26 February 2008 @ 05:43 pm
That meme!

Comment with a character, and I will tell you what-all Crowley makes of them. If you have a preference for future!Crowley or present!Crowley, say so - otherwise I will just go with... whichever one I feel like.
24 December 2007 @ 04:09 am

    From: XXX.XXX-XX.XX-XXX.86502
    To: XXX.XXX-XX.XX-XXX.39842
    Time: 1534 UAPTT LNDM-PERS
    Date: 24 DEC 2521

Cpt. Reynolds -

If you should feel so inclined, consider this an apology for breaking your nose last night. Raguel has been an issue at the forefront of my mind in recent months, and -- relatedly -- I had been in the middle of talking to Sen. Tam about persuading Galadan to discontinue his pursuit of same when you arrived. I don't offer it as an excuse, but I owe it perhaps as a partial explanation for my temper.

That said, you should also be aware that I would have little compunction about doing the same again, and more, if necessary; I have removed the angel Raguel's memory of what is to come, and he is not under any circumstances to be told again. Consider, and at least attempt to understand: he is living in your past, at the beginning of the 21st century. Everything that is going to happen to him has already happened. If you change his history, you change your own -- you will have changed the timeline of the 'verse itself, and that is when things begins to unravel, and come apart. When everything starts to come apart.

I am not speaking from theory; for one example, if you have not, you should think of familiarising yourself with the books written by Sai King about Roland Deschain and the gunslingers. More specifically, what occurred when only one very localised and quickly corrected alteration took place -- let alone one involving a being like Raguel, who by nature is threaded all throughout history. Instead of a few months coming apart at the seams, imagine the past half-millennium. These consequences, the fallout of this sort of change, are something we cannot risk for the sake of any one person, no matter how much we might want to.

I knew the date of Kaylee's miscarriage -- the death of her first child -- for five centuries before it happened. And I know how she will die, and River.

Shepherd Book was a good friend of Aziraphael's.

Do not tell him again.

- Crowley
19 December 2007 @ 02:55 am
Crowley left his coat and scarf, but there's no snow outside. Even terraformed, Londinium is a central planet, close to the sun; its winters tend to be mild. So there's no snow outside. It's only dark, and cold, and Crowley's back, black-clad and ram-rod straight, is hard to spot at first, but for the noise of him crunching swiftly and stiffly over gravel and frost.

The demon's skimmer is a darker shadow still, crouched like an animal on the low-rise landing dais, reflecting only a little of the light from the windows of the house. By the first of the stone steps, Crowley's half bent over, and on the second, he turns with a too-loud "Fuck, fuck," moving along it like he doesn't know where he wants to be.

By the third, he has to sit down, and his hands make fists in the air beside his head.
28 October 2007 @ 12:36 am
Crowley sleeps well enough on the plane; the flight is long, and first class is quiet, and almost empty. There aren't so many people coming out this way at the moment. He refuses the complimentary newspapers. He's seen too much of that headline. That's sort of the point.

The air, when he disembarks to a hazy sunrise, doesn't much bother him. Of course, by all accounts, the recent breeze has helped, but he suspects that even before, it wouldn't have held much of a candle to driving in a burning Bentley. No pun intended.

(He can almost pretend it's the smell of October bonfires, and not 1666, or 64.)

He goes to a particular furniture centre first, where the young man behind the counter is only too curiously willing to heft out the deliveries book and give him a certain address.

Nobody answers the door, but that's never stopped a demon when he's feeling nosy; when he finds the room on the other side empty, he shrugs, and waits. He sits on the cleanest surface there, which is the bed, and finishes his second mediocre airport novel, and contemplates the water and smoke stains on the ceiling, and draws spirals in the dust and grime on the windowpane.

