocked and half-happy smile on his face, was holding a baby.

“Look, Crowley,” he said, stepping forward, “it’s a baby! A new-born, in fact.”

“I can see that,” Crowley said, amber eyes fixed on the bundle of blankets. “Now, put it down before you catch a disease.”

Aziraphale would have rolled his eyes, but since when did he do such a demon thing? “Don’t be silly.” He turned his head to peer down at the little thing, moving the tattered blanket out of the way so he could look closer. “Oh, how sweet!”

“Sweet? It’s not sweet, Aziraphale. It’s a human child. In the middle of a forest. That’s weird.” He crossed his arms over his chest, possibly attempting to make himself look intimidating, but Aziraphale was too fixated on the baby in his arms to notice. “Check if it’s microchipped or something.”

Crowley couldn’t remember ever seeing the look on Aziraphale’s face as he turned his head up to stare at him. The word he would use to describe it would most likely be ‘done’. Completely, utterly ‘done’… he’d picked that up from a few teenage humans. “Honestly, Crowley,” he said after a little while of looking directly at him, probably trying to figure out if he was being serious or not, “you wouldn’t think you’d been on this earth as long as I have.”

Crowley’s eyes narrowed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You don’t microchip children.”

Silence enveloped the two for a brief moment before the demon leaned forward a little, questioning look on his face. “You don’t?”

“Of course not!”

“Then what do people do when they lose their kids?”

“Believe it or not, Crowley, people don’t tend to lose their children.” Aziraphale gave his friend an over-exaggerated smile before returning his gaze to the child in his arms. He gave it one of his fingers and seemed delighted when a tiny hand grabbed it. Crowley couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the display.

“What the Heaven is this one doing in the middle of the woods, alone, then?” He was beginning to get irritated, now, if that was the correct word. Why couldn’t Aziraphale just leave the baby where he’d found it so the two could be on their way? It really did not seem much of an issue to him, but, then again, demons were always said to miss important points. Maybe the angel could see something he couldn’t. In any case, he wished he’d just get on with it and tell him.

Aziraphale heaved a sigh. “I know as much as you do,” he told him.

“Right. Well. What is it?”

“You know what a baby is, Crowley.” “No, you feathered idiot! What is it? Girl, boy? Male, female? Man, woman? Chico, chica? Peni-“

“Alright, I understand perfectly what you mean!” Aziraphale held one hand out, a look of faint disgust on his face, and Crowley immediately zipped his mouth shut. Shaking his head and muttering something inaudible, he gently moved the baby’s torn blanket aside before a huge grin adorned his face. He looked back up at Crowley. “She’s a little girl.”

Crowley attempted a smile but didn’t have much luck. “Great. Now that’s sorted, put it back and we can be on our way.” He moved forward and gently pushed the angel towards the basket. Aziraphale looked shocked.

“Crowley!”

“What? We can’t very much take it with us, can we? What if its parents come back or something? I’m sure it was left here for a reason.”

The baby was remarkably staying silent throughout the… ordeal between angel and demon, clinging tightly onto the former’s finger and staring up at him with big blue eyes. Aziraphale covered her back up with the blanket and lifted her slightly to his chest, holding her protectively away from Crowley. “There is never a good reason attached to leaving a baby alone in a basket in the middle of the woods. She could be eaten by wolves, or- or bears!”

Crowley opened his mouth to speak, faltering slightly before he blinked and nodded to himself. “Yeah, I don’t actually think there are bears in these woods.”

“Oh, that is not the point!” It wasn’t often Aziraphale became annoyed – he was typically so calm and collected – but if there was one thing that could aggravate him to the ends of the earth… his name was Crowley. Usually, he was alright, but there were times in which his demon antics could shine out like a flashlight and almost blind Aziraphale completely. This was getting close to one of those times. Pressing his lips together tightly, the angel held his head up high, shifted his hold on the baby, and made to move past Crowley in the direction of the car. “She is coming with us.”

Crowley stayed rooted to the spot for a moment before the angel’s words caught up with him and he spun on his heel. “Aziraphale, you can’t take it!” he insisted, hurrying to walk backwards in front of him.

She, Crowley, not it.” He gave him a small smile. “If I do not take her, somebody else will.”

“Yeah, somebody better than us. Somebody who can take her back to where she belongs.”

