Title; Shattered Glass Author; Snowballjane Disclaimer; Crowley and Aziraphale are both the property of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman wrote HP Lovecraft fanfics, and they were very good. So I hope he doesn't mind us messing about with his characters.

Crowley shoved the door of the shop open with his shoulder and half- carried, half-dragged the bundle of scorched wings and broken angel inside. The smell of burned feathers made his stomach turn.

He staggered across the shop and into the back room where he dropped his burden onto a worn sofa and took a needless deep breath.

"Wake up Aziraphale!" he shouted. "You have to wake up." The angel on the sofa remained absolutely still.



"Get him into trauma room two, stat!"

"Please doctor, your have to save him!"

The telephone rang. Crowley raised a hand from where he lay slumped on his couch and Chicago's finest fictional doctors and nurses froze on the screen.

He picked up the phone. "Crowley, can you meet me at the British Museum in 15 minutes?" There was a note of pleading in the angel's voice, the sort of note that told Crowley he was about to be dragged into doing something Hell really wouldn't like.

"I thought we'd given up on that place after the new roof debacle," he said.

It was true. The new café in the Great Court was a dreadful place, selling overpriced cakes and tea made by dunking bags directly into lukewarm water in the cup, then adding disgusting UHT milk. There were certainly no devilled eggs any more. Despite both being rather impressed with the immense glass roof, both demon and angel had been heartily disappointed to find such a decline in tea-room standards. Eventually they had decamped to the Refreshment Room at the V&A - as had most of the other agents in London who needed cosy anonymous tea-rooms to meet in.

"Not for tea Crowley. It's just, er, I think I might need a hand with something."

Crowley sighed. "What is it this time?"

"There's really no need to be like that, especially when it's actually your lot's fault. Apparently a group of teenagers are about to summon a hellbeast of some kind in the Central American galleries."

"And?" asked Crowley.

"And I'm supposed to get over there and stop it wreaking too much havoc and destruction."

"That's just daft," said Crowley. "Teenagers will never manage to summon a hellbeast - and even if they do, the creatures deserve letting out for a bit of exercise now and then."

"But all those books and treasures of ancient civilisations," whined Aziraphale. "---Er, and the people, obviously."

"Sorry Angel, things to do. I'm sure you can handle the beastie." Crowley put the phone down.

The staff of Chicago County General sprang back to life on his screen and he settled lazily back onto the couch. Crowley liked ER. He'd started to watch the daytime repeats as inspiration - to keep up to date with some of the really gruesome things people were doing to damage each other these days, but had ended up finding it rather addictive. He was especially enjoying the current plotline involving the young doctor and the nurse with the unbelievably screwed up family.

Half an hour later several fictional patients had died in really unpleasant ways and most of the hospital staff's lives were even more messed up than they had been at the start of the show. A satisfactory episode all in all.

But something was niggling at Crowley. Hellbeast. Aziraphale. Hellbeast.

Oh, for whatever's sake.


The Bentley screeched to a halt in Great Russell Street and Crowley abandoned it on a single yellow line. Screaming tourists were pouring out of the museum.

Crowley ran up the museum steps, past the shops in the foyer and into the Great Court. He was just in time to see the last few moments of the battle.

The beast was enormous, seeming to fill the vast space. It had several heads, at least two of which were breathing fire and a long scaly tale that thrashed from side to side. Glass from the ceiling lay shattered on the ground, as did broken lumps of statuary that had lasted 3,000 years in human form.

The last few terrified tourists ran past Crowley, leaving just one man sitting in the café, calmly drinking a glass of fruit juice.

Aziraphale, not the tweedy bookshop-keeper, but a radiant white-winged Aziraphale, danced in the air just out of the beast's reach. He was armed with some kind of lance, which looked more archaeological than angelic and had probably been lifted from an exhibit case. He seemed to be enticing the monster towards the café area. "Here beastie, beastie, beastie," cooed the angel.

Then, just as a massive head lashed into tables, Aziraphale plunged downward with the lance, sinking it deep into the scaly flesh. The beast groaned and sank to the ground looking frightened and deflated, its writhing death throes shattering a fridge unit filled with expensive and slightly dried out sandwiches.

Crowley applauded, his clapping ringing out across the space. "See, I told you, you could handle it," he shouted. Arizaphale, still hovering in the air, turned to look towards him with a slightly manic grin. At the same instant, one of the beast's heads flicked upward. A jet of hellfire spurted forth, engulfing the angel.

Aziraphale fell in flames. Racing across the indoor courtyard, Crowley heard the sickening crunch as the angel hit the ground shoulder first.

The man who had remained sitting in the cafe - who was, in fact, an MI7 agent visiting the museum for old time's sake - helped Crowley extinguish the flaming feathers. There was little left of the wings. There was little, it seemed, left of Aziraphale at all. His angelic form lay frighteningly still on the cold stone floor, his skin deathly pale wherever it was not red raw or blackened.

"He's not breathing," said the spy.

"He doesn't need to," snapped Crowley.

"Ah," said the spy. "Will he be alright?"

"Oh yes," said Crowley, sounding far more confident than he felt. "As soon as he comes round he'll be able to heal himself."

"Must be useful. But can't you do the healing thing?"

"Not angelic bodies, no."

"Oh, sorry, I just assumed.." An awkward silence fell.

Between the two of them they carried the angel out to the car.

"Well, that was one of the stranger things I've seen," commented the spy as they laid Aziraphale onto the back seat of the Bentley.

"Um, thanks for the help," said Crowley.

"Don't mention it," said the spy before strolling off in the direction of Tottenham Court Road.


Back at the shop.

Hellfire. It was to angels what holy water was to demons.

"Come on Angel," said Crowley, selecting one of the more painful looking areas of blistered angel flesh and giving it a firm poke with his outstretched finger. Aziraphale winced and whimpered faintly.

The elation was almost dizzying. It was the first sound the angel had made since hitting the museum floor. Any minute now he would be wide-awake and healing himself. Crowley prodded again. Nothing. He prodded elsewhere. Again, nothing.

Aziraphale's presence was fading. The tingly sensation that 'warned' Crowley of an angel in the vicinity was dwindling to practically nothing. Panic and misery fought a fierce battle in Crowley's stomach, which, however uncomfortable, did at least leave his head clear for thinking.

Losing a human body was one thing. There'd be a lot of paperwork and huffing and puffing bureaucrats, but in the end, they'd give you a new one just so you'd stop hassling them. But Crowley wasn't even certain what happened if you lost your real body. Surely Aziraphale's people wouldn't leave him like this, although there weren't exactly heavenly hosts beating the door down to help right now.

There was one possibility left, and the very thought of it made him feel sick.


Well, to he- to heck with the consequences. Crowley knelt by the side of the sofa, clasped his hands and closed his eyes.

"Um, God?" he began. "I know this is a bit odd, me contacting you like this but please, please help Aziraphale."

The silence wasn't just the silence that so often meets human prayer. It was a deafening, crashing silence, a palpable not-being-listened-to, like the concentrated essence of having the phone put down on you. It was the silence that meets demon prayers, the silence of really being cut off from heaven.

Crowley began to babble. "He's an excellent angel really, always thwarting me or running off to kill some giant hellbeast. He doesn't deserve this. Please help."

More silence. Crowley opened his eyes and looked at the battered, blistered body on the sofa.

"I'm sorry," he whispered, and even Crowley wasn't certain whether it was an apology to Aziraphale or a prayer of confession.

What he was certain of was that it hadn't been heard.