When Aziraphale dropped by the next morning, after Adolf allowed him to go back to his bookshop, he was lugging the heavy black tome that had been lobbed at him yesterday and wearing his tortoiseshell glasses.
He found Crowley on the sitting room couch, poring over a paper, with Adolf somehow wedged in beside him.
Whatever he was, the tentacle monster managed things the angle was sure Euclid would have abhorred.
By being very careful, he crept close enough to read the headline before Crowley realized he was there. "Another church defiled, twelve dead, police baffled?"
Crowley jumped. "Calm down! It doesn't-"
"Have anything to do with Adolf's disappearance and subsequent growth?"
Crowley looked sullen. "They were cultists anyway, neither yours nor mine want them, and he hasn't complained about being hungry once today. I don't think he really realizes – he's just a baby! They probably summoned him and he couldn't help it!"
They both looked at Adolf, who looked the slightest bit ashamed of himself.
"And he brought you a book," Crowley pointed out. It was Aziraphale's turn to look sheepish.
"One I don't have, either."
"Look," Crowley said, firmly. "I know you got off on the wrong foot. ---tentacle. Whatever. But just – spend some quality time together and I know..."
"Crowley," the angel said, forcing his voice to be firm and deliberately not looking at Adolf, "look at this," and he dropped the heavy book in Crowley's lap. They both stared at the unmarked, strangely spotted cover. Crowley opened it, hesitantly.
"It is not."
"It is," Aziraphale said, firmly, "I tried to read it."
"It's not a real book."
Aziraphale pointed accusingly at Adolf. "Tell that to him!" They both looked at the cephalopod, who burbled curiously, and unless Aziraphale was imagining things, attempting to look innocent. This was proving rather difficult when all he had to communicate innocence were large, glowing red eyes.
"The Necronomicon by Abdul Alhazred?" Crowley asked him, incredulously.
"Which means that there are cultists who are actually trying to summon dread creatures from another dimension, Crowley, this is serious!"
"Yes, but…" Crowley trailed off, the light of sudden inspiration dawning in his eyes.
"I don't like that expression," said Aziraphale warily, but Crowley was positively beaming.
"Let Adolf take care of it! I mean – it eliminates the cultist problem – he got twelve in one evening! – and it takes care of having to feed him because apparently lost souls are just as edible as regular ones, and-"
"It's morally reprehensible!"
"Morally reprehensible? Please. They're cultists. Lower life form."
Aziraphale gave him a scathing look. "And besides. It seems apparent to me that Adolf is exactly one of those dread creatures they are trying to summon. Perhaps that's how he's here in the first place! And you still don't see anything wrong with this?"
Crowley looked stubborn. "All right. But he's relatively harmless. To important people. I mean, so far his only human casualties are twelve cultists."
"And a door-to-door salesman."
Aziraphale fought with that for a few moments, then seemed to decide that salesmen fell outside his jurisdiction. "Nonetheless-"
"And he's cute," Crowley added stubbornly, and unfortunately, Aziraphale didn't have the heart, looking at Adolf, to argue with that one.
Adolf burped amiably and turned a pleased sort of blue-green color. Aziraphale sat down. "You realize that he shouldn't fit on that couch?"
"I know," said Crowley, pleasantly, "I'm trying not to worry about it." There was amiable silence for a bit, during which Aziraphale flipped absently through the writings of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, Crowley flipped through the newspaper, and Adolf amused himself by blowing multicolored bubbles that stuck to the ceiling for five minutes before popping with a vague smell of cologne. Until about a half an hour later, when Adolf stiffened, turned bright red, and with a solid blorping sound squeezed back into the bathroom.
Crowley and Aziraphale looked at each other. "Another one?"
The demon shrugged. "Must be another time zone," and went back to reading his paper."
Adolf's outings were rather irregular. Some days he was hardly in at all, and some days he sat around – if tentacle monsters could be said to sit – blowing bubbles or else managing somehow to sit on Aziraphale's feet even if he was now approximately the size of a Clydesdale and growing steadily. Crowley began to suggest taking him for walks because his tentacles looked to be getting cramped, to which Aziraphale would simply stare in bewildered awe before asking where Crowley thought they would affix a leash to.
The idea didn't come up again.
Adolf was gone more and more often, though, as the days went on – the angel postulated that the reappearance of their so called deity at their summoning rites was only encouraging cultists, but the demon seemed unimpressed – and the neighbors were beginning to complain of strange and persistent nightmares of a dread city beneath the waves, or else that their adjacent homes no longer seemed to be following the rules of Euclidean geometry. And while Crowley maintained adamantly that Adolf could hide in the bathtub if the police dropped by, he could come up with no explanation for a tub full of water the color of insanity and the lingering fishy smell.
It was becoming clear that Adolf was a growing problem.