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with my mind on my money (and my money on my mind)

Chapter Text

Rollin' down the street, smokin' indo

Sippin' on gin and juice, laid back

With my mind on my money,

And my money on my mind.

- Snoop Dogg, Gin and Juice

Tim had never set out to be a drug dealer. He'd been a bright kid, even got into a good university, but university life was expensive and his mum didn't have enough money to help him out, so he'd bit the bullet and asked his flatmate's friend's weed dealer where to sign up.

He was surprised by how much he liked it. Not everyone respected him, but everyone was nice to him because he was the guy who brought them their weed. There was power in that. He didn't have to bring them weed, and if he did bring it there was nothing stopping him from charging them too much for weed cut with skunk or oregano. After a lifetime of working in shops to make ends meet, it was nice to have a customer service job where the customer wasn't always right and wasn't certain how dangerous he was.

At first he'd only dealt to fellow students, but then an overly familiar literature professor had approached him saying a student had recommended him to her and from there he found himself building a network of humanities professionals who had chosen his product as their literal drug of choice. The literature professor had recommended him to the Music Librarian, who recommended him to one of the processing archivists, who then recommended him to the Rare Book Librarian, who recommended him to a number of professionals in the world of rare books, and that was how Tim had met Mr. Fell.

Mr. Fell was as eccentric as Tim might expect a rare book dealer with a connoisseur's knowledge of cannabis strains to be, and he couldn't help being fond of him.

A lot of it was the way he treated Tim compared to the bookshop's customers. As far as Tim could tell, Mr. Fell had no desire to actually sell the books he owned. The shop's schedule made so little sense that Mr. Fell scheduled a drop-off during business hours more than once by mistake. Before he saw him with a customer, he didn't think Mr. Fell had a mean bone in his body. After all, he'd always been so nice to Tim in the way adults were always nice to him when they felt badly supporting his criminal activities. But then he showed up with his rucksack carrying bag full of quality weed so pungent not even an airtight jar could keep the smell in to find Mr. Fell talking to an expensively-dressed woman around his age.

"If I have the money to purchase a book," said the woman through her teeth, speaking with sweet acidity, "I don't see why it matters whether I've got temperature and humidity control. If I buy it, it's mine."

Mr. Fell's face, normally warm and crinkled at the eyes, was smooth stone. "Because, madam," he said coldly, "this book won't be yours forever. One day, unless something in the operations of the universe has gone horribly wrong, this book will continue its existence so long as it's properly cared for, whereas no matter what supplements you take or what overpriced creams you apply to your face, you will eventually die and this book will be someone else's responsibility."

Tim couldn't suppress a loud snort of surprise and amusement, and both of them turned and stared at him.

The woman glared at Tim, and then turned back to Mr. Fell. "Fine," she spat. "You'll be having no more business from me, and I'll be sure to tell my friends the ill treatment I've received here."

"Good," Mr. Fell called through an icy smile as the woman stormed out. "You haven't given me much faith in their preservation standards."

Tim stepped aside to let the woman go, and when the door slammed behind her he just stared at Mr. Fell.

The older man met Tim's eyes and pursed his lips sheepishly. "Did I not tell you Thursday at three?"

He pulled out his planner and checked. "Nope," he said as neutrally as he could. "Wednesday at three."

Mr. Fell sighed. "Oh, dear. I do hope you won't think less of me having seen that."

"Nah," said Tim. "That was pretty wicked, I thought."

"Oh, no," he groaned. "I'm so sorry—"

Tim furrowed his brows. "Wicked's a good thing, Mr. Fell."

"Ah," he said, looking even more embarrassed. "Right. Would you please be a dear and turn the sign to closed?"

He reached back and turned the sign with a deft flick of the wrist, then brought the bag over to the cash register. "I threw in a couple samples I thought you might like," he said cheerfully. "I know you like Strawberry Cough a lot, and I thought this Original Glue strain we just got in would be really nice for you for nighttime when you've settled in. It's got a similar euphoric feeling, but it's also a really good couchlock which I know you like for reading."

Mr. Fell hummed thoughtfully. "Does it make you drowsy?"

"Nope. I know you don't like the drowsy ones. It's just relaxing is all."

He smiled and opened the cash register. "How much?"

Tim told him, and Mr. Fell slipped him an extra twenty pounds. Tim had learned by now not to argue with him; Mr. Fell wanted to make sure that he was fed and that his need for income didn't distract him from his studies.

