Kashi — Artist
(I hope you enjoyed the beginning of all of this ! This was meant to be a selfie at first. But I didn't have time, so here you have a cute pose. But guess that's not how people decided how it's going to be now, is it?)
QueenCrawfori — Writer
Aziraphale enjoyed he and Crowley's visits to Tadfield. It had been over three months now, and they'd been savoring and enjoying the newfound freedom. So many dear outings together without needless code words, hideaway rendezvous points. It was filled with fine dinners, an assortment of various bottles of sweet wine, warm evenings with a new fireplace Crowley had given in to installing (well installing with a spare miracle). The angel and demon teetered back and forth where they stayed, but were inseparable. Regardless if it was a few nights in the pristine and spacious flat with a forest of indoor plantlife, or a week in the loft that smelled of Aziraphale's cologne and well aged parchment.
But today on this Saturday afternoon it was about Tadfield. They opted to come every other week, sometimes just to enjoy a drive down the countryside roads. But today's outing concerned the (former) antichrist child that had helped them save the world.
It felt only right to check in on Adam, he had after all prevented Armageddon. That and despite not having been in his life for the last eleven years-or better yet because of this-felt as honorary godfathers they owed it to him.
"It's everywhere around here!" The angel said with a smile. His eyes beaming with excitement.
"Yes, yes." Crowley stared down at the gravel road. "Must feel great."
The little community simply was filled with it, the flashes of love radiating around them. Anything but spooky.
"It's simply lovely isn't it?" Aziraphale exhaled.
"For you maybe" He glanced quizzically at the demon,
"Something the matter?"
"Nothing Angel, don't worry about it." Crowley fumbled with the radio dial, turning up the music now at dangerous decibels blaring out of the Bentley.
"No, no there is something," Aziraphale reached over and turned the dial down.
If one was listening from outside the vintage Bentley, they'd hear the music strangely go up and almost a second later go silent. Loud then silence. Loud then silence. Aziraphale snapped his fingers and completely muted the radio.
"Oi," Crowley grumbled.
"Not until you talk to me," Aziraphale frowned, "Dear boy, something has been bothering you ever since we arrived in the village."
Vivi - Cat of the Apocalypse — Artist
Tezca — Writer
They just arrived in the village of Tadfield, they hadn’t been since they were in the midst of stopping the End of the World. And Crowley wished they were here under better circumstances. He thought he and Aziraphale were going to be left alone. He thought and felt like an utter fool that they would finally, fucking finally be granted a few centuries of peace.
But no, no it was just one problem after another. Only five fucking years and now they were faced with the threat of Earth being destroyed. No they weren’t trying to start the War via the same methods. Instead, if there was any War that might come, it’ll be the result of the revolt that was happening upstairs. They haven’t gotten any details beyond Gabriel had Fallen and that he and the Principality of the Southern Gate was at Anathema’s house.
And why would they go there instead of directly to him and Aziraphale is beyond him. Actually no Gabriel he definitely understands why, if the roles were switched, would he want to show up at the steps of the traitors after taking an unexpected nosedive into sulfur? Probably not. As for the other Principality...he wasn’t sure why.
Said angel of the Southern Gate probably didn’t know where they live so actually he can get that too.
And all things considered, Anathema’s cottage was the best choice as any to go below him and Aziraphale on the list.
And speaking of Aziraphale, just how the hell can he still be all his cheery angelic self after everything that’s going on. Out of the blue Sandalphon staged a sudden uprising to overturn God cause apparently he and his supporters think they can run Heaven better. Uriel just wanted the war to start no matter which way they took to get there. And Michael was nowhere to be found.
And Gabriel wanted to protect God, always still so fiercely loyal to her. And this is what he had to show for it. Heaven was now ruled by two archwankers and he can infer that Gabriel was casted out of Heaven for trying to stop Sandy and his army.
“...and still it is just so lovely to see Tadfield again...oh I wished under happier reasons but still Crowley...I just can’t help but feel joyous at how much love this place emits!”
Crowley tighten his grip on the wheel as he tried to not bare out what he actually felt. He didn’t want to crush Aziraphale’s attempt to keep a good mood during this renew time of chaos. He wasn’t really in the mood though so he did the only compromise he can think off.
