|Crossover Fic: We'll Get There in the End
||[Sep. 7th, 2011|06:58 pm]
(she lives between pages)
Title: We'll Get There in the End
Fandoms: Good Omens, Hot Fuzz, & Sherlock
Characters: Ensemble Cast(s)
Pairings: John/Sherlock, Aziraphale/Crowley, Nicholas/Danny, and a few others.
Notes: For context regarding what brought on this madness, read this post. I'd previously crossed Sherlock with Good Omens, Sherlock with Hot Fuzz, and Good Omens with Hot Fuzz, but I'd never quite managed to close the circle. I'm crossing three of my established fic universes here: in Sherlock, the universe being referenced consists of You Can Get There From Here (Timeline: Set in April 2011), Our Own Skin (Timeline: Set in Autumn 2017), and How I Met Your Uncle (Timeline: Set in Summer 2028); in Good Omens, the universe being referenced consists of A Better Place (Timeline: Mainframe Narrative Set in Spring 2006), The Walls, the Wainscot, and the Mouse (Timeline: Set in Autumn 2005), What to Do When the Clock Just Stops (Timeline: Set in February 2011), and Creature Comforts (Timeline: Set in Summer 2011); and finally, in Hot Fuzz, the universe being referenced consists of a lone story, Home for the Holidays (Timeline: Set in December 2007). This story, therefore, flashes ahead of all of this: it's set in the summer of 2032. That said, I think that anyone with a passing familiarity of all three sources should be able to read this without having read all of the above (nonetheless, I'm hoping it'll be a genuine treat for those of you who have read all of the above). Bon voyage!
Summary: All roads lead to fascinating places; fascinating people tend to find them.
“Absolutely not,” John said, and Sherlock fairly pouted at him.
“We'll be out in nature. What if I find some unmissable specimens?”
“It's a camping trip, Sherlock. Not a science fair!”
Sherlock tossed the foam-filled exhibit case on the sofa and folded his arms.
“You would risk having no way of storing a Jersey Tiger, should we encounter one?”
“I don't think the proprietors would take kindly to you killing local wildlife. Haven't you had a look at the website? These people are proper New-Age nutters.”
“It's a moth,” Sherlock muttered. “And it's not local; it's been branching out.”
“You're not bringing your pins and display board,” John said. “Full stop.”
Sherlock huffed and strode off to the kitchen. He emerged with the picnic hamper that Harry had brought them earlier. “Do you want this in the boot or on the back seat?”
“Back,” John said, resuming his deconstruction of the tent, which Sherlock had set up the night before in the sitting room under the guise of a trial run. In reality, it had been an excuse to annoy the shit out of him. “I want the food within easy reach so I can make sure you remember to eat en route.”
Sherlock pulled a face and left the room, his footfalls far quicker down the porch stairs than they ought to have been. John sighed and tightened his jaw. Sherlock wasn't good at remembering he had limits, regardless how often he was reminded.
“Need a hand?”
John turned to find Sherlock already standing in the doorway, apologetic.
“Yeah,” John said with a smile, his heart breaking just a little. “That would be ace.”
“We'll be in Cornwall,” Danny pointed out. “Nothing happens in Cornwall.”
“Really?” Nicholas asked, tucking his stab vest back into the duffel bag, from which Danny had removed it thirty seconds earlier. “Just like nothing happens in Sandford?”
Danny rolled his eyes and shoved a second bottle of water into his backpack.
“We won't be needing guns, either,” he said. “They're proper hippies out there.”
“So I saw,” said Nicholas, pensively. “The website is very clear on that point.”
“Come on,” Danny said, reaching for Nicholas's hand. “It'll be fun, yeah? No bins for 'em to mess about with. I'll bet they recycle and have a proper compost heap.”
“I haven't been camping in a long time,” Nicholas admitted, frowning hard.
“Come on, now, none of that,” Danny said, tapping both index fingers against Nicholas's greying temples. “What's going on in there? Out with it.”
Nicholas hesitantly let out the breath he'd been holding.
“Last time I went, it was with Jeanine. Nothing short of a disaster. She didn't adhere to proper fire-safety guidelines, and I had to explain—”
Danny shut him up with a kiss, and then grinned.
“I don't know nothing about proper fire-safety guidelines. You'll have to explain.”
For the remainder of the time they spent loading the car, Nicholas laughed.
