* * * * * * * * * * *
The angel and the demon sat in their accustomed spot, having
abandoned their tea at Brown's in favour of the more alcoholic
beverages available in Aziraphale's back room.
It was quite necessary.
Anathema and Newt had announced their marriage, and the angel and
the demon were expected to be in attendance.
In Las Vegas.
"What's wrong with a nice ceremony in St. Paul's Cathedral?"
"You know what's wrong with that, stop your whinging, angel," sighed
"I'm not whinging," Aziraphale responded automatically. "I don't see
why *you're* upset about this, Las Vegas should be perfect for you
Crowley poured them both another glass of a quite lovely 1963
Merlot, surprisingly getting most of it in the glasses. They weren't
actually the proper glasses for a Merlot, the angel had pointed out
primly, but then Crowley had threatened to drink it directly from
the bottle. Aziraphale, mortified, had relented and had stopped
complaining after the second glass.
"S'not ours," the demon mumbled, bringing the glass to his lips
"What?" demanded the angel, leaning forward and teetering
dangerously. "Of course it's yours. Sin City and all that."
"No, no, Sin City's in Arizona somewhere," Crowley pointed out,
trying to deflect the conversation.
"That's Sun City," Aziraphale corrected automatically, and Crowley
began to regret giving the angel that gigantic National Geographic
atlas, which wasn't a collector's edition technically but was a
quite nicely bound affair anyway. Now he tended to correct the
demon's sloppy geographic statements, which Crowley regarded as non-
essential knowledge anyway. What did it matter where the place you
wanted to go was when you could go anywhere you wanted?
Crowley watched as Aziraphale quite visibly tried to remember what
he had been talking about just a moment ago. He could see
realisation creep across his face like a stalking cat. Bugger.
"Right! That was it! Las Vegas is yours," said the angel
triumphantly. "Well, not yours, technically, but it's sordid and
sinful and I'm sure you had a hand in it somewhere, I can
see 'Crowley' written all over it."
"No, s'what they call 'neon' and it gen'rally spells out the names
of the hotels," Crowley explained patiently, clutching his glass
like a lifeline. "And I had nothing to do with it."
"Famous last words, that," frowned the angel. "You had something to
do with everything. I know you, you old snake," he continued,
waggling his finger at Crowley and forgetting that it was attached
to a hand that held a half-full glass of red wine. The wine,
predictably, splashed out over Aziraphale's impeccable white suit,
and the angel glared at the offending stain as if it had got there
on purpose. "Blast."
Sighing, Crowley wiggled his fingers, the ones not holding his
glass, and the stain disappeared. "I did not."
"I've told you not to do that!" Aziraphale tutted. "I hate when you
vanish stains, you know that, dear."
"I didn't vanish it," shrugged Crowley. "I just sent it to a rather
annoying politician in America. Who should be rather surprised about
now as to how he got a Merlot stain on his suit at," he checked his
wrist, which didn't have a watch on it but it seemed to satisfy the
demon anyway, "Breakfast." His face brightened. "M'hungry. Want
waffles. Whoever invented those was bloody brilliant."
"I'm sure it was the French," mused the angel, still frowning at his
"Oh. Well, shame, that," Crowley's face fell. He'd thought that
France, and the French particularly, had been a bad idea at the
outset. Well, except for the wine.
"But you've got me off the subject," Aziraphale announced with
"We had a subject?" Crowley asked with mild surprise, holding the
bottle up to the light and frowning when he realised it was empty.
He muttered under his breath and suddenly it was full again. He
smiled and poured them both another glass.
"We did," insisted the angel. "We always have a subject. It may not
always be pertinent, but we do."
"Waffles," said Crowley firmly. "We were talking about waffles."
"No, no, before that," Aziraphale said, starting to wave his hands
about but thinking better of it at the last moment.
"American politicians?" offered Crowley. He knew the angel could go
on all day about them. Especially ones in California.
"No, farther back," replied Aziraphale, clearly determined. Then he
sat bolt upright, nearly spilling more wine, and snapped his
fingers. "That was it! Las Vegas."
Crowley sighed. Las Vegas was a sore spot for him; everyone always
assumed it had been his idea, but the truth was, it hadn't been. It
had been purely a human invention, that den of iniquity, gambling,
buffets and overuse of electricity in the middle of the desert. Oh,
he could always claim that he'd planted the seeds of the idea in one
human or another, but the truth was, he'd been working on an
entirely different project at the time and hadn't a clue until memos
went out down below about the new development.
"S'not ours," he mumbled, again.
Aziraphale looked taken aback. "Not yours? Well, it most certainly
isn't ours!" He frowned, angelically. "We'd always assumed..."
Crowley waved his hands vaguely, spilling some wine himself but he
was a demon and had no qualms, so the wine never made it anywhere
near his perfectly tailored black trousers. "Bloody humans. Thought
it all up themselves," he said resentfully. Every time he heard
mention of the place he seethed. That could have been a bigger
commendation than even the M25.
Aziraphale was quiet for a long moment, clearly understanding, then
announced, "Free will. Gets them every time." Then, apparently
realising that this was perhaps not the most angelic of attitudes,
he added, "But they can always redeem themselves, you know.
"Right," sighed Crowley. "So you can see, I'm not overly, well,
enamoured of Vegas."
The angel nodded vigourously. "I can absolutely see your point,
yes," he mused. "But I'm afraid there's nothing for it, they're
getting married and we're both expected to be there."
Crowley forgot himself for a moment and growled softly, only
stopping when he heard a sharp intake of breath from the angel.
"Really, my dear," Aziraphale said reproachfully.
"Sorry," mumbled the demon. The angel didn't seem to like it when he
growled. He drank a large gulp of wine and slouched in his chair
To be continued?