He drowns out Aziraphale’s monologue about all the places he loved based on how much love he feels in return by turning up the radio. It was appropriately a Queen song. He hoped in vain that Aziraphale would get the hint to just shut up for right now but of course he was oblivious.
Aziraphale retaliated by changing the station. To a Christain rock one. Crowley wanted to bang his head, why did Heaven though it would be a great idea to sully rock and roll music forever with songs praising God and Jesus? That just pushed his buttons more so they went back and forth, back and forth until he snapped.
And now all there was left was a tension and a guilty feeling at the crushed look Aziraphale had over his face.
They just about pulled up in front of the gate to Jasmine cottage, “I’m sorry angel I just...this whole thing been getting to me I just-”
“Oh, I apologize dear...I suppose I just don’t want us to get into a state where we’re so despondent to the point where we give up,” Aziraphale was also deathly afraid for their safety but it would do them no good to dwell on that. Just the hope that they can stop Sandy and his army before a War breaks out.
Crowley paused for a few seconds before he faced him,“I’m sorry too angel but...eh come on, they are waiting for us.” Crowley didn’t really want to think too much on his feelings right now. He didn’t want to admit just yet just how worried he was, there could be a very real chance they might get killed. Him, Aziraphale, their allies old and new.
Crowley and Aziraphale got out of the Bentley and took the short walk up to the front door. The latter knocked and in no time the door opened to reveal not only the witch but a young looking man who looked like he was about as stuck in the 1970s as Aziraphale was in the 1870s. An afro, sideburns, partly buttoned up shirt, open waistcoat.
Only thing difference is his hair is dark brown as opposed to blond. Same blue eyes thought.
“Hello Anathema...and you are” Crowley faced the newcomer. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Gabriel sitting in the kitchen, head down as if he didn’t want to show himself yet in his demonic form.
The angel beamed a bright smile,“You must be the ones Anathema called earlier! You can call me The Colonel...I like to keep it a mystery…” Actually he just didn’t want to use his actual angelic name, it never really felt like him so to speak, “Or Jon doesn’t matter really…” He laughed a bit awkwardly.
(For more info on where the angel of the Southern Gate came up with that, it is simply put that it was part of his full human alias; Jonathan Hensley)
pastelpenguins — Writer
Aziraphale beamed at the angel from behind Crowley, happy to recognize the aura of his old friend, well more like old acquaintance seeing as they lost touch shortly after Eden. Before either one could speak, Anathema walked in carrying a metal box that looked ancient.
“Sorry I didn’t hear you come in, Newt was helping me find where,” She motioned with the box. “this was.” Then set it down on the table, frowning at it.
“Thank you both so much for meeting us.” She smiled nervously, as everyone but her were finally seated. Reaches into the box, Anathema pulled out burnt and dirty, yellowing 350, now 355, year-old manuscript. Crowley had to put a hand on Aziraphale’s leg to keep him from jumping up in excitement over seeing it.
He was still looking at Gabriel out of the corner of his eye, instead of him keeping his head down, he was actively using both arms to shield his face. What ever happened when he fell must have really messed it up, vanity was probably a vice his nature made him feel now.
He never would have thought he would be pitying the wanker, but he also didn’t think they would be trying to stop the fucking End of the World again, just after 5 years. Though his feelings of pity weren't greater the incessant need to know what in Go-Sa-Somebody’s name was actually going on.
“Ok before we help, can someone explain a bit because we haven’t been told anything. Well anything besides the fact upstairs is apparently revolting, out of the four archwankers in charge,” Crowley jabbed a thumb in Gabriel’s direction before continuing.
“Gabriel here fell, Michael’s missing, and the other two are the reason and apparently have a little cult of flawless beings that probably should have fallen with the rest of us in the first war.” By the end of his rant, Gabriel was visibly shaking beside him and the Guardian Southern Gate, Jon, had gotten up to lay a calming hand on his back.
“Yes well, that would have taken a rather long explanation that we didn’t have time for in the case Anathema wasn’t able to convince you to come!” Jon snapped as Gabriel whispered something.
“Well I’d like to know more before risking our safety over some fallen Archwanker claiming the reason he fell was wanting to protect God! Just sounds like someone pissed mommy off and wants back in s’all.” Crowley snarled back, he may have still been just a bit pissed off over the whole ‘Shut your stupid mouth, and die’, thing still.
