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[personal profile] rc45
Title: Fine Lines
Author: Lost forever, probably for everyone's good
Fandom: Good Omens
Sporked by: Trojie as Agents Lasa and Mombi
Rating: M



Agents Lasa and Montbretia of the newly-formed Department of Angst were searching for their response centre. They had been told that it was number seventy-three. However, the numbering system in the Headquarters of the PPC was a little . . . erratic, as agents transferred, got moved around, or simply upped sticks and changed centres (usually after having little ‘accidents’ with their consoles) with little ceremony, and tended to take their response centre numbers with them, because at least that way it’d be one less thing to have to remember.

In the best traditions of the PPC, these two agents had only met each other fifteen minutes ago, and both were having trouble remembering the other’s name. In Lasa’s case this could be understood; Montbretia not exactly being an easy name to remember. The bearer of the name had actually realised this, and explained that it was pronounced more like ‘Monbreesya’, and that she preferred to be called Mombi, which was apparently a Swahili word meaning ‘cow’, anyway. All this extraneous information was making it hard for Lasa to concentrate on what the actual name was.
In Mombi’s case, she just had an atrocious memory for names.

‘Eighteen, nineteen, forty-seven, four . . . twenty-five,’ read out Lasa as they passed each door.
‘It must be around here somewhere!’ wailed Montbretia, or Mombi, giving up melodramatically and thudding against the wall in despair. ‘Aargh!’
‘What?’ said Lasa uncharitably.
‘Door handle . . . in . . . my back,’ wheezed Mombi, toppling forward onto the Generic Floor Surface of the corridor. Lasa looked down at her partner, then up at the door.
‘Ah, here we are,’ she said, unceremoniously hauling Mombi up off the floor. ‘Response Centre Seventy-Three. The Department of Angst.’

Inside, it was pretty much standard. A console, a few chairs of the sort that are insanely comfortable for the first five minutes of sitting, and thereafter cause the sitter to squirm uncomfortably and eventually choose the floor as being a better seating option. Opening one of the cupboards, Lasa was enveloped in a shower of glitter.
‘What the hell?’ said Mombi from the other side of the room, where she’d been inspecting the console; checking hopefully for self-destruct buttons. ‘I thought our supplies were supposed to be in there?’
Lasa clawed caked glitter out of her face and continued to rifle through the cupboard. ‘So did I. But that’s not what’s in the cupboard. Instead we have glitter. And balloons. Chocolate. Origami paper.’
‘Well the Aloe Vera told us we had to cheer up canon characters who were angsty. So I guess we-‘
‘What? Put on a circus act? Apparently that’s not going to be enough. Listen to this. We’ve also got an industrial sized jar of Prozac. An industrial sized jar of something called ‘PPC-modified Benzodiazepine - Addictive Properties Completely Removed!’ and something else called ‘Perphenazine; Completely Elf-Safe!’ And a book, mysteriously entitled ‘Psychotherapeutic Drugs for Dummies – A Reference for the Rest of Us.’’
‘We’re supposed to drug them? I thought the Department of Fictional Psychology handled that?’
‘Says here,’ and Lasa waved the synopsis of the Department’s ‘functions’, ‘that if they’re really bad then they do go to the DFP, but if we can deal with it ourselves, then we should. And, if possible, without recourse to drugs.’
Mombi hauled herself across the room and peered short-sightedly at the labels on the jars. ‘We’re going to have to come up with something else to call these. I mean, ‘Benzodiazepine’. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.’ She pushed the huge jars of pills aside to reveal . . . more jars of pills.
‘What are these?’
‘Bleeprin,’ read out Lasa, ‘Can we give Bleeprin to canon characters?’
‘I guess,’ said Mombi uncertainly. ‘Ones that have been squicked really badly, perhaps. And look here;’ she hauled a bag out of the bottom of the cupboard. ‘We’ve got an exorcism kit.’
‘Do you have a bow, or something?’ asked Lasa, who herself packed a crossbow, and fifteen whole minutes of PPC basic weapons training.
‘Um . . . my aim’s not too good. Because of my eyesight? Managed to miss every target they set me. So I sort of . . . um, tried out unarmed combat instead and . . . ’ the redhead paused sheepishly. ‘I knocked out Agent Trojanhorse from the DBS. So no weapons. I just hit people.’
‘Right. Ok. Only it says here-‘ and Lasa flourished the paperwork again ‘-that we just get anything that’s overly angsty, no matter what the genre. So that means the possibility of ‘Sues, as well as slash, crossovers and all that. We can call in other agents if we need help, there’s a list of contacts.’
She read through the list, and grinned. ‘Guess who our Bad Slash consultants are?’
Mombi put her hand over her eyes. ‘Oh no . . . I think I can guess.’
‘Agents Trojanhorse and Soulshadow. For Sues we can call on . . . an Agent Gypsy, who apparently works in the Firefly/Serenity continuum, and for Crossovers it’s Agents Sam and Lavinia. Hmm. Odd.’
‘What’s odd?’
‘Next to each contact it’s got a list of . . . well it looks like warnings.’
‘About what?’
‘About what we shouldn’t expose all these agents to.’ Lasa looked up. ‘Is everyone here psychotic?’
Mombi, who’d been in the PPC slightly longer than Lasa (by two whole minutes), and who had been into the cafeteria, had formed several opinions of her new co-workers.
‘Yep,’ she said. ‘Well, all of the Assassins are. Everyone else is just a bit . . . quirky.’
‘Quirky,’ said Lasa in a flat voice. ‘It says here that Agent Gypsy’s ‘registered subject of adoration’ is Serenity. Who’s Serenity? And what’s a ‘registered subject of adoration’?’
Mombi started to laugh.
‘What?’
‘Serenity . . . is a spaceship,’ said Mombi through her giggles. ‘And the other thing is what’s more usually referred to as a lust-object. A character that the agent fancies. Only I guess that’s not exactly applicable to a spaceship. Anything else that’s interesting?’
‘And that Soulshadow is half demoness and tends to burst into flames?’
‘Sounds pretty standard,’
The two recruits looked at each other.
‘This place is scary,’ said Lasa.
‘You said it,’ said Mombi fervently.

