Chapter 1: ۞ Prologue ۞
He would kill Crowley as soon as he saw him, No! That would be too merciful of him, he would slowly torture him until he was disincorporated, that is! He wouldn't forgive him so easily.
The negligence and carelessness of his subordinate could have ruined a plan that had been planned almost since creation. Worse, ruin it even before it started!
"If you want something well done, do it yourself," he thought bitterly as he walked furiously through the halls of hell, causing fear of his other subordinates, quite frightened by his presence to say something.
"Beelzebub!" He growled, looking for his right-hand demon among the crowd of paralyzed demons around him. Soon he saw the lord of the flies come out in a crowd of demons with an indifferent gesture that quickly became one of surprise when they saw him.
He didn't blame them, his appearance discerned with that of the demons around him, tall and thin with dark curly hair, bright bluish eyes that gave the impression of mixing with green, accompanied by sharp cheekbones and an aristocratic bearing that made him look regal to every step he took. Nothing less for the one who was the most beautiful angel of creation!
"Sir," Beelzebub spoke in a monotonous tone. "Why do you look like... like that?"
Satan did not answer his question, he just ignored them looking for the nearest exit from hell. When he found it he went to it and without looking back exclaimed loudly enough for others to hear:
"I'm leaving, Beelzebub! You are in charge while I am not here!”
"Where are you going, sir?" Asked Beelzebub, trying to pretend that the statement had not misplaced them.
"To do something important," he growled under his breath.
"How long will it take?" the lord of the flies asked again
"11 years!" That was the last thing the demons would hear from the lord of hell, who left the place without looking back, ready to fulfill the plan that had been traced for millennia.
A simple snap of fingers and everything was resolved. The babies returned with their corresponding parents. "And now the really difficult thing is coming," he thought when he saw the baby sleeping without even noticing what was happening around him.
"It was better if I had brought Beelzebub with me," he thought how his... son slowly opened his eyes, stretching. Actually, he didn't know if it would have been better to bring Beelzebub with him, but at least he wouldn't be the only demon there who didn't know what to do.
The baby smiled at him and couldn't help being horrified. He was the antichrist and there he was, smiling as if he were simple... baby.
Damn, it would be difficult to raise not only the antichrist but his son, he didn't even know how to care for a baby. Someone would have to help him with that enormous burden that had been decided taken over because of his damn pride and there was only someone he could fully trust... well, "trust," that was an exaggeration, but Crowley was the only hell being residing in the earth and I had to help him, not only because he was his boss, but because, but because it was of his damn fault that it ended in that mess!
He took the boy in his arms and with another snap of his fingers, he appeared at the door of the place where the demon Crowley have lived for several years. An apartment in the heart of London, quite pretentious, even for a demon.
To avoid suspicion, he knocked on the door, but instead of being treated, all he received was a shout.
"If you are a bible seller, get out!"
Satan grimaced, offended and knocked on the door again while his son stirred in his arms, fully awakened by the screams that the red-haired demon uttered.
After several insistent knocks, finally, the sound of feet being dragged in the direction of the door was heard. The door opened revealing the red-haired demon who had not seen for a long time.
"Crowley," he said, smiling as if nothing. As soon as the demon realized who he was, he closed the door in his face, leaving him with a frozen smile. That act infuriated the lord of hell who with one handheld the antichrist and with the other knock wildly the apartment door.
"Open the door, you inept! I know you are there!" Nothing. He knocked the door much more furiously, about to tear it down "All this is your fault and you know it! Open the door!”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, Crowley was trying not to have a panic attack, not only was his demonic boss beating the door ragingly, but he was carrying in his arms the son who had delivered the nuns a few hours ago. Shit, he was totally and completely screwed.
When he finally gathered all the necessary courage, he opened the door, letting in his boss who did not even ask permission to pass, while muttering under his breath things like "Miserable" and "How hard it’s to find obedient subordinates."
"Pour me a glass of wine, Crowley," he ordered as he sat in an armchair with the antichrist still in his arms.
