The Library is empty, as usual, which makes it an excellent place to regroup. Claire tugs on Michael's sleeve and they slip through the open door, closing it quietly once they're inside.
She takes a deep breath, leans against the nearest shelf, and closes her eyes. It's been, to put it mildly, a hell of a day. She's cataloging her grievances with her Boss when a book bounces off the top of her head and lands on the floor by her feet.
"Books have a thing for you," Michael says, bending down to pick up the medium-sized tome. Claire rubs the spot on her head where it landed. "They like to meddle," he says and hands her the book with a cryptic smile.
She takes it, frowns as she reads the title. "Oh for the love of..." It's a first edition printing of a Jane Austen novel. She turns to glare at the bookshelf and it seems to shrug, as if to say, Who? Me? She turns back to glare at Michael. "Jack and I are friends, Mike. Have been for awhile now." She looks down at the book, flips to the title page. "That's all it is."
"Oh boy," Michael says. "You've got a thing for him, too." Claire looks up sharply from the book; the archangel's grin is far too smug for her liking.
"For Jack?!" she asks, her voice shrill.
Her cheeks color. "I do not have a thing for Jack."
Michael's grin widens. "You've got a thing for the record store owner!"
She scowls, throws the book at him. It smacks him in the chest with a loud thud and lands on the floor once again.(1)
"We're in the middle of stopping an apocalypse; there are angels and demons running amok down the hall from God Herself, and you want to hide in a library and discuss my love life?"
He shrugs. "Sure."
Her shoulders slump. "I've got a thing for a Jack." She picks up the book, points at him. "But keep your mouth shut or I'll tell Ellie you've got a thing for Her."
"Hey now," he says, holding up his hands, "we're talking about you."
"Nooo," Claire says, drawing out the word, "you were talking about me. I'm talking about you. And Ellie. Having a thing." She wiggles her fingers for emphasis.
He turns, looks at the door. "We should definitely get going. We've got an apocalypse to stop." He frowns, ruffles his feathers. His face becomes stern. "No sense wasting time in a library."
"I waste time in a library everyday."
He sighs and the stern expression drops. "I'm not going to win this one, am I?"
"Shouldn't have even started it, should I?"
"Nope." She tucks the book away on the shelf behind her, carefully finding the right spot within her own numbering system. (2) "We need to find our wayward companions," she says. "Otherwise, the world goes boom, I lose my job, and Ellie rips your wings off."
Michael pauses at the door. "You realize that even if we stop the apocalypse, all of that could still happen?"
"Not the boom, though."
"Right. So just the unemployment and loss of wings."
"One issue at a time, Mike." She pats him on the cheek. "One issue at a time."
(1) Jane Austen would be appalled at Claire's treatment of her novel. Which is why Claire makes a mental note to mention it the next time she sees her at book club.
(2) Dewey ain't got nothin' on Claire Rogers.