***

We return to the DoA (an ominous acronym if ever there was one) approximately one month after we left.
BEEEEEEEEEP
Of course, these narratives always return at opportune moments. Otherwise what would be the point?
‘Lasa?’ said Mombi, sticking her head out from her nest of blankets in the corner. ‘What is it this time?’
‘Wowee, this is a stunner,’ said Lasa from where she was sitting in front of the console. Skimming through the Words, she made the little inward breath-sucking noise common to mechanics, plumbers, builders and all other people employed to fix others’ mistakes all over the multiverse. It is a tiny, put-upon noise that indicates to the person standing there with their exploded car/sink/laundry room in the background that their particular mistake is a doozy all right, and seeing as the parts have to come from Denmark, it’s going to be an expensive doozy.
It is also a noise frequently heard in its abridged form (i.e. minus the bit about Denmark) in the PPC Headquarters, where the mistakes are always doozies.
Mombi, familiar with the noise, crawled into the open and went for the Supplies Cupboard, bracing herself for the onslaught of glitter.
‘What are we going to need?’ she asked, coughing surreptitiously to remove as much shiny powder from her lungs as she could. Only one month in the PPC and already the Angst agents were covered in so much sparkly stuff that recruits often assumed they were Assassins, assigned to the sicklier Perfecto-Elf-Princess Sues, who tend to bleed glitter. (This assumption was often retracted after the recruit had been enthusiastically and bouncily hugged by Mombi – real Assassins not tending to show much interest in recruits other than as target practice). She pulled out the Bag, already pre-stocked with chocolate, balloons, sock-puppets and the other components of the DoA’s artillery in the war against angst.

‘Hmm. This is Good Omens fic. And it’s Aziraphale and Crowley angsting. Slash, too, but mild. Better give us benzodiazepine,’ said Lasa. Bleeprin they refused to use after a traumatic incident with Faramir.
‘No Prozac?’
‘We have to use so much on supernatural beings that it’s not worth it. Oh, grab the exorcism kit too, seeing as this is slash.’
‘Roger. I’m portalling us in.’
‘Go ahead.’
The obligatory door-shaped hole in the air appeared, and the two black-clad Agents stepped through into an Undefined Place, where the main characters immediately grabbed their attention. Mombi closed her eyes in pain.

Aziraphale decided that alcohol, as well as sugar, had to be the product of the Other Side. Dealing with a drunk and sugar high Crowley was giving him a headache.

‘Oh heavens. Drunk!Crowley.’
‘It’s like authors think that drunkenness is the only way they can get them together,’ said Lasa irritably. ‘This is probably the most slash-friendly continuum I know of –for Heaven’s sake, Aziraphale would definitely be gay if he wasn’t asexual, it’s practically canon, and Crowley’s a tempter by profession – so why do badslashers have to make it so hard for themselves?’
Mombi patted her partner on the back. ‘Do you have the CAD?’ she asked. Lasa handed it to her.

"So there was this…" the demon gestured, trying to formulate the right word.
"Bar? Post? Stick?" the angel tried.
Crowley suddenly burst into giggles, for no apparent reason. "No…thas' not it…" he slurred.
"Then what is it!" Aziraphale exclaimed, getting tired of Crowley, trying to repeat some joke he had heard. This was the fifth time.
"Fence!" the demon snapped his fingers and grinned. "Yeah! Ssso there wasss thisss fence-"
The angel cut him off. "Dear, 1 you're hissing."

‘And who’s ‘Dear, 1?’ asked Lasa. ‘Or is the author just numbering points? I’m not even going to comment on the rest of that paragraph. ‘Formulating’ words. Giggly!Crowley. Impatient!Aziraphale. The grammar. Eru save me, the grammar . . .’
‘Sssh,’ said Mombi comfortingly. ‘Let’s see what my CAD has to say.’ She took it back from Lasa – earning her a glare – and pointed it at Aziraphale.

Aziraphale. Angel. Canon character, 45.5675% OOC.

‘Not too bad,’ she said. Then she pointed it at Crowley.

Crowley. Demon. Canon character. 97.9% OOC. WARNING! CHARACTER RUPTURE IMMINENT!

Mombi stuck the CAD behind her back.
‘What did it say?’ asked Lasa distractedly, staring glumly at the giggling Crowley and snarky Aziraphale.
‘Nothing,’ said Mombi in a textbook ‘nonchalant’ voice. The younger Agent looked up at her. ‘Mombi?’
‘Yes?’ Mombi replied in an unnaturally strangled voice.
‘What. Did. The. CAD. Say?’
Mombi shook her head and tightened her grip on the CAD. Lasa sighed.
‘Don’t make me come and get it,’ she said. ‘Give it to me, now.’
Mombi took one look at the short, glowering, seventeen year old Agent, and decided to take her chances. She held out the CAD meekly.
Lasa pointed it at Crowley, then swore and dropped it as it emitted a piercing shriek. Mombi grabbed it as it fell, and hit the mute button. Lasa snatched it back, and groaned.
The readout said
‘Error Code 752; mamamiamamamiamamamialetmegoBeelzebubhasadevilputasideforME!’
As they watched, it suddenly fizzled and crumpled into an unusable lump of plastic.
‘Not five minutes in and we’ve broken one CAD,’ said Lasa. ‘This does not bode well.’
‘Neither does this,’ said Mombi, regarding their OOC canon characters mournfully.