"Satan ..." Crowley murmured stunned.
"This is the antichrist, surely you already know him, do you?" He said. Crowley could only nod awkwardly. "What about my glass of wine?" He demanded to see that his subordinate remained paralyzed in front of him.
A simple phrase was enough for Crowley, a rebellious and unruly demon, to hurry to pour a glass of wine to the lord of hell, that was the effect that Satan had on the other demons, he was able to make them tremble with just one look and a growl.
When he returned with a glass overflowing with red wine, he saw one of the most surreal scenes he had witnessed in his more than 6000 years of existence. There, in front of him in his apartment, was Satan, lord of hell and all evil, carrying and lulling clumsily the child who was destined to end humanity, the antichrist.
He didn't even have the chance to say something when Satan saw him, he said (or rather sentenced him) coldly and laconically.
"You better get to know each other, you will help me raise him, after all."
It goes without saying that the cup ended up in pieces on the floor.
He held the cell phone tightly in his hand, begging that Satan was distracted enough to hear it. He was risking all, he knew it, but it was necessary to do so.
Three tones later, Crowley heard a voice that made his heart skip.
"Aziraphale!" He exclaimed in a tone low enough for no one to hear.
"Crowley! What a surprise, we just met a few hours ago...”
"Angel, listen to me well, I know something about the antichrist," he said quietly. "You won't believe it, but..."
He could not say anything else because he almost instantly felt his phone being taken from his hands and when he turned, he saw the lord of hell, looking at him coldly and stoically, a gesture that totally sentenced him. Now he was really screwed.
Chapter 2: Ϫ Year 0. The beginning of the plan Ϫ
Crowley has always been a condemned. He has been from the moment he decided to question heaven, becoming a demon destined to spend his eternity tempting and causing sinfulness on earth but he had never felt so condemned until he was face to face with Satan, who looked furious, a glance that made him feel like he was in hell and not in his apartment.
Satan remained stoic in his place, it wasn't necessary to say anything to threaten the redhead, just a look and the redhead trembled from head to toe, completely condemned.
In a quick and elegant movement, he placed the cell phone in his ear and formed a mischievous smile on his face before to start talking "Hello… little angel” he greeted with mockery and delighted to see how his subordinate's face twitched in a grimace of anger but at the same time of impotence.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the phone, Aziraphale was speechless without knowing what to do, we couldn't blame him, after all, anyone would be paralyzed if the lord of hell spoke to him on the phone. He knew that now his well-being depended on what he did or said but he was simply frightened, so the most prudent thing he could do was hang up the phone without saying a word, cursing himself internally for leaving Crowley at the mercy of that being.
Not hearing anything on the phone made the maleficent smile grow more "Uh, it seems he hung up, go, these angels lack manners, don't you think?" he mocked and threw the cell phone in the direction of the redhead who despite the panic he felt, caught it.
"Satan, I..." Crowley tried to excuse himself.
"Reasons are not necessary, Crowley," he whispered slowly. "How could you explain to me that you are in touch with an angel? Tell me, how?" he inquired, slowly but menacingly approaching the demon, who couldn't help but back down for every step Satan took.
Crowley already considered himself screwed and all he regretted was not being able to say goodbye to Aziraphale, whom he would leave without knowing if Satan would retaliate against him, but then, salvation came from the place he least expected.
A thunderous crying echoed throughout his apartment, causing Satan to set aside his threat and direct his eyes to where that deafening noise came from. "Blessed is that child, or will it be cursed?" Crowley thought, glad that the crying child would prolong his life for at least a few minutes.
"Is that all he can do?" Satan wondered, and Crowley could hear certain despair in his voice. Although not less than a minute ago, he would have threatened him with ominous punishment, he couldn't help feeling some pity towards his lord, who was still a desperate father who did not know how to care for his son.
"It's a baby, all he will do is cry, eat and do the make poo," he said in a tone that his superior would have dismissed as disdainful if it were not because the cries of the antichrist made his voice drown in the noise.
