When Adam went to bed on the Saturday after his eleventh birthday, he couldn't fall asleep. There were a lot of things to think about, things that would be difficult for anyone of any age, let alone a young boy. But for some reason, Adam kept honing in on one brief moment that hadn't been of much consequence to anyone but him, it seemed: They'd held hands. They were all about to die, Adam trying desperately to think of a plan, and he'd looked over and the two of them were just standing there, holding hands like it was the most natural thing in the world for two grown men—well, angels, but ostensibly male ones—to do.
It was 1990. Adam was old enough to have heard of gay people, but only in the schoolyard insult way that children talked about gay people in 1990. He'd heard they were girly and prissy and not something someone should want to be, but he'd never given much thought to the fundamental bit of being gay: that a boy could not only fall in love with another boy, but that there might exist a boy who'd love him back. It would take Adam another few years to understand why it was such an exciting thought, but for now it was something nice to focus on instead of processing what it meant that he'd been switched at birth and his biological father was actually Satan.
It took him a while to understand. He dated a few girls in school, including Pepper at one point. They made jokes about that these days when he was in the company of Pepper and her girlfriend.
Then one night, the last night before he was set to take a train back to Tadfield for winter hols, he decided to go to the pub at the Student Union. It was mostly empty, which suited him fine, and he sat at the bar happily nursing his beer and unwinding from all the hard work he'd done.
"'Scuse me," said someone next to him.
Adam looked up and saw a short, dark-haired boy with a square jaw and big, soft blue eyes. He was wearing a tie-dye shirt with a grey whale on it, and the shirt made Adam realize he'd seen this boy around before. Actually, he'd seen him wearing the shirt only yesterday, but it was the end of the semester. And he looked quite nice in the warmth of the fairy lights hung over the pub.
The boy smiled with what Adam had to admit was a good imitation of confidence. Not perfect, obviously, he could see he was nervous, but all the same it was a valiant effort and Adam appreciated not being the one to make the first move for once. "Is this seat taken?" he asked.
Adam smiled back. "It is now."
Adam learned that the boy's name was Tim, that he was a biology student with ambitions to study marine biology one day, and that he'd been drawn to Adam by a combination of his bag's "Save the Whales" pins and the rainbow flag patch they surrounded.
Tim wasn't his first boyfriend, but he was everything Adam had ever wanted in a boyfriend. He was cool-tempered where Adam ran hot, but he still cared about the things Adam cared about in addition to really, sincerely caring about Adam. He knew Adam had secrets, but he never pried. That he somehow still managed to make Adam feel supported and understood despite not knowing anything that was going on was a miracle, and not one Adam took for granted.
So when Tim came to him wide-eyed with a tale about two beings who could only be that same pair who'd held hands in the face of certain death, Adam couldn't help a derisive glance Up—clearly Somebody was messing about—but somebody on Earth, somebody he loved, was right in front of him panicking over a piece of Adam’s secret, so he turned off the television and told him everything.
When he finished, Tim got that nervous, sympathetic look he always got when he thought he ought to say something to salvage a situation. “Wow,” he said. “That must have been a lot for a kid.”
Adam couldn't resist taking Tim in his arms and kissing him. "Tim," he said. "Babe. I've lived with it for ten years now. It's a lot for you. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, you might have avoided some shock today."
Tim laughed, his voice tinged with a wild panic. "Well you didn't know I was dealing drugs to an angel and demon."
He paused to consider this. "Wait, so Crowley and Aziraphale smoke weed?"
"Mostly Az- Azra- Mr. Fell. I think Crowley's just along for the ride and trying it out. Adam… does this mean Christianity was right? I mean, I'm barely any good at being Jewish, and I'm gay, I deal drugs, and I'm sure Hell won't be too bad if I have an in with you, but— Mmph!"
Adam pulled back from the kiss, his boyfriend sufficiently silenced. "You're not going to Hell for any of those things," he said, stroking the back of his dark hair. "As long as you're a good person, you'll be fine." He smiled. "And you're you, so I wouldn't worry too much about that bit of it too much."
Tim quirked his lip up into a tiny smile. "Dunno if I should be trusting the Antichrist on that."
"Father of Lies is one of my titles," Adam said, laughing. "But I wouldn't lie about this."
Tim laughed as well and threw an arm around Adam. "Titles?"
"They're really embarrassing."
"Then I'll laugh with you. Go on, then."
He took a deep breath and counted his titles off on his finger. "So I'm the Antichrist, also known as the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of this World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness. By birth, anyway."
Tim shut his eyes. "Have you ever actually destroyed any kings?" he asked sleepily.
"Not that I know of."
He smiled, not opening his eyes. "Then I'm not too concerned about the Father of Lies thing."
Adam pulled Tim to his chest and closed his eyes as well. He'd never talked to anyone outside of the other Them about the whole Antichrist thing before, and being able to tell Tim was a relief. He thought again about those two figures holding hands and laced one of his into one of Tim's. They'd have to pay those two a visit together sometime soon.