It was a dark and slightly windy (rising to gales later in the week) autumn evening, nearly winter. The perfect atmosphere for an important funeral. Considering whose funeral it was, this was a tad unsurprising.
When one took the time to consider the two of the main guests, who had read eulogies, the one in the slightly ill fitting cream shirt and black suit's voice wobbling ever so slightly, they seemed slightly incongruous in a gathering that included next to no one who hadn't grown up in and around the village of Lower Tadfield, and there was something about them that made them look…different out of the corner of one's eye. More distant family members and family friends had been a bit puzzled by this, but since no one close to Adam objected, they held their peace.
The man in the all black ensemble and, though no one save his companion knew, tinted contacts, read his in something approaching a monotone. Sunglasses just weren't right. Not for this. The body currently being lowered into the ground was that of Adam Young, only 25 when he died protecting his home town from the combined forces of Heaven and Hell.
The mortal form of Adam Young was laid at rest, the head stone saying:
'I shall walk through the shadow of death and fear no evil. For thou art with me.'
A young woman with red hair, who was striking in a way that turned heads rather than a classic beauty, left a wine red rose on the grave. The other two men each left a sable and white rose on the grave.
Finally the readers of the eulogies laid a completely black rose, not ebony, sable or midnight blue, but black, a black that was as dark as if it had been cut out of the wings of Azrael himself *. Heads bowed they walked away and got in a vintage Bentley and drove towards London.
After a long moment, it could have been five minutes or five hours, the one all in black, Crowley spoke. "He may have been the Antichrist, but he was a good kid." He said, slightly uncomfortably.
"The poor boy..." Aziraphale whispered sadly, not really hearing Crowley.
"He died defending what he loved, would that get him into Heaven?" Crowley asked tersely, attempting to get Aziraphale back to reality.
"I suppose, my superiors were very quiet on that subject but I suspect so. However one never really knows with them. Ineffability and all that. What about yours? Will he get a cushy job down there?" Aziraphale replied slightly distractedly.
Crowley shrugged. "Like you said, you never know. It's all bloody ineffable anyway."
"Maybe they'll ask him to decide, to settle once and for all who is the best." Aziraphale said thoughtfully.
Crowley fixed him with a mild glare. "Angel, they asked him to do that last time and remember what happened then."
"I suppose so."
They drove off, completely missing three beings standing in a portion of the astral plane who watched them go. One was took the shape of a certain right wing politician who many British people reckoned was sure fire evidence for the hand of Satan in mortal affairs, ** albeit shaped in flames that flared in an unhealthy scarlet colour, like blood. The other took the form of a man famed in heaven for seemingly spreading the word of the Lord through the medium of film, *** albeit carved in bluish white flame whose very existence spoke of heavenly choirs and peace. The others existence spoke of pain and endless reruns of the crazy frog ringtone.****
The third looked like a normal human male in the prime of life, apart from looks that sculptors and artists would have died to carve or paint, with a slight smile on his face, the sort that is only worn by one other being, of someone who is In On The Joke.
"Zzzzo." Said the one who took the form of Nick Griffin, whose name was Beelzebub, Prince of Hell, demon of the bottomless pit and whose unfortunate job it was to break the silence.
"Who wantzz to go for drinkzzz?"
*In fact it had. For a long time afterwards, Azrael got jumpy around both Crowley and pairs of scissors.
**Actually, Crowley's hand. H e had been very proud of that episode of Question time.
***Aziraphale had breathed a sigh of relief when no one in heaven decided to actually watch Bruce Almighty. Or Evan Almighty. It would have led to difficult questions. Thankfully, those in heaven took it at face value, that is to say, spreading the word of God in new ways. This was one of the incidents for which both Aziraphale and Crowley received commendations for, despite having nothing to do with it. Crowley, being a reasonably curious creature, watched it for 10 minutes, and then keeled over, laughing hysterically.
**** Hell has learnt a lot from humanity, for instance the concept of red tape*****. Crowley regularly sends examples of particularly hellish human innovations (such as computer manuals, tax reminders and kits for flat pack furniture and the latest versions of the Tea Party's manifesto) with his field reports, with a post it note attached saying "Try and keep up guys".
***** Being traditionalists to a vaguely humanoid eldritch abomination, however, they used real red tape made from spare body parts and innards littered around hell. Never let it be said that Hell does not recycle responsibly, with the damned sorting everything into one of several dozen nigh identical boxes, getting a scourging and a talk on community responsibility for each mistake.