Kearatheshadow — Writer
“Crowley,” Aziraphale said quietly, although his eyes were still on the second prophecy book in Anathema’s hands. “I don’t understand why you’re so passionate about this, I would think you of all people here would understand.”
Jon, like all Angels of the Gate, stood protectively beside Gabriel. “He’s right. You are in fact, acquainted with revolt, Serpent.”
Crowley sunk deeper into the couch, glowering. “First of all, the War was a dissent. We chose to Fall, we’re proud of it. This is a purge led by two Archangels voted most likely to Smite-first-ask-questions-later, and it’s just going to get worse and worse.”
And at this Crowley stood, and towered over the Demon Gabriel, anger barely contained as scales rippled up his neck. “You had your chance the first time round. You don’t care about the world, you’re just here to save your own wings.”
“Whatever the reason,” Aziraphale pointed gently. “Isn’t it better to have more on Our Side if we have to go through this all over again?”
Gabriel raised his head out of his hands, and dark bruises underlined his eyes, lips pale, and the room saw, for the first time, that his purple eyes were fractured, spider-web cracks of lavender. “So you’ll—“
“It doesn’t mean we trust you,” Aziraphale said sharply as a reminder, but he urged Crowley to sprawl back into the couch, commanding control and focus of the room back to Anathema. “But we will listen.”
Anathema took in a breath, as four pairs of immortal eyes landed on her, and she turned over the first page of the manuscript with shaking hands.
And she froze, and then smiled, wet laughter bubbling up from her throat. “Of course she knew.”
And she pushed the manuscript and it’s contents towards Aziraphale. “I’ll help you in whatever way I can, of course, but this isn’t for me. I’m done being a descendent.”
“You might not have much time to enjoy that by the sounds of it.” Crowley ran a hand through his hair, already as exhausted by the end of the world as he was five years ago. “What does it say Angel?”
Aziraphale— miracling gloves on first— turned the next page under a watchful audience. And then the next, and then the next.
“Oh,” he said dumbly. “Oh fuck.”
Kel — Writer (Artist for this round)
Greg — Writer
Count Gabriel paced the dark room, his violet eyes seeming to glow, his black and violet suit neatly pressed, his matching cloak fluttering in a breeze that was not there.
A knock resounded through the hall. “Enter”
The door creaked open ominously. Sandalphon (Igor) regarded his master. “A human has arrived sir.”
“A human? We haven't had a human guest at the castle in nearly a century!”
“Quite so sir.”
“Well, we mustn’t be rude. Prepare some… What do humans eat in the evening?”
“Yes, prepare some food for the evening meal-”
“Yes indeed, prepare our guest some dinner.”
Sandalphon exited and Gabriel grinned, sharp fangs glittering in the moonlight. A human! How exciting! They must make certain to seem like completely normal humans, so as to not scare off this human.
What delight! It was in fact two humans! One was a skinny boney fellow with bright red hair, dressed in stylish black.
He looked more like a stereotypical vampire than Gabriel himself, who was far too muscular and fit to meet the description. His companion was an anxious round fellow, who’s clothes looked similar to the last human who had entered Count Gabriel’s castle. Surely human fashion changed more frequently than that? Considering how different the other human’s clothes looked from anything he had seen before.
Gabriel beamed at his guests. “I am Gabriel, this,” he gestured to the scarred figure lurking in the door, “is my servant Sandalphon . He says you were caught in the storm and needed shelter”
Crowley shuffled uneasily, looking around the ancient crumbling chamber and the dark sinister tapestries. He introduced himself and Aziraphale, then “Yeah our car broke down, and cell service is down. Your, uh, home? Was the only thing close by.”
Gabriel looked puzzled. “What’s a car?” Aziraphale and Crowley exchanged a look .
Sandalphon stepped forward and helpfully said “Their vehicle, sir.”
Gabriel's expression cleared back into the too bright smile. “Oh I see. Trouble with the horses? I’ll have Sandalphon prepare a stable for them at once.”
“Er, thank you?” Aziraphale said. It only seemed polite, even if he had no idea what their host was talking about.
Gabriel led the couple to the dining room, and proudly presented the table, which was laid with the oddest collection of food the pair had ever seen.
“Look! Dinner!” The strange man’s violet eyes gleamed with joy similar to that of a small child showing his parents a drawing he had made.