“Oh, please. She was left out in the dark, dangerous woods with nothing but a nappy and a dirty blanket. It doesn’t take a fool to see that she was put here on purpose!”

Crowley stopped, and Aziraphale had to halt before he walked right into him. “What do you mean?” He was doing that strange head tilt again. Aziraphale briefly wondered if he ever actually realised he did it. He looked like a confused pupp- demon.

Sighing, he adopted a very serious face and looked his friend in the eye. “There have been many cases in which families who are unable to care for their children give them up.”

“What, and drop them off in the middle of nowhere?” He looked unconvinced.

“On occasion, yes.”

“Why?”

“Oh, various reasons. Lack of income, for example, and the inability to properly look after a child on top of themselves. Or unwanted pregnancies… a dangerous living area. Anything you can think of.” Aziraphale couldn’t help but think that Crowley’s sudden interest in the possible reasons as to why the baby was cast out could be counted as a good sign.

“But why the woods? Just drop them off at an orphanage.”

“There are no orphanages nearby, Crowley.”

“A hospital, then, or a church.”

The angel glanced down at the baby once again. She was still holding his finger. “If somebody got caught leaving their child in a basket on the front steps to a hospital or church – even an orphanage, at that – they could be fined. It is easier to just… well. Do this.” He nodded behind him where the basket still lay, and the demon craned his head to look. He frowned.

“Do what?”

Aziraphale stared hard at him for a moment, wondering if he really was curious or simply playing dumb. It was odd how the two had been living among the humans for as long as the other, and yet one still seemed oblivious to a lot of human tendencies. Seeing no sign that he wasn’t being serious, he sighed and gently shifted the bundle. “I believe this little baby was left out in the middle of nowhere on purpose, and it was her parents’ hope that some wild animal would come across her and have her as its meal.” Crowley had the decency to look surprised at that, possibly even disgusted. Aziraphale decided to continue. “It is not unheard of. It gets rid of the burden quickly and easily, and as soon as the child is off their hands, they can forget she even existed. I hinted at the idea a little before, but you seemed unaware.”

The demon shrugged. “You could say that. I’m beginning to understand a little more where the idea of humans being selfish came from.” His voice had quietened slightly.

Aziraphale smiled sadly. “Well, not all humans.”

“Thank whoever for that.”

“Yes, indeed.” Again, silence reigned for just a moment, the only sound being the quiet hooting of an owl nearby, and the gentle rustling of leaves above them as the light wind breezed through them. Crowley narrowed his eyes and peered curiously at the baby, watching as she squirmed a little. Aziraphale noticed and took a step forward. “Would you like to hold her?”

No.”

“Alright, well… can I assume that I have your support in taking her back with us?” He was smiling rather sweetly, attempting to somewhat coerce the demon into saying yes. Of course, having his ‘support’ wasn’t totally necessary, but he wasn’t that optimistic that he could safely say he was entirely capable of caring for a baby by himself. He didn’t know what was going to happen next, only that he intended to take her somewhere safer, and he desperately wanted his friend’s help in it. Thankfully, Crowley rolled his eyes not a second later and uncrossed his arms, holding them out in front of them in surrender.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” he said dismissively. “To yours, though, not mine. Can’t afford getting baby vomit on my new carpet, you see.”

Aziraphale didn’t seem bothered by his words. His smile grew into a grin, and he was close to excitedly bouncing on the balls of his feet. Far too close for Crowley’s liking. “Wonderful!” he said, beginning to walk yet again. The baby made a little noise, and the angel’s face was immediately painted with awe yet again. It seemed that everything the child did would be worshipped by him. Really, by nature, it should be the other way around.

Crowley begrudgingly followed after him, hands stuffed back in his pockets. “We’re not keeping it! You know that, right?”

“How would you feel if I went around calling you an it?” Aziraphale asked, looking over his shoulder but not stopping.

Crowley made a face. “We’re not keeping her.”

“I did not say we were. She can stay while we find her a new home with a nice family who will love her and care for her as she deserves. I will not see her off to an orphanage.”

“How very sentimental of you, angel.”

“How very not sentimental of you, demon.”