He went to the baby and not caring that he was the antichrist and future destroyer of mankind, he carried him and began to rock it slowly, silently crying, even making him laugh in front of the stunned look of his boss, it wasn't his fault that children love him! It seemed innate in him.
"You are good," Satan admitted, misplaced Crowley a little but even so, the redhead struggled to maintain a facade of pride and arrogance.
"Yes, I am," Crowley said presumptuously. "And you still want to kill me. Tell me, do you even know how to take care of a child? "Silence was all the answer he needed." You will take care of your son for the next eleven years ...
"Because of you!" He interrupted screaming.
"It was the nuns' fault," Crowley defended, still rocking the boy in his arms. "My task was only to deliver the antichrist..."
"And verify that everything went well!"
"No, it's not true," Crowley said flatly, daring to call his boss a liar, even if this was Satan himself. "But that doesn't matter anymore, because now you will raise him until he fulfills his purpose." He grimaced when he said that. "And for that, you need my help, whether you want it or not."
Satan seemed to hold an internal debate until he finally seemed to give up and gave a long sigh. "Fine, but you still have to explain to me, why do you keep in touch with an angel?"
Crowley smiled as he handed the boy to his horrified father, who could barely hold him. "That has a good explanation, the angel I think we are" allies, but what I really do is..."
"Tempt him," Satan completed the phrase for him, almost as if he were reading his mind.
"That's right," Crowley said, proud of being able to fool the lord of hell himself.
"Crowley, you're a genius!"
"Yes, they usually call me that."
"How? A genius?" Satan asked laughing as if they were two old friends and not a boss and his subordinate who just closed the most uncomfortable bargain of their lives.
"No, Crowley," Crowley joked, trying to appease the surroundings and causing more Satan's laughter. The babble of the baby brought them back to reality, there was no going back, ironically, only God knows how they would take care of the antichrist.
"So, tempt me?" Asked Aziraphale, organizing his books.
"Yes, it was a lie that I had to tell to that bastard so he wouldn't suspect, save our skin, you and me, so you're welcome," Crowley said as he sat fully extended in one of the armchairs of the bookstore, not even caring about good manners or courtesy.
"Tempt me," Aziraphale repeated the word, almost as if he didn't believe its meaning.
"Don't think I really will, angel," Crowley said, almost frightened that Aziraphale could think that about him.
"I know, Crowley, I know you're not capable to do that," Aziraphale reassured him, leaving the words "Because you're so good."
A silence was present in the bookstore, but it wasn't an awkward silence, of course not, it was that kind of silence where everything was said without words, an intimacy that is only achieved after years of conviviality and trust between them beings.
"And, Crowley ..." Aziraphale said suddenly, totally flushed. "Where is... he?" He asked awkwardly to talk about Satan with such familiarity.
"Buying a house," he replied. "Don't even think I will let that idiot live in my apartment with his brat, of course not." he huffed indignantly. "I'll move near him to help him take care of the child and you'll do the same. It's the same plan only we have to change it a bit."
Aziraphale nodded. "So I will move close to you, Satan will agree to let me be near the child and take care of him so that it seems that I have always had him in bad concept, making me doubt my beliefs, which he believes will help you in your task to “Tempt me” and make me fall, but actually I will only do my job without any worries,” said Aziraphale, releasing a summarized but precise description of his plan.
Crowley nodded and with a big smile, laughed at how the angel had described his plan. "Yes, angel, you have understood perfectly."
The blond also shared his laugh until the vibration of a cell phone interrupted and silenced them.
The redhead took out his cell phone, where there was a message from "Benedict," a name Crowley had suggested to his boss to use so as not to cause shock among humans. After reading the message, Crowley looked up at the angel and looked at him with a mixture of uncertainty and confidence.
"Angel, I hope you're ready because we're going to raise the antichrist."
Chapter 3: Ϫ Year 0. With a little help Ϫ
Nothing good happens at three in the morning.