“I hate to break it to you, angel,” Crowley said, chewing his lip, “but it'll be damp.”
Aziraphale froze in the middle of carefully placing another hardcover in his suitcase.
“But the forecast says—”
Crowley gave him a dubious look and took the book out of his hand.
“But nothing,” he said. “It's Cornwall. Rain every day whether you like it or not.”
“The pages,” Aziraphale murmured, eyeing the other stacks of books already neatly arranged in his suitcase. “In that kind of humidity, they'll start to wrinkle.”
“Besides,” Crowley said, removing one of the stacks of novels from where it had only just been painstakingly settled. “It's a camping trip, not a book fair.”
“The website made mention of a local literary festival,” said Aziraphale, tartly.
“Not your kind of festival,” Crowley sighed. “Think tarot cards, incense, crystals, and white-lighter Wiccans with bad dress sense as far as the eye can see.”
Aziraphale winced. “Surely she won't let them overrun the site.”
“They're in one of the far fields,” Crowley said. “Off beyond the cows.”
“There had better not be any cockerels,” muttered Aziraphale, darkly.
“Can't have them ruining your beauty sleep, now, can we?”
“My dear, I do believe this is where the phrase look who's talking applies?”
Crowley abandoned folding a pair of jeans he hadn't worn in ages and leaned back into Aziraphale's surreptitious embrace. The suitcase full of books had been replaced by a suitcase full of sturdy jumpers, patterned wool socks, and breathable cotton trousers.
“I've taught you well,” he sighed, satisfied, and resumed folding.
* * *
“Let me,” Sherlock said, reaching for John's mobile, which was on the dashboard.
In spite of the fact he was driving, John caught Sherlock's wrist with precision.
“No. If it isn't already broken, it'll definitely be broken by the time you finish.”
“It's a simple malfunction,” replied Sherlock, petulantly. “If I could just—”
“If you could just nothing,” John said, dragging Sherlock's hand down to rest on his thigh. “Inasmuch as I can't seem to persuade the GPS that we are not, in fact, headed for a destination at the bottom of the Channel, your intervention hardly did us any favors on the Glasgow trip.”
Sherlock turned his head to glare out the window, but he squeezed John's thigh fondly. They'd only been on the road for two hours, and the scenery was already boring him to tears. He'd have suggested a stop-off at the next services, but neither of them needed the loo, and John's only hard and fast road-trip rule was that you did not make your first stop until someone needed the loo.
“We ended up in Aberdeen,” he reminded John. “Which was where we needed to be.”
John snorted. “Dumb luck. Or, rather, your suspect was dumb, and we got lucky.”
“Yes,” Sherlock murmured, letting his thoughts drift back to that evening at the hotel.
“Don't pretend your mind's not in the gutter. I know exactly where it's gone.”
“Obviously. You've gone there, too.”
John flashed him a grin in the rear-view mirror. “The tent's not soundproof.”
Pretending he hadn't begun to blush, Sherlock let his gaze drift back to the window.
“If you'd let me bring that roll of insulation—”
“We'd have been sopping wet before the first night was out.”
Sherlock bit his thumbnail and tried to hide the fact that he was smiling.
Meanwhile, the GPS app was instructing John to take a left-hand turn at Atlantis.
“It can only help,” Nicholas insisted, typing in the address of the campsite before re-mounting Danny's iPhone on the dashboard. “See? It's already plotted our location.”
“Don't need it,” Danny said, switching off the phone with a single decisive tap.
“Because I'm from around here.”
“Danny, last time I checked? You are not from Dartmoor, or anywhere near it.”
Danny huffed. “You know what I mean. I'm familiar with this area.”
Nicholas tapped the phone back on. “Not according to the GPS.”
“Useless piece of junk,” Danny said, tapping the screen to zoom in. “It's broken.”
Nicholas squinted at it, wishing he'd brought along his reading glasses.
“Danny, why does it think our destination's underwater?”
“Dunno,” Danny said, shrugging, and gave his attention back to the road.
“Are you using Google Maps, or is that the fancy app Doris recommended?”
“Got both of 'em,” Danny replied, switching the phone off again. “Neither one works.”
“Right,” Nicholas said, reaching for the coffee tumbler. He offered some to Danny.
It was going to be a long drive.
“What's this do?” asked Aziraphale, prodding the screen curiously.