 

Aziraphale’s book shop wasn’t exactly equipped for a baby. Of course, there was an amount of living space above the shop, where the angel spent any time he wasn’t downstairs, but there still wasn’t much that could help him. “Hm.” He and Crowley stood in his hallway, glancing between the rooms and wondering where, exactly, the baby in his arms should go.

Crowley wasn’t doing much looking. “I know!” he said suddenly, holding an arm part-way up in the air.

Aziraphale’s eyes widened. “You do?” he asked as he turned to him.

“Yes! Why don’t we all get back in my car, drive to the nearest hospital, say we found a baby in the woods, and then you come back here and I go home?” He was grinning widely, glasses covering his shining eyes. As expected, the angel wasn’t impressed. He huffed and rubbed a thumb over the baby’s cheek – who was still amazingly keeping quiet. Neither supposed they’d ever seen a baby who didn’t scream every time someone looked at it.

“That’s not funny, Crowley,” he said.

“I wasn’t trying to be funny. Just resourceful. The authorities would do a better job at looking after a baby than us, I’m sure.”

“If we bring her to the authorities, they will immediately take her off our hands and the likelihood is we will never see her again! She’ll be dumped in an orphanage and probably spend years finding a family that we could give her in a matter of days!”

“You don’t even know the child, Aziraphale! What’s so wrong with never seeing her again?” Either he was getting very attached to the child, or his angelic instincts were taking over, giving him the need to ensure the baby was cared for properly.

Aziraphale was silent for a moment, and the demon wondered if he was pondering his words. That thought was diminished as soon as he shook his head adamantly. “No, I won’t hear of it. We’re not arguing about this again. She is here, now, and here she shall stay until we can find her a home.” He moved forward and turned left into a room that Crowley didn’t think he’d been in before, but he followed him nonetheless. (Not without dipping his head once again and asking Satan to save him, mind.)

The room was fairly small, filled with mountains of books and yellowed documents that looked ages old. As if the book shop wasn’t enough space to keep them! “Why aren’t all these downstairs?” Crowley asked, crossing his arms over his chest while glancing around the room.

“Ah… because these are special books. I don’t like them to be downstairs where- where humans can see and touch them. They are safe up here.” Crowley rose an eyebrow. One would think he was talking about the child in his arms.

“Right. I’m sure they’re all very exciting.”

“They are!” Aziraphale looked down at the baby, smile immediately widening when he realised she was staring back at him. “Oh! How would you like me to read you one as a bedtime story? Wouldn’t that be lovely? Yes?” He was cooing. Aziraphale was cooing. Crowley frowned and reached down, picking up one of the books. He rose an eyebrow and held it up for the angel to see.

“Yeah, I’m sure she’d love to read one of the first-edition Bibles.” Aziraphale gave him a look and he placed it back on top of the pile. “Why are we in here?”

“I have blankets and pillows and such in here. We can make a little bed for her, and then tomorrow we can go shopping for supplies!”

Crowley couldn’t have looked more aghast at the idea. “Ha! I do not shop, angel. You should know that.”

“But… it’s shopping for the baby.” He looked a little crestfallen.

“Does this-“ Crowley removed his glasses, snake eyes fixated on Aziraphale’s “-look like the face of someone who cares?”

“Apparently not.” He turned around and set about pulling things out of a cupboard, all while holding the child in one arm. Meanwhile, the demon stood behind him with his arms crossed, one eyebrow raised while he watched him. Aziraphale turned, giving him a look. “May I acquire some help?”

“I suppose. What do you need?” He was, quite frankly, appalled when Aziraphale stood up, walked over to him and handed him the baby. Mouth wide open and eyes narrowed, he snapped his head up to glare at the angel. “Take it back!”

Her, Crowley!”

“Take her back, then!”

“You agreed to help me!”

“Not like this!” Blasted angel, he hissed to himself as Aziraphale smiled warmly before turning back to gathering up more blankets and pillows. Still at a loss really of what to do, Crowley mentally cursed the angel’s back. He turned his head down to the child, who was looking at him curiously. Aziraphale had wrapped her in a cleaner and thicker blanket, her little face peeking out from the top. She had bright blue eyes and rosy cheeks, little tufts of dark hair sticking out from the top of her head. Crowley had never held a baby before.

He would have continued to look at her little face if she hadn’t suddenly burst into tears. Eyes widening, he looked up and over at Aziraphale, who dropped what he was holding on the floor and rushed over to them both. “What happened?” he asked frantically.

