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I know you, Angel (but I didn't know That)

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Now, this fact might seem obvious to you dear reader, but Crowley has met many an angel in his long-reaching lifetime and felt himself quite the authority on being a judge of their character. Not only had most of the angels he'd known been bland and sanctimonious, but a majority of them had actually Fallen after quite the row in Heaven, dragging him down with them. When the pool of angelic acquaintances he had were either literal demons or had banned him from his once-home, it was easy to hold steadfast biases against them.

Crowley knew that contrary to popular belief, while angels made magnificent soldiers in the armies of Good, they were rarely good people. They were simply too... good, to be Good. A distinction Crowley took Very Seriously. They followed every rule and order. They crossed every T and dotted every I. They never questioned what they were or what they knew. Crowley thought that maybe once, a very, very long time ago, this might have been something he believed an angel should be. Back then it rankled in his blackened, freshly Fallen soul, knowing that it wasn't something he could ever resemble. He knew better now, of course, after six thousand years on a planet that lived and breathed under his bare feet and shining scales and burning tires. Being an angel couldn't mean the destruction of this place. Life wasn't meant to be orderly, hammered like hot iron into an unyielding, sharp-edged sword. Nor was it some graceless, burning scrap-heap for demons to run rampant and bloody. The world wasn't some toy to play with and discard the moment the opportunity arose to do so. God was fickle and distant and silent and they couldn't be sure they'd get a new world if they broke this one, even if they asked nicely.

But Crowley had known Aziraphale was Good long before the angel agreed to stop the apocalypse with him. Had known before the celestial had ever expressed any concern over his well-being vis-à-vis illicit holy water acquisition or healing irresponsible bike-owners who happened to be witches. It would have had to have been, well, right at the beginning really. He'd at least suspected as much, watching a flaming blade disappear into an endless, violent wilderness as the first rain in creation trickled off ivory plumage. A surprise to both of them, he's sure. The first drops of this new creation had startled the demon a little, a small, embarrassing jerk towards his unlikely conversation partner. Demons were a distrusting and skittish bunch, facts that Crowley learned quickly and to great effect. He had no way of knowing his little jolt would elicit the most peculiar reaction. A flutter of the bright wing, an almost involuntary invitation, thoughtlessly protective and entirely unintentional. And Crowley, being the impulsive, impish, curious demon he was, accepted the offer wordlessly, wondering if the angel would follow through with his half-baked action, expecting him to pull away as he rightfully should. The angel may have later been mortified, but Crowley was impressed with his resolve to keep the Serpent of Eden sheltered until the First Storm broke and they somewhat awkwardly parted ways. No proper angel would have allowed such a thing, he'd thought that day so long ago. He wondered if Aziraphale was, perhaps, closer to what God had hoped proper angels would be. A little kinder. A little nicer. A little... softer. Not that he -or anyone, really- would ever be able to tell. But reality had a habit to bending to Crowley's indomitable imagination, and it had worked out for him so far.

He didn't think it was really Aziraphale's good actions were the root behind his Goodness. Not exactly, anyway. When one was in the line of work they both were, acts of Good and Evil were done as transactions. The Agreement had thrived on this truth of the world. Righteous things were done by angels, and wicked things were done by demons. This was their part to play in the Great Plan, forever tipping the scales imperceptibly back and forth like the Longest and Most Boring balancing act the universe had ever performed. No, kind deeds did not always make kind people. It was Aziraphale's genuine, knee-jerk reaction to be gentle and generally magnanimous that made him Good. It was tempered only by Heaven's expectations and truly fiendish propaganda department. Crowley watched as the angel tried so hard to present a front he thought Heaven would commend him for, without realizing he was already leagues beyond them. At least, that's the way he saw it. He didn't let being an angel get in the way of being a person, and that was something Crowley liked to believe he saw in him from the start. Whether or not that was actually the case was up for debate, but debaters should be warned that the demon was really Quite Stubborn and had a habit of getting his way, even when things didn't go to plan. They'd saved the world after all, hadn't they? It really shouldn't have worked. And yet... it had. Even after failing literally Step One.

Aziraphale was Good. This was the first thing the demon had truly learned about his angel and Crowley had known it for what seemed like an eternity.