“Zooms in,” Crowley said, swatting his hand away. “Don't touch that.”
“It doesn't seem terribly useful,” Aziraphale replied. “Last time I checked, the campsite is not, in fact, where your application claims it is. Is this one of your newfangled pranks?”
“No,” said Crowley, cheerfully. “It's broken.”
“What do you mean, broken? How can it be broken? It's not even tangible.”
“Let's just say this area doesn't take kindly to messing about.”
“Oh,” said Aziraphale, and then, after a long pause, “But I thought we couldn't—”
“We can't,” Crowley said. “But older things can. Things much older than us.”
Aziraphale gave him a dubious look. “Now you're pulling my leg.”
“Not really,” Crowley said, tapping through a few screens until he got to his MP3 collection. “All the bits and pieces used in the construction of this miserable planet, they had to come from somewhere, right? Loads of junk out there in space. A veritable DIY paradise.”
“Fine,” sighed Aziraphale, watching Crowley as he scrolled down the screen. “Please none of that post-modern nonsense. I preferred it when you were stuck on classical.”
“Right,” Crowley said. “How about something a couple of decades gone?”
Aziraphale had no clue what the name of the band was, but he couldn't help tapping his foot and humming along to the line that went something like this:
We are all our hands and holders / beneath this bold and brilliant sun
* * *
John felt like thumping his head against the steering wheel.
“You haven't. Eaten. Anything,” he repeated. “So, if nothing in the hamper appeals, we're going inside, using the gents, and then getting you something you can stomach.”
“From Burger King?” asked Sherlock, dubiously.
“No,” John said. “From the café, which I assume serves proper food.”
“Not likely,” Sherlock replied, unbuckling his seatbelt. “Fish and chips don't count.”
“Fine, then you can grab dried mangoes and curried cashews and God-knows-what-else from the M&S Simply Food. I'm not about to tell you what you can and can't eat as long as it's something.”
Big mistake: ten minutes later, John emerged from the loo to find Sherlock halfway to the checkout in M&S with an armful of atrocities. He wondered since when Sherlock had developed a fondness for Thai chilli-chicken crisps and the in-house brand of chocolate cake rolls that were actually quite good. John grabbed a few bags of dried mangoes and joined Sherlock in the queue.
“You don't eat those,” Sherlock observed.
“Yeah, so?” John countered. “You don't eat those.”
“Very good,” said Sherlock, and leaned in to kiss him.
Danny felt like throwing something, but he'd be charged for damage if he did.
“Come on, Nicholas! They're two for six quid. You can't go wrong.”
“You can go wrong if they get wet during the night. They'll be ruined.”
“I'll leave the plastic on,” said Danny, solemnly. “I promise.”
Nicholas sighed and took the two DVDs off of him, setting them back on the display.
“We can order them off Amazon once we get back home.”
“But I brought my laptop and everything!”
Nicholas looked alarmed. “Where on earth are we going to keep it?”
“Locked in the car,” Danny said, dangling the keys in his face. “Of course.”
“Isn't that more trouble than it's worth? What if you leave it unattended in the tent and someone steals it? I can assure you the campsite proprietors won't appreciate me launching a full-scale investigation.”
“I will,” said Danny, and gave Nicholas the most soulful eyes he could manage.
The Matrix and Mission: Impossible were, as it happened, amongst their purchases.
Crowley felt like turning Aziraphale's tea into vinegar.
“We've got to push on,” Crowley insisted. “It'll be dark soon.”
“And it's possible to check in until midnight,” said Aziraphale. “We have time.”
“Not for you to waste money on mediocre sticky-toffee pudding, we don't.”
Aziraphale thanked the waitress as she set the plate down in front of him.
“Shall I bring two forks?” she asked.
“Why, yes,” Aziraphale said, beaming. “That would be delightful.”
Crowley sank down a few inches deeper in his seat.
“I'd hoped to cook once we got there,” he admitted.
Aziraphale blinked as the waitress returned and placed a fork in front of each of them.
“Whatever for? We're on holiday.”
“The cottage has a kitchenette. We brought food. Ergo...”
“My dear,” said Aziraphale, reaching across the table. He folded Crowley's hand around the fork. “Our dessert's getting cold. You won't let it go to waste, will you?”
They were stuck with the pudding, so Crowley made damned sure that it was good.
