Disclaimer: Good Omens belongs to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Card Captor Sakura and xxxHOLiC belong to CLAMP.


Immortal Soul(s)

Clow wasn't used to meet both of them at the same time, but this occasion definitely deserved an exception. He was about to leave England for good, after all, and this was his last opportunity to have this conversation. It was going to be amusing, to say the least.

Agnes had been right, he mused, as he waited for them at the Ritz. These two were unbelievably funny.

"Hey," a voice said behind him, a few minutes later. "You weren't invited."

"Good night to you too, Crowley," he said, smiling politely as he turned around. "To both of you, actually."

"Good night," Aziraphale replied, still looking a little startled. "Um. You are sitting at our table."

"Oh, I know that," said Clow. "I've been waiting for you, see? I've ordered dinner for three already – you should start eating before it gets cold. Don't worry about anything, I'll invite this time. We need to have a little conversation."

Crowley raised an eyebrow.

"You want to talk to us?

"Of course," he said. "I don't have much time left, after all. I think it's time to discuss a few things about the future of my immortal soul."

"Well, I'm glad to hear you've been thinking about that," the angel told him as they sat down. "Really, my friend, it was about time. I was beginning to worry about you."

"Too bad it's not negotiable," Crowley intervened, with a mad grin. "You can't talk yourself out of this one, Reed. You know you're going Downstairs."

"What? Where did you get that idea?" asked Aziraphale, frowning slightly. "It's true that he has a few... eccentricities, yes, but he's most certainly on our side."

"Don't be ridiculous. He's on our side by default," said Crowley. "Since when do you like witches, anyway?"

"I am not a witch," Clow said mildly. But they didn't seem to hear him; they were too involved in their argument already.

"It's not that simple," Aziraphale explained. "At least not in this case. We have to take centuries of good deeds into account."

"See?" he said, turning to Crowley. "He knows me much better than you do."

"I do," Aziraphale admitted, with a kind smile. "I can tell that you are a good man, deep down."

"Oh, come on. Is that your best, angel?"

"Well, angels do tend to be very perceptive about these matters," the wizard said.

"Nonsense. I've got evidence. But I suppose you're above such things."

"I'm rather interested in hearing your case, in fact," said Clow. He rested his chin on his hand, looking expectant. "What, exactly, makes you think I deserve to be damned to Hell?"

"Want me to make you a list?" Crowley smirked. He just smiled a little more.

"By all means."

"Fine," the demon agreed, slamming his glass of wine against the table. "Issue number one: pride."

"Pride?"

"Pride," he repeated. "You have an ego the size of a small country."

"Hmmm," Clow mused. "I might have to give you that one. I have to wonder, though... does it still count as pride when it's perfectly justified?"

Aziraphale sighed and took a rather large gulp of his wine. Crowley looked at the wizard with a dangerous grin.

"Apparently it does." Then he went on, counting on his fingers. "Wrath... well, maybe not that one."

Clow favoured him with his sweetest, most peaceful look. This had the right effect – the demon looked like he was trying very hard not to twitch.

"I keep wondering how you do that," Aziraphale told him, looking at them in awe.

"It's all in the smile."

"Never mind," Crowley muttered, annoyed. Clow couldn't help but grin at him again; watching him build up pressure was too much fun. "Moving on, then. What about gluttony? And you encourage it, too."

"Oh, please. Just because one enjoys cooking..."

"But your Guardians don't need to eat at all, and still you stuff Cerberus with pudding."

"I could name other people who don't need to eat at all," Clow said with an amused smile.

"Er," said Aziraphale, giving a guilty look at his dinner, "I think he might have a point there."

The demon didn't pay attention to him.

"Lust... I don't know about that, and I don't want to know, so you better stay quiet," he continued. "Envy, then –"

"Oh, but I've got nothing to envy," Clow intervened.

"And we're back to pride! Honestly, you make it just too easy sometimes."

"You do," Aziraphale agreed. "Do make an effort, will you? I can't work like this."

"Don't worry. He's exaggerating," the wizard said, unconcerned. "I suppose he's going to call me lazy now, too."

"Definitely," Crowley said, nodding. Clow looked rather horrified at that.

"I am a hardworking man!" he defended himself. "Look at everything I've made..."

"Yes, but in how long?" the demon asked with a smirk. Aziraphale frowned at him.

"Time has nothing to do with it," he said. "He's always working on something, you have to at least give him that."

"At least?" Clow muttered, but the angel didn't seem to notice. Crowley didn't listen either, and finished his list.

"And greed, well, that's a tricky one," he said. "You don't go looking for material things, but then, you are disgustingly rich already."

"There are many people who are 'disgustingly rich' and still greedy," Aziraphale pointed out. "That one is out of the question."

"Oh, fine, whatever you say," Crowley said, rolling his eyes. "I still think pride alone is enough to get him Down There. But there are other things too. Like his angel thingy."

"Yue is not an 'angel thingy', I've told you many times already," Clow sighed. "Honestly. You have a true angel right here. They don't look even remotely similar, do they?"

Crowley smirked.

"Now, what's that about?" Aziraphale asked.

"I just imagined Yue wearing tartan," he said. Clow nearly choked on his wine.

"That was completely unnecesary," said the angel, slightly miffed.

"Indeed," the wizard agreed, trying in vain not to laugh. "You don't have to make fun of him only because you've been proven wrong."

"I'm not wrong. And even worse, what about Cerberus? Haven't you thought about the meaning of that name?" Crowley insisted. "It's like you're looking for it."