When the sun sets again, he lets himself out, and goes to see what he can see. But there's no whiff, anywhere he goes, of a different sort of fire in the air, and no prickling down the back of his neck when he drifts through landscapes made of sad and hollow downtown diners. He ducks into one for a cup of watery coffee to go, and drinks it leaning against the wall outside, looking up at the bizarrely frivolous palm-trees silhouetted against the glow of street-lights, and across at the ugly buildings facing him.

It's with a jolt that he realises that the one in the middle - just another low, concrete building with a faded pastel exterior - is a church, and that there are people inside, singing their Sunday devotions.

On a hunch, a sudden unshakeable and ridiculous conviction, he waits again.

But Mass lets out, and people stream away to the parking lot, shake hands and then sound their horns at each other when cars back up around the exit, and that's that.

Crowley tosses his coffee, and keeps walking.

He watches sunrise from a bench above the city, then counts out the time difference on his wristwatch before finding a payphone.



"I don't think he's here anymore."

"I don't know. I suppose."


He buys three more unremarkable murder mysteries at Los Angeles International, and reads them all on the flight home.
06 September 2007 @ 06:18 pm
The Green Dragon docking gates in Londinium Port are nearly always busy; few enough carriers make the long haul in from the Rim without layovers, and Green Dragon have a reliable patronage amongst those with somewhere to be - or somewhere to be away from - in a hurry.

The Leviathan ships trail passenger compartments behind their monstrous engines like the tail of a comet; the more important you are, the further from the bone-vibrating hum your quarters for the journey. Crowley should know; if he were to take one apart, everything from the massive plates of the hull to the ceramic regulators in the engines would be stamped with the Bentley Aeronautics logo. Today, he's lingering by the aft-most gangway, where the great, groaning, vessel now settling into the docking clamps will soon be disgorging its first class passengers.
25 August 2007 @ 06:26 am
The setting: Crowley's place on Londinium, first rented in order to facilitate making the right friends and influencing the right people (and whispering in the right ears) in the weeks preceding the vote on the IIGA. Which function then evolved, following its success in the senate, into doing much the same thing in order to secure, for Bentley Aeronautics, the most lucrative of the initial contracts spawned by the controversial bill. And now, with the attempt on Senator Tam's life...

There hasn't really been much of an opportunity to relocate back to Lavinia, yet.

And with Aziraphael recently departed, and Kaylee not due to arrive for another day or two yet, Crowley's found himself feeling a little -

Well. A little at loose ends.

It's this, as much as a desire to make some kind of peace offering, or to provide a respite from what he's certain must be an oppressive atmosphere on Serenity, that prompted him to invite River to pay a visit; he picked her up not long ago from the Tam residence (not exactly being willing to ask Galadan to open a passage from Milliways directly into his living room, rented or not).

With a dearth of visitors requiring proper food, there isn't much in Crowley's flat. After dropping River off, he'd nipped out, briefly, in order to remedy this: something suitable for snacking on whilst watching a film, perhaps, and then supplies for a meal later on.
15 August 2007 @ 03:51 am

The sound of one of Serenity's lesser airlocks swinging shut.

A few noisy thunks, and then a tall figure in a neat-fitting pressure suit slides neatly down the ladder. The suit's black instead of red, and this is neither Jubal Early nor Santa Claus, and it's nothing at all like the last time Andronicus Ji Crowley set foot on this boat.

There's nobody come running to meet him, for one thing; this entrance isn't half as dramatic as before. And the ship - the ship doesn't have quite so many people on it.

And this time, there's no setting off on any grand adventure to save anything.

Once he manages to remove his helmet - branded on the side with the Bentley Aeronautics logo - Crowley tucks it under his arm and pads through Serenity in rubber-soled boots, heading for the engine room.
27 July 2007 @ 03:57 am
It only made sense, once Crowley'd found out just who was behind the omnipresent name and strangly elusive face of Nicolas Rosse. No direct infiltration, of course - even Crowley isn't that stupid. But if he'd perhaps known a nephew of a son of a family friend, recently moved to the Core and short of work, and if he'd maybe talked to some people and pointed some people in the right direction, and if a vacancy had opened up in security surveillance for a district of Londinium including a number of recorders positioned in the vicinity of Nic Rosse's gleaming silver skyscraper... well.

