In the corner of a tropical island themed bar somewhere in west London, the demon Crowley was up to no good. This was not a particularly unusual state of affairs, but it was one that was not immediately apparent to the untrained eye. He was lounging back in a chair with his feet up on the table, one hand holding a colourful drink with a curly straw and tiny umbrella, the other flicking through his mobile phone.
A mildly irritating pop song played in the background. The televisions situated all over the bar played the music video featuring two young women in swimsuits singing while they sat on sun loungers. Crowley paid them no mind, until one of them addressed him directly.
Crowley looked up. "Crowley, it has come to our attention that as of late you have done little to secure souls for the master." The song had suddenly changed genres. The dark haired woman was speaking with Hastur's voice.
"Yeah, don't look like he's doing anythin'" her red haired friend said in Ligur's voice.
Crowley shook his head, glanced at his drink and put it down. When he looked back at the screen, the women were replaced by the regular forms of the Dukes of Hell. Hastur sat forward awkwardly on the sun lounger, while Ligur lounged back with his hands behind his head.
"I don't know who's told you that, but that's nonsense," Crowley said.
"We are interested in knowing exactly what you have been doing," Hastur said.
"Yes, tell us more," said Ligur.
Crowley winced. "Well okay I'll tell you, but does it have to be now?" He glanced over his shoulder.
"Why, do you have more important matters to attend to?" Ligur asked.
"No no, not at all. Short version, I created an app."
The demons on the TV looked at each other.
"An application. It lives on here." Crowley held his mobile phone up to the TV.
Hastur flinched back as if he was being threatened.
"And humans are afraid of this application?" Ligur asked.
"No no, not afraid of it. They like it, they think it's something good." Crowley sniggered. He glanced over his shoulder and saw a woman he recognised from a photo. She saw him and smiled. He held up a hand in greeting but on his face was a panicked grimace. She was walking over.
"Crowley?" Ligur said.
"Look, not now, all right?"
"How dare you speak to us like that," Hastur said.
"I'll call you later, I promise!"
"Hi!" Crowley said, taking his feet off the table and turning towards the woman. She was no longer smiling.
"Don't get up, I'm not stopping. I saw you shouting at the TV."
"What? Me? I wasn't doing that."
The woman huffed. "Thought I'd finally found a normal one as well." She turned and walked away.
Crowley didn't try to stop her. He did have to smile at her believing he was a normal human.
He turned back to the TV. The young women had finished their song and were clinking their glasses together and smiling at the camera. The demons were gone. For now.
Aziraphale had fallen into the habit of regularly having lunch and dinner with Crowley. Although Aziraphale had not failed to notice that Crowley had been otherwise engaged rather more often than usual.
"I know this place has notoriously long waiting times between courses, but a little conversation wouldn't go amiss."
"Huh? Yeah. Right."
Crowley had been looking at his mobile phone almost all of the evening. A quick look around the restaurant told Aziraphale that he was not the only one. He shook his head. He really didn't understand these modern times. What could be so interesting in those glowing metal screens that people preferred to look at them over their actual companions?
Aziraphale crossed his arms and tried not to look hurt. It wasn't as if Crowley would notice anyway. "So how do you think young Warlock's education progressing?"
"Yeah, fine. Good."
"He will see sense and come over to our side, you know."
Crowley just grunted in response.
"Look I really don't know what it is about that thing that is so interesting."
"Eh?" Crowley said. He put his phone down on the table and finally looked at Aziraphale. "My people have been on my back lately. Not doing enough evil," he said, pulling a face. "So I've had to put some real work in."
Aziraphale looked around at the other diners, half of them busy with their mobile phones. "Looks like it's working," he said.
"No, not the mobile phone. That's been around for ages, and the humans managed that one on their own. Not to say I didn't help them along with certain aspects, poor battery life, aesthetics over durability and the like. But what I did, I made an app."
Aziraphale looked at him blankly.
Crowley sighed. "Am I the only one who keeps up with modern technology?"
Aziraphale thought about his shop. The telephone that he loved and was still perfectly serviceable. The computer that hadn't been used enough to even consider upgrading. And the till, that was probably still somewhere, under something. He wasn't sure, he hadn't needed to use it in years.
"Oh what's the point in telling you. You wouldn't like it."
Aziraphale clasped his hands on the table. "Maybe not, but tell me anyway," he said, glad of the conversation as much as anything else.
"Well." There was a long pause and Crowley looked almost embarrassed. "You know how modern technology makes people talk to each other less? And meet new people less often?"
Aziraphale listened quietly, taking his word for it.
Crowley tapped his phone. "This app makes it easier for people to meet each other."
"Ah, for dinner?"
"Well yes, but more for... love," Crowley said, tripping over the last word.
Aziraphale beamed. "Crowley, that's so nice!" He exclaimed.
Crowley lowered his voice. "Ah, but it's not, angel," he said. "I'm encouraging people to make snap judgements about others in a glance, always increasing their expectations about their partners. Making them impatient for responses. Oh, and this new one I've just come up with that I'm really proud of, disappearing for no reason!"
"Don't look so glum, it's my job to make people miserable. Comes with the territory." Crowley turned his phone to Aziraphale. "But you've gotta admit the logo is pretty good."
Enflame. With a flame as a logo. And the end of the E was elongated into a pitchfork.
After dinner, Crowley hurried off with a vague excuse. Aziraphale headed back to his book shop, took the dust cover off his computer, switched it on and went to make cocoa. The computer had finally loaded by the time he was half way through his drink. He navigated to his usual starting point, and asked Jeeves "where can I find Enflame?"