"Oh? I am? Ssssorry, Angel 2." "I'm a demon, we're ssssuppossssed to hisss…" he grinned.

‘How precisely do you grin a hiss?’ asked Lasa, very irritably. ‘I’ve never been sure how you vocalize a grin *anyway*.’
Mombi started to fish through the Bag for the exorcism kit. ‘We haven’t done an exorcism before,’ she said. ‘Are you sure we should do this solo?’
‘We’ll try it. We’ll get them cheered up first, though.’

"What has gotten into you, Crowley?!" Azirphale demanded.

‘Ooh, ooh, mini-hellhound!’ Mombi bounced up and down. ‘I want one!’
‘Miss Kali and Miss Morrigan aren’t adopting any out at the moment,’ said Lasa, rolling her eyes. ‘With the exception of this little masterpiece, most GOfic is pretty well spelled.’


"The wine…" Crowley smirked. "And Angel?"
"What?" he snapped.

Watching Crowley answer himself angrily was rather amusing, Mombi thought, but Lasa’s lips set into a thin line, and she glared even harder than before. Mombi, noting the signs, made sure that painkillers were within reach in the Bag. Lasa was prone to badfic-induced tension headaches.
‘Overuse of pronouns . . . Mombi, add that to the list. She should have used the full name. I assume it was Aziraphale who snapped, which is completely OOC *anyway*, but according to the Words, it’s Crowley.’ Lasa’s blue eyes were icy. This fic was not helping her temper at *all*.

"There'sss sssomething on your face…"
The mildly vain Azi flushed and began rubbing at his face.

‘Mini-hellpuppy!’
‘Mombi, shut up. This is not a cause for celebration.’
‘Sorry Lasa.’ There was the sound of pen on paper. ‘Um, I think I’m going to need to add a second sheet to this charge list.’

"No, no, you're missing it entirely. Here, let me," the demon giggled, willing the sugar out of his system and lazily straddled the now bright red angel.

‘On what planet is this an effective way of cleaning someone’s face?’ Lasa’s face was now dull red with poorly suppressed anger.
‘Planet Badfic?’
‘Point taken. Pass me that book.’ Mombi handed across the hardback copy of Good Omens wordlessly. Lasa took it, nodded her thanks, and started beating herself over the head. After a moment’s consideration, Mombi passed her partner a jar of Bleeprin as well. This was waved aside.

"You're so messssy…" he mumbled drunkenly, licking his thumb and dragging it across the nonexistent smudge on Aziraphale's face.

The thuds from Lasa’s ‘therapy’ got louder.
‘Are you sure you want us to sit through all of this?’ asked Mombi nervously. Lasa nodded.
‘Charge . . . list,’ she gritted out through clenched teeth. ‘Must . . . not . . . shirk . . . Duty.’

The angel squirmed and swallowed nervously.
"Ssssomething wrong, Angel?" he purred, his breath reeking of alcohol.

‘PRONOUNS!’ (thud)
‘Lasa, are you sure you don’t want to skip ahead?’
‘Yes.’ (thud)
‘At least give me the book.’
‘No.’ (thud)
‘Yes. Here-‘ Mombi wrestled the book off her partner, mainly using the advantage of her greater height and longer arms to keep it out of Lasa’s reach. ‘There, isn’t that better?’
‘Pain . . . make it stop . . . ‘ Lasa whimpered.

"Get off!" he growled, or as best as an angel could, fighting back alarm. It was rare that a demon (or an angel for that matter) tried to be any gender…but it seemed that Crowley was trying very hard. (No pun intended.)

‘LASA! You can’t shoot canon characters!’
‘I can and will. I won’t have puns! I won’t!’
‘Give me the crossbow!’
‘No! Let GO – Mombi! Let go!’
‘No.’
Mombi added the crossbow to the Bag, alongside the copy of Good Omens, and zipped it up securely.

"GET OFF!" he said louder, feeling sick to his stomach.
"Oh ssshussh…." Crowley hissed, leaning in to kiss the flustered angel.

Lasa started muttering under her breath: ‘Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid . . .’
Mombi edged away from her obviously unstable partner.

Azi responded with a yelp and shoved the demon off his lap.

‘It’s back!’ crowed Mombi. ‘The mini-hellpuppy.’
‘Blasted pesky thing,’ said Lasa, who didn’t like animals much.
‘Good thing they don’t surface directly in the fic then, isn’t it. Or because it’s mentioned twice, are there two of them?’
‘I don’t know. And I don’t care. Can I have my crossbow back?’
‘Not a chance.’
‘Bugger.’

"YOU FOUL TEMPTER!" he cried, hugging his knees.

Lasa made a sound perhaps best recorded as ‘glurk’. ‘I hate OOC Aziraphale,’ she whispered sadly. Then; ‘Tie me up now,’ she said in a low voice. ‘Before I destroy something. Better still, kill me now. You have a crossbow. It’s point blank range. You can’t miss.’
‘I don’t think I’m allowed to shoot you.’
‘It’s happened before. People shoot, maim and kill their partners all the time.’
‘But what would people think?’
‘That this was just another day in the PPC?’
‘Good point. But I’m not going to shoot you.’
‘Please?’
‘No.’