It only made sense.

And when he'd received a slickly encrypted transmission from an untraceable source-code containing a single word - 'Carson' - if he'd decided to check in on one of Hal Carson's primary backers in the lost Senatorial election... well. It only made sense.

But not much more did.

The recording from a certain street corner did indeed show Hal Carson emerging from a discreet doorway in a certain gleaming silver skyscraper; Crowley'd smiled like a snake as he watched the politician hunch into his collar and cast wary glances left and right, so obviously trying not to be seen that he might as well have worn a neon sign above his head. But then there was a - glitch. A second or two, not much more, of grey static. And then suddenly Hal Carson was picking himself up off the ground, some dozen yards away, looking a little rattled, and a lot confused.

Crowley'd checked with another friend - the timestamps and encoding seemed to make the jump cleanly. No trace of what might've been missing. And when, asked about what he'd seen, the nephew of a son of a family friend adopted an idential expression of vacant confusion to Carson's, Crowley'd ignored his better judgement, and gone in. There were memories of an early dinner, a shuttle to the surveillance station, clocking in - and then clocking out, a shuttle home, a late breakfast, and to bed. And inbetween... nothing. An empty  g a p .

Of course, Crowley'd mused uncertainly, this was Nic Rosse, and they were, in fact, speaking of the devil. If he'd done anything to Carson, maybe putting a mouthpiece where his money was, or somesuch... well.

It only made sense.

At his expansive desk, in his office at the top of the Bentley Aeronautics tower, Andronicus Crowley shakes his head as though to clear it, and punches in an untraceable source-code, for a slickly encrypted transmission.

Carson. Rosse; protecting investment?
14 June 2007 @ 03:46 am
The sound of Crowley thudding into the brick wall on the opposite side of the alleyway is almost exactly in time with that of the door to Milliways slamming shut behind him.

Which is a good thing, really, because he bounces.

"..." he says finally, from somewhere between Raguel's elbow, his own wing, and the ground.
24 March 2007 @ 03:28 am
The drive to York had gone quicker than it might; the roads had been curiously empty for a weekend, and Crowley had taken great pleasure (leaning back in the wide leather seats, and smiling like a snake) in gunning the Bentley down the highways at a full throttle well over the speed limit. Aziraphael, intent on listing out book dealers to visit - which he knows personally and which only by reputation, which are likely to hold out for September's book fair and which might let him pick through the cream of their stock beforehand - had barely even noticed.

The angel had disappeared from the car with hardly a backwards glance, and Crowley, snorting, had gone to check in. He'd picked the hotel, and it isn't hard to guess why; whenever Aziraphael should return, pick up his key from reception, find his way to the room, the only thing he's like to find waiting for him there is a hotel brochure on the edge of the bed. Written in black biro, by a small photo of the hotel's sleek sauna: three guesses.
04 January 2007 @ 01:18 am
Bernard -

Nice as it is to know you two were thinking of me, I'm not sure whether I should be disturbed by the phrasing 'between the obvious and the even more obvious'. Is there anything you two would like to tell me?

Vienna was be m v. enjoyable. I didn't get you any strudel - it sort of slipped my mind - but there was a great little café/pasticcieria place that I bet I can get you an order from.

It's a bit of a let-down to be back in the real world, but honestly, it's not as bad as I would have thought - especially considering how bloody sudden the whole thing was (and I didn't even see a headline until the next afternoon, what with one thing and another). I mean, I know they said 'by the end of the year', but I never thought they'd actually do it. Just goes to show, I suppose.

Tell Anthony he's to keep it up, and that I expect his first word to be learned from Aziraphael's always-surprisingly foul mouth. Otherwise I'll torture him with a slideshow of all the pictures of Starvin' Marvin I keep finding in the extra folds of this damn pamphlet. I think it proves the theory of hidden pocket universes all by itself. And tell 'Dora that when I come back this weekend, I expect her to be the kind of relaxed that only a large wad of cash can provide.