Aziraphale smiled politely. “Very nice!” Even if the idea of eating anything on the table turned his stomach. He was a lover of food, but this could hardly be described as food. Crowley merely raised his eyebrows in bafflement. They took their seats in front of the ancient cracked place settings, and shortly the servant Sandalphon joined them and his master at the table.
Dinner was not as bad as it looked. It simply did not taste of anything at all. As if whoever had prepared it had no idea how food was supposed to work, and had never eaten it themselves.
But with their host watching them so eagerly, with such hope and pride, even Crowley found himself pretending to enjoy it, mimicking the noises and faces his husband made when he had taken Aziraphale to a particularly good restaurant. Letting down the strange enthusiastic man would have been like kicking a particularly dumb puppy.
After dinner they talked with their host in the parlor, who continued to seem amazed and puzzled with the most ordinary of topics. Crowley found himself embellishing his stories, just to see what he could get away with, and it would seem Gabriel was very gullible.
After several hours Aziraphale found himself unable to hide a yawn, and Gabriel looked at them with shock and horror.
“Oh no! I forgot that you’d be needing sleep. Sleep is a thing humans do. I’m so sorry! Sandalphon, please show them to the guest room.”
The pair shared another bewildered glance as they were ushered out of the room.
Shortly after, Sandalphon returned to his master and bowed. “They should be asleep in an hour or so master, if you would like to drink their blood.”
Gabriel screwed up his face in indecision. “No… No I don’t think so. They were nice, and I like the company.”
“Can you see to their horses and their… their”
“Yes their car! So that they may return home safely.”
“Yes Count, I shall see to it at once.”
“I hope we have more guests soon. I need to sleep before dawn, so I won’t see them again. It gets lonely, you know.”
Sandolphon took his hand. “I won’t leave you.”
“I know. Thank you.”
The next morning the the couple woke from a fitful sleep. There were drafts in the castle, and terrifying noises, and no matter how silly it felt neither had been able to shake the feeling that something would come up and bite them as they slept. Nonetheless they had woken up tired but unharmed.
The strange servant Sandalphon showed them to the Bentley, now perfectly repaired, and opened their doors. “Do stop by again, if you’re in the area. I know the count is… eccentric, but he doesn’t get any visitors you see and… Well you’d always be welcome.”
Crowley and Aziraphale shuffled their feet awkwardly and mumbled non-committal replies, before entering the car. The Bentley swerved and barreled away at speed, Aziraphale and Crowley breathing a sigh of relief. That had been a narrow escape.
Sandalphon watched them go sadly before returning to his master. Perhaps trying out more human customs on their own tonight would cheer him up?
Keys — Artist
Chamyl — Writer
They both looked up at the ceiling, quite concerned with the noise they’d just heard.
“Uh,” Crowley said, “D’you think… anyone noticed, up there?”
Aziraphale’s tongue felt thick in his mouth. “Well, I-I don’t know. But, ah, I guess… if we were to be found out, I could always say I’m trying to—to steer you towards the path of righteousness, or—”
“Wh—how—by cuddling , angel?” Crowley sat up, doing his best Aziraphale impression (which was, admittedly, pretty damn good), “ hello Gabriel, yes, I was trying to hug the demon Crowley into becoming a self-righteous prick just like you! An excellent strategy, if I may say so myself! ”
“I do not talk like that,” Aziraphale replied, giggling and tugging on Crowley’s sleeve.
“Uh, yes, yes you do.” Crowley replied, but allowed himself to be pulled back down on the bed. He continued, mercilessly. “ Hello, Michael, my dear fellow! You look a little tense, have you ever tried some of this? The humans call it ‘cocoa’, and it will make you feel tickety-boo in a jiffy!”
Aziraphale made a face. “Michael would turn down any human food or drink, actually.”
“Yeah, I know.” Crowley pulled the covers back up over them. “Was just kidding, angel.”
“What about demons?” Aziraphale asked, curling up closer to Crowley. “Do they? Eat and drink, I mean.”
“Uh…” Crowley though about it for a second. “Kind of? Nothing you’d consider palatable, though.” He cringed a bit, which only stoked Aziraphale’s curiosity.
Crowley raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure you want to know? There’s no forgetting this, once you know.” Aziraphale nodded, so Crowley sighed and kept going. “Well, Hastur is a big fan of those cricket chips that have started to pop up in some novelty shops, for example.”