Crowley sobered up immediately, seeing the look on Azirphale's face. "Angel?" he tilted his head to the side.

‘That mini-hellhound is back too.’
‘I’m sure you are allowed to kill me, you know. Agents are allowed to be homicidal. Very homicidal. The perfect PPC agent should be half Agent Smith, half Commander Vimes, half Buffy Summers, half Steve Irwin, and half mad.’
‘That makes a grand total of two and a half murderous maniacs.’
‘Precisely. ‘
’I’m not arguing with you about this. And I’m not killing you. Just ssh.’
Mombi had no idea why she was so much more resistant to badfic than Lasa, but was grateful for her ability to keep her head when the shorter, younger, blonder agent was attempting to destroy a) canon characters, b) herself, or c) the landscape in fits of rage at bad grammar or spelling. Come to think of it, that ability was probably why she’d been partnered with Lasa.

"Get out!" he shouted. "GET OUT!"

‘Who shouted this? Crowley or Aziraphale?’ asked Mombi curiously.
‘Or one of the hellhounds? I don’t even think the story knows who said it; they both shouted at the same time.’ Lasa was massaging her temples.

" 'Zira…" the demon tried again, his voice soft.

‘That was another mini-hellpuppy. It’s getting crowded in here.’
‘Blasted things. And they *chew* so much. Personally I like having the seat still in my trousers, and all my shoes not full of holes.’
‘You like mini-balrogs,’ pointed out Mombi reasonably.
‘Correction, I’ll tolerate mini-balrogs, provided they don’t come within a metre of me. They’re better than mini-minotaurs, mini-hellhounds, or any of the other blasted minis running around Headquarters these days. They’re all borderline Cute Animal Friends anyway.’

"GET. OUT!" Azirphale screamed, his eyes tearing up.

‘I think that hellhound is following us around,’ said Mombi. Lasa just growled.
‘Do we get to the strict angst soon?’ she gritted out.
‘Want to skip ahead?’ Mombi asked innocently.
‘NO. Must not shirk the Duty. Pass me that book again.’
‘Do you think I’m daft?’
‘It was worth a try.’

Crowley felt a sudden pang of guilt. 3

‘That is the clumsiest way of doing footnotes I’ve ever seen,’ said Lasa. ‘You can’t do footnotes. You’re not Terry *allhailTerry*, so STOP. STOP, by all the gods.’
‘She can’t hear you, you know.’
‘I know. Shut up.’

"Angel…" he winced visibly at the fear in Aziraphale's eyes. "All right, all right, I'm getting out…" he turned around, and in a blink of an eye, was gone. The angel let out a single sob, burying his face in his knees.


‘Sounds painful,’ commented Mombi.
‘And difficult.’

I'm falling…I have to be….Because…I wanted to kiss him back…

‘So this is an innermost thought? Can we make this obvious? Oh well, at least it’s finally getting properly angsty, so we can GO soon.’ Lasa was getting snarlier and snarlier. Probably not a good idea to let her make any balloon animals this time, Mombi thought; she tended to pop them in this mood, and even when they survived her vicious twisting and knotting, they tended to be of vampires and eviscerated cows, rather than cheery poodles or something actually suited to curing angst.

1 & 2 I take those quotes from the book itself.

‘I hardly think it is necessary for one to acknowledge ‘Angel’ and ‘dear’ as quotes,’
Mombi started to surreptitiously shift all the dangerous things to the bottom of the Bag. No good could come of Lasa doing House of Windsor speech patterns.

3 But the feeling was lost on Crowley, for it had been thousands of years since he had a conscience.

‘If that was an attempt at Pratchett-style humorous footnotes, I am shocked.’
‘I really agree.’

As a rule, Angels loved mostly everything and everyone. Humans, beasts, birds 1,

‘Grrrrrr . . . what have we learnt about *footnotes*?’
‘She still can’t hear us, Lasa. So technically, nothing.’
‘Do you want me to garrotte you with the strap for the Bag?’
‘Um, no?’
‘Then shut up.’

everything. The only thing angels didn't love were demons. Aziraphale knew this, and knew this well. Demons were nothing but tempters and hell raisers 2...

‘How about Dagon, Lord of the Files? How much tempting and hell raising does he do?’
‘Mombi? Logic? From you? What a shock.’
Mombi frowned, hurt. ‘You don’t have to be so mean, you know. Yes, this is badfic. Yes, it’s irritating. Yes, you’re probably getting a tension headache, and by the way, would you like some ibuprofen? But could you at least try to be civil?’
‘Hmmph.’

Except Crowley. That was his problem. He tried as hard as he could to hate Crowley, but he just couldn't. For a while, he chalked it up to knowing him so long that hatred was no longer an option.

‘I don’t think Aziraphale actually ever hated Crowley-‘
‘True. Angel. Hate. Not really two concepts that are at home in the same sentence. Even demons.’

After all, how could he hate Crowley and expect the Arrangement to work? As of late, it was worrying him to no end. He began to wonder, what was it about Crowley that he didn't hate? That sent him down the path that got him into his current state.

‘I thought his current state was caused by Crowley kissing him and his worry that he was ‘falling’?’
‘Ah, continuity, where art thou?’
‘Presumably in the same place as the real Aziraphale and Crowley, bound, gagged and sedated.’
Mombi shivered. ‘Your imagination is far too graphic.’
Lasa smiled vampirically. ‘Why thank you.’

What was it about Crowley that he didn't like? He would sink the occasional duck, cause the occasional mild fender bender, combust the occasional traffic officer 3, but that made life 4 more interesting.

