The wedding invitation arrived at Eden Cottage in Tadfield, England, addressed to an Anthony J. Crowley (no one knew what the J stood for) and A.Z. Fell one Sunday morning. Five years had passed since the Apocalypse-That-Wasn’t and Crowley and Aziraphale had decided to buy a cottage in Tadfield not long after, just down the road from the Young family. After all, they reasoned, they quite deserved to settle down after successfully avoiding Heaven and Hell’s anger.
So they thought, of course.
Crowley brought the vanilla envelope into the kitchen, dropping it in front of the angel sitting with his tea, and sat beside him. Aziraphale glanced over as he opened the envelope. Crowley slumped down into his seat, rubbing his eyes.
“Are you alright, love?”
“Course I am,” was the short reply. “Just didn’t sleep well last night.”
Aziraphale sighed, leaned over to peck his demon’s cheek, and unfolded the paper. “Well then. ‘ We would like to formally invite you to the wedding of Anathema Device and Newton Pulsifer .’ Well, isn’t that nice!”
Crowley snorted. “They’ve known each other for what, five years?”
“Dear,” Aziraphale sighed, “Just because we’ve known each other for six thousand years doesn’t mean that’s usual. They had prophecies, anyhow. Though, I don’t doubt the end of the world will make people do silly things.”
The rapid knocking at their door was the only warning they had before four teenagers, including the former Antichrist, and a former hellhound bounded into the cottage. Aziraphale miracled four more cups and more space at the table into existence for the Them, smiling as he waited for the group to settle in. Crowley debated putting his sunglasses back on until Aziraphale looked over and smiled, as he often did when he noticed they were gone.
Adam grinned. “Hello. Did you get the invitation too? We’re all going, you know.” He sat back in his chair, the picture of teenage boyhood, leaning back on two legs with no concern for gravity. Crowley glared at the chair as if warning it of what would happen should it fall. Then again, he probably was. The plants outside the window trembled briefly.
“‘Course we’re going. We’ve gotta make sure you lot don’t cause any trouble.”
The Them laughed, looking pointedly at Adam. Despite himself, Crowley smiled. Humans really were the most resilient things; they seemed to have recovered from the events of five years ago without stumbling or hesitating. Even Adam's use of his powers against them had been forgiven and was now often the subject of friendly snark from Pepper in the way that only close friends might talk about upsetting things. The four of them still played games in the woods as if nothing had changed.
And, in a way, nothing had.
When the world had been created, at precisely Sunday, October 21, 4004 B.C. at 9:13 a.m, there had only been God. She had existed before there had been creation to fill the void She saw. The first things She created were the Archangels. Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, Sandalphon, Lucifer, and Raphael. They assisted Her in completing the new world.
These six often vyed for Her favour in their own way with their creations; Raphael, who made the stars and galaxies humans would one day become so fond of, quickly seemed to be a favourite. Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, and Lucifer, though still valued, felt as if they were below their brother. They watched as he sprinkled stars throughout the galaxy and as She smiled at him and called it good.
The other five met one day (you could say, as there was yet no time), Lucifer closing the door behind him. He wasn’t sure why his fellow archangels had called him in, nor why Raphael was notably absent.
“That’s actually what I wanted to talk about,” Gabriel replied when he voiced his thoughts.
Lucifer lounged against the wall. “Has our brother done something? I rather like his work. The nebulas came out well, you know.”
Gabriel sneered. “I should have known you would be on his side. Haven’t you noticed how She treats him?”
“She clearly prefers Raphael over the rest of us, and that is not right,” Michael added from her spot beside Gabriel. “There should not be favorites.”
Lucifer rolled his eyes. “Still don’t see what the fuss is. It’ll die out once something new is created, you know.”
Uriel finally piped up. “Still, we’re going to keep an eye on him. He could turn on us if he really wanted. That much… imagination isn’t good for anyone.”
They left the room one by one, Lucifer being the last one to go. He found his way to the stars. He had something he needed to talk about.
The Them migrated to the cottage’s living room, Crowley and Aziraphale following far more calmly. Brian tossed a dvd to Adam who put it into the new player the four of them had bought when Crowley had told them about buying the cottage. Neither of the two quite knew how to operate the infernal thing properly, of course, despite the numerous times the four teens attempted to teach them. Crowley could at least manage to play a movie at this point. He’d always watched more TV shows than movies at home anyhow.
The sofa (made for three smaller people) was quickly filled with all four teens before the first scene of Bohemian Rhapsody played. Crowley rolled his eyes as he threw himself onto the loveseat, pulling Aziraphale down with him by their clasped hands.He smiled despite his best attempts not to do so. Aziraphale leaned back into his chest and watched the teens fight over spots with a smile of fond amusement from his spot on the loveseat beside the couch. The angel in his arms smiled warmly at the teens, settling further into Crowley.
Pepper nudged Adam towards the end of the movie, tugging him out of his concentration. . “Look,” she whispered, pointing to the loveseat. The four of them made way too much noise, luckily covered by the movie, as they turned to see Crowley and Aziraphale wrapped up in inky black wings. Brian was still blinking his eyes to come back from Wembley stadium and back into the cottage living room.
“Come on. Let’s go see if Anathema’s busy and leave them alone.” The Them followed Adam out as quietly as possible, Dog bouncing along behind the group.
Newton opened the door when Adam knocked. He closed the door behind them and followed them into the living room where Anathema sat. She looked up and smiled, gesturing to the spot in front of her.
“What are you four doing here so late?” Anathema wasn’t really the type to scold anyone for being out so late, but these were growing teens who needed their rest. She may be a witch who often stayed out late, sometimes for ‘witchy’ things like finding fairy circles or odd happenings, but still. She knew how grouchy Adam got on little sleep. No one wanted to see that again, especially not her.
Adam settled in front of her. “We were watching a movie with Crowley and Aziraphale but they fell asleep,” he explained, petting Dog. “Thought we’d leave them be. They looked comfortable anyways.”
Brian scrunched his nose. “They were all cuddled up . Kinda gross.”
Pepper rolled her eyes. “Stop being such a boy , Brian.” She and Anathema shared a look for a moment. “I think they’re cute together.”
“Are they actually together?” Wenslydale asked, holding a cup of cocoa in his hands. Newton handed one to each of the teenagers and to Anathema. “I can’t really tell.”
Anathema smiled softly. “They’ve known each other for 6,000 years, from what Aziraphale has told me. I think so.” She settled back into the couch beside Newton.
Dog took a running leap into Adam’s lap, investigated the teen’s mug of cocoa and curled up in his boy’s lap with a sigh.