"If I recall correctly," Clow intervened, still ridiculously calm, "those myths mention that he was the guardian of all of Hades, not just Tartarus. Cerberus was involved with the afterlife, yes, but not with a particularly nasty one."

"Bah, details," the demon interrupted him, waving his hands. "It's not just the name, anyway. He's a winged lion. Like those ancient pagan figures from Assyria."

"Not necessarily," Aziraphale chimed in. "What about Mark the Evangelist?"

"Now, now," Clow sighed. "There's no need to be so complicated about it. Technically, he isn't even a lion at all."

"But then, why?" asked Crowley. He was getting more exasperated by the second, and once again Clow was starting to find it difficult to remain serious. "Why did you make them look like that?"

"Because they're pretty, of course," he said.

The demon gave him a long look.

"The sad thing is, I believe you."

"And there is nothing wrong with appreciating beauty," Aziraphale assured Clow, smiling triumphantly. "As long as you don't forget about the spiritual side, of course. But you have nothing to worry about. I know you've done plenty of hard work for the side of good."

"Like what?" the demon snorted. "Collecting old books and baking chocolate cakes?"

"Among other things," his friend replied. It was hard to figure out if he was very good at ignoring sarcasm, or very bad at detecting it. "He's always been kind to all life forms..."

"He makes his own life forms!"

"Yes, but he's very nice to them," said the angel. "You know perfectly well that's not always the case. Besides, he's a very generous person."

"Well, that part is true," Crowley muttered. "I just can't work with you, Reed, did you know that? What kind of madman gives in to his manipulative, sneaky instincts just to make people happy? That's disgusting."

"No," Clow corrected him, "you find it disgusting because it's nice. But I suppose making your job difficult counts as a good deed too, doesn't it?"

"Well, in a way it does, I suppose," Aziraphale answered, thoughtful. "In any case, it's true that you go out of your way to help people. Although I have to admit that sometimes your methods are a little, um, unusual. But I do think you're basically a good person. You just need a nudge in the right direction once in a while, and I'm sure you'll end up in the right place."

"As a matter of fact," Clow said, trying not to show his amusement too much, "that's precisely what I wanted to tell you about, before we got distracted with the Heaven and Hell argument."

"Distracted?" Crowley repeated. "You're going to one or the other, and that's it."

"Well... not really," he replied. "Actually, I'm certain that my soul is going somewhere else."

Aziraphale gave him a concerned look.

"You do know," he told him, "that they made up Purgatory later, don't you?"

"Oh, but I didn't mean that either," the wizard replied. " I have... different plans."

"And that," Crowley intervened, pointing an accusatory finger at him and at the same time looking much too pleased, "is enough to make me instantly win this argument."

Clow just smiled and took another sip of his wine.

"You don't usually discuss this with the interested party, do you?"

"It's... not the custom," Aziraphale admitted, with a slight frown. "I don't know how you get so many exceptions."

"Not from his side," Clow assured him. Crowley nodded grudgingly.

"If he's got contacts, I don't know who they are," he muttered, and then he turned to the wizard. "You creep me out sometimes, did you know that?"

Clow grinned.

"I always aim for excellence."

The demon was about to make a scathing reply when Aziraphale joined the conversation again, looking pensive.

"In any case," he mused, "you have to admit that being so sure of where his soul is going is a sign of a great faith."

"Oh, come on. It's just his stupid pride again."

"Faith."

"Pride."

"Actually, it's more like 'absolute certainty' –"

"Shut up."

"There was no need to be so rude to him," the angel chided him. Crowley gave his friend a despairing look.

"Are you serious?" he asked. "I can't believe you're serious."

"Nothing gives you an excuse to be rude," Aziraphale insisted. Clow turned to the demon with an innocent smile.

"It's all right," he said. "I forgive you."

"... why? Why do you have to be like this?" Crowley asked, now on the verge of despair.

"Because a wise man once said, 'Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much'."

The demon stared at him for a moment.

"You're quoting Wilde and you expect to go to Heaven?" he said at last.

"I've told you, I'm not going to Heaven either," said Clow. "This whole argument is irrelevant; my plan will work."

"You do sound sure about that," the angel said. He looked, if possible, even more confused than before.

"Of course I am. After all, I've seen Him –"

" – in the shape of a giant flying meatbun. Yes. I remember that one," Crowley said, with a mad grin. "You, my friend, are going to Hell just for that."

"One does not go to Hell for telling the truth," Clow said. Aziraphale looked at him hopelessly.

"Why do I even try to defend you?"

"Because I'm really nice," he said with his most adorable smile. "I'm sorry, Crowley, but I'm most definitely on the side of good. You shouldn't fret too much, though. There are plenty of powerful wizards you can get for your side."

"For example?"

Clow looked at him over his glasses.

"Now, you aren't even trying."

"Hey, it was worth a try," the demon said with a shrug. "A couple of names here and there, you get rid of a few enemies..."

"I can take care of myself, thank you very much," he replied. "And I'd like to give you some hopes, but I'm afraid it's going to be two souls for Heaven, in the long run."

"Two?" Crowley said. "That makes no sense. At all."

"Oh, no, of course it does," said Clow. "But I can't let you in on the details yet. It's supposed to be a surprise of sorts."

"A surprise for who?" Aziraphale asked, blinking.

"I think you'll both be pretty shocked," he replied. "Anyway, it all works out in the end, so don't worry about it. And if you two ever get too bored," he added, "you can always try to figure out where Yuuko is going."

"But she's with us," they said in unison. Then they stared at each other. Clow grinned as he stood up, leaving them enough money to pay for their dinner.

"See? You'll have enough for a couple more lifetimes, there."

They were still arguing when he left.