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Title: Aziraphale & Crowley vs. The Pinball Machine
Fandom: Good Omens
Rating: all
Word Count: ~1,010
Warnings: Contains graphic description of pinball machines.
Summary: Aziraphale has a bad feeling, Crowley dismisses it. AT HIS OWN PERIL.
Author's Notes/Disclaimer: Characters property of Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett. Challenged by [personal profile] epiphanyx7 at [community profile] midnightwriting. Also, between the title and the fact that epiphanyx7 had something to do with it should warn you it's silly. And have some podfic by the fabulous [ profile] reena_jenkins.


"It's looking at me."

"You're ridiculous, it doesn't have eyes. It's not even sentient."

Aziraphale crossed his arms across his chest and stared at his Cobb salad for a moment.

"It's still looking at me!"

Crowley tried not to grin into his cup of coffee. "It's a pinball machine, angel, it can't hurt you."

But despite Crowley's assurances, Aziraphale barely touched a bite of his lunch. He just kept casting suspicious looks at the machine over Crowley's shoulder and fretting with his napkin.

Crowley paid the bill when they were done. Or rather, he made the waitress believe he'd paid the bill with a warm hand on her wrist and a particularly winning smile. Normally, Aziraphale would have left a twenty percent tip plus the cost of the bill, but this afternoon he was distracted.

Crowley stood up and took Aziraphale's coat from the hook, holding it out for him.

"Thank you," the angel muttered, slipping it on and frowning at the pinball machine while Crowley put on his hat. Crowley pointed to the door and they made to leave.

Just as they were passing the pinball machine that was making Aziraphale into a mumbling, wide eyed conspiracy theorist, Crowley stopped in his tracks. A horrible chill ran up his spine and he turned to face what he felt behind him. There was only three things that made the hair on Crowley's arms stand up and his stomach drop down past his shiny wingtip shoes. The first one would be sharks, the second would be a Duke (or higher) of Hell who was not pleased to see him and third was something Crowley would never discuss with another sentient being, ever, under no circumstances, not even extreme torture or maiming or any other manner of unpleasantness, no matter what, from now until the end of time, but was generally unwilling to believe would be standing behind him in a Liverpool diner on a windy Wednesday evening in 1981. Sharks live underwater, so that was unlikely as well.

Crowley turned slowly on his heel, steeling his nerves and expecting to be staring directly into the fiery eyes of Hastur, Ligur, or a shark in a reverse scuba suit, but instead it was only ... nothing.

Crowley blinked. The diner was exactly as it had looked moments ago.

"Forget something, sir?" the blonde waitress asked, holding a pot of coffee.

Crowley blinked again, eight or nine times in rapid succession. "Not at all, dear," he assured her before grabbing Aziraphale's arm and rushing them out of the restaurant.

They climbed into Crowley's Bentley and peeled out of the parking lot. Aziraphale gripped the dashboard with both hands, but didn't comment on Crowley's haste. He was just as eager to leave the horrifying feeling of malignancy behind them.

Once they were safely away, Crowley slowed to a more legal speed. "What do you think it was?" he asked finally, glancing over at the angel.

"I'm still quite certain it was that terrible electric pinball machine."

Crowley was about to scoff, but he stopped himself. "Are you absolutely sure?"

Aziraphale considered for a moment, head tilting slightly as he thought. "Yes," he declared. "I am sure of it."

"Well, as long as you're sure." Crowley cranked the wheel and turned the car back towards the diner and the hateful pinball machine.


Breaking into the diner after closing time was so easy it was almost ridiculous. Crowley touched one finger to the keyhole and the tumblers melted. "After you," he said, letting Aziraphale take the lead. The darkened diner was giving him the oddest sensation. It was, of course, the heebie jeebies, the willies, the screamin' mimis and maybe even the collywobbles, but Crowley would only ever say a sensation, because he was a sophisticated gentleman.

Aziraphale strode into the diner, shoulders back and head high. The light from the soda cooler was making the entire room look bluish and outer space-like. The little neon lights on the pinball machine lit up innocuously enough, but the evil feeling filled the entire room. Aziraphale glanced to his left where Crowley should be standing, ready to give the order to advance when he realized that Crowley was still standing by the door. Aziraphale crumpled, trying to hunch his way deeper into his jacket. "Crowley!" he hissed. "Get in here!"

Crowley shuddered but came to stand with the angel. "Now what?"

"... We find out what it wants."

He rolled his eyes. "It's a pinball machine. It wants a high score, doesn't it? Someone to pull its plunger? Wiggle its flippers?"

Aziraphale shot Crowley A Look. "How do you know so much about it?"

Crowley didn't answer. They approached the machine.

"Hello," Aziraphale said, holding out his hands like someone approaching and easily spooked horse. "We would like to know what you're doing here. You're giving off a very bad feeling, making people nervous and such. Is there something we can help you with, maybe make you feel less," he paused, trying to thinking the nicest way to say 'bone jarringly wicked'. He couldn't think of one. "Nicer?" he tried.

The pinball machine didn't answer.

Crowley smashed the glass top with a tire iron. Then he hit it three more times for good measure. Then he unplugged it and lit it on fire.

Crowley and Aziraphale stood back and watched it burn for a few quiet minutes. When the evilness had almost completely receded, Aziraphale called forth a stream of water to put out the fire.

They left the diner and Aziraphale had the sense to lock the door behind them. Other than the pinball machine, it was quite a nice place and it would be a shame if it were robbed or anything.

"What would have happened, do you think, if Androcles had have beaten the lion with a heavy stick and lit him on fire?" Aziraphale asked quietly once they were back in the car.

"Well then no one would have heard of Androcles, would they?" was Crowley's tart answer.

"I suppose not."


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December 2018

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