Aziraphale remembers dancing with a stranger.
Just then, he heard a curse from the next room. Not what one would usually recognise as a curse, but a curse of the demonic variety. Aziraphale had just enough sense to duck before the phonograph exploded, but even so, fragments of record almost hit his lovely new suit jacket.
He frowned, and walked into the next room, where Crowley was sitting calmly at a desk, still wearing sunglasses while he worked on a more effective spam emailing device. It was a hobby.
"Couldn't stand the scratchy record," was all he said, lifting up his sunglasses briefly.
Aziraphale just frowned. "I'll have you know, that is one of their original records."
"Well, would it have killed you to ...bless it?"
Aziraphale walked out of the room. He miracled the record and phonograph back into existence, and thought of the first time he had heard their music. Crowley had liked them then, because they were the fashion, but Aziraphale hadn't started to like the music until decades later. There had been that strange man, he remembered with the good memory of those who lived a far longer than human lifespan. The one who had seemed so out of place.
"Come on, angel," Crowley said. He was wearing a hat to cover his eyes, but was still the height of style. He held out his hand. "I'm going to teach you something other than the gavotte."
"But I like the gavotte," Aziraphale protested.
Crowley just scowled in response, but accepted an offer to dance from a rather young girl.
Aziraphale looked around the building, and thought Crowley ought to be ashamed. There was a young lady in the corner kissing an obviously married man. Aziraphale gave her a sudden change of heart, just out of habit. There were couples dancing dangerously close together, and he knew Crowley's style very well. The old man sitting over there...
Wait. He didn't look quite right. Aziraphale looked at him again, closer this time. It wasn't that he was under Crowley's influence. He was appropriately dressed, and he did look normal, but something was a little off. It was the way he grinned from time to time, as if pleased with how well he was fooling people. He didn't seem to belong.
"My dear boy," the old man said, "do you intend to stare at me all day, or is there something you want to ask? Hmm?"
Aziraphale felt slightly offended. "Where are you from?" he asked, hoping it wasn't someone from Above or, worse yet, Below. Still, the old man didn't seem the type.
The stranger just winked and smiled again. "Never mind where I'm from." The stranger extended his hand, and Aziraphale gave this deep consideration. After all, it wouldn't be Crowley, who cursed every time they fell out of step.
"I only know the gavotte," he confessed, shaking the old man's hand.
The old man smiled again. "I know that one," he said, "Lovely dance... 17th century, wasn't it?" He seemed thoughtful. Aziraphale wondered if it was just that the man had been reincarnated. That happened sometimes, when Above buggered things up. It gave people strange memories and instincts.
"Oh, yes," Aziraphale said, surprised that anyone knew of it. No one had ever seemed interested, least of all Crowley.
"Still, you do need quite the crowd for that, hmm?"
Aziraphale looked at the dancers, and at Crowley, dancing almost scandalously with the young girl. He made a decision, and asked the old man, "Do you know this dance?"
"It's just moving to the music, isn't it? Shouldn't be too hard for an old man and his companion." The man stood up and grinned at Aziraphale, as if daring him to try.
Oh ...bother it, Aziraphale thought, at least he wouldn't be made a fool of alone. He followed the old man to the dance floor, and they soon moved into step.
His companion did have a knack for keeping time, Aziraphale found, though it wasn't always the same time as everyone else. But he didn't comment on Aziraphale's lack of rhythm either, so the angel was enjoying himself.
A quick look towards Crowley revealed that the demon was glaring at him from under his hat, and the girl was staring at the old man. She looked a bit shocked. Well, thought Aziraphale triumphantly, it had stopped them from committing licentious acts on the dance floor. He continued to dance, feeling a bit smug as he did so.
When Crowley whispered the suggestion that they go for a drink somewhere else, Aziraphale smiled sweetly.
"Whatever for?" he said, still moving to the music.
"You know ...bloody well what for," Crowley replied, and Aziraphale stopped dancing. He turned to the old man, but found him absent from the room. And the girl Crowley had been dancing with gone as well. A pity, he thought, but faced Crowley again.
"Only if you spread a few blessings while you're out tomorrow," he said.