This is shit Aziraphale, I know you can do better, or maybe I should get Sandalphon to write this biography."
Gabriel shouted at him as he always did. Aziraphale tried to keep his outwardly confident aura about him, but per usual was failing marvelously. He wrung his slightly sweaty hands, his heart was racing, internally he was shaking as he went to speak, "...but, but Gabriel, you see, umm, that was what Mr. Shadwell wanted, sir, I mean we're supposed to shine a good light on them." Aziraphale nodded almost frantically, Gabriel all but snarled at him, "Don't tell me what we're supposed to do Aziraphale I'm the fucking publisher."
Aziraphale's jaw closed with a click of his teeth, "Do it again, now get out, go burn your daylight hours somewhere else." Aziraphale picked up his tartan bag that contained his laptop and all his research on Mr. Shadwell, the good the bad and the ugly. Turning on his heel, he left without looking back, more afraid of what he would see, any confidence he once had was all but gone. Aziraphale's brain was filtering through every possible out of the building, knowing he had to go down the escalator and out the front door of the high rise. He truly loved how bright, clean, and heavenly it was, but Gabriel and his three favorites hated Aziraphale, mainly because he was talented by default.
Aziraphale was an exceptional writer, who had a knack for writing the truths about people, the ability to twist a bad light into a good one. It was a blessing incarnate, at least that's what he was told, to Aziraphale though it was a curse. Aziraphale had long since been writing his own novels and never getting very far. So he had taken up his current job as a writer and part-time editor to fill in until he was published. The problem was, he never had the nerve to ask anyone, show anyone, or even acknowledge he had written books, around seven to be exact.
Tracey caught a glimpse of Azirphale leaving E.D.E.N Publishing; she was going back in, lunch was over. Stopping, she waited for him to run into her; she chuckled, watching him mumbling to himself. "Gabriel again, Aziraphale?" Aziraphale stopped in his tracks, slightly startled at the sudden voice, "Yes my dear, I am sorry if you have to deal with him today, I may have set him on the warpath." he shook his head despairingly. Tracey placed a hand on his shoulder and looked into his eyes, "Hey, he's a right ass, we all know that we also know how good you are." with a pat, her hand dropped back to her side.
Aziraphale nodded, noticing a rather lovely cup in her hand. The cup was brown, a black snake encircling it, the mouth biting into an apple, on the top of the apple were horns, and above the apple a halo. Tracey followed the line of Aziraphale's eyes, lifting the cup, she turned it so he could read the back. The words followed the snake's body, ~"Horns ~n~ Halos"~ "What is that?" Tracey smiled, "New coffee shop, wish it had always been there; it's so good, go check it out, closer than anything else." Aziraphale looked down towards where Tracey pointed. "I am a bit peckish, do they have food?" Tracey nodded with a wicked grin adding, "The service isn't bad too look at either." Aziraphale looked shocked at her, bringing about a bout of laughter from Tracey, "Go on Aziraphale, and yes, they do have some food.". Aziraphale thanked her, setting off to "Horns ~n~ Halos."
Rounding the corner, Aziraphale took in a line of people waiting behind an a-frame sign. Music was pouring out of the door and down the street. Aziraphale stopped for a moment listening with a smile, realizing it was 1920's music, but with a twist. His feet carried him closer, that was when his brain decidedly entered the thought process of what he was hearing; this was electro-swing from the 1920s.
The sign above the door was beautiful. Black cast iron formed an actual snake looping around the sign, leading off the pole and onto the sign itself, the head holding an apple in its mouth. "Horns ~N~ Halos" was done in gold lettering outlined by apple red on the word Horns, white on the name Halos against the black signage.
Aziraphale stood at the back of the line waiting to go in, looking back up, enjoying the music, his foot tapping to the beat, he noticed little horns on the "O" in horns and a halo over the "O" in the halo. A playful smile danced on his lips as the music changed to another electro-swing song from the '20s, he was going to figure this one out, he knew the 20's, and if Aziraphale was honest with himself, he adored the 20's. Aziraphale's attire screamed as much, and some of it was from even older years, a grandfather incarnate. The line was quick enough moving in and out of the bistro, moving along with its path, he finally got to the front door, he squeaked slightly, hands coming over his mouth.
Aziraphale was giddy, a favorite song of his came on, "The Charleston." It was all he could from dancing right there. Oh, how he was loving the new bistro so far, even if it were just for the music, he would consider writing here, just for the inspirational aspect of it. Entering the Horns ~n~ Halos was another thing altogether, he was physically transported to a Paris 1920's Cafe. The walls were a cream color, the floor oak that matched the woodworking that was everywhere else, a large mirror against the back wall reflected everything behind the counters, tables were strewn about but carefully placed at the same time. Plants hung from the ceiling, beautiful and lush, real none the less, candles adorned matching oak tables and chairs, everything was warm and inviting. Smells from a kitchen somewhere, filled and floated through the cafe, Aziraphale was on cloud nine, the only thing missing was a silver lining, he thought to himself.
Aziraphale grabbed a menu from the stand at the door, smiling as he read the lineup, he was definitely going to try everything. Looking at the large mirror, he continued walking forward, watching the mirror, not so much where he was going. Behind the counter was a woman, long brown hair, falling in curls down to her waist, the front pulled up into a bun on the top of her head. The coffee was apparently what she did. Gracefully she moved behind the counter; steam would hiss, in what looked like magic puffs of smoke, her hands would fly back and forth. Froth was being tipped; art made; at the end of her motions, there was a flick of her wrists, and stardust would float through the air. Then as if God herself lifted the veil from his eyes, Aziraphale caught sight of the silver bar of the counter; he stopped walking, just as he was about to bump into the counter.