“Oh, that’s not bad at all. It would take some getting used to the idea, but other than that it’s not very different from eating other animals, is it? And he is, after all, a frog.”
“Right,” Crowley replied, having decided not to argue that he was a snake, but the thought of eating mice had never crossed his mind. “I was preparing you. It gets gradually worse.”
“Do go on, I’m rather sure I can deal with it.”
“Okay, so, uh, Ligur, on the other hand… I don’t think he’s ever figured out how human food works? I have seen him make a sandwich with a mandarin in it.”
“Yes! I swear, just…” he pressed his palms together as if squeezing something between them, “slice of bread, slice of bread, peeled mandarin in the centre.”
“Well, that’s downright offensive.” Aziraphale replied.
“Yes! It’s what I’ve been telling you!”
“Still not awful, I must say. I thought it’d be worse.”
Crowley swallowed. “And then there’s Lord Beelzebub, of course.”
Aziraphale blinked in interest, clinging to the covers like a child listening to a scary goodnight story. “W-what do they like?”
“They weren’t much interested in food until the 70’s…” Crowley started as Aziraphale pulled the duvet a bit higher over his face. “And then, one day… they discovered what has been their favourite dish for the last 50 years.”
Aziraphale’s voice had dropped to a whisper. “Which is…?”
Crowley looked over his shoulder, then locked eyes with the angel. “Ham and bananas hollandaise.”
Aziraphale seemed to be having some trouble piercing it all together, a confused frown on his face. “Ham? And… bananas?”
Crowley nodded again. “The ham is wrapped around the banana.”
Aziraphale made a horrified gasp. “No…”
“ Yes ,” said Crowley. “And we haven’t even got to the hollandaise part.”
Aziraphale scooted away from him a bit. “Please, don’t tell me…”
“Yes.” Crowley said. “It is exactly what you’re thinking.”
“The… the hollandaise sauce…” Aziraphale stuttered, visibly upset. “D-does it go on top of the bananas wrapped in ham?”
“Indeed.” Crowley confirmed, dead serious.
“Oh, dear.” Aziraphale sounded faint. Crowley wrapped his arms around him. “I’m so glad you’re different from all of them.”
Crowley smiled into Aziraphale’s curls, content as anything.
“Do they know,” the angel asked, “that your favourite food is angel cake?”
Crowley choked on air and made an indignant noise.
Just then, they heard another weird noise coming from above.
Anjael — Artist
Jess#7924 — Writer
Emma O’Neill, junior claims adjuster, checked that she had the forms she needed on her clipboard and knocked briskly on the door of A.Z. Fell & Co. bookshop. Brisk and professional, that was the way! This was only her third ever investigation, and the first commercial claim – a bit more exciting than cars with scratched bumpers.
“Coming!” called a sing-song voice, and the door opened to reveal a slightly harried-looking man with white-blond hair and tan cardigan. “Oh, are you from the insurance? Thank you so much for coming out so quickly! I’ve had this shop for so long – er, that is to say, it’s been in my family for so long – and it means a great deal to me, really it does. I hate to see it in such a state!”
Emma smiled and nodded, professionally. When the proprietor (Mr Fell, according to the policy notes, which she had carefully studied before leaving the office) paused for breath, she proffered her card. “Yes! We pride ourselves on quick resolutions and claims processing. It’s not a problem at all.” She peered past him at the debris in the middle of the floor. “And, ah, I think I see the problem?”
“Yes, indeed. You’ll see the hole up there-“ Mr Fell gestured, and Emma peered up at the jagged hole in the roof next to the huge stunning oculus. “-and it all just came down right here.” He made a whooshing gesture, evoking the fall of roof, insulation and wood into the middle of the shop floor.
“Hmm.” Emma started making a mental list of things to check. What could cause this kind of collapse? A leak – water damage? (Covered if sudden, not covered if a slow-leak that the insured party should have noticed and rectified earlier.) The wood was old – borer, general wear-and-tear? And it was a miracle that the glass hadn’t shattered – that would have been messy – but she would need to check that the frame was still sound.
“Was any property damaged? Your stock, I mean?”
Mr Fell gestured to the rubble. “Just the one bookcase was under the collapse. Nothing of value, thankfully. Just some modern novels – comedy section, really. Dan Brown, mostly, a little Rollins.”