‘Dammit, these footnotes are driving me nuts, and it was Aziraphale that set the traffic warden’s notebook on fire. Don’t these people *read*?’
‘Well, some of us think that reading is a prerequisite for writing, but apparently not badficcers. This *was* covered in Basic Training, you know.’
‘I know, and so was squick-erasing drug usage. Bleeprin me.’
Mombi handed the bottle over with some relief. Bleeprin was better than concussion-by-book. ‘Are angels allowed to condone that sort of behaviour? Aziraphale notes that this demonic behaviour is ‘interesting’.’
‘That settles it. I hunt down the author and kill her. Ok?’
‘I don’t think you can do that . . . how would you find her?’
Lasa regarded her partner calmly. ‘I either bribe or torture Makes-Things until he tells me how to find her. I’m sure he’s got a way.’

Ever since the drunken demon had kissed him, a cold dread had taken over. He had closed down the bookshop and confined himself to a tiny corner in the back, hugging his knees and whimpering.
He was utterly convinced that he had fallen, and that it would be only a matter of time that he was kicked out to the Downstairs.

‘Excuse me? The where?’
‘I think she means Hell. This angst is reaching excessive levels. Glitter rain time, I think,’ said Mombi, checking her wristwatch Angstometer. ‘Will you do the honours?’
Lasa took the glitter jar and the telescopic stepladder that Mombi fished from the Bag (which had been based by Makes-Things on Mary Poppins’ bag and had unfathomable depths. Mombi swore she had a particle accelerator in there, although Lasa doubted this) and, climbing to a height of about four feet, started gently raining glitter on the angsting angel. Mombi, constructing saccharine balloon-animals and origami figures, accidentally let one of her pink poodle balloons go. It bounced softly past Aziraphale, over each of his feet, and off into the opposite corner of the bookshop without him noticing. The atmosphere was starting to get so sweet and sugary that even Lasa started feeling slightly happier, but it appeared to have no effect on the angel. The blonde agent called down to her partner.
‘Mombi, this isn’t working. I think we’re going to need the light.’ Mombi rooted around in the Bag some more, and produced what looked like a torch. She passed it up to Lasa, who turned it on. Immediately the room was suffused in a warm, sunshine-like yellow light.
Still nothing.
‘What are we going to do? This isn’t working.’
Lasa thought hard, then switched off the torch and screwed the lid back on the glitter jar.
‘What are you doing?’
‘We drug him up, leave here, and go follow Crowley. The Words are recording some heinous errors there, and he’s coming to see Aziraphale. We nip back, grab a Bad Slasher and exorcise the pair of them. Two birds, one stone. Bang. Easy as pie. *Pigeon* pie.’
Mombi shivered. She quite liked pigeons. But she handed Lasa the spray hypodermic (blatantly stolen from the Red Dwarf continuum by Makes-Things, like so much of their equipment), packed with benzodiazepine, nevertheless.

Meanwhile, across town, a certain demon was finding that he was missing something. He couldn't put his finger on it, but it was definitely something. Sighing, Crowley flipped on the TV A commercial was on, advertising angel food cake. Angel food cake…angel!

‘Oh, holy crap. Could that be any more obvious?’ Lasa was grinding her teeth.
‘Well, let me think . . . hmmm. Nope, don’t think so. Don’t worry, I’m putting it on the charge list.’
‘Why do we have to compile charge lists? The Assassins do, but that’s because they charge the Sues before killing them. If we’re going to all this trouble to write charges, why can’t we use them?’
‘Because we’re not allowed to kill real live people in non-fictional continuums? No-one even knows how to track the Authors.’
‘Horse-apples. I’m sure the Department of Sufficiently Advanced Technology have a way. Or could come up with one with suitable persuasion.’
‘Are you talking about torturing them again?’
‘Well actually I was thinking about bribing them with chocolate, but your way does have a certain panache . . .’

He groaned inwardly. So that's what he had been missing. The angel he so foolishly hit on a week before.

‘At the beginning of the canon, you hadn’t seen each other for a few decades at least, and now you’ve been apart for a week, and you’re pining?’
‘Lasa, if it made sense, it wouldn’t be classified ‘badfic’, and we wouldn’t be here,’ said Mombi wearily. ‘We talked about this in Basic Training too, remember?’

He closed his eyes, the events that led to his current banishment from the bookshop replaying in his head.
He had practically molested Aziraphale.

‘No, you *did* molest Aziraphale.’ Lasa growled, in the back of her throat. Mombi wordlessly passed her two Bleeprin and two ibuprofen, then a water bottle.

He had purposely tried to become male,

‘What I don’t understand is why no-one ever writes a romance between these two with one becoming female. They’re *sexless*, not neutered males. So they could go either way. And if, as this author does, you persist in thinking of Aziraphale as male, then female is the more logical choice. Not that this matters in the slightest because whatever Crowley became, Aziraphale would remain as sexless as a shop mannequin.’
‘What I don’t understand is why you’re telling me all this. I KNOW. But this is *slash*. Making one of them female would turn it into het. And few authors write both slash and het. Especially authors of this calibre.’ Mombi had resorted to painstaking logic. Anything was worth a go, she reasoned. Anything short of murder, that is.

kissed him (quite deeply), he had tried to tempt an angel. This led to Aziraphale screaming at him, forcing him out. He had caused the angel to cry.