Or at least, that was what Aziraphale said, being an angel attached to schedules and strict punctuality, repeated that phrase as if it were a mantra, convincing himself that receiving a visit or a call at that time was a sign of bad news.
And that was what he repeated as he walked to his door, after hearing an insistent and disturbing knock at that time of the morning. He barely opens it and is startled to see who is there.
If he had not been aware of the demonic nature of the man in front of him, he would have believed that, in effect, he was simply a first-time father, desperate to silence the thunderous cries of his son.
"I don't know what to do," the dark-haired man admits. "He doesn't have a fever, he doesn't want to eat, and nothing I say or do will work. Help!"
Surprise invades him when he sees how someone as powerful and impious as the lord of hell was asking for help. To him! A simple angel who is supposed to be his enemy, but the picture of the demon, carrying the baby desperately exhausted makes his angelic nature take action "Come in" is the only thing he manages to say and cannot ignore the look of gratitude that the black-haired man gives him before entering.
He can't help feeling nervous, and how not to do it? He had invited Satan himself and the antichrist to pass to his house. Look for a long moment at the irritated man, who apparently still fails to perfectly manage the liable responsibility of being a father, and he can only act awkwardly at that time.
"Do you want some tea?" He asks softly, forgetting for a moment, that this man was his enemy to fight.
The man snorts. "I think I need something stronger than tea right now."
Aziraphale huffs in a low voice, wondering if this undue taste for alcoholic beverages was inherent in the nature of demons or a custom learned by time. He doesn't have much time to reflect on it because the baby's cries make him come back to reality and remember the reason why the maleficent one was at his house.
"Would you mind if ...?" And extends his arms. Satan (Or rather Benedict) looks at him with surprise but finally ends up nodding and hands him the child.
The sobs continue, strong and rampant, and Aziraphale makes a face. "If you can make him stop, I'll owe you my life." The black-haired man murmurs weakly and Aziraphale laughs nervously as he conceives a scenario where a demon owes his life to an angel.
Fortunately, Aziraphale still remembers everything learned in those paternity books he once read when the boredom of a long-lived life took its toll on him, so he placed the child on his chest, at the height of the heart and gently rocked it, lulling it and making some silly faces until the cries gradually reduce and the baby finally falls asleep.
"You’re Aziraphale, aren't you?" He asks as he throws a sigh of exasperation and the blond just nodes. "You are a fuckin angel, really, you are."
"Thank you, I guess," Aziraphale replied timidly with the child in his arms.
"In other circumstances, I would ask Crowley for help," he says wearily. "But the bastard went somewhere and left me alone with the brat. I don't even know what to do!"
Aziraphale feels like a strange sensation that he cannot describe runs through his body when he knows that Crowley had left without giving any explanation, he was his ...
"Your what, Aziraphale?" He questions his inner voice with mockery and is sad to learn that he is right, Crowley was a free demon and did not have to explain anything to anyone, less him, a simple angel. He just tries to reassure the tired father in front of him. "You will learn; it is only a matter of time."
Satan ... Benedict massages his temples in frustration but turns to see him with a tired smile. "Thank you, Aziraphale." Thanks gently.
And Aziraphale couldn't deny the comforting sensation the moment gave him.
If someone ever talked about the lord of hell serenely walking his son through St. James' Park, you would probably laugh at that crazy image to imagine, not knowing that was what was happening at that time.
The man with black curls was walking his descendant in the park, all at the suggestion of the angel Aziraphale, who considered that locking himself up and isolating himself from the world would only raise suspicion.
And supported by Crowley, the angel had insisted so much that "Benedict" ended up agreeing before the blond's stubborn indications finally drove him crazy.
Although of course, he couldn't be a worthy lord of hell if he had no suspicion of the world. So, although at first glance it seemed like a father walking his son quietly, in fact, he looked suspiciously at everyone around him, with such a delicate mission in his hands, he couldn't trust anyone, however, he had to confess that everything was so strenuous that sometimes he just wanted to leave everything and return to hell, but he knew that it was not recommended.
