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Last of the Atlantean Wine

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Three supernatural beings sat in a place of pure white light, wine bright as crystal flowing into tiny, elegant glasses.

“This,” Islington intoned as it sipped, “is the last of the Atlantean wine.”

“You always say it’s the last of the Atlantean wine, you silly bugger.”

“Well, it’s not as if they’re making it anymore.” Islington was defensive tonight.

“But...” Crowley’s brow furrowed as he tried to explain. “But s’not the last, last. Issit? It’s just...the antepenultimate, or whatever.”

“Anti-what?” Aziraphale’s eyes flickered open, but he didn’t take his head off the table.

“Antepenultimate. It to next to next to last,” Crowley explained, picking up the last spicy buffalo wing. Aziraphale eyed the wing jealously as Crowley gesticulated with it, but said nothing.

Islington counted slowly on its fingers.

“No, s’too many.”

“Too many what?” Crowley demanded, licking barbecue sauce off of his wrist.

“Too many next to’s. It’s third.”

“What’s third?” Aziraphale asked, puzzled.

“Third in line. Antepenultimate. It’s third in the line.”

“There’s a line?” Crowley took another callous swig of the delicate wine, making both of the angels wince.

“No, you daft bastard, it’s a metaphorical line." Islington explained.

“So, it’s third. Next to next to next to last.”

“No, that’s fourth.”

“I thought it was third.”


Crowley closed his eyes and counted to ten, or tried to. He couldn’t remember what came after five. Aziraphale concentrated fiercely on not looking too drunk.

“The point is,” Crowley began again, “the point is, is...”

“S’not the last of the wine. It’s the almost-last.” Aziraphale mumbled sleepily.


“But I’m running out!” Islington wailed.

“And whose fault is that?” Crowley demanded.

“Well, you drinking like a water-snake isn’t helping!”

“Oh! I see! Then maybe you’d rather sit here in the...the...light, all by yourself, then!”

“Maybe I would!”

“You could be alone with your wine!”

“I think I’d like that!”

“Well, great!”

With that, Crowley slammed the goblet back onto the table (it refused to break despite its delicate appearance), picked up the half-asleep Aziraphale and threw him over his shoulder, and stalked out.

“Go to Hell, you crazy little bug!” he fumed.

“Your mother, Crowley!”

“See you next Friday, Islington.” From somewhere in the vicinity of Crowley’s lower back.

“Bye, Aziraphale.”


“I can’t take you anywhere.”

“What’d I do?”

“And will you put me down!”




“I like your friends.”

“Good, because we’re going bowling next week.”

“On the head of a pin?”

“Just drive, please.”