"You can't do this for a career," he always said, "and one hopes within the next few years it'll be just another legal job."

Tim could respect someone who stuck to his principles, even if the questions about his studies were always a little scolding and the man's schedule was so complicated even he couldn't keep proper track of it.

He came another day and noticed a big, black vintage Bentley parked outside of the shop. This wasn't surprising, as unless a buyer was a curator or a librarian purchasing on behalf of an institution, one had to be pretty rich to buy what Mr. Fell had on offer. Tim knew better than to barge in without checking, but he was still rather surprised when he looked in and saw that the shop was closed.

Frowning, he rapped his knuckles against the glass of the front door. In the distance, he could hear two men laughing, and he thought he heard a low voice say, "…tell them to piss off."

A slight, sleek figure slithered out from the back room of the shop. He was wearing a white buttondown shirt that looked as though it had begun its day crisp, although now the sleeves were rolled up and rumpled and his tie was loose. He was also wearing sunglasses that were an impenetrable black. He opened the door. "We're closed," he said, smirking.

"'We'?" Tim repeated. He scanned through his previous visits to the place and realized he'd only ever seen Mr. Fell alone or with a customer. The man didn't look as though he was related to Mr. Fell in any way, and he'd always given Tim a bit of a gay vibe, so this had to be… "Oh."

The man raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean, 'oh'?"

"Er, nothing. Anyway, sorry to have bothered you, must have had the wrong time, I'll be going now, cheers-" He turned to go, but the man grabbed him by the handle of his rucksack.

"Hang on. Angel!" the man called, confirming Tim's theory. "Could you come out here a sec?"

Mr. Fell poked his head out of the back room and his eyes bugged wide when he saw Tim standing in the doorway. "Ah," he said. "Er, hello, Tim."

"Hey, Mr. Fell," said Tim. He had to think quick. He didn't know if the man knew Mr. Fell liked pot, and breaking up a budding relationship was the quickest way he could think of to lose one of his best customers. "I was just here for that, er. That book. I was going to borrow. For that essay."

"Right!" said Mr. Fell in a high voice. "Yes, of course. For your, er, your book report."

The man looked between the two of them. "A book report," he repeated. "How old are you, kid? Twenty?"

"Twenty-one," Tim admitted.

"And they've got you doing book reports at university?"

"My professor's a bit odd," he said quickly.

The man smirked at Mr. Fell. "Go on, then, Aziraphale. What is he, your drug dealer or something?"

Aziraphale Fell, Tim thought numbly as Mr. Fell began to sputter nervously. What an odd name.

"Oh, he is, isn't he?" the man gasped, looking like the cat who'd caught the canary even behind those fathomless shades. "Angel. I didn't know you still had it in you to break the law like that." He grinned. "What have you got for him, Tim?"

Mr. Fell took a deep breath and composed himself. "Oh, do grow up, Crowley. So I like to indulge in a little blue sage from time to time."

"Blue sage," the man—Crowley—repeated gleefully.

Mr. Fell pointed to the back room. "Do shut up, my dear boy. I'm just going to pay Tim and then you can make as many immature jokes as you like."

Tim didn't hear from Mr. Fell for a while after that, but about two weeks later he was up at two in the morning finishing an essay when he got a text from an unknown number.

Hi, Tim, it said, we met about two weeks ago at A.Z. Fell's. Got your number off you-know-who and I don't usually do this, but I heard weed is good for anxiety. Have you got anything for that?

Chapter Text

Tim had always known Mr. Fell was a bit of an eccentric, and the more he saw of Mr. Crowley the more he assumed he was just a different sort of eccentric. Mr. Fell had his odd hours and his dated sense of style, and Mr. Crowley had his omnipresent sunglasses and his incongruous relationship with Mr. Fell. He was a student, he saw stranger people than either passing through the Student Union on an ordinary weekday afternoon, so he didn’t think much of it.

At least until he found out Mr. Crowley wore color contacts under his sunglasses. Or at least presumably they were color contacts.

The two men had apparently forgotten that Deliveroo and UberEats existed and texted Tim offering a tidy sum of money to deliver them some chips from whatever chip shop was most convenient. "It's your fault we're hungry, after all," Mr. Crowley had texted, which by now Tim knew was the way Crowley liked to give compliments.