‘This isn’t Crowley! Why would Crowley give a damn? He wouldn’t care if Aziraphale cried!’
Mombi patted Lasa on the shoulder. ‘We’re nearly there. He hops into the Bentley in a paragraph’s time or so. Then it’s back to Headquarters to get a Bad Slasher, right?’
‘Right. Agent Trojanhorse or Agent Soulshadow?’
‘Um . . . Trojanhorse, I suppose.’
‘Ok,’ said Lasa, with some trepidation. Whilst Trojanhorse had been reasonably decent about Mombi knocking her out and putting her in the Medical unit for half a day, her partner Soulshadow had rather taken exception to it, and as they occupied the same Response Centre, going to ask Trojanhorse for help would bring them into contact with Soulshadow anyway, and she had a habit of burst into flames when irritated.

Crowley gave an involuntary shudder, remembering with almost painful clarity the tears that had pricked in his angel's eyes.

‘Give. Me. The book,’ said Lasa, her teeth so tightly gritted that Mombi was sure they’d be worn down to nubs by evening. The blonde was also developing a tic. Mombi handed over their copy of Good Omens, and winced when Lasa started beating herself over the head with it again.
‘That (thud). Is (thud). Not (thud). Crowley (thud). Not (thud). Crowley (thud). Not Crowley . . .’
Mombi pulled out her CAD, and pressed a button. ‘Um, I’m afraid it is,’ she said. After the legendary Jay and Acacia had had to retrieve Arwen from a plothole when her place had been usurped by a Sue using her name, M-T had built in a Character Verification function to the CADs. ‘It’s the real Crowley. There’s only point one percent of his real personality left, but it’s him.’
‘Must. Kill. Memory. Cells . . . (thudthudthudthud)’

His? He scolded himself. Aziraphale was perfectly capable of taking care of himself. Besides, tempting is what demons do. Not to mention pissing off angels.

‘That’s quite stunningly bad grammar. And Crowley would not say ‘pissing off’,’ said Mombi ruminatively, sharpening her pencil for another attack on the charge list.
‘(thudthudthudthud)’

Perhaps I should make up with him… He stopped, dropping the remote and yelped as it landed on his foot. Make up? Demons were supposed to mess with angels and piss them off and all that, a voice reminded him.

‘Crowley’s dialogue is completely out of character.’ Mombi consulted the Character Verification readout again. ‘We’re down to zero point zero zero five percent actual Crowley left here.’ In the event of Lasa’s meltdown, Mombi had become disturbingly professional. This is because her higher brain was also in meltdown, running around screeching ‘Whoops! There goes the jelly!’, and her more primitive cerebral regions had resorted to autopilot.

Not go over to their odd bookshops and apologize. But this was Aziraphaleanother voice argued. Yes, this was Aziraphale, the only one from either Side to ever really want anything to do with him anyway. He sighed 5 and pushed his sunglasses up his nose, deciding to pay his friend 6 a visit. He grabbed his keys 7, trotted out to the Bentley, and drove over to the infamous 8 bookshop

‘Aziraphaleanother? It must be raining mini-hellhounds in GOOFSS today.’ Mombi rooted around in her bag to find the portaller. ‘Come on Lasa, she said, grabbing her partner’s hand before the book could contact the blonde girl’s skull one more time. ‘We’re going to find Agent Trojanhorse, before these footnotes drive us both completely up the pole.’ Lasa looked up at her partner.
‘Home?’ she said in a little voice.

Back in the response centre, Mombi wrestled the book away from Lasa, and force-fed her coffee beans until she’d woken up somewhat.
‘Come on,’ she said. ‘We have to go and find ourselves a Bad Slasher.’
‘Do I have to?’
‘Yes. Where’s the contact list?’
‘Agents Trojanhorse and Soulshadow. Response Centre Forty-five, Department of Bad Slash.’
‘Shouldn’t be too hard, provided we remember the ball of string, right?’

Three hours and two balls of string later, Lasa and Mombi were lost. Every corridor seemed to lead to the same broom cupboard, with the same pair of unidentified agents snogging in it. They were starting to give the Angst agents very evil looks after the fifteenth time they’d been interrupted.
‘This is hopeless,’ said Lasa, collapsing down in the corridor.
‘Nothing’s hopeless,’ said Mombi, sitting next to her partner and patting her shoulder consolingly.
‘If you say one word about ‘following my heart’ . . .’ said Lasa warningly.
‘Actually, I was going to suggest following my ears. I can hear guitar,’ said Mombi rather smugly. ‘And Agent Trojanhorse plays guitar, I seem to remember.’
Lasa strained her own ears. Just on the edge of hearing was the sound of a guitar. ‘You’re right.’
‘Come on then,’ said Mombi, bouncing to her feet and off down the corridor.
Lasa listened for a further few seconds, then looked around. ‘No need to hurry off,’ she called to Mombi, who was already considerably further off down the passage. ‘It’s right here.’ She pointed. The door nearest them read
Response Centre 45
Dept. Bad Slash
The Agents are