* * *
Sherlock rolled down the passenger-side window and grinned at the young woman with wavy black hair. She was pretty, he supposed, if you liked that sort of thing.
“Reservation in the name of Holmes. You wouldn't be Natalie, would you?”
The young woman squinted at him, backlit in the doorway of the caravan, which served as the campsite's main office. It was just across from the family farmhouse anyway, the back door of which was wide open in its own right, spilling orange kitchen-glow into the gravelly dusk.
“No,” said another young woman, stepping up behind her, identical. “She's Janet.”
Damn, Sherlock thought. Then it's true, what they say about witches and twins. Not that he actually believed they were witches, although their mother certainly seemed to think she was a witch, and Sherlock had to admit she'd been of use in a few cases.
John cleared his throat, and then yawned.
“Yep, you can just pull up wherever,” continued Natalie. “Park on the rough bit next to your pitch.” And then, in a lower voice, to her sister, “You're staring.”
Janet shook herself and rummaged off to one side. She handed Sherlock some paper.
“Five quid per person per day,” she said. “We'll come around to settle up.”
John looked rather pleased at this development. Sherlock turned back to Janet.
“You don't require immediate payment? We're staying a fortnight.”
“Then I'll come settle up with you then,” Natalie said, yanking Janet inside. An animated row sparked off no sooner than the caravan door had slammed behind them.
Sherlock turned back to John and rolled up the window, mystified.
“You charmer,” said John, with a sleepy smirk. “Haven't lost your touch, have you?”
“Shut up and drive,” sighed Sherlock, slumping back in his seat.
It was about 10:00 PM when they pulled up to the caravan door, and Danny looked about ready to fall asleep at the wheel. Nicholas hastily rolled down the window.
“Reservation in the name of Angel?”
The bespectacled, greying man standing in the doorway looked a bit tired. He was fiddling with a complicated-looking mobile phone, and he had a wide-eyed, black-haired baby boy on his hip. Grandson, Nicholas thought, smiling at the child.
“You're staying for ten days,” said the man, finally looking up from his mobile. He turned it around so Nicholas can peer at a familiar e-mail confirmation on the screen.
Danny, slumped over the steering wheel, snored loudly.
“Er, yes,” said Nicholas, gently shaking him awake. “Did we already pay?”
“Nope,” Danny murmured, and promptly slumped forward again.
“We don't take fees up front,” said the man, and the baby made another attempt at grabbing the mobile. “Just pull up to whatever free pitch you'd like.”
Nicholas blinked. “That's awfully trusting of you, don't you think?”
The man shrugged and set the mobile off to one side, hitching the baby in his arms.
“What d'you reckon, Seth?” he asked the child. “Is your Nan a sucker?”
The baby—Seth—giggled and grabbed his grandfather's glasses.
Nicholas shook Danny again, and then turned back to their host.
“That's fine,” he said, offering a hand. “It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr.—”
“Pulsifer,” replied the man, juggling Seth in order to complete the handshake. “But you can call me Newt. I'll answer to just about anything, up to and including Hey, you.”
“Heyoo!” said Seth.
“Aw, he's a smart 'un,” said Danny, drowsily, and then grinned at Nicholas.
“You really have no idea,” said Newt, snatching back his glasses.
Crowley had sobered up before they got back on the road, bless him, but was a bit worse for wear. Aziraphale rolled down the passenger-side window and smiled warmly up at the familiar face framed in the caravan doorway, pleased beyond words.
“Sophia, how good to see you,” he said. “Night shift for the insomniac, is it?”
“Something like that,” she said, tucking her straight black hair behind her ear. “Downing Street has ruined my sleep patterns, that's for sure. I've become a regular night owl.” She looked softer in person, less poised and perfect than she did on telly.
Crowley yawned loudly, curling forward onto the steering wheel with a groan.
“Hi,” he said, waving without looking up at her.
“You poor things,” Sophia said, handing Aziraphale their reservation slip. “Long drive?”
“Long detour for food and booze, is more like it,” Crowley croaked. “Right, angel?”
A strange look crossed Sophia's features. “We had a reservation in that name.”
“It's not ours,” Aziraphale reassured her. “Crowley made ours.”
“Yes, I know,” said Sophia, grinning. “It's on the paper.”
“Muuuuum!” came a plaintive shriek from inside the caravan.