Crowley, even more frantic, shook his head. “I didn’t do anything!”

“Are you sure?”

“Certain! Take her away!” He thrust the child away from him and Aziraphale took her, settling her back in his arms. Her cries died down, and both men looked at each other.

“Take her again,” Aziraphale said, handing her back to the demon despite his protests. As he’d expected, the baby’s eyes welled up again, her lip began trembling, and she started crying. Aziraphale took her back and she stopped.

“How offensive!” Crowley said, a most distasteful look on his face, and the angel chuckled.

“It’s rather funny, actually,” he said, and if looks could kill, he’d be ash on the floor. Truthfully, though the fact that the baby only cried when in the demon’s arms was quite hilarious, he couldn’t help but think that she’d just given him another reason as to why he wouldn’t want to help him care for her for a little while. He really did need Crowley’s support, even if his heart wasn’t all in on the cause.

His eyes widened in surprise when a little whimper sounded in his ears, and both angel and demon looked down to see that the child was getting ready to let loose again. Crowley grinned. “A-ha! It’s not just me!”

The baby was squirming in her blanket, little mouth wide open, expelling screams like one would breaths in mere seconds. Her tiny arms and legs were moving about, eyes squeezed shut, and tears were leaking out from under them. Aziraphale was in a frenzy, to say the least. “Oh, Lord!” he said, lifting her higher and holding her against his shoulder. He began to walk around the room, bobbing slightly and rubbing circles on her back.

Crowley rose both eyebrows. “Have you done this before?”

“Merely speculated.”

“Did these… speculations usually end well?”

The angel looked lost for a moment. “I can’t seem to remember.”

Crowley nodded. “Right, well, I don’t think this is working. What do you think’s wrong with her?”

“If I knew, I would fix it, wouldn’t I?”

“Whoa, angel. No need to get nasty!” Despite his words, a smile was still tugging at the corners of his lips. He had to admit that it was fascinating to see a usually reserved and composed angel get riled up by simple questions partnered by a baby crying. He probably would have smiled wider if the screams weren’t currently beginning to irritate him, too.

“I- I’m not getting nasty, Crowley, I just-“

“No, I know. Don’t worry.” Crowley stepped forward to where Aziraphale was still bobbing. “Look, let’s list off what we know about why babies cry, and then we can go from there, yeah?”

Aziraphale nodded. “Alright.”

“Okay. Number one… she could be hurt. Or feeling pain somewhere. That’s possible, right? Who knows how long she was in the woods by herself before we found her.”

The angel shook his head, rubbing the baby’s back a little harder. “I checked her over as soon as I realised she was in the basket,” he assured him, “that’s why it took so long. I scanned her for hypothermia and the like, and since the weather out there would most likely have given it to her eventually, I doubt she was there much longer before we came across her.”

“Okay, that can be crossed off the list, then. Next?” “Um…” The two of them contemplated for a moment. Strange, really, that they didn’t know much to do with children despite how long they’d been walking among humans. Even they would have believed they’d pick up on a few more. “Oh, I’ve got it! She may be hungry!”

Crowley’s mouth widened into a grin, and he pat Aziraphale on the shoulder that wasn’t currently… occupied. “Right! What do babies eat, then? Ice cream? Sandwiches? I can conjure up a little cupcake if she-"

Baby, Crowley! She’s a baby! She has no teeth.” Here, he turned his back on the demon so he was able to see the screaming child, her open mouth displaying nothing but toothless gums. He turned back. “She doesn’t eat food, yet, she drinks milk. Formulated milk.”

Crowley shrugged. “Oh, right. Well, you could have just said so.”

“I did!”

“Here, mite.” An empty glass cup was coincidentally placed on a small table by the door, and Crowley turned, aiming a flick of his hand towards it and picking it up when it was filled with milk. “Drink this.” He held the glass out for Aziraphale, who sighed in irritation.

“Babies don’t drink out of cups.”

“What’s she going to drink from, then?“

“Dip your finger in it and let her suck from it.”

Crowley stared for a moment. “From my finger?”

“Yes. She’s just a baby, Crowley, it is no big deal.”

“I didn’t say it was.” Lifting his head up high, the demon rolled his sleeve up before dipping his finger in the milk.

“Is it warm?”