Then Mr. Crowley answered the door without his sunglasses. He didn't seem to notice, at first, but then he reached up to adjust them and looked as though he'd just had cold water thrown over him when his fingers hit skin instead of plastic.

Tim had just started his third year of his biology course, and he'd dissected a few eyes in his time. He knew how they moved and functioned. And, as an expert of sorts, Tim was certain he saw relaxed yellow irises suddenly draw tightly over large, round lenses, forming distinctive slits that could only be biological, but still he found himself saying, "Nice contacts."

Mr. Crowley laughed nervously, his pupils widening as he relaxed. "Right. Right! Thank you. We were at a fancccccy- ah, fancy dresssssss- oh, Go- ssssshi- bugger. Went to a party," he concluded stiffly.

He chose to ignore that Mr. Crowley apparently hissed when he was nervous, and he didn't say anything when Mr. Crowley paid him double and shut the door before he could count the money. For some reason he felt a bit guilty about his interaction with Mr. Crowley, though, so he texted both he and Mr. Fell that he hoped they'd enjoyed their food and that he'd let them know next time his supplier got a shipment in. Something nice and normal, so they'd know it was alright.

They put in an order the next week, and Tim put the incident out of his mind.

At least until a few months later. He'd already suspected Mr. Fell had forgotten his times again and given him a time the shop was open, and he went to the back door just to be safe.

Mr. Crowley answered again, sunglasses firmly affixed to his face as they'd always been since that one time, and Tim almost didn't notice anything strange.

Then Mr. Fell walked up behind Mr. Crowley, shirt off, a pair of massive, dusty-brown wings sticking out of his back. "Who is it my dear?" he asked, as though he was in a perfectly normal state. "Oh, Tim, hullo!"

Mr. Crowley's head whipped around, and Tim saw him tilt his sunglasses down. “Aziraphale,” he said, the name drawn out with warning dripping from every syllable.

Aziraphale straightened, his wings flapping once and snapping folded, that same ice water expression Crowley had worn before splashing over his face. “Oh, dear.”

Tim tried to think of something to say. He couldn’t just make some comment about contacts. Eyes were small, and these were fully-functional, gigantic wings. Like an angel, or an X-Man, or something definitely not Tim’s usual sort of weird. This was proper weird, and he felt like he ought to say something, because he sold weed to these people, they weren’t authorities or anything and they were generally nice to him, but this was completely, massively bloody weird and he didn't know what to do with it. He gulped, and he held out the paper bag of weed to Mr. Crowley.

Mr. Crowley took it hesitantly, and Mr. Fell's wings disappeared behind his back. He was wearing a shirt all of a sudden.

"What do we do?" Mr. Crowley whispered.

Mr. Fell pushed him gently aside and stepped forward, studying Tim's face. "Tim, my dear boy, are you quite alright?"

He gave him a mechanical nod. Then he stared at the other one, trying to see if he could get a glimpse of those yellow eyes behind the sunglasses. He couldn't. Finally, he swallowed and said, "I think I should be going."

"Yes," said Mr. Fell, "I quite agree."

Tim stumbled back to the flat he shared with his boyfriend in a daze. The building was a bit crap, but they had a fish tank in the corner that provided a good amount of white noise and they burnt enough incense that the place smelled like sandalwood instead of Tim's marijuana shipments he weighed out on the kitchen table. They'd brought in their own softer, more environmentally friendly lighting, too, including one that projected water effects onto the ceiling in their bedroom. Tim was applying for marine biology programs, after all, and his boyfriend was studying environmental law. They shared a love of the ocean, and whales in particular.

His boyfriend was waiting on the couch, watching Doctor Who reruns with his old mutt curled up in his lap. "Tim Wiederman," he said, not looking up from the television. "About time you got home, I've missed you." Tim didn't answer, so his boyfriend looked up. He frowned when he saw Tim's face. "Are you alright? You look like you've just seen a ghost," he said.

Tim sat down next to him and leaned his head on his shoulder. "Not a ghost. An angel, maybe. Or a lizard person. Do you think there's lizard people?"

He got a distant, hungry look in his eye. "No," he said, "but that'd be wicked, wouldn't it?" Then he paused. "Wait. An angel and a lizard person?"

"Er, yes?" Tim sat up. "Do you… believe me?"

Adam met his eyes, his face becoming entirely serious. "Tim, love, there's something I need to tell you about me that I learned when I was eleven."

 

Chapter Text

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.