“Ah, that'll be Seth,” she sighed, handing over the keys. “You're in the building across the way; we converted the old barn into some holiday cottages. Hope you like the one we've sorted out for you. It's a little cosier than the others. Has a great view.”
“My dear, thank you ever so much,” said Aziraphale.
“The car won't park itssself,” Crowley hissed, stifling another yawn.
Sophia winked at them before closing the door. “Good night!”
* * *
John held the torch as steady as he could and shoved the last peg into place.
“I can't see a thing,” Sherlock complained through several layers of nylon.
“There, finished,” John said. “More or less. You don't need to hold it up anymore.”
The sound of two zippers being clumsily undone was followed by Sherlock staggering unceremoniously out into the damp grass. He made a disgusted sound when he realized his socks were pretty much done for. John caught him around the waist and held him steady, could tell he was in considerable discomfort.
“Where are your tablets?”
Sherlock waved a hand in the direction of the car. “There. Somewhere.”
John guided him back inside the tent and unrolled both the camping mats, swearing under his breath when he discovered that they hadn't hauled out the sleeping bags.
“Lie down,” he told Sherlock. “I'll haul out and unpack everything else.”
“But you put up the tent,” said Sherlock, stubbornly.
“Be that as it may, you are going to lie down, and I am going to unpack.”
Sherlock tugged on John's jumper so that they fell in a heap on the mats.
“We could just sleep like this,” he said softly. “You're exhausted.”
John kissed Sherlock until he agreed to lie quiet, left him with a brush to the cheek.
“That's not fair,” Danny said, hauling the last of their stuff from the boot.
“What's not fair?” Nicholas asked, pegging the last guideline into place.
“You did all the work. I could've helped.”
“It's my tent,” Nicholas said. “It made sense for me to set it up. Faster that way.”
Danny dropped their stuff in the grass and made a disapproving face.
“I didn't mean it like that,” Nicholas said, picking up their sleeping bags.
“I know,” Danny said, unrolling the camping mats. “But you are a twat sometimes.”
“You're tired,” Nicholas said, following Danny inside the tent with an armful of crinkly sleeping bags and the covers dangling by their laces from his index finger.
Danny spread the mats out side by side, and then reached up for his sleeping bag.
“Doesn't matter,” he said, laying it carefully, and then reached for Nicholas's. “Got it?”
“Got it,” said Nicholas, and let himself be tugged down against Danny's warmth.
“Oh, my dear,” Aziraphale cooed, fluffing one of the oversized pillows. “Isn't it lovely?”
“It's cheating,” said Crowley. He was stood at the window, leaning on the sill.
“I don't follow,” said Aziraphale, straightening up. He opened his suitcase.
“We ought to be out there with the rest of them,” said Crowley. “In a tent.”
“In the damp?” said Aziraphale, wrinkling his nose. “You didn't sound so keen.”
“I don't know,” Crowley said. “You can hear them talking. Mingling. See all the fires? Those kids have got things that glow in the dark. They're laughing. Sounds like fun.”
Aziraphale abandoned his unpacking and walked around to the other side of the bed. He stepped up behind Crowley and set both hands his elbows, drawing him in close.
“Lucky, then, that we're up here where we can admire it all,” he murmured.
Crowley shivered ever so slightly. “It's all about participation, angel.”
“They'll still be there tomorrow night,” said Aziraphale, teasing at Crowley's buttons.
“And the night after, and the night after, I know,” sighed Crowley, turning to face him.
“I knew you'd come around,” said Aziraphale, and crushed their mouths together.
* * *
What Sophie liked best about summers at her parents' place in Cornwall was, invariably, the people. Many of them were Londoners, and a few of them were locals; a handful of them, she knew and loved. This summer's crop was no exception.
“Like this,” said the tall girl named Liss, swinging the precariously spinning toy in a wide, soaring arc over one shoulder and down beneath the opposite arm. Her glossy dark hair was cut to chin length, and she moved like a dancer.
Her parents were sat in chairs near the fire, applauding.
“That's pretty impressive,” said Natalie, arms folded. “Can you do it in reverse?”
Janet punched her in the arm. “You're fucking wicked, Nat! Don't listen to her.”
Liss flushed and executed the stunt, pleased to be counted amongst the adults.
Sophia gave in to Seth's squirming and let him slip down into the grass. He toddled close to Liss and her daredevil antics, mesmerized by the endless colorful spinning.