The milk rippled slightly. “It is now.” Aziraphale shifted the baby back in his arms, making sure to support her head so she didn’t hurt herself while wildly moving around under her blanket, and Crowley walked forward. He slowly took his finger from the milk and placed the cup on top of a mountain of books before sighing and waving his finger in front of the baby. “Look what I have!” The baby’s screams died down enough for her to see it, and once her mouth had closed slightly, Crowley gently pushed it through her little lips. He grimaced. “This is not overly comfortable.”

Aziraphale looked on with a hopeful gleam in his eyes. “Is she taking it?”

“Testing it, I’d say- oh. Nope. Not hungry.” The residual tears clinging onto the little girl’s long eyelashes fell immediately as she squeezed her eyes shut yet again and opened her mouth to cry. Crowley made a face and wiped his finger on her blanket while Aziraphale bounced her in his arms, a sore attempt to calm her down.

“Oh, darling, don’t cry!”

Darling?”

“What is number three, Crowley? Quick!”

“Uhhh…” His forehead creased as he immediately began thinking. The baby’s screams weren’t exactly providing the most peaceful and quiet atmosphere he needed to properly think. He suddenly stopped and his mouth formed a little ‘O’ shape. “Ah.”

“What is it?”

“Do you suppose she may need a change of- ahem. Well.”

Thankfully, Aziraphale understood. “Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“I suppose babies do need frequent changes of their nappies, don’t they?”

“I guess. You’re the kid expert.”

“I am by no means an expert.” Nevertheless, the angel moved the baby’s blanket back with one hand and checked. He grit his teeth. “It would seem you are correct.” Both remained quiet for the shortest moment, looking a little woefully at the baby, who was still crying. Crowley clicked his tongue before suddenly lifting his arm to glance at the non-existent watch on his wrist. “Right, well, if I don’t get back now I’m going to miss tonight’s showing of Doctor Who, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to head home-“ He started to walk backwards, and Aziraphale shook his head desperately, eyes wide.

“No, Crowley, wait! You cannot leave now!”

“Look, angel, I didn’t want to take the kid home, so, technically, it’s not my problem, right?”

“Not right! Not right at all!” He rushed forward and grabbed Crowley’s arm. “Please stay.”

The demon would have shaken his arm free and raced out of the building as though he were being chased by a hellhound, but the look in Aziraphale’s eye told him all he really needed to hear. He had said he’d given his support, hadn’t he?

“Fine,” he finally relented, crossing his arms over his chest. “I’ll stay. But it’s going to take a miracle to get me to change her.”

Both angel and demon turned and stared at each other, each thinking the exact same thing. Almost equal smiles spread across their lips, and Crowley nodded so fast it was possible he could have broken his neck. Aziraphale shifted the child and took one of her tiny hands before shutting his eyes. A moment later he opened them, looking expectantly at her, and, after a couple seconds, she quietened down, the only sound emanating from her being her short little hiccups and whimpers. Crowley briefly muttered a ‘thank you’ to ‘whoever’ as Aziraphale triumphed by cooing yet again to the little baby. “Oh, you are so much sweeter when you aren’t crying,” he said, and Crowley rolled his eyes.

“Isn’t every baby?” The angel wisely ignored him. Instead, he walked back over to where he’d unceremoniously dumped the blankets and pillows and knelt down. “I would say she will sleep quite well after her bout of screaming.”

“Let’s hope so.” Crowley crossed his arms and watched with curiosity as Aziraphale set the blankets and pillows out on the floor, creating some sort of barrier around the makeshift bed – so the child wouldn’t be able to roll out and hurt herself, he presumed. Gently, he lay the baby down and covered her with a couple more blankets, tucking her in neatly. The demon walked forward and peered over the angel’s shoulder, watching as he guided the baby’s thumb into her mouth. He guessed it was a substitute for a dummy. Thankfully, the baby settled quite quickly, sucking on her thumb.

“There.” Aziraphale stepped back as though to admire his work. He stood next to Crowley, hands clasped in front of him, a proud smile on his face. “Isn’t she a wonderful little thing?”

Crowley shrugged. “I won’t disagree. Not the most wonderful, though.”

“What is it with you and babies?”

“Nothing. I’ve just… never had to care for one before.”

Aziraphale looked at him. “Well, you didn’t do a totally bad job at it.”