Look at the boy who was in the baby carriage, enjoying the ride with the happiness that the simplicity of children's life gave while gurgling and giggling. Over the months, he looked more and more like him, his human appearance, of course, and wondered at what point the first features of his identity as the antichrist would appear.
"You are a very powerful brat; do you know that?" He talks to him exactly how Aziraphale had recommended him to do, and despite the embarrassment he feels, he starts making funny faces that keep the child entertained because he had discovered that humiliation was the only thing his son needed to avoid whining for a whole day.
“Apparently, my son is already eviler than he seems,” he thinks with amusement while he's continuing to entertain the child, even if that means guard down.
That moment, a worthy example of a family print, that is interrupted when a certain alteration in the environment was present, feels certain... angelic energy that totally alters him.
His first reflex is to flee instantly from there, but try to calm down because if someone sees him escaping quickly from there, it would only cause more suspicion and that was what he least wanted at the time.
"Shit, shit, shit," he thinks desperately as he rushes the pace. He looks around, trying to appear calm and looking for whoever was the source of that celestial energy, but he doesn't see anyone, they all seem so... normal.
No, it's not Aziraphale, because after several months of living together, he was already able to identify his divine essence perfectly, and that was what caused him the most fear because that only meant that he had found him and if he didn't act fast, his plan would spoil in the blink of an eye.
He doesn't feel calm until he finally manages to get out of there and feel how the celestial energy diminishes with every step he takes away from there. But it doesn't matter, they were no longer safe in London and needed to get out of there.
"Paranoid! He's paranoid!" The redhead exclaims as he hits his glass of wine against the table.
Aziraphale rolls his eyes before the outrage that invades the demon and is dedicated to rocking the boy, trying to make him take his nap. "It's his father, Crowley, has the right to be worried."
"His father," Crowley snorts mockingly. "That idiot doesn't even know how to be a father. He leaves the whole responsibility to us!"
"He's learning, dear," the blond replies trying to end the discussion.
"Ugh," the redhead complains after taking some of the wine from his glass. "Are you defending him, angel?"
Aziraphale is silent, but he doesn't deny it either. Crowley continues to argue about his boss and his inability to be a father.
"I don't know what will happen to this child in his care, poor Crowley Jr.," he laments.
"Crowley Jr.!" Exclaims Aziraphale indignantly and startled by that choice of name.
"If you have a better name ..." he simply replies.
Aziraphale looks at the baby in surprise when he knows he has no name. He pampers him while searching for a suitable name for him. "How about ... Jesus?" suggests dubiously and Crowley gasps immediately.
"Angel! He is the son of Satan; we cannot call him that."
"Fine" Aziraphale conceded. "Any suggestions, dear?"
"I don't know, maybe, Warlock?" he doubts and the suggestion is immediately dismissed by the angel.
"Adam?" Aziraphale suggests again and before he had a chance to protest, the little laughter of the child is heard, it was almost as if he agreed with the name.
"Oh! It seems that he agrees with the name, isn't it, little one?" And fiddles with the boy who continues to laugh while the angel makes several funny faces for his amusement.
"Adam?" Crowley asks unsure that this was the best name for Satan's son.
"Like the first humans created," he says with a smile on his face. "Besides, it will remind us of the first time we met."
Crowley feels like that simple phrase takes his breath away and made him speechless.
Like the first time he saw Aziraphale, as in Eden. When he met that angel who just by talking to him had managed to make his world shake and that until today made him doubt and be sure at the same time that for him, just for him, he would be able to fall the necessary times.
He smiles while seeing Aziraphale, his angel, carrying and rocking little Adam in his arms, filling him with a warm feeling that had a name, but he did not dare to pronounce, not because of fear, but because saying it would only reaffirm what that he had been feeling and carrying inside for years.
The enchantment becomes part of him as he continues to watch the scene with reverie, worth freezing to be remembered for the rest of eternity.
Satan could call it tempting, but for him, it was love.
Crowley had never had a proper home.