“Liss, watch out,” said the dark-haired woman with a glass of wine in her hand. “The baby's getting a bit close. Liss, are you listening to me? Slow that thing down!”
The fair-haired woman next to her lurched forward and scooped Seth out of the way just as Liss cut a wide, whirling circle with the toy and reined it in sharply.
“Sorry,” said the woman, handing Seth back to Sophia. “She never does as she's told. I'm Clara, and that's Harry. If Liss gets into any trouble, you know where to go.”
“That's right,” said one of the men sprawled on a nearby blanket. “You come to me.”
“Uncle John,” Liss protested, still breathless. “Not fair!”
“I'd offer you asylum,” said the man beside John, nose buried in a book, “but I'd be in as much trouble as you, and everyone knows that doesn't bear considering, does it?”
Liss sighed and wrapped the toy and its swing-line up in a messy bundle.
“No, Sherlock, you're right,” she said, her tone evening to match his. “It doesn't.”
“Heyoo!” Seth shouted, making grabby fists in Liss's direction.
Janet and Natalie snickered behind their hands, worse than when they were teenagers.
“Be nice,” Sophia told them, and blew a raspberry against Seth's cheek.
Adam liked getting away from London every once in a while. Being the Prime Minister's husband was all well and good, and Seth kept him busy, but still. It was nice to see his in-laws and his sisters-in-law. And, of course, a number of very old friends.
“You're police officers?” Brian asked the sandy-haired man. “For real?”
“Back in the day, yeah,” said the dark-haired one. “But mostly we're retired.”
“Same here,” said Newt, offering the sandy-haired man some San Miguel.
The sandy-haired man passed the beer to his partner, who seemed happy to accept.
“Last year for us,” he said. “But we're still on call, if you like.”
“Adam here's got loads of weed stashed away, hasn't he?” Brian said to Newt.
“I wouldn't know,” said Newt, tactfully, taking a swig of beer.
“Stashed away where?” asked the sandy-haired man, with a severe frown.
“Oh, you know,” said Brian, grinning as he swilled his beer, “where he lives.”
“Nicholas, lay off it,” said the dark-haired man, shoving the beer bottle back at him.
“Be quiet,” said Nicholas, refusing the beer. “And you live where?” he asked Adam.
“London. Doesn't everybody?”
“Not us,” said the dark-haired man, finishing off the beer. “We're in Gloucestershire.”
“Ah,” said Newt. “Practically locals, then?”
“Something like that,” said Nicholas. “Listen, I assume this weed allegation is a farce.”
“Of course it isn't,” said Adam, wondering how long it would take him to catch on.
They'd left London when the rioting had got to be too regular an occurrence and the cost of living had grown more or less unsustainable. Not that Cornwall was cheap, but it was better, especially when you were growing nearly all of your own produce and slaughtering your own livestock. The twins had called her a traitor for giving up vegetarianism after all those years.
Anathema never had got them out of the house, and she doubted she ever would. She was grateful of the help, though, as Natalie was the best cow whisperer she'd ever seen, and Janet had a knack for fixing anything and everything that broke, from the barn door to the crotchety plumbing. She took after her father, that one. Keeping them connected to the outside world was Newt's job.
It's not the kind of life she'd expected to settle into, not after so many years of being a professional descendant and running an independent law practice and raising three spirited girls. She's done well by her family, that she knows, because, year after year, her favorite guests kept on coming.
“Are you happy, dear girl?” Aziraphale asked, refilling her glass with cold Pimm's.
“Something like it,” she said, gratefully accepting the top-up. “I'm never bored.”
Crowley was sitting cross-legged in the grass, patiently helping Seth fit brightly colored plastic blocks of different shapes into corresponding cut-outs. Seth knocked the star through its slot and down into the tray, clapping. Crowley handed him one shaped like an apple, the gesture curiously innocent.
“You wouldn't trade it for the world,” said Aziraphale, sipping his Pimm's.
Anathema shot him a knowing glance. “I suppose not.”
“Nor should you,” said Crowley. He stuck out his tongue, and Seth reached for it.
“Be careful,” Anathema told him. “He'll grab hold of anything.”
“As long as he doesn't let go,” Crowley said, toppling the baby into his lap.
“There's a new line of work for you, my dear,” said Aziraphale. “Child-minding.”
Anathema sat back with her drink, content, enjoying the breeze in her greying hair.