A squeak left his chest as someone cleared their throat, a low voice sounding more like a purr than a voice of a mere mortal broke the silence. "Wha's your poison?" Aziraphale's eyes lifted from the menu, landing on carefully perched black sunglasses. Aziraphale swallowed somewhat hard, as he took in the man in front of him. Taller than Aziraphale, he had to look up at him to meet his gaze, a wickedly coy grin spread on his face watching the blush creep across Aziraphale's face. His hair looked like it was set ablaze by a kiss from a flame, twisting up into spikes that looked more like horns than they should, the man wore all black, and a silver necktie that hung lazily around his neck. There's that silver lining, Aziraphale thought to himself.
The man looked past Aziraphale to the back of the line; he called out to the woman that there were only a few more customers, his glance now fully back on Aziraphale. "So, wha's it gonna be?" Aziraphale then realized at that moment, words were no longer available to the writer, speech apparently gone, and his brain had taken a sabbatical. Out of everything he wanted to order, "Tea?" was all he could muster. The man pulled out a cup, looking at Aziraphale, "Name?" Aziraphale just looked at him, the man tapped the cup with his pen, "Sorry wha,..what was that?" the man grinned at Aziraphale's distraction, "Name, your name, would be ever so helpful." he gave Aziraphale that wickedly coy grin as he waited, "Oh, oh dear, sorry, sorry. Aziraphale."
The man stopped, looked from the cup to Aziraphale, and back to the cup, "Umm, one more time?" it was Aziraphale's turn to smirk, "Aziraphale." he said it slower as though that would help the man spell it. "Ok, spell it?" Aziraphale moved slightly away towards the woman who was waiting for the order. "Surprise me." Aziraphale may have been flustered, but given a chance, he was an outright bastard and was currently powering up. With that, he beamed a smile only he could pull off, innocently a bastard, walking to the end of the counter he waited. Aziraphale needed a moment to gather his wits about him, his heart thrummed thinking of that man's grin. In front of him, a woman looked at Aziraphale and then towards the man, his eyes watching the man work. "Hi, Aziraphale, you said? Quite a mouthful, isn't it. Rather an angelic name." she smiled kindly at Aziraphale, "Yes, rather. Might I ask when this open?"
She looked around the full bistro and smiled, "Oh, a month, maybe more, it's just this last week that its really taken off." Aziraphale nodded, "Well, that's good, the area needed something new, and it's so much closer." Aziraphale finally looked momentarily at the woman who was being amused by watching Aziraphale look over her boss. "You know, you aren't very subtle, Aziraphale." she grinned, taking the tea from Crowley. "Pardon?" She chuckled, "Anathema, that's me, and since your name is as old as mine, I'll give you some advice, firstly his name is Crowley; secondly, he knows you're staring at him." Anathema watched as Aziraphale blushed bright red, his eyes fully snapping onto warm molten chocolate eyes.
"Oh, dear. How do you know that." Anathema chuckled and turned the teacup around to face Aziraphale. If Crayola needed a new red color, his face was currently providing it, free of charge. Aziraphale looked down the counter to a smirking Crowley who waved. Aziraphale dropped the money for his tea on the bar, quickly turning around hastily left the bistro, face still burning as he walked out. Walking down the street, he turned the cup that failed to have his name on it and reread it, ~Do you like what you see? I'll be here all week.~ Oh, for the love of God almighty herself, he could never go back there.
Anathema watched as Aziraphale left, an amused smirk played on her lips. "You know that was not very nice, Crowley," Anathema shouted down at Crowley, the last few cups of coffee being made. Crowley sauntered down to her area, "I'm not nice!" he glowered at her, "Plus, he was staring." Anathema shook her head, curls bouncing against her back, "Yes, yes, he was. However, it isn't like you aren't stared at daily, with far less interest than he had. So spit it out, why'd you bother making a note on that one?" with a shrug Crowley turned and headed back to a new customer, "He kinda matches the theme here." Anathema smirked and let it be for now.
Crowley, as aloof as he tried to appear to be, was left utterly speechless at a rather angelic beaming smile given by one Aziraphale. Really though what kind of name was that he thought to himself, a name belonging to an angel, his brain decided to remind him. Shaking off his thoughts, he tended to the new costumers finding himself thinking of a halo of golden-white hair, eyes that didn't compare to any blue he had ever seen sprinkled with stardust. Anathema had been talking to him or trying to get his attention for a minute now. "Earth to Crowley, you here, or did Hell swallow you whole?" Crowley turned to her, an eyebrow raised over the rim of his glasses. "Can I have the cup, Crowley?"
Crowley looked down at the cup and handed it to her, heading into the back kitchens, Anathema looked at him shaking her head. Looking at the station, Anathema noticed three thrown out cups, all with an attempt of one angelic name. Taking the cup, Crowley handed she made the last coffee of the day, as she gave the cup to her last çustomer Anathema couldn't hold back the laugh. Shouting to the back kitchens, "Crowley!"
" Not everyone is named Aziraphale."
"Obviously, huh. Explain why the last four customers' cups were all labeled some off spelling of his name."
"Ngk...shut it, witch!"
Anathema laughed at Crowley; she cleaned up Horns n Halos for the day. In the back, she could hear Crowley mumbling to himself while getting the following days foods prepared; he was a genius in the kitchen. Food all but worshipped him as he created new and excellent meals, a growl later she caught a few words. Mainly a name, an old name like her own, a few curses, instead of lingering, she called out that she was leaving, locking the door behind her as she left. Crowley ran his fingers through his hair he sat down, wonder if he'll come back.