Emma hadn’t thought of Dan Brown as a comedy writer before. She gave a mental shrug, and noted the books on her form. “If you have a stock list with values, just email it through to me. Now, I’ll need to take a closer look up there. And were you in the shop when it happened? There was a description of events attached but it didn’t seem to quite make sense.”
Mr Fell nodded helpfully. “Oh yes, I was here! It was quite a to-do. You see, he fell-“
Emma blinked in surprise. “You mean a man really did fall down?” It wasn’t just the claims team making fun of the newest junior?
“Man-shaped being,” Mr Fell corrected.
Emma flicked over a page on her forms. Not just water damage, then. “Why was he up there? Was it a contractor working on the roof? Because if so he should have his own insurance. Or-“ Her pen moved to hover over the “Vandalism” tick-box. “I just need to know so we can use the correct cause of damage for processing the claim. It makes a different if it was intentional damage or due to the age of the building, or an external force…”
Mr Fell looked enlightened. “Hmm, I see! I’ve never actually made a claim before, you know. This is all quite new to me. But I’ve been paying the premiums for ever so long – I mean, my family has – so it seemed like the right thing to do to…follow the proper channels, as it were.”
Emma cast a thought to the policy documents she’d left at the office – simply because the paper seemed too fragile to bring out. The Fell family were indeed long-term policy holders – it was like archaeology, digging down past modern computer-generated forms to line-printed documents to typewritten to – at the bottom – something that was actually entirely handwritten in a flourished calligraphic script.
Mr Fell was peering at her form. “Flood, no….Vandalism, hm, no…Fire?” He paused for a moment. Emma had a moment like déjà vu – hadn’t the start of a claim for fire in this shop come across her desk? But no – there wasn’t any sign of that at all. How strange.
“Here we go, this is the ticket!”
Emma looked at where Mr Fell was pointing. “Act of God?”
Emma paused again. “That…that’s things like major disasters. Unforeseeable natural phenomena.”
Mr Fell was nodding, like he hadn’t heard her. “Act of God! That’s exactly right. An archangel fell through my roof right there and – oh, I suppose, to be fair, it’s rather more accurately an Act of Heaven than an Act of God, I don’t know for certain that She actually had a hand in it-“
Emma felt slightly adrift. This wasn’t what she was trained in. “An…angel. Fell through your ceiling.”
“So…you’re making a claim under the Act of God clause.”
“Were…were there any witnesses?” Emma scrambled. Maybe Mr Fell was hit on the head when the ceiling collapsed?
“Of course. My…my dear friend, Crowley was here. And the angel!”
Emma eyed the floor. She was only aware of property damage, no one had said anything about injuries or fatalities. Surely if a man had fallen though and….died? Become an angel? They would have told her about it? There wasn’t any…blood or anything on the floor.
She turned to Mr Fell, but he was already walking away towards the back room of the shop. “I’ll just get them-“ Them? “-and oh dear me, how rude of me, would you like a cup of tea? I think Crowley was just introducing Gabriel to something a little stronger to settle his nerves after such a distressing day, but I’ll just pop the kettle on…”
“Thank….thank you,” she called. “Milk-and-one-sugar!”
Brisk and professional , she said to herself. And….
She stared at the men Mr Fell was cheerily chivying out of the back of the shop. She stared at the wings, too huge and real to be anything artificial. She stared at the way light seemed to puddle around his head, suggesting a halo.
Her pen moved and made a check-mark. Act of God.
Kazeetie — Artist
box — Writer
Aziraphale was reading Keats, positively delightful chap, when he a sharp whipscent of ozone made itself known. Ah , he thought, as a snap later, there was a most dreadful cacophony and an angel falling from heaven.
Not Falling, Falling, mind you. Just falling.
He glanced at the relatively new — made in only 1823 or so — grandfather clock in the homey little corner of his bookshop. Oh dear, twenty minutes past due already. He wondered how Crowley hadn't slunk in yet to bother him yet.
He dusted himself off and carefully placed a tassel to mark his spot, slotting the poetry book back into place.
He took in the sight of his former superior, amidst the books of a toppled display table. Good thing he kept the less valuable ones up front.
"Hello there, Aziraphale," Gabriel greeted back, a touch too loud. "I think there might be a hole in the ceiling."