“Oh, thanks, angel. Not totally bad.” The two turned back to the baby. She was quickly drifting off to sleep, and Crowley didn’t doubt Aziraphale had made it so she’d have beautiful dreams. “She should have a name, don’t you think?”

“What?”

“A name! We should name her.”

“She’s not a dog.”

“No, she’s a child. And a child without a name is worse than a dog without a name.” Crowley didn’t answer that. It was true, he supposed.

“Why can’t her new family name her?”

“Well, uh… we do not know how long it will take to find her a new family, do we? In the meantime, she might prefer it if we call her something other than ‘baby’, ‘child’, or, in your case, ‘it’.”

Crowley glared at him. “I’ve stopped that, now.”

“Yes, I noticed.” The angel smiled at his friend despite the unfaltering glare. “It would be nice to have something of us passed onto her new family, though, wouldn’t it? Considering we found her.”

The demon shrugged. “Whatever. I don’t care.”

“Marvellous!” Aziraphale’s smile widened and he rubbed his hand together, apparently launching into thinking-mode. He narrowed his eyes and rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “What about… Azura?”

Crowley gave him a look. “That’s the shortened female version of your name.”

Aziraphale blinked. “So it is,” he said quietly, turning a little awkwardly, “I hadn’t noticed.” He thought again. “Eva?”

“Maybe something less biblical?”

“I thought you said you didn’t care?” He shrugged again and the angel gave him a disapproving look. “Seraphina?”

Less biblical, I said, not more.”

“Daisy.”

“That’s my worst favourite flower.”

“Edith.”

“Too close to ‘Eden’.”

“Willow.”

“Isn’t that a tree?”

Aziraphale heaved a sigh, probably attempting to calm himself. He turned fully so that he was facing the man next to him and crossed his arms over his chest. Crowley, raising an eyebrow, mirrored his actions. “You pick a name, then,” he said, and Crowley rolled his eyes.

“I already told you I don’t care.”

“Well, you seem to care very strongly for my choices!”

“How can I not when I don’t like them?”

“Oh, for Heaven’s sake. Please, pick a name.”

“No.”

“Please!”

“Don’t want to.”

“Crowley-“

“Angel.”

“I implore you-“

“I implore you.”

“Choose a name!”

“Elodie.”

“Crowley, just- I’m sorry, what?” His face softened, and he gazed at the demon in front of him. His face was still very much expressionless, but he could have sworn he’d said something.

“Elodie. Means ‘foreign riches’.”

“It’s… very beautiful. Elegant. French?”

Crowley nodded. “Met a girl with the same name back in Paris.”

“Ah. I like it.”

“Elodie Crowley. Perfect. Well, I’ll be off, then. See you tomorrow.” He turned towards the door just as Aziraphale furrowed his eyebrows and pointed an accusatory finger at him.

“No, wait just a moment! Why does her last name have to be yours?”

“Uh, because, last I checked, you don’t have a last name.”

“I could… make one up.”

“Then why should she have yours over mine?”

Aziraphale grew flustered. “Last I checked, you didn’t like the child!”

Crowley crossed his arms over his chest once again. “I never said that!”

“You heavily implied it!”

“I did not.” Aziraphale bit his tongue. He was an angel, not a demon, and angels weren’t rude when they didn’t have to be… though he supposed he could count this among one of those rare times when he had to be. Oh well. “I suppose her last name will change with the new home she goes to, anyway,” he said absently, and Crowley nodded.

“There you go, then. If you want, she can have a middle name. Choose that.”

The angel’s face lit up, and he turned to look at the baby once again. “Ah, yes! Will Azura do, then?”

“Elodie Azura Crowley. Fits, I guess. Sure.”

“Perfect.” He turned with a smile to peer over at the sleeping baby, face softening at the sight of her. “A beautiful name for a beautiful little girl.”

Crowley groaned. “Alright, I’m leaving before the sentimentality starts making me discorporate.”

Aziraphale chuckled. He turned around as the demon walked towards the open door to the room. “Can I expect you back here tomorrow?”

“I suppose you’re going to have to.”

A faint smile flit across his lips. “Well, I’ll see you then. Good night.”

“Night, angel.” Crowley gave a little wave before he rounded the corner. “Don’t wake up the baby!”