Hell was just the place he had come from and he had spent his entire life going from one place to another without bothering to leave a legacy somewhere, after all, he was a free spirit and that was not necessary for him.
Of course, like every living being, he has doubts and those doubts are present every time he looks at Aziraphale, in his vibrant blue eyes and his gentle and pleasant smile that always seemed to insist on staying.
He wondered every time he had doubts. If he hadn't been such a coward, would he have been able to build a home with Aziraphale?
There was never an answer to that question.
Crowley, following his demonic nature for the first time, did what any demon would do when they don't get answers, look for them for themselves.
He decided to be brave that June night, risking everything he had.
"When did he fall asleep?" He whispers when he sees Aziraphale arrive after leaving Adam in his room.
"Fifteen minutes ago," the angel murmured.
Crowley smiles and as soon as Aziraphale sits on his couch, he gets up and goes to him with the blond's astonished gaze without knowing what to say or do.
He took a breath to give himself more courage. For Crowley, surprisingly enough, expressing feelings with words had never been simple. He had to take it into action, and also be cautious. Complicated.
He passes his hand over the cheek of the angel and feels how that caress looks like liberation from his soul. Despite the noticeable difference in height, he bends down until his gaze connects with the sweet eyes of the blond.
Joined his forehead with Aziraphale's and despite the darkness that the night presents, he manages to notice a blush on the angel's cheeks which makes the smile on his face grow more.
Aziraphale does nothing to avoid it and that is all that is enough for him to continue. He approaches dangerously to his face until his lips are about to be touched.
3, 2, 1 centimeter of distance between him and paradise.
Adam's cry was heard from the room and wakes them from the entelechy. Aziraphale looks at him with concern and puts his hand on his chest until he is separated a considerable distance from him.
Almost as if that were his purpose, he repeats those damned words that had long since broken his heart.
"You're going too fast for me, Crowley."
And without further ado, he walks almost terrified towards the room where the boy is.
And Crowley flees from there before that statement ends up penetrating his soul.
"So, you're going too fast for me, Crowley?" teases Satan with a smile on his face.
"Shut up," the redhead replies bitterly, unable to make a profitable argument at the time.
"Oh, my poor and innocent Crowley," Benedict exclaims with false pity. "You think me dumb, don't you?"
Crowley doesn't answer anything but looks up, and that is enough for Satan to know that he has captured all his attention.
"I know you don't want to tempt that angel," he says suspiciously. "Well, if you want to, but you also want more than tempt him, am I wrong?"
Crowley is silent, but he knows that he doesn't need to answer anything, with his body language he had already answered each of the questions the lord of hell could ask.
"Would you let me give you some advice, Crowley?"
"... Yes," he murmurs dejectedly, knowing that regardless of what he answered, his boss would advise him anyway.
"I was like you too," he says, recalling past times. "I fell in love with an angel and even being a fallen demon, I still loved him, but I realized something." He makes a silence to add drama to the narrative. "We couldn't be together. An angel and a demon? Impossible!"
Crowley tapped his fingers against his leg trying to understand what the point of that story was.
"What I mean is that love between an angel and a demon is impossible... but love between two demons is not."
Crowley interrupts him before he could continue. "You... Did you love that angel?" He asks with sincere curiosity that was part of him.
Now it was Satan's turn not to respond, he smiles and makes a glass of wine appear in his hand. He swallows the liquid and Crowley, sharpening his sense of hearing to the fullest, manages to hear a murmur "...I'm still doing it."
The black-haired man drinks all the wine in one gulp and looks at him with insight before continuing. "The only way you and Aziraphale could be together is if you make Aziraphale fall."
That was the last straw. Forgetting the manners and whatever respect he had for his boss, he got up and hurried to the nearest exit, fleeing like a coward for the second time in the day.
"Don't forget that tomorrow we move to Tadfield," his boss murmurs behind his back as if nothing had happened.
Crowley tries to pretend that nothing said has affected him, but as soon as he reaches his rooms he collapses as he has never done, knowing deep down that Satan was right, it was impossible.