IN
OUT

UNCERTAIN

Mombi galloped back up the corridor. Lasa knocked. The faint guitar sounds stopped, and there was the sound of Velcro being ripped apart. The door opened. A medium height, scruffy woman, in a scruffy uniform, with very long hair tied back into a (scruffy) ponytail, stood on the other side with a draught-excluder type thing in her hand.
‘Yes?’
‘Um, we’re, um-‘
‘You’re the two newbies in Angst, aren’t you? You’d better come in.’ She opened the door a little wider to admit Lasa and Mombi, then shut it and replaced the draught-excluder, which the two Angst girls could now see was part of a very thorough sound-proofing system, made at least partially out of asbestos and flame-retardant foil. Plonking herself down on an amplifier, she gestured to the rest of the room, indicating that her visitors could sit where they pleased. As the amp appeared to be the only seating in the place, they sat on the floor. A green dog surfaced from under the console and began to wash Mombi’s face enthusiastically.
‘I’m Trojanhorse, and that’s Absinthe,’ said the Bad Slasher, acting as if her dog attempting to drown Mombi in its goodwill towards mankind was completely normal. ’Soulshadow’s taken Deimos for a walk. Now, what did you two want?’
‘We’re working on a slash fic,’ said Lasa. ‘We need help, and we were assigned you and your partner as consultants for slash.’
‘Fair dos. C’mere Absinthe.’ The dog left the red-haired, and now red-faced Angst agent and padded to the Bad Slasher’s side. Trojanhorse squinted oddly at Mombi. ’I’m sure I’ve seen you before.’
Mombi blushed.
‘Um, you had me for Unarmed Combat training a couple of months ago?’
‘Ohhhh . . . you’re *that* girl. Well I never.’ The Bad Slasher picked up her guitar and began to play something that neither Lasa nor Mombi had ever heard before. It involved distortion. Over the noise, Trojanhorse shouted ‘I’ll help. Soul’s out, I’ve got nothing better to do. What’s the continuum?’
‘Um, Good Omens,’ bellowed back Mombi. Suddenly the guitar stopped, as suddenly as it had begun.
‘Someone’s messing with Pratchett and Gaiman?’ Trojanhorse grinned. ‘That’s just *dandy*.’
‘Why? Don’t you like them?’ asked Lasa, who rather took exception to this concept, being somewhat of a fanatic.
‘No, no, I adore them both. It’s just, um, I’m not allowed to go into their continua unless I’ve got official business there. So it’s been a while.’
‘Why?’
‘No real reason. Upstairs being irrational. So, shall we go?’ asked Trojanhorse with enforced brightness. ‘What’s the story, anyway?’
Lasa undertook the task of giving the older agent the run down, which Mombi found ironic since she’d been incoherent for much of the fic.
‘S’called ‘Fine Lines’. The worst spelt GoodOmensfic I’ve ever seen. Crowley’s down to zero point zero zero five percent of his actual personality left, Aziraphale’s bawling his eyes out in the bookshop, sugar and alcohol were used as a Crowley-snogging-Aziraphale excuse, and the footnotes are just numbers crowbarred into the dialogue. It’s clumsier than a thirteen year old in her first pair of heels. We’ve administered benzodiazepine to Aziraphale. As we left it, Crowley was on his way to the bookshop to apologise. We need to stop them before they make up and start snogging.’
‘Gotcha.’ Trojanhorse grabbed her own Bag from a cupboard. ‘Portal from here? I can get Makes-Things to patch your fic through to my console. He’s nice to me, mainly because I stopped Soul from going anywhere near him.’ She typed furiously as she spoke, sending an email to the technician. Then she hit the portal button.
‘I take it we’re not using disguises?’
‘No point. No OCs.’
‘Fair dos. Come on then,’ said Trojanhorse, and strode through the sparkly doorway. Lasa and Mombi followed.

Ignoring the closed sign, the demon knocked loudly on the door. "Aziraphale! It's me! Open the door!" he shouted and turned the knob, but as he figured, it was locked. "Azi…!"

‘Oh heavens. Hellpuppy?’ asked Trojanhorse.
‘That one’s been following us around,’ said Mombi. Lasa was already gibbering at the American speech patterns.
‘The Misses at Good Omens Summer School aren’t going to be happy.’
‘Not our fault. He gets in in a minute, I think.’
‘What’s Aziraphale going to be like, though?’
‘The drugs should kick in . . .’ Lasa consulted her watch; ‘ . . . in about five minutes, going on the dosage we gave him. You should see the angsting these two go through in the next five minutes, though.’

he frowned, realizing he almost sounded desperate. "Angel, please open the door!" All he got was the sound of something glass falling. He sighed and went around back, knowing no one would see him mysteriously vanish. He appeared in front of the angel, who was sitting in the chair, his head in his hands.
"Oh, angel…" he frowned, trying not to stare at the red and puffiness of Aziraphale's eyes.
Aziraphale jumped and stared wide-eyed up at Crowley. "Get out!" he said shakily. "Get out!"
"Aziraphale, I'm so sorry…"
He was regarded with a blank, hurt look.
"Please, Angel, let me explain…"
"I'm not an angel anymore…" came the faint and slightly muffled reply.
"What?!" Crowley had a sudden rush of guilt. "Oh, Go-Sa-whatever…you can't be serious!"

‘Gnnnh’ said three agents in unison.
‘That joke was used sparingly in canon,’ said Lasa. ‘Because it’s cheesy and cumbersome. And that was not a good place to use it.’
‘Agreed,’ said Mombi.

"It's true…it just has to be…" Aziraphale mumbled.
"You mean…er…you don't know for sure…?" Well there was some hope…
"I…well…I just have to have fallen!!" He sounded close to hysterics.
"Why's that? You didn't kiss me back or anything, you pushed me away and sent me out!"
"Well…ah…" the angel trailed off, mumbling, his face now bright red.
"What's that?" Crowley tilted his head, looking curious.
"I said that Iwantedtokissyouback," he said so fast that Crowley almost didn't catch it.
Crowley stared, dumbstruck. "You….what?" he said finally.
"I said I wanted to kiss you back!" Aziraphale's voice cracked and he dissolved into tears again.

