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The Metatron was exceptionally irritated. Aziraphale, the Principality, had not checked in since the conversation they’d had at the site that was to be the beginning of Armageddon. They had anticipated him contacting them again soon. It was now Sunday night[1] and Aziraphale hadn’t been in touch. With a feeling that might have been expressed by a deep sigh, if they’d had a human body, the Metatron descended to Earth and manifested in Aziraphale’s bookshop for the second time, and what they very much hoped would be the last.

There was nobody there.

Or at least, there didn’t appear to be at first glance. A slight snuffling sound coming from the back room seemed to indicate otherwise, however.

They swept their way through[2] the shelves towards the source of the sound, rounding the corner and throwing the odd beaded curtain that hung in the doorway a disgusted look.

They looked into the slightly shabby combination kitchenette and sitting room with an air familiar to those who watch period dramas, when the nosy rich neighbor comes to judge the heroine’s living situation. It should not have surprised them, the Metatron thought dryly, that Aziraphale had chosen to stand for the good of humanity over the good of Heaven, given his obvious infatuation with their lifestyle. The Metatron squinted at the toaster on the counter by the sink with something approaching bafflement[3].

The Metatron’s confusion grew as they moved away from the toaster and turned to discover the source of the sound. There was Aziraphale, lying on the threadbare and rather hideous couch that stretched along one wall, with the demon who’d been at the site sprawled on top of him. They were both asleep. The Metatron thought the sound was coming from Aziraphale as he breathed, although they couldn’t be sure.

They moved closer, looking down at the scene on the couch. It was… rather a sweet image, actually. The Metatron had never liked Aziraphale much— six thousand years of reading his reports about the work he was doing to combat someone named Crowley had more or less convinced them he was an idiot— but they’d always assumed that was a feeling they had in common with every other person or person-shaped being the Principality had ever come into contact with. Evidently, that was not the case. It was nice to know they’d been incorrect in pitying Aziraphale for his lack of friendships or connections. Comforting, somehow.

The demon (Crowley, the Metatron thought, surely this must be Crowley) gave a little sigh and turned his head, nuzzling against Aziraphale’s neck. Aziraphale’s breath hitched and then evened out again as his hand came up to stroke through his dark hair.

Someone else might have had qualms about disturbing two individuals who were having such an obviously tender moment, but the Metatron did not. They roused Aziraphale, who let out a yelp and went through a series of movements that the Metatron assumed were meant to protect Crowley, who ended up squashed behind Aziraphale on the couch, whining slightly as he returned to consciousness.

“Angel, what on Earth—”

“Shush.” Aziraphale cut him off sharply, looking at the Metatron with the expression of one who is about to go into an argument he fully intends to win. “What do you want?”

“We had not heard from you since the recent events involving the Antichrist. Heaven is about to begin debriefing. Your presence is requested immediately.” The Metatron said.

Aziraphale glared. “No.”

“No?” The Metatron did not feel things like astonishment, but if they did, their tone would have been the most astonished it is possible for a genderless heavenly voice to be.

“Heaven’s idea of a quick meeting lasts a month at the outset. Let me know when they need my testimony directly, otherwise, go away.”

The Metatron considered this. “This is highly irregular.” They considered Crowley, who’s head was rising over Aziraphale’s shoulder with an expression of mingled suspicion and irritation. “Although, no more irregular than the fact that you have your enemy in a position of weakness and have yet failed to smite him.”

Aziraphale glanced at Crowley. “He looks fairly well smitten to me.”

Crowley blushed furiously. Aziraphale made a hushing sound. The Metatron did not clear their throat only because they didn’t have one.

“Very well. Someone will be sent to collect you if you are needed at any point in the proceedings. Be prepared.”

Aziraphale grunted his assent. “Kindly leave my bookshop.”

The Metatron did, thinking to themself that, after all, what Aziraphale said was technically true. Hadn’t a human once said that the best way to destroy one’s enemy was to make him your friend?

 

[1] London time—there is no concept of days in Heaven.

[2] Literally. The Metatron was too large to avoid knocking things off the narrow shelves of Aziraphale’s shop if they had been corporeal. Thankfully for Aziraphale, they weren’t.

[3] To be fair, most humans stumbling into this back room would have done the same—the toaster was from 1910.