Anyway, I think I smell something burning, and unless it's the arses of my new recruits, I'm doing something wrong.

- Crowley
11 December 2006 @ 08:06 pm
December is a cruel month in Austria, a frozen month, but the roadways and pathways of Vienna are yet too busy during the daytime for much of the winter snow to stick for very long. But when night falls, and the temperatures drop, so too do the numbers who brave the icy wind-tunnels of the old and winding streets. There's enough snow, now, to make the journey from curb to carpet rather hazardous for the high-heeled, glittering women that emerge, on sharp-suited arms, from the gleaming automobiles that pull up in front of the Vienna Opera House.

The building too glitters, the slim columns and elaborate curlicues of its facade frosted over, and twinkling in the yellow glow of street lights. The snow that falls gently even now collects in crevices and on window-ledges, and softens the palatial profile against the night sky.

As the cream of Vienna files past, one man stands a little to the side, breath misting in the cold air. He draws a glance or two, but it's unlikely that anyone so far has noticed the circle of melted snow in which he stands, or the fact that (apart from the few flakes that dust the shoulders of his coat and his dark hair, in a nod to verisimilitude) the snow does not seem to touch him at all.
10 December 2006 @ 05:00 am
It's an envelope. )
10 December 2006 @ 04:58 am
Inside the envelope... )
10 December 2006 @ 04:55 am
It's a plane ticket. )
10 December 2006 @ 04:53 am
And behind the plane ticket... )
04 December 2006 @ 12:42 am
Aziraphael -

I'm not sure you'd credit how long I tried to think of something to write about that wasn't either bloody depressing or nauseatingly sentimental. I think the weather is having an effect on me. Maybe I should just give it up as a bad job and hope I'm better company next weekend? There's a production of The Waves that critics are making good noises about, and I have to admit I'm curious as to how they pulled it off - if you're interested.

Various members of the extended Tonks-Wrangle family say 'hi'. Apparently the Littlest Wrangle is forging towards his first word, but you didn't miss any momentous evolutionary moments this week, as far as I know.

Thank you for writing. And, it bears repeating, for being around last weekend. It

I wish you wer

- Crowley
24 November 2006 @ 10:42 pm
They shut down the airports, after Thursday. They shut down every bloody thing, really, but especially the airports. Crowley tells himself that's why he's spent quite so long in the shower - to warm himself up again, after doing something quite so monumentally stupid as flying home on a late November night, not a week after nearly discorporating himself with the cold.

And hey, that's true.

The flow hammers at his shoulders and back, hot and punishingly hard, and fills his ears with the drumming of water on the terracotta tiles. It blocks out most other sound, real or remembered; he almost hadn't heard the owl at the window. The letter it brought sits unfolded on top of the toilet, growing pulpy in the steam.

(The reply, wobbly and dripped-on:

Aziraphael -

Thank you.

- Crowley

The room smells strongly of the kind of mint peculiar to toothpaste and After Eights, and under that, the faint, sour odour of vomit. Crowley, forehead pillowed on forearm and forearm braced against the solid shower wall, is holding a bottle of shampoo under his nose, and inhaling deeply. It doesn't smell of much, but it's an upmarket, expensive sort of nothing-much, that fills his nostrils and lets him try to forget a fourth smell; Thursday.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

His breath makes strange curlicues in the steam, mirroring the whorls and spirals of his hair where it's plastered and dripping against the back of his neck. And all around him, the steam is brightly lit and white - a better sort of cloud than the one he'd flown into on the way back, somewhere over the Mediterranean, and found everything icy, with no stars up above or city lights below, just black, all around.

It might not have been such a good idea, to come back.

But he had to get away, after Thursday.

And here, the hot water won't run out.