Which rapidly turned into giggles. Crowley looked pole-axed. Lasa looked at her watch.
‘Ah. Right on time,’ she said, and turned to the Bad Slasher on her left.
‘Trojanhorse?’ she began, ‘Would you care to do the honours?’
‘On the condition you call me Trojie,’ said Trojie, fishing in her bag for an exorcism kit. ‘I only get called Trojanhorse when I’m in trouble for something.’
‘Trojie, then. Who first?’
‘Um, guys?’ began Mombi, tugging at Lasa’s sleeve. Lasa half-turned, impatiently, and saw what Mombi was worried about. Aziraphale was bouncing off the walls. Literally; his angelic powers being of great help here.

‘Ooooh, we’re screwed,’ said Trojie very seriously. ‘How much did you give him?’
‘The normal dosage for a human of his height and build,’ said Lasa, beginning to look concerned. ‘Why?’
‘Because supernatural beings have much more sensitive metabolisms than humans. Look, let’s sort out Crowley and then get to Aziraphale. Might have to take him to the Doc.’
‘We can’t leave him like this!’ cried Mombi. She was right to worry. The angel had spread his wings and was hovering around the lightbulb, making ‘pow!’ noises and incinerating things with miniature bolts of lightning. Intermittently he would hum snatches of the 1812 Overture.
‘Here’s where you put your punch to use then,’ said Trojie matter-of-factly. ‘Knock him out. They’re easier to exorcise when they’re unconscious anyway.’
‘I can’t reach him!’
‘There’s a stepladder in the bag!’ said Lasa. She grabbed the bag off Mombi and shuffled through it. She tossed the ladder to her partner and extracted her own exorcism kit. ‘After you,’ she said to Trojie, indicating the now very puzzled Crowley, who wasn’t even in-character enough to try to escape.
Trojie bowed, and said ‘No, no, I insist. Your fic, your exorcism. I’m just here for a bit of moral support.’ She reached out a hand and steadied Mombi’s stepladder. When Lasa hesitated, the older agent waved her bell languidly. ‘Go on. He won’t bite, you know.’
Lasa stepped forward. ‘Get thee behind me Slash!’ she cried. ‘The Power of Pratchett and Gaiman compels you! Avaunt!’
Mombi reached the top step, and snatched at Aziraphale, who evaded her with a carefree giggle, and started loop-the-looping. In a small, enclosed room. Bad move. Grabbing him by the wing, Mombi pulled him towards her, and rabbit-punched him on the chin, fast. He fell like a stone, too heavy for Mombi to hang on to. She ended up with a handful of feathers, and looked highly surprised.
Aziraphale landed on Lasa, completely unconscious.
The Author-wraith coalesced from out of Crowley, and dissipated quickly into the general shadowy gloom of the bookshop.
‘This one needs to go back to the DFP,’ said Trojanhorse after hauling him off Lasa’s prone body. ‘They can sober him up, or whatever you do to someone who’s had this much medication, and do the exorcism themselves.’ She hauled the comatose body of the angel over her shoulders.
‘I’ll portal us to Fitzgerald’s clinic, then,’ said Lasa. Mombi collected up all their gear, then hopped through the portal, which closed neatly after her, leaving a very groggy Crowley on the floor of the bookshop.

‘Ah, girls.’ Fitzgerald backed out of his workroom, holding a long syringe. He took one look at their horrified faces, and put it behind his back. ‘Oh, don’t worry, that’s not for you. That’s for Jack Sparrow.’
He took another look at their still horrified faces, and decided to make the best of it.
‘And what seems to be the problem here?’ he asked, peering quizzically at Aziraphale.
‘ODed on benzodiazepine,’ said Mombi.
‘Not used to administering to supernatural beings, are we?’ said Fitzgerald merrily. The Angst agents shook their heads. ‘No matter. We’ll send him along to the Department of Fictional Psychology, they should be able to fit him into their busy schedule. Good day, ladies.’ Fitzgerald took charge of Aziraphale. It was clear that the Agents were dismissed. So they started to walk back along the corridors towards their response centres.

The corridor in the Dept. of Bad Slash felt distinctly warm. Trojie’s face fell. ‘Soul’s home,’ she said, ‘And by the feel of my boot-soles melting, she’s pissed. You two’d better hop it. Thanks for an . . . interesting case. And remember what I said about supernatural beings. Less drugs, more hugs.’ She gave them a cheery wave, and disappeared into her unusually reinforced Response Centre.
The Angst agents continued along the corridor, following their original string route, until they found their own Response Centre.
‘Well, that was eventful.’

A/N; Yep, eventful. Well, I’m Trojanhorse, and as you may have guessed, that was me guesting in the Angst girls’ first wee adventure. Only this one time though, just to get them on their feet. They’re young things, and we all make mistakes, this is the point of life. My grateful thanks to the PPC posting board, where the concept of an Angst department was tossed around. And Trojie and Soul will be returning to the NC-17 Badslash watch shortly, too. But the journey is definitely not over for Lasa and Mombi, who have been modelled on the traditional ‘one psycho, one flake’ partnership of the original PPC series. Any angsty suggestions from LotR, Discworld (or any Pratchett works), BtVS, Firefly/Serenity, Harry Potter, Tamora Pierce, Pern greatly appreciated.

Date: 2009-02-13 06:39 am (UTC)
ext_85481: (Default)
From: [identity profile] hsavinien.livejournal.com
...Bleah. Very, very stupid fic.

Several of the GOficcers I know aren't afraid of het or femslashing Aziraphale and Crowley. ^_^ Keeps things interestin'.

Date: 2009-02-13 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Yes, it's a VERY stupid fic.

Fantastic :D

Date: 2009-02-14 04:23 am (UTC)
ext_85481: (Default)
From: [identity profile] hsavinien.livejournal.com
Yup. And of course there's ethereal/nongendered being sex too...

Date: 2009-02-14 04:25 am (UTC)

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