Aziraphale smiled, amused despite himself. Gabriel was never quite as clever as Crowley, and yet his eagerness towards even the most obvious could be so endearing, contrasting so against Crowley and Aziraphale's 6000 year familiarity with flaw.
"Oh, is there?" Aziraphale snapped and the tables righted themselves, hole in the ceiling repairing itself.
"Aha, not anymore, eh?" Gabriel quite literally hopped to his feet, tucking his wings away. "Y'know, sometimes I feel bad for the humans, they never got to fly."
"Mm, quite," Aziraphale said absentmindedly, turning to look for the only missing person in their group. Gabriel followed suit doggedly, almost quite nipping his heels with every step.
"Hey, Aziraphale, when was the last time you flew?"
Aziraphale halted in his movements, cogs of old memories dusting themselves off. Now that Gabriel mentioned it, he couldn't recall. He relayed as such to the other angel, going back to opening the door to his bedroom, the only place he hadn't checked for that wily old serpent.
"Crowley?" he called, but was cut short by Gabriel miracling himself in front of Aziraphale.
"Really? Must've been more than a thousand years ago if you can't remember. You have a great memory."
Aziraphale would be dishonest if he recounted himself as feeling anything but proud at that moment ( "You mean, smarmy," Crowley would say.), and smiled and nodded, miracling Gabriel aside.
Oh, his dear Crowley was asleep. Curled up in the blankets, his darling serpent was.
He was just about to wake him when Gabriel miracled himself in front of Aziraphale again. "Then, we should fly!"
"We're already late for the play, dear," Aziraphale tried protesting.
"What's a little time travel between three preternaturals?" And before Aziraphale could say anything further, Gabriel had spread out his wings again, grabbing Aziraphale by the hand.
Oh dear, was all Aziraphale had to think before Gabriel jumped into the air, letting his wings propel the both of them upwards. He was shrieking as the ceiling broke, and he yanked his entire body close to where he was holding onto Gabriel, minus his stomach, which was still on ground with his dear serpent.
"Come on, Aziraphale, you know how to fly!" Gabriel shouted, with the wind carrying his voice ever so far away. "You're so clever!"
How to fly? Aziraphale barely remembered how to bring out his wings if he wasn't overcome with pleasure.
"I'll help you out!" he barely heard over the wind pulling at his hair and clothes, and Gabriel let him go. Aziraphale almost screamed again, but then felt a tug .
His wings unfurled, and it was pure instinct that drove him to let his wings cut through the air, letting the wind lift him higher and higher.
He swooped down, then let the wind carry him again, catching an updraft that shot him straight up into the sky. A laugh burst out of him as the city of London got smaller and smaller, a sight he hadn't seen in ages.
The air was lighter up here, ever so slightly, and he revelled in the weightless feeling, letting the updraft dissipate as he floated for just a second — before plummeting down like a bullet, tucking his wings into his body.
He was a few kilometers from the top of the tallest building when he flung his wings out, catching a gale that let him spiral down to the roof.
Oh, that was just positively marvellous. He ached pleasantly in many places, and he was sure his hair was beyond salvageable. Maybe Crowley would like to join, as well? He miracled himself back into the bookshop.
Ah, the hole in the ceiling was still there. Ah, there was his Crowley, disgruntled and blinking blearily.
"Good trip, Angel? Rubble fell on me, I'll have you know."
"Oh my dear, I'm ever so sorry," Aziraphale fretted, moving to clear the rubble, but before he could, it was gone, with the hole in the ceiling repaired.
"Thank you, dear."
"No, that wasn't me?"
A clap resounded behind them. "No, it was me!" Gabriel smiled widely and spread his hands. His wings were already away, slipped into the fourth dimension.
"Ah, then thank you, dear."
"You are welcome! And Aziraphale, was it fun? Flying?"
Aziraphale glowed. "Moreso than I remembered."
Crowley spluttered. "Wh—hold on—wait—so—you're meaning to tell me the two of you went on a clandestine flying date? Without me? Absolutely unfair."
"Oh, that was the exact reason I came back, dear!"
"But aren't we late for the play? It's one of your favourites, isn't it?"
Dear heavens, he was right. It wasn't like Aziraphale to get carried up in such frivolous impulsivity.
"Hey, Gabe, is it your fault that Aziraphale's "